Category Archives: ttc

2.0 IVF Day 10- On the Edge

This is the part I really don’t like.

After all the hustle and bustle of cycle monitoring, the day before retrieval is eerily quiet. No clinic visit. No injections. Our city is currently in the middle of its first serious snowfall, so outside is quiet too, except for a few muffled traffic sounds when the occasional car struggles up our street. When I look outside all I see is whirling snow.

In August 2010, I wrote this the day before the retrieval:

I feel like I’m in a roller coaster car that has slowly, painfully crept its way up that first high arc. Now I sit, poised on the edge, knowing it’s too late to back out, waiting for gravity and momentum to take over and drag me screaming through the whirlwind that is retrieval/transfer week.

Yep. Right there again.

The trigger shot went smoothly. We opted to go to bed beforehand and set three alarms, although we only needed the first one. There was one bad moment where I knocked over the vial with the powder and it almost rolled off my nighttable, but I caught it in time (the lid was still on but it could have broken). I think this is the first time I’ve mixed the HCG myself, but I guess I’m an expert now at such things. Q. woke up enough to jab me and then we both went back to sleep (until 5:55 a.m. when, for reasons known only to him, E. decided to wake up for the day).

Yesterday after I was finished at the clinic I went to the mall to try to finish my Christmas shopping. I felt too wretched to be able to work properly, and E. was at nursery school, so I seized the opportunity. It was a great opportunity to remind me why I do so much shopping online these days. Oh well. I managed to get most things ticked off my list- I just need a Christmas ornament for Q’s stocking and I’m sorted. I also made a significant detour to go to MEC to change over the boots I’d ordered online (one problem with online ordering- guessing at sizes), only to finally decide once I got to the store and tried on the other pair that the size I’d originally chosen was indeed the right one. While at the mall I ordered a poutine for lunch since I figured that was the saltiest thing I could think of, and I washed it down with a whole lot of Gatorade. I can’t wait to be able to get back to my usual diet.

Thursday I had a truly hilarious meeting with my PhD supervisor where he, in all seriousness, worked out a timeline where I could defend by late May. This timeline was dependent on my giving him a full draft by the 12th of February (doable), and on him reading said draft and returning it to me within two weeks of receiving it (not going to happen in a million years). Then he (finally) gave me the comments on two dissertation chapters I gave him in April. The irony of this escaped him. I made it clear that I was happy to entertain the idea of defending in late May provided we both agreed that the minute our timeline wasn’t being adhered to we would abandon that plan and opt instead for early September (it will be impossible to get my committee into a room in the summer- they all travel). He felt this was fair.

The only annoying thing with September instead of May is if I get a post-doc it will delay when I can start, but this is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things and is what I accepted could happen when I made the decision not to give him the draft in December.

Not much left to do today except eat salty food, drink Gatorade, and try to ignore my sore and bloated belly.

I can’t even think about a positive beta. One step at a time. First we need enough mature eggs to make enough embryos to get to blastocysts. I had a nightmare last night after the trigger shot that we had a ton of eggs retrieved but only ONE fertilized. Am obviously hoping for a much much better result tomorrow.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, Second Thoughts, ttc

2.0 IVF Day Nine- Good to go

For the first time ever I was the very first woman in to the clinic this morning. My f/s had asked me to come in “as early as you can” because he was only going to be there for a short time early in the morning and he wanted to make sure he saw me (and do my ultrasound as it turned out).

Our clinic’s cycle monitoring hours officially start at 7 a.m. I was there at 6:45, and only just beat the next lady in. By 7 there were at least ten of us waiting around. You have to be quick at that place. At 6:50 Q. called so I could (once again) talk to a very irate toddler, remind him that I was at the doctor (like we’d talked about) and convince him to eat breakfast. E. was finally well enough to go back to nursery school today, thank goodness.

Did my bloods and then discovered that my f/s wanted to do my ultrasound myself so I sat around for twenty minutes or so before he got there. He told me I had a “beautiful” uterine lining and then hastened to add, “I don’t tell all the ladies that!” Then we made jokes about his appearance as Santa at the clinic Christmas party the night before.

