And so it happens again :(

I haven’t updated, as I’ve been trying to process what’s happened….for the second time. My tww was pretty uneventful. I had slight cramps, a little brown spotting, nausea, as well as feeling tired. All things that could be blamed on the progesterone and other medicinal cocktail I was on. I was however, very optimistic that this was going to be it. I really really believed it was going to work.

My first beta was last Tuesday, which came back at 15. My first thought was chemical, which the nurse said was probably the case. However, he said there’s always a chance that it was just a late implanter, so to come back Thursday for another beta. Well after doing some research, and fining similar stories of women getting low beta numbers around the same dpo (16), and going on to have healthy pregnancies, I was still oddly optimistic. I held on to the hope that this was still going to work. Thursday came, and beta came back at 12. Confirmed chemical. 😦

I’m devastated and torn. Torn between feeling optimistic that at least 2 in a row have started implanting, which has to be a good sign…..and feeling worried about the reason that I can’t STAY pregnant. Tears come at random times, and then the next minute I’ll feel optimistic. Damned mood swings.

We had an appointment with the RE Thursday. I have to say, that it really helped. 1. he’s really optimistic that this could work for us, since my body seems to WANT to be pregnant. He also suggested we double check that the donor has confirmed pregnancies, as when we chose the donor he was brand new and the pregnancy report was 0. Sure enough, there are pregnancies reported, which makes me feel better. 2nd, he suggested we do another hysteroscopy before trying again, as the last one was in September, and you  never know, polyps can always come back. If so, that could be the reason that the embryos aren’t developing properly. He also reminded us, that transferring a healthy embryo into a healthy uterus still only carries a 50-60% chance of becoming a live birth. Yes those odds are great, but it’s still not a guarantee. On average it takes 3 of those transfers to guarantee a baby. 2 down 1 to go right? Sigh……I hope so.

So here we are. This next month we will do a hysteroscopy which means we can’t do a transfer. We went ahead and decided to use all our air travel points (which we’ve accumulated with our our medical expenses!!!) and head to Europe for a couple weeks at the end of July. We will spend most of the time with family who lives over there, and get to do some touristy stuff on our own as well. It falls right around our anniversary as well, so we’re really looking forward to a nice getaway. Hopefully it will do us some good, and be in a better place to start again in August.

Officially PUPO!!

Well, it’s official, as of Friday afternoon, I am officially PUPO….pregnant until proven otherwise for those not familiar with the term. Am I excited? Sure…..but mostly I’m terrified. I feel like it’s going to work, so I’m terrified about how I will deal if it doesn’t. 

Last week was terrible. I have been so much more emotional this time around. I think the estrogen plays a role, combined with the fact that I’m still trying to deal with the loss of last cycle. This past week, I had daily meltdowns over almost nothing. I honestly just felt like crying all the time. I blame the introduction of progesterone into my estrogen overloaded body. Not a good combination! The other thing that was strange, is that I was extremely nervous about the transfer. Not nervous about the actual procedure, but just nervous and anxious about it. I’m not 100% sure why, but I have a feeling it’s because of the fear of it not working. Once transfer happens, I just have to sit back, relax, and hope with ALL of my being that it has worked. That’s terrifying. 

Transfer Day:

We have to get up super early, to be at my clinic for 8:15 for my Intralipids. Transfers are done by my doctor in a different clinic, so I am waiting to hear from the other clinic on whether or not my blast survived the thaw, and what time to go in for transfer. Last time they called me before 8:00, so when 9:00 rolls around and they haven’t called, I’m FREAKING out. What if it didn’t survive? What if there’s a problem? Why haven’t they called?!!!!  Anyways, the nurse assures me that it doesn’t mean ANYthing that they haven’t called yet, starts the IV, and gets the Intralipids going. The other clinic finally calls around 9:15. Blast survived, and transfer at 12:00. Phew! Perfect 🙂 Now the 3 hour wait for Intralipids. Apparently some people feel nauseous during them, and have a harder time handling them, so I’m really fortunate, that although I get nauseous for everything, I can actually handle the Intralipids very well. Because of this, they are able to speed up the process, so I can be done on time. When we are done, Hubby and I head over to the other clinic for transfer. Transfer goes well, same as the other 3 times, I feel like an old pro by now. Embryologist gets me to sign the sheet, and check my name on the file. She shows us our blast on the screen, Dr inserts the catheter, in goes the embryo, and we’re done! No long walks, 2L of water a day, and take it easy for the next 2 weeks. Beta is on June 21, which is not really that far away. So now we wait….

