Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

As I look back at 2010, my first thought is to think of the bad things, primarily related to my infertility: 3 IUI’s, 1 IVF, 1 ectopic pregnancy, 1 miscarriage at 8 ½ weeks, 1 MTHFR diagnosis, 1 activated NK diagnosis, no baby...

But I need to also focus on the good things of 2010:

-The hubs new job. He’s loving it, and if he likes his job, he’s a happy man. This has been really nice.

-Came out to most close people in my life about infertility. And most everyone has been pretty supportive. It has brought my mother and me closer, which is amazing in itself. And I’ve even started talking about my reproductive issues with my dad, and he’s been so sweet about it.

-Fabulous European vacation. 4 countries, great friends to vacation with, really good times.

-Closer with the hubs than ever before. All this infertility stuff really has helped us learn to talk to each other, or at least we’re trying.

-Started this blog. I can’t thank all of you enough for your support, and your willingness to listen to my crazy ramblings. I NEVER thought I would have a blog, but here I am, and I love it!

And so now I look forward to 2011:

This will be the year that I will get in charge of my weight. I will start treating my body well, and nourish it with good foods. And I will start exercising regularly. I will turn 36 this year. It is time for me to take care of this body! I have been neglecting it, and right now I’m angry at it for not working. I expect so much of my body that I need to be nicer to it. I’m not really doing any kind of weight loss goals, because who knows what will happen with fertility treatments and hopefully pregnancy. But no matter what, I will exercise. And eat good nutritious foods.

My job will be changing. I’m about 90% confident that there will be significant layoffs by the end of January. We’re all guessing it will be between 20%-50% of the company, and I’m guessing more like 30-40%. I’m also about 90% confident that I won’t lose my job, but I am about 100% confident that I will be losing some of the people that work for me, which would seriously suck. I’ve been here for 2 layoffs, and my job hasn’t really changed that much, but I think that this one will change my job a lot. The one person that really needs to leave is my direct boss, as he does just about nothing, and makes a ton of money. Seriously, from about 4 to 6 every day, he reads the paper. And from 8-10 every morning, he goes around and talks to people socially. He doesn’t have any work to do! We need to keep the “do-ers” and get rid of some of our upper people, but we don’t seem to do that. This will be the fourth layoff at our company since January 2007, and we tend to keep the VP’s, and get rid of the staff. In football, that would be the equivalent of firing all the waterboys and the guys on the bench if the team does poorly, instead of getting rid of the coach! So this will be interesting to see what happens.

We will continue to be as aggressive as possible with fertility treatments. We now have insurance with the hubs new job that pays for fertility up to $25K, and we’re going to bleed that dry. I spent about 3 hours yesterday working on my medical expenses for 2010, as we’ll be able to deduct them this year for the first (and hopefully last) time. Makes me sick how much all this costs. I would love to have a new year’s resolution about having a baby, or getting pregnant, or something. But I did that last year. And it didn’t work. This year, I will only make a resolution or goal with something I can control. And I can choose to keep going with fertility treatments. Statistically, if we keep trying, one of these times it will work, right? That’s the only thing that is keeping me going.

So as I look back to last year, and think about the next year, I’m not happy with 2010. It was hard, and I went through too much. I always knew it would be hard to have a baby – not because of anything in particular, but I just KNEW. But this hard? I had no idea. But this is just what we have to do to have our baby. For some reason, we have to go through all of this. And so we will.

I hope all of you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve tonight! We will be celebrating with friends at a small house party. I will be kissing the hubs and drinking champagne and having hope that 2011 will be a wonderful year for all of us!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Recap

As much as I was dreading this weekend – the negative test, then staying at home by myself while the hubs went to his family for Christmas Eve, then Christmas morning by myself, and then Christmas evening with the hubs, it all turned out pretty well.

The hubs was great. I think he knew he needed to above and beyond with niceness, and he did. He was nice Friday morning after the negative HPT (I had told him exactly what to say if the test was negative – he’s pretty decent with a script), and he went above and beyond with nice comments throughout the weekend. I made it Christmas Eve by myself very well, thanks to my friends who took me out for a drink. I had a lovely martini (just one – what if I was pregnant??? I hate the game of hope…) and then went home, another friend called me knowing I was alone, and then went to bed early. Saturday morning I woke up and just cleaned stuff up around the house, not really having anything to do. The hubs bought the Logitech Revue thing for us, and also bought one for his family, and both have cameras. So he set it up at his parent’s house on Christmas Eve, and they called me on Christmas morning to test to make sure it worked. So we had a little webcast when I was by myself, and I watched everyone having breakfast together. I hated that part. Originally the hubs had offered that they would open presents at his parents and I could watch on a webcast. I told him that sounded like an awful idea – there’s no way I’m sitting by myself and watching him and his family open presents. So he changed the plan.

That afternoon, I picked him up at the airport, and by 5:00 pm, we were back at home and called his family. For the next hour, we watched them open presents via webcast, at least the presents we got them, and they watched us open the presents they got us. I have to admit, it was kind of fun. I was a big scrooge about most of it up until then, but as long as the hubs was with me, it wasn’t too bad. His grandma kept asking, “why are we doing it like this?” One uncle kept asking us if we wanted him to fix us a drink. Everyone thought it was bizarre that we wouldn’t be there for Christmas, especially considering the hubs was there that morning! Whatever – I don’t really care what they think of me. I won’t have to see most of them until next Christmas, and the ones that I will see soon know what’s going on. I just wish that staying home for Christmas was worth it. Now I scrooged up Christmas AND I’m not even pregnant…

After we hung up the webcast, we had our own Christmas, which was really nice. We’ve never done this. In seven years together, we’ve never had a private Christmas, and I really liked it. The hubs completely spoiled me. As always, we agreed on a dollar limit, and as always he went completely over the limit. I was very good throughout the whole Christmas – didn’t cry in front of him – except once. He gave me a little cardboard book for babies – Doggies – a counting and barking book. He has never once bought anything for a baby since we’ve been trying. We have a few things, but I’ve purchased them all. For him to have bought something for a baby… I’m sure he thought I’d be pregnant by Christmas too. This was hard to unwrap.

After unwrapping gifts, I made dinner. And using the word “made” is a stretch. I took out the honey-baked ham (LOVE!) from the refrigerator, and took out a couple frozen sides from the same store and popped those in the oven, and steamed some green beans, and served it all with store-bought rolls. It was fabulous, and took about as much effort as I could bear. And that’s about it. We just chilled out the rest of the weekend, and I had the day off yesterday, which involved going to the doctor for a negative pregnancy test – good times. And now I’m back at work.

I’m so happy to have Christmas over and done with. I had such high hopes that I would be happy and pregnant this Christmas, and I wasn’t. But it was as good as it possibly could have been. I’m proud of the way I handled myself during most of the weekend. I didn’t even have any meltdowns in front of the hubs, and we’ve been getting along great. After receiving the news yesterday and the order to stop the meds, we even had sex for the first time in a LONG time (between the hysteroscopy and restrictions after that to IVF and the restrictions after that – a very long time). I don’t know what we’ll be doing for New Year’s, but I have a feeling it will involve drinks – a lot of drinks. And I’m very happy to start another year – I’m so done with 2010.

Today is beginning my weight loss plan. No real rules, but each week I will pick something to add. This week I’m tracking everything that goes in my mouth. I usually try to do this, and stop very soon. But today, I’m starting and sticking with it! I have the Lose It! app on my iphone, and it’s very easy to use, so I’m doing it today. Not really sticking to a certain amount of calories, but just writing everything down. Plus I find that anytime I do this, I definitely think about it before I put things in my mouth… Babysteps… Usually when I try to lose weight, I go super big, and then crash and burn. So this week, all I’m doing is writing everything down.

I just have to do something that makes me feel better about myself. Because right now, after doing the biggest, most dramatic type of reproductive procedure, and it not working, I’m not feeling very good about myself… I know I’ve tried as hard as I could, and I did everything I could, but I feel like such a failure. My body couldn’t keep two perfect embryos alive. And I can’t help but feel like once again, I’ve failed.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Officially Over

I just got the call. My beta officially proved that I'm not pregnant - IVF #1 didn't work. I'm not surprised, I had given up on Friday when I tested negative, but I hate how optimistic and hopeful I can be, because I kept playing out fantasies in my head, what if I was wrong???  And so all weekend, and especially today, I still hoped. I hate this about me, that I can work myself up and continue to have hope even when all evidence points the other way. I guess this is what keeps me going through all this mess. 

I need to schedule a consult with my doc, and I suppose we'll just go forward with a frozen transfer. I have to wait a month to do this, right? I think people usually have a cycle that's unmedicated before going forward with frozen, right?

The problem with going forward with frozen is it's less successful than fresh, and I keep getting older, and then what Dr. Sher said keeps coming up in my head. He said that given my LH levels are higher than my FSH levels on day 3, he recommends Lupron before stimming, and if you don't do this, it could affect egg quality. My local doc doesn't agree, but what if it's true? The 9 frozen embryos wouldn't be any better than the 2 that didn't make it, and they were fresh!

All I know is I'm so tired of this. I'm tired of trying to get pregnant. I know I have a few more rounds of this battle in me, but I'm not sure how long I can keep it up. We just did the most effective thing you can do to have a baby, and it didn't work. I know we have to just keep going and continue to try, but for how long? I wish I knew this was worth it, because today I'm not so sure.  

Friday, December 24, 2010

No Christmas Surprise...

Well, my first IVF is over. Tested negative this morning. At 17 days past retrieval, and 12 days past transfer, I think we can call it. I have the beta on Monday, but please don't tell me I should have any hope - I just can't do that this weekend. It's too far gone for that.

Dropped the hubs off at the airport, and will be wallowing today for Christmas Eve... Actually a friend just called and he and his girlfriend are taking me out for a drink later. So that will be good. I'm handling it pretty well, only cried a little. I told myself this morning before I took the test that I'm strong, and I can handle anything that comes my way... I just really wish this wasn't it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Have a Confession

No, I haven’t tested. Not since I told the hubs I wouldn’t – on Monday. I’ve been doing really well – both yesterday and today. Anyone that asked, online or IRL, I would tell them that I won’t find out until next week, but I don’t think it worked. At some point, I started questioning why I’m fine, how am I handling this so well? I’m not upset, I’m not even sad, or anything! I don’t get it!

