About Us

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After an 8 year battle with infertility and countless struggles, our family is finally complete. This blog chronicles the journey it took for us to start and build the family we always wanted. Background on the blog (started in 2012, just days before I found out the embryo transfer for our son worked).... 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.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

IVF #3 Rebooted - Plan

So, what helps me pick myself up is having a plan.  So here's the plan.   (It's a little long since I can't cycle at the end of December because the embryology lab will be closed.)

Mid November - Get 1st period.  I've asked my doctor if she could write me a prescription for clomid or letrozole for this cycle to at least ensure I ovulate.  Might as well use this cycle for one last ditch natural try effort!

Mid December - Get 2nd period

Late December - Confirm ovulation (not a "trying" cycle)

Early January - Confirm mid luteal phase and start estrogen patches and ganirelix shots (the estrogen priming portion of my new IVF cycle)

Mid January - Get 3rd period, baseline, and start stimming for IVF cycle.

Late January - Egg Retrieval

Early February - Embryo transfer

Mid February - Hopefully see a positive HPT!!!!


Monday, November 10, 2014

BFN

I just want to have a good cry.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think that having a second child would be HARDER than the ordeal we went through to have our first.  :(  Sometimes I wonder if I should just give up and live my life with 1 child.  Then I remember why I am doing this.  I am doing it for Victor!  I want him to grow up with a sibling.  But I never wanted him to be a bazillion years older than his sibling either.   My brother and I are only 18 months apart and I love it.  My husband and his sisters are each 3 years apart.  They love each other but don't talk that much.  I want Victor to grow up really close to his sibling(s) and stay close in his adult life.  Infertility is eating me alive.  I feel like I am completely losing my identity to this disease.  Yes, it's a disease.  F U insurance companies for not paying for my disease when you pay for gastric bypasses.  I know I sound completely bitchy but I cry as I write this.  I am just at my wits end.  I wish there was a light at the end of the tunnel but at every turn there are only more hurdles.  I am tired.  I think about my infertility about 90% of the day.  I just wish I could live my damn life and not struggle to have a baby while other's get it for free without even a second thought.   This TWW was really rough on me.  Moments I was positive I was pregnant, then pee sticks said otherwise.  Then pee sticks hinted I was with pink shadows of lines....how could THAT be an evap line?   But it probably was because the tests today are blank.  I am just tired.  Sometimes I think a flat out BFN would be waaaay easier than all this pee stick madness.   Going through the miscarriage in May almost broke me.   This is almost breaking me.   Yes, "at least I have Victor."   I put that in quotes because I'm sick of people belittling secondary infertility.   I hurt.  Maybe not as much as someone with primary infertility but I still hurt.   I hurt because I can't have the family that I always dreamed of having.  I am not getting any younger and our bank accounts aren't getting any fuller.  If you still like me after reading this rant then please pray for me.  Pray for me to find peace.   .......and mom, I'll be okay.

TWW Log

Log since the IVF got converted to an IUI....

0dpiui (10/27) = GIANT ovarian cramps on the right side of my body.  Definitely ovulated that side of eggs.  Thirsty.  We BD again that night just for good measure.  Started seeing lady bugs all around the house.  PLEASE be good luck!

1dpiui (10/28) = Ovarian cramps are all but gone.   Fluttery in lower abdomen (gas?).  Thirsty.  Left sided cramps a little in the evening.  Craving salt.

2dpiui (10/29) = Ovarian cramps in the middle of the night on both sides.  Especially after peeing.  Left sided ovarian cramps mostly.  Less thirsty.  Started prometrium AM and PM everyday now (progesterone...which WILL cause many symptoms going forward).  Exhausted in the evening.  Craving salt.

3dpiui (10/30) = Uterine cramps in the morning (probably from the newly started progesterone - too early to be anything else).   Ovarian cramps in the evening.  Smelly pee at night.  More awake than usually in the evening. Constipated.  Craving salt.

4dpiui (10/31) = Vivid dreams last night. Warm cheeks.  Dry eyes.  Heartburn. Constipated.  Craving salt.

5dpiui (11/1) = Vivid dreams last night. woozy in the AM for a split second.   Hot.   Sensitive nips.   One big burp.  Stabby pains in left boob around evening.   Trigger still in system. Constipated.  Craving salt.

6dpiui (11/2) =  Maybe a vivid dream last night?  maaaaaybe the tiniest of cramps early AM.  Sore throat mid day.  Maaaaaybe veiny chest PM?  Acne on chest PM.  Trigger still in system. Constipated.  Craving salt.  Irritable (more than normal?). 

7dpiui (11/3) = Super hot at night.  No vivid dreams last night.  Reflux in bed AM.  Colace finally worked.   Haven't really felt much in the last 24 hours.  Think this is most certainly a bust.  A few cramps after my shower.  No noticeable veins that aren't always there.  Maybe a tiny boob tingle.  Trigger still there.   

8dpiui (11/4) = absolutely nothing.  This isn't looking good.  I had symptoms by now (cramping) for both my successful cycle as well as the cycle that ended in miscarriage.   The last cycle that was a completely bust of a BFN had no symptoms....just like this cycle.  :(   Freezing.   No noticeable veins whatsoever.  Still no cramps. Trigger still there - lighter than yesterday.

9dpiui (11/5) = 2 or 3 seconds of uterine pokes AM.  Grossed out by marker board marker smell.  Desperate much?  Totally grasping at straws.  Freezing after work.  Couldn't get warm even in shower. Trigger still there - lighter than yesterday.

10dpiui (11/6) = Nothing.  Watery CM AM.  Holy hell, queasy after lunch.  Only queasy for like 10 minutes follwed by a tension headache in neck.  Shaky hands and legs after grocery shopping.  Very light cramps at night.  Trigger still there.  

11dpiui (11/7) = Vivid dreams last night. CM AM.  I think my chest looks veiny but I thought this last month too.   Constipated.  Sweaty.  Now cold.  Peed 5 times already today 11am.  Hot then cold over and over and over.  PM=shaky feeling again, achy left boob, warm cheeks, tiny uterine pulling feeling. Veiny chest and boobs.  Trigger baaaaaarely there.  Almost non existent.

12dpiui (11/8) = Some dreams, not sure how vivid they were.  Veins are gone.  Headache. AF like cramps.  Giant headache.  Feel exactly like I feel before AF.  Negative FRER.  Not even a shadow.  I'm 100% sure it's not happening.   Reflux.  Right boob tingling.

13dpiui (11/9) = Definitely veiny boobs.  Thirsty.  Shadows on some wondfos / BFN on others.   I think at this point they are evaps.

14dpiui (11/10) = BFN again on a wondfo and FRER. Stopped progesterone.

Final update...

15dpiui (11/11) = Got my period already.

