Hi all! I’ve been postponing this update for so long, that it never seems to be a good time to do it. To summarize: I’m a mom.
If you followed our journey you know that our IVF failed in May. After that, we decided to take a one month break before trying again. We wanted to try in July because I accepted a new job as a teacher.
When I got my period after the failed IVF I asked the clinic for letrozole to guarantee my next period because I don’t usually ovulate. They said no. I noticed I had a refill left so I decided to take it anyways. After my ovulation date, I started to use the leftover progesterone suppositories I had and estradiol (vaginally). It was a “what’s the worst it could happen” kind of thinking. We also visited a Saint in St. Augustine, FL, that helps families trying to conceive.
9 days after my ovulation date I took an Amazon cheapie pregnancy test (like every month) before calling to order the new round of IVF meds. For the 1st time in my life, I saw a light second line. My heart almost stopped. I called my husband, he wasn’t sure that it was there. I got a First Response that I’ve been saving forever and it showed the line a little bit darker. I was pregnant!
You can imagine the number of tests that I did between that moment (Saturday morning) and Monday afternoon when I got the beta results back. My estradiol levels were a little bit low, my THS levels were high, but they adjusted the medicines. There I was. Pregnant. I couldn’t believe it. No insemination, no in vitro, the old-fashion way…
When we started this journey two years ago, there was a lot of things I didn’t know. Even today, I’m still learning new things every day. It was thanks to an online forum that I discovered the 21-day progesterone test doesn’t need to be on day 21 specifically (it should be done 7-10 days after ovulation).
So, every time I read someone going through something that we already experienced, I try to give advice. Not because I know better, but because I would like to help others save time, money, energy, etc. I would love to have known from the beginning that I shouldn’t have taken Letrozole for more than 6 months without results. That my PCOS needed to be treated too. That IVF wasn’t as impossible as I thought because CNY exists…
But to my surprise, people don’t like advise. People don’t take them well. People don’t want them. So, from now on, I’m not giving them anymore (on others’ posts). I will continue to write about our journey and experience. If someone really needs the help and the advice, I hope we can be of use.
As you may know, I was anxiously waiting to get my period (it came today), because this was going to be finally the cycle we were going to do IVF. We were going to Syracuse at the end of next week after triggering, and do the retrieval and transfer. Everything was planned (not plane tickets of course).
Two weeks ago I got very anxious about the possibility of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. I requested a follow-up phone appointment for tomorrow. The idea was to discuss with a provider the possibility of doing Mini-IVF. I wanted to be completely sure before paying $3,850 for the Fertility Medicines.
My phone call was scheduled for 11:45 am. At 12:30 pm I called asking what happened. I was told the doctor was running a little bit behind, but he will call me later. At 2:30 pm I was told the doctor was in surgery and it wasn’t going to be able to call me that day. I explained that I needed to buy the medicines that day and to please find a different doctor to call me. At 3:45 pm I received the call that changed our plans.
Another doctor called me. He said right away: you can’t do IVF next week. I was caught by surprise, of course. He explained that after looking at my chart, he noticed that no one gave me Metformin. I told him my previous RE said I didn’t need it since my insulin levels are OK. He said that was a mistake, that without the Metformin we are not treating my PCOS and therefore, my eggs don’t have good quality. He said that is the reason why I haven’t been able to conceive. I agreed to do two months of Metformin and then proceed with the IVF.
When we hang up the phone I was so upset. I cried so much that day. I cried because I’ve been taking medicines for almost two years for nothing. I cried because I was very excited about next week. I cried because the Atlanta doctor could have said that a month ago. I cried because now we are back to zero.
But I’m also grateful. I’m grateful that my instincts told me to ask for a follow-up. I’m grateful that we didn’t pay all that money for anything. I’m grateful that we get to start again.
Disclaimer: This post is not for everybody and contains information that some people may not like.
Let me start by saying that I understand this experience is different for everybody. But since this blog is therapeutic for me, I’m going to be talking about something that I suspect happens a lot more than we want to admit. Today’s topic is how our journey to conceive affects our sex life.
To begin with, there are few things less arousing that the phrase “we need to have sex today, I’m ovulating”. Yes, I know that foreplay exists and I know that you can leave it to the imagination, but after 12 rounds of Letrozole, you know that you have to try, even if it is 8 pm on a weekday night and you are both tired.
