Thursday, May 31, 2012

Feeling Craptastic

This week has not been a fun one. I don't remember my last chemical being this bad. The part I really don't understand is that my hormone levels never got very high this time. So why do I feel so bad?

I started bleeding on Tuesday and am still going strong. It started really heavy and I had a lot of cramps. I've been feeling nauseous and my appetite is off. The worst part though has been the headaches. Nothing can touch them and it feels like I am on day 3 of a migraine. I haven't been able to work full days and have had to cancel some therapy sessions. I am just limping through this week trying to survive. The other thing I feel is overwhelmingly tired. I can't believe how exhausted I am. By 1:00 today I was ready to pass out. I came home early and slept for almost 3 hours and woke up with my headache still lingering. 

I'm coming to terms more with taking a month off. I know I need it and am planning a trip to Albany to visit my sister and dad and possibly go to my old college town to go skydiving. I've always wanted to go and now seems like a pretty good time. We also have 2 weddings this month so it will be nice to be able to drink and not have to worry. Weddings are SO MUCH more fun when alcohol is involved. 

I've been feeling pretty sad about everything. I'm trying to stay positive, but it's been hard. As I was driving home on Monday I passed the Memorial Day parade traffic. I saw all of these families walking down the street. I started to wonder whether I would have a little hand to hold someday. I get to hold little hands all of the time at work, but none of them are my own child's. I actually started to cry as I thought of the gaping hole I have in my heart that I want so badly to fill with a child. I really hope that I can make W a daddy because it breaks my heart to think of us childless. 

Stepping back a little bit makes me wonder how and why I continue to do this. I know the answer, but it doesn't make it any easier. I am just so ready to be past this point in my life and moving on to the next chapter. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Forced but Badly Needed Break

When I woke up this morning I felt awful. I was nauseous and had a headache. I had to be at my clinic early for beta #2.  

I started spotting in the morning and had pretty bad cramps last night, so I knew I wasn't going to see an increase in my levels. I waited almost all day before calling them. There were some severe storms in the area and I guess their system was down most of the day.

by 11:00 I was bleeding full force so when I first talked to the nurse I told her it was CD 1. She scheduled me an appointment for Thursday as a baseline so that I could start a FET and told me she would call me with the test results once they came in. 

My HCG level dropped to 14. That's only down 5.5 points in 5 days, WTF??!! I had also requested my TSH levels be checked again and they were fine. When she told me my HCG number she said I wasn't going to be able to do the FET this month. We need to wait until my levels go below 5 to be considered negative. I have a repeat beta scheduled for next Monday and my follow-up (WTF) appointment with my RE that Friday.

I'm not sure how I feel about a break. Part of me wants to just keep going, but I realize I probably need a break. We have done 4 transfers (2 fresh and 2 frozen) since December. I've been on some kind of hormone for over a year.... isn't that crazy?! I have either been cycling, trying to cycle and getting cancelled, or on BCP's. I don't even know what a unmedicated cycle would look like for me at this point. I guess there's only one way to find out.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

I bought some FRER tests on Thursday. When I got home I used one of those and a wondfo test. Both had faint lines. I waited 24 hours and then did the same thing. The FRER no longer had a faint line and the wondfo was a little lighter. This showed me my levels were not climbing but instead likely falling. I made the executive decision to stop my meds. 

I know a lot of people commented that I should stay on them, but it didn't seem to make any sense. My HCG levels were obviously not increasing and my butt has enough lumps from the PIO already. 

I've had some bad moments and I've also still been able to laugh with W. I have a friend I met through the yoga for fertility class last summer who has also had a few chemical pregnancies and we've been talking. It's nice to have someone else who has been through the same thing. She recently had a follow-up talk with the same RE so I can get an idea of what he is going to say and build my list of questions. 

On Thursday night we were asked to pick up my brother from his after school program. My brother is 10 and was adopted from China 5 years ago. W had gotten us lobster to lift our moods since it is my favorite food. We got one for Sean and W coached him the entire time on how to eat it and do most of it himself. It was really sweet to watch him being so patient and encouraging. 

A few hours later after Sean left W came to me and said that he knows it doesn't matter how we get our kids. Sean is pretty awesome and he loves him the same.

Obviously we are going to use our frozen embryos and the last IVF cycle that we have before talking about our next steps. From there I'm not sure where we are going to go. 

