Category: IVF


middle-finger pregnancy testBefore I start this post I want to apologize for the discontinuity you may feel with my posts.  Since I essentially have skipped blogging for about 4.5 years I will be playing catch up and giving new details about my journey now and then.  But today before I get on the DREADED treadmill and start my 16-minute mile I thought I would talk about my first and only FET thus far.

I feel the need to write this post but I am feeling nervous while writing it knowing that I will be going through another FET cycle in August. When my 1st FET failed I was heartbroken but I kept it together because I was one of the lucky ones whose first round of IVF had worked (even though 2 embies were implanted and only one took, I still got my DS.)

So when this FET failed, I went home and cried but at the end of the day I still rocked my first baby to sleep and I am grateful for that because I know how many people do not have the buffer of another child when these cycles fail.  But nevertheless it hurts.

People who do not have to use science to have a baby do not understand the devastation that comes with a failed cycle.  Not only have you put money, time, and effort into going through a cycle, the emotional rollercoaster and the daily reminder that you have to go through this for a chance to have a baby slowly chips away at your soul. The daily injections, patches, pills, alarms set on phones so you don’t forget, wondering if all the PIO got injected because you feel like some leaked out. It’s taxing. It’s hard to stay positive or grateful for the opportunity because every day you are reminded that you cannot have a child without science, and chances are still not high.

But I will write a blog on support another day, today is about why I think FET#1 failed.  If I am being honest FET#1 was horrible timing.  This is where I left off on my blog, so I figure I will pick up there.

After the Routine Appointment, I went in for my first meeting with my old friend Mr. Wandy.  There is nothing I love more than to have a plastic camera stuck up my vagina (obviously I am joking 🙂 ) It was during that ultrasound that we discovered I had polyps in my uterus, which the doctor believed they developed after the birth of my first child.  Immediately the May cycle was cancelled and I was scheduled for a polyp removal surgery instead.

I was happy about this because honestly I was not ready for a cycle in May, I only had 2 months to mentally and physically prepare and I was not there.  Our life was crazy, and I was still trying to get down the first time mom thing with no support, my husband had just stopped traveling for work, and it was a messy time in our lives to be spending thousands of dollars on having another baby. But my husband was ready, and I wanted more kids so why not go for it.

After the removal we were given the all clear, and set for a July FET.  I tried my best to get in shape, but I didn’t. I didn’t take my vitamins regularly, and I was still overwhelmed with life, my marriage was in a rough place, it was just a hard period. Acupuncture and massages which were regulars during my first cycle, I had cut out because I did not have the time and quite frankly did not want to spend the money!

I knew my mental and physical body were not prepared, and I still went through it. I got angry for a while because people get pregnant all the time when they are stressed, when it’s the wrong time for a baby, crack addicts get pregnant. And I am thinking, My God, we are good people, we go to church, volunteer our time, love everybody and do not discriminate, we have a home, good jobs, a good life, and it should just work damn it.  So what if life is a little crazy, why can’t it just be easy.  But when it didn’t work and I got that HORRIBLE CALL I wasn’t surprised, I knew in my heart the timing was off, I was not ready, and it just was not meant to be, but I knew then we would go through another full round and when we did it would work, because it had too, it was only fair, right??

Looking back, I was naïve, but you have to be to keep going time after time.  You have to keep the faith that you are going to learn something, do something different and you will get the baby you have been praying and dreaming about.

And you know the worst part of a failed cycle, is that damn progesterone, telling my body, I am pregnant with the sore boobs, bloating and nausea. It’s a good swift kick in the gut and a reminder that until that call I received at 4 pm, I was pregnant until proven otherwise. It’s like you don’t know what to do with yourself, you feel silly for being so upset, it’s not like you were pregnant so can you call it your baby, it’s not a miscarriage, the embryo just didn’t stick.  If that is the case, then WHY DO I FEEL like I lost a baby, why do I FEEL like that was my child that I never get to meet now, WHY does it HURT so much. For all I know the embryo was missing chromosomes or maybe it had severe defects, but I don’t know that because I did not have testing done on them. So instead I am left wondering why I am not pregnant. The pain is real.  But I didn’t give up, we didn’t give up.  And this time I knew that I had to take control of start prepping now for my next cycle.

