Archive for September, 2006

Day 8 – telling the first few people

It is funny how it is – here I am on the internet broadcasting to the whole world that I am about to start an IVF cycle for all I care, yet telling the people in my life is a HUGE step. Once you say it, you can’t take it back, and you are constantly flipping over whether they really *need* to know or whether this is something to just keep strictly betwen DH and you.

On one hand, there’s nothing like support of those beside you. Lets face it, IVF thoughts will probably consume you 24-7 once the fun starts. And yet, there’s also nothing like the nightmare of having too many people on the bandwagon. The LAST thing I want is constant calls and feeling like I don’t have any privacy to decide when and what to share.

I told a friend of mine who has been through it. She was easy. She knows exactly what this is all about and she knows what to say and what not to say – furthermore she’s the type who will never ask details unless I offer them and will only ask about my general well-being as well.  

My family is the toughest part of the equation. How can I not tell them? And yet do I really REALLY want to? I sort of mentioned briefly today that we are sort of in the process of leaning towards going for IVF. It is funny, once you open your mouth,  TMI (too much information) can just flow before you stop yourself. After-fact I am rethinking everything I said, and how to proceed from here. Do I grab my privay screen and tell everyone who asks that is was “just a thought”… do I confirm that I AM doing this but be vague about it through the whole process? (then why would I need to tell in the first place?) , or do I grab those closest to me and take them through it with me, blow by blow.

I still don’t know. Today was just a litmus test for the reaction.  So far, its really supportive and the “I think it would be a GREAT decision” type of thing. But do they have what it takes to support me through this the way I would need? Bringing people from the fertile world into this one is always such shaky business. Suddenly, you are irritated at the fact that someone is ignorant about just how MUCH of a toll IF really is. That someone doesn’t know their follicles from their hormones.  And God forbid someone mention the words “test tube baby”. You have learnt the ins and outs of this process and have suffered through your crisis – suddenly someone who is too green and can blurt out something insensitive and ignorant any minute is a walking time bomb. Do you want them there with you, during a cycle that has this much at stake?

So far the litmus test was passed with flying colors. But reservations, I still do have. The last thing I would want is any added stress and perhaps the best way to get through this might just be with DH and me… and well, with the rest of the world, online 😉

September 30, 2006 at 1:01 pm 1 comment

Day 7 – the fertile world rolls on

There is nothing like trying and trying until you forget how long its been and then yet another couple you know announces their pregnancy. You immediately think back to the month they had conceived and remember just EXACTLY how your own BFN that month had destroyed you. So now you know, that while you were raising the national water level with your tears, they were popping their bottle of (non-alchoholic) champagne and dreamily celebrating their news. Lucky bastards. AND, you narrow your eyes, they kept that good news ALL to themselves didn’t they! Now finally, YOU can know about it, and not only will you lament that you didn’t get pregnant that month, but also the fact that you haven’t gotten pregnant ALL these months, and they’re already umpteen months along! NOW you know what all those secret smiles were about.

Unfair, cruel and terrible (the thoughts that is). But so is the reality. Here you are having to smile at them and act like you are so happy, you could just burst open with excitment. But deep inside you are just sad and devastated, that had you conceived when you were “supposed” to, your baby would have been a year old before they had even started trying! Instead, how many more babies will be born before you ever get that BFP?

 So what do you do? You sigh and deal with it. Lets face it, good news happens every day. It just isn’t not your news. Yet. But you just keep looking forward and hope that someday soon… it will be. After all you’ll never know how long that couple tried before they got theirs.

I found out that two coworkers at work are expecting (we just got done delivering a few babies already up at work, and now without a minute’s rest, there’s more pregnancies in the house). Oh well…. you never know… maybe, just maybe… my own good news is not that far away.

September 29, 2006 at 1:14 pm Leave a comment

The life-cycle of a Cycle

days 1-4: tough days – you are probably hosting AF right after the bust of yet another cycle. This is the period of questioning why, and how much longer, and generally that “philosophical time” amidst the PMS and the tears and the overwhelming sense of agony of knowing you are back on day 1 and starting again from scratch. On the other hand, at least you know where you stand. No more wondering BFP or BFN. You gradually start putting the past cycle behind you and concentrating on the new one.

days 5-9: Gearing up to ovulate. You are likely on medication or injections or whatever the protocol. Your concentration is completely on the current cycle and you try to create the best environment possible to ensure success. This is the time of mapping out schedules, worrying about timings etc. Whether IUI or sex on demand or whatever methods you are trying this cycle, its all about planning and setting up for those big days of execution. You fret and worry over everything from the outcome of sonograms to planning out those fertile days. Add to that all the hormonal craziness if you are on drugs and being affected by them. Keyword: Stress!

