Friday, November 12, 2010

Off the beaten path-

My new cycle started, and I called my reproductive clinic. My doctor still only had about have the injectable medication we'd need saved up, and for a variety of reasons, we decided that this is the end of the road for now. We're going to take a new approach to things.

There are a lot of reasons we came to this conclusion. We're going broke throwing this kind of money at treatments each month, we haven't put any money into savings in awhile now. I'm sick of being poked, prodded, invaded; feeling like a failure when I fail to ovulate, when I fail to get pregnant, when I fail to stay pregnant. We're sick of feeling pressured into intimacy. We're sick of nothing ever working. Sick of responding to treatments one cycle, but not the next. Sick of never having answers. Sick of letting infertility make major life decisions for us, whether we leave a job or keep it, whether I start seriously working out or wait until after this cycle, whether we spend the money of other things like a car or clothing, or we give it another go. I'm sick of living in two week increments.

Continuing oral meds right now doesn't make sense. They work sometimes, and not others. I have to take double doses often, which makes my cycle very emotional when I fail to respond. And there's no guarantee they'll even work then. And they haven't been working, perfect timing, IUIs, everything lining up just right... nothing is working. While it seems like something to do in the meantime, it's still $500 a cycle if we add an IUI. It adds up... and while we're doing that, we can't save money for anything else.

An unmonitored cycle isn't something I want to do right now, I'd have to come in for a baseline still and that requires driving all the way out there and back- and that means the cycle would still cost about $100. And, I can't temp my basal body temperature effectively right now. Not working my shift like I am, I sleep at different times of the day, sometimes at night, sometimes during the day. I wouldn't know for sure if I ever ovulated, which means more blood work. More poking-prodding-invasiveness. More anxiety.

And doing any fertility treatment right now also means more steroids... which, I don't necessarily think it's good to stay on them for so long. I'm even wondering if they're part of the reason my blood pressure has been high lately... I know there are probably a lot of contributing factors, like my weight, insulin issues, I used to smoke, etc... but before being on the steroids my blood pressure had always been normal. With the same medical history, with the same weight, etc...

And then, emotionally, I'm just done. It's been 3 years and almost 8 months. We've spent 2 and a half years pursuing fertility treatments... that takes a toll on a person and a relationship. Some of it for the better, some of it for the worse. When we started trying to conceive, I was 22... I'm turning 26 in two months. Almost my entire early twenties spent trying to conceive, getting pregnant, and miscarrying repeatedly.

I'm not looking for suggestions, or advice, I'm just telling it like it is. This is where we are, and this is where we feel like we need to go next. That's not to say that in a few weeks, a few months, or a few years, that we won't feel differently. I'm not saying that we won't ever return to basic fertility treatments. I'm saying this is what we need to do for now, and this is what we're doing.

We're taking a break from trying to conceive a biological child, possibly indefinitely.

I will schedule a consult with my doctor in the next month just to touch base with her, talk about what she thinks our options are, whether she thinks donor embryos would be a good option for us, and I also need to ask her for some prescriptions for Provera and birth control pills... since I don't ovulate, I don't get periods, and as some of you know that increases my risk of endometrial cancer. I'd like to keep that risk to a minimum, so I need to stay up on taking medication to make me pseudo-normal. I think birth control pills might be a good idea, they'd keep my hormones and PCOS in check... and my PCOS has been running wild for awhile now.

We're going to refocus ourselves on embryo adoption. I'm going to start researching clinics in Ohio to see if any have an in-house program, other than my old clinic... who told me point blank I wouldn't qualify because I haven't done IVF or donor eggs. Don't get me started on that... I wish my current clinic had a program. But, I'm also going to email or call a few facilitating organizations for more information about how they operate. I actually have one organization in mind, and we feel pretty good about it... but I want to see what other options there are first before making a commitment.

While we research and save money for that, we're going to focus on our health, losing weight, and just enjoying life.

I'll still be blogging, although it might not be as frequent. But I know I can't stay away from this place for long, haha.

Much love to all my cheerleaders, all of your support has meant so much. I just want you all to know that.


LisaB said...

Wishing you all the luck in the world! I hope a break does you a lot of good. You deserve to rest and enjoy life. *hugs*

loribeth said...

(((HUGS))) Those all sound like good reasons for stopping or at least taking a break to me. I hope it helps!

kkasun said...

I am sorry. I hope you find the rght answer/path for you and your husband.
Enjoy life!

unaffected said...

Taking a break sounds like a great idea, especially since you've been so focused on TTC for so many years now.

Please update us every now and again :)

Negative Nelly said...

Don't go too far away! I'll miss you!! You can just blog about other stuff :P Thanks for all your encouragement through my crap. It's been awesome. We are also taking a break - along with 3 otehr blogs I read. Which is super funny that we're all doing at the same time. Must be in the air. Or maybe the holidays? Love to ya!!

Kristin said...

You know what, for the first time in ages, you sound relatively content. I know there are still tons of emotions involved but you sound more peaceful than you have in ages.

I hope and pray you have a smooth and peaceful path once you start pursuing parenthood again.

KC said...

You feelings are so understandable and I think people know their limits. I keep saying to my husband that my limit is just around the corner. I need to have a higher quality life that isn't revolving around temperatures, CM, cycle days and injections!
I wish you peace of mind in whatever path you choose!

Meng Kiat Janis said...

Oh, Stephanie... thank you for sharing so openly and bravely with us. My heart just breaks for you, for all you have to go through. I think taking a break is a very good idea, and wish only the very best for you, no matter what decision you next make. Big, big ((hugs))

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you really are ready for a break. I'm so glad you recognize that and are taking time for you and your husband. You are smart!
But stay in touch! Your blog is about YOU - and wherever you are in life, we still wanna know how you are!