Well I still can't really believe that we have three failed IVFs behind us now. How did I end up here? I just really thought that it would be third time lucky for us and I had already planned it all out in my head - how far along in the pregnancy I would be by which month and even when I would be due. It all seems a bit stupid now of course. If it had worked I would have had my first scan last Thursday. Wouldn't that have been something? The odd thing is that our first IVF was actually the most successful in that I was properly pregnant and for the longest, even though it only lasted five weeks. These past several months between the immune testing and treatments not to mention the IVF itself was just so all consuming. Now that it's over I've been feeling at a loss. Sort of aimless and unsure of myself. The support from all of you has helped me a lot. It really means a lot to me, so thank you so much!
While I was googling IVF failure, I came across this article which I found very helpful. There are few resources available for when infertility treatments don't work so it can be a hard and lonely time. It's been difficult as you can imagine but I think I am handling it well all things considering. I was grateful that I had a few days off before I had to go back to the office. I'm still feeling quite fragile. It seems like every time I log onto facebook there's a new pregnancy or baby announcement! How I wish that were us. Yesterday hubby told me that friends of ours had their twins on Christmas day. I am embarrassed to admit this but I burst into tears when I heard. They also went through infertility and had a long journey. Actually when I did my second round of IVF, they did their first and for them it was successful. I am delighted for them, just disappointed for us.
I would have been due this month if the second round had worked. I probably wouldn't have been able to travel to Ireland in that case if I was so far along, and I would have missed out on a lovely Christmas with my family though. I liked the suggestion in that article to take up a new hobby or write a list of things you'd like to do. So I've decided to jot down lots of simple things like restaurants we've been meaning to try out, places I'd like to visit and so on. I've also thought about possible hobbies like doing a dance class, writing a book or taking up painting so maybe I will try something new. It would be good to focus on something else for awhile.
We've gotten an appointment at the other clinic I mentioned for early March. It's actually nearly an hour and a half away but I have heard great stories from people who have gone there. I'm really happy we have this appointment and keen to hear what they tell us. We'll have a long list of questions for them! I've read about some women having success with certain supplements such as DHEA and royal jelly but I'd prefer to get a doctor's advice before taking them. They offer natural IVF at the other clinic and I'm planning to discuss whether that might be something we should try. I'm also wondering whether it would be a good idea to get the scratch done (again) to increase our chances and whether it would make sense to check my tubes to see if one is still unblocked. In the meantime we have to fill out a three page questionnaire and send them all our medical records etc. I'll have to go back to my gyno to get a referral.
Hubby and I watched a few Netflix documentaries recently that revolved around food and health that made an impact on us. The documentaries were basically about how there is way too much processed and fast food these days. And also that people should cut back on animal products and dairy. So we decided to make an effort to eat healthier this month. We have been trying out some new recipes and cooking together more which has been fun! Just trying to incorporate lots more vegetables in our diet, more home made stuff, less sugar. I've also decided to try cutting out gluten. I've been having some digestion issues on and off for awhile now and I've noticed on days I avoid gluten it tends to be better so I'm going to give it a go. I also came across some research indicating that a gluten intolerance could lead to overactive natural killer cells in some women so I've been wondering if that might be what's happening to me. If I can improve my digestion, be healthier and improve the NK cells over the next few months that would be great!
I'm also hoping to get my thyroid values back under control. The day after our transfer I got my blood tested and found out my TSH value had gone up not down (it went from 2.30 to 2.46)! This is despite taking meds to reduce it the previous six weeks. I freaked out, worrying that it would affect the embryos implanting (and maybe it did...) I went to my doctor and she prescribed me stronger thyroid meds as the ideal value for pregnancy is around 1 and definitely under 2. Not sure why mine went up not down though I've read that IVF hormones can affect it. A higher TSH value means underactive thyroid. So my plan is to keep taking the meds and hopefully get my thyroid under control over the next few months.
