To Freeze or Not to Freeze

Well, here we go again…

I’m sorry for not responding to all of the caring messages from my last post. For some reason that failure hit a lot harder than I had expected it to. That mixed with it being my birthday and my parents leaving and work becoming extremely busy was just a lot. It just wasn’t a fun month.

But I eventually dusted myself off in time for our follow up appointment. The fact that we have such an awesome RE helped me get even more excited. He always seems to read my mind. This time I wanted to ask him about HGH and he brought it up all on his own.

I heard about human growth hormone on Instagram and on some forums. Dr P mentioned that studies show that it does show some good results on increasing egg quality. Unfortunately, it’s no longer FDA approved so doctors aren’t prescribing it as much anymore. He explained that it costs around $1000 for a vial and I would need 4 vials. So scratch that idea. Then he said that he’s been telling his patients to use Serovital. It’s a supplement that increases your natural HGH and it’s about $200 for a 3 months supply. So we opted for that.

We’re also going to stick with the same protocol. I asked if this was a good idea and whether we shouldn’t go balls to the walls and double the dosage (not in those words of course) but he said that we’re already at a very high dose (300iu gonal f and 150iu of menopur). He wants to stick to this and either go a little up or down depending on how I respond.

We also discussed N doing another frozen sample. We went through the pro’s and con’s and in a rare display of humour our RE said “To freeze or not to freeze. That is the question”. Okay, yes, it was a lame joke. But we all had a good laugh. I guess you had to be there.

We are doing one change though. We’re going to try estrogen priming. I think that’s what it’s called. I’m to go in on day 21 of this current cycle to test my progesterone and then I’ll start estrogen pills twice a day until sometime after I start the stimulating meds. Correct me if I’m wrong but the extra estrogen is supposed to help my follicles respond to the stimulating medication better. So here’s hoping.

I’m excited to get back in the saddle. I forgot about this never ending up and down roller coaster ride. A few weeks ago, I was near to giving up all together and now I’m ready to go again. Is this the definition of madness?

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Anyway, in other news. I’ve hired a personal trainer!! I’m on week 3 I think. My tap instructor’s husband is a personal trainer and he offered to take me and two of my friends on so that we could split the cost because, let’s face it, I’m not that much of a baller. It’s been really hard but really fun. I’m glad we took the plunge. The sucky bit is that it’s twice a week (for now) so I’m away from my family Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights (Thursdays are dance night). But I have to keep my eye on the prize. It’s not forever and I want to feel better about my body.

I also started sober October on Tuesday. I’m all in now but this weekend will be the real test. I usually start my drinking on Fridays and we have a birthday party this weekend and apple picking on Sunday which I could easily turn into some brunch time day drinking after. But I will be strong!!!

Next, I have to clean up my eating. More on this later.

Oh and lastly, I’m slowly making moves to apply for a Masters program. Slowly. I applied to take the GRE test. It’s in November and I haven’t started studying. If anyone has taken the GRE, please give me some advice. I keep thinking it’ll be easy but I could be fooling myself. Let’s see how it goes.

And that’s it for me. Posting will likely ramp up again in the coming weeks. I truly appreciate each and every one of you who are still following this blog that’s almost nearly dead. I have been thinking of starting another blog too. Not a mommy blog. A blog to parse out my past trauma and dealing with residual anxiety etc. My therapist suggested it. It will be raw. I’m just trying to think of a name for it.

Okay, I hope all of you are still rocking and rolling.

Lots of love!! xxx

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Why is Hope?

A beta of 8.46 is not a good beta. Every time someone posted a low beta like this I always read the fingers-crossed’s and the you’re-still-not-out’s with a bit of annoyance. Like why are we giving this poor woman any hope? Let’s be realistic. 8.46 is not good.

And yet, I hoped.

I scoured for success story after success story. I replayed the voicemail and even the nurse sounded hopeful. “You never know”, she said. But I’m sure she knew.

And still, I hoped.

On Tuesday, I was barely keeping it together. Just fragile and constantly on the verge of tears.

But still, so hopeful.

On Wednesday morning I turned 38. I somehow managed to keep this at the forefront of my thoughts and for the most part it worked. It was a genuinely happy day. The phone call came at 2 and even when I learned that the beta dropped to 1.5 I pushed that sadness all the way down and rejoiced that I didn’t have to do any more damned progesterone shots. It’s okay. We’ll get it next time.

I was hopeful.

