It’s been a while

I haven’t updated on anything because I really haven’t had any news to update. I’ve been in a weird place emotionally. One minute I am doing okay, and the next I am a ball of tears. I have been trying to stay optimistic for my next (and final) try, but knowing this is my last shot has really been messing with my head. I am anxiety ridden, I am hardly sleeping, and I am constantly dwelling on the ‘what ifs?’. Boy has this IVF ride been exhausting.

I have come up with a new plan. I am able to try again as early as July, but I’ve decided I need some more time to try and prepare myself for what is to come. I’m trying to be realistic, and there is a very real chance that this isn’t going to work for me. It breaks my heart to even entertain the thought, but that is the reality of the situation. I need to take time to process that, and to figure out what I am going to do if this doesn’t work out for me. Having Dennis’ baby is the only thing I am SURE that I want to do with my life right now. So with that being said, I need to do everything in my power to make this next cycle work. I need to be in the best possible health I can be in so I know I’ve exhausted every option and have done every thing I can. If this fails, I never want to look back and think maybe it’s because of something I did (or didn’t do). For this reason I have decided that I need to lose about 50lbs before I will try again. I’ve been eating really well and just joined a gym today. I know I can do this, I’ve done it before, and now I have no better reason.

Also, seeing as how this will take some time (I’m thinking about 6-8 months), I am also thinking about going back and finishing nursing school. If they would accept me back into the program, then I believe I would have 9 months left. I want to better myself as much as I can, and send as many positive vibes into the universe, so that maybe this will work out for me. I know it sounds so stupid, but sometimes I feel like the universe is trying to tell me I don’t deserve this. When my husband died, I sometimes thought that it was some kind of punishment for not being a good enough person or something. I know that sounds crazy, but when things are so out of your control and you want more than anything to control the situation, it fucks with your head. Once you know the outcome of a situation, it’s so easy to look into the past and think of things you would have done differently.

So for now, I am going to do everything I can to better my chances. Even if it is far fetched and silly, even if it’s going to put this off for longer than I want, I need to do this. I need some peace of mind.

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The IVF Worry

Unicorns and Baby Dust

Every woman who has gone through IVF will understand and appreciate the level of worry I’m trying to describe. And this is what we experience all before we are pregnant.

Here is a breakdown of the IVF worry I’ve experienced so far:

1. Worry if we can afford IVF?
2. Worry how much the medication will cost?
3. Worry about being home to accept medication. And when it arrived I almost passed out from shock. How much freakin medication am I going to take?
4. Worry about baseline ultrasounds and that nothing blocks a cycle from starting.
5. Worry that all the needles I’m sticking in me are creating enough good quality eggs.
6. Worry that I’m mixing this shit right.
7. Worry that the vein I hit while giving myself injections could have punctured something important.
8. Worry that my veins in my elbow will create too much scar…

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More unexpected news.

Thursday I had my follow up appointment with my doctor since my chemical pregnancy. I was meeting with him to go over everything that had happened, and to talk about what comes next. For some reason I had this idea in my head that I would leave the appointment feeling encouraged, but I left just the opposite. It’s kind of a long story, so bare with me.

The facility I go to has several different locations, and when my appointments fall on the weekend I usually have to go to one of the other locations and see a different doctor. I really really love my doctor, and so whenever I get stuck seeing someone else it is always a little disappointing. So anyway, the day of my transfer during my last cycle fell on a Saturday, and so I had a different doctor do the procedure. This doctor told me I had definitely 4 but probably 5 embryos that were going to be frozen (the fifth embryo was a little behind in development, but he was confident it was going to make it to blastocyst stage). So, I was happy to know that if this cycle didn’t work I still had 4 or 5 chances.

Fast forward to Thursdays appointment. I sit down with my normal fabulous doctor, and he informs me that I only have ONE embryo frozen. One. He said that they freeze the embryos on day 7 because they feel they freeze a little better on day 7 than day 5. He told me that the rest of the embryos stopped developing between days 5 and 7. He told me that considering I only had one embryo out of my 17 eggs that fertilized, that this usually indicates there is a problem with either male or female infertility.

In this case, he thinks the problem is on the male side. I responded to my stimming meds just like a healthy 26 year old woman should. 19 of my 20 eggs were mature, and they looked to be of great quality. He says usually if it was the female side, I wouldn’t have produced the amount of eggs that I had, or only a few of the 20 eggs would have been mature. My doctor believes that since my husband had stage 3 cancer at the time he gave his specimen that it was most likely damaged. He explained that it is very possible that the cancer had taken more of a toll on his body at that point than anyone really thought.

So here’s the thing. This whole time I’ve never even worried about that. Why would the doctors have suggested he freeze sperm if it was possible that they had been affected without ever testing it first? I am so angry. We were supposed to freeze it before chemo made him sterile, not the cancer. My doctor brings up a good point; we can do genetic testing on my husbands specimen, but it’s pretty pointless because there isn’t anything we can do to improve the quality at this point. If Dennis were here that would be a different story, we’d have options. But he’s not, and so we don’t.

