FET #3 – Cycle Day 8…

On Friday I had the Endometrial Scratch….OW. I wouldn’t put it at a 10/10 on the pain scale but for the brief 15 seconds that everything was happening, it was pretty damn close! I just bit down on my hand to stifle my scream and took some deep breaths to get through it. As my RE told me before hand, “there are going to be two people in the room and neither of us will want to be there.”  I think he was pretty spot on. The cramping and spotting lasted the rest of the day but was fine by Saturday.

I had a brutal cold that lasted all weekend so I had trouble trying to figure out if the headache I was having was from all of the nasal congestion or if it was due to the medication. Luckily, I’ve figured it out now – it’s definitely from the medication as it has stuck around. Two nights ago I went to bed at 8:30pm; I was a sobbing mess. I stood in front of my husband crying and asking him to make me feel better. I had had enough and it was SO painful. I’m a migraine sufferer and have gone through phases where I have a tension headache for, literally, months; however, there are few headaches that have brought me to full on tears as this one did.

Though, now that I think back, it might have something to do with the fact that since I have begun taking Menopur, I have turned into a blubbering mess. Quite seriously, I cry at the drop of a hat these days. On Saturday, while laid up on the couch all day with the cold – I cried FIVE TIMES before noon!!! Whether it was a sappy commercial or movie, or just my puppy being super sweet; it did not matter, it brought me to tears. 

Now, I have had heightened emotions during previous cycles as well, but this has brought it to a whole new level. Thankfully, I seem to be able to avoid such breakdowns at work so far and hope very much to keep it that way due to my chosen field.

Yesterday, I went for my second set of scans and blood work. My husband had to come with me this time as we needed to sign all of our consent forms by Monday (yesterday) in order to continue with our cycle. I’d like to point out that we were given our consent forms on Thursday and had been asked to complete them by my Endometrial Scratch on Friday (again, we were told that we would not be able to continue with the cycle if we didn’t have them completed by that day); however, they require the signatures to be witnessed by someone at the clinic OR by a Notary! My husband was not able to accompany me to the Endometrial scratch as they had given us less than 24 hours notice for that appointment and I was already having to take time off work to go and we were working opposite shifts on Thursday – so how the heck does one manage to get the consent forms signed and witnessed within that short time frame?! The answer – we didn’t have them done by Friday. I had him sign the forms anyway and I brought them in but informed them of the circumstance. My RE was able to smooth everything over for my Endometrial Scratch to go ahead as planned but told me I would need to have the forms completed properly and submitted by Monday at the latest. This means either travelling back to the city (2 hour drive in each direction just to sign some documents in front of someone at the clinic), find a Notary that was open over the long weekend (yes, Monday was a holiday here so nothing was open then either), or my husband could accompany me bright and early for my scan appointment on Monday to our monitoring clinic.

My lining measurement has always been a source of apprehension for me as I’ve always had trouble. As my RE says “kid, no doubt you are talented in a lot of different areas – but growing a lining isn’t one of them!” (Don’t worry, I love my RE and in no way do I find this hurtful or offensive, he actually manages to make me laugh EVERY time I see him.) I had a bit of an internal panic moment when I looked at my file and my measurement was noted to be 0.4!!! I had a bit of a heart attack while thinking to myself that it might be a little earlier than I am used to having scans, but usually am scanned around CD10 and have at least 4mm(ish). For nearly three hours (even after getting to work and trying to distract myself with other tasks…) I was under the impression that I had the thinnest lining on the face of the earth. …And then I realized that my clinic has always recorded my lining measurements this way and that in fact my lining IS measuring at 4mm as they record their results in centimeters! I couldn’t believe that I had forgotten this from previous cycles and had spent so much time freaking out; oh, I think my brain is broken!

So I have calmed down significantly, I’m actually feeling a little hopeful as this scan was about three days earlier in the cycle than usual so my lining *might* actually be behaving better this time?! I don’t want to set myself up for failure but I’m letting a little bit of the hope shine through. I go back for another scan and blood work on  Thursday so we’ll see then how it’s going. I haven’t been for any acupuncture yet as it hasn’t fit into my schedule/budget for the past two weeks and now I don’t know if I should hold off to see if everything is going fine without it and save a little bit of money if it is OR risk having my lining not respond as well without it….BAH!

