Monday, October 31, 2011

Ovary Update #1, IVF 3.0

So they aren't doing blood-draws to check my estrogen. I assume because last year my estrogen was low but they still got eleven eggs so I guess they're relying solely on the ultrasounds? After three days of meds I have five follicles on the left ovary and five on the right ovary. Based on what the nurse said there are three larger ones and two smaller ones. My lining is 6.5 right now too. I'm currently taking 450 IU of Bravelle every night, plus DHEA, Leztrozole, Dexamethasone, Doxycycline and a prenatal. My only side effects seem to be sleepiness, yesterday morning at church I could barely keep my eyes awake.

I bought the Circle + Bloom set for IUI/IVF and I've been listening to it every night. It's similar to the meditation course I took last year, although this is more relaxation than chakras. I'm seeing Dr. Needles twice a week, Mondays and Fridays and I have to say I look forward to it. It's very relaxing and it forces me to clear my head. 

I also need to say how very lucky I am to have people to check in on me (you know who you are!) It means so much to me to have so many people rooting for us.

Here's to hoping for several mature, high quality eggs and embryos.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fear of the unknown

If you asked me what I was afraid of there would be a lengthy list: death, flying, clowns, ovarian cancer (I have no family history of this but it still scares me), zombie apocalypse, etc. I'm pretty sure my fears are inherited from my dear, sweet grandmother who is what you might call a 'worry wart'. Anyway, if I was going to generally describe my fears it would be 'fear of the unknown', 'fear of things I cannot control'. Guess what IVF entails? The unknown, things I cannot control. As my start day looms this week I can't help but feel scared to death. I'm afraid of all the steps that stand between us and getting a positive beta and then between that and actually birthing a baby (which I am not scared of at all). I'm afraid of not stimming well, not having enough eggs, eggs not fertilizing, embryos not growing, not having any embryos make it to transfer, not getting a positive beta or if I do get a positive beta I'm scared it'll be low again and thus give me another chemical pregnancy. It's overwhelming when you begin to think about all the steps involved. I'm also scared of what another negative will me for me. We have poured all of our resources (i.e. all our monies) into this cycle and after this there won't be anything else to spend on treatments for awhile. It will not mean we'll be done, but it will mean we'll be on a very extended break to try to save enough money to do something else again. And then there's the 'something else' part. Donor eggs? Donor embryos? More IUI's with donor sperm? I'm so sick of waiting and spending money and if this cycle is a bust I'll be back to that again. Will another failed cycle send me spiraling into depression? It's all unknown and it all scares me, but I need to buck up and push through, I can do this, we can do this.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nerves set in & remembering

Nine days until my baseline ultrasound. Medicine ships Monday. Going to acupuncture twice a week now. Trying to remain calm, cool, and collective and not think about how much we have riding on this cycle (which is, um, everything). 

I should learn to stay off IVF message boards but I don't. I guess I'm looking for reassurance, for stories of other people who've had success with multiple IVF cycles.I have to hope and pray that this cycle will be different, that the acupuncture will help turn the tide of failure. This week my RE clinic is at the ASRM Annual Meeting, presenting research about the success of their partnership with my acupuncturist (Dr. Needles*). I'm desperately crossing my fingers that acupuncture will make the difference this time. If this cycle is a failure I'm not sure what we'll do, I don't where we'll go from here, probably back to more waiting and saving since we've scrapped everything we have into this cycle. Or maybe we'll both quit our jobs and move away.

Saturday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I knew about it mainly because of the other IF blogs I read. It probably isn't as personally significant to me as it is to others, mainly because when I got that super low beta there was an immediate black cloud hanging over me, I was not 100% convinced that the pregnancy was going to stick around. It still feels weird to call it a pregnancy, I feel a little like a fraud, like I really wasn't actually pregnant. It never got bigger than a poppyseed and never had a heartbeat, but for the ten or so days I was technically pregnant, I loved that scrappy embryo with everything I had. The bleeding I woke up to that Friday morning wasn't as physically painful as it was emotionally painful, it was the black cloud exploding, a punch to the gut, a heart cracking into a thousand pieces. There are many, many, many women with stories a hundred times more heartbreaking than mine. Women who have endured multiple miscarriages and sweet babies born still, these are the stories hurt my heart too. I hope that those who have lost so much will one day be able to recover but never forget.

*obviously not his real name

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

IVF 3.0

So in about 18 days I'll start stims for IVF 3.0 Right now I'm in the BCP stage, so every night before bed I take a BCP, DHEA (my poor skin), fish oil and a pre-natal. I'm hungry a lot more, sleepy and my face is breaking out. I'm going to acupuncture once a week but once I start stims I'll probably amp that up to twice a week. I'm not sure how I feel about this cycle, probably similar to what I felt last year, one-half "yes this is totally going to work, it's finally my turn, we will have a baby this time" and one-half "we are insane, we are wasting $15,000, this is not going to work, we are screwed." We both feel like we have to try; at least if we try and we fail again we can't say we didn't give it our best shot. I'm not really talking about it with my friends/family because I don't want to set everyone up for disappointment again. Well, that and I just don't want to be a downer. I had considered not blogging about it but blogging about it helps me get out all the things I want to say but might not say to anyone but my husband.

I had my annual exam a few weeks ago and the labs came back fine. I do have to go get a chlamydia test because my OB/GYN didn't do one and I guess the FDA requires it now for IVF. Fun times. Also my meds are running us $4200 this time, about $1200 more than we had budgeted for. Ugh. The only upside is that I'm using my frequent flier miles card to pay for them which gives me one ff mile for every dollar I spend so I may not get pregnant but at least I'll be able to fly somewhere. Speaking of flying, I usually go to Seattle the first week of December to visit our friends and I kept being wishy-washy about it this year because I couldn't decide if wanted to buy the ticket if there was a chance this cycle might work, blah, blah, blah. Yesterday I bit the bullet and redeemed some of my ff miles and got my ticket. I leave December 7, which is about two weeks post-beta. So if it is a BFN then I told my husband I was going to Seattle and might not come back. However, if by some miracle it's a BFP I'll still go but I guess I won't be able to down Ambien or Xanax to suppress my flying fears.