It’s official: 2013 is the worst year of my life.
Yesterday was my first day at a new job–the first time I ever got non-freelance work as a graphic designer, something I’ve worked hard at the last two years. I got the call from my agency on Monday: a 3-month gig, possibly temp-to-perm. I paused before accepting: how would I juggle a new job and the demands of an IVF protocol? I accepted, figuring IVF wouldn’t start for another month anyway. I could earn some much-needed money and quit due to medical reasons.
Unfortunately, it was also my last. I was leaving for the day at 2pm for our first IVF consultation. As I walked through the parking lot, I listened to a voicemail my uncle in L.A. left five minutes earlier, saying that my mum was trying to get in touch with me, and to please give him a call on his cell phone.
My grandmother had a massive stroke and is in a coma. Her brain is filled with blood and they’ve switched off life support. The defibrillator in her heart means her heart is beating strong, but she is brain dead. No one knows how long it will take for her to die, it could be today or in a week.
But it means I will be flying to London soon. And between that and IVF, DH and I decided the proper thing to do is to quit the temp-to-perm job. I made the call to the agency. I would rather sacrifice this one gig through them than my reputation. It was the right thing to do. An hour later, I met with Dr. D in our first IVF consultation.
The good news is that I really like him. He’s originally from Poland–maybe it’s a European connection we have, but I thought he was funny, warm, and really listened. He also didn’t push IVF, and thought the fact that I did conceive naturally (and quickly) meant IUI was a possibility too. He is also the only doctor to have taken my thyroid concerns seriously–to recap, in 2010 my TSH was 1.66; 9 weeks after my D&C it was borderline high at 4.6, which I always thought may have been higher when pregnant. I’ve always wondered if my stressed-out thyroid that caused my miscarriage–my TSH has been measured twice since and is around 2.68. Dr. D told me that whereas it is unlikely my thyroid caused my miscarriage, it is a fact that miscarriages seem to happen more for women whose thyroid acts up in pregnancy. He believes a TSH level of under 2.5 is best, so I would need to take a low dose of thyroid hormones when I get pregnant. He has also recommended I take baby aspirin daily as this helps with blood flow to the uterus and ovaries.
The bad news is that I still only have a total of six antral follicles. I am 35, but my ovaries are 40 years old. I definitely have DOR. He says I have a 3% chance of conceiving naturally in a given cycle; Clomid + IUI would give me a 7-8% chance; and IVF only a 30-40% chance, which is lower than the 50% chance most 35-year-olds have, and considerably lower than the 60-70% chance Dr. A said I’d have. Dr. D was quick to point out that his is a very conservative estimate of success.
Next steps are having blood tests for STDs (as required by the state of California), but also karyotyping and genetic testing for Fragile X, because my AMH is so very low. Then, on CD7-10, I have to have a hysterosonogram and an HSG: today I’m at 9dpo, which means IVF has to be postponed for a month because I will be in London.
Meanwhile, more pregnancy announcements, birth announcements, and first days of school. I am dying of misery. I hate that another woman’s happiness brings me so much pain. Miscarriage and infertility have changed me. I have become such an ugly person. I’m stuck on this ugly, lonely, suffocating shipwreck, and every week I watch, longingly, as others’ ships set sail with their precious cargo on board. As any woman who has previously had a miscarriage knows, that next BFP is only the first hurdle, fraught with its own unique fears. Getting a BFP is like weighing anchor–off to a good start, but a long voyage ahead.
You ladies know who you are. Forgive the radio silence.
Nine days past ovulation. I’m not getting my hopes up and fully expect to get my period Sunday or Monday. Fuck having hot and tingly nipples again. Fuck having higher temps again this morning. Three percent chance of conceiving naturally? The odds are so low of it happening once for me, I can’t believe it would happen twice or even three times.
I lie. Of course my hopes are up. I’ve never wanted something this much, worked at it, and failed again and again and again, knowing that not only do I not have the rest of my life to work at it, but I have less time than most women my age.
I am so despondent. And now that I am going to London, it will be hard to hide my new crazy diet, my many supplements from my mother and the rest of my family. I’m going to have to tell them, bracing myself for the I told you so‘s.
I also can’t stop thinking about how my grandmother’s imminent demise is timed with the possibility of new life.