Saturday, February 4, 2012

Poker Face

In my dreams, this turned out differently. When I wake, I still have a few moments of forgetting that this cycle was a complete failure.

At work, I manage to keep busy. While I teach a lesson on long division, my sterile eggs aren't the first thing on my mind. But, then the kids go to recess, and I sit at my desk for a minute or two. At those times, I get waves of pain and sadness, feeling my eyes well up with tears. Luckily, it is never long before I hear someone coming down the hall, and I pull myself together, putting on my poker face.

However, my poker face isn't that great. Co-workers have noticed that something is off. I have been asked several times this week, "Are you okay?" I usually brush off the question with one excuse or another (I actually do have some sinus issues this week), but it gets exhausting.

Driving is also prime time for falling apart. Being the sap that I am, if the wrong song comes on the radio, I'm doomed.  Hell, Rhianna sent me over the edge this morning. What must other drivers think of me when they see me sobbing behind the wheel?

It just feels so surreal. I keep expecting the phone to ring and have the nurse on the other end of the line, scheduling my transfer. I keep trying to grasp what happened, and it isn't working. Instead I just feel lost, floating through my days.

The thing is, this was supposed to work. IVF was supposed to be the answer. At the beginning of our TTC journey, IVF seemed like the ultimate safety net. If all else failed, that was our solution. But, when the one thing that was supposed to work doesn’t, it brings up feelings that I haven't felt since my miscarriage.

I know, I know. It isn't the same thing. And really, I'm not saying it is. But, the feelings of injustice, betrayal, disappointment, and hopelessness are the same. Until August of 2010, I had never felt that kind of pain. It was a quick and excruciating kind of education. At least this time, I am more prepared. I learned some key things then that I am trying to remind myself of now:

1. Although tempting to stay in bed and re-live the horror over and over again, it is better to make the difficult decision to shower, get dressed, and leave my apartment.
2. Better to cry and get it out then to suppress the feelings, only to explode all over an unwitting target.
3. Put on my own oxygen mask first, before trying to help others. These are the times when I need to let people support me without worrying that I am somehow taking advantage of them.
4. Don't forget that His Royal Fabulousness is feeling all of these emotions too, even if he isn't as obvious about it. This can't be emphasized enough. Although KG has been a total rock star this week, I know that this has deeply hurt him, and he is going through his own grief too.

As we gather questions to bring to the RE next week, one main question outshines the others:  
What will make next time any different?

24 comments:

  1. I think icsi will make a difference, I really do. I'm thinking of you.

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  2. Thinking of you and sending you hugs!

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  3. Hoping you get some answers soon.

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  4. The pain is excruciating when you think you are finally are finally at the point that this will really happen and the rug is pulled out from under you. Just keep holding it together when you can and letting yourself fall apart when you can't.

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  5. I'm just so sorry that things have happened this way. I'm sure it all seems like a bad dream that you're waiting to wake up from. It's ok to ask that question, "What will make next time any different?" Don't be afraid to flat out ask your RE that. Sending you a big hug, we're crying with you. xoxo

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  6. We certainly are crying with you.... it's ok let down face when you need to. You're doing a great job. xoxo

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  7. I agree with you that IVF always seemed like a safety net to me. Also something that was waaaay in the future and hopefully something I wouldn't need. Now that I'm on the eve of my retrieval, I am fearful and know how many things can go wrong. Hubby and I just had a conversation about "what do we do if they get ZERO eggs?" He said "try again?" and I had to remind him that we would probably have to do a donor egg or adoption if they manage to get zero eggs.

    I wish I could make this easier on you. I do agree with Toni and others that ICSI will make a difference. But ask hard questions of your RE. Make them tell you what they'll do differently next time (although, it seems things were perfect until ... you got a lot of eggs and they were mature).

    xoxoxo

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  8. I answered your question on my wall...

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  9. I guess I would like to know if sperm actually made it into the eggs at all. If they didn't, then ICSI should help them break in through the shell. Maybe your eggs have a tough shell to penetrate. If the sperm did make it in and nothing occurred, then you would have a different set of questions. I am just leaning toward the first.

    I know how hard this must be. It's how I felt every cycle we tried and failed or the one IUI we decided to try. WHY didn't it work? It was supposed to work.

