Friday, April 18, 2014

It's been awhile...

It's been two years, 5 months and 2 days since we sat in that tiny, white walled exam room anxiously awaiting news that, ultimately, neither of us ever dreamed of hearing. Hearing that we would never conceive a biological child together is something no couple, who wishes to get pregnant, ever imagines. That's not how life is supposed to work, fairy tales say that you grow up, get married & have children...there's no mention of infertility. I suppose that wouldn't make a very good story but for some, such as my husband & I, it's reality. Infertility is our reality. So much has changed since we were married almost 5 years ago, we're certainly not who we once were. We have a whole new understanding of pain & heartbreak, we know what it feels like to have our dreams utterly crushed. We're still no closer to parenthood than we were in the beginning....but we've gained perspective & we've learned what it means to love one another unconditionally.

I'm still bitter, at times, I suppose I always will be to some degree. It's something I really have to work on & pray hard about daily. A bitter heart makes for a sad life & I refuse to allow infertility to so consume me that I have a sad life. Anthony & I have grown so much in these 2.5 years & I believe we have infertility to THANK for that. No, I'm not thankful for infertility but I am thankful for the lessons it has taught us. I never thought I would see the day when it didn't consume my mind or that I didn't cry at the very thought of childlessness. I'm still sad, oh am I sad, but I've found a peace with my sadness.

Anthony & I will try again, eventually....maybe sooner, rather than later. We've worked very hard to  be debt free by the end of this year. I'm hoping the financial burden we experienced with our last round of treatments won't be an issue this time around. I would have kept going with treatments if it weren't for the major lack of funds.

I still struggle with our reality but I'm thankful for where we've been & where we're going. They say it's always darkest before the dawn & two years ago was the darkest time of my life, I'm thankful that I can finally see the dawn out there in the horizon....

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Long Overdue Update...One Year & Three Days Later.

Well, here I am. One year & three days after our world came crashing down. It's been one year & three days since we first found out that DH had no sperm. I can still remember that day as if it were only yesterday. The pain, the hurt, the's all still so real. A year has come & gone and we're still no closer to parenthood than we were to begin with....all we have to show for our struggles is a mountain of medical bills & a painful cyst on my right ovary that refuses to go away. It's been a long time since I updated this page, I actually had 3 IUI's done in total, all of which failed. With my first IUI, in February, we went with a, higher than normal, dose of Femara (5mg, normal is 2.5 mg) and a ovulation trigger shot a day before my IUI. On my second IUI, in March, Dr. Bates decided to keep me on the same dosage since I responded so well to the first dose. On March 27, I woke up with severe abdominal pains & was told by my nurse to go straight to the ER....after several ultrasounds & tests, it was discovered that an ovarian cyst had burst.
In April, I asked that an HSG (Hysterosalpingogram) test be done.....that was terribly painful!  An HSG test is an X-ray test that looks at the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes and the area around them. During a hysterosalpingogram, a dye (contrast material) is put through a thin tube that is put through the vagina and into the uterus. Because the uterus and the fallopian tubes are hooked together, the dye will flow into the fallopian tubes. Pictures are taken using a steady beam of X-ray (fluoroscopy) as the dye passes through the uterus and fallopian tubes. The pictures can show problems such as an injury or abnormal structure of the uterus or fallopian tubes, or a blockage that would prevent an egg moving through a fallopian tube to the uterus. A blockage also could prevent sperm from moving into a fallopian tube and joining (fertilizing) an egg. A HSG test also may find problems on the inside of the uterus that prevent a fertilized egg from attaching (implanting) to the uterine wall. Because of the HSG test, we took that month off from an IUI.
 In May, we went full force, I was put on a very high dose of Femara (10, normal is 2.5mg) as well as, high doses of Follistim injectables (100IU, my injectables were FSH hormone shots that I gave myself daily) & a 10,000IU Novarel trigger shot that I had to give myself on May22. 
On May 24, 2012, we had our last donor sperm IUI. We were out of money (each vial of donor sperm costs $700, we had bought 3 & insurance does not cover anything for infertility, each of our three procedures cost roughly $1,800 each), out of patience, & just emotionally could not handle any more of it. We decided if this last IUI didn't work, it would be our final chance. On June 7, my menstural cycle arrived & we were done, it was over.         Since I ended treatment, I've suffered terrible pains from a cyst on my right ovary caused from the high doses of hormones. The cyst has begun to affect my menstrual cycles so instead of coming every 28 days, they can sometimes not come for as many as 46 days. Anthony & I have adjusted somewhat to the idea of not being parents, we still catch ourselves saying things about "when we have kids". Maybe someday we'll try again, or possibly look into adoption but for now we're just enjoying our time together with our two dogs, Mojo & Squeaky....they're our babies for now & we definitely treat them as such:)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Day 10, Grow Follies Grow!

