Silver Linings

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”

After receiving the news that my pregnancy was a chemical one that would end just as quickly as it started, I went in on Monday to meet with my doctor.

I learned that 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. He also told me that of my 10 frozen embryos, 9 were excellent and one was good. I have 8 excellent frozen embryos remaining. He’s confident that I will get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy. He also said he  wouldn’t change a thing with the medication protocol or the procedure, I just happened to fall in that unfortunate 20% group and there wasn’t anything that could have been done to prevent that from happening. He got me back on birth control and scheduled follow up blood work for the following week.

A few days later, the bleeding and cramping started, and so did many more tears. 

Being an optimist, I knew the only way forward for me would be find the silver linings in my situation.

  1. I now know that I CAN get pregnant
  2. I have plenty of excellent eggs ready to go
  3. My “light duty” is over.
  4. I got advance warning that I’d have a miscarriage. Many women aren’t that fortunate. 
  5. There are so many kind and supportive strangers out their in IVF online groups. 
  6. I have an incredibly supportive wife.
  7. We have a healthy, happy baby.
  8. I have an opportunity to hit the pause button and get more balanced.

IVF had taken over my life. Even this blog, which was designed to be about both motherhood and IVF became solely about IVF. 

Where do I go from here?

I’ve decided to try again with another FET (frozen embryo transfer). As for timeline, I plan to schedule it for the first week in January.  That way, I can focus 100% on enjoying the holidays and being fully present. 

After my last tranfer, I went from bed to couch during those first 3 days; then light duty (which I planned to stay on until the first ultrasound at around 6 weeks). With this delay, I plan on focusing more on fitness, maybe even signing up for a 10k run, and finally trying out strength training. I’m a little thin, so I would definitely benefit from gaining  some lean muscle.

I experienced a pregnancy loss. It was physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and financially painful; but if it’s one thing IVF has taught me, it’s that I’m pretty strong.

I’m choosing faith over fear, I WILL have a healthy pregnancy. And in the meantime, I’m looking forward to enjoying this short break. 

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Transfer Day

It’s been just over a week since transfer day.

Leading up to the procedure I was feeling pretty anxious. While IVF is a significantly different experience from an IUI, I’ve had 6 failed IUIs. Six cycles. Six two-week waits…that roller coaster of emotions, hope and disappointment over and over again takes a toll. I was hopeful, but I’d been hopeful so many times before.

My strategy going into the week was to focus on all the alternative things I could do to prepare. I had nailed the science part: I took the meds as prescribed, never missed a monitoring appointment, did absolutely everything the doctor/nurses told me to do. I had 100% confidence in the team.  So it was time for me to focus on  the other stuff.  Continue reading

PIO

My frozen embryo cycle called for a new medication protocol. I’d take an estrogen pill (Estradiol) 3 times a day and I’d also wear a small patch on my stomach (Minivelle) that was to be changed every 3 days…it all seemed so simple and straight forward. Then the nurse casually mentioned to me… “I just called in your progesterone prescription, you’ll most likely start that one on Sunday”

“Progesterone?” I asked, “Is that another pill?” Little did I know… Continue reading

Post Retrieval – New Plan of Action

Once I made it through the retrieval I was feeling pretty great! I’d survived “stimming” (those daily hormone injections designed to produce multiple follicles), and I’d survived the actual retrieval, which involved almost being stuck in a hurricane. In my mind, the worst was most definitely behind me.

My doctor informed me that my ovaries were over stimulated so instead of doing a “fresh” transfer, which I was expecting, he was now recommending an FET (frozen embryo transfer). Had we gone the fresh transfer route, my transfer would have been a few days after the retrieval; a frozen transfer meant the timeline was being pushed back.  Continue reading

Hurricane Harvey/ Retrieval Day

On Thursday, while working from home, I got an instant message from one of my coworkers: “did you know a hurricane’s coming?!?! It’s supposed to hit Corpus Cristi then head in our direction…THIS WEEKEND! WTF!”  I just sat there staring at the screen for a few minutes.

After the news sank in, I sprang into action. I started typing frantically, weather.com, national weather service, CNN, then all the local stations KHOU, KPRC, Fox26… and there it was: a tropical storm named Harvey was headed straight for us, and it was expected to make landfall on Friday night, it was also gaining strength and expected to turn into a hurricane by the weekend.

Continue reading

Day 9

We’re getting the hang of this. I still feel like a human pin cushion, but it is getting easier. My strategy is: do it quickly. Menapur burns going in so my original plan was to take it very slowly…last night I switched things up and I was all about speed. I had V push it in quickly while I grimaced.

Much better, much easier. It hurt, but it was over sooner.

Today I go in for another routine ultrasound and blood work to find out how my follies are growing. I feel like the finish line is right around the corner. Then I’ll need to conjure up all the faith, hope and strength I have in me to believe, expect, and plan for success.

IVF has definitely taught me that I am stronger than I thought I was. It’s also taught me to surrender, trust the process, and be patient with my body.

Current symptoms: I’m feeling bloated, fatigued, muscle aches…

IVF – Week 1 Update

My first week of IVF has been quite a journey. From understanding the medications and how they’re administered, to adjusting to my body feeling different, to the many clinic appointments. IVF is not only expensive financially, but the emotions involved are significant.
Never have a felt a stronger mix of hope and fear. I hope this works. I visualize that positive pregnancy test every day. But then the fear creeps in. What if it doesn’t work? What if all the money, and injections, and office visits were all in vain?

This IVF process is my last chance to be a biological mother and it freaks me out. A dream I’ve had my entire life all rests on how my body responds over the next few days. Yes I’m hopeful and optimistic…but beneath it all is a panic – I want this so badly and I don’t know how to handle this not working.

What I’ve learned so far is to take this process one step at a time. Today I need to take 3 medications. Fortunately two of them (Gonal F and Menopur) can be mixed so I only need two shots. The 3rd medication, Cetrotide, is practically painlesss going in, but it burns and stings for about 30mins after, but it doesn’t hurt going in – so I count that as a win.

Tomorrow I’ll deal with tomorrow.

Today, I’ll take things as they come, and I’ll do my best to focus on the positive, count the wins, and celebrate how fortunate I am to have this opportunity.

My Protocol:

It was just a week ago the I had my first IVF injection. My protocol called for two medications: Menopur and Gonal F. Fortunately, they can be mixed so I only have to take one shot. Then a few days later, my protocol changed to an increased dosage of Gonal F and the introduction of another injection Cebtrotide.

The Meds: Menopur stings going in, making it really unpleasant. The Centritide doesn’t hurt going in, but once it’s done, the skin burns and is really irritated for around 30 minutes.

Monitoring: every other day I have to go in for monitoring (which includes blood work and a vaginal ultrasound).