Several people have asked us recently about adoption. It saddens me a bit as it sounds like they don't think we'll be able to have kids ourselves whereas we haven't moved on from that hope yet. Years ago when we started having problems hubby and I had a chat about what things we would consider and he said he doesn't want to go down the adoption route. I remember feeling sad at the time thinking that if IVF doesn't work then we would end up totally childless but when I thought about it more a few days later I realised that I also don't feel particularly drawn to adoption myself. It's a great thing for loads of people, don't get me wrong, I just don't feel like it's right for us. I can't imagine having the energy to start down that long road either if our other treatment attempts fail. Also for me the biological connection is very important. My Mum died when I was younger and I love the idea of a part of her living on.
People have told me about friends who adopted and then got pregnant naturally implying it might work in our case but that's not a good reason to pursue adoption! We also don't feel comfortable with the idea of donor eggs or sperm. Both are illegal in Germany actually (However it is actually legal to "adopt" already created embryos from another couple here). Update: only donor eggs are illegal here. Basically if it doesn't work with our own DNA we would stop. Hubby didn't even want to try IVF initially but luckily came around to the idea. And at the beginning we had agreed on 3 (or max 4) rounds.
I have been starting to wonder about what I would consider depending on what we are told at our next doctor's appointment. Going through infertility means you end up having to think about all sorts of things. One friend even suggested we go to India to find a surrogate! I can't imagine ever doing that and thankfully I haven't been told that I can't carry my own child so we don't need to consider options like that.
Our doctor has never said there are any issues with our own eggs or sperm either. Both are good quality. I think the main problem is that I don't respond well to the IVF hormones and we don't end up with many embryos.
Maybe our thoughts on donor eggs or adoption might change in the future but for now we are still hopeful that we might be able to have a biological child. I hope that doesn't come across the wrong way. Each couple has to decide what is right for them.
Our plan is to see what they say at the other clinic and then decide our next steps. I am open to doing a fourth round at some point. Hubby isn't so keen on the idea, like I mentioned before, he's already ready to stop and try to move on. However he's open to finding out what the new doctors have to say. He just hates seeing how hard IVF is on me. I have heard of women who take five or six rounds to be successful but I don't know how much more I can take. I tell myself it will be worth it in the end when we have our baby but I do worry about the long term effects. The emotional rollercoaster isn't good for my mental health either. Each failure just feels worse than the last! The hardest thing at the moment is deciding where to draw the line. If IVF is never going to work for me then I would obviously rather stop now than keep putting myself through it (and spending more money)! Our health insurance will pay towards a fourth round and it's great to have that option.
So that's where we are at now. I hope my post didn't sound too sad. It has been an incredibly disappointing time. I'm doing ok though. Feeling a little better each day and I am hopeful that maybe something will still work this year. I would love to be pregnant by the summer. Oh man, we would love that baby (or babies) so much! I would be the happiest woman in the world if it worked out. But I also want the doctors to tell it to us straight. If our chances are slim, I will try to accept that. In which case I will also start moving on. Hubby and I have also discussed what that might mean for us. We could consider getting a pet. Or we could plan some amazing holidays. Hubby has never been to Thailand. We would both love to go to the States together. It would also be such a relief to be done with all the doctor's appointments and injections. I hope by this summer we will have our answer either way. Please God we'll be able to have a healthy baby one day.
We are hoping to fly to Australia for my brother's wedding in April. It would be something to look forward to! Initially I had been thinking about staying here so that any potential treatments wouldn't have to be postponed but then I realised that I would regret missing out on seeing my brother get married and a month or two delay shouldn't make a big difference. My life has revolved around infertility treatments so much the past while and I'd like to focus on other things and try to enjoy life again!
