Monday, March 28, 2011

I Don't Even Know What to Say

My RE is dumbfounded. He's never seen anything like this before. He doesn't know what I should do.

My E2 was 349.

Yet my follicles grew so much from Saturday, according to him. He would have expected they would have shrunk given that E2 level. But they didn't.

He double checked the bloodwork, but it was correct. He double checked Saturday's bloodwork, and it was correct. How could it fall SO MUCH and yet my follicles still grow?

So I could either trigger tonight and see what they come up with at ER or not trigger at all and hope I O on my own (not likely according to them). Triggering with TI may not be a good idea since I have a lot of mature follicles.

I hate him. I'm done with them. They completely screwed me over this cycle. Listen, I didn't expect this cycle would necessarily work, but I expected to BE IN THE GAME. This was my second one - they should have known how I would react based on last cycle and they ignored it every step of the way, IMO.

I have insurance, so it won't really hurt me at this point (except I have to take a day off for ER) but still. I trusted them, and look where it got me.

What is wrong with me? IVF was supposed to make my body work. Now it confuses even an infertility specialist?

I can't deal with this anymore. Where is my goddamn break?

And today is my husband's birthday.

Day 14 of Stims

Well, I'm still here. And I'm still stimming. Tonight will be 14 days of it.

Saturday's U/S and E2 showed some growth. I went from 901 to 1255 and my follicles gained about a millimeter (12-15mm). Not very much, but considering that before that I had only gone up 137 (from 764 to 901) in THREE days I was thrilled.

So what does my doctor tell me to do? After me asking at the beginning of this cycle whether Lupron suppressed me too much last go-around (see here) and me asking throughout THIS cycle (on stim day 5, 7 and 10) why he wasn't upping my meds) all of a sudden I'm to raise the dosage from 3 vials to 4.5 vials (remember I was on 2 vials unexplicably early on in this cycle) AND stop taking lupron.

It's like all or nothing with this guy - 0 to 60. Did he just check back into this cycle?

I haven't gotten today's E2 yet, but my follicles now range from 15-20mm. Hurray!! Yes, I guess lupron WAS oversuppressing me! Thanks, RE, for figuring it out about 7 days after I did. Those degrees are really helping you, huh?

In my learned opinion (which doesn't mean much since I have no medical degree to my name, but thus far I seem to have done a better job than my RE), I don't think I will be triggering tonight UNLESS my LH has begun to rise - which I don't think it will have. On my own I don't O until around 24-25 mm and last month I triggered when I had 23 and 21 mm follicles. I'm guessing that will be tomorrow night, to give the smaller follicles (I have a bunch of 15s) a chance to get to 17 before I trigger (and therefore mature before ER, which will be 2 days after that).

Taking bets on my E2. With the growth I've had...I want to say 2000. But thus far, I've been wrong on E2 every step of the way.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Yesterday my bloodwork showed my E2 to be 901. That's right, ladies and gentleman, 3 days of stims since the previous scan and I only went up barely 140.

WTF is going on? I'm so upset because I think my body is just going to plateau again and they SHOULD HAVE SEEN THAT COMING. They upped my dosage slightly again, but is this cycle just no good anymore? Will I get cancelled? Will it matter because will my eggs just be old?

What makes matters worse is that I'm REALLY REALLY uncomfortable, much more so than last month when I had an E2 of 1300 (which isn't even a lot at all). I'm bloated and have a ton of CM and AF-like cramping - not a ton, but I swear I just want to go home, rip off all my clothes and find the biggest sweatpants I can, then jump into bed. And I have nothing to show for it, neither big follicles or high E2.

My follies ranged from 11-14 and I allegedly had a LOT. At least 16. But if I have so many, where is the elusive E2 that they're supposed to be producing?

From the beginning of this cycle I was concerned about this and thus far no one else really seems to be. I TOLD them they shouldn't drop my dosage when I was 443. Yesterday my IVF nurse was just like, "You have to trust [the RE] - that's why you're with him." And all I can think is "Well I won't be with him next month, that's for sure."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

E2 levels

My E2 at yesterday's appointment was 764. Last cycle at this point it was 801, and my E2 didn't get much higher after that.

I'm pissed at my RE.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Welcome ICLWers!

For those who have newly found my blog - welcome! I am in the midst of my second IVF cycle after a chemical with my first IVF cycle last month. You can find my "story" in bits and pieces on the sidebar of this blog, but L (the hubby) and I are also in the beginning of our adoption journey. If this cycle doesn't work out, I am taking some time off from medical assistance in the TTC world - we will continue to try ourselves, but I need to focus on losing weight after gaining so much through this process.

