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I took an HPT this morning, its 10 dp3dt, so something should be showing on that goddamn test, but no, only one clear solid line.  My blood test is on Monday, I guess I’ll POAS Sunday just to confirm the news.  I had been on and off crampy this whole time, which my Hope Addict was sure was a sign that this time was different.  But today I am feeling period crampy, which would be about right, as I ovulated on Thursday or Friday 2 weeks ago.  

I hadn’t posted this month because, well,  I am sick and tired of talking about it.  Everyone knows and I have to tell everyone what’s going on, and there is just nothing left to say so it sucks to pretend to be positive and optimistic about it. And that there is any rhyme or reason to it all.  Especially when everyone is so sure it will work.  

The transfer was uneventful, other than the fact that my bladder wasn’t full and the mean doctor (the one I hate who was the only one on duty that day of course) had to rig up some tortuous implement to make sure the embryos got in ok.  She said they did, and it was a “smooth transfer” but of course I am blaming this BFN on my less than full bladder.  

I hate my infertility.  Hate my body for not doing what it is naturally programmed to do.  Hate hate hate.

We are done now for awhile and I have no other choice but to live with it…. I left my job when we moved and my husband’s insurance won’t cover infertility treatment, so that’s it for us for awhile.  Maybe Obama will help us all out soon with the crappy insurance issues.  We have 3 frosties left, but only one of them looked somewhat interesting to the doc.  I’m thinking that if 4 of the surviving 7 embryo didn’t work, there is something wrong with them/wrong with the “material” that went into making them.  I guess we will try on our own until something happens to let us pay for those last freezer babies.  I am thinking of buying that “fertility blend” …  has anyone ever used it?  Feels like the equivalent of buying the magic elixir at an old time medicine show.  But hey, grasping at straws is all we’ve got. 

How does one not become completely and utterly depressed?  I guess life goes on whether I am pregnant or not.  In a few weeks, we are going to UK to visit my sister in law who just gave birth to her 3rd child in 5 years.  As awful as it is, it will be very hard for me to share in the joy and happiness of the latest birth.  

Sigh.  Hope anyone who reads my blog is well.   In addition to not writing, I have not been reading about infertility either this past month…had to remove myself from it a bit.  But I know that for those of us who are not pregnant, staying in a community is helpful no matter how hard it seems, so I will make an effort going forward to support my infertile sisters. 

Best to you all…

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Saw the doc this morning, who suggested a natural cycle frozen cycle to change things up this time.  I am super excited about this, as I am anti-drug in general, and have been pretty horrified by the amount of IVF drugs I have consumed over the last three months.  I will still have to take medrol and keflex around the transfer, plus a small progesterone support afterwards.  Compared to what I’ve been taking, this is a huge reduction… the pharmaceutical companies are going to wonder what happened to their revenue stream.

I am on cycle day 1, and will see the doc on cycle day 5, then probably cycle day 9.  I will be monitoring my ovulation through OPK and he will monitor through ultrasound, and hopefully between the two of us we can get the transfer timing correct (he says 3 days after OPK surge).  To make things interesting, I am moving out of state next weekend, so that the next time I go back after CD9, I will be making a 3 hour trip to see the doc.  And if its anything like the other appointments I’ve been to, the actual exam will last about 17.3 seconds, making the 6 hour round trip seem exceptionally cruel.  I’m sure there will be a lot of waiting room action, though, which will bizzarely probably make me feel better about it.  We discussed moving the embryos, but that makes me too nervous, so I’m going to suck it up and travel ALOT for FET #2.  Luckily I have a few friends in the area where I can crash, so that should help a bit with the back and forth.

Doc put up the option of a second attempt at a fresh cycle, but noted that I might just always hyperstimulate for IVF, and a fresh cycle is not necessarily in my future.  I had never considered this before, which was a bit depressing.  He said for my IVF cycle I was on a small dose of drugs to begin with and dropped down to nothing at the end, and still had moderate/severe OHSS, so he figures it will be tricky/lucky/impossible to not get my ovaries in a frenzy the next time.  In which case we would freeze everything again and do another frozen cycle, in which case we might as well use the frosties we currently have.  He says 3 of the 5 are looking good, which was encouraging to me, because I have been thinking they’re all rejects.

