So many questions

My RE is back in my good graces. He took a full hour with us today and answered every last one of my tedious questions. Too bad some of them have no answers, no matter how smart my RE is. On a sad note, the reason he forgot to call me back, follow up, etc., is that his mother died the week of my BFN. So, while his loss does not erase our loss, it sure makes his forgetfulness understandable and forgivable. I sure am glad I was diplomatic in my complaint! (I left bitchy beagle at home in her crate.)

We have decided to go ahead with IVF #2, in May, as planned. I mention this, because it was not quite as much a given in my mind as I tended to make it sound. I was not really sure until today. So much of me just wants to say enough is enough already. I know many have been through more than me, way more even, but we all have a threshold for enough is enough and mine is close at hand.

We will not change much in terms of my IVF protocol. Last cycle was actually quite good despite the fact that it failed. And this, according to the RE, is a good thing.

Lot’s of my questions were answered (all really, it’s just that some are unanswerable . . . like why did three good blasts not implant themselves in a perfectly healthy uterus with a perfectly good lining, etc.)

But to summarize our visit:

  • my eggs are good, especially for my age, my FSH remains good, and I respond quite well to a relatively low dose of drugs. (Too well, in a way). The trick with me is to maximize the stimm cycle without going into OHSS. I am on about as low a dose as possible of Menopur/Follistim and I still had 16 eggs at retrieval. So, these are all good signs that I am a young 37/38 year old at least in terms of fertility. RE would like to push for more eggs this time without going into OHSS, so the doses will be “tweaked a bit.”
  • C.’s morphology remains poor and the antibodies are really quite bad (79% of sperm are covered in them) but with ICSI all we need is enough sperm to inject one into each egg retrieved and we have plenty more than that. We do not however have a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming an urban legend couple who got pg on an IVF break, or after adopting. So that was a long winded way of saying we have a dismal SA in terms of nature, but a pretty good one for IVF/ICSI.
  • So, the choice really comes down to money and sanity. The cost of IVF will deplete us if we don’t get lucky soon . . . and the toll that the stress and drugs have on my mind and body is more of a “price” than we are willing to “pay” for more than a reasonable number of tries. C. and I think that for us “reasonable” means one more try with IVF/ICSI then we will consider either adoption or DI IUI. We are both leaning towards DI over adoption but there is a lot to consider.
  • The most encouraging things that came of this meeting where that I am not too old, yet. That eases some of the urgency for me. RE even said he’d be OK with us taking a break if that helped me. (I think waiting will make me even more mental . . . but it’s good to know I could take the time if I wanted to.) RE also said that he thinks we have a good chance of “taking home a baby” with IVF. He can’t promise anything, but he would “be the first one to tell us to give up and explore other avenues if he felt we were wasting our money.” He has told patients that he recommends they stop trying and I trust him in that regard. He also brought up the issue of getting a second opinion. He would support us in that if we choose. He said it never hurts to get another point of view.
  • Lastly, C. and I both feel good about the back-up plan. It also puts a light at the end of the tunnel . . . this doesn’t feel like and endless hamster wheel of pain anymore.

So the plan is: IVF/ ICSI in May . . . then DI IUI up to three tries, then adoption. One way or another we will get to the land of parenthood and by putting a limit to all this trying we will ensure that we have enough resources left to actually do adoption if that is the way we ending up creating our family. That is a huge relief to me. My biggest fear was that in all this trying, we’d go broke and then not be able to adopt once we finally decided that that was our choice after all. My biggest fear is to end up childless with no more options. As long as there are options there is hope.

This is all written in pencil and up for revision at any time. The DI IUI is the biggest variable. RE even suggested going back to IUI with C.’s sperm, but they can’t penetrate an egg under IVF conditions, so that seems like a waste of money to us. What good is it if IUI is cheaper than IVF if it has such a negligible chance of working in our case??

So, that’s our news. I cannot say that I, for one, am excited to do this again. But I no longer feel completely without hope either. I will keep up my self-care strategies (aerobics, margaritas, massage, etc.) and I will soak up as much sun and love as I can during my week away with C. We both need the love and the sun. And, once a little happiness has been injected back into our lives, we will tackle IVF#2 one day at a time. That is all we can do.

Thanks for reading!!

