16 weeks…

So I am 16 weeks today, Praise is for my Lord. I have not gone to my OB since my surgery at 13 weeks to drain the swelling from the PIO shots and my husband read up on the internet that getting too many scans is not safe for the baby so he is not planning to take me for a scan until I am 24 weeks. I really do not know how I will wait for 8 more weeks but for my child’s health I’ll bear this and keep missing seeing him or her. On a positive note, I am starting to show a bit now and my breasts have grown quite a bit so its pretty reassuring. So now its confirmed I wont be able to know the gender for another 8 weeks so no shopping until then. ☹

Oh well, I am just grateful I am finally able to look forward to this after years of heartbreak and trying. I pray all the ladies who are reading this succeed in their journies very soon. Just dont give up, keep at it. Every new step in your treatment or discovery of underlying issues is a step closer to your goal. I clearly remember when Dr.Gorgy bombarded me with tests worth thousands of pounds, I was about to break down but I had to hold myself strong and just try and do what was best. Although I didn’t gain any benefit from his testing but the testing of my husband’s sperm fragmentation (after completely having failed Dr.Gorgy’s treatment which I had pursued for a year and involved all sorts of crazy medication and IVs) helped me out and brought me here. Be willing to take all sorts of ways to achieve your happiness and you will get it. I had to convince my husband to go the double donor way; I had to be really open minded although if any of our parents find out they’ll probably flip lol but that doesn’t matter since this very little secret and miracle held us together and has given us so much of happiness even before coming into our arms. Praying for you all. 

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What regime I followed to get my BFP

I do not know if I am still pregnant or not as I am not able to take it seriously until my 6w5d scan but I do know that I got my first ever proper BFP. I just wanted to share my natural remedy regime and medication protocol which was the main purpose of starting my blog.

I used to take half a tea spoon of cinnamon powder daily at breakfast for my PCOs and chug down 1 tablespoon of home grinded turmeric powder with water after dinner to lower my cytokines and inflammations. No amount of medication helped me as much as these two simple home remedies. The turmeric powder especially lowered my immunes very quickly and no amount of Ivigs, intralipids, Humira or hydroxychloroquinine could do as much. I stopped taking these spices 1 week before my embryo transfer as they are pretty strong and I dont know what impact these may have on early pregnancies or implantation.

My medication protocol was 

I left Hydroxychloroquinine in Dec 2016 after my failed London cycle. It was very dangerous for my eyes and I had taken it for entire 2016 and with no success. Penny at Serum gave me Serrapeptase and Celebrex instead, they dont have side effects either. 🎉

In addition to these, I took Vit D, folic acid, omega 3 and Pregnacare conception daily. Yes, major druglord! 

Finally, after my embryos were on board:

I had read a lot about it on the internet that it helps with implantation.

Wishing, hoping and praying

-A

And another BFN…

So my FET has failed…When the hpt came up negative I was not able to believe how unlucky I could be that even donor egg embryos didnt implant inside me at just the age of 26…. Something really worrying and depressing that nothing has worked despite having tried so hard…

We had contacted Serum in Athens last month and they had suggested the antibiotic ritual before transfer and testing the sperm for fragmentation since they didn’t approve of the quality of embryos we had at the London Women’s Clinic. We had 5 blastocysts overall and the grading was 4BC 4BC 4CC 4CC 4CD. We never knew we were to discover more…

Our sperm fragmentation results came out a few days ago and it showed high fragmentation. This explained the average to below average quality of our embryos. The Dr. at Serum has told us that with such high sperm fragmentation I will never be able to get pregnant and even if I ever do, I will miscarry before the 9th week itself. This somewhat explains the chemical pregnancies I have had.

Penny at Serum had asked me to test my period blood for infections and Chlamydia. It is the Locus Medicus test that happens in Athens only. The results showed that I had some trace of chlamydia which could be the reason for my elevated immunes and hence I would need antibiotics to suppress this infection which would enable implantation. Which further means that I have nothing much to worry about related to my diet – my problem is related to the infection inside me. This trace of chlamydia is not an STD. Anyone can get it and from anywhere.. public swimming pools, public toilets , jacuzzis etc. Since I have this infection , it means he has it too and this infection is one of the culprits for the sperm fragmentation..

My husband and I were extremely shocked to find out that our sperm was what caused us so much of pain and sadness all these years…we always believed it was my eggs but as it has come out to be.. its the other way around. Penny has suggested using my eggs with donor sperm but I am very tired of doing IVF after IVF or maybe I am just too paranoid of using my own eggs. I just feel my eggs are too bad to make good embryos. It is so badly engrossed in me that I wont be able to perform well. 

It was hard but I convinced him to use donor sperm with donor eggs. He was just not able to believe that he will have no DNA connection with his baby but after some convincing he realised that I have been through way too much and that I really need a child now to be happy. He feels for me that I have been on hydroxychloroquinine sulfate for nearly a year and been doing painful LITs and IVIG/intralipid infusions without any results but with so much of added risk to my own health. He has come to realize that living with pain and sadness is not worth it when at the end DNA doesnt matter. It is the happiness and love we are missing out on by not helping ourselves.

