Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Started my DHEA

I have started the DHEA.  It is 25 mg in a capsule form (hot pink!)and I take it 3 times a day.  I wonder if my insurance will cover this, I think it's supposed to be an experimental drug or not fully approved or whatever.  I got a 1 month supply (100 capsules) and it cost $100 and something dollars, I'm not sure of the amount because I have a credit from when I paid my drug deposit on the cycle that got cancelled, so they took it out of that and I didn't have to pay cash, however I think it was $165 or something like that.  I started taking it already and the doctor said there would be some side effects since it is a male hormone.  I haven't noticed anything yet (it has only been one day) but she said I may get breakouts on my face, and some hair growth on the face also, and the hair on my head may fall out a bit.  Sounds like fun!!!  If it makes a healthy egg, then I don't care, though.  My husband was a bit concerned about the side effects and asked the doctor "well, it goes back to normal when you stop taking it, right?"-- imagining his bald, pizza faced wife, and having a little freak out.  She said it's not that bad, but she wanted to warn me that it was a male hormone and yes, whatever effects it has goes away when you stop taking it.

I'm going back to the clinic on Friday.  I went in this morning and she said I'm going to ovulate soon, so come back on Friday.  After I ovulate, I will get an estrogen patch to prepare for next cycle with a better lining.  Hopefully I'm even able to do a fresh transfer, not like last time when the embryos weren't ready until Day 6 and then they had to be frozen to do a FET after sending the biopsy for the PGS.  More waiting (ugh!!!!) and a good lining prepared for nothing, since I had to wait for the FET anyway.  It seems weird that I'm about to ovulate and we are not going to do an IUI or anything, just let the nice juicy egg release and die and wait for the cycle to end before starting the "real" cycle.  What if, by some miracle, this egg is HEALTHY???  (probably not, but still)  Maybe I'm wasting a chance?  I will never know.  So we'll see what happens on Friday.

On an unrelated topic, we are trying to remodel one room of our house, and it's turning into a huge ordeal!  DH ripped out everything right to the bare squeleton and is reinsulating and re-drywalling it all.  And he ripped out the floor and ceiling too and has to redo that.  We found out that this bedroom used to be a kitchen (!!??) because there was a kitchen floor under the carpet that we removed.  Our house seems to have been 2 apartments.  I can't imagine that, because we find it small and we are just one family of 2 and we have the whole house.  The house divided in two must have been so ridiculously small!  We also found some old newspapers under the kitchen floor that were from the 1940s, I guess when the "kitchen" was put in.  DH was hoping to find something better, like money hidden in the walls, or at least some awesome hardwood floor under the carpet, but no, it was just the kitchen linoleum, the newspapers, and the ugly subfloor.  Bummer! 

I don't know what to do about my EDD that is soon approaching, this Sunday in fact (March 4).  I'm getting a bit nervous and I wonder if I'll regret not making a plan of some sort about that day.
 
Today is "leap day".  I used to think that there was a good chance my angel could have been born on this day, so it's a bitter sweet day for me.

The secretary ("multiple failed IVF/ endometriosis girl") at work cornered me today and asked what happened with my IVF.  I told her it didn't work.  I feel like it was unlucky to tell her about it in the first place, not that telling her or not telling her had anything to do with the outcome.  But it just felt bad to have to report to her, when I never wanted to talk to her about it in the first place.  She asked what we are doing next, are we going to adopt?  I left her with that impression, I said well we have started our homestudy but never finished it, so we'll see what happens.  She wants to adopt but her husband is totally against it.  They are still paying off their debt from the IVFs that didn't work.  I am glad I didn't get into my cycle plan A, B, and C with her because I just feel that I don't want people at work discussing my business like that, and if I do go to donor eggs I'm not sure I'm going to tell the world about it as my first step.  And if I get pregnant, I don't want the first comments from everyone at work to be "well, was it your own egg or not?".  Not that I plan to keep it a secret if I get to that point, but I just feel like my privacy is being invaded and I'm not in control of what information is being dispersed about me by this chatty woman.  I could tell she was relieved that it didn't work and I wasn't pregnant, so that wasn't too reassuring.  Obviously if I am successful that will hurt her, and I understand that because I feel like crap when people around me get pregnant who have been trying less time than me.  But I am OLDER than her, so she shouldn't feel so bad.  Trying to conceive with infertility is bad enough, and it's more stressful when you feel like people around you are in a race with you.  It makes me want to withdraw and just keep to myself about this, because most people don't understand what I've been going through anyway.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