Monday, October 27, 2014

IVF Converted to IUI Complete - TWW Begins

IUI is complete!   Pretty bad pains on my right side.  Maybe fluid just filling my empty follicles on that side?  I doubt I'd get any OHSS with e2 only 1125 on the day of trigger.  So there was a little bit of blood after the IUI.  I hope it was from my cervix and not from my uterus.  When she had the catheter in there I swear she poked me with the end.  I felt a sudden pinch then a few flutters like spasms.  Maybe it was when she put the sample in and it going through my thinner left tube?  Who knows.  Either way I hope everything is okay.  She said I had about 5 matures when they triggered so I'm just lucky they let us attempt this and didn't just cancel outright.  So I'm officially in the TWW!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Monitoring Appointment #4 - IVF Converted to IUI

We went to Cleveland Clinic this morning for a monitoring appointment.  We have two 20mms, and I think it was 3 between 12 and 17.   My e2 was actually up to 1,125.   It was decided to cancel the cycle (I knew it!).  They wanted to cancel cancel and not even attempt an IUI but I made the nurse call the doctor back after I reminded her that my husband has 0% morphology she called the doctor back and then called me back that they'd do it!!   So we will trigger tonight and do an IUI in 2 days on Monday.  Yes, I am disappointed in this cycle, but yes, I am happy to save $11,000 and not proceed just to retrieve a handful of eggs.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Monitoring Appointment #3

So I have an 18mm on the right and 19mm on the left. My e2 was only 234 two days ago when my lead was 15mm. I just don't think this is sounding good. Especially since I reached these sizes on only 6 days of stims. My guess is they will have me coast 1 more day to try and let the others catch up. I'm not sure of sizes of the others (yet) but they definitely looked bigger. I'd say I have about 8 over 10mm. I am anxiously awaiting the doctor's call about the plan. Too bad they probably won't call for 6 to 7 hours! I am so anxious I pooped twice already today. Waaaay too much TMI but I just wanted to depict properly how nervous I am!


Cleveland Clinic, if you ever google yourself and find this, just know you are TORTURING women everyday waiting until the very last possible second of the business day to call them back with their results.  



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monitoring Appointment #2

Soooooooooooo, they called at 4:05 pm (yes, I almost blew a blood vessel in my brain with anticipation since they took their sweet time calling me that day) and said I need a monitoring appointment the very next day!  So I had to rush and call my OB to get an appointment for the very next day.  Anyways, my follicles are up to 13-15mm.  So, as expected, Cleveland called early in the day to tell me to take my first ganirelix injection (which I brought to work anticipating this).  Anyways folks, I do not things are looking good for this cycle.  I think the several lead follicles are absorbing all of the FSH and LH from the follistim and menopur and taking off while the 6mm ones aren't growing at all.  I told the nurse this morning that I do NOT want to proceed with a retrieval if we are looking to get less than 10 mature eggs.  Even 10 would be a low number.  So, now I wait again to hear back from them this afternoon as far as what does of follistim/menopur to take tonight.  I will do ganirelix injections every morning to make my body not ovulate early.  The nurse this morning, after I told her my concerns, said we should at least stim for a few more days and then talk about options then.  So that's what we'll do.

Just in case anyone is wondering.... here are our IVF fert reports to compare....

IVF#1
17 eggs
12 mature
7 fertilized
5 transferred
1 babies

IVF #2
14 eggs
7 mature
6 fertilized
4 transferred
0 babies

UPDATE:  Up dose to 200 follistim, 75 menopur, repeat monitor Friday 10/24.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Monitoring Appointment #1

Three days of stims (100 follistim, 75 menopur) under my belt as of yesterday.  Monitoing appointment today went okay.   I have a lot of follicles (they still haven't given me a count) but I'm a little worried.  Some are way bigger than others.  I think I saw a 13mm one and most were like 5mm.  I hope that's okay.  I know in IVF they should all be the same size so they grow at the same rate and can get harvested at the same time.   Don't have a good feeling about this cycle.  It will either be cancelled or changed to a stimulated IUI I bet.  :(  I'm so upset.

Friday, October 17, 2014

IVF #3 Stim Calendar


Baseline Complete

I had LOTS of antral follicles.  I asked how many and she said she only measured the first 10.  I wish I would have counted all the black dots.   I swear I saw at least 15 if not more.  I am super pumped!  A few follicles looked way bigger than the rest so hopefully they aren't too big.  They are all supposed to be roughly the same size so they grow evenly!  Now I wait for CC to call me back.  That should be between 1 and 4 this afternoon.   I'll update the blog with what they say when I hear!

UPDATE:  E2 was 33!!  Woo hoo!  Let's get this party started.  Start stims tomorrow for three days then repeat a monitoring appointment Tuesday.   My starting dose is 100 follistim and 75 menopur.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

IVF #3 Underway

Full red bleed today so I called the clinic at 8:05 am to let them know.  The receptionist took my call and said a nurse would call me right back.  Am I cursed?  It's now past noon and still no call.  Sorry that I always sound like I'm bitching....I just feel like there have already been a ton of bumps with this cycle.  I hope this communication shortcoming thing comes to an end soon.  Luckily, I anticipated this happening and booked a baseline appointment at my local OB for tomorrow (internal sono to count antral follicles and bloodwork to measure e2 levels).  Hopefully they say that's okay (when they call back) and don't make us drive to Cleveland for the baseline (1.5 hour drive for a 10 minute appointment).  I am beyond nervous to hear the antral follicle count.  I have been on DHEA for over 100 days and that supplement alone should increase egg count and quality.   I only had 10 antral follicles in February and retrieved 13 eggs.  I hope they see at least that if not more!

UPDATE.... still haven't heard from my clinic at 4:07pm.  Are they TRYING to give me a heart attack?   Thank God I am a veteran at this shit and made my own appointment with a local OB for tomorrow morning?   Pardon my French.  You don't mess with a woman who just got her period.   Cleveland Clinic..... Y U no call me?


UPDATE 2:  They called at 4:15.  Baseline Friday is fine.  Start stims Saturday.  Recheck follicles/e2 next Tuesday!



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

CD 30

More brown spotting, maybe some burgundy.  I need it to change to red so I can call the clinic and see when they want me to do my baseline ultrasound and bloodwork.  If my period full on starts today, I would think the baseline would be Friday (day 3) and I would start stims that night.

Update (4pm):  PRACTICALLY red but still considered burgundy if you ask me.  It's not "bright red" that they are looking for.  Come on full on red!  If you don't come today, we'll have to drive 1.5 hours on Saturday to baseline in Cleveland and back (instead of baselining Friday in Erie).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

CD 29

Cycle day 29. No sign of AF at all. Not a single cramp. Last month was 33 days. All three months before were all 27 days. Why did it have to get long all of a sudden to screw with my mind? lol. As soon as it starts I can start stimming!

Update:  started spotting brown around 3pm.  Come on red!   It has to be red to start!

Also, my drugs came!!!!!!!   It's like Christmas!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Vitamin D and IVF Outcome

This study, "Vitamin D Deficiency and Infertility: Insights From in vitro Fertilization Cycles", made me super paranoid to get my Vitamin D levels checked.   Noteably, this result grid says it all:



Luckily, I am good to go!   Here are my Vitamin D results:


Friday, October 10, 2014

Almost time!

Cycle day 25. I've been getting AF like cramps for a few days now. BDed a few times this month after O'ing on cycle day 16/17. BFNs so far on wondfos. Was sooooooo hoping for a miracle baby before starting IVF madness again. The cramps suggest AF is right around the corner. Some of my recent cycles have been as short as 27 days and some as long as 33. As soon as she arrives I'll baseline and start stimming!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

No Meds

So I posted a while back that I was going to get my IVF meds any day.  I still don't have them!  I could get AF any day now (I'm cycle day 23 and it's come as early as day 27 before).   So I called Cleveland Clinic.  The lady was super nice on the phone but she mentioned something about Barron's waiting for me to call.   UM, no.  I am Walgreens Specialty.  For the 100th time!  Ugh, I sure hope this isn't foreshadowing of communication problems right from the start!  

