Archive | September, 2013

One Last Time

26 Sep

And the ultrasound was… clear!  

The only explanation is that the epic pain I’ve been in has been clearing my ovaries of cysts and leftover follicles.  I still feel bad.  I’m still dreading another cycle.  When she said they looked perfect, I wanted to cry.  But here we go.  One last time.  This is it.  It’s our one last shot.

We’re lowering the dose to 75 ius of gonal-f.  That will mean fewer follicles, but it will also mean healthier ovaries and maybe even a booster shot after the IUI.  The one month I actually got pregnant, I was on 75 units and got a booster 1 week post IUI.  Maybe that’s the magic combination.  112.5 obviously wasn’t doing it.

If this doesn’t work, we’re done medicating.  It means I’m done with injections and blood draws and ultrasounds.  It means I’m done worrying every day that it’s not going to work… or that it is.  We’ll move on to something new, but at least this mess will be over.  I’m not going to lie, I’m looking forward to the end.

If this doesn’t work, I’m ok.  We’ll be ok.  We’ll still have a family, it will just look different than we thought it would.  But we’ll still have a family.

Injections start tomorrow. Again.

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33: Next…

24 Sep

IUI #5 didn’t work.  The extra cysts and swelling made for a very painful Sunday afternoon.  I’m thankful for the left over Tylenol-3’s I have from my lap.  I knew I saved them for a reason…

I don’t know what comes next.  We’re moving forward with our very last IUI.  I told Dr. B’s nurse that I wanted to decrease the gonal-f from 112.5 to 75 units.  I know I made 5 follicles and 6 follicles the past two cycles, but they’ve been beating the hell out of me in the process.  I’m swollen and sore from the day after my IUI until a couple days after my period starts every month.  Thus far, it hasn’t been worth it.  This past cycle, I may have produced 6 follicles, but only a couple of them actually produced eggs.  So my question for her is: what’s the point?

She’s going to chat with him and let me know when I go in for my baseline ultrasound tomorrow morning.  I’m even less certain than last month that my ovaries are clear of cysts.  I’m actually hoping for a month of birth control.  I feel really run down.  I know I could just take a month off myself, but I don’t want to give the endometriosis any extra opportunity to grow back.  AND I’m afraid if I stop, I’ll never be able to start again. :/

We also had to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. B for the end of October in case this IUI also doesn’t work.  She didn’t tell me what it was for, but I’m assuming he’s going to tell us that if we’re not interested in moving forward with IVF then he can’t help us.  Bummer.

Now how about some pictures?  My posts have been very infertility treatment heavy lately… Say ‘hello’ to WHAT I KNIT THIS SUMMER! 😉

Twin Cascades

 

I made these for a friend who is pregnant with twin girls via IVF.  She’s almost 36 weeks and I’m so excited!!  The booties are cotton and fleece.  Find the sweater pattern here.

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This is for our neighbors who just had a baby girl.  We really lucked out in the neighbor department. 🙂  Pattern found here.

greencascade1And this is for my mom’s best friend’s new grand daughter.  She saw the sweaters I made for the twins and asked if I’d make her a sweater and booties.  I was excited to try this one in green though.  It gives it a much different feel than the pink ones.

Needless to day, a lot of baby knitting going on.  Considering I don’t normally knit in the summer, I feel like a got a surprising amount done.  I haven’t knit anything for myself recently, but I did start a pair of socks on Sunday.  I haven’t finished a pair of socks in over a year and I miss freshly knitted socks on my feet! 🙂

Other than that, not a lot is going on.  I’m working as much as I can because I’m planning on needing a good chunk of savings to adopt a baby…  It’s been nice to be so distracted though, so I can’t complain.

More after tomorrow’s ultrasound.

 

Someone hand me a baby!

18 Sep

Still waiting on the outcome of this cycle.  I don’t feel either excited or depressed.  I’m anxious to feel better again.  The cabergoline worked to an extent when it came to preventing the OHSS again.  The pain, while not good, was bearable and not nearly as bad as last month.  The swelling, however, hasn’t been helped.

