Monday, August 24, 2009

Second opinion

I don't think I am very good at updating my blog! It has been almost a week since both of my appointments and I haven't updated at all, so sorry.

Last Monday my appointment with Dr. Kopher went well. We talked about the last cycle and what went well and what didn't. He was very happy with the amount of medication we used and the amount of follicles that grew. He felt this last cycle was more controlled then the last cycles with Follistim. However, the one downfall was getting cellulitis on my abdomen from the injections. I asked him why he felt things weren't working. He said there could be multiple reasons, one being luck, two being maybe the follicles weren't "good" follicles and three this was only the third time I have ovulated EVER in my life. His suggestion was to keep trying what we have been doing. We have gone through 4 cycles, 3 being successful ovulation. He gives women 6 successful ovulation cycles with injections before he is convinced it won't work.

I explained to him that we would like to take a break from the injections and what would be his suggestions in the mean time. He brought up taking Metformin. I told him I had an appointment with Dr. Malo the following day. He suggested I go to the appointment, see what Dr. Malo has to say and go from there. I left the appointment feeling well. He took the time to answer all of my questions and explore every opportunity.

So the following day, Tuesday, I went to my appointment with Dr. Malo. My wonderful husband did come with me for support, as much as he didn't want to. We met with a nurse practitioner the first half of the appointment, going through all of my past cycles and history as well as Eli's history. She was very surprised at Eli's sperm analysis and the fact that he smokes a pack a day. She said she sees more times then none that smoking greatly affects men's sperm analysis. I think god knows that he isn't willing to stop smoking, so he is giving us a break in this area! We then met with Dr. Malo. He went right into all of options and what he thought would be worth trying. He also went over the things that Dr. Kopher has done and said he would have done the same and thinks Dr. Kopher is handling my care well.

Here are the options he gave us:

1. Try another cycle with injections. He as well isn't convinced injectables don't work in a woman until they have had successful ovulation for 6 cycles. He did say he would try another medication that is like Repronex but doesn't give the injection site side effects.

2. Have surgery known as "ovarian drilling". He said that in countries like Europe, reproductive medicine doctors do ovarian drilling before even trying injections. He said it wasn't an "experimental" surgery, patients just opt not to go down that road. The one downfall of the surgery is it may cause scar tissue that would prevent follicles to pass through the tube to the uterus. He said it works for about 60% of PCOS patients that do it. Effects show right away.

3. Take Metformin for the next 3-6 weeks and try to lose weight.

4. Be very aggressive and go right to Invitro Fertilization. This he felt would result in a successful pregnancy for us.

He left the decision up to us and explained we need to choose what to do based on how aggressive we wanted to be with things at this point.

We went into this appointment knowing we would take a break, so option number 3 was what fit us the best at this time. He did an ultrasound that day too check my uterine lining and to "make sure" PCOS was what I had. He said that my ovaries are "text book" Polysitic Ovaries. He also had blood drawn to check my liver function before taking Metformin. This post is getting long, so I will add some info on how Metformin works with PCOS in a different post. I left Dr. Malo's office feeling well, I think maybe when we decide to "try" again we will go back to Dr. Malo.

Things have been going well on the medication. however I am experiencing many side effects. Stomach upset, lots of diarrhea after eating, not feeling hungry and feeling tired. Despite the side effects I have lost some weight so things are going well and the side effects might be worth it in the end! If I don't get a period by the first of September I have to take some medication to induce one. Dr. Malo stressed the importance of getting a period while taking Metformin.

Until next post...whenever that will be :)

Love, Kristen & Eli

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What a break will do!

Things have been going very well, on our so called "break" from all of this. Not having to squeeze appointments in everyday and not having life schedule around everything. Its nice to be "normal" again. I feel like our relationship has even gotten better, not that it was bad before. I feel like we have grown closer and we've been having such a great time together. I also feel like I know more about my husband. We've gotten chances to actually talk about "normal" things in life, like how our day went, work, family and Jordan. Don't get me wrong I still think about having and baby and being pregnant all the time, but I don't let it consume my life.
Physically I also feel better. I have lost at least 7 pounds from just stopping hormones and I don't feel so bloated all the time. Which in return makes me less self conscious. Eli has also noticed these things! Things are going well, what a break will do for you!
I have my appointment with Dr. Kopher tomorrow morning and Tuesday morning with Dr. Maylo. Eli won't be coming with tomorrow but he will be on Tuesday. I know he doesn't want to but is willing to for my support.

I will update tomorrow after the appointment!

Love, Kristen & Eli

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cycle Update

I apologize its been so long since I've updated....

It didn't work, again....I got my period. My period came 10 days after the last IUI, which is very abnormal. Its not supposed to come until 14 days after the last IUI in a "perfect" cycle. This happened before, with the last time that we did a complete cycle. When I called Dr. Kopher's office and told them I had gotten my period the nurse practitioner was a little concerned and talked with Dr. Kopher. They both agreed that it was too early for a period, especially when I was taking extra progesterone. Dr. Kopher suggested a follow up appointment to talk about maybe testing for a Luteal phase defect. Luteal phase is one of the "phases" in a woman's menstrual cycle. Its the time between ovulation and menses. I'm not sure how they test for a defect but I'm sure I've got it...why not add another problem to the list.

After all the tears and feelings of frustration and disappointment Eli and I had a very serious talk about what to do next. I like always want to keep trying. Eli wants a break. He expressed his feelings about what he was thinking and feeling and really wants a break. He feels like this has totally overcome our marriage, life, and everyday conversations. He is tired of "timed intercourse" and giving "samples" on the spot. He told me he "misses his wife" and wants to have some time to relax and not stress about trying to have a baby. He asked me to give him six months and after the first of the year we will have a discussion about when we will start this whole roller coaster again. I was very upset at first but came to realize I need a break too. As much as I want to keep going I am tired and emotionally and mentally drained. I am no longer mad or upset at Eli for wanting a break, I am thankful. Thankful that he is the strong one in the relationship and thankful that he is always looking out for us as a couple. I am not sure where I would be emotionally in the next couple of months if we kept going and ending with the same outcomes.

Despite the break we are taking from all of this, I am still going to continue to see Dr. Kopher. There are some things that we could try that would take a couple of months to even see if they have any effect. Metformin being one of them. It is a drug that is given to diabetics ans is often used in those with PCOS. There have been many reports of women with PCOS who take Metformin and get their cycles back or get pregnant on their own. That is one option I would be willing to try. Another is having a laproscopic surgery to see if there is any scar tissue affecting things from my previous surgeries. I have a follow up appointment with Dr. Kopher on Monday August 17 to discuss all that has happened and all that is left to try.

I also scheduled another appointment for a second opinion. I enjoy seeing Dr. Kopher and feel he is giving the best care and exploring each option but I am wanting a second opinion. I contacted the Minnesota for Reproductive Medicine office and have an appointment on Tuesday August 18 with Dr. John Maylo. I have only heard wonderful things about him and great success stories. He is currently reviewing all of the cycles and things we have done so far, as well as my history and Eli's history. I am excited to hear what he has to say and to find out what he suggests we start with when we are ready to try again.

This has been one stressful month but feel alot better about things. We have already taken time off to relax and enjoy ourselves. This past week we went to South Dakota for the 2009 Sturigs Motorcycle Rally. It was a blast and definitely worth doing again. We had so much fun riding, relaxing and site seeing in the gorgeous Black Hills!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer and enjoying themselves and their family and friends. Things that are the most important in life! Thanks for all of the love!

Love, Kristen & Eli