“Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.”
I am struggling with our next steps. And to be honest here, struggling is a mild word for how I feel.
We’ve been at this infertility nightmare for almost 2 years now, with many years of trying to conceive naturally prior. It has become part of our everyday lives and unfortunately infertility isn’t a train you can just cleanly hop off of and forget. It just chugs and chugs and chugs and drains you.
People keep saying “it will happen for you” but these are people who are not involved in the HOW. HOW WILL it happen for us?
This is not a question easily answered:
1- IF we can get any chromosomally normal embryos that also happen to not have mitochondrial issues,
2- We can then off label use Neupogen at transfer for the HLA match issue. This drug, mind you, is experimental, and is intended to treat chemo patients. It is not covered by insurance (off label use rarely is) and will cost about $10,000 out of pocket. To me though, the bigger issue is not the cost (although that still makes me vomit), but if Neupogen works for us, how could it affect the baby? Or me? No one can really answer this and therefore, I am very very stressed about using this medication. This leads us to the last option, which is to…
3- Use a gestational carrier, to the tune of $60,000 (plus or minus $20k). It’s a huge amount of money, especially after spending money on 4IVFs with CCS testing and immune testing with Dr. Braverman.
There is no easy path here. There are no clear options forward. Having a child naturally or even easily via IVF has been taken from us and I’m angry, so very angry that we have to go to such extreme measures while we rack up insurmountable financial debt.
I feel so lost and defeated. And tired. So tired.
We are oh so slowly prepping for our next IVF. We are throwing so many new things at this next cycle I honestly have no idea what to expect. In reality, my confidence is so shattered that I am not anticipating much success.
I think the most significant adjustment is that I have severely limited gluten and dairy. As I had no concrete knowledge on how to go about such a change, this was quite a learning process. It involved vast interwebs research, interviews with crunchy time friends, discussions with a doctor and a nutritionist, and recon at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. The conclusion was I needed to identify the diary and gluten items I could not live without and find alternatives. If you are curious how it’s going, all I can say is this insanity is still in its infancy, so I have no major conclusions as of yet.
Next, I am now taking micro green pills, mitochondrial supplements, and vitamin E. These have been added to my current regimen of baby aspirin, vitamin D, and acupuncture. CO-Q10 has been wiped from my list, and DHEA is still up in the air.
My husband is taking an antioxidant supplement and Clomid. He has severely limited his alcohol consumption and is eating very cleanly. After a few months on this plan he will repeat the sperm DNA fragmentation test.
Dr. Braverman and I discussed the decisions made throughout my prior IVF protocols. It was scary to hear his thoughts, as many of them mimic my own conclusions. My ovaries should of been gently surpressed (I have a repeated history of lead follicles) and estrogen priming should of been implemented. Every single IVF cycle was too short, in fact, I should of stimmed for longer than 8 days. For my last cycle, 3 days of human growth hormone was concluded to be not enough. Also, my Gonal-F dosage should have been stepped down throughout the stim process. Dr. Braverman does suggest very high initial stim dosages (like 750IU) and eventually stepping down. This level of stim medication sets off a warning bell for me. Has anyone stimmed with these types of dosages (after suppression) and been successful? I am very curious for any feedback. Particularly from those working with Dr. Braverman, however all experience with high stim dosages and success are welcome.
We are not focusing on the embryo transfer process at this time, so I suspect I won’t post about it for a few months. I believe we will start IVF #4 in January. It will (hopefully) be a freeze all and embryo banking cycle.
This may all seem like progress, but emotionally, I am not doing well. I am avoiding most people. I cry a few times a week. I tear up everyday. I am in a funk. I am tired all the time. It is a challenge to take care of myself like I used to, so I started making lists. I saw the dermatologist. I scheduled the orthopedist. I visited the acupuncturist. I got a pedicure. It is only 7 weeks out from my miscarriage, and I am still waiting for it to get easier, to feel more like myself. However, I just feel like I’m just going through the motions.