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Need to make a decision...

(14 Posts)
ChampagneTastes Fri 01-Jan-16 08:24:10

We've just had a failed ICSI cycle in an attempt to conceive DC2 (DC1 was conceived naturally - we are "sub-fertile" apparently). We have one embryo in the freezer.

Our initial plan was to go for an immediate second attempt. Part of the rush is to try to keep the age gap between our children to a minimum although obviously the chance of having them close in age has gone for ever. If we were to start another cycle in January and were successful, it would fit quite neatly into our lives - DS would have just started school, I'm a teacher so would be able to start maternity leave in the new academic year (helps with recruitment for cover, etc).

However, I'm having quite severe qualms. Firstly, I really didn't grasp how emotionally draining the whole experience is. I did it just before Christmas and felt quite resentful of the pressure on my body plus the impact on my hormones and mood. I am also struggling with the lack of certainty. I can not shake the feeling that the last round failed because of me and things I did wrong. That hurts because it means we didn't get a child but I also feel immensely guilty that we have just spent £5.5k on nothing.

Secondly, our infertility has been going on so long that I can't really imagine it actually working. I have lots of plans of what we will do if/when it DOESN'T work (I thought that this might help me cope in the event of a failure) but the thought of actually having another baby seems like a ridiculous fantasy.

Thirdly, and this is the thing that probably scares me the most, what if it works and it turns out that it's not what I wanted after all? My DS is ridiculously wonderful - what if DC2 doesn't bring a much loved sibling but a rival? Or a less wonderful child? The pregnancy with DS1 was fine but the birth was quite traumatic and both DH and I struggled with the first few weeks (I know everyone does).

I don't know what to do. Part of me wants to do it to get it over and done with. Part of me wants to take a month off to get my body back in shape after Christmas and just to have a break. Part of me wants to just give up on the whole thing (but I would regret it forever if I didn't use my final chance).

If someone could come along and tell me what to do with my life, that'd be fab. Thanks!

Pixa Fri 01-Jan-16 08:33:46

Hi Champagne

Firstly, please don't feel like you've failed. That's a really natural response in these circumstances but it's far from true. Be kind to yourself.

No-one can really come along and tell you what to do, it's too much of a huge decision.

Do you feel like these are your only options?
^Part of me wants to do it to get it over and done with.
Part of me wants to take a month off to get my body back in shape after Christmas and just to have a break.
Part of me wants to just give up on the whole thing^

mrschatty Fri 01-Jan-16 08:38:41

Hi op- didn't want to read and run.

So sorry your in such a challenging situation flowers

Infertility is so hard and having one DC wouldn't make it any easier... like you say your stuck in a 'what if...' situation...

You say you have one embryo ready to go... could you take a beak for a few months get yourself back in a good physical and emotional state and try you think you would always regret not using that remaining chance?

Really only you can decide. But if it was my choice I'd go for it with the remaining embryo if it works take it that this is what is to happen and if I'm unsuccessful again be happy you gave it your all and it just wasn't meant to be...

All the best OP flowers

cheapredwine Fri 01-Jan-16 08:39:38

Would you do another fresh cycle or your frozen embryo? Fresh cycles particularly are hard on the body, as well as emotionally. A lot / majority of clinics prefer you yo have 2 or 3 periods between treatments so you can recover. Personally I think going straight into another full fresh cycle would be very tough, I couldn't have done it. FET maybe, byt I have no personal experience of that so can't really offer any advice. What does your clinic say? And I wonder whether a session or two of counselling might be helpful as well as a follow up with the medical team? Many clinics offer counselling sessions though again I don't have personal experience. Was it your first cycle? And how old are you? If you have time in your hands I would definitely urge you to consider a break. Wish you all the very best champagne

ChampagneTastes Fri 01-Jan-16 09:04:23

Thanks all. I'm 36 - not ancient but unfortunately my problem is ageing ovaries (and lazy sperm - not a great combination). I don't want to be doing this when I'm 40 (I know it works for some people but I'm not the fittest and I don't think I'd survive a small baby at that age!)

I dealt with the ICSI failure by throwing myself into all the Christmassy things that you mustn't have if pregnant (I am 95% brie, pate and alcohol). I will be getting back in shape over the next month in the traditional January detox/diet. Might be worth doing that for a month first?

If we go ahead it would be with the remaining embryo. If that doesn't work we have already said that we wouldn't do it again. Throwing away more than £10k would be more than our finances could bear.

The problem is, and apologies for the dripfeed, that if it doesn't work I'm going to be quitting my job and starting freelance work. If I'm to do that I need to know what I'm doing by Easter so that school are able to recruit a replacement. If I'm pregnant, I'm not going to be quitting yet. But whatever happens I don't want to be working in September as I desperately want to be taking my little boy to school. So I either need to be on maternity leave or have quit. There is a lot going on with us at the moment but so many decisions are being put off to "see what happens" with the ICIS. I worry that I'm not giving it my full attention and that's why it failed.

I went round to a friend's house yesterday and saw her newborn. It made me irrationally furious. Why can everyone else just pop out a baby on demand (I know, there are lots of people who can't but amongst my friends there seems to be some sort of fertility epidemic at the moment).

Is it better to have a natural cycle and transfer or should I have a manufactured cycle? And is this uterine scratching any good?

Thanks for reading. It really helps to get this stuff out.

CatnipMouse Fri 01-Jan-16 09:50:19

Hi there, there's a couple of things you mentioned that I might be able to help with.

