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Forum: Trying to Conceive with Medical Assistance


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March 14th, 2010, 03:52 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 4,956
I have a question for you ladies...

As a few of you may know, my partner and I terminated a pregnancy in November last year, as our baby girl wasn't going to survive. After the termination, we all (baby included) had genetic testing to find out why she had the issues she did, and we discovered I have a 'Balanced Translocation' in my DNA.

Basically, most couples with this genetic disorder will have a number of miscarriages throughout their journey to parenthood, and it all depends on which chromozones match up with which (ie: if my 'normal' chromozones 3 and 15 match with my partners, we get a normal, healthy baby, however if either one of my 'normal' chromozones match up with one of the 'abnormal' ones, I should miscarry).

The doctor explained that if a couple conceive a baby that has an 'Unbalanced Translocation' in it's DNA, that they 'should' miscarry. If they miscarry around, say 7 weeks, then the next time they conceive a baby with that same genetic make-up, then a pattern generally starts to emerge, and they should miscarry around the same time (7 weeks).

The problem is that I didn't miscarry when I should have. The doctor told us that if I conceive a baby with the same genetic make-up as our last baby (normal chromozone 3 matched with chromozone 15 that had a little bit of 3 on it, so baby ended up with too much 3 and not enough 15), then I will most likely carry it until 11 weeks, when we'd have the CVS, then most likely have to terminate again.

The doctor is encouraging us to try again naturally before considering anything like IVF with PGD. He said we do have a chance of conceiving a 'normal' baby, or even a baby that has the same disorder that I have, who should develop normally but will have the same fertility problems that I do. He said that IVF is a very 'horrific' process and should be more of a last resort at this stage. I am however covered for IVF if we do decide to go down that road (which is great - saves us over $20K).

But for me, I can not imagine going through terminating again. THAT was horrific. It was the most heartbreaking, most emotionally painful experience I have ever been through... I in no way regret my decision as I know we would have lost her during the pregnancy. I know I 'should' have miscarried, but the doctor feels that because the baby ended up with so much extra '3' which is a really important chromozone, that is what kept her developing.

After much discussion, we have decided to try naturally. But over the last few days we have had so many friends telling us they think we are nuts. I wish we had been able to keep this quiet, but everyone know about what we went through and are now all asking questions and giving their options, saying they would start IVF as soon as possible. It no longer feels like making a baby is this beautiful, private thing between my DBF and I... I'm now starting to wonder if we should be going through IVF, just to prevent having to make a decision like terminating a pregnancy again...

So my question for those currently going through IVF... Is what you are going through truly that 'horrific'? If you were faced with what I'm going through, would you pick IVF with PGD over trying naturally?

I know that only my partner and I can be the ones to make this decision, as we are the ones that have to go through this... but I'm feeling so confused about it all

Thanks if you made it this far. Hopefully this all makes sense.
~ Tasha ~
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March 14th, 2010, 04:38 PM
KMH KMH is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: right of center
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First off, I'm so sorry for your loss. Having not had one, I know I cannot truly understand what you have been through, but my heart breaks for every woman who has had to go through that.

I would call what you had to go through "horrific." I would call infertility and the emotional trauma it causes "horrific." I don't think I would ever describe the process of IVF that way...at least not in my experience. I think if it were me, I'd give IVF w/ PGD a try rather than rolling the genetic dice and seeing what comes up.

For us, IVF seemed like the easy part of infertility. The hard part was the testing and waiting for results, the endless negative tests, watching our friends and siblings start their families, and the lack of answers about why this was happening to us. As you already mentioned, having a baby didn't seem "special" anymore...it seemed more like a public display of our failures as a husband and wife. Why couldn't we have a child like every other young, healthy married couple?

