Thursday, January 19, 2017

Is Today Like Easter?

Here we are, the day of my egg retrieval (ER)surgery, and as I sit here at 5:30am, preparing to leave the house soon, I can't help but have the random the thought, "Is today like Easter?"

I mean, Dr. M is going to go around inside my ovaries looking for and scooping up as many eggs as possible?  That's pretty much what little kids do on Easter, right? Go around and collect eggs (not the "inside my ovaries" part)?


Come on, I need to still be able to find some humor in all of this... so this is my attempt.

At least I made myself laugh (well, more like chuckle) this morning. And being in good spirits before going into the ER has to be worth something, right? I think so.

At this point, I'm ready to have these eggs out of me... all 30+ of them (yup, that many... remember, I hyper-stimmed, blah). So, I'm pretty bloated, uncomfortable, and it hurts to just sit down sometimes, and also trying to be very careful not to inadvertently do something to accidentally twist an ovary (called ovarian torsion).

So, we're about to be off... and get this Easter party started...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Red Light, Green Light... Red Light

Sooooo, it's been awhile (again) since my last update and continuing to go with the trend of my infertile life, it's been a ride...

After getting through and working to move past the devastation of the ectopic pregnancy that we faced (which began back in August), we had a consultation with Dr. M. to discuss recommended next steps.  In a nutshell, Dr. M. said that the first step would be to re-run a hystero-sonogram to check if my tubes were still open.  From there, we could again repeat an IUI using injectibles because, in his words, "After all, it did work this last time and we did achieve pregnancy... it was just in the wrong spot"... Or, we could consider moving to IVF.

Long story short - we decided to do IVF (perhaps another post in the future with more details on us actually making that decision, because it wasn't easy).

But I digress.

So we began moving forward towards IVF in early December.  Because of some of my labs, levels, and diagnostic testing, Dr. M. decided to put me on the long Lupron down-regulation protocol (or something along those lines that it's called). Anyways, bottom line is that Dr. M. put me on both Birth Control (BC) pills and Lupron injections for a few weeks prior to the anticipated start of my cycle/ the start of the hormone injections... The irony, right?  BC pills for someone who is not only trying to get pregnant, but having trouble getting pregnant?! Yes, sometimes that's just how it works.

Anyways, my new cycle was expected to start a few days after stopping the BC pills, so we waited for that to happen so that we could start the hormone stimulation injections. And we waited...

And waited some more...

And then waited even more for my cycle to start... and it never did. Ugh.

So a couple of days before the cut-off of when I would be able to start an IVF cycle (Dr. M's office doesn't do IVF every single day, so there are certain times throughout the month when you're able to start a cycle... Annoying, right?! Yes, I agreed!), they decided to just bring me in for baseline blood and ultra sound... just to check and see if maybe I was ready. They explained that sometimes the Lupron injections can really thin your uterine lining and cause you to not have a full cycle, or sometimes even just spot.

So I went in for the baseline blood and ultra sound on a Thursday, and when they called me later that day with the results of my tests, they said my body was definitely not ready to start the stim. injections.  All my levels were still extremely high and my body was no where near starting my period.

Man, so frustrating... Why can't my body just cooperate? Just once? Is that too much to ask?

At that point, the nurse said that Saturday was the last possible day to start, so they wanted me to come back in on Saturday morning to re-run the baseline tests, in case by chance, my body happened to be ready at that point. So I scheduled that.

The next day, on Friday, I had to chat with one of the IVF nurse coordinators regarding a few questions I had, and during that conversation she proceeded to tell me that she had reviewed my case with another nurse and they had determined that there was no way that my levels would drop that significantly from Thurs. to Sat, so I should just cancel my appointment (as to not have unnecessary tests done), and just wait until my period fully started to reset everything, and then we could restart the IVF cycle during the next round the following month - - RED LIGHT.

So I canceled my appointment... another blow. SOOO disappointing.

The next morning on Saturday, lo-and-behold, what do I wake up to??  Good ole' aunt flo'.

A big UGH... why couldn't you have arrived just a day or two sooner auntie??  Darn you for being so late.

So as instructed, I called Dr. M's office and left a message just to let them know I had "officially" started my cycle... and then I headed out to meet two of my good friends (who I hadn't seen in a few months) for a much needed, long-overdue breakfast date.

In the midst of breakfast with my girls, just as our food was being delivered to the table, I randomly looked at my phone and noticed I had a voicemail from Dr. M's office... So I listened to it.

The message was from one of the nurses who semi-frantically was instructing me to "get into the office right away this morning, before 9:45, to have some blood drawn" since my period had started.

What?!  Seriously? Come on... didn't we just go over this? My levels were all so high on Thursday so even though my period started, there's no way they would drop so quickly to be able to start. Besides, you typically aren't started on stims. until a couple days into your cycle, so what are the chances that I would be ready so soon?

Begrudgingly, I cut my much-anticipated breakfast date with my girlfriends short to crazily rush over to Dr. M's office... had my blood drawn... went home... waited for the voicemail with results... got the results... and heard the nurse say, "All your levels are great!  They all miraculously dropped and you are good to go and start your injections tonight"... WHAT?!?

Seriously?! Talk about a miraculous turn of events! And something positive for once! Praise God! - - GREEN LIGHT.


Fast forward a couple weeks worth of injections later, and that brings us to yesterday. I went in yesterday morning for what we anticipated would be my last blood and ultra sound monitoring before the egg retrieval, and then I waited for the results. I got the voicemail towards the end of my afternoon as I was getting ready to leave my office for the day.  The first thing that I hear the nurse report out on was my Estradiol/ Estrogen (E2) level. It was almost 5,700... then I hear her explain, "Please just note that with an E2 level that high, any embryos will be frozen because it's not an optimal environment for implantation and pregnancy..." WHAT?? Again, is this really happening??

In a nutshell, my body over-stimmed (yet again, similar to one of my IUI cycles). My estrogen shot through the roof, and I now have 17 follicles on the right side and 13 on the left. AHHHHH!!!... So they canceled the transfer and we need to now wait to do a future frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle, until my levels can return within normal range - - RED LIGHT... AGAIN...

I'm still scheduled for my retrieval surgery bright and early tomorrow morning, so we're hoping that all goes well. And also hoping, and praying, that my body can stabilize itself afterward, since I'm now at an elevated risk for OHSS (oviarian hyper-stimulation syndrome), a nasty complication that can occur after retrieval.

And that's that folks. A big, long update to try and recap the last couple months of life... and our big step forward into the terrain of IVF...