Hope For The Diminished

Last year around this time, a fertility doctor told me that I would never conceive on my own. In the same conversation he also told me that IVF would never work for me after he chose a really crappy protocol for my first IVF cycle.

When my son is born in March, shitty fertility doctor will be one of the first people I mail a birth announcement.

Diminished Ovarian Reserve sounds like a death sentence in online chat rooms and blogs. Little hope and big fears of a childless life. I never bought in to the idea that my story was already written. My AMH level was a .60, my antral follicle count always hovered around 12 and I have never had anything but a normal menstrual cycle.

I spent the last year believing that I to could solve this thing with a steady cocktail of CoQ10, Maca, wheatgrass, acupuncture, blah blah blah.

Maybe I just got lucky. Maybe all my holistic approach to health and healing worked. Maybe when I was matched with my daughter through adoption, some magical adoption dust helped me conceive. I personally like to think it was my steady stream of dirty martini’s, an In-N-Out burger and an indifferent attitude about pregnancy at the time. I also think God has a great sense of humor and was giggling about his master plan for me to have two babes under 7 months.

Either way, here I am, almost 6 months pregnant with a baby boy. I am the furthest I have ever been. This past week I actually graduated (I did not know that could happen) from my high risk specialist. The doctor said both myself and baby boy (we call him Ax) are now officially low risk now and she predicts smooth sailing from here on in.

I don’t want to wax poetic about my pregnancy, but I do want to offer hope to those that may find themselves in the same fertility boat that I’ve been in. There IS hope for the diminished. The truth is, part of the reason we Google incessantly is that we all really want to find a story similar to ours where the person did conceive, have a baby or make it out of the fertility trenches in one piece.

So while my sweet son will not be in my arms for a few more months, I have made it this far and so can you!

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The Hardest Post I’ve Ever Had To Write

*Warning Pregnancy Mentioned*

 

 

As a pregnancy challenged blogger you think this would be the easiest blog post I’ve written to-date. It is in fact, quite the opposite. I’ve spent several weeks paralyzed by fear in sharing my news with the little community that has supported me in this blog.  Fear that in sharing I would jinx myself. Fear that I would be dumping salt in someone else’s infertility wound.

With a deep exhale I will rip off the digital band-aid and reveal to any readers of this post that I am pregnant.

It fills me with fear  just to type the last sentence. It fills me with worry and it fills me with sadness. Behind my fear, worry, sadness and every other negative emotion I have writing about being pregnant there is a tiny sliver of hope. Hope for myself and this baby. Hope for others that their stories of loss and want will one day be re-written. Hope that in sharing my story, it just may give someone else a renewed sense of hope.

I’ve stayed silent for week’s. Months at this point. I am 13 weeks and 3 days to be exact. My due date is March 15th and thanks to my high-risk VIP status we know that we are expecting  a baby boy.

I’ve flown below the radar for a couple of reasons:

1. In adopting, the last several months have been about my daughter Sweet P and not about me or our potential bio baby to be.

2. I’ve been there. No matter how happy I’ve been for the other women who are part of my loss/infertility community it is still like getting punched in the stomach every time the pregnancy announcements rolled in. The pregnancy announcements seem to come in waves and even though I would thank God for their answered prayers I wondered when my turn was going to come. I have just not wanted to be “that girl” and yet with this post I am “that girl”.

3. In my paralysis of fear – I felt like in announcing would cause me to lose the pregnancy. I still feel that way, which is why I am afraid to share. In the same breath, if I can’t share with you guys who can I? My mantra has become “today I am pregnant, and today it is healthy”.  After losing my first son at 18 weeks, every single week I get closer to that mark weighs heavily on me. I can not wait to get past the 18 week milestone.  I don’t get to be stoked I made it through the first trimester. Oh no, the second trimester just kicks off the fun and excitement of  the deeper seeded “what-if’s”.

