Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Back in September, I wrote a post wondering if it was possible to be happy and sad at the same time. I concluded that, yes, it is absolutely possible. Although the circumstances are different this time, interestingly, I'm feeling the same sort of mixed emotions.

Before going any further, I'm proud to announce that this is my 100th blog post! I'm not sure why 100 is a benchmark for celebration in the world of blogging, but, I am more than pleased to join in the revelry!

I started this blog for two reasons. The first was that I kept sending the same email to different people, letting them know the status, and, ultimately, the outcome of whatever cycle we were currently in and, well, I was tired of copying and pasting the same message over and over. So, not knowing if anyone would actually read, and not knowing there was a whole community of IF bloggers out here who would end up providing a level of support for which I'm eternally grateful, I started chronicling things here. The second reason, as described in the header above, was my hope that, by working through what I was going through in writing, I might find some order or reason or clarity in what we were going through and decisions we had to make.

So, it almost seems meant to be that today, with a major decision being reached, coincides with my 100th post.

We had our call today with Clinic D. I've been saying for weeks that I really didn't expect any miracles from this call, but, preparing for it and actually hearing it are two different things. Dr. Brilliant (that names seems almost comical, considering he had no words of wisdom for us, but, I know how much he has helped others so he has definitely earned the title!) said that we should be going with donor eggs at this point. He said that we have tried every protocol and technique that is out there for poor responders and, clearly, none of them have worked. He feels that it's always been related to egg quality, based on the fact that I didn't have any more success 2.5 years ago than I had 3 months ago. He felt that, even if I got pregnant again with my eggs, the chance of miscarriage is so high and, in his words, that's even harder than not getting pregnant in the first place (as many of us know). On the other hand, he puts my chances of conceiving and carrying to term with donor eggs at around 80% (we've now been told anywhere from 65-80%).

So, here's the contradiction in feelings. As you would imagine, I am devastated. When I think about the fact that, unless something very unexpected happens, I will not continue my family's genetic lines, I feel what can only be described as true heart ache. But, on the flip side, I have to admit that, mixed in with that grief is a great deal of relief. I now feel like I can move on with donor eggs knowing that I have done absolutely everything I could do. I actually called already today and reactivated us to the donor egg waitlist at Clinic A and, surprisingly, it feels like a very heavy weight has been lifted - the weight of indecision and unrequited hope.

With every unsuccessful cycle, I have felt, not like the cycle failed, but, like I failed. But, can you really say you've failed if you have done absolutely everything in your power but, due to circumstances beyond your control, you didn't achieve success? No, I don't think so, and, there's something to be said for, after 3.5 years TTC and 7 IVF attempts, finally not feeling like a failure.

And, tonight, this I am celebrating.


Emily said...

Oh Lisa! Tears are rolling down my face right now. I am so happy and so sad for you all at them same time - so YES, I know what you are saying!

You are so not a failure and you never have been. You are one of the strongest and most inspiring women I know. I am so proud of you for how far you have come on this journey.

I know you are sad - heartbroken even, but you are right - you are moving forward knowing you have done everything you could do.

DE holds so much promise for you! 80%?!?! That is amazing! I am thrilled you already called and are back on the waitlist.

As hard as this news is, there is also so much hope in it. What an exciting turn your journey is about to take.

Sending you big hugs and congrats on your 100th post :)

Can't wait to read 100 more.

Love and hugs!!

Cassandra said...

I think this is what the word "bittersweet" was made for (aside from chocolate).

Congrats on 100, and best of luck with starting the donor egg process!

Cathy said...

Lisa - HUGE HUGS to you! Seeing how strong you were over 18 months ago made it easier for me to make my decision to move forward with DE. I haven't regretted that decision at all. It's really hard when a little old lady in the grocery store tells me that he "looks just like me" - but I've learned to smile and say thanks and to walk away before the tears start. But then he looks up at me and smiles and I cry even harder but for totally different reasons! Please let me know if you need anything!!! I can't wait to read about your BFP in a few months!

WiseGuy said...

Congrats on hitting a century! And all the very best....I hope you get what you want. You may have failed in your efforts, but you are NOT a failure and you should never be a quitter. Keep up your spirits. Prayers!

Ms Heathen said...