This weekend we are planning on finishing planting our garden and continuing to work on our bathroom. We picked out a paint color and ordered light fixtures so we are getting close. We are still waiting for our vanity to come in. I'm looking forward to being able to use a toilet upstairs again.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

IVF #3 Beta Results

I mentioned earlier my fear of another chemical pregnancy. I'm pretty sure my fear is becoming a reality. My beta HCG levels came back at 19.5 today. Yeah, that's less than half of what it was last chemical pregnancy at this point (43). I'm not alluding myself at all. I'll return on Tuesday (closed Monday for the holiday) and have my blood drawn again, but I may stop my meds before then. I bought some FRER tests and I'm going to watch the progression in the next few days. I used a FRER and a cheapy test this afternoon. On the cheapy test today the second line really wasn't any darker than it was 2 days ago. 

I did find out we have 2 frozen embryos and I booked a follow-up appointment with Dr. Greene for June 8th, so we have a backup plan for now. Honestly though, I don't think FET's work for me. It's just part of the contract we are in that we have to use them before moving on to another fresh cycle. 

Speaking of fresh cycles, we only have one more paid for. I feel like we need to change something. What we are doing does not seem to be working.

I'm going to ask about PGD. I know it's expensive, but so are repeated rounds of IVF. I feel like it was stupid to expect a different result with the same (more or less) protocol for IVF #2 and #3. 

I wish I had better news to share today and I hate the disappointment of another (likely) failed IVF cycle. This process is starting to become really disheartening. 

IVF #3 Beta Day

This morning I drove in bright and early to get my blood drawn. My cat brought his favorite toy into our bed and was playing with it at 4:30. I was unable to fall back asleep after that. I laid in bed feeling so scared and nervous about today. I stopped peeing on those cheapy tests a few days ago because I continued to get faint lines that weren't getting much lighter or darker. It was stressing me out and I realized it wasn't going to change the outcome. I didn't do well with acceptance after the transfer this cycle. I was doing really well leading up to that point and then fell apart. Peeing on things made me feel in and completely out of control all at the same time. I'd love this to work, but to be honest, I'm most scared of another chemical at this point. The clinic closes at noon today so I should be finding out in the next few hours. The waiting is so incredibly difficult. I'm going to try to accept the outcome, whatever it may be.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


I haven't given any update since the fertilization report. I was feeling really anxious about doing a 5 day transfer with only 8 fertilized eggs, but I tried to trust in my clinic and RE. I knew they would check on our embryos on day 3 (Mother's Day) and if needed call me and have me come in for the transfer. I was so nervous all morning but I never heard, so no news was good news. 

My transfer wasn't scheduled until 1:30 in the afternoon on Tuesday. I spent the morning with a little boy I work with and his family observing while he was evaluated for Autism. It was an intense morning with lots of tests given and lots of waiting to hear the consensus from the evaluators. He didn't get an Autism diagnosis but he did get Developmental Apraxia of Speech and PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified). It was sad to sit there with the parents and hear that there was something wrong with their child. It made me realize how much better at my job I am going to be once I am a parent. C did awesome with all of the testing and I was so proud of him. Overall it was a much better diagnosis than Autism and he has made some amazing progress in the past few months. 

W picked me up from there and we drove to the clinic. I was SO nervous to find out what we had to transfer. They had me change and my RE came in. He told me we had at least 2 really good blastocysts and a few more than were close. In total 10 ended up fertilizing and the best one was one of the late ones to fertilize. Dr. K asked me how many I wanted to transfer and I asked his recommendation. He proceeded to ask me how old I was and which IVF cycle this was for me. His recommendation was 3 and he would do 4 if I was willing to consider selective reduction if necessary. That was enough to scare me off from 4. So, we transferred 3 beautiful blastocysts on Tuesday afternoon. The transfer itself was super smooth and he used "Wandy" to guide the transfer. Every other time it has been with abdominal ultrasound, so we could see so much more this way. When the embryologist came in to give us our picture I asked her the grades. We transferred 1 4AA, 1 4AB, and 1 2BB. I really hope one of them will decide to stick around. 

I headed over to acupuncture after and had a nice little nap. When I asked W how much it was he said free. I'm not sure why, but he said it was complementary. I'll take it!

