Thursday, April 16, 2015

Strange Place

I am all over the place lately.

I want to blog.  I sit down over and over again to write, and then I stop.

I am in a very strange place.

I am officially pregnant.  Today, marks 7w, 4d.  For a while I wasn't blogging because I was TERRIFIED of twins.  Crazy, I know, because I only put one embryo back in, but my betas were insane.  My nurse actually confirmed with me that we only put one back in on two different phone calls.

12dp3dt Beta #1: 378

14dp3dt Beta #2: 750 (48 hours doubling)

21dp3dt Beta #3: 9,676 (46 hours doubling)

Of course I took to the internet, even though I have been through all this before, and everything I saw said my numbers were outrageously high and I just kept thinking oh my goodness, what if that embryo split.  Needless to say, I didn't want to appear ungrateful to anyone in this community so I kept quiet.

We had our first ultrasound appointment on Monday afternoon.  Not only was there a strong heartbeat, but he/she was measuring exactly on track: 7w1d.  The doctor was ecstatic and said something like, "Bet you're glad you only put one back in!"

P and I still cannot believe it.  Even my doctor couldn't believe it.  Before we left our appointment, he gave us a summary of our cycle: 2 eggs fertilized, 1 embryo transferred, 0 made it to freeze.  Craziness...

Then, a little sadness set in.  Don't get me wrong, I know exactly how lucky we are to go through two fresh cycles and have two pregnancies.  But, having zero make it to freeze pretty much solidified that there will be no more babies for us.  I am not going through another round of IVF.  Feels as though we would be testing the limits, pushing our luck.  Even more strange to think (as long as this pregnancy continues on to a healthy little baby) that both of my children will be conceived via IVF.

I have been trying to compare my two cycles to find some similarities as to why they both worked and to be honest there are just about none.  I did acupuncture both times, drank lots of protein shakes, and did not go on ANY bed rest.  The night of my first transfer back in 2012 I went to a wedding that night.  I returned to work the day after my most recent transfer.  Those are about the only things similar, besides that the cycles could not have been more different.

Next week H turns 2.  My little baby who has brought me so much joy is no longer a baby.  I think she is going to be an amazing sister.  The age gap between her and her sister/brother will be the exact different between my brother and me.  Still doesn't seem real...another baby is on the way.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

No Way This Cycle Worked...

But it did.  It freaking worked.  I cannot believe it.

I began testing when I said I would, last Wednesday (7dp3dt.)  There was a line.  It took a little bit of time, but it was there.  By Saturday, it was darker than the test line.

I had my first beta on Monday morning.  Got the call early afternoon that it was good news.  378

Had my second beta this morning.  Got the call later this afternoon, more good news.  750

A doubling time of exactly 48 hours.

It felt like a total hail mary.  I almost ovulated on my own.  We only had 3 mature eggs, for someone who has the ovaries of a "21 year old" 3 eggs is a huge disappointment.  Only 2 fertilized.  And we only transferred one with the other one not making it to freeze.

I guess everyone was right.  It only takes one.  And we picked the right one.

For now, I continue the Crinone every morning and celebrate every day that I am still pregnant.

More bloodwork in a week, but I am done poas.  I have faith everything is going to be okay.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Embryo Transfer: 1 or 2

Deciding how many embryos to transfer is such a personal opinion yet so many people have something to say about it...many of those who have never gone through it.

Before arriving for our transfer we had heard that we only had 2 embryos growing normally.  We had no idea what they would tell us when we walked in that morning.  Turns out both embryos were growing.  We had an 8-cell (that was the 4-cell the day before) and a 5-cell (that was the 2-cell the day before.)

