Thursday, February 24, 2011

All-In, Baby!

Odd poker hand

I’m still waiting to hear about the retreat…it may be full.  So, I can’t give an update about that yet.  I really want to be able to post like everyone else about day-to-day developments in my fertility journey.  But I can’t, because there are none.  I’m sure people are getting bored with my constant self-evaluations, but I am STILL waiting for our egg donor’s period to begin, even though it has been over 29 days since the donor coordinator said “I’ll call you when she has her first day of her menses.”  So, I have nothing exciting to report about.  Sorry.  I do, however, have an amusing anecdote about my RE and my addiction to infertility treatments.  So with that glowing introduction, here is today’s blog soup de jour.

Back in the fall of last year, my very wise (and hilarious) RE was trying to help me accept the cancellation of an IVF cycle.  I had been taking large doses of stimulation meds for something like 29 days, with zero follicles to show for my efforts.  When the RE recommended canceling, I bawled and bawled.  I just felt like I had given so much to the cycle…how could I quit?

He said “[Princess], this is not quitting.  Look at it like a poker game.  You got dealt a crappy hand this cycle.  It looked like it might be a good hand when you started betting, but now it is obvious that the hand isn’t good.  Is there a chance you could get a good card on the river that would save the hand?  Well…there’s always a chance.  But are you really willing to go all-in on this cycle when you can keep what chips you have left now and try for a better hand next time around?  It’s up to you, but there’s an obvious choice that takes your emotional and physical health into account.  You are not quitting the game…just folding a hand that is a stinker, so that you can hopefully get better cards in the next deal.”  (If you are not familiar with Texas Holdem’ poker, this reference was probably just lost on you.  You’ll have to trust me that it is clever!)

Thinking about canceling the cycle in those terms made me feel a little better about it.  I still cried but, every once in awhile, I would laugh through the tears, thinking about my RE trying so hard to convince me that canceling was the best move without making my emotional status any worse.

His analogy not only rings true when looking at an individual IVF (or IUI) cycle that isn’t going well, it also ties in nicely to my theory that infertility treatments are an addiction.  When I’m in an IVF cycle, all I can think about is getting to the end of the cycle and winning with a pregnancy.  When things don’t work out, I have an urgent need to get right back into another ART cycle.  An old New York Lottery slogan – “You have to be in it to win it” - comes to mind.  I don’t play the lotto.  Mainly because I am a big fan of math and it is hard to buy a lottery ticket when you have a solid understanding of statistics.  And yet, when my RE said I had a 5% chance of getting pregnant with my own eggs, I wanted to jump right into another IVF cycle…IVF cycle #7 to be specific. (Lucky number 7, right?)  Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, the Prince is also a fan of statistics and his analytical mind said that a 5% chance of success was not worth what we were going through each cycle.

So, now we’ve moved to a new “game” – a donor egg IVF cycle.  In this game, I’ve been given 50/50 odds of walking home with the prize.  Sometimes I think to myself:  “If I had six thousand dollars, and was told I could put it on a game with 50/50 odds of doubling up, I would pass on the game and keep the six thousand bucks.”  I’m risk-aversive.  But when the prize of the game is getting pregnant, I’m all-in, every time.  And even the ultra-conservative Prince is on board with 50/50 odds.  So, I just have to wait to be dealt in…and the waiting is killing me.  After all, I’m due for a big win.  And this IVF cycle is the new Lucky  #7.  Yep…I’m definitely an addict.  


New Year Mum said...

You certainly aren't boring... I love all your posts :) Your RE's analogy was a good one... but must be so frustrating waiting now. Thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed that you get going with this cycle soon xoxo

My New Normal said...

I'm getting ready to start down the road of egg donation. I'd love to chat more about your journey. Where are you having this done? Are you happy with them??

China Doll said...

Love the metaphor! Sometimes the logic makes no sense though, does it? I'm all-in, whatever happens!
Hope lucky #7 is the one xx