Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Holy Diagnosis Batman

Ok, the question is … how many diagnoses can one girl have? Well let’s just add one to the stack.

The first thing we learned in our RE appt on Friday was that after my DNA test for METHYLENETETRAHYDROFOLATE REDUCTASE (say that 10 times fast!) I am compound heterozygous for the C677T mutation and the A1298C mutation … also known as “homo MTHFR” (creative license as to what this kind of sounds like … not welcome). So what the heck does all this mean? It means that I cannot metabolize folic acid like everyone else (and I’m susceptible to an increased chance of heart disease and blood clots). The regime to address this issue is to give me 10 times the amount of folic acid than your typical TTCer (TTC: Trying to Conceive) takes. So you may be wondering … ‘folic acid, isn’t that kind of important while trying to conceive a baby?’ Wouldn’t you have thought that if women had a chance of not being able to absorb and metabolize folic acid that they would have tested me for that already? You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But only 12% of the population deals with this … so I guess that means about 6% of women face it … of which not all of them are TTC. So I guess that kind of explains it. But seriously, praise God they found this issue. Lack of folic acid in pregnancy has been known to cause congenital heart failure, neural tube defect, and spina bifida to name a few … how sad would it be if my genetics caused a baby/child/person to suffer through this, when they could have just tested me on this and we could have resolved it on the front end! Thank the Lord.

So now I’ve racked up a total of four diagnoses:

Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism - hypothyroidism developed from antibodies destroying my thyroid gland. Pretty mental picture, huh?
Elevated FSH - old lady eggs
Homo MTHFR – inability to correctly absorb or metabolize folic acid
Habitual aborter – this one has to be my favorite … as if it’s something I can kick?

Anyhow … so these are the diagnoses my RE is trying to treat. (Oh and BTW there’s one more test we are awaiting so we’ll see if we are pasting another label on me before this is all said and done). So now back to the reason Berilac and I went to the RE on Friday … to discuss our options, to see what sort of aggressive treatments she would recommend. The RE discussed all the following options for a couple like us, she mentioned that our aggressiveness will based on what we feel comfortable with and what we want – it’s really all up to us.

Level 1: Fertility meds (approx $1k per attempt)
Level 2: Fertility meds with IUI (approx 3k per attempt)
Level 3: Fertility meds with IVF (approx 12k-22k per attempt)

Now mind you that these methods of medical assisted pregnancy attempts are not guarantees to getting pregnant, nor are they guarantees for STAYING pregnant (my bigger problem) so Berilac after listening to all of the options asked the RE, in all of his recently acquired fertility wisdom, “now, these procedures sound like ways you can potentially help us to get pregnant, but what can you do to help us STAY pregnant?” and the RE responded: “Nothing. None of these can guarantee you won’t miscarry” to which Berilac responded “well heck, we don’t need to pay you twenty thousand dollars to miscarry … we can do that all by ourselves for free!” (ok, maybe he didn’t really say that to her, but he did say it to me as we debriefed later about the appt)

So I explained to Berilac the ways that fertility meds can help regulate my cycles and help me to produce appropriately mature eggs, as well, how IVF would provide us 10-20 months of TTC in one cycle. (by bringing out more than just 1 egg to fertilize). The RE does not recommend IUI for us as we are able to get pregnant on our own.

So now we have to pray about this. We have to face the moral dilemmas brought up by this whole process. We have to decide if we’re willing to risk taking the fertility drugs. We have to decide to risk thousands of dollars for potentially another miscarriage. But first …. we’re going to research our medical coverage options and see if in Jan we can switch to a coverage that covers SOMETHING … rather than our current coverage that covers just about NOTHING. It seems like the best option is the IVF, given that we could have 10-20 months of attempted pregnancies all wrapped up into one month (and given that we don’t have acres of time left – this seems like a good option)

In the mean time we will be diligent about my taking my new meds to regulate my thyroid and my folic acid intake. And we will pray about what we will do in the next six months … if we will try again, with or without fertility meds or if we’ll just wait. So please pray with us about these things.

One last thing … we did ask the RE how much time we have left to have children given our FSH level test results and she said that they couldn’t say for certain (of course the couldn’t!) but she said that it’s not ‘months’ but it is ‘years’ … could be 5-10 years, could be sooner, could be later. So we got to get on gettin’ on … we need to get done having kids! (which is really not so bad)

Thanks for sharing this with us and thanks for your prayers.


  1. A habitual aborter? Who came up with that?

  2. My favorite line..."heck, we can do that on our own for free!" :-)
    Too funny.

    Of course, you're in our prayers. You'll be bouncing a lass/lad on your knee soon enough. I'm very hopeful.

  3. Bigkat: seriously, habitual aborter ... like suffering through it isn't painful enough? let's go ahead and give 'em a painful (and creepy) diagnosis title. Yikes.

    Daisy: Thank you! :)

  4. Hmmmm, remember when you typed a comment and then lost it. . . well! There is a lot to digest in this post so let me say that we serve a God of the impossibles! There's never a valley w/o a shadow, and the source of that shadow has been revealed to us, his name is Jesus. He is our shield, shelter, our deliverer, a strong tower, etc. When we are weak, he is strong. . . he's our burden lifter. He leads with the gentlest hand of guidance and direction.

    I'm confident a lovely wee-in or two or more is in your future. Some trust in horses, some in chariots, but we trust in the Lord! I'm walking alongside. . .

  5. Hey, there. All of that information is a lot to take in, but I am glad for you that your RE is on top of everything.

    Praying that you will be filled with peace for the choices ahead of you.