Saturday, April 14, 2012

Level Up

A while back I read a post written by Jay over at The 2 Week Wait entitled "Level Two" where she likened IF to a video game, but, instead of saving the princess at the end you get pregnant. I remember after reading it wondering when I would have enough points to finally save the princess. On my journey to save the princess I've fought monsters sometimes winning, sometimes losing. Through the past few months I gained IF points when battling monsters that took the shape of Bacterial Infections and HPV to Jealously and Depression. I've even lost a few points along the way. The night the IF monster reared its ugly head was a battle lost. It was not one of my proudest moments.
All along as I've played this game battling monsters in secret chambers humming the tune to Nintendo's Mario Brothers I've been aware of another way to reach the princess. There is a secret realm that only a few venture into in the Land of IF. It's a whole new level of infertility that I have just recently graduated to. From far away this realm is scary and unknown. But from up close it's not so bad at all.
After our 27th cycle failed things were as they usually are. We were devastated for a couple of days and then, as we tend to do, we picked ourselves up off the floor and asked ourselves what our next steps were going to be. It just so happened that we had planned a trip to Ireland for our spring break so we knew that the coming cycle was going to be a much needed break. Before we left I convinced Jason that it was time for us to look into using donor eggs. We have friends here that did and I know a few of couples from the blogging world that have grown their families that way. I knew in my heart that it was time. So we went to talk to a doctor, who from here on out, will be called The Baby Maker. She runs a clinic here in Dehli that caters to westerners who are interested in egg donation and surrogacy. At first Jason was unsure of the whole thing. The Baby Maker is a savvy business woman which in some ways can be very off putting. But I reminded Jason that she is in the business of making babies and she's damn good at it. She really knows her fertility shit. She spent close to an hour with us answering and ASKING questions. Doctors here in India tend not to do that. They tend to glance at your documents and then give you a photocopy of whatever protocol they use. The Baby Maker suggested that before we make any big decisions I should get my day 3 hormones and my AMH checked since it's been about a year since those have been done. I just happened to be on my second day so the next morning I went in and had my blood drawn. The day threes were back later that day with a raised FSH, higher than it's ever been. The following day my AMH came in. It was devastatingly low.
As I looked at the number I felt the strangest thing. I was relieved. I almost laughed actually. It was just what we needed to take that next step. It was the key to the hidden realm. When I sent the results to The Baby Maker she responded in an email with, "the path ahead is clear." And so, I've leveled up, just not quite in the way I had expected.
Just hours after we had gotten my AMH results we boarded a plane to Ireland. It could not have come at a better time. Ireland, especially in the spring, is lovely and exotic and unpredictable. I've often felt that as an infertile it's so difficult to live in the moment. We're always thinking of what is coming next, always waiting. In unpredictable and lovely Ireland we hadn't a thing booked. Every decision was a game time decision, where to stay or eat or when to get out of the car and look at the scenary. Jason and I haven't lived entirely in the moment in a long long time. It was one of the best trips we've ever taken. (click here if you'd like to read about our adventures in Ireland and here to see them) In many ways it was bitter sweet, though, poetic even, looking at those beautiful Irish faces knowing that my child will not have my freckles or my blue eyes. However, I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else in the world while mourning that loss.
The day after we returned we headed to the Baby Maker's clinic to discuss the details of our DE cycle. By Friday our chosen donor had started her period and was beginning treatment. By Saturday I received my schedule and started my treatment. Today I go in for my first ultrasound and away we go. It all happened so fast and yet it feels so right.
So as it stands now we are scheduled for egg retreival on May 8th or 9th and embryo transfer on May 11th or 12th. If I get a positive result I'll have just enough time to have a 5 week scan before Jason and I head back to the states to our home in MN for the summer.
For the next few weeks I have a feeling I'll be updating this blog fairly frequently as I capture this crazy ride.
Here's to the princess. She's closer than she's ever been before.

And here's a bit of fun! I've leveled up in another way. I've gone from being OLF with Bernadette over at Rasta Less Traveled to being friends IRL! I am so fortunate to be part of a community of strong women.


  1. Oh what a fantastic way to grieve one loss and open the pathway to a new adventure. So excited for you guys!

  2. Hi Kate, hoping that this new path leads you to a successful outcome.

  3. This post ROCKS! I am so excited for this new chapter. Hoping your spirit has been renewed. For some reason I can't access the Ireland pics. I'll try again later. xo

  4. Your post is so gorgeous and awesome! I love the hope that is shining through. I wish you and Jason much success on this journey

  5. I've been wondering how you are doing! And I love the analogy to a video game. It's SOO true. Yay for a trip to Ireland! 've never been there but really want to go. Maybe we'll take the twins there someday... It sounds like a blissful place and a great getaway for you and Jason before you embark on your next steps.

    As far as donor eggs go, I'm SOO thrilled for you! I think when you get to the point of trying donor eggs, you will know that it's right and be excited about it. It sounds like you are there! I'm sorry your AMH was super low and FSH super high, but I totally get that feeling of relief. Its nice to have something be able to push you in one direction or the other... and that seems to be it.

    These twins that I am carrying are MY babies and I absolutely can not wait to meet them.. I hardly ever think of the fact that their genetic makeup is not from me. I'm glad you found a doctor that is willing to help you and give you attention.

    I can't believe you are already in cycle! WOOOT!!! I'll be sending you tons and tons of positive thoughts. And how great you got to meet Bernadette!!! I love how this blogging world can connect each of us across the continents.

    I didn't realize you were from MN! How awesome. We are in WI. Please update as much as possible and know that I am rooting sooo hard for you! I hoping so hard that you finally "save the princess"

  6. Hi, Kate! I love your blog, and the different cultural perspective. Thank you for posting your story here! Sending you good thoughts for the next step in your journey ... and hoping that you get to rescue your princess very soon.

  7. I'm originally from WI :) What an amazing life you live, being able to travel - an exciting ... a wonderful life story. I am Irish and will definitely be checking out your pictures... drooling and being all kinds of jealous.

    As for "Saving the Princess" ... what a great way to refer to it .... btw ... all I can say is YAY on the new hidden room full of possibilities. Having that solace of KNOWING you are on the right path gives you such comfort. I know that feeling. I have a feeling that this will definitely be the answer for making your family :) GOOD LUCK!!!

    Dropping by from ICLW - #86

  8. I'm a first time visitor for ICLW, and I love love LOVE your header picture. I'm a keen traveller, and have lived in Bangkok myself, so curious to find what as taken you there. Wishing you the very best for this cycle.

  9. Hi! New here from ICLW. Thanks for stopping by and your words of support. I'm so excited for you as you start this next cycle, and I'm looking forward to following your journey!

  10. Hi Kate, I'm here from ICLW. I'm sorry about the recent labs, but it sounds as if it has given you clarity on the next steps. Best of luck!

  11. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog! It's nice to meet new people, especially ones that are on a similar path as my own. Your cycle is moving at top speed, that's for sure! Best of luck to you and I hope your donor turns out to be the ONE that brings you your miracle!

  12. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Wow! You just started a crazy adventure. I'm glad you got to take a vacation and refresh yourself for what is to come. Hoping this donor can help bring you your dream.

  13. Hi Kate, here from ICLW. Thanks for stopping by to my blog this morning! Your journey has been a long one but I'm so excited to start following along with you as you enter this next level. Best of luck to you!!! How exciting. :)

  14. Phew...what a whirwind path of the princess!

    I hope your DE cycle works. Were you able to meet your donor? Or did the privacy thing run as is the norm?


  15. Here from ICLW - best wishes to you!