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Archive for April, 2010

Change is good

That’s right… I am saying that. Yes…the same girl who told her husband that is OK to live apart from each other right after marriage because she didn’t want to leave my parents/house/friends to move to the other coast with him…. is now embracing change.

Change of clinics that is. After 4 unsuccessful transfers in the same clinic, we have decided to consult/cycle with the big guns. Our next cycle will be with the infamous out-of-state clinic – CCRM. They charge almost twice as much as what a cycle locally would cost — heck add the travel/stay expenses and it adds up to more than 2x. But, if that means the best lab in the country for our eggs and embies, the best chances for them to grow, access to the well trained and most respectable docs in the industry, and not to mention, the best chance for us to bring home our biological child, it alllll seems worth it.

CCRM has been in the back of my mind since the failure of IVF#3. But we decided to give our local clinic one more shot. And when that blew up on us, even our local RE (love that man!!), suggested that we get a second opinion. And off we went to Dr SC.

Our phone consult w/ Doc SC was quite disappointing to say the least. After reviewing our previous cycles, he told us our chances of having a successful IVF after 4 failures is very slim. He suggested donor eggs! I flipped! Seriously??? I am 28, my FSH is low, AMH is high, good AFC, and you are telling me that my eggs are old?? You must obviously not be the best of the best! Well… I didn’t quite say that but that was what was running through my head. He went on to say that my AMH can’t be that high (mine was 5.4). “There must be obviously some error in the tests. Most patients have an AMH between 1 and 3.” So he suggested I get their one day workup (ODW) done so he can retest all those levels and then come up with a recommendation. Disappointed with the phone call, I decided to put off the ODW until Jan (the phone consult was in mid Nov), and one thing led to another and we finally had our ODW on Apr 1st.

We were given a packed schedule for our ODW – Doppler u/s + AFC count + blood flow check, hysteroscopy + mock transfer w/ Dr SC, SA collection for DH, Regroup w/ Dr, Regroup w/ nurse, blood draw, meeting w/ lab coordinator, and finally meeting w/ the billing folks. Whew!  Boy… let me tell you.. these guys have brought the whole process down to a science. Have you seen those car commercials where the car gets assembled moving from one station to another – each step doing something unique… that’s how we felt. We were just shipped from one room to another and each person(in the room) knew exactly what we were there for. They functioned like a well-oiled machine. We could tell that they do this often. Now that said, everyone was really nice to us. Made us felt like they cared for us. (We are paying them a heck of a lot of money so they better care for us… but that’s besides the point).

Oh.. and the meeting with the doc was… interesting. He was pretty much like “You have good bloodflow, the u/s looks good, your AFC is 18-20, your age is not a concern, everything looks good. You shouldn’t be here.” Now THAT made me feel good. That is right… I shouldn’t be here paying for a baby! So he is optimistic… which makes me VERY optimistic! Hope he doesn’t change his mind once he sees our embies. Fingers crossed!

What is he going to do that is different? Good question. He wants to put me on a lupron protocol (haven’t decided between long lupron vs. micro-dose lupron) with comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS) of our embies (where all 23 chromosomes are tested as opposed to PGD which only tests a handful of the chromosomes). He recommeded I get a couple of other tests: Beta integrin testing and CD3 BW – both of which can be done locally.

The biopsy for the beta integrin testing is scheduled for tomorrow and once I get AF, I can do the CD3 blood draw and start my BCPs for #5. Can’t wait!

Our results from the ODW blood draw came back all normal except for my TSH which was high. My endocrinologist is now aware of that and has upped my thyroid dose. Everything else looks good. And get this… my AMH came back high too. So things are looking good. :)

Sorry abt the long post… but now, you are all caught up!

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All the tests

When DH and I walked into our RE’s office for the very first time, we were tested for the basic things — Thyroid, FSH/LH, disease screenings for me and SA for him. And that’s it… off we were pushed into Clomid and IUI land! It just absolutely bugs me that IUI seems to be the default goto place for most unexplained couples (My gyno had already done an HSG on me at this point).  More like the REs didn’t even consider us seriously until we have had atleast 3 negative IUIs under our belt.  Why? Why does it have to be like that? Why don’t they run all the tests that they can think of BEFORE we even start fertility treatments? Wouldn’t all our lives be so much more easier and less painful/stressful if we know that X/Y/Z is out-of-whack and hence needs fixing! Or just that X/Y/Z is fine, would give us so much relief.

So as promised a long time ago here is a list of all the tests that I have been subject to so far:

  1. FSH
  2. TSH
  3. LH
  4. Estradiol
  5. Progesterone
  6. Antibody screen
  7. Disease screenings for both DH and I – RPR (rapid plasma reagin), HIV, Rubella, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Chicken pox
  8. AMH
  9. Thyroglobulin antibody
  10. Thyroid peroxidase
  11. Prothrombin Gene Mutation
  12. Protein S antigen
  13. Protein C activity
  14. MTHFR
  15. Lupus Inhibitor
  16. ATIII Activity
  17. Factor V Leiden
  18. Anti B2 Glycoprotein
  19. Anticardiolipin antibodies
  20. Antiphospholipid antibodies
  21. Blood Chromosome Analysis
  22. Free T3
  23. Free T4

And all these tests are just blood tests. Just a prick in the arm and a couple of weeks later… voila we are better informed. Why in the world did most of this have to wait until after I had my miscarriage?!?

Then come the more intrusive tests:

  1. HSG
  2. SIS – Saline Infused Sonohystrogram
  3. Endometrial biopsy
  4. Doppler/3D  ultrasound
  5. SA for him
  6. Sprem Antibody testing for him

I am sure this is not a comprehensive list by any means… this is just a list of tests that I had done which revealed that I have the following problems:

  1. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  2. Low ATIII
  3. Single gene carrier for MTHFR

I only wish I knew then what I know now — I wouldn’t have had a miscarriage! I would have a 10 month old by now! But you know what… I am glad that at least I know it now.

And oh yeah… feel free to let me know if I am missing a test that might be helpful.

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Where to start…

Yes, I am still here. The fact that I stopped blogging would have got many of you to think that I am happily pregnant from my last IVF attempt. I wish!

We are still babyless and still very much on the quest to have one. As you might have guessed by now, my last IVF was a bust — a big fat bust! We had the worst retrieval and fert rate of all my previous cycles, the worst egg/embryo quality, a traumatic transfer experience, another stark white window with 1 line, followed by an extremely  difficult recovery phase. That is all I want to say abt Oct/Nov of last year. Dec was a whole another life-perspective-changing fiasco that deserves a post on its own — save for later.

After numerous therapist appts, I realized that I needed to take some time off for myself. So that I can get my head straight. So that I can get my sanity back. So that I am able to function without thinking that I am useless. So that…. I can be a good wife to the man who loves and cares for me as much as I do even though I have failed to mother his child (numerous times)!!

And that is exactly what the first 3 months of this year has done for me. I am happy, healthy, eating well, and doing the things that I love and enjoy. I am out of my depressed-hopeless-stressed-out-self-pity-inducing phase. Life has been really good.

I am… BACK!

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