Monday, November 28, 2011

Night and freakin day

Wow, I'm still digesting everything from my two appointments today. I couldn't possibly have two more different experiences.

First things first, my lining increased to 11 and everything looks great. No fluid, no cysts, great lining, no bleeding or spotting for a few days now. When I texted W after the appointment the adjective he actually used was "amazing". Can you tell we haven't had things look this good in a while?

Oh, by the way, music is my current anxiety cure for the clinic. OK, maybe not a cure, but it sure helped to have some good tunes to sing along to on the way there. I even brought my headphones and listened between the walk from the parking garage to the waiting room. 

The appointment was fast and I headed off to work in a fantastic mood. The day went by fairly quickly and before I knew it I was headed off to my second appointment. W met me there and immediately things were different. I have been in this clinic once before for a support group so the waiting room was no big surprise in how it looked. What did surprise me was how many people were there. Holy crap!!! 

They took us back fairly quickly and into a fancy room. We sat on a comfortable couch and waited a few minutes for the nurse to come in. When she did she didn't have much to say since she figured I knew most of her usual spiel about infertility and treatment options. Dr. Gere came in shortly after. He gave me a warm greeting and sat down to talk to us. His questions were flying at me so fast I had a hard time. I felt like he wanted an answer in 5 seconds or less and I crumbled under this pressure. W interjected and answered a few questions for me. This is not what I am used to. I never feel rushed with Dr. S and at times I am the one who gets impatient. Ha, what a difference.

Dr. Gere asked me quickly about my history and then basically asked why I was there. I told him we were interested in his package deals (amazing deals) and that I felt like I would like to be a bit more aggressive about things.

He first said I was going to get pregnant this cycle and that we weren't going to need him. I didn't get the impression he would have done things differently from Dr. S with the exception of the fluid. He said he would have used a transfer catheter to drain the fluid and then would have continued with the transfer back in July. He quickly asked about IUI's and got it that we weren't interested. He said our best option to get pregnant would be IVF and that he would probably use an antagonist protocol with Follistim, Ganirelix, and Menopur. We would take the pill for a month (with some possible overlap of Lupron) and then once I got my period I'd start stims. That all sounded good to me. 

On to the ultrasound room we went. Even with wandy he was fast. My pulse and blood pressure were both higher than normal and it was good to know that I don't discriminate when it comes to fertility clinic anxiety. He said my lining was beautiful and that I was going to get pregnant. My ovaries were polycystic but I don't there was anything enlightening about the ultrasound. He said to me that he was more aggressive than most doctors, so I know I would be getting what I asked for. 

To make it all clear in my head I decided to summarize. Which doctor:

Is the best deal financially: Dr. Gere has package deals unlike my current clinic. Not sure about donated meds. They even have a money back package which is very appealing to me currently. The biggest thing is that Dr. S works for the University and has zero personal financial investment. Dr. Gere owns this clinic and two others in addition to a healing arts center that provides yoga, acupuncture, and many other services. 

Gives you his time and makes you not feel rushed: Dr. S In fact, when he called me to give me further directions this evening and gave me more of his time over the phone than Dr. G gave me in person today. He allows me to ask questions without me feeling pressured. Dr. Gere was rushing around that place like crazy. Dr. Gere's office had a revolving door feel. Granted the door is super nice, but man it feel like a factory in there. So many receptionists and patients in the room. Tons of nurses. We had to wait for a free room in order to do the ultrasound. There was actually a sign on the door in the ultrasound room that said if you have been waiting more than 15 minutes to remind them. They are so busy they forget about people?

Most optimistic: Dr. Gere and I loved it. I drove home convinced that we are going to get pregnant this cycle. 

Nicest office: Dr. Gere. Keurig machine in the waiting room, comfy couches, nice music, tons of reading material. A much better vibe than my current, somewhat ghetto office. 

Most aggressive in treatment: Dr. Gere and I feel like we may need this. At the same time, had we done the transfer with the fluid/polyps like Dr. Gere would have done, it would likely not work. I guess being aggressive isn't always the best. 

