A Few New Tidbits I’ve Learned…
- Did you know there’s a site called FertilityIQ that’s kind of like Yelp for fertility doctors? I just read this article in the New York Times yesterday and couldn’t believe I didn’t know about it. It’s only a year old so there aren’t a zillion reviews on each doctor but I did find all three clinics in Portland represented and – thankfully – my doctor was rated 10/10. But dang, it’s interesting to just go on there and read stories from other patients as the format is really good, going over everything from staff experiences to protocols used to costs of treatment to the (anonymous) reviewers’ diagnosis (Diminished Ovarian Reserve, PCOS, Unknown, etc.) and more. Pretty great. I filled out mine, even though we’re still a work in progress, and got a really nice email from the c0-founder, who started it with his wife going through the IVF process themselves. He mentioned that they really need more reviewers so, if you’re in the States, please go on their website and share your experience! This is a great way pay it forward to other couples seeking guidance during a shitty, shitty time.
—-Oh and by the way, I totally disagree with the haters in the article who say you shouldn’t be using reviews to help you make your decision about a practitioner…hell yeah you should, use every tool you have! IVF is way more than success rates which, while many like to attribute solely to the RE, are actually a combination of many factors).
- “Those who have to go through IVF understand the unimaginable love you will have for a child far before they are even conceived.” – from Perfection in a Petri Dish. While I must say I tend to bypass all blogs of those who’ve got kids, even if via IVF, I happened upon this one and I gotta say, I just wept and smiled and thought, hey, maybe…just maybe…What have I learned? That life will go on, and that the results will be the same whether I’m grumpy or optimistic, and sometimes inspiration can be found in unlikely places. We’re choosing positivity.
- PTSD can be a side effect of infertility treatments, a study presented to the American Psychological Association has shown. “Close to 50 percent of participants met the official criteria for PTSD, meaning they could be diagnosed with the condition,” NBC News reports. Makes sense…and is why it’s VITAL that those of us going through it make sure we do as much as possible when it comes to self-care. Counseling, massage, yoga, acupuncture, support groups, etc. are not things to “spoil yourself” – your mental health is not an optional thing to care for…so do what you gotta do to take care of your heart and soul during this time. Make the time.
And The World Continues To Turn During Cycle 4
Having been through this multiple times, you get to recognizing when symptoms are going to be at their best and worst. For me, it’s not the morning after the shot, but day two where things seem to be at their height (my Delestrogen injections are every 3 days, so no suppositories – yay! – and this packs a bigger punch. My arse is used to injections and they don’t hurt so I actually prefer this over the messier alternative – again, refer to Ali Wong’s Baby Cobra where she, yes, incorporates a pessary joke into her routine, I swear.). So yeah, it’s like a couple of waves per week. Super fun.
Friday is the ultrasound to check on my lining and make sure it’s doing what it’s supposed to, getting good and fluffy or whatever the term is. We’ve never had a problem getting it to 8-9mm by ultrasound day, which is a good place to be one week before transfer I’m told. Some women get much thicker linings much faster, but my doc says as long as it’s more than 8mm by transfer day, it’s all good.New Addition to the Mix
So ultrasound day also means time to kick off daily Progesterone (PIO) shots every morning. Not my favorite way to start off the day, but hey, whaddayagonnado.
Along with this, I’ll be adding a little Prednisolone to the mix, which my doctor did not suggest himself but agreed to after I inquired about it (seeing it on so many women’s standard protocols online) to help suppress any potential immune responses here in Cycle Four. Seeing that the primary side effects are “irritability, anxiety and sleep disturbance”, which I am already full of on these existing hormones (grimace), and that it’s covered by insurance (since fertility is not it’s primary use), I’m going to take it for about a week and see how things go.
Anyone else been on it? Thoughts? Side effects? Impact?