Spontaneous Abortion and IVF

I was chatting with my BFF this past weekend after I let the cat out of the bag. She said to me “I can say this to you now that you didn’t need to do it, but I’m so glad you didn’t do IVF. I just can’t be ok with that.” I asked her to go on…

Basically she feels that IVF is not an ethical option, because there is the chance that all the embryos that get transferred will not make it. She believes (as do I) that life begins at conception, and if all that the transferred don’t stick, you’re basically having an abortion. I wondered if she was thinking before speaking at this point. Especially speaking to me. I retorted back, wondering if she thought I was committing a sin as well by having a miscarriage, or in medical terms, a spontaneous abortion. I created life, intentionally, and my body rejected it. Is there a difference? I honestly don’t think so.

Now, I took offense to all of this on so many levels. The first being what I said above: basically she was (unintentionally) placing me in a category of murderers. A group she “can’t be ok with”. For no fault of my own. Also, I tend to have immense respect for those who have to and do choose IVF. I think more highly of someone who gets to a point where that’s the only decision they can make. They are not choosing to possibly “abort” some embryos, they are giving life to the ones that stick around. I know enough of some of your stories, as well as my one in-real-life friend who have been faced with this decision, and chosen IVF. And I even know some of you, and my friend, are not pregnant with all the embryos that were transferred. And I do not think any less of you or your babies because of that.

I explained to her I simply don’t think you can judge the decision to choose IVF, or any other fertility treatment option until you have been right there. She thinks that because her got married she “didn’t think she could ever get pregnant” (I’m not entirely sure how much of this I believe), and had thought for ya know like, a day, about pursuing adoption and not IVF that she is completely qualified to make this judgement. Not so, friend. You have been no where near the place I’ve been. You’ve never had an embryo implanted and growing in your uterus, only to reach demise and be painfully ripped from your body. You can’t tell me I’m a sinner for creating life and not being physically able to sustain it.

Where do you fall in this argument? What ethical dilemmas have you walked through on the road to IVF if you’re there? I never got there, but I’d love to hear your insight and experience.

Real?

Has it really been over a month since I posted something? Sorry it’s been so quiet here. For the first 10 weeks of this pregnancy, I was in a very weird place. It couldn’t be me. There was no way this was all happening to me. I was being delusional. I was looking at someone else’s ultrasound, talking about someone else. Because its always someone else.

Except this time it’s me.

I had an ultrasound last week at 10w4d, and baby was measuring 11w1d. She measured the heartbeat on the ultrasound at 169. Exactly what it should be. Baby was rolling around, kicking its legs… It was real.

Wait, is this real? Is this ME?

I finally told my BFF this weekend while we were on vacation with her family. It went well, better than I might have thought. I think it’s a little more real to me, I actually have talked about the pregnancy since I told her. A and I literally had no conversations before this, every time it ended in a disagreement because I was so disconnected and cold, he thought I needed to be excited, and we just ended up avoiding the topic altogether. But now I’ve talked. And I think it’s real.

We have a heartbeat!

Well, friends – we saw that flicker!! I can’t tell you just how amazing it was. Baby is measuring exactly what I had calculated based on ovulation – 6w1d – and has a heartbeat. We are now officially farther than we’ve ever made it! (My second miscarriage was around 9 weeks, but baby only measured 5w6d) We are in no way out of the woods yet, but I think we’re one step closer. And today… I have a living being inside of me, with a heartbeat.

Official due date: May 19.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. And for those of you still waiting for that miracle – it is SO worth it when you get there. Hang on, it might just be right there.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the big day. In around 13 hours we should know if there is in fact a developing baby in there with a heartbeat. I both cant wait for and am dreading the appointment. It could be the best or worst news of my life. You’ll have a baby in May! Or, you just lost your third.

Send up some thoughts, prayers, whatever you’ve got for me tomorrow morning.

What will be will be.

The Belly

So there’s this really unfortunate thing about having PCOS (I mean, besides the whole can’t conceive or carry a baby and your hormones are all out of whack part). The belly. Seriously. How does it work that those of us who want nothing more than a belly with a baby inside gain weight at the thought of a donut right there. The epitome of a “food baby” I guess.

