As The Ovaries Turn: IVF #2 On The Horizon

Things are moving along here in baby-making land. I had my hysteroscopy a couple of weeks ago and that went well. My doctor said that she did see a slight curve in my uterus, but neither she nor the other doctor she discussed it with felt that it was an issue. So no additional surgery needed, hooray!

I’m currently estrogen priming, which entails taking estrogen pills twice a day. This is to ensure that the follicles grow at the same rate during the stimulation phase of IVF–a greedy, over-acheiving follicle is a very bad thing indeed. Once my next cycle starts, I’ll have a day two ultrasound, and if that looks good (fingers crossed no cysts!), I’ll start injections that night. Of course, the pharmacy is being dumb (long and boring story), so I’m not altogether sure that we’ll get our medications in time, but hopefully we can borrow from our clinic if needed.

I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to blog during this next IVF. I really want to keep my head on straight, and I wonder if the blogging play-by-play last time increased my anxiety. Or maybe I would’ve been an Anxious Annie no matter what (let’s be honest). I might even take a full-on blogging break for a bit to make sure I’m feeling centered. Who knows, dudes. I’m saying all of this, but I might be back posting again tomorrow, all like “Did you guys miss me?!” I guess I just want to let you know that if I do drop off a bit, it’s not because something is wrong.

One of my teachers on this baby-making endeavor, Julia Indichova, often talks about how this journey does not need to feel like a prison sentence. It is only our perspective, she says, that makes it feel like a punishment. I think this is very wise. Some days I do feel trapped in a jail of my own making–like either I’m stuck waiting indefinitely or I have to give up completely. Some days are really, really hard. But other days, I am able to shift my thinking and see this all for what I, deep down, truly believe it to be: a great adventure. An opportunity to become more compassionate towards others, and also towards myself. A chance to get well acquainted with hope and faith.

Thankfully, today is one of those days. I’m feeling pretty good. I don’t know what will happen with the next IVF, and right this minute I don’t really care. Because right this minute I am feeling grateful. I’m thinking about the two pairs of blue eyes–one big and one little–that I get to look into each day. I’m thinking about the cold rain on my face as I left work this evening. Normally, that rain would have pissed me off, but today I was like, yes!

Because, really: how lucky I am to feel that rain. How lucky I am to hear and see. To have good, plentiful food to eat. To know deep love. How lucky I am to feel each breath–a constant rhythm, a reassurance that I am here, right now, exactly where I’m meant to be.

Like, So Whatever

Oh hai.

I’ve started approximately 16 posts in the last two weeks, but I keep stalling out after a few paragraphs. So I figured I’d come on here and give a quick update.

After 7 weeks, my hCG is finally under 5. Woo.

I haven’t actually spoken to my doctor about the baby aspirin and Lovenox yet, but I did get a brief email from her saying that she’s on board with the hematologist’s recommendation. Despite the fact that I still have a million unanswered questions,  I’m relieved to know that she’s on team Blood Thinners.  I’m going to book an appointment with her after my hysteroscopy to go over everything.

Once my next cycle starts, I will finally get the aforementioned hysteroscopy. If all looks good there, I can proceed with IVF the cycle after that.

Ok, this post is so boring that I’m falling asleep writing it. My eyes are actually drooping for real. Yawn. Sorry, dudes.

I’m glad there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m really just feeling whatever about it all. I’m not doing so hot these days. I have good moments, even some great ones, but overall I just feel sad. I’m doing all the right things — therapy, yoga and I’ve even started attending an infertility support group — but I think no matter what you do or how hard you work, life is just going to have some rough patches.

And this is one of them.

Add Another Month Onto The Wait Pile

funny-animal-captions-still-waiting-bro

Guys, I’ve really been struggling this last week or so. I know I’m grieving, and I know that means ups and downs, but holy crap I just feel so down right now.

My cycle returned last night. I was all, “Hooray, I can have my day three ultrasound and schedule my hysteroscopy. Things are finally going to get started again!”

Nope.

See, the thing is that my hCG is not back at zero yet. Last week it was still at 26. So when I went to get my blood drawn this morning, the nurse said they won’t do an ultrasound or a hysteroscopy until my hCG is negative. This is not likely to happen in the next few days, as my hCG has been decreasing by half every week, so I probably have another two weeks before it’s totally down.

