Tuesday, August 26, 2008

OK - here we go

We got done with our call with Dr Sch. I had heard from Dr M. and read on the internet that Dr Sch. is a straight shooter, and he dishes it out as it is, and many people think he's too direct. I was wondering how bad it would be, but I loved his directness!! I like to be told things as they are - don't wrap bad news in candy wrappers for us!

So anyway - Dr Sch called, and he was really nice. He too mentioned that my file is really thick but he's seen what all we've been through. 

The one thing that caught his attention was my uterus. Here's the history. In 2001, before we started TTC, an OBGYN had told me that I had a bicornuate uterus. He had also done a couple of tests and told me that I would have no trouble getting pregnant, but staying pregnant may be an issue. The first RE we went to said I had a "slight septum" but it wasn't bad. Our current RE says I have a "slight indentation at the top of my uterus" but it's nothing to worry about. 

Dr Sch said through my file he has seen various doctors have said various things about my uterus. In his words "People are saying crazy things about your uterus". He wants to see for himself and make his judgement. He also thinks that if in fact there is a septum or that I have a bicornuate uterus, that could be an issue that we need to address first. That could have caused my m/c, and the chemical pregnancy as well as the ectopic. 

Other than that, he told us a different method of PGD that they use, which seems to be better in a few ways:

1) The embryo is left untouched till day 5. In the regular PGD that we'd been doing, they take out a cell on day 3, and the cell could potentially have turned into part of the baby. By day 5, they can differentiate the inner cell mass from the part that will make the placenta. They take cell or cells from the placenta part, thereby not "damaging" the baby. 
2) But in this method, they have to freeze the embryo and do a frozen cycle. That is because the testing is started only on day 5, and beyond that, they cannot keep the embryos in culture. 
3) The advantage of doing a FET is that they can control the hormones and make the uterus environment as close to "natural conception environment" as needed. During a fresh cycle, hormones are totally out of whack and given how complicated our case is, he said it may be best to control as much as we can.

He said they have done this type of PGD on 30 people so far, and have had 70% success rates. This is a very high success rate - and he said they don't normally offer this technique to everyone, because it is still pretty experimental. But again, given how complex our case appears, he wants us to be part of this. 

We were concerned about freezing and thawing our embryos and the survival rate. We have seen in the last 4 IVF's that we are left only with 1 or max 2 normal embryos after PGD. What if the normal ones don't survive the thaw? He said they have a new method of freezing called vitrification, and with this method so far they have not lost a single embryo to thaw! 

The other method they use is CGH, but he was not sure they could test balanced translocations with that. 

So he wants us to come for a day and get our 1 day work up done - he will probably add a couple of tests for us to check my uterus - 3d ultrasounds etc. If something needs to be fixed in my uterus, he will do that, and if not, we can figure out the next steps at that point.

The funnies:

1) When he said "People are saying crazy things about your uterus", DH raised one eyebrow and looked at me. I almost started giggling! (Picture in mind - my uterus is a low moral "out there" kinda gal!! )
2) Dr Sch said "I am interested in your uterus" and DH silently went "Whoa! Easy there!!"

Dr Sch also told us he is shocked at how knowledgeable we are on the topic, and that we appear "very bright" :-)

And now for my bonus of the day - I had taken an appt with Dr M for next week, to discuss our call with Dr Sch, and see what he thinks. So today, 30 min after I got off the phone with Dr Sch, I got a call from Dr M's clinic. They wanted to know if I wanted to see Dr M today instead, since they have a cancellation. Yippee!! I'm so happy, because now the call is completely fresh in my mind, and I can make my decisions a little quicker!!


Darya said...

This sounds really really good Nikki!!!!! I'm so excited for you.

When are you going for your work up?

P.S. I told you I had a good feeling. Now you've learned that I'm always right ;-)

Shelby said...

The more I hear about it, the more I'm digging this CCRM place. I've already done my research and boy are their success rates sweet! I'm so glad to hear that you're getting the ball rolling with them. And soon enough, you may have some nice, solid answers-something we're all in search of.

By the way, I do still live in the Bay Area (I grew up in San Jose), but live in the North Bay now (Benicia). Well, I'm not sure we're considered North Bay, East Bay, or Bay Area at all, but I like to feel included. :) It's just a tiny little bridge that divides us.

Lavanya said...

This sounds very promising...Good Luck.I hope this new doctor has the answer that you have been waiting to hear.

Earl Gearl said...

This sounds very promising! I really hope he can help you!

g said...

Glad your apt went well.. Dr S is awesome! very sweet yet firm... and really willing to explain himself..which i really liked at our regroup...
I too heard rumblings of a bicornuate U but it turned out to be a Septate.. and yes that will have to be taken care of as the tissue that forms the septate doesnt contain the correct protein to sustain a PG.. i had mine done on Oct of 06 and did a cycle in Nov/Dec... also the 3d U/S is already on the list forthe one day work up.. and it is the coolest ever! HAHA.. Cant wait to hear wha you decide!

Jackie. said...

Okay, first, how many people can say, "People are saying crazy things about your uterus"? Geez Louise. That file must be something else.

Seriously, I am so glad that you are hearing something unique about your experiences to date. I am extremely excited about what is to come for you, and I admire that you are considering this new treatment. A 70% success sounds like it's right up your alley. I am looking forward to learning more about how this works. As always, wishing only good things to come!

Courtney said...

I'm so happy that you had such a great consult today!! I love your funnies!! I can see my DH doing the same thing. Look at you getting a smarty compliment from a famous dr. You should be proud.

heavenlytini said...

sounds like a plan to me. it sounds very promising that u'll have success!!!wishing you all the best when is ur next appt?