Sunday, August 12, 2012

Treading Water No More

Throughout this year and a half that we have been trying to make baby number two I have felt like I have been stuck in this limbo land of wanting to be pregnant, waiting to see if I am pregnant and then mourning over the fact that I was not pregnant to only then have to start the vicious cycle all over again the following month. It felt like I was forever treading water. Just trying my best to stay afloat while friends all around me were announcing their pregnancies, which over time has turned into them all one by one having their babies. With each month that passed it got more and more difficult to continue to tread that water until I reached, what I though was the pinnacle of my struggle, when I finally received the diagnosis that answered all the questions as to why we werent having any success. Thats when the waters got really rough and I found that in order to continue to tread in the water I had to work much much harder to stay afloat. After my news that we ran out of infertility coverage for this calendar year and that the coverage we do have would only cover 1/3 of the cost for IVF when we got it back in Jan I slipped into a dark place. My emotions went from complete shock to, pure panic, to finally depression. The kind of depression that leaves you hiding in the bathroom of your home sobbing uncontrollable tears. I was no longer treading water but felt like I was sinking and sinking fast, just gasping for air. I needed to do something. I had to make this hurt stop. I needed to make my infertility stop consuming my life. I have an amazing blessing right in front of my eyes and I felt it wasn't fair to her that I couldn't get my shit together. So at the very last min on Sunday I decided that I was going to drive back to my hometown with my little sister, Gianna and the dog that following morning and visit with my family. And I did. I only was gone for a quick five days but it was just the medicine I needed. I spent time with my family, ate amazing home cooked Italian food and drank some real good MI wine. I kept busy. Running from one persons house to the next. I had long talks with my mom and sisters. I watch my baby girl hug, kiss and play with her cousins and grandparents. Somewhere along the way I found strength. I regained faith. I began to hope again. This weekend my little family of three spent a lot of quality time together. We watched movies, rode our bikes for an insane amount of miles, and enjoyed a glass or two of wine with friends. I still feel like I am in a good place. Much better than how I was a mere weeks ago. I decided that I am taking a new stance to my infertility. Whatever will be will be. Its out of my hands and its not something I can control. I am no longer allow the stress of it all to consume me. I am trying to keep faith that there is a reason I am walking down this road. That this is just a small part of a much bigger picture that is my life. That I will, years from now, look back and understand. I have to believe that there is someone much bigger than me taking care of me. Faith and Hope.

Friday, August 3, 2012

And My World Came Crashing Down on Me

I completed my injectable cycle and once again, although I responded very well, I have nothing to show for it.  Wednesday I went into my REs office on CD2 to get the ball rolling for IVF.  The plan was to be on BC for a little over two weeks and then start stimming on August 26th.

Although I was super nervous I was starting to allow myself to get excited.  I toyed with the idea that come mid Septemebr this nightmare may be all over.  I could see myself getting closer and closer to the finish line.  I was ready.

Then it all came to a screeching halt.  On my way home from my REs office I get a phone call from someone in the billing department.  She asked if I could talk and I told her that I could but I was in my car. She urged me to call her back when I returned home.  Knowing that my insurance covers a lifetime max of 4 IVFs I couldn't imagine what she wanted to discuss but told her I would.

I ran my errands and called her a couple hours later.  It was then that I found out that although Hubs insurance policy states that it covers all testing, treatment, IUIs and a lifetime max of 4 IVFs there is only a 5 grand yearly infertility max. Meaning, our insurance says it covers all this crap until we hit 5 grand then it's 100% out of our pocket.  5 grand may seem like a lot of money but in the infertility world it's crap.  Pure and utter crap.