My case review

Well I went to the doctor today and I'm feeling more optimistic (for now).  We went through EVERYTHING and reorganized my file, which is like a huge brick.  It was good to not be rushed like when I usually talk to her during cycle monitoring, and she was very nice and I feel my faith in her is somewhat restored.  Everything she said made sense and we were able to come to some conclusions.  So basically she said that my age is the main problem at this point, however she assured me she still has a lot of success with 39 year olds so it isn't over yet.  She said she has had successful pregnancies at the clinic up to age 44 and then only 1 patient age 45 who did get pregnant with her own eggs.  Donor eggs can be done up to age 51.  So I felt a bit better about being 39 (although I'll be 40 in a few months!)  My cycles are regular and I ovulate on my own.  I had a bit of endometriosis that we removed during my laporoscopy last year.  DH has good volume and count of sperm, but low motility, so we are getting another sperm analysis and DNA fragmentation to see what's going on with that.  All my bloodwork and immunology came back fine except the thyroid and prolactin.  I'm now on thyroid med (low dose) and that level is fine now, but we are going to recheck the prolactin.  Mine was too high for some reason.  My AMH is very good, however she said she takes it with a grain of salt since it is actually extremely high (32.6), it doesn't really fit with the rest of the picture.  She said the FSH levels have been fluctuating (going up) but she said that was unreliable since my other hormones were out of synch last cycle, and the FSH shouldn't change that much from one cycle to the next normally.  Basically it seems that I have a lot of eggs but the quality is very questionable.  Her plan is to try the "different recipe" of IVF to see if we can get better quality eggs.  We will try the antagonist cycle, as we were about to do when my cycle got cancelled.  She also suggested that I start taking DHEA, which is a drug that is normally recommended to patients with low AMH.  It is to improve the egg quantity and quality so in my case she said she didn't recommend it before because we didn't want any MORE eggs because I would hyperstimulate.  But she said little is known about it so if I wanted to try it there may be a benefit, as she has had patients with very low AMH (like 2 or 3- which is not my problem, but still)  who got pregnant after taking it.  So I decided to go ahead with that after she assured me that it would not do any harm and may do some good.  Also, I'm continuing to take the CoQ10.  She then said her next suggestion if the antagonist cycle does not work is to try a minimal stimulation cycle.  The goal is to develop a few good quality eggs instead of a lot of eggs that end up crapping out anyway.  However, the risk is that there may be nothing at the end since you are starting with so few.  And in that case the PGS may not be worth it since you pay the same fee whether you have 8 embryos or 1 embryo, it's still $5000.  She did seem to think I should carry on with the PGS and answered my questions about it.  Aside from the price being a deterrent, she assured me that it did not damage the embryo since they take it from the day 5 or 6 blast (taking it from a day 3 embryo WOULD damage it, so they stopped doing it that way) and it does save time since they don't transfer the abnormal ones that appear normal.  Anyway, we will do the PGS for the antagonist cycle, not so sure about the 'minimal stimulation' cycle though.  And then we can go to donor embryos after that.  As I already found out, it costs $15,000 - $20,0000 for a shared cycle (ie. shared with another couple using the same donor, and you get half the eggs from the cycle, usually about 10 eggs each).  That's about the same price as our IVF with PGS so it won't be such a shock to move on to that (other than losing the genetic connection).  She said not to bother with the PGS with the donor cycle, since the eggs are younger there is a lower chance of abnormality, so not worth the money. 

So that's it.  I feel like I know what's coming, at least.  So this cycle I am just doing the DHEA, CoQ10, and in a few days I'll start the estrogen patches to prime for the next cycle.  Hopefully the antagonist cycle will go ok.  And I know if it doesn't, and the minimal stimulation cycle also doesn't go well, I will feel like I gave it a good shot before moving to donor eggs.  I don't want to waste time, but I don't want to give up too early either.  And we're not millionaires, so we have to strategize this a bit.  I'm praying that one or two more cycles is all I need to end this nightmare, but if not, then with the donor eggs at least I will have increased chances of it working and becoming a mom, although it won't be my genetic child.  I think I will be ok with that if it comes to that point. 

The meeting with the counsellor went well also.  I was feeling pretty good from getting so much information from my doctor, so I'm not sure I really needed a session.  But it was good to air a few things and I have some concerns about next week being my EDD (March 4th).  It has crept up on me, and I'm not sure how I'm going to feel on that day, and if I should be planning something to acknowledge what would have been.  I'm still not really sure what I'm going to do that day, but I don't want to be unprepared and have it hit me like a ton of bricks all of a sudden.  Also, I talked to her about my dentist appointment next week, and the last time I was at the dentist I told them I was pregnant, and then the NEXT DAY I went in and had my abnormal Nuchal Translucency screening, which was the beginning of the end.  So I'm imagining what they will say or what I will say when I go in next week.  I know that the hygenist wrote "12 weeks pregnant" on my file, so I think they will say something.  If she hadn't written that down, I would maybe hope that they just forgot.  Anyway, I don't really have a plan yet about that either.  I will bring kleenex, that's my plan so far.  I think a breakdown is inevitable.  Even if they don't say anything, I think that will upset me too.  Crap!

The counsellor didn't go on about the donor eggs this time, mainly because I went through my plan with her that had donor eggs as "Plan C"  (plan A - antagonist cycle,  plan B - minimal stimulation...)  I know when I get to that point she will be happy to talk about it!  (It's her favourite thing!)  Apparently a major part of her job is interviewing the donors.  I told her I went to the support group that she suggested and she was interested in that.  She said she would like to go also to get a different perspective since she mainly works with the donors, and she would like to hear more from the recipients. 

Monday, 27 February 2012

Waiting...

Well today went ok with the training in the afternoon.  One colleague was confused in the morning because she wasn't aware of the change, but then the rest of it was fine and no one knew the change was because of me anyway, of if they did they didn't say anything.  It is so annoying and hard to plan when you are starting and stopping cycles.  I can't plan ahead for much, like even March Break, which my husband has taken off as holiday to go somewhere with me, now I think we're doing our IVF during that time so we can't book anything away.  We did make some plans for July, though.  We just booked a weekend away to go to his cousin's wedding and we're staying at a fancy little hotel in Ingersoll, Ont.  I'm actually really excited, we're finally GOING somewhere!  Even though it's just a little trip, it is something to look forward to. 

