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.
Friday, March 31, 2006
There's nothing like a huge box of meds to kick you in your butt and give you a boost. The meds arrived yesterday. I begin Dexamethosone and Lupron on Monday. Once I start the injections I know I will start feeling not hopeful but more positive...you know what I mean. I keep reminding myself that this is a different doctor and a different protocol and it might actually work. Oh, please let it work.
I've had an "okay" couple of days. Ivan surprised me on Wednesday with an acupressure session....it felt so good. My arthritis has been acting up and my right arm has been hurting a lot so he thought it might help. He's annoyed that I won't get it checked but as I keep telling him I don't want to see any more doctors or take any more drugs.
As usual Ivan is supportive and optimistic about this working and of course gets annoyed when I start with the "what if's". We decided we will do 2 cycles although he's hopeful that it will work the first time. I know better then to be that optimistic. I wish I could feel the way I did when we met with Dr. S. I left feeling so optimistic, full of energy and hopeful. Now it's all about self-preservation and keeping my guards up. Hopefully as I move along in the cycle hope will find it's way to me.
Thank you for your encouraging words on my last post. Sometimes I have to hit rock bottom before I can get up and move forward. I will do my best to be positive about this cycle and not stress about the little things. I will try some relaxation techniques, including the IVF meditation CD.
I'm still in a funky mood and don't want to do much. I was considering ending the blog because I'm not in a mood to write. I'm tired of complaining about the same thing. I decided I will wait and hopefully have a happy ending.
So the fun begins....I'm preparing for what I know will be a very bumpy ride.
| posted by Liz at 10:39 AM | 29 comments
Monday, March 27, 2006
Crawling out of a funk
As I wait to start IVF #4 I realize that I am not in a place that I want to be. I am in a funk and it's taking a big effort just to do every day things. I am emotionally and physically drained...wiped out!
Well things are back to normal and by that I mean everything is getting to me. I guess I could pretend for just so long. I'm trying my best to be positive but it truly is difficult. Sometimes it's hard to just find the strength to keep going on with this.
I'm still a recluse.... I avoid everyone. I don't want to deal with my friends and hear what's going on with them. I don't want to be supportive when I'm angry with their lack of support. I'm tired of explaining and trying to rationalize why they don't get it. The truth is they don't and they never will. Lucky them they will never go through what I have been through. They won't know the pain of repeated disappointments. The loss, anger and sadness that you feel. They won't feel broken or empty.
This is my life. This is how I feel all the time - down and angry. There is no glimmer of hope that all will work out. I'm eager to start the cycle and just end all of this. At least I can say I tried.
I hate that I can't be positive. I hate that disappointment has robbed me of hope. I'm happy we have a new RE. I know he is one of the best and that he thinks ours is an easy case but it still doesn't make me feel better...no optimism. I'm preparing for failure before I begin.
I've tried to talk to Ivan but he doesn't get it...the eternal optimist. I wish I could believe that all will be well. IF truly sucks!!!
| posted by Liz at 11:18 AM | 22 comments
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
The IVF Plunge!
A friend sent this to me.
The IVF Plunge!!
The latest.... The greatest.... Come ride the spectacular new roller coaster, now open at an IVF clinic near you! Take...
THE IVF PLUNGE!
Thrills! Chills! Stabs! Jabs! Laughs! Screams!
What makes THE IVF PLUNGE so unique is that it is actually several rides in one! But not all riders will experience all the rides - automatic track switchers randomly select cars to go on any particular sequence. In addition, selection of a clinic also results in different protocols, behavior, treatment, cost and support. So THE IVF PLUNGE is never the same ride twice!
For more details, read on....
Some riders will experience thrills on the INSURANCE ride! Swinging you around, upside down and inside out, a brass ring of coverage will be tantalizingly close, only to be snatched away at the last minute! For those riders who manage to snatch the brass ring, a FREE RIDE on THE IVF PLUNGE is available! (provided they meet certain restrictions.) Riders who don't grab the brass ring get a consolation prize - a ride on the CASH attraction! Whether maxing out the credit cards, taking a second loan on the house, or sponging off of future grandparents, this is a ride that you will remember for the rest of your life as you struggle to pay off the debt!!
A new attraction for PCO sufferers has recently been added - called DAY ONE. This ride starts with the well-known classic DAY ONE - a big draw in the INFERTILITY group of attractions - and ratchets the anticipation UP!!! Will YOU meet the cut-off date??? Then of course there is the Day 3 FSH - do YOUR ovaries have what it takes?
The first part of the main ride is familiar to those who've been to the INFERTILITY attractions before - OPKs! But the intensity is GREATER - the highs are higher and the lows are lower and the kits are even HARDER to read!! But it all pays off as you move into....
MEDICATIONS! This is the most intense part of THE IVF PLUNGE, described by visitors as the ride from hell!! Whether your shots are subcutaneous or intramuscular, you won't want to miss the artificial menopause brought on by lupron, and don't forget THE HORRORMONES! You think you've done injectibles before? You think you're a pro? THINK AGAIN!! With HIGHER levels of injectibles, and DAILY monitoring, this is where the nightmare becomes reality! Then who can forget the terror of HYPERSTIMULATION, one of those random side trips! Another random side trip, POOR RESPONSE, has a chance of ending your ride early!!! Just another sense of anticipation! Can YOU make it through this part of the ride?
If so, it's on to RETRIEVAL AND TRANSFER. This ride is unique in that NO TWO PEOPLE EXPERIENCE THE SAME THING!! Some will sail through with arms raised, careening into the next sequence. Others will be shunted off due to poor egg or sperm quality, incomplete fertilization, or fragmented embryos! Your heart will be in your mouth as you await the phone call telling you how many embryos made it! And will you be sick with anticipation, or is that a reaction to the anesthesia???
