Prep for Day One

Yesterday, I met with my new acupuncturist. I look forward to working with her more. We have appointments set up for another this week and then once a week through egg retrieval near the end of February.

Today was my first day of oral contraceptives to prepare for day one of ivf stimulation drugs.

Tomorrow, both of us go in to have blood drawn for some labs they want to run prior to starting the stimulation meds.

Next week, we both go in for about 3.5 hours of injection training, financial planning, and more tests. They will do an analysis for him and a doppler ultrasound (to check blood flow), hysteroscopy (a camera analysis of the uterus), and a trail embryo transfer (no embryos involved for now).

At this time, the official “day one” is February 14, but I feel like today is the first day one. I know this process will not come to conclusion until sometime near the end of April or beginning of May, but I can’t help get excited. After this, we will know more than we know now. We may have some answers. We may have a baby or few!

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Glitch

It seems that I am not to have any control or plan how anything will go in this process. Today, I showed up early for my hysteroscopy as I was required to do. I provided the urine sample as required, undressed, waited in the exam room with my husband as I was instructed.
Then, the nurse returns and says there is a change of plans. The sample I provided was for a pregnancy test they always do before a hysteroscopy and it showed a faint line on the test.
!!!!
Yes, I just had a normal period. Yes, I’ve been temping and it dropped as expected right before said period.
!!!!
So, off to do a blood test and wait for results. Hysteroscopy cancelled.

Three hours later, test is negative (of course) and now I need to reschedule.

I’m reminding myself to breathe, pray, and smile. The surprises are endless.

A breath of fresh air!

We met with a new doctor at a new clinic and it has been so positive already. I understand that confidence in your work doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have success, but it sure provides more hope than dwelling on the negative. I’m so glad we made the change. The new doc. expressed his concern with the lab used for the AMH testing which would explain why my result was 1.0 last October, 1.1 that November, and 0.93 this August – it shouldn’t go up. I had blood drawn yesterday to repeat tests that I had done just a few weeks ago as well as a resting follicle count (which was 17 – up from the 13/14 that the other clinic found a few weeks ago). Monday, I will have a hysteroscopy, a scope to check out my uterus and make sure there is no septum to cause pregnancy complications. If that is all clear, we will move forward with a letrozole IUI cycle next month. 

Finally, a breath of fresh air!

Moving on up…

I have had my last experience with my current fertility clinic. They have denied me my test results for which I paid over $400 out of pocket. They won’t give them to me until I make an appointment so the doctor can interpret them. This final straw, along with a handful of other poor communication situations and errors has made my decision quite easy.
I found out that I did test positive for two copies of the same MTHFR mutation and that my AMH is down to .93 from 1.0 in October and 1.1 in November of last year. My FSH is 6.4 and Estradiol is 85.8 (high – most likely from the DHEA). They didn’t give me numbers for my TSH, T3, T4 nor would they tell me which MTHFR gene has the mutation.
I’m looking forward to a fresh experience at a new clinic.

“Everything looks great”

After a visit to the naturopath in June, I began DHEA supplements, Progest progesterone cream, and a number of vitamin supplements (folic acid, iron, chaste tree, glutamine, calcium, magnesium, evening primrose oil, vitamin D, and a very complete prental). I also started Chinese herbs along with my acupuncture visits.

Now, at the end of July, I have a different formulation of herbs and an iodine and tyrosine supplement to add to my daily capsule consumption. The gluten free addition to my diet in June has been a greater challenge than the dairy free and sugar free adjustment last November, but it has been far more influential, so I’m sticking with it – No dairy, gluten, wheat, or sugar for me!

The naturopath says “everything looks great” and she would be surprised if I’m not pregnant in 90 days and looks forward to getting that phone call from me. Another appointment is set for 3 months from now, and I pray that I’ll be giving her that call way before the appointment.

