May 14, 2012

i have a secret

I have a secret. I am currently in the middle of an IVF cycle. (Wow it feels good to say it.) A little slip-under-the-radar IVF before our one-year sojourn in Toronto for Y's fellowship and the end of our amazing Israeli fertility coverage until we return in summer 2013. We aren't telling our families or anyone, really (except for the internet, apparently) about this cycle. It feels quite liberating, in fact - this covert IVF business. It suits me and I think we should keep our reproductive pursuits under wraps more often, as far as family is concerned. Or at least be much more vague.

In the off-chance that all the stars align and I win the reproductive lottery, both by becoming pregnant and then remaining pregnant long enough that the baby is viable before my body sabotages the pregnancy, it would be my ultimate fantasy to tell no one at all of the pregnancy; rather, I would just show up one day with a robust, squeaking, living baby safe in my arms.

Everything about this IVF is actually pretty liberating. It is so vastly different from my previous cycles in that I really don't care. I know I will be truly, honestly sad and disappointed if it doesn't work, but in the past I was really short-sighted, and that made the consequences of a failed cycle seem much worse. What I mean by that is that it felt really high-stakes when I viewed the worst possible outcome as either a failed cycle or an early miscarriage. Now my deepest fears lie elsewhere.

In the past, I was obsessed with having complete control and doing everything just right - the IVF meditation CDs, acupuncture, reciting tehillim (psalms), eating well, nutrition supplements, knowing the size of my follicles and E2 off by heart at any given moment, actually handling dangerous chemicals in lab with caution. I believed that no one was more invested in the outcome of my cycle than myself so the weight was on my shoulders to do everything in my control to get everything just right.

My control freakery has at least temporarily been replaced largely by indifference. It is too early to say whether my newfound zen is the real deal or just a temporary manifestation of apathy that is part of my mourning. For now, I am just injecting whatever medications in whatever quantities my doctor recommends and trying not to think about it much beyond that.

The decision to cycle this month was actually extremely impulsive and last minute - as in, we had a vague and general conversation with Dr. T. about cycling again before the retained placenta disaster and then I woke up bleeding one morning last week, shocked myself, and asked Dr. T. whether he would support me in doing something really nuts and allow me to cycle right now. The next morning I went in for a baseline and got my prescriptions and that evening I started my injections.

I knew Y was secretly delighted when I called him at work to say I had my period and was thinking of calling Dr. T, though he had done a really good job not explicitly pressuring me to cycle when I didn't feel ready, which I really appreciate.

I also know it is a little radical what I did - leaping off a cliff with my eyes closed and deciding to cycle last-minute when I had already started bleeding - but for me, it is what worked. I was really incapable of knowing I was ready until that moment arrived, and if I had a lot of time to think about it, it would have just made me very anxious and agitated.

I also have the unusual luxury of an extremely accommodating and understanding RE who could make things work on very short notice. (I suspect he is also happy to have the opportunity to try to get me pregnant again before we leave for Toronto because I know our loss was the loss of a victory for him, too, and he is a really swell guy who certainly makes me feel like he has an investment in our outcome.)

Since losing Aminadav and Naava, I have had many days when I feel like never trying to get pregnant again, but underneath those doubts and dark feelings, is my belief that while nothing will ever fix what happened or my incredibly strong desire for them specifically, Y and I need a happier focus to our lives in the form of a living child.

I did think maybe it was a little bit overly eager to be returning to IVF and attempting to get pregnant again so soon after the twins died. I think that sometimes, still - that it is somehow disrespectful towards them to move forward with cycling so quickly. But mostly I see that a living child will connect me back to the twins - that the love I have for a living child and the mothering I have the opportunity to do for him or her will also allow me to mother the twins in the way I never got to and allow my love & appreciation for them to deepen even more.

It is incredibly scary and unnerving, as always, never knowing exactly what still lies ahead in our pursuit of a living child - the same, familiar wondering as before - whether we are very far or closer than we think. Except this time, it is tinged with the awful first-hand knowledge that you can get very very close and come back up with empty arms, having lost and gained so much. (It is always important to remember & acknowledge how much we gained.)

23 comments:

  1. Good for you!!! I think flying below the radar with this IVF cycle is a fantastic idea. I too made the mistake of telling too many people about your plans and fertility treatments. The problem was, when it didn't work or I miscarried, then that was more people I had to untell. And that was just as stressful.

