3dp3dt


This was the day I called it in 2010.  I had all the familiar pangs and pulls that I get when I am a week out from my period.  The progesterony cramping and the blissful ignorance fades and I enter a new worrying zone…and get pretty convinced it’s over. Nine times out of ten I am right (six times out of seven).  I am trying this time around to not think that…and to think maybe I am wrong again.  I am trying to think that maybe this past week- this whole cycle- was to teach me some new things.  (Refer to a previous post for some…).  I also got to spend some quality time with a friend I haven’t really seen in years, and I think we mutually helped each other through some stuff.  I relaxed a bit these last few days, I reflected on the amazing family we have created, and I just tried to “be.”  Whatever that means.

 

I am reminding myself of all of these things now, so in a few days, if and when things do indeed turn south, I can reread this, and find some peace in the end of this process.

 



The Final Two Week Wait.


Well, here we are.  The final one.  (Exaggeration–there will obviously be another one or two when we thaw some frozen embryos down the line to try those…but with history as a guide, this is the last wait with any chance of working.)  So I have three eight-celled embryos somewhere in my uterus.  Hopefully they’re still there…  Transfer was Thursday afternoon (1.8 days ago.  Who’s counting?).  I have since been “resting” at a local hotel so I would not be inclined to pick up children, clean, pick up children, clean…and after thirty hours, I’m ready to go home and back to the craziness.  Soon!

 

The doctor who did the transfer had me leery…he is young (funny I say this, he is a year older than my soontobeAMA self), and so I was worried–they say the placement during a transfer is SO important.  I mentioned about an ultrasound guided transfer since they don’t normally do that, and he said “I don’t need it, but for you, I will do it.”  (Should mention this was same doc who did the retrieval, and also the same one I saw multiple times up in the suburbs, and he let me blow up as many latex-glove balloons as little A yelled for in the exam room).  So I got to watch the catheter go into the correct(ish) area, and that was that.  I told him this was it–my last time.   Last chance.  I think I keep saying it out loud to remind myself of the finality of it.

 

And now I wait.  I know that by the third day after the previous fresh cycle I was convinced that it didn’t work.  I had the feelings of failure.  I do know now that the difference between that cycle (ultimately working) and the other failed cycles where the same feeling did happen, is that the “feeling” did go away.  In November, with the FET, the feeling did not.  And I’m not talking about an abstract feeling here, I’m talking about a true, uterine-pulling-sort-of-heavy-feeling that accompanies the start of every cycle for me. 

 

I’m nervous.  But not sickly, crazy-ass nervous like I’ve been before.  I’m just nervous about the finality of it all.  A friend said to me this week…it’s going to be hard.  This whole infertility business has been part of my life for so long.  And she is right…we have been living this since 2006.  Six years of infertility.  Yes, we have had success in those six years.  But it has become such a part of how I live/who I am, and now, if this doesn’t work, that is it.  I will have to learn how to live without it as a “tag” that defines my everyday life. 

 

I promised T I wouldn’t test until next Saturday morning, which puts us at 9 dp 3dt.  I did get the green light to test out the trigger though, although I haven’t done any of that yet.  And then when it turns white, I have to stop.  I am such a pee addict, it will be hard.  I plan to work my charm on him to let Friday be the first day…even though it is really early then still.  We’ll see.  I hope the days fly by until then…and I am interested to learn how I will react to the news…whichever the outcome.



Seven on seven.


Well really, seven on six.  But they called today with the official “we got seven” update.  Out of the seven, five fertilized normally.  Transfer set for Thursday afternoon.  I am oddly oddly peaceful about this.  Unlike all other gajillion cycles–this one, I feel some peace about.  Some.  My old-egged body did quite well for two years post-last-one, six months before I become an Old Hag (aka advanced maternal age–ridiculous phrase, just ridiculous).  Five is great.  I don’t need a stockpile of frosties that will never live through a transfer into me.  I just want one to stick around, and complete the family.

 

And yes, still love the drugs that put me under.  Love that feeling of “yep, it’s coming through now.  See ya later….” and then nothing. Just nothing.  I know.  It’s twisted.  But I like it.  I don’t have to think, try, feel–I’m just there.  Also, yesterday I was rather sore for only 7 eggs, which makes me wonder how people who get 25 even LIVE TO TELL ABOUT IT…

 

Will surely update after the transfer.  Fingers crossed.



