Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I keep thinking that today will be the day we hear our latest test results, but we are still waiting.
Three and a half weeks ago Zar underwent a chromosomal FISH test on "The Swim Team" as I affectionately will refer to them from here on out. It will tell us what percentage of the swim team has normal or balanced chromosomes, compared to unbalanced. Mathematically and logically, it should come out 50/50, but it doesn't. For whatever cruel reason, the number of unbalanced sperm tends to higher than half, sometimes greatly so. The doctor wanted this test done, and depending on the percentage, he will advise us whether or not to try in vitro fertilization. I don't know what number will be the cut off. All he said was "And if it's like, 90, 95% abnormal, obviously the chances of getting a healthy embryo would be small, and we would cancel the process."
I will probably be writing a lot about IVF or adoption in the days, weeks, months, years to come, so here is an overview.
Zar has a balanced translocation between chromosomes 9 and 16. This means that pieces of these chromosomes broke off, switched places and reattached. He has all the genetic material he needs, so he is generally speaking, normal. When Charlotte was conceived, she got one normal 9 from me, and one 9 from Zar which had an extra chunk of 16 stuck to it, resulting in partial trisomy 16. That nine also was missing part of itself which was stuck to one of Zar's 16s, resulting in partial monosomy 9. She then got normal a normal 16 from me, and the normal 16 from Zar, as everyone has pairs of chromosomes and only one of each pair (in 9 and 16) is abnormal in Zar. Had she gotten the abnormal 16 from Zar, she would be just like him in having a balanced translocation. But she didn't. She also could have gotten two normal chromosomes from him, or she could have gotten the abnormal 16 and the normal 9, resulting in partial trisomy 9, partial monosomy 16, which we feel would have been immediately fatal, resulting in early miscarriage. But who's to say?
We found out about Charlotte early in our pregnancy. We chose to carry to term, expecting her to pass away before she was born or shortly thereafter. She didn't and she was wonderful.
Ella came around as a surprise and we tried to test her chromosomes by CVS during pregnancy but the test failed and I chose not to repeat it, instead relying on blood tests and ultrasound to check on her. Plus I wouldn't have terminated anyway, so it didn't REALLY matter. To this day we don't know her chromosomal status. She may be a carrier and need to deal with these reproductive issues when she grows up, but she definitely does not have serious issues like Charlotte did.
Three days before Charlotte passed away, I had an IUD placed to keep me from getting pregnant, as history shows I'm not too great with the pill.I felt like I was so blessed to have a healthy baby I shouldn't push my luck. One day after Charlotte passed away, I said I wanted to start trying for another very soon. Whoops.
We set up an appointment with the infertility clinic. I figured with my fertility and the fact we have Ella, and my body did not miscarry Charlotte when the doctors said almost certainly it would, that I would have no issue getting pregnant using IVF with embryos that had been tested and shown to be healthy.
Instead we found out that there is a real possibility that even after drugging me up to get a whole lotta eggs, and using ICSI to inject each egg with a swimmer (which cannot be tested individually first) we could very well not get any healthy embryos and the whole thing would be a bust. Which will cost $15,000, is not covered by insurance, and could very well not result in a baby. And let's be honest, if it does result in a baby, that also means a long, tedious pregnancy, which I also do not enjoy. Also I am at high risk for hyperstimulation syndrome which could cause my ovaries to swell, my body to fill with fluid and land me in the hospital. And cancel our cycle. And lets not forget that even in a perfect cycle, with perfect embryos, there is still the shots, the surgeries, the waiting, the testing, the risks...the money.

So any day now we should find out what the next step is. Zar wants to do IVF, but is open to adoption. I am fine either way. Depending on the test results, I will either get my IUD removed and stop nursing Ella, which she is pretty much bored with anyway, or we will attend an orientation meeting at LDS Family Services at the end of May. The problem with that is I would really like Ella and my next child to be close in age, and we could wait for years at LDS Family. There are other options adoptionwise, and they are much more expensive but much faster. We will also be exploring these agencies.

The annoying part is Zar called last Wednesday....a week ago, and the test results are in, but are in dictation, which to me means they are waiting to be typed up or entered in or something. He called again on Monday and they are still in dictation, and he was told it could take another week. Luckily I am well versed in waiting for test results, and as test results go, they are pretty benign. I've mastered test result patience.

Ella has woken up and is exploring the tape holding her diaper on. Perhaps I should go check on her progress.

I will update you when I myself am updated.


Kelly said...

It's so hard to wait for test results like that - and pretty important test results to boot. In theory it should be a 50/50 split, but in practice we know it doesn't work that way. Good luck.

Becky said...

wow - this post leaves me amazed. amazed at the whole process. amazed at the decisions that you have to make. amazed at you because you continue to carry on so gracefully. (have i said that before? um...YES...but i don't care because i can't say it enough!)

Shannon said...

Ugh. Those test results are taking forever! Whatever the results- and however you decide to will be awesome when you get a new little one- and I can't wait.

survivingbaby said...

Good luck, please keep us posted when you get the results and I will hoping that they are in your favor but either way, you have been amazing...

Katie said...

You are amazing Erin. Love you.