Posts Tagged ‘Conditions & Diagnosis’

Petri Dish Pregnant-ish?

PetriDishI remember after I’d gotten married, how many of us who were over the hurdle of wedding planning would jump into ANY conversation we overheard from other people who were planning their own.  We’d found our way through battles of chicken or fish, and we’d managed to find a safe seating chart where our divorced aunts and uncles weren’t forced to sit within each other’s eyeline.  We were vets basically, and could solve whatever little issue the newly fianceed would possibly face. (whether they wanted our advice or not)

Infertility feels like it should fit in that vein, but it is not one of those situations for me.

I don’t believe, outside of just continuing to encourage people, that I’ll feel like much of an expert after this.  It has moved so fast and so…seamlessly, that it freaks me out a bit.  Like I’ve said before, I’m so used to this NOT moving smoothly, that the idea that it has, is uncomfortable for me to say the least.  Every phone call, I’ve expected or at least prepared myself for bad or disappointing news.  Every visit, I’ve been expecting my blood pressure to be high, or my uterus to have decided suddenly that she’s had enough and would like a divorce.  Every time, they say, “Nope, everything looks great!” or they give me instructions for the next step.

I’m constantly wondering why then, if this is all so simple now, was it so horribly NOT simple before.  The only answer I can surmise is that it’s simple now, because now is the time.

So Thursday was our egg retrieval.  To prepare for that procedure, you have to take what is called an HCG Trigger shot about 36 hours before.  So remember when I said I had to take Ganirelix, the medicine that tells your ovaries to tighten their grip on those eggs?  Well, the HCG shot is what tells them, “It’s cool now, I got it, go ahead and let em go.”

The problem with the trigger shot?  It has to be taken at PRECISELY the time they tell you. And of course, on the day I receive mine, I’m scheduled to work until closing.  Because of course.

In a sheer stroke of ingenuity and spinning plates, I found myself asking someone to man my desk at work for ten minutes while I ran out to my car, had my husband drive us around to a side-street off the path and give me a shot from the front seat of the car while I sat in the back.  I am absolutely CERTAIN that anyone who just happened to have the misfortune of laying eyes on our ridiculous ordeal believed wholeheartedly that their friendly, neighborhood librarian was on the side of the alley shooting heroine.  I’m convinced there are rumors.  I’m certain I don’t care.

giphy (2)

The next day, nothing really felt much different, and I was convinced that we’d done it wrong and the whole cycle would be cancelled.  Because that’s how my brain deals with things not being chaotic.  My husband rolled his eyes at me, and proceeded to plan for the retrieval as though I was speaking gibberish.  He’s smart like that.

Thursday morning, we flew down the highway to office, and things moved really fast from there.  A really nice anesthesiologist gave me some really nice happy juice through an IV, and a really nice nurse came in to talk me through everything that was about to happen.  My doctor sat with me for a sec just to explain why the timeline had moved when it did.  My body, as predicted, had gotten seriously excited about the meds and was very close to hyperstimulating.  For my safety, and to save the cycle, it was best to move now.

Egg Retrieval Day

The face of someone who could use a nap, and is waiting for the IV to provide one.

So what is involved in egg retrieval?

The procedure involves using a needle to extract the eggs directly from the follicles.  Yes, ANOTHER needle.  Hence, the need for light anesthesia.  You aren’t completely asleep, or at least I wasn’t, but you’re out of it enough to not freak out about that.  Overall, I think most of mine was spent yammering on about whatever came to my brain. Nervous tick.

On the way out of the room, and back to recovery, my doc stopped my chair and showed me the lab techs already at work cleaning and counting the eggs.  I told her, “You do realize the blogger in me wants to take a picture of this whole situation, right?”  She said, “I know,…but no.” LOL

Back in recovery, or just across the hall, I was finally allowed to have something to eat and drink.  The most delicious saltine crackers and apple juice I may ever have, to be exact.  And then, I was allowed to just chill for a bit and get my bearings while the nurse came in to talk to me about what was going to happen next. Basically, once those eggs are extracted from the follicles, the follicles tend to fill back up with liquid.  This is what causes much of the discomfort people feel after retrieval.

