Monday, April 22, 2013

Endometrial Biopsy Take Two

I just got home from my doctor's appointment.  Silly me forgot to take ibuprofen before my appointment and so now my body absolutely hates me.  Of all the infertility procedures I've had in the past two years, the endometrial biopsy is the one that hurts me the most.  I've only had one before today's and I'm hoping that I'll never need to have one again... ever.  I'm glad it's over, that's for sure!

I'll start by saying that I was just like a fish out of water as I sat in the waiting area at my ObGyn's office waiting to be called back for my procedure.  Aside from the very elderly woman (probably there for her annual exam) (who told the young woman sitting next to her that she has six children), everyone there either had an infant with them or a ginormously round belly to sport.  Of course, this sorority of women were conversing and sharing stories of labor & delivery, nursing and hospital tours.  I sat there ashamed, embarrassed and more uncomfortable than I've ever felt before.  I wanted, so badly, to run out of there, but I knew I couldn't.  I also wanted to ask the receptionist to hang fliers about National Infertility Awareness Week.  Let's face it, many women battling infertility still have to be seen at their ObGyn's office.  I can't help but to wonder if the woman in the waiting room with the giant stomach, who is due on Saturday, would have lessened her dramatic "I caaaaaaannnnnnnnnn't waaaaaaaaaaaaait to be done with this pregnancy!" talk, had she seen a flier about those who aren't in her shoes... and who so long and wish to be... Maybe, right?

The Nurse Practitioner at my ObGyn's office performed my biopsy and it was very... sad.  You see, about a year after trying to conceive on our own before turning to medical professionals for help, I initially met with this same NP.  She quickly turned me over to my local RE after seeing my first-ever FSH result (which was 10, at the time).  Being in that office today made me realize just how much I've been through in the past two years.  It's excruciating to think about, really.  The NP was wonderful today, though - she was very comforting and empathetic.  Before performing the biopsy, she did a quick check of my uterus and said "wow, you have such a nice uterus" - I kid you not, those words absolutely came out of her mouth.  Two years into infertility treatment consisting of 3 IUI's, 4 IVF's and 1 FET, I seem to have somehow developed a sense of humor about it all.  I responded to this weird comment about my uterus by saying yeah, well, here's hoping my 'nice' uterus will be of use someday! Ha ha ha".  OK, that's not really funny.  I take that back.  Two years of infertility treatment hasn't made me funny at all. 

Anyway... the biopsy itself killed, as expected, and two hours later I'm still just as crampy as I was when laying on the table having some of my endometrial lining scraped out of me.  Not fun.  But, it's over and for that I'm thankful!  The sweet NP hugged me and wished me lots of luck after she packaged up my lining so I could take it with me (seriously, I took my lining with me).  I then drove (with a piece of my endometrial lining in the front seat) to a FedEx drop-off location and this is where we parted ways.  My lining is off to be checked for the BETA 3 integrin.  If missing, then this could possibly be why I haven't been the slightest bit pregnant five transfers later (the BETA 3 integrin is a protein that assists with implantation).

I initially chose to move forward with the BETA 3 test because I want to rule out anything I can that may have restricted me from becoming pregnant in the past.  I also want to move forward with my next cycle having as much information under my belt as I possibly can.  My doctors (neither locally nor at CCRM) did not recommend this test for me.  Rather, I researched and ordered it for myself (prior to my ODWU at CCRM).  While at CCRM a couple of weeks ago, I let my doctor know that I'd be having the test.  He was totally on board with it and agrees that anything I can do to rule something out is a positive.  But, as I think about getting the results of this test, I'm a bit worried.  You see, if my results come back showing that I have sufficient BETA 3 in my lining, then that's not the issue.  That wouldn't be what is causing implantation to fail.  So, in that case, I'll be left to believe that it's something else... something else as in: lethally fatal embryos (these are the exact words of Dr. S).  Now, this wouldn't be for certain, but it would be a huge possibility.  We've already decided that we will definitely do CCS genetic testing on any embryos that we get from our cycle with CCRM.  And to be honest, I don't know how I would process having no genetically normal embryos.  It would, for sure, be a huge punch in the gut - the possibility that my eggs and Nick's sperm can't produce a genetically normal-enough embryo to implant, to develop into a life... ugh, that just paralyzes me.  But... I can't go there.  Not yet, at least. 

