We got our information pack from the Rainsbury Clinic in London. They also offer IVF with PGD, and do most of the work at their clinic in London and then you just travel abroad for the actual procedure itself. I think they use a clinic in Kentucky, and you're there for 9 days, which isn't so bad. Only problem is they don't give you prices until you have a consultation with them so they can discover exactly what treatment you will need and what course of action to take, and the consultation is £200 straight off. I heard a rumour that the Rainsbury Clinic charge £10k for their services. No way would we pay that for one cycle, no matter how desperate we were!
We're so unsure of what to do to be honest. Once DHs got this big job out the way, then there's the possibility we may go to the US for a month, in which case we might as well kill two birds with one stone and have the treatment there whilst we're in town, so to speak. But then Belgium is so much more explainable then the USA... I mean, what would we tell people we're going to America for?! It's feasible there may be business there that DH could do, hence the possibility of living there for a month, but it's unlikely unless he goes looking for it specifically. Whereas Belgium is so much easier to explain as he does occasionally have to go there on business trips.
But then going to America could be really good fun!!! I know of two people from the UK who are using/used the Belgium clinic... One was unsuccessful and travelled out to the US for her second round of treatment and the other is just about to start hers...
The other thing is I really, REALLY hate Belgium. I find it so ugly and depressing there. The people are nice enough but the country... I'd almost rather go to France and I hate France too as it's so dirty.
Whereas I love America, such a fun country and I find it really amusing that our very obvious traditional middle-upper class English accents make everyone think we're from Australia!!!!
DH thinks we should go for America too... I just don't know. We basically have a choice of one clinic in Belgium (driveable too), one in London that then transfers us to Kentucky for a week (mainly driveable apart from Kentucky part), California, or Virginia.
I might have been tempted to go to Virginia as it's closer and the flight would be shorter. We could fly to New York, hire a car and drive down to Virginia in no time. We do longer drives then that for fun, so it wouldn't bother us at all. Hell, we could even get over there for our consultation rather then doing it over the phone and have a nice romantic weekend together.
Grrr.... You'd have thought that deciding on the clinic would be easy... So far it seems to be the hardest part of the whole process! I got all the facts and figures and medical jargon I need. I think I know exactly how it all works now and what medication I am most likely to have to take etc, and that's all OK. Not too worried about any of that except the needles as I have a massive phobia.... I know there's a chance it may not work too, but have kind of prepared myself mentally for that. I know the finances are kind of an issue although come August they won't be so that's OK too.... But can we decide on WHERE we want to have it done?! NO!
Thanks to Tammy, I have started making a list of all the questions I want to ask during our consultation. And it doesn't seem so bad now... I even know the answers to some of them I just want to ask them anyway so I can hear them say it! That sounds stupid, I mean I want clarification even though I know the answer really.
Anyway, I have just found out that the units we're currently building and have been building the last day or so.... Well, we were told they needed 6, so we made up 7 and now they've just told us they want 8 - TODAY. We haven't even got the parts, let alone the time to build and program more. Plus the kids are really playing up and we keep getting interrupted every two bloody minutes. This is bespoke design data monitoring devices - do they seriousely expect us to just be able to know a few extra ones up in a few minutes?!!!!!
Ho-hum... We'll manage I suppose. But better go and get on with it now....
I can already tell this whole thing is going to be an emotional rollercoaster ride. DH and I sat down to dinner together last night, for the first time in ages as we've just been too busy and were talking about the IVF. It was actually really good because it made us question a lot of things, and think in more depth about what we were going to do in certain situations.
We're going to probably pay for two cycles right at the beginning. The discounts are better if you pay up front, and obviousely there's no sure way of knowing whether the first cycle will result in a pregnancy or not... So we're thinking we'll definately pay for two cycles up front, and possibly three but we need to find out more about the costs.
If truth be told I hadn't realised that one "cycle" of IVF meant two cycles, not two actual cycles but I had realised that they'd need to shut down my hormone production the month before so that they can switch it back on at double or triple speed for the cycle we actually want to go for.
