I had emailed her the day before our meeting to let her know that I would not be going into the meeting with my usual research and plan of attack. Rather, I wanted her to tell us what we should do. I needed someone else to take control of this. I'm very tired of thinking of what-ifs and should-haves.
She laid it out on the table for us. She said, we could try once more with my body if I wanted to. We would do a cycle where we "stim the shit outta me" (my words), grow everything out to day 5 (assuming we had some that made it that far), do CHG genetic testing on them, freeze (since the results of the testing take a while) and then transfer the next month if there were any genetically competent embryos. With this process, we would have less than a 10% chance of success, given that we have already had so many failed cycles. Mostly, we would be spending the usual amount of $$ for an IVF cycle, plus the extra $5-$6K or so to do the CHG testing basically to have a more definitive answer that all of our embryos are genetically crappy and we should move on.
So or options are such:
- Spend a ton of $$ for something that only has a 10% chance of working
- Give up on modern medicine and move on to adoption
- Give up on modern medicine and just hope for a natural miracle for potentially 10 more years before my body goes into menopause
- Stay with modern medicine a little while longer and move on to donor eggs or donor embryos with a 70% chance of success
She did say something that I thought before we met with her too. She said, "Now, don't take this the wrong way, but I was really happy to see that you had a beta of 25. I shows me that implantation did occur and your body can allow that to happen."
And I agreed with her. I think that this last cycle was the push I needed, the sign I was asking the universe for, to give me confidence that my body can allow an embryo to nuzzle in. Now, we just have to find an embryo that wants to stick around.
So, after a week of wallowing in self pity, red wine, pizza with pepperoni and olives, a little tequila and some ice cream, I feel that I am starting to claw my way out of a deep hole of darkness and emerge into a new world of hope. And that world of hope begins with choosing an egg donor. We've decided to pursue egg donation. And I'm ready!!!
I'm not saying that I'm done grieving the loss of my own genetics, and in fact, I finally made an appointment with a therapist to help me with this issue and others that have been surfacing as my mom is wavering in her mental health. But, I am saying that we are done with my body. We are done putting my body through the egg growing and retrieval phase and I'm good with that. Will I always wonder what my genetic baby will look like? Yes. Will I always hope for a natural miracle when we are not cycling or moving on to other methods? Yes. But at the end of our last stim cycle, in January, on the day of retrieval, we got in the car and played this song and it felt appropriate then and it feels VERY appropriate now: