IVF Ball is Rolling Again!

get-the-ball-rollingI’ve missed blogging but I just didn’t have much to say. Dealing with a miscarriage was hard emotionally and physically. I wanted to give up. But I haven’t.

It’s been a bit over two months since I had my D&C. The wait was terrible. Not knowing when AF would arrive is worse than any other “wait” I’veĀ been through. I mean even the 2ww is better than what this wait was. At least with the 2ww you have that beta scheduled and know a date, but waiting for AF to arrive after a miscarriage seemed like an eternity, not knowing when she would arrive.

Anyway, enough ranting and on with the updates.

  • Because of the holidays, I was told that the IVF labs are closed from Dec 24 to the end of the year. Makes sense!
  • For me to be able to start the process this month and have the ER and ET before the lab closes, AF needed to be here no later than Nov 15th.
  • AF arrived on Nov 17th.
  • Nurse said we could move forward but I would be on BCP for only 11 days (normally I’m on for around 20 days).
  • Nurse warned me that this cycle could be cancelled if my lining isn’t ready.
  • She also acknowledged that some patients don’t even take BCP and some take them for less time, depending on their situation.
  • I said lets go for it! If it gets cancelled, I’ll start again next month.
  • I’m taking BCP through Nov 30th.
  • If all looks okay, I will begin injections on Dec 4th.
  • Estimated ER could be Dec 15; ET could be Dec 20th.

Even though I’ve been doing acupuncture twice a week, I’m still feeling a bit stressed. I keep telling myself to stop it, but my body will do what it will do. I was talking to my mom yesterday about it. As much as I’m thrilled to be starting IVF again, it also terrifies me 10,000 times more than any other cycle because this is my last shot. I don’t get another try. So my body is feeling the pressure even though my mind and heart keep saying it will be okay, no matter what.

Has anyone taken a shortened BCP protocol and gotten pregnant?

Trying Again…

I owe everyone an update since my last blog. I blogged about a friend offering to be the donor. Well I decided not to go that route. It’s nothing against him but more on what I felt was right for me. He lives 1200 miles away. If I were to have a friend donor, I’d want him to be local, so he can be part of the child’s life. Not sure my friend understands but honestly that’s not my problem. I appreciate the offer though.

I’m in the middle of IVF #2. I’m on a different protocol – Antagonist. The way the doctor explains it is that in the aggressive approach, there are two protocols. I did the first one before, so this time we are trying the second protocol. Basically in a nutshell, this one doesn’t suppress my ovaries the entire time. I use the stimulating injections and then when the follicles reach 14mm, I add in another injection that suppresses ovulation.

My doctor visit this past Sunday showed that I had one follicle at 12mm, so they had me start suppressing ovulation Monday morning. Not a fan of this injection. It’s a slightly thicker needle and when I went to inject it, I couldn’t for some reason. Only the tip penetrated my skin. And it hurt. So now I’m shaking and light-headed. Needless to say I had to have my mom do it for me. I thought today would be easier but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Mom to the rescue again.

If all goes well, I hoping for retrieval to be this Saturday. I also hope that the other follicles catch up to the dominant one which measured 15mm this morning. I’m on daily monitoring until I Trigger.

More later on…

Mock Embryo Transfer

Mine was yesterday morning. It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t like an insemination (what they said it would be similar to). One of the doctors came in and explained what this procedure is. It’s basically so they can see the path and the ovaries, etc ahead of time so they know exactly where they need to place the embryos during the “real” embryo transfer.

He basically inserts a thin catheter with some saline solution through my cervix and up through my uterus so the saline can fill up my ovaries. The ovaries are normally deflatedĀ until something is in them. So because your uterus doesn’t like anything in there, it cramps trying to get rid of it. Mild cramping. I don’t have terrible menses cramps so for me it was a bit more than that. Not bad though. Nothing like the HCG test I had last year.

You get to watch your ovaries fill up. He then inserts the sonogram wand to check out the rest. The right ovary he found fine, however my left ovary likes to hide. He had to push my stomach to get it to show up. It took a few minutes but he found it. They send the images to the doctor and to the location that will be doing the “real” embryo transfer, which for me is Towson.

I had mild cramping most of yesterday but nothing that hindered me working or normal life functioning. Bottom line is, everything looks good.

I’m putting the pressure on my HR lady because Shady Grove is wanting to send in the authorization and order the meds but I have them holding off. Lets hope I hear something today.

Pre-IVF Process

I wanted to give a quick update on where I’m at right now.

There has been some movement from the insurance side. They said they have no record of a denial for IUI or IVF. I’m not sure what that has to do with anything, however luckily my financial coordinator had it on file. I sent it to HR. Insurance wanted Shady Grove Fertility Center’s number and contact so they can talk directly to them. I hope this means it won’t be much longer. This movement happened mid-last week – haven’t heard a peep since.

