Two weeks ago my husband and I went to our IVF consult with our RE. I have intentionally not blogged about it for a few reasons, but mostly because when we left DH and I had some differences of opinion on a few things that we really needed to talk through. The good news is that we both agree IVF is for us so that is a step in the right direction.
Most of the appointment itself was exactly what I expected. Dr. M. went through the science in Lehman’s terms for us. Most of this information was not news to me, however DH refuses to do any research on his own, and does not want to hear it from me. He only wants to hear it from the doctor, so it was necessary for him to really break it down for him. I thought Dr. M did a good job of explaining things.
What I did not realize was the first time I came in to the RE’s office and had an ultrasound he did an antral follicle count. I likely didn’t know because I knew so very little about ART and infertility at the time, and I was in complete shock about the cyst and the impending surgery. They also never posted the “results” of the ultrasound on my patient portal. He said in our meeting that my count just over a year ago was 16 follicles. He decided to do another ultrasound during the appointment to recount, and he also found 16. From what I have researched online this is literally the lowest possible count to be considered “normal”, which is sort of concerning because the high end is like 30. I did not realize that your count is basically the highest number of eggs they would be able to retrieve in a given cycle.
He went on the explain that out of 16 possible eggs, after ICSI fertilization on day 5 he would expect that we would have 4-5 good ones just based on statistics of some not being mature enough, some not fertilizing and some not growing properly. I am not sure what I expected, but this was a little shocking to me.
He then went on to say that roughly at my age (32) I would have about a 50/50 shot of getting pregnant with a single embryo transfer, and around 70% if I were to transfer 2. He then said that if I did choose to transfer 2 that I would have a 45% chance (or maybe more) of having twins. At this point my husband pretty much hit the floor. I mean it was visibly noticeable how uncomfortable he was by the thought of twins.
Dr. M. then went into the chromosome testing (PGS 24). He did a good job of explaining the benefits of the testing, and told us that our odds of getting pregnant with a single embryo that had been tested were greater than with 2 untested. He also told us that we could choose the sex of the baby (if we wanted) if we did the testing. My husband was totally sold. I am not so sure.
We have an appointment with the financial coordinator and the nurse coordinator next week to go over the dirty details of it all (and when I say dirty I mostly mean allllll the freaking money this is going to cost).
I know my husband really well, and how his head works, so I have him a few days to really think about things before I approached him again. I also needed to think about how I felt and talk it over with a few very close friends. So a few days later we had another conversation. As I already knew he is extremely freaked out by the idea of twins. A lot of this feeling comes from the financial side of things which I do understand as usually I am the one who is way more controlling over our money than he. He also is hesitant because when his son was an infant it was not the greatest experience for him. His ex-wife had post-partum depression which caused a lot of extra stress for both of them. I think he may feel a little scarred from that experience and is nervous about having even one infant. I do understand this completely and I am sensitive to it.
Our other difference in opinion is over how many kids we actually want. We have always said (before our IF issues) that we would have one and then decide about another, but for sure not more than two. As we have gone through all of this I decided I really want two, and he apparently is good having just one. If possible I would also like to have them fairly close together if nature allows. We are not getting any younger, especially my husband who is going to be 41 very soon. Part of his desire to do this extra testing is because he could almost guarantee a girl and he thinks that if I have a girl I will be just fine not having another child. I have told him that I really do not think that is going to be the case.
I would never want to bring my husband into the role of parenting a child, or two, if he is not 100% in it. I also am trying to balance that with what I want. It is not like I am bringing the second child into the mix out of the blue. We have talked about it since way before we were even married.
I am also not really good with choosing the sex of the baby. In fact, I am not sure I even want to know at all. Honestly is more of a shocking conclusion to me more than anyone else. It feels like with this whole process so many things are taken away, most of all the surprise and the secret. And what I mean is that I will probably never have the surprise of getting to take a pregnancy test after an unexpected missed period and see those double pink lines, and then get to hold the secret in from friends and family until I am ready. DH does not see it that way. He is adamant about knowing the sex, and if he can make sure it’s a girl all the better.
The final issue, that I think we have resolved, is the timing. He was literally ready to go and take out a loan the day we had the appointment. The smart thing for us to do is to WAIT until tax return and bonus time and hopefully start the process in April or May. He definitely does not seem to understand how long this is going to take, and that adding the testing lengthens the process even more. He for sure does not get that you cannot plan anything big during all of this and I can already tell you when the time comes he will be impatient. He travels for work EVERY month, sometimes on multiple trips. The logistics are going to be more challenging that he thinks. I like Dr. M, but he really has a way of making everything sound super easy. My husband love this and buys everything he is selling. At the end of the day DH does agree with me on timing and we will be waiting until next spring, which also leaves time to sort out some of these other issues. I am sure we will find compromise eventually.