Monday, October 29, 2012
It's for that reason that I am not going to announce any results through my blog this time, be it positive or negative, until my family knows. If it is positive, I want to see their reactions. I want to have that be mine. After all of this work, all of this struggling...I want to relish in that moment, and not have it be spoiled by them finding out through some webpage.
I know a lot of people out there are routing for me, and I appreciate it. I love your support, and I honestly don't know where I'd be without it. So, I hope you respect my decision, and that you understand if I drop off the face of the earth come the end of November. :)
On another note, I haven't updated in a little while, so here goes!
My genetic testing came back, and it turns out I am a carrier of Canavan's Disease. This is a degenerative disease that affects children, usually killing them before the age of ten. It is also usually found in those who have Jewish blood, which I suspect probably lies in my father's side of the family, since we are the closest to Eastern European, as I can trace our family name (which is German) back to Poland. So, surprise! I have Jewish blood!
What does this mean? Well, it doesn't mean much of anything if my husband turns out not to be carrier. But, if he IS a carrier, then it means our children have a 25% chance of having Canavan's. We are currently waiting for his test results, as my IVF cannot go forward without them. If he is a carrier, then we would undergo PGD, which is genetic testing of our embryos. This would allow us to choose the healthy embryos from the diseased ones. We could also find out ahead of time if our embryos are boys or girls, which is sort of strange.
I let my full-blooded sister know, since she has a 50% chance of also being a carrier, and the lab said that's the responsible thing to do! So, that's all said and done. I am still waiting for my husband's results, which should be in this week.
My last birth control pill will be on Nov 1st, unless the hurricane interferes, or if my husband's results don't come back in time, or if our paperwork isn't returned in time. If any of these things goes awry, I will continue on the pills a little longer until all is in place, no big deal.
My stims should start around November 4th, if my ultrasound looks to be good. Hopefully so! I'm ready to get this show on the road!
Another woman from fertility friend, is using SGF as her clinic, and she was also on the protocol I will be on, and she got AMAZING results, with something like 26 eggs harvested. She has given me so much hope! I just know that my choice to switch fertility centers was a good one. I really have faith in this cycle.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Friday, October 19, 2012
GANIRELIX ACETATE PROTOCOL
This protocol is a method for administering medication designed to optimize ovarian response to gonadotropin stimulation. This protocol may be adapted based on your individual response.
• Birth Control Pills - 21-day pack (1-2 packs)
• Ganirelix or Cetrotide syringes.
• Gonadotropins: FSH (Follistim, Gonal - F, Bravelle) and 75 IU FSH&LH (Menopur)
• hCG 10,000 IU, one vial, IM - “Trigger” injection. ***
• Zithromax 500 mg - two tablets to be taken together at bedtime the night before retrieval.
• Endometrin 100 mg (#63) - taken vaginally three times a day, to start morning after egg retrieval.
• Estrace 2mg (#80) - taken orally, twice daily, to start evening of egg retrieval.
• Prenatal vitamin 1 tablet every day.
CALL THE PRIMARY NURSE TEAM WITH THE FIRST DAY OF FULL FLOW. No blood work or sonogram.
10/14 Start Birth Control Pills - 1 tablet each day for 18 days.
Day after last birth control pill
* LUPRON EVALUATION* Office visit for Ultrasound and Blood work.. Your nurse will call you in the afternoon with your results and instructions regarding medication doses and follow up appointment.
11/44th day after last birth control pill Gonadotropins are usually started on the 4th day after your last birth control pill. Your nurse will give you the date to start along with dosing instructions and date to return for follow-up monitoring. * ♦ Once follicles are >14mm (or per physicians orders) you will be given instructions for continuing gonadotropins and beginning Ganirelix/Cetrotide. When instructed, you will take your first dose of Ganirelix/Cetrotide that evening, and starting the next morning you will take the Ganirelix/Cetrotide once a day in the morning until instructed to stop.
Egg retrieval (approximate date).
3-6 days after retrieval
Embryo transfer (approximate date).
*Protocol will be individualized hereafter.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
I also had to awkwardly ask the school nurse if I could keep one of my pre-filled syringes in the locked refrigerator in her office because it had to stay cool. She knows what I am going through and happily agreed, but it still felt strange. Ha.
13 more days of birth control and then it begins.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Click here to learn more about the Family Act.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
A good thing about SGF if that you can email back and forth with the nurses. I asked my nurse if I could have my lab result numbers in email, so I can keep track of them. She immediately emailed me back, and my numbers are good! The E2 level is borderline too high, but it isn't abnormal.
What surprised me, though was my AFC, which I explained in one of my other posts. I thought it was at 19, which is wonderful, as my AFC last IVF was only a 10. Turns out, my AFC this cycle isn't 19...it is 42! Whaaaaaaat? I had 19 on one side and 23 on the other! Wooooo! This is awesome!
