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.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Our little bean implanted in my right tube.

We are getting blood work done, stopping all meds which include baby aspirin, extra folic acid and awaiting the results so that I can get a methotrexate shot tomorrow. We are praying that this works, otherwise I will have to have surgery and risk loosing my right tube.

We just have the absolute worst luck.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Does anyone else find this weird?

So our neighborhood has a Faceb.ook group page to help bring our little community together. I get posts from our group nearly every day for things like, "free recliner to a good home," or "anyone recommend a good plumber." Never, ever, would I have thought the following post to ever show up and I'm kind of weirded out by it.

Really? You don't have a friend or coworker that could use them? You do realize that teenage kids are part of this group right? Is it just me?

In other news, we are spotting free right now at 5w5d. I'm praying that this streak continues. I just got my PIO in the mail today and Hammer is out of town starting today as well. Looks like I'm going to get pretty good at giving myself IM shots. I also think that this wait until the ultrasound is getting more difficult. I just want to know what is going on. With everything that has happened to us it's hard not to think of this not being any different. Will there even be a baby? What if my levels are no longer rising? I wish that I could ignore these fears but miscarriage leaves it scars. I'm questioning what symptoms I have and wondering if they are pregnancy or progesterone related. My boobs are veiny but really only sore in the morning, I do have increased sense of smell but I had that in the 2ww, I've had a pretty big appetite, mild cramping and flutters, the last two days I had mild nausea in the morning but that could be due to the recent consistent dose of PIO before bed, and I have to drink nearly 100 oz of water to keep from being dehydrated. I don't have to pee all the time but I also have a retroverted uterus so maybe I won't feel that for a while. Today I noticed that my mouth is constantly watering and my ginger ale tasted horrible as well as some other foods. I'm just really ready for next Wednesday to know if this pregnancy is going well, until then we are doing A LOT of praying.

Monday, August 29, 2011


This week is all about waiting. Waiting for my PIO supply to come in. Waiting for the day when I can stop the suppositories. Waiting for the spotting to stop. Waiting for the upcoming ultrasound.

The spotting is really starting to mess with my head. We were able to get it to stop Friday morning and it stayed away all day Saturday until around 9pm; about 1 hour after I put in the 3rd suppository of the day. We were driving up to visit my in-laws who live about 3 hours away. When we were an hour from arriving I felt something strange and made Hammer pull off at a fast food restaurant. Sure enough, bright red blood on the panty liner. It was a fair amount but did not soak a pad. I ended up doing our nightly PIO in the restaurant bathroom. First time I'd given a PIO solo. Let me tell you fear is a great motivator. I didn't even hesitate to stick that crazy long needle in my hip. I did 1cc rather than 0.5cc because it was the second episode of bright red bleeding. Once we arrived at my in-laws I went straight to bed. When I woke up the bleeding had tapered off so I showered to get ready for our day. Then I put in the first suppository and 15 min later...bleeding. Since then it has been constant when I wipe but not really anything to soak a pad. It's more red/brown than anything.

What really scared me is that as the day wore on my ride side (hip, butt, front of abdomen) was beginning to hurt more and more. We ended up leaving early to head back home. After brainstorming what could be causing it and ruling out ectopic we decided it was probably from the PIO I gave in that side. I wasn't having any cramping on the left side of my body and it seemed to stem from the back side. I sat on a heating pad on low and rotated every 30 minutes. This morning I feel much better in that spot.

I have also been very thirsty and am drinking 3-4 24oz bottles of water a day. Regardless today I woke up really dehydrated and very sick to my stomach. I also made the mistake of taking our last HPT with my very dehydrated sample. I freaked out that the control line wasn't as light as it was two days ago. I know that things can happen and this bleeding is not helping but I'm not having any cramping and there are very good reasons for the spotting. I hope that my freakout was unnecessary and you can be assured we do not have anymore FRER left in the house.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Giant Sigh of Relief

Emergency peace of mind beta #3 came back = 748

Hopefully we'll get this spotting under control but for right now I think we might have a sticky bean. Grow bean, grow!

It's Back

The spotting, it came back last night around 9 pm.

After Tuesday's scare, the bleeding was so bad that I could not keep the Endometrin in so we decided to give 0.5cc of PIO just to get something in my body. And then as a precaution for the next day (Wednesday), Hammer gave me another. The spotting was completely gone that day. On Thursday morning I talked with the RN and she said that since the bleeding stopped and the suppositories were staying in that I could stop the PIO and continue with the Endometrin, which I did. And then later that night I spotted pinky brown mixed in with that Endometrin ooze which is exactly how the bright red bleeding started. We were at our couples bible study when I discovered it while going to the bathroom. There was no warning. We immediately left for home so that Hammer could give me another shot to hopefully prevent full bleeding. I went to bed totally stressed out and hardly slept at all. When I woke up the spotting was gone and there was nothing but old blood. So we made the decision based upon our gut feeling that the suppositories alone were just not working for us.

This morning when I called the clinic to tell them what happened, they said that it was fine to do the PIO but they wanted me to do 2cc a day. Crazy. I've only ever heard of one other person doing that much. Honestly if 3 Endometrin/d + 0.55cc of PIO are working, we might just keep it up because we know it's working now. Clearly we just can't do suppositories alone. Now we could be wrong about the PIO and still spot, we totally are aware of this but I think this will at least bring some peace of mind to have two sources of progesterone going. I already had my Endometrin refill delivered so I'll have more than enough on hand. Oh and we also requested a 3rd beta just to see if everything is still going OK in there. I think we should be fine because I took a FRER again this morning and there was so much dye on the test line that there was barely a control but peace of mind is priceless right now.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beta #2

Today started out much better as I woke up to no bleeding and just a few smudges of brown from yesterday's event. But to be safe I took today off just to ensure that a) I had my blood drawn around the same time as before and B) if I started bleeding again I would be at home. I went in today around 10:30 AM to get my blood drawn and got called back right away. What I didn't expect was for the phlebotomist to tell me that the diagnosis code was wrong on the order. I asked if she wanted me to call but she said she would do it but after they failed to put Monday's order in as STAT I was a big concerned. After I left I called my clinic to tell them to expect a call or to just call them directly to ensure that everything was fine. I then sat on pins and needles for the next 2 1/2 hours. When I had not heard from them yet at 2:30 I called the lab to see if it had been sent and they confirmed that it had. Ugh! Then just call already. My brother texted to reassure me that at his practice he always likes calling with the good news at the end of the day and so he was praying that they operated the same way.

