Life Update

Sorry I have been MIA. After our failed FET in April, I was feeling very alone and isolated, even by the infertility community, so I needed to take some time for personal reflection away from the “noise.”
Then life got super busy…before we knew it was June. We decided to sell our home. Another birthday crept up and we spent it at the beach just the two of us. Then off to Boston for work and a weekend in NYC to visit friends and celebrate Pride…let’s just say it was a busy June.July we spent getting our home ready to sell. Who knew you could accumulate so much crap in 10 years. It felt great to declutter our life and get rid of the bad and old.

We were convinced that with the changes made that we would for sure be changing our luck in the infertility department. 

We went in for our third FET on July 20th. Let’s say that the transfer was a comedy of errors by far. Our clinic has had a lot of turn over with the front desk and nursing staff, so the new people do not know us or my history. A nurse called the day before to confirm and remind me to show up with a full bladder, I had to remind her that I was going to be sedated and thus would not have a full bladder since I couldn’t eat or drink after midnight. Then we get to the clinic the next morning to check in and the front desk representative makes me give a urine sample. 🙄 We get back to the prep room and the anesthesiologist had to put in my IV. Which he promptly put in my hand. Ouch! Where is the nurse!?! Then our RE comes by to tell us that they had to thaw three of our embabies to get two viable ones for transfer (so now we are down to four), so we lost one…I wanted to cry but held it together. Then she asked if my bladder was full and I told her no since they made me give a urine sample. She just shook her head and walked out the room to go fuss someone out. The clinic had given the front desk instructions to make sure they got urine samples for a hysterscopy procedure, not a transfer! She came back and said they were ready but the med tech was not around, so I had to carry my own IV bag as I walked back to the procedure room. All Heather and I could do was shake our head at the disfunction of the day. 
They do the procedure and bring me back to the room after waking me up. Our RE told Heather all went well with the transfer but that I woke up in the middle of the procedure and I was feisty. Umm what happened? What does that mean? I don’t remember waking up so who knows what I did when I woke up on the table 😰.
Since I tend to be quite stressed, I took off the week of the transfer. I spent the days before the transfer focused on getting things done around the house to get it ready for listing at the end of the month. Then I had two week days and the weekend off after our transfer. Heather took my work laptop and hid it and I removed all of my work emails from my phone, so I would not be tempted or frustrated with work.  
The day before the transfer I had a massage which was great. Then I had acupuncture the night of transfer day and 2 days after, so needless to say I was feeling good about my relaxation and low stress levels surrounding this transfer.
I went back to work the Monday after and our Associate Director immediately told me how much they missed me and she appreciates all that I do, since she had to deal with my frustrating/difficult clients while I was out. That evening our realtor came by to take pictures of our house and told us that we did a great job getting it ready and that it looked great and she was pretty sure it would sell fast. That was a big weight lifted as I had a complete progesterone emotional breakdown the night before worried that we would not be ready to list the house.
Throughout the nine days post transfer, I felt cramping, slight nausea and breast tenderness. As always deep down I was trying to remain positive and that I was growing two lives. Last Friday, we both decided to work from home and headed off to our blood test at 9am. We asked the medical tech to remind the fellow (our clinic is part of a teaching hospital and has fellows) that when they call with the results, if I do not answer that they need to leave the message on my voicemail so that Heather and I can listen to it together. She said she would try to remind them. We tell the front desk specialist the same thing when we check out and she looks at us like we are aliens. Ugh incompetence. So on the way home, I sent an email to my RE and asked that she remind the fellow to leave a message. 
Around 1:30, my cell phone rings…Heather and I both hold our breath and answer the phone. It is one of the fellows that we don’t particularly care for and she was like should I tell you now or call back and leave a message. Immediately we knew it was not…good news. I told her please tell us now and she said unfortunately your test was negative.  
NEGATIVE!!! AGAIN?!? I immediately shut down and tried not to burst into tears. I had an acupuncture appointment and needed to calm myself to drive to the appointment. I went to acupuncture and told my acupuncturist the bad news. She was pissed off, upset and frustrated for us as well.  
Since Friday, I am have been trying to concentrate on our house selling and not be in the infertility space. We listed our house last Thursday and had a showing that day. Since then we have a number of showings but no offers yet. Let’s hope the offer comes soon…we need some good news bad!

