Baby Fever

I’ll cut to the chase this time: my beta rose perfectly. I’m somewhere around 5 weeks, 4 days with a beta of 8,755. I am deeply, deeply thankful.

Unfortunately, this morning I woke up with aches all over my body. Then came the chills. I got concerned that a fever could be bad for the baby so I bought a nicer thermometer than the ones we have lying around the house- those I used to temp with more than a year ago! (Crazy to remember that- temping every morning actually made me a crazy person with anxiety, and I’m glad I quit it way back when).

My first reading was 100.4. Then I got up to 101.2. I was in one of those feverish states, rolling around in my bed shaking and talking to myself. A real shame Mr Upside had to work today and couldn’t take care of me!

So I called my nurse and she told me taking Tylenol was fine, and to go to the doctor to make sure I didnt have an infection that would require pregnancy-safe antibiotics. So I took 1 pill instead of 2 and honestly I feel…not great but more human than earlier. And I went off to urgent care at my GP, where I was subjected to a crazy flu test involving long, thin Q-tips being shoved ALL THE WAY- all the way- up each nostril. It was one of the craziest feelings! Leave it to me to continue to pile on more insane medical tests even outside the fertility clinic.

Anyway, I don’t have the flu. And they say I don’t have an infection, like bronchitis, strep, pneumonia- so that’s great. Cant say they were too helpful beyond that, but its pretty difficult to diagnose a typical cold virus, so hey.

I just want to get back to feeling better- not exposing Little Rabbit to my body’s extra high temps, or rolling around in bed unable to work, etc. But all in all, even with how AWFUL I have felt today- and its been rough- I wouldn’t trade it for anything, since I know that my beta is good and Little Rabbit nicely, safely nestled in me.

Another day with beautiful lining

Friday I had my lining check for my ERA cycle. I had to play with the schedule a bit and stay on Estradiol for a way shorter time period than they would have liked, due to a business trip I have next week. After only being on Estradiol for a week, my lining was a whopping 12.4 mm.

That is even thicker than last month’s FET cycle.

My RE just kept saying how “beautiful” it was, with the triple pattern, and how “wonderful” it is to be such a good responder to medication. And yeah, I mean, I suppose its certainly better than the alternative. But what good has it done me so far?

Beautiful lining means one less thing to play around with, but it doesn’t stop implantation from failing. Beautiful lining gets smiles at monitor appointments, but it hasn’t stopped my infertility in all these months/years.

It’s not that I’m not grateful for having thick lining, when many others struggle to build it up. It’s just that beautiful lining is not the goal. Beautiful lining is just one more reason for my infertility being “unexplained” as the excruciating hunt for answers continues.

In any case, we are on track for Thursday’s biopsy. A chunk will get taken out of said lining, in hopes that it brings me some answers or a direction to move in.

Even if I come back “receptive,” I will consider it time well spent- because every new slice of information, every new piece of the unexplained puzzle that we are in possession of- it helps us eliminate routes and ultimately, I hope, will bring us closer to our baby.

 

The FET Diaries: Trying to Move On

First of all thank you so much for all your kind comments not the last post. I didnt have the emotional energy to respond to most of them, but they are felt in my heart and appreciated.

I’m 2 days past negative beta, but I have “known” I wasn’t pregnant for about 5. I thought after my beta things could get better, but yesterday was pretty rough. I had an appt with my IF therapist and cried the entire hour. I was on really shaky emotional ground, but then I had my WTF appt with my RE, and I think it went well.

I basically prepared a massive spreadsheet with all the possible things I wanted to look into and get his opinion on. He totally handled everything well and appreciated I had done my research. Basically he told me “I am disappointed, but I am not discouraged. I understand you are discouraged, but we at the clinic are not.” And that implantation rates for a PGS embryo are still only like at most 60%.

He has agreed to starting prednisone (I need my immunologist or dermatologist to write me that prescription for my skin problems I am having a big flare of right now) and even says that for women with DOR in the IVF process he often uses it as protocol. He is quite opposed to using blood thinners, as the risks outweigh any evidence of benefit, although he wants me to continue baby aspirin. He basically said clotting is more of a miscarriage problem and less an implantation one, and that science does not show evidence that would support the use of a serious blood thinner and that I need to continue baby aspirin.

I talked to him a bit about PIO v crinone and he said pregnancy rates are the same (no statistically difference- I have confirmed this through looking up studies from NIH) but that he is absolutely happy to have me switch to PIO if it would make me feel better and said “it is the gold standard.” The problem with that is I would need Mr Upside around every day for my shots and he travels for work quite a bit.

