Uncharted Territory

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Monday morning I had a monitoring appointment to check my lining, in preparation for my transfer. They brought me in sooner than they normally would have since I have had so many issues trying to get this FET on track. As the doctor began moving the wand around to view my uterus and lining I knew what was going to happen before he said anything. My lining measured at 8.4mm, my ovaries were quiet, and there were no large, ominous blobs indicating the return of either of the cysts. It is transfer time this Saturday.

Dr. C finished the ultrasound, and told me I’d speak to the nurse after. The nurse gave me instructions for the day of transfer, and my new meds regime, discontinuing Lupron and adding vaginal progesterone. I take my Estrace and my progesterone 3 times daily now, and will continue on for 10 weeks if we achieve pregnancy.

I am excited, scared, nervous; all of the above and more, about the transfer. I know the process itself will be ok. I’m sure I will be dying from having a full bladder, but that’s survivable. We’ve never been this close before, and it is exhilarating, hope-inducing, and frightening all at the same time. I’m trying not to hold out too much hope but at least we are moving forward with something. The wait is going to kill me, this I know. It could be a really good Christmas, or a really bad one. Teetering on the brink, which way will we fall…

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A Date with Destiny

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I started bleeding again on Wednesday, for the third time since Oct. 25. I have still been taking Lupron despite the fact that at my last monitoring appointment I had a 5cm (2″) cyst, my lining was approx. 5.5mm and my estrogen was in the thousands. By rights I probably should have been cancelled but my Dr. decided to keep me on Lupron for another 10 days to see if it would help shrink the cyst, and lower my estrogen. I had my doubts and hated that I was told to continue waiting. I’ve felt as though I have been waiting for the inevitable; a cancelled cycle.

I was booked to do bloodwork on Saturday and have another monitoring appt on Sunday but when I started bleeding on Wednesday afternoon I called the clinic and they told me to do my bloodwork and come in today. Technically right now is around the time of my expected period (slightly late but that’s been the norm as of late) so more than likely the bleeding I had a couple weeks ago was just some breakthrough bleeding, and residual from my cancelled Suprefact cycle.

Leading up to last weeks monitoring appt I was having discomfort and pressure localized to my right ovary (where the cyst lives) and I was still having that pain into the beginning of this week. I figured if I could still feel it, it hadn’t gone anywhere and hence would still be pumping estrogen into my body. As of Wednesday the pressure had subsided and I was no longer having any pain.

Since I am having a seemingly normal period, and I can no longer feel my cyst I got really nervous for my monitoring appt. Nervous because I was starting to have a sliver of hope. I felt like I was getting ready for a really big date; I tidied up my lady business and shaved my legs last night. Laid out my clothes for this morning (for the necessity of getting ready faster, I had to be out of the house by 6:15 this morning). My stomach was in knots all this morning (though that’s nothing new for clinic visit days).

I got to the clinic excessively early, despite the slow drive due to the 3ft of snow that has fallen in the last 24 hours. Checked in, and second in line for my ultrasound, my morning was filled with a lot of hurry up and wait (a familiar theme in my life). To my surprise Dr. M walked in to do my ultrasound, even though the whiteboard in the waiting area said Dr. C was doing ultrasounds today. I was pleased to see him as that meant I might be able to get some answers as to what we were going to do now.

He asked if I was in for an FET baseline ultrasound (seriously, why do doctors not read charts before walking into a patients’ room?). I gave him a brief rundown of my situation and mentioned we were checking my cyst, lining and estrogen levels. I mentioned that I hadn’t been having any discomfort from my cyst and perhaps it had shrunk. As he moved to the right, nope, there it was. Big as ever. And another small one had developed on the left. I felt annoyed and disappointed but Dr. M said we can fix it, and that he would have to drain them. He went to check my bloodwork and speak with a nurse about next steps. As I was getting him changed I could hear him telling the nurse my estrogen is still too high (mother lovin’ cyst!).

As I came out of the change room the nurse beckoned me to come with her. She put me in a consult room and told me she just has to see if Dr. M is ready to do the draining. I looked at her, wide eyed “He wants to do it now?!” She told me yes and asked if I was busy today… I told her I was meant to be at work but could adjust. She asked what time I worked at and I told her 9:30 (It was 8am at the time). She gave me a bit of an eyebrow raise to which I asked if I’m going to make it in to work at all? She made a face and said she’d find out when Dr. M wanted to have me in. When she returned she told me I was booked in for 12:30 and that it wouldn’t take too long. As I left I called work to tell them I’m wasn’t coming in at all. No point in going to work when I’d just have to leave again shortly after arriving. Especially with the terrible weather and road conditions. They probably thought I was taking a snow day, but oh well.

