Tuesday, March 26, 2013

IUI #2

Creative with my title names, aren't I?  I wish I had better skills with that, but unfortunately I just call it like I see it.

So, today is 3/26/13, it's exactly 18 months since I said goodbye to my beloved Chase.  Exactly 12 months since I sat in my office at work and cried at the fact that my cat had been gone for six months as I desperately scrolled google looking for an acupuncturist   It was the day I found the clinic I currently go to.  Even though I had done many searches before using the same search items, it was the first time this clinic popped up.   I saw they had a tie to my then RE and I called them for my consult exactly on this day a year ago.  Tomorrow will be one year since I've started going to this clinic.  My consult was the day after my phone call and tomorrow I have an acupuncture appointment there.  I've been wearing my Chase necklace all day long as a sign of good luck and to feel him close to me.

This morning was my IUI.  Hubby and I took diff cars so we could go to work afterwards.  He produced his sample and while it was being prepped, we went out to IHOP.  4/11/13 marks sixteen years that David and I have been together.  In a way I can't believe there was a time I wasn't with him and in a way I can't believe it's already been this many years.  My fertility clinic is located within walking distance of the house my husband grew up in.  The IHOP we went to this day is one we went to so many times while we were dating. So, many nights we'd end up there, talking, sharing, getting to know one another, at that particular IHOP.  It's a special place and it was great to find us there again together 16 years later still as happy as ever, only seeking to expand on our love.  We had  a great breakfast and talked about our hopes and dreams for children.  What we want for them, what's important to us as parents, and things like that.  We went back to the clinic for the actual IUI and here's the totals:

Total Sperm: 33 million
Post Wash: 11 Million
Motility: 73%

As far as the total goes, for trying naturally, it's considered on the low side.  Not horrible, but nothing great either.  As far as the post wash for IUI and the motility, excellent!  The IUI itself went pretty well.  The only minus is my RE wasn't available to do it himself.  I could have waited for him, but we both needed to get to work, so his nurse practitioner who is a sweet and wonderful lady did it.  I did feel a bit of cramping and I did have a tinge of blood.  I was surprised she said that because I've never bled or anything like that during ovulation. So, that's that.  My beta is on 4/8/13 and I'm terrified just thinking about it.

Today has been a day of hope.  I had a home visit after the IUI, but it was cancelled on my way there.  My next visit was in the same are as my RE, but not for over 90 minutes.  The mall was very close to there and so I decided to go there.  My husband and I had our first date in January of '97 at that mall. We saw a movie and then walked around the mall holding hands and talking, so it was nice to remember that and revisit the mall.  As I was walking, I couldn't help but notice a onesie I saw.  It was from Baylor University where we both got our bachelors from.  It was the only onesie there and I kept staring at it.  I walked away and tried to go into other stores, but I kept thinking about it and came back.  I can't believe it, but I bought it.  I see my baby in this onesie and I just had to have it.  I am worried it's bad karma (I don't really believe in karma unless it's bad) and that now I've jinxed myself.  I have never ever allowed myself to buy a baby item in all the time I have been trying, but  I just couldn't help myself today.

I am torn between feeling hope.  I had an egg in each tube, no matter which tube the sperm went, there was an egg, it was mature, my lining was optimal.  There is no reason this shouldn't happen, that it won't work.  Then there's the other voice, 26 failed cycles in front of me.  I don't just "kinda" have a problem, something really is wrong.  How many amazing women in my threads have had this same procedure and it didn't work? What makes me so special?  In the end, I just don't know.  Part of me says, let yourself have hope.  For the first time ever, just allow yourself to believe and dream and look at baby stuff and think of what might be because if it turns out it didn't work, I'll have time to be sad then, to cry over it, and I know I won't bare to look at any of it.  The the other part of me says, don't go thinking that this worked because if I get myself all full of hope and built up, the fall down is fast, hard, and horrible.  I am torn between these two extremes.  I want this so bad, with all my heart, I want this to work.



