Starting Our Family

The reality of infertility, IVF and donor eggs

Infertile Party Of One Please

on October 3, 2013

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Last night I was talking with M about my friend Kristen.  I’ve known her since kindergarten and, aside from some missing years during college, she’s been a dear friend ever since.   She was my first up close and personal introduction to IVF.  I have known other people who have done it but it was more like a passing comment.  With Kristen it was the first time I heard and saw the nitty-gritty of a cycle.   I remember the first time she talked about her RE visits I was so confused and I foolishly was thankful that I’d never have to worry about follicle counts and E2 levels- HA!  Joke is on me!   The first time I saw her get her shots was in the parking lot of a charity auction.  Her husband was allowed to crash girl’s night and drive there to do them for her.  He had all the bottles of Menopur laid out in the back of my SUV.  It was like we were tailgating.  Unfortunately her team didn’t win that cycle and she had a chemical.  She went on to have another transfer but that ended in a BFN (big fat negative).   I think she’s been traumatized and afraid to do another transfer.  Instead she continues to cycle and has become an embryo hoarder with no planned transfer in sight.  They do the genetic testing on each embryo and so far they have 16 chromosomally perfect embryos on ice.  I can kinda understand what she must be feeling.  Having been through so many trials and tribulations and infertile can feel comfort and security in the possibility of it still working.  You almost feel that having embryos waiting to be transferred gives you hope.  But once those embryos are gone then what?  Sometimes living in the “what if” is easier than dealing with a bad outcome.  Eventually though you have to bite the bullet and take the chance.  I’m not sure when she’s going to realize that chance.  M suggested maybe we should cycle together.  Maybe she could gather strength to go through it at the same time and support each other.  But all you need is one experience with cycling with a friend to realize in theory it might be a good idea but in reality it’s not.  I’ve had such experiences and I would never again willingly cycle with a friend.  While the process might seem like a bonding experience the end result- the beta- could be devastating.  There is a good chance that one will get pregnant and not the other.  Then what?  It’s hard to be 100% excited for yourself if you are the pregnant one and not have your heart break for the other.  It’s also very hard, if you’re the non-pregnant one, to be 100% excited for your friend without your own heart breaking for yourself.  Yeah, its great to cycle with “forum friends” and then eventually move up to the “Pregnant” threads but it’s very hard to maintain a level of sanity while doing it with close friends.  Of course infertiles naturally get more excited when other infertiles get pregnant as opposed to when their fertile friends get pregnant.  It’s the nature of the beast.  It’s almost like you feel like the infertile “earned” it so its ok.   And I don’t care how people will react to that statement- its the truth.  Any infertile that tells you otherwise is lying.  She can tell you how genuinely happy she is for Fertile Fran while she’s sobbing on her bathroom floor.  While Infertile Eileen gets pregnant after several IVF cycles and that’s ok.  Yes, still a little sorry for your empty womb but at least there’s still hope. 

I understand that my theory on friends cycling could be as unpredictable as the cycle itself.  It’s mostly going to depend on the level of friendship.  Back in the day when I was still bagging my head into a wall with my own eggs I cycled with a friend.  It was her 1st attempt at IVF and was done more out of convenience than desperation.  She made it a competition, or at least it felt that way.  It wound up working for her and then she ditched me.  Yes, I’ve written about her before and that friendship needed to end for several reasons.  I’m still not sure why she ditched me.  Maybe she didn’t need an infertile ally anymore?  Or maybe she wanted to freely bask in her growing belly without feeling bad?  She’s not the type to feel bad for anyone so doubt it is the latter.  On the other spectrum, I cycled recently with another friend.  This friendship start on a forum and then blossomed into what’s quickly becoming a beautiful relationship.   I truly love this woman.  We are so bonded on so many levels that have nothing to do with our infertility.  If we lived closer I’m sure we would hang out all the time and never get sick of each other.  We had our transfers on the same day.  Her’s worked, mine didn’t .  Today was her 12 week ultrasound and everything is perfect.  I love being able to say that about her!  But had I not had my miscarriage I would be announcing my pregnancy on Facebook today- instead I got my period.  Same situations, same outcomes but much different reactions.  I’m 99% happy for her and 1% sad for myself.  But I have frosties so there is still hope for me.  In the meantime I can’t wait to shower her with cute onsies and I honestly look forward to her ultrasound pics- she earned this.   I have other friends that are cycling or have cycled together.  It breaks my heart for the ones that fall on the shitty side of the statistics.  I know they are happy for the other but I also know their pain.  It’s because of this that I prefer to cycle alone.  I can’t even imagine if I cycled with Kristen and I was the lucky one.  I know she would be happy for me but I would still feel her pain.  That is something I don’t want to experience with her.  I know since I’m in a cycle now and she’s still hoarding that there is a very real chance that I will be pregnant before her.  That will come with its own level of sadness for her but it will be different than if we were doing it together.  I know we will spend many days on the playground together in the future but our babies just won’t be the exact same age and that’s ok.

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2 responses to “Infertile Party Of One Please

  1. a.e.g. says:

    In a way it seems like an okay idea to cycle with someone, but in reality – like you said – it just can’t end well. :/

  2. Kitten says:

    I totally get it. It’s hard enough for me to cycle with online friends, especially when most of them have gotten pregnant and I haven’t. Yes, I feel happier for them than I do for my fertile friends for the reasons you mentioned. But it’s still hard.

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