Archive | December, 2013

Saline Ultrasound, Check

18 Dec

I had my saline ultrasound today.  It hurt.  But it was fine.  Dr. T said my uterus looks perfect.  I assumed that would be the case, but hey, it’s nice to know three different doctors have proclaimed my uterus is gorgeous.  It’s just that darn endometriosis screwing up a perfectly beautiful reproductive system. 😉

He sat down with me right away after he did my ultrasound though.  That was really nice.  He’s still a little rough, but he was a lot more personable today.  He joked with me and made me feel better.  We’re not going to be best friends, but I think he’ll be a fine doctor for us.
The procedure itself hurt.  They fill your uterus up with saline to get better images with the ultrasound probe.  It wasn’t as bad as the HSG, but then I think I was a little more prepared this time than I was for the HSG.  The HSG was my very first brush with the infertility world and I had no idea what I was getting into.  This time, I think knew more what to expect and because I was expecting it to hurt as badly as the HSG did, it didn’t seem so bad.

I went to Whole Foods afterwards and got myself a delicious late lunch, then I went home and curled up on the couch for the rest of the day.  I just feel a little crampy now.

I had quite a few vials of blood drawn while I was there for ANOTHER infection disease workup.  They keep expiring on me.  Boy, that’s depressing…  Dr. T also wanted my AMH tested again before he decides what and how much medication we’re going to use during January’s retrieval cycle.  Whatever.  Take it.  Take the blood.  I don’t care.

And I signed up for our IVF Education Class… What?  I don’t know.  I don’t even know what that’s all about.  I just know they won’t go forward with an IVF cycle without one or both of us going through the class.  We’ll see.  We go on the 31st.

Let’s see, what else…. We *should* be closing on our house tomorrow.  Cross your fingers everything goes through.  I know I was stressed out when we bought our house, but although it took a long time, it was a fairly smooth, straightforward process.  Selling our house… Oi.  It’s been an epic headache with no one wanting to share information and FHA taking their sweet time and whoosh.  BUT, hopefully, it will all be over and my beautiful house with the blue kitchen will belong to someone else.
I love that house, but I’m not going to lie, the house we’re renting here in North Carolina is a good 45ish years newer and it sure is nice.   It’s just a new experience and that’s ok.  🙂

So now we wait.  3 weeks to birth control.  It’s sitting on my dining room table.  waiting. waiting. waiting. 😉

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36: IVF, Here We Come!

11 Dec

Today marks our 36th month of trying.  That’s 3 years.  I haven’t felt the need to discuss the past couple because it wasn’t like we were going to magically get pregnant naturally.  lol.

Anywho, we met Dr. T this evening.  It’s true what they say that everything seems to move a bit slower down south.  Our original appointment of 3:30 got pushed to 4:30 and we didn’t actually see him until 5.  He was, however, quick and efficient, less personable than Dr. B, but I don’t need a new friend.  I need a doctor who can perform a medical miracle.  I need a doctor who has found a way to combat OHSS and a doctor who tells me my chances of conceiving are close to 70%.  I need a doctor like Dr. T.

Enter: Lupron Trigger Protocol.

In normal IVF, you take birth control for a couple weeks to settle everything down.  Then you move on to heavy injectables that stimulate the ovaries into creating ridiculous amounts of follicles (and therefore eggs).  You then use an hcg trigger to trigger ovulation.  Then you go in for your retrieval where the doctor sucks all of the eggs out of the follicles, combines them with some sperm in a lab, and transfers embryos back into you 3 to 5 days later.  Any leftover embryos are then frozen.

With Lupron Trigger Protocol, you still take birth control for a couple weeks and then move on to really heavy injectable to stimulate the ovaries.  Instead of triggering with an hcg injection, you trigger with…. a lupron injection.  It still causes ovulation, but it effectively squashes your estrogen and uterine lining.  The eggs are then fertilized and the resulting embryos are frozen.  During the next cycle, you take a couple low dose estrogen injections and then have a frozen embryo transfer (FET).

The reasoning for this is 1) The lupron trigger eliminates (or so Dr. T says) the chance of OHSS because it lower the estrogen.  We saw last summer than I react well to lupron.  We don’t need to be afraid of really beefing up my ovaries. Excellent. 2) Dr. T believes that the estrogen numbers with fresh transfers a couple days after a retrieval are too high for optimal embryo health.  I can see that.  Waiting until the following cycle allows him to create the perfect embryo environment.

This plan sounds awesome to me.  Every time I end up with OHSS they tell me that it will have no effect on our chances of conceiving, but I have a really hard time believing that.  I worry every time that it’s going to impact us because my body is angry and in pain and that can’t be conducive to baby making.

