Don’t Kick me Out When I’m Down

Down and out: why can't I be this cute when I'm sad?

I’m just so sad and mad tonight; please forgive my typos and the fact that this is not a pretty post.

Here’s the thing: I’m a public relations professional by trade so I typically can convince even myself of a positive spin. It’s not as if I lie or even twist the truth (I’m an honorable PR person, I promise), but I understand that so much of life is how you look at it. My job is to paint the pretty picture, and gloss over negatives if need be. I’m pretty good at it. And that’s what I’ve been doing with my life too.

But tonight, I can’t even come up with a peppier headline for this blog.

Some of you know my daily, ever- hopeful “Positive IVF Thought of the Day” on Twitter, cheer-leading my friends dealing with infertility, my blog posts all wrapped up with an upbeat ribbon: I do it to help others- but to be honest, I also do it to get through what’s been the hardest time of my life so far.

And it’s worked. After two miscarriages, I wasn’t sure I had the energy or courage to go back for a third round of IVF, but I’ve found strength in all of you dear friends, and in my own determination to look through the rosy view.

But tonight I got news that has shaken my core. Even after my miscarriages, I still felt a tiny glimmer of hope in my heartbreak because I knew I could try again. Now with the results of my Day 3 test, my options are narrowing quickly and the reality that Mr. T and I may never have a child- or be able to afford the chance to try again- is beyond my PR happy spin talents.

Just to catch you up on why I’m at this point: A year ago we found out that due to Mr. T’s missing tubing (congential abscence of the vas deference), a condition caused by a rare gene for Cystic Fibrosis, our only option to concieve was IVF.

Trying to put his own positive spin on it, the urologist told us: “I see no reason why you shouldn’t be able to have children with IVF.” Of course this was devestating to hear, and I remember thinking that he was jinxing us by being so confident.

I was “young” only 33, and everyone said we had great odds that IVF would work for us. My tests were all normal, only my FSH was slightly high at 10. Despite our great odds, Mr. T and I decided to sign up for a “shared risk program” that included 3 fresh and 3 frozen IVF cycles, with a 70% money back guarantee if we didn’t get our “take home baby.” Mr. T and I are not gamblers.

Of course they took us. We looked like a safe bet.

We had a perfect cycle, 11 perfect eggs, A++ embryos all making it to day 5 and hatching even before transfer. When we got pregnant at that first try, we were thrilled, and didn’t mind that we had just paid twice as much as we needed to.

I picture the IVF Program Fund Mangers rubbing their hands in glee, getting such a great profit off us.  I didn’t mind then. But now, after two miscarriages, the number crunchers are apparently having doubts about their investment.  They requested that I get my FSH tested again.

Full of misgiving, especially due my crazy post-miscarriage cycles, I went for the test yesterday.

I missed the nurse coordinator’s call tonight so she left a message. As soon as I heard her voice, I knew from experience that it was the “sorry, I have bad news that’s going to ruin your night- if not your life-” voice:

“Hi, Jess….so.. we got the results back from your day three test……(long sad pause)………and your FSH has gone up. We aren’t going to submit these numbers to the program because they would likely drop you. So, we should test again in a month and see if they are any better. Call me back, but as I said……(long sad pause again to emphasize the point AGAIN)……we aren’t going to submit these numbers because they will drop you. Call me if you have any questions. Have a good night!”

I held it together until I got home and then crumbled in Mr. T’s arms. Like the man he is, he tried his best to fix it. But I know that unless I can find a magic FSH lowering pill, it’s likely we’ll get booted from the program now that we don’t like such an attractive bet.

And after going through all the loss of two IVF cycles ending in miscarriages, I can’t handle any more rejection.

I’m just so ANGRY. It’s not fair that that because my husband was born with missing tubes, that my eggs aren’t as young as they once were, that we have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for the chance to have what some people get without trying- or even wanting.

I was prepared to let the dream of having our own baby go after 3 fresh and 3 frozen cycles. I couldn’t even imaging wanting to go through all the injections and procedures for three cycles when I signed up. But now, I just want my fair try. And I don’t want someone to give up on me before I’m ready to give up myself.

I can’t give up yet. PLEASE don’t give up on me, Company That I Won’t Name.  I know you look at me like a risk vs. reward number on your spreadsheet, but I’m very much a real person, and I’d make a wonderful mother.

Now I’m going to go cry myself to sleep. I’m going to have to dig very deep for my positive thought tomorrow. Nothing left tonight.

Thanks for reading, and for letting me vent, friends.

*Note: since this company doesn’t yet know about my test results, I’m not revealing their name- yet.

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19 thoughts on “Don’t Kick me Out When I’m Down

  1. sunnymama February 16, 2011 at 11:37 am Reply

    I’m sorry to hear this news and it is so unfair. I hope you are able to find your positivity again soon and really hope the FSH numbers next month are going to be better. It’s so very hard going through this but I know when you do get your much wanted baby this will all have been worth it. *Hugs*

  2. Moon February 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm Reply

    Oh Jess, I’m so sorry to hear this and so sorry that you’re feeling so sad.
    I hope by the time you read this that you feel a little bit stronger and find your positivity to look ahead, we’re all here for you and hoping that the numbers come down next month so you can try again. Sending you big hugs, xx
    ps – i wish I had a magic potion to help!

  3. missohkay February 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm Reply

    Ugh, I’m sorry for the bad news. Hope your numbers improve!