With no embryos left and we would have to start from the very beginning.  IVF Full Cycle #2, try #3 here I go!!

Until next time!

Love and Sticky Dust!

IVFwoes

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Hi!

IVFwoes here! You may be wondering why my first post (in almost 3 years) is a picture of an undecorated bathroom.  Well, I am in the process of decorating my ½ bath.  We moved to our new home about a year ago and it has taken me that long to finally figure out what style I will be decorating this house.  So now, I will start from the beginning decorating ANOTHER house.

How is this relevant to IVF.  Well as a 6-year veteran and 4 cycles under my belt I now understand that it takes months, maybe even a year to gear up and prepare for a cycle.  You will try and do some crazy things in hopes that it will increase your chances of pregnancy.  Even after all these cycles here I am again, planning my vitamins, exercise plan and pre & post cycle plan.

So, as we start our prep for the very last cycle we will ever do – I will once again share that experience the same way I shared our first.  Hopefully, I will find time to fill you in on the years past as we go along but life is busy. But most of all I hope that this helps others along the way on their journey to baby. It’s long and painful, but always worth it.

So here is the number 5 and final. Don’t call it a come back, I’ve been here for years! 😉

 

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As you know we are ready to start thinking about Baby #2.  So we went to see Dr. Truth and talked about plans for the next baby and what we would need to do.  Everything seemed great and since this is not our first rodeo it was brief.  We then go into Nurse Boss’s office and she said so what date do you want, and the Huz says May! I look at him like what! He then gives me that, “Well why not?” stare…I told Nurse Boss that we will call her tomorrow with an answer.  Since I thought we had decided we were going to wait until the July cycle.

At this point I am not on board…I don’t think we are ready for number two, I have so many projects that I want to get done before I get pregnant.  Well more like purchases not projects! So I call my mom and she tells me if you are not emotionally or physically ready for another baby then don’t do it, but if it’s because of finances, I expect you to go through this in May.  Don’t get me wrong, we are not super wealthy, but we are pretty comfortable, and I just had other things I wanted to buy that we were saving up for before I had another baby.

So I call Nurse Boss and tell her that we are going to be doing the MAY cycle! Yep! That’s right! We are going through this in less than 2 months, so my 4-5 month window just CLOSED very quickly. I do not even have my protocol yet, but I will start BC pills today.  So wish me luck and we start this FET process! I honestly can’t believe it, but It is a relief because the decision is made and we are doing it. So here’s to stickiness!

ImageThe waiting game…With infertility you are always waiting, waiting for your next doctor’s appointment, waiting for test results, waiting for something. Most of all, you are waiting for your children. 

Thinking back to when I was a little girl playing pretend and house, I always envision myself with a certain amount of kids (mine was 3), but I always only had 1 baby and a couple of older kids.  What you don’t know at that time is each kid has to come one by one and at one point they are ALL babies.   I LOVE LOVE LOVE my little man and I am trying to savor every moment with him.  However, sometimes I just want to be on the other side of having kids.  I want to know I am DONE paying/savings to have kids, I want to know how many I will end up being blessed with, and I want to know I will never have to give myself another shot. I just wish I could fast forward to the end so I know,while trying to enjoy the present.

With all that said, I do feel a little bit at ease with this second go round.  I feel comfortable and ready for baby #2, I have all the items I need, and now that I have been pregnant I feel that I am more in tune with my body.  Even though every baby is different, there are certain things that I feel less stressed about, for instance, nursing, I made it a year with little man, and I know what to expect.  I hope to make it a year with #2 but if I don’t make it, I do not think I will be as devastated as I would have been with little man.  I am just more realistic about the LACK OF CONTROL you have with your child. Certain things work and other things don’t, and it’s all about just surviving and living in the moment with children.

The main stressor is hoping to get pregnant (as usual.) It worked last time, but you just never know…ever. I hope that it works again but you can’t get your hopes up too high.  I am doing all I can on my end and I just hope that it works with Gods plan.  Because the July implantation is really our only shot for this year, we would have to make major changes in vacation plans if we have to go another round, which would result in having to tell family members when we really do not want to until after we are pregnant again.  I just hope this frozen embie holds on for dear life!

