Friday, July 7, 2017

The Last Shot

Guess who didn't blog again after my laparoscopic surgery? Really killin' it at this whole blogging thing.

Anyhoo, had my surgery on April 13 which resulted in finding out that both tubes are almost entirely blocked (boo,) but no endometriosis (yay!)

Not much could be done for my poor tubes, so my RE suggested doing 3 IUIs with increased stimulation in hopes that having two or three eggs release would increase our chances of one getting through the blockage. IUI #1 was done at the beginning of May with 10 mg of Femara (instead of my normal 5 mg,) which resulted in one mature egg. End result was not pregnant, but I went to Disney Land for the first time ever and rode all of the roller coasters, so I wasn't too upset.

I took off the next cycle because we were traveling again, which brings us to this cycle. The plan was 10 mg Femara days 3 - 7, 75 unites Gonol - F days 7 - 9, ultrasound to check follicles on day 10. At the ultrasound, I had one lead follicle that was at 14.5, another at 12, and a couple at 11 and 10. The RE decided to trigger me that morning with an IUI the next day. Unfortunately my husband's count was only 3 million which is lower than my RE is typically willing to do an IUI with, but since we were there, she went ahead and did it. I started progesterone suppositories the next morning and will be on them until I get a positive pregnancy test, or my period comes.

It's been a week since the IUI and I have no idea which way this cycle will go. I have periods of hope where I think about estimated due dates and how we're going to announce to our families, but those are quickly overshadowed by thoughts of doubt. If it hasn't worked for the past two years, why would it work now?

Even though my RE is willing to do one more IUI, this will be our last cycle of treatment. I know in my heart of hearts that IVF would be the way to get us pregnant (or at least closer to,) but we can't financially afford it, and since we only want one more child, I don't want to have to deal with deciding what we'd do with leftover embryos.

I have a lot of emotions around deciding to stop trying for another baby. I'm simultaneously relieved and heartbroken. Since getting pregnant with our son was relatively "easy," (he was a Clomid and TI baby,) I full expected baby #2 would happen quickly. Learning that my body is even more broken than I originally thought has made it hard for me to trust and believe in its abilities. The ups and downs of cycling have impacted my ability to parent the child that I do have, and I'm ready for my emotions to be more steady. I also have a lot of guilt about the money we've spent. We could have used the money to start a college fund, or take a really awesome vacation. But, what's done is done, and I'm ready to move on, in whatever way that looks like.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Laparoscopic Surgery

I had a sit down conversation with my RE two weeks ago to talk about our next steps. She suggested having laparoscopic surgery to check things out because she suspects something other than my PCOS is causing us not to succeed. She said she expects to find one of three things to be the culprit:

1. Endometriosis 
2. Blocked tubes 
3. Things didn't heal correctly after my c-section in 2014 

I'm not really sure what the best outcome of the three is. Endo can be removed which will hopefully improve our chances over the next year. My RE said that surgery to un-block tubes isn't very successful, so if that's the problem, I'm assuming our journey is over. If my body didn't heal correctly after my c-section, I'm not sure what the course of action is to remedy that, besides maybe stitching things back to their normal places. 

If the problem is something that can be treated with something other than IVF, my RE suggested hyper stimulation to increase the number of eggs I get with each cycle. I've only been getting one good egg each cycle, so she's wanting to see 2 or 3 to increase our chances. Obviously this increases our chances of multiples, but I'm not very worried about it (famous last words, eh?)

I just learned that I have to check in at 6:30 tomorrow (Thursday) morning, so if you happen to be awake at the time and want to send some good juju my way, I'd appreciate it. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

0 for 9 (Yet Another Update)

I just got a comment on my last post, which made me realize that I never wrote an update about what has been going on with us.

Spoiler alert, I'm not pregnant.

Last I posted, I was on medications to get rid of a cyst that was found after my first IUI. Since then we did two more IUIs, neither of which were successful. I swear I saw a very faint positive test after our last IUI in January, but tests never got darker and I ended up getting my period a few days afterwards.