Terrified. That’s the only word I can really use to describe how I feel right now. Terrified, because I feel like it is going to work. It HAS to work. Except I know that it doesn’t. So I’m scared. Somehow I have to keep myself optimistic, and calm for the next 9 days. Then the other question…..test early? or wait for beta? I think I might test early, but honestly……I don’t know if I have the stomach for it. I guess we’ll see!



Estrogen meltdowns…

So here I am, just over a week into taking meds, and about a third of the way through the cycle. My next scan is tomorrow, and HOPEFULLY they will tell me everything is good and book the transfer for the end of the week. Fingers crossed!

This cycle has been very different for me. First of all, being the first cycle after the miscarriage, I’ve got a whole new level of fear and anxiety. I no longer wish to just be pregnant, I now realize that just being pregnant isn’t enough. My inner wishing process is now “I hope I get pregnant AND have a healthy baby”. Because, being pregnant isn’t enough. I also have a strange optimism, that this cycle HAS to work. Actually, I’m not sure if you can call it optimism, it’s more like a panicky fear, that it HAS to work, because I honestly don’t know what I’ll do if it fails. But let’s just call it optimism, because that’s what I’m SUPPOSED to be doing. Right…yeah ok.

The meds didn’t seem to affect me too much the first couple days, but I can tell you that now, my hormones are in FULL swing, and I feel very sorry that my husband has to take the brunt of it! It started on Tuesday, when I made the stupid mistake to drag my butt out to Costco. Now, Costco on a good day, is not my favourite place. But Tuesday was a special day. So as I had the excellent idea to wait until the long weekend was over, and head over there on the Tuesday afternoon while everyone else is working, there was another demographic of people who had the same idea. Who you might ask? Well, stay at home moms of course! But not just any stay at home moms, Tuesday was apparently reserved for new mommies to take out their newborns. I somehow missed the memo that Tuesday was bring your newborn to Costco day. I’m telling you, at the check-out, I was both in front of AND behind mom’s cooing over their little babies. The kicker? Every one of them seemed to be about 5-10 years younger than me. So, I went about my business, got into my car, and out of nowhere, the hysterical meltdown started. Thank you Estrace, I blame you on this one. So that was the end of my shopping this week. Hey, at least I made it out of the house.

So since Tuesday there have been almost daily meltdowns. I went to my family doctor on Friday to get a medical leave from work, as I just can’t even fathom taking care of a room full of 7-year olds right now, let alone trying to TEACH them anything. This came with a recommendation from my therapist, and my doctor fully agreed that my priority right now was my mental health. He also explained that Estrace increases your anxiety levels, and progesterone increases depression levels. Great!

To sum up, although FET’s are 100% easier on the body than the daily multiple injections, they still wreak havoc on your system. Like every other part of this infertility journey, they suck. Plain and simple. But we don’t have a choice, so away we go.


7th try: Getting started with FET #2!

So, here we go again! After having to take the month off, I can tell you, that for the first time in a LONG time, I was actually happy to see AF arrive. The witch was welcome, as it meant that I can get started once again. Called my clinic, and went in for my baseline scan on Thursday. To say I was nervous was an understatement! The last 2 cycles, I’ve had cysts that had to be drained, so really really didn’t want to go 3 for 3. Thankfully, the scan showed that everything was perfect to start!!! Endometrium under 5mm, and no cysts on either side. I was given my calendar and away I went!

Meds for now:

  • Baby Aspirin: 1 x day
  • Estrace: 2mg / 3 x day
  • Vaginal Viagra: 25mg / 4 x day
  • Prenatal Vitamin: 1 x day

This means I am taking meds at 8:00, 1:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 11:00. I’m not complaining as none of these are injectables, and very easy to take, but, I do need reminders on my phone to keep track of what to take when!

About a half an hour later, the nurse called me back to tell me, that after reviewing everything with the Dr, the Dr suggested I do an endometrial scratch this time. Since it’s only $250 (NOTHING compared to all the other costs) and falls into the “in can’t hurt, but studies show that it could help” category, I decided to go with it. He booked my appointment for the next morning. Now I feel good, that ok, here’s the thing we are going to do extra/different this time. 

