Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Missing Med Panic

We had such a crazy night last night. Let me start from the beginning: 

I knew I was running out of injections (Follistim) on Monday morning, so the specialty pharmacy was overnighting them to me so I would get them by last night at 5 PM. Well, 5 PM came and no meds from FedEx. We called them and found out that the meds were in a shipping container in NJ! There was a delay and they couldn't do anything about it.

Without the meds, I would have to cancel the cycle and all the money and time and energy would be wasted...

I of course, started crying and freaking out. Chris was too and it was just not pretty. We called all the pharmacies in our area and none of them had the med on hand because it is a specialty med and only specialty pharmacies can issue it....

Next, we called the on-call doctor. She asked if I had any leftover meds from previous cycles. I did have a box of a few meds in a closet, but they were not the same ones I was taking this round. She asked me to go get the box and list each med one by one to her. Apparently, I did have a generic brand of the meds (Bravelle) that I could take to replace the ones that didn't arrive via FedEx. The issue was, did I have enough in the leftover box to actually make it work?

She told me I needed 6 vials to take last night and 4 vials to take this morning to equal what my body needed. She said I needed 10 vials of the generic med to prevent a canceled cycle. 

I looked down and there were exactly 10 vials of the meds in the box that I almost threw away a few months back. 10 vials. Exactly what we needed. 

I am still in awe of God this morning! And I'm crying. Again. Amazed at Him.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Oh, the monitoring...

It has been one week since I started stims. I am lagging behind a bit in terms of my estrogen (880)and follicle counts (maybe 15 if we're lucky), but it's not a totally hopeless situation. It seems my ovaries are working, but just slowly. We actually had to order more meds because I ran out! It is such a bizarre experience to stare at a cartridge of medication, knowing that just one dose = $500.

On Sunday, we traveled down to the Towson office because Harrisburg was closed and Chesterbrook was crazy due to the Pope's visit. The Towson office was FILLED with women waiting to be monitored (as in, like 50 women).

It did feel like an assembly line of sorts. I think that if I had to experience that in my first cycle, I would have been really discouraged and felt super isolated. It was just such a cold experience. Women lined the waiting room with just hopeless looks on their faces. I tried to send warm glances to anyone who would actually make eye contact with me. I think that my multiple IVF cycles to date coupled with pure desensitization makes me less prone to feeling like I'm actually part of the reproductive cattle herding taking place a SGF.

That being said, I still feel though. I still feel for others who are on their journeys to motherhood without a sweet toddler at home to greet them after the cattle herding.

I was riding the elevator down after my appointment on Sunday with a woman who looked to be around 30.  She was beautiful and was wearing the best of everything. I saw her get into her new Mercedes, sobbing.

I walked up to her and asked if she needed to talk. She replied, "This is so hard. It just sucks."


I stood and talked to her for a while and tried to help her gain a grip before leaving.

Infertility touches EVERYONE, regardless of what you have financially. It is emotional. It is hard.

I am again ever so thankful for my husband, my son, my God. I keep reminding myself of God's sovereignty. It helps me to think about it, but it also scares me a little, to be honest.

As far as my meds to date:

I am taking the highest dose of Follistim (450) allowable each day, along with 125 of Menapur.

Tonight, I will take 450 Follistim,  225 of Menapur, and Ganirelix to prevent premature ovulation. This combo will last for the next four days, I think. It's looking like I would trigger on Saturday night, with egg retrieval on Monday, 10/5?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Starting Stims!

I trekked down to Harrisburg yesterday morning for my pre-IVF monitoring appointment. My bloodwork looks good and there were no signs of uterine issues on the ultrasound. They did count 13 antral follicles. I totally did not pay attention to antral follicle numbers in round 1 or 2--- Now, I'm being SUPER thorough because I want to just be informed and on top of everything each step of the way in this, our final round. From what my Google results yield, that number of antral follicles for an almost-31 year old is a little low, but hey, we're doing all we can!