After 6 IUIs and Clomid, we decided to move ahead with IVF. I don't know how much you know about the process, so I'll describe what it was like for us. I took birth control pills for a month while we prepared financially and emotionally for the process. Then I took another month of birth control combined with an injection of Lupron to suppress my natural cycle and give my ovaries a "rest." We had to have STD testing, and DH had to do a specialized semen analysis. My official IVF cycle began with an ultrasound and bloodwork to ensure that everything was ready to go, and it was. During the next 10 days, I stuck myself with 4 needles per day, encouraging my body to grow lots of follicles, but not ovulate them until I gave my ovaries the command. By the 3rd day of the injections, I was feeling a little bloated, and by the end, I was wearing maternity jeans because my ovaries were enormous. I was sore and uncomfortable, but still went to work and did all my normal activites except vigorous exercise. During this time, I went to my RE for bloodwork and an u/s every other day so he could monitor my follicles and estrogen levels.

Finally, they were ready! I gave myself a shot of HCG, which would instruct my follicles to release the eggs. I went in for the retrieval, an outpatient minor surgery. The procedure itself only took about 20 minutes, and I don't remember a thing. I woke up a little groggy and sore, but DH and I went out for breakfast about 90 minutes later and I felt fine. During the next few days I was still sore and bloated, but I only took off of work the day of the retrieval. 5 days later we had the embryo transfer, which is just like an IUI. A nurse did an abdominal ultrasound while my RE injected the embryos into my uterus through a tiny tube he snaked through my cervix. After a couple days of bedrest, I felt completely normal again. Well, at least until I started getting those early symptoms...I was pregnant!

IVF was long, expensive (our insurance didn't cover anything), uncomfortable, and mentally tiring, but completely worth it. It can be really exhausting wondering and worrying about how many eggs you'll have, how many are healthy, how the fertilization is going in the lab, etc. etc...but with IVF that part is over in a couple of weeks. After you are actually pregnant, you get to have the same experiences that couples who conceive naturally have. Will you still worry? Of course. I'm learning that it is normal to freak out over every little thing. But in my opinion, you deserve to enjoy every single minute of your pregnancy that you possibly can, and it sounds like IVF would give you and your partner the best opportunity to do that.

Sorry for writing a novel. I hope something I wrote is at least a little bit helpful. Good luck with your difficult decisions...feel free to ask more questions and stick around with the ladies here; they have saved my sanity over the last 18 months.

Melissa & DH
IVF babies Claire (5), Abigail (3) and George (3)

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March 14th, 2010, 05:00 PM
Lash's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: North Texas
Posts: 17,716
Hey Tasha, I hate to see you over here from WTTC Grads, and I HATE what you've been going through. I think horrific is correct in describing this experience

I haven't been through IVF yet, but the longer we go through medical assistance, the more normal it becomes. I know that may not make sense, but it becomes less "mystical" as it used to seem to me, and just becomes "oh, ok, I take injections for a few days, go in for a procedure where they take out eggs, and they put those eggs back in a few days later". It really does start to seem pretty basic actually, and most doctors and nurses in the process are VERY very understanding and supportive
"I will make it through this because it is for her and for her, I will do anything. I am not brave, I am not strong, I am just Rhiannon’s mom". Our TTC/Adoption/Pregnancy Blog: Jump Over The Rainbow

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March 14th, 2010, 05:10 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 8,103
I'm so sorry for your loss. What a terrible thing to have to go through. I haven't been through IVF myself, and I can only speculate what I would do if I were in you shoes. But, I do think that I would choose to go with IVF w/ PGD rather than risk having to go through another termination again. I can't imagine what that was like. IVF is scary and it's a risk, but like Melissa said, it's all worth it in the end when you have that healthy baby in your arms.

I know there are others that have gone through IVF on this board that will pipe in with their experiences as well. I hope you can find some peace in whatever path you choose. And I also hope that you stick around, there is plenty of good advice and support to go around!

Yet another wonderful siggy by HeatherW.... thank you so much!!!

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March 14th, 2010, 05:23 PM
*CAMM*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: somewhere over the rainbow
Posts: 7,986
Im so sorry for your loss!!!

IVF isnt horrific but it isnt pleasant either. I have done IVF 3xs and its never worked, but I have lost one baby that we conceived naturally and that was the most painful experience I've ever had, even worse than the anxiety and unpleasantness of my IVF cycles.

I wont lie, its not romantic to conceive a baby thru IVF but it does bring couples together in a way that could never happen conceiving naturally.

If I were in your shoes I would choose IVF over ttc naturally.