That makes America very difficult. DH said we could still do it, by basically moving out there for 2-3months, but I'm not sure it's fair to uproot the kids out of school for 2 months and then come back and plonk them back in. I mean, as a child, I'd have loved that and I'm sure it'd be a big adventure to them but I don't know if it's right, as a parent to uproot your children like that? I don't know. It doesn't really sound like a viable option to me at all.
Because one of the main things about the procedure that has been stressed to me right from the start of my research is that I have to be relaxed and not stressed, so although Belgium is not thrown out it has moved down the list. And that really just leaves London, with a 9 day trip to Kentucky. But I heard rumour that the London clinic charge £10k... So today my missio, apart from working on GhostFest, is to find out proper prices from them. LOL
The other thing we talked about was the actual embryo's themselves. I'm not particularly in the way of thinking about them as babies yet, more as potential babies and I'm in a real moral dilemma over what to do with regards to this. I don't think I could just have them destroyed, especially knowing (as we would) that they are healthy little embryo's. DH felt the same way. But I don't know what other options there are. Can we freeze them incase the first cycle of IVF doesn't work? I guess that's something to ask during our consultation... The other option we were thinking of was donating them to a couple who can't have children... But I'm not sure whether I'd feel worse then, then if they were destroyed. Knowing that there was a child/children of ours (genetically) out there somewhere.
DH is very up for the donating thing, but I don't think I can. I couldn't let my embryo's go to someone I don't know. If I knew the person, that'd be fine because then at least I know they'd bring the resulting baby up well, but to just any old stranger....? I don't know... I bet they'd look like our boys as well, with blond hair and blue eyes. The wondering would kill me I think.... And to be honest, it made me slightly cross that DH would happily give away our embryo's to someone he didn't know but he wouldn't consider adoption? I don't really get how it's different? To me it'd feel like I was adopting out my potential child/ren... I guess that's really stupid, but I just can't stand the thought (right now) of someone else bringing up children who are genetically ours. I would never agree to DH donating sperm for this reason - to me it'd feel almost like he'd cheated and got someone else pregnant even though the reality is very different and I know he hasn't.
I guess these are all issues we will have to work through. Especially me with the embryo's thing... After all my miscarriages I just don't know how I will feel with that. But then I don't really even know IF there IS an option other then to destroy them, so I guess there's no point worrying over it right now.
I think DH is going to tell MIL today. He already told her and she was very interested but they didn't have time to chat. She was a little shocked by the timescales we are hoping to do it in, but to be honest Ashton will be 1 and if we do successfully get pregnant he'd be almost 2 by the time the new baby comes along.... That's not a horrifically close gap in my eyes. Well it is, I hate having two year gaps between children but that seems to be how things work for me! LOL
Truth be told I'm terrified of being pregnant again. Not because of any real reason except the pain from SPD. I was told at my last appointment that next time there is a very strong chance I will end up in a wheelchair. But then I don't really see the point in worrying about it. Essentially I am healthy right now, and eating properly and cutting out my wine. It doesn't matter how long I wait to have another baby, that pain will always be an issue now. I could wait ten years and it'd still be as bad. That is the nature of the beast with SPD. It ALWAYS comes back worse then before. I'm happy to go through it once again. But only once. After this next baby I am stopping and will not be having anymore children. I'll have five children and five is enough. Four beautiful boys, and a gorgeous little princess. (Hopefully!)
The only other problem we can think of is the travel abroad. DH is uncomfortable with us going abroad even for only 9 days without the kids. The reality is we can't take them unless we take someone else who will basically babysit them for us for almost the entire time. And if someone is going to do that then they might as well do it here in our home country so the boys can still attend school. We're not sure what to do with regards to the kids. DH is very uncomfortable with leaving them, but not happy for me to go alone, so we're at a bit of a stalemate. I suggested we could leave them for 9 days, get back with armfulls of presents then whisk them off on a holiday for a week... But we're not really sure. Then there's always the question of who has them. My Mum isn't really fit enough, I don't particularly like the idea of MIL having them either... I think we may have to go for MIL staying at our house with the boys, as I think it's probably the only way they can still continue to go to school but I'm just uncomfortable with the idea.