Besides that, I am not sure if I posted this, but I start acupuncture 4 weeks ago again with Maki.  I love her.  I leave the appointments feeling so relaxed.  I hope it's working to de-stress me (save the debacle above).

Today marks me being on supplements for 90 days!  My eggs should official be energized with goodness!!  


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Latest Thyroid Results

TSH: 0.75   (smidge below optimal fertility 1-2) but I'd rather it be too low than too high (which is worse).
T4: 1.42
T3: 3.4



Friday, September 19, 2014

Semen Sample Frozen


Plan

Today..... Met with nurse to go over next month's cycle, blood tests, injection training (like I needed it)...check.

Next week..... They'll order my meds.   (Update.... they didn't order my meds, hopefully next week.)

October 12-18..... Start period.  We'll just choose October 17th for the next tentative dates....

October 20th..... baseline ultrasound, start Follistim and Menopur.

October 23rd..... ultrasound and bloodwork to measure progress.

October 25th-30th..... ultrasound and bloodwork to measure progress.   Once follicles reach 13/14mm start Ganirelix to suppress ovulation.

October 30th..... Trigger with either Lupron + HCG or just Lupron (depends on E2 levels at the time).

November 1..... Retrieval

November 4th or 6th..... Day 3 or Day 5 transfer.

November 18th or 20th..... Official beta day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Countdown Begins!

I FINALLY got my period....a week late of all things.  So the countdown can now officially begin to starting my third IVF cycle in October.

Next steps.... Mike and I go to Cleveland this Friday to meet with a nurse to sign the IVF paperwork and get STD testing AGAIN.  I asked if we could just use last August's testing from UH Hospital but the doctor said something about it needing to be 6 months current or something.  So that will be another several hundred dollars down the tube.  We don't have STDs people!   Quit stealing our money!    We will also get a tentative calendar on Friday and they'll order the meds.   We also have "Injection Training"...........no comment.  As if I don't know how to give injections yet.  Oh well.  We'll play along.  :)

I pray this will be our third and final IVF round.  I pray we get a healthy "take home baby" out of it!   Anyone reading this, please say a quick prayer for us.

Also, our loan also got approved through ARC for 11k and change.  I pray that is the last one we need to take out for making babies.

Oh!  And I start acupuncture today weekly until the transfer!!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

$11,374.43

That's the loan amount we are about to take out for our THIRD IVF.  It covers 1 round of IVF and 1 FET.   We contemplated doing the $33,500 refund option where you'd get 3 IVFs and 3 FETs and are guaranteed a baby or most of your money back, however Mike and I realized that if we had any more than 2 frozen embryos with each IVF we'd have to pay 2 to 3k on top of that to transfer each batch of 2 over the 2 covered in the first FET following each IVF.  So in that scenario, we'd actually be penalized if we were blessed with lots of frosties.   So, we decided we are just going to gamble and do one IVF cycle at a time and pray an embryo from the first cycle works.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

IVF Egg Quality Supplements

UPDATE:
Best egg retrieval after these to date!!!
21 eggs
13 mature
12 fertilized with ICSI (92% fertilization rate)
8 made it to blast! (66% blast rate!)

Here's how I split them up throughout the day.... no rhyme or reason, just tried to balance it all out:

Breakfast

Lunch
  • Co Q10 Enzyme 200 mg
  • DHEA 25 mg
  • NAC
  • Queen's Delight
  • Vitamin D 2000 iu
  • Iron (I forget the amount off the top of my head) - no longer taking interacts with synthroid.  
  • OmegaVia Pharma Grade Omega 3 1105mg
  • B complex plus - label

Dinner

Bedtime
  • Myo-Inositol Powder 2 gm
  • Melatonin 3mg
  • OmegaVia Pharma Grade Omega 3 1105mg

Friday, August 29, 2014

Drinks, Glaze, and Sex...and Coffee

So, I know alcohol isn't good for egg quality.  But last night was ladies night and it was BYOB at Claytopia.  So, I brought one bottle of Angry Orchard and got my paint on with my girls.  I painted a unicorn and drank my drink and was even a little buzzed by the end.  I had to leave early to have the sex since I'll be ovulating in a few days.  The girls all laughed and I agreed to name my baby Clay if some how miraculously this month I conceive.  lol.   Always praying for a miracle.

Addendum.... I even got a pumpkin spice latte this morning - caffeine is the devil for eggs.  I just craved the caffeine rush today.   I'll be kicking myself later when only 50% of my eggs fertilize.  Must.  Stop.  Bad.  Behavior!  


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Alive, Trying and Waiting

Just checking in.  I'm still alive.  Still taking a plethora of supplements for 90 days pre-IVF to boost egg quality.  After finding out both my tubes were miraculously open, we eagerly "tried" this month naturally (as we do every month but this one we were more positive) to make a sibling for Victor.  Anyways, it was a bust.  I got my LH surge on cycle day 17 and had my period on cycle day 27.   Doesn't that seem like an awfully short luteal phase?  Guess it doesn't matter with medicated IVF but it is very disheartening knowing that even with two tubes open, I probably don't have enough progesterone support internally to support life.  :(

Friday, August 1, 2014

Clinic Stats

Not gonna lie....pretty pumped about my new clinic's success rates.   My new RE even shared the 2013 stats (they are still coming in as people from the end of last year are still delivering their babies) and they are even better than 2012.  She was showing me as high as 83% for a fresh day 5 transfer (which I've never done for the record).   Fingers, toes, and eyes crossed for Mike and I as we head into IVF #3 this October (taking DHEA supplements for 90 days, hence the long wait to start).   Oh, I highlighted the row with the most meaningful stat....


2013 Stats:


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The State of My Tubes and Ute

My last HSG was in 2011.  That was the day I found out I had a blocked left tube.  I was shocked and asked how it happened.  The doctor said she didn't know and in fact could be temporary.  Anyways....... come full circle to today, over 3 years later...and apparently the latter was true.


Apparently it was temporary and it's perfectly fine now.  Interesting.  However my uterus is an arcuate uterus.  Meaning the top dips inwards instead of being flat across or even convex.   I googled it and "Overall, the arcuate uterus probably does not have an impact on reproduction and obstetrical outcomes."

The inside of my ute, looked at via an hysteroscopy, was squeaky clean too...


So, of course I'm all excited that maybe Mike's slow swimmers will miraculously get me pregnant before we do another IVF in October.  He should at least get them rechecked since he hasn't had counts done in over a year.  Maybe a year of not working out like a fiend has done his balls good and maybe his swimmers stand a chance now?

I'm not getting my hopes up too much though.  IVF #3 is totally going down in October if I'm not pregnant by then!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sad/Mad Rant

No medical updates... bitchfest ensuing...continue reading at your own risk.....

