Sunday, December 9, 2012

Little bit o' hope and a whole lot of test results

Hope. I blogged about it on my old blog. It is a powerful thing that has caused me much consternation. When I have a little bit o' hope and things don't go as I hope, I am mad at myself for feeling hopeful and allowing the disappointment to win out. But, back in September, when I had zero hope, I was scared shitless. I talked at my first RESOLVE meeting about having absolutely no hope and feeling very lost. I told the other women (and two men) there that I had come to the meeting because I needed to find hope again. So, during this TTC process, apparently (for me) hope is really a necessity. Without it, I am lost. I am not ready to give up on this journey, so I need hope to stick around and allow me the roller-coaster of emotions that comes with it.

With that, I bring you the (stupid) hope from this cycle. Despite three years of unsuccessful trying-on-our-own, one failed IVF cycle, and a whole lot of chemical pregnancies, I had it in my mind that THIS cycle would work. I'd take Femara for the first time, I'd inject myself with progesterone, and It. Would. Work.

You can imagine my surprise (insert: sarcasm) when it didn't work. Did I really think it would work? My actions would tell otherwise: I took hot baths most of the days post-ovulation and I had a glass of wine - or more - most every evening. I am not a drinker and usually, I'd say I have a glass of wine or a beer maybe 2-3 times a month. If that. So my "cravings" for a glass of Portuguese vino verde each evening was just bizarre. Do I think it my subconscious giving me a "reason" when this cycle didn't work? It's very possible. My inner psyche is a very strong force. I wouldn't be surprised if the baths and the wine weren't my mind's way of saying "I'll give you a reason other than the standard 'my body sucks' that makes you cry every month." Sure enough, no tears were shed.

I tested early. Why? Not because I thought it worked, but because I wanted to be able to quit the progesterone shots asap. Sure enough, when I saw a bright fucking white hpt on Thursday, buh-bye PIO, hello end of butt/hip pain. It felt good to be in control and to be the one who said "enough" and who didn't drag things on until the end. Now I wait, rather patiently if I do say so myself, for my period to arrive.

Next month = NO MORE FEMARA. I hated that crap. I spotted on it, which is a BAD thing for someone who already has problems growing a fluffy lining. And it also did one of two things: I either developed a cyst the size of a grapefruit or I ovulated a dozen eggs. Either way, I was in so. much. pain around ovulation time that it just wasn't worth it - especially knowing my lining was now compromised, thanks to Femara.

So this month, I will take my Estrace tablets to grow a cushy lining and then also do the PIO shots to maintain the lining. Who the hell knows what will happen, but I'm not counting on much.


In other news ... we have begun the DONOR EGG SEARCH again. Holy shit. Just writing that makes my anxiety levels go up. You should see me when hubby and I spend time looking at potential donors. If you read my old blog, you'll remember that our Seattle clinic changed their options and no longer offers the 5-egg egg bank option. They grandfathered us in for our summer cycle, which was nice, but it was implied that we wouldn't get that option again. We had a devastating loss. I emailed Seattle last month and laid out all the reasons they should grant my request to allow us to do a 5-egg egg bank option again. AND THEY AGREED! Unfortunately, our donor isn't available on a small-set option and she can't do a total fresh IVF cycle. So we're looking at 4 other donors who have a small-set (5 eggs) available. We've narrowed it down to two and now we wait on some answers.

HOLY SHIT. This is really happening. Again. Cue rising anxiety levels.

The best news about this is that the whole cycle, including meds, should cost us no more than $5K. That is a lot to someone who has never gone through IF. But to any IF strugglers or survivors, $5K for a cycle is the equivalent of chump change. At least it is to me. (also, that is a joke, $5K is a shit ton of money, but it's a helluva lot less than we thought we were going to have to spend - $30K - so we're just ecstatic.)

I am thinking we might wait until spring to do this cycle for a few totally random reasons. That might change, but for now, I am not feeling AT ALL in a rush to do this again. I need to get my body and mind completely ready for this POTENTIALLY FINAL step in our TTC attempts. But we're on it and we are both kind of excited.

We need to get it paid for by the end of December 2012 so it goes towards taxes this year. Given how much we've spent, we stand a good chance of getting to deduct some of it, so we may as well pay for as much as possible NOW! Hell, I may even pay for the meds up front and just tell them not to order the meds now. Again, I'm thinking of beating back Uncle Sam just a bit.


