I hate what infertility has done to me.

I HATE infertility for what it has done to me.

I broke down this morning, alone and in the shower, because everything just got a little too hard; a little too heavy.

I am a happy and outgoing person; I refuse to use past tense because I will not admit defeat. I WILL NOT give infertility the power of defeat over me. Not yet. I am a happy person, an outgoing individual who has always believed that there’s a reason behind everything. I am not religious, so personally I do not believe that reason is any form of God controlling my destiny. That being said, I always lead my life with the belief that life handed me lessons and it was my job to learn from those lessons and move forward; thus, everything happens for a reason.

I am losing sight of those reasons lately. I am losing sight of myself.

I have been finding social gatherings more and more difficult as there are SO MANY triggers. How do I make this stop? I’ve been turning down more offers to hang out with people because it is so FUCKING hard. Nearly all of my friends either have kids or want to party like they’re in college. Going through DEIVF, I have significantly reduced any drinking that I do, or if in a current cycle, I don’t drink at all. It’s just not my scene any more (not that it was ever really my scene but I’d imbibe once in a while at social events). So that leaves the other half of my friends, the parents. Unfortunately, children are a trigger for me, even the ones that are nearest and dearest to my heart. HA. What a joke that is.

I have been fortunate to be surrounded by Ah-mazing friends and family, who I know just want me to be successful in this journey. Unfortunately, none of them will ever understand. There’s always a huge elephant in the room when I get together with them and so I have unintentionally been pushing them away. As time passes and we do get together for a social event, the growing distance between us becomes even more evident and I start to feel left out; though, I know I’m the reason that is happening. I know they are here for me but how long are they really going to wait to get their friend back? For me to go back to normal? Let’s face it, will that ever really happen? Even if I ever do come out successful at the end of this infertility journey, I’ll never be the same again will I? Infertility changes you.

The deeper we get into this DEIVF journey, the more fearful I become that I won’t be able to pick up all of the pieces of my former self. I’m scared that I won’t recognize who I have become, because really it’s already starting to happen.

Who is this woman who gets home from a day at work and doesn’t have enough physical or emotional energy to do anything else?

Who is this woman that holds it all in until one day the walls break and tears are shed in the shower; only to then pull herself back together for a little bit longer to prove to the outside world that everything is fine.

Who is this woman who feels so alone, yet is surrounded by so many loving and amazing people?

Who is she? I’m afraid I don’t know anymore.


FET#2 – Officially PUPO

Transfer day was yesterday, on day 25 of my cycle as my lining always takes longer to get it’s ass in gear. My husband and I drove into the city for our appointment, leaving shortly after 10am as our transfer was scheduled for 1:30. We arrived in time to grab something quick to eat before heading up to sign in at the clinic and to let them know that we had an acupuncturist coming in to do a pre and post transfer session with me. As I was the last transfer of the day, they took me right back to get me set up.  We had the same acupuncturist as last time who took me through some breathing exercises before sticking me like a pin cushion. I wish I had a picture of it as they were sticking out of everywhere, I literally had 5 needles in each ear!

After the session, my Doctor was able to start early, which my bladder was entirely thankful for! Though, I didn’t feel like I needed to pee nearly as much as last time. After checking a million times to make sure I was the right person, they had me lay back as they placed the embryo. Once the Doctor is done placing the embryo, the catheter is always sent back to the lab (on the other side of the window from the procedure room) to ensure that the embryo has been inserted and is no longer in the catheter…to nobody’s surprise, we had to do the whole thing again as the embryo had gotten stuck and was still in the tube! It was super awesome as they had to go back to pressing the ultrasound want on my bladder while I seriously needed to pee.

My Doctor joked that if any of his patients were going to be difficult, it would be me! Lol, at least he knows me well, as I am the person that if something is going to go wrong, it will. He then continued to say that if he has to do it a third time, I’ll be his first patient ever to have needed that. Thankfully, the second try worked and we were sent off to the procedure waiting area. The Doctor ordered 1cc of PIO to be administered before I left as he had seen my uterus contracting slightly and wanted to calm it down. I had my post transfer acupuncture and then had the nurse give me the PIO shot, it was weird having someone else do the injection as I’ve always done my own (husband is terrified of needles!). Once it was all said and done, we began our journey home with strict instructions for me to remain as horizontal as possible for the next three days, no heavy lifting, no sex, no overheating and for my husband to buy me diamond earrings! No joke, my Doctor told him that it helps with implantation every time, LOL!

Once we were home I made it directly to the couch where I remained for the rest of the night. I had my daily PIO shot to complete at 8pm as the one given to me earlier was a bonus dose. While I was giving myself the injection I got super lightheaded and started sweating. I’ve had one reaction like this before in either my first or second cycle but it was awful. My sweet husband came immediately to help me cool down and feel better, thankfully.

