CD1 Funk

Today is cycle day 1.  I go in tomorrow for my baseline ultrasound and bloodwork and then we are off and running on round 2.

I know that I should be greatful for this opportunity at IVF #2, but I am struggling to feel that way. My body responds to stimulation drugs with some really significant side effects, in fact, I fell over twice from dizziness (and bruised myself) during my first go around.  IVF is just not something I can muster up much excitement about.    I keep reminding myself to take it one day at a time and that it is for a good cause.  However,  there are so many unknowns and up and downs and the emotional toll is almost overwhelming and we are just starting, again.

Not to mention, I will be doing 5 shots a day too.  FIVE.   This would of been a lot easier if I had gotten a few more blasts last time (bitter here? yup, still am).

Quite a positive, feel good post today huh?  To wrap it up, I must say my expectations for IVF #2 are pretty low, so there is no where to go but up, right?

Never Had a Baby

After I understood this baby thing wasn’t going to be a piece of cake, I looked around at the people in my day to day life (besides my husband), and realized there wasn’t anyone I could turn to for support.    I felt very much alone in this horrible, consuming infertility struggle. 

In the hopes of belonging, of being accepted, of sharing heartwrenching experiences, and hopefully victories, I joined a handful online groups.   In reality though, I was just so tired of doing this alone, of feeling alone and going through every single day, alone.

What I could not predict, was what a life lesson this step online would be for me. 

During my first IVF cycle, I met some truly amazing women. *waves*  I was going to list them here, and then I realized, there are simply too many to list.  That right there demonstrates what a huge support the online infertility community is, and continues to be for me.   But inadvertantly, in the infertility community, people either move forward, or get left behind.  And it’s so very hard, and it compounds this feeling of alone alone alone, when you are left behind.     

When my first IVF cycle did not go as I had planned (which is well covered territory in this blog), I withdrew from multiple online support groups I had joined.  You see, I was hurting so badly and I needed time to come to terms with the results of my IVF cycle and my own expectations.   I felt envious of everyone who succeded where I did not.  It’s so very hard to be left behind, again and again.   And did I have irrational and petty thoughts, yes, I did, but deep down I knew I was just working through my own demons, and slowly healing.

I have said this before, but it bares saying again:   everyone has their own journey.   There are woman I know who got pregnant during my last IVF cycle that went through hell and back just to get there.   These women deserve to be elated about their pregnancies.  They deserve to shout it from the rooftops.   I feel terrible that they have to censor themselves online.  What is it, once you’ve finally conqured infertility you then become consumed with guilt?  There should not be guilt.  I wish there wasn’t guilt.  But life isn’t always so black and white.

What I am not touching on here, deliberately, is some of the hurtful and thoughtless interactions I’ve witnessed, or in fact, been directly kicked in the shins with, in these online fertility forums.    Because after some thought, I realized that handful of negative crap has nothing on the good, and nothing on the positive love and support I’ve received from women like Sarra and Quan and Julie and Debra and Rachel, and frankly all the ladies in my PGD group, and so many more.  And woops I wasn’t going to list names here, but oh well, I did.

Like in my real life, I can choose my friends here, and who I interact with.   Lucky, lucky me.

Round 2

Yesterday, we had a face to face appointment with our RE to discuss our first IVF and the protocol for the 2nd.  

After having a few weeks to reflect, I cannot honestly say my first IVF cycle was a complete bust.  Based on my age, and my baseline numbers, we (and the doctor) expected to end up with 3-4 blasts..  And while we only ended up with 1, it was a high rated, chromosomally normal blast.  

While these results aren’t ideal, they are also not a bust.

Nonetheless, 7 of my embryos looked fine on day 3-4, and died before day 5. Those embryos did not have have a lot of fragmentation or clouding, so that’s worrisome.  She said my ovaries acted like that of a 38 year old woman. I am 36. That was (and is) difficult to swallow.

So we need a new plan moving foward, and that is the Microdose Lupron Flare protocol.  Change is important here.  I see no point in following the exact same steps as my first IVF when it did not yeild ideal results.  My doctor said there are a small percentage of women who do not respond well to the antagonist medications.  I know so much of this is trial and error, so I hope I was having an off month the first time and didn’t respond well to the antagonist (Ganirelix).

I discussed my concerns about the Microdose Lupron Flare Protocol with my doctor, specifically about the additional LH from the Menopur. She acknowledged that during a flare cycle your body does “flare it’s own LH.” She told me that Dr. Schoolcraft at CCRM uses the MDL and even though it seems like a pure FSH protocol would yield better results, all their numbers indicate that a LH/FSH mix works better for 95% of their patients. I asked if they would monitor my LH throughout my IVF and she said yes. I had monitoring and bloodwork 6 out of 10 days of my last cycle, so as long as they are monitoring my LH levels, I am OK trying the MDL.