What to write. I’ve started so many blog posts over the last few weeks and have got about as far as a paragraph before giving up. It just feels like such a repetitive cycle going round and round in my head I don’t really know what to say. For the first couple of weeks after our BFN I felt fine, well not fine I guess but accepting, a negative result is something we’re so used to now so yet another, using someone else’s eggs, didn’t seem much different. I guess looking back I was kind of in shock. Not shock in that we were surprised at the result but more a general numbness that shielded me from the disappointment of another failed cycle.
They say you work through SARAH with things like this. Shock, Anger, Rejection, Acceptance, Healing. Shock, tick! Then two weeks in, Anger. All of a sudden I’m pissed off at the world. I want to scream at everything and every pregnant person I see. I yell “fuck off” reasonably loudly, and multiple times, when yet more work pregnancy notifications come through (luckily in a closed room with a small group of friends, not to the general populous – I know it’s my jealousy and anger triggering those comments and is not anyone else’s fault or concern). I can’t walk past a baby shop, or pick up a flier without feeling hurt and mad. It consumes me. The world is totally unfair.
I can’t say I’ve really experienced Rejection, unless you count wanting to reject our fertility clinic for not doing enough or trying enough to get us pregnant, but I think that’s more anger again. I’m now at Acceptance with the odd tinge of anger. The world is still unfair but I’m dealing with it. I’m not sure I’ll ever get to Healing, is it possible to heal from this? I can imagine the pain lessening but never to the point of saying I’m healed. Even a superficial cut can leave a scar and this feels more than superficial. Is a scar considered healed? I guess, but with a constant reminder of the hurt suffered do you ever fully recover?
The one good thing about all this anger and eventual acceptance is that it spurs you on to focus on a next step, anything to dull the ache and give you something positive to focus on. Our problem this time has been trying to work out what that next step is. We’ve begun looking into treatment in the USA, at various different clinics (Sher Institute, San Diego Fertility Center, Shady Grove), and they’re all so different it’s hard to know what to do. It’s a lot, and I mean A LOT, of money to spend but then their success rates (due largely to being able to use younger donors, stimulate more, and implant multiple embryos) are much higher. At first I thought we’d nearly have enough money in our savings and with our work bonus to cover the treatment but on further investigation, and with the current exchange rate working against us, it looks like it will be a fair few more months of saving, or taking another loan out against our house, if we were to proceed down this track.
We’ve also considered trying again here in NZ as our lovely donor has offered to go another round. With any luck they could change the protocol and enable her body to react more productively with the stimulation drugs but it does make me nervous that we could invest so heavily emotionally and physically (both her and us) in this and come away with the same result. After three abysmal cycles it’s hard to fathom that our clinic could manage to pull off a successful treatment. That’s unjustified I know as they execute successful treatments all the time, it just feels a bit hopeless in our case and feels like the closer we get to “untreatable” the less interested in us they become.
I know part of it is just me being disappointed at the results achieved thus far but from where I sit now it truly feels like our clinic don’t think outside the square enough when it comes to the trickier cases. They’re reluctant to try anything different, are restricted by insane NZ laws (obviously written by some idiotic bureaucrat who has never had any experience with infertility), and seem to play to the odds that the majority of people they treat will eventually become pregnant using the same old method. Add into that the drawn out timelines (for example, the nine months it took us to get to our last donor cycle, or having to wait 6-7 weeks for a WTF appointment) and I’ll be lucky if I finish treatment before menopause. I’m just not sure I can afford to wait that long before looking elsewhere. I feel awful in writing this as all the staff there are absolutely lovely, I just feel like the way we do things here is a bit backward, and for all the publicity about age-related infertility the NZ system doesn’t seem in any great rush to get things moving. It’s so frustrating.
Hmmm, perhaps I’m still more angry than I thought but I guess it’s hard not to be when essentially our only options (other than pursuing adoption – a whole other can of worms) are to wait what seems an eternity for another NZ donor egg cycle, which has a high probability in ending the same way as the last; or to mortgage ourselves to the hilt to attempt donor treatment overseas. I guess sometimes life just hands you lemons, but I’m trying my hardest to make lemonade.