So after my last post I was floating on cloud nine and super excited about our follow up appointment with our doctor to go over our test results and discuss our options. I was resigned to the fact that he was going to suggest donor eggs and I was ready for it. What I was not prepared for was for him to say that he thought we should try IVF again with MY eggs. WHAT?! I’m not a doctor but based on my history and latest results this was NOT the conversation I was expecting to have. He talked a lot about PGS, the genetic screening of embryos before putting them back, it would require me to grow the eggs mix them with hubbys stuff and let them grow for between 3 and 5 days then they take a cell from the growing embyro and test it to make sure its genetically normal before putting it back.
He kept saying it would increase our chances because he thought the majority of our loses have been genetic and he thinks this will help. I can’t tell you how much I DISAGREE and how DISAPPOINTED I was with his plan. My reasoning behind it is simple. I have never produced a lot of eggs, the most I produced in a single cycle was 8 and from those 8 we ended up with 4 okay embryos, we put back two in a fresh cycle and then froze two and put them back on a fet. We had a chemical during the frozen. My last IVF cycle I made 3 eggs and we got 3 embryos and put all 3 back. My beta came back at 65 then went down from there. Out of all those scenarios how would genetic testing of our embryos have helped us conceive? We have put back every viable embryo we have ever created together and never ended up with a baby.
When I brought that point up to the Doctor he even said oh well there is a stipulation that if you don’t have enough embryos to test then it’s not worth it and they won’t do it because if you only have a few we will just put them all back anyways. HELLOOOO THAT’S ME, THAT’S BEEN ME EVERY SINGLE IVF CYCLE, what could possibly change that now? As I sat in shock with him continuing to state that we can just try it I started to look around the room and tune him out, I saw the not so strategically placed pamphlets for PGS all over the office we were in. From there I started to feel like he was simply pushing us towards this because he must get some kind of kickback for sending people that route seeing as it’s about $2,000 out of pocket for the testing.
I cried all the way home and unfortunately my husband couldn’t understand WHY, to him this sounded like great news, we can try again, with my eggs, with %100 our embryos and we had never tried PGS before so to him we were trying something different, I tried to explain to him we never tried it because we aren’t people with an excess of embryos trying to decide which ones to put back, we have put them ALL back and it’s never worked. I felt like it wouldn’t work. I told my parent’s about the appointment and they were confused, what is he doing different from any other doctor you have gone to then they said, I told them nothing except charging us an extra $2,000 and setting us back a month to test our embryos. They got it. I felt physically sick after the appointment and I told my husband I didn’t think it was going to work and I was scared and didn’t want to go through with another IVF just like the ones we had done before. They were hard on me physically and emotionally and unfortunately I wouldn’t be going in blind this time.
I took a few days to sort through these emotions and the following Monday I found out that a new science based IVF clinic in a hospital 10 minutes from our house had opened. We knew it was going to open but didn’t know when and didn’t think it would be so soon. I called and made an appointment, we go in about two weeks and we had to wait a month for the appointment. We were told at the other clinic that they don’t like to cycle people around the holidays so we would have to wait until January to start so we didn’t see waiting another month to go to a new clinic as a setback. I don’t know what this doctor is going to say and I might not love his plans for us either BUT if we end up going the route of trying a traditional round of IVF again I would much rather do it 10 minutes from home than 2 hours, that alone has taken a lot of the overwhelmed feelings away from me.
This is a really long post but all of this has been marinating in my head and I have to get it out. It’s been an incredibly stressful and emotional month. First I was blindsided by the new doctor and then a week ago my cousin who I wrote about in my previous post, the one who had breast cancer and was real with me about trying again, she passed away. It wasn’t completely unexpected because her condition had been deteriorating rapidly but her death was sudden, she went into cardiac arrest. We pray that she went quickly and painlessly and is now a guardian angel looking over us with all our other family that have gone too soon. Losing the person who I was always able to talk to about my fertility issues and get a real and honest response from has been hard. She and I would always text in the middle of the night we would both have insomnia from steroids, mine for fertility and her’s for her chemo. I have found myself struggling to fall asleep since she has passed, once I do I sleep soundly but I sit awake looking at the clock until 2am before my eyes give out and close unwillingly. I cry thinking that I want to talk to her and tell her what’s going on and I want her honest feedback and it’s not possible. I have taken talking to her, just in my head now, hoping that my words reach heaven and she can find a way to send me the answers that I’m desperately looking for.
Losing my Aunt and then my Cousin both to cancer within 6 months of each other has been the hardest thing that my family have ever dealt with. Through all the sadness and tears I see the little faces of my young cousins, nieces, nephews, and last but not least my cousins 3 year old son that she had to leave behind. They are smiling and innocent and continue to bring us joy and laughter through these impossibly hard times. It has only cemented for me the feeling that children are the ultimate bringers of joy and happiness and one way or another my husband and I will find a way to bring a child into our family, I see clearly now that it is worth fighting for.