Bad News. What Now?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2007
Bad News. What Now?
6
Sun, 04-29-2007 - 12:36pm

I am really struggling and need some advice or shared experiences to help me figure out what to do next.

I am 41 and have had two unsuccesful ivf cycles. Cycle #1 they couldn't reach my right ovary during ER, so they only got 8 eggs, 6 fertilized and 1 passed PGD, but BFN.

Cycle #2 they got to both ovaries, retrieved 13 eggs, 10 fertilized, but none passed PGD. We were devastated, but were really shocked when we met with our RE last week. He told us I have "much less" than a 5% chance of ever conceiving with my own eggs, mainly because of my age. He highly recommended an ED.

My husband has two grown children from his first marriage, so he wasn't into the ED idea. He said I already helped him raise two kids that were more his than mine, and he wants to be equal partners in creating our family. I think I agree, as I couldn't imagine using a SD if the problems were on his side.

My question is what to do next? I don't feel ready to give up. Should I give ivf one more try (our insurance has run out, so there is a financial decision too), should I try an alternative route like an herbalist or acupuncture, or is it time to give up ttc, and move to adoption?

I know first-hand thanks to my step kids that families are created many ways, but when do you know it is time to move on? I am so upset and confused. I could really use some words of wisdom. I want to keep fighting, but don't know if I am just in denial.

Thanks for listening,
BA

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2007
Sun, 04-29-2007 - 6:57pm

Hi BA,

I am 45 so you (at 41!) sound awfully young to me! I started doing IVF at the same age as you and had 3 failed IVFs and a handful of failed IUIs. The three times I've gotten pregnant (all in my 40s) were conceived naturally with no drugs or medical intervention. Unfortunately, they all ended in miscarriages. Knowing this, my doctor has recommended DE or adoption for DH and me and has said that I would have as good a chance getting pregnant on my own as I would with his assistance--unless we did the DE thing. DH doesn't want to go the donor egg route (he doesn't care that it would be a younger woman's eggs and not my genetics--he just doesn't want to risk me suffering another miscarriage). And I'm kind of ambivalent about DE at this point as well. We will most likely pursue adoption in a year or so.

I would recommend that you and DH talk about what you both want, what you both can (and CANNOT) live with, how much money you can spend on DE or adoption or what not, and take it from there. If you decide to continue with IVF or DE, I would have a "goal" in mind. Obviously, the goal is to get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby! What I mean is, how many times will you attempt this? In our head, we always knew that we would try IVF 3x. DH would've stopped sooner if that's what I wanted to do, but I knew that was something I had to do.

I will say that I would ask your doctor what your options are...are you having problems conceving because of ovulation problems (and is that something Clomid would help)? Would IUIs be a cheaper alternative (that might work for you)? And I also would recommend you and your DH trying the old fashioned ways by yourself! :-) My friend and her husband decided not to do IVF after going to see an RE and getting scared by what he had to say: that she would most likely not get pregnant without donor eggs and that if she did somehow manage to get pregnant, she would most likely have problems! At 43, she got pregnant for the first time and she delivered her baby when she was just shy of 44. He's PERFECT in every way and she had no complicatons during he pregnancy at all. She even gave me her expensive fertility monitor! She got pregnant before the even had a chance to use it. :-)

Good luck. I would say that if going for another round of IVF is something you feel strongly about--or if you really want to give DE a shot--tell your husband how you feel and why you want to pursue it. And then the two of you can decide together.

xxoo
Lois

  

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2007
Mon, 04-30-2007 - 11:06am

Thanks Lois. I am so sorry for everything you have been through. Just knowing that I am not alone makes it a little better. Your DH sounds like mine - he can't stand the thought of me being hurt again more than anything else.

From what my RE explained, my only problem was the quality of my eggs. I was ovulating fine, but he put me on pretty rigurous drugs to increase my chances. I was on clomid and follistim and ganorelix, with an hcg booster thrown in. The weird thing is i feel some weird sense on non-closure with the people at the clinic. When we got the bad news, we just walked out without speaking to anyone. (Actually I ran out before I started sobbing). I feel like I need to go say goodbye to them or something. Isn't that weird?

What I got out of your story and your friends is that I don't have to feel such a sense of urgency. I have been thinking that I needed to decide and start a course of action or a new cycle right away. Maybe what i really need is to take some time off and get all of these drugs out of my system and try and get as healthy as I can. And try to reclaim my sex life that has seemed to disappear in this fun process! Then make a decision with my DH.

