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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.

Yesterday I emailed one of the IVF nurses at my RE’s clinic and told her I didn’t want to take Lupron, and she emailed back this morning saying that’s fine and that she would write a different protocol, and that she wasn’t aware of my concerns about Lupron. This tells me my doctor or the other IVF nurse didn’t make this note in my chart. It’s really frustrating dealing with so many people. Both nurses seem to share all responsibilities and patients, because sometimes one calls me, and sometimes the other calls me. It would be nice to just have one nurse that I dealt with the majority of the time so she could at least be pretty familiar with my history. I’m also frustrated with them because the one nurse absolutely wasn’t having a no-Lupron option, and this nurse is like, sure, fine, no problem. So I guess I spent a month fretting over this for absolutely nothing.

Plus I didn’t start my BCP on Tuesday like I should have since I figured I’d have to fight with them longer about the Lupron, so now I’m not sure if I can start them now and be fine or not. Looks like I’ll have to ask.

I guess the good news is that not wanting to take Lupron isn’t a big deal after all.

I figured I’d write a quick update since I haven’t written much lately, but there isn’t much going on.

Since my most recent infertility fiasco I’ve been struggling with deciding what to do next. My infertility clinic has send me a schedule for a February FET. This schedule included a rather lengthy stint on a drug I really don’t want to revisit: Lupron. I had a month-long, horrible, never-ending headache while taking it. I also noticed blurry vision while taking it. For a person who’s already legally blind, this is a really alarming side effect. The headache and blurry vision went away about a week after finishing the medication, but I still have one particularly annoying side effect from Lupron. Tiny little pinprick-sized flashes of light every once in a while. It looks like a tiny flashbulb going off in my field of vision. It’s very fast and comes and goes in half a second, but it’s startling and distracting, and I’ve been off Lupron since August. I told my clinic that I didn’t want to take Lupron again and my doctor seemed fine with that but the nurse who writes the protocols basically told me Lupron’s a necessity, and I acquiesced. However, after lots of thinking, I’ve decided to put my foot down. My husband and I want kids, but not at the expense of my vision.

I know there are protocols that don’t include Lurpon. My first IVF cycle didn’t use it. However, that cycle was unsuccessful, and my second cycle used Lupron and did result in a pregnancy, albeit a non-viable one. I just don’t know what to do now.

My thought right now is to just go along with acupuncture and herbs for now since it actually might have had some positive results, considering I wasn’t undergoing any infertility treatment except acupuncture when I got pregnant (the second time) in September. But since it didn’t work last month (the first time we could try again since the D&C) I’m doubting that choice too, which is silly; I know that. But I’m impatient. And I don’t know what the right answer is.

Maybe I’m not supposed to have kids. Maybe I’m stupidly ignoring all these huge clues from the universe.

What next?

How am I supposed to know the right answer?

Finally heard back from the doctor yesterday after a little pressure from yours truly. Meaning I called them and asked, “Where the hell are my results?”

There’s nothing wrong with me.

Other than my exceptional amount of bad luck.

no red flags came up on my recurrent miscarriage workup. Still waiting for the biopsy that should have been completed three weeks ago, but I don’t expect different results regarding that. We’ll see, though.

In the meantime we will continue to try casually on our own. I’ll need to make arrangements soon for a frozen embryo transfer if the next few months on our own aren’t successful. Don’t want to wait too long and give the endometriosis a chance to destroy anything else.

I haven’t written anything in a while because there hasn’t been much to report regarding my infertility treatments, and with the holidays coming I’ve been busy with other stuff. But I did have my D&C on November 9th. The doctor found some placenta left in my uterus, so he removed it and sent it off to pathology for a biopsy. I haven’t heard anything back yet. If I haven’t heard anything by the end of next week I plan to give them a call. I also had blood work done a couple weeks ago for recurrent miscarriage. I’m very interested in hearing the results. My gut has always told me I have something more going on than just endometriosis, but I’m more than happy to be wrong about that.

We were scheduled to do a FET in January, but I think it would be a good idea to wait for my test results. So we’re holding off on that for a bit. We’ll try on our own for a few months in the meantime. I always go back and forth about waiting or trying on our own for an extended amount of time. I always worry about losing my one and only remaining ovary to adhesions or cysts caused by my Stage IV endometriosis. I also wonder if I should try another cycle or two of IVF before I use my frozen embryos. IVF is exponentially more expensive than a frozen embryo transfer, but I have the security of knowing if something happens to my ovary that there’s always these embryos waiting to be transferred. But the embryos might not take. I’ve had five embryos transferred and only one took, and that was only for a short time. I just don’t know which path is best. I’m sort of thinking a three-cycle IVF package might be good if I can freeze embryos from the first two rounds and have the embryos from the third round for a fresh transfer. I guess I’ll have to check into my clinic’s policy regarding that. *makes note to self*

Of course it totally annoys me that I didn’t just get the three-cycle IVF package to begin with, considering I’ve had two failed cycles thus far, and those cycles produced a total of seven embryos, five of which have been transferred so far.

While I wait for my results I will continue seeing my acupuncturist for infertility treatment. After my first failed pregnancy, my acupuncturist started me on some Chinese herbs and two weeks later I was pregnant again, so it’s either a huge coincidence (like super-mega huge, considering I’d never gotten pregnant on my own in seven years of marriage)  or there really is something about those herbs. I’m back on them now, so we’ll see.

Anyway, I’ll post my results from the blood work and the biopsy when I get them.

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.