Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Money's Worth

I didn't receive any new news or shocking revelations yesterday at the appointment with the doctor. He still holds true to wanting me to pursue a gestational carrier and do IVF. He's wanted me to do this since day one.

He pulled out the scary statistics once again (thankfully, he has them secured in my chart so he can conveniently flip to them should I get too hopeful and he feel the need to reign me in) -- a 30% live birth rate from some study in 2005 and then some seven-year-old, outdated study from Finland where they studied a whopping 8 people and only got a 5% live birth rate. To his defense, he didn't put much stock in the Finnish study -- something about low pregnancy rates and them drinking a lot of vodka over there anyway. But I digress.

When we first walked in, we sat down and I pulled out my notebook full of questions and after some small talk, I fired away. One after another after another. Let's just say I got my money's worth. My husband was mortified after about 45 minutes of it, but I was paying him for every minute he sat there, and after everything I've been through, what happened with my last cycle and the money I've spent at that place, I deserved to have every question answered. And I didn't feel one bit bad about it.

My first question? What happened with my last cycle. "You have a hair-trigger ovary. They were slow to respond at first because of the PCOS, so we kept the dosage higher, but then they took off and we couldn't reign them back in. You'll make a lot of eggs for IVF and your ovaries are good, it's the PCOS that makes ovulation induction hard." At that explanation, I was good to move on. It's in the past now.

We talked about the UU at length again. I asked him about why he thought the tube was bad. He said there's no way to tell, but that because the uterus forms from the fallopian tubes and the fact that my uterus is malformed and is a birth defect makes them suspect something is also wrong with the tube.

I decided to go on glucophage to help me ovulate, so we talked about that and then after a while he stopped me and brought me back to the IVF and GC as to what he believed should be my main focus. I thanked him and he gave me a BBT chart and told me how to use it to track ovulation while on glucophage. Yeah, I think I know how to use one of those by now considering I AM AT A FERTILITY CLINIC NOW AND ALL, but thanks. I used those back when TTC was fun.

Aside from all of this, the RE is such a darn nice guy. I must say I appreciate him not wanting me to have a loss and seeming to look out for our best interests. I just don't want to hear it. I admit it. "You're not here for a pregnancy. You are here because you want a baby to hold in your arms at the end of it." I know. But I want both.

After promising to fax my charts to him and come in for an ultrasound with my next period to check on cysts, I gave my nurse a hug and we left.

Immediately after, we went to eat at a very well-known fast food restaurant here in the South and as we were sitting there, I just had the strangest feeling that he was going to walk in there. Guess what? Yeah, he did. He came over and we talked about his addiction to said place's chicken sandwiches. Can you say, awkward? We went from talking about my "birth defect" uterus to chicken sandwiches in under an hour flat.

Good stuff.

Well, that's it. We aren't sure what we are going to do next and don't feel the need to know right now, but taking a break, living life and letting God be God sounds pretty good to me right now. I must admit, I am so relieved.


Elizabeth said...

Good for you for getting your questions answered. I think it will be good to take some time to figure out your next direction. It does seem like he is pushing the GC route awfully hard. Honestly, I'm pursuing it not so much b/c I'm worried about carrying a baby with the UU as I am more convinced that my endo and UU (and possible PCOS) will prevent embryos from implanting. You asked what percentage chance my clinic gave me for IVF with a UU. I never really asked for percentages, but before I cycled, I got the impression that my chance was roughly the same as everyone else's. After the failed IVF and FET cycles, my doctor told me she would give me about a 25% chance. She practically urged me to consider other options.

electriclady said...

Hi there--sorry it's taken me so long to respond to the questions you asked me. Yes, I did go on metformin--the generic (not name brand Glucophage), extended-release version. I have heard that ER is easier on the gut (because it goes into your system more slowly) but you could check the boards on soulcysters.net for more info--lots of tips for taking metformin there.

My experience with met was that adding the first two pills (one week on 500 mg/day with dinner, then one week on 100 mg/day, one dose with dinner and one dose with breakfast) was fine--a day or two of mild diarrhea and then my system righted itself (but do follow the dietary tips on soulcysters--limit fatty/fried foods and salads, easy on carbs. it does make a difference!). Adding the third dose (lunchtime), though, was really hard--I was so nauseated that I stopped taking it. Then my RE recommended taking one pill at breakfast and two at dinner--he said for some reason taking it at lunch was really hard for some people. And that did the trick. I was on 1500 mg/day through 3 cycles of Clomid, one cycle letrozole, and one cycle Follistim, until the 8th week of my pregnancy, with no more problems. I don't think it helped my cycle at all (the "down" cycles in between treatments were just as wacked out as my non-metformin cycles) but my RE said it can help with egg quality and implantation as well, so it's good as insurance.

Re: my UU size, neither RE I saw ever said anything about the size, but I did some research and based on the measurements on my MRI report, it is roughly the size of a "normal" uterus. Maybe a tiny bit small.

Before you make the decision to use a gestational surrogate, I would HIGHLY recommend (if you haven't done so already) that you read and post on the MA and UU yahoo groups (links on my sidebar). Statistics are only so meaningful, given that there are many, many women who have UU and never know it, because they have perfectly normal, problem-free pregnancies and deliveries. Usually UUs (and MAs in general) are only discovered when there is a problem, like infertility or recurrent miscarriage, so it stands to reason that the stats will overreport the bad outcomes. I was NEVER given the recommendation of using a GC and I'm surprised your RE is pushing that on you so (relatively) soon. If I were you, I'd post on those other groups and see if other women have had similar experiences.

OK--sorry for the novel, just my two cents. If you have other questions, you can email me directly at citygirltales AT yahoo DOT com.