Another day, another cancelled IVF cycle

The title says it all, doesn’t it?  What I was fearing the most happened and unfortunately my second IVF cycle was cancelled, much like the first one due to a poor response.  Actually, this cycle was worse than the last one in that only one follicle was larger than 10, although I had ten follicles to start with.  They just didn’t grow.  This cycle I also added acupuncture to the mix along with quitting working out entirely and just resting.  There were the obligatory tears on cancellation day (last Wednesday) and some heavy moping for a couple days.  On Friday I went in for a follow up consultation with my RE that left M and me actually feeling much better.

We went over how the past two protocols didn’t seem to even rouse my scrambled eggs at all, and she made two professional suggestions – #1 try one more time with my own eggs on an Antagonist protocol, or/and #2 move on to donor eggs.  The past two cycles I have been on a Microflare protocol, which is typically used on women with DOR such as myself.  Cycle 1 I started on the protocol on CD3, and Cycle 2 I took BCP’s for two weeks and then started the protocol.  I’ve never tried Antagonist protocol.  Donor eggs have always been a consideration from the start of this journey, since I knew egg supply was so severely lacking.  Believe it or not, this consultation made me feel better because I was sure my RE was going to suggest not even trying again with my own eggs at all.  Hearing her say that we have one more protocol to try if we choose was reassuring to M and to me.  Obviously nothing is guaranteed, but at least there is hope.

Getting this information from my RE cemented the decision for us to try IVF one more time with my own eggs.  My RE is a very up front person and not one to sugar coat anything.  I like this because it makes me feel like I can trust her, and she will tell us the truth even if it’s difficult to hear (like at the beginning of this journey when I was literally in tears in her office, so shocked by my infertility news).  Sometimes it’s tough, but at the same time I would always rather know the reality of a situation, especially about something as important as my fertility.  We will try the Antagonist protocol, and keep our fingers crossed!  If we are not successful, we will most likely be making the decision to move on to donor eggs, but we will cross that bridge when (if) we get there.  I am not opposed to donor eggs, I just want to make sure I exhaust all possible options before we take that step.  I guess I mentally want to feel like I’ve done everything I can to conceive my own child with my own eggs, and then I can feel at peace about making other decisions.  I’m so grateful we will be able to have one more chance.

With that decision made, M and I have decided to take a short break from IVF for the next few months to enjoy the fall and the holidays.  I am also going back to school next month, I have 12 more credits to take in order to finish up my Associates Degree.  IVF has taken so much of our time, energy, and finances that I think we need a small break to regroup.  We plan to start our third and final cycle in late January/early February after I celebrate my (gasp) 35th birthday January 23.

I have to say I am actually looking forward to a little time off from actively TTC.  We are not going to be doing any charting as the chances we can conceive naturally are slim to none (besides my lovely issues we also have M’s male factor to contend with).  So we are just going to let the pieces fall where they may.  I am looking forward to getting some running in for the next month or so until the weather gets a little too cold for my taste, and M and I have signed up for a charity 5k in early October.  I am also excited to focus more on my relationship with M.  Thankfully, our relationship is stronger than ever, but we have been so focused on doctors and shots and ultimately disappointments that we have not had a lot of fun, silly time.  It will be nice to get back to that.

During this break I will continue to take my supplements, but after some consideration I do not think I will continue with acupuncture.  It’s very expensive and my insurance does not cover it.  In the research I’ve found through Dr. Google, it seems to state that acupuncture has been promising to infertility because of increased blood flow to the uterus, and also because of its relaxation benefits and stress reduction.  In talking to my RE she seemed to reiterate these findings, especially emphasizing the stress reducing benefits.  She said that anything I can do to reduce stress with be beneficial physically, in all areas.  I personally think my yoga and the occasional professional massage can help me with blood flow and stress, so I think I will be utilizing these two things in place of acupuncture.

