Friday, June 5, 2009

A Study in Coping

I think I mourned this cycle on the day I found out I only had three follicles, because the cancelled transfer hasn’t really set me back the way my previous cancelled cycles have. Grief is not consuming my every thought. I have not gone catatonic, unable to get out of bed. Possibly I am getting used to disappointment.

Tony’s coping mantra has been, “I feel good that we got farther than we have before.” I don’t know if he really believes this or if he is saying this for my benefit. Maybe he has spent too much time working in the liberal school system, but this isn’t a circumstance where a participation medal will make me feel better. This is more of a “second place is the first loser” or “close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades” type situation.

Going through this stressful IVF cycle put a distance between Tony and me, mainly because I chose to be alone with my stress, alone with my worry, alone with my concern. The cancelled transfer has brought us together again. We have been holding each other more, stopping for hugs without words as we pass each other in the hallways of our house. We have been touching more too. There has been a gelling that is different from where we were a week ago.

I have been feeling an overwhelming desire to become more healthy. I think this is my subconscious trying to assign some sort of blame to this situation. Maybe if I hadn’t stopped going to the gym two months ago this wouldn’t have happened. Maybe if I hadn’t drank at that happy hour this wouldn’t have happened. Maybe if I ate more fruits and vegetables this wouldn’t have happened. I’m not really fighting this urge toward health because I figure being more healthful can’t hurt my situation. There is a strange comfort in blame. Blame indicates that something could have been done differently. Blame indicates that there is something that could have been controlled.

If there is no blame then the best case scenario is that the cancelled transfer was caused by bad luck; a pull of the slot machine that yielded nothing, building anticipation for the next pull that might be “the one.” The worst case scenario is that there is no one and nothing to blame, no bad luck, but rather we are trying to accomplish something impossible.

At this point I can only hope for one thing. I can only hope that my RE has learned something from this cycle. I can only hope that my protocol can be tweaked to coax my ovaries to respond better. I can only hope that somehow my egg quality can be improved. I can only hope that if we try this again SOMETHING will be different…better.

We are now waiting for the final call cancelling our transfer before we leave for our trip. The car is packed with luggage and a picnic lunch for our trip. We are sitting on the sofa with our shoes on. One call and we are out the door. I’m ready to leave. I am looking forward to getting away, recharging.


areyoukiddingme said...

Blame can be squarely placed on the lack of knowledge of human reproduction, and in particular on the lack of knowledge of your particular biochemical makeup. This is a trial and error process, and the error part sucks, but no one knows the way to go around it. But, hell, eat healthier anyway.

I hope you have a fantastic trip. I'm glad you and your husband are feeling closer. Happy Anniversary!

Jill said...

I don't have anything constructive to say. You are in my thoughts, though.((hugs)) Have a great trip

SereneB said...

It's hard to not feel that you are responsible in some way...but you're's an unknown and that's why it's so hard to deal with.

Have a relaxing vacation.

Mary said...

I don't know what to say except I'm so sorry.

Anonymous said...

I'm am so heartbroken for you reading this (got the heads up over at LCFA). I think that blame gives us a sense of control, because if there was a SPECIFIC cause...then it can be FIXED. It sounds like you and hubby are really there for eachother right now, and I'm so glad for that. Gosh, I just can't imagine how darn right infuriating this must be for you guys.

You're definitely in my is YOUR turn for a lucky break, dang-it!


SS said...

Blaming yourself allows you to feel some control over the situation, but this is not your fault. I am so sorry this cycle went so poorly. I hope you can have a little fun this weekend to help move forward to the next steps.

Kristin said...

I don't have words for you... other than to say I'm sorry. So so sorry.

ToddV said...

completely understand where you both are right now. hang in there and just allow yourself to feel whatever it is in the moment. glad to hear you and DH are even closer. we've experienced that same feeling - after what we've been through, I think our relationship is so very rock solid.

enjoy your time away - do whatever feels right on the trip. stay out late, go to bed way early. spa or no spa. exercise or eat some really indulgent food. whatever you feel like in the moment. we've found there is no right way to cope...each setback for us was a bit different. just learning to ride the waves of emotion and taking good care of yourself and each other is the best approach.

Valerie said...


I do think there's a grain of truth to what you said about "getting used to disappointment." I believe it's a healthy coping mechanism we employ to protect our fragile selves.

It we don't scale back on the hope-o-meter or adjust our level of excitement when conception is achieved then we are setting ourselves up for some serious heartaches.

I remember the last few miscarriages I experienced before our successful in vitro. While tears were shed in the privacy of my whirlpool jetted tub, I was amazingly strong and calm on the outside. I think by miscarriage #4, I just began roll with the punches. It wasn't that loss #4 didn't hurt as much as loss #1, but my level of expectation was less and so the "shock" if you will was less.

