My luteal phase was thirteen days. Which is... ok I guess. Actually, thirteen days is fine. Good, even. Also, my cycle was a normal length - 35 days. Which is fine. Except.

Except.

My temperature dipped dramatically at 10dpo. That night I started spotting lightly. Days 11, 12 and 13po saw bright red spotting for the first half of the day. And cramps! It was one step shy of "light menses". I checked back through my notes from this year. My spotting has started at 9-10dpo every cycle I know the ovulation date for. Not as dramatically when I've had the help of progesterone, but nonetheless. At 9-10dpo. And I know a lot of people experience spotting and I know it's not impossible to get pregnant on one of these cycles, except.

Except.

The chemical pregnancies. Three of. And I know there are other reasons for a chemical, and it could still be the quality of eggs gained from an OHSS cycle, or one of "those things" and I know prior to IVF I had two completely normal luteal phases, with maybe the teensiest bit of brown spotting at 13 and 14dpo so maybe this is all just a drug-induced fuck-up that will sort itself out much like the luteal phases of breast feeding women who've said they were fine once baby was weaned, except.

Except.

Those AIH cycles were atypical for me - shorter, by several days, and with much more obvious signs of ovulation than usual. What if this is my normal cycle? What if I only get two or three good ones in a normal year? I also know that even a ten day luteal phase is considered fine by many, and that implantation will mostly have happened by then, and that even if it is on the short side it's treatable except.

Except.

We have been treating it - with OI (FSH) and LP support and it hasn't solved the problem, and don't they say frozen embryos are sometimes a little slower? And what's the deal with my progesterone levels being normal - in fact, great - during my luteal phase even whilst the spotting is going on? Normal progesterone levels and an abnormal response of the lining? How do you fix that? And I know we're still young and if we keep throwing shit at the wall someday something will stick and maybe it'll be cycle six, or sixteen, or even twenty-three but fuck it we can't even conceive without IVF and I don't know if I want to keep going that long and I'm not sure it's worth it and I'm starting to feel like I could do something else with my life and still feel it was all worthwhile and maybe we'd even be happy and maybe people would come to respect that and maybe I'd come to see this whole exercise as nothing more than blind worshipping at the false idol of parenthood and not something I ever had a good reason to pursue because some days I forget why we're here and I wonder what's keeping us going except.

Except.

I think I should try one more time.

It's my post-lap cycle. Bound to be screwy, right? And the others - they were post-progesterone-support cycles. Bound to be screwy, right? Right? I mean, it's all still under control. Isn't it? And we haven't exhausted FS's list of FET protocols. One of those will probably work fine. Right? And if we don't try everything we'll regret it one day, right? Won't we?

I asked Mr Bea how many cycles he thought was "reasonable". He said he thought any number of cycles was reasonable. So I asked him, with some irritation, how many he thought we would do, before giving up. He blinked. He said we've only been doing IVF for a year. Only a year.

He said at four to six transfers a year he doesn't think it's logical to give up and move on until we've got three or four years under our belt. But he understands I might want to stop sooner. And he's happy for now to say let's use up our frosties and do a second fresh cycle then see where we're at.

I'm tired. Because apparently when I said I'd take a few months off to see if my body would reset without the drugs, what I secretly meant was I wanted to take the rest of the year off and go back in January, confident that half our problems were solved, and we were simply looking for the "right" embryo. But it's going to take longer than that, if it happens at all, and if the next FET doesn't work, we - what? Take another several cycles off so my body can reset so we can do another FET that doesn't work and then take another break of several cycles...? How many years would we go on for at two to three transfers a year? "Logically" speaking?

I'm losing faith. I feel like pursuing something else - something I can have faith in - except.

Except.

Not quite yet.


11 Comments

Vee said...

"And if we don't try everything we'll regret it one day, right?"
Right !

So you do what you have to do and you move on when you are ready. I just wish it was all so much bloody easier !
I wish I has some answer re the spotting too.

Jules said...

My spotting seems to had disappeared.

Try everything till there's nothing left to try. Take each step at a time. When something doesn't work, try something else.

Or, when you feel like you cant do it anymore, move on.

I should take some of my own advice, shouldn't I.

Baby Blues said...

I feel like I'm placed on hold whenever we do ART. It just drains you emotionally, physically and spiritually. If you feel that you're getting too caught up in this pursuit, just step back and take a break. It helps to have a plan. In our case, plan A-Z. It gives us some kind of control.

Hopeful Mother said...

I must say I am really enjoying your posts lately!

And I quote:

"And I know we're still young and if we keep throwing shit at the wall someday something will stick and maybe it'll be cycle six, or sixteen, or even twenty-three but fuck it we can't even conceive without IVF and I don't know if I want to keep going that long and I'm not sure it's worth it and I'm starting to feel like I could do something else with my life and still feel it was all worthwhile and maybe we'd even be happy and maybe people would come to respect that and maybe I'd come to see this whole exercise as nothing more than blind worshipping at the false idol of parenthood and not something I ever had a good reason to pursue because some days I forget why we're here and I wonder what's keeping us going except."

Ditto. Agreed. 100%.

It is so impossible to know what you "should do" vs. what you "want to do." And for how long, how much $$ etc.

And how will we feel, after ALL this, if it works? Or if it doesn't?

I think we all want to just give up on ART and be magically pregnant on our own... and just to stop having to think about the "what ifs" all the time.

Lut said...

I just blanched there when I read 3 to 4 years, at 4 to 6 transfers a year. That's a long time.

For now, I only decide about the upcoming cycle, and the one after that.

Carol said...

I can tell from you posts that you're not one to give up. Even though it may get you down sometimes, you've got a lot of fight left in you. You said yourself that you've got lots of options left.

My Reality said...

It is the except's and what-if's that make you crazy. I agree with what Lut said - take it one cycle at a time. Only you know when you won't have any more except's and what if's.

Gracie said...

I also agree take it one cycle at a time and don't give up just yet. After almost 1 year TTC with AC I too am feeling a little jaded and over it but I am not willing to give up until I physically and emotionally fall in a heap and can't go on anymore. Otherwise I definitely know I will regret it.
In terms of your spotting, that is bizarre but have you thought about exploring some TCM remedies to fix it. I am reading a book at the moment which has been written by a western doctor turned TCM specialist who also had difficulty TTC and it has a section about Luteal Phase Defect - the book is called The Infertility Cure by Randine Lewis.

Sanorah said...

After last months failed cycle i was thinking that I'd have to be finished soon, that I couldn’t’ take much more of this. I was thinking strongly about giving this stuff up and move quickly to adoption, its a mother i want most (thought i would like to be pregnant)to be.
Then this month my spirits are up again and I’m thinking i can do this a while longer, maybe it will work eventually...

Its all far from ideal and we 'deal' however we can. Hang in there girl.




~Sanorah

Jules said...

Forget my post. Spotting is back.

serenity said...

"Only a year."

I think this sometimes too. We only did 4 transfers - only one year of IVF. That is still A LOT of hope and pain. And trying.

3 or 4 years? I don't know if I could handle it for that long either.

Like pretty much everyone else has said. Take it a cycle at a time. A day at a time. Hell, an HOUR at a time. Whatever you need to do to cope.

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