Waiting. I really want a HPT.

I’m doing my very best to avoid spending $15-30 on home pregnancy tests. Last time, I had purchased some really super cheap ones way ahead of time, but I didn’t do that this time. So, if I wanted to test, I’d have to pay for the regular priced ones in the store. That seems like a waste. I’m going to have the test done Friday, then the confirmation on Monday, so I really don’t have that much longer to wait. I just really want to SEE on the HPT!

As far as symptoms, I’m bloated, a little nauseous, sometimes crampy/achy, have a gag reflex with veggies again, and want to eat spicy foods, specifically hot wings. Mmm!

Last week, we had our second FET after IVF in 2013 with ICSI and PGD on all embryos. (I could go on with abbreviations, but that’s enough of that)

I have come to accept that there is nothing I can do to make this work.

If this is meant for us right now, we will have a positive test.

My beloved acupuncturist is going on sabbatical next month, so I will have to find my way without her. I will meet with the new person in the position, but we won’t have the history. I’m so happy for the person who has been such a support and strength for me through all of this. She is taking time for herself. She needs this. I don’t know if she will return, but she will always be part of our life.

We might be putting our house on the market. I’m distracting myself from taking a HPT by refinishing cabinets in our bathroom and kitchen, hoping to give new life to those two areas. I’m excited about the prospects of a new home, possibly with a better view, more rooms, a more preferable driveway, or even a shorter commute (approx. 2 hours in the car each day between daycare drop-off, work, daycare pick-up, and home). At the same time, I’m excited about how our house feels right now. I think the cabinets will perk up nicely, then we get to pick our granite – woo! The rest of the things the house needs to be market-ready are general maintenance as it is springtime as well as paint touchups here and there, mostly necessary from the installation of our new windows last summer.

I’m having fun. My hubby is stressing. It’s hard going through this, feeling like it’s all ME, but he’s right there feeling all of it, too.

Just trying to be a good waiter. Waiting on right timing for everything.

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FET eve.

Last night, March 13, I took my final Lupron shot in this protocol. It began on February 10, so that seemed like a long time! Some tips I’ve learned about the tummy shots: sit down and lean forward so you can get a good pinch of skin near your belly button; put the needle to your skin, inhale, then as you exhale, insert the needle; let go of the pinch, and push the plunger. I avoided almost all bruising by doing it this way.

Last week, I started my PIO (progesterone in oil) shots and continued my Delestrogen shots – both IM (intramuscular) in the upper, outer quadrant of my backside. I also added one trigger shot (hcg) to my backside and continue the hcg shots a couple more times this week but in my tummy like the Lupron. I don’t mind the ones in the tummy as bad because I can see and have more control of the needle, oh, and they aren’t nearly as deep. BUT, if you have to do the IM shots in your backside, sit down. This is the first time I’ve tried sitting and it works so much better. I think the muscle is maybe more relaxed. No, I do not like the PIO shots.

I was given orders to quit taking Cialis (yay!) and Pentoxy last week, but I will continue the estrogen pills morning and night, adding prednisone morning and night also. The past four days, I’ve taken Medrol – I don’t remember what this one is for at all – but I only take it four days.

Tomorrow is the big day. Another big day to add to all our big days.

I told baby J today that we would get to meet his brother or sister tomorrow and that we would bring home pictures (of our embryo) to show  him. Then, I told him, in about 8 months, we get to meet his brother or sister in person.    !!!

I don’t know if he understood any of it. It doesn’t seem like a normal conversation to have, but maybe, people in our situation have these kinds of conversations with their children. I don’t want to conceal the process as I have nothing to hide. I’m not ashamed. I don’t have guilt about IVF. I’m so honored to have the opportunity to conceive and give birth to my child.