We decided to take February off because ovulation would have fallen right in the middle of my work's biggest fundraiser, and I couldn't take time off. My RE and I spoke over email a few times and her suggestions going forward were either a laparoscopy followed by IUIs with injectibles, or IVF. We're not doing IVF for numerous reasons, so I have an appointment at the end of March to speak with my RE about the laparoscopy.

I've been fighting with a lot of emotions about continuing treatment. We originally said we'd do 9 rounds (3 Clomid, 3 Femara and 3 IUIs,) and be done after that, but my heart isn't ready to be done yet. I'm also wanting to try and get to the bottom of why things aren't working out as easy as last time (my son is a Clomid with timed intercourse baby.) My RE wants to use the lap to check to see if my tubes are blocked, and to see if I have endometriosis, and I'm really curious if one of those reasons is why I'm not pregnant yet.

On the other hand, I have a lot of guilt about trying for a second baby. All of the time and money we've spent so far could have gone to something else that would benefit the child we already have. We're also in a really good place with our son. He's sleeping well, he's to the age where we can go out and do things with him, and he's really fun right now. I'm afraid that bringing in another baby is going to completely throw off the awesome groove we have. But then I feel guilty about not giving him a sibling, all that talk about having a life long friend and someone to support him when we pass gets to me.

Some days I am dead set on never having another kid, other days I cry over pregnancy announcements and ache for that newborn smell. It's a constant back and forth in my head, so I'm taking things one day at a time.

Does anyone have any helpful suggestions for the laparoscopy? My RE is 3 hours away, so I'm most nervous about driving back home after the surgery. Would it be best to get a hotel room that night? Any suggestions are much appreciated!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

0 for 7

3 cycles of TI with Clomid, 3 cycles of TI with Femara, and 1 cycle of IUI with Femara, and not even a hint of a positive pregnancy test.

I went on Monday for my baseline ultrasound to start another IUI cycle, and a 2 cm cyst was found on my right ovary. The RE that I spoke to that morning suggested cancelling this cycle because the cyst could interfere with ovulation, and when my RE called me later that afternoon, she agreed.

I am now on Norethindrone for the next three weeks to suppress my body in hopes the cyst will go away. I go back in 21 days for a second baseline ultrasound to see if everything is good to move forward.

Since we're only wanting to do 2 more IUIs, I asked the RE that was present on Monday if there is anything that we can do during these next two cycles to increase our chances of success. He suggested a laparoscopy to check for endo, including injectible medications, or doing a combination of Femara and Clomid.

As of this moment, I'm leaning against the laparoscopy. If endo is found, and our only chances of success is IVF, then we're done with TTC. We're just not willing to have left over embryos when we're only wanting one more child. But, on the flip side, is it worth throwing money at multiple IUIs when they're never going to work?

I've asked a few friends if they've ever heard of doing Clomid and Femara together, and no one has, so I'm going to ask for more clarification from my RE at my next appointment. Currently, I'm leaning towards injections, but that all depends on cost, especially with this IUI falling right before the holidays.

I'm simultaneously wanting to be pregnant, and wanting the TTC to stop. I was so happy when we weren't actively trying to conceive, but now my days are filled with pills, appointments, and disappointment, and it's really weighing on me. It broke my heart when I had to tell my husband that the IUI didn't work, and he said, "I really had hope this time." I'm ready to move on and focus on myself and my family, whatever size that may be.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

9 Chances

I've been meaning to write this post for a long time, but I can't seem to get my thoughts in order so that things make any sense.

We're currently on our third and final round of Femara. If this cycle doesn't work, we have 3 rounds of IUI, and then we're done.

It's scary to think that we could go through all of these treatments and still not come home with a baby at the end. When we were trying for baby #1, we would have gone to the ends of the earth to get pregnant, but now that we have K, it's hard to justify all of the money and time spent on TTC.

If I'm honest, I've struggled more with this round of TTC than I did our first. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we've put a limit on what we're willing to do, and with each month that is unsuccessful, it's one less chance we have.

3 rounds of Clomid
3 rounds of Femara
3 IUIs

9 chances to become pregnant, carry a healthy baby to term, and deliver it safely. I feel like the odds are not in our favor, and it's scary. I struggle with mourning every month that is unsuccessful, while wanting the months to go by faster so that we know what our future holds.

