Realistic Expectations

First, I need to say thank you so much for everyone’s thoughts yesterday.  I learned something really important yesterday – it’s not so much about the embryo grading, but more about if the embryos are genetically normal.

This conversation reinforced that I/we need to have realistic expectations.  As most of us know, having embryos and even being pregnant does not guarantee a successful pregnancy – there are just so many other factors at play many of which are completely out of our control.

For us, when we chose international, open, infant adoption we made very deliberate choices.  In fact, while making these choices we also chose to be matched with a potential birth mom who was in her third trimester – we knew when we were matched that our potential child would be well past viability.  Yes, anything can happen during a pregnancy (as I know all too well), but we knew with a third trimester match our chances of another loss were drastically lower.  And a few years ago that was a critical decision making factor for us.  In fact, it was one of the most important factors for us.  At the time, I needed to walk away from the negative mental health side of experiencing another possible loss.

I realize that today things may be different.  I may be more prepared to handle another loss – we have Baby MPB to snuggle and love and focus on if we were to experience a loss and if we choose to use a gestational carrier and remove my body from the equation entirely I may just be able to handle it better.

But I have to be realistic in realizing that I might also not be better equipped to handle another loss – it could sort of be like ripping off an old scab and exposing a wound.  Loss is loss and it just sucks, I’m not sure that anything can possibly make that easier.  Honestly, I just don’t know about this part of our decision making yet.  I suspect we probably have some serious soul searching to do to see if we are actually in a place where we can go handle a possible loss.

I don’t want to live my life in fear of possibilities, but I also don’t want to knowingly walk back into what was a very hard time for me after working so hard to reclaim my life.

But I do know that if we proceed with embryo adoption, there are some steps we can consider (i.e. PGS) to help increase our chances of success.

And in my mind, this also means we have to set very clear expectations to help enable us to handle all the possible outcomes.


On another note, why does growing ones family have to be so darn difficult?  Why does just thinking about trying to bring another child into our family have to make my head hurt?

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22 Comments on “Realistic Expectations

  1. It is something to be considered careful. Modern medicine is not as full proof as I thought going into the IVF. There are just so many variables and chances for things to go wrong. But if you want another baby the embryo adoption might be a viable route for you. Keep us updated and keep enjoying Baby MPB!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Alicia, this is exactly what I’m realizing. Which I think is so important for us to remember – this is an amazing opportunity and I’m thankful we can consider it. But, if we proceed there are no guarantees and we need to remember that. Thank you!


  2. I just wanted to let you know something..
    There is only so much science can do to save from heart break.
    Yes, PGS will defenitely let you know that there is no anomaly and reduce the chance of risk. Also, using a gestational carrier who has previously given birth will also ensure success because successive pregnancies always have lesser complications. So yes, we can reduce the risk… But….
    There are tonnes of other stuff that can happen to the baby and pregnancy. Yes, the odds of these happening are v v v low, but then even the odds of RPL are v low! So, what am getting at is, look at PGS to save the gestational carrier heart break, she will be the one miscarrying, and just leave the rest as que sera sera.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is exactly what I’m thinking. As much was I want to think this is a guarantee, it isn’t. It’s a great opportunity and it may work out, but it also may not. And while we can make educated decisions, what will ultimately happen will ultimately be out of our hands. The big question is whether or not I can handle that.


  3. On your last point….It’s not fair at all…some days I get sad about it, some days I get mad about it, some days I get sick of thinking about…but know that you sadly are not alone in this feeling 😞

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m with you about all of that – sad, mad and sick of it all! Yet, one thing I do know is that no-matter what I am so fortunate to have Baby MPB – and I never want to lose sight of that.


  4. To echo what alicia3234 says, being able to do IVF sometimes gives people false hope that it will work. It will work for most, thank god, but there are those who will try and fail, over and over again. Being successful with IVF for baby #1 gives those parents the feeling that, “of course it will work again for baby #2,” and I’ve seen this so many times prove that no, IF does not discriminate. This is why it is so important to have realistic expectations, which was my original point when I made that very controversial comment. πŸ˜‰

    We went into IVF #1 thinking we could not fail (16 eggs, 2 perfect embryos for transfer, 7 embryos for the freezer in perfect-excellent grades) and we failed. I went into the first FET feeling down and defeated, thinking it would not work, and we had a Chemical pregnancy. For IVF #2 (but third cycle including FET), I was much more realistic, knowing it could go whatever way it chose, and we got only 4 embryos. I thought, realistically, we’d be cycling again. It was in that 3rd cycle, my second fresh IVF cycle, that I felt the calmest. I had very realistic expectations and resigned myself to the fact that I had no control of what was going to happen. I was so calm, I forgot to take some meds! And, that’s when we got Matthew. Now, relaxing had nothing to do with it being a success, but I can tell you that I felt so much better being realistic than thinking, “this is going to work!”

