Monday, September 12, 2011

Decisions, decisions...

Thank you Becky for calling me out :-)

I've been meaning to get this post done since Friday, but I've been studying my butt off for the GMAT. Luckily I don't take it until 10/13, but that is coming up WAY TO FAST!!

So. Lot's to say. Not even sure how to say it all! I'll just start at the beginning.

Thursday Morning we met with RE#1. We're going to call him Dr. ERB. Yep, Dr Erb. (stands for Dr Evil, Rainbows and Butterflies.) Confused yet? Yeah, me too. So, he reminded us of Dr Evil from Austin Powers. The whole way home K was saying '1 million dollars' in that Dr Evil voice. But I digress. The RB is because he was very much 'IF is all rainbows and butterflies' in his attitude. Well, those of you that have gotten to know me, and those of you that are my IF readers and have therefore lived through it, know how VERY. UNTRUE. THAT. IS. But, we liked him.

I had sent both RE's a 3 page document with all the info that I could find in regards to our history.. it included doses of meds, numbers of follies at my ultrasounds, E levels, etc.

So, good conversation with him was he felt that he could change up the meds protocol (thank you) and move forward. He advised with this newer protocol they use for people who fly (I am an over responder) they can do a Lupron Trigger (sounds strange, right? Lupron is usually used to Suppress!), and it has to do with using your natural LH instead of the typical trigger. He says that even women with E levels in the 9000 range (used to land you in the hospital very very sick) could trigger this way and not get OHSS (ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome - the thing that lands you in the hospital). He said he doesn't have to cancel cycle's all that often - woo hoo! Sorry for spelling some of this out, but I know that some readers may not be versed in infertility lingo. He had a great bedside manner, a great sense of humor, and his IVF cycle (not including the meds, office visits, labwork and ultrasounds which can be billed to my insurance) is just under $9,000. We liked that he wants to not do the same basic protocol, we liked his personality and office staff, and we liked (well, as much as you can) his price. They do all of their labs in house.  We honestly walked out of there ready to go there. With orders for an updated day 3 labs, an HSG, and a new semen analysis, and the knowledge of what exactly to request, in terms of records, from my old RE's office. (Oh yeah, and he has a satellite office about 2 hours from my old RE, and has seen quite a few patients from there with a lot of the same complaints that K and I have about them!!)

Friday morning, RE#2, or Dr. BK. Dr. Buzzkill. Yep. Dr BK was very much realistic. It doesn't always work, blah blah blah. He wants to go a bit further in terms of testing, do a DNA fragmentation test for K (which has never been done before) to find out if that's part of the reason my embryo's weren't great the first time around. He wants to get all my day 3 labs, and wants to focus on my TSH, as he is wondering if I have a slight form of PCOS. WHAT? Where did that come from? Um, yeah. He's thinking that because I have long cycles, and lots of spotting. But no real other 'typical' symptoms. But long cycles pretty much guarantees that there are some anovulatory cycles in there. So. Other than that the other typical day 3 tests, and an SIS (similar to an HSG) to make sure that there's no polyps or anything up there. He flat out told us he is very aggressive in that if he finds ANYTHING that makes him unhappy during a cycle, he will cancel and aggressively treat it. Which could include surgically removing cysts, etc. Um, I hate cancelled cycles. Like, a lot. And surgery to remove a cyst that may go away on it's own? I'm not so sure about that. BUT. He's doing it to make sure that you have the perfect cycle. Hm, suddenly doesn't sound like it's a bad thing, does it? So, at this appointment we did a baseline ultrasound, which showed him what he expected to see based on where I'm at in my cycle. I like that he did the ultrasound himself (at my old office the nurses always did them). He wants K to come off some blood pressure meds that could be affecting (however slightly) his boys. He wants K to start taking some fertility vitamins, and suggested we go organic when possible to remove toxins. He 'treats the whole body.' 1 Cycle there will run about $2,000 more than the other place. He was very down to business, didn't waste time with small talk. Personality wise we liked the other better, but did like him as well. He did a lot more digging into our histories with his questions than the other one did, so to me seems he is very thorough. BUT, he would want to do a long lupron cycle still, but use menopur and bravelle instead of repronex, but start on a very low dose like I did in the past with the repronex.  Um, isn't that the definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing over and expecting different results?  I guess it's not exactly the same as he is changing up the meds a little bit.  So we walked out of there with orders for day 3 labs (that they do not do in house), a SIS, an ovarian diminished reserve test, and all of these other things.  Plus, he wants me to stop BFing, wait 1 cycle then get all the tests, then start BCP's right away and keep on the meds straight until we cycle, meaning skip the 'sugar pills.'

We walk out of that office suddenly very unsure of ourselves. We have NO IDEA where to go from here. With the possibility of K getting furloughed, we knew that we would need to wait until after the first of the year, but with it being a little more expensive than what we paid before, we're afraid we could have to push it off longer. We also have deductible, coinsurance, and copays for all of the insurance covered stuff.  So then we started talking about doing donor sperm IUI, as it would be cheaper and we could do it sooner without as much of a hit on our savings.

We keep talking about it, but no decision is made yet. I have no idea where to go. I want that baby that is part of me and part of him, but is it worth the emotional and financial strain? We agreed if we do IVF, it'll be just 1 cycle (and an FET if we have any embies frozen), then we would do a few cycle's of donor sperm IUI (probably just 3), and then move onto adoption. Or, we could try a few donor sperm IUI and then onto IVF and then adoption, or cut out IVF altogether.

Part of the problem is that we never wanted more than 2 kids. So, having 1 already, this decision is it, if we decide not to do IVF and get pregnant off of donor sperm IUI then K will never have a biological child. There's no going back, you know? I don't think that would change either, I don't think we'd decide to have a third just to give him that link. (Becky - I need your experiences here!!!)

We've discussed it. We've thought about it. We've discussed it some more. Then thought about it some more. And we are no closer to a decision. We feel in limbo. If it weren't for his job I think we'd definitely do IVF. So if we would, then why wouldn't we anyways? Timing, and money, and after what it did to us before, is it worth it?

What to do, what to do.


  1. This is a semi-foreign world to me. I wish it could be for you two, too. But I wanted to say that the experiences you've shared have helped me understand a little better a few people around me.

    How do you feel about stopping breastfeeding?


  2. I'm glad it is foreign to you, I wish no one was familiar with it! But, if my stories have helped you to understand people in your life better, for that i am thankful and it makes me greatful to help. It is so hard for people to tell friends and family all about it, if those friends and family have not been thru it.

    I don't know yet. I still havent stopped breastfeeding. Now with a potential move I want to wait. We would have to find new REs again anyways... and if we do donor sperm IUI it might depend on if I even still have too. Ugh..... I am just not ready to end this beautiful relationship.