My Tuesday WTF

I had a WTF with Dr. Sch last Tuesday.   I’ve been sick as a dog lately and have been hitting the sack early all week.  I think it was from the prednisone and perhaps the complete unraveling of my psyche with this last chemical after a CCS normal was transferred.  I’m slowly getting back to “normal” as far as the sickness goes, but my heart is still hurting.

Well, Dr. Sch thinks that it’s more my uterus than the embryo.  I asked him how often he sees chemicals after a CCS normal blast was transferred and he said it’s not that often.  He said that their miscarriage rate is only 5-6%.   Again, I’m on the bad side of the statistics.  I asked about the fact that my initial beta was good but then dropped if that was an indicator of the root cause and he surprisingly said yes.  He said with that good of an initial beta he would think that the embryo was strong but that there was something about my uterus that didn’t allow it to continue.   He said if I had a low beta it would indicate that the embryo was probably struggling from the beginning.  I asked if it could be placement, bloodflow, the fact that I have a unicornuate uterus, etc., and he said that they just don’t know enough about the uterine environment.  He thinks in the next 10 years they will have much more knowledge in this area…but for me that will be too late. 

He is recommending a gestational carrier.  I asked about my chances with my one normal blast and the one untested one.  He gave me 10%.   With a GC, using what I have, he gave me a 40-50% chance.  He also thinks we should do one more stim cycle to try to get one more normal if we go with a GC.  He thinks this would give me the best odds.   

I asked about the latest research on stim drugs and their link to cancer and he said that the latest is that there is no relationship.  He said by having infertility itself, you are at a greater risk, but the medications have shown to not increase the risk.  This was for ovarian or breast cancer.  I can’t imagine the drugs are good for you, but it somewhat eased my mind  a little. 

I also asked several questions about my eggs/our embryos.  I asked if they could in fact be chromosomally normal but lack the energy (mitochondria) necessary to continue to a baby.  He said that happens with older women, like 43ish, not at my age of 40-41.  He reiterated that he thought it was more of a uterine issue with me.   

He was very personable.  He said he was so happy to hear my initial beta.  Then he was so sad to see what happened.    He even said to call him directly with any more questions. 

Of course, I thought of more questions after we hung up.   I wanted to ask him why I was able to get pregnant, grow a gest. sac, fetal pole, but miscarry due to a chromosomal abnormality, but not be able to have a normal embryo implant and thrive.  I think he would have said that it was because we did ZIFT that time (which would be the closest thing to natural conception) and that my UU worked better with that procedure than with a mechanical transfer into the uterus.  I may still ask this. 

So, I’m confused.  I don’t know what to do.  How many of you really think it’s my uterus vs my embryos?   I have transferred 2 normals in 2 FET’s (one at a time) and had a BFN and this recent chemical.  I have had two chemicals locally before going to C.CRM, one with a 105 as an initial beta then dropping soon after, the other with a slow rising beta that went up and when I went for the US, there was nothing there, I had passed it the week before.    If we go by what happened before, it seems like the second local chemical and the ZIFT were similar, and the ZIFT one was abnormal (chrom testing on prod of conception proved to be chromosomally abn).  But then the one local that had a good beta that didn’t go anywhere, and this recent one, maybe those were normal but not in a good place.  Who knows?  I may never know. 

I just have to try to determine if it’s even worth trying with a GC, the emotional and financial toll will be high.  I am also thinking more and more about adoption and getting that started.  I’ve been reading story upon story about it, as I’ve said in my blog posts before.  I’m very nervous about it and seem to waver back and forth strongly in both directions.  If anyone has any suggestions on readings or links to others blogs who may help me, please let me know.  I’m going to a therapist in a few weeks to try to sort all of this out. 

My best friend has 4 kids.  I’m a Godmother to one of her kids.  She has been thinking about being a GC for us, but isn’t fully comfortable with it.  If she’s not, then I certainly wouldn’t be.  I am like a deer in the headlights with that whole subject. 

I went to her house yesterday for a bit and learned that they all went bowling the night before with her sister and her 3 kids and this new couple they’ve been hanging out with who have 2 kids.  She didn’t tell me, probably because of all we’ve been through lately.   She told me they were just going with her sis’s family.  Well anyway, I asked the kids about who won at bowling and they told me how the teams were made up, etc.  So, I found out that the other family went, too.  I didn’t act like it bothered me, but I have told my friend before that it did bother me…I said that is supposed to be me and DH going with them.  We are so close and I tell her pretty much everything.  My friend is the sweetest, nicest person in the world, don’t get me wrong.  It’s just that even in my safe haven of friends, I have to deal with the isolation and feeling like I just don’t belong, that I’m a freak of nature.  I don’t have any friends IRL that don’t have kids…well, actually, I have one single friend and she doesn’t have kids.  But, even with her, I feel funny because she doesn’t have a husband, so I have to temper what I say, too, about how I feel about DH.  So, in that regard, I understand.  And, of course, I want my friends to freely do what they want, to support their kid’s friendships, etc. 

