Wow, what a week.
Last weekend my husband and I moved to a two-story, two-bedroom, two-bathroom town home! We absolutely love it and are so happy to be unpacked and settled. Thank goodness for the three-day weekend, because every ounce of it was spent moving and settling into our new home—well, almost every ounce of it. I’m a go go go type of person—and so is my husband—so our goal was to have our home all set up by the time the work week started again on Tuesday. You just have to bust it out!
We took a break on Monday, though, to visit a new fertility clinic. After about a month of waiting, after gathering all the medical records you can think of related to reproduction, after everything in general, the day finally came to visit this fertility clinic that I have heard wonderful things about. But whether or not I’d heard anything from a personal source, you know they have to be good when they can coordinate treatment with people from around the country and world. And—I didn’t know this for sure, but specifically for IVF, they provide treatment around the patient’s cycle. Many clinics “cluster” patients together on the same cycle and perform IVF for all of them at the same time! My new clinic doesn’t do that, so they provide treatment practically 24/7. Literally, their offices are open 364 days out of the year. The labs are closed for ten days over the holidays, so someone’s IVF cycle might have to be delayed—and, yes, that someone is me (perfect timing)—but, hey, embryologists should celebrate Jesus’ birthday too! Plus, delaying treatment by a month will offer more time to save up the good stuff for expensive ovulation medications. But—I’m getting way ahead of myself. So I will start from the beginning.
At first meeting, our doctor was just the kind of doctor I want. I don’t know; there was just something about him. And, yes, it’s a man; I’m happy about that, though. Men are so imperative in this world. Thank God for them. He cleared up a few questions he had concerning our medical records and fertility journey amongst all the crazy documents—of which contained practically two or more tests of everything. Have I mentioned our treatment thus far has been provided by inefficient idiots? **Sigh** So, after clearing a few things up he explained to me what is going on with my cycle. Basically my ovaries have this big build during the first half of my cycle; there are plenty of eggs. But—and pardon me if I don’t have all the right terminology, etc.—basically there’s a build … then all comes crashing down as my ovaries fail to release an egg. So, my luteal phase is pure sh**—pardon my French. That’s what’s happening; that’s what’s been happening. Clomid didn’t fix it; Clomid won’t fix it. My nurse explained to me that OB GYNs loooove to hand out Clomid like candy without monitoring a-ny-thing. THAT SOUNDS FAMILIAR DR. DUMB! And—I guess one IUI attempt with Femera and Ovidrel is enough and no more are needed. Dr. Awesome acknowledged that we’d been through six months of treatment. He acknowledged that—thank God—my age is in my favor, BUT just because I’m not 38 years old doesn’t mean my wait hasn’t been long and painful and heartbreaking. The wait is the same for everyone. Whether you start at 23 and wait until 25 (“Oh my gosh, so young!”) or you start at 38 and wait until 40. The desire to have a family is the same desire for any woman at any age once that desire has hit. Of course, the obligatory confusion as to why our old clinic didn’t test for STDs and my fallopian tubes was seen on his face and expressed verbally … as well as with the nurse (who is absolutely a-maz-ing). So, he expressed he’d like to know what’s going on with my tubes to see if there’s a blockage—which would have prohibited ANY attempts at pregnancy with the SIX MONTHS of treatment we’ve done anyway in case my F****** tubes are blocked Dr. Dumb and Dr. Dumber! Makes sense, right? Dr. Awesome explained all the paths of treatment, ovulation induction paired with intercourse being useless at this point. He explained we could do IUI with injections, but that dangerously increases your chances of—not twins—triplets. And no one wants to see the look on my husband’s face when a doctor says, “… chance of triplets.” Then—on the line of treatment he drew on the paper, he went to the very end of it and said that IVF is an excellent choice for us. My chances sky rocket and, well, that’s what we should do. At this point he was being careful with presenting IVF, but I straight up said, “That’s what we’re prepared for. That’s why we’re here.” Basically—you just told me exactly what I want to hear, Dr. Awesome. I’m thrilled we’re on the same page! So, the doctor explained that this will happen, like, really soon. He wants a few more tests done—all of which will be completed in a week’s time. I have a follow-up on November 1 to … follow up, I guess. We will probably do a month of birth control pills in December and have our first IVF in January because of the lab closures over the holidays. This works better for my husband’s financial planning anyway. Obviously the costs are outrageous (which is a short-term reason as to why my husband and I hauled our butts to Northern Virginia in the first place—for the money). Obviously there are ethical, religious dilemmas—all of which have been sorted out. This takes a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of effort, a lot of a lot of stuff. But—nothing is worse than this heartache, and I’m ready to finally have a baby. It’s quite amazing, actually.
Some people may be against any or certain forms of reproductive assistance. The heavy-duty stuff is referred to as ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). I’m not though; you just have to stick to what you believe in. The doctors will work with you; they aren’t going to judge just as much as they don’t want to be judged. Such is the case with my doctor now. In order to preserve all our embryos (a.k.a. not toss any of them) we will take out a bunch of my eggs, attempt to fertilize eight (which may result in, like, four embryos?) and freeze the rest. So, we won’t be in the position of having three children and ten embryos in the freezer. And then there’s genetic testing, which we aren’t going to do. It won’t change my decision about trying to have a baby of our own; it won’t change what I do with an embryo. I don’t mean to say that it doesn’t matter if my child is born with a disease, because it does matter. That matters the most, and some people would say it’s selfish of me to bring a child into the world with a disease. That may be selfish, but my husband and I aren’t going to start dipping our toes into the pool of being God. Jesus knows my babies; He has created them already. My husband expressed last night that although having a baby with a disease would be absolutely devastating, that baby would be here, and that baby would be our baby—our precious gem. And—there really is no indication that either of us carries genes for diseases. I mean, I think it’s an option to investigate further because people are already going through all this scientific investigation/research/treatment. Genetic testing—it’s not for us. It wouldn’t make a difference. It’s a can of worms I don’t want to open. I’d rather stick to the little faith I have these days. I’d rather believe and pray—just like every other fertile couple—that my babies will be healthy. That’s the end of that. I’m not throwing away embryos. Every single one of them will have the chance to reach its potential—no matter the heartbreak it may cause my husband and me.
So, we’re doing IVF. A year ago … a year and a half ago that wouldn’t have made me sh** my pants, but we’re ready.
And then there’s that thing called the Bar Exam. Oh yea—and results come out tomorrow. And—my husband hasn’t been sleeping through the night sans nightmares. He keeps telling me he didn’t pass. I really think he did; he thinks he didn’t. I don’t know if he’s trying to prepare us both for failure or if he truly doesn’t think he passed. Everyone else feels the same way; they are scared beyond belief of having failed. He’s not the only one in this boat. I truly believe he passed, but … I don’t know what he believes. And—sometimes they release the results a day early just to watch everyone squirm. I hope they do; then we’d know today. I’ve just been praying like crazy.
Thanks for reading. Sorry for the expletives. I can’t help myself. What can I say? I’m just me—a verbally passionate McIntire.
***July 17, 2013: Wow, I have learned a lot since my very naive-filled October days. I kind of sound like a little bit of an idiot talking about IVF; I was clueless.