IVF Ramblings – Foster Son Going Home

It’s one of those days.  I have a lot of “those days” lately it seems.  If you could earn money for crying I’d be rich.


Yet, I keep a smile on.  I pretend life is f’ing fabulous.  It’s not fabulous.  It’s downright shitty and unfair.  It’s frustrating to always have to work my ass off to succeed and get what I want.  I get it.  That’s how it works.  We work for what we want.  But damn it – some of the shit I work for comes so easily to others.  To people who don’t even deserve certain shit to come easy.  To people who take for granted whatever that is.

I’m doing fabulous enough that my therapy appointment that’s been bi-weekly and just monthly if we have to skip for a holiday is now weekly.  Because I’m THAT great this week.

Basically, I’m broken inside.  I’m sad.  Sometimes I question the purpose of breathing.  Why exactly do we have to do it?  Why exactly do we have to stay in this world and suffer just so others don’t suffer if we leave this world?  Yeah, obviously I need the therapy.  Badly.

I don’t know where to even start.  It’s everything and nothing – all in one.

Things with Max just haven’t been great.  It’s to be expected.  We have the retrieval coming up next month.  He doesn’t handle this well.  We have different coping mechanisms, different tools, different thought processes.  He chooses overthinking and scientific obsession (with old data studies to be exact).  I choose whichever has the less pros vs cons, the financial impact and overall – I choose to believe newer studies, I choose to believe testimonials, I choose to have hope.  To him it’s black/white – A research article from 1998 says XYZ.  To me it’s gray – it may not work but we’re most likely to simply have a miscarriage or failed implantation if my untested embryo isn’t perfect.  If I’m willing to put myself through that loss so be it.  If I’m willing to take a chance I could carry a baby to term that has terminal illnesses – so be it.  I’m choosing to break my own heart potentially and put my body through hell.  Realistically, statistically – the chances aren’t that high that this will be the ONLY fate.  My OBGYN states with my age there is a 1 out of 100 chance of a baby with a medical/chromosomal issues.  That sounded like a lot to me.  He pointed out that is 99 chances of a perfect, beautiful baby.  The RE feels 3-day transfers are often more successful – In my case they actually encourage this over pushing to blast to genetically test them.  In my case, they ask if I’m SURE I want to push them.  They are more likely to thrive and self-correct any issues in their natural environment – my body.

A 3-Day Transfer is included in the cost of retrieval.  To me, it’s a no brainer.  It doesn’t cost a single penny more except a couple nights extra in a hotel.  Other than that – same price.  The doctor – THE SPECIALIST AND EXPERT IN THIS CATEGORY – encourages me to transfer at day 3 and actually encourages me to freeze at day 3, not test any and transfer them all like that.  He’s an expert in this field.  I’ve talked to his co-workers at times – they agree, they are also experts.  So, of course I want to transfer a day 3.  I’m happy with this.  Not him, I’m putting us at risk of having a child with disabilities.  (Ummm, natural conception among healthy people can also create a “special” child?).  I’m giving us a disadvantage as we aren’t genetically engineering our kid.  Nope, I’m not.  I want the kid the world gives me, not the kid I selected thinking it was perfect.  And we aren’t genetically engineering anything.  All PGT tells us is chromosomal abnormalities and gender.  I can’t imagine ever putting yourself through this process to select gender.  To each their own, but that is NOT for me.  This is AWFUL.  And we don’t get to pick hair, eyes, brains, traits with PGT.  Literally, it’s genetics and gender.  I don’t care if I have a boy or a girl really – My one and only goal is to complete a pregnancy and give birth to a healthy child.  I feel I’m compromising by transferring 1 and risking my remaining embryos to push to blast and PGT.  Fair enough?  I risk losing them all doing that.  My risk is much higher doing that than my risk of a child with genetic issues that are my fault.

