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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hope, More Hope, and a Funny Story

Ah, the dangers of over confidence.

First, let me say that obviously I was being a little melodramatic in my last post. I have not lost hope. Well, not all hope. Maybe a little hope.

But I've thought about it and I think I've figured out what my problem is. Over confidence. It's getting one's hopes up (which as you may know I try not to do), but with more hubris.

You see, I had convinced myself that I would (of course!) make top notch embryos. What I fully expected was that we would tranfer 2 grade-A blasts on day 5 and then, 9 days later, have a starkly negative beta. And so we would still have no answers. Because I was getting used to not having any answers. That seemed to be the way OUR infertility worked: on paper we're perfect but in reality it's like pregnancy is some fairytale that only exists for other people. So, I came out of the retrieval thinking that I knew what was coming, that it was all following some pre-ordained path and I felt secure in my confidence that our embryos would be stellar but that we STILL wouldn't get pregnant.

So, really, this is GOOD news. We have an answer, or at least a partial answer. And I'm sure there are things that we can do to try to improve the situation. DH is finally taking his multi-vitamins every day, for example (why is it so hard to get men to take their vitamins, sheesh!). So, I haven't given up hope on this cycle and I haven't given up hope on us.

And thank you for all of your kind comments talking me off the ledge. They were what I needed to hear, and you guys are [sniff] awesome.

On to new news.

Speaking of not giving up hope, we had an appointment at a clinic in Philadelphia today to see about being part of an IVF study (free IVF!). If you haven't heard about this study, I recommend looking into it. Here is a link to a description of the study at clinicaltrials.gov. The study is being conducted at clinics in the following cities (this list is from the above web page, but is obviously not comprehensive since the Philadelphia site is not listed there):
  • Encino, California, United States, 91436
  • Irvine, California, United States, 92604
  • Miami, Florida, United States, 33176
  • Tampa, Florida, United States, 33617
  • Kailua, Hawaii, United States, 96734
  • Chicago, Illinois, United States, 60610
  • Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States, 60194
  • Waltham, Massachusetts, United States, 02451
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, 89117
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, United States, 28207
  • Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, 45209
  • Memphis, Tennessee, United States, 38120
  • Bedford, Texas, United States, 76022
  • Webster, Texas, United States, 77598
The following criteria must be met in order to qualify:

Ages Eligible for Study: 35 Years to 42 Years
Genders Eligible for Study: Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers: No


Inclusion Criteria:
•Willing and able to provide written informed consent for trial P06029 as well as for the Frozen-Thawed Embryo Transfer (FTET) follow-up trial P06031, and for the pharmacogenetic analysis (if applicable).
•Female and >=35 to <=42 years of age with indication for COS and IVF/ICSI.
•Body weight ≥50.0 kg, BMI >=18.0 to <=32.0 kg/m2.
•Regular spontaneous menstrual cycle with variation not outside the 24-35 days.
•Ejaculatory sperm must be available (donated and/or cryopreserved sperm is allowed).
•Results of clinical laboratory tests, cervical smear, physical examination within normal limits or clinically acceptable to the investigator.
•Adhere to trial schedule.

Exclusion Criteria:
•A recent history of/or any current endocrine abnormality.
•A history of ovarian hyper-response or ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
•A history of/or current polycystic ovary syndrome.
•More than 20 basal antral follicles <11 mm (both ovaries combined) in the early follicular phase.
•Less than 2 ovaries or any other ovarian abnormality.
•Unilateral or bilateral hydrosalpinx.
•Intrauterine fibroids ≥5 cm or any clinically relevant pathology, which could impair embryo implantation or pregnancy continuation.
•More than three unsuccessful COS cycles for IVF/ICSI since the last established ongoing pregnancy (if applicable).
•A history of non- or low ovarian response to FSH/hMG treatment.
•A history of recurrent miscarriage.
•FSH >15.0 IU/L or LH >12.0 IU/L during the early follicular phase.
•Positive for HIV or Hepatitis B.
•Contraindications for the use of gonadotropins or GnRH antagonists.
•A recent history of/or current epilepsy, thrombophilia, diabetes, cardiovascular, gastro-intestinal, hepatic, renal or pulmonary or auto-immune disease requiring regular treatment.
•Smoking or recently stopped smoking (ie, within the last 3 months prior to signing informed consent).
•A recent history or presence of alcohol or drug abuse.
•The subject or the sperm donor has known gene defects, genetic abnormalities, or abnormal karyotyping, relevant for the current indication or for the health of the offspring.
•Prior or concomitant medications disallowed by protocol.

The study is pretty ho-hum: they are testing a new stimulation drug that is very similar to follistim/gonal-f but is long lasting so that for the first 5 days of stims you only have to do one injection. The drug is already approved in Europe.

We of course hope that we are going to get good news on Monday (beta day) and won't ever have to go back to the clinic in Philly. But, I'm, well, hoping for the best, preparing for the worst, as they say.

Finally, a funny story that I wanted to share a couple weeks ago when it happened but got distracted by, you know, life, and didn't get to it until now.

(This story is only funny in hindsight. At the time, well, I cried, people. I did.)

So the story starts with me leaving my husband's laundry in the backseat of our car. Thinking that I would just bring it in later, I went about my business. A couple hours go by and I go out to the store. As I walk past the car on my way home I notice that the driver's side door is slightly ajar. As I get closer I notice the door is unlocked, and I know I didn't leave it unlocked. I look into the back seat and my husband's laundry is missing. That's right, someone stole my husband's laundry! So, I notice that my neighbor is outside in front of his house, so I ask him if he saw anything. He tells me no and then proceeds to talk my ear off about who knows what and in the middle of this conversation I lean down to pet his dog and the dog bites my hand! I feel so embarrassed about it that I don't even look at my hand to see if I'm bleeding because I don't want my neighbor to feel bad, so now I'm standing there, worried about buying all new clothes for my husband, my hand throbbing, and then, the cherry on top: my neighbor asks me when we're going to have kids.


(my hand turned out to be fine, we went out and spent $300 the next day getting DH new clothes, and I told my neighbor "oh, I don't know, maybe someday.")


  1. I hope you dont need the study either....I had already tried to get accpeted but they denied me :( Ah well....

    I cant believe somebody stole your husbands laundry - my times must be hard! And the dog bite- what a crappy day, you poor thing!

    Monday can't come soon enough!

  2. Oh yuck what a craptastic chain of events! I hope you never have to give the Philly clinic a second thought :)

  3. Your poor hand. What a bad dog.

    That new drug looks neat - one injection a week, rather than one a day? I'd take that. I wonder why my European clinic doesn't use it. Too expensive, perhaps?

    Hopefully this new trial brings free IVF to hundreds of patients - but you do not need to be one of them.

  4. What a crummy chain of events... glad you can laugh it off now.

  5. Who the heck steals laundry!!

    That study sounds like a pretty good deal!

  6. Man, I wish I could do the Philly study (I live 20 mins from Philly) but I'm under 35.