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#1 of 16 Old 11-28-2009, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello All,

My partner and I of 8 years have been TTC our first child together for about 18 months. Although we have tried many different things, we have not been successful. We were hoping that we could tell everyone here what we have tried and receive some much needed support and advice. Here goes...

Began BBT charting 4/08

First Cycle TTC 7/08
4 vials frozen donor sperm
OPKs
Saliva microscope
3 faint BFPs on 12 DPO
Chemical pregnancy??

2nd Cycle 8/08
3 vials
Same as above
BFN

3rd Cycle 9/08
3 vials
OPKs
Saliva microscope
Baby aspirin
BFN

4th Cycle 10/08
3 vials
OPKs
Saliva microscope
Baby aspirin
Natural Progesterone cream
Robitussin
BFN

5th Cycle 11/08
Anovulatory

6th Cycle 12/08
Visit with RE
2 vials
OPKs
Saliva microscope
Baby aspirin
Robitussin
50 mg Clomid days 3-7
Un-monitored
BFN

7th Cycle 1/09
3 vials
OPKs
Saliva microscope
Checking cervix
Baby aspirin
Robitussin
Natl. Prog. cream
100 mg Clomid days 3-7
Un-monitored
BFN

8th Cycle 2/09
2 vials
Same as above
BFN

9th Cycle 3/09
3 vials
Same as above
BFN

10th Cycle 4/09
HSG
Right tube possibly blocked?
Anovulatory
53 day cycle, Provera needed to bring on AF

11th Cycle 6/09
100 mg Clomid days 3-7
Monitored
Cycle canceled, only 1 follicle on right side (blocked side)

12th Cycle 7/09
1 vial Dr. assisted IUI
OPKs
Clomid 100 mg days 5-9
Hcg trigger
Baby aspirin
Progesterone suppositories
Monitored, 1 follicle on left side
BFN

13th Cycle 8/09
Break

14th Cycle 9/09
Break
Lap & HSG
All clear, right tube blockage seems to have cleared, no endo

15th Cycle 10/09
1 vial at home
1 vial Dr. assisted IUI
100 mg Clomid days 3-7
150 Menopur days 8-9
HCG trigger shot
Prometrium used vaginally
Monitored, multiple follicles, 2 mature, right and left
BFN 17 dpo, still waiting for AF


Thank you so much for reading. I'm sorry it's so long...as you can see, we have tried alot! In addition to what is listed above, we have changed donors many times, sperm banks twice, ate fresh pineapple (as much as I could stomach, yuck!), been on prenatal vitamins since 4/08, and of course, lots of positive thinking! We really don't know what the next step should be. My RE, although willing to try whatever we suggest, is not very big on actually telling us what to do. We are very heart-broken over all of this. Some ideas we are kicking around: trying Femara alone, trying Femara + Menopur, trying Clomid + Menopur again, ordering drugs from Canada (the cost is killing us), trying just Menopur, and trying 2-3 IUI per month instead of just 1. These are just some of our plans. I have been a lurker here for a while and it seems as though all of the posters are caring and knowledgeable. Any ideas, suggestions, comments, support, and success stories are welcome.

Looking forward to getting to know all of you,
Jess & Susan (DP)

Jess, DP to Susan and Step-Mom to Carrie, Matthew, Lauren, and Benjamin
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#2 of 16 Old 11-29-2009, 04:52 AM
 
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Hmmmm, well I guess, if I was in your position I would try using fresh, live, sperm. This is completely different to aquire than ordering from a sperm bank though. Personally I've had good experinces with posting ads on www.gayfamilyoptions.com.

I would defintely get a phone consult with Maia Midwifery (http://www.maiamidwifery.com) and have your ovulation charts and more specific insemination history sent over to them too.

I would also start talking about the possibility of trying to convice with the other partner. It seems like the two of you really want to have a baby, maybe switching who will be the gestational carrier might allow for it it happen a little sooner for you both.

Good luck!

