Gentle restorative yoga? More like yoga naps.

Last night I had a client meeting at my studio. We were designing her boudoir album. The yoga studio I attend is right down the street, so after she left I started working on a blog post. I’m so behind blogging my business stuff. After I chose the images I wanted, I set them to convert to JPGs and laid down on my chaise lounge chair. I fell asleep listening to The Get Up Kids and woke up 40ish minutes later, finished up my stuff on the computer, and got ready for yoga.

I got to yoga and L and I talked about my pregnancy and she is currently in the (natural) tww. She has symptoms but doesn’t want to believe them just yet. Class started with 10-15 minutes of meditation. I set my intentions for my embryo/embies and had my hands on my stomach, just talking to them inwardly. After all our sitting poses with started using the pillow things and blankets and I swear it was just me basically napping in different gentle poses. During savasana I was asleep, for sure.

I’m used to going hard in yoga, a heated class at that, so getting used to this non heated class has been weird. I was walking standing up a little straighter on my way into work, so it has it’s benefits.

In the night I woke up with strong cramps, but they are gone now. My head feels heavy and hurts, and my nausea is coming and going. I’m still very tired.

I’m just hoping and hoping this is it for me. Adam is starting to even talk about there being a baby or babies in me, so he’s letting his guard down a little.

I have acupuncture tonight! Looking forward to it. Probably going to sleep through that, too- ha!

Two days until vacation!

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Nothing I can do but wait.

Nothing much to say other than I’m losing it (mentally) and I hope that my numbers are going up and my embie(s) is (are) settling in.

Pregnancy loss follow up, looking to cycle 4

I had a follow up with Dr. Plante today. While we can’t prove it, she is leaning toward my early pregnancy loss being a tubal one, from the intense pain I was having on my one side. She thinks the embryo was pushed out of my tube before we did that ultrasound which is why we didn’t see anything, but of course we can never prove it. So we’re just calling it an early pregnancy loss. I only have one cycle left before she has to reapply for me to get two additional cycles, which will be it for me- at least on my insurance, so we are going to do another fresh cycle. My 3 remaining frosties are a B and two C-. My insurance counts FETs as cycles so it’s like I’m getting an “extra” transfer with the fresh, unless I overstimulate like my first cycle, as well as more frosties in case my remaining 3 cycles don’t work. So! They’re sending in the paperwork and off I go in the next few weeks for cycle 4, my 3rd full IVF cycle.

The good news is I was able to get pregnant, and that if I did have a tube pregnancy, it situated itself before it got scary. Also another good thing is I got a lot of good quality eggs with my last fresh cycle’s protocol, so as long as I do the same thing again, I feel like we should be good. I hope! My optimism is dwindled and muted, but I’m trying to trudge on. Adam asked me how I felt about it after I asked HIM, because “it’s your body getting fucked with, not mine.” I told him I’ll do what I have to do, and he called me his Xena.

I guess warrior princesses don’t always feel as such.

The waiting continues..

This morning I had my blood work and ultrasound. Everything looks normal on the ultrasound- ovaries, tubes, lining, etc.. other than the fact that the tech saw NOTHING in the uterus. What? My heart dropped. So I hope my embryo/embryos are buried in my lining and that’s why we can’t see them yet. I’m going to stop reading my Ovia pregnancy app, because the information I’m getting from it is not accurate according to this morning’s ultrasound. I was going by an IVF calculator in the first place so I’m going to forget that all for now. The tech sounded sad for me and said “Sorry you have to be on this roller coaster” to which I said thank you. So now I’m worried and waiting by the phone, as usual. Hopefully my numbers are rising and I am still pregnant.

Sigh.

20dp5dt

Will you stab me in the ass?

Tonight I’m going to a show with my friend Jen, and it starts around the time I do my injections. Generally my mother in law does my injections as she lives right next door, my own mother, or my sister in laws in a pinch. Adam faints at the sight of blood so he doesn’t 134do them! I’ve done the PIO (or in my case, progesterone in ethyl oleate) in my thigh before but it was SO painful and I couldn’t walk right for a day. I’m lucky I have supportive people in my life!

Last night I went to bed and was having pinching in my uterus and what felt like my cervix. It almost took my breath away! I’m hoping that was my embryos making themselves comfortable in my lining. Today I am feeling slightly nauseous and very tired. I’m hoping these are all good signs! I almost tested this morning but I decided against it. I’m not sure how long I can hold out!

Last night I had acupuncture which was great, and as I thought, I fell into a deep sleep. I was dreaming and laughing in my dreams and woke myself up twice by groaning. Ooops. I also forgot I had a pin in the top of my head and went to fix my hair and OUCH. I didn’t notice until I got home (after stopping at the grocery store afterwards!) that I had a long trickle of blood down my face. Lordy! I ordered two more vials of my progesterone, I’m hoping I get to use the both of them.

