What a Difference a Year Makes

Last February I created this blog. I had been struggling with my diagnosis of infertility and I felt lonely, confused and completely helpless. I hadn’t yet gone to a fertility clinic, I hadn’t yet met my RE. I was scared to, honestly. I didn’t know what they would say to me, or if they would take me at all.

A year ago, on February 16, 2016 I wrote this post. Frankly, it was at one of my lowest points. I’m not sure if it comes through entirely in that post– it took a while for me to feel comfortable enough, even in the anonymous internet sphere, for me to be raw with my emotions– but it was a very tough time for me. I started getting a lot of depression after that appointment. I can’t tell you what set me off, exactly, about the cysts- they’re cysts, not a nuclear holocaust- but I do know that it sent me into a dark place for a while. I think it was the utter loss of control and the lack of a plan forward. I remember sobbing in the stirrups (not the last time either) and feeling completely utterly without hope.

I had to create this blog because I was struggling. And that struggle didn’t end soon after. Hell, it’s still not over- the grief and trauma of infertility or recurrent loss doesn’t end when you get pregnant. But through time, connection with all of you, through my IF therapist, through my fertility clinic, through meeting new people and actually BEING HONEST about what I was going through- things really did get better. I had a plan. I had a support group. I had my authenticity.

And here I am. Just shy of 11 weeks. I have acne and bloating and gas and heartburn and I couldn’t be happier with the reason why. I also am in awe of how far I have come from just 1 year ago, and what a wild ride it has been. I know this is something everyone says, but I mean it- a year ago I never pictured myself here, pregnant, healthy, full of hope. I had no plan forward and no one to take me fully seriously (the place I went to before my clinic was like ‘you’re young and skinny, you’re totally fertile, so here’s some femara, check back in 6 months’).

Every day is a milestone, every minute of being pregnant a momentous occasion. But it’s not only the past 2 months that have contained milestones. I went through so much over the course of a year. I had my first cysts, my first clinic visit. My HSG (old place never offered that to me???) Our first IUI. The end of IUIs- when I realized where we were. Everyday shots for my follicles. My egg retrieval. The agony of waiting to hear about those eggs and embryos. My FET. The heartbreak of losing our embryo. The depression that ensued. My ERA biopsies. BOTH of them. And all the feelings of faith and loss in between.

The reality is that everything- my first cysts, my HSG- in the moment, they were all momentous. Frightening. Hard to get through. A big relief in their aftermath. Just because it seems like a piece of cake now doesn’t mean my first IUI wasn’t wrought with fear and hope.

I guess all I mean to say is: I have been through so much in a year. I am blessed beyond belief to be where I am right now, but I’ll never forget what I went through to get here. The scary, grief-stricken moments of infertility live within me and I’m proud of myself for getting through every month of them. So grateful to be sitting where I am today. And so thankful for all of you who have guided me, sent good vibes or prayers, kept your toes crossed, gave me advice and support. Couldn’t have done it without you.

7 DPIUI, Eh?

I’m all packed up. Mr Upside and I are set to leave on a 7 am flight tomorrow to head to Quebec for the holiday weekend. We really need it.

I am 7DPIUI today and trying to not lose my mind. I have been having a weird twinge of groin pain- but its not in the “right spot” for it to be any sort of “positive” sign. I don’t have any nausea, NO sore boobs, nothing. Nada. I had a small spotting episode- very light- this morning. I promptly freaked out for a few hours, but I also realized that progesterone suppositories can irritate the cervix and cause some bleeding. Which is just REALLY hilarious since I’m on progesterone suppositories to prevent spotting in the first place!

This shit is just really something else, huh?

I am worried about getting my hopes up this cycle. I don’t want to come crashing down when it’s negative. I want to instead prepare myself for IVF.

