Friday, April 8, 2011

Our Story: Part 3, The Dark Year

After a year full of failed IUIs, we had some serious conversations.  Apparently, our odds would go from 15% with the IUI round to 40% with an IVF round.  We had previously been uncertain about wanting to do something more invasive, particularly Bray, but faced with the prospect of no children, we were reconsidering.  After late night talks, lots of prayer, consulting with family and friends, we decided around the holidays to try a round of IVF.  That Christmas, surrounded by kids in the family, and a pregnant sister-in-law, was tough.  

I started meds at the beginning of 2008.  I continued to gain weight - partly from the medication and partly because of depression eating.  We planned a trip to the Hill Country, a long Valentine's Day weekend, for the day that we were set to get our IVF results.  I'd been on bed rest for a week after the procedure.  Three embryos were transferred and according to the doctor they were perfect.  We had a 60% shot.  Shortly before heading out of town, we got the call, I wasn't pregnant.  There was apparently some very small amount of the pregnancy hormone hCG (my hCG level was 2 - you have to be over 25 to be pregnant) which meant that they might have briefly attached, but I was not pregnant.  We were both crushed.  I was heartsick.  That trip ended up being a brilliant decision because the last thing we wanted to do was look around our big empty house and answer questions.  We called our parents, told them, and then just spent all weekend goofing off together and had fabulous time.  It still remains one of my favorite memories. 

Because there had been so many eggs, we had a number of frozen embryos which they could thaw for another transfer.  After recovering from the sadness of yet another negative pregnancy test, we settled on doing a transfer around the 4th of July so that I wouldn't have to take as much time off work.  (I was spending a week on bed rest after the transfers.)  Our embryos didn't thaw well.  The doctor said that happens to some couples.  They transferred four embryos in pretty pitiful shape and we were given optimistically a 20% chance.  A week later - another negative pregnancy test.  We were at the end of our rope.

I had gained almost forty pounds since my wedding day two years before.  I had never weighed this much in my life.  My girlfriend, who'd been going through the same thing, on about the same calendar, gave me the news that her frozen cycle had worked and she was pregnant with twins.  My sister in law had a new baby - her third.  Everyone I knew was pregnant.  I must have gotten a baby shower invitation every other week that summer.  I had to stop going.  Everything was painful.  I cried through the baby baptisms at the church.

We were going to stop.  I decided.  I had known too many couples that fertility treatments destroyed.  I had an amazing husband and a strong marriage and I wasn't going to let these efforts submarine the gift God had given me.  We'd be cool Aunt Gindi & Uncle Bray.  I joined Weight Watchers and started losing weight.  We would be okay.  And then we went for our closing appointment with our fertility doctor........

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