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I can't believe the difference already... 4 weeks to 18 weeks - and still 22 more weeks to go!
Yes, that’s right! WE ARE PREGNANT!Let’s rewind:4/6 – Had my 2nd FET. We transferred 3 blasts. I brought a St. Gerard token with me to the transfer. I prayed the entire time. Unfortunately we lost 2 of our “snowbabies” during the process, so we’re left with only 2 more frozen instead of 4. For the next 48 hours, I was on bedrest. And when I say bedrest I really mean BEDrest. I only got up to use the bathroom and to eat dinner. I didn’t even shower! I spent my days watching the first season of Dexter, eating the lovely Godiva chocolates my hubbie brought for me, watching movies, and praying. My mom came to visit when my 48 hours were up. We took it pretty easy. We shopped (but not until we dropped ), visited Newport beach, got Sprinkles cupcakes, had bra fittings at Intimacy, ate some great dinners out, cooked some great dinners at home, and just had a blast!Easter put me at 6dp5dt. Of course I had to test on Easter. That morning, knowing I was going to test… I woke up bright and early at 7 am… I was equipped with my last FRER from previous months. I POAS and close my eyes and pray until I think it’s about that time where the lines would be there. But… there was only 1 line. I chucked that test in the garbage. I watched some things I had DVR’d. We had a beautiful brunch overlooking the water planned for 11. Around 10, I go back into the bathroom to shower and I feel the urge to (as I usually did) rummage through the garbage to find that test and see if, by some magical miracle, a line had showed up. I pick the test out of the garbage. I hold it up to the light. I tilt it. I hold it by the window for natural light. And wait…. Is that? Could that be… Do you think??? I thought I saw the faintest of all faint lines. So faint that I thought maybe I was making it up. I rush out to DH and show him the test. He tells me that *I* am the one who always says that we can’t trust a test after 3 hours. I gently remind him that I ALWAYS go back in the garbage and check and I’ve NEVER EVER seen even what I thought could be a line! He says we should wait until tomorrow. I say okay. Okay my butt. I go back into the bathroom, turn on the shower, and start going through my cabinets. YES.. there it is. The free digital FRER (yes/no) test that came with my package of FRERs! Of course I immediately POAS. Appropriately, a little “sand timer” icon appears and begins flashing. I say to myself, “This could be it… this could be positive. But if it’s not, it could still be later… you only waited 3 hours since you last peed… maybe your urine is diluted. Why did you drink that coffee? Why did you have that glass of water?” tick tock. Tick tock. And then… the most wonderful word appears before my eyes: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.I run out of the bathroom, shower still running and say to DH “WE’RE PREGNANT!” I start crying… hysterically, uncontrollably. We hug… so tight. And that was the day I smiled so much that my cheeks hurt. And took 5 pregnancy tests. 1 FRER lline test that morning, 1 FRER digital later that morning, and 1 Equate, 1 more FRER for good measure, and 1 CBE digital that afternoon. All BFPs!On 4/14, 8dp5dt – I went in for my beta. I waited (not so) patiently for the call that came 2.5 hours later than expected. I heard the most beautiful words: “Congratulations, Hayley! You’re pregnant.” My beta turned out to be 143. My first thought was “we love you too, baby.” ---The next parts are a bit of a rollercoaster ride, so bear with me. We had our first sonogram scheduled for 4/29 when I was 6 weeks. I baked chocolate ganache cupcakes and put them in pink and blue cupcake liners as a little “thanks” to all of the wonderful people at my RE’s office. We went into the room that we had been in so many times before… only this time we weren’t checking to see the thickness of my lining or the growth of my follicles. Finally, we were looking to see A BABY. And not only did we see A baby, we saw…TWINS! Could you believe it? It was like all of our dreams were coming true in that instant. We both looked at each other with the hugest smiles on our faces. I think that in some sense, people who deal with infertility and go through fertility treatments somehow feel like they “deserve” (for lack of a better word) twins after all they’ve been through. I never really felt that way, but of course I did always hope for two little blessings. And we got them.That night, I had some brown spotting that turned to red spotting. I called my RE and they said we could come in the next day for another u/s just to be sure. They said it was possible that we could be losing one of the babies since we hadn’t yet see their heartbeats the day before.So, at 6 weeks, 1 day we went in for our second ultrasound. Baby A had a heartbeat! So did Baby B!As you can see from the picture, we saw that Baby B’s gestational sac was measuring a bit smaller than Baby A’s. We were told at this time that it wasn’t really a cause for concern and that our chances of miscarriage when down to about 5% now that we had seen both heartbeats.That weekend, I had VERY heavy bleeding. It was probably worse than a heavy period and felt like it lasted forever. There were even (sorry TMI alert) clumps and clots within the bleeding. I was sure that we lost both babies. At 6 weeks, 5 days we went in for another ultrasound. Baby A’s heartbeat was 136, Baby B’s was 113 – but as you can see… Baby B’s sac was MUCH smaller than Baby A’s – although their CRLs (crown to rump lengths) were nearly identical. They told us that with this very small gestational sac, it was likely that we would lose baby B. We nicknamed baby A “meatball” and baby B “rocky” (our fighter!). I was switched over to PIO instead of progesterone suppositories just to make sure that there wasn’t any extra irritation of the cervix.Our next appointment was set for 7 weeks, 2 days. I was still having some red spotting. The first sono picture I have is the REAL SIZE! How amazing is that? Don’t the babies look like a banana and an apple?The next picture shows how small Rocky’s gestational sac was. It basically looked like he (I will say HE from now on instead of he/she although we have no clue about sex) was taking up the whole sac! This broke my heart into a million pieces.Our little Meatball had grown 4 mm, with a HB of 138. Our fighter Rocky had grown 3 mm with a HB of 134 – but we were still told to expect to lose Rocky because of the small sac. The next sonogram was at 8 weeks. Meatball grew and was starting to look like a “real” baby! He even had arm and leg buds and wiggled for us! His HB was 186. Rocky grew too and his HB was 164. He didn’t wiggle for us and we were still told that we’d lose him.I’m sure you can understand what a rollercoaster those weeks were. We of course were praying so hard for our little Rocky to survive – but dealing with the heartbreak of his situation. We had a million questions – What will happen if we lose Rocky? Will we also lose Meatball? If Rocky does make it, will he have any long-lasting problems from the small sac? Etc, etc. Unfortunately, at our next sonogram at 9 weeks, our Rocky had lost the fight. He had no HB. It was so sad to see him there – a tiny bit bigger than last week, but just still and with no flicker of a heart to be seen. The bittersweet part was that Meatball was wiggling around and doing a little dance! He had gotten SO much bigger and was really looking like baby!The RE said that we could expect some bleeding – but that if we didn’t have any, it was because the baby had just reabsorbed. Together we dealt with the loss of our baby. The loss of the idea of twins – double everything! We mourned our lost little one, and rejoiced for our healthy other baby. Someone said to me, “Now your baby has his very own angel” – and that was the first thing after our loss that made me smile again. Now I can look back at Rocky and smile, knowing that he’s looking over his sibling and making sure everything is okay.Next, we grabbed our caps and gowns and cued the cheesy music for our GRADUATION! Finally, at 10 weeks (well, 9 weeks + 6 days) we graduated from the RE. It was such a bittersweet moment. We loved our RE and everyone at the office. They have constantly gone above and beyond to be kind and accommodating throughout this whole process. We got our last picture of little Meatball from the RE, and said our goodbyes to the people who felt like family. Through all of the ups and downs, we are so blessed to have our little angel Rocky watching over us, and we are just beyond happy to have our little Meatball, the little love of our lives, growing in my belly!Oh – and speaking of growing bellies… On Wednesday I’ll be 12 weeks - but I just couldn’t hold it in any longer!!!