I am really hoping our baby is in that freezer somewhere….

I got my period Monday and started taking Estrace.  I am a bit headachy, which is normal for me, but I’m blaming it on the Estrace anyhow.  Lousy hormones.

I’m feeling very negative about this cycle.  I am absolutely sick of drugs and non-personable doctors and having to give up control of my body.  And sure, I know if I get pregnant it will all be worth it.  The problem is, I am not feeling very impregnable these days.

I feel like I will be forever taking drugs and having early morning appointments and needles stuck into me and dildo cams and maxi pads…..and that’s it.  I just see it as a never ending state of being.  No end result.  Infertility treatments have started to become a part of who I am, and make up the daily grind of my existence.

I am unable to envision the light at the end of the tunnel anymore….I’m just stuck in there, stalled.

I guess the good news is that I don’t necessarily see this as an omen.   It’s more like a lack of hope….I just have stopped hoping that anything can be done to knock me up.  It’s not like I’m stressed out about the process or feel depressed or dread of the outcome….I actually feel very apathetic about the whole thing.  I still want to have a baby, I just can’t imagine it happening at this point.

Maybe its a defense mechanism to protect me if this transfer doesn’t work.

But more good news is that I don’t believe that pregnancy occurs because a mindset.  Conditions are either right, or they’re not, and it will either work or it won’t.  People get pregnant all the time who don’t want a baby, who are stressed, depressed, worn out, crazy, etc.  I just can’t for some reason imagine seeing those two lines on the pregnancy test…..

On a positive completely non-related note, I love how Project Runway and Top Chef alternate on Bravo.  Two of my favorite shows.  At least some things in the universe are fair and balanced and good.

Went to the doc yesterday, who says things look good down there.  With my next period, I will start estrace and then after the transfer, in lieu of PIO injections, have been allowed to switch to endomertrium.  I don’t know what this is, but am thinking it can’t be any worse than a sore butt for 3 months.  I will have to do a little research….I know that alot of docs prefer the shot because they can measure with 100% efficiency how much progesterone is getting in to the system.  Whereas the suppositories, rings, etc, can get a bit messy and um, leak, which means some medicine didn’t make it in.  But enough people seem to have used it and been fine, and as I am not crazy about self injecting (husband will be away for a week), I’m willing to give it a try.  Any comments on endometrium are very welcome!!  So for now……just waiting…… for the period….again.

The OHSS has passed, and I am feeling much better.  All of the embryos are frozen and just waiting for the right time to be thawed.  So, maybe someday I will be pregnant……Oct. will be our first chance at a frozen cycle.  I’ll be taking estrace, which I don’t know anything about, I am just hoping it is in oral and not shot form.  Anyone out there been through an FET?

Sorry I’ve been MIA. Since ER I’ve developed a nasty case of OHSS, which has kept me from doing much except watching the Olympics and eating potato chips. I am having a rare bout of energy, so thought I’d fill everyone in.

After ER I was in a great amount of pain in my ovary/uterus area, which made sense since there had just been a giant needle hacking around inside. The next day that pain started subsiding, but a new one started. I chalked it up to gas/constipation because I hadn’t been able to “go” since before ER. Well, the bloating continued and I started blowing up. By the 3 day ET, I just knew I had fluid inside, based on my enormous stomach and was getting worried that the transfer wouldn’t happen. The nurse said they would check me before the ET to make sure I was ok, so not to worry.

On Monday, I waddled in to the ET prep room and the mean bitchy doctor that I hate was the one performing the procedure. Of course. She showed us a pic of our embryos and gave me my pregnancy test paperwork and was like, “Ok, lets go back for the transfer.”

Me: (Taken aback at how quick this was going down and the lack of information exchanged) “Umm…I haven’t been feeling great the last few days.”

The Bitch: “Bloating is normal.”

