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After an agonizing wait that included me calling the infertility clinic at closing time to make sure they didn’t leave without telling me the results of my beta, my suspicions were confirmed.

Negative. Not a chemical, but entirely negative. Just like I thought it would be.

They called me a half hour after closing time, and I was freaking out the whole time thinking they’d forget to call me and go home for the day. But they called, and now I can move forward after what was definitely my worst two-week wait up to this point.

I always feel like my life is on hold during the two-week wait. For those unfamiliar with the two-week wait (2ww), that’s the length of time between ovulation (or embryo transfer, in the instance of IVF) and the time you can get an accurate result on a pregnancy test. You don’t know if you’re pregnant but you have to act like you are.

This most recent negative result has been the hardest one yet. I did everything I could possibly do to set up for success: acupuncture, massage, vitamins, relaxation, medicine, herbal supplements, bed rest, good diet.

Maybe I’m not supposed to have kids. But if that’s the case I start to think about whether there’s something so wrong with me that I shouldn’t have kids. I don’t think so, but doubts like that just creep in sometimes and there’s nothing you can do to stop them. I think if I was meant to have kids that I should have them by now. I just don’t know.

I need to schedule yet another post-IVF consult with my reproductive endocrinologist. I’m sort of mad at him, to be honest. I want a positive outcome and he hasn’t delivered, but I really believe he is performing to the best of his ability.I just don’t know how I’m going to know when to say enough is enough. I definitely think a break is in order right now, though.

I’m so disappointed. I had a really good feeling this time.

 

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I took a bit of a hiatus from blogging for a while. Some things were going on at home that took up more of my time than usual lately. However, I have not been on an infertility hiatus.

In February I started preparations for a frozen embryo transfer (FET). We had frozen two embryos in August after we transferred two during the fresh cycle. We transferred both blastocysts, graded B1 and B4, on February 22nd.

My beta was this morning, and I’m waiting for the call.

I’m expecting it to be negative.

I tested twice at home, once at 6dp5dt (11 dpo) and once at 8dp5dt (13 dpo) and both were unquestionably negative. Today I’m 13dp5dt.

We had really high hopes for this one. After all, we’ve had two failed fresh cycles and one natural pregnancy that ended up being chemical. We figured we were ocerdue to catch a break. I still have a tiny bit of hope left, but I wish I didn’t so it would be easier to get the news later. I was up half the night last night thinking about today and trying to decide what to do next. This last round included the progesterone injection, which is something new to my protocol. After going through that for three weeks, it doesn’t make me too anxious to try again. Not to mention that we’ve paid for two fresh IVF cycles and one frozen transfer entirely out of pocket in the past year. We just don’t have much money left, and I’m not sure I have the mental stamina for it either. Knowing we’ve dumped so much money into a fleeting pursuit of having children and that we still have nothing to show for it makes me feel a little sick to my stomach.

I’m also questioning my choice of clinic. Silly, really, because their success rate is so high. I think the success rate for IVF for them right now is around 90%. I see that and I think wow, it really should be my turn any time now. And then I think about how, according to the success rate, that I really should have had some success myself by now, and how really unlucky I must be to have been in that 10% of failure three times in a row.

Well, I have no more than one hour left to wait. It’s 3 P.M. and the clinic closes at 4. I guess I’ll go pace the house until then.

I’ve been in limbo for the past week just waiting for more blood work results. My beta hCG is still hanging in there at really low levels, so I’ve decided, based on my doctor’s recommendation and hours of research, to move forward with a D&C. It’s scheduled for  this Friday, November 9th.

There’s kind of a standing g joke in my family that it should be my goal to have surgery in every hospital in Jacksonville that will have me (meaning NOT counting the children’s hospital), and sadly, I’m well on my way. After Friday I will have had surgery in at least one branch of each hospital in Jacksonville except for Shands, which I plan to stay as far away from as possible. I’ve been to Memorial twice, Baptist South once, Baptist Beaches twice, Orange Park Medical Center once. Friday I can add St. Vincents to my list. Crazy.