Before the doctor even began to explain what they were going to I jumped in and told him that I felt very strongly about only transferring one.  I asked him what the chances of twins would be if we put both in and he said 1 in 3.  I saw that as a pretty good chance of twins.  Surprisingly, he was very supportive of my thinking.  He told me if I had that strong feelings about only putting in one then that is what I should do.  He was honest and said he would love if I would put in two because that would give me a better chance of a pregnancy and would raise his pregnancy rate at the clinic, but then said that at the end of the day he wants what his patients want.  I was touched by his honesty.  Although I LOVED the doctor that did our transfer for our first IVF I definitely felt forced into transferring two (thank goodness we did because we got H out of it, but I was in tears afterward.)  The doctor said I should not be leaving in tears.  He also said it was a whole different ballgame because we already have a child at home.

So, the doctor and nurses left the room to let us talk and I burst into tears.  It was so difficult being in the same room again with almost the same decision as last time.  But, this time I felt much stronger and more confident in our decision to transfer only one.

P went out and got the doctor and announced we would be transferring one.  One little embryo, knowing that the other would probably not make it to freeze.  Meaning if this doesn't work we will be starting all over again.  Surprisingly, the doctor recommended putting in the 5-cell embryo because it looked "perfect" while the 8-cell embryo was already showing signs of deteriorating.  The embryologist even commented that by the time she went back and got the embryo it could have multiplied even more.  And that it did.  When the embryologist handed our embryo through the glass window to the doctor she announced, "you are now transferring a textbook 7-cell embryo."  With that being said, I knew we were doing the right thing.

If this works it will be a miracle and all those people that I have been cursing under my breath for telling me it only takes one will be right.  Because that is all we've got.  We never got a phone call after our transfer which means our 8-cell didn't make it to freeze.  It makes me sad and it will probably make me even sadder if this doesn't work out.  But, I am still confident we made the right decision.  When we walked out of that office I felt like I had some control over what would happen, and that was a good feeling after spending the last few weeks unable to control anything that was going on with my body.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The worst part...

Isn't the daily injections.

Isn't the retrieval.

Isn't the sleepless nights.

Isn't returning to work like nothing happened.  To people telling you how tired you look.

Isn't the daily suppositories that I now do every morning.

Isn't that we didnt have any embryos make it to freeze.

The worst part is knowing that I did everything I could and that my little embryo may have already stopped growing inside of me.  That is the part that wakes me up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night.  That is the worst part.  Holding on to hope when there may be no reason to.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Waiting...there's no easy way to do it

We ended up in the same room for our transfer on Wednesday that we were in almost 3 years ago for our last transfer, the one that resulted in our daughter.  It was very emotional to walk in there; the  nurse asked if I was okay or needed another room.  We both said we needed to be in that room.

Then it was over.  There were tears but there was lots of hope.

If this doesn't work we will be going through the whole ivf process again.

I went out and bought tests today.  I wanted to see how much hcg I had left in my system from my trigger shot.  I tested positive, but not by much, the line was very light.  I would expect it to be gone in the next few days.  I'm pretty sure I tested it out of my system around 5 days past transfer last time.   And as clear as day I remember getting my first real positive ever.  It was 7 days past transfer.  P was in the shower and I was in the other bathroom.  Then it happened.

Next Wednesday will be 7 days past transfer.

This time around is easier in some ways and harder in others.  It's easier because we have H.  We have a little girl, an amazing little girl that has opened up my heart to an unimaginable amount of love.  In other ways it's harder because I cannot devote my everything into this two week wait.  Everytime I pick up H I wonder if I am straining too hard.  I am not eating as well as I did last go round because I'm tired and don't have the time like I did when I was cycling without a child or work.  I know it's ridiculous, if I was a normal woman getting pregnant, my life would not stop during the 2 week wait, heck I wouldn't even know it was the 2 week wait!  But I'm not a normal woman trying to get pregnant.

And so we wait.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

It's about that time...

Accupuncture was amazing today.  Yesterday was a really bad day, I was shocked when I got the news that 6 of our eggs were just gone.  To work that hard and know those little eggs never had a chance was really sad for me.