I wish I could be happy for them.  I AM happy for them - a little - but my sadness for myself trumps any shred of happiness I have for them.  You see, several friends have recently shared me with they are pregnant.   Even a few of my INFERTILE friends are pregnant and yet I still am just so sad/mad - "why them and not me?"  A close friend in real life (aka, not an internet friend) told me at a family party recently that she's pregnant but not announcing it yet.  This one stung because I would have been the same "weeks along" as her if I didn't miscarry.   An internet friend (aka, someone from my infertility forums) posted a sonogram photo on our hidden groups' Facebook page.  She's 8.5 weeks.  Just under what I would have been if I didn't miscarry.  This one stung because not only is it visual, but she was almost doomed for a miscarriage herself.  Her early betas not only were incredibly low, they REALLY didn't double at first.  Back then I thought for sure I was going to carry to term and she was going to sadly, miscarry.  How the world turned on me.  Now I get to stare at the tiny little arms and legs of her 8.5 week miracle on my Facebook feed (update... I found out how to hide this post from my feed).  I really don't want to be this bitter.  And I sure as hell don't want to be looked at as bitter either.  It is just hard watching so many women/friends walking around pregnant.   Why can't I have that?  Why can't I grow my family too?   No one can understand my heart unless they have been there too - and I know a lot of you reading this are there too.  Hang in there.  I hope we can all make it out together.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

No more betas for me!

I was supposed to have beta #8 today to confirm I finally have no HCG in my system.  Well, I was a crazy rebel and cancelled my blood draw appointment and didn't go!   You see, last Sunday evening I POASed and even though it was a squinter there was a second line.  My beta ended up being 7 the next morning.   Last night I POASed and there was NO second line whatsoever.  I am 100% confident I have no HCG in my system.  I don't want to rub salt on the wounds and go in and see ten million pregnant B's in the waiting room, nor do I want to be stabbed for the millionth time in the arm, nor do I want a copay for a blood draw I already know the result of!    I fibbed and said I'd call back and reschedule for that was horse poop.  I finally feel free of the chains of that nightmare.  Just glad to move on!

I apologize if my blog is super slow/quiet for the next couple of months.  I will just be taking supplements and gearing up to do another IVF at the end of October.  I do have to do a HSG and hysteroscopy as soon as my next period comes so I'll update you guys with those results when I get them.  :)


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Beta #7 and DHEA

Can't believe I've had SEVEN beta's so far.   Anyways, Beta #7 was 7.  I was hoping for 5 or lower because, just as I presumed, they want to repeat it next Monday.  I am going to POAS Sunday night (like I have the last two Sunday's pre-blood draw) and if it's stark white (which I assume it will be) I am going to cancel the test.   Anyways, I know that's a crazy unexciting update but I didn't want to NOT post it since it's apart of my journey and I also use my blog for documentation purposes.

I started all of my supplements (sans a few this go) in preparation for a retrieval in 3 or so months.  These next few months will drag as I just want to get the show on the road but I'm praying that the supplements, especially the DHEA, to work wonders on my egg quality.   I PRAY we only need to do IVF one more time.  I PRAY we only need one more transfer.  I could do it over and over and over but Mike, on the other hand, wants to stop and just raise Victor an only child.  I'm not sure how many more attempts I have before me with him wanting me to stop - and don't even get me started on financial resources (or lack there of).  


Monday, July 7, 2014

New RE

Mike and I met with a new RE last week.  WE LOVE HER.  We left UH Hospitals and have returned to the Cleveland Clinic, the place that gave us Victor.  We didn't return to the same RE at CC because I saw a doctor I knew I'd like during a live webinar a few months ago.  They all collaborate anyways, it's just now I have a nicer interface with my treatment.  :)   She said with the recent miscarriage I should wait a few months to try again.  That's good timing with my desire to start back on all the supplements - which need 90 days to work (I stopped taking them once I fell pregnant so I haven't been on them for well over a month - cancelling out all my hard work being on them before!)    There are a few I think I'm going to ditch, like the maca and bee pollen.  I am definitely staying on the DHEA.  Anyways, I have some preliminary lab results back.  

  • TSH 1.220   (Normal 0.400 - 5.500 uU/mL)
  • Anti Mullerian Hormone 1.599  (She didn't send the reference range but this is actually a lot lower than I'd like.)
  • Testosterone <12 (Normal 20 - 70 ng/dL) So I'm low.
  • DHEA-S 137.8 (Normal 10.0 - 221.0 ug/dL )

I sent my new RE an email asking several questions like, "did my recent pregnancy impact any of these?"  We'll see what she says.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Beta #6 & Ultrasound #3

Small update…… Beta #6 showed my hcg is down to 24. Luckily my body knew what to do and I won’t need a D&C. I go back next Monday to verify the number is down to zero.   An ultrasound also confirmed my uterus is empty.

Monday, June 23, 2014

6w6d Miscarriage

The imminent miscarriage started this morning.   Feels like a normal period (so far) but extra sad knowing there was a baby in there at some point.  :(

I'm on vacation (I went anyways even against doctor's orders) so hopefully I can take my mind off of it.   It's a gloomy day (fitting) here on Hilton Head Island.   We are here until Saturday and are driving back Saturday and Sunday.   I have an appointment with my OB for an ultrasound and blood work Monday.  Hopefully my body knows what to do this week to wrap this emotional episode up. 

Anyways.... We meet with a new RE on July 3rd.  She's a new RE but my old clinic - the one that gave us Victor.   She's super young and I pray she isn't stuck in her old ways like my past two REs.  I hope she takes my Hashimotos, MTHFR, and all that craziness into consideration instead of blowing it off like my last RE.  

So stay tuned.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ectopic?

So now they thing it's ectopic and I can't go on vacation?   Fuck.  My.  Life. 

6w2d Ultrasound #2

The gestational sac appeared empty today.  Looks like my body reabsorbed the yolk sac and miscarriage is imminent.   My HPTs have been getting lighter so I can only pray that we can wrap up this whole awful experience with the news of a lower beta today.  Miscarrying while on vacation will utterly suck.  Everyone is going to be so happy around me.  It will make me feel even more alone.


Monday, June 16, 2014

5w6d Beta #5

1537.   104 hour doubling time.  Once betas are above 1200 normal double time is between 72 and 96 hours.  Damn I wish things could just be easier and definitive.  They wanted to do another ultrasound next Monday (6/23) but I will be on vacation until the FOLLOWING Monday (6/30).   My nurse is talking to the doctor and figuring it out and will call me back.

Beta recap:
12dp3dt=88
14dp3dt=165 (52 hour doubling)
18dp3dt=560 (54 hour doubling)
21dp3dt=945 (95 hour doubling)
24dp3dt=1537 (102 hour doubling)

Beta graph.... the slope doesn't look promising.

Plan:  Ultrasound on Thursday (3 days from the last check) and another on Monday the 30th (as soon as we get back from our trip).


5w6d Ultrasound #1

I had an u/s and b/w done today.  THANKFULLY it is NOT ectopic.  There was one gestational sac in my uterus with a yolk sac.   Unfortunately, I didn't see a baby whatsoever.  The tech didn't seem too concerned as I'm just shy of 6 weeks but I feel like there would have been SOMETHING tadpole like in there by now.  Anyways, I know this pic is completely poop as far as quality but it's the best I could do when the tech left the room for 5 seconds.    I will update you all with a beta number once I have it.  Please say more prayers that my baby is just a slow starter!


Friday, June 13, 2014

5w3d Beta #4

It's over.  Only 945.  They think it's ectopic since it needed to be 1400 to match the 54 hour doubling time of the previous betas.  I kinda just want to die right about now.   Sorry for the sad news everyone.  All of your prayers meant so much to me.