I spoke to my nurse and asked her if I should begin the pre-process portion where I take birth control pills for three weeks, just in case insurance comes through I’ll be ready. She agreed that it would be best so I’m about a week into the birth control.

I received my IVF protocol (basically my schedule). I had a bit of panic with a side of excitement. It was so strange to see the entire process on paper attached to dates. So tentatively the embryos will be transferred back inside either 4/14 or 4/16 – or somewhere around that date. Those dates could possibly change depending on how well they divide and grow. But regardless, it’s not that far away. Around that same time I’ll be replacing my chain link fence with a beautiful 6′ wooden fence. Not that far away at all.

Oh one last thing, Thursday morning I have my Mock Embryo transfer.

Got the Green Light

I had an appointment this morning to do an ultrasound and blood work to determine if I’m producing enough follicles to proceed with the IUI. She checked my right side and there was one but didn’t meet the size requirements. She then moved to my left side and there were five! Three of them are of the right size. I think originally the doctor said she was hoping for at leave five good ones so it sounds like it might not work this time. But we’ll see.

Tonight I have the trigger shot. This shot will trigger ovulation so they can predict pretty much exactly when to perform the insemination. I scheduled the IUI for Friday, July 5th, 2013.

Cycle Day 3 – Start Clomid

I made my appointment early in the morning so I wouldn’t miss work. 7:15 to be exact. My alarm went off, the puppy started crying and I knew I couldn’t hit snooze. Did my morning routine and then headed out. As I’m driving I’m realizing that I didn’t need to make it for another location but in my confusion I did. It took me about a half an hour to get to this other location and they saw me right away, despite me being about 20 minutes early.

They drew blood to do a mandatory check to make sure I’m not pregnant. Then I was off to the private room for the ultrasound. My right ovary was hiding so the doctor had to push it around for the ultrasound to show up.

He said all looks good so unofficially he thinks we’ll be able to move forward with this rest of this process. If there had been large cysts, they would have postponed it until the next cycle.

I went home at lunch to let my puppy out and as I was leaving a UPS truck pulled up. I just knew it was for my package. I took it inside, opened it up and put the item that needs to be kept cool in the fridge. I headed back to work.

I received a text from my pharmacy letting me know that the fertility pills (Clomid) are ready for pick-up. On my way home I picked it up and continued home.

Around 8pm I took my first two pills of Clomid so if there were any side effects that I would hopefully sleep through most of them.

This all is getting way to real. I’m anxious, excited, nervous, scared, and hopeful. I think most of my fear is finding out this doesn’t work either. Then what do I do? Go back to the adoption road? But now my savings is almost gone. It’s so hard to know the best path to take but I’m not giving up.


Cycle Day 1

Is today, June 23rd, 2013! I called the doctor’s office to let them know and to schedule my CD3 appointment which is June 25th, 2013. At this appointment, they will do blood work, another ultrasound, and give me my Clomid prescription.

This may have been TMI, but I have to include all of this in my blog/journal.

Talk with a Counselor

The fertility center requires all patients to see their counselor who will talk about how you feel about the process, and answer any questions you may have. My appointment with her was today, June 3rd, 2013.

She was very easy to talk to. She had her list of questions and as I spoke she would take notes. Being that I’m single brought up a bunch of different questions than she would have asked for married couples.

We talked through the rest of the process, the outcomes and the support I would have when this is all said and done. She was very thorough and it lasted about 1.25 hours.

At the end, she asked if I had questions and surprisingly enough, she answered them all. She ended with a green light to move forward and set up my follow-up appointment with my doctor.

Final Testing

I’ve done all my blood work and my HSG was schedule for this morning. I am not a fan of this test but understand why it needs to be done. So this test, they inject dye into your uterus and they can see on the monitor where it flows. The hope is that it flows into the fallopian tubes. This can tell them if there are any blockages that would prevent me from getting pregnant.

The doctor said that the uterus isn’t used to having something heavy. The dye they inject is the consistency of corn syrup so since the uterus doesn’t like it, it tries to get rid of it, causing a cramping pain.

Yeah, well…the pain almost made me fold up like origami…LOL. It doesn’t last but a minute but it was a painful minute.

Luckily my tubes are clear and good to go!

Now on to the final doctor’s visit so she can tell me the course of action that should take place.

Initial Doctor’s Visit

I just got back from my initial visit with my new fertility doctor. She gave me the good and bad news but all very realistic and understandable. She said with my age, that the chances of me getting pregnant are slim but that it can happen. I’m not ancient, mind you. I’m 38. Yes, in pregnancy life that is older than they’d like. But not impossible.

She explained the tests that I would need to get done.

  • Vaginal ultrasound
  • Blood work (two different ones)
  • HSG
  • Genetics test (optional)

We scheduled the ultrasound for the very next morning, May 1st, 2013 for them to do whatever. I think they just wanted to check out the equipment. But whatever they were looking for, came back fine.

I have my blood work scheduled for Thursday, May 2nd, 2013.