Well, I know I’ve been kind of secretive about my journey as of late… but along the way I’ve found that there’s an added amount of pressure when “everybody” knows what you’re going through – it’s like a whole other world of people who will be disappointed when it doesn’t work, if that makes sense. And I’ve also found that there are people I’d rather not share my story with… as least not while the feelings are new and raw. So, let me catch you up.12/27 - CD 1, AF showed, start BCP.12/28 - CD 2 - BCP12/29 - CD 3 - BCP12/30 - CD 4 - BCP12/31 - CD 5 - BCP1/1 - CD 6 - BCP1/2 - CD 7 - BCP1/3 - CD 8 - BCP1/4 - CD 9 - BCP1/5 - CD 10 - BCP1/6 - CD 11 - BCP1/7 - CD 12 - BCP1/8 - CD 13 - BCP1/9 - CD 14 - BCP, Start 10 units Lupron; Mock ET (very smooth, took about 2 minutes - found slight upward curve to left) & baseline u/s (quiet ovaries, slightly enlarged right ovary, lining at 5) 1/10 - CD 15 - BCP; Lupron, 10 units1/11 - CD 16 - BCP; Lupron, 10 units1/12 - CD 17 - Lupron, 10 units1/13 - CD 18 - Lupron, 10 units1/14 - CD 19 - Lupron, 10 units, AF1/15 - CD 20 - Lupron, 10 units, AF 1/16 - CD 21- Lupron, 10 units, AF1/17 - CD 22 - Lupron, 10 units, AF1/18 - CD 23 - Lupron, 10 units, AF1/19 - CD 24 - Ultrasound shows quiet ovaries and thin lining. Lupron, 5 units; Estracex2; Baby Aspirin1/20 - CD 25 - Lupron, 5 units; Estracex2; Baby Aspirin1/21 - CD 26 - Lupron, 5 units; Estracex2; Baby Aspirin1/22 - CD 27 - Lupron, 5 units; Estracex2; Baby Aspirin1/23 - CD 28 - Lupron, 5 units; Estracex2; Baby Aspirin1/24 - CD 29 - Lupron, 5 units; Estracex2; Baby Aspirin1/25 - CD 30 - Lupron, 5 units; Estracex2; Baby Aspirin1/26 - CD 31 - Lupron, 5 units; Estracex2; Baby Aspirin1/27 - CD 32 - Lupron, 5 units; Estracex2; Baby Aspirin1/28 - CD 33 - Lupron, 5 units; Estracex2; Baby Aspirin; Lining is 12.5 and triple stripe.1/29 - CD 34- Lupron, 5 units; Estracex2; Baby Aspirin1/30 - CD 35 - Lupron, 5 units; Estracex2; Baby Aspirin1/31 - CD 36 - Estracex2; Baby Aspirin; Endometrinx12/1 - CD 37 - Estracex2; Baby Aspirin; Endometrinx3; Doxycylinex22/2 - CD 38 - Estracex2; Baby Aspirin; Endometrinx3; Doxycylinex22/3 - CD 39 - Estracex2; Baby Aspirin; Endometrinx3; Doxycylinex22/4 - CD 40 - Estracex2; Baby Aspirin; Endometrinx3; Doxycylinex22/5 - CD 41 - Estracex2; Baby Aspirin; Endometrinx3; Doxycylinex22/6 - TRANSFER DAY! Transferred 3 - 1 hatching blast (great quality), 1 of good quality, 1 not-so-great (hadn't begun to re-expand after thawing)Now I had entered the dreaded 2WW – which is actually only a 10dw (10 day wait) because the embryos (now known as blastocysts) are already 5 days old (which is when they were frozen).Here’s how it works with 5-day transfers (in an ideal world):1dpt..Blastocyst hatches out of shell on this day2dpt..Blastocyst attaches to a site on the uterine lining3dpt..Implantation begins, as the blastocyst begins to bury in the lining4dpt..Implantation process continues and blastocyst buries deeper in the lining5dpt..Blastocyst is completely implanted in the lining and has placenta cells & fetal cells6dpt..Placenta cells begin to secrete HCG in the blood7dpt.. More HCG is produced as fetus develops8dpt.. More HCG is produced as fetus develops9dpt..HCG levels are now high enough to be immediately detected in HPTHere’s how it works for me:2/10 – 4dp5dt (9 DPO), BFN on FRER with FMU; BFN on Equate with afternoon urine2/11 – 5dp5dt (10 DPO), BFN on FRER with FMU2/13 – 7dp5dt (12 DPO), BFN on FRER with FMU2/16 – 10dp5dt (15 DPO), BFN on FRER with FMU; beta is negative.So, as I’m sure many of you figured out from my posts, avatar title, or blog title… this FET didn’t work for us.I’m not sure what to think right now. Part of me is screaming “WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?” – while part of me is saying, “This doesn’t mean something is definitely wrong.”The chances for us with transferring 3 were 50%. It’s basically a coin toss. Now as we know, each time you flip a coin you can get heads or tails. In theory, if you flipped twice – you’d get heads once and tails once. So you figure… if we did an IVF and an FET and each had 50% odds.. we’d get pregnant one of those times, right? But again, as we know… even though it SHOULD work that way – it doesn’t. You can flip a coin 5 times and get tails every time. So while part of me thinks that maybe something’s wrong with me… part of me thinks that maybe this time was just “tails” and next time can be “heads.” We have no reason to believe that this won’t work.In fact, the embryologist said, “I will be surprised if you aren’t pregnant with at least 1 baby.” (She said the chances of triplets was slim because the 3rd frostie wasn’t doing so well). AND the RE did a sono right after and wrote “baby crib” on my uterus. It was so sweet and made me so hopeful. If I were a textbook, I would be pregnant. Everything seems perfect – so why isn’t this working for us? So the next question is – Where do we go from here?Do we do more testing (which now isn’t covered by our insurance) in an attempt to find if something is wrong that the other testing didn’t? I did the HSG which showed normal uterus and fallopian tubes – should we assume that I’m in the minority where I got a false result? Should we do immunological testing in an attempt to find out if I have some kind of clotting disorder – which is only typically done after multiple miscarriages (which obviously doesn’t apply to me)? OrShould we do more treatment? Nothing’s covered by insurance. Anything we want to do, any choices that we make… we have to finance. We’ve spent more money than we ever imagined we’d spend already – so should we spend more on testing or on treating? I’m wondering if there are any preventative treatments that we can try (which would mean NO testing, but treating as if there was a problem?) – is that even a possibility? I guess I will discuss all of this with my RE next week at our appointment and figure out where to go from there. If we do decide to do another FET – that’s another 6 week process and our last chance at a 2009 baby. I remember when I had my last chance for a 2008 baby. My how the time has flown. Sometimes I feel like my heart is just breaking into a million pieces. We want this more than anything and we don’t want to think that it can’t happen for us. We want to continue to pray and be strong and believe. So for now, that’s the plan: PRAY, Stay strong, and believe that we’ll get this figured out. And I’ll end with this John Mayer song that feels like it was written just for me at this very moment.Too many shadows in my room Too many hours in this midnight Too many corners in my mind So much to do to set my heart right Oh, it's taking so long…i could be wrong, i could be ready Oh, but if i take my heart's advice I should assume it's still unsteady I am in repair, i am in repair Stood on the corner for a while To wait for the wind to blow down on me Hoping it takes with it my old ways And bring some brand new luck upon meOh it's taking so long i could be wrong, i could be ready Oh but if i take my heart's advice I should assume it's still unsteady I'm in repair, i'm not together but i'm getting there
"All we have to do is understand that we're all here for a reason and commit ourselves to that. Then, we can laugh at our sufferings, large and small, and walk fearlessly, aware that each step has meaning."
