Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Next (Baby) Steps

Well, I wanted to be a mom so bad that I wasn’t willing to give up yet. The doctors at UIHC told me they were thrilled with how I responded to that protocol and wanted me to try again. However, I had also started looking around at other fertility clinics and found one in Illinois with a great reputation for helping those with worst case scenarios, like me. I went to meet with Dr. Schultz. SIRM had a teacher discount plan – perfect for me since I had no insurance money left. Dr. S did some more tests and I signed up for the March cycle. Also, found that SIRM has a fantastic discussion board and made some friends who were going through this – and really value the support they gave me.

I did the LA8E2V (an agonist/antagonist conversion protocol) for the March cycle, along with intralipids and lovenox for NKa cells and elevated APAs. Things were going really well – I had 5 eggs retrieved, 4 were mature and 4 fertilized with ICSI. On day 3, we transferred 3 embryos – an 8 cell grade 1 with a GES (graduated embryo score) of 80, a cell grade 2 with a GES of 85, and a 6 cell grade 2 with a GES of only 20. Then yet another 2ww, and another BFN with no left over to freeze.

Well, I had a follow-up appointment with Dr. S after that cycle failed and I realized she really was a great doctor – very open minded and I loved the fact that she valued my input! We talked about what went right, what went wrong, and came up with a plan that might work. It was just financing that was holding me back. So, I signed up for flex benefits at work, borrowed some money from my parents, and signed up for the July cycle with the LA10E2V (the protocol for the worst responders – with the highest doses of meds possible) for one last attempt at getting pregnant before exploring other options, such as having someone else carry the baby for me.
Well, at my cd9 (cycle day 9 – the first time that the doctor sees you for the cycle) appointment , we discovered that there were problems. My lining was way too thick, there was fluid in my uterus, and the doctor recommended that I cancel the cycle! Oh, no! Well, we talked and decided instead of canceling, we’d just freeze the embryos (I wasn’t getting any younger, unfortunately!), do a D&C and fix the problems with my uterus, then do a frozen transfer after my uterus had healed. After being on stim meds for a LONG time, I finally had my egg retrieval. 6 eggs were retrieved, 5 were mature and 4 fertilized – and the best news of all was that they were able to freeze all 4 embryos! I had a 9 cell compacting grade 2 with a GES of 65, an 8 cell grade 2 with a GES of 75, an 8 cell grade 2 with a GES of 95 and a compacting grade 2 with a GES 45 (didn’t say how many cells, but assume there were 8 – had to have at least 6 to be frozen). They expect at least half of the embryos to survive vitrification and warming – so I had 4 snowbabies waiting for me – or a surrogate to carry the baby for me if the doctor couldn’t fix the problems with my uterus.

In August, I turned 37 and also had a D&C, and for the first time in my life had a normal visit from Aunt Flo! And more great news – I got a partial refund since I didn’t do a transfer for the July cycle, so I was able to scrape together enough money to try one last fresh cycle in October.
Again, we tried the same protocol that we used in July since all 4 of the embryos looked so good that time. I had 5 eggs retrieved, 3 were mature and 3 fertilized. On day 3, we transferred all 3 embryos – an 8 cell grade 1 with a GES of 80, a 6 cell grade 1 with a GES of 70, and a 6 cell grade 3 with a GES of 30. Then another 2ww, in which I was sure that I’d get the usual news, but instead got a very surprising phone call – I was finally pregnant! Beta #1 was 60 (10/23/09) and beta #2 (10/27/09) was 405!!!

Guess it’s time to end this post (I know it’s long, but wanted you to have all of the background infomation) – and the next one will be about the baby and my pregnancy.

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