I returned for the cyst aspiration and the prep was the same as if I was doing an egg retrieval or a transfer. Gowned up, I returned to the same room where my eggs were retrieved. The procedure was not comfortable. It is essentially the same as an egg retrieval without the good drugs. They only had to poke in twice as opposed to many times as they do when aspirating follicles, but still. They did use a freezing agent on my cervix and to be fair it was very successful. But once the needle penetrated and was going into the cyst, that was another story. Dr. M had a hard time getting the needle through the wall of the cyst and it was up there with HSG pain. But it had to be done.

When the nurse was prepping me to go back she mentioned starting my estrace in the next couple of days. Say what?! I was prepared to have to wait until my estrogen levels came down but apparently once the cysts were emptied and no longer producing estrogen the level didn’t really matter anymore as they will now be artificially manipulating it.

So I have a schedule, and it looks like this one is actually going to happen. Estrace starts tomorrow, continuing on with Lupron as well as five days of antibiotics for hubby and I as a prophylaxis. I have an ultrasound to check my lining on Dec. 8. As of today my lining is 5mm which still seemed a bit thick to me but my period hasn’t finished yet so it could potentially get thinner and Dr. M wasn’t concerned. I’m not so sure my lining will be at 8mm by Dec. 8 but they just want to keep a close eye on me since I have had so many issues. But if it is at the proper thickness, transfer could potentially be Dec. 13 or 14 at the latest it could be a few days before Christmas.

I am hoping for the former so I can at least get a beta (or more, if needed) in before we leave for Hawaii on New Years Day. I called J afterwards to give him the rundown and he says its going to work. After all of the setbacks he thinks this will happen, and it will work for us. I’d like to share his optimist… But I’m a pessimist at heart, and don’t want to get ahead of myself.

But I have googled our potential due date. And I’m hoping we can finish the year off with a bang.

Return from Hiatus: It’s Go Time

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Yet again I took a brief, unintentional hiatus from blogging. Mainly because I’ve been too damn busy, not because I’ve had nothing to say. I just returned this past Sunday from my Alaskan cruise that I went on FOR WORK. Yeah, I have to admit, sometimes I have a pretty sweet gig. It wasn’t all fun and games, I did have to attend a few seminars, and J doesn’t get to come with me on these trips so I had to room with someone I had never met before. We got on well enough, but at times I went off on my own because I needed a break. It was a bit lonely, but overall, a pretty good trip. Alaska was very scenic, but a bit chilly for my liking. Especially seeing as the weather back home was fantastic while I was gone. I managed to bring a cold back with me, so I’ve been sick since I got home and it makes me miserable.

Just before I left J and I submitted a formal offer on the condo unit we want to buy. As of today, the offer is accepted, our mortgage is pre approved and the paperwork is pending. So for all intents and purposes, we expect to be taking possession in mid-October. We then have two weeks to renovate the new place and move upstairs so we can get a renter into our current unit… I’m thinking the renos are not going to be finished in time, so we may have to live in it while we redo the floors. I am looking forward to a blank canvas, we are looking at paint colours, flooring samples, light fixtures and more. It is fun, and exciting but the situation itself is a bit stressful as we are trying to make it happen very quickly, and have a million other things going on at the same time.

Even though I just got back, we leave for Vegas in a month. I’m excited for a getaway with J, and a bunch of our friends will be there as well since we are going for a wedding. Although, it will cut into our precious reno time, being away right before we have to be moved out of our place. Tomorrow is J’s 34th birthday, we have no big plans but I am excited to give him his birthday present; tickets to Jersey Boys while we’re in Vegas…and yes, it is for him not me. Jersey Boys would not have been my first choice. I also got him a new special edition Seahawks cap. Go Seahawks!

The woman who runs our condo building is finally back next week. There have never been so many issues as there have been this month while she’s been away. Can’t wait to turn everything back over to her.