I'm going to the doctor tomorrow for a follow up from last cycle.  I'm sure she doesn't even want to talk to us because we were just in to talk to her during cycle monitoring on Sunday, but I would like to have a slightly longer block of time to get to the bottom of a few things.  I am a bit afraid to find out, but I just want to get a clearer picture of how bad things actually are, and what our chances truly are.  I'm afraid they are very bad, and if so I would just like to know and face the truth that maybe I need to move on to donor eggs, or whatever, or make a decision about how many more tries we will do.  I think my husband wants to try a few more times before giving up on my eggs.  This next cycle will tell us a lot about what will come next.  If it is a total disaster I will be so upset, and maybe we will move on sooner. 

I don't even know what I hope to get out of the meeting tomorrow, but I'm hoping it will make me feel a bit better and a bit more in control. 

Later tomorrow I also have an appointment with my counsellor at the fertility centre. 

As I said, last time I was left in the room waiting and I also looked on the doctor's computer screen (I'm so nosey) with myself and all her other patient's bloodwork of the day displayed in a chart.  I saw just how out of whack mine was because her other patients all had progesterone under 5 and mine was 10.6 (and was coming down from over 30) and their FSH was lower and their estrogen was lower.  My levels were just terrible compared to them, I was actually glad that she said to cancel it because I could see that it was not normal, and if she said to go on I would question her ethics.  (ie. continuing despite knowing that it would not work) 

As for trying on our own, I asked the doctor about that and she said first of all if we are doing the "estrogen priming" that is not good if you are expecting and she would not do that on a cycle that you are trying to conceive and also she said since we are doing all this "fancy stuff" (eg. the PGS) to test the embryos, if I got pregnant naturally I may go through what I went through before again.  I have mixed feelings about that, since I'm not such a huge believer in the PGS and the genetic counsellor had said that I have a 1:100 chance of it happening again so I'm hopeful that I won't be hit with this again.  So anyway, she won't be booking us for an IUI or anything but I'm not on birth control either so we'll see what happens, but we are not really trying this month because of those reasons.  It's kind of a bummer because it makes TTC so slow since I can't try every month, only every 2 or 3 months, so it is that much MORE frustrating when it doesn't work.  And of course there's the money, that is just nuts.  I did all my number crunching from last year's expenses and the grand total came to LESS than I anticipated.  I actually don't know how much we spent in all, but I know that AFTER our insurance came back (it covered most of the meds but none of the procedures) we paid out of pocket $25,008.00.  That includes the acupuncture too, which was $4000 (not covered by my stupid insurance).  I'm going to submit this for my income tax.  I've never done that before, so hopefully I won't end up in jail.  It seems crazy to submit $25,000, I'm sure they will want proof.  My pile of receipts is huge and I don't want to part with the originals so I guess I'll be making a whole lot of copies.  That will be fun at work, I'm sure someone will walk in and there will be me, in the middle of 5,000 receipts all around the photocopy room with "Create Fertility Associates" boldly printed across the top of each page.  Embarrassing!!  Anyway, my friend who recently had her baby from her I think 5th IVF attempt has told me that she submitted all her receipts on her income tax and got a huge chunk back.  So I guess it will be worth it.

I am so disappointed because I never got over my BFN and then I was getting hopeful about the new cycle, and now I'm back to that place of failure and despair that I was hoping to leave behind.  But maybe after tomorrow's meeting I will be ready to move forward and try again. 

I really still can't believe it didn't work.  I mean, they were NORMAL embryos, WTF!!!!!  It makes NO SENSE!!!!  I just don't understand.  And the fact that there is no real explanation is so frustrating.  Sometimes a poor quality embryo CAN work, but not this time.  Why not?  Who knows.

And why would I NOT have a lead follicle by day 7 of my cycle.  That is what my body is supposed to do, so it is not aware of this plan to do an IVF that requires no lead follicle.  I would be more concerned if there was no lead follicle because that would mean I am not able to ovulate and that would be a very bad sign!  So the good news of all of this is my body is trying to be normal and is still cycling on it's own. 

So I'll see what happens at the doctor tomorrow, and also on Wednesday I have to go in for a check to see when to start this estrogen patch business.  I'm supposed to start right after I ovulate, which should be this week.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Cycle cancelled

Well, the cycle is cancelled.  I'm pretty angry and disappointed.  I guess we could have gone on, but the doctor thought it would be a waste of money since things weren't looking optimal.  By today I had a lead follicle already, and my estrogen had gone to 441, and the progesterone was at 10.6 (she wanted it under 10).  She said the progesterone would mess up the lining since it is present at the wrong time in the cycle.  However, she said since we are not doing the IVF this cycle she will use the cycle for "estrogen priming" and start that next week.  She said it will be good for preparing the next cycle and it makes the eggs and the lining "juicier". 

I don't know why I even bother getting my hopes up anymore.  I am always getting bad news.  I don't understand why things just can't work out.  Or why I can't be happy and satisfied with how things have turned out, I am just not.  I feel sick with anxiety that this will never work for me, and then the news I get from my doctor reinforces this fear.  It is such an uncomfortable feeling, I wish it would go away.  And I feel so alone, most people are not going through this or understand it at all so I can't share very much with people in my everyday life.  And how unfair and crappy that some people have to go through so much, and others right next to them go through nothing and just have everything they want handed to them, when they want it.  These people make it so much worse!  Like the girl at my work who is in the next room and got pregnant on what I think was her first try, and of course has no complications, etc.  I think I can get through the next month of waiting, but seeing her progressing along is going to be so hard, because during that same time I am not getting any closer to having a baby.  I'll be getting closer to having a juicy lining with this estrogen priming, but that is not my goal.  I want a baby, not a great egg or lining, or progesterone level.  It seems like such a FAR OFF goal.  Sorry, I feel so hopeless today.  I am miserable, and I'm just embracing that for the time being.

