Archive for June 21st, 2009

Seth went to give platelets early this morning. While he was gone, I got J's daily medication taken care of, got the babies out of their cribs, changed them, and made everybody pancakes. All four kids were eating their pancakes when Seth called to say he was on his way home. Our conversation went something like this:

Seth: Good news! I'm on my way home.
Me: Great! Happy Father's Day! I've got pancakes waiting for you – J! Do not drink off the chair! Turn around, sit properly, and drink appropriately! Sorry, honey. So, um, I'll see you soon?
Seth: Yeah, I'm leaving [city] now, so I'll be home shortly. Anything you need me to do on the way home?
Me: No, there are some things we need to pick – Sam! Don't throw your plate on the floor! Ugh. Of course, right after he threw his plate on the floor, he did his little mumbly-giggly thing and proceded to eat the pancake he still had in his hands. Um, right. So there are some things we need to pick up for the nanny for the week, but we can get them later.
Seth: Okay, I'll just come home then.
Me: That would be good. This hasn't been a great morning, what with whiny boy and all. He got mad at me for giving him strawberries with his pancakes. Ellie, SIT DOWN! Sorry honey. How'd things go this morning?
Seth: Fine. It was pretty uneventful actually –
Me: Get the strawberry out of your nose!
Seth: [laughing]
Me: Sam! No pancakes in your hair! I am not washing your hair today!
Seth: [still laughing]
Me: Yes, very funny.
Seth: It is!
Me: I am so blogging this.
Seth: You should!
Me: Yes, Ellie, that's Ellie's nose. Good job, Abby, that's Abby's nose! What's your ETA?
Seth: About 15-20 minutes. I'll be home soon. Did you remember to change J's weekly patch?
Me: No, I didn't have any whole ones upstairs, but I'll do it when I go downstairs again. Abby, do you need a new diaper? Yuck! Hasn't mommy changed enough diapers today?
Seth: Sorry, sweetie.
Me: It's okay. I'll see you soon. Wanna say hi to Abby?

And on and on…

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I know I said I wasn’t going to post for a while, but this particular thing has been eating at me, so I need to get this one out. This particular phrase, “it only takes one.” It hits me in my gut every time I hear it and I took a long time to figure out why exactly it hurt me so much. After all, it’s never meant to be hurtful when it’s said – it’s always said in an optimistic context.

Part of it, I think is simply because it is just a platitude that is meaningless until something comes of it. Worse, if I did get pregnant, the person who said it can say “I told you so,” and I’m not sure there ARE three more annoying words in the universe. Also it seems to invalidate whatever frustration I happen to be having at that particular moment in time – it says, “Yes, all your other embryos were crap, but your feelings about that are invalid, because all that matters is that one.” Certainly no one intends to send this message, though. So why does it bother me so much?

Finally, my beloved Barren put her finger on it in two ways. First, she said to me – yes, we all know it’s true – it’s only going to take one in the end, but platitudes don’t implant and make babies, so they don’t help. But later she said that really I should consider the math and think about it – and I would realize that, actually? It takes a heck of a lot more than one! And she’s right. Observe:

5 Clomid cycles, unmonitored, so I don’t know how many eggs, I ovulated, but we’ll assume at least one, because we do know I ovulated, so…5 cycles = 5 eggs, 0 pregnancies = 0 babies

5 IUI w/ Follistim Cycles = 11 eggs, 1 singleton pregnancy, 1 miscarriage = 0 babies

1 IUI w/ Follistim cycle = 30 follicles (not all mature, probably 5 mature), 1 triplet pregnancy = 3 babies

4 IVF cycle starts, 2 cancelled, 2 retrievals, 24 eggs retrieved, 17 fertilized, 2 transferred (1 at a time), 0 made it to freeze, 0 pregnancies = 0 babies.

So that’s … call it 45 eggs … 3 babies. So it actually takes about 15 to make a baby by my math.

Obviously it doesn’t work out to quite that math, but my point is that it’s taken a helluva a lot more than “one” to make a baby (or three, in my case). And in my 4 IVF attempts, I’ve made it to 2 retrievals and retrieved 24 eggs and gotten… zero babies. Clearly, it’s going to take more than one. Now, obviously, we haven’t found the “right” one – but there’s also no guarantee we ever will. And maybe the right one was already there, but we didn’t pick it.

I know that if I never get pregnant again, I’ve still been more blessed than I deserve to be. I know that many of you think that I have no right to even continue trying, let alone complain about our failures at this point. But this battle between primary and secondary infertility is ridiculous. These arbitrary decisions about the correct family sizes are equally ridiculous. We know our family isn’t complete, just as we know that we are blessed with the family we have. We are not blind to the blessings we have, nor to the suffering that people who haven’t made it to the other side are going through.

And the pain I feel in this loss is every bit as real as the pain I felt with each and every loss I felt the first time around.

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