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Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Plans for PGD 

Well, the doctor confirmed it: We are medical freaks. We had a decent chat with our RE at the clinic and it looks like we're going to go ahead with IVF/PGD on the cycle after this miscarriage resolves itself. They took a blood sample to see where Evelin's hCG levels are today; hopefully they've been falling steadily, otherwise it would indicate an ectopic or something. Basically, the doctor started off by telling us that there's nothing he can point to that would explain our recurrent chemical pregnancies. Both of us genetically seem normal, but there could be something that crops up when our DNA mixes, either some gamete thing, which is what the PGD (preimplementation genetic determination) part of IVF/PGD should be able to detect. The other, scarier option is that there's some sort of "killer gene" that crops up, and there's really no way to test every single gene to see what's what.

The plan is, once Evelin has her next period, is to start on birth control pills (which seems like an odd thing to do when you are trying to get pregnant, but that's the first step). Then we start in with Lupron shots, which leads up to egg retrieval and sperm collection. Then the lab checks the eggs and sperm for abnormalities, pulls out the good ones from each, mixes 'em up and then we wait a few days. At the blastocyst stage (either 5 or 7 days), the PGD folks do an analysis and then we put back two or three into Evelin and hopefully everything grows into a healthy girl or boy or twins ... I'm sure I've oversimplified some of this and/or misstated it, but I'll blog more accurately when we're actually in the process. At this point, we just have to wait.

Oh, the doctor also agreed to let Evelin start with the Lovenox shots before a positive pregnancy test; he said that the clinical evidence doesn't support that, but in the past they used to err towards giving the shots too early and Evelin has talked to other people online and elsewhere who started earlier and she thinks it can only help.

Since we didn't get out of the doctors until around 10:00 a.m., and because we had to stop by Staples to buy a new printer (the old HP Desk Jet 550C died ... or so we thought, one of the cables turned out to be poorly seated; but the new printer is cheap (an Epson Stylus C62), smaller and quieter, and the old HP does have some "quirks" that make it less than reliable, so the replacement is a good thing), I decided to work from home. I offered to take it as a sick day, so I guess I'll find out tomorrow if I have to or if I'll get credit for what I get done.

Not surprisingly, I seem to get more done from home than in the office; there are plenty of distractions here, but it seems easier to actually work when I'm not being called in for a meeting or consultation or general whinging from someone or another. Plus, I can crank up some old-school De La Soul or something at home and no one minds. (Right now, I'm listening to the Reality Bites soundtrack and the Me Phi Me cut, "Revival!," is making want to break out 3 Feet High and Rising ... on vinyl. See, this is the sort of distraction -- along with compiling this blog entry -- I have at home, which is no where near as bad as what happens in the office ...)

UPDATE: Okay ... we just heard from the clinic; the numbers are back up to 580, which is doubling from the 137 of last week, but it shouldn't be doing that. There's a possibility of ectopic, but the number is up decently from the 137, so we have no idea what that could mean. I want to be optimistic, but that isn't really realistic. We're going in Friday morning; originally it was just for bloodwork, but they'll do an ultrasound now to see if there's any evidence of a placental sac or anything. If nothing is evident in the uterus, then it's likely ectopic. If there is a sac ... who knows? The going backwards could indicate irreparable damage, even if things were to progress from here. Urgh, maybe we'll be having another consultation next week ...

UPDATE: Vinyl is excellent. After De La Soul, I was flipping through some other albums and just put on Romeo Void's "Never Say Never" 12". The new wave saxophone is great. Next up ... Mental As Anything, Lords of the New Church, The Itals, The Long Ryders ... the possibilities boggle the mind. I definitely need to get a good turntable for the main stereo system.

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