04 July 2007

You can't improve, so just give up

And I quote:

"It's not likely that we can improve upon this in another cycle. It would probably be more logical to consider other options such as adoption and egg donation."

So after being told I should wait for the letter from the RE to make a follow-up appointment, not wanting to wait, then finding out there are no appointments until August, we got the letter. Last cycle, there was at least a hand-written note on the letter. This was straight-on typed, and I'm not even sure the signature isn't a stamp.

The last Barren Bitches Book Tour covered the book by Peggy Orenstein, waiting for daisy (I read the books, but don't do the tours, because book club and book tour stuff makes me feel stupid.) There were so many moments where I nodded and held back a, "you go, girl." But when I got to this paragraph, just a day after getting the letter from my clinic, I jumped up and shouted, "Hallelujah!" Hubby and I had discussed this very thing two weeks before.
"I felt like the high roller whose new friends disappeared when his stake was gone. The caring brochures, the chummy smiles, the warm affect of the clinic "team" seemed abruptly stripped away, revealing nothing more than a cold-blooded business. We had wanted so desperately to believe that we had ignored the sales pitch in the compassion, the coercion in the photographs of babies and sunflowers. But I finally got it - these guys may have been doctors, but they were also salesmen. I may have been a patient, but I was also a consumer. I was undergoing a procedure, but I was also making a deal - and they were making a buck."- Peggy Orenstein, waiting for daisy
We didn't perform up to our clinic's expectations, the odds are we will continually fail and that will make them look bad.

But, they "were pleased to obtain 3 mature eggs and one immature egg."

What's wrong with that? Why do we have spit out 15, 20, 25 eggs each cycle? So what if only 2 fertilize? I'd only want 2 embryos transferred, anyway. Hubby has had a few conversations with an RE we got friendly with at a conference a while back. He told us that the down side of being plied with maximum dosages of gonal-f, lupron, repronex, etc., etc., while increasing the number of follicles and eggs produced, is the potential for chromosomal damage to the embryo. In which case, nature (usually) intervenes and prevents the embryo from implanting and maturing.

Alrighty then. Why did my RE never tell me this? I've never seen this mentioned in my own research, I've only ever seen the warnings of cancer risks to the patient. All the conversations about cancelling this cycle because of my low response, no one ever said, "and y'know, there's a chance that even if we do eggs, the embryos will be so genetically damaged, they won't implant anyway."

What's wrong with doing a regular cycle, with minimum meds, getting one or two follies, one or two eggs? Ostensibly, I ovulate every month anyway. In theory, I'm already producing one egg each month that is going to waste. So what if I don't get extra embryos to freeze? So what if we don't have a choice of the "best" egg and the "best" embryo? People who get pg that other way - y'know, using "sex" - don't get a choice. What the fuck difference does it make? Seriously?

I remembered a clinic whose focus is low-dose cycles being mentioned in an issue of ATIME's magazine a while back and decided to look them up. They're our next phone call. And we're not buying into any caring brochures, chummy smiles or photos of babies and sunflowers.


For extra credit, some light reading: Daily Mail article


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8 Comments:

At 4/7/07 8:48 PM, Blogger Rachel Inbar said...

I've been thinking about you... Well, this is a really stinky way to hear their opinion. Kind of sounds as if they were too chicken to say it to you to your face. Maybe because they know it's stupid to turn someone in your situation down.

I hope the other clinic has more positive things to offer you.

 
At 4/7/07 9:43 PM, Blogger Stacie said...

That letter really makes me mad. How dare they tell you something like that in a letter and not even have the decency to speak to you "until August". That is hogwash! I don't care how busy they are...you deserve a timely follow-up appointment!

Drop those suckers and move on to a better clinic! Sounds like you already plan to do just that!

I just wanted to say that I think the lupron and bcps over surpressed me. I had a much better response to the antagon protocol without the lupron and bcps. It is just a thought. I have also heard of the low-dose cycles being an option. (Have you checked ivfconnections.com? I could swear that there are postings on the low-dose options.)

Don't give up on your dream after this bad experience with a bad clinic. You deserve a chance to work with a clinic that will modify their protocols so they best match your response.

Take care.

 
At 4/7/07 9:52 PM, Anonymous Meg said...

Projgen - I was going to say that - sometimes women who the clinic deems "poor responders" do better with low doses of gonal. Ellie at "Dinner Table Talk... I think not" had a number of cancellations before they finally tried a lower dose protocol, and she started getting more eggs.

I hate that your clinic treated you like that. I hate that it's all about THEIR statistics,not your desire to be a parent.

 
At 4/7/07 11:39 PM, Blogger Lut C. said...

That does seem rather blunt, to give you a letter without offering an appointment.

It's hard to know if they're telling the honest truth about your chances or protecting their statistics. There's no way of knowing. Perhaps a second opinion will give you a clue.

 
At 5/7/07 12:17 AM, Blogger megan said...

why is it so impossible for that clinic to SPEAK to people? i really don't get it. i'm sorry. it's good to hear from you though. if you ever want to break the blog barrier and meet up to vent about them in person, email me.

 
At 5/7/07 9:59 AM, Blogger Bea said...

Oh, wow, PG. I'm so sorry about this letter.

First, I'd like to agree that this would have been much better in person. For you, I mean. And the feeling abandoned etc etc.

I appreciate that sometimes there's nothing more to add (that's not always bad news - sometimes it does just take more tries) and I appreciate being forthright about donors/adoption if it needs to be said. I even appreciate "letting a patient off the hook" when they want to give up but need "permission" in the form of their doctor saying it's logical to do so. But there's a right way.

And if you're not ready to give up - and it sounds like no - I agree you should NOT do so without a second opinion. It doesn't seem to me like you need to give up hope, unless you want to.

Bea

 
At 6/7/07 1:00 AM, Blogger Princess Peach said...

OMG, I can't beleive a clinic would treat their patients in this matter. Unbeleivable!

I hope the new clinic will be honest and personable with you. Best of luck.

 
At 6/7/07 7:05 PM, Blogger projgen said...

A bad attitude and a bad letter doesn't necessarily make for a bad clinic. There are a lot of people who think this clinic is wonderful. Even I don't think this clinic is bad, I'm just really unhappy with the way I'm being treated post-cycle.

But you all have given me good feedback about this low-dose option. I thought it was just a fluke-y kind of thing, but I'm seriously going to look into it! Thank you!

 

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