I guess these are all really problems to sort out some other time, later down the line. But we're planners and we like to have an action plan and a backup plan well in advance to us actually doing anything!!!
Anyway, I better go and get in touch with the London clinic! Oh, and I've got to order some Ovulation Predictor Kits off Ebay too!
OMG, We just this minute faxed our paperwork over to GIVF in Virginia.... Scary! We phoned them first and asked a few questions and they said apparently the Dr will review our history and notes and let us know in 3-5 business (I guess that is the same as working) days!!!! So soon! Aargh!
I'm nervous now!
We're just looking at flights. Bless her, the lady on the end of the phone sounded really surprised to hear from us. And even more surprised when we asked if we could choose a time and date for our consultation seeing as we'll need to fit our travel around it. She said "we do the consultation over the phone with you" and we pointed out we didn't want over the phone (I have a horrible phobia of phones at the best of times and can only speak to my Mum and DH), we were happy to travel over for the weekend so we could meet and ask our questions in person.
I think it's fair to say she thinks we're mad!!!
So, I guess it's just a waiting game. I'm really stressing already over what we'll do. Do with go with the IVF with PGD, or should we just do the gender thing and go for IUI with Microsort?! At any rate, this clinic offers both, so it's not too bad! I guess I've been thinking about it a lot the last few days and I'm in a real moral dilemma over what to do with any remaining embryo's if we go the IVF route. I really don't think I could adopt them out, I couldn't donate them anon, I couldn't destroy them knowing they were healthy and potentially viable, and DH doesn't like the idea of donating them to research. There's no point us freezing and keeping them if the IVF worked as we don't plan anymore children... So we're kind of stuck.
I guess what it comes down to is talking through all this with the Dr involved, asking our questions and then making an informed decision.
I'd almost rather do the IUI with a higher "risk" of having another boy, then discarding embryo's who're healthy. And there are some good points for IUI. We were filling out our pregnancy history and looking back at it, we've only ever once not got pregnant the first time we were trying. That time it took two months. Infact one of my miscarriages, I got pregnant despite the fact we only did it once that month using a condom!!! So I suppose, it's fair to say we have a good chance of getting pregnant first time.... And I guess if they've sorted DHs sperm and as best as possible only gathered the "girl" sperm, and artificially inseminate... If we still had a boy, then I suppose it would be fate right?! And I guess I'm just not good enough for a girl.
IUI saves us a lot of money and hassle too... We'd only probably need to go stateside twice, for a couple of days each time. We figure we're going to have a romantic weekend a way for the consultation. And then when we go back for the IUI that'll only be a small matter of days too... I heard someone say they were only there for 3/4 days when they had theirs done. I don't know if I believe it was that little but we'll find out soon enough.
I guess my main fear is how I will feel with not knowing the baby's gender.... I mean, I'll be on tenter hooks then whole 15/16 weeks until we found out via private scan and what if we found out it was another boy? Having spent all that money and effort? Will I hate the baby? Will I regret him? Will I go through yet another pregnancy miserable and depressed because of baby's gender like I did with my last pregnancy.
Hell, I could happily and would happily put up with every horrific, painful complication pregnancy can throw at me for a girl.... But for a boy? I'm not sure I'd be so happy. I remember how I felt when I found out Ashton was another boy. It was the first time I'd actively felt I knew the baby's gender before my scan and so it wasn't a huge shock when the sonographer said boy... But the rest of my pregnancy I hated him. I really hated him. I wished all sorts of horrible things would happen to him. I threatened abortion. I prayed for a late miscarriage. I just didn't care. I was in horrible agony, and took to fighting for the one thing I knew I could, which was my homebirth, despite the fact medically I was putting both mine and his life at risk.
As it turns out I was closer to that risk then I realised. He was born with a true knot in his cord. Something that is normally fatal. I think the real crux of it was that I felt right from the beginning something was wrong with him. I knew he was a he from the moment of conception. I never really kidded myself that he was a she. But I was convinced he'd die. And I guess once I found out I was having a fourth boy I just wanted it over and done with. Strangely I never really thought he'd make it past birth so I didn't want to get close to him at all.