    I don't think the way you came to this decision was irrational. I think you did what you needed too do. It's very easy to get caught up in this idea of preparing, waiting appropriate amounts of time, etc. Yet sometimes the best decisions are those that are made in a manner others regard as impulsive. The trust is, though, they really are not. You've been on this road for too long and need to do what's best for you and Y. And if anyone judges you, well that's their issue.

    I wish you all the best for this upcoming cycle and I hope with my whole heart that there is very good news soon.

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    1. Thanks, Christy! I agree that it wasn't as impulsive a choice as it might seem on the surface, but I did surprise myself that I decided to go for it.

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  2. I love your secret, and I don't blame you (and I'm actually quite jealous) for keeping it a secret. Wishing all the best for you <3

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  3. I love the idea of you keeping this secret from everyone. And of course you're a bit ambivalent about the cycle working. After what you've gone through, I'm sure it's hard to move forward, but I'm so happy for you that you're doing just this. Thinking of you as you progress in this cycle!!!

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  4. When I TTC, I always want it to be utterly unemotional. Heck, I want atleast 4-5 months of pregnancy to be that way...ha. I'm so very sorry this lack of emotion has come at such a horrible price. I'm hoping and praying for the very best for you and Y.

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  5. I am so happy for you. Happy that you're giving yourself another chance, and happy that you're doing in a way that works for you. I also went through IVF "in secret" and I tried very hard with our last cycle to let go of my need to research and control everything. And in the end, I (mostly) kept my sanity.

    I hope this is your lucky cycle! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you.

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  6. Wishing you the best of luck this cycle! I'm hoping the secret IVF is the winner!

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  7. Love your little secret... and great to be cycling with you :) Hope your zen continues and that this is the cycle for you... FXd for you xoxo

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    1. Thanks! I am rooting for you, too! And it's great to be cycling with you :)

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  8. Thinking of you and hoping this secret has a very happy ending.

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  9. Great secret. I am very happy for you. Hoping and praying for you.

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  10. I am very happy that you are able to try again. I will hope and pray for you. I didn't tell anyone my second time I did IVF, I just couldn't face going back to all those folks again with another negative...... The secret worked for me.... I hope it works for you......

    Hugs

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  11. This is a great idea and I felt many of the same things as you. Just kinda going with things, not telling many people about it... I also feel like the worst had happened to me (us) so I wasn't afraid of the IVF or anything that wasn't preterm labor. I just did it, kept busy, and hoped to hear good news. So I really understand how this cycle is for you. I pray that you have success and we both end up with our rainbow babies.

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    1. Exactly - it is hard to tremble in fear at the thought of a failed IVF the way I used to when unfortunately, we have both experienced so much worse. I do really really hope this might just work, though!

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  12. Hi,

    My name is Knoll Maria and I am a graduate student at Bar-Ilan University Information Science Department in Israel. For my final project, I am examining anonymity and self-disclosure in infertility blogs. The target population of the study are women bloggers who were or are going through infertility treatments and also blog about their experience. I am kindly inviting you to participate in this research study by completing the attached survey.

    The following questionnaire will require approximately 5 minutes to complete. Your response is very important to me. Your informed consent to participate in this survey is assumed by completing the survey and by submitting it. Participation is strictly voluntary and you may refuse to participate at any time. A copy of the results will be sent to you, if you choose so.


    Thank you for taking the time to assist me in my educational endeavors. If you require additional information or have questions, please contact by email.
    Click here to fill out the survey: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHY0SC1wT0lHeEFqOGdZN3pXT3p3aHc6MQ

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  13. Now, that's a secret eh! My fingers are crossed for you. and I just wrote about the same feelings, keeping things more to myself the next time. Don't worry about it being close time wise, as long as it feels right for you then that's all that matters.

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    1. Thanks, marwil. I will definitely check out your post!

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  14. It's freaking terrifying isn't it?
    Kind of like jumping off a cliff, but maybe it's better to do it this way.
    Here's hoping that about 10 months from now both of us will be celebrating together, and put our mourning behind us.
    Much love!

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    1. Thanks, Mo. I am definitely not feeling so optimistic now about this cycle, but just jumping off the cliff...it had to be done. I'm glad we've both done it. I do feel brave and you should, too.

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  15. You are so brave! I really admire you. Wishing you all the best this cycle & sending all my positive thoughts!

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  16. I love the secret IVF plan. I will be thinking nothing but good thoughts for you.

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  17. You write so beautifully - I can feel your emotion so plainly and have so much hope and positivity heading your way.

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