FET #3 – My journey through the 2WW.

(Written March 28th, 2017)

My last two weeks have been long – to say the least. We had our transfer on March 14th – hubby’s birthday. I had taken the rest of the week off to relax as my RE had recommended being on bed rest from Tuesday after transfer to Thursday anyway. The first day and a half I felt no different than usual; however, after that I started feeling the cramping and twinges. I had all sorts of symptoms as the two week wait progressed; including: cramping, twinges, nausea, headaches, bloating, tender and enlarged breasts, sensitive teeth, dizziness, heart palpitations, crazy vivid dreams, tiredness, and I was constantly aware of something going on in my uterus/lower abdomen area.

(Written April 11, 2017 – I started writing this post fourteen days ago and have been struggling to keep with it and finish putting my thoughts down in writing; however, I will try to get everything out of this brain of mine today.)

Regardless of all of the symptoms that I listed above, I had convinced myself that this cycle had not worked. This was our third frozen embryo transfer, with some degree of implantation occurring in the first two transfers, I struggled with the odds of a third cycle having implantation – just based on IVF statistics alone. My hubby on the other hand, was staying positive for the both of us; he couldn’t even begin to believe that the cycle hadn’t worked considering all of the symptoms I had been experiencing.


On 5dp5dt and 6dp5dt I had been tempted to test at home but I was able to hold off. I have always tested before going to the clinic for my official blood test day; often testing 4+ times before beta. This time; however, I was so convinced that it had not worked that I didn’t want the fantasy to be shattered any earlier than it had to be so I held off – not one single at home test was taken. I waited the whole FOURTEEN days (not 8, not 10, not 12….FOURTEEN). Luckily test day fell on a day that I was off so I knew I would be able to take time after getting the news which is usually not the case for me.

I drove to the clinic bright and early that morning and had my blood taken and was on my way back home within 3 minutes. I was the only person in the waiting area that morning which seemed really odd. I had asked a friend to lunch that day so that I would have some sort of distraction while my husband was sleeping from his midnight shift as I expected the call to come in the late afternoon as it usually does. By 9:45 my phone was ringing and it was the clinic. The fantasy of the two week wait had come to a dead halt – it was negative. No matter how much you prepare yourself, it doesn’t make it any easier. And oddly enough, even with my previous chemical pregnancies there had always been a smidgen of hope after receiving that first call, even if the numbers didn’t look good, at least they were there.

This brings me to the past two weeks. My hormones took a few days to balance out, the bleeding came hard and fast after stopping the meds and lasted for only three days. I usually start birth control right after each cycle as I don’t have a natural cycle and the pills have always supplemented my hormones; however, this time still have not yet started them. I’m not sure if I’m just feeling rebellious or want to see what my body will do without them…but I should probably consult my RE eventually. My clinic does not reach out to me after a failed cycle. My beta phone calls are the last I hear from anyone – and those are done at a monitoring clinic. I’ll need to get in touch with them soon but I feel like we’re going to be taking a little bit of a break for now as our house is in need of new shingles on the roof and that doesn’t come cheap. Unfortunately, like many others in this world of infertility, we’re going to have to pick between a roof and a cycle at this point and if we don’t get a roof soon, water could cause more damage and make things even more expensive in the future. Life choices suck and being an adult is hard. I’m done for today.

I’m not sure about you… But I feel like this pic of duct tape represents me a lot throughout this whole process 😂. 

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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!

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…

A severe case of the [infertility] Mondays.

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Oh, do I ever feel like shit today. This Viagra is kicking my ass – I have a nearly constant headache, the nausea has ramped up to 1000%, I had a rash yesterday evening that sprawled across my neck and was super itchy (thankfully gone today), I want to cry rather frequently, and frankly I’m tired of feeling fat.

Pre-fertility treatments, I was avidly going to the gym 4 days/week. I like to push myself and I sweat like a monster when I’m there. I could run 5k no problem and I had a number of friends that I would push through these workouts/runs with me. I miss it, a lot. The problem is that my body already runs at a high temperature and I sweat very easily. As we all know in the infertility world, these little embryos don’t like high temperature places so I have to do everything I can to try to keep my body from going into that zone – which means I’ve put my gym membership on hold. I still take my dog for walks, so technically I’m still being active to help blood flow; but I hate watching my girlfriends go to the gym together and complete the workout routines that I created for them, knowing that they’re surpassing me. I hate watching my husband leave for the gym as I sit around feeling like a blob.

I know deep down that I could safely do some moderate exercises but I don’t know how to tone it down without pushing myself further. Let’s be clear, I’m not one of those women in fitness magazines who’s completely toned and buff (I’d love to be but I could never eat the way that it necessary), but I was definitely in shape and I felt strong. I miss that. I hate the added weight on my body that the emotional eating has caused. I hate losing muscle tone. I hate thinking about how my husband might see me differently (also – I fully know that this is me projecting my feelings onto him because he has never made me feel anything less than beautiful) but it’s hard because we are both healthy and active people; or at least I WAS.

I hate that my husband comes home to someone laying on the couch all the time because I feel like junk from these meds. I hate that I’m tempted to call in sick to work every day because I don’t want to face it – but in reality, knowing that I have to…6b5fc64c31dc3e09acce0928c9a03347-2

I just can’t wait until I’m done with this Viagra, maybe that’ll help me feel better. Fingers crossed.

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