Monday, June 27, 2011

Never Say Never

At the Resolve panel that we went to on Saturday while sharing their journeys several ladies said something that I think many women who struggle with IF have said before. “I said that I would never do that…” I know for me there are lots of things IF related that I said I would never do. When we first started TTC, I said that if I couldn’t get pregnant on my own, that I would never do IF treatments. Then we couldn’t get pregnant and I said I would do Intrauterine Inseminations (IUI’s) but that I would never do IVF. Then the IUI’s didn’t work, and we decided to move on to IVF. Once we started IVF, I decided that I may do IVF, but that I would never do acupuncture.

Well, what do you know; I am deeply considering doing acupuncture to help out with our next IVF cycle. I think at this point, I just need to stop saying that I will never do something because honestly I guess I will do whatever it takes to become a mother.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Resolve Fertitliy Panel

This morning Mr. P and I went to a Resolve Fertility Panel that was held at a library right near our house. Our Resolve group leader had been talking about it for a while and I thought it would be interesting to go. I have to say that I was very impressed with it. I didn't really know how much I would get out of it since we already going through IVF treatments, but it was nice.
There were about 8 ladies there who were on the panel. Each one spoke about different aspects of IF and where IF had taken them. The journey's ranged from IUI, IVF, IVF with donor eggs, IVF with donor sperm, and living child free. Some of the ladies had been successful, some had not and were living child free, some were not and had moved on to adoption, some were dealing with secondary IF, and some were still undergoing treatment. The group leader also discussed ways to cope with IF, and the stresses that IF can put on your relationship emotionally and financially. There were even handout regarding local resources like acupuncturist and counselors who deal with IF.
I think most beneficial for me was the portion on dealing with IF. Right now I think that Mr. P and I would agree that IF seems to be taking over my life. I am spending so much time focusing on what I don't have, that I am losing sight of all that I do have. Two things that were discussed today really resonated with me. The first is that it is not my fault that I suffer from IF and that these cycles have not worked. IF treatments are kind of like the lottery and if I played the lottery and lost I wouldn't be blaming myself, so I can't blame myself for the treatments not working. I am doing ALL THAT I CAN DO!!!
Second, was that I have to see myself for who I am, not just who I want to be. In other words, I might not ever become a parent, but there is still more that I can offer the world. I dont' think that I'm paraphrasing that very well, but hopefully the point is clear. The group leader challenged us to make two five year plans. One if we are successful with treatments, and one if we are not. I think that will be very hard to do.
Another good thing (for me) that came out of the panel, was that another lady attending the session had decided to stop treatment and is moving on to adoption. Since she will not be cycling again and she had leftover meds from her last cycle, she was willing to give them away. She had Menopur and Ganirelix that she didn't need anymore. I told her that we wouldn't be cycling again until September/October so if there was someone cycling before that then they could have it, but she said since no one else asked, I could have it! I was super excited. I don't really know how much Menopur or Ganirelix cost, but since she gave me 5 250 vials of Ganirelix, I am sure that I won't need to order any of that. She only had two vials of the Menopur, and I don't know if they can split up the box of 5, but I hope they can and that saves me some money as well. She also had a trigger shot that she wants to donate, but it was in her fridge and she didn't want to bring it.
I found out that she lives right around the corner from me (literally - we both could have walked to the library today. In fact she did but Mr. P and I are lazy) so we are hoping that we can meet up and get together sometime to talk about things. So, all in all it was a great morning!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Phone Consultation with Dr. T

I had a phone consultation with Dr. T yesterday. K the nurse at my RE's clinic called me on Sunday to let me know that my beta was negative. She told me that Dr. T and or V would be calling me on Monday. At about 4 pm on Monday I got sick of waiting for their call and decided that I was going to call them. I talked to V first. Basically she just told me that Dr. T had planned on calling me and she would see if he was free and could talk now.
As soon as Dr. T got on the phone, I forgot all of the questions that I had wanted to ask him. I asked him if I was doing something wrong, he said no. I asked if it was because I was fat he said no, but that losing weight wouldn't hurt me.He said there are studies regarding overweight women losing weight and ovulating, but since we are doing IVF he didn't really see it making a big difference at this point. However, losing weight could only help. I asked him if Mr. P's tobacco use was having an effect and he said no. That the sperm was such a small part of the embryo that he didn't feel that it would lead to the demise of the embryo.
What he did say was that I had bad eggs. He said that we seem to have a problem getting good eggs from me. I make a good number, but there are too  many that are not mature or are over mature, leaving us with only a few that are just right. This then only gives us a few to try to make babies out of . Dr. T also feels that the reason why we haven't been able to get pregnant on our own is because I'm not making good eggs. Dr. T would like to see me make better eggs so that we have more to choose from. For out next cycle we are going to use Ganirelix instead of Lupron but we will still use the follistim. Dr. T feels like the Lupron might be supressing me too much. I guess we will see.

