My Life in March* has been one giant cryfest. Emotional is really not the word.
After realizing the previous IUI was a bust, I went in for my "Day 2" appointment (if the day 2 reference doesn't make sense to you, just move on -- I need to ease into this oversharing with the interwebs bit). Before the appointment Casey and I spent hours and hours and hours prayerfully considering IVF and if that was an option we were willing to try. We finally decided that we wanted to at least try it once and see what we could learn from it about my body and how my ovaries are doing.
Blood work was telling us that my 27 year old ovaries were actually old, greying, and wrinkled. For a girl who has decided she isn't ever turning 30 hearing my ovaries are already 40 is quite the blow. I needed to see these little follicles with their walkers and grey hair for myself and the only way to do that is to let them do the extraction which is the first part of IVF.
With that decision out of the way I show up to my appointment armed with my questions about the drugs, the shots, the side effects, the timeline, etc. Before I get to my second question babydoc starts talking:
Babydoc: I'm sure you do have questions and I'm guessing you have three. The first is probably will I get pregnant? My answer is maybe. I would put your chances at getting pregnant with IVF somewhere below 10%. Well 10% is probably optimistic,. Realistically, your chance of ever getting pregnant, even with all of our interventions, is at most 5%. No matter how bad things seem, I have had patients who have given up because it looked hopeless and then come back a few months to show me their pregnant bellies. It is certainly possible you'll get pregnant.
Me: *thinking: that wasn't exactly my question or even a helpful answer to his made up question. Why do I care that some so-and-so got pregnant? Is that me? Is that going to happen to me? Are you telling me I should stop seeing you and go home because THAT is what is going to get me the child my heart yearns for?* Actually, I was going to ask about IVF. I think we are ready to try it.
Babydoc: Oh well thats good. Then that leads to you second question. I'm sure your wondering about you chances of conception with donor eggs. I really think that....
Me: *Babydoc say what?!? What the heck are donor eggs? Why do I need donor eggs? Whats wrong with my eggs?*
Babydoc: (their was some stuff here that I missed as I pondered this whole donor egg thing) And as to what I'm sure you third question is donor embryos are another really good option.
Me: *Donor embryos?!? But Why?!?! I thought I was here to talk IVF! We haven't ever tried just plain old ordinary IVF!* Well babydoc that's all really interesting. We actually aren't prepared for any of those options right now. We were really thinking IVF seemed like a good option.
Babydoc: Oh we can't do IVF right now. Given your AMH (recall stupid bloodwork number that implies I have old, worn-out, crusty ovaries) we need to test you for Fragile X Syndrome. I would say their is a 25% chance you have it. It is a genetic condition that in women manifests as diminished ovarian reserve and in boys can lead to mental retardation. In fact, any of your male children will have a 50% chance of sever mental retardation and so I will only implant female embryos if you choose to do IVF. Before we do IVF you need this bloodwork. It should be back in a week and we'll talk then. Why don't you take Clomid again this month and as long as your Fragile X test is negative you can try IUI again. If it is positive I will put you on birth control to make sure you don't get pregnant with a male child.
At this point I am bawling** I came into this appointment excited to embark on the next step in this journey. It took me a long time to feel comfortable with IVF and I was finally there. But apparently I have awful genes and I am going to pass them along to my future children. Not that I'll have future children. I'm a numbers person and 5% is not good odds. I'll leave the next appointment with him for another day.
* It really all started in February, but it was Leap Day and so in any normal year I could have said it all happened in March so I'm going with that. Leap Day is weird and I am starting a one person protest of 366 days.
** Although the brief monthly snapshots don't depict it well, crying in the REs office is totally normal. What does he expect when he puts me on drugs designed to make me hormonal and then gives me bad news?