Friday, September 23, 2011

Bad Timing

Of all the times to get an eye inflammation, of course it had to be the time during my "2 week wait." UGH!!!! Really?! So I have a weird eye inflammatory disorder called iritis. It flairs up on me every once in a while. It's been 4 years since I had this last (of course right before Marc and I went on a cruise.) This stupid eye thing keeps coming up during the worst time. And I can't wear my contact lens!! I HATE wearing glasses!!!! It causes redness and irritation to sunlight, entering from a dark room to a light room causes pain, pain/pressure behind my eye. The eye drop meds. for it makes my vision blurry in which ever eye is affected, but it beats getting permanent vision loss, or damage. Maybe it's been a blessing in disguise, because I've been focusing on my eye pain more than this IVF 2 week wait period. But it's also got me paranoid. "Are the eye drop meds. okay to take if I'm prego?" The doctor said there are no studies on it. "Maybe my iritis is a bad sign, like since I have inflammation, maybe my immune system is on alert and it's going to kill off my embryos." I'm frantically googling "iritis and infertility." Or I thought on a positive note: "my sister-inlaw was unable to wear her contacts during pregnancy because they irritated her eyes...maybe I'm pregnant? " The eye doctor wants to do a work up on my to try and find the cause of this iritis. But until then I'm wearing my glasses and no eye make up since I'm doing eye drop meds on the hour/every hour.

And to add to the stress of this, the day this flared up on me, my doggies also tried running away twice! I had a little bit of a breakdown Wednesday night after the second time they ran away. My poor husband was trying to track them down, while on the phone with the eye doctor, and dealing with my mental breakdown. It hurt even to look at the light glaring from my cell phone, so he also helped me call/text people at work and help find a replacement for me so I could go to the eye doctor. I originally had an appointment for today, Friday, but I couldn't wait that long. Iritis is serious and I could loose my eye sight. So I'm glad I went in to the doctors sooner. I was trying to hold off long enough so I didn't have to miss any more work. But I heard that yesterday, the day I was gone for my appointment was a hard day at work. So I'm kind of glad I missed it.

On another frustrating note: I've had some spotting today. Now I'm thinking, great! IVF didn't work. I'm probably trying to start my period. My one sister-inlaw, whose been through this infertility/ IVF as well, reassured me that it's probably okay. My other sister-inlaw bleed really bad the first month with my niece, she didn't even realize she was prego until a month later because she thought she had a period. My spotting did subside. I did buy a preggy test today at the grocery store, I was wanting to wait till Sunday to take it, but I'm half tempted to take it now. I know last time with IVF, I was prego, and the preggy test did indicate pregnant, but it took a long time to show up, so I knew last time something was wrong. My HCG level after the blood work came back at 20, which it needs to be at least 100 to be considered a viable pregnancy. So I know if I take a pregnancy test now, it might not mean anything. Plus I've got all these hormones in me that the nurses said could through off a home pregnancy test. So I really won't know for sure until monday, anyway.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Trying to be Thankful.

Here I am, day 5 post embryo transfer. I'm still doing okay, despite the sad news that our 4th embryo did not make it to a blastocycst. So we will be unable to preserve any embryos from this cycle yet again. The embryologist whom I talked to reassured me that they did transfer the best embryos, and that this embryo not making it has no reflection on how the other three embryos will do. It was enough to make me a little upset. I cried for a little bit, because this is likely the last time we will do IVF, and we won't have another shot at it.

It's hard not to get a little discouraged. I've also been getting some cramping as of yesterday and today. Although the doctors did say a little cramping or spotting post embryo transfer is normal and could occur over the next couple of weeks. My mind is still racing as to what this cramping is. Is it due to implantation? Or is my body trying to reject the embryos? Sorry for the TMI, but my nips are still a little sore, so that's a good sign I'm thinking. Or is it because of the hormones? It is so hard not to be paranoid and read into these symptoms. Imagine what 9 months of pregnancy is going to be like for me? (If I get lucky) Or anyone facing pregnancy after infertility, for that matter.

I am trying to be grateful that we at least have had the opportunity to do IVF twice. I know there are infertile couples who can not afford to do this. I read of a woman in People magazine who lived in poverty and suffered from infertility. She also suffered from several miscarriages, which ultimately led her to go crazy. Fertility treatments were too expensive for her, and adoption was even more expensive. Sadly she kidnaped a baby girl from a couple in fear that she would never have a child of her own. She did have a son of her own later on. Her kidnaped daughter eventually figured it out that she had been kidnaped as an infant, around the age of 18 I think. And since then, the woman has been sent to prison. Although what this woman did was a terrible, horrible, horrible thing, and rightfully was punished. I can't help but feel sorry for her. I know exactly what she was going through and there was no help for her. She probably felt so alone.

