Monday, May 23, 2011

High Estrogen

I think we might have figured out why my sister's estrogen is so high. She has diabetes and although I never thought it would have an impact on estrogen it could be the answer. I have been doing some reading and it looks like they could be connected. Plus she is a bit overweight (I know that isn't the nicest thing to say) so this could help to explain her high estrogen.

DHEA anyone?????

I am not sure why I have never heard of DHEA but it had been brought to my attention. All of a sudden my parents know another fertility specialist who they happened to talk to over dinner and he wants to give me a second opinion (um....where have they been hiding this man). They were telling him about our ordeal over the past month and he was interested in giving me some options and opinions. I wish we could rewind 2 years have my parents suggest him instead of the doctor I go to now. He is closer and seems to give a shit about my situation. Anyways I am going to call him tomorrow to discuss my "case" but I checked out his fertility clinic today to get a feeling for the clinic. It turns out they do tons of research on a suppliment called DHEA. It is for older women and I don't know why I haven't heard about it. Has anyone used it??? I can't buy it in Canada without a prescription but I am going to read about it just in case he will write me one.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hold on to your seats!!

So another huge twist in this story. I can't even believe I am surviving this freakin ride. Yesterday we had the antagonist cycle all planned out the nurse called to confirm all of the dates explained that the reason for the frozen transfer was because they weren't going to suppress my sister so our cycles couldn't be aligned and then my sister got her new day 3 results!!! She has 14 antral follicles. It turns out that last month when she had the scan (they had trouble seeing her left ovary because it is tucked behine) they had put a question mark next to her left ovary and there are now 8 follicles on there and 6 on the other side. This clinic drives me crazy! Why would they not explain that, that is why she had only 6 follicles!!!! Now things are changing once again. We still aren't going to suppress her and the good news is that I got my period today so we are only 3 days apart and we might be able to do a fresh transfer after all. I am going in today to start my estrogen priming, whatever that means!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Frustration and Gratitude

I am disliking my fertility clinic more and more by the day but I am trying to move past it. The fact is that I want to move forward sooner than later and I have jumped through too many hoops to move to another clinic now. So why am I frustrated, where do I start. I questioned the long protocol that they told me my sister would be using and they had no explanation for why they chose it, basically they said they chose it because it is the standard. They didn't take into consideration: her age, her extremely high E2 (estrogen) and her low antral follicle count. Um......what!!!! Freakin Ridiculous!!!!!
Anyways, what this means is that we could have started the antagonist cycle today and now we will have to wait another month because they didn't get back to me until today. Actually I wouldn't have done it this month anyways. Then mentioned when they called me back to change protocols that we will move ahead this month but because my uterus isn't primed they would freeze any embryos that were made. That seems ridiculous to me because fresh cycles have a higher success rates then FETs so why would I ever do that instead of waiting until next month. I am wondering if they suggested this because originally when we were planning to do the long protocol I mentioned that we wanted to do the long protocol ASAP because my sister is moving this summer. It seems like common sense to me that with faced with having to do an FET instead of a fresh cycyle anyone would chose the fresh cycle. Plus the timeline will be pretty much the same except for the fact that she won't be on the pill. Seriously do they have any common sense? Sometimes I think I am going crazy because they seem to make simple things so complex. Unless there is something I am missing??? Is there any reason someone would chose to do an FET instead of a fresh transfer? My uterus has been checked and there are no abnormalities to speak of.
Okay, moving on to the gratitude portion of this post. I want to say thanks to JN for the comment on my last post or I wouldn't have questioned the protocol and things might have ended in disaster. If we are going to do this once it it be as aggressive as possible. Plus I am obviously grateful to my sister for rolling with things and for not jumping ship at this point!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Egg Donor

