I feel like crap...like I've been hit by a truck. My body aches from head to toe. People talk about having a heavy heart? I feel like mine weighs a million pounds. I've cried so much I can't imagine I would have any more tears left, yet they still flow. My head is pounding. Couldn't make it to work today (sorry, ladies) because I literally could not will myself out of bed. My body would not move and I could not stop crying. The only thing that got me out of bed was my lack of desire to pee the bed at my age...thought that might be a bit much.
I saw Dr Dudley at Seattle Reproductive Medicine yesterday. I first saw him about 4 years ago. At that time we had refinanced our house and padded the loan $10,000 to be used for fertility stuff. I went in to his office with the intention of getting IVF. At that time he said, "You probably don't need to spend the money on IVF. We just need to get you to ovulate." He told me to use the money to have gastric bypass surgery, lose 100lbs and then come back to see him. Losing the weight would make the drugs more effective and decrease my risk for miscarriage. I sank into a depression, actually gained weight and we spent the money paying off debt and doing home improvements that were needed. At my largest I weighed 321lbs. Geez, bugs me to even type that. I finally became so disgusted with myself I knew I needed to change some things. I struggled finding a meal plan that worked for me. Thru research and the suggestion of my acupuncturist, I began focusing on a low glycemic index diet. This is how I lost 40lbs and have kept them off. But alas, 40 is not 100.
I went back to see him yesterday with the thoughts of "we just need to get me to ovulate because I don't need IVF" and according to their website he is *the* PCOS guy. I am 4 years older than I was the first visit and now have no money for expensive procedures. Cliff and I went in and sat down with the doc. His first question was "what are your periods like?". "Non existent without the help of medications". He had not received my medical records from Group health yet and I couldn't find the labs that I had printed out. My most recent labs were about a year ago so I'm not sure they would've been relevant anyway. Then the doctor proceeds to say that given my age and poor response to Clomid he's not sure I would respond to any other meds even injectables. He recommends IVF for my situation (thanks alot @$$hole-now that I don't have any money for it!) BUT at my current weight, even if I had IVF it would likely not be effective. He also said it carries a greater risk. Because of my weight I would have to have the procedure done at the hospital (which I'm sure is more expensive than the quoted $15-$17K) rather than the clinic. He might as well have said it costs a trillion dollars. I can lose weight to get my BMI down to 40 or less which is better but of course still not ideal. This still doesn't provide me with the $15,000-$17,000 I would need. He still recommends that I have gastric bypass to lose the weight because women with PCOS, even if they lose weight "it is unlikely that they would maintain the weight loss without the surgery". (can someone tell me how changing the size of my stomach changes how my body processes food?...it's still gonna change everything I eat to sugar) I call BS on this one. I've lost that 40lbs and MAINTAINED it thank you very much. I asked about using an egg donor. He said that my weight would still decrease the effectiveness of the procedure. Basically, "why use a donor when you can just lose weight and have a child that is genetically yours". I informed him that I am NOT going to have gastric bypass. I CAN lose the weight without the surgery AND I can MAINTAIN the weight loss! He did say it IS possible that just weight loss can dramatically improve my fertility.
He said that I should be taking progesterone every month to induce a period to reduce my risk for endometrial cancer so I was given a prescription for that. He said that his office would call me in a week to see what I decided to do...I'm sorry...was I given any options here??!?!?!?
To get my BMI down to under 40, I would need to lose about another 50lbs, which is totally do-able. Again this doesn't magically make thousands of dollars show up in my bank account.
I was so glad that Cliff was able to get off work and go to the appointment with me since I needed someone to drive me home afterwards so I could cry my eyes out on the way. I am SO angry, discouraged and confused. I don't understand him as saying that I had any options. It's either lose weight and have IVF or don't? Spend the money I don't have for a procedure that, in his words, may not be effective. Why does all of this have to be so frikkin difficult? Cliff, trying to be optimistic since I'm so NOT, thinks that we should go the route of weight loss/IVF. He says "after all, I've always wanted 5 kids at one time. If they're all boys we'd have our own offensive line" I said "what if they're all girls?" His response was "Psshht, I don't know how to make girls". So you know what that means...my sister in law better save her little girl clothes for me. *Siiiigh...I have no idea where that money would come from.
I've been told to just picture our child in my mind and keep that as my focus. The thing is, I HAVE pictured our child with Cliff's dimples and my nose (and hopefully Cliff's ears). And just as I reach for that child, he (yes, it's a boy) disappears like a vapor. I fear I'll never be a mother. When I die, it won't be from diabetes or endometrial cancer. It will be from a broken heart.
I did get an email from my niece saying that her father in law deals with infertility stuff and would like to review my labs. I'll be getting those to him ASAP as I'm in desperate need of a second/third opinion. I have no idea where he is or even what kind of doctor he is but maybe a plane ticket to see him will be less than $15,000. I also have a friend in Colorado who keeps wanting me to see her doctor that helped her have her beautiful little girl, so maybe I'll look into that. I feel like getting pregnant has become a full time job in addition to the job I have that pays. I'm so exhausted and drained mentally, physically, emotionally. I'm probably also dehydrated with all the crying I've been doing. I have no appetite now. The quickest way to trigger an eating disorder is to tell someone they're too fat to achieve their dream. The thought of eating makes me nauseous. Don't worry I am eating...just having to choke it down.
I was so stupid to think the doctor would say anything different this time. It was a waste of Cliff's time off work and a waste of my day and any emotional strength I may have had left. Don't know why I even bothered.
I've been asked if I've ever considered using a surrogate. I always felt like if we were going to go thru trouble of taking my egg out of my body, mixing it with Cliff's sperm, then putting them back into a body, that body that it gets put back into may as well be mine right? I'm not against using a surrogate (I would still have to go thru the "risky" procedure of egg retrieval), it's just not many people have offered. I don't know how to ask..."Scuse me...do you have plans for your uterus for the next oh say 9 months? Can I borrow it?" I did have a friend offer years ago (not sure how serious she was) but I declined at the time. I guess I hadn't reached that point yet. When I told Cliff about her offer, his response was "what?! ewwww"...not sure he knew at the time of what all that process would require. There's also a trust issue when it comes down to who is going to carry my baby for 9 months. I would want someone that I know wouldn't smoke or drink, who would eat right and take care of themselves and my baby. I'm not sure I can completely trust a stranger to carry my baby. I would hope that I could trust someone willing to be a surrogate but quite frankly I know that I am the best carrier for my baby.
So right now I'm feeling lost...don't know what to do. I just have a hard time seeing a $17,000 procedure as an option :o/