Last month we decided that we would take the month off and begin to consider the possibility of doing an IVF cycle in the spring. However, when I called the doctor's office and spoke to the nurse she said that the doctor was "reasonably confident" that I would get pregnant with an IUI and would do one at 1/2 price. Being the bargain shopper that I am, I just couldn't pass up half-price! :)
I took Tamoxifen again for the second month in a row. The first month, I did not do well with the medicine...I felt awful, had headaches, felt nauseous, it was just bad! But the second month went much more smoothly. I felt a lot better and it really wasn't too difficult of a month. Because I had spent quite a bit of time in Indiana due to my Grandpa passing away and Jacob working out of the Lafayette plant for a week, I was a little nervous that we wouldn't be back in Tennessee in time for the IUI. Even in the midst of infertility, though, I've always had a very reliable cycle! I ALWAYS have a positive ovulation test on day 14 and ovulate on day 15. Well....wouldn't you know, I ovulated 2 days early! So, we missed the IUI because we were still in Indiana!
For those of you who don't know anything about endometriosis, one of the reasons that some doctors believe that an IUI is helpful in women with infertility caused by endometriosis is that endometriosis can cause an increased amount of "macrophages". Basically, macrophages attack foreign material in your body. The increased macrophages are due to the constant presence of disease in the uterus. Basically, your body is always on attack-mode. Unfortunately, that can mean that the macrophages also attack sperm. Basically, the IUI puts the sperm closer to where it needs to be! (Now I'm not a doctor, so please don't hold me to any of this or quote me as an expert!!!) Basically, the IUI is a good thing for us to have each month, but we missed out this past month!
So, today we saw the doctor again. There were a lot of factors to discuss and I won't bore you with everything, but here were the bullet points from the appointment....
- The doctor does NOT feel like I'm going to need an IVF to get pregnant, at least at this point. He's pretty confident that the surgery went well enough that our chances are looking up. Since the surgery, we've only had one IUI, so it makes sense to still be confident in the possibility of it working.
- My egg reserve test did show a low egg reserve, which is still a concern in the back of our minds. Basically it means that I won't "stimulate" (produce as many eggs) as other women my age, no matter what treatment we do. The bad news is that there is also some evidence that women with a low reserve also have lower quality eggs, which makes our chances of getting pregnant lower. If we need to go to an IVF cycle, we will probably have difficulty getting the number of follicles that most fertility patients get. It's likely that we would not have eggs to freeze and use at another time. So, the $15,000 would really be for ONE try!
- We decided that the best option for us at this point is to move on from the tamoxifen to the injectable medications. This time we'll be starting with a higher dose of medication from the beginning in hopes of getting more follicles (eggs). I'll also be adding another medication in addition to the HMG. I'll take injections of Lupron to prevent me from ovulating on my own. This will allow us to stimulate for longer without the fear of me ovulating before it's time. Using the injectables in this way will also give us a good idea of how I would stimulate for IVF if that becomes necessary.
Originally, we decided to sit out my next cycle and start the injectables toward the end of January. Although the cost of an injectable cycle with an IUI is much cheaper than IVF, it's still a big cost for us! Because of the dose of medicine I need, it can easily cost anywhere from $1,500-2,000. Unfortunately, we don't have that as "extra" in our budget! We knew we'd need the next four weeks to save up some to get ready for the cost. However, we have a wonderful couple in our lives who have said they will serve as our financial backers! They're willing to loan us the money in order for us to be able to go ahead with the injections as soon as possible! Thank you Jesus for our amazing family!!!! It's not fun to borrow money, but we're just very thankful for the opportunity to continue trying to start our family!
So....all that said, I should be ready to start injections by early next week. By Monday or Tuesday, Jacob will be back to injecting medicine in my back-side nightly, this time with an added injection in my belly as well! Yipee! :) Please pray for us over the next several weeks as we take yet another step forward in our "journey"! As our doctor said today "only God knows what will work and when"!
****Added Correction.....because of the timing and with Christmas and New Year's, it's going to work best for me to take a birth control pill for a week or so and begin the injections after the first of the year. Basically, we're hitting "pause" for about a week!