June 22, 2013 § 26 Comments

Once I started, I couldn’t easily stop. I tested again on Wednesday, and the test line on the Wondfo was even lighter, which I did not think was possible. And while that mostly answered my question about whether or not my first “positive” was the result of the trigger shot, it still left a little room for hoping. Of course, I googled “pregnancy tests lighter before getting darker” and learned that it can, in fact, happen. But then on Thursday morning, it was gone completely. No line. So, going into my beta was a bit heartbreaking. I knew it would be negative. And it was.

I’m a little bit ashamed of myself for getting so worked up. I should have known better. Part of me feels embarrassed about showing you all my raw, unfounded excitement based on nothing more than a mixture of intense hope and stronger than ever progesterone supplement symptoms. I typically don’t type things out in real time, especially when these things are super emotionally charged. I craft my posts after the emotional intensity has worn off a bit, which feels safer. Less vulnerable. I feel like I let myself get pranked. In front of a large audience. For a person with a decent amount of social anxiety, that is less than ideal.

But that is that. I’m not pregnant. We’re moving on to IVF. Another IUI feels pointless. There were three eggs in there available for fertilization this last time, and The Artsy Engineer’s numbers were better than ever. The only reason we would do another IUI is if we decide to wait to see if a space opens up in the clinical trial. When I realized I was being put on a waiting list, I emailed one of the research assistants to ask if she would be able to give me some idea of when spots might open up and if I was high enough up on the list to be hopeful that I might get one. She responded briefly by saying, “Possibly till the end of July, but there are very limited spots.” That didn’t quite answer my question to the extent that I was hoping, so I emailed again asking for clarification. This time I got the following reply.

We may not take candidates until end of July.
We have been running for almost 4 years and have reached capacity for the trial currently, we are not closed yet and will be taking a few more. We will be looking and re-reviewing the prescreening and screening questionnaires. When spots become available we will contact candidates.
I’m reading this to mean that it’s unlikely, right? If I were high enough up on the list to remain hopeful, wouldn’t she say so?
This is important because of timing. I know I should not be thinking of timing. Because it will work out regardless. But I’ve been focusing on my career for so long that it’s a hard habit to break. You guys may remember that I will likely be starting an internship next summer, sometime between June 29th and September 1st. And I will likely have to move to whichever state the hospital I’ve been placed is located. We can do IVF right now with my RE. Starting asap with birth control pills as soon as these progesterone supplement leaves my system and I get my period. Say it miraculously works on try #1. The potential baby would be due in late April or early May. This sounds ideal. It would give me more time at home with this potential baby, more time before the move. If we wait (and, again, if it miraculously works on try #1), this potential baby would be born while I’m on internship and I would very likely only be allowed to take 6 weeks off. Yikes. And I’ve also never known anyone who has had a baby during internship. Everyone does it during postdoc (which will be the two years following this internship year), but I have never even heard of somebody who knows somebody who has had a baby during internship.
I know all of this may be a moot point. There is so much that is out of my control. I might not match to an internship at all. 25% don’t. And IVF often does not work on the first try. But my doctor sounds so confident. Based on her stats with my age range and diagnosis in addition to her “clinical opinion” (based on my all of my numbers and my “strong” response to treatment), she believes we have a 60% chance. She even said she thought we had a 60-80% chance, but that saying that out loud makes her squirm, because she rarely puts people in that range and she hates to give people that much hope when there is, of course, always a chance that it simply won’t happen.
We also qualify for the shared risk program. If we pay an additional $10,000ish, this would allow us to have the “insurance” of two additional IVFs (and as many FETs as possible) during the course of a year if the first IVF fails.
So the options are this:
1) wait until the end of July to see if space opens up in the clinical trial
pros: much (!!) lower cost
cons: seems unlikely to happen, timing would be less ideal, i would have to travel to and from NY during a really busy time work-wise, increased stress levels from travel/working from elsewhere, the clinic has a lower success rate than my clinic at home
2) move forward with IVF with my RE using the simple pay-as-you-go method
pros: it might work the first time, less stress, better timing
cons: it might not work the first time, $20,ooo is very expensive, FET costs around $4,000
3) move forward with IVF using the shared risk plan
pros: three IVFs plus as many FETs as possible better freaking work, so i would venture to say this will likely get us pregnant
cons: $30,000 is holyfuckingshitoutofcontrol expensive and what if it works the first time and we feel like we just gambled away an additional 10 grand
So this is where we are. The plan is to choose one of these three in the next few days. Eeeep.
Anyone want to make this decision for me? I struggle with deciding what to order off of the menu when we go out for dinner. In fact, I usually convince the Artsy Engineer to order one of the two things I want and share it with me, so I get both and I never actually even have to come to a decision. How on earth are we going to figure this one out?