days 10-14: Let the pee-fest begin (of you are using OPKs). whether you are waiting for the surge, triggering, ovulating, whatever… this is that do or die time. You want to execute perfectly and not miss a thing. In a way it is exciting. This is the time when you see all those lovely ripe follicles begging to be fertilized… in fact this is the most exciting, most visual part of the cycle. If you are lucky and everything goes well from sperm counts to follicle sizes to lining, you are actually exhillerated.. and begin to hope… will this be it? Afterall NOTHING went wrong. On the other hand you are also ansy to get to that 2ww, as much as you dread it. At least at that point all the madness of executing is behind you and you can leave the stress behind. You long for the part when you can actually just do nothing any longer but “wait”.

days 15-21 (1st week of 2ww): This can be an agonizing time, or a blissfull time, depending on how much of it you spend dwelling on the cycle. If you are thinking about it daily and jumping at the thought of any potential symptom, time just DRAGS. You can’t believe its only 3dpo. What? It feels like 300. On the other hand, if you manage to distract yourself… time flies a little. It is you time of rest, when you can for once take at least a LITTLE of your mind off TTC to have somewhat of a stab of a healthy life. Especially when you know it is simply IMPOSSIBLE to not think about the outcome in the 2nd part of the 2ww…..

days 22-28 (2nd week of 2ww): This is arguably by far (at least to me) the worst part of the cycle. This is the daily torture of being convinced one minute that this cycle is it, and then feeling terribly guilty that you even allowed yourself to THINK that…. afterall… its always bad news, why would this time be different? Its the time when you range from being overjoyed and hopeful at the slightest symptom , to losing it in tears when the next minute you feel that this is definitely NOT it. One thing remains constant though – the wait is absolutely killing you – you MUST know. You being peeing in a frenzy on anything that even looks like a stick. You analyze it to death… until you willl yourself to see a line, even if that BFN is so white, you can build a snowman on it. You monitor temps obsessively, and your mood either falls or rises with them. Finally you are at the point of insanity… and you know you just gotta know.
And then you do…..
and if you are unlucky… you are right back to days 1-3.

(I wrote this on a forum on August 23rd while waiting for the outcome of my own cycle, which was of course a BFN. Now posting it here)

September 28, 2006 at 8:41 pm Leave a comment

Day 6 – Debating big life changes

OK, so here’s the thought for the day. I really dont like my job. My drive sucks and I’m not crazy about my environment.

An opportunity has turned up for me to take another job – like only 3 minutes away from my RE’s office!! They seem really nice and the drive would be much better too. The problem? If I turn in a 2 week notice I’d literally be starting my IVF cycle and new job at the same time!! Am I nuts to even consider that kind of life change right at the start of my all-important IVF cycle?

Ideally, I would love to start right after my cycle is over with instead. But I just dont know that they would wait that long – that’s like asking to start in 6 weeks to be on the safe side. I know that they would be OK with me taking a few days off for ER and ET when I need those and I can negotiate that ahead of time. But am I looney to think that I would be able to handle starting at a new place and starting to learn a new business etc, right as I also start my huge IVF process and dive into everything that comes with it?

The decison has been bugging me so much today that my head hurts. And I’m not even on lupron yet. I know I have to make up my mind on what I’m gonna do by monday. There are just some times in life where I just want to hide under the table and pretend something’s not there. This is one of those times.

September 28, 2006 at 8:16 pm 2 comments

Day 5 – the costs sink in as well.

Well, I don’t know where I found the will power to get up this morning and work out. I was SO tired. My own doing for staying up late.

But the realization that I might be starting lupron in just a couple of weeks made me realize I just need to put my all in this.

I feel good after at least having worked out this morning.

This morning also DH applied for the IVF loan. Wow, up until now the it was only the procedure and the chance at having a baby that started seeming very real, but now after the breakdown of the loan and payments per month, the cost of this is seeming very real too. I had some moments of self doubt. Should we have tried injectables first as the RE suggested? Am I crazy? Does it all have to be this way? And am I jumping the gun way too soon? Is it simply nuts to pay this much money at something that’s not even a complete and total 100% bet?

But no… aside of a slight feeling of sadness at not having to think how much we will have to pay for a chance at something that’s supposed to happen for free, and bitterness that its not covered by insurance…. overall, I know I am still firm on this.
Just this morning yet another coworker announced a pregnancy. And that just hits home these days. I recall when one of my coworkers had announced their pregnancy and feeling sad even back then that someone else is so lucky while its taking a while for me. Now that baby is already 8 months old!!!! And I’m still wondering whether I’m too early in considering IVF? I don’t think so.