You have not failed, Lisa. You are moving on knowing that you tried everything possible. Your strength and courage are an inspiration to many of us.

I know how much you've struggled with the question of whether or not to move to DE. At the same time as you are moving forward with one thing, you are also having to let go of another, which must be very hard. I wish you peace and joy on your journey.

And congratulations on your 100th post.

Hope C said...

Congrats on 100 posts. Definitely a bittersweet moment and you absolutely did not fail.

Hopefully this will means moving onto success and sooner rather than later. Take care of yourself.

Dagny said...

So true.

And yeah, you are NOT a failure. Though every ivf that I fail I think I am. But I know you are not.

I feel better about myself from the words you have written. i have been so caught up in my failings...when I haven't actually looked at how hard I am actually trying. We do what we can.

So yeah, thank you so much for not making me feel like a failure, at least for this minute.

And I am very excited for you and the DE. I smell a baby coming your way!!!

And I'm glad you started your blog.

Happy 100 posts.


Bluebird said...

I found your blog from your post on the Nest, and just have to say how totally overwhelmed I am by your strength and clarity, and the outlook with which you are moving forward. I can't wait to continue to read as you start this new portion of your journey.

Beautiful Mess said...

I'm glad you're not feeling like a failure, I don't think anybody would accuse you of that! I'm glad you have accepted the donor eggs with peace. Congratulations on 100th post and making a choice that is right for YOU.

the Babychaser: said...

I so understand. In a few months, this is going to be us, as we give it one last (likely to fail) shot with J's sperm before we switch to a donor.

And while I grieve the loss of that threat, and I know that when we finally have to make that choice I'll cry and rage about what cannot be, I still find myself looking forward to it.

This is cause for celebration. Imagine, going into a cycle with an understanding that it has good chances of WORKING!!!

I'm proud of you. You put up the good fight, and you're not done yet.

Polly Gamwich said...

Oh Lisa,

What a touching post. How bittersweeet.

To hear the recommendation for donor eggs from Dr. Brilliant must have been crushing, but to accept that and call clinic A to move forward ... that's huge.

My heart is with you - it is a huge decision you are making and I'm proud of you.

I'm so hopeful for you with donor egg.

You made such a great point ... how can you regret anything when you did absolutely everything you can do - and you did.

Big hugs,

shiner said...

I am so happy for you. I understand both your grief and your relief. I went through both when I decided on donor eggs. My chances were about the same and here I sit 7.5 months pregnant. I have had many many doubts along the way and lots of concerns, but nothing compared to the happiness this pregnancy has brought my family. Praying this is it for you! Feel free to ask me anything - I am happy to help if I can.

Brian & Debbie said...

I know going the DE route wasn't an easy decision for you. But holy sh*t... 80%... you can't help but do cartwheels over those odds. And it doesn't matter where the egg comes from, Lisa, it's still going to be your child that you'll teach about your heritage and that child will carry it on.

A million hugs to you and good luck!!!

Wishing 4 One said...

You have not failed, none of us have. We are doing and have done everything possible to mankind, or so it feels sometimes, to get pregnant. We all will someday, I feel it. Congrats on moving forward my friend. Keep your positive outlook! Thinking of you...xoxoxoxo

David said...

What a wonderful writer you are and able to express yourself with so much clarity and poignance. Good luck with your DE.

Just wondering if any part of DE is covered by health insurance and how much it costs. It would seem like you either have the best insurance coverage in the US or have unlimited funds to be able to finance 7 IVF cycles and then move on to DE. Too bad every infertile does not have that option.

Ariella said...

Lisa, I am happy and sad for you at the same time. Sad you don't get to pass down your genes but thrilled that you are going to be a mother and at the very least get to pass down your wit, empathy and knowledge. You are a beautiful person and you will make an amazing mother. I look forward to this new journey with you.

Bee Cee said...

Wow, I would have been proud to have written this post. It sums it up perfectly and expresses a lot of the emotions I feel.

I know, and you know, we have (or will have) done all we can if we decide to move on. I know I had to go through all the pain, to know I could live with the next step.

I know the loss of a genetic child will never be easy and if that is ultimately what happens, we will be ok. I have spent a bit of time with Portia (blogger) in the last few weeks and she knows of at least 2 people with DE babies and without a shadow of doubt, their fears melted away when they held their babies in their arms.