So, it looks like I am back at my old fertility clinic. Uhhh, two steps forward....
I had something of a reassuring conversation with a new doctor, Dr. B, an incredibly kind, compassionate soft-spoken doctor. I must confess, I wonder, how the hell does she navigate working with the testosterone driven male assholes she is surrounded by (this is not conjecture, I know a number of women who have been through this factory - I mean clinic - and had similar opinions of the male REs there). I gave her my history, which she admitted was unusual, and then asked her the questions. Is my current RE correct that I would ideally proceed directly to IVF with PGS? Yes. What if I can't afford the PGS, is IVF worth it? THAT one, she mused, was an interesting question. "You're fertile," she said, "so your not automatically an IVF candidate because you clearly can get pregnant." The bottom line is that my eggs could use the help of screening, but IVF isn't necessarily my ticket on its own. It's one to ponder, because the fact that it is covered by my insurance is the only reason I am even considering it. Nevertheless, we developed a plan:
This cycle: testing. An HSG (ugh, tomorrow morning, more on that I am sure). A full Repeat Pregnancy Loss (RPL) Panel. Karyotyping. A mammogram next week because I am fucking 40 and they won't even let me proceed with an IUI without one.
By the way, want to know what bloodwork looks like for someone who has lost three pregnancies? Here's PAGE 1 of my lab order - Xes mark the vials of blood taken from me:
In case you were wondering, the feeling is finally returning to my arm. I am being tested for everything under the sun, thyroid, clotting disorders, you name it. All with the expectation that nothing will turn up but covering our bases.
Next month, schedule of demanding job permitting, I go in for a third and likely final IUI. I'll go back on clomid, because it worked for me and I had no ill-effects, only this time with a trigger shot of ovidrel to induce ovulation so we don't miss my surge. It will be a relief not to totally depend upon reading lines on sticks.
If that fails, we then explore IVF. I think I can buy some time - I need a good 4 weeks cleared on my calendar for the monitoring and frankly, that's difficult with my day job. I realize that women of - ahem - advanced maternal age - don't have the leeway to say this, but I honestly don't want to rush into this.
Speaking of jobs, I asked another million-dollar question, can I zumba during an IVF cycle? Sadly no, because the jostling could actually turn my ovaries around while they're being stimulated. Is this a rare situation? Yes. But crazily enough, Dr. B and I agreed that the word "rare" tends to mean "THIS WILL HAPPEN TO YOU" when applied to me. So, all of this means that I could end up agreeing to an incredibly high-stress medical intervention without the benefit of releasing much-needed endorfins to burn off steam and stave off depression. Oh yeah, that should work out great.
Raise your hand if you think life would be easiest if I just found myself knocked up the old fashioned way this month?