Monday, September 24, 2012

I thought we'd looked at it all...

Having been on and off this IF journey for 4 years now, I feel like every test in the book has already been done. All of the basic infertility work up stuff was done a long time ago and we've had the priviledge (?) of getting a better glance at what is happening with everything due to the fact that we've gone through 3 IVFs. But, in heading to CC.RM, I knew that there was one thing I wanted out of our time with them, almost as much as I want a take home baby... I want ANSWERS. When we first started down this road, we were armed with a diagnosis: male factor infertility. MBL had low everything; low count, low motility, and low morphology. We knew that with his numbers, the only decent chance we stood at conceiving was via IUI or IVF. But now? His numbers have been much better since his two varicocelectomies. And in the past 2 years it has become clear that the our "problems" aren't all his fault. I'm a poor responder for my age and my AMH is not where it should be. BUT, I still have a decent(ish) antral count and age on my side, so why have we only had ONE out of three cycles be successful? Moreover, why haven't we been able to get pregnant on our own? MBL has swimmers and I have eggs... What's the hold up?

Well, Dr. Surrey at CC.RM won me over for life when he sat down with us and promised, without any prompting, that while he could not guarantee that he could get us pregnant, he could guarantee that by the end of all this we would have answers. Hallelujah! That's one thing I don't think our Chicago doc understood, he didn't get why I wanted more tests run, why I came armed with questions to every single appointment. Dr. S. gets it, he understands that I need to know the "why". I'm not willing to just accept that things just didn't work out like they thought they would, I need answers and it looks like I am going to get them.

What we've gotten back from CC.RM as far as results go have all been fine. MBL's count is up, but his motility and morphology are still on the lower than normal side. But, at least we have more swimmers to work with! My antral count was lower than I would have expected with only one follicle on the right and 12 on the right. But, still, 13 total should be a workable number. My AMH is lower than normal at 1.0, they wanted to see it at 1.5 or higher, but it's still in the "normal" range. I had a hysteroscopy and that was normal. And then I had a repeat HSG and that was normal. We now are just waiting on my day 3 labs, but those were good back in April, so I can't imagine that they've changed much. BUT, I did have some questions on the ratios of my labs, so I'm hoping that Dr. S. will be able to help me out with those.

A few of the things that make CC.RM stand out as a great choice for us is the fact that they should be able to help with two of the factors that I think held us back in our last IVF. For one, they are able to mature eggs in the lab, so if I have 25% immature again, they can try and help them mature so we have more embryos. They also have the equipment to do IMSI. Basically, they use a very powerful microscope to pick out the very best spe.rm. This helps a lot with potential DNA issues on the male side. We are very excited and impressed by the technology they are able to offer their patients.

So, now, we wait on the follow up phone consult with Dr. S. We will talk about strategies for an IVF cycle and also what his impression is as to why we even need to do IVF. Overall, I'm just thankful that we will have answers that will hopefully lead us to a sibling for Piper!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I’ve been gone again. I’m not going to try and make excuses for my absence, instead I’m just going to try and get on here (at least) twice a week to update. I know have a job where I would feel comfortable taking my half hour lunch to write a blog post, so my goal is to get on here Tuesdays and Thursdays. This community and all the blogs I have found mean so much to me, that I’m just not ready to give up this whole blogging thing.

So, where have I been? Well, we’ve been moving across the state and I started a new job while still wrapping up my old one. We bought a new condo, but we still own our house. We’ve been living on the east side of the state during the week and then traveling back to the west side for the weekends. Life is just busy. And even though I certainly have time in the evenings to sit down and write a blog post after Piper has gone to bed, I find myself mindlessly scanning instead.

I wanted to be sure to get on here and talk all about our time in Colorado. We LOVED it. The clinic, the area, and our experience were all amazing. The only not amazing thing was that MBL lost the rental car keys the morning of our departure and we spent 50 minutes searching for them… I was convinced we were going to miss our flight, but we didn’t. PTL. For starters, we got to Denver late on Saturday evening. Our second flight was delayed and then our luggage took forever to get off the plane because there was lightening outside. By the time we got to our hotel, it was almost 9:00 mountain time. I had gotten up early that morning to go for a nice long run and so I was particularly exhausted. Not too exhausted, however, to search out the nearest frozen yogurt self serve place :). I was pleased to discover that there was one located just 1mile from our hotel AND they had cake batter frozen yogurt. It was absolute perfection. The next day, Sunday, MBL and I didn’t have anything going on at the clinic, so we decided to just kind of explore. I went on a 4 mile run and he drove around town. It took me forever to get my 4 miles in because I kept running into construction/sidewalks ending. Not fun. When I got back to the hotel, we decided to lay out by the pool for a bit and get some sun. We did some errand running and then it was time for dinner. I follow a blog where the writer always talks about Which Which and when I saw that there was one basically right across the street from our hotel, I made MBL go check it out with me. We were both really happy with our sandwiches, my only regret is that I didn’t get mine toasted. We finished off the night by grabbing frozen yogurt again… SOOO yummy!

The next day we had to wake up bright and early to get to CC.RM by 7:30. We actually got there a tad bit late due to traffic. We were really impressed by how scheduled everything was. The day started off with a meeting in the conference room where a nurse went over everything from the basics of IVF to the protocols they use there to what we should do when we are cycling there. The meeting was held in a conference room and I was surprised to see how many other couples were there. All the seats were full, so I’m thinking there were 5 other couples. They were all different backgrounds, sizes, and ages. I really wanted to have us all go around the table and talk about our IF journeys. I wondered if anyone else there was trying for #2 and what their diagnoses were.

We basically had back to back testing with some fun for MBL and some fun for me. It was cool to hear about all the different tests they were going to run and everything that they were going to look for. My ultrasound was disappointing, but my hysteroscopy didn’t show any new polyps, so that was good news. We also decided to have me tested for SMA and Fragile X. I was beginning to think that the Fragile X was going to come back positive as I have signs of decreasing fertility and I’m still fairly young (26), but I found out a few weeks ago that both came back negative. My AMH is sitting still at 1.0 and I do not have sp.erm antibodies, which I guess is a good thing.

We were sent home with instructions to have an HSG done by my OB and to do the CD3 blood work at the start of my next cycle.

I think I’ll have to end the update there as I feel like this is already a lengthy post! Overall, we are very excited about cycling with CC.RM and feel like they really are the best choice for us at this point. The price tag is hard to swallow—around $16,000 for ONE CYCLE, but with having Piper, we know it’s all worth it. The things we do for those two pink lines…