I woke up this morning feeling ok and then I got to accupuncture.  I am seeing someone new.  I was a little apprehensive at first because it is a man only a few years older than me, but he is my friends brother and right around the corner from my house so I thought I would give it a try and he is amazing!  When he started my treatment today he stopped for a second, looked at me and told me it was okay to be pissed, okay to be angry and that I needed to let it out so I could be ready for tomorrow.  Rather then tell me it will be okay and just be positive he recognized how stressful a situation I was in and validated my feelings.  And it worked.  I started crying, practiced my breathing, found a spot on the ceiling to focus on and slowly started to feel better.

So, tomorrow is the day.

I found out we have a 2-cell embryo and a 4-cell embryo as of 2:00 this afternoon.

The last time I cycled in 2012, we had 12 embryos at this point, a handful of 2-cell and a handful of 4-cell and then when we walked in to the transfer we were only left with 3 decent looking embryos.  The catch is we got H out of it so I know miracles can happen.

But, I am just really nervous about how tomorrow is going to play out.  If both are left tomorrow I feel like once again I am going to be forced into a corner of putting both embryos in like last time.  I am adamant about not wanting twins.  I give people all the credit in the world who do it, and do it so well, but I don't know if I can do it.

What do I do?  Put in both? Only put one in and risk losing the other and having to go through the entire process again if I get a negative beta in a few weeks?  This is the hardest part of all.  All the uncertainty.  Anyone have any advice??

I already know my doctor wants me to put in 2, before I even started cycling we had the discussion and I explained how strongly I felt about only doing one.  If I had 4 or 5 embryos this decision would be easy: one embryo all the way, probably with my doctors support.  But, it's not that easy!

So, here I am sitting on the couch by myself, watching trashy television trying to come up with some kind of plan for tomorrow, while my husband is in bed with a headache.  Just me and my thoughts...

And Then There Were 2

Of the 8 eggs, only 3 were mature.  Of those 3 only 2 fertilized normally, the other fertilized with only one of our DNA which means it is gone.

I will call back this afternoon and get another update on those 2 embryos.

So sad to work this hard and have 6 gone, just like that.  

Sunday, March 8, 2015


I don't really know how I feel about the number 8.  Seems crazy to be told all along how my ovaries think they are the ovaries of a 21 year old and then end up with just 8.  I know I was capable of producing so many more and they were just never given a chance to grow.  But, I'm also grateful that there were 8.  There is hope in those 8.

I felt pretty groggy and nauseous when I woke up after the procedure.  Haven't been able to eat much but am trying to stay on top of the pain meds and fluids.  I can tell they got most of the eggs from my left ovary because that side is a lot more tender and I remember that achiness/pulling sensation from my previous retrieval, but only on one side this time.

And now we wait.  We wait to see how many eggs were mature.  We wait to see how many fertilized. We wait to see how many make it to transfer day.

Grow babies grow!!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Twas the Night Before Egg Retrieval

So, the time has come.  Another egg retrieval.  The last one resulted in 19 eggs, only 3 made it to transfer day (day 3.)

I know I will be lucky to get half that many this go round.  But, I am hoping they are higher quality.

My mind is racing.

Last night I took the trigger at exactly 6:30pm and that's it.  All I am left with is a lot of needles and a very bloated stomach (which I am taking as a sign that maybe there is more going on then we think.)

After 35 injections into my stomach, the 36th would be my last.  I stood at the counter mixing the powder with 1cc of liquid thinking I cannot freaking believe they allow us to do this to ourselves!  What if we mess up?  Do something wrong?  I am confident I didn't but it just seems so crazy that they trust us to administer something to ourselves that is so crucial to the process.

I am trying to stay away from all the "what ifs."  What if my doctor and I hadn't been so cautious with the stimulating medication?  What if I don't get any eggs?  What if something goes wrong?  I cannot worry about any of that.  Whatever will happen from here on out is out of my hands.  I changed my diet, bulked up on protein, took all the shots, all the pills, started going back to acupuncture.  I did everything I possibly could to give this cycle a chance.  As horrible as it may be to think about having to do it all over again if this doesn't least I know I can.