He left a final decision up to me: to go straight to another FET cycle or to use this next cycle to do an ERA test. So basically everything would be the same except instead of transfer, they would biopsy my uterine lining. Apparently there are a decent # of women (like 20%?) whose linings are not receptive on the typical day 5 and that protocol would be adjusted. My RE seems to think we should try again before ERA (it is expensive, not cover by insurance, time consuming, and painful) because it really could be a numbers game. But he will support whichever I choose.

It seems like ERA is becoming more and more prominent in treating failed FETs (and fresh?). I am going to take the next 4 days to discuss with my husband and figure out what to do. If the second FET fails, he will strongly recommend ERA, which I agree with. I will probably go ahead with FET in November, partially because trying to coordinate a transfer with all the holiday travel in Dec would be a lot more difficult than a biopsy where I would not have to worry as much. It could take 1 or 2 months to deal with the ERA test, which is frustrating but if it leads to more answers, then great.

I am just trying to recover this weekend. We have friends in town. Mr Upside brought me coffee (yes coffee!!!!) in bed and last night bought me a lot of drinks. After tomorrow we will sit and discuss what our thoughts are on next cycle.

xx to you all. Trying to move on.

Swallowing the Pill: Estradiol & Expectations

Mr. Upside can’t come to my transfer. He has a business trip that can’t be changed because it’s for a conference, not a one-off meeting. It’s very frustrating. He promises it won’t be like this forever, that this is the last of the year (till next June) and that he wants to be there instead. And I get it. I don’t want to make him feel bad over something he can’t control, and for a job that allows us to afford a lot of the treatment we pursue. He makes more money than I do. But I wish it weren’t happening this way.

He’ll be gone the whole week, so we initially thought we could move the day a day or two, but it won’t make a difference.

So I am *tentatively* scheduled for an Oct 4 transfer and I will be going alone. Which is not at all what I wanted, or expected. And yet I am trying to pick my battles. We decided we  could push it back a whole month, but I don’t want to. I have to realize I, too, am choosing this date– to go forward while he’s not in the city.

Anyway. Thank you for all your nice notes. My grandma’s funeral is next weekend and we’ll both be going up for that and spending time with my family.

Other than this, things are pretty status quo. I started estradiol in pill form yesterday. Two little blue pills a day until a week from now when I kick into into gear with THREE pills a day. I was scrolling through Instagram with the hashtag #estradiol last night to find others’ IF journeys and I realized half the people who take it are actually transitioning sexes, MTF. So it was funny and eye-opening. Of course that makes sense- it’s pure estrogen! I’m waiting to become EVEN MORE of a woman than I am now 🙂

 

Cyster, Cyster

Womp womp. I went in for my baseline on Friday afternoon- actually, at 5 PM. Had to fight Friday evening traffic. My RE basically told me it’s 50/50 odds that I’d have cysts or not. I figure with 21 eggs, the chances are a lot higher than when I only had 2 or 3.

Right side looked okay at first glance…then he moved to the left. There was no mistaking that giant black blob on the screen: definitely a gigantic 24-mm cyst. As it turns out, that wasn’t my only one though. I also have 2 small ones on my right side- but they are complex, meaning they are a combination of fluid and blood (gross, sorry), and on the sonogram they look grey and less obvious. Turns out my left ovary is a bit swollen on top of things. None of this is surprising to REs, I guess.

Anyway. As my RE said, “embryos are too precious to risk on a less than perfect environment.”

So, any September transfer hopes are off. And that’s okay. But I can’t pretend I’m not a little bit bummed, even though I feel a little guilty about that. I have gotten such incredible news about my 7. Five boys and two girls (which is a little surprising in itself). But this sense of waiting and sitting around never seems to stop with IF, and you know, best laid plans…

So my goal now is to shrink these 3 cysts into oblivion. My RE put me back on birth control, so I’ll take that for about 2 1/2 weeks. I go back on September 12 to see if they’re gone and if I can start Estradiol.

When I had my original cyst issue back in February, my life was very very different. I felt like I had little hope and no plans. I was still doing TI, not even IUI yet. And the thought of having no plans and no hope for even a medicated cycle was too much for me. I cried for like 3 days and felt depressed for the next week. It was so hard for me to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

And now? Now my light is so many things. My light is my husband. My cat. My family and friends who have been there for me since I opened up to them. My light is this blog, and the Instagram community. My relative health. And, without a doubt, my magnificent seven.

