Saturday, October 26, 2013

6 weeks of Disappointment...

I don't even know where to start this post. We should have been 6 weeks pregnant on Thursday. We should have been seeing our baby's heartbeat. Instead no heartbeat, no sign that there ever was or is a baby. Last week when we saw Dr. Nash he told us that there were three options available to us if this abnormal pregnancy didn't end itself; Methotrexate, D&C, or laparoscopy. We were hoping that we wouldn't have to go down any of those routes.

Wednesday, I went in for my hCG draw. When I went in they didn't even have me on the schedule, so I had to wait for a little bit until they got things squared away. When Kim called me back to draw my blood she mentioned that we had extra tubes to draw this time. They were drawing the labs necessary in case we decided that it was time to move on in this scenario. They drew a complete blood count to check my hemoglobin and liver enzymes. These are labs necessary if we were going to do the Methotrexate. When my labs came back we weren't surprised. My hCG went up again. This time it went to 184. I knew it was going to go up since I have been bleeding. My  CBC was ok, but my liver enzymes were slightly elevated. 

Thursday Nick and I went in to meet with Dr. Moretuzzo. This meeting was originally supposed to be our follow up meeting after this IVF. It turned into just another appointment. I had another ultrasound which actually showed that my lining was thicker and that I had cysts on both ovaries. The cysts are normal after an IVF. There was no hint of a baby. We talked to Dr. Moretuzzo after that ultrasound about what was next. He said that most of the time this happens because of chromosomal issues. There are other things that could be happening as well. A couple of those things can mimic autoimmune disorders. So, Nick and I both had our blood drawn for chromosomes to see if there is anything coming from us. I also had blood drawn to check for those things that mimic autoimmune disorders. All of these tests will take a while to come back. I also had more blood drawn to check my liver enzymes. Thursday afternoon my labs came back. My hCG went up again (surprise, surprise) to 232. My liver enzymes were normal. Dr. Moretuzzo told us that we should proceed with the Methotrexate. 

Friday morning we went into the office. As we were sitting in the waiting room some lady walked in with her baby. Talk about a punch in the gut. Here I am losing my dream and it gets shoved in my face again. We finally got called back to the room. The nurse that called us back was way too bubbly. She was so happy. When she came back in the room with the consent, Nick and I were both crying. She asked if we were ok. I said no and she asked if it was the shot.  COME ON! really???  We have every right to be upset! I am losing my baby! A little more decorum would have been nice! 

Dr. Massellah, one of the other doctors in the practice, came in and talked to us about the Methotrexate. Then the nurse brought in the shots. Because it was so big I had to get two shots in my butt. The Methotrexate starts the process of causing the miscarriage. We were told that it could take a week to a month for my hCG level to completely go back to 0. Some people have bleeding as the level is dropping and some people don't' bleed until the level is all the way down to 0. I go back on Monday for another hCG draw. 

Today I started having some spotting. While I know that this is the goal, I still can't stand that it. I feel like we killed our baby. I know that isn't completely true and that this baby wasn't developing like it should but I am losing a part of me. I try to stay busy to keep my mind off of things, but it is always there. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Nightmare Continues

Never once in the last two and a half years have I wished for Aunt Flo to come with a vengeance. I do not want to miscarry this baby, however I also know that this is not a normal pregnancy. I know that this baby was and is not meant to be, but it kills me to know that we finally were able to get pregnant and I don't get to bring home a baby. I kept saying that all I wanted was to see the "pregnant" on a home pregnancy test. Perhaps I've been aiming too low. I guess I should be wishing for the baby at the end. That wish has always been there and been the final end, but I knew that we had to get through one step at a time. Well, this is just a cruel joke.