I wasn’t too surprised when he said I was good to go. The room where he did the ultrasound had a computer monitor so I could watch what he was doing, and I recognized from the measurements he was getting that there wasn’t any more room to grow for most of the follicles. It’s a bit of a relief, as I feel really wretched at the moment, but also a touch nerve wracking as I will have stimmed for four days less than I did with the cycle that produced E. My f/s doesn’t seem worried about it, and the nurse thought it was good that I responded so well and so quickly, so I guess nothing is wrong. It’s just hard to have it be so different.

We did one last round of stims- 225 iu Gonal-F and 300 iu Repronex. I do one more Lupron injection tonight at 6 p.m., and then all that’s left is the trigger, which is scheduled for 1 a.m. tonight. That’s really the worst possible time- midnight we’d stay up for it, 2 a.m. we’d go to sleep and wake up for it, but 1 a.m. is right in that mid-zone where I’m not sure which would be more annoying.

Retrieval is scheduled for Sunday at 11 a.m. I could use all the good thoughts you’ve got to spare.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, A matter of faith, Anxiety Overload, Second Thoughts, ttc

2.0 IVF Day Seven- Whoa there, eggies!

Hit the clinic super early this morning to make sure I could get my bloodwork and ultrasound finished before my intralipids infusion, which was scheduled for 8 a.m. The nurse in the IVF suite was just about to start my IV when I had a phone call from Q., who had an incredibly angry toddler on the other end who needed to speak to me, since apparently all the conversations we had the day before about me going in to see the doctor very early didn’t sink in. They’d just spent thirty minutes searching the house, with E. absolutely certain that Mummy was still in bed sleeping, even when Q. pulled all the covers off.

The intralipids infusion was finished by about 9:45. I ended up feeling like I was going to fall asleep again, just like last time. Maybe it has something to do with all that fat going in to my body- the nurse wondered if it was the equivalent to eating a big Thanksgiving dinner. There were a couple of other ladies in there at the same time- they were both pregnant. Nice to get reminders that things do work there.

Went back over to the main part of the clinic and managed to see my doctor really quickly. My follicles are zooming- the lead follicle was measuring 16 on one ovary and 15.5 on the other. This seemed a bit too fast to me, and I think my doctor thought the same, as he changed my meds to 150 iu Gonal-F and 225 iu Repronex for today and tomorrow. I’ll go back in on Friday and Saturday for sure. The retrieval is likely to be Monday or Tuesday of next week, so that is definitely faster than the August 2010 cycle, but I don’t think it’s too fast if we make that timeline, as my cycle in August 2010 was longer than expected. Obviously since it worked I would have been happy to repeat that pattern again here, but we can at least say with confidence that we’re not going to be dealing with an embryo transfer on Christmas Day.

Dr. L. repeated his advice to eat lots of salt and drink lots of Gatorade- minimum one litre per day to be exact.

I am feeling pretty miserable now. Really sore through the abdomen and just generally lacking any emotional fortitude. We had a terrible night last night where E. freaked out so much at Q. trying to put him to bed that Q. had to come downstairs and get me to take over because he was getting too angry, and then he was so angry he didn’t want to say goodnight to E., which upset me so much that after I had put E. to bed I ended up sitting in the bathroom crying. Then E. woke up at 9 p.m. vomiting all over his crib, at which point I deeply regretted letting him eat the entire punnet of raspberries that had been all he was interested in eating all day (along with rice crackers). Q. is so stressed about work- he is supposed to be writing a chapter for an edited volume this month, but E. being too sick to go to nursery school has completely blown a hole in his plans, so now he’ll have to take work with us when we travel after Christmas to see my family. Definitely a night where I found myself wondering why we’re putting ourselves through all of this to try to expand our family, given some days it seems we can’t even cope with one.

Deep breaths. One day at a time.

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Filed under (Pre)School Days, 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, Butter scraped over too much bread (a.k.a. modern motherhood), Cycle Madness, E.- the third year, Emotions, Second Thoughts, The Sick, ttc

2.0 IVF Day 6

The advantage to having a projectile vomiting toddler?

It takes your mind off of your ovaries.

Yep, it’s hard to stay focused on the fact that your entire mid-section feels miserable when you’re scrubbing puke out of the carpet (and the couch, and the table, etc. etc.).

