It’s time.

**warning… trigger post**

The time has come to make the happy announcement… I am 12w3d pregnant!!  We are, of course, totally thrilled but also caught in this place between thrilled and terrified.  This is what we’ve been working towards for 5 years and this is what we’ve been working towards for 5 years.  Is this really happening?  The doctor says yes.  I kid you not, I sometimes wonder if he images on the ultrasound machine are real or if he just puts those there to make people feel good.  So irrational.

Success was had with IUI which was great and a less invasive, less expensive process.  Of course I needed all the drugs they could give me but that’s ok.  Betas rose well, I had 6.  Then I started feeling a pain in my lower left side right about 6 weeks.  I have felt that ache before and it was an ectopic pregnancy.  No bleeding or anything (but I didn’t have that before) so I called my nurse and exactly 6 weeks ago I went in for an ultrasound.  That day, the image of our family went from 2 to 4!  Twins!  Two beating hearts.  Baby B, however was a little small but “not too worry”.  The doc decided to see my weekly which was great.  At 7w3d we went in and Baby B’s short little life had come to an end.  Baby A, however was doing great!  Such a bittersweet appointment.  There was grieving for the life we were imagining but also joy for the babe who was still with us.  A couple of days after each appointment was good.  Things were good and then a couple of days before the next the dread, the anxiety the what if’s started creeping in.  After 4 ultrasounds (sounds insane to a fertile) I graduated from my RE and was sent to a maternal fetal medicine clinic for my first trimester screening.  This happened last week.  The ultrasound was great!  The doctor at that clinic felt like we would “sail through the rest of the pregnancy”.  Words that were music to my ears.

We got the results of the blood screen (protein analysis) which checks for markers of Trisomy 13, 18 and Downs.  We couldn’t do Materniti21 because the DNA from the twin would have interfered (no gender reveal for a while).  The results from the test were fine… not great but fine enough.  Risk of either Trisomy was 1/9000 while risk of Downs was 1/176.  That’s only .05% however a positive result, meaning insignificant risk, is anything over 1/200 and a negative result, meaning high risk, is anything lower than 1/50.  We are in the high end of the grey area.  No discussion of an amnio at this time (I am not doing one anyway) but we will do a second trimester blood screening to see how that all plays out.  Downs is certainly not the end of the World, I do a lot of work with people with disabilities and they live such full lives that it’s not that.  We need to know so we can prepare for any health implications (heart defects being one).  I am getting ahead of myself here but we’ve been in the .05% before so it doesn’t seem all that small.

At the end of the day, we are so excited about this baby.  I am hoping for the day that I can just be thrilled and excited and buy stuff without so much worry.  I hate depriving my baby of all of my positive energy but it is what it is.  It’s hard to trust that the good data is real.  First real OB appointment on Monday!  Maybe after that appointment (oh and when my fetal doppler gets here) I will start feeling more secure and actually believe that this story I just told is about me.

I have had really no pregnancy symptoms except for being tired and sore boobs. Oh and last week dinner was a no-go. LOL.  This week I feel pretty good.  I can’t complain about this pregnancy at all (as if I would).  Maybe I have paid my dues and in return have bought myself a smooth pregnancy.  Lol!  A girl can hope!!

Take care!

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Back to the future?!

Blah blah blah… No CCRM for us for a variety of reasons but the main one being that nothing is “wrong”. At least nothing tested for came back abnormal except for my thyroid and low-ish AMH. What we know is that I likely have crappy eggs. CCRM gave me no good reasons as to what their lab could do for me. We met with our Doc here and decided that it is unlikely that all of my eggs are useless pieces of crap. As a result, we can go back to more simplistic treatment methods and may have success. We don’t need IVF because IVF doesn’t increase egg quality. Therefore it’s back to the much cheaper, much less invasive, IUI with gonadotropins. Yay!

We decided we would be willing to try this route 4 times (same cost as one fresh IVF) and then we would call it. Four tries seems reasonable and manageable. It feels like that’s enough. It feels like we can say with certainty that we gave it all we had. Granted we may only need one?? Fingers crossed. We will concurrently get moving with the adoption process so that we have those balls moving should our current luck in baby-making continue. The agency we have chosen requires a two day class (they are booked until late June) before you even apply and start the home study process.

We are excited to be going back to some level of basics and to be proceeding with our adoption plan. Our baby is out there, we just haven’t been looking in the right place but we are hopeful we are on the right path now.

CCRM Recap

We went!  A roller coaster to get there but finally my body cooperated and we went.  We were hosted by the wonderful mama of S at My Lady Bits which made the trip so much less stressful.  She let us use her car and she took us to fabulous restaurants and she’s interesting and fun to boot!  We sure lucked out with such a gracious host.