I'm hoping to do much better this time around on ICLW. Last month my beta fell right in the middle of the commenting week, AND we lost one of our cats, leading to a very depressed C who didn't want to write to others at all. Being in the middle of stims will take that worry away, so that's good.

Looking forward to "meeting" some new-to-me bloggers as well!

Today was my second scan (day 7 of stims, although I've technically only had 6 days of stims, the seventh is tonight) and I don't have much news to report yet. I've been so worried the last few days over the big drop in dosage they set me on after telling me my E2 was too high, and I'm really hoping that my E2 more than doubles. Last time I didn't get above 1360, so I am praying I do this time. That means I need at least a 900 today (and I admit I'm kind of hoping for 1000). We'll see!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

First Scan

Had my first "real" (i.e. non-baseline) scan of the cycle today. I honestly don't know what to think. Because of my slow response last cycle, the RE had me on 3.5 vials of Bravelle this time for the first two days, then 3 vials of it for the following two days. Today is day 5 and my E2 was 443. Much better than the 260 it was at this time last month I think, but I've been told this is too high and they CUT my dosage to 2 vials for tonight and tomorrow (I go back for another scan on Monday).

I can't really find anywhere on Google that 443 is too high. I asked on Fertility Friend and the one response I got said she had 890 on day 5 and the doctors didn't change a thing.

I honestly contemplated taking 2.5 vials tonight instead, but after discussing it with L, stayed with what the doctor said. I fully believe that when you don't trust your doctor, it's time to find another doctor. I honestly am not trusting my RE after last month, but he is an expert, unlike me (although I like to think of myself as one by now). So if I turn out to be right and this cycle is another bust (i.e. E2 flatlines or decreases early) I'm done with them and I'll be going to another RE (after some time away from this).

I just get the feeling he didn't review my notes from last cycle when making the decision to lower my dosage today. I might be wrong, he might be right, but I just get the feeling. I keep hoping that the "boost" I got in the beginning was enough to get me going well for the whole cycle, but I'm very concerned. I don't want this to be all for nothing.

However, I keep telling myself it won't be. I didn't have alot of eggs last cycle, only 5 that fertilized in the end BUT I did have a chemical - and two things against me despite that - not enough progesterone (I'm almost sure of it) AND no heparin. This time I'll have both, so even if I end up in the same egg situation, I hopefully have a better shot.

Because L and I finally got to talk to the MFM from Boston on Friday and she agrees I probably have APS. I have to get a second blood test to confirm, but given the high positive the first time and my three losses now, she's almost certain. Therefore, she's sending me a script for lovenox 40 mg. to take after transfer, though she agrees it's not data driven - but I'm glad she's ok with it.

So, Monday...will be day 7 of stims...we'll see.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thoughts on Adoption

Note: This post is quite raw, and as an adoptee or adoptive parent, I don't know if I have been offensive. If so, I deeply apologize - but this is my feelings as they stand now as a prospective adoptive parent looking in at the process only a few weeks in. I imagine I will learn more and hopefully not be as ignorant as I must seem right now, but in this early state, I only feel bewildered and a little bitter.

How do you know which adoption agency to go with? I have no idea. I tried to look up "reviews" but I didn't find much. In the end, we went with the biggest one we could find, AdoptionStar in Buffalo. But we're honestly 2 weeks in and already wondering if we made the right choice.

Here's the thing...before my second surgery, and less than 1 year after we'd been married, before we even started TTC, L and I went to a local adoption agency to find out about the process. What we learned made us extremely uncomfortable. I'll be honest, perhaps too honest, here. The adoption agency made us feel like we should be groveling to a birth mother for their child. Like the birth mother was queen, and we were nothing at all.

I FULLY understand and appreciate how important the birth mother is. Without the birth mother, there is no child, and without the birth mother willing to have the baby and give it to adoptive parents to raise, there is no family. However, adoptive parents play a big role too. Without adoptive parents to raise the child, there is no family either. We matter.

So we felt like crap after meeting with them. They also told us we had to be married a year before we could start the adoption process (it didn't matter that we'd been together for years and years, and known each other much longer than most newlyweds). So it really didn't work out. I don't know if that's the way it is at every private agency, or just that one. I guess we'll find out.

There are other things that make me feel uncomfortable about the whole process. Paying for the birth mother's expenses. I mean, I understand some of them of course. Maternity clothes, perhaps medical expenses. But rent? Utilities? Those are things she'd have to pay for anyway, pregnant or not. But I definitely understand the thinking behind it, that you want the best for your prospective child, so in order for it to be well taken care of, you're willing to pay.

