I’m back…for a quick update!

So I haven’t posted in over a month…but I am still alive, and doing well!  So a lot of things changed in our plan in the past few weeks.  I know I have mentioned a money back guarantee after 3 rounds of IVF and no baby- not what we thought at all.  You would think we would look into the details of something like this prior to shelling out 25K, but no…apparently we don’t think that is necessary.

So a few weeks after our BFN, we met with the doctor.  He knew I was upset about my egg/embryo quality, and did actually bring up the possibility of donor eggs. I think this is a wonderful option for down the road if needed, but in my mind I was thinking how we would actually save money doing the third round of IVF if it didn’t work, because of the money back guarantee program.  All of a sudden, my husband and I realized that that makes NO sense from a buisness stand-point and we should probably look into this.

Fast forward to me calling the financial coordinator.  Imagine my shock when she told me that the 3-times “money back guarantee” is actually a program that everywhere else calls a “shared risk” program.  Where you meet specific criteria, and pay 40K up front, and then get 27K back if you still don’t get pregnant.  We were floored.  Just shocked.  Again, this is really no one’s fault but our own for not looking into it, and the office’s marketing for not clearly stating what it is.

That was a rough day.  Quite literally rock bottom.  That is the day that I realized that it is very possible that I may never have a biologic child.  Very luckily, I had a girls weekend planned with good friends, and it was just what I needed to get back into a normal mind set.  We talked about my problems, we talked about their problems, and we drank lots of wine at the beach.  I literally came back an old person- my old self.  I didn’t even realize how obsessed I had become with everything.  Which of course is normal, but not healthy.  At least not if you have the obsessive Type-A personality that I do!

When I got back my husband and I each discussed what we had processed over the weekend.  And we mutually decided that we should take a minimum of 6 months off from doing anything, maybe even up to year.  Then go back to the RE, and see how my FSH and AMH are doing.  If they have plummeted even lower than they already were, then we figure out a new plan.  If they seem to have stayed the same or only worsened slightly we will consider doing another round.  It is just very hard to justify paying so much money for such a poor response.  And technically speaking, if it is coming down to egg quality, there is no reason I wouldn’t get pregnant the old fashioned way when that one good egg pops up.

So of course, to avoid thinking about anything TTC related, I just put my husband and I on a very Type-A planned Tuesday/Thursday/Weekend night sex schedule.  He is just so upset about it, haha.  This way no temperatures, no chart analyzing.  It was all well and good until my cycle was 24 days…meaning I might need to add in progesterone supplementation if I am having a luteal phase deficiency.  Remember when I thought that that was my only problem- so naive!  So now the good ‘ol BBT is probably making a reappearance- blah.

I also read a very informative book- “It all starts with an egg” that has made me a little psycho about BPA, pthylanes, and adding extra supplements.  The book is all about improving egg quality, and has a lot of science background about each thing.  I really wish that I had read the book prior to doing IVF, and especially prior to our second round.  But in typical me fashion, I just wanted to get started ASAP.  I had read another book about fertility yoga and organic diets, but I thought it was a little new age-y for me, because it didn’t have the science background.

So I’m loading up on DHEA (which I had been on), D3, and Ubiquinol in addition to the baby aspirin and prenatal.  Woo-woo!

I oddly feel very optimistic that I may get pregnant naturally in the next year.  Almost like the 6th sense feeling that I was going to have fertility problems, but the opposite, so we will see.  It is comforting knowing that, as my doctor said many times, my uterus is still only 31 years old.  At this point we would rather ride out my few remaining eggs naturally, and see where that takes us!  On the recommendation of a friend, I did purchase and download the Circle+Bloom natural fertility meditation guidance.  And I think it is going well- I’m pretty sure I have been falling asleep haha.

Obviously I am not going to have very interesting things to post about while not in treatments.  Unless you all want to hear about how I am totally obsessed with running outside again, now that I don’t have to worry about embryos falling out (yes, that was a serious concern!).  It is nice to just relax and not think about a whole lot.  I’m sure I will have some venting posts, and maybe some informative egg quality improvement updates- I’m totally becoming new age-y about it BTW.  If a mircale happens maybe even a pregnancy announcement!?  One can dream!

