IVF Handbook and a Scheduling Conflict

May 27th, 2009

I told you about receiving our IVF handbook/packet, which turned out to be an oddly emotional moment for me. I didn’t want to waste any time and so I asked Shelton to read through the entire thing with me – giving us a chance to discuss things, question things, maybe even laugh at a few things. He suggested we each read it separately, and then regroup to discuss. I suggested more strongly that we do it the way I had originally suggested.

In the end, we read through it together. All 50 some pages in one evening. We scribbled notes in the margins to ask at our June 3 IVF class. We read really big scientific words and referenced the glossary often. We were forced to discuss some of those uncomfortable ethical situations that those “easy breeder” couples don’t seem to ever face. You know – like who gets the embryos if we divorce, do you dispose/donate/freeze additional embryos, if you have multiples do you do selective reduction, etc. All things we’ve discussed ad nauseum previously, but forced to face a little more head on this time.

At the end of each page or section I would summarize by saying, “Bottom line, Brandi might die.” I’d giggle. Shelton wouldn’t. I guess the side effects with the fertility drugs, surgery, the actual carrying of the baby in my womb come with a lot of risks but the statistics seem to be on our side. We hope. Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) seems to be the strongest risk, and this was expressed by Dr. T some months ago. I’m reassured by the daily or every-other-day visits we’ll be having once I start my meds. Surely if there are red flags that will allow us to catch them early and begin treatment.

I am so very hopeful that OHSS or any other side effects or circumstances force us to cancel our cycle mid-way, or not even start. They make it very clear that there are serious demands not only on your body and mind, but also on your schedule. It is imperative that you be available to make all of the labs, ultrasounds, check-ups, etc. It seems we’re already running into a bit of a scheduling conflict. Next month, one month before our cycle begins, I’m supposed to go in for “third day labs.” Blood is drawn on the third day of my period (and I could very well be completely botching this explanation) and they test for FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) levels. This helps them determine the dosage of my fertility drugs in July. Well, I have a business trip planned during that week (as always, my quarterly trip to NYC for work never fails to conveniently fall right at that time). Our IVF coordinator, “M”, is checking with Dr. T to find out how we should handle this. Regardless, I’ll still begin my birth control cycle next month.

That seems to be the low-down on where we stand right now. I really can’t believe we’re getting so close. Just one more week to the IVF class!