Down

I’ve worked hard at not letting our TTC struggles have too much power over me.  I’ve tried to believe that, even if I can’t control the process, I can control how much I let it take over my life through changing how I think about it.  I keep trying to remember all of the good things about the life we have now and trying to let go of my expectations about the time-frame for baby #2 (while maintaining faith that we’ll get there someday).  But the last few days have been rough.  Some days it just sucks to be where we are and to not be able to make our dreams come true.  And I’m not sure how to make it suck any less.  I’ve been feeling really sad about how long this process is dragging on and how far we still seem to be from having a baby. I love our little family the way it is, but I have also been feeling that there’s a little spirit who is missing from it who ought to be here.

Part of this despair is probably related to the fact that we’ve reached the one-year-of-trying mark.  I know that we’ve only done 5 tries in that time (and that this is largely due to the fabulous trip to Italy that we were so lucky to have).  But the anniversary still feels significant.  It’s a year later and we’re still spinning our wheels and haven’t made any progress towards having a baby.

To add to my grumpiness, we just found out that Roo’s brother’s wife is pregnant.  This is their fourth for those of you keeping score.  And their oldest is not yet 7.  Maybe on another day I would have been hopeful that we’ll get pregnant soon and excited that our baby could have a cousin who is close in age, but that’s so not where I am right now.

In addition, when Roo and our doctor were discussing plans for what to do if this cycle doesn’t work, he made the first mention of the possibility of IVF.  It’s still a little ways off–and partially dependent on what he finds if he does another sonoHSG (which is our plan if this cycle doesn’t work).  I’m trying to see this as him responding to our despair and impatience by offering us an option that will significantly improve our odds.  But right now it feels like he’s giving up on us and saying that there’s no point in continuing with what we’re doing.  It also feels like his proposing IVF negates our current explanation that we’ve just had shitty luck so far, even though I know that’s not necessarily the case.

I’m excited about doing something different that might give us better odds, but I have no idea whether we could afford IVF.  Roo’s insurance has covered her for 6 IUIs, despite disclaimers about potentially not covering folks who are using donor sperm.  But I don’t know if they would do the same for IVF, or if the 6 IUIs we will have done so far would be enough for them to think IVF is a reasonable next step.  And the insurance coverage would make a huge difference.  It would cost about 3 times as much to do IVF with no insurance as it would to do it with.

As Roo reminds me, though, we are definitely not there yet.  We’re only a few days into this current IUI cycle so it may be jumping the gun to start worrying about IVF at this point.  But having a plan about what we’ll do if it doesn’t work helps me to get through each cycle, so it’s hard not knowing what that plan will be.

For those of you who have been down this road, when did you switch to IVF?  What factors influenced your decision?

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6 Comments

Filed under TTC #2, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Down

  1. First, I am so sorry you are in this place. I know just what you mean about a year being a fucking long time, even when it doesn’t mean 12 tries. There a definitely two sides to knowing for sure and certain that you won’t get knocked up knocking boots. On the one hand, at least there’s some chance it won’t ruinous sex life, but knowing that a cycle off means zero chance is HARD.

    I will try to dig up some old blog posts for you, but I was a fucking basket case about the move to ivf. Our doctor mentioned the possibility right off the bat (bad endometriosis, good insurance), suggesting that we do no more than 3-6 IUIs, given the probability of tube scarring and cysts interfering with egg pick-up. I was like, whatever, buddy. Maybe after 8 we’ll talk. And then we got to three tries (in a year), and I was just…done.

    I was very scared about ivf, both the process itself and what it would Mean if the big guns didn’t work, but actually, it was such a relief to be doing something with better odds, something that felt like Action! Instead of the same old hoping. Obviously, my attitude is colored by the fact that it did work for us, but this same set of feelings was reported to me by many women, including some it didn’t work for so I think it’s not all retrospect.

    If it were me in your shoes, the thing that would help me feel more settled right now is finding out what the real deal is with the insurance. Is it possible to figure out what they will or won’t cover, even if you aren’t ready to decide what to do?

    Sending love. This shit is really hard.