Now, Friday morning comes, and it’s scratch time. Now, I had done my research, and asked all sorts of questions, and let me tell you, it is EXACTLY what it sounds like. I was told to expect some pain, but only for about 10-15 seconds. I figure, after 2 egg retrievals, 2 cyst drainages, and a polyp removal, this will be a breeze. Ha! 

The Endometrial Scratch….

So I’m nervous, as I usually am when I arrive for a procedure, but all in all, I figure it can’t be that bad. I get to the clinic and am whisked away to change into the lovely gown, hat, and foot covers. (I’m starting to feel like this is becoming my uniform). I’m brought to a bed in the recovery room, and my vitals are taken. The nurse gives me 2 extra strength tylenol and 2 Advil, to help with the pain. I’m then told to relax (ha! yeah right) and wait as there were 2 other girls before me. The waiting was about an hour at least, but finally it was my turn.

The nurse brings me into the OR, and I lie down on the table. My legs go into the stirrup things, and then they are velcroed in with huge straps. Then she positions my legs open and in the air. The Dr. isn’t quite ready, so she leaves me like this for a few minutes, until he comes. So there I am, on my back with my legs up and open, my lady parts free to the wind. This is NOT a comfortable position by the way, but my modesty left me somewhere between all the testing appointments and IVF #1. So, I may as well have been naked and on display, and I’m not sure it would have phased me. 

The Dr finally comes in, and the nurse explains the procedure. “So, the Dr. is going to insert a speculum, and then clean the area. After that, he inserts a catheter that has a small syringe at the end of it, and scratches the endometrium. He then pulls a little part of tissue for biopsy, and he’s done!” Ok, this doesn’t sound pleasant, but ok. She then tells me that it will feel like very bad PMS cramps, and it lasts under 30 seconds. Ok, I tell myself I will count to 30, to keep my mind focused and get through the pain. 

So, in goes the speculum, easy peasy…….then the catheter….then holy shit the pain. There was no warning, just immediately the worst cramping I’ve ever felt. Count to 30?? Yeah right!!! I was too busy groaning with pain, that I don’t even think I would have remembered HOW to count. It felt like it lasted for several minutes, but I’m sure it was under 30 seconds like they said. As soon as it was over, I got hit with horrible nausea, probably from the cramping. I was told it was normal, and to sit right up. At this point, I’m sweating, pale, and feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. It was bad, I’m not going to lie. Those 30 seconds were worse than any of the other procedures I’d had up to date. I walked back to the recovery room, and lay down for about 5-10 minutes. After that, I felt pretty much back to normal, and was free to leave. There was no pain afterwards, not even light cramping. There was a little bleeding, but that being said, I was still only on CD4 so that could have been AF. 

So that was the scratch. I survived, and if you have to have one, you will too. I won’t sugar coat it, it sucks and it hurts……but we are strong, and we can do ANYTHING for 30 seconds, right? I always say that if someone told me, that if I wanted to have a baby, I had to cut off my arm and I would 100% get pregnant, I would do it. Well I’m sure that cutting off a limb would hurt much more than a little scratch, so I guess this wasn’t that bad, all things considering.

I was a little concerned, because when I googled it (that’s where I turn to for medical advice) it seemed like endo scratches were always done around CD21 the cycle BEFORE starting an IVF or FET. The fact that I was doing it the same cycle, made me a little nervous. However, after talking to the Dr, he said that there are lots of studies that show the same cycle is better, and he believes it to be to true. It’s the way he does it with all patients. I trust him, so feel better now. 

That’s it! Cycle #7 officially started. I feel weirdly optimistic, but because I feel like it HAS to work,  I’m a little worried about what will happen if it doesn’t. I had a big chat with my therapist about that, but I’ll save that for a different post. 

Next appointment/scan is Monday, May 30 and transfer looks like it might be Friday, June 3. Fingers crossed!!!!!

Oh, saw this and laughed…..definitely feels like this is how it’s done sometimes!!!


