Tag Archives: IVF

The Things You Take For Granted

The Things You Take For Granted

I know that a lot of pregnant women complain and moan about being pregnant the further they get along in their pregnancy. I’d be a hypocrite if I said I wasn’t one of them. While, I am so thankful that we were able to get here and am so appreciative that IVF worked for us, I’m coming to find that pregnancy is no picnic, especially if you’re one of the women who run into complications (yay, me!). And for those who are struggling with infertility and hating my guts right now1, know that I have been there, know that I understand where you are coming from, but also know that while you may sit there and think pregnant women shouldn’t moan or bitch about being pregnant because there are others out there that would kill to be in their shoes, I ask you to take a step back because while yes, we are absolutely lucky, there are people in this world that think you, regardless of your infertility, are lucky too. There are families living on the streets with no food, no water, no roof over their heads that are thinking that you have no right to complain, moan, or bitch about your life because at least there is food in your mouth, a roof over your head, and a warm place for you to sleep.

We are each fighting our own battles and we have no more right to tell someone what they should and should not do or feel based on our circumstances.

Now, that I’ve gotten that bit out-of-the-way, I want to move on to what this post is really about. Because I am infertile and have done multiple cycles of IVF, I need a place to go where people can relate to what I am going through. I need to be able to ask questions and express my frustrations and pain with people who understand. Cue: Facebook Groups.

granted Admittedly, I’m not as active in them as others, namely because I’m fairly honest and don’t like to sugar coat, so it’s just easier for me to keep my mouth shut, then to speak out, but on occasion I do comment and posts, especially when people have questions about the things I’ve gone through myself.

Recently, I found out that in one of the groups I’m in, an IVF group centered around those due in Feb/March, one of the moms lost her baby at 33 weeks. My heart, in that instance, broke for her. To fight so hard to get to where she did and to come so close, well, I can say anyone who’s struggled with infertility, knows just how devastating that is. My heart aches for her and for the loss of her baby girl and it made me re-evaluate my feelings and position.

Right now, if anyone asked how I was feeling, I’d likely say I’m miserable. I’m uncomfortable, sleep deprived, achy, and just all around miserable. I feel like my body has been invaded by aliens AND yes, I DO know, at least I know now, that this is all part of the experience, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Still, after hearing about her loss, I had to take a step back and appreciate how far I have come. I had to put aside my feelings of misery and recognize that I have taken the past 8 months for granted in one way or another. I had to appreciate being pregnant and appreciate the two little babies currently growing inside me, as they wait to make their debut into the world. I had to appreciate that even if I’m miserable and feel like an alien in my own body, all the poking, prodding, injections, sleepless nights, and complications are worth it, because at the end of the day, 9 months is nothing compared to a lifetime filled with love, laughter, and absolute amazement at the miracles of life that we have created.

I am lucky.

RIP Baby Sophia, you will never know just how much you were loved.

  1. I know there is bound to be some of you.

Achievement Unlocked: Pregnant

This post has been a long time coming but with everything that’s been going on, R’s health issues, death in the family, Thanksgiving, etc. it’s not been high on the priority list. I spent the whole of November getting the house in order for Thanksgiving which included dinner for 21 people and absolutely 0 time on my desktop. In short, life has been insane.

As many of you know, R and I have been actively going through fertility treatments, specifically IVF to try to conceive. We both have our own share of issues but it was mainly MFI1 due to low sperm count, testosterone issues, and mild retrograde ejaculation. Basically, it means we CAN get pregnant but it would be immensely difficult for us to do so.

2014 was the year all of this was discovered as we finally had insurance that covered treatment and it took us the whole of the year to truly process the information. I had always suspected something must be wrong, nearly 10 years together without a single pregnancy is kind of indicative of that, but it wasn’t until I stopped menstruating for 3 months, with every test popping up negative when we decided it was time to find out for sure. All I can say for those in similar situations, teetering on indecision and fear, the sooner you know, the better. Time is of the essence and contrary to what they would like you to believe, there really isn’t enough of it.

We took a break in 2014 after discovering our issues and didn’t resume treatment until the beginning of this year. We went through a fresh cycle2 at the end of March which resulted in a chemical pregnancy3 and then R ended up back in the hospital for pericarditis which left very little time to process or deal with the loss, though on some level I understood that these things happen, and nature did what it was meant to, terminate a pregnancy that would not be viable.

Despite all that, we decided to jump right into our next cycle under the premise that if necessary, we would stop the cycle since all of our embryos are frozen and there was no obligation to continue since they did not have me on stims4. It wasn’t something we shared with anyone. We kept it to ourselves because we didn’t know what would happen, whether this round would be successful, and honestly the stress of so many people wanting to know everything but not necessarily willing to understand the process was too much for both of us. As much as I wanted to be open and honest about our journey, and while I tried to some extent, I wasn’t successfully in continuing and I learned that I’m perfectly okay with that.

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  1. male factory infertility related
  2. Embryos implanted after retrieval without freezing.
  3. A very early miscarriage that happened at a point that a missed period and biochemical tests, such as a HCG blood test or a home pregnancy test (checking HCG in urine), were the only evidence that you were pregnant.
  4. Hormone therapy.

I Matter Too

I know this place has gone neglected and I can come up with a bunch of reasons that justify my neglect but at the end of the day none of that really matters. At least not to those who actively keep up with my blog and based on the fact that I have been a pretty terrible blogger, probably not many or any. I wish I could promise that would change but I find that as I get older, it’s harder and harder to find meaning in daily mundane tasks so blogging about it isn’t something I can say I enjoy. But I do miss the days when writing about my day was enough. I miss the days when everything was so much simpler.

