The Trifecta

 

Well, here they are, my final IVF injections (hopefully forever).  I’ve never, in all my blog reading, doctor visiting, internet Googling, heard of someone taking more stimulator on the same night as the trigger shot.  Man, my ovaries must really be a pain in the arse.  I hope it has the affect the doctor is looking for.  I guess we’ll know on Thursday. Eep!  What do I do all day tomorrow to keep myself entertained?  I suppose I could sleep… yep. That sounds perfect.

36 hours until retrieval…

One More Scan…??

Looks like I should only have one more scan, which will be tomorrow (Tuesday).  I am glad to hear this because every time I go in for a scan it’s $300.  I only had to go in today to make sure I didn’t need to order any more drugs.  From the looks of things, the doctor says I should be good to go with what I have.  He says if I need another round of meds on Tuesday night, then I can just use follistim at a higher dose, since I will be out of Menopur. Cool!  I already spent $4,200 on meds, so I’m glad to not have to spend anymore.  Oh, and I spent $33 (love this price!) on the other drugs… Hydrocodone (for the egg retrieval), Aspirin, Azithromycin (antibiotic), Ondansetron (?? No clue… Guess I’ll have to look back at my papers) and Methylprednisolone (Steroid).  I remember that the antibiotic is to help keep infections away after the retrieval and the steroid is to lower my immune system a little so the implant is more liking to take.  Yikes, what a stash!

So here are the results… Looks like we will have about 6-7 mature follicles by the time the retrieval is done (looking like it will be Thursday).  I really did expect more, but that’s probably because I’m still in my PCOS brain, instead of my DOR brain.  It’s hard to switch over when I’ve been so used to producing follicles like it’s nothing.  Well, the doctor is still happy with the size and he seems to be happy with the amount, but I know he wanted me to have 12.  Hopefully he will at least get 5-6 out during the retrieval.  I’m hoping for at least three to be implantable, but I will be overjoyed if we have at least one.  I cannot believe how stressful this whole process is.  There are just no guarantees, so the longer you go through, the MORE anxious you get.  I thought once I saw maturing follicles, I’d be a little more relaxed.  Wrong!

Next scan is tomorrow morning at 7:30am.  My estrogen level is at 1,253, which is amazing.  So glad that’s going up!  My lining is at 6.6, so it still has a little ways to go, but my estrogen is quite high, so I think it will get there.

Tonight: (Last injections?) 300IU Follistim, 300IU Menopur and one Ganirelix.  (I started the Ganirelix last night and it still burns and makes a nice, red, irritated patch on my skin).

Also, my husband came with me again today.  When I dropped my pants he giggled, got a big smile on his face and starting clapping.  What would I do without him? 🙂

Scan Moved To Monday

My next scan has been move to tomorrow instead of Tuesday.  I emailed the doctor and let him know that I only have enough meds to make it through Monday night, so if I needed more after that, I’d need to know how much on Monday morning so I could get the meds overnighted in time.  He said there would be no way to tell how much more I would need without the next scan, so it was moved to Monday.  No way to reschedule that over the weekend, so we will be a walk in on Monday.  I hope it doesn’t take too long to get seen, I’m already starting to freak out again.  I keep thinking that if I can’t feel my ovaries aching that there is something wrong.  “Are they continuing to grow?” “Did I ovulate early?”  They said to wait until tonight for the Ganirelix, so if I ovulate early it’s their fault and they owe me money for meds next time.  I don’t think it’s a possibility, but who really knows?  I’m just stressed about everything at this point.

We plan on going in as soon as they open tomorrow (7:30) so I’m hoping everyone else is too lazy to go in that early.  I’m hoping for at least 14’s on righty and some 12-13’s on lefty.

Scan #2 – Much Better

I can say that I have never been so nervous to be in the waiting room of my fertility clinic.  I was very glad to have my husband with me this time.  I knew that whatever the verdict was, he’d be there to hold my hand, and that meant the world to me.

We went into the room, I peed, and then I de-pantsed.  My husband thinks me getting naked from the waist down “in public” is hilarious.  I told him it doesn’t count as “in public” because we are in a closed room at a doctors office, but he still laughs and says “I can see your butt!”  This is why I have to have him with me when things are stressful.  He is amazing.

