8.26 Pt. 2

I got my phone call from my doctors office yesterday (Friday, 8.26) at 2:10. Here’s how the conversation played out in my head: “you have a handful of mature follicles measuring between 18-20…do your HCG shot tonight…we will see you Sunday morning for your IUI. Things are looking very good.”
Here’s how the phone call really went: “you still have no mature follicles…you are going to do another Gonal F injection of 112.5 tonight and Saturday night…you have an appointment Sunday morning at 7:30am for another ultrasound and bloodwork…have relations both Friday and Saturday night in case we miss your ovulation.”

Here’s what I asked: “can you tell me what size the follicles measuring? As of Sunday I will only have 112.5 left of the Gonal F, will I need more?” 

Here are the responses: “they aren’t measuring at 12mm yet, we don’t record measurements when they’re smaller than 12…you should have enough, we ordered you 1,350units total (she must have done the math,) and then said, ‘oh, yes…you’ll need more. We have a sample pen at the office you can come pick up.'”

And…of course, here are my thoughts: “I hate this. Will anything go right? I don’t want to do anymore injections. Why aren’t my follicles growing? More damn bloodwork. Why isn’t my Gonal F dosage increasing? Another damn ultrasound. How can someone else think they might MISS my ovulation? This time I’ll get to drive over an hour one way for an appointment that will take less than 10 minutes. Nothing like scheduled sex. Why can’t I get pregnant?”

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8.26. Part 1

Other than the burgundy leather chairs with the nailhead detail, the doctors office looks like every other medical office I’ve ever been to, with the exception of my prior doctor. Early mornings, like today at 6am; and pretty much every other day, for roughly a week and a half are spent laying next to this beauty:

Hopefully you weren’t expecting something glamorous. This machine looks like a relic compared to the one at my previous doctors. Once the ultrasound was done, it was time to wait for the lab to open. They, according to their schedule, don’t open until 7am. So I had an hour to kill. As I was sitting there debating a trip to Starbucks, shoes started squeaking down the hallway. (Think the Dansko clogs.) The lab tech was here, at 6:10am! HOORAY for tiny miracles. 
I get into the chair, roll up my sleeves, and am ready. Today she decides she was going to try my left arm, although “the vein doesn’t feel great but think good thoughts.” Her words folks. Ones that shouldn’t be uttered prior to sticking a needle into my arm. She gets the needle in only to not be able to find the vein. She literally fished around for it while asking, “I’m not hurting you too much am I?” Shockingly, no she wasn’t, I couldn’t really feel anything! We eventually switched to the right arm. Same draw location as Monday. Holy mother of God did that hurt!!!! By far, the WORST experience ever having blood drawn. 
Top is the left arm and the bottom is the right arm.

Now I sit patiently and wait until somewhere between 3:10 and 3:25 for the next steps. 

9 In No Time

Just finished my 9th Gonal F injection for this cycle. It’s hard to believe it’s been nine straight days of injections. It will be an early Friday morning for me as it’s the 3rd UltraBlood combination appointment…at 6am 😳

Overall I’m not thrilled with how I was feeling yesterday and my blog post. No regrets, but these are the highs and lows of this journey. This week I seem to be cruising steady in the “low lane.” Hopefully tomorrow will bring a lane change, along with some mature follicles; it will also be CD12. 

My nerves and anxiety are partially due to previous experiences with another doctor around this time frame in my cycle. There were two mistimed cycles where my ovulation was “missed,” and everything leading up to that point in time, was going well. Follicles were steadily growing, lining was looking “lush,” and poof: we’ve missed it. So I’m hyper aware of what cycle day I am, and when things should be happening. Fingers crossed for tomorrow! 

Deflated 


Sums up how I feel about today. This post won’t be inspiring, positive, or uplifting. Please feel free to closer your browser at anytime. 

Had another UltraBlood combination this morning. Good takeaway, I was able to get blood done prior to my ultrasound as there was no wait and my doctors office hadn’t opened yet. Bad takeaway, it was a different ultrasound tech. Not that it was bad, but I feel like I should start charging a viewing fee for the office staff. At least I could recoup some money. 