What not to say to the fertility-challenged

So I decided to put together a little list of things that people have said to me so far, which have been quite hurtful or mean. Now, in every single one of these cases, the people saying them, were not trying to be hurtful at all. I think it comes from a place of trying to be helpful or understanding, combined with a complete lack of understanding of the process, as well as just not knowing what to say. I’m not putting this list together to hurt anyone, or make them feel bad for what they said. I just want to make anyone who might be reading this, who is a friend of the fertility-challenged, aware of what not to say 🙂

When are you going to stop? This is the last thing we want to hear or talk about. I had a coworker ask me this, after I explained everything to her. I had to tell her what I was going through, as my absence from work for appointments, directly affected her. When she asked me this, I was kinda taken aback. Especially because it kinda came across as if she was judging me. Here are the two different ways I interpreted her question:

  1. When are you going to stop…doing this to your body?
  2. When are you going to stop…wasting your money? 

You see how neither of those questions sounds all that positive? First of all, I would do a TON worse to my body if necessary to have a baby, and second of all, I do NOT by any means feel like this process is a waste of money. I don’t even think I answered her because I was flustered. I think if anyone is ever insensitive enough to ask that again, my answer will be “I guess when I’m bankrupt or have a baby in my arms”.

Can’t you adopt? This one everyone hears a hundred times. Adoption is great, and YES we have all thought about it. It is however, very different from being pregnant. For someone, like me, who really really wants to know what it feels like to be pregnant, adoption takes that away completely. It is also EXTREMELY expensive, and the wait times can be up to 8 years. Yes we know IVF is expensive also, but at least then you have the chance of being pregnant yourself. Here’s the thing……I want to be pregnant. Right now, that means we are using my eggs, and donor sperm to try and make that happen. If I was told my eggs were no good, then I would even go to embryo adoption next, so I could still experience pregnancy. Adoption is OUR last step. Not to say it should be everyone’s, but I emphasize our, because this, like everything else, is a completely personal decision. 

(after any bad news) You seem to be dealing with this pretty well! Don’t say this. It makes me feel like somehow I am minimizing it. Like I should be appearing sadder than I am. When I hear this, I feel like the person is saying “you seem to be dealing with this pretty well…so I guess it wasn’t as important to you as I thought”. Yes, I know I’m adding the rest in there, and I’m SURE that’s not what the person is thinking. However, when people say that sentence, that IS what I add afterwards and fear the person must be thinking. So don’t say it! That way, I won’t add the ending, and somehow feel like you’re judging me. The key word in the original sentence is SEEM. I SEEM to be dealing well, because I don’t want to be the constant crying mess of a person, that all my friends and family start wanting to avoid. No one wants to be around someone who cries all the time, so yeah…..I put on a mask, and SEEM to deal with things well when I’m around others. This doesn’t mean that I haven’t already had one to ten uncontrollable sobbing mental breakdowns that day. It doesn’t mean that the worst case scenarios aren’t on my mind constantly. When I SEEM to be dealing well, it’s because I’m putting on a brave face for you. That is all.

Who’s fault is it? This one should be a given. Fault implies that someone is to blame. Would you blame someone who has leukaemia? How about blaming someone who was born without the use of their legs? Or someone who is blind? When it comes to infertility diagnoses, usually it is the result of how we are made. It is NOT something we did to make us this way. In the case of my husband, it is the way he was born due to a genetic abnormality. Someone with PCOS does not DO something to cause it. Endometriosis is also not caused by certain actions. Never imply that infertility is someone’s fault. The better question to ask, is “What’s your diagnosis?” We already blame ourselves enough (even though we shouldn’t) without you doing it for us thank you very much. 

I know of a friend of a friend who…. Everyone has a story of someone they know, who were struggling to have a baby, going through infertility treatments, etc…and got pregnant the month they were taking a break. This is not the norm. I know people tell us this, because they think it will give us hope. Make us relax so it can just happen. What they don’t understand, is that just like every pregnancy is completely different, every infertility journey is completely different. No 2 couples’ diagnosis is the same, and therefore their journey will not be the same. In my case, if we stop trying, we don’t get pregnant. It’s as simple as that. Hubby doesn’t have sperm, and since sperm is necessary to get pregnant…’s not going to happen. No amount of relaxing, or break taking is going to change that. Stop telling me these stories, they don’t help me. They don’t give me hope. Instead they remind me that other people are getting pregnant and I’m not. 

Just relax! Ok, so maybe this one works for people who aren’t fertility-challenged, but for me, if I relax, and don’t think about it, I don’t get pregnant (as I mentioned above). Also, telling someone who’s going through fertility treatments to “relax”, is like telling someone who is angry to just “calm down”. It doesn’t work, and makes it worse. There are ZERO parts to fertility treatments that are relaxing. You are either stressing about: 1. keeping track of your medication cycle. 2. Your next scan…will the follicles be big enough? are there enough follicles? Lining thickness? 3. Blood tests and hormone levels. 4. The horrible side effects of all the meds. 5. Egg retrieval!! 6. Did the cycle work? 7. Am I doing everything/not doing everything I’m supposed to? etc. It’s exhausting! Don’t tell us to relax. It’s physically impossible.