Now that I am currently pregnant, I still find myself wishing that belly away. At some point I won’t and I’ll embrace it, but it’s brought me pain to this point. It’s brought struggle. It’s a reminder of the disease that has changed my life.

I’ve worked very hard over the last 5 months to lose 30 lbs and keep it off. But that belly? Still hangin’ on.

We were at an amusement park with some friends a couple weeks ago (actually, the weekend I conceived! Ha). Both the wife of the couple we were with (T) and I noticed a girl about to get on a ride. She had a big belly, and T said to me “wow, I could have swore that girl was pregnant!” and I cringed. My heart sank. I wondered if she had PCOS. It’s only been said to me or asked of me once, by a 5 year old, if I have a baby in my belly. But I wonder if there are others walking around who are thinking “wow, I could have swore that girl was pregnant!”. Hmm…

In-Real-Life

I finally told my first in-real-life friend about my pregnancy. And *gasp* it wasn’t my BFF. I can’t decide how I feel about that. Honestly, I feel a little guilty, but I know for my heart right now I couldn’t handle talking about it and her constant questions of how I’m feeling and what I’m planning until the ultrasound. All well intended, yes. But she doesn’t get it. And I may not have a living baby in there. It’s happened before. I need to guard my heart until I see it with my own eyes. Then she’ll probably be the next to know.

So I told my only in-real-life friend who has also struggled with infertility [currently pregnant via IVF!]. I can’t tell you how much of a godsend she has been in my life. To know that someone KNOWS where you’re at at any point in time. Knows what to and what not to say – its a huge blessing. She was overjoyed for me, but cautiously optimistic as well. She knows.

I’m on pins and needles waiting for 8:30 when I can call my nurses voicemail to ask for yesterday’s results. I’m not entirely sure why, though. It won’t be real to me until the ultrasound. It just won’t. I’ve been there before… Doubling numbers, everything seems fine, walk in to the ultrasound and bam. Empty sac. Embarrassing.

In other news, I SLEPT last night! Only got up at 12:30 and 5:30. This is amazing! The last week I have been waking up at 2, 3, 4, or 5 and being up for the day. This is not normal for me… I’m the kind that goes to bed at 11 and is dead asleep til 9 every morning. I was so bored in the middle of the night! Ha. Anyways… I feel great today!

Doubts

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This fortune showed up in my fortune cookie Friday night. {side note: I think that was the last Chinese I’ll eat for a long, long time…ugh}

Normally with fortunes, I think they’re just there for a good laugh. A’s grandma used to go out to lunch with all her little church ladies and they’d giggle and giggle at each one, adding “between the sheets” to the end. Now we usually just laugh at them, and save them to send to her.

But this one… this one was different. I’m not putting much stock in a tiny piece of paper that came out of a cookie, but I certainly had doubts coming into this month. Go back and read my old posts. And now? Maybe I can have hope. I’m incredibly grateful that I actually got pregnant on an unmediated month. I believe God did that to show His power through me. Now I’m holding out hope He continues to work that power inside my weak body.

I’m still totally in a place of denial and disbelief. I’m feeling waves of nausea, and writing them off to whatever else I can. This can’t be real can it? Something must have been wrong with the tests an numbers. I can’t wait for Tuesday when I’ll get Monday’s results. I’m just too curious what they might tell me. And I’m even more anxious for my ultrasound in 2 weeks… Could I actually see a baby with a beating heart in there? I’ll be sobbing on the table if we get to that point.

Thanks for sticking around and congratulating and supporting me. If you’re the praying type, keep me in your prayers as I guard my heart but try to be open to the possibility of life here.

Pregnant Infertile

I feel like a bad, bad, bad infertility blogger. Who starts a blog a few weeks before winding up pregnant? Oh, me.

Hear me out. Even though my journey on this blog has only consisted of 9 posts, my infertility journey has been so much longer. You can read the whole thing here, but this pregnancy comes after 22 months of actively trying to conceive and 2 miscarriages almost two years ago and almost a year ago. And this cycle was unmedicated while I waited for my RE appointment in September to determine where we go from here.