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#3 of 16 Old 11-29-2009, 05:43 PM
 
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halfgiggle - I'm sorry your journey has been so long! We also faced a pretty long journey (about two years and one devastating loss) but are now 16 weeks pregnant. I think the difference for us was a combination of switching from frozen sperm to fresh sperm (as basje suggested) and ACUPUNCTURE.

After a very frustrating couple of years we got pregnant the first cycle after starting acupuncture. It doesn't work for everyone, but for us, I just know it made a big difference. (it also did wonders for morning sickness)

Best of luck to you!

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#4 of 16 Old 11-29-2009, 08:50 PM
 
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I'm down with all these recommendations, with the caveat that if you're having fertility issues, it can be really frustrating to put all your hopes and dreams on one particular thing.

I know after three or four frozen cycles, I really thought I'd be pregnant right away with fresh sperm. Fast forward through an entire year of trying. And now I'm on my third cycle with the second donor.


Right now, I'm pinning on my hopes on the high-powered meds, so clearly I have not learned my lesson.


The reality is that no matter how lively the sperm, if you're not getting enough eggs, you're not going to get pregnant. I hate to be a downer . . . it does sound like you do make eggs, and maybe you just need more of the drugs, and fresh sperm would definitely be a good idea...if you can find the right sperm and if you can get on board with it. It's a bit of switch from frozen in terms of working out the logistics and the legalities, etc. For me, it was definitely the decision I am most comfortable with in this entire process.

SPBC Finally a Papa! Elise Ember Soleil - 10/3/10 - 4:09 AM - 6 lbs 8 oz My daughter eats donor milk! Human milk for human babies!
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#5 of 16 Old 11-30-2009, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your responses. We have talked about using a fresh donor, and even had one last Christmas to donate. But, we looked into the legal side of it, and there are no laws that protect me and my partner from the donor coming back 2 years down the road and wanting visitation with our baby. I would have no choice but to give him visitation. My partner and I do not want the donor to have any type of relationship with the baby. We deal with my partner's ex having visitation and being in the picture with her kids. It is nothing but a BIG headache.

We have also talked about my partner being the biological mom. I really want to have a biological child of my own as she already has 4 biological kids. I want to experience being pregnant and having that "special" bond with a baby. It's not out of the picture for her to try if it comes down to it that I can never carry a baby.

I am going to look into having acupuncture as I have seen where it's helped a lot of people conceive. I also tend to be a little stressed out and a glass half empty person so I'm wondering if that plays a part in the whole process. My partner keeps trying to remind me that I am only 28 and have many years to have a baby.

Thanks again!!

Jess, DP to Susan and Step-Mom to Carrie, Matthew, Lauren, and Benjamin
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#6 of 16 Old 11-30-2009, 10:08 PM
 
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It's good that you've thought through what will work best for you and your family.

Given that, do you have any other options for other REs? I feel like, after six cycles of Clomid not working, you should be moved to another level of intervention -- injectables, IVF, etc. Do you have coverage for those things, by any chance? I know that's hard to come by in many parts.

If you can't go to that level, I think you should do everything you can to continue with IUIs. They are so much more accurate in terms of getting the "goods" where they need to be. I think you've only done two. You might try two -- one at 12 or 24 hours past O and one at 36 hours past O. Potentially with a trigger shot.

I'm wondering, also, if you have a sense of when exactly you O.....it could be very close to your positive OPK and you might be missing it by insemming too late? Just a thought....

Let us know what you decide in terms of next steps.

Take care,
Megin

Mommy to an amazing 8 year old, wife to an inspiring principal, and welcoming Wylie Grace! Our July 4th babe!
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#7 of 16 Old 11-30-2009, 10:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halfgiggle View Post
Thank you all for your responses. We have talked about using a fresh donor, and even had one last Christmas to donate. But, we looked into the legal side of it, and there are no laws that protect me and my partner from the donor coming back 2 years down the road and wanting visitation with our baby. I would have no choice but to give him visitation. My partner and I do not want the donor to have any type of relationship with the baby. We deal with my partner's ex having visitation and being in the picture with her kids. It is nothing but a BIG headache.
It's true that there are no laws to protect you, but that's not how the legal system in the US works, exactly. It's a common law system, which means that decisions are made by looking at preceding decisions.

