Friday, December 23, 2011

Tamara's Story Part 2

In my culture in Utah --where I was primarily raised-- most women had a few little ones by 30, so it was so pleasant to hear at our first consultation just how young I was.  The doctor probably said 5 times...'well, we have plenty of time since you're so young' and 'since you're so young...'.  It was great!  They also were saying things like 60% chance of a baby, and 50% chance of twins.  These were odds I was willing to pay $10,000 dollars for.  And we did--we'll we would have. There are 7 or so states in the nation that have a mandatory policy that insurance must cover at least 50% of IVF (and in MD it was more).  We were so lucky (or guided?) to live in Maryland and ended up spending only $500 dollars to get pregnant.  Our first try with IVF was a success so we felt very lucky.

We had what they refer to as-- unexplained infertility.  Which just meant to me that they hadn't been able to figure out what was going wrong yet.  I always thought to myself 'give it 5 years and the technology will exist to find out what's wrong'-- and in 5 years it did.  We are now embarking on our second IVF journey and have discovered a few things.  First, we know that my husband has a low motility rate.  Plenty of swimmers...they just don't travel.  You'd think the six IUI attempts we've done trying to get our second baby would have solved that problem, but no, it didn't.  

So we're back...contemplating a second round of IVF. Second, we've learned the hard way, that my body doesn't respond to the major IVF drugs as quickly as hoped initially for someone as young (love that:) as me, and that we only produced 6 viable eggs and only 1 embryo that fertilized (which is our daughter Miranda--3 years old in February).  The third thing we've learned in our IVF trials is that once you do get pregnant you are just as susceptible to problems as any other pregnant women.  I went into labor at 28 weeks and Miranda was born weighing only 2.5 pounds.  She was in the hospital due to prematurity for 2 months.  She is now a bouncy almost 3 year old and can talk in full sentences, run, jump and be sassy to her parents, so I think we (again) got lucky there.

It was a sobering lesson that all pregnant women--whether it took them 3 years to get pregnant or 3 days--can have problems and it's one we hope not to repeat.  We've also learned that you don't always have to follow the rules.  In our first IVF cycle (and so far only) we opted not to have the progesterone shot that needed to be administered in the buttocks every night and felt like peanut butter.  We decided to try the progesterone vaginal cream, and since we have baby #1 we think it worked well not to have to have those horrible shots.  It was sort of experimental at the time, but is hopefully (for all those sore buttock out there) more mainstream now.  I hope to be able to convince our Utah doctors of a new idea I've been brewing up (probably not the first they've heard of this, but definitely the first I've heard of it).  My idea is to put me on a high dose of Clomid and create the eggs that way instead of the nasty shots and blood draws that are 3/4 of the IVF pain, and THEN extract the eggs for fertilization.  Since we've learned that my eggs are not the problem, I think this an obvious solution.  We have a looming consultation in the next few months were I will be bringing this up for discussion, so that future is not yet decided. But we are actively moving forward to add more children into our family.

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