Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Learning more than I ever wanted to know

Sometimes I make the mistake of assuming that since my readers are fellow IFers, they'll know what I'm talking about when I casually refer to "lingo" of the IF (infertility) world. Because I'm most comfortable when I'm in control and know what's going on, I've done lots of research every time I find out something new that might be relevant to my situation. I know waaaaay more than I ever wanted to know about miscarriage causes, symptoms, etc. I just have to remind myself that not everyone's situation is the same as my situation, and not everyone will have a clue what I'm talking about when I talk IF lingo (any more than I understand IVF lingo like the types of drugs and when they're used, whether they're injectible or oral, etc.)

Therefore, I wanted to talk a little bit about some of the things that I've talked about recently to clarify.

1. This doens't have to do with IF, but it's something that was brought up with regard to my last post. Re: the Dr. B.rown's Bo.ttles, unfortunately, I've already done the research on them, and YES they were made with BPA, a substance that is potentially harmful to babies. (The company that makes them maintains that they're "safe" even though they have BPA, and I used them until D went to the sippy cup, but with all the new things in the news about BPA, I don't want to take chances.) Just the bottles themselves were made with BPA though, so I kept the vents and all the rest of the parts. I want to br.eastfeed if I can the next time around, but if I can't I'll have lots of extra vents to use, which is nice because they're the most annoying part of those bottles to clean!

2. Lute.al Ph.ase Defe.ct: The way I understand this is as follows. Your lu.teal ph.ase is the timeframe between ovulation and when you get your period. For most people it's about 14 days long, (because you ideally ovulate right in the middle of your cycle.) When you ovulate later than day 14 - and more specifically, when you ovulate less than 10 days before you get your period, you're said to have a lut.eal ph.ase def.ect. From what I've read, the big problem with this is that your uterus is ready on day 14 or thereabouts to accept the egg and allow for implantation. When you have a lut.eal ph.ase de.fect, you're shooting the egg into a less than optimal environment because the ut.erine lining has already received a signal from the body that it won't be needed this month, so it doesn't continue to thicken in preparation for the egg to implant. This can increase the risk of miscarriage. That's the reason that pro.gesterone and clo.mid are often used to treat LPD. The C.lomid helps you to ovulate at the right time and kick your progesterone production in at the right time, and the pro.gesterone helps to pick up whatever slack your body leaves.

3. OPK is an Ovulation Predictor Kit. Along with baby aspirin and progesterone, this is one of the first things that doctors seem to recommend to people who are having trouble conceiving or experiencing pregnancy loss. (My doctor recommends starting prog.esterone 3 days after ovulation, so the OPK is necessary to pinpoint ovulation.)

I would add some more information about Klinef.elter Syndro.me, but since we've established that neither my husband NOR my last baby had it, it's a moot point. :-P

Monday, September 28, 2009

Recycling update

Today I'm cleaning my basement out a bit, and I'm recycling ....hmmm... probably about $50 worth of Dr. Brow.n's bottle.s which happen to have been made before the big B.PA uproar.

Just had to share my disgust.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Self-diagnosis

I'm calling lute.al pha.se de.fect.

This cycle, I waited and waited. CD 19 and the OPK finally shows up positive. And yes, my cycle is usually 28 days. Hmmmm...

Now, I know I don't always ovulate late, because I've done (I think) three or four rounds of OPKs and I've been closer to the middle before, but I also know that I've ovulated late before.

So, while I'm in this mood of self diagnosing, I might as well self medicate too.

If I don't get pregnant this cycle, I think I'm going to take the Clo.mid next cycle (that Dr. N prescribed.) From what I'm reading, doctors use Clo.mid to treat lute.al pha.se de.fect, and really, what's the worst that could happen? I have another miscarriage? There's a big chance of that anyway. So what the hell, right?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Feeling positive

For the first time in a long time, I'm feeling a little more grounded and like I'm where I belong.

I've spent the last several business days (Thursday, Friday, Monday and today) Googling different doctors and hospitals. After my last appointment with Dr. G I realized that I need to suck it up and find a doctor closer to me. The stress of driving through lots of traffic...not being sure if I'll make it to the appointment on time...not being sure exactly where I'm going sometimes... That needs to end.

I like the idea of delivering again at the bigfamoushospitalinthebigcity, but in the end, I'm not high risk (as far as I know) and tons of people deliver babies outside of the city. EVERY. DAY. I can too.

So I found a PCP with lots of good reviews who's very close to my house. She also happens to have a specialty in dermatology, so I can have her look at the little pink bump on my arm that probably isn't skin cancer (because the last doctor said don't worry) but that I still wonder about. Bonus. I meet her next week just for a "new patient appointment" (read: appointment where nothing is accomplished except for taking my history, which they should do at your physical, except if they did they would only get one $20 co-pay instead of two.)

I'm feeling good about her. Really good. Crazy, huh? Don't let me down, lady.

Resume medical records transfer hell.