One Day Workup Test Overview:

  • CCRM orientation (learn about the center, IVF, who to call, etc.)
  • Baseline ultrasound to asses resting follicles (I had 12), blood flow to the uterus (a little restricted on the right side… need electro acupuncture), presence of any anatomic abnormalities (none noted)
  • Hysteroscopy so the doc could put a camera on a catheter, blow my uterus up like a balloon and have a looksee. Saw nothing abnormal.  This also serves as a trial transfer.  Kind of ouchie but not too bad.  The CO2 that doesn’t expel out of the vag has to absorb in the body and it rises to the shoulder and that hurts!  Doesn’t last long but hurts. So weird.
  • Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to see if tubes are open and uterine cavity is normal. No issues noted by the tech.
  • Blood work (13 vials in all!) to check AMH, APA, Communicable diseases (HIV, Hep B & C, RPR), Chromosome analysis, Cystic Fibrosis, Fragile X, Spinal Musculator Atrophy screen, Blood type (mine is O) and RH antibody (mine is negative which is a pain because my blood might attack a fetus), Rubella and Varicella screen and anti-sperm antibody screen. So much blood work.
  • The hubs had a semen analysis, sperm chromatin structure assay (to see if there are any breaks in genetic material) and the chromosome analysis.

Initial results:  Anatomically things are fine.  I need a little acupuncture for blood flow but that’s it.  As for the blood work, that is yet to be seen.  Currently the only test results we have back are the semen analysis which was A+, as usual, and my TSH which was elevated.  As a result of the elevated TSH I have hypothyroidism and have been prescribed a medication.  The remaining results will come back over the next several weeks.  I still need to have my day 3 blood work done here and shipped over.  That will complete the extent of the testing at this time and then we will regroup with the doctor to hear what he has to say.

Initial reaction:  I didn’t leave CCRM feeling excited.  In fact, I left feeling kind of relieved because I kind of hated it.  The relief was derived from the fact that it’s very expensive.  A fact that I knew before we went but hadn’t really processed.  At this point in time, we will wait for our tests results to come back.  I am glad that we went because we will get some good information and we scratched the itch to check it out.  However, I will need a very compelling reason to go back to Denver.  I know they have a sophisticated lab and a collectively more experienced physician pool but it didn’t feel right.  My gut says no way.  It’s highly likely that even if they offer a very compelling reason to go with them we won’t go through with it.  I will sit down with my doctor and go over the results and see what he says.  If he’s out of options we might explore some clinics closer to home.  If he’s not out of options we might cycle here.  I feel so done with this process.  Either way, I have made space in my brain for the adoption process.  We will concurrently continue to explore biological options but we are no longer holding off on adoption.  There is a level of comfort and clarity in that.  I know a lot of people have been out there saying prayers and sending energy for feelings of peace and comfort in this decision making process and I am humbled to say that it worked.  Thank you for that.

I will post more as results roll in!

Next stop… not Colorado

No CCRM for us this week.  I thought CD 1 would appear and it didn’t.  My body fails me again.  I should be used to this by now.  Back to waiting and continuing to evaluate what we want out of this life.  Maybe long-distance clinics and shooting up with heavy doses of hormones isn’t it.  Things are very unclear right now.  What is clear is that I am simultaneously disappointed that we aren’t going to CCRM and thrilled that I don’t have to put my body though a bunch of tests.

What are we doing?

Hey all.  Been a while.  Not much has changed here.  Monday we head to CCRM for our one day workup.  The schedule for the day looks grueling and expensive but what’s a few thousand dollars here and there?  Thankfully good friends have walked this path before so the schedule was no big surprise.  What is a surprise is the significant amount of dread I feel about it.  I want to expand our family, I want children, I really do but I don’t want to put the “work” that’s required of me in anymore.  It’s exhausting to think about.  We are also talking big money now that we have a long-distance clinic that is more expensive.  Hopefully you get what you pay for?

For me the internal turmoil of biology or not is running rampant.  Do I need a biological child for me to feel like my family is complete?  I just don’t know.  I don’t want to need that.  There is something inherently selfish feeling about wanting to subject myself to torture in order to have a mini-me.  I’m cool and all but am I really THAT cool?  🙂  There’s the cost piece that is weighing heavy.  CCRM is expensive, adoption is expensive.  CCRM has an unknown outcome, adoption has a much higher success rate in ending up with a real live baby at the end.  CCRM could result in multiple children if I have multiple, good quality, genetically normal embryos, adoption results in 1 and then you pay again for another.  I suppose there are 2-for-1 deals out there but less common I am sure.  Having a baby biologically feels like I will know what to do with it.  There’s something in my mental imagery that is showing me that pregnant women are infused with parenting wisdom.  It’s stupid, I know, I know.  My imagery is my imagery as crazy as it may be.  ha.  Adoption, where will I get my pregnancy infusion of all the answers?  ha again but seriously there is a level of unknown with both routes but the unknown in adoption feels so much more unclear.  That’s just the start of my ponderings….

