Reciprocal IVF

3rd Opinion

Well, we had a 3rd opinion today. In a nutshell, they recommend reciprocal.

Even though my SO has a pelvic kidney next to her right ovary that would cause a risk of perforation.

Even though a fibroid completely obstructs the view of her left ovary and they aren’t sure it’s even possible to retrieve anything from it.

Even though her AFC was 4-5 on the one visible ovary and at her age should be double that… so they expect diminished ovarian reserve for her

 

Even with all of that, they would rather do a retrieval on her… because my eggs are apparently that shitty.

 

 

IVF

Second Opinion

I just got back from my 2nd opinion a little while ago. Overall it was a good appointment. I didn’t have all of the records but I did have quite a bit printed off from my portal to at least show her information about my cycles. I gave her the run down on all of our attempts and she looked over some of the paperwork. She said that my situation was a bit unusual because I had decent numbers but I respond to the meds like I have diminished reserve. I really appreciated her for saying that because that’s exactly how I have been feeling but my other RE did not seem to want to look past my “good numbers.”

She also said that it was highly unusual to have delayed fertilization like I did on my first IVF cycle. We talked a little about whether it’s possible that my egg quality is poor or perhaps there is something going on with the sperm donor, though he is a proven donor (has had pregnancies).

I asked whether there could be something going on that is preventing implantation since I have not had any success on any of my cycles and she agreed it was something she was concerned about too.

She asked what we were feeling for next steps. I told her I didn’t want to pursue another cycle until we had more answers about why my cycles were going poorly. She agreed.

At the end of the appointment I told her that I really needed a doctor who was going to be upfront with me and that she didn’t have to worry about upsetting me with hard truths– I just want to know. I don’t need sunshine and rainbows. Her response was “we are going to get along great then. Sunshine and rainbows won’t get you pregnant.” Truth. It feels good that I don’t have to worry she will trickle-truth me or pretend that things are going great when they clearly aren’t.

We had our blood drawn today for AMH and TSH and will return for CD 3 labs. She wants to work up my SO again for reciprocal even though my other clinic seemed to think that the retrieval would be very risky because she has a pelvic kidney. It’s good that she wants to look into things and I do trust that she will be honest with me. I’m also feeling a little sad because she pretty much said that if we could retrieve even 2 follicles from my SO that those would have a better chance than my eggs. Ouch.

Next appointment is with clinic #2 for a 3rd opinion a week from now and we will go over my records with them too. After that I will make a decision on which clinic I want to work with. I still want more information about why the cycles have not gone well and what will be done to rule out problems with implantation before I’m willing to move forward with a cycle.

Multiple Sclerosis

It’s Just Hard

I started out this journey thinking that we would have a baby by now. I see pictures of others who started TTC around the time I did holding a baby in their arms– I really thought that would be us. I’m happy for others of course, but it breaks my heart too.

It’s been hard dealing with the daily reminders of our failures getting pregnant. I am reminded each time I shower and contend with the neuropathy in my legs from an MS relapse. The itching and burning is made worse from the warm water and makes dressing impossible until it passes. This relapse, a likely consequence of the huge crash of hormones after a failed cycle, is just one way my failures are like salt in an open wound. I feel like my body has let me down in yet another very big way.

I woke up thinking about embryo adoption. Maybe, just maybe there is an amazing queer couple out there somewhere who is looking for a home for their embryos. I haven’t had much luck in my search to this point but I’m trying to be hopeful that if it’s right the pieces will fall into place and we will get a big, vibrant and wonderful extended family for our kiddo as a bonus. That’s the hope I’m holding onto, anyways.

Catch Up Post

Nothing to say really

It doesn’t feel like it but it’s been over 3 months since we have done anything fertility-wise. I feel like I inch towards maybe making an appointment with my RE and making second (third, fourth) opinion appointments at other clinics but I just can’t do it. Then I go down a spiral where I beat myself up about being such a quitter… and that’s about as far as I get towards making another appointment.

I have at least chosen a couple of clinics I am interested in visiting and deciding on a few tests I would like to pursue. But no action on making it happen. Soon maybe.

Assisted Reproduction Technology

No WTF appt yet

I just can’t bring myself to do it. I keep thinking maybe we just need more time and more attempts before we have success. Maybe we should try home insems again. But doing those with our out of state donor was very difficult and we don’t know anyone local who is a) Asian; b) male; c) close enough to us personally that asking him for sperm would not be extremely weird.