The science brain in him though – That’s all he sees.  He doesn’t see the risk of the rest.  Just the risk of an early transfer.  I also struggle with PGT testing.  I’m not convinced by it.  I believe Mosaics are 100% good to transfer.  Years ago mosaics actually would have shown as a normal embryo as few cells were affected by whatever the mosaic change is.  Most embryos self-correct or don’t go beyond the 1st trimester.  Then they started coding them as mosaics as they no longer said “normal” clinics began discarding these – They didn’t want to risk it.  They didn’t want to screw up their live birth rates.  I specifically chose a clinic that gives mosaics a chance.  There’s a study – out of 100 pregnancies involving mosaic embryos only TWO actually made it to 20 weeks, had an amnio and had the chromosomal defect discovered during PGT.  BOTH of these were Down Syndrome and this is likely because – obviously those with Down Syndrome can survive/thrive.  The rest were all perfect babies that had zero issues, all testing came back fine.  So yes, I will transfer EVERY mosaic embryo I have – the ONLY exception would be the Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) and that is ONLY because I know he/she could be born and I know he/she could struggle and I don’t want to put someone on this earth to struggle and have hardships.  Not because I wouldn’t want said baby if he/she had this.  If I got pregnant naturally and my child would have Down Syndrome I’d love her or him just as much as any other child.  I also am in a Mosaic Embryo group on Facebook and I see successful births daily – yes, I see miscarriages also.  However, I haven’t saw a single one make it to amnio, have the gene identified and have to go on to terminate or give birth to an affected baby. I just saw a beautiful baby born with the same mosaicism gene my girl has – Testing negative for the issue.  And just saw another one yesterday, with the same gene who graduated from the fertility clinic and it appears baby is sticking just fine and growing perfect.  Out of my mosaic’s genetic issue I’ve saw 1 miscarriage and that was due to a SCH.  You also see babies born that have a DIFFERENT mutation than they tested positive for.  Something you’d of never caught if they weren’t testing chromosomes at birth to ensure whatever chromosome was fine.  Just because it’s normal – doesn’t mean it’s perfect.  Just because it’s abnormal – doesn’t mean it’s imperfect.

So, I hate the PGT really.  Thus, I truly feel we’re compromising by doing a Day 3 and testing.  (Truly – I want to transfer 2 Day 3s damn it.)  He feels I should give more.  I feel he should shut the f up, put needles into his body every single day for 8 months, pay for it all entirely without my help because I can’t budget and then see how he feels.  THEN he would get it.

Reading this – Why in the f would you try to have a kid lady with some guy that you can’t even agree on how to get pregnant with or how to care for a damn embryo?  Yeah, it sounds insane.  Issue is – This is really our ONLY disagreement when it comes to children/parenting/pregnancy.  I’m great with the rest.  We’ve co-parented out foster son for 8 long months together and we did excellent.  This is a child with extreme special needs and who has been a lot of work and harder than if we’d just have our own newborn we could mold into what we want from day one.  We’ve compromised.  We’ve done what’s best.  We’re actually a perfect team that compliments each other well when it comes to the actual work.  M has thrived with us.  It’s just the scientific part of becoming pregnant that we struggle with so greatly.  I blame this on his past relationships and past infant loss.  I blame this on his stupid scientific obsession.  I blame this on the fact he kind of sees this as a cool science experiment and wants to delve into any testing possible to test out theories.  Meanwhile, I see the expenses and the time we’re wasting.  (If time and money were of no factor – Yeah, fine, we’d do 1,000 rounds and PGT them all.

However, time and money are a huge factor.  Huge factors.  A. I’m getting older by the day and I want to be done with retrievals before I’m 40 – which is like 8 months away.  B.  We have currently spent, out of pocket, $16,258.62.  This does not count the $4,108.75 I financed through the clinic for the first round – because I could (I should have paid cash, but chose to finance for some reason).  That’s literally the only charged part – everything else I’ve paid with cash.  So, ummmmm, I don’t really have the funding ability to test every theory and conduct research.  I initially anticipated we could do up to 4 retrievals before I quit.  This essentially, running the price it’s ran so far, is $30K when all is said and done – AND this is damn cheap with the clinic I’ve chosen to use and the work I’ve done to get meds cheaper, etc.

I’d just much rather spend that money on my actual child – clothes, toys, college, etc.  Not on just the procedures to create him/her.

So yeah, that’s that.  I spend a lot of time upset that we have to discuss this so much.  That he won’t just accept I’m not an idiot and know what I’m doing.  That I would NEVER make a choice that would create a large risk to a child having to be born and suffer in life.  Never.  I’m not that selfish.  I don’t ever want to make someone suffer just to meet my own desires.  I just don’t feel the risk is that high.  I don’t feel the risk is what he thinks.  I truly believe I’ll have a higher chance of miscarriage than giving birth to someone who won’t speak or feed themselves or something.  If this risk were higher – If you told me there was a 50% or more chance I’d 100% give birth to a child that would be medically complex and suffer – I would NEVER do it.

