Numb

Today it became beta official. Bfn for IVF 2. 

Next steps? IVF 3. Starting when I get the horrendous after IVF AF I go in for a baseline and then start a long protocol. That’s 2 months for an IVF cycle. 1 month is birth control and lupron down regulation (thanks pcos). Then I have a consult with the big dr. and start the stims. 

Honestly, I’m not going to be blogging much. I might update with the protocol in August. But I’m going to enjoy not thinking of IVF and IF for a while. I’m going to try to focus on my marriage for the next month instead of baby making. It’ll be a kind of break.  I still have to eat strictly for healthy eggs etc. But I’m having some booze now because how can I not when I just had another failed IVF? With 2 little embryos this time. I’m numb. 

Déjà vu

I feel like I was just here. I just did an IVF cycle resulting in a beautiful fresh transfer. And then 14 days past egg collection I pee on a FRER and get that one damn line and snow white not even a hint of a line BFN. It’s 11dp3dt. We had our only 2 embryos transferred at day 3. My beta should be today but since it’s a holiday the clinic is closed for the weekend. So my beta is Monday. But I have zero hope it’ll surprise me. Could it? Yes. Absolutely. Will it? No. I feel bfn. Big fat negative.  Big fat nothing. 

IVF 2 was pretty different than the 1st. I had the big guy, the head RE that created the clinic and is supposedly one of the best in the country see me through each step. 

We used menopur only and had to increase it at the end to 4 vials a night. 

Ganirelix and then lupron trigger like last time. 

The cycle was looong because my eggs stalled for a bit in their growth. Hence increasing the dose. 

We got 6 eggs. 3 were mature and injected via ICSI.  2 fertilized and became the embryos we transferred at day 3. Who also had assisted hatching. 

But my body was in much better shape for transfer this time. My estrogen and progesterone were where they needed to be.  I didn’t get ohss. I took a med to prevent ohss. I took baby aspirin like last time. I was put on a steroid to decrease inflammation this time too. I did acupuncture right after transfer and again 5 days later. I did everything right. I was on turmeric too to decrease inflammation. 

(to recap IVF 1 we got 25 eggs, 20 injected, and 2 day 5 blasts, one we transferred bfn and one on ice) 

I feel very left behind. I have seen so many others get BFP and have babies and I can’t even get pregnant when the lives are placed inside me. I’m not even sad right now. I’m pissed. What testing do I need from here to find out what’s wrong with me? I definitely need to get a consult with the big guy for a WTF appointment. 

I feel like we are both willing to do IVF 3 but idk how much more Mr. Big will be able to handle. I want to keep going as much as possible to the end of the year. So at least 2 more IVF and hopefully a FET. Going to another IVF next is us trying to get more embies to freeze. So we can do FET after. But the way things have been going idk if we will get any more to freeze. And if the one we have doesn’t thaw well, that’s it. 

So I’d have to wait a month from here before doing IVF 3. More waiting. More wasted time. More people moving on and getting their happy endings and rainbows leaving me behind in the barren dry dust. 

Another tww

We are in a two week wait again. Wait two weeks for another baseline appointment because my ovaries are still too pissed off and active. I’m on birth control for the next two weeks to try to calm them down, or let them calm down rather. Two weeks might not be enough time. We might have to wait even longer. It’s bs. I’m so disappointed. I don’t have time to waste. But other than sing lullabies to my ovaries, there’s not much I can do. But wait…

So Fresh

I left off with our bfn IVF cycle. I thought we would do a fet with our one frozen embaby. But Mr. Big and I are so scared of the single frostie not surviving the thaw and wasting all that time and a cycle. We really only have until the end of this year to make this work, thanks to insurance and $ issues. 

So we decided to go straight into another fresh IVF cycle. To maybe get more embryos to freeze. Given what happened last cycle, that’s a big maybe. I called my clinic and got a call back from the big guy personally. The owner/creator/head RE/fertility god. I haven’t even met him yet since he was on vacation my last cycle. But he’s back now! He said that us getting 25 eggs and winding up with only 2 embryos was very unusual and something was wrong. (No shit) 

He said that most of the eggs were bad quality. He’s changing up the stim drug (menopur now instead of gonal f) and putting me on a ketogenic diet. High fat, some protein, no grain, no gluten, low carb. I have instructions to eat lots of kale and fish. 

So we will hopefully have enough good embryos to do another fresh transfer and put another one (or ten! Haha I wish) on ice. I’m very aware that frozen transfers can work better as your body is less messed up from all the drugs. That’s why I want to get more on ice. I’ll probably only transfer one for the fresh cycle. 

Of course all this is IF it even works. If menopur agrees with me. If my strict diet is enough. We could wind up with nothing. But I refuse to think that will happen. I’m really trying to go into this positively. 

And here on the worst Mother’s Day for me yet, I wait for Aunt Flo. Last Mother’s Day I was unaware I had just gotten pregnant. That ended weeks later. This one, I just lost a perfectly good embaby that seems to never have attached. 

