IVF Continued & Halloween Happenings

Well, as expected our first fresh IVF cycle did not result in a successful pregnancy.  It did however yield us 8 high quality embryos, which I already adore beyond reason.  The heart is an unusual thing, and attachments formed stronger then I could have ever imagined even though they are have never been inside my body.  It truly is miraculous and magnificent to feel that level of deep love.  Every women should experience this.

After our loss, we slowly and painfully picked up the pieces of our hearts and begin pushing forward towards our fist frozen embryo transfer.  Like most infertility journeys, even the best laid out plan always consists of snags.  Our RE was out of the country for the entire month of October, but luckily our clinic is comprised of a husband wife team, so who better then to transfer our little angel then our RE’s wife…I mean they might as well be family.  We scheduled for 10/28.  Unfortunately, my insurance delayed us by a week, then I needed to travel for work the following week.  We finally landed the date of 11/11 and low and behold I went in to have my endo lining check and now we are out another week with a scheduled transfer of 11/18.  I jokingly told my husband, if we get pushed back another week to Black Friday, I wonder if they will give us a sale price (winking smiley)!

So this Sunday we will confirm a date, and begin the dreaded PIO shots.  Those needles are longer then my fingers.  Holy shit, I’m super scared but I know it will be worth it!

On a lighter note, Halloween in our new hood was SO MUCH FUN!  We took Beefcake to the pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin,  you know where most people take their children. I carved that thing like a pro and it was HUGE.  Eric dressed up in a mask and scared children, while me and the dog had a blast passing out candy and dancing to Thriller!  We also got to decorate for the first time and I loved every single minute of it. Until next year cob webs…

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BETA day

9  very long days ago we transferred 1 of our 9 embryos which made it to 5 day blasts.  We were fortunate enought to have 8 good to excellent quality embryos sent to the freezer, as we opted to do a selective single embryo transfer, as instructed by our fertility doctor.

Today, feels like it could drag on forever.  I had my blood drawn at 7am and we are waiting for the results, but I already know in the depths of my heart our transfer was unsuccessful.  It is so strange to feel such an immense attachment to this little being, and while not ever being pregnant, I still feel this overwhelming sense of loss.  It is just a deep emptiness, almost a numbness.

I have already begun my grieving process and have started to turn the corner from anger to acceptance, however what seems most painful is watching your partner grieve.  We grieve and heal so differently and at different paces, but this is the most heartbreaking feeling where no words can give it justice.

So, we will pick up the pieces of our hearts and muster the strength to move forward. One day at a time and continue to stand in hope and believe in faith!

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Life Lately

Our IVF cycle is starting to turn 3rd base and we are sprinting toward home base!  Last week we had our egg retrieval on Friday and since it has been the craziest rollar coaster ride.  I expected IVF to be emotional and I though ceasing hormone injections would help decrease the crazy, but I was oh so wrong!

Post egg retrieval you go into this pattern of waiting.  Waiting to see how many eggs were retrieved, waiting to see how many eggs are viable, waiting for the fertilization report, waiting for your ovaries to feel normal again, waiting for the bloating to die down, waiting for embryo updates, etc.

In addition to waiting on EVERYTHING, you also begin progesterone.  This is no joke!!! I will be sobbing out of control, then be immediately happy, then tired, then starving, then irritable.  It is like your PMS symptoms on steroids.  My poor husband; I really do feel bad for him right now more than ever.

While we are still waiting for transfer and a Day 5 update, followed by the intimidating 2ww. (2 week wait to find out if it worked), we have certainly learned this is a statistics game.  Higher top numbers, typically mean higher embryos that are good to transfer.  I support the skates function at my job, and they are always talking about a funnel for metrics.  This is the same thing.  Who knew those nut cases actually had a value add to my life without even knowing about it!! That being said, we like to shake it up in our house and are basically doing everything off of the bell curve.

The average cycle consists of 10 eggs retrieved, 8 mature, 6 fertilized, 4 day 3 good quality embryos and 2 day 5 blasts.

Currently we stand at 21 eggs retrieved, 15 mature, 11 fertilized and 8 day 3 good quality embryos.  Most declination happens between day 3 and day 5 so I am a nervous wreck. But what is crazy is when we initially got our fertilization report only 9 had fertilized (que pity party), this morning another 2 had, they were just late to the party! I was so excited!!!

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Our final injection(trigger shot) and my egg retrevial

I am sure I will be posting and rambling post transfer but today, I am emotionally shot.  I wanted to wrap up by certainly giving glory to God.  He is so good to us, and has blessed us in this process beyond measure.  And for those who have stood with us in hope and faith and prayed for our embabies before they even existed, my sincerest thanks.

