This is a question rolling around in my already-saturated mind lately. Do we take a break before our next natural frozen embryo transfer cycle or do we press on in either July or August and hope whatever experimental protocol we and the RE ultimately settle on works?
In case you’re wondering, I don’t count June as a break so much as my recovery and re-grounding month.
An online friend yesterday said she thinks I could use time to grieve and heal from the 6 pregnancy losses we have had in the past 16 months and suggested I consider waiting – up to a year – before doing another transfer. My response was “it’s either game on or game over”, in large part because I have been waiting since 2009, when we first started planning our trying-to-conceive journey, and although we had one blessed success story in early 2012 after our first two losses, I waited a year to try again after our living child’s birth and it’s now been almost 18 months of more waiting… and grieving… and waiting… and grieving.
Recently, my first acupuncturist, who is also a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCMD), announced she was returning to practice after an extended medical/maternity leave. I immediately signed up for an appointment on her first day back and emailed her my history, some of which she knew as she referred me to my current acupuncturist (who is not a TCMD but has been amazingly supportive, kind and giving) and has gotten occasional updates on my “progress.” Yesterday she (the TCMD) emailed asking me how much time I would be willing to give myself before undertaking another transfer.
Semantics matter. The question was not how long would I wait, but how much time would I give myself. My honest answer was “I do not know”, but I did say that if there was (in her professional opinion) a significantly greater likelihood of success if I waited beyond July or August as we originally intended, I would seriously consider it. I have not stopped thinking about her question. How much time will I give me? I don’t know. I would wait until this Fall. I would be unhappy about it, at least at first, but I would do it if she could convince me that it would give us a much better chance. I see her on June 14th, so we will see what happens.
Maybe the friend and TCMD are onto something? Not about the year – I won’t wait that long, it’s just not in my make up and I won’t consider it not because I think it’s bad advice per se but because I cannot live in limbo another 2 years (one to wait, one to gear up, cycle, possibly succeed, possibly have to try a second time, carry to term hopefully, and birth a second living child). But what about giving myself some time to restabilize and rebalance body, mind and spirit?
Part of my difficulty in waiting into 2015 to try again is that I have already turned down an opportunity to advance my career significantly this year expressly to jump on the IVF and then the DE IVF rollercoaster. There are big advantages for me and my family (more money, more freedom and fewer hours at work required with the promotion, for instance) and for this reason alone I don’t really want to keep putting it off. I also need to rely on others (some of whom already went out of their way earlier this year to support me in getting that promotion at the end of 2014). Then of course I spent so much time away from work since January, it is no longer a possiblity for this calendar year. I try not to think I’ve let any of my champions or sponsors down. None of them know why I’ve been away and my work performance has been far under any I’ve ever had in my career and I don’t work in a profession in which sharing what’s going on will do anything but damage my present and future career prospects. So mum’s the word. So to speak. (Ouch.)
Of course, the job is only one piece of it. There are so many other sacrifices, which many of you know well so I won’t dwell on them. The job is simply conspicuous, a tangible reminder that significant portions of my life are on hold and have been for the past 18 months (really the past 4 years because building our family became my number one priority in 2010 and the ranking of that priority has never changed, the energy and money required to keep pursuing the objective has simply continued to increase incrementally and sometimes exponentially). I cannot keep holding open my heart indefinately. I need to know there is an end to all of this so I can take my life back. Or make a new one. Whichever. I need to know I will have a whole life again within some foreseeable period of time, not an elusive “someday”.
For my own peace of mind, I need to know that there is an end to this rollercoaster ride. There must be a finish line and whether we cross as winners or losers in our attempts to have a second living child, I have a need to know that I will cross that line, this journey will then be over, I can find peace in and make peace with whatever outcome awaits on the other side of that line. I want and need this for me, for the LP, for our Miracle Toddler. In short, I need this for me and my family.
Today, I know this. I do not know how much time I will give myself yet. But the question is on my mind.