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?….

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FET Cycle #1 – 6dp5dt

Oh. My. Goodness. This has been the longest two weeks ever. OH WAIT, I’m only six days in.

I really don’t know how much longer I can wait at this point but I’m torn. The longer I wait to take the test, the longer I can hold onto the hope that it worked; however, as soon as I see that negative I know it’s over for this cycle.

 I was silly and bought some pregnancy tests the other day, I should have waited longer as then they wouldn’t even be in the house and testing early wouldn’t have been an option.

I read an article on Pinterest yesterday called “The 8 Stages of the Two Week Wait” and it couldn’t have been more accurate:

  • The No Big Deal stage
  • The OMG I just know I’m pregnant stage
  • The Ugh, I just don’t think I’m pregnant stage
  • The Google is my best friend stage
  • The Boycott Google stage
  • The Ok, let’s take a home pregnancy test stage
  • The Gloom and self pity stage

And wait for it….

  • The Total insanity stage

This is my first ever two week wait and it fits me perfectly so far.

Now I’m just stuck at the stage of taking a home pregnancy test stage – to test or not to test, that is the question.

FET Cycle #1

So I started this post nearly two weeks ago, as a significant amount of time has passed, it will be a long one that will cover the entire period of time…

So I’m just over a week past CD1 of our first ever FET. I called the clinic last Thursday to call in my CD1 and to let them know I had gotten my period on the previous evening. I was scheduled for a baseline ultrasound and bloods the following morning – thankfully, my day off. At the clinic, the nurse informed me that my lining was currently at 5mm! I see this as being good as last time it was only three. Once I got home; however, I started thinking that since I was still bleeding heavily, it’s most likely that the measurement will go down before my lining starts to build up again.

The nurse called me that afternoon to instruct me to start my medication the next morning. I am to take Viagra 4x/day (vaginally) to help with blood flow to the uterus. I am also wearing an Estrogen patch, 100mg that I replace every 2 days. I am also taking the low dose Aspirin 81mg daily, along with the pre-natal vitamins, Vitamin E and Vitamin B Complex.

I started attending acupuncture appointments again and my acupuncturist has been extremely supportive and caring. She has me going in every 3 days or so and is doing what she can to help blood flow to my uterus in hopes that it will be more responsive this time. She has also been trying to reduce some of the side effects I have been having from the Viagra. Oh my – the nausea has been pretty consistent, along with the headaches and random bouts of becoming very flush.

I had a nine days before my next lining check and it measured at 6.6mm. Again, they called me a few hours after the ultrasound to tell me to continue taking all of the same meds as my Doctor wants my lining to be thicker. I was still struggling with the Viagra side effects pretty badly so I was frustrated that they were extending that one longer than expected. I was asked to return two days later for my next lining check.

I drove the 50 minutes to my monitoring clinic at 6am so that I could return back to work for 8. While I was getting the trans-vaginal ultrasound, the nurse told me that she had two measurements coming in over 7mm, and one measurement even thicker than that. I shed a few tears as I had prepared myself for bad news but hadn’t expected to hear something positive! Unfortunately, she had the other ultrasound tech come in to double check and I could tell something was amiss. She left the room and after I changed, I walked out and found three of them conferring with one another. The first nurse came to me and told me that it seems my lining was only measuring closer to 6mm. I left stunned and headed to work. They then directed me to add Estrace tablets 3x/day and stop taking the Viagra.

Another four days pass before my next check but the nurse had that morning told me my lining was again measuring above 7. I explained what had happened at my previous appointment but she assured me that all of her measurements were coming in thick enough. Afterwards, the called to tell me to start taking my Progesterone in Oil shots (25mg/day) for three days. I was then to increase the POI dose to 50mg and begin taking Endometrine vaginal suppositories 2x/day.

So that was last Saturday. I have been taking all of my meds & vitamins, eating healthy, going to acupuncture, using a heating pad and getting light exercise. I am now sitting here the night before transfer, hoping that tomorrow morning – after driving two hours to the clinic in the city – my lining will actually be thick enough and of good enough quality to follow through with our scheduled transfer. I hope that tomorrow night, I start my two week wait and can be considered PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise). Fingers crossed….. I’ll let you know.

Wish me luck xo

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!!!

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.

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

Moving forward

We just got an email telling us that we need to be calling in our cycle day one in May. Bah – this is getting real and I am beyond excited. We have been waiting for years to even start this process and within a month’s time, we begin.

Time to contact our lawyer and get the final piece of the pre-process done.