Thursday, November 29, 2012

IVF Consult

I cannot believe I have a blog entry with this title. I never, ever, ever imagined us being to this point. When we first started trying to get pregnant, I read tons and tons of boards and blogs, and would always see people post about IVF. I would skip those posts, because I didn't think it would ever apply to me. It makes me so sad that we have come to IVF, yet so happy and grateful that we have this as an option. There is a lot of information below, which I am mainly typing out for my own reference. All this to say, we still have to decide if this is for us. It's a lot to take in, and to be honest, I'm scared of it- the whole process, the meds, and the chance of failure. If we decide to move forward, I just so hope and pray that this is what is finally going to give us our take home baby.
The Consult
The whole process takes about 6-8 weeks. On day 1 of my next period, I will start taking birth control pills (bcp), and will continue these for 3-4 weeks. During the last 12 days of the bcp, I will begin the injection Lupron in my tummy. After the 12 days are done, I stop taking the bcp, and should have a period. They will reduce my Lupron injection by 1/2, and begin me on a very high dose of the Follistim injection (also given in tummy). I will be monitored by blood work and ultrasound every day for 9-10 days. Dr. P likes to see around 15 eggs at retrieval, so if we are on track, we would trigger and 34 hours later go in for them to remove my eggs. This is a surgery and I am put under anesthesia. Within 5 hours of retrieving the eggs, they fertilize them with T's swimmers, and begin watching them. Depending on how they are looking, we will transfer two embryos to my uterus on either Day 3 or Day 5, then we wait to see if they implant. During this waiting period, there is another injection that T will have to give me in my butt. If there are any embryos left, we can freeze them to use at a later date. 

What could go wrong:
-Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)- Normally, a woman produces one egg per month. Some women who have trouble getting pregnant may be given medicines to help them make more eggs. If these medicines stimulate the ovaries too much, the ovaries can become very swollen. Fluid can leak into the belly and chest area. This is called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS occurs only after the eggs are released from the ovary (ovulation). Source
Outcome: Eggs would be harvested, but not transmitted back to the uterus until a later cycle, once the OHSS has cleared. 

-Produce Too Few Eggs
Outcome: Cycle cancelled or possibly converted to IUI

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Spotting Update

We met with Dr. P today to discuss IVF- more on that later. I started our discussion by asking him about my spotting. He said the same thing they told me yesterday; that he thinks it is ovulation spotting. I told him that I really did not think that was what it was, so he suggested we do an ultrasound to see what was going on. The ultrasound revealed the biggest follicle I have ever seen on my right ovary (26mm), and a decent size one on my left. I asked if the large follicle could be a cyst, and he said because of it's very pretty circular shape, he does not think so. The problem is, my lining is only 6.8mm, and with a follicle that big, it should be around 8mm, so he thinks it's maybe a bad egg. He still didn't have an explanation for the spotting, but said he is not concerned about it. I will be having a hysteroscopy, where the uterus is filled with a fluid, such as saline and a hysteroscope is inserted through the cervix into the uterus so the inner surface of the uterus can be examined. sometime over the next few weeks in preparation for IVF (if we decide to move forward), so that should tell us if there are any issues in the uterus that we should look into.

Okay, back to not thinking/caring/worrying about this cycle. Cheers.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

So much for a care free cycle!

Here I was, all enjoying this cycle and not worrying about a thing. I've been reading my IVF book and preparing questions for Dr. P for our IVF consultation tomorrow. Last night, on CD10, I noticed some very, very light spotting. I thought it was weird, since I have NEVER experienced mid-cycle bleeding, but it was so light I figured it could be anything and forgot about it. But nope. Woke up this morning to major spotting. Not bright red, but reddish brown. It's now tapering off and is next to nothing again. I immediately turn to Dr. Google after leaving a message for the nurse, and turns out this is pretty common. There are lots of causes: cysts, ovulation spotting, and a ton of other random things. I never ovulate this early (and rarely ovulate on my own anyway), so there is no way it's that. Of course, this is the one freaking cycle that I don't get monitored, so there is really no way to know what the heck is going on. I'm thinking I had a cyst that ruptured, but who knows. The nurse did call back and say that she asked Dr. P about it, and his answer was that it can happen around ovulation due to the change in hormones, and it isn't anything to worry about since there is no pain involved. I am not buying it, but am glad it's not a cause for concern. I guess I'll try to go back to my care free cycle.