The one positive thing I learned during the appointment was that the remaining embryo I have is a perfect graded embryo. He said it cannot be graded any better than what it is. He thinks I have a 50/50 chance of this working. I have one final shot, this is my last chance. You better believe that I am taking my chances. I need to know that I have done everything in my power and have exhausted every option. I don’t know what I will do if this doesn’t work, but I’ve decided not to even entertain the idea. I will cross that bridge if and when I get there. For now I just have to try and stay optimistic and also realistic, and just do the best that I can.

Chemical pregnancy

It was confirmed on Friday that this wasn’t a viable pregnancy, and I have been putting off writing this because it is just so damn hard. This has been a very rough week and I am grieving this loss, but I am also doing my best to be optimistic for the future. I have a meeting with my doctor on Thursday to go over everything that has happened, and to discuss where we go from here.

Positive… And negative.

*disclaimer – this post may be TMI for some of you, so if you don’t want to hear about… Uh… women problems… Then stop reading*

Today was the day that I found out whether I am pregnant or not. Before I get to the results of my beta today, let me go back to Friday.

On Friday I was 6dp5dt (6 days past 5 day transfer)… I knew it was too early to take a home pregnancy test, and that it would be negative, but I just couldn’t resist. So I bought 2 first response tests. Up until that point I hadn’t had many symptoms. I had very slight spotting and cramping on Tuesday and Wednesday, and it came and went, but I was told after my transfer that it was completely normal so I didn’t even stress it. I took the pregnancy test and it was negative… I wasn’t surprised it upset, I expected that response and was still SURE I was pregnant… Why wouldn’t I be? I had a great looking embryo, my uterus had looked perfect, it just made sense. I decided I would wait 2 more days, and then test again on Monday… The day before my first beta.

Sunday night I tried not to drink too much before I went to sleep, because I knew I’d have to use first morning urine for my test, and I didn’t want to have to pee in the night. Well I woke up at 1:30am having to go and forced myself back to sleep… Then again and 2:30am… And finally again at 3:30am. It was then I couldn’t hold it anymore and so I decided to just take the test then. My pregnancy test came back positive and I was on cloud 9! Holy moly, I am pregnant! I couldn’t fall back asleep because all I kept thinking about was this precious little baby growing inside me.

Fast forward just a few hours later, and I began to have some bleeding… And I am talking more than just spotting. It was bright red and resembled a period. I was beyond crushed and freaking out all day. How could this be happening? I just tested positive only a few hours earlier?! Several of my family, friends, and co-workers convinced me that sometimes it is normal. There have been people who have had bleeding the first few months and it is no big deal. I was able to call myself down enough to convince myself that there was still a good chance that things were okay, but I was very afraid of having a chemical pregnancy.

So today I went in for my beta, and the nurse asked me how I was doing. I let her know what had happened, and she said even though they don’t want to hear that a patient has bleeding resembling a period, that there was still a chance that things would turn out positive and everything would be fine.

Everything is not fine. Not even close.

My beta tested positive, I am pregnant. But my hcg levels were very low. She indicated that this means 1 of 2 things.
1) the embryo implanted, but it isn’t going to be a viable pregnancy and I am miscarrying or
2) the embryo is just being slow to implant, and my numbers may begin to increase.
She said option 2 is very unlikely given how heavy my bleeding is, and that she doesn’t want to give me false hope. I have to go back in on Thursday and see how things stand.

A positive test and losing this baby is even worse than just a straight up negative. I feel so defeated. So broken hearted. I wanted this so badly… My love for this little embryo had already blossomed so much, I can’t stand this. I know I have a few tries left, but that doesn’t make things easier. What if those don’t work? I just used my best embryo and it didn’t work! What if I never get the chance to have a baby DJ? I cannot even entertain that thought, it makes me physically ill to think about it. So much time, emotions, pain, love, and hope (not to mention money) was invested in this, it just doesn’t seem fair. The only thing I take comfort in, is knowing that the little munchkin is on it’s way to wherever D is, and they will have each other. I know I’m throwing myself a major pity party right now, but I feel entitled to it.

I feel tired, worn out, and broken. I am broken.

Two years ago today…

Two years ago today, the man of my dreams left this world. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him, and the impression he has made on my life… I truly will never be the same.

You see, Dennis showed me what it was like to be selflessly loved, and he loved me so perfectly that never in a million years did I imagine that a love so amazing existed. Even during the scariest and hardest time of his life (and mine), he cared more about how I was managing than how he was. Up until his dying day, he made sure to tell me I was beautiful and how much he loved me. He made me smile and laugh every single day that we were together, even during the month and a half we spent in the ICU.

Dennis gave me the greatest gift that I’ve ever been given, and that was his time and love. The time we shared will forever be the greatest part of my life, and I cherish every tender memory we have together. Dennis is my hero; he gave me confidence, has taught me how to be strong, showed me how to love selflessly, taught me how to laugh at myself instead of beating myself up. He saw the best in me even during my craziest moments. He is everything I wish that I could be. Now, he is my angel.