And then, finally, I sat down and thought about it. And realized that sometime between Monday night and now, I changed my mind. I have hope again. I’m not upset, because I think I’m pregnant. I think this worked – I feel these embryos inside of me, and I’m looking forward to the beta so I can confirm that I’m pregnant.

This is not what I needed – I shouldn’t have hope. I know the stats, and I know the likelihood of getting a negative on 13 days past retrieval and still being pregnant are slim. But there’s hope!!! And stupid, silly me… I’m hoping. And setting myself up for disappointment…again.

I have a plan. I’m going to test on Friday. With a FRER. I told the hubs I was going to do it. I’ll be 17 days past retrieval, and 12 days past transfer. It will be effective, right? And if it’s negative, I’m going to call it. I’m just going to accept whatever it says. And I will be having a drink on Christmas Eve if it’s negative. Not because I really need one, but in my mind, that’s the truest form of accepting it’s negative. I’ll have a caffeinated latte in the morning, and wine in the evening – all my forbidden splurges…

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Welcome, ICLW!

Here we are, in December. Oh what a year. The quick recap for this year: 3 IUI’s, the first turned into an ectopic pregnancy, the second I got pregnant, and I lost my dear baby at 8 ½ weeks, and the third IUI was a BFN. I’m in the middle of the THREE week wait of my first IVF – today is 9 days past 5 day transfer. Beta next Monday. Started the year off as unexplained infertility, have been diagnosed with compound heterozygous for MTHFR and activated Natural Killer cells.

Those are the stats – now the real stuff is I’m not feeling very optimistic about my chances with this IVF. I had a testing fiasco this weekend, and the last test was yesterday, at 13 days past retrieval, 8 days past a 5 day transfer. And they were all negative. The hubs and I got into a big fight about it, and I agreed to not test any more.

I appreciate everyone’s comments about testing. It really is beneficial to hear about other people’s experiences and research. I had a long talk about it with my therapist last night, and then shared your comments and my therapist’s opinion with the hubs last night when I got home. He has such a hard time with sharing his feelings – just like a lot of men out there. He is still very optimistic, and he wants to trust our doctor – if the doctor says we can’t know until this weekend at the earliest, then that’s the way it is. So I told him he could be optimistic, but I didn’t have to be. It’s too hard to have hope, and then have my hopes dashed – that was what was happening with the testing – I was cycling through hope and despair several times a day! Every morning, I’d wake up real early, and think “today could be the day, I could find out I’m pregnant. Oh, what if it’s true, what if I’m pregnant? I really want to find out!” And then I would test, and then it would be negative, and I’d be crushed. And then later in the day, I’d convince myself that it was too early, that maybe tomorrow it will be positive. I can’t do this anymore. With the help of my therapist, I’ve decided that I’m just going to try to accept that this cycle didn’t work. It’s too hard otherwise. And if by some chance I get a beta on Monday that says otherwise, it will just be a wonderful surprise. (By the way, I called the nurse yesterday afternoon and begged for an early beta. They’re closed on Thursday and Friday, and they really believe Wednesday is too early – no more explanation than that.)

Somehow after changing my mindset, I feel better today. I didn’t test, and the hubs hadn’t even hid my tests. And I didn’t really want to test either. I may try to convince the hubs that we should test on Friday morning before he leaves. But I may wait until Monday. We’ll see. For now, I’m sad, and that’s ok too. We have plans for the future – I have nine frozen embryos waiting for me. But somehow I’ll make it through this week, and start really planning for the future next week, whatever future that may be.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Let’s Start Over

Thanks to everyone for your nice comments about my testing escapades. Let’s face the facts – I tested too early. And kept testing. Tested again today – negative. And I completely worked myself into a tizzy. Which led to expressing my negative thoughts. Which led to a fight with the hubs – it was bad. “Alex, I’m sick of dealing with your negativity, for two fucking years!” Ah yes dear, we’re both sick of infertility, we’re both sick of dealing with this, and we’re both sick of my negativity. Maybe I should have shared more of the positivity I had last week…

So after the blow-up this morning, and lots of tears on my part, I wrote him an email. The subject was “You’re right” (always a good way to start out an email, or any conversation after a fight). And then I said, “I shouldn’t have tested so early. Tonight I’ll give you my remaining tests and you should hide them. And I won’t buy any more. I test early to try to prevent the meltdown at work and try to get used to the idea that it won’t work over time, but I should instead assume everything’s ok and I’m pregnant until the doctor says otherwise. I’ll try to do this. OK?” And he said OK.

And then I went to the doctor to get my blood drawn, just to have my hormone levels OTHER than hCG monitored (everything looks fine). And they said my official blood test won’t be until 14 days after the transfer, which would be the 26th, but they’re closed then so come in on the 27th. Are you freaking kidding me??? I have to wait another week??? I know that there are other clinics that do this, but I didn’t think mine would create so much torture in my life! I really thought I would know, for sure, at Christmas. I figured that I would spend Christmas Eve by myself in one of two ways: (1) pregnant, gently holding my belly and talking to my embryos, maybe lighting some candles and having a nice evening looking at the Christmas tree and dreaming of next Christmas with my baby(ies), or (2) not pregnant, drunk as a skunk, on the floor sobbing into my dogs' fur… Now I get to spend the time trying to keep myself from tearing the house apart trying to find the HPT tests, or going to the store, and breaking my promise to the hubs. Good times.

I don’t know how I’m going to make it through this week. Unbelievable torture! In other news, I’ve had a headache since Saturday. I took two Tylenol yesterday, and it didn’t help. My boobs have hurt since Friday. And today I started feeling nauseous. I would feel great about these “symptoms” except the image of that glaring white space next to the one line on the test keeps popping up in my head. And the fact that I know that all this progesterone and estrogen I’m taking can play some serious mind tricks. And the fact that I know I’ve done this to myself before – completely convinced myself that I was pregnant based on stupid symptoms, and then found out it was all in my head. And the worst question - how can I have these symptoms when I obviously don't have enough hCG in my system to register on a pee stick? I wish I could fast-forward a week. I don’t care about Christmas, I don’t care about anything, I just want it to be next Monday, and receive that call from the nurse telling me I’m pregnant, and my hCG numbers are super high!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It was going to be today

But it’s not. Today was going to be the day I tested, and saw a BFP. Today was going to be the day, at 12 days past retrieval, that it was a decent chance that I would see a BFP. As you could tell from my previous post, I’m a freak about POAS – we all know this. And I start testing too early. After getting all your responses (which by the way, are all over the map - just goes to show you we all have different experiences…) and looking at many different blogs where the ladies tested very soon after transfer and received positive tests, I tested. On Friday. At 5dp5dt. BFN, but that was ok. I didn’t believe it. I got up yesterday and was going to test again, but all my boxes of pregnancy tests were empty! When did that happen? I scrambled through my stuff and found some internet cheapie OPKs, so I used one of those – negative. But that was ok, I didn’t believe it.

But today, I woke up early, peed in a cup, and went to the store. Got some bagels, donuts for the hubs, a decaf latte (heavenly – haven’t had any drop of even decaf coffee in weeks!) and a box of FRER pregnancy tests… Talk about the breakfast of champions. And then I tested. And it was negative. And now I start to wonder. I now have doubt.

This has to work – I can’t even comprehend the possibility of this not working. Christmas is later this week. I decided awhile ago I wasn’t going to travel. We’ve never been in Texas for Christmas; we’ve always gone to Colorado. The hubs’ family is very close, and makes such a big deal about Christmas. We’ve always gone to his parent’s house for Christmas, and his mother’s birthday is on Christmas day as well. I knew that nobody would be happy with my decision to not travel, so I told the hubs that he could make his own decision about traveling. And I would be ok if he went to Colorado and left me in Texas. I just knew that I couldn’t – wouldn’t – travel during early pregnancy. I knew it wasn’t rational, and I didn’t care, and I shouldn’t make the hubs follow my irrational decision. And so he booked a flight for noon on the 24th, and will fly back the afternoon of the 25th. He’ll be gone for one night, and that’s ok. Or at least it was ok when I was going to be pregnant. I could sit at home with my little embryos and be at peace, by myself. It didn’t occur to me that I would be alone at Christmas and not be pregnant. I can’t even imagine…

I know I should have hope – it may be too early. I have to have hope. I know people have tested much later and received positives, but did they receive a negative at 12 dpo? I’m still hoping, but I really hope it’s worth it…

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reached that point…

It’s official, it didn’t take long, but I have officially reached the point of complete restlessness, want to know now, when will I be able to know, can’t stand working, can’t stand being at home, why can’t I know, surf the internet, read other blogs, when’s the earliest I can test, want to know now, really need to work, can’t stand it… craziness.

The very cool thing about IVF is the first part of the 2WW is taken up by events: getting over the retrieval; how many did we retrieve?; how many fertilized?; how many should we transfer?; bed rest. So that helped my restlessness last week. Now that I’m through all of that…what do I do now?? I’m back at work, got caught up with most everything yesterday, and now I don’t know what to do with my time. Sure, I have other stuff I should be doing at work, but nothing URGENT. Which means it doesn’t need to be done – anytime soon. Oh, I’m the ultimate procrastinator during the 2WW. And then there’s the other thing. How is the 2WW calculated in this IVF world? I had the retrieval on 12/7, so I should be 9 days into the 2WW, right? In my IUI crazy times, I’d start testing around 10dpo (I got a BFP on 10dpo!), but that seems too early – isn’t it? Especially considering I’ve only had these embryos in me since 12/12 – 4 days… So that would make me 4dp5dt, right? I know none of these dates and labels really matter – I’ll find out at some point, but oh I want to know!