But at the end of the day,  I am so grateful that I live in this day and age.  Who knows if we would even have children at all 35 years ago. I feel so blessed and lucky to have my one.  So even with all this waiting, anticipation, worry and expenses. I am grateful.

So I know its been a very long time since I have written a blog post.  More than likely I have lost most of my followers, but life got so busy after I got pregnant.  I had some major life changes, the Huz and I both got new jobs right before IVF, so we were adjusting to that.  Wedding season begun, and I started traveling for work.  We had a friend move in with us, and my sister-in-law was also pregnant at the same time and we had family events I feel like every weekend.  I was going at turbo speed!

 Anyway this was all brought to a halt when I was put on bed rest 2 weeks ago at 30 weeks.  My cervix was beginning to shorten and I was 1 cm dilated.  I have always been paranoid about having an incompetent cervix as I have a friend who lost a baby early due to that very issue.  So I always had my doc check.  Please being an IVF patient, Mr. Wandy is a close friend of mine.  That is when they saw the cervical funneling and my cervix was shortening.  I was sent to the hospital and monitored, I received 2 steroid shots and stayed for 3 days.  Once they determined I in fact was not having any signs of labor they put me on bed rest.  I am still 1 cm but now I am 50% effaced.

So now I lay everyday, the good news is I am gaining weight like a champ finally. Until now I had only gain 11 lbs total.  In the last 2 weeks I have gained 6!  I am doing everything I possibly can to keep this kid in here. This goes to show you mothering starts long before the baby arrives. Even after all of this, IVF, bed rest, I cannot wait to do it again!  It will all be worth it when I meet my sweet little boy!  I am giving it up to God! We will see what happens!

I am still feeling bloated, but I am not feeling pain, but I do feel achy all over my body.  I have been taking it very easy.  I slept pretty much the entire day of ER and the day after I went to work and came home early.  I was slightly over stimulated and was told to take it easy.  But things today are much better and ET is scheduled for Monday Morning. 

My acupuncturist was really upset because she wanted me to come in before and Dr. T was not keen on changing his time. So today we did electro stimulation and it was weird.  The needles were vibrating and I could feel the pulsing.  It’s bizarre.  Although I did feel better after I went to acupuncture.

Also since my Estrogen test came back high, they added another form of progesterone.  They want to make sure they balance each other out.  So I am on the wonderful vaginal suppositories and injecting PIO.  And SERIOUSLY! There isn’t a better way to get progesterone than this thick oil with the biggest needle being shoved in my @$$! At first it did not hurt at all. Then all of a sudden 3 hours later it was so sore, and it’s sore now!  So not only am I walking funny due to my discomfort but now I try to sit directly on it so I do not bother my bum!

The Huz is still hurting pretty bad.  They basically had to cut his testicle and open it entirely to find sperm.  They went very deep to look for sperm, because initially they could not find any!  So the doctor was a little bit worried, but then they were able to find some.  That is why they injected 26 eggs, just trying to get any sperm they could.  We will know the final count on Sunday!  Then we will transfer 2 5-day blasts.

I think to calm my nerves I will probably stay off the internet for the two week wait.  I will update via blog, but I will let you know the results for sure though.  So I will probably write one more blog on Sunday and then be out of commission for two weeks.  Anyway, that’s for all the support.  Love you all!

Have a great day!

I know Mother’s Day is very hard for a lot of infertile couples/women. It’s a reminder that you still don’t have a child. I have read numerous other blogs about how Mother’s Day effects them, and some have been sad, and some have been wonderfully positive. I am choosing to stay on the side of positivity. There was one blog I read about Mothering Yourself, that I found fabulous. In summary it basically was talking about how we are being a mother to ourselves during/though the infertility process. We advocate for ourselves, take care of ourselves, we do everything to ensure that our next fertility treatment can be as successful as possible, and lastly, when there is no hope, we still find a way to have it.

I got the most adorable card Mother’s Day Card yesterday from the The Huz. He put a little letter inside and it was the sweetest thing I have ever read. This was the last line of the letter. “I hope our children look back at the card and say, “why did dad send mom a Mother’s Day card when they did not have children yet’, it’s because we knew and we had hope.”

So I hope today is a wonderful Mother’s Day to all those hoping to make this the last Mother’s Day without a child.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Pamper Mircale Commerical – I just like all the babies! So Sweet!