My sister and I met with Dr. G on Thursday and it did not go well. He basically said she isn't a viable donor. We have scheduled another day 3 check up in hopes that her stats with be better but he was very negative about using her as a donor. This might sound crazy but we are still planning to go through with the process even if he thinks it is a waste of time. I know I sound thick headed but I just don't see the harm in trying. In my head although she isn't the best donor, she is my sister and she has had 3 kids. Plus she has drug coverage up to 5000 for fertility drugs so we won't be out of pocket at all. The plan is she will go through the stim process and if she has atleast 4 eggs then we will proceed to transfer. Otherwise we will call it a day and then figure out our next step. The next step is still to be determined but I have a feeling it will be moving on to an unknown egg donor. I know some of you have had experience with egg donors and I am curious about the cost and the process. Did you get the eggs through your clinic? If I live in Canada (where it is illegal to buy eggs) did you have to do FET or are there Canadian donors? I looked on a couple of websites and it looks as though you can get a local donor as long as the egg donor agency is run from the United States.
By the way I still don't really like Dr. G. He seems clueless and resents that I question him. Actually to be honest I am a bit overbearing in my appointments (according to my hubby and sister). What they don't understand is that he says a lot of shit that contradicts what he has said previously. Plus they don't even know what he is talking about in the appointments because they don't understand the process and the terms, they are like deer in headlights so they can't really judge. I honestly believe that Dr. G assumes that I haven't done any research and he says what he thinks I want to hear so he can make the appointment quick. For example he started our appointment off on Thursday saying everyhing looks great and we are good to go. When I inquired about my sisters extremely High E2 level he said he was more concerned about her low antral follicle count (well then how does everything "look great"). Then he said that he was happy with her FSH level. I said that I had read that a low FSH level didn't mean anything if E2 is high and follicle counts are low and he said "yes, that's what I was just telling you". Then he told my sister that her stats don't mean that she isn't fertile and that she can go on to have children (uh no kidding she has 3) they just mean that she isn't a good candidate to become an egg donor. I pointed out that she has kids and he said "yes, I know". Then he said (in an annoyed voice) that he was telling her so that she didn't go off the pill. This would make sense but she has her tubes tied. I couldn't resist pointing this out and he said "I know" again. Well if he knows already then what's the point in telling us this. He went on to tell us that we probably both have some genetic disorder that causes us to have premature ovarian failure early and that I would probably have a problem having kids even if I didn't have endometriosis. More Great News!!!! My sister was in a state of shock and started crying. She said she felt like a dud and she was so defeated by the appointment. At this point I took over and ignored the fact the Dr. G was determined for us to skip over my sister and move on to egg donation. Please don't get me wrong I know that our odds of getting preggo are better with an unknown donor but this is my sister and we have clearly stated that we want to explore this route first. I asked my sister if she was still interested in going through the stimming process even if she might only produce a few eggs and she said yes. I told Dr. G that we wanted to proceed regardless of her stats and he seemed to back down a little bit.
As it stands now my sister will start stimming June 21 and we will know if she is responding well by June 30 with a possible transfer date July 9. I know that I should be realistic but I am excited to move forward and get some answers.
Just wondering if anyone has had really high estrogen (E2) levels and if there is anything we can do to lower it? I also wondered if she should go on the birth control pill until she starts the long protocol?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Infertile Acrostic!

