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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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!

FET Cycle #1 – 2dp5dt

Thank you all for the good luck wishes…it seems to have helped!

On Friday, my husband and I awoke at 7am to get ready for the day. We were asked to arrive at the clinic in the city for 10:30, so due to morning traffic, we thought it would be best to leave by 7:50 to ensure we would not be stressed out by any traffic jams. We arrived in good time, getting to the clinic minutes after 10am. After checking in, we sat in the waiting room and spent time people watching.

My acupuncturist had hooked me up with another acupuncturist in the city so that I could have a treatment on the day of transfer and it turns out that they have a good working relationship with the clinic so they come in and do a pre and post transfer acupuncture session. Once she arrived, we introduced ourselves and she took control of everything from that point on. As this was our first ever transfer, she let them know that we were having acupuncture done and got us all set up in a recovery chair. The nurse gave my husband and I directions to put on the procedure gowns but explained it by saying – just do it like last time. I had to explain to her that although we’re doing a frozen embryo transfer, we have never done a (fresh) transfer before. She then stated, well – then it’s just the same as when you had the egg retrieval done. Again, I had the pleasure of explaining that we have never been through an egg retrieval as we had to use donor eggs right off the bat. She apologized and finally took the time to walk us through everything in the manner she should have in the first place.

Following the minor hiccup, the acupuncturist talked me through some deep breathing exercises and then proceeded to start the acupuncture treatment. I had needles from the top of my head to the top of my foot but I found it to be extremely relaxing.I had also finished the mandatory 1 liter of water that needed to be ingested 1 hour prior to the appointment…so I REALLY had to pee at this point. I said to my husband, who was waiting with me, that due to the acupuncture and the strong desire to pee myself – I really didn’t have any mental capacity left over to worry about what was about to happen. We were still feeling uncertain that my lining was even ready for the transfer so we had been just keeping our fingers crossed for the last few days.

After having the needles in for approx. 25 minutes, the acupuncturist removed them and left to wait in the waiting room until we were ready for our post treatment. Unfortunately, once the needles were out – I REALLY REALLY had to pee and couldn’t stop thinking about it. The nurse gave me permission to have a little pee – just one cup. I can’t tell you how tempted I was to just let it ALL out; however, I followed the strict orders. The relief lasted maybe five minutes before the immense pressure was back…

The clinic was running a little bit behind, something you never want to hear when you have to pee so badly but thankfully my Doctor was telling the nurse that he HAD to be out of the office by noon so they couldn’t delay much longer. I knew I loved this Doctor for a reason, haha!

They took us back to the procedure room after my husband and I had donned our trendy gowns, caps and booties (socks for me). It was funny watching my husband getting all squeamish as he does NOT do well with anything medical really… We sat chatting while the ultrasound nurse checked that my bladder was full, which it absolutely was and thankfully she agreed. Then we waited for the doctor to arrive. It was funny, they have this little fogged glass window in the room that leads directly to the embryo lab so they just open the window and request the embryo needed. The Doctor told me we had a grade 5 blastocyst which apparently is really good! He inserted the catheter and the speculum and before we knew it, they were handing us a printed out photo of the embryo in my uterus!

After a few minutes, they walked me back to the recovery area where I had to wait 5-10 minutes before I could go pee and gave me my medication instructions while I was waiting. I am to continue on will all of my meds as usual (prenatal vitamins, Vitamin B complex, Estrace tablets vaginally 3x/day, Edometrin Vaginal suppositories 2x/day,  Estrogen patch 100mg every other day, Progesterone In Oil 50mg 1/day). I lasted about 6 minutes before running to the washroom and it was possibly the longest pee of my life. Once my bladder was empty, the acupuncturist proceeded to complete my post-procedure treatment and a half hour later I was free to go!
I have strict instructions to do as little as possible for the weekend and I’m considering taking an extra day off on Monday just in case. My husband has been taken great care of me and taking on all of the extra duties around the house for a few days. The hardest part of this is not cuddling with my puppy on the couch as she is a 140lb furnace when she cuddles and I’m to avoid any excess sources of heat as my body temperature tends to run a little high anyway. Other than that, we have instructions not to have sex for two weeks, no baths – only showers, and to return to the clinic on Oct 11th for the pregnancy test.

