Archive for the ‘Treatment’ Tag

So whats the Plan?

The plan would be to suck it up and do our 7th cycle in April this year. My eggs, DH’s sperm. It will obviously be an ICSI cycle and hopefully include PICSI. With 65% of the sperm seemingly ok (DNA-wise) it means that hopefully in a batch of 10 eggs we get it right with at least 6 but thats hoping the eggs are ok too and that the right sperm is put with the right egg, whoo too much stats for my brain…

My sister is getting married this year and wants to use the same “B.lessing of the H.ands” ceremony that we used at our wedding. Reading the words again made me well up with tears. We had no idea what was in store for us as we stood infront of the altar holding each others hands. I sent it to my DH to remind him of what we promised. He replied saying that all marriages go through hardships, ours is just infertility.

“These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”

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Apparently I dont have PCOS…

So I met my new doctor today and wow! Our appointment was at 10am but we were only taken around 10:45am but I can see why. The doctor really took his time with us and we discussed all our previous cycles in great depth, he asked a lot of questions and we discussed everything from testing the spindles of the eggs to PGD, PICSI, apoptosis (DNA testing), alternative therapies, protocols, drug combinations, environmental factors, blood tests you name it. What I liked about him is the fact that he spoke to us in “doctor” talk and not “baby” talk. He could see we have been around the block. He also made me fill out a questionnaire about my mental state and mentioned that maybe I should look into seeing a counsellor. I like the whole rounded approach to our treatment.

I did a scan and would you actually believe it – I DON’T HAVE PCOS!!! He says that he has no idea why I was ever diagnosed with PCOS in the first place but I remember my previous doctor showing me the cysts and everything. Well now there are none. He wants me to stop my Glu.cophage as he says I don’t need it. I always wondered why I had the PCOS diagnosis when all my blood tests came back normal and I don’t have a single PCOS symptom other than irregular cycles. I just assumed I actually had PCO (without the “S”) meaning that I just have the cysts. I asked him about my irregular cycles and he said its possible that I just have a hormonal imbalance. Anyway I have no idea…

The Plan is to have a sperm analysis with the DNA apoptosis test to determine what percentage have DNA issues. Then we will use PICSI to weed out the genetically good ones and use those to ICSI an egg. I told him about my hard outer shells and he said that they will do pre-ICSI laser assisted hatching, if needs be. He also said that often the “bad” looking sperm could actually be genetically ok and that is why going my sight alone is not advisable, especially with 6 failed cycles behind us. He suspects that we have a DNA issue.

My protocol will again be the long protocol using Lu.crin from Day 21 of the BCP cycle. We discussed Cet.rotide as all my cycles using Cet.rotide gave me the worst fert rates and embryo quality, this includes my first cycle with no fert. He says he doesn’t like Cet.rotide but does use it with some patients but with my history we will stick to Lu.crin, which made me feel very happy.

Next we will start with a high dose of Fost.imon, a pure FSH drug imported from Switzerland. Ill be on 5 amps a day to start, which is great as Ive always felt we could go a bit higher and Ive never really had OHSS except for the normal bloaty feeling after retrieval. Then I will have a steroid during this time to prevent egg antibodies from forming. Never even knew this existed? Then at retrieval we will see how many eggs we get and quality embies and then perhaps do PGD (not yet convinced about this yet??). He also mentioned taking the mitochondria out of one egg and inserting it into a second egg because apparently if your eggs do not have enough energy (energy produced by mitochondria) then it will stop growing and fragment, as my embies do. At this stage I was as happy as a pig in shit because FINALLY someone was giving us options other than donor sperm or donor egg. I told him that he has full permission to try absolutely anything and everything on us. I want the FULL MONTY here. We even discussed hypnotherapy and acupuncture. Ill be doing both.

I realise that yes, the lab has never worked with our gametes before, the doctor has never seen how I stim etc etc but these are some cutting edge procedures that were never offered to me at my previous clinic. I feel like they had “one size fits all” cookie cutter approach and unfortunately I aint no cookie that needs cutting.

The doctor warned that we “have a mountain to climb” which I am fully aware of but at least I have a bit more hope again, a way forward. I did R2000 worth of MORE blood tests, so now Im sure that Ive done almost every single blood test ever invented.  So we are set to start with BCP in March, until then I will stay healthy, eat all the good foods and prepare for the baby that will be arriving soon. I can feel it in my bones.

