Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

This year's costumes were very fitting for their personalities:
Hannah was a lobster.
Hayley was a chicken.

Thankfully there is no more halloween candy in my house!

Monday, October 29, 2007

the waiting game

Tick tock, tick tock. We're just waiting for the Next Big Appointment. Isn't that how it always goes? This one is with a new Dr at a new clinic, with nice new eyes looking at our files. Speaking of... I had requested a copy of my file be sent to me when I requested it to be sent to the new doc. I took some Time and read through every report, ever lab result, every everything. Some highlights: "very nice couple", "severe male factor", "suggest donor sperm" (that one was a new one to me), "patient requested no meds" (referring to my going cold turkey for the last ER-- everyone thought I was nuts).
I kind of felt strange reading all of it. Like it's a teacher recommendation for college where they have to sign over the seal and send it in... so you can't open it and see what your recommendors said about you!

Anywho, on the non- IF front (does that exsist, really?) I've decided to do a little 'moving on'. That includes painting and hanging drapes in the two empty 'guest' rooms upstairs. Not leaving them empty for you-know-what. Ok, so I kind of cheated and am painting one of the rooms an acceptable nursery color, but still! It's a grown-up color, too. I just to happen to be able to think of three different nursery sets that would go well with it. Like no-one else has ever planned like that? Whatever!

For the holidays, I have a lot of prep work to do. The painting mentioned above, and general de-cluttering. I also have to baby-proof, which terrifies me to no end. We have a little guest joining us for Thanksgiving. The first child to ever spend the night in our house. Strange.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Some statistics

These links are to the most recent data on clinic success rates for 2005. When I say to someone that such and such clinic has a 35% success rate, this is where those numbers come from. It is also important to note how many cycles a clinic does in a year. If they only do 10 cycles a year and have a 70% success rate, that's pretty good. If a clinic has the same success rate but does over 200 cycles a year, that's great becuase it means they can repeat the success over and over, with a (usually) varied patient pool.

Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine(where the consult is in Nov.), Ohio Reproductive Medicine (where we did the last 2 IVF cycles- also note it's the only game in town.)

Most everyone tries Clomid first, with good reason! Statistics show that 50% of women who ovulate on Clomid will get pregnant within three months.

IUIs are a logical next step. The overall success rate seems to be between 15-20 percent per cycle. One would think doing 5 IUIs would = success, but obviously it doesn't always work that way.

IVF stats vary from clinic to clinic. Overall the nationwide success rate is about 50%. So doing 2 IVFs would = success, right? That's what we thought.

Clearly we're in the minority here, statistically speaking. Since there is very little we can control with this whole process, picking a clinic is VERY important. That's why I chose one of the best in the country for the 2nd opinion. A 70% pregnancy rate (and similar live birth rate), is huge. It offers hope. Lots and lots of oooey goooey sparkly hope.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

OUR infertility 101

OUR infertility 101

This post chronicles what we've done up until now to have a baby. Please email (or call) if you have any further questions, or want more details. There are always more details!

(please click on the links for more information about that particular term)

After my first miscarriage in December 2005, I talked to my ob/gyn about perhaps starting Clomid. I had thought that I might have low progesterone, and Clomid is supposed to help that. Before starting Clomid, we did bloodwork for 3 months/cycles to see if I did indeed have low progesterone, and if I was ovulating at all. My Dr. gave me the prescription to start Clomid, but they didn't do any monitoring. Fearing high order mutiples, I started going to the RE.
My RE wanted a bunch of tests done first. Bloodwork and an HSG to see if my tubes were open and if there were any uterine abnormalities. All clear. With the clomid, they did do the monitoring to see how many eggs I had, then I got a trigger shot of HCGt to aid ovulation.
We did that for 3 cycles.
It didn't work.

The next step was to try the clomid with an IUI. We did that for one cycle.
It didn't work.

Since Clomid is a peculiar drug, most doctors only recommend being on it 4-6 cycles, but since it hadn't produced great results, our RE recommended moving on to Injectibles.

We did one cycle of injectibles. 150iu of Follistim with another IUI, which got me/us 4 eggs.
It didn't work.

Then we decided to do more extensive testing on D. That's when we got the first really bad news. The genetic testing came back fine. It was the morphology that was the deal breaker. Only 2% normal, using the WHO guidelines. Motility and count were also bad, but not serious. The RE said it would be a waste of our time and money to continue w/ the IUIs or Clomid, and he suggested going directly to IVF w/ ICSI.

Oh, and then I got pregnant... but that only lasted a week. Highest beta was 580.

I started the meds for the IVF cycle in December for the February cycle. I did the long lupron protocol that time. That got us awful results w/ only 4 mature eggs. Only 2 of those eggs even fertilized, so they put them back 48 hours after the retrieval.
It didn't work.

Then we took some Time Off. I said I was only doing IVF one more time...

IVF #2 started in June. Let me just say that this was a very rollercoaster cycle! We did the microdose lupron flare protocol this time. was on the meds for a particularly long time-- 16 days. Read this for more info on poor ovarian response. So, onto the cycle details; The first ultrasound is supposed to show your antral follicle count. That number is basically how many eggs you have to work with during that cycle. I had NONE. The second ultrasound is after 5 days of the meds. I only had TWO follicles growing. By the time u/s 3 came around, 5 days later, I fully expected the cycle to get cancelled, because by all measures it should have been. Magically I had 10 follicles then, and we kept on going. Better results, as far as quantity goes, but the egg quality was similarly bad. The embryologist suggested doing assisted hatching because of the dark zonas on my eggs. That means the shells are hard and once an embryo starts to grow, it can get stuck in the shell b/c it can't 'hatch' out of the thick shell. Read this for more info on poor ovarian response. But because of that, we had more to play with and 3 were decent. We transferred 3 embryos 72 hours after retrieval and were given a 1 in 6 chance of triplets.
It didn't work.

So here we are... trying to figure out what to do next.

We have a consult with one of the best clinics in the country next month--Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Looky here! An update!

In the past month, we've been a bit *busy*. We're down to 5 dogs in the house right now since my mom adopted one. Then there was Jubilee!... then I got a nasty sinus infection and pink eye to boot. We had company for a week and a half, and went to 2 weddings.

As D said... he's been too busy to 'have fun', per the counsellor's suggestion back in August.

I finally picked up the phone and made an appointment with CCRM for a consult. Thankfully we don't have to fly out to Denver for the appt, it's a conference call. If we do proceed with them, I'll have to fly out for a bunch of testing.
Right now I'm collecting medical records to send out there. And get to cajole D into getting another blood draw to find out his blood type. That might take some Time. ;-)

I am working on another post, for some of my friends who think we're being a little drastic. I should post that soon.