Elizabeth (greyautumnrain) wrote,

Once more into the breach...

I’ve been meaning to post for ages and haven’t.

March 14th I made the call I’d been planning on making “some time in March” for a while. It was to my pusherthe Harvard Vanguard center for fertility in their Kenmore Square office. It was obvious that we go way back when after not hearing from me for nearly two years I was instantly remembered. The woman on the phone seemed mildly surprised to be hearing from me again, but that could have been my imagination. (I am very aware of the people out there who opine that a woman in my position is greedy to use up precious resourced pursuing ART to get even a single child of her own, much less three. Obviously I disagree rather vehemently with this attitude, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know it’s out there infecting the collective unconscious.) She said she’d send the information packet to us again, just in case. Clearly she felt that after five IVF cycles we knew everything we needed to about ART, but apparently the doctors want you to always send one of these out before the first visit no matter what. The packet arrived the weekend before last. Warren commented that they needed a much better looking newborn on the leaflet, the babies we got out of IVF are much cuter.

The timing of my call was rather carefully calculated. My doctor is pretty popular, and the wait for initial visits is pretty long. I knew that if I called in March there was no way the appointment would be before May, and June was more likely. I was pretty much on the money with this one, I took the first available appointment which was May 24th. This means I will start suppressing in June, and I’m probably looking at retrieval in July. This means the if the cycle is a success the new baby will be born after Duncan turns two. Much as I feel we did the right thing last time, and much as I am already reaping some of the benefits of kids who are close in age (Margaret & Duncan both love the literary works of Peggy Rathmann and Sandra Boynton right now), I don’t want to do the two-under-two thing again. Also, if the first cycle is a success we’re looking an April/May due date, and Warren stipulated that he’d prefer to avoid another winter birthday. This past winter did emphasize how tough having a newborn in the dead of winter could be; we got off easy last year when Duncan was born, and it was still a bit of a drag trying to get playground time for Margaret with Duncan in tow during the chilly periods. If the first cycle doesn’t work we can try again for a July/August due date, and then possibly again for an October due date depending on insurance/finances/outlook.

It’s hard not to be optimistic about our chances with Duncan, our one-cycle-only miracle as our most recent memory of IVF. I have to keep reminding myself of certain facts to try to keep this in check, lest a failed cycle prove an even more crushing disappointment than it has to be. First of all, I’m 40. People may regularly flatter me by guessing my age as something in the neighborhood of a decade younger, but my ovaries and I know differently. Secondly, there are the aforementioned ovaries. It has not escaped my memory that for the cycle that produced Duncan I was on the maximum allowable dose of hormones and still my left ovary failed to produce any eggs at all. Thirdly, there the knowledge that what has worked in the past may not work next time.

We are no longer paying an arm and two legs to get insurance independently, which means that I am now insured through work. As much people rightfully complain about the cost of health insurance, this is way cheaper, to the tune of about one sixth the cost. On the other hand that means that my self-insured company comes under that federal pre-emption clause and despite the fact that the largest share of their employees are in Massachusetts they do not have to comply with the state law mandating coverage of fertility treatments. I’m not sure what the coverage is, but even if we pay for it ourselves it’s still cheaper to be insured through work these days. My feeling is that we’ll do the first cycle, and we will either have a baby to show for it or we will at least have data on whether or not we should try again. If the cycle fails before I even get to retrieval because I fail to respond entirely this time that will probably indicate that my ovaries are out of the baby business. If I transfer two or three reasonable looking embryos and nothing takes or I have a chemical pregnancy then it’s probably worth trying it again. If I make it to retrieval but not transfer as I did on my third cycle we might have to think about it, and weigh the costs etc. I really do want that third child, but I am capable of being realistic about my odds and how much I think another roll of the dice is worth when I have two kids already that we need to support.

Whatever happens, I do love the babies that I have now. They are wonderful, cute, clever and (usually) well behaved. I am so very grateful to be there mother. I still want a third in part because they are so wonderful I can’t help but want more of a good thing and in part because three was the original plan and being stubborn has gotten me this far. Here’s hoping it works.

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