Today brought me a couple of novel developments. The first, some good advice from our grief counsellor. The second, my lab results from last week’s blood test after I finished the course of steroids (Prednisone) I was on for three weeks to calm my immune system after we detected crazy-high levels of Immunoglobulin E (IgE) after my FET became pregnancy loss #8.
Let’s start with the good stuff. The LP came with me to see our grief counsellor. He didn’t say much. That’s not unusual. I said a lot. And then I got asked the question I know others don’t want to be asked – when will you call it quits? – and while I had not anticipated her asking this today, I discovered I had an answer. The answer was, like so many things on my recurrent pregnancy loss journey, tripartite.
First, if we go through the immune and HLA-matching testing with Dr. Braverman next week (results will take 5-6 weeks) and the answer is we have very little likelihood of succeeding with any more pregnancies, despite an aggressive protocol, I will (a) admit defeat and let the current RE destroy our remaining two embryos; or (b) schedule a transfer with the current RE for those two embryos knowing they won’t survive in my body but accepting that my body is better burial ground than the toxic waste bin at the RE’s clinic.
Second, we will try another FET if the tests suggest a protocol we can manage financially and practically (meaning they won’t require me to take so much time off work I’ll never be able to repay the debt I’ve already incurred and the one I’ll be incurring by seeing this new doctor) and if any required monitoring to maintain pregnancy should we be so lucky is manageable (again, we can afford it and it can be done without me having to spend the first trimester in NY – not that I’d begrudge that but it might be tricky to get my firm’s insurer to consider that a qualifying condition for disability, be it under the short-term or long-term policy).
Third, if the protocol or the monitoring is not manageable, we go revert to the options under the first part of my three-prong response. Embryos die in a toxic waste bin or in my womb, I get a lot of therapy and maybe take a leave from work to pull my crap together, and it is game over.
I guess that wasn’t really all “good stuff”. Okay, that was not the good stuff. We’re getting to that.
Our grief counsellor encouraged me to continue connecting with Azulito and my intuition (I mentioned the acupuncturist’s advice and how it moved me to tears when I “saw” Azulito after we talked about me having things to learn before living child #2 arrives). She asked if I have ever written Azulito a letter. I have not and frankly I am a little surprised by this because (on our grief counsellor’s advice) I have written many letters to our lost babies over the years (my first letter was in 2011). I don’t know why it never occurred to me to write to Azulito. I have occasionally journalled questions to the Universe that were really aimed at our spirit baby, but that is not a letter addressed to the baby I believe we are meant to raise.
I will write this letter. Or maybe several letters. And maybe a poem or two. I have made much art inspired by Azulito. But I have not written a single letter. Now is the time. I will do so.
(In case you missed it, that was the “good stuff.”)
Another small bit of good stuff: my TSH is 0.92! Yay! That may be a little low, but it’s much better than 3.17 for trying to conceive (if we ever get back to that… it seems like a distant concept at this point).
And now for the ruin-my-day stuff: my IgE levels INCREASED! They were 940 and now, after all those steroids, they are 996. “Normal” is less than 120.
To make matters worse, this morning I awoke to a right eye that was sore, weeping, red and blurry from all of the congestion in it. My allergic conjunctivitis has returned with a vengeance only 4 days after my last dose of Prednisone.
To add insult to injury, I cannot get in to see my doctor until next Tuesday. The day before the LP and I leave for NY to see Dr. Braverman. And I have to be in court bringing an application right after my appointment so I cannot go for a bunch of tests until that evening, provided they don’t require fasting. If they do, I won’t be able to go until the weekend when we are back from NY.
Sigh. I am NOT happy about any of this. I am, however, very relieved that I listened to my gut and booked that trip to see Dr. Braverman and get all of our testing done rather than waiting until these results came back. And I am proud of myself for trusting my intuition and nixing the current RE’s plan to do another FET in August during what he assumed would be a period of “immune quiescence”. Apparently my immune system is not listening.
It has been too busy practicing its curveball.