Saturday, August 27, 2011

Making peace

I think I am finally feeling at peace with our failed IVF.  I've been able to talk about without crying since letting it all out again on Monday at my infertility support group.  Hanging on to failure is only holding me back in reaching my goals.  It's not like me to focus on the negatives and things that are out of my control.  If anything my new 6th grade class has helped me to remember that.  I tell them all the time to just let go of issues that they might have and that sometimes it isn't worth it to hold onto anger or hurt.  Now I need to follow my own advice.  We are about a week or so away from my period.  I can't go forward feeling sad all the time.  I have to remember that we another chance at IVF soon and this could be it.  I can't control how it all turns out.  But I can make sure that I am in the best place physically and emotionally going into it.

"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Space Between

It's been 2.5 weeks since our official failed beta...and about 1.5 weeks until the start up of birth control pills for IVF #2.  I feel lost in this space between failure and hope.  I haven't been able to let go of all of my emotions from our failed IVF yet.  I'm not sure if I should keep or throw out the picture of our two transferred embryos.  I want to move forward and leave that all behind but it is hard to just let it all go.

I'm ready to move onto IVF #2.  This time will be different- a lot less anxiety about how it all works but more anxiety with being in the middle of the school year.  They will hopefully stim less so we won't have a 46 egg surprise.  I won't be on those awful progesterone shots (I still have marks from the allergic reaction).  Everything should, in theory, go better since they know what to expect.  Maybe when we are actually doing something for round 2 I'll be able to fully let go of round 1.

"The space between the tears we cry is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more..." ~Dave Matthews Band

Friday, August 19, 2011


It's been nearly 2 weeks since we officially got our negative beta on our IVF.  Since then I've been searching for answers and things that I could do to try and make our second attempt a success.  A few women in my support group suggested acupuncture.  After doing a little research with Dr. Google, I learned that their are some connections between acupuncture treatment and infertility treatment.  The idea behind acupuncture is that energy flows through your body along various pathways.  Infertility (or other illnesses) occurs when these pathways are blocked.  The placing of the needles along the blocked pathways allows for the body to restore it's natural flow of energy.

I went for my first appointment this afternoon.  After completing a brief survey, the doctor (I guess he's considered a doctor?) also realized I have headache issues and have issues with sleeping.  Those were things that he could address as well.  I will admit that I was extremely nervous about the whole thing.  But it wasn't that bad- especially compared to all those fertility shot needles.  I relaxed with needles sticking out of me for maybe 45 minutes or so- I was shocked that I sat that long.  Overall I feel good about it.  It wasn't that painful and I'm willing to try anything to help our IVF be a success in October.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

#652 Mark Zuckerberg is not an Infertile

I recently read a post on a blog entitled 999 Reasons to Laugh at Infertility.  The post was reason #652- Mark Zuckerberg (maker of Facebook) is not an Infertile.  Apparently Facebook now lets you put "I'm Expecting" in under your family part with a due date announcement and baby's sex and name.  Seriously.  I've already blocked any app that posts information about progress through pregnancies.  I already avoid looking at ultrasound photos and really don't post congrats to friends anymore.  Now I have to avoid looking for that??  I really dislike you right now Mark Zuckerberg.  You are destroying my Facebook obsession.

The blog listed infertility related things that should be posted to Facebook.  I could not stop laughing after reading them.  Here are some of my favorites:

"I just got my period and I'm crying on the toilet."
"We're having timed intercourse so don't call us tonight."
"My embryo retrieval was a lot of fun."
"I'm not pregnant yet so stop asking."
"I don't want your fertility advice."
"I just stuck a fertility needle in my ass."
"I'm not expecting but can I steal your baby?"
"I cried at a baby shower."
"I check the toilet paper 400 times a day."
"I have fertility drugs in the fridge, right next to last night's lasagna."
"I glared at a pregnant woman's belly this morning."
"I cried in the McDonald's bathroom when I found out my cousin was pregnant."

Here is a link to the specific Facebook post.  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Making Babies

A friend of mine introduced me to the Making Babies program (book by Sami S. David).  I haven't ordered or read the book yet.  But I did take a fertility survey on the website to see my fertility type.  Apparently I am tired (which completely makes sense to me).  Here is the info I got when I finished the quiz:


Often feels weak or lethargic
Prone to getting sick
Gets out of breath and sweats easily, gains weight
Poor appetite
Prone to bloating, gas, and loose stools
Low sex drive
Short luteal phase
Feels cold: hands, feet

Low progesterone
Luteal phase defect
Metabolic disorders

This type is called kidney “yang” deficiency in TCM, and reflects a broader hormonal imbalance going beyond reproductive hormones and encompassing the thyroid, adrenals, and pituitary gland.
Weakness in these systems affects metabolism, circulation, and thus reproduction.