The last thing that people keep telling me, that is honestly the one that bugs me the most, is: IT WILL HAPPEN!! Don’t say this. Ever. Unless you are some sort of magical, psychic person, who can see into the future, you do NOT know this. Yes, I know the odds are in my favour. Yes, deep down, I believe it will happen, because if I don’t, then why the hell am I even doing this? BUT, no one know, with any certainty, that it will happen. Saying this just makes me feel like somehow I shouldn’t be worried about it, and that my feelings are not valid. Instead tell me that you hope it will, and that you are wishing/praying/crossing your fingers (whatever you believe in) for me. That is great, and super appreciative. It validates the uncertainty of the whole process, and is supportive. 

So there you have it. Again, if anyone is reading this who is a friend of someone going through the process, and you have said these things in the past, don’t worry. We know that it comes from a place of concern, and a genuine feeling of trying to help. However, maybe now, you understand a little more and will change your vocabulary.  The things that people have said/done that I have found the most supportive are:

  • Ask me questions about the process, and be genuinely interested. It gives me a chance to talk things out, and kinda normalizes some of the process.
  • Be angry or sad with me when things don’t work. I remember after my second cycle failed, and I was a complete and utter mess, all my best friend said was “wtf, this isn’t fair! This totally sucks, you shouldn’t have to go through this crap”. It was exactly what I needed her to say. 
  • Don’t take it personally if I seclude myself and don’t want to talk to you. I still care about you, and want to hear about your life, but when I need to be alone and go into my dark place, don’t hold it against me. 

For my fertility-challenged friends reading this. Hope you had a good laugh, as I’m sure you have been through the same questions, and hope that once again, you feel less alone going through this. 

Time for some outside help….

So I started seeing a therapist last week. Figured I can’t do this alone, so I guess it’s time to get some help. (Because CLEARLY, spending my days a crying mess might not be the HEALTHIEST way to get through my life right now.)

First visit last week went well, but I have to say it was mostly just her getting to know me. I was surprised at how easily I was able to open up to her. I’m normally the kind of person who doesn’t like other people to worry about me, so my fear was that I would just play off like I was ok, which would COMPLETELY defeat the purpose of going. But in the end, I guess I let that part go. I talked about my fears of never being a mom, and how difficult this process has been. I have to say, that in the hour I was there, I’m not sure I really felt like we got anywhere, but I did get a good vibe from her. I guess that’s a good thing! I walked away from there with 2 things:

  1. Go see a Dr. and get some much needed time off work. I’m an elementary school teacher, so being “on” and in front of 6-7 year olds all day, is just not something I feel like I can do right now.
  2. Start walking. Now, I told her that I used to run, but due to all the treatments I’ve done, I’ve completely let that go. She suggested I start walking instead, as it does 2 things. 1. It helps the release of the feel-good chemical serotonin, and 2. Being out in the sun helps us feel good as well. Sure, that sounded totally doable. Easy enough. (However, I was a wee bit skeptical that “walking it off” was some sort of magical cure.)

Well that was a week ago. I did go see a Dr, who promptly wrote me off work for a month. Phew! I have to say, that although I feel guilty for taking time off work, and am worried a bit about what people will say, I feel like a gigantic weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I can finally take some time to worry about and help ME.

As far as the walking…..hehehe…….that’s a whole different story. Now right now, I’m very much in a depressed state, and I don’t particularly feel like doing ANYTHING. That includes leaving the house. Going to the grocery store sucks, because all I seem to see when I’m out, is families and pregnant women. And that makes me angry. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not angry at them per se…..but seeing them is like a constant reminder of what I can’t (my therapist would say “don’t”) have. And that makes me so incredibly sad, that I often end up getting back into my car in tears. So yeah…..going out doesn’t really thrill me. Now for the walking…….I live in an area of young families. That means, that at any given point, there are lots of people out walking their babies. And quite frankly, I don’t want to see that. How is going for a walk, and seeing other people doing what I want to do, going to help me?