I had my CD10 ultrasound today, this one was painful! The nurse got really excited when she first looked at my right ovary because she thought the cyst that I have there was a follicle ready to go LOL! Turns out none of them are ready to go yet, I didn't expect them to be though since I always ovulate on CD19 naturally. It took her forever to find my left ovary, I was beginning to wonder if I even had one:/ lol, it turns out I just had very active bowels today that kept moving in front of my left ovary! After performing a few acrobatic tricks on the table for her she was able to see my left ovary & determine that I have 8 follicles on that side but only 1 dominate one. She didn't tell me the sizes or anything though:(    Dr. B was with another patient so she's going to call me this evening to tell me my next step.....she did say that most likely he'll have me do my trigger shot on Thursday and come in for my IUI on Saturday! However, it's also possible that he'll want me to come in for another ultrasound on Thursday to check my follicle sizes & uterine lining again. I hate to make another 4 hour roundtrip drive but it would definately make me feel better to have one more ultrasound before triggering just to be sure they're ready;) I can't believe my IUI is so close!

I just got a call from the nurse telling me that Dr. B does want me to come in for another ultrasound one Thursday, I'm praying so hard that my follicles have grown and that everything goes well! I feel like we're so close now but I'm terrified to get my hopes up because I know that there's still a chance that something could go wrong & put us out this month:(  I hate to be negative but in the almost 3 years we've been TTC, I've learned to always expect the unexpected!
All that I can do now is wait until Thursday morning to find out:)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Is it hot in here???

I have to admit, most of the side effects I've experienced with Femara are nothing compared to those of Clomid. However, the (almost constant) hot flashes I'm experiencing are definitely less than enjoyable. I wake up several times a night dripping in sweat and have to strip my clothes and blanket off, it's even quite noticable on my BBT chart. I've also noticed some headaches and several mood swings....sorry honey! :) I'm trying to quit drinking caffeine all together though so I'm thinking that might also be a contributing factor.

I also received my 'Pregnyl' trigger shot in the mail today, that was exciting! I'm still scared of giving myself an injection but we've come too far to let one little needle slow me down:)

 I'm just so thankful for all of the support DH & I have received from family...I can't imagine not having that support during this time in our lives!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cycle day 3, transvaginal ultrasound time!

As the title says, I'm currently on cycle day 3 and sitting here waiting to be called back for my transvaginal ultrasound, oh boy! I have no shame anymore, that all went out the window after my first few appointments where we had to share every teensy, tiny detail of our lives, infertility has no room for shyness or modesty I've quickly learned!
I woke up and called around 7am this morning, by 8am I was 20 minutes into my 2 hour drive to Birmingham....wet hair and all:)

Ok, well the ultrasound didn't go as well as I'd hoped, Dr. McKnight found a 2.4 cm cyst on my right ovary:/ I was crushed when she told me she wasn't sure if we'd be able to proceed with treatment on this cycle since it would increase my risk of having that ovary twist, which would require immediate surgery to fix. She spoke with Dr. Bates and they decided to check my estrogen level....if it's low enough we'll continue, if not I'm out this month:(
They told me they'd call with the results sometime after lunch and if everything was ok I could go pick up my prescription for Femara....*fingers crossed!*

Woohoo!!!! I.AM.SO.RELIEVED! I couldn't wait any longer so I finally called them around 4 this afternoon, I had convinced myself that they had forgotten about me LOL! The nurse said everything was good to go & that we could proceed with this cycle!!! Ahhh, I'm sooo excited!!!!! DH was outside talking to our pool repair man when I told him, "we're good to go!!" He got so excited he couldn't even finish his sentence, it was actually really sweet, he got so tongue tied and couldn't stop smiling!
I also found out that I will be giving myself a trigger shot before the IUI along with the Femara. We scheduled another ultrasound appointment for this coming Monday morning (cd10) at 8:45 & I guess they'll tell me then when I need to do my trigger shot, then 24-36 hours later they'll do the IUI!
I'm off to pick up my prescription, hopefully the side effects won't be nearly as bad as with Clomid!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

So it begins!

We're officially on cycle day 1!!!
As expected my period began this morning, I've never been so happy to see her! Now I just have to wait until Monday morning, that will be cd3 and I'll go in for an ultasound to check for possible cysts or any other potential problems...*fingers crossed that we're in the clear*.
Also, if all goes well Monday morning, I will get a prescription for either Clomid or Femara to begin taking until cycle day 7:)
I'm so excited & ready to get this whole thing going!!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Decisions, Decisions!

We're having to decide on a sperm donor now and we've decided to go with Fairfax Cryobank, mainly because they offer 'face matching'. That was really the most important thing to DH and I. The donor we ultimately chose happens to have alot in common with DH, not only physically but also personality wise, they're both engineers too! After I narrowed it down to about 4 donors we chose one together then had my mom look at the choices and give us her opinion, she chose the same donor as us so we kinda figure it was meant to be.
I called this morning and ordered one vial....which cost $445 plus $175 shipping, maybe we won't need more than one:)  They said that it would ship on Monday morning and arrive at UAB on Wednesday....I'm so relieved to finally have that part decided and finished!!