Monday, April 13, 2009

Immunology, Adoption, New Career Move, and I'm Broke

So our appt with the IVF Dr (who has expertise in Immunology and Immunological Factors of IF) went rather well. Unlike my preconceived (lol, no pun intended) notion that he would shove IVF down our throats, he did not. He did sit there with a, "Well, what's the point in doing all this testing if you aren't doing IVF??" kind of attitude, but one can hardly blame him... I mean, these IVF Drs are so trained to just surpass any and every boundary standing in the way of getting pg, that it must throw them for a loop to see someone in their office who actually wants to RESTORE their NATURAL fertility.

But he did explain for us all about Auto-, Allo-, and Local Immune Testing. With Auto-Immune testing, they test to see how my body is reacting to my half of the pregnancy, and for this they run a complete APA panel. If a large number of these come back too high, I would try a heparin treatment.
With Allo-Immune Testing, they test how my body reacts to DH's half of the pregnancy. In other words, my body could be rejecting a very newly formed baby because it senses that the cells from DH are too similar to the cells from my half. Scientifically, this makes sense, because relatives aren't supposed to mate, for example. So if our DQAlpha Cells were too similar, I could be at risk of rejecting the embryos before they develop, and well before implantation. So, they tested both my and DH's DQAlpha cells to find out what they are. If we are too close of a match, we would try a IVIg-similar treatment, one that is far less expensive than IVIg, yet just as effective, called IV Intralipids. I believe I would only need 1 injection pre-conceptually, and then 1 in early pregnancy.
For the Local Immune Testing, they want to see how my uterus is responding to foreign cells, like DHs sperm. We all have Natural Killer cells, which work to fight off bacteria or infection in our body. Sometimes, as the Dr explained, they work overtime and turn into Killer Bees- attacking anything and everything that enters, even if it is supposed to be there. So they tested my NK Cells to see if they are elevated or not. (I already predicted to the Dr that they would be elevated, since my body is still fighting off the Chlamydia... but since he's not the "think outside of the box" type of Dr I'm used to in NaPro or Dr Toth, he of course responded that this shouldn't be the case because it is a "past, treated" infection and not a "present" infection. Oh, how I wish that were true :( ) With elevated NK cells, the treatment is the same as with Allo-Immunity, which would be the IV Intralipids.

Anyway, we got the tests done this morning, and we should have the results within 2 weeks. They had to be sent to a special lab in Chicago, which (of course) does not accept insurance, so I wrote a check for $996.00 today, which I don't have in the account!!! I can transfer from savings, but that literally leaves me with nothing in savings :(

Speaking of being broke, I already mentioned the one nagging "glitch" in our adoption process. Well, we are still proceeding, and our Social Worker is looking into said glitch, however, she ALSO emailed me last week to express concern over our, and I quote, "limited income and savings." Ay ay ay!!  It's infuriating, especially since DH's and his father's business has been successful for over 30 years, so successful, that my FIL was able to raise a family in VERY comfortable means, in the State's most expensive township... This is the very reason my DH decided to go into the family business- - for the potential it afforded our FAMILY! Sure, they had a rough year, but who didn't?? (If you say AIG I'll kick you in the teeth.)

Well, in other news, I have a meeting tomorrow with a local grad program in ultrasound technology!! It's a calling I've felt for about a year now, and finally looked into it, why?, because it looks like I'm not going to be a bio- or adopted mom anytime soon... so the good news is, since I have BA already, my program would only be 12 months as opposed to 18. The next classes begin in September. (And yes, I know what you're thinking, I have no money, how am I going to pull off more school? Well, there are a few big checks from DHs job sites that are supposed to be coming in... any day now... omg, it feels like we've been waiting forever... which we have...!!!) So, I am pretty excited about this new prospect. I am also hoping to go out to Omaha to do some u/s training at PPVI as part of my externship, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. I just would really love to further my work in Creighton/FertilityCare/NaPro, and ultrasound fascinates me.

If you are at a loss of prayer intentions this week, please say a prayer that things start working out financially in our home!!! (Last time I asked for this, your prayers worked WONDERS, so thank you!) Please remember LifeHopes in those financial prayers, too :)

HypnoFertility Class #2 tomorrow... stay tuned...


JellyBelly said...

i'm forever worrying about money and we're both gainfully employed and we have a new four-year contract! i wish sometimes that i could relax and not think about every cent in our bank account. with that being said, i know how it feels to have no money (i was in university for seven years and there were lean years and many part-time jobs to get me through!). you (and LH too!) and your husband are in my prayers. i've been talking to the guy upstairs A LOT lately!

JellyBelly said...

btw, the new career move sounds great! what an exciting thing to start!

Grace in my Heart said...

