A Crossroad | After IVF Failure





This is our crossroad.  Everyone has a different crossroad they reach at some point during the infertility journey.  For us, we know that the road to adoption and fostering has many junctions that intercept with the other paths, and for that, I am eternally grateful.  The last cycle failure brought me to exploring our options, every single thing I could imagine to get us to succeed in this quest to be pregnant.  I have been blessed with many friends I met on Instagram who have spoken to me suggesting a variety of alternatives to us and it made me realise that I should put pen to paper (except this is a keyboard to the internet) and positively list every option available.

So what do a man post vasectomy and a woman with poor egg quality and poor response to IVF do to try and get pregnant after 3 failed rounds of IVF and 1 failed IVF cycle using an egg donor?

ADOPTION

This is very close to my heart and I have have deep down always known I would adopt.  I know several people who have been adopted and I find it to be a wonderful and rewarding gift.  Adoption is not for everyone, the same way surrogacy is not for me.  We need to have a six month break post IVF before we can apply for approval to adopt.  That is something we are waiting to do right now.

FOSTERING

We are also considering Fostering.  With 2 spare bedrooms we have the space for 2 children.  Whilst we do not know if that will be for 2 adopted siblings, if we adopt a child we would also like to consider fostering alongside.  Offering a home to a child in the system heading towards adoption or someone who is in long term fostering.  We do not have a full understanding as to how the two systems work together and that is something we will be researching.

A SECOND OPINION | CHECK MY EGG RESERVE & IUI

This has never really been an option before now because we had vials of Dean's sperm frozen and I wanted to use that.  However, surgically extracted sperm is useless for an IUI.  I do not claim to fully understand why but I have been assured they can't use it.  Therefore, if we consider IUI, it would have to be with donated sperm.

Also, is there any point considering IUI if I have poor egg quality indicated by the last failed egg retrieval where my eggs would not come out from the follicles which can happen when they perish under the stress of removal.  I can;t shake the fact that in the cycle before I had great eggs, 13 of them and that we made blastocysts though?  On paper, my IVF Cycle 2 was more successful than our 'proven' donor so I am not convinced my eggs are 'the' problem anymore.

This could be an option for us.  Therefore I am considering getting my blood screened again for my AMH, which was satisfactory 18 months ago but at 38 that will no doubt be plummeting fast and FSH, which was slightly high last time I was tested but that was straight after an IVF cycle which could have thrown it.  Then if I check if I am ovulating with home tests, perhaps we will consider an IUI with donor sperm.

EDIT: NHS FUNDED CYCLE USING AN EGG DONOR

So here is the thing with my eggs, they 'could' be suitable to try again even with low AMH but my ovary position makes it impossible to guarantee success at egg retrieval with 2 failed collections.  So if we have a shot for NHS funding, it would have to be using a donor and I am not sure if the local PCT will allow that on applications.  Also, I need to lose in excess for 2 stone.  We will see what our GP says about the application process and since we are already on a weight loss journey, that's possible, if we get funding.

Again, thank you for the comment on Instagram that made me realize I had missed this option off too.

EGG DONOR | TRY ANOTHER CYCLE WITH DONATED EGGS

This option is obvious and likely in a few years when we can afford it.  Sadly, the previous rounds of IVF have drained us dry financially and we are not in a position to try again right now.

Also, we would consider using a known donor this time.  Someone we know who has good eggs and that we know has had children.  The problem with the anonymous system in the UK is that you do not know anything about the donor except their basic characteristics.  We now think knowing the donor will mean we may have a better chance and also, if they are a close friend, a better bond for the children born.

SURROGACY 

I have never considered this as an option because for us, whilst we would love to have children that are biologically ours, it is not the most important thing to us.  I desperately want to experience pregnancy and giving birth which is why I am happy to use an egg donor.  

If it came to using an egg donor and someone else carrying the baby, I find myself personally preferring to opt for adoption instead.  Whilst this option would mean Dean would be the biological father, I would still find it difficult to watch someone else carry our baby.  

EDIT: EMBRYO ADOPTION

Another thing I forgot to mention was adopting embryos.  We had considered this but, we were told they were in short supply and the wait was long.  We have considered this abroad but if anyone knows any clinics in the South of England that have this option, please get in touch.

Thank you to the lovely commenter who reminded me I had forgotten to talk about this option.

SO WHAT IS OUR PLAN?

For us, we will be contacting Fostering and Adoption agencies to ask how the two options can work together.  There are a number of open days ahead where we will be able to ask the necessary questions and learn more about the options we have.

Whilst we are researching we will be checking my blood work and getting a second opinion about my eggs to make sure that before we finally close the door on my eggs, we are 100% sure an IUI will not work.

Right now we are wandering down each path, stepping over to adjoining paths, before they separate further down the line.








3 comments:

  1. I don't want to be one of those people to throw another option into the mix, but what about donor embryos? Given my poor IVF cycle and the fact I'm using donor sperm anyway, I know that this would be the next step for me. I initially thought it would be super expensive because donor eggs are, but I found from my clinic in Cardiff that a donor embryo cycle is a lot cheaper (£2500, and basic FET drugs), a lot gentler on your body and a lot more straightforward because they're already frozen blasts. Of course you don't get the aspect of the baby being genetically related to at least one of you, but you still get to experience pregnancy and all that good stuff.

    If you do look into it, just be careful with clinics though - some charge extortionate 'finding fees' which could run into the tens of thousands, whereas other clinics like mine charge nothing extra but the cycle fee.

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    1. Oh you absolutely should have commented. I forgot this option as we had looked into it and were told they are in short supply in our area. Thanks for bringing it back to my attention, I have updated my post with this and asked for any recommendations of clinics in the South that have donated embryos. Our clinic did not have any and said the wait was long.

      Thanks again,
      Sam

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  2. Hugs to you Sam and Dean..... I know you wish to experience pregnancy....I can only say and pray that I hope it will happen.... I continue to encourage you to "keep going". Prayers for you always.

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