We met with Dr. Nash last Tuesday and got news we definitely were not expecting… First, me. I am both Vitamin D deficient (“because you’re a white girl from Ohio”) and insulin resistant. This is a side effect of the PCOS. Among the other symptoms like insane periods and unwanted body hair, I also get that joy. The doctor started me on 1000mg of Metformin ER (500, twice a day) in order to help my body breakdown sugar. I think. Anyway, the insulin resistance is the part of PCOS that makes it harder to lose weight and Metformin can help with that (according to Dr. Pinterest). So far it makes me nauseous but I guess that’s an expected side effect. So there’s that.
Next…Shane. Some of his sperm are shaped wonky…to be honest I’m not sure of the technical term…something about morphology maybe. Anyway, regardless, the combination of his sperm plus my lack of ovulation gives us a whopping 5% chance of conceiving on our own.
Five percent. As in, probably not. Dr. Nash went through a variety of scenarios of meds, procedures, etc. that didn’t raise our chances over 10% – and then shared with us that our best chance for conception is IVF…the “test tube baby,” he reminded us.
So. Dr. Nash was, I’m sure, very kind when he told us this information but the only thing I could think about as he discussed numbers, percents, and dollars, was Shane. I knew he was in agony over all parts of the news and all I wanted was to get out of the office to hold him and be held by him. It wasn’t that easy (never is!) so we had to wait through a nurse consult and blood work but then were finally released into the sunlight to try to sort out the news we weren’t prepared to hear that afternoon.
To be honest, it’s take us until now to process. To do it or not has never been a question…the only concern is, of course, where does the money come from? Dr Nash told us that it’s about $13k for IVF. Michelle, the IVF nurse, let us know that it’s going to be a bit closer to $15k. Regardless…whoa. How do you process that?! (Still working on it…) The clinic quoted us $8k for IVF and then $1,500 more for ICSI, which is when they actually inject the egg with the sperm. That will be necessary for us because of the combination of issues. The remaining $5k comes from the drugs used throughout the protocol. None of that includes the diagnostic testing. (Allegedly they think my insurance will cover the testing…I find that difficult to believe, especially because I just got a $2300 bill for the hysterosalpingogram/HSG (fallopian tube test).)
We have questioned whether or not we are meant to be parents. We have questioned moving forward with such an invasive procedure. Worst of all, we have agonized over most of it completely alone because Shane and I work opposite shifts. For a week, essentially all we were able to give each other was a reassuring pat on the back and kiss on the forehead as we switched places in bed with the one headed out to work for the day. Not exactly reassuring. Once we were able to chat, we reassured each other that, yes, we will forge ahead, and yes, we will be parents, and no, we aren’t alone, despite spending most of our work weeks without our other halves. Despite that, this is the partnership we were looking for when we got married almost three years ago. We will move forward – together.
We are meeting with the doctor next week and have a mandatory IVF meeting on the 21st, hoping to start the testing cycle at the end of this month. For now, more reading and researching, and, of course, more praying. And more playing! I refuse to let this get us down so we have lots of fun planned over the next few weeks, starting with a getaway for Shane’s 30th birthday to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. For you loyal followers of #TheBrennens, we are hoping the distilleries will be more like Guiness and less like Jameson. So here we go once more into the unknowns of infertility, but as always, together.