Tag Archives: endometriosis

Oh, here it goes again

17 Jun

I know I’ve been off the radar here for the past 6 weeks.  Honestly?  I just didn’t know what to say.  I can’t get a handle on my emotions half the time, so putting it into writing would have been a hot mess.  I had nothing new to post as it took more than 8 weeks for my period to come back post miscarriage.
I was all ready to begin a week of provera when it finally started on its own.  The funny thing (and I mean this in a completely not humorous kind of way) is that I was without a period post pregnancy for longer than  I was actually pregnant. It was a relief when it started on its own because it felt like my body was telling me that it was ready to try again.  My body was actually ready before I was.  I still don’t feel ready.  But I know if I don’t do this, if I take too much longer, I won’t ever be able to.

I started my birth control on Friday.  UNC does 3 to 4 weeks of birth control, which puts our 2nd FET at the beginning of August.  About 6 weeks to go…

Today, I went in to have my 2nd saline ultrasound of the year done.  They needed to make sure everything was clear post miscarriage and, thank God, it was.  But I’d forgotten how much those hurt.  While they hurt during for me, I think the 6 hours afterwards are always worse.  I curled up on the couch and zoned out all afternoon.

They also did the mock transfer today.  This was one of the features of UNC that I really liked.  They do a trial transfer just to make sure there are no surprises on the day of.  If you remember my first transfer, it was an awful experience.  I was so crampy and so stressed out and Dr. T did NOT help things.  Today, after she got the speculum in, she was super encouraging and told me just to relax and breathe.  She did three trial transfers before I even knew what happened.  I didn’t feel a thing.  She was so gentle.  I’m pretty sure I told her that I love her.   And I do.  I’ve been in and out of this office a few times since we decided to switch to them in May and each time I see them, call them, or email them, I’m so impressed with the quality of their care.  I was carrying so much stress and fear about this transfer and I have to say that today they alleviated 90% of it.

Tomorrow, they’ll call with my FET schedule.  After that, I still need to have my embryos shipped.  That’s a process that deserves it’s own post entirely…

And outside of infertility this month….

My oldest little brother graduated from high school on June 1.  I got to fly up to see it happen. 🙂

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We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary last Thursday.  A movie was about all I could manage.  I love him.

 

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And we joined my Jeremy’s family in Kentucky this past weekend for the first annual family camping trip. 🙂

 

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Ps. I’ve lost 7 pounds!  You probably can’t tell, but I can! 🙂

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And We’re Off!

25 Jan

I went in for blood work and ultrasound on Thursday.  I was so excited when they told me that as long as my blood work came back normal that I would be starting injections!!  I was bummed when my estrogen came back way too low and went in the next day for more blood work.

Thankfully, Friday’s estrogen level was great and I was cleared to start meds last night.  I’m taking 75 ius of gonal-f, 75 ius of menopur, a prenatal, and an aspirin every night.  I go back in Monday for more blood work and another ultrasound and they’ll probably raise my meds then.

By this morning, I had a nice migraine going on.  I hope that’s not going to be a trend for the next 10 days.  The injections themselves are killing me.  My gonal-f and menopur are mixed together into one injection, but instead of going into my lower tummy, they’re going into my upper arm. 😦  I’ve never given myself an injection in the arm before and it’s hard.  And it hurts!  It’s intramuscular, so the plunger does NOT want to push down and it burns the entire time.  BUT, it’s doable.  And I can give them to myself, so it can’t be that bad.  Jeremy is assisting by pinching skin for me, but even that is a little hard for him. :/

I still don’t have my lupron, my prometrium, or my progesterone in oil.  My insurance company is taking its sweet time approving them.  Thank goodness I still don’t need them just yet.

Estimated retrieval dates?  February 5, 6, or 7.  Less than 2 weeks to go!! 🙂

2014!