  2. tbean

    Like my friend Bionic, I want to echo that this stuff is really really hard and getting to the one-year mark of trying is so painful, regardless of if you’ve tried 3 or 13 times in that year. Marking an entire year off on the calendar in which you’ve been spinning your wheels, feeling like your life is on “hold” just sucks. It is normal to feel down and depressed about it, ttc is just all-consuming.

    We didn’t move to IVF until we were at the 2-year mark, after 15 BFNs. (Our journey was so meandering and involved so many dead-ends that never ended up being the answer for us). That said, most couples end up getting there sooner. For me, IVF was a bighugegigantic step and I didn’t want to get there until I felt like we were really at our last resort. But yeah, some people get there after 10 tries, or 5, or even 2. Heck, some couples START there.

    FWIW, I don’t think the doctor raising the specter of IVF means anything other than him being a medical professional who is going over all your different options. I get the sense that RE’s are really only interested in IVF and all the other procedures are just secondary for them. Doesn’t mean that you need to go there now. It sounds like you still have every reason to hope that the next couple of tries brings you the elusive positive and take-home baby. I’ve definitely seen many, many couples conceive on IUI 6, 7, 8, 9, or even 10 or 11.

    Good luck. We’re rooting for you.

  3. That’s definitely frustrating, and I’m sorry that IUI hasn’t been working out, yet.

    You seem to be using a clinic similar to ours, a big scary fertility clinic, and I think a “go big” attitude is part of the culture. They see probabilities and increased odds, not our actual bodies, wallets, lives. IVF was definitely mentioned at our first appointment, and I’m a healthy, decently young person with no indicators of infertility. Hopefully this cycle will work and you won’t need it!

  4. Yep, no matter the circumstances, the passage of a year (or six months, or three months, or ONE month) without progress is dispiriting. For me, there were days when I could see the long term prognosis and days when all I could see was the empty uterus. Any day involving some other person’s easy pregnancy tended to be the latter… You guys seem to be doing brilliantly at keeping your chins up, but I think very few couples manage not to let the TTC crap take over part of the time. The best piece of wisdom I got from the therapist I saw during our IF was “you’re going to be sad until this is resolved.” Then I stopped feeling like a failure for not being able to make myself un-sad.

    I echo what the others have said about your doctor bringing up IVF. Some people want BABY NOW! and will do whatever it takes to get there. There was no reason to think I wouldn’t conceive via IUI, but my RE and I both wanted to move to IVF because of the time factor. So there’s no message about Roo not being absolutely perfect in the reproductive department, I think it’s just a question of how much more IUIing you guys can take. Bionic is right–find out what the insurance deal is so you don’t have to waste time wondering about that angle. Anyhow, much sympathy to you both as you navigate this sea of depressing crap. I hope this IUI lands you on baby island!

  5. e10stix

    I agree with other posters, but since we never did get to IVF, I will say, that our “lucky” cycle with me was the one right before we were going to get serious about IVF. Something about having a plan, and a definite timeline was really important to me — and I think was what enabled me to relax enough to actually conceive. The same (hopefully) seems to be true for W. Maybe the threat of IVF will be enough to get Roo pregnant 😉

  6. I’ve spent the better part of a week trying to come up with something more meaningful to say that “totally there with you”. It’s not been a year since our first insemination, but it’s been about a year since we moved from Talking About a second baby to Doing Something (i.e. charting, to start with) About a second baby. A year ago we were nervous and excited. Now… not so much. Our year-of-actually-trying anniversary will be in February, which is also when Blanket would have been due, and gods help us all if I’m not pregnant again by then. I may well do something immanently reasonable, like get roaring drunk and set things on fire. Just a warning, y’all.

    But anyway. I agree with the previous comments about finding out about what kind of IVF coverage you have. At least then you’ll be able to factor it into your decision-making a little better, you know? And I don’t think it’s necessarily a indication that there’s anything wrong with Roo, just that IVF gives better odds, and you might be getting tired of the whole iui rigamarole. That’s kind of why we pushed for the drugs (not that they’ve helped so far, but…). I think that if we had all the time and all the sperm in the world, probably neither of us would worry so much about it. But since we don’t, it’s worth considering all one’s options, you know?

    Big hugs to you both, because this sucks. But I have to believe it will be worth it in the end, still.

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