Finally the phone rang.

ME: "Hello, this is Mrs. Hammer"

RN: "Hi this is C, how are you doing today?" [in a super chipper voice]

ME: "Nervous"

RN: "Well you have no reason to be nervous"

ME: "I don't?"

RN: "Nope, because your numbers are awesome. They more than doubled. Your beta came back at 296" *

ME: "You're kidding me? Oh my gosh I can't believe it" [through sobs of joy]

I also learned that my TSH (0.94) and T4 (1.6) came back at really good levels as well. We are done with betas and will await our first ultrasound on the afternoon of September 7. Hammer and I know there are still many hurdles to go but hope that this is finally the long anticipated and fervently prayed for miracle.

Thank you for all of your prayers and stories of hope from past experiences, they were all so encouraging to me. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we wait for the results of the ultrasound in 2 weeks.


The only other time I did the babymed graph it was for our abysmal hcg levels with our blighted ovum (which were two whole days behind what we are now) so I wanted to see where we are now. Holy Pete, we're normal. The thing actually says the words "normal." Please Lord, watch over our little one as he continues to grow!

*I bolded it for those of you who scroll down to get the results before reading the whole post...I do it too :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Spotting Scare Update

I think the PIO did the trick. The bleeding started to turn to 'old blood' around 3pm and is now almost completely gone. Our prayer is that the little one is a fighter and hung on. My only concern is that my symptoms have disappeared again but could that be because I was scared out of my mind? We shall see tomorrow.

This is not happening again *updated*

I woke up this morning to bright red blood. Not a little, a lot. But as of right now I am not cramping. Hammer encouraged me to take the last HPT to see if my levels dropped but the test line is now nearly as dark as the control. We're praying this is a good sign. I put a call in to my clinic and I'm going to request to switch to PIO if the HCG is still rising. Please pray for our little one!

The bleeding has continued without any cramping. It's less than a period but bright red. The clinic couldn't really tell me anything (as I expected) other than we would have to wait till tomorrow to see if the levels increased or decreased. They still wanted me to take the endometrin even though I kept asking if I could absorb it with all the bleeding. I really didn't get a good answer. My mom offered to come over to hang out with me today. She's a retired nurse and we both decided to just crack open the last PIO I had on hand and give myself a bolus of 0.5cc. We figured it couldn't hurt and would only help. Afterward we spent sometime praying for the little one.

Monday, August 22, 2011


So let me catch you all up:

  • 11dp3dt, Thursday August 18 - I had to go on a business trip to the middle of no where and left the day before which I was not happy about. Especially considering that 12dp3dt was when I suddenly started bleeding with our last IVF cycle. So imagine my distress when the day begins with major cramping and all my symptoms disappear (except for vein-y bbs and my crazy sense of smell.) Later that night I went to the bathroom discovered a streak of brown on the TP when I wiped. For most women they would think maybe it was implantation but because this was the day before our bleeding from last time I went into freak out mode which was enhanced by my being alone in the middle of podunk-ville USA. I could not get a hold of Hammer who was out with his friends but did get a hold of my mom who talked me down from the ceiling. Shortly after I was able to sk.ype with Hammer and just seeing his face and my sweet puppy helped tremendously.
  • 12dp3dt, Friday August 19 - This was my last day out of town. The symptoms were still gone (minus my vein-y bbs) but the cramping and spotting were gone too. Somehow I survived and drove as fast as I dared to get myself back home.
  • 13dp3dt, Saturday August 20 - Hammer and I decided to test this morning. We just couldn't stand it anymore. I took an internet cheapy (no I still have not learned) out and did the deed in a cup. The control line came up but there was no sign of a positive. I sighed and said, "As I expected," but then decided to just use the last FRER up because why not and the internet ones suck. So I dipped and while putting the cap on to my shock a positive line came up right away. I cocked my head and said, "Not what I expected." I crawled into bed and told Hammer that we had a faint line. Really it wasn't faint, it was pretty visible but was it hcg going up or coming down? Then later that day the brown spot on the TP was back. Crap. Hammer and I went out shortly after to pick up more HPT, you know, just in case.
  • 14dp3dt Sunday August 21- I woke up at 4 am and 'held it' as long as I could stand until about 4 am. Then I took another FRER. The line wasn't coming up as fast, just as I expected, a chemical pregnancy. I crawled back into bed and woke Hammer up to tell him but he wanted to see for himself so he got up and took a look at the test. He came out looking quizzical, "It looks the same to me." "Well same isn't better" I told him but looked at it again. Holy Pete it might actually be a bit darker. We spent about 10 minutes comparing lines from yesterday and walked away convinced it was darker.
  • 15dp3dt Monday August 22 (beta day) - I woke up around 4 am again after a night of vivid dreams about all sorts of silly things. I talked my self back to sleep but not before noticing that those darn suppositories were making a mess again. When I couldn't stand it any longer I got up about the same time as yesterday (6 am) and got out my supplies. But to my horror I saw that my pad was soaked with a mixture of suppository gunk and brown discharge and there was a lot. I freaked out a bit which woke up Hammer, cleaned myself up and then took the test. I told Hammer it was still coming up positive but I just crawled back into bed as this was a bit too deja vu for me from our last cycle. Hammer got up to get ready for work. (I had decided to take the day off) He came out of the bathroom and said, "You know this is darker, like significantly darker." I had to look at it myself but yes it was definitely significantly darker. But I was having cramps and the brown discharge continued, actually got worse when I put in that darn suppository.
  • Around 8:00 am called my clinic to tell them what was happening knowing that they don't open until 8:30 am. I told them I would wait to get the blood drawn in case they wanted to add in an order for progesterone. When it was nearly 10 am, I could not stand it anymore and just drove to the lab. I had decided to try a new one that was attached to a local hospital that promised stat labs. Just after I had checked in at the lab the clinic called. She reassured me that as long as it was brown it was ok and that lots of women start to get irritated by the suppositories about now. So they were not going to check my progesterone but did state that if my value came back at at least 100 they might drop me down to 2 times per day instead of 3. I was called back shortly after I hung up and made sure to tell the staff several times that the beta was stat and the TSH and t4 were not. The phlebotomist said it was no problem but if I hadn't heard by 2pm to call the lab. Well 3pm rolled around and my clinic had not called so I rang the lab and found out that they hadn't run my beta yet because it wasn't put in as stat. AH! Seriously! After being firm with them they said they would run it right away. About an hour later my clinic called.
  • Beta #1 = 96 - The RN reassured me that I made their cut off of 100 because more than likely by the end of today I am 100. But man, by the skin of my teeth. Just to be safe they are keeping me on the Endometrin 3x/d until my repeat on Wednesday. It is hard to be super excited having gone through a blighted ovum and a missed miscarriage but I guess the first hurdle is just getting pregnant, yet we have many more to come in the next few weeks. Please be praying for it to double by this Wednesday. I am still having spotting but it is staying brown and it does seem to be connected to the suppositories. We did compare this to our blighted ovum cycle and today at 15dp3dt (18dp0) I am 96 compared to 17dp3dt (20 dpo) I was at 107. So hopefully that is a good sign.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