By Vita AlligoodChances are, you know someone who is struggling with infertility. More than five million people of childbearing age in the United States experience infertility. Yet, as a society, we are woefully uninformed about how to best provide emotional support for our loved ones during this painful time.Infertility is, indeed, a very painful struggle. The pain is similar to the grief over losing a loved one, but it is unique because it is a recurring grief. When a loved one dies, he isn't coming back. There is no hope that he will come back from the dead. You must work through the stages of grief, accept that you will never see this person again, and move on with your life.The grief of infertility is not so cut and dry. Infertile people grieve the loss of the baby that they may never know. They grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes. But, each month, there is the hope that maybe that baby will be conceived after all. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, they still hope that this month will be different. Then, the bad news comes again, and the grief washes over the infertile couple anew. This process happens month after month, year after year. It is like having a deep cut that keeps getting opened right when it starts to heal.As the couple moves into infertility treatments, the pain increases while the bank account depletes. Most infertility treatments involve using hormones, which alter the user's moods. (That statement is like calling a lion a cat-my husband would tell you that the side effect is insanity!) The tests are invasive and embarrassing to both parties, and you feel like the doctor has taken over your bedroom. And for all of this discomfort, you pay a lot of money. Infertility treatments are expensive, and most insurance companies do not cover the costs. So, in addition to the pain of not conceiving a baby each month, the couple pays out anywhere from $300 to five figures, depending upon the treatment used.A couple will eventually resolve the infertility problem in one of three ways: * They will eventually conceive a baby. * They will stop the infertility treatments and choose to live without children. * They will find an alternative way to parent, such as by adopting a child or becoming a foster parent.Reaching a resolution can take years, so your infertile loved ones need your emotional support during this journey. Most people don't know what to say, so they wind up saying the wrong thing, which only makes the journey so much harder for their loved ones. Knowing what not to say is half of the battle to providing support.Don't Tell Them to RelaxEveryone knows someone who had trouble conceiving but then finally became pregnant once she "relaxed." Couples who are able to conceive after a few months of "relaxing" are not infertile. By definition, a couple is not diagnosed as "infertile" until they have tried unsuccessfully to become pregnant for a full year. In fact, most infertility specialists will not treat a couple for infertility until they have tried to become pregnant for a year. This year weeds out the people who aren't infertile but just need to "relax." Those that remain are truly infertile.Comments such as "just relax" or "try going on a cruise" create even more stress for the infertile couple, particularly the woman. The woman feels like she is doing something wrong when, in fact, there is a good chance that there is a physical problem preventing her from becoming pregnant.These comments can also reach the point of absurdity. As a couple, my husband and I underwent two surgeries, numerous inseminations, hormone treatments, and four years of poking and prodding by doctors. Yet, people still continued to say things like, "If you just relaxed on a cruise . . ." Infertility is a diagnosable medical problem that must be treated by a doctor, and even with treatment, many couples will NEVER successfully conceive a child. Relaxation itself does not cure medical infertility.Don't Minimize the ProblemFailure to conceive a baby is a very painful journey. Infertile couples are surrounded by families with children. These couples watch their friends give birth to two or three children, and they watch those children grow while the couple goes home to the silence of an empty house. These couples see all of the joy that a child brings into someone's life, and they feel the emptiness of not being able to experience the same joy.Comments like, "Just enjoy being able to sleep late . . . .travel . . etc.," do not offer comfort. Instead, these comments make infertile people feel like you are minimizing their pain. You wouldn't tell somebody whose parent just died to be thankful that he no longer has to buy Father's Day or Mother's Day cards. Losing that one obligation doesn't even begin to compensate for the incredible loss of losing a parent. In the same vein, being able to sleep late or travel does not provide comfort to somebody who desperately wants a child.Don't Say There Are Worse Things That Could HappenAlong the same lines, don't tell your friend that there are worse things that she could be going through. Who is the final authority on what is the "worst" thing that could happen to someone? Is it going through a divorce? Watching a loved one die? Getting raped? Losing a job?Different people react to different life experiences in different ways. To someone who has trained his whole life for the Olympics, the "worst" thing might be experiencing an injury the week before the event. To someone who has walked away from her career to become a stay-at-home wife for 40 years, watching her husband leave her for a younger woman might be the "worst" thing. And, to a woman whose sole goal in life has been to love and nurture a child, infertility may indeed be the "worst" thing that could happen.People wouldn't dream of telling someone whose parent just died, "It could be worse: both of your parents could be dead." Such a comment would be considered cruel rather than comforting. In the same vein, don't tell your friend that she could be going through worse things than infertility.Don't Say They Aren't Meant to Be ParentsOne of the cruelest things anyone ever said to me is, "Maybe God doesn't intend for you to be a mother." How incredibly insensitive to imply that I would be such a bad mother that God felt the need to divinely sterilize me. If God were in the business of divinely sterilizing women, don't you think he would prevent the pregnancies that end in abortions? Or wouldn't he sterilize the women who wind up neglecting and abusing their children? Even if you aren't religious, the "maybe it's not meant to be" comments are not comforting. Infertility is a medical condition, not a punishment from God or Mother Nature.Don't Ask Why They Aren't Trying IVFIn vitro fertilization (IVF) is a method in which the woman harvests multiple eggs, which are then combined with the man's sperm in a petri dish. This is the method that can produce multiple births. People frequently ask, "Why don't you just try IVF?" in the same casual tone they would use to ask, "Why don't you try shopping at another store?"There are many reasons why a couple would choose not to pursue this option. Here are a few of them.IVF is Expensive with Low OddsOne cycle of IVF is very expensive. With all of the hype in the news, many people assume that IVF is a sure thing when, in fact, the odds of success for each cycle are low. Most couples cannot afford to try for one month, much less for multiple times. Considering that it also costs a significant amount of money to adopt a baby, many couples opt for the "sure thing" rather then risking their money on much lower odds.IVF is Physically TaxingUndergoing IVF treatments is very rigorous. The woman must inject shots into her thigh daily to cause her ovaries to superovulate. The drugs used are very taxing on the woman, and they can cause her to be become extremely emotional.IVF Raises Ethical IssuesIronically, couples who undergo IVF to become parents may have to selectively abort one or more fetuses if multiple eggs are fertilized. Many couples cannot bring themselves to abort a baby when they have worked so hard to become parents. If the couple chooses not to selectively abort, they run the risk of multiple births.Don't Offer Unsolicited Opinions If They Are Trying IVFOn the flip side of the coin, don't offer unsolicited advice to your friends who do choose to try IVF. For many couples, IVF is the only way they will ever give birth to a baby. This is a huge decision for them to make, for all of the reasons I outlined above.If the couple has resolved any ethical issues, don't muddy the waters. IVF is a gray area in many ethical circles, and many of our moral leaders don't yet know how to answer the ethical questions that have arisen from this new technology. If the couple has resolved these issues already, you only make it harder by raising the ethical questions again. Respect their decision, and offer your support. If you can't offer your support due to ethical differences of opinion, then say nothing.A couple who chooses the IVF route has a hard, expensive road ahead, and they need your support more than ever. The hormones are no cakewalk, and the financial cost is enormous. Your friend would not be going this route if there were an easier way, and the fact that she is willing to endure so much is further proof of how much she truly wants to parent a child. The hormones will make her more emotional, so offer her your support and keep your questions to yourself.Don't Play DoctorOnce your