The Big Thaw

Sorry about the silence. I needed the technology detox and the plan was, in that quiet, to try and listen a little closer both to me and the world around me. Of course, I did none of that, but it was both liberating not to worry about charging my phone and empowering to categorically ignore emails. In case you’re just tuning in, my husband and I took a trip that was meant for three. We suffered a miscarriage just before and, despite being buoyed by my doctor’s optimism about pregnancies following miscarriages, still returned as two (half the fun was in the trying??). I can’t say I am terribly surprised. With our issues, it would have been nothing short of a miracle.

But IVF is the business of miracles, so here I am again, praying/hoping/negotiating with the forces in the universe for another. This time, and given lessons I have learnt through dealing with customer service agents and lawyers, I am even wiser about including VIVID, SPECIFIC detail (it’s funny how I forgot about that given my background as a writer). Rule #1 for cycle #6: Don’t just pray to get pregnant, pray to stay pregnant FOR A FULL NINE MONTHS.

I started a cycle of two weeks of birth control yesterday – just to give the doc a bit more predictability for when the next period will begin. In a fresh cycle, it apparently also helps the ovaries respond better. This time, though, we’re doing a frozen cycle, deploying our only frostie (a 4BC embryo) from our last cycle. Sixth time lucky, perhaps. I’ll start on physical housekeeping in the next day or so, gradually cutting down on caffeine and sugar, ramping up on exercise, eggs, avocado and pleading with the universe that this embryo survives the thaw without incident and turns into a healthy, happy foetus that likes her new digs. The doctor had wondered out loud about doing one more fresh cycle first to stockpile, but we’re well aware that we’ve long run out of IVF money, so a lot of hopes are riding on this frostie.

The pressure is amplified by the research I did into alternatives. Conclusions reached: the few adoption agencies here are run like the damn mafia… they charge up to $45,000 and the Man isn’t terribly keen (he’s also freaked out by the idea of an embryo donor). Ultimately, I know that the outcome I want is a baby (with or without a pregnancy), and he’s holding out hope for a baby that is biologically ours (who could blame him). The idea of an egg donor appeals but will cost as much as another cycle and there is still the need to find a donor/get her eggs to work with the Man’s sperm, and navigate tricky terrain. It just feels like a bunch of dead ends (at least for now). So all these ideas will remain on the KIV shelf.

Anyway, spent a bit of time thinking about a happy song to kick this off, but kept finding myself back at Back on the Chain Gang by the Pretenders. It was, incidentally, written shortly after the death of James Honeyman-Scott, and seemingly deals with Chrissie Hynde’s grief – and being forced back by a relentless industry into the studio/on the road shortly after his passing. Her grieving was truncated, and she was forced to move forward. I guess IVF/miscarriage/this cycle feels a little like that, being swept up by a ticking clock, a sense of desperation and a world that somehow kept turning even while I fell apart. Always at the mercy of our infertility. That’s life I guess.

Will leave you with that thought while I go rustle up some positivity and hope.

“Now we’re back in the fight
We’re back on the train
Oh, back on the chain gang”
– Back on the Chain Gang, The Pretenders.

https://open.spotify.com/track/4cMHCRLPNoEbpnl2rz6GS9?si=S5ER32FIR5yxrQy99yCVhw
CW

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