More animal Protein
Avoid raw and cold foods
Alcohol in moderation
Consume warming soups and stews, and spices: cinnamon,ginger, cayenne, turmeric, cardamom, cloves, cumin
Regular moderate exercise

Royal jelly
Wheat grass
Chromium (boosts metabolism by enhancing the action of insulin)
Chasteberry (helps sustain post-ovulatory progesterone)

A lot of this sounds just like me as far as the symptoms.  I'm tired a lot of the time, have been diagnosed with low progesterone and a luteal phase defect (a while back) and gain weight easily.  I'm going to try and do some of the things and see if I notice any difference.  I might see about getting the book as well (although it makes me sad that I can't get it on the Kindle).  To be continued...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Goodbye Summer

Today marks my official first day back at school.  This will be my 8th year teaching- my 4th back in New York.  I started summer vacation 7 weeks ago in a completely different mind set.  I was so hopeful and optimistic about our IVF working and returning to school pregnant.  I've been through so many ups and downs this summer.  I've had some really good times with family and friends.  I've suffered one of the biggest heart breaks that I think I've ever had with our failed IVF.  But I go back to school with 99% of the teachers and staff having no clue as to what I've been through this summer.  I am glad for that so that I don't have to deal with questions and explaining how it didn't work.  This is the 3rd time I've returned to school hoping to be pregnant.  It sucks and makes me sad that so much time has passed and nothing has changed.

Stating a new school year is kind of like a chance to start over.  I start with a fresh classroom and a new bunch of students (hopefully better than the last).  I have to look at this as a new start with our IVF and be hopeful for better outcomes. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Plan

I got a call from the doctor's office this morning.  After talking to my insurance company they found out that any transfer would count as one of our 3 covered transfers.  So we've decided to get more bang for our buck and go for a fresh IVF cycle versus a frozen embryo transfer.  We felt this would possibly give us more chances to be successful especially with changes to my doses, doing a day 3 transfer and not using the Progesterone shots. 

I got my period Monday so the plan is to take this month off to be drug free and just be me.  We'll start the birth control pills with my next cycle and take those through October 8th (most likely).  We'd be looking at starting stims on October 15th and the retrieval would be the week of October 24th.

I know that it will be more difficult doing the whole IVF cycle during the school year.  I just don't want to keep waiting.  Plus if it worked in October it would still give us a possibility to have a baby lined up with summer vacation next year.  My plan is to try and lose 10-15 pounds between now and the beginning of stims (I got on the scale today and had gained 4 pounds through this IVF) and get myself as mentally and emotionally strong as possible.  I will probably talk to my principal upon returning to school next week to make sure that this will all be OK (I have plenty of sick hours to use).  So here's to a new beginning and hopefully better results!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Follow up appointment

Matt and I met with Dr. H this morning as a follow up to our failed IVF cycle.  The first thing we discussed was how I magically ended up with 46 eggs and how that could have effected things.  Even up to my trigger day I was only showing 15 or so eggs in the ultrasound.  But I guess my estrogen shot up to over 6000 that day, which was not really good.  So change #1 would be to not use as high doses of stims as we wouldn't want to sacrifice quality for quantity of eggs. Also the high estrogen could have made it harder for implantation.

After the retrieval, everything still looked great and I had the 18 fertilized eggs.  They were growing wonderfully until around day 3 after the retrieval.  Dr. H is thinking that maybe the growth slowed because the embryos weren't responding well to the culture environment in the lab.  Looking back she thinks it would have been better to do a day 3 transfer and have the embryos back in me sooner.  Change #2 would be to do a day 3 transfer regardless of the number of eggs to get the embryos back to the natural environment. 

When it comes to our 3 frozen embryos, Dr. H actually suggested we tried using those first (as long as my insurance wouldn't count a frozen transfer as one of our 3 IVF procedures).  A frozen embryo transfer would require a lot less monitoring and I wouldn't have to do any stims.  Taking out the stims removes the spike in estrogen, which could have made a difference.  I showed Dr. H my lovely reaction from the progesterone oil and it was noted that I can't take that (no matter which route we take) and I will probably go on a progesterone suppository.  She had no doubt that we could be successful and said that many couples who use frozen embryos are successful once the stimming is removed. 

