Happiness Cycle Day 13: Intralipids

I’ve got two hours to kill while hooked up to an IV bag of intralipids, so I thought I’d type up a post with my left hand. It’s harder than it seems!

I had a crappy sleep last night, as something’s up with my digestive system. I had the worst bloating and gas, which continued overnight and into the morning (poor DW). My diet is so clean right now, that I have no idea what could be causing it. My colon felt like a balloon that was inflating and reaching its maximum stretching ability. As I lay here hooked up to a bag of mayonnaise, all I wanna do is fart. But because they’re checking my vitals frequently, and I’m in a closed room, I’m trying to hold it in. Unpleasant!

Anyways, I’m happy to be doing the intralipids. It gives me some hope for this FET. While I wish we had two embryos to transfer, that’s nothing I can change. All I can do is give all of my love and hopeful energy into this embryo. The RE finally reviewed all of my immune results and wants to put me on prednisone, fragmen, and baby aspirin, in addition to the estrogen and progesterone that I will be starting someday soon. I’m happy that it seems like we’re finally being taken seriously now. Fingers crossed that our embryo is a good one, and that he/she thrives inside me.

As for the intralipids, today I’m having 100mLs injected into a bag of saline, to create a 20% mixture. Then the mixture is introduced to my bloodstream via IV cannula. I’m glad that I brought a blanket, because I feel so cold not being able to move. I also brought my iPad, a decaf vanilla Earl Grey Tea almond milk latte, and two slices of the paleo banana bread that I made last night. I haven’t been able to do much other than type on my iPhone.

IMG_5510.JPG

IMG_5509.JPG

Once I get a positive beta, there’s another infusion (approx four weeks), and then one more after the six week ultrasound. Each treatment is $750, and out of pocket.

The cannula hurt going into my arm, but is fine now that it’s in. I can’t feel the intralipids at all, though I feel colder than usual overall.

The nurse comes by every 30 minutes to check my temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate,

It’s been about an hour and a half, and I’m almost done:

IMG_5512.JPG

Tomorrow I have to go in for monitoring blood work and ultrasound again. Hopefully we will find out when our transfer will be. We also meet with our family doctor, who will hopefully agree that it’s in my best interest to continue being off work until I’m in the right state of mind to deal with those additional stresses. DW has taken the day off tomorrow to support me.

More updates tomorrow!

Advertisements

Finally- Some Answers

I need to take a breath before I post this. I am an intense ball of “need to google everything” right now, but I also wanted to put this out there for all you super smart fertility people.

So, I got a phone call today from our RE’s head nurse. We got my natural killer Th1/Th2 results, and they are abnormally high. I am very TH1 dominant. In a normal person, TH1 and TH2 should be balanced, as each is responsible for protecting the body against different pathogens. I will write a more informative post about this another day. Right now, I’m just trying to process this new important piece of information.

IMG_5462.PNG

They want me to start intralipids next week on cycle day 13. I’m supposed to bring a pillow and a blanket because it involves having me hooked up to an IV for 2 hours. It will cost us $750, but I am willing to do just about anything for this to work.

I am worried about my prognosis for a successful live birth, even with the intralipids. Since I know so little about this, I’m going to spend the evening researching the fuck out of it. My plans were to set up the Christmas tree, but that can wait.

I know a couple of you are also on intralipids. Can you tell me what it feels like, what success you’ve been told will happen with it, and also anything else you think can help me wrap my head around it.

So far, all I know is that being TH1 dominant is related to a slew of autoimmune issues, and explains the Celiac Disease that I have. I also know that stress shifts the dominance even more so in favour of TH1. While stress as a cause of miscarriage is kind of a weak claim, I think that my extreme stress at work during the beginning of the school year certainly could have worsened my TH1 dominance. Next week, I will meet with my family doctor, and get an extension on my medical leave. There is no way that I’m going back to work when I’ve got an embryo transfer happening in two weeks.

Anyways, I’m gonna go google like it’s going out of style, and will post again sometime tomorrow.

Happy Humpday!

Updated Plans

So I’ve got a bunch to update you on. We had a review appointment on Wednesday with the RE, to discuss DW’s two recent miscarriages.

The RE really didn’t have much to say. I brought all of my questions, typed into notepad on my iPhone, and we went through them all. He has no answers for why DW didn’t stay pregnant. He did say that it was unusual given our excellent conditions.

The embryos or the uterus, who is the culprit?

He looked at the embryologist’s notes on our 5-day-blasts, and they are excellent quality, and all survived the thaw, which is also an indication of quality. He said that genetic or chromosomal issues are weeded out very quickly in these early phases, and that since I’m young, the quality of the eggs is unlikely to be the problem. But of course, not all eggs were meant to become live births.

He suggested two possible next steps:

1. Aggressively investigating into DW’s immune system and uterine health through more blood tests (one of which costs $600, and can only be analysed in the States), and a hysteroscopy to visualize uterine abnormalities. If her immune system is found to be overactive (essentially attacking the embryo like it is a parasite), then a combination of immunosuppressant therapy (intralipids) might happen so that she could still carry. A colleague of mine has gone through this treatment (with the same clinic), 3 times I believe, and it didn’t work. If it’s polyps/fibroids or some scar tissue, we could probably have them surgically removed (my guess).

2. I carry.

Obviously, option 2 makes more logical sense at this point, given the circumstances. However, there is also the factor of DW’s feeling physically connected to these future babies, which is the whole reason for us going down the path of IVF in the first place.

So, we decided on both paths, concurrently. We will do the investigations and see if DW maybe has some polyps/fibroids/scar tissue/uterine abnormalities or too many natural killer cells or other immune issue, and we will get me ready for an FET at the same time.

Some of the ducks are already in a row, and some of them the clinic has taken out of the rotation so that we have to put them back. It is really frustrating because I’m sure that it’s just a money grab on their part.

For example, my endocrinologist called yesterday to tell me that my thyroid levels are right on target (so no adjustment needed). Yay! She basically gave me the green light to giv’r this cycle. Also, my period just started on Thursday, so I could’ve started on the estrace today.

But instead, the clinic wanted to repeat their big ass blood screening panel to test for everything under the sun (that they had done in May 2013 and January 2014), as well as another sonohysterogram.

Yes, I bolded that. Another SONOHYSTEROGRAM. I think it’s completely unnecessary because I had one done last year, and nothing has changed. I also think it’s unnecessary because he was just up in there in January during my egg retrieval, and the main reason for it is to check the patency of the Fallopian tubes, which isn’t even involved in an FET. Plus, it’s another hundred dollar cost out of pocket for us.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll remember that the sonohysterogram was extremely painful for me. I bled substantially on the paper sheet that covers the medical table, as well as in my underpants on the drive home. They said that it shouldn’t hurt and that I could return to work that day, but despite taking Tylenol before the procedure, I ended up sitting in the car crying from my angry cervix pain and uterine cramps, wishing that DW could drive me home.

I still get nightmares about that sono.

From now on, I shall refer to it as the sononightmarogram.

Anyway, since they insist on repeating this damn sono (booked for the 20th), we can’t do the FET this cycle.

So I guess I’ll continue to play ball hockey twice a week and party like a rockstar during World Pride, at the end of the month.

Meh. I’d rather be trying to have a baby….