I also went through the boatload of books on my bedside table to clean up a bit. There, I found the Dr. Beer's book on auto-immunity and pregnancy. Despite being an academic and an infertile turtle (thus reading everything), I found that book very hard to read and understand. His web site is not much better. It doesn't help that he's been dead for quite a while, eh?
Nonetheless, it's been a year and a half since the doc's suspected an auto-immune problem and I started looking through the book. That's where I discovered that the low dose aspirin/prednisone/heparin (or lovenox) regimine that I am on is pretty much the real standard one. Beer recommends a couple of other transfusions, but those are quite controversial and my problem, if I have one, does not require that.
I generally am skeptical that I have a problem. I mostly see this as a "can't hurt and might help" approach. And then I read about rashes, like the massive excema I had during my last pg and have never had before or since, are good indicators that the body is dealing with some "inflammation" from the pregnancy--a sign of an autoimmune problem.
And then I start to freak. I am using donor eggs because it's obvious my eggs have gone past their use by date. However, if I have an auto-immune problem, it doesn't matter whose eggs I'm using, there is still going to be a problem and I could not be able to carry my child(ren) to term.
Here is where 1) I love my clinic and 2) I'm glad I reread the book. I have emailed the clinic several times asking about this problem: I don't have the MTHFR mutation (I call it the m*ther f*cker mutation), but the excema is still a sign. They have apparently done additional research and are now running bi-weekly tests on my blood to see how things are going. This is exactly the protocol from Beer for auto-immune testing before conception.
Folks, the clinic actually took my questions and concerns seriously. Holy Cow. I don't recall that ever happening before.
I also now know what Beer recommends for both protocol and testing during a pregnancy. The heparin should last until 34 weeks. Testing for progesterone among other tests should continue weekly until 12 weeks. Ultrasounds should occur every 2 weeks after week 6 for the entire pregnancy to see how the placenta and the baby are developing. I know this is a lot of monitoring. But if something is going wrong, we need to know soon enough to adjust my meds so I don't lose the baby.
In any case, things don't seem so carefree any more. I am happy that I am at a place that I trust and who will listen to me. But I worry about being more of a freak than I originally thought.
Tune in tomorrow when we find out the donor's next follicle count and when she will trigger. It's getting kind of crazy!!