I’ve named our RE, Dr. Stretch. Because he is about the tallest person I’ve seen in my life and since I am 5’1”, THAT is saying something. Also because Sticky Bun's new RE is Shorty (he IS your new RE, right Sticky Bun?), Stretch and Shorty sounded kind of fun.
Dr. Stretch starts by drawing graphs of the probability of women in their 30’s getting pregnant and bringing home a baby in the course of a year. I found it amusing that he drew these graphs with colorful Cray0la markers, like using the orange marker was going to take the sting out of his little chart.
He listed out each age 31,32, etc., all the way down to 40. I started to get insulted since I’m on the lower end of that Y axis, but then realized he’s just making a point. Showing us our odds in the most objective way possible.
Then he goes through the four things that can cause miscarriage and talks about how they will test for each one. This was all old news to me since I’ve read Jon Cohen’s “Coming to Term” twice in the past week. But it was good for Cowboy to hear. In short, we’re offered these tests:
(1) Abnormal chromosomes. Test = Karotype testing (DNA testing) on both partners.
(2) Immunulogical. Test = blood test. He put me on 81 mg of baby aspirin just in case. Baby aspirin and prenatals…the gateway drugs.
(3) Hormonal = clomid test and progesterone test.
(4) Physical Abnormalities in Ms. Planner’s girly bits = HSG.
Side note: to explain what happens during an HSG, Dr. Stretch brought out photocopied science drawing of the female reproductive system. I had to bite the insides of my cheeks to stop from cracking up because I was wondering what was running through Cowboy’s mind. We don’t even talk about AF in our house. Seriously, talking about periods (for him) and going #2 (for me) are off limits. And here he is being confronted by a full scale representation of ovaries, fallopian tubes and the uterus. Flippin’ classic. So what if I’m completely immature sometimes.
So I’m off for 2 of the 4 tests beginning CD 3 of my next cycle:
- Clomid Challenge Test / Progesterone which happen at different days in the cycle.
- HSG on day 12.
Cowboy apparently gets off scott free. LUH-CKY. He’s missing out though because he was going to get one fantastic care package full of porn if he had to whack off in a cup.
However, is it strange that Dr. Stretch didn’t even ask for a swimmer sample? I don’t know how I feel about this. What if Cowboy’s swimmers have poor morphology, which is contributing to a nonviable embie? Perhaps they just want to get the more obvious tests out of the way.
On the other hand, I am happy to spare any of this for Cowboy. He’s got enough stress with his job. This would only add to it.
Maybe Dr. Stretch thinks that because we’ve gotten pregnant twice before, the problem is not with Cowboy’s swimmers. Unless Cowboy’s got some freak DNA, which we’ll learn about during the karotype test.
Has anyone out there had karotype testing? It’s expensive and I’m not entirely sure it is covered by my insurance. The reason to have it is that if one of us has messed up DNA, we have a 75% chance of miscarrying every time we get pregnant. Only 7-10% of couples who miscarry have DNA issues. Wouldn’t I be just that lucky? But still, if you have DNA issues you usually go right to IVF with prenatal genetic diagnosis and voila! baby. We’ve got a couple weeks to decide on this. Any thoughts?
Other news is that Dr. Stretch suspects that progesterone is major player here. My cycles are between 23-26 days and I’ve never had a luteal phase beyond 12 days.
I had to sit on my hands to keep from snarking, “Yes, Dr. Stretch. I’ve long held the suspicion that I might have progesterone issues. In fact, I know 2 other women who had miscarriages and were put on progesterone -- no questions asked -- the minute the next time they saw 2 lines and they both went on to deliver healthy children. Instead of testing my progesterone levels after miscarriage #1, I was told to simply ‘focus on getting pregnant,’.” And we all know how that turned out.
But I couldn’t throw my OB under the bus because Dr. Stretch performed my OB’s IUI (which worked by the way). So they’re old buddies.
Anyway, Dr. Stretch wants to do the clomid test to check my FSH levels so he knows what kind of eggs he has to work with and the HSG just to check regarding possible abnormalities that would cause implantation problems.
But the most shocking take away from our meeting is that our best odds of success = IVF. Yep, we have better odds of taking home a healthy baby if we have IVF with PGD than if we conceive naturally (and, of course, once we correct whatever issue(s) I may have).
How about them apples?
I am a research geek. I am so down with the 4-1-1. I love statistics. I love facts. And when it comes to this particular fact, I am simultaneously fascinated and terrified.
So you mean I bypass all the IUI’s? No warm-up runs? We play the odds naturally? Or, we go right to IVF?
Holy…still trying to process that one. *Gulp*.