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§ 26 Responses to 13dpiui#2

  • Tink says:

    I’m sure whatever decision you decide to take will be the right one for you at the time. I’m with you on the decision making though, especially ordering food.

    Sending positive vibes your way! 🙂

  • Stasy says:

    I’m so sorry the IUI didn’t work. 😦 Good luck making a decision! I know it can’t be easy.

  • SM says:

    Assuming you would be able to start immediately, I would take Option #3. Sure it may work on the first try but it may not. I’d rather have the other two IVFs and all the FETs to fall back on.

  • Aramis says:

    Ugh. Hard decision. I’d also go with #3, but that’s mostly tinged by my own bias of having already done two. If our clinic had shared risk I would have gone for it in a heartbeat, but that’s with known DOR and a likelihood of less eggs. But if you get pregnant on the first try, even though that extra 10 grand gone will sting, you have the silver lining of a baby.

  • knalani says:

    That’s a toughie! From a purely financial standpoint, I’d say its not worth the extra money for the shared risk program. They only let you in if the odds are in favor of a pregnancy on the first try…On the other hand, now that I’ve got one failed IVF under my belt, I can see the appeal of a guarantee. (Of course, with my FSH and AMH, they would’ve never let me in on one of those deals…)

  • JenS says:

    Well, after paying for 3 IVF’s, I would say go for option #3. I wish I had had the option of shared risk. It would be tough to spend the extra money if it ends up working the first time, but if you end up with a baby, I don’t think you will worry about it.
    Also, I’m sorry the IUI didn’t work. You don’t have any reason to be embarrassed.

  • Jen K says:

    It is GREAT to have some options…but a tough decision to make. I had a timeline issue when we started TTC…had a 9 mo window to have the imaginary baby before I had to move…here I am 2 months later. I do NOT want to bum you out…but only inform you that I was also given a 60% success chance with IVF….and I just did FET#2 (sometimes the REs are a little too hopeful).

    How about you and the AE make a rank list (like internship selection) and then see if you both have the same #1. Even if you both have the same top 2 it could narrow down the decision to two. Wishing you the best in this difficult time!

  • Oh, Lentil. I am so, so sorry that it didn’t work, and worse, that your hopes were up so high. Please don’t feel embarrassed in front of us. We love you.

    Also, I am half tempted to storm into New Hope and demand they put you at the top of the list (not knowing your name, I’ll just be like, “Lentil! Call Lentil right now!”) I wish I had advice on this. I can’t believe there’s an effing waiting list and that they’re being so vague on the timing. Assholes! Don’t they know people’s lives are revolving around this decision? I’m sorry. I’m sorry they suck.

    My RE offered a shared risk type thing with a buy two, get one free offer… I don’t know. It’s a lot of money. Speaking as someone who had IVF work on the first try (and the 2nd), I just don’t want you to waste that 10K on nothing. That’s a huge gamble. But then, there are no guarantees. I truly wish I had a crystal ball and could tell you what to do.

    Talk it over with your hubs. Meditate on it. The right answer will come to you, and the timing will work out somehow. We’re all rooting for you.

    • thanks, friend. if you think you name dropping would work, i would gladly tell you what people call me in real life. but as much as i would appreciate the scene (especially if your storming involved something outrageous like flipping over tables or tying someone up and threatening to pull off fingernails), i doubt it would help. scientists don’t have feelings. 😉

  • Kitten says:

    I’m so sorry about the negative. ((hugs))

  • Oh lentil, I’m so sad for you! But please don’t feel like sharing your feelings should be embarrassing. They are real feelings and that is okay!!
    I would be having timing trepidations too. We are not having the best timing having a baby at the beginning of my last year of grad school… But, you know what? We’ll make it work. And you will too. And 5 years from now you’ll look back and think, “damn, I was crazy but I was awesome and I juggled school and baby like a rockstar!”
    So, let your options roll around in your head a little bit and you and your hubby will pick what’s right for you guys. I’m just happy you aren’t wavering on IVF. Good luck lentil!

  • bustedoven says:

    Aw, crap. I was just SO SURE this IUI would work for you, I hate that it didn’t. But so happy to hear that your IVF chances are so high, whichever choice you go with.

    And don’t be embarrassed about getting your hopes up in front of us. First of all, it’s IMPOSSIBLE not to get hopes up. No matter how much we try to keep them down, they insist on popping up. It’s like whack-a-mole. Second of all, we’ve ALL been there (like, only every cycle). Don’t feel bad.

    Now, go forth and get your IVF on so you can make that adorable baby you’re meant to have!