Most thorough: Dr. S. He fully informs me of everything and allows me to have a say in the decision making process. He often thinks out loud though which can be interesting. I know Dr. S has consulted the literature/research about me multiple times to guide his decisions. 

Treats each case individually: Dr. S. Dr. Gere didn't really seem to consider much about me specifically. He recommended the antagonist protocol since that is "what they have been doing a lot and what has been successful for many." 

I hope to not have to make any future decisions about who I will be using for my next round of IVF. There is a lot to process and digest, but it is good to know I have options. I feel great knowing that I could call either clinic and start another round of IVF if necessary. Let's hope I won't be doing any more and that this FET is the one. I really should take a page from Dr. G and keep convincing myself that this cycle is going to work. 

Out transfer has been pushed back one day to Tuesday. I started my IM progesterone tonight and the dosage is higher than last time. We did 2 ml and I know I will be feeling it tomorrow. I am starting to get really excited about everything. I should get a call tomorrow telling me what time the transfer is scheduled for and whether we will be doing assisted hatching or not.

8 more days!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving success

Our first time hosting Thanksgiving was a complete success. We had my sister, her husband, my mother, my step-father, my little brother, my mom's friend, and my Dad, so 9 people total. This was the first time my parents celebrated Thanksgiving together in 20 years. The turkey came out amazing and wasn't dry at all. All of the food was delicious and I got my appetite back just in time. We did end up forgetting the stuffing on the table, but nobody missed it. Next time we will consult our menu when we put the dishes out on the table. The table looked great, and I got some fun ideas from Pinterest.

I also made a pie. Can you tell what the design is without me telling you?
My sister, her husband and I went black Friday shopping late Thursday night. We went to Wal-Mart (not my favorite place, but my sister's favorite place) and it really wasn't as crazy as I expected. Most people were there to get TV's and I managed to get a good deal on a digital camera for my dad. I also got some DVD's for myself (4/5 seasons of Six Feet Under) cheap. It was so nice to be able to spend time with my sister but not have to be at her house. She and her husband both smoke cigarettes and he loves the T.V to be loud. He also doesn't like bright lights so we often sit in the glow of the T.V. Being at their house means sitting in a smoky, dark and loud environment. It was nice to be able to control things but also spend time with K. 

K and her hubby have been TTC since their wedding in July. When we were in Wal-Mart K had to go to the bathroom. When she came back she said, "I am thankful for my period on Thanksgiving" and I could tell she was super bummed. Although she hasn't been trying for long, I can still feel her disappointment about getting her period instead of a positive pregnancy test. I am feeling better about her trying and the possibility of her getting pregnant first. I think because it didn't happen her first month of trying, I will be OK with it. I really hope we both get pregnant soon so that our babies can have cousins close in age. 

When K came she brought a flash drive with her wedding photos on it. I was able to look through her pictures and am amazed by how ballooned I look from the IVF. Her wedding was July 21 and I had my retrieval the 12th. I look so puffy in all of the photos, and I'm so glad we captured those moments in my life forever. Oh well, no one else knew and no one asked me if I was pregnant at the wedding, so maybe I just see it because I know. 

In other news the bleeding has stopped. I now know it isn't my period, it just isn't the same. I was bleeding heavy on Tuesday and Wednesday and by Thursday it had slowed considerably. Friday and Saturday I had the tiniest bit of spotting and it was brown rather than red or pink like previously. Nothing so far today. W and I have talked a lot about what we want to do and it is difficult. I think the spotting and bleeding will be gone by Monday, but I worry what this has done to my lining. The hardest part it is seems nothing is ever ideal. This month the issue is spotting and bleeding, but next month who knows what it will be. Obviously we want the most ideal situation possible, but I don't think it's ever going to be ideal. We will see what Dr. S's opinion is.

My anxiety has declined tremendously and my nausea is much better. I have an appetite again and know I need to get back to the gym. I'm sad its Sunday, but looking forward to my appointments tomorrow. Hope everyone is relaxing and having a great weekend. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I am thankful for

Supportive, entertaining, amusing, and helpful bloggie friends. 

