I might be the last of me

My first post was so information-filled—I need to lay out the facts, but I don’t want to cling to them.

I want to write about yesterday, curled into a ball on my bed, in the bath, crying, hurting, feeling all of that loss that is stored in my body and mind. At least I don’t have as many PTSD symptoms (panic, insomnia, loss of appetite, nightmares) as I had after the second miscarriage and the horrors of Cytotec. At least this last loss happened early. At least I have a supportive, loving fiancé and good friends and my health. Yoga and acupuncture. An MSW degree on the way that will allow me to help others as a career. I have my dear friend R, who is also struggling with infertility, who picnicked with me in my neighborhood park a few days ago and helped me look at all the things I have gained through this experience: a serious yoga practice; the Buddhist Refuge Vows (my fiancé and I took them during a ceremony in the spring, right after the third loss); a love relationship with DH that has grown even stronger and more intimate; insight about my own mortality. And so on. A lot of things. Yes. I do feel that. Most of the time. Some of the time. But yesterday was a day when all I could feel was the loss.

What is it that I have lost? I have lost four pregnancies, and I may have lost my ability to give birth to our biological child. Am I hung up on biology? Am I attached to the idea of  carrying on my genes? Not exactly. But I do need time to process the very real possibility that, biologically speaking, I might be the last of me.

At the last Resolve support group meeting, we ventured into talking about the topic of our mortality, and the existential crisis infertility can pose for some of us. I believe that at the core of my longing to have a child is a desire to protect life, to pass on, to teach, to share. But I would be lying if I didn’t say that at the core of my  longing to have a child is also a desire to create life, coupled with a fear of my own death, a desire to not be the last of me,  a desire for my DNA to go on living, after my death, in another person whom I have nurtured and loved. I need to write much more about this. I need to understand it–before, perhaps, letting go of it altogether.

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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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