So glad to hear an update. While your disappointment is clear, it really sounds like you are coping remarkably well. It took me four IVF tries for my little miracle toddler. I also had an early miscarriage before as well. The cycle that worked was a natural or 'mini' IVF. I am hoping your story is similar but so happy to read you have ways to cope with any outcome. Lots of love to you.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much! I really hope I'll have a similar outcome! I find it very interesting that it was a natural/mini IVF cycle that worked for you in the end.Delete
I'm so, so sorry. You do sound like you're coping really well though.ReplyDelete
Donor sperm is illegal in Germany? Interesting! In Switzerland donor eggs are illegal but donor sperm is okay as long as the couple is married (unmarried couples aren't allowed donor sperm though!).
I was actually mistaken on donor sperm being illegal, I thought it was for some reason but I've just looked it up and it turns out it's only donor eggs that aren't allowed. Lots of German women go to Spain or the Czech Republic apparently for donor egg IVF.Delete
I think you're doing amazingly well. The new clinic sounds great - sometimes a different perspective can be all you need. I think it's a great idea to start doing some "normal" non-baby stuff too. I've been thinking of taking up woodwork to give myself a distraction. A few trips abroad could do you the world of good. XxReplyDelete
This is milliemeg by the way. I don't know why my name comes up as anonymous!Delete
Thanks! Yea I'm really excited about going to the new clinic for a different opinion and fresh start! That's a good idea to take up woodwork. Definitely any kind of distraction is nice. I'm going to book some nice trips for 2017 to have some things to look forward to xDelete
I completely understand everything you are feeling. After our second round miscarriage we haven't been able to move on. Adoption doesn't completely suit us either. We are open to embryo adoption. We kind of thought, either both of us or neither of us DNA wise. I like your idea of starting a new hobby and focusing on something else for a while. It sounds splendid. I think taking care of yourself is just what you need right now. Hopefully the new clinic gives you options.ReplyDelete
Thanks Christina. I'm sorry to hear you've also been having a really difficult time. Wishing you all the best moving forward, whatever you decide to do. Hoping 2017 will bring good things for us all!Delete
I totally relate to what you write when you talk about due dates from previous IVFs and postponing travel over possible fertility treatments. Just know that you are one month closer to meeting your little ones and that your experience and testimony will empower others on this very hard sojourn. I write sojourn instead of journey because it's only temporary. Some people's temporary is a year. So far, mine is 4 years and three months deep. The due date for my late twins is coming up in early February. I see you are on blogspot, how did you find my Wordpress blog may i ask? I'm glad you stopped by my blog and I look forward to following your blog. -S. from https://Delayedbutnotdeniedblog.wordpress.com. (I can't figure out how to comment under my handle.)ReplyDelete
About the DHEA and royal jelly - you are smart to run it by your doc first because those two supplements affect hormones. My DHEA and DHEA-S used be sky-high so it wouldn't make sense to supplement. Royal Jelly, i'm not a fan. I've used it on and off for almost 4 years and it didn't really do anything for me. My second IVF had 8 follicles and five were retrieved. I think I was over suppressed for that cycle. Also, I just had mineral testing and it turns out I have to work on improving minerals ratios. I likewise had stool testing. It turns out I'm not absorbing minerals from my food so I'm currently taking antibiotics to treat a gut infection. My adrenals, measured by sodium:magnesium ratio, were really low. The sodium(Na):potassium(K) ratio was just under the ideal 2.5 at 2.0. I'm told Na:K is the vitality ratio and that it's hard to get pregnant under 2.5. You may want to check out mineral balancing.ReplyDelete
It is so hard to be faced with failed cycles and no big reasons why. I can understand being exhausted from how consuming everything was with the intralipids and extra pieces this time. I am glad your insurance pays for another round, that takes some pressure off financially. Bryce found it very hard to watch me go through the physical demands of IVF, so I think it is hard for husbands to see the toll. I don't at all blame you for your thoughts on donor material or adoption -- like you said, each couple has their own path, their own sense of ENOUGH. I wish I'd hit my ENOUGH sooner than I did. We had a conversation about adoption after not being chosen again for an opportunity, and Bryce was like, "I think you could go on forever, hoping for this child." Well, maybe not forever but the drive is much stronger for me at this point -- it's hard to not be totally synchronized this way. I wish you the best of luck and think it's a great idea to run supplements by your doctor and also to try to just live life. It must be hard to think about where you'd be if previous cycles worked out, but I also like that you look at opportunities lost if that was the case -- like your lovely Christmas you had. It's all a balance. I'm sorry you're in this place, it's not a fun place to be. I'll be thinking of you and hoping for the best as you explore your next options.ReplyDelete
