Mock cycle is in full swing!

Today is Day 6. I’ve been sniffing suprefact for 13 days now. Estrace starts on Tuesday, and my lining check ultrasound is scheduled for June 1st.

Once that’s all clear (hopefully) I’m not really sure what comes next. Paying someone a whole bunch of money I assume!

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IVF cycle #3 – It has started!

I got a call from my clinic yesterday. I called in last weekend on my Day 1, so I got the call yesterday giving me the rundown on what’s going to happen over the next couple of months.

I’m starting my mock cycle. This is to make sure I can produce a nice enough lining that is able to sustain a pregnancy.

I start the suprefact nasal spray on May 3rd, call in my next Day 1, and I will tentatively start my estrogen pills on May 19. Ultrasound to check my lining will happen around June 1st. If that looks good, we’re officially in the program! Next up would be choosing a donor, and having the eggs sent to our clinic to be ready for thawing, then fertilization! I’m not really sure of the process following that; when we can reasonably expect the fertilization and subsequent transfer, but I’m just going to go with it. It’ll get here when it gets here.

I’m feeling really hopeful and positive. And excited. I’m sure as I go, I’ll have some mixed feelings, but I feel like I’ve already really adjusted to the biggest ones so far.

I think when we sit down and really look at the donors, I’m going to have a bit of a tough time. We’ve been really open, and we’ve talked lots about it, so I really feel like S will understand how I’m feeling, but it’s still going to be a tough moment. To look at a bunch of faces that aren’t mine and know that it’s unlikely that my child will ever resemble me is going to be a hard day. And to shift our thinking into deciding which characteristics are important? It’s such a odd way to make a baby.

And yet…

The gift these women are giving… For me to still be able to be pregnant, to still have that experience. To always feel, once those eggs are ours, that this baby is no one else’s… You can’t put that into words. I am so humbled by the selfness people out there. What an amazing gift…

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A New Leaf

My husband and I have been married for almost 7 years, and have been trying to start a family for five and a half. We have done two IVF cycles with my eggs, but have found out that despite my textbook 28 day cycles, great hormone levels, and overal health, I do not have the quality of eggs that will produce a good embryo, let alone a live baby.

After our first cycle, I had an inkling that there wasn’t much hope for me having a biological child. But we moved and therefore switched clinics, and we were given some renewed hope by using a different protocol. We had much better results on cycle #2, but in the end, the quality was lacking, and we had three poor quality embryos transferred on day 3. We had a positive beta, but at our 7 week u/s we found only an empty sac. Before my 9 week follow up u/s, I had a miscarriage.

So here we are, about to embark on a donor egg cycle.

I have had my moments of despair at the thought that I will never have biological children. But when I think that this is even a possibility for me to still be pregnant with my husband’s child, I feel a huge sense of gratitude for those women out there who so generously make it possible for women like me.

So, the point is this. I want to connect with people. I want to share the highs and lows with women just like me. It’s so important for my husband to know that I am coming into this aware, and for the right reasons. It’s even more important for my future children to know that I am being honest with myself and my feelings, so I can raise him or her in a welcoming, unashamed environment.

This is our story. And I’m proud of it.

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New Year

We just had an appointment at the clinic to talk about dates for our IVF cycle. I was super hopeful that due to our shortened cycle we would be able to only do two months of Lupron and get going in December, but with the lab shutting down over the holidays, it’s too risky. So we’re looking at a cycle start at the beginning of January. That, of course, depends on my natural cycle starting up again quickly once the Lupron has worn off. Best case scenario: December 30th for my Day 1. Worst case scenario??? Maybe a couple of weeks after that..?

I certainly feel like we’re getting really close and I’m getting really excited. S… I don’t know. The waiting, the not knowing, and the uncertainty of success… it’s all getting to him. I feel like we’re on the right track, and we’re almost there, but for him the appointment made him feel down. And all his disappointment is filling me full of guilt. So I try to be upbeat, positive, looking at the bright side, meanwhile I’m crying inside because I’m unable to give him the one thing he wants more than anything.