    With IVF, just like with pregnancy, we really do have 0 control. I remember Brian saying, after our second egg retrieval, “well, our part is done. The rest is up to fate. We did our parts, and we did them well.”. YOU get to skip our part, and go straight to it being up to fate. That is a great position to be in!!!! Yes, if you choose to move forward with this, you will feel vested, but not one thing will be your responsibility (directly or indirectly). And knowing you, you will have realistic expectations set.

    I am excited for you because this is a very real opportunity. It’s exciting that you even get to consider it! ❀

    Liked by 3 people

    • I have lots to say in response, but I’m sitting on my bike and about to start spin. So for the moment I’ll be quick.
      I adore your very last 2 sentences. Yes, it it truly amazing that we even get to consider this. It is truly amazing that these people have chosen us!!! I will forever be thankful for being given this opportunity. ❀
      More thoughts later. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • This is really similar to how I felt! We felt so optimistic in the first cycle, which ended in miscarriage. And much more deflated in the second cycle (well, I felt pessimistic and T felt cautiously optimistic but still worried) and I’m sitting here 26 weeks pregnant. I think it is a lottery (with some things which can mean you’re not even in with a chance, like not buying a ticket – or someone not entering your numbers into the draw). I think there are so many factors that determine success or failure, and most of them aren’t within our control.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I have never had real miscarriages but my chemicals devastated me so i cant imagine grief and loss associated with a miscarriage.

    I think you should consider using the embryos in yourself. Maybe this is your chance! Maybe you miscarried always cuz you had immune related issues? Try getting them checked? Maybe your immunes caused the miscarriages and once u treat them u actually hv a good chance to deliver your baby! Stay happy and positive. You are lucky πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe a loss is a loss and it is heartbreaking no matter what – I am so sorry you’ve been through chemical losses. I firmly believe a chemical pregnancy is an early miscarriage. When we went through the immune testing our doctor made that very clear to us as well – as we also have had 2 chemicals.
      And as for your second point, I think I need to do a whole post on my thoughts on using my own uterus. We did immunology testing with Dr. Braverman. Much to everyone’s surprise I didn’t really have any immunology issues, I have reverse blood-flow to my uterus and suspected silent endometriosis. Both of which may be treatable. However, where I live in Canada I cannot get treatment. And the cost of flying to the USA for uninsured surgery and medications every 2 weeks is something we simply couldn’t afford. So, without being able to overcome that problem there really isn’t much point in putting the embryos into me. Sadly.


  6. I’ve been a gestational surrogate. When I did it, it worked on the first IVF cycle. After I gave birth, we tried for a second baby. That cycle didn’t work ( I think it may have been too soon), and I chose not to do it again. Good luck with this decision!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I tried IUIs and IVF for two+ years, and I lost two pregnancies before I finally found the right protocol that allowed me to carry my son to term. He’s almost three now, but I spent the majority of that pregnancy on pins and needles.

    We started TTC again this year, and ended up losing that pregnancy as well. This time it was a bit of a shock because we’d seen the heartbeat twice, and it was past the point of my earlier losses.

    And as hard and sad as it was, and this is just my experience, it was easier because I already (finally) had a child at home. There was no more, I’ll be barren forever worry in the back of my head.

    I’m sure that’s not the case for everyone but for me, I’m willing to try again. For me, it’s still a gamble and expensive, and causes a lot of anxiety, but at the same time, the pressure is off, and I think that makes a big difference in my mindset.


  8. It is immensely unfair that family building is so difficult, so convoluted, so full of complexity for some. I am sorry that this is one of those double-edged swords — a world of possibility but also a world of hurt, balancing on a thin blade. I think you’re working your way through all the possibilities and probabilities the best you can, and I hope that you come to a conclusion that works for you and your family. Sometimes what seems like a beautiful gift opens gates that have ripple effects and far more complication than originally thought. (It’s still a beautiful gift, it just comes with webs and webs of complexity.) Thinking of you through this!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am just catching up on your blog. What a development for you and what a beautiful couple to offer this to you and Mr. MPB. I can see how these decisions are so incredibly difficult and must be calculated out to weight every option. I wish you all the best, no matter which path you travel down. Hugs!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow! Yes, so difficult to grow a family. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that we’ll have 1 and I’m happy with it. If I get another miracle from some unforeseen circumstance, I will welcome it with open arms.

    Liked by 1 person

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