I’m drinking three 12 oz. glasses of Gatorade a day. I went with the fruit punch flavour this cycle (in 2010 it was the lemon-lime). Thus far I’m underwhelmed. And I’m eating pretzels (lots of pretzels) every day as they had the highest percentage of salt of the snack foods I looked at. I should eat prepackaged processed meals (or fast food) too, but I can’t bring myself to stoop that low. I’m also back on the All Bran, but I don’t think my digestive system is the problem at this stage.

I keep telling my co-dependent cat that she can’t sit on my lap anymore if I’ve got the laptop out. She is not pleased.

On the bright side: signs that you’re really learning something in this parenting gig: You don’t start the second load of vomit-encrusted laundry because you suspect if you just wait a bit longer there will be more.

Sigh. Sometimes I really hate being right.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, E.- the third year, Food, Medical issues, Medications, Second Thoughts, The Sick, ttc

Getting started

Day 3 today, so into the clinic yet again. I was really hoping AF would have turned up a day earlier, so I could have gone in to the clinic on Sunday on my Day 2, rather than blowing a massive hole in Q’s workday, but no such luck.

E. was, as usual, pretty fragile this morning. He hates changes to the routine, and he especially hates me disappearing first thing in the morning when he’s eating breakfast. He held it together though, and ended up having a lovely morning with his Daddy (as I knew he would).

The clinic was busy but not outrageously so, although I still ended up being there for over two and a half hours. I was called fairly soon after my ultrasound by my fertility specialist, but then I sat in one of his offices for ages before he came in, and then there was another wait to see a nurse.

Anyway. In the end we had an agreed upon plan: fresh IVF cycle, with ICSI. Another round of intralipid infusion. A strong suggestion that I should do some acupuncture, so I’ve taken the brochure of the individual who does it right at the clinic, and will discuss that with Q. Dr. L. thought I should try it out before booking a session for the day of the transfer, in case I hated it. He said he hates it “because I really don’t like needles”, to which I replied, “well, I guess since I’ve started coming here I haven’t had that problem”, which made him laugh.

He is a really good guy. I ended up in tears in his office (yet again), and when he asked me why I was crying, I told him that this was our last shot.

“I’m going to do my very best,” he told me, and stood up to give me a hug. “I’m going to do everything I can.”

We’re aiming for a retrieval on the 18th of December, to allow for a five day transfer of blastocysts on the 23rd.

I took my first birth control pill this morning. He has me taking them until the 2nd of December, which moderately stressed me out this morning as I didn’t think that was leaving enough time. I just went and looked back at our cycle in August 2010, however, and it was an identical timeline- last pill on the 2nd, and I was in the clinic again on the 4th, so my period must have started immediately after I stopped the birth control. I also took a day or two longer than expected to hit the point where I was ready to trigger, so retrieval was on the 18th, and the transfer was on the 23rd. That means that even if it takes a couple more days this time around to get my period, we should still be on track. And if we’re a day later, and we have to transfer on the 24th, that will be ok too. I just don’t want to be dealing with an embryo transfer on Christmas Day.

I am still debating stopping the birth control pills one day earlier than we set up today (and starting the Lupron one day earlier as well, since I’m meant to start it seven days before stopping the birth control). As I was leaving, my fertility specialist said, “So we’re looking at transferring around Christmas, right?” and I agreed, but didn’t say to him that it has to be BEFORE Christmas because as of Boxing Day we’re going to be travelling to visit family. So I might adjust things slightly just to make sure we have enough wiggle room. Part of it is it’s been taking forever to get my period with these FETs- this time it didn’t start until a full week after the last PIO shot. But the Lupron/birth control combination is different.

Ok- question for my readers: do you remember how long it took to get your period after stopping birth control pills while on Lupron? I find it hard to believe my twenty-four experience from August 2010 is the norm.

I have a few things to think about. My clinic now has an embryoscope, which is apparently a special incubator with a low light that allows them to take pictures of the embryos every few minutes and create a time-lapse video of their development. This is meant to help with selecting the embryos to transfer as they can see which ones have been developing normally since the very beginning. I am tempted by this, but I’m not sure the cost ($750) is worth it, as it’s a very new technology. They’re the first clinic in Canada to offer it, and they’ve only had it for two weeks. I’m not sure if my fertility specialist was so excited about it because he thought it would be a good option for us, or because he just loves having all the latest technology available.

