Thursday, June 30, 2011

Some Bad News, Some Good News

Here is the news I got:

On Tuesday Dr. BFP’s office called me back about my blood test results.  The first words nurse smiley used were pre-menopausal.  I thought that was mean.  I had to push her to get the actual numbers so that I could do my own research.  At first she only gave me my AMH (anti-mullerian hormone), after some pushing I also got my FSH (follicle stimulating hormone.)  Dr. BFPs diagnosis was diminished ovarian reserve.

Here is what Dr. Go.og.le taught me:

The AMH is a hormone produced by the granulosa cells of the early developing antral follicles. These are the immature eggs that wake up from their dormant state and develop into mature eggs. As a woman runs out of eggs, the number of these small antral follicles decline in number and as a result the serum Anti-Mullerian hormone falls.  This is why serum Anti-Mullerian hormone testing is a good estimate of residual egg number.

High (often PCOS) - > 3.0 ng/ml
Normal -  > 1.0 ng/ml
Low Normal -  0.7 – 0.9 ng/ml
Low -  0.3 – 0.6 ng/ml
Very Low – < 0.3 ng/ml

My AMH is in the low range, ouch, I’m only 27!  The weird thing is that my FSH is in the normal range…

Here is the plan: 

I don’t have much time to screw around.  I’m working on borrowed time and I’m ready to start taking this seriously.  Motel Six is out, Ritz Carlton is in.  I have a consult set up with Dr. Sher next week and if all goes as planned I will be cycling with him in Vegas in August.  For the record I just want to say that I like Dr. BFP and his team and a girl I met through blogging actually got pregnant with him using the same protocol and dates as me!  Go congratulate her!  

I made this decision for a lot of reasons but one of the most important is seeing how multiple rounds of IVF hormones have impacted a friend's endometriosis.  She went from no sign of endo to Stage 4 in a year!  

Our original plan was to give Dr. BFP one good shot and if it ended in BFN to move on to Dr. Sher.  It’s a matter of interpretation but for all intents and purposes I have given him his shot, we didn’t get to egg retrieval but I still went through 6 days of stims which is the part that will damage my body the most.

I don’t believe in the protocol that Dr. BFP wants to use and I think its time to give my body, and future babies, the best chance they’ll have, which is with Dr. Sher.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Someone is looking out for me

Now that you’ve heard the non-IF version of our trip, I’ll fill you in on the IF parts!

When we took off for Europe, on May 31st, I was expecting AF to show within a few days.  Nurse smiley and I agreed on a plan: AF would show, I’d restart BCPs on day 1 and then stop them so that AF would start two days before we got home.  I would get blood drawn as soon as we got home (CD3) for the antimullarian hormone panel.

So not only did I just have a failed IVF cycle but I knew I’d have to deal with AF two times on the vacation of a lifetime!  I had decided to eat gluten and dairy on the trip also, which made me worry about the pain factor.

We took off on our trip (with loads of, Ce.leb.rex and tampons.)  AF didn’t show, didn’t show, etc.  By about the 6th day of the trip I was starting to get that false sense of hope that comes along with IF.  I was saying out loud to Blue, “I know I’m not pregnant”, but inside I was saying, “maybe I’m pregnant?...”  I broke down in the Florence train station and bought a HPT. 

The first thing I did in Venice was get a BFN.

I got pretty down in the dumps, poor me, etc.  Finally the excitement of the trip won out and I ignored the fact that AF hadn’t shown.  By the time we got to Prague AF was really late and I was starting to get mad thinking I would need to jump start my period with Pro.ver.a. 

Instead, AF showed on Sunday night Prague time (Sunday Morning AK time).  The perfect time so that CD3 fell on the day we got home.  If AF would have showed 1 day earlier we would have been delayed a whole month (or two) for IVF 1.5!

The two AF days that fell in the trip were BRUTAL, but that’s a story for another day.  For now I will leave you with this thought: someone is looking out for me.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Europe, Oh How I Love You....

It was the perfect vacation, for the perfect length of time, and with the perfect companion. 

