Friday, February 28, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Is there a difference?

This is a post I have been thinking about for a while. Over the years this subject has been brought up many times to me personally and in groups, blogs etc. 

Is there a difference between woman who can get pregnant but have early miscarriages verses those who haven't seen two lines on a test?

This is a great question and I am sure if people want to be honest and admit their own feelings, some may say that what ever circumstance they  have gone through might be the more painful of the two? 

I remember the first positive pregnancy test I saw after about 13 years. I was about six months into this blog. I went into the bathroom that morning and peed on my stick. 

I just looked back to my blog from December of 2011. I sit here now and smile. I said thank you to all my followers and was so over joyed. Did I think that this was going to end in a few days at the time? Honestly, no I didn't. I always though a positive pregnancy test meant you were having a baby. Of course a few days later my levels dropped and that started what has now been six miscarriages. 

Do I think that "at least I can get pregnant"? Of course I thought that originally. I was so happy with the fact that I could in fact get pregnant and just needed to wait for that cycle where everything lined up. 

I can tell you for a fact as someone who has been through this, after a certain point it is very hard to be optimistic that you can indeed "at least get a + pregnancy test". Does this make my pain any worst then a woman who has tried for years and never seen a +? I don't think it does. I think that both are truly painful and I think that they both are part of suffering through infertility.  

It doesn't hurt me talking about this anymore. I have always been very open and honest with my feelings while going through this journey. 

For all of you out there going through this pain. My hope is one day and one day soon you will get your miracle. I hope that all of us see a positive pregnancy test followed by great betas and a beautiful heartbeat, with a growing baby to hold in our arms at the end of the day.

I am so happy I was able to do this blog post today. It is a tough road, but we ALL have the strength to make it through anything that is put in front of us and prevail. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Perfect Timing

Well iui #7 went perfect. This is the second iui that I haven't experienced pain while they tried to get the catheter in. I honestly believe that the last LAP Dr. H did made the canal to be more accessible . While she put the "duckbill" in she could see some blood in my cervix. I thought I was ovulating this morning, but the nurse confirmed it. So today was a perfect timed iui. We ended up with 3 mature follicles and hubby had 27 million with 93% motility. I go in next Friday for my 7DPO progesterone check and get blood work done for post infusion.

I did hear back from Dr. Kim's office yesterday. My levels aren't improving. My first infusion was 25 grams and my body as you know couldn't handle it so they dropped it to 5 grams last infusion. This infusion they will start bringing it back up at 10 grams. I did a spreadsheet on how my NK cells, TH1/Th2 & INF levels are looking:



Blood work Results


Original blood work 9/2013

NK assay 50:1-   18.5       (should be 15 or less)
Th1/Th2- (TNF)  43.8        (should be 30.6 or less)
INF-                      21.6       (should be  20.5 or less)


1st IVIG treatment 25 grams 1/6/2014

NK assay 50:1-   14.2       (should be 15 or less)
Th1/Th2- (TNF)  38.8        (should be 30.6 or less)
INF-                      15.6       (should be  20.5 or less)


2nd IVIG treatment 5 grams 2/7/2014

NK assay 50:1-   25.3       (should be 15 or less)
Th1/Th2- (TNF)  36.7        (should be 30.6 or less)
INF-                      24.5       (should be  20.5 or less)

3rd IVIG treatment 10 grams 2/28/2014

NK assay 50:1-   0             (should be 15 or less)
Th1/Th2- (TNF)  0             (should be 30.6 or less)
INF-                      0            (should be  20.5 or less)

Looks like my second infusion was a total bust. I am hoping this one makes a difference. 

I also looked through my blog to see what we were doing for all my pregnancy cycles and this is what I came up with:


 It seems out of 6 iui's we got pregnant three times.
Out of 2 ivfs we got pregnant once. 
Out of MANY TI cycles we got pregnant once. 

 So Al and I decided we will get in as many IUI cycles as possible before we move on this summer. I think we are even going forward with them if we only have one or two follicles. Iui's seem to be more successful for us. 

 


Sunday, February 23, 2014

IUI #7

Well as of this morning IUI #7 is a go. A few things have changed in this cycle since I last updated here. This mornings u/s at CD9 went very well. I had (1) 17.5, & (2) 15.5 follicles. My lining was at 9.8. As I thought earlier in the week, the one follicle I had at Cd#7 that was 17.5 was a left over cyst and it had gone from 23mm to 17.5 and now it has completely dissolved. The doctor wanted to go ahead and keep me on Follistim hoping the others would get big enough to use for this iui and they did. Plus we had an additional follicle grow and catch up with the other two. They just called with my estrogen levels and it was 800 today. I will do one more day of Follistim then trigger tomorrow night and iui is scheduled for Wednesday morning. 

