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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.

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.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Letrozole TWW

So, I took Letrozole (aka Femara) weeks ago.  It was even more of a hail Mary than the IVF turned IUI last cycle.  Anyways, I seriously doubt it will work, so don't get all excited (mom), but I wanted to document my "symptoms" none the less just for my records.

Timeline

11/26/14 - +OPK PM (POASed, test line wasn't as dark as control right away, showered, looked again and test line was as dark as control)

11/27/14 - +OPK AM (POASed, test line was as dark as control line right away)

11/28/14 - Ovulated (guessing based on OPKs)

Disclaimer:  I have a cold so some of the sneezing symptoms below could be attributed to that but I don't usually sneeze when I get colds.  It's probably crazy wishful thinking that it's a pregnancy symptom (which it can in fact be for many women). 

3DPO (12/1/14) - Maybe 4DPO?   Cramps in the evening.  Sneezed all day.  A few boob pangs here and there.  Watery CM evening.  Absolutely freezing PM.

4DPO (12/2/14) - Sneezing all morning.   Watery CM morning.  Maybe one or two cramps in the evening (not stabbing feeling, AF like cramps).

5DPO (12/3/14) - Nothing.

Done.  See next post.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Letrozole complete

Sorry the blog has been slow!  It will be kinda slow until mid/late December when we start the estrogen priming portion of IVF #3 take 2.  Anyways, I took my last letrozole pill yesterday.   Of course I'm praying for a miracle.  One miraculous super sperm from Mike to find it's way all the way to an egg next week!  I know it's a hail Mary but why not at least try right?  The drug was only a $10 copay!  So today is cycle day 8.  Typically I ovulate around cycle day 16/17 but I guess on letrozole it's pretty much going to force it to happen around day 13/14 which will be next Sunday/Monday.  We'll do the deed and sit and wait for 12-14 days to take a test.  No way I'm testing early this time.  I say that now, but I am an addict.  Out of my 100 internet cheapies I am down to only 7 or 8 though so I can't waste them!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Letrozole and Psychics

I will take my first of five pills today (cycle day 3) of letrozole.  This is even more of a hail Mary than the IVF turned IUI last month.  But we may as well do SOMETHING to get a natural miracle this cycle since we have to wait for the holidays anyways.  :)

Also, my desperation has reached an all time high.  Desperate enough to buy a psychic reading off etsy. lol. Anyways, she sent me the reading (via video) and it was REALLY really emotional for me. It was a video taped recording, the 1st half was a prayer for Mike and I and the second half was a reading. I was super moved. If anyone wants to see it, I can send you a link to the private youtube of it. My main take aways were her saying, "Every challenge is a blessing in disguise, a gift that makes us stronger, more conscious, and ultimately, more alive." And, "Breath, everything is happening exactly as it should be." I truly believe this. I truly believe when I finally hold my baby in my arms everything will make sense as to WHY I went through what I did to get to that exact moment. That if anything different would have happened I wouldn't be holding that exact baby. I have always felt that way and it was just comforting to hear her tell me that.