Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Initial Consult with the R.E.

Good morning all! 

I was going to post yesterday, but I was a bit overwhelmed with everything and needed to just take it all in yesterday. I know you are all wondering what happened, so here it goes:

Yesterday we woke up bright and early, ready to nervously head to our Reproductive Endocrinologist's (RE's) office for the first time.  We made sure to give ourselves PLENTY of time because I had no idea where this office was located, as it was separate from the normal University of Chicago hospital.  We were also given directions to obtain free parking for the clinic, but it seemed confusing and I wanted to make sure we found it easily. We left 2 hours prior to our appointment time.  

Well, an hour later we were at the clinic, parked in the free parking, and walking up to the office.  The building is definitely confusing at first, and it takes a few minutes to get acquainted with the layout of everything.  Upon entering, I was actually surprised at how small the waiting area was. It had 3 small couches in it, and that was it.  Also, it didn't feel very "medical" feeling, which I think they do on purpose to keep patients more comfortable about the whole situation.  

After only a few minutes (we had done all the paperwork in advance), we were led back to a consultation room which consisted of comfortable rolling chairs and a round table. It was actually a really nice little room, but as my nerves were pretty high upon arriving, I didn't really care too much about the decor.  We waited about twenty minutes (remember we were an hour early), and then our Dr., Dr. C., walked in apologizing for being late (even though he wasn't late, we were EARLY).  

He introduced himself, sat down, and started asking us a lot of personal history questions. We answered them pretty quickly, and he started getting down to my medical problems and my reason for being there.  He then pulled out the ultrasound and started talking to us about our options of how to continue.  

Thankfully, there was nothing majorly wrong on my ultrasound. The reason I was referred is because of the right ovary being invisible and the left one being filled with cysts.  My high-risk OB thought that with the time-crunch CFers have, he would rather just have me head over to infertility and get the assistance I need instead of trying for another few months without a result.  Dr. C. said that there are some potential problems because of my ovaries.  He said that with CF there is the problem of tubal blockages, and he feels that with my other ovary "missing", the tubing is probably twisted as well.  He also indicated a few other problems that may arise due to multiple abdominal surgeries at birth.  He said that my adhesions make it difficult for everything to work properly, which makes total sense.  

He continued to tell us more of the potential issues, but honestly I can't remember them all (they're written down on the sheets he gave us, but for the purpose of clarity and brevity, we'll just leave them out).  Then, he told us our two options:

1) IUI
2) IVF

He said we could try IUI if we wanted, but he felt that we would ultimately find ourselves in IVF treatments regardless.  He explained why he felt that and then he also explained the risks of both treatments to us.  After over an hour discussion at the clinic, and more discussion at home together, we've decided that the right course of action for us is IVF.  Why?

One of the biggest fears we have about IUI is the chance of multiples.  With IUI, the risk of twins (or more) is 30%!! Honestly, I do not think my body could handle twins very well as I am EXTREMELY tiny.  I think one baby is going to be hard enough on my body.  With IVF, the doctor will only be implanting ONE embryo at a time.  

Also, the testing to see if my tubes are open enough for IUI in the first place, comes with a risk of infection and requires antibiotics prior to the test and after the test.  I'm already on antibiotics full time, and I do worry about my body handling infection (the reason for infection is that they have to shoot a contrast up through the uterus and tubes).  He said also that even if the test comes back showing my tubes are open enough for dye to go through, they may still be blocked too much for actual conception to occur because of the thickened mucus in CF and the little tiny hairs that line the tubes which can collect the mucus and other junk.  

With IVF, we will be able to genetically test the embryos for CF prior to implantation, which is a good idea as well.  We also will be able to place only one embryo at a time. He suggested, and we agree, that overall it's the safest and most effective method for us.  PLEASE do not take OUR decision as the "right" or "wrong" decision...infertility treatments are extremely personal and each couple needs to make their OWN decision with their doctor's help.  

Gosh these posts are just getting longer and longer..I truly apologize!!

So what now? Now, we make sure my CF doctor approves IVF treatments, and then if she does, we head forward.  I will receive an ultrasound and bloodwork 3 days into my next period.  Then we will start going through the entire process of hormone injections to get me ready for egg retrieval. I will detail all of this much more as we get closer to each process. 

Overall, it was a great day and we now have a plan. I still feel conflicted because I am definitely nervous about the hormones and the egg retrieval surgery, but overall I agree that it's the safest way to go for us. It's just a very strange and difficult decision to make.

Thank you all for your prayers, hugs, and good thoughts as I waited over the past week. I can never explain how much it meant to me, and how much you all got me through this past week.  Now, onto the next part of this journey...just hoping for doctor's approval at this point.  If she approves, we're looking at the first implantation to be January or February! Eek! :) 


  1. Megan, I am so glad that you had such an overall positive visit with the RE and were able to come to a decision that you felt comfortable and peaceful with! My mom did IVF with her 4th pregnancy. She ended up having triplets (but don't worry, that was in the OLD days of IVF - they implanted 4 embryos!!!). They also did PGD - screened the embryos for CF before implantation. IVF was a huge blessing in my family's life, and I definitely think it is a wonderful medical miracle! I'm so excited for you that you will be able to get things moving so quickly! You and your husband are in my prayers. I sincerely hope that IVF is exactly what you need and that everything works out the first time!

    I stil haven't forgotten your e-mail, by the way - I've had a busy couple of days, but I'm going to sit down and write a full reply soon!

  2. Cindy, thank you so much for your continued thoughts and prayers. They mean a lot to me. I'm very glad that our consult went well also. I was extremely nervous about it (as you know), and I still am not 100% at peace with the idea. I think I still am holding on to the desire to do this myself, but deep down I know it's the right thing to do. It will be good to know that our future child will NOT have CF, that's a weight off our shoulders, and it will be good to know I won't be having multiples.

    Thank you for sharing the story about your mom. I really don't know anyone who has had IVF done personally, and I think that's part of what scares me about the idea. I just worry about the hormones and the retrieval, especially being put under for it. I'm so glad it worked out so well in your family :) That's great to hear.

    Thank you for the well wishes also. I hope it works out the first time too - that would be WONDERFUL.

    Also, no worries about the e-mail. I understand what it means to be busy..take your time! :)

  3. That definitely sounds like a tough decision, but I'm glad everything went well. I'm excited for you to be able to get the ball rolling on this, I'm sure it'll be an exciting (and a little nervous) time. I am looking forward to following your journey through your blog and you know I'm always here if you need to chat.

  4. So glad that you found a doctor that really seems to care about you. Lots of tough decisions, but sounds like you have a great team to make those decisions with! I hope Jan/Feb come quickly for you. I am excited to follow your journey as I am sure it will be a great one!!

  5. Thank you ladies for your wonderful comments. I really agonized over what the doctor said, but as each day passes and I read more and more about IVF, I feel much more comfortable and excited. I am so ready for Jan/Feb!


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