Wednesday, July 10, 2013

To test or not to test...

Given the nature of this blog, one might think I'm referring to pee sticks.
Also known as pregnancy tests for all you fertiles.  
But, given my current state, we don't need a pee stick to know that I am with child. 

And I'm not talking about a pee stick anyway.
I'm talking about preimplantation genetic diagnosis-PGD.
This is where the embryo is screened prior to a transfer for any type of chromosomal abnormalities/genetic diseases.  It's not 100% fool proof, but it's a worthwhile option that many people rely on when it's necessary.

I didn't think PGD would be something I would have to think about, but because of the Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (NAIT), it has been mentioned.
Even I know I'm crazy, but we want more kids.  
So we've had to discuss with our doctors how to address our situation.
At first it seemed like a no brainer-we would find out from the blood center what the deal was with my husband's blood-does the NAIT appear to be present 100% of the time, or only 50%?
If it's 100% of the time, then the only way to get around that would be to use donor sperm.  
If it's 50% of the time we could then do PGD on our embryos and remove the ones from our pool that present with NAIT.  Or use a gestational carrier for the ones that do have NAIT.

Fine, PGD seemed like a great option, no problemo-I'd screen my embryos today
But then it hit me, and I had one of those walk two moons moments.
Ever read that book? Walk Two Moons, a childhood favorite. 

I have seen so many fellow bloggers go through unsuccessful cycles-be it IUIs or failed transfers.  And a lot of times they had reactions that I couldn't understand.  And I'll be honest, I thought their reactions were kind of foolish.  To have a failed cycle or transfer, and to then mourn the loss of your babies seemed ridiculous to me.  It wasn't a baby, it was some cells that had the potential, but in no way was it like actually losing a baby.  I would venture to believe that someone who had a miscarriage, or a baby born still, would be able to empathize, but at the same time tell you it's different.  

And then I walked two moons.  
I had to face the reality that screening the embryos means I might very well have to get rid of an embryo, or more. 
And I can't do that.  
And now I get it. Those four remaining embryos that have been in storage for over four years now, are my babies.  
We plan on giving them every opportunity to join our family when the time is right.  I can't say for sure how my emotions will run if a transfer doesn't work-I've never experienced it before, but after realizing I might be faced with discarding any of them, I get it.
I can't.  
I won't.  
Truth is, I can't even say that we decided we won't screen. Because that's not true.  I decided I won't screen.  
When weighing the options-discard the embryo or commit to IVIG for 28+ weeks-it's a no brainer.  I have insurance coverage for the IVIG, and all it is is a time suck for me.  But I can't imagine having discarded this embryo-which G-d willing in a few short weeks will be my third child.  
What if we discarded one of the boys as an embryo?
I really can't fathom discarding an embryo, one of my babies, because I don't want to be inconvenienced.  

I obviously understand the need to discard if the condition is life threatening or impacts the baby's quality of life, but that is not the case here.  
Just a little inconvenience.  
And I'll inconvenience myself any day for my babies. 

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