All the misery his parents put me through… all for not having conceived a child when the sperm was never really tested. Just yesterday his mom was whining about us not having a child yet when he told his mom about it. She was not able to believe it. My husband and I had decided not to involve his parents in this matter since they offer no help whatsoever but he only told her because she was whining against me and he could not bear it anymore that they give me a hard time when I am really not the one responsible (even if I was the one responsible, no one has any right to disturb anyones happiness or give them more trouble when they are facing infertility).

Of course we haven’t told his mom about the donor sperm plan but I cannot explain how relieved I feel and the burden I feel lifted off my shoulders after finding this all out… It just feels like we are headed in the right direction..

We have decided to go with 50% own sperm and 50% donor sperm all with donor eggs. IVF stimulation drugs cause too much of hair loss to me due to the stress I take so I have no intention of injecting myself with any more stimulants. We are planning a cycle in end January 2017 so for now we are just going to relax and give ourselves a break.

Waiting for a miracle and not ready to give up yet.

so what now..

Ever since my chemical pregnancy, I have been away from blogging.

I just had to get back to it. So here I am. I am not good at expressing my feelings in writing – not because I can’t write – but because I feel ungrateful when I complain.

So once my period was over, I decided to go for cupping again. What a relaxing therapy it is! I went to a spa this time for my cupping session and oh it was wonderful. During the session, I felt some pressure at 2 cups. I had 11 cups on myself. When I complained to the doctor, she said “the cups where you are feeling the pressure show that you have problems in those areas and the cups you are pointing at are cleansing blood from your uterus”. I felt a huge thud when she said that. Maybe my womb really should be under question and all these years of infertility have been faced due to hidden issues in the uterus.

I had even told the doctor that every time we have intercourse, I feel a burning sensation when I pee. So she said that it could be due to pelvic inflammatory disease and it could be a strong reason for my high TNFs. She concentrated on that bit too. She put cups on me to strengthen my immune system , create new happy hormones, improve egg quality.

When my session ended, she told me that my cups had bad blood and it showed my general wellness was not too great. However she went on saying how people conceived naturally or with IVF within 3-4 cupping sessions with her on monthly basis so she told me to remain very hopeful in this wonderful treatment.

I felt fantastic after all the toxic blood was drawn out 😊

I have spoke to Dr Gorgy for a transfer in August – my body needs a break to recover. But in the meantime, I have to remain on Hydroxychloroquine and intralipids to keep my immunes under check. I am really hoping I dont need more LIT as I have already done 4 LIT sessions. I have made a test ,  hoping the results come out great. If they dont, I will have to travel to London within 2-3 weeks for 1 more session just 4 weeks before my next transfer in August.

Today I went for my intralipid infusion and on the way back I dont know what made me so mad that I just lost my mind and felt a bit lost.  We argued a bit but it was not like our previous fights 😂 it was just a random spur of anger that settled within 5-10 minutes. So I guess we are becoming better at handling our emotions and fights. Just going on and on,  when you cant give up.

Drug overload .. Druglord!

This is just a picture of my Morning pills, this is what happens when you are on a reproductive immunology treatment. It includes:

  1. Metformin 500mg (I takt this thrice a day for my PCOs)
  2. Pregnacare for conception (Yeah you all can see the big brown magical pill)
  3. Prednisolone 40 mg
  4. Omega 3 1000 mg
  5. Vitamin D 5000 I.U
  6. Hydroxychloroquine 200 mg\
  7. Baby Asprin ( I have been taking this since January 2015 based on my own internet research)
  8. Folic acid 5 mg

The picture does not include my clexane shot, my 2 other metformin pills and hydroxychloroquine 200 mg for the day!

I take all the Prednisolon with my breakfast so that I don’t have trouble sleeping at night and become what I call – PREDNINSOMNIAC. ha ha

Cant believe I am the same person who was crying over the 3 daily metformins in 2012 (when they first started). May my Lord ease my difficulty and help me in passing my test of life.

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The Targeted Immune approach by Dr. Gorgy

Upon reaching back home, my husband and I had a bleak day. All looked too gloomy and we felt we were super unlucky when it came to the baby making job. We didn’t know what to do, the immunes were just not giving me a break -instead of lowering they just kept getting stronger. From TNF alpha being at 40 in March 2015, after all the efforts in 2015, it had risen to 47 in Jan 2016. I was doomed.

We were growing older and my immune was growing stronger – a combination we didn’t need to get a healthy baby!

My husband did a lot of research on fertility friends and he finally found a new way out. A lot of couples who didn’t conceive for years, had a laparoscopy and they conceived naturally afterwards. We decided to give it a go too – we had ignored having a laparoscopy done and we had jumped onto fertility treatments one after the other. Maybe it was this one thing that we really needed.

We had my laparoscopy done within the next few days and the results were all clear. There were no inflammations found inside me and turned out I really didn’t need to get it done. However, we were glad we finally had it done and it was out of the way now.