In other news, I had planned on not sticking to my diet this month and eating whatever the heck I wanted. Horrible idea. I tried that last week. After 4 days of Thanksgiving food, I went to Chick Fil A and for the first time in 6 months had nuggets and fries. The combination of those things has made my face and back break out like I'm 12, made me so tired, and in general just feel like complete crap. So back on the diet it is. I am, however, skipping acupuncture this month. I might pick it back up when we start the IVF cycle, but we'll see.

I'll post details of our IVF consultation after our meeting tomorrow.

Friday, November 16, 2012

We WERE Pregnant?

These past two weeks have been pretty typical as far as my symptoms go. I've had a few things happen that were making me think I was pregnant, but everything mostly started fading this week, which is pretty normal when I am about to start my period. I had written this cycle off, and started getting excited about taking next cycle off, eating whatever I wanted, and enjoying holiday cocktails.

I told myself from the beginning that I would not test until Friday, November 16th. All week I was dreading this morning. I just did not want to see another blank, negative test. I have been praying that I would just start my period early so that I wouldn't have to see a negative test. It makes me sick to think about how many negative tests I have seen, and every time, it's just as hard.

So this morning, I tested. I peed on the stick and watched the control line turn super dark, and nothing showed up on the test line. Negative test, again. I went ahead and got ready for work, and about 10 minutes later, came back to throw the test away, and there was another line. It was soooo super faint, but it was definitely there. I immediately knew that it had to be the booster shot still in my system. I called my doctor, and went ahead and went in for blood work. All the nurses were so excited, following me around and listening to me talk. I kept telling them that there was nothing to be excited about, this is clearly not real. They understood, and agreed that this wasn't exactly promising, but I think they were just glad that I wasn't in there bawling my eyes out like I normally am!

I was right. Beta came back at 7 (5 or higher is considered pregnant), but we wanted to see it at least at 30 to consider it real. I even started bleeding today waiting for the nurse to call back with the results. It's hard to tell if the positive test was the booster shot still in my system, or if we did actually get pregnant, but it stopped developing. I tend to believe we got pregnant, just because of the symptoms I was having, but I guess we will never really know. Somehow, I am surprisingly okay with all of this. I guess at some point you get used to the failure... it becomes the norm.

I'm really ready to move on to IVF. I feel like it's a whole new chapter. I've already ordered a book so I can start learning about the process, because right now I know nothing. But more than anything, I'm ready for a break. No doctor's appointments or peeing on things. A true break. I'm ready to enjoy time with my boo, my family, friends and relax during the most wonderful time of the year.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Friday, November 9, 2012

Holy poo, or not

This post is way TMI, but I don't care. I don't know if it's the progesterone, hormones, or just some kind of evil karma trick, but I cannot go potty. My stomach is so bloated. I look 87 months pregnant. And it HURTS. It makes me want to cry. I seriously thought I needed to go to the hospital last night (okay maybe I was being a tad dramatic). The pressure is getting better, but it's still not where it should be. It makes me want to go eat the greasiest cheeseburger and french fries ever (mmm that sounds so good), but I will refrain from doing that. If you see me downing gallons of prune juice, now you will know why.

Happy Weekend,

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Leibster Blog Award!

Thank you, Julia at for nominating me for a Leibster Blog Award! This award is granted to up-and-coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers who deserve some recognition and support to keep on blogging. Like my nominator, this is my first blog nomination. I hope everyone gets to know me a little better from this. 

