Wise Words

Last week, I had another session with my therapist to address my issues of having fears about the upcoming donor cycle, which I described in this post.  Prior to last week’s session, I naively thought that since I had accepted our path of using donor eggs as our means to hopefully have a baby, I wouldn’t need to talk to my therapist anymore.  Boy was I wrong.  I think that I will probably need to talk to her on a regular basis for a while.

What I described to her was what I wrote in the post.  I am scared.  I am scared that even egg donation won’t bring us our baby.  I am scared that I will fall into the other side of the stellar donor egg IVF statistics.  I have been basically operating on a mode of failure because that’s what I know and am familiar with.  I haven’t been able to get myself out of that mode.  I am still stuck at the phase of Isabelle’s-eggs-suck.  I know how to do infertility.  I don’t know how to anticipate success and pregnancy.

Well, I told my dear friend A. a few weeks ago how I felt.  What she told me is so so true, that I have to remind myself over and over again.  These are her wise words: “You’re conditioned for heartbreak.  It’s hard to think differently.  Just remember that you’re not playing the same game anymore.  New stadium, new sport entirely.  Look at it with fresh eyes.”  

Yes.  I am so used to bad news, heartbreak, being on the wrong side of stats.  It seems to be an impossible thing to imagine the outcome to be different this time.  But she’s right.  We are talking about eggs from a 24-year-old donor.  My eggs play no part in it anymore.  I really need a paradigm shift.

My therapist agrees with A.  She reminds me that this is a totally different ball game.  I have to consider the fact that we have chosen somebody who is young, so statistically, the chances of her eggs are normal are much higher.  Look at her donation history: pregnancy was achieved at both of her prior donations.  The chances of it working for me are so much higher than when I was using my own eggs.  She thinks that my fear may also stem from the lack of control.  When I was doing my own egg cycles, I had total control over the timing of injections, taking medications, being on time for monitoring appointments, and other aspects of the process.  I currently have no control over what our donor will or will not do.  I can only exercise my faith that she will have the integrity to follow through with everything.  I have no control over when the clinic can schedule her for what appointment.  My therapist told me to keep in mind that my clinic may not update me on the progress as much as I would like.  That will continue to play into my sense of lack of control.

Since those are the things I really can’t control, my therapist told me to focus on what I can control.  We all know from the operative hysteroscopy that my uterus looks good.  In fact, my surgeon said that there is no reason why I can’t get pregnant with such nice looking uterus and lining.  My very wise friend A. once compared the ovaries to uteruses.  She thinks that woman is fickle and complex, hard to read, hard to please, like ovaries.  To her, uterus is like a man, easy to treat and manipulate, resilient, reliable, and simple.  Both A. and my therapist reminded me that I should look at my situation like it’s brand new because my baggages and bad experiences have been brought on by my own eggs, which have been completely removed from the  current equation.  My own eggs do not play a role in the upcoming donor egg cycle.  All I can do is to make sure that I am taking good care of myself and my health and do everything in my power to make sure I follow my RE’s instructions to grow the best lining that I can.  

My therapist once again reminded me to do this: when I have these negative thoughts, ask myself if they are helpful to my situation.  If they are not helpful, acknowledge the thoughts and feelings then file them away.  Don’t think about them until my scheduled “worry time” at night.  So I have been asking myself that same question whenever I fear that the upcoming cycle won’t work: Is this thought helpful to my situation?  No?  Okay, then I won’t worry about it until 10pm tonight.  It has been helping.  Rather than constantly worrying about the what-ifs and things that may not ever happen, my mind has been mostly freed up during the day from these fears.

At the end of the session, my therapist reminded that I have something positive and beautiful happening in my life.  A new possibility that was not available to me in the past.  For such a positive thing, I should surround myself with positivity rather than negativity.

Very wise words.  Something to think about.  I feel very fortunate to have wise friends like A. and a wise therapist who truly understands this process of ups and downs during infertility.  I have been feeling much better ever since the last therapy session.  I am sure I will feel the struggles and have fear again.  The good thing is, wise friends and my therapist are going to be there when I need them. This thought is very assuring.

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13 thoughts on “Wise Words

  1. Hmn. I’m sorry I’ve been absent. Are you planning to take any immune-modulating (calming in your case I would think, like mine) meds apart from thyroid meds during your donor cycle? I ask because… Well… I had fears like yours. And they came to life in my DE cycle. Chemical pregnancy. Implantation failure. More loss. Contrary to what the REs (my former RE and the one with whom I did that DE cycle) because my immune issues were ignored and untreated. I only succeeded with my immune system on a very short leash and closely monitored and even then there were monkey wrenches as you know. I don’t want to scare you. Like Aramis, I agree that fear is natural given your history. But like her and others I desperately want you to succeed. On your first try with DE. Is your RE open to this possibility?