The longer we have been struggling to have a baby, the stronger my drive seems to have become. I remember times at the start or us trying where I would sometimes feel unsure about whether I really wanted kids or not but the past year or so it's been a really strong desire. It can be hard when that doesn't match how my husband feels about it. But I have been trying to look at it from his perspective. Watching a wife go throughDelete
IVF, the physical toll and emotional hardships is not easy plus trying to be the strong supportive shoulder to cry on. I feel like the second opinion at the other clinic should give us some answers and helps us choose how to move forward but I am definitely reaching the end of my limit. At some point you wonder how much more you can put your body through. Doing all the immune treatments just made the last cycle extra consuming as you say and that's why I'm also thinking I can only do it one more time.
I hear you completely. I was really burnt out after our last miscarriage. As we took time to heal and gear up for IVF 5 I realized that even though we can talk in abstract terms about "the future" we can only take one step at a time with regard to treatment. I never thought I'd be talking about a fifth IVF cycle yet here we are. So it's one foot in front of the other taking small, manageable steps that will hopefully lead us to our family.ReplyDelete
You are completely justified in feeling disappointed. And it's totally normally to still feel hopeful - let that be your guide. Good luck in 2017!
Yea, burnt out is exactly how I'm feeling. It's definitely hard to plan anything since I've no idea what's going to happen. It will be good once we have moved forward one way or the other. I'm sorry you've had such a long journey. Wishing you all all the best going forward!Delete
Rereading your blog I wanted to expand on my comments. I can totally relate to you on pregnancy announcements. That's why I stopped Facebook years ago. It makes things easier emotionally. I hear you on crying when you learn someone i pregnant or just gave birth. I know that feeling oh too well. When we were on a road trip during New Year's Eve, my husband told me in the car that one of the fellow participants is pregnant. I immediately started crying. "What is wrong with me?" and cried it out for a good 30 minutes. So I'm glad you are crying it out, it's healthy. It's OK to have feelings. My due date for my late twins' is coming up in February. I, too, had an IVF in March and if it would've worked out I would already be holding our bundle(s) of joy. I totally feel you on others say "adoption" because they don't believe someone will get pregnant. That's so insensitive and wrong. God has the final say. Only God knows why some people get pregnant easily and others do not. I hope I make it to heaven so I can meet God and ask him this question. I also hope to make it to heaven to meet our two embryos in heaven. About the thyroid: during IVF #2 I was within the 10 weeks of a new medication change. Looking back, I would've postponed IVF #2 because of my thyroid and body was getting used to the medication change. I'm glad you are taking time to make sure your thyroid is optimal for you.ReplyDelete
I didn't know donor eggs were illegal in Germany. Interesting. Do you know why that is? I guess I can Google it.ReplyDelete
Have you gotten prolactin checked?
Thanks for your comments and support! I'm sorry you've been through so much already and for so long. I think I came across your blog from some other blog I follow. It could have been ribbonrx. I'll bring up some of your suggestions at our consultation at the other clinic. I don't think my prolactin was checked but not sure as the immune doctor did a full blood panel and checked a whole bunch of stuff.Delete
That's interesting about you not absorbing minerals from food properly. I've definitely heard about some women changing their diet and then getting pregnant which is also why I've been trying to eat much healthier lately. Yea sometimes having a good cry is the best thing, just letting it out. I've also been thinking it makes sense to wait a few months and get my thyroid back on track anyway so that it's optimal before we go again.
