I’ve been putting off writing about this, because I haven’t really felt like examining my feelings about it. If I’m honest, I still don’t, but I know that I need to take a look at them sometime, and since it’s in my head right now, it may as well be now.
A few weeks ago, I went in to Columbia for a saline hysterosonogram. It’s a really simple procedure, where they use an internal ultrasound wand – often known around here as the “dildocam” – and saline introduced to the uterus to get a good image of the uterus. It hurts when the saline goes in and until it’s out, but it’s fast, so the pain is very bearable. Dr. G found a small polyp in my uterus, which he plans to remove via hysteroscopy and send for a biopsy, but the biopsy is standard procedure and polyps are fairly normal, so there’s nothing really to be concerned about there.
While I was in the office, I got the results of some blood work. Interesting to note is that I don’t have any rubella antibodies, which is strange because I distinctly recall getting the rubella/mumps/measles vaccine as a kid, in 2nd or 3rd grade. It was required for school. I guess it wore off, which I didn’t know could happen.
Also interesting to note is that Scott tested positive for syphilis. That gasp you just made? Yeah, that was my reaction, too. But it turns out it was a false positive. When someone tests positive for syphilis, the lab automatically runs a more sensitive test and that one came up definitely negative. Dr. G thinks Scott has some weird antibody in his blood that reacted weirdly with the less sensitive test. It’s funny, because he had the same thing with a Hep C test once: a false positive followed by another test that came up negative. We think that’s related and that this weird antibody he has can screw up several blood tests. Maybe it’s related to the Factor V Leiden, maybe it’s something else. He needs to follow up with his regular doctor to see what’s up with that, though I think a hematologist wouldn’t be out of line, particularly since he hasn’t seen one since he found out about the FVL.
The final blood test result I got is the one I’ve been avoiding thinking about: the MIS test. The MIS blood test measures anti-mullerian hormone and is used to determine ovarian reserve. My result was .04, which is low. It’s a really bad number. It means that there’s a very good chance that I’ll respond poorly to the hormones used to stimulate egg production for an IVF cycle.
Normally, I’d say screw it. I have IVF coverage, let’s give it a shot anyway. But we have to pay for the drugs out of pocket, and the drugs are around $6,000. I don’t have a spare $6k laying around to just give it a shot and then find out that yes, the test was right and my abused little ovary only managed to cough up 2 or 3 poor quality eggs that aren’t even mature. Not to mention, our insurance coverage isn’t as good as it used to be and now it only covers 90% of the cost of an IVF cycle. So on top of the expense for the drugs, we’d be paying for 10% of the cycle out of pocket.
We just can’t afford that for something with such a low likelihood of working.
Donor eggs are our best shot at getting pregnant now, but that brings with it a whole new breathtaking level of expenses. I have no ethical or emotional concerns with donor eggs. I would use them in a heartbeat, faster than a heartbeat, if I could afford it. But I can’t. It’s not at all covered under insurance so everything is out of pocket.
There is the very slimmest chance that Scott’s mother, who seems to have decided that grandmotherhood is important to her since marrying a man with grandkids and great-grandkids, will decide to help us out with this. This is a very slim chance.
So this is how things stand right now. I see my dreams of pregnancy and a tiny baby slipping out of my grasp, and I’m swinging wildly between resigned acceptance that dreams always fail and wanting to take a scorched earth approach to my life. Self-destruction is something I’ve always been really good at, though I’m out of practice.
Either way, I’m so sick and tired of being sad. I’ve been sad for… what?… 9… 10 years? However long it’s been since I first realized that pregnancy wasn’t going to be a matter of simply having sex at the right time. I’m looking for a grief counselor, because I know I need help getting through this. I just don’t know how to stop being sad, how to stop feeling this loss. And how to stop feeling like such a damn failure.
Update: Well, it turns out I was wrong about the IVF drugs not being covered under our prescription plan. Scott just got off the phone with them and it looks like all the drugs we’d be using are actually covered. This changes everything. There’s still a really small chance of IVF working with my own eggs, but at least now we can try it without having to lay out that $6k for the drugs.