Saturday, October 28, 2006


I have been reading Julie's posts lately and I have been reliving my past failures at IVF. We did 3 unsuccessful IVF cycles before we were successful. I have craptastic ovaries. I had a history of empty egg sacs. In fact, both of our children are DE.

Not being about to use my own eggs was a journey for me. I felt angry and ashamed for a long time that I did not respond to treatment. Finally I realized that for me, children would have to come from my heart. I thought of it as controlled adoption. There are a lot of things that come with this. We are going to tell our kids when they are older. I am not sure exactly how, but I know that it is the right thing. Right now, I have started with the "Mummy and Daddy needed a lot of help to get pregnant." I think of the Donor and feel such deep gratitude that she gave a piece of herself to us. Both of our boys are amazing.

I think of the unsuccessful attempts and I know I was never pregnant, but each failure was like a miscarriage to me. I didn't tell people at first when we were cycling. I did not want to face other people's feelings if we failed. I did tell people that we were trying IVF when we did our DE pregnancies. We have not told our families that the boys are from donor eggs. I did not want to face any crap about it. I guess they will find out eventually, if the boys tell them. I just want to tell our boys first.

I am certainly lucky that the rollercoast of IVF brought my husband and I closer together. It was not always easy, but it made me realize that he really really loved me. I am lucky that I have a husband that is emotionally present.

I really don't think that I have dealt with the grief of all of the failures. Someone suggested to my that I should write a letter to those boys and girls that did not make it and then burn it. Maybe I will blog that some day.

We transfered 3 donor eggs in IVF #4 and two took hold. I was horrified. I did NOT want twins. My husband was happy. It made me want to puke. Oh, maybe that was just the horrible morning sickness. Luckily for me, one stopped growing about 9 weeks in. I cannot pretend that I was not relieved. Of course, sometimes I wonder, but I never wanted twins.

In IVF #5 we transfered 2 eggs and both took hold. But it gets worse, one of the eggs split into monozygotic twins. I was pregnant with triplets and sick as a dog. We had testing done and it was determined that one of the MZ twins was not normal. We decided to do a reduction of the twins, rather than risk the whole pregnancy. You cannot take just one twin as they are in the same sack. If you miscarry, it will often take the whole pregnancy instead of just the one abnormal fetus. Unfortunately we had to do a six hour drive to find a doctor that would do it. In case you don't know, a reduction is done by injecting saline into the heart of the fetus. This stops the heart. So the procedure is much like amniocentesis. You have a technician who does an ultrasound and a doctor who does the injection. You have to lie still and breath easily. The doctor then inserts the largest needle that you have ever seen into your belly and into the unlucky fetus. Our doctor tried to do both at once. You increase the risk to the pregnancy when you insert the needle more than once. Unfortunately, fetus B took several hours to die, instead of the instant death that we had been told would happen. Oh yes, and then you carry the dead fetuses inside you until you give birth. They will calcify, but they will still be there. It was probably the worst day of my life. (The day that I thought I was miscarrying my first son is also on that list. Luckily that was just a little bleeding.)

I will NEVER tell anyone about the reduction. Why? Because I do not want my son to ever have to think about our having a reduction to increase his chances at survival. If I don't tell, then he will never know. Yes, it was a selfish decision that benefited the whole family. Triplets with at least one with serious problems would have had a huge negative impact of our life. I am sorry that it happened. I am sorry that we had to experience it. It is the worst case scenario. However, I know that was did the right thing.

I have two healthy happy sons. It was not the journey that I wanted to take, but I am happen with the destination.


Anonymous said...

Hi. I actually clicked through to you from Julie's blog and the ongoing comments discussion about the proposed IVF limits. (Disclaimer: I'm not an infertile, but I have friends who are having difficulties in this area.)

Anyways, I just wanted to say after reading your post that I don't believe your decision to reduce your triplet pregnancy was selfish in any way. Without a reduction, there was a very high chance you would have lost the entire pregnancy. And, even if you'd managed to carry all three 'long enough', the chances were high there would have been serious medical problems with one, two or all three of them, and you yourself. I believe that it's extremely fair to consider the potential negative impact on your life and family, especially on the son you already had.

Anyways, that's my two cents. I probably feel very strongly about it because I chose to have amnio with both my pregnancies to make sure my babies were basically healthy (currently pregnant with number 2) and faced a fair number of people saying to me 'Why would you have amnio? I could never do that.' My response is and always has been, it's a personal choice, everyone is different. I'm doing what I believe is best for me and my family.

I hope you don't mind my commenting; I'll probably be back to browse your blog later, but right now my almost-18 month old is demanding my attention. ;-)

DD said...

I certainly don't envy that position, but I understand completely the decision you made.

I've been asked during a couple of our cycles if I had any problems with selective reduction and I know a decision like that would be difficult but necessary in the event that there would be more than 3. However, right now I don't have to worry about that. I can't even get one to stick around.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. You reduced one fetus but did two die? Was your son one of the mz twins?

Not on Fire said...

Sorry for the confusion. Two eggs were transfered. One egg split into twins.

It is inadequate to say so, but I am sorry that you are having trouble getting pregnant. I can relate.

Anonymous said...

Let me re-phrase. You said you were pregnant with triplets and you reduced one. Wouldn't that leave you with twins? But you only have two children. So did the other mz twin die as well?

Not on Fire said...

Sorry, you are right. I was unclear. You cannot take just one of the MZ twins, since they share a sack, both must go.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered adoption? Why waste all these resources when there are children already living who could use your love, time and money.

Anonymous said...

What is selfish is IVF in the first place.

There are tens of thousands of children the planet over, thousands right here in America, who will never have a family.

But then you have jerks spending obscene amounts of money so they can avoid adoption.


Not on Fire said...

Unlike you Anonymous, I am not right here in America.

I don't think that you can understand the desire to have children unless it does not come easily to you. You are right that it does cost obscene amounts of money. My husband and I worked hard to get the jobs that gave us that money. We earned it, we certainly weren't born with money. Instead of spending the money on cars or other crap we spent it on the most precious gift you can have, a family. It was our choice to try IVF instead of adoption.

Have you adopted? Or do you just know what is best for others?

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Not On Fire. Who does Anonymous think he or she is . Yes I would much rather spend that money on having children then all the other luxuries in life. And yes you are right if you can't have children naturally why should you be forced to adopt when there are other options. Why dont you tell all the people in the world who can have children naturally to not have any and just adopt. Adoption is a personal decision that not everyone wants to do. Who are you to dictate what people can or can not try. Hope is not lost, IVF does offer options. I have three great children because of ICSI.