IVF bfn are really hard. With all the other tries I never knew if the embryo even existed. This time everything was “perfect”. There’s no reason it shouldn’t have worked. Our embaby was excellent quality. My lining was great. (I do know that even though an embryo is excellent quality it doesn’t mean it was genetically normal. Only 50% are. We can’t afford the testing to find out.) 

Did you use menopur for stims? How did it work for you? Specifically if you have pcos too. 

bffn

So today was beta day. According to FRER this morning I’m not pregnant. The nurse with the sad voice confirmed the beta is negative too. 

Next step? Aside from wine (lots of wine) and rare steak? FET. As soon as I start bleeding our fet cycle starts. I’m already petrified. We only have one embaby on ice. If it doesn’t survive the thaw, it’s a waste of a month and cycle. I won’t know if it thaws ok until an hour or so before the transfer. The clinic is 2 hours away. 

I only have until the end of this year to get as many cycles in as possible. That’s it. If no baby by New Year’s Eve, then no baby ever. I can’t afford to waste time. Especially when I produce a ton of shit eggs, apparently. Not a shit ton. A ton of shit. Or a shit ton of shit. 

This week has been hell. I lost my only source of income. And DH can’t support both of us. Getting a job is really tough around here. Unless I want to work at mcdonalds. Nope. And now a bfn of our beautiful embaby. There was no reason that it shouldn’t have worked. The cherry on the sundae? Fucking Mother’s Day is Sunday. Last year at this time I had just gotten pregnant. Just conceived. My one pregnancy that ended horribly weeks later. 

I need to win the lotto (but can’t afford to play) and need to win the pregnancy lotto too. 

I honestly don’t know how much I’ll blog about the next cycles. I’m understandably feeling pretty down and discouraged. I just don’t know if I want to write about it. We’ll see I guess. But if and when I disappear, don’t be shocked. I’ll be back to update at the end of each cycle I’m sure. But that’s it. I will be active on twitter though. As I have been. You can find me @myectopic. Wish me luck. I need it. 

IVF 1 update 

My ovaries are huge and full of eggs. Over 20 on the right and just less on the left. I’m under instruction to move as little as possible. No long walks. No exercise. No ‘jiggling the ovaries’. The nurses were kind of amazed at my ovaries and eggs. This clinic does 100’s of ivfs a year, with lots of pcos patients. So that’s saying something. 

Mr. Big can’t possibly do a retrieval Thursday, which is exactly when it should be done. 😡

So my clinic lowered my gonal dose for the next 2 days and will trigger me Wednesday for retrieval Friday. Hopefully they won’t be ‘over ripe’ by then. Hopefully I won’t just ovulate on my own by then. I’m on an injection to try to prohibit me from ovulating on my own. 

I can’t wait until Friday. I hope we get lots of just ripened and matured enough eggs. 

Shots shots shots shots!!!!

So our IVF cycle has begun. I had my baseline blood work and ultrasound Monday and things looked perfect so I started injections that night. 

The very thought of stabbing myself with a needle VOLUNTARILY freaked me out. But the gonal pens are so easy and almost painless. Those are the FSH ones to make the eggs grow. They really work! Lots of follicles and they’re 8-12mm. 16 minimum is what I need. 

I graduated to 2 injections a night now.  This second one is to prevent me from ovulating. Which I know I would do if I don’t do these shots. I already have several signs ovulation would be approaching. Plus my estridol is fairly high now. 

I’ve been going to my clinic every other day for blood and dildo cam. My left ovary is notoriously hard to find and painful. Today I had a different tech and it took her like 5 minutes and pressing on my bloated sore abdomen to find it. 

Doing IVF with pcos sucks! I’m already bloated and in pain from the ovaries with too many follicles in them. But now we are encouraging those follies to grow. It’s painful. It’s really uncomfortable. It makes my job (fitness instructor) hell. None of my clothes fit. And I’m too pessimistic or whatever to buy any maternity pants and I’m too mad to buy any larger regular pants. I just don’t want to admit how big I am.  I hope I just get pregnant and get bigger for the next 9 months! But if I don’t, I’m scared of the unnecessary weight gain. 

So next step is the hcg trigger to make all the follies mature. Probably on Wednesday. Which means retrevial would be Friday. I’ve got no idea what to expect from the next week. Other than more bloating and pain. And hopefully lots of fat, mature eggs! If it all ends in a take home baby then it’s totally worth it. 

Thyroid woes

Hypothyroidism.  (Thanks google/pinterest for the image) 

So about 2 weeks ago I was put on synthroid for my newly diagnosed hypothyroidism. I think they only did a tsh test not t3 and t4. This will be corrected as I will make them. 

Take my blood! Take it damnit! 

The first week I felt so good! Better than I have in a long time. So much energy. Fat seems to have started to melt off. So happy. Happy? What’s that?

Then the hair loss kicked into overdrive. Then the insomnia started. I’m tired by the evening but can’t sleep. I’m a little more anxious and less happy. All signs point to being on too high of a dose of the synthroid. So basically I went from hypo to hyperthyroidism in a week. Great. But I did ovulate, so there’s that. 

When the thyroid is out of whack everything else is horribly affected. 

Also, when you’re pregnant and your thyroid levels are not balanced your risk of having an autistic child increases 4 fold.  