I went in to Dr. B’s on Monday for bloodwork and ultrasound and, again, Sherry was really surprised by how swollen my poor ovaries are.  But what else is new?…  She did see, however, two distinct corpus luteums… lutea?  Which is what is left of the collapsed follicle after a woman ovulates.  It produces progesterone.  Other than when I had my lap, no one had ever mentioned seeing one of those on my ovaries before.  It was big and obvious and even I could see it on the screen.  Excellent.  Unfortunately, she also saw a few large follicles that didn’t ovulate.  Crossing my fingers they don’t turn into cysts.  But seeing both of the corpus lutea was great!

It was followed up by excellent hormone numbers for a cycle day 19 check.  My estrogen was still nice and high at 395 and my progesterone had rocketed up to 147 —  the highest it’s ever been.  While my estrogen isn’t as high as last cycle (900+), it’s much much higher than anything I had pre-lap.

The numbers, coupled with the corpus lutea, are excellent indicators of a beautiful ovulation and sustained uterine lining.  I wish it could tell us more. :-/  It looks like we had at least 2 eggs this cycle.  Maybe more based on estrogen numbers.  But 2 is a fine number.  Much better than 6…

Symptoms-wise, my belly is swollen from the ohss and attracting stares if I don’t keep it under wraps…  Thankful, over the past few months, I’ve collected a nice variety of flowing shirts that hide a nonexistent pregnancy from the stares and questions of students.  I love them, but in their minds, I’m young and married and should be having babies… They’re waiting impatiently.  Meanwhile, they’re having babies before me…  Blech.

I’m more moody than I’ve ever been on a medicated cycle.  I’m venturing to guess that I’m even more moody than I was after 3 months of lupron.  Maybe not so weepy, but a lot more angry.  It’s irritating.

My boobs hurt again.  They’re always fairly painful after a novarel trigger.  Then it goes away and doesn’t come back.  They were uncomfortable for a couple days, and now they’re starting to hurt again.  That could just be pms.

My skin is clearing up.  I’ve never had such painful breakouts as I did this cycle.  I don’t know if it was the cabergoline or just the prolonged use of fertility meds, but it really hurt.  Progesterone supplements usually help clear my skin and over the last few days it’s finally clearing up.  I always breakout before my period starts though, so that will be a sign…

Other than that, I’m working a different, but not necessarily new, job as one of my supervisors is on a surprise maternity leave.  She just adopted a brand new baby.  I got to hold her on Monday and it was heavenly.  I don’t think I’ve held such a little baby since my niece was born 8 years ago.  I usually shy away from newborns, but knowing the struggle they went through to get her, I couldn’t help but snuggle her a little closer.  It made me realize how badly I want a baby.  Being pregnant is just a vehicle to get a baby.  I don’t really care how our baby comes to us anymore.  I’m realizing that a little more every day…

More this weekend. 🙂

The Cat’s Meow

11 Sep

Tonight, I swaddled my cat… The angry one.  I think it’s time for a baby… 😉

IUI #5 went as scheduled yesterday.  I stayed in bed afterwards because a different nurse did it and she really poked my uterus a few times.  Extensive cramping ensued and I couldn’t differentiate between that and OHSS symptoms, so staying in bed was the safest option.  

On Monday, they started me on 8 days of cabergoline because I’m obviously so predisposed to epically swollen ovaries.  I think it’s working, at least a little bit.  This time last cycle, I had my feet propped up on 8 pillows and could hardly breathe without my abdomen hurting.  Today, I only hurt if I’m on my feet for too long.

Nothing new to report other than that.  I start oral progesterone on Friday and go in Monday for a estrogen and progesterone check.  We have company in the form of my Grandmother and aunt coming early next week.  I’m looking forward to the distraction.