September 27, 2006 at 9:26 am Leave a comment

Day 4 – busy leads to lazy…

Well, nothing like a busy day. The last two have been terrible. So many random things happening. So of course I skipped workouts both yesterday and today 😦

I get home late, I am tired and I just want to relax. Last thing I want to do is push myself to work out, I just want to forget the world and escape. Plus now all my favorite shows are starting back up. Perfect excuse not to work out. Today I just home home – late – said forget it, and just spent the remainder of the evening on the couch. Munching on snacks to boot!! So mad with myself. I promise I’ll be good tomorrow. I will have all the time in the world to watch TV later (well, maybe not ALL the time) but now its crucial that I get my priorities straight. Its the big IVF count down…. and I need to be serious.

September 26, 2006 at 10:30 pm Leave a comment

Day 3 – official decision

11:30am

Just got a call in from the nurse about the cycle.I told her when I had AF and that we are ready to proceed. She calculated out the days and told me to come in on Thursday Oct 12th between 8 and 9 for bloodwork. She has gone on to order all the medication I need from a new pharmacy (didn’ t catch their name, but she said they have better prices). On the day of bloodwork it will be determined when I start lupron, and they will go over all the instructions at that time.

I also asked about a mock transfer – the RE does not do one. At my first u/s, they took very detailed measurements of the uterus and he goes by that.

I *think* that was all the information. Wow… I can’t believe it… but I think we’re on our way. We doing IVF!!

September 25, 2006 at 10:32 am Leave a comment

Day 2 – processing what lies ahead

Well, I worked out yesterday and did generally well, although I think I ate too much at night (I’m trying to not eat after 8pm in an effort to shed some pounds pre-IVF) J

 

Today, I have been reading a lot and familiarizing myself with the whole IVF process. There is so much to know. I went through all the information given to us at the orientation at our lab – there are so many things to read and to sign and to decide on. It certainly helps to be organized and on top of things way ahead of time.

 

The way I figure now (although I will know for sure tomorrow), I will be starting lupron on Oct 14th (day 21) and if I have the perfect cycle with AF arriving on time, I will probably start stimming on Oct 21st. I am figuring ER will fall somewhere between Oct 31st and November 4th. I wish I could know all the dates ahead of time, but of course it is impossible.

 

I am a little concerned since I *might* be starting a new job in that time period. I don’t know yet how I might juggle all that. It would be so sweet to have ER on a Sunday and have the 5 day ET on the Friday following to be able to relax all weekend with minimal time off work. But something tells me I won’t be that lucky.

 

Emotionally I am feeling so many things. In a way there is a slight sense of sadness that conception did not occur naturally, especially for our first. I might be under some ill-conceived notion that it might have been easier if this was all happening for our second, so we had at least experienced a problem-free natural pregnancy as our first time. But on the other hand where you lose something you also gain something. There are things that will become possible with what we’re doing that would never have been possible naturally, and I am excited about actually being able to see, and be involved with the creation of our child from such an early stage, literally from conception – should we be successful. I must admit, that amidst all my feelings, the most prevalent one is definitely the excitement. It is almost impossible not to be excited at the thought that by Thanksgiving we could actually be expecting. It feels so real, and I have an incredible sense of hope. If everything goes well, I would not be able to ask for a better Christmas, or an ending to this rough year.

September 24, 2006 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

IVF success rate and your chance that it will work

What are my chances that IVF will work?I think everyone who is about to invest the time and money into this procedure, asks themselves (and everyone else) this question as they mull over the huge decision to plunge head-first into this expensive and emotionally-draining treatment.One of the greatest misconceptions in the fertile world, is that technology “can always give you a baby”. One of the first things you learn as you become a pro in all matters IF, is that this simply isn’t true.The new obsession becomes studying the published data and statistical chances with age groups at various IVF labs. Everyone believes that this magic number they see in the column for their age group, literally represents THEIR chance of having a baby should they have and IVF cycle at a particular lab/RE office.

It is unfortunate that numbers actually do not represent much, aside of a global statistic. In fact when you think about it, they do not represent much at all. Most people look at a number – say 65% and believe this to be the exact chance, that should they choose to do an IVF cycle, they will be walking home with a baby in 9 months. In actuality, this number in most cases is a number that guarantees only a very tiny part of the process – for a specific age group. Namely – it covers the time period between the transfer and the day you hear a heartbeat. What this number is saying, is that SHOULD you make it to egg transfer, (implying that you would first respond well to the drugs, not have your cycle canceled, go through retrieval and have your eggs fertilize AND still be good enough for transfer on you transfer day)… THEN.. and only then… the chance that you will hear a heartbeat at your 6 week appointment is “X percent”. This number also doesn’t cover anything that could go wrong AFTER you actually hear that heartbeat. And that is still a long 8 months or so from that early point to actual delivery.

