Monday, January 28, 2013

How do I know?

Today was our 3rd and final RE consultation on our mission for a new doctor. Yes, my last post raved about the Chicago clinic and I still really liked that clinic. However, the appointment was there, and we decided that it certainly made sense to still go and see what this doctor has to say.

This afternoon we did just that. The office was small. Not sure we were blown away by the waiting room experience or when we were taking to the consultation room, but when the doctor came in, we did really like him. He was a very sweet man. He seemed to agree with the doctor in Chicago as far as protocol. The only difference was instead of the saline hysterogram that the Dr. Chicago wants to do, Dr. Indy wants to do the Laporoscopy/Hysteroscopy. Then we move on to a very aggressive protocol of IVF (or IUI if we wanted to). He also agreed that because of my age, he believes my issue is quantity not quality.

So I left with surgery scheduled next Tuesday. So we have several options. I send these results to Chicago, because obviously surgery near home is a ton easier. Or we do all treatment here. I honestly don't know what the right answer is. Do we go with the big clinic in the big city, or the tiny office in Indy. I have no idea.

Basically. I'm looking for your comments. This is a hard decision. One doctor was sweet and personable, the other seemed very smart and they obviously seem to have state of the art labs and equipment. I feel like making the right decision on who is ultimately going to give me the best shot is one of the biggest decisions we'll make in this journey. I wish I knew what the right one is...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What's next?

So I had a freaking fantastic weekend in Chicago!

It started off with a positive OPK, so we gave that our best effort. Trevor surprised me with tickets to see The Book of Mormon which was hilarious. It was dirty and raunchy and I loved it. I laughed for 2 hours straight. I highly recommend it.

Afterwards we went to Girl and a Goat a restaurant I've been wanting to try for a year. I met every expectation I had. Simply fabulous and probably now ranks in my top 3 best meals ever. Yes, I ate goat, and it was GREAT!!!!!!

We hit a movie and just enjoyed walking around (freezing) Chicago.

My appointment was 9 am on Monday. I was so nervous. Literally. Like upset stomach nervous. At the doctor's office. So not cool.

This office was like a well oiled machine. Not like the small offices I've been to Indy. I mean they had so many people working there and shuffling you from department to department. The doctor took his time with us and was very thorough and offered lots of explanation.

Unfortunately he didn't have a magic pill to help my crap FSH/AMH numbers.

However, what he did say was interesting. He didn't seem to see the "perfect" IUI cycles that Dr. J and Dr. W saw. While yes, there appeared to be multiple follicles he was the first doctor to tell me that my estrogen levels were very low. In his opinion the were so low that it was highly unlikely that I was ovulating more than one follicle. This making me question staying on the same protocol that I've been on with the low dose meds.

Basically my options are going to injectibles only plus IUI to try and increase the amount of follicles or moving to an antagonist protocol of IVF to maximize the amount of follicles. His thought is that based on my age (35), the quantity is the bigger issue vs. the quality. So really, the direction we go was really up to us.

With the large jump in the dose of FSH, most likely from 75 units per day to 450 units, the cost is really going to increase. We're paying completely out of pocket and have decided that it makes more sense to move right to IVF rather than continue to do IUI's and basically end up at the cost of IVF after a few more rounds.

So there we are. We're moving on to IVF with the doctor in Chicago. I felt like he really understood, as much as anyone can, how to work with someone with DOR. We can start bcp's as early as next cycle, but I have to figure out some scheduling things to see if that's really an option. My sister is getting married in June and I'm hosting the bachelorette party on the east coast in March. I have 2 separate trips scheduled for her wedding. I think trying to time in between those weekends will only cause me more stress. I have an email sent to the doctor to get his thoughts on waiting until March to start the bcp's, which would mean April would be the fun stuff.

I don't know if this will work or how many rounds of IVF we will do. I do know that I need to try. The doctor also believes that we need to try. For now I'm going to trust that and if we need move to donor eggs, we'll do that.

The good news is that if I response poorly, they will turn it into an IUI cycle so that all is not lost. That was "somewhat" comforting.

