The next few months we decided to get an entirely different perspective on TTC. My my husband and I are Catholic and I decided that it might be worthwhile to go to a Catholic OBGYN who specializes in the use of NaProTechnology. I really had to convince the hubby that this was the right way to go because he wasn't sold on their theories of the reproductive system. NaProTechnology does not believe in the use of artificial insemination of any kind...meaning they will not suggest IUIs or IVF and even semen collection can be done in accordance with the Catholic faith. What drew me most to this style of thinking was the "let's get to the bottom of what's wrong and then fix it" mentality. My previous REs were quick to throw solutions at me one after the other without really caring about the underlying issues of my infertility. If I wasn't getting pregnant, there was something amiss. I really liked the approach and traveled 2.5 hours to a doctor to be treated.
First, though we had to learn their special method of charting. I had learned the sympto-thermal method back when we were taking our pre-marital classes but this is a technique called Creighton charting which really only takes into account your cervical fluid. There are about 12 different ways you can code cervical fluid and based on 3 months worth of charting, NaPro doctors can start to make some very accurate conclusions about what is wrong.
We decided we'd go through with the charting courses and see what this new doctor had to say about my case after that period. We had planned to take a break for a few months anyways because my best friend was getting married in Ireland in the summer and we didn't want treatments to interfere with our travel plans.
August brought the trip we had been looking forward to for about a year - along with something I had been dreading for the past 2. My younger sister and her husband were pregnant. My whole family would be with us in Ireland and needless to say, it was the worst vacation I've ever been on. Instead of keeping things quiet like my sister had asked, my all-too excited, soon-to-be-grandparents, parents - told everyone at the wedding. So we had to endure a week of congratulations which was like a knife to my heart and still really stings when I see photos of our trip.
At the end of August, we had a follow up consult with the NaPro doctor - she suggested progesterone and some other medication I can't remember and TTC on our own. After our trip, we wanted to be more aggressive so we closed the book on NaPro for the time being. Depending on how things unfold, we may be back.
At the end of August, we decided to go forward with a natural cycle of IVF. We were both concerned about having too many embryos and my RE thought this would be a viable option.
The whole process was pretty painless, and there's no drugs until you get to egg retrival. Basically I was monitored through ovulation. I used a trigger shot and then went in for retrieval. One egg was retrieved and then fertilized with my husband's sperm. Well, even with ICSI - our egg didn't fertilize. We tried again the following month without ICSI and the same thing happened. No fertilization.
Again, we were faced with a decision. We only had enough money for 1 IVF or adoption. My RE's office already said that using their Shared Risk program wasn't an option for us...so we went to another practice. RE#3. Stimulated IVF was the answer - of course we could do the Shared Risk Program...you've got a 75% chance of succeeding over a few cycles here. This is what we were told and so we dove head first into the world of IVF.
Things started out pretty well until the day after retrieval....19 eggs, only 3 fertilized. OMG that was a blow! Our fresh cycle failed and we're on our first attempt at an FET at the moment.
We're very strongly considering adoption as well so this blog may quickly change from an infertility blog to an adoption blog in a manner of weeks. Stay tuned.