Sunday, March 24, 2013

Trigger Time!

CD 10 today, and I went in my second ultrasound.  I was shocked to see my RE the one to do it on a Sunday!  I love that guy!  He can really talk to a woman, said I had a "beautiful uterus" :-)  So, we have three to work with, YAY!!

Leftie #1 is 24"
Leftie #2 is 18"
Righty is 22"
Lining is at a 9
E2 is 256

I will trigger tonight at 9:30 and then my IUI is on Tuesday at 9:30 am.  I am optimistic that this could work, but I am not pinning my heart on this working or saying "it's the one", I simply don't know, but of course, I hope so.  My beta will be on April 9th.  Two days before my 16 year dating anniversary and a week before my 8 year wedding anniversary.

The nurse who called to deliver my instructions said I could call her tonight at 9:30 if I had any questions or problems doing my IUI.  What office does this for you?

Friday, March 22, 2013

CD 8 u/s and b/w update

Today I went in to see how things are going with this cycle.  Basically we have one on the right that is 16.75" and then one on the left that is 15".  I have another one on my left that is only 10".  I do have a few more under 10" on each side, but none of them will make it.

I wasn't too thrilled at first at really only having two prospects.  However, my E2 was only at 97 and my P4 barely above 0, so my body is not currently geared to ovulate and so I have a few days.  I feel because of this there is a chance the 10" will grow a bit and maybe be mature enough, but we'll see.  My instructions are to continue stimming today and tomorrow.  I'll be doing 150 iu of Bravelle and 75 iu of Repronex.  On Sunday at 10:30 I'll go back in for another ultrasound and bloodwork and we'll see from there.  My guess is I'll trigger somewhere Sunday-Tues and then IUI anywhere Tues-Thurs, but we'll see.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Shooting Up

Tonight was my first injections night.  I started with 150 units of Gonal-F.  I had everything all ready and DH injected and it went without any issues.  Tomorrow will be another 150 units of Gonal-F and also my last day of Femara.  I haven't had any side effects.  Friday is my E2 and ultrasound and I am eager to see how it goes.  I have been feeling a lot of "activity" in my left ovary so we'll see...


So tonight I had dinner with my former boss to catch up and discuss the possiblitly of me returning to my old job in the fall.  We were originally going to enjoy a nice Mexican Restaurant, but instead chose to go to Buffalo Wild Wings.  We sit down, order a drink and were chatting it up with the waiter and joking around and stuff.  He says, oh I don't think I told you my name.  If you need anything, my name is Chase.  How weird is it that on my first day of injections my waiter's name is Chase?  Is this a sign or am I just crazy?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

And it starts.....

I've had a pretty nerve wracking week.  I had the weirdest LP.  No cramping, no sore boobs, no nothing.  My period was due on Wed and it came and went with no sign.  My temps were low and I knew I was out of the game, but had no idea what was happening.  Sure, I tested for the hell of it, but I wasn't too broken up over the BFNs.  It's funny, but sometimes you don't really know how you feel about something until you are "tested".  I was pretty sure I wasn't pregnant  but when I saw the BFN and wasn't even upset I knew then that I really had no hope in my heart that last cycle would work.  Likewise on the cycles where I cry my heart out, I realized I had held out hope, I had expected it to work.  So, yesterday I get up, nothing, no cramps, no nothing again.  I get dressed, makeup, ready for work.  I go pee and bam AF!  I was actually jumping for joy at this point, so we're ON!  CD 1 officially started yesterday.  I know I posted my calendar earlier, but it's really a guess.  The plan is set until the first ultrasound and then from there it just depends on what they see and what the blood work tells them.  So, here are the first steps:

Sunday-Thursday is 5 mg of Femara at night
Wednesday I start my first injection, I will do Gonal F 150 units on Wed and Thurs.
Friday is my first ultrasound at 11:00 am and we'll see from there.  I am praying and hoping for at least 3-4 follies.  My E2 will be taken that day as well.  I am supposed to start 150 units of Bravelle and 75 units of Repronex on Friday, but they will call me that afternoon/evening with instructions.