There recently was a case in Pennsylvania in which a known donor was sued for custody and the court upheld the agreement, even though it was only a verbal agreement.

Donor agreements have not really been tested in the courts, so you're right, it's not a surefire thing. However, you can do your best to protect yourself and your family with a donor agreement, and if you find the right donor, you all sign a written agreement, and then after the child is born, you go to court to have his parental rights severed. Then it would be irrevocable.

Perhaps I'm seeing this through rose-coloured glasses - like I said, the decision to find a KD is the one I am the most at peace with of every single decision I've made in the past three years - but I don't think you can compare the relationship of a KD to a parent with that of a parent to an ex who also the children's other parent. It's just not the same thing. It could be that having a KD is not the right choice for your family. But maybe something else is.

I think Megin's advice is good, and very helpful. One thing you could think about, if you do decide to switch to a different RE, is to find out who all the lesbians in town use. There are differences to working with fresh and frozen sperm, not so much technically, but in terms of balancing cost/risks/benefits.

I don't think you should give up yet - as far as getting help, you're kind of in the same place I am, and that's just getting started, which is at once encouraging and frustrating. There's at once a lot of new things to try and a long way to go.

Another thing to think about is whether you're willing to be an egg donor. This wasn't an option for me, because my eggs would be considered unsuitable, but there are ways to do IVF and get it mostly paid for by someone who has more money (or better insurance!) but needs eggs. The way it works is that you split the eggs that come out of the cycle.

Another option for you might be embryo donation, where you would get donated embryos from someone else who feels their family is complete and wants someone else to take the embryos. THis is sometimes called embryo "adoption" but I don't like the implicaitons of that term, so I don't use it.

None of this is to say that you can't get pregnant on your own, with Clomid and IUI, or with injectables or IVF, but it sometimes help to think about each option and figure out what's important to you. Is it the biological connection? Is it being pregnant and giving birth? Is it raising a baby from birth? Or a child from toddlerhood or preschool years?

SPBC Finally a Papa! Elise Ember Soleil - 10/3/10 - 4:09 AM - 6 lbs 8 oz My daughter eats donor milk! Human milk for human babies!
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#8 of 16 Old 12-01-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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If you don't mind me asking, how old are both of you guys?

If I were in your shoes and I had enough money, I would try IVF. Yes, its expensive, but if you have the money, the success rates are much higher. I personally think your spending way too much time and money trying low cost proceedures that aren't working for you. If your 35 and older, then your chances of getting pregnant are much slimmer as each month passes by.
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#9 of 16 Old 12-01-2009, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am 28 and my partner is 35. We will have some IVF coverage in June 2010. My partner's insurance will pay 50%. I have to do 6 IUIs before they will pay. We are going to do IVF in the summer of 2010 if nothing works before then.

Megincl, the re that I am seeing is the closest one on our insurances. She was more than willing to move to injectables. She even asked us which one we wanted to use. She's not that personable but I guess a lot of doctor's aren't. I guess that's my biggest problem with her. It's an extremely emotional process and I want some advice but she doesn't offer any. It's a lot different seeing her than when I see my midwife. Maybe I just need to get used to her. I have used ovidrel twice now and I seem to ovulate 36 hrs past that. My re does the insemination 36 hrs past trigger. My partner and I have been talking about doing 2 IUI's a month to see if that makes a difference. It's extremely frustrating as there seems to be nothing wrong with me. My uterus and tubes are fine. So I find myself asking many times why isn't it working?

FtMPapa, the thing that is most important to me is that the child is biologically mine. Otherwise, my partner would definitely be the one getting pregnant! I'm not looking forward to pushing a baby out but it will be worth it in the end. Thank you for all of your info/suggestions. I am willing to be an egg donor but I am a little overweight so I don't know if they would accept me for that or not. I am otherwise healthy. I keep going back and forth about using fresh.

I am thinking about trying Femara the next cycle. I don't know if I should add the Menopur to that or just try the Femara alone. Or if I should try other meds? I'm still waiting for af to arrive and we plan to take a month or two off so I guess I have time to figure it out.

