Monday, June 17, 2013

An Interesting Case

Here is what happens when you spend your 30s trying to have babies. You create in the process the War and Peace of medical records. Mine was getting out of control -- a menagerie of random test results, dictated notes from physicians, ultrasound reports. It was time to clean it up.

So before I met with the new RE, I sat here sorting through the mammoth stack of paper, letting my nerd flag fly as I categorized the records by stage: "Recent recurrent losses," "Full-term pregnancy," "IVF," "IUI/Clomid." Of course I had to stop every once in a while to read something monumental and remember some milestone from the past six years, like road signs on some highway of doom. I'd see something like the surgeon's note on H's c-section and erupt in tears, realizing that I could be doing this without an actual child already living in my house, that my story could have kept being sad without the joyful vacation of a bona fide pregnancy that resulted in that Holy Grail of assisted reproduction: a live birth. Then I'd realize my walk down memory lane was keeping me from a very important show like Housewives or Keeping up with the Kardashians, and I'd refocus on the task at hand.

Anyway, the result was a highly organized, epic medical record, complete with an at-a-glance timeline I created for the top of the stack. The doctor was duly impressed. He brought us into his small office and was sort of hopping around like a cat on a hot tin roof as he started talking. I don't know if it was that he was excited by my case or the fact that we were veterans that knew what was going on, but he was pretty jazzed about my faulty uterus. Which was helpful, because as I said I'm exhausted by this process and went to the appointment with a certain degree of weariness about the whole thing. He basically said we should do IVF with the genetic screening, and gave us a rather convincing sales pitch about that, even though he was careful to say that the ultimate choice was up to us. I did ask what it meant that the last fetus tested as chromosomally normal, and wouldn't that mean the screening wouldn't really do any good, to which I received one of those circuitous answers that you can't really remember or repeat verbatim. It was essentially that those tests are ultimately not totally conclusive as there can be an unhealthy fetus that tests as healthy. Which makes no sense, but whatevs. I guess it's one of those things where you can't let the facts get in the way of hope.

So here I am. Waiting for my period so I can have a saline sonogram and then possibly shell out a good $8,000 for IVF with chromosomal screening (with insurance) so I can live the rest of my life knowing I went to the ends of the earth to give H a sibling. I'm a little torn because I was told at a second-opinion consult with an RE in my old city (who I almost cycled with before moving to my new city; more on those visits in a future post) that the screening probably wasn't necessary and I think I'm sort of in his camp. I actually think what's happening is that the PCOS is still at work, exposing my eggs to the wrong concoction of hormones as they develop, and that IVF rights that by letting the docs take control of your body, which when left to its own devices just cannot be trusted to produce a living human being. That's my Google MD assessment.

So anyway I'm torn and not sure how we'll proceed, and I guess just hoping my period takes another three months to arrive so I can have a break and think about it.

And oh, by the way, another medical professional let it slip and inadvertently blurted out the gender of my loss in May and this one was a boy. A brother in the making that my H will never know.

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