Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our Meeting with Dr. Silber

So we went to meet with our second RE, Dr. Silber yesterday. I was and still am a little shocked with what he told us during our meeting. After introductions he reviewed my medical history, asked me about some of my PCOS symptoms, irregular menses and acne, etc. and asked me if I have noticed any changes due to Metformin which I have been taking for 9 months now. I replied, no. He said it's "stupid" for women with PCOS to be on Metformin and that drug companies are miss educating Doctors to boost sales. Now mind you, my family Doctor put me on Metformin in Jan when I was told I had PCOS. Then my Gynecologist upped my dose and finally my RE upped my dosage again and this Doctor is telling me that it's of no value at all!

He then went on to say that he believes there are two things women with PCOS need to do and only two things...take birth control when they AREN'T trying to get pregnant and use IVF when they ARE trying to get pregnant. I thought this was interesting.

Dr. Silber also said that he would only perform IVF if I was on birth control for a minimum of 2 to 3 months before starting the IVF process. I believe this is so that debris can be cleaned out of my system, i.e. old eggs, lining, etc.

It was interesting to hear a completely different view than the other doctor's have given me. His pricing was higher than the other Doctors by about 2K but I was intrigued by what he had to say.

We are looking forward to Dr. Ahlering on October 18 for our third and final opinion. We will have all that we need then to make our decision. We can't do anything until January when my insurance kicks in, so we have a lot of time to prepare.

Monday, September 28, 2009

New Houses Bring New Babies...or that's what my RE says anyway...

As an Interior Designer I am constantly looking for things to do around the house. What can I say, it's my livelihood and my hobby! I figure I repaint my house every two to three years with new colors I fall in love with. I have the painting technique down pat! I trim and J rolls! This is only after I convince him that the current color just won't do! Anyway, we finished up all of the projects at our old home, an adorable little Queen Anne style home and I started getting the itch to move. So we fixed every minor thing in our home, touched it up, staged it and put it on the market. We had two offers in 4 days! SOLD! Only one problem-we hadn't found a new home! So we closed on Queen Anne, put our stuff in storage. Moved in to my Mother In Law's for two months and now we are in my parents place. We finally found a house and we are in the midst of construction! I love it! I hope our new home will bring babies, but ya know what? The best part about all of this is???? This entire process...the staging, selling, moving, buying and renovating has been a WONDERFUL DISTRACTION from the day to day struggles of infertility. I go see an RE this afternoon and then I go paint crown moulding! Who could ask for more!?!

Is this really happening?

There are days when I say to myself "I can't believe that infertility is actually my reality"

Over the last few weeks I keep going over a conversation I had with my hair dresser back in April. Jamie and I were just about to start clomid and embark on a southern Caribbean cruise, I was very excited. Kena and I got to talking about how infertility really sucks and I told her that I had feared for many many years that I would have problems getting pregnant. Oddly enough this is something I thought of on and off while in my twenties. It is really crazy that my worries have become reality.

My doubts about conceiving stemmed from bladder problems I had as a child. I was a bed wetter for many years, it runs in my family. I was on medication for years and went to see specialists repeatedly and had a procedure at some point during my childhood. The bladder problems, I am sure, probably have nothing to do with my infertility but it put the doubt in my head. Then as a teenager my menstrual cycles were always between 30 - 60 days apart. At the time I didn't realize this was a problem. Every Doctor I talked to said it wasn't a big deal, but now I know that was a symptom of my PCOS. Anyway, I knew that the length of my cycles were not normal and that created more doubts.

About two years ago, my friends and co-workers started having children. What's funny is that the more friends and co-workers that had babies, the more I felt my odds of having infertility problems were more likely. I mean if everyone around me could have a baby then I was sure to be the statistic, right? I guess I never really said it out loud but it was a fear I had. I remember telling Jamie before my first Dr's appointment that I thought I would have problems having children and voila, here I am. ..here we are. I feel like eight months is remarkable time to have come to IVF, it saddens me that it may take such a drastic measure on one hand but on the other I am glad I have been persistent enough with Dr.'s visits to be where we are.

Anyway, I haven't shared this until now. This seems like an appropriate place to get it out in the open. But this "feeling" I have carried for years is what has kept me motivated over the last few months. My instincts have said all along, something is wrong. So now, I can only be proactive in treating my infertility.

New appointments, a much needed break and self improvement...

After meeting with our RE, Dr. Keller at Wash U a couple of weeks ago. Jamie and I decided to get a second...and third opinion. We are meeting with Dr. Silber at St. Lukes today and will meet with Dr. Ahlering in a couple of weeks. It's not just a second opinion we are seeking but someone we trust and feel comfortable with as well.

I am currently covered under my husbands insurance which does not cover infertility. Needless to say that after finding out the cost of IVF Jamie and I started exploring all options. It turns out that my company's insurance does cover some IVF. What that means exactly I don't know. So I will enroll in my company's insurance in November and wait for it to take effect in January before moving further in my journey.

In the mean time, I am going to work on myself...

I could continue clomid but since I am not responding, I have decided to take a much needed break from the clomid. I will keep taking metformin and my prenatal vitamins/folic acid. I can't understand putting my body and emotions through the ringer again for the fun of it. My jaw and chin has been covered in acne since starting clomid and I have had a couple *wink wink* mood swings on my husband.