So, when my husband asked me 2 days ago, if I wanted to go for a walk, I naturally said no. Well I had previously told him that the therapist had suggested that I needed to walk, and that I needed him to push me to do so. Sooo…..what did he do? Tried to push me to do so. Poor guy. The meltdown from me that ensued was COMPLETELY not his fault. I first got snappy – “Why would I want to go for a walk right now? Ugh….maybe later”. Then I got rude – “Umm, this is a little bigger than just a situation that can be WALKED OFF, how the hell is walking going to fix me?”. At this point, the poor guy was a little unsure what to do. Does he keep pushing and have me angry with him? Am I already angry with him? Is he going to do more harm than good?. I think he asked me one more time, in the kindest way possible, saying that it could still be good for me, even if it doesn’t FIX me….and that’s when the meltdown started. Tears for over an hour. I was upset that I didn’t feel like doing what the therapist had said. Maybe she didn’t understand if she thought that’s all I needed. I was so sorry to my husband that I had been so snappy and rude. Anyways, needless to say there was no walk. And…..I doubt that he will be bringing that topic up again soon. Oops.

Today I had my second appointment with the therapist. I told her about my meltdown, and my reasons for not having gone walking. She understood, which surprised me. I kinda thought she’d be angry at me? I don’t know, maybe I expected her to be like “well, if you won’t do what I tell you, then I just can’t help you and we’re done!”. But yeah….obviously that’s not what happened. Maybe I still have a lot to learn about this therapy thing. Anyways, mostly what we talked about today were my fears and how I try to cope by avoidance. She challenged all my negative thinking, by shooting back a realistic (not positive….she doesn’t like to tell people to be positive, because that’s not realistic) view on my situation instead. She kept just telling me that the odds were in my favour. I guess hearing it over and over again, is what’s going to finally help me believe it. So here’s what I took away from today’s session:

  1. Avoid avoidance! Get out there. Go see pregnant people and families. Instead of looking at them with a “I hate you for having what I want”, look at them with excitement of what I will eventually have. Walking and seeing other people with their families should make me think about what it will be like to walk with MY family (even though, as she reminded me, my husband and I are still a family, even if not yet complete). However, do this reasonably. She’s not saying I should do all my walks around the parks and daycares where all the little babies are playing. Because that doesn’t sound like fun. At all.
  2. Remind myself that the odds are in my favour (I can’t help saying that with a Hunger Games voice, hehe). Even though I have all these worst case scenarios bouncing around my head, I need to push them aside and remind myself CONSTANTLY that the odds ARE in my favour here. I have no major issues, for us it’s the fact that hubby has azoospermia. I’m still young (though I don’t feel it) and the odds are, realistically, that at least one of our 6 embryos will be a beautiful little baby.
  3. Keep myself busy doing things that I enjoy. In other words, sitting at home and wallowing all day, is not the most constructive thing for me to be doing right now. I mean, I DO know that…….but not going to be easy to kick myself in the butt and change it.
  4. Thinking good things won’t jinx anything. Yeah. I do believe that. I think that’s why I immediately go to worst case scenario. She also explained how thinking bad things, actually makes your body physically react to those bad scenarios, by producing cortisol and constantly putting your body in distress. That’s not good for ANYthing, especially baby-making…..huh….interesting. So I guess I really gotta work on this.

I’ll see her again in a couple weeks. Hopefully by then I will have started my FET cycle. I did get a really good feeling from her today though. Much better than last time. I feel like she gets me a little more, and I do feel like she’s going to be able to help me. Yay!

Oh, and I’ve found a TON of great infertility memes on pinterest. We actually talked about this one today, so decided to include it 🙂


The Beta Story

1st Beta at 17dpo: 46 – Cause for concern, come back in 3 days.

2nd Beta at 20dpo: 157 – More than tripled! All is good, but come back in 4 days just to make sure it continues to rise properly.

My second beta was on a Thursday, and was the first time I actually let myself believe I was pregnant. I could NOT believe this was happening. I was sick as a dog with nausea, and absolutely loved every minute of it. I was still very nervous about Monday’s beta, but at the same time, thought…..this is it, my luck is finally changing 🙂

3rd Beta at 24dpo: 49 – I don’t think I’ve ever been more devastated in my life. Was told that I would miscarry, and to make an appointment with the Dr to discuss the next step. Also need to come back for more betas until levels get to 0.

We met with the Dr. where he gave us 3 options:

  1. Chalk it up to bad luck and try again.
  2. Have another Hysteroscopy/Sonohystogram to check uterine cavity
  3. Go through PGD testing on the blasts we have left to check for chromosomal normality.