W, my FIL, and step-dad started our bathroom remodel project this week. The only thing that will stay is the toilet so it is a lot of work. They have put down radiant heat in the floors, tile on the floors, new drywall, and tiled the shower stall so progress has been fast. It's made it hard for me though because I'm not helping and have been a bit bored. Also, we have been staying at the in-law's house in order to be able to shower. Looks like we have tonight and two more nights here. I can't complain though because it is their lake house and waking up in the morning to the lake is pretty amazing. The dogs love it too. 

I thought it would be a fun idea to test out my trigger shot with my IC tests. This had led to too much analyzing and googling, especially with all of my boredom. Today there was still a faint line and I wish it was a positive, but I'm pretty sure it is the last of the trigger. It seems like a long time for it to last (12 days past trigger), but the lines are not getting darker either. They have stayed about the same the past two days. I wish I hadn't started and I know I need to step away, but once you start it's hard to stop. 

My beta is next Thursday. I am much more positive and hopeful this time because I feel I need to be. Huge disappointment or not, I am convincing myself it worked. I have been having cramping on and off but who the heck knows. We all know I don't believe in symptoms this early, but I also can't ignore them. I'm looking forward to going to work tomorrow to have some good distractions. Can you tell I'm going a little crazy?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Weight Gain and Loss

I weighed myself on Thursday night before bed the day of my retrieval.  This was the first time I had weighed myself during this cycle so I'm not sure if I was up any weight at that point. 

Yesterday morning when I woke up I weighed myself again and was up 3 pounds. I went into the office because of this and they told me to take it easy. Last night before bed I weighed myself and was up 8 pounds from retrieval. Other than the weight gain I was feeling pretty much alright. 

The nurse at the clinic yesterday told me the fluid just needed to shift around and that eventually I would pee most of it out. Yesterday I didn't pee as much as I should have so that was starting to make me a bit nervous. 

Well, last night I was up about every 45 minutes to an hour peeing. I lost 4.5 pounds overnight and am feeling much better. Now, if that Colace would just kick in I might lose a few more pounds! IVF is so much fun. 

Friday, May 11, 2012


I got the call as I was making my breakfast this morning. I had a feeling that would happen as soon as I started cooking. The result? Some burned bacon. I didn't enjoy it, but the dogs sure did. 

Of the 19 eggs retrieved 14 were injected with W's little guys. Of those, 8 had fertilized. They said there were still 5 that could fertilize, but we will see. As of right now we have 8 little combinations of me and W growing away. I was a little bummed initially by this number, but then realized that it's completely out of my hands at this point. If it's meant to be this time around it will. No worrying or feeling disappointed is going to change anything. I have to stay positive!

The nurse asked how I was feeling and I told her that I had gained 3 pounds overnight. She quickly talked to the NP and they said they wanted to see me today. I made an appointment at 11:15 to go in. The told me my transfer was scheduled for Tuesday at 11:15 and then asked if I planned to do acupuncture. When I said yes they transferred the call. 

I spoke to the receptionist at the Healing Arts Center and she said I was all set for an appointment after my transfer. I then asked if it would be my favorite acupuncturist, D and they said he wasn't working on Tuesday. There was only the guy I didn't like. I promptly cancelled the appointment and was a bit disappointed. 

On my drive into my appointment D called himself to ask how I was doing. I told him I had gained some weight overnight and that the office wanted to see me. He asked if I was interested in coming in to see him relaxing for a little bit. He told me to tell the receptionists that I was there for a consultation so I wouldn't have to pay. I told him I would be over after my appointment. He also said he would be willing to come in Tuesday for me so that I didn't have to see the guy I didn't like. 

I got to my RE's office and the receptionist was super concerned. She asked if I was OK and whether I wanted to lie down somewhere. I told her I was OK but just that they wanted to see me. She said she would get me right up. The waiting room was packed but I didn't end up waiting very long. 

They drew my blood and took my vitals and then instructed me to undress from the waist down. A NP I didn't recognize came in and did my ultrasound. My ovaries were pretty much the entire ultrasound screen when she measured them. It was crazy! There was a small amount of fluid in my abdomen, but everything looked pretty much OK. She told me that I need to take it easy and just relax for the next few days. If my conditioned worsened I was supposed to let them know and if I was in a lot of pain I was instructed to go to the ER. She sent me on my way with some pain medication and reiterated that I needed to take it easy. 

