First of all I need to apologize for being such a bad blogger. I haven’t been writing much of anything at all except about our infertility journey and I haven’t done much reading of my fellow bloggers blogs either. I’ll be honest it’s just been a rough couple of weeks after finding out or IVF cycle failed and then being told we need donor eggs, once again it’s time to reevaluate. I have been busy trying to figure out what I can do to improve my own egg quality before jumping right in to donor egg IVF, DEIVF going forward.
I haven’t had the time to even think about a weekend recap or a Friday Favorites for months as I prepared myself for what I thought was going to be the final chapter of our fight against infertility. This last cycle was honestly the biggest letdown of them all because I believed that we had covered every base that we could, we treated every single issue, we transferred 2, etc. there was no way this wasn't going to work this time. I was completely wrong about the outcome of the cycle and have been scrambling to figure out what we should do next. Although I don’t feel as stressed as I was after initially hearing about DEIVF as our possible next step, I have been hitting the interwebs hard trying to come up with a new plan.
Joe and I talked it over and we are certain on one thing: we are NOT ready to give up on my eggs. My two fresh cycles were so drastically different that I feel like we need to continue to pursue our own embryos before a donor cycle. The first step in our new plan was calling our old doctor, Dr. G, and setting up an appointment for a frozen cycle. We have 4 embryos on ice at our previous clinic so the most logical option is to use those first and foremost. Who is to say that they aren’t any good? Although 3 of the original 7 have not resulted in a pregnancy, there are 4 left, maybe our baby is in there somewhere!? I see Dr. G for my initial consultation on September 14th. I will be cycling early October.
In the meantime I have started a heavy supplement regimen with the help of one of my blog sponsors, Smita, The Fertility Advisor. She has had 1 successful IVF cycle so far and is working on a second. She helped me decide on which supplements would be best for me to take to help improve my egg quality. These supplements will need to be taken for 90+ days prior to a fresh cycle I decided to start them now and get a jump start with them in case we end up needing to do another fresh cycle. So far I am on:
The most important of these is the Ubiquinol. This has shown to provide the best results in improving the quality of eggs. I’ve been reading the book It Starts with the Egg as well to get a better grasp of the importance of these supplements and how to take them and how they work. This, along with help from The Fertility Advisor has been a huge help to getting me started on the supplements. The nice thing about the supplements is they can be taken during a cycle. CoQ10 for instance, is also used for heart health, there is no reason why it can’t be taken during a cycle or even during pregnancy.
I’ve also got my medical record request forms into my current doctor to be sent to Advanced Fertility Centers of Chicago (Dr. Sherbahn) and Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (Dr. Schoolcraft, who you may recognize from Giuliana & Bill Rancic, that is who they used). CCRM is the leading fertility clinic in the nation and MANY of my readers and followers recommended that I at least schedule a phone consultation with them. We have an initial phone consultation with them on September 25th. I'm not sure that we will pursue more than the phone consult with them, but they might be able to give us some kind of insight on our past treatment as a whole and what they may think the issue is.
I am trying to be as proactive as I can. I don’t want to wait until we go through 2 frozen cycles and if they both fail, not have a plan. I want to have all of my options lined up in case we need to move forward.
I also have some very specific requirements that I will want my next doctor (if we end up needing one) to agree to. First and foremost is agreeing to the supplements, 2nd is possibly adding Human Growth Hormone to our protocol, 3rd is possible PGS testing of embryos to determine chromosomal abnormalities, 4th is meeting somewhere in the middle about how many eggs should be produced/retrieved. 34 was too many, 10 was not enough. If I’m going to go through this again, I’d like to see more than 10 because that will increase the chances of more embryos to be fertilized and sent for testing, however, 34 is too many, their quality will decrease and the chances of OHSS will also be high. Whatever doctor will agree to these terms will be the one I will seek treatment from.
You have to advocate for your own health, I cannot preach that enough. Now that we have been through this 4 separate times, we know what we want, we know what the outcome of certain types of tests and treatments are, we know the costs—no we are not doctors, but we do our research and we know what we want to try & how far we are willing to go and these are things that I feel like we NEED to have in order to make sure that we are exhausting all avenues in pursuit of our own biological child.
I did get a message from Dr. LdM this week, he said that he is skeptical, but willing to agree to the supplements. If I can get him on board with the other things then we will go back to him, but we will still also schedule consultations with AFCC & CCRM just to make sure that there aren’t some other options that we should be considering. I’m always in favor of new ideas and a fresh set of eyes. If that means we end up seeing a 3rd doctor and doing a 3rd fresh cycle, then so be it. For now we are not giving up our fight.