I did worry for a few weeks that T would rather be with someone else that he can have a bio baby with. After telling me that was the most ridiculous thing I've ever said, he told me that he married me. If we have kids, that's great. If we do donor eggs or adopt, he'll be thrilled. If we spend the rest of our lives with each other and a house full of cats and dogs...he'll love every minute. I was grateful for that answer and think I needed to hear it (no matter how ridiculous the question) in order to feel peace with whatever happens.

Now, that said, I reserve the right to scream, rant and cry during any subsequent cycles that end with a BFN.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Big moments

Today is a happy day.

Yes, today I leave for Chicago to join Trevor for the weekend as he continues to work out of town and Monday is our big appointment with the specialist there.

Today is happy for a different reason. A special person gave me hope today.

It's crazy how people come into your life. Whether it's meeting friends through work, mutual friends, at a bar, a church and even online. Online dating has become a HUGE market. I met my husband when I moved into the apartment above him, but I have so many friends that met there significant other through online dating. So what about friends online? We stay so guarded of our identity, but then, what about the people that you randomly come across that are meant to be a part of your life?

We all go to sites like and post questions and comments and little by little you start to recognize names and similarities. Whether you share the same diagnosis, have been trying to conceive the same amount of time, or even share similar stories of the pregnancy that did not turn out as we hoped when we first saw those 2 pink lines.

We share stories about "baby dancing", cervical mucus, aunt flo (I still hate that term) and how we made it through the anxiety of that first injection into the belly. Yet we only know first names and that's only some of the time. We rarely know what one another even looks like. We would never share the intimate details to the people we know in "real life", at least not to many of them. They wouldn't understand. What happens is these people that I come to know as their blog names and screen names become the core of my support system. They become my friends.

Then there is the few that you take a step further. You start by sharing your email. You email daily, maybe up to even 15-20 times a day, which is insane. How I've gotten anything done at work this past year, I'll never know! Then you take it another step, and you share phone numbers so that we can text little bits and pieces of our cycle and feelings on the fly.

Maybe it even progresses to a simple phone call when she is stressed and doesn't know who else to call, because only I would understand. And that lifts your heart, because she thought that much of you to be that person she leaned on.

Then does it even turn into Christmas cards, Facebook friends, special gifts that arrive in the mail. You wonder over those 8 - 9 months. What will happen when one of you find out that you finally beat this awful infertility game. How do you tell the other? How do you respond? How will I feel?

Today I can tell you. I feel pure joy. I feel hope that my time will come and this proves it. I feel love for a friend that I've never met face to face, but will be in my life forever. That, I have no doubt.

Enjoy your moment my dear, dear friend. Today is your day and I am beyond happy for you. The tears that run down my face as I type this, are the tears we all wait for. The happy ones.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Throwing caution to the wind

This is a month of "who the heck knows"...

I know what cycle day I'm on but that's it! This is a first for me. With T traveling so much this month and only seeing him during certain days, not to mention how sick I was last week, the temping and the OPK's have been pushed aside. It's been quite liberating.

I spent the weekend in LA with the hubs and it was fantastic. We ate good food and saw some great friends. It was a super fast visit, but well worth it. We really needed some time away like that and we got it. We had fun, we laughed and most importantly, pushed the tears aside as well. After the past month, I feel like I turned a corner. Maybe it's just accepting and understanding and now moving forward with the diagnosis of DOR.

T is leaving again tomorrow for a week, this time I'll be visiting him in Chicago over the weekend. Luckily that's just a 3 hour drive vs. a 5 hour flight across the country. I have MLK day off which makes it even better. Not to mention, we have our second consultation with the RE at Fertility Centers of Illinois that day.

We plan on seeing Zero Dark Thirty, eating a really good steak and probably freeze our tushes off walking around Michigan Avenue. Fun, fun times!!

Another big accomplishment I thought I'd share (well two):

1) I spent all afternoon/evening with our friends and their 2 month old baby. He was a doll and I handled it like a champ.

2) I didn't punch the guy next to us on the plane that asked if we had kids, how old were we and then "well you better hurry up"... Ya think, big fella?!?