Infertility

Today I thought I would dive a little deeper than normal and share my thoughts about supporting a woman undergoing infertility treatments.  When your friend/ sister/ neighbor/ co worker shares with you her battle with infertility, she is confiding in your deepest sense of confidence and support.  She has/ or will endure stress emotionally, physically and financially.  Yours words, while their intent is uplifting, can crush her.  I am sharing the phrases to never say to your infertile friend, that unfortunately we hear all the time.

“I’m sure if you just relax and stop trying, it will happen” I hear this ALL the time and it is by far the most annoying and ignorant thing you can say to someone who struggles with infertility.  Waiting will not cure her endometriosis, increase her husband’s sperm count, make her ovulate, etc.  This is not an issue of patience, and she is spending each day waiting, telling her to wait longer will only upset her.

“Everything happens for a reason” This statement just makes me angry.  Are you telling me I caused the infertility my husband and I suffer from? Or that I was purposefully made ill?  What reason does anyone have for suffering infertility?  Do not say this!!! It is not my destiny to be infertile, so don’t make it sound that way.

“I know how you feel, it took us 4 months to get pregnant” Nope, you don’t know how I feel.  Not even close.  How many injections have you administered?  How many doctors have you visited? How many negative tests have you looked at? How many surgeries have you endured?  How many thousands of dollars have you paid?  Our situations are not equal and you are currently demeaning mine.

“Maybe you aren’t ready to be a mother.  God needs more time to work on you” Me: you insensitive bitch!!! Then why are people addicted to drugs popping out babies left and right?  Very inappropriate.  I can’t imagine how women who have spouses with male factor infertility relate to this.

“This is God’s plan for you”. My God has plans to prosper me, not plans to harm me.   This sickness is because we live in a fallen world, not because God has deemed me to suffer.

“You could just adopt” If I wanted to adopt then I would.  Also, adoption is expensive ($30k plus).  Many couples can hardly afford fertility treatment so could not possibly afford adoption.  Again…ignorance.

If you are supporting a woman struggling with infertility, the best course of action is to say nothing at all. Often she wants you to listen, pray for her healing, or sit with her as she cries.  While words are said with the best of intentions, they tear apart our soul one piece at a time and I’ve learned very quickly, everyone has an input and opinion or words of advice for how they conceived. What she needs is someone to be vulnerable with and encourage her to persevere and move forward.  She is looking for you, her trusted friend to supplement her strength when she is weak and nothing more. Your support means more to her then she can tell you!

Because posts are not complete without photos…here is a glimpse into her week!

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The Great Debate

Given this time of year, I know most of you must assume this post is somehow related to these two nut jobs..

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But, it’s not! It is actually concerning the great debate between myself, my husband and our fertility doctor, who might as well be family at this point.   We need to decide if we plan to transfer a single embryo or two.  Under no circumstance will we transfer more than two.  This is causing me major anxiety, and I’m asking for help and advice from those who have been thru IVF before.

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If we transfer a single embryo, and achieve pregnancy, then it is a win all the way around.  However, this gives us a 42% success rate and this shit is expensive!  And time consuming!!!  If we transfer 2 embryos, our success rate bumps up to 65%, which is great but then there is the concern of a twin pregnancy.  Oh, and have you heard of embryos splitting, while rare it does happen creating an identical twin set like with this family or this family.  Both are precious families and blogs I feel encouraged by, but wow…it seems scary!

Enough rambling, any advice?!?!?!?!?

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IVF or Bust!

We have big news!!! We have officially received our diagnosis; we have “unexplained infertility.”  This is a medical term people!!! Also known as we don’t know what’s wrong with you, but something is clearly wrong. Therefore, we will begin our first round of IVF treatments in a few short days.  I have never experienced such a severe mix of emotions: excitement for baby but utter and complete fear of the pending injections, procedures and hormones.  I’ll be sharing more details as we start our month long journey!

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600

Today marks the 600th day of our fertility journey and like all the others, it is filled with the highs of hope and the lows of uncertainty. But, I am excited to say that as of next week we are officially moving from the diagnostic phase into the treatment phase!!! Last week I had my ovarian cyst removed (OUCH), and hysteroscopy preformed.  Alls good!! It was also my first experience with heavy pain medication.  One of my favorite outcomes relayed by my husband… NURSE: how do you feel? ME: like I did 500 sit ups, but we all know that didn’t happen.  Classy, I know!

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On a positive note, our next appointment is Aug. 8th, where we will firm up our treatment plan given my cycles regulate (TMI?) and also after surgery no one can judge you for eating 15 popcicles a day! :).

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Baby Spoon