Thursday, April 16, 2009

Drawing the line....

Where we do we draw the line? (warning - this is a super super long post!)

That was the question of the day yesterday...But let me start from the beginning.

We had our follow-up, or as I've seen posted by other IVFers, our WTF, appointment yesterday. Bobby was able to go with me and I was happy to have him there. On the drive up we talked about what we thought the dr. would say and came to an agreement that no matter what, we were done with IVF after this next round...if it didn't work we would move forward with adoption - we were getting excited about adoption again...we were all smiles, hope and happiness.

We get to the appointment and as we are waiting Bobby sees a Newsweek that had this huge article on Epilepsy that he wanted to read. (this info isn't really important, but I refer back to it later). Just as we are about to read the article, the Dr. calls us back to his office.

We sit down and he starts talking to us about how we had 3 perfect embryos transferred and none implanted. Duh! We were there, tell us something we don't know. Then he said he's pretty sure that we are looking at an implantation/attachment issue which they can't really do anything about because that is the one area that they just don't have a lot of control over. He said that we were at a little disadvantage because of my overstim and having to do a frozen cycle (I guess your odds are a third of the odds of a fresh cycle). So, he says he wants to go ahead with a fresh cycle this next go-around.

I asked about my polyps and he said we would do another hysterscope to see how much they've grown. If not much, then he can put me on an endometrial suppression until we start the series, but if they have grown back then I'll need another D and C. We asked a bunch of questions...about assisted hatching - which he said wasn't really for our situation, although he did say that if this fresh didn't work and we did another fresh, that he would transfer 4 embryos on day 3. The only problem would be that if all 4 embryos took, we would have to do a "reduction" because of the size of my uterus (it's kind of small). This was a big fat "No" on our part, we would not do a day 3 because we would never consider reduction. That took care of that option.

Then we asked what he thought was going on and he said he really didn't know. That although it was most likely an attachment issue he can't say for certain. And that all 11 embryos that we froze were perfect quality, but it could be that they aren't progressing once in utero. That I have an "odd uterus". That we have stumped him and he can't tell us what is wrong. GRRRRR.....we went through this for either a pregnancy or closure (and by closure, I mean the Doc giving us a reason why after 6 years, we have yet to get pregnant.). Looks like we might not get either.

He felt so bad for us that he told us that if we wanted to pay the fee for the frozen transfer we did in March ($3500), that he wouldn't count that as one of our 3 tries and we could have 2 more fresh cycles. I heard this and I don't know if it was the money we would save or the chance to try "just one more time" after this next time, but it was like I had drunk the kool-aid...screw the plan Bobby and I had agreed on - I was on-board for this new option. We told the Doc that we would have to think about it, but in my mind I thought "heck yes, wrap it up, we'll take it".

Then he told us that if after the next 2 fresh cycles didn't work, we might need to consider a gestational host..dun dun dunnnnnnnnn! There it was. If it doesn't work soon, we are in fact in that 7% that can't get pregnant with IVF. If it didn't work the next 2 times, the doc thought we should explore that "host" option. We told him we weren't thrilled with the idea of having a host, although we might have one waiting in the wings, and that we would probably just rather pursue adoption. He looked at us like we were crazy and told us adoption wasn't a great choice.
* ok, read your chart buddy...because we have already adopted and it was wonderful *
He went on and on about how expensive adoption was (ummm...about $9000 less than what we've spent on not getting pregnant in his office) and how there are often a lot of complications - K, cause IVF has been so smooth for us. Finally I interrupted him and told him that we had already adopted and that pretty much rendered him speechless.
We talked a little longer, agreed to do the fresh cycle in June and then he took us to a room to meet with our nurse.

In the room, she said that we will be doing the long down regulation again, but this time I will be doing half the dose of meds that I did last time and they would monitor me more closely for hyperstim. I am to call the first day of my cycle, and start on birth control. At that point, we will schedule my hysterscope. Bobby and I asked her about the deal the Doc had offered us, and were wondering if we could wait to pay the $3500 until after we found out if the 3rd try worked. She said she would ask the finance people, but she thought it would be one of those "you pay it and if you get pregnant the third try you wouldn't get it back, so you kind of risk it kind of things". Kind of like the 3 times option, if you pay for 3 and get pregnant the first try, you don't get any sort of refund. We both kind of balked at this. If it did work, we will have paid an extra $3500 for nothing! We finished talking and then got up to leave. When we got to the elevator, I noticed Bobby still had the magazine. He said he decided to steal it and he was kind of fired up when he said this. He's so an act of rebellion about being asked to spend even more money and being pissed at the Doc for being so down on adoption, he decided to steal their magazine. He's crazy when he's mad, I tell ya :-)

So, we get in the car and go back and forth about paying for the frozen transfer to get our 2 tries back. It was a gut wrenching decision. Could we afford to do 2 fresh cycles because even though they are part of our 3 tries, we still have to pay for meds (a couple thousand), hysterscopes 9$450 each), d & c ($6000 if my insurance won't cover them) and any number of things that pop up? At this point we have already spent double what we thought we would spend. Can I take the loss if they both don't work. If it does work, will we be upset that we spent the extra $3500 for nothing? There is a possibility that we could still hyperstim and end up doing a frozen cycle anyway. How will doing more cycles affect our time with Connor? Will we have money left over to adopt? When do we say when? When do we draw the line?

Finally at the end of the day, we decided to NOT pay the $3500. We went into this thinking we would have 3 tries. That was our plan and we're stickin to it! If they don't work, we will adopt and maybe in a year or two try to do a frozen transfer. Yes, maybe we don't get the 3 fresh tries. But we have one more chance in June. And we have to believe that it will work, and if it doesn't maybe I am not meant to be pregnant. But I know I am meant to be a mom, I love being a mom...but I also know that there are many ways to make a family and maybe we are trying to force a way that isn't meant to be. We could go on and on with IVF...the doc could say give me one more try, ok, now just one more some point we have to lay our cards down and walk away from the table. At this point we can still do that without losing all of our money - if we keep doing IVF we'll sink ourselves into so much debt that we'll never be able to add to our family. It's just so easy to think that "this next time will be the time it will work", that you can easily lose sight of what is important. And for us that is adding to our family.

So, once we made the decision to stick to our plan and finish IVF with this June series, I felt peace . But I also felt a little sadness. One more try at getting pregnant and then I need to let it go. One more try and then I need to get back to the place I had finally managed to get to the first time we stopped infertility treatments. One more try - maybe we'll finally get it right, or maybe we'll be starting a new path (and a new blog) towards adoption.

I will be blogging during this third try, and it looks like things will start up here in about a week. If your still interested keep reading. If you have comments about our decision, I welcome them - even if they are comments of disagreement. I will post again soon. Third try, here we come!


Nicole said...

The whole time I was reading, I was thinking...I hope they don't invest any more money into it. I agree 100% with your decision. I would have made the same one...and may have to in a few months. Craig and I have always agreed that we would try this 3 times and if it didn't work, we'd be ready to move on to adoption. As far as his comments about adoption, I think it's very narrow minded. He made similar remarks to us when we told him we hadn't decided what we were going to do (at our initial visit). However, it's important to remember that adoption is his competition (and a stiff one at that). Best of luck!!! I will continue reading about your journey. I'm glad we're in this together! :)

Jennifer said...

Thanks Nicole - We feel good with our decision, but it's always nice to have it re-affirmed. I'm excited for our spa day :-)