I hate it when I can’t think of a witty or appropriate title

I had a good weekend. Busy, productive, fun and spent with friends and family. Exactly what I needed.

I am still really hurting and struggling. Struggling to accept that this could be it. Hurting and a bit teary in odd moments.

A lot of you have said I am strong and I am. But I am also tired and a broke and weary of spending lots of money for not enough gain. I am so sad and feeling sorry for myself that I don’t get to be an urban legend or even an IVF fertile person. I just seem to be overall completely shit at this falling pregnant game. Even though the IUI was significantly cheaper than an IVF cycle with all the extra stuff I have to do to try and get my eggs in good shape I was still about $2.5k out of pocket. That’s a lot of coin. To be frank right now I feel really selfish as well and I hate spending that money with no result.

I have set up my FS appointment with Dr Cowboy and the week after I have kept my final opinion appointment with Dr Baby Lady. She is the last doctor who I think can help me with my more out of left field issues. My girlfriend who is pregnant with twins saw her as her last ditch effort and has an AMH of < 3 and ended up with 12 eggs, two embryos implanted and three (?) frozen. That was her best effort ever and I need to get some results like that. If I had gotten better egg results I wouldn’t feel so deflated. I do think the protocol was completely wrong for me. I will discuss that with my current doctor.

However for the next couple of weeks I will be not thinking of infertility and I will be enjoying myself as we embark on a much needed family holiday to Port Douglas. Two weeks in the sun, escaping winter and all the crappiness of the last few months. I feel better as well as my mum is getting on top of her cancer and only has two more chemo treatments and the tumor is definitely shrinking and her prognosis is still good. i spent all day with her yesterday and I feel she has turned a corner. My sister and I were very worried there as she was falling into, what I would call situational depression and had some very dark thoughts. The latest chemo has been modified with different side effects which seem to be more manageable even though it is a stronger dose.  I am used to seeing her lovely bald head now and I tell her every day that she still is the most beautiful lady I know (in and out).

I have also signed up (and inspired by Courtney!) for the Arthurs Seat fun run. I definitely need to train as it is 6.8km of an uphill run. We are raising money for cancer research and support and I needed a distraction that coincided with losing excess IVF bloat and toning up for my best friends wedding. Exercise is really one of the greatest natural medicines in the world and after going for my first run in weeks I felt fantastic, albeit sore on Sunday and clearer in my head and heart.

That’s all really. Just a life catch up. xox

spotting.

I know we all hoped for a miracle. A little well deserved hope for all of those out there that try and try and try but don’t get pregnant.

But I just started spotting, I have the cramps and it is my period – please don’t try to tell me otherwise.

I am upset. Resigned. Disappointed.

I really don’t know if it is worth to continue trying anymore. Is it?

I am not going to lie. I am really tired guys. This year has been a total head fuck with TTC again. It is beyond draining. It is emotional, distressing, upsetting and deflating. There are too many lows and not enough highs.

There are no awards for the good guys in infertility. No awards for just turning up. You have to fight and fight and fight and I just don’t know how much fight I have left. 

I’m so sorry. I really wanted to give you guys out there a hells yeah and one for the good guys. I wanted a good news story. I just don’t have one for you.

BFV

Big fat vomit.

No testing had 24 hour bug and have been vomiting all night. No liquid left for POAS.

Lots of AF symptoms.

I’ll try again tomorrow

10dpiui BFN

Yesterday I opened the bathroom drawer that contains pads, tampons, OPKs and other period paraphernalia (note this drawer is separate to the infertility drawer that contains medication, needles, vitamins and in addition to the fridge space and pantry space – to clarify) and noted that with the massive OPK order I had done in anticipation for trying naturally I had 20 HPTs. I will let you wait a minute before you read to recover from the hilarity of trying naturally.

I have one lucky stick I am saving for Sunday but I thought to myself ok lets see if the trigger has left my system (translated: I hope the trigger is there if only so I can see two lines) (translated: please let me be pregnant).

