IF and the City

I used to feel sad when I watched the episodes with Charlotte failing over and over again while trying to get pregnant. Little did I know that my own attempts would lead me on the same sad journey. We've now passed 4 years in the trenches. 6 failed IVF/ICSI cycles = nothing. Time for something new - donor eggs. Success at last. Now for round 2.

Friday, December 22, 2006

My Review

Well today the hayfever is much improved.

The doctor didn’t get to call me back until after 6pm because he was run off his feet consulting all day.

In his view our results with Star were largely attributed to the ‘unpredictable nature of IVF’. He said nothing in Star’s response to the hormones indicated she had poor egg quality – she rose slowly and steadily. Her eggs when retrieved were mature and physically looked to be good. They were not unusually shaped or discoloured in any way to indicate poor quality. Since she also has a child, that is also another good indication.

He said that it was possible it could be a sperm issue.

‘But we had everything tested when we did the Miscarriage Management Program’
‘There is another test that can be done to check DNA fragmentation’
‘We’ve done it, I’ve got the results here’

SCSA – DNA fragmentation Index: 18% = Good Fertility Potential
[> 30% is problematic and can cause fertility issues]
High Green (HDS): 4% = Normal Result

‘Oh yes, I have got it. Well that’s good, then you can be happy that it’s not a problem. But when was the test done?’
‘A year and a half ago (wtf?). We also had another test done by the Top Notch Urologist that cost us $300 [we couldn’t claim], I don’t have a copy, but I’ll get one and fax it through’.

This was an AZF a,b,c,d – we never received a copy of the results, but he told us they were fine and indicated – AGAIN – good fertility potential. In fact after receiving the results of these, if any of my old readers can remember, the TNU called Mr. S father and started discussing our fertility issues with him – who then discussed them with us at the dinner table at Christmas last year! (Mr. S had got him to write a referral)

These tests are in the second and third line of diagnosing Male Fertility Issues. Our First Line testing indicates sperm morphology issues – that being the reason I have not been able to fall pregnant spontaneously (well just the once). I’m not sure if there is anything further we can get tested?

The point to doing all these and the immunology tests, was so that we could be certain BEFORE we moved down the donor path that there were no other underlying fertility issues – male or female – that hadn’t been uncovered. That the only thing stopping us getting pregnant were my old eggs!

‘Dr., I’m worried because I’ve done 6 cycles and never got anything frozen. This was all attributed to my eggs. It seems extraordinary to me that we would have the same result with a donor so young, I mean my embryos were always good on Day 3.’
‘Sparkle, let me tell you a story, I’ve been working in this fertility field for 30 years and I’m still in here batting for you. You will get pregnant. I know that you’ve had a rough trot with all you’ve been through, and you’ve been very strong. With all my experience I do know that this time of the year is particularly hard, but I don’t want you to get all doom and gloom about the embryo transferred – you have a good chance of this working.’
‘Sniff, but if, by some chance, this embryo doesn’t work, and Star agrees to cycle again, would we do anything differently?’
‘If we get to that point, I’ll sit down and evaluate everything and work it out, so far we’ve only done one cycle with Star, it’s very hard to draw too many conclusions from that’.

Following that conversation I called Star and let her know how it had gone.

‘So we really don’t know anymore, and have to wait and see if this one works’?
‘Yeah’
See I told you she was smart.

Mr. S and I talked everything through last night. What would we do next? What if Star offered to cycle again (Mr. S thinks she would), would it be wise to do that, should we look for another donor, should we go overseas, should we move to pursuing adoption?

‘I think we’re going to go through a myriad of thoughts and ideas before we find out whether we have a negative or positive result, let’s just talk, but not make any decisions and wait till we know’
‘I agree, but the thing is Sparkle, I want to stay on this donor path’.
‘Yes, so do I. I know that I want to get pregnant and have a baby’.

So in the spirit of not planning or doing anything, this morning I:

* Contacted the SDD and requested in writing a copy of the Embryo Report (told them it was for the TNU), that was faxed thru to me this arvo.
* Researched, found and then rang and made an appointment in early January with another Fertility Specialist – A Male Infertility IVF Specialist. I had a long conversation with the secretary who told me everything she wants us to bring to our appointment.
* Rang to get our AZF results, but found TNU and his team had already packed up for Christmas, so left a reminder to myself to re-contact them for a copy on January 16th when they return.
* Spoke to Mr. S about going back to TNU and asking him if there are any other weird tests with remote chromosomal abnormalities we could do. Mr. S thinks the TNU is very thorough and would have done them. But we’ll see about that.

I’m not panicking or ruling out a positive (I do think it’s a low chance). But I am a practical girl. I would rather cancel appointments if we get a positive result, rather than have to wait 6 weeks for an appointment if we find out it’s negative.

I am going to consider everything, whether that be cycling with another specialist or donor.

I do know that if it comes to going again with Star, I will not be happy doing everything exactly the same and potentially getting the same results.

This may be ‘only one donor cycle’, but we are already a hundred miles down the road from anyone conceiving a baby naturally.

Am I making any sense?

6 Comments:

At December 22, 2006 7:33 pm , Blogger Lut said...

You make perfect sense. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

After all you've been through it would be expecting a bit much of you to just sit down and wait, not thinking of all possible scenarios.

I'm glad the doctor sounded encouraging. But never you mind, despair as long as you need to, I'm still cheering on the embryo on board.

 
At December 23, 2006 2:04 am , Blogger Mony said...

I like your doctor too.
Hoping for a Christmas miracle Sparkle!

 
At December 23, 2006 2:29 am , Blogger Jade said...

I am really impressed with all the work you have already done on this very long journey.

If egg fertilisation is an age and numbers game my only question about Star as a donor is why she didn't produce more eggs? I thought that young donors are capable of producing 15 or more eggs which is part of what increases the success of finding a few good ones to put back and to freeze.

Have you thought about going somewhere that will put back more than one egg? I think for your own mental and physical health you might want to look at ways to get pregnant that are efficient and putting back one egg per cycle seems risky in the best best best circumstance.

 
At December 23, 2006 9:51 am , Blogger Sparkle said...

Hi Jade,
I have asked myself the same question about the egg numbers. When they weren't high - I thought no worries - they'll be healthier than any of mine (!)
When I get my second opinion I'll be asking if it was the drug protocol. She was suppressed and on BCP's for 6 weeks before which does cause a slower response.

The putting back of only one embryo is the way it is here (with a young donor or if you were a young IVFer) and even more so in the top Sydney clinics. They believe if it's a healthy one, you have a better chance of having a baby as opposed to achieving a twin pregnancy.

 
At December 24, 2006 4:36 pm , Blogger Millie said...

Hoping very hard for a miracle for you. It's certainly the right time of the year for that.

 
At December 24, 2006 7:34 pm , Anonymous Meri-ann said...

Sparkle, I've just caught up on your blog and how everything went with your cycle- and my love I'm sorry that you've had to go thru all of these ups and downs....
I too am cheering for the embryo on board... x

 

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