Get these things out of me.

Ugh. This sums up every thought in my brain in a nutshell.

This morning was another blood draw and twat wanding after 8 days of stims. 8 follicles on the right, 7 on the left, ranging from 14-20mm, most averaging about 16-18. Left ovary is showing a trend of always having slightly smaller follicles, so we’re going to do 1 more night of stims tonight and trigger tomorrow night for a Thursday retrieval. My E2 levels were at 1616 this morning, higher than they got during IVF #1. Maybe we’ll get an extra egg out of this. I’m definitely feeling all those dang follicles. I don’t know how the PCOS ladies do this. I have 15 follicles and I feel like shit, yet I read about woman retrieving like 30 eggs…ugh. I’m bloated and uncomfortable. I’m walking really slowly because I swear I feel like my ovaries are porcupines.

Accurate portrayal of my ovaries right now:

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Saturday night was my husband’s company’s Christmas party. It wasn’t actually as bad as I thought. I nursed a single glass of wine all night so no one mentioned the decrease in drinking. I checked with the nurse beforehand and she said it was fine to do most of the injections before we went, as there was some wiggle room with timing on those. The Ganirelix (which keeps me from ovulating) needed to be on a more consistent time from night to night, however. So I brought that one to the restaurant and shot up in the bathroom. IVF Achievement Unlocked!

In optimism news, I’m handling this round MUCH MUCH better than the first. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. Even my husband has noticed. Three days from the egg retrieval and I’ve only cried once (OKAY…in my defense I’m very hormonal and I had ornaments printed with pictures of each of our dogs and they came in and were PERFECT). Keep your fingers cross that this oddly zen thing continues.

 

IVF #2 Stats:

Injections: 27

Blood Draws: 4

Twat Wand Dates: 3

Time to breathe.

Had the WTF appointment. It went as well as could be expected.

She literally went day by day over our entire cycle, starting from the first monitoring appointment after I started stims. Went over all my hormone levels and follicle sizes and the progress throughout the whole cycle.

After going through everything and addressing our questions, she gave it to us straight. The fact that we only had 2 suitable embryos after everything? It’s almost certainly purely a sperm issue. She said I responded pretty fantastic given my age and all my levels. The next cycle, she wants to add in Omnitrope to possibly improve egg quality, even though she said it was just fine as it. But might as well give it our all right?

So why did they retrieve 12 mature eggs and we only end up with 2? Well, the sperm ain’t so hot. The tricky part of testicular failure is that there is literally nothing that can be done to improve counts. Nada. It’s not a question of if the sperm will dwindle to 0, it’s when. On retrieval day, his count was actually at 400,000 – the highest they’d ever been (I actually high-fived my husband in the middle of the appointment when she mentioned this, because we are mature adults ready to be parents). So really, all we can do is try to improve the quality. So for 90 days, husband is taking a cocktail of vitamins and antioxidants from some specialty pharmacy. She put me on CoQ10 and a fish oil/DHA supplement as well. She said there’s no reason to believe that his count will drop from 400,000ish to 0 by November – she assured me she’s never seen it drop that fast in all her years doing this. So…finally some good news.

The clinic lab shuts down for a huge chunk of December, so the plan is to do the cycle in November and freeze all, then transfer in January. I told her I never should have done a fresh and I didn’t want to do one again and she put up no fight at that, which I was thankful for.

I hate that we’re in this position again. I hate all of it. But we have a plan. I fucking love plans. I am that woman that makes packing lists in excel before taking trips. So to have a plan is already making me feel like a human again. I have 3 months to take control of my body and my life again.

So…today is a good day.

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.

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Teamwork, bitches!

Breathe.

I’ve been telling myself that repeatedly over the last 24 hours. Just breathe. You can’t change the shitty outcome of this cycle, but all hope is not yet lost.

I’m in a better space mentally today, so there’s that. I haven’t cried since this morning in the shower, and for that I believe I will treat myself to one GIANT glass of whiskey thank you very much.

We have officially decided to take a cycle off before moving forward, so I’m just waiting for my period to start so I can through a normal cycle. I spoke with my clinic today about money, and it was actually a pleasant surprise. A FET cycle will run us $2,820 plus meds, which they say will range from $300-800 depending on my dosage. Overall…not too bad. Plus we overpaid in the previous cycle for a TESE we ended up not doing, so hey, no complaints here. And to our HUGE RELIEF, they said that if the FET fails and we end up having to go through the full blown IVF cycle again, they offer a 25% discount on all their fees, which would knock the price of a cycle down by almost $4,000. I could have cried with HAPPINESS when the nurse told me that.

My RE call me about an hour later so say she was glad to hear we were taking a month off. She mentioned that she would be meeting with the embryologists at the lab to review my cycle and figure out what, if anything, went wrong and how we could have done anything different. Apparently they also want to discuss if they think the frozen embryo would even have a shot or if they would recommend just doing a whole new cycle. I don’t know how I feel about that, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. I kind of lost all my trust in the embryologists and a little bit in the RE when they kept giving me such optimistic outcomes.

My husband has been great. He swears he doesn’t blame me. He says we will do this until they tell us we shouldn’t or I decide that enough is enough. I wish he would show some goddamn emotion, but he never does in normal life, so I shouldn’t be surprised when he keeps a straight face through all this. He flat out said he would cry when they told us it was over.

I hope I never have to see that.

My dad is the best.

He made me cry today when we had lunch. Happy tears, I promise! It was a good day.

He’s been the only family member that’s been super supportive and that I’ve confided in throughout the IVF process. My mother knows about it, but she still thinks the whole thing is “bullshit” and that we just need to take a beach vacation and we’ll come home with twins. My dad, however, has offered us an interest free, pay back whenever we can loan to do another round of IVF (if we need it…optimism and whatnot). Which…wow. I just…I love this man so much and I’m so lucky he’s my dad.

Anyway. Onto the happy tears. So we’re talking about everything. He never pries, just asks how I’m doing and how my husband is doing and what our next steps are.

He says “I read in the paper the other day, this article about embryo adoption and how couples that can’t have kids try that instead of traditional adoption.”

“Yeah, we’ve talked about that,” I say. “That way I could still experience pregnancy. But the kid wouldn’t be ours genetically.”

“Well that would be alright,” he said.

This is where I lost it (hormones, people). “What if we never have a kid, Dad?”

“Then you’ll do something else great with your life. Didn’t you always talk about wanting to foster dogs? That could be rewarding. Or you adopt a child and we’ll all love it just as much as we’d love a grandkid that looked just like you.”

I mean really. How did I get so lucky? He’s doing research on embryo adoption for god’s sake. He just wants to be supportive of his daughter. I have some really awesome people in my life.

Side note. I peed on a stick again this morning (shut up). Still negative 7 days after transfer. So…I’m thinking this isn’t happening this go round. Who knows, maybe our little X-man is still in there somewhere and will make its presence known on Wednesday. I’m gonna ignore tomorrow and be in hopeful denial for one more day and then do a final test Wednesday when I wake up before my 8 AM blood draw.

But until then…today was a good day.