Yes. I have just likened having another child with the quest for more gruel in Oliver Twist. Still, it seems fitting. After all, I am still finding it hard to believe, given how vocal and certain I was at the time of Lil' Bit's delivery that we were only having one, that I now find myself having passed the "serious consideration" stage and am actively contemplating another child. Still, that's where we are. So, I thought you might like some insight into how we reached our decision.
Last week, we went back to the fertility center and met with the doctor to discuss what doing another IVF cycle would entail. (By the way, did we ever mention that the doc looks like Stephen Colbert? We just kept waiting for him to hold out his hand and say, "Nation..."! But I digress.) Part of the need for discussion was based on the fact that this cycle would be frozen instead of fresh, so there is an entirely different protocol.
On the IVF side of things, we learned several important things.
1) Frozen cycles are only about half the cost of fresh--maybe even less depending the meds my insurance will cover.
2) There are waaaaaaaay fewer injections. In fact, it appears as though there's only one med done by injection and everything else is pill or suppository. It just keeps getting better.
3) My success rates have not gone down even though I aged. Because we froze my eggs before I was 35, my success rates are calculated from the <35 category, meaning we're still above 50%. Also, we have an increased chance at success because we had a successful pregnancy from the same batch of embryos.
4) Although my doctor would like me to lose 10-15 pounds to increase my chance of success, I actually already weigh 8 pounds less than I did before the last procedure!
All of this was good news, which is to say, it all helped pile us more firmly into the "yes, let's have another" column. In addition, I got word last week that I got a promotion at work that not only came with a pay raise, but would be a career position that would not require my boss getting re-elected. Permanency and pay raise also significantly favor the "yes" column.
Figuring out that we were both leaning fairly heavily toward "yes," the next question was when to do the procedure. After all, since we get to plan this thing, we might as well make it as convenient for ourselves as possible. Now, my "charge ahead first, ask questions later" personality said to go for it as soon as we could. After all, there's nothing more frustrating to me than having made a decision, but not being able to move forward or do anything toward that decision. Still, as we started talking about what certain procedure months would mean in terms of where vacations would fall, how much leave I would have saved up, when the baby would be due, when it would no longer be feasible to travel, and other similar considerations, we realized that waiting was better. The further we pushed it out, the more leave I would have. Plus, we would be able to visit family for holidays and go on a trip next summer that we've had to skip the last two years. Waiting would also give me a chance to lose a little weight and develop some healthy eating habits. My goal is to stick closely to a modified diabetic diet in an effort to prevent getting gestational diabetes again. That way, even if I do get it, it won't require me to make too many changes in my diet at that point.
Still, I didn't want to push it too far out. I really want my kids to have unique, separate birthdays. Therefore, February was the furthest out I was willing to put the procedure given that Lil' Bit was an early March procedure. Although, February would be a late October baby and that was really longer than I wanted to wait to move forward and the kids would have birthdays closer together than I wanted, I couldn't fight the seductive list of things we would be able to do if we waited.
Ultimately, the tipping point came when I realized that we were going back to the cardiologist in October to discuss our long term care plan for Lil' Bit with her VSD and missing pulmonary artery. By waiting until after that visit, we should have a much better sense of the type of care Lil' Bit will need in the future. That way, if it seems like she will need to have lots of surgeries, it may be worth it to save our leave time and money to properly care for her. Also, I want to make sure any subsequent children will receive adequate time and attention from us, rather than always coming second because of the time and energy it takes to care for Lil' Bit. My guess, given that she's asymptomatic at this point, is that she won't need much specialized care--just a lot of monitoring. Still, since we have the ability to schedule when and if we have another child, it makes sense to wait so we can factor this information in.
Oh, and as for multiples and possible failure, we have decided to have roughly the same attitude we did with our first IVF. We'll get what we're supposed to have. If it's none, it's none. If it's one, it's one. And, God help us, if it's two, it's two.
So, there you have it. Barring any bad news this October about Lil' Bit's healthcare, the plan is to reserve a spot for a February procedure, making for an October 2012 baby (or babies!). More gruel(ing labor) anyone?