Sunday, May 23, 2010

ICLW - Getting To Know Me

Welcome ICLWers! I can't believe it's already been a month and we're back again. I just want to thank you visiting my humble blog.

To help you get to know me a bit better and for a quick introduction, I've listed a few interesting facts about myself below. Good luck to each and every one of you, wherever you are in your journey!

- I'm starting IVF #2 because IVF #1 was unsuccessful. I have a different doctor this time around so I'm hoping for better results.

- Doc (my better half) and I love to travel. We're leaving for Puerto Rico on Tuesday. So far, we've been to: France, Italy, England, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Mongolia, China, Korea, Indonesia, Russia, Malaysia, India, Japan, South Africa, Mauritius, Reunion, Tanzania, Mozambique, Barbados, Dominica, Canada, Mexico and a slew of U.S. states.

- I'm growing my own vegetables for the first time and have planted some herbs and zucchini (I read that zucchinis are the easiest veggies and good for first time growers)

- I live in the SF Bay Area and I love it. I was born in NY, but was raised in the Bay Area from about 1 until I went off to college. I went to college in NY and spent some time in LA, but San Francisco is where my heart is (please don't call it Frisco).

- I work for the Department of Energy as a Compensation Consultant. I used to work for a large HR consulting firm where I worked as an Executive Compensation Consultant, but it got a bit too stressful. Working with Boards of Directors and Execs in determining their comp can be very, very demanding (talk about prima donnas). So, I decided to take a break and work for the government.

- And lastly, I love peanut butter. YUM!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Five Thousand

That was the price of my meds this time around. It's like some Mastercard commercial.

Pre-cycle tests: $2,500
Infertility meds: $5,000
IVF: $11,000
Having a little mini-me: Priceless

I was telling Doc that instead of selling vico.din on the street, people should start selling folli.stim. Ounce for ounce, I think foll.istim is way more expensive than any narcotic. Freakin' liquid gold and that's all I've got to say about that.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I can't believe it. I tested heterozygous for the a1298c mutation (MTHFR), so Dr. Zed has me taking prescription strength Folgard AND heparin (2x/day).

This means I'll be doing EIGHT shots everyday. EIGHT!! In ten days of stimulation, that will be EIGHTY shots. God...the things we go through.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Doc vs Dr

Two posts in one day! Yeah, well, just as I finished post #1, I noticed an email from Dr. Zed's office and it appears that I've tested positive for one of the antiphospholipid antibodies. Well, actually, she said I was borderline and as a result, I'll not only be on low-dose aspirin but also on heparin.

I emailed the info to Doc and he's none too happy about placing me on heparin based of one borderline blood test. He thinks that Dr. Zed's recommendation is overkill and unnecessary. Now, I'm not too sure about the side effects of heparin other than it's a blood thinner, but if it helps me to get pregnant then I'm willing to go with it.

However, that's not how Doc feels and I have a really bad feeling he's going to go head-to-head with Dr. Zed. I guess there's a "rule" amongst doctors that you don't question other doctors' protocols or recommendations, particularly if it's not in your speciality, but I have a feeling that Doc is going to break this rule. Crap...I may have to do some intervention before the "fight" breaks.


Nothing new to report on the IVF end. Today we have a conference call with a genetics counselor. Basically, $350 spent to tell us we have no known genetic issues. I'm really not sure why we have to do this, but it's required by Dr. Zed. And, I'm waiting on my MTHFR test which is taking a very long time.

But, on a happier note, we're leaving for Puerto Rico in less than two weeks! Doc loves planning vacations, so he's planned some scuba diving, hiking in the rain forest, horseback riding, and a zipline/canopy tour. It'll be a packed six days in PR with not a lot of downtime, but that's how we like to roll.

As soon as we get back, assuming that AF shows up before June 1st, I'll be back in the IVF saddle getting cozy with the vagiwand with my first in-cycle ultrasound. There won't be a lot to do until then except start taking estrace on CD20.

I've been reading up about estrogen priming and I guess a lot of docs do this protocol differently. Dr. Zed has me on 4mg of estrace taken orally (2mg in the AM; 2 mg in the PM) from CD 20 all the way to my HCG shot. Other docs have shorter protocols incorporated with ganirelix, but I'm assuming that Dr. Zed knows what he's doing, so I'm going to go with it.

