The Catch Up – The TWW Begins (pt. 5 of 5)

Following my FET on Tuesday Feb. 6th, I was put on bedrest for three days and as I had taken Friday off as well, that day pretty much was spent watching Netflix as well. I am going to list my symptom spotting below, day by day, as this is what I use to look back on from cycle to cycle for reference.

1dp5dt – I was having twinges/full feeling in my uterus area, a headache, I was gassy, had a headache, and my breasts were definitely tender; though, I assume that is from all of the progesterone I have been taking.

2dp5dt – Continued having twinges/full feeling in uterus area, woke up early and couldn’t get back to sleep, vivid dreams, sore/dry throat, congested, cried easily, peeing a lot, one dizzy spell, mild breast tenderness.

3dp5dt – full feeling, twinges/cramping, woke up early again, sore/dry throat, runny nose, watery mouth, nausea began in afternoon, hip pain, shooting pain in left breast, mild breast tenderness, shortness of breath, shooting pain in vagina (lightening crotch as I’ve seen it called lol).

4dp5dt – full feeling starting in afternoon, queasy, mild disinterest in food, woke up multiple times throughout the night, twinges, sweating/hot flashes, stuffy nose, dry throat, watery mouth, tired, shortness of breath, random bout of heart racing while resting, hip pain, mild back pain, gassy, sore vagina, gentle stabbing feeling in uterus.

5dp5dt – vivid dreams, woke up early, full feeling, runny/stuffy nose, sensitive nipples, nausea (almost threw up due to mucous), minor sensitivity to smells, dizzy, nipple zaps, burpy/gassy, cramps, sore lower back, sore hips, sore legs, hot flashes. *becoming hopeful about this cycle*

6dp5dt – woke up early, hot at night, full/pulling feeling in uterus, sharp twinges, nausea that varied throughout the day, smells are overwhelming, cramping, stuffy nose, cramps that feels like burning, bloated, headache, shortness of breath, get tired easily, sweating after minor activity, very cold at bedtime.

7dp5dt – stuffy nose, cough, woke up early, cramping that feels like burning, nausea (gagged on vitamines), shortness of breath, slight disinterest in food, sore back, very tired, smells still somewhat overwhelming, shooting pain in uterus when standing quickly (twice), feeling cold, irritable, left nipple is larger.

8dp5dt – nauseous all day, dizzy, smells slightly overwhelming at times, feeling cold, shooting pain when standing (once), tired, sore back, irritable, headache, sweating after minimal activity, crampy/burning feeling, slightly more emotional.

9dp5dt – woke up early, cramping/burning feeling, bloated, pulling feeling, stuffy nose, vivid dreams, night sweats, dizziness, lightning crotch, shortness of breath, tired midday, hip pain, metallic taste in mouth, heartburn, nauseous at times (most often after activity or eating), itchy nipple, appetite increasing in comparison to previous few days, constipated. *starting to get worried as symptoms seem to be lessening, are not as consistent throughout the day*

So that’s it for now, as usual the past nine days of my (literal) two week wait have been an absolute rollercoaster ride of emotions. At times I am extremely hopeful, at times I assume that if it did work it is now ending anyway as a chemical pregnancy, then there are other times I find myself imaginging that this will work and thinking about the future. I wish I could sleep through the entire two weeks so that I don’t have to go through the mental anguish of it all.

Either way, I go for my beta testing on 14dp5dt, which is coming up (EVER SO SLOWLY!!) on Tuesday Feb 20th…

Bah!

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The Catch Up – FET Cycle #6 (pt. 4 of 5)

After our mock cycle, which ended at the start to mid-December, we took a short break over the Christmas Holiday so that we would not be stressed out during that time of year. We were instructed to call the clinic on Jan 2nd to see what our next steps were.

Over the holiday, I did not get a withdrawal bleed from the mock cycle; which, had me quite worried as that had never happened before. Mind you, being that I don’t get a natural cycle, I wasn’t entirely shocked. The timing was awesome considering both of my clinics (the big clinic and my monitoring clinic) were obviously closed the whole time; so I turned to Dr. Google and determined that the likely cause was because I was not taking any progesterone with the mock cycle. When I called them on Jan 2nd, the nurse told me she would talk to the Doctor and get back to me. When she did, she informed me that I was to go in the following Tuesday for an ultrasound and bloods, just to see where I was at.

