Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Yes, I still exist

It's been a while. One of the things about not trying to conceive for the first time in a year and a half is that you suddenly have all of these other things to think about. It's remarkable to start my day with a Web site other than Fertilityfriend.com. It's amazing to spend the month not constantly monitoring my cervical mucus and breasts for possible signs of ovulation or pregnancy.

I am spending my break trying to drop some weight -- currently on day six of the South Beach diet. It's been nearly 20 years since I actively went on a capital-D diet. This one has its benefits, like the fact that it's not low-fat, but it also has many drawbacks. (Cannot believe I haven't eaten a piece of fruit in six days.) I'm planning to cheat on the Fourth of July, but beyond that I don't know exactly how much weight I'm trying to lose or how long I'll tolerate this. Probably not much and not very.

It feels both good and bizarre to be doing something with my body other than trying to get pregnant. Last week I ate a nicoise salad for the first time in eons. Yes, I know the mercury takes a long time to leave your system, but it sure was a nice change.

At the moment I'm waiting for my RE's IVF coordinator to call me so we can think about getting things moving. I had some blood tests earlier this month, both for my primary care physician (cholesterol and fasting glucose) and fertility doctor (HCG, TSH, and some antiphospholipid thing that could have contributed to miscarriage). Everything was normal. At this point, the only explanation for miscarriage #2 is trisomy 12. Number 1 will always remain a mystery, I guess.

Which leads me to this existential issue. I've always been fascinated by twins. I loved the Sweet Valley High books as a teenager. At the same time, knowing people with twins has only increased my fear of having them myself. (As a result, I'm pretty sure that conceiving identical twins last time around was nature's way of giving me the finger.) One of my main reservations about IVF has been the risk of twins, though of course that can be minimized with a single embryo transfer.

And hence the dilemma. Back in the single-miscarriage days, it seemed perfectly reasonable to transfer a single embryo. Hey, no reason to think that this one embryo will be flawed even if the first one was, right? But miscarriage #2 has changed the game. I've had two conceptions that I know of and two that failed. If I'm going to go to the bother of IVF, and I have a history of making problematic embryos, does it make sense to transfer two in IVF to maximize my chances? (Personal policy is not to transfer more than I am prepared to raise or carry, at the moment.) Or, again, would doing so only ensure that Mother Nature would again give me the double-fingered salute?


vee said...

Hey there. Glad to see you pop your head above the parapet again and that you're making good use of your break (if the dreaded D word can be described as such!)

I've no IVF experience to draw on to offer you advice, but I'm sure other will have something more helpful to say. My only thought really on what you ask is that if the embryos created for IVF transfer don't look good, then I guess they wouldn't transfer them anyway?

charlotte said...

I would go ahead and do 2. I cannot imagine going through all that without maximizing my chances to the degree of comfort I had with how many I could handle. Sounds like 2 is a good number for you. What weird decisions these are. What is your timeline?

aspiring baker said...

Charlotte -- thanks for your note. As for timing: I think I'm on a break until probably September. I started trying in November 2005, and until the last miscarriage I tried every single cycle, with no breaks. It left me emotionally exhausted even before I got pregnant the second time. Before I knew I was pregnant, I was planning to take a break and then do IVF. It's just that that break came a little later (and with a lot more heartbreak) than I originally expected.