Josey from My Cheap Version of Therapy was generous enough to award me the Liebster Award. This one has been floating around many of the IF blogs I read and I am grateful to her. Apparently Liester means "dearest" or "beloved" and the award goes to blogs with fewer than 200 followers. Thanks Josey!! I can't believe your little one will be here so soon.

So, how it works is I get to nominate 5 bloggers. Some of these people may have been awarded already, but I love you too! Here goes:

New Year Mum who is such a sweet and supportive blogger. She could really use some love and support these days after a failed FET cycle. 

Beth at Always Looking for Something New. She is a great blogger who although dealing with IF talks about lots of other fun and interesting things. 

Bio Girl who entertains and amusing with her stories, especially those that involve her sweet little boy Henry.

Unaffected at for we are bound by symmetry who just got a BFP after a clinical trial IVF cycle. 


Kat at I'm Very Far Way who is pursuing IF treatments half way across the world. Check her out.  

Thanks again Josie!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Today's Appointment

I really need a cure for fertility clinic anxiety. The mix of Metformin, Estradiol and stress/anxiety is not working out so well for me. The estrogen leads to nausea which leads to Liz not eating a whole lot these days. The plus is that this also leads to my pants being a little looser, leaving a little extra room for our Thanksgiving feast. 

Any tips or hints to combat fertility clinic anxiety?

The clinic was empty today and I was the only person there. They had me undress from the waist down, gave me a real sheet to cover myself with, and I waited for Dr. S. He didn't take too long and immediately asked about the bleeding when he entered the room. I told him it's still going on and is heavy like a period. 

He then did the scan. My lining measured 6.5 and had a trilaminar stripe. He said this didn't correspond with me having a period. We talked about the dates I had spotting, how I had a positive OPK in October, and the plan for the future. He was confused that I was bleeding despite what my endometrium looked like. I never cease to have unexpected problems. 

We came up with a plan. The plan is for me to continue on the estradiol (vaginally rather than orally to help reduce nausea) and rescan on Monday. He sent me for blood work to measure progesterone, estrogen, and Vitamin D (per my request). If I am still bleeding or my lining has decreased on Monday we will cancel the cycle and look to do the FET with the Lupron protocol probably some time in January. If the bleeding has stopped and my lining is thicker, we will continue as planned and consider this bleeding "breakthrough bleeding" which apparently sometimes occurs on estrogen. I really don't know what the plan is if my lining stays the same, I guess that isn't very likely. 

So, my Monday will be spend at two different fertility clinics, getting two different ultrasounds. Doesn't that sound like a ton of fun? At least they aren't back-to-back. One appointment is at 8:30 and the other is at 2:00. Hopefully I can get some work done in between those times.

Until then I will be cooking, entertaining, black friday shopping (eek), spending time with family, relaxing, and trying to step away from thinking about this whole thing. I will instead focus on all the positive and great things I have going on in my life. I fully appreciate these things and am incredibly thankful. I got the sweetest card from a family of a little boy I work with today. It literally brought tears to my eyes (maybe hormones played a part) and made my day. A card like that beats any present any day. I hope everyone has a GREAT Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Leave it to my body to make up its own mind about things. I can't expect everything to go according to plan, can I?

I woke up to the tiniest bit of spotting. By 9:15 I was bleeding. By 10:00 I was ready to confirm it was my period. By 10:30 I was on the phone with my RE asking him if he still wanted me to come to my appointment tomorrow. Yeah, I made a lot of trips to the bathroom today. 

He said that the bleeding wasn't likely anything to be too concerned about, but that it may change our plans. Yeah, it definitely will. 

I'm bummed that things are going to change. There is a slim to zero chance we will be doing our FET on December 5th. 

On the other hand, I'm glad AF finally showed. I've NEVER skipped my period before, although I've had some cycles in the 40 day range. Today is 48 days since my D&C and hysteroscopy. It is 15 days since my last progesterone pill, so it is hard to say what is going on. 

When I was planning on a December 5th transfer I didn't think it was going to work. I didn't understand why I would skip my period for the first time ever and then transfer embryos something like 60 days later and expect them to hang around. I just wanted to complete this cycle regardless of the outcome. To move on and move forward from the IVF cycle from hell. 

