Three Years Later, Still Hopeful

Word Press notified me that today is the third anniversary of this blog.

Oh yes.  This blog began right when we were about to start our first IVF cycle.  Fellow bloggers who started at around the same time come and go, and some are moving on to their second child.  Just like any other bloggers who write about infertility, I was hopeful that IVF would work and I wouldn’t be here writing a blog post on my third anniversary waiting to make a huge decision about the next step to bring home our baby.

After 8 IVF cycles that resulted in 7 retrievals and two transfers with embryos that were made with my own eggs, we had one chemical pregnancy.  In July 2014, I began to grieve the loss of a genetic link with my future babies.  In March 2015, we officially closed the chapter of treatment with my own eggs and moved forward to donor eggs.  But, egg donation is no silver bullet.  The careful selection of frozen eggs from a proven donor did not help us with a baby in our arms.  Instead, we were devastated by yet another chemical pregnancy as well as negative results with our last DE transfer.

But I had always had hope and faith that all I needed was eggs and embryos from a fresh cycle with a proven donor, as I always believed that I had a “perfect” uterus.  I have had no problems growing my lining.  Although I had a history of uterine fibroids, no one had told me that my uterus could possibly be the reason why we don’t get pregnant.

I thought that relinquishing the genetic connection with my offspring was difficult.  However, to me, being told that your uterus is the problem is exponentially more crushing than the need of using donor eggs.  My dream of feeling a baby grow inside of me is replaced by the fear and worry of potential risks and complications one may have associated with my uterine condition.

So here we are, on this blog’s third anniversary, we find ourselves at this crossroad once again.  We have been in that place many times.  All the uncertainties we have experienced in the past few years would probably make an interesting book.  Although we don’t know how and when we will get our child(ren), we know that both of us have the strong desires to move forward and try our best to achieve that.  Surrogacy is being looked into.  We are in line for our donor’s next donation cycle.  My therapist has been helping me sort through my confused mind.  Infertility didn’t pull me and Bob apart.  In fact, we are stronger as a couple.  Does it mean that we don’t have our weak moments?  Not at all.  We struggle emotionally and sometimes spiritually as we navigate our next steps.  Does it mean that we are not tired of this process?  This season has probably been the most fatiguing emotionally and mentally.  But both of us are completely committed to bringing home a child.  My dear husband talks about our future child on a daily basis, just like three years ago.

Although this journey sucks, we are hopeful that somehow some time in the near future, our child will come into our life.

Thank you for following this journey in the last few years, and hopefully you will be there to witness it when our child finds his/her way to us.

MicroblogMondays: Anniversary Dinner

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Last year’s anniversary we had our epic celebration, which was a trip to Macau gifted by my dad.  This year’s anniversary was much more low key.  Since it landed on a Thursday, we opted for dinner on Sunday instead.  I always appreciate a great experience at a restaurant that would make the meal memorable.  Our choice this year proved to be perfect.  Our reservation was at 5:45pm.  We arrived on time and were promptly seated by the window.  Since it was so early, there was still ample daylight from the outside.  My husband, as promised, enjoyed his dinner with me without the distraction of his mobile phone.  I really liked our server.  She was prompt, pleasant, helpful, but not overbearing at all.  And she was pretty.

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Thanks to my designated driver, I got to enjoy a glass of cocktail.  You can see it as the silver lining for an infertile person who is definitely not pregnant.

Our dinner started with this very tasty dish, uni flan.  I guess uni is something that you either hate or love.  I happen to love love love uni.  This dish was an excellent way to sample sea urchin.

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Next was fried mushrooms.  It was so good!  It was just made and very hot. I appreciate really hot food.  The seasoning was just right and the outside was crispy.

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Next up was the Amberjack sashimi dish mixed with citrus and watermelon.  The taste was very refreshing and different from the previous two dishes.

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Bob had the chef’s seafood risotto.  Everything in this dish was just right.  My dish was the highlight of the dinner: squid ink spaghettini.  The broth was complex and flavorful.  The squid ink pasta was al dente.  The seafood was fresh.  It was perfectly executed.

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It definitely helps to put down “wedding anniversary dinner” on the online reservation form.  The honey lavender ice cream was on the house.  Since there was a candle on it, I made a wish that we have been making every single time a candle was placed on a dessert dish in front of either one of us: getting pregnant and having a baby.

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It was an absolute delight for the two of us to enjoy this anniversary dinner so much.  I am hopeful that our next anniversary dinner will be joined by an extra person inside my tummy.   I will update all of you soon on our progress of donor selection.

MicroblogMondays: The Bryson – From My Hubby

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The Bryson – A great name for the bouquet that my husband sent to me at my work.

You know, me and my husband.  We have our share of good times and trying times.  We have fun.  We joke.  We take care of each other.  We love on each other as much as we can.  We also fight.  We have “robust discussions”.  We have disagreements.  We have our conflicts.

One day last week, we had a robust discussion about family conflicts with my side of the family.  Whatever it is about, I won’t go into details about it.  Let’s just say that we tried to be as calm, logical, and reasonable as possible, but the discussion was emotionally charged.  There were a few things that I would have rather not heard.  But at the end, we were in good terms again, as we usually do.

Then the day after, I saw this box in the copy room downstairs and literally jumped when I realized that it was for me.

