Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Myth: Secondary* IF? You have no reason to complain!

Busted!

The second round with IF is a tough place to be.
It has taken me quite some time to accept that, even though I should have know better.

That said, I am in a much better place now than I was before Linnea was born.
Those dark days of the first round were such a mess.

Does the second round hurt more because I know what I'm missing?
'More' is not how I would put it. How then? I've been mulling this
over for a while, and my conclusion is this:

The second round hurts in ways I couldn't imagine when I was still in
the first round.
(And mercifully so, because it would have been too much to bear).

Remember the movie 'a Space Oddyssey'? A mysterious black monolith
appears and it changes human life.

During the first round, my longing for a child was like that
mysterious black monolith.
A child I wanted, that much I knew. It meant being pregnant. I would
get to push a stroller and gaze lovingly down at the infant inside.
But beyond that, I drew a blank, mostly.

Making it to parenthood was marvelous. Open Sesame, I was finally let
into the treasure cave. I walk around inside with a basket, collecting
pearls, gems, and jewelry of intricate craftsmanship.

Other people wander through the cave, the fill a first basket, pick up
a second, third, ... and continue filling all of them.

I search high and low to find another basket, I move piles of rocks,
wade through pools, nothing. "Be grateful for what you have" - the
other couples pipe.

Finally, I spy a small basket and grab hold of it - only for it to
crumble to dust. "At least you have one" - the others chime.

Think of your friends still stuck in the shadow of that black monolith
- my conscience says.

Why not simply be happy with the basket I have - I keep asking,
urging, berating myself. Because no matter what I decide, the longing
remains.

The cave goes on and on, and with every step there are new delights
(but watch your step - there are pitfalls and debris to trip you up -
sheer terror!). Yet as the light sparkles in each finely cut
gem-stone, I can't help but think of what isn't.

So, for me personally, the second round hurts in ways I couldn't
imagine when I was still in the first round.


* Secondary IF: A couple/person who has had a child (or several)
without trouble but who experiences IF when TTC a second (third,
fourth, ...) child.
I'm going through primary IF a second time around.

This post is an international contribution to Resolve's U.S. National
Infertility Awareness Week®.
Some background on infertility: http://www.resolve.org/infertility101
About National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW):
http://www.resolve.org/takecharge.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Multiple choice

Choose one of the following
- Do another IVF cycle.
- Move on to donor egg.
- Move on to donor embryo.
- Give up on ART.

There is no right answer, and no wrong answer.

That summarizes our latest consult at Bigger Clinic rather neatly.
Again, I put the donor route on the table.

Compared with my talk with my local doc, it's a 'glass half full or
half empty' story.
The dr at Bigger Clinic is inclined towards optimism (the M/C is an
encouraging sign - implantation can happen), where my local doc was
more inclined towards pessimism (the M/C is a sign of an egg quality
problem).
Both doctors admitted they can't know which of the two it is for sure.

Emotionally, it's tough. I'm no closer to knowing whether the time has
come to call it quits. How many more times do I have put myself
through this to accept it's a lost cause?

Despair serves a purpose. How would I ever be ready to give up if I
felt exactly as hopeful now as when we first started? Given that we're
re-unexplained, should I go on until our money runs out? Surely not.

I have just about enough meds left to do one more fresh attempt. I'm
pretty sure we'll do that.

After that, who knows. I think I'll be more than ready to think about
setting in motion our alternative plans. Or not.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The meaning of life ...

... and other questions I don't know the answer to.

"How are you?" is one that leaves me stumped (and has for a while now).

'Good' is true, but far from the whole truth.
'Bad', yes, in part.

Bipolar? An answer with a punch, but shock value is not what I'm
after. Besides, I don't think those genuinely suffering from this
condition would appreciate it. Let's not forget I haven't the faintest
idea what this condition actually feels like for real.

Schizophrenic is out too.

Sweet & Bitter? Fits, but I can already imagine the puzzled look on
the faces of those asking.

I've been meaning to get back in touch with some people IRL, but
knowing I'll have to answer this question - in some detail - is
holding me back. Sharing sad news isn't something to look forward to,
not to mention that I fully expect to get the 'well, you have Linnea
reply'.

'Have' is not the right word, not in my mind. Yesterday, Linnea
slipped on some wet tiles and smacked onto her back, banging her head
(it seemed). I froze as I saw it happen, yet I was right over to pick
her up. She wailed, but other than a fright seems to have suffered no
injury (incredibly). If she had fallen a bit earlier on, she might
have landed very badly hitting her head or neck on a slight ridge ...
if, if, if ... and there's nothing I could have done. I can't bear to
think about it.