Ok, so I have been waiting to write this post because I needed time to let things sink in, time to process it all. I have always been quick to react emotionally to our WTF appointments, partly I blame the residual hormones and partly I blame my emotional personality. I didn't want to write this post in my over emotional state, which I think was a good choice I feel like I've had time to settle down and think about what is important to me and it has really helped give me some clarity.
Let me start with our WTF appointment, which didn't go exactly as I thought it would. I went in fully prepared for my RE to bring up donors again, but he didn't. His current recommendation is that we get some second opinion consults. He recommended CCRM. He thinks that it would be a good idea to have another set of eyes look at our case and maybe they could come up with something he hasn't thought of. I brought up another clinic that I had looked at previously, when we were considering getting some second opinions, RMA NJ. I have always liked this clinic and besides having great success rates, they do a lot of clinical research studies, which besides advancing ART techniques, could save us some money if we qualify for a trial. My RE thought that RMA was also a great clinic and encouraged me to get a consult from them too. So today I have a consultation set up with Dr. Molinaro at RMA NJ on Feb. 26th and a consultation set up with Dr. Schoolcraft at CCRM on March 18th.
We did talk a little about additional testing and my RE was willing to do sperm DNA fragmentation assay for DH, even though he doesn't think this is an issue. I know that most cases of high DNA fragmentation present with other MFI factors, but I feel like this is important to rule out if we decide to move on to donor eggs. I would hate to spend money on a DE cycle only to have a similar outcome because DH has a DNA fragmentation issue. My RE also seems to not be in favor genetic testing for us, although he is ok with genetic testing of the embryos. His reasoning is that we can't change our DNA, so we should focus on finding the best normal embryo. I understand his argument, but also feel like genetic testing could help us decide which treatment option is right for us. If we found out that due to some genetic issues, we make a higher than normal number of abnormal embryos, and combined with the fact that we don't make a lot of embryos, would point towards moving on to donors.
In addition to looking into RMA NJ and CCRM, I have also printed some info on the NEDC or National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, TN. They run an Embryo Adoption program that has great successs rates. They do require a home study, like a regular adoption, so it would involve a little more paperwork, but overall is much more reasonably priced than another fresh IVF. I also left a message with FIRM about their embryo donation program. They do anonymous donation, so no home study required. The price is extremely reasonable, so I am interested in talking to the program director about this program.
DH and I have done a lot of talking and have come up with a tentative plan. We are going ahead with the consults, but as of right now don't plan on cycling at CCRM. The cost is just too high and if the cycle failed, we would be forced into a financial break. I've also heard some women are turned off by the clinic, it is a big clinic and I think some feel lost in the shuffle. Cycling at RMA is a possibility, depending on cost. We will have to wait and see how the consult goes and what kind of plan the RE comes up with. If we decide not to cycle with RMA, our plan is to look into embryo donation through FIRM. The program seems to have short waiting times and is reasonably priced. While I don't want financial concerns to decide our course of treatment, I also want to be able to afford to raise any child we might have. To do this, I can't spend every last penny I have on treatments. If FIRM falls through, we will probably look at the NEDC. Right now this feels like the right plan for us. Honestly I am excited about our plan. It feels great to have an idea how you will move forward, even if it not how you originally planned it.