The reason why I am tempted to pay the extra for the embryoscope is we’re probably going to end up in December facing the decision that I have been dreading since we first started trying for a 2.0, and the one I was so hoping our FETs would let us avoid.

E. is the product of a two embryo transfer.

I don’t know if I can stomach transferring two embryos again.

I honestly don’t know at this stage if I would rather have E. end up as an only child than end up with a twin pregnancy. It’s something I have to think a lot more about in the next month, and talk about with Q.

I do know that right now the idea of a twin pregnancy scares me half to death.

Maybe it seems ridiculous to be worrying about this possibility when we’re not even into the IVF cycle yet, and we have no idea how many embryos we’re going to end up with, or what their quality is going to be. But that’s where my head is, and that’s what I’ve been fretting about in the back of my mind for months, even during the two FETs.

I don’t want to have to make this decision.

I don’t want to get a negative result from a single embryo transfer, and then spend months wondering if we could have changed the outcome by transferring two.

But I also do not want a twin pregnancy.

So. I’m doing the research (or, to be more accurate, asking nicely if my sister can do the research for me), looking into the statistics, weighing the options. We can’t make a final decision at this point, but I think I really need to sort out my feelings about the whole situation before we’re given a report on our embryos.

I see my endocrinologist tomorrow for my usual biannual appointment, which means I’ll be able to get his advice on adjusting my synthroid dose to deal with the birth control and then the stims. This is assuming the man actually gives some reasonable advice and isn’t just rude, which is always a tall order with him.

I e-mailed my supervisor today to tell him he wouldn’t be getting a draft of my dissertation in mid-December like we’d originally planned, and suggested that we meet in December to discuss a new timeline.

Full steam ahead.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, Medical issues, Medications, Money Matters, Second Thoughts, Thyroid, ttc

11dp5dt

After I last tested, my sister decided to go and do some research. After trolling numerous online forums and controlling for five day embryos and successful pregnancies (and I have no idea how you would control for those variables when you’re just dealing with online forums, but that’s why she’s the scientist in the family), she e-mailed me to say that I had tested too early, and that lots of women didn’t see even a faint line until 9, 10 or even 11 days post-transfer.

All right. 8dp5dt is too early.

But a BFN at 11dp5dt, like the one I got this morning?

That, I’m betting, is definitive.

I’ll get the official word from the clinic tomorrow. And then Q. and I can start to think about just how far we want to go along this road.

In the meantime, I shall continue to plant the two hundred or so bulbs that E. and I bought this morning.  If I can’t seem to manage to support life in my uterus, at least I can look forward to something beautiful in the spring.

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Filed under 2.0 FET #2, Family, Second Thoughts, ttc, TWW

8dp5dt

So.

I tested this morning.

It was a clear BFN.

I’d been debating testing and refusing to test for a couple of days, mainly because I didn’t really believe deep down that the cycle had worked, but knew that if I kept refusing to test I could at least keep on trying to believe it had worked.

Q. has pointed out that it is still early and that I don’t exactly have the greatest track record with HPTs. To which I have made the reply that at other clinics beta day would be tomorrow, and the HPTs that gave me the negative result with E’s cycle were from the dollar store. This one was a FRER.

I bought a two-pack, so I’ll test again on either Sunday or Monday for confirmation before the actual beta. But at least now I’ve got a couple of days to start to get my head around it all.

I didn’t ever really think, not deep down, not in my heart of hearts, that we would transfer both of our remaining blasts and still end up not pregnant. Deep down I was convinced that one of them would work.

But here we are.

Looks like we’re going to have some tough decisions to make.

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Filed under 2.0 FET #2, Anxiety Overload, Emotions, Money Matters, Second Thoughts, ttc, TWW

Intralipids infusion (2.0 FET #2- Day 10)

This morning I had my intralipids infusion.