But it's not even like you're guaranteed the child if you do pay. What I don't understand is how after all of this, if you pay for all of that, the birth mother can decide in the end to keep the baby after all, and you're out all the money. Now, I understand some of the reasoning, babies are not businesses, and the thought of "owing" a baby just because some people paid some expenses for you is deplorable. I *get* this. But being on the adoptive side, I think, this is already a business. I'm already paying $30,000 to an agency, and the birth mother is (obviously) not getting any of that money (besides expenses of course) so the agency is pocketing most of it. I know that agencies have their expenses too, and staff salaries, but does it arise to that amount of money? I don't know. I admit I am ignorant of this stuff though, but as someone new to world of adoption, I also admit it upsets me.

So, I apologize for my ignorance, and I am hopeful as we get through the process we will learn more and I will one day reread this post and think "how silly you were!" but from where I sit today, the whole thing makes me bitter.

So the last week of February we filled out and sent the registration packet we already had in the house from last year to AdoptionStar, along with the $350. A week later, we got it back in the mail, with a 2011 registration packet to fill out. It was basically the same with a few clauses different. Argh, frustrating. But we dutifully filled it out again and mailed it back. Check is cashed. A day later I get a call welcoming us to the agency and saying our advocate will be in contact soon. Cool, ok.

Yesterday, I finally get a call from our advocate. She introduces herself and tells me that in order to get the homestudy packet, we need to send a check for $1650. WTF? Why not just tell me to send a check for $2000 from the beginning instead of wasting 2 weeks of my time?

I knew of the homestudy fee but thought we would be sending the check along with the completed homestudy packet eventually. (I actually have no idea what a homestudy packet contains, so that may have been a bad conclusion to make, but that's what I thought at the time). So today, I mailed out a check for $1650 (gulp) and imagine I will get a packet next week or so.

So it will have been 3+ weeks, $2000, and what do we have to show for it? Not much. It is disconcerting, and that's why I'm HOPING we went with the right place.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


My weight is insane. I've said so many times in the last 6 months that "I'm the highest weight I've ever been" that I should just stop - because it just keeps climbing higher and higher. I keep thinking, doesn't there need to be a plateau at some point? At some point I HAVE to be consuming less calories than I'm expending, right? How have I not hit that point yet?

I really don't think I can do this anymore. My body is telling me that it's had enough. Between the open heart surgeries, the more minor stuff like caths and HSGs, and the hormones I've been on - I think it deserves a break. I think *I* deserve a break.

I start stims tonight for my second round of IVF. I'll be blunt, I do not think it's going to work. I just don't have a good feeling about it. And I feel like crap, physically. Like my skin is too tight for my body, like I'm trying to shove myself into size 4 jeans, only I'm not.

I could have done acupuncture for this round, but I chose not to. I could have gotten myself a massage to get myself all ready, or gone to see my chiropractor because my lower back has been bothering me, but I chose not to. Whether it's depression or exhaustion or both or neither, I'm just DONE.

I'm doing this cycle because I'm already in the middle of it. Had my baseline appt. today and everything looks good so tonight I welcome 3.5 vials of Bravelle into my body. My pants, which barely fit right now, are going to go on strike by the middle of next week. I went out and bought some new clothes today (and not even cheap ones, like I have been doing, thinking it would all get better soon and I could get back to my regular size).

But when it's done, the doctor stuff is going to stop. Not that I'm not going to keep trying - I'll do OPKs, and charting and stuff I guess, but no more hormones. No more not working out because it throws off my cycle. I need to get back to being me. Because right now, I'm so far away from where I was - 60lbs up from my wedding weight, which let me tell you, was not where I even wanted to be at the time. 60 FUCKING POUNDS. How did that happen?

Ok, I know how it happened. But I have to change it, for me, and for my future children, if I ever have any.

I don't really know if I'm ok with this. I've never really thrown in the towel at anything in life. But part of why I think I can do this is because L and I sent in an adoption application, finally. 3 years after we initially started it, we're going with a different agency and hoping it works out. The money involved, it really kills me. I would adopt 4 babies if not for the money. But alas, it requires it, and we have the ability now to be able to afford it, though of course that means not paying off my student loans as fast as we would otherwise. Debt, debt, debt - hate it.

I have no idea how long the process will take, or if we'll ever get a placement. But the journey has started, because in the end, all I want is a baby of my very own, whoever gives birth to it.