PLEASE NOTE: If you are struggling with infertility or are currently trying to conceive and you DON'T want to read about my pregnancy (which I totally understand), I recommend starting at the beginning of the blog (March 2010) and reading from there. I find out I'm pregnant in June 2011 so there is a lot of trying to conceive posts in between that you might find funny, helpful or relatable. Wishing you all the luck in the world!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No Cheese. Just Whine.

This past Sunday, we got the call that the embryo transfer would be on Monday, Memorial Day and that we still had just the one embryo. The three immature eggs they tried to fertilize were unsuccessful so all our hopes, dreams and money were now riding on the Rudy, the Lone Embryo (the sequel). Are there such things as Memorial Day miracles? Anyone remember any television specials on the subject?

The nurse I spoke to didn’t know the quality of the embryo. She just said, “Be here tomorrow at 11:30am unless we call you and tell you otherwise.” And I knew what that meant. It meant that calling me and telling me otherwise would mean that there were no embryos left to transfer. For the remainder of that day and the next morning, I hoped that my cell phone wouldn’t ring. This is the exact opposite of how I was when I was single but obviously, things were different then.

When Monday morning arrived, we headed to the clinic and despite the fact that I hadn’t received any calls to the contrary; I was still terrified that more bad news was to come. When I spoke to my parents on Saturday night to bring them up to speed, my dad said, “You really can’t catch a break, can you?” I know he said this out of frustration for me, which I appreciate but that sentence has echoed in my head over and over ever since he said it. Probably because it feels that way: I can’t seem to catch a break and when I do, it feels like it just prolongs the torment.

It only takes one… but I paid for more.
At 11:30, we walked in and I gave the receptionist my name. She put a bracelet around my wrist that had my name and birthdate on it. I figured if she was doing that than we must still have something to transfer. As she fastened it, she looked at me for a second and said to me, “Why do you look so sad?” I was completely taken aback. My first though was ‘Is she f*cking kidding me?’ Where to begin? I’ve been trying to get pregnant for two years! I’ve just spent all my savings. The odds of this working are close to none. This nightmare feels like it’s never going to end. I had an entire laundry list of reasons that I didn’t feel all smiley at that moment. However, instead of telling her all this and risking having a crying fit in the waiting room, I responded with, “I’m Catholic. We’re always sad.” She laughed as I quickly backed away from her and found a seat.
After a few of us changed into our gowns, we were told to follow the receptionist to a separate waiting room that’s outside the procedure room where the transfers were to happen. As we were walking, a nurse called my name and told me to stop. I turned around and she was standing there with a phone in her hand. “It’s for you.
Of course, I thought it had to be either someone calling to tell me that I had nothing to transfer or it was the president calling to give me instructions on a secret mission. Really – this call seemed so dramatic and bizarre, I had no idea what to expect. Shockingly, it was my doctor who was the last person I expected to hear from simply because I haven’t heard from her at all this entire cycle.
With regards to the clinic I’ve been going to, you go in, you get blood work and you get instructions through a nurse later that afternoon. Then, when you start getting sonograms, you get whoever the doctor is on call. The same goes for the retrieval and the transfer. As it happened, my doctor wasn’t there for any of that. I have no doubt she’s been involved behind the scenes and making decisions here and there but truth be told, this phone call was the first I ever actually spoke to her since we started this round of in vitro.
Her first sentence was, “Well, the fertility report wasn’t what we had hoped.” Gee, there’s an understatement.
She continued, “You do have a beautiful 8-cell embryo though and I’d rather have one 8-cell embryo than two 6-cell embryos’s any day of the week. All in all though, we’re going to hope this cycle works but if not, I think its clear there’s an egg quality issue that we’ll need to treat and there’s a few ways to do that.
I must point out that I’m standing at the nurse’s station in my hospital gown right as I’m about to go into my transfer and I’m being told that I have one great embryo, shitty eggs and if this cycle doesn’t work (you know… the cycle that I’m still currently in), I’m going to need to spend thousands of more dollars I don’t have. Not to criticize but I’m not sure if this is the ideal time to be having this conversation.
I said to her, “You realize that you had me to the estrogen priming protocol and you added Menopur to my stims and it didn’t do anything to help in the least. We had the same exact response as I had with my clinical trial, which wasn't even tailored specifically to me... and was free by the way. Also, I’m happy to hear you have other suggestions as to what we can do going forward, but I don’t have any money. I just spent it all on this. We have absolutely nothing in our savings account.”
Her response? “Well then I guess this one has to work.