She then proceeded to tell us that we hit out max.  We hit our max on a bunch of shit that hasn't done us any good.  To say I was in shock would have been an understatement.  Here this whole time hubs and I were thanking our lucky stars each and everyday for such amazing coverage.  Coverage that would help lessen the stress on trying to create a miracle.  It gave me the reassurance that even with crap ovaries and the possibility of crap eggs I can still give Gianna a sibling someday.  I thought that even if it wasn't in the first shot we could keep trying until it happened and move past this limbo hell we have been living in.  To only have that all abruptly taken away.  I can't stop sobbing.  I feel angry, gutted, frustrated.  And I'm filled with regret.  So so much regret.

I keep playing over in over in my head the things we would have done differently if we would have only known.  We wouldn't have put 20% down on a new home that we bought four short months ago.  Heck, maybe we would not have even bought a new home.  We would have done more research re: DOR and treatment plans instead of blindly following the REs suggestions.  Maybe we would have gone straight to IVF.  Maybe, would of, could of, should of.....

I'm killing myself with all these scenarios.

In the end, Hubs is trying to talk to his company.  See if they will do anything to help us out.  We know it's a long shot but he says he wouldn't be doing right for his family if he didn't at least try and ask.  I've been thinking of ways I can cut costs or things I can sell to bring in some extra cash.  We are determined to have the 10 grand ready for a Jan start date with the assistance of the 5 grand in insurance money.

We can do this.  We have to do this.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Injectable Cycle

Im in my 2 weak wait on an injectable cycle. Overall it wasn't as scary or difficult as I thought it would be. I had to give myself Gonal-F from CD 3 through CD 9. At CD 7 they had me add Cetrotide which I had to do in addition to the Gonal-F meds until CD 9 to help me not ovulate prematurely. On CD 10 I took my trigger shot to induce ovulation. CD 12 we had an IUI and then I started using progesterone cream. By the end of it all my stomach was a little sore from all the injections but really it wasn't too bad at all. The one wonderful thing was that I didn't have any of the horrible side effects that I had with clomid. The only thing I have to complain about is a lot of bloat, loss of hair and the inability to take a nice dump. Which overall isn't too bad....besides the not being able to dump. That sucks. Thankfully I responded pretty well to these meds too. I had two follicles on my left that we're at a 19 and at least four additional follicles btw my right and left ovaries that were at a 13. I'm feeling a bit more hopeful this cycle. I have always thought if anything was going to work, other than IVF, this would be it. Hubs on the other hand tells me to not get my hopes up and to go through this thinking that it not going to work. He believes that IVF is going to be our golden ticket. If this cycle is another bust we are moving forward with IVF. Hopefully we won't have to go that far but we are ready. We have done all would could thus far to try to have a baby and we think it's time to bring out the big guns. I'm allowing a very minuscule part of me get excited with the thought that in about 8ish weeks I could be *finally* pregnant. Hopefully.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Oh Shit Moment

Yesterday I picked up all my meds for this next cycle.  I was feeling excited to start this cycle cuz we are switching up from a clomid cycle to an injectable cycle.  In my heart of hearts I never felt like the clomid was going to do us any good but we still went along with the RE's plans because what do I know?  I didnt go to med school for eight million years. Whereas with the injectable I always believed that we have an honest shot at getting pregnant.  At that moment I was in a super good place.  Ready to dive into these new meds.

HCG med not pictured.  Please excuse my crappy cell phone pic.
When I went to the pharmacy I was a little surprised by the amount of bags that the pharmacist pulled out from who knows where.  I don't know what I was thinking but I do know I wasn't expecting to see bags upon bags filled with boxes upon boxes of medication and needles.  I watched as they starting placing all the meds in a cooler with ice packs when it hit me, this is serious business.

When I got home I laid out all my meds, syringes, and needles on the counter to make room for them in my fridge.  Looking at all of the medication stacked up on my counter all I could think about was how it looked like a pharmacy in my very own home.  I suddenly became really overwhelmed and then just incredibly sad.  I did what it seems like lately infertility always makes me do, I cried.  