It’s just so unfair!  We went out to dinner last night after being in the house for 3 weeks most nights.  I couldn’t help but think that here we are again, after having battled through another disappointment.   When will we be able to go to dinner and actually celebrate?!?!?!

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. R
    Apr 17, 2011 @ 16:10:06

    Daisy – my heart goes out to you right now. Those feelings of indecision and insecurity are ones many of us know well. You that if you have any questions about using a GC I am more than happy to answer. Corm has specific criteria that all the carriers must meet, but other than that it is pretty standard.

    Reply

  2. LisainSK
    Apr 17, 2011 @ 16:16:36

    Daisy…I have been thinking of you. I am so sorry. I think your heart will tell you what to do once its received enough information on what to do (adoption/GC). From there you will guage what feels more comfortable. Its this time that’s the worst…when you are up against the brick wall and clueless on your next step. I hope that with the help of the therapist and your own intuition you will arrive at an answer very, very soon as the land of uncertainty is not a pleasant place to be. I am so pleased to read how Dr. Sch. has treated you. He is a very nice man indeed.

    Reply

  3. elliej
    Apr 17, 2011 @ 16:54:02

    Hi Daisy’sMom, for what it’s worth, I would agree that it’s uterine. This last chemical and the local chemical seem very similar with strong initial betas and would seem to indicate another factor at play over and above embryo quality. I do feel for you in terms of the prospect of cycling again – I know how daunting that is. I agree with Lisa that you will come to a decision with the help of various supports as to what’s right for you – GC vs adoption and know that we will be rooting for you whichever path you decide to take. I too am glad that you had such a good conversation with Dr Sch. I too know that feeling of IRL isolation too well and hope that you know that you are truly not alone in this journey elliexxx

    Reply

  4. Flygirl555
    Apr 17, 2011 @ 16:59:53

    Daisy – With my almost similar history, I could have written this post myself in the not-too-recent past. My heart breaks for you and, as crazy as this sounds, I wish I could give you one of the LO’s I am carrying right now.

    I definitely think it’s your uterus vs. the embryos (as I always suspected that about my own infertility journey since before this most recently IVF, we transferred 7 embryos total from 3 different donors).

    Deciding between a GC and adoption is such a difficult, difficult process.

    As you know, we were facing the same decision a few, short months ago. The girl who cleans my house (and has become a “friend over the years”) knew what we’ve been going through (because she’s seen the drugs in our home each time) and even offered to be our GC, but we felt it would be too strange. We were deeply touched by the offer though.

    We ultimately decided to pursue adoption vs. GC because:

    1. I have never had a strong desire to go through a pregnancy. What excites me the most is to raise children with my DH. In fact, I were single, I doubt I would want children at all. After being married to my DH for 15 years, it’s exciting to me to become a parent with the man I so deeply adore.

    2. Whatever we did was going to cost another bundle of money, and we felt that adoption – especially if we could find a birth mother who was very close to giving birth or just had just given birth and realized things weren’t working out like she had envisioned – was more of a sure thing vs. going through the heartbreak of an IVF failure again.

    Know that you are in my thoughts daily.

    Reply

  5. Cassie
    Apr 17, 2011 @ 17:08:22

    Hi DM,
    I’ve been thinking about you lately. I am going to have to agree that it is likely a uterine issue. Of course you will have to choose the path that seems right to you, but given your past post about your grief at potentially losing a genetic connection to your eventual child, I would think that you would want to try a GC first, if that is feasible for you. And I would also agree with Schoolie that perhaps it would make sense to try another stim cycle to get the best chances. I know that all sounds hardcore, but you are pretty hardcore, right? You’ve come so far and I just really know that this is going to work for you. Also, adoption isn’t necessarily an easier path anyway, either emotionally or financially, so keep that in mind. I do agree with you though that you shouldn’t go with your family friend as a GC if she is not 100% over the top excited about it.
    Whatever you ultimately decide, I’ll be here rooting for you! Big hugs!

    Reply

  6. MyTwoLines
    Apr 17, 2011 @ 19:43:32

    I’m just so sorry you have to continue to weigh heavily all these options. You’re right, it most certainly isn’t fair. I wonder why he only gave you 40-50% odds with a GC if he feels so certain it’s the uterine environment? Usually they insist on using proven carriers so that doesn’t quite add up to me. I don’t know, he’s the expert I guess.

    We never wanted to do donor anything–GC, eggs, sperm, etc. For us, personally, it was too much to push when we knew there were babies out there. Obviously that’s hugely personal–but it was our thought process. Of course, we also said we’d never do IVF because that was too much medical intervention and then we did five! I know I’ve continued to be pleasantly surprised at my lack of concern/regret AT ALL over the loss of genetics and the opportunity to be pregnant…but of course going through the adoption process isn’t just a piece of cake either. It’s invasive for sure.