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Transfer Day

Yesterday was Transfer Day, we have been waiting for months for this day and can’t believe it is finally here. I spent the day before cleaning, organizing and packing for my trip later this weekend, so that I can truly relax after the transfer. 

We got to the clinic and the front desk specialists were having issues with the system and trying to figure out how much I owed for our procedure. I have to give myself credit as I remained quite calm. Previously while on meds (that evil pill called Clomid), I did not have patience and ended up throwing my credit card at one of the specialist when she argued with me about a co-pay. I know not my finest moment. So today, I was mindful of this previous experience and just stood there waiting patiently. They finally figured it out and completed my check in after 10 minutes.

Our clinic has recently experienced a turnover in nursing staff (or we have just been around way too long….probably a little bit of both), so needless to say we are still getting used to the new nursing staff. One of the new nurses called me Monday to confirm our transfer and had proceeded to tell me that I needed to arrive with a full bladder. I quickly interrupted her and reminded her that I would be sedated for the procedure so therefore I would not be able to eat or drink after midnight. She was like oh yeah you are right, I see this on your chart now. So really she had called and not reviewed my chart beforehand. Consequently, I was not feeling very confident in this new staff.  

As we waited in the waiting room to be called back, we hear our named called by an unfamiliar name. Oh my luck, the nurse who called. She looks at me and then at Heather as if she was not sure who was the patient. Ugh, yes we are lesbians, read my chart! She takes us back and get us settled. Heather asks if she will get to go in the procedure room with me, the nurse asks and informs us that because of my sedation she will notbe able to go. 😔 Heather looks at me and immediately starts to cry, it broke my heart. At no time do I want her to feel like she is not part of the process. Our RE came in and showed us our beautiful baby, and the great news that they only had to thaw one embryo, thus we still have seven strong babies left for the future. 

  

The nurse comes back in and talks uncontrollably about everything, I guess to not feel uncomfortable. She actually asked us if we had dated men?!? Umm are your serious right now? She then proceeds to attempt to put in my IV to get me full of fluids before sedation. She sticks me once and misses, sticks me again and misses again. Finally the anesthesiologist came in to put the IV in my hand. Side note, let me just tell you having your hand thumped to get a vein up hurts like hell!!! As Heather and I exchanged kisses before they took me back, I said to her, I think they forgot the Zofran. They come in to take me back to the procedure room and realize that they forgot to give me Zofran, so they quickly got it together and gave it to me. I could tell that even my RE was annoyed that they were so disorganized.
  
At this point I was so glad that I was going to be sedated because otherwise I would have been so anxious and my body would have been very tense. We get back into the procedure room and they showed me our beautiful 5day blastocyst. The medical tech puts the ultrasound wound on my uterus and our RE was like: “Wow! This is is the best view I have ever had of your uterus! This is going to be a great day!” That was all the reassurance I needed before they put me to sleep to do the transfer.

While I was in recovery, my RE told Heather that everything went beautifully and that she wishes they had put me to sleep before as everything went so much better. She said that she did not have any issues but thought I would have been tense regardless so she was glad I was sedated to be relaxed. After I was alert, the nurse came back in jabbering again. I was never so excited to leave after waking up from anesthesia. I know she meant well but whoa she needed a muzzle.
After the transfer, we grad lunch on the way home and just laid in the bed to relax and let our little one settle in. I have to admit that I felt the best I had ever felt after a transfer. We just laid in bed together snuggling and placing our hands on our little embryo.

  
In the afternoon, I went to my first acupuncture appointment as PUPO. It was great. I absorbed the energy and tried to think positive thoughts about our healthy baby growing inside of me.

  
Let’s pray and hope this is one that sticks!  

The time is almost here….

