Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Small Update

Well, the update is that I don't really have one. I won't get my blood test results until Friday.

I still measured big so the doctor wants to do a growth scan, but is still very evasive when I ask him what he's looking for or concerned about. I asked him and he just said "Don't worry about it." I think it was a double--"really, don't worry" and a "stop asking so many questions." It's just odd. The way this doctor communicates is so weird-I don't have him nailed down yet. The only thing we've decided is that we will probably find a new practitioner next time around because we just can't seem to get on the same page with him. It bums me out because I really do LIKE him, and we know we're on the same page fundamentally. And I LOVE his nurse. LOVE her. But I just think this arrangement is frustrating for everyone involved.

Anyway, the ultrasound will be on Monday, when I am 27 weeks. The good news is that I was less big yesterday than I was at the last appointment so the disparity between Matthew's gestational age and my measurements is closing. I can only assume that's good news?

I did get clearance to continue with the various "experiments" I've been doing with the OTC meds I mentioned a couple posts back in dealing with NVP. I hadn't called him for permission when I started them (I did check with the FDA though and the drugs are safe for pregnancy) and he agreed that my plan was good, and that I could continue even more aggressively than I have been. He did say "those things should really help you" and I was only wishing he had thought to suggest them, many months ago! But thank you, bloggyland friends for all your help!!

We met with a doula yesterday. We're evaluating if we think it would be a good fit and help for us. She's still in training so her services would be free--a win win for both of us. She gets practice, and we get her help.

Ok, I have a question for those of you who have undergone EA, or even "just" IVF (I'll explain the "just" in a minute). My doctor is a very conservative Catholic. He objects to IVF, and is on the fence about EA. I do know that I am his first/only EA patient, and am possibly his first/only FET patient because he doesn't recommend/refer ARTs. With increasing frequency, he is cautioning me of things and/or explaining away some of my problems with either how the baby came to exist in me (FET), and/or the fact that the baby is not genetically related to me. Some of the problems are "just" FET, and other things he seems to think are a double whammy because I had FET AND the baby is not related to me. So far he's told me that I'm at greater risk for Gestational Diabetes, Preclampsia, Preterm Labor and a C-Section, all due to one or both of those reasons. He's also labeled me "high risk" for the same reasons. I had both of the Level 2 Ultrasounds because he said the risk that something would be wrong with the baby was higher because of the FET/EA, too. At the beginning, he said my risk for miscarriage was higher as a result.

Have any of you ever been told any of those things? I know that some of the things are true, like the miscarriage risk. And my risks for some of those things is elevated for other reasons (like GD because of my weight and PCOS), but I just can't believe that I'm the ticking time bomb that he's starting to make me feel like I am. I just wonder how much is his personal bias against the procedures to begin with, how much is his own unfamiliarity/inexperience with a pregnancy that came about in this way, and how much is actual medical fact. Please understand, I don't suspect him of willful dishonesty at all. Despite our frustrations with him, the reason we have stayed with him so long is because he is of utmost integrity and commitment to the sanctity of life. But I just wonder if maybe some of the things he is saying come from a moral/religious standpoint, rather than a medical one, perhaps even without him realizing it. We've had that challenge with him in the past, too.

So anyway, do any of you out there who were pregnant through FET (whether with your own DNA or not) have any insight?

I'll post more when I have updates but in the meantime, thanks for your prayers. Tummy is pretty unhappy, so the pup and I are off back to bed!


  1. I got pregnant the old fashioned way, so can't help you there, but I'm a believer in old wives tales especially the one that says you have more "morning" sickness with boys than girls -- genetically speaking you are XX and Matthew is XY. Also, are you RH negative? If so you should be getting a RhoGam shot soon. Maybe Matthew is also RH negative in which case you won't need the second shot.
    I share your concerns about a OB-Gyn who doesn't have experience with FET and/or EA. Are there message boards you can consult to get these questions answered?

  2. Not an IVF opinion, but from a momma of two and having just given birth to the second just a week and a half ago...

    I think your doctor is trying to cover himself in case something does go wrong. He's not had a patient like you before and I think he's concerned about malpractice if he were to miss something along the way.

