Wednesday, August 7, 2013

better days

Sitting in the waiting room at the fertility clinic, Andrew observed that the doctors were always saying, "nice to see you again" when greeting patients for consults. He thought that it was an odd thing for them to say considering consults only happen when things aren't going very well.

We didn't have to wait long for Dr. C. He greeted us with a handshake and a warm smile. I often get antsy when no words are exchanged, so I was the one who said "nice to see you again" as a way to ease the awkwardness. 

"Well," Dr. C said. "Not really. I wish we weren't having to meet."

And right away, I felt at ease and even understood. 

We sat down and dove right in. Why isn't IUI working for us? There's no reason to try IUI with injectables, right? What are our chances of success without IVF? You know, the usual questions. The ones we've asked many times before but still need answers to.

Eventually, we started discussing moving on to IVF - the hows, the whens, the ifs. And that's when he said it...

"You guys are getting a free IVF, right?"

I almost yelled back at him, "No, no, NO! Our frozen embryo was damaged last year and you said that you'd either transfer it for free or refund the money we've spent to keep it frozen."

I almost wanted to cry. Don't say that stuff like it's nothing! Get your facts right! Don't you know what simply hearing the words "free IVF" does to people?!

He stopped ruffling through my file. He looked up and said calmly, "No, it's a free IVF."

I flung my hands over my face and just lost it. With my elbows on my knees and my face hidden behind his big desk, I could hear Andrew holding back tears and asking Dr. C what changed. Dr. C said that there were so many tears from the families whose embryos were damaged that they realized that a free frozen embryo transfer wasn't nearly enough. Instead, they're offering free IVF cycles to the families who lost embryos last year.

I had a list of questions on my phone. Many of them went unanswered because this news was a game-changer. None of the other questions seemed to matter much anymore. Dr. C did make it clear that we are responsible for our own medications, which will likely total close to $5,000. But when you plan to pay three times that amount, $5,000 feels pretty good.

I was two days into my femara cycle at the time of the consult, so we decided to continue it, and then do IVF next if it doesn't work. My femara dose this time around was 7.5 mg per day, up from 5 mg per day. I had my monitoring ultrasound this morning, showing a lining of 8 (they want it to be over 7) and two follicles that are big enough to act on. This was the fastest I've responded and only the second time I've had more than one follicle. 

Funny how hope can spin and spin and spin like a spiderweb. Then in an instant, with a sweep of a hand or a gust of wind, it can be gone. But the next morning, in the same place, a fresh spiderweb sparkles with dew and sunlight...ever reinventing itself, ever blind to its own silliness. 

Our consult with Dr. C wove our web of hope massive and multi-layered. We are constantly praying that strong gusts and careless hands stay far, far away. 

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