Once and Again

A few weeks ago, a truck pulled up outside my house.


I had received a package.


Inside the box was the recipe and ingredients for making a baby.


We're going to try and have another child, a sibling for Isabella, with a FET (frozen embryo transfer) cycle.

In a lot ways, it seems crazy to be starting this process all over again.

My baby is still, well, a baby, or at least I still consider her one. She's a toddler. She can walk and talk and feed herself and express her wishes. But she still has that sweet baby smell. She sometimes still cries when I leave the room. She's still demanding of so much of my time and energy. How would the possibility of another baby impact her life? Or impact my own sanity, for that matter?

Then there is the guilt. I was incredibly lucky to have one, given our unexplained infertility and two years of trying. Is it fair to want another, and so badly, when there are many women who have endured much more than I have on their path to parenthood and are still waiting for their chance to mother one? I feel greedy and selfish and undeserving of another. After all, consider how many times I have used this blog to voice the frustrations of motherhood. I paid a hefty sum and went through IVF to have Isabella. And yet, it's no secret if you read here regularly that a lot of the time, I find motherhood extremely challenging, stressful, and soul-sucking.

And truth be told, it seems like only yesterday when I was beginning my first IVF cycle, even though it was almost 2.5 years ago.

Being unable to conceive without help robs you of the ability to think about the future of your family with any degree of certainty. All talk with friends and family about additional children begins with the word"if," as in, "If we're able to have another..." and "If we could choose how many years apart we would like our children to be..." There are no guarantees with ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). There are no certainties. Isabella may end up as an only child, and I would still thank God every night for the amazing gift of her life.

But I want two children. The hubs wants two children. I would love to give Isabella a close-in-age sibling experience, because when we weren't taking turns giving eachother stitches and pronging eachother in the forehead with forks, my sister and I were each other's best friends.

And so, we're trying again.

Here is more detail about my FET cycle than you would ever want to know.

We have four frozen embryos. My doctor wants to thaw all four, as there is a 70-75% thaw survival rate. This means that statistically, one embryo won't survive the thaw. He will transfer the other three in the hopes of one taking. I'm sure you can infer from this that the risk of multiples is greater with FET than with IVF. They transfer more embryos because the success rate of a frozen cycle is half that of a fresh cycle, but apparently when frozen cycles work, they work really well. My RE said that most of my clinic's triplets come from FET cycles.

God.Help.Me.

A few weeks ago, I picked up my prescription for the birth control pill, along with a bottle of prenatal vitamins. (And I guarantee you, I was the only woman in the grocery store with that combination of items in her shopping cart.) I've been on both for about a month.

Today, I'll start injecting myself in the thigh with Lupron, which will shut down my ovaries and my hormone system. These injections will take place each morning for about a month. I'll also be popping one baby aspirin a day to help fortify my uterine lining. Who knew?

Next week, I'll stop taking the birth control pill, get my period, and then the hubs will start injecting me in the upper arse area with Del Estrogen every three days to increase the lining of my uterus in preparation for implantation. These will last at least a month, and longer if the pregnancy test is positive.

I'll have one ultrasound and blood draw (as opposed to the many required in an IVF cycle) to check my uterine lining and estrogen levels, respectively, and then three days before the transfer, the hubs will start injecting me nightly with progesterone to maintain my uterine lining. I'll have this injection into the first trimester of the possible pregnancy.

Three days before my transfer, I'll start taking more progesterone (in fun vaginal suppository form). I'll also take these into the first trimester of the possible pregnancy.

My transfer is taking place at 1pm on Wednesday, March 5th, and my pregnancy bloodtest will be on March 17th. (Yes, I'm a quarter Irish.)

So, if the prospect of reading about an impending nervous breakdown and discussions of injections, bruised arses, and suppositories stuck in places they just shouldn't be hasn't sent you clicking away from this blog faster than you can say snowbabies, you're in for six weeks of hysterical posts fueled by stress, artificial hormones, and decaffeinated beverages.

You've been warned.

22 Responses to “Once and Again”

  1. # Blogger Lis Garrett

    WOW! I never new just how much is involved in preparation of just hoping to get pregnant. Obviously, my thoughts and best wishes are with you and Rich in whatever happens.

    And I'll stop complaining about the three kids I have that resulted from just a quick roll in the hay. You think you feel guilty?? My guilt is sky-high after reading this . . .  

  2. # Blogger Marie

    Good luck Kristi!! I'm sending tons of good wishes & prayers...  

  3. # Blogger Beagle

    Wishing you all the luck in the world!

    (and the lucky beta day can't hurt!)  

  4. # Blogger Jesser

    Wow!! How exciting. Best of luck to you.  

  5. # Blogger Tracey

    Sweetie, you don't need to feel guilty for wanting more of a good thing. And kids are a GOOD THING. Having never experienced infertility, I can't relate to all that you'll go through, but I CAN relate to wanting another child desperately. So you have my love and understanding in that, and my support and best hopes and wishes that this FET will result in ONE very healthy baby in the Fall...  

  6. # Blogger MsPrufrock

    I tried posting a comment, but I think Blogger ate it. Anyway, I'm too lazy to conjure up the original words or thereabouts. Suffice it to say, good luck, good luck, good luck!  

  7. # Blogger shokufeh

    So intriguing. So stressful. So exciting! I'll be thinking good thoughts for you! I'm getting a little teary in happy anticipation.  

  8. # Blogger My Wombinations

    I wish you all the luck of the Irish on March 17:) I really hope we get to be pregnant together (again, but this time we actually know eachother!)

    On another point: you have nothing to feel guilty about. You have every right to want your family the way you want it and I hope beyond hope that it happens for you exactly that way.

    Now I am so nervous in anticipation. I will be thinking of you constantly!  

