Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Keep on Walking

I am fairly certain that my first clinic (which shall remain nameless) wanted me out of there the moment I stepped through the door. I was 41 at the time and had a balanced translocation – a double whammy. Even if I were 10 years younger, having a baby would have been substantially harder for me. Despite my FSH of 6, I was a difficult case. But isn’t this the main premise behind a fertility clinic? To help someone with lower odds of success have a baby?

This didn't seem to be true of my clinic. Perhaps they welcomed the 'slightly infertiles,' but their doors did not appear to be fully open to someone as hopeless as I. People often refer to the greedy as seeing dollar signs in their eyes; this clinic must have seen flashing red lights around a billboard that read “Danger: Will Lower Stats.” Not only did they push donor eggs in our consult and both regroups (actually, not an uncommon occurrence) before ultimately dropping me, but they were hesitant to modify my protocol or attempt to come up with anything new, even after my first failed cycle. In retrospect, I'm surprised they even agreed to cycle me in the first place. Maybe the chance of getting another over-40 pregnancy on their books was so compelling that they were willing to give it a lukewarm whirl, which they did.

My very first try was a miserable Microdose Lupron cycle in which I was over-suppressed and produced only 4 eggs. I was so disappointed. Considering it was my first cycle, I would have thought the doctor would have been somewhat open to the possiblity that my doses and/or protocol needed adjusting. (Cycling is, to some degree, trial and error.) Instead, our regroup went something like this:

ME: Is there another protocol we could try to make me respond better?
THEM: There’s not much else. Donor Egg is your best shot. I’m so sorry.

ME: There's no other protocol? No other meds? Nothing at all?
THEM: Nothing that would really change your response. I'm so sorry.
ME: I’ve heard of Antagon, what about that? Would that help?
THEM: Well, we can try it, but don't expect a big difference.

In my very next cycle, I had twice as many eggs and embryos on Antagon. I would call that a big difference. It was the same thing with Estrogen Priming (EPP), except that my doctor actually said, “Estrogen Priming hasn’t really been shown to help with poor responders.” Hmmm. Perhaps I'd been confused. She finally agreed to try it, but not without registering her irritation at being convinced to do something against her will. After EPP, my antral follicle count doubled -- something that proved to be very helpful to this poor responder.


Anonymous said...

JBH-Hang in there sounds like you've been through a lot! Very informative Blog especially to those of us in the IVF rat race. I look forward to hearing more about your journey! Stay strong!

kayjay said...

Welcome to the therapeutic world of blogging. I hope that you find much support and peach as you go through your journey. I never thought I would have been walking down this road for so long and have done so many treatments (we just finished #6) so your story struck a chord with me. I have often wondered about whether I should have the test done for the translocation but it isn't readily offered up here in Canada. They usually wait for 3 m/c first before testing for it but I have often wondered why, in 6 almost 7 years of trying, have I never once gotten preg naturally. There must be something seriously wrong with me since they haven't found anything else yet. Anyway, your story reinforces to me how we must be our own advocates and insist on what we know is right. GL with your cycle and I look forward to hearing what your CGH results are!

JJ said...

Hey, this is annisca from ivfc. Welcome to the blog world. It was really interesting reading your history. I got married at 40 as well! Hope it all works out really well for you.

DAVs said...

Hey there--
AshleyPenelope here from IVFC and obviously Davs from PlanetDavila blog.
I am impressed with your fortitude!
I have to ask, not that you have to answer, but how do you afford this?? I'd love to keep going, but our fourth IVF (first at CCRM, which sadly, was our WORST cycle ever) has really stretched us, and while we'd love to cycle again and money money. Which sucks.
At any rate, I'm thrilled your response keeps getting better and better! How exciting! I hope you get some great results from the genetic testing.

Sue said...

Hi! Yogagrrl here from IVFC! Welcome to the world of blogging! I totally hear you, I just finished my 7th IVF cycle at CCRM and just got my CGH results on Monday. I can't believe all that I've gone through in the last 2 years and my poor body can't believe all the crap I've put here through! I mean, have you noticed your body getting mad at you too? In any event, I have a few more weeks until I start lupron again and I better start getting healthy!

JBH said...

KayJay, JJ, AshleyP and YogaSue: Hello and thanks for your comments! It's so fun to match up the blogs with the people behind them. If it weren't for IVFC and you girls, I don't know what I'd do.
Chat with you all soon!
JBH aka GoBeau aka BarrenGoddess

Miss Tori said...

Hi there,

Welcome to the world of blogging. I've been doing it just over a year now (celebrated 1st blogoversary on 4/11). You will find many women who will share their stories and provide support.

If you'd like, you can share your new blog with the Lost and Found and Connections Abound (LFCA or L&F as I call it). It is a community of bloggers who are or have gone through IF, adoption, etc. Their website is Go check it out. The support is amazing from over there.

My blog addy is I'd be happy to have you as a reader and commenter.

Welcome and again, and congrats on your new blog!


Linda said...

Yep, you live. You learn. And then you end up at CCRM! That's the way it was for me! My first clinic gave us false hope, lying to us every step of the way. I'm sorry you didn't have a good experience at your first clinic either. But I'm so glad that found CCRM. :)

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