Monday, May 11, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

Today was my ovary check appointment with the Fertility Gurus. I only have two kids in care on Mondays, and one of those is on vacation this week.  The other one leaves at 12:45, so as of then I was off work! Brian worked last night from 3 AM until 1 PM today (!!!!), so he was able to go with me to Charlottesville.  I love when we can go together to these appointments; I dearly love spending time with Brian, and the two hour round trip is a good chance just to catch up and talk about our day.  And while I know that it helps the parents of children I provide day care for to have Brian watch the children when I have to leave for appointments, having him there for moral support is wonderful; it seems more like a "team effort" when we're both there.  So around 1:45 we headed off for Charlottesville.

One of the reasons we both wanted to go to this appointment was to discuss IUI further with the doctor.  We haven't committed to it before this because we were determined to continue to try for a few more months before turning to more invasive procedures. But we're numbers-people, and need to know a lot of facts before we commit to anything.  

So many things have stood in our way to getting pregnant, and it seems like as soon as we conquer one problem another one springs up.  We can't help but wonder if God isn't putting these obstacles there to force us back to his timeline.  No matter what we think, God knows when we'll have children, and how.  We can do everything we want to push things along, but until He's ready for us to be parents, we won't be.  That has become very, very obvious to us in the past few months, and we've discovered that banging your head against a wall gives you a headache.  

So, we've come to the realization lately that we have approached a crossroads in our fertility trials.  Basically, commit to IUI and put all our resources into that for now, or commit to adoption and be finished with all fertility treatments.  The two are not compatible, so we have a choice to make.  Unfortunately, there is so much to think about for both cases.  Today we wanted to get some numbers from the Gurus about success rates for IUI.  

We met with Dr. Bateman today (not our regular Guru, but he's growing on us).  We let him know what we're thinking, and that we're very interested in IUI.  From our research, we've learned that the national average success rate is between 4-23%, depending on the clinic. That's a huge span, isn't it?!  The Guru said their current success rate is 10%, and that there sometimes seems to be an unexplained cumulative effect; your success rate goes up after three or four consecutive inseminations.  With that cumulative tendency in affect, we'd be looking at maybe a 30% success rate.  Not guaranteed, of course, and there's no promise that I'll have that cumulative effect, but we're looking at somewhere between 10-30%.  

In addition, we figured up the cost.  Which, not including lost income, would be $504 per month.  We're figuring we'd need to commit to a minimum of 5 months to get that cumulative effect and let it work for us, which brings us to just over $2500.  Strangely, we don't have that lying around.  In order to afford that, we'll take the next few months "off" -- no Clomid, no inseminations, no appointments.  Just going back to being normal people with normal lives.  That'll save us about $130 monthly, but that won't touch our IUI Total.  So, we'd be scraping all the time -- don't look for us to go anywhere or do anything.  We'll be saving.  

Of course, in increasing our chances of getting pregnant (30%!) we also have to seriously look at my miscarriage risk.  Dr. Guru put it at about 20%, up 5% from the national average for "normal" people (you know, people without PCOS, infertility, or a big butt).  Currently, losing a baby in utero or from prematurity is my Absolute Biggest Fear That Keeps Me Awake At Night.

Down the other road (that diverges in a wood?) is adoption.  We're currently looking into domestic adoption of a non-white or mixed race child.  There is a huge surplus of non-white children to be adopted because white families are wanting to adopt lily-white children that will look just like them.  We do not have this need.  Not knocking you if you choose to adopt yourself some white babies.  But I don't mind if all my kids are of different races, if they look like me, or not.  Sure, knowing what our genetic make-up would look like would be cool.  Having a baby sleeping in the crib by the bed would be faaaaar cooler, thanks.  If that kid is not white, I'm not really going to be bothered.  Want a baby now, thanks.  IUI wouldn't mean that we don't adopt if it doesn't work, just that we'd be putting on the far-back burner until we were done with treatments.

The drawback for adoption?  It's E X P E N S I V E, ya'll.  Like new-car-expensive.  Like new-cars-for-both-of-us, fully-loaded-expensive.  See above about not going anywhere, doing anything, skrimping and saving.  Woot.  And the wait could be months or years.  Based on the need for people to adopt non-white kiddos, probably shorter.  But still, it's not immediate.   Much like making one yourself, you know?  And did I mention it costs a lot?  Yep.

So, we're taking a while to examine our options, regroup, huddle and discuss our next down, and decide which path to take.  We'll be praying for wisdom and guidance, as well as acceptance of God's will.  We'd be most appreciative if you'd do the same for us.  I'm not sure when we'll have a decision, but you'll know where we're going when we do.  

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