Decisions

I had a hysteroscopy on Good Friday.

I’d met with the new f/s on Wednesday. Among other things he said he’d like to take a look at my uterus to make sure there was nothing amiss.

No scarring from the D&C.

He happened to have a free spot on Friday, and then he was going to be away for a week, and Q. wasn’t teaching on Friday like he normally would be, so I figured it made sense.

I didn’t realize until I was actually there in the IVF suite that they use the same drugs as they do during egg retrievals.

(Note to readers: if debating between going home accompanied by your husband and son on public transit and going home accompanied by your husband and son in a Zipcar, rent the car. I still feel a bit queasy remembering it, but we got home without any vomiting.)

But it was all easy. They got me settled in the room (thigh stirrups now- much more comfortable- and new chairs in the recovery areas too), I had a chat with the nurses, they started my drugs, and I don’t remember anything else until I was in the recovery room and it was almost time for Q. and E. to come and get me.

The new doctor (it is hard for me to say MY new doctor, because I feel like that suggests a relationship I’m not sure we yet have) came back to tell me the results.

“It all went really well,” he said, smiling. “Everything looks perfect. So just let me know whenever you’re ready to start.”

Here’s the thing: part of me, a significant part of me, was disappointed to hear that.

Because, if there had been something wrong, something that made him think we had to do more to make my uterus hospitable, if surgery had been mentioned, I would have been DONE.

Bang.

No discussion.

The line would be firm.

And we could move on.

***

There is a line from Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams that has refused to leave me.

It comes in the first essay, when she imagines a more honest monologue in the tape recorded notes of her doctor:

Patient wants everyone to understand it wasn’t a choice it would have been easier if it hadn’t been a choice.

And there we have it.

***

“There is no medical reason for you to stop,” Dr. B. told me during our meeting, when he read my chart carefully and listened to me carefully and thought about my case carefully and in no way resembled my previous doctor. No Jolly Santa unicorns and rainbows optimism. No emotional manipulation. Just cold truth and statistics.

35-40% chance of another IVF working.

20% chance of miscarriage if it did work.

Strong recommendation for PGS, although he understood my reluctance given my previous lack of success with FETs and my high embryo attrition rates.

Although he wavered, in the end he recommended a short protocol (unlike my two previous IVF cycles). He said he was tempted to just do what we did in the cycle that produced E., but he prefers the short protocol for women with PCOS. He would rather have a smaller number of eggs but a higher percent mature and fertilized.

“You were thirty when you did that cycle,” he said. “You can do anything with a thirty-year-old. With women in their mid-late thirties, we have to think about it a bit more.”

Translation: although they have told me this for years at that clinic, I am no longer young.

***
“If you decide to stop,” he said, “it will be for socio-cultural or financial reasons.”

Q.’s sister is getting married, down under, in January of next year.

We could go there for Christmas, all three of us, and escape at least part of next winter.

Or we could blow that money (and then some) on another round of IVF that probably won’t work anyway.

Our neighbours flooded our basement (long story).

We think what makes the most sense long-term is to give up on the carpet we installed down there before E. was born, get someone in to rip up the ceramic tiles underneath, and lay a new tile floor with nice tiles that we actually can stand to look at, and then put area rugs over top.

Or we could spend the money on another round of IVF that probably won’t work anyway.

We could save a good percentage of our annual income this year, even though I’m not working.

Or we could spend the money on another round of IVF that probably won’t work anyway.

If we stop, it’s not really for financial reasons.

We can do another round of IVF without going into debt. We can do PGS if we want to.

It feels like we can’t afford it, because it would seem so incredibly wasteful to flush that money down the toilet, but that’s not really the truth.

***

Yes, I’m getting older, and Q.’s getting older, and E.’s getting older, and we’d be looking at a five year age gap, and having a second (or, gods help us, twins) would completely destroy any semblance of a career I might try and build as I’d never recover from having this year off, and then being pregnant, and then home with a baby, and Q. and I have already agreed that if we have a second there’s no way we can juggle that baby between us like we did with E., so if someone’s at home with the baby, that’s me, so I will probably go insane because I wouldn’t want to put that baby in daycare during the first two years but boy do I ever suck at being a SAHM, BUT.

If it happened, we would muddle through.

We would adjust.

Our family would adjust.

I would find some way to balance children and career.

I have doubts and fears and reservations about the wisdom of bringing a second child into our family at this stage, but nothing that would take the choice away from me.

***

Patient wants everyone to understand it wasn’t a choice it would have been easier if it hadn’t been a choice.

Yes.

I wish with all my heart it wasn’t.

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4 Comments

Filed under Anxiety Overload, Medical issues, Money Matters, PCOS, Second Thoughts

4 responses to “Decisions

  1. Having a choice is definitely tough. Even after we made our choice, it wasn’t totally firm until hubby had his vasectomy. I don’t envy you right now- no matter what you choose to do, it’s a tough road. Thinking of you.

  2. Ugh I just wrote a novel and my iPhone deleted it, and now I’m gonna nap.

    Basically I completely empathize with every feeling you expressed. I also wanted a decision “out of my hands”.

  3. I wished I didn’t have a choice, either. And I didn’t know what to do, I wanted both to try again and never do it again. I told myself I wouldn’t force a decision, I’d wait until a choice became clear to me. And sure enough, that happened.

    As Catwoman said, it doesn’t make it any easier – the road is tough no matter what you choose. I am hoping a choice becomes clearer to you over time. Hugs.

    xoxo

  4. Wow, what a tough place to be. If the odds of IVF success were 0% or 100%, it seems like it would be easier. The 30-40% odds they quoted you seems high enough to make it really tempting to try but also low enough for that to feel risky.
    I don’t know if this helps at all, but my kids have a five year age gap (we had been hoping for closer to three, but this is what we got). It turns out that there are some nice things about this spacing. But there are also nice things about having kids closer together. And nice things about having an only kid. And nice things about having two or more….
    Hoping that as you sit with things the decision will become clearer.

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