I got my box of meds yesterday and was totally overwhelmed! I looked at this box and thought I need to retake my injection class. There were so many needles and medications, I was totally confused! Last night I sat down and laid everything out. I actually read al instructions to the medications. Sadly, this is probably the first time I have ever done this. I feel more comfortable now, and really sorted the box. I am ready for every shot except that progesterone, DANG that needle is really big and very scary. Does it have to be so big, really? Let me know if you have any tips for making it easier.

I still can’t believe that it is here, we have been planning this since January, so I cannot believe how fast this has gone. I am very hopeful and staying that way. Since my cousins passing, I have started getting back on track. I am trying to go to bed at 9:30 every night. I am staying relaxed and slowly re-introducing tasks into my daily life. Still going to acupuncture once a week, and getting a massage every week. Staying clear of processed foods and just being healthy.

Daily Shout-Outs

@jesanholi hoping for a BFP in 10 days!

@VeeNora Hoping those eggs mature! Good Luck on your 3 day transfer!

@FertilityChick Hoping the adoption goes smoothly!

Also please pray for my SIL that is pregnant, she is experiencing bleeding and cramping, so please send out some prayers and positive thoughts her way.

Hoping everyone who is having blood draws this week gets their BFPs, and those who are in the 2ww and have found out they are pregnant, I pray that you all have a peace of mind.

Happy National Infertility Week

I have read many blogs, forums, and posts about the benefits of pineapple during IVF.   Since I started researching IVF I have been sifting through information on the benefits of pineapple.  In pineapple the vitamin bromelian is the active ingredient and is supposedly beneficial for IVF. 

Then my next step was to Wiki it, this is the information I found about Bromelain:

Bromelain is present in all parts of the pineapple plant (Ananas sp.), but the stem is the most common commercial source, presumably because it is readily available after the fruit has been harvested. Pineapples have had a long tradition as a medicinal plant among the natives of South and Central America.

Today, about 90% of meat tenderizer is used in consumer households. Bromelain is sold in a powdered form, which is combined with a marinade, or directly sprinkled on the uncooked meat. The enzyme will penetrate the meat, and by a process called forking, cause the meat to be tender and palatable when cooked. If the enzyme is allowed to work for too long, the meat may become too “mushy” for many consumers’ preferences. Cooked or canned pineapple does not have a tenderizing effect, as the enzymes are heat labile.

Although available in some countries (not the United States) as a product under the name ‘Ananase’, bromelain has no scientifically accepted therapeutic indications as an oral agent. It has a reputation for various uses in folk medicine. First introduced in medical research in 1957, bromelain may work by blocking some proinflammatory metabolites when applied topically. Preliminary research indicates that bromelain may affect migration of neutrophils to sites of acute inflammation.[4] As a potential anti-inflammatory agent, it may be useful for treating arthritis,[5] but has neither been confirmed in human studies for this use nor is it approved with a health claim for such an effect by the Food and Drug Administration or European Food Safety Authority.

So, this is what I take from this, Pineapple is supposed to make the uterus soft, which will make the eggs stick, because bromelain is a meat tenderizer and an anti- inflammatory.   The medication that I did not know about until today Dexamethasone has some similar properties.  It is a steroid and an anti-inflammatory.  I am supposed to be on it for a total of 3 weeks. So I feel that part has been taken care of, through other research I read stated it is supposed to make the uterus sticky, I am not sure how I feel about that.  Anyright, the max amount to eat is supposed to be about one cup of pineapple a day. Then I read a blog by TheIvfGirl about what her Doc had said about pineapple a year ago.

The benefits of pineapple for IVF

by Beth

When I was going through my IVF protocol, my doctor suggested I develop a sweet tooth for PINEAPPLE.  Yes, pineapple!  (I only had pineapple in my cocktails prior to that.  Not kidding.)

Supposedly, eating pineapple starting on the transfer date will increase the chances of a success.  Sticky beans!  Baby dust!

FRESH pineapple.  And the fruit closest to the core.  So you have to crack that thang open and start slicing.

Pineapple is a bromeliad fruit and contains the enzyme that breaks down protein. And there may be some proteins in the uterus inhibiting the embryos from “sticking.”

