Monday, April 20, 2015

National Infertility Awareness Week

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. To be honest, I didn't even know this existed, but am so happy that it does. I hope that it creates awareness about infertility and brings hope to those who are going through it. 

The NIAW 2015 theme is "You are not alone". What a great theme! I know I have definitely felt alone going through this process, but have found hope and support in reading others' blogs. I am a pretty private person and really didn't even start talking to my closest friends about our infertility journey until recently. A couple of them knew we were TTC and from time to time I heard the dreaded, "oh, just stop trying and it will happen" or "get drunk or plan a vacation and you'll get pregnant, that's what happened to my sister". Ugh. Those phrases are enough to drive you crazy! I think once we started moving in to IVF our closest friends realized it was a more serious matter and have now backed off of saying things like this. I know they still do not fully understand what my husband and I are going through, but I do appreciate their support. 

I have also noticed that the more I open up about infertility, the more I meet people who have or are experiencing their own journey. I learned that a girl I speak with on a regular basis is actually a patient at the same fertility clinic as me. We compare stories and share frustrations with each other. Trust me, I do not wish infertility upon anyone and hate that others have to experience it, but learning about others' journeys helps me realize I am not alone. Infertility can be really isolating, but I have found it really does help to open up about it. I'm not the best writer in the world, and even if no one else is reading this, writing this blog helps me through this crazy journey too. 

One of my favorite bible verses is Phillippians 4:6--Don't worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 
This verse helps me to remember that I can't be consumed with focusing on what I do not have yet. Instead, I will remember to be grateful for all of the blessings that I do have. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Crossing My Fingers

Yes! I started my period last week and got to start on birth control...finally! Today I went in for my saline sonogram and my RE also wanted to do an endometrial biopsy. Ouch! It was not comfortable at all. But luckily it was over fairly quick and it will all be worth it in the end. She told us it will take about 2-3 weeks for the results to come back. If all goes well we can do a FET in about a month.

From the way our doc explained it, a FET sounds a little easier. We haven't got our medication protocol yet though, so I guess we will see. Six embryos are frozen but I know some may not make it through the thawing process so I'm a little worried about that. I'm going to try my hardest not to stress out about this next cycle.  I think I need to get back to yoga and hopefully destress a little bit.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Quick Update

Well, I am still waiting on my period to come. Unfortunately I feel stuck and cannot move forward until I start my period, have a saline sono, and then start a round of birth control again. I am now 2 weeks late and yes, of course I have taken pregnancy tests which have been negative. I don't think I've ever wanted a period to come as much as I do now!
I did talk to my doctor's office and all of my blood work, including our chromosome testing was negative. So, we are kind of back at square one and do not have a problem or a solution.
Needless to say I'm feeling very frustrated and getting impatient.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Just Waiting

This is a late and short post but on the 4th I had my follow-up visit with my RE. They drew tons of blood for our recurrent loss work-up. 

This is my work up so far: Prolactin, TSH, Thyroid Peroxidase, Thrombosis panel, Factor V, Thrombophilia, Lupus anticoagulant and antiphospholipid confirmation, homocysteine, and a chromosome analysis. I also did a glucose tolerance test, which happens to be the only result that I have gotten back yet, and it was negative. My RE told me it can sometimes take up to 6 weeks for our chromosome analysis to come back. 

As of right now I am waiting to start my cycle again and will call to have a saline sono again and hopefully go ahead an start birth control. If the testing goes well hopefully we can try again sometime in April.....
I'm curious if this is pretty standard testing or if there are other protocols out there?

Monday, March 2, 2015

It's Negative

Monday I went in for my HCG. My level was 4 which is considered a negative. I already knew I was not pregnant anymore, but it was so final on Monday. I have to say that this loss was not as hard on me as my previous miscarriage at 10 weeks, but it was still hard. There are many feelings that go through your mind (or at least mine) after a loss. Here are a few:

1. It's hard to admit but last time I felt mad at God and wondered why he would allow this to happen to me. It took a little bit for me to get over those feelings of anger and frustration. This time around I really wanted to have faith and accept that I'm sure this happened for a reason and that God has a plan for me. Reading bible verses, praying, and reading encouraging blogs have really helped with this part.