Probably the most important thing that is coming up for us is our frozen embryo transfer. I got my schedule in the mail a couple of weeks ago, I picked up my Suprefact on Monday, and I start using it tomorrow (CD21). It is a nasal spray down reg. medication that I have to use 5 times a day (7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm, 11pm), for close to a month. Not looking forward to that. For now that is all I am on, but once I start my next period I am to call the clinic CD1, and they want me in for a baseline ultrasound around CD7. On CD8 I will start Estrace, the normal start day is CD3 but they are pushing it back so I can make sure the transfer happens after we get back from Vegas. I will have another monitoring appointment just before we leave for Vegas to check my lining, and most likely I’ll have to start Progesterone (suppositories) while we are in Vegas. Yet again infertility will put a damper on my ability to have fun hotel sex.

At the moment my focus is being pulled in so many directions that I have not spent a lot of time fretting over our FET (yet). I am hoping that the distraction of moving, renovating, ect. will continue to distract me throughout the whole FET process and help during the dreaded wait for beta. Although who am I kidding, I’m going to POAS well before the beta. So here we go, the Summer of IVF has continued into the Autumn of FET.

Calm Before the Storm

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After our retrieval, once we had received the news that 5 of our embryos had made it to freeze, it felt as though life quieted down. I didn’t have to think about treatment, we weren’t constantly running to the clinic for appointments, or blood draws and I wasn’t in the pharmacy every other day picking up meds. I had some time for myself, to recuperate and even out from the immense highs and lows of the stimming process.

Once we got closer and closer to September I began to think ahead to my transfer (if it were to happen). But, trying not to get too ahead of myself, because even though CD1 in September would mean the beginning of the transfer process, nothing would even happen until CD21 of my September cycle and the transfer itself not until mid to late October. When my period was late, and I was looking at having to delay our transfer by a month, it just felt like more waiting again.

I spoke to the clinic on Sunday about my being out-of-town possibly conflicting with my transfer. The nurse said we could possibly have me coast on Estrace for a few extra days, depending on when my next CD1 fell, but that too many days and my lining could end up being too thick. She suggested that it may not be worth the risk if the transfer didn’t work I may blame myself for not just waiting another cycle. I agreed with her on this, and she suggested that she could speak to my doctor to see if he had any suggestion. I told her I would really appreciate that. So far, this was the most helpful nurse I have dealt with. She truly seemed to want to find a solution for me, and that she understood that it wasn’t just one more month, it was now going on 27 months. She told me she would speak to Dr. M and get back to me.

I made sure to have my phone by my side all morning. I thought she was going to call me back fairly shortly, but when I didn’t hear from her by noon (when she had initially called around 8am) I thought perhaps she didn’t mean today. Perhaps Dr. M wasn’t even working, and she would have to talk to him the next time he was in. A little after 1pm my phone rang, it was the clinic. She apologized for taking so long to get back to me, which I told her was quite alright, as I really appreciated what she was doing for me. Then she said the magic words; “we’re a go”. Dr. M said that I can stay on Suprefact (my down reg nasal spray) for 5 more days, to put me safely past the date of my trip. It will prevent me from producing estrogen so my lining should stay put until we give it the go ahead by starting the Estrace. Fantastic! She is sending my protocol in the mail and as of now I start Suprefact Sept. 26, my transfer should fall somewhere around the end of October. That still seems so far away, but with two trips between now and then, plus J’s birthday, I’m sure time will fly.

Since we got the go ahead on the transfer, the rest of life seems to have taken flight as well. At the moment J and I are the main contacts in charge of our condo building right now as the woman who normally takes care of any maintenance, ect. is out of the country until the end of the month. So far we’ve had 2 “emergencies” crop up and then this afternoon someone broke the glass in the secure front entry door to our building.  We had to spring into action, call the police, have an emergency glass repair service come out, and advise all tenants.

While we were dealing with the police, J got a call. The condo that we are trying to purchase (in our same building, bigger unit, higher floor) has just cleared probate. It was part of an estate, and it was looking like clearing the estate was going to take foreveeeer so we had kind of resigned ourselves that the opportunity may pass (we made an offer back in July). Well, it is a go, and the executor is speaking with his lawyer tomorrow about how we can proceed. Holy shit, all of a sudden we may have a new place on our hands (that needs about $15k of renos, mind you). I’m starting to freak out a little bit about the money, even though we really should be able to manage it (our mortgage was pre-approved back when we made the offer), and it would be a great investment opportunity.

So we went from a complete standstill to taking off at top speed. Hopefully I don’t get motion sick…