On a more positive note,  since the day it arrived in the mail,  I have been wearing a bracelet that I received this Christmas which has meant so much to me. Through this blogging world,  I have found someone that really gets it. We have such similar stories and experiences that it’s actually kind of crazy when we compare similarities. She sent me this bracelet and it’s a constant reminder of strength this  cycle and it’s helping me to believe that our wish will one day come true. I am beyond greatful for the many people the blog has brought into my life! 

XO ❤️

  

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FET #3 – Cycle Day 3…

Things have started up again. My husband and I chose to wait a couple of extra weeks before starting this FET cycle in order to make sure our heads were on straight before jumping back into the craziness of it all. We chose to do two extra weeks of birth control which wasn’t an issue with my Doctor.

Two days ago, I got my ‘withdrawal bleed’ (the only ever type of period I have experienced as I do not, nor have I ever, cycled naturally). The bleeding has been slightly irregular for me, in the sense that it has been very light flow, and brown in nature after the first night (which actually started around 10pm on Monday). That is until today when things started right up and the flow became heavier and more red. I’m not normally one to have such a slow start to things – and just my luck – on the day of my baseline scan.

As I previously wrote up in a recent post, today I am to start Menopur; which is another first for me. As our protocol for this FET has significantly changed from our last three (two FETs that resulted in chemical pregnancies, one fresh transfer that was cancelled at the very last minute), there are going to be a lot of firsts coming up. The next one being an endometrial scratch. I got the call a few minutes ago that I will be having the scratch done TOMORROW at 11am. I must say, they are great with the advance notice! I will be travelling to the clinic in the big city (where we have our transfers done) for this so I now need to book off from work as it will take most of the day and I was scheduled to work from 8-4. Thankfully, my boss has been great thus far is working my schedule around any appointments that arise.

I am currently waiting for another call, from our other clinic (where our monitoring is done) to let me know all of the instructions surrounding the scratch procedure. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little nervous as a friend has informed me (as has my RE) that it’s going to hurt like bloody murder. Great. My husband has plans out of town; which he’s ready to drop at a moment’s notice to take me if I want – the trouble with that is, I have a very strong resolve to try to keep our lives as normal as possible during all of this as the stress and enormity of it all is always extremely overwhelming. I don’t want this to be our lives. I want there to be more for the both of us through this. His plans out of town are for something that he looks forward to on a yearly basis, all of his friends from near and far are coming for it and I don’t want to take that away from him. He’s offered, and made it very clear that this FET is his main priority right now (have I ever mentioned how damn amazing this man is?! He really is…). Now I just need to let him know if I’ll take him up on his offer; something I’m not even sure of yet.

So I guess I’ll get back to work for now as I’ve been distracted long enough and now my week is going to be shorter than expected already. Hope my instruction phone call comes in soon so I can start making decisions….what to do, what to do?….

The new plan.

First off, an update since my last post.

My last cycle came to an official end on Dec 31. I took this as a symbol of a fresh start with the new year – see you never fucking again 2016!! Hello 2017!

 I could feel the hormones wear off as the days passed and I got back to the gym a little bit which has helped incredibly with my mental health. That last cycle was a real bitch. I was most affected by side effects from the medication; from feeling the mood swings from hormones to having the skin on my neck blister and peel from the Viagra. It was awful but it’s what we do when we want something oh so much!

So finally, two weeks after starting birth control I made the call to our RE to find out the next step for us to take. As much as I had wanted to know our plan earlier, I needed time. Time to get my hormones levelled out, to get my head straight and to just chill the fuck out. I hadn’t even cried since finding out that our pregnancy was a chemical pregnancy and that it was ending again, I had shoved it all so deep down that although the emotions always seemed to feel right at the surface, they seemed to stay buried.

