“How much is too much?”
I think to myself as I wait in queue to hand my prescription slip into the pharmacist. I am about to begin round three of IVF in about a week. After meeting with our doctor, we decided to go ahead with a third round of IVF, a Hail Mary pass, though our doctor does seem to think that we have a little more hope than that.
Before we began our second round in May, I wrote a blog about all of the things that I wish I had of known going into IVF, a guide for beginners if you will. Though I do strongly feel that no one should ever use the “practice makes perfect” concept when it comes to IVF, I am also beginning to doubt the science and wondering how much of this is just chance. Maybe this will be our third times a charm. I majored in science in university, but after two rounds of IVF and reading so many stories of failure, I cannot help but think that blind luck is a factor when treating infertility.
Recently I have told Ryan that I feel like going back to school to become an embryologist so that I can give people a reason why their embryos are not making it. Isn’t there someone out there that wants to study embryos after they stop growing? We met with our doctor in late July and we went over the results of our last round. Our doctor let us know that someone in the lab had made notes about my eggs after the retrieval, before they were fertilized. I wanted to run down the hallway to find this person and give them the biggest hug ever. We finally had more information about my egg quality. The notes were simple: my eggs have rigid walls and then debris inside of them.
I was just picturing the asteroid field from Star Wars when the doctor was describing the inside of my eggs.
As soon as we got out of the office I began googling ways to reduce the rigidness of my egg walls. After reading a few medical journals, and then 12 different fertility forums on egg health, I found that there is no conclusive evidence on how to reduce the rigidness and debris in your eggs. I honestly feel trapped in a “choose your own adventure” book when it comes to fertility or the lack thereof. The one article that I did manage to find was about a few women who are taking primrose oil under the supervision of their doctor. I consulted with my doctor to see if this was right for me, but since we are starting our round immediately, and the fact that primrose oil has not been proven to increase the quality of your eggs, it was decided that we wouldn’t venture down this path.
Clomid, letrozole, menopur, orgalutran, puregon, pregnyl, estrace, endometrin, coQ10, vitamin D, folic acid, Prenatal vitamins, and the list goes on.
The list of the items that I have been pumping into my body for over 2 ½ years now. This round is the last IVF round for Ryan and I. We have lived our lives in a permanent hold for two years. We have put off vacations and even decided to elope instead of waiting until 20?? to try and plan a wedding. We have cleaned out a spare room in our house for a nursery, and since filled it back up with boxes of random stuff that people don’t want to deal with in their house, just so that it doesn’t look so empty. We have had every couple in our life have at least one baby since 2015, been to more 1st birthdays and baby showers than a person should ever have to go to in our situation.
We have lived in what if scenarios way too many times only to have our hopes dashed once again. I have answered more questions about my infertility than people do on a job interview. We are not only emotionally spent at this point, we are starting to realize how much money we have sunk into the money pit that is infertility. After this round we will have paid $36,000 in IVF and IUI treatments. On top of that, we have spent a combined $21,000 on medication, acupuncture, IV therapy, and supplements. Trying to justify spending $57,000 on something that isn’t producing results just doesn’t sit right with the accountant in me.
So as we set sail on what will be the final fertility treatment on our journey, we are hoping we can finally navigate to a happy ending.