  3. Amanda-that's a good thought. I hadn't even thought about it from a risk-to-him perspective.

    Sue-they've tested me 3 times to see if I'm RH negative and I'm not, thankfully! I honestly wasn't concerned up front about being his first FET patient, because my early care was managed by my RE, and I thought once my body took over, it would be like any other pregnancy. I'm still not sure that's not the case...

  4. Hi, dear friend!

    I, needless to say, have no IVF experience, but if you would like I can post your question on the birth network, and I know there would be good information there. Just let me know if you'd like that! (Or you could join and post your question then.)

    I can't wait to see you on Friday! I hope you're well enough to be there - I miss seeing you so much!!


  5. Hey Jen, I have no idea the medical specifics for your situation, but I would HIGHLY recommend that you change doctors - not next time, but right now. You're not comfortable with this man, and you don't feel like you're communicating well. That's a big red flag. And then I see about a million red flags in the "you're at risk for X, Y, Z, etc. etc. etc. C-SECTION." Jen, your chances for a cesarean are so high if you stay with him. You're only 27 weeks and he's already talking about a cesarean??? What the heck! Ok, if you want me to shut up, I will. :) But I have heard this kind of story SO MANY TIMES from women who said, AFTER their cesarean, "I wish I had paid attention to what he was saying early in the pregnancy." Think about it, will you?

    Hugs to you!

  6. Just commenting to get the answers sent to me...I am curious being pregnant with an EA baby too. =)

  7. Em-that's what was so funny! He is known for being VERY hands off, very non-interventive. That's what's been so frustrating with my HG but we stayed with him because we knew that same attitude was what we wanted for birth. He's got a good reputation for a low C-Section rate, not forcing inductions, etc, etc. The natural birthing community has said he's very friendly to and of natural births So that's one of the main reasons we've stayed with him. He wasn't saying I should have or will need a C-Section, he just thinks that my risk is higher for one. I don't see how he can say that this early on, but I also admittedly know very little about this.

    It honestly stresses me out MORE to think about changing doctors this late in the game though.

  8. Ok, Emily, you've got me second guessing--I just made an appointment to meet another OB. We'll see!

  9. I had my dd with IVF using donor eggs, so I'm not genetically related to her either. I was never told any of the stuff your dr has said to you. In fact I had a very easy pregnancy without any complications. I've done 2 FETs trying for a sibling for my dd, and wasn't told any of the stuff your dr has told you. (BTW, my RE is Catholic, so I doubt he'd be doing IVF/DE/EA if he thought there was a higher chance of m/c for his patients) Hate to say it, but I really don't think your dr knows what he's talking about. I think you're correct when you say his personal beliefs are causing him to say these things. I don't think he's doing it to be mean or anything. I do think that your weight could put you at a higher risk for preclap and GD, but saying you're at a higher risk for preterm birth, a c-section and m/c because your baby isn't genetically related to you is absolutely ridiculous!!! Also, I don't like that he just tells you not to worry when he orders extra tests for you. It's your body and your baby that are having these tests, it's your right to know EXACTLY what he's looking for. Even if there's no reason to worry he should give you more info than just saying don't worry. Tell him that his saying don't worry makes you worry even more. Remember, he works FOR you and you deserve to know what's going on. Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy.

  10. Hey Jen -
    From my own personal research over the past year and half since we began pursuing EA and talking with medical professionals, I know that the fact that your baby isn't genetically related to you has no bearing on your pregnancy or birth! Your body doesn't even know he isn't genetically yours! What I've read and heard from medical professionals again and again is that it's the quality of the original egg that the embryo was conceived with that leads to a healthy embryo. The sperm isn't even really a factor. It doesn't matter that the baby is not genetically related to you. In fact, one of the main reasons that REs recommend egg donation to some patients is because their own eggs are old and of no value to conception. REs want their patients to get pregnant, so if using someone else's genes would prevent pregnancy and birth, they wouldn't suggest it. It sounds like your doctor is speaking from a personal bias and not a medical standpoint. Also, if he isn't communicating to you regarding your tests, then I would look for another doctor - that just isn't right or professional!

    Jennifer :)

    P.S. I mentioned egg donation above and just wanted to clarify that while I'm an advocate of EA, I'm not a supporter of egg/sperm donation, because I believe it violates the marriage union by conceiving life outside of marriage. However, once an embryo has been conceived, he/she needs a chance at birth no matter the circumstances surrounding their conception. All of the embryos we have adopted were conceived with an egg donor, but we personally would have never created them to begin with. We only support IVF when using a husband's sperm and a wife's egg.