I asked about adding progesterone in oil to the Crinone this time and she said I could do whatever I felt comfortable with. She gave me some progesterone and syringes along with some instructions. 

I headed over to acupuncture and saw D for about 40 minutes. I took a little nap and felt some much less bloated after. He only did points on my stomach but I think it really helped. He told me if I was feeling uncomfortable again on Monday to call him and he would do the same. I felt so much better after some relaxation time. 

On my drive home I got a call from my clinic. I was nervous that something was wrong, but they were just calling to see if I would be willing to change my transfer time to 1:30 since Dr. K has a surgery that will likely run longer than they initially thought. This works much better for me because one of the children I work with is getting evaluated for Autism on Tuesday. I was so disappointed I wasn't going to be able to be there but now it looks like I will.

So, we have 8 little embryos growing and my transfer is Tuesday. I do have OHSS but it seems like with rest and relaxation I should be fine. I started my progesterone and Lovenox tonight and will add in Estrace later tonight. I hope our little ones continue to grow and that we have at least one good embryo to transfer on Tuesday. They won't call with any more updates so for now I just need to leave it up to the pros. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Retrieval Complete

Retrieval went well. We got 19 eggs which is a much safer number than the 28 we got last time. The clinic was running behind because another procedure came up before they did my retrieval. My RE came in the room before the anesthesiologist and asked if we had any questions. We didn't, so he promptly left. That is all I saw of him today since he came into the room for the retrieval after I was out and left before I woke up. I definitely prefer the RE who did the retrieval last time, but he was out of town so couldn't do it. I also found out he doesn't work on Tuesdays so Dr. K will be doing my transfer as well. 

I felt like they were trying to kick me out pretty soon after. They didn't give me a whole bunch of time once I woke up before they asked me if I was ready to get dressed. It was fine because I was happy to be on our way home. 

I napped for a few hours after we got home, ate some lunch and snacks and watched some Grey's Anatomy on Netflix. This afternoon W told me that I tensed and woke up as soon as the retrieval started and complained that I was uncomfortable a few times. The anesthesiologist instructed W to make sure my arm was straight (to help with the IV), and gave me some more meds. That might explain why I was so groggy after. I'm glad I don't remember this. It's a little freaky. 

The embryologist came in and told us about the 19 and that we will get a call tomorrow about how many fertilized. 

I'm feeling bloated, a bit crampy and have a headache, but nothing like last time with that whole stomach bug thing. The cat napped with me in bed all afternoon. I think I'll still take tomorrow off to relax and recoup even though I probably could work. Looking forward to the fertilization report tomorrow. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Trigger Happy

At 8:00 this evening I sat in my car in my high school parking lot and shot 10,000 units of HCG into my stomach. Why my high school parking lot? I went to yoga tonight and was on my way home. The trigger shot needs to be done at an exact time, so the best place I could think of at that time was the parking lot. I don't think I ever imagined that when I was in high school. 

Retrieval is set for Thursday. I have to be there at 7:15 and this time W is doing his "part" at home. I guess it's easier for them and he doesn't really care either way. 

At this morning's appointment I was ready to start applauding when I was given the green light to trigger. It really feels like the stimming lasted forever this time. I had lots of follicles and my ovaries are right on top of each other. My date with wandy was quite uncomfortable! My estradiol levels dropped predictably and I filled my script for Dostinex to help prevent OHSS. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

The DJ Better Put On a Slow Song

I had another appointment this afternoon for intralipid therapy, blood work, and an ultrasound. The NP and I joked about how many more follicles have joined the party and that they're really growing up. I guess they aren't grown up enough yet, and it's time to slow this party down a bit. 

Due to the afternoon appointment, I don't know what my estradiol levels are. Shannon anticipated they would be higher than the 4691 that they were on Saturday. So, she gave me Cetrotide and told me to do that alone tonight. No Lupron, no Gonal-F, no Luveris. 

I've been feeling a lot of action in my ovaries and I swear they were pissed after I did the Cetrotide. They were like, who the hell put on a slow song, this party was just getting started!

There were a LOT of follicles today. I had 20 measurable ones but I'm sure there were some more. Whether those will all make it to be eggs or not, who the heck knows. A bunch were still a bit small and immature so I guess we are cutting the underage ones off from any more of the good stuff in hopes they leave the party and don't cause issues for everyone. 