We’ve been talking about getting away over the holidays. I would love to be away for Christmas Day, but he’s not quite on board. Probably for the best, because if we’re going to get a smoking deal, it’s not going to be over Christmas. I had a look and we could fly to NY and do a cruise from there for $2500. We’re going to hold out and see what kind of bonus is coming S’s way before we do anything.

In terms of the whole move we have been contemplating… so far no news. I’m pretty sure I have an offer coming my way in the next week, so we’ll see where that takes us. To be honest though, I’m not completely sold on that company, and would prefer to get an offer from another one I interviewed with. It’s a completely different job, but is really parallel with my experience. I’m more anxious to hear from them, but I don’t think they’re in such a rush to have someone start. We’ll see what happens. So many unknowns, so many question marks right now. That’s not helping S to feel patient in our situation either.

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Moving

We had our post-op follow up with our doctor yesterday.

I think it went really well. He was happy that I’ve had a problem-free recovery, and he was certainly happy with what he found during the surgery.

So here is the plan:

My second Lupron dose is this afternoon, which will last until November 4th (roughly). I have an appointment on October 29th to really lay out my cycle schedule, and may not do my third Lupron dose and do IVF at the beginning of December if it’s unlikely to conflict with the holiday clinic shutdown. I definitely feel like I don’t want to run the risk of having the shutdown affect anything, so we will most likely do the third dose, which would mean my period will likely (hopefully) start at the end of December/ beginning of January.

Once my period starts, I call in my Day 1. I go the following day for my baseline checks (bloodwork, u/s). If all looks good, I start my stimulation drugs the very next day!! DO stims for 10-12 days, then retrieval, then transfer 5 days later! Takes a two month process down to two weeks! Then we wait for the results!!

I’m feeling really good about the whole thing.

The only snag…. S and I have been seriously talking, and we are considering a big move. Across the country. We moved back “home” three years ago and I have been stagnant and unhappy in my career ever since. S has been doing fairly well, but he’s feeling like he’s hit a wall, and would like to be back in a big city where there’s a lot of stuff going on. So, I have a couple of interviews lined up over the next couple of weeks, and we’ll see what happens. By the sounds of it though, even if we do move it wouldn’t change much. I could either do satellite monitoring there, and come back for the procedure, of they could pull some strings and hopefully get me in there (or close to there). The only thing that may change is the timeline. I would most likely extend my Lupron therapy for an additional month because of moving.

Again, it’s all preliminary. If the companies I’m interviewing with are not open to paying to transfer me, we’ll be staying put, at least for now.

We’ll see what the next couple of weeks bring! So excited to feel like we’re moving forward again!!

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Again…

A coworker of mine is pregnant. She has a 7 year old daughter. She has been dating the guy she’s with for a little over a year.

I had a (one-sided) conversation with her not that long ago about how since her best friend had a baby, she has had some serious baby fever. But she definitely didn’t feel like she and her current bf were there, and she wasn’t even convinced they ever would be.

And now she’s halfway through her pregnancy.

Luckily, I’m currently working in another one of our offices, so I don’t have to see the progression. I’m hopeful that I get to stay there until she’s off on maternity leave to be honest…

I’m really fucking tired of getting a spiel about how it’s not going to happen. And then it happens. It makes the blow that much harder.

This following a weekend with S’ friend who’s gf is pregnant with their second. And he’s not at all happy in the relationship, and if it weren’t for the first, they probably wouldn’t still be together. And yet they’re too fucking stupid to take precautions so they don’t have another?!!?

SO the weekend was a lot of “joking” comments about how we need to hurry up, how at the rate we’re going, his two kids will be old enough to beat our kids up.

Wow. Now that is a massive amount of compassion you’re showing. Have you forgotten that you were dating another girl when we started trying to have a family? Have you forgotten that I have had two surgeries, that we’ve started an IVF cycle only to be cancelled and now I’m in a forced menopause to alleviate the inflammation from endometriosis so that when we try IVF again, probably in 2014, I’ll be in a better physical condition for it to actually work???