Last minute prayers

My blood has been drawn for beta #4.   Any last minute prayers anyone would be willing to lift up would mean the world to Mike and I right now.   Love you guys.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

5w0d :(

no words needed....

5w0d Beta #3

Only 560.  Should have been 660 today.   54 hour doubling time which is technically "normal" since "normal" is 48-72 hours.   I'm pretty sad.  :(   I just want to know one way or the other at this point.  Being in beta limbo is PURE AGONY.

PLEASE PRAY FOR US!!

Here's a graph:





5w0d

So yeah, I'm 5 weeks pregnant today (18dp3dt).  Feels so weird to type.  I pray to God it lasts.   I actually had a beta drawn today.  It needs to come back at 660 to double properly from Friday's 165.   Even after yesterday's less dark tests I am hoping 16dp3dt's test was a fluke.  My wondfos, which I swore I'd never take more of, are nice and dark as of last night.  I wish I had taken a wondfo on 16dp3dt so that one damn FRER from that day wouldn't rain on my parade.

17dp3dt wondfos (bottom two):

KEEP PRAYING FOR US!!!!


Monday, June 9, 2014

17dp3dt Ugh

I swear my line isn't as dark as yesterday's.  :(   Yesterday's was darker than the control.  Today's isn't even as dark as the control.


Keep praying for us!!!!





Sunday, June 8, 2014

16dp3dt

Everyday I get less nervous but still prayers are welcome!   Today's line looks a SMIDGE darker than the control line!



I honestly still think I had a vanishing twin.... I mean look at these FRER tests.  They get darker to the blue line, then light again, then dark again.  I sincerely think one implanted, didn't take, then the other implanted and is sticking around (knock on wood).

Vanishing twin FRER progression:
 

Friday, June 6, 2014

14dp3dt Beta #2

165!

I cannot believe it!!!!!   It "doubled"!  I put that in quotes cause true double would have been 176 so we're 11 off but I'll take it!!!!!

Next beta isn't until 21dp3dt - a whole week away!

KEEP PRAYING FOR US!!!!!!!


14dp3dt - Waiting

My blood has been drawn and now I wait.  I am a nervous wreck.  Say some last ditch prayers for Mike and I!!


Thursday, June 5, 2014

13dp3dt Not sure what to think...

So last night apparently I started getting "darker" again.  Not sure what to think anymore!

I'm a little worried.  Monday night I felt that strong pinching (on the right) and the next day my tests were much lighter.   Today I felt similar pinching on the left.  I  hope I'm not losing the other embryo too!

Keep praying for us!   


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

12dp3dt Beta #1

88

Normally I'd be happy that it's a decent number but after the drastically lighter lines last night I'm pretty damn bummed.   If you check betabase.info the average singleton beta 15dpo is 187.  I'm about 100 off.

Friday's beta needs to be 176.

Keep saying prayers everyone.  I beg you!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

11dp3dt Too good to be true.....

Virtually 100% sure it's over.

Words can't express my sadness right now.  It was looking so good as of yesterday.  

Enough said. 

Going to crawl into a hole now.  

11dp3dt

As I said yesterday, it's looking good folks but we don't want to jinx anything.  Keep us in your prayers!  Beta is in less than 24 hours!!!!   Repeat beta Friday.

Symptoms:  Hungry at night.  Insomnia.   Headache.

Keep the prayers coming!!!!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

10dp3dt

It's looking good folks but we don't want to jinx anything.  Keep us in your prayers!  Got my beta moved up from Friday to Wednesday.  Repeat will be on Friday!

Symptoms:  Evening, some major pinching in the front right uterus area for about 20 minutes.  Hopefully an embryo implanting deeper!   Veiny chest and arms.  Hungry at night.

Keep the prayers coming!!!!!


Saturday, May 31, 2014

8dp3dt

Symptoms:  
Nothing yet this morning.   Facial acne.   Starting to see veins in my chest.

HPTs:
Sorry to keep everyone in suspense.  We have movement on the tests but didn't want to get everyone excited just yet!   Please bare with me (us) until we feel comfortable writing about it.  We sooooo don't want to jinx anything by talking about it too early!   (AKA, don't want to relive Nov '11).


KEEP THE PRAYERS COMING!



Friday, May 30, 2014

7dp3dt

Symptoms:
10:30 feeling a little queasy.   slight headache.   little bit of heart burn.   acne on chest.   queasy in the evening.

KEEP THE PRAYERS COMING!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

6dp3dt

Symptoms:
None so far.   Maaaaaaaaaaaaaybe a tinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnny amount of queasy feeling mid morning?
After work:  Uterine pinches on and off.  Right side.  And bladder side.   Two shadowy BFPs on wondfos.   Warm cheeks.  Facial acne. Right boob pinching for only a few minutes.

HPTs:
Morning:  BFN (wondfo)
Morning:  BFN (FRER)
After work:  BFN (wondfo)..........came back later and a shadow is there!
Evening:  BFN (wondfo)..........came back later and a shadow is there!
Evening:  BFN (FRER)

KEEP PRAYING FOR US!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

5dp3dt

Symptoms:
None so far.  Stay tuned.  I hope things get rolling today!   Cramps after work.

HPTs: 
Morning: BFN.  Still very early.
After work: BFN.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

1dp3dt through 4dp3dt

Symptoms so far:
1dp3dt (Saturday evening) nothing
2dp3dt (Sunday morning) cramps when I went to bed
3dp3dt (Monday) cramps when I wok up
4dp3dt (Tuesday/Today) nothing so far  :(......   Left boob ended up tingling for a few hours in the evening.  Maybe a few cramps here and there.  Gassy but I also ate tons of apples for lunch with lots of fiber.

POAS so far:
3.5dp3dt BFN (evening)
4dp3dt BFN  (morning)
4dp3dt BFN  (after work)
4.5dp3dt BFN  (evening)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Frozen Embryo Transfer

Well I am officially PUPO!  (Pregnant until proven otherwise!) Transfer went well!!   We transferred our last 2 frosties.   A 9 cell and a 12 cell.  Both with fragmentation so hopefully they're fighters!!!

Here's me in the shirt I've worn to all FIVE embryo transfers as well as wearing my new "lucky" socks.  What could be luckier than sloths and a unicorn pooping a rainbow???



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Pineapple Core Smoothies

Pineapple core smoothie 1 of 5 complete!



