The results are in from our testing with Dr. Braverman.
My husband has significant sperm DNA fragmentation. Significant. I feel very cheated by my RE, who told us ICSI would bypass his sperm issues. Based on our 3 crappy IVF cycles and oh so much heartbreak, it hasn’t. This is main reason that we’ve made so few blasts, despite a decent number of eggs.
We also have 6HLA matches. S-I-X. To over simplify (and quite poorly at that), we are too genetically similar. This is the top reason my body rejected a perfectly normal embryo. That and the clotting factors.
There is a lot of information about HLA genetics, but the brief version is this: if a man and woman have similar genetics (something that occurs by chance in nature), the mother’s body may not receive the proper message about protecting her baby. Instead, her immune system will mistake the embryo for a foreign invader and attack it as though it is a cancer or virus. An amazing thing normally happens when a woman’s body carries a baby — her immune system recognizes that baby as something to protect, and produces blocking antibodies to keep it safe from her own natural killer cells. But if, on the cellular level, she and her mate have similar tissue proteins, her body cannot make the distinction between her child and a germ.
More tomorrow. Today was a very difficult day that I just chased down with a full bottle of wine.
I’ve felt so incredibly alone since my miscarriage. It’s very difficult to explain because I have the most extraordinary friends in my real life (trying) to support me.
And it’s impossible for me, at this point, to feel a connection to so many of the women I have met online. The bottom line is, the bulk of them are either pregnant, or have had babies, and I’m a have not who is still crying, daily. It’s very isolating.
For the first time since my miscarriage, I will be stepping out of my comfort bubble next week. I feel (gently) bullied but, I will support one of those extraordinary friends at a talk show and I’m attending an evening event in NYC for her as well. Big steps for someone who would still rather hide her head.
Oh and, one last thing… I’ve read some comments that my situation has been difficult for some women to stomach in their pregnant state. To this, allow me to remind you of two things: I did not ask to miscarry (I mean, REALLY, after years of trying to conceive followed by years of treatments?) AND this is my space to post my feelings. If it upsets you so much, don’t fucking read it? Ok? Ok.
We are (slowly) gearing up for IVF#4, which is tentatively scheduled for December or January. Why so far away? The treatment for my husband’s low morphology/sperm DNA fragmentation will take approximately 3 months to (hopefully) be effective and my body needs to get back to regular rhythms. I’m also behind on my supplements and acupuncture, 2 things that proved to very effective for IVF #3. Oh and there has been a return to healthy eating and virtually eliminating alcohol.
After IVF #4, we are done. We will transfer whatever we have (perhaps into a gestational carrier), and if nothing sticks, we will not have children. I am no quitter, but it will be financially impossible to continue on after this point.
In fact, last week we cashed in an investment we made 13 years ago, something I have often affectionately referred to as “my engagement ring.” Prior to our marriage, I decided I wanted to put the money my husband had set aside for an engagement ring into a real estate deal instead. When my friends said “show me your ring!” I replied with “we are the proud owners of few doorknobs in Bucks County, PA.” I rarely doubted this decision, as the investment paid us quarterly and has increased in value significantly. However now because of infertility costs, we had to liquidate “my engagement ring.” I feel a real sense of loss that we had to do this. How many other women have sold their engagement ring for the oh so slim chance of having a baby? I am in the minority. On so many levels.
It stuns me me that people actually have sex and the result is a baby, while in comparison we have countless years of sadness and an empty bank account. All that really runs through my head is “what losers we are.”
A miscarriage, a D&C, my husband’s birthday, a sprained ankle, fainting on vacation, and now, our 12 year wedding annivesary this weekend.
The first item was clearly the worst birthday and anniversary gifts, ever. And our little guy was due on my birthday. It goes without saying that I will never look at that date the same again.
I am tired of people telling me that “time will heal this.” There are some things you never truly get over, truly important life altering things that rock your foundation. The heartbreak from this process, and the miscarriage, will always be there, I just have to figure out how to (eventually, hopefully) cope with it.
All I can do is put one foot in front of the other, and hope, one day, for some level of peace from this.