Clockwise from upper left hand picture: Bandage from bloodwork this morning; updated injection tracker, which I also have in an Excel format but keep a hand written copy too; my daily update sheet; and my needle marks from my bloodwork. 
The call this afternoon from the doctors office went like this: “you have no mature follicles but your hormone levels are starting to rise which is a good thing. Same injection dose tonight and Thursday evening, and then 6am ultrasound and bloodwork on Friday.” My immediate reaction: “fuckkkkkkk.” 
Today, I’m over it. I’m annoyed. I’m aggravated. I’m deflated. Injections were fun and exciting (not really, but I made myself believe it,) and now I hate them. I want mature follicles. I’m sick of having blood drawn. Having an appointment at 6am on a Friday is NOT my ideal way to start the day. I’m tired. I want a baby.
…because of those four little words…I do not have a damn choice in the matter. I’ll keep stabbing myself with injections and having blood sucked out every other day. I’ll keep smiling when others announce they’re expecting and go home and cry because it’s just too much for me to handle. The whole state will probably examine me or get to do a transvaginal ultrasound on me before I ever end up pregnant. I’ll go on some prolific tirade when I read about some woman who has abused or abandoned her child, of course it’ll be her 4th or 5th. My weight will continue to be like a seesaw as medications are altered and the different side effects take their toll. The proverbial chess match of “us vs. infertility”will wage on, and we will constantly be chased around in fear. And…what if we never have a child? What does this “journey” get called if it fails, a tortuous experiment? Life shattering misery? Sheer hell? I can predict that there are no positive outcomes from going through this, and not having a child at the end. 

For those of you that have been going through years of treatments, I bow down to you. Truly, I’m impressed with your strength and determination. I can’t do this for years. Better yet, I won’t. When I say I would go off the deep end, that is a statement made with 175% positivity. I’m not even a year into treatments and I want to be done. Horrible, but this is where I am today. 
Life with infertility has knocked me flat on my ass today. 

Aerial Perspective


So there’s that perspective: the aerial view. Tonight, again, my injection was at 112.5. Tomorrow I go again for another UltraBlood combination! 

So now for side effects, I have none…except for one!!! Ha. Yesterday and today there were fleeting…twinges? Flutters? Twists? Contractions? (Oh goodness, bad word choice.) These aren’t cramps, not at all; I know what those are and what those feel like! In all seriousness though, I could feel THINGS. Things that were MOVING. It was weird. It is bizarre. We can chalk this up as some follicular growth! 

Cinco ✔️

20 minutes ago was my fifth injection of Gonal F at the dosage of 112.5. 

Tomorrow morning, I get probed and punctured. I’m officially undecided if I’m sarcastic because it’s funny, or sarcastic with this topic specifically because it’s a level of self protection. I suppose I’ll call it both when it comes to the infertility journey. After the ultrasound has been reviewed, and the labs are back, the “team” will consult. From there the dose will get adjusted; up or down, it’ll still be injections. 

I survived the first five! Here’s my “basket of trophies.” HCG injection was from a previous unsuccessful cycle while taking Clomid. I know that there aren’t many needles in there compared to others, but this is where we are during our struggle. 

Time’s a Ticking

Since our first appointment last Monday, I’ve felt nothing but levelheaded. If you’ve followed this blog from the beginning, you know I’ve always firmly planted myself in the swamps of pessimism because it’s easier to fall from there than the clouds of optimism. I’m calm, even though I have to give myself 6 shots this round. I’m less stressed than I was months ago. This is solely due to having some type of knowledge about what we are going through. 

  1. Payment has been made for our FSH/HCG/IUI round with our new doctor. 
  2. I was provided with a 22 page document about the entire IUI process: the medications, the procedure itself, afterwards, and when to test. I loved this. I have a hard document that I can refer to or ask questions about, in addition to all the other informative paperwork they’ve provided me. 
  3. My injections were ordered yesterday and were delivered today! 
  4. I have a scheduled phone appointment Wednesday to ask any questions I have about the injections; side effects, how to administer the injection, change the needle tip, etc. 