Info on PGD:
Cost: $5000-$6000
What it entails: The 3 blasts we have would have to be thawed, biopsied, frozen again, then thawed again for a transfer. The 3 4-day embryos would have to be thawed, grown to day 5 (which not all will make it), biopsied, frozen again, and then thawed again to transfer. This seems like a lot of messing around with those embryos, that may or may not cause damage.
Stats: For women my age, 1/3 of day-3 embryos are usually normal, 2/3 of day-5 blasts are usually normal. That means, that 2 out of the 3 frozen blasts we have should be normal…….and maybe half of the day 4 embryos should be normal.

We decide to go for option #1 this time, and just chalk this one up to bad luck. As soon as my HCG levels return to 0  and AF arrives, we will start a frozen cycle and transfer one of our 4AB 5-day blasts. The top grade is 4AA, so this is just below top grade, so hopefully a good little one.

4th Beta 27dpo: 77 – Wait, what???!!! At this point Dr’s and nurses are confused. Neither have ever seen this happen before, so although they are certain it’s not a viable pregnancy, I am now being monitored for ectopic. Back for more betas!

Day after this beta, I start bleeding. At what would have been exactly 6 weeks of pregnancy. 😦

5th Beta 31dpo: 30 – Starting to fall again, so ectopic is less of a concern.

6th Beta 33dpo: 10 – Good, but not yet 0, one more beta to do

7th Beta 38dpo: 0.7 – Finally. Sigh.

Unfortunately, since my HCG levels took their sweet time to come down, I have to skip this cycle, which is devastating. Currently waiting for next period to start (in about 2 weeks) so we can get on with this.

6th Try: IVF #2

After our 3 failed IUI’s, we met with the Dr. and decided to go back to IVF. We were lucky enough to have financial help from our parents, which made the process easier on our wallets. Here we go!!

Start Date: March 14, 2016

Dr Visit:

Our doctor decided to look back and see if there was absolutely anything else that could be hindering our success. He realized, that although my lining has been nice and thick every cycle, it has never been trilaminar, which could improve my chances by %50. He suggests that vaginal viagra could help with that, which I would have to take 4 x day. He says that if my lining is not trilaminar at the time of egg retrieval, then we should do a freeze all cycle, and try a different approach next time. Great, more meds! At this point I’m feeling very discouraged, and feel like my dream is getting farther and farther away.

Short Antagon Protocol and Meds:

Pre-Retrieval Meds:

  • 300iu Gonal F 
  • 150iu Luveris
  • Vaginal Viagra (4 x day)
  • Orgalutran antagonist
  • Ovidrel trigger

Post-Retrieval Meds:

  • Doxycycline (2 x day/7days)
  • Medrol (1 x day/4 days)
  • Dostinex – for OHSS (1 x day/10 days)
  • Baby Aspirin 
  • Vaginal Viagra (4 x day)
  • PIO
  • Estrace (3 x day)


Retrieval this time was much more painful, due to the fact that I had lots more follicles than last time. Although I was nervous, knowing what I was in for, took away some of the panicky feelings that I had last time. Retrieval was on Good Friday, March 25, so the Dr, as he comes in says “so, can we consider this our Easter egg hunt?” At least he has a sense of humour! Due to the high number of follicles, the procedure took longer than last time, about 20-25 minutes. About halfway through, I was starting to be in a lot of pain, so thankfully the Dr. ordered more meds for me. In the end I had 28 eggs retrieved, which put me at a high risk for developing OHSS. Doctor gave me meds for that, and strict instructions to TAKE IT EASY! Thankfully I have the best hubby in the world, so he took good care of me. 

Now, right before retrieval, I had blood work done. My progesterone levels were much higher than they like them to be, (18, when they like to see <5). Because of that I was told my chances of implantation went down to about %30 instead of %40. Therefore, unless we got 3 or more embryos, we shouldn’t do a transfer. This was not great news, but thankfully with our 28 eggs, we had good hopes that we would get a good number of embryos.


4 days after retrieval, on March 29, I got the call that we had one excellent embryo we were transferring that day, and 3 more that were being frozen that day. There were also about 6-8 more embryos that they were going to culture to blast stage, and then freeze. Transfer went well, feel like a pro at this point, and back home for the dreaded 2ww.

The next day I got the call that we had 3 nice day-5 blasts that were going to be frozen. All in all, that means 6 nice little frosties for us. Not too shabby! Feeling very fortunate about this.


