Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Explanations

Thank you all for your support, it means more to me than I can say.


Yesterday I was in shock, but not paralyzed. I plucked up the courage to call my doctor's office, firstly to move up our follow-up appointment, but also to ask about our situation.

Dr. A was willing to take my call, even though I'm sure he was with a patient.
He took a few minutes to explain what the embryology lab thinks is our issue. At one point in fertilization the egg and sperm must fuse by a chemical reaction. In our case this isn't happening. This is an uncommon cause for infertility, but we're not alone with this. He's confident that by using ICSI we have a good chance of success.

The feelings of panic and despair fell off me. This is not the end of the road yet.

Panic and despair came back at night though, while I was lying awake in bed. Am I clutching at straws? What if ICSI doesn't work either? Do I need to start thinking about donor gametes? Why don't we just quit now?

Its nothing out of the ordinary to feel this way. I need to keep reminding myself that we're not done yet. And if the worst comes to pass in the next cycle, I'll deal with it then.

My follow-up appointment is in the beginning of December. Before we can try again, I have to wait through a rest cycle. When my period next arrives, in two weeks probably, I can start BCPs again. I'm hoping this is in preparation of the next attempt.

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31 Comments:

At 14 November, 2006 12:01, Blogger Meg said...

No, most DEFINITIVELY not done yet, Lut. And it gives you more knowledge about what hasn't been working. Which is good. In a fucked up kind of way. No more unexplainability right?

I am glad to hear you are feeling as positive as can be expected right now.

And many virtual hugs across the ocean.

 
At 14 November, 2006 12:07, Anonymous Meri-ann said...

Nope, definitely not done.
Actually just beginning...

In the early days when I thought I'd have to do just 1 ivf to get pregnant and have a healthy baby, I was complete crushed when it all turned to shit. What I realise now, is that my first couple of cycles were really dipping my toe into the water of what *might* be. We had no clue how my body would react, how fertilisation would go, etc etc. It has really been a learning curve for us, as well as for my RE.
I hope this doesn't sound empty- but I suppose I want to give you some reassurance that there is a loooooong way to go to even think about looking at the end of the line. x

 
At 14 November, 2006 14:11, Blogger ninaB said...

Just catching up now..
That's just horrible!
I don't understand at all how they could have zero fertilization.
It's really not much consellation to say that it might be better next time...after all that it entails to go through a cycle.
But yes, each cycle can be different. And you won't know if the ICSI works unless they try it.
I'm so disappointed for you.
I don't think you could have expected or prepared for this outcome.

 
At 14 November, 2006 15:40, Blogger Just another Jenny said...

It makes you wonder if that's why the IUI's didn't work either? I hope that ICSI is the answer. I don't think hope is lost. For alot of us, ICSI is the only chance we've got so it's not even a close call on giving up. I'm really sorry things didn't work with the first cycle but it's sounds like your doing as well as can be expected and thinking ahead to round 2.

 
At 14 November, 2006 15:46, Blogger Thalia said...

Definitely not done, although boy what a crappy thing to have to deal with. I'm glad the doc took the time to talk to you.

Are you sure you shouldn't rest longer than that? My clinic says three months for your ovaries to return back to normal size...

 
At 14 November, 2006 16:05, Blogger My Reality said...

I agree, you aren't done yet. I know that doesn't heal the shock and pain from what has happened, but I do hope if gives you some hope for the future.

 
At 14 November, 2006 16:21, Blogger Heather said...

I'm glad that you are so positive. You are so absolutely right. This isn't the end - and now you can move forward armed with more information. There are still things to be tried and I hope they will be very successful for you. You are going to rock as a Mom.

 
At 14 November, 2006 17:27, Blogger squarepeg said...

I'm relieved that the embryologist and RE are encouraged about your future prospect. It is a shit way to end your first cycle, but like you said, you are not done yet.

And I think Jenny's point is a very good one: while you hate to think of going through all the IUIs when there may never have been a chance, at least this is some sort of explanation. Crossing my fingers that ICSI is the answer...

 
At 14 November, 2006 19:01, Blogger Hopeful Mother said...