I know a few of you mentioned the study. As far as it goes, this is something that won't benefit Al and I just because we are on the end of our journey. I do feel good that the information they get from us will help another couple struggling. The study consists of a questionnaire, urine samples from both of us and a few swabs from me during the iui. They are looking for bacteria in both my uterus and in the semen samples or lack of. We are getting $100 off the price of our iui this month. So all and all this turned out to be a pretty good cycle. 

Since we only have until summer before we stop all treatments, I want to have as many iui's as I can get before then. Regardless what, you will have more sperm in the right place with iui verses timed intercourse. So I decided that I need to stop waiting on the "perfect" cycle and just make do with what we have to work with.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Inspirational Infertility Friday

I don't know about you, but I really needed to see this today.

TTC  News:

Not a good update. I have one follicle that is measuring 17.5. They want us to do an iui on Monday if my E2 levels show this is a growing follicle and not one left over from last month (which I think it is). I also have two others 12mm, 11mm. The doctor asked Al and I if we would participate in a study they are doing. It is about bacteria in sperm and uterus. To participate we would have to do the iui on Monday and I can't really justify spending $300 on a procedure for one follicle. I told her we would participate, but I might call them back and then them we can't.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New Ticker and Funny Stuff

I stole this from Attains facebook page and thought it was to funny not to share.

I know that 99% of us can totally get this!

I added my new countdown ticker ------------------------------------->


Monday, February 17, 2014

1,000 RE appointment

I have no idea if today was my 1,000th RE appointment or not, but there was something new about this appointment.

Today I told Dr. H that Al and I are stopping treatments after I run out of the medications I have. Of course he told me that he completely understands after all we have been through and that he still has a few months left to try. Okay doctor if that makes you feel better, but please don't say it for my benefit.

Phew. Telling him felt good. It is making all of this real for me and that is exactly what I needed. 

Okay for today's news. I had three left over cysts from this past cycle. The biggest was 26x27. I will know later today if my E2 levels are low enough to proceed. If not then we take a break on this cycle. Which at this point doesn't bother me.


So yesterday we took both our dogs to the "dog wash". Since it is winter here, I am tired of trying to wash them in my bathtub. As much as I love my pups, I hate having to share a tub with them. So we found a place that is a self service dog wash and decided to try it out. At first the boys were so excited at the fact they were going on a road trip. We pulled up and opened the back, they both ran to the front and would not get out. After some persuading we were able to get them out of the car. Izzy was shaking horribly, he was so scared. I almost felt bad for them, but that was overtaken by the feeling that they needed a nice bath.

Here are a few pictures:




Btw they are both feeling very handsome now :)

Before I leave this post today I would love some advice. I started walking/running and would love some suggestions on good shoes and something to hold my phone when I am exercising.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Changes

There were some changes and final decisions made this weekend. Al and I both decided that we are ready to move on sooner verses later. Our original plan was to keep doing treatment until the end of this year. We are both tired. Very tired. Doing as many treatment cycles as we have tends to really weigh on you. I went through my medications on Friday and I have enough left for about six cycles. We are going to use the rest of the medications and then completely stop all types of treatments. No more RE, no more specialist, no more blood thinners, steroids, vitamins, aspirin, stimulation medications, progesterone, ovulation strips, pregnancy tests, temps ( I think you get the point). I think in my heart I knew that all the changes from our RI wasn't going to make a difference, but I wanted to believe it would because it has happened for so many other people that I know with similar conditions. I think it is so hard to remember that "I" am not everyone else, but just me with my own specific problems and treatment that worked for everyone else is not me. I definitely don't regret any of the treatment we decided to try. If you remember, I said at the beginning of this journey that we wanted to try everything possible to have a baby and I know we did. Hands down and no lingering "what ifs". 

I am excited for our future right now. I went yesterday and did something totally split second. I cut off all my hair. I wanted a change from the person I have been for the past four years. I want to start etching out the new path I will be taking in the next few months. It feels good. It feels right. I am so blessed to have a husband that is content living child free at this point. He did want kids and will always probably miss the fact he didn't have kids, but he is happy with his life. He is happy with me and we have so many new memories to make together. Cierra will be graduating high school next year and off to start her own life. I have so many places I want to see. As a child I always wanted to travel and see so many parts of the world and now it is has become something we can do. 

