my drug habit…

I went in for my last (hopefully) blood test for a while.  It was to check my homocystine (?) levels, which is realated to the MTHFR.  I’m not sure what will happen if it comes back that I have that, too…more meds?  Don’t know.  Anyway I’m really hoping that we’re now at the point where I can get pregnant and sustain it all the way through.  Sadly it’s taken 3 doctors, 3+ years and 2 lost babies to figure this all out.  I’ve learned that I need to be more proactive about my own diagnosis and fight for the things that I want.

When I first went in to see Dr. Freakin’ Awesome (the MFM doc) I was asking him all kinds of questions about baby aspirin and lovenox, since I know so many of you ladies have been put on one or both of those.  At that point (rightly so) he didn’t think it was necessary, since we hadn’t run the blood work yet.  I was kind of just feeling out what might be used for some treatment.  Now with the MTHFR diagnosis he has put me on baby aspirin, plus the extra folic acid.  I’ve been doing a lot of “research” (by that I mean, Dr. Google has been consulted on this), and have found that most women diagnosed with MTHFR are then put on the baby aspirin, extra folic acid (on top of a prenatal) and then when they become pregnant are prescribed lovenox or heparin.  I’ve found this article, that I have now printed off to put in my files.  If (when…) I get pregnant I will be using it to convince whatever doctor I have at the time to put me on one of the two of those.  I hate needles – really hate them, but whatever it takes ya know, as I’m sure you all understand.  I also stumbled across a blog called The Expecting Father – MTHFR gene mutation and pregnancy.  It’s written by a man who’s wife had recurrent miscarriage (2) and then was found to have the MTHFR gene mutation.  When she became pregnant again she was given lovenox and delivered a healthy baby boy.  They have since had another baby boy just a few weeks ago with the same treatments.  I also know my dear blog friend K of Waiting for Sunflower has used the same treatment and her little guy should be coming in the next few weeks!!  You can be sure I’ll be very proactive about getting this same treatment for myself.

In other news, I’ve scheduled a consultation appointment with a new ob/gyn (for May 24th).  I found her by searching online (I know, kinda scary) – but she was reviewed on Yelp! and all of the reviews were 5 stars!  She is covered by my insurance as well.  I’m hoping to go in to the meeting with all of my medical records and just be very straight with her what I want.  I’m hoping she has some experience/knowledge of infertility issues, specifically PCOS and now MTHFR.  She sounds like a great doctor, but if she can’t meet my needs, I’ll be looking for someone else.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Okay, now on to the actual reason for this post!  I wanted to do a show and tell of my new drug habit (sorry this beginning part kinda got away from me).  First off, I’ve turned into an old lady – yup, I bought a pill box.  I figured though if I need a pill box to keep track of everything, it may as well be a “hip” pill box, so this is what I got:

It’s individual canisters that screw together to make this stack.  There’s an extra lid so if you’re going on vacation, you can just take the days you’ll need.  It’s pretty fun, and allows me to see if I’d remembered to take my pills for the day.  I just put my morning dose in the jars.  I have an alarm set on my phone to go off to remember to take my Metformin at lunch and bed time.

Here’s a shot of the bottles of pills:

The big jar is the pre-natals (some generic brand my insurance company picked out…).  The next generic looking jar is my Metformin.  The yellow is the extra Folic Acid (I’m supposed to take 1 mg a day, but they only came in doses of 400 mcg, so I take 3 of those) and the smallest jar is the “baby” aspirin, which isn’t for baby’s at all, they just call it that.  Though it is chewable and orange flavored!

So the grand total for the day is 8 pills: 6 in the morning and then then other 2 through out the day.  Here they all are!

Nice, huh?  The prenatal is a very vibrant pink.  There is even a warning on the bottle that it may turn your pee colors for a while…yeah, really.  Luckily I didn’t get that side effect!  I don’t know why they had to make it so pink!

That’s my update for now.  Hopefully my results will come back soon and I know for sure the full treatment for me, and hopefully, it’ll work!  Oh…and btw, I’m on CD-21, and no sign of ovulation.  My temps have been all over the place throughout this whole cycle.  I forgot to do my OPK this morning.  Might do it tonight and see what happens…

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Okay…so, I was just getting ready to hit PUBLISH and my phone rang.  It was Dr. Freakin’ Awesome’s office and my blood work came back normal!  Yay!  So I just stick with the above until it works!

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dr. freakin’ awesome & answers…

Have I mentioned how much I love my MFM doctor?  I really do!  He’s been amazing to me…I’ve only seen him once, but when I have questions or tests come back HE calls me personally!  Can you imagine that??  A DOCTOR that makes phone calls with test results???

