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Aftermath - Elizabeth Unexplained
Lots of data but no answers
Anyone who has ever taken progesterone in oil shots will be pleased to know that they are, in fact, necessary. I only had two this past time, what with not having anything to transfer. Yesterday, only ten days after retrieval the blood started, with a vengance. Obviously the retrieval did indeed muck with my ability to produce progesterone of my own, and thus next time we do IVF I will know that the shots are indeed necessary, not that I really doubted it.

There will be a next time. I am not going to give up on this. The debrief is set of July 9th. I have some questions, but I'm not too hopeful of getting the answers I want. Basically, I'm convinced that RSC screwed this one up, though I think the drug change hurt instead of helped. Really, I doubt that our doctor knows the particulars of what the folks at RSC do since they're essentially outsourcing the retrieval/transfer component to them, but it doesn't hurt to ask. The debrief may in fact be a goodbye. If RSC is our only option using Harvard Vanguard doctors then that will be it. We'll go elsewhere. I'm not sure exactly where yet. I'm still researching the answer, but the tea leaves are starting to look like they say 'go to Cornell'.
7 comments or Leave a comment
mjperson From: mjperson Date: July 2nd, 2007 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)


By 'go to Cornell', you don't actually mean 'move to Ithaca for a few months', right? Or is that the thing to do?
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: July 3rd, 2007 12:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Cornell?

Well, you're close, but not quite. What it will probably mean is moving into a hotel room in NYC for two weeks to go to the top IVF clinic in the country, which is associated with the place in Ithica.
enugent From: enugent Date: July 2nd, 2007 05:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I lived closer, we might be going to Cornell from day 1. (Speaking of day 1, I'm CD1 today, so it looks like the laparoscopy next week is on. And unless it reveals something really unexpected, I think we'll be doing at least one IVF cycle after that.)
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: July 3rd, 2007 12:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, sorry the IUI didn't work. Good luck with the lap!
outerjenise From: outerjenise Date: July 11th, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

There are alternatives

A friend tipped me off to the fact that you're having problems with your fertility treatments. I and many other people I know have successfully used Boston IVF, and I can happily recommend them. Long ago, I went to BIVF through Harvard Vanguard, so I'm surprised that they directed you to RSC. BIVF has insurance counselors who can help you negotiate the evil insurance maze. But you really don't need to go to Cornell to get excellent fertility care. BIVF is one of the best centers in the nation, and it's right in Waltham.

Also, I'm surprised that you used the progesterone oil. I found progesterone injections very painful and have permanent nerve damage on my right flank from them. There are alternatives, most notably vaginal suppositories, that work as well or better, since they are closer to where you need the progesterone. It sounds to me like RSC is behind the times.

Give me a call anytime if you'd like to chat.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: July 13th, 2007 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: There are alternatives

Harvard Vanguard no longer works with Boston IVF. I'd be happy to hear in depth about how it went for you.
outerjenise From: outerjenise Date: July 13th, 2007 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: There are alternatives

Okay, here's the short version. After spending a couple of years figuring out everything that's wrong with me (hypothyroidism, endometriosis, insulin resistance, and polycystic ovary syndrome), we did an operative laparoscopy to clear out the endo and then proceeded with IVF. In the first cycle, I was overstimulated. The nurses monitoring me took me off the Fertinex completely, resulting in extremely poor egg quality. Only two ova fertilized, and transfer did not result in implantation.

In my second cycle, my doctor (who has since retired), monitored me very carefully, and I produced a nice crop of about 9 ova, 6 of which fertilized. We transfered two and froze two more batches of two. Again, the transfer did not work.

About this time, my endo was getting pretty bad again. I went on depot lupron for 6 months, then had a second, much more successful operative laparoscopy done by a specialist. I realized that I couldn't handle both stress from my job and the stress of infertility, so I quit my job.

Once I was fully recovered from the lap, we did a thaw cycle and transfered two embryos. They did implant, but I spontaneously miscarried at 6.5 weeks. This was completely devastating. I cannot express the grief and rage I felt. Soon after, I enrolled in a Mind/Body Infertility workshop at BIVF. This helped tremendously. Stress is such a major factor in fertility, and learning to cope with it not only improved my general attitude and well-being, it also improved my fertility.

The following spring, we did another thaw cycle and again conceived. This time, the miscarriage happened at about 3 weeks. We were much better prepared for it this time, but it was still hard.

At this point, I was very close to giving up. What I didn't understand was the therapeutic effect of being pregnant, even for a short period of time. Six weeks later, I miraculously conceived naturally and carried my first daughter, Annelise, to term. I breastfed her for two years, and just as I was starting to wean her, and as she was starting to sleep through the night, give us some much needed private time, I conceived spontaneously again and gave birth last March to our second daughter.

BIVF was extremely helpful and supportive all the way through. They were very patient, answering all our questions (we came in with a list every time), demonstrating how to inject drugs, giving us tips like having sex before a transfer to prep your body to receive the embryo, etc. I would not hesitate to recommend them. My doctor there, Dr. Huang, who specialized in PCOS, has since moved to RSC. I can recommend two other doctors that I worked with, though: Dr. Penzias and Dr. Obasiolu (hope I'm spelling that right). I know several people who have successfully gotten pregnant using their services, including three women in their 40s. I also can't recommend the Mind/Body workshop enough. It will equip you with practical and emotional tools to get through the ordeal of infertility treatment.

If you have any questions or would like a more detailed account, let me know.
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