September 9, 2010

Can't get pregnant, can't get unpregnant

I don’t want to spend too much time talking about the D&E itself. I will say that if you take away the heartbreak, the procedure is fairly simple and painless. We hadn’t told anyone about the pregnancy except my mom and my best friend, so we only had to break the bad news to two people. My mom had apparently told her friends, so she got to untell them as well.

My RE’s office needed to know if the defect was genetic in origin, so we had karyotyping done. Neural tube defects (NTDs) aren’t typically genetic, and ours was no exception (meaning it wasn’t the donor’s fault). I never did ask if the donor was allowed to cycle again. I did find out the sex of the baby, which I’ll refrain from sharing. (Mr. GB didn’t want to know.) I also received tiny footprints, which are tucked away safe for now.

(We don’t know what caused the defect. They say that NTDs can be prevented with folic acid. I’d been taking prenatal vitamins for years, but it wasn’t enough. At my request I was tested for MTHFR (a disorder that can cause difficulty in absorbing folic acid), and I don’t have that mutation. My homocysteine levels were also normal. I read NTDs are more common with IVF…I always wonder if the lengthy embryo transfer was the cause. I also read that hot tubs and saunas can cause NTDs, and I wonder if sunbathing was the cause, even though I sunbathed after the window for NTDs closed. It was probably just horrible bad luck. I’m taking 4 mg of folic acid now, just in case. I have a 1% chance of it happening again. I hope it doesn’t.)

As I was recovering from the D&E, I was more determined than ever to try again. In fact, I was filled with an odd sense of hope that’s really hard to explain. Maybe it was just a coping mechanism. I did have bouts of sadness and grief, but I was ready for AF to arrive and start a new donor cycle.

Except AF was nowhere to be seen, and my HPTs were still positive. And I was still bleeding, like for a month. Went back to the MFM’s office for an ultrasound but nothing looked suspicious. She gave me Cytotec/Misoprostol to try to flush out my uterus, but nothing happened. Mentioned the bleeding to my donor coordinator, who talked to my RE, who told me to come in for a hysteroscopy to look around. The camera showed that my uterus was filled with cobwebs (aka “products of conception”) and a second D&C was needed. My RE said I could get the procedure done at the RE’s surgical center, but we’d have to wait a month.

So we commenced waiting. Again. We’re talking 77 days between the first procedure and the second.

Surprise surprise, AF arrived 58 days after my D&E. I will spare you the details but let’s just say it was the worst period EVER. My RE still recommended the D&C, but the good news was that I got to go on the pill, which meant I’d finally have control of my cycle back and we were finally ready to start looking at donors again. YAY!

I had my second D&C on August 11, the same day we put down our donor deposit. In the next few days I’ll talk a bit about our selection process (my criteria changed dramatically), a slight setback, and where we are today. But for now, I’ve got to run upstairs for a Lupron shot!

To be continued…

Golden Bud



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