I'm also struggling with the idea of having another child. There are days that I feel like I'm failing K in every way possible and can't imagine having another to take care of. Then there are days that I see K interact with another child and think he would make the best big brother. There are also days that I look at my small family of 3 and feel complete. We're at a really good place with K right now, and I'm starting to get a sense of "me" again. Do I want to add a newborn to the mix and fall back into that haze of sleepless nights and diaper changes?

I think emotionally, I'm ready to be done with the logistics of making a baby. But, I know that if we don't go through all of our options, I will always ask the "what-ifs." No matter what happens, I'm ready for TTC and infertility to be behind us.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

All I Ever Seem To Write Are Updates

Not a lot has happened since my last post.

My April/May cycle started at a point where we could have tried, but we had a fun, baby-free weekend planned for Memorial Day where I knew there would be drinking, so we decided to hold off one more month so I could partake in all the festivities.

My May/June cycle started over the weekend, right before I was going to leave for a work related trip to Miami. I assumed that my RE had sent in my Femara prescription back in April when I had my appointment, but found out she had not. I frantically emailed her to see if she could quickly send it in, but I didn't get a response until Monday afternoon. Unfortunately I was already in Miami with no car access (unless I wanted to pay for a taxi,) so this cycle became an unexpected med-free cycle.

I'm currently doing OPKs to see if I'm going to ovulate on my own, but I don't have my hopes up. We're planning on doing our first of three Femara cycles in July. If those don't work out, then we'll move to IUIs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"Next Steps" RE Appointment Update

Basically the appointment boiled down to us doing 3 months of Femara with timed intercourse.

We discussed moving onto IUIs, and my RE said that since we don't seem to have any problems with K's side of things, an IUI doesn't really increase our chances of conceiving. She said that if we are really antsy to conceive, she would be ok moving onto an IUI right now, but unfortunately K isn't able to take the time off work, and we don't currently have the funds. She agreed to three months of Femara to see if the different medication would force my body into working, but doesn't feel comfortable doing more than 6 months of induced ovulation with timed intercourse, (3 months of Clomid followed by 3 months of Femara.) She said that if these next three months don't work, then the next step would be IUI.

I asked about a trigger shot, and she said that she doesn't feel that a trigger shot would help our chances. She feels that our bodies know the right time to ovulate better than medicine does, so as long as I get an LH surge on OPKs, a trigger shot isn't necessary.

She said that it might be a good idea to get frequent monitoring with my first cycle of Femara to see how many eggs I'm producing, but that is difficult to do when I have to take an entire day off work to drive to, and from, my RE. I'm going to call my OB's office and see if they're willing to help out with some remote monitoring, but I'm not getting my hopes up because they're a very busy office.

When I got home tonight, I started bleeding. I'm only 9 days past ovulation, so I'm unsure if it's mid-cycle spotting, or if I'm starting my period super early (this was an unmedicated cycle.) I've never had bleeding at this point of my cycle, so I have nothing to compare it to. If I have started my period, I'm going to email my RE to see if a short luteal phase during an unmedicated cycle is something she's worried about.

As of right now, I'm unsure when our first Femara cycle will be. I'm traveling almost every weekend in May, and K isn't with me for most of it, so trying to time intercourse will be difficult if I ovulate while we're apart. My RE did send in a prescription for a month of birth control so that if we decide to skip May, I can continue to have a regular cycle and not have to worry about when my period will arrive.

I feel defeated that money and lack of free time is what is potentially stopping us from growing our family. If these next three cycles with Femara don't work out, K is going to have to have a serious sit down conversation with his boss about having to take at least one day a month off work. I'm also confused about if there's a point in doing IUI if it won't increase our chances of conceiving. Has anyone's RE said something similar? My RE also said that it won't increase our chances of multiples, which I'm not sure is accurate, either. Looking back at my records, K's last semen analysis was 3 years ago (to the very month!) so I'm not sure if we need to do another one, even though his numbers were good last time.

I'll do a short update come May about if we've decided to do a medicated cycle or not. Thank you as always for the support!