Sept 25 – Sonohysterogram and Blood Work Results

Went to the specialist’s and did my Sonohysterogram today. That is the test where there insert a catheter into your uterus through your cervix and inject water/saline solution and then look at your uterus with an inter-vaginal ultrasound. It was uncomfortable but didn’t hurt. I have been mildly cramping and had a watery discharge. Everything was all clear.

My blood work came back mostly good. She said my FSH was great so that means my egg quality is good. My AMH was low so they are making me retest that one (oh yay???). AMH could be linked to egg reserves. She said it helps determine how much medicine I need to take for the egg retrieval process. They want to collect as many eggs as possible. My prolactin was high (which is odd) so I am redoing that one as well. They said I need to be fasting and no hanky-panky for 48 hours before. I don’t have any STDs or HIV (which I knew). Still immune to rubella, so no need to get another vaccine. I have a vitamin D deficiency, which she said was common so she prescribed a huge dose that I take once a week.

My husband still needs to get his blood work done and get his sample frozen. I guess when there is a low count they like to freeze the sample so that just in case during the IVF cycle, so they have back up if the fresh sample is lacking. Too bad the office hours are not great with his job. I think he may have to do the blood work at the lab and get his swimmers frozen next month when we are on vacation.

I asked my doctor about my weight. To be honest I am an emotional eater and since I have been working at desk jobs I have put on about 20 pounds, putting my BMI over 30. Yup, I am considered obese now. She said there were studies that said being at a healthy weight range is better for the pregnancy, less complications, less miscarriage risk, etc. But then she said that my BMI was not a deal breaker and that it was not going to stop the process. Why did I have to ask her? I mean I know clearly it is not the healthiest to be overweight, but she could have said something. I don’t understand why she wouldn’t say, “hey it wouldn’t hurt to drop a few pounds,” you know? I have already been trying to get healthier. I have stopped drinking pop (been 1 soda in 3 weeks), increased my water drinking from 2 cups a day to 8-10 cups a day, and been trying to take the furbabies on more walks. It doesn’t help that it has been over 100 degrees all week and that my hubby has been out working til 7 every night. I also caught a nasty cold so I haven’t felt like doing anything. I mean you should see how messy my house is. If it isn’t necessary, I am not doing it right now. Next steps….

I signed up for an IVF class with my specialist next week. I don’t know exactly what it goes over, other than the hormone shots instructions. One step closer everyday.

Sept 22 – Fears before Starting

I was on facebook and one of my friends commented on one of their friend’s status. The woman had miscarried at 6 months (I guess it is technically considered a still birth). That poor woman. I must admit that it totally freaked me out. I spent the rest of the afternoon at working researching miscarriages. Turns out miscarriage rates for someone my age is only 10 to 15% for the first trimester and drops down to 5% after that. I think my heart would break if I miscarried after all we are going through to get pregnant.

I had to look up what a chemical pregnancy was. Turns out it is a miscarriage that happens before the egg really gets going. The only proof that you were pregnant is the positive test. I know it is not a perfect process but I am freaked out. I need to stop checking Facebook so much.

When I told my husband about how I was feeling he said “So there is a 85 to 90 percent chance nothing will go wrong.” Such an optimist! He knows how to handle my crazy.=)

Sept 19 – A wrench in the timeline

So my “friend” or Aunt Flo showed up today, a whole 8-10 days early. After all I just ovulated this week! When I was at the second opinion on Monday she said she saw my eggs on the ultrasound. Deep down I was like “oh hey, maybe I’m spotting because I am preggers.” If only I had such luck! One of my co-workers told me a story about how her friend went in for IVF and before the egg retrieval found out she was already pregnant. I would LOVE for that to be me, hell it would save us 20 grand.

If I had any doubts, the cramps I am feeling tell me otherwise. I am a little freaked out. In my mind last night I was sort of time lining. End of October – start the hormones, Mid Nov – we do the extraction and hopefully find out we are pregnant in December. Now I have 2 weeks less to take care of everything!! We still have to get the medical financing, plus complete the applications for the prescription assistance. And my hubby needs to get his hiney to the urologist.

