February 6, 2016

IVF #1 Underway

The birth control pills and I were BFFs for 2 weeks. Then... we decided to dissolve our relationship. I have to admit this break up occurred a little quicker than I anticipated; however, I was ecstatic! The birth control pills gave me a constant headache, and I never stopped bleeding! I bled for 15+ days!

The IVF nurse was concerned about my symptoms, so she discussed this with my RE. They decided it may be best to take me off of the birth control. However, there was a concern for the readiness of my uterus and ovaries. So, they had me come in for an ultrasound to take a look. Ultrasound showed calm uterine lining and calm ovaries (and one pesky cyst!). I was freaked out that the cyst would delay our start, but, thankfully, we were given a bright green light!! I was to stop the bcp and start Follistim in 2 days! I was thrilled!

Finally, 'let's get this show on the road'!! 

Baseline E2 and u/s:
E2 = 'less than 5' ... They shoot for 'less than 90', so this was perfect! [There's that damn P word again.]
2.3 mm uterine lining
23 antral follicles - right ovary
16 antral follicles - left ovary

IVF #1 protocol (so far):
Days 1-3:  Follistim (225 IU)
E2 = 87
Days 4-7: [decreasing] Follistim to 150 IU, [adding] Menopur 75 IU
Day 6 monitoring u/s (results below)
Day 8 u/s = ??? (on Sunday)

Day 6 ultrasound (after 5 days of treatments):
6.6 mm uterine lining
21 follicles - right ovary (average size 8 - 9 mm)
20 follicles - left ovary (average size 7-9 mm)

These follicles counts are pretty high, which is expected with my PCOS. On a normal day, I have multiple follicles in my ovaries. The injections are speaking directly to these follicles and instructing them to grow! And, they are growing! We'll find out more tomorrow!

So far, so good! 

January 16, 2016

Our last chance before IVF - success or fail?

I didn't win the powerball - not even $7.

I didn't win the 'last chance before IVF' lottery either. BFNs as expected. 3 eggs = 3 chances = Nada. 

Story of my life. 

Today is CD2. I actually cheered loudly when AF arrived. Lately, my luteal phases have been 17/18 days long! Pure agony when you know you're not pg, and all you want to do is move onto the next cycle. Well, this cycle she arrived on 15dpo, which was my norm before my LPs increased. I was thankful. 

So, finally we can get this show on the road! I've started the dreaded birth control pills. I'm to continue taking the BCPs until they tell me to stop. Likely, 4 weeks or so.

Our next appointment is in 3 weeks where they will instruct us on the injection administration. John says, "..where they teach me how to stab you?!" Oh my...... yes dear. 

January 6, 2016

How do I begin to process all of this?

IVF journey begins…. now.

John and I visited the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics yesterday for our consultation with our RE after moving onto IVF. It was a 4 hr+ visit with 7 different practitioners! Labs, ultrasounds, face to face visits, financial counseling, etc. I couldn’t help by laugh when the sonographer asked me if my head was spinning yet! I’ve managed an OB/GYN office and worked in billing/collections/coding for many years. No. Finally, all of my questions and concerns were being answered! I was relaxed and thankful.

Then, there was my ultrasound... So, a normal piece of our workup for IVF is a transvaginal ultrasound to inspect the anatomy of the organs involved in an IVF cycle and to ensure everything looked “good” in order to proceed. Well…. the ultrasound technician excitedly said, “Everything looks perfect!” I laughed and replied in my head, ‘Yeah….and yet I can’t ever carry a healthy pregnancy’ Like, seriously, if everything looks “perfect”, what is our freakin’ problem!!??

Here’s what she observed in all of its perfected glory:

-- Ovaries measured normal. Right ovary embraced 2 postovulatory “cysts”. Left ovary harbored 1 postovulatory “cyst”. (Normal findings after ovulation, except…. this meant I released three eggs on my current cycle.) I asked her how she could determine the difference between these structures and regular follicles (because to me, they appeared like large follicles). She explained the physiology. She pointed out blood within each of these structures, and I was truly intrigued. She was pretty confident I released 3 eggs this cycle. I am 5dpo… maybe she’s onto something.


We were NOT on IF treatments this cycle. This was a natural cycle. I had SHINGLES during this cycle, and I didn't O until CD70! WTH.

-- Uterine lining needs to be 6mm or more to invite an embryo during IVF. My lining was 13mm. Whoa, again...

-- I have 27+ antral follicles. This is a great high # for IVF!

-- Uterine shape was “perfect”. [stop saying Perfect, please]

She was planning to do a mock IVF during my encounter, and I deferred. [I thought] There’s no way you’re inserting a catheter into my uterus (just to ensure a real embryo transfer is possible), if there’s a possibility of fertilization of THREE eggs. You crazy, lady!

So, here we are…. 

My RE has predicted before I’ve released 2 eggs before. I may be an egg machine in some sense. But, it seems it’s for no good reason. If we conceive, I have a history of recurrent m/c (miscarriages - one twin m/c and one singleton). So, I’m not hopeful, what-so-ever. Sucks to be negative, but these were the cards I was dealt. Cards full of heartache and negativity, thanks to Infertility w/ PCOS. 

So, what now?

I'm holding onto Hope that IVF will finally work for us. Now, we wait for AF to arrive, and when it does [yes, it will] I'll start BCP to begin our first IVF cycle.

January 1, 2016

I find myself here [again]... and I’m here to stay.

Nearly 2 years since my last blog post. And, nearly THREE years since the blog post before that. 


You know, truthfully, I’m not ashamed. Life is busy incredibly chaotic.

[So chaotic. I'm realizing now that it is what landed me in therapy in 2015.]

I hear people say it all the time, “I’ve been so busy!” and “Things have been so crazy around here!”.  I sometimes wonder if they really really know what it means to be “busy” and for things to be “crazy”. A normal day in our household consists of a Daddy who attends graduate school and teaches undergrad classes, a Mommy who works full-time, attends college full-time, owns and operates a graphic design business on a part-time basis, AND a little girl who attends preschool 5 days a week and participates in extra-curricular activities. I’m also about to pick up a 2nd 3rd job of sorts. 


And, hidden behind all that exists of a “normal day” is the constant reminder of….. our infertility. We remain a family of three wishing to be a family of 3 plus….