Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Video Conference

Chad and I went to Huntsville this morning for a video conference with our doctor. We left tired because she gave us a lot of new information. She has decided to up my follistim dose to 125 units a night. She said that most women would have responded to the amount of medicine I have already taken. She is worried that when we do find the right dose, it's going to explode. Not literally, but she's worried about multiple eggs developing. That is a huge risk considering the dose of the medicine. If it works and I have some follicles grow, Chad and I will have to make some serious decisions quickly. If I have more than three follicles grow and my estrogen is high, Dr. Honea suggested that we convert to an IVF cycle. They would go in and retrieve the eggs. We would implant 2-3 a cycle. If we only have 2 or 3 follicles grow, Chad and I will probably just hold off IVF and hope and pray that we get pregnant "on our own." If my follicles are at 1.5, Chad will give me the HCG shot and it triggers ovulation. We only have a 10% chance of getting pregnant this way. If we convert to IVF, we have about a 50% chance. The odds are much better, but it comes at a steep price. We will just have to wait and see how my body responds. I think that I will be going back to the doctor on Friday for an ultrasound/bloodwork. I should start injections that night. I hope that this isn't too confusing. It's hard to write down all of the details.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tuesday appointment

I had a 10:00 appointment this morning in Huntsville. My appointments always include bloodwork and an ultrasound. Nancy still did not see any growth in any of the follicles. She actually saw even more follicles than before. I actually did not think that was possible. The follicles are the egg sacs and most women have around 8 each cycle. One becomes the dominant one and it grows and then releases (ovulation) The other follicles that did not grow simply absorb back into the body. Since mine have never grown they just all "pile up" on top of each other. Today Nancy counted 45 on each ovary. You would think that lots of folicles is a good thing however, it's a large problem with PCOS. They are competing and fighting against each other and none of them are able to grow. My nurse in Birmingham just called with my bloodwork results and my estrogen went down again so we are canceling the cycle. I will take prometruim for at least 10 days to start a period. My body usually does not start a cycle on its own and then we will go from there. We have a video conference with Dr. Honea in Birmingham early next week to discuss our game plan. Nancy thinks that she may want to add LH (type of hormone) to the follistim injections or possibly add a second type of injection. We will just have to see. Please pray that I will maintain patience and peace throughout this ordeal. My heart aches for a baby but I know that God's timing is perfect and He will NOT put Chad and I through anything that we can't handle. I know one day I will look back and be thankful of all of the lessons that He is teaching us through this. Please know that this strength I have does not come from me. It comes from my heavenly Father. If I did not have a relationship with Him, it would not be possible for me to make it through this time. Thanks for your prayers. Chad and I are heading to the beach on Friday with a couple friends from church. It will be a great get away!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday appointment

Chad and I got up bright and early this morning, 5 AM to get to Birmingham by 7:30. Thankfully we were the third couple there so we didn't have to wait long. We were hoping to see that the two follicles had grown closer to 1.5. Unfortunately, the nurse in Birmingham could not find any follicles that had grown at all. She feels like the nurse in Huntsville saw a cluster of small egg sacs. My estrogen did not go up but it did not go down either. We need for it to go up. As you get ready to ovulate, your estrogen rises. The plan is to continue the injections at 100 IU's a night for three more days. I will go back to Huntsville on Wednesday. 35 days of injections without a break is not fun, BUT the end result will be wonderful!

Friday, July 20, 2007

My appointment

Well, I had an appointment this morning and I left with a smile on my face. Nancy could see two follicles that had grown to 1.2. YEA! However, my joy was shortlived because the nurse in Birmingham just called with my bloodwork results and my estrogen did not go up. To continue the cycle, it had to increase and it went down. :( She said that Dr. Honea was going to let me continue the injections for two more nights at 100 IU's. I have to be in Birmingham Sunday morning at 7:30 for bloodwork and an ultrasound. If my estrogen stays down and/or my follicles don't grow, we will have to stop the cycle. I will take progrestrone for 10 days to start a new period and then we will try again. I am lucky that she's giving me two more days. Normally, she would have me stop the cycle.

Thanks for the prayers! Have a good weekend.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tomorrow

I go to the doctor in Huntsville again tomorrow. Pray for at least one follicle to be at 1.5. I'll update tomorrow.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Our Journey

I struggled with whether or not to share our story but so many people are wonderful and are always asking me what/how they can pray for us, so I thought that a blog might be the easiest way to share the updates with everyone. I fear that my friends who are pregnant or have children will feel guilt and will refrain from talking about their own little miralces. That is the LAST thing I want to happen.

(This is the short version.) Chad and I felt it was time to start a family in September. We were nervous and excited, but the excited quickly faded when we found out that we had a long road ahead of us. My doctor discovered that I did not ovulate and I had very irregular cycles. Dr. Keith put me on clomid. (mild fertility drug to induce ovulation) I was so hopeful at first, but month after month the pregnancy tests were negative. We were heartbroken. We felt it was time to move on to a specialist so we went to Dr. Honea at the ART clinic in Birmingham. After MANY, MANY tests, lots of pokes and pricks, they discovered tha I have PCOS, Polycyctic Overy Syndrome. The doctor wanted to do a clomid challenge so she could monitor my cycle closely. After many ultrasounds, they discovered that I have LOTS of follicles (egg sacs) but no eggs are ever able to develop.

So now we are in the injectable faze. I began with the lowest dose of follistim, 25 IU's but my body did not respond, we bumped up to 50, then 75, and I am probably moving to 100 in the next few days. Of course, there are risks using these injectables, multiple births or hyperstimulation of my ovaries.

It is an exhausting experience but I am still filled with hope that Chad and I will become parents. I always prayed that I would be a woman of faith during a time of struggle and God is answering my prayers daily. I know that it is not my own strength that is getting me through this.

I did have an encouraging doctor's apointment today. I have one follicle that has grown a tiny bit! I have to celebrate the small victories! :) Please pray for us. Chad has been a blessing through the entire process.

I will keep you updated as things progress. Thank you for your prayers.