I have been feeling tearful today. The trigger? My last phone consultation with an RE.
I had scheduled this phone consultation a month ago. It was scheduled for July 8th at 1:45pm. In anticipation of it, I called the 2pm client’s mom and scheduled them for 2:15pm.
Yesterday I scheduled an phone conversation with the precycle coordinator at UCSF to go over the checklist of things that I need to get done. It was to take place today at 10am. I figured that I could do one phone call in the morning and one phone call in the afternoon. No problem.
A little later in the afternoon, I stared at the appointment reminder email for the phone consultation and realized that the time of the phone call was supposed to be 1:45 pm, but EASTERN TIME. The RE is in New York so of course the phone call is 1:45 pm his time, which translated to 10:45 am my time. DUH.
Good thing I caught this mental mistake the day before the appointment. I was confident that I could finish the UCSF phone call by the time I call the New York RE.
Fast forward to today. The phone call with UCSF was 40 minutes. My head was spinning writing down all the previous lab work and procedure that I have to check and all the new lab work that will be ordered. When the phone call ended, I quickly went and got ready for my 11am client. At 10:45 am, I called the clinic of the New York RE.
Very nice guy on the phone. Very obviously did not read my history that I took a lot of time to fill out. He asked me a few pertinent questions. Then his conclusion:
1) There are usually three causes of high FSH: familial, autoimmune problems, and endometriosis. It looks like mine could be endometriosis (a small patch of endometriosis was removed during my surgery to remove fibroids back in 2011).
2) He suggests doing an immune testing panel with him, which will cost $3000.
3) He suggests doing laparoscopy to remove all the endometriosis that exists inside me. Usually he will have to accurately diagnose it. But since endometriosis has already been discovered in my system, we can skip that part. He predicts that since the surgery was three years ago, the endo may have worsened at this point. He recommended going to a doctor that specializes in stripping away the endometriosis rather than just lasering it away.
4) I should go see him for a workup and he can talk about the next steps. He can work with local doctors if we decide not to do IVF again. If we do IVF, we have to do it there. He thinks that for my age, I should continue to pursue IVF because I don’t have a lot of time to waste.
5) He thinks that my high FSH, poor responses to stimulation, and egg quality all have to do with endometriosis. After treatment, my response should be better.
All this information was gathered in a 10-minute phone conversation.
I was feeling very overwhelmed. This is a brand new suggestion. I have asked Dr. E, my previous RE, and Dr. No Nonsense about the cause of my high FSH. They both said that it is difficult to know the cause. I asked Dr. E if it could be because of immune issues, and she said that it could well be, but there is no treatment for it. Dr. Y from Southern California is the only doctor who has ever said that my endometriosis is a factor in my response to stimulation. However, he never suggested a surgery to remove it.
My head felt overstuffed with ten thousand pieces of information. Where do I go? Do I do a surgery? Do I just go with the local doctor and try a few more cycles? Do I try to remove the endometriosis to see if my response is better? Am I not trying my best if I don’t do what this doctor suggested? Am I not giving it my all if I don’t go the difficult route of traveling out of town for treatment?
I am going to turn 40 in two days. A year ago, we started our first IVF cycle and had the retrieval on my birthday. I played in my mind many scenarios last year. Will I be pregnant in a year? Will we already have a baby by then? What will the next year bring? Will my 40th be a happy occasion, celebrating with a new baby or one growing inside me? Or will it be the same as last year, only a little grimmer, a little less hopeful, a little more fear-filled?
I am usually pretty good at being hopeful. But today, I allow this fear to set in. In a year, will I be still in the same situation? At a crossroad? No baby? No pregnancy? No clue what to do?
I know it’s hard to predict what is going to happen around the corner. But when we first embarked on this journey, I really didn’t anticipate myself in this situation: 40 years old. No baby. No pregnancy. I never thought that I will still be childless at this point.
I have been holding back tears all afternoon long. I had kids I had to work with. I had coworkers around me and I couldn’t show this weakness on my face. Deep down I feel like hiding under the cover and having a good cry. But I had to put on a happy front for my clients.
This huge sense of unfairness came upon me today. Why in the world do some of us have to make such difficult decisions all the time? Why can’t we have a break? Why do we have to wait so long and have to do so much just to have a baby? Why do some people have it so easily?
Of course there will not be an answer to any of my questions. They are rhetorical. But I have to ask them anyways.
In order to make myself feel better, I made a detour on my way home and got this:
It is making me feel a little better. We’ll see how I do on my actual birthday. I may just break down and cry like a baby. Stay tuned.