Ladies and gentlemen, we have a fertility doc! After ruminating over this for so long, we finally have made our choice and it feels great. We were between doctors #3 and #4 (see previous post). We chose doctor #3 (the group of doctors out of Denver that has a satellite office in Colorado Springs). Here’s why:
In order to prevent our next children from having MCADD like Noah did, we have to do what is called a PGD test (a testing procedure called Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis). After sperm and egg meet, cells start rapidly dividing until it becomes a fully fledged embryo. Specialists within the field of embryology have become adept at watching an embryo as it divides, and when it gets to about 8 cells big, they can suck one of the cells off, and test it to look for genetic disorders. They can test for a panel of things and can even tell the sex of the baby at that point (granted, unless you have a medical reason for knowing the sex – your genetic disorder is specific to either girls or boys for example – they won’t tell you). It is pretty amazing stuff. Most fertility clinics contract out to large labs to do this work rather than hire someone in house to do it. It is just too expensive to have someone work on site. So, Chris has done a good job of calling these labs and talk to them about their process. Doctor #3 uses the lab that pioneered the PGD test. Also, for some reason, doctor #4 has a policy where they freeze the embryo after doing the PGD test. Freezing and thawing an embryo decreases the success rate. It is, of course, our goal to be as successful as possible at getting pregnant. Doctor #3 doesn’t freeze the embryo after running the PGD test. They want to do a “fresh embryo transfer” (no freezing) because that gives the best odds. Another selling point is that Doctor #3’s main office in Denver (where egg retrieval and implantation will take place) is right next door to the Children’s Hospital. The two organizations talk to one another regularly, and it is our wish to donate the sick embryos to the genetics lab there to help further their research. So, without a doubt, in our situation Doctor #3 is the best choice for us.
I called and got us all set up today. They are going to start building the PGD test. They are going to build the probe (as they call it) specific to us and our genetic issue. Chris said that they do it via a cheek swab that we send off to them. It will take three months. This doctor will not do the egg retrieval/fertilization part until we have the probe built and done, so we have a few months to relax, knowing we are moving forward, but still giving plenty of time to continue all of the work we are doing on ourselves (counseling, grief groups, losing weight from my pregnancy with Noah, and getting my hormones back in order.) I am loving that plan.
I have also decided to trust what everyone is telling me about how the finances of this really are going to be ok and taken care of (again, fundraising friends, thank you so much!) and so I have signed on with my insurance through my work rather that going on Chris’s. Doing the math on it, in order for me to be on Chris’s insurance, it would cost us $500 a month. After having the baby, it would cost $650 a month. And chances are, they wouldn’t cover a penny of the infertility. Frankly, I would rather have the cash. My insurance for me at my work is cheap, and the coverage (except for infertility stuff) is pretty awesome.
I am such a planner. Having everything up in the air for so long was really hard. Just knowing that there is a plan in place, and we are working towards something is comforting to me. I need that. The future is hopeful. This isn’t the end of my story. Just the beginning in fact.