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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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.

Back after 2 months

I haven’t written since my last post in June. I was visiting my in laws for all this while and am finally back home. I don’t feel like talking much about my trip because it was full of stress and saddening days. My husband tries hard to keep us happy but of course being an Asian naturally gets me into a tough spot with the in laws because ‘I haven’t conceived’ since 6 years of marriage. Anyhow, that sad trip is over so I shouldn’t remember it now.

So I traveled to London while I was at my in laws place just to get my LIT done. I was in London for a mere 6 hours but the journey to go and be back took me a day and half. My parents supported me a lot during this time, I pretended that I was going to stay with them. It was a big step we took, but it worked out well. My LIT was done just as Dr.Gorgy wants it to be done – 2 weeks ahead of transfer! So cheers for that!

So my cycle started while I was in London – I got my Day 2 scan done and started the estrogen pills. Cant believe the 2 month waiting period has ended since my chemical pregnancy in May 2016.

I got my cytokines retested last week and they are at their highest – higher than what I was when I initially began treatment in 2015. My TH1/TH2 is at 60 now! I am very annoyed and pissed off at how nothing seems to be working. I am on a dairy free, gluten free diet. I barely eat out or even watch people eat sugary things let alone eating sugary stuff. I have completely ended my life due to the treatment – we don’t shop or spend or relax. we don’t go out for holidays. All I do is go to London for treatment leaving my husband alone at home and in the end don’t even get a result.

The truth is I am giving up now. Enough of ‘When you cant give up’. Literally all doors seem to be closing upon me. After going for donor eggs I thought my nightmare had ended and especially in May my amazing cytokine report convinced me that this was going to be it. But no – life isn’t as easy and simple. Despite controlling my diet – I am worse than ever. I do IVIG or intralipids every 3 weeks. It is financially scraping us now. I did Humira in March and even that medicine is Super expensive. S0 guess what?

Since I have already started the drugs (estrogen pills, prednisolone, clexane) and done IVIG just this week and paid for my hotel and air tickets to London – I will go ahead with my transfer. IF it doesn’t work now – I will leave my last frozen embryo in the freezer for sometime in the future and go ahead with surrogacy. Enough of hurting myself, my body, our emotions, our marriage , our young ages and our bank balance.

Final go to London for now. Pray for me guys, I am broken now.

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.

 

 

 

Meeting with my angel – January 2016!

I traveled to London for my FET after New years 2016, my transfer was scheduled for the 2nd week of January.

My husband didn’t want me to worry myself with any immune treatment and just wanted me to go ahead with the transfer with full faith in my Lord. However, my doctor at LWC (London Women’s Clinic), Dr Lamanna, put me on Prednisolone 20 mg, Clexane 20 mg, baby Aspirin and she also wanted me to do 1 IVIG infusion a week before my transfer.

When I reached London a week before my transfer, the HFEA had not yet responded to Dr Lammana’s request to administer my IVIG and we started running out of time. The LWC itself doesn’t offer immune treatments hence the healthcare at home had to be requested for the infusion. I for the first time ever was calm and didn’t panic – I wasn’t up for the IVIG anyway because the ARGC had really got me nothing despite the immune treatment that I did for almost an entire year.

I was enjoying an omelette at Cote brasserie near Harley street when my phone rang and it was a nurse from the LWC. She was calling to tell me that they had arranged my IVIG infusion for the next day at Dr Gorgy’s! Wow! Never in my wildest dreams had I thought that at such short notice will I get to see the famous Dr Gorgy and that too with none of my efforts – all efforts were made by my clinic and its staff! I can’t praise those guys enough. They really went out of their way to help me even without me asking for their help.

I met up with Dr Gorgy, my angel, the next morning and he made me do several tests that I had never even heard of before. He made me test for Thrombophilia, KIR receptors, anti cardiolopins, a vaginal swab test for infections and the th1/th2 cytokines. Out of this entire list I only knew about the TH1 TH2 test! He was very straight forward with me. He told me that it was a bit late for me to see him just 5 days ahead of my FET and my husband hadn’t even traveled with me for the transfer so we couldn’t test for our DQ alphas and my LAD. His suggestion to me was to make the tests that were possible at that time and side by side do all the treatments that he had to offer within the next 2 days!

