Monday, January 2, 2012

It begins again

Round 5 has officially begun. I was a bit delayed in starting, which made my crazy infertile brain wonder if I could be pregnant naturally by some amazing miracle of God. I was a week late after my nice 4 months of amazing regularity so Mike said "Take a test". The man just doesn't comprehend the horrors of taking a home pregnancy test when you've been trying to get pregnant for the past 86 months. His advice? "Pretend it is an HIV test and you WANT it to be negative" Um ok? Well after torturing myself for another day I did the dreaded pee on a stick test and of course I immediately got confirmation that my period was starting 10 seconds later.

Anyways no natural miracles for me, which I should have expected but I did let myself dream about the possibility for a while. Oh well so much for that. So I will start taking birth control tomorrow, then next week I can inject myself with times.

I think the only reason we're doing this is for the sake of those 4 tiny embryos. Dear hubby and I both want to see one of them make it. Apparently that will take a miracle too.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Round 5....who would have thought!

At the end of this month we will start the protocol for our 5th round of fertility treatments with our 4th frozen embryo transfer. When we started I never ever thought we'd be here today but we are.

It is very scary to think about doing this again after the devastation of the last cycle. Michael and I both want to have children and want to try again with our little frozen embryos but he's scared of what a bad outcome could do to me and so am I!

Once again all I can think to do is take it step by step and trust God. The protocol looks like this:

Step 1-take birth control pills AGAIN...ah the irony!

Step 2-start suprefact injections for suppression....this stuff has been called 'menopause in a bottle'...yup it shuts down your reproductive system so all is nice and quiet and can be built up with MORE DRUGS.

Step 3-ultrasound and bloodwork to make sure everything is suppressed.

Step 4-continue suprefact and add in heparin injections and estrogen. Now up to 3 pokes daily...good thing I got a box of 100 needles.

Step 5-Fly to Victoria for IV intralipids, blood work, and ultrasound. If all looks good on to the next step

Step 5-stop suprefact, continue Estrace and heparin, start medrol (steroid), prometrium (progesterone), and cipro (anti-biotic).

Step 6-fly back to Victoria for IV intralipids, buscopan and valium to stop uterus from cramping, have 2 embryos transfered, one day of bed rest then fly back home.
Step 7-the dreaded wait for the pregnancy test. Follow all instructions, no exercise, no baths, no swimming, no times. Continue regime of heparin injections and swallowing and inserting assorted meds 5 times a day.

Step 8-get blood work to check beta hcg

Step 9-go crazy waiting for clinic to phone with results


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Imagine NOT needing IVF...

I'm trying to wrap my head around doing another FET cycle...we want to but when I think about calling the clinic I can't quite do it yet. Then I started day dreaming about what it would be like to get pregnant without IVF. Imagine just being intimate with my husband and a few weeks later finding out I'm pregnant then 9 months later holding a baby in my arms. No cost, no needles, no drugs, no doctors, no pills, no IVs, no flights to the clinic, no bedrest in a hotel, no traveling alone. Then I think God must have some purpose in this journey and he'll give me the courage to do it again. If we end up with a baby in our arms it will all be worth it...maybe the possibility of that is enough to do it again.

IVF is tough to do repeatedly but then again it can bring precious lives into our families too so maybe it's a pretty good thing.

The Round 4 Saga

I just realized I haven't updated here for a long time. IVF cycle #4 which was our third embryo transfer happened in June/July 2011. I'll post more thoughs another time but basically we got a low positive which was worrisome, asked everyone to pray for a miracle then for a week or so the betas were tripling and we thought we'd gotten our miracle. THEN the betas got all wonky and the clinic kept saying they thought it wasn't a viable pregnancy. Many people continued to pray and eventually the ultrasound showed no pregnancy in my uterus but rising beta hcg so the babies were growing but we weren't sure where. It was a "pregnancy of unknow location". I prayed for God to end it naturally and my worst fear happened...I had to take methotrexate to end the pregnancy. It was a horrifying end to a much wanted pregnancy.

Then came the aftermath of grief, sadness, and depression that made life feel unbearable.

The last couple of weeks I've started to feel a bit better...there's lots of holes to fill in this story. I'll have to get on that.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

FET #3 aka "round 4" is coming very soon!

I arrived in Victoria last week and went straight to the fertility clinic. The ultrasound showed my lining was too thin for transfer so I had to increase some meds, and head over to Vancouver to visit Elana and Marcos.