In the mean time I will indulge myself with coffee this month which I have not been drinking for the last eight months, a glass of wine or two occasionally if I feel like it and I won't track my temperatures for at least this cycle. I am taking a break!

However, I will be working on myself in positive ways as well. I am going to eat better and exercise more. I am going to focus on doing good things for myself so that when we start IVF or whatever option we choose I will be ready mentally and physically.

Over the past eight months I have become more and more tied up with what my body is doing reproductive wise and neglecting to focus on food and exercise which is important to do. I have been tracking my temperatures, and all of the signs during my cycle but not tracking my food intake or exercise and quite frankly the stress of the infertility is catching up with me and I have gained between five and ten pounds in the the last eight months. I think PCOS makes things a little more difficult when trying to lose and keep weight off but PCOS is no excuse. I will lose weight regardless of it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Appointment with Dr. Silber-YAY!

Monday, September 28th Jamie and I will go to St. Lukes to meet with Dr. Silber and get his opinion on whether IVF is the appropriate next step to take. Apparently Dr. Silber has some other techniques that may meet our needs. I hear he is a straight shooter and I could use that right now. I am eager to meet him and I know J is too.

Finding out I had PCOS and deciding who to tell & not to tell...

I found out I had PCOS in Jan. 2009. Jamie and I wanted to get started trying have a family right after we were married so I scheduled a pre-conception check up only a couple weeks after our honeymoon. Dr. Z asked me if I had ever heard of PCOS. My response was no. She let me know that I needed to find an OB GYN that was familiar with PCOS and that I needed to google PCOS when I had a moment. She wrote me a prescription for Metformin and off I went. Of course, I left the Doctor's office and immediately called Jamie with the news that I had PCOS (although I couldn't offer more information), I went to work and googled it. I was overwhelmed with what I read. Message board after message board, blog after blog, website after website of women having difficulty getting pregnant, women who had tried for 2, 5, 9 YEARS to get pregnant. I became discouraged with in an hour.

I immediately wanted to talk to someone who had gone through what I feared I may go through. Infertility. Cindy, a lady I work with, had told me a few months ago that she was unable to have children when she tried many years ago due to endomitriosis. She was sitting upstairs in the library at a table, I could see her from my desk. I walked up to her, sat down and she asked where I had been that morning. I told her I was at the Doctor, she said "Your pregnant!?!" Tears welled up in my eyes and I said, "I just found out I may have trouble getting pregnant". I dropped my head and sobbed, covering my face and Cindy put her arm around me and said "There is so much that can be done". Her arm hugged me so tightly I could feel that she knew exactly what I was going through. C has been a person I can go to when I find out I have to have a new procedure or start a new medicine because she has been there. She's able to tell me, "ehh, it's not that bad-here's what to expect...". It feels so good to talk to someone who has been through it, even if her struggles were different than my own. So, Cindy was the first person I told outside of Jamie or my mom. Slowly, over a few months, I mentioned it to a few more female co-workers who I knew I could confide in. I told my brother. I told Lisa, our friend, who had been asking when we would get started having kids-I couldn't put the question off anymore so in the middle of a concert I just laid it out there.

Anyway... who to tell that you have fertility issues and who not to...
I struggle with this daily. Though I am a private person, I am an open book to those I trust. I will tell all and I have no problems with it. But to those I don't know well or don't know if I can trust, I say nothing. Some people I don't tell out of embarrassment, some I don't tell for fear that they may find joy in my sadness (only a one or two people), some I don't tell because they are happy and pregnant with their own child. Why ruin their joy with news of my struggle? It's exhausting to try and remember who knows what, who doesn't know at all, who has been updated on the latest and who hasn't.

Recently I have come to the conclusion that I don't care who knows-it's just time to follow our dreams and do what we have to do to make a family. In fact, part of me wants to put it out on facebook and let everyone of my friends, former classmates, co-workers and family members know so I can get it over with(okay, I won't go that far but you get the idea). I'm ready to move on from being embarrassed or feeling like less of a person because I have to undergo treatment.

I hope this blog will help, I hope to direct people here to my corner of the Internet and write about my struggles and achievements.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Where do we go from here?

Jamie and I had an appointment with Dr. Keller at the Washington University Infertility and Reproductive Center http://www.infertility.wustl.edu/ Friday, September 11, 2009. This was a "what to do next" type of meeting. The clomid I had taken four times previously had not worked. I was up to 200 mg of Clomid and 1500 mg of metformin. My body was not responding. I wasn't even ovulating. I was prepared for the next step to be injections which would be more costly than clomid but not as bad as IVF. Dr. Keller recommended in her meeting that we move right to the In-vitro Fertilization process which surprised us. The cost surprised us even more so. I always knew IVF was expensive, I had no idea just how much it would be.

It was hard for me to keep it together during the meeting. I wanted to be strong, but what I kept feeling was that I had a broken body. I feel responsible for Jamie having to go through this with me. I broke down in the elevator as soon as we walked out.

After talking about it, Jamie and I have decided to talk to another Doctor. It can't hurt to get some more pricing and learn of other procedures, right?