Archive | November 2013

Dreading this Holiday Season

I don’t have much to update on the treatments front.  If it definitely not as eventful as the menopur injectables cycle — which is a good thing.  I’m taking Letrozole 10mg a day for 5 days and then an ultrasound on CD 9.  I usually ovulate a little early with meds so I’m going to guess next Monday will be probably be our IUI day.  And this time I can say for certain, it will be our LAST IUI.

On the IVF clinic front, a lot of you commented about the one year wait in one of the clinics.  And no, I’m not exaggerating.  When I called they said the list is closed for 2013 and 2014.  On their website, it says the wait is 9 months.  I did ask that they leave a note in my records that my doctor recommended me — I think they know each other fairly well. But either way, if they can’t get me in in the next 2-3 months, I don’t think I can wait.

I now have appointments with 3 different clinics.  Two right after I would find out if this cycle worked or not.  I’m not hopeful that this cycle will work but it’s something to do before the IVF journey begins.

To my original post subject: I am dreading this Thanksgiving break.  I have at least 2 dinners (probably more) with DH’s family this weekend.  SIL is now definitely showing since she is due in March.  They were assembling a car seat when I dropped off my dog for our Hawaii trip.  She and I used to gossip about clothing and work but now that she’s pregnant, we really don’t have much to chat about.  She probably is being sensitive about my situation – which I greatly appreciate — but it’s getting harder and harder as her belly grows bigger and bigger.

I am also a little mad — lack of a better word — at my MIL.  Maybe mad isn’t the right word, disappointed?  No, it’s not that either.  The day after SIL told us they were pregnant, DH’s parents invited us for dinner – and started lecturing us.  Well it was a well-intended advice but it didn’t sound like it to me.  She was saying how we were stressing ourselves out and how we shouldn’t try too hard.  Everything on the list of ‘things not to say to a infertile’, she said it.  She even gave us a little anecdote of her ‘we had to try for a whole year before we were pregnant with you’ story.

Since then I have been uneasy around her.  Was it too much to ask for just ‘I’m sorry we’re here for you’ or ‘I’m sorry you had to hear that right before your surgery’?  She knew we were going through issues, she knew her daughter was pregnant and every moment of our conversation is about her new grandson-to-be.

If it were the other way around, wouldn’t she have told me to be sensitive?  My mom had a completely different reaction when I told her.  She said to keep trying, that it’ll happen soon and that she won’t ask me details if it would stress me out.  She said try IVF, try whatever you can, it will happen.  She was optimistic but also realistic that a lot of couples do go through infertility.  (She has lots of friends’ kids go through it).

I can’t talk to DH about any of this.  Whatever it may be, I wouldn’t want him complaining or expressing disappointment towards my parents.  I know they will be supportive once we do have kids.  (or I hope they will be).  But for now, I need to keep my distance to protect myself.  I can’t talk to my SIL about her pregnancy.  I can’t joyfully join a conversation about daycare or how she was able to get away with traveling to her in-laws for Christmas.  I can’t agree with her when she complains about daycare costs — I’ll pay for anything, just give me a damn baby — is what I’ll be thinking in my head.

So yes, I’m dreading this week.  Normally I would have been excited.  Two days off work, the best shopping day of the year, my little poodle baby to cuddle with.  But right now, I need to practice smiling while the entire family discusses the impending boy joining the clan.

Advertisements

A New Cycle Brings New Hope

After 5 failed IUIs and a surgery, I needed change.  I can’t do the same thing over and over again as I mentioned in the last post.  But I also understand that unless we move to IVF, there really isn’t much my doctor currently can do for me that is drastically different.  So I did what they do in sports — when a sports team suck, since you can’t fire ALL the players, you fire the coach.  And that’s exactly what I did today.  I got a new coach.

Switching to Dr. R from Dr. S is actually a step up.  My new coach, Dr. R is the senior partner of the practice.  He has a lot more patients, he is definitely a lot more busy (evidenced today by his 45 minute tardiness to my appointment) but he is a lot more experienced.  And the icing on this cake?  His bedside manners are just superb.

As soon as he came into our room (DH came with me today), he sat down and said:

“I’m so sorry it didn’t work out.  It’s frustrating, I know.”