So the nurse comes in to do the ultrasound, and I am happy to say that it is my favorite nurse.  She is fun and positive and just happens to be the one who did my IUI when I got pregnant, so I’ve always had a love for her.  First thing she checked was my lining, which is now up to 6.1 (yay!) and then she checked lefty.  There were probably about five follicles ranging from 9-10.  Not GREAT, but at least they are progressing.  Then on to righty, who was slacking on Wednesday, and righty had about five as well, but they ranged from 10-12.  Fabulous! Progress!  My estrogen has also gone up to 535 (it was 119 on Wednesday). She thinks that today and tomorrow, they should all grow about 2mm a day.  They want them to be around 16-18 for the retrieval.  (I always thought it was 18-22, but maybe that’s for IUI?  Or maybe I was mistaken… it WAS over nine months ago).  Sunday and Monday night I will add the Ganirelix, which will prevent ovulation and slightly slow down the growth, but I imagine they would still grow about a mm a day?  So that should have them all grow about 6mm before my next scan on Tuesday?  I’m hoping that Tuesday they say “take your two trigger shots and we’ll see ya on Thursday!”

My biggest concern is that there are only about ten total that would reach maturity in time.  The doctor seemed to think this was good, but I was hoping for at least 12-15 follicles.  I know how the statistics work, so starting with more follicles would be great, but i’m not going to complain about ten if they think that’s enough to go forward.  I’ve been so worried that they were going to cancel this cycle that I’m just happy to hear that they are happy.

Keep on keeping on, ovaries!  You can do it, follicles!

Lefty Says HEY!

Yesterday I could really feel righty saying “hey,” now it’s lefty screaming “HEY!”  Lefty was doing a tad better than righty on Wednesday.  I’m hoping they are both kicking in to full gear.  It’s just a little over 12 hours before we know the verdict and I’m freaking out.  It’s probably good that my hubby decided to go play cards with the guys tonight.  Not sure I’d be very good company.  The conversation would probably be all about my ovaries and what they are doing.  “Do you think there are more follicles?”  “Do you think they are bigger”  “Do you think we’ll have enough to continue??” “AHHH!!”

Sounds like fun, right?  RUN, HUSBAND, RUUUUN!!  He loves me though, and he has been AMAZING the past few days (and all the years before the past few days) while I’ve been stressed out and crying.  Lots of crying. Sometimes over important things, sometimes because of a TV show… the hormones control the tear ducts.  He is much more in control of things than I am.  He has the ability to say “let’s wait and see how things and going, and then we will start making decisions about our next options.”  I’m more like, “let’s figure every single step out right this second!”  He’s right though.  It’s better to wait until we HAVE to make another decision.  No reason to think the worst before the worst is verified.  He is my rock, my best friend and the love of my life.  I know that whatever comes, we will make it through it together, and that’s all that really matters.

No matter what you go through with infertility, always remember who you are going through it with and how much you love that person.  They are the most important thing in your life, not your infertility.

The Icky Feeling Of Uber Hormones

It’s pointless to say that injecting 600 units of hormone inducing medicines into your body will make you feel “off.”  Most of you are with me on this, or soon will be, or have been.  I feel like a pin cushion.  Good thing it’s only one injection a night.  Luckily, I’ve only had one visible bruise, the rest of them can only be felt and not seen.  I am feeling tired, very tired… exhausted.  I remember this from the IUI rounds, but I feel like it’s doubled with this amount of meds.  My abdomen feels like it’s pressurized (which I guess is good? Go ovaries, go?) and my back is achy.  Headaches are standard, and feeling “out of it” is an understatement.  My husband likes to giggle at my “out of itness,”  I don’t blame him, I feel like I’m barely functioning the past couple days.

I think my exhaustion and space cadet status are all exaggerated by my fear that we may have to give up on this cycle, therefore giving up on biological children.  It’s scary.  I had prepared myself for maybe the fresh cycle not taking an having to try a frozen, and maybe even the frozen not working, but not even being able to implant anything is just not something I saw coming.  I keep wanting to blame ourselves for taking the nine months off between IUI and IVF, but, come on, who could have known that my overflowing PCOS ovaries were going to empty out?  No one on earth could have seen that coming.  My doctor is still completely confused by it, and he’s a fertility specialist that does this for a living.  If that’s not saying something, I don’t know what is.

I don’t believe in that “everything happens for a reason” thing.  I used to, but then I realized that if I believed in that, I’d have to believe that there is a reason for kids being molested and murdered, and that is not a possibility.  Plus, there is no reason that this universe wouldn’t want a little baby made of half me, half my husband, because we are adorable!  🙂

8:15am tomorrow morning…. bring it.

The Reality

I am all about facing the reality of a situation.  I can see every side of a situation.  I know what is possible and can mentally wrap my head around anything.  It doesn’t mean I won’t be upset by something bad happening, but it does mean that I will already have an idea as to how I will feel if the situation does turn negative.