During the 2ww I tried my best not to think of anything. At this point, I know that all the symptoms are a result of the drugs I’m taking anyways, so no point symptom spotting. There were a few things that were different though, however didn’t pay much attention to them.

  • Cramping at night, starting about 3-4 days after transfer. Cramping wouldn’t last longer than a minute or so, and only came on a night, which was strange.
  • Lack of sore boobs, which happened every other time on the progesterone.
  • Sore feet……like to the point that it was difficult to stand up…..this could also be from all the weight I’ve put on during this process.
  • Sore bum muscles, like pain under my butt cheeks, which was new and very bizarre.

I chalked up all these symptoms to having super sized ovaries that had not yet healed. Did not think anything of it. 

At 8dp5dt, I took an HPT that came back negative. I figured I was out, but held on to a teeny tiny bit of hope that maybe it was just too early to test. Didn’t have the guts to take another test before beta day.

Beta Day:

Got the call, and was SHOCKED when the nurse told me it was POSITIVE!!!!! This unfortunately however came with a big BUT. My HCG levels were only 46. At 17dpo, they like to see the levels about 100. Anything over 25 is positive, and 46 still falls within the normal range, but the fact that they were low was somewhat of a concern. I was told to come back 3 days later to make sure they have risen. What they are looking for is that they double every 2-3 days. My second beta, 3 days later, HCG was 157! More than tripled! Time to do the happy dance 🙂

3rd, 4th and 5th tries: IUI’s #1, #2, #3

Right before we found out our FET failed, the government decided to completely stop funding the IVF program. IVF costs roughly $10 000/cycle, so we had some very important decisions to make.

Meeting with the Dr:

Our Dr suggested that the reason the 2 tries did not work was due to the poor sperm quality from my husband. He said that from here on out, we are better off using the donor, regardless of which treatment we decided to go with. 

Since I have no major known issues, and IUI was still covered by healthcare, we decided to try 3 of those before going back to IVF. Apparently IUI has an %8-%15 chance of working each cycle, which is roughly the same as a healthy couple our age trying naturally (%15). The %8 is because we were using frozen donor sperm. After 3 IUI’s, your chances go down drastically to %4-%8, so we decided we wouldn’t do more than 3.

The IUI process:

I was doing medicated IUI’s, so although it’s MUCH less invasive than IUI, I still had to give myself injectable medications for 3-4 days before the IUI. I then had to take progesterone afterwards for the 2ww. I was on:

  • 150iu Gonal F x 3 days
  • 75iu Luveris x 3 days
  • Ovidrel Trigger

The IUI’s were super easy. I had to get to the clinic an hour before while they prepare the sperm sample. You need a full bladder for the IUI, so that was honestly the worst and most uncomfortable part of the whole thing. Not so bad at all, all things considering! They shoot you up, and then you lay there on the table for 15 minutes, get dressed, and go home. Easy peasy!

2 weeks later, you take a home pregnancy test. If positive, call the clinic for a blood test, if negative, stop meds and wait for period to start, and start all over again.

For the 3rd IUI I ended up with an ovarian cyst. Although it wasn’t a big deal, it did have to be drained which wasn’t a fun procedure, as well as it being $400. 


  • #1: December 2, 2015
  • #2: January 20, 2016
  • #3: February 18, 2016


Sadly every one of these ended in a devastating negative. 

2nd try: FET #1

After our failed first attempt, we made an appointment to see the Dr to plan our next step. Our Dr suggested I get an immunology workup done, just to make sure I don’t have any cells in my body that might attack an embryo. That test came back abnormal, so the treatment was to do Intralipid therapy. Easy and painless, but $500 a pop. Joy!

Next step: Transfer our remaining frozen embryo.



  • Estrace (3 x a day)
  • Intralipids (1 week before transfer, then day of transfer as well)

After Transfer:

  • Estrace (3 x day)
  • PIO (1 x day)


Went smoothly. 1 grade 4BC blastocyst. Didn’t really know what that meant, but was told it was good.


Only thing I did differently this time was acupuncture. I started the day of transfer then did it 3 more times over the two week wait. I can’t say that I enjoyed it at all, but I was willing to do anything if it would help!

Beta Day:

Another negative. This one more devastating than the last, as it was really our last possible shot at having a child that was biologically my husbands. Having a hard time picking ourselves up after this.