Newsflash: Life is Unfair.

I have debated posting this, but after some thought, I think there are some important lessons to learn here, so while this is now live to my readers, I am not posting for pity and the comments on this post have been turned off. Life is unfair, and one thing I am not, is a whiner.  There are worse things to suffer from than this, and I remind myself of that often.

Recently, we transferred a hatching, CCS normal embryo and the cycle resulted in no pregnancy.   There was a significant immune protocol in place and my lining was at 11 and it was triple-striped.   I did acupuncture and followed an anti-inflammatory diet too. The lesson:  even the most perfect of circumstances can result in a BFN.  Another lesson: Just because you have a chromosomally normal embryo doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a BFP.

I had a lot of symptoms leading up to my BFN, all of which can be contributed to the medications, especially the progesterone. That’s another good lesson:  those symptoms? They are from the medications.

My next FET is already scheduled and we will be following a more natural FET protocol vs. what we did recently, a more medicated FET. If this cycle results in another BFN, I will immediately start IVF#9 and do another retrieval.

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Have Embryos, Will Travel

FrostiesYesterday we transported our embryos from RMA of NJ to SIRM NY.

It was not a quick process. The transfer paperwork and coordination took a few months to complete, then plans needed to be made to synchronize the 2 labs (and pickup/dropoff times), next we had to schedule the day off work, and last drive through the Lincoln Tunnel 4 times in a 6 hour period.  At the final leg, we handed our 2 hard-earned-over-6-fresh-cycles PGS normal embryos directly to the head of embryology at SIRM. Today, she e-mailed me to let me know they both made it safely.    I am so relieved to have that process behind us.

Yesterday I realized I was not happy (nor comfortable) setting foot on RMA of NJ property. It dawned on me that I am harboring quite a bit of anger towards the clinic in general as well as our former RMA doctor, Dr. Morris.

She dropped the ball and she gave up on us.  In fact, for the last year of our cycle she was on a hardcore, restricted calorie diet and became difficult and rude.     She stopped calling.  She stopped following up.   She passed too many important conversations off to our nurse. In fact, her last voice mail to me said “there is nothing else we can do for you.”  However, she would of allowed us to cycle on the same crappy protocol over and over, just taking our $$ and not making any changes.

I know RMA of NJ is ranked as one of the best clinics in the country.  But be aware, it comes at a price.  It’s such a large facility that you could complete multiple IVF cycles and never see your actual doctor.   I would recommend that if you are planning to cycle at RMA of NJ, that you choose these 2 founding doctors:  Dr. Scott or Dr. Bergh, or Dr. Kim.      Especially if you are a difficult case.   Keep in mind though, in the end, they wanted nothing to do with our difficult case, well nothing but our money.

That’s a bitter pill to swallow after 6 IVFs, a failed FET of a PGS normal that I miscarried 9 weeks, and the donation of our entire savings.

Which Way

I’d like to say things are getting better and staying better but it seems that returning to infertility treatments has halted and also reversed any healing I did after my miscarriage.

I hate hate hate where I am right now and I’m angry that I cannot seem to snap out of it. Women have miscarriages all the time, it’s not like I’m special or anything. I wish I knew how to just suck it up and move on. On one hand I remind myself that I only lost the pregnancy a few months ago but on the other hand I feel like I should of made more progress? I should be feeling better? I don’t know. It’s just, we put so much emotional, physical and financial effort into that baby we lost: 3 IVFs, a polyp removal, CCS testing, 1000’s of injections (FU Lovenox), the bulk of our savings, etc and now I just feel empty. I have always been a strong person and I feel so very defeated.

Yesterday I cancelled on my RE literally 1 hour before I was scheduled to have a procedure. Instead, I stayed in bed and cried for a few hours. My husband then called to see how the procedure went and was shocked when he heard I didn’t go. I always go. I finally dragged myself out of bed, worked a few hours and then cut out early for a manicure and pedicure. I am trying, but some days the sadness is just overwhelming.

Perhaps it isn’t just the miscarriage, but that I am so worn down after almost 2 years of failed infertility treatments? Why continue when we always get bad news? There are just so many obstacles against us. I don’t know how we will overcome my husbands sperm DNA fragmentation and I don’t know how to overcome the HLA match issues. Especially as there is now some concern about using Neupogen due to my blood clotting issues. While we are fine using a gestational carrier it is a huge expense for us on top of 2 years of expensive infertility treatments.

I’ll admit it, I bought Powerball tickets yesterday. Unlimited funds would really help us reach the goal of 1 baby. We won $7.

Just a note to those of you who sent me an email, txt, or left a message after my last post. Thank you for checking in. Thank you for taking 1 minute out of your day to say hello, commiserate or just support. It made me feel less alone.

Many Lessons

I returned to the infertility clinic this week and had a complete meltdown culminating into days of anxiety and a lot of very painful tears. I can only attribute this to the fact that the last time I was at the RE’s, I saw my dead baby on the ultrasound screen.

Lately I haven been struggling with that fact that a significant percentage of the “friends” I’ve met via online infertility support groups have all but disappeared from my radar. The majority of these women are pregnant, and I guess they have moved on? The loss of those interactions has been difficult. The few that I was very close to have retreated significantly and that has been particularly painful. My RE told me she doesn’t think these type of support communities are healthy for someone who has my level of infertility and I have to conclude she is correct.

Impossible

I am struggling with our next steps. And to be honest here, struggling is a mild word for how I feel.

We’ve been at this infertility nightmare for almost 2 years now, with many years of trying to conceive naturally prior. It has become part of our everyday lives and unfortunately infertility isn’t a train you can just cleanly hop off of and forget. It just chugs and chugs and chugs and drains you.

People keep saying “it will happen for you” but these are people who are not involved in the HOW. HOW WILL it happen for us?

This is not a question easily answered:

1- IF we can get any chromosomally normal embryos that also happen to not have mitochondrial issues,

2- We can then off label use Neupogen at transfer for the HLA match issue. This drug, mind you, is experimental, and is intended to treat chemo patients. It is not covered by insurance (off label use rarely is) and will cost about $10,000 out of pocket. To me though, the bigger issue is not the cost (although that still makes me vomit), but if Neupogen works for us, how could it affect the baby? Or me? No one can really answer this and therefore, I am very very stressed about using this medication. This leads us to the last option, which is to…

3- Use a gestational carrier, to the tune of $60,000 (plus or minus $20k). It’s a huge amount of money, especially after spending money on 4IVFs with CCS testing and immune testing with Dr. Braverman.

There is no easy path here. There are no clear options forward. Having a child naturally or even easily via IVF has been taken from us and I’m angry, so very angry that we have to go to such extreme measures while we rack up insurmountable financial debt.

I feel so lost and defeated. And tired. So tired.