So I turned 30 on Thursday. We had a party on Saturday. Not as many people showed up as I’d anticipated, but it was still a lot of fun.
After all the excitement was over, Andrew and I sat down to fill out somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-40 pages of paperwork for a new fertility clinic. Don’t get me wrong, we love our current place, and our current RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist), but we wanted to get a second opinion just basically for sanity’s sake, I suppose. Also, it helped since we weren’t able to get an appointment with Dr. Lady (our current RE) until 12/18.
So we met with Dr. Dude this morning (the new RE). He seemed nice enough. One of the things that I like about our existing RE, and the practice in general, is that it’s smaller and friendlier, and Dr. Lady has a great bedside manner. This new (to us) practice is really big, and so a little less personal. Even the waiting rooms felt more clinical. And Dr. Dude was perfectly nice, and I wouldn’t say his bedside manner was lacking, just not as bubbly and warm as Dr. Lady. The fact that she called me, herself, to check on me both after the Egg Retrieval, and after the negative blood test, makes me feel appreciated, and all that jazz. But Andrew has pointed out many times that at the end of the day, we want a baby, and bedside manner doesn’t really factor in.
Honestly, if you look at the statistics, Big Shiny Practice has a higher success rate for IVF than Warm Fuzzy Practice. Unfortunately, there are many ways to manipulate these statistics… turning away cases unlikely to succeed, or labeling them as a study or something so that it doesn’t count against their success % if they fail… and so on and so forth. Knowing that, (and that the more positive Yelp reviews say it’s merely a “baby factory”) I was really expecting Dr. Dude to push Donor Eggs, with my low AMH, Antral Follicle Count, and the fact that at (just shy of) 30 we only got 4 eggs. This was the first time I heard a doctor officially tell me I have Diminished Ovarian Reserve. Which, I kind of already knew, but Dr. Lady never labeled me as such (at least not to us).
However, he did not push Donor Eggs, at all. His recommendation was for another IVF. He mentioned the possibility of using a growth hormone, that has been shown to help with DOR and poor egg quality. Um, I think. The impression that I got is that he was presenting it to us as an option, and for us to do more research on the subject before deciding whether or not we would want to add it to our IVF protocol. I haven’t had the chance to do so yet, and we are also interested to see what Dr. Lady has to say on the subject. I also felt like he would’ve felt more comfortable suggesting it as an option if IVF #1 had been done with them.
Anyway, it seems like if we go with Big Shiny Practice, it would be a slightly different IVF protocol. Which would mean the vial and a half of Follistim in my fridge wouldn’t get used. But it would mean stabbing myself once a day instead of twice, because Dr. Dude said he prefers that method. (He was also careful to say that the protocol Dr. Lady had me on wasn’t “wrong,” just different, and different doctors have different preferences) Dr. Dude also said that he would do another Hysteroscopy to look at my ute… not a surgical one under anesthesia or anything, just a quick look. None of these are specifically deciding factors, just small things to think about.
He also said he puts our chances of getting pregnant with IVF at about 40%. Most couples our age would be about 60%, but thanks to my DOR, we don’t have that. I still kind of like those chances, I guess. Far from hopeless. And I feel like that 40% is probably pretty much the same at either practice.
So. I think that about sums it up. It was a lot of information to digest, and my brain is kind of fuzzy. So I think I need to leave off here. I made the appointment with Big Shiny Practice feeling certain I would want to stick with Warm Fuzzy Practice, regardless. Now, I honestly have no idea, and both look like perfectly viable options. Hopefully the follow-up with Dr. Lady will help guide that decision one way or the other… I’m sure Andrew and I will have a long chat about it before moving forward.
We also talked a little more about adoption (not with the doctor, of course). That’s pretty much entirely up in the air, too, I think. We don’t know how many IVFs we’re willing to try, and Andrew doesn’t really want to try and do both at the same time. So, we don’t know when we’ll start looking into it more seriously. Part of me wants to go for broke, because I know the adoption process can take a really long time. But I just don’t know.
Being a grown up sucks. Well, I guess being infertile sucks. And I am deferring any decision-making until at least our follow-up appointment with Dr. Lady. Possibly the new year. Let’s just make it through the Holidays and all that, first. Maybe. 😛