Ear buds, please?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Moving on and good riddance

Yesterday was huge. It has been exactly one month since finding out about my high FSH levels and DOR. This has been a very stressful month as far as communication with my doctor. That all came to friction and I'm happy to report...

I told Dr. J to stick it. He finally called me. When I answered the phone he just said, "yes, I had a message to call you?" Bastard. I tried to tell him of my grievances in a civilized manor and he yelled at me! Multiple times that he had "MAJOR MEDICAL SURGERY". I finally told him that he was not listening to me. I completely understand that there were complications and that he had surgery but that had nothing to do with the many errors that have been made along the way in regards to my treatment. He was not in the least bit apologetic, but more combative and defensive. I ended the call with, thank you for taking the time to finally call me, but I'm moving in a different direction.

Chapter f'ing closed.

Prior to that phone call, I spent over an hour in the office of Dr. W. My OBGYN and acupuncturist recommended him. He's younger than my other doctors, like probably my age, but I was told that would be a good thing for me because he is as up to date as he can be and probably more willing to take risks. The office staff was fabulous. Friendly and kind. What a difference.

I started by telling him that I'm not looking for a doctor to tell me what I want to hear. That's not why I left my previous RE. I told him that I want to do is exhaust all reasonable and realistic options to have a child with my own eggs before we move on to donor eggs. I will embrace that route wholeheartedly when I know I've done what I can.

His plan for me based on what he also considered very good IUI cycles in the past would be to first do a saline infusion sonohysterography on my next cycle day 5, 6 or 7. That same cycle I will begin the same protocol that I was on previously. Letrozole/Femara followed by Gonal-F followed by trigger and IUI. We would do up to 2 more IUI cycles before he thinks that option will be exhausted. IF I continue to respond well (response is key to all of this) I can do an IVF cycle. My odds are only 15% with IVF. It's a very expensive option for very low chances. These next IUI's will definitely give us a good indication if we will want to go that route. It would probably be a one and done considering the costs and then move on to donor eggs which would be a 50-60% success rate. He high-fived me twice during our consult. I loved that.

A week from Monday we meet with the specialist in Chicago who has focus in the DOR area. I still fully intend to meet with him. No matter what direction I go with my treatment, I want his assessment of my situation. It's all about the best decisions for us and what makes the best sense. All of this feels right. Whether or not my eggs will be able to pull it together or not, I was not ready to move from "perfect" IUI cycles to BAM donor eggs. I feel much more comfortable with how things are going and the steps that need to be taken.

My husband has been in LA since last Friday. I flew in last night to spend the long weekend and what a great relief it was to throw myself in his arms after feeling puny and sick and all the emotions from the doctor fiasco! Looking forward to the change of scenery and having a little bit of fun for a change. If you're curious about this cycle, I'm on cycle day 12 and I left the BBT and OPK's at home!

Here's to winging it!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A real wake up moment

First of all, I want to thank all of you that have commented and wished me well on my last few posts. It has been a rough month and the support from all of you really does get me through. My therapist even said that all of you, even though I haven't met you, are some of the best support systems in the world for me because you are right there with me or you've been there. I sometimes get very busy and have a hard time updating or commenting on your personal blogs, but I want you to know that I read each and every one of your posts on your own blogs. Just wanted all of you to know that and how much you mean to me!!

I've actually been doing fairly well, at least emotionally. Health-wise, I've been a hot, sick mess!! Started as a cold last week and turned into a raging sinus infection. I have been miserable!! I haven't broken down into a puddle of tears in almost an entire week. I'm totally patting myself on the back right now. To top it off, T has been in LA since last Friday for work, so you really have to know what an achievement that has been for me!

Now to the nitty gritty. My asshat, crapster of an RE. I guess I should catch you up. I was told back on December 21st (my last communication with a nurse) to come in on cycle day 3 to repeat bloodwork. Last Wednesday, I did just that. On Thursday, I left a messaged following up on the results. I also mentioned my state of mind (please remember I was at a breaking point last week and this was prior to speaking with my OBGYN) which you would think warranted a phone call fairly quickly. Apparently, it did not.