  11. My first child was IVF with my own eggs and my DH sperm....our 2nd child is EA and FET!....I do agree the m/c rate is higher with IVF just because we override the natural selection effort or we use older eggs (in my case)...but with EA...the only way m/c...birth defects would be higher is if the donor had older eggs or known issues. In many cases these remaining embryos come from healthy couples or from people who used egg donors (in my case...a healthy 25 year old). Your Dr. is mistaken about the GD completely. I have GD with this pregnancy(EA) and I saw a perinatologist and asked him that question...if it was due to the baby...and he says NOT AT has nothing to do with is all the placenta and the hormones it gives off that give you GD and the placenta pretty much has nothing to do with genetics of the is very much a relationship between my blood supply and my uterine wall and the attachment. So Yes...I think your Dr. may be a bit bias in some of his assumptions. Being overweight and having PCOS really is your risk factor for GD. Just about all my PCOS girlfriends had GD so I'm really hoping you don't get it...but don't is manageable and you an baby will both be fine.


  12. "He objects to IVF, and is on the fence about EA. " This alone would have had me saying, "Buh-bye" from the get go.

    As far as issues because the baby is not genetically related to you , that is a load of crap. PERIOD. My RE (who is the head RE at a major teaching/research institution) as well as my OB (who is outstanding in a highly respected small practice) have BOTH told me that once I am released from my RE that this I will experience a normal pregnancy, just like any other pregnant woman. The only cause for monitoring by maternal and fetal medicine (the high risk specialists) would be if I were carrying more than one baby.

    "I just wonder how much is his personal bias against the procedures to begin with, how much is his own unfamiliarity/inexperience with a pregnancy that came about in this way, and how much is actual medical fact. Please understand, I don't suspect him of willful dishonesty at all."

    Jen!!! Stop the madness. It's OKAY to switch doctors. You do not have to be satisfied with this experience just because he is a nice man! I feel like I am being judged by him and I wouldn't know him if he slapped me in my face! You need to be able to embrace this experience. The anxiety of all of this stuff running around in your head alone is cause for switching to a different doc. The fact that he wasn't more aggressive from the beginning with your NVP is yet another reason to get out of there. Take your health care into your own hands, baby. You're worth it.

    Just my two cents.

  13. Sounds like he is pretty close minded to EA altogether! It doesn't hurt to get a second opinion. Good luck!

  14. fwiw, the placenta actually has the same DNA as your child.

    I know nothing about whether or not this has any effect on pregnancy, just wanted to correct a misconception. :)

    Jen, I hope you find the answers you need. Hang in there!

  15. I can't speak from experience, but I have been told many birthing horror stories. When considering whether to stay with this doctor or not consider that if he can't communicate effectively with you at an appointment and keep you informed in the decision making process, what will the birthing process look like? If a problem arises during the middle of labor, do you really want a doctor who will not answer your questions or tell you what is going on or why he is recommending something?

  16. Wow Jen, truly, truly, TRULY, if I were dealing with this even 3 weeks before I was due, I'd be finding another doctor. There are so many reasons why. I have given birth to 4 children and I had to totally switch gears and leave my OB who I LOVED b/c she informed me during my PG with PookieBear that since I would be 40yo she would not let me go overdue and would induce (see...malpractice protection...protocol...following the system and not treating the individual case by case). Well, she knew I ALWAYS go overdue b/c she had delivered my other 3 kiddos. She said, she was sorry, but she would schedule induction on wk 40. So, though I was not as far along as you, Rhea and I prayed and sought another direction. I had Pookie at 41.5 weeks and it was an unmedicated, uneventful L&D.

    You have traveled a v-e-r-y long road to get to where you are today in this journey. There is not reason NOT to be under the supervision and care of someone who is supportive and attentive to your desires and not the 'system' & protocol. I will pray for wisdom for you both as you seek God's directing you to the chosen doctor He has for you for the remainder of your pregnancy.

    BTW, I never had a doula until my last L&D and I will ALWAYS have one form here on out. Rhea would have one for me too. Rhea was there for me the entire time, but instead of the feeling of not knowing what to do or how to communicate to the nurses/doctor, the doula was there to help with communication and helping Rhea know what to do to help me stay relaxed, etc. Having our doula made our L&D wonderful for both Rhea & I both!

