Chaos and due dates

June 28, 2013 § 28 Comments

Friday through Tuesday was a little wild.

By Friday night, we had decided that we were definitely going to move forward with IVF at my clinic home base. I was excited. I felt closer than ever to being pregnant. I would be stimming in early August and that seemed sooo close. I was relaxed. At ease. Over the next few days, our discussions turned financial. We went back and forth on whether or not we would do the shared risk program*, but we seemed to be leaning toward it. My parents were on board, too, thinking it would be better bang for our their buck. We had some reservations about this option, though.

First, we would be required to transfer two embryos. Now, I know that I should be happy with any baby at all and that two babies is better than no babies. But the idea of twins is (at least at this point) pretty effing overwhelming for me. I’ve worked as a nanny in the past. I am not pollyannaish about what parenting will be like. It is hard to care for an infant. Really freaking hard and exhausting. And two infants? Well. That honestly sounds impossible to do while still maintaining happiness and sanity. That is not to say that we won’t eventually choose to transfer two embryos if and when the time comes, but I just don’t like the idea that we wouldn’t (for up to three IVF and as many FETs as there are embryos during the course of that year) have the choice. That didn’t sit well.

Second, as I have whined about several times (sorry), we may be moving next May or June, and the year time frame for the shared success program wouldn’t be over until August. So we wondered if it made a difference that we may only be able to squeeze in 4 cycles instead of 6 (if we need them), or whatever the math ended up being.

My appointment to start the IVF process was set for Tuesday morning at 7 AM. I was scheduled to get my calendar and a blood draw before being put on birth control pills. If we were going with shared success, they also had to take height and weight measurements as well as do a nicotine test, and I would have to “pass” those in order to be accepted into the program.

By Monday afternoon, we still had not made a decision about the shared success, so I decided to have the additional lab work drawn to buy us a little more time. We wouldn’t REALLY have to make up our minds until the consent signing the next week. (Do you see what an odd anxious procrastinating duck I am? How much good will an addition 7-10 days do us? None. That’s how much.)

Then Monday evening. The Artsy Engineer gets home from work, and I can tell he is really on edge. And I’m on edge, but I don’t know why. At the time, I think it’s just the excitement of IVF. The I-can’t-believe-we’re-really-doing-this-es. And then all of the sudden, The Artsy Engineer tells me he doesn’t feel ready. That he wants to do the last IUI, because this is the doctor’s orders, and because if we were to do IVF right away, he would always wonder if that last IUI would have worked. I knew he had reservations about moving forward after only two IUIs, but we’d discussed and discussed (and discussed) and seemed to both come to the conclusion that we were on board. Of course, I offer all of the reasons why I’m hesitant to do this. And then we go back and forth about it for awhile. Me trying to defend our initial decision with solid reasoning (it’s so unlikely to work, the timing will be better, etc etc). And him offering equally good arguments against it (it’s cheaper per percentage point of likelihood of success, we’re still within the first three during which our odds don’t go down yet, IVF is hard on my body and associated with increased, though small, risks to the offspring and what if something were to happen and we were to always wonder if we really needed it.. if that one last IUI would have done the trick).

The clinic is closed for part of August but I don’t know the exact dates, so I know that if we do the additional IUI, we might not be able to move onto IVF right away. I’m stressed (and therefore irritable) and I make this shitty comment about how I want him to sit down with me and count through the calendar so we can see if we can squeeze in one more IUI before IVF without screwing horribly with the timing or getting mixed up in the clinic closure, because “I’m the one who has to do everything and you just SWOOP in at the LAST MINUTE after I’ve spent hours and hours and hours gathering the information and try to CHANGE THE PLAN.” Which actually wasn’t fair, because he’s been involved. He just can’t possibly be as involved as me. And at that moment, that was pissing me off.

And he was stressed, so that comment (which would likely not bother him when he’s feeling good) realllly upset him. And he shot back with something equally hurtful and untrue.

And then I left the house. And I went to the dog park and sat like a creepster in my car for an hour and a half in the rain and cried and watched the dogs play.

When I came home, we apologized. Blamed it on the stress of the decision. Still did not make said decision. Fell asleep.

We got to the appointment in the morning with the plan of asking the nurse if we could squeeze in the additional IUI and start the IVF cycle immediately afterward and then taking 5-10 minutes to decide what to do. We did that, and it was fine. And we decided on IVF now.

So he left for work and I got the blood draw. And I got into work and put the dates into my calendar.

