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We had many struggles spread over 4 years to have our son Victor in 2012. We are now continuing our infertility journey to give him a sibling. I decided to start a blog after realizing I have only been able to make it through my TWW's (two week waits) with the help of Google and with the openness of other women suffering from infertility sharing their own stories and giving others hope. I have time and time again found my exact symptoms on other women's blogs and felt an overwhelming sense of calmness they provided me. I thought it was time to pay it forward and hopefully provide this same thing to other women on their own journeys.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ovulation after IVF (Negative OPKs after IVF)

So we are in a holding pattern waiting to start a FET cycle after our freeze-all IVF cycle.  I have been testing for ovulation using OPKs (ovulation predictor kits) since cycle day 12 (CD 12-15 not shown below) so I can know when I ovulate so I can predict (give or take a day) when my period will arrive so we can start our FET cycle!

I normally get a positive OPK on CD 17.  Well, CD 17 came and went and the test line on my OPK was only 1/3 as dark as the control line.  I think it's interesting they tried to get dark on that day though.  Weird.  I googled: "negative opks after IVF".  Turns out, the internet is filled to the brim with ladies who turned an OPK positive 1 week later than they normally would.

I woke up this morning, CD 25, wondering if I'd ever ovulate this month, took an OPK, and it was ALMOST positive.  OPKs aren't hard to read (though most ladies on the internet at baffled by them).   With HPTs, if there is ANY sort of line it's positive.  On OPKs, the test line HAS TO BE AS DARK OR DARKER than the control line to be positive.  So finally, mid morning on CD 25 I got a positive! (See below.)  Overall, the OPKs went from light to dark to light to dark to positive.  Glad I stayed on top of them!

I estimate my period showing up anywhere from 10-14 days from today.  Which would make this cycle 35-39 days long!  Oy!

Negative OPKs after IVF cycle.
OPKs were over a week late turning positive after IVF cycle.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

FET Supplements

So I am going from 17 supplements down to 9 post egg retrieval.  Click here for my Eqq Quality Supplements that DRAMATICALLY increased my egg quality and got me 8 frozen blasts!

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner
  • Co Q10 Enzyme 200 mg
  • L- arginine 1000 mg
  • Vitamin E 200 IU
  • Vitamin D 2000 iu
  • OmegaVia Pharma Grade Omega 3 1105mg 

Bedtime
  • OmegaVia Pharma Grade Omega 3 1105mg

Saturday, January 24, 2015

IVF #3.1 - Stimulation Stats, Retrieval, Fert Report, Outcome

12/30/14Started Lupron 10 units 
12/30/14: TSH = 2.09
01/09/15Fri Baseline cancelled, no AF

01/13/15: Tue - Stims (Follistim 225/Menopur 75/Lupron 5)

01/13/15Tue E2 =   21, 15+ follicles <10mm
01/16/15: Fri - E2 =  124, 15+ follicles <10mm
01/19/15Mon - E2 =  523, 15+ follicles  8 10-14mm
01/21/15Wed - E2 = 1394, 15+ follicles 10 10-17mm
01/22/15Thu - E2 = 2124, 15+ follicles 10 12-18mm 
01/23/15Fri - E2 = 3238, 20+ follicles 20 10-20mm

01/22/15TSH = 3.48 (RE is adamant this is fine)

01/23/15Fri - Trigger 9pm 7,500 HCG
01/25/15Sun - Retrieval 9am (Eggs: 21 / Mature: 13)

01/26/15Mon - Fert Report (Day 1: 12 Fertilized)
01/27/15Tue - Fert Report (Day 2: 12 2-5 cells/some frag)
01/28/15Wed - Fert Report (Day 3: 10 4,5,7,7,8,8,8,9,9,10)
01/29/15Thu - Fert Report (Day 4: 11 ?)
01/30/15Fri - Fert Report (Day 5: 7 frozen)
01/31/15Sat - Fert Report (Day 6: 1 more frozen)

01/30/15Fri - Transfer cancelled.  Stomach flu.


IVF #1 = Green
IVF #2 = Red
IVF #3 = Blue




Friday, December 12, 2014

IVF #3.1 Plan

IVF #3 is being rebooted this cycle!   So, I caved and I’m not doing the proto EPP anymore.   I am going to do a Long Lupron cycle.   I just want to cycle and I don’t have the energy to be my own RE anymore.   So, start Lupron on 12/30.  Baseline 1/9.  Start stims 1/10.  Retrieval around 1/21.   I am actually leaning towards a freeze all cycle right off the bat as my fresh statistics are 0 for 2.  My frozen statistics are 3 for 3.   My TSH always sky rockets after stimulating and I suspect my body has a severe auto immune reaction to the stims that it needs a few months off to recover from.  I'd want 1 cycle off then do a FET the following cycle.  So probably a March FET.   Victor will be well over 3 if this all pans out to give him a sibling.  I sure as hell hope they are close later in life even with that kind of age gap.  :(