Things have been so EASY this time around and it hasn’t even begun. **Tentative start date is 8/18 or 8/19…all depends when my period starts. I don’t have to be on constant standby because the office staff isn’t sure when I need to come in; I don’t have to leave countless messages for someone to get back to me; and payment is one lump sum upfront, not looming over us at every single visit. 

Allow me to elaborate on the countless messages, and how I now longer need to panic over unresponsiveness. On Wednesday, I set a brief (3 sentence!) email to the administrative assistant at my doctors office about needing to speak with the nurse. Two minutes later, she emailed me back with a response. Eleven minutes later I was on the phone with the nurse. I used to wait hours, sometimes days for a response at my other doctors office. Now my questions are answered within 15 minutes. Mind blown. 

We do have to go on Monday for bloodwork for an STD/HIV panel. Apparently this is REQUIRED prior to having an IUI. Upon reviewing my records from my previous doctor, guess who didn’t have this done? My DH and I. No big deal, just more bloodwork, but mandatory. I’m amazed at the things that weren’t done correctly the first few rounds. 

Throughout this entire process, for the first time I feel like we are standing on solid ground. That alone, is thrilling for me, and I know that DH feels much more comfortable and informed about this entire process. It is truly amazing that one appointment with a new doctor has alleviated 75% of my stress, and has made me feel like a person rather than their personal ATM. 

Shut The Front Door

Let me start with this: thank you to all of you that are following this journey, sharing yours, and helping me keep my sanity! For those of you that are new to my blog, you’re in good hands. There’s a fabulous group of women that will lift you up when you need it, and be there with you in your darkest moments. If you ever have ANY questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me. This is an open blog! If my story and struggles make things easier for you, allow you a tiny smirk or chuckle, then I know I’m doing something right.


—————–
Second ultrasound of the week was this morning. No, there was no excitement. I didn’t want to go. I wanted to stay at home, sleep later, and not deal with the anxiety. Alas, I rolled out of bed, showered, and was out the door. On my drive to the appointment I had this overwhelming since of dread, and knew that again this month, it failed. 
Upon my arrival the receptionist kept commenting how great my hair always looks, how I seem so nice and tan, and that she loved my dress. Ok, this I could get used to at 6:45am, especially since I am not a morning person. After checking my vitals (down a few pounds!!) I was ushered into the ultrasound room. I knew from my appointment Monday that my doctor would not be there today or tomorrow, which didn’t bother me.  The ultrasound tech is probably one of my favorite employees. She is always so nice, and has truly proven to be someone  I can talk to, and don’t feel uncomfortable around when I have a moment of emotional waivering. We were chatting about weekend plans, how our weeks were going, etc., she commented that my lining looked “nice an plump,” and unlike my bloodwork yesterday, these are good things. Then the conversation abruptly ceased. The ultrasound was finished, and she said “if I have to, I’ll see you tomorrow, otherwise have a good weekend. Someone will call you later today with results,” and walked out of the room. 

I guess we were done. Why bother calling, I knew it was bad new and that the conversation would revolve around the next course of action. Begrudgingly, off to work I went. 
This afternoon, in the middle of thinking about how one affords multiple rounds of IVF (bank robbery?) my doctors office called. I was fully armed, and my body was rigidly braced in preparation of the news. The nurse was speaking…blah blah blah…”you need to come back in tomorrow for an ultrasound and then go for bloodwork immediately following that,” blah blah blah…”I just spoke with the Doctor and things are progressing along quite nicely, which is why we have to have you do both the ultrasound and the bloodwork.” Me, “WHAT?!” Her, “yes everything looks very good!”
Shut the front door! Shut the back door! Shut all the damn doors! Now do the biggest freakin’ happy dance you know how to do!!! He was wrong on Monday! Yahoo!! It hasn’t failed. Wahoo!! Fingers crossed that tomorrow continues along on this upward swing…

Good News. Bad news. Good news. Bad news. 

Let’s play a game today! Kind of like “he loves me…he loves me not…he loves me” but we will call this “good news…bad news…good news.” Easy enough to follow along. 

Good news: today is Monday, trust me there’s enough bad news coming where this sounds like it is over qualified for good news.

