Friday, October 31, 2014

Another Month

Happy Halloween everyone. Another month has past. I haven't written much lately because there just hasn't been anything to say. We've had so many exciting things happening in our community the last few months. And I am absolutely thrilled about that. I have been so filled with hope and so thankful for the amazing miracles that have been happening. However here I am still not pregnant, still no baby, still waiting. Not very exciting and I kind of feel like a broken record. 

Yesterday would have been my due date from my first positive cycle. I mostly just felt numb all day. It's hard to believe that if I wouldn't have miscarried we would be parents right now. Hard to believe because in this moment that seems SO far away. It's also hard not to feel sad today. As I see all of the little cuties dressed up for the holiday I can't help but wonder if we will EVER have our own little one to dress up in adorable costumes and hold my hand as we walk from house to house. Right now it just feels like we are never going to get there. 

On a positive note my side effects from the Lupron Depot haven't been terrible. Headaches and some hot flashes but I can't really complain. I just pray it's doing what it's supossed to. I don't go back for the follow up hysteroscopy until the week of thanksgiving. If everything is looking good then we'll be cleared for transfer in Jan. If my uterus is still inflamed he could do another shot and we'll have more waiting. 

January feels so far away even though I know the time will go fast especially with the holidays. And considering what a crappy year 2014 has been for us I'm a little glad we aren't cycling until 2015. I can only hope and pray it will be our year for a baby of our own. 

So I'm here. Just waiting. Your blogs and good news keep me going on days when I want to give up. So thank you my sweet girls for simply being you and willing to share your stories.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Roller Coaster

This week has been a complete roller coaster of emotions.  Thanks to all of you who reached out with advice or to check and see how the consult with Dr. Schoolcraft went.  I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised.  I think I had prepared myself for the worse based on everyone's input.  I'm not sure if I caught him on a good day or if I just pumped him up to be SO harsh in my mind that he couldn't live up to it :)  Either way I'm happy to report back that he was very helpful and patient with us.  As many of you had warned me he wouldn't talk protocol with me at all.  But he did say based on my file he felt "optimistic" that he could help us.  Obviously that opinion will be influenced by my ODW (one day workup) and the results of the tests CCRM would run.  He did say that for us he'd like to also run the Beta-3 Integrin test as well as Karyotype (Chromosome Analysis) for both D and myself.  For me the main thing (and most disturbing) that I got out of the conversation was his explanation of their genetic testing.  At CCRM they do CCS testing on your embryos on day 5.  Then they are frozen and your transfer is a FET.  At my local clinic when we did genetic testing with our last cycle they took the biopsies on Day 3 and we had the results on Day 5 for a fresh transfer.  It was nice not to have to wait another month for transfer but the information that Dr. Schoolcraft shared with me on the Day 3 testing was very concerning.  He basically said when you choose a cell to biopsy on Day 3 the embryos are only composed of between 6-8 cells.  And there's no way to distinguish between the cells that are going to be the baby and the cells that will develop into the placenta.  If they end up taking one of the cells that is destined to be the baby then they are FATALLY damaging the embryo.  Yeah, you read that right.  What this means for us is our grade 1 "perfect" embryo that we transferred last cycle very well could have been damaged due to the testing.  And the two remaining that we have frozen could be the same story.  Wow.

Now while obviously I was VERY upset by this, the small silver lining (if I'm forced to find one) is I was certain there must be something seriously wrong with me in my uterus for our genetically normal grade 1 embryo not to result in a pregnancy.  But basically Dr. S was saying that he thinks it was the damage from the biopsy.  Which also explains why two of our "normal" embryos never developed to the blastocyst stage and arrested.  At CCRM they do their genetic testing on day 5 when the embryo consists of around 60 cells and the outer ones are clearly visible as the "placenta" cells.  He backed this logic up with a series of studies that were done by an independent company.  Ouch.

We wrapped up the conversation by him recommending that we move forward with transferring our two remaining embryos and to call to schedule my ODW if that cycle is unsuccessful.  Which brings me to meeting #2 of this week.  My post-op follow up with Dr. H  from my hysteroscopy at my local clinic.

I thought a lot about what to say (or not to say) to Dr. H. regarding what I had learned from CCRM.  I ultimately decided not to bring up the genetic testing with him.  1.  What's done is done.  2.  I'm sure he has his own studies and logic about why they would do testing on day 3, and honestly no matter what he told me I wasn't going to buy it.  I recognize that there's still a good chance that they biopsied a "placenta" cell in our 2 frozen embies and if that was the case then they would be "normal" embryos that could result in a pregnancy and God willing our take home baby.  However if this cycle is unsuccessful we've already decided to move forward with CCRM as soon as possible.

So when I met with Dr. H he showed me the pictures from my hysteroscopy of the two small fibroids he found and removed.  This part I was prepared for because he had told me about them right after the procedure.  The part I wasn't prepared for was him to tell me that there was "inflammation" in my uterus.  Based on that he wants to throw me into menopause for a month using  a Lupron Depo injection.  So all those thoughts from the night before about how it might not be my uterus went out the window.  On top of that obviously a month of menopause would push our transfer from Dec. to Jan.  Sigh.  I realize in the big scheme of things one month is nothing.  But it's still hard to swallow.

