Sad and a Little Pissy

In my last post, I described the June 14th lining check as “something we had to get through.” I had no idea what a loaded statement that was…

During the ultrasound, the tech said my lining was measuring a little over 6 mm. I immediately turned to Brennen, my human Wikipedia on female reproduction. He gave me a “That’s ok” nod as the tech proceeded to measure my follicles. They needed to be small, and they were. A win! As I got dressed, Brennen was busy on his phone, looking up what my lining should be. I had never had a lining quite that thin. I usually measured around 9, so a thin lining wasn’t a potential problem on our radar that warranted any pre-requisite research. Before we walked out of the room, he said, “I think we’re OK. It’s still growing, and you haven’t even started progesterone.” So with that reassurance and my trend of problem-free uterine linings, I assumed we would get good news that afternoon. I sent a few thumbs-up selfie Snapchats to my friends and family and headed back to work.

Then around 4:00, I answered the phone, with pen and paper in hand for my transfer directions, and heard Nurse Memphis say, “So that lining isn’t really where we need it to be.” ARGH! “I had a feeling,” I admitted, although I had tried my best to ignore it all day. Doctor’s orders were to stay on the Estrace for one more week to see if the lining thickened and to come to Memphis for a lining check. The nurse told me, “Even if it’s still a little thin, it may be pretty enough to proceed.” So that was the plan – keep popping the estradiol pills in hope that I develop a fluffy, pretty lining. Transfer postponed.

For a week, I did just as Dr. Memphis directed. I also took some advice from my acupuncturist and started drinking Raspberry Leaf tea and eating iron-rich foods that would either thicken my lining or clog my arteries. Then Tuesday night, we made the trip to Memphis.

We were only at the clinic for about 20 minutes – just long enough for me to get my blood drawn for estradiol and progesterone checks and for a date with “Wanda.” I don’t think I have ever been so nervous about an ultrasound. We’re getting pretty good at knowing what the uterus looks like on the screen, so when it popped up, we both perked up and said, “There it is!” It was beautiful, according to the ultrasound tech. Three pretty layers and measuring at 8.75 mm – right where it needed to be. We drove back home on a high note.

Later that afternoon, my phone lit up with a call from Memphis. “You’re lining looked really good,” the nurse said. “Duh!” I proudly thought. Then came the but. My progesterone was high which indicated that I had ovulated. Transfer cancelled.

We all know someone who got pregnant while on birth control, right? Birth control loads your body up with estrogen early in your cycle, which is supposed to shut your ovaries down and keep you from ovulating. But even with all that estrogen in your system, in rare cases, an egg will spring forward from a follicle and send you into ovulation. Thus the story of a “birth control baby.” Estrace has the same task before a transfer. It’s estrogen, and it shuts my ovaries down. But there are those rare cases, and this month, I was one of them. I mean, seriously?! My ovaries have super powers that defy the odds and release an egg amidst an ass-ton of estrogen. But unfortunately the buck stops there. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be in this infertile situation in the first place.

So anyway, it’s back to the starting line for us. I’ll start my cycle in a week or two then proceed with birth control…again. Then comes the Estrace…again. This time around, Doc is putting me on Lupron injections that will (hopefully) keep me from ovulating.  But first, we wait.

Before I get into what this means for us emotionally, let me say that this is not an invitation to a pity party.  I promised myself that I would never write a blog post about what not to say to an infertile couple because 1) there are a gazillion articles about this subject out there already and 2) we’re never going to open up the conversation about infertility if we keep shutting it down with rules. But I will say this – sometimes the best thing someone can say is, “This sucks.” Just a recognition of how shitty the situation is goes a long way! My best friend is my best friend because when I share bad news, she sends me memes of cats saying curse words! And encourage us with reminders of how strong we are. Yes, that may sound a little self-absorbed, but if people are going to feel sorry for us, let encouragement grow from that pity, not sad puppy dog eyes and an empty sentiment about how everything happens for a reason.