I am officially PUPO and I must say it’s a super weird feeling. While relaxing all weekend I have been over analyzing every twinge I feel. I’m not really excited right now but a little bit of hope is starting to blossom….

My infuriating body

I wrote the following last Wednesday, Aug 3. I wasn’t sure if I would share it until last night when the saga continued ….

Some days I hate my body. There are times when I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning because of how I feel about my body. There are days when I could cry myself to sleep because of this body of mine…. And I feel helpless to change sometimes.

It might not be what most people are assuming right now. Yes, physically, I could stand to lose 5 pounds… or 20. Yes, I wish clothes fit me differently or that I was a few inches shorter or my hair was a little less flat…but that’s not at all what has such a profound effect on me. I’m talking about my body’s inability to do what it was designed to do. I resigned myself to need donor eggs because I was born with bum ovaries; however, I was told that with everything else going for me, we might be looking at a 70+%success rate with ivf and donor eggs. Now it’s been discovered I have an unresponsive lining. It stays real thin and they’re not entirely sure what to do for me.

In addition to all of this, I don’t get a natural period – only bleeding when I take a break from birth control hormones… Or that’s how it’s supposed to be. Today I started spotting for the second time in a week.

This might not seem like anything big but when I can’t seem to rely on my body to act normal even with meds coursing through my system, how the hell am I ever going to be able to trust my body when it counts.

Unfortunately it’s hitting me that I can’t. I have no trust in my body to do what it is supposed to do, to react how it’s supposed to react.

We all know that person who “if something could go wrong – it will” for them… Well, unfortunately that’s me. I’m that person that everyone knows. I’m tired of it and sometimes it just hits me at a low point and it’s hard to deal with. Today is one of those days.

Once I’m done my next cycle, I am cleared to go forward with an FET. For most people, that would mean a 4-5ish week wait…. Who knows what my body will surprise me with this time or how long I’ll actually end up waiting.

 

Written today Thursday, Aug. 11…

Well I ended up stopping my birth control and getting my period. It lasted from Wednesday to Tuesday which is NOT normal for me. Then, last night I started bleeding yet again; yet nothing so far this morning. WTF body?! Staaaaaaahp itttt!

Polyp Removal

T minus 2 days until I go in for my polyp removal. I had my consultation appointment last week and was able to book the removal for exactly a week later as I told them I wanted to move forward with an FET as quickly as possible!

The Doctor did a external and internal exam, a trans vaginal ultrasound, a culture and a pap….lucky me.

They explained the procedure to me and what will happen and then gave me my medications that I am to take on the day of the procedure. On med I take vaginally 4 hours before my appointment to help soften the cervix. The other ‘3’ I was to take orally one hour before my appointment to help with pain, infection prevention, etc.; however, due to my Codeine allergy, he was not able to give me the oral pain medication to take – so now I get nothing for that. I’m a little nervous about how much this might hurt. I will be placed under conscious sedation at least, but I’ll be awake for the whole thing.

I also have to fast for 8 hours before my 1pm appointment so I will be SO SO hungry and thirsty. I’m hoping we can at least start moving forward with an FET shortly after this so fingers crossed we get the go ahead!!!

One step forward…

After being sent for a(nother) sonohystogram, it has been confirmed that I have a small polyp in my uterine lining. They feel as though it is nothing to be concerned about; however, it will need to be removed before we are able to move forward with another cycle. My RE has put in a referral with a gynecologist  in the city to have this done as soon as possible. I don’t believe there is too much of a healing time after such a procedure so hopefully this won’t delay thing too long. If anyone has experience with this procedure – any and all info would be greatly appreciated!

The other thing my RE has discussed with me is adding Neupogen (white cell growth factor) to our next cycle. He has not used this protocol with a patient yet but some of the other RE’s in his office have done so – all with positive outcomes. Has anyone had any experience with using Neupogen for lining development? How did it affect your lining?

Still no timeframe for our next cycle – man I just want a plan.