And don’t ask me when my beta is – I don’t really know. Maybe Monday, but the clinic certainly didn’t call it a beta… Last week, when we established my transfer date, I asked the nurse when my beta is, and she said they’ll let me know. I was so confused – how will you let me know? I finally figured out that they bring IVF patients in 2-3 times per week after bed rest to monitor hormone levels. So I went in yesterday, they told me my estradiol and progesterone look good, continue my meds, and I don’t need to come in to my previously scheduled appointment on Friday – just come in on Monday. But they didn’t tell me what was going to be tested… I think they sneak in an hCG test and don’t really tell the patients unless it’s good news. I don’t know, I’m just guessing…

As you can see, I’m driving myself nuts, I’m trying to be calm and distract myself, but it’s just not working. So my question is to you ladies – when do you think I can reliably test? Not test to get a “for sure” result, but a “pretty sure” result will work for me. Because I’m obsessed… And I’ve never been one of those “wait for beta” kind of people… I admire all of you that do that, but it’s just not for me!

(And just as a reminder, I didn’t do an hCG trigger – I did a Lupron trigger – so there’s nothing in my system other than what these embies produce…)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Greetings from my bed!

I would like to officially declare bed rest as the absolutely best part of IVF. When else in your life can you stay in bed and be a complete lazy bum without any judgment – AND you don’t even feel bad like you do when you’re sick! It’s been a nice few days, and I’m kind of sad that today is my last day, and I have to go back to the real world tomorrow…

I’ve been working – some. Yesterday, I think I did about three hours of work on a project, and I think I got more accomplished yesterday than I do in most days. Granted, a large part of my job is answering questions and guiding my staff, and I couldn’t do that yesterday, but I’m so much more productive on my back in my bed than in my office! I’ve also done all my Christmas cards, printed labels for the upcoming year’s files, and read about half of Mel’s new book.

Mel, of Stirrup Queens, wrote a post yesterday about her new book, Life from Scratch, and it’s fantastic! After hearing her new book was released, I had to download it immediately – I use the Kindle software on my laptop or iphone. I have read her non-fiction book about infertility, Navigating the Land of IF, which is a must-read for any infertile, but her new fiction book is so good too! It always amazes me how people can write fiction – needless to say, I always struggled at creative writing. And now to know (kind of – at least in bloggy land) someone who wrote such a fun story, I’m so impressed! It’s one of those books that sucks you in immediately, and keeps you going. I read the first half of it last night – you know it’s a good book when it keeps you up late at night. It’s just so fun, and charming, and so incredibly entertaining! I find myself smiling throughout the whole experience. I’m trying to hold off on reading it too much today – I actually have work to do! But go check it out – I highly recommend it!

Things are still going very well with the positive attitude mission of mine. I know a lot of people, especially those that have gone through pregnancy losses, don’t believe in looking too far ahead, not doing anything too permanent, but I’m taking a different approach. During my last pregnancy, my friend got me this book – it has a page for every day of your pregnancy. I had written – in pen – the dates on each page – up until the miscarriage. So some people would think that I wouldn’t use it again. And I thought about that too. But I love it, and I didn’t want to buy another one – I want to use the book my friend gave me. I didn’t start looking at it until about 7 weeks last pregnancy, as that is when she got it for me. But this time, I started looking at it on day 1. Each day, I cross out the old date (which makes me a little sad, but it’s also nice to remember my other baby), and put in the new date, and write a little note about my mood or a little note to the embryos. And I read to the hubs the status of the babies, or me, whatever it says for the day. I know this could be setting myself up for all kinds of heartache. But if I lose these guys, I will have heartache regardless. I can’t protect myself from that kind of grief, so instead, I’m going to enjoy every moment I can with these little embryos…

Sunday, December 12, 2010

All Knocked Up!

It’s official – I have two little embryos inside me! The transfer was this morning, and it went well. I can’t remember the exact numbers, but they had about 10 blastocysts, and a few morulas. So I think they’re going to see how everything looks tomorrow, and freeze about 10 embryos. This makes me so happy to know that they are ready for me, whenever I need them.

I was listening to the Circle+Bloom meditation today after the transfer, and it said, “this is your time.” I believe this. I really do. I know that right now tends to be an optimistic time, but I really believe this is it, and I’m going to do whatever I can to maintain this belief. I believe that one or two of these embryos inside me will be my little baby or babies at the end of next summer. I’m doing everything I can to hold on these embryos – the intralipids, the Lovenox I’ll start tonight, the bedrest that I’m now on, and will be on for the next few days. I have to take care of these little ones, and today is the beginning of my life as a mother to these babies…

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fertilization Report

I received the fertilization report, and of our 29 eggs retrieved, 24 were fertilized. I can't believe this - 2 dozen embryos? Are you kidding me? Unbelievable. Based on this, we are scheduled for a Day 5 transfer on Sunday. Started Crinone 8% twice a day, and estrace, and Vivelle patch today.

It’s crazy to think about these numbers. I know that the chances of most of these embryos making it to day 5 are slim to none, but still. It makes me feel very secure that I have this many cooking in the lab, and I will definitely have some to freeze – right? What if this IVF cycle was my only one? What if from now on all I have to do is FET cycles? Shoot, what if I transfer two embryos on Sunday, and two implant, and I give birth to two babies? Could it possibly be true? Except then we would need to consider what to do with the rest of our embryos. We already signed the consent that said that if both the hubs and I die, that we would donate our embryos to research. I would want to be around to make any further decisions about our embryos, so we decided on that. And I know I’m opening up a huge can of worms when I start to think about what to do with the others… But right now, I need to just focus on two. Two embryos. Two babies.

Speaking of numbers, I have a friend at work who knows all about our IVF adventures – actually, I have a few friends who know about this stuff, which is very nice. But this one guy who sits next to me, he’s been very nice and asks almost every day about what’s going on with my eggs. He’s been very good to talk to, as he always turns it into some big joke, and no matter how stressed I am, he ends up making me laugh about the whole thing. He does our financial models at work, and I don't think he has much to do, because after hearing about my 29 eggs, he built me a model which will predict the number of babies I'll get after transferring a certain number of embryos. You can change the chance of baby, and the number of eggs transferred, and it will calculate the chances for each number of babies. He really thinks I should have lots of embryos transferred, call TLC, who will come and tape the whole thing – we could make so much money! He thinks the hubs and I would be great on a reality show… Anyway, here is the spreadsheet assuming 50% chance of each blastocyst working (I saw this chance on a few different sites), and 2 transferred (sorry for the ugly look - I'm not an expert on blogging...):

Here it is assuming 50% chance, and 3 transferred:

And this is what my friend thinks we should do - aspire to be another octomom:

He keeps saying, "this almost GUARANTEES you a baby - don't you want a baby???"

It is interesting to see the impact of the chance of implantation - what if the chance wasn't 50%, and instead it was 30%, and you transferred two embryos?

The odds are back to 50/50 - which I don't love...

Of course, I sent the spreadsheet to the hubs, who also spends a lot of time with financial models, and he pointed out that our friend's model doesn't have certain variables like the chance of embryos splitting and having identical twins. Just goes to show you, you never know... A model may be a good predictor, but as all of us in finance know, past performance is no guarantee of future results! And all models have errors...

For now, I'm just so very happy that I have 2 dozen (!!!!) embryos growing away happily in the lab. I'm so very grateful for all of this - that I had the chance to do IVF, and for all of your support throughout this process. I'm just on top of the world!!! (Plus, I recently took 1/2 of a vicodin...)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I can't believe it. They took 29 eggs. I feel kind of guilty reporting this, as I know a lot of women would kill for this kind of response. I'm sure more than a few are immature and won't fertilize, as we certainly didn't see 29 follicles of the right size in the latest ultrasound. But today, I'll take this wonderful news and celebrate!

Can I just tell you how much I love Vicodin? First time in awhile my ovaries don't feel like they're going to explode...

Monday, December 6, 2010


Thank you to all of you for your wonderful comments. I feel much better than I did on Friday, I think because we are finally progressing!

We went in for the final monitoring appointment Saturday morning, and I had 3 follies between 20-22 mm, 3 follies between 18-20, 7 between 15-18, and lots lower than 15. My estradiol was at 6,857! Up from 3,049 24 hours before. Yes, it’s definitely a good thing I’m doing the Lupron trigger instead of HCG. I triggered last night at 9:15, and did another Lupron shot this morning at 9:15 – had the pleasure of shooting up in the work bathroom… But considering my estradiol was 6,857 on Saturday, and it more than doubled in 24 hours, I can only imagine what it was last night at the time of trigger. Based on my research, it would have been an almost guarantee that I would have had OHSS after an HCG trigger. I guess the concern is now that I will get pregnant, and the HCG from that will cause OHSS… Oh well – I’m not going to worry about that today. I was hoping we would have the retrieval today, but I think they wanted to give the 7 between 15-18 a chance to get a little bigger, so that’s why they pushed it back to Tuesday. I don’t really know, I’m just trusting that they know what they’re doing, and I won’t worry about it.

I’ve been an emotional wreck. And the hubs does not handle it well. We’ve been in minor fights at least a couple times a day for the last week it seems, and we had a huge blowout on Saturday night. This resulted in me sobbing by myself in the living room, and the hubs in the bedroom, after he told me he didn’t want to talk to me anymore. I’m completely irrational, I know, but he’s not very helpful either. I am definitely not handling these hormones very well. We made up Sunday morning, and yesterday wasn’t bad – partially because I told him to go watch football with a friend of his. I’m almost better on my own, and it was good to avoid fights. Then he picked me up after an afternoon of sports, and we had a nice dinner out last night. So that was nice. For those of you that have done this before, when does the emotional craziness get better? I keep thinking that I just need to get through this phase, but then I remember that I start taking progesterone and estrogen supplements on Wednesday, that I have the rollercoaster of the embryo wait, the transfer and then the 2WW coming up. And then – assuming I get pregnant – the fear of losing the baby! I must not think of all that, as it just causes me to spiral in my negative thinking. But I really hope the feeling of not being able to control my emotions gets better…

Friday, December 3, 2010

Crazy Ride

I hate the ride that is IVF. Everything’s still ok, but my follies aren’t quite the right size yet, and so we wait… Keep taking those meds, go in for another monitoring tomorrow, and maybe the retrieval is Tuesday or Wednesday. Which makes the transfer Sunday or Monday, assuming we can do a 5-day transfer. Which adds to the number of days I have to take off from work. Oh vacation days, how I wish I had more of you!!!

