Hmmm. Not sure why I have the doldrums this Christmas season. I feel a bit like I did before I had the kids. That vague (and sometimes not so vague) feeling that something is missing. Infertility "stuff" seems to be weighing heavily on me these days. A very close friend of mine at work is undergoing fertility treatments. Ironic, as it was she just a few years ago that I leaned on so heavily during my cycles.
She has undiagnosed infertility. Her eggs look great. Her husband's sperm are of rockstar status. It just never has seemed to happen for her. She and her husband had timed intercourse, the whole bit. But no pregnancies after a year of concerted trying.
She was eligible for IVF, so she and her husband decided to go for it. I think after seeing all that I went through, she was ready to pull out all of the stops. She stimulated well: 10 eggs and 8 fertilized. Excellent quality. She and her husband have been going back and forth as to whether to transfer two or one embryos. Her husband decidedly does not want twins and she felt that twins would be too much to handle without a greater support system (all of her family lives in India). On transfer day, the transfer doc told them they would be transferring 2 embies, "as per the protocol" for someone her age. She questioned the doc about the chances of having twins and got an interesting reply: He asked her if it was going to be harder to have twins or to get a negative pregnancy result. She and her husband talked about it and decided that the possibility of raising twins would be harder. A negative would not be as bad. They transferred one and she eagerly (and nervously) pushed through her 2ww. I saw her ups and downs. Her good days (sometimes hours) and bad days (hours).
Two days before her beta, I saw her at work. Withdrawn, face sunken. I asked if something was wrong. She said that she thought that she had started her period (our clinic tests betas rather late on dpo17 or so). I was sure she hadn't. Maybe implantation bleeding?, I suggested. She called her nurse and had the beta moved up by a day.
The next morning I saw her at work. This time it looked as though she hadn't slept. Her eyes were puffy. Face swollen. Hair pulled back in a ponytail. "Have you gone in for a test", I asked. "Yes" she replied. She was waiting on the results. The nurse called her that afternoon. Negative. She sobbed. I suggested that she go home and try to get some rest, which she did.
What a horrible, horrible thing IF does to us. This woman is a pillar of strength. I admire the hell out of her. Watching her crumble under the pain and anguish of IF is heartbreaking.
Ironically, watching what she has been going through has given me a bit of a new perspective about my job performance over the previous 3 years (when I was undergoing IF treatment). I wonder, if this strong, capable woman wasn't impervious to the pain of IF and have it affect her work, then perhaps it is OK that it affected mine as well.
Now, with the approach of the holidays, she is waiting for her cycle to be reviewed by the clinic. They meet every Wed to discuss the previous cycles. They also have a backlog, so has taken a few weeks for them to get to her. This will be week #3 after her failed cycle. No word yet on what the clinic recommends.
She told me yesterday that she now has a different answer to the transfer doctor's question of whether it would be worse to get a negative results or to face the possibility of twin. "A negative," she said, "a negative is much worse."
I am thinking of all of you that are still cycling and still hoping. I am hoping with you