Well I gave an update on our new house a few weeks ago, maybe it's time to give an update on project "maybe baby" which is what I've nicknamed our journey to hopefully start a family on this blog. Several weeks ago after our second IVF cycle failed we decided to do extensive blood testing to see if there might be a reason for the two early miscarriages after a suggestion from our doctor. It took a few weeks to get things clarified with our health insurances but they agreed to contribute towards the costs (so we will only be charged a few hundred euros as opposed to a few thousand!). It ended up being about twelve vials of blood from me and about eight from the hubby. Timing wise since I knew we would be busy with the house, I liked the idea of getting the blood testing done since it can take about two months anyway.
So far we have only gotten some partial results back. Both our chromosome blood tests came back fine and it also showed that I don't
have a blood clotting disorder. It's nice to be able to rule those issues out. The rest of the results will probably take another few weeks. I'll be tested for the MTHFR gene mutation which is where your body doesn't absorb folic acid properly unless it's in folate form and has been linked to miscarriages. And natural killer cells which your body produces to get rid off any foreign bodies like diseases but the theory is that in some women the antibodies work too well and can kill a growing fetus. There is treatment you can get apparently to help fight this problem. Hubby and I will also be checked for some vitamin and mineral levels. For instance I've read if you have a B12 deficiency it can cause infertility and miscarriages! Since I'm lactose intolerant and don't eat so much dairy and I'm also not a big meat eater then it is possible that my values are low.
Once we find out our test results we will be able to plan plan when to do IVF again, ideally before the end of this year. It's not that easy to plan though as over the next several months there'll be Christmas and several weddings of family and close friends that we would ideally like to travel back to Ireland for. During IVF I wouldn't be able to fly and afterwards if I get pregnant I would also be too nervous to fly in the first trimester. I suppose I should cross that bridge and figure that out *if* I manage to get pregnant. If that were to happen I would be so happy.
I love travelling though and I already often feel like I miss out on so many big moments back in Ireland by living here in Germany so I would love to go back for the weddings, especially my brother's next Summer. It's less than a two hour flight to Ireland but apaprently IVF pregnancies are considered high risk.
We'll know more in a few weeks. If the blood tests come back with no issues then we could plan round three IVF quite soon but if there are any problems discovered then we would have to wait several months anyway probably to get treatment. So it's all quite up in the air still. I feel ready enough for the physical side of it all, the injections, egg retrieval etc, but I do worry about the emotional side which I always find really hard going. Especially if it were to fail again.
Having the house has been a great distraction for sure. We love the new place and are settling in well. We still have loads of boxes to unpack and lots of stuff to get done but we've been able to enjoy German Summer in our new garden now and then which has been great.
That's interesting about B12, I didn't know that. With MTHFR, which I have, B Vitamins play a role with folate. Good luck with your results. Hope you get the results that make a difference.ReplyDelete
Yea I had no idea about the B12 thing until I came across an article a few weeks ago. I've been hearing more and more about MTHFR, curious whether I'll have that or not. Thanks, I hope the results will help us move forward.Delete
Sounds positive so far. Fingers crossed for the rest!ReplyDelete
All I know about vitamin B12 is that B6 is supposed to help with short luteal phase and you have to balance out the B6 with B complex so the ratio of B6 to B12 is right. And tannin supposedly affects the absorption of folic acid so you're not supposed to take folic acid at the same time as you drink black or green tea (so when should you take folic acid if you drink tea all day long?)
That's interesting about the short luteal phase connection, I think I might have that. It seems like there are so many different vitamin and hormone levels that need to be just right in order for a chance at pregnancy. I drink tea all day long too :)Delete
I've officially been told my luteal phase is too short (by a gynaecologist), but until it's been a year all I can have is a prescription for vitex to attempt to balance out my hormones... welcome to Switzerland, land of the herbal remedy!Delete
Anything under 10 days is considered to be a luteal phase defect. 10 is too short but not officially a problem.
Hey, thanks for the comment on my blog (Lady Part Adventures). Sorry to hear you are going through something so similar -- two rounds of IVF with an early miscarriage then an outright failure. I don't think anyone can know exactly how much it sucks unless they've gone through it themselves.ReplyDelete
I've been tested for several things and they found only low iron and low vitamin D. (I take folate just in case of MTHFR and baby aspirin because it's cheap and why not?) I'm also hypothyroid and have been trying to get the right dose. Plus I have endometriosis, and there's not much you can do for that other than have a surgery whenever it affects your quality of life too badly. It also affects the chemical environment of your abdomen, and IVF is considered the best treatment.