Anyhoo, today I am 1DP5DT. I don’t test until Dec 20th, which is even longer than I had to wait last cycle…this is going to be a long 14 days!!! My poor puppy keeps pacing near me as she wants to come up and cuddle with me but if you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know she’s a 140lb Great Dane who is sure to cause me to overheat so to be on the cautious side I won’t be cuddling with her on the couch for the next two weeks [sad face]. This is her waiting to be invited up onto the couch with me…

FET#2 – The night before transfer

I guess I’ll start with yesterday.

I woke up at 4:30am (after working until midnight) to drive into the city to finally have the  Matris Ultrasound completed as I had been on POI shots for 3 days now. I arrived slightly early for my 7:30am appointment but was called in right on time. It was my first time having this test completed but it seemed like any old trans-vaginal ultrasound; I was done and out of there in under 5 minutes it seemed. I was informed that the results would be sent off to somewhere to be analyzed but I should know my results by the next day (today).

So today started like any of those days where we in the infertility world sit waiting by the phone for results to come in. It seemed to take forever but they thankfully called midday (1:30pm) to let me know that I had scored a 6/10 on the Matris scan. Flashback to a shit ton of memories from high school being a mediocre student no matter what I tried. The nurse told me that 6/10 is “the grey area” as they would prefer at least a 7/10 for uterine quality before transferring; however, the Doctor believes it’s the best they’re going to get from me and my unresponsive lining. [Insert significant amount of confidence in my body’s ability to perform as needed,  here – not!] 

Yay for mediocrity!

Tomorrow it is then. Back to the city we go for a transfer at 1:30. I need to arrive 45 minutes early so I can have acupuncture pre and post transfer and then that’s it, I’ll officially be PUPO.

Fingers, toes and lady bits crossed for this to work, everyone!

Update soon. xo

Medication day 2

Yesterday I went for my baseline ultrasound and blood work for this FET Cycle. I had to go super early in the morning as my monitoring clinic is an hour away and I need to be back for work by 7:50am; therefore, my day started at 5am. Oh the joys of monitoring appointments.

Mid-afternoon, I received the call from the nurse to confirm my medication orders for the start of this cycle. She began reading off my instructions and as it turns out, the Doctor had changed up my meds from last cycle. If you read my last blog post FET Cycle #2 – you’ll know that my meds were supposed to stay the exact same. I questioned the nurse about this and she seemed to have no clue about this so I asked her to confirm with the Doctor and get back to me. When she called back, she confirmed that I will go ahead with the same medication schedule from our last transfer. Thought so! I really didn’t want to change anything up, especially when they were telling me I’d have 6-8 pills going up my hooha every day. No thanks, let’s limit that please – the 4 Viagra/day is enough.

So I finished work at 4pm and rushed to the pharmacy to pick up some of my meds. I only got two prescriptions filled (Viagra and Estradiol Patches) and it cost me $445!!!! Ugh this is expensive… my insurance company won’t cover the Viagra ($398) because it’s a “lifestyle drug” (I’m sorry, do I sound like a man looking for help to get a raging erection?!) nor will it cover any infertility treatment medications. So every cycle, this is out of pocket….and like I said, I only filled two out of the six prescriptions she called in. Thankfully I do have some leftover medications; unfortunately, they are not enough to get me through a full cycle. ‘Tis the life of an infertile I guess…

Once my prescription was filled, I got home and took my first dose of Viagra (25mg vaginally) and applied my Estradiol patches. Within a couple of hours, the headache started. Thankfully, going to bed seemed to help. Today however, I have the Viagra nausea. A constant low-level nausea that I know I will not be able to escape over the next 10 days as it carried on as long as I was on the Viagra last cycle too. Thankfully, the benefits seem to outweigh the positives as I believe it was the Viagra that got my lining to an adequate thickness for transfer last cycle. Here’s to hoping it will do the same for me this time.

Now I’m just sitting here at work, counting down the hours until I can leave for my acupuncture appointment at 4!

FET Cycle #2

It’s been a month since our last failed cycle. Within the past month, I really haven’t done anything…other than turn 30. My birthday was at the very very end of October, which I always enjoy because I absolutely love Halloween. We had our annual Halloween/my birthday party bash which was a blast. My husband and I dressed up as Lydia and Beetlejuice – home made costumes and all.

Turning 30 was an odd feeling. I feel rather young normally as my husband and most of my closest friends are all approx 5 years older than I am and I usually associate myself with their age rather than my own; meaning, when it actually comes to me thinking about my own age, it’s more of an “oh yeah, I’m only __ years old!”

Most of the time…then again, it’s a whole different ball game when you mix infertility into it all. It’s the only time that my age actually makes me feel down. I’ve actually known about my infertility now for nineteen years(!) if you can believe that; yet, there’s still the same feeling of passing the 30 year old marker. I know that’s still relatively young in the world of infertility but when I have already 1. have bum ovaries 2.surpassed using my own eggs and went straight to donor eggs 3. dealt with an unresponsive lining 4. am having testing done for an unresponsive uterus ….. It’s a lot to deal with.