I bought some more CoQ10 today.  It was actually "Weber Naturals" brand that I have and they are on sale 50% off right now at Rexall. 

I'm glad at least that with this "estrogen priming" it is supposed to hurry this cycle along and end it on time, because I was concerned that my last natural cycle was 44 days long.  I think at this point if I have to wait for a cycle like that I will go insane! 
I'm supposed to have a "follow up" with my doctor on Tuesday to talk about the last failed cycle.  I want to know how much hope she has for me and what I should be doing next.  I don't know what's really going on and it's making me stressed.  Also, today when we were waiting for the bloodwork that wasn't ready she went off to talk to another patient, and I looked through my file while she was gone (well, the top few pages).  I saw that my FSH was 9.8 this cycle on Day 2, and in November it was 7.5 and last April it was 5.6.  That is freaking me out how it is rising and she has not even commented on that!  However, this cycle was a mess and I don't even know if my day 2 was a real day 2 because it was a week late and my progesterone was so high.  I don't know how bad a 9.8 is anyway, is that bad?

I'm going to watch the Oscars for a bit at my friend's house, but I don't really care who wins so I'll leave early (it always goes so late!)

Oh, here's another stupid complication:  Last week I told my vice-principal that I might be out on Monday morning for a medical appointment but I wasn't sure.  She had a training booked for that time so I told her to put me in the afternoon.  So she went and moved my whole grade team to the afternoon with the older grades (we should have been in the morning with the younger grades) so the groupings are now messed up.  I told her again on Friday I wasn't sure if I needed to be away Monday and I wouldn't find out until I went to the doctor on Sunday.  She said it didn't matter, she would just leave it like that.  So now of course I DON'T need to be there on Monday morning.  I imagine at the training my team will be wondering and asking why our group got put to the afternoon.  I don't know what to say to them.  Who would understand this?  "Well I thought I would need to be in for monitoring my short protocol IVF cycle, but it is cancelled because my progesterone is too high and I have a lead follicle"-- Yeah, right.  It is so hard to explain this shit to people!  "I thought I would need a medical treatment, but I'm going in tomorrow instead"  It just sounds weird, I will probably just say nothing, and that is weird too.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Progesterone still high

I went to the clinic today.  My progesterone is still high and she said to come back in three more days.  I'm feeling really down that this cycle will not be working and the whole future looks so black right now.  My husband was so grumpy after having to go and wait for 3 hours just to get this news.  Today my doctor teaches somewhere, so she only come in "after 9" (it was almost 10 am) but we needed to go early to be first on the list because my husband needs to get to work (I had taken the morning off).  I told him I should just go on my own and he said no, but when it came to actually waiting he was pretty pissed off by the end and was driving like a maniac to get back home from the clinic.  I guess he was also hoping that the progesterone would be down and we could continue the cycle.  Now we just have to wait longer and see what happens.  On Tuesday it was at 35 and today it was 26, so it is coming down, but she wants it under 10 to start.  She says on Sunday if it's under 10 and I still have lots of small follicles with no lead follicle, and if my estrogen isn't too high, THEN we can do the cycle.  I'm not sure of the likelihood that all of that will happen.  I think the lingering progesterone is because I was doing the injections and they make bubbles of progesterone in my hips that are still there and releasing the hormone still.  I'm kind of mad, I wonder if we had done a better job of massaging them in (it is so hard, though!  and we did try) if the bumps would be gone and not interfering with this cycle.  I never knew this would be a problem, though.
I feel so bummed out and today was such a waste.  And it's more sitting on eggshells until Sunday.  Maybe we'll have to wait another month.  That is just so depressing. 

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Cycle put on hold

Well, I just got a weird message from my clinic telling me to stop my meds and come back on Thursday.  Apparently my progesterone is way way too high and they didn't have the bloodwork results until AFTER I left and had taken probably $100 of stims already.  WTF?  My short cycle may be over already if the levels aren't good by Thursday.  The doctor hopes she can salvage the cycle though and carry on after that.  I can't believe this!!!  They also said in the message that my levels were so high, they wanted to know if I had actually continued taking progesterone after my BFN (I did not), and if so to call them.  They also said that they were going to redo a pregnancy test on my bloodwork just to double check that I'm not pregnant.  Can you imagine?  What if I was pregnant after all?  I don't think so, but why even give me that idea.  I'm definitely not pregnant now after the massive bleeding I have been having since yesterday, plus I went and did another HPT tonight just to make sure, and it was negative.  Maybe I SHOULD have tested early, maybe I had a chemical and didn't even know it?  Or I should have tested late after my BFN, maybe it was a late implantation and it didn't show up until later?  I don't think so, though, but what the hell, this is so annoying!  No wonder I had so many symptoms, because my progesterone has been through the roof.  My boobs are still sore, and I really could have sworn I was pregnant, I was so shocked to get my BFN.  I am disappointed that maybe I'll have to wait another month, and who knows then what problem might arise with something else that is not as it should be.  Just this morning the doctor was so positive because she said my ovaries had lots of small follicles and no lead follicle, which she said is good because then they will start growing at the same rate together.  Usually I have a cyst or two that throws things off a bit, but this time there were none.  But I guess the ONLY positive of having to start over in a month or so is that I'll have more time with the CoQ10. 

The doctor said the cycle failed probably because the embryos, although normal, were not of good quality due to age.  That was about it.  It is so f***g depressing, there is nothing I can do really, and I feel like my time is up and I've missed my opportunity.  It makes me so angry! 

