Tuesday, March 25, 2014

IVF #2

Yesterday I headed back to the clinic for blood work, ultrasound, and a quick meeting with the IVF nurse. Everything looked great - AFC was 17, FSH was ~6, E2 was 64 (on CD4) - so I was given the green light to start BCPs last night! I'll take these for 20 days and then go in for my baseline appointment on April 16th. Stims should start that night and ER is estimated for April 26-28th.
TB April '14 Snuggle Bunnies IVF Badge
I feel nice and calm right now. I'm glad that my AFC is still good (it's been lower in the past and I just didn't want to do IVF on a low month). I'm looking forward to the three weeks of BCPs because it's nice to just have a break from everything and also because I'm hoping the pills contributed to the lack of pain that I had in January. It will be so nice if I get some relief for a few weeks.

I'm also feeling hopeful. I am praying that the change in protocol will give us better results and a better chance at a BFP.

I probably won't have much to say during the next few weeks. I'm going to do my best to relax for a bit, but things will probably be pretty busy around our house. Sometime between now and our estimated ER date, Seth is going to be submitting his dissertation! I am so proud of him and so happy that he's almost finished. I hope that when it's time for him to defend in May, we'll have more than one thing to celebrate.

IVF #2 Progress Report
Status: Suppression Phase
BCPs: 1 down, 19 to go
Days until Baseline: 22

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Another year without a baby.

Today is 12 dpo and my temperature took a nice dive this morning.

I'd say that does it for cycle 23. No break cycle BFP for us.

FF tells me that my due date would have been November 28, 2014. I quickly did the math and realized that since I'll be on BCPs next month, there are no more chances for a 2014 due date. That was our last shot. 2014 will be another year without a baby. It hurts so much to realize that for some reason. I guess it's just the time thing again. If there's not going to be a baby this year, then I just want this year to be over and it's only March.

I'll feel better later. I know there are still a lot of other reasons to be happy and hopeful this year. I'm just going to be praying that it's not also another year without pregnancy.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Just waiting...

One of the suckiest things about this process (other than the fact that it's been unsuccessful) is the amount of time we spend just waiting. I hate feeling like I'm hoping my life will hurry up and pass me by. Waiting for the next cycle, the next appointment, the next step.

A very common bit of advice given to people just starting TTC is to just keep living your life. Continue doing whatever it is you normally do. Find some new hobbies. Keep busy and keep your mind off the process and the goal. After an IF diagnosis, that becomes very hard. Maybe impossible. I'm not unhappy. There are still so many things that I love to do and I have no problem enjoying them. The problem is that any time I get a spare second - just a moment of silence or inactivity - my mind immediately jumps back to everything I'm trying to forget. It's so hard not to think ahead, to anticipate the next step, to plan for the future that may or may not become a reality. I hate waiting. I hate planning. Well, actually I love to plan. I just worry that I'm spending so much of my time planning in vain.

I'm in the 2WW of our first break cycle. 9DPO. I'm about 5-6 days away from whatever is coming next. Maybe it will be our first ever BFP (don't worry, I'm not holding my breath). Maybe it will be CD1. In that case, I'll need to call the clinic and schedule blood work and ultrasound so that I can start prepping for IVF #2.

Seth and I are pretty set on doing one more cycle with Dr.M at our current clinic. Financially, it makes the most sense and the timing is not bad. If this doesn't work, our back-up plan is to move to another clinic in the northeast. They have a multi-cycle shared risk program that we like a lot better than similar programs we've seen at the clinics in our area. Depending on where/when/if Seth gets a job after graduation, I might be going alone (to stay with my parents) and he would travel in to provide his sample. It's not ideal, but what part of this process is? I'm not giving up hope. I really, really do hope that we will only need one more IVF cycle for now, but it makes me feel better to know that there is a plan in place in case it doesn't happen again.

