It’s not fair.

It’s a really hard time for us right now.

We were so grateful and excited to start our 2nd round of IVF last month. I was on a slightly lower dose of medications – the discomfort was lower, the process was easier, and we were blessed to get a good number of eggs again. As usual, we had our typical drop-off, but still had embryos to work with.

Then everything started to crack a little. Despite feeling confident we would be lucky this time, the pregnancies started to happen en masse again. In my infertility group, in my RL friend groups. 2nd children were planned and conceived.

Just like that.

Oh how I envy those with the luxury of being able to plan. Of choosing a time of year that will be convenient for them.

* * *

Almost everyone we know going through treatment is finding success. That magic fix of IVF that they needed? Bam, worked like a charm. First or second embryo transfers, there were the two lines. The positive blood tests. The excited announcements. IVF worked! Like it’s supposed to.

It felt like everyone else was finding it so much easier. And despite our usual: good embryos, awesome lining, responding to everything like a champ? No luck. Embryos just won’t stick. Four in so far, and none want to stay. My transfers are difficult, but the odds surely should eventually be in our favour. Everyone in our team is confused, and my brain is just:

why.

the.

fuck.

not.

This is all we want. We’re ready. We’re trying so hard.

It’s so emotionally exhausting and physically draining. I don’t want to be a negative statistic. Every day I wonder how many cycles we can do it without it just irreversibly changing me.

But then again, I can’t ever stop. I can’t bear the thought of giving up – something has to work sometime, right? We have these frozen transfers, then we try another stim cycle/egg collection, and whatever transfers come from that?

Then what?

Do we pay privately again? Bankrupt ourselves? Borrow money?

Go on the adoption waiting list for the next however many years? (NZ has a tiny number every year).

Try and adopt internationally, for thousands more?

Get an embryo donor? A surrogate?

None of these options feel good right now. None of them feel right, right now.

But the one thing I can’t see myself ever coping with is being childless. I don’t think I could just “get used to” being a couple without kids. Learning to enjoy life without our own family. It’s just not on the cards for me. I don’t want that to be my normal, because it probably will never feel normal.

It’s hard not to feel utterly defeated and that treatment won’t work for us. If we can’t figure out why, then what do we do? Try more transfers and hope it’s a numbers game? Feel like we’re running in circles without a result? It feels futile and heartbreaking and wrong. And so. damn. unfair.

So unfair.

I’m so tired of it.

I’m so scared that it’ll never be us.

We keep being told we’re so young, but we’re 3+ years in and I’ll soon be 34. Yes, we have time, but how much time? How many more years do I mess with my body to try and get just one baby?

* * *

And then the advertising began. I don’t know if it’s my age group or who I follow or what, but instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube… all they serve me are Clearblue test ads, baby lotion ads, nappy ads, and the worst? An ad for my own fertility clinic.

I want to throw my phone in a lake and go live in the woods.

My current plan is a social media hiatus, which I started yesterday. It’s actually kind of refreshing not to be checking and reading obsessively all day. I find myself opening my phone to look and then realising I’ve moved all the apps, and putting it down. Maybe I’ll start actually reading books again.

So for now, I don’t know.

What do I write about?

Everything sucks.

Everything hurts.

We are still failing.

I don’t know what else to do.

But hopefully soon I’ll not feel so broken, and be ready to try again. Right now, no thank you. I am off the hormones, I am off the restrictions, I am off thinking about it constantly.

I’m trying to enjoy life as it comes. I’m trying to focus on work, and losing some treatment weight, and thinking about everything except my empty uterus.

I’m trying to breathe.

Limbo

So we’re still in limbo.  As I said in an earlier post, we’re waiting til we get home to proceed with anything.

It’s a weird place to be in, and coincides with being in limbo in so many areas of our lives. We can’t sell the house til the bathroom is fixed. We can’t plan when we leave the UK until I know what’s happening with my work.  We can’t have a baby until we pay to make one.

Life is weird, guys.

 

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It’s kinda nice to not be trying, though. We’re just relaxing and enjoying ourselves and that’s a good part of it. I do panic a bit that we’re not taking our vitamins reliably – it’s a help to both of us if we remember to do it, particularly as it takes 90 days to be truly effective and all that.

 

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In other news, autumn is basically here. It’s definitely getting cooler and the leaves are changing.

Life keeps changing, and I keep running to keep up.

Too much

So I think we’ve decided to wait until New Zealand to proceed with fertility treatments. This is both a good and bad thing.

I mean, I should be happy that on top of my awful work environment and trying to sell our house (and we now need insurance repairs to the bathroom), I don’t have to add IVF. But my heart hurts from waiting this long and I wonder just how much more I have in me.