While I don’t really make much of a fuss about discomfort or even pain sometimes, I have to admit that it isn’t the most comfortable of feelings to basically have saddlebags inside of your hips filling with fluid. And that’s generally what’s going on in there, I’ve decided.  Also, I’d suggest getting your hair done sometime before this.  You feel really yucky and hideous, but if you can look in the mirror and say, “Oh, but no, my hair is laid.”, it helps. I promise.

Once the techs have counted and cleaned the eggs, they immediately collect the sperm as well so as to move forward with fertilization.  It still amazes me, that people get pregnant unexpectedly, when I look at all of this really intense biological precision.

Anywhoo, our final egg count at the end of the day….TWENTY.  The average?  Eight.

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Come on, overachieving ovaries!

Now, after retrieval, most people are highly uncomfortable.  You should really go home and lie down if possible.  So of course I instead went to the Goodwill for a few minutes, and then went to look at an apartment that we’re interested in.  Because I’m hardheaded.

Fast forward to the next morning.

Do you ever get annoyed at your phone ringing because it isn’t who you’re expecting to call? That was my Friday.  It just kept on ringing, and none of the numbers belonged to my doctor OR her office.  I told you, I tend to expect the worst, (I’m working on it), so I was curious about whether any had fertilized at all, let alone if anything had gone wrong overnight.

Finally, a little after 2, my phone rang with the right numbers.

Call #1, was the lab, to process payment on that embryo storage fee.  They’re serious about that. Thank you to EVERYONE who has bought a shirt from our shop, or attended our fun-raisers. You helped pay them!

But call #2, was finally my doctor, to let me know how things were looking.

In the follow-up call, we talked a bit about just what has been the problem all these years, and it was explained in what I have to say is the best way I’ve ever had it explained.  Looking at the full picture now, she was able to see CLEARLY what had been our issues.

Basically, my PCOS and Hypothyroid have been BFF’s for years.  Together, they decided that they ain’t have no time for no stupid ovulation.  Add to that a pair of blocked tubes and what you have is great eggs, that have been all dressed up with nowhere to go, for decades. Then, on my husband’s side, you have diabetes and a childhood hernia surgery that made breaking through all my barriers basically impossible.  IVF was and is the only route to getting around our unique and numerous hurdles.  Through ICSI (Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection), the magicians of the lab were able to further get around the foolishness of our bodies by taking one individual sperm and implanting it directly into one individual egg.

So,  what’s the final count?

Of the 20 eggs collected, only about 13 of them were mature.  This is fine.  Again, remember the average is eight.  Of that 13, one presented with an extra set of DNA and was therefore abnormal.  Also fine and common.  Of those 12 left, NINE fertilized and were growing as of the next day.  She said, “everything looks PERFECT. IVF was the only way we were going to get around this stuff and it worked.”

So, those nine are being housed in what is called a MINC Incubator. Now, according to the manufacturer of the incubator’s website, (Yes, I looked it up, because I am a librarian and a thug), the MINC is described as such: “the MINC holds a constant temperature, provides rapid pH recovery and helps the embryo maintain homeostasis to reduce embryonic stress.” All of that to say, this thing is a pretty big deal and the BEST possible place for them to be.

In traditional IVF, this is where my doctor would let us know if she wanted to let them grow for 3 days or 5, and when the transfer would be.  However, a TON of research has suggested that a better route is to get to day 3 or 5 and then freeze the embryos.  Freezing them, allows for the woman’s body to take a little time to decompress from all those medications and stresses of the stim phase.  It will allow for my ovaries to calm down, and my body to get back to pre-meds status.  As my nurse described it, “it took two weeks to get up, now you take two weeks to get yourself back down”.  After that time has passed, then we’ll move to the transfer. (and then wait another painfully slow two weeks to see if any of this worked).

So we’re giving those little guys a five day, all expenses paid (by the sheer grace of God), vacation in the MINC.  On Tuesday, we’ll find out how many of the 9 have continued to grow and will be frozen.  Also on Tuesday, we’ll decide a transfer date.