Me: But when I take a deep breath in, it sort of hurts, and I hope I don’t, but I think I may have some fluid build up or something. I was told I would be checked….”

The Bitch: There’s no point in checking because everyone has fluid in them after ER. (Lie.) You need to decide if you want to do this or not.

Me: I need to decide?!? I thought that was the doctor’s job?!?

The Bitch: Well, everyone is uncomfortable after ER, but most everyone decides to do the transfer. But your symptoms will definitely get worse if you get pregnant. How many eggs did you have? (Obviously hadn’t even looked at my chart.)

Me: I had over 20 follicles and my estrogen was 4750 when I triggered. I think that means I was/am at high risk for OHSS?

The Bitch: Well, Doctor R (head of the clinic) doesn’t even BELIEVE in OHSS unless someone is pregnant.

(I don’t even know how to respond to this incredibly unhelpful statement. He doesn’t believe in it… Like OHSS is the Tooth Fairy or a Leprechaun or something.)

Me: (flustered and stressed and gobsmacked by this situation) I want to do the transfer, but I’m feeling like maybe there’s a problem already, but I don’t know what’s normal and whats not, and I don’t want to end up in the hospital, and I just didn’t expect to come in here and have to make this massive decision in ten seconds.

The Bitch: Well, if its a decision, then you shouldn’t do it. You can choose to freeze them. What would you like to do?

Me: Well, can we have a minute at least?

She left at that point and maybe actually referred to my chart, because sent a nurse back to take me to have an ultrasound. She didn’t even come back herself, I didn’t see her again that day. Which was a blessing for me, but how awful is that?? Her nurse was a bitch too..she came in, did not say hello, did not introduce herself, did not say what was happening – just said, “Get dressed, we’re taking you for ultrasound.”

Thank goodness it was the Tom Green doctor who came into the ultrasound room to help. He spent alot of time with my husband and I, talking about our embryo quality, chances of conception on an FET with our embryos vs.a fresh transfer, how long we would have to wait to do it, etc. When he checked me he found “alot of free fluid” in my abdomen and ovaries measuring between 8-9 cm. He deemed it “borderline moderate to severe” hyperstimulation and that it could get worse over the next few days. And that with pregnancy it could get very bad. He said that if my ovaries measured 10 cm, he would say 100% don’t do the transfer, but we were not quite at that level yet. I told him that the bitch had said that everyone has fluid in their abdomen after ER. He said, “Well, what she meant was that everyone is hyperstimulated after an ER cycle…that’s what IVF is.” And thats not what she said, but whatever. I was just glad I had a reasonable person with an informed medical opinion in the room at that point to help us make this crucial decision.

After speaking with him, it was easier to make the decision to not proceed with the fresh transfer, freeze our embryos and try a few FET cycles when my body recovers. It made me so sad to leave the hospital without my embryos inside me, but I knew that it was the only decision that made sense. I want to be pregnant, but I don’t want to have to lose my kidney or liver function to get there. Some women are willing to risk it all, but I felt like I waited 2 years, I can wait another 2 months and be a much healthier vessle for my kiddies…not laid up in a hospital pumped full of anti-coagulant drugs and struggling to breathe.

I did end up getting worse that night through yesterday, my ovaries have gotten larger (so they are prob at that 10 cm state by now) and doc Tom Green said today that it may not be at its worst until the weekend. And then it can take WEEKS to go back to normal. But that I should start feeling better soon, and when I get my period, things will improve more rapidly.

What I’ve learned from all of this:

1. – OHSS is not preventable.. I drank quarts of gatorade and ate lots of salty snacks per the internet’s instructions, and still wound up a waddling swollen mess.

2. – If you hate a doctor at your clinic, even though statistically there is a 25% chance you would get them (because there are 4 potential docs) …the real life chance is closer to 98%.

3. Some doctors unfortunately don’t give a rat’s ass if you end up in the hospital, they just care that you are pregnant at that point and can add you to their stats. As long as you don’t die, they are good. And even if you do die, they are still ok because you signed off on all of those scary waivers.

