Category Archives: IVF

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I keep thinking about this journey, and the reality that it is almost over is an incredibly hard pill to swallow.  I have days where it seems easier, but every time I am confronted with the reality of it, I freak out.  I mean, this is a life changing decision.  Everything, everything I have ever hoped for, planned for, and wanted – changes with this being over.

I have career goals, of course, but at this point in my life, those are secondary and really insignificant compared to this.  My plan has always been to position myself professionally during these years so that when my kids were grown and out of the house, I would be ready to take over the world.   And I think I am on the right path for that.  But these years – these years were for family.  And more of it than I have now.

This changes my vision, and expectation, and experience for what my life will be like.  For what my kid’s life will be like.  I have never wanted only one child – I have always wanted, and knew I would have, at least two and maybe more.  And yet, here we are – this idea and vision of my life that I’ve had since I was a kid is crumbling right in front of me.  You walk your path, and mine is being washed away in front of me as I go.  So, I am feeling lost.

This is not a crossroads.  There are not clear ways to proceed, there are not defined paths to choose.  This is my identity.  This means I have to remake myself, remake my life plans, remake so many of the things I know about myself.  And how do you get OK with not fulfilling something that feels like such a fundamental and core part of who you are and have always been?

Look, I know it’s easier for me than for people who have not been graced with kids at all, but who desperately want them.  I am grateful every single day for every ounce of joy, frustration, laughter, exhaustion, curiousity, and everything else that I have because of my son.  Grateful beyond belief.  Frankly, he seems like a bit of a miracle.  As I have gone through all of the losses and failed cycles, it has put this feeling of awe into me that he ever happened.  It has made me understand what a fragile process this can all be, and how lucky we are that things happened just right to bring him into the world.

Back to identity – I don’t necessarily understand who I am as an adult, right now, if we put this behind us and move forward without this working.  In my 20’s it was all about preparing my life and getting pregnant, and then it was about raising a baby and getting pregnant again because that’s what was next.  And then that turned into 2.5 years of trying to get pregnant.  And it consumes you.  Injections, patches, suppositories, ultrasounds, pee sticks, and more injections.  The ups, the downs – I’ve been on hormones of one variety or another for over 2 years.  Everything has been about building a family up to this point in my adult life.

I always thought I would know when it was time to move forward because my family would be complete and I would feel whole.   I had no idea that was a fairy tale ending.  I had no idea that I was going to have to figure out that it was time to move forward because I was hollow and broken into a thousand pieces.  I guess it’s hard to go forward when you have to pick up the pieces and figure out how to put them together first.

This is my pity party.  I will stop having my pity party in the coming few days, but for now, I am sad, stressed, apprehensive, uncertain and just blah.  And I think I just need to be these things before I get on gettin’ on.

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Full Circle

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It is almost exactly 2 years now since we started trying.  2 years ago, I had an IUI just a few weeks prior to the conference my company puts on every May.  I POAS in my hotel room, by myself, and got my BFP at that conference.  And then I miscarried on Mother’s Day.

Here we are, 2 years later.  It’s about a week and a half before the big conference my company puts on every year, and I had my IUI.  I will POAS while I am away.  Yet another hotel housekeeper who is going to find a pregnancy test lying on the sink.  It must seem scandalous.  Last time I was so excited I tested every day and I left my tests on the sink to come back and see throughout the day.  2 years later, my excitement has been tempered by a big, painful, dose of reality.

 

Today’s IUI was anything but uneventful.  Dr. Z had mentioned that when we went in today to do the follicle reduction, they might be able to freeze the eggs they remove.  And then later if we needed/wanted them, they would thaw them and try to fertilize them.  I agreed that we would like to do that if it was possible, and he said they would not charge us because they do not typically freeze eggs, so they would view this as a chance to practice.  From my perspective, if we get an embryo out of the deal, then great.  If not, there’s nothing to lose.  The other option was to just throw them away anyway.

So, when we got there today, they got me ready for anesthesia – a follicle reduction is the same as an egg retrieval, so anesthesia is necessary!  Then the embryologist came in and explained that they were going to do the egg retrieval.  They would then freeze them and about an hour later, thaw them.  At that point they would ICSI them, using a bit of sperm from the vial that was thawed for our IUI today.  And from there, it’s just like IVF, you wait for fertilization reports, embryo growth reports, etc.  They would also leave several follicles intact in me, and do the IUI while I was under anesthesia.

So, because we allowed them to freeze the eggs, we basically got a free IVF cycle out of this.  They retrieved 13 eggs, and left in 4 follicles for the IUI.  I had 17 eggs on half the meds I was taking with IVF – and I have never had that many before.  This was our last try to get a genetic sibling for our son because it’s the last vial of sperm from our donor, like anywhere.  But because they decided to fertilize the eggs today, in conjunction with our IUI, if anything comes from it, we will have some additional chances.

I need to send them a card or something and thank them.  Everyone was so incredibly nice today.  Beyond nice.  Nicer than nice.  And they gave us this awesome opportunity to maybe get some frozen embryos to use in the future.  So, now we get through the 2WW and see if anything comes from the frozen eggs.

So, it was an eventful day.  I guess this cycle ended up being a combo IUI/IVF?

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Well, we still have the formality of the beta on Monday, but here we are at 8DP 6DT, and there was no second blue line this morning.  Three days, three negatives.  Which means I am not going to even bother wasting a test tomorrow.  I debated even changing my estrogen patches this morning – it feels like I am just throwing money away by using these expensive meds when I’ve got a really clear result.  Yet, there’s the part of me that knows I just can’t stop until they tell me to.