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    • Hey nice to hear from you. Yeah you have mentioned to me immune testing several times. So from my history, what has alarmed you that I may have immune issues? I just feel that doing a DE cycle is overwhelming and expensive enough. If I add immune testing in the mix without knowing whether or not it is an issue, I just don’t know where and how I should start. Many of my other DOR friends who successfully got pregnant and gave birth to children via donor eggs didn’t go through any immune testing. They also have my kind of history. I would like to pick your brain on this. Thanks for being supportive as always.

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      • In your shoes I probably wouldn’t do the testing. I might ask my doctor if he would consider adding in some steroids to assist with implantation and the early weeks when the placenta needs to be established. I would also consider using a low molecular weight heparin like Lovenox (a generic is fine) as they have ameliorative effects on the immune system. I would also recommend using a low dose of hCG to assist with lining and implantation. I injected 150 are you on days 3 through 10 of my frozen embryo transfer cycle. I do not believe it can cause any significant harm and it could be very helpful. It also might be easier to sell to your doctor then other medications from a typical immune protocol.

        I thought you had thyroid issues? I may be misremembering this in my current stupor in which case I apologize. Do you know if you have endometriosis or only fibroids?

        I would be happy to chat with you. If you want to email me I can send you my cell phone number and we can text if that’s easier. I do not want to cause you more stress however so I leave it entirely up to you and am rooting for you no matter what.

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        • Just my 2 cents on this since I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before. My protocol included a low dose of prednisone which I assume is a “what if” immune suppressant. It was standard in Czech Republic cycles but my RE here was skeptical.

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  2. I totally understand this and I’m so sorry that you’re low in hope for the next cycle. We’re trying again after five losses, with a new drug, and I’m terrified that it won’t work yet again. I’ve also been seeing a therapist and she has given me a great mantra which may be helpful for you too – ‘just because it hasn’t worked before, doesn’t mean that it won’t work this time. Right now, there’s no evidence to suggest that this time it won’t work.’ I’ve been saying this to myself whenever I feel negative about trying again and am finding it helpful.

    I think it’s great that you’re continuing to see the therapist, anything which helps you to build up your strength and keep you calm can only be a good thing. I really, really hope that this cycle is the one. Lots of love xx

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  3. Oh gosh, I hope my private words to you don’t wound the sliver of girls dealing with bonafide implantation failure. It just seems to me – from the history I’ve observed – that you have a pretty clear egg problem and any little hitches with your uterus will be easy to tackle. GL! Pulling for you like OMG 🙂

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  4. You have a great therapist. I would echo what she said about control. I am a control freak, and had a hard time letting go during our DE cycle. I wanted continuous updates like I got when I did an OE cycle: how many follicles, how big, what are her stims, what day do you expect retrieval to be, etc etc. Not only did the DE clinic not tell me this info, but I would sometimes go several days without hearing a word from them and would start to freak out that something had gone wrong, the donor had bailed or messed up her stims or something else. What I learned was that no news is good news, and that you just have to let it go and settle in to not knowing everything. Very hard, but it got us where we wanted to be. You can do it.

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  5. Wise wise words indeed! In fact, I am very excited about this new game for you and think you’ll be winning before you know it. Thinking positive thoughts for you as you embark on this new journey.

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  6. I think everything you are feeling is normal…if “normal” is a good word??Since most women don’t ever have to think like us, that’s probably not a great word choice but I think that if you haven’t had a problem with your uterus or lining in the past, then you should be fine. Unfortunately, as you know, I am a part of .06% of women who have chronically thin lining issues, so a small percentage as A mentioned. If you want to be certain regarding your uterus though, I would suggest the ERA(endometrial receptivity array) test. If my lining ever gets to 7mm+, I am going to do it and that way there is no confusion with if my uterus was receptive or not and would then be the embryo. Now, if you have PGS tested embryos AND and receptive ERA test, then all SHOULD work out. Just my 2 cents. I want this SO bad for you Isabelle. I want this so much for us all who have been on this path to parenthood too long…positive thoughts and wishes sent your way..xoxo

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  7. Ugh that was one of my biggest difficulties going through our cycles was not worrying constantly. Your therapist and friend give very good advice. I’m sorry I have fallen so far behind on blogs, but I still think of you.

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  8. Thank you for sharing some of your therapy session with us. It sounds like you are doing your best to work through your fears. I know its hard not to be so scared and let the past predict the future. Thinking of u and praying all goes well moving forward 🙏🏽❤️

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