And that, my friends, is how you work around a lazy Stork and get pregnant in 9 petri-dishes…kinda.

 

Next up…seeing if any of this works.

So Check This Out…

Check This Out

Music I’ve heard at the fertility center while preparing for ultrasounds so far:

So what’s going on?

I’m quiet.

I find that I’m walking (pardon the pun) on eggshells as I move through the stims phase of our IVF cycle.  Everything began to move so very fast, and my feelings are so very, very terse.  Although most of us know that our infertility and our treatment successes and/or failures have very little to do with anything we do or don’t do, it’s hard to not still feel like you need to talk softly so as not to make the cake fall.

My normally buoyant social media profile is languishing in the water.  My IM’s and emails are taking much longer to reply to, and even if you are literally sitting a foot from me, I may not reply to you immediately, as my mind is perpetually elsewhere.  I don’t mean any harm,…I’m just…quiet.

Basically, my nerves is bad.  (yes, IS bad.)

We are well into our stims at this point.  Today marking day 10 of Follistim and Day 3 of Ganirelix.  If this is your first intro to those two words, allow me to explain them, and also point out that you could be getting your information from a much better source than me, I’m positive.

Anywho, Follistim is basically what it says in its name, a Follicle Stimulating drug.  Follicles, are basically where eggs grow.  Eggs are far too tiny to be seen on ultrasound, so it’s by measuring and counting the follicles, that doctors can see how many eggs you might be able to retrieve.  For some people, Follistim is a quick shot in the tummy every night.  For me, it’s a quick shot, but instead of the tummy, it’s in the spot behind my hip and just above my bum with a really large needle that I try not to look at much.

I was really nervous about that shot when the meds arrived and I saw the needle length. Now, I’m glad to say that while it is unpleasant, it is not as unbearable and terrifying as it once was.  If you have to take intramuscular shots for your cycle, here’s my tips on that:

  1. I recommend you take a look at this video of the amazing Nurse Linda from Sher Fertility, as she explains how to find the sweet spot.
  2. Get a distraction and don’t look down.  These shots, I’ve decided, are not my business.  My job is to be as oblivious as possible, so as not to do a whole lot of jumping around as I know I would.  Look, a few years back, I asked my husband to check my sugar with his PAIN FREE glucose meter, and acted such a clown, for a tiny finger prick, that we eventually gave up.  When I was a kid, I acted so completely ridiculous at the dentist that the office PUT ME OUT and told my mother never to bring me back.  When I was like 4, I was known to walk into the doctor’s office and TELL the nurse or doctor from the jump, that they were NOT to administer any shots to me that day, and that if they had a problem they could jump in the lake. Basically, I know my limits as a patient where the possibility of pain is concerned. For that reason, every night as we prepare for this shot, I grab my Ipad, turn to something funny (First it was Parks & Rec, and now it’s Bob’s Burgers), and I zone out.  When he moves in with the alcohol swab, I hum really loudly, but that’s about as far as I go.  We don’t do any count downs, and he doesn’t ask me if I’m ready, because then I’ll just over-think about when the hammer is coming down.  We have a silent agreement that once the Netflix starts, I’m not conscious.
  3. Walk it off.  Follistim stings in the few seconds after it’s been administered.  A slow and steady afterburn that is kind of just to piss you off.  It also causes a bit of bloating as the follicles begin to grow, and I have to admit that it isn’t the most comfortable of feelings.  To combat this, we’ve begun going for a short walk every night.  Nothing dramatic or overly strenuous, but enough of a fresh air distraction, that I can focus on being outside and in the air, before I begin feeling annoyed or sad, or frustrated, or any other emotional side effect of the meds.  If you don’t feel like actually walking, find something that will make you feel better.  A nice bathtime, or a good book, or if you’re anything like me, a few rounds on the video game.

Ganirelix, is a gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist.  In human language, that means it tells my body not to drop those eggs until it’s told to.  It says, “hey, I see you’re holding a few dozen cartons there, can you do me a favor and not drop them until I’ve had a chance to finish preparing everything?”.