Thursday, I was still okay. I thought I was okay. I went through the entire day okay. Even when I walked into therapy I avoided talking about it and ranted about work instead. The last 15 minutes my body gave up the fight and completely fell apart. It felt good to get it out. I was trying to be strong for Lucky and my parents and my husband and myself and my body was not having it. But it felt good to get it all out. I’m mad that I got my hopes for fucking 8.46. I’m scared that our RE will not know what to do next because we only got 5 eggs last time. I’m sad that I had to experience my first chemical pregnancy on my birthday.

Why did I hope?

I think I’m okay now, though. I think. Our wtf and next steps appointment is September 20th so I guess…

There is still hope.

Mind the Gap

Well, I’m in an FET cycle so it’s definitely time for an update I think! We’re actually at the almost end of this FET cycle. Transfer is set for Friday! Let me just catch you all and myself up.

I started my period on Sunday, June 16th. I went if for a baseline blood test on Tuesday the 18th and all was good to go.

Started birth control that that evening for what seemed like forever.

I finally added Lupron 20units on July 9th along with the birth control. And I finished the birth control on July 15th but continued the Lupron.

On Friday, July 19th we did another baseline. Endo lining was 3.5, No cysts and 10 antral follicles. Blood test results: Progesterone – 0.324; LH – 0.966; Estradiol – 9.49.

On the 19th I dropped Lupron down to 10 and added Estrogen 2 pills twice a day.

On the 23rd we did another Estradiol check (68.69). I would increase Estrogen pills to 2pills 3 times a day on the 28th.

On the 25th, Me, N and Lucky went on our first overseas family trip for a friend reunion of sorts. Two of my bestest friends, one lives in the UK and one in Switzerland. So we all decided to meet in Gatwick at UK friend’s house, I haven’t seen her in 15 yrs and the visit was just awesome. We did a good amount of touristy things, so my feet are still kinda toast lol. We ate a lot of great food. And drank a lot. I think I’m officially a gin and tonic girl now. I wish we had more time to explore more and see more but I think it was perfect for a first trip. We did Brighton, a castle, a lot of shopping and a day and a bit in London. London is too big to do in that short amount of time but it was great, nevertheless.

The flights however were pretty traumatic. Lucky was really tough on the way there. We flew at night and got there in the morning and he only slept for 1hr. The rest of the time he was whiney and busy. We had all the snacks and all the toys and nothing worked. At one point, I was holding him and he yanked the mask off the sleeping lady next to me! She was really nice though, she said that he was an angel and that she’s done it before by herself with 2 little ones. I don’t know, we were pretty traumatized.

But he was a champ on the trip itself. Well, kinda. His dad had to carry him around most times because he didn’t like the stroller (push car, buggy, etc.) but we were able to trick him into it during nap times while we were out and about. And he was about 5hrs off his sleeping schedule. Eventually we just let him sleep whenever he wanted to (Usually around 11 or midnight). It was a holiday after all.

The flight back was even more traumatic. What started out as him being a bit warm and fussy at the house, quickly descended into the very stressful flight with his fever spiking between 103 and 104 periodically for 6hrs. We’d never dealt with it that high for that long before and I only brought tylenol with me. He slept most of the way home and was just a lethargic mess. We felt helpless up there. When we landed we rushed off the plane and had someone rush us through customs so we could get him to the dr. They called the EMT to take a look at him and at the point his fever was down a bit but he was just laying on his dad. They offered us an ambulance to get through Boston traffic but we declined, since our friend was already there to pick us up. He cried most of the way home but by the time we got home we thought the worst was over. Unfortunately on Saturday it started again and we eventually took him to the ER where his fever was at 105. Eventually, they gave us meds and ran all the tests and gave him an antibiotic and after about 5hrs there they discharged us and things got better from then on out. He still has some diarrhea but the fever never came back. They think it was just a tummy bug.

He’s fine now. Yesterday I bought him an ice cream sundae after his follow up with the paediatrician. He’d been through so much. Chest x-ray, Blood draw, 3 intramuscular injections. My poor boy. I’m just glad it’s over.

I had to squeeze in a monitoring appointment during all of this baby drama on Saturday morning. My lining was at 8.1 and I had 2 follicles. My progesterone was at 0.278, LH at 1.23 and Estradiol at 145.1.

With that I was given the go ahead to stop Lupron that night and then next day to start Progesterone shots that Sunday (August 5th) at 9am.

