Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Consult with Dr. Dumbledore

I have decided that Dr. Dumbledore will be my new nickname for our RE.  For one thing, in a roundabout way, it is a play on his actual name.  For another, anyone who has read the Harry Poster series knows that Dumbledore was considered one of the greatest wizards of his time.  We are hoping that this RE can work some magic and get me pregnant, so it seems apt.

We had our initial consultation with Dr. Dumbledore via telephone a week ago, so I am late in writing about it.  It took place the same day we left on a week's vacation, though, so I really haven't had an opportunity to post about it until now.

The bottom line is that Dr. Dumbledore is confident that we can achieve pregnancy through DE.  He talked with us in general terms about what a DE cycle entails, how his clinic screens its donors, and our medical histories as they pertain to reproductive health.

Interestingly, he told us that they decline about 80% of potential donors and noted that, with my family history of heart disease and diabetes, I would be ineligible for donating through his clinic (obviously even assuming that I were young enough and met the BMI requirements).  For this reason, in addition to my advanced age, he noted that the child we have through DE will be much healthier than a child we might have conceived naturally.  I had thought about the reduced miscarriage rate and reduced risk of various hereditary disorders which would come with using eggs donated by a much younger woman but hadn't really thought about this aspect. 

It's odd to think that, by giving up my genetic link to a child, I am (likely) sparing our future child some bad genetic inheritance.  In mourning never having a genetic child, I'd focused more on our DE child not having my musical talent, intelligence or curly hair and really hadn't thought much about him/her also not having all the health risks that a family history of heart disease, diabetes and obesity brings.

In addition to completing a "mock" cycle prior to our real cycle, MM and I also have to get a whole slew of infectious disease testing done.  I have to have a sonohysterogram and get my thyroid levels checked.

When I asked Dr. Dumbledore if there was anything which would lead him to believe that a DE cycle might not work for us (based on what he knows about me currently from my records), he pointed out that my weight puts me at an increased risk for miscarriage.  For "reasons that aren't clear to us," women with a BMI above 28 or above 32 (depending on which study you read) tend to have higher miscarriage rates.  He told us he would estimate that the miscarriage rate for DE cycles generally is about 5% but that my current BMI would make our risk around 10%.  He told me "If you were looking for some motivation to lose weight, I hope this information has provided it."

Um, yeah.  My current BMI is around 36.  I'd need to lose about 30 lbs just to get my BMI under 32 and over 50 lbs to get my BMI under 28.  I think a 30-lb loss (or something close to it) is possible; I doubt that I can lose 50 lbs. . . . certainly not before June and maybe not at all.  I am working on this.

Dr. Dumbledore also told us that his clinic has about a 40% rate of twins.  I had previously read around 30% for DE cycles.  MM thinks twins would be great and was delighted to hear this.  I am mildly concerned about the risks associated with twins, but we are both at a point where the chance of no baby is worse to us than the chance of two babies.

In terms of concrete dates and scheduling, I will have a separate phone conference with Dr. Dumbledore's nurse this coming Monday.  She will be my point of contact for all things cycle-related.

I continue to feel optimistic and am looking forward to getting started!


  1. I am so excited for your upcoming cycle! Don't get too crazy with the weight loss! It sounds like the RE gave you some good information and food for thought. Keep us updated with the details!

  2. S,
    So exciting! It sound like you are on a great path! And such motivation to loose some weight which is not only great for you but your future baby too!!

  3. wow, I think I like Dr. Dumbledore!! And moreso, I love his name. LOL

    I'm glad he added some good points about using donor egg. I know this is hard but you can do it.

  4. Sounds great S! I think often of the diseases that our DE baby will be sparred of with regard to the genetic diseases in my family (stroke and heart disease is huge) there are perks to DE children! Good luck on your road to weight loss...

  5. So excited that you are finally getting started. It is going to go quickly now. It is interesting about the BMI and miscarriage link, never knew that. Also an 80% chance of success is amazing...I was given 60% at CC.RM So so hopeful for you that things will go smoothly. ;)

  6. Interesting BMI is the same as yours and I have never been told that my recent miscarriage was possibly related to my weight. My BMI was 31 when I had my first miscarriage. I personally wouldn't get too hung up on trying to lose all of the 30 lbs, because at our age it isn't that easy to take it off as it was in our 30's. I wish you much luck as you proceed forward with this DE cycle.

  7. Jen: my local RE also never said anything to me about my weight. He told me that the chemical pregnancy I had in August 2009 was most likely due to poor egg quality and never suggested I lose weight.

    It is very, very hard for me to lose weight, but I am going to do all I can reasonably do between now and when we start our cycle. ;-)

  8. yeah, when i have said, "our genetics aren't anything so wonderful that we just have to hold on to them..." that is exactly what i was talking about! our IF counselor is the one that made us realize that we both have some messed up family medical history...not worse than anyone else's really, but not better, either!

    we usually think about all the things we hope our kid will get from us - of course there is no guarantee they will get ANYTHING that resembles us. its why the article on the "myths of donated dna" meant so much to me.

    i think that DE has a great chance of working for you!! and while losing weight is a good idea (cough for me too), i don't think you should let that be a hindrance or a stressor. i weighed a lot less when i had my miscarriages. and hell, fertility drugs do NOT help with weight loss!!

    anyway - i am really excited for you! cycling in june! sooo close!!


  9. You sound so changed in this whole process, huh?

    Nike Plus, telling you - I love it! I will encourage you all I can. Do it for yourself - you still have wonderful odds with you DE plan.


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