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

Bittersweet

IVF ROUND 6

DAY 5 – Monitoring Day
(Monday April 27)

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

The ultrasound tech who showed us Lucky for the first time did my monitoring appointment this morning. I asked if she remembered me and she said she remembered my name. And we had a good little chat. Turns out she also did IVF and has 25yr old twin girls. She’s really lovely. I was nice to chat with her but I was sad that the scan was over really quickly because I noticed that she didn’t count that many black circles. I only saw 3 that she measured.

There was a period of time, when we were deep in our cycles, when I’d resolved to go back to school to become an embryologist so that I could give back. The furthest I’d gotten in this venture was to ask an embryologist about what I would need to study and how long it would take. They were really nice about it but did say that you’re pretty much on call 24/7 because embryo’s don’t take weekends off. I still think it’s an incredibly awesome job and one that I think would bring my great fulfillment but I don’t know if I’m cut out. Anyway, my point was that I think it’s cool that the ultrasound tech is working there after going through infertility. I also have a friend who had triplets who were born at 26 weeks and she is now a nicu nurse after being an architect and I think that is just awesome!

I’m more than a little bummed with these low follie counts this morning. Only 4 on day 5. But my estrogen is still low at 209 and the nurse on the phone did say the results are excellent. So I guess everything is going well. Slow and steady right?

I went on a massive unnecessary but necessary shopping spree with friends B and K and Lucky today. There was a lot of walking and I had a lot of sharp pains in my ovary area. So I’m just laying on the couch now resting to the max. I would like to get a pedicure tomorrow. If not then more couch resting is in store.

Hope everyone’s having a good weekend so far!

Emotional: Trying to keep my chin up about the low follicle count Slow and steady dude!

Physical: Lots of sharp pains in my lower belly. Headache. Dizzy.

Food: Tuna melts for lunch, Ribs from Chili’s for dinner.

Success!

IVF ROUND 6

DAY 3
(Thursday April 25)

Meds: 300iu Gonal-f , 150iu Menopur 

Notes: estrogen=13.30; LH=9.30; progesterone=0.228; lining=3.7mm; antral follicles=16 

Let the record show that I can do shots anywhere now :). Let the record also show that reclining seats at the movies is a great invention.

The movie was at 6:30. N was next to a single gentleman on his left and I was next to a young lady with her partner on my right. I’m sure she snuck alcohol into the theatre but that’s neither here nor there. At first I was worried about how I would hide whate I was doing from her but the seats were big enough and she was far enough away so it wasn’t an issue.

I got myself comfortable as soon as the movie started laying on my left side facing N, undid my jeans buttons and had my handbag and jacket make like a ring of protection around my tummy area.

It really wasn’t a big deal when it came to injection time at 8:30. It was dark enough to be discrete and light enough for me to see what I was doing. Easy peasy. I’d pre-mixed everything at home so it really was just point an click at that point. I did chuckle at myself when I went to stab in the Gonal-F and it would NOT go in. I tried 3 times. I panicked and told N the needle was too blunt! Then I realised that I’d forgotten to take the second smaller cap off the gonal-f needle. Lol. What a relief.

So yeah, all-in-all a good experience. Next I’ll try somewhere more challenging like evening rock climbing. HAHA.

Emotional: Saddish about random things. Not sure if related to hormones.

Physical: Still headachey but last night started feeling bubbles and pops in my ovary area so I think things are happening.

Food: Last night. Burger and fries (Lord I need to eat better) and popcorn.

Endgame Dilemma

IVF ROUND 6

DAY 1
(Tuesday April 23)

Meds: 300iu Gonal-f , 150iu Menopur 

Notes: estrogen=13.30; LH=9.30; progesterone=0.228; lining=3.7mm; antral follicles=16 (sixteen!?)

So here we go again. I thought it would be like riding a bike but after I put little man down we got everything out and ready and then looked at each other with no idea how to do anything.

The Gonal-f was easy but we had to Google how much liquid to use to mix 2 vials of Menopur. It took us 20 minutes but we did it.

We do have one dilemma. Maybe someone has some insight. I always try to take the shots at the exact same time. The window they gave us was between 7 and 9pm. We did it at 8:30. Tomorrow night we’re going to watch the new Avengers movie at 6:30. N says it’s fine for us to do the shot at 6:30 because it’s within that 2 hr window (ie 2hrs from 8:30) but I’m more inclined to do a shot in the dark because I don’t want to miss any part of the movie and I want to stay in the 7-9 window. Am I being nuts? Maybe there will be trailers until 7 and I can do the shot in the bathroom before. What are your thoughts? I don’t want to be outside of the 7-9 window. And I don’t want to miss the movie I’ve been waiting a year for.

Other than that, so far so good. Let’s get those eggies!!!

Emotional: I don’t know guys. I just told all my friends we’re trying again and now I’m feeling a bit more pressure to succeed. But trying to stay in the moment.

Physical: Last night I had the first restful sleep I’ve had in a while. I’ll do an anxiety post soon about my sleeping. But this morning I have a massive headache. Yuck.

Food: Last night. Ham and cheese sliders for dinner and a pastrami sandwich for lunch. I’ll kick it up a notch tonight.

IVF Cycle 6 Begins

Well that came on a lot quicker than I expected!

I usually have a few weeks of birth control to ease myself in and complain about but since we’re not doing that this round I’m feeling a bit rushed and off kilter.

