Let me just give a shout out to anyone that has ever attempted fertility cycling while going through any kind of tragedy or grief. I know of fellow infertiles who have cycled after the death of a parent or after their homes burned down or some other horrific event, and I can tell you that if you already felt crazy while grieving, the best thing you can possibly do while in that state is to start injecting yourself with hormones.
Google Lupron Moodswings. If you have to google it, bless your heart. If you've already personally been there, you won't need google!
If you're on my Facebook then you likely know that we are in the middle of fertility treatments.... again. In some ways I can't believe we are back here all over again. It's like a massive deja vu. We decided to quit all of this years ago. We moved on, to more sure ventures with outcomes that could be guaranteed. We all know how that worked. If you don't know our full history or stumble on this one blog post, we adopted in 2012, but she went back to her birth family after 2 weeks. She was then abused severely and taken by CPS. The mother eventually lost custody of all of her children from what we can understand. The hard part is that not only did we lose her, but she also left her mother's home, abusive as it might have been. It was still another change and loss for that little girl in less than 8 months. Then when it seemed like the foster family was going to be able to adopt her and her sisters, the system decided blood was a better option than the 2 loving homes that wanted to take care of her (us and the foster family), and instead returned her to the birth grandmother. Who lives less than 2 miles from the birth mother. This is NOT the first time the mother lost her children to CPS but was able to work through it last time and was able to parent again. I guess they figured that two broken arms and a broken back on an infant was inexcusable.
So of course then losing Ree topped off the last few years and we're back to the beginning. We started with infertility and doing treatments, quit that and moved to adoption, got pregnant naturally and thought we were done with it all and now here we are all over again. Am I in a time warp back in 2011?
So we've really had to intensely consider our options.
I'm 31. I have had DOR for a few years now. Fertility already decreases past 30, and mine started decreasing dramatically at 25. My chances even with IVF were incredibly low.
Yes, you're right, we got pregnant once with my eggs. The chances of that happening again are likely to take a very long time and potentially a ton of money to see if we can hit the bullseye. I personally don't have the emotional energy to wait around for that.
I also needed something that offered a money back guarantee. If this doesn't work, I needed a net to know that we can keep trying SOMETHING.
We're still open to adoption. But we've also been a bit burned. If a situation arises, we'll jump on it instantly. If anyone connects to us that knows someone who knows someone, we are very open and would be extremely grateful. But that path just didn't feel like it was going to happen for us right now.
So we could have done IVF with my eggs. Likely to take multiple attempts, IF it worked. Multiple attempts, at $10,000 a round, plus travel to Houston and monitoring, is going to head towards $30,000 for 3 tries, which is the statistical likelihood, and no money back if it doesn't work.
We could have done donor eggs. That's roughly $35,000 or more. For one cycle, nothing left if it doesn't work, or you can do a guarantee program. The cheapest I've ever seen is around $40,000 plus travel there, which is not anywhere near where I live.
We could have done donor plus a surrogate. Except we aren't made of money.
Surrogacy is incredibly expensive since your insurance doesn't cover it, and neither does theirs. People ask me if they can just tell their doctor they are pregnant and nobody has to know it's not their baby. Except at birth, we're gonna have a huge legal situation on our hands! And then we'd still have to adopt that child if we took that approach, and adoption isn't free. Surrogacy was highly expensive. We're still always open to that route if money was no issue.
So IVF with my eggs was out, IVF with donor eggs was too expensive, especially with a money back guarantee, and adoption has us a bit burned and I don't have the energy to really search for a potential birth mom/birth family.
So we decided on donor embryo's. It's a money back guarantee program after 3 cycles. We already emotionally accepted, and then fell in love, with a child that was not genetically related to us. I can tell you that the genetics are pretty much a zero factor once you adopt. I would say zero factor full out but I can't speak for everyone else on the planet. It's not just a theory for us though, we've actually experienced it, in real life, as we fell in love with her just as much as we did with our biological child.
If you really wanted to run a research study on your own life, to see if the emotions can compare, well I've done it. Unknowingly, we experienced and researched both. No difference. I would have given my life for both children. Losing August was big enough for us that we grieved her at Ree's funeral. Because there was no funeral for August, but we grieved her loss just as much as the daughter that died.
I can answer any question you have about the program we chose, how we picked it and anything else. We've always been an open book. There are sectors in the donor embryo and donor egg and donor sperm communities that decide not to tell anyone and not to tell their children. We don't operate that way. We tell our true experiences. This is where we are, and we know we need support, and we need to know ahead of time if anyone disagrees with our approach. It helps us know who to delete!
So I've been on lupron for a week now and our entire cycle was delayed because I ovulated even on birth control. We'll be in California fairly soon, as my mom and I travel out to the clinic for a lining check and then a transfer. We'll be doing some sightseeing while we're there and now you'll know when you see our pictures from the Golden Gate Bridge, we're in the transfer window.
Now all of that said, here is on my one request. Please ask how we're doing. Please check in and comment on updates. The only thing I ask is that you don't directly ask if it worked.
In this entire experience, we infertiles lose the mystery of it all. We sign up for clinical, sterile doctor environments, that, I assure you, are not so romantic. There isn't much surprise left for us once we enter this route. There are no fun announcements to my husband because the element of surprise is gone. I hope I can at least announce to my family in a fun way, even though they know what is happening.
So once we're cycling, assume that it will be a few weeks before we announce an update. Sorry for that, but I have to hold on to the very few things we have left. I don't want to keep people waiting for long. I'll honestly tell earlier than I did with Ree, long before 12 weeks, because I'll need help and support if it doesn't work.
So there you go. I'm hopped up on estrogen, lupron, and soon huge progesterone needle injections. Those are the best. I'm sitting here typing through a pounding headache, hot flashes and maybe some recent mood swings (sorry mom!).
Thanks for being there through all of this. It REALLY means a ton to all of us.