And then I just felt sick to my stomach. And it didn’t go away. And my mom called and asked if I was excited, and I just started crying. And then I realized that I wasn’t ready right this second either. That I needed to be sure that we were ready to spend a shit ton of someone else’s money and put my body at risk for this and that I wouldn’t be sure until we had exhausted all of our options. And then I felt like an ass because this is clearly how The Artsy Engineer felt but I didn’t want to listen to it. My desire to be pregnant as soon as humanly scientifically possible was making me a selfish partner.

I called the RE’s office and asked the administrative assistant if she would kindly ask the nurse to call me back. I wanted to pull out. And could they still squeeze me in for a baseline ultrasound for the IUI? Was I too late?

(This is the point at which I wrote the last post.)

It took three hours for one of the nurses to get back to me, and there was only an hour left before the clinic closed. I was already on CD 3, so I knew that if I was going to do a letrozole+IUI cycle, I needed to get this done immediately. I was really worried that it wasn’t going to happen, and that I’d wasted a cycle. But the nurses were so understanding. I left for the clinic the minute I got off of the phone with them, and they squeezed me in just before close. There was some good-natured teasing involved, which I appreciated. I was embarrassed and exhausted and I needed a little humor.

And then ohhhh the relief. This decision felt worlds better.

I am ready to do IVF. In fact, we have a tentative calendar in place for when this IUI does not work. Because the odds are that it will not work. I will be starting birth control pills in a little under a month, and I’ll take them about a week longer than usual to get us out of that blacked out time when the clinic will be closed. Lupron will begin around August 19th. And I’ll start the stim meds around the 30th. Retrieval is penciled in for 9/11.

I am ready to do IVF. I just wasn’t ready right that minute. Whether or not it’s logical, I need to do this first. I need to know that we need it. And, for some reason, this last IUI will make it official. So maybe we’re paying $1500 for peace of mind about our decision to move forward. But, so be it.

And, yes. This would put our estimated due date (if the first IVF works, which it very well may not) around the time when we may be moving. But. Fuck the schedule. This is my family we’re talking about here.

And also, if I had not lost the only pregnancy I’ve ever had, my due date would have been tomorrow.

I plan on burying myself in backlogged patient paperwork.

Emotions? Who needs emotions?

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§ 28 Responses to Chaos and due dates

  • Steph Mignon says:

    Oh Lentil, I am so sorry about your due date. I lost my pregnancy almost 3-months ago now and it’s hard when I see 3 friends, due the month that baby would’ve been due, progressing while I’m still hoping. It will be especially hard if I am still not pregnant when the due date comes in November, which is a very real possibility. With that said, I can only imagine how you feel with tomorrow looming.

    As for the IUI vs. IVF stuff I can TOTALLY relate to that as well. Before I got preg, I was supposed to start the IVF process the DAY I found out. So there went that plan. Now I’m not as gung ho about IVF because I see the pregnancy as a sign that maybe, just maybe, something like IUI could work for us (though our stats go from 2% to 10% because of my endo). Not only is it human nature to do things in stages, but it’s also smart! Why jump to the most invasive thing when you still aren’t satisfied that you’ve exhausted all the options? Also if you’ve done the research and calculated the odds vs. cost and it seems like the prudent approach then I say Amen sister. I’m just sorry that coming to that decision was so harrowing. But at least this way you can move forward with IVF not wondering “what if” as AE puts it. Wouldn’t it be totally freaking awesome if third time’s the charm?

  • Aramis says:

    That’s a lot to deal with. In a way we’re lucky because we were told flat out that IUI was most definitely not going to work for us, so we didn’t need to go down this road. But for us financially, if IUI had been an option, I’m sure I would have wanted to try a bunch first to save the money and see if we really “needed” IVF. The good news is that you and the Artsy Engineer are both on the same page, even if it took you a few days (and some tears) to get there. And can I just say, going to the dog park for a cry seems like the right place. It’s one of the best places that’s guaranteed to have you cheered up in the shortest time possible. Sorry you had such a crap week, but glad you’re at peace with things now.

  • Kitten says:

    These decisions are so tough to make. There’s never a clear cut “right” answer, and what feels the most right one day may not seem right the next day. We do our best. I hope you are able to find a moment or two of peace and comfort on your EDD.

  • Gypsy Mama says:

    I think you made a wise decision. I think Artsy Engineer made a good point that IUI deserves three tries before giving up (statistically speaking). I also think you made the right decision because you went with your heart/gut instead of your brain, and (for me anyway) the decisions I’ve made that way have always turned out to be the best.

