On Friday (3/31) I went in for my CD9 scan and labs, and was told that my follicles didn’t grow and my lining didn’t thicken. I had an appointment that afternoon with my fertility specialist, Dr. M, to find out the results of my Fragile X test, but since I already got the good results on MyChart, I almost cancelled. My husband told me to go, and that’s when I found out my IUI got cancelled this cycle.
Dr. M told me that we will try again next cycle, with Menopur, with an extra long needle, so I can do IM injections into my butt. Yikes! She says I need the stronger stim drugs and that since I am heavier and have more fat on my stomach, the Follistim may not be going where it needs to be. To be honest, I think she has a point because I definitely felt like my Follistim was just sitting in my belly blob. But seriously, can’t I find a lower fat place to inject, like the tops of my thighs? So this is my fate. Oh, found out that my estradiol didn’t increase either. Maybe I’m closer to ovarian shut down than I thought.
I used this time with her to ask about our odds of a successful pregnancy with IUI vs IVF. She said that with IUI we have a 17-20% chance, and with IVF we have a 40% chance… IF we can stimulate my ovaries. At first I felt happy with those numbers. 40%! Those are good odds. Sounds like we’re going to have a baby with my own eggs. But in the car ride home I was thinking, if someone told me I have a 40% chance of living and a 60% chance of dying, I’d be pretty upset. I’d be like, okay I’m more likely going to die than live. I’ve got a good chance of living, but a better chance of dying, and I don’t like these odds. What if someone told me I had a 40% chance of winning the lotto! Hey, those are good odds! So I guess that’s why 40% of success with my own eggs sounded good at first. Because no one wants to tell you, “You have a 60% chance of not having a successful pregnancy with your own eggs.”
And yeah yeah I know, doctors can’t give percentages, miracles happen, it only takes one good egg, women with low AMH have kids all the time. Okay. But we’ve been here before, I know I can get pregnant, I just don’t know how many good eggs I have left and if I’ll ever catch one, even with IVF. I read the stories online women who have been through this for years, who can’t get pregnant, or who can, like me, but miscarry, who go through one, two, three, four, seven IVF cycles, fourteen IUI cycles, and I will take this as far as I can go but a lot of these women end up with nothing or they move on to donor eggs. I’m not going to bury my head in the sand. I’m not giving up on my eggs or on hope but I need to accept the idea of donor eggs now, for my sanity, so that I can know that no matter what, I will be able to be pregnant and give birth. Could a donor cycle fail? Yeah sure, but that’s not even on the radar right now so I’m not going to go there yet in my mind.
Dr. M mentioned one of the reasons she thinks I have a 40% chance of success with IVF is because I am young (34) so I should have good egg quality. Then she asked me if she’d already told me to start taking DHEA and CoQ10. Hello? Our first appointment, she told me that my egg quality was questionable since I have four losses, and I told her I was already taking DHEA and CoQ10. One more reason to wonder if my doctor really is at all invested in my case. I know doctors can’t all be 100% invested in all their patients, but I really don’t want to feel like I’m on an assembly line at a factory.
It’s a strange practice that I go to. The doctors are all professors at the Ivy League medical school affiliated with the practice, they all do research and publish and in that sense, it seems somewhat like the work of getting women pregnant is not their primary focus, or interest. I don’t know how true that is, and I know for sure it’s not true of all university affiliated fertility centers. There’s another one in my state that is supposed to be wonderful and appears to be extremely patient focused. If I’m not pregnant and still have IVF cycles left in my coverage at the end of the year, I’ll be switching to the other insurance plan to go to that center, actually.
Dr. M also AGAIN mentioned my weight! I’m like yeah lady I know, I need to lose weight and that would make everything magically better. It just bugs me because she gave me my weight goal that they require for IVF, which was 25 lower than my weight at my first appointment. Since then I have lost 24 lb, putting me 1 lb away. On my Friday appointment, their scale read 15 lb lower than my starting weight, when I was actually 20 lb lower, which kind of drives me crazy. I know their scale will be more accurate, but water and clothes and shoes should not take away 5 lb of my success!
If you’re wondering how I lost 4 lb over the weekend, it’s because I got extremely sick last week and I am still recovering. The entire inside of my mouth and throat are covered in little blisters that have now popped. I can’t chew without crying and swallowing is a challenge so I’ve only been able to eat cold soft foods. This is one of the worst ways to lose weight. I’d trade the pounds back to have not gone through the pain I’ve been in for a week, but weight is weight and I’m still going to try to keep it off. I guess Dr. M has no faith I’ll be at my IVF weight in time for next cycle since we’re starting the Menopur IUI cycle in three weeks, but I’ll use this time to keep trying to lose weight for IVF. Also, we really do need to figure out how to stimulate my ovaries before we waste an IVF cycle trying to figure that out.