Thursday, May 31, 2007

A few more pieces to the puzzle.

Hello Everyone,

Talked to all the doctors this week and we have devised our new plan of attack. Both my specialist and my ob/gyn agreed that it may be a good idea to test for Antiphospholipid Antibodies (APA). Here is a website explaining more about them in detail.
Basically, these are things in my blood that may be making it difficult for me to get pregnant and the reason for the multiple failures. Also, I have found multiple studies showing an increase evidence with +APAs and chronic pelvic adhesions. After seeing the pictures and talking to both of the doctors my baby basket was pretty mangled up and they both confirmed the right tube is nonfunctional. Another interesting piece to the APAs is that a the person may have a low platelet count. I have had always had a low normal count. I even remember one time I donated platelets and they took me off the machine early because my platelet count was low. So, what does all of this mean. Well if my tests come back positive then I will do heparin therapy for my whole pregnancy. If they come back normal/negative we will still do heparin (just to try something different), but only use it in the first trimester. It looks like our next transfer will be sometime in the first 2 weeks of July depending on how my cycle falls. I will post when I no my test results! Take Care! Cynthia

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Journey of a 1000 Miles Begins with a Single Step and Another and Another.......Does Anyone Have a Map!!!

Hello Friends and Family,

After talking to a few of you, I realized people were still checking this page! Sorry for the long delay in posting. Unfortunately, we still don't have any good news to report yet, just a few more bumps on this journey to parenthood. To catch you all up on the recent events here are the cliff notes:

March: FET #1 March 24, 2007 (Frozen Embryo Transfer)

As you can see we transferred 3 this time. This is the normal coarse of events to have the option to transfer more after a failed fresh cycle. We had to thaw out 5 embryos to get the 3 we transferred. So, we are left with 8 kids in the freezer. We changed the protocol slightly this time as you do with each cycle while trying to find the right combination. This time we did the progesterone in oil (pio) shot daily during the 2nd phase of the cycle with twice daily prometrium. This combo at least kept my period away before my pregnancy test. However, our test was still negative.
The good news I found out, is that they don't freeze the embryos according to best to worst. After the fresh cycle (where they pick the best 2) the rest are randomly frozen in straws of 2 and 3. Each frozen cycle is like reaching in a bag and randomly pulling out eggs. The frozen cycles are much easier than the fresh cycles, less doctor's appointments, less medications, etc. We were all set to go on to fet #2...
Fet #2 April 8, 2007 (Good Friday)
Well things go off to a good start. We changed the protocol up again. I was to do the estrogen 3 times a day instead of 2. The estrogen is used to build up the lining. Do the PIO daily in second phase with once nightly prometrium. Basically your cycle is chemically controlled and there is no ovulation. This is called a medicated FET. We were also going to add a "embryo glue" it is a different transfer medium that is supposed to help the embryos stick to your lining and add in implantation. This embryo glue is also supposed to mimic the environment of the fallopian tubes which is were the embryo is on day 3. Anyway, you go in for your start ultrasound and blood woork appointment on day 3-5 of your cycle. Take the estrogen and come back on day 10-12 to check your lining and set the transfer date if your lining is thick enough. Which is 9mm or over.
So, I go in for my day 10-12 ultrasound and I felt like something was up, but just equated it to the extra estrogen. As soon as she we started the ultrasound, I saw it on the screen, a small collection of fluid on my right side and a very large collection of fluid on my left side. After coming in a few days later to have my doctor scan me herself and make a decision on to transfer or not, we decided that the best next step would be to do another lap surgery and more than likely remove my left tube which appeared to be filled with fluid (called a hydrosalpinx). This can cause a harsh environment for the the transferred embryos causing a higher rate of failure. So, I gave myself a big shot of progesterone to end my cycle and surgery was scheduled for May 16th, 2007.
May 16th, 2007- Lap Surgery#3
During the surgery they discovered a lot of adhesions tangling up both of my tubes and ovaries. My left tube was dilated and was removed. The left side had always been a problem. It had been blocked before and reopened during my lap in May of 2006. They also found 2 cysts on my right tube which were removed. The fimbrae on the right tube were noted as being "misshapen". In previous surgery and testing of my right tube it had been shown to be clear and open. The doctors decided to leave it, although they are not hopeful that it actually works. However this is the whole point of ivf/fet is to bypass the tubes. The recovery has been a little rougher than my surgery last May, but I guess the more times you peek under the hood the tougher things get.
The Next Step:
So, the brings to the question to what is next. Well, we have to wait a minimum of 6 weeks after surgery to do another transfer. This time also depends on how my cycles fall. It looks like we will do another transfer in July or August. As we always say, hopefully this will be the last one. However, through all of this I am learning a lot. To be more patient, not take things for granted, to be thankful for the many blessings we already have in our life. I have also met a lot of wonderful people who are going through the same things and many of them have had happy endings. We remain very hopeful that we will get our time. Thanks for all of the prayers and support. I know that someday this will all make sense and my journey will be able to help someone else.
P.S. I promise to update more for my devoted followers.