Day 13 Update

After lots and lots of stimming, we were finally ready to trigger for our IUI yesterday. At the scan I had two follicles — one at 18 and one at 15. I triggered last night with Ovidrel and will have the IUI on Friday morning. We were able to schedule it early enough that hubby can drop off his sample before his big meeting, so no frosties. He’ll have to leave before the procedure, so this will be the first time we won’t be together for the IUI. I feel ok about this (especially considering our success rate thus far) but it certainly would be strange if it works and we got pregnant with only one of us present.

Luckily the timing worked out perfectly for my work trip. I’ll be headed to NYC tomorrow afternoon after resting at home for most of the day. I have some renewed hope since this is the first cycle we’re trying injectables. At this point I’m not sure if feeling hopeful is a good thing or a bad thing. I know it is important to keep the faith, but it sure does make it harder to deal with another negative outcome.

Missing What I’ve Never Had

You were in my dream last night, little one. I’ve had many dreams where I’m anticipating your arrival and know you’re growing inside me. But this time, you were a toddler — a boy — curly-haired and full of energy and wonder. We were playing by a lake, and you dropped your toy into the water. I jumped in to fish it out for you while you stood on the dock and giggled at me. We each got a cone of ice cream — soft serve, vanilla and chocolate swirl. Daddy called and we told him how much fun we were having. We were at a place that I’ve never been before, yet it seemed so familiar to me. When I woke up, I felt a real loss. How could you not be real? I can no longer picture your face, but I won’t forget how happy I felt spending the day with you in my dream.

Sunset from the dock

Sunset from the dock

Days 10 + 11 Update

Lots of excitement around here! I’m starting to feel like I live at the RE’s office, with five trips there in the past week. I’m now on Day 11 and feeling a bit more optimistic about this cycle. My arm is another story — I seem to have only one vein that they can draw blood from and it is starting to look and feel pretty gnarly. I hope we can get one more round out of it on Wednesday before it gets a much needed two week break!

Day 10 Update
Lining: 6.99mm
Right follicles: 15.1, 12, 10.2
Left follicles: 11.5, 11.4
E2: 141

Day 11 Update
Lining: 8.24 (YAY! This it the first time it will be over 8 when I trigger. It’s the small victories, right?)
Right: Two follicles at 15 (no sign of the cyst!)
Left: No growth – nurse said it has “thankfully quieted down”
E2:177

My nurse thinks we’ll end up triggering on Wednesday, as long as those 15s have grown to 18s. I thought this cycle would move a lot faster because I read that injectable cycles usually progress more quickly than Clomid cycles. On Clomid I was triggering around day 11 and it looks like I won’t trigger on Gonal f until day 13. I’m really hoping I’m ready on Wednesday because I’m scheduled to go to NYC this weekend for work and to see my brother for his birthday. A Saturday morning IUI would really cramp my style — no pun intended! 😉 Hubby has an important meeting on Friday morning, so we need to decide if he can miss it, or if we’ll go with the frosties this time around.

Tomorrow I get a day off from an early morning appointment, so I’m heading home to pour a tall glass of red wine and watch my guilty pleasure, the Bachelorette! Yes, I STILL watch that show. It is too ridiculous and I cannot.stop.watching.

 

 

Day 8 Update

At my day 8 appointment for ultrasound and bloodwork my follicles hadn’t grown much from day 6. They were at 12.5, 3 at 11, and one at 10. My E2 came back at only 44 (way down from 150 on day 6). My nurse said this is because they decreased my dosage and it will go back up once it is increased again. Anyone else had this happen? I’ve read that it isn’t a good sign for this cycle.

I’m back up to 50 iu Gonal f last night and tonight and then back to monitor tomorrow morning. The nurse practitioner who did my scan said that they’re still concerned about too many follicles at this point (5), so they don’t want to bump up the dosage too much. And my cyst is still hanging around, but not getting any larger. 😦

The plan is to enjoy a glass of wine on the back deck and then head to sushi with my hubby tonight to try get our minds off this cycle. Can’t complain about this view with the blooming trees!

Backyard in bloom

Backyard in bloom

IUI Update, With a Side of Cyst

I went in for my cycle day six ultrasound and blood work today. The cyst on my right ovary that they saw during my cycle day three ultrasound is still hanging out. My E2 was 150, so they don’t think it is producing hormones or that it will be an issue for this cycle.