I’m obviously extremely unhappy about the course of events the past couple months, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the D&C. I know not everyone feels the same way about this type of procedure, and all I can say is that you have no right to judge until you’ve experienced this difficult decision for yourself. I’m not terminating a viable pregnancy. I don’t take this decision lightly. We’ve spent over $25,000 trying to get pregnant so far. What’s inside me is not growing at all. There’s no heartbeat and it’s still too small, at 8 weeks, to be seen on an ultrasound. We can’t move forward with a frozen embryo transfer until my hCG levels go back down to 0, and the D&C will remove whatever’s keeping my hCG levels from going back down.

The good news that came out of this is that they’re doing a workup for recurrent miscarriage, which will either find a problem we can address or put my mind at ease if nothing’s wrong. If nothing’s wrong in that department it means I’m just really unlucky, which seems par for the course anyway. Does that sound negative? I’m feeling a little negative.

On a side note, if you haven’t voted yet, I strongly urge you to research the President’s stance on reproductive issues and compare them to Romney’s and Ryan’s views before you vote. Pay close attention to Ryan’s views on personhood and his Sanctity of Human Life Act. The act has a pretty name and sounds nice, but think about what it means for D&Cs, ectopic pregnancy, and IVF.

Some of you might be wondering how a miscarriage could ever be good news. when you’re actually trying to have a baby, but the truth is, it CAN be good news.

When I thought I needed a D&C, for example.  And now it looks like I don’t.

My hCG levels have been absolutely dismal for how far along I was. First was 23, then 31 three days later, then 35 four day later, then 44 six days later. 44 at six weeks is so low, I couldn’t even find anything near that low in all my online research. Even people talking about how their levels were really low and they were so worried…their levels were at least in the several hundred range. My doubling rate was 14 days when it should have been 72 hours.

So anyway, it was looking like time for a D&C. Obviously extremely unhappy with the prospect, but I clearly had a very abnormal pregnancy going on that just wouldn’t quit. This didn’t make the decision to have a D&C easy, though.

I’ve been waiting for the doctor’s office to call and set up a time for the procedure. While I was waiting today things started to happen that indicated to me that a D&C was maybe not necessary and that things were going to take care of themselves without medical intervention.The end result was unavoidable, but I’m relieved I didn’t have to make that type of decision this time around. I get to play the waiting game a bit more now, and see if it turns into a full-on miscarriage, which is the best I can hope for now with this clearly non-viable pregnancy.

This pregnancy was unplanned, unexpected, and it’s made me doubt every decision I’ve made regarding infertility so far. Do I really need IVF? Can we do it on our own? Is there an autoimmune component here that I’m not aware of?

I have absolutely no idea. I’ll be very interested to hear my RE’s take on these events when I meet with him next month.

I’m still waiting for the doctor’s office to call so I can schedule a D&C. Things actually seem to be happening on their own now, though, so I’m not sure if they’ll still do one or not. I wish they’d just call already.

I still want them to do a hysteroscopy so they can take a tissue sample for biopsy to look for autoimmune problems. I hope I don’t have to fight them for it. If they don’t think it’s autoimmune, fine, but I’d like to definitely eliminate it as a possibility since I just had two chemical pregnancies in two months that never advanced very much at all.

Pretty unlikely it’s ectopic though, so that’s about the only good news.

Please just call me.

I’ve been waiting for the doctor’s office to call me so we can set up a D&C.  Imagine my surprise when I answered the phone this morning and it was my RE himself! I’ve been seeing him for three years and I think he’s only called me a couple times ever. Anyway, I was happy he called because I got to ask him questions about the procedure instead of asking the nurses. The nurses are fine with general info, but don’t always get very specific. My RE was able to address my concerns about potential for infections and adhesions, and discuss plans for a biopsy to look for potential autoimmune problems.

He also mentioned the possibility of an ectopic. Since I only have one ovary and tube, I obviously want to find out ASAP whether it’s ectopic and take care of it immediately. Since my numbers are so low it seems unlikely to rupture the tube in the near future, and at this point I’d just need to have the shot and not a  tube removal.

I’m unhappy about this outcome, of course, but I’m glad about the opportunity to find out if I have an autoimmune issue. If it is a problem then we can address it, and if it’s not the problem then it’s one less thing to worry about.

D&C will probably be next week.

There’s a D&C in my very near future.

