Results

So IVF #1 turned out to be a BFN. I said I wouldn’t, but I ended up taking a million HPT’s, what can I say, crazy took over. I tested at 4dpt to make sure the trigger hcg was gone, then I started with my first real test at 7dpt. I told my self it could still be too early. So I waited until 9dpt to test again, and same result. This is when I started to feel like it was going to be a negative no matter what. I tried to stay optimistic but had a gut feeling that it didn’t work.   I pretty much tested everyday including the morning of my beta (14dpt)…all negative. Excruciating that our clinic makes us wait a full 14 days, I know a lot of peoples test at 10+ days.  During the TWW I did exactly what they tell you not to do, and spent wayyyy too much time on Google, did not stay busy enough to keep my mind off things, and stressed to the max! All I can say is poor Brian! We ended up having 6 eggs left over to freeze to use with the next cycle.

The day after the official beta, we went to the urologist. She is confident that we can try again, but have to wait 6 months for him to heal, as surgical retrieval would be the only option again. She can repeat the same procedure and hope for a better quantity, or try a more invasive one to increase the odds of successful retrieval. She put him on some other meds to optimize his hormone levels and we go back in the end of April to try the PVS again to see if there are any swimmers in his sample, with the hopes that that will steer us in the right direction to which procedure to do with round 2. Theres no way to know why this time didn’t work, could’ve been poor sperm quality, but it also could’ve been just a statistic, as they frequently remind us that in a perfect cycle, the best shot is still 50/50.

Since the negative, we have been staying positive and looking forward to August. We keep saying that the last cycle was just a “practice run” with the hopes that the next one will have less stress, fewer surprises, and more babies.

I feel like an ass complaining about finances because I know some people have absolutely no insurance coverage. But here are my complaints anyway-I wish we could’ve paid upfront for any coinsurance/copays. Since the negative we have gotten most of our bills from the clinic for our procedures. Prior to, we didn’t pay anything, as they had to submit to insurance first. It just kinda sucks retrospectively paying hundreds of dollars for something that didn’t end up working. I’m glad its not more and that we have great insurance, but every time another bill comes its just a reminder that were still not pregnant!

On the bright side, I get to enjoy another summer of cocktails and a body that has not been taken over by hormones! I’m trying to eat better and exercise more to be in the best shape possible for round 2. Looking back, I will make sure I start stool softeners as soon as I start prenatals this time. I was taking the prescription ones which were super expensive, so I need to talk to them about OTC ones, I don’t really think there’s any difference.

Embryo Transfer

Soo we had our transfer on Monday. No AM phone calls to cancel..hooray!

I did what I was instructed and stopped to pee at a Burger King 75 min before my procedure (9am) then drank 16-20 ounces of water for my 10:15 procedure. Brian took his power wheelchair that day, which is large. I wanted him in there with me, so when they took us back they decided to have us wait for a larger room so they didn’t actually take us into the room until after 10:30. Doesn’t seem that long, but with a full bladder and body full of emotions and hormones, it seemed like an eternity! They finalllllly took us back, did some rearranging in the room and we were ready to get knocked up.
We were hoping for blastocysts but when we got there they said that of the 3 embryos 1 had stopped growing and 2 were morulas, which is what they are supposed to be at day 4. Because of this this, they suggested transferring both of them to increase our odds of pregnancy. Not what we hoped for, but trying to stay hopeful nonetheless. Not to mention the fear of twins! Holy shit! Brian asked what the odds of pregnancy are with morulas and the RE told him somewhere between 30-40% but that I had my young age going for me so maybe a little higher for us. Who knows if thats true or if she was just trying to make us feel more positive. Funny how in the infertility world I’m considered young, I’m 30, but to everyone else, especially my grandmother, my clock is ticking and I’m getting too old. I guess age is in the eye of the beholder….or something like that.
So I am now 3dp5dt in the dreaded two week wait. My beta is 3/7/16. No new symptoms or problems, just the breast tenderness that Ive had for a while. I do feel like I am hyperaware of what is going on inside my body. I never knew what it was like to feel an organ, but I definitely feel twinges in my ovaries and or uterus and can tell the difference. Crazy how aware of your body IVF makes you!
I keep going back and forth as to whether or not I will take a home pregnancy test before that or not. Part of me feels like I should in case it is negative, I will be the one seeing it, versus someone on the phone calling to tell me that. On the other hand, i feel like no matter what it come out as I will convince myself in my head that it could be a false reading and I won’t truly know until the blood test, so who knows. I feel like I get crazier with each passing day, so we shall see!! Anyone else do a home test before their beta? Why or why not?