infertile friends are under a doctor's care, the doctor will run them through numerous tests to determine why they aren't able to conceive. There a numerous reasons that a couple may not be able to conceive. Here are a few of them: * Blocked fallopian tubes * Cysts * Endometriosis * Low hormone levels * Low "normal form" sperm count * Low progesterone level * Low sperm count * Low sperm motility * Thin uterine wallsInfertility is a complicated problem to diagnose, and reading an article or book on infertility will not make you an "expert" on the subject. Let your friends work with their doctor to diagnose and treat the problem. Your friends probably already know more about the causes and solutions of infertility than you will ever know.You may feel like you are being helpful by reading up on infertility, and there is nothing wrong with learning more about the subject. The problem comes when you try to "play doctor" with your friends. They already have a doctor with years of experience in diagnosing and treating the problem. They need to work with and trust their doctor to treat the problem. You only complicate the issue when you throw out other ideas that you have read about. The doctor knows more about the causes and solutions; let your friends work with their doctor to solve the problem.Don't Be CrudeIt is appalling that I even have to include this paragraph, but some of you need to hear this-Don't make crude jokes about your friend's vulnerable position. Crude comments like "I'll donate the sperm" or "Make sure the doctor uses your sperm for the insemination" are not funny, and they only irritate your friends.Don't Complain About Your PregnancyThis message is for pregnant women-Just being around you is painful for your infertile friends. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Unless an infertile women plans to spend her life in a cave, she has to find a way to interact with pregnant women. However, there are things you can do as her friend to make it easier.The number one rule is DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY. I understand from my friends that, when you are pregnant, your hormones are going crazy and you experience a lot of discomfort, such as queasiness, stretch marks, and fatigue. You have every right to vent about the discomforts to any one else in your life, but don't put your infertile friend in the position of comforting you.Your infertile friend would give anything to experience the discomforts you are enduring because those discomforts come from a baby growing inside of you. When I heard a pregnant woman complain about morning sickness, I would think, "I'd gladly throw up for nine straight months if it meant I could have a baby." When a pregnant woman would complain about her weight gain, I would think, "I would cut off my arm if I could be in your shoes."I managed to go to baby showers and hospitals to welcome my friends' new babies, but it was hard. Without exception, it was hard. Stay sensitive to your infertile friend's emotions, and give her the leeway that she needs to be happy for you while she cries for herself. If she can't bring herself to hold your new baby, give her time. She isn't rejecting you or your new baby; she is just trying to work her way through her pain to show sincere joy for you. The fact that she is willing to endure such pain in order to celebrate your new baby with you speaks volumes about how much your friendship means to her.Don't Treat Them Like They Are IgnorantFor some reason, some people seem to think that infertility causes a person to become unrealistic about the responsibilities of parenthood. I don't follow the logic, but several people told me that I wouldn't ache for a baby so much if I appreciated how much responsibility was involved in parenting.Let's face it-no one can fully appreciate the responsibilities involved in parenting until they are, themselves, parents. That is true whether you successfully conceived after one month or after 10 years. The length of time you spend waiting for that baby does not factor in to your appreciation of responsibility. If anything, people who have been trying to become pregnant longer have had more time to think about those responsibilities. They have also probably been around lots of babies as their friends started their families.Perhaps part of what fuels this perception is that infertile couples have a longer time to "dream" about what being a parent will be like. Like every other couple, we have our fantasies-my child will sleep through the night, would never have a tantrum in public, and will always eat his vegetables. Let us have our fantasies. Those fantasies are some of the few parent-to-be perks that we have-let us have them. You can give us your knowing looks when we discover the truth later.Don't Gossip About Your Friend's ConditionInfertility treatments are very private and embarrassing, which is why many couples choose to undergo these treatments in secret. Men especially are very sensitive to letting people know about infertility testing, such as sperm counts. Gossiping about infertility is not usually done in a malicious manner. The gossipers are usually well-meaning people who are only trying to find out more about infertility so they can help their loved ones.Regardless of why you are sharing this information with someone else, it hurts and embarrasses your friend to find out that Madge the bank teller knows what your husband's sperm count is and when your next period is expected. Infertility is something that should be kept as private as your friend wants to keep it. Respect your friend's privacy, and don't share any information that your friend hasn't authorized.Don't Push Adoption (Yet)Adoption is a wonderful way for infertile people to become parents. (As an adoptive parent, I can fully vouch for this!!) However, the couple needs to work through many issues before they will be ready to make an adoption decision. Before they can make the decision to love a "stranger's baby," they must first grieve the loss of that baby with Daddy's eyes and Mommy's nose. Adoption social workers recognize the importance of the grieving process. When my husband and I went for our initial adoption interview, we expected the first question to be, "Why do you want to adopt a baby?" Instead, the question was, "Have you grieved the loss of your biological child yet?" Our social worker emphasized how important it is to shut one door before you open another.You do, indeed, need to grieve this loss before you are ready to start the adoption process. The adoption process is very long and expensive, and it is not an easy road. So, the couple needs to be very sure that they can let go of the hope of a biological child and that they can love an adopted baby. This takes time, and some couples are never able to reach this point. If your friend cannot love a baby that isn't her "own," then adoption isn't the right decision for her, and it is certainly not what is best for the baby.Mentioning adoption in passing can be a comfort to some couples. (The only words that ever offered me comfort were from my sister, who said, "Whether through pregnancy or adoption, you will be a mother one day.") However, "pushing" the issue can frustrate your friend. So, mention the idea in passing if it seems appropriate, and then drop it. When your friend is ready to talk about adoption, she will raise the issue herself.So, what can you say to your infertile friends? Unless you say "I am giving you this baby," there is nothing you can say that will erase their pain. So, take that pressure off of yourself. It isn't your job to erase their pain, but there is a lot you can do to lesson the load. Here are a few ideas.Let Them Know That You CareThe best thing you can do is let your infertile friends know that you care. Send them cards. Let them cry on your shoulder. If they are religious, let them know you are praying for them. Offer the same support you would offer a friend who has lost a loved one. Just knowing they can count on you to be there for them lightens the load and lets them know that they aren't going through this alone.Remember Them on Mother's DayWith all of the activity on Mother's Day, people tend to forget about women who cannot become mothers. Mother's Day is an incredibly painful time for infertile women. You cannot get away from it-There are ads on the TV, posters at the stores, church sermons devoted to celebrating motherhood, and all of the plans for celebrating with your own mother and mother-in-law.Mother's Day is an important celebration and one that I relish now that I am a mother. However, it was very painful while I was waiting for my baby. Remember your infertile friends on Mother's Day, and send them a card to let them know you are thinking of them. They will appreciate knowing that you haven't "forgotten" them.Support Their Decision to Stop TreatmentsNo couple can endure infertility treatments forever. At some point, they will stop. This is an agonizing decision to make, and it involves even more grief. Even if the couple chooses to adopt a baby, they must still first grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes.Once the couple has made the decision to stop treatments, support their decision. Don't encourage them to try again, and don't discourage them from adopting, if that is their choice. Once the couple has reached resolution (whether to live without children, adopt a child, or become foster parents), they can finally put that chapter of their lives behind them. Don't try to open that chapter again.
