Thursday, April 26, 2012

Today I went to the fertility center to pick up my medicine. I was expecting a bag, but not a GROCERY BAG filled with medicine. Really. Here’s the bag:

And here’s all the injections and medicines inside of the bag:

And all of that is going to go in me or on me or whatever in some form or another. This throws things in a whole new perspective. It just got a little scarier.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

National Infertility Week

This week is National Infertility Week. Please take the time to support those in your lives who are suffering from infertility.

Here's a great link about infertility etiquette and how to offer support to those who are going through infertility treatments:

And here's the link to the National Infertility Week website:

Take some time to visit them, and take some time to be thankful for what you have and what you don't have to go through.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My IVF Protocol

For those of you who care, this is my IVF schedule/protocol:

4/10 - Start of cycle. Start prenatal vitamins.
4/11 - Baseline bloodwork. Start birth control pills (BCP) for 21 days.
4/23- Mock embryo transfer and endometrial biopsy.
5/1- Start Lupron and baby aspirin
5/5- Stop BCPs and continue Lupron and baby aspirin
5/10- Baseline bloodwork and ultrasound

If the bloodwork and ultrasound come back normal, then I begin my stims along with the Lupron and baby aspirin. Stims last for ten days, and then it's time for egg retrieval and then the transfer. :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Acupuncture Visit #1

I decided to support my IVF cycle with acupuncture. I am going to a healing center that has an acupuncturist who specializes in fertility treatment and IUI/IVF support (thank you to my friend who recommended her to me!).

I feel really good about my decision, even if it's quite a drive to Owings Mills and back each week. Hopefully, it will be worth it. I'll see her once a week until the day of the embryo transfer, on which I will see her immediately before and after the treatment. After that, I'll see her once a week again until I get my positive pregnancy test.

She told me that I'm not "infertile" but "sub-fertile" and that often times, western medicine can stick labels on you that only make you more anxious and overwhelmed, which doesn't help the pregnancy process at all. So, the first thing I had to do was stop thinking of myself as being infertile.

I know that people say, "If you stop trying, it will happen." And to a fault, they are right, no matter how infuriating it is to hear someone saying "stop trying" when you've been doing everything you possibly could for fifteen months. By being labeled "infertile" I am adding an extra stressor to my life. When the body senses stress, it assumes that you are in danger, and in a woman's body, this means that it won't be optimal for pregnancy, because the body doesn't want to support a pregnancy when it is dangerous. So, getting rid of the stress through the acupuncture is part of our plan.

The second thing I have to do is to treat my body like it is already pregnant. I'm finding this to be the most difficult. I think it's because I get so bitter about not being pregnant, that it's hard to pretend like I am. The nurse at the fertility center told me to take walks every day, and I've not been doing that. I rather curl up and sleep because a little part of me wonders how pointless all of this is. It hasn't worked before...why would it work now? It's a horrible attitude to have, and thankfully I don't think about it all too much anymore. The up-side to my nurse's orders is that I have switched over to a high protein diet, so I'm hoping I see some results as far as that is concerned.

To be honest, since I've been on the birth control, I feel like I've let go of some of the stress. I am not taking my temperature every morning, I know that it doesn't matter when or if I ovulate this cycle, and I'm not spending two, agonizing weeks lamenting over pregnancy tests. It's just been very liberating on top of being very frustrating because now I wish I could foster this attitude and give myself a chance to conceive naturally...but the birth control kind of puts a damper on things.

I keep checking the calender and looking at how far away everything still is. I have two more weeks of birth control pills before I start lupron, then a week of so of that before I start my stims. And then, I have ten days of stims before I go in for my egg retrieval. It all seems so very far away, and it's hard to keep everything in perspective. My therapist keeps telling me to find something to do for myself and for Brandon during this time, and to enjoy our days without children. This has also been very difficult to do, especially when everyone around you is having babies or getting pregnant, and I am being left behind...or at least it feels that way.

I try to focus on the positives, though. So, here's a list of my positives:

1. I am preparing my body so that it is optimal for pregnancy.
2. I have time to spend with my husband that isn't hampered by a new baby.
3. If my IVF cycle is successful, my due date will be around Brandon's birthday.
4. Hopefully, with diet and exercise, I lose the mysterious weight I've been gaining.
5. I have a blessed, stable marriage and profession that can support a family.
6. I have direction in my life.
7. I have goals I strive toward.
8. I have a husband who loves me. Truly, honestly loves me.
9. I have a girl's name picked out, but no boy's name. Brandon and I are working on it!
10. I have a roof over my head. A roof that belongs to the house that we own.
11. I am mentally in a better place than I was a year ago when we first started trying.
12. I have the support of my family and friends, and I don't need to hide anything from them.

Anyway. This post is brought to you by not being able to sleep at 4am. I should get back into bed. :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

IVF Update

I owe you guys an update, I know. I’ve been a little out of it of sorts as of late, mostly because I’m still sort of blind-sided by all this, and trying to cope.

We’ve decided to go through with the IVF. It was not an easy decision, and I cried for a couple of days about it because I was so stressed out and disappointed. Thankfully, I had a therapist appointment the day after I made the decision, and my doctor put things in a better perspective for me, and I felt much better after that.

My first IVF appointment went well. The nurse took some blood to test, then gave me this kit that has needles and a vial with saline solution in it. The kit is to help me practice giving myself injections, since eventually, I will have to do that. I haven’t practiced yet, but I still have two weeks before that has to happen.

