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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
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