Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Unexpected Changes, Stupid Fights, and Hard Decisions

Well, last Monday (I can't believe its only been just over a week, it seems like I've been waiting much longer) I went in for a checkup BW/US. My U/S showed three 12mm (almost 13mm) follicles and a handful of 10mm follies on my right side, and one 12mm follie and a few 10 mm ones on my left. I was ECSTATIC The nurse said they would probably lower my dose a bit so that more of the tens don't keep growing and that the 12mm ones should continue. I was excited all day... until they called me with my B/W results. My E2 was over 1700 and my LH was starting to surge. They had to cancel my cycle because my treacherous body was trying to ovulate when there was nothing ready to ovulate.
My doctor called me the next night to go over what happened and talk about what we could do next. He said we could try a combo cycle with Clomid/Femera days 3-7or8 followed by only a few days of Follistim in hopes that the oral meds will help stabilize my cycle. But I worry because I'm not a very good responder on the oral meds... I only make one follicle per cycle on Clomid or Femera, and that just puts me back at having to cancel half my cycles because I ovulate on the wrong side.
He also said that he is still trying to get permission for me to do Shared Cycle IVF, and he said chances were good that it would be approved, but we are still waiting to hear. So I was a touch emotional after the call.
That night I told Patrick I wanted to stop trying to get pregnant. He was disappointed but he took it well. Then I dropped the bomb that if we stop trying, I want to remove all possibility of getting pregnant until we are ready to try this again... meaning I want to go back on birth control.
Here's my reasoning: I have an obsessive personality. Even if I go off all meds, stop charting, stop timing sex, stop everything, I am still going to obsess over the possibility that I might get pregnant. Each period is still going to crush me. And with each 2-3 month cycle, I'm going to start wondering if I might be pregnant after the first month, and I'm going to convince myself that I'm pregnant by the second month. Then my hopes will either be promptly squashed if its a "short" cycle, or the crazy that is usually reserved for the TWW will commence... only it will last for almost a month. I just want some peace of mind.
So, that did not go over so well. Patrick was really upset that I wanted to "totally give up", and while I understand why he is upset, I kept telling him that it wouldn't be forever, I just needed a break. It turned into a huge, pointless fight that ended up with both of us sitting silently on opposite couches, frustrated tears running down our faces. We tried to let the issue drop for a bit and come back to it when we were composed, but the second time through ended with the same result. Later, Patrick told me that he would support whatever decision I made about this. Maybe that's all I wanted to hear, because after he told me we could stop, I didn't want that any more. Stupid hormones. (or maybe I'm just crazy)
I'm surprised that I wasn't dehydrated from all the crying I did in those few days.
A few days later, I was told about an IVF study going on in Dallas. I called the doctor to see if there were any opening available and if I qualify. I go in next week for my initial consultation and blood work. The study covers most of the cost of the IVF cycle, but we will still be responsible for about $5000, which they would be willing to break up into a payment plan for us. I'm still praying that the shared cycle goes through because I have reservations about two things with the study. 1) Its in Dallas, which is four hours from where we live, and while the doctor said that I could have majority of my monitoring done at my RE's office here, they would want me to be in Dallas for my last few days of monitoring through ER, about a week total. My sister lives in Dallas, only minutes from the clinic, and I could easily spend the week with her, but that is an entire week off work, away from my home and my hubby (well, he'd have to come up to give some of his super sperm... which presents a whole new problem of HIM taking off work). Then I would come home for a few days and go back up for ET. 2) I really want to get the chance to help someone grow their family by donating some of my eggs. Something deep in my heart is telling me that I need to do this.
I'm still not sure what our next step is going to be. I'm so angry with my body. I'm going to go meet with the doctors in Dallas and see how I feel after. I have doubts about having to do IVF four hours from home, but I also have doubts about doing an oral meds/injection cycle at home. The only thing I really want is the shared cycle IVF... but that will delay us a few months until I'm matched to a recipient and our cycles are synced.
I don't know. Maybe I do need some time off.

