Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Starting again

This is not a new blog. You might think it is, since you just received an invite to view it. But, this blog originally came to be in July 2010. Caught up in the excitement of my first pregnancy, I made many classic and cliche mistakes. I told several people, I bought a baby journal, and I started a pregnancy blog. Unfortunately, that pregnancy was not meant to be.

Once we found out about our miscarriage, I abandoned the blog. I spent the next year on a roller coaster of emotional and physical recovery, as well as pursuing trying to conceive again. Now that we have officially started to pull out the big guns of infertility treatment, I wanted to return to the idea of a blog. Many other infertility blogs have helped me, and I suppose I hope this will help someone else.

Just for context, let me bring you up to speed with the timeline of our TTC efforts so far.

July 2005:
Hubby and I get married relatively young. Both on the same page about kids at some point in the future, but not now. None of our friends are married or having kids yet.

July 2005 - December 2009: Figuring out the whole marriage thing. Some doubts about having children (on my part) followed by all-consuming desire to be pregnant NOW. The proverbial switch gets flipped.

January 2010: I stop birth control after 15 years of being militant about avoiding pregnancy (oh, if only I had saved all that money!). Read "Taking Charge of Your Fertility," the Bible of fertility self-help books. Started to chart fertility signs and temperatures. Bought first of many batches of ovulation predictor kits.

Jan. 2010-July 2010:
Long, irregular cycles. I ovulate 4 times in 7 months. I also start to wonder about Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) because my sister suffers from it. Lots of books about natural fertility on my nightstand. In April I started acupuncture as well, hoping for improvement of my cycles.

July 2010: Clearblue Easy Digital says "Pregnant!" We are beyond ecstatic. The hubby starts talking to my belly and we give in to temptation and tell our families and several close friends.

August 2010: 2 early ultrasounds show I had a missed miscarriage at 7 weeks. First D&C follows. Most intense emotional pain I have ever felt in my life. We are completely devastated. It also feels as if every other person I know or see on the street is suddenly pregnant.

August - October 2010: I have incessant spotting, no ovulation, and general weirdness. I call the OB/Gyn several times and she tells me to "be patient." Steam starts to come from my ears.

Columbus Day 2010: I forced OB/Gyn to do ultrasound. Retained tissue from pregnancy found. Extreme anger ensues. Second D&C follows.

November 2010-January 2010: I continue to chart and do OPKs, but that elusive egg never gets popped from my ovaries. I am now completely anovulatory. Discovering patience (and lack thereof) that I never knew I had in reserves. OB/Gyn refuses to test me for PCOS.

January 2011: First appointment with Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE). Diagnosed within minutes with "subtle variant" of PCOS. Prescribed Metformin for the first time.

February 2011: First ovulation since July 2010, but anovulatory the next cycle. Ready for more aggressive measures, starting with the oral medication Clomid. I have been "patient" long enough.

April - June 2011: 2 Clomid cycles but no ovulation, both ending with Provera (progesterone) to induce a period. Obviously my ovaries are stubborn and oral meds won't work for me. RE suggests injectable medication followed by intrauterine insemination (IUI) - a.k.a. turkey baster method. We can do several cycles like this, and then head to IVF if needed.

June 2011:
Supposed to start first Gonal F (75Iu)/Ovidrel/IUI cycle begins  - CANCELED due to cysts, caused by the Clomid and PCOS. Slamming of head against wall begins.

July 2011: Ironically went back on birth control this cycle due to travel at end of the month.

August 2011: First injectable (Gonal-F/Ovidrel) and IUI cycle begins. FINALLY. Needle phobia also sets in. BFN.

September 2011: As a result of being overmedicated by a covering physician, I am riddled with large cysts, post IUI. Benched until the cysts shrink, while taking BCP. Longest period of my life. Also started seeing a new acupuncturist, who practices TCM.

September 2011 part deux (9/24/11)-late October - Baseline ultrasound shows NO CYSTS! 3 weeks of BCP, electroacupuncture, Chinese herbs, and praying worked! IUI Cycle #2 begins.- BFN

November - December 2011: hiatus; we shrink some cysts on BCP and go on vacation to Aruba.

January 2012: IVF #1: BCP, Lupron, Gonal-F/Menopur, Pregnyl trigger = 23 eggs retrieved, 19 mature, good lookin' sperm, and NONE fertilize. Read about it here.

February-mid March 2012: hiatus; back on BCP, back to acupuncture, and take a trip home to LA

late March/April 2012: IVF#2, with ICSI
same protocol as last time, with Doxycycline, Medrol, aspirin, PIO, and Vivelle patches post retrieval, acupuncture
April 10 - 26 eggs retrieved, 23 mature, 20 fertilize with ICSI!
April 15 - 5 day transfer of one textbook perfect blastocyst with 6 to freeze.

So, there we are.

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