On Monday, my RE was scheduled to be back in the office from his medical leave. Please remember, he was supposed to call me while he was on leave to discuss my AMH results and I still have not gotten any feedback on that. I waited all day Monday hoping he would call. Tuesday morning I left another message again inquiring about my bloodwork and the fact that he hasn't called me. Another day passes, no phone call. HOWEVER, I did receive my medical records I had requested in the mail which already included my newest blood test results. That's right, I had to read my own damn chart to get my results. Unfortunately, my FSH went up to 18.4. My estrodiol was fine. My DHEA-s was 89. (no idea about how that number is, I'm guessing kind of low)

I called this morning and left another message a tad on the slightly more ticked off side, basically saying that if based on my results they see me as a lost cause, they at least owe me a phone call. Well that did it. Nurse called me back about 10 minutes later. (there voicemail DOES work, fuckers)

In her uber polite voice as if she was discussing the weather, she informed me that Dr. J recommends donor eggs and my next step is the application process. I very politely told her what I thought about there communication skills and hung up.

I LOVE that I asked for the FSH tests for 4 months and they refused. Only to finally give in, they don't like my numbers, after I've spent thousands on their original protocol, and they turn me away without a second glance. (unless I want DE)

Imagine every nasty, awful name in the book while I'm kicking, screaming and stomping the ground. (in a ticked off way, not a sobbing way, which is an improvement, no?!)

The good news is my acupuncture fella recommended the same doctor as my OBGYN, and I have a consultation with him tomorrow morning! My Chicago appointment is in a little over a week, followed by another appointment here in town the week after. Let operation find a new and MUCH better, more compassionate RE begin!!

Maybe donor eggs is where we'll end up. However, one blood test does not warrant me making that huge jump. I need to hear that's my only option from a few more doctors before I'm going to move onto that route.

I owe myself that, don't I??

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Fate or just good timing? (update from earlier)

Not sure if it's fate or just really good timing due to the tough times lately and I usually roll my eyes at such things...but...

We went to PF Changs for dinner tonight before T heads out of town for the next week. Below was my fortune cookie...

Really, what are the odds?! T probably planted this and I'm questioning the authenticity.

Regardless, needed this little boost. Thanks for the love ya'll.

Broken and asking for (more) help.

My last few posts have been riddled with anguish and bitterness. For that, I'm sorry.

Since receiving my AMH number three weeks ago, I've not received a call from my doctor. I've felt abandoned, lost and alone with nothing but a crap number and the internet for my mind to go in the worst possible directions.

What I didn't mention on my last post was that I left a voicemail with my OB on Monday. I've been with him for almost 9 years and I trust him. He called me back today and we had a nice long talk. I updated him on my hormone levels. I told him about the med responses I had with the IUI's. I told him of the lack of communication and testing that I've had with Dr. J. What he pointed out that was not consistent was the positive response I've had. While I do not have numbers that are preferred, he certainly does not think I'm at the point of passing me off to donor eggs. At least not yet.

He didn't say that I would get pregnant. I didn't expect him to. What he did was he listened to me. He gave me names of doctors in my area that I could try should I not want to travel out of my area. However, I'm planning on the Chicago consultation regardless. He was kind and he was compassionate which is what I've needed these past few weeks. I needed to talk to someone that I trusted and knew wasn't telling me something based on what would hurt the stats of a practice.

A bit of background. I have a history of severe depression when I was in my late teens/early twenties. For 12 years I have maintained a healthy, happy life. I was proud of myself 4 years ago when I "survived" the death of my mother without going back on meds.

I also know, when I'm staring depression in the face. I'm there. I'm drowning in it and I feel broken. I can't concentrate on work. I'm withdrawn from friends and family. I sob when I'm alone. Hell, last night I sobbed to my husband. I need help and more than just the therapy. I told my doctor this today and said I didn't know who to go to. He said I come to him. He's calling me in a prescription today and that it's okay to use medication and therapy to get through times like this.

I hope he's right and I hope this is a step in the right direction for some happier posts and a happier Suz.

Thank you everyone, for enduring and supporting. Much love.