mini update

Today is 10dp3dt and my beta is not until 15dp3dt. This is because we are traditionally late implant-ers and to prevent what happened last time our new RE is making us hold out. Hammer and I are not doing a home test for that same reason but will be testing the morning of beta.

I've had to take a forced break from the internet to A) protect my sanity and B) to study for my exams. I was not mentally ready to take my tests post transfer so I had to impose an internet hiatus in order to pass (which I did!). But the next day I was consulting Dr. Google and having a meltdown. So I am imposing the hiatus again. So other than a quick update today I probably won't be posting again until beta day. I think they said I should get my results by 4pm.

I'm getting my butt kicked in the symptom department by these suppositories and have every symptom in the book: extreme fatigue, emotional (weepy), extremely sore boobs, cramps (not sharp ones like the last IVFs), hunger, headaches, constipation....really you should just go look up the drug information and it will give you the full list. It's been fun. I'm doing my best to keep up a positive attitude and the Circle and Bloom has helped if I can stay awake to do them. I honestly can't tell. At one point I let myself talk to Dr. Google on 9dp3dt and what pops up? My last IVF post. I Googled myself. So basically I have no idea how this will end.

I was shook up today though when one of my good IRL friends who had her transfer two weeks before me learned that her pregnancy did not progress past 6 weeks. She just learned today that she had a blighted ovum. It is all too deja vu as our first pregnancy was a blighted ovum. The worst part is that I'm away on business so Hammer is no where near me so give me hugs and let me cry for them and for the fears that it brings up for us. Four more days till beta....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 3 Transfer

Today we drove down to our clinic for our transfer. The RE on call this weekend was the newest to the practice. He seemed very nervous but we learned later that he's had to overcome patients just being upset that they didn't get their doctor and it's not about his ability. Because he seemed nervous I was praying that the transfer would go well. Honestly it was the best transfer I've had to date.

Let me back up. They take things very seriously at this clinic in comparison to our old one. I now liken our old clinic to doing ART in a third world country. The new clinic made us both suit up into clean sterile medical garb. They took us back into the large procedure room that is set up similar to a surgical room. They have big vents that clean the air through two hospital grade air filters. (Old clinic did both the retrieval and transfer in their regular exam rooms and everyone was in street cloths and the vents probably haven't been cleaned since the 80's when it opened)

They got us set up in the room and then we waited a few minutes while the RE finished up with another couple. He came in to discuss the report of our embryos. Then they set us up for the ultrasound guided transfer. The RE did a test transfer which was usual but looking back I'm glad because it just ensured that the actual transfer would go perfectly. I didn't know he was done with the mock transfer until it was over. And the actual transfer was no different. They actually recorded the transfer so that they could replay it for Hammer and I a few times. We transferred three embryos listed in order of quality on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = best): 1 8 cell -compacting, 1 8-cell grade 1, and 1 6-cell grade 3. The remaining four are under 6 cells and grades 3 and 4 which will likely not make it to freezing stage and hence why we got our call this morning. But it was a very good sign to hear that one was compacting already which means that it was moving into the compacting morula stage.

We rested there for about 20 minutes while I listened to my Circle and Bloom recording and then got changed and back on the road. We drove straight to our acupuncturist so she could do the post transfer treatment (pre-transfer treatment was late last night). Then we returned home and I've been resting ever since. I took off tomorrow as well just to take it easy.

Part of me is a bit sad that somethings were the same but I think it was more so just from our day 2 report to today's. If they had never said anything about 5dt, then it would have just been status quo for the Hammers. But after some time I do feel at peace. We've done everything now, tried a new protocol etc. So whatever happens we'll be ok. Of course we are praying for the best out come :)

On the road again

We got the call and while we have three good ones the others are lagging behind so they do not want to take a chance and are recommending a three day transfer. I'll post more later.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I'm Living Some One Else's Cycle...and I Like it.