Thanks everyone!

Jess, DP to Susan and Step-Mom to Carrie, Matthew, Lauren, and Benjamin
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#10 of 16 Old 12-01-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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halfgiggle,

Thanks for filling us in. I totally know how you feel about not knowing exactly where to go next in the process. I really believe that a good RE will be your guide in that. One of the biggest reliefs for me in our process (long and torrid) was changing from an OB to an RE. With the OB, we had to call the shots and make the decisions. The RE swept us off our feet and gave us all our options and his suggestions. Having the pressure of deciding what was right for us was a HUGE burden. I only fully came to understand that when we switched to the RE. So, if there's any way to even just have a consult with another RE, you might want to look into that. Getting someone who provides more guidance might be worth the extra drive.

Good luck!
megin

Mommy to an amazing 8 year old, wife to an inspiring principal, and welcoming Wylie Grace! Our July 4th babe!
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#11 of 16 Old 12-02-2009, 01:24 AM
 
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Halfgiggle, thanks for starting this thread--In reading through some of the past threads (thanks for the suggestion FtMpapa), it seems that I have a lot to find out still and should not be at all surprised that two cycles have produced nothing.

Where should I start to get a better handle on all the preparations needed?? We have read the Brill & Toevs book, and are sometimes charting well, sometimes not. We jumped the gun this month and I think inseminated too early (based on a LH positive, but only one other fertility sign) so we really have no idea if we are dpo or not!

In any case, we are looking for support and friendship here as we begin our (hopefully) parenting journey
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#12 of 16 Old 12-02-2009, 02:03 AM
 
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Welcome, MtnLisa! It's discouraging, but even someone with "normal" fertility can expect to take a year to conceive...or at least six months with impeccable timing and good fertility signs, before one should start to worry. Keep in mind that if you're using frozen sperm, you're basically giving yourself male factor infertility...not that it doesn't work, mostly it just works slightly less well than fresh sperm.

HalfGiggle - one thing to think about with your RE, I'm not sure how yours practices, but I don't expect I'll be seeing mine that often. My RE is two+ hours away, so I get my ultrasounds and bloodwork done here locally at an OBGYN clinic that is a "satellite monitoring" center for the fertility/IVF clinic, and then the clinic calls me in the afternoon with the results.

I actually prefer it this way than to going into the clinic, getting an ultrasound, getting blood, and waiting for the doc every morning, which is what I did at my first clinic. This is much faster for me, and much easier and more convenient than I could have possibly hoped for - I live in a small town, the OBGYN is a five minute drive, the closest fertility clinic is 35 minutes +. This is WAY better for me.

So, even if you RE was two or three or four hours away but you only have to make the drive every couple of months, or less often, it could be worth it.

I had a midwife do my IUI last month, it was an amazingly good experience. It's slightly less convenient when I have to schedule things, but the nuisance of scheduling the ultrasound at the clinic, then to the hospital for blood work, then to the midwife for an insem, and getting mail-order meds, etc, means that I get the best RE available, in the middle of nowhere.

Basically, we drove for our initial consult (me and my partner in babymaking/KD) and we planned to drive for my IUI, and then didn't. And if we do IVF, we'll have to drive twice - once for egg retrieval and fertilization, and once for egg transfer, and that's it. Technically, KD will only have to come (HA!) for the first one, and we'll get a friend to drive since I won't be able to and he generally doesn't, and I'll likely drive myself or with a friend for the second.

My rather long-winded point is that you might only have to make the trip once for an initial consult, and then only for procedures, so it might end up being very little travelling. It might also make it possible for you to shop around a bit.

Finally, I'd encourage you both to join us on the Queer TTC thread for December. At least in part, we keep the thread to avoid taking over the forum with TTC questions since the same things come up so often and we are the most active members, it seems, and primarily, to build community. Come join us!

