New Supplements, Tests and Fran Drescher

Dr. Hail Mary puts all his patients on the same supplement regiment…..and then adds to it as necessary once test results come in. So, I’m now on the following supplements:

Prescription Prenatal with DHA (continued with pregnancy)
Pregnitude Reproductive Support Dietary Supplement (includes folic acid 200mcg & myo-inositol 2000mg) – it’s a powder that’s mixed with 8oz. water and taken twice a day. (it’s stopped with pregnancy)
CoQ10 – 600mg/day (stop with pregnancy)
Calcium – 1000-1300mg per day (stop with pregnancy)
Vitamin D – 200-400IU per day (stop with pregnancy)

I’ve been asked to stop all other supplements (Royal Jelly and pycnogenol, which I only took during IVF3)

Yesterday I went  in for Day 3 bloodtest and ultrasound (and I met the most entertaining person even to put an ultrasound wand up my nethers)

Yesterday’s tests covered:

estrogen level, LH, FSH, TSH, thyroid, pituitary, prolactin, DHEAs, Testosterone and something that I can’t read…..because he’s a doctor, and his handwriting is…..stereotypical.
 

When I got there, my IVF nurse took me in to take some blood and asked if I ever fainted. I said no and asked if she had patients that did. She looked at me and emphatically nodded yes, then added, “most often it’s the men.” She then proceeded to take 4 vials of blood and explain when I’d be able to get results and how (calling in to a voicemail network).

And then I was greeted by my new U/S (ultrasound) tech….who for some reason reminded me of Fran Dreshcer, minus the accent and nasal laugh….I think it was the hair and no-nonsense attitude. I was on the table and she started the ultrasound – said everything looked fine as she counted my follicles and checked my lining. I asked her something and she went on an amazing run of an answer about how great Dr. Hail Mary is, how he’s very aggressive with his treatments and straight-forward with his patients, how she’s seen him get people pregnant that had everything against them, how/where/when I’ll get all my information, what the hysterosonogram will be like that I have to get soon, how she’s going to try her best to schedule it because the doctor’s schedule is full and he’s at conferences in February, how her mother had a straight-forward doctor and she didn’t like him but he was the best and something and something and something.

Somewhere in the midst of that she dropped a well-placed F bomb and it was then that I knew we’d get along just fine.

OH – and that entire conversation took place while she was holding the U/S wand as I’m on a table in a dimly lit room….so it was hard not to laugh at the ridiculousness of the scenario.

She was great though, she was so encouraging and I look forward to seeing her many times throughout these next few months….must remember not to call her Fran.

By day’s end I had some of the results:

my once slightly elevated Prolactin is now in the normal range at 17.07, TSH 2.57 and DHEAS 83 (I didn’t write down estrogen and progesterone but they were both normal). I will have to call in next week to get results on ovarian reserve and autoimmune stuff…..and I’m now waiting to hear if I can be squeezed in for that Hysterosonogram early next week. It has to be done Day 6-12 and I’m out of town Days 10-12…..and the doc’s schedule is packed. So, fingers are crossed that Fran (must remember not to call her Fran) will indeed make something work.

Since this is a “test” cycle to see what’s happening in there, I started estradiol (estrogen) last night and will do progesterone shots the 2nd half of the cycle. I’ll talk about the various tests as I have them this month….the hysterosonogram, a couple of biopsies, etc.

And yes, I could harp on “why didn’t some of these tests happen before” but why do that to myself.

For reals. Why.

Instead, we’re excited to do them now and rock out IVF4.

My Due Date and What I Got Instead

On Sunday, March 3, 2013 I got my first positive pregnancy test. There was joy. There was apprehension. A natural pregnancy after trying for over a year and just 2 weeks after our first meeting with a reproductive endocrinologist. Read about all that.  I went to see my doctor, she agreed I was in fact pregnant, patted me on the head and sent me on my way with a piece of paper indicating that my due date was somewhere around November 9-11, 2013.

November 10-11, 2013. So…..now.

