Saturday, January 17, 2009

From The Frozen Tundra That Is Atlanta, Georgia

As I write this, I’m sitting in our office wearing Ugg boots, a red puffer jacket (yes, very 80s) and a woolly scarf. No gloves. I should hastily clarify by saying that I’m wearing these items in addition to my normal clothes. It just had to be the coldest weekend in the past year for the heat to go out on our ground floor and in the basement. Luckily, the upstairs furnace is still working but the cold downstairs is starting to affect the temperature upstairs, too. For reference, it was 71°F (21°C) upstairs this morning and a very refreshing 46°F (7°C ) downstairs. We’re off work for MLK Day on Monday, which is also our first wedding anniversary, and we’ll be spending it freezing in the morning and in the company of a nice technician called Antonio in the afternoon. Antonio promises that warmth will be restored by Monday evening.

Having spent the week since we heard the news about our three blasts in a state of utter doom and gloom, I’m starting to feel a bit better now. If I really try, I can be quite good at doom and gloom. Here’s how CCRM very accurately summarises the emotional impact of infertility:

• feelings of loss of control are common and sometimes uncomfortable
• the emotional roller coaster of hope and despair, either with each treatment or on a monthly basis
• feelings of failure and low self-esteem are normal as are feelings of guilt, blame, shame and embarrassment
• the process erodes and consumes time and energy
• financial issues - loss of other dreams in exchange for treatment
• changes within your relationship - pull together or apart - infertility brings most couples closer together but changes in intimacy are often associated with treatment regimens
• impact on employment and performance at work
• feelings of injustice are reality based

We know we’re old and trying to beat the odds, so I do sometimes wonder why we’re even expecting this to work, but we’re still convinced it will work for us soon. I’m mainly feeling better because, as drummed into me by my wonderful, less doomy and gloomy DH, we already have one viable embryo waiting for us; and not only because of that basic fact alone, but also because it means that we can produce them generally. Statistically we really ought to have one more normal embryo in the new batch, but with just three it’s hard to count on the stats. We decided to organise a phone regroup with the doctor this coming week to get his view on the cycle and any ideas he might have on improving our blast development, in the unlikely event we were able to do another cycle. We’re aware of the possibility that he’ll simply put it down to age; he did tell us before egg retrieval that I was doing spectacularly for my age, but I suspect it may just not have extended to blast development.

I’ve been going over the differences between our local cycle (seven blasts from ten embryos) and our CCRM cycles (four and now three blasts from two sets of eleven embryos). Other than several months between them and, therefore, just older eggs, the two major differences were that the local protocol didn’t include birth control pills and that we only used Gonal-F to stim, rather than a combination of Gonal-F and Menopur. Perhaps my eggs just don’t like Menopur. In the end, it’s hard to pinpoint it with so many variables at play, but talking to the doctor may give us more perspective.


  1. I suggest you spend your anniversary in the warmth of your bedroom upstairs. Why even go downstairs? Antonio can wait! :-)

    I hate the ambiguity and uncertainty that we're all in right now. There are so many questions, and not so many straight answers. So much at stake and such little control. I hope you get at least another normal one out of these 3, more than 1 if possible! But at the very least, you will have a transfer for sure, and I hope your blast(s) settle and snuggle in for the long haul!

  2. This whole process is a bust most days. I know you have heard this a billion times but it only takes one - I am going to hold out hope for you.

    I am doing a microdose lupron protocol next time to see if my stingy ovaries will put out like a, well, just put out more!

  3. Hugs, sugar. Thanks for the blog, it helps me understand better what you and your DH are going thru.


  4. Hang in there. Your fert report was good! I know of a woman here who was your age and went to CCRM. She got pregnant on her 5th IVF after transferring 2 eggs. I'm sorry I don't know the details of the eggs - I just wanted to tell you it happens. It only takes one :)

  5. hang in there! be positive and let's hope that '09 will bring some good news...

  6. Hi there,
    I hope that things have warmed up a bit for you. It sounds freezing in Atlanta!
    I'll be following your story and hoping that you achieve that baby carriage.