I don't know if I completely agree with all of this. I wish that Mr. P and I would have talked to Dr. T together and that I wouldn't have been on my own for the conversation. I just don't believe that that we could make the embryos we made for IVF #1 if I had such bad eggs. Mr. P thinks this also. I also wonder if my body is attacking my embryos. I have heard of natural killer cells and I wonder if there is something my doctor can test for.
I think that I am going to call the clinic and schedule another appointment for Mr. P and I to go in together before we start our next cycle. That will make me feel better because we will hopefully have all of our questions answered before we start the next cycle. Honestly, I want a second opinion. I wish that we would have gotten a second opinion before we signed up with our clinics Shared Risk program. We were just so afraid that we would be denied to do Shared Risk because we had already had a failed cycle. I am just so scared that this isn't going to work. I am trying to stay positive, but it is hard after another cycle failed.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

They finally called

My beta is negative. Kinda what I expected since I started my period on Friday. I guess Dr. T and or V will call tomorrow with what happens next. I hope that we are able to have a consultation so that we can discuss what our possible problems could be. I guess I am just shocked that we could have almost all of our embies from IVF # 1 make it to day 5 and of the 6 that remained after transfer 5 made it to freeze. IVF #2, we didn't even have good quality ones to transfer. I can't even believe I am going to type this, but I guess we are on to IVF #3.

Still Waiting....

J - the weekend nurse at the RE's office, called me yesterday while we were at the Mazda dealer to let me know that my results we still not in yet. She told me she would call me today to let me know if they came in or not. Ugh!

On another note, I am starting my new "workout" routine today in hopes of losing weight/lowering my BMI before we cycle again. I WILL NOT be doing anything harmful or that could lead to quick weight loss. So I will just be eating less junk food, eating more protein, fruits and veggies, and working out at least 6 days a week.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sometimes I hate my RE's Office

So I started spotting on Thursday. I called the clinic and asked V if I could move up my beta one day and have it drawn on Thursday instead of Friday. Today is Saturday. Guess who is still waiting for their results? THIS GIRL!! I am pissed. For IVF #1 I didn't even start spotting until after I had got a negative beta and quit taking my meds. This cycle, I obviously started spotting before my beta was drawn and I appear to have started my period as well. So, I'm pretty sure that my beta is going to be negative, but that's not the point. The point is, that I should have gotten my damn results! Because, until I hear that my beta is negative, I, still have hope. That could be the dumbest thing ever, but I do. You never know. So, today I have left a message with the weekend staff and hopefully I will hear something.

Since I am pretty sure that this cycle didn't work (but still holding hopeful), we have decided that we are going to take an additional month off so that I can lose weight. Also, since I work in a finance dept and our fiscal year ends on September 30th, it wouldn't work out to have have to take off for ER/ET in September. October will be a much better time. I think this is good because it will hopefully give me the time I need to lose the weight and get healthier.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cycle Update and Sister in Law RANT!!

Unfortunately I am losing faith in this cycle. I am trying to stay hopeful, but I started spotting yesterday. So, sadly it looks like we will be taking an additional month off before starting IVF #3 so that I can lose at least 20 lbs.
Now, on to my sister in law.
I really don't understand this girl at all. I really don't. Since Mr. P and I have been married M has been to our house two times. We have been married 5 1/2 years. How many times have we been to M's house? Probably 30. I know that the main reason is that the first two years we were married I lived 14 hours away from Mr. P, and M. Mr. P only came home on school breaks so I usually traveled up there when I could. So, if I was up there, Mr. P and I would go see M. Well the last two years Mr. P and I have lived only a few hours away from M. In that that time, we have gone to see her at least 5 times together. Mr. P has gone at least 5 more times on his own. How many times has M come to see us? One!