We spent most of the afternoon with my parents, then we all went out to eat and H was just a doll.  After, we went back to my parents to say good-bye because she is sleeping there tonight.  I got in the car and sobbed.  It just doesn't seem right that I had to leave her for a reason like this.  I know she will never remember it and she won't even know we are gone since she spends so much time with my parents but it was really really hard to leave.  Now, we are home and it is quiet.  Just me, P, and Sage. And it feels lonely.

I just read my post from almost 3 years ago that I had written before my last egg retrieval and I can hear the excitement in my words and I have to be honest I just don't feel it this time.  Maybe because this cycle has been all over the place.  Maybe because I am a little older and a little more tired this time around.  Or maybe it's because a little tiny piece of me is terrified that when I wake up from the surgery tomorrow the news is going to be bad.

I can understand why so many people do not decide to pursue IVF for their second child.  I forgot how much of a strain it puts on every single aspect of your life.  I forgot the impact it can have on your marriage, the isolation that comes along with it all.  But, then I look at my little H, and am reminded how much I want a second.  She is my world.  She overcame so many odds before she even took her first breath.  She is my little fighter.  I want her to be a big sister.  And I want the chance to do it again.

So, let's go get some eggs!

Friday, March 6, 2015

No Good, Very Bad News

I was feeling pretty good when my e2 came back at 1800 yesterday.

Then they had me in today.

I just got the phone call my e2 had dropped again to 1350.

I only had 3 mature follicles at the ultrasound this morning with tons of little ones that will amount to nothing now.

My body is trying to ovulate on it's own.

And they are making me trigger tonight.

I am going in for the egg retrieval Sunday morning, I will be lucky to get a handful of eggs.

How do you talk yourself through an egg retrieval when you feel like it's already doomed?


Thursday, March 5, 2015

One of Those Days

Sitting in my car at 6:40 in the morning.

In the parking lot of my doctors office drinking another gross protein shake, waiting for another ultrasound and more bloodwork.

Its snowing again.

And it's my birthday.

Trying to pull myself together and walk in the office, but today it's hard.

Ugh, just one of those days...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


That was what my e2 came back at.  My doctor who I am beginning to realize is even more conservative then me totally freaked and has cut my dose more then in half to 50 units, from the 112.5 units I took the past 2 nights.  Apparently that little push was just what my ovaries needed.  But, he is concerned it was too much too quick.  He also prescribed me cabergoline which I need to start the night of my trigger, the hope is it will work to lessen OHSS.  I was on a similar medication last time, so I really wasn't surprised.  

My ultrasound this morning was extremely uncomfortable.  The typical ovary measures 30x15 mm.  My left ovary was measuring 51x38 mm and when the ultrasound tech says wow as soon as it appears on the screen you know there is a lot going on.

In order for a follicle to be considered measurable it needs to be a 12mm.  I had 3 measurable ones in my left ovary and 1 measurable one in my right ovary.  But, TONS in the 9-11 range.  At my office, the nurse reads me the measurements and I record them for the doctor.  She said that I should expect to be writing a lot come next ultrasound.

My guess is I will trigger Friday night.  I am thinking when I go in Thursday there is going to be an insane amount of activity in my ovaries and my e2 is going to come back very high.  They may try to push me one more night, have me back Friday morning and then call with instructions to trigger Friday night.  I could be off by one day, but my gut is telling me this is how it will go down.

I am so bloated and my stomach is sore, but I am a little excited.  The end is so close...I am almost there.  I can do this.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Waiting Game

I guess I shouldn't expect things to go smoothly with this process.  Does it ever?

