Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Holy Leap of Faith, Batman

I just made an appointment with my RE (reproductive endocrinologist) (IVF doc) to talk about having a third kid. Homestead Mama and I are still having discussions about whether or not we will actually do it. Our decision really is up in the air, but I'm a planner and a realist. If we do decide to leap off that cliff I'll want to leap as soon as possible, and the first available appointment is over a month away. We can always cancel.

For those of you who didn't live through the conception of the first two, I believe much of it is in past posts. It took us about 4 years and the cost of an ivy league college education to get Pequita. H-mama had some distinct infertility issues, and IVF was the only way for her to conceive. I ended up on the IVF train because we felt very strongly that our kids share a donor - ours is anonymous - and be related by blood since we wanted to use eggs from each of us. Midway through H-Mama's string of unfortunate infertility I started to try to get pregnant the old fashioned way (for lesbians, this means spending $500-700 a month on sperm and having a nurse escort the swimmers past my cervix with a sterile catheter.) We quickly realized our anonymous donor had stopped donating and someone had bought up almost 40 vials of sperm in a couple months, leaving only a few remaining. IVF has significantly better success rates than the old fashioned way, so the decision was simple (which is different than easy).

Once I started IVF it took 3 cycles for me to succeed with Monito. The first live cycle we transferred 3 embryos and it was a BFN (big fat negative). The second live cycle (3 transferred) resulted in two implanted embryos (yay) that I miscarried at 9 weeks (boo). Their due date was 3 months after Pequita's (who we still didn't think would be viable (crush our souls with miscarriage 4 times, shame on you. Crush our souls 5 times, shame on us.). Think/ judge what you want, the timing might have been challenging but we were pretty excited. Third live cycle (3 transferred) was the charm, producing Monito. So from the 3 cycles I did I banked 9 frozen 5-day blasts in pretty good shape and from my 37 year old ovaries. We also have 3 vials of frozen sperm left. Even with me turning 40 shortly (ahem) that should be enough for a good go at another kid who is related by blood to the existing two. IF we agree to go ahead and try. I must say that as I study and witness all the trauma and shell shock my friends and sister suffer through as they manage a toddler and an infant, I am looking hard for reasons not to have a third. I remain undaunted. I can DO hard. I can survive with little sleep. I can see the gifts that are my children even as I plop my son down in time out for biting his sister. Whatever. I suppose it might be obvious which side of the discussion I fall on.

Pardon the following slight non sequitor, but I can't help worry about possible multiples whenever considering fertility tx (treatments):

I must say, after watching closely the interviews with the octuplet mom, I have a hard time not judging her for only two decisions: not being willing to selectively reduce her HOM (high order multiples) for the health of her babies and her existing family, and for supremely poor judgment in selecting the surgeon who performed her lip implants. (I don't accept her line about not having had surgery. I grew many things while pregnant aside from a baby- bigger hips, skin tags, a wart (?) And an unhealthy love for Klondike bars, but not a new set of lips.)


Anonymous said...

We need more beautiful people like you and the lovely ones you are so carefully, mindfully and lovingly raising in this world. Love is all you need. (Sufficient economic steadiness helps too). I say go for it!

Alison Williams said...

Of course you are not asking for opinions, but can I help myself?? Of course not. How about a half-way house. Relatively low-cost, not as great odds, but reasonably low-key option. No more IVF. Just natural cycles, using the frozen and transferring 2 at a time at the appropriate time after ovulation. Then, if that has not worked, use the sperm, the old fashioned way. Personally, I would never do injections for the progesterone again either - evidence does not stack up. could get away with no injections, and once per month clinic trips. I know that's not what the discussions are about, but it would seem more like you are letting fate take its course?
Good luck with your decision. Hope it's not too stressful for you both. If you're anything like me, you want to KNOW, and to get this task behind you!

Homestead Mom said...

[Do people see my answers/ comments if I respond after you comment?]

Ali, I would plan to do natural FETs first, both because the eggs are younger and also I don't want to have to wean the kids to start trying to have a third. At that point we'd reassess how much we'd leave up to chance.

The health care system is nuts here. It has always been easier and cheaper to do IVF than IUIs.

Homestead Mom said...

Oh, and comments are always welcome. Anything I don't want to discuss outside my brain I don't bring up. I thought about this post before making it public - this blog is anon enough to not be able to track me down easily from the info on it, but LOTS of family and friends read it.

Bring it on!

Becca said...

It's such a hard decision... I can imagine it's harder if you have to do so much prep work to achieve a third. I'm in the "come what may" camp on the three vs. two issue, but I realize that's not a possibility for you guys. You have two lovely children, though! The world could always use more lovely children!

MSL said...

You actually posted the same say I started Lupron for our first (and last) FET so I can understand the trepedation. Although I have to say I'm a bit jealous of the nine frosties. We only have one and have already decided not to pursue another fresh cycle so I'll be literally going in with all my eggs in one basket.

- Michele (MSL)

PS: Henry peed in the toilet tonight as well. Silly mommy had not replaced the toilet paper roll in his bathroom so we could not properly go through all the needed steps, much to his dismay.

Homestead Mom said...

Oh, MSL, good luck. I will be thinking of you.

aws said...

I can't offer encouragement either way when it comes to IVF, etc because I am totally ignorant of the whole system (sorry)but I can say that I think you should go for it (as in trying for another one). You and M are great mothers and I think you'll handle things just as well as you do now.