    I am cheering you on, and sending you tons of good vibes!!

    • I need all the cheers I can get! And thanks. Gut decisions have never worked out poorly for me either. They’re just sooo hard to trust when your in the middle of it all! No facts? Fine! Who needs ’em? That just doesn’t sit easily with this logical mind the universe gave me.

  • Ayiyiy. That’s a lot of pressure you all are under! I hope this IUI works. But either way I hope you have a chance to breathe soon. I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow. And yes, fuck schedules.

  • wow. i’m in an emotional tailspin reading your emotional tailspin. living it must be a million times worse. but i’m glad you are at peace with everything now. minus tomorrow. and tomorrow, just do whatever makes you feel as ok as possible. brownies? yes! wine? yes? cry? absolutely? stay home? ignore everyone? sure. tomorrow is going to hurt, and let it. tomorrow deserves credit for existing, just like your baby existed.

    and, just so we both know, IF iui doesn’t work (don’t be a negative nelly, weirder things have happened!) 9/11 is muffin’s due date… so OBVIOUSLY ivf will work. total no brainer 🙂

    • Aghhhh! That would be lucky, I think! It’s also one of my best ladyfriend’s birthday. And I could keep you occupied if you go past your due date with egg counts and fertilization reports.

    • I can certain appreciate this post. No one “wants” to do IVF. It’s a huge decision!! And as such, big decisions take time. IVF was recommended but I wasn’t ready so we did an IUI- I knew it wouldn’t work but I had to at least try it before just jumping in to IVF. I’m happy you have plan that you feel comfortable with!

  • Jane Allen says:

    We’re in such a similar place with the IUI vs IVF decision, and I found myself asking this week, ‘when you’re holding your baby in your arms, do you ask -would one more IUI have worked- or do you just accept and not care at that point. In a wierd way I echo the feelings of Aramis that sometimes it would have been easier if we had a tubal factor or severe male issues that made IVF a clear cut decision. But we both had a spontaneous conception. The even that my Husband refers to as a prick tease, that little piece of evidence that makes you not feel totally ridiculous for beleiving that an IUI can work…maybe it’s just a matter of time… I think you just have to be in the right mindset to start IVF and not have any lingering doubts. To throw in an antedotal story, my Co-worker was ready to move on to IVF after 2 unsuccessful IUIs (dx unexplained but her ovaries were responding poorly to Clomid so they jacked her with follistim for her final IUI -hence twins) but her RE insisted on doing one more IUI. “I was pissed” she told me 6 months pregnant “I did not want to do one more fucking IUI” Obviously now she’s glad she did. My greatest concern with IVF is what regret will I have if our child has some form of autism or major physicial defect. I went against the wishes of science and didn’t respect the verdict. I keep telling myself I’d be taking the same gamble if I were fertile, but somehow the guilt would feel much heavier. Thinking of you tomorrow on your sad anniversary, do something good for yourself!

    • Yes yes yes. These are absolutely the thoughts I’ve had running around in my head. If something horrible (and horribly unlikely) we’re to happen, I’m afraid of always what-iffing. And, hey. Thanks for the anecdote. They really do make it bearable.

  • Wow, that is one dramatic couple of days! I’m so glad that you’re confident in the decision you made, and of course I genuinely hope you never have to worry about IVF because you know what they say… third time’s the charm! IVF is a huuuge decision. It was different for us too because we were told IUI would absolutely not work, so we never had to debate it. But it sounds like we’ve spent just as much on mere IVF drugs alone as we would have spent on an IUI cycle, so yeah, had we had the option, we would have done that. Now you’ll definitely know before moving on to more invasive methods that you gave it a fair shot. Good luck, friend.

    • I know. God, I should win an academy award for my histrionics. And true talk. Third time is sometimes a charm. But I’m certainly not going to wish for it. It’s just too exhausting. Maybe you guys can do that for me? I’ll just hunker down and stay emotionally disconnected until IVF. 😉

  • stupidstork says:

    Oh my.

    First of all, I completely get the whole “I’m not ready, I’m not ready!” thing with IVF. I’m moving onto IVF #2 and I’ve been putting that off (some reasons my fault, some not) for a year now.

    Second, I totally think you’re doing the right thing. You’re going into it with the right attitude – you know ‘this probably won’t work, but at least we won’t wonder’.

