Saturday, October 11, 2008

Follow Up or The Gift That Keeps on Giving

This past Thursday I finally called the clinic again because in the 10 days since I'd received the negative and called to get a follow up phone called scheduled, I'd not heard anything from them and I was not feeling the love. I had called to see if by chance our RE was taking follow up appointments on Monday. I knew it was a long shot since it's Thanksgiving here but V was willing to go down to the clinic and wait if necessary. However, since it's a holiday I was told he wasn't booking appointments and if I wanted I could just show up Saturday and see him. This wasn't possible due to previous plans and it's something we were reluctant to do as we knew the wait was going to be 2 hours for a 10 minute meeting. In addition, because it was Yom Kip.pur he wasn't in the office the day I called so all I could do was have her leave a message for him to call me the next day. He wasn't going to be in until the afternoon as he had surgery in the morning, but that was fine. I left my cell hoping I'd hear from him during the day.

So on Friday I kept my cell phone on my desk and my bluetooth headset nearby as I can hear better on it plus it would allow me to move out of my office go outside for privacy. However, by the time I left, there was no call. We were out for dinner with Patti and Mark for 'all you can eat' sushi at a new place near us (which was really good) and, unusual for me but normal for V, I had my bluetooth headset on. So Patti asks me why I'm wearing it and I tell her that I was still waiting for the call and knowing my luck, he'd call during dinner. She was surprised that I thought he'd call that late but I know that our RE works quite late into the evening. Sure enough, at 7:40pm my phone rings and it's him. I excuse myself to go outside a) because the restaurant was noisy and b) so I could get some privacy. When I get back inside and mentioned that yes it was him Patti told me that V didn't think it was when I went outside. He was surprised when I told him that yes, it was the doctor.

He really didn't have much he could say. He says that we can do another cycle whenever we feel ready, that medically we don't have to wait for anything specific. He doesn't know why these cycles haven't worked. He says I'm on all the meds he can put me on and I've had all the necessary tests. He doesn't know why we've had two donors who've not given us good eggs (his words) but he agrees the embryos are excellent. Personally I think donor #2 has produced good eggs. All he could come up with was that perhaps I wasn't able to carry a pregnancy. Maybe he's right. I forgot to ask him if he thought that having my fibroids removed two years ago could have had a negative impact as he was surprised I'd had them removed in the first place.

He raised the possibility of a surrogate saying he could put one embryo in me and two in her and hope for the best. We discussed the surrogate option, which isn't really the route we want but if it's going to get us a live baby, then we're willing to consider it. We could either bring someone to them who has had successful pregnancies but I'm not sure we know anyone who would be willing to do that for us. But he said that they could get us matched with a surrogate within 2-3 weeks. I asked him about cost because I know that it's not cheap and he says there's the lawyer ($5-10K), a consultant ($5K) and another $3K but I'm not sure what that was for. He says basically it's $18,000 but it's prorated if there's not a successful pregnancy. I tell him that we have to think about it because this is another expense we just don't have the money for. I have emailed the Donor Coordinator as she's the only email address I have and asked her to pass my email on to the person who handles the surrogacies. I've asked for a proper breakdown on cost so we know exactly what we're up against. In Canada, like egg donors, you're not allowed to pay a surrogate for her services, just reimburse her for expenses. So the $18,000 just seems low to me. My guess is that the $3,000 is her expenses though.

When V and I get home I go over the call with him and he's quiet. I know he's not happy and I know he's torn because we hadn't planned on an expense like this. Our next goal was saving a down payment for a house. This has been his dream for years and one I can't let him give up. I told him we can't save for both and don't even think about giving up the house.

We already have to pay back the loan on the last cycle. I can't borrow another $18K and I'm not letting him give up his dream. Rock? Meet hard place.

I don't know what to do. As it is we're going to wait until the new year for the next cycle regardless of what it is. But what should we do? Do we say one more chance on my uterus and put in all three? Do we hope that somehow we are able to figure out a way to get the money and do the surrogate scenario?

I have no idea how we're supposed to find/raise that kind of money. Do I advertise that I will bake brownies at a price, or Christmas cookies, or Trinidadian Black Cake (a Christmas staple)? Do I put something on the blog asking for help from the IF community and setup a paypal account? That just feels like begging and I don't like that but I think I need your help. Any suggestions/ideas?

See what I mean by the gift that keeps on giving?


Anonymous said...

hi, just a thought, but have you had a recent hystereoscopy to make sure there isn't any scarring left from the fibroid operation, which might be hindering implantation? I'm about to undergo DE, and before we can begin, I have to have that done to check and see if everything is really free and clear -- In case that is where the problem lies, it maight make your decision, maybe not easier, but less complicated...Best of luck to you both.

Aurelia said...

Like Amy, I'm wondering why he didn't suggest a laparoscopy to check for scar tissue, etc. You should have had that done before spending anymore money, but I'd had seen your hysteroscopy and thought it was clear. Maybe you should think about getting one done? They are free under OHIP and I know several good Docs if you would like a name or two?

Trouble is, other things can be wrong. I'm not sure if you had this done, but have you ever had a complete panel of immune and thyroid systems, checked? Clotting panels, etc....?

You were taking heparin, but you could need higher doses. Also, if you have endo, the lap could clear it out. And endo can cause a poisoned environment for embryos, even good ones.

As for the surrogate, I'm surprised it would be that cheap because I've heard higher rates, like 50K. But I guess he'd know.

I am here for you, we all are, but hon, I'd really really think about trying with the DHEA in the meantime, and getting a lap done.

Also---since you are using V.'s sperm, have you thought about getting a chromosome check done on him in the meantime? Maybe his earlier success was a fluke, and before you spend more money, it's worth thinking about. Again, genetics is free in ontario.

I'm so sorry about this. This is just so crappy.

Aurelia said...

"I'd had" should read "he had"

Smacks forehead....duh. Sorry ;)

Pam said...

I thought of the whole hysteroscopy and laparoscopy possibility as well. And I wondered myself about if there were blood tests we should be doing. As for the heparin, he had actually doubled it on the last cycle. But I've sent an email in and listed all the extra questions (thanks guys) too see what he thinks. I really am not keen on the surrogate option, primarily because of the cost. And I agree it seems awfully low. I always thought it was in the $50-60K range as well. I've also emailed in asking for a more precise breakdown of those costs too.

Anonymous said...

It's awful to have to juggle dreams and money. I'm really sorry you are in this hard place now.