I told my husband and he said “Maybe your body didn’t want to wait so long.” Maybe he is right!

Sept 18- Taking the Plunge

I am feeling so much more optimistic today. My husband and I talked about it last night and decided to just go for the regular IVF thing. I thought to myself “If we keep waiting for the perfect time to do this, we never will.” I might bust out my old pregnancy books and give them a reread. It has been a good ten or so years since I read them. I think in order for us to be successful I need to go all in emotionally (yes sorry I know the phrase “all in” is cliché and overused). I can’t keep playing the what if game. I need to stay positive and know this is going to happen.

My husband is going to go see a urologist to see if that will help. He was less thrilled about having blood work done.

I read on resolve.org that the specialty prescriptions online and it may save us some money. I am also going to apply for the financial help with the medications. There are a couple programs that may help. First steps and compassion care, if I remember correctly. Now I do not know if we are considered financial hardship but I know how expensive they can be.

I have been trying to envision the changes in our lives when the kids come. Bedrooms no longer empty. No more silence in the house. No more relaxing time! This is going to happen! We are going to become parents. So weird to think…

To prepare for this I need to overhaul my eating and exercising habits. I am doing a no soda attempt. Only one in the last week and a half. Not too bad. Slowly I am going to cut out junk. I have already started drinking more water and eating more fruits and vegetables, not to mention the prenatal vitamins. Because my brother has spina bifida I am on 4 mg of folic acid a day.

As far as exercising goes, we finally we able to take the furbabies on a walk this week. It is still so hot here in Phoenix, but it cooled off just enough to no longer be unbearable outside.  We have a month and a half to get our act together before I will be all jacked up on hormones!

My dad is coming to visit us at the end of October and that will be about the same time we are undergoing this. He was talking about us giving him a grandchild. He sounded so happy. It was the first time we had talked about it. He said he wanted to help us, but he gave us the down payment for the house so I don’t want him being financially unstable to help us.

Hmmmm if I got pregnant in November we would have the baby in July. A summer baby,

Introduction to Us

Whoops, I thought I already posted this! Sorry about that. A little bit about my family. I am a 31 one year old, married, mommy to 2 furbabies (Beagles). My darling husband and I have been together over 13 years, and trying to conceive nearly that long.  We were so excited, and rushed out to buy all the expecting books. I read them all, naturally skipping the sections about infertility. We wouldn’t need those of course. As the years went by, it started to sink in. We might need help. Eventually we came to realize that we needed to see a specialist and that is where our journey begins. Thanks for joining us on it, and I am sorry if you are going through the same thing as us.

September 16 – Second Opinion

Today we went and saw a second specialist. I don’t know what I was looking for? A miracle? Not surprisingly, she confirmed the first specialist’s diagnosis: IVF (in vitro fertilization), donor sperm or adoption. Now as a personal choice we have decided not to use donor sperm. Adoption is something we are considering. But we would like try and have our own children first.

I inquired about a procedure they offered called “Mini IVF.” She told me (as I feared) that in the long run it might end up costing more in the longer run because instead of producing many eggs and freezing some, you just do a one time egg retrieval and because you take pills instead of hormone shots you do not produce as many eggs (called a fresh cycle- because the eggs are not frozen).

Our odds we what we expected too. About 50% for a fresh cycle, and 30-40% for a frozen cycle. The specialist broke down their costs. Again no surprise there. So why do I feel so down? In my mind yesterday I was excited and nervous. After I got the appointment over with, I felt sad.

Our friends are being supportive and asking how it went. I just feel like crying. I’m torn. I want to throw caution to the wind and just do it. Then I feel like we should wait. Do I really want to start this process during the holidays? How am I going to give myself shots daily? How are we going to come up with the money for the medications? I mean one thousand a month is very different from five thousand. One thousand is more doable than five thousand.

We raised about 500 bucks on our crowd funding site, and have a little saved. Then I got to thinking about all the items we need to get for the baby while making payments on the IVF. Cribs, changing table, clothes, diapers. Not to mention the money we need to save for the three months I would be out of commission after the birth. What if I am put on bed rest? Twins could result in that.