2 Jan

Well, 2013 is officially behind us and I am so excited!  2013 was a big year for us.  I finally got a diagnosis, had my lap and lupron, had 3 more IUI’s, started looking into adoption/foster care, moved to North Carolina, sold our house, and finally got IVF coverage.  A year ago I wouldn’t have been able to fathom all that happened this past year.  It was a hard year, but it was so productive.

Our current timeline looks like we’re about 4 weeks out from my egg retrieval and 7 weeks out from our first transfer (give or take a few days here and there).  I’m not nervous yet.  Just excited.  All 6 of our IUIs filled me with complete dread.  My goal is to go into our transfer feeling calm and positive.  So far, so good. 7 weeks to go… 🙂

We had our IVF education class on Tuesday.  It was basically going over all of the various medication and how to inject them.  The class consisted of us and another couple who were obviously new to fertility treatments.  Jeremy and I sat and took it in.  There wasn’t much that we already didn’t know.  The other couple took notes frantically on everything the video was saying.  I feel bad for them because the video did a good job at scaring you with medication side effects.  I wanted to hold their hands and tell them it’s all going to be ok either way.   They looked nervous.  Did I look that was when we first started?  Do I still?

The one difference we learned at this class is that they don’t want subcutaneous injections injected into my belly like I usually do.  They want it done intramuscularly into my upper arm.  When I asked her why, she told me they’ve found they get better responses to the meds that way.  Good enough for me.  Follistim, menopur, and ganirelix acetate in the arm, progesterone and lupron in the butt, and then baby aspirin to fight the clotting.  Excellent.   Jeremy didn’t realize that progesterone in oil injections are daily.  Poor husband.  If you remember, Jeremy doesn’t like needles.  I made him promise when we moved here that he would suck it up and give me my injections because our clinic is a good 40 minutes away.  I used to drive to Dr. B’s for my lupron and novarel injections, but that’s not really an option any more.  Hopefully after the first few, he’ll be a little more desensitized. 😉

That’s all for now.  Just waiting for my period to start. WOOO, periods!! 😉

36: IVF, Here We Come!

11 Dec

Today marks our 36th month of trying.  That’s 3 years.  I haven’t felt the need to discuss the past couple because it wasn’t like we were going to magically get pregnant naturally.  lol.

Anywho, we met Dr. T this evening.  It’s true what they say that everything seems to move a bit slower down south.  Our original appointment of 3:30 got pushed to 4:30 and we didn’t actually see him until 5.  He was, however, quick and efficient, less personable than Dr. B, but I don’t need a new friend.  I need a doctor who can perform a medical miracle.  I need a doctor who has found a way to combat OHSS and a doctor who tells me my chances of conceiving are close to 70%.  I need a doctor like Dr. T.

Enter: Lupron Trigger Protocol.

In normal IVF, you take birth control for a couple weeks to settle everything down.  Then you move on to heavy injectables that stimulate the ovaries into creating ridiculous amounts of follicles (and therefore eggs).  You then use an hcg trigger to trigger ovulation.  Then you go in for your retrieval where the doctor sucks all of the eggs out of the follicles, combines them with some sperm in a lab, and transfers embryos back into you 3 to 5 days later.  Any leftover embryos are then frozen.

With Lupron Trigger Protocol, you still take birth control for a couple weeks and then move on to really heavy injectable to stimulate the ovaries.  Instead of triggering with an hcg injection, you trigger with…. a lupron injection.  It still causes ovulation, but it effectively squashes your estrogen and uterine lining.  The eggs are then fertilized and the resulting embryos are frozen.  During the next cycle, you take a couple low dose estrogen injections and then have a frozen embryo transfer (FET).

The reasoning for this is 1) The lupron trigger eliminates (or so Dr. T says) the chance of OHSS because it lower the estrogen.  We saw last summer than I react well to lupron.  We don’t need to be afraid of really beefing up my ovaries. Excellent. 2) Dr. T believes that the estrogen numbers with fresh transfers a couple days after a retrieval are too high for optimal embryo health.  I can see that.  Waiting until the following cycle allows him to create the perfect embryo environment.