I don’t say much about my faith, but I just can’t wrap my mind around how we got here this time. I understand the science of it. I understand the process. We’ve been through so many obstacles, low AMH diagnosis, MTHFR diagnosis, tried IUIs, IVF, and then one more obstacle: Asherman’s Syndrome. Last year, at this time, I had NO UTERINE CAVITY. It was adhered together, flat like a pancake, growing no endometrium. The surgeries opened and helped clear the scar tissue, but the endometrium was so badly damaged that it wasn’t responding well to hormones. On the ultrasounds, you can see scar tissue deep in the uterine tissue, which obviously causes a problem when it needs to grow a functional layer to slough each month.

But here we are with a 7.2 lining as of last Tuesday. The past two months’ lining didn’t even make it to 6.

Science can only do so much. We know this. We don’t have all the answers.

This is God stuff.

Tomorrow is God stuff.

Science can coordinate all the events, but life begins only with God.

If you could, say a prayer. Pray not for me, but for all of us, that we all find the God stuff. There is enough glory given to the gore and other stuff barraging us all the time.

Let’s give the glory to God.

Day 7: Lining 5.5-5.7, E 5847

Well, my estrogen is really high, but the lining is growing better than it did with the Viagra. The Cialis is being blamed for the full body aches, heartburn, hot hands, hot feet, and swelling. I was warned to be aware of my high estrogen and if I feel excessively emotional (as if I would know what that is), I should contact the office right away. Ha.

So, things are looking as good as they can right now. The lining is in an intermediate stage where they wouldn’t expect to see triple layer organization just yet, but by next Thursday, they would hope to see things getting more organized. We shall see what they say at that point, then we potentially meet with our doc the following Tuesday for the final verdict.

I wish I recorded more details the first time around with baby J. I don’t know what my lining was prior to the day 10 check when it was at 8.6. I know at Day 1 in 2013, E was 62, Day 5 E was 383, and Day 10 E was 1523. Being at 5847 on Day 7 currently and shooting for a longer cycle (26 days rather than 15 days as it was in 2013), I have concerns with how well I can tolerate this high estrogen.

All I know is that I CAN take one day, or one dose, at a time and cope the best I can through the side effects in that moment. I know many prayers and positive thoughts are supporting me through each moment.

Pentoxifylline and Cialis.

I just have to put it out there, because I haven’t found any other account of it.

If you are also experiencing these two, please please comment and share your experience.

These two are not my friends right now, but they are part of my plan to grow a healthy endometrial lining for our upcoming FET.

Last month, I also took Pentoxifylline and suffered from a nasty headache in the migraine territory, accompanied by nausea and dizziness. It lasted about two days, but when I learned to take it WITH food, it seemed to ease up and go away. I was also taking Viagra suppositories last time, so it could’ve been my body adjusting to both of those.

This time, the Viagra suppositories have been replaced by oral Cialis. I don’t know if that makes any difference, but here we are, and I’ve been struggling with all-over aches from my neck to my knees, but mostly moderate to severe aches in my lower back and hips. I finally found sleep last night by sleeping on my stomach. Today, I managed the morning just fine but gave in to some help from Tylenol this afternoon. So. Much. Better.

I have an early ultrasound and blood work in four days, so I’m hoping I can hold on until them or that the aches would subside by then.

Anybody?

I’m just so curious to see if anyone else in on this stuff. I can’t see that there are any studies going on and I always wonder about the long-term results from all these meds. I guess I’m off the standard prescription for IVF and FET patients and I’m now onto the somewhat undocumented stuff. Fun. ha.

I kinda have to psyche myself up for my next dose of fun. Makes surgery not seem like such a bad alternative.

Okay, okay. This will all be good. We will learn from it and I hope these crazy meds will make a beautiful lining together. Which will grow a beautiful baby. Who we can spoil with love and kisses. Can we really be that lucky?

I am a science experiment.

If I didn’t feel like an experiment before, I certainly do now. We tackled the “unknown” causing us to not conceive when we enlisted the help of IVF and were gifted with baby J. Now, adding to that “unknown” my battered and scarred uterus, and we are all left scratching our heads.

