Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Moving Forward

A few days ago my world crashed down around me. Our IVF cycle had failed.

While I found myself to be unusually calm during the dreaded two week wait I found it surprising when I woke with a feeling of dread the morning that I could test.

When we were at the drug class in Texas they did tell us that we should not be taking any urine pregnancy tests before the blood test because the results would be inaccurate due to the hormones we were on. Well to me, thats like telling a bird not to fly.....

So, with research from tons of completely reliable websites...scoff....I managed to sneak a urine test a full five days before my blood test was due. Of course it was negative. After having one full day of crazy, I read online that blood tests will always show the correct results 8-10 days sooner before the urine tests so I stopped the freaking out and resumed the calm and peaceful talks to the embryos inside me.

Each morning I told them how much we loved them, prayed for them every day, couldn't wait to meet them, if they would just hang on for the next nine months I promised them everything under the sun. After three hours and no call from either the base hospital or the doctors in Texas I thought something was wrong. It turns out that I was the only one they hadn't heard from that day and after mass confusion to include doctors not being able to get in contact with the lab, busy phone lines and computers being down I was told I could go get the results myself. With a very shaky and sweaty hand I filled out the medical release paper work that would allow me to release my that round about to me....

The results were what I feared they might be. Negative. After crying the the base parking lot with my husband we went home to grieve and try to move forward.

We have nine embryos from the transfer and from what I've read and been told by the doctors that is a very good number. My doctor also told me he was quite shocked that the IVF didn't work as we were ideal candidates and did everything correctly and the embryos that we put in were perfect. He said we couldn't have had more perfect embryos. I asked if my endometriosis could have played a factor in the failure of the cycle and he said it was possible but we had no way to know for sure.

I felt horrible at this news for a few days and very much blamed myself. I know it was not my fault that I had endometriosis but it could have been my fault because I had the disease that the IVF did not work. I felt as though my uterus was just a bad environment. After being consoled by my wonderful husband many times I began to feel better but not completely hopeful.

Something uplifting that the doctor did tell us, is that people with endometriosis usually do better with a frozen cycle (meaning just the embryos transfer without the egg producing drugs) because your ovaries and uterus are not bombarded with all of the drugs needed to actually produce the embryos. The theory is that a fresh IVF cycle is a very harsh environment for your reproductive area and that with a frozen one you are not even on any meds until the day of the transfer. So, with that news we will be taking a short break and resuming our trying with a frozen embryo transfer in November.

Each day that passes I feel more hopeful for another cycle. I am trying to find Gods reasoning in our first IVF cycle failing. I am praying that is is because one of our children is lying in wait in one of those nine precious embryos. I do realize that God has a plan for us, and that I will be a mother some day. It is just harder to grip so close to the grief of losing the first two embryos.

Six months ago we also had an offer of a surrogate. This, I believe was an offer straight from God. Because if none of the frozen cycles worked we would move towards adoption. Which is not to say that adoption would be our last option in any ways, simply due to monetary issues, we would not have been able to afford a surrogate through an agency.

Adoption is in our family plan and always has been, my heart has been set to adopt from somewhere overseas since I was a child. Nick and I are both on board with this, however we realize how expensive it is and will need to save for years for this dream to become a reality. We plan on having a separate savings account just for this reason.

Although my heart is leaning towards having our gestational carrier carry the embryos first and not doing a frozen cycle, many people close to me, including the most important person, my husband, believe that I should try at least one frozen cycle on my own first. There are many reasons for me leaning the way I am at the moment and the most obvious is that our surrogate doesn't have any kind of reproductive issues with her uterus like I do. In other words, healthy environment for baby. Also I can't imagine the feeling of overwhelming love that will come to this child knowing that not only their mom and dad loved them so much but they will forever have a special connection to their surrogate. It just really seems as if my heart is in the right place with this movement.

I know that being able to carry my own child would be the most ideal situation but I am already ready if that is not the case. I can only see the end result of holding our baby in our arms. I don't care one way or the other how they got there.

We have been blessed in finding out that we will not have to pay for one cycle and this does relieve quite a bit of stress from us for the next step. In the spirit of being hopeful and being positive I am looking forward to moving forward with this. Documents are signed and the embryos should be on their way to Arkansas within a week or so. I also have confidence that this will be a more relaxing cycle because we are able to be in our own home the entire time. Not in another state, worrying about dinners and every other expense that comes along with traveling. I have an appointment next week for a physical and to talk to my doctor about the transfer process and get some questions answered.

Praying to be content in our situation, for hope in the next venture and for peace in not knowing what Gods plan is for us but that he will bless us with our baby in our arms very, very soon.