I just got off the phone with the nurse from our clinic. (the nice nurse, not my dumb one) Every embryo, all seven, is still perfect [perfect] and for the first time ever we are being told that they want to do a 5 day transfer. I was so shocked, I kept asking if they were sure. I think the nurse was confused by my response because at one point she very nicely said that she thought I would have known about this having done IVF before. When I responded that I was aware but that we've never had this happen before so I'm shocked and in unfamiliar territory, she was very understanding. She said that there is another couple who does not have the option of a 5 day transfer and she will be getting a call around 6 am regardless with a lab report so she would have the lab call her with news about our embryos as well. Then she will give us a call and we can decide what we want to do.

We really appreciated that because part of me is terrified that if we wait there won't be any embryos to transfer having never had this situation before. I know that there is a 15% increase in success rate with a blastocyst transfer which we probably need to take every percent we can get. I think I will just need that reassurance tomorrow.

Oh and I was not able to get some info from my dumb nurse yesterday so I asked nice nurse the details about our retrieval. Apparently.....ALL 11 WERE MATURE! Holy crap! And I guess they all fertilized but only 7 fertilized normally which is still ridiculous. A 100% fert rate?!?! I can hardly wrap my mind around this. I'm either having an out of body experience or I'm dreaming. Please don't wake me up.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fert Report

The retrieval went very well. We stayed overnight at my family's home to ensure that we would make our 7:15 am appointment time without a hitch. They took me back right away and I changed into my gown. It was such a different experience from our old clinic. Rather than doing the procedure in the same general exam room they had a full scale procedure room with high tech ventilation. I had my IV placed and then waited about 5 minutes before they took me back for the retrieval. Once I got my feel good drugs the only thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room and being told they got 11 eggs. Say what? Yes, 11 eggs. I've never had double digits before. But we knew that we really only had about 5 that were around the mature size so I didn't get my heart set. Our RE was actually happily surprised with the outcome as well.

Once I was feeling better we made the drive back home where I could sleep off the drugs and awaited our fert report for the next morning. I woke up some where around 1 am last night to use the restroom and felt compelled to pray for our embryos. Apparently our prayers were heard because we learned this morning that 7 fertilized normally. We are happy to hear and continue to pray that this is a good sign. We are set for our transfer on Sunday and will continue to be praying for our little embies.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fast Track

Well our retrieval has been pushed up to Thursday but more so because I have a few lead follicles sitting around 18 (x2) a 16 and 15 (x2) as well as a few 12's and several smaller ones that will likely not be mature in time. So while my E2 was better it seems I stimmed too fast in the first few days to allow for recruitment of more follicles. My lining was at 7.5 after just 6 days of meds so I hope that it will catch up as well. I was hoping that maybe I would have a better showing on this protocol but it seems that I will always get the same amount no matter what so our prayer is that these are healthier. We'll know more in a just a few days time. Trigger is set for tomorrow at 8:30 pm

Saturday, July 30, 2011

frustrations and firsts

Frustrations - working with the lab here in my home city to get our lab results down to the clinic has been a nightmare. Partly because the IVF nurse they paired me with is a moron and partly because the lab cannot do Stat E2. By the time I am writing this post we have called our clinic three times because the first order my IVF nurse called in was for HCG and not E2. Good thing I read :) and caught it. Then they said they faxed over the updated order but they did not and the nurse blamed me for giving her the wrong fax number. But I know I didn't because I have the fax number memorized because I've been having blood work faxed there for the last 4 1/2 years at a rate of almost once month. This was all occurring a few days before I was to get the blood work done. When I arrived on Friday morning at 8 am I discovered that the had not faxed the lab and the clinic did not open till 8:30. The lab tech was awesome and took my blood and clinic's phone number to harass them for me. I also left a frantic voice mail. Finally the correct order was faxed but she forgot to tell them STAT so by 4pm that day I did not have my E2 levels. To top it off the lab swore they faxed the clinic Hammers results but the clinic swore they hadn't received them and my nasty nurse was all mad at us saying that we would have to cancel the cycle if he didn't get it done. But even though we had paper documentation showing that the blood was drawn, she still was crappy about it.

Firsts - Finally today after we called the lab twice and the clinic twice I got the long awaited phone call that Hammer's blood work was received as well as my own. It was worth the wait. I have the highest day 4 E2 ever! Higher than the average people!!!!! For the first time in our lives they are DROPPING our meds to slow us down!!!! I cannot believe it. I only pray that this is a good sign that we have healthy eggs growing. Even if the number is no different than before if they are healthier that is all that matters. We are so thrilled.

I even made up a chart of where I compare to the average for each of my cycles so you can see just what I mean by best ever.

I cannot wait until Monday when I go in for our u/s to see how things are going. So for the next two days I will decrease my Follistim to 200, give 1 vial of Menopur, and 1 vial of Ganarelix. I will continue with my last stimulation acupuncture treatment on Sunday afternoon as well as continue my Circle and Bloom IVF/hip opening yoga sessions.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hit Me Baby...One More Time

Today I made the long trek down to our new RE's office. I am totally out of my element with this protocol so the whole time I kept thinking that I needed to be 'quiet' and follicle free. So when the ultrasound showed several follicles on the first ovary I had an internal freak-out moment. But when he said things were looking good on that side I was confused and it must have showed. He reminded me that there is no suppression and they want to work with the body's natural process of starting follicular formation and that things were timing very well. So normal breathing patterns resumed and I was given the all clear to start my meds tonight.

My meds are different than what I originally thought. When I asked about the changes, he said that he thought more about our needs and decided that Follistim and Menopur might work better. So that's what I'm using. I have to say that the Gonal was easier since I didn't have to load anything, just put on a needle, turned the dial and pushed. The whole spinning plunger on the Follistim is a bit disconcerting but I'll get used to it.

