I found the month of August to be nothing but stress, disappointment, anger, and sadness. It was the failure of my most recent donor egg cycle and the anniversary of my loss of Lily in August 2011. August should have been great, with beautiful weather, my last bit of time off with Joseph, the donor cycle that was supposed to be the answer to my prayers......... but in the end it just sucked! Plus gearing up to go back to work. Blech! What a way to spend the last few weeks with my toddler before handing him over to daycare. I could hardly enjoy this precious time with him, with so much crap going on in the background. Now that it is September, the dreaded month of September, it is strangely calm and I actually feel better than August, which was full of promise and then fell completely apart.
I still have not written to my donor, and she has not written to me. Maybe she already knows the results? I just haven't felt up to writing to her, but I do want to say thanks for trying, etc. and that I appreciate her, but farewell forever. Maybe I don't even want to acknowledge what happened. I just don't want to believe it.
I got an appointment with my doctor right away to discuss what happened. I have become something of a VIP fertility loser at this clinic, so they fit me in the next day, even though their schedule is rammed. She discussed how it was very surprising that the results were so poor, etc. The donor stimmed really quickly and was ready to trigger on Day 8, which is unheard of, so she waited until day 9 to do it, which is still early. Most of her donors trigger around day 11. So she thinks the eggs were not good quality because they grew too fast, and she had no explanation for the fast growth. She wondered aloud if the donor took her meds properly, there is no way to really know, but I think it would make more sense if she had understimulated that she would not have taken it properly (ie., it fell on the floor/ spilled, or she forgot to take it) but to have too many meds isn't really possible, unless they gave her too many, which would be the doctor's fault. Maybe she took a double dose by mistake the first day and then had none the following day? Anyway, she said that since she is borderline PCOS it would be expected that she would stim more slowly. PCOS patients usually have many follicles but they grow too slowly, so she doesn't exactly fit that profile. She started talking about how she would do it differently with this donor, and I stopped her and said forget it, we are done with her and would not be crazy enough to try again with the same dud of a donor. We suggested another donor that we found in the agency database, who had cycled 3 times successfully at our clinic, and so our RE was quick to get a hold of those files and analyze the new donor, to see if she would be a good choice for a second try. I was impressed that by the next day she actually had looked up all the files, and was able to tell us that there were 2 live births and 1 pregnancy underway from this donor, she had 20, 24, and 20 eggs retrieved each time and 5-7 blasts each time. The pregnancies were all from the first transfer and they had several to freeze. So much better stats. We hope it will work for us too, and she won't have a bad cycle. I'm a bit concerned that our doctor said her AMH is sky high and that indicates PCOS, so she would want to put the donor on Metformin for a while before cycling. I asked if she was on Metformin for the other cycles, and she was not, so I am worried that my doctor is not following the recipe that worked. Why would you want to mess with that?
She also had me do the HSG test again, to make sure my tubes were clear (and they are), plus a sonohysterogram to check the uterus (it is fine). Plus an abdominal u/s, and that was fine. They saw that my fibroid, which is on the outside of the uterus anyway, so of no real importance, has shrunk down to almost nothing. And there are no new fibroids (my mom had lots of big ones and it was a real problem for her) so that is good news. So she is happy that there is no abnormalities of the uterus to blame for the failed cycle. DH's sperm stats were all fine, good count, morphology, the motility is not great, but we used ICSI. DNA frag was fine last time it was checked. She blames the failure squarely on the donor's eggs, so hopefully using a new donor will be enough to have a much better result. She also said we could throw in some immunology stuff, which may not be necessary, but wouldn't hurt. Like intralipids or something else I can't quite remember now. Will have to find my notes that I took.
Joseph has not been having a good time at his new daycare, as we expected, he does not like spending the day with strangers in a strange place he has never been. Why would he? I think I would be more concerned if he were fine with it and didn't mind being abandoned. My husband takes him in the morning, and the first few days he stayed a good long time, to try to get him used to the place before leaving to go to work. When he went to leave, of course the tears came. We sent my mother in law to pick him up early, so he is only spending half days there so far. When I come home from work, he is totally fine, playing with her, so I am somewhat sheltered from the reality of how upset he is each day, but I believe it is real. So hopefully he will adjust, and it doesn't help that we have enforced some habits that are not compatible to the daycare, like he still drinks milk in a bottle and they don't like that, and he won't just lay down and have a nap without being cuddled first. So at least by Friday the daycare worker broke down and cuddled him to sleep so he could get his nap in. He is a bit of a mess, overtired, not really eating, nervous every time you leave the room that you are going to disappear for 6 hours. Now it's the weekend, so all is well, but on Monday it will start up again.
Going back to work has been so tiring. I feel like a zombie and I can barely think straight. There are just so many details that I can't even get to them all and I feel like I am really doing the bare minimum and flying by the seat of my pants. I have been teaching for 17 years, how can I feel this way? My G*d, I feel like a first year teacher. Luckily, the staff I work with are amazing and so, so nice. They are into sharing, so I have benefitted from that, and the Grade 1 teachers have been working as a team, which is really nice. I have to make sure I contribute some good ideas, so we can keep this going and I won't feel like a mooch from the other teachers!
Joseph is now 20 months old. He is talking more each day, and aside from the trauma of going to daycare (I hope it doesn't change him permanently) he is a great little guy, and usually so happy and social. We went on a trip to Centre Island (5 minute ferry ride away) on the long weekend before going back to school. Here are some photos!
On the ferry ride over
At the splash pad
His first real ice cream (he stole mine)
On the pier - Lake Ontario
Playing in the gardens - chasing butterflies and running down the paths
The air show passing overhead
Watering plants at the Franklin Children's Garden
At "Far Enough Farm"
The pony ride was a big thumbs down. Joseph loves sitting on statues/ rocking horses/ toy cars & tricycles, but strangely hated being on a real pony! Will try again next year.
Pooped on the ferry back, after a day of fun!
View from the ferry - city skyline
a passing boat
My stuffy classroom, where I now spend my days