I don’t think I updated on anything after our preamble meeting with the RE. We did all our tests and had our follow up on the 3rd. The game plan is simple. Go in hard and fast. Hopefully come out victorious.

Because of my lowish AMH (1.03) he doesn’t want to suppress me with BCP’s so we’re just going to start 300iu Gonal F and 150iu Menopur for about 12 days. You know the drill.

So that day is today. I had my baseline tests this morning and I’m supposed to start tonight between 7 and 9. Yikes!

That being said, because I want to track these cycles as closely as I did with Lucky, I’m going to post again tonight after the first shots. So this was just a “hey how’s it going, let’s get this started” post.

Sooo… Hey, how’s it going? Let get this started!!

 

Fear of a Name

“Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself”

When a friend of mine, who’d just had a second baby, asked me if we would try again, I explained that I’d love to but I’m afraid. In not actively trying, having a second child is a choice that I was in control of. If we decided to try again and it ultimately failed then we no longer have that choice and it was scary to have that choice and control taken away.

What I didn’t tell her was that we were already into plans for a 2nd baby and our appointment with the RE was set up and things were happening.

Until now, I still haven’t had the courage to say it out loud and we’ve since met with the RE and we just finished all our pre-cycle testing so things are really really happening.

I don’t know where I am mentally. I mean I know my family is not complete and I know that this is what we need to do to complete it so these facts are keeping me moving forward but every time I dwell on the negatives I want to quit while we’re “ahead”. So I’m clinging to the exciting bits. The possibilities. And so far there’s been good and not so good news but our RE is on board and eager (from what I can read on his all-business face) so off we go!

The story thus far:

The meeting with the RE was typical. We have no frozen embryos so we have to start from scratch. We don’t have to do another ERA (yay) but we did have to do all the pre-cycle testing, including a hysteroscopy (boo). He dropped the “let’s not wait because you’re old af” line but with such finesse that I didn’t mind. He also said that because N had to go to St Thomas (zika zone) for work that we’d have to delay 3 months or use our frozen sample. I think we’re going to use his frozen sample because … old af. And lastly the PGD lab we used before merged with another so we would have to register with them and do another genetics consult. The price for their testing a potentially more expensive (750 per embryo instead of 2k for 8) but we usually only get 2 or 3 embryos to test so not too worried about that. All in all it was a positive appointment. All questions were answered etc etc.

My hysteroscopy was yesterday and it was something else. After the last one I swore I would never do it again. The pain, for me, was almost on par with labour. So the drive to the clinic was extremely difficult and in that hour I had built the pain up so much I almost turned the car around. I don’t know how I made it through that. I explained to him that the last time it hurt a lot and I was shaking and near to tears. He of course said it shouldn’t be more than a bit crampy. I pulled a face that made the nurse laugh out loud. I think I went somewhere safe in my mind to help me through it.

And the kicker? It didn’t hurt… at all. I felt nothing. I felt the speculum go in and I asked him for a second to collect myself and then I said okay go and I waited for pain and nothing. Then I heard him tell the nurse to take a picture, and another picture. I asked if he’s already in and he said yes he’s actually all done. I think I melted right there. I couldn’t believe it. I asked why it was so easy and the nurse asked if I had vaginal birth and I said no, a c-section and she asked if I had contractions and I said yes and she said that’s why. I’ve never been more relieved but in thinking about it I think it’s just another little cruel joke that it’s just a little more painful to go through IVF for your first child. If that makes sense.

After he showed me pictures of my uterus he showed me my AMH levels and again asserted that we have time but we have to go get those eggs now. My levels went from 2.7 to 1.4 to 1.03. I’m not sure what the time frame is so not sure how rapid of a decline that is. I asked 2 ivf friends for their input and have decided not to google AMH numbers. It’s not going to help. I just know that this time it’s going to be harder, but not impossible.

Oh, one last bit of news. Before we left the RE’s appointment we were in with the nurse going over paperwork and quickly she left the room to ask the finance lady how many cycles we had left on insurance and she came back in and said we only have one, just like I feared. We were bummed of course and while we were gathering our things to leave we heard footsteps running down the hall “Wait! Wait!” and in busts the finance lady, “You guys had a baby, right?”. We said yes, so she said “Six.. You have six cycles. Insurance resets after every live birth”… Omg the relief. I could have hugged her. We are so very, incredibly lucky to live where we live and I’m so lucky to work where I work.

So that’s where we are with that. Our follow up appointment with him is April 3rd. After my next cycle which is a bummer so we’re going to start our retrieval cycle end of April. And he loves long suppression cycles so I’m envisioning a retrieval mid to end of June. Ah the slow turning wheel of IVF.

Well, here’s to facing fear. And here’s to speaking it’s name.

 

 

Carb City

It was a good day and a good retrieval. I only took today off so I’m just napping and resting and filling up on all the carbs I missed out on these past few weeks.

I’ll write more in the morning but everything went well and the pain is minimal. I’m just battling a violent headache. 

They retrieved 20 eggs!  I’m extremely surprised and elated. I know most of them won’t be mature but that’s a great number. I was worried that with that many eggs I would be in a bunch of pain but I’m really doing well. Right now anyway. 

One day at a time. And today was a win. 

Thank you very much everyone for keeping us in your thoughts. Thank you so very much. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to dive into a grilled cheese sandich… Maybe two.