Well about a month ago M asked us to come up for a weekend because her hubs wanted to go out four wheeling with his buddies and she didn't want to be home alone. She was 9 months pregnant at the time and was afraid to be alone. Well, we decided not to go up to her house so that her husband could shirk his responsibility to his family. Not really because we didn't want to see her, but more because we are starting to feel as though she only wants us to come visit her when it's convenient for them, and she never wants to come down to see us.
Well I guess Mr. P told his sister that we were going to go down to see her this weekend. Which, I'm pretty sure he forgot to tell me. Well Tuesday she calls and tells us that she has another commitment so they are going to be out of town (four hours away). Yesterday we asked her to come down for 4th of July. Today she calls to tell us her other commitment fell through and we can come. We've already made other plans so we can't go. She says that she can't travel the four hours to come see us in July. Mr. P asks why she can travel the four hours to her other commitment and her response "she will get to see more people". So, it benefits her more. Then she gets mad at us because we won't see the baby till he's almost two months old. Really!!!
 She is on maternity leave right now and her husband is a teacher so he's off for the summer. Mr. P and I both work. She is off the WHOLE month of July also, why can't they come this way? I understand that is is hard to travel with kids, but it's really only a few hours and they could easily break up the trip by stopping places along the way. They aren't in a hurry they don't have to get back for work. I just wish that she would realize that we won't be this close to them for very long and when we move, we won't have the chance to see them very often. It makes me sad, and it makes me mad. I know that her thinking is that we don't have a life so we should just drop everything and come up there. We see it as we would like to see you also, but we shouldn't always be the ones who have to travel. Also, she it pisses us off that she is willing to travel four hours to see her hub's family, but not to see her brother. Whatever!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy Birthday (Part II)

One afternoon on the way home from work I was listening to the radio and one of the show's guest that afternoon said that every year she made a list of things she wanted to accomplish and each year at the end of the year, she is always surprised with how much she has actually gotten done. Last year when I turned 30 I felt like everything that could go wrong went wrong. I felt like 30 was one of the worst years of my life, and I am determined to make 31 better. I have decided that I am going to make a list. I am going to start my list today, and have it completed by the end of the week. I am determined to get things done this year that I have put off over and over again. I am also determined to find myself and get back to being the happier me that I used to be. So here is my list:
1. I will get pregnant this year - in reality I know there isn't much I can do about this, but I am going to believe with every bone in my body that it will happen this year, and I am not going to lose faith
2. I will get in shape- since I am taking an extra month to lose weight before we do IVF #3, this should be attainable
3. I will lose the extra pounds that I have been carrying around - this better be done since it will be the whole reason we are delaying the start of IVF #3
4. I will finally do the Trash the Dress session that I have wanted to do since 2007 -
5. Sign up for a cooking class
6. I will take a dance lesson
7. I will take pictures - I have been afraid of the camera since I gained the extra weight
8. I will get back in contact with the friends that I truely care about - I have lost contact with so many people that I actually care about since joining the military and I miss my friends
9. I will find my way back into my faith - I need to not lose focus right now. Life hasn't been easy, but I need to remain faithful.

Okay, here is the start to my list. I know that seems like this is like a new years resolution, but it's actually a bunch of things that I have just wanted to do, that I have put off and I'm not going to anymore.

Happy Fucking Birthday to Me... (part I)

So I had the bright idea of taking a HPT today, on my 31st birthday. Like an idiot. I got the idea because about two years ago there was a girl on the GP board on the bump who tested on her birthday and got her BFP and I always thought it would be an awesome day to find out. In the four plus years that we have been TTC I have never had the chance to test on my birthday so I decided to take advantage of the oppoutunity this time. Today I am 8dp5dt which is pretty accurate timeframe to be able to test and get an accurate result. Well, the test was glaring white. GLARING!!!

 I actually didn't cry as bad as I thought I would. In fact, I haven't really had a major breakdown yet today at all. I'm sure that is mostly because this morning I was at my parents house with 3 of my sisters, 2 nieces, by BIL, and of course my parents and husband. So I had to hold it together then. Since we are flying back today and I'm still in the air, I don't really want to have a meltdown on the plane either, so I'm forcing myself to be strong.
I think I'm just fucking fed up with this all. Sometimes, all I can do is ask myself "how the fuck did I get here"? How did I get from charting and anxiously TTC every month to injecting myself daily with hormones, going under anesthesia (sp) and having to do IVF? We are at such a loss of what we should do next. We don't know what to ask our doctor about what happened, we don't even understand ourselves how the exact same protocol and approach can yeild such different results.
I have to be honest and say that since we got the news of our blastocyst quality on transfer day I lost hope in this cycle. How would this cycle work with only "fair" blastocysts when last cycle didn't work with excellent ones? Then when I found out none made it to freeze, any hope I had left, basically went to the wayside.