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March 14th, 2010, 06:48 PM
Kobain's Mommy's Avatar Future A&M Aggies Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 2,585
I guess for us we were told even doing IVF with PDG wasn't guarantee any success. They told us that if they got say 15 eggs, and 10 were fertilized. We may end up with just one or two that could be transferred and none left to freeze. My RE also told us that there was one case he did that they didn't even have one because all the embryos were genetically unbalance. So for us we couldn't afford to throw $20K into something were we may end up with nothing to transfer. DH's translocation is on 3 and 12. We had two losses, one of those a set of twins before we found out. I lost the twins around 7 weeks and the singleton was 4weeks.

We chose to do one more round of clomid before moving on. It did end up working for us, but it sounded like be doing injectables with IUI.

made by BAM

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March 14th, 2010, 08:29 PM
KDD's Avatar
KDD KDD is offline
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 16,068
Tasha I don't know what to say. We've conceived only once on our own and that ended in a loss 2 nearly 10 weeks. That was a horrible experience and so far no part of our IVF experience has been as bad as that will ever be.

Maybe before you make a decision you should ask your Dr. to clarify why he says that IVF is a "horrific" process? If it's because of the emotional toil that it takes then, especially in your situation, I would consider it a non-issue. Infertility and loss is stressful no matter what.

No matter what you decide we will all support you.

Missing our Angel since April 11, 2008
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March 14th, 2010, 08:34 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 4,956
Thank you so much for your words of support. I really do appreciate it.

Melissa - thank you for describing the IVF process to me. I guess that doesn't sound all that 'horrific' at all! Obviously very emotionally and physically demanding, but not horrific... Congrats on your little miracle by the way

Lash - yep, would much rather NOT be posting here, but hey, it means I get to hang out with all you lovely ladies! At what stage of medical assistance are you in now (if you don't mind me asking!)?.

Nicole - we were all set to TTC naturally again, but on hearing that a large amount of IVF with PGD will be paid for by the government, it has me questioning our decision. If, like you, we had to pay the $20K+ ourselves, then I don't think we'd be considering it at all (although we had started saving as we considered IVF with PGD a 'back-up' plan).

If my body did what yours did (ie miscarry), then I think I'd be happier with the idea of TTC again naturally... not to say a miscarriage wouldn't be a horrible experience, because obviously it would be... But I would much rather my body make the decision for me, rather than me have to decide to terminate.

I too, would be really concerned that there woudn't be any suitable embryos to transfer, but I guess I'd rather hear that, instead of 'your baby isn't going to survive and we recommend you terminate'.

So much to consider...

At this stage we won't be TTC naturally this cycle as DBF is on a work trip out of the country. Then we'll only have one 'natural' cycle to try before our appointment in May to go over IVF with PGD. So I guess we'll just try that once, then see what they have to say at our appointment.
~ Tasha ~
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March 14th, 2010, 08:41 PM
Lash's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: North Texas
Posts: 17,716
It does sound like IVF could be a better option- I am pretty uneducated on what I'm about to ask, but can they somehow check the embryo's for genetic data before transferring? I mean if that's an option, that seems like it would be awesome!

Oh duh, sorry for some reason I didn't see IVF WITH PGD for some reason when I read

To be honest, that seems the perfect route to go. I'd go with that 10,000000x before I'd try again naturally

I mean naturally you risk implantation of an egg that will carry a higher risk of the DNA problems, whereas IVF seems to really narrow down to the more healthy eggs that will go towards a healthy pregnancy and healthy birth. If I was in that situation, I'd want some tool to get me towards a healthy pregnancy instead of risking it
"I will make it through this because it is for her and for her, I will do anything. I am not brave, I am not strong, I am just Rhiannon’s mom". Our TTC/Adoption/Pregnancy Blog: Jump Over The Rainbow

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March 15th, 2010, 01:36 AM
mom2myJo's's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,662
Hi Tasha,

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I too had a loss in 2004 where I wasn't able to miscarry and I had to have a D&C to help me out. I had complications from the D&C and due to cysts and a dermoid four months after the D&C I had to have my left Ovary removed. I have not gone through IVF but I have a friend that had her 3 month old die from a genetic disorder of Nonketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH) , which was not curable. If she could afford the IVF she would hands down go for that instead of natural TTC , and if I was in the same boat I would do IVF hands down. I hope you get the answers you need about the IVF process.
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March 15th, 2010, 06:41 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 232
I just have one thing to add. We took a leap of faith into IVF and my son just turned 2...he was our second IVF attempt. IVF is not pleasant, not cheap, and not guaranteed...but to me these are not reasons to risk not having a family. I absolutely cannot imagine my life without my boy. For me, it is worth it!