I started Lupron for my original round of IVF last January. I never made it to stims. In July I started stims but never made it to transfer. I am SO READY to complete this IVF cycle already.

The fact that I actually started my period gives me hope and makes me much more optimistic for the success of this FET.  

I still have my appointment at 9:00 tomorrow. I'm hoping we can come up with a new plan that doesn't put us back by much. We had been considering 11/11 CD 1, so today is only 11 days after that. I would really like to complete 1 IVF cycle in 2011. Is that asking too much?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thought Vomit... Monday??!!

Upon completion of this post I realized it was more of  Thought Vomit Thursday (TVT) kind of post, but hey, it's only Monday so I'll leave off the bullets.

Wednesday's ultrasound appointment is looming. I'm trying to stay relaxed and calm about everything and some days I completely forget that we are currently in a "cycle." It doesn't seem real when all you do is pop a little pill at night (estradiol) and then forget about it. 

Speaking of those little pills... holy side effects. Who would think something so small could pack so much feisty?? My mornings are rough and I try not to lose it each day. Little things frustrate me to no end and I have ZERO patience. It goes well with working with 2 year olds, ha yeah right! The mornings are the worse and by the end of the day I feel much less feisty. 

My appointment with Dr. Gere is in less than a week and I really need to get my file sent over. I am hoping to tackle that tomorrow. I was super impressed that when they called to confirm my appointment that they had also called my insurance to see what was covered. Although the information was nothing new, it really was nice that they had taken the time. 

Last weekend I went to the spa with my friend Caitlin. She had a gift certificate for a massage and I had a guest pass so spent the time she was getting a massage running. Totally equivalent experiences. The steam room, sauna and hot tub were thoroughly enjoyed by both of us. 

Caitlin has a 15 month old little girl who W and I adore. We have been spending a lot of time with Caitlin, her husband J, and their little girl E. Most weekends we get together with them. There are times when it is hard to watch them love and kiss their little girl, but E lets W and I love and kiss her too, so it's not all that bad. 

I got a really nice complement at work today which made my day. It's nice to hear positive things about your work performance. Speaking of work, I'm going to try to branch out again and work with another child who had feeding issues. I will have more support this time and I feeling positive about trying again. 

We are hosting Thanksgiving on Thursday. We won't have too many people (9), but my sister is coming out and I am really looking forward to that. We have been in our house 13 months and she has visited 1 time. She is the type who likes to be in her own comfort zone. Even though it is only 3 hours away you would think it was 30. I'm anxiously awaiting her pregnancy announcement, but hopefully it won't be during Thanksgiving. She started trying in August and it's only a matter of time. As long as I'm not far behind her that's fine. 

I had some spotting this evening but it has gone away. I'm hoping it's nothing since it's brownish, so hopefully my lining is getting nice and cozy for our little totsicles. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Answers and a plan

Dr. S called on monday evening. He started to talk about protcols for the FET and I immediately interrupted him and said, "I think we might have a different problem." When I told him the spotting never turned into bleeding he wasn't really concerned. Here I was, stressing the f*&% out and he is all casual and says it's no biggie. He said with the D&C only being about 5 weeks prior he wouldn't have expected my lining to build up that much. He wanted to call my spotting on Friday as CD1 and start the frozen cycle.

He presented two option for the protcol. The first being estrogen only like I did previously. The other option involved suppressing me first with Lupron and then using the estrogen. He spent more time talking about the Lupron one. He told me when they discussed my case in conference that the Lupron seemed like the best idea. He then started to look at the calendar and count out the days only to find with the Lupron the transfer would fall the week after Christmas when there is a "skeleton crew" working.

I then asked if we could do the protocol without Lupron. He wasn't completely pleased at first but finally talked himself into it. By the end of the conversation he was in agreement that if we do the FET right now the estrogen protocol is the best one. He warned me that the fluid could return and that we could be in the same situation again, but I realize this can happen with or without Lupron.

