Wednesday, February 18, 2015

So far, so good!

I'll cut straight to the point and then give details, at this point, I'm in the study!!!!!!!!!

It took a full two hours to get to the clinic but DH and I rocked out to an 80's playlist and talked a lot. Used to the disappointment of IF, I had convinced myself that my PCOS would disqualify me from the study and that I wouldn't be able to move forward. Fortunately, that was not the case because my PCOS fx is based on elevated androgens and excessive hair growth, not the standard string of pearls which would disqualify me from the study.

But I digress, I'll start at the beginning. Our first impressions of the clinic were mostly positive, the building is new, the receptionist was very nice but not in a fake way and the waiting room is large with comfy couches. There were only two negatives: *****babies briefly mentioned**** there were two babies in the waiting room (grrrrrr) and they were running behind. The running behind worried us a lot because at my former clinic, they often ran an hour or two behind but, it turned out that they were only running twenty minutes behind and my new nurse apologized profusely for the delay, which we appreciated. When we were called back, my new nurse introduced herself (she is very nice) and took us to Dr. W's office and told us he'd be with us shortly. We immediately noticed no fewer than sixteen diploma-ish looking things on his wall (DH counted). He's an RE and OB/Gyn, board certified in both and has some other accreditations I didn't get a chance to inspect because he came in so quickly! 

First off, Dr. W is a HOTTIE! With beatiful blue eyes, nice! He was very friendly and said straight away that he had read my chart (sent over by my former clinic) but that he wanted to hear our story straight from us. Immediately I liked him and realized at that moment just how little my former RE (Dr. G) actually listened to me. I could tell DH really liked him because he actually talked to him, he never talked to Dr. G, DH later said that he really like that Dr. w didn't talk down to him. So, I told him our whole story and he asked lots of questions about our life in general and told us about himself (he and his wife were actually married in the town next to ours). The only thing he found odd about my prior treatment was my cancelled iui in which Dr. G had me take all 10 pills of Femara on one day. After I told him everything, he agreed that IVF with ICSI is a good recommendation for us and explained the study in great detail. We asked a lot of questions and he answered all of them with detailed explanations. He also told us the pitfalls of the study but said that his clinic has been involved in the study for two years and he had no safety concerns. His biggest dislike is that the study protocol requires all patients to start out at 400 gonal f/afolia (it's a double blind study so some women get gonal f and some get afolia) and he can't change that dosage until day 6 of stims. He also doesn't like that the protocol requires the use of crinone gel for progesterone, PIO cannot be used, this is a problem because crinone is messy and causes vaginal bleeding which makes patients very worried and stressed (I love that he is concerned about his patients getting worried) although it is just as effective. The final thing he doesn't like is that the study requires a three day transfer, he prefers five but he said that if we had extra embryos, they can go to day five before freezing so that is a plus. 

After we finished the discussion, he said that he wanted to do a u/s and as long as everything looked ok, they would enroll us in the study! The u/s went well, he and the nurse noticed my cock (rooster) socks that were from the Christmas exchange (thanks Tiko!) one embarrassing thing that happened was that he pointed out calcification at my cervix (which it turns out is from rough sex! We had a good Valentine's weekend! Ha!) which means it is healing *blushing*! He could see scarring from ends around my right ovary but he said the way was clear for the needle so it should be ok for ER. I o'd this month on my left side, which I knew because I felt it and he said I had a perfect follie count for the study. In the end, he went and got me the protocol for the study, consent paperwork and said, Congratulations, so far, you're in the study!" And shook both of our hands. 

Then we went over timing. AF arrives next week, too early to start the study because I won't turn 35 until the following week and I have to be 35 to be in the study. So, when I get my first period after I turn 35, I will go in on cd 2 for a u/s and bloodwork. As long as my FSH is below 12 and I have between 10 and 20 follies, I'll start bcps to prep for ivf! He said that based on past u/s results and bloodwork, he thinks I should be good to go! YAY!!!!!! Since yesterday I have read the study paperwork six times! Lol

The study covers all ultrasounds, bloodwork, SA's (which we don't need because DH's counts have never been lower than 78 mil and that was with no abstaining), semen prep, most of the ER, ICSI, ET and the study drug (gonal f or afolia). It doesn't cover all of the ER ($2500) anesthesia ($500) cryopreservation and storage ($1000) or BCPs, lupron, ovidrel and crinone so we will be OOP on those (if you know anyone who has extras, send them my way). 