  • sarah says:

    Oh gosh, lentil. I’m so, so sorry. Sending many hugs and apologies for anything I did to stoke your fire-of-hope. Don’t be so hard on yourself though – I practically live blogged the first time I got pregnant – all 72 hours worth and the “early miscarriage” that followed. Vulnerability is a really tough thing. But we are all here for you and I am cheering you on from the sidelines. In terms of timing, I don’t have any good advice except to say that whenever it happens, it will be amazing, because honestly, no time is ideal – I’m about to start a new job and at 14 weeks. It’s a one year position and I know they’ll be frustrated to hear I’m taking leave. But we will all get through it. And if you get pregnant/have a baby during internship, it will work out – you clearly care deeply about your career and you’ll make it work. Sending so many good vibes and easy decision making.

  • ladyblogalot says:

    Dude, I went in for my blood test with Coco Pops stuck all over my top. I am Captain Embarrassment and I don’t think you should feel bad at all, I am reading you for all the parts of the journey, not just the ones that are nice and fuzzy so don’t feel bad. I can out-embarrass you any day of the week. You are a sweetie.

  • YeahScience! says:

    Oh, I am so sorry that second line didn’t stick around and you have to deal with all this crap! But above all, do NOT feel embarrassed about letting your emotions show on this blog — that’s precisely why you have this little space carved out on the Interwebs, because it’s full of women who know exactly how you feel and want to be there throughout all your ups and downs. Honestly, no judgment.

    Re: the options… I know most people are saying pick Door No. 3, but I’m kinda with Burnt Toast on this. You’re young, all of your tests are coming back great, you respond well to the meds, the engineer’s sperm is Grade A, and there is no reason to think IVF won’t work. I also speak as someone who had 6 failed IUIs and and a single-embryo transfer for my first IVF that stuck, so fine, maybe I’m biased, but hey. $10,000 is a lot of cash to spend unnecessarily.

    I do vote for scrapping New Hope, though. Let’s get this damn show on the road and keep it as stress-free as possible.

  • Mrs B says:

    So very sorry about your failed cycle. Good to have a plan and best of luck with what you decide.

  • lydiaseeks says:

    Don’t feel embarrassed about blogging raw emotion. I think part of why we all start blogs is to have somewhere to vent this emotional roller coaster. If I let my IF freak flag fly every month to my real-life friends they would most likely check me into a mental hospital.

    I’m sorry the IUI didn’t work and I wish I could help you with your IVF choices, but I think that’s so individual. Throw out your least likely option and narrow it down to two choices. Then go from there.

    Good luck!

  • Sarah says:

    Oh shit, I’m sorry. I feel like an asshole for my comments last time.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your previous post. I thought it was heartfelt, and raw, but there’s nothing wrong with raw. Everyone feels raw during this process. You’re a fabulous writer, and there’s good in both the polished and the off-the-cuff posts.

  • nonsequiturchica says:

    I’m so sorry that the IUI didn’t work.

    While I agree with Yeah Science in terms of everything looking good and I also had IVF #1 work, I would hedge your bets and go with door #3. If you do get pregnant off the first IVF, then fantastic! But there are so many things out of your control that I would want the back-up just in case.

  • Arwen Rose says:

    Am sorry hun. I too would take option 3.

  • JustMe says:

    Sorry about the IUI not working out. I was really hoping for you.

    I’m not going to give you advice because I see your second post that you’ve already made up your mind (let us know!!), but I will just say that whatever you’ve decided, I would try to take the timing thing out of the equation. Because in the long run, education will get done, and it doesn’t need to get done in the perfectly prescribed way that we are told it should happen. What is more important is your whole life plan. The education will fall into place around it.

    Finally, can I ask what you’re studying? I know you’re getting your doctorate and working on your dissertation but I don’t know if I’ve asked what it’s in? Sounds a lot like my PhD in clinical psych….

    • Thanks, friend. Although people have been telling me this for quite awhile, I think it has only really started to sink in over the last several days. And, you’ve got my studies pegged. My focus is neuropsych. Love the brain!

      • JustMe says:

        My PhD is in child clinical. I did two years of neuropsych practica in grad school. But now, I just call it “neuropsych” when I include a NEPSY or a DKEFS in my assessment batteries. Ha.

        As far as pregnant during your clinical years, we have had multiple postdocs get pregnant and in our last intern year we had two pregnant interns. However, they timed it (intentionally or by luck?) so that they would have the babies after the internship year ended. This year though, we have one intern who just started this week who looks to be about 5-6 months along. From a faculty perspective, we know things will just work it’s way out.

        Things will just work out…don’t worry about the timing.

  • Amber says:

    I’m so sorry this wasn’t it. I really really was hoping for you! Don’t be ashamed of yourself for getting worked up. You’d be Superwoman if you didn’t going through all this crap. Good luck as you move forward toward IVF. I will be cheering you on all the way!

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