Well, I had the chance to ask my doctor those very questions last week, and unfortunately, I didn't exactly get the answers I was looking for... Apparently, my doctor doesn't really know if CCRM's protocol could have produced better quality eggs than my protocols and cycles locally here in Boston. And, when I asked if there could be anything else wrong with me... if there's anything else I could test for, I was told that I've pretty much done all I can - I've had a hysterosalpingogram which showed no blockages, I've had a hysteroscopy which showed no fibroids or polyps, and I've had the BETA 3 Integrin test which showed that I do not lack the protein necessary for implantation. Based on those results, my doctor strongly believes that I do not have a uterine issue. Rather, he said, we know what my issue is: my issue is my eggs. UGH. I swear, no matter how far I get in this process, my bad eggs will always haunt me. I asked if, at this point, because I have five normal embryos, I would be on the same playing field as someone who doesn't have high FSH, or as someone who doesn't have a crappy egg reserve, or as someone who doesn't have bad and ugly eggs. And, unfortunately, my doctor explained to me that no, I would not have the same chance of success as that of someone who, I would like to call... normal. Blah. At this point, I was sort of done with the conversation. I didn't ask what my chances are or how much lower my chances are... I just didn't and don't want to hear it. My doctor went on to advise me to transfer two of my best embryos (two 5AA's) and then he congratulated on my good embryo report. Click.
Here's what I know: someone who ends up transferring a euploid (normal) embryo, has a 70% chance of implantation. Even though my doctor said differently, I can't seem to understand how I wouldn't fall into that same bucket of chance for success. Yes, my eggs suck. Yes, the most eggs I've ever had retrieved was 10. Yes, I've had a cycle with a really bad fertilization rate. BUT... I have five normal embryos, people! FIVE! And so... I believe, I have to believe, that there's a pretty good chance of something else being wrong with me... Or... maybe CCRM really does work miracles?
So, at the end of last week, I took it upon myself to call a Reproductive Immunologist in NYC. If I want to move forward in having auto immune issues tested, there are some next steps that I have to complete. I'll need my local doctor to contact the RI in NYC for a Physician consult. The RI in NYC will provide my local doctor with the list of blood tests that I'll need to have ordered. My local doctor will order the tests and then would receive the results a couple of weeks later. I would then sign a release for the results to be reviewed by the RI and then I'd plan to meet with the RI to hear my diagnosis and a potential treatment plan. Only thing is... I'll need to figure out how to coordinate care with CCRM if I have an immune issue... And that's probably the biggest hurdle I need to figure out at this point.
While thinking about all of the other (immune) issues that I could have last week, I also heard from my nurse at CCRM with a laundry list of things that I need to complete before transfer: thyroid blood test (scheduled for tomorrow morning), Physical and PAP (scheduled with my PCP on Thursday - I also plan to ask my doctor on Thursday if she can e-mail the RI in NYC for the Physician consult so that I can hopefully get started with all of that blood work) and the most annoying to-do was having Nick's and my blood drawn for communicable diseases. Blood draws themselves don't bother me - but these specific blood draws have to be done using CCRM's shipping kit, which I paid to have shipped overnight to us for Saturday delivery on Friday afternoon. This means, Nick and I got to spend our morning at a local hospital waiting to have our blood drawn, then explaining about a million times to the phlebotomist and her manager that the blood then needs to clot, be spun and given back to us so that we could freeze and ship it back to our doctor in Colorado. Luckily, after a lot of frustration on my part, we ended up walking out of there with our vials of spun blood that is currently being frozen in our freezer so that I can ship it back to CCRM tomorrow morning. It's not until CCRM has ALL of the results for ALL of these tests that I can move forward and set the tentative transfer date that I was given (in November) in stone.
And so, that's where we are... sort of in a tangled web right now. We're trying to have as much hope and faith as we possibly can right now... and I'm trying to train my mind not to think so negatively. I just still can't imagine this turning out any different than it has in the past.