That changed the day I called the clinic. I had left a message for the receptionist to let her know that we had an early loss (my monitoring is completed at a different clinic in an entirely different city) and I was calling with regards to getting a plan in place for moving forward. She called back the next day looking for clarification and informed me that the last beta she had on my file was only 9 so it wasn’t a chemical nor was it an early miscarriage as 9 is technically a negative result. She went on to say that for it to be a chemical pregnancy, my beta would have needed to have at least gotten into the double digits. I quickly explained to her that my earlier betas HAD gotten into the double digits and that my beta of 9 was the final bloodwork I had completed before stopping meds.

You want to know how she replied? (you really don’t as I know anyone reading this blog is going to find this as awful of a response as I did)

“…Bummer.”

No joke.

She proceeded to ask if I wanted an appointment with the RE or if I just wanted him to write up another protocol and send it over. I quickly tried to ask for an appointment and say goodbye before hanging up as I could barely keep it together. I bawled – a big, heaving, ugly, sobbing cry. My phone immediately starting ringing again and I saw that she was calling back but there was no way I could answer so I let it go to voicemail. Then she called again, right after. I thought maybe she had realized what she had done and was calling to apologize. I listened to the voicemail and it said that she had just gotten a call after we hung up (it must have been her very next call because she was calling me back within 2 minutes) with a cancellation for 930am the next day and was wondering if I could make it as it is in the city 2 hours away. I immediately contacted my boss to take the day off and called her back to take the appointment.

I worked until midnight that night and was rather tired from my big sobfest but was up at 5am the next day to catch the bus, which took me to the train, which got me to the subway system that took me two blocks from the clinic. I made it a half hour early and waited in the waiting room with a number of other patients. I usually have no problem driving to the clinic; however, we had a solid 24+ hours of freezing rain and didn’t want to get my car into an accident on the busy highways.

My RE came out to the waiting room to get me himself and sat with me for over half an hour as we discussed our next plan. He’s amazing and every time I see him, I’m reminded of that. My RE cares about me and that alone means the world to me. He even told me that he wants to get me pregnant because he wants me to get him out of my life as soon as possible. He also told me that I’m a tough project for him – which is par for any kind of medical issues that I’ve had and I always hear this from Doctors; I kind of find it entertaining now, especially since I know he’s working super hard to finish this project. Between the afternoon that I got the last minute cancellation to the next morning at 0930am, my RE had met with the head Embryologist and his team to come up with a new plan for me and get new ideas.

He is still trying to avoid using Neupogen in my cycles so the plan we have moving forward is this:

  • They will be trying to mimic a natural cycle (which I have never had)
  • As I am on BC now, I will continue to take it for the usual 21 days and stop and have a bleed
  • I will call in my CD1
  • On CD3 I will start Menopur 75 units for 11 days (dose may be adjusted based on FSH levels)
  • Somewhere between CD3 – CD6 I will have an Endometrial Scratch done
  • After 11 days on Menopur, he will jack up the dose to 300 units for 3 days
  • I will then take 10,000 units of HCG
  • Three days later I will start on 50mg (1cc) of PIO shots
  • On day four of PIO, I will have another Matris Ultrasound to check the receptivity of my endometrial lining
  • On day four, I will also start 5 days of Medrol (corticosteroid)
  • If my Matris score is between 6-10, on day six of the PIO shots I will have the transfer

I have been fully warned that this may not work as there is no way to know how my endometrial lining will respond to these medications. He was worried that perhaps the Viagra is only creating a cosmetic effect for my lining; therefore, although it is getting thick enough the quality might be suffering. I had suggested the scratch, which he was supportive of, as well as Prednisolone but he was hesitant to us it. He has prescribed a different corticosteroid, Medrol, for the days surrounding the transfer.

Fingers crossed for this upcoming cycle. Let’s hope we’ve found the right steps to make it a successful one!

Officially non-viable. 

Due to the holidays being right in the middle of my beta needs, I had to wait 5 days from my last beta which was only 19 to confirm what the Doctors suspected. I had to get different paperwork to get my blood drawn at a local lab as both of my clinics are closed over the holiday. They had instructed me to go to my family doctor to have the HCG tested but when I called, I learned that they were closed even longer than my fertility clinics!!