Thursday, December 11, 2014

Letrozole was a bust

Letrozole was a bust but I kinda knew it would be.  Giant period started yesterday.  Looks like I'll be starting my long lupron protocol this cycle with a stim cycle next cyle.  I can't wait to get these eggs out so I can stop taking 20 supplements a day.  The DHEA has completely wrecked my skin and I read you shouldn't take it for too long and I've been on it for countless month just waiting for an IVF.  Silly me even purposefully made myself wait 90 days when I started taking it back in the summer.  Oh how I didn't waste those precious months!  Also, I think I'm going to cycle regardless of TSH to get these eggs out.  I am  pessimistic about a fresh TRANSFER anyways (0 for 2 on fresh, 3 for 3 on frozen...I don't think it's a coincidence).  Since eggs take roughly 90 days to make I'd literally have to wait 90 days AFTER my TSH is back under 2 to do an egg retrieval to get eggs that weren't impacted by my 4.4 TSH.  Ain't nobody got time for that.  I am not waiting til Spring to cycle.  I'll lose it!  So looks like I'll be shooting up with lupron in just a few weeks if I have anything to say about it!


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Answers to my questions...

This is an email I wrote to my RE and her responses....

My period is due in the next 10 days so I wanted to touch base with you.  I’d like to do estrogen priming next cycle followed by a stimulation/retrieval cycle (January).   I have lots of ideas/questions, I hope you don’t mind!!  

1.  Estrogen Priming - What is the plan for this?    From my research I’d test for my LH surge then 9/10 days later start estrogen patches (change every other day), add ganirelix daily for 3 days starting the day after I start the patches, and continue patches until my next period starts.
"Your plan sounds about right, there are many protocols. Honestly, I will confer with our IVF director about her experience with this as I very rarely do priming cycles."

2. Fresh vs. Frozen Transfer - Something is still gnawing at me about doing a fresh transfer.   I am concerned about my auto immune issues  (hashimoto’s, psoriasis, gluten sensitivity).  As far as my implantation record is concerned, I am 0 for 2 with fresh transfers and 3 for 3 with frozen.  Is this really coincidence or is it a pattern?   Maybe my body is not in a hospitable state for embryos after going through IVF?   For example, after the this last stimulation cycle (the one I converted to an IUI) my TSH went up an entire point in only a week.  I know we spoke about this before and you didn’t think I needed to wait citing the 80+% success rates at CC for fresh blast transfers.  Believe me, I want to be in that 80+%!  But I want to conserve my embryos as well.   Maybe just transfer 1 instead of 2 so there are more to freeze for FET attempts?  This leads into #3….
"I'll have to read your next my chart, but I would say let's see how high your E2 levels go with the fresh stimulation before we decide on fresh versus frozen. There is some data that high estrogen levels are associated with decreased implantation rates. So if you are hyperstimulated or have high E2 levels, we may want to go for a frozen."

3. Steroids – I speak with a lot of women going through infertility on a daily basis.  Some of these ladies have a plethora of autoimmune issues as well.  They have seen success by adding in steroids earlier and more of them prior to transfer.  Can we prepare my body weeks before the transfer with steroids instead of the usual dosage given to patients?
"We treat many patients with autoimmune issues. High dose steroids carry risk and have not been shown in scientific studies to improve pregnancy rates in women with hashimoto’s, psoriasis, or gluten sensitivity. I would not recommend."

4. Intralipids – This goes along with #3, can we administer Intralipids (a synthetic produc), a week or more prior to embryo transfer?   I have read about success doing this as well for women with auto immune issues.
"Lipid infusions have been extensively studied and actually appear to decrease pregnancy rates."

5. Humira – I saw a commercial for a psoriasis drug the other day and as I google it I read that people with auto immune issues are being prescribed Humira prior to/during(?) IVF cycles to increase success.  I thought this was interesting and wondered if you knew anything about it.  I have psoriasis so I wonder if I should take this before an IVF cycle?
"I don't have experience with Humira. If you were prescribed Humira for your psoriasis, you could continue it, but I personally wouldn't prescribe it to affect your chances with IVF. We couldn't predict how this would influence your chance and it could be harmful. "

6. Meds – Can we order my meds soon?  
"Nurses can order your meds asap once we have picked protocol (as I mentioned I will ask IVF director about preferred priming protocol)"

7. EmbryoGlue 
"We do routinely use embryo glue on frozen cycles. On fresh cycles, it had no effect on our pregnancy rates."

8. Intrauterine HCG – A study placing 500 IU of HCG during transfer yielded higher success rates.
"I am familiar with this study, it was not a good study and we would not recommend doing this!"



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Son of a Bitch

F F F F F F. Backstory. My TSH has been nicely hovering around 1. My last good value was 0.75. Literally 30 days after the 0.75 - after stimming - it shot to 1.88. So it's been roughly 30 days since then so I thought, "Oh, I'll check out my TSH again to make sure it went back down to 1."...................Nope. 4.36. WTF. RE wants it below 2, so 4.36 won't do at all. They are only upping my dose from 100 to 112.5 too. I'm bummed. I practically begged for them to up it more and they said that's all they'd do an recheck in 6 weeks. F 6 weeks. I'm checking again in 4. I'm beyond bummed. So help me if this pushed me even MORE past January I'm just going to have a meltdown.

PS... I can kiss this letrozole hail Mary goodbye I guess. No baby would ever want to be in a 4.36 habitat.