SPBC Finally a Papa! Elise Ember Soleil - 10/3/10 - 4:09 AM - 6 lbs 8 oz My daughter eats donor milk! Human milk for human babies!
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#13 of 16 Old 12-02-2009, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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FtMPapa, I go to my RE for my ultrasounds now. At first I was going to the Cleveland Clinic, which is an hour away from my house. I have to go to the Clinic for my inseminations though which kind of sucks. But the CNP's that do the inseminations are really nice so that helps. It's really hard making all of these appointments with 2 other kids in the house! My RE has me come in at 7:30am for ultrasounds due to the fact that she always has surgery scheduled for my cd 11/12. She is a 30-45 minute drive from my house...depending on traffic. I know the results of my ultrasounds right then which I really like.

mtnlisa, my partner does most of the research and I ask her the same questions constantly. Sometimes she tells me, "I answered that question 5 times already!" I will have her respond with books and things that she has read. I know that she has gotten a lot of books from the library. Good luck to you in your journey.

Jess, DP to Susan and Step-Mom to Carrie, Matthew, Lauren, and Benjamin
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#14 of 16 Old 12-03-2009, 10:19 PM
 
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I, too, highly recommend acupuncture, as well as Chinese and or Western herbs. I became pregnant on my sixth try, 2 vials frozen IUI at home. Previously I had tried clomid (50) for 3 cycles and found it lightened my period and wiped out my cervical mucus completely.
I then took a 3 month break and I felt that I was at a crossroads. Do more medical intervention, or do some of my own research, and try to get healthy on my own? I decided to give going natural and getting healthy a try. I started acupuncture 1-2 times a wk, took a combination of chinese and western herbs. Took a bunch of supplements including royal jelly, evening primrose oil, prenatal, xtra folic acid, L-carnitine, L-arginine. I also cut all sugar, white flour, and processed foods from my diet. I also cut out coffee, and added green tea (up to 4 to 5 cups a day), and limited alcohol to less than 2 drinks a week. I ate gogi, and acai berries, and tons of fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, and pomegranates.

I recommend the book The Tao of Fertilty and The Infertility Cure. But esp. the first one. It gave me the kick in the butt I needed, I read it daily and followed his recommendations as much as I could. The book also talks a lot about how trying to conceive really taxes the body, and that the body needs to be nourished to carry a baby.

After making these changes I became pregnant the first try. I am now at 12 weeks. Good luck to you.

Me (34) Partner (30)  Parents to DS born at home (6/2010).  We are TTC #2.

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#15 of 16 Old 12-04-2009, 01:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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TillyBarry,
Thank you for all of your tips/advice. I will look into getting those books and trying some of those herbs/supplements. I don't know if I can cut sugar out of my diet though! But if it needs to be done, it needs to be done! Congrats on your pregnancy!

Jess, DP to Susan and Step-Mom to Carrie, Matthew, Lauren, and Benjamin
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#16 of 16 Old 12-07-2009, 10:41 PM
 
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DP and I have been down a similar road. DP is 12 yrs older than me and her conceiving was not an option. I started trying around age 30. I had eleven medically supervised IUIs, the later ones with clomid, then clomid and u/s and HCG, then injectable hormones and never had anything but a BFN. All of my screening tests, including hormones, HSG, and finally laparoscopy were normal. Finally went to an infertility clinic, underwent IVF and made 2 eggs the first time, one fertilized, I got a BFP and then miscarried. Despite the very low number of eggs they tried again - I made two eggs, neither one fertilized. I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at the age of 34.

So, with much irony, DP and I decided that seeking someone with healthy young eggs was our best option. First try with an egg donor, BFP, started out with triplets (!) but lost one baby around 10 weeks. Two beautiful little girls who, even though they are not genetically related to us, I was able to carry and breastfeed, etc. We are now pg (first try) with one child using another egg donor.

It sounds like such a short story here, but in reality it was 4 years of heartbreak and a lot of soul searching about what our priorities were. I was offered the option of continuing to do the monitored IUIs, but I couldn't emotionally handle the hope followed by the despair anymore. This was the best decision for us. Everyone's road is different. Do what feels right, but don't be afraid to consider all of the options. And best of luck to you on the road to motherhood.

Mommy to girls twins.gif 9/2005, our angel babies stillheart.gif 2004 and stillheart.gif 2005, and our intact, ebf superhero.gif4/29/2010.

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