Before I begin words cannot express my gratitude to all of you. the emails and posts checking in on me just filled me with hope during these weeks. I keep wanting to write, but honestly I just don't have much energy right now.
We had our fup meeting with the founder of our clinic. At the time I felt energized to cycle again. And in fact I still do. He was fully in support of us and provided us with some feedback of returning to a more simpler, yet old fashioned approach to IVF. Trust me I am game. If I had my way I would do IVF until every freakin egg was plucked from me. I will never be convinced that I do not have one good egg left, never. When IVF cycles fail, within about a week I am ready to stim again, its how I roll and it is not going to change.
But something has been lurking inside of me. My husband's age. He is 47. I know he doesnt always want to tell me but his age really bothers him. His father died when he was 7. He wants to be around for his child's life as long as possible. Although I beg him to tell me if he is ready to move on, he wont. He knows how committed I am to my own genetics and mostly how well I have taken care of myself. I never used the pill as I was fearful of damaging my fertility (what an f-in joke, huh). I also know that when we paid for a genetic consult, despite amazing SA numbers and normal karotyping, she warned us about his age. Diseases can be suppressed even with genetics and with paternal age they are finding more diseases are becoming apparent in children. I had read this but then hearing it on our consult this fall it made us both think. a lot.
Second, and not something I have shared. Last spring we had a consult with an RI. I wont name names, but he was not someone I would ever consider cycling with. We paid for immunology tests out of pocket. My husband and I were deemed to be genetic matches. This is crazy stuff that very few doctors believe in. It was the only day during this journey in which I stopped breathing. It was a devastating day. Worse than that day was to learn my only option was to try an experimental drug that provided no guarantee for me nor my future child. I made the decision instantly that I would not pursue that route. I make absolutely no judgement on anyone who chooses to use this path. I could not. I am fine with something happening to me, but not my child. no way. our other option was more simple; sperm donor. Immune issues are not resolved by egg donors, per most RI. Given our experience with this doctor we pursued down our own path. I won't lie I never regretted working with him, but I always remained uncertain if maybe he was right.
Here is what I do know. In 5 ivfs we have made outstanding embryos. Noteworthy embryos to the point that when I call various people at our clinic, they all reflect on the quality. Yes I know without pgd of cgh they might be abnormal, but lets face it these grading scales have existed for a long time and for a reason. In more than 2 ivf cycles I had the near highest rating. And barely a chemical. All of this and a perfect uterus with no issues. There just has to be something to this.
So my husband and I have made the difficult decision to pursue treatment with a sperm donor. I am married to the most amazing man. He has told me, from the start, that he is the father and has no doubt of his ability to attach to a child outside of his genetics. He wants to be a father and will do anything to get there. I am grieving deeply for what we cannot have. But am possibly comforted by us being too genetically similar, in our own way we were meant to be together. My emotional connection to this man goes above and beyond any words that I could find.
Our RE has supported us. We initially thought that we would do IVF with both his sperm and a donor. But at the end of the day money does not grow on trees. We have decided to puruse donor IUIs while we save for other next steps. At some point we might need an egg donor. Given this immune issue we would need and would be ok with using donors for both egg and sperm. I know, crazy shit. But if this theory is true and an egg donor with his sperm wont work then we will go with donors for both and give ourselves the best chance possible.
My current task is to focus on that we are no giving up, that we are moving forward. I have never ever given up on anything. And i have been through an outstanding amount of shit in my life. My RE tried to comfort me and say that they have run data and most of his clients give up after 2 or 3 times. I did 5 ivfs in 13 months. I had to look at him and just think " you have no clue how strong I am". It is going to take a tremendous amount of effort to not feel like a failure and that i am giving up. It is who I am and that is not going to change anytime soon. What I know is that I am going to fight this battle, at this point this is a personal war, until my body tells me not to. What I need right now is support. You ladies ge it. You are me. Fighters in the mist of what I can only reflect as one of life's cruelest of jokes. So I will be posting more over the next few weeks. Each day I get back to me, who I am and mostly the life I am so desperately trying to create. For now I am grateful for all that I have and mostly my mind and body which have sheltered me through this darkest of times and lead me to the light that is ahead.