Cried because I couldn't believe that it came to this point.  Cried because I feel sorry for my poor stomach that is going to have to endure a beating.  Cried because of the fear that I may go through all of this for nothing. Cried because if this doesn't work we will have to do IVF and that just means even more bags upon bags of boxes upon boxes. I cried because it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I am infertile.  I need to take serious meds to achieve a pregnancy.

Hubs must have had his "my wife is gonna need me radar" on cuz he came home early that day from work, which he rarely ever gets to do, just mins after my first tears started falling.  He did what he has always been amazing at.  He wrapped me up in his big strong arms and kissed the top of my head and told me its gonna be alright.

I was talking to a friend about this who is in a similar boat as myself and she said "It is for sure overwhelming. I was excited getting ready to do my first ivf. After I got the meds I just cried. Have your pity party for yourself over the unfairness then pick yourself up and remind yourself how freaking 
beautiful this baby will be and loved." And that is exactly what I did.  

I am again in that excited place.  I start my first injection on Monday.  I have my gloves on and I am prepared to do what I need to do to kick infertility's ass.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

And Through it all There is Gianna...

My bright, sassy, outgoing, beautiful, adventurous, friendly, full of life child.  I always knew she was a little miracle but with my struggles to achieve another pregnancy and my diagnosis I realize everday how much of a miracle she really is.

I was sitting on a park bench this morning watching her approach these older girls, whom we have never met, with such excitement and enthusiasm and she hollers "My friends are here!!" and my heart bursted with pride.  She walked right up to them and told them that her name was Gianna and asked what their names were.  After the quick introduction they were all chasing each other up and down the playscape.  Almost as if they truly have been friends for a long time.

This is how she is, from the moment she wakes up in the morming.  She stops people in their tracks where ever she is at and demands their attention and people immediately fall for it.  She will talk their ear off telling them about her day or what her momma had for lunch or that one story about that one time eight months ago...  She can flirt and smile her way into even the coldest persons heart.

She is my little blessing.  My walking miracle.  When I am having a particularly rough moment I stop and look at that bursting ball of energy that is my toddler and smile.  I am so thankful for my little girl.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Same Story Different Day

I just finished my third cycle on Clomid and second IUI.  This cycle my FSH level was the lowest that it has ever been at a whopping 7.  I felt like screaming the news to the world.  Its a 7! Seven! SEVEN!!!! Much like Monica on Friends.  This was my first FSH level in the normal range ever since they started testing it four months back.  On top of that, the persistent fat and ugly cyst that was hanging around on my right ovary for two cycles suddenly vanished and my righty responded very well by growing five follicles.  The dominate follie was at a 20 while the others were in the 15 range before my RE had me trigger.

This morning I had my IUI and thankfully Hubs sperm stats were again off the charts great so now I am officially in my 2 week wait.  So we wait.

We spoke to our RE earlier in the week to talk about the next steps if this Clomid cycle doesn't work.  His suggestions was to go a more aggressive route and I couldn't have agreed more.   He wants us to do an injectable cycle next.  Our hope is that if this cycle doesn't work than the injectables will.  If not, the Hubs and I decided that we will proceed with IVF after that.  At that point I feel that we played all our cards and at that its time to bring out the biggest guns we have.

So its the same story just a different day.  Testing, meds, ultrasounds, more testing, more meds, fingers crossed and then wait.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

This week has been a rollercaster...

of emotions.

It all started two days ago when I decided to take a pregnancy test when I first woke up.  To my complete and utter surprise there was a second line.  It was light but, my God, it was there.  I stared at it, frozen, wondering if I was seeing things.  The phrase "a line is a line" kept running through my head.  I had to know if I was imagining things, so I sent the picture out to a few friends to see if they saw it too.

I asked my friends to not say I was pregnant.  Told them to not congratulate me.  I didn't want to believe that this was it.  I told them that it had to have been left over hormones from the trigger.  I kept repeating to myself that the HCG hormone HAD to still be in my system and that this was a false positive.  My friends scoured the internet trying to find different forums and articles about how long a trigger lasts in someone system.  From everything I read it looked like it was super rare for it to still be in your system 7 dpo but on the rare occasion, especially with someone slim, 11 dpo.  I was 11dpo.