Then he was born, alive. Kicking and screaming and the most beautiful thing I'd ever lain my eyes on. Delivered by my own hands. And nobody touched us for those first few moments and I knew he was special. And I felt guilt. Horrible, horrible amounts of guilt.
I never want to feel that way again. I never want to wish my baby dead and I never want to feel that guilt because I was so horribly, horribly wrong.
Thankfully I discovered shortly afterwards that I wasn't the only one who had those feelings. It seems to be something that a lot of pregnant women go through. Gender disappointment I think they call it. So even though you're in love with your new baby, you kind of mourn the death of a dream that never was. I guess that doesn't make any sense.
I don't think I really make much sense these days! I tend to ramble on because my brain won't sleep! :P LOL
I have a horrible feeling GIVF are going to come back and say we're not suitable. I just have this horrible gut feeling that won't go away.
So, my list of stuff to get done next week includes:-
Start pregnancy vitamins again (a question on the forms and I realised I've never even thought of taking them seeing as I never took them in my previous pregnancies!)
Pay for ovulation predictor kits
Look for nice accomodation and flights.
Quit my wine intake.
Start eating breakfast again
A scary, scary thing I found out today. Apparently all the women in my maternal side go through early menopause. ALL OF THEM.
Not much hope for me in that case is there. Which is just as well seeing as I point blank refuse to have babies past the age of 28. Not because I think you're too old after that age, just because I've got things I always planned and dreamed of doing, and I don't want to be in my 30s running around after a snotty, screaming toddler. I'll be battering my snotty, screaming teenagers around by then instead!!! LOL It does amuse me though, thinking that in ten years time my oldest will be 15, and my youngest will be around 8/9. I'll only be 33!!! How cool is that?!
Anyway, I'm going to stop rambling. I think the further into posts I go the more disjointed it becomes and the harder I find it to stop typing!
I expect AF to leave the house today sometime. Thank God. I hate bleeding! Yuck!
Sorry for my vent yesterday. I really do love Ashton, he's such a cute, sweet, mild mannered, happy little man. He really adds a shining light to our family and I'd never switch him for a girl in a million years.
I know if we had another boy I would feel the same about him as I do for all my other wonderful little boys. There's no question in my mind.
Besides, with the IUI they say once they've sorted the sperm and seperated it then for girls there is a 88% sort (so 88% of the sperm on average are girlie ones) and of those 91% of babies born will be girls... That's a fairly high rate in my eyes, and sometimes it's higher and sometimes it's lower on the sort. They tell you that at the time. I'll be happy if our sort comes out with 90% girl sperm or more. That way if we still had a boy then at least I know that he is there despite all the odds being against him! Actually that's quite a cool thought!!!
We're writing up a list of questions today to ask at our consultation. Should be fun.... It's taking us ages and seems to be mostly silly little questions. I'll write the list up once we've finished!
Better get off now! Really got nothing to say today once DH announced he wants the babies middle name if it's a girl to be Virginia.
Not much to report today. We're just making up a list of questions for our consultation. I really hope we get accepted but I'm not feeling very optomistic about it all. Apparently they phone us to let us know whether we've been accepted. Microsort is a clinical trial at the moment so I heard they're quite picky about who they accept? I don't know if that's true or not. In one way I'd have thought we were good candidates because we almost always get pregnant first time, but in another we're really BAD candidates in that I normally then go on to miscarry.
The problem is they said it's only an hours consultation but we have so many questions I'm worried an hour won't cover it all...
Anyway, some practicalities come into play. Do we stay somewhere close by but a bit grotty, or somewhere nice but a bit further out?
I suppose the Residence Inn is better because it's so close... Not my idea of romantic though. We normally stay in hotel suites with four poster beds and old English charm and these are... Well... Not romantic.
But I suppose it doesn't matter. They're cheap and we'll probably only be there a couple of nights...
