Thursday, January 29, 2009

Round 2 - Fight!

We had our meeting with Dr. #3 this morning - Dr. MB is a very nice man, and is friends with each of our previous two doctors which is both weird and cool (I bet they talk about us like we're total flakes for jumping around so much). Let me state up front that our reasons for switching are purely for convenience - since moving last summer, the commute between home and the infertility clinic grew significantly ... not a good thing when daily blood draws are required, and Michigan winter is in full swing.

Dr. MB was kind enough to review our files last night, so was very prepared to explain his theory on the reason for our failing to concieve. He said infertility boils down to an issue with one or more of the following 4 areas: Tubes, Uterus, Sperm or Egg. In his opinion, the first three are fine, and all indicators point to egg quality as the culprit. The reason? Blood checks during the first 3 days of my wife's period indicate levels of FSH that are a bit high - he likened FSH to a car's tachometer - when revved (i.e. high FSH) the ovary will accelerate the development of follicles. If revved too high, or too low, things go horseshit and the eggs come out bad. Something like that ...

Either way, that was his prognosis - he recommended proceeding with IVF, indicating that our chances should be pretty good, and that cycles vary from one to another - perhaps our first failed attempt was just a bad cycle? Who knows, but we're proceeding, and fast ... my wife's period came this morning, so we are right in line to join the next group of IVF patients. She picked up a prescription for birth control and pre-natal vitamins. They took my blood (and I nearly passed out), and pee. Wife had an ultrasound, and gave blood and pee. We scheduled another semen analysis, and IVF "orientation" for next Monday. The cycle boils down as follows (ball park dates ... not at all precise):

  • Between now and ~Feb. 10th: Wife on birth control. We conduct IVF orientation. My semen get analyzed (again)

  • Feb. 10 - 13: No birth control. Holding pattern until ....

  • Feb. 13: Start stimulant drugs (will provide more details in a future post, with precise details (something I have not been good at in past posts)

  • Feb. 13 - Feb. 19: Administer stimulant drugs - aiming for 10 - 15 mature follicles (> 15 mm)

  • Feb. 20: Harvest eggs and fertilize via ICSI

  • Feb. 21: Receive fertilization report

  • Feb. 25: Transfer embryos (Dr. MB prefers 5 day transfers, and limits number of embryos to 2 max)

  • Mar. 9: Receive pregnancy results

  • Mar. 10: Get really drunk by myself, or with my wife depending on outcome

So, it's going fast, but we talked about it, and we're ready. Wish us luck - as details emerge I'll post ... and I'll do my best to put up an exact, accurate schedule, and will include medications, doses, semen analysis numbers, etc. Want to ensure anyone else going through similar bullshit can have a reference point ...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nothing new

In this, our month off, we've been having a lot more wine - and intercourse has gotten a lot better.

Appointment with the new Dr. on January 29th - until then it's going to be slow going, so apologies for the lapse in posting, but I don't want to bore anyone with commentary on work, or our dog. You didn't come here to read about that - you came to hear about infertility in all its glory! And unless I can deliver details on periods or IUIs or IVFs or laproscopies, I won't waste your time.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to work

It's been a while since my last post - took some time to enjoy the holidays, at home.

And I discarded a theory that not blogging about infertility would result in a pregnancy - our last cycle was a bust, just like all the others.

We met with Dr. M to discuss our next steps. He came out and told us that we are officially "unexplained infertiles" - he doesn't know why we're not getting pregnant. All signs indicate that we're normal in every way, except for 15 months of natural methods, a failed IVF cycle, cured endometriosis, 7 IUI cycles (3 medicated), etc. He said that all he would be able to offer is IVF. Sort of difficult to be back at the beginning of the circle.

We're going to take the next month off and move our efforts to a new clinic. This time it's purely for convenience. Since we began our treatment under Dr. M, we moved to a new house - the drive, combined with wintry Michigan weather makes for a huge inconvenience for my wife (she was driving there nearly every day during certain stretches of our most recent cycles, for ultrasounds and blood work) We're not sure which clinic we're going to go with yet, but it will be closer to home (around Birmingham, MI - recommendations anyone?). And we've pretty much agreed that we are going to proceed with IVF again. We're hoping that some insights can be pulled from our first failed cycle and the course for this round can be modified as required. Dr. M offered no real convincing words on what his clinic would do differently - we will miss meeting with him, and are regretful at abandoning his care - he is a fantastic Doctor.

Either way, it puts the new year in perspective. 2009 is going to be a crazy year ... and we hope that it will bring us some finality about our infertility situation. Money is not an issue for us anymore - we have sufficient funds to proceed with IVF ... and I think we've pretty much agreed to do so. I think we're going to look into the financial programs that guarantee results (the name of the program escapes me, but I have paperwork on it in our files - you pay for two cycles, but are promised three, and if they don't work, you get a large portion of your money back, something like that - if anyone reading this has experience with these programs, would love to hear about it)

So, by year's end we will either be pregnant, or will have completely moved on to adoption, or will have decided to steal a baby from somebody else. Either way, we will get as much closure on the topic as we can. I will toil away as a consultant to provide the financial means while my wife finishes her Masters Degree. This time next year I will have hung up this blog, or will have converted it to an adoption theme (so be sure to enjoy my crappy prose while you can, because time's winding down)

Best of luck to everyone who reads this - I hope you are parent or pregnant by year's end.