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The cats like me again.  When I’m medicated, they steer clear of me during the first two weeks of my cycle.  They sleep next to Jeremy on his side of the bed.  The don’t beg me for food.  And they don’t want me to touch them.  As soon as I trigger though, they won’t leave me alone.  Someone is always sleeping next to me if I’m home.  Bella is always following me around begging for food.  Alice crawls into my lap at any given opportunity.  After the swaddling incident, which should have earned me a painful bite, Bella only hopped down, curled up next to me and started purring….  What?

I know there are cats that really like pregnant women, and I bet my cats will be no different.  It’s just amazing, however, that they can pick up on the big change in hormones I have.  They ❤ hCG.  Me too, little kittens, me too.  Let’s hope it continues…

IUI #5

9 Sep

Tomorrow is IUI #5…. And I have 6 follicles. Bleh.  The good news is that my estrogen is only 668, still higher than normal for me, but not indicative of 6 fully mature follicles.  We’re guessing 3 or 4 good ones, which is an excellent IUI number.

I’ve felt rather detached from this cycle.  I’m assuming its because we were so hopeful last cycle, but I’m not complaining.  I feel more relaxed going into this IUI than the last and I think that is good for my overall health and my reproductive health.

Physically, I’m really feeling the toll of having a high number of follicles two cycles in a row.  I’m exhausted and I don’t think it’s just the gonal-f.  I feel worn down.  I felt this way after we did two IUI’s in a row last fall.  It’s just a lot to put your body through without a break.

So, we’ll see how this goes.  Going to rock it tomorrow. 🙂

Replication

3 Sep

My day was just made.  Why?  Because I found another full pen of gonal-f in the back of my fridge, which means I don’t have to order any medication again this month.  That is excellent.  It’s the little things in life, you know?

I kept a rather low profile over the weekend because I just needed to be and get over the epic drop in artificial hormones that occurred after my cycle failed.   900+ estrogen is a long way to fall.  But it fell and while it completely blows, right now, it is what it is.  In 5 minutes, it might be the end of the world again, but right now, it’s ok.

I went for my scan on Friday expecting a birth control cycle.  My ovaries were shockingly huge a week post IUI and as I’d never had so many follicles, I just assumed it would take some extra time to bounce back.  My ultrasound tech entered the room and the first thing she asked me was if we had considered IVF any more.  I told her that we had decided against it.  For that much money out of pocket, we’d want a sure thing and adoption was probably going to be our next step.  Every time someone in that office mentions IVF, I’m reminded that we’ve gone through a lot and that we’re most definitely coming to the end of our fertility treatment road.  

At the end of our road, it forks.  One direction is IVF.  It’s tens of thousands of dollars for a chance to become biological parents.  It’s an incredibly tempting chance.  One that, if our circumstances were different, I might have taken.  In the other direction, is discontinuing treatments and accepting that we will never have biological children of our own.  That road contains two more forks.  Childlessness or adoption.  At this point, I’ve worked too hard and put too much of myself into creating a family to choose to live child-free.  Our family needs something more.  

But.  We’re not there yet.

My ovaries, miraculously, were clear.  They shouldn’t have been.  Sherry couldn’t believe they looked so perfect.  She said it should have taken weeks for them to reduce in swelling so much.  My body has managed to stump Dr. B’s office again.  Excellent.

And so, Dr. B wants to replicate last cycle as best we can.  It should have worked, so he said.  It was exactly what he wanted to see.  The only hiccup?  I didn’t have a period before we started our last cycle.  I didn’t have a fresh uterine lining.  While that shouldn’t have technically mattered, it might have.  We’re starting fresh.  I’m injecting 112.5 units of gonal-f daily starting yesterday and crossing my fingers and toes for 5 more beautiful follicles.  I go in for a scan and bloodwork on Friday.

My goal for the next week or so?  Keep busy and try not to think about failing another cycle!  Yesterday, I made and froze 21 meals for when the OHSS monster strikes again.  I want to keep eating healthy even when I don’t feel good.  Having healthy food already made will help me do that.  All I have to do is pull it out the night before and put it in the slow cooker in the morning.  It couldn’t actually get any easier.

We also replaced the floor in the nursery over the weekend.  It looks amazing.  I’ll share pictures of it soon.