I have been all over the net trying to figure out if this is an egg quality issue, sperm related, or if it is just bad luck. I have read that up to day three can be attributed to egg quality but after that it could be either an egg quality issue or sperm issue. This of course then led me to search for ways to try to increase my egg quality. One way that seems to help women who are larger than average is to lose at least 10% of their body weight.

Women with BMI of over 30 tend to have a slightly harder time being successful with IVF. Many clinics won't even take on patients if their BMI is 30 or above. One website I found
gives a great explanation of why IVF can have safety risk in larger patients. While I am not obese, I am overweight. In fact I currently have a BMI of 28. I don't know if this is what is effecting my egg quality, but I do know that if losing 20 lbs will help increase my chances of being successful with our next round of IVF, then I am going to do it. In fact, we are actually going to take an additional month off so that I can lose at least 20lbs before we start our next cycle. Again, I don't know if this will help, but it can't hurt.

We are of course going to discuss this with Dr. T and see what his thoughts on the subject are, but I can't see him being adverse to it. Another thing that we are going to mention is that Mr. P chews tobacco. We would like to know if Dr. T things that this could be having an effect on his sperm quality, and if him quitting could help. I would be shocked if he said that he sees no problem with it and tells Mr. P that he can keep doing it. I just don't know what do anymore!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

No Frosties

Around 2:25 this afternoon I decided to call the clinic to see if we had any that made it to freeze. I can't remember from last cycle if they called us or we called them, but I was really curious so I called. V said she hadn't heard from the IVF center yet so she asked me to hold while she called them. Before she even got back on the phone I knew it was bad news. I was sure that if the clinic had good news they would have called the clinic.
So, it was obviously no surprise when V got back on the phone and told me that none of them made them to freeze. I was heartbroken. I just can't believe how we went from making such great blasts last cycle to making such "fair" not "poor" blasts this cycle. I asked V to tell me what the ones we transferred back really were and she said they were "fair" not "poor". I asked her if people had ever gotten pregnant with "fair" blasts and she said yes.
I then asked why things turned out so different, we did the exact same thing!!! She said sometimes its just happens. She said Dr. T would likely be changing my protocol for next cycle. She said we might be able to use our frozen blasts, but I still don't think we want to. They are the best things we have right now and we are saving them in case we end up getting our money back. Plus, they aren't really part of the Shared Risk program and if they are the ones that work I would still want my money back.  She then told me not to even worry because we still had a good chance for this cycle. I don't know if I believe it.
Honestly, the last year has been pretty rough. Really, I am so happy for my birthday to come because I think things have to start turning around after that. I can't continue to have this kind of bad luck forever. I am just really going to focus on staying positive, relaxing, and praying that the two we put back are fighting to stick around for the long haul.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise ~ PUPO

That's excactly what I am right now. We had our embryo transfer to day and while everything went smoothly, I can't help but be dissapointed in this cycle. We got more eggs this time than last time 18 versus 17, but only 7 were mature this time versus 10 last time. This time we did get all seven to fertilize, but we had 8 last time. Last cycle all of our blastocysts were 4AB's at least. We were able to transfer 2, and freeze 5. This time our best were two 4AC's and while they are all still being watched, Dr. T thinks that 3 of the remaining 5 from this cycle won't make it to freeze. I am dissapointed to say the least.

The transfer went really well. We got the same dumb tech we got last time but luckily the wand was taken from her early on in the procedure. Just like last time I didn't have a full enough bladder when I got there, and they forced me to drink more. Also just like last time I had to use the bed pan as soon as they were done. The really neat thing about this time though, was that we were able to see the blastocysts shoot out of the catheter (sp) and be released into my uterus. I don't recall seeing that last time.

