John & I went in for our appointment yesterday. My favorite receptionist and financial person told me last week that she was leaving the clinic to pursue another career. When she told me that she was leaving, we figured that I wouldn't be seeing her again because I wouldn't have to come into the office after my transfer until after her last day had passed. I thought that I would make an extra trip so I could drop off a card and a small gift for her. Well, instead we came in on her last day for our WTF appointment. I handed her a little gift when we got there, and then asked her about my records. When I scheduled the appointment earlier in the week, I requested a copy of my records. Later on, I found out from some other bumpies that I would have to specifically ask for John's records and both embryology reports, otherwise they likely wouldn't include them. So I asked her to include all of those, and she told me that she already had everything ready to go. I was shocked. At minimum, I thought it would be two weeks to put everything together, but I walked out yesterday with a very thick envelope full of our records.
The doctor called us back, and it was time to start. I had braced myself to hear him say some difficult things. He got started right away by telling us that he sees three options for us:
- IVF with PGD - he actually said that although this was an option for us, that it wasn't one that he recommended. Since it seems that we are working with an egg quality issue, and the past two IVFs showed such terrible results (the second actually being worse than the first), that this option didn't seem to be worth the expense in his opinion. He said that it is possible that our embryos simply do not like being outside of my body, and that the lab environment is too unnatural for them. Seeing that the past two IVFs produced 11 embryos, and only two of them made it to the point where we could have even considered PGD... I don't see how this could work.
- IUI with Injects - this was the option that he suggested the most strongly for us. He said that he does believe that I can become pregnant, and that the past two IVFs have proven that fertilization is not an issue for us. With IUI, fertilization would likely happen inside my body, and it is possible that our 'golden egg' would come along. Especially if our embryos don't like being in the lab, this way would be better because they would stay inside my body. We also didn't completely rule out the IUI+inject route before moving onto IVF. We did three clomid+IUI cycles, we did an inject cycle (got downgraded to TI because I over responded... in retrospect, we should have gone forward with the five mature follies), but we haven't yet tried IUI+injects.
- Donor Eggs - he actually was reluctant to say this option, and I was the one who pulled it out of him. (He said we had three options, but only listed the two before he seemed ready to move on... so I asked) He also said that he thought we had a lot of room with our other options before we needed to discuss this. I am absolutely not ready to entertain the thought, so we moved on pretty quickly.
Along the way, John and I asked a lot of questions... what did he think of autoimmune testing? Testing for clotting factors? Coculture? Is it possible that I had too much medicine? That I triggered too early or too late? Maybe my body rejected the HGH? Test the sperm for DNA fragmentation? Are there any further tests for egg quality?? Supplements?? Anything???
Doc's opinion was that IUI+injects was the way to go, and he even recommended that we go get a second opinion before trying IVF again. He is a good doctor. I wish so much that this would have worked by now...
As we walked out, he shook our hands... it felt like we were all saying good bye. My two favorite nurses were there, and Susan asked me how it went. I told her he recommended going back to IUI... she gave me the most sincere, empathetic look... I had to turn away before I cried. The receptionist handed me our gigantic file, and gave me her email address. We said goodbye and walked out...
It is beyond me why I am still getting worked up thinking about it. In general, I hate goodbyes, but this one really, really hurts. I know deep down, we never expected to be at this point. We thought this was going to work. I am still so, so heartbroken.
So, the plan for now is that we are going to do an IUI+injects cycle with Dr. J while we wait for our other appointments. We have consults scheduled with three other REs to get a second, third, and fourth opinion. We do not feel comfortable moving forward with another IVF cycle unless there is a rock solid plan and a decent amount of hope. The consults are scheduled for December 30th, January 2nd, and January 14th. I am working on filling out the new patient forms for those three appointments. And I'll be scanning and emailing our extremely large file to all three of them when I get the chance at work on Monday. In the meantime, I'm officially waiting for AF so we can go onto our next cycle.
I cannot believe this is happening.