When Nature Is Not Enough
IVF will hopefully bring us the miracle we are waiting for.
I'm 37 and have been happily married since Sept. 2002. Ivan is truly my companion in life. Our TTC journey has felt like a never ending roller coaster ride. We had an ectopic PG in Dec. 04 and in April 05 found out my IF is due to tubal abnormality. We were told IVF was our only hope. July 05 we did IVF # 1 and it was a chemical PG. We did IVF # 2 in Oct. 05 and it was a BFN. In Jan. 06 we did a combined fresh and frozen embryo transfer and it was a BFN. We were determined not to give up our dream of having a baby. IVF # 4 was in April 06. The cycle worked like a charm and on December 20, 2006 we were blessed with Hannah and Matthew.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Nothing much going on. Ivan had the Sperm DNA Fragmentation Assay on Thursday and we had some immunological testing done. We should get the results within 2 weeks. A part of me wants them to find something wrong but then another part of me doesn't. I guess if there is something wrong then we know what has caused the failed cycles.
I had my nurse protocol phone call on Thursday. The doctor's office is in Vegas so contact is via phone and email. I am set to start BCP when AF arrives which should be around March 11. She wasn't sure yet what meds I will be on because the doctor is waiting for the results of the tests. Once they are in she will send me my calendar.
I'm trying to be optimistic but I know there are no guarantees. We are still discussing how many cycles we will do. The clinic has different plans. There is one where you pay one fee and it includes 2 cycles and another one includes 3 cycles. Of course there is a one cycle fee but I don't feel that confident...disappointment has taken that from me.
I've purposely avoided the emotional aspects of the BFN. I'm keeping busy with getting more info and starting another cycle. I know if I start processing it will just get me down. After the 2nd cycle I got depressed and I don't want to go down that road again.
I've been trying to lose weight (would love to lose the 15 that I've gained since I started). It isn't easy...as we all know. My goal for now is 5 lbs then 10. I know 15 is unrealistic to lose by the time I start stims in April.
Sorry I haven't been checking up on you as much as before. They blocked blogs and boards at work and I don't want to go on when I'm home (if Ivan's home). I hope you are all doing well and hope our journeys will soon come to a happy ending.
| posted by Liz at 9:58 AM | 17 comments
Saturday, February 18, 2006
There is hope after all
We met on Thursday with our RE for the BFN follow-up. We weren't expecting much but were hoping she would be able to shed some light or offer some reassurance. We got neither. She recommended we do another FET with our 2 remaining snow peas. When I asked what they thought the problem was she could not give a direct answer because they don't know what the problem is. She suggested a second opinion and then discussed other options - donor egg, donor sperm, adoption and then stated she didn't think we would need that...so why the heck bring it up. They are a reputable clinic and I was angry that they couldn't give us an answer. I know sometimes it's hard and it seems they are as baffled about it as we are. We left feeling hopeless and scared.
We met yesterday with Dr. S (one of the best in the field). He went over the questionaire (20 pages) and medical records, often stopping and explaining things to us. As I listened I smiled and began to breathe, in a very relaxing way and it was good.
We were shocked and of course very pleased to hear that ours is not a difficult case. Is he being cocky or does he know his stuff?
He believes the main problem and what caused the fertilization problem was the ovarian stimulation protocol. He gave us a lengthy explanation and drew pictures but the jist of it is that the protocol didn't give my body a chance to "recruit" follicles before I began stims. We all begin protocols with either BCP or Lupron and then a few days later begin stims. Many who are on Lupron only decrease the dose when starting stims. The problem with not waiting for AF to begin before starting stims is that our body hasn't recruited follicles and our body is then left with developing follicles solely from the meds. This makes sense...now I understand why I've gone for a baseline u/s on day 3 and they've seen 13-15 follicles but when I've gone for my u/s on day 5 of stims there are only 5-7. We recruit follicles before AF arrives but since they suppress us with Lupron or BCP this isn't the case. Another issue with Lupron is that it causes your pituitary gland to secrete too much LH and it depletes your body of LH which will then result in poor quality eggs. To counteract the depletion of LH we should also be on a GnRH antagonist. What happens most with these protocols is that the embryos are compromized and the end result is failure.
We were shocked to learn this. He explained how clinics use these protocols and overlook the overall impact it will have and he is SO correct. We've all compared protocols and have been on similar ones with only the meds being different. Before choosing my RE I went to 4 different clinics and the protocol was the same.
He recommended that we schedule a sperm DNA integrity assay to rule out problems and assess antibodies.
Besides the change in protocol the other change will be in how they grade the embryos. Their graduated embryo scoring (GES) assesses embryo quality throughout a period of 72 hours. Embryos with a score of 70-100 have a 35% likelihood of implanting.
