Aaaand hope is dead.

7 days past transfer. Negative first response test. Fuck. That’s two failed transfers now.

I don’t know if I have the strength to go through another entire cycle. I’m angry at the world. I’m angry that my husband can’t make sperm. I’m angry that we may be facing a vast expanse of infinite life with no children. I’m just fucking angry.

9 days of mental gymnastics…

wait

Mental Gymnastics. That’s what the wait for the beta feels like, and it’s the best way I’ve been able to describe it to my husband.

For him? He said of course he thinks about it, whether it worked or didn’t. But it doesn’t flat out consume all his thoughts and energy like it does to me. I guess because I’m the one going through the physicality of it all. I’m the one sitting here second guessing every single twinge I feel in my lower abdomen.

Wednesday and Thursday were very zen. I knew there was literally nothing I could do to change the outcome, so I moved on with my life. Friday and Saturday, I was in the “THIS TOTALLY WORKED” phase of the wait. A few localized cramps on the right side of my uterus? IMPLANTATION, BITCHES! But this morning I woke up and I don’t know exactly what shifted and when…but I’m now convinced it didn’t work. Like, of course it didn’t. Of course I will fall into the 50% statistic of unsuccessful transfers at my clinic.

Yet even with that gnawing on my brain, I’m still surprisingly calm. I haven’t run out to buy any pregnancy tests, I haven’t been obsessively googling symptoms. I’m not pinning my hopes on the fact that some chick on a message board in 2009 had a perfect pregnancy after experiencing the same symptoms I am on the same day. I promised my husband I wouldn’t test until Wednesday, which will be 7 days post transfer. And honestly, that is one promise that will be easy to keep this time around. I am still slightly zen about the whole thing. There’s nothing I can do to change what will happen, whatever it may be, so there’s no point in obsessing or trying to know earlier.

But hey, on the REALLY FUCKING BRIGHT SIDE of all this. My clinic has finally put together all the paperwork from my insurance company and they actually ended up covering a few things, leaving us with a $2,800 credit with the clinic! So IF we end up having to do another full cycle, we get 25% off PLUS this credit. Assuming my meds stay the same, we may be able to get away with a $10,000 cycle. And if that isn’t the best news a person undergoing IVF without full insurance coverage can hear, I don’t know what is.

Wish me luck kids, it’s going to be a fun 6 days to go!

The eagle has landed.

Had the transfer of our only frozen embryo today. Woo? Yes. Woo!

We arrived at 11:30 for a noon transfer as requested. My bladder was nearing the uncomfortably full stage by noon when the RE swung in, apologized, and said the lab needed another 15 minutes. I think she saw my distress and let me empty my bladder just a bit to make everything more bearable.

I was WAY more calm for this transfer than I was for the fresh one. I still maintain we never should have done the fresh transfer, but oh well. Live and learn, huh? We got into the little transfer room and I got all prepped on the table. I actually made my husband hold my hand the entire time this time around. If this works, I want to know he was at least touching me in some way when the magic happened.

They showed us the blastocyst on the screen. It had already started to hatch! I hear that’s a good thing, so let’s run with those feelings for the next 9 days, shall we? A few minutes later it was jettisoned into my (fluffy) uterus and all was done. I hopped off the table and went down the hall for the BEST PEE OF MY LIFE. They gave us a picture of the embryo and the little petri dish it was cultured in and then we were on our way.

Right now I’m feeling pretty peaceful, shockingly. I’ve done all I can do and it’s up to nature at this point. I don’t relish the idea of having to do another full cycle of IVF, and there’s a possibility that Mr. Oh Just Relax may not be producing any more sperm. But right now I’m good. Of course, if on August 12 I get another negative beta, I’m sure I will be feeling FAR from zen about the whole thing. But for right now?

Right now I’m good.

Let’s NOT describe my uterus as fluffy.

Yup. The adventures of dealing with my RE.