It happens to be a subcutaneous shot, the tummy one, and I do this one myself.  I know, I know, “how is it that you can do that one yourself, but you freak out about the other one?”. I wish I had an answer for that.  Basically, the truth of the matter is that it’s a huge difference in needle size.  Also, I believe that the thing most of us have about shots, is mental and visual.  Ganirelix comes already put together.  When you open the box, the medicine is already in the needle and you basically just open it and push it.  Not having to see a huge needle draw up a huge amount of medicine from a vial, and watch it all be put together elaborately, does wonders for not giving you enough time to freak out.

So, is it working or not?

Welp, on the first follow-up after starting the stims, there was only one measurable follicle. Nothing much seemed to be happening, and I could tell that my nurse was curious as to why that was.   With PCOS, there’s such a chance of hyperstimulation (too many follicles, too fast), that I think we were all expecting some massive turnover.  But she assured me that it was a good thing, and told us to come back in a couple days.

Two days later, on the next visit, this past Saturday, we had jumped to 10.  5 measurable follicles on the left, and 5 on the right.  She lowered my dosage because my body had apparently said, “Challenge, accepted”.

As of this morning…I don’t have a count.  Because there were that many.  Good Grief

So, guess who’s making another hour drive tomorrow morning before work?  And then again on Wednesday?  You guessed it, ME.

And guess who doesn’t care?

ME.  giphy (2)

I will drive those 60 minutes for a 15 minute appointment.  I will refill that gasoline tank.  I will call into work apologetically if I cut it too close.  I will do whatever I am asked to do. Because I worked too hard to get here.

 

 

Getting to Go Time.

My mom always says, “You have to have yourself in order, even if nothing is moving forward, because when God finally says “Go”, it’s gonna move SO fast, you have to be ready.”   She’s right, you know.

So following my initial appointment, where we found the dreaded polyp, I was scheduled for yet another polypectomy and hysteroscopy.  Big whoop.

Cue panic #1

When the nurse called to pre-register me for surgery, he let me know that the hospital where the surgery was scheduled, does not typically accept my insurance, and that I should check in with them again in two days to make sure that I didn’t have a bill.  I freaked out EXTENSIVELY (and internally) as I waited the couple days before I could call the office and ask.  When I finally got in touch, they assured me that all was covered. giphy (1)

Having had this surgery previously, I was expecting more of the same.  But my doctor came to my room to greet us.  She hung out with us for a few minutes, explained the procedure and talked with my mom for a good while.  She even apologized that I’d had to get up so early to make it to the hospital.  She stopped in to see me two more times that day, and walked alongside my bed to the OR, just chatting away.

Have I mentioned how much I love her? I think I have, but I’ll say it again: I LOVE HER.

So, last week, I went into the office for my follow-up. I was prepared for a repeat of the stalled out meeting I had following the last procedure with my previous clinic.  You know, the one where they lay out all the things that don’t work, and how much delay we can expect?  As hopeful as I’ve been trying to be, I’m also cautious, having been at the starting line more times than I can count, and STILL never taking off.

So imagine my surprise, when my nurse proceeded to move along to baseline testing and ultrasounds. giphyWhile drawing my blood she said, “So did you get your meds yet?”  I didn’t even try to hide my confusion.  “I sent in the order for your meds and you should have them by Friday because your protocol will start Saturday.”  Here’s some perspective,…this was Thursday morning.

I went into my ultrasound, still reeling from that little bit of info.  They were a little wary of my notoriously ridiculous uterine lining, but said it wasn’t a huge issue and that most importantly, I was polyp free!  From there, we sat in an injection walk-through and a layout of our drug protocol.

Let me remind you, when I came into the office, I was expecting to just hear about my polypectomy, and find out what was the next thing for us to wait on.  At this stage in the game previously, we were again at “hurry up and wait”. We were extremely unprepared for the amount of information that was being hurled at us.

We left the office, called the insurance regarding the meds, and were told to await a call from the pharmacy.

Cue panic #2

When the pharmacy called to confirm the meds order, they ended the phone call by saying, “We’ll call you back with your final bill.”  I freaked out.   Everything had been going so fast and so well, that here was where the hammer was going to come down.  They were going to call me back with an astronomical cost that my t-shirt sales and fundraising events weren’t going to be able to cover.

