Friday, May 29, 2009

I'm Back...

Hey Guys,

With a huge sigh of relief, I am back form California and an happy to report that everything went very well.

Meeting my Donors parents was actually a very welcome treat and I was worrying over nothing. I will not lie it was still a very emotional ordeal and try as I did, I still ended up crying in front of them. But it was okay because this journey has been filled with lots of emotion and lots of tears, that not all of which have been shed out of sadness. For me to deny my tears would be unfair to everyone who has an emotional stake in this journey. Any way all I can say about it is, "Waterproof mascara rocks". Once again the title of this blog seems to fit and I am reminded why I chose it because, "LIFE is not a guided tour" and creating life has not come with an instruction manual or a map that says X marks the spot.

So the next step in the journey is to actually do the IVF right? Wrong... Ah Drats!

But alas... Since a year has passed since my last cycle, I get to do all the testing over again. Anyone want to do my sonohysterogram for me? For those of you that follow but don't know the infertility lingo, I will explain since I know this is all Greek to you guys. Think of a woman's uterus as an empty balloon. With a sonohysterogram they fill the uterus with saline, kind of like filling a balloon with water, this pulls the uterine walls apart so they can better see if there are any abnormalities in the uterus with an ultrasound. This test will usually show 90% of abnormalities. I know that my friends with endometriosis will like to disagree with that statistic because endo can be hard to see on an ultrasound.

Anyway, since I have no symptoms of endometriosis and never have let us assume that it is not there but... I think I am going to request that they take a look for it anyway since my insurance covers it and I want to improve my chances of this working as much as possible. So I am going to sign up for the laparoscopy. I can handle the laparoscopy because for that procedure you are knocked out. Again for those that are new to infertility I shall explain. A laparoscopy is where they make a small incision near your belly button and insert a camera into your abdominal wall. This allows the doctor to see if there is any endometrium (the lining that forms inside the uterus where a baby would attach) growing outside the uterus in places where it should not such as on the fallopian tubes or the ovaries or even the intestines etc. etc. etc. The laparoscopy is a great thing because if the doctor finds any endometrium where it should not be, they can surgically remove it at the same time and this can improve your pregnancy rates but can also improve the outcome of your stimulation cycle because if there is any endometriosis on your ovaries it could be interfering with your egg quality and quantity. Removing endometriosis before an IVF stimulation cycle (where you inject hormones to produce lots of eggs so the doctor can retrieve them) can improve the number and quality of the eggs that are produced. The better the quality and number the better your chances of achieving pregnancy. So I have contacted my doctor and have thrown out the suggestion that since last time was such an epic failure, that maybe before we move forward with our very very expensive compassionate donor sperm that we should really rule out that there is nothing "wrong" with me.

So I will keep all posted on that because if we do the laparoscopy and they find some endo, I am thinking about seeing a very controversial doctor in New York for a very controversial treatment. However controversial it may seem, most insurances cover it and him. Even if they don't find any endo I am thinking that I may see him any way. I will simply provide you with the doctors name and you can research his treatments on your own. Because of his success rates following his therapy, my very well respected IVF clinic has been working with him and he also comes highly recommended by many in the RESOLVE community (national infertility support group). Any way his name is Dr. Toth and he performs a controversial antibiotic therapy where antibiotics are placed directly into the uterus to kill off any harmful bacteria that it may he housing and that may be making it difficult to get pregnant. Again controversial therapy and doctor but insurance usually covers him and the treatment and he come highly recommended. Besides I have never been to New York so at minimum it will knock another state off of my 50 States Goal. (basically I want to visit each of the 50 states at least once in my life). At best Dr. Toth will be another person we can thank after we get pregnant.

I had day 3 labs done last month along with TSH and T4 just to check that my hormone levels were still looking "normal". They do, but since I have no thyroid and it has taken nearly a year for us to get my thyroid levels normal and they kind of went a little wacky during my last FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer), we will be checking my day 3 labs monthly till I start my stimulation, then we will be checking all my levels every other day.

Despite all of this medical crap in front of me. For the first time I have this strange sense of calm about the whole thing. My last few simulations and suppression had me a little nerve wracked at the prospect. I don't know if it is because I am getting used to the process or what, but I feel so much more at ease about that whole thing. I have had no headaches or panic attacks as the time approaches. Maybe it is because blogging is helping me to cope with it all. I hope that this is a good sign.

My love and gratitude to my readers, I know that there are not many of you but your support is huge to me.

Alas, I have few pictures of California. I have a few of me hanging out with my Mom and brother but I have few of the Capoeira event as photography was not allowed. Once I have thing in more order, I will post what photos I do have.

Dora please, if you do not mind, please share with us all what you know about the FDA waiver. While I know the guidelines are set up to protect us, they can be a little annoying. So I would like to know more and there maybe others out there that would like to know as well.



  1. I'm happy to share the info. As I emailed you, I downloaded a pdf of the regulation (Part 52) from the NYS Dept of Health website. ( The pertinent paragraph (which I copied below) is on pages 68-69. The person I spoke to at the Dept of Health said that allowing a waiver of the quarantine is at the doctor's discretion.

    "52-8.6(e) Subsequent to testing as required in subdivision (b) of this section, all donated semen shall be frozen and quarantined for six months. After such time and prior to release of the semen for artificial insemination or assisted reproductive procedures, the donor shall be retested for HBsAg and antibodies to HIV-1, HIV-2, HCV and HBc. If the semen to be released originates from a directed donor, the recipient may be given the opportunity to waive the quarantine period in writing after being advised by the director, his/her designee, or the physician performing the insemination of the risks involved in doing so. In such cases, each of the tests required in paragraphs (a)(1), (2) and (3) of this section, except tests for ABO and Rh blood groups, must have been performed after a date one month prior to the first donation and every three months thereafter, while the donor is engaged in donation."

  2. Welcome back !
    I am so glad that meeting the donor parents went well as I know you were dreading it.

    I think having a plan always takes a lot of the stress off, just having that next step makes it feel easier.

    Good luck with all the testing, hoping everything is all clear and gorgeous in there :)

    Look forward to seeing the pics!

  3. Hi, here from the L&F. My husband and I are dealing with severe MF; we bypassed IVF/ICSI and went to IUIs with donor sperm to forgo dealing with a few of my husband's genetic issues.

    Hoping that all the testing goes well, and good luck in your journey.