September 18, 2013

Baby Sewell-Decisions, Decisions

This post is one in a series of posts I had written previously about our endeavors to have a third baby. I hadn't posted anything until now, so forgive me for the information dump. We now know we are having our third baby girl, though we haven't settled on a name yet. More to come, that's for sure!

01/01/2013-After meeting with Dr. Blauer in December, we've decided to hold off on trying to conceive at this point in time. During the appointment, Matt's medical history was reviewed (as was mine), and when Dr. Blauer gave his overall opinion of our situation, it wasn't what we had hoped for. Dr. Blauer told us about the male fertility treatments that would be most successful for us, however he stated that our chances of the treatments working are very low. He suggested that Matt have an MRI to confirm that his pituitary gland is functioning correctly, but said that he doesn't think there's really anything wrong there, and that we may need to consider other options. 

Our other options are: conceiving via IVF using Sean's frozen semen as the "donor" semen, or conceiving via IVF using the frozen embryo that was cultivated during my first round of IVF. 

After several weeks of consideration, Matt decided that he wants to go ahead with IVF, thus giving into the likelihood that he will never biologically father children. He didn't come to this decision lightly, and I trust his judgment on where he stands. He asserts that whatever children we have will be ours, no matter how they came to be in our family, and that he certainly doesn't love Sophie and Olivia any less because they aren't his biological children. 

With that decision out of the way, we have a few more ahead of us. Even though we've chosen to do another round of IVF we need to consider several factors: 
1. Do we proceed with a fresh cycle or do we attempt a frozen embryo cycle? The fresh cycle provides a greater chance of overall success (a pregnancy) than the frozen cycle, but costs about double. 

2. I am experiencing a great deal of conflict within myself as to how exactly I feel about discarding my frozen embryo should we decide to do a fresh cycle IVF round. I'm very torn between my feelings that the frozen embryo is already a life, simply on hold, versus my feelings that other benefit might be gained for my family overall if we attempt a fresh cycle instead. 

3. We need to decide whether to use the frozen embryo for an IVF cycle, whereby I would only implant one embryo, versus the possibility of implanting 2 embryos with a fresh IVF cycle.

4. We need to decide if implanting 2 embryo's is right for us, with the fresh IVF cycle, which would give me an increased chance of carrying twins for the second time in my life, or if implanting 1 embryo is work the risk of the embryo not taking.

5. We need to decide if the benefit of the greater odds of becoming pregnant by doing a fresh IVF cycle  over the frozen cycle outweigh the financial costs that would be associated with the fresh cycle.

6. We need to decide what to do with the frozen embryo should we decide to discard it and attempt a fresh IVF cycle. When Sean and I signed the paperwork for our IVF cycle, we had indicated that we would like to donate the embryo for stem cell research, should we decide to discard it, as opposed to making it available as a donor embryo for another couple attempting IVF. I think Matt and I are still leaning toward this decision, if we make the decision to discard the frozen embryo.

Right now we have all of these things to consider. Our decision to hold off on our IVF attempt has stemmed from our financial situation. We have decided to postpone doing IVF until we are sure we can afford to pay for the cycle. Even though we have amazing insurance that will cover the cycle, we are still responsible for our deductibles and our out-of-pocket maximum along with our co-insurance and co-pays. With such an expensive treatment, and even with amazing insurance offsetting a great deal of the overall cost, the out of pocket contribution that would be required of us is still large and needs to have some financial planning to back it up. 

So, for now, that's where we are. We have lots and lots to talk about, decide on, pray on, and think on, but in the meantime, we have taken the pressure off ourselves by allowing more time to save money to pay for the cycle. Unless something changes, and things always do, we'll just sit tight for now, and see where life leads us!

Little Baby Sewell, don't worry, we still can't wait to welcome you into our family, we just want you to come into our home at its best!

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