IVF Cycle #1 Comes to a screeching halt

Well, after my last post I received a call that afternoon from my Doctor to let me know about my 6mm lining. He offered two options – I could continue as planned, start the progesterone and attend the clinic on Monday (transfer day) and either go through with the transfer at that time or be sent home if my lining was still too thin; OR, I could start the progesterone and go in the next morning (Friday) to the city and have my lining checked at their clinic, rather than the monitoring clinic, and see how things are going. I chose to take the day off work and go into the city to have them complete the lining check.

So Thursday evening I took my first progesterone in oil injection all by myself, went to yoga and then put myself to bed early. My mom came with me to the city the next morning, leaving at 5am so we could be there for my 7:30 appointment. I had the trans-vaginal ultrasound done by a lovely technician and then met with the nurses; who dropped the bomb that my lining was actually only 4mm thick – someone, somewhere had been measuring wrong. I waited a little longer to meet with our Doctor at this point as I knew this meant our plans were about to change.

Sitting down with him, he explained that the measurement could be different due to the angle of the wand or the machine being used; however, what it did tell us was that my lining was still in a range that was too thin for transfer. He offered to either complete the transfer as planned on Monday but flat out told me his gut was telling him that the transfer would be unsuccessful. I trust my Doctor so I took this and we chose to end the cycle right then and there. Our embryos will be frozen once they reach day 5 Blastocysts.

He immediately set out to try making me feel better by starting a new IVF plan for us to move forward; until he began to realize how stumped he was on how we could proceed. You see, I do not have a natural cycle – I never have due to being born with seemingly bum ovaries. As I do not have functioning ovaries, my body does not create it’s own hormones; therefore, I am not contributing any estrogen to the medicated estrogen being added to my body. I am not responding to medication well and I cannot do a natural cycle Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) without a natural cycle.

So back to the drawing board for us as our Doctor consults with other professionals in the IVF world to figure out how to take this f*cked up body of mine and make it do something that it should have been born to do.

I was numb driving home and spent most of my weekend feeling fairly numb with a few breakthrough tears here and there. I feel as though if I let myself breakdown, I might not be able to pull myself back together. I’m angry and ashamed at my body for letting me down yet again, for creating yet another obstacle in this journey where we have already had so many to overcome. I naively thought that our biggest obstacle would be  finding a donor, having our dear friend and donor go through this process so selflessly for us, or possibly a negative pregnancy test or a chemical pregnancy. I did not think my body would have us stalled right in the middle – what if our donor went through all of this just to have my body never respond enough to make it through the rest of this journey?!

I had never let my thoughts journey into the territory of “what if this doesn’t ever work?” I had always stayed strong in my thoughts with the deep rooted believe that one day we would have at least one child in this mini family of ours. I have always joked with my husband that if this doesn’t work I get to adopt countless animals into our home (so far on the list: a pig, a sloth, a monkey, a cow, a few otters, etc.) but I had never contemplated that this might not actually work – and that thought is f*cking terrifying and currently has me chilled to the bone.

IVF Cycle #1 Update

On June 11th, I was placed on low dose Aspirin and Estrace 2 mg in the morning and 2 mg in the evening; inserted vaginally. This was accompanied with instructions to double my morning and evening Estrace starting June 16th. On the same day, our egg donor started all of her medications/injections.

I attended the clinic on June 20th for a trans vaginal ultrasound and found that my lining was only at 5mm. A call later that afternoon confirmed that the lining was growing too slowly and they added 100 mg Estrogen patches that I have to switch out daily. They also informed me that day that our retrieval day was being moved up a day and was scheduled for June 22; first thing in the morning.

We drove into the city, leaving at 5:30am to be there for 8:15 so that my husband could provide his sperm. Our donor had arrived approx 45 minutes before that and was already prepped for the procedure. It felt quite odd sitting in the waiting room, doing absolutely nothing, while the retrieval and fertilization were occurring. Once we received the all clear for my husband’s sperm, we headed back home and waited to hear from our donor.

While we were driving back home, we received a text from our donor’s husband to inform us that they got 11 eggs! Fingers crossed we get a good fertilization rate as we are using ICSI.