Had my lining check appointment yesterday to see if we were a go for our FET. Looking great at 9.2 and apparently fluffy, according to the doctor. So…I may not have the ability to bear children without medical intervention but dammit I have a fluffy uterine lining. So I’ve got that going for me.

We are officially scheduled for transfer next Wednesday. Cross your fingers for us. I’m nervous, terrified, excited, optimistic, and preparing for another full round of IVF all at the same time. Probably normal. I get to start PIO shots again tonight, so my husband is back up to bat at nightly stabbings. I had the nurse draw circles on my butt for him to aim at since it’s been almost 2 months since we did this.

I really really really hope this works.

I really missed having transvaginal ultrasounds.

Said no one. Ever. No one loves to spend the morning at a date with the twat wand. Alas, here I am.

And so begins FET #1. Had my baseline ultrasound yesterday morning to check my lining and check for cysts. All looked as it should, so we are go for launch. My protocol is so freaking simple, I’m convinced she’s playing me. There’s got to be a catch. Literally all I have to do is take increasing amounts of estrogen pills for 2 weeks, then add in a week of PIO shots, then transfer. Then hopefully baby. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Honestly, if I knew then what I know now AND if I had known anyone that had gone through this…I never would have done a fresh transfer in the first place. Even though I didn’t have OHSS or any complications from the retrieval, my body was still a mess. I was hormonal, I was in pain, I was so anxious, and I didn’t have a clue what the hell was happening. I really wish my doctor hadn’t pushed for a fresh. Oh well. Hindsight is 20/20. That’s my $17,000 lesson for the day.

We went to a family wedding this past weekend; my husband’s cousin got married. We don’t see his side of the family very often, so it’s always nice to catch up. One cousin has 3 kids, and the littlest girl (she’s almost 2) really took a shine to my husband.

You guys…that was the most painful shit I’ve ever had to watch go down. He was SO F-ING GOOD WITH HER. Like, Mr. Natural Parent over there. It damn near tore my heart in two to watch him with her, because it just reminded me of our failures and how replicating that interaction may never happen. He’s sitting at the breakfast table with her helping her count quarters (I dunno…) and I got this massive lump in my throat and tears welled up. What if we never have a kid for him to teach? I hurriedly got out my eyedrops and used em so no one would question my watery eyes. God. I hate this. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

But I’m trying out optimism. This can work. It has worked for thousands of couples and it can work for us.

Dammit.

Diving back into IVF world.

I’ve been trying to get myself mentally back into the headspace of being prepared for what we’re about to do. My period should be starting any day now, so preparation for FET #1 will soon be underway.

Mr. Oh Just Relax and I have had a few more in depth conversations about the next steps and how we feel about them. I feel like we were just thrown into IVF and left to figure out shit out on our own and I hated that feeling. From April 1 when we were told it was our only option, to June 8 when we were told our first transfer was a miserable failure, every day was something different…a new question I hadn’t thought of before, a new medical decision to make, a new procedure to endure, a new injection, a new test, a new phone call to interpret. Looking back…I was a mess. I’m still a mess, to be honest. But I’m more self aware this time. And we’re presenting a more unified front this time around. We both know what we want out of this cycle. A baby, obviously, but things like how we expect our doctor to treat me and how we plan to proceed should this be a spectacular failure as well.

Reading back through all my old entries from the past few months, I am SO glad I started this blog. If I had bottled all of those thoughts and emotions up…I can’t even imagine. And if we have to do a full IVF cycle again, I now have the luxury of being able to look back and remember how the first went, how I felt during each particular segment of the journey. Maybe one day we’ll have a baby and I’ll really be able to look back at all this with a completely different set of eyes.

Mentally, I am in a far better space than I was before this whole process. Of course, I can never go back to being the person I was before infertility ruled our lives. That woman is a memory and bless her and her naivety, for it was a wonderful 31 years prior to this shitshow.

You want to know how I know I’m in a better headspace? The most annoying coworker on the planet announced her pregnancy today (she’s only 5 weeks…kinda risky) and instead of gouging her eyes out with a letter opener, I hugged her and said congratulations.