Therefore I dub thee: Dr. Freakin’ Awesome!  From now on, that shall be how I refer to the MFM doc.  I wish I could have him for all of my ob/gyn, infertility, MFM related appointments…

Anyway, he called me this morning on my way to work (DH was driving luckily so I could take the call).  My über blood work came back (really quickly too, as I though it’d be late next week before I heard anything).  He said everything came back normal except the MTHFR – basically it means that my body doesn’t hold on to folic acid (which is a tiny bit important when trying to create and sustain a life…).  It also can cause clotting problems that can lead to miscarriage.  He thinks however (and he told me this when I met him the first time) that my 2 losses had just been bad luck and it didn’t seem there was anything particular that led to the losses.

He’s going to send me in for one more test…some sort of enzyme.  I don’t recall the name (I’ll tell you when I get my requisition form).  He’s also giving me copies of ALL of my test results, in case I ever move or get a new doctor so I don’t have to repeat the tests!  Did I mention how freakin’ awesome Dr. Freakin’ Awesome is??  Cause, well…he is!  My DH is heading down there after lunch to get my results and the blood work order form.

So…what is the next step?  I will be adding a folic acid supplement to my daily Metformin and Prenatal.  Also I will start taking 1 baby aspirin a day.  So that’s a total of 6 pills a day!  Oh well…if it gets me my baby in the end it is absolutely worth it!!!

Can I just tell you all how happy I am right now???  It sucks that there is so much wrong with me, and that it’s been a constant battle with my body and doctors these past 3 yrs, 3 mo – but now there is a better answer, and a way to deal with it that just may work.  Now with the combo of my Metformin (so I am FINALLY able to ovulate on my own) and the Folic Acid/baby aspirin (to keep my baby once s/he is concieved), this just may work out!!  A huge swell of hope has hit me again, and it was MUCH needed!!

I emailed my best friend yesterday because I’ve been having such a hard time the past month with all of this.  Baby announcements, births, preggo bellies everywhere and nothing for me but empty arms where my 2 little ones should be.  It hit me hard yesterday…if you’re on twitter, you probably saw my Infertility Pity Party tweets all day…it was a rough one.  But, now today!  I have hope again, something which is desperately needed.  This just might work…

back in the saddle again…

Here we go again folks!  It’s CD1.  My dear friend, Aunt Flo decided to FINALLY show up!  I was starting to get worried my wonderful Metformin was letting me down.  So, today is March 25th.  I’m supposed to be doing the big blood work 8 weeks after my miscarriage, which is April 1st.  Here’s the question.  Do I cheat and go a bit early?

The MFM doc said it’d be about 2 weeks after I do the blood work before he got the results and we could talk about what to do then.  If I go in, say on Monday or Tuesday next week he should have the results around the 12/13th of April.  Then there would be an appointment to discuss the results with him, followed by anything I’d need to do if there are any problems found.  I’m asking because, if possible, I’d like to be able to start TTC again on this cycle.  We were told not to try until after this blood work stuff is done.  If I go early next week, get an appointment right after the results are in, it might just work out that we could try in April.  I’ve waited 3 years, if I don’t have to wait any longer, that’d be great!

I’m actually kind of hoping they find something in the blood work that’s been ordered – something fixable mind you.  A thyroid problem or something like that – get on some more meds and your good to go.  Something easy, something that can be dealt with and covered by insurance!!

I’m so ready for this journey to come to an end – a happy, bouncing baby filled end!  I’ve always wanted to have 4 children.  At this rate I’ll be 50 before I get the 2nd one!  Okay, maybe only 45…

mfm update and the loss…

Hey all…sorry it’s been a while since I updated. It’s been a hectic week, and I just haven’t taken the time to get it all down.

On Tuesday I went in to see the MFM. He confirmed the miscarriage (not that there was any doubt) and then spent some time talking to me. He doesn’t think there is any reason why I can’t carry a child full term. After taking my history, the scan and looking at records from my other doctors he said he believes that I’ve just had bad luck that past 2 times. That for my 2 pregnancies unfortunately the egg that has fertilized have had some sort of genetic defect and so they did not work out. He said this happens sometimes and there’s no reason to think it will continue to happen. I am having some blood testing done, but it’s mainly just to rule out things like Thyroid problems and diabetes. He wasn’t really convinced I even needed the blood testing done, but since I’ve never been tested for these problems before (really, shouldn’t my fertility clinic have done this???) he said it would be a good idea. I am to go in 8 weeks after the miscarriage is over, get the testing, and he will get the results about a week or two after that and then call and discuss it with me. He recommended staying on the metformin since it did work.

