Friday, April 27, 2007

I've been benched

I went to the doc for an ultrasound to see what is going on with my ovaries. There was, like two days ago, one giant one and a few very small ones. No way the small ones are going to catch up in time. I should ovulate within five days. And I'm only on cycle day 4. They suggested I save the medicine and take the month off.

Frankly, I'm pleased with this plan. I want to keep moving foward but this has been a bizarre cycle so far and I'd like to start with a clean slate, body willing. The way my body is acting is a sign of aging but I think the drugs are partly to blame. I'd like to try to get back to normal and then try again.

I'll go back to the doc on cycle day one which should be in 19 days. That's a pretty short cycle. Meanwhile, we can try on our own. It's funny that it seems like he is giving us permission to try on our own. Like, oh, we never would of thought of that. Though, actually, there's a part of me that doesn't want to try so I can be worry free the rest of the cycle - not wondering/hoping that maybe, just maybe, we got pregnant on our own... and then anxiously waiting for the results. I'd like to be stress free and then have a good next cycle.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

shots in the dark?

I started the shots last night and it wasn't bad at all. Barely noticed them. I gave them to myself while sitting on the couch next to the dog. I guess you could say that I've gotten used to them. It's the gan.arelix that is really irritating but I don't have to start that yet.

I'm curious about the appointment tomorrow. My body seems so out of wack this cycle I can't imagine that bodes well for making a baby. On the other hand, it never worked when things seemed to be very normal so maybe this is the abberation we've been waiting for...

Note to self: remember to ask the doc about the results of the blood test tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Not the news I was hoping for

Before I get to the main topic, what does it mean that I carry around a pair of socks in my purse for those days I have an ultrasound and I am wearing sandals? (socks just make me feel less exposed - as if my bare feet are more precious than my bare you know what).

Anyway, I went to the doc and here's the deal:

He was not happy that my period took 20 some days post ovulation to arrive. He thought it could be a sign of a persistent cyst. Regarding the progesterone, he said that my cycle should have started a day or two after I stopped taking it (which was 11 days ago). So, he took a look with the wand and he didn't see any cysts. But he did see a large follicle (12x13) in one of my ovaries and then a bunch of small ones. This is unusual for cycle day two but he said it is a sign of the m-word. I told him he could use the word and he called it peri-menopause. The lead follicle will mature early and quickly because of something to do with fsh (and I don't know but somehow it is too strong or not strong enough - if anyone knows the scientific part of this, let me know). This may be what caused my 19 day cycle last time (unmedicated). He thought my lining was a bit thick for day two.

So, he didn't want me to wait a month to see if my cycle could get back to somewhat normal. He said that at age 41, it may never be normal so we should proceed. If the lead follicle inhibits the other follicles from growing, we'll just cancel the IUI and he said we could have sex and try on our own (what a guy!).

He wants me to start stimming tonight and then come in on Friday to see how things have progressed. He also ordered a blood test and I had to go to a different lab because it is some test they don't do there at the clinic. I should have written down what the test was because now I have no idea.

I asked him about my options for IVF and he said that this same problem would occur with an IVF cycle and so he didn't think it would have a very good chance. But, he said we could do a cycle where I stim at higher doses and see how many follicles come up and of there are 8 - 10, we can convert to IVF. Even with 8 -10 he doesn't think there is a great chance because so many of the eggs will be bad and we'd have to have the few good one fertilize, implant, etc. The one good thing about IVF is that we would get more information. But I don't know if it is worth $10,000...

Overall, not a great meeting but we are going to keep trying. For now. Shots tonight.

I forgot to mention the one piece of good news - I have lost 6 lbs since they last weighed me in December.

Let It Flow

Finally! Cycle day one arrived yesterday! I am so relieved. I go to the doc today for an u/s and hopefully will start the meds tomorrow evening. We've decided this is our last IUI and then we will go for IVF. I am going to talk to the doc about that today. At our first consultation he said he thought I was a good candidate for IVF based on my age, etc but now that he knows how I respond to the meds, he may have a different idea. In some ways I'm afraid of IVF as it is the last option. If it doesn't work once and maybe twice, at that point, we'll give up on the bio baby idea. I'm open to a donor egg though that seems very complicated (though probably not as complicated as adoption). And then here is the $ to consider. My insurance doesn't cover IVF so this will be out of pocket.

Anyway, first things first, today I am going to have the ultrasound and see how many antral follicles are ready for the next round. I'll try to worry about the rest of that stuff in a month...

Monday, April 23, 2007

I won't keep saying it

I won't keep saying "assuming it starts tomorrow" because apparently, that is never the case. The darn thing has not yet arrived and I'm deliberating between waiting patiently for its arrival and calling the doctor and asking him what the heck he did to my system.

