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.