My e2 levels came back at 279 on Sunday morning, my jaw almost hit the floor.  At this point in my last IVF my levels surpassed 1000 and I was within days of the trigger shot.  I believe my doctor slowed me down too quick, and now we are struggling to get me started again.  However, I have 100% trust in him and truly believe he is putting my health above everything else, so with that said I don't think I have a right to be angry or frustrated that this happened.

When I got the phone call yesterday from the nurse I was pretty devastated and I immediately thought the cycle would be cancelled.  Here I was on day 7 on stims and my e2 had pretty much plateaued for the last 4 days.  I debated whether or not to text him.  I really hate to be that person.  But, I also remembered a meeting I had with him before starting this process and how much he applauded me for advocating for myself.  So, I figured what the heck and texted him around 1pm.  I heard back from him (on a Sunday) within minutes telling me he needed to get to the computer and then he would get back to me.  Within an hour he did.  Doctors...they are pretty amazing if you can find the right one.

I told him how upset I was that nothing was happening and that we were continuing to pump my body with drugs.  He reminded me that during our last conversation he asked me if I was in it for the long haul.  Turns out that long haul could be another 7-10 days on the meds depending on how my body responds.  He was adamant that he was not at all concerned about my cycle getting cancelled because of low response, and that he was and continued to be extremely concerned that I was going to overstimulate.  "Walking a fine line" were the exact words he used.

So, last night I went up to 112.5.  I would be lying if I told you I wasn't terrified.  To many that is a low dose, but to my ovaries, thats a pretty intense push.

I am all over the place emotionally.  Not a second goes by throughout the day that I am not thinking about this.  I ran out of meds for today and called the pharmacy yesterday, they assured me I would have them today.  It is now 7:37, seven minutes after the time I am supposed to take another 112.5 dose of Gonal-f and there has still been no delivery.  It's really hard not to get angry throughout this process. There are so many ups and downs.  I took Friday off because I was fried, between the meds, the appts. and the side effects I was feeling pretty defeated.  People assume I or Harper were sick and thats why I took the day.  It's easier to let them assume that.  On the outside, to most of the people in my life, I am fine.  Nothing is wrong.  That's what sucks about all of this.  You can't see it.  And unless you have been through it there is just no way to understand.

Before I got off the phone with my doctor yesterday he told me to hang in there.  That's what I am doing.  Hanging in there.  I have another u/s and b/w tomorrow before work.  Then acupuncture after work, another long day.  Crossing my fingers the news is better tomorrow because it is getting really hard to pretend everything is okay all the time.  I keep telling myself this is going to be worth it.  I have H.  There aren't enough words for how worth it she is and that is why I am putting myself through this again.  Just wish it didn't have to be so damn hard...and what happens if it doesn't work?

Friday, February 27, 2015

In the trenches...

I cannot believe it, but we are here again.

I started Gonal-f on Sunday night, February 22.  I had been on BCP and Lupron for the last few weeks.

I started out on a low dose because my doctor is super concerned about me overstimulating.  I will be 32 next week, and my doctor believes my ovaries think I am still only 22.  Last IVF, which was almost 3 years ago, my e2 shot up quickly and we wanted to avoid that.

So, I started out on 75 units of Gonal-f and went in for b/w on Wednesday morning.  My e2 came back at 259 which he thought was too high too quick.  I lowered my dose to 50 Wednesday night and Thursday night, then went in for an ultrasound and more b/w this morning.  Shockingly, my e2 had DROPPED to 220.  Que panic.  I got a call from the nurse saying we were going to up my dose because my ovaries had basically stalled and we needed to wake them up.  My new dose was supposed to be 100 units tonight and tomorrow night then in for more b/w on Sunday morning.