They will also do an embryo marker expression test (EMET) which measures the genetic marker known as sHLA-G. EMET is performed 46 hours after ER to identify EMET-positive embryos. Their research has found that transfering 1 EMET positive embryo in women under 39 results in better than a 60% chance of a viable pregancy.
After hearing all of this we are confident that it can and will happen. The dr is also very sure of it.
He wanted us to take time to talk and get back to him with our decision but we, mainly Ivan, let him know that we wanted to cycle with him. FORTUNATELY he will be cycling again in NY in April. I spoke with his coordinator last night and I will begin BCP around March 13 and will begin stims April 9.
I haven't felt this hopeful in a very long time....honestly I've never felt so hopeful about IVF. I know that in the end it is all up to a higher power but I know Dr. S will get us there.
| posted by Liz at 12:07 PM | 23 comments
Monday, February 13, 2006
Why,What, How, When, Will ....
Why is this happening?
Why can't I get PG?
Why me? (yeah the self-pity is kicking in)
What is the problem?
How can we fix it?
How do I go on?
When will I be able to get PG?
When will our dreams come true?
When will this end?
Will I ever be a mother?
I have so many questions and unfortunately no answers. I've spent the last couple of days processing how I feel. I can't believe we got another BFN. What the heck is the problem? Maybe I'm never going to have a child of my own. I don't want to give up, at least not yet. I have to hold on to my dream because giving up would hurt too much.
We're trying to be optimistic but it's difficult when we keep getting disappointments. Our quest now is to find out what is the problem. I know there has to be a reason as to why this last cycle didn't work. Nemo and Frosty were GREAT blasts and now they are gone.
I feel empty, broken, and angry. I don't want reassurances I need answers. I had only told a few people that we were cycling and when I told them the news they tried to be supportive but then started with "well there's always adoption". I'm not ready, we're not ready to go down that road so it isn't an option for us.
I can't give up and I won't.
** Thank you so much for your comforting words and support. **
| posted by Liz at 10:11 AM | 19 comments
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
I did a HPT this morning and that's what I got. I did one yesterday and got the same so I wasn't surprised today when there was only one line. I can't believe it....why!!!!!!!!
I'm still waiting for my beta results which probably won't be in until tomorrow. I didn't go to the clinic and went to Quest lab and they did not put it in as a STAT so I may have to wait until tomorrow.
We are obviously very disappointed, angry and puzzled as to what keeps going wrong. I remember during my 1st cycle I would joke about how it wouldn't work until the third try....ha, the joke is on me. Three fresh IVFs and one FET and NO BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!
This FUCKING SUCKS!!!!!!!!!
I am purposely not going into details as to how I'm feeling because I don't want to lose it.
| posted by Liz at 2:48 PM | 34 comments
Monday, February 06, 2006
2 more days
I can't believe in 2 days I will know. I was okay until Saturday. I'm feeling nervous but also hopeful. This might actually work!! I'm usually spotting by now so I'm taking that as a positive sign.
Yesterday all I kept thinking was I might be PG, I'm going to have a baby...OMG. It's scary to be hopeful but it's hard not to be.
My bum is still hurting. We stopped doing the shots on the thighs because it was worse there. If I get a BFP then we will drive to NJ to a pharmacy that has progesterone in olive oil. No pharmacy in NY seems to have it and the other ones I found were the mail order ones and I don't want to keep waiting.
Ivan is feeling very hopeful but since we seem to think alike we talked about Plan B if it's a BFN. I won't go into it now because I want to be hopeful that it will work...dont' want to jinx it. I'm dying to do a HPT but will wait until Wed. morning.
| posted by Liz at 9:15 AM | 23 comments
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Free at Last
Warden Ivan finally released me today. He wanted to extend it a few more days but I pleaded and won my case. Bed rest is not fun. Since I mostly sit at work it was no big deal to come in today and tomorrow.
Well I'm feeling hopeful...YAY!!!! It's hard not to be hopeful once they've done the transfer. Ivan is extremely optimistic and protective of me. The next week will be hard. I don't want to stress about the wait because it will do no good.
The bloating is finally starting to go down. I look about 4 months PG as opposed to 5. My bum is already reacting to the PIO shots. In order to avoid Buffalo Butt (the swelling and redness associated with the PIO shots as referred to by one of the RE's at the clinic) Ivan started giving me the shots on my thigh...doesn't hurt that much. We will alternate thighs and bum in order to decrease the horrible side effects. Hopefully it will work.
Thanks for your support during this stressful cycle, which will hopefully come to a happy ending next week.
| posted by Liz at 11:32 AM | 23 comments