Thursday, September 28, 2006

The beginning of the end

At our appointment this week with the dr. we went through my IVF protocol.
The protocol is pretty standard, but for those of you curious to know, here it is:

BCP for 25 days, during last 5 days add nasal spray
Wait for period, continue nasal spray
Get baseline echo, continue nasal spray
Start stimming, continue nasal spray at lower dose
After 6 or 7 days of stimming first u/s and blood draw.
More stimming, spraying and checking.
Trigger shot.
Request DH's contribution & undergo egg retrieval
Anxiously await transfer
Anxiously await beta

This schedule puts ER in the second week of november.
Of course, I don't need to remind any of you that all of this is subject to last minute changes.

I should be thrilled, excited and hopeful about finally starting IVF, but to tell the truth, I have mixed emotions. Yes, I've been waiting to get here for what seems like ages. Yes, IVF is the treatment with the best prospects of success.

The thing is, this is the final phase of ART. After IVF, there is nothing.*

Before, I always found comfort in the thought that there was always IVF, if all else failed. I knew of course that IVF wasn't a sure thing, but it was still out there to try.
Now we're here, I have to look the harsh reality in the face that this could fail too.

My clinic claims that 85% of the women that do 4 IVF cycles with them get PG and deliver a baby. That still leaves 15% of women who do not. These odds are good, but I know they'll be of little comfort if I fall on the wrong side of them.

But it's not really the statistics that get under my skin. It's the stories I read on your blogs that get to me. I can put faces to those statistics now, or pseudonyms at least. The joy is real and so is the sorrow. I'm no longer the complete innocent I was last year. Some might think that's a loss, but let me put it this way:
Do you miss the days when women went into their wedding night knowing little to nothing about what was awaiting them?

Don't get me wrong. I'm fortunate to have the opportunity of doing IVF and I appreciate that. I know some of you have been waiting for a chance at IVF for a long time, and posts like this must be hard to read.


* Nothing in terms of getting PG and delivering a child.

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31 Comments:

At 29 September, 2006 01:54, Anonymous Lori said...

I felt much the same way when we started our IVF cycle and it was so intimidating given that we'd chosen to skip the IUI option. We were essentially starting with the final option. I will be hoping that this upcoming IVF cycle is a success for you. It's time for you to be on the good side of the stats.

 
At 29 September, 2006 02:12, Anonymous Meri-ann said...

I know what you mean about ivf, but I have to have faith that ultimately it will work for us all, I know that many slip thru the cracks (me being one of them at this point in time)- but where there is hope there has to be something.
And I'm hoping with everything that this new ivf journey is the lucky one for you....

 
At 29 September, 2006 02:36, Blogger namaste said...

Count me as another one who hopes that this is it for you - "it" being a good thing where you conceive a precious child and live happily ever after. Life is no fun when you have the blinders off, is it? Try to hang in there for this upcoming 6 weeks, it's quite the ride. I'll be thinking about you. xo

 
At 29 September, 2006 04:18, Blogger Lyrehca said...

IVF is the big guns, so allow yourself to give it a chance and have a bit of hope that it could work. There are things going on with IVF that are above and beyond what happens with IUI and trying on your own. It's a big step, but it may be the one that works for you. All best this cycle.

 
At 29 September, 2006 04:51, Blogger Meg said...

Yes - and it was the only option for us - fast track to IVF with ICSI. But at the same time, we need to think of it as being the only option that is likely to work.

Good luck, Lut. I know its terrifying. I hope this new journey works for you.

 
At 29 September, 2006 06:08, Anonymous Sassy said...

I understand what you're saying. I really hope this works for you. Those stats do sound pretty good.

 
At 29 September, 2006 14:26, Blogger My Reality said...

My thoughts exactly!

 
At 29 September, 2006 15:18, Blogger k #2 said...

now is your time, honey. you've tried enough to move onto ivf. 85% is a great #

"Request DH's contribution" -- i love that!!!

 
At 29 September, 2006 16:48, Blogger A.M.S. said...

Crossing everything I have for you! I really hope this is it.

 
At 29 September, 2006 19:15, Blogger Hopeful Mother said...

Like Meg, IVF/ICSI is our only choice for a bio child - so it is a bit wierd skipping "ahead of the line" straight to IVF.

I sure hope this is a good and successful cycle (and your only IVF!)

 
At 29 September, 2006 21:33, Blogger katty said...

I think a lot of people are going to be hoping for you, lut, me included...
x

 
At 30 September, 2006 00:39, Blogger projgen said...

IVF/ICSI here, too. Fast track. Felt really uncomfortable with a lot of folks who asked why we went straight to IVF. I always felt a little guilty, like I cut in line or something.

There's something to be said for that "innocence." I was so excited and so optimistic for our first cycle. Now, if we ever get to do another one, I know the reality will be much, much different.

Good luck! I truly hope you're one of the 85%.

 
At 30 September, 2006 01:01, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With age on your side you have a fantastic chance of being in the 85%.

It's healthy to go in with a realistic attitude in terms of success, but this is not the time to be imagining what next if this fails. That's waaaayy down the road.

 
At 30 September, 2006 01:32, Blogger Mary Ellen and Steve said...

IVF stats can be scary. I hope that it works for you quickly though so that you can start your family and get off of this rollercoaster.

 
At 30 September, 2006 15:29, Blogger Angie said...

Lut, I am exciting about your ivf cycle! You are a genuinely caring person and I know that you deserve for this to work. I will be pulling for your over the next several weeks!

 
At 30 September, 2006 20:28, Blogger sube said...

Yep. I felt the same way before IVF#1. It's scary, but have hope. It's easy to remember the heartbreaking stories in our community, but don't forget about all those happy endings. There are lots of them. And I'm so hoping you'll be one of them.