So today will consist of me trying not to lose my mind, but tonight will be fun and dancey!

5dp5dt.. c’moooon embies!

BC Stop date and insurance annoyance

Well, today my insurance approved my FET, and they are counting it as cycle 3. I was approved for 4 cycles of IVF through my insurance in a lifetime, so needless to say I am nervous.

When I met with Dr. Plante, we discussed how my insurance may or may not count things. Some insurance companies count FETs as part of the cycle the embryos were frozen in. Unfortunately for me, mine does not. If this FET, my cycle 3, does not work then for my fourth and final covered cycle, Dr. Plante suggestd doing the whole shebang over again- even though I have 5 frosties in storage. She said it would be more cost effective for us to do another full cycle covered under insurance so we can have even more frosties in storage, as FETs are less expensive than the whole thing. WHEW.

They’re also only covering half of the Estrace dosage I need daily, and not covering the new PIO injectables I’m taking. Luckily I can cover those but I’m a little frustrated. I had an allergic reaction to the sesame oil in the first PIO shots, so this time I’m getting the progesterone compounded in a different way.

Although I’m grateful I get 4 cycles covered, I’m nervous we will start having to pay out of pocket and this process will slowwwww down even more. Each FET is a few thousand dollars. So that’s weighing on me at the moment.

My stop date for my BCP is May 1st, which is next Sunday. Once I stop taking my BCP I will get another period, and with the first day of my period I am to call my care team.

So we’re trucking on! Fingers and toes crossed this “cycle” works!

Cycle two- close but definitely no cigar.

I started cycle two full of anxiety. The vigor and excitement and buzz that surrounded my first IVF cycle wasn’t there. I kept hearing from everyone to just stay positive, and of course I was trying, but still I was wary.

I started my medications and I was off. Same old routine that I had gone through the last time, monitoring appointments every other day, with blood work.  I ended up stimming for a shorter amount of time at 7 days as opposed to the first round of 12. I was very paranoid about overstimulation, and I was not looking forward to my egg retrieval.

March 30th I went in for my second retrieval, this time I was a lot more calm and was excited to get it over with. When I was going over the paper work the nurse mentioned that my fresh embryo transfer would be scheduled for that coming Monday. I remember clamping my hand over my mouth and tearing up, willing myself not to cry. Transfer? Already? We weren’t doing another freeze all? I didn’t overstimulate?! I was excited about that. The doctor was able to retrieve 26 eggs this time around, which was unbelievable considering the first time we only were able to retrieve 12 eggs. My husband jokingly referred to me as the easter bunny. Ha!

April 5th was the day that our two perfect little embryos were transferred back into my uterus. It was an emotional day. Adam was there holding my hand as they went back in, and I was wiping tears from my eyes as we waScreen Shot 2016-04-04 at 3.16.00 PM.pngtched on the screen. I remember the embryologist telling me they were “beautiful” when she brought them in. The doctor told me to go get pregnant and within ten minutes we were out the door. We were both so excited and gushing. Adam wanted to post our embryos on Facebook, the first time it was feeling really real for him. I told him to hold off, in case they didn’t take. We did share the photo with some friends, but having to explain to all our social media friends seemed daunting.

Our beta, first pregnancy test, was scheduled for Thursday, April 14th and those days of waiting were absolutely torturous. Waiting, wondering, hoping, wishing- it was a lot. I held off on any HPT (home pregnancy tests) until day 4. I took a HPT test 4dp5dt and I saw almost nothing. Almost.Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 3.16.00 PM I decided to test again the next day, in the morning, and I saw a faint faint line. I was excited but cautious. I had felt rumblings going on down in my womb, cramping and twinges and pulling. I had terrible heartburn every single day, no matter what I ate. It woke me up in the middle of the night. I was getting more and more excited. Surely, I must be pregnant! I thought to myself. A day after my retrieval I started doing acupuncture. The day after my transfer I lay in the acupuncturists room, needles stuck in between my eyebrows, legs, arms, and feet- my hands on my stomach, I felt an energy, a buzz. I could feel them! Then, during week two, the buzz, the energy, it was gone. I felt empty. My HPTs were stark white. My heartburn was gone. At 6dp5dt we had had intercourse and I had bled right afterwards. Adam called our care team, me in a panic, did we do anything wrong? They reassured us we hadn’t, but to refrain from further intercourse to keep from freaking ourselves out. The next 4 days every time I had a bowel movement I bled bright red blood. I called for three days, freaked out. Nothing I could do but wait until my beta. It could be my period coming, but that was too early, or it could be my cervix being sensitive. No way to know until it was time.

The drive to the clinic on the morning of my beta was full of anxiety. I knew it was going to be negative, but did I? I told the phlebotomist that I didn’t think it worked, that I wasn’t pregnant. She gave me a sympathetic look, wished me luck and I went on my way.

