Saturday, November 1, 2014

I'm still here

The last time I blogged was right after our miscarriage in the spring - the second since we started trying for a sibling for C, and the end of our chances of having a girl - all our remaining embryos are male.

My husband was ready to call it quits. The miscarriages are so hard, and losing our last girl, after everything looked like it was going to be a smooth pregnancy, was just devastating.

We have no answers as to what caused that miscarriage. According to my RE, the chances of a miscarriage with a CGH-tested normal embryo is 1 in 12. So the chance of it happening twice is about 0.5%. Not impossible, but very unlikely. The normal ultrasound showed no signs of a SCH, and it was a sudden, spontaneous miscarriage. It's possible the same underlying cause affected both this pregnancy and the one last fall, or maybe the one last fall was purely due to the SCH and this one was different. Either way, we were dealing with complications beyond what we'd had to deal with to conceive and birth C.

I wanted to try one more pregnancy - to treat everything prophylactically, and see if we could sustain a pregnancy. If the answer was no, then it was clear we'd reached the end of current medical science. We finally agreed to do another FET, and timed it for mid-September, giving us a chance for a much needed vacation in late August (we left C with my mom for 8 days, which went really well).

I started low dose antibiotics at the recommendation of my ob/gyn, who has found that a long course of low dose antibiotics can help with recurrent pregnancy loss.  We did an endometrial scratch 4 weeks before transfer. We did an intralipid infusion before transfer.

We transferred one CGH-normal embryo on September 13. I had pregnancy symptoms almost  immediately, but when I POAS 8 days after transfer, it initially looked like a complete negative, and a few hours later had a faint, faint line (with a FRER, which don't show evaporation lines in my experience). Sure enough, beta was 8, and two days later was zero. So we had implantation, but it didn't stick.

Having a beta limbo sucked - I knew it was declining: based on my strong early symptoms I knew the beta would have been higher if it had been measured earlier, and I was ready to be done. This was our 10th transfer. #1 and #2 resulted in miscarriages, #3,4 and 5 were BFNs. #6 resulted in C. #7 resulted in a miscarriage. #8 was a BFN (technically it might have been a chemical), #9 was a miscarriage (and our last chance at a girl) and #10 was a chemical.

I had had the idea that we'd try one more pregnancy, not one more cycle, but I was ready to be done. (And DH only had the idea we'd do one more cycle, so he was worried that with a negative I'd push for another, but was definitely ready to be done.) For 7 years we've been focused on getting pregnant. And we have our fantastic son C. And I got to be pregnant (and loved it). So declaring that we were done with injections and transfers and 2ww's and endometrial scratches and hormone swings was a relief.


After the last miscarriage, DH was ready to be done. As in stop cycling, no more kids, call it quits. But he had some conversations with friends, and he and I had some conversations, and we both got comfortable with the idea of surrogacy. Don't get me wrong, I grieve the loss of being pregnant again, and being able to epigenetically affect my baby during pregnancy. But between the choice of no more kids, or surrogacy, we choose surrogacy.

So after the last cycle failed, we've moved quickly. We signed with an agency in late October, and are meeting a potential surrogate tomorrow (!!). Since we have embryos, we could potentially transfer in as little as 2 months, so could be January sometime.  We'll transfer one at a time, but hopefully around the end of 2015/early 2016, we could be bringing home another baby.

It feels weirdly transactional, and at least right now I don't feel nearly as emotionally invested as I did when cycling myself. I think some of that is because we have C, so the stakes are lower. If instead of doing donor eggs, we'd had to do surrogacy for C, the stakes would have been incredibly high.

There are some silver linings. I have my body back, and after weaning, four transfers, and two miscarriages, it's nice to be able to exercise freely and fit into old clothes. No injections is great, and no monitoring appointments, etc. I intend to induce lactation so I can breastfeed, and hopefully having successfully breastfed C will increase my chances of success (if anyone has a killer lactation consultant in Northern California with experience in inducing lactation, I'd love the contact info).

When we first started trying to have kids, back in 2007, I would never have anticipated getting to this point. But we decided having a child was important enough to us that we chose to use donor eggs. And that was a great experience and hasn't colored my relationship with C in the slightest. And we've decided having another child was important enough to us that we're choosing to use a surrogate with our donor egg embryos. And I'm confident that if we'll have no regrets.


  1. I'm in awe of your determination and teamwork. Very excited to follow this next step of your journey!

    I had a fantastic LC here in SoCal. Will ask if she has any recommendations. Xx

  2. So sorry about your last transfer. Good luck with the surrogate, sounds like a great plan!

  3. I'm really excited to hear about your new plan! Good luck with meeting the surrogate today! I hope that goes well.

  4. So sorry about your September transfer but wow, you're well on your way with this new plan. I admire your courage and perseverance and will really be praying that this is the answer you've been waiting for.

  5. Thinking of you. Hope you have good news to share soon.