The pharmacist called back.  She said, “We just need a credit card to cover your final balance on your meds.  The total is $5.85.”

I asked her to repeat herself.  I thought I’d heard $585″.

She laughed and said, “$5.85.  Your insurance covered everything except for an antibiotic.” Remember how I was freaking out because my insurance had changed?  Turns out, it was for my good.  

giphy

In 24 hours,…this was in our front hallway:

IMAG5953 In 20 minutes, this was in our apartment, along with the giant cooler of follistim cartridges that was also packed in the huge box:Untitled

 

When I talked to my aunt, to fill her in on the meds being PAID FOR and DELIVERED,…she said, and I quote:

“They not playing around.  You are.”

She’s right too, you know?

When you get used to being slowed around and pushed back, it can be easy to fall into routine.  We have had so many stops and starts.  Job changes, insurance changes, new diagnoses, extra issues, dosage changes, and a few mind-calming breaks in between. Every, single, time that I have gotten really excited about this, or even when I put this aside completely, and stepped out on faith for adoption, things have consistently found a way to grind their way down to a standstill.

There have been times where I couldn’t even bear to visit my own site, because it seemed like a glaring reminder of failure and the most excruciatingly slow timeline. People have asked me if I was afraid of getting pregnant, or if I was choosing not to move forward, because they couldn’t comprehend just what was taking so long.  Most of these stalls and setbacks were so unbelievable that even explaining them sometimes, made people look at me like,

But as discouraging as it’s been, and as long as it’s taken, and whatever other dramatic culmination I could use right now…

TODAY, is stim day 3.

And we are officially in an IVF cycle.

And regardless of the 1 1/2 inch needle that delivers these meds intramuscularly.

And not getting focused on the money we still have to spend on embryo storage, etc.,

Whatever else happens on this journey, for just getting HERE, to this exact moment of this exact thing,

THANK YOU LORD.

1st Peter 5  10

What If…Infertility Were Acknowledged.

What IF - Infertility Were Acknowledged

In my career of working with children over the past fourteen years or so, I’ve sat through many training courses that have stressed the importance of sensitivity to the home lives of children. We make care to have events that embrace “Family” or “Caregivers” rather than parents or mom’s and dad’s because we don’t want to make any child who doesn’t have a traditional home life, to feel out of place or embarrassed. We are careful to encourage the appreciation of all family types, and to acknowledge things like different family names, and the emergence of separate family structures.

What if we did that in all aspects? What if MY family structure was acknowledged and respected in that same manner of care? I wonder how that would look in this hyper-correct world we’ve tried to create for so many others.


There would be a special card section for Mother’s and Father’s Day that included those who are hoping to be parents one day, or who have lost children.

The childless couples in movie plots and books wouldn’t be used as the emotional scapegoats of the story arch.

The mere IDEA of asking someone when they planned to have kids would never cross anyone’s mind, because there would be in us an ingrained understanding that this was neither our business, nor appropriate conversation for the church aisle/family reunion/grocery store parking lot/class reunion/etc.

Teens in health classes would learn about things like Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome, and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, and would be taught to preserve their reproductive health so that they can have the lives they want as ADULTS, rather than being scared straight about pregnancy.

Maybe children would be more greatly appreciated in our society in general.

Perhaps adoption wouldn’t be considered so much of a consolation prize, and people would take into account ALL forms of reproductive health options as viable paths to parenthood.

People would be thoughtful and considerate of what and how they ask questions of adoptive parents. They’d refrain from asking whether your kids knew their “real parents”, or if you were ever afraid that they’d pop up and take “their” kids back.

If infertility were acknowledged, more than five states would have received an A on Resolve’s Fertility Scorecard, with each of them doing their best to treat and serve patients of this disease with compassion and equality.

If infertility were acknowledged, maybe it wouldn’t hit each of us so hard when we receive our diagnoses. We would always know that it is a possibility, but not a period on our sentences, and we would use that knowledge to make plans and stick with them rather than cower at the sheer magnitude of it. We would discuss a plan with our doctors, and move forward with the peace that comes from knowing that we are not alone, because it would never have to hit any of us as the first time we’d heard about it.

