Although at the end of 2014 I had failed my 5th ICSI when my dear husband found out about Vitex and its success stories on the internet I was brimmed up with hope and I tried to keep myself relaxed and happy. Just that bit of hope had made me see my first ever positive HPT.
After my chemical pregnancy in January 2015, I sat down to research “Why Do My IVFs Keep Failing on Me”. I don’t know what made me type that in the search engine but today I am glad that I made that search to save my life. A huge list of articles by reproductive immunologists came up and I read one PDF study. At the end of study, I was shocked and and believed it to be my story. I showed my husband the studies and we could relate the issues to our issue.
What I understood from the the studies was that some women have an auto-immune disease in which when a embryo is made/sent inside the body, the body thinks that the embryo is a foe instead of a natural ‘thing’ and attacks it and hence women with activated natural killer cell activity don’t fall pregnant and even if they ever do, it gets terminated. It further went on to say that women with activated natural killer cells barely fall sick or even get a cold. It was totally my case! I barely fell sick and even if everyone around me would catch a cold I would still always be fine.
My husband wanted to try every possible treatment and we found out that these treatments happen in the western part of the world which meant making big plans. My husband found out that the ARGC had the best success rates and we made an appointment with them. We made an appointment in January and the appointment wasn’t until March. We were really excited about our trip to London and we could’t wait to start testing and treating because we had read amazing reviews from lots of people about getting success at the ARGC after years of infertility and no hope. Even people who had been told at their former clinics that their eggs had no hope became pregnant and had babies with Mr T’s treatment protocol. I could just see a rainbow not far away.
Finally March arrived and we traveled to London. Our appointment was the very next day and as soon as we landed we went to check out our clinic just to learn about the transport routes etc. We were determined! I still remember the hopeful feeling I had when I first saw the blue door of the ARGC at 13 Wimpole street, it was phenomenal. I could feel my dream was about to become true.
At our appointment we met Dr Sami who took down our history and discussed with us what the immune treatment et cetera would be about if we did need it. Of course we had a good idea through all the reviews we had read over the last 2 months but talking to a professional was very reassuring.
We made a blood test for TH1/Th2 ratios and NK cells the very same day and we were told the results would be out within 2 weeks. We spent the next 2 weeks chilling and enjoying but we were certainly very eager to know the results and the results date was marked in our calendars. When the results were out we found out that my TNF alpha ratio was at 40 and IFN ratio was at 30. The fertility ranges for these were below 30 and 20 respectively. I also had activated natural killer cell activity. We were happy we had identified our problem and couldn’t wait to embark on this wondrous treatment. Our follow up appointment was another 2 weeks later and we were very patient to wait that long just to solve our issue.
We were at the clinic right on time for our follow up appointment but something unlucky happened. There was a communication mishap and I was outside the ‘wrong’ doctor’s room waiting for my appointment. We kept waiting and waiting and then I received an email saying I had missed my appointment and that I didn’t pick my phone when the clinic kept calling me to check on me! How could we have been so irresponsible? I mean we had waited 4 weeks just for our follow up. What had happened? I was right there in the building on time. I immediately ran to the reception and checked with them and unfortunately I had missed my appointment which I had so dearly waited for since 4 weeks! When I checked what number the clinic had been calling me on, they had been calling me on my international number instead of my local UK number. How did they not call me on my UK number when they were trying to reach me and instead called me on my international sim when they are expecting me to be in London for my appointment?!? Just typing about it is making me extremely angry at this very moment. I had even asked if the doctor would see me after the patient who went instead of me but apparently the clinic was too busy to consider such an arrangement. I was willing to do anything and everything to get treated and I even offered to wait and see the doctor after his very last appointment but that wasn’t an option either. :@ I was told I would be able to have a telephone conversation in 3-4 days time with the doctor – at that very moment that option seemed good enough also.
On the telephone I was advised to do 2 shots of Humira and test my levels 3 weeks after completing my shots. If the levels would still be high, I would need another 2 shots of Humira and then retest my levels again 3 weeks later. So this was the plan. The plan that I could have also found out on a phone call in the comfort of my home abroad. I also noticed that my results for the TNF ratios and Nk cell activity had come out within 4 days of making the test. Why did I have to wait for a whole month in a foreign country just to find out a simple protocol which I was going to be told about on the phone anyway? I had been in London for 4 Weeks – doing what? Waiting and waiting, all for nothing. My husband had missed 4 weeks of work and where were we yet? No where. We had to head back home and continue on the protocol we were advised to start. Although so much of nonsense happened, we both were calm and relaxed then. We couldn’t blame anyone for all of this and we just wanted to succeed at our treatment instead of fighting away with the clinic’s staff from Day 1.
Above all, we went home with lots of hope and courage; Excited for the near future. Just some hope at the beginning of the year had brought us to so many conclusions within a few months. Regardless of the treatment outcome at the ARGC which I will talk about in my next post, I believe that just being hopeful has made us continue for so long and not willing to give up. Thus the name of my blog, “When You Cant Give Up”.