He actually knows the doctor I had at the fertility clinic. He said, “Oh, I’m sure he tested for thyroid problems and these other things before he started your treatment, they always do that.” I couldn’t remember that ever being done, so we had my files faxed over, and sure enough, they never tested for ANY of the things the MFM wanted me checked for. I get more and more frustrated with that place the more I learn. They diagnosed me PCOS, but never mentioned Metformin. I went in with fertility issues, and they never checked, what I’ve gleaned to be, some major causes of infertility. They didn’t even want to figure out what was wrong with me when I first went in. My doctor wanted to jump straight to IVF. At that point, we’d been trying on our own for a year with no luck. I was very frustrated that they didn’t even want to see if there was something wrong with me before they jumped straight to the end of the road! I had to be very insistent that I wanted all of the diagnostic work done BEFORE and course of treatments. Obviously, they didn’t do that. It’s very frustrating that we all have to go through all this crap and basically teach ourselves about the world of IF and ART’s in order to make sure that we are getting proper treatment! After 3 years of this I would be a much better patient going into that clinic now. I’d know what they were doing, I’d know what I needed and I’d be able to ask the right questions. I really do think the 2 years and X number of dollars I spent at that place were almost a complete waste. The only thing that ever came out of that was my first pregnancy, my Declan. Even though I lost him, I wouldn’t trade the time I had with him for the world.

Or with Sophie for that matter. Yesterday I took the day off of work. Wednesday night I started bleeding and passing tissue. I knew I was in for a lot more on Thursday so I took the day off. I thought I was getting off pretty easy because the cramping was not too painful and everything seemed to be going okay. At around 4 pm however, I realized the worst was just beginning. I spent about an hour in terrible pain, crying and throwing up. It was just as bad as I remembered it being at the hospital the first time, only then I had IV pain meds to help out a bit. I won’t get into too many details, but today I think it’s pretty much over. I haven’t passed any tissue since late last night, the cramping is mostly gone and I only have a bit of bleeding now.

I’m glad that it is finally over. I of course am devastated that I lost my child, but I think anyone who has lost a child will tell you, you just want it over at that point. It’s heartbreaking to know you are carrying your child, but it is no long living with you, growing and being nourished by you. With both of my little ones I carried them for 3 weeks after they had already left me.

This means too that I can start the 8 week count down until my blood tests. We are not supposed to try until after the results are in. When he told me that I almost started crying in the office. I had been able to hold it all in until he told me it would be another 2 or 3 months until we could try again. I know it’s for a good reason, and hopefully we’ll be able to use the results to prevent future losses, but it’s going to be a long 3 months.

I want to thank all of you for your love and support through all of this. All of the comments on the last post were a blessing to me and my husband. I don’t know what I would do with out this community to talk with and support. Blessing does not even begin to cover it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

huh, would you look at that…

Yup…that’s a BBT/Ovulation chart, and guess what it shows???  OVULATION!!!  And a temp spike afterward!  I can’t believe it!!!  According to Fertility Friend I have a “good” chance at conception based on the info.  Of course, that’s not taking into account that I rarely if ever have a “good” chance at conception, but just the fact that this seems to prove that I can indeed ovulate (with the help of my new BFF, Metformin) is a major feat in and of itself!!  Huzzah!

My last post with the OPK help needed seems to have been the best O day.  That was as dark as the line got and with the temperature spike now, I’ve stopped using the OPK’s (also the last 2 days the line has gotten much lighter).  Granted, the hubby and I weren’t too good with the BDing this month (mostly my fault) so I’m not expecting anything to come of this, but there’s always next cycle!  Folks – this could really work!!!!!  I’m can’t even tell you how excited I am about this right now!  When I tried charting in the past, my temps were all over the place, not to mention there was never any spike or drop in temp at any point other than the daily up and downs.  This was a MUCH better cycle!  Again I say, HUZZAH!!

update and award…

So, after all the worry and wondering about how the DH and I could quietly do the BD while on an air mattress in the room next to our 7 yr old and 3 mo old nephew and niece (not to meniton my BIL and SIL, with the MIL in yet another room, and my 16 yr old niece across the house…) there was no need.  Yup, here I am at CD22 and still no signs of the big O.  I know, I know…this is my 1st cycle on Metformin and it can take up to 6+ months for it to start showing any signs of working, but a girl can still hope, right?  I had hoped that since it seemed that the Met helped to start my cycle in a somewhat timely manner that maybe it would help me Ovulate the first time as well.  I guess there’s still time, but I’m not holding my breath.