And I just want to get this show on the road! My ovaries hurt like hell, I’m exhausted every day, and I just want to be done. Let’s fast forward to retrieval, then another fast forward to transfer, then beta. Ok??? I don’t want to wait anymore!!!

Sorry, had a little temper tantrum there – thanks for listening and not judging – I know I can always bitch to you ladies. I had the first intralipid transfusion yesterday at home using a home health nurse. It wasn’t bad, except it was a bit MacGyver – esque. Don’t have this kind of tube? Let’s improvise! Don’t have an IV pole? What about those pictures – can you take them off the wall and use the picture hooks? I guess the good thing is the transfusion got done, in time for the transfer, and now that I have a bunch of fat running around in my body (like I didn’t have enough before), the NK cells will calm themselves and not attack my embryos. OK, seriously – how does this work? Does anyone have a real explanation for this? How does fat suppress NK cells – seems bizarre.

Oh, and I started the day off with a fight with the hubs – what a wonderful way to start the day. I asked him to come to my appointment with me this morning a couple days ago. He usually can’t, or won’t, whatever, due to his job. But I knew his boss would be out of town, and he could go in a little later, but he said no. But then this morning he slept in later than usual, so I was wishing, hoping, that he changed his mind and decided to go with me. But no, instead of going to work, and instead of going with me, he decided to sleep a little longer. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy, and I started bitching at him when he got up, right before I left for my appointment. Definitely did not handle it well – starting using words like priorities, and such. He didn’t handle it well either. But now we’re fine and made up, so that’s good, it just sucked to start the day out like that. We’ll see if he gets up early with me and drives an hour each way for a 10 minute appointment tomorrow morning – the Saturday appointment is downtown, not in the burbs where we live. I bet he won’t – he’ll want to sleep in. Oh yes, that “priorities” word keep popping up in my head.

Wow, I think I’m grumpier than I thought. I’m just sick of this IVF thing, and when the nurse told me my follies weren’t as big as they’d like by now, I was not pleased. C’mon follies, do your thing and grow,OK???


OK, I had that all written, and was just waiting for the nurse to call with the results of the blood test and with the plan before I posted this. Well, based on my estradiol levels (3,049), I’m at a high risk for OHSS, as it will only go up from here (it was at 1,697 two days ago). In order to alleviate this risk, instead of taking the HCG shot as a trigger, I’m supposed to take a Lupron trigger shot instead. I guess this just about eliminates the risk, as it essentially shuts down the ovaries, when the HCG shot speeds up the ovaries. Then they’ll go in and do the retrieval, and I shouldn’t get OHSS. But the bad thing is that then my ovaries won’t produce progesterone and estrogen, so I have to do additional supplementation. Instead of using the Crinone gel (I’m using this instead of PIO – anyone ever use this?) once per day, I’ll use it twice a day. And I’ll have patches of estrogen and pills as well. Start the progesterone and estrogen supplements the day after retrieval. I’ve done a little googling, and it looks like using Lupron as a trigger happens out there some, but not common. Most IVF patients use Lupron as part of the protocol, and if you’re already taking Lupron, you can’t take it as a trigger. And I go in for monitoring tomorrow, and the doc should decide tomorrow whether I have the retrieval on Monday or Tuesday. Crazy rollercoaster.

I don’t like hearing that I’m at a high risk of OHSS, but I guess with the Lupron trigger it should be ok. But now I’m worried that the supplementation won’t be enough for the embryos, as my body won’t produce progesterone and estrogen on its own because of the Lupron! I guess there’s always something to worry about… Oh, and the hubs agreed to go to the appointment tomorrow morning with me…

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Birth Father

In cycle news, everything looks good. Went in for monitoring, and I have lots of growing wonderful follies. My estradiol is 1,692, which isn’t much more than Monday’s of 1,534, so they’re increasing Menopur back to 150, keep Gonal-F/Follistim at 150, and keep taking Cetrotide. They said the estradiol can also drop a bit when you start the Cetrotide, so shouldn’t be too worried. And come back on Friday for more monitoring.

In other news, I’d like to talk about my birth father, T. As a recap, I was adopted when I was 4. Prior to that time, T and my birth mother took turns taking care of me, I was in many foster homes (I think 18), and part of the time I lived with T’s sister, and then another time I lived with T’s mother. Both T and birth mother were alcoholics, and drug addicts. They weren’t young – they were both in their late 20's. Both were homeless, and therefore so was I. Both are now sober. They were never married, and T now is married to a nice woman. My parents (this is the term I use for adoptive parents – you know, the ones who raised me – my REAL parents (yes, it’s a pet peave of mine that people refer to birth parents as real parents)) kept in contact with T’s sister and mother, so T and his family always knew where I was. Birth mom didn’t keep in contact. I’ve spoken with her a couple of times in my adult life, but it always ends up with birth mom crying on the phone, and it’s really hard to talk with her. She’s still not very stable.

Anyway, T and I started talking on the phone a few years ago. For awhile there, he would call me, or I would call him, about every month. It’s started to decline in frequency about a year ago, and I haven’t been making a huge effort. He’s really nice, and he definitely wants to see me, but I haven’t been ready. I just don’t know what to say to this guy. Our conversations are so awkward. T is really into music, he plays quite a few instruments, and he’s a bit of a hippy. He’s a retired school teacher, and he’s all about his music – seriously, he plays in public probably 2-3 times per week. He’s someone I would call “artsy.” I am definitely not artsy. He keeps talking about how I used to play the piano growing up, but this is only because my Mom forced it on me. Yes, I was pretty good, but that’s because I practiced one hour a day – every day! And as soon as I could quit taking lessons, I did. Sure I played classical music, but I don’t remember which songs – he keeps asking if I played this song or not – I can’t remember. And I don’t listen to it now. I have this idea that I would love to be all musical and stuff, but I’m just not. I’m an accountant who really likes her job, her dogs, her house and I’m not very artsy or crafty and definitely not musical. This would be fine that we have nothing in common, except T keeps focusing on music in our conversations, trying to forge some kind of connection, because I used to play the piano. He keeps encouraging me to buy a piano, or at least a keyboard, so I can take up playing again. I’ve thought about it, and I’d like a piano someday, but all I really want is a baby, so all our extra money goes to that…

He called me a couple weeks ago, left a message, and I’m ashamed to say I didn’t call him back. Then he sent me an email with a link to a video of him playing his guitar. The email says, “Hi Alex, Awhile back I left a message on your cell, I’ll try again in a few days… Meanwhile here’s a youtube of one of my favorite guitar pieces. I used to play it at home in your first 4 years of life…Love, T” This breaks my heart. I know he’s trying to make a connection. I watched the video – yes, there he is, playing the guitar, and I feel awful about this, but I just don’t feel anything! I wish I could feel more connected, but I just don’t.

I talked with my therapist about this, and she said it’s ok to not feel connected. That I’m grieving the loss of the fantasy I had about reconnecting with my birth father. I guess this makes sense, but I just feel awful that he wants this relationship so bad, and I’m kind of ambivalent about it. I asked her what to do about his email – I don’t want to talk with him right now, I just can’t muster up the energy right now to talk to him about music, when all I can think of is this IVF. We talked more, and I finally admitted that part of the reason I can’t talk with T is I don’t understand him, I’m angry at him. I’m working so hard right now to have this baby that is in my head, that I don’t understand how someone could give up a child for adoption. And I’m having a really hard time connecting right now with someone who gave me up…

My therapist told me to be honest with him, and tell him that I didn’t want to talk, that I’m going through IVF, that I’ve had miscarriages, and that I’m angry that he gave me up when I’m having trouble having a baby. I agree with her on everything but the last point – I don’t want to hurt him. So I sent him an email, thanking him for sending the video, apologizing for being out of touch, and I told him about TTC, doing treatments and having two miscarriages. I told him I would prefer to not talk on the phone for awhile. He responded, “When you didn’t respond to my cell phone voice mail message, I figured you were extremely busy with your professional and or personal lie. As it turns out, that was the case. I’ll be waiting for you to make the next telephone call as I respect you and your feelings completely. Good luck with your procedures. Love, T” I feel so bad – he really is a nice guy, but I just can’t do it right now.

And yet another person when I tell them that I’ve had miscarriages, no response… I hate to keep harping on that, but why is it so difficult to say, “I’m sorry to hear about your miscarriages.” Or SOMETHING!

I feel so conflicted about continuing my relationship with T. I know I should, it would make him very happy. But it would be so easy to let it go. I’m afraid this makes me an awful person, but it’s just so hard dealing with all the emotions involved. I always had this fantasy of reconnecting with my birth parents when I had a baby. I think it would be easier to see them if I brought their grandchild with me, and if we had something to talk about, something to bond over, like a baby. I guess that’s another part of the fantasy that I’m grieving over. At least the grief that I haven’t been able to do this yet. Maybe someday…

Monday, November 29, 2010

All Over the Place

First, the most exciting news. Apparently I’m a good responder to meds! I’m so proud – finally my body is doing something right! I went in for monitoring this morning (CD7, have done 4 days of stims), and I have 11 follicles, all around 8-12 mm, and many more below that size. My lining is growing – it’s about 6 mm, so that’s good for this point. And my estradiol is 1,534. The plan is to drop the Menopur to 75 from 150, continue Follistim/Gonal-F of 150, and then add Cetrotide tonight. I’m developing headaches from the meds, which I hate, but other than that, I feel ok. I can definitely feel my ovaries getting bigger – they’re starting to shake when I walk. Wow, I wonder how I’ll feel by this weekend…

In other news, my Thanksgiving went well. We went to Denver, and saw lots of family and friends. My mom and step-dad came over to my in-laws for Thanksgiving, which I was nervous about – first time having both families together at the holidays, but it all went well. My mom even got a little tipsy, and it was hilarious - good times! We saw a bunch of friends and family. Few infertile moments:

Our friends just started TTC. We went to Europe with them in September, and she told me all about how she was going to stop the pill as soon as she got back, and then get pregnant. I’m so afraid she’ll be pregnant before me. She told me this weekend that she’s had really wonky cycles since going off the pill – she can’t tell when/if she has ovulated, and she’s been very late both cycles. Is it bad that I was secretly pleased? I hate that this is who infertility has made me. But yesterday the hubs and I were talking about them, and he said how pissed he would be if they got pregnant before we did – love seeing the jealous side of the hubs!