I feel totally normal this cycle, no extreme fatigue, hotflashes, and drugged brain. It's wonderful. I can only hope that my body is preferring it as well and it leads to better quality embryos. I am continuing to do acupuncture this cycle as well and really enjoy my quiet times. To add to those quiet moments, I also downloaded the Circle and Bloom IVF relaxation and imagery mp3's. They are quiet nice and lead you through visualization of your body doing what it needs to do at peak performance. From what I read if you really let yourself get involved with the process the results are much better so I'm embracing my body mind connection imagery as much as possible. I've been trying to put them at the end of my fertility yoga sessions with lots of good hip openers. School is continuing to go very well and it might actually be proving to be a blessed distraction. I hope it makes the 2ww go by fast as well since I will be immersed in studying rather than guessing and second guessing myself.

I go in for a blood draw on Friday and will get the next set of instructions for my cycle. Here's to visualizing those follicles growing healthy eggs!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cycle Day 1

Well after much confusion, Aunt Flow has officially arrived and I am scheduled for my cycle day 3 ultrasound. I think that 'irritation' confused her a bit but nonetheless she is here and we are ready to get started. I will also be incorporating the Circle and Bloom relaxation tracks as part of our cycle treatment in addition to our regular acupuncture. So for the next three days I will be thinking quiet thoughts for my ovaries. *Shhh* Be very, very quiet so that we can get this thing going.

P.S. I had a question about the IM shots; there will be no PIO this cycle as we will be using the suppositories and Ovidrel is subq so my tushy is completely spared :0)

OK, now for some quiet thoughts....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Officially 'Irritated'

Yesterday we drove down to the satellite clinic for our education and pre-treatment treatment. It was a really nice, newly remodeled clinic. The staff was very nice and we went in right away to have the endometrial irritation portion of our appointment. To call it an ‘irritation’ is a vast understatement. It’s more like an endometrial torture session. I practically ripped Hammer’s arm off I was gripping it so hard. I happened to look up once at him and he was stark white and had a look of fear and concern. I’m assuming it was for me but it might have also been from the very real possibility of losing his arm. I took 800 mg of pain killers but it was nowhere near enough. I guess the positive side was that my cervix behaved and did not require it to be clamped to keep it stabilized which I hear is also incredibly painful. I still hurt from where they took the biopsy and I have to continue low doses of painkiller to be comfortable at work.

We did have good news though that both of our kayrotyping came back as normal. This was such a relief because I have been nervous waiting for the results and think that maybe there is something wrong. But all that worry was for nothing!

Afterwards we had our educational appointment where they went over my protocol, showed me how to use the follistim pen, how I could mix it with the Menopur to reduce the number of shots etc. It was here that we realized I will have NO IM shots!!! My little tushy is completely spared the pain of those gigantic needles. Instead of generic HCG which has to be mixed and administered in the muscle, they ordered Ovidrel which can be given subQ. And no PIO either because they ordered the suppositories. Seriously I’m going to think I’m missing something this cycle because it’s going to be sooo easy in comparison to what we’ve done in the past. That and I am going to be knocked out during the retrieval instead of wide away with only some dilautid and xanax.

So our cycle will start once AF shows up. On day 2 or 3 of my cycle I’ll drive down for an ultrasound to see if everything is quiet and if so we’ll start the stims. I’m getting very excited and am really praying that my body will be super nice and quiet because I really, really don’t want to go through an other ‘irritation’ or should I say ‘torture.’

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Things I Forgot to Mention

1.  We are having karyotyping done to see if there is anything genetic that might be hindering our getting pregnant.  If it's me we could do PGD but if it's Hammer then it's much more difficult. We're praying that our results come back normal for both.

2. I started school!  Well prereqs anyway.  This all was getting started back when we thought our last cycle had ended.  I had just began the process of what it would take to get into the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program back in November when our world turned upside down.  And after we had our appointment with the andrologist Hammer was still leaning toward adoption.  We discussed and thought that it would be worth while to start the school  process.  Honestly, I really didn't think we'd be doing another cycle as Hammer seemed like he really had his mind made up.  But here we are, me working FT, going to school on weekends and planning an IVF cycle.  Good times.  Now if I could just ensure that I don't have a retrieval/transfer on Sat during class :)  But honestly I'm just not going to worry about this.  I've done this enough times to know the ropes and that everything works out just fine.

3.  I've also made a commitment to not doubt this cycle and to just believe that it will work.  Because it has before, twice.  So I need to have faith that we are in the right place, with the right team.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Decision Made

We had our second opinion appointment on Monday June 13th.  It was about 2 1/2 hours to get down to the clinic so we gave ourselves plenty of time.  The clinic was in a very nice office high rise and appeared new and modern compared to our old clinic which was a throw back to the early 90's.  But looks aren't always everything and they needed to do more than win us over with their wood floors, comfy waiting room chairs, and track lighting.

We first met with a financial coordinator who explained that since we have to pay out of pocket they reduce the costs.  But we noted that it will be about 2,000 - 3,000 more than what we had been paying at the other clinic.  From what we can tell it's mostly due to the cost of the egg retrieval because they have an anesthesiologist on staff and they actually knock you out  Unlike our last few cycles where I just got a shot of dilauded and got to watch (and feel) the whole thing.  Although I'm fascinated by watching that sort of stuff so it didn't bother me too much.  (I was the crazy girl who requested a hand mirror so that I could watch the dermatologist remove a mole from my neck; it was so cool.)

After this we were taken back to the RE's office.  He was finishing up with a patient so we had time to read all his accolades and there were many.  So he certainly won us over with all the awards and credentials: three time winner of the city's best fertility doctor, three degrees, two specialities etc.  Finally we were able to meet him and he spent a long time going over the massive medical record we had sent ahead of time.  He made several suggestions for a possible future cycle, confirmed things that we had been thinking, and overall made us feel very comfortable.  He did do a physical exam and confirmed that everything looked good, normal and that I had ovulated a few days prior.

We left with a lot to think about, which is why I haven't posted.  We decided to take some time to discuss what we had learned and where we felt we were being led.  And while I love you all, Hammer is dead on right that I'm totally influenced by what I  read about all of your successes rather than focus on what is best for our family.  I just want to believe this will work and so I want to be told this by anyone who is willing.  So, while it was difficult, we took our time to talk things through and pray about what would come next for us.  And we have come to a decision......

