Positive Thoughts

We had the IUI yesterday morning. Why don’t they do this in the evening, so you can go home and go to bed? Both IUI and IVF would benefit greatly from this. The doctor said that “magic” could happen in a few hours. I really, truly want to be positive about this. I read that if you have positive thoughts, it will happen. Like in “The Power of Positive Thinking” or “The Law of Attraction” or “The Secret”. Has any of this worked for anyone out there? Did you find your dream house because it was on your vision board? Did the perfect man walk into your life because you pictured him in your mind?

Still No Baby

I’ve thought about this blog and the people I have met along the way about once a week in the past several months. I just looked up some other folks who struggled during the same time I was posting and now they are holding their baby. I feel like all around me women are getting pregnant yet I’m still here, no baby.

We’ve been TTC for 2 1/2 years. For the first 6 months we tried on our own. But as I was approaching 40, we decided to get some testing done. It was then I realized that my numbers are in the crapper. We were with the first fertility center for a year. We had a successful egg transfer, yet lost the baby around 8 weeks. Just no more heartbeat. DNC. It got to the point where the doctor said I’d have to consider donor egg. I wanted another opinion so we met with another clinic.

I’ve been with this other clinic for over a year. I’ve had a successful egg transfer but, again, lost the baby at 9 weeks. Again, no heartbeat and a DNC. In another cycle I went in for an egg retrieval for 4 good-looking follicles. No eggs. Empty follicle syndrome. Another time I had an egg transfer and it just didn’t take. And another time I had an IUI, just for fun. But of course, nada.

This exhausted our IVF cycles according to our insurance. My doctor said that IVF and IUI makes no difference at this point for a sad sack like me. So we are now picking through our IUI cycles, and I just did my final trigger shot for my last “covered” chance at this complete guessing game of sperm meets egg. My husband said he is up for spending our money for IVF or IUI, whatever it takes.  When do you just give up?

 

Moving On

The D&C went as expected on Friday. I couldn’t eat or drink from midnight, and my scheduled procedure was for 1:00 p.m. That’s a long-ass time to not have any water. I brushed my teeth several times because I swore my breath was kickin’. Turns out the procedure didn’t take place until after 2:00. So by the time I got home, I ate something around 4:30. Yes, there were snacks in the car that my husband didn’t tell me about nor find until we turned on our street. By that time I knew I could wait for some soup and crackers. Since then, constipation has been no joke.

The doctor was nice. Although when we sat down to talk to us, she got 2 calls she had to step away and take. Both were regarding a woman who was about to give birth upstairs. I heard the doctor ask, “how dilated is she?” and it was painful. But, such is life. I am glad I don’t work in this industry. To spend your Friday afternoon performing a D&C and then go upstairs and welcome a baby in the world. There was another woman on the other side of the curtain also getting a D&C. I wanted to get up and give her a hug.

When I came out from anesthesia, my husband wasn’t there and I just started crying all over again. The day before I had told one of my co-workers what was going on; she still doesn’t know about IVF but she knew about the loss last year. She had said something that was meant to be comforting, like, “God is always watching out for you, always wants the best for you.” And while laying there in the dark post-surgery, I questioned, if God is always looking out for me, who was looking out for my baby?

None of our family and only a very few close friends know we are going through IVF. It was our choice, but then when something like this happens, you know you don’t have support because you kept them in the dark. Yet I read so many wonderful messages from women who read my post. I tried to respond to all of them but I know I missed some. Just know that I read them and held your words in my heart. Thank you all so much.

Today I saw two women who knew I was pregnant and knew I had a sonogram on Thursday. They were both like, “Well…  how are you feeling?” with that little smile and happiness on their faces. And I came right out and told them. It actually was easier to say the words this time. Maybe that’s the only part that gets easier with experience.

Another friend, a guy in his 60s who went through some of this with his wife 30 years ago (they wound up adopting), by email said something that I just hated. I poured out my heart by email to him, told him how much this hurt, blah blah blah, and he said, “This too shall pass.” I know people say that in hard times, but it felt like he was brushing it off. Like, “Eh, you’ll get over it.”

Perhaps because we aren’t sharing this with others that I take every little thing people actually say and magnify it in my head. Because it’s the only words I hear and read.

Where to begin…

It’s been since June since I last posted. In July we visited another fertility center for a second opinion and decided to go with them. It’s funny how different two places can be. Some are good differences and others are frustrating. After seeing how my body is a non-responder to even the maximum amount of meds, my new doctor suggested that we do minimal meds. Research is showing that this works well for us old ladies (I’m 41). You don’t get many eggs, but you will respond. I don’t know how, but it worked.

I had an IUI in October, just a shot in the dark (pun intended) but it didn’t work. I wasn’t too heartbroken; we have been doing IVF and this was just a random experiment without having to go through anesthesia.

