Infertility Bites

Infertile, Trying to Conceive, and Forty-One Years Old – Ain't THAT a Bummer!?!

Infertility bites, and bites HARD this time March 5, 2008

Filed under: infertility bites — vamplita @ 7:31 pm
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Went to RE today, after starting spotting last night.  I’m still not sure if it’s the dreaded Aunt Flo, or implantation bleeding.  So, I had blood drawn to be sure.  Every HPT I’ve done has been a BFN, but it would still be rather early for urine to test positive.  That’s ultimately why I decided to get the blood test done.  It’ll settle it once and for all.  I ought to know by 2PM tomorrow, but at this point, I’m not feeling very confident of my success this month.   

Dr. S, hubby, and I discussed options with either scenario.  Because I only produced one egg this past month on an increased dosage of Clomid, Dr. S and I have come to the conclusion that Clomid may not be the thing for me at my age.  (The clock is ticking, after all.)  So, what, you may ask, can we pump into vamplita’s system this next time, if there is a next time?  Dr. S said we ought to go with the Gonal-F daily injections, because she’s had good success rates with that plus IUI.  She said she wanted us to get a sample of the Gonal-F to take with us today, but in typical vamplita fashion, I forgot to get it before leaving the doctor’s office.  I did remember once I got downstairs, but when I went back upstairs, another nurse told me that they didn’t have any samples available.  As costly as this freakin’ stuff is, you better damned well believe I’m calling my regular nurse back to see when they’ll have samples available.  God, I hate that F and I forgot to get that before leaving this afternoon.  I’m so annoyed with myself that I could just kick myself for being so forgetful.  Honestly.   

F agrees that we shouldn’t continue to use the Clomid and expect different results, especially considering these factors:  

  1. I haven’t managed to develop more than one egg per month on Clomid
  2. I’ve got 40-year-old eggs that aren’t getting any younger, so we need to be more aggressive
  3. We’re swiftly running out of money and financial sources to use, so, like all infertile couples, we need to do something with a higher success rate

Y’wanna guess how much the Gonal-F costs?  Again, remember that my insurance won’t cover infertility treatments or infertility drugs.  I’d be taking 187.5 iu daily, so I’d require one pack of Gonal-F 1050 iu, and one pack of the 450 iu for a 10-day span.  Well, our local Walgreens quoted a price of $1379.99 for the 1050, and $599.99 for the 450.  I shit you not. 

The good news from today is that we found out that apparently my insurance has decided to pay for the ultrasounds, which is a Godsend.  After the balance from the several ultrasounds I’ve taken lately was put against our bill(s), we only owed $5 for today’s visit.   That was a huge relief, because we thought we were going to have to come up with about $700 today to get out the door. 

Um, have I mentioned lately how much I really hope I’m pregnant this month??

 

Take 2 – this time, with feeling! February 8, 2008

Ok, so I’m not pregnant this month.  As I said, no shock there.  I started my period the morning I was to go to the doctor.  I may not be surprised, but I am a bit bummed that it didn’t work.Dr. S met with us this past Wednesday, and we discussed our options.  I lobbied for Clomid + IUI this month.  Dr. S agreed, as did F.  Starting my Clomid tonight.  This time, I’m to take 3 pills each night (as opposed to two) during (Cycle Day 3 – Cycle Day 7) CD3-CD7.  She’s hoping this will cause more eggs to mature this cycle, instead of just the one like last month. She told me to start using the OPK on day 10, which is this Friday.  That’s also the day I go in for my ultrasound to see how many follicles have matured.  (Have I mentioned to you that these ultrasounds are $195 a pop, and that insurance is covering nada on those little gems?)  If I don’t ovulate over the weekend, I’m to inject myself with some stuff called Ovidrel that will cause me to ovulate within a certain time period following the injection.  On that Monday (or possibly Tuesday), F will have to go in and do his part by donating some swimmers into a cup.  Then I go in a couple hours later to have the procedure completed.  Please, God, please let this take.  Please let me get pregnant this month.  Please have one of F’s swimmers meet with a ready and willing egg. 

We’re also encouraged to go home following the IUI and have intercourse too, as kind of a plan to keep as many swimmers in the vicinity of the egg(s) as possible.  Call it hedging our bets, if you will.  F will probably be ready to have sex, since he can’t ejaculate for 3-5 days before donating his sample for the IUI.  If all goes well, I could conceivably be with child as early as 2-13-08.  Again, keep those fingers crossed and say a tiny prayer or two! 