So for the background on baby boy. My husband and I estimate we conceived three days after being matched for the adoption of our daughter. THREE DAYS! There were no OPK sticks, no pre-seed, no legs in the air, nadda. Just some good old-fashioned boning. The only thing different in June was that I was equipped with a “I don’t give a shit anymore” attitude. With the adoption progressing I had found my peace. I was going to be a mother and quite frankly I had come to the point of accepting it may never be to a biological child on this earth. I was OK with it and had a game plan. By the time SweetP was to be born I was going to be the fittest, hottest mom ever. I started working out with a trainer three times a week, went on a Paleo diet and was on my way to yummy mummy status. I had not been naturally (or spontaneously pregnant as the Doctor’s like to call it) in 2 years so I wasn’t worried about birth control. I just didn’t think it was going to happen.

4th of July I found myself in bed before the fireworks even began to go off. I told my husband that I had been feeling tired and that my adrenals must have been off. The Monday following the 4th I felt like death warmed over so before I had a glass of wine that evening I dug around in my bathroom for a pregnancy test “just in case”. I peed on the stick and then forgot about it. I took the dog for a walk, I did the dishes and then i remembered my glass of wine and stick so i went in my bathroom and peered from afar at the thing assuming it was going to be negative and I saw two f’ing lines!

I just started laughing. How ridiculous. God certainly has a sense of humor. My year of the baby and in it to twin it mantras from earlier in the year really paid off I guess.

So here I am with a two-week old and one on the way (God willing). They will be roughly 6 months apart.

I will say, there will be no belly pics updates from me nor those quiz things where I tell you if I have an innie or outtie for my bellybutton. Sorry, I just can’t do that. I can’t do that to all the women that I am still praying for it to be their turn.

I will however share my fears and positive doctor updates and the fact that the announcement of ANOTHER Royal baby made me royally uncomfortable yesterday.

xo

Menopur Meltdown: IVF Day # 6

… And yesterday I had a monumental meltdown.

Hell hath no fury like a woman hopped up on 5 different types of hormones.

The IVF process has a habit of putting marriages under a microscope. Currently, under my marital microscope, my husband is grounded from participating in my injections after he gave me not one but two incorrect dosages.

The first alleged fail was the evening of Day 5 when he was supposed to give me 150 iu of Menopur and only gave me 75iu. I had not been refereeing his dosing so I was blissfully unaware until he mentioned it to the nurse at my day 6 blood work and ultrasound. The nurse immediately gave me the additional 75iu of meds and said it should not negatively impact my cycle.

The subsequent error was last night which was responsible for my emotional tailspin. In an effort to help the growth of my 9 maturing follicles my Dr. added 50 iu of human growth hormone. It was the first injection of the evening which came with explicit written directions from my Dr. After strike 1 on the dosing I made sure to actively participate in my medication prep by read the instructions out loud and having him repeat them back to me. The ONLY thing I did not do was check how much medication he put in the syringe. Moments after giving me the injections he started panicking a bit and announced he had given me double the dose!

And this is when I lost it! Not because the dosing was messed up, but because everything that moment represented. All the what if’s stripped me of any rational thinking and left me standing there emotionally exposed.

I cried. I bawled. I kept yelling how could you? How could you be so careless? How could you mess up again? How could you be so reckless with my body and the potential of our future? I cried some more. And then I had to stop and take the remaining three injections. After that I continued crying and wallowing in my fear that this cycle had been ruined, while my panic-stricken husband dialed the on-call  nurse.

I am not a crier nor am I overly emotional so this type of emotional reaction is reserved for once every three to four years and I was clearly overdue. In that moment, infertility won. What I have experienced these past three years finally got the best of me. It was if all the emotional pain, frustration and anger was funneled to this one particular situation.

All I could think about was how hard I’ve worked for those 9 little follicles to be developing. I have essentially stopped living to create a life. No gluten, no caffeine, no alcohol diet. My free time consumed with yoga, acupuncture, searching for wheat grass and up to 40 pills a day. I haven’t been in a hot tub or sauna in over a year. Gone are the days of running half marathons and doing triathlons out of fear of overexertion. And list keeps going.

So the idea that a few messed up injections could take me out of the running for motherhood this month was too much.

I’ll find out tomorrow morning what negative effects (if any) the dosing had on me when I go in for another round of labs and an ultrasound.