I received a phone call from one of the nurses from my care team around lunch time while I was at work and I could tell from her voice and when she asked me if I had a minute to talk to her somewhere private that I knew my fears had been realized. I wasn’t pregnant. Our conversation was a daze and I scheduled my follow up with Dr. Plante for the following Monday (which- in real time, was yesterday.) I hung up and cried into my lunch. My co workers avoided asking me about it, they knew what was going on. I cried to my boss, told her about my follow up, then took an extra long lunch. I called Adam, and my mom. I was so upset.

One of my good friends had a baby show a few days after I got my results and I couldn’t go. I didn’t want to be the crazy lady crying at onesies at her shower. I felt awful but knew it was the right decision. I was just so emotional and raw still.

Yesterday, which was Monday, I had my follow up with Dr. Plante. She said I did everything correctly, and that the cycle was textbook perfect. The embryos were textbook perfect. It is literally a flip of the coin every single time. Luckily for us, I have 5 embryos frozen and waiting for me. We submitted the paperwork to my insurance for my FET (frozen embryo transfer) and I’m currently on birth control pills, as well as my period. Once they get the okay from my insurance, I’ll be given a stop date for the BCP and I’ll have my next steps.

This is a rough journey, an emotional one, and it’s very hard. Now you’re caught up to present day, and I’m onto cycle 3. Hopefully third time is a charm!

 

Testing Cycle Results, Cycle one!

Our test results concluded that my tubes were blocked, I wasn’t ovulating, and Adam had a low sperm count. IUI was out as an option for us, and we had our double whammy infertility results- IVF it was. The next step was for Adam to go to the urologist to make sure everything was alright.

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 10.05.46 AM

Our Christmas tree ornament for 2015

I received a text message from him after his appointment that simply said.. “I have X-men sperm!”

…what?

Apparently Adam has 97% mutant sperm. They have two heads, or two tails, or no tails. So with that information, the okay that he was alright, and a plan in place, I had my baseline bloodwork and we were ready to rock in February of 2016.

When my meds showed up to my work I was overwhelmed to say the least. Look at all these needles! Look at all this medication! I watched youtube videos of other women doing their sub-contaneous injections, I watched the Freedom Fertility instructional videos, and tried to mentally prepare myself for the road ahead. Then, finally, my orders came in.

I’ve been recording every single injection I’ve ever taken since we began our IVF journey. I’m a hoarder of nostalgia, and plan on turning this footage into some sort of compilation some day, but right now it’s tucked away just being stored.

I was so nervous, I was shaking. Adam recorded me as I stared down at my belly, wiped clean with an alcohol prep pad, pinched skin between my fingers. I attempted once, as soon as the needle got close to my skin I stopped. This was so much scarier when you’re doing it to yourself! I was very determined, though, and after a few false starts I was in. It wasn’t as bad as I thought! I can do this, right?

As you know, we are two cycles deep and preparing for our next transfer. Here’s the run down of how that first cycle went.

I stimmed for 12 days. I had my egg retrieval on February 20th, and we had 12 eggs retrieved. Out of those 12 eggs, 6 were mature. Out of those 6 mature eggs, only two fertilized into embryos via ICSI (they put the sperm directly into the egg) and on the fifth day, I received the call. Our embryos stopped growing. The cycle failed. I had been planning on doing a freeze all cycle since I had overstimulated. After my first egg retrieval I had to take three days off of work, in addition to the two days I laid around on the weekend. I couldn’t poop for a week, no stool softeners gave me relief, and after and enema and two suppositories I had little relief over a few days. I tried drinking prune juice and projectile vomited it back up. I looked 5 months pregnant. Needless to say, I did not have a good time.

Receiving that phone call at work was awful. I went into the bathroom and cried after I got off the phone with Dr. Plante, who was very comforting. I called Adam and cried to him, too. Dr. Plante asked me if I wanted to take a break and I said no, as long as medically safe, I’d like to continue on. So I booked a follow up with her, and the next week I dropped in to talk about what went wrong with our first cycle.

My estradiol levels (a form of estrogen) had dipped low 2 or 3 days in to my cycle. Dr. Plante had to adjust my injections accordingly, and though they did rise, they hurt my egg quality. With your estradiol levels you want an even, clean rise and they did not have that. For my next cycle, she was to start me at a slightly higher dose of Gonal F, and I was also put on Metformin to help control my hormone levels.

Metformin is a diabetic drug, but it is also prescribed to women who have PCOS. It’s hard to get used to, it gives you terrible stomach aches and diarrhea. It’s not fun, but I was willing to suffer through if it meant better egg quality cycle two. So! I had my period, I started another round of birth control, and prepped myself for cycle two…