Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter!

"OMG, I found an egg!" 

"I'm not too sure about this..."

We took Joseph on his first Easter egg hunt on the weekend.  Last year he was too small to really do much at Easter, so this year was a lot of fun.  There were a whole bunch of activities to do at a nearby park, and as you can see he got to meet the Easter Bunny (he didn't think too much of that). 
Happy Easter!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

15 months

Joseph is a full blown toddler now!  But I still keep calling him my "baby".  His skills have exploded, I don't even think I can record them all here.  He has started doing so many things that he never did before, and each day he is adding on.  He says lots of words now:  "Baby!" being one of his favourites.  He points to pictures of himself and says "Baby", which is so cute.  He says "Moo!" when he sees a picture of a cow.  He points to his head and says "hat".  He can also say: "Nana" (for banana), "Hi!" (and waves his hand), "Hey!", "Yeah, yeah" (yes),  "Bye!" (and waves bye-bye), "No, no!" (and wags his finger back and forth, thanks to his Auntie for showing him this!), "Mama", "Dada", "up", "Baba" (for bottle-- this is another favourite word), and probably some more that I have forgotten.  He has been pointing at things with his index finger since 12 months.  We haven't gotten too far with sign language, but the pointing certainly helps him tell me what he wants.  He sometimes does the sign for "milk", and "more".  He is understanding more, and will sometimes follow directions, like "bring me that toy" or "show me your nose" (he points to his nose).  I speak to him in French, too, (I am a French teacher) and it is interesting that he can understand and follow directions in French, like "ou est ta tĂȘte?" (he will point to his head), but none of his spoken words are French.  Well, I guess "Mama" is somewhat bilingual, and "moo!" for the cow.  He says "Papa" too, so I guess that counts. 
He is able to run now, and loves climbing on the couch in particular.  I have to watch him closely, because he loses his balance and falls down from whatever perch he has clambered up to.  We have two couches, so his favourite thing is to run to one couch and start climbing, then when I go over to "spot" him so he doesn't fall, he climbs down and runs to the opposite couch to start again.  It is tiring keeping up with him!
He loves the park now, especially watching the other kids using the equipment.  He enjoys the slide and the swing, and playing with the sand.  At our park there is also a splash pad in the summer, but for now it is just empty and there are some little cars for the kids to play on, that have been brought and left there by people in the neighbourhood.  At certain times of the day the park is a real hub of activity. 
We are still working on getting him to eat a greater variety of foods.  If he could have his way, he would eat only toast and milk for every meal.  We went to the pediatrician today for his 15 month immunization.  I think it was the Chicken Pox vaccine this time.  He is otherwise healthy and long and lean for his age. 
He is very social, but has his moments of separation anxiety when I try to leave him with someone else even for a short time.  But he's pretty adaptable, so I'm sure when it comes time to put him in daycare he is going to be ok. 
He has 8 teeth that we can see.  I guess his next ones to come in are his molars.  No sign of them yet, but he is sometimes quite drooly/ fussy, so we think he is teething.
Overall, he is doing great, and we love him so much!  We call him our "little koala", because he loves to cuddle and fall asleep while clutching on to you, if he can.  "Jojo" is another nickname that has stuck, it was never our plan to call him that, but it suits him as a term of endearment.
Here are a few more pictures of our sweetie:

Friday, 4 April 2014

WTF appointment

They were able to fit me in really fast for an appointment to discuss in more detail what went wrong with this IVF, and what to do next.  They had a cancellation so they fit us in.  I feel better now, after the debriefing, and I feel ok with whatever outcome we may decide to pursue.  My head had been spinning for a while, because after focusing so long at hard at working towards one goal, which slipped away from me, now I'm not sure where I'm going and how to move forward.  Either embracing having our "one and only" Joseph, buckling down for one more IVF (she offered us a discount), or moving on to DE.  I have already been researching DE and have been looking at profiles at 2 different agencies.  I actually contacted all 3 agencies that she recommended, and they all got back to me with answers to my questions. 

Anyway, we are not sure what we are doing yet, but I feel calmer and at least I can breathe now, so that is an improvement.  I went ahead and booked myself an appointment for counseling that I am still entitled to under my benefits, for next week, so if I still feel somewhat miserable and depressed I will at least be able to get some relief then.  I can always cancel the appointment if I feel good next week, but I doubt I will not still be somewhat down.  I need to work through a lot of muddled thoughts, and make some decisions about new priorities after this failure.  Is it more important for Joseph to have a sibling, despite the high costs and unpredictable outcome of the treatments, or to save money for his future?  How much does it matter whether the sibling is a full genetic match to Joseph?  What are we going to do next?  What are other people going to think of our decisions, and does that matter?  I feel confused and in a fog about all this, and that depresses me.

One thing I do know is that now I will be turning my focus back to parenting Joseph, and I know that can only make me feel better. 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

It's all over

Thank you for the well wishes and sorry I couldn't get back to you sooner.  I only found out the final results at 6:11pm tonight when my doctor called me.  There is nothing to transfer.  Yesterday she told me that the 2 embryos that were not quite ready yet and they were observing before doing the biopsy ended up degenerating before they could test and freeze them.  Then the 2 embryos that they did biopsy on Monday (the 1BB fresh blast from this cycle, and the frozen embryo that had no signal last time they tested it so was going to be thawed and retested) BOTH came back abnormal.  The fresh one was missing a chromosome number 1, and the frozen one was missing a chromosome 16.  Not trisomies, but whatever. 

  I have been sick with worry all day today and already crying because I knew the results must be bad if they hadn't called me yet.  (Since the embryos were biopsied on Monday, the results should have been ready on Tuesday and here we are at Wednesday and the day is ticking on).