Despite all the precautions I was mentally taking, trying to convince myself that this WASN'T pregnant,  deep down inside I was hopeful.  I found myself on cloud nine that day.  I even rubbed my belly a time or two.  Hubs came home that evening and unbeknownst to me started messing with my phone and found the pictures.  He asked me if the pictures that he stumbled on were what he thought they were and I confided to him that it was.  I then quickly explained to him why I didn't want to tell him and that this could mean absolutely nothing.  I could very well NOT be pregnant.  We hugged and kissed and, well, we were cautiously overjoyed.

The following morning I took another test praying to anyone that would listen to me asking that they make this line got darker instead of lighter.  It wasn't.  I was crushed.  To say I cried a little bit that day was an understatement.  When Hubs came home from work he wrapped me up in his big arms and held me as I sobbed like a fucking baby.  Over and over he told me that he loved me.  That he wouldn't change a thing about our life.  That he would 100% take his vow of marriage over again even if he knew before hand that we would have these issues. He said that he felt blessed with our little family of three.  He told me to be patient with myself and to give myself a break.  That he knew it would eventually happen and if it didn't it was ok.  That in the end everything will be alright.  And I sobbed some more.  I married an amazing amazing man.

Today I am feeling a bazillion emotions.  From sadness that this cycle was a bust, to confidence that I am going to kick this diagnosis's ass someday, to thankfulness for the beautiful toddler that I am so blessed to have in my life.  I didn't test today and I started spotting this afternoon, a for sure sign that my monthly BFF is on her way.  If my period doesn't start before tomorrow at 9:00 am I go into my RE's office for a blood draw.  I am preparing myself for the phone call later that afternoon where they tell me I am not pregnant.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

After Clomid and Trigger Shot.

For the two people who read this (Ha! I'm not kidding anyone.  I am the only one who reads this) I apologize for taking so long to update.  I wrote this big long post out but couldn't proof read it/publish it before my weekend visitor came over.  I came back Sunday to what I thought would be a saved draft post to an empty screen.  Ticked off a blogger I slammed my laptop closed and didnt cool off about it all until today.  :)

So here we go...

I went in for multiple ultrasounds last week and found out that I had three dominate follicles.  (Two at first and then the last ultrasound showed that a third started to grow).  When I was first told the news I was so relieved.  After I left the office I actually sat in my car and cried happy tears.  Finally after a year of trying I felt a little bit of hope returning.  I couldn't believe it.  I actually responded well to the clomid. 

On the 26th the nurse called the afternoon after my appointment to tell me that the RE wanted me to trigger.  Like the drama queen that I am I hung up the phone and freaked the hell out.  I was scared.  Terrified.  I cried.  I did not want to give myself a shot.  I quickly asked hubs via text if he would do it for me and his response was something along the lines of I am not really comfortable with this, at all, but will if you need me.  Great.

So that night I got the shot all ready and handed it over to my Hubs telling him to do it.  He then handed it back to me telling me that he couldn't.  This back and forth exchange when on for about ten mins, no joke, before he agreed that he could do this to help me out.  I stood there, pinching my stomach fat with my face turned away for him for about five mins while he stood there with the needled aimed at my stomach and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  I turned to him and asked him what the hell was taking him so long because I was starting to sweat and my heart was pounding.  His responded that he was worried about hurting me or bending the needle inside me and that he is going to do it but just slowly and steadily.  At that point I grabbed the needle from him and told him to get the heck out of my way.  I was going to give myself the damn shot.  And I did.  

Honestly the anticipation of it all was a million times worse then actually administering it.  Hubs thanked me for doing it saying that he wanted to help but really couldn't get himself to do it.  He then said something along the lines that he didn't go into medicine for a reason and then mumbled something like "its just not right to have to do something like that to your wife".  I told him he was a wuss.  