We also have our follow up with the urologist on 3/8/16 to see what our future options are should this cycle fail or end in a singleton pregnancy, as we would love to have at least 2 kids.

Roller coaster ride

So it has been an emotional few days! My husband and I were up early (3:30AM early!) Wednesday for our retrieval procedures since the facility is an hour and half away. They put us in the “honeymoon suite” so we could be together pre and post op which was pretty awesome. He went first. A nurse came out after some time and told us the doctor found no sperm on the right and was moving on to the left. She came out after his procedure was done to tell us that they found nothing on the left either. She said the lab was going to continue checking the sample, but doesn’t think they will find anything. We were absolutely crushed. Even though hubby was still loopy from the anesthesia I could see the hurt in his eyes. They told us they would still retrieve my eggs, but would just freeze them. The urologist said there was potential of another more invasive retrieval procedure, but we’d have to wait 6-9 for him to heal before doing that. She said since she found nothing this time, she wanted us to seriously consider donor backup. This was something neither one of us were prepared for. I don’t think either one of us could think straight at that moment.

They retrieved 17 eggs from me, which is a great number, but it was really hard to be excited for anything at that point. So we left. Hubby went to work, probably to distract himself. I went home and slept. I was still really constipated and super sore and uncomfortable.   When I woke up that evening, I just kind of fumbled around the house and of course started googling sperm donor info and trying to process what had happened that morning. It just didn’t feel right.

A few hours later I got a call from our RE. He said he had good news! Apparently, the amazing embryologist kept checking and found 7 sperm to inject into 7 eggs and that they froze a total of 6 eggs. If I wasn’t so constipated I think I would’ve literally shit my pants!

They called Thursday to say that 3 fertilized normally, 1 abnormally, and 3 did not fertilize. So Friday (today) they called to say that all 3 are continuing to grow and divide!! YAYYYYYYYYYYY!

So as of now we are set for embryo transfer Monday at 10:15. They don’t look at the embryos day 3 or 4, they just let them do their thing and do not disturb. There’s still a possibility of not having any make it to Monday, if that’s the case, they would call us Monday AM and cancel the transfer, but I refuse to think that’s a possibility!

We are both so freaking excited! Not just at the possibility that I could be pregnant in a few days, but at the potential for a second cycle if this one fails. The fact that they found some sperm gives us hope that they will be able to do it again in the future and takes the donor option off the table, at least for now. Talk about relief!!!

So, in the meantime I’m just trying to get some rest and relief.  Talked to the nurse today and since Colace isn’t doing anything, I’m drinking Milk of Magnesia tonight.  Bottoms Up!!!

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Here is me Tuesday night bloated from stims, and then again Wednesday night completely bloated from egg retrieval and constipation!

 

Progress…

I’ve had a few checkups since my last post. They measured 15 follicles total today which is a good number, uterine lining looks good and my estrogen levels are where they should be too.  The tech said that she saw more on the left this time, so turns out I’m not as uneven as I thought. Thumbs up to that! Im still on schedule for egg retrieval on 2/17 or 2/18. Im starting to get excited because its getting closer to the next stage of this whole crazy process. I now am going to be going in every morning for ultrasound and bloodwork until retrieval day.

Still only minimal side effects except for fatigue and constipation, which is most likely from the prenatal vitamins. I have also started Ganirelix, which is a real bitch.  The injection itself doesn’t hurt, but as soon as I take the needle out, the injection site gets all red, splotchy, and itchy and stays that way for about an hour.  I started taking Colace today at the suggestion of my nurse, since apparently my constipation is interfering with the ability to see the left ovary on the ultrasound.  As an OT, I talk about poop all the time with my patients, but it definitely felt weird today discussing it with the nurse.  Kinda felt like a kid being reprimanded, ha! I started blabbering on (which is usually what I do when I’m uncomfortable or nervous) about how I’ve been eating a high fiber diet and drinking milkshakes, since I’m lactose intolerant, which usually does the trick, but nothing has been working.  She just looked at me like I was nuts and suggested a stool softener and some warm apple juice and off I went.   So here I am waiting for things to literally start moving. Stay tuned!

Shots and Stim Checkup #1

I had my first ultrasound and bloodwork today since starting my meds on Saturday. So far there are 11 follicles on the right and 3 on the left. They didn’t tell me any measurements. This made me a little nervous, but they said that it’s normal since I just started and more could pop up on the left. My uterine lining was measuring 8.2 which they said was also good. I go back on Thursday for another round of bloodwork and ultrasound. I got a call this afternoon about my bloodwork and was instructed to decrease my follistim dosage as my estrogen level was “a little high for day 4” at 312.