Once we made it home, I foolishly let my husband leave with our dog on a 5 day trip that he goes on annually. I felt it would do us both some good to have him returned as relaxed as possible so that he can continue to support me like a champ through the next phase of this process. I may be regretting that now… I returned to our monitoring clinic this morning to have my lining checked and surprise surprise – my body seems to be failing me again. My lining has only grown 1 mm in the last 3 days! It’s currently sitting at 6 mm and we are waiting to hear if we will be moving to a freeze-all cycle.

I’m at work right now so I am trying to hold myself together but man I am furious at my body for letting me down again. I’m trying to hold onto some hope that I’ll get a call telling me we will be moving forward still but even if we do, I know we are on the thin side for lining and that in itself reduces my hope that this cycle will be successful at all.

I hate to say it but I saw this coming. I have no faith left in my body at this point and it sucks. Today sucks.

1111111111

Normalizing IVF & Egg Donation

As we have navigated rather blindly through this IVF with Egg Donor process, we have had many conversations about telling our hopefully future child about how they came to be in this world. My husband was always under the impression that he wanted to tell him/her when they are older and mature enough to understand; whereas, I had always considered telling him/her when they were still a child. After speaking with our donor and her husband, our counsellor and others along the way, we have decided that we are going to work hard at normalizing this egg donation process; with our future child, as well as those around us.

Our future child will know from the very beginning that it takes three things to make a baby – sperm, and egg, and a uterus; and unlike some other families – I was not able to provide both the egg and the uterus. We will be open with our friends in our endeavour to normalize our situation as it is our hope that by the time they are 12+ years old – they will be at peace with how they came into this world. Although I do not have a genetic tie to our children, I am hopeful that I will be able to carry our child to term and that will be the bond that will make us inseparable. Genetics only play a small role in the big picture and although I will never be able to look at our future child(ren) and pick out which features are from me, I will be able to pick out which facial expressions he/she has learned from me, or how we laugh, or how caring and loving he/she will be. It will come down to nurturing our child(ren) and watching how he/she develops emotionally and mentally. I hope I will see myself in how caring she/he is for others, how they are inclusive of the other kids when they play, and have a huge heart that they want to share with the world; because with that, it won’t matter one bit that my freckles, or my family’s height (I’m 6’3″), or my blue eyes weren’t passed on. Not one bit.

MOTHER

One in SIX couples struggle with infertility these days and before we know it, our children’s classrooms will be filled with little boys and girls that were created with the assistance of one form of fertility treatment or another. We need to take the shame out of infertility so that the shame is not passed down for our children to carry. If we work at normalizing IVF and donor required reproduction we take the advantage away from future bullies and from people who just don’t understand.

So for us, we will normalize our journey from the very beginning and our future child(ren) will have nothing to be ashamed of. They will have full knowledge of their beginning and it can be a part of their self identity; which we will teach them to foster and love for all that it is. #noshame #infertilityawareness #eggdonor

Oh the stress

…of work, of life, of IVF… it’s a lot.

I work with teenage males who are, essentially, in jail; minimum security, thankfully. Unfortunately, that does not mean that my job is much safer than other facilities as we tend to get the same clients – just different charges…usually.

It would just be my luck that we are now starting our first ever round of fertility treatment (IVF with donor ovum) – our first ever time trying to get pregnant really since we never had the option to try naturally (stupid bum ovaries) – and now we have a client in our facility that is a ticking time bomb with a significant history of violent outbursts towards women. Awesome.

STRESSSSSS

I know I have options and could always take a leave, but it’s not easy. I’m very dedicated to my job, to helping these clients through the worst times of their lives; and on top of all of that, we are already financially strained going through this donor ovum IVF cycle – F*CK it costs A LOT!


*I started this post a number of days ago and am just now finding the time to get back to it. Thankfully our client was released yesterday and is no longer in our care – and to be honest, he was great while he was with us. It’s hard reading their history and knowing what could potentially happen but making sure you treat them with compassion. There is always a chance he could return and I will take it day by day if he does; or with any client, really.

Now to get back into yoga more often to clear some of this stress away…