It is CD23 and we are less than five days from transfer day!!!! It feels like so much time has passed since we got back on the infertility horse back in January.  Our lining check was  Thursday and my lining is at 9.2. Most protocols want your lining to be at least 7mm, so my body is definitely responding well to the Estradiol (makes the hormone emotional roller coaster all worth it).
This week has been a little better, not sure if it is because my hormone levels are leveling out and my body is getting use to the estradiol, or because we are so close to transfer day, but I had no breakdowns this week, yea!! 

Work has not improved. I was really stressed this week as I had to give a training to our group, on top of trying to keep up with just everyday workload.  I really want to get everything done before I am out for our transfer and then gone for a week at a conference, but I am trying to accept that I can only do what I can and the rest will have to wait.

Yesterday I had my last acupuncture before I am PUPO (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise).  Crazy to think that this time next week, I will be PUPO.  While I wanted to have acupuncture right before my transfer, I will not be able to since I will be sedated for the transfer.  So after much discussion with my acupunturist, we will do post transfer treatment in the afternoon after the sedation has worn off. 

We went on double date with one of the wife’s coworkers last night to see one of our favorite local bands, Delta Rae. Two years ago, my wife and some our NYC friends attended Farm Aid in Raleigh.  It was a day filled with great music for a great cause.  It was at this festival that we fell in love with Delta Rae and then to find out they were from Durham, it was music love. If you have never heard of them, check them out!!  
  
It was a great show last night, but definitely feeling the late night after having to get up early for fertility meds. I will be spending the day planning out things that we need to get done in the next few days so I can rest my body and get ready for our baby!

Easter feelings…

A year ago today I was just starting my first ever IVF Meds. We were so confident that our first round of IVF would be the ticket to our little family. It was a week out from Easter and we were confident that the Easter bunny was going to bring us our baby.
Today is Easter and we still do not have our bundle of joy. 

It has been a difficult week for me. Monday was our FET baseline which should have been exciting and joyful, yet I went in reluctant and nervous. The Nurse Practitioner is one that we know and love. She says that we are one of her favorite couples and is always excited to see us. She gave us our FET calendar, so now we know the plan in regards to meds and monitoring. We let the nurse practitioner know that we wanted to change the number of embryos we would transfer. She said all look good with my lining and blood work to move forward with the plan. Our RE reached out later that day to confirm the number of embryos we wanted to transfer. Being that this will be our 11th attempt (5 non-medicated IUIs, 3 medicated IUIs, 1 IVF fresh, 1 FET), she wanted to go all in and transfer more than one embryo. We agreed at first, but now that we have had months to think about it since our freeze all, we are afraid of losing embryos. Our fear is that, one, by transferring more than one and them not making it, we will loose more than one; or two, the lab goes to thaw the embryos for transfer and they not survive the thaw, so then they have to thaw more than two to get to the number we want to transfer. Our RE understood our feelings and confirmed that we will only transfer one of our embryos.

As the week has progressed, my emotions have continued to build due to a number of things:

1. I am staring to see and feel the effects of the Estradiol patches. My chest acne that I had during IVF last year has returned. I have been bloated and constipated all week. I have been on the verge of tears, complete rage or passing out from exhaustion all week.

2. Work has been extremely difficult this week with a lot of projects being dumped on me. I am trying to not let work stress me out and manage my stress appropriately because I want to make sure my body is in ship shape for our embryos, however I often feel like I need to over succeed at work, since fertility has not been successful for us.

3. We have not filed our taxes yet, so in the back of my mind that is weighing heavily on me as well because I am really worried that even after spending thousands of dollars on fertility medications and treatments, that we will have to pay the IRS, let’s really hope I am wrong.

4. Lack of me time. I really want to get my new fitness blog started and back to my workouts, but I feel like work and life have been all consuming that I have not had time to unwind and do things that are important to me.

5. Hate in our state.  Our state legislators decided to hold a special session this week and pass a bill that clearly allows employers, businesses, restaurants, and any establishment the right to discriminate against my wife and I because we are gay.  This saddens me and really worries me about us having a baby and trying to protect that child from the hate our state feels for our love as two committed women.