I haven’t been back to see the hubs’ family since June. This is when we told everyone I was pregnant, right before I miscarried. Nobody from the hubs family, except his mother, said anything when I miscarried. That’s fine, maybe people don’t want to say anything from a distance. But I was there this weekend, and his grandmother (who we gave a Great-grandmother frame to – right before we miscarried), and his brother, and his brother’s girlfriend, and his cousin, didn’t say anything at all. They didn’t mention anything, and I dropped a couple things in conversation, “when I was pregnant,” “hopefully if we get pregnant,” that kind of thing. And nothing. They all celebrated with me in June when we told them I was pregnant. And now, they say nothing. I know it makes people uncomfortable, but I was hurt they didn’t say anything.

And to top it all off, my friend who is having twins (accidentally!) found out the sex of her babies. They’re both boys. She came back to work crying after the appointment because she’s so disappointed. She has one girl already, and she really wanted another girl – she didn’t want two boys! I love her, but she’s a fucking bitch!

OK, rant over… I’m still very positive about this cycle, but I’m having a bitter day. Yes, I think I’ll get pregnant – one day – but I hate that I have to go through the rest of this crap…

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This is Going to Work!

I’ve decided. With the amount of work that has gone into this IVF cycle, and all the things that have had to gone right, and all that did, this IVF cycle is going to work. It just has to! Not because I’m desperate (because let’s face it, I am), but because it has faced so many roadblocks and has involved so many people, and there were so many places where it have been derailed, and it actually is going to happen.

I start stimming tomorrow with 150 Gonal-F or Follistism (half cycle Gonal-F leftovers, the rest Follistim), plus 150 Menopur. I go in on Monday for my first monitoring and the DQ Alpha test. I had my check yesterday, and both my FSH and LH numbers are great – better than ever (is that the BCP?), and no cysts. I get the IV injection on Tuesday with the intralipids – at home. All but one of the 14 prescription meds have been either received or will be received by my dogsitter on Saturday (love her!). The remaining med is the progesterone that I don’t start until later, so I have some time to figure this one out next week. I actually found a pharmacy that has Cetrotide (substitute for Ganirelix, which is not being manufactured, and therefore there’s a shortage of Cetrotide). I had to call every 30 minutes today to this pharmacy - “have you received your shipment yet?” – because they wouldn’t take any orders until they received it, and then it was first come first serve. Unbelievable. I called 4 different places to try to find someone to administer the intralipids at my house, and I finally found someone. The local doc isn’t taking responsibility for the treatment of the NK cells – they are simply ordering the script for the intralipids, it’s shipping to my house, and it’s up to me to find someone to give it to me. And Dr. Sher isn’t taking responsibility for it either as I am getting the IVF done by someone else. Very weird, but I don’t care – I’m getting the appropriate treatment, and that’s all that matters. And there’s a ton of other administrative stuff I’ve had to do to get the insurance to cover all this (thank you, insurance! I’m so incredibly lucky – I wish all the infertiles had this insurance!), and get everything done. I’m using four different pharmacies, one home health care provider, two doctors, many nurses, 14 different meds, and it all will result in one, maybe two, babies…. I know it!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I’m so incredibly thankful of everything I have in my life – my hubs, the pups, my job, my new insurance, our family, our IRL friends, and all of you – I could never have done this without you.

And wish me luck getting through airplane security tonight with a whole bag full of liquid meds and syringes… Yes, I have a note from the doc, but I’m still nervous.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

One Year Ago, and The Little IVF That Could…

One year ago, I met the local doc for the first time. This was my first meeting with an RE. I remember scheduling it for a week or two earlier, and then the receptionist called me to say it would be postponed. Pushing the appointment back made it so we would go through another cycle without treatment, and I burst into tears talking to the receptionist. I remember how impatient I was – how can I go through another cycle? Somehow I thought that walking into that RE’s office would get me pregnant… Oh how much I’ve learned in the last year.

I’d love to talk to that one year ago me. I’d tell her that she has more strength than she knows. I’d tell her that she can persevere. I’d tell her to start her blog sooner. I’d love to tell her that all she’s going to go through is worth it, but I don’t even know that now… Actually even if there’s no baby at the end of this journey, it’s worth it. I’ll always know I’ve done everything I could to have that baby in my dreams. Looking back at my RE journey over the last year, I don’t know that I would have taken different steps. Granted, as I embark on my first IVF (more details below), I wish I would have done this earlier, but that’s not how it works. I had to have the ectopic, and the miscarriage, in order to develop the cajones to request additional testing and take charge of my own treatments, and go talk to another doctor. Now I know about the MTHFR thing, and I know about the NK cell thing, and we can treat these. I had to go through all the heartache to learn and grow, and I’m now finally ready for this IVF step. Part of me is sad, and a little angry, that I stand here, one year later, still without a baby. But I’m stronger, and armed with more knowledge, and I only could have gained this by going through what I have.

Now on to the current update – The Little IVF That Could!

Amazingly, we are on for an IVF cycle – now. I start stimming on Thursday. I didn’t think this would happen – I gave it about a 5% chance! So all the things that I had listed on Sunday as needing to happen before I would do an IVF cycle – they actually happened! I was able to get a phone consult with the local doc yesterday, and he told me that their practice didn’t generally test and treat for NK cells. This is because it hasn’t been recognized the American Fertility Society as a real issue. HOWEVER, he’s willing to take Dr. Sher’s protocols, and implement them. And he has done this before with other docs for other patients. So I gave one of the local nurses the information for Dr. Sher, and she’s supposed to set up a meeting between them. I’m a little nervous about this – I know Dr. Sher doesn’t like the local doc’s IVF protocol, and I hope that doesn’t come between them. I tried to just get the protocol from Sher’s nurse, but he insisted that he speak with my local doc directly. It feels a bit like a pissing contest, but I’m not going to get in the middle of it. Both docs have told me that they are willing to work with the other doc, so I’m going to accept that and assume that happens. Based on my research, I think the intralipid infusion needs to happen by stim day 9, which will be December 3, so we have a little time. And the local doc is ordering the DQ Alpha test as well!

Assuming everything works between the docs, we have the best of both worlds – I’ll be using Dr. Sher’s knowledge in treating the NK cells, and I get to stay home and do the IVF, which will be much less stressful than going to Vegas. Plus we get to do this now – by Christmas, I’ll know if it worked! I can’t believe this is actually going to happen – between the insurance, and only being able to order meds from certain places (required by my insurance), and the NK cell thing, I’ve spent probably 20 hours on the phone over the last two weeks, trying to get this done. And it finally is happening – I can’t believe it. That’s why I’m calling it the Little IVF that Could… Despite all odds against it, this IVF cycle kept chanting, “I think I can, I think I can…” and it’s finally getting to the top of the mountain!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Off the Ledge

Thanks to everyone for their wonderful comments. You have successfully talked me off the ledge. I'm feeling much better today than I did Friday when I first got the news about my activated NK cells. I don't know if you guys have picked up on this yet, but I really hate it when plans change. I am a freak with my calendar. And especially with infertility, I've become so obsessed with knowing when everything is going to happen, and understanding all the steps. Partially because going through all the details and THE PLAN (yes, it always is capitalized in my head) helps me feel more in control of something, even when I am definitely not! And when I receive such huge reminders that there are things out there that can totally derail THE PLAN, or at least push it over to a different track, I don't take this very well.

So the current plan is: call my local doc first thing tomorrow morning. If the following things happen, we will go forward with the current IVF: (a) he can see me tomorrow (he's never been able to see me without about two weeks notice, but I'm not sure how much begging one of the nurses will work), (b) he has treated patients for NK cells with intralipids and steroids before, (c) he is willing to treat me with this treatment etc. as soon as possible, and (d) he orders the DQ alpha test ASAP. If all this can be done - tomorrow - then I think we're willing to try our chances with the DQ alpha thing, as most of the treatments are similar to the NK cell thing, except they continue while pregnancy - I think. I'm not that familiar with this, and I'm having a hard time finding information. Hopefully local doc will know something about this. If he doesn't know much about it, and is not willing to work directly with Sher, and all the above things don't happen - tomorrow - then we'll cancel our IVF that's supposed to happen in a few days... We need to get everything done on Monday, as we need to order all the meds from pharmacies and get them through insurance, and I leave town on Wednesday! I think the chance of us starting IVF this week is about 5%...

I haven't been able to convince the hubs that if all things don't go well with local doc this week, that I want to move on to do the IVF with Sher in Vegas in either January or March, depending on whether I can convince my boss that I can be away for two weeks during a super busy time in January. The hubs keeps saying, "let's talk to local doc first." And so I'm trying to be patient with him, and let him come to those conclusions in his own time... So hard!