Then I started to worry about how our furkids will adjust. What if our scaredy cat rescue dog if afraid of the stroller and the baby? We prepared him for the move to the house for 5 months. We took him to the neighborhood for walks 3 to 4 times a week over the five months it was being built. We are going to have to have baby items in the house for months just to prepare him. Our other dog gets pouty when we are giving someone else attention, but he LOVES children. I think he would be happy to have a crawling little one around.

I have been trying to make myself remember how to be excited, hopeful and joyous, when it comes to babies. I unhide my baby stuff pins on Pinterest. I posted pins of baby shower ideas. I’ve been reading forums and blogs online. I tried to talking to someone who went through with it.

I don’t know why but when the doctor asked me if I had an OBGYN. I said no I did not. She said well you need to find one, because you will be pregnant. It was like a wake up call. Oh man, this is really happening. Wow, this is really happening!

Initial Diagnosis

When I went through my normal female annual appointment I mentioned that we had been struggling to become pregnant. The cold hard truth was we have never used contraceptive in our marriage. So really we have been trying to get pregnant throughout our entire marriage. The question “How long have you been trying?” feels like a an accusation. Saying “11 years” out loud was so hard. My gynecologist referred me to a specialist here in the Valley. I didn’t know anything about the specialist, and we didn’t know anyone going through this. So when we showed up for our consultation I was so nervous and hopeful. We sat down with the specialist and he asked us some preliminary questions. His idea was to try a Intrauterine Insemination (IUI for short) cycle to test our systems. Two birds with one stone (or bank account). So we did. The doctor did a vaginal ultrasound and said my uterus looked great for twins. I was so elated. We scheduled the next tests. I did the blood test on day 2 of my cycle. My hormones were a little off. My thyroid was fine, but I ovulate a little late in my cycle.

The next step was an HSG. I had no idea what that was so I looked it up online. It is a test where they inject dye into your uterus to see if your tubes are blocked. Sounds simple enough. Then I made the mistake of reading people’s reactions to the test. If you have a blocked tube it can be very painful because the dye can’t get through. I completely freaked myself out. Luckily, my husband came with me. They took my blood pressure and it was pretty high. Thankfully for me, I did not have blocked tubes.

After that we did the IUI part. I had to give myself a shot in the stomach to trigger ovulation. OH MY… I hate needles. I started to panic a little. My heart was pounding, my breathing got short. I pinched my stomach, shoved the needle in, pushed the plunger down and pulled the needle out. I had done it! I wanted to puke but hey I did it!

For the IUI my darling husband (DH for short) did his part and then we waited to the doctor’s office. We set up and I was laid up on the table. The nurse came in and asked my husband if he had recently been injured. He answered that he had not. They got the sample ready and right before injecting the prepared sperm, they told us it probably wouldn’t work. Just like that that, they shattered my dreams. It was like a punch to my gut. I started to cry after they injected me and had us sit there for 10 minutes. My husband held my hand.

Then started the two week wait and the injecting progesterone cream up inside me. Ok now I do not have an easy time with the plastic injector, it is very uncomfortable. And I learned a not awesome side effect was less lubrication during sex. (Uh we nicknamed “her” the Sahara, as in the desert), Yeah that really helped (sarcasm). The 2 week wait was awful. I started to feel the cramps. I was in denial again, I didn’t want to think that it hadn’t happen. They had me come in for the blood test to see if I was pregnant. Again I hate needles and sometimes I am hard person to find veins for. Fourth attempt she could still not drawn any blood. So she told me just to go home and take a regular pregnancy test. I went to the store, bought the test, dreading the outcome. I went home and took it.

3 longest minutes of my life. Negative….yup. I picked it up and threw it out. I called the office to let them know. They scheduled the follow up. When my husband got home from work, I let him know. He was disappointed too.

At the follow up our specialist told us what we feared. In vitro fertilization (IVF) was our best shot. He said the odds of getting pregnant with IUI were 6% over a 12 month time frame. With IVF we had much better odds. So we left saddened and worried about how we would ever afford to pay for IVF.