Sunday, 26 February 2017

Testing Completed

We have now completed all of our repeat testing for the new RE. My husband’s testing was pretty straightforward. He was able to get an appointment to do the swim-up semen analysis a week after our appointment, and then he did his blood work right after. Since I have to wait for specific cycle days it took a little longer. Since I was right around ovulation when we had our appointment with the RE I did my 7 days post ovulation test and STI/immunity panel first. I was supposed to go in CD20-22, so 6-8 days post ovulation. Of course, that just happened to fall completely on a long weekend. I thought it would be fine because there is a lab my by house that I could go to that was supposed to be open. Turns out the RE needs to update their information because that lab is not even open on weekends. I also had an optometrist appointment on the Saturday morning so I needed to wait until almost noon before I could go to the lab. I had my husband franctically calling all the labs on the list from the RE with weekend hours to find one that would be open past noon that day. Luckily, there was one that was open. The only one that was open past noon. That clinic was also supposed to be opened Sunday morning but not holiday Monday, but I didn’t want to risk it so I headed straight to the lab after my optometrist appointment. I did not want to have to wait another full cycle to be able to get my progesterone tested.

I hate parking lots and just parking my car in general, and the parking lot at this lab was so narrow and tight, so that sucked. The lab was at a walk-in clinic and it was packed with people. There were 10 people ahead of me at the lab and one older man said he had been waiting for over an hour at that point. In addition, doctors from the clinic were sending people with “urgent” labs that got to jump the line. I really wanted to spend the Saturday of my long weekend hanging around a walk-in clinic. Luckily, a few people ahead of me had disappeared so I got in after about 45 minutes. The lab tech confirmed what cycle day I was on and said I really got screwed with this testing.

My second set of testing was a huge hormone panel done on CD2-4. Of course, this cycle I had a hard time determining when the new cycle started because my bleeding had picked up making it hard to distinguish what was my normal luteal phase bleeding and what was actually menses, so I had to rely on my temps and secondary signs like cramps and my luteal symptoms going away. Luckily, this fell on a Thursday-Saturday so first thing Friday morning I went to the lab by my house. Of course, since nothing can be easy, I wasn’t sure if it was open because I couldn’t find consistent lab hours online. Seriously, it ranged from not open on Fridays, to open at 7:45, 8, 9, 10, so I decided I’d go at 8:30 and if it wasn’t open I’d go to the same one from the weekend. Turns out it opened at 8 so I could have gone earlier and not been late for work, but it wasn’t too bad. There were 8 people ahead of me but I got in in about 30 minutes. I had so much blood taken. The good thing was that AMH was free here (it would have cost $150 in our old province).

Now it’s just waiting. I called the RE and if I want an in-person appointment to get all the results and next steps then we have to wait until May 2. That really upset me so I asked about a phone consult because it’s really just is everything okay for IVF? And do we need ICSI or not? And was able to get a phone consult for March 17 . . . but, we have to pay $50 for this. I’m so over waiting, so I took the phone consult.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Infertility Podcast

I've started listening to podcasts recently. I've found they are a great way to keep me entertained when I'm dealing with large data sets and Excel files and coding in R. I've been listening to the Gilmore Guys podcast because I'm a big fan of Gilmore Girls and it is pretty great. In a recent episode they had Matt Mira as a guest and he mentioned that he had a new podcast with his wife, Doree Shafrir, about their quest to have a baby using science. Since I am also currently trying to have a science baby I found their podcast on iTunes and checked it out. The podcast is called Matt and Doree's Eggcellent Adventure and it is great! You should check it out!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Appointment Update

We met with the new fertility doctor about a week ago. My husband and I liked him and he actually trained our old fertility doctor so that makes me more confident in him because she was amazing. He reviewed all of our tests results and he doesn’t seem concerned about my bleeding or the low sperm morphology and said that he’d really consider us to be dealing with unexplained infertility. I’m a little sceptical of that. I know that sperm morphology is sort of hit or miss on if it actually impacts fertility depending on severity and if it impacts functionality of the sperm, but I have a hard time believing that dysfunctional bleeding as severe as mine is not impacting our ability to get pregnant – it’s been 26 failed cycles, so something isn’t working properly. Similar to the old doctor he suspects that my bleeding is either caused by a weak ovulation or a lack of or miscommunication between my ovaries and my uterus, which fits in with why the clomid and progesterone made the bleeding stop.

The doctor didn’t push us right to IVF and said that we could do more medicated IUIs if we wanted, but since we did have 3 failed IUIs he wasn’t sure if any more would actually result in a pregnancy. We did make it clear that we had been planning on moving to IVF when I got the job offer to move so he said that we could start prepping for IVF.

Since it has been so long since we’ve done treatments, we do need to repeat some of the testing and do a few additional tests for IVF. It’s pretty easy for my husband – he just needs the STI panel repeated because there is some sort of health regulation that you have to have the tests done within a year of starting IVF. They also want to do a functional semen analysis to help determine if we need ICSI or not. I didn’t really want to do it, but my husband thought it was a good idea, and he was able to get in within a week of our appointment, so he did it. All of his testing is now done. I have to also repeat the STI panel as well as my immunity testing for hepatitis B, rubella and chickenpox, which I had done yesterday. I also need to repeat my hormone panels, including have my AMH (anti Mullerian hormone, a marker of ovarian reserve) so the doctor has an updated idea of my hormone levels to better plan my cycle medications. I need to have a mock transfer so they know exactly how to place an embryo in my uterus. I did my 7 days post-ovulation progesterone draw yesterday and am now waiting for cycle day 3 for the rest of my hormone bloodwork to be done. Once all this is done we will be able to get on the IVF cycle list, which seems to be a 2-3 month wait to start. I can take femara (an ovulation inducing drug that is supposed to have less side effects than clomid) and progesterone with timed intercourse while we are waiting for IVF if we want to give that a try. I think we will just because it will give us something to do while waiting.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

It's finally here!

After months and months and months of waiting the week of our appointment with the new RE is finally here. Almost exactly 1 year ago we went to the first RE. I was so hopeful that I’d get a baby from those treatments, but things didn’t work that way. This time around I’m a tiny bit hopeful, but mostly apprehensive and nervous. I’m worried that this clinic is not as good as the one in Vancouver. I’m scared for all the injections and side effects and especially the egg retrieval. I’m worried about spending so much money and having a 40% chance of success. I’m worried that we won’t get any embryos or that I’ll have the rare complications like bowel or bladder damage. I’m worried the clinic will decide to pass on my case and then I’ll have to spend more money (and miss out on the tax rebates here) to travel back to my old clinic. I’m worried about having to repeat tests and go through more waiting and putting our lives on hold for even longer while we try to have a baby. I’m worried about the judgements that we’re “too young” to need IVF, or that we should have tried longer naturally, or that we were stupid to spend so much money on IVF, or that we should “just adopt”, or that if we couldn’t conceive naturally it means we shouldn’t have kids, or that if we have kids and then want to go away for a week without them that we’ll be judged for spending all this money to have kids that we don’t want to be around 24/7/365, or that if I hate being pregnant, or birth sucks, or the kid is being challenging that I’ll resent it for costing so much money and not being perfect.

Despite all these worries, I’m ready. This is cycle 27. We are about to hit the 2-year mark. I am ready to stop trying to conceive and move on with my life. I am more than ready to have a baby, and I am ready to work on what life looks like if we end up being child-free not by choice. I am ready to stop waiting and to do something.