Doxy, Medrol, Lovenox + Ranting

Added two new drugs to my FET regimen today:  doxycycine (antibiotic) and medrol (steroid).   They are standard with FETs and I've taken them with each transfer.   Lovenox, on the other hand is new, I will start that tomorrow.  It's a blood thinner and I found it in my last ditch research to salvage this transfer after finding my mega counts of antithyroid antibodies in my blood stream.   Research has shown having antithyroid antibodies in the body DRAMATICALLY reduces success rates.   Research has also shown that 50% of women with antithyroid antibodies also have elevated NK (natural killer) cells in the system that make it impossible for an embryo to implant.  So....many people have asked me if I still plan on transferring tomorrow....the answer is yes.  We are just going to go for it.  If it fails, we will test for the NK cells - which, if found, can be treated with an intralipid infusion in the weeks leading up to an embryo transfer.  Are we being irresponsible transferring without doing the NK test?  50% chance yes.  Psychologically I don't know if I can handle two cancelled cycles back to back that wouldn't have needed to be cancelled if my FREAKING doctors did their FREAKING jobs.  I am livid.  My thyroid wouldn't have even been tested if it wasn't for me demanding it.   My hashimoto's (and antithyroid antibodies) wouldn't have been found if it wasn't for me demanding the testing.  Even the lovenox, the last ditch med to salvage this transfer wouldn't have even been prescribed if it wasn't for me demanding it.   And if this cycle fails, testing for NK cells I can ASSURE YOU wouldn't have been done if I didn't demand it.   I am sick of being my own doctor.  For once I just want to "let go" and have someone else worry about me since that's what they are being paid to do.  Is all this ranting going to help me succeed this cycle?  Chances are it's not...since now I have extra stress hormones in my system which hinder implantation.....however....it feels good to the internet to anyone that will listen.

PS....my transfer is scheduled for tomorrow at 11am..... Dr. Goldfarb will be doing the transfer as well.  I'm sure he's going to LOVE seeing me (since I email him every day it seems).


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Thyroid Tests

TSH = 1.19  (normal 0.35-4.94)
T4 = 1.06  (normal 0.70-1.48)
T3 = 2.16 (noraml 1.71-3.71)

Anti-thyroid testing:
Thyroglobulin AB = 71.84   (normal 0.00-4.11)  REALLY BAD
Thyroid Peroxidase AB = 62.15   (normal 0.00-5.61)  REALLY BAD


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bomb From Yesterday

So yesterday my thyroid doctor confirmed that I have an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto's.   I have no clue what this means or what it means for my fertility and my baby making journey.  A lot of people have kindly sent me information.  It's a lot to take in.  The thyroid doctor said he thinks it's fine to move ahead with the transfer.  My RE doctor said he thinks it's controversial what Hashimoto's dose to fertility and it's up to me if I want to proceed or not.  He gives me this answer for everything.  I am leaving him for sure if these last two embryos don't make it.  He's so inferiating.

PIO Starts Tonight

PIO (progesterone in oil) injections start tonight!   These are the big gun needles that hurt like a mother effer.  I even had nerve damage after being on these for 10 weeks with Victor's cycle.   This is the first cycle I don't have circles drawn on my upper cheeks.  Mom, if you're reading this... I'm gonna have you draw these the next time I see you!


Friday, May 16, 2014

FET right on track

Nurse Peggy called (not sure what happened to Dawn but haven't heard from her in a while!) and said that we are still on track for transfering next Friday!  My lining looked perfect.

Plan:
  • Stay on 3 estrogen everyday
  • Stay on 2 vag pills everyday
  • Tuesday start 1ml of progesterone in the evenings.
  • Wednesday morning - last vag pill
  • Thursday start doxycycline for 4 days (1 at breakfast, 1 at dinner)
  • Thursday start medrol for 4 days (1 at dinner)
  • Thursday will hear from clinic about the time for transfer
  • Friday is the transfer!

Lining Check

Had my lining check this morning.  My lining is at 10.3mm and trilaminar!  Which is kick ass for being only cycle day 9.  I knew it would be thick though because of the 3 estrogen patches and 2 vag pills a day.  Anyways, the report will be sent to my clinic and then they'll call this afternoon with the plan.  The plan to-date is to transfer next Friday.  Transferring next Friday would be awesome because I'd only have to take off 1 day of work, relax all weekend, and we have Monday off.  I also have no clients what-so-ever next weekend so I can utterly relax!!!!  Check back later to hear about the call from the clinic!




Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chugging Along

Not much to report.  FET (frozen embryo transfer) cycles are way more boring than IVF cycles.

Just chugging along with my 3 estrogren patches a day and 2 vagina pills a day.  Sorry male readers, I am now using the word vagina freely on my blog as a few posts ago some a-hole decided to leave a comment that I sounded like I was 12 leaving out the big adult words like VAGINA.  lol.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Dates are Set!

The dates are set!

We will do a lining check on Friday May 16th to make sure my uterine lining is getting nice and thick (sometimes women's lining suffers during FET cycles).  

If that all goes well we will do the transfer on Friday May 23rd.

If that all goes well we will have our beta check on Friday June 6th!

Let the games begin!


Patches Instead of Pills

AF arrived today so the FET cycle officially got underway as of today.  I spoke with my RE and basically told him I wanted to be on patch form of estrogen instead of pill form as pill form has contradications with synthroid and I am not about to jeopardize my beautifully low TSH (sorry for the run on!).  :)   So yeah, slapped on THREE patches this morning and told to do 2 pills in the you know what a day to help the lining.  I think I'll wait to do those until after AF is done.  Honestly, the FET I had success I only needed to put them you know where for like 2 days.....not 12 as they want me to do this time.  So I think it will be okay to wait a couple days to start that mess.  ;)

Monday, May 5, 2014

FET #3 Rebooted!

Got the news just now that my thyroid level is officially 0.82!!!  Wooooooo hooo!!    That is the best news ever.  I was scared it would come back under their acceptable level (3.5) but not under my acceptable level (2.5).  Now I don't have to worry!   I am on cycle day 26 now so as soon as I get AF (aunt flow) I will be starting up my estrogen pills and the FET will be a go!!!!!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Nothing to Report

I just wanted to touch base with everyone.  I'm still alive.  Things are just going sooooooo slowly now that I have to pass time getting my thyroid under control.   I guess there is a small announcement.  I have contacted an actual thyroid doctor to help me get this under control instead of solely relying on a fertility doctor to cure my thyroid ailments.  They were going to get me in this month but we decided to wait until after my next thyroid check on May 5th to see how I'm doing with the new dose.  I see them on May 8th.   That's it!  Sorry for being so boring lately!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Orders and the Wait Continues

I just realized I left everyone hanging!   Of course my cycle was officially cancelled.  I was told to stop all estrogen meds and was given a prescription for Provera (oral progesterone for 5 days and once stopped my flow will come).   They figured I needed Provera with cancelling the cycle mid period cycle like that.  Fine by me.  My Synthroid dose was also upped from 50mcg to 100mcg.   They want to recheck it on May 5th.  

NO MORE FETS WILL START UNTIL THIS IS UNDER CONTROL.  

That last sentence hurt to type.  I hate waiting.  I am not a patient person what-so-ever.  So now I wait to fix my TSH level (to below 2.5 from 5.04).   Once that is fixed THEN we can start a cycle.  So it won't be until end of May or beginning of June until we even think about transferring those last two embryos.  This is unfortunate because my gut just doesn't really believe in those two.  They are only day 3.  I hope to God to be proven wrong.  I hope my boy/girl twins read my blog one day and say, "man mom, you didn't believe in us?"  Sorry kiddos....mom doesn't.  Frozen on only day 3 (as opposed to heartier day 5) and not the greatest quality.

