15 October 2013

Review appointment

Last Thursday we had our review appointment at the clinic with Dr C. It felt awful being there. While we were in the waiting room, I didn't want to stay. I certainly didn't want to talk about how we had failed again and how there was even less hope. Although we had always planned that this previous attempt would be our last, I am still not ready to let go of this dream, but I braced myself for a negative consultation.

Dr C was her usual sympathetic self. She listened to us both rattle on nervously at first (I couldn't seem to speak properly, all unfinished sentences and wrong words, and D chatted about completely unrelated matters for a while) and she tried to answer our questions. I wanted to know where the problem occurred. Was it the quality of eggs or sperm? Why did so few fertilised eggs survive? Was there any explanation for yet another failure? Dr C told us that my response to stimulation had never been quite as good as expected and that D's sperm quality wasn't great, so if we decided to try again she would investigate the use of a special high-powered microscope which would let the lab technicians choose the best quality eggs and sperm for IVF (called IMSI as opposed to ICSI). This microscope is at a clinic in a different city, so it would mean a few days away from home for egg collection and embryo transfer.

Overall, Dr C was keen for us to take a break and allow ourselves a few months to think things over. She encouraged us to see the clinic counsellor if we needed to. She mentioned that there does come a time when people start thinking about the end of the journey and how to move on with a different kind of life. I am sure she is right, and we do need more time to consider whether we want to try again and to save enough money, but I am now 37 and we don't have forever. I would quite like to see the counsellor sometime, with or without D, just to get my thoughts in order and take any advice she has.

I asked about D's failed vasectomy reversal and whether it was worth revisiting that. I wondered if a reversal could be attempted again, which of course would solve our problem if it was successful. Dr C didn't look that enthusiastic, but she explained that Dr P knew a lot more about that area. I wonder if we should make an appointment with him, just to learn a bit more about that subject, and also see if he has any particular ideas about what we should do now.  I want as much information as possible!

Then D completely surprised me by asking Dr C if donor sperm would offer us a better chance. I have always felt strongly that I want our baby to be ours. I just can't imagine bearing someone else's child, even if D would love it just as much as his own. Dr C said that, yes, we probably would have a greater chance of success, but I immediately dismissed the idea.

We left the clinic having agreed to be in touch if we wanted further information or indeed if we decided to go ahead with another attempt.

After the appointment, I felt even more negative than before. Of course not everything Dr C had said was bad, but hard decisions are on the horizon. I have also been thinking more about D's suggestion of donor sperm. Although we haven't discussed the appointment much yet, he has asked me to consider it seriously. Strangely, I am not completely against the idea. I really would like to have D's baby, but in a way it would be D's baby even if we used donor sperm. The only thing I would request is blue eyes so that maybe there is some family resemblance! Other than that, I am feeling quite down about the whole thing. I guess we'll just have to let some more days and weeks pass, talk a lot more to each other and to the professionals, and then make some decisions about where we go from here.


  1. When I read this, I just wanted to give you a hug... It's such an emotional roller-coaster for you both!

    Seeing the clinic counsellor might be a good idea - they will be familiar with the particular issues, so will (hopefully) be able to offer a perspective that might help you navigate through this. I'd also suggest taking your time to think things through...

    I have no doubt that if you did decide to go with donor sperm, that you would both love your child unconditionally... That is just who you are... Loving, caring, accepting...

    Please take care and go as gently as you can...
    Thinking of you...

  2. Hi hun, A lady on one of my support groups dh sperm wasn't good so they used donor sperm and they got a lot of fertilised eggs and ended up conceiving twins. I know it isn't for everyone and it would need some careful consideration/ counselling, but if you got a donor who had similar traits to DH it could be a really good option. To me If you love a child and care for them you are their parent! Thinking of you! Char

  3. Thank you both for your thoughts - I really, really appreciate it. We seem to have taken a wee break from thinking about all of this, but I do intend to get some counselling at the clinic before the end of the year. Donor sperm doesn't sound so scary now. On the other hand, I feel so emotionally drained that I don't feel at all capable of making any heavy decisions right now. D is being very patient and is not pushing anything on me. More news as it comes to hand!