Wednesday, August 31, 2011


This week we started our injections for IVF #2. I can say that my apprehension has kicked in now. Not because I'm afraid of needles, but it all just seems like it is coming up so much sooner than our last IVF cycle. My acupuncture appointment helped calm me down thankfully. This time around we are doing an Antagonist protocol. The doctors usually use this protocol for people like me who are poor responders to the medications or have diminishing ovarian reserve. I have both those problems. The good thing about doing the antagonist protocol is that there are less injections. :) But because of that it does feel like it crept up on me too quickly. Now that I've finished the birth control pills (to help my body adjust to the hormone medications) Here is our schedule:

This week:
Start FSH and HGH hormone injections Monday. Daily Repronex, Siazem, and Gonadal RF Ultrasound Thursday to determine when to start Cetrotide. (to regulate)

Next week:
Week of egg retrieval. Continue injections until told my follicles are mature. HCG injection 24 hours before egg retrieval. Fingers crossed! Egg retrieval and ICSI done by embryologist. Babies being made in petri dish! Start Progesterone injection intramuscularly (Big Bertha needle!/ Crazy hormone. Cue the emotional tears.)

Following week:
Transfer week...a.k.a. Knock me Up!!! Depending on what the Doctor determines, we may do a day three embryo transfer as early as Sept 10th, or a day five embryo transfer as early as September 12th. (better odds with a day five transfer.) The days we do all this is closely monitored by the Doctors, and determined by what day my follicles are mature enough.

So far I am doing okay with the injections. They are tiny needles that go subcutaniously in my belly, so they aren't bad. The only one I don't like doing is the Repronex. I get red welts around the injection sit, which is a normal reaction, and it hits were my pants hit at my waist. Urr! But no bad reactions. I don't feel weird or emotional at all yet. Like I said earlier, I've been calm mostly up until now. That may change once I start the progesterone. I was crazy on that last time. But at least I'm prepared for that. LOTS of comedy movies!!! I just hope things go well. I hope my body responds well to the medication. I hope we are able to retrieve enough healthy eggs. I hope I don't go into ovarian hyperstimulation. I hope I don't have a lot of pain after my retrieval. I hope we have enough healthy embryos to cryopreserve. I hope my embryos will implant in a healthy location. I hope they implant the first time. I hope my body won't reject the embryos. I hope they grow. I hope God allows those spirits to join our family. I hope for twins. I hope I can carry them full term. I hope I won't have another miscarriage. I hope if I do get pregnant, that I will be able to enjoy being pregnant, and not stress out about having another miscarriage. I hope for healthy babies. I hope my doggies will like being a big brother and big sister. I hope Isabelle won't go into depression since she won't be the "baby" anymore. I know Sebastian will be okay. He loves kids.

I know what our odds are. The Doctors say it's about 60% successful, but that is a "human statistic." I know it is 100% up to God if this works. I'm just trying to do all I can do to fulfill his commandment. There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon, 1st Nephi, chapter 3, verse 7 "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (thank you Kiersten Daines for pointing out this scripture in your book.) I don't know how our little spirit children are going to join our family: whether biological or adopted, I just know they are there, and I'm going to do whatever I can to get them to join our family. There are times when I can feel their presence.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Still on Schedule for IVF #2

My hysteroscopy surgery was this past Friday. They found nothing! The Dr. believes that what they saw on the ultrasound was just a bubble or air pocket from the sonohysterogram appointment. Probably because my uterus was contracting so much during the procedure, it formed this bubble. I don't know. They said everything looks good, so we are still on schedule for IVF this month. A week of worrying went to waist. But I can say that I'm glad we did the surgery because, if we didn't, we would know if my uterus was okay to transfer embryos to. Now we know everything is okay.

I get to start my injections this Monday. Since we are doing different medications (Antagonist), this round of IVF I won't have to do as many injections. But they are stronger meds, so hopefully I won't have any bad reactions. I had a screening ultrasound appointment yesterday and we determined that we will do ICSI with our IVF cycle this time. (ICSI is injecting the sperm into the egg, rather than just letting the sperm swim around the eggs in a petri dish with a regular IVF cycle) Even though my husbands sperm can fertilize my eggs at 100%, the fact that I have a diminishing ovarian reserve means that they may not be able to retrieve as many eggs. The embryologist can pick out the healthiest sperm, so it would be in our best interest to do it. (Anything that can improve our chances. ) Since I have sucky eggs.

My appointment was a little exhausting. They also train you how to do your injections at this appointment. They sent me over to the pharmacy to pick up my meds, but the pharmacy was a little confused with the human growth hormone injections. They did not have the "brand" of HGH that the fertility clinic prescribed, and taught me how to use. They were also confused how I was suppose to get five days of injections out of one vial. So they sent me back to the fertility clinic, so I can get instructions on how to mix the meds and give myself injections with this different brand of HGH. Turns out that the pharmacy was suppose to give me five vials, not one vial of the HGH. So I had to head back to the pharmacy to pick up four more vials. I felt like I was being bounced around like a ping pong ball! Like I said, EXHAUSTING. But better to be safe than sorry, right. Sometimes I wonder about medical people and their miscommunications...Ugh! Anyway, now I get to play chemist, mathematician, and doctor in my bathroom. Mixing meds and giving my self injections! Yeah! Luckily needles don't scare me. I will just have to review the online instructions a few times to make sure I'm doing all this right. On top of all this madness, I got to pay for everything! Lets just say this baby or babies will be nicknamed "Car-payment-baby/ies" IVF #2 here we go!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sonohysterogram Appointment