Tomorrow I go in to check my progesterone levels and then I go in next Thursday for a blood draw to see if I am pregnant.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Beginning Clomid

On Saturday, CD 2, I got my blood drawn and another ultrasound to check my follicle count. Later that afternoon I got a call from the nurse telling me that my FSH count went up from the following month. It was at a 12.9 now from an 11. I didn't get a specific number of follicles but from what I understood it was less than what I had the following month and to top it off I had a small cyst. I was driving my car when she told me this and was so taken by surprise so I didn't ask too many questions. Before I knew it the conversation was over.

Basically, this was not the news I was hoping to hear. I was hoping my levels would go down since I heard that your chances with DOR to respond well to fertility med are only as good as your highest FSH level. Before I allowed myself to go into full panic mode I decided to call the office again, ask questions and get some additional information from the nurse.

I asked her if clomid would be a bust this cycle since my levels were elevated from the prior month and she assured me that they were not. She said that if my FSH levels were closer to the 18 range then we would have to go straight to IVF. She said my success rate with clomid for this cycle with my current FSH levels would only go down a couple percents.

During our discussion I decided that I didn't want to do this cycle unmonitored anymore. I figured that by monitoring this cycle I will know for sure if my body reacted well to the clomid or not. It will also take away any guess work as to if I'm ovulating. I felt a million times better after making that phone call and changing our treatment plan.

Then I waited for the evening of CD 5 to my first Clomid pill. The following morning, yesterday, I felt like pure crap. My head was pounding, my mouth had a metallic taste to it, and I was nauseous. The whole nine yards. I realized quickly yesterday that if I ate small snacks throughout the day and kept hydrated I felt a lot better.

I'm not a breakfast person but this morning I made myself eat some a toasted pb&j first thing in the am with my morning coffee. I feel great. No headache. No nausea. No nasty taste in my mouth. I am feeling some twingies in my ovaries so hopefully that means something positive is going on down there.

The game plan now is to keep taking the clomid at night until CD 9 and then see the RE on Monday to see it it helped. In the meantime I'm sending good follicle producing vibes to my ovaries.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Diminishing Ovarian Reserve

That was the outcome of my appointment this past Saturday. My ovary production is in the 25% for women my age. Even though there is indeed an issue he said that I was by no means in the freak out zone. I do need help. That is for sure. The way I see it this is my body's way of saying hurry up.

During the u/s they took a week or so ago they look for approximately 10 follicles in each ovary and I had 7 on each. My fsh hormone and amh hormone was also elevated higher than average.

He assured me that my having a period at a younger age had nothing to do with this. Nor does any birth control I took in the past. The count I have is what I was born with. As I'm getting older its diminishing. End of story. (Which was a major relief to me. Gianna could have an early period, like me and the rest of the women in my family, but that doesn't mean she will go through this BS. I was really worried about this.)

He said I have three options: clomid, injectables, and IVF. Basically it is up to Hubs and I on how aggressive we want to be.  Each option has a different success rate and an increase chance in having multiples. He said that getting an IUI vs doing it naturally does not change our success rates with clomid or the injectables. Having achieved a pregnancy on our own prior to this diagnosis only adds 1% to our success.

I asked him if he was in my shoes what would he do. He said considering that I've never had any types of fertility medication he would try clomid first to see how my body reacts to it. 

His suggestion was that we try that for a few months. Then move on to something more aggressive, as long as my body reacts well to it. If it doesn't react well to the clomid then we would change plans more quickly and move on to something more aggressive. 

I asked about natural remedies and supplements and he flat out said to NOT use any. I cannot "fix" this and things like Royal Jelly and wheatgrass do not help my situatiion. He said accupuncter is fine but he doesn't believe it helps or hurts the process.

My final question to him was what the state of my ovaries would be if I do succeed achieving a pregnancy quickly and want to try again in three years for another. He couldn't give me a straight up answer. He said as woman age their ovarian reserve decreases. That is a fact. He cannot tell me right now if my ovaries are on a steep decline or not. So it's basically a we will know when we get there type of thing.