When I went in the next week, they did a ‘quick’ scan (as quick as they can be when they ALWAYS have difficulty finding my ovaries) and bloods, then proceeded to tell me that they needed my and my husband’s yearly bloodwork to be completed and consent forms to be signed (and witnessed at the clinic) before we could move forward on another cycle. Now, this doesn’t phase me whatsoever; however, my husband has an intense fear of needles – I give myself all of my injections as he doesn’t even like to see it (that being said, he has offered repeatedly to help if needed, I’ve just refused as he’d probably pass out or something HA!). Thankfully, over the years, I seem to have gotten it through to him that he needs to suck it up for his ONCE A YEAR bloodwork, and he only complained minimally. So once we had gotten through those tasks, we were told my scans were fine and I could begin a cycle as soon as the other results were in. I was told to expect to be waiting approx. 2 weeks for the results, which had me a little bit worried as February was a very busy month for us with my husband having numerous kidney stone procedures and appointments.

*Side note on the kidney stones* – folks, I need to admit here that I had assumed my husband’s pain tolerance was rather low, especially since he has been complaining about his kidney stone pain for nearly a year now while waiting for all sorts of various Doctor/Specialist appointments. Turns out I owed him a huge apology. He ended up in the Hospital Emergency Room one night and while we were there, the ER Doctor informed us that two other men were in that evening with kidney stones that measured 0.4cm; however, my husband’s largest (as he has many) was measuring 1.7cm and was completely blocking his ureter. She didn’t know how he had managed to not come in prior to that.

Now, back to the cycle… our bloodwork came back within a week and we were given the go ahead to start an FET cycle. As I do not have a natural cycle, I was told to just pick a day I wanted to start. I picked two days later. So on Friday Jan. 19, I returned to the monitoring clinic and had another scan and round of bloodwork that they were considering CD 3. I heard back that afternoon with the following protocol:

  • Estrace tablets (vaginally) 2mg twice per day for the first 5 days, then increase to 4mg twice per day
  • Estradot Patches 100mg per day
  • Aspirin 81mg/Prenatal vitamin/Vit E/Vit B
  • After 5 days, first intrauterine infusion of Neupogen 300IU, repeated every 3 days (3 infusions total)
  • Five days before transfer, begin taking Endometrin Vaginal Suppositories 100mg three times per day AND Progesterone in Oil 50mg (or 1cc) every other day

I feel the need to share a little about my Neupogen Infusions this time around; actually, to be more precise, my first Neupogen Infusion for this cycle. For my mock cycle, my Doctor was the one who complete all three of my infusions, so when a female Doctor walked in an introduced herself, I was taken aback. THEN, the things that came out of this woman’s mouth had me in shock! As she was getting prepared, she was making small talk and asking me about my previous experience with the infusions. I told her that I had experienced some severe back spasms following my first infusion but had not had any on the susequent treatments. I carried on to tell her that it wasn’t the spasms I was concerned with at that moment, it was the pain of having the catheter forced through my cervix that was giving me some anxiety. She proceeded to tell me that people don’t usually feel the catheter at all and that I must be sensitive. Which she then proceeded to follow up with “you should definitely get yourself an early epidural then if you can’t even handle this!”

I could not believe she had the audacity to say that to me, knowing what field she is working in, and it’s not a fucking guarantee that I’ll ever even make it to that stage!! She then gets busy doing the infusion (which hilariously enough I didn’t actually feel this time) and states “you must be taking estrogen vaginally, looks like a smurf down here!” WHAT!? Keeping in mind my husband and I have actually made numerous jokes about my smurf vagina when I am taking estrogen, this was coming from a medical professional who currently had her face between my legs – and who had already JUST insulted me. I was shocked to say the least. Thankfully, I had two different Doctors for my subsequent Neupogen infusions and I never saw that woman again.

I didn’t have another scan to check my lining until two hours before my third Neupopgen Infusion, so I was a little worried not being monitored more regularly.

The morning of that scan, everything was seeming to go wrong. My drive to the clinic takes approx. 2 hours, depending on traffic and depending on what our crazy Canadian winter happens to be dishing out that day for weather. Thankfully, although it was cold, the snow seemed to be holding off and I made it to my appointment right on time – where I proceeded to wait for over an hour to be called back for my scan. I’m pretty sure they forgot about me, so when I was the last person in the waiting room, I kindly reminded them that I was there. They took me back and had the quick scan, unfortunately the ultrasound technicians that the big clinic don’t tell you what your measurement is, so I had to wait again to speak to a nurse. While I was waiting, I went to the front desk to pay for my Neupogen Infusion. As soon as the payment went throuogh, the nurse came to get me, and informed me that I would need to get a refund. I was so confused, when she got me back to her office, she told me that my lining was at 8mm!!!!! I know this might not seem too crazy for most of you, but 7mm was nearly impossible for me to reach, I had never ever seen 8mm before!