I have three follicles measuring around 11 and a bunch of other smaller ones (on day 6!). They are reducing my Gonal f from 50iu to 37.5 iu for tonight and tomorrow and I’ll go back in on Friday. I guess this proves that I really am an overachiever when it comes to responding to fertility drugs. It’s about time I’m labeled an overachiever for something. 😉 All we can do is hope that those three 11s continue to grow, but the others stay small or disappear. I’m worried about being back in the same situation as my first IUI cycle, where I over-responded and they canceled the IUI.

I’m also feeling not so great on the Gonal f. I barely had any side effects on Clomid or Femara, so it surprised me when I started with headaches and a little nausea this week. I’m curious if this reaction is from the drug, my cyst, or the fact that I have so many follicles growing. Either way, it isn’t fun. This is also one of those baby weeks. Baby announcements in my office, from good friends, and of course coming out of the woodwork all over Facebook. I’m trying to remain positive and keep my fingers crossed for good news on Friday.

Keep Moving Forward

 

A good reminder for today

A good reminder for today

We found out on Friday that this wasn’t our month. Right after my call came from my nurse, I started bleeding. It was like my body knew to give up.

That makes today cycle day 3, so I was back at the doctors office this morning. We’re doing another IUI, our fifth try, this time with only injectables (Gonal f). In the past my RE was hesitant to try injectables because I respond so well to small amounts of Clomid and Femara and he is worried about the risk of multiples. I guess he changed his mind and thinks we need to make the jump.

My lining was at 3.3 with 12 follicles on the right and 9 on the left. I spoke with a nurse who said all looked good and explained how to use the Gonal f pen. When I was halfway home from the appointment I got a call that I needed to come back for blood work. They said the sonographer saw a cyst so they had to check my estrogen levels before I could start this cycle. No clue why the tech didn’t mention this to me or the nurse who I spoke with about my protocol. Thankfully, I wasn’t too far from the doctors office so I could make it back in before the phlebotomist  left. Nothing like having to go to that sad, sad place more than once in a day!

Luckily the cyst isn’t producing hormones so I’m good to start this cycle. I’m doing 50iu Gonal f, days 3-5 and then go back for blood work and ultrasound on day 6.

Anyone have luck with injectables after failed IUIs with Clomid or Femara?

 

Crying in the Elevator at Whole Foods

Well, it happened. I cried in public. When I first talked to my mother-in-law about how we were having trouble getting pregnant, she opened up to me that she and my father-in-law had trouble, too. She recounted with very real emotion the pain she felt when she saw pregnant women or mothers and children. She told me she even broke down and cried one day at the mall, thinking she might not have a family of her own. This made me think I must have my shit together because I definitely haven’t cried in public yet! Until yesterday…

I was at our local Whole Foods after work to pick up a few things for a get together. I managed to arrive at a time that I can only describe as baby hour. There were babies EVERYWHERE. I went about my business and made it out of there in record time, with my guac and artisanal cheese. Yum! I make my way into the elevator and BAM! There is a mom with her baby, who looked to be about six months old.

Now I’ve seen a lot of frazzled mothers of babies. Tired mothers. The occasional bad mother. But this particular mom had this look in her eye like she had just fallen in love. I smiled at the baby, because who can resist smiling at a baby in an elevator? This was the mother’s in to tell me that her daughter had just said dada for the first time and she couldn’t wait to tell her husband. Sigh. I haven’t seen someone look that over the moon in a long time. Out of nowhere, I started crying. I congratulated her and quickly moved my sunglasses down over my eyes. An elevator is a very intimate space and I prayed that the door would open soon before she wondered what in the world was wrong with me.

I think my emotion was a mix of sadness for myself, and also happiness that this type of love exists. I hope I can experience it one day. Thank you to this mother for simultaneously breaking my heart and restoring my faith that this journey will be worth it in the end.

Beta Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning is my beta blood work appointment. I’ve been testing and all BFNs, so I’m expecting bad news. My temperature has dropped and I’ve had some cramps today.

In addition to my blood work, hubby is having a semen analysis tomorrow. Since our RE has recommended that we move forward with IVF if this next IUI cycle doesn’t work, he wants to build the case with our insurance now. We’re very lucky that our insurance covers four rounds of IVF. To be able to use this benefit, they need to agree that we’ve exhausted all other (less expensive) methods. If we submit two abnormal semen analyses, they should approve us to move forward with IVF. My husband had one in 2013 that showed 2% morphology. So at this point I guess we’re hoping for an abnormal result so we’re cleared to move forward if need be. Oh, the joys of infertility!