It was pretty straightforward. I went in early, did the usual cycle monitoring bloodwork and ultrasound, and then moved over to the IVF suite where they hooked me up to the IV, and then brought in a bag that really did just look like a bag of fat- thick, white liquid. The nurse hooked that bag and a second bag (of what I assume was a saline solution) to the IV line, and then started them both dripping. It took a little over ninety minutes to empty the bag. I managed to get some work done while also listening to the various conversations. The nurses were trying to schedule a particularly busy day on the weekend and had to boss around the doctors quite a lot. The nurse who runs the IVF suite is one tough cookie, and now I can really see why. It takes some gumption to stand up to the doctors, but I could tell that she wasn’t going to give ground- this was HER turf.

Another woman came in looking for one of the nurses in particular. She was pregnant (seven weeks) and wanted to tell this nurse (who wasn’t working that day). After she had left the nurses had a bit of a conversation because most of them didn’t remember her, which is fair, given how many patients they see every day. But they were all in agreement that it made them uncomfortable to have her in there telling them about the pregnancy at seven weeks. “Ten weeks, ten weeks would be different,” said the boss nurse. “Then it is ok. But seven weeks is too early.” The others agreed.

It was pregnancy day at the clinic, it seemed. The woman in the cubicle next to me was also doing an intralipids infusion, and she was eleven weeks pregnant. The nurses were excited about this. “Almost time to graduate!” said one. When I was back over in the main part of the clinic I started chatting with another woman, who turned out to be ten weeks pregnant. It was her first baby, and it had been a long road. So I told her that I had a nearly two and a half year old at home, who came from that clinic, and that now I was trying again. And I told her that I had a good pregnancy and a good birth and that these helped in a lot of ways to heal how I had felt after being at that clinic for so long, because I could tell from her face that she was EXACTLY where I had been three years ago. Then the nurse called my name, and we both answered, and then laughed as we realized we had the same first name. I shook her hand and wished her well. She’d told me that they were done after this- that it was too hard, that they couldn’t go through it again. I wonder if she’ll still be thinking the same thing three years from now.

After the intralipids infusion was over, I went back to the  main part of the clinic to see my doctor. I was all geared up to have a fight with him because I wanted him to check my TSH again. They checked it on Day 2, and it was at 2.5, which isn’t bad, but my endocrinologist likes to keep it under 2.0, and I know the estrace will have been causing some stress. I’ve been doing my usual “take one extra half a pill every second day” while I’ve been on the estrace, which is what I did during the fresh IVF cycle that led to E., but I wanted some confirmation that this was the right dose.

He surprised me by agreeing to the extra test immediately, even before he looked to see what my previous result had been. And then he agreed that 2.5 was very borderline. So he really has finally got the message at some point in the last three years that TSH matters a lot when it comes to getting and staying pregnant. The nurses should call me this afternoon to give me the update. (They actually called while I was writing this: it’s still at 2.5, so I’m holding steady. They want me to stay on the same dose, but I might up it a tiny amount to get it below 2.0 as I know my endocrinologist wouldn’t be happy with 2.5.)

My lining looked great, so he wanted to schedule the FET. I asked if Q. had to be there for the procedure.

“Well,” said my f/s, “he has to be willing to be the baby’s father when it comes out, but he doesn’t have to actually be there for the transfer.”

Q. is going a little insane right now with work stress, and he’s going to lose all of next Friday because he’s going on a field trip with E. and the nursery school. So I scheduled the FET for next Wednesday (the 23rd) when E. will be in nursery school and Q. will be teaching.

It does feel a little odd- this will be the first transfer that Q. has missed, the first time he won’t be there to hold my hand when the f/s starts poking and prodding and things get uncomfortable, the first time he won’t see the embryo up on the monitor or be able to watch the transfer on the ultrasound. But I’m being practical- if we do the transfer Wednesday rather than Thursday we don’t have to worry about finding someone to look after E. (or stress him out by disrupting his routine- Q. had a hard morning with him today because E. knew it was supposed to be a day where he was with me and he didn’t at all like the fact that I had to go see the doctor without him), and Q. doesn’t have a big hole blasted in the middle of his only teaching-free day that week.

Then I saw a nurse and worked through my treatment protocol and picked up more medications and a new sharps container. I got out of there in time to get home for lunch, like I’d told E. I was going to try to do.