What I'm hoping, as far as our first two tries, is that it was just bad luck (and stress -- both rounds took place during very stressful times, including at one point a coup! But IVF is always mega stressful, so damn hard to "just relax"). Even if everything goes as perfectly as it can, sometimes the embryos just don't implant, and no one knows why. We each only have two data points so far, which isn't that many. Here's hoping the odds favor us both next time. xxx
My doctor also prescribed baby aspirin to me on my second cycle actually just in case it might make a difference. I've been taking vitamin D recently since I've read a lot about women who have taken it before IVF have increased success as it's very easy to be deficient in it. And yeah I also started taking some folate too just in case of MTHFR! A friend of mine has endometriosis and her doctor told her that if there is loads of it that it won't support a pregnancy but that once it's removed by operation that you are super fertile for the next half year. That was just one doctor's opinion though so hard to know how much it would affect things.Delete
Yea I'm hoping my failures were just bad luck also and it's just a matter of trying again. Absolutely agree that it's so hard to relax during IVF! Actually last round I listened to Circle and Bloom meditation mp3s and I did feel as relaxed as I could be considering it all and it still didn't work! Crossing my fingers for us both xx
Pretty toes! I hope that you can get on the calendar for an IVF cycle before the end of the year, and that they come up with a good plan for you. B12, huh? That's so interesting, because I came out as low in B12 this past November when I first had the heart palpitations, but I don't recall being tested for it when we were doing IVF...grrr. I agree with Pamela that baby aspirin can't hurt. I am glad you are enjoying summer before you jump back into the IVF rollercoaster... I so hope the third time's the charm for you.ReplyDelete
Yea the doctors never seem to investigate all avenues do they? The more I learn about fertility the more I realise just how complex the whole process is and it can also be really hard to know what the issue is. And then there are always stories about a friend of a friend who tried gluten free/yoga/some magic potion/whatever and it worked for them but who knows if it was just a matter of more time and what works for one couple might not work for another. Frustrating!Delete
Thanks for your comment, I am hoping you'll be kept busy with the new school year and then before you know it the adoption will start moving along and you can finally use your lovely nursery :)
Sorry about your last IVF attempt, I find the failed IVFs to be so taxing emotionally and then the added hormones don't help much. How exciting to be in a new home though, we are moving and it has been a great distraction for me as well. I hope your test results come out how you hope, I know at a certain point I was hoping for results to show SOMETHING wrong just so there was a concrete reason for the miscarriages and failures. I do however hope yours are all normal. I have the double gene for MTHFR and I take a special pre-natal vitamin for it that has all the B vitamins and folic acid in the bioavailable form since my body can't convert it if it's not. I love them and have noticed a difference in my energy level, I get them on Amazon.com they are called Optimal Pre-natal made by Seeking Health which is a company that makes vitamins specifically for people with MTHFR. So if you do come back positive hopefully that can be a helpful resource for you. Good luck moving forward I will be following along!ReplyDelete
This is such great information! Thank you so much for sharing, Elizabeth. I've e-mailed my doctor and asked about being tested for MTHFR. I've never been pregnant and am prepping for my first FET with the one and only embryo we will ever have. I'm so afraid that I'll have a miscarriage because of something that could have been prevented. So, she will be calling me today to talk about possible testing. Just knowing about these special prenatals makes me feel better. Good luck to you!Delete
Thanks for all that information. A friend of mine has the MTHFR gene deficiency too and takes tablets for it. I hope your house move goes well too!Delete
Good luck! Thoughts and prayers for you.ReplyDelete
I'm trying to figure out how to follow your blog from my wordpress account. I'm new to having one. Is there a way to follow from the wordpress?
Thank you. It looks like you figured it out as I see you in my list of followers now :)Delete
I'm sorry that your second IVF didn't work out but all the testing sounds like it's heading in the right direction. The only things I can add in are testing for endometrial Natural Killer Cells - if you have it a course of steroids during the first trimester often allows the body to get a pregnancy established. Also did they do an endometrial scratch when they put your embryo back in? Apparently the scratch can assist with implantation. (I am waiting for ovulation so I can have both of these, they don't do them on the NHS here but they are available privately fairly cheaply). XxxReplyDelete
Yes they tested me for the natural killer cells in my blood and I tested positive for them so it's possible I might have to take steroids or something, have to wait several weeks for appointment with my doctor. I got the scratch done before my transfer the second time. They normally do it in the cycle before your transfer cycle and I read great things about it but didn't work for me unfortunately. Good luck, hope things go well!Delete
I am so sorry for what you and your husband are struggling with in your lives. The house can be very distracting and I am sure you are enjoying it. Finding things to do with a house is a great way to keep your mind from other things. Everything will work itself out, and I hope you get the answers you're looking for!ReplyDelete