Full Circle

The past three weeks have been a blur to say the least; but they certainly complete the circle of this long journey for us.  On March 21, 2014, I gave birth to our son, Hudson.  What I remember the most was when they placed him skin-to-skin on my belly.  He cried a little and then contently lay awake and alert.  I watched him crawl up my body and feed for the first time.  We spent over an hour skin-to-skin and we had our own little bubble of calm in the chaos that was going on in the rest of the room.  Those moments and those emotions I felt made me feel like it was just myself and him.

When I look back at our IVF procedure and then I look at this perfect little person, all of the injections, appointments, blood work and ultrasounds were worth it.  We know how incredibly lucky we were to have a positive result with the first cycle.  Out of 16 eggs, then 9 embryos, and then 2 transfered blastocysts and the knowledge that we had nothing to freeze for future cycles – we were blessed with a healthy pregnancy and a perfect baby boy.  Sadly, our results are not typical and there are countless couples who have suffered emotional and financial heartbreak too many times.

So, would we do IVF again?  Together as a couple, Nick and I have decided that we will not do IVF again.  It’s emotionally draining for both couples.  It’s also expensive.  We would not have been able to do IVF if we did not ask for help (which was a tough thing to do).  If we magically conceive naturally then that’s incredible and amazing, however if we don’t then we are perfectly happy with our sweet baby boy 🙂

Just yesterday we found out that the province of Ontario announced that they will publicly fund the cost of one cycle of IVF for all forms of infertility.  They will be doing single embryo transfers to reduce multiple birth rates and high-risk pregnancies.  This is amazing and a step in the right direction.

A few days ago I received a FB message and friend request from a friend of a friend.  She said that her and her husband just found out that they need to do IVF and she asked if she could ask me some questions of she needed to since she didn’t know anyone else who had gone through the procedure before.  I told her that I would be thrilled to be part of her support circle and that it was so important to at least be able to talk to someone who has gone through it.  Even though our overall experiences and reasons behind the infertility might be different, I hope to help her feel as normal as possible through her journey to parenthood.

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Last Dose – 8 weeks 3 days

Today is my last dose of Prometrium.  It’s a little nerve-wracking, but it’s also exciting because if you’ve taken Prometrium you know how gross it is!  I’ve done my fair share of Dr. Googling which causes one to go from calm to crazy and back again all within the same search result!  I’ve done my last bit of research this morning and I’m glad I did because I found this article about a study that was done on IVF cycles using ICSI and also specifically Prometrium.  The study concluded that the P4 supplements could be withdrawn safely at 5 weeks gestation because the results were similar enough to stopping at 8 weeks.

Since there are many different types of progesterone supplements that patients get prescribed for the many different treatments that can be done, it can be overwhelming to google what should be done in your own case.  Some patients stay on until 12 weeks, others stop right after the positive beta.  Everything involved with ART is a case-by-case basis and no one is going to have the same treatment.  Sure, I’m nervous and yes I will be checking for spotting and everything else, however it’s important to trust your doctor because he/she is not Dr. Google.

Anyways, hopefully soon I will be hearing from an OB that the clinic is setting up for us (we don’t have a family doctor and haven’t for years).  Also, we are pretty close to telling our families and friends that we are pregnant!

First beta results are in!

I spent the entire day as a bundle of nerves. Waiting for a phone call. Waiting for the day to be over. Waiting for my brain to just shut the hell up.  At around 3:30 I check my phone and I see that the clinic has called and had left a message.  So then my nerves go into overdrive.  By 5pm I was ready to go, but I was also willing to prolong a negative phone call….!  I decide to go buy some sunglasses after work and Nick said we needed more cat litter and I drive the long drive home.  I get home and the landscaper is there to get info for a quote on making our front and back yard look presentable.  They finish getting the information and we finally go inside and sit on the couch together with the kleenex ready.  I dial up the voice mail and the message says this:

“Hi Deborah, this is the nurse from the clinic and we have your results of your pregnancy test.  Can you please call us back?  We are open from….”

What!!!!??  Well I guess they don’t exactly want to leave either horrible or joyous messages for people on their voice mail. Fair enough.

So what did we do?  We ran to the office to look up the results online!

And…and…AND…

181

(From all of the research I did online, the minimum for the inkling of a pregnancy is 10 or higher.)

We hugged and hugged and cried like we have never done before.  Such huge smiles and tears covered our faces.  We are getting closer!  Whether or not the interwebs wants to call it a pregnancy, we will reserve our full on happy dance for after a few more tests!  But yes, we are incredibly overjoyed with these results!!!!

I will be calling the clinic first thing in the morning as they need to arrange another prescription of Promethium and to tell me the news “in-person”!  My second beta is on Friday.  I hope that my number doubles!

Day 3 Post ER – Onward to Day 5 Transfer

Just a short post today with the results from the clinic:

We are looking at a day 5 transfer (Monday).  The embryos are growing but a little slow but the tech said that was fine because they are still growing.  She said that some are 2 cells still, some 4 and one 5 cell.  The quality levels are mostly 2’s with some 3’s and some borderline (not sure which way). I will ask for more detail tomorrow.  I found this information on embryo grading (because I was interested after she mentioned their levels).  I also found this article too – it’s less biased because it’s not from a fertility clinic’s site.  The clinic will call tomorrow with an appointment time for Monday.

My bloating is going down a bit and it’s more comfortable to wear pants (thank god!).  The discomfort when walking quickly or going from sitting to standing is going away slowly.  I am however getting a few stomach aches – probably because of the doxycycline (antibiotic) but I’ll be finished that in a couple of days.  I’ve found that you really have to take it with a full meal and lots of water.  Keeping hydrated is key because otherwise I feel nauseous.  I have been eating pineapple too which is nice because I love it.  There are mixed feelings about if it’s true or not (to help with implantation and uterine lining) but I’m only eating up to 5 pieces a day and there really are no scientific studies that confirm nor deny the internet rumours.

Anyways, we had a great night out last night with family and friends celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary.  I relaxed, laughed and enjoyed my one glass of very tasty wine 🙂

Day 5 of stims.

Tomorrow will be exciting because it’s an ultrasound day and we’ll get to see how the FSH has been working.  I’m excited to see if any more follicles have started or anything.  Monday morning after my blood work they told me to increase my Gonal F to 300 units a day (instead of 175 units).  Today I felt a bit of very mild mild mild tightening in my abdomen.  It was the feeling that I would get a few days before I would expect a period, except much milder – so the drugs ARE doing something!  It felt kind of weird, but I’m sure I’ll feel weirder as the treatment goes on.

I haven’t felt any major side-effects since starting Gonal F and Menopur.  Maybe some slight hot flashes, but they go away quite quickly.  Today I felt a tiny bit nauseated only because of the dosage increase (I believe).  My Lupron headaches have gone away thankfully!

Its crazy to think that this time next week we will (hopefully) be very close to retrieving eggs.  It’s best not to think to far ahead though.  One day at a time.