So Hubs and I had to make a decision pretty quickly since I was already in my 2 week wait and expecting my period very soon. I'm to call as soon as I hit CD 1 which is due today. Then we are to proceed with our plans right away. 

Hubs and I had a long talk about it and we decided to give Clomid a shot. The RE plans on putting me on 100mg that I need to take from CD 5-9. I will test later on to see if I will need to take progesterone too. We are not going to go the IUI route.

I feel better. In fact, I feel hopeful again. Its not an ideal disgnosis but it's not destitute. Now I have to just show my ovaries who's boss and those bitches are gonna find out real quick that it's not them. Not anymore at least.

So that's that. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Testing and Waiting

On March 17 I went in for an ultrasound and to check my FSH levels. It seemed simple enough. I was told that they would perform and internal U/S to check things out and then draw your blood. Then in a day or so I would see my results on-line.

During my u/s the tech tells me the my uterus looks good and healthy and then moves on to my ovaries where she start counting follicles. She counts seven on each side so a grand total of 14. I then ask her what the average number of follicles should be and what the doctor looks for and she tell me eight or a total of 16. Not gonna lie, not stomach sank and immediately my brain starts going into overdrive. I can't help but think "Shit. Shit shit shit! I'm two short of normal. What does that mean? Can that be fixed? Two short isn't bad, is it? Shit."

When all was done I went to the reception desk to schedule my next appointment when I was told that they are still waiting on the result from the seman analysis. Thats when they dropped the bomb. The seman analysis take a few weeks and is not ready yet. They would schedule our next consultation to go over the results in three weeks. They want to wait until everything comes in, including the SA, before we meet for our consultation and game planning session. Basically meaning that we are again on our own for our current cycle and have another three more weeks to wait and worry to find out what's going on.

My blood results came in a few days later and I did what I'd like to think any normal person would do in my situation. I googled my results. I wish I didn't. My FSH levels are moderately high. From what "Dr Google" says RE's hope to see levels 9 and below. Levels at 10 respond well to medication. Levels 12 and above have a very slim chance to do well. My level is an 11. From what I'm gathering my body is entering perimenopause, or the beginning stages of menopause.

Needless to say I had a major freak out. Many many crying, and I mean ugly crying, sessions. I'm scared. I'm worried. I'm nervous. I never thought I would having such a difficult time getting pregnant. I always thought I'd have this big family, so I cant help but think and worry.....what if this is it?...what if my body is failing 30?....

This Friday I went for my HSG test. This is the test where they insert dye into your uterus and Fallopian tubes and take x-rays to see if there are any blockages. Pretty interesting test to participate in, or maybe I'm just a nerd like that and only I think it's interesting. I got to see my uterus fill up with dark fluid and then slowly watch the dye travel its way through both to my tubes and spill out onto my ovaries. Which is a good thing. It means there were no blockages.

So now I wait. Wait for the seman analysis results to come in. Wait for my appointment on the 7th. Wait to find out exactly what everything means and how that translates into treatment for us. Wait. Worry. wait.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Let me tell you a short story on irony. February 14th 2009 I took a pregnancy test and to my disbelief when I looked at the test two lines were staring back at me. Nine months later Gianna was born.

This Valentine day instead of looking at a positive pregnancy test like I hoped, I got the opposite, and then made a phone call to a RE. What only took three months to do the first time is proving to be much more difficult the second. We need help. I hope for answers. I pray for a miracle.

We went for out first consultation a week ago and was told about all the "fun" testing we will be will have to do. They encouraged my husband to go in right away and give them a sample of his boys so he did that yesterday.

The RE said that we should be able to get all of our testing done and come up with a game plan before this next cycle comes around. So I wait. Wait for one cycle to end so I can start another which hopefully will make us one step closer to becoming parents to a second child.