I can do this. I believe my body will absorb these cysts. I believe that in October, I will have a successful transfer. I believe I will have a baby.

Egg Retrieval Update

I am currently resting at home. My retrieval was at 8:45 this morning, but we did get started a little early. I have to say that the staff at my fertility surgery center was so lovely and sweet and made me feel more comfortable. My RE is actually out of town, so for the past week I have been seeing a male RE who is actually the founder of the practice.

I was a bit nervous to go under anesthesia- it had been a while- a decade or so. And that was just wisdom teeth, so no IV. But when I got wheeled away, my RE was really kind and rubbed my feet and told me I was doing a great job, and that everything was fine. The nurses were wonderful as well and adjusted me and then told me exactly when they were putting in the sleeping drugs. “You may feel a bit tingly,” one of them said. And about 30 seconds later I felt my whooooole face go tingly and numb and I was out like a light.

I woke up some time after, in my room, after being wheeled back. The first thing I said was “Oh….I thought I was with my cat!” The nurses giggled and kept bringing it up to me as I continued to awaken. It’s true though- I had just been dreaming about being snuggled up to my little buddy!

Mr Upside returned from delivering his “sample” about 1 minute later, and I was still in a major haze. Everyone helped me wake up a bit and I realized I had a lot of cramping. So, they gave me some IV meds and then some goldfish to fill my stomach and then I got a Percocet.

Oh, and in the meantime, my RE came back in the room to tell me I did a great job. And the # of eggs they got. Oh, did I bury the lede a bit? We got 21 eggs 🙂 

The next week will be a rollercoaster or sorts, most likely. I know that not all 21 will be mature or fertilize and I’ve long been concerned about egg quality. But for now, we can rest in thankfulness, and the positive. We got 21 eggs.

I am feeling a little nauseated and gross today, for obvious reasons, but it’s a rainy Sunday anyway and I’m happy to sit here with my husband and cat (finally!)

xoxoxo. Thanks so much for everyone’s support on here!

T minus 1: Google is Always a Bad Idea

Tomorrow is my egg retrieval. We have to be there at 7:45 am for an 8:45 retrieval. I had to really push for that early time because they originally gave me an afternoon time and I CANNOT fast that long. So I am really thankful they came through.

When I went to the RE on Thursday, my estrogen level was 1800-something. I had about 20 measured follicles, though some of course were not mature. My biggest was 20.

When I went BACK to the RE on Friday, I had about 16 measured follicles and I had a couple at 21 or 21.5.  I felt really good about that. When my RE was finishing up and he noticed my estrogen came in from this morning’s draw- at 1600-something. He noted it, said “hmm,” and asked if I was on menopur. I said no, but I am on Cetrotide. He said “well, that could be it.” And then I got dressed and met him outside.

So, basically, I was so happy that I was going to trigger, I ignored what he said about E2. The last night as I was going to sleep, I remembered it and decided to google.

mistake.

I can’t say anything I found was good. It seems strange that I could continue to grow and have my E2 drop. I am worried about quality, and I am worried about empty follicles.

I did have 4 that weren’t measured that seemed to drop off from the day prior- maybe they disappeared overnight and that’s why?

I only have 1 day to ER so that means only 1 day of obsessing about this. Or at least some parts of this.

Stims Day 8: Tender and Waiting

Had my sonogram this morning– still no word on my estrogen (blood work hasn’t come back yet), but it looks like I have 1 follicle at 20, two at 19, one at 18….and then a whole bunch under that. It’s kind of crazy because my RE says I need to have 2 at 20 to trigger. So, even though I am swollen I have to go back tomorrow, when they expect the follies to have grown.

Estimated Egg Retrieval: Sunday!

I CANNOT wait. Every day I am more tender and swollen than the previous. It’s nothing I can’t handle, but still. It’s a little bit of a bummer because after my really great scan on Monday, I had some hopes that I could trigger tonight and my retrieval would be Saturday. Given that I can’t think about anything else and am only able to wear stretchy pants, I just want to get this show on the road!

Keeping my fingers crossed that everything continues to be okay.

 

Stims Day 5 Update

So after traveling with my Gonal the past 4 days and having a combination of my husband and my dear sweet 7 month pregnant friend administer my shots- I went in for my first follow-up scan!

I am so happy to see 16 follies in some stage of growth- anywhere from 7 mm to 15! I am just waiting for blood work and a confirmation about when to start my Cetrotide. I am still really nervous, but thankful- having  a really good day 🙂

Off to make a presentation. Back to TTC later 🙂

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.