Tuesday, 11 December 2012

To IVF or not to IVF...

I did something really cheeky. There is a large REI group in our area that we give patient referrals (and unfortunately aren’t in my insurance network) I’ve often corresponded with them regarding our referrals and follow up from their newly pregnant patients, so I sent an email asking for advice on a “patient” who was really myself. The most senior doctor concurred with the recommendations from my RE and added “I wouldn’t wait much longer”. Armed with a second option, Husband and I started talking about the inevitability of doing IVF.

Back in the days when I thought I didn’t think I wanted to have children, it was so easy to say “I’d never do IVF”, but like other women making family planning decisions, it is one thing to say what you would to in a hypothetical situation and quite another when it is presented as your reality. Could we really be considering taking this leap? There are so many things to consider about IVF. The first big thing is the cost. While we’re fortunate that we are in a position to be able to manage financing two cycles of IVF, I still hear our RE’s estimate of a 40% success rate with IVF. Who would be willing to place a $10,000 bet when you have less than 50 percent odds? I recall how outraged people were when Mitt Romney wagered a $10,000 bet with Rick Perry during the Republican Primary debates, and ten grand is pocket change to him! Getting a BFN is disappointing enough when it doesn’t cost anything, how do you reconcile such a large deficit in your bank account if you don’t have anything to show for it?

My other concern is questioning if we are violating the natural laws of science. Maybe our DNA just isn’t meant to splice and that’s why we’re not getting pregnant. Maybe we would produce a sickly child who would have a poor quality of life and we’d feel so guilty about bringing him or her into the world. I also struggle with the extra risks that are taken in order to increase chances for success, performing ICSI if male factor is present, transplanting more than one embryo… My most vain concern is about the weight gain associated with hyper stimulation that occurs before you even get pregnant. I can only imagine how chubby I would look to Myrtle’s mother. I also fret over the notion of not only being considered a “high risk” pregnancy, but feeling that I have a price tag on the pregnancy. If I didn’t follow every single rule, Husband would remind me that I’m not only carrying our child, but also our investment. It’s the ultimate game of high risks and high rewards. Are we really willing to take this gamble?

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