Well I didn’t see two. I saw one. The control. Again. The only one I ever fucking see.

Ergo, the trigger is not in my system and at this stage it looks like another failed cycle.

I cried. Of course. Told Chippie who was upset and now it has ruined what was going to be a good day.

Mother fucking infertility. I despise you.

Symptom Spotting Crazies

Oh god. I didn’t think I would have this with an IUI but however here I am analyzing every twinge and tweak and suspicious cramp.

TWW is the WORST.

I have veered between slightly borderline optimistic to downright don’t be ridiculous this shit will never work pessimistic. 

It feels awesome that Chippies boys really came to the party this time but slightly deflating to know it is my grizzling aging decrepit eggs, NK cell activity and ZERO times this has ever happened in utero (meaning we have only fertilized in vitro). In fact more than slightly deflating, downright depressing.

I thought this time I would start testing out the trigger and then testing to see if it worked because I don’t want to take the clexane needles which hurt like a mofo and leave bruises on my belly. But the actual process of peeing on a stick is really scary. It’s like it puts me into a ball of anxiety before I have even started.

12dp is probably the most realistic date to test – that would be Sunday. I’m going to do it. I think. I don’t know. Dammit. Universe BE KIND.

IUI #1

It seems a bit weird after 7 IVF transfers to have done an IUI but nonetheless it is done.

Thank you all so much for your beautiful words of support. Damn. I would be lost without this community. I don’t want to guilt any of you but you all mean a lot to me even though we will never ever meet. This includes my IRL that have been there since my first days on BC. You provide me with a level of support and care I don’t receive anywhere else. Not because other people don’t care (I am spoiled in truth by the level of support I can reach) but because they don’t understand. I love you all in a very weird and bizarre way and am thankful that nearly four years after I started writing I still have a core group of people that care enough to make sure after each transfer or hurdle you are there to give me a metaphorical hand to get up when I stumble and fall. So, thank you for those that have continued to support me. Even when they have moved on themselves.

Ok, mushy out of the way.

We went in at 8.30 and Chippie gave his sample which thankfully was actually his best ever sample! Post wash he had 100% motility and above average count. Which was awesome! He was pretty happy as I told him to bring his a game.

My cervix was also thankfully accommodating. I don’t know if my old doctor was crap but seriously the last two catheters in my cervix have been smooth as anything. Another positive was we had one of the top FS on call doing EPU’s and transfers today on the rota system. I don’t care what anyone says having one of the best do it makes a huge difference. It was the same on the cycle that got me Molly. IVF / IUI is not the time for student doctors.

Anyway. This horrendous cycle is now over. Blood test is for the 14th August which is 16 days away and I will definitely get my period before hand if it doesn’t work. Progesterone starts tonight plus all the other associated crap that comes with my cycle.

It’s a step closer albeit miles behind.

 

Already determining my plan B

I am nothing if not a planner. Right?

I decided to switch to an IUI for a few reasons,

1. the chance of successfully extracting any eggs from the small amount of mature follicles that were available, then inseminating and then getting an embryo to a stage to transfer was such HIGH risk and I wasn’t about to try this – financially or emotionally.

2. I had done all the pre immunology work up so I had a higher success rate of falling pregnant this way than a normal cycle and we knew exact OV and we were putting the sperm right in the lair’s mouth (so to speak).

but the main biggest reason was

3. Now I have ammunition to convince Chippie that we can do another round of IVF. Maybe with a new doctor. The one I had booked two months ago for a first appointment. The last one left in town that might be able to help me.

Yes. At our last consult with Dr Cowboy I said I had two cycles left in me. Two IVF cycles which technically, haven’t been done with this conversion. If we had gone ahead and this round had failed again, where there was a 95% chance that it would, then that would have been it for Chippie. He would have been done COMPLETELY. Our bank balance is looking a little horrible at the moment. Our house looks awesome but it has taken a lot of our savings – more than we had anticipated because we kept justifying the more expensive items. We also need a holiday. We also need to be happy and not angry at wasted funds.

