9

Feeling better, I think! And the trigger is gone already!

I’m feeling a bit better already! I think my stomach is starting to adjust to the Metformin. I took my 3rd dose yesterday (every other day dosing), and I haven’t had any cramps or diarrhea! Yay! Beginning Wednesday, I have to take it everyday…so fingers crossed that my stomach continues to tolerate it!

The only other things I’m noticing is a decreased appetite and some weakness/wooziness/fatigue. My legs felt wobbly yesterday, and I feel kinda dizzy and sick this morning. I suppose my blood sugar is getting low at times, since Metformin is also used as a diabetic medication. I just need to make sure I eat enough. It’s quite a change because the steroids I’m taking were making me want to eat A LOT. Hopefully I can find some balance there.

My sleep is still really poor, unfortunately. I guess from the steroids. It’s been really HOT the past couple days, so that doesn’t help. Our central air SUCKS. They’ve been out to “fix” it a few times, but it does nothing. I think it’s supposed to cool down for a few days starting today — thank you Jesus!!

I’ve tested a few times randomly, and I’m shocked to see my hcg trigger leaving so quickly! It used to leave pretty quickly – like 8-9 days MAX. Then for awhile it lingered for like 2 weeks! Today I’m 6dpo and 8 days post-trigger. This morning’s test is pretty much BFN! I can barely see a hint of something, and it doesn’t really show up in the photo. I’m happy about this because it definitely makes testing less confusing! Yes, I’m a POAS-addict. πŸ˜›

So hopefully we’ll see 2 lines reappear soon πŸ™‚ If not [this cycle], that’s okay. I don’t have any symptoms to report…just peeing a lot, but that happens every cycle.

I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend! We did πŸ™‚ We didn’t do much, but it was nice and relaxing.

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18

TWW update and my new meds

I’m 3dpo today! I’m not sure what to think about this cycle. I suppose we have a fairly good chance at getting pregnant, with all those follicles I had. I also started my new medications, so maybe?? It might be too soon though. And I haven’t gotten an appointment yet with an Immunologist to get my IVIG treatment. Hopefully soon.

Thank you all so much for your well-wishes and support! We are feeling very positive about this news, even though it’s a lot to take in. It’s also strange news to get in the middle of a cycle. I do feel hopeful for the future though! πŸ™‚ Just the thought that there’s hope for us, makes me feel a lot less impatient and more motivated!

Metformin is the devil!! I took my first dose 500mg Thursday. By Thursday night/Friday morning, my stomach was torn up! Cramps, diarrhea, frequent bathroom visits. It was not fun. I have to take 1 tablet every other day for a week…then 1 tablet everyday for a week…and then 2 tablets daily. I hope I adjust soon, because I honestly don’t know how my body is going to handle it. I have to take 1 today, and I’m dreading it! But like I said, I feel motivated…and I’m willing to do whatever it takes!! I’m so grateful to have answers and treatment! Dr. Kwak-Kim said to expect to lose 10-20 pounds pretty easily with the medication — yeah, I can see why!!

Oh, and I have to pick up my special Folic Acid/Vitamin B prescription today. It took forever — the pharmacy had to special order it. It costs $120!! Not covered at all by insurance. I am going to check if there’s another brand or something, but it might not be something that they would cover. I will pay for it for now because I don’t know what else to do.

I switched over to Prednisone from Dexamethasone last night. I think that will be an adjustment for me, as well. I didn’t sleep well, and my anxiety is pretty bad today. I don’t know if Prednisone is stronger or if my body will just need time to get used to it. Knowing what I know now, I don’t mind it though!!

I’m also still taking my Lovenox injections (you kind of get used to them after awhile) and started my progesterone. I’m still doing my fertility yoga. It’s great! I’m working on my diet and some other changes, too. Overall, I’m feeling good, despite side effects and what-not. πŸ™‚

Here’s my ovulation chart link: http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/2a10a8 I always keep track of things, but I am required now by Dr. Kwak-Kim’s office to keep track. That way they can see how the new meds affect my cycles.

38

Dr. Kwak-Kim follow up!

I am so shocked and amazed by Dr. Kwak-Kim’s findings! I’m extremely encouraged and positive about treatment though. She found a lot of stuff wrong with me, but it’s all fixable!!! And it makes so much sense that I’ve been able to get pregnant, but have had failed implantation so many times. She has faith (and so do we) that we will overcome these issues and finally be successful. It’s so hard to believe after all this time, that we will actually achieve our dream! It’s surreal! I almost don’t want to get my hopes up and believe it.

Sorry this is very long!!

We already found out at my initial appointment that I have poor blood flow to my uterus, which we can treat with blood thinning injections (Lovenox). Plus, I’m doing a lot of natural/alternative treatments to hopefully remedy that. I will return at some point to re-check (their u/s machines are more high-tech than anything we have around here).

