* Author Topic: 2nd/3rd/4th full ICSI Cycle - Me 37: AMH/immune issues; DH: 5% normal morphology  (Read 14758 times)

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Offline MandyPandy

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6dp5dt

Hmmmmm... positivity is low today (well, nonexistent).  Woke up and have no symptoms - I feel absolutely normal.  To make things worse I had dream after dream that it hasn't worked and was crying in my sleep for hours (DH even commented on it this morning).  I did another HPT this morning and there is not the faintest whiff of a ghost of a shadow of a line - absolutely nothing and all the squinting and holding it up to the light, etc., didn't make a difference.  There is still nothing.

I'll feel pretty stupid if all the symptoms I've had are just wishful thinking but then I haven't had the major symptoms that I did last time - sore boobs, problems urinating, night sweats, insomnia, etc.  Realistically all I've had are uterine twinges and a bit of fatigue - both of which can be directly contributed to other things (EC/exhaustion through months of insomnia).

Anyway, I'm no longer hopeful at all.  In fact I would go so far as to say I'm 99% positive it hasn't worked.  I had a line on the HPT at this time during my last cycle and had the HCG tested on what would have been tomorrow.  It was only 27 then so on this cycle it is obviously less than half that that at this point... and if it does register at all now, it will be so low that it will probably end the same as last time.

Offline MandyPandy

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Oh dear... I've done it again.  I've let myself get caught up in it not working.  It's still early days and there is still the possibility that it has worked, I know... but my mind's gone into overdrive looking at a childless future.  I don't want to be that little old couple who lives next door with no family around for Christmas, who the neighbours take pity on and invite over with a sad look on their face while they whisper to each other: 'They were never able to have children'.  I don't want people to be asking where our grandchildren are only for us to have to say: 'Children never happened for us, never mind grandchildren...'. 

I also don't know what to do for friends anymore.  Everyone my age has kids so they all do family oriented things together.  We don't get invited to any of the gatherings as we don't have children or people feel bad and don't invite us as they don't want to feel that they're rubbing our faces in it.  Even my SIL/BIL don't ask after us since they had their baby.  How do you meet people who will never have children, not through choice but after deciding to call it a day with treatment and move on with their lives?  People who I'll have something in common with?

I've said I'll do two more cycles plus the frosties and I will but I'm not sure what the point is.

I know I'm getting ahead of myself but these are the pictures going through my mind, especially with Penny's words still echoing in my ears, after all, if it doesn't work having thrown everything at it and with two absolutely perfect blasts, then realistically, what are the chances of it ever working? 

...and if it doesn't work, will it ever get better?  Will the pain ever go away?  Will I always live under the shadow of infertility?

...and now that things have resolved themselves with DH's swimmers, what if he decides at some stage down the road that he wants children and knows the only way is with someone else?  I would have to let him go - it just wouldn't be fair not to, but how would I cope?

At the moment, all I want to do is run away.  I was dreaming last night that once we make the decision to stop, DH and I could just sell our house and use the equity to go travelling around the world for a year after all, why would we need to save the money?  DH gets paid very well and once I qualify as a lawyer, so will I - we'll have more than enough money without children to be able to make up the shortfall at a later date - so why not enjoy the money now?  ...but then it's hardly surprising that at the moment, I have lots of fanciful visions of just leaving it all behind.  Come what may, if it doesn't work, I'm going to get home for a bit to spend time with my mum and dad and get some sun.

So I'm sitting here feeling very sorry for myself indeed.  I know it's not productive but it does get some of the grief and pain out from the last few months.  Whatever the case may be, I'm going to make sure I see a proper IF counsellor to help me deal with things a bit better from now on.

Offline MandyPandy

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7dp5dt

Still nothing on the hpt (FRER that picks up hcg of 20-25) so I'm taking this cycle as another bfn.  I'm now beginning to think that the last cycle was the only bfp I'll ever see, especially given what Penny said.

Anyway, DH and I have decided that I'm going to head home for a while.  It will give me the break I need and give me some time with mum and dad and my friends.  It's been over a year so I'm absolutely ready for it.  Flights are only 700 at the moment so it's not too bad, although the exchange rate is still rubbish.  I can get to the gym with my mum and they live in the hills so it will be amazing for walking.  I'm still up 5kg so I should be able to lose that in a month.  DH will then come and meet me in Singapore and we'll head to Malaysia and or Thailand for a couple of weeks.

