Friday, October 29, 2010


I finished my mammogram yesterday.  The examination was a little weird.  I hope everything comes back ok.  If my test came back positive, I would conquer breast cancer.  I could look at the positive - new breasts!  Mine are petite.  I would never go out and get them on my own, but if I had to get new breasts I would be ok.  My DH would most likely love it.  What I couldn't handle is another set back.

I get my test results back in two days. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Clomid and Day 2/3 Blood Draw

I think Clomid really messed me up!!!!
In September, I went in for a Day 3 monitoring blood draw after a failed IUI and learned that my lining was 8.6, Estrogen was 345 and I had two ripe follicles over 20mm so they had me trigger and BD.  I had also stopped bleeding by Day 3 - not normal.
My nurse and I laughed that I looked better on Day 3 than when we triggered the month before and had an insemination. 

Mid- September I had a short cycle and normal flow

Just recently, my cycle was 33 days long and my period ended after just two days.

I collected my Day 2 blood/serum, but I don't think I should send it in to CCRM.  Who knows what my hormones look like!!  I guess I'm going to have to collect again in November!

For anyone planning to do this, please know that some offices may make you wait until they separate the serum and freeze it.  It took my office a few hours to complete this. I had work appointments the day I gave my blood sample and could not wait until they processed and froze my serum so I had to ask my IF friend to pick up my bio hazard material.  I also learned that you need to find a Fed Ex place that will accept bio hazard material. 

I'm so scared to send the serum and learn that my FSH has increased dramatically since my last draw where it was 6.8. 


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The results are beginning to come in and I'm very bummed about my 0.6 AMH level.  This number is consistent with what I've experienced during IVF.  My nurse said I can expect 6-8 follicles.  I started googling to see if women get pregnant with a low AMH.  Some people do get pg- most don't.  

I think about the alternatives - egg donation or embryo donation.  I also think about how this may not be an option if my arcurate uterus is preventing implantation and our little guy can't get nutrients.  My sister has a bicornate uterus and she got pregnant and carried the baby almost full term, but I think it was luck.  The doctors were amazed she got pregnant to begin with and never thought she would give birth vaginally - she did!  

I'm going to need a miracle.  I am a believer, but I wish my faith was stronger.  God and Dr. Schoolcraft are going to have to team up together one this one.  So what do I do in the meantime? I was given a long list of supplements that I began taking yesterday.  You have to run a Chem 22 first before you begin taking the supplements to make sure your liver can handle all that I will be taking.  If you are   I was surprised to see that DHEA was not on my list.  See list below:       
Once a Day
  • Melatonin  3mg at bedtime
  • Omega-3 fatty acid  500mg once a day 
  • Vitamin C 500mg once a day (Take in am)
  • Vitamin E 200IU once a day 
  • Pycnogenol 100mg once a day
Twice a Day
  • Myo Inostol   2gm twice a day 
  • L-arginine 1000mg twice a day 
Three Times a Day
  •  Co Enzyme q10  200mg three times a day 
2. Stop with start of stimulation medications.

All of this is to help me feel like I have some control in my outcome.  I'll continue acupuncture, no alcohol and eating well.  I should also think about yoga.   

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Past

I decided to write out my past to get a better handle on the future.  This entry will be a work in progress. 

My husband and I started trying to conceive after our one-year wedding anniversary.  I always thought I might have problems because my mother and sister had fertility issues.  

After one year of trying and no success, we were referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist.  She recommended IUI.  We got pregnant, but they were not able to see the sac and decided to give me methotrexate to stop a potential ectopic. 

During our 3 month wait after the methotrexate was administered, I had my fallopian tubes tested (Hysterosalpingogram/HSG) to make sure they were both open.  During this time, my insurance company dropped my RE, so I had to change insurance providers in order to keep her, but I lost my gynecologist because she was no longer in my plan...  My new gynecologist performed the HSG and it now showed both tubes closed.  I was crushed to think that we could never have a child naturally.  Our RE said the procedure was performed incorrectly and the die was inserted too quickly into the tubes which caused them to spasm.  My Gyne did not agree and would not perform the test again and my insurance would not allow the my RE to perform the HSG so we moved forward with IVF.    

I started taking birth control pills to get my body ready for an IVF cycle.  On Day 3 of your period, you go in to the clinic so they can draw blood to check your FSH, Estrogen, LH and perform a vaginal ultrasound to make sure you do not have a cyst, your lining is thin and you do not have a dominant follicle.  After I was cleared to go, they started me on Follistim and Menopur.  After three days on meds, you come in for monitoring.  They check to make sure your follicles are growing uniformally and your lining is beginning to build.  My body did not respond to the drugs at all.  After increasing Follistim to 600 units and several monitoring appointments later - my cycle was cancelled because I did not have at least 3 follicles.  I was crushed.  

