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!