I’m sorry for your loss. I had two miscarriages prior to IVF – it took two retrievals and two frozen transfers to get my sticky BFP, but I am now 32 weeks with a healthy pregnancy.
Our RE was great, she sat us down and went through the step by step process of IVF with a powerpoint showing images, stats/data etc. I think it helped my DH who hadn’t really done as much research as I. Things I would try to think about before your appointmnet, since I agree you will probably be slightly overwhelmed and emotional, are the following:
What sort of testing will be needed to determine issues – both for you and your DH.
What sort of protocol and medication regimin does your RE recommend? Do they use one more frequently than another, or will they base it on your test results?
Med teach for injections?
How many eggs would they expect to retrieve? What sort of fertilization statistics does your clinic have with both ICSI and traditional IVF? What percentage of fertilized eggs should you expect to make it to blastocyst/day 5.
Does your RE recommend any dietary changes? Will there be restrictions on exercise, alcohol, etc (likely, yes).
How many days of stims does your RE expect? Will you be on bedrest after your transfer?
Will your clinic use a specific calendar start day? Do they batch IVF cycles (our clinic does, which means they set aside one week/month to start all couples undergoing IVF on stims, and another week – ten days where expected retrievals happen. So we were required to do a down-reg protocol with once birth control pills and another time testosterone patches) Or do they just start based on your CD1?
Does your clinic automatically do ICSI or is it based on sperm counts or ability to fertilize on your own? (For example, our clinic uses ICSI if we would choose, but the given % of fertilized eggs was the same for us with traditional IVF given the fact that we fertilized twice on our own).
Does your RE recommend genetic testing – both on you and your partners prior to undergoing egg retrieval, and/or with PGS/PGD to determine if embryos are viable prior to transfer?
Does your clinic use assisted hatching? Embryo glue? Other procedures to increase the likelihood of this working? Additionally, what are their statistics in terms of successful cycles and birth rates? (Do they consider any pregnancy, miscarriage or not, to be successful? Or is it based on live birth?)
How will your transfer work? How can you be confident that the embryo placement will not result in another tubal pregnancy? (Most use guided imagry to correctly place the embryo, but if I had an ectopic I would want to know this for my peace of mind).
Are there additional supplements that you can start on now for egg quality or a more successful cycle? (CoQ-10, DHEA, L-Arginine, etc).
Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions or think I am missing anything. I know the process can be intimidating and it is hard to stay focused when so many things are no longer in your control. But try to trust the process – even with our missteps and setbacks, and when we were given a 20% chace of even getting ONE embryo, it worked. We kept riding the IVF train until that happened, but in the end, it will be worth it. Best of luck!