  9. # Blogger Editorgirl

    Good for you Kristi! I will keep my fingers (and toes) crossed that everything works out well for all of you. Good luck!  

  10. # Blogger Shannon

    Good Luck hun!! I know this will be stressful but yet awesome if everything works!! Which I hope it does!!  

  11. # Anonymous Amy

    Hi Kristi! Remember me from BeautyJoyFood? I still read your blog, although I took a long, long break from starting up another one of my own. Anyway, I just wanted to say something about this:

    "How would the possibility of another baby impact her life? Or impact my own sanity, for that matter?"

    From one Type A to another, I'm not going to say "Don't worry" b/c I know you will, lol.

    BUT...having my girls close in age (they're 6 and 9 now) is one of the best decisions I ever made. It taught my older one how to share, how not to expect all attention on her all the time, how to be more of a leader, etc.

    My younger one, of course, was born into a family with a ready-made best friend, a teacher, a confidante, etc.

    And I recognized how much easier it is to have a second child that can play with the first so that I didn't have to provide all the entertainment and interaction 24/7.

    The actual logistics of 2 children close in age are hard sometimes--trips to the post office at Christmastime were a nightmare with 2 little kids, for example--but most of the time it's worth it.

    If your attempt at Baby #2 is successful, I'm sure your children will be great buddies and increase the love in your house tenfold. It will be fabulous.

    I wish you and your husband enormous amounts of luck. You can worry, but don't feel guilty. :)  

  12. # Blogger Hopeful Mother

    I am so excited that you and Rich have decided to try for Isabella's sibling. I will be thinking about you during this FET cycle and hoping for nothing but good news along the way...  

  13. # Blogger Binulatti

    Shouldn't you have mentioned "pumpkin cheesecake" in this post somewhere?  

  14. # Anonymous Anonymous

    WOW!

    I mean... awesome... good luck!

    Veronica  

  15. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Hi Kristi, this is D from "Relax it'll happen" That is great that you are going for #2. I still stop by to see what you are up to, although I have not commented in quite a while.

    I am now 25 weeks pregnant with
    #2.To our amazement we became "the urban legend". I had gone thru the work-up for another IVF cycle only to find out that my FSH was higher and my follicle count was lower. We were in the process of starting a donor cyle (as we decided this was our best chance of having another baby)when I had to go into the hospital to have some kidney stones blown up. I was all ready to go into the OR when the anesthesiologist came in to tell us there would be no procedure because I was pregnant.

    Turns out I conceived 2 days after Carson's first birthday. No idea what I will do with 2 of them running around! This one is a girl, hopefully she wont be quite as spirited and energetic. I still have 2 giant stones in my kidney (which really hurt from time to time) but I feel so incredibly blessed...I still can't believe it!

    Don't feel ANY guilt. Just because we have struggled with infertility and have gotten lucky enough to have one child does not mean that we must alter our dream of what we want our family to be...whether that dream is one baby or a dozen.

    I am sending positive thoughts and prayers your way.

    D  

  16. # Anonymous Laura McIntyre

    Good luck, i had no idea so much was involved but im thinking of you all. I will be holding out hope for a bfp  

  17. # Blogger Lisanne

    YEAH!!!!!!!!!! Good luck! Sending very best wishes your way for the "luck o' the Irish" on March 17th! How exciting ... stressful, emotional ... but *so* very exciting! I can't wait to hear more and to follow your progress!  

  18. # Anonymous sher

    How wonderful! I'm so happy that you've decided to do this. I will be thinking of you and Rich, and hoping it works out just the way you want it. How marvelous if Isabella could have a sib!  

  19. # Blogger Damselfly

    This post makes me tear up and gives me a lump in my throat.

    Sometimes I think mothers who use ART put us others to shame in their quest to have a baby.

    Best wishes!  

  20. # Blogger bjland

    Hi-
    thank you for posting your story as I am going thru the exact situation as you. I have a 21 month old son and we are starting our round of FET. For some reason, I feel a little guilty too, but I think, will I be able to continue to give my son the attention he needs as well as the new baby. Sometimes I think it's silly to think that because how many people have siblings!! One of my main concerns is that I have 5 embryos left and my doctor also wants me to try to grow them all out to blastocyt stage - for some reason this scares me a lot. I kind of feel like we are putting all our eggs in one basket. I think - what if none of them make it?? I had a very bad case of hyperstimulation after my fresh cycle in which I ended up in the hospital for 7 days and gained 40 pounds in 4 days. I was on bedrest for 4 weeks because my ovaries grew to 10 cm in size each. So, any words of wisdom you could share would be greatly appreciated as I am a little scared of losing all the embryos if I grow them to blastocyt and having to go thru the retrieval process again - even though I know deep down that I could do it if I had to. Thanks!!!  

  21. # Blogger Kristi

    Thank you, everyone, for such kind and supportive words. This is why I love the blogging community.

    Bjland- I completely understand the "putting all your eggs (ha) in one basket" thing. My doctor wants to thaw all four of our frozen ones in the hopes of getting one to "take." My first concern was the same as yours: What if none of them survive the thaw? I guess we just have to trust that our doctors know what they're doing and want to give us the best chance for a healthy baby, as terrifying as it is to trust them.

    I couldn't find your email address or your blog, so do email me if you can, if you want to "chat" more.  

  22. # Blogger sunShine

    I am so happy for you to be trying again. I have got my fingers crossed for you. Isabella is going to be such a good big sister.  

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Quick Snapshot:

  • 34-year-old writer and
    mother to a daughter
    born in August 2006 following
    IVF and girl/boy twins born in October 2008 following FET. Come along as I document the search for my lost intellect. It's a bumpy ride. Consider yourself warned.

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