Visiting The Stork (a.k.a. The Fertility Doc)

So, Husband and I saw the fertility specialist last Monday.

I’ll summarize with bullet points (if I don’t I might not write anything at all, since it’s a bit overwhelming).

  • Before we can do anything other than testing, I need to lose weight. My BMI is 40, and for my height that classifies me as morbidly obese. They won’t proceed with women beyond a BMI of 40 because of the health risks (anesthesia risks, diabetes, etc.) (An interesting note: I’d asked Dr. G, my ob/gyn, if my weight was an issue with pregnancy. He said in so many words, “Nah, you’re a little heavy but weight is less of an issue than you might think with pregnancy.” I was skeptical, and correct in being so.)
  • The doctor validated my intuition that I am entering perimenopause. He said he hates the term perimenopause, that it’s very clinical. He refers to it as “the transition.”
  • The doctor was very kind even as he was honest in telling me about my weight, in outlining our challenges, and in describing our options. I liked him very much; there was a quirky sweetness to his demeanor, and I felt safe with him. He answered all my questions completely and there was nary a drop of condescension in him.
  • If we try to use my own egg, at my age there is only a 10% chance of conception with each treatment cycle, and there is a 1:29 chance the embryo would have a genetic abnormality. We would have to get started on hormone treatment and into a cycle within a couple of months.
  • If we go with oocyte donation, the chances of successful implantation rise to 30-40% in a given cycle of treatment. We have more time (up to age 50 for me, not that we’ll wait); my uterus can carry a child, it’s just that my eggs are old. The risk for abnormality is decreased because the donor is young.
  • It takes 3-9 months to get going with a donor because we need to find someone who matches some of my characteristics, and who then has the time to undergo prep treatment and the egg gathering.
  • My initial response to donation was very positive; I felt hopeful. Later I was struck with sadness about the loss this represents (not to use my egg); I’ll sit with this awhile and see how things develop. My intuition says that even if the child doesn’t have my genes, it will still be my child in a significant way that is dear to me, because I will provide it with nourishment and life.
  • With egg donation, we can participate in a shared-risk program. We pay a fee and they give us 6 cycles of treatment (3 fresh, 3 frozen embryos). They guarantee we will bring a baby home from the hospital or we get money refunded. If we’re successful on the first try, we’ve “overpaid.” However, if it takes two or three cycles to succeed, then we end up saving money. Each cycle is about $25,000 (using my own egg would be $10,000).
  • Husband and I clarified together that at this time, we really want a child that has a genetic component of at least one of us. And I want to carry a pregnancy. This doesn’t mean we’re saying “never” to adoption, but knowing what our hearts want helps us make decisions and direct our energy appropriately.
  • The specialist wants another FSH test done and also a saline hysterography. We wanted to see if we could get insurance to pay for at least part, so I went to my regular ob/gyn, Dr. G, to ask if he’d do the hysterography or refer me to the specialist. I had to fight with him over this. He doesn’t think I need it. He’s got an attitude about fertility doctors, saying they order all sorts of unnecessary tests. He finally agreed to try to refer me back to the specialist so that we can get the procedure covered.
  • I need to find a new ob/gyn. He was conciliatory at the end of the phone call, but I don’t want to be in labor and vulnerable with this type of doctor. (The specialist turns the patient over to a regular baby doc at about 9 weeks of gestation.) We’re switching insurance plans (beginning January 1), so I’ll do some research.
  • I have decided that my job is to get my body healthy. Monday to Friday I get up at 8:00, eat breakfast, and go to “work” — doing a workout at the gym. Then I come home, shower, and make coffee. By 11:00 I’m ready for the rest of the day, and I feel fantastic.
  • I purchased a couple of self-hypnosis CDs — one called Motivation to Move, and the other is Health Journeys Guided Meditations Help For Infertility. I’ve used both. I swear I feel the effect of the movement one already. The fertility one helps me to think and feel the things I’ve resisted out of fear; it’s helping me to believe in possibility.
  • I’m returning to using Weight Watchers online (tracking my food intake and using points really works for me), and I’ve asked a friend to help me be accountable. Our weigh-in days are the same (she goes to meetings but I won’t), and we talk about our progress.

Stay tuned…

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3 Comments on “Visiting The Stork (a.k.a. The Fertility Doc)”

  1. endment Says:

    Lots of challenges ahead but the best thing is you found a helpful doctor… Now to find a good ob/gyn and loose the weight.
    We are cheering for you!

  2. mom Says:

    And cheers from this quarter of the continent, too!
    We have good feelings about these plans and it sounds like there may be a wee one somewhere in the not too too distant future:-)

  3. Ovulex Says:

    we have see hopefuly to this plan sounds like there may be a wee one somewhere in the not too too distant future
    we are cheering for you