Yesterday I met with the nurse again since I was freaking out over injections to go over everything once more. She re-explained everything and then asked me questions to make sure I understood.  I showed her all the needles that I had and she noticed I needed more of one size, so she said they had plenty of extra and gave it to me for free.  How awesome is that?  She gave me a whole bag of needles and mixing tabs and stuff.  She said for me to contact her again if I needed to, but I am feeling okay about it now and more excited and less freaked out.

Another good thing that happened yesterday is our taxes are done!!!  I had a foreclosure on a house in a different city.  Long story, but we were screwed when it was sold to us with a bad foundation and we were unable to sell it.  We rented it and then a year ago a tornado, I kid you not, went right through the back yard, not near it, through it.  It damaged many, many things and insurance played games with us and wouldn't help pay for certain damages.  Then the bank refused to give us an equity loan since we decided we'd just fix everything and sell it.  Anyways, our accountant fixed everything for us AND got a pretty sizable return.  Enough that I can afford a second injectibles cycle if needed, so I feel good that I have at least two solid chances.  I may have a third depending on if I have any meds left over or not, but bridges to cross later.

Also, I am going to remain positive throughout this cycle.  I honestly don't know if this will work or not.  I have a good chance of it working and not working, but right now I'm "all in".  I plan to stay positive because if it doesn't work, I'll have to deal with the sadness of it all anyways  so why start now when there is hope that this CAN work?  I know some days will be harder than others, but for today, for right now I am optimistic.  I am going to believe that cycle #27 will be the one!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Freaking out, I need prayers, please

So, I am trying to be prepared an I am going through the needles that I have, the injectibles that I have and I am freaking out.  I am so scared.  I'm not actually sure which needles go to which drugs.  What if I don't mix them right?  Inject wrong?  Use the wrong needle.  What the hell am I doing that I think I can do this?  What if I do this wrong and mess up my whole cycle?  What if it doesn't work?  I am so scared, like scared out of my mind thinking about all of this. 

I did email the nurse coordinator and asked I if I could bring her all my needles to see which ones to use for what.  I am just really and honestly scared right now.  I am not afraid of needles themselves  actually. That's never been a problem.  I am scared of the mixing of putting it in the needle wrong of injecting wrong and of messing this up. I want to feel peace and all I feel is fear and terror over this.  I hope it works, I hope I don't mess up.  I don't know what I'm going to do if this doesn't work.  I don't know how to make this baby happen anymore.

My mind won't stop. I am going to try having some tea and a bath and maybe I can have some peace in my heart for  just a little bit.

Monday, March 11, 2013

So, what's the plan?

Today was the big consult with the new RE.  The consult that was going to explain the big plan and what is going to happen.  Dr. A did not disappoint.  He was awesome as always.  Asked how the Metformin was doing (no side effects once I got used to it) and then started to explain the plan.  I had to stop him to let him know that my body ovulates early on in my cycle.  I explained on the crappy Clomid cycle that my follie was a 23 mm on CD 9 with a 8" lining.  He said okay and readjusted everything for that.  He also went ahead and did an ultrasound while I was there to see what my AFC was and how everything was looking since I do ovulate early. He figured my new cycle begins before my old one was over.  He did see 6-8 on the left and 4-5 on the right, so my AFC is 10-13 follies, which is the highest it's ever been.  It's typically 6-8 total.  He also wants me to have Cetrotide available in case my follie tries to mature too early.