You're right, Lut, you are not done yet. As Meri-Ann said, this is just the beginning. Unfortunately the IVF process has lots of "hurdles" along the way. If we can make it over each hurdle, we are that much closer to a pregnancy.

Unfortunately it looks like fertilization is your big hurdle - but the good news is that your response was really good, and you had good eggs - now you just need to force the sperm to meet them with the ICSI.

So much of IVF seems to be figuring out what one's particular hurdle is going to be. And the hurdles you start out with are not necessarily the hurdles you end up with! (In our case, we thought we were only dealing with MF, but it now looks like I may be a poor responder on top of it.)

I'd say you still have a lot to be positive about, and after you've had some distance from this hurdle, you can start focussing on the next try. It sounds like your Dr. A is confident about your prognosis.

You are not out of this game Lut! {HUGS}

 
At 14 November, 2006 19:23, Blogger Anna said...

I'm so sorry about the lack of fertilization. I understand the shock. I'm hoping that the ICSI will combat your particular challenges. Hang in there and have a good rest cycle. The game is far from over... Best wishes!

 
At 14 November, 2006 21:16, Blogger Josie said...

Hello Lut! I didn't want to post this yesterday because I do believe in taking time to deal with the current situation at hand, but after our first IVF failed due to no fertilization our dr altered the protocol and we tried again. This last time we got fertilization. Unfortunately none of our embies progressed at the proper pace so they didn't stick. What I am trying to say is that there are things they learn as you go through IVF, so it is very likely that ICSI could fix your issue. Our problem is a bit different and deals more with quality of both sperm and egg, so even with ICSI we may be at a loss and this was only discovered after our first failed IVF. This doesn't seem to be your concern, though.

Also, I wanted to let you know that you may get your period a bit earlier than 2 weeks - I got mine after a week when we had no transfer - I just don't want you to be alarmed.

I really wish you the best - I was devastated when this happened to me. I guess I never had considered that fertilization (and now embryo viability) could be the problem since I am so young, but shit happens.

Glad to hear you are doing ok.

 
At 14 November, 2006 21:36, Blogger Summer said...

Sometimes it just helps to have an explanation. Even if it is not the news you want to hear, at least you can have a plan as to what to do next.

Try to hang in there.

 
At 14 November, 2006 22:32, Blogger katty said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 14 November, 2006 22:38, Blogger katty said...

katty said...

I am so very sorry Lut. I hadn't been by your blog for a whole six days and I did not read about your retrieval. I am so sorry that you have had this shock. BUT as your doctor says this is definitely not the end. I had ICSI and at the time the doctor said that in 6 per cent of all IVF cases the eggs simply don't fertilise. I understand that in some US clnics IVF/ICSI is a standard move to combat this risk. It is great news that you produced so many eggs, and if this happens next time you will have a big batch to be ICSI'd. And you ARE closer to identifying the problem - it is not simply the mystery 'unexplained'. And if you know the problem, at least there's hope in finding a solution. I really, really, really, really wish you luck for next time. I am sorry that there has to be a next time. But in that next time I - along with everyone else here - will be hoping so much that it works.
Kx

 
At 14 November, 2006 23:35, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not at all surprised your doctor spoke to you even though he was consulting - this is huge.

My clinic used to be okay with us going back to back - except for FET.

When you have your next appointment, I reckon it would be worth asking if there are any other tests you can have done on the sperm - to make sure you've got everything ruled out before the next cycle.

ICSI works fantastically for getting great fertilisation results, so if that is all that's needed, you'll be up and running next time.

I know that feeling of panic and dread ...

 
At 15 November, 2006 00:10, Anonymous Alexa said...

Oh my god. I am just catching up, and I am so sorry to hear your news. What a shock. Luckily, it sounds like your commenters (who all know more about IVF than I do!) are very hopeful for you, and I am too. I will be thinking of you.

 
At 15 November, 2006 02:04, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad your Doc took time to talk to you on the phone to ease your mind some. Gosh, to look at this positively...Maybe this explains your IF problems? Hoping you can remain positive. Hang in there!

 
At 15 November, 2006 02:18, Blogger namaste said...

