Again, I have no idea where to begin on this topic. There is an overwhelming amount of information that has been presented to us in the past couple of days and several big decisions that need to be made. Disclosure: I will be talking about the reproductive cycle in this blog. Stop here is that weirds you out.
First, a little of the process. I mean, it is absolutely amazing what they can do these days with your body and its parts. Basically, they use drugs to stop my body from talking to itself as far as growing eggs goes. I take drugs to make all my follicles for that month grow instead of just the one that usually would. They keep me from ovulating until all the eggs are at a good size, I take a drug to get them to almost-ovulate, then they go in with a needle and suck out the eggs and fluid in all the grown follicles. In the embryology lab, they then take out the eggs, put them in a dish and put the sperm in with them. They go on their first date in the incubator and.... ta-da, embryos. These are grown for five days, the ones that have made it to a blastocyst stage are then able to be transferred back into me. Only one or two, of course, the others are either frozen or not.
Okay. I get all that; in fact it is all quite fascinating. The complicated parts come in with all the other things one needs to think about:
- are we going to genetically test the embryos to see if all the chromosomes are there or to determine gender (yes, you can pick the gender of your baby!)?
- how many eggs will we put in?
- what does it cost to do just a frozen embryo transfer (no new egg harvesting from me) in the future if this time around doesn't work or if we want another child after this does work?
- oh, and by the way, doing IVF does seem to show a slight increase in ovarian cancer and because I have endometriosis anyway, I'm also at a slightly higher risk of that so when I'm done having children I might want to think about having a hysterectomy (!!!!!!!)
Right. All in a mere 24hrs. being given all this to... ponder.
The good news, my ovaries look great, lots of follicles, more than they would expect from someone who has endometriosis. That means probably fewer drugs for me and more eggs. I have had a baby before so that also is good news. I'm young. Good. Healthy. Good.
Sigh... it's just a lot. At once. And all the decisions feel like big things. And you just can't see down the road of life; there's no way to know what will happen if we put two eggs in or if we choose to have a girl or if we put in one egg and it splits in two. Not knowing the future can be one of the hardest things in life. And yet, it also is a good thing. There are plenty of things I don't need (or want) to know about my future. Life happens. It's what you do with it that matters. We can only make choices from where we are right now.