    Another BTW, my RE (who is VERY conservative --think 4 days post FET bedrest) says that I will be released to my midwife or a regular OB at 13 weeks. Even with my latest autoimmune finding (I am about to post on that), he can monitor that through calling my midwife or OB. ANY doctor who told me I was high risk for a C-section (and there was no apparent plausible reason at the time it was said) would cause me to BOLT! seriously. I am with Lacie on this one, but pray with your hubby and I will pray for discernment for you both. Do not stress. So not worry. The Lord is giving you information to you ahead of time. This entire process is new and you are learning as you go, yet the Lord is gently leading you through this. Your discernment was already on track or you would not have written this post, right?

    Trust your gut, trust your Lord and let us know how we can continue to pray in the weeks ahead. Thank you for allowing us to chime in on this. Many (HUGS)


  17. It makes sense to me that he is ordering an ultrasound. You said before that the numbers don't match up in the way he expected. He could very well not suspect anything but is just being careful and double checking that there isn't something he missed about the numbers not matching up. With an invasive procedure, I would totally want a better explanation then 'just making sure' but with a non-invasive procedure like an ultrasound... who cares? He can justify it to the insurance and you get another peek at cute baby.

    The best advice I ever got about labor and delivery is to be prepared and have a plan but don't have pre-conceived ideas about how everything is going to go because you have to roll with the punches. You won't know how your body is going to handle labor until you've been there. I thought I would labor like my mom but my midwife said the best predictor of how you will labor is yourself. So, maybe you have a better idea for additional children but even then something can pop up.

    So, I don't even think it's crazy for him to mention the c-section risk. Every woman should mentally prepare themselves for that possibility for serious situations. If a woman doesn't mentally prepare for that possibility, it can make post-partum depression way worse if that is what ends up happening.

    Do whatever you have to do. There are no medals given out after the baby is born and all that matters is that mother and baby are healthy.

    That being said, it is okay to change doctors if you don't think you're getting good treatment. I have a pregnancy complication that my OB last time wasn't taking seriously and I ended up in an urgent care debacle. I planned on changing doctors but didn't have time to find a new one before my next appointment, so I planned on going to her one more time. She stepped up and came up with a very effective treatment for me and I stuck with her.

  18. Whether or not your child is genetically related to you has nothing to do with having GD or needing a c-section. There are certainly other factors that may make you higher risk for GD and c-section, but EA is definitely not one of them!

    According to Dr. Keenan, stats have shown that FET babies are more likely to be born pre-term, though. (Mine was 3 weeks early and had some NICU time.)

    I would have to say that it's probably time to consider another OB. Between his unwillingness to communicate what it means to be measuring large and his lack of help with the NVP and of course--his ignorance with EA and FET's, it seems like he just isn't doing his job. If a doctor is willing to take on a patient like you, then he needs to do the research.

  19. Jen, I just read your post. Honestly, I am shocked by your doctor's concerns. I have never heard ANY of this. Bottom line is, you chose EA because you felt it was life-affirming. I did too, though I could have chosen trad. IVF. I am sad that his convictions (which are totally fine and I really respect him for that) have caused him to assume that since EA is considered "illegitimate", that there will somehow be extra risks associated with it.

    I have never heard of this, though I must say my RE is not conservative on life issues.

    The risks you mentioned, though maybe due to other things, are not (in my knowledge) related to EA. I personally did not experience ANY of those risks. I had a totally easy pregnancy and (dare I say lest someone 'hate' me!) an easy birth experience! Amelia is 100% perfectly healthy, by the grace of God, and we have no fear regarding the issue of her origin or how she came to be. All we know is that she was born because the Lord prompted an amazing couple's heart to give us the gift of Life, and we felt led by the power of the Holy Spirit to take that step of faith and adopt embryos. To me, that's where I feel peace, not whether or not a church teaching considers it illegitimate.

    Oh, and I just read your latest post. Thank you Jesus for passing the Glucose test! I'll bet your doc is shocked about that! :)

    Lastly, I too HATE conflict with a passion. I totally can relate to the people pleasing personality. You are NOT a "bad" mother for being hesitant to switch, though I totally support you in your decision to do so!