For all you wondering IVF minds out there, I got my dosage information for my stims. So as you know, Dr. Zed is a big proponent of starting out strong and then curbing back, if necessary. He says it's much easier to do that than the other way around. So, he's got me on 225IU of foll.istim twice a day (total: 450IU) and 75IU of meno.pur twice a day (total: 150IU). It's the same dosage of meno.pur I was on in my last cycle, but 150IU more of the foll.istim and since I'm taking each of these meds twice a day, I'll be doing at least 4 shots plus the shots for micro.dose lu.pron. Let the bruises begin!

I'm so glad that we're getting this vacation in before starting IVF #2. I already feel more relaxed, but that may just be that I know what to expect.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Whole Lot of Hocus Pocus?

At least that's Doc's opinion on the whole thing. Our new doctor, Dr. Zed, comes with rave reviews and accolades from many women, including those who have been unsuccessful with IVF elsewhere, but I guess some of his methods are slightly unconventional. He tends to test for a whole lot of stuff that Doc and other fertility clinics think are way over the top.

For example, he tested me for MTHFR (which is not uncommon) but he also tested me for NK assay, TH1/TH2 Intracellular Cytokines, Anti-phospholipid Antibodies, Anti-thyrobglobulin Antibodies, and Anti-microsomal Antibodies. So far, I've tested negative for most of them and we're waiting for the results on the rest. All of these tests are immunology related and I guess (based on what Doc has told me) it's very rare for people to have these issues. Hence, his doubt on the necessity of these tests and his skepticism regarding Dr. Zed's medical philosophy. In other words, he thinks that Dr. Zed is using a machine gun to hunt a rabbit.

Now, my thought is that obviously something is going right with Dr. Zed's practice because a lot of women who have been unsuccessful have gotten pregnant with Dr. Zed. And if it's because of his hocus-pocus medical practices, then fine, I'm all up for a bit of magic if that's what it takes. The downside of all of this though is that his hocus-pocus is not for free nor is it included in the price of the IVF. It's all extra and it starts to add up.

Dr. Zed is recommending that I do an intralipid infusion even though I tested negative for NK cells. I think it's mainly because he believes something is going on with implantation and that an intralipid infusion may be able to help and at the very least it won't do any damage. But, that costs an additional $700. Seven hundred bucks is a lot of money to spend on something that may help but probably won't.

So, right now, I'm putting all my money on Dr. Zed and hoping that he'll work his magic and all his hocus-pocus will pay off in the end.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Good To Go

I had my ultrasound and antral follicle count with Dr. Zed yesterday and I'm set to go. No cysts, lining is nice and thin, and I have 10-11 follicles waiting to get started.

His thinking is that with an antral follicle count at around 10, I should have almost no chance of OHSS, so he's going to start me with a pretty aggressive dose of stims. I will not be taking BCPs, but rather, will be starting on estrace beginning cycle day 20, all the way through to the day of my trigger. Stims will be started right after I get back from our vacation (we're going to Puerto Rico) at the beginning of June.

Now all I'm waiting for is to hear back regarding my immunology tests. If anything comes back positive and I have to take meds, it may set back my IVF start date. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I won't have any issues.

As for the office and Dr. Zed, they're both really nice. His office is very quiet compared to Dr. P's office (probably because Dr. Zed is a one-man show). He's a super nice guy and is very thorough. He explained everything during the ultrasound and didn't seemed rushed at all.

I'm a bit scared to say this because I feel I might jinx something, but I'm feeling pretty good about this round of IVF. We'll see how it goes!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 1 - Take 2

It's Day 1 for me again and although AF showed up, I'm not surprised nor am I sad. I'm actually relieved because we can get this show on the road.

I realized it's going to be a bit more complicated this time around because we're going out of the Big-K network and so, blood tests and prescriptions won't be as easy to fill. I also have a lot more doctor's appointments because Dr. Zed is a lot more thorough (maybe also known as being anal). He's having me do an immunology panel with testing for certain antibodies and MTHFR, and a consultation with a genetic counselor. I also have to get my primary care doc to sign-off on a health form and get a recent pap smear.

Tomorrow is my ultrasound and antral follicle count, so wish me luck! It'll be my first time going to his office, so I'm hoping that I like the staff. So far, things have seemed pretty good. They're very responsive and friendly.

Venting Vagina and Sienna from It's Baby Time will also be doing their IVFs in June, so please, please send out good vibes to all of us. Ladies, I'm counting on some BFPs from our group!!