I started this once before, but it was a long time ago, so here I am again.
A bit of background - I'll make it brief.
Mike and I got married on 11/21/1998 and he wanted kids ASAP. I wanted to wait a bit, thinking that as soon as I stopped birth control I'd be pregnant in a NY minute, like my mother. After about 4 years of marriage, we started trying with no result. Thankfully, my GYN did the usual battery of tests, and when my Prolactin came back very elevated, he sent me straight to the fertility center. Long story short, I have a Prolactinoma in my pituitary gland. Basically, it's just a PITA benign tumor that screws with my hormones and tricks my body out of ovulating. They controlled that with Parlodel, a disgusting Bromocriptine drug that made me terribly sick, but brought my levels back down.
Once my Prolactin was stable, we did three IUI cycles with no success. The RE decided to do a laparoscopy on 10/21/03, during which he removed some mild endometriosis. I got pregnant on the very next cycle (Thanksgiving morning, actually) ON MY OWN!!!!! We were thrilled. After a tough pregnancy with kidney stones and bilateral stents for the last 2 1/2 months, we had our beautiful daughter, Lily Claire, on 8/25/2004.
My SIL got married in March of 2006 in the Dominican Republic. At that time, Lily was almost two and we decided to abandon the birth control on the trip. I figured that all of my problems were solved and I'd get pregnant right away this time. Clearly not the case... By July I was frustrated and went back to the doctor.
We decided to go with injectables/IUI. We did three Bravelle/IUI cycles with no result. The Bravelle did a number on me. After that, we did another laparoscopy, thinking maybe the endo. had grown back. There wasn't much to report, so we moved on to IVF. I thought that my first IVF cycle was going to be my answer. I was CONVINCED that I'd be pregnant on cycle number 1. I took the drugs, did the shots, did the appointments, had the eggs retrieved, and then they all died. All of them. I got that far and had nothing to transfer. I was absolutely crushed, but I went for another cycle.
Cycle 2, they retrieved 18 eggs, some died, we transferred two 3-day embryos, and one was frozen as a blast. The doctor called two weeks later with negative results. I took a little break because I was a mess and went back for a cycle in December. Long story short, I hyperstimulated, they coasted me, I had 13 eggs retrieved, and transferred 3 3-day embryos. Still nothing. My RE is wonderful, and he talked to me for a long time. We decided to change protocols, so different medicine, different timeline, different IVF cycle. Hopefully it will make the difference.
I met with the PA to go over the new protocol and she told me about an NIH study on acupuncture with IVF, so what's a few more needles? I signed up!
Today is CD1 and AF is here full-force. My first monitoring appointment is tomorrow (Thursday) and I start my stims. I'll probably have acupuncture the next day. I'm ready! Let's get this show on the road!!!!!!
Monitoring started yesterday. I had a baseline u/s, where they couldn't find my left ovary. It always hides for a few days. Of the two docs at ther fertility center, I got the one who's not exactly the *most* gentle. Honestly, if that guy had a uterus for just. one. day. I would get him back with that damn u/s wand.
Anyway, they called and my levels were fine to start stims.
I took a pic of the contents of my Giant Box O'Meds - I'll post it here later. Last night I took 225 units of Follistim and 150 units of Menopur. Same dosage tonight.
So... acupuncture was interesting!
I went this morning to the acupuncturist. His office is beautiful - it's in a little stone house in a cute area. The reception area is filled with asian-influenced furniture and shelves full of Chinese herbs. There is also a gorgeous cabinet filled with signed footballs - apparently he works with the Ravens.
I went in and filled out the IVF paperwork and he led me into a room that looked much like a massage therapy room. He had me take off only my shoes and lay on the table, on my back. He lifted my pant legs up just enough to expose my shins, and wiped 5 spots with an alcohol swab. Then he put needles in those five areas: my right pinna (outside of my ear), the top of each wrist, and just outside the midline of each shin. Then he set a timer for 25 minutes, dimmed the lights, and left the room.
I just stayed there and relaxed. I was amazed at how relaxing it was. I couldn't feel the needles, but I knew exactly where they were. It was strange - there was almost a feeling of warmth in each of those spots... I actually really enjoyed the time to do nothing but listen to the soft music and clear my head. I didn't feel anxious at all.
