Fertility treatments, Love, Pregnancy, Wonderboy

Bigger Than Us

Things have changed. Change is so hard to see, though. When it’s here, you’re already used to it.

I want to give you an example. I found this on my computer. I had written it before starting on the IVF extreme adventure, before I knew any of this.

He’s worried…

That we will have a child

That it’s forever

That he’ll end up losing (some part of) me

That it’ll be terrible for him

That he won’t learn to love the child

That the child won’t learn to love him

That I will gain weight when pregnant and stay that way

That our sex life will suffer (oh boooy, like it hasn’t already)

That we won’t have time for anything fun anymore

That I will change into The Mom

I’m worried…

That the procedures won’t help

That my feelings and pain will go unheard

That we will NOT have a child. Ever.

That I will grow tired, exhausted, stop believing

Of needles. I’m scared of needles. There. I said it!

I can say now, for certain, what Wonderboy’s biggest fear is. It’s not any of the above. It’s losing me.

Whenever we face a setback in the battle against infertility, he gets scared. But he’s scared of a different thing I am. I’m scared that we can’t have a child. He’s scared that we can’t have a child… and then I’ll leave him.

He has voiced it many times in the past. When we got the news on Wednesday, the devastating news that none of my eggs had been fertilized even with the latest and most advanced medical techniques western medicine has been able to produce, he knew enough to suspect that the fault was all his. His sample had been poor. My eggs had been perfect.

This could be true of course. We can’t know for certain, though. It could be my body’s antibodies which attack his sperm. You can’t see those, even through the microscope. But for now, seems that the ball is in his court. When he got home, after cancelling all of his plans and lessons for the night by way of lying he’s sick, he hugged my for a long time and then he said,

I don’t even have a chromosome. Not even one!

It was a joke, but it was also his biggest fear. What if he has Klinefelter’s syndrome? There’s no cure for that.

I laughed and hugged him, and I don’t even remember what I said. Probably something along the lines of us both not having any chromosomes at all. It’s still possible, although my six perfect eggs would seem to suggest that I am in fact fertile. There would’ve probably been some kind of abnormalities in the shape, ripeness, size or cell intactness (is that a word?), if the problem was in my eggs. It was such a huge relief for me. They got out so many perfect eggs from me. It seemed that finally things were going to be alright, because the poor quality of the sperm should’ve been treated with the ICSI procedure.

And then it wasn’t.

I was so fortunate that I got to speak with our wonderful midwife/nurse from the hospital. She assured me that even some chromosome problems can be solved by way of testing the embryos and only using the healthy ones. She also said that it’s not very probable, even considering our zero result IVF ICSI, that we would have a chromosome problem.

These things do happen, and sometimes there’s just no reason for it that we can find. The second run could go without any trouble at all. We just have to try and see, she said.

The clinic doctor did comment that I should be tested for the coeliac disease (allergy for wheats, in the short and scientifically spesific terms), because that has a tendency to cause “Recurrent miscarriage and unexplained infertility”. But I was already tested for that in the Spring, because I had a hunch I am indeed allergic to wheats. And the things is, I’ve been keeping to a strict coeliac diet almost 6 months now, because that’s what the infertility doctor recommended. Sometimes the tests only show the allergy after you’ve been suffering from it for years, so I could very well have it, even if the tests don’t show any autoimmune bodies in my blood.

I don’t know how long the autoimmune disease could affect my fertility, if I’m on a right kind of a diet, but certainly not forever, right? It does seem probable considering all of my five early miscarriages that there might be some kind of a decreased maternal immune tolerance towards the fetus. That would explain a lot, and also more importantly, it can be fixed.

So, it all comes back to Wonderboy. And you know what he confessed to me, when we had been cuddling on the bed and the worst of my crying was over?

I already though how awkward it was gonna be, if me met at a bar somewhere. After we’d broken up.

It might sound really bad to you, I don’t know. But this is very like Wonderboy. It seems to always be his biggest and first fear that this will be the end of us. I guess this just was the first time that I wasn’t worried about it at all. I was actually very upbeat all things considered.

Why would we break up? I asked him. And then I asked him The Question again. I did give a bit of a back story to it by describing how I would feel, if we had to resort to my little sister’s eggs, which she has bravely and lovingly promised to us, if things don’t go as we hope. It’s not ideal, but we do share the same genes. We even laughed with my little sister, that then we could get the best genes of our grandparents and named the awful one, my dad’s mother, who’s kind of an asshole a lot of times. I asked Wonderboy does he still feel totally against donor sperm. And he answered no, no I’m not against it.

Why would we ever break up then? I ask and hug and kiss him. Then we will have a baby, one day.

**

Finally being on the IVF treatment – the real treatment that shows him that this is serious – has made him change so much. He now sees, how it isn’t in my head or in my body. It’s visible to him and understandable. We are injecting medicine to me. I was in an evasive operation. There were doctors and biologists handling our sperm and eggs. When that doesn’t work, it doesn’t leave you a lot of room to deny the fact that you are infertile.

He was sad about the results. He was sad about the results of his sperm and about the results of the procedure. He had to face, I think for the first time, that it could be his fault, and it could be forever like this.

I have tackled those feelings for almost a year and a half now. I’m way past not considering donor eggs or sperm. But it still isn’t my first choice. I want to see this through. I need to see, if we can make it. Us.

