I can't recall if anyone here has used a gestational carrier or researched it?
Basically, I think I'm done trying to force my body into doing this, when I have this other option on the table.
To recap: my last transfer was done with "immune protocol" - lovenox, intralipid infusions, and neupogen. Made it to 10 weeks, which is the longest I've gotten.
My RE is not too keen on long term predisone use, or IVIG (immunoglobin infusion). I've started the process to see Dr. Kwak-Kim in Chicago (a reproductive immunologist), but I have a feeling the "big" suggestion might be IVIG infusions. Those would be, minimum, $2k each. This means I could spend anywhere from $20k to $40k on my next transfer to have a full term pregnancy. But again, my RE said there's no real evidence than IVIG does anything, so we need to be sure to ask for evidence regarding studies if that's something she suggests. His suggestion is doing 3+ months of endo prep vs. the 1 month I did in Dec. and then moving forward with the same protocol.
Which COULD work! My beta was 58 on test day, which was on the low side, so I do wonder if it was something where it just didn't quite implant right or something. (We got the test results back from my D&E - XY normal.) But... the immune protocol transfer was also $10k, which is a lot to throw at something that seems to have an ever diminishing chance of working.
My H and I were emailing back and forth last week with one of his friend's who is currently expecting his second child via gestational carrier. Based on my research and his guess, we'd probably spend about $80k on a GC. Which is a lot of money! But $10k+ per transfer is also a lot of money. And I have 4 PGS normal embryos left and I am not doing another egg retrieval. I don't think I'll regret not experiencing pregnancy if we have a good outcome.
Post by pinkpeony08 on May 13, 2020 12:18:39 GMT -5
I think it’s certainly worth considering. When I met with maternal fetal medicine 2 years ago, they made a point of saying that would be another option. The fact that you already have embryos puts you a step closer. I think exploring that while waiting to hear what dr Kwak Kim has to say makes sense. Then you can move forward with whatever is the right choice for you.
I’ve considered it as well, but the cost has kept me from making it a serious consideration. Do people finance it somehow?? I worry with covid, the risks are higher and it could cost even more somehow.
pinkpeony08, we haven't looked into financing options but I for sure do not have $80k laying around. We do have that as equity in our house though, so either another refi (if interest rates on a 15 year mortgage fall below our current 3.0%) or a home equity loan is likely in the cards.
Our friend also said it's over the course of a year, so don't worry about the up front cost too much... but it's still a lot of money over the course of a year. Way more than I can cash flow!
Post by FishChicks on May 13, 2020 12:48:40 GMT -5
We were strongly encouraged to use a GC after all of our losses. We didn't have embryos and due to my DOR, were unlikely to get (m)any, so our total cost with the multiple rounds of IVF required was expected to exceed $120k. That was the biggest stumbling block. I also realized that GCs can lose babies, too. I just couldn't justify spending years worth of savings when the outcome might not change.
I hesitate to share this, but I was also in the unusual position of having nearly died during my twins' stillbirth. My hemoglobin drawn mid-surgery was 4. I didn't know you could survive a hemoglobin of 4. Because of that experience, I just couldn't ask another woman to take on the risk of childbirth on my behalf. I absolutely don't judge anyone else for using a GC, or for being a GC - this is 100% a personal decision based on my own experience.
To me, you're in a place where a GC seems like a reasonable idea. You have healthy embryos. You don't have a clear diagnosis for your losses that you can treat. You have the financial ability. If you can handle the emotional turmoil required for a GC pregnancy, then it really seems like a good idea.
No, I definitely appreciate it, FishChicks. There are ethical issues, and also with adoption, which I've thought of. My SIL might be willing to be a carrier, but she might not qualify, and I of course don't want to coerce anyone into doing it. Obviously we'll get a willing carrier who has already had at least one uneventful pregnancy, but of course that's no guarantee. TBH, I feel like with my history, trying to force my body to carry to term might also be dangerous, as I'm already overweight and have high blood pressure.
My RE used a gestational carrier for his last kid. He initially suggested that I use one (I have an autoimmune disease and fibroids), but I opted to get surgeries and cross my fingers. I think if I had to do it again, I might use a carrier.
I talked to an agency on Friday! It was really helpful. I also have an appointment with Dr. Kwak-Kim in October, with a virtual follow up in November. At that point, we want to be ready financially (i.e. know how much money we can re-fi out of the house) to move forward in whatever way makes sense. We're not willing to spend tens of thousands on IVIG, but would be willing to do other immune protocol. I even told my H that we could take my RE's advice and do endo prep for 3 months and then do the immune protocol again. He'd like to make sure we have at least 3 embryos for a GC, though, if we do that, and I think he's leaning towards it, and I think if we were independently wealthy it wouldn't be a question.