We are going to do one more cycle!

So here is the plan:
  • Begin taking 75mg of DHEA a day.  I take 25 mg three times a day which has been difficult because it makes me very nauseated.  It doesn't matter if I take it with a meal or not.  I hope it's worth it but the funny part is, if it works I'll probably still be nauseous; but it would be the best kind.
  • Increase folic acid to 1,600 mcg.  He is of the school of thought that any MTHFR should increase folic acid and it won't hurt.  He said I didn't need to the Folgard brand because he trusted that I would know what to do here.
  • Take baby aspirin 3 days a week and increase to every day after transfer.  Same school of MTHFR thought here and I'm ok with that too.
  • Endometrial biopsy/irritation scheduled for July 13th.  This was suggested by our previous RE and we brought it up to the new RE to get his thoughts.  He said that it could only help and was happy to add it to the protocol.  It is supposed to be similar in discomfort to an HSG although slightly less painful but since my HSG was a horrific experience I'm not looking forward to it.  Thankfully Hammer will be there and can stay in the room.  The theory about this is that if they irritate the lining it will cause it to react by 'repairing' and hopefully in this active state make it more likely for it to grab onto an embryo. 
  • Antagonist protocol.  Yes people, there will be NO lupron!  Or birth control pills!  After reviewing my starting estrogen levels he feels I was WAY over suppressed on the long lupron protocol.  With start of new cycle at end of July I will begin Gonal on day 2-3.  Compared to my last cycles, this should be like putting the pedal to the metal.  Whether my body responds better will remain to be seen but he hopes that my overall estrogen levels will improve for better egg quality.  I also won't be taking an LH drug like I did last time (Luveris) either.
  • Hammer does his 10 day 'prep' for day of retrieval.  This is the game plan that Dr. Russell told us to do.  We did mention that he had a fever but the RE said that by the time of retrieval he would be into another sperm cycle so it shouldn't be an issue.
  • Do assisted hatching.  This is what we did with the last cycle so he wanted to continue that since it got us our best results.
I'll keep you all posted when I get my official schedule but that won't be until my July 13th appointment.

While I'd like to end on a positive note I do want to mention that another reason prevented me from posting.  One of my IRL friends who struggled with many miscarriages finally welcomed a beautiful little baby girl at the end of April.  At just 9 weeks old she developed severe jaundice this past weekend and was rushed to our children's hospital.  Yesterday her parents received devastating news that she was born without a bile duct, a condition known as Biliary Atresia.  While there is a procedure that they will be doing this Friday to create one for her out of her own intestine it's only about 30% successful.  And regardless of this procedure she will have to have a liver transplant before she reaches 20 years old.  This hit us very hard because they have become such close friends as they fully understand what we've been through.  It made me question if we should move forward with this cycle.  It just seems so unfair that they would have to go through this after such a long and difficult road just to have her.  I would just ask for your prayers for this precious little girl, so loved, so wanted and so in need of a miracle.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


After getting some positive feed back from the andrologist we decided to make an appointment for a second opinion.  So I finally made the call and it's set for June 13th, the day after our 7th anniversary.  Nothing more romantic than having a complete stranger check out your who-ha right after celebrating the day of your wedding.  Seriously though, this was the only date that worked out with Hammer's travel.  Plus it's a good excuse at work to take a day off without raising too much suspicion.  We're keeping this one very quiet since nothing may come of it depending on what we hear. 

When I called I had to give our history to the nurse and I totally started crying when I had to discuss our last miscarriage.  She was very sweet on the phone and ended up changing the RE she was going to schedule us with saying that the new RE would be better with 'unique' stimulation cycles and has a background in early miscarriage.  I also mentioned that we were working with an andrologist and when I mentioned his name she had nothing but the nicest things to say.  She also said that she would give me a form to send to them so that they would request our records from the RE so that we would not have to interact with them.  So far things have been positive, let's cross our fingers that this continues.

One set back though is that Hammer had a very high fever on Mother's Day, like 102+ temperature.  That means if we do anything it cannot be until the end of July or early August as we are out a whole sperm cycle.  It's a bummer but I'm not going to worry about it because I can't.  We might not even end up doing anything regardless so worrying is just not worth it. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Moving Forward

We finally heard back on the results of our repeat DNA test. It has been great working with this doctor as he took so much time with us even on the phone. In his opinion he feels that we have moved into the normal range. Normal for people who do not need IUI’s or take up to a year to get pregnant are <20%. Since we now sit at below 30% we’re in the +1 year TTC, IUI and possibly IVF range so this is an improvement. He gave us some tips for TTC naturally but did recommend that we should still look for assistance only because it’s been such a long time. After some discussion between Hammer and I, we decided that we would at least get the second opinion. Dr. R gave us some suggestions for the RE’s in his area which he works with often and they were the same names that were recommended to us by others. So today I put in a call for an appointment with one of them. We’ll have to see when we can coordinate a trip to the clinic (~2 hours away) with our crazy schedules so I’ll post more when I know. Thank goodness I have family down there which would make any treatment we might do so much easier and a bit more affordable.

