Wednesday, October 19, 2016

0 for 7

3 cycles of TI with Clomid, 3 cycles of TI with Femara, and 1 cycle of IUI with Femara, and not even a hint of a positive pregnancy test.

I went on Monday for my baseline ultrasound to start another IUI cycle, and a 2 cm cyst was found on my right ovary. The RE that I spoke to that morning suggested cancelling this cycle because the cyst could interfere with ovulation, and when my RE called me later that afternoon, she agreed.

I am now on Norethindrone for the next three weeks to suppress my body in hopes the cyst will go away. I go back in 21 days for a second baseline ultrasound to see if everything is good to move forward.

Since we're only wanting to do 2 more IUIs, I asked the RE that was present on Monday if there is anything that we can do during these next two cycles to increase our chances of success. He suggested a laparoscopy to check for endo, including injectible medications, or doing a combination of Femara and Clomid.

As of this moment, I'm leaning against the laparoscopy. If endo is found, and our only chances of success is IVF, then we're done with TTC. We're just not willing to have left over embryos when we're only wanting one more child. But, on the flip side, is it worth throwing money at multiple IUIs when they're never going to work?

I've asked a few friends if they've ever heard of doing Clomid and Femara together, and no one has, so I'm going to ask for more clarification from my RE at my next appointment. Currently, I'm leaning towards injections, but that all depends on cost, especially with this IUI falling right before the holidays.

I'm simultaneously wanting to be pregnant, and wanting the TTC to stop. I was so happy when we weren't actively trying to conceive, but now my days are filled with pills, appointments, and disappointment, and it's really weighing on me. It broke my heart when I had to tell my husband that the IUI didn't work, and he said, "I really had hope this time." I'm ready to move on and focus on myself and my family, whatever size that may be.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

9 Chances

I've been meaning to write this post for a long time, but I can't seem to get my thoughts in order so that things make any sense.

We're currently on our third and final round of Femara. If this cycle doesn't work, we have 3 rounds of IUI, and then we're done.

It's scary to think that we could go through all of these treatments and still not come home with a baby at the end. When we were trying for baby #1, we would have gone to the ends of the earth to get pregnant, but now that we have K, it's hard to justify all of the money and time spent on TTC.

If I'm honest, I've struggled more with this round of TTC than I did our first. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we've put a limit on what we're willing to do, and with each month that is unsuccessful, it's one less chance we have.

3 rounds of Clomid
3 rounds of Femara
3 IUIs

9 chances to become pregnant, carry a healthy baby to term, and deliver it safely. I feel like the odds are not in our favor, and it's scary. I struggle with mourning every month that is unsuccessful, while wanting the months to go by faster so that we know what our future holds.

I'm also struggling with the idea of having another child. There are days that I feel like I'm failing K in every way possible and can't imagine having another to take care of. Then there are days that I see K interact with another child and think he would make the best big brother. There are also days that I look at my small family of 3 and feel complete. We're at a really good place with K right now, and I'm starting to get a sense of "me" again. Do I want to add a newborn to the mix and fall back into that haze of sleepless nights and diaper changes?

I think emotionally, I'm ready to be done with the logistics of making a baby. But, I know that if we don't go through all of our options, I will always ask the "what-ifs." No matter what happens, I'm ready for TTC and infertility to be behind us.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

All I Ever Seem To Write Are Updates

Not a lot has happened since my last post.

My April/May cycle started at a point where we could have tried, but we had a fun, baby-free weekend planned for Memorial Day where I knew there would be drinking, so we decided to hold off one more month so I could partake in all the festivities.

My May/June cycle started over the weekend, right before I was going to leave for a work related trip to Miami. I assumed that my RE had sent in my Femara prescription back in April when I had my appointment, but found out she had not. I frantically emailed her to see if she could quickly send it in, but I didn't get a response until Monday afternoon. Unfortunately I was already in Miami with no car access (unless I wanted to pay for a taxi,) so this cycle became an unexpected med-free cycle.

I'm currently doing OPKs to see if I'm going to ovulate on my own, but I don't have my hopes up. We're planning on doing our first of three Femara cycles in July. If those don't work out, then we'll move to IUIs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"Next Steps" RE Appointment Update

Basically the appointment boiled down to us doing 3 months of Femara with timed intercourse.