Anyway I better be off, I want to sell at least two GhostFest stands this week and we've got so much work on with DHs business I'm not sure how we're going to manage it all...
Woooo!!! I got a free five day trial on Fertility Friend!!!! Yippee! I can't wait to pay for full membership again, it was so useful before, whether we were trying for a baby or trying to prevent!
I suppose it's silly that I'm so excited by that!
Not much to report today, just another hectic but boring day. DH and I have so much work to do, I'm not sure how we're going to manage it with the boys. Today isn't too bad, we're just programming I think as the dataloggers are all made up and assembled. Wednesday will be terrible I think... I'm going to have to find someone who will have the boys all day cos I think we have to be on site and I think I need to be there too. I'm not sure though so will have to ask DH what's going on this week!
Not much to report on the baby-making front. I keep dreaming about it. I keep dreaming that we go and it works first time and we get our girl. But in my head I know it won't happen like that, it's not likely too, either that or it does happen and then I miscarry again. LOL And all of this and we don't even know yet if we've been accepted on the trial.
DH hates me calling it a clinical trial. FIL was supposed to be starting one last month to try and battle his cancer and give him a bit longer. He died though before it could even get started. I think the phrase just gets to DH. We want to pretend that this is a baby we're having naturally. Not one we're "manufacturing" because we're not lucky enough to produce a girl ourselves. And besides, I hate to think what people will say to or about her if they ever found out. People are arseholes most of the time, they can't see past their own needs and wants and beliefs.
I found some really lovely furniture for her room. Unfortunately because she'll be the only girl (unless we have multiples! :P ) she gets the smallest room in the house, which is currently DHs office. I want some really nice furniture for her room but I'm not sure it'll fit in there so as soon as we know we're getting a girl I'm having DH drag his office into our room so I can measure up and see if it will fit! It's so pretty though, stressed white with heart detail! Very girlie!
I hope my little girl is a girlie one! :P I was never very girlie myself, but my sister is and it was always so much fun buying things for her. Lovely dresses, cute shoes and boots, fiddling with her hair, buying her make-up...
We've been discussing names again. We really like Anya, but others we're tossing up are Caleigh, Serenity, Annabella (not my cup of tea) and Brooke. I really want a pretty, girlie name that's slightly unusual!
Anyway, I better be off and work! I probably won't update here until I have something real to say, as it seems kind of pointless posting about nothing... Especially as I ramble on about it!!!!
My thoughts and prayers are going out to Cazz right now... STICK BABY STICK!!!!
I can't even remember where I am in my cycle. I'm still pretty upset about the email we got... But I guess looking at it from the bright side that gets rid of a lot of the indecision we had as to whether we should do IUI or IVF with PGD. We have no choice now, it's IVF or nothing.
Only problem is that limits us a bit more. We basically have two choices. Move to America for a month or so or going to the clinic in London who charge well over £10,000 for ONE cycle.
I don't know what would be better. I couldn't stand to be away from everyone by myself for a month, and I'm not sure how fair it is to pull the boys out of school. I don't actually think when all things are considered that going to America for a month will be any cheaper then paying the extortionate fee's of the London clinic.
DH is pretty set on the London Clinic. He says the money doesn't really matter, it's very convenient and would mean we only need to be out the country for a week during the whole treatment.
I've got intouch with the London clinic at any rate. It's about £200 for a consultation but I've asked for one anyway.
I suppose the other good thing that's come out of all this is that apparently the success rates are higher of getting pregnant, we'll know the embryo's put back are healthy ones and we'll definately get our girl!
We have pretty much decided to freeze any remaining embryo's (assuming there are any) until we really decide what to do with them, but at this point in time we're swaying towards donating them for research purposes unless we can find someone who really needs them and is willing to have a very open adoption and become extended family, so the kids could be like cousins.
Anyway, that's pretty much where we are now. It looks like big bucks at the London Clinic for us. Just waiting for the Dr to call us back and tell us when our consultation with him will be.
I am so confused now... I did a search for the London clinic guy and all that comes up is reports about him being sued, how he conned people out of tons of money... I haven't found one good success story yet! Aaaaarrrggghhhh!