For now, I just need to get through the next few days. (<-- See? I hate feeling like I need to "get through" my life.)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Embryology Report

Dr. M called today with the report from the embryologist.  He said that the embryologist wasn't really happy with our batch of embryos right from the start. She could already tell by day three that they weren't developing well - the growth was really disorganized (or something). On day 5 we only had that one good embryo that we transferred and one other embryo that was okay. Dr. M said that looking back, it might have been better to freeze it on day 5 than to wait to see how did on day 6 but I don't feel that upset about it. If it didn't make it to day 6, what are the chances that it would have survived the freeze, thaw, and transfer?

So...we have poor quality embryos. They're still not really sure what to do about it. They're happy with my response to the meds so they don't want to change that. The only thing that they can think to do is to change the protocol. Next time (if we decide to cycle with them in April) we'll be skipping the Lupron and trying an antagonist protocol. In this protocol, I would still take the BCPs for 1-4 weeks, have a period, start stimming (Menopur and Gonal-F), and then add an antagonist (Ganirelix or Cetrotide) on day 4-6 of stims to prevent ovulation. They hope that this protocol will help my follicles grow and mature at the same rate. Last time, the follicles were growing at different rates so that on day 8 of stims I had 16 follicles ranging from 19.8 - 13 mm. Also, once my follicles reach 14 mm, Dr. M is going to sit down with the embryologist to make sure that everyone is on the same page about how to proceed for the rest of the cycle.

I'm not sure how I feel. I guess I'm glad that we're going to try something different. I'm definitely glad that they made some suggestions because now I can compare it to what the other doctor says when we go for the second opinion at the other clinic. Hopefully, they'll have the same ideas so that I feel more confident about staying with my current doctor. If not...we'll have some things to think about.

In other news, I think I'm in the 2WW.

I thought I ovulated 5 days ago - I had a positive OPK and a temp spike followed by a negative OPK, but then I had a drop in temp. I probably should have kept using the OPKs until I got CHs, but honestly I don't really care about this either. I'm so over stressing about TTC on our own. There's like a 2% or less of this actually happening. Rather than being depressing, it's kind of freeing to accept that "natural" conception is so improbable. I'm sure I'll feel differently when I get my period, but right now it feels nice to give zero fucks.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Update on Bear

This morning the vet called to let us know that Bear's little tumor was benign!! I am so happy and so relieved. I made the mistake of googling the malignant cancer she had mentioned and scared the shit out of myself - I was a mess all weekend. The vet said that it was a histiocytoma which is a benign skin tumor that is common in young dogs. They're often no big deal and many times they just go away on their own. I am so, so thankful that Bear is healthy and that there are no long-term issues that we need to worry about. It was completely removed and now it's all over. I'm so glad that he doesn't have to go through any more testing - the poor little guys has been through too much already.

Thanks again for all of the love and prayers. Like I said, I was a mess (my anxiety has been poorly controlled lately) but it was so helpful to have so many people thinking of us!

Friday, March 7, 2014

WTF Summary

Our WTF appointment for our first failed IVF cycle was supposed to be March 10th, but the clinic called yesterday saying that they had some cancellations and asked if we wanted to go in yesterday morning instead. Of course we did.

We got there at 9:30 and had to wait over an hour to see the doctor (good start). Once we finally got to see him, he went over the details of the cycle. We looked over my follie growth, SA, egg count and quality, fertilization rate, and embryo quality. Dr. M said that almost everything looked great. He was happy with my response to the protocol and meds we used. He said that it was hard for him to decide if I should trigger on day 9 of stims or go for one more day (we triggered on day 9), but he was happy with the results. I had an AFC of 16, 12 eggs were retrieved, 10 were mature, and 9 fertilized normally. I am really happy with that too. He told us that since Seth's sample was great and we had a great fertilization rate, it's probably safe to say that my egg quality is okay. His main concern is embryo quality.