Left (You) Hanging…


But this cycle is drawing to a close…found out this afternoon that tonight will be the trigger shot, tomorrow back for pre-op at the clinic at 6:30am, and then ER sometime late Monday morning.  It has been an exhausting week and a half…11 nights of stim shots, 8 mornings of monitoring.  (My veins still look fab, though!) I’m not sure why they were all about the excessive monitoring this time around, although I DO know my E2 level climbed sloooooooowwwwwlllly.  So slowly, in fact, that there were a few days I was convinced this cycle was going to be cancelled.  Slowslowslow. I am undoubtedly at the end of my pretend-reproductive years.  Undoubtedly.  They never lowered my stims, and as of this morning, I had six measurable follicles.  After 11 days of stims my e2 was at 788…After 9 days of stims two years ago on the exact same protocol, I was well over 1000.  They retrieved 11 eggs two years ago.  This time around, I am really praying for a solid six.  Man, times have changed. 

 

I have also realized a few things. 

1) I am a nutcase-borderline-psycho on high doses of stims.  We were watching the L.ittle Mer.maid for the first time last night, and P asked if we would ever know an Ur.sula in real life.  T told him, only Mommy when she is on her tummy shots.  It was hilarious.  And (slightly) true. 

 

2)I can not do another fresh cycle.  I have a husband who works 13 hour days.  Two boys 4 and 1.  No (repeat, no) family within a 300 mile radius.  Sporadic sitting help.  Friends with lives–and no one true friend who is my “person” who would do anything for me (ie: watch the 1 year old six mornings in a row while I go to monitoring appts).  (If anyone knows of anyone else looking for their person in the tri-state area, let me know).  What this meant was, A had to come with me.  And I stressed about it.  Because years ago, I always resented the moms who brought babies to the RE.  But I beg you to believe me, I had no options.  Both babysitters were busy all week.  T was traveling.  So A came with me, and we hid in a conference room or walked around outside in the cold.  Because to me that was better than possibly making anyone else sad/angry/resentful–IF is so freaking hard enough.  I wish I still hadn’t had to bring him along, but it is what it is (was).  And it’s exhausting.  Don’t get me wrong–I am LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY to be on this side of infertility.  But getting three people out of the house in a 20 minute period, drop one off at school, then hit the highway for a 30 minute trip to the clinic each morning, hide in a conference room feeling guilty and embarrassed, drive home, all the while throwing food and odd toys at the toddler who is annoyed by the constant car time…it wears on you.

 

3) I am not expecting this cycle to work.  I am hoping that it will work, but I am not expecting it to.  I write this 75 minutes before my trigger shot (yes, I still worry I will ovulate on my own–are you SURE, nurse, that I don’t take the Ganireli.x again tonight as an extra-precaution?), and I know this is the best and last shot we have, and I don’t think it is going to work.  Again, have hope, trying to go with the odds here, and really, they have not been in my favor.

 

4) P is S-M-A-R-T.  Even though I have not told him outright, P said tonight that I am “taking these shots to try to have a baby.”  Yep, thats right.  “I only want anudder brudder though, not a sister.”  I told him that we are going to try, but if it doesn’t work, then it will be Me, You, Daddy, and A, and that is a pretty great family right there.  His response? “Just trwy.  Trwy your BEST.”  You got it, bud.



Oh, bother.


Yesterday’s blood work revealed that my E2 was only 43.  After three nights of shots, only 43.  The nurse admitted that it was slightly low, but said that once the patch comes off (mine came off thursday evening) the number dips, and then should steadily increase.  I thought I was not concerned.  I did not obsess and Dr. G.oogle “three nights of stims E2 low EPP”.  At least, I didn’t do that until after I got home from a delish dinner in NYC…then I went wild.  After checking the stats of my cycle exactly two years ago, my E2 was over 300 after five nights of stims.  Same dose.  Can one’s level really rise that much in two days?  I am doubtful.  And now I am thinking…hmm…never did think about what if this one never even got off the ground!  Tomorrow I return for more b/w.  Hopefully the number is higher…but I do admit I am starting to feel some concern creep up.  OK, can’t be wasting my time here writing.  Have to instead go and do internet searches for my obsession du jour……….



Two nights of injections…check.