However, I have found a number of US based places, so I guess we're going to America for a month or so!
DH is happy as this is what he wanted all along, we have been considering moving over there anyway in a few years when business is established, so this will give us a bit of a taste of things I suppose. We were supposed to have moved to Ohio in 2001, got all our work permits and Visa's through only I was too far pregnant with Tristan and we couldn't get any insurance to cover our medical expenses for the birth. DH refused to go without me and we'd bought our first house and moved in just 3 days before the papers came through (we'd given up and thought it would never happen so bought a house here!).....
I have asked a number of clinics for quotes, just waiting to hear back whether they will do it or not. I'm hoping we can go to the Florida clinic. Villa's are easy to rent out there, and the weather is nice. I'm also wondering whether we can put the boys into a Florida school for a month or so whilst we're out there? I don't know though... Is that fair? I mean, we'll be pulling them out of their school here, flying them halfway across the world, then dumping them in a school in Florida (well not literally dumping but you get the idea!) before uprooting them again in a month or so and dumping them back in their old school. It doesn't seem right to me.
I'm kind of hoping if we get accepted at the US clinic/s then we can do it in December. It's a lot earlier then I planned, but then they'd only be missing a couple of weeks of school. We'd be back here in time for Christmas Day with the families.... It just seems better to do it when we're going to be overlapping school holidays.
Their school won't be happy but I don't much care. I never wanted them to go to school anyway and we warned them when they first enrolled that we would occasionally have business travel that they would HAVE to come with us for as we can't leave them. So far we've been good and not pulled them out for any business travel, so they can hardly complain. They knew we home educated for business and social reasons. They knew we only put the boys in their school because they asked to go and they were warned we'd need to travel abroad on occasions, pulling the boys out of school.
I've had a sign and I'm going to grab hold of it and take the ride! For the last week I've had the date August 28th on my mind. Never knew why, or what it meant but it's been there niggling at me. Of course, I ignored it figuring it was nothing just one of those stupid little things that pops into your mind occasionally and bugs you for awhile, like a song you can't get off your mind.
Then yesterday I got an email from the South Florida Institute of Reproductive Medicine, a place I emailed for no real reason, I can't even remember how I stumbled across their website, although I know I wasn't looking for clinics as I had two in mind. I must have looked at about 20 different clinics yesterday and this was the only one that I bothered to email, don't know why just did it really. That's the one I mentioned in my last post.
Anyway I got a response from them within hours. Saying they could and would help me and telling me the dates they had available to start my IVF cycle. I was excited but thought nothing more of it, although I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thinking about the possibility of going there.
Then all day yesterday I saw nothing but the word August and the number 28 everywhere I looked. And I mean EVERYWHERE. Then I have a dream that I gave birth to a little girl on the 28th August, which admittedly could be because the number was playing on my mind although I did say to DH a few days ago that I bet despite being due, should the IVF work, in September/October time that I would give birth at the end of August. I believe my words were “some stupid day, like August the 28th or something!”.
Anyway, just out of curiosity and because I hadn't done it yet and like to have a bit of fore-notice of these things, I went to pregnancy.org and typed in the dates the clinic gave me for starting my IVF cycle. Lo and behold what would my EDD be should I do the November 20th cycle???!!!
August 28th 2007
So that's it. My mind is made up. I am going to do my IVF with PGD cycle at SFIRM starting on November 20th cycle. I guess they're going to have to put me on birth control pills to suppress my cycle and manipulate it to fit that schedule... Not really sure how it all works if I'm honest but that's the only way I can think they'd do it. I do know when my cycle starts in October I have to go over there for CD3 testing and to find out about what drugs/hormones/protocols they want me to do... They said, in all likely hood the egg retrieval would then be scheduled for the 4th December. With the transfer being done 5 days later if all goes to plan.
That means by Christmas I could be pregnant again.... Eep! And by the time GhostFest comes around I'll be 27weeks pregnant... Double eep!
I'm just waiting for the clinic to come back and give me a real price guide of what this is going to cost us.