The adoption process seems so unfair at times. Since our homestudy expires soon we have to "redo" our medical exams. We are super healthy, so why must we waste our time to get this done again?!
I just try to remind myself of the end result- a beautiful baby to love and care for...I guess I'll do the medical exam again if I have to!!! Prayers are coming your way from me :)

E said...

You didn't tell me about the u/s tech classes, how exciting! You will be so awesome!!! So sorry about the rude social worker, I don't get it, does she really think she can decide WHO are really fit parents? Geesh, the nerve of some people.

LifeHopes said...

I cannot wait until we can all move forward with our lives. Whether its through adoption or conception, let's get off this really nauseating roller coaster already!!!

I am excited for you. It sounds like a lot of exciting prospects. Spring is a time of transition and new growth ... I pray that new doors are opened for you! (and that your womb is opened, too!)

Sissy said...

I am so sorry that your social worker has made you feel inadequate financially. Wow. It's going to be hard for us to swing our adoption too, but our agency hasn't ever made us feel like we couldn't do it. In fact, while they are very honest about the hoops adoptive parents jump through, it was because they wanted to assure the birthparents that the baby is going to a good home. There was one day I was venting about how frustrating it was and then someone reminded me that I didn't have to go through labor and delivery, so I might as well clam up about the paperwork. Gulp. I hadn't thought about it that way. All I could see in it was ME, and how people should feel sorry for me because I couldn't have babies. It's been a big learning process for me.

I never went as far in the IVF treatments and things that you have. Early on, when I was so sick from the metformin, it was as if God was nudging me down a different path. I felt His peace in our decision to adopt, and we have been matched with a baby to be born in May. I know you have faith, and I will pray that you will feel Him in all your decisions. I will pray that He will soften your social worker. I will pray that His will be done for you.

Praying for Hope said...

I'm sorry you're continually having to deal with the never ending messes of TTC and adoption. But I think it's wonderful that you're getting some answers through the testing. And you're still moving forward, even if you're running into some very inconvenient obstacles with adoption.

Nicole said...

Hello there. I know you from the BZ 2+ board but have been following your blog too. I am super interested in the immune testing, since I still have no known cause for my IF. I can't wait to see what your results are. Anyhoo, I don't usually comment but I saw that you were wanting to go to Omaha to PPVI and wanted to let you know that I live in the area and would of course open my home to you if you needed a place to stay or if that would help save some $$. They may offer free housing...not sure but I thought I would offer. I am ncreed17 on BZ by the way. I hope the testing gives you some answers!!

Sew said...

Aww Nicole you are so sweet! :) Nicole, do you go to PPVI living so close?

TCIE-I am excited about your new career move. I can't wait to get those test results back. I am dying to know! Adoption frustrates me so much I don't even try. I didn't have a good experience, but then I am sure I can't judge that one lady on all of them. :)

Jodi said...

Lots going on girlie!!! I'd LOVE for you to come out to Omaha so we can meet. I have a g/f here who does radiology and loves it. Hope the results from your test give you some insight/answers. Love you!!!

Nicole said...

I looked into PPVI when I first moved here (been like 8 months) stupid ins. doesn't cover Dr. Hilgers, so I gave up on that route. Its really frustrating because he takes BCBS but we are on the program for federal employees, so its different...I guess. (Insert me banging my head on wall due to ins...again.) Of course, 8 months ago...I was sure Id be pg by now but look where that got me!

Amy @ This Cross I Embrace said...

Oh no! That is so unfortunate... being so close to him, and not being able to see him :(
I know that they often work with couples that have no insurance or simply can't afford his treatments- you may want to speak with his staff about other options... maybe even just starting out charting and becoming a "long-distance" patient (only doing cycle reviews over the phone with the nurse) in the beginning...?? Cycle reviews are only $50, and it's where you go over step by step your last cycle, and how to improve the following cycle, with advice directly from Dr Hilgers... just an idea! But definately see if they can suggest anything else for your insurance situation... they are so willing to go the distance for all of their prospective patients.

Sew said...

TCIE where is your hypno post?

Nicole-Totally be the begger on the street! :) I would definately start charting. You might not insurance wise be able to get treated, but you might be able to find out what is wrong with you and find a doctor that would treat you.

Charting will give you a diagnosis. :)

Fertile Thoughts said...

I can't believe you're getting those tests done!!! My jaw just about dropped to the ground I am was so jealous ;) I hope you get the answers you're looking for. Also, that is so weird that you are looking into the ultrasound stuff. I was just talking to my DH about doing the same thing last month. Although I will most likely not follow through...I am so happy you're doing that though. I am sure the women would be glad to have someone as sympathetic as you are working with them. I am saying this because I had a bad experience once with an ultrasound tech. …once she saw that we didn’t see a heartbeat she immediately said have an abortion. I was out raged!!! My point is we need good women in this field. YEAH! You’ll do great!
Many prayers,
P.s. I am so tired I hope this post makes an ounce of sense :)