Thoughts, suggestions, etc. on the donor conception questions (2 posts ago) would be very much appreciated. Blogger has been acting up the past few days. Not able to access my own blog . . . then my post went into draft instead of posting, etc. Look back over that one if you get a chance and if you have any insights on the topic of DC . . . please share your thoughts!

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12 Responses to “So many questions”

  1. LB Says:

    Beagle-
    I think that is a wonderful plan, because the end result will be the same, no matter which method succeeds! For your sake, of course, I hope it happens sooner rather than later, because, like you said…. the SANITY issue! It is all-consuming, this fertility thing and it does take a toll. I’m glad you’re going away soon, to re-charge your batteries. Hope you are taking some prenatals already, and the exercise is always a good thing. I’m not familiar with what you mean by DI? I’m assuming donor something, maybe sperm? Just know that I’m thinking of you and read all of your entries, even if I don’t post every time. Today is Kate’s Christening, which means church, which means prayer time for B and C too. You’re in my thoughts.

  2. JEN Says:

    Beagle,
    It sounds like you have a good plan! It is very difficult to keep your sanity when you are on a rollercoaster ride from hell on drugs! Good for you for knowing what you are able to handle. I hope your self care continues and enjoy your vacation!!

  3. Lori Says:

    I’m so glad you were able to get some answers from your RE and that some measure of hope has been restored. The plan sounds like a good one. It’s hard to find the right balance of what you can handle and it’s good to stay open to plan revisions. I don’t have much insight on the donor sperm issue as it’s not one I’ve given much thought to. It sounds like you and C have given it a lot of thought. Of course, I am hoping that you don’t have to cross that bridge.

  4. Donna Says:

    I hope that IVF with ICSI is as successful for you as it was for our friends…they had severe MF issues and it was their only chance. Everyone has their breaking point, and I am really glad you and hubby are in agreement. Take as much time as you need for you and for the two of you.

  5. MoMo Says:

    Hello…I’ve been a lurker in your blog…I just want to say good luck with this cycle and I hope it is a success. I think it is great that you have a plan..having a plan makes this journey so much more tolerable.

  6. Just another Jenny Says:

    We have DS as our second option too. We have many of the same reasons: the child is genetically related to one of us, no chance of a birth mother wanting there baby back, less expensive and easier than adoption. The hard question for me to answer is “do we tell people”? My hubbie has 3 children so if we have to use DS, the child would not be genetically related to his children.

    I really hope that neither of us have to go to “plan B” but it is comforting knowing that there is a back-up plan.

    Best of luck on this next cycle.

  7. N Says:

    Oh soo good that you are back! From where I sit, your blog has been down a lot of days. I was getting worried…but pffeeeew…you are back 😀

    Sounds like a good plan you are having there for IVF#2 and also the future. We have not discussed the post-IVF future really, but I know that the Better Half and I have very different opinions of what the future should be.

    I really hope you will enjoy your vacation and drink some delicious Margaritas 😀

    Hugs,

    N

  8. Claudia Says:

    Sounds like a good plan, and it’s good to have a plan. Hey, what did the doctor say about MTHFR (or any other genetic-type disorders)? Did he recommend any testing? You had mentioned in your last post you were going to ask…

    If he didn’t recommend testing, I would still consider it. Everyone is different, of course, but if we hadn’t tested between my second failed IVF and this one, I doubt I’d be pregnant today. I had none of the traditional risk factors like recurrent pregnancy loss, so a lot of REs wouldn’t recommend testing, but I’m glad we did.

    Enjoy some vacation, and keep us posted!

  9. Liz Says:

    Sounds like a good appointment and a good plan. I think it’s great that you are keeping an open mind. Hoping your cycle will bring you your miracle.

  10. Beth Says:

    Beagle,
    I’m so glad that your RE was able to spend some time to help you get the answerable questions addressed. I can “hear” your sense of relief at having a long range plan laid out. It is one of the few things that helps me keep my tenuous hold on my sanity. Enjoy your time away.

  11. Pamplemousse Says:

    Beagle, the issues about DI/DE are both complex in their own way. I felt that I made the decision pretty quickly due to the lack of eggs at IVF recovery but the issues continue to blindside me at odd moments. There is a grieving process that must be gone through, wanted or not.

    You and your husband are talking about it openly and looking at it from all angles and that is the very best starting point. If you want to talk more about it, e-mail me.

  12. Ornery Says:

    So glad the RE did a good job in answering all your questions. It sounds like you have a great plan. I will be keeping my fingers crossed for IVF#2!

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