If infertility were acknowledged, honestly and truly acknowledged, perhaps we’d be miles ahead of where we are, in its treatment, prevention, and care.

By acknowledging infertility for what it is: a disease that affects 7.4 million people, and speaking out about it in your own way, you can help it become a topic that is not covered in taboos and myths.

By resolving to know more about infertility, you and I can help to make sure that no on we come in contact with, will ever feel like this diagnosis is the end of their dreams, because we can speak to them assuredly.

By resolving to take control of our reproductive health, we can do our part to change the infertility conversation.

So let’s do that.
Together, we can move beyond “What IF’s”, to making a better what is.

Thank you for joining me this week for my National Infertility Awareness Week journey through the land of “What IF”.  For more information on Infertility and Infertility Resources, check out Resolve: The National Infertility Association.  Be sure and check out all the posts from this year’s NIAW blogger’s unite project.  Lastly, to read the other entries in my “What IF” series, click here:

A Week of What IF’s.
What IF…I Said What I Was Thinking.
What IF…I Were A Mom.
What IF…This Wasn’t So Hard.
What IF…I Could Just Stop Caring About This.
What IF…Infertility Were Acknowledged.

Featured image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s So Loud Inside My Head

Loud copy

So, we’re stiiiiiiill waiting.

Since learning about our male factor issues, we’ve kind of been on hold.  The preliminary moves in the urology department have basically just included a repeat of all the tests that were required from the original visits to the fertility center.  The fertility center can’t move forward until we have clear answers from urology on the issues they determine, and the urologist can’t move forward until our insurance approves everything.  There is a lot of back and forth, (and copays), between primary care doctors, specialists, and test centers.

And I’m annoyed.  For a few reasons.

An Ass Out of U & ME

I’m irked that we fell for the okey doke and relied soo heavily on the issues we knew I had, rather than looking into the male factor issues sooner.  The sheer intensity of my PCOS and thyroid complications led us all, (doctors included), to assume that it just had to be only me at the root of this crap.  I’m annoyed at myself for not “going wit my first mind”, and being thorough.

My Timeline is Askew

I’m irritated that there really is nothing I can do right now but wait.  Again.  I’m non-essential personnel at the urologist.  If I want to know what step we’re on, I have to pry the information out of the spouse’s one-word answers.  LOL  Not that he’s being a jerk about anything, but I’ve been the captain of this ship for oh, about six, seven years now…so to not know our itinerary, is eating me alive.  Like for real, can I at LEAST be in charge of the drinks on the lido deck or something?

No, Really. My Timeline is Jacked Up.

It’s March, people.  MARCH.  aka Third month of the year.  aka, even if I do get pregnant this year, I still might don’t have a kid until 2015.  So in my mind, it’s March, and I’ve lost yet another year.  Go me.  Cue the band.

It’s Exhausting.

It is extremely tiring to go to work every day, or do assignments, or just “be”, when you really want to wrap yourself up in a warm blanket, grab a trashy novel and a glass of wine, and just stop being an adult for like 45 minutes.  I’m kind of over adulthood lately.  It is NOT keeping up its end of the bargain.  Or at least not from what I saw when I was watching television and reading books as a young girl.  I mean, we should be living in a hip urban brownstone, working freelance jobs at swanky companies, hosting dinner parties, and on our second “accidental” pregnancy right now, right?  I mean, at least that’s what Thursday night lineups of years gone by said.  It’s literally exhausting trying to keep the thoughts of your real mind, from seeping out.  I don’t want people to know how much of my day is in this mental place, but should the opportunity to speak my truth come about in everyday conversation, I can’t really lie and say I’d know how to stop myself.

So as usual, I’ve just decided to stay busy, busy, busy. All this noise and thought running rampant in my head, has to come out sometime, and hopefully it may benefit you. Stay tuned for more info, including some very special events/blog posts for National Infertility Awareness Week 2014!

In the meantime, check out this month’s Sister2Sister Magazine for an article on Egg Freezing, The Egg has a brief mention.  Thank you Shahida Muhammad for thinking of me!