Appointment Feedback

So we saw Dr V on Friday. The meeting was difficult and we discussed a number of different options. Dr V feels that there is most probably an egg quality issue or even a genetic issue. Yes, I have PCOS but he showed me the stats of the woman with a similar problem to me (thick zona or shell of the egg) and 33% of them have fallen pregnant and 70% have gone on to have live births (2008). Which means that even though I have a thicker shell, it doesn’t mean it should hamper implantation. And I have had a pregnancy/implantation with one of my cycles. He wants to try Interlipids (not sure I have the correct spelling?) which will decrease any Natural killer cell activity. He also wants us to go for the HLA genetic screening test. He wants to cover all our bases. I am also going to see an endocrinologist at the end of March to see if he can shed any further light.

 

The most irritating thing is that Dr V says that I don’t have the “classic” PCOS profile. My bloods are normal – LH, FSH, AMH, insulin, Testosterone, I don’t have any outward symptoms of PCOS ie weight gain, acne etc, I am difficult to stimulate whereas PCOS patients normally stim easily. The only symptoms I have is the classic “string-of-pearls” on the scan and infertility (great hey?). Dr V actually cried with us, tears welled up in his eyes and he couldn’t speak. We have been with him for a long time now and for me to see him actually crying with us made me want to bawl my eyes out. He just doesn’t have the answers for us and the only thing is for us to now start looking at other options, change the gametes rather than the meds or protocol. Easier said than done.

 

So our options are as follows:

 

  1. Try again as before, own eggs and sperm. (Not recommended)
  2. Try again, own eggs with DS (Not an option for us, besides we suspect my eggs may be the issue)
  3. Try DE with Dh’s sperm (most preferred option right now)
  4. Try DE with Dh’s sperm AND DS (to rule out a sperm issue)
  5. Go straight to DE and DS

 

So the POA is to get all the blood tests done, save up, see my therapist to work through all of this and then we will make a decision towards the middle of this year.

 

I just feel that to keep on trying with my own eggs may be a futile exercise. DE is such a scary route to be thinking of. Im only 29 which makes the decision even more difficult.

 

My therapist told me such a beautiful story about Spiritual DNA. And how you will have the baby that you are meant to have and sometimes that egg may just come from someone else, it doesn’t mean I would love my child any less.

 

Right now we are not 100% certain about DE but my therapist (again) told me that there is no pressure. We shouldn’t pressurise ourselves and we must think DE through carefully and only when both of us are on the same page should we start looking into the process. It makes me feel a bit better, this is a HUGE decision and one that I don’t want to rush into (as I tend to do). So for now we wait some more, with an aching heart and an empty womb.  

Better…I guess….

Last week I felt very down, it seems that as the work for the year winds down and I get less busy my mind wanders more and that’s not good. I feel OK now – a tiny bit better. I had a relaxing weekend which helped a lot and we went to the Carols by Candlelight. The minister told us the story of the birth of Jesus and then we sang carols in-between. It was so, so, so nice. I really enjoyed myself. I LOVE carols and it got me more into the Christmas spirit. I also realised that Ive been feeling down about Christmas being around the corner but in actual fact Christmas has nothing to do with me, its all about Christ and his birth story.

 

I receive a newsletter every month from a woman by the name of Haydee. She is a motivational speaker who I had the privilege of listening to last year. This was her message this month:

 

I firmly believe that to have abundance in any area of your life you need to think abundance thoughts and cancel all thoughts of scarcity and fear.
These opposing thoughts cannot live together in your mind if you wish to be part of universal abundance.

Here are some prosperity and abundance affirmations to change old mental programming of scarcity to abundance. Use affirmations when your mind is most relaxed, upon waking up in the morning and upon sleeping at night. Works best done 3 X a day looking in a mirror and into your eyes. To change the script in your mind – try doing no more than 2 of these over a period of at least 1 month:

I, __________live in prosperity & abundance.
I, __________ accept the abundance of wealth, love and happiness that God is willing to give me.
I, ____________ attract abundant wealth and prosperity.

 

 

You must be the change you want to see in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi

 

I will be trying this to get my mind into shape for the upcoming treatment cycle. I no longer want to fear the start of the cycle. I will approach it with gratitude that I am able to try again.