9am shot means that I would have to find someone to help me do the shots at work. Since school is closed the nurses wouldn’t be there. And I don’t really have anyone close enough that I trust but I took the leap. I got a colleague to agree but then I realised we have nursing teachers who were likely in the building. I asked one and she actually declined. She said she’s not employed as a nurse and didn’t want to risk anything. I’m writing this matter of factly but at the time I realised that I’d have to do the shot myself and I was in a flat panic (yes, I cried). The colleague who said she’d help disappeared just before 9 (ugh) so I rushed to the bathroom and attempted it myself. It was awful. I got it in the first time and pulled back all the blood so I had to pull it out and blood was pouring out. I didn’t have an extra needle so I just had to do it again. I was shaking so badly and getting dizzy. All I kept thinking was if I fainted and bumped my head and bled out I hoped that lady would be happy. Eventually, I stuck it in again and didn’t hit any blood vessels and pushed everything in while the other wound was still dripping blood on the floor. What a mess. But I did it! I don’t need anyone!!

I’m proud of myself but still salty that she didn’t want to help me. I hope I never see her again.

That being said, today’s shot was textbook. No pain, no blood, perfect. I really don’t need anyone.

Anyway, this has gone on long enough. I’ll try to post again before Friday. Just to get thoughts and feelings before go time. I really haven’t had time to process this whole cycle. I think that’s a good thing, though. But I’d hate to have a nervous breakdown on the drive up to the clinic. Thankfully, I have a therapy appointment on Thursday. That’ll help.

 

Fertilization Report

Four eggs were mature and two fertilized normally.

I’m wondering if it’s self preservation that has me disregarding these two already. I was mentally writing down what questions I’ll ask about moving forward when we go to our follow-up appointment. I’ve pretty much already given up on them.

I won’t hear anything from the clinic until Friday but I’ve already prepared for neither of them to make it biopsy. The thought of one or even both making it to Friday has not crossed my mind. And then after that, the chances of one or both passing PGD testing is completely out of the realm of possibility for me.

I really appreciate that everyone around me (yourselves included) are able to be positive and hopeful. That’s what this is all about, right? Rallying.

Anyway, I definitely think I’m self-preserving. I’ll need all this energy to get up and go again if I have to. I don’t have time to fight between hope and despair.

I hope I’m not coming off flippant or ungrateful. Let’s just say if, by some miracle, we beat all the odds and we happen to have a healthy baby from this cycle, you can be damned sure that child will be the most spoiled child on the planet so that I can make up for essentially turning my back on it today.

 

Miracles Needed

IVF ROUND 6

DAY 9
(Wednesday May 1)

Meds: 300iu Gonal-f , 150iu Menopur, 25iu Cetrotide
Notes: estrogen=834.2; LH=2.03; progesterone=0.537; lining=9.5mm; Left Ovary=15.5, 16.6, 10.8, 8.2; Right Ovary=16.2

I really hope these 5 follicles are the best 5 follicles there ever were. These low counts are just not compatible with our history of shitty fertilization and dismal PGD testing results.

It’s miracle time, guys.

tenor

Emotional: Meh
Physical: Meh
Food: Chinese

Hitting the Wall

IVF ROUND 6

DAY 7 – Monitoring Day
(Monday April 29)

Meds: 300iu Gonal-f , 150iu Menopur, 25iu Cetrotide

Notes: estrogen=467.9; LH=4.39; progesterone=n/a; lining=8.8mm; Left Ovary=13.1, 13.6, 9.4; Right Ovary=14.4

Man, these results are frustrating me. Still only 4 follicles and they’re getting too big for more to catch up, in my opinion, but my estrogen is only up 200ish. I’m having a hard time reminding myself that every cycle is different. Maybe my body isn’t used to the barrage of hormones after this long of a break.

We added Cetrotide last night. I don’t remember the needle being that long. It drew a lot of blood.

I’m not liking this cycle so far. It started off good but now I’m not so sure. N was trying to be reassuring yesterday but I’m just meh.  I know it’s still very early in the game but I don’t have a good feeling. And I’m already stressed about next cycle. I think we’re at max medication doses. What else could we do?

Emotional: Woe is me

Physical: Tired. I don’t like talking about CM but it’s there and it’s a lot. Sorry.

Food: I don’t remember lunch. Short ribs and cauliflower mash for dinner.

Quickie Update

IVF ROUND 6

DAY 6 
(Sunday April 28)

Meds: 300iu Gonal-f , 150iu Menopur

Notes: estrogen=209.7; LH=1.63; progesterone=0.251; lining=5.4mm; Left Ovary=9.9, 9.4, 6.8; Right Ovary=9.9

Nothing exciting. Again, writing yesterday’s post this morning and I had a not so good monitoring appointment this morning. I’ll update again once I get all the results from today’s test.

Last night was same old same old.

Emotional: Game of Thrones… that is all.

Physical: Still really so very tired. And crampy in the uterus. My pants is current unbuttoned.

Food: Hot dogs for lunch. Shrimp stir fry for dinner.