Of course I will still be blogging as well!  Maybe now I can get to the sundry part of this blog and write about some other things that are important to me.  Scrambled eggs is a huge part of who I am right now, but it is not the only part!  I thinks it’s time to devote some time to the rest of me as well 🙂  As always, thanks for listening (reading) and for all the lovely comments I’ve received.  They help so much ❤

IVF Round 2 – In Progress

Fellow bloggers, I just wanted to say even though I am new to blogging I am really enjoying getting to read everyone’s stories and reading all the advice and love I receive in comments to my posts.  We each have our own stories and we all come from different places, but our desires are the same.  I’ve been humbled by some of the stories I’ve read, and I just wanted to say I am sending positive energy to all you beautiful ladies.  I am hooping we will all have our happy ending when the universe decides the time is right ❤

So…..onto today’s post!  IVF Cycle #2 – In Progress.  That’s what I see on my paperwork when I initial before getting my blood drawn.  Seeing it written down makes it so real.  I’m actually doing this.  I’m actually in the middle of it.  For some reason, it’s still surreal to me.  So after being put on birth control pills for two weeks I went in for blood work and an ultrasound last Wednesday.  Blood work looked good, and the ultrasound revealed 10 follicles, which was three more that I had last cycle.  I started taking stims that night.  I am on the same protocol as last cycle, with the exception that I took BCP’s for two weeks prior to starting this cycle.  My RE says this should help all the follicles grow at the same rate (hopefully).  Yesterday I went in for my first morning monitoring since starting this cycle and the doctor only saw 8 follicles, all still small.  I had some spotting since getting off BCP’s, so this may be why.  I was discouraged that there were only 8 follicles though, when last Wednesday he saw 10.  Blood work came back ok, estrogen is rising so I am due back this Wednesday for more morning monitoring.

This cycle I also decided to get back on the acupuncture train.  I tried it for about a month earlier this year, but it was right around the time I went in for my second consult with my RE and it really started to sink in that I had fertility problems.  I got discouraged and never went back.  This cycle I thought hey it can’t hurt and it may even help.  I met with a different acupuncturist who also happened to be an MD so I felt she could understood both sides of my treatment.  She did tell me it can take three months or more to see results in acupuncture, which is consistent to what I have read online.  I am not expecting miracles, but I have felt less stressed since starting her treatments.  Fertility treatments can be so draining, a little relaxation certainly can’t hurt!

So that’s where I’m at.  I need to ask you ladies – do you have any tips on how in the world to maintain a positive attitude???  I struggle with this so much!  For example, I was feeling positive when I went I started my cycle last Wednesday and they saw 10 follicles.  I was also feeling positive with the acupuncture treatments and feeling very relaxed.  But after going in yesterday and seeing two fewer follicles, all still small, I immediately got discouraged.  Later in the day, my nurse called and said my estrogen was rising, but not as much as they would like.  Another blow.  Just like that, the positivity was gone.  I know it affects M too, as he is a very positive person and always trying to look on the bright side.  He hates to see me get mopey and sad.  It’s just so difficult to remain hopeful, and when I am hopeful and then do not get the results I am hoping for, it’s just that much more disappointing.  I welcome any and all advice on this matter!

I am trying though.  Although the doctor’s appointment and blood work results were not the best, I still rallied and took a drive with M to the beach.  It was beautiful!  We ate lunch by the water and then took a walk on the beach and even laid out for a while. We treated ourselves to ice cream on the boardwalk before heading home.  It turned into a pretty good day.  I guess that is what I have to hold on to when I get disappointing news.  Even when I receive bad news, it is my choice whether I want to go home and pull the covers over my head, or if I want to go to the shore and walk in the sand and dip my feet in the ocean.  Yesterday I made what felt like the right choice for myself (see picture).  Tomorrow….we shall see 🙂

P.S.–on an unrelated note, when I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office yesterday a lady walked in that I went to high school with.  We attended an extremely large high school so I didn’t remember her name, but it was definitely her.  I am just beginning to learn this but it just goes to show that sometimes the infertility community is much larger than we think.