Ummmm, yeah. That would be nice, wouldn't it? If only one of us could make that actually happen.
We made some closing statements to our call and I hung up completely dumbfounded, pissed off and as always, hormonal. I walked into the hallway and there was the receptionist who had asked me why I looked so sad earlier. She handed me a cap to put on my hair and she said to me, “Look. Take a deep breath. You wouldn’t be here if they didn’t think there was a chance this could work so try and think positive.” It was at that moment, I burst into tears. So much for having a positive attitude.
I appreciated her pep talk (or at least her attempt at one) and I know that when it comes to infertility, this is how it is. It’s emotional, expensive, and more than anything, there is no logic. Really. I’ve heard stories of women having tons of amazing embryos that never get pregnant and then I’ve heard stories of women who had only one halfway decent embryo that went on to have healthy babies. You just never know and you have to hang in there. The trouble is I’m all out of pep and I’m fresh out of hope.
No more money. No more insurance. Three IUI’s. Three In Vitro’s. No pregnancies ever. And now, if my eggs have been determined as crap, we have to figure out how to handle that. Yes, I know there are donor eggs, but they cost $4000 and even then, even if we could afford that, we STILL have no guarantees it’ll work or that we don’t have yet another undiagnosed problem. If my life were a VH1’s Behind the Music, this would be the point where I started a cocaine habit.
I’m going to follow the instructions, do whatever I can in this two week wait that I think might help and hope for a downright miracle but this, my friends, it the lowest I’ve ever been. I’ll get through it, as we all do, but today, at this moment, I honestly don’t know how.

51 comments:

Alex said...

I'm so sorry to hear that only one embryo was fertilized. This sucks, it really does. But your one little Rudy sequel looks fabulous, and I really hope he pulls through for you. Sending you all the positive thoughts I have to you...

Lulu said...

I'm so sad for you. In bizarro IVF world, the transfer is supposed to be a joyous day when you marvel about science and the embryos you have created. Your transfer day was disappointing and mismanaged. I am so sorry.

sienna said...

i think i would've died of a heart attack when told i had a phone call at that exact moment that you did. or, just shat in my pants. what a bizarre time to have that conversation, but i have to think your doc was trying to make your day about your 8-celled embie. i'm gonna be annoying and scream with delight for you. this is the best possible scenario (at this point in time), and i'm holding my breath in anticipation of great news 2 weeks down the line. i know, this optimism is annoying, but if you have little faith left after all these sucker punches, let the rest of us have it for you. pulling for you BIG TIME. xoxo.

Jenn said...

Just want you to know - this isn't just my favorite infertility blog. It's my favorite blog, period.

Hoping this cycle works out exactly as you want it to.

xoxoxoxoxo

Jes G said...

hoping and staying positive for you! best of luck in the 2ww
xoxo

Secret Sloper said...

I hope for you!

Jen Has A Pen said...

There are a thousand canned responses I could spout off. "I'm rooting for you!" "Just have hope!" I'm sending "baby dust!" And while I'd mean every one of those things, it just isn't going to help bring you peace right now. I wish there was a magical thing to say. You've obviously been to this dance before. You don't need stats or examples of times when couples have beaten the odds. Just don't feel guilty for your feelings. And certainly don't apologize for them. You've been down a very bumpy road, and I am so totally frustrated for you - with you. In the meantime, relax, relax, relax.... I wish you the very best.

Angie said...

No one but the person going thru infertility truly knows what it is like. I couldn't even explain how I felt to myself (rationally, at least) sometimes, let alone to someone else! And when I decided it was time to stop, it was very personal to me. Even though my DH and I had decided on 1 more round, I just couldn't do it. It was the right decision for me, and things fell into place as if it were meant to be all along. Know that I am hoping for the best for you!

kkasun said...

Wow, what a bizarre time for your Doctor to decide to participate in this cycle???
Here's hoping for Rudy 2!!!!

metholic said...

Hope this works, thinking of you! When I went in for my preg test after embryo transfer the nurse asked if I had "cheated" by taking an at home preg test. My reply was "God no, I'm Catholic, the guilt alone would be enough to jinx this and make me not pregnant"

thirtiesgirl said...

Also thinking of you and hoping for you.

Jen said...

Oh holy shit. I literally cannot believe your doctor handled the phone call that way. I'm so so sorry, Jay. Was she unaware of the financial lengths you went through to do THIS cycle? How can she assume that there will be a next one?

FRUSTRATING.

I do, however, totally agree with the nurse who told you that you wouldn't be there if you didn't have a chance. You DO have a chance, darling. You don't have to believe it right now, but I think you know that deep down.