I hope you and your DH come to a decision you are both happy with. One thing I am sure of is that once your baby is placed in your arms, however it came to you, that is the baby you are meant to have. I hope that when that time comes for you (and me), this nightmare will seem like a distant mamory.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2007
Mon, 04-30-2007 - 11:24am

You have a wonderful way of looking at things. I especially loved your last paragraph. Don't get me wrong--there are days where I'm not so sunny and I am almost stricken with a paralyzing panic attack (that's being WAY overly dramatic, and though I function fine, that's how I feel on the inside). After my friend got pregnant at 43, I was sooooooooooo hopeful that I would emulate her. When I got pregnant after I turned 44 last year, I was soooooooooooo happy thinking I'd be just like her. Then I miscarried at 17 weeks and got so sad and depressed. I'm such a control freak who wants to plan out everything, and unfortunately, having a baby is one of those things that I only have so much control over. I may be one of the lucky ones who defies odds and get pregnant again at 45. I'm not holding my breath about it but we'll try a few more months later.

BTW, my RE had me on all those drugs you were on (except for the Clomid) and boy, they do a number on you. Besides gaining weight, I was an emotional mess. I don't miss those drugs and injections AT ALL!

My RE said that if I want, his office would be happy to monitor me while DH and I are TTC naturally. That means that I can go to the office when I think I'm ovulating and get an ultrasound and bloodwork done to make sure my follicles are the right size, that I popped, etc. If I want a shot of Ovidrel to help boost the ovulation, that's an option as well. He knows we're not going to do IVF again and we won't be doing DE either, so he's not trying to drum up more business from me. He's encouraging us to consider adopting actually. He and my OB/GYN are working together to make sure that the bases are covered when it comes to me...just in case.

Honestly, I think for DH and me, adoption is the best option--and I won't miscarry again adopting! :-) But we're going to wait a year or so before we start the paper work and get that ball rolling.

GOOD LUCK!

xxoo
Lois

  

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2007
Mon, 04-30-2007 - 2:33pm

Trust me, I don;t always have such a healthy way of looking at things. I think it's sort of like mourning the death of a loved one (my Father died almost 14 years ago). Life goes on and you learn to function, but it is always simmering under the surface.

I had a good crying jag on Friday night - my poor DH. My sister-in-law is due with her 1st on May 9th. She had been walking on egg shells around me, which is considerate, but almost makes things worse. I sent her an email to tell her that even with everything we re going through, we are happy for them and can't wait to meet our new neice or nephew. Well, that opened the flood gates! I got a very long-winded email telling me all the details on how she was feeling, how they set up the nursery, how this might have been their last weekend as a twosome, etc. I ended up feeling really sorry for myself, but I guess I asked for it.

That is a great idea to have your RE continue to help you monitor your ovulation. I'll have to ask mine about that. That will solve mysense of seperation from the nurses! :)

You're right - those drugs and injection stunk! Someone told me it can take up to three months to get them out of your system. I gained a ton of weight in all the worst places! Now on top of everything else, I am starting weight watchers tomorrow. I figured at least with ww, you eat real food - I couldn't bear the thought of putting more chemicals in my body right now!

I think adoption sounds like the right road for us as well. I found a good site www.adoptuskids.com I looked around, but wasn't ready to send away for more info. I really like your plan of trying naturally, then maybe moving to adoption. It's nice to hear of other women who have successfuly gotten pregnant in their 40's. I know the odds are against us, but at least there is hope! I hope you have good luck and beat those odds at 45. As my DH said, "When did we get so old?" ;)

BA

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2006
Mon, 04-30-2007 - 4:28pm

Hi BA,


I just read the great convo you and Lois had.

Emily (Ada's maman since 3/14/04)

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2007
Mon, 04-30-2007 - 7:07pm

BA,

Emily brings up some great points. I'm scared of acupuncture but my friend did it and after 6 years of infertility, she had a baby with no problems. (Of course, she's about 10 years younger than me so she had different issues than age related things like I'm going through.)

I am sorry you're having to go through your SIL's joy (which is your sorrow, in many ways). I know you're happy for her, but it can be a bit much. All my friends who are pregnant are mindful of including me but don't give me a hard time if I can't attend their showers etc. They know I'm having a rough time, but that I'm super happy for them...

I know what you mean about going through "withdrawal"...I missed the nurses more than anything when I stopped doing IVFs and IUIs. Isn't that strange? :-)

xxoo
Lois

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