Although I'm very upset with the change in timing, I think it's very good that we now know this information about NK cells. I am a firm believer in the immunology aspect of reproductive medicine, and I'm not willing to move forward with IVF without these additional treatments. It's not worth it - both with the money, and the emotions involved in losing a baby vs. waiting to start IVF. Once I started thinking about it like that, I became a lot calmer. And all of you really helped me - so much! It helps to have infertile friends like you, always in my corner. Whether it's virtual hugs, advice or real information, I can definitely count on all of you - thank you!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

"I Don't Think You Have a Good Shot at Having a Baby"

This is what Dr. Sher said - if I don't get intralipid treatment. He went over the results of the NK cell testing. Here are the results, for those of you who know anything about this stuff (believe me, it's gobblygook to me):
Native state: 1:50 8.1% killed; 1:25 4.9% killed; 1:12.5 3.9% killed
IL-2 stim: 1:50 10.3% killed; 1:25 6.8% killed; 1:12.5 6.3% killed
IVIg 12.5: 1:50 9.2% killed; 1:25 4.6% killed; 1:12.5 4.0% killed
IVIg 6.5: 1.50 10.4% killed; 1:25 8.6% killed; 1:12.5 6.4% killed

He said anything over 10% is concerning. If I only had the one (IL-2 stim) over 10%, then it would be ok, but I have two, including the IVIg, over 10%. So what that means is that 90% of the time, I have autoimmune issues, and this would need to be treated with steroids and intralipids. Without this, "I don't think you have a good shot at having a baby." But first we need to get tested for the 10% likely issue - DQ Alpha problem - both the hubs and I need to be tested, and if we have certain genetic similarities, then it's a worse problem, and there's more intralipids, and more steroids. The DQ Alpha problem takes at least 2-3 weeks to get the results.

I explained to Sher our current plans to have IVF, with stimulation starting on Thursday, with a local doc. He didn't like that. He said we could talk to the local doc about this, but "I doubt it if your doctor understands this problem. He can certainly call me, and I can explain it to him, but I doubt he would do that. If you don't get treated for this issue, I don't think it is likely that this IVF will be successful, in that it would result in a baby." I asked if he could order the DQ Alpha test, and he said no, not if I was under the care of another doctor.

I don't know what to do now. I was so ready to do IVF - starting next week! I trust this guy's opinion - he's one of the best in the world, but not everyone gets these tests done before IVF, right? I got off the phone, and now I can't stop crying. I just don't know what to do. I just want to get to the end of the TTC battle - I'm sick of this!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's Still a Go!

To start out, the hysteroscopy went well. They didn’t find anything (yay!) and the worst part was having to go without eating or drinking until the actual procedure, which was about 1:00 pm. Oh, and I’m now classified as a “hard stick” when it comes to IV’s. They kept complaining that I was so dehydrated. Of course – I couldn’t have anything to drink! But we were out of there by about 2:30, and I got to eat then. It’s like super drunk eating – yum, can’t really taste it, not that hungry but I’ll still eat anyway. Went home and slept if off. Got up for about an hour last night, then back to bed, and today I feel like a champ. I’m a little crampy, but not much. And I’m not groggy or anything. I have a little spotting, but it’s not bad either. Thanks to everyone for your well wishes and advice – I really appreciate it!

My MIL has been great. She was so sweet, and helpful. I went to pick her up Monday night (the hubs had to get up early the next morning, so I volunteered to pick her up). She got in the car, and promptly asked me what was going on. She had no idea what I was actually having done, all she knew is her son called her and asked her to come down and help, and she said yes. She was so funny, “so why am I here?” I explained to her everything, and she’s so horrified at all the procedures and medications and everything, but very supportive. Finally she worked up the courage to ask me a question. She was stumbling letting it out, but I finally said, “Let me summarize what I think you are asking. You want to make sure that your son isn’t pressuring me into doing something I don’t want to do. It’s my body, and this involves a lot of procedures, and complicated stuff, and injections, appointments and so on. And you want to make sure that your son isn’t the only one that wants to do this, especially considering that it’s my body that will have to go through all this. And that you know that I’m adopted, so I probably would be fine with an adopted child. But the hubs isn’t, so maybe he wants a biological child more than me. But you want to make sure that I know that you would be happy with any kind of grandchild. Is that it?” And yes, that was it. I explained to her that the hubs and I made this decision together, that I personally have a huge desire for a biological child, or at least I’m not ready to move on until I’ve exhausted all options. She was so happy to hear that I want to do all this. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have her as my MIL.

She even wanted to go to my teaching appointment with me. We went to the clinic this morning to learn about all the medications that I will be taking, and how to administer them. She was so overwhelmed and amazed. And then the nurse was explaining the calendar, and I finally asked about leaving town for Thanksgiving. I don’t know why I didn’t ask earlier, but it would have been fine with the IUI’s I’ve done. But it most certainly was not ok with the IVF procedure. The nurse was adamant that I either couldn’t leave town or had to push everything back a week. And so, we’re pushing everything back a week… All that means is I have to start BCP again, take them until Monday, and then next Friday while I’m in Colorado, I’ll start the meds. It’s really fine, doesn’t really delay much. So no big deal – look how good I’m being with changed schedules! This is usually not like me at all.

It’s actually good. We’re still waiting to find out our insurance group and ID numbers – I’m so frustrated that we’re still in this process. The company says we’re insured starting November 8, but they haven’t sent our info to the insurance company yet, so that company can’t recognize us! Hopefully by tomorrow – we’ll see. The other thing is I got my results for the NK cell testing back. Based on my rudimentary knowledge, they look fine. And I even sent them to Kristi, because with all her experience, she has unfortunately gained a lot of knowledge about NK cells. We agreed that they looked kind of fine, but of course Dr. Sher needs to interpret. Well, I just heard from Sher’s nurse that the NK cell results are “abnormal.” I got my consult with him moved up to this Friday, but it will definitely be interesting to see what he says, and what he recommends. And if he recommends any treatment, then I have to get my local doc to agree and prescribe that treatment for me! My understanding is any kind of treatment should be started 2 weeks before transfer, and that is currently scheduled for around December 11. So pushing the start of the IVF helps with that as well.

I’m a little frustrated with all the moving parts, but I’m very happy that my hysteroscopy results were great, and that we’re still moving forward. And I’ll still know by Christmas! On another note – do you think it will be too risky to fly at Christmas? We’re talking a 2 hour flight, just over the weekend. I asked the nurse today, and she said it should be fine. But will I be in that mode where I don’t want to leave my house? Seriously, will I be too nervous to fly? I flew during my last pregnancy, but of course we all know the end result… Oh God – I just looked at the dates. I don’t know why I never made this connection. I flew the weekend before I found out I had no heartbeat. I went to the doc on a Wednesday, saw and heard a super strong heartbeat, for the second week in a row. Then on Thursday, I got on a plane and came back on Sunday. Then on Tuesday, there was no heartbeat. Oh shit. I know it shouldn’t mean anything, or at least I think I know. But now how do I get on a plane knowing this in early pregnancy? Of course, I’m assuming I’ll get pregnant. Oh the rollercoaster and I haven’t even started…

Monday, November 15, 2010

Today I Feel…

Scared – tomorrow is my hysteroscopy. I know it shouldn’t be a big deal, but anesthesia scares me. People keep asking me have I ever had general anesthesia. I answer yes, in June, when I had a D&C, when I lost my baby. (Feel sad about that answer…)

Gratitude – while I was trying to figure out which of my friends would take off work and come pick me up after the hysteroscopy, after I cab myself to it, the hubs called his mother and asked her to fly here from Denver and take me. She immediately said yes, she’ll take a week off from work and fly down here and stay with us until Sunday. She was excited and honored to be asked, and I think she’ll be great with me tomorrow. She will work some remotely, and she wants to do projects around the house – she’ll be working on the yard while we’re at work. I’m so incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful mother-in-law.

Ashamed – Yesterday I told my mom that my MIL was coming to help with the hysteroscopy, and she said that she would have done it, and she sounded very hurt. I told her that the hubs did it without asking me, which isn’t exactly the truth, and that next time I need something, I’ll call her. I feel horrible about hurting her. And yes, she had said that if I ever need her to come there, that she would do it. But I am so afraid of being disappointed by her. No, she hasn’t disappointed me really in a couple years, but I also haven’t asked her for anything either - intentionally. We’re both trying to work on our relationship, but it’s hard, it’s awkward. I’ve lived in Texas for three years, and she has never been here. I’ve asked her to come, but she always has something to do – she’s always busy. And she doesn’t even work. My MIL, on the other hand, has probably been here about 5-6 times, and she works full-time. But we’ve always felt like one of my MIL’s highest priorities, and I’ve always been aware that I’m pretty far down the list for my mom. Maybe this is changing, she acts like she’s really making an effort, but I’m so afraid to test the waters. All I know is that I truly hurt her when I told her I didn’t ask her for help. And for that, I feel bad. I wouldn’t have told her at all, but she’s going to my MIL’s house for Thanksgiving, and I know that MIL will talk about her trip here. Oh that’s another post – so nervous about combining the families at Thanksgiving!

Excited – I took my last birth control pill today. Tomorrow is the hysteroscopy. I should get AF in the next few days, go in for CD3 bloodwork/ultrasound, and then we start! I found out on Friday that I’m officially covered with the new insurance. I should get my ID numbers today or tomorrow, and then I can have the clinic verify everything, but I don’t expect any problems, as I’ve already had the diagnosis and treatment codes verified that they’ll be covered. The only thing I don’t know about insurance is how much of the drugs are covered, but worst case, if we have to pay for those, it’s still a lot less than a regular IVF cycle OOP. So by the end of this week, or early next, I should be stimming!

Anxious – I have a bunch to do at work (what am I doing writing a blog post???) before I leave today, go to therapy (thank goodness for her!), pick up my MIL at the airport, and take tomorrow off for the hysteroscopy. So I better go, but thanks for listening…

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hysteroscopy – Scheduled!

Well, the IVF train is finally starting. My hysteroscopy is scheduled for one week from today – November 16. I’m supposed to stop taking BCP the day of the hysteroscopy. And then a few days after that, I should get my period, will go in for CD3 bloodwork/ultrasound, then start stimming! I’ll be stimming before Thanksgiving!!!

Finally, I feel like we’re moving forward. The only thing – and it’s huge – is we haven’t been formally pre-approved by the insurance. I’ve been pre-approved with a “future employee” label, but not with our actual name and member ID – the hubs won’t get that until the next couple of days. So I’m nervous about that, but I think it should be ok.