I was OVERWHELMED by this Dr’s knowledge and didn’t know beforehand that I would be bombarded with so much knowledge. I spent thousands of pounds and made all the tests. The results were due within 2-3 days but Dr Gorgy wanted me to do all the treatments regardless of the result outcomes.

He suspected me to have a high TNF ratio due to my past results of 2015 – so I had to do IVIG.

He suspected me to have a DQA match with my husband and a low LAD result for which he wanted me to do LIT. He booked me for that for 2 days later.

Finally, he suspected me not to have all the receptors that enable the embryo to implant – so he wanted me to do a neupogen wash that very day!

My husband kept calling me from back home, he wanted to know all about the appointment. He had no idea what I had been bombarded with. I had no time for anything but to make sure my neupogen wash got done before Dr Gorgy left the clinic, which was in less than 30 mins!

I had to RUN! The neupogen wash was available at a pharmacy 2 miles away and I didn’t know the exact location of the pharmacy so I had to  manage between running fast and looking around! Being of Asian descent running that long a distance was something I had never done asides in the gym and that too  with a relaxed state of mind – not with panic related to the clinic closing within 30 mins!

I ran and I ran.. that is when the incident of Hagar running for finding water for her crying son as mentioned in the Bible and Quran came to my mind. I realized at that moment how much the donor eggs meant to me and how much I was willing to do anything to have my future babies. I was finally satisfied with my heart’s honesty for my future babies 🙂

I found the neupogen and ran back to the clinic and was just back within 20 minutes of leaving! It was such a huge achievement for me that I still can’t believe today that I could run that fast when needed!

My neupogen wash was done that evening. I had an IVIG infusion the next day and the following day I had LIT. I was all set.

Dr Gorgy wanted me to delay my flight back home until my pregnancy test date and he wanted me to repeat IVIG and LIT if I tested positive to sustain my pregnancy.

We transferred 2 amazing blastocysts and I decided to stay until the test date. I had to. Those were really lonely days for my husband and sometimes for me too but I was staying at my sister’s so I had her company at least. I used to pass my time keeping myself busy with my sister’s house chores and keep myself calm and happy thinking about a positive test within the next couple of days. My sister took great care of me and we had a lovely time together.

In the meantime, my results for all the tests I had made kept coming out. I had all the KIR receptors – so I didn’t need the neupogen wash. My anticardiolipin results were normal. My vaginal swab test was normal. All was great. Until the TH1/TH2 results came out. My TNF Alpha was at 47! I was shocked and didn’t know what to do so I broke down into tears. I had been on a gluten free sugar free diet for more than  a year. I had done an IVIG just a week ago and I was still at 47! I had traveled all alone for my transfer and luck was not siding with me at all!

My husband tried to calm me down and told me this heartbreak was the reason why he didn’t want me to pay attention to the immune treatment much. He had just wanted me to transfer the embryos with a positive frame of mind and here I was in London without him – all worried and shattered.

I tested negative on the test day and I just broke down into tears in front of Dr Gorgy. I had tried so hard, I was so young , Why had I become so unlucky as my marriage progressed? He really tried to give me lots of hope and courage by showing me a picture of a woman he had cured and got her to have 3 babies after 13 IVF attempts! At that point I didn’t even feel like listening to any success stories because now I felt I was the unluckiest of all the infertile patients – when all the infertile couples finally got success in their 7th or 8th attempts, I wasn’t even close to their “Good luck”.

Dr Gorgy advised me to do another LIT session that afternoon and then travel back home. He wanted me to do another IVIG infusion after 10 days and then re test my cytokines. He wanted me to lower my cytokines to the normal fertility range and then come back for a FET ASAP.

I bought 2 IVIGs to take back home and traveled back with almost no hope and full of sadness.