Monday, November 7, 2011

European Fertility Vacation

So I happened across an article today about a product used in the UK called DuoFertility. It's a patch that you put under your arm and it comes with a monitor that follows your cycle to provide you with fertile days, ovulation confirmation and an online fertility support team. It's completely none invasive, even more so compared to our OvaCue where I still have to wand myself. Apparently they did a study with 500 couples who were infertile, several who had qualified for IVF or had actually done IVF and failed. And it's guaranteed pregnant in 12 months or your money back. Now all I have to do is convince Hammer to move to England for a year. Ha! Maybe it will come to the US now that it's show to be effective.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thanks Yah.oo

I was suprised to see this article on "What not to say to friends without kids" on my news page on Yahoo and I have to say it's pretty good. Take a look and let me know what you think.
Click Here

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One Year

One year ago I sat on a beach awaiting the results of our fourth IVF. I never would have guessed that today I would sit on the same beach having suffered through a missed miscarriage and an ectopic. It seems surreal, like it wasn't me that this all happened to but it was.

To catch you up after my last post, I spent the first whole day in bed and in a great deal of pain. The next day I was able to get downstairs with assistance and Hammer drove me to a follow up appointment for blood work. The results showed a marked decrease in my hcg levels post op as they went from 3,051 to 600. My doctor was very encouraged by this and felt that I would likely not need a follow up shot of Methotrexate. Apparently when the tube is saved there is a 20% risk that fetal tissue can be left behind and it can continue to grow. If this is not caught then the tube could burst again. I was concerned about this as we had hit every other small probability on this journey. But things were going well even though I still needed a regular dose of per.cocet to manage the pain. A day later, Friday, I was able to get myself up to go to the bathroom and I noticed that thing didn't quiet look right. Saturday morning Hammer took me to the local urgent care where I was diagnosed with a severe bladder infection. Since I was on pain meds they couldn't confirm there if it had made it to my kidneys. The doctor decided not to admit me but did put me on some very intense antibiotics and have me report my progress. Thankfully it worked but the side effects of percocet and the antibiotic knocked me out. I ended up taking the entire week off following the surgery. In the end it was a good thing. This recovery was far more intense than the previous lap. At my one week follow up appointment I was still sore and swollen. My doctor said it was to be expected as I had a lot of internal bleeding that she cleaned up. My internal organs were very irritated and bruised but I was healing well over all. She also confirmed that our ectopic was just a freak occurrence and that my history of mild endometriosis did not have anything to do with it. Apparently endometriosis would never have allowed the embryo to get up that far. So more than likely my tube was fine and it just decided to take a tour up my tube. I also learned at that appointment that they did an analysis on the tissue and it was healthy fetal tissue. I didn't want to know the gender this time around but the information is there if we ever wanted to know. My hcg levels went down to 107 so my doctor was confident that it would resolve in about a week or so. My first week back at work was exhausting. Only three people know of what happened and I prefer it that way but it meant that I had to put on a happy face and lie about why I was off. I did not enjoy that at all.

A week later my hcg was down to 15 and a week after that AF made her appearance. I was very thankful that it ended so quickly. Since then I actually have ovulated from my right side. I'm 95% sure it was the right side because I had very intense sharp pain that lasted about 5 minutes. It was very, very sharp so clearly I am still healing. Hammer and I decided to go ahead with an HSG in January to ensure the tube is open. Beyond that I know we are done with IVF.

It's hard to be back in the same spot a year later with everything that we've been through but it also brings closure. We'll certainly be taking time off to heal emotionally but when we are ready we will be moving forward with building our family.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sore but Successful

After we got the news yesterday that the supposed 'pocket of fluid' was actually a gestational sac with a fetal pole and cardiac activity, we were immediately scheduled for surgery. We went home for about 2 hours so I could change into comfy cloths and get things in order to prepare for the surgery. At 3 pm we arrived at the hospital and were immediately rushed upstairs to surgical prep. I have never seen a hospital so efficient, Hammer and I were very impressed. I was all set up for my surgery in about an hour. My parents were able to come as well as some good friends of ours but they would only let 2 people up in pre-op. Hammer and my mom hung out with me while we did Facetime with my dad and our friends. I was very thankful for this as it was great to take my mind off of the pain and make the time go by more quickly They gave me some pain drugs through my IV which hit me so fast I literally almost jumped out of bed. Seriously, Hammer and my mom jumped up to stop me from falling out of bed. I never take anything more than an Advil so that scared me to death how fast it hit and made me feel really weird.

My Dr was doing the surgery as it happened to be her hospital call day for L&D which was such a blessing as she is a great Dr. and very, very good OB/GYN surgeon. It was a comfort to know some one we knew and trusted was doing the surgery. All in all the surgery took about an hour. Apparently our little one had traveled up to the very top of my right fallopian tube while is also rare for it to get that high with IVF. This was another blessing as it meant the Dr. could easily remove the pregnancy without taking my tube due to the larger 'space' in that area of the tube for her to work. I did, however, have some internal bleeding because, as our baby continued to grow and burrow, it was pushing blood out both ends of the fallopian tube simply because it had implanted so close to the top where the tube is open to the abdominal cavity. So my Dr. did have to clean up the internal bleeding which is what took longer. But it was also what made me so uncomfortable and triggered us to ask for help earlier so another blessing in disguise. While she was in there she also removed two spots of endometeriosis that she found on the back of my uterus and on my left ovary.