She instructed me that rather than have my third Neupogen infusion, I was to start the progesterone that day, and I would be in on Friday for transfer. I was so happy. I went to get my refund, and then left. As my luck would dictate, I was called by the nurse approx. 10 minutes later and informed that I would need to do the third infusion, as Friday was took booked up for transfers, and they would need to push me to the following Tuesday; therefore, another Neupogen infusion and a delay in starting the progesterone. She asked that I come back the next day for the Neupogen, but I told her I was just around the block, and would return in ten minutes to have it done.

I was told to return the following Sunday to have a Matris Scan completed to check the quality of my lining. The results came back the following day at 7/10, which is standard for me. I was scheduled for my transfer at 12:45 on Tues February 6th.

The transfer went off without a hitch, and I remained on bedrest for three days as per my Doctor’s orders.

The Catch Up – FET Cycle #5 (pt. 2 of 5)

We’re going to flashback to September/October 2017 now and I’m going to take a quick minute to update you all on FET cycle #5.

We started our cycle shortly after the start of September as we wanted the summer off to just relax. I had done the same thing the year prior and I ended up having the best summer ever. This summer was really nice as well and we got to do a number of camping trips, cottage weekends, visits with friends and family; which turned out to be exactly what we were looking for.

So once September started, we chose to start trying again. This cycle, they had me on The following meds:

– CD 3-7: Estrace 2mg twice per day (vaginally) and Estradot patch 100mg every day

– CD 8-End: Estrace increase to 4mg twice per day (vaginally) and Estradot patch 100mg every day

– CD 15-16: Added Prgesterone in Oil (25mg or 0.5cc) every night @ 7pm

– CD 17-End: Increased Progesterone in Oil (50mg or 1cc) every night @ 7pm and added Endometrin Progesterone Vaginal Suppositories 100mg twice per day

– CD 18-22: Added Medrol (corticosteroids)

– CD 18-End: Added Fragmin (heparin injection) daily

Two days before transfer, I had another Matris ultrasound done to check my lining and the score came back at 7/10 (lowest they’ll transfer with is a 6/10).

Although they initially measured my lining at 7mm at my monitoring clinic, we ended up transferring with a lining of 6.5. (Scans at monitoring clinic tend to read slightly thicker, RE thinks their machine might be older or they are doing scans a bit differently.

We transferred a single embryo (not allowed to transfer more than one per cycle due to local regulations) on CD 20. I had to wait 14 days to complete our first Beta and cracked around 7dp5dt and took a HPT…BFN. I honestly hadn’t had high expectations but was still crushed.

Symptoms during that wait were petty all over the place, but I don’t doubt it was because of all of the different meds I was taking. Here was my list: nauseated on and off, some odd twinges at times, crap sleep, tender boobs, and of course I caught a cold at that time (which is a guaranteed TWW issue for me, without fail).

However, the cycle was a bust. Again. Man, infertility really wears a person down (was going to write ‘wears a person thin’ HA(!) that’s the opposite of what I’m getting!

The Catch Up – Going MIA (pt. 1 of 5)

It’s been five months, FIVE(!) since I’ve written here. This is due to a few different reasons; so let me explain…

One: My tablet sucked. Everything was slow and I would type something out and then have to sit there and wait for the words to actually appear on the screen. This was extremely frustrating to deal with; especially since the moments when I was wanting to write the most, I usually wasn’t in the best of headspace. That being said, after Christmas there was a significant sale on a new tablet that I wanted, so I bit the bullet and treated myself; I had my sister order the tablet for me as she lives in the and town as this store and was willing to pick it up rather than pay for shipping. Unfortunately, this didn’t go according to plan.

The company I was forced to order from (everyone else was already sold out) processed the order but didn’t actually have any in stock; which I was actually perfectly ok waiting for as I still wanted to sell my old tablet. Well fast forward to 6 weeks, many phone calls, emails, and store visits later and I still did not have my new tablet. They initially told me that it would be in stock in a approx 2 weeks. Then, they told me that by Jan 28th it would be in. At this point I had been looking at their current sales flyer and noticed that they had the tablet on sale again (although nowhere close to the discount I got during Boxing Day sales) so how the actual heck could they have something on sale that they couldn’t actually seem to get in stock?! My sister went back to the store on Jan 31 and was then told that they hadn’t gotten their stock in and that we were now looking at receiving it FEBRUARY 26!! That’s TWO months after I ordered it, with no guarantee that it would be in then.