So without further waiting, here is my new hair so start a new chapter......

 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I remember

I remember our first visit to Dr. H in early 2010. Al and I walked into the clinic knowing that this doctor would have all the answers and we would be pregnant in no time. We never even thought twice about it.

I remember being accepted for the A.M.I.G.O.S study through my clinic which included 4 cycles of injectable iui. I just knew that first iui was going to work and never thought twice about it. On 10DPO I started spotting and remember distinctively knowing it was implantation bleeding. It actually was the start of my period instead.

I remember going through all four of my iuis and getting pregnant twice (chemically). 

I remember not thinking much about a chemical pregnancy. Mainly I remember that something was actually working instead of failing. 


I remember deciding to move forward with ivf because that always works, no questions asked. Al and took a $20,000 loan from his ira account and prepaid for the Attain program which included 2 fresh cycles and 2 frozen cycles. I remember thinking that we would get pregnant on our first fresh cycle and then we could donate all our additional embryos to couples that needed them. Still thinking at this point we were getting our baby soon. Never even thought twice about it. 

I remember our first ivf we had so many eggs retrieved 23, 17 were mature and 15 fertilized. We transferred two and none left to freeze. I remember being disappointed, but still knowing this would work. It didn't. 

I remember our second ivf and this time not so many eggs, only 9 of them. We transferred three and none left to freeze. We get pregnant! I remember hearing that my numbers weren't rising correctly and going to the emergency room for ectopic pregnancy. After that ordeal was over I remember it finally hit me. Holy shit we have spent $20,000 + on something was was suppose to work and it didn't.

I remember going through my two hysteroscopic surgeries and hoping that would fix the problem. Also going through a LAP surgery because it is suppose to work

I remember getting pregnant a few more times and numbers dropping.

I remember my last pregnancy a year to almost the day. We got pregnant with Femara on a timed intercourse cycle. My betas always doubled but were always on the low side. Going in for u/s and finally seeing a yolk sac and a heartbeat. We have finally made it three years later. We have made it. I remember Al having a meeting that morning and I had to go in for my ultrasound alone. Something just didn't feel right. Our little circle didn't have a heartbeat any longer. I remember the anger and sadness and all the bleeding and cramping for weeks and months after that. 

I remember finally making an appointment with a specialist in Chicago. She specializes in immune disorders with reproduction. We saved and finally made it to the appointment, weeks later had our consult to learn I had underlying immune issues. Finally we have our answer! Finally we will be parents! After all of these years we are finally here. 

I remember all of this very vividly and I mostly remember that we are no closer today then the first day we walked in that doctors  office back in 2010. 

I remember every emotion I have been through since this ordeal began. The thing is, I am grateful to have this experience in my life. I want to remember all the trials that tested me in my life and I prevailed. 

Mainly I remember the love and support my husband has given me through all of this. I want to keep remembering all the love we have for each other. 

It doesn't look like a baby was in the books for us, but I still want to look back later in my life and remember how hard we fought to have one.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Huge accomplishment

Well ladies, something really awesome happened to me today. I have been temping and this cycle my temps just weren't showing ovulation had taken place. The doctors office said it was because of my trigger shot last Saturday night. I figured I should be around 3DPO and had to go in to have my post IVIG blood drawn and sent to Chicago. I also asked to have my progesterone tested to see if I did indeed ovulate this cycle.

My progesterone came back at 36 on 3DPO. Not only is this the highest progesterone in a non pregnant cycle, this is my highest progesterone in ANY cycle.

I sit here this afternoon with not a care in the world. Even if I don't get pregnant this cycle, I had a huge break through and obviously my metformin and other medications are starting to do their jobs. Big day indeed.

Can a girl get all giddy from a little P2? She sure can

Sometimes the little things in life are truly bigger than they appear.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pregnancy should be celebrated

I was reading a blog yesterday and I knew I shouldn't have just because I know what a miserable person she is, but of course temptation won over. I am not pregnant, but was deeply offended by this blog. She was basically stating all the "annoying" things that pregnant woman do. Herself being newly pregnant and of course complaining about it from day one, so you can imagine my surprise that the pot was calling the kettle black for the most part. Okay done with the petty crap. In this blog she went on to say how pregnant woman shouldn't brag about being pregnant, that they shouldn't think they are the only ones in the world pregnant, they shouldn't talk about things happening to their body through pregnancy, they shouldn't post u/s pictures or bump pics. In fact she was basically suggesting that woman who are pregnant after infertility should not have feelings and or celebrate. I know that so many of us are in a tough spot going through this, but when you become pregnant, wouldn't you want to celebrate? After all the hardships, tears, anger, hurt, wouldn't you want to post u/s pictures of you miracle? Want to take bump pics of your stomach growing? Share your experience just as you did when you were suffering through infertility?