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I opened it up, and saw this:

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I was so surprised!  I did not expect to receive flowers on that day.  I read the card and it said that it was from my husband and he wrote: “This reminds me of the first bouquet that I gave you six years ago. 🙂 ”  He gave me yellow roses for the first time and I teased him that it was for friendship.

See how pretty the bouquet is:

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I chatted with him online and expressed my amazement at such an arrangement on that day.  He told me that this is partly for our fourth wedding anniversary that is coming up in a few days.  It was also partly an apology for sometimes making my life difficult.  I love flowers and he couldn’t have picked a better arrangement named “The Bryson”.

My husband sometimes drives me crazy, but he certainly knows how to surprise me and make my heart sing.  I am a lucky girl.  🙂

“Suckaversary”

A year ago today was a sunny Thursday just like today.  It was the day we found out if my first positive beta had doubled.  I was quite calm all morning until around lunch time when I hadn’t heard from  my RE.  When she finally called at around 12:45 and said the word “unfortunately”, I couldn’t hold it together anymore.  The rest is history.  Our first BFP and positive beta came and went.  Just like that, a dream was shattered and lost.  It took another six months for us to pick up the pieces and start all over again.

The date “February 18” used to carry the meaning of joy and happiness, as it is usually around Chinese New year and it is my childhood best friend’s birthday.  This year is the first time this date represents something totally different.  It now also symbolizes the darker side of life.  The loss of a life that was way too short.  The heartaches and struggles of a couple who longs to have a baby to love and to hold.  On that day when we got our first positive beta, I didn’t experience joy.  The beta was so low (21) that I had a really difficult time wrapping my brain around it.  I just couldn’t even dare to think that all could be well.  For two whole days, I vacillated between hope and fear, unbelief and belief, allowing myself to dream and quickly crushing that dream as I could not believe that I was carrying a little life inside me.  Waiting for the second beta was the most difficult thing I had done.   Then the day of second beta was the worst day of my life.  February 20, 2014 would forever be etched in my mind as the day we lost our first pregnancy.

Emotionally, I have been doing quite well.  I carry on my everyday life and am functioning like a normal human being.  However, these few days whenever I write or hear the date, my heart twinges a little.  I was a little teary eyed yesterday thinking about the hellish day last year.  I haven’t cried and I am still feeling fine.  It’s just that the thought of our loss tugs at my heart more so than usual.  When I see that my friends who got pregnant around the same time talk about their almost four-month-old babies, I feel like our life is idle and we haven’t made much improvement.  This is not true though as we are going to transfer our embryos and we have plans to move onto donor egg cycles.  However, when your peers move forward, the sense of being stuck somewhere is even more amplified.  I want to scream to the world that today is the anniversary of our loss.  But I keep my silence and sit quietly by myself in my office at lunch so I don’t hear the word “pregnant” many many times in the lunch room.  I guess this is my way of mourning and commemorating this moment.  12:45pm.  February 20.  The news that forever changed our lives.  According to my dear friend M, this is my “suckaversary”.

My RE called me yesterday.  We discussed about moving forward this cycle despite not being able to use Letro.zole.  We will do a natural cycle, try to retrieve one egg, and try to make one embryo.  If my lining is good (trilaminar and thick), we will hopefully have one fresh embryo and thaw three of the best embryos to put back four embryos on day two.  If lining is not good, then we will cancel the transfer.  We’ll go in on Sunday for our cycle day nine scan to check on the cyst and any follicles.  My basal body temperature threw me off a little as it went up above my usual cover line for two days.  I almost thought that I had ovulated very early again.  Good thing my BBT went back down.  Hopefully my body holds out a little before ovulation so I can grow my lining well.  Looks like after all these ups and downs, false starts and cancellations, we will proceed with our cycle.

We shall see what the future holds.

 

 

Married Life for Two and A Half Years

We have been married for 2 1/2 years today.  I was asked by Dear Colleague if it feels like it’s been 2 1/2 years.  It actually feels longer than that length of time.  In the last couple of of years, we have gone through a major surgery, one major house remodel with an addition, three bathrooms, and a kitchen, three moves, one trip to India and Hong Kong, two job changes, trying to conceive for 22 months, consultation with four different reproductive endocrinologists, saving up money like crazy for fertility treatments, countless visits to Chinese doctors and acupuncturists, many bowls of yucky Chinese herbs, many tears, and two failed IVFs.  I don’t know about you.  That feels like a lot to me.  Although we have had our periodic fights robust discussions, I will not trade my husband for anyone/anything else.  Experiencing infertility together, he has shown me his strong faith.  I remember leaning on him and counting on his presence when we were hit with repeated bad news during our first IVF, when I myself felt so weak.  I can still feel the strength that I received from him when he held me tightly after our RE broke the news that our one embryo did not grow.  I sometimes think about the what-ifs.  What if I married my old boyfriend and had to experience infertility with him.  I don’t think my old boyfriend and I would ever have the kind of collective resolve that Bob and I have right now to achieve this goal of becoming parents.  Bob and I are very clear on our goal and do not waver in reaching our destination.  We do not know the path on which we will get there, but both of us have that determination that we would follow God’s plan and hopefully make it happen.  I am lucky that I am walking this journey with Bob, and not any other men that I dated in the past.  God has a plan for us and the first step of that plan was for us to meet and become one.  The Lord also gave me a husband that is goofy and funny and makes me laugh silly laughs all the times.  I am forever grateful for God’s plan and hope that our relationship will continue to grow strongly regardless of what life throws at us.   Happy 30 months, Sweetie!