I can't believe my first IVF cycle is over already. And I can't believe it ended this way. I already got AF this morning, which just makes everything all the more real. I wonder if that means anything... the fact that I got AF so quickly? RE said 4-7 days - and last time I stopped on a Thursday and got AF on Sunday. I just keep trying to figure out what we did wrong or what's wrong with my body? Was it because we were traveling? Did I not rest enough? Was I doing to many activities? Shopping around and all that? It's me FOR SURE now, right? The only problem with DH could have been his sperm morphology, and we bypassed that by doing ICSI - plus 12/19 eggs fertilized that way and all 12 made it to day 5, we put 2 in, and all 10 met the criteria for cryo. The worst part is that in 5 days, we'll no longer have ANY infertility treatment benefits - which means no going back to injectables + IUI since that was 100% covered.How do people afford to do this multiple times? We just flushed $10,000 from our savings down the toilet with this basically... and now we're supposed to magically come up with $3000+ for an FET cycle? I honestly don't understand how people do this... Our savings will be completely depleted. Is that okay? Can you just go around in life with nothing to fall back on? There's always the house fund... but we just don't want to touch that. This was the BABY fund. The money-to-use-when-we-have-a-baby fund. NOT the making-a-baby fund. I just feel like crap because I *MADE* DH do this. He wanted to just chance it with all of the eggs and IUI since that was covered... but I said NO. I wonder what would have happened then. I forced him to do this... didn't give him a choice really... because I thought that when we DID get pregnant (with twins) out of this... he wouldn't even remember how much we spent or all that we went through to get there. Isn't that how it's supposed to work? I was SURE we'd get pregnant. 100%. In my mind, there was no way we WEREN'T getting pregnant. I finally, after all this time, told my parents about everything we'd been going through. Showed them the embie pics (Look, these could be your future grandkids!) and just felt so great about everything. On Tuesday, I had reddish-pink bleeding. I made a quick post about it, because it worried me... and people said it could be implantation bleeding! How could I not think of that? So of course, then I got so excited... thinking "this is it!... it's finally my turn!" and then I tested on Wednesday with FRER and it was BFN. I thought to myself.. it must just be too early. I have to give time for the hCG to build up... So, not wanting to ruin my Christmas, I held off on Thursday and tested Friday morning before my beta. Again, BFN. Went for my beta bright and early, 8:00, as soon as the place opened. Waited oh-so-patiently for the results... and then got "the call." It was my RE himself, so I had a feeling it wasn't good news. He said that unfortunately the blood test came back negative. His thoughts are with me. He said it was okay if I wanted to scream and yell and curse at him. I politely declined. He asked if I was sure - and said come on... everybody loves to do that. But again I declined. He's so sweet though. He said he knew we probably weren't ready to decide what we'd do next, so he put in a prescription for birth control for me so that I could go on that until we figured out what to do from here.The tears started coming as soon as I hung up the phone, and didn't stop for a while. I had to break the news to DH and to my parents. I just felt crushed. Heartbroken. 50-60% chance of success for this. Why am I always on the crappy end of the statistics?Well, we have some decisions that we need to make. We need to sit down and figure out what we can afford to do next. Like I've said before... I put my heart into everything 100% and sometimes it leads to something wonderful, and sometimes it leads to crushing disappointment. Unfortunately this time was the latter...BUT somehow my heart tells me to just KEEP GOING. Somehow I know we'll make it work. I'll thow my heart into the next one too... I just can't help it. Maybe that will be my time? You just never know."It is the peculiar nature of the world to go on spinning no matter what sort of heartbreak is happening" - The Secret Life of Bees
Out of the 20 eggs retrieved, 19 were mature and 12 ferilized with ICSI. I'll find out probably on Wednesday whether we are doing a 3-day (Wednesday) or 5-day (Friday) transfer!
I went to bed pretty early the night before so I could get a good amount of sleep before my retrieval. I woke up at 6:15 so I could shower and we headed out at 6:45. I dressed warm and comfy – uggs, leggings, and a huge sweater. When we got to the office, there was (as always) paperwork to fill out. We didn’t have to wait too long before being taken into another room where I changed into a gown, booties, and an oh-so-attractive hairnet. DH was able to come with me after that into the waiting area where they had a huge, brown leather comfortable reclining chair for me to sit on to relax while they checked my BP, heart rate, and temperature. The anesthesiologist came and chatted with me for a few minutes about what would be going on. I told her about my back pain (for those who may not know, I just found out that I have a possibly herniated disk – I’m hoping to get an MRI done to confirm before my transfer, but the physiatrist was certain that’s what it was) and she said she’d make me very comfortable. My RE (who, as I’ve mentioned… I absolutely adore!) was nice enough to come in for my retrieval even though he was not the on-call RE that day. Within a few minutes, I gave DH a big kiss and was taken back to the operating area. After laying down on the table, the anesthesiologist started my IV (surprisingly pretty painless… felt just like the 5 times I had gone for blood work this week!) and said she was going to give me some of the good stuff…before I could even smile and say “thanks” – I was out! I woke up in the recovery area with DH right by my side. We stayed there for about 40 minutes (so I’m told – I slept for most of it!) until they felt I was ready to leave. They told me that 20 eggs were received which I was very happy about! I got my discharge papers and a ton of instructions (thank goodness they were all written down) and then I was wheeled out to the car and sent on my way! I have to say... it was overall a very pleasant experience! As you know, this whole IVF thing happened very fast for us – basically before it could even sink in, we were headed for retrieval. I think I like it that way. There wasn’t much time to overthink and overanalyze as I often do.. and not much time to worry. The whole retrieval process was much easier than I had ever anticipated!On the way home, DH stopped at Whole Foods and came out with a bag of stuff. When we got home, my wonderful DH prepared me a breakfast fit for a queen! Scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon, sesame seed bagel, lox, and a huge glass of orange juice. Gosh, I love that man. I spent the rest of the day just lounging around. I caught up on some of my DVR’d shows, watched “Baby Mama” on demand, and played some silly computer games. We made buttermilk waffles with homemade whipped cream for dinner! The best part was that my back didn't hurt AT ALL. I was finally able to just relax and watch TV in bed. For the record, I hurt my back in June of this year and have been in constant pain ever since! A little relief goes a long way!I have to try hard to remember all of the meds I need to take! There’s of course my prenatal vitamins 1x/day. Then doxycycline 2x/day. Progesterone suppositories 2x/day. Baby aspirin 1x/day. And I have estrogen patches to use also – but I don’t think I start those yet. I’ll have to ask!I hope I’m feeling good tomorrow! Today I feel pretty fine… just a little crampy/uncomfortable here and there. I have to go back to work tomorrow (those sick days are precious!) Next steps:-Tomorrow we should get our fertilization report from the embryologist by 6 pm.-After that, we wait for the call which will tell us whether we are doing a 3 day transfer (Wednesday) or a 5 day transfer (Friday).
