Eli's Corner


in search of quiet knowing

Hi all.

Just wanted to drop in and let you all know I’m still alive.

We met with our doctor to discuss my dismal IVF response.  Apparently all the doctors at the clinic met to discuss my case.  I hate being special.  After looking at my eggs under a microscope, she was able to confirm that I have the eggs of a much older woman.  I knew that already – because AMH + my family history + the internet helped me figure that out.  She was the one who was all blowy-offy about my AMH results (which I had to push her to even have done in the first place), telling me that it would have no impact on IVF.  I knew different. I also hate being right.

Basically, my eggs are crusty, and there aren’t many of them.  They had me on the most aggressive hormone protocol they use, and I only got 2 mature eggs.  Evidently, there is no amount of hormones that will cause my body to respond differently.  Here’s the kicker though: immediately after telling us that, she says that all the doctors decided that the thing for me to do is go with something called “aggressive IVF” where they max out all the drugs and also inject me with Human Growth Hormone.  Will it work?  They don’t know.  It’s kind of experimental.  What will it look like if it works? I might get one or two more eggs.  Will they be any good? Probably not.  But I can do supplements and acupuncture to try to make them better.  (I’ve been doing supplements and acupuncture for three years, but never mind all that.)  What’s that?  You want to know if your miscarriage was a shitty egg issue?  Probably.  Will it happen again?  Oh – don’t worry about it – you’re not considered high risk until you have had three miscarriages.  (Pause for me to repeatedly bang my head on her desk.)  This aggressive IVF, it’s much more expensive than IVF, and your odds of succeeding are extremely low.  So when do you want to start?  Because you wouldn’t want to quit after just one failed cycle.

Just one failed cycle.  Have you been here for the last three years?  Those seven cycles leading up to this one? The surgery? The miscarriage? The D&C? The career I had that no longer exists? The life that has been put entirely on pause?  The tens of thousands of dollars poured into absolutely nothing?  The conversion of my body from something that belongs to me into a laboratory? Have you seen the stress on my marriage? The friendships I’ve lost? The dreams that have slipped, one by one, through my fingers?  Just. One. Failed. Cycle.

And now you want me to throw money that isn’t there at something that won’t work, prolonging my misery even more so that you can all sit in a room and analyze the results?  Or whatever it is that you get out of this.  ?

But it’s hard to walk away entirely.  I asked how quickly I was in decline.  She said I probably had a year before there was absolutely no point in trying anymore.

Needless to say, this was not where I was expecting this all to end.  I truly don’t know what we’ll do.  We’re considering trying this stupid option.  We’re talking about adoption, about not having kids, about other ways of having meaning in life.  There is a very real element of relief in the idea of not being in this horrid process anymore.  I even binge watched “Call the Midwife” last week without feeling all emotional about all the babies.  It was like watching a tribe in the Amazon whose lives and customs were unknowable to me.  I felt outside it in a good, disengaged, not hurt by it all way.  But last night I dreamt I had a daughter.  That she came out with a full head of hair because she’d been kicking around in there since the IVF.  My subconscious doesn’t know yet that we’re trying to move on.  When I’m honest with my heart, I still hope.  It’s a miracle that I hope for now, not a successful IVF cycle.

Right now in this not knowing, I’m exploring neglected, non-baby parts of me, and I’m listening.  To my own instincts, to my desires, to my husband’s thoughts and longings.  I’m listening for the whisper of the holy spirit – it usually comes in the form of peace…of quiet knowing.  I’m waiting for that quiet knowing.  I need it so very much.