Nearing the end of March I started spotting and the pregnancy ended in miscarriage. I wrote about it here and afterwards we embarked on the quest that brings us to present day.

My husband and I talked this past weekend and I told him that when I woke up Saturday it occurred to me that we would have been due this weekend.  He said, “wow, things sure would have been alot different.”

And it dawned on me: Things ARE alot different.

While we aren’t sitting here with a baby (which yeah, wouldn’t that be nice), alot of good has come:

1) I started blogging and the act of writing has been hugely cathartic. It’s been an amazing way to process my feelings during what could be an overwhelming time.

2) I started tweeting under my blog’s name. Between the blog and the tweets, I’ve found a supportive and vast online community of ladies going through exactly what I’m going through. I can reach out to folks and ask questions, seek advice, compare experiences, etc. I am so thankful for these ladies (and a few gents) who I will likely never meet.

3) I’ve learned that I can give myself lots and lots of shots (to date it’s in the area of 118, one IUI with follistim and 2 IVFs with follistim/menopur,lupron/progesterone). I feel pretty kickass about this and very empowered. Read about my thoughts on needles. I mean, you want me to give myself a shot right now? Name it: where you want me to do it, I’ll do it. Want me to give you a shot? I’ll do it.

4) My husband and I have gotten through all of this. Period. And I’d bet money on the fact that we’re better.

5) We’re now serious about adoption, which while it seems über daunting, also excites me. Even if I do get pregnant this current IVF, adoption could still be a likely scenario for us: we both have siblings and feel they’re pretty important. If our little one’s to have a sibling, it could very likely end up that adoption’s our route.

6) I learned that IVF can be a positive experience. It can be. For me it is not at all the horror story I’ve read about for years in the media. I know IVF isn’t nice to everyone. Some ladies have a terrible time with the hormones, there can be alot of expectations and emotions, doctors can be brusk, nurses can say things or look at you in ways you don’t like. HOWEVER, it’s different for everyone and you don’t know what it’ll be like for you until you start – try to go in expecting the best instead of the worst.

7) I now know more about what it takes to make a baby than friends I know who’ve actually HAD babies. For real. It’s an effing miracle ANYONE EVER gets pregnant with all the stuff that needs to happen for eggs and sperm to come together in a perfect chemical mix in the perfect uterine environment during a tiny narrow window of monthly fertility that the little egg’s even viable.  FUCKING MIRACLE.

8) I’ve learned alot about supplements and foods that are good for fertility. I’ve found people who are knowledgable about supplements and are good enough to write about them: InfertileChemist, I’m looking at you http://infertilechemist.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/supplements-part-i-dhea/#comment-1173   The CCRM website is also good for this:http://www.colocrm.com/FertilitySupplements.aspx   (There’s also alot of bullshit out there so you really just have to do the best you can with all of it).  Me? I took wheatgrass for a long time (my RE asked me to let that one go once we started IVF), but I still take: CoQ10, Royal Jelly, PreNatals…recently I’ve added Pycnogenol and a little extra Vitamin C.  As for food, I try to eat plenty of protein, vegetables, whole grains…..in particular lots of blueberries, chia seeds, avocado, yams if you can find them…..watch your caffeine and booze (some REs say absolutely none and others say moderation) and I’ve tried to cut out processed foods and am watching sugar….which is my kryptonite.

9) I’ve joined a support group and get to look into the eyes of other ladies who are struggling. We share stories and there are knowing nods. We learn from each other. It took a long time for me to take this step, but I did when the time was right and I’m very happy I did. We’re all in different places, trying different things, but we help each other.

10) I still have my hope.

There’s likely much more that I haven’t put my finger on, but one newish friend gave me advice a few months ago that I now carry with me every day:

We now live in a time that if you really want a family, there are so many ways that it can happen: pregnancy, IUI/IVF, donor eggs, surrogacy, fostering, adoption, etc. You may not know right now how your child will come to you, but you have to believe that they will come to you somehow.

So while I didn’t get my due date, and I am still waiting for our little bundle to show up, I really did get a whole lot more.

(But little peanut for reals, you can show up any old time now).