Monday, June 6, 2011

yearnings and musings

My visit to Philly brought the one thing I had successfully avoided thinking about for the past few months back to glaring center stage. Babies. The friends I stayed have a two year old, and she is a lovely child (also a genius-- she is spelling at 2!). More than anything,  I could not stop marveling at the utter trust and love that exists between parents and their children. It is the best of relationships. When you spend two days observing it, you get a wee bit wistful that despite having been pregnant twice, you don't have it yet, and far worse, there is the gnawing fear that something so wonderful might be forever denied to you.

As my mom tells me, I need patience. And, more importantly, I need to stop catastrophizing (if that is even a word). I cannot honestly imagine that after getting pregnant, that my baby will actually keep growing and that at some point, I won't have to stumble out of an ultrasound crying my eyes out. When that is all you know, its hard to imagine that an alternative exists, although, rationally, you know very well that it does.

I've completely lost the faith that I will actually have a baby someday, and its not going to come back until well,  maybe I cross the 5 month mark and the anatomical scan shows that all is well. God, the fear.  FDR did have it right when he said that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, this terror and anxiety is bloody stupid.

I chart my cycles, and I now kind of beleive that when you are using natural cycles for conception, observing your fertility signs, which are very rough indicators of estrogen and progesterone (and by extension, egg quality) might be telling. For example, I hated the cycle I used for my second conception, I thought it was my worst ever. But I went ahead with it, though at that point, I compared it to a poker player going all in with a substandard hand.  And I ended up with a baby with an entire chromosome missing.  IF that error was in my egg, did it have anything to do with the possibly lower-than-my-average and definitely less-long peak estrogen levels in that cycle? No RE will even attempt to address this question, it is speculation beyond speculation. There is so little you know of this process, nobody knows what are the driving factors behind meiotic non-disjunction (where the chromosomes do not segregate correctly, causing numerical errors like trisomies or monosomies). Studies make it clear that estrogen has a role to play in this process, but correlating the estrogen levels, and moreover, the importance of time period of the estrogen peak, to the probability of meiotic non-disjunction is far beyond our ability to speculate, we simply have no clue.

Every now and then, you have a cycle where everything looks so good  you wish you could have used it to attempt conception.  The one that just ended was one such one. There were virtually rivers of the egg-white you-know-what (sorry for the icky detail). Then, my luteal phase, instead of being the usual 14 days, was a whopping 16.

If I had not been sure that there was no way conception could have occurred, I would have been fairly nervous when it took over 16 days after day of ovulation for AF to show!  Whenever I conceive next, I hope it is in a cycle I feel this good about.


  1. It's such a difficult place to be when you lose faith or hope. I'm hoping & praying you'll hold your baby in your arms.

  2. It's so hard to keep plowing forward with very little hope.  Keep going, my dear.  I'm glad you had that time with the 2-year old.  It's good to get reminders of the prize every once in awhile.  Hugs!

  3. ThebabychaseprojectJune 7, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    Jay- Don't lose hope. You will have a baby... I know it. Hugs.

  4. I had a love/hate relationship when I was charting. I loved seeing the data - but when it was not a "pretty" cycle, like your gorgeous one above, my heart sank because I knew it more than likely was due to my egg quality.

    The thing your chart says to me is- you absolutely have beautiful eggs!  It's just catching the right cycle.   so yes, patience...  (why are mother's always right??)

    I have not doubt Jay, you are going to strike gold with your next attempt.  Hang in there!!

  5. The good thing is that the loss of faith doesn't translate into reality.  The terror and anxiety ARE silly, but they're also inevitable to a certain extent. What kind of Pollyanas would we be if, after being knocked down, we had 100% faith that all would come up roses the next time?

    Keeping fingers crossed that a beautiful cycle coincides with a beautiful egg and a beautiful sperm. Resulting in something truly beautiful.

  6. It seems to me that your cycles are just getting better and better. Why can't you plan your next IUI to take place only if you are happy with the cycle monitoring? Will you have some flexibility timing wise to remain in India longer if needed? Sorry, maybe I'm wrong but are you going to try IUI again, or are you looking at IVF with PGD? Either way, I think there has been a change for the better after all your hard work, so stay strong and tell fear to bugger off. 

    Thanks for your comment on my blog hon. It was all a bit of a shock and I just feel exhausted now. I can't import donor sperm into NZ, so that isn't an option. I don't really know what my next step will be now. I suppose I could join you in India!! 

  7. Arohanui, the next step is IUI...IVF with PGD would be considered only if I
    had a another loss with a chromosomal abnormality cropping up.  And yes it is indeed the plan, to TTC in a cycle where I like the way things look.  It was what I had intended even the last time I conceived. I was seriously debating not going ahead based on how horrible my signs for peak estrogen were, but an ultrasound revealed that everything looked super normal, and we crossed our fingers and did the IUI, and well, you know how things turned out.  It might have been very interesting to have a blood E2 done- hindsight is indeed 20/20.

    I'm so very sorry things turned out the way they did. Honestly, my first reaction was some serious anger at your clinic on your behalf- I was hoping you could force them to refund some of the money you had spent, atleast.  If you ever end up doing stuff in India, you should know I'd be very happy to help you get stuff figured out, just as far as being in a strange country and other practicalities go!

  8. We are so convinced that the past predicts the future. And sometimes it does, but not always. On my good days (I should say moments, as there are hardly good days 2 weeks post miscarriage), I think about what could be just around corner. I need to keep going to see it; I need to take the risk of hoping and not listening to fear in order to look at what's around the corner. it sounds like you are a very courageous woman, Jay, and that you are ramping up to risk hoping again. I admire that. 

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I appreciated it very much. 

  9. Thanks Jay. Instead of a refund, I got another bill sent out the day they wasted my eggs. No compassion. I still can't quite believe they didn't monitor things, and take no responsibility for the outcome. In answer to the question about donors, a few people have asked me about that so I'll write a quick post to detail. The bottom line is that if I continue in NZ, I must find my own donor. 

    I think your plan is great, so many variables have changed for the better and I think next time everything is going to fall into place for you. I can't wait to see that happen :)