Most Saturdays, Mr. Hope and I see Chance. He was our couples counselor before he was my individual therapist, and I'm not exaggerating when I say he pretty much saved our relationship (post-engagement, pre-wedding, pre-infertility diagnosis). We used to have a standing biweekly appointment, but bumped that up to weekly a couple of months back. This would be about the time that I was bottoming out after getting off my antidepressants, so we can blame me for the increase in frequency.
I'd finished yesterday's post about twenty minutes before Mr. Hope and I had to leave for our appointment, and I was still pretty fired up over what I'd written. Mostly about how the UnproRepro was the end of the line for infertile couples and how she really needed a different approach to her job. There were a lot of expletives flying from my mouth (I told you I was fired up!) but I'll leave those to your imagination.
On the ride to Chance's office, I told Mr. Hope that we had some decisions to make. One, were we going to accept the second profile (the one with the younger mom)? And two, if we passed on it, would we wait to see what else came in or would we go with another clinic?
We walked Chance through the events that had transpired between my individual appointment with him on Wednesday and all of the stuff that went down on Friday. I pulled the profile we were considering up on my phone and started reading through it. As I did I was reminded of all the things we liked about it in the first place. Our only concern had been the slight potential that this kid could end up looking like Mr. Hope's Babymama.
Chance had a few not-so-helpful things to say about that, citing his sister's experience with IVF. Sometimes he does that - goes off on rants that leave us thinking "huh"? But in this case it worked out for us. Because when Chance suggested we write the UnproRepro back, thank her profusely for helping us, and ask to see a couple more profiles of people outside of our original parameters - just for comparison's sake - I found myself squirming on the couch. I was thinking, "But I don't want to do that, why would I do that?" and not because I didn't want to thank the UnproRepro (even though I didn't).
I said, "I think I've already made up my mind to accept these embryos," and filled him and Mr. Hope in on my internal monologue. Mr. Hope had already said he wanted to go forward with them, so with my proclamation, it was decided.
Just like that.
Later that afternoon, I sat down to fill out the donor embryo acceptance form but couldn't. Not because I'd changed my mind but because I had to stipulate that all of my questions had been answered (they hadn't).
So in the end, I needed to thank the UnproRepro anyway. Twice. Once in the beginning of the email, right after I told her we wanted these embryos, and once in the end, after I'd spelled out my four remaining questions: one about the fee, three about the embryos themselves. And as I was typing this all out I actually got annoyed again, because I felt like some of my questions should've been answered without me needing to ask them.
Such as: Have these embryos been thawed previously?
Or: How many frozen embryos are there per each straw?
But I'm over it. As my good friend Mercy said when I filled her in on everything Friday night, "You don't know what's going on with that woman. She could be frustrated over being underpaid, or she could have a relative with cancer." Basically, she was saying that how the UnproRepro treated me had everything to do with her own shiz and likely very little to do with mine.
I'm still writing Dr. Smiles a letter, though. Because OH MY GOD, all that stuff she said about my two previous IVF cycles disturbs me. Especially the part about my Day 2 transfers happening because they didn't think my embryos would survive. Like, was there an actual note on my file telling her that? And if that was indeed the case, why did Dr. Smiles transfer them at all? And why did he act like I had an actual shot at getting pregnant from them?
[Side note: I just Googled "Day 2 transfer IVF success rates" and landed on this study, which I remember reading the first time I had a Day 2 transfer. Basically, it says that there's no observed difference in success rates between Day 2 and Day 3 transfers, although the overall quality of the embryo decreased by Day 3. This lends more credence to what Dr. Smiles had told me initially, which was that when they end up with fewer embryos, they often choose to transfer earlier because the mother's body is preferable over lab culture.]
Okay, so maybe I'm not over it. Yet. But I will be.
Mr. Hope and I spent the rest of our Saturday running errands and making plans, particularly about the third bedroom in our house. Initially it was my office. Then, I relocated my stuff to the second bedroom so that Mr. Hope could have an office. At the time, we figured it was a temporary move because of course that room would become the nursery. And we used to call it that, back before we got my infertility diagnosis.
But after our first failed attempt at IVF - the first time we were converted down to IUI - we stopped calling it that. It felt like we were jinxing ourselves.
Yesterday, we started calling it the nursery again. And started making plans to paint the walls a gender-neutral color I picked out a while ago that also makes a great office color. And also making plans to refinish some of our bedroom furniture that once upon a time we'd intended to become Future Baby's.
I'm not going to lie; I'm still burdened by fears. Especially regarding my weight and how much impact it will have on this next cycle. My primary and I discussed it the last time I saw her and she said she didn't think there'd be an issue since even though I'm overweight I don't have any of the usual health problems associated with being overweight. Besides, you know, extra weight. She also pointed out that I have a lot of solid muscle and loose skin from all the weight I've already lost. So there's that.
But also: I wonder if the studies about overweight women and lower IVF success rates, even with donor eggs/embryos, take into account what those women are eating. It's a proven fact that sugar is a major player when it comes to infertility. It's a known hormone disruptor, it creates insulin resistance, and can even lower your immunity. Things like white flour and other high glycemic index foods can have a similar impact on the body.
So, like, if I'm NOT eating white flour and sugar and trans fats and all of the things that can mess you up, will my being overweight be as big of a sabotage as I fear?
More on that another day. For now, I'm happy to continue nesting (such as it is) - and focusing, for a change, on the happy, hopeful feelings running through my normally fatalistic veins.