"For I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord..." Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, May 21, 2012

Moving Forward (sans the insanity)

Albert Einstein's definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. I am pretty sure, if I had the chance to have a conversation about our baby making journey with Mr. Einstein he would personally escort us both to the funny farm himself. 30 months of doing the same thing while remaining hopeful the outcome will be different; we're definitely skating a fine line between having a strong faith in God and being completely nuts. My opinion is the first but then again, how many crazy people do you know who actually admit they're crazy? It is time we stop the baby making insanity!!!

As I had previously mentioned, I was scheduled for a 2nd HSG test the 2nd week of May. This is the test done by injecting dye into my uterus while taking a series of x-rays to determine whether or not there are any blockages in my fallopian tubes and/or any obstructions in my uterus. If you recall, the first RE (Dr. T) had performed this test and had determined my right fallopian tube was inflamed, folded or blocked by scar tissue from an unknown cause. The test was performed a 2nd time by Dr. D because the pictures provided by Dr. T were, for a lack of a better term, crap. The 2nd test showed the same result as the first. My left tube and uterus are completely clear and a-ok. The right, however, is still not allowing dye to travel through, therefore it has been determined it is blocked by scar tissue. Although, this isn't the best news possible, it is still not a major concern for Dr. D. He stated that even with one tube, we should be pregnant by now. He gave us the option to have the laparoscopic surgery although it would only confirm what the blockage truly is. There is no guarantee they could open the tube back up and there would also be a risk of developing more scar tissue because of the procedure. No thanks! Following the 2nd HSG test, we scheduled a follow-up visit/consultation to discuss what we do next. This appointment took place Friday.

Before every appointment we have been to throughout this journey, I have been overwhelmed with emotions. Nerves, anxiety, excitement, hope, fear, anticipation, this appointment was no different. Aside from the MTHFR gene mutation, every test result has come back just as it did before. Everything has been normal with no indication as to what is preventing us from getting pregnant. I felt it very hard to believe this doctor could have any different thoughts in regard to a treatment plan than the previous doctor. IVF would be the only answer and how in the world would we afford that? Would we just have to... I hate even typing it... give up? Would we just have to learn to live a life without children? Would we eternally be the Aunt and Uncle with all the animals? I know my thoughts and emotions seem severe and rather extreme especially seeing as we haven't even spoken to the doctor yet but I just want you to get an idea of just how much of a roller coaster ride this has been.

Our appointment, again, was in the early morning. We arrived at the office and were called back rather quickly. We waited for over an hour for the HSG test. I was afraid I had sung their praises too soon after our first visit but they did not disappoint this time. We sat in front of a computer where Dr. D went through the series of x-rays from the HSG test. He again, explained what he was seeing and pointed out the differences in the right tube and left. He discussed the option of laparoscopic surgery and how he doesn't even do the surgeries himself anymore. We determined it wouldn't be an avenue we would like to pursue. We then went over all my blood work and discussed how everything looked good. He brought up the MTHFR gene mutation and said I should just take 2 extra folic acid tablets per day with my pre-natal vitamins. He explained that he would be concerned if I had 2 mutations but seeing as I only have one, the additional folic acid would be sufficient for the problem. Dang it! I was really banking on this little anomaly in my, otherwise, perfect test results would be the answer to our problems. Who would have thought a doctor telling you you're basically normal would be such disappointing news? Back to the drawing board...

We then moved on to Cozart's results. I had already heard all of this over the phone, so I was fully prepared to listen to yet another person inflate my husband's ego by describing his sperm analysis findings as super hero like. I even stopped Dr. D before going through all the results forewarning him that Cozart's head needed to fit in my car to get home. He proceeded with, "Well, it's not all super.". YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! Finally something! Although, Cozart's count and the numbers that go along with it are great, there is one other thing they tested for which is call sperm agglutination. Sperm agglutination is a condition in which the sperm cells stick to one another. We didn't discuss what the cause of it may be but that it can interfere with the process of effectively reaching and fertilizing the egg. This coupled with an issue I have with lack of cervical mucous, (we mentioned this to the 1st doctor who dismissed the issue but we failed to mention to Dr. D) could very well be what is preventing us from getting pregnant on our own.

***Sorry if this is all a little TMI. Please refer to my first post forewarning about the discussion of bodily functions. Which may include but is not limited to bodily fluids.***

Could this really be it? The answer we've been praying for? Perhaps... but now, how in the heck to we get past this?

Well, according to Dr. D, IUI is our answer (or at least where we're starting). IUI, short for intrauterine insemination is when they take sperm and insert it directly into my uterus using a turkey baster like apparatus. It's not quite that easy though. Nothing else has been so why start now? It is, however, much easier and more natural than IVF (in vitro fertilization) . Not to mention, MUCH MUCH less expensive! PRAISE on all accounts!

We will not begin the IUI process until 10 days into my next cycle. I expect Aunt Flo's arrival on Saturday of this week, so 9 days from Saturday. I will have to go in for an ultrasound on day 10 to determine which side I will be ovulating on for that particular cycle. (Female Anatomy 101 Fun Fact #1: Most women only release an egg from one side or the other each month) If it is the right side, we will have to sit that cycle out because of the blocked fallopian tube. (Female Anatomy Fun Fact #2: Just because said women released an egg from her right side on one month does not necessarily mean it will be the left [or vice versa] the next.) If they see that I will be ovulating on my left side, I will be sent home with a drug called Ovidrel to be injected when instructed by the doctor. Ovidrel is the HCG hormone. It's basically just giving my egg a little push out of my ovary in an effort to guarantee ovulation. Cozart will have to provide a sample the next day. His sample will go through an 8 hour process called sperm washing. This just ensures that the healthy and strong swimmers are what they are injecting. After the washing is complete, I return for the insemination. Then we wait... and pray... and pray... and pray somemore!! I will go back in 2 weeks following insemination to have a blood test to determine if it worked. We will not be able to use an HPT as the hormone the HPT picks up is the hormone I will have been injected with. Even if it doesn't work, the HPT will still read positive.

So that's it! We may not have a baby yet and the chance of this working may not be 100% but I just can't help but feel so incredibly blessed. Blessed to finally have a doctor we feels so comfortable with. Blessed to feel like we're finally getting somewhere. But mostly, blessed to have such an amazing support system in each and every one of you. We have amazing friends and family and we just can't wait to have a little one to share all of you with!!! Our journey definitely isn't complete but at least my hope has been restored to sustain what's yet to come. That alone, is an answered prayer.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

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