My numbers went up again but only slightly. I didn’t even ask for the numbers. I didn’t care. It doesn’t matter.

The doctor’s office will call probably tomorrow to schedule a D&C for sometime by the end of next week.

I’m not surprised at the outcome at all. I am a little surprised that I need a D&C though. With such low and slow numbers I expected it to take care of itself, but the embryo just wants to stick around. So, I’m not really sure how I feel about a D&C. I feel a little uneasy about it, to be honest.

Six weeks along today. I made it farther this time than last time, so yay, I guess. No signs of miscarriage yet…

Had another blood draw today. They will call within the next few hours. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Still just waiting around for my blood work coming up on Tuesday.  I miscarried at this exact point last time. Five weeks and five days. No indication that it’s happening anytime soon, which surprises me because of the low numbers.  I’m obviously curious about what the results will be Tuesday, but I can’t even make a good guess.

It’s strange; I missed the two-week wait this time because we weren’t even trying, but looks like I’m making up for it now. I took my positive pregnancy test 15 days ago, and there you have it. A two-week wait.

Did some yard work today; I tried not to overdo it. It had to be done though, because the backyard was like a jungle. I let the husband do all the hard stuff.

At least the rest of today, and tomorrow, should go by quickly. Waiting for the phone call with the results the day of the appointment is the hardest. Always feels like forever, and I can never concentrate on anything else.

Most people have heard of the phrase “a little pregnant,” and they usually poke fun at it. Is it possible to be a little pregnant? People tend to think either you are or you aren’t.

 

Let me be the first to tell you:  it’s entirely possible to be a little pregnant. I’ve done it once, and I’m doing it again right this very second.

 

Here’s how I define “a little pregnant”: you’re pregnant but your hCG and progesterone levels are really low and not rising as they would during a viable pregnancy. Every piece of information you have indicates a non-viable pregnancy, yet you hold on to an irrational hope that you’re the exception and it might actually pan out.

 

Obviously I got my blood work back the other day. I really didn’t feel like posting that day, or the next day or the next day. But I’m ready now. My first beta was 23. That was a week ago Tuesday (today’s Friday). Last Friday it was 31. Tuesday (a week after the first one) it was only 35. It should have been at least 100-200 (a very conservative estimate from my doctor).

 

What does one do with this information?

 

Well, pretty much nothing. I just get to wait. I told the doctor’s office I didn’t want to do more than one more blood test since they think my numbers will go down, thus indicating miscarriage occurred. They think that should happen by Monday, so I’m going in for one more blood draw Tuesday.

 

This whole thing is a complete disaster. Aside from the obvious disappointment of again not having a successful pregnancy, two other things aren’t happening either. Remember, we conceived on our own this time, totally unintentionally. I just miscarried last month after IVF. After the miscarriage I decided we needed a little vacation, so we were going to go to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios for a couple days. Well, once I found out I was pregnant again we obviously couldn’t do it, so we didn’t make the plans. Now I can go, probably, but it’s too late for my husband to get time off work, and he works six days a week for the next two weeks, so we can’t even fit in a little weekend trip down there. On top of that, we had planned a frozen embryo transfer for December. In order to prepare I needed to start some drugs yesterday, but since I’m technically pregnant, I’m not allowed to start them yet, and that means I missed the window for a December transfer.

And now my RE wants to do a reconsult with me to discuss causes of recurring miscarriage. That isn’t until next month, and I might even miss the window for a January transfer too. After I got my numbers back Tuesday, I expressed my concern over a possible immune issue causing me to miscarry. My RE suggested a possible problem with antibodies in my bloodstream producing hCG that shows up in blood work but won’t on a HPT, so he told me to take a HPT and see if it was positive. If it was negative, then I had an antibody issue of some kind. However, it was positive, so we can cross that off the list. It was really mean to make me take a HPT and see the PREGNANT result on the digital test, though.

 

So anyway, that’s where we are. I’m stuck here wondering if I should live my life as usual or not. All indicators point to things not working out, and I feel guilty for wishing I could just move forward, but I also can’t shake that tin bit of hope off. Maybe it will work out. But probably not. But maybe.

 

I really need a drink, damn it.