I had spotting that started on Christmas Eve so I knew what to expect. I thought I would be able to escape having a miscarriage over Christmas – and I guess I still was for the most part but the spotting continued until Boxing Day before it stopped. Today, at 6 weeks pregnant, I was finally able to get my blood work done at a local lab that I found where I could check my results online; there was no way I was waiting another week for my Doctor to interpret my results.

I had confirmed with the nurse last time I spoke with her that if there was a significant drop and I was close to or less than 5, I could stop the meds. So…my beta came back this morning at 9  which is the significant drop they were waiting for – this pregnancy is confirmed to be non-viable and all of my medications have officially been stopped.

Did I mention that pregnant my sister-in-law who I haven’t seen in months (whom I was anxious about seeing because I had not seen her with a belly yet), showed up to Christmas Eve (the night I started spotting) wearing a Christmas shirt that said “Baby” with a candy cane heart across her stomach?! It hurt. I was already having a rough time with everything and already having anxiety about the holiday and that was like a kick in the stomach. AND SHE KNOWS WHAT WE’RE GOING THROUGH!!!! I’m not saying she shouldn’t be able to experience all of the fun and amazing aspects of pregnancy but maybe be a little bit more sensitive?! Her step-daughter (she has 4 step-children with her partner) even made a comment about how she had already worn the shirt twice this week, so it’s not even like she had JUST received the shirt and wanted to wear it for the first time.

I don’t think it’s all hit me yet. I pushed everything deep down over Christmas and slapped a smile on my face to put people at ease. Even though we told my family where things were headed,  it felt as though no one really understood. I don’t feel like anyone really understands that I am pregnant but now headed for yet another early miscarriage. I’m sorry, I know what I am experiencing is no where near as awful as seeing those ultrasounds or heartbeats and then finding out later that the baby has died,  but I’m still losing my baby. I’m still doing everything I can not to crumble into a million pieces.  It’s still devastating losing this pregnancy at 6 weeks as it’s the furthest we’ve ever made it. 

I’m going to try to go to sleep and find comfort in the fact that I’ve survived every hard situation in my life to this point –  what’s one more… I’m strong and even though I feel alone in this grief right now,  I will get through it again.  

I Here we go again…

It has been a long two week wait.

I started testing at home at 9dp5dt and got a positive but it was very very faint. Not what I was hoping for at 9dp5dt. Seems as though everyone’s positives from the same timeline have dark pregnancy test lines that miracles are made of. Not me. Immediately I had a feeling we were headed toward a chemical pregnancy again.

I waited two days, until 11dp5dt to test again as I figured if it was going to be viable, it would be darker and if not, it would be getting lighter with the two day wait. Lucky me – the test was pretty much the exact same darkness as the first. WTF is that?!

Another two days passed and on 13dp5dt I took another home pregnancy test with absolute certainty that it would be a negative by this point. I was scheduled to go for bloodwork at my clinic the next morning so I wanted to be able to prepare myself; however, this time the line showed up darker and quicker. There was no doubt about it, things were progressing. I wasn’t fooled though, I knew that at 13dp5d if this has a chance of being viable, the test would be significantly darker by this stage, right?! But now there were feelings of hope going through my head. What if this is it?!

I went to the clinic bright and early, wondering what my Beta would come back at. Last cycle, I had tested the day before bloods and it came back negative. My beta registered at 14 the following day (chemical pregnancy/early miscarriage #1). I figured with the HPT line being as dark as it was, my beta would be higher, but still lower than it should be. Let me tell you how fucking surprised I was to find out that my beta for this cycle was ALSO AT 14!!! How the fuck does that happen??? I used the same brand of test, tested in the morning, and did everything the same as last cycle with two significantly different HPT results but exact same Beta!

I went back again today to complete a follow up beta – it has come back at 19. Looks like this most likely will not be a viable pregnancy again. I am 5 weeks today. I have been instructed to keep taking my meds and I’ll have to go in to see my family doctor at some point over the holidays to have another Beta completed to ensure that my levels are dropping (as my clinic will be closed after tomorrow).

Fuck.

Fuckity fuck fuck.

Merry Christmas to us…

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…