We have our consult with our RE (reproductive endocrinologist) next week Tuesday following our failed IVF cycle in which I had what appears to have been a chemical pregnancy (couple of positive HPTs then nothing and a negative beta result).
Since undergoing some significant soul-searching and some clinical hypnotherapy, I’ve managed to shed Western Medicine’s doom-and-gloom mantras and I (perhaps foolishly) truly believe that we are meant to have another child. What I don’t know is how that might come about – a “natural” conception, IVF or IUI. We’ve never seriously considered IUI before and I don’t expect we will now, though I’m going to throw it out there to the RE on Tuesday as a “test run” for how my ovaries respond to a cycle without Lupron. I really hated that drug and my body did, too.
By the way, I put “natural” in quotes because with the boat-load of supplements I’m taking and forcing the LP to take, “natural” seems something of a misnomer.
I felt pretty gutted by my IVF experience in December/January, even though I did not have any adverse reactions to the stims, just the oral contraceptives to down-regulate and the Lupron, which kicked me on my behind some days. I also need someone or something to blame for the cycle not working. I’m going with the Lupron affecting egg quality of poor Francine (our solo surviving embryo on transfer day). I’m also going with my gut that said the Lupron was not good to me and evidence that shows it often negatively affects egg quality in women over 40.
The LP and I have agreed to ask the RE about other protocols he’d consider trying. This is where IUI comes in. We could use it to test how my body responds without the Lupron or another GnRHa (Suprefact, for example). And it costs far less than another round of IVF since my insurance supposedly covers fertility drugs (I am still waiting for a cheque reimbursing me for the almost $5K for drugs from last time to confirm that they don’t have some hidden exclusionary clause I will have to appeal and fight, which given my profession I’m fairly well-suited to do but not looking forward to). The LP’s last semen analysis said he makes lots of boys but most of them don’t swim (and some are deformed) so our RE told us he would never recommend IUI for us. But that was then. And it’s OUR money to throw away. So I plan to inquire.
I also plan to ask about a “conversion” or GnRH Agonist/Antagonist protocol, possibly with estrogen priming. I don’t even know if our RE’s office uses this protocol but I want to ask because if they do I want to know why he’d consider it or refuse to consider it for me and if they don’t I know we probably won’t go back there. I will always wonder if the MDL or “flare” protocol I was on was the biggest reason our one surviving embryo didn’t make it and had fragmentation on transfer day.
If anyone reading this has experience with an Agonist/Antagonist conversion protocol I would love to hear from you. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d rather not post a public comment.
Of course, I’m not a doctor but I am close pals with Dr. Google and I have read some actual medical research literature on this topic and I do have a couple of degrees so I’d like to think I’m not a complete rube when I say I want our RE to think outside his Lupron-flare-protocol or use-donor-eggs box. And besides, when none of this is covered and we are paying customers, I feel a tremendous sense of entitlement to say “prove that you have really thought about MY case and why I should keep spending money at YOUR clinic.” Plus, I’m still pissed the cycle didn’t work.
In terms of the possibility of a “natural” conception, we had decided we would try this month but our timing may have been off. My heart was half in it, half still digesting what I’d unearthed at my hypnotherapy appointment. A part of me has turned into Peter Pan and has been living in the land of make-believe in which I’m actually pregnant now and just waiting another 5-7 days to prove it to the rest of the world.
Wishful thinking? Perhaps, but maybe I need some of that right now. Maybe this isn’t the magic cycle, but I need to believe that there will be some magic. It is our destiny to have another child. Also, when I tried communicating with our spirit babies recently they showed me an ultrasound image of a baby at about 12 weeks. And more recently I got a message to trust my intuition. Plus, I’ve been drinking wheat grass (gosh that stuff tastes rank but I can feel some benefits already so I’ll roll with it for a while).
Magic, intuition, spirit, faith, hope – call it what you will, I need to believe in all of it right now. Not just for me, but for all of us facing fertility challenges. Take that, Western Medicine and the Doubting Thomases and Thomasinas of the world!
But I am also a pragmatist. I have represented doctors, led them through some dark times, and I do not hold them on high or trust them intrinsically. They are human, like the rest of us. And they buy into a culture and framework that is not a perfect fit for how I view and experience the world. They are one piece of the puzzle that is life and a path to creating it. They don’t always have answers. But I am going to demand that my questions get considered, even the ones to which their only answer is “we don’t know”, which in doctor-speak translates into “your eggs are old.”
In short, I have my feet on the ground but my heart and some part of my head in the clouds. And I’m okay with that.