6. My TTC community seems to be dwindling due to BFP. While I am more than happy for my TTC sisters that are experiencing success on their journey. I can’t help but to feel left out or behind the pack. It is bad enough that in every work setting, I am around a large number of parents who often talk about their kids and what they did or what they are going to do with them, thus leaving me with nothing to add to these conversations and being on the outside. It is a very lonely feeling to feel like people around you are progressing and you are stuck on the merry-go-around in a continuous circle. I had joined the TTC community to not feel this way, but I cannot help but to feel like I am on the outside again.

All of these feelings collided Friday night after I got home from acupuncture. Generally acupuncture calms me down and makes me feel more centered. Yet for some reason this Friday, I felt very tense and could not relax. I laid there and thought about all of the weight from the week, yet it did not release as it usually does. When I got home, I found that yet again I had missed my wine delivery (we joined a club while we were in CA last November) for the second day in a row.  

This should have not upset me, but it literally was the “straw that broke the camel’s back.” My wife got home not long after me and could see it on my face. She really is my rock and immediately tried to do what she could to cheer me up. She called UPS to try to track the package, took me by their facilities to try to pick it up, (unfortunately with no luck since the driver had not returned to the facility), then took me to Whole Foods to get pizza for dinner. We just laid in bed, ate dinner, snuggle and watch TV, it definitely help calm me down. She really is my rock and through all of this keeps me going.

These emotions unfortunately have not subsided, but grown with today being Easter. As a kid, I loved Easter and getting a new outfit for church and celebrating with friends and family. As we drove around running errands yesterday and as I scrolled through social media (note I probably should stay off social media for the next few weeks), seeing all of the joy on kids faces over Easter, it just brings all of these feelings of a missing piece to the surface. 

We luckily do not have to be subjected to any Easter gatherings today, so I plan to spend the day hopefully knocking some things off my to do list in hopes that this week will be better…

We meet again..

  
Hello estradiol patches, we meet again.  CD1 has officially arrived…thank goodness!!! Now we can progress in the right direction.  With its’ arrival comes the excitement that our FET is near, the nervousness around should we transfer one embryo or two, the return of the medicated induced hormones and the anxiousness over whether this will finally be our time.

Our baseline ultrasound will be Monday and we will know our FET date soon. It seems like we have been waiting for months to get to this point, so it is kind of surreal to know that it is finally here and that within weeks we will see our babies again…

Let’s hope this forward progression continues….

Another step ..so many to go…

  
So last Wednesday, we took our next step in getting ready for our next FET cycle. Since it seems from our past failures that transfer/implantation may be our issue, our RE wanted to perform an endometrial biopsy/injury and a cervical dilation before I start my menstrual cycle and meds for our FET.

When she previously tried to do a biopsy on me, they quickly learned that my cervix is difficult to pass the catheter, so she wanted me to sedated for the procedure. I went in Wednesday morning prepared as I had been previously, but feeling uneasy and impatient that we still have weeks to go until we transfer our baby.  

We were sad to hear that two of our nurses will be leaving the clinic this month. We were joking with our RE and said we clearly have been around too long, when we have watched the nurses cycle through. It is time for us to graduate or move on for sure. Our RE agreed she is ready to see us graduate to our OB, but will be sad to see us go.

The biopsy went well, our RE was able to use the catheter which she was not able to last time. She also performed a mock transfer to get ready for our real transfer and had no issues. Let’s hope this is all good signs for things to come.

We had an eventful/stressful weekend with both Heather’s parents ending up in the emergency room. They are both luckily fine but it was a very stressful situation for Heather especially since this Monday was the year anniversary of her dad dying. I know she worries about her parents as they are older and their health is not the best. Being someone who is struggling through infertility, all I can think about in these situations is that I hope I get pregnant soon so that they can enjoy their grandchild. I know how special Heather’s relationship was with her grandma and I know she wants that for our child.

So hopefully CD1 shows up very soon, so that we can get this show on the road. If nothing else, I know God is teaching me patience in all of this…