I need to have a plan B. Hell, I need to have a plan C, D and E (and yes I may already have those). Otherwise my head is a constant swirl of confusion and at least this way I can logically start preparing for the end. I need to know I have exhausted all options. Me planning, is me dealing with this. I am not a cry on the couch and eat bucket loads of ice cream. Because right now getting fat is not going to help my cause. I need to be sharp. I need focus. Now I need ice cream.

I am already working towards the next step because I know that this IUI isn’t going to work. Don’t worry, I will be saying positive affirmations and hoping and praying and doing all the right things but I don’t expect a miracle. I will still be utterly depressed and hurt and pissed off but not as much as if IVF had failed. I don’t know. In IVF they put the baby back in you. It should work. You are by rights technically pregnant. When your period arrives it is the most awful thing in the world (at that particular juncture of your life).

This morning I woke up and I started putting things away. I threw that fucking synarel in the bin. That spray can fuck the hell off and never come back. I put all the pre conception egg quality vitamins on the top shelf. I have stocked the spare pen, the full needle jars and the spare specimen jar to return tomorrow.

In clearing out my pantry (I have one shelf for IVF in the pantry, one shelf in the fridge and one drawer in my bathroom) I felt a little lighter. If it isn’t staring me in the face then perhaps my infertility nightmare it isn’t really happening.

Tomorrow we go in at 8.30 for Chipipe to do his thing and then my IUI is at 10.30am.

Then, we wait. Again.

 

 

 

Is this the end of the road?

I had my second scan this morning and out of 9 follicles I only had two viable potential eggs. 

This, is not good. In fact a woman who is about 45 could expect this.

Why? I have no idea. My AMH is 6.75. I know women that have significantly worse AMH levels that are producing much more eggs.

I know the down regulation cycle was going to be fraught with danger and it was. I know my doctor wanted to manage my entire cycle but the fact is down regulation for women with DOR is the worse type of cycle to do. I was so suppressed that my body can not respond. Almost three years ago I did a down regulation that gave me Molly. But it also only gave me 4 eggs. 3 years on, we know that time is not kinder to your body. I am the poster the child for this.

I feel, completely and utterly destroyed. I can’t believe that I am back in this place again. A place I thought I had managed to leave.

In my heart I am not done. I still feel like there is one more baby but the reality is with these levels I am not sure where. Maybe Molly was truly my miracle child. Both Chippie and I were overcome with a moment almost at the same time on the weekend where we realised this might be the end of our road.

For a long time I have thought I was unexplained. But I am not. I am simply older with diminishing ovarian reserve. This is combined with activated natural killer cells. 

I know that DOR does not signal infertility. There are plenty of stories in our community that demonstrate when people have overcome this and miraculously found themselves pregnant. 

Infertility is not a lifestyle choice. I am very fit, healthy and I am not overweight. I don’t drink too much and I have one coffee a day. I don’t drink soft drink every day I drink nearly 2L of water. I can run 5km. I can swim 1km. I can ride 20km. All with no trouble at all. I started trying for a baby when I was 30. Not considered to be an advanced maternal age. This wasn’t supposed to be my story.

It looks like we will convert to an IUI for Wednesday morning. I don’t want to take the risk of IVF. I would rather not waste my money.

I have cried so much in the last few days. More than I have in years. I am emotionally fragile. Sometimes I read blogs, forum posts, newspaper articles and talk to friends and they say I don’t know if I am a good enough mother. You know what I am a fucking awesome mother. I am. I don’t care if that sounds smug or condescending but it comes really bloody naturally to me. It breaks my heart into pieces that I am denied doing this because of biology. Things outside of my control. My husband is an amazing dad. I never have to bitch and moan at him to be present with his child. He doesn’t take it for granted. He knows how fucking lucky we are to be doing this.

If you know me IRL and are reading this. Just give me a day or two to process. I don’t really want to talk about it.  Please don’t be offended if I don’t say anything to you personally.

I don’t want to be finished so I just need to work it out in my head what to do next.