The latest to happen in our saga (as you read in some of our September posts) was that we conceived while waiting to start an IVF cycle - only to lose that baby days later ... I went to the RE during the loss to do a miscarriage follow-up appointment and at that appointment our Dr indicated to us how amazing it is that we have a 100% success rate of pregnancy each month attempted, when, for our age, it should be more like 20%. She was especially amazed given our FSH values (most women with elevated FSH cannot get pregnant, much less stay pregnant). So given that my body seems to do something right (get us pregnant with an insane amount of ease) perhaps we don't need to go down the most invasive route to successful pregnancy (the route of IVF), she suggested we try one cycle of a less invasive procedure - injectibles. The hope is that we will produce more eggs on a given cycle and play the numbers game - the more eggs I release the more likely one of them will be chromosomally normal. That's what the Dr's say.
So Berilac and I talked about it and prayed about it a lot. These kinds of decisions are very stressful and require a lot of processing. And we have decided that we will try one cycle of injectibles before we move onto IVF. The thing is: we made this decision two weeks after our miscarriage, thinking it would only be two more weeks before we start the treatments - as they are coordinated around your menstral cycle ... but following this latest miscarriage my body has decided to not cooperate - and it took 6 weeks for what most ladies' bodies get done in 28 days. "God, are you really testing my patience in a time like this?" (the answer is yes for those of you who are wondering).
So here we are ... waiting for my cycle to start so that we can move forward with a medicated cycle that we were so hopeful (back in early September) to avoid. The reason I'm finally upating the blog is b/c we're about to start that cycle anyday. So I needed to introduce you to the idea of what we're doing before I update you on the progress of the procedure, in the coming weeks.
We will be doing the sub-cutaneous shots twice daily to super-ovulate me. Once the ovaries have produced mature follicles (somewhere between 2-4 follies - this translates into approx. 2-4 eggs) the Dr's give me a drug that induces ovulation and we're off to the races! Some couples opt to do an IUI to assist in this process - as they have a hard time acheiving pregnancy. We will do an IUI for diagnostic purposes. And hey, since we're spending so much money on the drugs, we might as well get the best chances out of this thing, right?
So, let me tell you why this procedure is a good thing. Then let me tell you why this is a bad thing:
- This is a good thing b/c each month my body will put into the "egg" race any number of potential eggs, but my body on it's own will only ovulate 1 (rarely 2) of those eggs (the ones that start out in the race that I don't ovulate will end up being discarded in my body). These drugs will help to mature more than one of those eggs and will give us more "opportunities" to fall pregnant (fewer of the eggs will be discarded on this cycle). So 4 eggs give us better odds of getting a good egg than 1 egg.
- This is a bad thing, b/c if you think about it ... this means that either the bad eggs will not fertilize and thus not become babies (that has yet to happen to us, remember we are three for three in achieving pregnancy with three abnormal embryos) OR the eggs will fertilize and I will be pregnant with multiples and will most likely end up miscarrying none, some, or all of the babies. Wow - if I don't like miscarrying one at a time, I cringe to think how this will go in an all-at-once scenario. This does not sound like fun.
My prayer is that we only develop 2-3 eggs and that only 1-2 fertilize and that those that do fertilize will become healthy, viable babies. Now, I've said it before and I'll say it again - I do not wish for multiples (like, very understandably, many infertile women do) I am a big fat chicken and I do not want to deal with the stress the risks of multiples bring to mother and babies. The thing is ... this treatment is the treatment that risks high order multiples (as in triplets, quads, etc). In IVF they can choose how many babies they put back inside the woman. So if you only put two babies back, it's rare that you'd end up delivering four. In an injectibles cycle they can monitor how many follicles/eggs you develop, but they can't limit them ... they need to dial in the drugs just right to get the appropriate number of eggs. The thing that puts me at the greatest risk is my age. The younger you are - the more likely multiples is. And given that I'm 30 and most RE's don't deal with a lot of twenty-somethings (although many infertile twenty somethings do exist) I am one of the younger patients these specialists see. Especially in this area, there are many 40+ year old women that finally want to start a family after their careers are in place. (sweeping generality, I know, but this was from a specialist's mouth, not mine).
One thing that could happen, that I didn't mention, is that my body could totally not respond to synthetic hormones and not cooperate at all. I could be 3 for 3 in natural cycles, but drugs change the playing field - so we'll see how I respond and if my body completely rejects the process or loves it.
So that's it. That's what we're doing. We start in a couple of days.
Lord we ask for your will to be done. We pray for strength and courage and above all continued faith in You.