Scratch - I had one before a FET and one before a natural cycle. The frozen transfer implanted (but I had a miscarriage later), the transfer from the natural cycle didn't stick. My clinic said that their experience was promising but there wasn't enough data / evidence yet to say for sure. It was only £200 I think. Not fun but over quickly. I'd do it again personally.

Medicated vs unmedicated FET - I was asking my clinic about this very recently (I have some in the freezer too). Doc said that success rates are similar but unmedicated ones are more likely to be cancelled (I guess due to poor lining?) In which case you have to wait till next month and try again. I think I will probably take that chance and try unmedicated as I've had three lots of drugs this year already. My previous FET was medicated and was fine but I found it difficult to remember to take the oestrogen tablets three times a day. No horrible side effects, but generally I tolerate IVF drugs well it seems.

Frozen transfers can be tougher in a way, in that you know there is a chance you might go through all the prep and then on the day the embryos may not defrost properly. That would be a real blow. Also they tend to have lower success rates. I did such a good job of managing my expectations for my FET that I was gobsmacked to get a positive result! So much for positive thinking ha.

I hope that's helpful. I'm sorry your cycle failed, it is so tough. It's not your fault, often it just doesn't work, but it's human nature to try and find an explanation / blame yourself, isn't it!

Chchchchangeabout Fri 01-Jan-16 09:52:40

In your position, I would take a quick break to get my body in best position/health (it starts with the egg is a v good book), then go for it.

ChampagneTastes Fri 01-Jan-16 18:53:32

I think a break is probably a good idea. Although having just met with yet another pregnant friend I think I'm going to struggle not thinking about it all the time.

I think I'm going to work on the assumption that I don't get pregnant and start planning for next year that way.

cheapredwine Fri 01-Jan-16 20:45:09

Can I ask which clinic you're at? Understand totally if you'd rather not say. Or PM? If you're going to call it a day after a FET, would you consider moving the embryo to a throw-everything-at-it clinic? It's only a thought and it might be a really stupid one, I just wonder whether at least then you could know you'd thrown everything at it? The other thing which really jumps out at me in your second post is your concern for the school and the related imposed time frame of Easter. Can I be direct? This isn't helpful for you OP. IVF / ICSI is unpredictable in the extreme, and one month might not be the optimal one to cycle if your hormones are a bit out etc. I think it's very resposible of you to have such concern for the school, poss replacing you etc, but you don't need that extra stress and worry. I don't have an answer, but you need to do what is right for you and your OH, and honestly everything else needs to fit around it. I honestly don't think you're in a good place to rush straight into the FET.

On the scratch, the evidence is mounting that it helps implantation. I'd definitely do it, though if you have it done conscious, it's not massively pleasant. There are a ton of reasons why cycles sadly don't work - you not giving it enough attention isn't one.

Thinking of you OP

ChampagneTastes Fri 01-Jan-16 21:01:48

Cheapredwine Thank you. You've actually made me cry. Possibly a bit to do with too much of your namesake (actually it's bloody expensive red wine that I was going to keep for ages even though I don't have a cellar but friends came round and insisted on opening it, the bastards). You are right I think and I need to commit regardless of my pregnancy status. I think it might be most sensible to just hand my notice in and sod the maternity leave if I need it. Fuck. I don't know. I would just like someone to swoop in and make everything better.

I've been really neglecting DS through all of this. Poor sod.

cheapredwine Sat 02-Jan-16 16:05:38

Oh champagne I'm sorry I made you cry. On my name, wow I miss it! I'll drink any red pretty much!! (currently 13+2 after IVF at ARGC - miracle workers!). Personally I think you need to focus and prioritise your FET and let the rest of life (except DH, DS obvs) take second place. Trying to juggle treatment with anything else while also retaining your sanity (or most of it) is bloody hard. I was working almost full time during 2 failed NHS cycles which were a 150 ish mile commute each time I went to the clinic. It was very very hard. And not why they failed I am certain of that, but mentally it was tough. You do sound low though and I really do urge you to see if your clinic does counselling sessions - I wish we had had one. Do you have family / friends support in RL?

ChampagneTastes Sat 02-Jan-16 19:12:44

Congrats cheapredwine. No, not many people to talk to in real life sadly. Although there are a few people who know, they are all either pregnant or breastfeeding so not really appropriate for providing a shoulder.

Sorry I didn't answer your previous question: I'm at Bath Fertility Clinic. Their stats seem no different to anyone else's. I quite like the consultant and the embryologist.

I'm not very good at being counselled; I just need to get my head back in the game and make a clear decision. Whatever happens I'm quitting my job - knowing that takes some of the pressure off.

The biggest problem is that I have quite an attractive few months ahead if I DON'T get pregnant. New career, staying at home, holiday... None of which will materialise if I do get pregnant now. I think I'm just tired of the whole thing. I just want it to happen RIGHT NOW or be able to get on with the rest of my life.

I think I need to focus on getting my body back in shape post-Christmas and see what happens come day 21. It may well be that it's best to leave it for the moment any way.

Amara123 Sun 03-Jan-16 10:17:20

I'm in a similar position to you and could have written your post op. Where I've got to is I'm not going to think about it for a month and then will see where I am mentally and physically. It's a tough process so best to be kind to yourself.


ChampagneTastes Sun 03-Jan-16 17:14:05

Amara I'm sorry. It sucks doesn't it? What's your situation? x

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