As far as naturally trying, Hammer and I have been doing the ‘Hopeful Protocol,’ as I like to call it, along with our TTC modifications for Hammer. I got this from the Happy Hopeful’s who are to welcome their first baby after TTC for several years and ended up getting prego this way. It involves taking the supplements evening primrose and flax seed oil during a cycle. It also has you take high amounts of soy isoflavones on the same days when you would have taken clomid which supposedly help make a healthier egg so it’s almost like poor man’s clomid. I can tell you that I definitely ovulate very ‘strong’ when I take this. This past month my temps started to go triphasic and I was late which I never have been before on the last three months taking these supplements (or ever for that matter). I even went out and bought some HPTs because I was two days late. I got a box of FRER and an EPT. The EPT was the only one where both Hammer and I swore there was a very, very faint start of a ‘+’ but that was all we got. So we think we might have had a ‘blip’ but there is no real way to confirm it. I am concerned that maybe the soy is messing up my lining similar to clomid so I’m taking a month or two off to see if it helps at all and made an appointment with my regular Gyn to see if she has any thoughts as well. We’ll still be doing the ‘prepping’ before TTC with some modifications as suggested by Dr. R on our phone conference. I now feel that I have the hang of the Ovacue and I love that it confirms ovulation (I got the extra attachment) which makes me feel more confident in our TTC efforts BUT we still have to use OPK’s to help us with timing things. So it’s not the money saver I was hoping for but when your DH has to do his thing for practically 2 weeks straight it is nice to tell him with confidence that he can take some time off. I’m actually feeling bad for him. I know it’s not like taking shots but seriously, if you were told you had to have a “big O” every day for two weeks imagine the pressure that would put on you. It’s not like with woman where getting prego doesn't depends on us having an “O” or not but it does require our DH’s to do so. And while it’s fun, I would l think 2 weeks straight of fun would really start to get old. He’s been a real trooper and I have to give him some credit. Thanks honey :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Coming up for air

I’m sorry to have disappeared for such a long time but I’ve been around and trying to keep up with you all by reading your blogs although I’ve not been commenting. Before I update you all I’d like to congratulate those of you who have had surprise miracle pregnancies as they give me much hope and I really need that right about now.

I’ve realized that part of my issues is that my mind has had to have time to decompress and comprehend  everything that happened. With our tragedy occurring around the winter holiday times and being so sudden it was like my mind had blockaded off my emotions and prevented me from dealing with what all had occurred. But then we had a life event that really brought it to the forefront.

The weekend before we realized we were pregnant, Hammer and I had attended my cousin’s wedding. It was a ‘shot-gun’ wedding as she was already 4 ½ months pregnant. So when March rolled around we received an invitation for her couples baby shower. Hammer and I have been very supportive of the whole situation (it’s so much more involved that I can get into here) so we knew we were going. But when the weekend of the shower arrived it brought with it all the emotions that had been locked away.

The best way I can describe it is this: Imagine if you were standing in front of a dam that was bursting at the seams. You knew that it was going to break but there was nowhere to run and no telling when it would happen. And then something triggered those walls to finally give way and the water poured forth consuming everything in its wake.

I was sitting at the shower realizing that as the eldest granddaughter I would not be the one to have the first great grandchild. And every woman at the shower was pregnant or had an infant with them (except for my aunt and grandmother of course). And then it hit me. If we had not lost our baby I would be pregnant right now. That was the trigger and I was completely consumed with all the emotions that had been bursting to come forward for months. Thank God Hammer had come with me to the shower so that he could get me out of there and fast. It was more than I could handle but it needed to happen and I’ve finally had to come to terms with my emotions. That’s why I’ve been quiet for some time because I didn’t even know to write about what was going on because it was all so much to take in.

During these past few weeks we also had our repeat DNA test. The results were better but not stellar. Hammer definitely has that rare issue where his pre-sperm are fine (before they grow their tail) but during the maturation process as they make their way to the tes.tes to await eja.culati.on they get bombarded by free radicals and it destroys the DNA. We went from 48% to 27%, so we almost cut it in half and it is good that it’s under 30%. But it still leaves us in the borderline abnormal range. We are waiting to hear back from our urologist with his recommendations and because of the Easter holiday and Hammer's travel, it’s been difficult to set up a phone conference.

I’ve also been setting things up to get my prerequisites done so that I can start my program next summer. Fertility or home study have been on the back burner until we knew the results of the repeat DNA but things may start moving one way or another in the next few months as well.

We’re also finally figuring things out with this Ovacue machine a bit better to help make it work to our advantage with Hammer’s issue. It was actually helpful to have the DNA test this cycle because it helped us figure out the best way for us to TTC naturally and at one point we swore that it might have worked but now we’re pretty sure AF is on the way. Maybe next month, right?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Living in Limbo

We have been praying for direction on what we should do next but we still do not have an answer.  It has left us feeling like we are in a state of limbo.  Do we move to adoption, pursue the second opinion, etc.  We recently learned of a traditional adoption opportunity and while we prayed about it, it just didn't feel that we were being led to pursue it any further.  How is it that we are pretty much offered a child and yet we're still being told 'no.'  Maybe if we had the results of Hammer's DNA frag test it could help us make a decision about pursuing another fertility treatment but even that will be delayed.  Hammer recently got a new position in his company that requires him to travel from now until July.  This makes scheduling the DNA frag a nightmare because his travel schedule is only partially set and he could be scheduled for a trip at a moments notice and 10 days of prep would be wasted.  On top of that we are trying to at least 'try' naturally which takes prep time as well and we can't do the test during that time. 

I do have a question for anyone reading who had a D&C, ever since the procedure AF only seems to last for 2 days instead of my typical 3-4 days.  I'm worried the procedure could have messed up my lining as I have read about that being a complication.  This makes me worried that I won't have a decent lining during natural cycles even IF everything works.  Is this just a temporary problem?  I really don't want to talk to my RE about it as we're pretty much done with him.  Just going back for our last meeting was beyond traumatizing so I really don't want to have to go back there again.

As far as trying naturally, I am starting my third cycle using the Ovacue.  It's an ovulation predictor that reads the estrogen and progesterone changes in saliva and cervial mucus.  The benefit with this predictor is that it predicts 5-7 days in advance so it should, in theory, give Hammer and I several days warning to prep before I ovulated.  The first month we tried right after the miscarriage was a bust because I deleted all of my readings a week and a half into the month so it could never confirm if I ovulated.  This past month it did show that I ovulated but Hammer ended up sick and prep time was not possible.  It will be interesting to see what happens this month with trying to time things.      