A little behind in the updating here…but I am full steam ahead.  Did the coculture, did the patch(es), did the Ganirelix x3, got a period, had some bloodwork and an ultrasound (gulp, about to fall off the reproductive cliff completely, AFC seemed to be just over half of what it was two years ago), and just finished injecting night #2 of 450 Follistim and 150 Menopur.  I forgot how much the latter burns…but I now have a new fave drug (that’s right, KK, me too) in the Follistim . It’s easy to load and the needle is is so tiny and sharp, it’s a delight to inject into my lower stomach!

 

So here we go.  Sigh.  I was kissing P and tucking him in, and thinking of the medical paraphernalia awaiting me at the dining room table…and I had such a surreal moment.  My son, this crazy, clever, loving, stubborn, (and quite often fresh these days) boy… he came to us…he is so much more than we ever could have dreamed of…and he too started as a box of needles, syringes and various vials.  And back then, in a dining room 3,000 miles away, I was sitting amongst those things, thinking, what if this doesn’t work AGAIN????  And here I am, pretty much exactly five years to the day I was doing that, and I am trying for my third child.  This marks my SEVENTH fresh ivf.  TWO FETs.  TWO IUIs.  (Some might call me crazy.  Yep, they’d be right.)  Will this cycle complete our family?  Or is it already complete?  It is much easier to be mindful, spiritual, and give it up to God this time, something I could not do either time before.  Maybe because before I thought, No WAY is this your plan.  No damn way.  I will not accept this plan of yours.  And now, I kind of think, OK, if this is the plan, I think maybe I can do this your way.  (disclaimer: I completely understand this is  (likely) not the way the Lord works.)

 

Next monitoring will be this Friday morning for some b/w.  Also…my TSH did drop a whole “point”, which is fab news, so tyvm, thyroid medication.  It is nice to know you can do what you are made to do.



Giddyup.


This is It.  Don’t get scared now. (ten bucks if ya know what movie). 

 

Uterine culture next Thursday.  Start the priming/patch that Friday.  If all works accordingly afterwards, injections should begin the last weekend in January.  After a mishap with the med ordering and an incomplete protocol given by nurse (my steel trap mind made me question what she had told me…sure enough, I was right.  sigh.  It’s hard to be right all the time…), we are gearing up to go.  Here’s hoping…



Just waiting.


Today is day 8 of cycle, will begin to monitor for surge…tomorrow?   Hoping the surge does happen on the earlier side as the three-day-weekend ahead will only offer more waiting if I surge over the weekend.  The timeline for this Last and Final depends on where I fall on the elusive co-culture wait list; if I make it off the list, then the estrogen priming starts sometime around the 20th.  I think it is 9 days after surge…or something…I can probably reference my own post from two years earlier if need be, but I believe I have mentioned before I am a terrible luddite (I still have a “hotmail” address as my main email.  that should clue you in) and therefore I don’t know how to link to an earlier post.  But the gist is,  a patch every other day for likely three patches worth, then a “period”, then on day two of that, start shootin ‘er up.  And us high FSHers, we gets to get shot up good.  I will be indulging in the regular delights–menopur, gonal F and then ganirelix.  Ahhh, let the good times roll…(oh IVF…it’s just like riding a bike…a fcuked up, rusty, twisted handlebar, extra-hard-in-the-girl-parts-seat, missing-some-spokes, broken handbrake kind of a bike…)

 

Sidebar: I am realizing that I have it easy now–to be able to think about what might be, instead of two months down the road, when I may only be able to imagine what could have been…



The Beginning of the End


That’s such a loaded title, I know, but it is kind of how I am feeling right now.  For the second year in a row I was able to act like any old fertile person on NYE–I was thankful for the family I have, thankful for the blessings of another year gone, and hopeful for the new year to come.  I did not find myself crying in the shower or in the car or while folding laundry about unanswered prayers, wasted months and dollars, and an empty, sad heart.  But, unlike all the other fertile people–I also knew that this next year will mark the end of my chance to have another child.  And being realistic, I know that this fresh cycle in Jan or Feb will be my last true chance.  I can’t just think, oh, well, we’ll try and see when we get pregnant, and whenever that happens again, that will be just perfect for us.  I have really only one shot.  I want to hit fertile people over the head with this “concept”–when you can’t get pregnant by taking an ovulation test and then biblically lying with your husband, it really sucks.  My body’s ability to ovulate perfectly every month is also a mindfcuk, since I see it, know it, lay biblically (why the hell not?) and stupidly hope one superstar egg somehow didn’t disintegrate down the tube and a miracle happens. (With more failed IVFs than successes you think I would not be so stupid.  But I am.  That stupid.)

