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We had our consultation with the doctor. She recommended a lap, followed by IVF, but said she would be willing to do medicated IUIs if we weren’t comfortable with IVF. Unfortunately, I have two issues-

A cyst is still covering my left ovary. The dr. thinks it’s an endometrioma and that I have endometriosis. She said that the cyst would have to be removed prior to IVF, but recommended that I have the lap and deal with the cyst whether we decided to proceed with treatment or not.

My AMH was low (1) and my FSH high (10.1). She said they aren’t so high that it’s a sign that I’m soon to be menopausal, but high enough that she believes egg quantity/quality could be an issue. I was surprised how much things could change in two years (my FSH was 6-7 two years ago), but I wasn’t totally stunned. That’s what I was afraid of, really.

She said if I only had endo or only had egg issues, she would recommend IVF, but with the two issues together, she would absolutely recommend IVF.

She didn’t mention donor eggs at this point, although I’m sure it’s a possibility that’s dependent on how an IVF cycle goes.

On one hand, I’d like to just say forget it — it just isn’t going to happen. I just had a LEEP in July to deal with my cervix, and now I need a lap to deal with the cyst on my ovary?!? Between that and my egg issues, is it even worth trying??? On the other hand, I feel like it’s worth a shot. I don’t want to have any regrets, and putting it off and trying later is definitely not an option.

So, that’s where we are. I’m still waiting to hear back from the surgery coordinator, so I don’t know what kind of timeline we’re looking at for the surgery. I’m definitely not looking forward to it, and it’s hard to be optimistic, but I’m trying.

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I didn’t make it to the appointment today. We got caught in terrible traffic, and while we had allowed for 35 minutes to get there, it would have easily taken over an hour. The appointment was in the morning, during rush hour, and apparently, there were several accidents in between our house and the RE’s office.

I had dreams last night about the appointment, and they weren’t very pleasant. In my dream, the RE told us that there really weren’t any options for us, but we could try if we wanted to with little odds of success. I think that’s my worst fear –  having to decide whether to try when the chances of something working are incredibly slim. I was kind of nervous about the appointment, and I got increasingly upset as I sat at a standstill on the highway. I don’t even know if upset is the right word….I guess it was more disappointed. It just feels like we are stuck in limbo – more now than ever!

Luckily, the RE was super understanding, and they fit us in next week. At least we don’t have to wait another two weeks to hear what she has to say.

When I saw my new RE in February, she mentioned many times how well the timing was working out, since I was seeing her on CD2. She said I’d be able to get all my tests done within a week – the bloodwork, ultrasound, and hsg – and wouldn’t have to waste time waiting for my next cycle to start. She was right – I had all my tests done in a week, and M’s were done just a few days after that. Once all our results were in, we talked to the nurse and had a few dates to choose from for our next consultation appointment. We chose the date furthest out – not because we were trying to delay things – but because it was the time slot that worked best for us in terms of our work schedules. Theoretically, I should have been on CD1 for that appointment, and I thought that wouldn’t be ideal, but could work. I knew there was a chance AF would arrive early, and I it was possible I could be on CD 2. I think I used all my good timing karma up in the first visit, because AF came 4 days early, and for tomorrow’s appointment, I’ll be on CD6.

Soooo, that pretty much means we won’t be starting any treatment until late April, and that’s even dependent on what she says about the cyst on my ovary.

On one hand, I’m ok with that. The weather is nice, and I can keep enjoying life and working on getting into better shape. I can sit outside and enjoy an alcoholic beverage and not feel bad about it. On the other hand, I wanted to just get the ball rolling…to get some momentum. It’s the stopping and starting that makes it so hard for me to stick with it — getting up the nerve to make an appointment, and then waiting to actually see the doctor — having a bunch of tests, and then waiting for the consultation — having the consultation, and then waiting to start a medicated cycle. It’s just a slow process, and it gives me too much time to think and wonder if we’re even doing the right thing.

As I think I’ve mentioned before, I have two close friends who are both pregnant. One started trying to get pregnant about seven years ago and is finally having a baby as a result of one successful IVF cycle. The other got pregnant after trying for about a month, maybe two. We’re all the same age.

I’ve written before about how different they are in how they approach their pregnancies. As time goes on and their pregnancies progress, their attitudes continue to evolve. The assumption might be that my easily pregnant friend assumes everything will be fine, but that’s not the case. She’s well aware of the risks involved, and is especially concerned about her age (37). She seems to really focus on her fears surrounding childbirth, but at the same time doesn’t feel that medical intervention is necessary. She is planning to deliver at some type of facility, but wants things to be natural and doesn’t want to be ‘hooked up’ to any kind of monitoring equipment. She also has fears about her loss of identity once the child is born.

