Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Oh Really...

BJ and I had our first appointment with Dr. D...almost exactly 2 years after our debriefing appointment from our biochemical pregnancy fiasco...

I was nervous.  From the familiar smells and setting, everything creeped me out.  There were patients hustling in and out not making eye contact.  There was an unfamiliar person at the receptionist desk.  I was nauseous, but then Pat walked in.  Our Pat! The Pat I thought had retired.  The Pat that made me want to be a nurse, too.  The Pat that I can talk to, cry to, get her to ask Dr. Donesky things I'm too ashamed to ask.  All the fear melted.  She came over and I'm pretty sure I practically leaped into her arms like a child reuniting with their parent.

My spirits lifted.  I hope one day that I have that affect on my patients...I digress....

After updating our information, we saw Dr. Donesky.  He asked how I was doing and how school went.  He had obviously done his research b/c he talked about my previous cycles like they were yesterday.

So I updated him on my interstitial cystitis diagnosis and the migraines.  He asked what we were thinking about pursuing fertility treatments, and I told him we were looking at using an egg donor.
He proceeded that he thought it was a good option for us.  He has a 60% success rate...which is better than the 20% a fertile couple has on any given month.

In the state of TN, once the eggs are retrieved, BJ and I become the owners/parents/whatever you'd like to call it.  There have been no successful custody challenges over a child conceived by donated eggs.  Dr. D kept saying, "it's very clean".  In the state of TN, if it comes out of your uterus, it's your child...which gets messy with the surrogate situation, but fortunately...there is no reason to worry about that at this point.

The most shocking thing to BJ's and my world was when he said with "my age" he only transfers one embryo.  My heart clenched.  I've been a little set on the one and done deal.  It wasn't even about the babies, it was the idea of having to go through this 2 more times.  As I've processed it more today...I think about what I originally wanted before we got into this fertility struggle.  My perfect family with a big brother and a sister 4 years younger...granted I'm a lot older than I wanted to be...BJ and I should be trying for baby number 2 in some alternate timeline where my eggs aren't scrambled and they don't sell greeting cards that say "Winter's Greetings."  (True story!).

This revitalized that dream a bit.  I mean twins are cute and all, but I can afford things for one child at a time that I can't for 2 at this point in my life.  Not to mention, I don't think I'll need the extra complications that twins bring.  I have a better chance of having a natural birth, getting to use my own OB/GYN instead of a high risk one, and less likely to become a patient of my own coworkers on the antepartum floor. (I can't even...I'm such a terrible patient...it would be awful!)  So while it pains me to think about going through those horrible 2 weeks of waiting for another line to show up twice...It is what is best for us.

On the other hand, that means that much longer with my ovaries.  I joke a lot about getting ovarian cancer...I'm pretty sure all my friends in nursing school got that question right about infertility being the number one risk factor for ovarian cancer.  The fact that it was a test question seems to make it slightly less funny...

The other thing I think we are going to do is have our donor cycle without me.  As in we'll collect her eggs and have them fertilized a la BJ, but I won't have a transfer done at the same time.  They'll go straight into the freezer after 5 days.  Mostly we are doing this to mess with them later..."Mommy when was I conceived?" "2014" "Then why was I born in 2017?"...Actually,  I think that will take a lot of pressure off of me.  I'll know how the embryos do, and know how many we have to freeze, and I won't be a hormonal basket case to boot!  YEAH FOR THAT! Plus, if for whatever reason I don't respond to the meds as quickly or appropriately, they'll have wiggle room and it won't be so timing dependent.

Interestingly, Dr. D has started doing most of his IVF cycles this way.  Freezing the embryos and doing the transfer the next month.  Truth be told, IVF pregnancies have a higher rate of placental abruption and pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH).  Frozen cycles appear to have the same rates of these complications as naturally conceived pregnancies.  The experts feel this may be due to the extraordinary amounts of hormones a woman has in her body during the stimulating part of the cycle possibly producing changes the lining of the uterus...which becomes the connection to the placenta.  The placenta has long been blamed for PIH, ergo, stimulation drugs and astronomically high estrogen levels are more likely to lead to complications.  Dr. D is wicked smart...

I was proud of myself for asking him why his success rates dropped so much for 2011 (which was my year).  It's been hard for me to ask challenging question like that...I don't like to challenge people, but he handled it well.  He said it was a rough year with rougher than normal cases, but that he's also a little suspicious that there is some missing data.  The fact that he answered it so straight-forwardly (Did I just make up a word?) really comforted BJ and I.  He told us 2012's stats are back up.  They'll be published in early 2014.

On our side, Dr. D told us that he'd need a few updated tests...the blood tests of course to make sure we haven't contracted AIDS, Herpes, the Hep C, or the clap or a number of other STI's...  BJ will have to do another semen analysis.  I won't need a hysteroscopy, but I will need a saline infused sonogram to make sure I've not developed any fibroids/myomas inside my uterus.  I didn't ask about an endometrial biopsy at this point because I don't want to borrow trouble that I may not have to worry about, anyway.  I'd rather just be stupid and only have to dread it for a few days.  Sometimes living in a bubble is good...endometrial biopsies would be one of those times...or anytime you get a medical bill that says "surgery" yet you received no anesthesia...

So with no real timeline at this point we shook hands with Dr. Donesky and took them up on the offer to look at that "Look Book" for egg donors.

We didn't really find anyone that made us feel, "Oooh, I want her babies."  It's very strange...While I said I didn't care about hair color so much, I was a little more attracted to blondes.  There was one who was tiny, and blonde, and a nurse and I was all like 'BJ this is it' and then he pointed out her adult picture, and I was a little sad.  Horse-like would be a good start.  Anyway BJ said her smile was "too gummy".  I thought I was going to be the super-picky one...OK so I did nix all the "finished high school" and "plans to attend *insert technical school program here* school" but really unless they were 5'1 and 220 lbs (Another True Story!) I was a lot more open.  That's a lie...if they were over 5'4"  I nixed them, too...So other than height and education...Oh, nope the one with a family history of mental illness...they were out like fat kid in dodgeball, too...So other than THAT, I'm pretty open...OK it's really hard to pick out your substitute eggs...It's much like buying a new house...they're all ok but all have a quirk you aren't sure about.  Which bad thing can you live with?

We gave a list to Sandy our Egg Donation Coordinator about some we were sort of interested in as far as their availability and such, but that if she found some new ones in the mean time...we'd like to see those as well.  We're talking about maybe using a national registry... those are super fun.

As for now...Our next venture is picking out a donor...I think we are tentatively aiming for a spring retrieval and a sumer/late summer/whenever my work schedule permits/whenever I build up the courage...transfer,,.

Peace, love, and stay in school (especially if you want to donate your eggs),

1 comment:

  1. "...and stay in school (especially if you want to donate your eggs)" Omg, MK, I love you!