As always, I will be be on here every once and a while to check all of your updates, but definitely less frequently.  I wish you all the best of luck, sticky embryos, healthy pregnancies, and healthier and happier babies!  XOXO

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On to round 3

Ugh.  So we got the call that our beta was negative today.  The office left a voice mail around 1, and all I could tell was that it was 26 seconds long.  I literally timed myself saying fake positive and negative voice mails with the stopwatch on my phone.  I was convinced it was a 25 second informative but to the point message…unfortunately I was wrong.

My husband and I are doing pretty well…a little shell shocked.  This was our care free cycle.  Now we are on to round 3.  3 is our max number of traditional IVF for a few reasons.

1.  Our clinic has a money back program that you get a good chunk back after 3 rounds and no baby.

2.  Our embryos aren’t looking good- and if they still aren’t looking good after a third round they likely never will.

3.  There is only so much of this that we can take.

The doctor that did my transfer knew I was upset about our embryo quality and did mention something about growth hormone prior to or with the next cycle.  So I am going to do some research on that and set up a consult with my doctor.  Our next cycle will probably be in April.  I would love to just jump in and start it right away but I have a flight booked for a long weekend with friends and i literally think it would be right when my retrieval or transfer would be.

So disappointing and disheartening.  But I am taking this like a champ.  I think I used all my tears for this cycle on the transfer table and two days later when I had my meltdown.  Unfortunately we are getting really used to crushing disappointment.

On a positive note, I am off to drink wine and have sex!  Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, we need all the help we can get!

One day until Beta!

Why is it the weekend right now?!  I am 2 weeks post transfer, and today is the normal day for my office to do the beta test.  But I guess no betas on weekends-boo!  So my first beta will be tomorrow at 15dp3dt!  Torturous!

I’ve been going through a lot of highs and lows during this TWW.   Most of my lows were early on, and since then I have felt much more cautiously optimistic.  I saw my newly pregnant friend again, and once again interrogated her on her lack of symptoms.  She found out she was pregnant around 6 weeks, and in retrospect only had noticed she was markedly more tired 4 days earlier.  So no sore boobs and morning sickness at 17dpo.  Which she never would have known was 17dpo.

Thinking about my lack of symptoms is the only thing that can make me feel a little disheartened, so talking to her really lifted my spirits on Friday night.  Which isn’t an easy task when you are at a party with all your friends that either have kids or are pregnant!

This morning I was laying in bed really having a hard time deciding if I should POAS or not.  I had decided a long time ago not to, but then with it being beta day was reconsidering.  Ultimately I decided not to and decided to pee (so I couldn’t change my mind) and then climb back into bed and stalk recent BFP bloggers symptoms, and google “14dp3dt no symptoms”…that google search was very helpful!  It lead me to a message board that had encouraging stories, and one had a timeline with twin boys, and their names.  Suddenly I remembered that I had a dream last night that we were pregnant with twin boys!!  Not only is this amazing because I usually don’t remember dreams, but this is the first time I remember having a dream I was pregnant!  We have had a boy name (first and middle) picked out for years, and I remember in the dream being like “Oh, we have to think of a new boy name!”…sidenote: in the dream we split up our current boy name and used the first name for boy #1 and the current middle name for boy #2’s first name!

I literally hopped out of bed and ran downstairs to tell my husband about the dream, and he said he had a dream I was pregnant too!  He didn’t remember any details though.  I am feeling ridiculously positive right now; which could definitely change in the next 24 hours.  I really think even if we get bad news tomorrow that our dreams were maybe telling us not to give up hope!  But I am praying that it is a sign for this cycle!

I’ll be at work all day tomorrow, so will not listen to my message about my beta until my husband and I are both at home…less than 36 hours!!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  You will all be happy to hear that I am feeling a lot better after my really down in the dumps post earlier in the week.  Thank you everyone for the kind words, it really made me feel so much better.  I think I was just totally thrown off by my friend’s pregnancy announcement, coming right on the heels of finding out our embryos were not looking the best.  I also took it upon myself to look up every low embryo quality success story out there…which also gave me a lot of hope!

Now I am back on track to feeling how I wanted to feel…blissfully unaware of the TWW.  I don’t know off the top of my head how many days past 3 day transfer I am (and I am refusing to let myself count right now…didn’t work…the answer is 6).  But the fact that it is 5 hours into my day and I didn’t know is still a win for me!  I also am not paying attention to every little possible cramp and gurgle in my abdomen.  And I have NO desire to pee on a stick!