Last Monday (the 14th), our Hcg level was 15. We were told to stop our medications and I would miscarry, AF would come and the numbers would go down. I went back Thursday (the 17th) after work for another level. The level didn't come back until Friday morning. I got a page at work telling me that the labs were back. The level didn't go down like it was supposed to, it went up. It went up to 44. I was told that I needed to come into the office immediately. I had to leave work to go. We finally were able to get in for the appointment at 3:30 Friday afternoon. We couldn't see Dr. Moretuzzo since he wasn't in the office on Friday. We got to see Dr. Nash. He did an ultrasound. I should mention here that Thursday I started to have some spotting. Friday morning AF started in full force. I was having more than my normal period so I thought we were on our way to the end of this. So the ultrasound.... my uterine lining was thin and I had some cysts on my left ovary, which I was told was ok. There was no evidence of a baby. We were told about how normal Hcg levels are supposed to go (start lower, then increase at a doubling rate), how abnormal levels go (start at a normal level and then drop and continue to drop), and how the Hcg levels go in an ectopic pregnancy ( up and down and up and down). They wanted to see me so urgently because Dr. Nash thought I may be having an ectopic pregnancy. We got more blood drawn for another level to see if it had gone down. Once again the level wasn't drawn until late in the day and we didn't get results until Saturday. Finally the number had gone down like it was supposed to. Down to 30. I was happy. I thought that maybe we would be able to get on with this and we could find out what was next.

Then AF stopped. I have only had spotting since Sunday. We had another appointment today. I was able to see Dr. Moretuzzo this time. This appointment included another ultrasound. Once again he commented that my lining was thin and there were cysts on my left ovary. There was no evidence of any free fluid or that this was an ectopic pregnancy. Prior to leaving the room, Dr. M said that it looked like this should just resolve on its own and we shouldn't have to do anything surgical. He said we would just follow the Hcg levels until they reached 0. Well, I had more blood drawn for another level. This time the level came back the same day. Instead of continuing to go down like its supposed to, it went up. This time the level was 109. I was pissed. This was supposed to be over. I was supposed to be able to move on, to figure out why this happened and how to prevent it from happening again. Unfortunately this is not the end of this nightmare. I have to go back on Wednesday for another lab draw (hcg level). Then on Thursday we get to meet with Dr. Moretuzzo and hopefully get some answers.

I am struggling. I cry every night and by day try to be happy and normal. I have finally stopped answering the everyday question of "how are you doing" or "are you ok?" with "I'm ok." If you ask me the question, be prepared for an honest answer. I am not ok. I feel like I am sinking in quicksand and can't get myself out of it. I want this to be over so that we can move on and try again. Nothing ever seems to go right for us and apparently that includes miscarrying. We can't even do that right. The only thing keeping me sane is this:

For those who don't know, this is my fur baby, Marley. I love him to death. He knows when I am sad and need comforting. As I write this post he is on the couch right next to me. He is my rock, along with Nick. I will be alright in the end, but right now I'm not. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Third Time's a charm... or not...

I am sorry that I kept everyone in suspense, but I needed to have all the answers before I posted.

I was right. This cycle was different from the previous cycles. Throughout the days following the transfer I noticed that I felt different. Saturday October 5th I felt a pain in my left side and thought ok, here we go!  I had some cramps after that and felt good. Once again I tried not to analyze every "symptom" that I had. I felt queasy. I was having mild cramps. My breasts were getting bigger. (I know, TMI). Monday the 7th and Tuesday the 8th I had some light bleeding which I thought for sure was implantation bleeding.  I felt for sure that this cycle was different. With our previous ART cycles I couldn't resist taking a home pregnancy test before my blood test. Each and every time I was greeted with a "not pregnant" which was back up by the blood test. This time I kept myself from testing at home. Thursday October 10th we went in for our blood test. When we got home I took that home test... once again "not pregnant."  

We've been packing to move home, so I took a box and packed up all my left over medications. I thought ok it's over. Another round failed. I failed again. Little did I know what was in store for us.  We received a phone call from Michelle, the IVF nurse at the office. No great announcement "your pregnant," but a
"Well, we got a number." You see, when you have a blood test, they are test your HCG level. This level is supposed to double in 48-72 hours. On the day of your blood test (the day AF is supposed to come) the level should be around 50.  Anything above 5 is considered "Pregnant."  Well, mine was 7.

