I don’t even know where to begin with this. My heart has shattered into one million pieces and I’m just devastated. I thought that this appointment was going to turn our journey around, it did, but in a direction I just wasn’t ready to hear at all. We had our follow up with Dr. LdM on Monday and he informed us that he believes my egg quality is poor and that we need to consider donor eggs (DE). I’m sure the color quickly drained from my face as my heart hit the floor. I never thought that I would have an egg quality issue. Not for one minute did I ever consider that to be the problem.
Our cycle was reviewed by the team and everything about this cycle was perfect except when it came to the embryos. He said that they were not maturing as they should be and we should’ve had more than 1 that was high grade. What’s really confusing to me is how did I go from 34 eggs retrieved last cycle, 21 fertilized and 7 make it to 5-day blastocysts and this time have 10 eggs (less medication, hence less eggs) retrieved and none make it to 5 day?? I am more lost and confused than I have ever been. Did my egg quality really decrease that drastically in one year?
I am not ready to accept DE. I cannot fathom looking at my child and having it be MY husbands sperm combined with someone I don’t even know or someone that I do know that had to do my job for me. It just makes me sick to even consider at this point. I don't know if I would ever be able to rid myself of the jealousy and resentment that at this point, I know I would feel towards my donor. I may have to come to terms with all of this if it ends up being our only option, but for right now, DE is out. The doctor seems to think that the genetic make up of the child is no big deal because without me and my desire to become a mother, the child wouldn’t even exist, but I bet his children are biologically his so I’m not sure he can really understand that.
I know that there are many amazing women who have done DEIVF and I can’t even begin to comprehend their strength, it’s beyond something I am probably capable of. I’m not sure it would ever be something I could accept. I am not ready to give up on my eggs and I still feel like we should explore the other options we have.
Option number one is to return to our previous clinic where our 4 frozen embryos remain. They are “good” quality 5-day blastocysts. I inquired into more detail about what “good” means to them, I want grades and % fragmentation. I feel as though we should definitely be using these embryos before we were to even consider egg donation. Who’s to say that these wouldn’t work? If we went through 2 frozen cycles of 2 embryos transferred and neither of those cycles worked we would have had a total of 9 embryos transferred back & fail, that would be a substantial indication that we need to move forward with another option.
Option number two is to try and improve egg quality. I asked my previous doctor if we could include a 90 day protocol of DHEA, CoQ10, Melatonin, L ’Arginine, and possibly Human Growth Hormone before starting a fresh cycle with them. I can’t give up on my eggs without trying to improve their quality first. I know that he doesn't often agree to anything that doesn't have any scientific backing behind it, but the nice thing is that these are all over the counter supplements (minus the HGH) that I could easily put myself on for 90 days prior to starting another fresh cycle.
Option number three is to look into a new doctor for a 3rd opinion.
Option number four is egg donation--for those of you who aren't familiar with what egg donation is, basically you find a donor based on their looks, interests, etc. and you use their eggs along with your husbands sperm (as long as his sperm doesn't have any issues). The child would have no biological ties to me, only to my husband & the donor--an extremely hard notion for me to accept. These cycles can be anywhere between 15k-25k depending on your state and other factors. Even donors who "gift" their eggs to the recipient have to endure a multitude of physical and psychological testing all paid for by the recipient. Unfortunately, none of this is covered by insurance and most donors that are provided through an agency receive compensation of around $5,000. It's a financial nightmare that I'm not sure we would be able to take on in addition to a brand new house payment, car payments, etc. etc.
This has been a lot to take in. It was a total shock and it was not something I was prepared to deal with hearing at all. I want to be hopeful for our frozen embryos, but I also need to begin preparing myself mentally, and financially for the possibility of donor eggs. Although we aren't ready to give up on my eggs, I still think it's important to start coming to terms with all of the things that donor cycle will entail, especially the part about not having my own biological child. To some people that is no issue at all, their focus is on becoming a mother and I whole-heartedly agree with that, but if you have kids, or you want kids, imagine how it would feel to be told, "your eggs are not capable of producing a sufficient embryo and you need to use another women's eggs if you ever want children"... for me those words make me feel inadequate as a woman and overwhelmingly jealous of the women who can so easily provide their DNA to our situation. I could drive myself crazy thinking about the whole thing. I know that the road to parenthood just got a lot longer for us, but we are not ready to give up this fight and I know that we will do what's best for us in our hearts.