The hubs started his new job – it’s amazing. Besides the major factor that he’s really excited about the job, and what he’ll be doing, the benefits are incredible. It’s one of those old-school, want to be the best place to work, kind of places. They’ll even pay 6 months of maternity leave!!! Can you believe that crap? Maybe I should go work there… But there are little things too, like if we enroll in their healthy pregnancy program, then they’ll buy us a car seat! So bizarre – I didn’t know there were companies still out there like this. Based on all of this, I feel pretty confident that the insurance thing will work, but I’m still super nervous… We’ll see!

Any advice on the hysteroscopy? They said it will involve general anesthesia, which is always a little scary. And my hubs can’t take the day off to take me – he’s busy that day, and it’s the only time I can do it before Thanksgiving. The place where I’ll have it done is about an hour away, so I think I’ll cab it there and have one of my friends pick me up. Sometimes it really sucks not having family around here… It should be fine, but of course I’m nervous about it. Most of all though, I’m happy to start the process – let’s get this show on the road!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What a Week!

It’s been one of the most exhausting weeks I’ve had in so long. Work is absolutely insane, and I’ve had something planned almost every evening, so I couldn’t work late. I’m actually at work right now – ugh. But I’m taking a break to let y’all know what’s been going on, and the decisions we’ve made. On top of all the craziness at work/home, I hate being in a place where I’m not sure which direction I’m going, and to have unmade decisions outstanding, so this whole Houston vs. Vegas thing for IVF has been incredibly worrisome and stressful. Thanks to everyone for their comments on this decision – your opinions and experience have really helped!

Everyone kept telling me to go with my gut, so I tried to have some heart to heart conversations with my gut. The problem is my gut is very wishy washy. Honestly, my gut was probably leaning towards Vegas, because I feel so hopeful about Sher and his team. But after spending a bunch of time figuring out the insurance, and thinking about traveling (I’ve done so much lately, all I want to do is be at home!), I was leaning towards Houston. Like I said, very wishy washy. So we made the decision on Wednesday to wait until the NK cells testing came back to decide. We decided that if those came back activated, then we would do IVF in Vegas, and if not, then we would do it in Houston. And I felt comfortable with this. But then on Thursday I talked to the office coordinator in Vegas to ask about postponing my meeting with the nurse that was scheduled for Friday, and we talked about timing. Turns out, that my NK cell results won’t come back until around November 16, and I would need to start taking the Lupron shots around November 12. I can’t wait to get the results to decide. And so I decided. I told the office coordinator to cancel my cycle in Vegas in December – I’ll be doing IVF in Houston. If that doesn’t work, then I’m going to Vegas.

Everything was pointing this direction, both doctors said I should be an easy case (then why the f don’t I have a baby???), I really don’t want to travel, and even if I have activated NK cells, I bet I could get the Houston doc to treat it the same way as Sher would have. The hubs is really happy that I made this decision. And me? I’m not sure. When I first told the lady that I wouldn’t be cycling in December in Vegas, as soon as I got off the phone, I started crying. Oh no – what if I made the wrong decision? I had an appointment with my therapist that night, and she thinks the crying was all the losses coming up – oh no, here we go again. The Houston doc is so familiar – this clinic, and these people, this is where I’ve been pregnant, this is where I’ve lost my babies. Continuing to go back there is hard – I have so many memories of that place, whereas Sher in Vegas only represents hope. No bad memories to associate with him. She has a point, it makes sense. I’m going with that, because I can’t think of the alternative – I can’t keep questioning my decision.

So now I’m working on getting excited about doing IVF in Houston. I honestly think it will be much easier. I think I’ll feel better once we figure out all the insurance stuff – the hubs starts his new job tomorrow. Once I hear from the clinic that the insurance company approved the procedure, and once I figure out a calendar, I think I’ll feel better. So that’s the plan for this week – figure all that out, and map out a plan. That, and get a hysteroscopy – that should be fun!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

So Confused!

We went to see our local doc yesterday afternoon, and now we’re even more confused. I was dead set on going to see Dr. Sher for Micro-IVF, and spending 2 weeks in Vegas during December. Now I don’t know.

My regular doc was great, was very open to discussing IVF, stating that I could continue with the IUI’s if I want to, but of course my chances are much better with IVF, and he said he would prefer to do conventional IVF on me, with lots of drugs, which equals lots of eggs. He wasn’t concerned at all about my LH levels being higher than FSH levels, as he said that yes, it could hurt your chances of getting pregnant naturally, but once you’re stimulating using drugs, your levels balance out, and it should be fine. He prefers not to use Lupron – he doesn’t think I need it, and he thinks women get too suppressed with Lupron, so he stopped using it about 2 years ago. Instead he would do an antagonist protocol.

He was incredibly nice, very supportive of me speaking with Dr. Sher, had nice things to say about him, and was very willing to continue to work with me, even if I went to Dr. Sher. He’s going to do the hysteroscopy on me next week, which will be useful no matter which doctor I use for IVF. He said he didn’t think it was worth it for me to travel to Vegas and see Dr. Sher, as I should be an easy case, and I would have no problem getting pregnant doing IVF… Plus now with the hubs’ new insurance, I could do IVF here in Houston very cheaply.

I called the hubs’ new insurance company today to clarify their benefits, and confirmed that both my doctor here in Houston, and Dr. Sher, are covered in-network. It’s a $700 deductible plan, and they pay 80% of everything over $700, up to a $25,000 lifetime limit. And the out-of-pocket per year, after the deductible, is $2,500. So the most we would pay per year is $3,200 per year. And I’m not exactly sure about the drugs – they couldn’t figure that out without a member ID, and we won’t have that until Monday when the hubs starts his job.

I’m so confused. Both doctors would probably be fine. But why are the docs so different in their thoughts on drugs? I’m getting tested today for Natural Killer Cells. If those come back activated, Dr. Sher would likely treat it – not really sure how. But if they come back activated, I could probably ask my local doc to treat the same way, and he would probably be fine with it. Just like he did with Lovenox. Oh that’s another thing. One doctor (Sher) said I don’t need it, one doctor (local) said I may not, but probably wouldn’t hurt with the Lovenox, might help. So what is the right answer? I wish doctors would agree on this stuff!!!

So I’m now completely confused – don’t know which way to go. It would definitely be easier to do IVF at home, I wouldn’t be alone for most of the time, and could work at work for most of the time. And it’s not like Dr. Sher is going anywhere – if this doesn’t work here, I could always go to him in the spring, right? I don’t know what to do! (By the way, I'm definitely open to opinions and advice...)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I’ve been working on scheduling everything for the additional testing that Dr. Sher requested. First, the blood work. This special lab is sending me a blood collection kit, and then I have to have a phlebotomist come out to my house to collect my blood, put it in the kit, and send it to the lab. Weird, but kind of cool. I have it scheduled for next Tuesday.

And then I needed to schedule the saline/fluid ultrasound. Talk about difficult! Dr. Sher said any OB/GYN can do it, so I called my regular OB/GYN, and his nurse called me back, telling me that he doesn’t do those, instead call this fertility clinic. Um, yeah, that’s the clinic I’ve been going to for a year… I didn’t want to call them, so I called the local hospital, the same place where I got my HSG last year. I left them two messages, they never called me back. Finally today I was able to get to a human on the phone – dumbest guy ever. I asked for a saline, or fluid ultrasound, or sonohysterogram, trying to get him to understand me. He didn’t know what I was talking about. He kept putting me on hold, asking me to wait while he asked someone else. He came back asking if I needed a pelvic ultrasound after drinking 32 ounces of water! Um no, they shoot water up my uterus. He then got all uncomfortable when I started talking about my uterus… He didn’t know what IVF was, “IBF?” “No, in-vitro fertilization.” “What are you fertilizing?” Finally he was able to tell me that I had the wrong department – I need to talk to surgery. “OK, please transfer me.” At least the lady there was able to tell me quickly that the hospital doesn’t do these. “OK, so where do I go?” “I don’t know.” Thanks, lady – you’re very helpful.

So finally I called my regular RE, and asked to speak with a nurse. I uncomfortably explained the situation to one of the younger nurses: I talked with another doctor, I may be doing IVF with someone else, but he wants me to do a fluid ultrasound. She said they do them in the office, but first I need to have a consult with the doctor to make sure that’s what he wants to do! I explained that I already have a next-step consult scheduled for Monday, and she was happy. The thing is the doc doesn’t like fluid ultrasounds, he generally recommends hysteroscopy instead, since while they’re up there with the scope, they can correct anything they find. I asked about timing, and she said it needs to be done between day 8 and 10. Yeah, I’m on day 7 today. Then she said, it’s going to be too late, UNLESS you’re on birth control pills! Uh yes, I just so happen to be on birth control pills…

And since it was already so awkward, I asked her, “So if I choose to go to another doctor for IVF, can I still come to you guys for betas and ultrasound after the IVF?” She asked another nurse, and the answer was yes! So awkward. I feel like I’m cheating on my doctor. It’s like switching hairdressers, but still asking the old hairdresser to keep cutting my bangs. Have any of you ladies done this? Especially those that have gone out of town for IVF? Now I have to go to the doctor consult on Monday and explain that we may go to another doctor for IVF, but please help me anyway. Should be fun…

In related news, I sent Dr. Sher an email asking if a hysteroscopy would be fine, instead of a fluid ultrasound. Within an hour, I received an email from his head nurse, saying it would be fine. She was very nice in her email, answered my question, and I was pleased, felt like I had the answer I needed. But then about an hour later, I received a voicemail from Dr. Sher himself, explaining that I can do a hysteroscopy, but make sure they don’t scrape the lining of the uterus. If they find a polyp, they can snip it off, but make sure there are instructions to not scrape the lining as there wouldn’t be sufficient lining the next month. I love the attention that I get from this guy. And that’s all we want, right? Just a little love and attention…

Oh, and just to clarify some of the comments – I’m not doing your typical “Mini-IVF”. The Micro-IVF, as described by Dr. Sher, differs from the Mini-IVF’s as Mini’s typically use clomid or some other kind of drug instead of injectibles. The Micro-IVF that I’m doing really only differs from a conventional IVF in that there’s a little less monitoring, and there’s no ICSI. The conventional IVF at SIRM includes ICSI. So based on what I understand, there’s really no difference, except it’s cheaper… And they’re not “hard” protocols because they expect that they will be able to get lots of eggs from the drugs they give me. Interesting stuff though!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Consult with Dr. Sher

In a word – amazing. He was so nice, definitely was willing to spend as much time as needed with us. For as busy as he must be, I’m very impressed. He conferenced me and the hubs in, and was very good in his communication and explaining things. He first went over all my history, making sure that he understood everything very well. He obviously read all of the patient intake form, as well as all the labs and the medical records I sent him. He didn’t waste our time by reading stuff while we were talking to him (my current doc does this) and he spent about 40 minutes on the phone with us, and he would have certainly been willing to spend more time (unlike my current doc – longest appointment has been 15 minutes, and I sometimes feel annoying with my questions). So here is what he thought about us:

-Hubs has no problems – I’m pretty sure the doc said they were superman sperm…

-Dr. is very concerned about having another ectopic. Even if the HSG shows clear tubes, he says that my tubes are likely damaged from infections (such as bladder infections – yes, I’ve had a few) or something in my past, causing the ectopic in February. Yes, I had a regular pregnancy in May/June, but he thought I have a have a high chance of another ectopic.

