Friday, April 27, 2012

FAQs: (in)Frequently Answered Questions

There has been a build-up again of questions, so I thought I would take a post to answer some of the ones that have come in lately. Sorry if this post is boring - since many people have asked the same or similar questions, I thought this might be an efficient way to handle answering them.
  1. I was wondering what your immune issues were/are and how they were treated? What?! You don't have our reproductive nightmares committed to memory? Of course, you don't. You have a life. So long story short, after our fifth consecutive loss, I saw a reproductive immunologist for some of the more controversial/ less mainstream testing that REs don't usually do. He did a ton of blood work and told me I had the following abnormalities:

    positive for antiovarian antibodies, abnormal TH1:TH2 cytokine ratio, high natural killer cell assay, abnormal leukocyte antibodies, DQ Alpha partial match with my husband.

    He recommended IVIG. Because it was so expensive, and I wasn't convinced by the lack of science behind it, I tried intralipids for pregnancy #6 (much cheaper and easier on the body). After I lost that chromosomally normal pregnancy, I tried IVIG for pregnancy #7.

    I'm not totally convinced this is what did the trick, but things are definitely going better than ever now, so I am sticking with it. My fourth IVIG is coming up soon.
  2. What are you going to do with this blog once you have the baby? Um, keep writing it? Honestly, I haven't considered this exactly, because I'm so busy with the trying-to-stay-pregnant and being-pregnant thing. It's actually a good question, because I know some bloggers stop writing or create a new space. I'm imagining I'll keep writing here, although obviously the writing will change. We've always hoped to have 2 or 3 children. Now that it looks like we might actually get to have one (one step at a time - not getting ahead of myself!), we are starting to talk about what we would and wouldn't be willing to go through to have another child. I certainly won't spend another five years and have six more losses to do it, I'll tell you that. But if we decide to try for more, we might adopt, or use a donor egg, assuming the frozens we have can't make a baby (which they likely can't). Point being, even if we reach the miracle outcome of a real live baby, I'll still be super infertile (just damned lucky). So I think this space is still the right place to write.
  3. Does your list of blogs on the sidebar get a lot of traffic? Does it bring a lot of traffic to your blog every day? i have to admit, sometimes i come to your blog just to find new blogs, the blogs that you have stumbled upon somehow. i wonder how much traffic they get coming from your blogs every day?! Some of those on my blogroll may have to step up here and comment, because I don't know how much traffic their sites get from me. To be honest, I don't really put a lot of emphasis on traffic. I write because it helps keep me sane, and because I've grown fond - very fond - of this community and the people in it. I'm lucky to have a strong readership who've stuck with me during some really tough times. I'm super grateful for that. Occasionally, someone who I've newly put on my blogroll will email me because they've seen readers coming to them from my blog, so I know some folks definitely click over. But honestly, I put blogs on my blog roll that touch me in some way, or that I can relate to. So mostly it's something I do for myself, so I can follow those blogs. But it would be a nice bonus if they got some new readers that way.
  4. I see you're using the term "gender" of the baby. Do you make a distinction between sex and gender? Just curious since you and Will both are in the medical field and you're in psychology. Ooh. Good question. There of course is a distinction, but no, when I wrote gender on my blog, I was commingling it with "sex" - as in, will the baby genetically be male or female. So to be more correct, I should have said "sex" of the baby. Good catch!
  5. How much does it cost to freeze your eggs? I don't really know, as I haven't done this (despite doing or thinking about doing so many other things!) I'm thinking it's about $10,000-$12,000 per attempt. And if you were trying to preserve your fertility you might want to freeze two or three cycles worth, because an egg is not an embryo. And an embryo does not necessarily a baby make. Believe me. If eggs = babies, I'd have 110 babies (move over, Octomom! But well, we may get one baby out of it all - which is unusually terrible luck, I grant you, but still, you get the idea). My recommendation? Call a reproductive endocrinologist's office and ask about egg retrieval/freezing costs. Much better than relying on my best guess. One other thing is that when I talked to Dr. Schl. about this in regards to my sister potentially needing it, he said he would only recommend two centers in the U.S. for egg freezing. His own (no surprise), and a well-known clinic in Atlanta. You'd want to do some research on the best places to be sure whatever clinic you pick has a top-notch lab and vitrification capabilities.
That's plenty of questions for today. Feel free to leave any other questions in the comments section. I promise to answer them sometime-ish soon. And yes, I know, absolute Yay!! that I'm not having any calamities and therefore can do things like post with answers to questions.


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  1. I just got schooled again because I didn't think that "sex" was the right term to use in reference to whether one's baby was male/female so I always opted for "gender". After looking up the distinction because of this entry, I now know (and know not to be such a know it all to others who have been using 'sex' correctly).

  2. According to my blogger stats, I get the most people clicking over to my blog from yours.

    I really enjoy following your journey (or should I say battle?) as your little one is just a step ahead of mine. And I am so glad that things are still going well for you!

  3. I get a TON of traffic from your blog. I was meaning to email you and say thanks for linking to me, so thanks! (I'm talking 200 page views a day just from here.)