So, this is 22 days post IUI/ovulation. I'm enjoying the stim free week but honestly, I'd like to feel normal and get back on the program already.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Self-Imposed Infertilty

When I read the other blogs, I feel so bad for the young women (and I mean anyone in their 20's or 30's). I didn't really try to get pregnant until I was well into 38. I can't help but feel that my infertility is age related and thus my own damn fault. It's not as if I never heard of the biological clock. I just figured I would be able to conceive since I was a "young" 38. I have always been very healthy and had regular periods. And then there is my cousin-in-law who got pregnant at 42 and my sister in law who got accidentally pregnant at 44. I was only 38 so surely it wasn't too late for me. But it seems it was.

I was finally convinced at 40 (I'm a slow learner) to go to a futility ( I mean fertility - was that a Freudian slip? I hope not) clinic. After all of the tests, where everything seems fine - including nice ovaries according to the doc - the final diagnosis is "old eggs". The doctor says he won't do IVF unless I can come up with at least 10 eggs. During my last injectible/IUI cycle, I could barely come up with 3. They were hoping for 5 or 6 but I seem to get a lead follicle that won't get out of the way which, I am told, is a sign of aging.

Did I miss a 20 year window of fertility? Couldn't it be just a little longer? It does seem like a fair enough window but perhaps there could be exceptions made. I mean, I wasn't just sitting around eating bon bons avoiding starting a family. Well, technically, I was avoiding starting a family but it was because I was busy leading my life. I just assumed the marriage/family deal would fall into place at some point. I went to school, joined the Peace Corps, went to work, went to grad school, went back to work, dated various and sundry men but none that I wanted to marry. Until I met mh and it did fall into place. I knew from the first date that we would be together, that we would marry and start a family. Why did we have to meet so late? That wasn't very good planning on my part.

So here I am, 41 and without children. I don't know that I was fertile when I was younger. I assume that I was, though as my friend points out, I don't know that. But I can't help but feel that this infertility was self-imposed. And I don't know what to do with those feelings.

Still Waiting

I guess I don't know my body as well as I thought, or the meds have really messed with me, because my cycle has not yet started. This is starting to get a bit freaky. It is 21 days past ovulation (and IUI) and it hasn't started yet. It has been a nice break from having to jab my stomach full of medicine but I'm feeling ready to start all that again (mostly so I can get it over with).

Assuming it starts tomorrow, then I'll start stimming on Wednesday. So weird that I got out of a business trip for the 25th because I thought that might be the day I would have another IUI...

Friday, April 20, 2007

A little bit hopeful

It seems like my period is finally going to start. I thought it had gone away for ever - that I had medicated myself right into menopause. But that doesn't seem to be the case. Assuming it arrives tomorrow, as I have a feeling it will, that will be 20 day past ovulation. Not quite textbook. Has anyone else had this situation after a medicated cycle?

I feel a great relief knowing that my body is not totally out of whack. Though I have to admit, this extra week of not having to inject myself and recovering from the BFN has been kinda nice. I'll start stimming again on cd3 - Monday night. The doctor increased my gona.l-f to 300 per night. Hopefully, I will respond better than I did to 225.

Starting to feel a little bit hopeful again. Must be those daily diet pepsis.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Saddest Part

of this whole thing is that even though we are so actively trying to have a baby, we rarely talk about the actual baby that might come. It's like an unwritten rule that we won't talk about it until there's proof that one might be on the way.

The first IUI was on a weekend. After the IUI, we went out to a really nice lunch. Then we went home and rested. That night, we talked at length about the baby. We really thought it would work - that the IUI was going to solve our problem. How could it not? 20 million sperm right there with the perfectly timed ovulated egg? That night I learned that mh has ideas about what kind of stroller/car seat combo he wants and that he wants to make a crib for the baby. We talked about decorating the room for the baby. It was a great night. We were so hopeful.

Well, after, before, or even during IUI #2 and IUI #3, there was no such talk. Just the logistics of the procedure.

As I prepare for IUI #4, frankly, I don't think it will work but I feel I have to try at least one more time. Then, we'll try IVF. I don't want to come out at the end of this and not feel that we tried everything. I don't want to be in old age and say, well, we didn't try IVF because it costs $10,000 or because I was afraid of the shots.

So, we'll try. And at some point, we'll give up. And then we'll move on.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I wish I had started this blog sooner

So I could have written about how when the doctor first suggested injectibles instead of at my first appointment, I declined. Preferring to start with, thinking that injecting myself was too drastic of a thing to even consider. He forgot to mention that even with, I would have to give myself a trigger shot. For some reason, I didn't find that out until the day they told me to go buy the trigger shot and give it to myself that evening. Panic set in. Holy crap - I have to give myself a shot!?!? I think if the doc had told me about the shot at the beginning, I may have reconsidered the whole thing. I'm a bit squeamish about shots, blood, etc.