Please, God, give me strength and help me make the right choice for my family- present and future.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Picking Myself Up

Last cycle was hard.
Really hard.
After my blood test came back negative I pretty much went into hiding. I was withdrawn and anti-social throughout the holiday festivities. It didn't help that AF came on Christmas day. I was so upset that it hadn't worked... again, that I became convinced that it was never going to. I was ready to throw in the towel.
When the RE's office called with my results, the nurse had told me that my doctor wanted me to come in for a consult before we started the new cycle, but there were no appointments until January 3. That was another blow since I was sure that my doctor would tell me we need to move to IVF, and having to wait almost two weeks for the appointment was a killer.
Patrick has been wonderful these past couple weeks. I have undoubtably been a nightmare, but he has given me space when I want it, comforted me when I need it, and been compassionate, loving, and patient through it all.
I definately went through the five stages of grief. I know some would say that I'm being overly dramatic, putting too much into getting pregnant, but those of you that have battled infertility understand how I'm feeling.
Denial- even though I was getting negative results on my HPTs, I still kept expecting it to be positive the next day. I got a negative the day of my blood test but still told myself "Oh, the blood test will be positive!" Hell, even after the blood test told myself it could have just been late implantation and that I'd get a positive later.
Anger- I woke up Christmas morning to cramps and blood on the toilet paper. Seeing AF instantly made me mad. I was mad at my body for disappointing me again. Mad at the doctor for not upping my dose like he said he would, resulting in only one follicle when I would have had a much better shot with two or three. Mad that it was salt in the wound to get my period on Christmas day when the ONLY thing I wanted for Christmas was to be pregnant. I was mad for days. I stopped taking my vitamins, didn't care what I ate or drank, all because "I'm not pregnant anyways, what does it matter?"
Bargaining- this was a quick stage, but probably the one I'm most ashamed of. I do my best to keep my faith in God, but during this phase I did try to bargain with Him. I promised to be a better Christian, to go to church more, that I would take the baby every Sunday, that I would make Patrick go, ANYTHING if I could just be pregnant. Worse though, was when I turned off my Christian music, which I find comfort in, and didn't want to be thankful to Him until I got what I wanted. The realization of what I was doing sent me straight into the next stage.
Depression- I cried. I cried a lot. More than a few times, on my way home from work, I would be driving with tears streaming down my face for nearly the entire 45 minutes it took me to get home. I broke down at work one day, but luckily nobody was there to see. I cried to Patrick one night, maybe two, but I tried to keep my pain private because I didn't want pity. I didn't want anyone to know how deeply affected I was this time, but I'm sure Patrick knows. My depression moved from crying to not caring. I got drunk two nights in one week. I'm not talking tipsy, I'm talking sloppy, slurring, swaying drunk. I don't drink. My "crazy" nights have a 3 cocktail limit. I haven't been drunk like that in YEARS! But, "hey, it's not like I'm pregnant."
Acceptance- Tuesday morning I woke up excited... And sick. I caught some crud that's going around and I had been achy and feverish on Monday, transitioning to feverish, ear aches, full sinuses, a sore throat, and a cough on Tuesday. But our appointment with the RE was that day and I was excited to go. Excited to move on.
At our appointment the Dr asked me how I was doing, emotionally. I told him the last cycle was hard, and that I was frustrated that we were only getting one follicle, but I was ready to start again. He agreed to be more aggressive and said that he felt comfortable doing two more cycles of this. Then he mentioned IVF. I asked him if it would be possible to do a shared cycle, where I would be paired with a woman needing eggs, we would share the expense, and I would donate half the eggs retrieved to her. Doing a shared cycle would solve my two biggest issues with IVF: the cost, and the fact that I don't want a bunch of frozen embryos that we might not ever use... But I'll go more into that later.
The Dr told us that they hadn't done shared cycles before, but that the issue had come up and that he would try to get approval for us. We should know sometime next week. This has given me so much hope! I had thought we were reaching an end to this journey... Or at least a stop sign, but now there is a possible new road that could get us there even faster! And the thought of helping somebody else get their little miracle just fills me with joy. I feel like God is leading me to do this, and I have faith in Him.
I start my Follistim tonight... A higher dose to hopefully get some more follies! Patrick doesn't want me to chart or obsess this cycle, and normally I would have argued with that, but I agreed. If this injectable cycle doesn't work, we might try one more, or if we get approved for the shared cycle, we'll move to IVF, and just knowing there are more options for us gives me peace for this cycle, more than charting, obsessing, or testing ever could!
I have confidence again.

Thank you, God, for small victories.