A - Age at Which you Started TTC:32 (3 years ago)
B - Baby Dancing or Sex: Neither (I am not feeling it lately)
C - Children Wanted: If only it was that easy! Yes of course I want kids! As many as I can!!!
D - Dogs/Cats/Fill In Babies: Um no, never had a pet as a kid so I haven't taken the leap. Have been thinking lately of getting a Springer Spaniel but haven't gone for it.
E - Essential Oils/Vitamins: Just stopped taking all of them because I am in a bit of a bad place but usually take (coenzyme 10, vit C, Folic Acid, etc.)
F - Fertility Meds I've Taken: Superfact, Progesterone, Gonal F
G - Gain, What I have Gained from Infertility: about 30 lbs (I think it is more of a psychological weight gain then medical)
H - HSG: Yes and it wasn't very pleasant
I - Infertile Pet Peeve: I have a million but my top 2 are: 1. People telling me that I could always adopt 2.People telling me they hope they can have kids and that they don't have to struggle with infertility (no kidding me either). I don't need to be reminded that I am living a nightmare
J - Job Title: Teacher (I love it!!!)
K - Kids Names: I have a million in mind but today I like Quinn (my mother's maiden name)
L - Lengh of Time TTC - This August it will be 3 long years
M - Miscarriages: No but secretly I am jealous of people who have because atleast they can get pregnant (sorry if I offend anyone)
N - Number of Times you have Swiched REs: Never although I have thought about it lots.
O - Overian Quality: Terrible/Diminished!!!!!
P - POAS or Wait for AF: Neither anymore, I am too jaded for that. I just wait for my period and it always comes!
Q - Quote from an Obnoxious Fertile: Oh so many...I guess i"ll go with the classic advice to "relax"
S - Sperm: Hubby has 100% motility, mobility and morphology and my clinic has never seen better!
T - Time you Tried Naturally - One full year (Oh how hopeful I was!)
U - Uterus Quality: Who knows, I have had 2 of those awful Sonograms and they say all is clear (whatever that means). I know this sounds crazy but I have tons but I don't trust the doctor. I have constant shooting pains in my uterus and severe cramping. I just don't trust that it is "all clear"
V - Vagina: We don't have a very good relationship anymore. She causes me too much pain and anguish. She is either bleeding or causing me heart ache. Even sex has started to hurt. I have promised myself that I will redefine our relationship!
W - What Baby Stuff do you Already Have: Everything (hidden in the laundry room)
X - Xtra, Xtra, Hear all about it!I tell anyone who will listen that I am struggling with fertility but most people don't feel comfortable so I shut up.
Y - Yearly Exam: Well it seems more like a weekly examination!
Z - Zits: Not really but I am sure that will too

Can life go on without kids?

I don't think I will ever be able to imagine life without having kids and that scares the shit out of me. Infertiility has impacted my life in so many ways, but if after all of this I never have a child, I will never be the same. I will never be able to have true joy in my life. Yes I love my husband, and my family, they are wonderful, but it isn't enough. I have wanted children from the time I was a toddler. Seriously from the time I was able to walk I pushed a mini stroller around with a Cabbage Patch Doll in it. I always had stuffed animals that I swaddled in blankets and treated like children. Plus from the time I was old enough I babysat, worked at summer camps, taught swimming lessons, instructed skiing lessons, and played school-house in my basement. My entire life has been about children. There has never been a time in my life where children haven't been involved in my daily life! My ultimate dream has always been to have children of my own. I have always daydreamed about baby names and family days at the park. I don't know how to picture life without children. We are now nearing the end of the fertility journey. If this egg donor thing doesn't work then what next? We are out of money and I need my sanity back. But I don't think I can go on with life as I know it if children aren't a part of the picture. I know this sounds weird but my marriage doesn't even make sense without children. Don't get me wrong I love G from the bottom of my heart and we have a ton of fun. However, (I know this sounds terrible) our life will feel shallow and frivolous without children. Right now it feels okay to go on 3 or 4 vacations per year, to enjoy expensive nights out, or to shop without consequences. However, that isn't fulfilling and meaningful, I need more. We need to enter the next stage of our life and without children I just don't know how to do it. I hate to admit this but at times I feel like if we don't have children that I will run away from our life and go live and work on some tropical island. Obviously I want G to come with me but he isn't that kind of guy. I don't get the purpose of living a conventional life , I need more if we aren't going to have kids. I am sick of discussing daycares, and potty training with all of my friends. If my life is never going to be about living "the American Dream" (haha, I am Canadian)then I don't want to live in North America anymore!!!