Last night, I started on 300 iu Follistim and 150 iu of Menupur. This is the highest dosage I've ever taken, but what the heck, let's go!

I head back to Harrisburg on Friday for bloodwork and ultrasound to check on things.

As far as my headspace, I am peaceful. I'm anxious, but in a good way, like the anxiousness you feel for Christmas or your birthday, not the stressed-induced kind of anxiousness.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The meds are here... again

The FedEx delivery of my meds for the third fresh IVF cycle arrived a few days ago. As I unpacked the meds, I did an inventory to ensure they were all there. At the same time, I was taking inventory of myself, working through my mental checklist to prepare for this last and final round.

I am hopeful. I am excited to get started.

If this doesn't work, it will be hard, but we will know more surely that IVF and assisted reproduction is not in the plan for us right now. Adoption just might be, and that's something we will fervently explore should this cycle not work.

I have been assigned an Antagonist Vivelle Protocol this time around. This protocol is for women whose ovaries might not respond as well as they should to a more traditional protocol. For a woman my age, I should be producing between 20-30 eggs at retrieval. Instead, last cycle, we were only able to produce FOUR eggs. Not a great start to the cycle, once you consider that the eggs have to fertilize and then make it all the way to embryos.

To increase my odds of producing more eggs, I've been taking CoQ10 supplements on top of my pre-natal vitamins. I will start on a Vivelle hormone patch next week, followed by Ganirelix injections to bring on a period. Once the period begins, I will start the traditional Follistim/Menopur injections for two weeks. Then, its hopefully a retrieval of numerous eggs!

To conclude this post, I have to tell you a hysterical story:

I had to buy an ovulation predictor kit at the drug store last week. I needed to know exactly which day I ovulated so that I would know when to start my Vivelle patch (10 days post ovulation).

Anyway, I have my ovulation predictor kit and I am checking out and this song plays from the sound system: (fast forward to 50 secs in for main chorus).

I could not hold in my laughter. I started laughing and laughing and laughing. The clerk gave me a weird face, but then caught on and started laughing too.

Ah. The irony of it all! Thanks for the sense of humor and timing, God!

The last days of summer 2015

I have a moment of quiet before Gabe comes back from the sitter. I've been forming a post in my brain for a few weeks, thinking, I should add this so I can read it years from now. Words on a page can't really capture the process I've walked through this summer; I don't even know if I could explain it verbally if I tried.

I feel like I'm finally getting to that "better place", the mental headspace that allows us to see sweet moments in our ordinary days. The place where we can see the glass as half full again. It's been a while since I've been able to feel such normalcy and exude anything positive. Now though, I'm okay. I really am.

After our last failed cycle and the death of Chris's grandfather, we just felt pretty empty. Pretty ticked. Pretty alone. I think we have each had to find our way back to a place of new normal and the place where we aren't so angry at God. It's taken time and tears, but we're getting there.

In June, I made the decision to see a Christian counselor. I needed someone totally outside of my family and circle friends. I needed someone who could help me work through my anger with God and my grief. She allowed me to talk, to vent, but then always gave me weekly homework. At the end of each session with her, I'd walk quietly to my car and look in the rearview mirror, eyes red and swollen from uncontrolled emotion.

Uncontrolled emotion. Now that's raw. Now that's what Christians often do not want others to see. But why? Why not, I ask! Hearing someone say that walking with the Lord is sometimes hard is helpful Hearing a Christian say that prayer is hard when hearts are hard-- and that it's okay. For a time.

Moving out of that time, I now am in a place of just wanting to move forward. To move on. We have one final round of IVF on the horizon. And you know what? If it doesn't work, it doesn't mean God didn't hear me. It doesn't mean that He's a harsh God who doesn't want me to have what I want.

It means He wants me to have what is BEST for me. When I get to decide what's best, that's when I step on Him, close Him in, and close Him out.