[As a side note, Dr. G's office can only release their OWN records of my history to me, not the records that I paid $18.58 to have mailed to them. So, I had to call the medical records people back at Dr. N's practice and BEG them not to charge me another $18.58 to have another set of records mailed to me. Homegirl on the phone (after much begging and politely asking to talk to her superior) says, "okay, we'll waive the fee, but make sure you make a copy before you give them to the next doctor." I tell her that if she sends me these records, I will absolutely make a copy, and I promise I will NEVER call her again. She thinks I'm kidding and laughs. I'm not kidding. Really. Not. Kidding.]

The first OB I called (young, female, great online reviews) isn't accepting new patients.

Finally I broke down and called the office of another OB whose name I have heard overandoverandoverandoverandover from tons of people. The best. Loved by everyone. But OMG... He's male. That weirds me out a little bit, but I decided that it might be a sign that people KEEP SAYING HIS NAME. I was able to talk to a nurse right away on the phone to ask my 20 questions. She was nice and patient, and I got good vibes from her and the receptionist.

So ladies, it's official. I've cut my ties with Dr. N and the medical-records-hell that has been my life for the past two months.

Moving on, moving up, moving out.

Monday, September 21, 2009

You won't believe it when I tell you

I'm embarrassed to be writing this post. When I was seeing the old fertility doctor (Dr. N) for 7 months, I felt confident that he knew what he was doing. I live in a state with amazing medical resources, and Dr. N is affiliated with one of the best hospitals in the country. I was hesitant to change doctors because his office delivers babies at said large, famous hospital, where my first son was born. I had a great experience and I wanted to go back. I defended Dr. N when he probably didn't deserve to have my benefit of the doubt. In retrospect, I feel like I should have changed doctors sooner, (which is why I'm kind of embarrassed) but who knew?

If you remember, I began to get the feeling that this doctor and his staff weren't paying enough attention to me as a person and as a set of symptoms. (Honestly, I don't care if you see me as a set of symptoms as long as you tell me wtf is wrong with me.) That's when I started to look into getting second opinions and changing doctors.

Well, the genetic counselor we met with last week called me this morning to tell me that she got a copy of the chromosomal analysis from the last embryo I miscarried. (She actually followed up and called me when she said she would. What a breath of fresh air!)

The embryo did NOT have Kline.felter Syndrome.

It had Triploidy. That means that it had 69 chromosomes instead of 46. That's a whole extra set from one parent. She said that either the egg was fertilized by two sperm, or the egg didn't divide as it should so that all of its chromosomes were transferred instead of half. She thinks the reason that Dr. N said Klinef.elter is because Triploidy is XXY, as is Klinef.elter. It's just that Triploidy is 69 XXY, and Klinef.elter is 47 XXY. Which means... Dr. N wasn't paying enough attention.

The good news is that Triploidy IS a reason for the m/c, (whereas Klinef.elter alone, is not.) It is a random event, and there is no reason to think that it's related to T's XYY Karyotype, nor, most likely, will it ever happen to us again.

If I had to take a guess right now, I'm betting on luteal phase defect or progesterone deficiency (probably both), and the only way to find out is to keep playing the game.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Resigned... for now

Sometimes things happen, and no explanation can be found.

I had my follow-up appointment with the RE today. There is no chromosomal or blood related (that they've tested for) reason.

I'm not giving up hope that a cause may be found for my miscarriages, but for now, we're going to try again and hope that we hit the jackpot again. Although that idea really worries me, I know that with each subsequent loss, no matter how painful, we'll hopefully be able to find out a little more, and eventually we will succeed.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just when you thought you knew what was going on

Remember how we just found out that T has Kline.felter Syndrome? Well, it turns out that he DOESN'T have it after all. We met with the genetic counselor today, who was awesome. (She's at the hospital with the NEW doctor, so that's good.)

So here's the deal: We were told last week by T's doctor and by my doctor's office that T has an extra chromosome, and when I said "Kline.felter Syndrome" the nurse at my doctor's office confirmed it. (I didn't witness the call from T's doctor, but T said he "mentioned" Kline.felter.) From those two sources, I assumed that was what we were dealing with.

It turns out that T has an extra Y chromosome, not an extra X chromosome, which is completely different, and is NOT a reason for miscarriage or infertility. In fact, the only implication it has at all, according to the genetic counselor, is that people with XYY Karyotype tend to be tall, which T is. No research has shown it to be passed on to future generations, so the last embryo that had XXY is back to being a complete fluke.

The genetic counselor said that they did not get a copy of the chromosomal report on the embryo, so she offered to call to get a copy. (Thank you jesus. No more phone calls to that office, please.) She wants to look at it because she said that "XXY alone is not a reason for miscarriage."

Where are we now? T is effectively out of the equation again, and we're back to having no idea what's causing the miscarriages. I have a follow-up appointment with Dr. G tomorrow, during which I expect her to say that she has no idea what's going on and we have to try again and see what happens.