And apparently, even though I have a period (which, to me, clearly says my body has reset itself), I cannot proceed with any kind of tests until my hCG is at zero. Why? I have no idea. The nurse said it was protocol. I’m planning on sending my doctor an email today asking for further clarification.

Basically what this boils down to is that I’m benched from getting the hysteroscopy until my next cycle after this one. Which means I won’t be able to start IVF again for another two cycles. And that’s best-case scenario, provided that the hysteroscopy looks perfect.

That means there will be a minimum of five months between this IVF and this last. What the efffff? Almost a half a year…poof.

I’m not even sure if we are “allowed” to try on our own this month yet, since my doctor is still waiting to get some results back from my recurrent miscarriage panel. I actually know the results—they are normal (woo!), except for one slightly elevated blood-clotting test, which no one seemed concerned about. But hematology hasn’t sent her the report yet, despite my insistence that it’s time sensitive.

Stuck. That’s how I feel. Stuck in this place I don’t want to be. I want to be moving forward. Instead I continue to be in limbo.

I have no idea why the waiting is hitting me so hard, but I’m really not dealing well with it. Tim asked me last night how many IVF cycles I thought I had left in me. I told him I really couldn’t answer that question. Could I handle a few more IVFs—the estrogen priming, the injections, the retrieval and transfer? Sure! I didn’t think the actual process was bad at all. But if, say, three more rounds of IVF means two more years of waiting—waiting between cycles, waiting for a cyst to go away, waiting for hCG to go down to zero, etc.—then no. I cannot handle that.

So I don’t know. This isn’t a very tidy post. It’s just been a rough morning in a long string of really rough days. My hCG may not be at zero, but my hope sure is.

The IVF Ball, It’s A-Rolling

I shall concoct you...a baby! [image credit]
I shall concoct you…a baby!
[image credit]

Last week we had our official IVF consult with our new doctor’s office. It was awesome. As you know, I loved our old doctor, so the decision to switch was not easy. But we left last week’s appointment feeling, without a doubt, like we made the right choice. This place is just on a whole different level. Basically, they have their shit together.

Our new doctor is not warm and fuzzy and dressed to the nines like our old doctor. Nope. She’s abrupt, straight shooting and very serious, but I still think she’s the bees-knees. At the appointment, we expressed concern about our records transfer request and she asked us the name of the person we talked to in the office. Then she said she would go speak with that person herself to make sure everything was as it should be. You guys, she offered to do something outside the scope of her job. And then she did it. Right away. Half an hour after returning from the appointment, I got a message saying that the issue was resolved. I know this sounds like no big thing, but in my experience a willingness to go above and beyond is rare. In fact, the whole place is like that—from the nurses to the insurance coordinator to the people who answer the phones. Their unspoken motto seems to be, Why do this yourself when we can do it for you? This is such a change from where we were. It’s not like the people at the old place were a-holes. They just seemed to lack…focus.

Although we are taking this cycle “off,” there still is a bunch of stuff that needs to happen. We need to transfer records and work out insurance pre-authorization. We needed to have a day three ultrasound and blood work, so our new doctor could get a sense of what was going on with my bod.

Today, I had two diagnostic procedures—a mock transfer and a hysteroscopy. The mock transfer is where they go up in your business with a catheter and, like, pretend they are transferring embryos. This gives them the lay of the land when the time comes to transfer real embryos. The hysteroscopy is again where they go up in your business, but this time with a tiny camera. They are checking for polyps, scarring and other wackness. Both of the procedures went off without a hitch and everything looked normal. By far, the hardest part of the afternoon was having a full bladder during the procedures. At one point the doctor was talking to me, and then he stopped and said, “Are you ok? You look tired.” And I was like, “Nope, I just really have to pee.”

Next week, we have an appointment with a nurse, who will school us on the medications I’ll be taking. It’s a two-hour appointment, so I’m fully expecting my brain to explode.

So, yeah. Not really a month off at all. Woops. It’s cool, though. I’m glad we’re getting everything done now so there are no surprises at game time. I’m also excited. And hopeful. It feels good to be hopeful. What we were doing up until this point, IUI, had a 10% chance of working per cycle. IVF has a 50% chance. Sure, sure, IVF is a lot more intense and you pretty much have to get all mad-scientist on yourself to do it. But still: I do like them odds.