The good - my DH learned how to mix drugs and give me shots. 

After a few early cancellations due to a dominant follicle, my RE finally found a protocol I responded to.  Most often these protocols are a crap shoot.  I was happy to be their guinea pig.  I so badly want to be a mom.  At egg retrieval they extracted 6 follicles - 4 were good and one was empty.  The next day, the embryologist called and we learned that only one made it and they wanted to do a 3 day transfer.  I was crushed.  My body appeared to be performing as though it were 40+ years old. 

After learning the cycle failed, we came in for a consult and my RE informed me she thought I was going into menopause and I would never produce more than 6 follicles.  She said my eggs are dark, fragmented and difficult to penetrate.  She suggested I consider donor egg, but would treat me with my own eggs if I wanted to try again.    

I thought I might have trouble, but this was more than I expected.  I began reading everything I could on poor responders and learned that some women develop a lead follicle that tells all the rest to stop growing.  I also heard about DHEA, a supplement that helped a colleague of mine go on to have twins.  Both ideas were discounted by the RE.  I began wondering if maybe I needed a second opinion.  

After several months of bad care, not having a plan for next steps and no hope I decided to see another Dr. within the same office.  This was a little weird, but everyone assured me it was normal and lets be real - you never see the docs.  

To be continued...
IVF # 1 July '09
cancelled due to poor response
IVF August '09
No BC - cancelled due to dominant follicle
IVF September '09
Stims: 600 Follistim and 2 Menopur powders
6 follicles viewed ER: 4 and 1 was empty - found to be dark and fragmented ET: 1 day 3

IVF #2 October '09
Lupron 600 Follistim and 2 Menopur
cancelled -dominant follicle

Changed ER and added 75mg of DHEA daily

IVF February '10
Saizen protocol, follistim, menopur, dexamethasone, baby asprin and folic acid
E1515 Prior to trigger - 14 follicles ER: 7 eggs retrieved - 4 fertilized ET: Day 3 (1) 8 cell; (1) 6 cell no frag or darkness Beta: 22 P: 8.6
Chemical pregnancy BFN

IVF #3 May '10
same protocol
5/10 begin stims - prior to trigger E 2274 - 10 follicles measuring 15+, 5/20 ER: 7 eggs retrieved
5/21 (4) were matures and were ICSEd and (2) fertilized 5/23 ET Beta: 3 BFN

Sunday, October 3, 2010


We landed in CO on Tuesday night.  We stayed at the Starwood Elements Hotel.  We were given a room with a basic kitchen without a stove.  I would stay there again.  There are shops and restaurants nearby. 

Our Day:
7:30 IVF Orientation

8:30 New Patient Consult with Schoolcraft - I have age issues that are preventing me from getting pregnant.  We will look to see if I have any genetically normal embryos.  If I do, we will do two retrievals.  We want to store as many embryo as possible so we can try for a sibling.  We have an embryo on ice.  He wasn't sure how it would handle unfreezing to test and refreeze?  I'm not leaning toward testing.  I think I would like to include the embryo in a transfer.  He does not want us to go forward with any additional IUIs with injectables because he sees women build a resistance to the drugs.  I'm disappointed because the IUIs keep me hopeful during the upcoming holidays...

9:00 Semen Analysis and Antibody Testing and Chromatin Assay

9:30 Ultrasound and Doppler - learned that I have good blood flow on one side and the other is just slightly compromised.  They are suggesting acupuncture and no caffeine.  I also saw my arcuate uterus.  It looked much more arcuate than I thought.  My resting follicle number was 9.

10:00 Nurse - IVF Consult - my nurse is Heidi.  She is nice and knowledgeable.  We reviewed the protocol Schoolcraft may put me on. 
11:00 Hysteroscopy - Dr. Schoolcraft confirmed the arcuate uterus and said that it measuring in the grey zone.  The decision to do surgery to correct it is up to me.  He strongly recommends doing the surgery himself.  The only drawback from surgery is the development of scar tissue. 
I wonder now if my arcurate uterus caused my pregnancies to be chemical - hmmm... 

11:30 Genetic Counselor - she reviewed our genetic testing options.  The cost to do PGS is $6,850!  I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to see if I am making normals.
I've never made enough embryos to chance a Day 5 transfer so I'm nervous that we will not produce enough to make it to Day 5 for testing.  The genetic counselor was very positive.  Based on their genetic study they have found that people who put back two genetically normal embryos have a 70% chance of taking home a baby.   

12:00 Chick-fil-A lunch!!!!!

12:30 Business Office to discuss what we will owe.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that their prices do not increase.

1:00 Work-up Labs - lots of blood drawn

1:30 FLC Consent review