And I want to have a nice trip away. I am packing 2 pregnancy tests to bring with me in Canada so that I can test before I leave with my husband there. I hope I get through whatever news it is.

xxx

Musings on 6DPIUI

I know this is silly. On multiple levels. But:

I had some positive feelings this time– maybe because it’s my final cycle before IVF. Maybe it’s because I had 4 mature follicles. But I felt what I hadn’t in previous IUIs: hope.

I will say that waking up at 6 DPIUI, I have less and less every morning. I can’t hep it but– I always felt like I would have a sense that something was happening, as it got closer. Maybe not day 3, but days 5, 6, etc.

And I feel nothing. Just some mild random twinges, which have happened in other cycles.

I know its early, but my hope is fading. It’s tough when you don’t have a diagnosis. Why won’t it work?

I may have to wait till IVF to find out.

If, at all.

Four Eggs and an IUI

Update!

I went in for my CD 13 scan on Wednesday and found out I have 4 mature follicles. :-O I triggered that night and am going in for my IUI in about an hour.

Four is many more than I’d had before. Which is great. Really. Except that it’s about 45 minutes until my IUI and my ovaries are soooooo sore. Ovulating 4 eggs feels way different than 1! Which leads me to…how am I going to get through IVF??? The goal is to have a lot more than 4 mature eggs and it’s painful with just 4! Yikes. Any tips???

Anyway, there is a slim chance I won’t even need any IVF because who knows? Maybe one of these will stick.

Unlikely. But possible.

Happy Crampy Memorial Day Weekend

Good morning all- Happy Saturday! I just had IUI #2 and am curled up on the couch watching Lifetime because I am oh-so-crampy. Had a different RE today because its the weekend, so I had to use the on-call RE. He was nice but couldn’t get my cervix to line up properly for a min so it took a bit longer. Anyway, I could immediately tell when the insemination started bc I was like OH HI CRAMPS!

Only had 18 million sperm because we had sex last night. We were feeling happy and frisky and I didn’t want yet another thing to get in the way of normal married life and so we decided it was best to go for it, especially since he hasn’t had any issues producing. 18 million is still fine, even though its much less than Mr Upside usually has. I don’t regret it.

Starting progesterone Tuesday night. Other than that just trying to have a relaxing weekend with my husband and cat. Hoping the cramping will subside, but hey, it could be worse. (WISH i could take some Midol though!)

Hope everyone else has something nice planned for the long weekend.

And so begins the TWW.

IUI #2: The Little Eggy the Could?

Well, it’s CD 16.

Sorry I’ve been so quiet these past 2 weeks or so- I guess not a bunch has been going on. Had a pretty quiet week after taking my femara. Went in for my CD 13 ultrasound and had a couple follicles- my lead was 15 mm. Since I wasn’t quite ready, I went back in today, CD 16.

The good news is my 15 mm lead follie turned into a 22 mm lead follie! It was huge on the screen. However, no other follicles made it. The next biggest is about 13.

I’m going to trigger tonight and go in Saturday for IUI #2. I’ve only got 1 egg. So there’s even LESS of a chance this one will work out. But let’s do this thing. The quicker it comes, the closer I get to my likely IVF path.

Cyst-Free is the New BFP

It’s amazing how seamlessly we adjust to our circumstances. How we bend and fold to our new expectations. How everything is relative.

Given that I have never seen a BFP in my entire life, I can’t say I know what that’s like. However, I do know the feeling of your RE giving you the go-ahead for a next cycle, with healthy well-behaved ovaries!

The past 5 days were a confusing bunch. I was starting my period or I wasn’t; I was taking progesterone or it was too late. I traveled for work and spend the time in between my conference sessions emailing with my nurse about the heaviness of my flow. Finally, we came to an agreement that yes, this really was my period, yes, the HPT was negative, and yes I could come in for a baseline ultrasound.