First, let me give a quick recap of last month’s events before we get into the happenings of this month.November cycle:On 10/31 (CD 1) we started with 75 IU of Gonal-F. CD 4 – E2 = 71CD 5 – E2 = 91CD 8 – E2 = 92CD 9 – Up our dosage to 112.5 IU of Gonal-F.CD 11 – E2 = 354 , u/s shows 1 committed egg, 1-2 other “runners up” – add CetrotideCD 13 – E2 = 604, u/s shows 2 committed eggs!CD 14 – triggerCD 15 - IUI(end recap).Since the goal was to have more eggs this month, we decided to start with 150 IU of Gonal-F (doubled dosage of last month).CD 2 – start 150 IU Gonal-FCD 6 – E2 = 626!Yes, that’s 626! That’s even higher than last month after 13 days of injections. Ultrasound shows 2-3 lead eggs. Now we decide to cut the dosage in half – back to 75 IU so that I don’t start producing too many follies.CD 9 – E2=2245! HOLY MOLY, right? Ultrasound shows 3 lead follicles (18mm) and - get this - about 13 smaller follicles! That's right... 16 total. So basically we were faced with 3 options that had to be decided within the next few hours. A) Cancel the cycle. B) Cross our fingers and go with IUI.C) Convert to IVFLet me explain:Basically... option A - cancel the cycle - would be because there are about 16 follicles that COULD potentially be ready to ovulate by the time we have the IUI. That means there's a possibility of getting pregnant with high order multiples (3+ babies). As you probably know, that's very dangerous- and risks the life of the mother and babies.Option B - cross our fingers and go with IUI - would be to trigger that morning within the next hour and PRAY that only the 3 lead follicles ovulate and that the smaller ones don't have enough time to catch up. Really a gamble. Some of the smallers weren't far behind at 13 and 14 mm.. as opposed to 17 and 18 mm for the leads. We'd risk high order multiples and have to consider Selective Reduction (S/R - which is basically aborting one or more of the babies to save the others' lives... scary thing. they inject something into the baby that stops its heart... this is done at 10+ weeks).Option C - convert to IVF - this would mean shelling out LOTS of $$$ to do in vitro fertilization. Puts us in control of how many embryos we put back and gives us a 50-60% success rate. We'd also do ICSI (this is where the sperm are injected directly into the egg... this would bypass DH's possible morphology issues).Well this wasn't an easy decision to make by any means.DH was DEAD SET on doing the IUI. I think he felt like the chances of those smaller ones catching up weren’t that great to begin with – and that the chances of the IUI working were only 25% anyway… I knew that DH was not 100% on board with my decision, but before being a good wife, I have to be a good mom... and I could not, in good conscience, go through with the IUI with those risks. So… IVF, here we come!I think the most daunting part is that once we made that decision, payment was due the next day. I won’t get into the specifics of how much this costs, but I’m sure you can imagine that it’s a great deal of money (and well worth it).Yesterday we had a follow-up visit with the RE as well as an IVF consult. It was another 2 hour appointment. I really love our RE. He is very sweet and understanding. He explains everything in a way that is easy to understand, but he doesn’t “dumb it down” to the point where we feel like he thinks we don’t get it – KWIM?First we did another u/s to check on the follies. They are coming along nicely! There were about 15-20 that we could see/measure - so things are looking really nice for IVF! Basically he said that usually he'll retrieve 90% of the eggs from whatever follies we can see. So if we make it nice and even... we see 20 follies... we'll get 18 eggs. Out of those 18, about 70% will fertilize with ICSI (injection of sperm right into egg). So now we have about 12 eggs... we let them grow on their own for 5 days. Not all of them will make it to day 5. So we should have about 5-7 eggs make it to Day 5. We'll transfer 2 eggs, and hope that the rest make it to freeze.Timeline is looking as follows:Next appointment is tomorrow - we should exact dates at that time.Likely hCG shot (this is an intramuscular shot! yikes... so yes, that means DH does a shot in my butt! Fun!): 36 hours before egg retrieval - so, could be as early as tomorrow night!Likely egg retrieval (ER): Sat, Sun, or Mon (12/13/-12/15/) - happens in AM - will need full day off work.Likely embryo transfer (ET): Thurs, Friday, or Saturday (12/18-12/20) - happens in afternoon, and they like 48 hours bed rest after.We got SO much information - it was kind of crazy! Another full folder of info, many sheets to sign, more prescriptions for lots more medications, and a quickly diminishing savings account!I need your support now more than ever ladies!!!!My emotions right now: ? Oh, I just want to add that after getting the time to "sleep on it" - DH is 100% on board! We literally had to make this monumental decision with 2 hours! But once he had time to let it sink in... he was behind me 100%!
Well, today was my beta. Unfortunately, black friday lived up to its name. BFN... maybe that stands for Black Friday Negative I know I didn't mention in on the boards, but I tested a few times - well, 8, 9, 10, and 12 DPIUI and they were all BFNs. I am kind of happy that I tested beforehand this way the BFN didn't hit me like a ton of bricks. I slowly had time to get used to the idea.. allow it to sink in... allow myself to take a step back and think about what to do next. I guess it was like climbing up this ladder of excitement and positivity and hopefulness... and each BFN was like taking one step backward - one step down. I figure it's better than clinging onto the hope and anxiousness and anxiety of NOT knowing... not having a clue either way.. climbing all the way to the top of that ladder, then having it taken right from under your feet and crashing and falling to the ground - if that makes sense.DH and I decided to brave the Black Friday madness in hopes of taking our minds of waiting for "the call" - we went around 11... got a parking spot right away and started shopping. We went into our usual favorite stores and just did some browsing. While I was on line at Sephora my phone started to ring... I had completely forgotten!The RE himself called me instead of the nurse. He is SUPER sweet. He said that unfortunately the test came back negative and said he was so sorry. He asked if I was okay... and said he knows how hard it is to hear that news. He told me I can stop the progesterone suppositories and that I should expect to get AF within 4-7 days - could even be over the weekend. He asked if I wanted to jump into another cycle - to which of course, I responded YES! So he said to call when I get AF and we'll get started on round 2. He apologized for not being there to do the IUI himself and said he'd do everything in his power to be there for the next one. He also said maybe he'll bump up my dosage this cycle so hopefully we can recruit more eggs.I asked if there was any reason that this didn't work... or if it was just chance...He said that basically the chances of it working are only around 25%... so that means 3 out of 4 times - you won't get pregnant. He also said that because DH has somewhat poor morphology, it makes it difficult for the sperm to penetrate the egg. So essentially all the injections do is give the sperm more targets and all the IUI does is bring the egg and sperm closer together. The most effective and aggressive way would be IVF. He said we should do 2-3 IUIs total before moving onto IVF... but he basically hinted that IVF would give us much greater chances since they create the embryos in the lab and then all that needs to happen in my body is for them to implant.Of course I'm kind of sad and down about this.. but we headed straight to Godiva and had some chocolate truffle therapy right after hearing the bad news... and we are trying to just keep our heads up and look toward the next cycle and pray pray pray that it works! I really appreciate everyone's support and prayers through all of this. I hate to feel like I am letting you all down... but they say God answers every prayer... just sometimes the answer is "no." We will continue praying and I hope that you will too. Thank you all so much for being there for me
OH. MY. GOSH! Looks like I trigger tomorrow morning and the IUI is scheduled for Friday! I went in this morning for blood work and went at lunch for my ultrasound. It seems like there are only going to be 2 eggs that will be mature enough to ovulate, but hey - 2 is better than 1 right?Tonight will be our last night of 112.5 IU of Gonal-F and the Cetrotide... then tomorrow before work I will do the Ovidrel trigger. Friday morning DH will have to give his sample - then they "wash" it and I go in 2 hours later for the IUI! I am SO excited! I know, I know... I'm getting way too excited and hopeful and putting all my eggs in one basket and all of that good stuff, but honestly... I CAN'T HELP IT! In the words of the ever famous Jessie Spano... "I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so.... scared!"