So.... Here is the grand plan for this cycle:

CD 3-7   Femara 5 mg
CD 6 -   Gonal F 150 units
CD 7 -   Gonal F 150 units
CD 8 -   Ultrasound/E2
              Bravelle 150 units
              Repronex 75 units
CD 9   - Bravelle 150 units
              Repronex 75 units
CD 10 - Ultrasound/E2
               Gonal F 150 units
               Menopur 75 units
CD 11 - Follitism 150 units
              Menopur 75 units
CD 12 - Ultraound/E2/P4
              Follitism 150 units
              Cetrotide or HCG injections (depends on lab work)
CD 13/14 - Possible IUI

I was also able to do my injections class today.  I admit, I am pretty overwhelmed with it.  The mixing, shaking putting back into the syringe.  I am sure I can do it, but I am just a bit like, um, can I do this?

So, how do I feel about all of this?  On the one hand I am incredibly lucky that all of these injectibles were donated to me.  I cannot even tell you how grateful I am because I really cannot afford all of this plus the blood work and ultrasounds.  I am also really excited to see how this works and I really am feeling hopeful.  On the other hand, I really can't believe that a year ago I first started acupuncture and was so excited and now I'm about to mix drugs and shoot them into my stomach and pray with all my heart that this translates into a baby.  At the same time, I know that if this works, I will be so incredibly lucky that this was the furthest I needed to go.  With all that said, I plan to remain hopeful as much as I can and really pray that I end up with a healthy baby from this cycle.

As for where I am now, just waiting for AF to show.  For once, I am all ready for her!  My temp has dropped, I have a bit of cramping, she is due Wed, but she can come early if she wants.  I am 11 DPO today, so anytime is fine.  Knowing me though, I'll have some freakishly long LP, LOL.

Thank you all so much for your love and support.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Are you there Chase?

I've been thinking a lot lately about Chase.  I've been wondering where he is and if he's even with me.  I've been thinking more and more what happens after we die, the role of past loved ones in our lives.  I know Chase was my cat, but I make no distinction between the lives of animals and the lives of humans.  Both are created by God and when I look into the eyes of animals, I see their soul just the same as when I look into the eyes of a human.  I know different people have different beliefs, but this is mine.

I've really been wondering if Chase is really with me or is it just something I desperately want.  I keep looking for a sign.  I'm even reconsidering naming my son Chase, should I ever have a son or any child.  Maybe Chase is just gone and I need to learn to let it go and move forward.  Be grateful and happy for the 17 years we were together. I haven't felt his presence near me in so long.  I haven't felt him with me.  I just feel empty and I pray every night to at least see him in my dreams, but I don't.  The last time I felt Chase was November 13th.  That morning for some reason I felt a need to put on my Chase necklace.  Two hours after I did that I was hit by an 18 wheeler on the freeway.  I was sideswiped and luckily not injured, though my car needed a lot of repairs.  Since that day though, I haven't felt his presence near me.

I feed our neighborhood stray cats and this evening when I fed them I glanced at my Chase Tree.  The one that grows above his grave that I planted on his 18th birthday last year and I looked at it.  I saw a flower had grown on it, just one, since winter is now ending (or what we refer to as winter in Texas).  As I cam to look at it I noticed not only had a flower grown, but it was the most beautiful and perfect flower in every way.  My husband ran to grab his phone to take a picture of it.  I called him when I saw a flower had grown.  There are four or five buds starting on it, so there will be more flowers soon, but just the one now.  It was gorgeous and for that moment as I looked at it, I felt him.  I felt my Chase.


On Monday is my follow-up appointment with my RE, Dr. A.  He is going to go over the injectibles combo protocol with me and then set up the injections class so I can learn how to mix and administer the shots.  I am nervous and scared about the appointment.  I am scared of doing it wrong, of feeling overwhelmed, of it ultimately not working.  I am scared of this next step, but also happy and excited to finally move forward.  It's now been two cycles since the Clomid/IUI disaster.  I had two weeks with the cyst and now just a natural cycle in which I did ovulate.  AF is due anytime Tuesday-Thursday, so a week from now I'll be on what could be my BFP cycle.  We'll see and I'll be sure to update.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Believing

I know I've been pretty negative lately.  I think a lot of it has been a protective mechanism.  If I believe none of this will work, then it won't hurt so bad when it doesn't, right?  Wrong.  I know I do believe something could work because I keep trying.  And it does hurt when it fails.  It kills me when it fails. I feel like each cycle I die a little inside.

