January 31, 2010

The light at the end of the tunnel

Posted in IVF tagged , at 11:35 am by lifebytheday

First of all, thank you all SO much for the warm thoughts and kind words…I feel so very lucky in my group of friends.  You all seemed to know exactly what I wanted to hear…even when I didn’t know that myself.  Although I’m still sad and disappointed, things are starting to look up.

On Friday evening, while S and I were sitting around watching tv, I got a call from my RE…you know, the one I hadn’t heard from my entire cycle?  I had called earlier in the afternoon to make a follow up appointment and was told that his earliest available appointment was on March 4th.  Sorry, not acceptable.  So then I asked to be transferred so that I could leave a message for him (I knew that he was away last week) and was told that patients weren’t allowed to leave messages for the doctors, but that I could leave a message with his nurse.  I was flabbergasted.  “So you’re telling me that I’m not allowed to leave a message for MY OWN doctor?”  Apparently not.  So once I got past that, I was transferred to the nurse’s line and left a very stern message asking for a return call from Dr. T.  45 mins later, I got a call from the nurse telling me that he’d be calling and to leave my cell on.   

Four hours later, around 8pm, I got a call.  Dr. T had wanted to wait until he knew neither of us would be interrupted so that we could talk as much as we needed, for which I was surprised and extremely grateful.  I put him on speaker so that S could hear, and we talked for almost 20 minutes.  Some of the key takeaways:

  • I am an extremely severe case, and will require careful monitoring and likely constant tweaks to the meds (and will always be at risk for cancelation, due to my extreme response)
  • He was very concerned to hear how early in the cycle I had been feeling pain and bloating, and implied that a cancelation would have been likely even without the false ovulation
  • He doesn’t think that we need to take a break, and actually told me to keep taking the Lupron to get my ovaries suppressed more quickly, so that we can jump right back into the BC pills (and hopefully not have to be on them as long)
  • I’m to track how I feel (bloating-wise) and call next week with a report, and also to call if and when I get my period.  If it hasn’t arrived within the next 7-10 days, he’ll likely induce it.
  • He’s going to closely review my past three stim cycles with his team, and will consider starting me on a lower dose of Gonal-F, and perhaps only Gonal-F and no Repronex.  Not using Repronex might cause the same quality issues that we dealt with my first two cycles, so that’s also a consideration.

I also expressed my concerns with how my care had been managed – i.e. as a team, but without any one person who seemed to know the whole picture.  I told him that I obviously didn’t begrudge him time out of the office, but that each morning, I felt like I had to remind the RE(s) on call about the severity of my situation, and answer questions they should have known.  This was really hard for me to do – I don’t like to rock the boat (and don’t want to be known as “that girl” amongst the staff) – but I spoke up for the sake of our future children, and for other women who might not have the confidence to do so.  Dr. T made it clear that his team works very closely together and claimed that everybody had been aware of my situation, but apologized and said that they’d do better next time…that if I wasn’t happy, then they hadn’t done their job.  I know there was more than a little feather-smoothing going on there, but I appreciated the sentiment.

The other really interesting thing that came out of our conversation was a Plan C, that Dr T wanted to make sure we knew he was keeping in his pocket.  Apparently there is a program at McGill University (in Canada) – the only one of its kind in the world – for people (like me) with severe PCOS.  They actually harvest the eggs before maturity – using NO stim meds – and then mature the eggs OUTSIDE of the body.  Then the rest of the IVF procedure continues as normal.  Apparently they have had some great success rates, and Dr. T wanted us to know that might be an option down the road.  Strangely, S felt really encouraged by knowing that this option was available, but all I could hear when he was telling us was…$ $ $ $ $ $ $…I mean, only program in the world, outside of U.S…? 