 

Okay, well this wasn’t supposed to go in THAT direction.  I guess I have so many emotions, knowing I have Just One More Chance.  (yes, we will use all the frozen embryos we have.  no, I don’t have much hope they give me a baby.)  I am guessing that over these next few months it will be a messy messy place, both here and in my head, as I try to come to terms with my body making the choice to “finish” my family before I make the choice with my head or my heart…damn you again, infertility.  I know that on my deathbed I won’t look back and curse the 6-7 years of my life I struggled with this–but right now, I curse it.  I know in years down the road this will all be just another chapter in the story of my life, but since I am still writing said chapter currently, it seems like a pretty big freaking deal.

 

Aaaaaanyyyyway…today is Day One of my cycle…which means I left a gajillion messages at Cor.nell for the nurses, coculture “arranger”, HSG coordinator, etc.  I should hopefully receive a flurry of return calls tomorrow, and then find out sometime soon if I am going ahead with everything this month, or if I am stuck on the coculture waitlist and therefore bounced to next month.  Either way, the coincidences are too scary.  If I cycle this month, my beta week would be somewhere around where it was with P.  And if I cycle next month, it would be around where it was with A.  I hate coincidences, because I always try to read into them.

 

Happy 2012 to anyone who still comes over to read my story.  I truly hope this is a year of joy, gratitude, and happy endings for us all.



No news is just no news


Clearly, I am not pregnant.  And I love the nurse for believing me when I talked to her the day before the beta, instead of scolding me for giving up hope or whatever.  I had a phone consult scheduled with Dr D for this past Friday, only to be later told he was in surgery all day and couldn’t commit to a time.  The time he COULD commit to turned out to be 1:15 on Sunday afternoon…the first time in 48 hours I let my phone out of my sight/range of hearing (it was Sunday, for crimenys sake!  seriously.  I was shopping).  So he left a message, just completely standard…sorry your fet didn’t work, you seem to have none left, if you want to go ahead with a fresh, call my nurse and my office and we’ll get you on the calendar, same exact protocol, call if you have questions…right.  Like I’ll get ahold of him.  It would be easier to reach Barack at 1600 PA Ave. 

Here’s my thing.  We go same protocol?  I’m two years older.  Getting up to that magic threshold of (shhhhh, 3-5).  Will same protocol be okay?  And no need to check out my utes, give it the all-clear?  And what about my slightly elevated tsh that nootherdoctorwouldthinkishighbutthisonethinksistoohighandneedstobecontrolledwithmedication?  I’m just so nervous.  Last chance at a fresh one (gulp).  I had told T earlier this year I was okay with that, I am and can be happy with my family the way it is right now, hell, two years ago I was convinced it was never going to be this.  A truly is my miracle baby.  But now that it is approaching…the door is going to be closed for good, and I am sad (I obviously talk like it won’t work.  See previous post about 20 embryos, 2 children, and understand my thoughts).  I understand that every family comes to a point where reproduction stops…but in more cases than not, the FAMILY decides to end the reproduction, the REPRODUCTION doesn’t end the family.  Big diff.

I also found out this week two good friends are expecting next summer.  One has a son that is two days older than A.  She is so damn fertile, it is mindblowing.  But I love her more than life, so I can never be anything but happy for her.  She is the type of person who DESERVES fertility, whatever that means (this of course implies I don’t?).  So while I am thrilled for her having #3, I am also slightly jealous (which I freely admit to her) because clearly, I want to be in the same position.  But I’m not.  And then I think about all of the amazing people I have met through my infertility journey and I think SHUT THE HELL UP C there are so many people out there still that don’t even have what you have.  So it’s a freaking back and forth in my head, all day long.  What is that they say?  The heart wants what the heart wants.

Sooooooo…to summarize my cycling future: I am on the co culture waitlist for January.  If I dont get in then, I get in February for sure.  If all goes well, I respond as expected to drugs, etc etc etc…best case I will be cycling end of January, next case I will be cycling end of February.  Two cycles timed as such have brought me my sons (and a third a double-miscarriage–but still a pregnancy).  Luckily, I have a few weeks off to just enjoy Christmas with the amazing family I have…and really, I can.  The place I am in now, compared to where I was two years ago… the difference is inconceivable.  No pun…intended.