Wednesday, 26 February 2014

CD15 - Waiting to O

I went to the clinic on Sunday, on cycle day 12, and had one lead follicle at 15mm.  Today, at cycle day 15, the follicle is only at 16mm, so we are still waiting.  Usually a follicle should grow a few mm each day, so this is a bit odd that in 3 days it has only grown 1mm.  The doctor said either the measurements are off since two different u/s technicians measured, or the follicle is growing really slowly.  A "funny month".  Sounds about right.  Last time I went through this I had a crazy long cycle, too.  We'll go back in 2 days and see how it is going.  So just more waiting around.  We are trying to track ovulation this month so that we can start estrogen priming exactly one week after ovulation, in preparation for the following IVF cycle.

In other news, I'm happy that I've lost a few pounds, by cutting back on all sweets and watching what I eat better. 
(Loosely following the suggestions from the books "The Fertility Diet"

and "Fertility Foods" 

So now my body mass index has gone from 25 to 24, and I'm happy about that.  25 and over is considered "overweight" and 19-24 is "healthy weight".  I was a bit surprised to be in the "overweight" category, thus the motivation to get back into the "healthy" zone.  22 is considered the optimal weight for fertility, but I won't be able to get there in just a month!  If I could lose just a few more pounds, especially around my middle, where all the extra hangs out, that would be good.  Right now I am at 155 lb and my height is 5'7.5".  My pre-baby weight was 159 lbs. and pre-fertility treatment weight was 135 lb.  Post-baby I was at 179, so I've come a long way from there, though I doubt I will ever get back into the 130s.  I'm feeling pretty good and think I just need a bit more work on my tummy and that is good enough!  I have been going to the gym a few times a week.  Nothing like the old days when I was an exercise maniac, but too much exercise is not good for fertility, anyway. 

So I'm getting the feeling that I won't ovulate until cycle day 19 or later, I'm guessing.  Then we will do the estrogen priming, and then next cycle our IVF.  Retrieval should be around the end of March / beginning of April.  It seems far off.

Joseph has been doing well, but teething a bit this week.  Not too interested in eating.  He is 13 months now.  He's usually a pretty happy little guy and fairly social.

I found out that one of my mommy friends had a miscarriage.  I'm not sure when it happened or how far along she was.  She is understandably very sad about it, and upset that she is back at work and hates her job. 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Estrogen Priming Cycle - CD8

We went in to the clinic again this morning.  Not a whole lot to report, since it is an Estrogen Priming cycle, we are tracking ovulation, which has not happened yet.  I had a few follicles about 10mm and no lead follicle yet.  The dr. said to come back on Saturday for another check. 
I found out some of my test results, and I was pretty happy about them.  She said everything came back normal.  My AMH was 19.8 pmol/l, and she wanted it between 14-30 pmol/l to have a good reponse for IVF.  So for my age, this is pretty good!  (... or a sign of pcos?)  It has gone down, though.  Last time (over 2 years ago) it was 32, which she found strangely high.  Anyway, my FSH was 3.5, and she wants it under 10, so that was good.  It has fluctuated in the past between 9.8 and 1.5, so I'm glad it's still down in the lower range right now.  My TSH came back 1.78 and she wants it under 2.5, so that is fine too.  I forgot to ask about my prolactin level.  I wonder about that, because of the Domperidone I was taking for 10 months, and the breastfeeding.  Hopefully it has gone down, it is supposed to be under 23.5.  And good news with DH's sperm analysis, the DNA fragmentation was 14.8 and she said under 15 is great.  Last time he had it tested it was 17.5.  So we are really happy with that improvement! 
Of course none of this guarantees that the cycle will work, but it is a great starting point!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Cycle Day 2 - Estrogen Priming

So AF showed up even earlier than anticipated (do I even bother being disappointed of no natural miracle this month, with my infertile history?).  This cycle was just 25 days, which is short for me.  Back when I was regular, I would have 29 or 30 day cycles.  Then later, when things were wonky my cycles got longer, 35, 38, and even 44 days one time.  So I'm not sure what to think, if this is an "improvement" or just more irregularity.  Anyway, that is not very important.  I am launching into my IVF so we packed ourselves up into the car and headed over to the clinic at 7am to get things started.  I was looking forward to hearing what my test results were from last month, but in the typical fashion of how things go for me, I will have to wait some more for those because, surprise!, my doctor is on holiday this week.  We saw the alternate doctor, who I like and have had before (every time our doctor is away we see him and he keeps the cycle going along until our doctor returns).  So he wasn't willing to get into a discussion about the results.  However, we are now starting the "Estrogen priming cycle" to prepare for an IVF in my next cycle.  It is supposed to help build up a better lining, and it is what we did last time for our cycle that worked and got us Joseph.  Of course we want to do everything the same as that cycle, if possible.  I had forgotten about how the E2 priming worked, but basically instead of taking BCP then Lupron, which is what I did the other times, you start the cycle with nothing (that's where we are at now) and then go in for monitoring to find out when ovulation has occurred.  One week after ovulation I will put on an estrogen patch, and a few days after that take Cetrotide.  That is it for the "priming" cycle.  Then on the following (IVF) cycle I used Bravelle and Menopur to stim, then Cetrotide to prevent ovulating too early.  This is considered an "antagonist" cycle, and it is what worked best with me last time.  My doctor said that these medications can be better for producing better quality eggs in patients that have issues and don't do well with the regular Long Lupron protocol.  The egg retrieval should be at the end of March.  It finally feels like something is happening (even though right now we are doing nothing!)  The doctor said to come back in for monitoring next week. 
I didn't find out any of my numbers today, not even the AFC, though I could see that they measured a bunch of small follicles.  I will find out next week with our regular doctor.  It doesn't really matter for this cycle, but it would be interesting to know.  And we definitely want to know about the sperm analysis.  It has been a few years since the last test.  I also want to know my TSH level (I am currently taking a low dose of El Troxin for hypothyroid), my AMH, FSH, and prolactin levels.
So that is where I am at!  Joseph enjoyed himself at the clinic, and DH was chasing him around as he walked all over the place, trying to go into different rooms and areas that he shouldn't be.  They do have a play area there with a little house, that he likes to play in.  Again, I felt worried that it may upset some of the other infertile patients waiting there. We make sure we are not being loud and obnoxious while playing with him.  But the truth is, that the waiting time goes so much faster when we are there with Joseph!  He is very preoccupying and by the time we have played with him a bit, read him a story, changed his diaper... it's time to go in to see the doctor.  We used to just sit there and read magazines, and it was sooooo long and boring.  The wait time is always over an hour, so it really adds up.  I can't even imagine how many hours total we have already spent in that waiting room!   Nevertheless, we are glad to be back, because it feels like our only hope of having another baby. 
We told the doctor today that I was taking DHEA and CoQ10 for a few months and he was like, oh whatever, you should not waste time with that and just get on with it.  Sometimes these things can help, but because of my age I really do need to hurry up, so he said 3 full months is not necessary.  Well, I don't think I waited all that long because it is only my second cycle and it's not like I could do an IVF without a cycle at all, could I?  It's not my fault that after stopping breastfeeding my body took its sweet a** time getting back to normal, unlike many people who apparently get their cycle WHILE they are BFing!  Anyway, he wasn't saying that it was wrong but just for God's sake, just start your cycle ASAP because delaying it for any reason will just make the chances of it working go down.