Statistically only 3% of pregnancies end with anything other than delivery past the point where a heartbeat is detected – which is comforting to know. But there is still that 3% chance of something going wrong. Further more, the real action that by and large determines whether your IVF cycle will work out or not is usually all before the transfer date. Will you stim well? Will the eggs you retrieve be mature? Will they fertilize? Will the embies grow or arrest? There are so many hurdles to cross before you even get to that wonderful transfer date where you can finally start looking at those numbers in ernest.

So what to do? Well, the fact remains that IVF still has the highest odds of any one cycle to achieve a pregnancy. And if you have tried just about anything else (or are tired of trying), all you CAN do is just go for it. And hope for the best. You will never be as young as you are today and your chances will never be as good as with an IVF cycle.

But numbers overall, do not matter too much, so do not treat them as sacred. Instead, it is best to know YOUR personal odds, by talking to your RE about your specific situation. They can vary tremendously from person to person, based on diagnosis. Some (in fact most) problems are easily solved and circumvented by IVF. Others lower your odds, while others still can unfortunately make the odds of achieving a pregnancy very low, even with IVF. Instead of looking at numbers for your age group at a particular office, concentrate instead on making sure that the office is experienced in treating cases like yours. In fact, centers that try to do anything to “boost” their numbers may work against you instead of FOR you, in some situations – by forcing to cancel your cycle if your chances are not as good as they want their numbers to be, or other such tactics. But the fact is you may still have a chance – a great chance. And you have to work with the program that will work with you, and your particular case.
What is most important in a program to choose? Experience. A compassionate staff. An RE that is experienced in treating cases just like yours. And do those statistical odds matter? Sure they do… but they are certainly not the number one criteria.
Best luck, and happy cycling.

Read More: 
http://www.ivf.com/success.html
http://www.cdc.gov/ART/ART2003/PDF/ART2003.pdf

September 24, 2006 at 9:43 am Leave a comment

Day 1 – the beginning

AF started today, which means that any hope of miraculously conceiving on my last cycle before IVF is over. I am both sad and excited. I am glad that I made the decision to not try anything else and go for IVF because ultimately what I want is a family. And I know that IVF is the fastest way there (since the chances are higher than with anything else).

To date I have had 4 IUIs, my first one resulting in a BFP that was unfortunately not meant to be. It was a devastating experience to lose that pregnancy, and the only thing that kept me going was the hope of succeeding again soon, and being able to make it. Unfortunately six months later, and 3 IUIs later I have not been successful.

My RE has suggested to move to injectables and IUI. (since I had not yet taken any drug stronger than clomid). But after a lot of thinking, I have decided to move right for IVF. I will try to write a post sometime on the IVF choice.

Today begins day 1 of my pre-IVF cycle. With the protocol in my RE’s office, I should begin lupron on day 21 of this cycle, and then next cycle will be my IVF cycle. So from today I have 3 weeks. I plan to work out, drink vitamins, get in shape both physically and emotionally, and prepare myself in the best way I can. The thought that I will be doing something that has such a good chance of succeeding is exciting. And perhaps finally, my TTC journey is at its culminating end.

September 23, 2006 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Older Posts


Expecting Number 2… :)

My TTC History

Started TTC May 2005
RE diagnosed as unexplained in Feb 06.
natural IUI #1 March 06 - BFP, m/c :(
natural IUI #2 May 06 - BFN
clomid IUI #3 July 06 - BFN
femara IUI #4 August 06 - BFN

Skipping suggested injectables,
moving to IVF
Bloodwork: Oct 12 for lupron
ER estimated 1st week of Nov

UPDATE:
25 eggs, 15 fertilized.
1 blast transferred, 6 frozen.
Precious baby Girl born in July 07.

After 2.5 years of Bliss since that BFP...

April 2009: Start of TTC #2.
(Going back for the embies I left)
Apr 15: Start of Natural FET cycle.
May 1: Transferred single blast
May 11: BFN :(
Straight to Natural FET #2
May 29: Transferred single blast
June 4: BFP!!!!
June 8: 1st beta - 177
June 10: 2nd beta - 506


UPDATE:
Healthy baby Boy born 2010!

Fast forward several years...

June 2013: Surprised with a completely natural and completely unplanned BFP!
September 2006
M T W T F S S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Blog Stats

  • 81,034 hits