While I was in recovery my doctor came out to speak with Hammer. She told them she was very happy that I called when I did and was shocked that I wasn't in more pain with the internal bleeding but I have a crazy pain tolerance so what is a '3 out of 10' for me would be a '6 out of 10' for someone else. That's how I rated myself to the Dr. earlier that day and after surgery she agreed that my pain tolerance is definitely high. They were able to release me last night and now I'm on bed rest. I do feel like I was hit by a truck and I am very thankful for Hammer being home to take care of me as I need help just to sit up right now. As difficult as this was and as much as we wanted to avoid surgery, I did have a good outcome as far as avoiding a rupture and saving my tube. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers as we certainly needed it and could see the blessings in such a difficult situation.

I have also been getting calls from our RE who has been checking in with me every few days. It's such a difference from the other practice as our RE actually calls us and not just the RN. He has been getting updates from my local Dr. as well. During my phone call with him today he said that our embryo must have been incredibly healthy to not only make that trek all the way up my tube but to then implant and develop normally. He expressed his sadness that if it had implanted where it should, we would very likely be pregnant with a healthy baby. It was hard to hear but also what we were thinking as well having seen the ultrasound the day before. What is most difficult to try to wrap our minds around, is that we literally had to end our baby's life to save my life. I know that there was no other choice as it would have killed both of us but it just is so difficult to mentally take in. It's one thing to see that your baby passed away on it's own but to have to end the life of something that we both worked so hard to achieve is devastating.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Our ultrasound did not go very well today. The pregnancy is progressing and they were able to see a fetal pole with cardiac activity. There is no way that the shot will work when it is this advanced. I will have surgery today at 5pm EST. My local Dr. will be doing the surgery which I am very happy about as she has a great reputation in the community, I trust her, and she did an awesome job when she removed my endometriosis back in 2008. There is no way that she will know if she can save my right tube until she is in there and even with saving it there are risks of scarring which can lead to a future risk of ectopic.

At least I knew my body well enough to pick up on the fact that the pregnancy wasn't ending. I was able to get blood drawn and an ultrasound done a day before the typical repeat HCG. It very well could have saved me from a ruptured tube. This is my one consolation.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Not Working

I was supposed to have a blood draw this Thursday and that blood draw was supposed to show a 15% decrease which would let the Dr. know that the shot was working. Today I woke up and realized that the mild nausea that I originally thought was from the shot, was actually morning sickness and that I now have additional pregnancy symptoms. I knew my levels were going up and not down. I had actually started bleeding and cramping on Sunday and was hopeful that they were going down but the bleeding has nearly stopped and it's nothing like a period.

I put in a call to my local Dr.'s office and they had me come in immediately for blood work. I was right. My levels went from 1,900 on Wednesday of last week to 3,053 today. There is no way my levels are going to drop to 1,600 in one day as that would be a 50% decrease now. I have an ultrasound tomorrow morning where they will determine if I am safe for a second dose. If not, we'll have to make plans for surgery. This is an absolutely horrible experience. I feel like a walking time bomb.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Thursday morning, the day after learning about our third failed pregnancy, I called my Gyn to see if they could give the methotrexate shot. I was very happy to learn that they do give the treatment in the office and my Dr. was more than willing to follow my care. I guess that's just a benefit of having been her patient for a very long time. She knows our whole story and had her personal nurse, T, arrange everything for me. My dad, who is recently retired, offered to drive me there as Hammer could not get home in time since I was given an early appointment. I was so glad to not be alone. When my dad pulled up he even gave me a basket of flowers and chocolate, so sweet.

At my Drs office, nurse T took me back right away and got all my vitals to correctly mix the methotrexate. My Dr was on hospital call at the time so she had one of her partners give me the medication. He was such a sweet man and spent a ton of time with me talking about what to expect, my history, and just been kind and encouraging. Everyone was just so kind during a difficult time. Apparently I am a great candidate for the shot which made me feel better about chosing this treatment. My HCG is well under the 5,000 cut off - it's 1,900; our gestational sac did not show any signs of viability - no yolk sac, fetal pole; and I'm in the 6 week window when treatment was given. So I guess this is one time I can be very thankful for a poorly developing pregnancy.

They gave me the medication in two doses so I had two shots in each of my hips. Apparently it get's absorbed better this way so it acts quicker. The shots burned going in and hurt for about 20 minutes. I also had to get a Rhogham shot because I'm Rh- so my bum was pretty darn sore when I left. I was grateful my dad was driving because it was uncomfortable to sit let alone have to drive my car which is stick shift.

Apparently it takes about 3 days for this to kick in so at this point I have a little less than 24 hours before it hits. I was told to take it easy so no lifting, twisting etc. that could cause my tube to rupture while waiting for the medication to finally kick in. What I didn't realize is that even when it is working there is still a chance of rupture so I am not out of the woods until my hcg is negative. So I will have to cancel a work trip as it's too much of a risk for me to be in the middle of nowhere and have something happen. Right now I feel a bit queasy and have a headache which is a typical side effect as methotrexate is a chemotherapy drug. When this stuff kicks in I should have crazy cramps. Ironically after having spotted for the last two weeks I haven't spotted once since Tuesday. Strange how I fought for two weeks to not spot and now all I want is to bleed and get this over with.

Emotionally, we are both taking this pretty hard. Hammer was 100% convinced it had worked. I was a bit skeptical because of all the bleeding. I just had this feeling I could not shake that something was wrong but honestly I went in hopeful that I was wrong as I had been wrong before. But when the u/s zoomed in on my uterus and I saw it was empty I turned to Hammer and shook my head, he just started tearing up and squeezed my hand so tight. Neither one of us ever thought ectopic though so it was quite a shock. I think it's finally sinking in but we are both so heartbroken.