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Pickle story Part One.
Pickle story Part Two.
I went in to have the blood work and got the results later that day.
At this point, I was really starting to lose it. I guess I had smugly thought that since I didn't have any fertility problems, the IVFs would be successful for me. I was obviously very wrong. It was like my body didn't like/want all this high-tech stuff and was rebelling against it.
What was I supposed to do now?
One positive thing that happened was an Internet forum I discovered. It was dedicated to people that had either all boys or all girls and longed for a child of the opposite sex. It was great to talk with others who felt the same way I did and I made some life-long friendships from that forum.
I also learned of a "sex selection" clinic called MicroSort. This was a new clinic that had an almost full-proof method of sperm selection. You could use this procedure in conjunction with IVF--thereby practically guaranteeing that all the embryos would be the desired gender and eliminating the need for the PGD part.
I had convinced myself that it was the PGD that was preventing the embryos from "sticking" so I was excited at the prospect of trying MicroSort. Of course, I had to convince Don, who had totally soured on the idea of anymore high-tech procedures--and who could blame him?
But I had read so many success stories on my forum! I was sure this was the route to our baby girl.
Because MicroSort was conducting a government study, there were rigorous interviews and testing that had to be performed. Point blank--the whole thing was extremely disorganized, to the point where I wondered if they even knew what they were doing! But we managed to get through all the red tape--with a couple of setbacks--and were able to get an appointment.
To complicate matters, there were only two MicroSort clinics and neither were anywhere close to me. I had to arrange a plane trip for the whole family (which we tried to combine with a little sightseeing trip for the kids) and we were able to get the "sorting" completed.
One of the (many) questions they had asked was if I wanted our sample divided and frozen into two samples so we could have an extra if we ever wanted to do it again. I was certain we would never need it, so I said "No."
So onto yet another IVF, this time with no PGD ,and under the assumption that all the embryos would be female. By the time of the transfer there were only two embryos that looked good--we transferred both of them.
I won't drag out another cliff hanger here--the results were negative--again.
It seemed like the end of the road. I wrote about all my disappointments on my "gender" forum and received a lot of great support.
One day, I got an email for one of my friends from the forum. She had a successful MicroSort/IVF and had twin girls as a result. She told me that she had four frozen embryos from the procedure and wanted to offer them to me and Don. Apparently there was such a thing as "embryo adoption." (I told you this was going to get crazier!!) I told her thank you, but it was something that I would need to give a lot of thought to.
Over the next few months we became really good friends--we emailed everyday and shared pictures of our kids. One night, Don and I had a talk about the embryo adoption possibility and decided to give it a try. Because we didn't have to do an IVF (just the transfer part) it wouldn't be nearly as complex. We decided it would be like adopting--only I would get to have the baby myself.
We had to hire an adoption attorney to draw up all the papers and the embryos were shipped to my doctor.
We didn't know the quality of the embryos until they were thawed on the morning of the transfer. None of them were rated "excellent" though a couple of them were rated "good." Because of this, we decided to transfer all four.
I was extra nervous during this two week wait because I also felt a certain responsibility to my friend--I wanted this to work for her too!
Unfortunately, it didn't work. I received yet another negative. The best thing to come out of that, though, was the friendship I made--we still talk every day and we are like sisters!!
In case you've lost track, that was my FIFTH procedure!
Now things really looked hopeless. I was never going to do the PGD again and we stupidly had not divided the MicroSort sample into two--and we weren't going to go through that ordeal again.
But one day, I got a bill from MicroSort that said something about a frozen sample in storage. What? But then I remembered how disorganized they had been--maybe they weren't paying attention when I said I didn't want the sample divided?
I called and asked if they had a frozen sample for us--they did!! This was good and bad news--good, obviously, because we could use it and try again. Bad, because Don had emphatically stated that there would be no more IVFs. But when he heard about the frozen sample, he agreed that we would have to try one more time. How many times had we said that?
This time, I told the doctor I wanted to be super aggressive with the cycle. We ended up with about six or seven embryos with varying degrees of quality and we transferred them ALL. I hired a babysitter so I could literally sit in a chair for two days straight so the embryos could take hold. I wanted to do everything right!
I will conclude the story tomorrow. And if you think you know what's going to happen--you're wrong!!