  4. sassy February 16, 2011 at 4:55 pm Reply

    What to say…….Don’t give up on yourself. ever.
    You’re clearly a very strong woman, with a DH that will move mountains if needed.
    Take it one day at a time. I realize this may almost sound like pandering, but you can only focus on what you bring to the table.
    There is so much that is unfair, and completely out of our control in the vortex that is Infertility. And know that so many of us are rooting for you, for all of us walking this winding path. xo

    • Jess February 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm Reply

      Thank you. I just wish I didn’t have to bring my high FSH to the table. I hate feeling that I’m defined by these numbers.
      Really appreciate your thoughts and comments though. Thank you.

  5. liberationtheory February 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm Reply

    This shit isn’t fair by a LONG shot. Like you, I’m the eternal optimist and always looking for the silver lining. But there isn’t. Yet I hope beyond hope that miracles will happen for you because I KNOW they can.

    *Off to google how to lower your FSH*

    • Jess February 16, 2011 at 8:18 pm Reply

      You are WONDERFUL. Thank you. I’ve googled it myself, but I haven’t seen that site. The only problem with using estrogen to cheat the test is that they also test that at the same time- so if it’s high or low they adjust the FSH scores.

      Thanks again for being there for me. It really means so much to me.

  6. liberationtheory February 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm Reply

    Just found this. Scroll down to see how estrogen pills might help over acupuncture!

    http://fertilityfile.com/2008/04/27/how-do-i-lower-my-fsh-level/

  7. StolenEggs February 16, 2011 at 6:09 pm Reply

    I don’t know if it would work for you or not, but my FSH goes down with estrogen patches. It doesn’t truly “fix” the problem, but it helps my body function a little more normally. They might still try to boot you, but I would fight it. Fight like hell. Get out all your original paperwork and see what it says. You might also want to have your AMH tested (although if it’s low I wouldn’t share that with them).

    • Jess February 16, 2011 at 8:24 pm Reply

      Thank you so much for the advice and support. Unfortunately, the paperwork I signed says they have every right to boot me whenever they want. I signed it, thinking optimistically that would never happen to me. And here I am with tough choices. I just don’t see how I can get my FSH down to a level that they would keep me- now that I have two miscarriages, I’m damaged goods to them. 😦 Makes me so mad.

      I’ve never had my AMH tested. The strange thing is, I had a pretty good response to the drugs this summer without estrogen priming and starting on the lowest stim drugs- though they increased them to the max after day 4.

      I really love you all for rallying to my help though. The advice and support makes me feel more hopeful than I was last night or even this morning. Thanks for taking the time to reach out.

  8. serendipitie February 16, 2011 at 8:32 pm Reply

    I hate this. It majorly sucks. I’m sure you Googled everything under the sun about this, and I wish there was something else I could tell you to give you more hope. xoxo

  9. hopingforrainbows February 16, 2011 at 11:34 pm Reply

    My heart breaks for you. I am praying for a turn around for you next month.
    My FSH levels go all over the place. They have been as low as 7 and as high as 13.4 within a month. I have faith that you will get there Jess.

    Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about ~ Anthony Robbins

    Big hugs xx

    • Jess February 18, 2011 at 1:49 am Reply

      Thanks so much, L. It’s just so frustrating when there’s nothing I can do about it. Do you know at what point in your cycle you got the 7? Just looking for a way to beat the system if I can.

      Thanks again for reading and supporting me. As much as this whole thing stinks, it is a lucky thing that it’s brought me such wonderful friendships.

  10. Ann March 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm Reply

    I stumbled onto your blog and had to comment. I was told that our chances were incredibly small for conceiving – my FSH was 19. I was shocked (I take pride in taking care of myself)! But I decided not to take it lying down. I did a lot of research online and found a lot of people trumpeting the value of wheatgrass for FSH levels.
    I decided to give it a try. After one month, my FSH went to 15.7 (I had to be under 17 for them to treat me), the following month it was 13.9, the month after that 12.1 and 13.1.
    I have done three IUI cycles two of which ended in miscarriages so I know how you feel and truly admire your willingness to soldier on. Personally we are now taking a break – the mental exhaustion is just too much for me right now.

    But honestly, I am not trying to sell anything, just some advice for FSH lowering. It worked for me! I got the powder and put it in water once a day, it tastes gross but you’ll get used to it. I know you can use it even three times a day. They also make pill form but I cant attest to the results with those. GOOD LUCK!!!!

    • Ann March 1, 2011 at 5:49 pm Reply

      I just read farther down and saw that you are already on the wheatgrass. I hope this month is just a fluke of fluctuation! Good luck!!

      • Jess March 2, 2011 at 3:05 am

        Do you know you just made my day? THANK YOU so much for commenting and sharing your experience about lowering your FSH with wheatgrass. I bought the powder (Amazing Grass- not sure what you used?) in January but it was so gross I only took it a couple times. Since I wrote this blog post, I’ve been taking it every day and I am just praying that my next test shows some improvement.

        I’m so sorry for your struggles and losses. It’s so hard, I know. And I hear you about being shocked about FSH levels after being so healthy- I can’t imagine anyone having a healthier lifestyle than me- I rarely drink, eat lots of veggies, avoid most processed foods, exercise and have never smoked. It’s just not fair- and the losses have been so hard.

        Best wishes to you, and thanks again for taking the time to share your story with me.

  11. […] words to hear after waiting for so long to get to this point, after worrying about my high FSH, the fear of canceled insurance and cancelled cycles, after two weeks of twice daily and then three times daily injections. Never […]

  12. Male Infertility November 12, 2013 at 11:57 pm Reply

    Really it is unfair, Feeling sad for you dear. Good Luck and hope for the best for future.

    • Jess January 16, 2014 at 8:38 pm Reply

      Thanks so much. It turns out that my story does have a happy ending, but this was one of the hardest times of my life. Thank you for reading.

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