…which is, of course, bad news.
It is not, however, the worst news. Doc feels confidant that this is the remains of a chemical pregnancy, NOT an ectopic in process. He said that if my numbers next week start rising up into the 30s, 4os, 50s, then we might have to reevaluate, but that this level of rise looks more like a few cells sputtering to a halt rather than something strongly taking root where it ought not.
Relief. Pure, giddy relief.
Yay! I’m not pregnant anymore! Woohoo!
Ok, irony aside, it was a very good consultation. We have a new game plan, and the idea is to put it into place almost immediately. Like as soon as my period starts we’ll get going on cycle #3. Like maybe next week. Whoa.
Doc chastised me gently about my “womb of death” mindset, and said that in his not-so-humble opinion, it was more a case of ‘less-than-stellar embryos making an against-the-odds go inside a fabulous uterus’. He was willing to come right out and say that he’d rather see a chemical pregnancy than no sign that anything “took”, and that if anything, it would make him more, rather than less, optimistic about giving it another go – either with my own or donor eggs. Old though I am.
Since my insurance will cover one more go for me but a donor cycle will have to be pretty much out-of-pocket, the Doc recommended giving it one last try with my eggs, as long as I feel that my heart could stand the possibility of another walloping. (This is why I like this doctor. He actually thinks about – and voices – such concerns. Well, that and the fact that he took a call from his wife while we were there, and I heard him call her ‘honeybuns’ & then he told her that he loved her even though we could obviously overhear, which I liked. He’s a nice guy – a genuinely nice guy, which does make a difference to me.)
He spent almost an hour with us, answering questions, asking questions, offering options and ideas. He also compared my two cycles and showed me how he was looking at The Plan at this point.
Interestingly, and something I hadn’t realized previously: although he retrieved the contents of 12 follicles in my first cycle, we only got 6 eggs out of it – the same number of eggs in this past cycle. Which means that there was really no difference at all between the cycles in eggs retrieved & fertilized 6/4 both times. Because of this, he suggested that this next time we should try a no-Lupron protocol. It’s riskier, since I could accidentally ovulate OR conversely, the antagon protocol could stop follicular development cold when we have to put it into play. Still, he thinks I might respond better to it than I have to the Lupron-based microdoses and get us a few more eggs to play with. I like having something new to try, since simply upping the medicines didn’t do much good.
And since at this point, some of my anxiety is due to the feeling that my range of options is shrinking, the idea of not yet using up my “initial, insurance-covered IVF” option sounds good to me. The idea that I will be able to start this new cycle as soon as my period begins sounds even better. Like, as early as next week. He recommended getting going right away if I felt up to it – why waste all the hormones still hanging out in my body, seems to be the notion. Plus, less time spent on evil DHEA this way. Plus, actually DOING something instead of being placed back in IVF limbo. Yeah, I feel up to it.
And tonight I’m having a Guinness, I’m thumbing my nose at my medicine cabinet while I dance my bruised ass away from all the pointy things, and I’m planning to waylay my husband when he comes home from his poker game.
And I can start weaning myself off prednisone tonight, which makes me happy since it’s a scary-ass medicine and the less time I spend on it the better, even though I’ll likely start taking it again in earnest just about exactly when I’m just finished my last dose.
But that’s ok. Going out to eat to celebrate the “no real fear of ectopic” news, (well mostly because we have had damned little to celebrate in the last month or so and we’re both feeling a bit ragged, and some wonderful food washed down with nice wine would be good for both of us.)
I’m (obviously) feeling better than I have in a while. I love having a Plan.
This isn’t the end, this is another chance, and I’ll take it. I’ll grab it with both hands and hang on tight.