I started this several times 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 third cycle in December. Long story short, I hyperstimulated, they coasted me, I had 13 eggs retrieved, and transferred 3 3-day embryos. Still nothing.
In January '08, we did a 4th cycle, but we changed to an antagonist (Ganirelix) protocol and did acupuncture. After much drama with Beta numbers, it turned out that one embryo had implanted and split late, resulting in monoamniotic/monochorionic identical twins. They had no membrane between them and we were given a 50/50 shot of carrying them to 30 weeks. Scary stuff. Sadly, an ultrasound at 10 weeks revealed no heartbeats. The babies likely had a cord accident and became too tangled for their cords to carry oxygen. The whole thing was so devastating...I had to take some time out to get myself together.
In July I had a surprise BFP, but that turned out to be a chemical pregnancy. Such disappointment.
After some insurance company crap, they have finally approved cycle #5. We are continuing with the antagonist protocol and acupuncture. I am on BCPs until 9/28, and then my stims and monitoring will start on CD2.
Where do you get the strength to carry on. I think you are so brave. I did 1 ivf and delivered at 16 weeks a beautiful angel girl. I am on round 2 and do not think it was successful, I can not imagine going through this 5 times. I think you are incredible. Stay positive and I hope you have another successful pregnancy soon.
I'm just not ready to give up. I never saw myself as a Mom of one - I want so badly for Lily to have a sibling. The MoMo diagnosis put things into perspective for me. We could have had two very sick babies from that situation, and we have one perfect child, and we appreciate that. I am still trying to find a place where I'm comfortable with being content as a family of 3. I think we'll get to that place if we need to, but for now - I'm giving it another shot.
Sunday was my last day of birth control pills and AF showed up yesterday. Since I'm doing an antagonist protocol, my first appointment was today, CD2. Kinda yucky to have an internal ultrasound (affectionately known as the dildo cam) on CD2, but I've gotten used to it. All is well and we're good to go.
Since I start stims today, I went to the acupuncturist. I saw the same doctor during my January cycle, but I was part of a study, so we didn't talk much about my treatment. This time, he asked me some questions and we went over my history. He looked at my hands and feet and felt my hands and decided that my body temperature is too low. Apparently I have a "cold uterus." He said that I must eat on the same schedule each day and I shouldn't eat or drink anything colder than room temperature. I've done some reading and apparently this is a common recommendation among traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. I'm not going to go crazy, but what the hell... I'll forego the Haagen Dazs for some hot tea. One more thing to try.
Today and tomorrow I'm on 225 on Follistim and 150 of Menopur...my poor husband. Back to the fertility center on Thursday.
I went back for bloodwork this morning, and they changed my dosage a little. Now I'm doing 250 of Follistim and 150 of Menopur. I'm starting to feel the medicine (tired and emotional), but so far so good.
I saw the assistant principal at one of my schools today and had a brief conversation with her. Mike used to work there, so she was asking about him and asking about Lily. Then she said, "Are you two going to have any more kids or is she just going to be an only child?" It wasn't asked innocently, either, kind of in a more "you better get working on it" tone. She doesn't know the struggles we've had, and she's not someone I'd share with, but I just wish people would think before they speak. I replied with, "We have always wanted more, but it doesn't come easy to us." She changed the subject right away, and I almost wish I had been more blunt with her. I was glad she shut up. It's a good thing she didn't catch me next week when I've had 10 days of hormone injections!
Anyway, I've been drinking lots of hot tea, and I went to a Japanese steakhouse with friends last night. I had lots of ginger sauce - ginger is supposed to be good for warming up the old uterus. Whatever works!
Bloodwork and ultrasound again this morning. It was my favorite doctor (the one who doesn't DIG with the u/s wand and sometimes sings to me like it's a microphone). Here is our conversation. Keep in mind I've known him for 6 years.
Dr. K: Good morning, Shannan! *fist bump*
Me: Good morning!
Dr. K: Are you read to get pregnant today?
Me: Well, probably not today. Probably sometime next week, don'tcha think?
Dr. K: Yes, you're right. So this is foreplay!
Me: Should I at least get Mike on the phone for this?
Dr. K: Nah, just you and me!
He always jokes with me and makes me feel comfortable.
Of course, they couldn't find my left ovary and there's not yet much to see. With this protocol, once the follicles really show up, they start growing quickly. I actually don't have to go in tomorrow morning - hooray! We are going to take Lily to the orchard for breakfast and apple picking.
Dr. Y dug around and found my left ovary. He counted 7 on one side, 6 on the other. I'll get a better idea of sizes. I like to be able to compare cycles, but I only have one other antagonist cycle to compare to. I'll have to dig out last year's planner. Those of you who know me well know that I have meticulous notes on days and dosage. Somehow being Type-A about keeping records during my cycles makes me feel like I have some control over them. I clearly don't, but humor me.
Right now I'm feeling like this is it - it's going to work. If it doesn't, I will have done everything I could do. Which one of you lovely ladies is going to peel me off the floor and remind me of that if I don't get good news at the end of this?
I'm trying to stay positive. I have skimmed "The Secret" and I'm sending pregnancy thoughts into the universe........... Ohmmmmmmmmmmm!
They are adding my Ganirelix in the morning starting tomorrow. I am VERY sleepy and very achy today. Thankfully I only have one more day of work this week. I'm normally off Weds. and Fris. but Thursday schools are closed for Yom Kippur.
I feel like hell today and I'm getting tired of driving 45 min. to the hospital every morning, but I know I'm getting closer to egg retrieval. I had my pre-op hematocrit drawn today, so I'll be ready.
I started the Ganirelix this morning, and I got my shipment of more Follistim today. They've had me on such a high dose I went through the 1500 units already and they gave me 1500 more. I hope I don't have to use that much - I already feel like a hormonal wreck.