Not sure why donor eggs are illegal in Germany. There are quite strict rules here on a lot of things. You aren't allowed let any embryos grow past day two that you aren't going to transfer for instance. I think it is partially connected to Germany's history that they are very careful about what they allow or don't allow, since it reminds people of how Hitler wanted to create a perfect race, and some people have concerns about IVF and creating "designer babies".
Dear Dubliner, please do not worry about sounding too sad. Your feelings are very understandable and normal. This is not an easy place to be. Hugs across the border and all my best wishes!ReplyDelete
It's so nice to have this blog and support from others like you who understand how I'm feeling! Thanks for the hugs :)Delete
I understand the loneliness. All of my friends are having their second kids. It's not so bad but sometimes people bring babies into the office and then I always end up in tears. Someone asked me if I would adopt and I don't know if I have the strength to go through that. Two of my friends who pursued adopt had the birth mother change her mind at the last minute and keep the baby. I'm like you though, I haven't given up hope yet. I'm trying to mentally prepare myself to start trying again in a few months but just knowing what could be coming (more miscarriages) really makes me anxious. There are only so many times a person can put themselves through that.ReplyDelete
I'm glad to hear you haven't given up hope yet. I hope you can find the strength needed to try again. I feel the same thinking about a 4th IVF, I can't bear the thought of any more heartache. But I have to put myself at risk of that to be in with a chance of having a baby, even if it's low. I understand your feelings about adoption too. That must have been really hard on your friends to have come so close only for the birth mother to change her mind last minute. From what I have heard and read adoption is certainly not an easy path to go down. I really hope things work out for you and that you'll be able to have a second child. Hoping that this year will bring good things.xDelete
Yes, it seems like everyone is having babies again on my social media.ReplyDelete
Good luck on the natural IVF depending on what you decide is right for you.
Adoption is also a sticky issue for my husband and I. He doesn't want to adopt, and I don't want to go that route unless both of us are 100% committed to the idea.
Plus adoption is pretty tough in Japan since the child cannot be open for adoption unless they become a ward of the state. Parental rights are indefinite, meaning even if they drop a six month old off at an orphanage and never come back, that little baby can never be adopted or put in foster care. It must stay there for the rest of its life because the parent that left it never signed away their rights.
90 % of Japanese parents do not give up their parental rights. So that means usually only 10% of the children who need homes can be given a home.
It makes me so angry the selfishness of such parents.
Wow that is a horrible situation in Japan! Those poor kids whose parents have abandoned them but they aren't able to even be adopted into a loving family. My heart breaks thinking about that. Yeah, I also feel like adoption is a bit like a calling or something that people need to be feeling 100% about before going down that route. Thanks for your support. I've heard so many mixed things about natural IVF. The doctor at my clinic is very against it, says the odds are too bad, but I have read that for certain women it just works better for them. Or possibly mini/ low dose IVF might be worth trying.Delete
Hi Dubliner reading Joahn Fauchier's comment above and then your own comment about how strong your desire is, I don't think you're wrong to at least discuss a fourth round, as a kind of "decider". I hope you can have a bit of a break though now to get over the burnout. And don't worry about sounding sad, you can tell the community anything! Hugs to you, Dub overseas.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your support! :) We are going to hear what they have to say at the other clinic but are leaning strongly towards a 4th and final round this Summer at some stage...In the meantime I've been enjoying having a break from it all and feeling like myself again.Delete
Hi there, Sorry about what you have to go through. It is so hard. Just don't give up! I have been told that I will probably never have kids of my own. Now I have 2. :-)ReplyDelete
Do you happen to live in Munich? If so, I might have a very helpful resource for you that helped me a lot. If you are interested, Let me know. regards. Susanne
Thanks for the support! I don't live in Munich (I live closer to Stuttgart). That's wonderful that you were able to beat the odds and have two children.Delete