Now that I ovulated and if I get my period in a week and a half I’ll be starting IVF immediately. Which means this thyroid needs fixing now. 

I’m going to become ‘that girl’ at my clinic and I don’t even care. Because I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit here knowing what I do and not do anything to change my situation. 

Also, I really want a good chocolate chip cookie. Badly! But I’m paleo and gluten free and low glycemic index and try to limit dairy as much as possible.  So good chocolate chip cookies don’t exist anymore. I don’t want any of my recipes. My banana, oat, almond butter, coconut oil, applesauce, avocado replacement recipes. Nope. Just a good old fashioned chocolate chip cookie with crusty outside and cookie dough inside. Still warm from the oven. Is it so much to ask for? 😔

Yes, this is my mind when I can’t sleep. 

Also, if I can’t sleep, I can’t accurately temp! Aaahhh!!!

Bloody hell

Hi guys. It’s been a while. 

The last I mentioned I’d just been diagnosed with pcos. Which makes perfect sense. All the symptoms are so obvious, and currently driving me nuts. Since changing my diet it’s gotten better but not totally. 

I’m up to 3 metformin pills a day = 1500mg. The day after I went from 2 pills to 3 I started to bleed. 

I haven’t been doing opk this time and I’ve been sporadic with my bbt because I don’t ovulate on my own. I haven’t taken any ovulation inducing meds. My bbt says clearly that I didn’t ovulate. I didn’t have a single ovulation sign physically. So why am I bleeding?

It started as brown spotting which I kind of shrugged off. But now it’s deep red. Hell fire red. And not a little. What gives? 

Being anovulatory (meaning I don’t ovulate) I’ve had cycles much longer than this. But I’ve never had bleeding unless I ovulated. I’m talking about the past year since I’ve been of birth control. 

Has anyone else on metformin experienced this? 

The tale of the IVF salesman

image
Submitted for the approval of the infertile society, I call this story, ‘the tale of the IVF salesman’.
(If you get the above 90’s tv show reference then we need to be friends. It was the best show.)

Once upon a time, an infertile couple visited the strange land of clinic de fertility…

We had our first RE (reproductive endocrinologist) visit today. The whole experience was nice. I guess. I was so nervous all last night and today, and I don’t quite know why. I sweated so bad (which I hardly ever do) in our consult. I knew 90% of the things he told us.

But given our history he told us our odds of live birth are around or less than 10% naturally, 15% with IUI, and 40-50% with IVF.

I went into the meeting thinking I was going to try some femara monitored cycles with timed intercourse for a few months. Mr. Big and I decided in minutes while we were there that we would be going right to IVF. Mainly because our odds are crap and the last thing we want or need is another ectopic pregnancy. Our ectopic risk naturally or with IUI is pretty high. I have a gut feeling that it’d happen again. My remaining tube is clear, but the cilia may not work (probably don’t work) which means the egg would get stuck.

After the successful IVF sales pitch, it was time for the dildo cam. That’s internal ultrasound for those not intimate with one.

IVF salesman- “There’s your uterus. Looks good. Good size, good shape. There’s your lining. Nice and thick. Not too thin, not too thick. Just right. There’s your left ovary, and those are your eggs.”

Me- “Crap.” There were soooo many eggs (cysts). I already knew what he would say next.

IVF salesman- “There are a lot of eggs! You have PCOS. Look at them all! I can’t even count them!”
He tried. He got to 30, on that ovary. Another 20-30 on the other one.

He seemed rather excited. I’m not sure if it’s the worst pcos and most eggs he’s ever seen, or if he knew IVF was our only option and that thrilled the hell out of him.

The IVF salesman shot out a lot of other facts and plans for the future of my womb, and my many eggs. He knew he had us hooked. Well doc you had me at pcos! IVF is the only option! He gave me a Rx for metformin, which I filled and took in the middle of dinner as instructed.

Mr. Big still needs to get his swimmers tested.

I had many vials of blood taken from the resident vampire in the IVF salesman’s office. Those results will be in, sometime.

Assuming all that is normal, we will be going ahead with IVF in late spring. Much to the delight of the IVF salesman.

PCOS. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I can’t say I didn’t expect it. I mean, I have all the symptoms. Abnormal bleeding when I was a teen, lack of ovulation, infertility, acne (cystic acne), cystic ovaries, some hair where it doesn’t belong, I shed the hair on my head like a cat, I have estrogen dominance, depression, weight gain around the middle. I probably have high testosterone. I always felt like I have.

But just because I expected it doesn’t mean it’s easy to hear. I won’t go into the details of pcos now and what it means for the future. That’s another post. For now, I’m mad. Mad at pcos. Mad at genetics. Mad at IVF. Mad that I can’t have sex and get pregnant. That it’s come to this.

But I’m calm. And I’m happy. Happy that there’s still hope. Happy that IVF exists. Happy to have at least a start of a diagnosis. Happy to have a plan. Happy to be on metformin and stepping in the direction of controlling pcos which is very important.

I have a feeling my next post will be explaining pcos and what I plan to do to try and control it. To live with it.