Hang in there...

Dr. Blondie said...

Wishing you all the best and praying that this embryo is "the one".

E and R said...

So sorry the news wasn't better - but I am praying for that one little guy to snuggle in and get comfy for the next 9 months!!!

JustHeather said...

*hugs* Sorry for the very rough day!

Rebecca said...

I hope so much that this one works out!! That must have been such a frustrating time for a phone call. I'm sure the doctor thought she was being helpful but, yeah, not so much!

Julia Lynn said...

Jay,

My heart aches for you! I wish there was a way to convey how deeply you have touched my heart. I know there's nothing that can be said to ease your pain, but please know that I am weeping and grieving with you.
I am also praying for God's hand to be upon this precious life inside of you, that He will cause this embryo to implant and grow and thrive!
You are greatly and deeply loved, dear friend. Thank you for sharing your story and your heart with us.
Much love,
Julia

JM said...

Kindof want to bitch-slap your Dr for you, you know, so hitting her doesn't dislodge your awesome embie. She REALLY thought that was an appropriate time for that conversation?

I think the best revenge would be a fantastic BFP. Good luck!

Natalie said...

I'm sorry Jay, things just seem to suck right now. But there is still a chance and I'm going to be rooting for things to magically work out.

Amy said...

I am FLAMING pissed off for you. My gut response to your IVF doc is "what an a-hole/bitch" for calling at THAT MOMENT to discuss further sucking money out of you. I SWEAR for being in a field where they are supposed to UNDERSTAND that women incredibly vulnerable and should be treated with kindness, consideration and kid gloves, they sure manage to make themselves look like incompetent cads in the EQ department. I swear!! And then to make the comment that "well I guess this one has got to work" when you said you were tapped out is just adding insult to injury. I feel like they have NO concept of the cost both financially and emotionally this takes on women, husbands, marriages, etc. Of course they have no concept, because they are busy lining their pockets and buying their next Porsche with your hard earned money.

"I think its clear there’s an egg quality issue that we’ll need to treat and there’s a few ways to do that." They should have figured that out after the LAST time and done whatever they could THIS time. &*)@$&*)&*^*&%!

I am so angry for you!!!

Okay, off of my soapbox now. On the positive side, having an 8 cell is at least a good first step. It is better than what you feared, which was having nothing to implant. I know, a little silver lining, but at least there is a glimmer there...

nurslouisa said...

It drives me NUTS when people who don't know me or my situation try to give me a pep talk! I mean really? Please leave me alone! And your RE-- good job putting her in her place but why she needed to talk to you at that moment is not clear. I guess when I was in your situation I told myself "this could work" and that was as close as hopeful I could get. I hope it does.

The Barreness said...

thinking the best of thoughts for you and your Rudy #2.
((hugs))

Guinevere said...

Delurking to say that I'm so terribly sorry. I wish there was something to say to make it less horrid.

Moon said...

I know you're all out of hope right now Jay so we'll do the hoping for you and will try to keep you strong.
Be good to yourself and just take one day a time.
Hugs,
Moon xx

Sarah Woulfin said...

Goodness, gracious, that's a crappo way for the doctor/clinic to treat you. I'm so, so sorry. The lack of logic and insane financial burden really kills me about i/f. Take care.

clewis said...

Im sorry, Its so frustrating, I feel like I keep doing the same shit and not getting any further! What the doctors fail to get is that we just dont have anymore money, if we had all the money in the world it would be ok to keep doing trail and error, but we dont.grrrr

kateypie35 said...

thinking of you....

Anonymous said...

we have very similar issues-i know exactly how you feel...keep strong.oh and if you could follow me on twitter that would be lovely-@clairemay73.i cant reply to any of your posts as i protect my tweets and would really like to do so xx

Brave IVF Girl said...

It's rotten that your doctor a) chose that moment to call and b) was so incredibly insensitive. We want to think as patients that they're *always* doing everything they can to get us pregnant, not that they're saving something unless there's a next step. Ugh.

I wish I could wave a magic wand for you (and me!) and just make this work, but in the mean time I'll just think positive thoughts for you.

*hugs*

caliopej said...

Thank you Jay for your blog and tweets, they have been a real lifeline for me as I follow in your footsteps. I felt like crying for you, reading this entry, but then you manage to pull humor out of the situation, even in a bleak, bleak moment. Am cheering you on from afar, admiring your courage and chutzpah, and hoping that this is it for you guys.

Emms said...

Big hugs. That's all I have because nothing will make this ok. I have hope for you. I am sending you sticky bean vibes. Hang in there and take care of yourself.