Until then, my husband and I will enjoy the imperfectly perfect spouses we are to one another. 🙂

In It To Twin It – IVF Round # 2

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Day F’ing: 1.

This round I am much more fearful of everything. Fearful that my body won’t respond. Fearful that if it does and they are able to retrieve the embyros they won’t be mature enough or high quality enough. And fearful if we are able to make it to the grande finale of the whole shebang that they will not implant. I know this time what can go wrong and what I am actually up against. My last round of IVF was pure blissful ignorance.

Since I am on a roll about divulging my current mental state I will also admit that I am in it to twin it. With the thousands and thousands of dollars that are slowly seeping out of our bank account I secretly and selfishly hope for twins.  Having twins would be an added bonus. It’s the BOGO (buy one get one free) of the reproductive medicine industry. In all seriousness though like all in this situation, I would happily and joyfully welcome one healthy, living happy baby girl or boy in to my arms after this process is over. The idea of twins is a nice, happy thought that I like putting out in the universe. 🙂

STATS of this IVF thus far:

Me: 32, diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve. I’ve been told that while DOR is not an amazing diagnosis I am young enough and not in too bad of shape that I still have a really good shot of getting pregnant with my own embyros.

CD: 2

Antral Follicle Count: 11

E2 – 37

FSH – 11 (Yikes. At 32 that hurts to hear but it was not high enough to rule me out thankfully. It was also not surprising).

Protocol – 225iu Follistim an 75iu Menopur until day 3 only once a day in the evenings. How freaking lucky am I? On the failed cycle my doctor started me on 250iu Follistim twice daily with 50iu Lupron twice daily.

Will provide update on day 3…WHEEEEE!

What Does A Girl Need To Do to Get a Wheatgrass Shot Around Here?

IVF #2 is about to commence. My precisely packed cooler of needles and medication arrived today and it will be any day now that the poking a prodding begin again.

For those who are new to my blog IVF #1 I canceled in September of last year after the epic failure it was. I had an antral follicle count of 12 and after two weeks of stimming my body had only matured three eggs. My protocol was  follistim micro-flare Lupron after a month of birth control pills.  Long story short, my Florida Dr was a dick  (Dear RE You’re Fired)  so I fired him and am back with my RE in Los Angeles for this cycle. My LA RE seems to think my body did not respond because I was too suppressed with the BCP and high dosage of Follistim (600 iu a day).

Since my canceled cycle I took several months off to enjoy the holidays and shower my body with love and kindness. In last several months I have kicked it in to high-gear to prepare my body for this cycle.

This is what I have done thus far:

– Weekly Acupuncture since September

– Chinese herbs that taste just awful twice daily since September. My acupuncturist said my kidney line was shut down or something like that and to drink the herbs. I have no idea what I’ve been drinking but she has a wall full of birth announcements from past patients that she has helped so I believe her.

– 600 mg CoQ10 Ubiquinol daily ( 200 mg morning, noon and night). This was a recommendation made by my Los Angeles RE. I’ve taken them since September.

– 3mg to 6mg Melatonin nightly since September

– 5000 mg of Vitamin D since September ( It was found that I was deficient)

– a minimum of 8 hours of sleep a night since September

– Gluten free since September

– Daily 2oz shots of wheatgrass (last two weeks). Let me tell you, getting wheatgrass shots in Orlando is difficult. Some days I drive an hour round trip to drink this stuff. The only reason I added this to my regime is because Dr. Google tells me so.

– No caffeine, dairy or alcohol since January 1st. Actually, no. That is a complete lie. That is what I should have done. I have snuck in four glasses of wine in the past 15 days and I ate Cheese Puffs which surprisingly actually contain dairy. Yes, I know they have cheese in the name but I assumed they were so processed it was just a dusting of faux cheese flavoring. If there is such thing as infertile guilt I have it. But with everything I am trying to do to have the best odds at IVF #2 working I feel like I am going to lose my mind.

– Yoga 3 times a week since January 1st. My knees are killing me from kneeling so much on the hardwood floors of my gym’s yoga studio.

We will see if any of my crazy will make a difference. I will post my protocol as soon as I receive the official one from my Dr.