The Fork in the Road

Thursday was D-Day. Decision Day. Commit to another course of IVF? Or not? Which way to go?

It seems a bit daft, writing it now, to exclaim that my choice about whether we move forward with more fertility treatment rested on a single day. Of course it wasn’t really that straightforward, as these things never are. But all the thinking, discussing and planning in the last few weeks had, in fact, led me to this one day, and in particular one result that I was due to receive then.

On Thursday morning, I set off bright and early for an appointment at my diabetes clinic in London. It was an overdue appointment really. One that had been shuffled and rearranged to fit around more pressing matters, including fertility related appointments. It’s almost certainly not the right attitude to have, but I tend not to place too much importance on these appointments, and I’m happy to leave long gaps between them. I’ve been diabetic for 31 years, and whilst I’m not arrogant enough to say that I know it all, I do know an awful lot about my personal diabetes, and I simply don’t find much of the input of the professionals on a routine basis useful. I much prefer to seek them out with specific problems than simply turn up at quarterly appointments in order to tick a box. This feeling has increased since many of the actual monitoring tests (kidney function, retinal screening, annual bloods etc) have now been passed out to GP care. In other words, I don’t even need to attend the clinic to get these important tests done.

On Thursday, however, I was nervous.

Long term readers may recall that I’ve done this exact dance before. I wrote about it back in February of 2013, when we’d been trying to conceive just less than six months. Back then I still had no idea of how much longer that pathway was going to be, or that 18 months on I’d still be sitting here as the mother of one child and still not even pregnant, with two failed IVF cycles behind me. But I wrote then about my fear that my blood glucose control might not be good enough to continue to try to conceive, because it is poor blood glucose control that contributes to many of the risks of a diabetic pregnancy. Somewhere between there and here, my blood glucose control has stopped being my number one concern. Obviously, we’ve now got much bigger concerns in relation to trying to have another child. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. Just that the amount of time and other hurdles have dulled its immediate presence at the forefront of my mind.

It is still important though. In fact there are concerning studies that show even non-diabetic women with modest (as compared to a person with diabetes) elevations in long term blood glucose levels have a dramatically decreased chance of success in assisted reproduction cycles. If anything, it’s more important than ever that I have good control.

And that’s why I was so nervous.

My decision on whether to go ahead had come to rest on this: I’d only consider going ahead with another round of IVF if my HbA1c (a measure of the average blood glucose levels over the preceding 2-3 months, for the uninitiated) was low enough. If we’re going to take our final chance, and spend all that money on it too, I need to know that I’ve done my absolute best and there are no factors I can look back on in regret.

The number was 6.

And just like that, the decision was made. My A1c when I conceived Thomas was 5.9%. “Normal” is usually stated as 4.0-6.0%

Until that moment, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted. I’ve written already about my uncertainty with going ahead, because once it’s done, there are no more chances and, if we’re not successful, all hope will be gone. I thought I was frightened of that. But when I saw the result staring back at me, I couldn’t have been more pleased.

So just like that, IVF number three, our final cycle, is go.

Right now I’m not ready to share exactly when it will be happening. I haven’t yet decided if I want to be as open about it in real-time as I was during the previous cycles. But we’re definitely doing it, the dates are all booked in to the diary and the drugs will soon be on order.

And one thing is for sure. If it works, you guys will definitely be amongst the first to know!



9 Replies to “The Fork in the Road”

  1. Then I shall have all my fingers and toes crossed for you that at some unspecified point in the fullness of time, at the appropriate juncture and when the stars align this is the time that it all works like clockwork!

    1. Thanks Carie – you’ve always been one of my leading cheerleaders and it means a lot 🙂 I am waiting on your own news, and also hoping that too all goes like clockwork!

  2. Good luck lovely, I really hope it works for you, all my fingers & toes crossed! There’s not much else to say, just to let you know I’m thinking of you! xx

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