March 2014 Sister 2 Sister

 

Featured image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Long Pause…

Long Pause copy

So, last month, I returned to the hospital for another hysteroscopy.  YAY!

I get to the post-op appointment two weeks later…Gyne says there was no polyp that she saw. Just my uterine lining stocking up for the apocalypse again.

So this giant lapse (a month and a half, which feels like eternity), was for nothing.  Or at least that’s how I felt instantly.  I know it wasn’t really, and that it was good to make sure everything was clear anyhow, but damn if it didn’t feel like a waste of time.  A painful waste of time at that.

But whatever, it was what needed to be done.

So the next move was to return to the RE for our IVF consult.  This meeting is where we sign all the legal paperwork regarding cryo-preservation, legal intent, and consent forms.  This is also the meeting where most people learn of their IVF protocol.  Meaning, what medicines their RE has determined will be best for them, and some start dates.

Notice how I said, “most people”.

Because as I told yall before, “if I haven’t learned anything in this infertility battle, I’ve learned that NOTHING on this journey can be simple for me. NOTHING.”

So, after we came in, she got right to it and said, “You’ve got three things working against you right now that we have to fight.”

I took a deep breath, and she continued.

  1. Your thyroid.  We have to get it down because it’s too high.  We prefer it to be >2.5, yours was at three.
  2. Your PCOS.  Which is apparently a ROUGH case.

At this, I cringed.  I have done my reading.  I know that with PCOS and IVF there are risks of hyperstimulation, and even an increased risk of miscarriage.  PCOS is a jerk.  A hairy, fat, jerk.  So I held my breath as she told me that my particular case of PCOS has already acted a complete ass.

The normal range of follicles a woman with normal or average egg quality has, is around twelve. 6 on one ovary, and 6 on the other.  But Regina?  Regina has Thirty-flippin-one.  13 on one ovary, and 18 on the other.

AMH stands for Anti Mullerian Hormone. This hormone gives doctors an indication of the estimated number of eggs a woman has left.  It gives the RE an idea of how many eggs they can expect to retrieve from you.  The normal AMH levels of women my age, are between 1.0 and 3.0.  In PCOS patients, AMH levels can run high.  My doctor has NEVER SEEN A PERSON WITH AS HIGH AMH LEVELS AS ME.  My AMH was 21.  Not 2.1, TWENTY ONE.

So do I have a great possibility for egg retrieval?  On the surface, yes.  But having done the research, I knew what that really translated to: I am at high risk for hyperstimulation during IVF.

In other words, my follicles may get a taste of those sweet hormone meds and go “fat kid at the buffet”, and my cycle could be cancelled.  She even mentioned that she may have to cut my doses in half just because of my risks.  WTF, lady bits?  What are you doing?!!

My body’s a damned overachiever in every area except weight loss.

But remember, she said there were three issues.

After all this time, the next blow, is that we now have male factor infertility also! YAY!!!  We won!

We have been referred to urology now.  To which we won’t get in until next year.  Depending on what is required, that pushes the IVF process to at least February.

So, all the craptastic news out of the way, we continued with the other parts of the consult and learned all about the risks of IVF, had the painful discussions about things like selective reduction, and even what to do with our embryos if we divorce or one of us passes away. Then came the great layout of costs for preserving embryos, $1100 up front and $450/year after, and the cost of preserving “backup” sperm for retrieval day, $350.

Fun, right?

And then to add insult to emotional injury, I got some yucky news about the little one who we were planning to adopt earlier this year.  She’s fine!  But the info was yucky nonetheless.

I got in my feelings for a hot second.  Mostly angry, not sad.  Angry that we’d waited before following up with the male factor information.  Angry at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, yet again.  Angry to be on hold yet again.

Then I just stopped.  I reminded myself to calm down.  I reminded myself that now was the time to focus on others and not myself.  Prayers for that precious baby girl, and love to my husband who got his own bad news today.

That being said, I’m giving myself permission to be a tad p’d off today.  And prescribing my OWN meds for a change.  Thanks to my sorority sister for the appropriately named gift.

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Featured image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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