 

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In the grand scheme of things, it’s not long.  If we can get our results from here and get an appointment in NZ when we get there, in theory we could move forward in February/March.  6 months seems interminable at times, but it’s not forever.  It’s just the not knowing. It seems unbearable to think of waiting 2 years to have a child, which is why we’re going private for at least 1 cycle, but it’s painful and scary to think of all the reasons it’ll go wrong (it may not work at all, we may not have any embryos afterwards to freeze and will have to have a whole fresh cycle, they’ll find something else wrong…) and that we’ll possibly spend $14,000 on a failure, then the following 2 cycles (public funding) will fail too and we’re at a dead end in terms of having biological children.

This is my brain 18 hours a day right now, people.

I’m my own worst enemy – don’t think I’m not aware of how ridiculous I come across sometimes. It’s just all I can think about. It’s all I want. We should be able to do this natural thing that keeps our species going and we’re just big fat failures at it, while those who don’t want children or mistreat them get pregnant on a whim or a bender.

(I am not here to judge your personal choices but I’m allowed to occasionally be bitter).

 

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All I can do is try and breathe. Some days it feels impossible.  Some days it really feels like no one cares. Some days I want to go buy all the baby things and make plans and prepare for our future kids and other days I just think all of that is a big fat mistake, and I’m just not meant to have children.  What do you do when you feel your life’s purpose is impossible?

I looked up adoption on the weekend. I just… I dunno.

It’s a mind fuck. It’s unfair. It’s hard. It’s all-encompassing.  And with everything else going on right now, it feels too much.

Just get me to New Zealand, please. Get me out of this job, out of our messy and broken house, away from this feeling.

Deep breath. In… out.

Diagnosis

So we went into our specialist appointment on Tuesday with me expecting them to say, “you need IVF with ICSI”, and walked out after they’d said exactly that.

Unfortunately, our results were worse than we knew, and ICSI is much more viable an option than standard IVF.  The specialist actually said, “They’re asleep” about the last SA. So there’s that. At least I could laugh.

Luckily hormone levels are normal and so was genetic/chromosomal testing which was a big relief.

I have been told to lose weight (just so that I’m a bit further clear of the 30 BMI limit – I’m currently at 29.9), eat healthy, exercise, keep trying naturally as sometimes things happen, but otherwise they’ve put us on the 12 month waiting list for NHS-funded ICSI. With the move to NZ in December so we also enquired about self-funded here, which we could get on with pretty much straight away, but it’s £5k. We’d be happy to do it but if we had any frozen embryos I wouldn’t know how to even start with getting them transferred to NZ…

We think we’ll get on NZ waiting lists when we get there and self-fund 1 cycle while we wait (doesn’t affect your place on the list). If it fails, we have 2 free cycles to fall back on.  That’s $12k NZD out of our savings, but if it comes down to that or a new bathroom in the house, I choose a baby. I’d rather have a baby to wash in the sink, than a nice bathroom with no baby to bathe.

It does mean this wait before we can even get started. I feel like I’ve spent the last 5-7 years waiting.  I’ve been wanting a baby for such a long time, and with the heartbreak of the last 18 months, it’s tough to think of waiting another 2 years to possibly hold a baby in my arms. Hence, yes, money. We’re very lucky that we’ll soon be in the position to afford these things thanks to the house sale* and a possible payout from work**.

We knew this was coming and I had done all of the research and resigned myself to it being the diagnosis but none of that has made me feel any better.  We now need to make some tough decisions.

Our options are:

  1. A self-funded cycle here for the aforementioned £5k.  If we had leftover embryos to freeze then I’d have to arrange some sort of international transfer (or forfeit them), and that worries me.  We also probably can’t afford to pay until late in the year so it might not be feasible.
  2. Wait until NZ and go on the waiting list, and self-fund a cycle while waiting.

My heart really wants option 1 but I know with the stress of everything, option 2 is really the best idea. We’re still discussing and thinking and trying to keep our heads up.

The next step is to tell our families.

 

*house still not on market
**work being dicks

Cycle 14.

Sometimes I feel like giving up.

Like. I veer so wildly between feeling like there’s always hope, and feeling like this is never going to happen, so why torture myself?

I dunno. Ask me throughout my cycle and it depends on how many articles I’ve read lately – how many positive, how many negative. I feel like we’ve been doing this forever, and we’re surrounded by babies. With one coming every month at the moment to close friends.

I’m so tired.

On the positive side, our fertility clinic appointment is Tuesday. So at least we’ll get some answers, advice… maybe even a plan. I just want them to give me some hope.

But yes. Today feels hopeless. Today I feel like giving up. But I don’t think I ever could. This means more to me than anything else.

Hug your babies tight, please. Love on them. Appreciate them. You don’t know how lucky you are.