This month was prepared to be a mock cycle, trying new meds to build up the uterine lining sufficiently. We are up against quite a challenge due to the severity of the scar tissue deep in the uterus. So, of course, my body would decide to rebel against all reason and, even while on estrogen, it would decide to begin sloughing off the functional layer of uterine lining that we are so desperately trying to build…. 7 days early.

It’s day 14, but my body is acting like we are on day 21 or further. I’ve had medicated cycles before where the sloughing didn’t begin until well past day 28. What is going on?

The orders are to stay on meds unless the bleeding continues, then we go back to birth control pills, but either way, we keep our final appointment next week. I can’t imagine what my doc is going to say. I hope he will have experience with sassy uterus’ like mine and have a plan all ready to go, with extra support during the last two weeks so we keep things from falling apart too soon like they did this time.

I do feel that things are progressing in the right direction. I feel more bloated in my lower abdomen – not pleasant, but when the goal is to build and promote blood flow, I think this is a positive. The acupuncture seems to have eliminated any cramping associated with all of this, so that’s great, and it’s also helped immensely with my anxiety and general feeling of being overwhelmed by the unexpected/disappointment/”sky is falling” moments. I don’t know what did the trick to get rid of the fluid (acupuncture, viagra, pentoxy, or cutting out dairy/sugar), but it was gone yesterday. Hopefully, we can keep it away. I kind of expected some strange effects from the viagra, but there is nothing to report. Ever since I started taking the pentoxy with food, the nausea/headache hasn’t returned.

So, I now see a chiropractor, acupuncturist, and fertility specialist on the regular – they are all amazing and wonderful, I might add. I have eliminated gluten from my diet and nearly eliminated dairy and sugar. I take supplements three times a day, a various concoction of prescription meds which change each month and go in both ends, and at least a couple times a week, I give myself an injection (sometimes subQ, sometimes IM).

This has become my normal.

Daily, I remind myself how lucky I am to have this life with my husband, toddler, cat, dog, house of my own, parents, brother, in-laws, and friends who are always willing to listen and help any way they can. My new normal is wild, but it won’t last long in the grand scheme, just as time with my loved ones will pass all too quickly.

Soaking in the moments that bring me joy and doing my best to smile through the rest.

What to do…

I’ve been thinking about everything we tried before we finally resorted to IVF. I’ve been thinking about

the pregnancy tests, ovulation tests, fertility monitoring,

the diet changes (no sugar, no dairy, no gluten, no caffeine/coffee/chocolate),

the supplements (DHEA, primrose oil, etc.),

de-stressing (quit a job, stopped exercising, said “no” to more opportunities),

the acupuncture,

meeting with a naturopath,

the Mayan abdominal massage,

the testing, IUIs, hysteroscopies, that painful HSG,

reading, reading, reading, and

the wishing, hoping, and praying.

Now, we are here, on the other side, with a teething toddler and toys everywhere. Is it possible to still be in awe of it all? Am I still in denial that we are actually here? Is it possible we could be so lucky again? Do I go back and try all those things again or do I just ignore the fact that we ever needed treatment? It all feels like a long, long time ago… yet only three years have passed since our miscarriage, two years have passed since our FET.

Tomorrow, I go in for more tests: bloodwork, trial embryo transfer, doppler of blood flow, and another hysteroscopy. I hope all tests will yield positive results and we can move forward in hopes of adding to our family again.

3 days to FET

All in a day:

band rehearsal – check;

homemade breakfast burritos for lunch – check;

acupuncture – check;

pedicure with a good friend and coworker – check;

oh yeah, and lots of meds – check.

My transfer time caused complications for the acupuncture treatment at the clinic, so other schedules were manipulated to accommodate my transfer time, then my time changed and schedules had to be adjusted again. I had everything ready at work, then somebody cancelled on me and I’m still working to find a replacement. I have faith that it will all work. It always does. It might not be exactly the way I originally planned it, but we’ll get there. We’ve come this far and we aren’t stopping here. Life is good. We are good. PIO sucks, but that’s not new news. I just hobble around really unattractively at the moment and it gives us something to laugh at.

 

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