This plan sounds awesome to me.  Every time I end up with OHSS they tell me that it will have no effect on our chances of conceiving, but I have a really hard time believing that.  I worry every time that it’s going to impact us because my body is angry and in pain and that can’t be conducive to baby making.

Lupron Trigger Protocol used to be done with fresh transfers until they realized that it didn’t work very well when it came to maintaining a pregnancy.  They’ve done a great job at tweaking it and the miscarriage rate is as good if not better than an hcg trigger fresh transfer.  Dr. T has put our chance of conceiving around 70%.  Dr. B had only given us a 40-50% chance.

Another excellent thing?  Because we’ll be able to push the meds and retrieval process so hard, we should end up with a good number of frozen embryos.  A frozen transfer with this clinic is only $1000.  That’s what we paid per IUI in Chicago.  We could end up with our entire family in one go.

So what’s going on in the meantime?  This month, Dr. T wants to schedule a saline ultrasound.  I’ve never had one.  I’m not looking forward to it.  😦  He also wants to do a couple other blood tests because a lot of my original tests from Dr. B are over a year old.

After that?  We’re ready to roll as soon as my period starts in January.  Wooo hooo!!

Too Tired to Care

11 Oct

Dude, it’s over-emotional central over here.

It could be stemming from a number of things including… 1. We are almost finished with our last assisted cycle.  If this doesn’t work, the chance of us having our own kids is very slim.  2. One year ago tomorrow, we found out we were pregnant.  One year ago on Tuesday, we found out our baby had died.  3. There are so many artificial hormones floating through my body!!  4. I’m just exhausted.

There’s just a lot going on right now.

We’ve been looking more into adoption and, more recently, more into foster care.  I don’t know if I’m ready, or comfortable handing $10,000+ that I don’t have over for a baby.  The idea of buying a baby is still really bothering me and I can’t seem to shake it.  It’s probably still something we’ll do eventually, but I think we’re keeping our options open and hoping and praying that something good falls into our laps.  We could really use something good.

I’m just so tired of having to work so hard at something most people don’t even have to think about.  I want that weekend in Vegas baby.

Yesterday’s monitoring showed that I probably only ended up with 1 egg this time.  1 egg.  The rest of the follicles are still hanging out, getting bigger, and turning into cysts.  That’s so nice….  They did assure me that I have a wonderful ratio of estrogen to progesterone.  Although I’m not sure I care any more.  I’m just too tired.

Meanwhile the greyhounds got collar lights last weekend.  They now glow in the dark.  Love them.
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IUI #6/3

2 Oct

I’m so over these injections.  Knowing that we’re almost done has not made doing them any easier.  One more gonal-f tonight and then a novarel tomorrow and then, cross your fingers, I’m done injecting hormones into my body.  YAY!

I went in for a follicle count and blood work today.  She found 5 follicles, but only one looked like it would be dominant.  I’m a little bummed out.  We decreased the meds in hopes that 6 follicles would go down to maybe 2 or 3 follicles, but it looks like one it is.  My estrogen came back at 374, so we definitely have 1 really solid follicle, maybe even a second by Friday.

Friday is IUI #6/3.  It will only be cycle day 11.  It’s rather early, but if follicles are ready, then they’re ready, right?

This seems to have gone fast, but the early IUI coupled with the fact that I’ve been done with a horrible cold since this past weekend is probably why.  I’ve heard it’s going around and with the huge number of different students I see on a daily basis, it’s not surprising that it got me.

What do I do when I’m sick?  Knit socks of course.  The socks that I started a couple weeks ago got finished up last night…
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Find the pattern here.

You can also catch a glimpse of the new nursery floor and wall color in that picture.  I’ve been too sick and/or preoccupied to take good pictures of it so far.  I’ll get there eventually.  For now, I’d prefer to nap on my couch. 🙂

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.