This could be an old wive’s tale or a myth but I had my fresh pineapple (about a cup a day) and now I am obviously knocked up (swollen ankles!)  My doctor told me there is no concrete proof it works either but it could lend an edge to the whole procedure.

I stored my pineapples on the kitchen counter and NOT in the refrigerator.  Stays fresher.   And I ate it for three days – starting on the transfer date.

My remaining fruit?  Funnily enough, I used it as a meat tenderizer.   Which sorta makes sense as it broke down the protein in the meat.  Which is what might have been happening in my uterus.  Which is probably why, months later, all I want to do is eat cheeseburgers all day.

Hmmmm.

Then the second post I really like is this one and it also talks about Pineapple and Baby Aspirin.

How to have a successful IVF

By bdavis76, eHow User 

So you’re here. First of all, congratulations and I’m sorry. If you’re here, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Getting pregnant is an emotional rollercoaster and if you’re preparing for a successful IVF then you’ve been through quite a rollercoaster already. I’m not going to guarantee you will get pregnant from this IVF, but if you follow these steps you will know you’ve done everything in YOUR power to make it successful. Know that I am praying for you and so are many other people in this world.

1 Acupuncture for pregnancy preparation, once a week for one hour. If you haven’t started acupuncture, I highly recommend it. Realize that acupuncturists are unique individuals but they have a way of understanding your body differently than our doctors. Blood flow is key to creating a healthy womb and that is one area an acupuncturist can help. Make weekly appointments and try to keep it at about the same time and day every week. Talk to your acupuncturist as well. Fill him/ her in on where you are in this journey. You need a confidant who is not too personally involved.

2  No alcohol or caffeine once you start your first shot
It’s better if you wean yourself a couple of months before you start the IVF process, but officially ban alcohol and caffeine from your diet once you’ve started your first shot. Your body needs to prepare for pregnancy, so let it be as healthy as possible.

3 Shots – give your shots consistently, same time every day
The more consistent your shot schedule is the better your body can prepare and use the necessary medicines.

4 Rest – Shoot for 9 hours of sleep a night.  The more rest you get, the more your body can prepare for pregnancy and focus on that.

5  Pineapple – start eating pineapple once you start the Follistim shots (or whichever ovulation inducer you are taking) and continue eating pineapple until you are done with bedrest. Yes, the more pineapple the better. I recommend using it as a dessert for all three meals every single day. It’s healthy and there’s something special in it to help with pregnancy. Not sure what, but it’s magic.

6  Stop exercising – yes, that’s right, I said stop!
You’re body is going through a traumatic event AND it’s preparing to become pregnant. Working out takes that energy to a different place. If you’re dying to do something, walk. No sit ups! No weights! No bouncing! Your ovaries are growing and growing and they can actually become damaged. Protect them! Working out can come back into your life after the baby arrives!

7  Baby aspirin – take one once a day starting the day after retrieval Baby aspirin helps encourage blood flow through your body and specifically to your uterus. Help that home be nice and cozy for that baby (or babies!).

8 Gatorade – start drinking Gatorade on your way home from the egg retrieval and drink it continuously until you get your positive pregnancy test.  Your eggs have been taken, but your ovaries are now filled with blood. You are most likely going to feel some discomfort and maybe even some pain. Gatorade helps reduce that pain and lets your ovaries recover easier. If you have strong cramping pain, drink more Gatorade. Obviously call your doctor too, just to make sure they’re in the loop.

9 REST!!! – Take the entire day off of everything on the day of your retrieval. Even better, that the next day too.
Rest means, laying down watching old movies (and sitcom, Dawson’s Creek and Sex in the City were two of my favorites) and read novels (try to stay away from the pregnancy books right now).

10  Acupuncture – Make an appointment for the morning before transfer.

11 Bring in a relaxing CD to the transfer. Relax and think babies!

12 REST! The minute your doctor transfers the blastocysts into your uterus is the minute that your bedrest starts.  Bedrest means no stairs, no showers, no sitting up (except meal times) and stay on bedrest for four days (transfer day plus three more days). When you are riding home from the doctor, recline your seat all the way back and legs up on the dashboard. Your husband is your servant for these four days. Have a bell next to your bed. Yes, he will get annoyed, but it’s all worth it. The only time you should be standing is when you go to the bathroom. Don’t plan on changing for four days, or change while you’re lying down. If you are dying to brush your teeth, do it while you’re using the bathroom. I recommend watching Juno and Knocked Up with your husband during your bedrest – great bonding movies.