Sorry if I sound pissy. But heck, I am pissy. I’m tired. I’m frustrated. I’m beaten down. We both are. Yesterday was the closest I’ve felt to giving up. I know we won’t give up, but that hope we had after a successful retrieval and a positive test (even though it resulted in a miscarriage) fades a little more with each cancelled transfer. We’ll get better, though. We’ll cope and push through. We just have to let this sadness run its course. One of the most inspirational quotes I’ve found during my IVF Pinterest-ing didn’t tell me about trusting God’s timing, having hope, finding strength, or believing in miracles. It simply told me it’s ok to be sad.Own the Sadness

So that’s what I’m going to do right now…be sad and own the hell out of it.

(And yeah, I’ll probably be a little pissy too.)

Advertisements

Being Productive Pre-IVFers

This has been quite the productive two weeks in preparing for IVF Round 2, Cycle 2, Act 2, or whatever you choose to call it. Because I love a good bulleted to-do list, I figured I would fashion this post as such.

  1. Set up local monitoring – During the 12(ish)-day egg stimulation process, the doctor will need to monitor my follicle growth and estrogen levels to make sure my stimming is on track. Luckily, with local monitoring, I won’t have to make multiple trips to Memphis with inflated ovaries. A reproductive endocrinologist here in Jackson will do the ultrasounds and blood work and send the results to Memphis. From there, Dr. Memphis will decide if any adjustments need to be made to my medicine and will schedule the egg retrieval.
  2. Got rejected from a drug discount program – Even though it’s a rejection, it’s still progress.  The DesignRx First Steps Program provides financial assistance for the cost of stimulation medicines on a tiered level based on income.  Although we fell outside the levels needed to qualify, they did enroll us in the DesignRx Managed Cash Program which may provide some discounts for Follistim and Ganirelix.  This rejection also gave us an “in” to apply for another program called MDR Assist.  With this program, you can receive a 5% discount through MDR Pharmacy if you’ve been rejected from another program.  So the next steps are to 1) Get my prescription from Dr. Memphis, 2) Contact both my current pharmacy and MDR to get price quotes based on the two discounts, and 3) Compare prices to determine the most affordable option.  That’s the thing about to-do lists, you know. You mark one thing off and add three more!  For more information on both these programs, you can visit www.MDRusa.com.
  3. Made all new, all natural cleaning supplies – We are by no means all-natural hippies, but last week we rid our house of store-bought cleaners in an effort to reduce any chemical toxins in our home environment. Basically, we now make all our cleaning supplies with combinations of these 10 ingredients: vinegar, baking soda, Castile soap, hydrogen peroxide, distilled water, washing soda, borax, rubbing alcohol, vodka, and essential oils. Needless to say, I’m addicted to cleaning these days thanks to my new toys!
  4. Started acupuncture – I can’t believe I can say, “Yeah, I’m doing acupuncture.” I won’t lie, it makes me feel cool. It’s not like the movies where you have hundreds of needles covering every inch of your body.  I only had about 16 needles in me during my first visit. I can honestly say, it wasn’t bad. After daily Menopur injections, aka liquid fire, these acupuncture needles ain’t nothin! It takes just a couple of minutes to put the needles in, a few seconds to take them out, and in between I get the best 25 minute nap of my life.  My next appointment is tomorrow, and acupuncture is quickly becoming the highlight of my week!
  5. Let Dr. Memphis know the plan – We contacted Memphis to let our doctor and his nurse know we hope to get this process started with my next cycle, which, thanks to my ever-so-punctual uterus, is scheduled for August 30th. At that point, I’ll begin taking birth control for down regulation to “reset” my ovaries. This time, the poor girls will know what’s waiting for them on the other side though.

So now, we just wait for my next cycle. We’re used to that. We’ve spent the last two years waiting on my cycle to start (or rather hoping it wouldn’t). Until then, we’ll pass the time with vitamins, acupuncture, natural cleaning supplies, and some Southern Miss football as we get ready to make Baby H.