In any case, Dr. T told us that we absolutely shouldn’t give up, that as a 27 year old woman, we have plenty of time and options available to us.  Usually that pisses me off more than anything else, but this time I really took it to heart.  After realizing that we were officially entering the “over 3 IVF cycles club” I forced myself to think about whether we should change our plans going forward, maybe consider adoption or something else.  After much thought and prayer, I realized that I’m just not there yet…more than anything, I want to have that little girl who wraps S around her little finger and reminds him of the woman he fell in love with, or that little boy that I see in S when he’s being silly or grouchy.  I want to have that feeling that my mother has told me about since I was a child, the feeling of love unlike any other, for a person that is a combination of you and your partner in life and love.  I absolutely don’t judge anyone who does adopt, in fact, I think they’re probably stronger than me, but at this point in my life, I’m still craving my biological child. 

So for now, I’m trying to stay upbeat and focus on the positives in the situation.  If this cycle wasn’t meant to be, at least we found out a month earlier than if we went all the way through to transfer and 2WW, and got a negative anyways.  I have to admit though, my prayers have gotten a bit desperate.  “Please God, don’t tell me that biological children aren’t part of your plan for us…”

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9 Comments »

  1. Kari said,

    So glad your doctor got back to you and also that he plans to head right into the next cycle. I had to be watched ever so closely during my cycles as well. I only took anywhere from 25-75IUs/nightly of Follistim, which was unheard of on my infertility support board. I got OHSS on both IVF cycles. My clinic also never let you talk to a doctor and during my last IVF cycle I never saw my doctor either. It’s so frustrating. I am so glad you had time to talk to your doc where you both could ask all your questions without time restraints. I truly hope plan C never has to come to fruition and I hope when you begin your next cycle it’s your last!! 🙂

  2. K.M. said,

    I am so happy that you able to see some light at the end of that tunnel – way to power through! It must feel lots better to have finally talked to your doc and know you have a plan and that there are options. Still hoping for the best for you and glad you don’t have to wait too long to get started again. Hang in there my buddy! 🙂

  3. jolene1079 said,

    Wow, you have such a positive outlook and that’s amazing. And, it sounds like your doctor has quite a few options in mind, which gives me even more hope for you than ever!! Extra prayers for you, as always. XOXO.

  4. Jess said,

    Wow. Such a mix of emotions reading that update – SO happy that you’re trying to balance the positive with the negative, I know its not easy. And, really hopeful that there IS still another plan if this current plan doesn’t work the next time around. AND I’m so glad your doctor called you personally, that makes such a huge difference in health care, I wish more doctors went that extra step. Sending you hugs and lots of prayer. xoxo

  5. D said,

    So glad to hear there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. And so glad your doctor is so into this and it sounds like he’s going the extra mile for you. Go you for sticking up for yourself, you are so strong, it’s admirable! (And like Jess) Sending you a virtual hug and lots of prayer.

  6. suchagoodegg said,

    That’s wonderful you were able to talk to your doctor. And GOOD FOR YOU for “rocking the boat.” 🙂 I know that was hard for you…but I think it paid off. Your doctor sounds really smart, really invested in your treatment and really HOPEFUL. All good stuff. I’m focusing on your positives, too, and sending you hugs. xo

  7. AplusB said,

    Hey – My RE does a lot of IVM. Shoot me an email if you want his name (aplusbwaitingforc@gmail.com). He did the rounds on the news about a year ago and say the procedure is very successful for those with PCOS.

  8. egghunt said,

    I tried to comment on this a few days ago but got an error so hence my late reply…..

    I have to say that I completely understand your want for a biological child. And I’m so pleased your Dr was able to resinstall some hope for you, it sucks to have to travel the hard road to get there but I truely feel that if you are determined enough you and just keep going then you’ll eventually get there (this is what i’m telling myself too). I completely identified with your feelings of not being ready for adoption, I am at that point too where I feel like I should be seriously considering it but just am not ready. Good luck honey, I am hoping for the best for you!

  9. liz said,

    So I stumbled across your blog today. I am many years into this journey and was relieved/comforted to read your thoughts. We may be at the end of our journey to pregnancy (lots of complications- including pcos), and adoption may be our next path, but I don’t feel ready for that just yet. Someone recently recommended that I get a second opinion from Dr. Toth, their co-worker was being seen at the same place I am, left and went to him, now she is pregnant. Just not sure I am up for starting this all over again!

    My very best to you, I will be keeping my fingers crossed!


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