PIO shots start up again tomorrow. Luckily the Fragmin shots don’t start until the day of the transfer as I had a really bad reaction to them this time around- one side of my stomach basically turned into one giant deep purple bruise, and it is taking a long time to clear up. It should hopefully be back to normal just in time to start getting jabbed again. Sigh.

I wanted to write this down in case anyone is ever googling (as I was) ‘how long does it take after you stop taking progesterone to get your period’, because it took FOREVER to get my period after the last cycle. We hadn’t done the PIO shot on the day of the beta as we were out of needles and progesterone- I picked up more of both at the clinic, but then we had the phone call and they were superfluous. So my last PIO shot had been the Wednesday morning.

It was TUESDAY night before my period finally started.

Six full days. It never takes that long after taking bcps or provera. It took long enough that a sick, tiny part of my mind started to wonder if maybe, just maybe, my clinic had screwed up the beta results. Which was insane, because, really, a fertility clinic that can’t provide accurate beta results to its clients is a fertility clinic that would soon be out of business. But anyway, that’s what my mind insisted on thinking. It was a relief to finally have it arrive.

I also had apparently forgotten how bad my periods are after FETs. I guess I should have expected this- after all, we’ve just devoted all that time and energy to building a wonderful cushy lining for the embryo. But it really took me off guard, and I ended up coming straight home after going in to the clinic on Day 2 because I just couldn’t function without some serious pain relief and a hot oatbag. I suppose my last FET was in December 2009, so it was only fair I didn’t remember, but I also didn’t seem to blog about it. So I’m making a note of it for myself and for future readers: periods after FETs really suck.

The other note for posterity is when I was talking to the nurse about my medications on Day 2, I told her that the prednisone gave me terrible insomnia.

She looked at me for a minute. “Do you take it in the morning?”

“No,” I said. “I take it at night.”

“There! Take it in the morning!”

I have no idea why this had never occurred to me before. I generally try as much as possible to avoid taking medications in the morning because I don’t want them to interfere with the thyroid meds.

I am definitely having less trouble with waking up at 3 or 4 a.m. and then being unable to get back to sleep. But I was doing this over the summer as well, when I wasn’t on prednisone. So the jury’s still out as to whether or not changing when I’m taking it has reduced the ridiculous sleeping patterns. But I’ll keep monitoring the situation.

My Dad is staying with us for the week as he’s doing some work in the city. We got to chatting last night and he asked about my medical situation, since it’s pretty obvious that something is going on what with my taking a billion pills with every meal and the long conversation I had to have with my increasingly upset toddler about why Mummy had to go in to see the doctor for a few hours the next day and why he couldn’t come with me.

So I told him that we were trying to add to our family, that our first shot at it had failed, that we had one left before we were back to staring down the barrel of a full IVF cycle, that we would probably do one more full cycle but then that would be it.

I got really emotional, which surprised me, but it all just bubbled up to the surface.

It’s hard to be emotional around my father. He is a really tough man- ex-military, really strong personality, etc.- and I don’t really feel comfortable crying in front of him. But I couldn’t stop it last night, and it felt good to let him know where we were at. I never really got into the specifics with him the first time around. He knew that we were trying, and he knew that we were having trouble, and he knew (I’m pretty sure) at the end that it was IVF that worked, but I didn’t get into the details.

He wanted to know if he could help, and then when I said no, wanted to know how expensive it was, because what he clearly meant by ‘help’ was ‘help financially’. So I told him that E. cost $30,000, of which $16,000 came directly out of our pockets (and thank all the gods for Q.’s insurance which covers the medications, or we would never have got to E.- we could never have afforded even one round of IVF if we’d been footing the entire bill), and I told him that we had saved all last year to build a $10,000 2.0 fund, which would get us through both FETs and fund some of an IVF cycle if it came to that, but that if we wanted to continue we’d have to look at cashing in some of our investments. I made it clear that the reason why we haven’t yet redone our floors upstairs, or finished the landscaping in our side garden, both projects he often asks us about, is because that money keeps getting funnelled into trying to expand our family.

“Well,” said Dad. “There are always ways to spend money. It’s better than going to a casino.”