But it occured to me for the first time that it’s not only him who has to give up on being a biological father. I have to give up seeing him in our children too, if it comes to that. I’m not saying this, because I suspect the fault’s in him. I’m saying this, because if we were to use my sister’s eggs, it could be possible that they would have our father’s eyes – the same eyes I have, or our grand grandmother’s stature – the same I have. But if we use donor sperm, it will have nothing to do with Wonderboy. In either case Wondeboy could see me in the child. That is amazing. An amazing thought. Because he loves me and he has always said how he would want our children to look like me. He would still get to have that. He would recognice my big and dashing smile, or my low forehead or my hazel eyes. How could he not love that child?

It seems that there’s nothing wrong with my womb, and the progesterone deficiency I seem to have is actually easily fixed with these capsules I still have to take to make sure I get a normal cycle again. (And heal, thanks for pointing that out Jnakabb!)

**

It’s been so hard since Wednesday, but I’m beginning to feel better. Most of it is perhaps, because Wonderboy was just so wonderful with the news. He cancelled all of his plans and came home. He was sad too, but not as devastated as me. He still believes we’ll be able to do it. He got me to smile and to laugh. We got all hopeful and loving again, together. We are so good to each other, it doesn’t matter what we face.

That’s actually what my little sister said on the phone, when se heard. Why do people who have the best and loving relationship ever not get to have a child? It’s CRAZY!

I totally agree with her. 😉

The next step, according to our nurse, is that they’ll take the chromosome tests out of our blood (and they especially want to see about the (male) Y chromosome on Wonderboy) and they’ll also test for antibodies that I might be producing to attack the sperm and keep it out. That will probably be next week, already. The results will be in once again only after 2-3 weeks, but at this point I feel that I need the time in between. I’m still on sick leave and I can’t really even walk fast because of my ovaries hurting so much, so I’m not in any hurry to be back on the operating table. Although the Diapam high was quite a laugh, afterwards.

I actually remember that we talked with the infertility doctor about taking cortisone with the IVF cycle because of the possible coeliac condition, but somehow they forgot about it. We will probably go through the next cycle with cortisone to make sure that doesn’t affect anything.

I’m not sure, but I got the impression that none of the eggs even started dividing. The doctor said that the 6 eggs were all perfect (two weren’t mature so they threw them out). And they did the ICSI, so we know for certain that the sperm reached the ovum, so now we have to figure out why nothing still happened.

But the doctor and the nurse both said that it’s also possible that this just happens in some IVF cycles, and they can not find any reason for it. They said that even some people who have children from IVF can have a cycle like this. So it’s not as sure as I first thought that we’d have a chromosome problem.

I’m going to hear from the doctor today or next week about our blood tests and the next round, so I’m really focusing on the future now. There’s really not much else we can do. We can’t decide about the IVF cycle ourselves, but I believe the doctor might be willing to put me on a medically assisted cycle after this one being budged as Jnakabb has suggested to me personally. I’m not sure why she wanted to do the short one even when I had so few eggs, but it’s better now because I didn’t have to go through all the terrible side effects of putting down my own hormones before kicking them up again. Maybe she thought about that – that I’m prone to having terrible side effects from the hormones and wanted to spare me. That would’ve been the first.

Today when I woke up, I had gotten an SMS from Wonderboy. It said I love you so fucking much! Kisses! And good morning! This is what has changed. We are in this together, now. I feel so much more loved than I have felt ever, ever in my life. If this has taught us one thing, it’s taught us that sex is certainly not the only glue to keep love together. Sometimes love grows out of hardships. Sometimes it grows precisely because there can be no sex. There has to be something else.

What else could there be?

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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4 thoughts on “Bigger Than Us

  1. jnakabb says:

    I’m not sure how long they’ll want to wait between cycles, but you should have at least 3 months to recover from the battering your hormones and ovaries have already taken.

    The least they have to play with your system, the better able you are to cope with any pregnancies that ensue. I guess that’s why they wanted to try the minimum of interventions first (like a preference for IVF without ICSI).

    Rest well and make the most of your time with your partner.

  2. The least they have to play with your system, the better able you are to cope with any pregnancies that ensue. I guess that’s why they wanted to try the minimum of interventions first (like a preference for IVF without ICSI).

    And maybe also a preferance for the mild hormonal treatment?

    This actually makes a lot of sense. And I suspect that the fact that they did have to poke in in every way might have also played a part in the result. But we can’t know that yet.

    We’re supposed to start the second round early next year, if this doesn’t work, so I’m betting that’s when itll happen again. But as I said, I’m in no hurry to get back to the operating table. Still. Waiting sucks.

  3. I feel for you, it hurts to think about how much this meant to you, and how dissapointing it must be in this moment. But reading the last part of this entry, I feel so much hope for you guys. I have been telling myself lately, the line from Utopia, that this is the “best of all possible worlds.” In my version in my mind, it isn’t about things being perfect (there’s a lot going on that isn’t at all), but that in no other configuration of life could I be more able or readied to take on those challenges. I don’t need to spend time on what might have beens, none would make me happier, nor better me in any way. I am where I should be.

    Will continue thinking of you both often, and waiting to see what’s next. I hope, and think, it will be grand.

  4. That is such a wonderful thing to say, Practicing heterosexual. In a lot of ways I do feel blessed. It’s funny how sorrow actually makes me appreciate our love more. It makes me appreciate everything we have more. The sunshine when it happens to shine like now, my sisters, my work. Wonderboy. When something as big as this, as big as life, goes wrong, it kind of smears it in my face how everything else is also just a fluke and could be lost any time.

    Than you for your kind words and support.

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