 
At 01 October, 2006 17:29, Anonymous Sarah said...

My feelings about IVF were the same when we started: exciting but at the same time worrisome because it felt like the final chance. We hadn't gone through a lot of other treatments, because the RE said that they wouldn't work for us and that ICSI was it. All you can do is have faith and try to be positive that you will remain on the good side of the statistics. Harder to do, I realize that...but that is why you have a blog so that we can have faith for you and help support you thorugh those times when you feel less than positive! Good luck with the cycle.

 
At 01 October, 2006 21:02, Anonymous Jys said...

I found your blog through cycle sistas. I'm about to start my first IVF too, with ER probably falling somewhere 1st week of Nov, so we will be cycle buddies - both of us going through this the first time!!
I understand your feeings very much. For me though, I don't see IVF as that "final" thing, but rather in the sense of "the best shot I can take!" which feels like such an incredibly positive thing. I skipped IUI/injectables to do this.
I know there seems "nothing" after IVF. But actually after IVF, there's always IVF. There's even IUIs, trying naturally and all kinds of things. I hear countless stories of women who did it all and failed and then just boom - conceived naturally against all odds.
This is NOT the final say in having your baby - this is just an INCREDIBLY good shot at it!! :) Best of luck, and I'm right here with you.

 
At 01 October, 2006 21:24, Anonymous jys said...

Wow!! I was just about to ask if I could be added to the camp fire, and then noticed I already am!! Thank you so so much !! :) It actually DOES feel great to be welcomed... :) :) :)

 
At 01 October, 2006 22:29, Blogger fisher queen said...

The first one is scary, that's for sure. Maybe try to look at it in terms of control? You are doing the thing that is going to give you the most control over the outcome. It may be the last step, but it is the surest one.

Maybe? I know it's scary anyway.

 
At 02 October, 2006 00:37, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't put too much emphasis on this being the last option....

If it doesn't work, and you wait a few years, and new tecnologies come around, who knows....

We are in the exact situation, so I know exactly how you feel.

It does seem like the beginning of the end....

But it's not. It is the step being taken right now.

None of us can predict what the future holds in terms of ART....

Just relax, and enjoy the moment.

 
At 02 October, 2006 03:08, Blogger Just another Jenny said...

I remember being very scared the IVF was our last (and only) resort. Being a blogger doesn't help because we know too much. Don't forget about the success though, sometimes they are just as hard (if not harder) to think of then the failures. I really hope that this will soon be the end of a journey that ends very well.

 
At 02 October, 2006 20:01, Blogger Becky said...

Hey--I'm on cd4 and it sounds like my timeline will be much the same as yours--almost got cancelled before i even began because my clinic doesn't want me to be on b/c for more than 21 days and I'm trying to navigate this time around a cruise in the middle of October....and I really, really identify with your feelings right now.

P.S. could I please be added to the cyclesista list?

TIA,

BeckyZ

 
At 03 October, 2006 16:49, Blogger N said...

Oh I don't want to comment. I wish I could be one of those that wrote "we did it too, fast track to IVF/ICSI and it worked". I wish. But you know better anyways. You know that IVF/ICSI doesn't have to mean anything. Although the chances are really in your favour. It most probably WILL WORK!!! I keep my fingers so crossed for you! Your protocol seems conservative European (can you call it that?), just what I was used to :). Gosh I am a it envious (forgive me for that). You already seem like such a veteran. I hope for nothing more that that you can leave ART treatment behind you after IVF#1.

Hugs!

N

 
At 03 October, 2006 17:26, Blogger Thalia said...

I found IVF much easier in reality than it was in the imagining. The shots etc are just not that bad, you get used to it. The emotional side of a failed cycle is, of course, horrible, but not, I think, dramatically worse than the failure you are already accustomed to. I hope you don't get to know what that failure looks like, in any case.

 
At 04 October, 2006 14:46, Blogger ankaisa said...

I'm sorry you do not get to enter IVF land with the usual rose colored glasses on. But I really do hope that you do fall on the right side of the statistics.

 
At 05 October, 2006 03:56, Blogger Ornery said...

I agree, there is something very final about IVF, and I can see how it would add an extra layer of emotions to the already tumultuous mix. However, the odds are incredibly in your favor, and I can't help but feel excited for you. I'll keep my fingers crossed in the hopes that the first cycle will be the last one you need.

 
At 05 October, 2006 04:45, Anonymous Manuela said...

It's so hard isn't it... to so desparately want to get to the 'big guns' of IVF to give us the best odds... but then... to simultaneously feel we've met the end of the line in terms of options.

Here's hoping to all that is sacred that this will WORK for you...

Smooches,

 
At 05 October, 2006 14:12, Blogger Beagle said...

I am finding it harder and harder not to feel a little ironic wishing fellow travelers "luck" that IVF works at the first go since I am NOT a success story (I plan to be an urban legend instead). But there are many success stories out there and you have as much a chance as anyone to be the next one.

May that be the case!

So . . . GOOD LUCK!

 
At 05 October, 2006 18:44, Blogger Makariya said...

I feel exactly the same way. We are about to embark on our first IVF journey and I just put a post up with very similar thoughts, fears and hopes. Thanks to all of the bloggers for sharing both their joys and sorrows of the IVF journey. I think in a way it helps to know what to expect in advance. I hope it’s going to work for you. Good luck.

 
At 06 October, 2006 14:36, Blogger Bea said...

I understand your "end of the line" point of view. I guess I see donor gametes/embryos there in the background, providing a buffer between me and the void. There has to be something between me and the void, right? Some money and a few good years up my sleeve? At least?

Hoping this is the final leap across the chasm and you can leave this all behind...

Bea

 

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