I am by no means out of the woods yet. I’ve been here before. Twice.

My hcg yesterday (11-12 days past ovulation) was 72 and progesterone 43. The hcg number doesn’t matter until we compare it with Monday’s result and hope for doubling numbers. The progesterone is the one that gives me hope today, though. My highest pregnant progesterone level ever is 9.5. Nine! I know low progesterone is a likely cause of my pregnancy losses in the past, so I was determined to not let history repeat itself (again). I started taking progesterone supplements (that I was prescribed for my medicated cycles) on Wednesday, August 29, somewhere around 3 days past ovulation. So I know some of that number is from supplementation, but what it tells me is I wont lose this pregnancy due to low progesterone. Due to other factors, maybe, but not low progesterone. And that gives me hope.

I know this post pains many of you. I’ve been there. And it breaks my heart to write it. But what always pained me more was being left in the dark in hopes of trying to protect me. I’d rather just know.

I’ll still be blogging about infertility (I have lots of half-posts in my head and as drafts), and through this pregnancy (however long it may last) about what it’s like to be an ‘infertile’ that’s pregnant. Infertility has changed me, has marked me. It will shape this pregnancy and the rest of my life.

Trust me, I will not forget where I have been or where so many of you still are.

Oh, and she asked me the first day of my last period (how they will date this pregnancy, even though I’ll be behind because of not ovulating til day 19-20):     August 7.     My first due date.

A Dose of Perspective

I had a whole post ready to go earlier, whining about this and that… bla bla bla…

But now – now I sit here sobbing with a heart that’s breaking for others.

It started this afternoon when my sister texted me. She has roommates – a couple expecting a baby in January. Today, my sister went with to the ultrasound, and they discovered the baby is not going to make it and they will be terminating the pregnancy. While usually I would be peeved at the text about her unwed irresponsible roommate, today my heart is broken for her. No one should feel the pain of losing a baby. No one.

Then tonight I ran to the grocery store. Because we wanted bread with our dinner. As I was driving out of the parking lot I saw a little family (mom, dad, ~3yo, and infant) sitting on the curb with a sign. They need money and food. And I’m whining. Me. The one in the fancy red car I’m driving to my huge, beautiful home, with bread I just bought because I simply wanted it. And this little family would give anything for just a piece of it.

I sobbed all the way home.

That was a dose of perspective I needed today.

ETA: we went back after dinner to bring them a bag of groceries and toys for the kiddos. But they were gone 😦

The Big D

…and I don’t mean Dallas.

No, A and I are not getting divorced (ever).

But I’m experiencing a whole other dimension of infertility because of one. A’s.

A was married for almost 7 years before getting divorced about 5 years ago. He doesn’t have any children from that relationship, hasn’t seen or talked to his ex-wife since the split, it never really comes up or affects us (I should say me, I can’t speak for A). It’s not something we ever really talk about. We now live 500 miles away and have our own life.

But.

Lately my mind has been wandering. To dark, dark places. Places where I let myself wonder if A regrets marrying me. You know, little ol’ me who can’t carry a child of his. I wonder if he wishes he had done more to save his dying marriage. I wonder if he wishes he had had children with her so he actually could be a dad. I wonder if he thinks he married the wrong girl (twice… Haha!). I don’t think it’s appropriate to ask of him, and I truly don’t think he thinks that way. But I wonder. And it definitely adds a whole other depth and dimension to this struggle. It adds to my guilt. It adds to my feelings of inadequacy.

I only have one in real life friend who has also struggled with infertility. [she is currently 29 weeks pregnant with her IVF babe!] She asked me the other day if, in my struggle, I wonder if I married the wrong person. I explained what I just explained above. I don’t wonder if I married the wrong person – there is no one I would rather have by my side – but I definitely wonder what A would say.

Does anybody else out there have a spouse who’s divorced? Does it affect your infertility journey? Have you ever asked them their thoughts? Just curious if I’m alone here. 🙂