I asked about doing a sonogram to check for scarring in my uterus after my d&c but she said we could do that but we would not be able to do an IVF that month then.  So I decided not to do it and to do the IVF since she thought the age thing was probably more of a reason than possible scarring.  But if we're not going to do an IVF anyway because of this progesterone issue, then I'll get it checked.  That could be one good outcome of a delayed cycle as well.  We should have done that in December when I was doing nothing. 

Well, that's it.  I can't believe that this morning I was 12 days away from a retrieval, and now a few short hours later my cycle is in limbo indefinitely!  I don't know what to hope for.  I want this cycle to work, so I don't want to go ahead on Thurs if there is even a slight problem with this progesterone BS.  Ugh, when will this end???

New protocol

I went in for my day 2 check today.  My doctor had practically forgotten who I was and asked if I wanted to do a frozen cycle now.  I was like, um, I have nothing left so I don't think that's what I'll be doing.  So we're starting a new cycle with a short protocol.  Very short, like I started stimming today!  I wasn't expecting that, I thought she would at least have me on a few weeks of bcp to start.  She's using a different recipe with Bravelle and Menopur this time.  She says it will produce less follicles but hopefully better quality, since that is my major PROBLEM!!  There is not much hope left, but God, I hope this works!  Another $16,000 for another chance, another shot in the dark.  I also started taking CoQ10 but really I should have started months ago.  I'm not sure what the point is of taking it for the week I'm starting to stim. 

Monday, 20 February 2012

Cycle Day 1, again

It has been a really bad week.  I went to my counsellor on the day of my BFN news, so that was pretty good timing that I already had that booked.  I certainly had a lot to talk about.  She mentioned a support group for infertility on Thursday and I decided to go.  It was not the greatest idea since my emotions were a bit too raw to share appropriately.  There were over 20 people there and I became very intimidated for some reason, though obviously we were all there with the same type of problem and everyone was supportive.  The mediator said that we would not be going around asking everyone to tell their story, which is what I thought would happen, so it was more of a free for all.  I mostly listened and I must say it was helpful, however I was embarrassed because my one comment that I made I ended up choking up, barely able to speak as I tried to just tell about my BFN.  So the mediator felt bad and tried to change the topic.  It was embarassing because no one else was so emotional, though certainly everyone there had reason enough to cry just by the facts that they were dryly sharing.  One couple was looking into a surrogate and was having trouble finding one that was appropriate and reliable.  Another were "seasoned veterans" trying for 5 years and they have stopped fertility treatments and were doing adoption.  (I didn't tell them I have been trying almost 8 years now)  Another couple was looking into donor eggs and had selected a donor.  After the meeting was over I spoke to them a bit more, and asked my unanswered questions about the price of donor eggs, etc. and it was quite helpful since they actually go to my clinic.  They said it was $6000 on top of the regular IVF fees, or if you did a shared cycle with another couple it was less.  They said they had previously done PGD and out of their 2 sole embryos from the cycle both were abnormal, so they decided to move on to donor eggs.  Somehow we also talked about changing doctors at our clinic and they said they did that, and all you have to do is sign up with the new doctor on the clipboard and tell him, then make an appointment to do a review.  That was so helpful to know that you can do that, and they actually changed to the same doctor that we wanted to change to (the punctual one) and they said it has reduced their stress since he is more efficient and doesn't leave you waiting and wondering so long in the waiting room (he always arrives 30- 40 min before the other doctors), though they still have not been successful in having a baby yet. 
I feel like I can't go back to that group since I am now known as the looney who started crying.  I anticipated that I would cry and I had lots of Kleenex in my purse ready.  It actually surprised me that no one else was very emotional.  I think I was still very affected by the hormones from my cycle, in my defense! 

There was a lot of debate about whether having a child that is not genetically your own would be ok or not, one couple was really questioning it and I have also been thinking about that so it was a very useful discussion for me.  Two couples were saying, no way, if they can't have their own genetic child then they would rather be childless, others were considering what characteristics would need to be present in a donor, others are actually doing donor sperm or donor eggs, and the one couple was looking to adopt.  The mediator had already adopted 2 children long ago, so there were definitely lots of different points of view present.

I went away for the weekend to my mother's place in Haliburton.  It was nice to have a change of scene.  Though I was a bit stressed because I have to go back to the clinic on "Day 2" and of course, who knows when day 2 will be?  I stopped my progesterone and estrace on Tuesday, and according to my notes last April when I had my chemical pregnancy, AF came 3 days later.  So when it hadn't arrived by Friday (which was 3 days later) I was thinking maybe if I went away and then I would have to drive 2 hours back right away... it would be hard to explain to my mother also.  Hi I'm here but oh, I just got my period, I have to leave now!  I wonder why mother nature hates me so much and I can't even have a long weekend away????  But I went anyway, and decided to come back for day 3 if it happened, that would be good enough.  However the whole weekend passed with no AF, so we didn't have to leave early.  Wow, thanks mother nature.  Now can you please provide me with a baby??????  That would be more useful.  So I just got AF today, which was just as we were leaving the cottage anyway, and so I'll go in to the clinic tomorrow.  And on Friday I had left supply teacher plans on my desk already, just in case (since my life is so friggin unpredictable), so this is going to work out well.  I am just hoping that the doctor will have something encouraging to say to me and not make me feel worse than I already do from this failed cycle with my two last "normal" embryos.  Why the hell did they fail?  I'm sure she has no idea.  I'm worried that it is my endometriosis or some sort of not yet diagnosed immune problem, or something toxic about my uterus lining that is killing the embryos.  How on earth did the T21 embryo stick if that is the case?  And if it was just that the embryos were terrible quality, although "healthy", how on earth am I going to make a "better quality" embryo?  I would like to hear more about that.