No, his apology doesn’t mean anything.  It doesn’t change things.  But I was at ease that my doctor cared.  Dr. S wasn’t bad.  He was sympathetic too.  But I never felt it was genuine.  This doctor, I LOVE him.

So here’s our plan:

1. I go on Letrozole-only cycle again.  Since I was responding well to Letrozole, there is no reason for me to do injectables.  It was uncomfortable, and I felt it unnecessary.

2. Dr. R is sending DH to a urologist.  His last SA, he had 60 million but only 12% motility.  Quantity is not bad motility could be better.  We also have not checked morphology.  Hoping the urologist would.  He’s also getting some blood test.  FSH, TSH and some other stuff that I will in the next couple days research.

3. I’m getting more supplements.  They are for inflammation – endometriosis.  Since endo comes back – lap is not a solution for endo – these supplements are supposed to help with implantation.

4. If this cycle does not work, we will very likely move onto IVF.  He believes if we’re not pregnant in 3-4 cycles after a lap, IVF is the right way to go.  He gave us 3 recommendations.  One I had already called — wait listed for 2015 — crazy.  One I don’t like because of distance.  One I have called, waiting for a call back tomorrow.

So here we go!  We have a plan.  One more IUI.  And then we move onto IVF.  Our next appointment is Thursday.  That’s right, Thanksgiving Day.  Something to be thankful for — a dildo cam.  Isn’t the life of an infertile amazing?

Five IUIs And A Surgery

I was hoping this would be it.

I was going to tell my baby the awesome story of his/her first trip to Hawaii.

Your first meal was an awesome spam musubi.

You were probably implanted while I was lying on Waikiki beach, soaking up the sunshine.

But life doesn’t always go as we plan.  Just like I didn’t plan for us to be going through fertility treatments. I didn’t expect to be heartbroken for this long, months after months.

I’m not sure what’s next.  Another IUI?  Not sure.  Would it be injectables again or go back to just Femara?

Or do we just move on forward with IVF? Do we take a break?

Right now, I’m just too exhausted to think.

 

Anxiety

There are no other ways to describe what I feel right now.  I’m just anxious.  I’m over analyzing everything that’s happening with my body.

I was very bloated the last couple days and thought maybe it’s because HCG is building up in my body and it’s OHSS developing.  Nah, I was just… constipated.

My boobs have been so sore since Thursday/Friday last week.  It was way too early to be pregnancy signs.  It’s just the estradiol supplements I’m taking this cycle.  That’s all.

I’m moody, anxious, frustrated, worried and just f#*@#&@# nervous.  It’s just because it’s 11 days post IUI and I’m trying to keep myself from peeing on a stick.

I’ve always caved around day 10-11.  Last month I caved at 9 and for the next 5 days was miserable.  That little hope can get to you that it might turn into two lines in the next couple days.  Maybe AF won’t come.  Maybe implantation was late.  Maybe, Maybe.. So I promised myself I would POAS on the day doc told me to which is Monday.  If it’s BFN, I’m supposed to stop the progesterone.

For now, my plan is to test Sunday morning.  13 DPIUI should be enough.  It’s either a yes or a no.

I don’t know what’s going to be next.  Do I go for another another IUI?  I know this has been quoted by many IFers but it’s so true.

“Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.”

5 IUIs, 4 IUIs with Letrozole and 1 IUI with Letrozole and Menopur.  How many more times do I keep banging my head against the wall before I find my sanity?

I know definitely that 6 IUIs will be my maximum.  3 before laparoscopy and 3 after.  I know I blogged that the 5th would be the last of this year.  So maybe 6th IUI is next year?  Or onto IVF directly? Not sure.

The not knowing is killing me.  And all I have to do is pee on a stick to know.  But then I know 11 dpiui is not going to be a definite answer.  There’s a slim chance it might turn positive and I’m going to go nuts.

Work had piled up since my vacation and I can’t concentrate.  My SIL and her husband has gone to Hawaii today too (same location, same hotel) and left their dog with us.  Her dog is currently barking her head off in my house for the last 3 hours.  I want to go rescue them but if I do now, she won’t learn.  So I’m going to tuck myself away somewhere for the next few hours, finish work and head home.   Bible study today at church and somehow figure out a way tomorrow to keep myself busy not to pee on a stupid stick.