For all these reasons, I want our child to be just like him. I am excited to have a little piece of him around, again. I think that’s why it’s so important to me that my pregnancy test comes back positive on Tuesday. I mean, don’t get me wrong… I’ve always wanted to be a mother, I love kids, but this child will be so special to me. Please, oh please, let it be positive.

Yesterday was THE DAY!

Yesterday was my embryo transfer… Holy moly, can you believe it? The day has finally come and gone, I have been waiting on this since JANUARY! We only transferred one embryo because my doctor said it was advanced and looked very strong. I am nervous about doing only one, but I trust my doctor. My beta test to check if I am pregnant is on the 27th, and in the meantime I am thinking positive thoughts to try and encourage the little one to implant!

And now the wait begins.

I am trying to think of things to so to stay occupied. I think I am going to download some books, watch lots of Netflix, and just try to take it easy but it’s so hard when you’re waiting to find out something that is so important to you. Any suggestions on how to stay busy and calm?

Here is a picture of my first ultrasound! This was taken right after the transfer… The white area is where the embryo is. You can’t actually see the embryo, you’re only seeing the fluid that contains the embryo, but I know it’s in there and that’s what counts 😍.

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Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for me, even if it’s just for me to survive the next 9 days of waiting! Haha!

The news I’ve been anxiously waiting for…

I got the call today from my doctor to go over how many eggs were mature and fertilized.

Of my 20 eggs, 19 were mature.
Of those 19 eggs, 18 fertilized.
Of the 18 fertilized, 17 continued to grow at the rate they should.

My facility grades the embryos on a scale of 1-4… 1 being absolutely perfect, and 4 being poor. The doctor said usually the embryos fall somewhere in the 2/3 range, and that 1’s are very rare due to the stringency of their grading. I have 9 embryos that are grade 2, and 8 embryos that are grade 3. My doctor assures me that this is great news, and that grade 2 embryos are awesome. Even grade 3 embryos can grow to become a perfectly healthy baby.

So there you have it, I have 17 embryos and my transfer is scheduled for this Saturday, the 17th. My doctor said he will give his recommendation on Saturday on whether we should transfer 1 or 2 embryos, depending upon how they look.

Color me excited!

egg retrieval down, the transfer to go…

Yesterday was the day of my egg retrieval, and I am excited to say that they retrieved 20 eggs! I am happy with that amount, and the doc said the procedure went smoothly.

The whole day was so weird for me, though. I really wasn’t too nervous for the procedure because a few weeks ago I had a polyp in my uterus removed, and I figured it couldn’t be any worse than that. So they bring me into the room, set up my IV, and then the next thing I remember is waking up alone and crying. And I mean uncontrollably crying. As soon as I realized I was crying, it dawned on me that the reason WHY I was crying was because I expected to wake up and see my husband next to me. The nurse came in about that time and asked me about my pain level thinking that’s why I was crying, and all I could blurt out was “I just miss my husband, I wish he was here.” Bless her little heart, she was super sweet and gave me a few minutes alone to compose myself. Later on when I spoke to my dad about what had happened, and rosemary too, they both told me they think that maybe somehow Dennis had been there in the room with me the whole time, and that’s why I was so upset when he wasn’t there when I woke up. I don’t know what I believe when it comes to that kind of stuff. I think that I was probably just dreaming about him while I was under, but the thought of him being there is comforting, even if far fetched.

Then I had to move and get dressed… And with that came a surge of pain. They told me to expect “cramping,” but this felt more like all of the organs in my lower abdomen were being squeezed all at once, which sent shooting pains through my body. Nothing even similar to cramping. Once I got home I went straight to bed to try and sleep it off, and I slept ALL DAY until this morning. I used a heating pad during some spurts of my sleep, and it seemed to help. This morning when I woke up, I felt about 80% better. Now as the day is ending I feel almost back to normal. I will say though, that this bloating is the worst it’s ever been, and I can’t wait to be rid of it!

The next step is waiting for my doctor to call me tomorrow (weds). He will call me and tell me how many embryos I have, what the quality of them are, when my transfer will be, and his recommendation of how many to transfer. My transfer will be either Thursday or Saturday, but he told me it will probably be Saturday. Either way I am extremely excited and anxious to get this phone call!

You guys, I may very well be pregnant by the end of this week. HOW CRAZY IS THAT?!?! I can’t believe it’s finally here. Fingers crossed!

GUESS WHAT?!

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This is my “today is my last day of IVF home injections” face, and I couldn’t be happier!

Don’t get me wrong, they were that bad, but obviously they weren’t enjoyable. Really the exciting thing about this is that my egg retrieval is on Monday. MONDAY! As in less than 48 hours. How exciting?! My doctor called me goldilocks today because he said my egg production was perfect, not too many and not too little. When I see my doctor get excited about what is going on, it makes me stress a little less because it is so encouraging.

So that’s the update – egg retrieval is on Monday, and then my transfer will be 3-5 days after that. If there’s such a thing as heaven, than I know my husband is up there doing his happy dance that things are going smoothly. ❤

HOORAH!