Getting back to my weekend, I meant to describe that...  My husband and I went snowshoeing through the woods and it was really beautiful.  This week has been so hard on us as a couple, having our dreams crushed, *AGAIN*, that it was a good time to rediscover a little bit of romance and time alone.  We also saw a deer running across the frozen lake. 

Oh, I had a few stories from last week that I meant to tell.  First of all, my principal popped in on Friday and asked how my interviews were going.  I said "fine", then he asked if "everything else" was going ok.  I told him no, it was not going ok, I had received bad news this week that my IVF had failed and that took 6 months of waiting to set up and cost $16,000.  He said "oh, sorry.  There are other people here going through that too".  And then he darted off.  He is such a jerk, he doesn't even take a minute to talk to me about this.  And I know about the "other people" and they have not been through half the shit that I have been through.  Yes, there is the "other" IVF girl who did a failed FET in December.  That costs $2,000, not $16,000.. AND she already HAS one baby from her first IVF which was successful.  Also, there is the secretary who has been doing IVFs and has stopped.  That does suck a lot, but this whole tx thing puts it to a whole new level of horror.  And yes, I know that my principal himself is trying to adopt a child and announced to the staff last year that he is "adoption ready" and may be receiving a child any time.  (Him and his gay partner)  A year has passed, and there has not been a happy announcement from him either.  Somehow I feel worse off than all of these people, and I just wanted him to know why I am so miserable and probably not functioning fully at work.  However, he is not all that understanding so the message he is sending is "suck it up, we are all having problems" and not to bother him with any details or excuses. 

The other story I had was about my colleague and how CLUELESS she is.  On Friday (this was a PA day to do interviews with the parents, so the kids weren't there) she came by at lunch time and I said, oh I'm going to leave for lunch too, so we decided to go together to the cafe next door.  (I hardly ever do this)  So we're eating lunch and chatting and eventually I tell her about my IVF, etc. She had good intentions, but she is so DUMB.  She said in France, where she is from, women are told to prevent miscarriages by taking precautions such as not driving a car after they find out they are pregnant.  She asked if the doctor had told me this before I lost the last one (at work I told everyone it was a "miscarriage" caused by chromosomal abnormalities because I didn't want to announce about having a termination to the whole friggin world.  My close friends and family know about the tx though).  I was like, are you kidding?  The baby I lost (last August) was CHROMOSOMALLY ABNORMAL and would NEVER be a healthy baby, even if I didn't drive a car, or ate only organic food, or sat on my head, or went on bed rest for 9 months.  She totally didn't get that miscarriages were not caused by what you "did" MOST OF THE TIME.  I told her, sure, I wouldn't go skydiving or run a marathon while pregnant, but if your baby has the wrong chromosomes, there is no way that changing your behaviour will make it better.  I said this to her in a polite way, but I was pretty pissed.   I was annoyed because of her personality, which is a "know it all" and extremely pompous, and she doesn't like being corrected, even when like in this case, she was clearly wrong.  It is hard for me to get along with her, and the only reason I try is that we teach the same grade and are supposed to be working together.  She is constantly reminding everyone that she has her PhD in sociology, and used to be a sociology professor, and her father was a doctor in France famous for being the youngest doctor in their town (he started young since he was such a super genius) and the oldest doctor in the town (he kept working well past normal retirement age).  Despite the fact that her father is a doctor, and this makes her think that she is an authority on medicine, she asked me about the IVF and seriously she said why did they only keep it in the dish 6 days, can't they grow the baby for 9 months in vitro?  I'm like, are you kidding?  You think you can grow a fully developed baby in a test tube????    I'm like, no....., you CAN'T grow a baby for 9 months in a test tube.  After 6 days if it isn't back in a uterus the embryo starts to die.  It needs to attach to a mother's body to live. 
I don't know why I find this woman so IRRITATING!  And she was trying to be supportive.  She just really rubs me the wrong way, she has so much of this wrong, and it doesn't really matter to her anyway.  All of this fertility treatment stuff is so foreign to her, but it has become the centre of my LIFE, which I hate.  I wish I could be ignorant and non-chalant about it like her, but I need to be fully informed to navigate through this nightmare labyrinthe and PRAY to find my way out by making well informed decisions and sticking to a wise course of action.  Right now I'm just lost and in the dark, and we're back at square one, cycle day 1 once again. 

Ok, I'm going to go to bed now to get ready to get up early for the clinic tomorrow.

Valentine's Day Beta

It was negative.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Excited, Depressed, Angry... Repeat

My emotions have been all over the place this week as I have been waiting for my test day.  Three more days.  My feelings and level of optimism change hourly and my symptoms come and go.  This morning I felt excited because I was feeling some small pains in my boobs and a sick feeling in my gut that reminded me of when I was pregnant last time.  I thought this was a good sign that maybe I AM pregnant after all.  But then I'm wondering if I'm not, and these are just teaser symptoms caused by the meds.  That makes me angry to think that I am going along thinking these are good signs, and also how will I ever know next time what on earth is going on if I feel pregnant but am not, plus I know they put in healthy embryos from the PGS testing they did.  What more can I DO to make this work?? 
Then later in the day those symptoms that I had earlier went away and I just felt some cramps.  So that got my mood down low again.  I know if I get a BFN it will be the most depressing blow ever, and I will just have my $16,000 period to look forward to (that's how much this cycle cost, including the PGS).  And I have no embryos left so I will need to start over from scratch... plus my EDD for my angel is coming up in about 2 weeks, on March 4th...  after that MOTHER'S DAY (ugh, ANOTHER Mother's Day without a child) and my 40th birthday on May 18...  (shiver) 
Maybe I will need to get an rx for some happy pills to get me through that string of events!! 

