Today I made an unequivocal move. I called and made an official, in-person appointment for me and the LP with Dr. Jeffrey Braverman in Long Island for the end of this month. I booked us flights. I tried not to gag at how much the initial consult ($900 USD) and the airfare ($1100 USD) will set me back. The testing is estimated to cost between $900 and $2000 USD, depending on what Dr. Braverman orders. All of this is out-of-pocket for us. For me. I’m paying for it myself. The LP pays for other stuff.
I then wrote to our current RE to tell him we really like working with him and would prefer to stay with him for our next FET (frozen embryo transfer). I asked if he would be prepared to coordinate my care with Dr. Braverman should I choose to pursue an immune treatment protocol he might recommend.
The short answer is no, but he was very respectful in his response, which includes the following:
- “When results don’t match expectations, especially those accompanied by unusual physical elements that appear to be immune in origin, it’s time to think out of the box.”
- “Our field has very few proven remedies for immune issues as they relate to implantation failure and biochemical losses.”
He went on to say that his own knowledge reflects the current understanding in keeping with the College of which he is a member. Since many of the interventions offered by “the ‘immune specialists'” are “unproven and in some cases risky”, he prefers only to have a peripheral involvement insofar as he is ultimately responsible for his actions in my care. He concluded by saying he’d be happy to help me facilitate care with Dr. Braverman if we elect to pursue that.
And that, as they say, is that. I feel a little like I’ve been fired or given an ultimatum, though I really do get the sense that my RE wants to help and is simply doing what I expected him to do – protect himself first and foremost. He’s right, he is ultimately responsible for his actions and having acted for docs before in their legal woes, I get that. I really do. It still smarts a little to be dumped.
Overall, I feel sad and scared because the stakes and the expense just got bigger. However, in my gut (where it matters) I know I have done the right thing in seeking some answers. I need to know why my womb keeps destroying our pregnancies. Even if the answers lead me back to our current RE and a rejection of whatever Dr. Braverman might recommend (which may be nothing at all though that seems unlikely, it is a big business he runs and all and they all want to make money… and lots of it), I need to ask. I need some kind of explanation or the ability to make sense of what has happened and what I can expect to have happen in the future if we try again. Without that I do not know how I could feel comfortable making decisions and moving forward until it is time to quit (either because we succeed or because we don’t and I am at peace with this journey being at an end).
We did not come all this way to throw in the towel or waste the last chances we have. I have to give this all I’ve got (and what I can reasonably borrow and hope to pay back in the foreseeable future). It feels like this is the only way I can live with myself in all of this. I need some peace of mind. And in the world of recurrent pregnancy loss and immune system overlap, that seems to have a heavy price tag attached to it. So be it. I’m in it thigh-deep now, I may as well start wading.
As positive affirmations that something is going right, I have two happy notes on which to end this update.
First, I had a wonderful lunch date with my sister-in-law. She said I look healthier and better than I have in a really long time and noted that she was really happy about this, because they’d been worried about me. She’s been with us through the past 18 months and the 6 losses we’ve had in that time and she is the only non-medical person who knows we are using donor eggs. It meant a lot to me to hear her say I seem calmer, more peaceful and I look healthier. I needed that today. More than I could have anticipated. Thank you, SIL, you made my day.
Second, I won the “pay-day lottery” at my work today. It was only $95 but hey, that will go toward the dinner to which I’m treating our out-of-town friends tomorrow night while the LP is away. And it was like God’s way of saying “I’m sorry about the bad news but you’re on the right track here, kiddo.” Or that’s how I’m looking at it.