So we are tentatively planning on moving forward with the frozen embryo transfer in October.  I wanted to get through the first bit of school before doing anything.  If our insurance company counts this as one of our IVF cycles in coverage, we would rather do a fresh cycle and save the frozen embryos.  Dr. H was going to have someone on staff get ahold of our insurance company ASAP so we can figure out which route to take and get moving forward.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

And the results are in...

We got our official negative pregnancy test this morning.  As much as I was expecting it, it still hurt to hear the words for real.  Between Lupron, stims and progesterone I've done a total of 61 shots since we started this round of IVF.  It's been a bumpy road that I wish had better results.  I will call Monday to schedule our follow up appointment.

We also realized that I have an allergy to the progesterone oil shots over this past week.  The shots have made me miserable.  I have been itching like crazy and have huge red welts on my back.  I also have a few bruises from it as well.  I am glad those are over and look forward to not clawing at my back soon.  No matter what we will not be using those shots next time (I spoke to a nurse about it today and she agreed after seeing my back). 

So now we move a friend told me...
"Everything will be OK in the end. If it is not OK, it is not the end." -Anonymous

Thursday, August 4, 2011

2 days until beta

I'm hanging in there.  I feel so lucky to have family and friends that have been so supportive over the past few days.  I haven't cried in 2 days and I'm feeling better in accepting that our IVF may not have worked.  My spotting greatly decreased yesterday and has been basically nothing since last night.  I took a pee test this afternoon and it was, as expected, negative.  Once we get the beta, we will be able to close this chapter if needed and look forward.  I'm hoping that we can meet with Dr. H ASAP and come up with some sort of plan.  What sorts of questions would you ask your doctor after a failed IVF?  Here is what I've come up with so far?
-  Since we have MFI, what were the sperm counts and quality?  Did that have any effect on the results?
-  What was the quality of the eggs and embryos transferred?
-  Should we complete any other tests, especially due to all of the spotting?
-  Should we try using our 3 frosties?
-  What is involved in a frozen embryo transfer?
-  If we did a fresh IVF cycle, do you still think we could be successful?
-  Should any changes be made to our IVF protocol? 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Talked to Nurse

I spoke to a nurse a couple hours ago about the bleeding.  She said to continue taking the progesterone and wait for the beta on Saturday.  She also said that it should be too early for my period with the progesterone.  I went over what it looked like and how much (yeah gross) and she gave me possible reasons for the spotting.  I was told to try and relax and take it easy the next few days and wait it out- it could still all work out.  I'm trying to not lose hope with it but it is tough.  I feel better after calling and speaking to the nurse though.  So now it's back to the couch and trying not not cry anymore.

IVF #1 = epic fail

It's over.  I thought the spotting was stopping this morning but I was wrong.  I didn't need to wait for blood work on Saturday or take a test.  I have my period.  Our first IVF failed.  My heart is broken.  I just can't believe it didn't work.  I just want to curl up with Lucky and do nothing until Matt gets home from work. 

I guess the next plan is to call the office to see if I can stop the progesterone shots and get my blood work done tomorrow morning.  Then we'll have to decide what to do next- use our 3 frosties or wait to do a fresh IVF cycle. 

Is it even worth trying the frozen embryos if this cycle failed?  What went wrong?  Will this ever work?  Everything looked so good and I was so optimistic about it all.  Matt and I were talking as if it had actually worked for the first time.  We talked about having our April baby, setting up a nursery and what names we might like.  That's all done now.  My eyes and head hurt from crying.  I don't want to even have to tell Matt or my parents and sister.  I feel completely broken hearted. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Losing hope

Today marks 10 days past my retrieval and 5 days past my 5 day transfer.  Today welcomed me with spotting as well.  I'm crushed.  I've cried so much today.  My faith and optimism in this working is slowly drifting away.  I can't believe that this could be all a failure.

I know, spotting can happen early on in a pregnancy or can be due to the progesterone shots.  But I don't buy it.  I have spotting for a day or two before my period starts usually anyways.  With just about every injectable cycle I started spotting at this point as well and those were all epic failures. 

My beta isn't until Saturday- 5 more days, 5 more progesterone shots.  I almost would rather just find out now and get it over with if it is negative so that I can stop the shots.  We have a family BBQ Saturday and the last thing I want to do is be a complete mess in front of my family who will have no idea as to why I would be upset. 

I'm not sure what we would do next- I guess perhaps we would look into our 3 frozen one-cell embryos and possibly to a FET this fall.  I just can't process this all right now.  I'm hoping and praying that this spotting is nothing but it's not looking good.