Liebster is german for "Favorite," so this is award of the favorite blog award. 
The instructions are:
1) to answer the 11 questions written by your nominator. 2) to nominate 11 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers. 3) to write 11 of your own questions for each nominee to answer. (I don't think I have 11 people to nominate, but I'll participate in answering the questions, and nominate a few!)
1. What song has impacted you the most?
This will sound strange, but lately I have loved Jason Mraz's song I Won't Give Up. This song touches me in so many ways.  It starts with my love for my husband, and how I will never give up on us, but it goes further into this fertility battle. It's me saying that I won't give up on this until I literally can't move any more. Giving up is not an option for me, or for us. 
2. Describe your best friend.
Handsome. Goofy. Loving. Driven. Passionate. Athletic. Fun. Silly. Great Friend. Thoughtful. Caring. Stylish. Smart. Good Listener. Tidy. Sexy. Strong. And so much more. 
We could have fun in a cardboard box. These are the reasons I married him.
3. How did you meet your spouse?
Well, the short story? In a bar. But I have to tell the long story too. It was really mutual friends that brought us together, it just so happened to be at a bar. Terry Myspaced me after we met, and asked for my number. I guess the rest is history. 
4. Where would you go if you could go anywhere?
I'm a beach/ocean person. I want to go to Bora Bora and stay on a little hut on the ocean. For a long time. 
5. How many times have you cried this past year and why?
I can't count them, but I can say that 99% of the cries have been related to our journey. Miscarriages, cancelled cycles, no answers, failed cycles, fear of what may never be.... I imagine the other 1% of cries came from the hormones related to all of those things!
6. What are you most thankful for this time of year?
Our families, dogs, and friends. We are so lucky. Both of our families live very close to us. My parents and sister live like 7 minutes from us, which is so wonderful. My sister is one of my best friends and she lived so far away for college and grad school. I love that she is just down the street now. I am very close with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I get to see them all the time. Terry's parents live 3 houses down from us, which works out great. I am just so thankful that my family is close. 
I also can't imagine life without my friends. I have a group of girls I graduated high school with that (for the most part) ended up marrying a bunch of boys from Mesquite. It works out so wonderful because when we all get together, all the boys are friends already so they do their thing and us girls do ours! I have an amazing friend from college who I am so thankful that I met and that we did not lose touch. I have a friend from my first job after college that is one of my favorite happy hour buddies. I have friends that I met through Terry, and some that I knew many years ago and they have came back into my life again. I also have my friends at work, that probably know more than they ever wanted to about me, but they like me anyway. :) i've been blessed with so many friends, and I am so very thankful for that. 
7. Why did you choose to blog and do you share your blog on Facebook?
A friend posted a blog (Amanda at I had no idea what journey her and her husband had been on until I read her blog. It helped me so incredibly much to read her story, that I figured if I could help just one person the way she helped me, then it would be worth it. My blog is not on Facebook. I have a lot of Facebook friends that I am not really "friends" with. I am not ready for all of them to know the intimate details of my life. I would rather my blog circulate by word of mouth. I want to share our story, just not on Facebook.
8. How has blogging helped you?
I never knew how much this would help. It helps me get my feelings out. It helps my friends to know what's going on without feeling like they are bugging me (which you aren't!). It's also a journal. I like to look back at where I was in certain cycles, so this helps me keep track. 
9. If you could change it all, would you?
Wow. I have never really thought about this. This one took me a minute to answer, but after thinking about it, I would not change anything about the journey we are on. Don't get me wrong, it has not been easy and I don't wish it on anyone else. But this journey has changed who we are. It has strengthened our relationship and made us more of a team than I ever thought we could be. It has changed our relationship with God, and it has opened up my eyes to a world I did not even know existed. I have learned more about how your body works then I ever would have known had we not been through this, and I am so thankful for that.
10. Do you watch reality television and what are your favorite shows?
I used to love reality tv, but I haven't been watching much tv lately. I do love the Bachelor and American Idol. And Mad Men. and SNL. 
11. If you could share one thing about infertlity, what would it be?
You have to stand up for yourself and be your own advocate, because no one else is going to do it for you. You have to ask questions, question answers, and take notes about everything. You have to choose to trust your doctor, and if you don't trust them, find a new doctor you can trust. You can get a million opinions from friends, Dr. Google, or a random person you meet at a wedding. And you can drive yourself crazy listening to all of those opinions. I have learned to listen to those opinions, but in the end, I trust what my doctor says. And last but not least, you can NEVER GIVE UP. You have to pick yourself back up after the hard times and keep pressing forward. You have to stay strong, for your family. 
Now the next step is to choose eleven blogs that have impacted me and ask them eleven questions. I only have 4, if I don't count the person that nominated me. It won't hurt my feelings if you don't participate, but I thought this was fun. I hope you will consider passing along the blogger love.