Wow. I went out of town for a few days and you had so much going on! I'm so sorry that this is how your first IVF turned out... I'm a little annoyed that they didn't catch it sooner and do the ICSI, but I don't know if that's even possible. I'm so sorry that this is how it ended, even if it did provide some insight into what was not happening before.

Many many hugs to you.

xo

 
At 15 November, 2006 07:29, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh gosh, I am so, so sorry. Hopefully ICSI is the answer for you and you'll get it on the next try. I'm sure it's just devastating.

 
At 15 November, 2006 12:51, Blogger ms. c said...

Lot, I'm just reading your news now. I'm so sorry that the cycle ended this way. My heart fell when I read your post.
As everyone else is saying: you are definately not "done".
The oscilating between positive and negative is tough. We are here to support you!

 
At 15 November, 2006 23:04, Blogger luolin said...

I am so sorry you had such a disappointment. I hope you are able to have a better cycle with the ICSI soon.

 
At 15 November, 2006 23:09, Blogger fisher queen said...

Oy. Sorry I missed you on Monday. What terrible news. But, in a weird way- maybe good news? Here's hoping it was ICSI that you needed all along.

 
At 15 November, 2006 23:13, Blogger A.M.S. said...

Ok, so a lesson learned. That's the good part. You've identified an issue and have a plan for dealing with it. Focus on that. Everything is three steps forward, two steps back, but eventually, WE WILL GET THERE!

Still, I know how sucky it is to have one more go all wahoonie-shaped on you. Lots of love...

 
At 16 November, 2006 02:36, Blogger Lara said...

Oh Lut! What a shame, but you know? Maybe this is your ONLY problem. Maybe ICSI will fix things and then you'll have an easy time of getting a BFP!! This is my hope for you!! :)

 
At 16 November, 2006 05:31, Anonymous Manuela said...

Oh, Lut... regardless if you have many more chances for things to work out... it doesn't mean that this moment... right now... is any less painful.

I'm so sorry, honey... so sorry.

 
At 16 November, 2006 15:08, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, you are not done yet, nor are you foolish for wanting to try again. I'm so so sorry this happened to you. Do you read Mellie at Why Not Us? A similar thing happened to her during her first cycle.

Hoping for you and thinking of you.
-Larisa

 
At 16 November, 2006 21:20, Blogger M said...

I'm sorry Lut. I've been reading, and not commenting, but I've been thinking about you.
ICSI is a wonderful thing. I'm actually kinda shocked that more doctors don't automatically do it. Don't give up hope.

 
At 17 November, 2006 03:54, Blogger Becky said...

I just got back online---OH MI GD!!!!

I feel so horrible for you and I am glad this is not the end of the road, but still...my heart goes out to you and your DH. My clinic immediately added ICSI to our tx before we even started with this IVF, our first. For a couple thousand dollars extra, it's worth it.

I hope that this is the only hitch and your next shot, however you plan it, goes smoothly.

 
At 17 November, 2006 05:19, Anonymous Jys said...

Lut, I've been so late catching up with everyone, and I just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear this and can understand the shock and the pain :( :( :( :(
If it is any consolation, at the very least, you HAVE found the problem, which means that when you do ICSI, you will not have anything else in your way. I have heard of zero fertilization rates several times and EVERY time they were very much overcome with ICSI.
I had asked my own RE about it before our ER, as in what happens if none fertilize, and he said the same thing - that ICSI fixes that.
Please don't dispair. I know this was brutal, but next time around you will know EXACTLY what to do - and you are WAY too far yet from thinking about donor gamates. You will have a STELLAR cycle as soon as you are ready.
Please take care of yourself. This is NOT finished yet, and you will have your happy ending, one way or another.

 
At 17 November, 2006 21:44, Blogger projgen said...

Lut, I'm so sorry - I'm a little late catching up here - you must have been stunned to have no embryos. I can't even imagine that.

The good news is, if you're in the mood to hear good news, look at how many eggs you got! Those little ovaries produced for you, and now the doc knows icsi is the way.

Big big hugs, Lut. Definitely not done yet.

 
At 17 November, 2006 23:57, Blogger Mary Ellen and Steve said...

Oh my goodness Lut. I am just catching up. I am so sorry about this cycle. Sending you a hug.

 

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