Thursday, November 29, 2007
Cooper (and next steps)
My posts to date have pretty much brought us up to the current date and time - we are ~1.5 months beyond our failed first cycle and have sort of shelved the whole discussion, temporarily. We got a puppy to occupy our time and distract us while figuring out our next move. Frankly, we haven't had as much time to discuss the whole thing as we would have liked, but the distraction has been welcomed - puppies are a lot of work! We got a Cairn Terrier (same kind of dog as Toto) He is Amish (got him from Amish country in Ohio) We named him Cooper ... cute little guy with very sharp teeth. Anyhow, he has completely taken over our lives ... there are no spare minutes to just sit around on the couch, or surf the internet. The second you do that, Cooper will bite something, or piss on the rug, or poop under the Christmas tree. Anyways ...
We're casually looking into adoption web-sites, trying to learn more about it ... and we're discussing IVF and how to handle that whole situation. Either way, my wife was told to go on birth control pills "to get rid of the cysts Dr. S. created" (his words) ... we weren't told how long she should go on the pills, when she should have started them, etc. More of the same lack of attention to detail from our clinic ... at some point we'll have to call to ask them how long she should continue. It also sucks that she has to take a medication that prohibits the very thing we are trying to achieve - PREGNANCY! We've been told from some people that the cycle immediately following a failed IVF is a great time to get pregnant through natural means since the levels of Progesterone in the woman are so high. That is not an option for us ...
I didn't do much research into IVF prior to our first round. The failed cycle prompted me to hit the internet for a crash course on the process, and to look into other clinics. I first came across the SART web-site, which contains scores of information on infertility clinics across the country. I immediately compiled all of the data for metro Detroit into a spreadsheet, and plotted all of the statistics relevant to our situation. I primarily focued on "# of cycles" and "# of live births". I've also come across TONS of blogs on the topic of IVF, mostly written by people who have not been successful (a bit discouraging) ... but, in the process, I've become more educated on infertility, and how big of an issue it really is. It's good to know there are others out there going through the same thing.
Based on the information revealed on the SART web-site, We've decided to make an appointment with Oakwood Hospital to review our documentation from cycle #1, and to see what the prognosis is from a different doctor. I'm anxious to see if this doctor will outline a plan for IVF #2 similar to that described by Dr. S. I'm doubtful that the information provided in our files from IVF Michigan will be sufficient to make a prognosis. We certainly don't want to go through the gamut of tests again, as they are expensive and time consuming ... besides, all information that can be gathered is already in the hands of Dr. S. We are looking into other clinics primarily because we want to feel comfortable with our decision to move forward with a second round. Frankly, the whole topic of how expensive this procedure is is not discussed enough. For us, the decision to spend $10k on anything is not made easily. Frankly, anything over $50 is debated and evaluated prior to executing the trade. Therefore, moving forward with another round of IVF will not happen before we fully understand, as best we can, our chances for success. If we feel confident that IVF might work for us, we'll move forward with a second round. If there is a great deal of doubt regarding our chances for success, we would opt to instead place the $10,000 towards adoption. I've heard "quotes" on adoption as high as $40,000 ... that's crazy! That's a lot of money! Good thing about adoption is, it is almost guaranteed to give you a child (especially if you go to another country, from what I understand) Again, we're at the low end of the learning curve on adoption (and IVF for that matter)
So, our plans are to talk to Oakwood and re-evaluate our options afterwards. If we leave Oakwood with a good feeling, we'll probably start scheduling or second round. If the feeling is not so good, we'll look into another clinic and further our education on the adoption process. Stay tuned - I'm going to call Oakwood right now to see when we can get in for a consultation. I hope it doesn't cost anything for such an appointment!
Next time: I'm thinking of writing a post on the expense of this whole procedure. Like when do you reach the point where you can no longer afford to do another round? I mean, that point has to come sometime, right? My wife and I fortunate to have good jobs and the IVF funds can be found without damaging our retirement and savings plans, but still, it requires a bit of sacrifice in other areas. I always like to use the example of "how many Kool-Aid packets do you think you could fit into a shopping cart?" Seems like you could always put one more in ... but at some point the whole thing will crumble ... somehow this example needs to be compared to personal finance. I've got nothing ... but you probably get the point.
Thanks for your comments, and for reading. Hoping for brighter days in 2008.
Posted by Joe at 11:15 AM