I'm not really sure what to even pray for at this point... Good results showing a sufficient amount of BETA 3 in my lining, or bad results, showing not enough BETA 3 in my lining?  I'm at a loss.  And so, with that, I'm going to dry my eyes and get back to working from home... and snuggling Belle... and trying not to think about what will be...

19 comments:

the blogivers said...

Do you ever feel like you are getting a degree in infertility? The amount of stuff you have to learn, process, etc. is just unreal - especially when you mention any of it to a person who has never dealt with these issues and their eyes start to cross!

Not sure exactly what to pray either, so I will just keep praying for a miracle!

Erika said...

Oh girl, that biopsy sounds miserable! I think Jennie had a few of them and that they were pretty horrible for her, too. I agree- don't really know what to hope for as results on this one...but I'm glad you're getting it done either way!

Suzanne said...

I'm so sorry the test was so awful for you. I'm sure having the answer one way or another will make it well worth the pain and suffering. I've been thinking that it my first IVF doesn't work, I may look into it as well before starting a CCRM cycle. Big hugs. Hope this test is simply a "check off the list" for you and you can get started pronto!!

Melissa said...

I'm so sorry you had to do that, girl. I'm definitely praying for you. For an absolute miracle.

The feeling you described in the obgyn office surrounded by big huge round bellies - i totally get it. :(

MyTwoLines said...

First time commenter, but longtime blogger :)

I just had to have an endometrial biopsy for diagnostic purposes (we are done with our IF stuff) and it hurt worse than everything ever before too. I think I scared the doctor because I yelped.

At any rate, we did five IVFs (two at CCRM). I never tested for the beta integrin but just did the Lupron treatment anyway. BUT, there is an interesting thing about biopsies themselves--though the research is limited--I voluntarily had two done prior to my transfers (yes, voluntarily!) because there is some research that just that disruption in the lining itself improves implantation rates because the lining heals itself and maybe overexpresses some factors that help with implantation. I saw Dr. M at CCRM and she was on board with me doing that locally before coming out for the transfer. I did two and they were specifically spaced apart. On that cycle I did get pregnant, though it ended up being a chemical :( But it was the first time I ever had implantation ever...so you never know.

I'm sorry it's so hard. I have been through it and it is amazingly hard when you're in it. Wishing you nothing but the best.

And ob/gyn visits SUCK with all the preggos.

kharini said...

The biopsy is the worst! I can't imagine without Ibuprofen or anything else.

When I hear your posts is like listening to myself a couple of years back... I know the feelings so well, the anxiety, the unknown, the what if's... Hang in there. Let's pray that there is a "fixable" cause for the failures. Hugs!

Bren said...

Can I just say, I think you are doing AMAZING! And thank God that biopsy is over. Phew! Never again! Praying that the results will be informative and clear up any confusion so you know exactly what steps to take next. Also, when pregnant ladies are being annoying, just smile and ask if they're carrying triplets because they look so big... they love that! Ok, I've never really asked that, but I thought about it :) Snuggle that sweet pup and make a to-do list with all the stuff you already did so you can cross it off and feel accomplished. It makes things more manageable.

Anonymous said...