Luckily, my cousin came over for dinner that night and distracted me until the appointed time. While my husband (from here on it known as mh) and he talked, I stole away to the bathroom and jabbed the needle in me almost immediately worried about being even a minute late. It was the best first shot - I didn't have time to stress about it. It was very empowering. And made me realize that maybe an injectible cycle wouldn't be that hard after all.

And now after an injectible cycle, I think that IVF is doable, too.

Day 17 post ovulation - still no sign of that pesky period. I feel like I am in limbo. Where did it go?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Again with the Waiting

Well, this isn't a problem I've experienced often - I am waiting for my period to start. Usually, it is so bright and early I don't even need a hpt to know that I'm not pregnant. I blame the progesterone suppositories for making me late. If my period is going to be late, it should at least have the decency to be for a good reason - such as I'm pregnant.

I am starting to fear this cycle. The doc says it should start any day now. For the first time I feel that these fertility meds are really screwing with my body. After the two rounds with, I had a 19 day cycle which really freaked me out. Prior to that, my shortest cycle ever had been 26 days. And now, a lengthy cycle. I am so regular normally that for about 4 years I started my period every 4th Thursday. Always on a Thursday. Now I am all over the map.

Other than this delayed period, though, I haven't had many side effects from the drugs. I read all of the warnings and was prepared for anything. The progesterone said it may cause moodiness. I am generally pretty level headed but the second night I used the progesterone, something funny happened:

I woke up at 3 am giggling my ass off. I mean a true giggle fit that lasted about 30 minutes. My husband didn't know what to think - poor guy, at first he thought I was crying. I tried really had to tell him what was so funny but I couldn't get it out because I was laughing so hard. And when I finally did, he didn't laugh near as much as I did. So I blame the drugs. I was laughing because of a funny dream that went like this:

Two of my colleagues and I had to go to Tijuana for work. No one else wanted to go and the others kept warning us that we'll get sick from the food or the water but we ignored them. We were in a food court type place and they both got sick. They started puking for some reason. I gave one of them a brown paper bag (that I happened to have) and she puked in that and then neatly folded up the opening and placed it on a full trash can. Here's what gave me the giggle fit - she then said, "don't open that".

I guess you had to be there.

Yes, Failed IUI #3

My wishful thinking that the home pregnancy test was wrong somehow didn't pan out. The RE's office called today and gave me the results of my blood test - NEGATIVE. I celebrated the bad news by eating a candy bar and drinking a diet pep'si. My vices are tame but they come in handy and can be indulged at the office.

Time to think about the next cycle.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Failed IUI #3?

Welcome to my blog. I have been reading lots of other infertility blogs over the past months and it has been so helpful to me. Thank you all who share your stories. I am starting this blog in the assumption that it is also therapeutic to the blogger. I had hoped my visit to infertility land would be brief and thus I didn't consider starting one until now, the night before my blood work for IUI(with injectibles) #3.

14 days ago, after giving myself 17 shots in my gut, I had IUI #3. There were 3 good follicles so we are hoping there were 3 good eggs though I've been told that at my age, only 3 out of 10 eggs are any good.

My calculations, after 3 IUIs (2 on Clomid), there must have been at least 7 eggs that have met up with the millions my husband's sperm. Surely, we're getting to the point where the odds are stacked with me??? 30% of the eggs are good, 7 eggs have gone out of the gate so I'm figuring that one or maybe two should have been good. The doctor says I only need one good one.

The rest of my plumbing looks good - according to the HSG, the Saline test (what do you call it?), and all of the other various and sundry tests. The problem is, I'm 41. I just turned and when I told the Physicians Assistant at the RE that they needed to change the age at the top of my file, she gave a big sigh and looked at my with sad eyes. 41 is getting up in the world of fertility. This is my great disappointment at meeting my husband so late in life. I don't regret the years of singledom but why didn't we meet 5 years earlier?? We got married just after a year of dating and I was nearly 38 at the time. I didn't worry when I didn't get pregnant right away - we just kept trying to time things better. I finally went to the fertility doctor about 5 months ago and I wish I had gone 2 years ago.

Anyway, my period has not started. No sign of it. For the past two IUIs, I started spotting 12 days after IUI and started my cycle on the 13th day. This is the 14th day. So, I broke down because I was getting excited and manufacturing all sorts of symptoms such as nausea, sore breasts, etc. and took a hpt. BFN. Now, I am spending my energy coming up with reasons that it was a false negative and still hoping for positive tomorrow through the blood test. Isn't the mind a wonderful/horrible thing?

If it is truly a negative, we hope to do one more injectible IUI (I still have the meds) and if that fails, we'll try IVF. We've been putting off IVF even though the doc recommends it because our insurance doesn't cover it. It does cover IUI's. So, here we are. Waiting.