We got ONE egg retrieved in December from two decent follicles. It matured, grew, fertilized, and was transferred as a grade AA. Three days before Christmas we had the blood test to confirm we were in fact pregnant. *glow*

I had no physical symptoms, and this freaked me out. My anxiety was high, I was super-cautious since we had an IVF loss last March. Hopeful, yes. But skeptical. Yet every appointment went well. At 7 weeks they measured the heartbeat and it was strong, the right number. And the size was on target. Then I made it to the 8-week appointment, the one where I learned last time there was no heartbeat. But there it was! The doctor didn’t measure the heartbeat; apparently there is research to suggest that probing the fetus too much can cause damage. I left that appointment yearning for data but knowing I had to wait. We were released to my OB/GYN and I had that appointment this morning.

I am 9 weeks and 3 days. I made it over the 8-week hump. I made it through the dangerous 6-8 week typical time of a miscarriage. I had little worries going into this appointment.

At the start of the sonogram, the doctor was called in. No heartbeat. It went from strong and steady last week to nothing at all today. Measured at 8 weeks and 2 days. Fortunately they were able to schedule the D&C for tomorrow instead of waiting a whole week like last year.

My brain is still in a fog. I haven’t processed this loss. I hate that I told some people I was pregnant.

 

Improved Diet

I have been inspired by a number of ladies who blog to get back to eating healthy. I’m at the end of day 3. I’d like to make it to day 10, then 21, then a month. I’d like to continue as long as I can. Last year around this same exact time I did this “clean” diet, felt great, looked good, yet fell off the wagon around Halloween (near start of IVF #1). I’ve got the time, I’ve got the encouragement of my skinny summer clothes hanging in the closet. and I’ve got motivation. A month ago my mom asked if I was expecting. I was 6 weeks past the D&C, feeling shitty, and 8 pounds heavier than I am now. I jumped on my treadmill, became addicted to my Fitbit, and feel like punching her every time I see her, talk to her, receive an email from her. But she’s my mom.

Basically, the diet is no caffeine, no sugar, no gluten, no dairy, no alcohol. I’m fine with the caffeine and alcohol. Dairy I can handle. But sugar and gluten – ahhhh! I do think I slipped a bit today when I was in a pinch and needed to have something for lunch. I cooked a frozen black bean burger and saw that it wasn’t gluten-free. Sumbitch. But no worries here.

I was stalking some people from my past on Facebook last night and came across this woman who is several years older than me but is BANGIN’ hot. She said she has had sugar ONCE in three years. I totally believe that. She is very active. You can see every defined ab muscle. And I think she models. She also seems to be in love with herself with the number of nearly-naked selfies.

Just hanging out until the period starts again (hopefully Monday) so then I can wait until I ovulate to start taking extra estrogen to lead into the next cycle where I’ll do the stims again for IVF #4. This is my last try with the current clinic. My appointment with the new place to get a second opinion isn’t until late July, probably around the time I’ll be stimming (I hope).

Can I just add – we all need a hug to tell ourselves that it’s going to be ok. I read blogs every night. I am filled with joy for the great news, sadness for the broken-hearted, and every emotion that you all express, I feel. Hugs to you all.

Increase in Meds?

I’m not on stims right now, but when I was on them a few weeks ago, I got to wondering…

What would happen if we increased our stims on our own, without talking to the docs?

They say 150 of Gonal F, why not slip an extra 50 in there? They say 20 Lupron… why 25 wouldn’t hurt. I didn’t do this, honest. But I wondered if you did, or if you know anyone else who did, and if it turned out better or worse.

Moving Forward …. Estrogen Priming?

I talked to my doctor today and he said that the surefire way to go to get pregnant is with donor egg. Not what I wanted to hear but kind of expected. The only extra thing I can do when trying another IVF cycle would be estrogen priming. I’d like to hear from those of you who have gone through that. Basically (I am told) I wait until I ovulate, take estrogen, and once the period starts I go through the same meds protocol I’ve been doing, which is the max dosage. He didn’t have any other recommended medications.

I said I would like to try this route and not go with egg donor. Downside – I have to wait until this cycle ends (about 2-3 more weeks), the next period starts, and then two weeks later (if my body cooperates) I’ll ovulate and can start the estrogen. He said he didn’t want to start on this cycle (I know I haven’t ovulated yet) since I have meds in my system.

I asked if the small cysts seen on day 2 of this cycle contributed to my body’s non-response to the meds. He said probably not. He also said that this cycle might run longer than 28 days .

By my calculations if all goes as I think it might, I would be looking at egg retrieval and transfer in mid-August. Egads. I will have moved on to age 41 by that point.

I also called the new clinic to make an appointment for a second opinion. They collected some initial information and gave me an appointment date of July 24. *gulp* That’s in 7 weeks. I’m also on the cancellation list in case something sooner comes up.