I've talked to a couple other girls who have gone down this path with the Lupron Depo and both were successful in their next transfers.  I'd be interested to hear from the rest of you if you have any thoughts or input.

So roller coaster of emotions.  I'm just trying to remind myself to take it one day at a time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Will Always Wonder

Today is National Infant and Pregnancy Loss Day.  As I sit here with tears streaming down my face trying to decide what to write I am overwhelmed.  Today I honor and mourn so much loss.  All of the embryos from my 3 IVF cycles.  The 5 embryos that we transferred that didn't implant.  The 1 that tried so hard, but couldn't make it.  And finally the 1 that I carried for 7 short weeks.  My due date for that sweet baby is just 15 days away.  How fitting that it fall in the month of October when we participant in not only this day, but Pregnancy, Infant, and Child Loss Awareness Month.  

It's hard not to wonder about all of the babies I have lost, especially the one I carried the longest.  For those short weeks I spoke to that child endlessly.  I hoped, and planned, and celebrated and worried.  And I dreamed.  Oh how I dreamed of holding that child.  Touching his sweet face, or her perfect lips.  Seeing my husband hold him or her in his arms and finally see the hurt disappear from his eyes.  But for us and so many other couples our dream, our miracle, ended in heart break.  1 in 4 couples experience miscarriage or the loss of an infant or child.  No, we are not alone.  

In honor of all of our lost babies I encourage you to light a candle tonight between 7 and 8 and participate in the worldwide Wave of Light.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Back Up Plan

If you've been following my blog for a while most of you have figured out that I'm a girl who loves a plan.  Not only plan A, but I prefer to have plan B and C on the back burner ready to go.  I know some people view this as being a pessimist and I've even had people say that looking beyond and planning for the next cycle could negatively affect the outcome of my current cycle.  But for me it eases my anxiety to know in my mind what our next step will be.  It gives me hope to know that we can/will keep moving forward regardless.  That being said I am praying so hard that this FET in December results in our take home baby.  I am NOT discounting this cycle and am hopeful that our prayers will be answered.  But it's my nature to look ahead which is why we have our phone consult with Dr. Schoolcraft at CCRM tonight.  

I think I am as prepared as I can be for our meeting.  I have my list of questions and also the knowledge not to really expect any answers at this point.  I've basically come to terms with the fact that this is the first step of many IF we decide to/have to go down this road. 

Tomorrow we have our post-op meeting with Dr. H from my hysteroscopy.  I looked and realized that I never posted about our phone conversation a couple days after surgery.  He informed me he did find and remove two small fibroids during the hysteroscopy.  He biopsied both of them and they came back fine.  While I have a small amount of hope that removing them and cleaning out my uterus could help, I've definitely learned enough to know that I don't think they were the real cause of our issues.  For now I'm looking forward to getting a fresh perspective on our case and hoping for the best.  Big thanks to Jessah  and Aubrey for their CCRM insight!  

Thoughts and prayers with Allison, her family, and baby Rowen.  And please throw out an extra prayer for my sweet Amanda and Suzanne who both have exciting events happening this week!  Sending you both love and support.  

Friday, October 3, 2014

No news is good news?

Is no news good news?  I think that is generally the rule but when you are in the land of IF no news just seems to equal anxiety.  I had my hysteroscopy on Wednesday.  I believe all went well.  I vaguely remember Dr. H. coming in to talk to me as I was waking up from anesthesia.  He said all went well.  He did actually go out and talk to D in the waiting room.  But D (being a man) didn't have a lot of information for me.  Dr. H explained before the procedure that he would take 3 biopsies from the general area of implantation.  If for some reason he found something unexpected he would take action and take several more biopsies.  He communicated to D that he just took the three as planned.  We won't get the results from those biopsies until Monday.  I did send him an email yesterday afternoon asking for a recap of the procedure.  He promises to get back to you within 24 hours so I should have some confirmation by this afternoon.

Providing he didn't find anything during the procedure I believe our plan is for a FET in early December.  We do have a phone consult set up with Dr. Schoolcraft from CCRM on Oct. 14th.  We've had our records sent over, completed all of the online surveys and forms and are all set.  I'm anxious to see what he has to say about our case.  Any of you CCRMer's I'd love to hear from you so I know what to expect during the initial phone consult.

So outside of that it's just normal life.  I have started to write a couple posts and realized I just don't have much to say.  Sadly the fight has become the norm for me.  While I still struggle with all of the feelings that go along with infertility (guilt, sadness, pain, anger, etc. etc). I've basically gotten used to it.  There's good days when I think of our two beautiful frozen embryos and I'm filled with hope.  And there's bad days when I feel like I will NEVER be pregnant and this fight will never end.  But I guess as I'm back in The Waiting Room it's one day at a time.

If you have a few seconds today hop on over and visit my girl Amanda and give her some love.  It's one of those hard days for her and we've all been there.

Even though I haven't had much to say I'm still checking in with each of you everyday and following along.  It brings me so much comfort to know I'm not alone and there's so many wonderful women I can turn to that truly understand what I'm going through and are always there for me.  I'm so grateful for each and every one of you.