As I return from my work travels in Stockholm, I have some down time to reflect upon our recent failed first round of IVF. I say ‘failed’…it’s actually quite difficult to say with any confidence that it was actually the IVF that failed us. It is possible I suffered an ectopic pregnancy, but the doctors were unable to confirm it, although they treated me for it with methotrexate to terminate the pregnancy to be on the safe side. Something was growing, they just could see it. If my pregnancy was truly ectopic, then it wasn’t the IVF that caused the demise of my pregnancy….the IVF treatment managed to get me pregnant, but my body decided it wasn’t going to succeed; my body simply decided that this wasn’t my time to join the pudding club.
Or it could all simply be described as just terrible bad luck. Sometimes, there is just no reason known to man why Mother Nature can be so cruel.
Of course, it is natural to blame oneself. There are several potential causal links to an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy: tubal damage, smoking, age, IVF – all of these increase the risk: approximately 1-2% of pregnancies are ectopic. But mostly there is just the plain and simple element of unfortunate luck. You can find on the web doctors who speculate that the risks are higher with IVF because either:
- a) With a 3-day transfer, the embryo that would ordinarily be in Fallopian tube at this stage, seeks out the more fluffy warm tubes because that is where it thinks it should be, then gets completely lost and doesn’t ask for directions.
- Or b) the doctor who performs the embryo transfer procedure places the embryos too high up in the uterus; or they are transferred too quickly and end up in the wrong place.
However, my doctor explained to me that statistically speaking, the risk of ectopic pregnancy doubles with IVF because generally there are two embryos being transferred and so that risk doubles from 1% to 2%. This makes a whole lot of sense to me. I was just unlucky.
I am thinking through all of this right now because I need to take away something positive from this failed cycle. I’ve got to get my cup half full again….and so the positive could be that we just needed that extra help from ICSI or the hormones, and I was just one of the really unlucky ones to not stay pregnant this time. Next time might just be our time. There is still no reason why it shouldn’t be.
I was feeling a little sorry for myself in my last post. But the last couple of days have been an improvement, and it is starting to look like our path is finally beginning to flatten out, allowing us to take a breather.
I have been kept mentally busy with work, socialising and networking with my colleagues, so I have had little time to think emotionally about the failed round of treatment. Physically, the pain has dissipated, the bleeding continues (seriously, where does it all come from?!!?), but it is a very small amount that it has barely bothered me. I still feel exhausted, but jet lag most likely lays claim to the cause of that. I miss my pre-natal multi-vitamins, I really hope to be allowed to take them again soon. They help keep my bowels in shape and my energy up.
And I will grow back my positivity because over the next 3 months as we have a plan to get us to our next IVF cycle (hopefully if I get the all clear from my repeat HSG!!). In short – we have our 2 week, 2000 miles, road trip starting from Las Vegas, visiting various amazing places like Grand Canyon, Zion national park, Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, Hoover Dam and a whole lot more. I have another 3 work trips to Europe to fit in – Munich, Berlin and Brussels/Mons (I haven’t been to Berlin yet so that is exciting!). We have a consult with our doctor scheduled for late October to discuss the plan for the next cycle. I need to find some time to fit in a HSG once my period returns (seriously NOT looking forward to that). I am hoping my body is going to play nice and we can get an IVF cycle in just before Christmas. It’s also Chris’s Birthday soon and I want to organise a small party for him. And amongst all that we are going to try and fit in a weekend away to Shenandoah National Park to see the beautiful colours of autumn. No time for stopping over the next 3 months!!
Stockholm has done me a lot of good (despite the jet lag), I’m feeling mentally refreshed and excited to be moving forward. However, I was very disappointed to discover that my invitation to pick up my Nobel Prize must have got lost in the post.
But I did get a chance to scope out the building they award them in, the museum my name would be listed in, and the best restaurants to celebrate at….May be someday I’ll be back 😉 bahahahahaha – Keep dreaming Dani!