We actually had dinner last night with our friends whose pregnancy announcement threw me into a tail spin.  And it went so well! I felt totally fine during and after, which is such a relief!  Talking with her also definitely has helped me calm down during the TWW.  She didn’t know she was pregnant until week 6 or 7, because implantation cramps, sore boobs, and morning sickness aren’t painfully obvious to everyone.  So if us IVFers don’t have them during our TWW, it is not necessarily a bad thing!  Obviously we are hyper aware of everything, so it is more likely we would notice- but not definite!  It totally has prevented me from obsessive symptom spotting- at least for now.  It is all fun and games when you know you couldn’t have symptoms yet….we will see how I am doing next weekend.

I am actually a little worried that I have swayed too far into the opposite camp of being excessively optimistic.  Our friends live relatively close by, and we always talked about how amazing it would be to be pregnant together…obviously before I knew how difficult a chore getting pregnant could be.  Now that it is a possibility…I am getting way too excited.  I think I am also aware of how much more difficult it will be if this transfer wasn’t successful.   High stakes over here…I’ll tell ya.

I hope everyone has a great V-day/President’s Day Weekend!

I need some positivity pointers…

Our frozen embryo transfer is in the books…and I wish I was feeling better about it.

During our fresh cycle in January we had our four embryos frozen at the 1 cell stage (2PN) due to a lining deficiency.   Last Thursday all four were unthawed, and survived!  We were on cloud nine…not so much since then.  On day 2 the embryologist told us that “one or two had a bit of fragmentation”.  The difference between one and two when you only have four is HUGE!  We got the call on Day 3 (Sunday) that we would do the transfer then, which I was anticipating.

When we got to the office Sunday they sat us down and showed us a picture of the four embryos.  Two of the four hadn’t divided in the past 24 hours, one had turned from a 4 cell to 6 cell with 15% fragmentation, and one was like a 5 cell with 25% fragmentation.  They didn’t even use official gradings.  I had to ask for the percentage of fragmentation.

I think we were both a little shell shocked, but luckily had discussed this advance and asked if we could transfer all four, since two were essentially dead.  That way we would know we did everything in our power to make it work.  They had to get ahold of my normal doctor to approve it, but both him and the doctor that performed my transfer said it was fine to do.

That is how you know you are screwed.  At age 31 they let you transfer 4 embryos.

I changed into my sterile attire, and I was then taken to the procedure room and left there alone for a few minutes.  Where I started uncontrollably sobbing.  I am NOT a public crier…and while it is true that I was alone in the room, the fact that someone could come in at any time made this VERY out of character for me.

Luckily I did get myself under control before anyone else came back in.  I reminded myself that the one 6-cell 15% fragmentation could surely keep growing and implant.  It definitely is possible.  I think I was doing a good job of distracting myself for the last two days- binge watching tv shows.

Then today at lunch I get a text from one of closest friends that probably knows the most about this journey then anyone else.  “We’ve had a crazy few days…you’re going to be an Aunt!”…with a picture of her 8-9 week ultrasound.  PUNCH. IN. THE. GUT.  I feel like a horrible person that when my good friend tells me wonderful news all I can do is feel immediately jealous and then extremely bad for myself.

And she just found out she was pregnant!  We had wine together like 2.5 weeks ago!  Now I must add, they had been “not not trying” for like a year and a half.  My husband and I had actually had conversations about how we thought they may have a fertility problem.  So I am so very happy that they were able to get pregnant and don’t have to deal with all this shit.

When I finally got home from work today and saw my husband I again started sobbing!  Which is less out of character to be dramatic in front of him.  I was just like “Everyone can get pregnant except for me…why are our embryos such bad quality?…this is no way this is going to work….they would never put back four embryos if they thought there was any chance”.

He was very sweet and sympathetic until I brought it up again a few hours later.  Then he told me he couldn’t listen to my negativity and depression for the next two weeks.  The thing that really struck home is that he said I was like this during my first cycle…which I overall was convinced was going to work!  So I was just so surprised he took it as negativity.  I think I must be putting up a wall of negativity to try to cushion the blow IF it doesn’t work.

I went into the cycle just wanting to pretend that nothing was happening at all.  Then when my friend told me her news, it forced me to put up my protective mechanism…I guess.

I don’t want to be like this though.  I feel I am so optimistic in the rest of my life, and I HATE that I am coming across as so negative and horrible to my husband, the one person that is equally invested in this!  It was a horrible mistake the try to stay off the blogs….I need this to keep me sane!  AND I am SO happy to see so many positive results in the past few days.