We have a single vial of sperm left, and two donated embryos.  I think the next cycle will be an IUI with our last vial of sperm.  This is our last chance at getting a genetic sibling for our son.  Which really isn’t as important as it used to be.  At least with IUI I get pregnant.  I mean, I lost all of them (excluding our son, of course).  But I lost all of them this time around.

I have been a royal failure at IVF.  With IVF, I never even hit the pregnancy milestone.  2 IVF cycles, 22 eggs retrieved, only 5 made it to freeze, and only 3 of those made the thaw. THREE.  2 cycles of IVF and I only got 3 potentially viable thawed blasts, with no fresh transfers.  It’s like I just threw away $27,000.  Well, I’ll be paying for not having a baby for like 5 years before we pay off this big fat IVF debacle.

I have, at this point, stopped crying every time I think about the fact that I’ve failed, yet again.  That’s better than the last 2 days.  But I was a miserable, moody, sulky, wretched person today.  I could have used a little extra kindness, maybe a little space…but that’s not something that happens, so I just had to be miserable.  I really need to arrange 3 days away for myself at test time – I need time to process, plan and get emotionally stable again.  And I can’t have anyone – ANYONE – being at all emotionally aggressive with me – I can’t handle it.  So, I am hoping tomorrow is better.   It’s a rare thing these days, but I am actually looking forward to going back to work.  Where I can be left alone if I want to be, and I can just focus on something outside of myself for the whole day.  Monday can’t come soon enough this week.

 

Record Keeping

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Because I obsess, I am keeping tabs on things again.

Pre-transfer- sore boobs for a few days
1DP 6DT- continued sore boobs

2DP 6DT- continued sore boobs, some cramping, bout of mid-day nausea, zit on side of chin, and here’s a good one: constipation (which is probably responsible for the nausea)

3DP 6DT- fierce AM nausea likely fueled by the ongoing constipation, zit on side of chin, all day nausea, continued sore boobs.  Cramps off and on.  End of constipation (Oh, sweet relief….Oh, oh no.  Not sweet relief.  Oh ring of fire).

4DP 6DT – fierce AM nausea- complete with dry heaves, zit on side of chin, continued sore boobs, all day nausea, cramps off and on, remarkable diarrhea.  That’s right, I said remarkable.

5DP 6DT – Minimal nausea…hardly worth noting.  Zit on side of chin, decrease in breast tenderness

6DP 6DT – Minimal nausea…hardly worth noting. Zit on side of chin.  Same lower level breast tenderness.  POAS – BFN

7DP 6DT – Same as 6DP

Freezy Babies

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We had 5 make it to Day 5 blastocyst stage. 5, out of two rounds of IVF. Only 2 were far enough along to do the genetic testing, so we decided not to do it. Makes me nervous, but that was a lot of money to throw at testing 2. Almost enough to pay for another IVF cycle if necessary. And Lord, I hope it’s not necessary.

2 and Broke

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I’ve now been through 2 cycles of IVF and have spent our entire life savings on this. The fertilized eggs were frozen after the first cycle, then thawed after my recent cycle and the fertilized eggs from both cycles are being grown out to Day 5 blastocysts. I know it only takes one, but after 2 IVF cycles and $28,000 in uncovered medical expenses – we only have 11 that made it to the 3 day stage. I expect a call tomorrow to find out how many made it to Day 5. I am very nervous that all of this money and heartache, physical pain, etc. will all be for nothing. I just keep trying to remind myself that it only takes one…

 

(Originally posted in LJ)

Supplement this!

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I am amused by the number of pills and supplements1 I am taking everyday, so I thought I would list them all since the list keeps growing.  All to try to improve egg quality for the upcoming IVFs…

2 Methlyfolate (bioactive folate and b vitamins)
2 Choline/Inositol
2 Resveratrol (500 mg)
3 CoQ10 (600 mg)
1 Folic Acid (1000 mcg)
1 Prozac
4 Metformin (2000 mg)
1 pycogenol (100 mg)
1 vitamin C (1000 mg)
1 Melatonin (3 mg)
1 Teaspoon Inositol Powder
I feel like there are more, but this is all I can think of right now…

 

(Originally posted in LJ)

IVF Update

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IVF update. Egg retrieval was Friday. They got 7 eggs. 5 fertilized. Got a call today and one of the ones that fertilized is already showing signs of being genetically abnormal. They are freezing it anyway since we are having preimplantation genetic diagnosis and if by some chance it makes it to a Day 5 blastocyst, we’ll get the PGD done just to make sure. So, basically after one round of IVF, we have 4 fertilized eggs that appear normal at this stage. None have been grown out to embryos yet – we are doing another round of IVF before we grow them out and send them off for genetic testing. In October, I start the stims all over again for round 2 and I think I’ll be on either a higher dose from the get go or a lower dose for more days….

 

(Originally posted in LJ)

Follie Sadness

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So, I had a follicle check for the IVF today. Very disappointing. There are 7 mature. That’s it. There are a few more that might make it, but not likely. If the meds weren’t so god damn expensive we would have just cancelled this cycle. Instead, per the doc’s recommendation, I’ll have the retrieval on Friday and they’ll freeze up everything that fertilizes right away. Then in October we’ll do another round of stims and another retrieval. Then we’ll thaw the others, grow everything out to 5 day blastocysts. Everything that makes it to 5 days will be biopsied and the cells will be sent off for preimplantation genetic diagnosis. We’re hoping for a transfer in December.

This all terrifies me because this is it – our last attempt. What if all of my eggs are bad? Or what if we only get like 7 the next time, too? That gives us very little chance. I know we only need one, but I’m not convinced that we’re on track to get one at this point.

(Originally posted in LJ)