The first step forward feels like a huge step backward. I have to go on birth control for three weeks. I know. It makes no sense. But, it does make sense as far as the whole process goes. Since I’ve been on hormones the past three months, my body is all out of whack. The birth control will regulate those hormones and get them back into a good place. It also helps to prevent over stimulation of the ovaries, or OHSS, a potential complication of IVF treatment.

After three weeks, I will start Lupron injections. Lupron keeps my body from ovulating while my ovaries are stimulated to produce as many follicles as they can.

After two weeks of injections, I’ll arrange my egg retrieval. It’s a minor surgery where they will go in and collect all the eggs they can. During this process, we want there to be lots of good eggs, since I can have the other embryos frozen and if this cycle doesn’t produce a pregnancy, I won’t have to go through the whole process again.

Around the week of the 21st of May is when the IVF will actually take place. After the eggs are retrieved and fertilized, it takes about three to five days for them to mature enough to be transferred back into the body. We are going to transfer two back to increase our chances of one of them implanting. Two is the most they will let me transfer at my age. I COULD ask for three, but they would heavily advise against it. Two is enough for me. :)

Then, it’s back to playing the waiting game to see if they have made themselves snug and cozy in my uterus.

The process is not going to be easy. It’s going to be stressful and it’s going to suck big time...but it’s what I have to do, so I may as well get on with it, right?

Continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. At some point, they have to work. We really appreciate all the support that has been offered to us so far, and all the positive thinking will result in something beautiful in the end...I hope.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I wrote my last post on my phone, so I thought I'd clarify a few things now that I have a keyboard in front of me.

The nurse said that my RE wouldn't prescribe the Clomid all on its own, and that I'd have to do an IUI with it. I don't know why this is, but I'm not going to argue with a doctor. So, another IUI was one of my choices.

The lap has its up side and it's down side. On the up side, they'd be able to see if there's a problem that they didn't catch before and they could fix it. On the down side, if I get it done and there's nothing wrong, I wasted a cycle.

Finally, the IVF. It has the highest success rate, and I don't need the lap to get it done because with IVF you bypass all the issues that would be found in a lap anyway. The up side to the IVF is that it's most likely to work (fingers crossed). The down side is that it takes 6-8 weeks to complete one IVF cycle. I'll start birth control in a couple of days, and when that is done, I'll start my daily shots and bloodwork and all that jazz. It's a horribly long and tedious process, but if I get my baby in the end, that's all that matters.

I guess most of my being upset is stemming from the fact that I never thought I'd be someone who would have to go through IVF. I'm 27 years old. Why is this happening to me? But, as my husband pointed out to me -- everyone is different. And this is just the way it is. If we want our baby, we're going to have to go down these roads we never saw ourselves on in the first place.

I feel like I've failed him. I feel like I'm failing my family and his family because I can't work the way I am supposed to. I've been at this for 15 months now. I could have had a baby by this point. But I have nothing to show for. That's really what hurts down inside. I am a broken woman.

But we will prevail. Somehow, I'm going to get through this. Tears and all.

On to IVF

The doctor gave me three choices: another iui, a laparascopy (surgery to see inside my uterus and ovaries with a camera), or IVF. Another iui is stupid, a lap is a waste of a I went with IVF. It is going to take a good almost two months for one IVF cycle, so I may as well get on with it now.

I am really sad, regardless. This is not how I thought my baby would be made.

New Cycle

Well, it's official...the third IUI did not work. I am thankful for all of your prayers and your positive thoughts, though, and I'm hoping I can ask you to roll them over into the next cycle.

I've made the decision not to go to to IVF yet. I'm not emotionally or physically ready to put myself through the process, and I rather be in the right place and have my body be at it's best before I commit myself to something so involved. IVF is a very stressful process, with frequent (every-other-day) doctor's visits, daily hormone shots, surgery and more. The very thought of it makes me upset, even as I sit here and type this.

Instead, I'm going to be asking if I can do two more clomid cycles all on its own. No IUIs. I'm going to use my fertility monitor that I paid for and haven't been using (since I've been monitored by ultrasounds), and I'm going to do things as naturally and stress-free as possible.

I don't know if I'm being stupid putting off the IVF. I could get my take home baby faster if I just jumped into it...but I figure that if I can't even talk about it without tearing up, that I'm just not ready to believe I need or to undergo IVF.

I never thought this process would be so hard. I always knew I'd have difficulty because of the PCOS, but I never thought I'd be in this place right now. Ugh. Never take anything for granted, ladies.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

12 DPO -- Nothing and Losing Hope

12 DPO today with no lines on anything. It's taken until today for it to hit me that this IUI probably failed too...and I'm really sad. Really, really sad.

I don't know what comes next now. I'm so emotionally exhausted from all of this, and I'm not sure I can go through with IVF when I'm just so tired. Part of me wanted to wait until the summer to do IVF, and that's probably the best idea, but at the same time, I know I won't allow myself to breathe between now and then. I'll just continue to worry and become bitter that I can't seem to function the way I'm supposed to.

I tried not to put so much stock into this cycle so that I wouldn't be hurt...but I hurt. I hurt a lot. I don't know what I did in my life to deserve this, but I wish I could fix it somehow so it would all go away.

I hate this. I really want to give up. I'm so tired.