Starting off with the good stuff, I liked the feel of this clinic very much. When we were called in to see the doctor, having hardly waited at all, she had all the relevant information (including my misplaced bloodwork) to hand. She has already been in contact with the lovely OB/GYN regarding his investigations, and they appear to be genuinely well coordinated and organised here (unlike the nightmare that is my GP's office, and I am oh-so-relieved to not have to get further investigations handled there but at the subfetility clinic itself). Unlike our horrible experience with the last subfertility clinic we consulted, these guys will continue to monitor me closely with each new cycle, and develop a protocol accordingly. All good.
It's the current protocol they're suggesting that leaves me feeling a little deflated. In sum, she believes that my odd pre-menstrual spotting and general weirdness these past few cycles may indicate they have been anovulatory. On the one hand, I'm glad someone is finally paying attention to my concerns over this (shocker: I may know my own body as well as any doctor!), rather than fobbing me off with the usual 'these things can happen' auto response. But this also means that she wants me to complete two cycles with closely monitored bloodwork to first decide if I'm ovulating at all. If, from my progesterone levels, it appears as though I may not be, she then wants me to start three rounds of clomid. And then if, after three cycles, we haven't yet conceived, she'll refer us on for IVF. Once that referral is made, they promise a maximum wait of 18 weeks before an actual IVF cycle would go ahead.
This feels like a long and circuitous route to what I increasingly fear will be our only shot at a biological child. With this protocol, we're looking at four + cycles before even getting on the wait list. That means I'll be approaching my 39th birthday before we can even think about moving forward with IVF.
And then there's the rationale for this course of action: You've had three pregnancies, so you can actually conceive quite easily. (Easy obviously being very much in the eye of the beholder here).
I know it's terribly sulky and irrational, but right now it's hard not to feel like we're being penalized for having had three losses. Although I do realize that we're lucky to be able to conceive, to even ever have the chance to try on our own, (and although I know some women who have never had the experience of seeing a positive pregnancy test may find it difficult to relate), I would hardly call three miscarriages a spate of good fortune; yet, in terms of assisted reproduction, that's how the medical profession sees it. In terms of making babies that are too fragile or poorly built to even survive in the comfort of my
Logically, I know this makes some sense, this wait-and-see approach. (Doesn't it? Feel free to jump in if you have other ideas; I'd actually be grateful for the insight.) But there are so many things for us to have to process with this. I'm
H and I are still thinking through how we feel about this, and whether we want to take any further steps in another direction; we have the time to contemplate these possibilities, it would seem. I also think this doctor is quite cautious in terms of wanting to go the least invasive route, which I can understand. However, with our history I don't think we really feel in a position to err on the side of caution with our timelines. Is it totally insane that my brain already calculates that, even should a pregnancy occur for us, we'd also have to factor in the time for another loss and the recovery that would entail? Well, yes it is insane, clearly; but there you have it. A serious mindf*ck
I thought of using this picture to illustrate (all too literally
It was taken several years ago on a summer hiking holiday we took in one of our favorite corners of Austria, a small town on a crystalline alpine lake, nestled in the countryside between Salzburg and Innsbruck. The area is home to an infamous stretch of circuitous, thrill-and-vertigo-inducing alpine road. The road is winding and you never know when the next curve will fly at you, seemingly out of nowhere, so you've gotta keep your whits about you. You're way high up, it's scary, and occasionally nausea inducing. Frankly, it's sometimes downright dangerous. Apropos, no?
Well anyway, then in the course of sifting through folders of old holiday albums on my laptop to get to this, I was reminded that about thirty minutes after the photo of the road was taken, as we reached our destination, there was another image. This is the view that greeted us:
|Will the view at the end of the road make it all worthwhile?|
OK, I'll give you a moment to groan inwardly at the schmaltzy, juvenile sentiment of this photo montage. Just go with it people; I'm trying hard to look on the bright side right now. I need to keep nurturing my invincible spring. Or, uhhm...maybe move to the Alps? I'll figure it out and get back to you.