Trying to conceive part 6

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Written June 21, 2017

Since my last post in March, a lot has happened.

I left off with going back to the doctor to see if an egg was stimulated and unfortunately, there was no stimulated egg. My ultrasound tech said that my doctor would call me with the next steps.

The call came while I was at work and I listened while sitting in my parked car after work. “This step does not seem to be working, come in for another ultrasound and we will discuss your options. We will most likely go ahead with IVF.” I would be skipping months of the TTC and jumping to my last step, my last hope. I cried, I hurt and I was scared.

At every step in this journey, doctors kept assuring me that the next step would work, and they just didn’t. We kept getting reassured by seemingly everyone that medicine has gotten so advanced, but none of it was working for me.

I was so heartbroken. Alex was away for work and couldn’t get home and I found comfort in my parents and my in-laws. Phone calls, some retail therapy and some projects for the future to keep my mind filled with positivity went a long way in helping to soothe.

The next appointment was a consultation with my doctor and we went over all the IVF steps again. We decided to get the process started. In addition to the paperwork and insurance approval, I needed a new medication to shed my uterine lining and a few more ultrasounds before we could go ahead with IVF. We had a two hour appointment with a nurse to go over the shots, how to fill the syringe, how to give yourself a shot, when to give the injections and what will be done with the eggs they harvest. It was an overload of information and honestly I don’t remember most of it.

This morning, I had my last ultrasound before the injections start. My uterus looks good, my blood work is good, but my insurance company needs more forms filled out before giving approval.

IMG_5275

My last ultrasound before IVF

Getting the IVF medication filled was a nightmare, but after an hour and a half on the phone with my doctor, the insurance and my specialty pharmacy we finally got the majority of the medication filled. I had been feeling pretty chill about everything and had planned on spending the day outside in the sun, now I am frazzled, anxious and spending the day in bed.

Looking back on my experience so far, I never thought I would get to the point of needing IVF. I knew I had fertility issues because of PCOS but I was a young and healthy woman, surely there was some pill or noninvasive procedure I could use to ovulate and BOOM have a baby. IVF is something I thought was so far beyond my fertility journey, but here I am, about to start IVF.

To prepare myself for the next step, I will focus on being positive. I will remind myself that there is a baby in my future. I will pray that I can adult enough to do this right. I will keep myself positive and hope that one day this will happen for me.

 

Trying to conceive part 5

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Written March 26, 2017

Fertility treatments began recently.

I am already exhausted.

My story is unique, because all stories are unique. No two people go through the same process to get a family.

Our first appointment was just a consultation, we met with our Fertility Specialist and discussed our options. There are three options that we could go with, here they are;

Option 1: continue on the medication I’ve been previously taking, along with a new additional medication to help stimulate an egg. I would visit the clinic every few days for ultrasounds to monitor ovulation and once an egg is stimulated from the medication, I would take a hormone shot at home and continue to get ultrasounds regularly to see if anything happens to the egg.

Option 2: Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization (americanpregnancy.org).

Option 3: In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology (ART). IVF is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus. (americanpregnancy.org).

 

Our first visit at the Fertility clinic was on February 13th. Up to now March 26, 2017 we have been to the clinic four times. Here are the appointments broken down a bit.

1st visit: Consultation:

We discussed the three options and decided to start off with the first option. We added another fertility medication to the one I was already taking, ultrasounds and eventually a fertility shot, if things were progressing. We did discuss that even though I had been on fertility medication to make me ovulate, I was actually not ovulating at all. So I had been thinking I was making progress for a year and a half while in reality nothing was happening at all.

We also discussed that because I have been TTC for close to two years we would skip option 2, (IUI), entirely if option 1 did not work. It would be better for us to work on Step 1 for 3-4 months and then go right to option 3, IVF.

2nd visit: Ultrasound

This ultrasound was to check on my eggs. Until this visit I had no idea if I even had eggs, but I was pleased to learn that I have an extreme amount of eggs, probably because I’ve never ovulated before.

After this visit I was told to continue taking Femara (Letrozole) the medication that I had been on since July 2015, but a much lower dose and to add Decadron (Dexa) once my eggs were stimulated.

Alex and I were so new to this process that we didn’t know what questions to ask and what to expect, so we called the clinic and were told to come in for another ultrasound and then a sit down with a nurse.

3rd visit: Ultrasound and Meeting with the nurse:

At this ultrasound they rechecked my ovaries and we chatted with a nurse who answered all of our questions, gave me a form that spelled out every step I needed to take and when I need to take them. I felt really good and positive about everything!

4th visit: ultrasound, Meeting with the nurse:

Today was our fourth appointment. I had taken the medications and was waiting to do the shot after a good ultrasound today. I sat on the exam table ready to be super uncomfortable but praying for a nice large stimulated egg that was ready to ovulate. My ultrasound tech was great, she was very vocal and pointed out what was on the screen and then she was quiet and I knew that there wasn’t an egg. She finished up and I got dressed. So close to tears I held Al’s hand and I prayed that there was an egg, how could there not be? How could I be on so much medication and still not have an egg that is really supposed to develop naturally?

The nurse came in and said that there was no sign of a stimulated egg. That I needed to come back in three days for anther ultrasound. Guys, I held it together, I said “ok”, scheduled an appointment and got in the car. Alex and I ran some errands (including getting a chocolate shake from Cold Stone) and we went home. I put on pajama’s and slept for hours. The cramping and uncomfortableness from the ultrasound along with the frustration I was feeling really  got to me. I felt very discouraged.

My story is unique, because all stories are unique. No two people go through the same process to get a family. In my story I have had a lot of negative news. Other than hearing that I actually do have eggs, my process has been daunting, I have been given bad news at every appointment for two years. I am tired, drained, mentally exhausted and sad. Saying this to my husband prompted his knight in shining armor skills and he held me while saying that this doesn’t mean it’s over. This just means in three days we re-strategize, we look at what we have, what we can do and then put our whole selves into our new plan.

So next week I will go back to the doctor, I will still be tired and drained, but I will pray with everything I have to hear something positive, and the next time I go to the doctor I will pray with everything I have to hear something positive and the next time and the next time and the next time. I will continue to pray, I will continue to hope and I know one day, somehow I will be a mother.