 She said at my age I need to have an average of 11 mature eggs retrieved to get one normal one, and I only retrieved 6, so it was not very likely.  For someone under 35 there needs to be 2 or 2.5 eggs retrieved to get one good one.

So my options are to try again, which she is willing to do, but it is a lot of money and low odds.  Or consider donor eggs, and she gave me a few leads on that.

 DH came home right after I hung up from her, and I couldn't even tell him, I just burst into tears, so he knew the answer of our results.  It's surprising that I had been having a calm conversation with the dr. just minutes before, because I couldn't get a word out for a little while.

 I have been so depressed this past week, I just can't continue on like this.  The thought of doing another cycle with my eggs makes me think I will go through this whole scenario again, just in a different month.  The other time when we got the negative (from the 2 "normal" eggs we put in and didn't stick) I think our rationale was that I am still able to produce normal eggs, and we were going to try a different "recipe" of IVF drugs to get better quality eggs.  This time there is nothing new to try, just the same recipe that got me 6 embryos, that degenerated down to one, and zero normal.  I guess it is possible that if we tried again and got 6 more embryos then I would have the "11 mature embryos" needed for a 41-42 year old to statistically get one normal.  If it weren't so friggin expensive I would do it.  But I just think of how much money it is.  Like this cycle I only got 1 that made it to test.  Does it make sense to spend $15,000 on ONE (abnormal!) embryo???????  I say no.  I believe I might have another good egg in there, but it will simply cost too much to get it out.  Like I guess this could fail several more times.  And mostly it is just a gut feeling that if I try it again it will not work, because of the outcome this time.  If the blast had tested normal this time and not stuck at transfer, then I think I would try again, following the same rationale that I was "still capable of producing good eggs".  But I just don't feel it.  My confidence is gone.  I feel really sad about it.  And mad.  I said to my doctor (without directly blaming her, although to be honest I am mad at her too) that maybe I should have made different decisions several years ago, when we were not so aggressive with treatments.  But she said that for many people those IUIs or whatever DO work, and save them thousands of dollars that were not needed.  Plus PGS was not even available at all when I started treatments, and it was extremely new when I did it for Joseph, and things keep improving but that is not really a help to me now. 

 Do you know that yesterday I saw something on the news that there was a leak about our Ontario budget and something about in April they will announce funding of IVFs?  Or something like that.  It just flashed across the screen, and I was like WTF??  Of course they would do this NOW, when I am giving up and too old to probably even qualify.  I have already wasted all of my own money on all those IVFs, most of which did not work, and NOW they are going to fund them?  How am I expected to feel about that?  I'm turning 42 in about 6 weeks.  I just know that if they do fund IVF (which may be just some rumour, sorry to be spreading it if that is the case) there will be an age limit of some sort, and I'm pretty sure 42 year olds need not apply.

 So DH and I had a talk about donor eggs.  He said he is totally fine with it.  However, he contradicts himself because then he said why would anyone need to know about it, and I said, well are we keeping it a secret because if you are fine with it then why would you not tell people.  I mean, not going around telling everybody, but just informing family, etc. so it is not revealed later as some shocking new fact.  He agreed with me.  I guess he hadn't thought much about it. 

 Anyway, that has been my day.  After my big cry and talk with DH, which I'm not sure we are done - we discussed also trying again, and also having Joseph as an only child and not doing any more cycles.  But I think we are leaning towards the donor eggs. -- after my cry I do feel better now, and at least I am not f**g wondering why they aren't calling me.  Can you imagine, she calls me at 6:11pm, I had already given up that they would call today.  I thought it was DH calling me on my cell.  Talk about leaving it to the last minute.  It must have been the absolute last thing on her list of things to do for the day.  Meanwhile, most of the day I was afraid to leave the house in case they called (half the time they call the home number instead of the cell phone).  At 3pm I had had enough and left to go to the library to a singalong for babies.  That was a much needed distraction.  It was very good for me to just focus on Joseph and the other babies, and not be sitting at home getting more and more anxious about WHY AREN'T THEY CALLING ME????

  oh, I left them a phone message AND an email by the middle of the day, and still no response.  It made me think of waiting for that call with Lily's results, the exact same thing happened.  They delayed calling me, and I had to call them to ask what was up, and I still didn't hear from them for hours.  The results were 2 days later than they said, and by then I was so sick with worry I was in a serious panic.  Today brought that all back.  I felt like I was sitting underwater, trying to breathe through a straw, and I had to sit quietly or the straw would slip and I would drown.  This stress affects my breathing and I feel a heaviness in my chest.  I think I need some counseling, seriously.  Anyway, although of course the news is horrible, at least I have some closure, and I actually feel better now.  And luckily I don't have to go through a TFMR this time, which is a whole nightmare in itself.  I just have the letdown of going through a whole IVF with NO TRANSFER.  How anticlimactic.  Like getting all packed and ready for a trip, going to the airport, going through security, getting on the plane, waiting on the runway, waiting some more, waiting, waiting, then getting the announcement to leave the plane, it is not functioning and will not be going anywhere.  I guess that is better than the plane crashing (like a TFMR or miscarriage) but really, talk about a letdown.  It is just depressing.

I never thought I would feel this low after having Joseph.  It is a lot of grief that has been pushed down after the years of infertility and heartbreak and it is still all right there.  I prefer focusing on parenting Joseph and the joy that he brings me, I guess that grief will never go away but I just can't handle how it has gotten a hold on me again this week, from this IVF fiasco.  That is why I don't want to try again with my own eggs.  So the options are: Joseph will be an only child, OR , we will try again with donor eggs.  (Hopefully that will work, my God, can you imagine if I have terrible luck with that too??)  I think I am ok with either of those options, but I will not be getting on this OE (Own Egg) IVF rollercoaster again.