I certainly didn’t ease my way into the infertility/IVF world – I got thrown straight into the pool wearing a weighted belt and being told to swim; no wonder that some days it feels like I’m barely keeping my head above water. Now with turning 30, it seems like they’ve added another 10lbs to the weight belt, just to see if I can make it. (Realistically though, that extra 10lbs is more likely to be from the emotional eating I’ve been doing lately!!)

So…here we go again…FET cycle #2.

CD1 arrived on Sunday so I called our clinic in the city, as well as our monitoring clinic that we attend closer to home. I am to go in tomorrow (Tuesday) for my baseline ultrasound and blood work; following which, I’m sure they’ll be starting me on my meds as well.

This cycle will be much like our last cycle as they found I responded fairly well to it (with some extra time, my lining was able to get above 7mm prior transfer).

My meds this cycle will be:

  • Estradiol Patch 100mg every 2 days
  • Viagra 4 tab/day (1 every 6 hours) – vaginally – for the first 10 days
  • Estrace 3 tab/day – vaginally – starting once Viagra is done
  • Aspirin 81mg/day
  • Pre-Natal Vitamin
  • Vitamin E 400mg/day
  • Vitamin B Complex 100mg/day

Then starting approx. 7 days prior to transfer:

  • Progesterone in Oil 0.5cc – every evening

Then approx. 3 days prior to transfer:

  • Increase Progesterone in Oil to 1cc – every evening
  • Endometrin Vaginal Suppository – 2x/day

Fingers crossed my lining grows well this cycle as it’s always a struggle. If it does cooperate and grow well, I will be going for a Matris scan in the city approx 3-4 days prior to transfer day.

For those who have not heard of it, a Matris scan is to check the receptivity of the lining to ensure the transfer is being done at an optimal time and to ensure we are not wasting an embryo on a lining that is guaranteed not to accept it. Matris uses proprietary algorithms and specialized technologies to assess and interpret ultrasonographic images taken by the clinic. Using 2- and 3-dimensional techniques, Matris and our team generate insights into endometrial receptivity that cannot be detected in routine clinical practice. Matris uses a scoring system that assigns a numeric score based on what research predicts will be the quality of the endometrial lining at the time of transfer. The higher the Matris score, the higher the probability of pregnancy.

Keeping my fingers crossed that everything we are throwing into this process will help us reach a successful outcome! Will update soon.

Here we go.

Since Thursday, I  had been battling some of the mental side effects of this chemical pregnancy/early miscarriage; however, I also felt somewhat numb to it all. I thought maybe it wouldn’t be too bad after all – I would have my period and it would be done with.

That was until this morning…when I started to bleed and realized that this isn’t quite like a normal period and I couldn’t keep telling myself it is. I had been cramping all night; which in turn, led to me tossing and turning until the wee hours of the morning. I got up to use the washroom around 2am but only had some light colouring on my liner so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Waking up to my alarm this morning was a different story…

TMI WARNING!!! (PS. Does ANYONE in the infertility world ACTUALLY stop reading with these warnings or are we all equally desensitized to all the “gross” bodily functions we talk about?!)

By the time I got to the washroom and jumped immediately into the shower, it was like a death scene from a horror film – except it was all clots. The cramps are awful so I just laid at the bottom of the shower for a while, letting the hot water run over my lower abdomen.

Less than an hour later I am sitting at work, wondering just how bad this is going to get and how often I’m going to have to sneak into our single toilet co-ed washroom (one for every single person I work with to share) to change out my tampon or pad; which ever I decide might be more effective.

Then, there’s the mental side of things…

The numbness I had been feeling had helped me to put on a mask around co-workers, friends and family. It had allowed me to avoid crying (for the most part) throughout this process and carry on, nearly as if nothing traumatic was occurring. Right now, I just want to be alone, which is difficult as I am at work and do not have my own office to hide in. I have been asked out for a girls night this evening by my co-workers and feel like I should go as I have missed a few with everything that is going on.

I certainly don’t feel like going; however, I’m running out of excuses as to why I can’t go…and certainly don’t want to just come out an tell them that I don’t want to go as I am currently bleeding out what is the the closest I have ever had to a baby. That escaping to the washroom at a billiards hall to change out yet another blood/clot soaked pad/tampon seems like a nightmare to me – all while plastering a smile on my face and talking about how shitty their lives are currently going.

I think this is going to be more difficult than I initially anticipated….

How fitting…

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day; coincidentally, four days ago I got confirmation that our transfer was successful but our Beta was low. Two days ago, I got confirmation that it is a chemical pregnancy. Today I would have been 5 weeks pregnant and instead I am awaiting the arrival of my period/the start of an early miscarriage.

It’s heart wrenching and oh so disappointing. The good news I guess is that the embryo had implanted, which is father than we’ve ever gotten. My hubby and I are trying to look on the positive side of it, yet I’ll admit, it has been difficult to do.

Once I start to bleed, it will mark the official end of FET Cycle #1. I plan to call our doctor this week to discuss our next steps. The only positive to this is that I can now take all of the cold medication I want right now to fight off this nasty bug I picked up at work…nothing like getting kicked while you’re down, right?!

Hugs and thoughts to everyone else out there who is remembering today. xo