2. It's hard not to blame yourself. Unfortunately miscarriages are very common, but I have been going back through the events right before my bleeding episode. My husband and I went on a short trip the weekend before this occurred and we both regret it. I'm sure that it wouldn't have changed anything, but it's still hard not to wonder "did I do something to cause this?".

3. It's hard to comfort your spouse when you are feeling sad, alone, frustrated, and angry. I feel really bad about this one. I spent all last week acting distant and upset with my husband for not trying to comfort me more. Selfishly, I dismissed the fact that he was also going through a period of grief. In a perfect world we would have relied on each other in our times of need which would have combated those feelings of loneliness.

4. It's hard to talk about. I didn't tell many people about IVF or that I was pregnant and I'm glad I didn't have to tell many people about our loss. During our whole infertility journey I have found that unless people have lived through it themselves, they don't quite know what to say about it. I feel the same way about talking about a loss. I don't want to hear "when it's meant to happen it will happen" so I'd rather just keep my feelings to myself.

Anyway, I'm happy that I see my doctor on Wednesday. Hopefully we can get a plan in place and I can get some answers soon. In the meantime I will continue to pray and have faith!

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Long Story Short

Since this is my first post, I think I should go through a little history. My husband and I got married in 2010 and started TTC in 2011. When we first started talking about starting a family my husband wasn't quite sure he was ready. I remember him saying, "let's just take our time". I told him it doesn't happen immediately....and here we are almost 4 years later.
We tried naturally until 2013 when we went to our ob/gyn for help. We did some lab work, an ultrasound, and HSG which were all normal. I was prescribed clomid and after 2 rounds we conceived which sadly ended in a miscarriage at 10 weeks. After we got the green light to TTC again we tried 2 more rounds of clomid. At that point we decided to start seeing a RE. All together we have tried 4 rounds of Letrozole with IUIs which all ended in disappointment.
Our IVF journey started last month. Our RE started me on Gonal-F and Menopur which I took for 10 days.  The whole process actually went a lot smoother than what I had expected. I didn't have many side effects, the shots weren't terrible, and the ultrasounds and lab appointments didn't seem to interfere with work. The egg retrieval went well and my RE ended up retrieving 20 eggs. The egg retrieval did cause a lot of bloating and cramping, I'm happy I had the weekend to recover. It was so great to get phone calls every couple of days to hear about our embryo's progress. We decided to transfer 2 embryos and were able to freeze 6.
Of course the two week wait was dreadful! I was on bedrest for 2 days and off work for the whole 2 weeks due to a lifting restriction. My first beta was 122 but my progesterone was low at 11. I was already taking progesterone suppositories but I was prescribed PIO. My second beta was 272 and my progesterone ended up going to 30.7. At this point I was nervous about my pregnancy and trying not to feel excited because of my previous miscarriage. We already had a trip planned to go out of town and as much as I didn't want to go, we went. I had labs drawn while on our trip and found that my HCG did not double as expected. The rest of my trip was ruined and all I thought about was HCG levels! We did an extra lab draw when I came back in town which still showed slow doubling. The day of the lab draw I started experiencing spotting and mild cramping. After work I decided to lay down, take it easy, and rest. The day after (last Tuesday) I started having cramps, bright red bleeding, and I knew something was wrong. I was able to get in for an ultrasound the next day and we were able to see the gestational sac, but it was empty. The doctor had thought there was a tiny yolk sac and that we had either miscarried or that it was just too early to see much. They rescanned us on Friday which revealed that the gestational sac was gone. At this point we are unsure what our next steps will be. My RE wants to do tests for blood clotting disorders and address the recurrent loss. We'll see her again next week to hopefully get a plan in place.