Finally some progress is being made!Over the weekend, we upped our Gonal-F dosage to 112.5 IU from 75 IU. Looks like this is working! Today's ultrasoud revealed 1 16 mm follicle! That means that this egg is "committed!" And she may have seen another large one on the same side (hard to tell if it was the same one or a different one) and looks like 1 more is making its way. So, basically it seems like we will have between 1 and 3 eggs for this cycle - which is pretty good! I was kind of expecting more, but 1-3 will do! Also, she said my lining is nice and thick and showed me the "three stripes" which means that it's a great environment for implantation! Tonight we'll have to start the Cetrotide so that the larger eggs don't ovulate prematurely, and we're continuing with 112.5 IU of Gonal-F also. Next appointment is on Wednesday for bloodwork and ultrasound again! My poor veins are all bruised up - but I know it's worth it!I'll confess that I was starting to feel a little down about this cycle since things weren't moving along as smoothly as I had expected... but looks like we are passing right over the bumps in the road and making our way to where we need to be. This appointment left me feeling a renewed sense of hope and optimism. COME ON FOLLIES! GROW! I'm hoping we can have 3-4 eggs by the time the IUI comes, but who knows! Later today I'll get my bloodwork results and will update with the Estradiol levels. Tonight I also need to pick up my Gonal-F refills! I can't believe we finished a 450 and 2 300s already! Funny thing is that Friday of this week would be the LEAST ideal time for the IUI - but it's starting to look like that's when it will be. Let's pray for some good follicle growth, continued thick lining, and a successful IUI at a semi-convenient time!
Looks like we have a minor delay in the schedule. I have a bunch of follies on each side - but no mature eggs yet. There were only 2 larger follicles (over 10), but they said that still none of the eggs are "committed" yet.Looks like we'll be pushing back the IUI date to Friday, 11/14 at the EARLIEST - but likely sometime after that. Guess we won't be finding out by Thanksgiving! So far though, there are many follies on each side - so that could be good. We may be upping the dosage tonight depending on the results of the blood work which I should receive this afternoon. The PA at my RE's office is so sweet. I had a 7 am appointment for blood work and was supposed to come back on my lunch for the ultrasound, but she came in early so she could see me in the morning. She actually called from the freeway to see if I was there. I thought that was really sweet.I have to admit I'm a little disappointe that we are pushing the dates back - but I know it's in my best interest and they are just trying to make sure we have a good amount of eggs and that we have the best chances for our IUI this month. That's all for now! I'll be updating the November blog post also as we go on. *Update - we are increasing the Gonal-F dosage to 112.5.
I read this quotation and it made me think of infertility - and I thought I would share."But what if I fail of my purpose here? It is but to keep the nerves at strain, to dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall, and baffled, get up and begin again." - Robert Browning
I'll keep this one post for my cycle.Here's how November is going so far:10/31 - CD 1 - Gonal-F, 75 IU 11/1 - CD 2 - Gonal-F, 75 IU 11/2 - CD 3 - Gonal-F, 75 IU 11/3 - CD 4 - Gonal-F, 75 IU. B/W: Estradiol = 71 11/4 - CD 5 - Gonal-F, 75 IU. B/W: Estradiol = 91. Ultrasound - number of "committed" eggs is unknown (still too small). 11/5 - CD 6 - Gonal-F, 75 IU 11/6 - CD 7 - Gonal-F, 75 IU. 11/7 - CD 8 - Gonal-F, 112.5 IU. B/W: Estradiol = 92. Ultrasound - numerous follies on each side, but still no "committed" eggs! 11/8 - CD 9 - Gonal-F, 112.5 IU (I did this one myself!) 11/9 - CD 10 - Gonal-F, 112.5 IU 11/10 - CD 11 - Gonal-F, 112.5 IU, Cetrotide. B/W: Estradiol = 354! Ultrasound - 1 committed egg, 1-2 others that could be also. 11/11 - CD 12 - Gonal-F, 112.5 IU. Cetrotide .25 mg. 11/12 - CD 13 - Gonal-F, 112.5 IU. Cetrotide .25 mg. B/W: Estradiol = 604! Ultrasound - 2 committed eggs! 11/13 - CD 14 - Ovidrel trigger in AM 11/14 - CD 15 - IUI
I went in for my baseline ultrasound this morning and things are really just falling into place!The RE said that I have between 6 and 8 follicles on each side and that they are "quiet" right now. The goal is to have 5-8 mature eggs by the time we get to IUI.As far as timeline goes:Friday - Start Gonal-F injections. Monday - BloodworkTuesday - Bloodwork and UltrasoundBased on the results, we'll see where to go from there. We'll see if I need the Cetrocide injections (to make sure that I don't ovulate prematurely) and we'll see when the Ovidrel trigger and insemination will be.RE says we're looking at the week of 11/10 for IUI! I know I probably shouldn't be so excited and hopeful - but I am. That's just me. I put 100% into everything and although that can sometimes lead to crushing disappointment - sometimes... just sometimes.. it leads to something wonderful
I got my Rubella vaccination today!I was asked to sign a waiver saying that I knew that my child could have birth defects should I get pregnant within 3 months of the vaccination - so of course this had me a bit worried since my RE said we only had to wait ONE month.I did some research - and this is from the Center for Disease Control - which IMO is trustworthy!Rubella--Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and its component vaccines should not be administered to women known to be pregnant. Because a risk to the fetus from administration of these live virus vaccines cannot be excluded for theoretical reasons, women should be counseled to avoid becoming pregnant for 28 days after vaccination with measles or mumps vaccines or MMR or other rubella-containing vaccines.---If vaccination of an unknowingly pregnant woman occurs or if she becomes pregnant within 4 weeks after MMR vaccination, she should be counseled about the theoretical basis of concern for the fetus; however, MMR vaccination during pregnancy should not be regarded as a reason to terminate pregnancy.---Rubella-susceptible women who are not vaccinated because they state they are or may be pregnant should be counseled about the potential risk for CRS and the importance of being vaccinated as soon as they are no longer pregnant. ---A registry of susceptible women vaccinated with rubella vaccine between 3 months before and 3 months after conception – the "Vaccine in Pregnancy (VIP) Registry" – was kept between 1971 and 1989. No evidence of CRS occurred in the offspring of the 226 women who received the current RA 27/3 rubella vaccine and continued their pregnancy to term. To summarize the CDC information - One should avoid getting pregnant for 28 days after having the vaccination despite the fact that during a study, women who received the Rubella vaccine 3 months before to 3 months after conception had children that were NOT affected by Congenital Rubella Syndrome.We're one step closer!
