I’ve come to think of our journey through infertility almost like peeling an onion. It’s slow, sometimes there are big, wet, sloppy tears, and even when I think I know what’s in the middle, I’m somehow proven to be ridiculously wrong.
It’s been a little over one month since my D&C. It was a very difficult time…I cried when I checked into the hospital and settled in to our labor/delivery room for pre-op. I cried while the nurses pushed my gurney into the OR. The tears still fell as the anesthesiologist put an oxygen mask over my face and told me the medicine going into my IV would sting a bit, but I’d be asleep very soon. And before I knew it, I awoke back in my room, calling for my husband.
However, wounds (both emotional and physical) are healing, and hope is once again renewed. A couple of weeks ago, we got the results of genetic testing. Our baby’s chromosomes were completely normal. We would have had a little boy. This information was both a blessing and a curse; there was nothing genetically wrong with our embryo from Reprofit, but something had obviously gone awry. I didn’t accept the idea that “sometimes these things just happen.” In fact, in a book I am currently reading, “Is Your Body Baby Friendly,” the author – Dr. Alan Beer – makes the simple statement that in no other medical specialty would those words be accepted as a valid diagnosis. Why do some then feel that it is acceptable when a woman miscarries?? So at the suggestion of one of the ladies in the Reprofit Facebook group, I had a series of immune and thrombophilia tests done. (I can honestly say, I don’t know what I would do with those ladies!)
One more layer of the onion was removed….I tested positive for a heterozygous (1 copy) MTHFR C677T mutation, and a heterozygous Prothrombin G20210A (Factor II) mutation. (Yes, I call the first one the “Motherfucker” mutation. It seems highly appropriate.) Put together, it means that my blood is a lot more prone to clotting than the average person. There’s no way we could have known before our first IVF (I don’t have a history of clots, so there was no reason to test.). However, had we known that I have inherited thrombophilia (a known cause of infertility and recurrent miscarriage), I would have been on blood thinners to prevent clots forming and essentially choking off the supply of oxygen and nutrients to my growing baby (if I thought my body had betrayed me before, general infertility has NOTHING on knowing my body may have killed my child.). In fact, when going over the results with my RE, she specifically said, “you absolutely should have been on blood thinners. You’re lucky you didn’t end up with DVT.” (deep vein thrombosis) So, I now have a shiny new 90-day supply of Lovenox (low molecular weight heparin) sitting on my kitchen table, ready to go for when I start my next cycle. I’ll start the daily injections when I take my first BCP on May 18th in preparation for FET.
And about that…I’ve been in email contact with Eva, my coordinator at Reprofit. I am scheduled for FET on July 4th (special day for us…DH proposed on July 4th over a glass of wine and fireworks). I start my protocol in exactly 7 days. We decided to try the frozen transfer of our last embryo over another IVF cycle mostly because of finances. We are able to do the FET for around $2700 (including airfare, hotel, and transfer), which means we can do it sooner. However, to cover all bases, I asked that my donor – if she was willing – be brought in for another donation cycle. SHE SAID YES!! This made me so incredibly happy! I felt a connection with her through her profile, and I’m totally stoked that she was willing to give us the gift of another go at this. DH and I currently have 10 eggs frozen in Brno; I will be paying for their storage when I go over for FET.
Other than that, I’ve been adjusting vitamins, diet, and exercise to try and prepare my body for a healthy pregnancy (and, to be honest, to have a shot at decent eggs should the FET fail, and we want to do a few rounds of trying “the old fashioned way” before we go back for a second DE IVF cycle.). I’m currently on (daily):
- 1000mg Fish Oil (Spectrum and Nordic Naturals are good brands)
- 600mg Ubiquinol CoQ10 (Jarrow)
- 4000 IU Vitamin D3
- 1000mg Calcium Citrate
- Fairhaven Health OvaBoost (contains CoQ10, 2000 mg Myo-Inositol, melatonin, 100 IU Vitamin E, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Grapeseed Extract, and 400 mcg Folate (there is a difference between Folic Acid and Folate!! Additionally, there is a difference between various types of Folate.)
- Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal Vitamin (great for those with MTHFR mutations, as it contains the bioavailable form of folate. Those of us with MTHFR do not metabolize Folic Acid well at all, leaving us deficient.).
- Seeking Health Iron Plus Cofactors
- 100 mg Natrol Pycnogenol
- 81 mg Baby (low-dose) aspirin
That’s literally a lot to swallow. I actually started all of these supplements because they contain items recommended by Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine to improve egg quality for ladies with DOR. My RE also approved these when I took the list in last year. (This list used to be available on CCRM’s website, but I wasn’t able to locate it as of this writing. I’ll keep combing through their page for a link. In the meantime, you could Google “CCRM fertility cocktail for women” for a wealth of information.) From what I understand, it takes about 3 months of being on these to see results. Although, when I started them prior to knowing about Reprofit or overseas DE IVF, I had been on them for only a month before I saw my AMH go from 0.3 to 1.0, and my AFC (antral follicle count) go from 3 to 10. Sweeeeet. Of course, I will come off some of these if I get a BFP (OvaBoost, pycnogenol, CoQ10), but will continue with them in the meantime.
Okay, so that was my update for now. Time to wrap up and get some sleep.