It was a loooong journey to get from the clinic to their house via public transit. It actually took 6 hours in total! For my trip back on Monday I rented a car which is way more expensive to take on the ferry, but way easier. The next ultrasound on Monday showed the lining was a bit thicker, not great but good enough for transfer.

Another problem that came up was that I'd been having cramping in my uterus which the doctor could see on the ultrasound. I thought it was because of the meds but apparently it just happens sometimes. This did make me panic a bit as I pictured my uterus contracting and shooting the little embryos out. I'm still cramping today, nothing I can do about it like all the rest of this.

The doctor is going to give me valium and buscopan before the transfer and these are both supposed to stop the cramping so that the little embryos can snuggle in and implant.

I really hope this works because I never want to do this again!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Happy for problems!

I'm so happy that I have a doctor who did all the testing to see what may be stopping us from having a sucessful pregnancy. At first it looked like conception was the only problem, but then even when they fertilized the egg for us and we had perfect embryos they didn't implant, or they started to implant and then stopped. Then there is our only natural conception that ended in early miscarriage.

It may sound strange but I'm happy to have problems that can be treated and to know about them now rather than getting pregnant easily and having more losses. Women with pcos have a higher risk of miscarriage and tend to have poorer outcomes with IVF but taking Metformin during the first trimester helps. I have the prothrombin gene that causes increased clotting, miscarriage, and other pregnancy complications, but I can take injections of blood thinners before, during, and after pregnancy to prevent them. Women with hypothyroidism have higher risk of miscarriage, but my TSH levels are monitored closely and I can take a hormone to keep the levels normal.

It doesn't feel great to have a bunch of problems, but I'm so happy they are treatable. I was reading something about pregnancy needing to be treated as a natural, normal part of life, not as a medical concern and that natural childbirth etc is the best. I seriously could care less about whether a pregancy is "natural" or not. If I get pregnant and give birth it will take some major medical help to get pregnant and stay pregnant and I'm super thankful that it is available. If I am so blessed to get pregnant I will be 36 years old (advanced maternal age they say) and looking for a medical doctor to closely monitor all aspects of the pregnancy.. God bless the midwives who help women do everything naturally...but for me there is nothing natural about any of it and all that matters is the end result!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Emotional Roller Coaster....going up!

Well this whole thing has been such an emotional roller coaster and it's so strange for normally even keeled me to be feeling such crazy ups and downs. Yep...crying, anxiety, insomnia, hopefullness, peace, despair and more.

My trip to Victoria was really good this week. I had been soo nervous for some of the procedures and just generally anxious and stressed and not sleeping, then feeler more peaceful closer to the travel date.

Everything actually ended up being quite smooth and easy and I'm so happy about that. I was so blessed with a family in Victoria that invited me to stay at their house. I'd been dialoging with this lady via an ivf site that had a support thread for patients of my clinic, we'd "met" online in the summer and then in person in January. She and her husband have a beautiful 5 week old baby girl that was conceived at my fertility clinic and is the product of a frozen embryo transfer. This couple were so nice to me. I got picked up at the airport, had dinner at their house, and got a ride to the clinic in the morning.

At the clinic the doctor met me in the waiting room and told me they were running a bit behind but would be with me shortly. I was surprised when a few minutes later they were leading me into the procedure room saying "you know what to do...undress etc". I reminded them that my appointment wasn't for another hour and I'd come early to get some drugs. I was NOT ready for any procedures on the spot with no meds!! Thankfully they gave me my drugs and let me chill out next door for a while. I must say that the combination of tylenol, ativan, and gravol was super relaxing and AWESOME!!

When I went back into the procedure room they did the sonohysterogram, then warned me about the biopsy part that was supposed to was FINE! I plan to take tylenol before any and every visit to the clinic from now on and maybe throw in some gravol too. It was the first visit that I've had there that wasn't totally uncomfortable.

After the biopsy I got to go back to the other room for my IV of intralipids and thanks to the freezing before the IV that was a breeze too. I was almost falling asleep during tht intralipids except for the blood pressure cuff that would turn on and squeeze my arm every 5 minutes.

So the doctor said the sonohysterogram showed no abnormalities in my uterus and basically no stone is left unturned. I reviewed my procotol and the herparin injections with the nurse and we should be ready to go next week.

I'm feeling good and kind of hopeful about this working...but then again I've felt that way 3 times before with no success so am I crazy to be hopeful????