My husband and I took a huge gamble this summer…and once again, like most overly-optimistic Vegas patrons, we lost.
Having exhausted the 3 major fertility clinics in Colorado (and no longer being able to afford them at $24-36k PER TRY with IVF anyway), we quietly snuck off to a beautiful clinic in Syracuse, New York, called CNY Fertility. CNY is a fraction of the cost of any local clinic AND is hands-down the most comforting, beautiful, and caring clinic we’ve been to over the last 8 years that we’ve been trying to grow our family beyond the two of us and our furbabies. It is literally a clinic inside a gorgeous spa that would give even the Broadmoor a run for its money.
After giving myself up to 4 injections per day over the last couple of months (and my hubby giving me huge progesterone-in-oil [PIO] shots in my butt every morning), and taking two week-long trips to NY, we transferred two beautiful, hatching/hatched embryos (the most advanced/developed we’ve ever had!). They were perfect. I was taking all the right medication, a totally new protocol designed to help implantation, and for the first time ever, my hormone levels were right where they needed to be. I had faintly positive tests at home all week leading up to my blood test, and was cautiously hopeful that THIS TIME – our 15th medicated cycle – was finally going to work.
I started planning little details around how we were going to announce to close family and friends first, then how we’d announce to the rest of the world in a few weeks, once it was “safe” to do so. We were SO excited! For the first time ever, I let myself actually begin to dream about a nursery, a baby registry, and even a “rainbow baby” themed shower (for those who are unfamiliar with the term, a “rainbow baby” refers to a child born after one or more previous losses/miscarriages, since a rainbow always follows a storm), as a way to honor the new baby and all those who would have come before him/her. We were even excited about the possibility of twins! My due date was going to be right around my dad’s birthday; what an amazing gift that would be!
But as has happened so many times before, all of those hopes and dreams were shattered with the receipt of my blood test results. I waited with bated breath until I got in the car, hands shaking, to open the envelope that would reveal our fate. Reading those words – NOT PREGNANT – and seeing just how NOT pregnant I am (beta was only a 3…needed to be over 30 to be viable) took the wind right out of me. I sat in the car in the hospital parking lot for 30 minutes, sobbing uncontrollably. You’d think I’d be used to seeing those words by now. But it truly broke me this time.
We did SO much more than ever before to try to get THIS time to work. SO many more injections and other medications than the other 14 times we’ve tried with medical assistance. Laparoscopy surgery to remove a bunch of endometriosis. Extremely expensive recurrent pregnancy loss blood testing to find a handful of issues and subsequent corrective measures. Endometrial scratch to help with implantation. Intralipid IV infusions. Massage. Acupuncture. Better diet. Time at the gym. Prayer. Meditation. Reiki. A whole new clinic – on the other side of the country. Black, blue, and purple bruises the size of softballs permeate my thighs from my daily blood thinner shots (they’ll be my cruel reminders for the next few months of what should have been, as what happened the last time I was taking them). Internal bruises from my PIO shots that make it uncomfortable/painful to sit or lay down; another cruel reminder I’ll have for a while. More than $15,000 paid out of pocket for this one try. Hours and hours of research and creating spreadsheets trying to find the cheapest mail order pharmacies for my ginormous cocktail of meds. Numerous arguments on the phone with our insurance company, trying to get them to timely fill the small handful of prescriptions we asked them to pay for. All for nothing. We have no embryos leftover from this cycle, which means we once again have to start from scratch to try again. After 18 eggs retrieved, 8 of them initially fertilized, and after all was said and done, only 2 survived long enough to freeze, enabling us to return a few short weeks later to thaw and transfer them, crossing our fingers they’d decide to stick this time. For whatever reason, despite our having done everything “right”, they bailed. Again.
We’re simply at a loss as to what our next steps will be. We both used pretty much all of our vacation hours for the year on this one try, and with my hubby having another major knee surgery this fall, we couldn’t try again this year even if we had the money and time to do so. Looks like we’ll have to wait until next year before trying again to grow our family, which is a daunting and heartbreaking realization since I’m not getting any younger; the longer we wait, the worse my egg quality is (and it’s clearly not great to begin with).
In the meantime, whatever you do, we’re seriously BEGGING that you NOT try to give us advice. While we know it’s well-intentioned, PLEASE don’t tell us to “just” use a surrogate, or donor eggs, or to adopt. Those are ALWAYS people’s first reaction to “suggest” to us, as if we’ve somehow never thought of them. Please trust me when I tell you that we’ve been at this a very long time and have considered – and decided against – each of those options, due to financial, emotional, and/or other personal reasons. None of these options is a cure for infertility, as much as we’d like them to be. As discussed in a previous entry, each of these options takes a special kind of person to choose them, and they’re simply not our path nor our choice, at least not at this point. We sincerely appreciate the love and support from everyone. The best way to support us right now is to please just listen when we need to be heard. Just let us cry, let us grieve. We just need time and space to process this latest loss and figure out where we go from here. 💔