    Third, IVF is scary. That’s a fact. If you DO have to move onto it, though, it won’t be as scary as it seems. The WORST part about IVF is the anticipation/stress/worry about it before you even get started. Everything after that is a breeze by comparison.

    • That’s absolutely the right thing to say to me right now. My decision-making ain’t cray cray. And my fears are unfounded but reasonable given the situation I’m in. Thanks for making me feel like a normal human.

  • sarah says:

    Oh lentil, so sorry for such a tough couple days. Your decision makes sense – you went with your intuition and in these things, that’s all you can ask for. We’re so overloaded with information and supposed-tos and all the emotional baggage and high stakes of infertility. It’s hard to wade through that and figure out what it is you really want and need – but it sounds like you have (not that it was easy). I will be cheering you on for this third-time’s-the-charm cycle. Hugs.

    • Thanks, Sarah. I think you’re right. I think we’re there (at least for now, for this particular stuck point). The gut v logic war is never easy to survive. And it’s impossible to navigate painlessly. At least we have each other. Without you all, I’d feel like a nut. I flailing lost nut. Instead, I feel like my reactions are normative, given the situation.

  • Flicka Mawa says:

    It sounds like in the end you figured out what makes you comfortable right now, and that is what matters. So it was the right decision for you. And who knows, maybe it will work. Either way you’ll have less wondering “what if” which is always stressful.

    You are handling this all admirably. It’s not an easy road.

  • Mrs B says:

    Hi Lentil,
    I totally understand how hard these decisions have been for you. My husband was the same. After 2 x IUI’s I was (fairly) ready for IVF but he wanted 6! We were going to compromise with 3, however the doctor said no. That was what made our decision for us. She said with our issues it was a waste of time.
    When I started moving ahead with IVF I didn’t feel ready at all. But it wasn’t so much being ready for a baby as being ready to put my body through the process. When the first failed, I felt ready for the second one straight away… but I have to wait and that sucks too!
    Infertility is one shitty, decision making game of dice. I totally get how you’re feeling. Best of luck for your third IUI, hope the third time is the charm!

  • bustedoven says:

    Aw, girl, that is an emotionally exhausting turn of events. But I think you’ll be glad you didn’t ignore your gut in the end, even if this IUI doesn’t work.

    I hope the passing of your due date wasn’t too traumatic for you, and that you filled the day with things you love and that make you happy.

    I know you’re planning to stay disconnected for this IUI, but I’m going to be over here hoping to heck fo you!!!

  • aneastcoastlife says:

    That’s a whole lot to deal with. I just found your blog and I’m really looking forward to following your journey. FWIW, twin pregnancies also carry a ton of risks. I’ve been pregnant with twins twice and the risk are effing scary. I’m sending you a ton of positive thoughts and vibes. xoxo

  • Ladyblogalot says:

    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. Someone very smart said that. You are smart to be doing that. They would have been smarter to say ‘and eat lots of coco Pops while preparing and hoping’ too but really you can’t ask that much of these people.

  • YeahScience! says:

    Omg what a rollercoaster! I’m so glad this has all worked out, though — most important thing is to feel like you’ve made the right choice, in your heart and gut (not just according to stats or doctors or finances). I hope you guys have been able to exhale now and just focus on taking all the steps through this course of action. It always feels SO much better to just have that plan in front of you, so you know where you’re going at all times. And if a BFP happens to pop up somewhere along the line, before you’ve “completed” your plan, it’s almost a pleasant surprise!

  • Wow that was an intense thing to go through and I’m so sorry about your due date… it’s hard to deal with those after a loss. I hope you made it through the day OK. We never had the option of IUI due to DH’s male factor infertility so the IVF decision wasn’t very hard for us. I’m glad you’re feeling good about your decision. Good luck!

  • We are the Rollercoaster Girls—this post captures perfectly what so many of us go through, the back and forth, the incredibly difficult decisions we have to make, and all while having your due date lingering in the background (!)…you’re strong.

  • Jen K says:

    Wow..that was a roller coaster…but you two can now be fully satisfied with your decision…and that is priceless!

  • Infertility Can Suck It says:

    Oh my goodness, have we been right in the place you are now, and that roller coaster will take its toll on anyone. We ultimately decided to postpone IVF until after our move, and do one more medicated TI cycle, but I ended up with cysts and that was cancelled too. I felt like we were at the bottom. Luckily, trusting our guts worked for us in the end, andit sounds like you are in a great place now! Thinking of you and hoping that great news is right around the corner for you both.

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