Sorry it’s such a negative post but where else can I be negative?

Between Hope and Reality

In this two week wait, I try to be hopeful but I also am trying to keep my feet on the ground.  The amount of hope equals to the amount of disappointment I get if things do not work out.  So besides making a list of things I’d like to do if I get a BFP (beg Dr.R to also be my OB), I am also making a list of things I’d like to do if it is a Big F#&%@# Negative.

1. Get a new hairdo.  I’ve had long hair for the last couple years and I think it’s time to cut it short.  It’d feel nice to get a new hairdo, a perm and dye my hair.  My hairdresser kindly mentioned I have a lot of grey hair hidden underneath and dyeing would hide that as well as look good for short hair.

2. Go to Napa. I went to napa earlier this year (again after finding out about a BFN…) and I thoroughly enjoyed the trip.  Went to Opus One for a tour and purchased the famous (and expensive) bottle of wine.   Won’t go there again but some other wineries and maybe also get a massage in Calistoga.

3. Go watch Hunger Games. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Hunger Games books.  Loved the first movie, fell in love with Jennifer Lawrence.  I can’t wait to see Catching Fire on screen.

Yes, going to the movies I can do even if I am pregnant.  #1 and #2 I can only do if I’m not.  I know people say it’s safe but I don’t want to risk anything with the chemicals from a perm and dye.  Also of course I can’t drink if it’s a BFP but having a glass (or more) of wine during Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners with friends and family would be my silver lining.

So yes, I’m making another list on top of my things-to-be-thanksful list so that I have something to look forward to if it’s a BFN this time.

On a side note, I called an IVF clinic in town that got really good reviews on Yelp to make a consultation appointment.  I knew they were pretty busy and some reviews said the wait list is a few months.  I could make a reservation now for maybe March or April and we can start IVF IF we weren’t successful by then, right?

Lady on the other line tells me ‘yea, we’re booked through 2013 AND 2014.  Would you like me to put you on the waiting list for 2015?’

‘Women, say what?!’

I wonder what kind of responses she gets from people like me who have been trying for YEARS or more that they need to wait another 14 months!!

After a few seconds of shock, I did give them my contact information as well as answer some good amount of questions about our medical history regarding fertility.  If IUIs do not work out, I definitely will be looking into IVF but heck no, not waiting until 2015.  I’ll have to find some other clinic and get some recommendations.  I searched online but I’d rather get direct recommendations from either real-life friends or my friends on this blogsphere.

Not putting that one my list yet.  For now, I’ll stick to my three: new hairdo, Napa and Jennifer Lawrence.

I’m off to Hawaii in 15 hours.  Aloha!

Let’s Make a List

Today I’m going to make a list of things I’m thankful for and hold on to hope.  The dreaded 2 week wait has officially begun and hope is better than doubting myself, doubting that God will not say yes to my prayers.

1. DH’s numbers are UP!  WAY up from last time, the best it’s ever been.  9M motile swimmers after wash.  Woo hoo!  Did I mention they are also super fast?   It’s like they can’t wait to meet my super charged eggs!

2. Ovulation cramps came full force.  With awesome eggwhite CM, I know that my body was getting ready to ovulate.  And today’s temp at 97.9 means I ovulated.  Probably early in the day since my temp usually rises 2 days after IUIs, 4 days after trigger shots.

3. Bloating and pain has gone down significantly since yesterday.  I read through some blogs and it is one of the side affects women who go through IVF has because of overstimulation.  I got DH to bring me some gatorade (I read it helps) and I don’t know if it really was the gatorade but I feel better.  I still have some pain but it is a lot less than yesterday.

4. IUI done and over with before our Hawaii trip this Friday!  Couple months ago after my lap, I was stressed.  Stressed about all this, living on a schedule that the doctor gives us, not being able to plan anything for ourselves.  We love traveling and this IF process isn’t kind to travelers.  We said the heck with it, let’s plan our vacation and if an IUI or anything falls in those days, we’ll just go natural that cycle.  According to my usual (very loose term of usual) schedule, IUI would have been Thursday, one day before we were to leave.  My body reacted early to all the meds and I got my IUI done CD11 instead of CD14.  I am thankful we can go on our trip worry-free (again, another loose term).

