Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Now I’m Special

Well, I think I’m special.  If you have to go to a specialist, that makes you special, right?  And that’s where we are headed now.  Yes, we.  Now that we know there is a potential interruption in our plan to conceive, my future husband and I head to the fertility specialist. 
Let’s go through my feelings...
            Stressed – No, remember I don’t really do stress.
            Nervous – Yeah, who wouldn’t be – I’m heading to a “specialist.”
            Sad – Absolutely, my dream of having a child may never come true.
Hopeful – Just a little.  I’d heard many good things about this fertility clinic and I figured if anyone can help us, they can.
Loved – More than ever.  I couldn’t ask for a more supportive fiancé – even when he knows his dream of having a child could be squashed, too.  And because of me.
            Guilty – Yep, see loved above.
The first part is the sit and talk session.  She explains FSH – 10 or under is normal, women past menopause are over 300 (for a minute, we thought 124 didn’t sound so bad, but turns out, it’s still up there).  With that level, I may or may not have any eggs left – not what we wanted to hear.  Time to go through the options.
If I have eggs… We can try a number of fertility drugs and, if needed, artificial insemination aka IUI (where Jeff does his business in a cup and then the doctor does a special washing of his sperm and shoots it up into my uterus).  What won’t work for me is In Vitro Fertilization aka IVF (where they take my eggs out, mix it with Jeff’s sperm, and put the fertilized egg back in my uterus).  According to this handy dandy chart she showed us, with my FSH level and age, they wouldn’t be able to get enough eggs out of me (since 70% of them don’t survive) to have any left to put back in.  On one hand, this is bad news as it takes away one of our options; however, on the other hand, IVF costs $12,000 to $15,000 each time you try and there is no guarantee it will work.  At least we won’t have to decide if we are willing to take that financial risk.
If I don’t have eggs…  Option 1 - We could get a donor egg.  Just like a sperm donor, but with the egg.  We could do IVF and I could carry the baby.  Nobody would even have to know it didn’t come from my egg.  Option 2 – Adoption.  Option 3 – Living a happy life with just the two of us.  At this point I’m praying for eggs, because although I would be fine with Option 1 or 2, I know my future husband would only choose Option 3 if that’s what it came down to.     
Before we start worrying too much about those last three options, let’s do an egg check.  I’ve learned through this process that ultrasounds are amazing.  Like any trip to the gyno, you throw your feet into the stirrups, but for this, the magic wand is inserted into the vag and you can tell exactly what is going on.  I’m not sure how she knows what she sees on the screen, as I see fuzz that resembles the days of using an antennae to try to watch tv.  All I do know is she said I have eggs left, not a lot (she’s always honest), but there are some there.  Good news.  A wave of relief washes over me.  She then checks my ovaries.  Left looks fine, on to the right.  And now comes an expression of surprise on her face (again, all I see if fuzz).  Turns out to be a good surprise – I actually have a follicle that is maturing. 
Yep, I’m as confused as you are.  What the hell is a follicle?  Apparently, follicles hold eggs in them until you ovulate, at which time they release the egg to await fertilization.  So not only do I have eggs, I have one doing exactly what it is supposed to be doing. 
Next step, start peeing on the ovulation sticks (and for those of you who have never used these, but may in the future- get the ones with the smiley face.  More on this later).  We may actually be able to get pregnant.  And, no, we aren’t married yet, but I’m sure I won’t go to hell if I get pregnant before I’m married if it may be the only chance I have.  I digress.  Back to the sticks.  These sticks are the best invention of all time.  Most couples are told to have sex other day between days 10-20 of their menstrual cycle if they want to conceive.  In theory, this sounds like a lot of fun sex.  In reality (or at least in my relationship), when we are told we must have sex on a certain day, it takes all the fun out of it and turns out just to be awkward (well at first, it always end out ok).  With these sticks, you pee on one every morning, starting around day 11 depending on your cycle, and when you get the smiley face, have sex that day and the next.  If it is meant to be, it will happen.  So off to Walgreens to buy the sticks. 
So Jeff (the awesome fiancé) and I meet the amazing Dr. Milroy.  Unlike my prior experience at the doctor’s office, she is great.  And instantly I believe that she might even know more than me.  Of course, she knew my FSH level when we got there, so she had a slight advantage.

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