Please see my previous post about AFC and IVF success. :)
Saturday, October 13, 2012
1. My antral follicle count was very low. I only had five follicles in each ovary. To put that into perspective for you, yesterday, my antral follicle count in ONE ovary was 19. That means, at best, they could have expected 3-5 eggs. I was never told this. They moved on.
2. As the ultrasounds continued, I was being told that I had around 12 good follicles growing. In actuality, only a few of them were growing. From what I can tell, these were the numbers:
CD 8: RO - 14, 13, 13, 13, 12 LO- 17, 15, 15, 13, 11, 11
CD 10: RO - 19, 15, 15, 14, 14, 13 LO - 17, 16, 16, 16, 13, 12, 12
CD 11: RO -21, 16, 17, 16, 15, 15 LO - 19, 16, 17, 16, 15, 15, 14
CD 12: RO - 23, 19, 20, 16, 15, 13, 12 LO - 17, 16, 13,
on CD 12, I was told to trigger, with my retrieval being CD 13. If you notice, I lost follicles in my left ovary on the day before the retrieval. Also? Mature eggs are usually in follicles that are 20+. At the time of retrieval, I only had three follicles (maybe four) that were the right size. In conclusion, I was told by the doctor since CD 10 or CD 11 that I'd get 7-10 eggs when there was obvious signs of my follicles not growing anymore, and/or dying off. They let me believe that THE WHOLE TIME. Ugh. On top of that, my estrogen level was only at 1142 at the time of the ER. That's pretty low, and indicates that there won't be a high number of eggs to retrieve.
Seeing these numbers, now I am not too upset that I only got three eggs from my ER. I was only ever going to get three eggs from it. Maybe four, if I was lucky. I don't think there is anything wrong with my eggs. I just think I don't respond well to that IVF protocol,and if they can find the right mix of drugs to make my follicles grow bigger, then I'll be okay.
I am no doctor, of course, but that's just what I've observed from this. Maybe I am not as broken as I thought I was. Maybe I just need this new protocol. I feel much better about my choice to switch now.
Friday, October 12, 2012
To make a long story short (actually, it isn't really a long story at all), everything looks good, and I will start the birth control pills on Sunday.
My antral follicle count (which is the count of dormant follicles) is between 19-25. According to this page, that means I should be getting 10+ eggs. But, you know me. Nothing is that easy.
My bloodwork also came back with great levels. That's wonderful to hear!
So, starting Sunday, I will officially be into IVF cycle #3.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
With IVF cycle #1, they at FCM originally thought that I ovulated early. Dr. Z. does not think I ovulated early. In fact, he thinks that my estrodiol levels were really high, almost too high, and is confused as to why I only wound up with three eggs.
With IVF cycle #2, he was also confused, because I had follicles that measured right, but my estrodiol level didn't match the number of follicles, which might explain why I only had three eggs from this cycle too. He thinks that the majority of the follicles were most likely cysts, and weren't carrying eggs in the first place, because if they were, my estrogen levels would have been much higher.
No one at FCM ever said anything about this at all.
Dr. Z. is recommending that we change protocols to an antagonist cycle instead of what I was doing before. Basically, I will be working with different drugs. The biggest change is that I won't be using Lupron, but will be using Ganilrelix instead. There are also some changes in the scheduling of the shots. He is going to raise the stims to try and raise my estrodiol level in hopes that I will produce more, healthy eggs this time. This will be monitored very closely, though, since my first IVF cycle showed high levels in the first place. If they get too high, the cycle will have to be cancelled.
Along with this, they will be doing ICSI (which is when they inject a single sperm into the eggs, instead of letting them fertilize on their own -- remember, the last two cycles, I had eggs which fertilized with more than one sperm, which destroyed them), and assisted hatching. B and I are also going to do a genetic screening test to check for any sort of genetic disorders that could manifest in our embryos. I forgot to ask Dr. Z. about immunology testing, but I'll ask him next time that I see him.
Ultimately, Dr. Z. said that I deserve another shot at this, and if this doesn't work, we should consider looking into donor eggs. He also said that my weight is not an issue at this point. Their BMI cut off is 40, and I am only at 35. I'd have to gain another 75+ lbs to hit their limit. I am no where near that.
So, I decided to see what Shady Grove can do for me, and I am switching to Dr. Z. As soon as I get my period, I'll start with my blood work and birth control pills, and IVF cycle #3 will begin.
I'm feeling good about this. I told Dr. Z. that I just wanted a fresh start, and he said that I deserved that, and that Dr. P. should understand this as well.
I will keep everyone updated. :)
Monday, October 8, 2012
Tomorrow is my appointment with Shady Grove. I will let you all know how it goes. :)