Monday, August 29, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011


It's been a crazy summer. The FET, YW Camp (SO FUN), the miscarriage (really really not so fun), Sawyer's pre-kindergarten evaluations, and now we're gearing up for IVF #3.

After a lot of thought and discussion we decided to switch doctors. Our previous fertility clinic did a lot of great things for us, but increasingly we were running into problems there. For one thing it's about an hour away from where we live - it used to be the closest option, but we have moved three times since we started going there in 2003. In recent years they have downsized, and the office is severely understaffed. It was normal to sit in the waiting room for an hour before an appointment. There is only one coordinating nurse, and many times I called with a question only to find out she had already left for the day around 2:00 pm. I found this extremely stressful. And heaven knows IVF is stressful enough without stuff like that.

Before we could switch to a new clinic, we needed to get a copy of our records to bring to our new doctor. Sounds simple enough right? Wrong. It took an entire month of making phone calls to make this happen. The receptionist kept brushing me off and telling me she would get to it the next day (or week). She was actually quite rude about it and lied several times (she told me more than once that some of the records were stored off site and I later learned that this was not at all true.) Meanwhile, we were starting to get stressed because without the records we'd have to delay for an entire month. We did some research and found out that they are legally required to provide copies of our records within 15 days of requesting them. So we threatened legal action (I had Eric call, he's much better at being a jerk than I am) and guess what? The next day those copies were in my hands. We were still a bit on the fence about switching before this happened, and this made the decision MUCH easier.

We had a consultation with the new doctor the last week in July and were very impressed with him and the office. Besides the fact that they have an office ten minutes from our house (hallelujah!) it's the largest fertility center in our area, their success rates are some of the best in the country, and they have an extremely efficient system in place. This morning was my first real appointment (day 3 ultrasound and bloodwork) and not only did I not have to wait at all once I got there, I was in and out of the office in 20 minutes. It did feel a bit impersonal, like going through a factory, but I think it's a good tradeoff.

The best part about the new center so far is probably my nurse, C. She is about my age, and so nice - totally the kind of person I would want to be friends with. Every time I've left her a voicemail or sent an email she has responded within 1 hour. We haven't spent a lot of time with the new doctor, but he comes highly recommended (we know three couples who have gone to him in the past). He doesn't seem to be as personable as Dr. A, but he definitely knows what he's doing - and I hate to say it, but based on previous experience I'll take medical expertise and a well-run office over bedside manner any day.

Today's appointment went well, hormone levels are where they're supposed to be and uterus looks good. I picked up my prescription for OCPs (birth control pills) and I start taking them tonight. After some tweaking of the schedule to accommodate Erin's wedding (yay!) the rest of the cycle looks like this:

Lupron Trigger Protocol (High Responder Antagonist Protocol)  

August 19 - September 2 
-Take OCPs. 
-Day 3 bloodwork and ultrasound (done.) 
-Bloodwork for Eric and me (infectious disease panel for Eric, blood type, varicella and rubella titers for me.) 
-Mock embryo transfer. 
-Get clearance from hematologist to begin OCPs and Lovenox (done.)
September 3 - Pre-IVF bloodwork and ultrasound; sign all consent forms
September 6 - Start stims (Follistim 150 IU and Menopur 75 IU - these drugs stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple follicles/eggs)
September 11 - Start Ganirelix (this prevents eggs from being released before retrieval)
September 15 - Trigger injection (Lupron - helps mature eggs release so they can be retreived)
September 16 - Bloodwork - LH and P4 testing 
September 17 - Egg retrieval (I'll be under IV sedation, which will be awesome)
September 20 or 22 - Embryo transfer. (The exact date will depend on how well the embryos are growing in the lab - the 22nd would be optimal.)

Starting around Sept 11 the dates are a bit more approximate since everything depends on how well I'm responding to the drugs. I might need to be on them for longer or shorter than planned. We'll hope for shorter. I have become pretty tough about needles, I still don't want to be pricked any more than I have to.

Here we go... again!

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