Sonohysterogram: the word itself is scary, the actual procedure is even scarier! It is a procedure where the evaluate the uterus by using a balloon and saline to outline the uterus to look for any abnormalities. They say it's comparable to a pap-smear. Wrong! Much worse. The first time I had this procedure done was about a year and a half ago. I passed the test, but barely. I had a tiny polyp, which they said was nothing to worry about. If it were bigger, then they would be concerned it would block and embryo from implanting. All I remember was how painful it was, but worth doing it again a second time to see if the polyp had gotten any bigger over this last year or so. Especially before we do IVF again.

My appointment was this past Friday. Marc had to work, but luckily my mom was in town to go with me. I had taken the Advil like I had been advised an hour before my appointment. (I took 800 mg, even thought they told me 400mg should be fine.) I feel like I'm one of "those" patients that the Doctor's don't look forward to because I don't do well with pain. You know, like at my job, at the dentist. I know certain patients are difficult to get x-rays because of a gag reflex, or have sensitive teeth. "TLC" patients. I'm a TLC patient at the Fertility clinic. I'm sure of it. The nurse takes me back and request that I fill the pee cup to take a pregnancy test. Wouldn't that be awesome, I thought! Then I could just skip all this and go home! But then again the reason why I was here is because I can't get pregnant and I'm currently taking birth control pills to gear up for my upcoming IVF cycle. Highly unlikely. Yep, negative! So that means I can't get out of doing this appointment. Dang it!

So my doctor proceeds with the sonohysterogram, my mom to my left, with me squeezing her hand. I did okay and I tried to focus on my breathing. It was painful. Even with 800mg of Advil in me. At one point the doctor asked me if I wanted him to stop. But I persisted, because I wanted him to get the information he needed. He was seeing something suspicious on the ultrasound, but couldn't get a clear image. We tried a Lortab to see if it would help with the pain. But unfortunately it wasn't working fast enough. He told me that my uterus was contracting (like a gag reflex) and was something I couldn't control. Even with all the Advil and slow breathing. So this made it difficult for him to proceed. I tried hard to relax and he was able to get some images on the ultrasound. I sat there watching him capture some images, and taking measurements on the ultrasound, but he seemed concerned. I jokingly said! It's cancer! Trying to take the ease off the stressful situation. He said it might be the polyp, but was unsure still. He tried hitting it with the catheter, and then tried flushing it with saline. (Which killed by the way.) I could feel my body trying to pull away, which wasn't smart. I could tell that he didn't want to hurt me so he stopped. He then told me that it would be best if I came back so they can put me under, and go inside with a camera to get a better image of what was in my uterus. Whatever it was, they are going to need to surgically remove it. Thankful that it was over, I got dressed and waited in the room with my mom.

I sat there with my mom waiting for him to come back in the room. He was taking a while, so I went up to the ultrasound to get a good look at the images he had still up on the screen. It looked like a three bulges of white ovals on the screen and a atrophied sack around it. My doctor came back into the room. He told me that it was probably one of two things: one being that the polyp had gotten bigger, or two, it could be calcified embryonic tissue. It is possible that with my last D/C surgery after the miscarriage, that they were unable to remove all the tissue, and there was some that remained and calcified. (But that doesn't make sense to me, because my HCG levels had dropped down to zero after my D/C, and I had an empty sac last time. There was something in this sack on the ultrasound.) It is possible that I had another miscarriage and was unaware of being pregnant. He said that the nurses will call me back on Monday, (today) to schedule an appointment for me to come back to do surgery. This may also delay my IVF cycle by one month to let me heal. So, I've got a week of unknown ahead of me....what is this in my uterus???

So now my head spinning. It's probably just that polyp we've been watching...just the polyp, just the polyp. Nothing to worry about. But if it is calcified embryonic tissue, was it from a year ago with my last miscarriage? Or is it from a new (3rd) miscarriage? How long have I been carrying around a dead tissue in my uterus? And of course, this is stirring up old emotions for me regarding my last two miscarriages. I've been looking back to see if I missed something. My cycles have all been on time, or within a day or two. I do remember having an emotional break down in February or March and telling Marc that I felt like my emotions were out of control. Similar to when we did IVF the first time with all that progesterone in me. I would be fine one moment, but break down in tears the next moment for no reason. I remember specifically telling Marc that I felt like I was having another miscarriage, even though I had no proof. Just that my emotions were similar to that when we had that miscarriage. But I don't know if it was just my depression from infertility that was messing with me, or if I really did get pregnant that month and didn't know. All I know was that I was grieving. Grieving hard. I'm also now thinking: Great! Does this mean that if we do IVF again, am I going to have another miscarriage? (confirming all my fears about doing this again.) However, if it calcified embryonic tissue, whether from a year ago or new, I still think I'm okay to proceed with IVF still. I feel like I grieved it and I'm ready to move forward. I'm done with grieving. It just kind of sucks, that's all. But on the bright side of things, the doctor did find something and maybe that will get us closer to achieving our goal of being parents. Who knows at this point. I'm going to try not to let myself think about it. It's probably just the polyp, right?