Saturday, October 11, 2008

My First Post

So I can't believe I'm doing this. . .

But I have read so many other infertility posts that have inspired, educated, and made me feel not so alone, that I thought maybe someday someone would gain something from mine. I have been such a "taker" in the blog community that I thought I should be giving something back.

Where do I begin? In April of '07 we started TTC. I was charting and ovulated but I was convinced I had a luteal phase defect (only 9 or 10 days) so in September of '07 I went to my OBGYN and told her my concerns. She basically laughed in my face and told me 5 months was not very long to try and to call if it had been a year. She said she was sure I would be pregnant before the end of the year. Wouldn't that have been nice?

In February of '08 we attend a "class" on infertility. They order all the initial tests for myself and DH and my day three bloodwork comes back in the normal range (though I thought my FSH level for a 31 year old was a little high- 8.8) but DH's SA shows a severe MI. We schedule a consultation with RE (Dr. G)and are told IVF with ICSI is our only option.

I then undergo a saline sonogram and it comes back normal. We schedule our first IVF cycle for August of '08. Hey we had a cruise that June and with myself as a teacher August is a great time to conceive! We finally have an explanation and a plan! This could really work. . . We were so naive.

In the meantime DH underwent genetic testing and we determined the reason for MI. We speak to a genetic counselor and learn it is something that could be passed to his sons, but infertility is the only symptom. Decide to proceed.

I was actually excited to begin my lupron shots in July. We were progressing towards a goal. I was on a long luteal protocol. My supression check went well, no cysts. We were ready to start stimming. Here's where my end of the bargain feel through. I took for granted this portion of the process. After all, everything looked fine with me. I passed all my tests with flying colors.

I went in for my first stim check on day 4 and they found four teeny tiny follicles and my E2 level was only 57. They increased my follistim and menopur and tell me to come back in another four days. At my second and final stim check they see six follicles. With a very large, fat one at size 17, one at 13 and three or four other ones around 9 or 10. Dr G. tells me to proceed with stimming for 3 more days and the nurse will call with my dosage once he gets my E2 numbers back. He is concerned that the one at 17 is becoming the lead follicle, but hopefully the others will catch up. I am upset but have glimmer of hope. That is until 3:00 when the nurse calls with my E2 number- 300 s0mething, and tells me they are cancelling my cycle due to a lead follicle. I guess the little ones weren't letting off any estrogen, the big one was taking over. This came as a surprise. No one thought I would react (or not react in my case) this way to stim meds.

For a while the infertility was easier to deal with when I thought it was only with DH. I knew I was in the same boat as him and we were going to deal with it together. But it gave me some peace thinking my parts were working fine. I am humbled. The worst part of this cancelled cycle was that our whole mindset changed. We began to think this might not ever happen. With both of us suffering from our own infertility issues, it just feels like every step of this process will be an uphill battle.

It took me forever to finally ovulate after stopping IF drugs in August. My AF just arrived today. When the nurse called to cancel my cycle last Aug. she said that the doctor would probably change my protocol (yes please) and to call her back when I got my AF. The clinic takes two weeks off in Nov and Dec for the holidays (really?) so the soonest I could cycle again would be late Nov. early Dec.

It was so nice to have a few weeks off. To try to forget about the failure and look towards the future. I researched new protocols. I tried to take my mind off it. It had been so nice not to deal with all that comes with and IVF cycle. And then yesterday I called my nurse again. Start the waterworks. . .

Nurse X. answers and I introduce myself. She remembers me and pulls up file. I ask her what my next step is. Long pause ensues. . . . . . Then she asks "Did you speak with the Dr. regarding your cancelled cycle?" I said no but I would like to before I start a new one. She hadn't mention any of this in August. Another long pause. . . She says, "Well let me talk to the doctor and see if he wants to continue with another cycle for you." WHAT? It was sounding like they were totally trying to dismiss me after one crappy cycle. What happened to we'll try again in December? I hang up with her and am very frustrated and upset. If they thought I was that much of a lost cause, they should have told me that in August.

She calls back 30 minutes later and says the doctor would like to set up a consultation where he will go over our options. In the meantime she says that if I decide to go forward (?) that I will need to start taking BCP on CD 2. At this point I am almost in tears and I try to get her to level with me. She says that Dr. G. will be honest with us about our chances of pregnancy should we go ahead with another cycle. Sometimes people respond better to different protocols. That is a something we should decide together with our RE. In other words, I feel like they are counting me out. They'll do it if I want but they're not very hopeful. I didn't think I was that much of a failure.

I was in shock. I was calling from work because my class had already gone home for the day. I hang up and sit alone and cry. A pity party for one. I finally pull myself together and go to the office to use the bathroom. Guess who's there? A woman who used to work with me who had twin girls two years ago. She had brought her babies to school for a visit. I thought I could take this event two ways. One, as a slap in my face from the IF gods, or as a sign. I swear only infertiles look at the world in this way. This woman I had heard through the grapevine was struggling with IF. She had miscarried before her twins at 5 months when she went in an found no heartbeat. I know she has had her share of struggles. Maybe it was a sign of hope. Or maybe just lousy timing I was in the office then. Who knows.

I hope to use this blog to keep track of my journey through our struggles. It feels so good to have a place to share. There are so many of you I read and follow. I found out about these blogs when I was googling lead follicles. The first IF blog I read was Infertility Bites. Her struggles sounded so close to mine. It is such a great support group.

Thanks for reading.


tryingtoconceive said...

Welcome aboard! I am humbled and flattered that you have been following my journey. It seems like so many of my IF friends disappeared after the BFP.

Our journeys do sound quite similar. I can't believe that your RE would not consider another medicated cycle for you.

I believe that I was 'oversuppressed' when I was on Lupron which is what caused my lead follicle / low overall count.

Because of the expense of IVF, they want you to have a lot to work with if you go to the next step - retrieval. But maybe they'll learn that 6 mature follicles is all your body produces with a medicated cycle. That doesn't mean it wouldn't work. It just means that is what your body does. (This is almost verbatim what my dear Nurse M told me during this last cycle).

I'm adding you to my google reader, and look forward to sharing this journey with you.

Lost in Space said...

Welcome to the blogosphere!! I'm sorry that you qualify. Wouldn't it have been nice to just start a pregnancy blog from the beginning? Sigh.

I'm so sorry about your IVF cycle and that your doc sounds so pessimistic about future cycles right now. I was over-suppressed on my Long Lupron cycle which became a Stop Lupron cycle. When I consulted with our new RE last week at CCRM, he confirmed that I should never have been put on a Long Lupron protocol. Some protocols just aren't meant for some people and I think you definitely still have a shot with another one!!

If this RE isn't willing to go to the ends of the Earth for you, find one that will. Huge hugs!!

AmyC623 said...

I just found your blog and I have only read the first few posts so far, but I have to say that I hope to read that your RE has changed his tune because it sounds to me like this 1st cycle was not all doom & gloom! No wonder it took you forever to ovulate after you stopped the stims! They had suppressed your natural cycle, for Pete's sake! I would think they would have gone ahead and given you the Ovidrel so that you could've ovulated? I'm confused why they would be so pessimistic. Anyway, sorry for my babbling and it's very nice to meet you :-)

Mom at Last said...

You are so brave! Your story is inspiring and has probably helped many people! I invite you to become a member of the Mom at Last community at Every Mom has a Journey and every Journey is different but know that in every story there is a light of hope to get you down the path towards becoming a Mom, at Last!