The pill.

So, while this isn’t big news, we are back on the pill over here. Good news is that I made it through 7 month without ANY medication. No hormones. No pills, patches, injections, ultrasounds, blood draws, nothing. Unfortunately that changed last week because the duration and strength of my periods were less and less, which is not the way we want things to go if we want to avoid surgery and have any chance at building a lining to transfer our final embryo. Good news, again, is that I DID have a cycle of normal length on a regular basis.

So, good news and less desirable news, but I’d say I already beat the odds of being in pre-menopause by my mid 30’s (because I’m there, dude). If it weren’t for physician error, I would have a functioning lining in my uterus and have a very good chance of a successful pregnancy. No lawsuit or anger will ever change my circumstances in that concern.

At the moment, the medication plan is to follow the pill for one month, then estradiol by mouth in AM and suppository by PM for 21 days, followed by progesterone pills for 7 days, then, repeat the estradiol/progesterone protocol for 2 more months. So, four months of medication and another evaluation to decide any further course of treatment.

I feel surrounded by babies. My heart still aches to have another. I pray that we will, but I’m also enjoying spoiling Toddler J with all my love and snuggles. He amazes us every day… and challenges us, too.

Our family is experiencing other hardships on his side and mine. We are praying for his father and my brother. Praying for healing that surpasses all expectations.

We ask for your prayers right now, for our family and for our own future. We pray for faith in His will and guidance. We also pray for the knowledge, foresight and wisdom of the medical professionals who provide care for us and our family. I find myself taking my health, strength, sight, etc. for granted every day.

Lord, we are ever so grateful. Help us use these gifts to bring the glory to You. Amen.

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.

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?

Gluten. Dairy. Sugar.

I said “good-bye” to gluten years ago. I also greatly limited my dairy and sugar exposure not long after that. I felt noticeably better after just three days of eliminating gluten. Any time I’ve accidentally ingested gluten, I now pay the price of up-all-night discomfort and up to a week of digestion issues. Dairy and sugar haven’t been as obviously cruel to me, but I had a feeling I was going to need to kick them out of my diet again.

There is a good chance that the fluid in my uterus could be caused or at least magnified by the dairy/sugar combination.

I would like to encourage anyone, whether you are in a similar situation or struggling with other health issues, to try changing your diet. It doesn’t have to be huge. Just take it one day at a time. Add in other treats like avocados and coconut oil. Buy good foods that are higher quality.

Give it a try.

 

On another note, the ultrasound today showed a lining around 4.5 and it was still patchy. Estrogen was 1391. I was told that all was going as expected, but I will be increasing the estrace in the evening. There was only a sliver of fluid this time around, so maybe we are making progress.

Asherman’s Syndrome

Another diagnosis to add to my infertility lineup. Premature ovarian failure, diminished ovarian reserve, low AMH, MTHFR C677T/C677T, and Asherman’s syndrome. I am so glad my doc required a meeting yesterday. He explained to us with the visual aid of the internal ultrasound in live time that my entire uterus is collapsed upon itself and stuck tight with scar tissue. Luckily, the cervix is open, so he doesn’t have to create a new one (sounds like fun, right).

He explained that he must stay in the right position during surgery so he can open up my uterus and “create some real estate.” He feels it would be beneficial to grow the endometrium as much as possible because that can provide a guideline for his incisions. I’ll be on estrogen for 21 days followed by prometrium for 5, then surgery, followed by another round of the same meds and a possible second surgery. Surgery will be laparoscopic, through my belly button and another port below my bikini line so he can get a good hold on everything. This also means my belly will be filled with gas to increase the area in sight. Yup, I’m nervous about it. Read more on Asherman’s and treatment here: http://www.ashermans.org/information/stages-of-ashermans/

How did it happen? It often occurs after trauma to the uterus from surgery (such as the two D&C’s I had to remove my placenta after baby J’s delivery). The question mark is why did my placenta stick in the first place? Maybe I am predisposed to scarring and there was nothing that could’ve been done to prevent it. I know the diagnosis could’ve been much worse.

My hubby has been a rock. He has faith that we will get through this. His love makes me stronger.

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