I spent all day Friday worried about my 4 PM appointment for my baseline. I had been here before- with femara + the trigger shot back in February and it led to early bleeding, short LP and cysts. Cysts = a canceled cycle. Thats the last time I had a really bad breakdown about my IF issues and so I was so desperate to avoid a repeat of that. I practiced some meditation, talked with my husband, and basically made a deal with myself that if I had cysts, I could do something spontaneous or special- like take off for a short trip, get a spa day– something I wouldn’t normally do, but felt I deserved on a canceled cycle.

I talked myself up about it the whole day- so imagine my surprise then my RE stuck in the wand, moved it around and then said “we’re all clear! Ovaries look good so let’s get you started on femara.”

!!! I can’t tell you how elated I was- I had practically convinced myself that I would have cysts and would have to forgo treatment for June. It took me a while to process, actually!

I was on a high the rest of that night- going forward with IUI #2 really means that I am moving closer and closer to what I view as the inevitability of IVF, and my future baby. How is it possible that a cyst-free scan can make you feel so happy, can make you feel successful, almost pregnant? Low expectations can be wonderful after all. Day 5 and keeping the faith for the next few weeks. Here’s to IUI cycle #2!

CD 35/CD 1

So I started spotting last night. Last night, I kinda knew it was all over so I took a lot of deep breaths and hugged my husband and we went out for drinks.

This morning I awoke to some more bleeding. I’d say its somewhere between spotting and a full flow. Fully expecting my period to 100% come later that day, I called my RE. When the nurse called me back she had interested things to say. “Your lining looked so beautiful! It’s only 9 days later! It’s too early!” I fought back the urge to say “um, yeah, lady, welcome to my life!”

She talked to my RE and they called in a prescription for progesterone suppositories. They want me to take that for 4 days and then ‘test’ on Sunday. I am just so baffled as to why I am delaying the inevitable.

The flow got a bit heavier, but I picked up my prescription and…inserted. :-O

So here I am. I’m either CD 35 or CD 1. In fact I won’t even know what CD 1 really would be unless my bleeding stops. I already know I’m not pregnant, but I’m just going to try to ignore this whole situation until Sunday when I FINALLY can call my RE back and just say, “hey. I’m not pregnant for REAL. Can we now get this show on the road?”

My mind is just SPINNING. I feel like I worked on my emotions this cycle and finally made peace with its failure. But then I can’t even grieve on the proper timeline? I can’t make peace with it when I think it makes sense?

Why do I feel like I am constantly in limbo?

IUI #1

Well, IUI #1 is under my belt! I had my Ovidrel shot overnighted to me from some specific pharmacy, per my insurance instructions. It came in a REALLY intimidating box and inside a giant foil bag. The above photo is the shot itself.

Mr Upside gave me my trigger a little after 6 pm on Saturday evening. I thought it might involve a bit of yelling, on both our parts 😉 — but we were a great team! I’m sure I could have given it to myself, but I felt like it just made more sense to do it together, so my husband could be involved as well. Hmm, maybe I’ll write a post on that in the future..

Anyway, I started getting a lot of twinges of pain around both ovaries Sunday afternoon/evening- which I assume was my follicles rapidly growing. Then today I went in for the IUI!

The whole thing went really quickly. It took only about 1 minute for the actual procedure, then another 10 minutes to lie down on the table awkwardly with no pants on, while a kitchen timer was ticking down. Pretty amusing, really.

I’ve had some cramping after the IUI but its not too bad. Now all we do is sit and wait.

I’ve been so up and down though this whole cycle– feeling crushed that my follicles weren’t growing, feeling hopeful when they were- I don’t really know what to think. I’m certainly on board for another IUI, but part of me is also very impatient about a 3rd or a 4th…especially since stats are so low. I guess we’ll just wait and see. I mean, hey- who knows- its unlikely this one will be successful, but its certainly a possibility.

xx.

 

**PS. As I was leaving, the receptionist said “Its always a good idea to have sex the night after!” I have to be honest- I am pretty crampy and tired and not exactly in a mood! Hoping that if I opt out it wouldn’t hurt our changes….