Sunday, September 27, 2015

CCRM Consultation

Friday was my consultation with Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine, or CCRM.  If you guys are familiar with Giuliana Rancic then you may have heard of CCRM and Dr. Schoolcraft.  This is the same clinic where she and her husband Bill sought treatment for the infertility and were ultimately told, due to her breast cancer diagnosis, that she would be best using a gestational carrier (which she did and she ended up with the cutest boy, Duke).  

After I posted about our WTF consultation with Dr. LdM and the fact that he thought we needed to move forward with donor eggs, many people suggested looking into CCRM.  At first I really just brushed it off thinking, there is no way in hell that we would be able to consider doing a treatment out of state.  After doing some research of my own I realized that at least the free phone consultation was probably worth it.  Just to at least hear an opinion from a doctor that practices at the number one fertility center in the country was enough for me to make an appointment.  

I knew that I probably wasn't going to want to wait for an appointment with Dr. Schoolcraft because I believe he is probably the most sought-after fertility specialist in this country so I decided that I would just take the next available appointment that fit into my schedule.  I had my appointment with Dr. Laxmi Kondapalli and she was amazing!  First off, she called me 15 minutes early which I think is practically unheard of in the world of medicine.  She was so sweet right off the bat and wanted to walk through all of my cycles first.  

After reviewing everything together she told me she didn't really feel much of a concern about my egg quality, especially based on the fact that I ended up with 7 day-5 blastocysts.  She said that is actually a pretty good indication that my quality is probably OK because if it weren't I wouldn't have nearly as many, if any, day-5 blastocysts.  This really made me feel a lot better and kind of confirmed what I was already thinking on my own.  She said that I can certainly continue the supplements that I am on.  

She also suggested that if we were to do a fresh cycle with them (or if we wanted to have our frosties transferred to their clinic) that she highly recommends Comprehensive Chromosome Screening or CCS testing, similar to PGS testing.  I told her that I was very adamant about wanting that testing done no matter where we would do another fresh cycle and she agreed that should be at the top of my list of wants.  

She was definitely eager to get us out there as soon as possible, but we are going to continue with our frozen transfer at this time which she understands.  Her nurse has already called and given me the information about what we would need to do if we did decided to pursue treatment with them.  It would be a full day of labs in Colorado which would include an ultrasound, hysteroscopy, AMH testing, semen analysis and DNA fragmentation test, infectious disease tests, resting follicle test and more.  We would then have to have testing done back at home and the labs would be shipped to them. They do all of their lab work in their own labs including the CCS testing.

I should be hearing from their business center soon about the costs and what insurance will cover since they are out of state.  I'm not sure that this will ever be an option for us, but I am really happy that I decided to consult with them.  We all hope that our next frozen cycle will work and we won't need to pursue further treatment, but I am glad that we are taking the necessary steps in the right direction to move forward if we need to.  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Happy 4th Anniversy

Happy 4th anniversary to my wonderful husband!  I am so blessed to have such an amazing and motivated man in my life!  Over the last year he has given me so much with building our forever home with pretty much his bare hands.  He is amazing and so talented and efficient.  We have had an absolutely amazing year!  Can't wait to see what's in store for next year & beyond! 

Cherry to 4 years!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

FETx3 & Life Lately...

We finally have our plan for our third frozen transfer.  I had met with Dr. G (my original RE) on Monday and we decided to transfer 2 frozen embryos in October.  I was waiting for my period which was almost 10 days late!  Finally on Tuesday I started so I called with the start of my cycle and got potential dates for transfer.  I picked October 29th because it’s a Thursday and a day of bed rest on Friday so it would give me a nice long weekend to relax.

I am very skeptical about this cycle and I am not really emotionally attached to it at all like I was with my last cycle.  I know that there is a possibility that all 7 embryos that we got from our first fresh cycle could be abnormal due to the quality of my eggs.  It would be very devastating if we burned through all 7 and not one of them took, but it would also be a very strong indicator that my egg quality IS the actual issue and we could then continue to address that as the REAL issue and the REAL cause of my infertility. 

I am not really convinced that the Beta 3 Integrin protein deficiency is as much of an issue as I had originally thought.  Dr. G wouldn’t even test me for it, and Dr. LdM said it was an anomaly that some doctors believe it is absolutely necessary and some view it as hogwash.  Between that and the fact that Dr. LdM at my WTF appointment told me that medically, “you shouldn’t even be here” I realized that it’s not the protein deficiency, it’s not the endometriosis, it’s nothing I’ve been previously treated for that is the issue.

Besides baby making (or lack thereof), I’ve been loving the weather that we are having and really enjoying every second I get to spend in my house.  I seriously look forward to going straight home after work every single day.  For me, my home is like a vacation; it’s relaxing, it’s comfortable, & it’s mine.  I’ve been decorating for fall and making lots of comfort food lately like Zuppa tuscana and chicken pot pie.  I love cooking in my beautiful kitchen.  We’ve been making our homemade wine, finishing up trim in all the bedrooms, and just started our front porch.  I love having the windows open and the double sliding door open watching the trees, birds, squirrels, butterflies, grasshoppers, spiders, (OMG THE SPIDERS!?), and all the rest of nature while my Scentsy fills the air with fall smells.  It is fabulous. 

enjoying our first fire in the fireplace last Sunday morning

Frankie making sure we didn't drop any grapes while working on the wine.