I'm a bit disappointed that my retrieval has been pushed back and that I have to go in SUPER early tomorrow, but I just do what they tell me like the good little patient that I am. I think I'm bummed about two more days of work more than anything else. 

I'm not worrying about everything like the past and it feels good to relinquish some control. Not that I ever was in control anyway! I'm just riding the wave of IVF fun.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


After feeling disappointed on Wednesday after my appointment, things have really picked up. I went in Friday and there were 10 measurable follicles on each ovary. My estradiol had risen to 2469. They reduced my dose of Gonal-F to 75 IU's and kept the others the same. Then they ruined my Saturday plans by telling me they wanted to see me again the next morning. I was really looking forward to going with some friends to a giant garage sale, but I missed out. 

This morning the NP told me she was going to get carpal tunnel measuring all of my follicles, but my estrogen made some huge leaps and was at 4691 in a little more than 24 hours. For some reason my estradiol levels want me to be immature about things, so it always seem to include the number 69 somewhere in there. They told me only to do Lupron tonight and skip all stims and then 75 of Gonal-F and 37.5 of Luveris tomorrow. I return Monday for blood work, an ultrasound, and intralipids.

When the nurse first entered the room this morning to draw my blood she mentioned that I would probably trigger tonight. This threw me a bit because I had been anticipating a Wednesday retrieval and told people I was taking that day off. When the NP did the scan she said she wanted me to get the full potential of this cycle and didn't want to trigger me too soon. I still have quite a few smaller follicles that I hope catch up. 

I will be taking Dostinex again to help prevent OHSS. This time I'm not as freaked out about things, I'm just trying to do my best to trust them. Coasting helped last time to reduce my levels and I didn't end up having any issues despite high estrogen levels. I am thankful I am such a high responder and that I can save some bucks on already expensive meds. Of course I ordered more that I don't think I will be using. 

We made some purchases today for our upcoming bathroom remodel. We bought an amazing sink and some tiles so I'm starting to get excited. I'm not excited about showering at the Y while our own shower is out of commission. 

I've been feeling really full and uncomfortable the past few days. I've also been pretty exhausted and making sure I get plenty of sleep. The headaches have been much better this time around which I am thankful for.  A new issue is that my contacts have been driving me crazy. I asked about it today and she said it could be a side effect of the meds or it could be that things are so wet in other places that it is drawing the moisture from other places. Great, my va-jay-jay is sucking the moisture from my eyes. How awesome of a mental picture is that? 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Keepin' On

Things are going pretty well. I had my appointment yesterday and my estradiol is up to 1096. It did a little more than double since my last appointment. The NP said my ovaries were starting to pop and my lining was responding to the estrogen and thickening some. I didn't really have any additional measurable follicles so it's looks like about 10 at this point. A few are charging ahead and are at 13 and the rest are around 8 or 10. I really hope a few more pick it up before retrieval. It's not that 10 is a bad number, is just hard to not want to be an overachiever after the 28 last time. I'm struggling with trying not to compare cycles and numbers when I have access to them all. I'll be honest, I was feeling a bit down yesterday. It's hard going through this process over and over again. I know I need to try to let go and have the attitude, "que sera sera/what will be will be", but I guess I'm struggling with that a bit. Looks like retrieval will be next Monday or Wednesday but I should have a better idea tomorrow.

Yesterday in blogger-land I had 3 BFP's in my news feed. I am beyond happy for these women but I can't help but wonder when/if I will get my turn. I hope it's in a few weeks.

I went to yoga for fertility on Tuesday night and checked out the new facilities in the expanded healing arts center that is attached to my clinic. It was amazing! The yoga studio was huge and there's a new "aqua terrace" which has a hot tub that can fit 26 people. The funniest part? Everyone joked about how it looks like it is shaped like a uterus. 
After the yoga whoever wants to can meet up and chat. I stuck around as did about 5 others. We sat with our feet in the hot tub and talked about various things. We talked about various things, our sitauations and stories, etc. That was the overall conversation but I did have a bit of 1:1 time with another woman who is about to start her 4th IVF. She got pregnant in the fall and lost her triplets at 19 weeks. She seemed so strong and positive about it all. She inspires me to be more positive.