In spite of the wonderful news that MH and I do not have to contend with alloimmune issues (thank you to everyone who offered me advice and a shoulder to lean on, if we were facing those issues), I’m overwhelmed.
My dad is a physician and is licensed in the U.K. though doesn’t practice only in the U.K. – my parents live in Europe, if you didn’t know (I grew up in the States). My mom encouraged me to share the test results from Dr. Sher with him and after a lot of wavering I decided to do so. Granted, he is NOT a fertility specialist but I trust my dad and his knowledge and he has access to A LOT of medical resources including my uncle who is a very well-known and respected OB/GYN in Europe (he delivers celebrities babies…people whose names if I posted them you would recognize but I won’t to maintain my anonymity and respect his privacy) that said, my uncle is just a OB/GYN and NOT a fertility specialist.
On a side note, I’ve tried to keep my dad out of the whole medical piece of our journey because I like to maintain a normal father/daughter relationship with him and not go down the path of the doctor dad and daughter – we’ve done it before and it isn’t fun. He gets all technical and medical and is less supportive of my feelings and more distant doctor…
Anyway, my dad reviewed our test results and doesn’t see anything wrong with them. Yes, I have elevated natural killer cells but he says that most people do as that is what helps fight illnesses like cancer – so you want to have them in your body….He believes that the treatments that Dr. Sher is recommending (along with IVF) are not clinically proven and have more potential harm to me and a potential fetus from the side effects than are worth the risk. He sent me this article that helped explain his rationale: http://www.hfea.gov.uk/fertility-treatment-options-reproductive-immunology.html
Dad said that his recommendation is to go to the fertility specialist who has the highest success rates and not the one with the innovative treatments. Dr. Sher’s treatments are still in a clinical trial phase (though there don’t appear to be any formal clinical trials that he could find) and have no proven positive outcome (primarily just anecdotal). He says we should try IVF a few times before going to Dr. Sher – and by then, if we’re still not pregnant, we can do more research on intralipid treatments, etc.
As you might imagine, after reading this article and speaking with my dad, both MH and I are much more hesitant to move forward with Dr. Sher (thinking of him as more of a last resort). I scheduled a consult with Oregon Reproductive Medicine in Portland for next week. My mom who has been visiting friends and family around the U.S. for the past month is arriving early next week for a visit with us. She and I might take a little road trip together to Portland (along with Winston, who MH and I pick up on Saturday!!!!).
I’m also going to give the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine a call (probably today) and see if I can schedule a phone consult with them as soon as possible.
So, I know several of you have gone to SIRM and have had positive experiences as well as good outcomes using Dr. Sher’s methods of treating NKCs. I respect your experiences and I am definitely not taking his recommendations off of the table. However, I’m leaning more to saving his recommendations for a last resort. I think I want to try IVF but try it in either Portland or with CCRM. The success rate for ORM in Portland for my age range is 50%. The success rate for CCRM in Denver for my age range is 59%. Both of those stats are pretty compelling.
To be fair, SIRM-LV, does not report their numbers to SART but they do to the CDC (as required by law). Their numbers are much lower – I think 27% for my age range. Granted Dr. Sher may accept more challenging cases…something to consider. Dr. Sher gave me a 50-60% success rate within two IVF cycles.
I’ve taken all of the Seattle centers completely off the table – the success rates while good are not as high for my age range. The only reason why we’d choose one in Seattle is for convenience and I think at this point we’re going for making our dream come true instead of convenience.
Oh, did I mention that we need to tell SIRM by Monday at the latest? They said that they’ll allow me to wait until my period shows up (I said probably by Monday) and that they’ll squeeze me in – which could or could not be true – as the deadline is actually tomorrow to make a decision and put down my deposit.
That’s a lot – clearly I’m processing. Sorry for the novel! For those of you who have been there before me, what would you do? Would you skip straight to what I’m considering our “last resort” – Dr. Sher with the risks that are mentioned in the article and by my dad? Or, would you try plain old-fashioned IVF at a fertility center with great results?
Today is CD27. Historically, I would get my period today. Tomorrow, CD28, at the latest. Because my body was so wacky this cycle (no positive OPK, no temp rise followed by broken thermometer), I don’t 100% sure know when or even if I ovulated though I think I did on CD 16 or 17, late for me, I don’t know when to expect my period.
What do you think – will by cycle be longer because I may have ovulated a little later than usual? I don’t feel my body yet getting ready for it except for my usual extreme moodiness compounded by the stress of trying to make a decision about where to do IVF. When should I expect it? I don’t have a HPT at home, so there’s clearly no early testing for me!
Yesterday was day three gluten-free:
Breakfast: same boring breakfast – I need new breakfast ideas
Lunch: corn and peas heated up, chicken breast, potato chips (I finished the bag so no more chips for me!)
Dinner: pasta (GF brand that was surprisingly very tasty but needed to be cooked longer) with home-made sauce made by me; salad
Snacks: popcorn, peaches
Today’s day four gluten-free menu will be something like:
Breakfast: same old, same old – definitely need new breakfast ideas!
Lunch: don’t know – I’ll probably run over to Whole Foods, which is around the corner from our apartment and VERY dangerous 🙂
Dinner: roasted chicken breasts with sauteed spinach and garlic and corn