Ironically I was trying to stay away to keep my spirits up, but it did the opposite.  And I definitely probably just wrote the most debbie-downer post of the year.  So I am sorry if anyone trying to stay optimistic read it and now feels like total shit.

But I would like to know how do you all stay positive when you feel hopeless?  Just fake it until you make it?  Focus on the next cycle?  Please give me your positivity boosters!

Tentative transfer dates set!

Well, you all will be happy to know that I HAVE been enjoying my one glass of wine a night!  I think it is helping to calm my nerves…

Yesterday I got the call that I was to do my trigger shot, have a make believe retrieval scheduled for Thursday, and that my transfer is going to be either Sunday or Tuesday.  Obviously Sunday would be great because I wouldn’t have to miss work and reschedule patient’s but I guess Tuesday would mean that the four embryos are all doing pretty well- which is way better than anything else!  So I will try to make the best of either day!

If there are 3 embryos doing well at day 3 I think my husband and I are both on board with transferring all 3.  Which might be a little insane, but I think we both regretted not transferring the third last time when it was a BFN.  Most likely the outcome would have been the same since that embryo didn’t make it to a blastocyst, but at least we would have known for sure.

I am going to try to stay away from everything dr. google and blog related for the next 2-3 weeks.  I am just terrified of reading anything negative, because I am afraid it will put me in a bad mind set.  I am not worried about reading positive things, but in our world sometimes positives can unfortunately turn into negatives quickly.

I just want to pretend nothing is going on until I actually know what is going on.  And the thought of peeing on a stick is absolutely horrifying to me right now…which is the exact opposite of how I felt last time.  I tried to hold out, but then just couldn’t.   I literally can not look at one more negative pregnancy test.  And hopefully I will not have to 🙂

So a HUGE good luck and send out of baby dust to everyone currently in their cycles!  Again, I am going to try to stay away from the updates for now, but it is hard…so I might still get to see them!  And I am actually sure I will catch up a bit after the transfer to do an update about what we decided to do!

FET officially begun! Can I drink wine?

So oddly enough I feel like my egg retrieval was forever ago, but it was only a little over two weeks ago.  Right on schedule I got my period, and I have never been so excited to see that disgusting brown spotting start.  Quite the opposite of the last year and a half, but what a relief knowing that getting it was hopefully bringing me one step closer to pregnancy and a baby!  Even when I have known that I was going to be starting an IVF cycle, I have always held on to hope that MAYBE, just maybe, I will have gotten pregnancy naturally.  The pressure was off when I realized not only were there no eggs left in my body, but that even if one was left behind, there was no sex going on right before or after that retrieval.  Oh hells no.

I went in yesterday for my baseline and there were TWO resolving follicles and/or cysts, and I just had a horrible feeling that we were going to have to wait another month.  I was so pleasantly surprised when I got the call that my bloodwork looked fine and we were good to go!  I am hoping that this is my first of many very excellent surprises this cycle!

Because this is my first frozen transfer, I had received a detailed voicemail from my doctor with the procedure.  Pretty much saying that I would come in for a baseline, do estrogen pills and patches, and continue monitoring until my lining was ready.  Then schedule the transfer and add progesterone to the mix.

I was so confused when the nurse called me back to tell me I would be doing injectables to get ready for the FET.  I hadn’t even heard of this but luckily my internet researching is at an all time low, due to burnout, so I haven’t really even looking into FETs that much.  I figured the office would just tell me what was going on.  (side note: who am I??)

But yeah, so I started 1 Bravelle every night, and then go back Thursday for another ultrasound and blood work.  When my lead follicle is ready to go, I do an HCG trigger and they pretty much pretend that I have had a retrieval, and count out the transfer from there.  I just really hope I am still able to schedule it on a weekend!

I have never drank on the injectables, but I was planning to have a glass of wine a night until transfer…so now I don’t know what I am going to do!  It is a really low dose… What are your thoughts on a glass or two of wine leading up to transfers?

Right now I am staying pretty relaxed, just doing my q-caps like they are second nature.  Until all of a sudden I realize I am doing them like second nature, and my mind is blown.  How did we get here again??

On a very pleasant note, while pinching my stomach fat to do the injection I realized that there was FAR less of it then there was like 3 weeks ago when I was last doing injections!  So my depressing low carb diet is paying off!  YAY!