Meg@myadoptioncoach.com said...

OH Jay...I think everyone said it already...by now that little Rudy is implanting himself in that cushy uterus of yours and you need to go into protective 'mommy mode'. Focus all your energy on taking care of yourself and being ZEN. LOL I wish I could send you to a beach in Maui to relax under a huge palm tree for 2 weeks, so your only thoughts would be SPF 50 or 85?
Count me in on Team Jay for moral support and a laugh. We are praying for your success.
xoxo meg

amiracle4us said...

I completely understand this post. I am in my 2WW and am dealing with the same situation...3.5 years, one mc, one IUI, 2.5 IVF's and nothing in the bank account if this one doesn't work.

I am so happy you have a fabulous 8-cell baby and I am going to continue to pray for you!!

Josey said...

((HUGS)) No great advice, but know that I'm thinking of you.

One perfect emby said...

POsitive news for your 8 cells....stay positive you still have a chance...

Anonymous said...

you know what? I am super excited for you! that 8 cell embryo is the best news possible! AND GOOD LUCK GOOD LUCK!!! I felt very much the same way going into my transfer (only had 2 - both crappy looking 5cell and 7cell) one implanted but it was a chemical(prob b/c it looked SO crappy) but getting pregnant briefly truly helped whatever my issue was (they were starting to suspect egg issues) anyhow, my point is a good 8cell is FANTASTIC. What worked for me through this time was knowing I had done all I could and nothing for me do but wait. I know it is hard not feel defeated so I will just be optimisticfor you!

Heidi said...

call me what you want, but i'm still hopeful as ever for you!!! you've got a great little embryo in there, who your doctor spoke highly of! definitely sounds like a rudy to me :) keep you head up--this could be your month...finally!!! i'll be praying that you get your good news this June--i promise you that!

C said...

Ugh, what a bunch of crap infertility is! I'm so sorry you're going through this but I will be rooting for Rudy 2 and hoping for positive news!

Dana said...

Thinking of you. Hoping and hoping that it works this time.

Dead Cow Girl said...

Infertility sucks.

Thinking of you and your beautiful embryo.

L-L-L-Leslie said...

Pulling for you and Rudy 2!!

SHANA said...

All I can say is I know how you feel and am hoping for your miracle. I know it's annoying when people tell you they know how you feel. But believe me, I know how you feel. Been in your shoes. And it can work. So if hope is all you have left.....hang the **** onto it!

Brooke said...

I read in a book about Eastern/Western medicine that eating pineapple helps with implantation. Could be total bunk, of course, but pineapple is good anyway. Best of luck to you. You deserve to catch a break.

Sarah said...

Will you please name the baby Rudy? Maybe a middle name?

Tara dS said...

What is WRONG with these moron doctors!?! Talk about total lack of sensitivity.

I agree with Sarah, I think you really have to name the baby Rudy at this point! Keeping my fingers crossed for you...

K said...

That was a very insensitive doctor.. totally not professional at all. you should file for a complain!

anyway, I wish you all the best!! Be strong!! Hang in there!

The Ugly Truth said...

Wow, I can't believe your doctor had to talk to you before your procedure. My heart ached for you as I was reading this entire post. I'll be praying for you and your husband in hopes that this cycle works for you. Big Hugs!

Kate said...

Still your virtual cheerleader.

Hang in there.

Hugs!

TeeJay said...

Sending you lots of positive thoughts. I know how it feels to be out of hope, but nothing is over just yet. Very cliche, yes, but also very true. Hope you are doing ok during your wait.

mommyodyssey said...

Baby dust is the stupidest wish ever. Seriously. I would go to the dark side of this to explain why but I think you're smart enough to figure it out and we'll leave it at that. Sending positive thoughts your way would also feel kind of pointless since I'm across the atlantic and I don't know if my positive thoughts will travel the distance.
Here's what I can tell you: I feel for you. I'm thinking of you. I'm hoping for you even if you can't yet hope for yourself. I am in awe of your strength. If I could send you a two week fast forward button, that's what I would do. But in the meantime, here's a big virtual hug.

marilyn said...

oh my god..Sorry a little late reading this..but i want to freaking yell at your doctor. Why would they mess with you like that. They could have just done the transfer and then if it doesn't work..talk to you. I hate them some times!! Why are doctors such assholes! sorry..I am on the PIo shots and very hormonal!! i am so pissed off right now. You have a beautiful 8 cell..I hope you can keep positive. This is just unbelievable
I am sending lots of baby dust:)
hugs

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