Bad news: I had an ultrasound this morning. This my dearest readers is where I spend most of my time these days, on my back, feet up: 



Good news: I have a FDMF (fertility drug migraine friends,) buddy! Basically, we are only 1 CD (cycle day) apart, we both get bad headaches/migraines with our meds, and we get “news” that is eerily similar. Even in this shittastic world of infertility, it’s nice to have a buddy! 

Bad news: I have ONE follicle. 

Good news: There were NO MORE baby mugs shots on the wall. The picture has been rescued in sized, color edited, and stickers placed over the two baby mugs. I know it sounds harsh, but I despise having to walk past this everytime I go into an exam room.


Bad news: The one follicle is barely measuring at 11. 

Bad news: The other follicles are “too small for any chance of significant growth” he informed me. 

Bad news: “The follicle should be bigger then it is currently measuring. Strange.” said my doctor. 

Bad news: I’ll be going back for another ultrasound Thursday or Friday. 

Bad news: The day before the ultrasound I will have bloodwork done, based on those results, I might not even have to have the ultrasound! 

Bad news: My doctor kindly shared his opinion: he thinks this round has failed as well. Interestingly enough, the first round when I actually had the IUI one follicle was at 11, and then grew pretty quickly. Since then though, we’ve had nothing but shrinking follicles. 

Did you notice I ran out of good news? Me too. If you’re ever looking for that, reading this blog won’t help you! I mean the track record isn’t exactly favorable. Today from 7am on was long. Aggravating. Annoying. Exasperating. This couldn’t be more accurate as to how I felt around 12:30pm today:

Now…we wait. 

Just sit and wait…and wait…and wait. 

Maybe I should hose myself down with some Miracle Grow as my follicles barely grow 1mm/day, and ideally it (that one lonely follicle,) needs to be at least at 16mm. 

Day 4 Ultrasound 

Well well well, here we are again. Friday I received the monthly bulletin: “YOU ARE NOT PREGNANT. YOU ARE NOT PREGNANT. ENJOY THE NEXT 5-7 DAYS.” So I sat by the pool all weekend long, drank lots of Corona, and had a blast with my DH. Friday I had texted my doctor letting him know it was day 1 of my cycle, and after a few other messages were exchanged, he got back to me letting me know I had an ultrasound Monday, today, at 7:30am. I wish I could say that this was exciting news, but having done this twice now, I already KNEW that at some point on Monday, I’d be reunited with the stirrups. 

The ultrasound showed no cysts, which is good, and means we can move forward with the Clomid. My favorite little white pills start getting popped tomorrow morning. I can not WAIT for the 5 day headache!!! Ha. Ha. Ha. Anyway, today my doctor wanted everyone to know if I had any “serious side effects from previously taking the Clomid.” What is considered serious? No, I wasn’t an emotional lunatic, I wasn’t violently ill, but I had a headache that was untouchable, and midsection inflation to the point where I felt like I was going to pop.  But, no I guess I didn’t have any serious side effects. 

There was some new decor in the office, a 4’x 4′ magnetic board proudly displaying pictures of babies! Said board is in the hallway on the way to ALL of the exam rooms, so you can’t miss it. 

I don’t like it. 

Not at all. 

Not a little bit. 

I don’t even think it’s in the least bit optimistic. It’s another reminder that we are there because we don’t have a chubby half naked baby grinning ear to ear. It’s another red flag saying, “hey! You’ve failed at this for two months WITH medical help!” Am I happy that our doctor has had successes? YES! But I do NOT want to see the success of others, especially while I am in the process of trying to have my own. Once we have our own success, I’ll be more than happy to let him toss up a picture of my baby. But until then, my blinders are on. I will walk with my head down, a blindfold on, or with my back towards the baby wall; I don’t want to see more pictures being added.

So in less than 12 hours, round three commences. 

Although my hope remains tempered, I know that I have the courage to go through another round even though the odds aren’t favorable. However, because courage is something I admire most in others, here are a few quotes for all of you lovely ladies and gents smiling through the pain, battling the odds, and fighting month after month to have your babies.