After my initial panic I decided I should text my doctor.  I do not usually do this, but he gave me his number and I was really upset so I figured why not.  He called me back within minutes, seconds really.  He reassured me that it wasn't going to effect egg quality, because there were no eggs yet.  He compared it to my ovaries going 90 mph and then all of a sudden stalling out.  We also talked about our concerns over going to 100 units of Gonal f and he appreciated my concern and agreed we should try 75 for the next two nights and see where we are at Sunday morning, calling 100 units more aggressive and 75 the "safer" route.  I have a full time job and an almost 2 year old at home, I am all about the "safer" route right now.  He also asked if I was in it for the long haul because it might take a few more days then initially expected to make it to retrieval.  So, who knows when the retrieval will be.  I just want there to be one.

And, that is where we are.  Sunday morning will be crucial to how this cycle plays out.  I just hope my body responds to the increase without going too crazy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Here We Go Again

I have been gone so long, I know.  I really don't have an excuse.  I am on blogger at least once, sometimes multiple times a day.  I love seeing how all the babies are growing and continue to find interest in the blogs I read of those going through treatment.  It's just strange.  I am in a different place.  I desperately want a second baby.  I want H to be a big sister, but I knew as soon as I actively started blogging again it would mean treatment again and for so long I just wanted to avoid it.

And now, it is time for us to get back on the horse.

H will be 2 in April.  2...I cannot even believe it!  We had an amazing summer together and words can't express how tough it was to go back to teaching in September.  My saving grace was dreams of a second child and knowing that another long maternity break would hopefully be on the horizon.

Well, those dreams are continuing to be just dreams for now!  I cannot even remember how many months we tried on our own, I want to guess 6, probably more?  My RE recommended we see her at H's one year birthday.  So, we went in and sat down with her this past April.  Unfortunately it would be our last appt with her because she switched clinics in May.  She was AMAZING and I was really sad to see her go.

Her recommendation was for us to move forward with the frozen transfer (we had one frozen embryo from our first IVF.)  We spent the summer continuing to try on our own and getting all the tests done again for insurance.  It's amazing how all that testing that once seemed overwhelming was a piece of cake this time around.

Some of my bloodwork came back a little wonky so we had to go back and forth with insurance a bit before they would agree to cover us for the frozen but we eventually got the okay in November.  It was a disaster from the start hah!  I can laugh about it now, but it wasn't all that funny when we were going through it.  I got a little bit of a late start with the estrace tables.  I started out 3x/day orally and after some bloodwork and u/s I had to also start taking 3x/day vaginally.  When we got the all clear I started the PIO shots which I had read so many horror stories about and to be totally honest I really didn't think they were that bad.  I recommend icing the area about 1-2 min before the actual shot, heating up the syringe in a heating pad, heating your bum immediately after, and while getting the shot, putting your weight on the opposite leg.  I definitely had a little soreness, but no knots and it was very manageable.  In the middle of all this I got diagnosed with strep throat, put on antibiotics, and then had a reaction to the antibiotics and had to go on prednisone!

The transfer went perfect, but 10 days later, the b/w showed a beta of 0.  Nothing.  No baby.  I wasn't surprised.  My doctor told me the chances of this working were low, but I just felt like it was a good warm-up for IVF, and I wanted to get through the holidays without having to deal with an egg retrieval.

I was sad, cried for a bit, and then tried to turn all my attention to getting everything lined up for IVF #2.  So, that is where we are.  I am currently on cycle day 24.  Waiting for my period.  This round my new doctor is switching things up a bit, because I respond so ridiculously well to the stimulating drugs, he is having me start on bcp which I didn't do last time.  Otherwise, it's the same.  Lupron, Gonal-f, HCG trigger, crinone...wait and pray.

We should have the retrieval end of February if everything goes well, and know by mid-March whether or not it worked.

It's really strange going through it again.  Last time I had all summer to dedicate to IVF, I wasn't working, I was doing acupuncture, trying to focus all my attention on having a baby.  This time around I am working full-time, have a toddler, and am just dreading another egg retrieval.  I know if this doesn't work I am going to blame myself for not being all-in.  So, I am going to really try for these next 8 weeks to be all in because I DO NOT want to have to go through this again.  But, it's really hard because as we all goes on