Monday, February 7, 2011

A little piece of good news

We got Hammer's blood work back and it was normal for testosterone and estrodiol.  So we are on track for a repeat DNA fragmentation test in March.  Until then we'll be popping supplements, drinking more smoothies and giving another natural cycle the old college try :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blog Awards


Rules for "I Love This Blog" and "Stylish Blogger" Awards:

  1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Award 15 other bloggers (Yikes, that's a lot!)
  4. Contact the bloggers and tell them about their award.

So first, a big THANK YOU to Kelly at Candid Confessions of a Southern Princess for the "I Love this Blog" award who just had her embryo transfer.  Fingers crossed that those babies stick!

And another heartfelt THANK YOU to Brittany at Mommy-In-Waiting who is no longer waiting but a mommy to super cute baby John.

7 thing you might not know about Mrs. Hammer

  1. I sing back up vocals at our new church and just love serving our church in this capacity.  Especially since Hammer is a drummer and it means we get to serve together.  
  2. I usually work out at the fitness center in my building at lunch and time it so that I can watch my secrete addiction: Young and the Restless.  Love those crazy Newmans!
  3. Since the D&C I've been treating myself to decaff coffee and I LOVE IT.  Oh how I've missed you!
  4. I'm in the process of figuring out how to make going back to school a reality.  How that looks with possibly seeing a different RE, I don't know yet.  But it never hurts to look into it.
  5. I recently became an a puppy  named Ada.  My brother just got a dog and she is so cute!!
  6. I love anything history related and therefore have become a huge fan of the Tudor's which is on Netf.licks.  I know it's not historically accurate but I still love it!
  7. I got a snug.gie for Ch.ristmas.  I know I fell victim to the infomercials but it's really awesome and it has monkeys on it; I love anything with monkeys!

Just a few of the blogs I love!
Paper Airplanes [private blog]

Whew! And I could post more but my hands have cramped up...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thrombophila Results and Breaking Ties

Sorry for the delay in posting about our visit to the RE this week.  I had started the post that afternoon but then I had a 3 day work trip the very next day.  And to top it off the monitor on my laptop cracked so it was basically unusable and hence no lap top to write my post.  But now I'm back home with a computer so here it is!


We met with our RE regarding all the thrombophilia blood work I had done and everything came back as normal except one: MTHFR A1298C heterozygous. Apparently if you have to have one, this is the one to have. Yea me. And we never would have known about it if I hadn’t pushed for the test. Seriously, we are our own best advocates.

So what does this mean? Well it could effect implantation as well as clots that could have cut off blood flow to the baby. Although our RE is in the camp of Drs that only partially believe that it’s a problem so he wasn’t much help there. Honestly being back in that clinic talking with a Dr. that I have lost my trust in was so emotional for me. And to top it all off, as the RE was going through my results he absent mindedly pulled out our last ultrasound photos to get them out of the way while reviewing our chart and left them right there IN FRONT OF ME. So the whole time I had to stare at these pictures. Who does that?!?! I was really too emotional to talk and Hammer asked most of the questions, he did a really good job speaking for us. Here are some of the questions and answers we got back:

So do you think the MTHFR is part of our issues?

Not necessarily but I would put you on Folgard in the future.

So then as far as a possible embryo adoption cycle, would you do anything different?

I’d irritate the uterine lining because it might help with implantation although we generally use that for women who cannot conceive and you have proven that you can. It would really just be prophylactic since I think it might be an implantation issue. I’d also do the folgard as discussed and increase the progesterone.

Interesting that you would increase the progesterone. Do you think that this was our issue since the progesterone was 6?

No, your corpus luetum at that point in time was gone and the placenta should have taken over in the progesterone production so that’s probably why it was low.

So you don’t think that the progesterone could have been low the entire time due to an IVF cycle where you needed to give me progesterone thus causing a potential clot and preventing the placenta from functioning correctly?

Well most women don’t even need progesterone but we give it anyway because we don’t know who those women are necessarily.

Right, but in my case I wasn’t on any progesterone for nearly four weeks so could I have been one of those women?

[Here is where our RE generally makes odd faces and grunts while he tries to come up with an answer and generally ends up just repeating himself]

So if we did another IVF cycle what would you do differently there?

Same thing as the embryo adoption: uterine irritation, Folgard, increased progesterone and assisted hatching. [way to read our record because we did that this time!] You could also take DHEA at 50 mg.

Wouldn’t you want to test my testosterone levels first?

No, you certainly wouldn’t have high testosterone [Red flag for me here ladies because from what I've read you should never give it without testing first!]

So you wouldn’t change up the stimulation at all?

No other than maybe give you another 75 units of stims.

When we had a follicle check by Dr. S, he asked if we were on a combination Clomid/Injectable regimen?

I would not do that.  There isn't enough proof that it helps.

At this point I was completely done.  I feel like the deadhorse in the proverbial saying and he has the whip.  Seriously, what more can you get out of me using the same protocol every time!  We basically ended the meeting with him telling us to take some time to come up with a plan on what we want to do next. 

Afterward, Hammer and I sat in the car for a bit to talk and absorb everything.  While we did not come up with a plan, we did both agree that we were done with this RE.  Hammer himself said that he didn't feel our RE understood how to help couples that fall outside of the norm like us.  Finally!  He sees what I see!!!  We did discuss getting a second opinion at a clinic an hour and a half away (and that was Hammer suggesting this too!) but we're not moving ahead with that right now.  Although we have learned that this clinic basically takes the patients that ours cannot get pregnant and need more unique, individualized protocols.  Honestly it's not a given that this will happen but Hammer is more open to still trying after the most recent events. I think now I understand why I felt unresolved about ending treatment before.  I was so frustrated at why I could not feel resolved about our treatments coming to an end and ready to move forward with adoption.  I felt a bit of jealously for people who had this clear direction that I was lacking.  I'm not sure what God is doing right now, why he allowed this pregnancy to happen and end the way that it did.  The way is not much clearer than before and we are still praying for direction but we do feel that we are closer than ever to figuring things out.