My IVF-pregnant friend was extremely cautious initially and refused to get excited until several months had passed. While she knows things can still go wrong, she’s starting to get excited. She still worries about premature labor (and I’m sure many other things that she hasn’t said), but she is a lot less focused on age. She also doesn’t seem as fearful of childbirth, and knows that any kind of plan she might create is meaningless if anything unexpected happens. She’s generally a very all-natural kind of person, but she wants as much monitoring of the baby as possible, and knows that the priority is bringing home a healthy baby.

I feel bad sometimes, because I can’t help but roll my eyes at my easily pregnant friend, while nodding in agreement with my IVF-pregnant friend. I try to remind myself, though, that my easily pregnant friend is just coming at all of this with a completely different point of view.

It’s hard, though, in some ways, with my IVF-pregnant friend. She never brings up her pregnancy or baby-related topics, and I can’t help but think it’s for my benefit. I don’t want her to feel like she can’t talk to me, but at the same time, I don’t know how much I can handle. We’re also using the same RE that they did, which is really nice in a lot of ways, because we can swap stories about the place and the people. It’s especially nice for M, to have another guy talk to (ex: what it’s like to drop off the goods for a SA).

I have a few concerns, though. For one thing, and this is hard to explain – I want her to be able to talk about where she is with things now – with her pregnancy – and not feel like she’s stuck talking about infertility treatment. Before she got pregnant, infertility was something we had in common. We’ve known each other for a long time, but have never been super close, and infertility was sort of a connector, in a way (we also both live thousands of miles from where we grew up, so we have that, too). I don’t want to be left out of her progression to another phase in her life, especially if I am not as lucky as she was…which brings me to my other concern. We’re using the same RE, and I have to say that seeing her go through IVF and be successful was motivating to start treatment. My experience with the RE I saw with my ex-husband was terrible, and it was hard for me to consider treatment without thinking of that experience. My friend also went to that practice and assured me that this place is nothing like that. Knowing that made it easier to take that first step. But, seeing her successful with IVF – especially when our circumstances are similar – couldn’t help but make me more optimistic. Seeing someone – in person – made a difference to me.

I know, though, that even if we get to that point, it may not work for me. Even though I feel optimistic, I’m not naive, and I know that it could go either way. I wonder, though, if that happens, how it will affect our friendship, if at all. I worry that she’ll feel guilty or somehow responsible, but then I wonder if I’m just over-thinking the whole thing.

I’m so happy for both my friends, but in so many ways, it isn’t easy.

 

Blogger makes me crazy. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve tried to comment on someone’s post who uses Blogger, and it won’t let me. It’s so frustrating!

Sometimes, I find it difficult to stay motivated to deal with infertility. I know that probably sounds crazy to a lot of people, but it’s true. I waffle or waiver between feeling excited and hopeful to wanting to just move on and let it go. This has been true for the last three years – about six months after we started trying. I dealt with infertility in my previous marriage, so I knew where we were heading. I am not willing to sacrifice our quality of life in the process of trying to get pregnant, or to forget how lucky we already are to have each other. I dealt with infertility once in a bad marriage and ended up getting divorced. While I know that won’t happen now, I do feel fortunate to be happily married now, and to even be having the choice to try again.

That feeling – of luckiness, of happiness, and of appreciation – sometimes makes it difficult to stay motivated to start fertility treatment (again). I find myself thinking that maybe not having children isn’t so bad…that we do a good job of making the best of it, and maybe it’s not worth the struggle. Maybe, over time, it won’t matter so much. Maybe we won’t feel left out, and won’t wish we had tried harder.

Some days, I have to consciously remind myself of how I felt when we weren’t trying so hard, and why we are trying again.

Then, there are other days. Days where I see a woman running with a stroller and think, without having time to stop myself, ‘I’ll do that when we have a baby.’ Days where I see women in my neighborhood outside with their small children – with their family. The worst are the days where I see the dads teaching their children how to ride a bike or playing in the yard. Seeing dads hits me the hardest because, for one thing, my dad is and always has been a great dad, and he has cancer, and also because I know that M would be the same kind of dad (although hopefully without cancer). On those days, I am glad we are trying again and doing what we can to have a baby one way or another. I makes me feel like the effort and struggle will be worth it.

I feel like I need reminders, sometimes, of why we should keep trying. I read this popular blog – Enjoying the Small Things (http://www.kellehampton.com/) – and she writes almost constantly about her family. I don’t recommend it for people dealing with infertility who are feeling vulnerable about their childlessness, but for me, it’s a reminder of why we need to persevere. I’ll admit, though, some of her posts are like torture, because I know I may never get there – and I can’t help but somehow feel less because I am not a mother (she doesn’t say that, and it’s possible it’s my own situation making me feel that way). Still, though, she has a great story and is an amazing writer and photographer, and her posts are strangely motivating for me. I read her blog and think ‘I want that feeling.’