4. – For the first time ever, I am happy to get up to go pee frequently.  It means I am not going to die.

So…let’s hear it for IVF… good times!!!

Hubby did the first PIO shot last night.  I heated up my butt with a heating pad and he slightly heated the oil.  I laid on the bed while he gathered the courage.  The funny thing is, I don’t have a needle phobia, but hubby does….so he had been dreading that shot since our initial IVF consult.  His hands were shaking so bad when he went to inject that he had to stop and gather his wits to be able to go through with it.  It didn’t hurt at all, just a little prick which wasn’t nearly as painful as some of the blood draws I’ve had lately.  I honestly had to check that he had it in there.  He injected and pulled it out and then I sat on a heating pad and watched the opening Beijing ceremonies.  I don’t have any pain today, so I think we did a good job!!  So far so good on that one.

However, he is leaving late next week to go away for 3 weeks, so I don’t know what to do about that.  I told the nurse that I was going to do it myself and she didn’t like that idea.  And I don’t have a needle phobia, but that needle IS fucking HUGE, so I think that the fact that I didn’t have to see it last night helped immensely.  I’m just not sure I can jab 2 inches of metal into myself.    So I’ll have to figure out my options….

Well, ER was a blast. They brought me into the OR, I laid on the table and they injected me with anethesia. It was a bit unpleasant as I could feel the stuff going through my body and was still awake. They kept telling me “not to fight it” and I felt like saying, “Dammit, you imbeciles – do you think I WANT to be awake right now…get me out of consciousness NOW!  But instead I just kept telling them I felt weird and kept opening my eyes now and then so they wouldn’t start poking me.  The anesthesiologist finally added something else to my IV and that did the trick.   But It must have been about 30-45 seconds before I was out…it felt like forever.

I woke up in recovery in alot of pain and a little nauseous. Apparently I had already been told that they got 18 eggs, but when the nurse told me the second time, it was news to me! I was in alot of pain yesterday after coming home – even after the extra strength tylenol. With my regular period I have pretty bad menstrual cramps, and these were about five times stronger. The tylenol quited them down a bit, but it still hurt!! So that a-hole male doctor who said the procedure is painless can really kiss my ass now!!

Today we got the call that 17 of the 18 eggs were usable.   They ICSId 12, and of those 12, 8 “took.”  The other 5 they tried to fertilize naturally, and none of them took!!  Which is hard news to take, but does explain why we haven’t been getting preggers on our own.

Now…more waiting.  We are tentatively scheduled for a 3 day transfer on Monday, so I am hoping that we have 2 to put back.  It would be too much to ask to have some to freeze, but I really hope we do.  This has been an ordeal for me mentally and physically, and I don’t know that if I get a negative result that I would go through again.  I guess I won’t worry about that until I have to, though, right?  One worry at a time…so lets go little embryos, eat your Wheaties and get strong!!

Don’t ever ever EVER watch a “Baby Story” on TLC the day before your Egg Retrieval during an IVF cycle.

SOB!!

And if you are dumb enough to watch back-to-back episodes, you deserve the ovary wrenching sobs.

I triggered last night.  My E2 went up and then down, but was still high yesterday, so they had me trigger with a 1/2 dose of HCG.  I am happy that I was not cancelled, and scared now of OHSS.  But I think I’m more happy this cycle was not for nothing, and I’ll take my chances with OHSS.  At least they will take these suckers out; I cannot imagine ovulating 20+ eggs naturally.

I had a crazy reaction to the HcG.  I did the shot subQ at 10:45 and went to bed.  I started having wacky vivid dreams and jumping awake every ten minutes, till I couldn’t sleep anymore.  I could feel the blood pumping through my veins and got panicky.   So, I got up at 1 am, ate some mac and cheese and watched Sex in the City and then went back to bed around 2 and was ok.  It was a very strange experience, and it seems like no one else has a reaction like that.

Anyhow, I’ve been so miserable lately….my ovaries are ready to pop, and I hope that they get smaller and not bigger after ER….ER is tomorrow at 9:45!!