Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Level 1 Assessment...Check!

I received a call from my OB/GYN a little while ago, one that I have been waiting anxiously to receive. Today she got the results of my Cycle Day 3 blood panels and...everything looks fantastic!! They said the quality of my eggs are fantastic and all of my other hormone levels are well in the normal range. This takes a huge pressure off of me as this just ruled out Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), something that makes conception virtually impossible. The only blood panel that I still have to get done is my progesterone level, but this cannot be done until 7-10 days after ovulation. This is the area where they think I have a problem, but at least it can be corrected.

A Level 2 assessment consists of checking for physical barriers to conception such as tubal and uterine abnormalities. I already have my ultrasound scheduled for the day of my appointment with the RE. I am hoping that they are not going to want to do any type of exploratory procedures as I do not think they are warranted at this time. Luckily, I have already had a Level 3 assessment done as a result of my diagnosis of having a primary immune dysfunction. If the RE determines that this is causing the fertility issues then I can receive IvIg transfusions every 4 weeks. Over the summer my Immunologist tried to get these transfusions approved, but my insurance wouldn't cover them as I was not "sick" enough. I am currently at about 65% immune function and the threshold for treatment with my insurance company is 30% (or near death..haha). The reason for this is that each transfusion, because they are so specialized, costs between $8000-10000 each. However, if a specialist makes the determination that it is impeding my fertility, they have to pay for it.

So I guess this is good news for now. Hoping for more magical baby dust!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Not what I wanted to hear, but not as bad as I thought.

My husband and I went to go see my OB/GYN today, and after reviewing all of my information, she informed that she believes that it is in my best interest to see a fertility specialist. She said it was very promising that I was even able to get pregnant in the first place, but I am going to need some help to get to the end result I want...a healthy, full term pregnancy. I was referred to an RE through the Central New York Fertility Center based out of Syracuse. He is supposed to be one of the State's leading fertility doctors so I am very lucky that I got in to see him. My OB/GYN explained to me that several options will be given to me including Clomid/Progesterone therapy, hormone therapy with IUI, and hormone therapy with IVF. Tomorrow I have to go get a series of 5 blood panels done and an ultrasound in a couple of weeks in preparation for the appointment which is on Feb. 18th. I am a bit discouraged that it is such a long wait, but from what I have heard, I am actually getting in pretty quickly. I am not looking forward to getting poked and prodded, but it will all be worth it in the end. Hoping for lots of magical baby dust!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Why me?

I was right, things are not looking so positive. My cycle ended abruptly. It is now confirmed that my body cannot sustain a pregnancy on its own as my luteal phase is way too short. A little medical info:

Your luteal phase is the phase between ovulation and when you get your next period. Typically this phase is between 12-14 days. During this time your body starts to produce progesterone, which will support a baby until the placenta takes over around week 10 of pregnancy. If your egg is not fertilized your progesterone levels drop, and you get your monthly visitor. Well, in order for a pregnancy to be supported, your progesterone levels must stay elevated long enough for the uterine lining to build, otherwise, a chemical pregnancy will result. A luteal phase under 12 days is considered a defect. My average is 9 days, with my current cycle being only 8 days. It is absolutely impossible for a person to stay pregnant when this happens. This results in continuous miscarriages.

I am not jumping to conclusions, but I am very upset. My appointment is tomorrow morning so I should know a lot more. Typically, they start to treat you with fertility drugs and progesterone supplements, and if they don't work, IVF with heavy duty fertility drugs are used. This is not what I wanted to hear but what can I do. I am fearful that my OB/GYN is going to want to take biopsies before starting me on anything which will delay the "baby making" process by a few months. Keep your fingers crossed and I will post an update tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why am I writing this blog you ask?

Because we want to have a Baby!! I have been blogging on other sites for a while about various things, but I have decided to start this blog to share some of my experiences about our journey to have a baby. So here is my story to bring you all up to speed:

Back in 1999, I was diagnosed with Stage IA cervical cancer. This means that it was in the earliest stages. It could only be seen under a microscope and did not spread to nearby lymph nodes or other distant sites. I was VERY lucky they caught it when they did. This is partially due to the fact that I was under close watch as my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV uterine cancer when she was 32. I underwent surgery and they were very successful in removing it all. After the surgery, my doctor at the time told me that it would probably be wise for me not to have children as I was at risk of miscarrying the fetus once it reached a certain weight. So for the next 10 years I had it in my mind that I never wanted children. Why want something you can't have, right? I then went on to marry the man of my dreams in November of 2006 and that was that.

Well, fast forward to 2009 when everything started to change. After moving up to Saratoga Springs, I decided to change to a wonderful OB/GYN. We talked at length about my history and then she asked me if I ever planned on having kids. I told her what my previous physician said and she informed me that if I wanted to try and have a baby, she would work with me and get me through it. Over the next few months I really started to think about it and became attached to the idea over the summer. Needless to say I went off my birth control (after being on it for 13 years) and we started to plan things out.

Things didn't go as smoothly as I thought they would. After coming off of the pill, my cycle went crazy. After not getting my period for almost 3 months, she diagnosed me with infertility. I was mortified. We decided that we would give my body a few months to work itself out and then we would take action. Well...needless to say we weren't infertile, we were pregnant. We found out we were pregnant in the beginning of November. She sent me in for an ultrasound about a week later...I remember that it was a Friday evening that we went, and we left without any results. At 2am Saturday morning we got a call from the ER and we were asked to come right in. They ran some blood work, told me that I had a 16mm mass on my right ovary and sent me home. I went back Monday for repeat blood work to make sure everything was okay. At 1:16pm on Monday I received the phone call that no pregnant woman ever wants to get. They told me that my HCG levels (pregnancy hormone) were not increasing like they should and that this pregnancy was ectopic and had to be terminated. My husband took me to the ER where I received 2 injections of Methotrexate to dissolve the pregnancy. I can't even describe the emotions that were running through me. I was angry, confused, sad, all at the same time. How could I be given such a gift just to have it ripped away from me a short time later? I kept telling myself that everything happens for a reason, but deep down inside I didn't believe that. After being discharged from the ER, my husband and I went to the gift shop to get something to drink and something caught my eye. It was a ivory colored porcelain figurine of an angel reaching down to a small child. I refused to leave without it. It now sits in my china cabinet as a reminder of what I had and what could have been.

Since then I have been using a fertility monitor and monitoring my basal body temps to see if there is some kind of abnormality. So far things are not looking very positive but we are waiting for this cycle to finish to see what the outcome is. Keep your fingers crossed.