There are a few bloggers that I read who are parenting and are/were infertile, too. I tend to keep reading until the baby/babies are born/adopted, but I lose interest in some after that. For the others, I like seeing where they are in their lives. When we weren’t trying, I liked reading about their lives. Now that we are again, it’s motivating. And on their hardest days, it helps me remember that parenting is hard – that the struggle to become a parent and have a baby is not the end of the road.

I’ve been surprised, lately, to read that there’s some kind of animosity toward bloggers who dealt with infertility and became parents. I think that without those stories, and without those successes, it would be harder for me to keep trying. Their successes, and their failures, are both motivating and frightening, and that’s why dealing with infertility is hard.

All our tests are done, and the dr. is reviewing everything in preparation for a consultation to discuss our next steps. I feel calm, but slightly anxious/excited. I want to get things going, but I want to prolong my medication-free days. And in the end, I want this to work.

The nurse from my RE’s office called yesterday to let me know that my HSG results were normal, so I guess the slow dye in my left tube wasn’t much of an issue. She also said my uterus looked good, which is good news!

I guess now we just wait for the rest of the results, and then we’ll go back to meet with the RE again to talk about options and next steps. I’m sort of excited and sort of nervous!

I’m trying to take advantage of the time I have now not being on medication or doing any treatments. I really want to get into better shape, but it’s not going all that well. I run, but I’ve really struggled lately getting my 3 runs in per week. There are lots of reasons – travel, a cold, the hsg – but I need to make it a priority. I’d also like to be doing strength workouts or the kettle.bell exercises, but that has not been super successful either. I’m still doing yoga, but even that I’d like to be doing more. I’m usually good at following an exercise schedule, but I seem to have a problem getting into a routine lately. I’m also trying to be better about my diet. I’ve been eating a lot of carbs and drinking beer (high calorie microbrewed beer, too), and I feel like I gained weight. I’m bloated, and my stomach has been bothering me, too. I made homemade pasta this week and ate lots of tasty bread – which is not a step in the right direction. I’m trying to be better about that too. My clothes all fit fine, but I just don’t feel as trim as I’d like to. On one hand, it’s hard to be motivated because I feel like it will all go down the drain once I’m on medication, but on the other, I think I need to be more determined to stay healthy and in shape even if the medication makes me feel bloated and tired.

I still feel pretty cal about everything but am definitely looking forward to hear what she has to say. Unfortunately, I have some travel for work scheduled next week, so hopefully we don’t have to wait too long!

 

History

2014
May: BFP for baby #2, due January 2015

2013
July: Our daughter is born!

2012
November: Still pregnant. Fingers crossed! EDD 7/5/13
October: retrieval 10/12; 5dt 10/17; BFP!!! 10/25-hcg=70; 10/29-hcg=391
September-October: IVF, microdose lupron flare protocol
June-July-August: approved! dealing with scheduling issues and most likely starting IVF in September
May: waiting for insurance approval to start treatment
April: laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrioma on left ovary; diagnosed with stage 3 endo
March: RE finds cyst - suspects endometrioma; also high FSH, low AMH
February: consult with RE; bloodwork, hsg

2011
January-February: Acupuncture once per week, vitex and natural progesterone after ovulation; back to charting bbt
March-April: end of ttc
May:diagnosed with severe cervical dysplasia (CIN III)
July-August: L.E.E.P. procedure and recovery

2010
December: Start acupuncture
May-November: Not actively trying/on a break/enjoying life
April: Not actively trying, still waiting for insurance coverage for injectables
January-March: still waiting to start injectables

2009
December 09-March 10: On a break while waiting to start injectables
November 2009: 50 mg Clomid CD 5-9; BFN
October 2009: All tests normal; Take 50 mg Clomid CD 5-9; BFN
July 2009: Ob/gyn asks for bbt chart, S/A, CD3 b/w; plan tbd.
April/May 2009: Switch from OPKs to the Clearblue Fertility Monitor
March/April 2009: Start using OPKs and bbt

2007-2008
Sept/Oct 2008: Stop preventing; 'if it happens, it happens'
Summer 2008: Stop BCPs; using bbt chart to prevent pregnancy
May 2007: Married again! husband #2; no plans for children

Previous Life
Fall 2005: Divorced
Summer 2005: See RE; more b/w, clomid challenge test, sonohysterogram; 2 Clomid IUI cycles - BFN; male factor discovered (he now has a child with wife #2)
Spring 2003: See ob/gyn for IF, get b/w and HSG; All results normal; Husband #1 gets S/A, which he says is normal; results never sent to ob/gyn
Spring 2002: Stop BCPs, begin ttc and charting bbt
Oct 2000: Married to husband #1