    Oh how I wish I could fix this for you. But I’m always here, you can certainly ask me anything about international adoption, as it’s the only thing I can really comment on.

    Reply

  7. hoping4family
    Apr 17, 2011 @ 22:15:38

    …can I just add that I love you guys!!!!…and if you lived closer to me I’d invite you all over for a nice dinner! I read all your replies and appreaciate each and every one. I may pose more thoughts or even ask you some stuff individually over the coming weeks. It’s just hard to get through it all with people who haven’t “been there”. You are all very special! XO

    Reply

  8. soulshine
    Apr 18, 2011 @ 13:00:20

    i am glad you got such great responses and advice 🙂
    it sounds like the wtf call went as good as it could have. i personally like dr.sch very much and have found him to be a very caring individual. he is an expert in his field, but not a miracle worker…
    when he first suggested gc for us, i was really shocked. it was almost as if i took it as a personal affront, that my uterus was somehow responsible for my losses- like, on purpose, or something, and i just had such a hard time reconciling my great desire to become pregnant with this idea that my body just couldn’t do it. they were willing to let me try once more, and you know how that turned out- a baby, but we were lucky, and that pregnancy would have 100% ended in another full term stillbirth if the vasa previa was not discovered. modern medicine ‘rescued’ us, but the fact is that my uterus is disabled in some unknown way- it does fucked-up things in pregnancy that end very badly for the babies. i would never try to use it again. so, at this point, far from the initial feeling of shock i had at the idea of needing a gc, now, i have accepted it… just like any other fact about my life… this is what surrogacy is for, for people who cannot “do” pregnancy for whatever reason. i guess what i am trying to convey to you, is that, before you can fully move toward gc or adoption, you will need to come to a place of acceptance about your own body. and that does not mean accepting that there is something *wrong* with your body… it means accepting it for what it is in all of its imperfections, and then moving toward the next step will happen in a much ‘free-er’ way. and this does not mean i think the issue is definitely with your uterus- it very well could be an issue of a string of very bad luck with embryos. and i am not suggesting that accepting the situation is at all an easy thing to do, not at all, because it isn’t, and it is different for everyone- some people can move on to a new path very quickly and firmly, and others take a longer time and maybe never feel right about it. i guess i am just sharing that for me, until i was thoroughly ready to accept that my body would not become pregnant again, the idea of moving to a surrogate was not a ‘real’ option because i was not 100% ready to move away from my ideal (and i may never decide to go forward with a gc, but that is my path is i do decide to try another pregnancy…). anyway, i am not being very eloquent. i think that with some time, you will feel more sure in your footing about which path to move forward with- whether you want to cycle again, totally go for adoption, try again with your own body, a gc, or some combination of all of these. i know from reading the experiences of the women here, there was a crucial ‘key moment’ that came when the path ahead became clear to them, whether it was deciding to adopt, to use donor eggs, a surrogate, etc. etc. and then the new journey begins. but we have all been where you are now, in some way, feeling confused and alone, not knowing the right path, and not knowing if there is enough gas left in the engine to continue on, so to speak. i really feel that you have such a strong desire, that will really help you to find a way to being the wonderful mom you have the ability to become.

    i hope that talking some of this out with a therapist will help clear your mind of some of the confusion, and to have a safe place to feel all the crappy emotions that come along with what has happened.

    thanks for updating 🙂 i’ll be thinking of you.

    Reply

  9. PBJmom
    Apr 18, 2011 @ 14:55:55

    Hi DM,

    I hope this doesn’t come off like ass ice since I haven’t been faced with the GC issue. Either choice is tough since both are expensive both financially and emotionally and have no guarantees. I think it’s noteworthy that dr. Sch–who tends towards lowballing people’s odds–thinks you can get more normals and that a GC has a good chance if working. Also–I think it’s the better of two alternatives that he thinks it’s your uterus and not that your embryos have mitochondrial issues. Not that it is good if your uterus is the problem, but I hope you see what I
    mean.

    Thinking of you and wishing you the best.

    Reply

  10. LisainSK
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 17:09:53

    Daisy…also wanted to say that Dr. Sch. gave me a 50% chance of pg success with transfer of one CCS tested DE embie. I felt that was too conservative of an estimate given the stats on IVFC – but again he would have all the access to the official stats. We asked this as we chose to transfer one CCS transfered DE embie. But I found that what he and the geneticist said were somewhat contradictory. In my heart of hearts, I think your chances of your transfer of your remaining CCS normal embie to a GC is better than 50%. Also, a 33 year old DE embie is not “better” than a 40 year old CCS normal embie…a normal is a normal…

    Reply

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