Sunday, October 19, 2008

Getting Ready

We've spent some time this weekend getting ready for the trip.  I took all the medicine out of the cabinet and put it on the counter so I can pack up the small pharmacy to carry on the plane with me.  I would look like a terrorist with all these syringes if it wasn't for the fact that all I could do is make the pilot get a better uterine lining.  At least if I was doing traditional IVF, I could make him or her ovulate.  

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!!

1 comment:

Summer said...

Given what's on the line, I'd err on the side of being a little too freaky than not freaky enough.

Hope you get another great update about your donor!