Of the 9 that fertilized, there were 4-5 that looked great on day 3 and 2-3 that looked okay. One of them was clearly abnormal. They made the decision to postpone transfer until day 5. All was still great. However, between days 3 and 5 things went downhill. We only had one good quality blastocyst on day 5 (the 3BB embryo that we transferred). 3 of the others made it to the early blastocyst stage, but the others were not growing properly. Even though they prefer to freeze day 5 embryos, they waited until day 6 to see if the 3 early blasts caught up but they never did. So out of 9 fertilized eggs, we had one blastocysts.

Dr. M said that it's possible that it was just bad luck. Maybe next time will be better. However, he wants to talk to the embryologist to see what she thinks. He wants to see if she has any ideas about why things went to shit after day 3 or if there's anything that we could do differently. He made a note to talk with her and then he said he would call me next week. (Why the fuck did they reschedule my appointment if he wasn't ready to see us yet? It's so frustrating that we spent so much time and H had to cancel a meeting just to hear 'sorry, we'll know more next week when we were supposed to see you anyway'. More waiting - yay!)

We're also going to do some karyotype/chromosome testing and check me for clotting disorders. He thinks these tests are a little excessive (usually he would do them for someone with recurrent miscarriages) but since everything else looks good he figures it is worth checking it out before we try again.

Overall, I guess I'm glad that most things looked okay. Hopefully that means we just had bad luck this time. Or maybe the embryologist will have something to offer that will give us a better shot next time. We're almost 100% sure that we want to start prepping for round 2 when my next cycle starts. In the mean time, we have a consult with another clinic in two weeks and I'm really glad that we decided to get a second opinion.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Thank you to everyone for the good thoughts and prayers!

It sounds like everything went well with Bear's procedure today. They removed the bump and stitched him up. Binks was so happy to see Bear when we picked him up.

I was a little bit shocked when we saw him - it looks like they removed a nice chuck. With the shaved head and the giant stitches, he looks like one of those Frankenstein cartoons.

Bear was exhausted and very high when we picked him up. It took him awhile to recover, but thankfully he perked up around dinner time and it seems like he's feeling a lot better now.

The vet mentioned the malignant cancer again. She said she's concerned about it because normally anything that's benign will heal quickly. Bear's bump didn't heal, but he also banged his head really hard against the coffee table midway through the treatment with the cream. I'm hoping that was the issue. We should find out within a week.

Thanks again for all of the love!

*For the record, I'm aware that I'm a crazy dog lady. IDGAF.

Monday, March 3, 2014

My "Furst" Baby

Today sucks.

About two weeks ago, I took Bear to the vet because he had a little bump on his head. We noticed it because it was bleeding, but it didn't look like just a regular cut. The vet said that it probably wasn't a big deal because it was small and it seemed to be just in the upper layer of his skin. She gave us so sort of cream and told us to come back in 7-10 days if it wasn't gone or better.

Well, it's not gone or better. It's still bleeding and the bump hasn't changed in size at all. We took him back this morning. The vet was surprised that it wasn't gone. She said that it's still possible that it's no big deal - it could be a wart or some other harmless skin thing. She was concerned that it wasn't healing though and mentioned two cancers - one malignant, one benign - and thought that we should remove it in case it's one of those. If it's the latter, no big deal - at least we removed it so it doesn't keep bleeding and get infected. If it's the first one, the malignant one...I can't think about that right now.

I'm so worried. Bear is my first baby. We went through all of that bullshit with his kidney and the surgeries when he was just 2.5 months old. Now he's only 2.5 years old and he might have cancer? The poor little guy hates the vet. He tries to sit in my lap as soon as we get in the exam room. Today he just kept his little face in my lap while the vet tried to get a biopsy (it was too small, unfortunately). I hate that we have to put him through more testing.
Binks didn't like when his brother was taken to the back room. He's a sweet boy too.
On Wednesday morning, I'm going to drop him off and they're going to try to remove it using just local anesthetic since he's such a good boy. I wish I could sit with him though. After that, we'll have to wait for the pathology report to come back. I hope that it doesn't take too long. There can't be something wrong with him. I need him to be fine.

Look at that little face. He's such a mama's boy. Please say a prayer for my little Bear!