This weekend I am going to a Cubs/Cardinals game with my mom and her best friend and her daughter.  Next week is our FOUR year anniversary!  Then September is practically over!  I cannot believe how fast this year has flown and it seems like these last couple months are going to go even quicker if that is possible.  I’m excited for Halloween which is my favorite holiday and of course, our frozen transfer. 

I hope all my beautiful bloggers are enjoying themselves lately.  I apologize again for not being as present as I normally am or would like to be.  I am so passionate about writing and advocating, but sometimes a break is necessary, especially when you’ve got some serious writers block and not much to talk about.  I thank you all for your continued prayers and support.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

All Things September

Go figure the first week of September it would be 95° here in Illinois!  The temps for this week and early next are all in the high 80’s and 90’s, definitely not what I want or expected for September.  Luckily the mid 70’s are coming in just a couple more days and I cannot wait!  Until the week we had a steady couple of weeks of weather in the low to mid 70’s and it was amazing to be able to have the windows open and the AC turned OFF! 

I think September is a favorite for a lot of us, we are all ready for cooler temps, PSL’s, bon fires, boots, scarves, etc. and September usually kicks that off for us.  It’s been awhile since I’ve done a “favorites” post of any kind so here is my list of favorites for this month:

Open windows & fall scented everything…
I got a great deal from my Scentsy girl on some new scents and I told her I wanted all fall inspired flavors.  Right now I have Zen Garden going in my Owl warmer and I really love it.  I guess it’s probably not the most “fall” flavored bar I got, but it’s a good transition.  It would be great for the spring too.  I also got Autumn Maple Blaze, Dulce le Leche, Amber Road, and Huckleberry Sage.  I love having a breeze blow through the house and carry those yummy scents all throughout.  I also picked up a pumpkin honey candle from Marshalls that smells divine!

Wardrobe Changes…
I’ve gotten some great pieces so far that I’m really excited for.  At one of our local boutiques, CNJ Style, they had Not Rated boots for $20!  I couldn’t believe it!  She was originally selling them for $80-$90 x pair, and she wanted to get rid of them so I snatched up two great pairs!  I also finally got myself a Camp Brand Goods Happy Camper sweatshirt which was on sale (I would never buy one that wasn’t, too pricey for my budget) and I’m loving it, it’s so soft and I know it will be one of my staples for the upcoming months.  I’m sure most of you have heard of or follow McKenna Bleu, she wore this perfect stripe sweater from UO and I had to have it, again, pricier than I would’ve liked, but I know this will be another staple that I will use for both fall & winter, I couldn’t pass it up.

Our Anniversary…
It will be our FOURTH anniversary on 9/24 and I cannot believe it’s been 4 years since our wedding!  This reason alone makes September one of my favorite months of the year!  It has been an amazing 4 years and I think this last year was probably our biggest year yet with building our house.  It may have also been the one with a lot of heartache as we suffered another (and probably the worst) failed IVF cycle.  We have been through so much, not just in our 4 years of marriage, but in our almost-8 years of being together and I wouldn’t want to go through it with anyone else.  Cheers to 4 years!

Staring IVFx5/FETx3
September will officially start (speaking of IVF cycles) our 5th cycle of IVF, 3rd frozen cycle.  I never, in 1 MILLION years thought that I would be going through 5+ cycles of IVF, but we are and we are dealing with it.  AF will be here in the next several days and once she comes I will be starting either BCP or Lupron to suppress my hormones.  Our consultation with Dr. G (our 1st RE) is on 9/14.  Although we won’t actually have our transfer until early October, we’re kicking things off this month!  In the meantime we also have our consultation with CCRM (Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine) on September 25th.  It’s just a phone consult and I doubt that we will choose to move forward with treatment from them as it’s a 13+ hour drive or an expensive plane ticket, lots of vacation days, sick time, and just doesn’t seem to be the best choice for us at this time.  If we hadn’t just built a house we might be able to swing this option.   We will also have a consultation at AFCC (Advanced Fertility Centers of Chicago) but that won’t be until at least October/November.

Fall in our Forever Home…
I am really excited to finally experience fall in our new house!  I’ve been really wanting a chilly night to be able to put a fire in the fireplace, cook a pot of chili, and enjoy all my fall decorations.  I’ve actually already started to decorate for fall with some small touches here & there.  If you follow me on Instagram then you saw my centerpiece.  We should also be completing our front porch this month & hopefully planting grass, 2 really big steps towards completion!  Unfortunately, with no neighbors I won’t be passing out any Halloween candy at the new house!

Sorry for the insanely long-winded post.  Like I said, it’s been awhile since I’ve done any fun posts lately and it’s nice to be able to take my focus off of (well not entirely, see above) infertility.  I hope you guys are enjoying September as much as I am!

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