So Monday night he called in oral estrogen to my pharmacy and I started. We chatted briefly yesterday and I received a call later in the day that I have an ultrasound scheduled for next Wednesday at 9:00. Transfer is tentatively scheduled for Dec 5th!!!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Did you know I'm glad today is Monday? I'm glad because Dr. S is going to call me and I'm going to get some answers. You guessed it, no AF yet.

I'm not glad the weekend is over and the workweek is starting. 

My sanity hit it's worst point Saturday night when I posted. I am feeling more under control now (as under control as I can feel about a situation that is out of my control). I calmed down and spent Sunday still wishing for AF to arrive but feeling less anxious about it all. 

We starting drawing lines, measuring and taping up the bedroom walls to paint. We are painting another design. Can you say huge time investment? Sounds like a great distraction!

Took another HPT this morning and got another negative. Bummer. 

Can I tell you how hard it is to see everyone who I cycled with in the past get through their first trimester, prepare their nursery, buy baby things, and then prepare for the delivery of a baby? Heck, I'm still just preparing for my period. I feel like everyone is leaps and bounds ahead of me.  

Adoption came up this weekend. There is some event this Friday in Syracuse for families who are adopting and both W and I looked at each other and considered it. I may attend and get more information. It sucks we have reached this point....

2 weeks from today we have our appointment with Dr. K (who will from now on be known as Dr. Gere due to his striking resemblance to Richard Gere. I am looking forward to getting a second opinion.
Dr. K

Richard Gere.
See the resemblance?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I'm losing it

No changes. I'm still waiting on AF to show. Okay, maybe there are some changes. My mental status has gone from slightly insane to entirely off the deep end. I'm more anxious and stressed than when I last posted. This probably isn't helping to make AF show. I'm stressed that I'm stressing too much. Ahhh...  get the idea yet?

I've been having cramping on and off and it feels like AF is going to start. My boobs still are unchanged and don't feel sore, but my skin is still breaking out. I've been short on patience and snapped a few times at the hubby. I'm confused, frustrated, anxious, and pissed. 

I went back and my blog entries about my previous experiences with Provera/Prometrium. The first time I took Provera and got AF while still on it. The second time I took Prometrium and got AF the day after stopping. This time we are 5 days later and it's not looking good. 

The worst part?? I got anxious on Friday and called my clinic. I was told Dr. S was in emergency surgery and was put through to a nurse so I left a message. I planned to ask at what point I should get concerned about not getting AF after taking the Prometrium and ask questions about my concerns. In the time I waited for a return call I used the bathroom and saw some spotting. The first and only spotting I have had.

 I was so overly excited to see any blood I assumed it was the start of my period. Usually my period starts that way and within a few hours it is full flow. The nurse called me back and I changed my plan and told her instead that it was CD 1. 

I then asked her which protcol Dr. S decided to use for my upcoming FET. She told me she couldn't reveal that information. She also couldn't tell me whether to start the estrogen or not and could only leave a message for Dr. S to call me Monday afternoon.  

I have another number for Dr.S so used it and planned to leave a message. To my surprise he answered the phone and I talked quickly to him. He wasn't able to tell me which protocol he decided since he didn't have my chart in front of him. So basically the conversation didn't go anywhere except that he was leaning towards using a Lupron protcol. He said he would call me on Monday afternoon and let me know.

The spotting didn't turn into bleeding and I haven't seen anything since. I'm going crazy. My anxiety is sky high and it's not helping anything. Today is CD 38, 5 days after my last Prometrium pill, and 1 day after I lied to my RE and said I was on CD 1. Oh man, everything feels so out of control right now!

I'm thinking seriously about an acupuncture or massage session tomorrow so I don't end up in the loony bin by next week.

Oh yeah, negative HPT today so definitely not pregnant. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Aunt Flo is a no-show

I popped my last prometrium pill on Monday. So here I am, waiting very impatiently for her to make her grand appearance. I know sometimes it takes a few days, but I am anxious to get started. I guess I thought the positive OPK would mean my period would come 2 weeks later. Well, 2 weeks and 4 days later I'm still waiting. 

I don't feel totally like I'm going to get my period. My boobs aren't sore at all which usually happens. My skin is breaking out on my chin which is generally an AF sign. I took a HPT yesterday and it was definitely negative. 

