I thought I’d go ahead and give a little update with where are now and where we are going. We saw that doctor last Friday to discuss my last early loss and what our next steps are with regards to trying to get (and stay) pregnant. Ultimately, he is still feeling very positive that I am going to become pregnant – and did point to the fact that I’ve gotten pregnant twice as a positive sign (despite the fact that it doesn’t MATTER if I can’t hold onto it).
We had a lot of questions for him. He had answers for us.
One of the things that I like about my doctor is that he never really pushes you into doing something. He will subtlety guide you in the direction he’d like to see you go, but will remain completely open to what you want to do. I knew that there had been some discussion with the nurses about moving into IVF, which I’m not opposed to doing, but remained concerned that IVF wasn’t going to solve my early loss issues. So we talked quite a bit with the doctor about this.
Ultimately, it sounds like he still believes that my losses are likely the result of a genetic abnormality in the embryo. So we are running a few more tests and both Robert and I had blood work sent down to a lab in California for testing. I also had some additional lab work run on just me. These are the last series of tests to be run. On my chart, all of the boxes will now be filled with lab results. I don’t know what we expect these results to show, but at least we will have ruled everything out.
Additionally, the doctor wants me to have a Saline Infusion Sonohysterography (SHG) completed. This is a procedure where they will place a saline solution into my uterine cavity and ultrasound my uterus. The purpose of this test is to look for any abnormalities within my uterine cavity, such as polyps, fibroids or cysts that may be causing, or contributing to miscarriages. I’m not entirely sure what I’m expecting them to see/find, but it’s one more test to check off the list and one more thing to review for potential problems.
The doctor is also having both Robert and I do a ten day antibiotic treatment together, in the off chance that we are passing some sort of bacteria between the two of us – and I was actually happy to hear him recommend this, as it is one of the things I’d read about doctors doing. However, after my bout with C. Diff. and my digestive tract still being a little out of whack, I’m a little nervous about an extended antibiotic treatment. Nonetheless, we are going to move forward with it. I’ll just keep pumping probiotics into my system and having some frozen yogurt every day (I can’t stand regular yogurt! But many frozens still have active cultures in them).
In our chat about next steps, the doctor indicated that moving into IVF he recommends that we do a process known as Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), given our losses and my age. Robert and I haven’t decided on this yet, and are doing a little more research into the pros and cons of the process, as well as the extra cost (which we haven’t confirmed, but are guessing my insurance won’t cover). We have a reconference with the doctor on the 18th, and will have a few more questions for him regarding the PGD testing. We don’t have to make a decision on it yet, but we do want to be fully informed in order to make the best decision for us.
If you have any factual information or resources on PGD, I’d love to hear/read them. However, please note that I am NOT interested in your opinions on if you think PGD is “right” or “wrong”. That is a decision for Robert and I to make – and since we are both fairly big believers in science, you aren’t going to sway me by telling me I should not play god – you are just going to piss me off. So just don’t.
I guess that brings us to what, exactly, are we going to do next. I know I mentioned that the doctor seemed optimistic about our chances of a successful pregnancy – and addressed most of our concerns (figuring out why we are miscarrying, prolonged use of ovulation stimulation medication, not wanting to utilize a donor egg for IVF, etc.). He was also very impressed with how well I respond to the letrozole treatment that we’ve been doing for the past 8 months, indicating that I have an above average response to the drug. And in his subtle way, despite our conversations regarding IVF, he seemed inclined to do a couple more IUIs and see where they went, and/or if the additional testing revealed anything.
While we are worried about my age, IVF is also a very invasive and difficult procedure. I very much want to get pregnant, but I also want to make sure that we’ve explored every option. As such, we decided to do up to three more IUIs. If the test results come back and indicate we should move into IVF before then, we will. If I have another loss, we will go ahead and move into IVF. And if I just decide that I’m fed up and done with IUIs, we will also move into IVF.
The doctor DID say that if we do three more IUIs and aren’t successful, we need to seriously consider IVF as our next treatment. And I’m onboard with that. I probably would have been on board if his inclination had been to move into IVF now. If I’m being 100% honest, part of the reason I’m doing a couple more IUIs is to make sure we’ve met the insurance guidelines, without question, for moving onto IVF. And I guess since I’m being honest, I’m also not sure I’ll make it three more IUI cycles before saying “fuck it” and moving forward.
Although, there are some benefits to taking a few more months before IVF. I’ve been steadily losing weight – and the more I am able to lose the better off everything will be. Hopefully in the next few months my medications will have my CRP/inflamation down to “normal”, or at least less high, levels. Which would also be good. And while it’s not huge on our priority list – a couple of months will also give us time to make sure our finances are in order if the insurance doesn’t cover the PGD testing and we opt to do it anyhow (which is the way I think I am leaning right now). And – who knows – maybe I’ll get pregnant again and this one will stick, rendering all of the above moot.
Anyhow…we hiked up to Tolmie Peak on Mt. Rainier the week before last and I thought I’d share some pictures. We are going up again this weekend since the cloud cover never lifted last time so we didn’t get the view from the top of the peak, but the view from the hike up was still pretty beautiful!