I was on the same dose for 4 days, and I went to the fert. center on Saturday and this morning. Nothing starts a Monday morning like an internal ultrasound at 7:30AM! Dr. Y dug around for awhile searching for my left ovary, which is apparently behind my uterus. Damn thing. My E2 is over 100, so they're decreasing my dose to:
I am starting the Ganirelix - that's the only drug I haven't had before, so I'm not sure how I'll react to that... right now I am craving carbs like crack. I am dying for a bowl of pasta - not exactly on my Weight Watchers plan. I have lost 5 lbs. in the last month, but I know it's coming back during this cycle. *sigh*
We went to a Superbowl party last night, and as soon as the host opened the door I noticed that she was pregnant. I feel like everyone is. I've been "lapped" by everyone I know - they've all had their second babies and I'm still working on it. I really am happy for them - I wouldn't wish infertility on anyone, and I know that their ability to get pregnant has nothing to do with my inability to do so, but it just feels weird. Then I feel guilty for feeling sorry for myself...
I am SO about to buy a pint of Haagen Dazs and eat the whole thing.
OK - so my E2 is way up and I have somewhere around 20 follies as of this morning. I have a couple of 14s and a 15, so ER should be coming up this week. We started the Ganirelix and these meds are KICKING. MY. ***. I also woke up with a cold this morning, and sometime during the course of the day I lost the ability to breathe through either nostril.
I could sell EWCM to anyone who needs it - the stims are definitely working! It's crazy.
I am in the throes of baby shower land. UGH. Just what I want to be doing. I'm completely thrilled for my SIL, but it's hard for me. I am also planning my sister's bridal shower - she's getting married in May. Life is nuts!
I've been doing a lot of thinking about the fact that someday soon I will have to stop with the infertility treatments. At what point am I satisfied with the one wonderful child I have? I feel like all of this is taking away from her... the doctor appointments that interrupt our schedules, the meds that make me less patient... I just don't know if/when I'll be comfortable saying, "I'm done." I also feel so guilty. Mike and I have always wanted more than one child and I'm the reason we can't do it. He never blames me, but I blame me - I think that's harder. Anyway, I have to stop now b/c I'm bawling (everything makes me cry).
I hate getting up early on the weekends for my appointments. 6:30 is coming early tomorrow!
Yesterday my E2 was at 852, so going up steadily. I have lots of follies - 10 big ones on the right. The doctor said that he's going to decrease my dose again tonight, so maybe ER on Wednesday or Thursday?
I saw the doc in the hallway this morning, and he said, "Good morning, Shannan." It's kind of nice that he knows my name, but kind of sad, given the size of the practice.
After the RE this morning, I went to Immediate care for a strep test - that's one test I don't mind seeing a negative on. I just have a nasty cold - I was up all night coughing. DH is going to take Lily to the mall this afternoon so I can lay on the couch and catch up on the DVR.
So I still feel like *** and the LAST thing I felt like doing this morning was driving 45 min. to the fertility center, but I did. I have several very big follies, and I'm ready to trigger! There aren't as many follies as I usually have, but that's the protocol. Fewer eggs, but hopefully better quality.
I'll do my Ovidrel trigger tonight, go in for u/s and blood tomorrow, have acupuncture tomorrow, and then egg retrieval is Wednesday.
I'll be more excited when I can breathe through both nostrils.
After driving through an ice storm to get to the hospital, we had our egg retrieval yesterday. Everything went well and they got 9 eggs, which I was excited about until this morning. The nurse called to say that 6 of the 9 were mature and only 4 fertilized. We will have our ET on Saturday morning, and hopefully there will be 3 embryos to transfer.
I am completely bummed. I was really hoping for a blast transfer and a better selection of embryos. I'm not sure what to do from here.
We transferred 3 good embryos this morning. One 10-cell, one 9-cell, and one 8-cell embryo - the best 3-days we've had. We still have one 8-cell in culture. My RE said we were taking "a little bit of a risk" by transferring all three, but that's a risk I'm willing to take!!
I have been on the couch all day, forbidden to move by my sweet DH. Tomorrow is my SIL's shower, and I'll be on "light duty."
My Beta is scheduled for 2/28.
The shower went really well. WHEW! I am glad that's over. I sat with her and wrote down her gifts as she opened them and I was a little sad. I got over myself, though, and had a nice time in spite of the fact it was a baby shower. I am so excited to be Aunt Shannan to this little one. My SIL has been through so much.
Mike and Lily went out yesterday and had a great day together - he's the best Dad. When I went upstairs to change, there were size 1 Swaddlers on the bed. One of the REs at the fert. center always says, "OK - Go buy diapers." at the end of an IVF cycle. When he said it to me last week I told him he said that last time and it didn't work, and he said, "You didn't buy them, did you?" so Mike bought some. So silly. He is also making me rest like crazy and eat protein and ice cream. He says he's positive this is the one. We'll see... 10 more days.