Then the TWO WEEKS FROM HELL. Words cannot describe this phenomenon! With daily intramuscular shots of progesterone in oil, this is probably the most painful part of the ride! The highs and lows are even more intense, as you are surrounded by well-meaning but offensive friends and relatives saying "Well?" and otherwise telling you what you SHOULD have done. NOTHING you have experienced in the two week wait of prior cycles will prepare you for this!! You will laugh, cry, scream - all at the same time! You will feel suspended in time as you wait for.....
THE TEST. The most anticipated part of the ride!!! Some random number (depending on clinic stats) will PASS!! Those lucky riders will go on to the PREGNANCY ride, a swirling maelstrom of emotions, changes, and risks! Those who receive a negative beta-HCG are not left out though. They will descend a huge drop of what will seem like ten miles in about 10 seconds!! The misery and tears will be just the beginning, as pregnant women and women with babies and adorable toddlers will be EVERYWHERE! But never fear, because for only thousands of dollars you can once again -
Take THE IVF PLUNGE!!!
| posted by Liz at 8:56 AM | 18 comments
Friday, March 17, 2006
AF finally arrived on Tuesday and yesterday I started BCP. I received my calendar...boy will I be on lots of meds.
For those that had wanted to know the protocol here it is. SIRM refers to it as the Agonist/Antagonist Conversion Protocol.
BCP 3/16 - 4/7
Lupron 10 units from 4/3 - 4/7; 5 units 4/8 - 4/10
Dexamethosone (corticosteroid) starts on 4/3 until I am told to stop. If I'm PG I continue.
4/11 - Baseline u/s and E2
Ganirelex 125 mcg - 4/11 - stop when I trigger
Follistim 450 units - 4/14 - 4/16; 300 units 4/17 - until I trigger
Luveris 1 vial - 4/17 - until I trigger
At the onset of menstruation that follows the initiation of GnRH agonist (Lupron) I begin low dose antagon (Ganirelex). Luveris (recombinant LH) is administered 4-6 days following initiation of gonadotropin stimulation (Follistim).
** Ganirelix is administered after the lupron to maintain the inhibition of ovulation while minimizing the extra suppression that can be seen with prolonged lupron. They dose the ganirelix differently as well, and give it at 1/2 the usual dose, and give it continuously through the stimulation. The lower dose also helps to maximize on stimulation while assuring the prevention of premature ovulation. When Luveris is started 4-6 days after stimulation, it is done to add LH to the cycle after initial stimulation with FSH alone, similar to what is occuring in natural cycles. Some LH is necessary for maximal stimulation, but they want to avoid too much LH, which can be detrimental. Luveris is a new form of pure LH- either that or Repronex is used during stimulation to add the LH.
I will also be on:
| posted by Liz at 7:22 PM | 21 comments
Sunday, March 12, 2006
New Cycle, New Look
It seems each time I start a cycle I get a new look. I wish it were that easy to change things in life. We could just edit the template and of course we'd have our babies. Why can't it be that easy...one day we'll know.
I'm waiting for AF to arrive so I can start BCP. In order to start the cycle in April I am supposed to start BCP on the 13th--tomorrow. I always have a 28 day cycle which made it perfect because AF would get here on Saturday and CD 3 would be the 13th. As we've all experienced when we want AF to be here it doesn't get here. So I'm waiting for FREAKEN AF...what a witch, she's late!!!
We got the results from the SDIA - high fertility. We are very pleased there were no fragmentation problems. The results from the other tests are still pending. Hopefully they will be in tomorrow when I call.
Tomorrow I will also receive my calendar. I'm so anxious to know exactly when things are scheduled and what meds I will be on.
No AF yet. I emailed Dr. S and I have until the 17th to start BCP.
| posted by Liz at 7:57 PM | 18 comments
Saturday, March 04, 2006
I'm finally starting to let it out. I purposely surpressed my feelings after the BFN. I devoted my time on finding out what the problem was and what we could do about it. It was easier than dealing with the sadness and anger.
The last couple of days I've been feeling down and irritable. I bicker at Ivan and I'm short tempered. Last night I started telling him my fears that it wouldn't work. I tried explaining that although we have a great RE it still isn't a "sure thing". He tried to explain how the dr was very positive about it working and how he even said ours was an easy case. I responded with "you're not the one pumping hormones into yourself....you just don't get it". I said other things and he interpreted it as if I was saying he hasn't been supportive. I took a "time out" to relax and we were then able to talk again. It was a positive talk and we both felt better afterwards. I'm still riddled with fear and uncertainty but it comes with the territory.
I've been thinking about all that has happened. I went to church on Friday for the stations of the cross and there was something the priest said during mass that made me wonder when will I accept things. Maybe this is it, maybe I'm not going to have a baby. How many times am I going to do IVF? So much for my 3 attempts, will I do it another 3, 6, hey why not go for 10.
As usual hope is starting to dwindle. I'm scared that this won't work and I may have to face the reality of not having my own children. That is such a scary and sad thought....no children....please don't let it be.
Friends aren't helping much. I have started isolating myself again in order to preserve my sanity. If someone mentions adoption I will strangle them. Why can't they, especially those with children, understand that adoption doesn't make it easier and it won't make the pain and disappointment easier to deal with. Honestly, I don't know if that is something I want to do.
Ivan is very hopeful while I'm already thinking about when the next cycle will be...so much for positive thoughts. His optimism is at times unbearable and of course I respond with sarcasm and anger.
| posted by Liz at 12:34 PM | 21 comments