1. What's been your biggest influence?
2. Why did you start your blog?
3. What have you learned on your fertility journey? 
4. What is your favorite thing about your spouse? 
5. What's the last thing you do before you go to bed?
6. What is your favorite non-blog website?
7. What is your favorite quote or saying?
8. If you could change it all, would you? (I had to repeat it!)
9. If you could find out one celebrity was following your blog, who would you want it to be?
10. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
11. What is one thing you would want people to say about you behind your back?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sticky Shot

I got the sticky shot today. I also elected to NOT schedule a beta (blood pregnancy test) this time. It was so awful last time having to go in, even though I had already started my period, so I decided if I feel like I need to go in, or if I get a positive HPT next weekend, then I'll call. I also talked briefly to the nurse about next cycle, if there is one (trying to stay positive, but I still have to plan!). I know that IVF is our next step, but I didn't really know when. I assumed that we would need to wait a few cycles before starting that. But nope. We can start next cycle. We would need to schedule a consult with Dr. P for next week so we can be prepared to start if my period comes. So it's really up to us. T & I will have to talk about it and decide what's best. But fingers crossed that it won't matter.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

IUI #2... Done!

IUI #2 is done. Whew!

While we were in the waiting room, Terry and I were talking about what they did with the sperm before they put it in me. Dr. P came out a little later and told us to come back to give the "guys" a pep talk. He let us look under the microscope to see the sperm. Sperm don't swim in a straight line... they swim all zig-zaggy and they dart around like they are lost. It was so weird/cool to see this. We also learned we have a massive sperm count we are working with... somewhere between 50-80 million with 40% motility (Dr. P said they like to see 30-40 million, 20% motility). Go. Superman. Swimmers. 

Dr. P did our procedure this time (nurses did it last time). It didn't hurt at all. Terry and I were a lot less serious this time around. We joked about playing a little Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On while Dr. P had the catheter in me shooting the sperm up. You know, just in case the sperm could hear, they would be all romanticized and hopefully try really hard to get where they need to be. We were just more relaxed, I guess because we knew what we were getting in to.

The greatest part about this IUI, SO FAR: my new insurance. Last IUI, the meds and procedures cost us around $2,450, all out of pocket. This one cost us $65. I am so thankful for this change.

So now we wait.  I will go back Tuesday for the booster HCG shot (basically tricks your body into thinking it's pregnant so it starts kicking into gear to support a pregnancy, just in case there is one). I'll start progesterone Tuesday as well. I'm going to try really hard to stay positive for the next two weeks. It won't be easy based on my history, but I am really going to try.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Triggered Today

We triggered today, and are scheduled for IUI #2 tomorrow at noon. Here's what we looked like today:
Lining: 8.5mm
Left: 2 mature follicles- 18.1mm, 16.1mm
Right: 2 mature follicles- 17.8mm, 16.4mm
Dr. P gave me 100 more units of Follistim while I was there this morning (in addition to the 50 units I had given myself before my appointment), in hopes that those 2 16s will grow just a little more before ovulation. Since we triggered at 9:30 this morning, ovulation will likely take place in 36 hours, or around 9:30pm tomorrow night. 

I have had a really positive feeling about this cycle, probably just because it's been so long since my body did what it was supposed to do. High five, Ovaries! :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

AMH Test, Round 3

Dr. P wanted to test my AMH level one more time, just to see if it had changed. As a reminder, your AMH level can be tested (by blood test) on any day of your cycle, and the results are thought to reflect the size of the remaining egg supply, or "ovarian reserve". My first AMH test came back at .8, which by the chart below is low. The second level came back at 1.2, and this month's came back at 1.4. I think this is good news, indicating that I do not have a low egg count like we once thought. This does not tell us anything about egg quality, which we think is the main reason we can't get/stay pregnant. But vitamins, diet, and acupuncture can help with this, and I am doing all of those things. I've also cut out alcohol again. The only way to truly tell egg quality is by doing IVF, because they remove the eggs and send them to a lab for examination. If this IUI fails, we will be moving on to IVF, so there may be more to learn about that later. But for now, I am happy with these results!

AMH Blood Level
High (often PCOS)
Over 3.0 ng/ml
Over 1.0 ng/ml
Low Normal Range
0.7 - 0.9 ng/ml
0.3 - 0.6 ng/ml
Very Low
Less than 0.3 ng/ml