I'm rambling, so I'm going to stop now!

Happy Anniversary...take time to celebrate the wonderful COUPLE you are!

Lori Lavender Luz said...

Not knowing "why" (physically and existentially) was one of the most difficult parts of IF for me.

Enjoy your refreshing time. So sorry you're going through this.

Triumph in Learning said...

I am so so sorry... I can relate alittle bit... my retrieval was canceled this pass tuesday because I only had 2 large follies:( My Dr. did let me come in try IUI though the next morning.. BUT that won't work with out a miracle.. With dh's motility problem:(

It is very good that you and your hubby are getting closer.. And I think a trip is a Great Idea!!! That is usually... my back up plan.. right after I get not so good news.. It does help to get away sometimes.. and then come back with determination to do whatever it is that needs to be done:)

I'm praying for you...
and again I just want to let you know that I truly care.. and I'm so sorry that this happened to you.. Have fun on your trip.. I'll be thinking about you..


Nic said...

Hope you enjoy your get away. Pleased it has bought you and DH closer. One good thing has to come out of this, right? I am sorry that this happened

Hillary said...

So sorry about this cycle. I hope you have a relaxing, peaceful weekend with your husband.

Barefoot said...

I hope that you have a peaceful anniversary weekend. Thinking of you.

B MoM said...

after my first MC, I was like that...I though, if only I didn't drink that one beer or I had followed all the eating during my second pregnancy, I was a model of perfection...didn't even drink the entire cycle we were trying....but the 2nd one didn't work out either and ended in a MC. Now, in my 3rd pregnancy, I've used the motto, everything in moderation (of course I'm not crazy with drugs or antyhing) but I'm learning that there really is not much we can do to change the outcome of baby making..our bodies will do what they are going to do. I completely understand your want to be healthy (and hey, nothing is wrong with that) but please know it's not your fault it didn't work out this time. Also know that you're not seeking the impossible. It WILL happen for you. You'll become a mommy! Have a great weekend!

Mrs.X said...

Oh my dear, I am was so sorry to hear about this. Just when you think that infertility can't get worse or harder, something like this comes up and smacks you.

But, I also think that you are looking at this the best way that you can - it's a learning experience, an expensive and painful one, but one nonetheless. I hope too that your RE can get good information from this and tweak your protocol. It just sucks that you have to be one of those who needs the tweaking.

Just take care of yourself right now. That's the best you can do and when you are ready to get back on the bucking bronco that is IVF, it will be there.

Many, many hugs.

'Murgdan' said...

I'm glad you get to get away...and I wish you peace.

UnicornMommy said...

I understand the strain IF can have on a relationship. We have felt that as well. I am happy that you are having those little moments.

Hugs and enjoy your time together away from it all.

Paula Keller said...

I hope that your trip is fantastic. It wasn't that soon afterward, but our trip in April felt so good, because I think we just genuinely needed a change in scenery. That, and we talked a lot about what we've been though this past year++.

I don't know if I told you this before, but I had TWO IVF's cancelled because of less that 4 eggs. They switched to an estrogen priming/Antagonist protcol. Maybe google estrogen priming, it's getting good results in low responders.

So our 1st try, BCP's+Antagonist = 3 mature eggs, cancelled
2nd try, BCP's + Lupron Flare = 2 mature follicles- cancelled
3rd try, estrogen priming/Antagonist = 9 retrieved
4th try, same protocol = 13 retrieved

Sorry if this is TMI, maybe it'll help though?

Aunt Becky said...

I'm so sorry that your cycle was cancelled. I'm sending you love and light.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. I hope that you are able to have a good, distracting, reconnecting weekend away.

Anonymous said...

Glad you and Tony are able to lean on each other a bit during this; hope you have a great anniversary trip - and sad as it is, at least you can hot tub and partake of tasty adult beverages (be healthy the rest of the time!) I am sorry for your disappointment.

Anonymous said...

i did the same thing after each failed cycle: search for the "reason" that it failed or was cancelled. i felt like if i could name it, i could try to fix it somehow. then i would move into the "at least we learned something about my body" phase. its hard. IF sucks. i really hope you get to have a good weekend and time with tony. xx

Shinejil said...

areyoukiddingme is spot on about where to assign blame.

I hope you have a fun, distracting trip.

Kate said...

Oh I so totally get what you mean about blame-- about control.
I think it says a lot about hope too-- I do not like blind faith, I like good odds. I hate all of this about IF and IVF, so much of a crappy crap shoot.
Hope you are recharging and enjoying your re-connection with Tony.
Thinking of you and wishing you all good things with whatever comes next.

Mad Hatter said...

Thank you so much for this post - I find your thoughts about learning from your cycle, and your RE learning from your cycle, particularly inspiring. I wish you all the best with your current (August) cycle. XO

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