Overall, I feel ok.  If I am having any side effects from the meds, they are subtle.  A little more tired and emotional than normal, but nothing too crazy.  My husband may disagree.  Not sure if thats the hormones, or just our crazy life.  When I was laying down last night I could see my right ovary sticking out a little.  Makes sense since that’s the overachieving one! I can definitely feel something happening down there, I wouldn’t call it pain or cramps, but just a weird stretchy feeling where my ovaries are….could be completely psychosomatic, or just my ovaries expanding, or gas, who knows.

The needles themselves don’t actually hurt at all.  Ive read horror stories about how bad the Menopur burns when injecting, but after my first night I didn’t know what people were talking about. Sunday night the menopur burned a little bit going in, but then last night it hurt like a real bitch!! Because my follistim is in 600IU vials, I’ll have to do 2 injections of that tonight so I don’t waste the little bit of whats left in the first vial. Awesome.

The doctor and nurses seemed very pleased with everything this morning and seem to think I’m on track for egg retrieval early next week….would be kinda cool if we had it Sunday, Valentine’s Day <3…how romantic! I am trying to stay optimistic, but today I  kinda felt a little less excited when I heard there was only 3 on the left.  I know that t’s totally normal and still early on, but I like things to be even, crazy I know! I’ll chalk my irrational thoughts up to the hormones!

The beginning

We had our first consult with the RE in July 2015 to see “how all this would work”. We were told that IVF would probably be our only option and that we needed to see a urologist specializing in male fertility. Looking back, I know we were certainly not ready to start a family at that point, but I’m glad we went. Turns out hubby had extremely low testosterone which caused him to stop producing sperm so he would need to be on  injections to stimulate testosterone/sperm production for at least 3-4 months before we could hope for a sperm retrieval. By the time we got an appointment and waited for the insurance pre-auth we started his injections in October. Now before you go feeling all sorry for hubby about months and months of intramuscular injections, let me tell you this: he gets them in his thigh… which he can’t feel.

Soon, while we were waiting for his body to start cooperating, we decided that I would get some of my preliminary testing out of the way. This way once we were sure we could get some swimmers we could hit the ground running, or rolling (see what I did there). This included a baseline ultrasound, blood work, and an HSG test. Sounded somewhat straightforward, not so much! First off, I didn’t realize till I was spread eagle in the exam room that the ultrasound isn’t like the cute moments you see in movies. This one was transvaginal, in other words, dildo camera. Literally looks like a dildo! They even put a condom on it…safety first 😉 Blood work and ultrasound looked normal, good news.

Next was the HSG. I of course googled the crap out of it, and read mixed stories. Some women describe it as worse than childbirth, others say it was really no big deal…I now don’t believe those women for one, single second! The doctor says you might feel some “pressure and mild discomfort”. What he should have said, was Hi, I’m Edward, Edward Scissorhands, and I’ll be shredding your cervix today.   Then maybe I would have been more prepared for what I was about to experience. The whole test lasted less than 10 minutes, but it seemed like hours. Started off fine, then I felt awful, worse than any period cramps I’d ever experienced. Then I started sweating and seeing spots. Then I woke up to the nice tech telling me it was almost over and to try to move my hips to the left to get the fluid through that tube- vaso-vagal response I guess. They made me lay there for 20 mins and pumped me full of OJ. Hope that doesn’t happen during labor. Good news is it was done at the imaging center, not with my RE or OB, so I will NEVER have to see Edward again.

So with that trauma out of the way, we played the waiting game and made a few check up visits with the urologist. We got the all clear from her that as long as his sperm retrieval was February or later, she was confident we would get enough to create embryos. She does not want to freeze, prefers fresh, so we will both have our procedures on the same day.

We went back to the RE in January and got everything started. Our protocol consists of 19 days of birth control to “line up my follicles” whatever that means. Its been years since I was on the pill, so I must have forgot, or it could be that I’m older now, but within 3 days my boobs grew a cup size and I felt increasingly puffy. Hubby was happy about the growth, however all the new bras I just forked out some $$ on no longer fit, and they are sore as shit! Hoping this soreness goes away, but I’m skeptical seeing as in a few short days I will be pumping my body full of hormones and trying to grow some eggs.

I went for another round of blood work and dildo camera today and got the call that everything looks good, so I will start my injections on Saturday, 2/6, tentative egg and sperm retrieval of 2/17, with 5day transfer on 2/22. Definitely feeling excited and nervous. Excited to finally feel like were getting somewhere after months of waiting. Nervous that I will have to give myself injections everyday and about the potential side effects they will cause. Also nervous about the sperm retrieval. I have this fear that we will go through this whole process and not be able to retrieve enough sperm on retrieval day.