-MTHFR: given that I’m heterozygous, even compound heterozygous, he doesn’t think Lovenox or aspirin is necessary. He used to recommend aspirin but he rarely recommends it to anyone anymore. He thinks additional folic acid like the Folgard that I’m currently on is good. Lovenox wouldn’t hurt, but he doesn’t think it’s necessary. If I was homozygous for the C677T mutation, then he would recommend Lovenox, but not for me. Not a big deal according to him.

-FSH – my CD3 FSH is normal (4.37; 5.45; 5.40), so it shows I will respond well to gonadotropins (like I have with the IUI’s). “We should be able to get lots of eggs from you.”

-LH – this is where he got a little concerned. He said my LH levels are elevated compared to my FSH levels. They’ve been 7.29 compared to 4.37, 6.67 compared to 5.45, and 6.97 compared to 5.40. He says when LH approaches or exceeds FSH, this is not that common, and he’s concerned about PCOS, even though I don’t have most of the typical signs. He said that the IUI’s that I’ve done haven’t had any suppression of my LH levels, and when these are high at the beginning of a cycle, that this causes increased testosterone, and could impair the eggs and their chromosomes. The increased testosterone can damage eggs that would have been otherwise normal. He said that it could increase aneuploidy, which could be the cause of the miscarriage in June – we’ll never know as I didn’t insist on karyotyping. Because of all this, he is adamant that I should have my LH suppressed with BCP and then Lupron. This should help suppress the LH levels appropriately.

-He wants to test me first for Natural Killer Cells. I referred him to the lab tests that said they were normal, and he said that most labs can only test the concentration of NKAs, not their activation. He said there are only a couple labs in the country that can test the activation. I knew this – I really did. But when I asked my local doc to be tested for NKAs, he said, “sure, no problem” and sent me to the local LabCorp. I just assumed that this lab could figure it out – apparently not… He said you have to do the K562 target cell test. Especially with my lack of family history (I’m adopted), we don’t know if there are any immunological issues, and there could be.

-He also wants me to have a fluid, or saline ultrasound. He doesn’t like HSG tests. Yes, my HSG a year ago showed everything open, but it wouldn’t show any kind of surface lesions in my uterus, and especially that I had a D&C in June to remove my baby, he insists that I have a fluid ultrasound prior to any further treatment.

-My uterine lining has been good. It should be over 9 mm, I’ve had up to 10 or 11, so that’s good.

Overall, he said it should be easy to get me pregnant through IVF. I’m young-ish. In the next year or so, my fertility will decline rapidly. I have a fertile partner. And he thinks that based on everything, about 1 in 4 eggs are normal, especially based on my age. He explained that if you wait for the blastocyst stage, then certain embryos will die off, but of the ones that are left, about 1 in 2 should be good. So if we transfer 2 embryos at the blastocyst, we have a 50% shot of one of them taking. He also said I’m eligible for their Micro-IVF. Basically it’s a full IVF, but there’s not as much monitoring, and no ICSI. It’s only available for couples with no male factor IF, and women have to be under 36. I have seven months until my 36th birthday. The cost for Micro-IVF is $4,490 + $580 for anesthesia if want (of course I do!) + meds, which is between $1K-$2K. Plus of course travel… About 12 days for me, and at least 1 day for the hubs.

And here’s where it gets really interesting. He said we have enough time to do the IVF in December… But we have to decide before tomorrow, because I need to start birth control pills tomorrow!!! Holy cow!

I got off the phone, completely overwhelmed. There’s no way we could do this in December – it’s too soon. I don’t know if I could get the time off for work, I don’t have enough vacation, I’m pretty sure this won’t be covered by the new insurance, there’s no way the hubs will agree to it so soon. And then he came home, and Mr. Rational (occasionally this is my name for him…) explained some good points. We have the money, we don’t have the time. This is barely $2K more than what we’ve been spending on each round of IUI. For the first time, we’re speaking with someone who really knows what he’s talking about, or at least that’s how it seems. I think I could convince my boss to let me work from Vegas and not have to take the whole time off. We could do 2 rounds of this before my 36th birthday, if we do it in December. If we wait until March, we could only do 1. He asked me about recommendations, and I told him about all the bloggy people who have great things to say about Dr. Sher and SIRM. And we even have an IRL friend that went to Vegas 6 years ago and we know this 5-year old really well…

And so, guess who’s starting BCPs tomorrow morning!!! We’re still going to keep the consult with my local doc next Monday, just to see what he says. And I need to go get blood work for the NKA’s and get a saline ultrasound done. Worst case, we change our minds in the next few weeks, and all we’ve lost is a month on BCP. One month of naturally trying – yeah, like that would ever work. I have absolutely no hope of that!

I don’t know why, but throughout all this TTC process, I had a feeling I was going to end up here. When we were a few months into TTC, I sat down and talked to my friend IRL that I mentioned above, and she gave me the website for Dr. Sher, and told me how wonderful he is. That was over 1 ½ years ago. My hubs scoffed at that – there’s no way we’re going to Vegas to get IVF. Fast forward all we’ve been through, and here we are. Somehow this seems right.

We haven’t completely made a decision yet, but we’re close. I’m starting BCPs tomorrow, just to be able to have the chance. And then I need to talk to my boss. I have to come clean with him to convince him to let me leave for 2 weeks and not take vacation, or much of it. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 22, 2010

ICLW Welcome – Finally!

Phew, it’s been a crazy week! I’ve been working like crazy this week… I usually have a good 2-3 hours each day when I can look at blogs, write on blogs, google like crazy – you know, the usual tasks of an infertile at work. But this week, I’ve been working at least 12 hour days, with not a minute to spare! I’m hopefully going to slow down soon, as I haven’t been keeping up my ICLW duties! But I wanted to do a quick ICLW welcome, and give everyone an update on this week.

For a quick recap for those of you that are new, I’m 35, been TTC for over 1 ½ years, been going to an RE for almost a year, have found no issues except recently I was diagnosed with compound heterozygous MTHFR mutations, have done 3 IUI’s, 2 of which have been technically successful. The first resulted in an ectopic pregnancy, the second resulted in a pregnancy that seemed like everything was going perfectly…until the ultrasound at 8 ½ weeks determined that my baby no longer had a heartbeat. And I just completed my 3rd IUI, with a BFN beta just a few days ago…

So now I’m moving forward! I have a consult scheduled on November 1 with my regular RE to see what he thinks should be the next steps, and if we should move towards IVF. AND I have a phone consult this Monday – October 25 – with Dr. Sher of SIRM. It’s amazing, I called them yesterday, and he’s available for an appointment on Monday! I had to fill out this huge questionnaire with all the tests and results and pregnancies and every kind of information possible, I just sent it in, and then we discuss it on Monday. Then Dr. Sher may have more tests run, and we’ll go over the results of those and go over his recommended plan on another consult on November 22. Both of the consults with Dr. Sher are free, and the tests should be covered by my current insurance.

Thanks for everyone’s comments a few days ago about SIRM, and whether I should talk to someone other than my current doc. I definitely considered going to the SIRM that is in Dallas (I’m in Houston), but I figured if I wanted to talk to a top doc, I may as well go to Dr. Sher – right? This is only for a consultation, and who knows if I’ll even go the IVF route. But I want to see what he says. I talked to the new patient coordinator about the time commitment for an IVF in Vegas, and she said that people need to be in Vegas for 10-14 days. Wow – this is crazy. But I think I could do it in March. I also think I may be able to convince my boss to let me work some from Vegas, which would allow me to not have to take the whole time as vacation, but that would involve coming clean completely with him. He has no idea I’ve done any infertility treatments… Something to think about – later. I’m getting ahead of myself.

So I’m very excited to see what the docs say should be next steps. I think no matter what, that we probably won’t do IVF before the end of the year, that it will be in February if with the local doc, and in March if with Dr. Sher. So in that case, we will likely do an IUI in late November/December, assuming of course we can get the new insurance thing worked out by then. I really don’t want to pay OOP for another IUI if we’re moving towards IVF. But we’ll see!

Oh, and everyone will be real proud of me. I handled my super-fertile friend at work announce to our whole department that she’s pregnant with twins (accidentally!) very well. I didn’t say much, but I sat there were a forced smile on my face, and I didn’t cry or anything! Interesting though – I’m amazed at how many people ask her if she has twins in her family, and if she was trying, and all kinds of personal questions. Weird – I wonder how that would be after coming out that you’re pregnant with multiples, but it was the result of infertility treatments. Oh well – it would be a good problem to have. Oh and the other fabulous (not) thing is she’s been doing a good job at hiding her belly, but now that she’s out and proud, let the tight belly-showing clothes come out! I love this woman, and she’s one of my closest friends, but I have such a hard time paying attention to anything when her cute little super skinny but pregnant with twins belly is sticking out everywhere!!!