************************************************** ********
10/04 - Off BCP and started TTC on our own
08/05 - Started Chlomid w/ IUI - did several with ob/gyn - all BFN
03/06 - First RE pppt
04/06 - Another IUI with RE - BFN
05/06-06/06 - DH's varicocele surgery to treat low count/motility/morphology and my lap to remove minor endo and cyst on left tube
08/06 - IUI w/inj - BFN
11/06 - IVF #1 - BFP...but ruptured ectopic - emergency surgery to remove left fillopian tube
02/07-03/07 - Appt with new RE and yet another IUI - BFN
05/07 - IVF #2 - BFP!!!!! Our beautiful son was born on 02/27/2008
12/08 - Suprise BFP...but low beta #'s...miscarriage =(
03/09 - Getting ready for IVF#3 but... ANOTHER SUPRISE BFP???!!! 9dpo! Heartbeat at 6 weeks!
04/09 - No HB at 9.5 week US. D&C 4/15. I'm devastated and feel like I have nothing left.
05/09 - First AF after m/c on 5/24. Back on the TTC trail...ho-hum
02/10 - Back to the RE for Clomid/IUI ... BFN
03/10 - Started BCP for IVF in APRIL!!! I haven't been this excited in ages!

4/14/2010 - RETRIEVAL DAY!!!! 28 EGGS/ 18 mature/13 fertilized!!!
4/17/2010 - Transfer of a 8-cell grade 1-2 AND a 7-cell grade 1 ... 10 three-day embies on ice
6dp3dt - squinter-BFP on Answer
9dp3dt - Beta #1 = 65
11dp3dt - Beta #2 = 218
1st Sono 5/7 - 7mm gestational sac with visible yolk sac
2nd Sono 5/14 - 111 bpm CRL 4.6mm
3rd Sono 5/21 - 142 bpm CRL 12.8 mm
4th Sono 5/28 - 170 bpm CRL 18.5 mm
5th Sono 6/7 - 170 bpm CRL 26.2 mm
NT Scan 6/28 - Beautiful Baby!!!!

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March 15th, 2010, 11:19 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,398
If it were not for IVF, I wouldn't have my 3 little ones. I reallly think you should do IVF with PGD. I wouldn't want to roll the genetic dice, I'd be so scared to have to terminate. For me, IVF was actually exciting b/c I felt like I was doing my best chance to conceive, since we can't conceive naturally. Good luck whatever you decide!

Thank you to *Kiliki* for creating the perfect siggy!

"Victory is sweetest when you have known defeat" ~Malcolm Forbes

IUI #1 - Nov 07 = BFN, IUI #2 - Dec 07 = BFN
IVF #1 - Apr 08 = BFN
IVF #2 - Nov 18
Dec 2 - Beta 1: 198!! Dec 4 - Beta 2: 660!!
Dec 15 - 1st U/S - We're having twins!!!
Dec 23 - 2nd U/S - Surprise it's triplets!!!
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March 15th, 2010, 01:45 PM
rebeccabaltimore and more's Avatar (rebeccabaltimore)
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,732
Hi Kiwi.

I have not done IVF. (I did do IUI with injectables, and it was a tough process.) However, I have terminated for poor prenatal diagnosis. And for a while we thought that the cause of our son's loss was genetic. We made the decision to go through IVF with PGD if the disease we thought was the problem (Fanconi Anemia) actually was. We absolutely could not face going through another termination again, even if it meant spending $20,000 and going through IVF. We just couldn't do it. Luckily for us, our son's loss was caused by something non-genetic. But we knew we would do PGD if it had been.


Thank you Vicki for my awesome siggy!!

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