Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Life Goes On

One thing I've learned in the last few weeks is that life goes on.  The world does not stop turning when my world falls apart.  We allowed ourselves to be sad, frustrated, upset and a whole host of emotions.  But, every morning I've woken up, every day has continued and life has gone on.  I'm still sad, but life goes on and we will heal and we will have a family one day.

We've received a lot of questions about what's next and what are our plans.  We've also received a lot of unsolicited advice and questions.  So, I thought I'd take a few minutes to post an update.

For those just starting to follow our journey and not wanting to go back to beginning to find out how we got here, I'll give you the reader's digest version.
We've been trying to have a baby for two years. (Happy Anniversary to us next Monday)  After a year of trying and a whole host of tests my doctor referred us to Dr. Nelson at Huntington Reproductive Center in Pasadena.  Dr. Nelson and his team ran a battery of tests on both Ross and I.  It was ultimately determined that I have "unexplained infertility" due to irregular cycles (something I've had FOREVER).  So we were easily able to rule out the following (which are typically more common).

  1. Male factor infertility (i.e. low sperm count, low or no motility, etc.) / translation Ross = A OK...haha, so it's me!  
  2. Endometriosis or PCOS
  3. Low Ovarian Reserve (egg count)
So, we tried clomid for 5 cycles and after that was fail after fail we took a few months off then decided to do IVF.  While the retrieval resulted in 10 eggs, only 9 were mature enough to do ICSI with and of that only 8 took.  We waited until Day 5 so that they could be biopsied and tested; at Day 5 only 4 were still viable.  2 were used for the first transfer and now we have two left for when we decide to do Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET).  FET will include its own round of shots and pills before transfer, but not nearly as much as the retrieval involved.  We have reviewed the reasons with Dr. Nelson as to why it didn't work and there are a couple of more tests to be done.  I'll be tested for a common (in about 1/3 of the population) bacteria,   If I have this bacteria I will just take an antibiotic to suppress/rid it for the duration of the FET cycle.  The test is a blood panel to tests for a blood clotting issue.  If I have this I'll just take baby aspirin and an anticoagulant for the FET cycle.  

What else I've done;
  1. No caffeine since July 2014
  2. Minimal fast food since August 2014 (Starbucks, Panera, Chipotle and In-n-Out have been it - with ONE jack in the box chicken strip exception the day of my egg retrieval)
  3. Reduced my intake of processed foods; generally follow a fairly clean diet with about 65% being organic
  4. Very little alcohol consumption
  5. Nothing for headaches besides Tylenol since I started the process last July 

Just a few other things:
  1. You can't "catch" infertility from me - it's not a cold.  
  2. Just because it didn't work this time doesn't mean it won't work
  3. 1 in 8 couples suffer from infertility
  4. 1 in 4 women suffer a miscarriage
  5. There are a lot of "old wives tales" don't listen to them; rely on actual research
  6. If you don't like or trust your doctor, find one that you do like
  7. Everyone is different, just because my mom and sister had no problems conceiving doesn't mean that it would be easy for me
  8. Getting pregnant is NOT easy; it doesn't always "just happen"
  9. The "normal" person's average change of becoming pregnant each month is 18-20% 
  10. My average change was less than 5% (unassisted by fertility treatments)

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