Let the Testing Begin

July of 2011, we met with my OBGYN. I felt anxious, but excited and had faith that she would know exactly what to do. She did not see any red flags in my history and no reason to be concerned. She advised us to consider the Clomid Challenge along with some blood tests to see how my body responds. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that yet, so she recommended ovulation predictor kits, ClearBlue Digital – which worked really well for me and eliminated any confusion with results. The tests were positive on days 11 and 12, then on day 12!

September of 2011, we decided to go forward with the Clomid Challenge and Semen Analysis. The SA was “normal in every way” and they even remarked “we don’t often see people with such high numbers in all areas” Yay! I took 100mg of Clomid on days 5-9 and actually felt quite good, a little loopy, but quite good. Blood tests planned on day 3, day 10, and 10 days past ovulation.

October of 2011, I get a phone call that my blood test for 10 days past ovulation is canceled because of the day 3 test results of my AMH level. My OBGYN had consulted a reproductive endocrinologist about the results and they were referring me to move on to the endocrinologist immediately. My AMH was 1.0 and, at age 28, that was “low.” I was told that we had a 10% chance of conceiving on our own and 30% with IVF.

The earliest date I could get in to see the reproductive endocrinologist was late October which left me a few weeks to worry, stew, and do “research” along with calling my insurance company to find out they cover nothing beyond testing and diagnosis and they only cover up to $2000 total for a lifetime of infertility testing and diagnosis.

During this time, I met with an Abdominal Massage specialist who was also an herbalist. She had an amazing ability to help me understand what was going on with my body, what could be done, and what next steps could be. She also talked to me about what she could do with herbs and massage – the massage was amazing! I went to visit her again in November and she taught me how to do the massage myself to increase blood flow to my reproductive organs.

My appointment with the reproductive endocrinologist involved even worse news – only a 1% chance of conceiving on our own. She recommended the most aggressive approach – IVF with strong meds. She told me that statistics show I would go into menopause by age 32 or 33 and that I have ovaries of a 40-year-old…. Not what a 28-year-old dreaming of a family wants to hear. She ran down a list of indicators for my low AMH – family history, drug use, infections, surgeries, etc. She could find no reason for my low AMH. We were able to do an ultrasound to count my follicles (antral follicle count) and found 8 in my right and 5 in my left ovary – many more than she expected to see with such a low AMH. A “normal” count for age 28 would be around 24 or 25 follicles. The RE recommended Acupuncture, but didn’t know of any other “treatments” to improve my AMH level. We asked to have my day 3 tests repeated since all the other hormone levels were great. We also agreed to have tests done to identify if I carried any genetic mutations or conditions that could prevent pregnancy or explain my infertility. Genetic tests all came back normal.

November 2011, I began Acupuncture. I find it very relaxing, cleansing, and re-energizing. I think I will continue with acupuncture as part of a healthy lifestyle. I also began a diet focused to aid Traditional Chinese Medicine. My acupuncturist adds herbal supplements to my daily intake of prenatal vitamins and calcium supplements. I also began taking my Basal Body Temperature in October even though my OBGYN and RE didn’t see any reason to. My acupuncturist and the abdominal massage therapist both value the information from basal body temperatures. It is also much cheaper than continuing to buy ovulation predictor kits – and I don’t have to pee on anything!

Day 3 tests are repeated and they match the first tests from September. My AMH is 1.1, so I take that as an improvement :) and credit it to my massage, acupuncture, diet and herbs along with doing my best to de-stress.

December 2011, HSG was performed and my fallopian tubes are clear. My uterus has a little indentation, but not a full-blown septum. Nothing the RE was concerned about. I had major cramping during the HSG – the kind of cramps that make you nauseous and send that warm wave across your body. Once the catheter was removed, cramps were minor. I spotted the rest of the day and had achy cramps, but nothing that stopped me from my normal activities.

My husband and I have decided since my schedule is so busy during January, we’ll wait until February to consider IUI with Clomid. I’m not interested in pumping my body full of medication, so I will ask about any other options (Femara, Lupron, Injectables?).

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