Next cycle will be in June with Dr G. 

Offline MandyPandy

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 :'( :'( :'(

I think it's all finally catching up with me.  I can't stop crying.  I think the whole process is finally breaking me.  I've been strong for so long but now I just feel emotionally, mentally and physically incapable of taking any more.  I feel completely broken.

I've done everything I possibly can and it's still not enough and I just don't understand why.  :'(

IF has taken away so much.  It's taken away any newlywedded bliss I was supposed to have, it's taken so many friendships, it's taken family connections, it's taken my positive and optimistic outlook on life, it's taken the shine off life, it's taken away any joy or happiness out of my life - everything is tinged with sadness now, it's taken away my openness and honesty with people, it's taken away my outspoken nature, it's taken my confidence, my self belief and my sense of identity... and now it's taken my last vestiges of strength.  I'm left defeated - like an empty shell with no idea how to deal with life anymore.   Everything's an act, even to my DH - I don't want to burden other people with my pain so I just pretend I'm fine and I'm dealing with it all when really I'm not - I'm just bottling it all up because I have no idea how to get it all out and I know no-one else knows how to deal with it either and it just makes them nervous so I have to hide it all.

So what has it given me?  Repeated and vast amounts of inconsolable grief, isolation, alienation, heartache, pain, bewilderment, a repeated and ever increasing sense of failure in myself and my abilities.

I don't even feel like a woman anymore.  I don't feel physically attractive or even remotely sexy.  I just feel like an untreatable, useless lump of meat.  I feel so lost and alone with no idea of where to go from here never mind how to start. I'm just in so much pain and can't see a way back to happiness.

I don't understand how there can be so much wrong with me when I feel absolutely fine.  I'm utterly bewildered that my system can be so ^censored^ up and I still feel entirely normal.  I feel like I'm constantly fighting an uphill battle with an invisible enemy who is much bigger, stronger and much much meaner than me and who hates me with a vengeance... and no-one knows how to help me or even if they can help me.  I don't know which doctors to trust and which doctors are just trying to fleece me.  We've now spent nearly 50,000 on this whole sorry saga and are no better off.   

...and I just don't know what to do now.  I'm wondering whether it's actually worth undergoing any more treatment.  Penny said there is nothing more she can do to help me, so what now?  There's nothing left.  I've done everything and none of it's worked.  I've put myself through all manner of torture and it hasn't made the blindest bit of difference.

I can't help but wonder if we had the embryo quality from this cycle on the last cycle if it would have worked and not ended as it did - but I know it's impossible to know.

The pain is unbearable.  My heart feels like it's breaking and I just want to feel better now but I don't know how to.  :'(  I don't want my conversations to involve discussing medical procedures or hormone levels or embryo quality or sperm quality or immune investigations or any of the rest of it anymore.  I can't even remember a life before all of this.  What do normal people talk about?  All my life experiences from the last couple of years have revolved around this bull ^censored^ and I have nothing else to tell people about - and they're sick of hearing it so it leaves me with nothing to say, so I've just stopped seeing anyone outside of all of it... which leaves me sitting here in tears pouring my heart out online to god knows who.  :'(  I feel utterly, utterly pathetic and like a total social outcast.  I used to be the life and soul of the party - first up on the dancefloor and last to leave it.  I had hundreds of friends and went out all the time.  Now I just sit at home hermitting.  I don't want to go out and see people.  I just don't want to do anything anymore.

It's reached a point where I can't seem to remember why I'm doing it anymore - I'm just doing it because it's what I do now.  It's my life now.  I can't realistically envision having a baby or being a mother anymore so why am I still putting myself through it?  It's kind of like it's become a battle that I'm not prepared to lose but I've lost sight of what I'm fighting for and am just fighting for the sake of it.

Offline MandyPandy

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8dp5dt

...and still nothing on the HPT.  I'm going to go for a bHCG today just so I can draw a line under it all.  I want to go to the gym and make plans for my holiday and move past it - start to heal.

I'm also going to print off an application pack for Surrogacy UK and start enquiring into that.  I may also go to see a lawyer to see what the deal is with it all. 