We discussed moving onto IUIs, and my RE said that since we don't seem to have any problems with K's side of things, an IUI doesn't really increase our chances of conceiving. She said that if we are really antsy to conceive, she would be ok moving onto an IUI right now, but unfortunately K isn't able to take the time off work, and we don't currently have the funds. She agreed to three months of Femara to see if the different medication would force my body into working, but doesn't feel comfortable doing more than 6 months of induced ovulation with timed intercourse, (3 months of Clomid followed by 3 months of Femara.) She said that if these next three months don't work, then the next step would be IUI.

I asked about a trigger shot, and she said that she doesn't feel that a trigger shot would help our chances. She feels that our bodies know the right time to ovulate better than medicine does, so as long as I get an LH surge on OPKs, a trigger shot isn't necessary.

She said that it might be a good idea to get frequent monitoring with my first cycle of Femara to see how many eggs I'm producing, but that is difficult to do when I have to take an entire day off work to drive to, and from, my RE. I'm going to call my OB's office and see if they're willing to help out with some remote monitoring, but I'm not getting my hopes up because they're a very busy office.

When I got home tonight, I started bleeding. I'm only 9 days past ovulation, so I'm unsure if it's mid-cycle spotting, or if I'm starting my period super early (this was an unmedicated cycle.) I've never had bleeding at this point of my cycle, so I have nothing to compare it to. If I have started my period, I'm going to email my RE to see if a short luteal phase during an unmedicated cycle is something she's worried about.

As of right now, I'm unsure when our first Femara cycle will be. I'm traveling almost every weekend in May, and K isn't with me for most of it, so trying to time intercourse will be difficult if I ovulate while we're apart. My RE did send in a prescription for a month of birth control so that if we decide to skip May, I can continue to have a regular cycle and not have to worry about when my period will arrive.

I feel defeated that money and lack of free time is what is potentially stopping us from growing our family. If these next three cycles with Femara don't work out, K is going to have to have a serious sit down conversation with his boss about having to take at least one day a month off work. I'm also confused about if there's a point in doing IUI if it won't increase our chances of conceiving. Has anyone's RE said something similar? My RE also said that it won't increase our chances of multiples, which I'm not sure is accurate, either. Looking back at my records, K's last semen analysis was 3 years ago (to the very month!) so I'm not sure if we need to do another one, even though his numbers were good last time.

I'll do a short update come May about if we've decided to do a medicated cycle or not. Thank you as always for the support!


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Update

I'm currently in the TWW for my third cycle of Clomid, which obviously means the first two didn't work. Thankfully ovulation for these past two cycles haven't been as painful as the first, but I still feel a lot of twinges and pains in my ovary area. This cycle, my right ovary felt so large that it was difficult for me to walk!

If this cycle doesn't work out (which I'm having serious doubts that it will,) we have an appointment with my RE in late April to talk about next steps. I'm not sure if we'll be moving to Clomid with a trigger shot, or directly to an IUI, but either path is uncharted territory to me. I don't think we'll start either process until June because we're going on a mini vacation with a bunch of college friends in May and I don't want to be in the TWW during that time.

To be completely honest, when K was born, I "planned" (like you can ever plan anything with infertility,) to give him a sibling around the time he turned two. He turns two in August, and I'm actually glad that my plan didn't work out. K is discovering his independence and has been difficult some days (he has learned this high pitched squeal that I swear sends dogs running.) I can't imagine trying to parent him while being huge and on the hormonal roller coaster that is pregnancy. I think that giving him a sibling closer to age three will be better for all involved. At least that's what I'm telling myself when I see negative pregnancy tests.

If this cycle doesn't work out, I probably won't update again until our appointment in April. Thank you to those who continue to read and support me, it still means the world to me. <3

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Surgery Results and TTC Update

Well, I had good intentions to update right after my surgery, but that obviously didn't happen.

Overall, surgery went well. It was scheduled for early in the morning, so my husband, son and I drove the night before and stayed in a hotel so we were able to get a fair amount of sleep. In the morning, we woke up, got dressed, got some breakfast for my husband and son that I was very jealous about, and drove to the hospital. I went to the check in area where I got my hospital bracelets, then was sent to the part of the hospital where the surgery was going to be held.

We waited in the waiting room for half an hour or so until my name was called. I was led back to a hallway of small rooms closed off with curtains. I was instructed to undress, put on a hospital robe, and met my nurse for the day, Ron. Ron was cracking jokes right and left, which relaxed my nerves a lot. I got my IV, signed a bunch of paperwork, and waited for my time in the OR.