The main reason I am anxious is because we don't even have a tentative date for transfer at this point. At my last RE appointment he left it up in the air which protocol we would be following, perhaps one involving Lupron which means MORE TIME. I don't want to take the Lupron and I want to be able to avoid Thanksgiving and do the transfer this month.

I left it with Dr.S that I would give him a call with AF shows. Hopefully she will soon and I can convince him that we should do the FET this month. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Sometimes when I don't update for a while, I don't even know where to start. I lot has happened, but nothing all that exciting. I started Prometrium (progesterone) on Monday and today will be day 3/7. I also did a HPT yesterday at 10 DPO and it was negative. It's amazing how the first week of the 2WW is all positivity and hopes, and the second week brings you back down to reality. Let's be honest, of the 5 eggs that were allowed to fertilize naturally during my IVF cycle (with exceptional sperm) only 1 did. The chances of me ovulating from the right side and that egg being fertilized? Not so great
Creepy Prometrium pills
I have been feeling really anxious about my upcoming FET cycle. There are so many unknowns at this point. When will I get my period? Will we be able to do the transfer this month? Will the transfer be around Thanksgiving? Will Dr. S decided to put me on Lupron and make this process even longer than it has been? Will I have fluid again? Will the estrogen lead to polyps again? I just wish I had my crystal ball. How does one not feel anxious after 5 months (retrieval was in July)? 

Last spring I decided I wanted to expand myself professionally. I work as a speech pathologist in early intervention. Typically children don't come to me until there are a little under 2 and not talking. It is rare that I get a child on my caseload who is younger. Since I don't have any babies and there are babies who receive early intervention services, I looked into how I could expand to include younger children. I found out that a lot of children need help with feeding/eating so I went and took a continuing education course on feeding therapy and babies. The course was great and I learned a lot. This was really my first true exposure to feeding and swallowing in pediatrics. 

Well, no feeding cases came along until late this summer a little boy D needed help. They decided to put me on the case after my request and I started seeing him last week. He just turned 1 but presents as an infant. He likely has cerebral palsy and has had numerous seizures. The physical therapist is working on head control with him and he is tiny, so he really looks more like a 2 month old. To be honest, just handling him was different for me. I've never really been around a baby like that. 

I went to his daycare provider's house this week. I observed her feeding him and talked to her. I asked a lot of questions and tried feeding him. I probably didn't come across as the most confident person on the matter since this was my first real exposure outside of the classroom.

The next day the parents called and asked for a different provider with more experience. It's true, I'm trying to get the experience and I don't really have much. I look super young (probably under 20) and I guess I just rubbed the daycare provider the wrong way. 
This lead to me being pulled from another feeding case I was just assigned. In a way I was relived that I didn't have to face the (possible) rejection again since my confidence was shaken. But, it really didn't make me look good professionally. 

After much thought and some tears I decided to put this on the back burner. I would love to get more babies on my caseload, but I'm not that confident feeding them, especially when they are really involved. 
On my drive home I called W and started crying. I said I feel like I can't do what I really want (have a baby) and if I'm no good at my job, that what am I good at? I could tell he felt really badly for me and tried to reassure me that I am great at other things. And to be honest, I am good at the parts of my job I do regularly. 

Going through infertility has changed me. Deep down, my confidence in myself is diminished. When something happens either personally or professionally I don't handle it well. I've always been a sensitive person and do tend to overreact, but now its to new levels. I allow something stupid to affect me for days, further crushing my self imagine. So my decision for now is to not push the issue with work. I will stick to what I know I can do well and perhaps extend myself again when I am in a better place personally. I am not strong enough to put myself out there personally and professionally at this time. 

I'm starting to realize that people can only take so much. I'm not sure how much longer I can continue on with fertility treatments and my full time job with children. It's hard to stay strong and put a smile on your face every day, and it's even harder when things aren't going well. If there's something positive to come from this, I know I am a stronger person for the things I have been through. Even though I know I will come out of this a stronger person, I'm not exactly in a strong place right now.