R and I started fertility treatments at the end of February and in attempt to separate those ramblings from the ones here, I started a blog that specifically covers that journey and migrated all posts pertaining to trying to conceive there as well. I’m trying not to get caught up in fertility treatments and trying my hardest to prevent that journey from becoming all-consuming. I’m trying to find a life outside of the treatments because if I don’t, it will inevitably swallow me whole and if I’m honest with myself, I’m not sure it hasn’t already. I Matter Too

I’ve stopped doing a lot of the things I enjoy. I haven’t played a video game in several months now, I’m loathe to say probably more than a year at this point. I know GASP! And we all know how the blogging is going, as in it’s not. I have to make myself, my hobbies, and the things I enjoy a priority, but it’s so hard when there is so much going on that my needs and my wants are superseded. I really can’t blame that on anyone else but me and my incessant need to control everything around me.

This month in particular has been hard. I feel like if it could go wrong, it did. I had my first pregnancy which resulted in a chemical pregnancy and R was admitted to the hospital for severe chest pains the same day we found out that the embryo that had been implanted probably wouldn’t make it. I don’t think I’ve really come to terms with that loss. Instead, I lost myself in R’s recovery and pushed aside the pain that dwelling would have caused. I did what I do best, pushed down my emotions and feelings to support and be there for the ones that need it the most. I’m also not blind to the fact that eventually, it will resurface but I’ll take whatever solace I can find and go on pretending that everything is okay and therefore so am I.

Next month I hope to focus a little more on myself. I am going to sit down and play some games, read a little, and do the things that I enjoy. I have not only neglected this place but also myself and it’s high time I spend a little time taking care of myself because despite what I might feel or think, I matter too.

When’s the last time you did something for you?

And the Results Are…

I did a pretty good job of avoiding pregnancy tests prior to our first beta. In fact I was fairly calm this entire cycle and unlike what I expected, my anxiety remained very low. I’m not sure why but I suppose subconsciously I knew there wasn’t much else I could do. Either it worked or it didn’t.

Funnily enough the Sunday prior to the week we were to go in for our first beta my PC started to act up. It stopped booting and R was out so I couldn’t have him look at it. As a result, I got bored and decided to pee on a stick. At this point I was 5dp5dt but a very, very, very faint line appeared. In fact, I didn’t believe what I was seeing. I messaged Angela on FB and asked her if I was seeing things. She responded by saying she did see the line and for a few seconds I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t want to hope, it was still too soon but after that day, I started peeing on sticks two times a day and each time it came up positive, deep down, despite the fact I tried very hard to keep realistic expectations, I had hope.

The day our first beta test arrived, I was still pretty calm. All of my pregnancy tests were still coming up as positive but this was the day when I’d get a realistic idea of whether the pregnancy would be viable and the waiting was torture. I went into work that day which was a stupid move on my part1 and I get the call around 1:00pm from my doctor who confirmed I was in fact pregnant, but my beta HCG was at a 32 when ideally they’d have loved to see it at 40-50. Despite his reassurance that the first number generally didn’t mean anything and what they were ultimately looking for was the number to double every other day, I still ended up trying to fight back tears. The pessimist in me immediately jumped to worse case scenario and I realized going into work on beta day was a bad idea.

There were many individuals in my support groups who tried to further reassure me by sharing their success stories with lower betas or betas around the same level as mine but I couldn’t allow myself to hope anymore; the one constant I can always be sure of is Murphy’s Law so I started to build my defensives for the news I was sure we would get. Meanwhile R held on to the hope that everything would be okay.

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  1. Lesson learned

Egg Transfer Day

March 24, 2015 marked the day of our egg transfer. I was still bloated, though not nearly as bad and I felt better than I had since the egg retrieval, though I was still walking slowly and wearing loose fitting pants.

We arrived at the clinic an hour prior to the appointment as instructed. I immediately started drinking water because my Doctor needed my bladder to be somewhat full due to the weird angle of my cervix. He hoped that if I had a full bladder it would push against my cervix and straighten it out to make transferring the embryo easier.

About an hour prior to the procedure, they instructed me to take the prescribed Valium and then had me change into the hospital gown, booties and shower cap. R was instructed to put a gown over his clothes and to wear a shower cap as he’d be there with me for the procedure.

After my bladder was comfortably full and my vitals were recorded, my doctor and the embryologist came in to discuss the quality of our embryos, how the remaining embryos were progressing and the number we should put back. She also provided us with a picture of the embryo that they would be transferring which by all counts, according to the experts was a beautiful blast.

Hikari Originally we were dead set on putting back 2 embryos but the look of concern on our doctor’s face made us change our mind. Both he and the embryologist expressed concern about further overstimulating my ovaries if we put back two, given that I was still recovering from the egg retrieval and still had some serious bloating. The bloating had gone down but I still looked like I was pregnant. R and I agreed to just do the one and the doctor and embryologist left to prepare. Meanwhile, the nurse came in and directed us to the room were the transfer would take place.

At this point, I was a pro and was able to hop up onto the operating table and put my legs in the stirrups without issue. The egg transfer itself wasn’t too bad. The most difficult part of it, was having the doctor’s assistant pressing very hard on my stomach with the ultrasound tool. Not only was it uncomfortable because I was still bloated but I also had a semi-full to full bladder so every time she pressed down, I was forced to clench to ensure I didn’t accidentally pee on my doctor.

Admittedly, the transfer was more difficult than anticipated due to my cervix angle but my RE was able to place the embryo and then sent us home with instructions to stay home and not do anything too strenuous. Overall, the transfer was a piece of cake, especially in comparison to the egg retrieval. Still, we don’t want to repeat it because repeating means we weren’t successful but I guess time will tell.