Keeping Busy in the Two Week Wait, Part Deux

Last IUI cycle, I had grand plans of keeping busy in the TWW. I did a pretty good job of distracting myself, and when my period started, I didn’t feel like my world was crashing. This time around, I’ve let myself slip a bit and have found myself in that dark place once again. Time to revisit all the things I should be doing instead of obsessing!

Working Out/Reading
I’ve been struggling to keep up with working out lately. I stopped running in May and I miss it a lot. My nurse advised that I take it easy with my workouts and said that running in the summer heat would not be great during our treatments. Instead, I started working out on our elliptical. I was doing ok for a while, but then got bored with it. If I’m being totally truthful, I’ve just been slacking and using our treatments as an excuse. I MUST get back into the swing of things, for my physical and mental health! I’ve been slacking on my reading, too. I finished The Fault in Our Stars over the Fourth of July. It was a good, quick read, but grab your tissues! My brother-in-law is an author and I’m currently reading the beta version of his second novel. You can check out his first novel, Earthman Jack vs. The Ghose Plant here. It’s an entertaining read – sort of like Harry Potter meets Star Wars. If you’re into young adult Sci-Fi, definitely check it out!

Earthman Jack and The Ghost Planet

Earthman Jack and The Ghost Planet

Framing
I made some progress on my framing projects. I updated the travel photos in the frames in our guest bedroom, and also hung the wall gallery in our upstairs hallway. I ordered some prints for those frames, and now I just have to pick the ones I like best and put them in the frames. Here are some pictures of the progress.

Frame gallery sans photos

Frame gallery sans photos

Frames in our guest bedroom

Frames in our guest bedroom

Gardening
This year was supposed to be the year I honed my green thumb. This has been a pretty major fail, as our garden in the backyard is a mess. My pappy was an amazing gardener and I have really happy memories of summers picking sweet corn and raspberries, and getting to choose my own pumpkin in the fall. Maybe gardening is a good retirement hobby? 🙂 BUT, I did manage to grow this beauty! I experimented with Dahlia bulbs in the spring and they are finally blooming. Our Crape Myrtle tree is also in blooming and looking beautiful.

Beautiful dahlia in my garden

Beautiful Dahlia in my garden

Crape Myrtle in full bloom

Crape Myrtle in full bloom

More QT with my Furry Friends
How can you be sad when you have these two cuties to hang out with? My parents dog is visiting again while they are on vacation. So fun to have two pups in the house!

Little T and Big T

Little T and Big T

Travel Planning
One big win in my book – I’ve finishing planning our trip to Scotland and Ireland! I’m really looking forward to getting away and spending time with family without the burden of fertility treatments. We’re spending time in Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands, and the Isle of Skye, before traveling to Dublin to see Penn State play their season opener at Croke Park. My dad, husband, and I are all alums and it will be great to experience this game together! I’m not pregnant by then, there will be many whiskys and beers to sample!

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland (click for photo credit)

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland (click for photo credit)

IUI #4, Details

I’m almost through my TWW and realized I never blogged about the details of IUI #4. Lucky us, it fell on the Fourth of July and we had to travel 1.5 hours to the only office that was open. This cycle we switched up my medication to Femara, 2.5mg, cycle days 3-7. Clomid was helping me produce extra follicles, but it was also thinning my lining, so my RE thought we should switch to Femara. I didn’t have any side effects, which was great! With Clomid, I had occasional night sweats and heat flashes.

At my cycle day 11 ultrasound, there were four measurable follicles: right, 18.9mm and 10.8mm, left, 11.7mm and 11mm. My lining was still thinner than they want to see at 6.8, but they saw a nice “triple stripe” and started me on Estrace, just like the other cycles. My E2 was 210, the lowest it has been on any of my IUI cycles. They wanted to give my follicles another day to grow, so I triggered on day 12 and had my IUI on day 14. Postwash count was 9.8 million with 73% motility.

Because I have zero self-control, I’ve already been testing. I tested out my trigger at 8dpiui and since then I’ve had BFNs. I know it is still early, but it is getting harder to hold out hope, especially after our recent conversation with our RE about taking the next step to IVF. If this isn’t the cycle, we’ll do one more IUI cycle and then take a break before starting IVF in the fall.