I am so mellow and relaxed after the loveliest massage. Thank you, considerate friend who bought me it for my 30th birthday! And thank you to myself for so cleverly saving it until a day when I really, really needed it. I will definitely be adding monthly massages to the "Keep Sloper Sane While She Undergoes Fertility Treatments" regimen I'm concocting.
So to begin the recap of today's second consult, I need to talk a little about yesterday. Yesterday was a hard day. I woke up and it hit me: We need help. We can't do this on our own. We're going to an RE. I was feeling so low and down about it all day, crying periodically. I saw myself on a long road stretching inevitably to IVF and I started thinking about how we'll pay for it, and how we have to start saving now, and whether to spend our money on that or adoption. It culminated in a long cry during a long phone call with my mom (who was miraculously wonderful and non-judgmental). Yet another low point in a series of lower and lower points.
I woke up today feeling tired and not too excited for the next consult, especially since Corn.ell is so annoying to get to from Park Slope. But I went and met the new doctor.
Right away I really liked her. She's younger (probably late 30s) but has great schooling and fellowships and a really warm and encouraging manner. She gave us the more positive spin Lawyer Guy had wanted, saying, "I'm going to be talking to you about contraceptive options one day." (To which Lawyer Guy responded, "Contraception? What's that?" while I pondered for a moment why I'd need contraception if we were trying to get pregnant).
She didn't spend a lot of time giving us statistics, but did let us know what seems promising about our situation (my FSH/age, our previous pregnancy) and which pieces we'll need to still figure out. She didn't mention IVF at all or polycystic ovaries, though she did say we could use medication to regulate and shorten my cycles and would go ahead with IUIs depending on Lawyer Guy's SA results.
She congratulated us on starting to try for a family at a relatively young age for NYC (I was 28), which allowed us to detect problems while there's still time to fix them. She seemed to be leaning toward thinking that MFI may be our primary issue, though she asserted that LG's sample must have at least 1 million + for us to have conceived on our own, and that even if it is that low they can work around it. She also said there was a chance that one of my tubes was blocked or clogged (I guess the left, since I ovulated from the right when I got pregnant), which would explain the delay, as well.
(Incidentally, Lawyer Guy seemed oddly okay with the thought of getting less than great results from the SA. "I'd be more nervous if you had never gotten pregnant" he said, happy that we know he has sperm and can conceive a child, whatever the quantities. He did ask if I would be angry with him for "causing our problems" if it turns out his counts are low-- and I asked him if he was angry with me for miscarrying our baby, which I think helped him see my feelings about this).
Her approach and Dr. Man's were very different. He presented factual and statistical information and said it was up to us to decide what we wanted; she delved more into the details of our situation (as we know it so far) and offered a course for what she thought should come next. Lawyer Guy really liked her optimism and the fact that he felt he understood what the plan would be after we left her office.
Both doctors and clinics are really good, and both have points in their favor. Dr. Man is more established and well-known (Lawyer Guy said he got the impression he was "a bit of a celebrity" and noticed a photo of the doc and Katie Couric in his office), very systematic and direct, and --I would guess--has a lot of clients at any given time. His office is more conveniently located for me both coming from home and getting to school.
Dr. Woman had a patient manner that felt more comforting and personal and the staff at her clinic was incredibly nice. I liked them a bit more than N.YU's.
We haven't made a 100% final decision, but I think I want to go with Dr. Woman. Yesterday, I felt like I was staring at a huge blinking clock counting down to the letters I-V-F and I was terrified. I felt like every treatment we tried would be delaying the inevitable and wasting our time.
Today after my consult, I felt freed from that worry. I felt hopeful that this may work with less intervention and that I might actually have a baby!
Dr. Man could be right and IVF is the quickest and most effective route to having a baby. But LG and I are not prepared for it: not financially, not emotionally, not mentally, not physically. So if I'm going to be trying other treatments (which would be the same at either clinic-- monitored Clomid or injectibles plus timed intercourse or IUI), I want to be with a doctor who has definite confidence in their success and who helps me feel that confidence. If I'm going to spend the entire time dreading the point at which we finally give up on them, why do them at all?
They might not work, and I might be facing IVF or adoption, regardless, but at least this way I will know we gave this process our very best shot. Plus, this is not an irreversible decision. I feel good about our choice, but I know that we can always change course in the future if we want to.
So now: I have to cancel the HSG at N.YU (anyone have any advice on how to do that? Just call and say that we're going with a different clinic for treatment?). I have to sit out the rest of this two week wait (which I'm pretty positive will not result in a baby), and schedule my HSG on day one of cycle 8/15. Lawyer Guy needs to schedule his SA. I need to call Dr Woman's nurse and find out if I can try Clomid the same cycle we do the HSG.
And then...I guess we'll see. I'm trying to take this one hopeful step at a time.