Over the course of the last year and a half we've had three IVF cycles and I've had a total of five embryos transferred into me. Five little snowflakes which had the potential to grow into babies but sadly didn't. I can't help wondering what kind of people they might have one day become. How many of them were boys, how many girls? Would they have had my eyes? My husband's smile? Or even our bad eye sight (haha)? Even though they were only growing and alive for such a small amount of time, I loved them wholeheartedly.
I've felt happy though that my partner and I are still able to create such good quality embryos despite the fact that I'm classed a poor responder to IVF hormones and don't have that many eggs grow each time. The doctor said that our egg and sperm quality are great which means we *should* be able to have a biological child. However, there are no guarantees with IVF, I've learnt that lesson time and time again. Sometimes you can have everything go right, transfer a perfect embryo and for whatever reason it just doesn't implant.
The good news is that the doctor says he's not worried about me running out of time and my fertility decreasing if I want to take several months break. That's a relief and I feel justified now in our decision to book our flights to Oz. I asked if it would be ok to wait until this summer and he said absolutely.
I actually hate the thought of going through it all again; the Intralipid infusions, the injections, the feeling crappy, the egg retrieval procedure, the emotional upheaval. So I will need several months just to be able to gather my strength before I can try again anyway.
On Wednesday I went to my gyno. I told him about our plan to try the other clinic. He doesn't think they are any better than our local one, in fact he says their results are generally slightly worse. That was disappointing to hear! But he understands our wish for a second opinion after three failed IVFs at one place. He kindly offered that if we decide to go ahead with treatment at the other clinic, he could do some of the ultrasounds for me here and send them the results so that I wouldn't need to travel 60 kilometers there and back each time. That was a nice offer! I'll ask at the new clinic whether that would be feasible. He said he'll try to support me whatever way he can. For instance if I want to get the intralipids done again. He's a good doctor, I like him a lot.
He's not too impressed with natural IVF though when I asked him his thoughts on that because it still includes the egg retrieval procedure but has only low chances of success with one egg. He said it only makes sense for older women or poor responders. I explained that I AM a poor responder since he might not have realised. I only had 2 eggs during IVF#1, 1 during IVF#2 and four during IVF#3. He agreed it might make sense in my case then.
Our fertility doctor isn't a big fan of natural IVF either. They don't even offer it here. But he encouraged us to go for a consultation at the other clinic to decide if it could be right for us. He said many women do a low dose / mini IVF with the drug Clomid which is much cheaper than the other meds once they run out of IVF rounds covered by their insurance. I couldn't help feeling a little sorry for them (and us). It's no fun reaching this stage!
That said, overall the appointments went well. It's great to have the support from my gyno in terms of getting intralipids or ultrasounds done so I wouldn't need to travel to the other clinic every time if we decide to get treatment with them (I'll just need to find out how much extra that might cost). And I'm happy to hear that we are still able to create great embryos together and that having a few months off shouldn't affect things negatively (that was one of my worries particularly after turning 35 last month). I've decided I do want to go for a fourth IVF, whether it will be normal / natural or mini, probably sometime this Summer because I feel (hopefully not naively) like there is still a little hope that it might work for us.. And my husband has also agreed to us trying one more time. At that stage we will both feel like we have given it our best shot and can then move on with our lives one way or the other!
After our appointment at the clinic I went shopping and bought myself some new Summery clothes for our trip to Perth in a few months time. A bit of retail therapy can be good sometimes! I am so over this freezing cold never ending winter here. It even reached minus 10 degrees this week. I hope the weather is a bit nicer wherever you are!