My sidebars are woefully out-of-date (new blogs and links need added, the reading list needs updating), but you might notice a change in the "Next Step" feature over there on the left. That's right, I've scheduled a consultation with my fifth RE for February 9. Back when we first started trying to get pregnant, I certainly never thought we'd be sitting here four years, seven IUIs, two IVFs, and five reproductive endocrinologists later...
Over the past few months, we've been weighing our options and being weighed down by them. IVF, donor embryos, adoption in some form, stepping away from active family building for a while - if you spin out all the variables, we had about six or seven possibilities on the table. When people have asked us how to pray, we solicited prayer for discernment among all the choices and unity in whatever decision we made.
A little over a week ago, those prayers were answered. During a dinner date, we talked over the options and felt no closer to decision or action. We left to go home; I got into the car while Aaron brushed snow and scraped ice off of all the windows. As I sat in the passenger seating waiting, a sudden shift in thinking made the way clear. You see, we had essentially sorted the possibilities into two categories: the medical category (containing procedures covered by our insurance) and the adoption category (containing domestic or international adoption). Oh, and there was also a do-nothing category. Anyway, we have two more cycles covered by insurance, and we had been debating between doing fresh IVF or using donor embryos for a frozen embryo transfer (FET). The revelation on that date night was this: the donor embryo option really belonged in the adoption category, not the medical category. If the Lord leads us to adopt, then we can consider whether to adopt at the 100-cell stage, the newborn stage, or the todler stage. If we want to exhaust our insurance coverage, we ought to use it for IVF, our last realistic chance at biological children and a procedure that we could never afford without the insurance coverage. (FET costs quite a bit less than IVF, and if we choose to adopt, we'd be fund-raising for that regardless.) Looking at the options in that new light, Aaron and I both feel confident that our next step is to try IVF again.
That leads us to the consulation with RE #5, whom I'm hoping will work within our convictions and desires to fertilize a limited number of eggs (maybe six?) and transfer all the resulting viable embryos. This clinic (which I had called way back when we originally left the care of Dr. Peppy) seems more familiar with couples in our situation. They even have an egg-freezing program, which may not be a workable option for us but which at least indicates a degree of flexibility that I haven't seen with the last two doctors. Still, we won't know for sure until I've actually met with this doctor, so please pray that he will actually be amenable to our preferences. We're grateful for the prayers that brought us to this point and excited to have a plan of action again!