Although we should have been happy about the laparoscopy results coming out great – we weren’t. We had a huge fight over it coming out all clear! We were really desperate to have a baby anyhow and we believed that I had endometriosis which was causing all the treatments to fail. Not having found endometriosis was a bad thing for us because we didn’t have a problem to cure that was preventing us from having our baby! How sad had we become! The same ghost of marrying a second time was back on my husband’s head. I was shattered.

Due to all the fights, the plan that Dr Gorgy had for me was ignored. When I had seen him in London after my failed FET, he had advised me to have an IVIG the following month and repeat a cytokines test. We were just too lost and angry to continue any further treatment.

Then again when my husband saw all the bruises on my body from the LIT and clexane shots, he felt pity and sympathy for me and felt he couldn’t abandon me and especially because I was doing anything and everything for us – It wouldn’t be fair to leave me in the middle of nowhere at such a young age.

We had a telephone conversation with Dr Gorgy because we felt only doing IVIG wasn’t helping me. So he advised me to take hydroxychloroquine 200 mg twice a day, Vitamin D 5000 I.U daily (for my vitamin D deficiency – even Vitamin D deficiency can cause immunes to spike and stop implantation from happening) and to administer 1 IVIG or intralipid infusion and then retest my cytokines.

After 1 month of hydroxychloroquine and 2 weeks after my intralipid infusion (IVIG is too expensive to be done all the time) – I retested my cytokines and they were still at 47! I was literally doomed and hopeless! We had read lots of success stories about hydroxychloroquine doing wonders for women and it had even enabled a woman to have a baby after 20 miscarriages but I was just the unluckiest infertile patient ever!

I had a telephone appointment with DR. Gorgy and he set me up on a rigorous new plan:

  1. Humira shot 1
  2. 2 weeks later Humira shot 2
  3. 10 days later 1 IVIG
  4. Test cytokines 3 weeks days later
  5. 2 LIT sessions in between all this
  6. Hydroxychloroquine 200 mg twice daily

This was a very intense plan and I immediately started on it. It took me 7 weeks to complete it from March -April.

I had to travel to London just for LIT between this time period, God bless my husband for bearing all the expenses and my sister for being so welcoming and caring always. When I was in London for my LIT, my sister advised me to just go for 1 cupping session. Cupping was an old religious way to healing used by the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and it cleans the toxic blood from our bodies making medicines work on our bodies better. It makes the body feel extremely relaxed and pure after the session. I decided to give it a go – maybe the hydroxychloroquine would work better on me after the toxic blood was out of me. So i gave it a go and I felt amazing after the session – I had had massages done in brilliant spas in the past and they hadn’t been as soothing as this 40 pound session of just 20 minutes! The doctor at the cupping place sincerely advised me on my diet. Although I had been on the gluten free and sugar free diet since May 2015 – It wasn’t really a perfect diet that I was following. For instance, I was eating rice daily and no bread but I wasn’t concentrating on what rice I was eating! I was having white rice which is loaded with sugar! I should have been taking brown rice and that would be perfect for a gluten free sugar free claimed diet.Secondly, I was consuming red meat on a daily basis (I was doing this for a protein rich diet, I had stopped taking chicken since a few years ever since I found out I had PCOs because commercial farms inject tonnes of hormones into chickens ). Red meat can cause severe inflammations in the body – this was possibly making my immunes go higher and I wasn’t realizing! The doctor advised me start a vegetable and lentil based diet and to stop eating red meat so much. Then she also advised me to control my dairy consumption! When I was on my IVF protocol with the ARGC, they had advised me to drink 1 litre of milk and 3-4 litres of water daily. This amount of dairy consumption made me gain some healthy weight and overall my hair and skin became amazing. I loved this new bit in me after years of weight loss, hair loss and dullness of skin due to the all fertility drugs, treatments and depression. I had continued this regime ever since October 2015 and it was March 2016 – it was all clear as to why my immunes kept going higher even though I was on so many infusions and drugs to lower them! Diet is really important, I cannot stress it enough!

So basically I had only been boasting and fooling around thinking I was on a gluten free and sugar free diet! My diet was basically loaded with gluten and sugar containing foods without knowing. I was such a bad mess. I started a pure diet now, vegetable and protein based. No more white rice and no milk, cheese, butter whatsoever. 3 litres of water daily (big achievement for me because I could barely drink 1.5 litres until a year ago). Lots of almonds and walnuts. Fatty fish twice a week. Lots of lentils for protein and only brown rice at all times.

Dr Gorgy wanted me to have an embryo transfer in the cycle as soon as this protocol was completed. He also advised me to start Prednisolon 40 mg and Clexane 40 mg daily from day 5 of my cycle then on day 7 to have another IVIG infusion.

Too many expenses and medicines were blasted upon us. he he.

Finally the protocol was completed and I was all set to retest my cytokines. Some issue happened at the laboratory and my blood was not able to be checked for the cytokines! So we just decided to ignore the testing for now and go ahead with the transfer. AF arrived and so began the estrogen pills, clexane, prednisolone for the FET scheduled in May 2016.I did IVIG infusion on day 7 as instructed and I was ready for London all over again to bring my baby back home.