Friday, October 29, 2010

The Needles come out..

 I started stims yesterday.  225 follistim, 225 menupur, plus the Ganerelix.  I found out that my protocol is considered the "Sher" protocol and found some decent documentation on it, so I feel better about taking the Ganerelix from the very beginning.

I am very good at avoiding painful things in my life.  I think this coping mechanism is one of the reasons I've avoided this blog for the past few weeks and also why I feel desperately like I want to close my eyes, plug my ears and sing LALALALALALA for the next 12-14 days.

Lets make that a full month.  When I open my eyes, I want to see one thing and one thing only.  2 freaking pink lines.

But, I also know that writing these feelings out makes me realize what I'm doing, and this blog should be a source of comfort, not something to avoid.  Pulling the covers over my head and hiding is not the best way to deal with this process.

I think I need to kick this pessimistic Reese's ass.  Starting today I will strive to think happy thoughts about this cycle.  I will have some alcohol-free fun at my friends Halloween Party tomorrow (I'm going as Carmen Sandiago), I will try hard to do well at my work conference this week, and I will try to cut down on the hours long Donor Egg Google sessions and look more for '3rd try is the charm' stories.

Wish me luck.

Friday, October 15, 2010

IVF #3 The Protocol

Yesterday I received my protocol.  Since I'm a "vet", all I get is a rushed phone call where one of the nurses practices her auctioneer stylings while I take frantic notes. 

I will receive a written protocol in the mail, but here is what I was able to scribble down:

Estimated Period Start  10/27.  (hah, little do they know that my period likes to hide like the snarky bitch she is when I actually want her to appear).
Start Stims 10/28.
225 Follistim Pen
225 Menupur
Low dose of Ganerelix (starting on the first day of stims).
Est Retrieval 11/8

Now, my last IVF was an antagonist cycle so I am familiar with Ganerelix and what it does, but I'm not sure why I would be taking it from the very beginning?  Dr. Google has provided little insight as well.

The nurse also mentioned that I would be taking Prednisone at some point, which Dr. Goggle has lots of information on...lots o scary scary information.  I know most of the scary stuff is in high doses, so I will try my best to just trust in my RE. 

As a reward for reading this clinical and boring post, and upon one of my first readers request (!yay).  Here is a picture of Butters.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Birthday to Plan B

Last October, when I got that final call confirming that my 2nd IVF attempt had failed, I moved straight on to Plan B.

Plan A = get pregnant, have baby.
Plan B = something to look forward to if Plan A does not work.

After 2 failed attempts, I find that having a Plan B helps get through the despair of a failed cycle, of never getting to meet the human potential of those beautiful embryo pictures. 

Last October, Plan B came in the form of Butters, a labradoodle puppy that I had picked out from a breeder website.  It took awhile to get N8 on board.  He was allergic to dogs and never really wanted pets in the house.  We compromised by finding a dog that was "allergy-friendly", and that was according to N8 "something useful, not one of those damn yip dogs".

Today, Butters turns one year old!  We celebrated by hoping on our hind legs, burying bones in the couch, and singing jarring renditions of Phoenix songs.  (Did I mention I work from home, and as a result have become strangely close to my dog??). 

So...anyways.  Happy Birthday to my Plan B.  Your goofy smile has soothed my heartache, and I am so happy you will be with me in the coming months.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In the Beginning . . .


My name is Teresa and I am infertile.

Should I start at the beginning?

How prosaic, but I suppose time lines are warranted, given the fact I've stopped paying attention to the Gregorian calendar in favor of my cycles days..oh approximately 48 cycles ago.

After getting married in 2006, my husband, N8, and I started trying officially in November of the same year.  I was especially eager to get started, because you see, I had a "PLAN". Yes, one of those magical things that usually follow the words "never go according to".

I wanted to have all my children before I reached the ripe old age of 30.  I wasn't as blissfully naive as most twenty-somethings.  I had read plenty of studies on declining egg reserves, and most importantly on the
increased likelihood of developmental disabilities in children born to women over 30.

This worry was not without context. My mother had my brother at age 33, and he would go on to belong to a new and growing club when he was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3.

So when, after a year, I had yet to see that elusive 2nd pink line, I called my doctor and was referred to an RE. We got the basic workup, and it was concluded that I "may" have a partially blocked tube and my husbands morphology was on the low end. Otherwise, we were 28 and everything else looked GREAT!  A few IUI treatments and we'd be on our way to parenthood no problem. 

While saving for this endevour,  we were invited to participate in an IVF study (studying the pregnancy rates of 1 vs. 2 blastocycsts),which is completely besides the point, since we barely got an embryo to transfer, let alone a blastocyst.  This experience was rift with problems:

Problem #1:  Birth Control and Lupron seems to have severely over-suppressed me, as on my day 5 stim check, the nurse vainly (and painfully) searches for any measurable follicles.
Problem #2:  After upping the stims, we start to see some progress, but the estrogen level actually drops..DROPS!(I have yet to read a single instance of estrogen dropping during a cycle and having it end happily). Next day it has gone back up and RE convinces me to stick with the cycle.
Prolem #3:  Retrieval.  8 eggs! ...oh but 0 mature.  2 were matured overnight and fertilized. They were pretty awful quality. No suprise BFN.

So, whats the problem.  I found it easy to blame the protocal.  I'm 28, normal FSH, normal periods, obviously their fault...right?

So, that Fall we moved on to IVF #2 and start accumulating more debt! I felt positive, and try 2 goes much better.... in a sense.  We try the Antagonist protocol; I have many more follicles and my estrogen looks great throughout.  However, come retrieval, they still only retrive 9 eggs (meh!), and only 4 are mature (my "shitty protocol" theory starts flying out the window, as my shitty eggs start showing their true colors). 

We transfer 3.  1-8 cell, poor quality.  1-6cell, good quality.  1-4cell, because why not. 

After the 2nd failed cycle, I got to hear the words "Donor Eggs".  I was 29 years old.  Though I've thought about this option many times, especially considering my higher risk for having a child inflicted with autism, I wasn't ready yet.

I'm still not ready.  So, here I am today.  Starting my 3rd IVF.  I am now 30 years old, past the age when I thought I'd have my young children around me.  Everyday I struggle to remain positive and believe that this time could work. Since my 2nd failed IVF, I was diagnosed with Compound Heterozygous MTHFR.  I have started taking Folate and baby aspirin, and can only hope that this time something is different.

So, Cheers to you dear internets-- for your company, guidance and support during this demanding but exciting process.  I hope from now on to regale you only with amusing and hopefully celebratory anecdotes of this journey from now on.