At which point Q. turned up to ask me something and the conversation shifted and I didn’t get the chance to say what I wanted to say to him, which was: “Is it really? Is it really any different to taking that money and gambling it at a casino if we gamble all of it on a child and come up empty handed at the end?”

Anyway. Who knows what Dad will make of that conversation. We couldn’t take money from him even if he wanted to give it to us- because of my stepmother any money that comes from him would inevitably have hidden strings attached, and Q. and I have had a couple of conversations where we’ve agreed that we will stop treatments before we would allow a situation to exist that could lead to comments along the lines of “we paid for our grandchild”.

One of the mums I really like on my birth club just announced that she is pregnant (seven weeks along- the birth club generally is horrified that she didn’t tell us as soon as she had POAS, but she said that she was worried about an ectopic, which is fair), and another mum just had her FET transfer on Wednesday. I would love to be pregnant with them.

Fingers crossed. The countdown is on.

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Filed under 2.0 FET #2, 2.0 FET#1, Emotions, Family, FET, Medical issues, Medications, Second Thoughts, Thyroid, ttc

Change in plans

Looks like we’re not waiting until December after all.

I went into my clinic this morning.

It was my Day 2, and E. was at nursery school, and it was literally the only day of the week where I could go in to the clinic without it being a juggling act, so I decided to just go in and talk to my f/s. I wanted to touch base with him about what had happened.  I wanted to just double check that if we went ahead with this last FET right now there wouldn’t be time to squeeze in a full IVF cycle in December before Christmas.  This was what I had been assuming.

I was wrong.

“Absolutely,” said my f/s when I asked about the possibility of getting a full IVF cycle done before Christmas.

I pressed him.  “Are you really sure?”

“100%.”

I didn’t hesitate.  “Right,” I said.  “Let’s do the FET now.”

The only thing I can think of is I was assuming I would have to take a full month of the birth control pills before starting stims, and that must not be the case.  Otherwise I can’t see how the calendar works out.

But it’s a result I like much much better.

Yes, I’m potentially spending the entire fall at the clinic, on birth control pills, or preparing for a cycle.  Yes, it will be busy and stressful and hectic.

But it means by Christmas we will have a really good sense of where we stand in our journey to expand our family.

It means I won’t have to wait until July to fit in a full IVF cycle.  My eggs won’t get that little bit older.  The age gap between E. and any potential sibling won’t get that little bit bigger.

It gives us the flexibility to then maybe (if needed) do a FET in the new year.  We couldn’t possibly do a full IVF cycle then- we have to schedule them outside of the semester.  They are too difficult otherwise.

I hated the idea of waiting to do the FET until December.

I hated even more the idea of waiting until July to do a full IVF cycle.

I don’t want this process to be drawn out.  I want us to either get our 2.0 or be finished.  I don’t have the emotional fortitude to have this hanging over my head for another year, or even two.

We know what works.  We know what we have to do to manage my thyroid.  We know what medications are needed.

There’s no reason to waste time.

I did my usual trick of peeking at my chart while waiting for my doctor.

My chart was amazingly thin.  It took me a minute to realize that it did have my name on it.

I commented on this to the ultrasound technician.

“Sometimes they start a second chart if the first one gets too big,” she told me.

Sure enough, my chart has a label on the front that says, in big letters, “PART 2”.

My chart got so big they had to get me a second chart.

Sigh.

I looked at the transfer report.  They defrosted the weaker of the two embryos- the 1BB rather than the 1AB.  I don’t know why they did this, but I assume they must have felt the difference in quality was so minor as to not make much of a difference to the eventual outcome.

The report said the blastocyst was collapsed after it had been thawed, but my doctor said that was normal.  He said the blastocyst came through the thaw just as they would have expected.

I’ve said before that one of the things I like about my doctor is he’s not willing to just keep repeating things over and over again when he’s not getting the desired result.  He is always tweaking- always trying to make things better.

This FET is no exception.  He wants me to come in on the day I have my lining check for an intralipid transfer, which is when they hook me up to an IV for a couple of hours and pump in a diluted concentration of fats and other nutritional goodies. It’s the same type of  solution that hospitals use (undiluted) when they have patients that need feeding tubes. Apparently there have been a number of studies that suggest doing this increases the chance that an embryo will implant because it helps keep the maternal body from attacking the embryo.