I have been home all afternoon resting and laying on my back. I am actually starting to get pretty sore. I really hope this works this time because I don't know how much more of this I can take. We have decided that we are going to test on my birthday (7dp5dt). That will either be my best birthday ever, or my worst birthday ever. I guess time will only tell. My beta isn't till the 17th, but if my HPT comes back positive I'm just going to go in and get it done early. I am scared shitless, but I'm really going to try not to think about it. I just pray that these are our sticky take home babies.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 3 Fert Report

Dr. T called me about 8:45 this morning to let me know that all of our Lucky 7 embies are still growing and doing well. He told me that we would not be coming in for  a 3DT but instead would be doing a 5DT on Monday. He didn't tell me what our cell division was and I didn't ask. Honestly, I didn't even think about asking until I saw a post on an online forum about her cell division on day 3. Dr. T makes me feel so weird I don't think I would have asked him anyway. I feel like he always leave the conversation hanging like he is waiting for you to ask another question, but you don't always have a question to ask. I am so made at myself for feeling this way!
Well the good news for me, is that Dr. R called me back later this morning to tell me what time my transfer would be on Monday. When he called, I got my chance to ask about cell division. Only problem, Dr. R didn't have the report. All he could tell me was that there must have been two that were at least 8 cells or more or the lab wouldn't let us push out to a 5DT. I guess that will have to do till Monday.
My goal for this weekend is to stay busy so that I am not constantly thinking about the transfer on Monday. Last night Mr. P and I went to a Flying Squirles (sp) game. ~Who names their team that~
Today we went to a Strawberry Faire. It was like a street festival in Ashland. It was massive!! There were so many vendors there and so many food stands. I am 100% positive that I did not stay within my calorie range for the day.
Once we left there, we headed to the 35th Annual Greek Festival. It wasn't as nice as the Strawberry Faire, but the food was way better!! Mr. P and I just quickly walked around their festival which was a quarter of the size. Then we got to-go plates. Mr. P had his finished before we got back to the car. All in all it has been a good day, but I am dog tired from being out in the sun all day! Tomorrow we are planning on going to see Darius Rucker in a concert on the beach, but I don't know if we will make it. Mr. P will be the one driving so it will be up to him.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lucky #7

Dr. T called today and told us that out of our 18 eggs retrieved, only 7 were mature. 7!! Thankfully, all 7 were ICSI'd and fertilized. We should get a call tomorrow letting us know how they are doing, and again on Saturday to let us know if we will be doing a three day or a 5 day transfer. I'm still feeling pretty uncomfortable. I am actually quite a bit more uncomfortable than I remember being last time. I actually feel pretty sick to boot. I really hope this is our lucky cycle because I don't know how much more of this my body can take.
On another note, Mr. P's sister had her baby today. He looks just like his older brother.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

18 Eggs!!!

I had my ER this morning and everything went really well. We got up around 6:00 to get everything (me)  ready to go. My clinic asks us to douche the morning of ER so I stepped into the shower to take care of that. I was pretty uncomfortable this morning, but I actually felt better than I remember feeling for IVF #1. For IVF #1 I was so bloated that I basically waddled into the office. Not to mention every bump in the road on the way to clinc was killer. 
 I felt more pain this time in my ovaries, but definitely didn't feel as bloated this time. We left the house at about 6:30 and got lost on the way. Not really lost lost, but we took the wrong exit and ended up driving through a mall parking and a few plaza's before finding our way back on track and to the clinic. 
Once we got to the center I was quickly shuffled back to the pre-op/recovery room. Nurse Kathi went over all of my medical history and then I got dressed into my gown.She went over everthing about the procedure and even explained how they would retrieve the eggs. Until today I had no idea the needle went through the vaginal wall. I guess it makes sense, but I never really thought about it.  Our clinic has wifi so I got on facebook while I waited for the "happy meds" guy to come in. The whole pre-op process went pretty quick. I go to the clinic at about 7:00 and I was wheeled to the procedure room at about 7:50. 
 I don't remember much after being rolled into the procedure room. I just know that when I woke up they told me we had 18 eggs retrieved, which is almost the exact same number we got last time. I'm pretty happy with that. Once I was able to relieve myself I was released to go home, which was about an hour later. I probably could have gone sooner, but I could not stay awake after I initially work up. I was so much more tired this time than I remember being last time. Lucky for me I was the only patient they had this morning so I got all the attention from the staff. 
 Once I got home I was able to eat a bit so I could take my pain pill, then I slept for a couple of hours. I feel a lot better now, but I cannot stop peeing! So I am just going to rest up tonight and keep my fingers crossed for a great fert report tomorrow.