lucky, or, it feels too easy

It’s the weird thing about infertility and loss isn’t it, that no matter what we went through to get pregnant that it feels like it was too easy. That pretty soon it will be stolen away from us and we will have to fight more. Or maybe that’s just me on my journey, with TTC number one being such a shit show of starts and stops of treatments and in my third first trimester I finally, FINALLY got my take home baby. I remember this feeling so incredibly well when I got surprisingly pregnant with Leopold, getting pregnant on vacation was way too easy and this little miracle would be ripped from me just like the other two. Of course it would. There was more to come, more to fight, because that’s what I did. I fought for my babies and then I lost them, then I mourned the loss and then I pulled myself back up and fought some more.

Nothing about this round of TTC was anything like the first. Getting pregnant seems much more difficult as my 0/3 IUI cycles show vs. 2/3 last time (even though both were losses). But still, even after going through IVF with all the things I put into it: the daily shots and near-daily appointments, the meditations, the yoga, the acupuncture, the diet…it all yielded 4 mature eggs, 3 embryos, 1 which was transferred and is hopefully still growing and thriving in my uterus and the other frozen for later use, the other that never made it to the blastocyst stage. It seems too lucky, too easy. Of course I want to believe that this is it, but I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I’m reminded how skewed my view of the world of getting pregnant is often. I sat across the table from my 14 weeks pregnant friend talking to my other friend about her advice on how to get pregnant. She said it took them 2 months for baby number 2 and 1 month for baby number one and “just have sex every day, even if you don’t want to!”. OH!!!! Is that all it takes and then you get pregnant and 9 months later you pop out a baby and you can do it all over again whenever you like? Holy crap! I had no idea.

I emailed my doctor to figure out what we learned from the cycle. She quickly replied: “We can discuss more in person when you are in for your pregnancy scans, but I believe the issue is with your ovarian reserve as evidenced by your elevated FSH levels and low response to simulation. Age trumps all, so despite few eggs, so far so good!” It stings, it does, but I knew. It was the working theory all along despite good AMH levels, DOR. I knew when I got the call that we only had 4 mature eggs that my ovarian response was definitely sub-par. especially as I watched other women’s cycles unfold on twitter (20 retrieved! 15 mature! 15 retrieved, 14 mature!) and women a decade older than me with similar retrieval results and more mature eggs.

I knew it wasn’t good during the cycle, but I decided to focus on the fact that we had embryos. Then we had one perfect embryo and I focused on the odds of that blast working out  (I stared at this chart multiple times a day full of hope).

DOR is just so sad, I’ve known since I was 26 that my ovaries were losing eggs quickly, far more quickly than they should.  “You’re so young! you have time!” everyone says. But I don’t, really. I have some time, but not much and no way of knowing how rapidly my egg supply is declining. This IVF cycle could have so easily fallen the other way with such a low ovarian response (check out this graph) and it still can. It’s so early still, maybe 5.5 weeks and so far to go. I can easily imagine a miscarriage, and then an unsuccessful FET, subsequent IVF cycles that aren’t so lucky….but I’m trying not to let my mind go there. I have no reason to believe things are not going well in there with Stanley, so I have to  assume they are.

I know I am so incredibly lucky. Lucky to have married young and had a shot at kids at all, to have one child,  to have fertility coverage,and that I have Carlos, a supportive and understanding spouse. And beyond lucky that I am pregnant. Beyond lucky. I am afraid though that was all too easy and will be quickly taken away and I’ll have to start over.

About 26.5 hours until my first pregnancy scan. Please cross your fingers for us that all looks good tomorrow. I will spend the rest of today distracting myself by spending time with my boy and running errands. Once again, lucky. 🙂

Did you all feel that it was too easy when you finally got pregnant that it would surely be taken away? Or is this only because I’ve been through both IF and loss?

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11 thoughts on “lucky, or, it feels too easy

  1. I felt that way about #2 and honestly I think it’s a huge part of why I feel so disconnected right now. Sure we weren’t preventing, but we hadn’t really started trying and then we got this surprise. It felt like I didn’t work hard enough for it to actually be real and stick. I know people don’t like that phrase, working hard to get pregnant, but that’s how I felt.

    I think we just know way to much after dealing with IF of all the things that can go wrong and it robs us of enjoying so much of the journey. Oh how nice it must be to be fertile and not question one thing after seeing that positive. But at the same time, we can advocate for ourselves better, and I truly think IF has changed me for the better – a better person in general and a better mom for sure. So I don’t think I would change anything really.

    I’m glad you have a good grasp on all the things that you have right now, Carlos, Leopold, coverage, all the things you mentioned and can focus on those things over the next day until you get confirmation that Stanley is growing right on track!

  2. I think, if you’ve struggled and lost, you do feel that any success was too easily won. I think that is especially true aim this community where we see people endure unimaginable struggle and loss. But three failed IUIs and one successful IVF doesn’t sound easy to me.