  4. Oh, thank you on the sex/gender issue. There seems to have come a point when everyone came to believe that "gender" was a more evolved and educated way of referring to the bits their unborn children may or may not have--and I've heard the term from people who've sat in the same room with me during discussions of gender as a performative role versus sex as physical reality, and who should thus know better.

  5. How exciting that things are looking good so far. I'm glad the doppler is bringing you peace of mind when you need it as well.
    I've been wondering about the other meds you've been on (prednisone/clariting/pepcid). What doses? When did you start them? How long did you stay on them for?
    And what does CC.RM do for a FET protocol? My RE just does baseline scan CD3-5, then starts estrace 2mg BID if all looks good, then scan and bloodwork after 10-12 days on estrace, and then start prometrium 200mg TID from 5 days before transfer. I'd been reading some article that suggested a specific range of best E2/P4 ratios for implantation/pregnancy, which I doubt mine was in. My doses of the meds also didn't vary over the course of the cycle. I've got my WTF coming up early May, and wonder if I should ask about successes with other protocols or not. Would love to hear what you did. Oh wait - you were on lupron for ages, right? Do you know what the usual is at CC.RM?

  6. I am so happy for you and it sounds like you are slowly letting yourself be excited and believe that this is REALLY happening! Can't wait to find out the gender!! ;)

  7. I was an anthropology major in college and the "sex" vs "gender" thing became a pet peeve of mine from then on. I honestly didn't notice your use of it but I love that there are other people out there that think about this too! I do continue to have everything crossed for you--so so so happy for you and Will.

  8. I was an anthropology major in college and the "sex" vs "gender" thing became a pet peeve of mine from then on. I honestly didn't notice your use of it but I love that there are other people out there that think about this too! I do continue to have everything crossed for you--so so so happy for you and Will.

  9. I get tons of traffic coming from your blog, Mo. Thank you!

    May I ask, if you remember off the top of your head, how much was your Natural Killer Cell %? (when you get a chance) Thanks again!

  10. Very interesting questions - not sure I would have even thought of a lot of those topics! I have noticed my blog pop up on your blog roll based on when I post, and I actually do get quite a bit of traffic from it(or maybe from my random sporadic comments).

    Like you - I don't put a lot of emphasis on how many people visit/read, but I write to maintain sanity and document my life. It would be nice to see who was stopping by - I don't get a lot of comments.

    Still praying for ya'll - and I'm SOOOO THRILLED!!!!!

  11. Just checking in to see how things are going. Glad to hear that all is well. I've got such a broad smile for you guys!

    I may be able to help with the cost of IVF egg freezing. Here at the center where we went, it costs between $5500 and $6300 per cycle. Check out the link to the fees page at

  12. Stopping by from ICLW 92. So nice to see something positive, especially after so many losses. Fingers crossed for you!
    I blog for my IVF docs at Long Island IVF so I can share my stories. I’m hoping ICLW and NIAW can help me find new blogs and spread the word about LIIVF’s free Micro-IVF cycle contest kicking off this week. Details for those interested are on the blog or Long Island IVF’s FB page.

  13. Ha I thought I was the only one who used your blog for a blog roll! I mean obviously I read your updates! but you have a nice list of blogs and I don't have a personal blog all those 'hits' from my hometown are me refreshing your blog as a reader. Thanks for keeping such a good list!!

  14. Always love to hear your updates and FAQs answered (inquiring minds want to know!) ;) I also get lots of traffic on my blog from here - I'm completely clueless on the blog etiquette in this area, so perhaps I should have said "THANKS!" sooner!? (thank you!) I have also found some amazing blogs from your list, so thank you for linking to so many great ones!

  15. But you didn't answer *MY* question, whine, whine... (OK, so you answered it in the comments, but I'm coming back to tease you and see if you have a different answer yet)... what do you and Will call Lucky #7/Lance/Yumster? And only 10 weeks to viability- Squee!

  16. So glad there are no calamities for you to be writing about! :)
    And I'm on your blogroll, and get a fair amount of traffic clicking over from your blog (this week 89 clicks) just wanted to say THANK YOU for helping new people find my blog...appreciate it. :)

  17. I hope you do continue to blog after you have the baby! I check on you very regularly and look forward to hearing your mommy stories!! :) (It is an adjustment though, so I would certainly understand if you didn't blog, but I would miss it!). :)

  18. Congrats on your pregnancy!!!

    Perusing your blog via ICLW (#86)

  19. I can't say how much traffic I exactly get from being linked on your site, but I know I definitely did see an increase in daily visits after you linked to me.

    So glad everything is still going well for you!! So happy for you :)

  20. Oh, I really hope you keep blogging after the baby! For people who have been following you for years, it would be nice to continue the journey. Thanks for sharing. Heather

  21. IVIG is a miracle drug! My DH had autoimmune issues and IVIG has fixed it...twice. I know its crazy and makes you feel like crap but I believe in it and I am so glad to hear it worked for you. Hopefully your insurance is paying for it! At 10k a pop its crazy!!

  22. Hi Mo. Here's something I've been wondering about: have you kept up with the anti-inflammatory diet? If so - have you gotten used to it?

    I love readig your updats and am soo happy for you guys.

    - Lurker Christina

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