At this point, my husband and son were able to come back and visit with me. My RE stopped by to say hello, and was able to meet my son for the first time which was very special. The night before, I had a nightmare where I woke up from surgery with my RE telling me things were worse than expected, so she had to preform a hysterectomy. I relayed my worry to my RE, and she reassured me that she would never make such a big decision without my consent.

Soon after, the anesthesiologist stopped by and said we were ready to roll. I gave my husband and son a kiss goodbye, and the anesthesiologist gave me some medicine to relax me. The next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room. I wasn't groggy at all, but I had to pee so bad! I asked my nurse if I could get up to use the restroom, and she said I could either use a bedpan there, or I had to wait until I was wheeled back to my original room to get up and pee. Thankfully I was wheeled back to my room a few minutes later, and was able to get up easily and use the restroom.

I changed back into my own clothes and waited for my husband to come back. Once he was back with me, my RE stopped by and said that the surgery had gone well and she would call me the next day with the results. We were quickly sent on our way, and I was able to walk to the car with very little pain.

Unfortunately, my surgery fell on the Thursday before we were supposed to drive across the country for my husband's best friend's graduation. Right after the surgery, we hopped in the car and drove 10 hours to spend the night with my in laws. A few hours into the drive, I started to get feel some pain, like intense period cramps. By the time we had reached my in law's house, I was in a pretty intense amount of pain, probably from sitting in one position for so many hours. My RE had called in a prescription for 600 mg ibuprofen and a narcotic to my pharmacy at home, but we weren't able to stop by and get it before leaving for our trip. Thankfully my in laws had some high dose pain pills that took the edge off.

The rest of the weekend, I wasn't really in pain, but I was very aware of my uterus area. I did get a few sharp stabbings in my c-section scar when I would bend down to pick up my son, so I had my husband do a lot of the lifting that weekend. A week after the surgery, I was 100% back to normal.

The day after surgery, my RE called to say she had removed a band of scar tissue that was most likely from my c-section, but she sent it off to pathology just in case (as far as I know, it was benign.) I asked her about the trouble she had when she tried to insert the catheter during the SIS, and she said that there is also a band of scar tissue on the outside of my uterus, causing it to deviate. We talked about the game plan for the next few cycles, and agreed to do 3 cycles of Clomid.

I am currently in the TWW for my first cycle of Clomid. I had a very painful ovulation, so painful, that I was seriously worried that I had a burst ovarian cyst from the amount of pain I was feeling. I don't remember having those pains from previous Clomid cycles, so hopefully this means we got a good egg! I've been so busy with work and chasing a toddler that most of the time I forget we're actively TTC again, which is so different from when we were trying to conceive our son, and I was obsessed with every little twinge. I am hopeful that this cycle will work, but I won't be heartbroken if it doesn't. I'll update with the results of this cycle within the next week or so.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

HSG Follow Up Appointment

I had my HSG follow up appointment on November 18. My RE started by saying that she had reviewed my HSG video and it looks like I had good filling and spillage from my left tube, and good filling, but undetermined spillage from my right. Any dye that spilled out of my right tube flowed behind my uterus, so it was difficult to see if the dye that we saw was from my left, or right tube.

She also noted that there was a mass in my uterus, that could be scar tissue from my c-section, or a polyp. She suggested doing an SIS to see if they could better figure out what, and where, the mass was. Thankfully, she was able to take time out of her schedule to do the SIS right away, which saved me from another 3 hour drive.

The plan was to insert a catheter into the uterus, fill the uterus with saline, and use an ultrasound probe to see the shape of the uterine cavity and whatever mass is in there. My RE had a student with her, so I gave the go ahead for the student to try to insert the catheter first. After a few unsuccessful and painful minutes, my RE decided to take over. There was lots of moving, scooting, repositioning and pain, but no matter how I laid, or how my RE tried to maneuver the catheter, she couldn't get it past my cervix.

She said she wasn't 100% sure why there seemed to be a blockage, but suggested we do surgery to explore what was blocking my cervix, and to see what the mass in my uterus is.  My hysteroscopy is scheduled for December 10, at an unknown time. I will be put under for the procedure so my RE can "maneuver things more without causing pain."

I won't know the time of my surgery until the day before, so I've been in another 2ish week wait (funny how infertility revolves around those!) Thankfully the ladies in a Facebook group have been able to calm my fears and answer any questions I have. I'll update after the procedure to tell you what they found!