    And DOR sucks. I was told that with my AHM level I’d be lucky if they retrieved even TWO eggs during an IVF cycle so I’d be incredibly lucky to get even one transferable embryo. How am I supposed to throw everything I have at that? There is just no way. I’m sorry you have to deal with DOR. It’s a really shitty hand to be dealt.

  3. I felt exactly the same way you do, but for different reasons. For me, it was primarily my age. I had 3 losses (all natural pregnancies) at 37 and then did 4 IUI’s with no success. So we moved on to IVF and I really thought I was going to have at least 3 runs at IVF before success and we were successful on the first one (with one frozen embie to boot!). The entire time I was pregnant, I felt that it was too easy and I worried. Fast forward 2 years later and one failed FET, we decided to try one more IVF (at 40yrs old) in hopes that it would work and would you believe it – it did! (with one in the freezer as well). So I now find myself 28 weeks pregnant and still feeling like it was too easy the second time around … but I’m very hopeful for my happy ending at the end of April.

    So a long way to say YES, I get where you’re coming from. All I can say is try to relish in the here and now and today, you are pregnant and it worked. I will be keeping everything crossed for you and can’t wait to read about your ultrasound results 🙂

  4. After 5 IUI’s, I was sure we were going to need to use the 3 IVF cycles covered by Babe’s insurance. I certainly wasn’t expecting for it to work, let alone on the first try. I had one confirmed loss and 2 suspected and a very complicated first-second trimester transition. I didn’t relax until I was nearly 35 weeks, and Raegan was born 2 weeks later. It seemed to easy, but I was never at ease. Now that we’ve had 1 confirmed failed FET and a suspected second, I count myself so lucky to have had it easy and got lucky on my first IVF with a SET. So yeah, I get it. I totally feel you! And I’m old and undiagnosed, but my age is the major factor. Our chances are limited from here on out…

    You have done an amazing job. It wasn’t easy, it was a hard fought battle for you. People not involved in the ALI world don’t jump through hoops of fire like you did to get your babies, even if Leo was conceived when you were “relaxing” you walked through fire to get to that vacation. I can’t wait to hear how things go tomorrow and I’ll be thinking of you until I hear!

  5. I felt lucky with our one-and-done FET, but not with our pregnancy with Matthew. Sure, I felt lucky to be pregnant with him, but did I think it was easy? Hell no! 2 fresh cycles and 1 FET is not easy – but just one FET for baby #2 SEEMS easy. But I have been reminded by many of you that even though it feels easy, the cumulative IF treatments to achieve both of my boys were NOT easy. You were very lucky with a one-and-done IVF, but let’s not forget the 3 IUI’s before that. And the year of trying before that. And the IUI’s, losses, and finally a surprise pregnancy before that. Lucky? Maybe. Probably yes. I think all of us in the ALI community are LUCKY to get pregnant when we do. But easy? Hell no!

  6. I felt and still feel completely lucky to have baby #2. We weren’t preventing but we were told the possibility of having another kid would be a stretch.

    I wish you the best. I think of you often and pray for a healthy pregnancy!

  7. Well, if we’re talking luck, I think anyone who has a child is pretty damn lucky. After being in this community for a few years you see how impossibly hard it can be – both through first-hand and through second-hand experiences. So when that one baby DOES decide to come and STICK around, then you think, wow, I’m lucky. (As are, I believe, the fertiles who get pregnant easily – lucky indeed is anyone who gets their desired baby.)

    Of the things you mention, besides Leopold of course, the one that sticks out to me is Carlos. He’s a good one and it’s clear he supports you completely.

    And of course your experiences to get and keep #1 and now to #2, both of which were drawn-out processes and emotionally taxing for differing reasons, shape the way you view luck and its frivolity. But I think your luck is changing, just like it did 2.5 years ago when you got your surprise boy. And I hope this one, too, is here to stay. I’m thinking of you this morning.

  8. Too easy? Hardly! Lucky? Yes, because like No Baby Ruth said, anyone who has a child is lucky. Well-deserved? Absolutely. Girl, you deserve this to be as easy as possible, and even then, IVF is by no means easy, especially when you think of those who get pregnant in their first month of ever trying naturally. You deserve this next baby so much, just as you did with Leopold. Hoping this is a long, wonderful, healthy pregnancy until you get to introduce Stanley into this world in 9 months’ time!

  9. Wow, so those friends are what people mean when they say, “Have fun trying.” I’m glad you’re feeling lucky. Definitely, you have things to feel lucky about. But it hasn’t been easy for you and you’re entitled to feelings about that too. So glad to see on Twitter that your ultrasound was positive and this pregnancy is moving smoothly!

  10. Thanks for this post. I can really identify with much of what you said. Sorry your friends have been a bit insensitive. Ouch. That’s always tough.

    We’re on our first cycle since having our daughter a little over a year ago, so I’m really curious to see how I handle the pregnancy tests this time around. Negative or positive – it sounds weird, but – I’m curious to see how I process it. I feel a lot more confident about getting pregnant now that I’ve had a healthy baby but I’ve also had two losses, so I’m sure I’ll be nervous about losing our next baby.

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