I try really hard not to begrudge people who have gotten lucky in this game. But when they know our story and they prove that they’re incapable of showing us any empathy and instead make a joke and insist on rubbing it in our faces, it’s hard to not feel pissed off at the universe.

And Lupron is making me a pissed off person. I can’t wait until it’s over.

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Post Lap, take two

one week ago, I was in surgery. one week ago I had a cantalope sized cyst removed from my right ovary, and had endometriosis lasered for the second time in a year.

I can remember talking to Dr. A prior to going into the OR. I wish S had been able to go in there with me because I don’t completely remember everything that was said. I know I asked about how long I should expect to be on lupron following the surgery. He told me anywhere from 3 to 6 months, but that length of time would be dependant on what he found once he was able to look inside.

Those two minutes between sitting yourself on the operating table and the anesthetic kicking in are surreal. I felt very nervous all of a sudden, I felt like I didn’t get a chance to talk to S about what I talked to the doctor about. I felt like I was rushed in there before I was ready.

It’s an odd feeling, climbing up onto a table that you’re know is about to be your home while they poke around inside you. Looking around the room, seeing about 10 people who are responsible in some way about your care is a bit unnerving.

I can remember, in the moment before the anesthetic took hold, being really uncomfortable knowing that once I was out, I would be stripped, cut open, blown up like a balloon, lasered, stitched and wrapped up like nothing happened. I can remember feeling anxious, thinking how crazy it was that I was given ativan to relax me before a dental procedure, but I was expected to walk into the OR like nothing was bothering me.

When I came to, I was shaking uncontrollably, yet I couldn’t move. I was wrapped in blankets, but the involuntary movement was causing excruciating pain in my shoulder, thanks to the CO2 they blew me up with. They say I was in recovery for an hour and a half, but being in and out of consiousness made it feel like it was about 4 minutes. My eyes were blurry, and when I rubbed them I was told they had to put something in them to keep them from drying out during surgery. Yet another tidbit that just made me feel uneasy about the whole procedure. All I could picture was me laying there, stripped, eyes wide, unconsious, inflated. I’m shuddering just thinking about it.

Once I was able to maintain consiousness, the doctor came in to talk to me about how it went. I remember asking if he weighed the cyst when he took it out, but he didn’t (now that I’m not swollen anymore, turns out I’m down 2.8 pounds!). The nurses went to get S and I can remember my heart feeling so good just seeing his smiling face. SO the doctor gave us a run down – huge cyst, endometrioma attached on the right side, emdometrioma on the left side, endo adhesions causing my uterus to be tilted. Endometriomas automatically mean it’s stage IV, but based on the severity (or lack of) I am on the low end, which means he’s comfortable with just three months of lupron therapy. Awesome, awesome news!

My first lupron injection is on Tuesday, September 3rd, my last will be November 3rd (or therabouts), and my period should return sometime after December 3rd. This is one thing I’m concerned about – I’ve read conflicting information. Some people say they got their period right away after the lupron wore off, some say it took months for it to come back, so that’s going to be a wait and see. I hope it comes right back, but knowing us and all of our setbacks, it won’t. Not much we can do about it, so not much point in worrying about it.

So best case scenario, we’re looking at the same timeline as a last year. I’m a little miffed that we lost another entire year, but… what can you do?

 

Recovery has been more difficult this time than last. I have two insicisons, one at either ovary, and they have proven more uncomfortable than my one incision right at my pubic region. Movement is still somewhat difficult and I’m still feeling sore.

I have never seen my body so misshapen and swollen, it was kind of a scary sight the day of and the day following surgery. It was pretty easy to tell that most of the “work” was done on the right side because it was significantly more swollen and protruded.

I’m mostly back to normal now. Down almost three pounds which means I’m at my lowest weight in probably 8 years. I was working out quite a bit prior to surgery, so I was doing well regardless, but this is easily worth a month of working out! I’m anxious to get back to the gym and get into the best shape possible before we go forward with IVF. I don’t want my health hanging over my head, offering one more obstacle on our already bumpy road.

I feel more hope now than I have in, well, a year. I’m feeling so strongly that this is it. Yes, we have more waiting for it, but it’s going to be worth the wait.

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