I'm thankful for the financial help we received from family members to help us with our first IVF. And while my husband was out of work. We've been blessed in so many ways. I'm glad we were able to do IVF again on our own, without needing help this time. I know if it doesn't work out, we could always adopt some time in the future. (Though it may take some time for me to get to the point where I want to adopt.) I'm thankful certain things have lined up for us to do IVF again. One in particular is that I am finally feeling well again. I don't feel depressed. It took me a LONG time to feel well enough to be able to handle doing IVF again. To have the strength to face this, despite having two miscarriages. And although I will be sad and grieve if this does not work out for us, I don't want to go down that black hole I was in again. I want to move forward with our life together.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Embryo Transfer

Our embryo transfer was yesterday. I had a mix of emotions of both excitement, nerves, and calmness. During the morning while I was getting ready, the words of Celine Dion's song: "New Day" came to me while I was in the shower. This song she wrote about her first son, through which she received via IVF. Then I thought about how she did IVF 7 times to get her recent twins...Ugh, I don't think I would have that kind of strength. (or money) The words "waiting for a miracle to come" was what stuck me the most and I started to get a little teary eyed. But then I was like: No. I'm not going to do this. So instead I thought of Adam Lavine/ Christina Agulara's song: "Like Jagger." Now that song just makes me want to DANCE! Thankfully changed my mood quickly. :)

On the drive down to my appointment there was a red Hummer that switched lanes in front of us with a tire cover that read "Think Positive" So that has been my mantra. Not only literally thinking positive, but also "Positive" as in pregnancy test.

The actual procedure was pretty easy. Easier than a pap smear. We saw our embryos or "babies", as our doctor called them, on a TV screen. I love how the doctor referred to them as our babies. Very sweet. Which is SO cool to see them magnified on a TV srceen, by the way. And then we saw the embryologist suck them into a tiny pipet via the TV. He handed them over to the doctor, and before we knew it, we were done. I didn't even feel anything. They gave me some Valium and I was pretty much out of it for the rest of the day. Marc and I stopped at In-and Out Burger on our way home to eat lunch, but I don't remember much after calling my mom and texting a few people. I was out of it until 7pm. I almost forgot, I do remember soon after I got into the car to go home that 80's classic song came on the radio, Real Life's "Send me an Angel". I thought how appropriate for our situation. Marc made me dinner and we watched War of the Roses.

Today, day #2 of bed rest I've just been taking it easy. I have to admit, it has been pretty nice. I've been in a good mood so far, but I'm starting to get a little board. I've been in bed mostly. Slept in till 9am, watched a little of the Today Show and Price is Right. (PLINKO!!!!) Listening to music with a little facebook, and viewing pictures of our recent vacations...Oh St. Thomas how I miss you. Watched The Devil Wears Prada. And hung out with the doggies outside on the lawn chair. It's such a nice day outside. Anyway, now I'm back in bed again, here blogging...since I'm board. :) I'll probably call Marc and my Mom and bug them a little. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

IVF Egg Retrieval

IVF Egg retrieval was this morning. The doctors only retrieved 9 eggs. We need at least 6 of those eggs to be good enough to fertilize. We will hear back from the embryologist on Sunday to give us an update, and hopefully we will schedule our embryo transfer for Monday or Wednesday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and my prayers said. I'm a little sore and I'm walking around holding my tummy...I'm a wimp. But over all I'm doing fine. My doggy Isabelle has been laying on my tummy and her warm body feels good on my sore tummy. Marc took me out to a late breakfast after my surgery. It was this cute little place called "Eggs in the City." Quit fitting for our situation. Our eggs are literally in the city (SLC) right now. Hopefully becoming our babies. I am planning on attending the temple tomorrow. We will just wait and see.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Finding a Balance

My last ultrasound appointment went okay today. I'm a little discouraged because my left ovary is not cooperating. My doctor has been trying to find a fine balance between stimulating the left ovary, without overstimulating my right ovary. After today, it sounds like my left ovary follicles are not going to be good enough to fertilize. We won't know for sure until the day of the egg retrieval, which will be Friday morning. We not only need a miracle to get pregnant, but we need a second miracle to get my left ovary follicles to grow large enough.