I’ve been mentally preparing myself since our miscarriage in November.  I told myself that this whole baby thing might not be a possibility for us.  After all, I’ve never been able to imagine myself as pregnant.  I always thought that was meaningful somehow.  We kept on keeping on though.  My ovarian reserve was good, I was responding well to the medicines and my husbands numbers were going up every IUI.  His numbers were probably due to the fact that I was too uncomfortable from the swollen ovaries to want to have sex, but whatever was doing it, everything was going well.

After our third IUI failed, I was pretty miserable.  I kept thinking back to the four days I was pregnant before I got the second Beta back and the news that I would soon start my period.  I could not find my happy place.  I started spending a lot of time to myself.  I read a lot to keep myself busy and distracted.  It wasn’t until I read the book, The Varieties of the Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God by Carl Sagan, that I realized what was truly wrong.  I was putting too much thought into why God wouldn’t want us to have children.  I mean, I have an aunt who is out of her mind on pills every single day and she had been able to have three children.  So why not us?  What had we done wrong?  Why were we unable to have a child?  It didn’t make any sense.  We are good, caring, lovable people.  We have the income to support a child, and the love to help one grow.  It wasn’t until I read this book that I realized things are not determined by a big guy sitting on a throne picking out people at random who were and were not able to have kids.  No one saying who was good enough, or devoted enough to deserve children.  The ability to have children is medical.  Some people can’t see, some can’t walk, some can’t talk, some can’t make insulin, some can’t think without hearing voices…. and some can’t make babies.  Period.  It’s that simple.  It’s not a punishment.  People don’t get to have children because they are better than others, or more devote, they just get to have children because medically, they can.  This really helped me out a lot back in January, and I think it’s going to help me out now.

I just got off the phone with my doctor.  I sent him an email last night to ask about how much more medicine I need to order, and the email blossomed into “how do you think everything is going” and “do you think I have premature ovarian failure?” Well, the results of the scan on Wednesday, along with the estrogen level of 119 was not good.  In his words “the results are not off to a good start.”  He says it’s still too early to determine whether or not things are definitely good or definitely bad, but he is concerned.  He says Saturday will give him a better indication of how things are working and we can go from there.  In regard to the POF question, he said that he was impressed with my knowledge on it (thank you, Google) and that it would be hard to determine that’s what it is until my period completely stops.  No way to know that yet, since I’ve been on birth control or fertility drugs.  He does think that is where it’s going though.  I’m definitely peri-menopausal at this moment.  He says I could continue to have (some) periods for years to come, or they may stop in the next year, there is just no way to tell.

All of this good news at one time was a little much to handle.  Of course I’ve been crying, who wouldn’t?  I knew all of this already, but having everything confirmed by the doctor was a little overwhelming.  I’m so tired and emotional from the medications already.  So this is my thing…… this is medical.  No one is against me.  I just have problems conceiving (and maybe carrying a pregnancy).  I do have a loving family, wonderful friends and the most amazing husband in the world.  I am a very lucky girl and if I can’t have children then I am still going to have a beautiful life.

I will keep telling myself this as we head into Saturday… wish us luck!

The Little AMH That Could

So, I just got the results from the second AMH blood draw.  It’s now at 1.3, up from 0.67.  How does this number go up?  I have no clue.  How does it drop from 6.9 to 1.3 in nine months?  Also no clue, but I’m glad it’s higher than a 1, it gives me a little more hope.  I have a friend who had a 1.2 AMH and she had 12 eggs retrieved with 2 good ones to implant (none to freeze) and she ended up having a healthy baby girl.  Although I would like a couple to freeze, i’d be happy with a healthy enough one that it implants and stays with me!

I’m able to breathe a little better, but I’m still really anxious and nervous about whether or not my ovaries will respond.  I guess this is how everyone feels though…. huh?

Meds start on Saturday! Tick Tock!

The Disappearing AMH

Last week I had a blood draw to check for diseases, blood type and AMH level.  The disease test is to verify that we don’t have any diseases that could transfer to other embryos kept in storage with ours.  I don’t!  My blood type is A positive! I never knew that, so that is exciting!  But my AMH level has vanished.  Last August it was 6.9 and now it’s 0.67.  WHAT?!  My doctor is 99% sure that it is due to a lab error.  With me having PCOS is it almost impossible for me to not have a high AMH level, and having it drop that much in a year is also impossible.

My doctor is amazing, by the way.  I emailed him, kind of freaking out, because I was concerned about the drop and the fact that we wouldn’t get the redo test results back in time for our nursing class.  He told me to just come in early tomorrow, before the redo blood test and he will do an ultrasound to check my ovaries.  Then he will be able to base a dosage off of what he sees in the ultrasound.  Whew!

I know the results have to be wrong, but there is still have 1% uncertainty.  I guess I will know by tomorrow afternoon for sure!  Come on error on the lab results!!