With that rant…

I did order the medications this week.  After our millionth talk and agreeing we’re doing this and agreeing to disagree.  Someone I managed to get it $200 lower than last retrieval.  I have no idea.  But every penny adds up in this category.  They were still $2,083 – But better than $2,300.  And that’s quite the deal as I’ve applied coupons, manufacturer discounts, insurance on a couple.  It should be over $5K.  I’ve done TONS of work to make it affordable in every aspect possible.

I should be able to cover those with all cash this month and not need any money from savings.  My budget says I’m about $900 short, but it’s only halfway through the month and I’ve already made 100% of the tips I normally make a month (freaking crazy).  So, banking on low tips I should make at least $575 more this month.  If tips continue as they’ve been – I should make another $1,000 approximately.  I’ve also got a travel check coming for taking M to the doctor which I already paid out of pocket.  So, I’ve got the $800 either way probably.

That leaves $5,500 saved for this.  I’m estimating PGT, Travel and Monitoring at $5,100.  So, I’ll have $400 left. Bahahaha.  Hopefully, monitoring and travel aren’t that much though.  Ideally, I could knock those down by like $1,000 or more.  I estimated high as my job changed insurance carriers and I’m not positive how they’ll pay.  So I just input as if I had to pay it all out of pocket.  Either way, I’ve got the money.  I’ll have June to make more money to pay for travel and PGT.  With how slow billing is I won’t have the monitoring bills due until July.  So, overall we’re good.  Should we do Round 3 and 4 I’m a little more worried about cost as I won’t have a large chunk saved again – But I’ll be able to pay a large chunk each month so it’ll be fine.  I only say Round 4 as I’ve heard it’s 1/2 price on round 4 if you do 4 rounds within a year (So I need to do them all by 11/1 essentially).  My deductibles will be met by my insurance by then if they cover like the last insurance did (it doesn’t cover infertility, but they do end up paying for some labs and ultrasounds for some reason) so that would be off the table.  If I use meds the next two cycles like I did the first I won’t need many medications that last round.  It’ll basically be 1/2 retrieval price and travel fees.  So, totally doable.  It’s just getting through Round 3 I guess.  (I’d like to pray I won’t need it.  But I probably will.)

Meds will be delivered Friday.

Next period should start around June 7th.  (I’m actually hoping for an earlier period of June 4th so my days fall the way I want them to.  Ha.)  Then an email to the team to let them know CD 1 hit and my orders will start flying in to get everything done.

Max said we should wait until M left.  We basically did.

M is now with his mom over nights.  He starts his trial home visit officially on 5/22.  Basically, until then I’m on-call if something would happen I do take him back.  After 5/22 it would be my choice to take him back should he be removed again but I no longer will be considered with him in my home.  I’m so happy for him and his mama.  I pray she keeps it together and gives him a fabulous life.  But, gosh, I’m so sad.  I’ll miss that dude.  This is the goal of foster care.  This is the purpose.  This is the way it is supposed to end.  That doesn’t make it hurt any lest by any means.  There is still a grieving process.  My heart is still a little broken.  Hence, the rest of the crying lately.  It’s been rough.

He’s been with mom off/on the last 4 weeks, an extra day or so each week.  She had him Mother’s Day – So I decided Mother’s Day would be a great day to inflict pain on myself.  I chose to use this day to pack his stuff all up.  To wash the last of his stuff.  To load my trunk up and only keep one small duffle bag of what I’d need for the next couple days with him and then hand that over to mom too.  If you’re looking for a good way to torture yourself – I’d rate this a 10/10.  IVF process, being so sad I my last transfer failed and I should have been in my third trimester on Mother’s Day, saying good bye to the boy I’ve loved like my own for 8 months, choosing Mother’s Day to feel that and feel that fact I can’t just have a baby while people who neglect their kids can have babies, hurt them and get them back.  Yes, perfect torture.  Sobbing like a champ.  If you don’t like to cry – I definitely don’t recommend any of this.  It’s not for the faint of heart.

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