It costs a little bit, about $300, but that’s small potatoes compared to shelling out for another full round of IVF.

I’m willing to give it a whirl.

We’ve transferred nine embryos now. Six practically perfect Day 3 embryos. Three perfect or very nearly so blastocysts.

Nine embryos for one pregnancy.

Not just one live birth- one pregnancy (and one chemical where the beta was practically zero).

My uterus is perfect. We build perfect linings. We control every variable we can possibly think of. I’m on every possible medication one could suggest.

And yet there it is: nine embryos for one pregnancy.

I’m not surprised my f/s is wondering what is going on.

I’m not surprised he’s wondering if something in my body is attacking the embryos and preventing them from implanting. I already have auto-immune issues- my thyroid problems.

I’m sure we’ve already run all the other tests that would look for auto-immune problems. It may well be there’s something going on that we can’t yet identify.  Maybe what’s happening is beyond our current medical knowledge.

Or maybe we’ve just been really really unlucky.

Whatever the case, I’m glad he’s still got something else up his sleeve.

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Filed under 2.0 FET #2, 2.0 FET#1, Anxiety Overload, Cycle Madness, Medical issues, Medications, Second Thoughts, Thyroid, ttc

“Beautiful”

That’s how my f/s described my uterus today.

Given my veteran status in the IF world, I thought I had already experienced all the procedures. But today’s sonohysterosalpingogram was a new one. I gather it’s a replacement for the HSG. They use air and a saline solution to let them visualize the uterus and fallopian tubes. So no exposure to radiation for me, it’s much less uncomfortable, and they can perform the procedure in the clinic rather than requiring a trip to the hospital. Win-win.

I had to go in with a full bladder, and one of the ultrasound techs did the first round of pictures using the abdominal ultrasound. Then I had to empty my bladder and wait, but not for very long (I was in and out of the clinic in under thirty minutes. This must be a new record).  My f/s himself did the transvaginal section of the test. That was not super comfortable, especially when he was inserting the speculum and getting everything in place for the saline solution, but once he actually started looking at things and taking pictures it was fine. He had another doctor shadowing him today, and the poor other doctor was trying to introduce himself and ask if I was ok with having him present, while my f/s was just getting on with things. I told the other doctor I didn’t mind. Seriously. How many people have looked at the reproductive parts of my anatomy now? Shyness or modesty really isn’t an issue.

Anyway, the end result is I have a perfect uterus, so it’s full steam ahead with the FET. I’m going back in on the 12th to check my lining. I was scheduled to go in on the 11th but that was going to make things difficult from a childcare perspective as E. would need to be taken to nursery school that morning, and Q. is making an emergency trip down under next week for a funeral, so he won’t be around. Luckily FETs are super flexible.

I managed to get a fair amount of teaching prep done while waiting to be called for the various parts of the test. I figure you know you’re an IF veteran when you can plan a syllabus in your spare moments between abdominal and transvaginal ultrasounds!

There was a couple there with a not-that-old baby in a stroller. They were getting some sideways looks from the other couples. I was mainly just curious to know what on earth they were doing in the clinic (the baby was much too young for them to be back in there actively trying again, at least in my opinion). On the way down in the elevator a couple of women got on at the fifth floor. One of them was pushing a two month old baby in a stroller. He’d just had his first round of injections, she told us. The other woman ooh’ed and aah’ed at him for a while, and then said, “All the rest of us would like to have one, but we’re past that now.” Then she obviously looked around the elevator a bit more and then added, “Or most of us are, anyway.”

We hit the ground floor and out they went. Two other people had ridden all the way down with me, from the top floor of the building, where the clinic is. They’re both staff at the clinic. One of them gestured for me to go first and gave me a truly sympathetic smile.

It was then that I realized just how much having E. at home is protecting me during this process.

That baby and those comments would have cut me to the bone three years ago. I wouldn’t have been able to look at the baby.

Now, I didn’t care. I actually felt a bit sorry for her, still mired in the newborn phase.

MY son was waiting for me at home.

And I have a beautiful uterus ready to provide a home for his sibling.

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Filed under 2.0 FET#1, FET, Medical issues, Second Thoughts, ttc, Ultrasounds