It’s like I’m a mature grown up or something!

Lady in waiting.

So I’m in that odd period of time just waiting for my next period to start so we can get this FET show on the road. It’s both hurtling to me at a scary fast pace and also taking FOREVER to get here. Because you know, fuck you logic.

I feel like my husband and I have talked the previous cycle to death by now. We decided to move forward with the FET for our lone frozen embryo and if that fails, we’ll figure out if we want to take my dad up on his offer of an interest free loan to do another full cycle.

I’ve become somewhat detached to the whole process. I’m walking a very fine line between being optimistic and excited that this could be the cycle that gets us a baby and also being realistic and mentally preparing myself for a possible child free existence. Balance. It tips back and forth all day every day. If I dwell too much on the negative, I play with my dogs or hug my husband until I’m in a better place.

We’ve also been using this down time as a time to just reconnect a bit. A few days ago was the anniversary of our first date, 6 years ago. Oh man. If I knew then what I knew now. God. So much I wish I could tell past me. I honestly think this whole nightmare has brought us much closer than we ever were. There’s something about hitting rock bottom and having to pick each other up and keep going, right?

Anyway, our latest thing is that we signed up for Blue Apron – the meal delivery service. I had a coupon code and figured why the hell not? It’s actually worked out pretty cool. We usually NEVER cook together, it’s one or the other doing the cooking. But this has been a pretty nice way to just spend downtime together that isn’t watching tv or talking yet again about our failure in reproduction land.

IMG_20160624_203248

 

Teamwork, bitches!

Decisions, decisions.

Amazing how the potential life altering choices don’t go away when you take time away from the madness before starting FET prep, isn’t it?

I finally let my husband in on all of the insanity that has been swirling around in my head for the last few weeks since cycle #1 was a bust. It was really good for us. I let out all my fears and I ugly cried and he just held me. Good job, smart guy.

After breaking the news that the transfer wasn’t successful, my RE mentioned something I hadn’t even thought of. She asked if we had ever talked seriously about if we wanted more than 1 child in the future. Because, say we do the FET and (yay!) it works. I’m thrilled, yay baby. But logistically…that will be the only child we’d ever have. You’ve got the 9 months of pregnancy, then I’m sure I won’t even be thinking of another baby for at least a year. That’s almost 2 years before we’d even consider another round of IVF for baby #2. I’ll be 33 at that point, still youngish but we all know that sooner is better than later at this point. My egg quality is only going to go downhill from here. The absolutely highest count my husband’s SA ever produced was 300,000. In 2 years, there will likely be nothing left to work with. So if we seriously hope to have more than 1 biological child, it’s really in our best interest to skip the FET and go straight through to another full blown IVF cycle with the intent of banking more embryos. It feels wrong to be planning our second kid when we haven’t even secured the first yet but logically, I know it’s something to think about.

Now let’s add onto this pile of shit the fact that my husband basically has flat out said he has no intention of returning to this RE for another full cycle should we have to do one. He feels like with the money we paid, we weren’t given the best service. Stupid little things weren’t told to us and they all start adding up. Like, the day of the transfer, no one told me I needed a full bladder. And during the embryo hunger games, no one told me until day 3 that oh BY THE FUCKING WAY “our lab average is that 20% will make it from day 3 to day 5.” Yeah. Maybe should have mentioned that before, would have saved me quite a bit of false hope. The few other people I’ve talked to that have gone through IVF in the DFW area were horrified by that statistic. These ladies all have 5-10 embryos frozen while my RE acted like I should be super pumped that we only got 2/12 to day 5. There are a few more, those are just a few examples. Little things on their own, but when you start adding them up, it’s like well, if they didn’t mention these things, what else did they not mention that maybe could have contributed to the failure?

So. To recap. Husband = awesome dude to fall apart in front of. We have to decide if we want multiple kids before we even have one. And I don’t know how to go about finding a new RE or how to fire my current one should it come to that.

I’m so happy I can drink again.