Monday, July 14, 2014

What the Heck is an ART Screening??

Back from a fabulous 4 days in NYC with my mama.  It was the perfect MUCH needed trip for the two of us and one that was so much fun, we are gonna make it a "tradition".  If you're looking for something fun to do with your daughters moms...go to NYC!  See some shows in Broadway, do some shopping, just enjoy each others' company.  It couldn't have gone any better!  Gave me just the perfect amount of distraction to get me to this ART screening today without anxiety.  I'm ready dude!

So what the heck is an ART screening you ask?? short it's the appointment that kicks everything off.  First of all, Dr. Hansen dedicates 2 hours of his afternoon to me and Jonathan.  He has spent the last month gathering information about our case, looking at blood test results, analyzing Jonathan's "contribution", and he will have a plan ready for us to discuss.  Jonathan and I have a whole giant list of questions to get answered before we get started.  The "consultation" will last around 45 minutes or so and we will leave that part of the appointment with a clear cut plan for our treatment.

Next I will be taken in for yet another panel of blood work.  They're checking my hormone levels and what not to see how I've responded to birth control and decide what dose of Lupron I will need to take to suppress my natural ovulation.  Then I will have what's called a "baseline ultrasound".  This is just a normal ultrasound like I've had before.  They will count my ovarian reserves again and check my lining and all that fun stuff.

Then they'll do what's called a sonohystogram.  This is the procedure that has scared me all along.  See, Jonathan and I have never been able to pinpoint the reason for our infertility.  Nothing has ever presented itself.  This procedure will be a first for me.  Basically they will fill my uterus up with sterile saline and then do an ultrasound.  This gives Dr. Hansen a minimally invasive but pretty comprehensive look at what is inside of my uterus.  What he'll be looking for are things that could hinder implantation of our little embryos.  That could be anything from a lining that is too thick and in need of a D&C to polyps or fibroids that will need removal.  As Dr. Hansen puts it, in an attempt to put my mind at ease, there are no indications up until this point that would lead him to believe there could be a problem revealed here.  However if they *do* find small polyps or fibroids that haven't ever shown up on ultrasound, they will immediately put me  under light anesthesia and go in via hysteroscope and take them out.   Dr. Hansen and Connie both assure me that even if they do find something, the recovery time will not hinder our August retrieval and transfer plans.  Since nothing big has shown up on ultrasound, the likelihood of them finding something really adverse is low.  But I'm still pretty nervous about that part...

Lastly, he'll do what's called a "mock transfer".  This is where he will practice the transfer procedure he'll be using to transfer our fertilized embryos in a few weeks.  He'll be checking the length and bore of the catheter they'll be using and they'll be looking to see how my body reacts to decide whether they'll need to give me something to keep me from cramping up during the real transfer.

Basically, today is a big day for us.  Not *quite* as big as retrieval and transfer days, but big nonetheless.  If you're the praying type, pray for peace for me.  I'm a little nervous and there are lots of procedures happening today.  I need some peace and calm going into this appointment this afternoon!  But after today, we are on our way folks.  We will order our medication and syringes today and start injections on the 27th of this month.  We are very excited and very ready for this ball to really start rolling!  Here we go!

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