Thursday, June 11, 2009

Patience... I know it's around here somewhere.

Still speculating... still wondering. What will my exact IVF protocol be? If you can't tell, I'm getting a little antsy!

My goal by the end of this weekend is to continue educating myself enough so that I'll be able to understand if the protocol I'm given seems right for me. No, I am not a doctor, nor will I claim to be once I'm thru researching. We are, however, investing a lot in this cycle: physically, emotionally and financially. I see no reason why I shouldn't be proactive with this as I am with buying a home or switching jobs. This is just as important, and arguably MORE important, than either of those. Our family tree is at stake here!

Why is the IVF protocol so important?
As Dr. Geoffrey Sher's states in his book on IVF, titled The A.R.T of Making Babies, "In order for any organism to attain an optimal state of maturation (ripening) it must first undergo full growth and development. A fruit plucked from a tree before having developed fully or a poorly developed fruit might still ripen (mature) on the shelf and might even appear as enticing as one that had previously undergone proper development, but it will lack the same quality. The same principles apply to the development and maturation of human eggs."

I love, love, love this analogy. Comparing the ripening of fruit to a woman's eggs just makes so much sense to me. This is exactly why I am taking the time and energy to try and make sure the protocol I'll be given is the right one for me - especially since I have PCOS. The protocol, or meds, they put me on will directly contribute to how my eggs will develop which is a HUGE part of whether or not we will be successful (not the entire variable, but a big one none the less). Don't misunderstand me, please. I do fully trust my doctor. He is a brilliant and very kind man. I am sure that he and his staff will do whatever they possibly can to insure we have successful cycle. Even still, I know I will rest easier knowing that I fully understand his decision and that I've researched enough to have full and complete faith that what we go forward with really does make the most sense for us.

Attempting to avert regrets

What if we don't have a successful cycle?

In truth, this is hugely possible, so I think the "what ifs" make a lot of sense here. If that happens, we'll naturally wonder what might have gone wrong. I'm sure we'll have a follow-up appointment with the doctor in order to review and develop a game plan for #2. If at that point in time something in our conversation comes up that I questioned internally prior to and during that cycle, but didn't say anything about, I won't be able to forgive myself. We are investing way too much in this cycle to not do our homework and feel good about things going into, during and after. However, if I DO research and ask questions about anything I am curious about or feel uncomfortable with and get those things resolved, and we still don't have a successful cycle (which I know is very possible), I will feel good that everyone involved did what they felt was right.

I'm only half way through this book, but I cannot say enough great things about it. (I promise to do a book review on it soon! It's too good to keep secret!)


The day following down payment, I e-mailed Mary, the clinical coordinator at SIRM. I was told to call her on day 1 of bleeding, but since I'm an irregular cycler, I needed further instruction. My first impression was FANTASTIC! She was quick to respond with a very detailed and personable e-mail. She asked what day I'm currently on (at the time it was CD 30) and then a day later, she responded to let me know she phoned in a script for Provera. Today is day 7 of 10 pills total. My husband's response to Provera, "So I guess that means we're officially starting our IVF protocol"... yeah, I guess you COULD say that!!

How our IVF cycle will work from a high level
Then, because I couldn't stand not knowing and all the girls on the SIRM forum recommended it, I e-mailed her again to ask how the process works from a high level (since we're new, I have no clue other than what I've heard). She said (paraphrased): You will find out your protocol at your calendar review and will be getting a prescription for all meds then as well. The cycle begins on 8/3 so that week and the following week, you will be in our office sometimes daily (especially the first week) for ultrasounds. The egg retrieval (ER) will fall over the first weekend, then embryo transfer (ET) will fall 3, 5, or 6 days after the ER. Peggy will be your IVF coordinator and should be contacting you soon to set up the calendar review appt. You will go over everything at the review. Between now and then, it looks like all your pre-cycle testing is complete with the exception of your husbands blood work. Be sure to contact me on day 1 of your next period so that you can start the BCP. From that point on, all will fall into place. You'll be seen for the calendar review and again on 8/3 for the first of your monitoring ultrasounds. As mentioned earlier, you will be in the office frequently from that point on 10-14 days. You'll find out if you're pregnant about a week or so after your ET.

Sooo... now I am informed, but still have a lot of questions. Based on this, that makes it seem as though I will NOT begin as early as I last thought. Clearly, this just re-enforces the fact that I have a lot of research to do. We (yes me AND my husband) have been reading Dr. Sher's book every night this week! At my request, of course ;) I feel like we have a small window of time in which we both need to learn a lot and be on the same page with our information. So, after a little push, he agreed to do so. I am so thankful for this because he is MUCH sharper than I am and it is so nice to have a second brain processing all of this info. My hope is that we'll have enough questions formed by early next week so that I can dig a little deeper to see what is next for us.

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Anonymous June 12, 2009 at 6:56 AM  

My dear,
believe when i say I can completely understand your need to know exactly what's going to happen in your IVF cycle. My husband and I are both scientists so we MUST know the details in scientific terms of everything that is going on.
BUT. The experience made us a bit wiser. There were so many different things we could not foresee, so many things that were adjusted along the way, doubts, uncertainty and stress (a lot of it!) that I would certainly encourage you to learn as much as possible but to keep an open mind to the fact that it is likely that you will have to face the unexpected! Lots of love, Fran

Jess June 13, 2009 at 1:22 AM  

Hi Cathy!

I want to thank you for your sweet made me smile and made me feel better knowing I'm not alone (not that I am happy to share this with you.) I haven't had a chance to read any of your blogs (I just got off work) but I plan to.

Thank you for the info on metformin. I'm not all convinced I need it but I'm taking it for the time being since it was prescribed to me by my dr.

Jess June 13, 2009 at 1:31 AM  

I just read your about me...thank you for sharing your story with me (by commenting on my blog). I just added myself as a follower and I will be here rooting you on and praying with your through the rest of your journey. I can't wait to see you get a BFP and a beautiful, healthy baby! I have faith we will both achieve our is just scary sometimes and the financial part gets to me but like you, I'll do anything to be a mom. We are also not covered by our insurance for any IF treatments.

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