Or a BFP, that would work too!!!!!!  (no pressure!)

Monday, 6 February 2012

Grumpy and nervous

Well I'm 4 days past 6dt and I'm very worried, grumpy and nervous.  I've been contemplating both possible outcomes and I'm especially concerned if it doesn't work that I will not really know what to do.  I mean, if they transferred two known healthy embryos that were alive and in the process of hatching and then stopped growing after the transfer, it will make me wonder what it is about the environment in my uterus that caused that.  And also, why would the healthy embryos not implant and the T21 embryo last cycle DID implant and keep on growing.  Where is the sense in that???  I will be so pissed and so confused if it doesn't work because, sure, I'm willing to try again, but this is just becoming so senseless.  This whole prospect is making me very grumpy.  Also, my butt hurts from the progesterone in oil shots.  I think I hit a nerve or something on my right side because it puffed up and became SO SORE that I have only been able to do the left side for the last 3 days in a row while the right side heals.  It is killing all over the right side and just now it is starting to calm down.  I don't know what happened.  I went back to work for the first time today.  There are so many loose ends to deal with there.

Friday, 3 February 2012

My groundhog babies!

Yesterday was groundhog day, and also my FET day!

I will start with the END and and say I am so glad I brought home my 2 embies (my "groundhog babies"!)  to sit on the couch with them by 2pm.  It's a longer story, I will get into that.  Basically I have been TERRIFIED that they would die in the thaw, especially since they already had a biopsy taken off them and one of the embies had been thawed and refrozen TWICE, which is definitely risky.  (Think of what happens to your food when you do that) So the end result was, they survived and they put them both in and that was the BEST possible outcome for the day so I'm very happy.  Now I just have to wait and see if they implant like they should. 

OK, I'm now some more details...  It was a BIT of a fiasco (nothing like last time when the staff forgot to show up for my early morning procedure since it was not put in their schedule for some reason, but still...) 
The transfer was supposed to be at 11:15am and I went early for acupuncture.
So I was sitting there all nervous, and the acupuncture guy was there.  I didn't even want to jinx myself by bringing up the topic with him about what his refund policy was if there was no transfer, if the embryos had died.  But I do wonder about that.  I guess you just don't get your money back since he came in anyway and had to book off half the day for you, whether there is an actual transfer or not.  But maybe you could get a free session later, or something?  I didn't even ask.  I was sure if I asked, it would actually happen (superstitious, I know)  So he did his first part of the acupuncture and then we waited around for the transfer and to find out the news about the embryos.  They were running late, of course.  As the minutes ticked on and on past my given procedure time,  five minutes... fifteen... half and hour...  forty five...  I thought my bladder might explode since you have to have a full bladder for the procedure.  The clinic was RAMMED that day and there were 3 out of the 5 doctors squabbling over the 2 procedure rooms.  The little patient cubicles were ALL full (I was lucky I came early for the acupuncture, otherwise I wouldn't have gotten a cubicle!)  I could overhear all these patients arriving and the nurses going around to see if there was any room, and then sending them back out to the main waiting area.  It was like a restaurant that was full and they were sent to wait at the bar.  I felt a LITTLE guilty that I was hogging a room for my acupuncture, but then again I was paying a LOT!!! of money so I figure, screw it!  I was here first!  And I probably paid more than all you b***ches since I had done PGS and had a cancelled transfer, then had to pay AGAIN for this transfer, plus my $300 acupuncture that MIGHT be for nothing if my embryos had DIED.  I had enough going on and was not too worried about the fact that they had overscheduled the place.  This was not my problem.  I just wanted my embryos, if they were alive, and to get out of there.
As I said, the doctors were fighting over the rooms, I overhead the "nice" doctor that I had seen this cycle getting all pissed about another doctor who had patients in BOTH the procedure rooms, even though obviously she could only be in there with one patient and everyone else was just waiting.  He was bitching about her lack of consideration, then I heard my doctor saying she would come back in 5 minutes.  (At this point I thought my bladder WAS going to explode, so I decided to go to the washroom and let "a little" out, which is difficult but not impossible).  Then the inconsiderate doctor was yelling across the place that she thought it would be ok since her patient "ONLY" had TWO FOLLICLES!  (She repeated this about 10 times, until everyone in the IVF area could hear)  "It will only take about a second to do this retrieval since there are just TWO follicles!"  I thought, if I were that patient I would be so pissed.  How embarrassing!  It's like the doctor was saying "This will take no where near what a NORMAL retrieval takes, it will be so quick since there are just two crappy follicles!"  Then I heard this same doctor explaining why she was taking up the other room as well, because she got her patient in there and then the patient insisted that she wanted her husband in there with her and she didn't know where he was!  So instead of finding him and letting someone else (like me with my bursting bladder) have the room, the doctor sent "someone" (presumable someone who doesn't even know what the husband looks like) to go "look" for him around the other parts of the clinic while the patient stayed waiting in the procedure room, therefore blocking anyone else from using it.  The other doctors are like "what is wrong with you?" and this doctor said "it's what the PATIENT insisted on, I couldn't do anything about it".  So stupid.  Ok, I feel better about my doctor now, I'm glad this other lady is not my doctor because she has the least sense of all of them and was messing things up for the whole clinic.  Aside from my bladder bursting, I was wondering about my embryos dying as this was going on.  I thought, what if they survived the thaw and now were languishing and dying as this BS is going on?  And in fact they WERE hatching, so I wasn't that far off.
Finally we got in and I was so relieved to hear the doctor saying to the embryologist "So how many survived" and hearing the response "They both survived, but (...inaudible...)"  and she repeated back "So both of them survived but then (...inaudible...)"  Then she turned to us and said "well, we have 2 embryos, they both made it, but one of them has completely hatched on its own and the other has started hatching, so they will not be doing the laser assisted hatching like they usually do.  These 2 were already poked anyway when they did the biopsy for PGS, so we won't poke them again today"  They showed us the embryos on the screen and DH tried to get a picture (it turned out dark in the picture because of some problem with the flash, in real life it was much clearer, but it was our attempt).  The one that had hatched looked like a bunch of pomegranite seeds sitting in a loose blob.  It looked like it was about to fall apart.  The nurse was encouraging and said "look, that one is ready to go!" and the doctor said "yeah, it's saying "get me into a uterus NOW!"".   The doctor did have a bit of trouble with the catheter and freaked me out a bit when she said "well, she has had a d&c so it might not be going in because there might be some scarring".  I was thinking "WHAT?  Is my uterus stuck together from my d&c???  Why didn't we do a hysteroscopy or and HSG to check this????"  but she did get past whatever was obstructing the catheter and got it in to the right spot, and injected the liquid with the 2 embryos. 
That was the best moment, it was like PHEW!  I know they are alive and in me.  Hopefully things go right after this.  Everything I wanted out of today happened, and despite my description of all the crap going on at the clinic, that didn't really bother me, the only REAL worry I had was that the embryos might be dead (sorry I have repeated this a million times, but it was my greatest fear that day) and that didn't happen, so it's all good.
Then the doctor asked if we wanted to know the sex of the 2 embryos.  We were not really sure, but then finally said yes, tell us.  She said it's a boy and a girl.  So now I'm all dreaming of having boy / girl twins, getting SO excited... it's probably very unlucky to think like this but I WANT to be excited and hopeful. 
We'll see what happens.  Then they asked us whether we wanted to dispose of the 3 abnormal embryos, otherwise we had to pay for storing them.  We said, sure, get rid of them.  So we had to sign some "Termination of Embryo Storage" papers.  However, in our previous paperwork we had agreed to donate unusable or unsuitable embryos to research.  After the procedure the nurse called us over to discuss this.  I just wanted to sit back down, I was paranoid that the embryos were going to fall out (I know they wouldn't, but still).  So we stood there discussing with her about this and she was so dumb she thought we were planning to donate the embryos to other infertile couples and was trying to talk us out of it since these were unhealthy embryos.  We're like, yeah, we know that, fine, just discard them then.  But she said she couldn't change what we had already signed.  So we pointed out that this was not for other couples but for RESEARCH.  And she still didn't really get it, she said, Why would anyone want to use them, they will not create life, they are abnormal (Now I think the whole clinic knew about our unhealthy embryos, just like that ladies' TWO follicles).  We said, well, maybe they want to RESEARCH the unhealthy embryos to find out what is wrong with them, or just look at the chromosomes or something.  Then she got it and told us this was a wonderful gift we are giving to Science, and did we know that many discoveries were made by accident (she was actually pretty funny, we weren't mad but it was just weird that she did not understand what we were saying.  Also, I think she had a bit of a problem with English).
So then I was relieved to lay down again and do my second acupuncture session, go home in the car, and get to the couch, my final destination for the day. 
Operation picking up groundhog babies, successful!!

