October 31, 2008

Vampires & Pumpkins

Just in time for Halloween I had my date with the vampires for bloodwork. A few days ago I had my recent pap sent over to the clinic. I'm all set until CD1 when I schedule day 3 bloods and a mock transfer. And the way the end of the year always flies by, I'm going to be playing with needles again before I know it.

And now for the pumpkin; the part that makes it all worth while:

Happy Halloween everyone!

October 27, 2008

Dr. Change

As a first-time infertile all you want is change. Any kind of change might be just the change you've been needing. In the beginning, whatever I could change that might somehow change the outcome of each cycle was worth a shot! There are the changes in position, diet, exercise, mindset, changes into lucky underwear; pretty much almost anything you can think of has been touted by someone as a magic ticket to fertility. After a while I got too frustrated with any sort of magical changes that only led to disappointment but whatever changes my clinic threw at me were still welcome. Injectables? Sure! Up the dosage? OK! Slow the progression? Whatever you say doc, let this be the thing that finally makes it work!

But this time around I'm not so keen on change. It worked last time afterall. Somehow I had forgotten about the excitement of zero fertilization and the depressingly low odds for rescue ICSI. I walked into my clinic last week with half my thoughts devoted to planning Piper's birthday party, another 49% on work, and the remaining 1% split between all manner of various other distractions including the passing thought that hey, I think I'll do IVF again.

Silly me. I sat down in Dr. Chang's office. He says: "So I see you had a very unusual case last time." He's a friendly guy but he says it all serious-like; gets me sort of nervous. Me: Huh? He gently reminds me. Naturally the clinic is very pleased about the pregnancy outcome, but he clearly did not think zero fertilization was good news. I guess I had brushed it off because I assumed we'd just go straight to ICSI next time and it wouldn't be an issue, but it turns out it's not so simple. There are two reasons for zero fertilization: egg prematurity and sperm problems. The sperm always looked fine in analysis but this doesn't mean they can do their job. I had loads of eggs and they were the usual size at trigger, but I stimmed for only 8 days so that could have been the issue.

So onto a new protocol this time around. Lower the doses of stims by 25% aiming to shoot up a little longer like maybe 10 days and possibly have fewer eggs as a result, but better quality, more mature eggs, all of which will then be ICSIed. Any immature eggs will simply hang out a day in the dish until they can be ICSIed. Rescue ICSI was performed on day 2 anyway so this would be essentially the same deal. The fact that all the eggs fertilized after day 2 rescue ICSI is an indication that egg maturity might have been the issue, however the five years of trying before including the year of IUI's would tend to implicate the sperm. It makes for a happier household if we just assume it's both.

I think we've got the right plan. I trust my doctor. And we can always up the dosages or bag the cycle if we don't like the response. I just sort of like the idea of repeating the past because the past worked out for me. As much as I try to prepare myself for the worst and remind myself that I'd have to be ridiculously lucky to get an encore performance on the first try out of our dysfunctional reproductive matter, I secretly hope it all goes down pretty much the same way. I left the office feeling much less cocky but nonetheless ready to start BCPs in December. I definitely feel the slow and ominous upward clicking of the roller coaster.

October 14, 2008

In the last 10 days...

* Celebrated my birthday

* Lost my last living grandparent

* Sent invitations for Piper's first birthday party

* Attended a 20 year reunion for my old summer camp

* Which happened to be across a river from where I got married

* Made an initial consult appointment to get back to IVF

This sort of intersection of events, seemingly engineered to give one perspective on our scope of time on earth, feels more like some cheesy Nicholas Sparks type novel than real life. In other trite observations, I keep mistyping my appointment with Dr. Chang next Tuesday as with Dr. Change. Oh yes and today is CD1.

October 4, 2008

Happy Eggspiration Day!

Yesterday I turned 35. I called my clinic to make an appointment for a consult but of course there is some administrative hoopla that has to happen before I am reinstated and can get in. My hope is to get the initial consult, financial crap, and testing done this Fall, not think about it over the holidays, and get ready to start shooting up in 2009. I just want these next few months to be about Piper's first birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas without having to divide my thoughts and time between her and the clinic. But the clock keeps on ticking and the desire to have another go at it before my last egg shrivels is growing.