Well we had gotten our second BFN (Big Fat Negative) and I wasn't sure where we would be going next. There was a new doctor that I needed to set up a consult with, but I just wasn't convinced that I was ready for that. To be honest, I had a really hard time when it didn't work a second time. Tony got to handle the brunt of it, but I would say that I went through a little bit of a depression period. I remember one night sitting on the couch and I told Tony that I wanted to dye my hair bright red or go and get a tattoo on my wrist. I wanted to do something wild, because what did it matter if I did everything right--I still wasn't pregnant. I remember he was very supportive and told me that I could dye my hair any color that I wanted, but he drew the line at the tattoo on the wrist:) He thought that might be too white trash to recover from (sorry to anyone that might have a wrist tattoo--he is a very opinionated man).
After a while, I finally made the call to set up the follow-up consultation with the new doctor. To be honest, I was bracing myself to hear that I had bad eggs and that we had a very slim chance of ever getting pregnant. Tony came with me to meet the new doctor-her name is Natalie Schultz. She reviewed the last cycle with us and then asked us a bunch of questions about our lifestyle--including how we ate, where did I think I was prone to gain weight, all kinds of things that I never would have thought of mattered in the world of IVF. At the end of the consultation--it was a long one **That is one point I would like to make about SIRM--you never feel rushed in any situation with the doctor(s) and staff. They always take their time with you, and answer all of your questions.** she told us that her background is in Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or otherwise known as Insulin Resistance (IR). (I'll explain a little about it in the next paragraph). She wanted me to go and have a slew of new blood tests ran to check into it, because I might have a mild case of it. We also discussed some immune testing for me and also an SDI (Sperm DNA Integrity) test for Tony--another post about these.
So, PCOS/IR is basically the opposite of diabetes. It is when you have high insulin and low to normal blood glucose. When one has the condition it can negatively effect your eggs (hence my bad eggs) and make it difficult to achieve pregnancy. I had to have lipid panels run, cholesterol, glucose tolerance test, and about 10 other tests that I cannot remember at this moment. I had to be at the hospital for 4 hours while they were being run--not fun! Oh and I had to be fasting, so I was starving by the time I was done. My mom took me for these tests since you are never sure how you will react to the glucose test--she took me out to lunch afterwards:)
I went back to the doctor, by myself this time, to have a follow up with all of the blood tests. We had not done the immune testing or SDI test yet because they are not covered by insurance and are quite expensive--so we had to save a little $$ first:) When I met with the doctor, she was little confused by my tests, basically I was a "mixed bag" as some of the tests showed an indication of PCOS/IR and others did not. If I had been a full-blown case, she was going to start me on a new prescription drug to help regulate my insulin levels, but since it can have some pretty nasty side-effects, she really didn't want to put me on it unless she was totally sure I had PCOS/IR. So she said that she wanted to put me on a high-estrogen BCP for at least 6 full-weeks (no placebo pills) before I would cycle again. The high-estrogen BCP was to promote a good environment for the eggs to lay dormant in before being stimulated by the FSH medicine. She said this was the method she always used before the prescription drugs were really used for the condition--so she had seen lots of success with this method. Well, since I had to be on the BCPs for at least 6 weeks, this meant that I would not cycle again until March 09.
I left that consult feeling a little better, that possibly something had been found to maybe help my eggs turn out a little better. I also scheduled appointments for the rest of the tests we wanted done before the next cycle as well. Those would be done in January 09--and will be the subject of my next post:)