Oh boy, here we go! We have decided to go ahead and do IVF in January. The fact is that getting through the holiday season this year was pretty brutal, and we have a chance of not having it be so hard next year because we will have a baby (or babies – they are implanting two!) which would alleviate a lot of pressure. If I get pregnant in January, then I would have it/them in the fall. It was bad enough this year that we felt that beyond a doubt, this is the right thing to do.
Our embryos are going to have to be put through a lot with the PGD test and chromosomal testing, so they need to be as robust and healthy as possible. How do we get healthy embryos? Chris and I need to RELAX so that we create the highest quality material for their experts to work with. That means we go to work, come home and put PJ’s on and put our feet up. No hassle. Go to bed early. Do a whole lot of nothing. I have had some valuable time in December to get ready for this:
1. I have blocked off our calendars. We are not accepting any social engagements of any kind. I even put great big fluorescent pink stickers in my calendar that say “Schedule Nothing!” so as I bump into interesting sounding things to do, and reach for my calendar thinking “I can probably make that work!” that there is a great big reminder that I need to be home with my feet up and doing nothing else! Forgive us for being anti-social next month, but as much effort, money and energy as we are putting into this whole thing, we can’t afford to do anything that would put our chances at risk!
2. I am off work this week and I spent a day doing nothing but cooking. I have filled my freezer with lots of healthy yummy things so that my responsibilities are as minimal as possible. I am also definitely going to have my cleaning lady keep coming so that really, the only household thing I have to do is laundry and light grocery shopping.
3. As everyone was winding down for the holidays at work, I kept soldiering on, and churned through a crazy amount of stuff on my to do list. January is a tough time at my office. It is usually the most stressful month of the year. I did as much as I possibly could to prepare, and work ahead.
4. I have gotten completely sucked into a new tween vampire series of novels that are incredibly addicting and are just complete mind candy. (They are the House of Night books if anyone is interested!) They require no real thought, and I can feel my blood pressure come down as I settle in with one of those. I plan to keep reading stuff like that through January. I’ll save the thought-provoking award winning novels for another time in life. Right now, I just need trash that is fun to blow through! Got any fun things like this you think I should try? Send me a note and let me know!
So now with getting started! Today, I had my baseline appointment at the clinic. We started off by doing the initial ultrasound to check how things are doing. All looks perfect with my uterus and they feel comfortable moving me onto the big hormones.
We did injection training, as I will have to give myself a bunch of different shots throughout this whole thing. The first two weeks of the month, they are putting me on a hormone that will essentially make me go through menopause in a way. It will shut my reproductive system down. The reason why is that later in the month they will kick it back up and send it on overdrive so that I will release multiple eggs when I am getting ready to ovulate. Most women only drop one egg a month. We clearly need more than that to be successful with in vitro, so they have to trick my body into dropping several eggs. There were several hormones they will give me at different times in the coming month (about 4-5 different ones) so I will be a pin cushion!
I start this whole injection thing on Friday (ohmygoodness!!!). I feel pretty comfortable with doing this first round. The needle is small and I do it in my stomach. On a similar note, I have been getting allergy shots for the last two years, so I am pretty well used to that procedure (I feel like I could give them to myself by now, I know it so well!). The needles are very similar so I feel confident I can do this. I will get a package of my remaining medications on Tuesday of next week. I will take a picture and post it so you guys can see what a subterraneous drug user I have become!
We signed all the paperwork and paid the big check for the whole procedure. Signing the paperwork was like signing for a house or a car. We signed many documents in several different places. It was quite a contract! We signed indicating that we were aware of the procedure and risks, that we were able and willing to pay the hefty fees, and the trickier parts of this were the parts on our advance directives on what we want done with our leftover viable embryos.
The odds are that we will end up with leftover embryos that are MCADD free that are strong and could yield a pregnancy. We plan to keep any leftovers and save them for a few years until we know for certain we are done having babies. But what then? And what if one or both of us die? What happens to them then? This has been a tough ethical decision to weigh out. Chris and I are usually right on the same page when it comes to things like this. It is part of what makes us a good match for one another. On this issue we are somewhat split, which surprised me greatly! I am in favor of donating them to research, while Chris wants to donate them to an infertile couple. I was absolutely amazed by my husband’s kindness and generosity! My big concern is that we are not like teenagers that plan to give a baby up for adoption that can maintain some kind of separation throughout their existence until it is time to give it to someone else. I will always feel like they are my children, and I care a great deal about the environment in which they are raised. Just because you have the money to do this sort of thing does not mean that you will be a good parent. I am ok with donating if the parents can be screened in some way. Then, what if the child tries to find us later in life? How would we feel about that? Fortunately, we have a few years before we have to make that decision and can weigh it out.
As for the “what if we die” question, as morbid as it sounds, we are going to meet with a lawyer to get a will drafted as soon as possible. We have to have this in place before we have leftover embryos to freeze. Again, we are not quite sure how we feel about it, so we are going to appoint a family member as the legal guardian of them who will make the decision for us if something happens. That will hopefully give us some time to figure this out.
Please pray for us this coming month! I will be very hormonal throughout the coming weeks (granted, I am still doing acupuncture which is supposed to help with that quite a lot, More on that in another post!), and then will have the actual egg retrieval and implantation in the week of January 25th! Woo hoo!!