There was some discussion regarding whether or not we will retrieve enough eggs. If we don't retrieve enough eggs, (at least 6 good eggs), we might consider doing Artificial Insemination instead. If this is the case, I don't know what to do. We could continue with doing this IVF cycle, but knowing that our odds are very low to even get a viable embryo. Everything until now has been fairly easy. After my appointment, I did a little retail therapy at the Gateway and spent way too much. All I know is that I'm doing everything I can do. Marc gets to stab me in my upper butt tonight with "Big Bertha" needle tonight with the HCG shot. Tomorrow night I get a break from injections. (Yeah!) And Friday morning will be the big day of the egg retrieval and hopefully the embryologist will be making our baby(ies). We will have more answers then.
I can't help but beat myself up for waiting too long to start trying to have a baby. I wish I would have listened to my mom, and not taken advice from other couples to wait to conceive. I wish I wouldn't have waited so long after our first failed IVF to do a second IVF cycle. My eggs really are soggy. :( I'm only 31, but it feels like my eggs are like I'm 41. Left ovary, PLEASE COOPERATE!!! You only have 36 hours to grow those follicles!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

People Watching

I love people watching. Being that I've been through fertility treatments before, I love sitting in the waiting room and watching other couples. (Flipping through a magazine in hand, so I'm not obviously watching.) We all know why we are here. There is like an unspoken awkwardness. Especially for they guys. I giggle to myself if I see a guy in the waiting room by himself...waiting for his "appointment." I know I shouldn't, but come on...It is kind of funny. I joke that the husbands have the easy part. But then my co-worker pointed out they do have the hard part of supporting the wife with her emotions from all the medications.

Yesterday, for my ultrasound appointment, I saw a couple come in for their pregnancy test. It was kind of hard not to over hear what they were there for, since they were the only ones in the waiting room with me. They were very well dressed, the husband in a suit, and the wife in a dress. They must of had somewhere to be afterwards, like a wedding event, or they had just come from the temple...assuming they were LDS. Who knows? They both looked so nervous, however the husband looked more nervous than the wife. His knees were bouncing like crazy in his seat. Seeing them there took me back to a year ago, when we came for our pregnancy blood test, waiting for the results. I wish the fertility clinic would have prepared us more for that day. I don't like how you come in for a blood test, and then they send you away, and say they will call us with the results within a few hours. I wish they would have more resource information regarding help when things don't turn out. It would have been nice to know about (The National Infertility Association) Information for online support groups, etc. They do give you a counselor's referral in our folder with all the IVF info. But who wants to pay someone more money? And honestly, I feel like a support group has been more helpful than counseling. It was like we walked away from it last time, after the miscarriage, going "Now what?" I'm truly grateful I found a support group. As that couple left the fertility clinic, I wished them good luck, as they did for me. I silently said a prayer for them after they left.

Speaking of people watching, I probably fell victim to someone else's people watching. I felt so stupid! Like I said earlier in my last post, the injections on my belly cause swelling and redness around the injection site. Because of this, the drive down to Salt Lake to go to the fertility clinic for my appointment was uncomfortable. I had unbuttoned my jean shorts and half way zipped down my zipper so it wouldn't put pressure on my sore stomach. Forty five minutes later, by the time I finally got there, I had forgotten I unbuttoned and unzipped my shorts. I got out of my car, and saw a couple walking out of the clinic, and as I got closer to the door, I saw my reflection in the glass door with my shirt flipped over to the side, and my pants wide open! Ah!!! Yeah! I felt so stupid. Anyway, just trying to keep some humor in this whole situation. I can laugh at myself at least.

So to update on where we are at. We have 9 immature follicles at this point, which the doctors are watching closely as they grow. That's why I keep going in for ultrasound appointments. My right ovary has 6 good follicles. My left ovary looks a little sad, with three follicles. The doctors are concerned that my left ovary is not responding as well. We need at least 6 good eggs, to make this worth while. Last time we had 12 eggs. 8 of those fertilized, and out of those 8 embryos, only 3 survived, 2 looked good to transfer, which we did. And the other was poor quality, so we decided to discard it. I was hoping for more this time, but I knew it was doubtful. It is probably unlikely that we will have enough embryos this time to preserve as well. I think we will transfer as many embryos as we can get! Hopefully, if we are lucky, we will get 3 good embryos to transfer this time. We started the cetrotide injections, which will help prevent premature ovulation. And I will go in tomorrow for another ultrasound to see where we are at. Wish me luck!