Since they most likely will fail, we WILL be doing another IVF in the summer.  I have been on a MILLION supplements to build egg quality.  A hundred dollars of month worth (I haven't officially added this up, but it must be something close to that).  I just want to get IVF #3's egg retrieval out of the way so I can stop taking all of these pills.  It's not the money I am worried about.  I worry about injesting so many weird things all at the same time day in and day out.  I may be helping my eggs, but I'm probably killing my kidneys and liver.  Ha!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cycle Cancelled

I am crushed.   As a reminder, my TSH was 4.94 four weeks ago so the plan was to put me on Synthroid (of which they put me on generic medication).  Not only did my thyroid TSH not go down to below 2.0, it didn't even get below 2.5 (my upper limit).  It didn't even get below 3.7 (the clinic's upper limit).  No.  It is now 5.07.  I am crushed.  I am upset.  I am confused.  I am bummed.  I am pissed.  I am UGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!   How did this happen?  How did I up and get a thyroid issue in the first place?  I am just so bummed.  I just felt like something wasn't right.  I just felt like I wasn't going to transfer embryos in 5 days.  It just didn't feel right.  And this is why.  :(  I am not even sure what I am supposed to do next since they kinda just left me hanging until I pestered them at the end of the day for results.  The doctor isn't even around anymore to even know what to do.  I cancelled my lining check for tomorrow and am not even sure if I should stop taking my estrogen pills (orally and vaginally).  I know my cycle is cancelled but I am not sure if I just stop the estrogen what that will do to my cycle (which wasn't messed up to date... and I really don't want to add to the issues here).  Sigh.  :(

Monday, March 24, 2014

Transfer Date Scheduled

They want me to recheck my TSH level on Thursday 4/3 and then do my lining check on Friday 4/4 if all goes well with my TSH check.  They also want me to add 2 estrace internally (1 in the morning 1 at bedtime) to give my ute some extra estrogen to plump up.  They also moved my transfer to Wednesday 4/9.

FET #3 is Underway

Surprisingly AF arrived today.   I honestly didn't think she'd show up until next Monday after having a +OPK just last Monday.  So I spoke through email with my nurse Dawn.   They want me to start my estrace pills and they will do a lining check next Thursday (4/3) with a tentative transfer date of the following Monday (4/7) or Tuesday (4/8)!!!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Positive OPK

Soooooo I've been taking ovulation tests daily.   My main goal of taking them was to be able to time when my next period will show up to be able to get the FET underway.   My subgoal was a piece of me always holds out a shred of hope for getting that absolute miracle BFP the cycle before a transfer.  It has happened.  I have seen it first hand with a very lucky lady on my fertility forum.   She was gearing up to do a FET, went to Europe or something, and found out she was pregnant!   Miracles do happen!

Anyways....... I popped the test positive on Monday (3/17) when I took one after work.   Sooooooo, that means AF most likely won't show up until March 31st (14 days later).  Which means my transfer will most likely be 15 to 20 days after that....so April 15th through 20th.  I'm hoping for Friday the 18th, so I only have to take 1 day off of work and then have the whole weekend to relax.   Of course, ironically, I have a newborn session scheduled for the 19th...ugh.   Of course the transfer won't even happen if the synthroid medication doesn't bring my TSH levels to normal range.

Positive OPK (ovulation predictor kit)......yes, I took a pic.  Going through infertility seeing anything with two lines on it is very exciting stuff!!

(LH line on the left, control line on the right)


Monday, March 17, 2014

Endometrial Scratch and What's Next

So the scratch happened last Friday 3/14 (today's Monday).   It was soooooooo much easier than I anticipated it being.  I popped 2 ibuprofen 1 hour beforehand and all I felt were dull cramps.   Now all I have to do is keep taking my synthroid and pray!

Next up is checking my TSH (thyroid) level on 4/4 or 4/7.   I will already be well underway in my FET schedule by then so hopefully it comes down a  lot by then.  The clinic wants it down to 3.7 but from my googling it really should be below 2.0.   It was 4.94 a couple weeks ago.  Hopefully the synthroid is working!!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Endometrial Scratch Scheduled

Sorry my posts are pretty boring lately.  Things move so slowly in between cycles.  Anyways, I scheduled my endometrial scratching for 9 AM on Friday (day after tomorrow).  I have heard mixed reviews on how painful the procedure is.    I am doing the procedure because it "is thought to increase the immune system cells and therefore the growth factors at the site of the endometrial scratch.  This is believed to make the womb lining more receptive to embryo implantation. Studies have suggested that implantation rates may be twice as high in patients who have an endometrial scratch before attempting to get pregnant."   Wish me luck!


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Elevated TSH

So, the blood draws the my doctor didn't think I even needed uncovered something......elevated TSH.   I have an underactive thyroid.  My TSH level was 4.94.  Normal levels are 0.4 to 4.5.  Before you get excited that I am close to the normal threshold, normal for infertility is between 1 and 2.  So I am WAY over the normal range.   I am angry.  I am furious.  They didn't even test this level prior to starting my IVF.  There is NO way my IVF could have even worked.  I literally flushed money down the drain.  I flushed 2 embryos down the drain.  :(   Anyways, anger aside, I have been put on 50mcg of synthroid per day.  I will be rechecked in 4 weeks.  This puts the endometrial scratching on hold.  There is no way I am suffering through that just to be told the FET is postponed because my TSH levels are still elevated.  This will most likely put the entire FET on hold.  So instead of an April transfer it will most likely be a May transfer (God willing).   This sucks!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Immune Testing Blood Draw

Mike and I had our blood drawn yesterday for our immune tests.   He had 1 vial taken.  I had like 15 vials taken.  As the woman was entering my testing into the computer it even totalled like $1,700!  My copay was $50.  Thank the Lord I have insurance!  Although she said the insurance still might come back and not pay the whole thing.  Of course not.  Anyways, I eagerly await the results!  

I had the following tested:

TSH
Prolactin
AntiBeta 2 glycoprotein antibodies
Anticardiolipin antibodies
Lupus anticoagulant
Chromosomes
Hemoglobin AIC
Microsomal antibodies

Mike had the following tested:

Chromosome analysis

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Endometrial Scratching Idea

So there is a relatively new technique out there called Endometrial Scratching.  When done the cycle before a cycle that will have a transfer, it boosts implantation rates by 20%!   I emailed Dr. Goldfarb to ask about this new technique and he didn't believe there was any efficacy to the study.  He said we could, however, still do the procedure if I wanted.  I kinda wish he was more on board with it because now I feel pretty unsure whether we should do it or not.  I think we are just going to do it.  What do we have to lose?

Here is a link to the article:  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/endometrial-scratching-boosts-ivf-odds-by-20-percent-says-study/



Saturday, March 1, 2014

Immune Testing Requisition

So before we continue with any treatment, I really want Mike and I to have more testing completed.   Especially me.  I am going to have a slew of immune testing done to make sure my body isn't killing embryos within it.  I will have the following done through a simple blood draw (hopefully covered by insurance):

TSH
Prolactin
AntiBeta 2 glycoprotein antibodies
Anticardiolipin antibodies
Lupus anticoagulant
Chromosomes
Hemoglobin AIC
Microsomal antibodies

Mike will have the following measured through a blood draw as well:

Chromosome analysis

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Egg Quality Supplements

So I gathered a ton of information and will be taking the following supplements to prepare my eggs for a July IVF.   To clarify, we will still be doing a frozen embryo transfer (FET) in April with our only two frosties.  They were frozen at day 3 and the doctor said they are pretty fragmented.  I honestly don't have much hope for them.  So in order to be proactive (since I only have time against me) I am taking the following supplements to prepare my eggs for a July retrieval.

