Thursday, April 9, 2009

A bit of a background...

Hi every one I'm Fran. And this is my story.
I am married to Mike since March 2007.
We kind of started having "free sex" since November 2006 and although we weren't really trying I secretly hoped I would get pg. Since the wedding we have started really trying for a baby and so the madness begun: sticks, thermometers, healthy life style, nearly no alcohol you name it...
I always felt inside me that it wouldn't have been easy getting pregnant, lots of cases in my family and in Mike's (his sister has 3 children, all born with IVF!! two twins and a girl three years later!) and although there is no evidence that infertility can run in families I felt we were really surrounded by it!
So by the time June 07 came after 6 months of timed bd and smiling OPKs and never, I mean never even got to point where I could have hoped to be late, we went to see my doctor.
I didn't seem to have anything wrong, correct ovulation, great hormones etc. Mike's SA showed a mildly reduced number (just above the minimum) and definitely low motility (like 11% fast motility, 5% slow motility, so that meant a staggering 84% still!). But the gyn said not to worry, it wasn't a terrible SA and that if by the time December came still no BFP I should do an HSG.

November 07came with no news and I decided that I really needed to be followed by someone more "in the know". The system is so different from where I'm from that I still have problem adjusting. Anyway, talked to my GP, told him what I had to get done, he referred me to Dr. W. I rang and the first appointment would have been sometime in June 2008! Privately! Ridiculous, it would have been quicker for me to go back home. Anyway, after a few phone calls I managed to get an appointment with Dr. T for the 20th of November. The visit was just 5 minutes long, basically just a chat in which he told me to do a scan (with his niece) and that we’ll book a lap&dye +D&C. Ok, I honestly thought that those 180euro were robbed, but what can you do? thank god my insurance covers. Got the scan done and of course there was no problem there, I had one done 3 months before at home but no, I had to repeat it. The day of the lap&dye came on the 4th of December. Dr. T talked to me when I woke up and said that my tubes were open but that I had a condition called “endometriosis”. Of course after participating to so many forums on ttc I knew what that was, but in the shock of the moment, I forgot to ask where it was, how serious it was etc. His recommendation was to start a treatment in January for “a few months” which consisted in shutting down my reproductive system to give the endo a chance of disappearing. I couldn’t believe it, I’m trying desperately to get pregnant and he’s telling me to go on a pharmacological menopause??Forget it. I went home for Christmas, I went to see my gyn there, he run lots of tests including CA125 which is a marker for endo (as well as cancer of the ovaries), internal scans etc. Nothing showed up which meant that the endo was so so mild only with the laparoscopy was noted. Mike went to see an urologist too who recommended some vitamins and amino acids to improve his SA.

In February 08 I went to see Dr. T again,Mike came with me because I knew all the questions I had would have been forgotten. He was very good, in fairness, he explained to me much more in details the results of the laparoscopy, I had adhesions which he removed, and the endo was very mild, just a few spots only at the back of the uterus, no where near ovaries or tubes. I thanked him and told him I didn’t want to do the treatment. He said no problem, this is just a recommendation, you don’t have to take it!
And I didn’t. In February I started having to acupuncture. The practitioner is great, she is specialised in infertility and I found her very reassuring and encouraging. In a couple of months I already noted that my ovulation was happening on the 14th or 15th day rather than later and that my LP was becoming Mike and I decided though that we probably needed more help and we sent out our application to a local fertility clinic in April. I had checked out all the possible fertility clinic around the city and the one we picked was well spoken about, had the shortest waiting list and it was also near home! Actually the cost of the first consultation and that of follow up consultation were even cheaper than Dr. T!

We got a cancellation appointment on the 22nd of May 08. Dr. W had studied all our medical files and recommended 3 IUI, and a review in September/October. Fantastic. Efficient and with a clear plan, I couldn’t hope for anything better. We would have started our IUI at my next cycle. We got the blood test done, I had my day 3 hormones repeated and Mike was told to repeat the SA so that the lab there would know what type of sample they had to work with.
On June the 4th he did the SA and we got a phone call that devastated us: the sample was very poor, the numbers this time were very low (like 10million/mL) and that we would have wasted our time and money with an IUI. I wasn’t ready to face ICSI to be honest. I have never taken hormones in my life, not even the pill, I didn’t know how my body would have reacted to the treatment and on one thing both Mike and I are very sure, our (my) health is priority number one. We had a long chat with the endocrinologist and decided we go ahead with one IUI anyway.
I started the cycle on the 14th of June. No side effect whatsoever from the treatment, at the first scan I had already 3 follicles (11, 10 and 9mm), there was the possibility that the IUI was going to be cancelled but thank God at the second scan I had a nurse with a different opinion and despite the fact that all the 3 follies developed she said we go ahead anyway. I got the IUI done on 26th of June, everything went very well, P did the procedure for me and she had no problem with the catheter, I didn’t bleed at all. I was also give a prescription for progesterone and …. for the pill in case af shows up and it’ll be ICSI then. We had one great surprise the day of the IUI: Mike’s SA was much better! So much so that the values before they treated the sample were all in the normal range!! The treated sample though didn’t prepare very well and this meant that the endocrinologist is still of the same opinion that ICSI would be the absolute best choice for us.
But the IUI, as forseen by the clinic didn't work and I started the pill on the 13th of July.

I found the all ICSI process quite stressfull...especially when i went collecting the bags of meds..but once started it wasn't so bad afterall. My protocol was Buserelin sniffer 3/day (two sniffs) than reduced to 1 sniff when started the stimulation. Stimulation was with Puregon 300IU then reduced to 225, then 150 and finally stopped altogther due to mild hyperstim; Luveris 75IU one a day. every scan was lived with anxiety, I developed this fear for hyperstimulation and in the end I had 24 follicles. They coasted me for two days and at EC they said if they got more than 20 eggs we would have gone for elective freeze. I dreaded it but it didn't happen. they got 16 eggs, 14 of which were good quality and all of the 14 inoculated fertilised! Even better all the 14 divided into nice little embrios and despite a touch of OHSS we got two transferred on day 3 (10 cells and 8 cells!) and 9 frozen penguins!
I tested a day early on the 11th of Sepember. I got the faintest positive result but it was definitely a line! the first one I ever saw. Just to complicate my life I decided to call the clinic and to get a blood test to confirm the pregnancy. Well I got what I deserved, the pregnancy was there but the values were so low that it coudl have gone either way. My BFP became fatter and fatter over the following weekend and when tested on the blood again on the monday the values where 6 times higher! So there I was. Pregnant. I never thought it could have happen to me, at the first round of ICSI.
And in fact the happiness was short lived. I started not feeling too good, had some spotting, I knew it wasn't normal. I went in for an early scan at 5+6 and there was nothing in the uterus...more blod tests were done, more scans...HCG was rising but slowly, they suspected an EP and they were right. I underwent surgery the day after Mike's birthday, i lost the left tube but the biggest scar was in my soul.

We had frozen embryos though and we went for our first FET in January 09. They thawed three to get 2 to transfer and everything went perfectly well. But it was a BFN.

Here I am now, getting ready for the next FET next week. They'll be thawing all the remaining 6 penguins (my little frozen embryos) and grow them to blastocyst.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry about the ectopic pregnancy. That must have been heart breaking. :(


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