I'm a first time commenter as well, but have appreciated your blog for a while now. I'm also in the Boston area and see an RE in Wellesle.y who is part of an OB practice. She’s wonderful, but it’s not easy sitting next to the pregnant ladies! I just wanted to tell you my story in hopes of some encouragement. I had four failed IVF cycles as well and, in January, had the biopsy done (merely because my RE has been seeing increased implantation rates in the cycle following the scratch; and wow I was completely put under for the biopsy, I couldn't imagine being awake, ouch!!). Well my February fresh transfer failed so I was gearing up for a frozen transfer in April (this was the first time I ever had any frozen). I had been taking CoQ10 since last summer and started taking DHEA in the fall (I did a ton of research in Pub Med and grudgingly became convinced it might help me; I can tell you the brand if you are interested) after my AMH came back at only .8... Six weeks on DHEA and my AMH doubled to 1.5. My RE did not want me on it at all (and I know it's completely controversial; I avoided it for nearly a year since I was scared, even after reading the research), but I continued taking a low dose. My February cycle was my best ever--most eggs and best egg quality, by far. I started DHEA again in Feb/March after my failed fresh cycle. Miraculously, in March I fell pregnant naturally and am now six weeks along. And it is a complete miracle given my IVF history and also because I just have one tube (last fall a fresh transfer resulted in ectopic). Anyway a long-winded story to say: Keep trying every path and don't give up on natural--if you have downtime waiting for IVF to start--and maybe consider those supplements if you haven't already!

Laura said...

I'm so sorry that you were in that situation today. There's nothing more painful than to be the odd ball out especially when you were already there under pretty crappy circumstances. My heart breaks for all you had to go through today.

I wish I could pray for something specific to come from this test too, but honestly, I just pray for you guys in general! I pray that Dr. S can help you guys finally fulfill your dream!

Thinking of you, and hoping your pain from the biopsy goes away soon!! XO

Amanda said...

YIKES! The biopsy sounds terrible! And I'm super confused because I think I'm having one during my lap, but I know it's not for that test (I specifically asked and he said no way). Oh well, we'll learn what we learn when we learn it. Hope the cramps reside and that one way or another, more answers will lead you closer to your take home baby!

Aubrey said...

Anonymous - thanks for your comment, it's always so nice hearing from local women who are dealing with similar things. CONGRATS on your pregnancy, that is amazing - I am so happy for you! I had an IVF right after my first endo biopsy and unfortunately, it didn't make any difference, but I do hear that so many people get their positives the month after their biopsy. Also, I've been taking CoQ10 and DHEA and I definitely think it helped - my last IVF I had the most eggs retrieved and they all fertilized... I'm a believer! Thanks againf for reaching out! xo

nogoodeggs said...

That sounds horrible! Glad that you got through it! How did you order it for yourself? I am thinking of having the same test - and didn't know that was an option! fill me in girl!

Team Harries said...

So sorry you had to go through that! I had a biopsy last week of the cervix and I was in SO much pain during/after!!! Not sure if it is anything like yours, but I feel for you! I admire you doing the research and taking the initiative yourself! I will pray for great results back!

Ashley said...

Ugh hope you feel better soon! Why do these procedures have to soo painful? Fingers crossed for the best results!! Glad you had a great nurse with you today!!

Becky said...

I can literally feel your pain! The endometrial biopsy was one of the worst things I've had done in the past 3+ years we've been trying to get pregnant. I'd do 10 HSGs before doing another one of those things. Fingers crossed for good results...

JoJo said...

You are an extremely strong will woman. You have endured a lot of pain to accomplish your dream and I admire that. I am praying that this little scratch is all you need to have a successful cycle. Keeping you in my prayers.

P.S. Its quite devastating to be surrounded by pregnant women complaining about their pregnancy. I would have felt the same way and probably would have left the appointment crying.

dspence said...

UGH. That sounds horrible! Hoping you are feeling better toady. Rest up!

Jessica Schmitz said...

Oh no! So sorry you had to sit through that uncomfortable scenario...so awful. My eyes are welling up for you because I know how much that hurts, And then to endure physical pain on top of it all. Poor thing! What I pray for you is resolution...however that looks to move forward past infertility and grow your family. Hugs.

Amber said...

Good for you at being pro active in trying to find answers. I wish you are the luck in the world.

 
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