Mornings are hard/ Initial DE imaginings

Mornings are hard because they are so quiet, and I am usually recovering from some dream.

Also, my pajamas are usually soaked from night sweats (a phenomenon that makes little sense, as my FSH is low, hormones okay—even Dr. Schoolcraft is perplexed by it). And that reminds me of where I’m at biologically.

Last night, I dreamed of cats again. I used to have cats, when I was with my ex-husband and living in the country. They were baby replacements all the way, the most-loved cats in the universe. When he and I divorced, he moved to an artist co-op, where there was sunshine and a ton of room for the cats to run around. I also had developed an intense allergy to the cats that broke my heart and left me with red welts and eyes. It was clear who they should go with. They went, and my ex-husband reported their dispirit and confusion over not being with me. When I visited, they became very excited, but more confused when I left again. Since then, three of the cats have died. Since I parted with them, I’ve had countless dreams about losing them, putting them in danger, trying to rescue them from danger. I had one of those last night. An obvious metaphor.

I wake up thinking thoughts that don’t serve me, and then I try not to punish myself for thinking them. Ideas come: Turn on the radio, stretch, drink coffee, write. Nothing really seems all that great.

The past few mornings I started having these strange new thoughts, thoughts of us with a baby, or twins—but the imaginings have a more realistic flavor. I am envisioning myself with two high chairs, baby food, baby bottles, and baby paraphernalia all around. The sleeplessness, clutter, and stress.

Why are the fantasies more realistic? Is it because I know that if we go the donor egg route, we are more likely to make that fantasy a reality than ever before, and I’m allowing the grittier stuff in?

I think so. But it’s more than that.

When we fantasize about having a baby with our own eggs, we are also fantasizing a little about creating our genetic link to the future, making our uniqueness significant, loving the infant/little girl us, and loving ourselves in the way we wished we’d been loved by our parents. My parents loved me well, but there are wounds in anyone’s childhood. That is something I’ve been thinking about a lot—it’s not just wanting my kids to look like me and be endowed with my unique innate gifts; it’s wanting that opportunity to heal old wounds by giving the “baby me” what I wish I’d been given.

The past few days, I keep imagining myself as a little girl—me in a ponytail and tiny jean jacket, riding my bike with training wheels; me talking to the crabapples hanging in the crabapple tree; me feeling a sense of wonder as I walk in the snow, in the woods. The imaginings are wistful. They hurt a little. I want to protect her and give her strength.

I know that I can heal the past with a child that is not genetically related to me. It’s just that the yearning to have a child has taken the shape, in my mind, of a “baby me” my entire life. It will take more than five miscarriages, three IUIs, and one failed IVF to get used to this new shape. It will take effort and work.

And so, when I fantasize, that “baby me” part of the fantasy is missing. That sweetness I am used to. That particular fulfillment of an old, deep yearning in a particular way. What is left of the fantasy is a bit more colored by reality—sleeplessness and stress—-because it doesn’t have that other element. I’m not judging the change, just taking note of it.

Or I’ve been picturing myself pregnant. And not feeling euphoric. Feeling like I am hiding something. DH has said that he does not feel comfortable telling people about DE—unless I want to tell my family, and I let him know I’d be writing in here about it—because he wouldn’t want other people to know the biological origins of our kids before our kids themselves knew. That makes sense to me. But most important for him is he would not want his parents to know, ever. Because they would not approve, and he’s afraid of how they would be—toward us, and toward the child or children.

But I am also, now, allowing myself to imagine having three children. Even four! I don’t think we will actually decide to do that, but it is fun to go there, in my mind, for the first time in years and years and years. (I used to sometimes picture a big family but let got of that when I divorced at age 33.)

I have to also keep in mind, however, that DE is not 100% successful, and if we go that route, it might have a lot of its own unexpected and unwelcome surprises.



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  •© the unexpected trip,, 2012-2017.
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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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