A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Friday, September 17, 2010

RE Consult #2; or, Things Are Looking Up


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.


  1. As an xray tech who's seen it happen, you may want to go through with the HSG because the procedure alone can clear a blocked tube. Otherwise, just call and cancel. No explanation required. Good Luck!

  2. Awesome news, honey! I'm so glad that you liked Dr. Woman. I honestly felt like my RE was my friend and it helped so much-- this is such an emotional process and you need all of the support you can get. While you don't want a doctor who makes empty promises, a little encouragement never hurt anyone.

    I love the candid conversations that you and LG had-- it really sounds like your on the same page.

    I am so excited for you guys to get the ball rolling!! I had all of the same scary IVF feelings that you do, but remember-- there are so many options to try between where you are and that place... and I am so hopeful that one of them will work.

    Love you!

  3. *you're, not your. (I do know the difference!) Hehe.

  4. Wonderful things! Hey, do you know whether they take more different insurance plans at Cornell than they do at NYU?

  5. So happy to hear that this was a good consult! Sometimes it can feel like a curse, but having choices (and only good ones at that!) is such a beautiful thing. I was just noting on Al's blog earlier this week that a cumbersome commute to your RE's office isn't as bad as you might think. It's one of those things that seems like a pain in the ass once you get started, but when you're looking back (and you WILL be looking back on this, and sooner than later, my dear Sloper) the drive/travel will seems so insignificant. Cross my heart. We fought through crazy northern VA/DC/MD traffic for our whole cycle (we had to attend various different offices of our clinic for certain procedures), and there were times that it felt like the worst thing ever--like when you're afraid traffic is going to make you so late for your monitoring appointment that you will miss the blood courier's pick-up time. But now, looking back on that stuff...I just laugh and roll my eyes at myself for thinking that was such a huge deal.

    With regards to cancelling your HSG: can you simply call and cancel it without explanation? I don't know that you necessarily need to inform them that you're moving on with a different clinic...unless you've committed to roll forward with them. And in that case, I suppose you could always offer a simple and vague explanation: we've decided to move in a different direction.

    I am seriously very excited and hope-filled for you and LG!

  6. Sounds like a great consultation and I'm glad you're feeling more confident about it. Good luck!!

  7. I think Dr. Woman sounds great. First of all, at your age and with your FSH, I think it would be really crazy for you to go straight to IVF unless you're dealing with severe MFI. I like the fact that she was positive and it does sound like she gave you a good overview of the immediate future. I can second your sense about Cor.nell's staff - I've always found them really, really good. As far as cancelling the HSG, I'd just do it without an explanation. Those docs see dozens of people and they expect that a certain number will end up going somewhere else.

    But I'm still going to keep fingers crossed for your cycle. I'd like you to be that urban-legen-come-to-life: the woman who ended up healthily preggers just as she was thinking about ART:)

  8. What a relief isn't it to have a plan? Congrats on having done your due diligence and consulted with some of the best REs out there. I'm so excited for you to finally find some answers. Fingers crossed!

  9. Dr. woman sounds fantastic! Yes, I think just call and cancel the HSG, then just tell them you're going a different direction with treatments if they ask.

    So excited for you and your next steps! I want this for you, Sloper!

  10. Sounds good! I think going with someone you and LG are comfortable with helps. Good luck!