Bottom line:  we want to expand our family but I need the magic 8 ball to tell me which path to take.  Someone should really invent that.  Like a real one with real answers.  I’d invest.

In other random thoughts:  I wanted to do a craft project the other night when my husband was out of town so I scoured my Pinterest for something quick and easy for me to keep my hands out of the Lays and ultimately feel accomplished about.  So at 10:30 Friday night I was stressing about needing to get all these pieces of fabric cut out and I snapped out of my trance and thought “what the fuck are you making?”  Well, ladies, it is a stuffed superhero girl doll.  It’s really cute.  I like it but what the hell am I going to do with it?  I chose a project without regard for the outcome.  It makes me chuckle.  Oh well, now I have an orange haired, 10″ stuffed doll with ice cream cones on her cape… did I just swan dive off the deep end?  LOL!

Hope you are all well.

Next stop… Colorado

We had a phone consult with Dr. Surrey at CCRM last week.  It went really well.  Dr. S was very personable which was nice.  Being that we’ve been through lots of treatment we could really focus the conversation on some new diagnostic test work and strategy.  His recommendation was that we proceed with some recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) testing.  Technically RPL testing would more likely come after a person has experienced 3 early term losses.  While we have had 3 losses with the missed miscarriage, ectopic and chemical, the ectopic doesn’t really count because it’s not that the pregnancy wouldn’t have worked it just wasn’t in the right spot.  However, 2 losses with potentially diminished ovarian reserve deems this a good time to check the potential for RPL characteristics off the list.  He said that there are 3 tests he’d like to do:

1. A blood test to determine if I may have a propensity for blood clots which can cause some issues during early term pregnancy.  They treat this with a blood thinner.  I am sure there is waaaaay more to the story if this is an issue.

2. A chromosome test (karotype) for both me and my husband.  They will be looking for any translocation issues.  If they are present in us, then when our DNA meets, there can be complications in forming a complete package that works right.  Apparently this is correctable in an embryo if the lab people know where to look for the translocation.  This sounds very complicated.  Not to mention expensive.

3. An x-ray of my tubes.  My doctor here never re-checked my tubes after the surgery for my ectopic.  It’s possible that in healing, the tube could have closed at the top which is where the incision was made.  Studies are showing that the success rates for IVF in women who have closed tubes is lower than in women who have open tubes.  So strange.  I assumed that because the tubes aren’t used in IVF that they were an non-issue.  Apparently not.

If any of you have done these tests (2 seems to be the one more foreign in concept to me) please let me know!

I am sure that we can do these tests here in Oregon.  However, we feel very strongly that going to CCRM for these tests along with the whole battery of other tests that they do during the one-day workup will be beneficial.  It gets everything done in one fell swoop by people that CCRM trusts.

CCRM will do the following tests:   baseline ultrasound/dopplers, hysteroscopy, communicable disease screening, semen analysis and antisperm antibodies culture, sperm chromatin assay, Beta-3 integrin and PCOS labs.

After that we will likely do a full IVF cycle with CCRM.  This is in part due to the desire to have more than 1 child.  We have frozen embryos here but finding out if there are any RPL warning signs coupled with the chromosomal screening of our embryos will give us some insight as to how these snow babies will do down the road.  Good news/bad news… our embryos here were not created using ICSI (this is where they inject the sperm into the egg) so they cannot test the chromosomal make up of the embryo because all the spermies that didn’t make it in, are hanging out on the outside so it’s hard to tell what’s what when it comes down to that testing.

Overall, we feel good about the consult.  Now I wait for my period to start, have a full natural cycle and then call them on CD1 to get in for the workup sometime between CD4 and 12.  The problem is that my cycle is unpredictable so we will be doing the last-minute thing to Denver.  This isn’t that big of a deal, it’s just not as cost effective as I’d like.

So… now we wait.

Hope you all are doing well!

Thanks ladies!

Capture

This cracked me up.  Thank you ladies for making a post about peeing my most popular to date!  And none of you are laughing right now, you are simply nodding your head and shrugging your shoulders because this is totally normal for us.  LOl!  At least there is a whole community of crazies out there and thankfully the internet brought us together.  Raising a big, giant glass of sparkling wine to you all for a great 2015!  For those of you whose Doctor knocked them up this year, congrats and I’ll have another glass or two for you…