Here’s a quick run down of all the places we went, I pre-apologize for the over use of exclamation points and the words wonderful, incredible, fabulous, etc.
We happened to be in Rome during their 4th of July so they hung a giant Italian flag on the Coliseum

Rome, Italy -  We loved it!  I was worried I wouldn’t like the contrast of an ancient city with a bustling modern city around it, but for Rome it works!  It was incredible to walk from our hotel to the Trevi Fountain and the Coliseum, the food was wonderful and the people were surprisingly friendly for a big city!  We even went out one night to an under ground Roman dance club with some locals, too fun!

Kissing in front of the Trevi Fountain

Tuscany, Italy -  Wine, delicious wine.  I liked this one a lot more than Blue who isn’t a huge red wine fan, I drank his share.  The Tuscan countryside’s beauty is not over exaggerated by the movies; it is really is that incredible!

We spent a day scooting around Tuscany, AMAZING!

Vernazza, Italy -  The western coast of Italy on the Mediterranean, beautiful, warm water, good food, so relaxing.  What else could you ask for?

Standing on the pier in Vernazza after a swim

Venice, Italy -  So much culture and history!  The birthplace of Carneval, Vivaldi, marionette puppets, and Cassenova.  We took a romantic gondola ride through the canals with a bottle of wine while our gondolier serenaded us, ate fabulous food, wandered through history and kissed on the Rialto Bridge.

Gondola ride through the canals of Venice

Ljubljana, Slovenia -  We were in and out of Ljubljana twice, both for short times but we made a point of enjoying the time we had.  We wandered through the giant market in old town where you can buy anything from fresh fruit to underwear.  We also took a self guided pub crawl before getting on our over night train, too much fun!

Wandering around near Ljubljana Castle

Murter, Croatia -  Our vacation with-in a vacation, five fabulous days on an island in the Adriatic Sea.  We got sunburned daily but it was worth it!  All women there from 8 to 80 wear bikinis, no one was self conscious, and it was wonderful!  We also found the best Italian food restaurant ever!  Sounds weird after a week in Italy huh?

The sunset off our balcony in Croatia

Prague, Czech Republic - The most stunning architecture I’ve ever seen, everywhere you looked was so mesmerizing!  We also went to a dance club that was 5 stories high with each floor being a different theme, very cool. 

Blue rubbing the statue on Charles Bridge in Prague for good luck

It was a well needed trip for Blue and I, we had so much fun together and came home refreshed and ready to enjoy the Alaskan summer and the fertility cocktails that will be headed our way soon!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Commenting Problems

I apologize to everyone, I've been catching up on all your blogs but there were only a few I could comment on.  I think I solved the mystery though, in case anyone else is having this problem.

Problem: You write a comment, ask to post as your google account and it makes you sign in and then brings you back and makes you sign in again, over and over.

Fix: When you go to sign in the first time, enter your login and password and then UN-check the remember me button.

I have no idea why this works but I just tried it and it does.  Good luck and I'll be back soon with the full Euro-trip post!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I'm Back and Tan!

I’m back from a fabulous break from real life.  Three weeks in Europe was a dream.  It cost a fortune, it was worth it.  Hopefully I still have a few followers lingering out there who haven’t forgotten me.  I promise to spend the next few days catching up on all your blogs and commenting!

The trip was INCREDIBLE!  We saw and did so much I don’t even know where to start.  I’ll try not to go on and on about our trip since this is an infertility blog but I’ll have to warn you tomorrow’s post will be all about Europe.

We were on US soil less than an hour before we jumped back on the infertility train.  We stopped at the hospital to get blood drawn for the anti-mullarian assay before even going home.  The results should be back in about a week and then we’ll know what dosages of follistim to use for our next cycle which will start in about 3 weeks.  I’ll write a post soon on protocols but I have to admit I’m pretty frustrated on that front right now and I’m not ready for anything to bring me off my post Europe high!

On an interesting note, Blue and I started seriously considering adopting from Poland while we were gone.  We looked at Polish adoption blogs together and decided that even if we get pregnant on our own we’ll probably try and adopt from there later.  Blue’s grandpa was Polish and grew up in a Polish orphanage in New Jersey so if we go the international adoption route we’ll definitely focus on Poland.