She found THREE blood clotting disorders that we previously missed! The first one is Factor XIII. I have an increased amount of blood clotting. This would be treated with the above mentioned Lovenox every day of my cycle (which I’m already on). I would need to increase to 2 injections daily after a positive beta.

The next one (you may have heard of this one) is MTHFR. This also causes increased clotting, but it affects other things. It blocks the absorption of Folic Acid and B vitamins, which are essential for a growing baby. It also affects egg quality, since it affects all cell growth. For this, I’ll take a special prescription for Folic Acid and B vitamins that my body will absorb properly. I also must take a baby aspirin (which I already do). The other issue with MTHFR is that is raises the level of Homocysteine in the blood, which is dangerous and can cause cardiac issues. She said my levels are pretty high, so we definitely want to bring that down for my overall health.

The 3rd disorder is an increased level of PAI-1. Having too much of that causes increased clotting, failed implantation, and may cause Gestational Diabetes or even Type II Diabetes. Along with this, she found that my testosterone is a little on the high side, and some of my other labs indicate an atypical form of PCOS. She will treat this with Metformin. I also need to exercise, reduce my daily carbohydrates, and lower my BMI. She said my egg quality will improve as well with this treatment. Obviously, my fertility will get better with this treatment, but we are also concerned about my overall health.

In addition to the blood clotting disorders, she found a positive ANA and positive APA. These are markers for autoimmune problems. However, I tested negative for Rheumatoid Arthritis and other autoimmune disorders. It still shows that I have lot of inflammation in my body though. She found that my Natural Killer Cells were not that high, like Dr. Sher had said. She did find that my inflammatory T Cells are very high. We need to calm the inflammatory response with IV-IG. This is an IV medication used to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. It would be done early in my cycle, as well as into pregnancy. I have to take steroids daily, too.

The last thing she found was that I’m deficient in IGG and IGA. These are linked to an increased chance of infections – viral and bacterial. It means my immune system is weak. To replenish this, I would need IV-IG. The good thing about that is that it would be considered medically necessary – not just for fertility, but for my health. She said I could probably find a regular Immunologist in the area to treat me.

One thing that I’m really amazed and confused by is that my AMH went UP! I know I still have Diminished Ovarian Reserve, but my AMH went from 0.3 to 1.85!! That is a huge difference! It’s supposed to get worse, not better. That combined with the fact that my FSH has been much better, too makes me wonder. I guess the healthy changes I’ve made have helped??!! Maybe I won’t enter menopause as soon as they guesstimated?? I’m not sure, but I feel great about that!!

So, it’s a lot of information and I’m not thrilled about having more problems….but the fact that all these things have come to light and we can fix them is amazing! Plus, I had no idea that so many of these things would affect my HEALTH…not just my fertility.

Dr. Kwak-Kim said she recently put a lady on a similar protocol. A lady that had been through IVF and many early losses like me. She got pregnant naturally – no fertility drugs or treatments (except these meds I mentioned). She’s now 6 weeks pregnant and doing great! She thinks we have a chance to be successful without any IVF or even IUI!!! I’ll be starting my new medications today! I’m not sure when I can do the IV treatment though. I’m so excited to make some changes! πŸ˜€

9

Fertility massage and cycle 42 update

Unfortunately, we had to cancel the IUI. Something came up unexpectedly – financially. Plus, I hear from Dr. Kwak-Kim today with my test results and follow up. She may have bigger plans for us, so it’s not a bad idea right now to not spend that money. We have conceived before with timed intercourse (luckily), so fingers crossed that we will again – and stay pregnant for 9 months or so! I feel good that one of those 4-5 eggies is a good one (I hope)! πŸ™‚

I triggered Monday morning, and I think I either ovulated late last night or I’m still ovulating today. Monday afternoon, I had my first fertility massage! It was an amazing, unique experience! She combined regular massage over my entire body, reflexology on my feet, “cupping”, and fertility massage – to my abdomen, uterus/ovaries, and hips/legs. She spoke a lot of soothing words, used guided imagery, and had me work on letting go of my feelings and emotions. She also taught me how to do my own massage to improve blood flow to my uterus and ovaries! It was awesome, and I loved it. I would highly recommend checking into this specific kind of massage if there are any in your area.

I had never done “cupping” before. It’s hard to explain, but here is a link for it. It is supposed to improve circulation. My back did not have big welts on it afterwards like in the pics, though thankfully! She used suction cups on me. It felt kind of strange, but nice! πŸ™‚ Some people who perform acupuncture will also do this.

My follow up is (via phone) at noon today! I’m kind of nervous, but looking forward to hearing what she has to say. I will update once I process all the information, because I’m sure there will be a lot to take in.