Before I make any hard and fast decisions about next steps though, I'm going to take this well deserved break, get a suntan and have some fun with my friends and family.  It is exciting to think that this time next week I may be in Australia (I still need to ask mum and dad if it's ok with them. ;D ).

Offline MandyPandy

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Flights are now booked.  I'm heading home on Tuesday for some much needed TLC from my mum and dad.  I've just spoken to my best friend and she's absolutely thrilled and is already making plans.

I'll be there on my own until the 4th May when DH is flying halfway to meet me in Singapore.  We're then going to have some quality time together having fun travelling around Asia before heading back to the UK to consider further options.... my bags are still packed from Greece so I just need to slightly re-shuffle everything and I'm ready to go!   ;D

It feels like a weight has lifted, knowing I have something outside of all of this nonsense to look forward to. The weather over there is brilliant at the moment (a bit on the hot side but I'm sure I'll get used to it quickly).  Mum and I are going to go to the gym and do lots of walking.  She'll also keep me on the straight and narrow with my weight so I may even shift a few kilos while there (which would be no bad thing - I want to lose around 12 - 15kg before I even consider treatment again).

GAH!  Just panicked though... I have so much to do!  I need to get my legs waxed and my hair dyed and cut (it's almost all grey now from all the stress.  :( )... maybe a pedicure too!

Offline MandyPandy

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9dp5dt - OTD and it's a BFN, which of course I already knew.

I went for a nice long walk yesterday.  It was tough to stop myself from crying.  I kept walking past ladies who were pushing prams.  I wanted to tell them how lucky they were just to be able to do something as simple as that.  I wanted to just grab them and tell them not to take any of it for granted - not a single day.  I wanted to tell them that someone like me may never have the chance just to do that one simple thing - put my baby in a buggy and walk to the shops.  I want to tell people how lucky they are, to appreciate every single breath their child takes because for some of us who are fighting and losing, we may never know what that one breath is like.  We may never know the joy of seeing our babies look at us, of seeing their first smile, their first step... their first anything as our babies just don't, and may never, exist.  Of course I didn't say any of that - I just have to hope they know.

I just don't know if I have the strength to keep fighting anymore.  Hopefully my holiday and time away from it all will give me the space I need to find the answers.  I once said that I would stop with tx once the fear of continuing outweighs the fear of living with a childless future - and I think that point is rapidly approaching.  I don't know if I can take any more pain.  I want my life back.  I want to be fit and healthy again.  I want to lose weight and actually keep it off - not put it on again through emotional eating and all the drugs and not being able to exercise because of enlarged ovaries, etc.  I want to wear all my nice clothes instead of having to wear my old worn out clothes because they're the only ones that fit... but most of all I want to focus on something else.  I want something in my life other than IF and misery.  I don't know how long I have left on this earth and I don't want to waste what I do have by chasing after an unobtainable dream.  Of course it hurts like hell to realistically consider that I will never have a child but the alternative is to keep putting myself through this torture for something that is proving impossible to achieve. 

I just keep asking myself how on earth I got here.  How did I end up as someone I used to pity?   Someone who others tiptoe around and don't mention the 'c' word around (and I'm not talking about the swear word).  This is so far from the image I had of my life that I just can't work out what happened.  I've always been strong and outgoing, not someone that people pity.

Anyway, I think a lot of strength is the ability to know when you're beaten.  I think I'm nearly there and I'm sure my time away to stop and reflect on it all will let me know that for sure.

I'm going to focus on getting my weight down now anyway, and get back into some of those nice new clothes I was talking about earlier - to focus on losing weight for me, not for treatment.

Offline MandyPandy

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I also forgot to say that I'm not sure when I'll post in this diary again.  I'm hoping to avoid IF related stuff while on holiday so I guess I won't pick it up again until I come back to the UK.   Let's hope it will be when I have some answers and am a few kilos (or more!) lighter.

Offline MandyPandy

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I just wanted to post a quick comment about DE v OE as I've had some very warm and lovely suggestions from people to say that I should consider DE.

I have already fully considered it.  :) I did a lot of soul searching and came to terms with the fact that I may have to have donor but when I have asked about it I was told there's no point.