Lupron Trigger Protocol used to be done with fresh transfers until they realized that it didn’t work very well when it came to maintaining a pregnancy.  They’ve done a great job at tweaking it and the miscarriage rate is as good if not better than an hcg trigger fresh transfer.  Dr. T has put our chance of conceiving around 70%.  Dr. B had only given us a 40-50% chance.

Another excellent thing?  Because we’ll be able to push the meds and retrieval process so hard, we should end up with a good number of frozen embryos.  A frozen transfer with this clinic is only $1000.  That’s what we paid per IUI in Chicago.  We could end up with our entire family in one go.

So what’s going on in the meantime?  This month, Dr. T wants to schedule a saline ultrasound.  I’ve never had one.  I’m not looking forward to it.  😦  He also wants to do a couple other blood tests because a lot of my original tests from Dr. B are over a year old.

After that?  We’re ready to roll as soon as my period starts in January.  Wooo hooo!!

NC RE Questions.

9 Dec

Life in North Carolina, so far, is good.  It’s a little lonely, but I knew that would be the case for a while until we really started getting out there and making friends.  We’ve learned that most people in Durham are also transplants and because of that no one around here has a lot of family close by.  They say this makes making friends a bit easier than in other parts of the country.  I suppose time will tell. 🙂

We’re slowly starting to be able to navigate on our own.  But honestly? I don’t know how people got around in new places before gps.  I would be just terrified if I didn’t have my phone with me here.  I don’t think I would leave my house alone. Ever.

I joined a knitting group.  My first time was last week and the second will be tomorrow.  The ladies I met were great!  They were all a good 7 to 25 years older than me, but that’s ok.  Because of the whole infertility business, I feel that I don’t often fit in with women my age anymore and that’s fine with me.

At this point, I’ve decided I’m not going to join a Resolve support group.  I loved my group in Illinois, but it took a while to really build connections, and I’m really hoping I won’t be a member of the infertile community for much longer.  Plus, the closest group is 45 minutes away, which is a bummer.

Which brings me to…. Our new RE!  My first appointment with them is tomorrow at 3:30.  I’ve been putting a list of questions together over the past week or so.  I’m hoping to both get a good idea about what I can expect from him as well as let him know that I’m not interested in screwing around.  We have a $30,000 fertility coverage max and I plan to use it wisely.  If he can’t do what we need him to do, I won’t hesitate to find another Dr.

I’m going to attach my list of questions.  If you have any thoughts about additional or follow-up questions, please let me know! 🙂

  • What is your clinic’s overall cost per cycle?  Does this include medication?
  • What is your yearly charge for freezing embryos?
    Is it covered under my insurance?
    How long until they are moved to long term storage?
  • After reviewing my medical records, do you have any theories as to what the problem might be?  Is it more than just endo?
    –>Has he looked at my records before the appointment?
  • How much experience do you have with IVF and endometriosis?
  • Do you prefer a day 3 or day 5 transfer?  Why?
  • How many embryos do you typically transfer? Why? (we want two transferred).
  • What are your personal success rates?
  • What do you think my chance of success is?
  • Do you recommend genetic testing?
  • Do you use ICSI? Why or why not?
  • What do your retrieval and transfer protocols look like?
  • Should I expect bed rest after transfer?
  • What kind of medication protocol are you thinking about? Why?
  • Do you use long term lupron to treat endometriosis? Why?
  • How often will I get updates on my embryos before the transfer?
  • Will you be doing my retrieval and transfer?
  • How will you handle my past history of OHSS?
    At what point do you typically cancel a cycle?
    Is this based on ovary size or estrogen number?
  • What is the protocol if I do get pregnant?
    How long do I see you?
    Do you have a recommended OB?

I know.  I’m a control freak.  It is what it is.  😉  I will update after tomorrow’s appointment.  Cross your fingers and say some prayers for us!

We’re Here!

2 Dec

The whirlwind packing and moving marathon that has consumed our lives for the past 4 weeks is finally over and we are in our house in North Carolina!

The packing and the logistics for this whole ordeal felt so insurmountable and so crushing, but somehow we got through them.  Our house went on the market and was under contract just 13 days later.  We close on the 19th of December.  We had fully expected to have to pay our mortgage for at least the next few months, so this is a huge blessing and a huge weight lifted.

Our furniture fit into one shipping container and is scheduled to arrive this Friday.

We got here with both cars, both dogs, both cats, and a small trailer of belongings on Saturday.  It was a brutal drive with both of us driving separate cars the whole 14-15 hours.  When we finally got to bed Saturday night, we had been up for 36 hours.  We are never driving straight through alone ever again.

The things we brought with us are almost all unpacked, but the house still feels crazy empty.  I’m looking forward to the rest of our furniture getting here.

More soon after things get a little more situated.  🙂