I just read about another procedure called fallopian tube sperm perfusion (FSP).  That’s IUI, plus injecting about 20-30% of the washed sperm even further, into the fallopian tube as well, with a balloon inflated after insertion to ensure none of the sperm injected there swim south, back into the womb.  The patient leaves office with the balloon inflated within her for a while, then can deflate it all by herself later.  From what I’ve seen of the research, FSP seems to have a significantly higher rate of pregnancy than just IUI and shouldn’t be that much more expensive, relatively speaking.  I’ll ask Dr. S when next I see her whether or not this clinic does FSP, and if so, how much more is it cost-wise than IUI? 

IUI costs $350, unless it’s done on a weekend.  If IUI has to be done on a weekend, that’ll be an additional $50, thankyouverymuch.  I forgot to mention that previously.  F and I would definitely prefer that my OPK doesn’t show positive on a Saturday!    

 

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow… February 5, 2008

is it.  Pregnancy Test Day.  My current raison d’etre.  I know that I really ought not put too much emphasis on this time around, considering our poor showing during ovulation.  And yet… the tiniest glimmer of hope is there, whispering into my ear with the faintest voice.  It tells me that it is possible that I’m pregnant.  Stranger things have happened, right?? 

From a strictly scientific perspective, it’s fascinating to witness what’s happening to me ever since I (probably) ovulated.  For the past two or three days, my stomach’s been feeling weird, and my breasts have been tender/borderline sore.  It could be happening because I’m pregnant, or it could also be purely psychosomatic because I know what the early symptoms of pregnancy are. 

I haven’t told anyone, because I don’t want to give anyone false hopes if I’m not preggers.  If I told F that I’ve been feeling these symptoms, he might think it’s actually happened, and it would be such a disappointment to him, knowing that I’d been having symptoms.  I want he and I to find out together tomorrow.  He’s going to the appointment with me. 

It’s a follow-up with my doctor, Dr. S.  If we find out that I’m pregnant, then we embark upon that aspect of this journey with a song in our hearts, and our fingers crossed.  If we’re not pregnant, we discuss our game plan for the next month.  Personally, if we’re not with child this time around, I want us to try IUI (interuterine insemination) next month, along with the Clomid. 

Granted, it’s more expensive when your bloody insurance won’t cover it, but it’s also got a higher percentage rate of success when compared to using Clomid and relying on intercourse.  What would happen is this:  I’d start my cycle, either naturally, or with the help of prometrium.  Sometime during the first 3 days of my cycle, I’d go in for an ultrasound, which would be used as a baseline for that month’s egg developmental progress.  On days 3-7, I’d take the Clomid.  Next, I’d start monitoring my luteal phase with an over-the-counter Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK).  If I don’t ovulate by day 15, I’d have to take an injection of Ovidrel to stimulate my egg follicles to mature and drop.  

As soon as I’d get a positive when using the OPK, I’d have to call the doctor’s office that morning, so they could make an appointment for me that day.  Then, F would have to contribute his swimmers, either in person, or at home and take his sample in within one hour of its release.  It would be “washed”, assuring that the best of the best swimmers were concentrated into a sample for insertion into my uterus. 

When my appointment came around, the techs would use ultrasound to insert a long, thin catheter into my uterus, and then inject F’s washed (and New and Improved!) concentrate into the catheter.  Once the procedure would be complete, I’d have to remain horizontal for a little while, hoping everyone knows which way they ought to be going. 

The reason they use this technique is to help the little swimmers along by shortening their route dramatically.  They get to avoid the sometimes harsh environment of the vagina, and they’re put into the express lane, bypassing the vagina to go straight into the uterine cavity.  Now, the techs still can’t control which way the sperm swim once they’re into the uterus, but at least more of them have an increased chance to at least be in the running in the Race to the Egg.  Little Ms. Ova and any mature sisters she may have, ought to have dropped from the ovaries, and begin heading through the fallopian tubes, toward the uterine cavity.  In the meantime, F’s swimmers will start (hopefully) moving through the womb and into the fallopian tube(s) to meet any eligible bachelorette eggs in their path.  The first swimmer to meet this egg wins – no one else is allowed to fertilize that egg once it’s fertilized by the sperm who got there first.