I’ve been doing the OPK’s since CD11.  Since I have no idea when I might ovulate, I just have to keep going with them I guess.  I’ve have a few days where there has been a very light + test line, but from what the test says, it’s supposed to be as dark as or darker than the control line.  We’re not there yet folks!  Hopefully I’ll start to get the hang of this and won’t have to waste so many of them in the future.  My current plans are to finish out this cycle, do one more on just the Met, and if that hasn’t worked yet I’ll do cycle #3 with Metformin and the Clomid that my doc gave me.

In other news, I got nominated for another award!  Thanks to Kate at Busted Plumbing (who, by the way, has an AMAZING new look to her blog).  I’ve been “lurking” Kate’s blog for a while, but through Twitter I’ve been following her more closely now and I’m happy to call her a blogg-y friend!

The rules for this award:

  • Put the Lemonade logo on your blog or within your post.
  • Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude or gratitude.
  • Link the nominees within your post.
  • Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
  • Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

1) To my bestest friend, SusQ!!  Through all of my struggles with IF, and through everything else in life you’ve been there for me!  I’m so happy for you and your exciting news and that you’re starting to share it with the world.  I love you!

2) To Kate over at Waiting for Sunflower.  I’m so lucky to have “met” you through blogging!  I’m so glad that you are finding happiness again, and that your SONflower is a big part of that!  You and Jack are always in my thoughts!

3) To Kate over at Infertile Myrtle.  You’ve been another good blogg-y friend this year!  I’m so happy for you and your DH.  Only a few more weeks to go for you!

4) To Becca at Liberal Granola Girls Blog.  I’ve also been “lurking” at your blog this year, and now on Twitter as well!  I love your hope and optimism throughout all of the pain and stress of IF.  You give me inspiration!

5) To the Fertility Chick.  Your posts always bring a smile to my face.  It’s hard to find humor and hope in all of this crap, but you always manage to find it.

6) To Lea at All My Pretty Ones.  I’m so happy for you and your new foster daughter!  I know you’re going to be great with her, and fingers crossed that this could turn into something more!

7) To Amaprincess at The Road to Happily Ever After.  A new Twitter friend!  You always seem to have a good attitude, even in the midst of bad news.  I’ve been enjoying your IF Christmas Carols as well!

8 ) To the Fertility Guy at In the Name of the Father.  It’s nice to have the male perspective, and I know my DH enjoys reading your blog as well.  You and your lovely wife bring a bit of humor and levity to all the struggles we face.

9) To Tara at Broken Baby Making Machine.  Congrats to you on your wonderful news!  I’m so happy to any IFer who gets out of the cycle of BFN’s!  Wish you and your family all the best!

10) To Michelle at 2 of a Kind, Working on a Full House.  I’m glad that I found your blog this year.  You’ve been a great support to me and I always look forward to your next post!

Thanks to everyone else who has been a part of my online support system this year.  I don’t think I could have made it through without all of you!  It helps to have people out there who understand you, who can share the pain and struggle, and who can lift you up.  I feel blessed in this online community.

turkeys, family and bd-ing…

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I hope you all have a WONDERFUL celebration with your families!  I know holiday’s can be hard for us IFers (especially for those of us who will be surrounded by children and babies on Thursday!) but I hope that you all can enjoy your family and be thankful for everything you DO have in your life!

My husband and I will be hosting 15 people at our apartment on Thursday.  Yup…crazy I know!  Not only that, but we’ll have 6 people sleeping in our house this weekend and another 4 at a nearby hotel!  We host either Easter or Thanksgiving at our place every other year.  It’s nice to have a break from holiday traveling every once in a while!  I’m very excited for everyone coming and for the food, and for the fun!  We have 21 pounds of turkey set to go!  I’ve baked about 6 pumpkins to make pies and other yummy food with.  People will also be bringing food, so thankfully (see what I did there?) we won’t have to make all of the feast!

While I’m extremely happy to not have to travel and that we are having so many relatives and friends over, there is one problem: when to do the BD??  According to FertilityFriend.com (which I have been diligently putting my BBT’s into everyday for tracking) my possible big-O day is Wednesday.  Luckily most of our house guests will not be in yet, but 1 will.  Not only that, but FF is estimating based on a “normal” woman’s cycle…as this is my first cycle diligently using FF, they have know way of know what my reg cycles are like, and frankly, neither do I.  This is my first cycle on the Metformin, so I have no idea what will happen.  I started doing OPK’s on Sunday…so far the elusive 2nd line has evaded me.  This could mean that if things go according to my hopeful plans, the DH and I may have to BD with 6 guests in our house…yeah.  Awkward.  Have any of you ever come up against this problem?  What do you do??  Do we just hope that my O day is AFTER thanksgiving?  I’ll keep tracking, and I’m not really sure that I WILL ovulate this cycle, but you never know.  Any advice?

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