Seriously I may lose followers over this and that is okay. As a pregnant woman who has went through infertility, you should not be robbed of your pregnancy because some bitter woman might not want to see or hear about it. YOU HAVE EARNED THE RIGHT!

As for this miserable woman who posted that very hurtful and mean spirited blog post. I hope that the day you see your baby born, it will turn your heart from a cold rock and you can be able to feel some sort of happiness in your life. I seriously pitty you.


OFF MY SOAP BOX for the day.

Monday, February 3, 2014

4 Years 2 Days

I looked at my TTC ticker today and noticed that Al and I have been trying to get pregnant for 4 years 2 days. I thought I would do something special with this post today and share some of the great moments with my husband over the past 4 years. I don't really want to sit her and post a long drawn out dwelling post of how our sperm and eggs haven't gotten their shit together yet :)

I married my best friend 4/24/2010



We have traveled to some pretty awesome places:




We have been blessed watching my daughter grow up and spending time with our nieces and nephew:








 Teaching myself to crochet and quilt (see tab above for more quilt pics:









Sunday, February 2, 2014

The little iui that didn't

After a nice dinner out last night with my husband, sister and her family, I came home and decided to take an ovulation test because I had been feeling pains in ovary area. This is what popped up


I am usually super excited to see a positive opk, but wasn't last night. I called the after hours number and my RE called me back within ten minutes. So I explained the situation to him and he then said to go ahead do my trigger and come in at 7:00 am this morning for sperm sample and 9:00 am for iui. After getting off the phone, I sat down with Al and we discussed all of our options. We came to the conclusion to cancel this iui. The timing was bad and with iui, timing is everything. We couldn't justify spending the money on it after the early + test. So after 925 IU of liquid gold (Follistim) we are just going to do some good ole fashion timed intercourse. I could get upset about this cycle, but really what is the point? It won't change the outcome.

A positive about yesterday is, with my new and improved outlook on my reproductive journey, I had two of the yummiest margaritas ever at dinner! I can't believe what a huge difference it makes when you can actually have things that you missed so much for so long. Dinner was fantastic and we had great company.

My sis and my niece on the left, Al, my BIL and other niece on the right.

All and all it has been a good weekend. I also woke up this morning to snow. Our weather said we are suppose to have three snow storms this week. So far they have been on point ( which totally shocks me ).

How was your weekend?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cd11/IVIG Update

Well yesterday went off without a hitch. I had my cd 11 u/s and I ended up with  (1) 18mm, (1) 16mm (1) 15mm, (1) 13mm and my lining is 9.9 mm thick.My E2 was 736. I trigger tonight at 11 and IUI is scheduled for 11 on Monday. My doctor seems to think the 13 will be large enough by then, so we are working with four this month. I also had my second IVIG done yesterday and the dosage was cut from 25 grams over 3 hours to 5 grams over 2 1/2 hours. This time they also added 500ml of a saline solution to help it dilute even more. It worked! I had a mild headache last night, but I feel pretty great today. Hopefully after a few more infusions at this rate, we can start moving the dosage back up to the 25 grams again.

So how do I feel about this cycle? You all know me well enough to know I never put all my eggs in one basket :) I feel that everything looks good and it could potentially be a successful cycle, but within the past four years things have looked good many many times. I am more excited right now about our upcoming anniversary and also our Colorado Trip. I have added all the finishing details to it and even made a excel spreadsheet itinerary.

We added a train ride through the Royal Gorge area and it seems to be a pretty cool ride. I reserved the Vista Dome which is all glass so you get views from every angle, while enjoying a nice lunch. I know that the Royal Gorge Bridge was damaged by the wild fires last year so we won't be able to tour that. Of course with me being afraid of heights, that might not be such a bad thing.

We are also bracing for a winter storm here in Oklahoma. Unlike most of you, we have been super lucky  and not received all of the snow and ice within the past few weeks. So far our weather is staying we will have three major winter storms this week. I don't get to worked up about it, but I also know that my co-workers have already planned for this and it is VERY possible I will be the only one at work this week. Of course that means a netflix week at work.

One last important thing I wanted to mention, two friends of mine that I met through blogging got a BFP within the past two days. One of them hasn't shared it, but you know who you are. I am so beyond happy for the both of you and wishing you a great nine months and then 18+ years!