I know I am already debating the name I had always chosen for my son.  I no longer know if "Chase" is an appropriate name.  I'm trying to accept that the wondefulness that was my cat, is gone.  He's been gone for nearly 18 months now and that part is over.

Someone I consider a good friend of mine recently failed her IVF cycle.  Sadly, this was attempt number 2.  Her first cycle was cancelled due to her response and then this one unfortunately did not work.  My heart breaks for her.  She has been trying for longer than me and has done meds upon meds upon meds and several natural cycles.  If there's a method out there she's tried it. However, I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt she will get her BFP.  She WILL be a mom and she will conquer this and everything she's been through would have been worth it.  However, how do I know this about her and continue to tell myself it won't work for me?  I am either lying to her about how I really feel or I am lying to myself.  I realized I am lying to myself.  I am trying to protect my heart.  The truth is that I do think something out there will work. I don't know if the injectible/Femara combo will be it.  Maybe I will need a few cycles of that to work.  Maybe it just won't and eventually I'll be figuring out IVF.  Maybe it won't work or I won't be able afford it and so I will pursue adoption and maybe a few years down the road my body will "click" one cycle.  I am active on a DOR thread and I decided to list all the BFPs we've had and how it's happened.  This thread dates back quite a bit, so there are a lot of people who've come and gone.  Here are the stats:

Natural BFP: 14
IVF: 9
Injectibles:  3
Clomid: 2
IVF/DE:  2

It does show that I am most likely to get a BFP naturally or with IVF.  I am not so likely with injectibles, however, this doesn't mean it won't work.  It's just data on women who have previously succeeded as part of "that" particular thread.  What it shows most of all is that most of the DOR women "were" able to conceive in some way. I am going to think positive thoughts and keep looking for ways this "will" work.  I'm not saying I'm going to positive all the time and I'm not going to be scared or have my doubts, but I am going to continue knowing in my heart that one way or another something will work out. Oh, for anyone curious where I am now, I'm currently 3 DPO.  So the 2ww to my injectibles cycle is in effect!  I see the RE to discuss the protocol and everything on 3/11 and AF should be here 3/13!

I also wanted to say that I am lucky beyond belief.  As you know, I have absolutely no infertility coverage.  Injectibles are EXPENSIVE.  By expensive, I mean thousands.  Before I even touch a single drug, I will pay $2,000 to $2,500 for just the monitoring and blood work and IUI that will accompany the cycle.  Injectibles are at least $4,000 added on to that, possibly more depending on my response.  This is for ONE cycle.  ONE try to be a mom.  Why am I lucky??? Because two amazing women have donated their extra meds to me.  I know I have enough for a whole cycle, I am actually very sure I have enough for two if not three cycles of injectibles.  Because of these two women I am even given the opportunity to try injectibles in the first place and I will never forget that kindness.  I hope it works that I, in turn, can donate any extras to someone else.  Most people do not have infertilty coverage.

I also wanted to say that I am doing great on the Metformin.  I feel very "balanced" and not that being sick is a good thing, but when I posted last time, it turned out I had a stomach bug of some kind, it just coincided with a Met increase.  I was over it in two days and my Metformin has now been increased to the final dosage and I feel fine.  I've also put myself on a diet and I've now lost 7 lbs. in the past two weeks.  Heck, if I can't be pregnant, I can be hawt!  LOL!

So, here is to my dear friend who WILL get her BFP, to me, and to the many others who are in the same boat as me, trying to reach our dreams and stopping at nothing, WE WILL WIN THIS!!