5. Half of my two week wait will be on a warm beach.  This I can’t be more than thankful for.  It completely beats sitting in front of my work desk worrying about little symptoms here and there.  I get to hike, go swim, snorkeling and have some awesome food (minus sushi) and enjoy part of my tww.

So today, I am thankful.  My lower abdomen still hurts as I sit (it’s better when I’m standing but I had to come in to work today).  I have a very busy next two days (today is okay, hence shamelessly writing this at work) and I am off!

I hope all you ladies out there who do come to my blog and read (whoever you are, bless you!) and if you are in the IF journey with me, I wish and pray you all the best.

I believe the strongest and most powerful prayers are the ones where you have nothing to gain from — God will listen to those prayers because he knows you’re praying with a pure heart and intension of just wanting the best for the person you are praying for.  Please let me know if you need prayer — whether you are a believer or not.  Think of it this way, it couldn’t hurt, right?

Hope everyone finds the silver lining to your day and week and hold onto hope.  I’m trying. Really hard.

Lift up my eyes

Tomorrow will be my 5th and possibly the final IUI of the year.  I’m hoping it’ll just be my last IUI, ever but that’s up to my ovaries, eggs, DH’s sperm and of course God.

It’ll be my last IUI (of the year) because I am scared.  This cycle was my first injectables cycle and I am hyperstimulated.  I had cramps since Friday and was at first worried they were ovulation cramps.  Which would have been way too early at CD9.  Scans on Saturday showed I have way too many follicles, not good since this isn’t an IVF egg retrieval but just the old-fashioned (ha!) IUI.

Dr. R (not my primary doctor) gave me lupron as a trigger instead of HCG which is supposed to help with prevent overstimulation (OHSS, Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome).  I looked it up on the trusted Internet and it looks like I just have some mild symptoms but combined with now what I suspect is ovulation cramps, I am in constant discomfort.  I am scared for my ovaries, I am scared for my body as it is getting pumped with hormones and chemicals that it should normally not be subjected to. (Update: 11/3 I have learned that OHSS happens after an HCG trigger which means Dr. R has given me Lupron to prevent OHSS.  But I am still very bloated, have symptoms of OHSS so not sure what all this means…)

I am also scared of needles.  Well, I have always been scared of needles.  I fainted in 6th grade after a blood draw and ever since then I have fainted at almost any needle shot.  It’s called a vasovagal response where you lose consciousness after a shot.  I fainted at the doctor’s office after a shot for food poisoning in 7th grade.  I fainted after one needle at an acupuncturist in college.  I fainted after some shots for my back pain in my early 20s.

This happened until my mid-20s and gradually went away after self realization of this symptom.  Wikipedia does say it happens for young adults.  I got over it but I still am afraid.  HCG shots once a month for the first 4 IUIs was bearable.  Menopur injections everyday for 5 days was not.  It hurts, a lot.  And I was so scared to inject myself with the Lupron I froze for a couple minutes – left hand grabbing on to my belly fat, needle in right hand and just staring at the injection site… I don’t think I can do it again next month.  I might ask to go back to just Letrozole since I produced enough follicles with it anyway.

Another reason why I might take some time off is because my primary doctor is leaving his current practice.  He says it’s because he lives far away from the office and wants somewhere closer.  His possible new office will be 30 minutes from where I live, versus the current 15 minutes.  I am also starting to lose a little faith in him.  Also a little angry he didn’t fully explain the side effects Menopur apparently has gifted me with.

I don’t know if my next move is to consider IVF or keep on with IUI.  If this cycle doesn’t work out, I will push DH to go see a urologist.  Dr. R thinks he should go, Dr. S dismissed the idea.  Another reason why Dr. S moving to another practice might actually just be good timing for a change.

But right now, I’m scared.  So as I learned from church today, I am looking up.  “I lift up my eyes to the mountain – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth”.

I am praying that the God who can make the heaven and the earth can help me start a family.  I am praying that God will give me peace through these trials.  I am praying that my trials have a purpose.  And I pray that I know what that purpose is soon.  Because right now, I am just scared.