  • Baby aspirin
  • Co Q10 Enzyme 200 mg three times per day
  • DHEA 25 mg three times per day
  • FertileCM three times a day (only when naturally trying)
  • Folic Acid 800 mcg (pill) / 400 mcg in 2 packets of Pregnatude
  • L- arginine 1000 mg twice a day
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid 1000 mg every day
  • Maca 750 mg twice a day
  • Melatonin 3 mg at bedtime
  • Myo Inostol 2 gm twice a day (Pregnatude packet)
  • Prenatal Vitamin once a day
  • Queen's Delight (Royal Jelly 1000mg, Propolis 600mg, Beepollen 1500mg) three pills to get the dose
  • Vitamin C 500 mg in the morning (1/2 of 1000 mg pill)
  • Vitamin D 2000 iu
  • Vitamin E 200 IU every day

Here's how I divied them up throughout the day.... no rhyme or reason, just tried to balance it all out:

Breakfast

  • Baby aspirin
  • Co Q10 Enzyme 200 mg
  • DHEA 25 mg
  • FertileCM
  • L- arginine 1000 mg
  • Maca 750 mg
  • Myo Inostol 2 gm, folic 200mcg - Pregnatude packet
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid 1000
  • Queen's Delight
  • Vitamin C 500 mg  (1/2 of 1000)

Lunch

  • Co Q10 Enzyme 200 mg
  • FertileCM
  • Folic Acid 800 mcg
  • Maca 750 mg
  • Queen's Delight
  • Vitamin D 2000 iu

Dinner

  • Co Q10 Enzyme 200 mg
  • DHEA 50 mg
  • FertileCM
  • L- arginine 1000 mg
  • Myo Inostol 2 gm, folic 200mcg - Pregnatude packet
  • Queen's Delight
  • Vitamin E 200 IU

Bedtime 

  • Melatonin 3 mg
  • Prenatal

Foods for Egg Quality


Good

  • lean protein (chicken)
  • fruits and vegetables
  • fish or fish oil supplements
  • walnuts
  • whole grains (brown rice)
  • spices
  • pineapple (bromelain)
  • berries

Bad

  • saturate fats
  • refined carbohydrates (pasta and white rice)
  • red meat
  • full-fat dairy 
  • refined / processed
  • salt


Saturday, February 22, 2014

FET Planning

We are already planning the upcoming FET (frozen embryo transfer).   We will wait 1 cycle and then hop to it!  My meds are already on order for it as well!

Just to recap, we have a 9 cell and a 12 cell day three embryos frozen and waiting for us.  We'll probably transfer them mid April.  The blog will most likely be a little slow until things start picking up with that in about a month.  :)



Friday, February 21, 2014

13dp3dt - Beta

It's official.    Beta was 0.   :(

The doctor's response to my questions:

1.  Did the BCP and Lupron combo over-suppress my ovaries?
Stimulation was very acceptable.  The only negative was that we did not have as many mature  eggs as we would have  liked.  The lower number of mature eggs would not be influenced by the birth control pills or the Lupron.

2.  Did not getting my period prior to baseline throw off dates and start me stimming too early?
No,, not at all.  Your baseline blood test and ultrasound was perfect despite the early period

3.  When my e2 levels weren't rising fast enough my follistim dose was raised.  Was that dose too much too quick?  After that raise my lead follicles took off.  Should we have stimmed me at less of a dose for longer instead of such high a dose in a shorter amount of time?
In general, the optimum  number of days of stimulation with this type of protocol is 8-12 days thus the length of your stimulation was quite typical.

4.  Did the scenario from #3 impact my egg quality?
We do not generally know why some patients have a lower percentage of mature eggs.  When we see this we typically do change the protocol the next time but very frankly there is no real scientific basis for these changes.

5.  Was my lining too thick?  At one of my monitoring sessions days before the egg retrieval my lining was already 13+mm.  I can only imagine how thick it was at transfer.
Your lining was a little thicker than average but this is not a negative issue.

6.  Was my c-section scar an issue?  During the transfer the doctor had to "push" past it.  I am not sure if that was the cause but I had cramps for days after transfer. 
The C-section scar often does cause some resistance as the catheters is passed.  However looking at the pictures of the transfer the placement of the embryos were just where we like them.

7.  What is the reasoning behind a day 3 transfer?  
As with most programs, we tend to transfer on day 3 unless we have about 8 8 cell embryos on day 3.

8.  Was assisted hatching used on my embryos (or is that not something done on day 3 embryos?)?
Yes, assisted hatching was done as is our routine

9.  Realistically, do you think my two frozen 9 and 12 cell embryos have any chance of success?   Were they fragmented?
The 2 embryos that are frozen have  less than 25% fragmentation which is certainly an acceptable amount.

10. Will they be transferred on day 3 or cultured to day 5?
.day 3

11. Will assisted hatching be performed on them?
Yes

12. When can I do the FET? 
We generally have you. skip one cycle and then do the frozen transferred the following cycle

13. What would you change in a future fresh cycle?   
    - New protocol?   Add menopur?  Add ganirelix?
    - No BCPs?   
    - Culture to day 5?   
    - Skip fresh transfer (my only success ever was on a FET)? 
We can discuss the above if the frozen embryo transfer does not work.  At this point I would probably not change the protocol much.  I would probably use a combination of Follistim and Menopur but otherwise pretty much the same protocol

14.  Are there any supplements I can start taking now to improve future egg quality?
    - melatonin
    - HGH
    - DHEA
I have not been impressed with any of those. However certainly with DHEA there are no negatives to taking it.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

12dp3dt

Sorry to scare you guys yesterday.  I haven't had any more of that pain I mentioned yesterday.  Anyways, my beta is tomorrow morning.  I have an email already typed to my RE with 15 questions.  If anyone can think of anything else to add, please let me know!

WTF Appointment Questions

1.  Did the BCP and Lupron combo over-suppress my ovaries?

2.  Did not getting my period prior to baseline throw off dates and start me stimming too early?

3.  When my e2 levels weren't rising fast enough my follistim dose was raised.  Was that dose too much too quick?  After that raise my lead follicles took off.  Should we have stimmed me at less of a dose for longer instead of such high a dose in a shorter amount of time?

4.  Did the scenario from #3 impact my egg quality?

5.  Was my lining too thick?  At one of my monitoring sessions days before the egg retrieval my lining was already 13+mm.  I can only imagine how thick it was at transfer. 

6. Was my c-section scar an issue?  During the transfer the doctor had to "push" past it.  I am not sure if that was the cause but I had cramps for days after transfer.

7.  What is the reasoning behind a day 3 transfer?  

8. as assisted hatching used on my embryos (or is that not something done on day 3 embryos?)?

9.  Realistically, do you think my frozen 9 and 12 cell have any chance of success?   Were they fragmented?

10. Will they be transferred on day 3 or cultured to day 5?

11. Will assisted hatching be performed on them?

12. When can I do the FET? 

13. What would you change in a future fresh cycle?   
    - New protocol?   Add menopur?  Add ganirelix?
    - No BCPs?   
    - Culture to day 5?   
    - Skip fresh transfer (my only success ever was on a FET)? 

14.  Are there any supplements I can start taking now to improve future egg quality?
    - melatonin
    - HGH
    - DHEA

15.  Are the supplements Michael can take to improve the quality of his sperm?