Before I talk about my appointment, I just want to mention that in addition to cooing over a newborn in the morning yesterday, when I came home I discovered a pregnancy announcement on Facebook (12 week scan!), and then, as if that wasn’t enough to convince me the whole world is having babies apart from me, my next door neighbour catches me out the front to warn me they are having an extension built, just in case they have another baby.
Just in case.
This is the neighbour who has already gotten married, pregnant and had one child in the time it’s taken us to not be pregnant with number 3. She’s going to lap me again – I bloody well know it. She’s probably pregnant already. I’ll have to spend my time furtively ducking out of the house so I don’t have to coo over her bump for months on end just like I did two years ago.
Well, now I’ve got that out of my system, onto my appointment.
I don’t have any experience with fertility clinics, but what’s the first thing I have to face on the way in? A corridor of massive montage photos of thousands of babies. Lovely! There really is no escaping babies at the moment. I hope it’s catching.
Dr Bird was really nice. She was also very matter of fact.
They did a very, very thorough ultrasound. Nothing was missed – that probe squished around in places that nothing else has ever reached.
In short, this is the outcome:
- I have another cyst, this time on my left ovary. 5cm x 4cm x 3cm. She said I should be scanned again in 6-8 weeks to ensure it has resolved.
- My uterine lining is “very thin”. Both of these are probably a result of my recent miscarriage.
- Left ovary is normal with several follicles (yay!)
- Uterus 100% normal (yay!)
- They need me to dig out some immune testing details from my recurrent mc tests, to ensure I was tested for everything they would recommend, back in Aug 2013.
- They do not test for natural killer cells. It is controversial and because it is a blood test and not a sample from the actual womb, the clinic is of the opinion it is not overly helpful.
- Husband’s SA from two years ago shows some abnormal morphology (our GP told us it was “normal”). He’s going to get a repeat test. However, she said that since I obviously get pregnant, this is not likely to be an issue.
- Going forward, she suggested that it might be a good idea to try on our own for a while longer because I have only been gluten free since April and the loss I just had was a chromosomal issue. These are more common given my age, and there is still a good chance that my coeliac diagnosis will now allow me to carry a pregnancy to term.
- If I do get pregnant, their recommended treatment if they suspect immune issues is steroids. I’m not sure how I feel about that. She said there is a very low risk of defects (cleft palate). Er, okay…
- DH and I could consider a round of IVF. She said that the theory for us would be it would allow a collection of lots of eggs in one go and that they could “flush” the good eggs to the top (by selecting the best quality ones out of those that make it to day 5). She also said that it was a possibility that we would undergo IVF only to have another miscarriage anyway.
- She didn’t recommend genetic testing of the embryos (PGD). She said for the expense (close to £10,000) it would gain us very little advantage because it only tests for the correct number of chromosomes, and at least one of our losses was tested and was normal.
And here are the worst parts:
- I am 40. She mentioned this several times. Apparently, just 35 days ago, my chances became significantly worse. She said that not only are my eggs of lower quality, but there are less of them. She told me that my miscarriage risk has increased regardless of my history, and that abnormalities and miscarriages are now even more likely.
- At the end of the appointment, she folded her hands on the desk and said to me that given I already have two lovely children, I might want to think about drawing a line in the sand at this point.
That was when I finally cried.
I’m still mulling over all this and working out how I feel about it. I also have a terrible headache, which I think is a combination of the emotion and the lack of sugar and (already tiny amounts) of caffeine where I’m preparing for the juice fast on Sunday.
My overall impression from the appointment is that they will do what they can, but that I should be prepared for the fact that it may never happen. I am 40, which is apparently reproductively old, and I may not ever have another child.
As far as doctors go, and aside from a round of IVF that will only do what me and DH can already do, with no guarantee of an improved outcome, I have pretty much exhausted current medical knowledge.