13 No lifting! – Stop lifting anything heavier than a book and don’t start lifting again until after your first trimester.

14 Continue weekly acupuncture through your first trimester.

15 Refuse stress – let your mind relax just like your body!

So after all this advice what to do!  I have decided not to stress.  I am not going to worrying myself over the hundreds and thousands of post of advice on a successful IVF.  I am going to make my own plan, and stick with what works for me.  If the key is to not be stressed, I am not going to stress over taking all the advice.  I made a program that works for me.  I am following my protocol, I already went to acupuncture once a week, so I am going to continue to go.  I get a massage weekly for relaxation, and I try my hardest to each healthy food.  I drink an enormous amount of water every day, and I may have a piece of pineapple if I am craving something sweet.  What I am not going to do is freak out, the key like I said before is to relax and diminish stress.  So I would say, make a plan that works for you and stick with it.  All we can do is hope for the best!

I feel really lucky so far in the InVitro process.  We knew there potentially could be a problem regarding infertility, so we did not experience the years of trying to conceive before finding out there was a problem.  Furthermore due to our good ‘ol Military insurance, every doctor we see has to be referred from our family practitioner. 

I really dislike my family practitioner; she seems extremely overwhelmed, and makes you feel like she does not have time/nor wants to see you.  When she comes in I end up sounding like a robot because I begin to talk so fast to ensure I get all I need to say in.  However she does have one exceptional quality, she gives us AMAZING referrals.  Every doctor that I have been referred to has been magnificent! 

She did not disappoint either with my IVF Doc, who I will affectionately call Dr. Truth or Dr. T for short.  His rank changes from year to year but per the last ranking I found he was ranked number 3 in the United States and he is usually in the top Ten. 

Now, you may be wondering why I call him Dr. Truth this is because he has a no bullshit approach which is very difficult for a lot of people.  Especially when you have been dealing with infertility for years, he may come off as insensitive.  He will tell you point-blank if you need to lose weight and how much, he will change your diet, make you have loads of tests done, and give you realistic chances of success.  He is a genius, and sometimes if you are a genius you may lack fundamental social skills. I like him, because I appreciate his intelligence and understand his attitude. 

Bottom line is he cares about the success of his program, which I interpret as “I will do everything in my power to get you pregnant on the first try so you don’t mess with my numbers…Muahhahahah” (imagine a little man with large glasses, he reminds me of the mouse Brain from the cartoon show Pinky and the Brain.) 

With him we must attend two classes about a month before we start the IVF Process.  First is the ART class and second is the Injections class.  At the injections class we practiced giving shots on a fake bottom.  When I saw that 2 inch needle I thought I would pass out!  And of course my husband starts giggling.  I then told him if he doesn’t watch it he will wake up with one of these needles in the middle of his butt!

Then ART class is where they gave us our protocol calendar and a rundown of the next three months.  They do not give you the third month until right before retrieval.  I have already been taking prenatal vitamins since last year.  I take Rainbow Light I prefer the one pill a day which will last 5 months if you get the big bottle, but I accidentally bought the Bio-complete system this time which you take 6 a day (I am waiting to take those until I am completely out of the other, because it has high vitamin content which will be good for baby.)  I also take Solray DHA once a day, it’s an organic vitamin and I was told I will absorb it better.    I am currently on BC given to me by Dr. T, and he told me to start taking a Bayer Baby Aspirin everyday in the morning to help with blood flow.   He ordered me to NOT take any Chinese Herbs, but encourages me to go to acupuncture weekly.  I also get a massage once a week (through Massage Envy), I tell my husband that I need it to help with the relaxation process, I try to go to yoga as much as possible, but if I can’t make it I don’t stress and have started taking walks with my dog every evening.  So I feel on track that way. 

So for now,  I plan on keeping stress low, eating well, and staying positive.  I wish ALL my fellow IVFers Much luck and Baby DUST!

“In my quest for world domination I will get every woman Pregnant!”