Speaking of bills and Uncle Sam, the bills from the D&C are starting to roll in. So too are bills from my pregnancy ultrasounds. I'm not sure why I have to pay for any of them, as I have met my deductible. I have an appointment with the HR woman at work to look at them and discuss. 


Finally, I got the results of most of my tests. I am still awaiting results from three tests the naturopathic doctor ran last week (follow-up D, B and mthfr), but the rest of them are in. And they are almost all NORMAL.

Good news results (all normal):

Factor II Prothrombin Mutation: Negative (normal)
Anti Mullerian hormone: Normal (1.88 ng/mL) (they want to see 0.51-7.27 ng/mL)
FSH CD1: Normal (7.16) (they want to see 1.98-11.6 mIU/mL)
Estradiol CD1: Normal (45.71) (they want to see 26.6-161 pg/mL)
Fetal material testing: Normal (46xx)
Karyotyping for me and hubby: Normal (both of us)
Lupus Anticoagulant Panel: Negative (normal)
Homocysteine fasting over 12 hours: Normal (6.9) (they want to see 3.3-10.4 umol/L)
Anti-Cardiolipin IgG: Normal (5) (they want to see 0-14 GPL)
Anti-Cardiolipin IgM: Normal (9) (they want to see 0-12 MPL)
Beta-2 Glycoprotein IGG: Normal (1) (they want to see 0-20 SGU)
Beta-2 Glycoprotein IGM: Normal (5) (they want to see 0-20 SMU)
Antithrombin Activity (ATIII): Normal (105) (they want to see 75-135%)
Factor V Leiden Gene Mutation Assay: Negative (normal)
Hemoglobin A1C: Normal (5.1) (they want to see 4.0-6.0%)
Thyroid panel:
          Thyroid Stimulating Hormone: Normal (1.810) (they want to see .300-4.700 mIU/mL) (but for TTC, below 2.5 is ideal)
          T4 Free: Normal (0.87) (they want to see 0.75-2.00 ng/dL)
Prolactin: Normal (18.3) (they want to see 2.8-29.2 ng/mL)

Good news results in that things are NOT normal (which is good to someone with unexplained IF):

Vitamin D 25 Hydroxy: INSUFFICIENT (20.6) (they want to see 30.0-100.0 ng/mL)
            Treatment: started 4000 IUs of D3 vitamin
Natural Killer Cell Assay: ELEVATED
             Treatment: start an IV of egg/soy just before potential conception

What this means: We didn't find a whole lot wrong with me, which is kind of frustrating. But we did find two things that have been linked - kind of outside the box, but still with some studies - to infertility and miscarrying. I'll take it. Hell, I'll run a marathon with it! It's something, right!?

My naturopath also suggested that I may not have an egg quality problem and that my eggs did so poorly during IVF because of the stimulation and collection methods. She gave me some (again, outside the box) reading materials about that and asked me to send her my exact IVF protocol. Interesting, eh?!


  1. I still haven't had the natural killer cell assay done because my clinic won't do it. I guess they figure I'm a lost cause with my age. However my D3 was 26 so they did agree to put me on the 50,000 IUs once a week because I begged for it.

    Really hoping that any treatment plan you go for this time will work well. Good luck!

  2. Ah that is such good news! Take anything that you can, I can understand that!

    It sounds like you are in a really healthy place. I am very happy for you :D !!

  3. What hopeful, news on your donor. I want next year to be wonderful and fingers crossed everything falls into place.

  4. Sounds like you got some really great info. So glad there are two things treat. And you know, the naturopath might have a point about your eggs, not tht in encouraging you to back track on your plan, but it really did take three tries and stimulating me to fun the right formula. Our first try had came up with a dozen or so eggs, but only 4 or so fertilized. The stimulation method was changed with each cycle, and ICSI was added as well in he second two cycles. I am holding out so much hope for you as you move forward with treatment.

  5. I had the same thought about paying for things by the end of the year in order to get a better tax return. Good luck moving forward.

  6. There is so much in this post to comment to, so I will just say I wish you the best in your healing, testing and next treatment (cycle). I am so hoping you find everything you are looking for.