our donor cycle with k has been going smoothly. the ease of this cycle and peace that we've felt continues to reinforce our decision and reaffirm that this is the way we are supposed to build our family.
k has been a blessing and has been keeping in great communication with me. her frequent updates make me feel more a part of the process and everything on her end is going perfectly.
the only hiccup we encountered along the way was with me. and i want to blog about it in case anyone else comes across this issue. i learned a lot and hope that i can help someone else advocate for their own health...should they find themselves in this situation.
my nurse at SDFC sent me an email stating that my titer (a test that detects whether you are immune to chicken pox) came back negative. i've never had chicken pox so that wasn't surprising. but i did get the varicella vaccine (a series of two shots timed 30 days apart) back in 2010 before we started our first IUI. i must have tested negative for the titer back then (4 years ago) as my first clinic told me that i needed this vaccine before moving forward with my IUI. i remember it very well because it was a two month delay to get started.
my SDFC nurse said in the email that she sent me…i have two options because i don't show immunity. 1) to get the varicella vaccine and wait 30 days for the second injection and then another 30 days to move forward with a transfer. since varicella is a live vaccine, you need to wait a month before you become pregnant. or 2) sign a waiver declining the vaccine and hope that i don't get chicken pox while pregnant.
if you develop chicken pox while pregnant, it can be devastating for mom and baby. birth defects. pneumonia. developmental problems. it can even be life-threatening. even though we were anxious to move forward, we've waited this long so we didn't want to take any chances with my health or the baby's if this cycle works out.
so reluctantly, i went to my general practice doctor to get the vaccine. but i wasn't happy about it because i was going to have to wait two months to move forward with our donor cycle.
when the general practice nurse administered the shot, she said "we will see you back here in 30 days for the second shot and then you probably won't have to worry about this again for the rest of your life." huh? stop the bus. what do you mean, i thought? i informed the nurse that i just had the varicella vaccine series four years ago and already i am not showing immunity. she thought that was odd but didn't really have any information for me.
it was really bothering me so i started doing some research. i read that the vaccine doesn't work for some people. i called my SDFC nurse to discuss it because i didn't want to continue getting a vaccine that potentially wasn't going to give me immunity anyways.
when i started telling the nurse my concerns, she said "you had the vaccine in 2010? that is new information." i kindly (through gritted teeth) told her that information was in my immunization records that i sent her when i became a patient at the clinic.
she started shuffling through my file and found my records. she never saw them prior. silly me. i assumed that my nurse actually review my records before issuing an email stating my options. i thought she might think to perhaps look at the immunization records that i provided when my titer came back negative. i was livid.
as i began to ask questions. she basically told me that since SDFC doesn't administer the vaccine, she doesn't know much about it. she directed me to my general practitioner. i explained my situation to my gp doc who didn't know much either and said he needed to contact the center for disease control.
at this point, i was very frustrated and discouraged. it was really irking me that i couldn't get answers. i decided to call CDC myself instead of waiting for my doctor to call and translate the response back to me.
here's what i learned.
after being transferred to a specialist at CDC, i was told that titers are not recommended for people who have already received both varicella vaccines. he stated that the commercially available titer testing is not that reliable or effective at detecting antibodies in your body after the boosters. he also stated that according to CDC, I should have protection against chicken pox after the first 2 vaccines I already received in 2010 and didn't need the third vaccine i just received…and definitely don't need a fourth.
i was so annoyed. my cycle had been delayed and i put a live vaccine in my body before a transfer (God willing) that i don't need. i told my nurse at SDFC that do not want to take another titer as it is not accurately reporting my immunity and i will not be getting a fourth booster as it is not needed.
the nurse never took any accountability for the mix up. or the delay. and the clinic made me sign a waiver stating that i was refusing the additional vaccine. how freakin' dumb is that.
anyways, in the big scheme of things…
if this is the worse setback we have in this cycle…we are doing pretty darn good.
when i get riled up, i just need to breath and remind myself of that.