IF and the City

I used to feel sad when I watched the episodes with Charlotte failing over and over again while trying to get pregnant. Little did I know that my own attempts would lead me on the same sad journey. We've now passed 4 years in the trenches. 6 failed IVF/ICSI cycles = nothing. Time for something new - donor eggs. Success at last. Now for round 2.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Fork in the blog

Things are moving along for us at a very quick pace and also very slowly. This blog is changing direction, we are at a fork in the blog.

Since my last cycle didn’t go so well, we’ve had time to discuss various options. Things we never dreamt of in the beginning of this process. Things that no one we know has ever been through.

Things like donor eggs and adoption.

After a frank and heart wrenching discussion, I told D that I didn’t think we needed to go through any more IVF cycles to realise that we were not producing great embryos. I don't feel that going through a PGD cycle is going to tell us anymore than we already know after 5 cycles. I said to him that I felt we needed to make all our decisions from here on in based on my age.

For a 40 year old, the statistics are not good, and it doesn’t matter how fertile my family is, it apparently also doesn’t matter how low my FSH is.

We have a 1% chance of a natural conception due to sperm morphology, and a 5% chance via IVF.

That stupid Dr. FU didn’t have any answers for us in terms of increasing D’s morphology percentage.

Since I was never confident of my last cycle being successful, and being someone who likes to have a Plan B in place, I contacted an RE who I knew dealt with donor eggs.

We had that appointment on Tuesday.

This is a small private practise, a husband and wife team connected to one of the biggest private IVF clinics in Australia.

These people are fantastic.

We sat down and discussed all the options we know about, both those with overseas clinics they are have experience with and those that I have researched (via blogs and forums). Here's the first thing we were impressed with: they don't charge for this consultation(!)

They have working relationships with 2 places in Europe and 1 in the US.

Why international?

In Australia it is not legal to pay someone to be an egg donor, so therefore you have to find a donor prepared to do it for altruistic reasons only, either via your family/friends or by advertising.

I only have 1 sister within the ideal age, and am just not prepared to go down that path. My family have not been supportive of my/our fertility problems and can only imagine how difficult life would be if we even broached the subject.

We are not prepared to advertise. Chances are if you found a donor, they would drop out after the first meeting when they were told the whole process.

We have decided to go with one of the European clinics that they have an extremely strong relationship with. The wife in the team (A) is the person that coordinates everything. She has a medical background. She told us that they are getting 70% success rate with this clinic – this is the statistic they are getting from their patients – not what the clinic itself is quoting. 70% of the people they send over get pregnant.

The bad news is that we now have to have a bunch of new tests done. For me a whole new batch of the usual – FSH, E2, Hepatitis etc., these get out of date very quickly. D has to have a complete cystic fibrosis screen (it's a blood test) – it will take around 3 weeks to get the results from this. The really bad news is that I also need an HSG. I was immediately nervous, for me this test was worse that going thru the egg retrieval, but that may have been because I had it first. A tells me that this is not an uncommon reaction, but that her husband is so good, most women are shocked when it’s over. I’ll take her word for it, but I did ask for valium.

Our views on whether we would be open with this child on donor egg? The 30 second version is that we would want to be open. The issue for us at this time is family, you can’t be open with a child and then tell them it’s a secret from the rest of the family. The view we take going forward is that for the moment due to family problems we would have to keep it private. We will revisit this issue within the first year of our child’s life (amongst other things, we are in the unusual situation of having a family member on both sides that we know has been thru fertility treatment and have kept it secret, yet they all happily talk openly about us and our problems!).

Adoption – well that’s a whole other post on it’s own …

I'm sorry not to answer a couple of the questions left about which clinic we're using in Europe, at the moment I'm feeling a little bit protective of this until we really get up and running, but am happy to answer via email.


At January 20, 2006 7:43 am , Anonymous Manuela said...

WOW! Isn't it amazing how so many of us bloggers seem to be at a real cross-roads right now?? So much of what you are writing is so pertinent to my own life right now... I will be most interested to read your follow up posts!!!

At January 20, 2006 10:07 am , Blogger Pamplemousse said...

Sparkle, I would be very interested in which European clinic you mean.

Check out my blog for an interesting article about clinics. Like you say, the numbers suddenly seem very do-able and even miraculous in comparison to IVF with your own eggs and sperm.

Good luck with your decisions.

At January 20, 2006 12:55 pm , Blogger MC said...

I'm at the cross roads too. I'm not really sure how to proceed at the moment.

At January 20, 2006 1:35 pm , Anonymous Lori said...

What an exciting step. It does seem there are many in this community at a similar cross-raods. You will not be alone.
I'm sorry you have to do all the tests again - especially the HSG. No fun at all. But just keep repeating - 70%, 70%, 70%...
I think the way you've resolved to handle it sounds very healthy. GOOD LUCK!!!

At January 20, 2006 6:49 pm , Anonymous elly said...

I only recently disvovered your blogg but am amazed about the similarities in our experiences. I also have been second guessing the fabulous CFG latlely but have come to the conclusion that she's a very effective councilor/cheering squad more than anything,but the expense is mindbogling.
Similarity nummber two I had the DE coversation yesterday with CFG's prefered IVF specialist.
I'm actually really at peace about it. Mostly because IVF is a really crap lifestyle that I am really ready to move on from, and being a parent is the goal and genes just dont seem to matter that much any more. I hope you dont have to wait to long to start your cycle.Good luck.

At January 20, 2006 9:53 pm , Blogger Thalia said...

What a lot to process. I'm so glad you found the helpful doctors. It makes such a difference when the docs actually listen, and put it to you straight.

At January 21, 2006 9:55 am , Blogger Lut C. said...

Wow, those are big steps!

Have you been to Europe before*? I hope you have time to do some sightseeing.

*Or was it you that lived in Europe as an expat some years ago. I really need to start taking notes about my blogbuddies.

At January 24, 2006 9:00 am , Anonymous pixi said...

Wow, big steps - at least mental ones, anyway.

Which European countries are you looking at?

At January 24, 2006 4:07 pm , Blogger Tina said...

same here. i can totally relate to you. I've decided to discuss other things on my blog to keep me from going insane. Honestly, I'm in a cross road too...decisions! decisions! I'm ready to throw in the tower but DH seems optimistic about things.


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