So that's it, my beta test is on Valentine's day.  It will either totally ruin my day (/month) or be the best Valentine's ever.  I hate that there is no middle ground.  It will either be awesome or devastating.  And I have so much more experience with devastating that I'm afraid to hope otherwise. 

I had more questions for the doctor about the hatched embryo, like is it more or less likely that it will survive after having fully hatched in the dish... but part of me just doesn't want to know.  And she was gone anyway.  I think any more information or research will put a damper on my optimism and I have so little to hang on to, I will just hope that it is a good thing and leave it at that.  I mean, it could have just "arrested" instead of hatching, so that would be WORSE. 

I have had many other irrational fears since the transfer, like every time I move I think I might be dislodging or killing one of the embryos, every cough could be damaging them, and I get freaked out with every twinge that I feel.  "What was THAT????"  I tried to sit MOTIONLESS watching tv and I wonder if I'm at the wrong angle.  Should I be laying down or sitting up?  Is sitting too still bad for the embryos?  Maybe they aren't getting enough blood flow?  A day has passed and I wonder what has become of them.  Have they continued to grow and settle in or is it already over?  Was it over before I even left the clinic?  Lots of worries.  I try to visualize the embryos implanting.  I forgot to mention, my lining was 14mm, which is very good.

In other news, our local groundhog, Wiarton Willy, announced an early spring this morning when he did not see his shadow.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Tomorrow is the day!

Transfer day is tomorrow.  I'm so worried and excited.  It's hard to know what to do with myself.  I'm painfully aware of what could go wrong tomorrow and also what could go right.  It's not really in my hands.  Last night I had trouble sleeping.  I woke up between 3 and 5 am and couldn't sleep at all.  Finally I got back to sleep and then I was so tired waking up.  It's totally my nerves.  Today a girl at work told me her IVF cycle didn't work in December.  That surprised me a lot because she had a successful cycle before and was going for her second.  I thought crap luck was reserved mostly for me, but it seems there's plenty to go around. 
I wrote out my detailed plans for a supply teacher for 2 1/2 days (not sure if I'll take the 1/2 day on Monday yet, but made the plans anyway.) 
So that's it, I'm going to the clinic tomorrow at 10 am and the procedure will be at 11:15.