Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Post-BFN follow-up

Thank you all for your comments on my latest BFN on Saturday.  I actually wrote the posts for Sunday and Monday ahead of time with the thought that I wanted to take a break from blogging over the weekend.  (I still wanted to post about those things--both of which have been in my mind--particularly since it's May ICLW.  It was just as simple to write the posts ahead of time.)  So that's the reason I haven't thanked you previously, even though new posts have gone up.

To be honest, I really wasn't that sad after Saturday's BFN.  Probably because I was pretty much expecting it.  I am ruled far more by logic than by emotion most of the time.  Our RE, who is an experienced and respected physician, one of the top in his field in the city where we live, told us that we would have a 10-15% chance of success each cycle, depending upon the number of follicles I produced.  Knowing this, and knowing that I only had two mature follicles at ovulation, I figured there was a 90% chance that the cycle wouldn't work.

I had also worked a lot on letting go of my attachment to the outcome of the cycle.  Not sure if that contributed to handling it better, or if I have simply been worn down by many, many months of failed cycles.

Despite thinking positive and having some hope (10% isn't zero, and it's twice the usual 5% success rate per cycle we'd have TTC on our own), I expected a BFN.  So I had planned my weekend accordingly: no social activities whatsoever on Saturday, and no work, since I didn't know if I'd be able to concentrate after testing, whether it was a positive or a negative.  I promised myself an easy day when I could just veg, if that ended up being what I wanted.
Because I ended up handling the BFN better than expected, I visited the farmers' market on Saturday morning and had dinner with my BFF that evening while MM was working.  I still did a lot of relaxing, too, but I also did some chores around the house.

Unlike me, MM is more emotional than logical (though he denies this).  He was asleep when I tested, and we have previously agreed that I would only wake him for a positive test.  I went back to bed after testing, but I left the HPT on the bathroom counter so he could see it for himself (as he usually wants to do--he's been known to fish them out of the trash if necessary).  He snuck out of bed hours after I'd gone back to sleep and saw the test.  He came back to bed very sad and continued to feel low throughout the rest of the day.

For the most part, I just gave him his space and let him mourn in his own way.  There really wasn't much that needed to be said, and he prefers solitude when he's not in a good mood.

I feel horrible about the fact that I am not able to provide my husband with someone that should be so simple, and something that he wants desperately.  At the moment, his sadness and disappointment about our inability to have a child of our own seem much more acute than my own.  I know I shouldn't place blame, and that we are "unexplained," so I cannot know this for sure. . . . but I do feel that our childlessness is my fault.  (Me and my "old eggs")  I can't help but wonder if he sometimes wishes he had married someone else, someone with whom he could have had a child by now. . . . even though he always assures me that he loves me, loves being married to me, and will be happy spending the rest of his life with me even if it means he will be childless.  I know how badly he wants to be a father.

Anyway. . . . . . that is a subject for another post.

We had previously agreed to continue with injectables and IUIs up to the maximum six lifetime IUIs for which our insurance will pay, and that is still our plan.  I am just waiting for AF to arrive.  In prior cycles when I've used the prog.este.rone gel, it has taken 4-5 days after my BFN for her to make her appearance, so I am anticipating starting on Wednesday or Thursday.

I have two weekend, out-of-state trips scheduled in June, but so long as AF shows up by Thursday or Friday of this week, neither trip should interfere with our doing treatment this upcoming cycle.  So I hope AF doesn't decide to delay her appearance even longer than usual this go-around.

I have already called our RE to let him know that I want him to be more aggressive with the medications this cycle.  When we had our sit-down appointment with him in March, he had agreed to do this, and yet last cycle's protocol only produced two mature follicles at ovulation.  Our goal is more like three or four mature follicles, because even with that number, he believes that there is less than a 1% chance of our conceiving triplets or more, given our history and my age.  It just seems obvious to me that if two follicles doubles our odds of success, three should triple them, and four should quadruple them.  I am willing to take the (very small) risk of triplets or more because I think it is much more likely that I won't get pregnant at all than that all three or four follicles will produce an egg of good quality.

In a sense, the approach we're taking is a numbers game.  There is nothing the RE can do about the age or quality of my eggs, but hopefully the more eggs I produce, the higher probability that at least one is a healthy one.

I've also been reading up on ways to improve egg quality.  There aren't many.  One I am considered trying is DHEA.  (You can read a little about it here.)  I figure it can't hurt, and it might help.

I did a pretty good job of not obsessing during the last cycle, and I intend to work on that again this cycle.  In addition to letting go of attachment to the cycle outcome, I am also going to focus on getting back in a regular exercise routine and healthier eating during this cycle.  When I am making healthier choices, they tend to take up a lot of my mental energy, so it should help. . . . in addition to the obvious fact that I should be focusing more attention on that area anyway.

Let's see how this goes. . . . .


  1. I can't believe how ok you seem, good for you. I think to help with egg quality you can also try fish oil and CoQ10. Good luck with your upcoming cycle, I will be here offering support.

  2. I'm with you. My goal for this coming cycle and the rest of my life is to make sure to get exercise in and eat (a little)less. I always feel better when I am good to myself. Good luck!

  3. I hope that increasing the meds helps! That is my plan for our next IUI cycle too!

    Good luck!

    ICLW #81

  4. You sound very ok, which is great! I'm sorry your hubby is having such a tough time of things. IF is difficult on everyone in such different ways.

    I hope AF shows soon and that you can get your next cycle underway.

  5. I'm glad you're doing ok. I feel the same way about the percentages and chances...there's some kind of line between hope and logic, and people have a natural inclination to lean one way or the other.

    I'm sorry about your BFN, but I'm glad you're ok. I hope your doctor has a plan to get more agressive next time!


  6. I'm sorry for you latest BFN. I know each one is painful. But I am glad you are back on this rollercoaster. I know I don't know you IRL, but I see you as a thoughtful and intelligent person. I really believe you are meant to mother a child. I hope the more aggressive med protocol is the answer.

  7. Hi-- nice to, er, meet you! I know what you mean about the BFN's getting easier over time. The cumulative weight of them all gets harder to bear, but each individual one seems to shrink in importance as time passes...

    I was interested to hear about how hard your husband took it. I feel frustrated with my husband sometimes because he is always able to remain optimistic and doesn't even think we have a 'problem' yet (!!!!). He also says he's fine without kids in any case. This is hard for me because it isn't how i feel (and I want us to be on the same page), but after reading this, I realize it is also hard if you feel like you might be letting your husband down. I guess there are no good IF situations, huh? As my buddy Bunny says, "There is no better, only worse". Too true.

  8. Your comments about your husband rang really true to me. I am "unexplained" too (though as of last Friday we may have explained it....) but I have always known, or suspected, that the problem was with me and not him. Just like you I go down that dangerous path of wondering if he would rather be with someone who could give him a child. But it sounds like your husband is really supportive and caring; and that's something to be excited about.

    I tend to agree with you about the aggressive protocol, but I'm speaking from no experience at all, and I know that what *seems* right to me isn't always what's actually true, particularly as regards probability. But it does stand to reason that three or four follicles would be better than two!

  9. I'm sorry about your BFN. It always stinks to see that no matter how remote the chances are.

  10. It's all a numbers game isn't it? I definitely know how you feel, when you tell yourself you know it will be negative, but you can't squash that little tiny bit of hope that refuses to go away, so there is always some disappointment.
    Praying for you that your bfp is just around the corner xxx


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