Unlike most people who consider DE, there is nothing at all wrong with my eggs and I have had perfect embryos/blast from them.  Therefore my problem does not lie with embryo quality, it lies with my body's ability to obtain and sustain a pregnancy (or more accurately, whether my immune system will allow it).  Unfortunately this means that whether the embryos are my own or donor, my body will kill them off in just the same way, so donor is not an answer for me.  I have therefore been told not to bother even thinking any further about it as if my body doesn't accept my own eggs/embryos, it's not going to accept anyone else's either.

This is why I'm now seriously considering surrogacy.  It's extremely painful to know that my body just will not ever allow me to get/stay pregnant - I have completely failed at the one thing that we're put on this earth to do. It makes a mockery of me getting my AF bang on time every month - regular as clockwork.  What's the ^censored^ point?  Each month is just a reminder of how my body has failed me.  Anyway, this is all obviously extremely difficult to come to terms with and is one of the reasons for going away - to do some soul searching, to find myself again and to heal.

Offline MandyPandy

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I haven't been on here for a while as I've been avoiding FF like the plague.  It's funny as it's supportive while you're going through it all but quickly becomes a place of torment when you're not.

I have been checking in every so often to see how ladies I have got to know along the way are getting on.  I see there have been some BFP's and some are still waiting.  I'm very pleased for those who have now made it and have my fingers crossed for those still trying to get there.  I haven't sent any personal messages to people because, as pleased as I am for everyone, I have really been struggling to cope with my own situation so I just haven't had any spare capacity.  I'm still not there yet.  I've had a really rough time after this last cycle - it completely broke me.

To make matters worse, the withdrawal from the steroids/drugs has been horrific.  I have had to fight tooth and nail every day just to try feel normal.  I'm still not there but it's a lot better than it was.  I suffered with depression, anxiety, fatigue, breathlessness, muscle loss and a whole host of other nasty things that I have since been working on.  My hair has also been falling out (and still is) by the handful and my face is still really fat compared to how it was before Christmas.  I now have extremely thin hair.  I've lost around nine tenths of it.  It used to be my crowning glory that everyone commented on and now it's wispy at best.  All of this is due to the prednisolone.

I've also spent the last 6 weeks trying to get my weight back to where it was before Christmas and am nearly there but my god it's been hard work.  Again, the steroids have prevented weight loss despite my exercising 6 times a week, walking for hours on end and eating only 1200 calories a day.  I first had to get fit again then build muscle again and I am now (just) starting to lose a bit of weight but my god it's been tortuous.

...and every day my struggle just reminds me how much I've been through. how much I've fought and how much I'm still fighting and suffering and that I am still no nearer to achieving my dream.  When I wash my hair and find it still coming out in clumps in my hands, when I cry and cry wondering when the torment will stop, I just ask myself if it's all worth it - but now I'm at the point that if I don't continue, all of this will have been for nothing.  Knowing how hard it is to get myself back to feeling like I did before Christmas though, I don't know if I ever want to go through it again.

I'm in Australia at the moment and will be for another few weeks before heading off to Southeast Asia with DH, which I'm really looking forward to.  I'm still soul searching on a way forward and haven't yet reached any conclusions but I think I'll do another cycle with Dr G in July then, if that doesn't work, I'll give the whole thing up as a bad job and move on to surrogacy/adoption as I want my body and my wellbeing back.  This is not supposed to be how people have babies - it should not involve such wanton self destruction.  I'm starting to worry about the long term effects of all the drugs.

If I do go ahead with Dr G in July, I'll just be keeping myself to myself and will merely update my diary without getting involved on any threads.  I've now been on here for so long and it's just become too hard to interact with people as one by one they achieve their dreams while I continue to suffer.  It's not just losing more and more hope as I see people go on their happy way to parenthood, it's also making then losing friends time and time again that adds insult to injury and I just can't do it anymore.  It hurts far too much and if I don't get involved then it doesn't affect me.  I know the effect of this will be complete isolation and I'll be cutting off the only support network I have but I don't know what else to do to protect myself as it all just gets too painful.

Anyway, that's basically where I'm at at the moment - not too much further along emotionally but at least I'm starting to physically heal, slowly but surely.  Of course I'll need to get my hair cut short as soon as I get back to the UK though, so it will be a constant reminder of the damage this has all done to me every time I look in the mirror but I don't have a choice - what hair I have left looks revolting long.

 

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