We just got back from our appointment with Dr. E. It always feels awkward when we walk in to see him. He doesn’t know what to say and tries to be so careful with his words. He first asked how I was doing. It’s a hard question to answer since it changes minute to minute. We went over how my past cycles have gone. I went in there feeling very strong, like a mama bear protecting her young. I had to advocate for “us”. I didn’t cry or feel overly emotional like I thought I would.
We talked about how having four failed cycles isn’t promising and that I need to be realistic about what is happening. I get it. But what my heart feels and what my head is telling me are two different things. He said it’s time to start thinking about using a donor egg.
C and I explained to him that we started thinking about the idea of egg donation, but in my heart, I still want to try at least one or two more cycles with my own eggs. If I don’t, I am fearful that I would regret giving up after only a year and a half. With that said, he explained that even though it was suggested that we use donor eggs by the panel of docs at my cycle review, he is willing to go against the advice.
Dr. E said that a lot of times when someone is about to try their last shot at IVF, it helps them and relieves some stress to know there is always the option of egg donation. He used the metaphor, “you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket.” Nice doc… Nice.
We went over the difference between using a frozen egg and a fresh cycle. It sounds like when you do a fresh cycle, it is more expensive and they try to weed out the people doing it just for the money. When you do frozen, it’s just a bunch of people who passed all the testing, but they don’t meet with our clinic’s psychologist who really can tell if they’re doing it for altruistic reasons or just the money. And it actually does matter to me. The egg banks our clinic use are in Virginia and Georgia but they have collection sites around the country. At least the chances of me running into my donor would be about the same as me running into Justin Timberlake. Though I wish the latter was higher.
He explained that when you go the fresh egg donor route, it’s women who are local. First of all, going through my own cycle is stressful enough, let alone knowing someone else is out there cycling and each thing they do will impact my outcome. You are also put on a waiting list. The second I heard that I thought about how emotional that could be as well. Once your name is called they explain the type of person the donor is. You also get to see baby pictures, but never a current picture of what they look like. This is a huge problem for me. So what if you were on the waiting list for six months and the next donor that comes up is someone who looks nothing like you and has a nose the size of Texas? You would pass and you would go back down to the end of the waiting list. It sounds worse than the DMV.
I have an appointment next week with the psychologist. We’ll have to meet with her again for the formal 1.5 hour consultation and psychological assessment that is required before moving forward with a donor egg cycle. I won’t be meeting with her for the assessment just yet, but I do hope she will give me some clarity on all of my options and what I am feeling.
The doctor said I could do a cycle or two and I could get pregnant. But he thinks the chances are very very low. We are willing to try, even if it is a very very low probability. I will do anything to have my own biological child.
For now, he agreed to let me cycle again this coming period. He chuckled a bit and said he would get together a plan. I joked and told him to come up with his best plan yet! He said, “oh no, that’s a lot of pressure.” I try to joke with him when I can to lighten up the mood. He doesn’t have an easy job. I don’t envy being on his side of the desk.
I will say, I felt more in control walking away from that meeting than I have since I got the news my last cycle failed. I’m giving my body another chance or two while also exploring my other options. I hope this is what my soul needs to rest mind my for now and accept what I can not control.