Wow. Another 2 hour appointment. I actually REALLY like our RE. He just has a personality that we click with – and finds a good mix of humor and seriousness that makes our appointments very enjoyable.We started off by having the RE do an ultrasound to look at my uterus (normal!) and ovaries (also normal). With my ovaries, he saw numerous “baby follicles” as he calls them. He says I have none of the classic signs of PCOS – but I might have a “mild” case. I don’t have the classic “string of pearls” or cysts on my ovaries or any other outward signs – but the elevated AMH levels (LOTS OF EGGS!) have him a little concerned that I might have a mild case of PCOS. He said it’s great that I have a lot of eggs and healthy ovaries – but it does mean that we have to be careful while using fertility medications so that I don’t overstimulate and get put at risk for high order multiples. He showed me everything while we looked at the ultrasounds, and really made sure that I understood (and didn’t just nod my head). After that, we got to sit down with him in the office to talk. We went over the previous information again: positives are age, FSH, E2, AMH, prolactin, thyroid, good structure of tubes and uterus, great sperm numbers and motility – negative are mild morphology issues and possible mild PCOS. Next we went over the things we had done since last time. All of DH’s blood work came back good – no STDs (as we knew!). My glucose tolerance test also was normal – so no issue with that. We had also done some preconception screenings. I’m not a carrier for CF (Cystic Fibrosis). All of the other tests came back great… BUT… And here’s the part that threw us for a loop.It turns out that I am not immune to Rubella. WHAT? I know I must have been vaccinated as a child – but I guess it turns out that 13% of people with IF are not immune. He basically said that should I contract Rubella once I am pregnant, my child would be at risk for Congenital Rubella Syndrome (I think that’s the name) which would mean they could suffer from blindness or even worse – death. He said that in earlier times, people had to wait three months before resuming TTC after getting the vaccination, but that now – people only have to wait one month. I know it probably seems silly – but the thought of putting off TTC for even just one month felt like someone ripping my heart out of my chest. Combine that with the fact that we will lose our IF benefits after December – and the hold off would mean that we’d only get ONE cycle in instead of TWO – and I was seriously working at holding back the tears. He said that there is a waiver we can sign – that would mean that we know the risks and we are willing to continue with treatment without having the vaccination. The doctor said he recommends that we get the vaccination before continuing with treatment; but, that as our doctor – he will back us on whatever it is that we decide. He left us alone with that piece of paper.Signing the waiver would save us a ton of money right now! And not signing the waiver would push us back an entire month. That’s a wasted month. A whole 30 days of nothing. We’ve waited this long… how could we bear to wait even another moment?But… how could I sign that paper? How could I, in good conscience, try to get pregnant knowing that if during my pregnancy I contracted Rubella that my child could suffer terribly and/or even die? I would not be able to live with myself if I put my child in danger. I could no longer hold back the tears. I couldn’t even try. I started crying and crying. I know what I have to do – I have to do what’s best for our future child. As much as it pains me to have to put off TTC, I have to do it. The RE walks into the room as I’m crying. He says he has a compromise. DH says, “How did you know?” And he said he could just see it in my eyes as he told me about the vaccination. He said that as a compromise, instead of waiting the full 4 weeks – we could wait 2 weeks. The reason this would be okay is because I will have to be on the injectables for 2 weeks, so by the time we’re ready to trigger and have the IUI, it will have been 1 month since the vaccination. Or – to give us even more time – we can wait just 1 week since again, injectables for 2 weeks, then trigger and IUI, and still it will be one more week before implantation – so even that would be okay.I breathed a sigh of relief.DH looked at the doctor with a face that whispered, “thank you.” Onto injections class.. It wasn’t really a class. It was actually just one woman who explained everything we need to know about injections. Here’s the basic rundown:1) Continue with oral contraceptives until 1 week after Rubella vaccination2) Have baseline ultrasound and/or blood levels3) Begin 75 units of Gonal-F daily4) First monitoring will be 3 days later through bloodwork (will see if changes in dosage need to be made)5) Second monitoring will be 2 days after that through bloodwork and ultrasound6) About 2 days after that, will start Cetrotide injections 7) One or two more monitoring sessions after that so we can figure out when to trigger8) Around day 10-14, will have the Ovidrel (trigger) 9) 24-36 hours later, IUI10) 2 weeks later, blood test to see if I’m pregnant (beta levels)In summary, I will be on injections for 8-12 days depending on how I respond to them. About 5-7 days after starting the injections, I will start the Cetrocide. Around day 10-14, trigger. 24-36 hours later – IUI – then we are supposed to BD that night also. They said I will also start Progesterone suppositories until my pregnancy test – and possibly after that too. We got to see the Gonal-F pens, the Cetrocide, and the Ovidrel. DH got to give a fake injection to a dummy tummy! And we also got a DVD that shows how to do the injections, as well as a business card for a 24-hour hotline in case we need more help than our RE can provide. Next steps:-I called my PCP to get the “okay” to get the Rubella vaccination (thanks, HMOs!) and I'm waiting for a call back.-Get Rubella vaccination ASAP, then call RE and we will fill in the actual dates of the above steps.-Looks like if all goes as currently planned, I should know whether I’m pregnant or not by Thanksgiving. Oh how I pray to have something special to be thankful for. St. Gerard, please give us this blessing. If you’ve gotten this far, thank you! I find it really therapeutic to write this all down – and even more helpful to help me and my poor memory recall all of the details from when they were so fresh in my mind. And that my friends is my 1255 word report on our RE experience 10/16/2008.
On Saturday, I had an appointment to have blood drawn at the lab. The appointment was for 12:45 and it was one where I needed to fast beforehand. I called at 7 that morning to see if there were any cancellations - and luckily there were! DH and I went in at 7:45 and he was taken back and finished within all of 3 minutes. The woman at the counter was SO loud! I swear, all ideas of HIPAA went out the window! Basically, I needed to have blood drawn for 9 tests, plus a GTT (glucose tolerance test). She said that each of the 9 tests and the GTT all had to be ordered individually and she couldn't figure out how to do a NON-GESTATIONAL GTT. She kept saying, "You're not pregnant right?" (Um, no. Please continue to make me repeat that over and over at greater volumes and around an increasing number of people). It took her 2 hours to finally order the tests and then we got started.I asked to do the blood test laying down because I was worried that I'd faint. Lucky I did that! They ended up needing separate vials of blood for each test - so yes, that was 10 vials of blood! After that, I drank the orange glucose drink. I was happy to down that thing since I was already feeling pretty woozy and dehydrated. After that, I had to sit and wait - and every 30 minutes for the next two hours, they drew blood again. Many of those times were a struggle! Sometimes they weren't able to get any blood from a vein, so we kept having to switch arms. All in all, I had 4 pokes to the right arm, 3 to the left, and 14 vials of blood taken - and 4 hours of my day gone!DH and I went out for a nice brunch after that and I felt much better!
Well, AF arrived today! Although that means I'm out for this cycle, it means we're SO in for the next one! I start birth control tonight. Funny how I've managed to avoid it my entire life and now that we're actually TRYING to get pregnant, I'm starting it!I am going to pick up the xray films from my HSG after work today. Tomorrow is bloodwork for me and DH. Our injections class will be on October 16th, and then a follow-up appointment with the RE will be right after that. At that point we'll discuss when to stop birth control, when to start injections, how often I'll be monitored (I think he had said a few times per week since we found out that my egg reserves were very high and we don't want to produce too many eggs and risk having high-order multiples), and then how the rest of the process works (Do I trigger? When's the IUI?, etc). I feel glad to actually get everything started and it makes me happy that we are taking some actions and moving in the right direction toward a BFP!