My sister very generously offered to cancel the order and purchase the tablet from a different store for me and cover the difference of how much I had gotten it on sale for. Although it was a very kind offer, I in no way wanted this to cost her anything as she had done everything as a favour to me already. I told her I would wait until the end of February and just see how it all played out.

A week later, while sitting on bed rest from a recent FET (more on this later), I was startled by a knock at my door. My amazing sister had sneakily cancelled my order and purchased me my tablet from Amazon and had it shipped right to me! I have to tell you, I cried. A lot. I phone her immediately and all she said was that she wanted me to have something to do while I was on bed rest. Oh I cried so hard. She laughed but then told me to stop crying because she was at work and I was going to make her cry too!

Two: In addition to having a shitty tablet to use, I had done a lot of my blogging over the years while at work; however, the past while has just been super busy and seems as though there is no time for it anymore.

Three: Lacking motivation. It’s been hard for me to find the motivation to write a woke lot over the past few months as I feel like it’s just been blow after blow for us in this journey. That being said, it is time that I start again, I’ve felt the need for a while now and I’m ready.

So here I am, back at it, with a few more posts coming to tell you about life over the past five months.

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 😂. 

FET#3 – Cycle Day 30 (?)

I’ve lost track but I think it’s day 30?! It feels as though a lot has happened since I last made time for this keyboard and posted an update on Cycle Day 8; I think I’m overdue, so I’ll start right where I left off.

On CD 10 I returned to the clinic for another scan and bloods. My lining stuck true to it’s nature and had only grown to 4.3mm. The clinic called that afternoon and instructed me to stay on the same dose of Menopur as planned and return on CD 14 for another check. Well a lot of good that seemed to do, when I returned for a lining check, my measurement was 3.6mm!!!!!! WTF?! I resigned myself to having this cycle cancelled like our fresh cycle had been. I had actually convinced myself two appointments ago that they would call to cancel so this was the deciding factor, I figured. How could it not be?! We had given Menopur a try but let’s face it, my lining was not responding to it and it was time to cut our losses.

When they called that afternoon and the nurse gave me instructions to stop the Menopur, as expected; however, I was a little shocked when she told me to start taking 8mg Estogen (vaginally) per day and start with 100mg Estradot patches every day. Wait, what?! They were continuing my cycle but I just convinced myself it was a last ditch effort before they cancel and waste the whole thing. I did as instructed and was asked to return on CD 21 for another scan and bloods. Let me tell you, my last post talked about the side effects of being a constant blubbery mess; well, that was absolutely caused by the Menopur. The day I stopped taking it, I stopped crying but as the Estrogen entered my body – the bitchiness started – something my husband would agree with lol.

 

Anyway, as I drove to the clinic at 5:50am on CD21, I resigned myself one more time for them cancelling the cycle later that day and went into the scan with ZERO expectations.

Can you imagine my damn surprise when the nurse informed me that my lining was over 7mm! Let me just say this, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS THING WE CALL THE HUMAN BODY. I don’t get how it works but for once mine decided to show up to the fucking party!!! A few tears slipped out as I laid there having the scan done – and at one point the nurse had to tell me to lay my head back down and relax as she couldn’t get a clear picture – ha!

They called me later that day to tell me to continue on the same meds and then the next day I was to take a trigger shot (10,000mg of HCG) “just in case” my bum ovaries had decided to do something while I had been taking the Menopur. Two days after the trigger shot, I started PIO 50mg each evening. Three days after that, I was scheduled for another Matris Scan to check the quality of my lining and I began taking Medrol (a type of prednisone) that I am to be on for 5 days total. The scan results came back the next day and my result was 7 out of 10! Anything over 7 is considered good. Our last cycle, my RE transferred even though my results came back at 6 out of 10 because with my shitty lining, he figured it was the best we were ever going to achieve, so needless to say, I was pretty pumped.

Finally, on CD 29 (?) we went in for our FET #3! They were calling for a huge winter storm in our area throughout the day of our transfer yesterday so we only drove halfway and took the train for the second half of our trip as the highway can get quite messy in bad weather. By some miracle though, the storm didn’t really start until we got back home. Our transfer went off without a hitch this time and for now I am officially PUPO again.

Fingers crossed yet 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…