    I'm thinking of you daily and hope you are okay. I'm glad you are continuing to write. Good luck with your appointment next week.

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    1. I have the same question. It's on the list! :)

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  10. This is most certainly a loss. You walked out of the clinic with 23 eggs, thinking that the hard part was over and then, BAM, got hit with this news. Give yourself time to grieve and screw anyone who would dare to suggest you have nothing to grieve over.

    I too always thought that IVF would be the silver bullet. Granted, we know the stats, but still we believe that it's just a matter of getting through the procedure and we'll be able to bring home our baby. What most people don't tend to talk about is IVF's ability to be diagnostic. Despite the outcome, everyone involved learned something about what is going on. Which means that next time will be different: you'll do ICSI, you may modify your stimming protocol (you may not), etc. No matter what, this cycle was NOT a bust. I know first hand how hard it is not to feel that way, but the game is not over.

    Hang in there and I wish you all the best with your next appointment. It sounds like you're in good hands with your RE, so I'm hoping that he'll be able to answer all your questions and provide hope for the future.

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  11. Nothing but hugs for you. I am so sorry this roller coaster ride has been so rough, but rest assured that there will be another exciting hill to climb and that train WILL pull into the station.

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  12. Thinking of you always. I think that number 3 and 4 on your list are so important to remember. ::hugs::

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  13. I can understand what u r saying. I am yet to venture to IVF (partner refusing), but it is a big safety net for those who haven't done it. It is probably very naive. But we believe in what we do to get through and hold hope..

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  14. Its okay to mourn the loss of each failed cycle. I know I have. Every IUI was a potential. Just like this IVF was for you. I'm hopeful that if you choose to pursue this again that they will use ICSI and you'll be quite successful. For us, J and I, its the only thing that has worked.

    Wishing that I could give you a hug and let you cry on me for a while.

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  15. I hate that you need to do the poker face thing. IVF is supposed to be the "answer". I hate that it doesn't always work, what happened to the 60-70% success? I hate that you weren't even given a chance. I do think ICSI will be your answer too, but it isn't fair that you should have to go through the hard parts all over again, not to mention add another thing to your list of worries. Thinking of you. I am so sorry.

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  16. You are so brave for getting through this difficult time, going to work and keeping your chin up. I really really admire you for that.

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  17. Wish I could give you a big hug!!!!!!

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    1. I am late to the party, but I wanted to say that I'm so, so sorry. This just SUCKS and is incredibly unfair. I cannot imagine how hard this must be. I think you've received some good advice about ICSI and such, but you do deserve to grieve the loss of so much possibility.

      I always cry in the car about the IVF stuff, so I can totally relate to that. I also never knew what people meant by "so depressed that I couldn't get out of bed" until this stuff.

      If it's any help, take this moment by moment. At some point, it becomes hour by hour, then day by day.

      Thinking of you and sending you hugs and prayers.

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  18. So much of this post hit home for me... When we found out IVF #1 was a fail, I felt like I was grieving the loss of a child for quite a while. I can't possibly compare it to a miscarriage, but it certainly felt like a loss either way.

    I am so sorry you have go through this pain. I am so sorry you have to go through an "IVF #2" at all. I really hope ICSI is the answer to this awful problem and that things turn out much more successfully next time.

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  19. Oh hun, I just got caught up. I am so, so sorry you are going through this. I hope that you are able to get the answers you need and that ICSI works for you.

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  20. Oh, hon. I know this so well. Don't know if you remember that I got my negative blood test result for IVF #1 the day before my birthday, at work. I was trying not to sob at my desk and not doing so well. I wasn't out at the time (you know the sort of questions certain people would ask), so I couldn't explain it. I just went home a few hours early and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed and had the SADDEST birthday ever. I firmly believe that the first round of any ART doesn't count--like, it's a practice round to see how your body reacts to everything, what your cells are like. If first round works, GREAT. But if it doesn't, well, they'll fine-tune the next one (for those of us lucky enough to have the insurance coverage to afford it). ICSI is great, AH is great.

    My heart breaks for you--I hate hate hate hate having to seem normal at work or anywhere when you are crumbling inside. I'm just hugging you as hard as I can through the ether.

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