Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2 Month Follow Up

Time has been flying by, so much so that we already had our 2 month follow up with Dr. C. Friday, Chris and I left work around 2:30 and headed to his office. Surprisingly he was running on time, and we were taken in after only 15 mins. (Trust me, I'm not complaining about the wait, he's well worth it.) 
Front and Back covers of Creighton Model Charting.

I still can not get over how thorough this man is. The nurse who has been teaching me the Creighton Model also works on Fridays at Dr. C's office. She was our nurse on Friday! Thank goodness, seeing as this past month has been all over the place. She looked at my chart and immediately knew something was off. We sat with her for a good 15 mins reviewing my cycle to be sure the charting was accurate. Then Dr. C came in. The blood work I had done right around ovulation indicated my estrogen levels are too high. So much so that they are staying stagnant with the progesterone levels. 

For those of you wondering what the Creighton Charting looks like, below is an example. (Not mine.) The numbers at top represent the days through a females' monthly cycle. This woman's is 29 days long with 8 days of menstrual flow. 
CrMS Chart 40-2
Red squares from 1-8 indicate menstrual flow. The green squares from 9-13 indicate dry/non mucus days, pre-peak. The white babies indicate peak type mucus from days 14-19. The P stands for the last day of mucus which indicates the woman's peak or ovulation. The green babies represent the three days post peak that a woman is still able to conceive. Then she goes back to green squares because of no mucus present. Below that is the estrogen and progesterone charting. You'll notice the estrogen (black) spikes then quickly decreases as the progesterone (red) is built up. The two peak and decrease. However my estrogen levels are staying at peak level and not decreasing.

This is my chart for the past 4-5 months. Each line is a monthly cycle.

From what I took away from my conversation with Dr. C, estrogen levels remaining high can cause spotting, light flow cycles, extended mucus throughout the month, a possible premature egg being released and a few other things. All things you can see in my chart above. So what's the solution? Most doctors would recommend Clomid at this point. Clomid helps your body to mature an egg and release it. However Clomid can thin the uterine lining and produce multiple eggs to ovulate at one time. Instead, Letrozole is now being prescribed by most NaPro  doctors. Why? For one thing it helps build up the uterine lining, thus allowing an embryo to have a great chance of surviving and nuzzling in. Letrozole also helps your body to mature and release one egg vs. about 5 from Clomid. 

This is why I love Dr. C: after 90 mins of discussing my cycle, vitamins, blood work, progesterone and estrogen, he gives you suggestions. When I asked him "What would you recommend?" His response was "I'm here to advise, what do you think is best for the two of you?" Chris and I decided to try the Letrozole. There are no side affects to baby if we get pregnant, it helps my body to it's job better. The only things I noticed after taking it: some hot flashes, slight lack of concentration. Nothing major that I couldn't handle. After all, once you try IVF meds, all these other things are a piece of cake. 

So this month as we continue to chart, I am now taking:
Vitamin B-6      -contributes to a healthy mucus
Vitamin D3       -assist T-cells and my immune system
Calcium            -I don't eat alot of dairy.
Prenatal            -good to start taking before trying to get pregnant, while trying and during pregnancy.
Magnesium       -helps with muscle cramping and contractions when pregnant
Iodine Plus 2    -assists in healthy Thyroid function
Letrozole          -helping to produce mature, healthy eggs
Low Dose Nalthrexone      -for healthy immune function, (endorphin blocker)
Levothyroxine   -assists my thyroid in creating appropriate levels

Chris has been advised to start taking ProXeed, which optimizes sperm health. However, it's $125 a month. Which may seem like a small cost compared to IVF. But keep in mind I'm taking all the drugs above, along with routine doctor's visits ($20 copays each time), and bloodwork, and I had surgery......they all start to add up. Plus the ProXeed takes 3 months to see any results. However, we will succumb to the idea and he will begin taking them as soon as they arrive in the mail.

As you probably figured out, we have not had any success these past two months. And although we have given up to the fact that this is not on our time schedule, we are still trying. My life no longer focuses around getting pregnant. I know some people have taken this as "we aren't trying anymore". That's false. We are very much still trying to get pregnant. But we have succumbed to the thought that we have no control over this. We can try as hard as we want to get pregnant, but that won't mean it's going to happen. We are simply living. We take each day as it comes. We meet with our doctor and nurse and continue to try new things. We are still hopeful that one of these methods will work. But if it's not meant to be, then we are okay with that. But we plan on trying every method possible. Fingers crossed.....

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