I'm so relieved for T because I think he was pretty weirded out at the thought of being diagnosed with this strange "syndrome" as an adult that hadn't affected him at all throughout his life. However, I'm frustrated that we thought we had at least an answer and maybe a plan, and now we're back to square one.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Priceless

After all of this sh*t and this sh*t, all of my blood results are in (and normal, including anti-cardiolipin) EXCEPT for my Karyotype, which my primary care is now saying they have NO RECORD of ever drawing.

Un-f*cking-believable.

UPDATE: My awesome nurse (at the new doctor's office) called directly into the lab and they DID have the results, and my chromosomes are normal. 46.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'm not feeling lucky

The longer this process of conceiving a second live baby goes on, the more I wonder if I've got it all wrong. Maybe instead of being UN-lucky, we're actually incredibly LUCKY.

Now that we know that T has Klinefe.lter, we know that his chance of being fertile AT ALL was only between 1 and 5%. On our first try, we conceived a perfect little person, and feel so incredibly blessed to have him. It's pretty amazing.

But here's the problem. I don't feel lucky. I mean, I feel SO lucky to have D, but my overall feeling is not that I'm lucky. I feel petty and insensitive (to those still waiting for their first) and I feel greedy... The thought that we're lucky to have one nags in the back of my head and makes me feel like a horrible b*tch. I feel like a child who only got one present on Christmas and her parents are telling her to suck it up. "That's all you get. Live with it." Sure, I love my one present, but why can't I just be like a lot of the other kids who get as many presents as they want?

I want to be the little Mary Sunshine who feels lucky for what she has, but I'm not. I'm sad for me and for T that things aren't easier. I'm not proud of it, but that's the way it is.

I found a great article on secondary infertility that I wanted to share with you guys, both for those who are going through it too, as well as those who might want to step into a "secondary infertile's" head for a minute. One line that really expresses the way that I think a lot of secondary infertiles probably feel is this: "Typically we feel guilty that our one, always beloved, child 'is not enough’; we feel frustrated at our own bodies and relationships because something we achieved once cannot be repeated." The article is very well written, and very similar to the way I'm feeling.

P.S. Loved the comments on my last "Faceb.ook" post. I might have to make that a weekly post... :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What if Face.book updates were how we REALLY feel?

LuckyOnce is freaking out about what the future may bring.

LuckyOnce if effing glad that she got her period today.

LuckyOnce is thinking about getting s**tfaced.

LuckyOnce doesn't feel lucky at all.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Not what we were expecting

I have some results back from the genetics testing, and they're not at all what I was expecting. We're being referred to a genetics counselor because as it turns out, my husband's sperm might be the problem.

It turns out that he has an extra X chromosome. If you remember my post about the chromosomal testing on the last embryo I miscarried, the embryo had Kli.nefelter's Syndr.ome.

We just found out that my husband does too.

Now what's strange about this is that he doesn't have almost any of the normal Klin.efelter's symptoms except that he is taller than his father and brother, and clearly, there may be an issue with his sperm. What's really weird is that he is NOT infertile (as evidenced by our two year old.) But that's a biggie in Klinefe.lter's. Between 95 and 99% of males with Klinef.elter's are infertile.

However, from everything I've read, Klinef.elter's is NOT hereditary, so it's apparently a total coincidence that our last embryo had it?

I'm going to be very interested to see what the genetics counselor has to say. I'm guessing that our next step is probably selecting sperm. And IVF...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Random musings

Have I ever told you that I like to cook? Well, this weather (cool and beautiful, for those of you out of the area) is making me want to cook and bake and generally make a big mess out of my kitchen. Yesterday I made a big vat of homemade spaghetti sauce, pizza from scratch (including the dough) with my sauce, fresh mozzarella, caramelized onions and basil from my garden. Also made some yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting for my hubby to take into work. (Well, except for the few that got lost in the fridge.)

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This is too much info, and it should NEVER come directly after cupcakes, but I think my ye.ast inf.ection is coming back. (And it has nothing to do with the pizza dough. Eeeeeeeww. Did I just say that?) It's only the second one I've had in my life. It was PERFECT timing, if you know what I mean, and now I'm on Progesterone which isn't helping matters. I thought it was gone but I'm afraid it's about to rear its ugly head again.

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I'm afraid I might want to break up with my therapist already. Last week I arrived on time to the waiting room and her office door was open, but I didn't want to just waltz in without being invited. I waited in the waiting room for several minutes with thoughts of what to do and how long to wait running through my head (HELLOOOOOOO, I have anxiety! You need to come get me when you're ready for me.) When I finally walked towards the door and called "hello" she nonchalantly said to come in. I wasted several minutes of my appointment because she didn't come into the waiting room to tell me she was ready for me, and when I explained that I had been waiting for her to come get me, she didn't seem fazed. Plus, I'm not sure she's going to be very helpful to me.

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For those of you who are not in the States, Mich.elle Dugg.ar (from my last post) is on a reality show, and she and her husband have 18 children. They're now pregnant with #19 and they hope to have more. In their defense, they are able to support their children on their own, and they genuinely seem to love them all, but COME ON PEOPLE. God loves children, but he's seen enough of yours.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

19 kids and counting

Michelle Duggar is pregnant with her 19th child.

That is all.