I am excited and am feeling optimistic. And I feel at peace, I feel like this was the way it was supposed to go which is a really nice feeling. We have one more hurdle to cross so I'm praying hard everything looks ok at the end of March (my March AF should be March 23rd or 24th). 

Sorry for the novel! Thank you all for your love and support, it means a lot to know I have people pulling for me!!!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Thank you, ladies, for all your support and encouragement about my attempting to get into the study! I vacillate between being super exited and optimistic to being nervous, anxious and certain I won't get in. I've sought out some blogs of women who were accepted into the study, so I know what to expect (I need ALL the knowledge), and have found that unfortunately the first appointment is just the first step to approval. Isn't that how it always is with IF?

I am glad I read about it though so I know what to expect. The first appointment will determine whether or not I have the proper diagnosis to be included in the study. Thankfully, I've been through all the initial testing before so I should be ok unless there is some surprise in the notes from my first RE that I don't know about. If all goes well at that appointment (Tuesday), they will have to do another SA for DH and cd3 bloodwork and a u/s for me. They'll be looking at my FSH levels and I will have to have between 10 and 20 follies at my cd 3 u/s. Fingers crossed I will be ok there too because they are looking for an FSH under 12, which I have always been, and the fewest follies I've had at a cd 3 u/s is 11. If everything looks good at that point, I'll be accepted into the study and will get started with my protocol immediately because the study ends at the end of March.

At the moment, I am excited and optimistic but that usually changes every other hour so I'm sure I'll be back to worrying in no time!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

AW: Consult Appointment for Clinical Trial

This morning, while moping over my coffee about the fact that I am going to be 35 soon, a thought popped into my head about a clinical trial in a neighboring state (The Ivy Study). A few months back, I sent an email to the clinic requesting info about the trial but because I was 34 at the time and the trial is for women between the ages of 35 and 45, I never got a response. BUT, I am going to be 35 soon, maybe the trial is still open, I thought.

I looked up the trial and called the clinic closest to me about the trial. The receptionist asked me a ton of questions, put me on hold forever and came back and said that she talked to the person in charge of the trial and that she said to get me a consult appointment right away! The first appointment they had available that I could make is the 17th, so the 17th it is!

It turns out that the clinical trial ends at the end of March so, if I qualify, I would start Lupron in a couple weeks and then start stimming right after my birthday! Of course, I am getting ahead of myself. First, I need to be sure I qualify for the trial. I have read over the disqualifications and I think I will be ok, but obviously that will be up to the doctor and study people (I am picturing a bunch of people in white coats, standing around holding clipboards). The cost of stims is covered and the cost of IVF is halved if I am able to participate, which we could almost manage with the contributions we have had so far and our savings. My mom and dad and sister have offered to help with what we cannot manage.

I'm trying not to get excited. I keep reminding myself that this is by no means a guaranteed shot. I may not qualify. If I qualify, things might not go well, what if I don't respond to this medication? What if I overstim or am cancelled? But excitement keeps creeping in and I can barely contain myself at the thought that we might actually get a chance to have our chance!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Just saying HI!

I am trying really hard to get back in to blogging and blog stalking now that I have my office under control. It's not been easy, getting used to doing the accounting AND the sales, but I have a better handle on it.

So, HI!

DH and I are still trying naturally, although it's cd3 so obviously it hasn't been working, and I'm diligently taking all my vitamins and supplements and have managed to stick with the ISWTE diet for the most part.

My 35th birthday is coming up in a month and I am not looking forward to it. Everyone keeps asking me what I want for my birthday and all I keep thinking is: a few years back? For my eggs to stop aging? For me NOT to be 35? I try not to think about it but I'm about to be welcomed into the AMA world and I'm not looking forward to it.

At least I have gotten over the fact that we aren't doing IVF before I am 35 like I wanted. It's just not gonna happen no matter how much we scrimp and save. Hopefully, the things that I have planned in the next six months will bring in the income we need to be able to do IVF this summer. Hopefully.

So that's really it in my world! Work, take care of my animals and husband, try to have a miracle baby and save for IVF.