I’m also aware that Letrozole doesn’t have the same effects on every woman. For me, with the hot flashes comes the dryness. That on top of the unexplained cystitis that I’ve been suffering for almost 3 years. Then comes the fact that lubricants are not good for the baby-making process, so you do the math…
Now I’m working on enjoying life a little bit more, and trying to forget all the tests and days, and things like that. For example, I forgot that I was supposed to start tracking my LH surge today. It is hard because you want to follow the treatment, even if it hasn’t worked, but you also want to have a happy life.
My husband and I continue to be in love, and we still want to create a family, but this has been another thing we are learning to overcome as a couple. We talk a lot, we communicate, we try. But I wanted to put it out there in case that someone else is going thru something similar.
Life is not perfect by any means. We just need to make it work.
As I explained at the beginning of this blog, most people close to us didn’t know we are TTC. That’s why I don’t use my real name here and why I don’t use pictures. I guess a part of me is protecting us from the constant questions. Another part of me was ashamed, even though is not my fault.
But lately, I noticed that I’m talking to people about it. People at work, family, friends. I figured that this is our journey. We listen to people going thru other difficulties. We offer words of encouragement. We are there to help. So now I’m open. This is our reality.
And it helps. The more I talk about it, the less it hurts. A weight is being lifted, and I feel free. Free to fight, to try, to get up every single time.
Guess who is NOT pregnant?
I wasn’t able to wait and I tested last night. And then again this morning. And then again with the digital test that I’ve been saving for over a year for my first BFP (that never happened). So there it is, good bye hope.
My husband never has a reaction to the negative tests. So it is a little bit lonely when I get the non-surprising news. I hold it together, but as soon as I got into my car this morning, I started crying. I didn’t know it was possible to mourn a baby that didn’t exist…
We can’t afford to do another IUI this coming cycle, so back to timed intercourse…
PS: I took a picture of the “not pregnant” digital test, but I decided that this post is sad enough as it is…
Tomorrow will be two weeks since we did the IUI. My expected period day is on Thursday. I don’t know if I should test tomorrow or wait until Thursday. I’m actually surprised that I’ve waited so long. Is the 1st time I’m able to control myself.
I think that is because a part of me wants to hold on to the hope for a little bit longer and I’m avoiding the disappointment… Last night I had a recurrent dream that the pregnancy test was negative… But I’ve dream that I’m pregnant so many times, that now I don’t trust my dreams.
This is hard. I’m so afraid of another negative.
This part is not fun. I was doing OK, but now I’m 7DPO and I know this is the part where implantation may or may not occur, so of course I started symptom-spotting, and we all know that is not good.
I’m happy that tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I don’t have to come back to work until Monday. Hopefully the holiday and Luna will keep me busy.
So yesterday was our first IUI. We woke up early, had breakfast and then proceed to take DH’s sample. We rushed to the doctor, and we made it on time. They took the sample and told us to wait in the lobby.
After 50 minutes more or less, they called us for the procedure. The nurse asked me to verify the information and to lay down. The first speculum was too big, so she had to change it. After that, she had a little bit of trouble find it my cervix (my uterus is retroverted), and I had to cough a few times. Then, she cleaned the area with some huge Q-Tips. And then, she slowly inserted the catheter with the semen.
She said that I didn’t need to lay down for 15 minutes, that it doesn’t make any difference. I was confused because everything that I read said that. She told me that we had the room for as long as we needed it, so I was welcomed to lay down. But after 5 minutes I figured she must know more than me, and I got dressed. My husband went to work, and I came to mine.
The first hour was uneventful. Then I started to have pain, lots of pain. I had pain in my ovaries, my abdomen, and parts of my body that I don’t know how to describe. By the time I left my work, I had pain even walking. I’m going to assume that it was ovulation pain because of all the medicines. I took it easy yesterday night, and by today, the pain is so much better. It went from 8 to 4 in the morning. By now, is like a 2.
So now we just have to wait and pray.
Last Thursday I finally had the follow-up appointment with my RE. I was hoping we were going to be able to do the IUI this cycle, because since I was already in CD11, he said no.
I left his office crying. Sometime during our appointment, he casually mentioned that after 6 months of Letrozole, 50-60% of PCOS patients get pregnant. And of course, here I am, 9 rounds later and nothing yet. He explained our options moving forward. Of course, we are going to try IUI first, it makes more sense financially, not that any of it is covered by my insurance.
Who could think that it was going to be so hard to have a baby that is wanted that much?
For those of you that are braver than I am, there is an over the counter device that allows you to do an IUI at home. It’s call “The Stork” but you have to leave the cap inside from 4-6 hours, and I was afraid to do so.
In unrelated news, I’m pretty sure that I also have Endometriosis.
PS: I’m using green font for the 1st time because green is the color for hope.