I'm apologizing up front for this post because its not going to be all hope and smiles. I know I read different blogs because they're entertaining or get me to laugh, but today that is not this blog. Sorry. Today this is going to be therapy for me.
I'm crying as I write this just as I've been crying since leaving the Drs office yesterday. The night before our visit to the Dr, my cousin let us know that she is pregnant. Now I'm not mad at her or anything but she is very young, not married, and I don't think she's even out of her parents house yet. This comes just a few months after discovering my other cousin, who is only 21years old - not much older than her- is pregnant with her second child! She isn't living on her own or even with her boyfriend either, but is pregnant again. As I listened to the Dr, both Nikki and Ashley kept coming into my mind.
Our Dr gave us three options we could pursue, none of which he really thought were good.
Option #1 - Laparoscopy. Surgery. Putting me under anesthesia and inserting a scope through my abdomen to take a look around. They would be making sure all my organs are properly shaped and that I don't have endometriosis. From the countless ultrasounds I have had, a different surgery to look at my tubes and uterus, and other exams, there's nothing to lead him or myself to think anythings misshapen, but its an option to do. Plus I exhibit absolutely no signs of endometriosis. This surgical procedure would be to just cover our bases.
Option #2 - IUI with injectibles. More shots. Injectibles work similar to clomid, making you produce more eggs/follicles. On my last cycle, clomid got me two follicles. The down side with this is that injectible meds are way more expensive, about $1000 per vial. And requires a lot more monitoring and bloodwork. And if we go in for another ultrasound around ovulation and it shows more than 3 or 4 follicles, the Dr will call it off entirely and not do the procedure. The risk for multiples is too high. So I could go through all the drama, money, time away from work to go downtown for these procedures, and then not even be able to do it. Which I think will happen since I stimulate so well with clomid.
Option #3 - IVF. I linked a website to IVF in my last post, but here's a breakdown of what I would have to go through. More surgeries, yes multiple. IVF requires much more prep work and bloodwork prior to starting, so the actual in-vitro procedure wouldn't happen for a month or two. They would start me on shots to block my brain-to-ovaries pathway. So that way they can give me two more shots to stimulate my ovaries into becoming a follicle making machine. I would be trying to make 10+ follicles, easy. So at this point I'm giving up to 3 shots per day, plus lots of monitoring (aka bloodwork and ultrasounds). Prior to ovulation I would be admitted for surgery #1 - where they put me under anesthesia again. Using an internal ultrasound as a guide, they would insert two big needles (one in each ovary) and suck out the follicles. Those would go to an embryologist who would see if they're good to use. They would then take half and do an ICSI procedure. That involves inserting a single sperm. Even though they do this, it doesn't mean it will fertilize (only about 60% do). Plus if we end up using one of the ICSI eggs, the research shows higher risk of birth defects. The other half of my eggs would be put in petri dishes with tim's sperm and see if any of those fertilize. After 3-5 days of watching the eggs, they would see if any of them are "working" the way they would like and select one or two to try to implant. Then its surgery #2 for them to insert the fertilized eggs. Even at this point, nothings guaranteed. The fertilized eggs might not stick and implant into my uterus lining.
So as you can see, this sucks. We have nothing but a really hard road in front of us. While others can get pregnant when they're using condoms and trying not to... I guess there is another option.
Option #4 - Not have kids. Which Tim and I have discussed and we do love our life now. So we would be ok. But I wonder if the same thought would still pass through our heads everytime we see a little child.... what if we had one? In the past week I've had multiple people, some just stupid coworkers, tell me a story of "some couple" they knew that tried for years and then gave up and then got pregnant. For all the fertiles out there, do not share these stories! They don't make us feel better. For every couple that this happens to, a hundred others are still childless. Plus, in order to be that story, means we would have to give up first, give up on having a family, convince ourselves that we're fine with discarding everything we've gone through up to this point. That's a lot to overcome mentally. I've always said this whole process will break me mentally before any of the physical stuff. And then two, three, four years later - magically get pregnant, when you are finally settled into being childless. Yeah, maybe lucky, but it doesn't sound fun. So please, don't share those stories to others that you find out are having fertility issues.
Now all Tim and I have left to do is just decide. Sounds so simple, just decide. I've never had something so simple be so devastingly hard.