We tried the KD sites and that’s where we found our original donor. I felt really safe and comfortable with him in the ways that count, though I did find interacting with him a bit of a chore. I can’t see going through that again to find a different donor and I don’t have any hope that we would ultimately be successful finding a donor that was closer. There just aren’t many Asians in our area and I don’t feel confident that it would work without assistance from a fertility center and medications anyways.

Having a partner with no sperm makes this whole situation so much more difficult– I really wish that us gays could have a free-sex baby too. Heteros really have no idea what a privilege this is. Even when it doesn’t go well at least there was nothing to lose by trying.

I also considered seeing about using a sperm bank and having the sperm delivered directly to us at home to do home insems with frozen sperm and maybe that’s the best of both worlds. It would still run us about $1000/mo to do this though and I think given that and my questionable fertility it makes sense to check in with the RE first on what our chances of success might be.

Which leads me back to talking with the doctor. I can’t quite pin down where my hesitance is coming from. I think part of it is that I feel really angry with her because I don’t think she has been all that realistic with us about our chances, nor open about discussing the possibility that there may be a problem with my fertility. I feel like because of that we have lost precious time and been put through more stress and heartache than necessary. I don’t have complete trust that she is hearing our concerns or providing us with the most appropriate treatment.

Because of that, I think we should at least check in with other fertility centers and see what their opinion of my chances of getting pregnant are and what if anything could potentially be holding us back. I will eventually but right now I just feel really tired I think. Maybe I need a break for awhile, I don’t know.

Something about this last attempt failing was extra difficult and I’m not over it yet. K keeps saying she really thought it would work and I did too. Hope is an awful, awful thing sometimes.

 

 

Assisted Reproduction Technology

WTF Appt Soon

I have been putting it off for a couple of weeks because of traveling and because I’m not emotionally ready to talk to my RE yet, but this week is my deadline for scheduling a WTF appt to discuss why I am not getting pregnant. I am going to request every possible test that might give us some answers. I would also like to get a second opinion– possibly a 3rd and a 4th– from some of the other clinics in our area. I want answers and for someone to acknowledge that something is wrong. Hopefully my RE is open to looking into testing and diagnostics to figure out where the problem is.

So far, I’m going to request ERA and biopsy for endo, genetic testing (karyotype), and a long discussion about the protocols we’ve tried to see if there are any clues as to what might be preventing pregnancy.┬áIf anyone out there has any ideas as to what else we should be requesting I would love it if you would leave a comment with some ideas.

 

 

 

 

BFN

CD1

My period started this morning so no blood test was needed.

I had taken pregnancy tests over the last few days to see if the trigger was still around. Saturday and Sunday the lines were nearly the same darkness so I had let myself get hopeful. Yesterday the line was very faint so I knew it was yet another failure. Yesterday was also the day I left K for Nevada. I’ve never been so sad sack in my life– not pregnant and leaving K for 2 weeks. K left to run an errand and I had a good ugly cry then took a long shower and cried some more. Then I had to put myself back together and run some errands of my own before heading to the airport. It was a quiet ride with K because I felt like at any second I would burst into tears.

The airport is a landmine of triggers for someone in my situation. In the security line– babies everywhere. Pregnant women working at Starbucks. Babies crying on the plane. I felt myself on the edge of bawling right there in the security line. I had to stare at the ground to avoid looking at the babies and their adoring happy parents every time the line moved. It was too much.

There was a little girl at the terminal who was sitting across from me. She came and sat in the empty seat between her dad and I. Within a few short minutes the girl was crying. She kept saying “I don’t know why I’m crying and I can’t stop.” Her dad comforted her and when that didn’t work he took her over to the window to watch the planes as a distraction. They came back and within a couple of minutes she was crying again. It was like this little girl was channeling my grief.

I started crying on the plane so I closed my eyes and pretended I was sleeping. Later I was staring at nothing in a grief induced haze so I opened my book and pretended to read it. Yesterday was pretty awful.

I started to dread the beta today more and more. I already knew I wasn’t pregnant and didn’t think I could go through this all over again in front of my family. I decided to get another pregnancy test and test this morning. If it was negative again then I would skip the blood test. Wouldn’t you know it, there was still a faint line from the trigger. I went back to bed and woke up later to the start of my period so I skipped the blood draw today. Thank you universe for doing me this one solid. Today I haven’t wanted to bawl my eyes out over every random thing so I guess that’s progress.

To sum up my experience TTC 1.5+ years in: I’m basically stuck in the fertility version of groundhog day– the outcome is always the same (not pregnant) no matter what I try.