A number this low does not bode well for the pregnancy. It usually means what is called a "Chemical Pregnancy."  or an early miscarriage. It means that the embryo implanted in the uterine wall, but something is wrong. There have been times when a level this low just means that the embryo implanted later than it should have and the numbers just need more time to rise. So I dug my medications out of the box and stayed on my twice a day estrogen and Progesterone shots and cried for two days knowing this was all coming to an end.

The morning of October 12, I decided that I would take another home test just to see if the level rose enough to trigger the test. Then I would know if the level rose at all. I thought that the level would be at least above 50 since I did indeed get a "Pregnant" on the test. See...

Finally, I got my "pregnant." Well, the excitement was short lived.  I went in for another blood test Saturday, October 12 and patiently waited for my phone call. That call came about 12:30.  My level did rise, just not as much as I thought it did. This level was 11. Once again I was told that with levels like this, the pregnancies don't usually turn out well. How did the test pick up an HCG level that low? Well, apparently this particular test can turn positive up to 4 days before your period. Right about the time the HCG levels would be around 11. I was told to continue my medications and retest on Monday October 14th. 

Sunday I continued to feel pregnant. I was nauseated, tired, and my breasts hurt. Monday morning came and it was all gone. I felt like I wasn't pregnant anymore. There was no bloated feeling, I wasn't nauseated. Monday the 14th came around and we went in for the blood draw. Again, we patiently waited for the phone call. My HCG was 15. I will be stopping the progesterone and estrogen today. 

So, I am going to miscarry this baby, my dream. I am frustrated, devastated, and pissed off. I am done. I am done hoping or dreaming for anything. Nothing ever turns out right. All I've ever wanted is to be a mom. Now it seems like that is never going to happen. I feel like I am on an eternal roller coaster ride. One that never lets me off. 

They are going to continue to watch my HCG levels until they return to 0. Then all trace of the baby will be gone and we can start trying again. Well technically I think we are supposed to wait a couple of cycles.  We will have our follow up meeting with Dr. M on October 24th.  I have been doing a lot of research on the topic of chemical pregnancies. I have a lot of questions for him.  Hopefully we will get some answers. 

We still have 6 embabies that are frozen here in Akron. When we move back to Indiana, get settled, and are ready to start this process again they will be transferred to their new home in Indianapolis. It's been a long 2 1/2 years already, what another 6 months to a year, right?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

And The Wait Begins (1dp5dt)

I have to say that I am forever grateful for this experience that we've gone through. Did I wish to go through this? No. But through this process I have found out many things about myself. I hate being patient, I am an instant satisfaction kind of person. Seriously, I thought that it would be no big deal to get pregnant. I mean seriously, if everything had gone like it was supposed to I would have a 1 year old right now. I guess all good things to those who wait, right? Here's hoping! Another thing that I have found during this experience that I am gluten sensitive. Now who's to say that I wouldn't have figured this out in the future, but now I know and have changed my lifestyle to reflect it.

So transfer yesterday went off without a hitch. When we arrived at the office we were whisked into the the "recovery room" and talked to the embryologist about our embryos. We had gotten a call on Sunday letting us know that all 16 of the ones that fertilized were right on track. Yesterday we were told that one had pretty much fizzled out and we were left with 15. Of those 15 they had picked out 2 really good looking embryos. They grade on a scale that looks at the the inner cell mass (the part that becomes the baby), the trophectoderm (the outer cells) and how expanded the embryos are. The two that we were able to put back were 5AA and 5BA. Those are the best you can get!

The embryologist brought up the possibility of transferring a third embryo back. Its funny because Nick and I had been talking about that for a couple of days. The only reason we were contemplating it was to give us better odds of getting pregnant. Turns out that with transferring 1 you have a 30% chance of being pregnant, transferring 2 you have a 50% chance. Adding a 3rd only brings your chances up to 58%.  Transferring 3 embryos gives you a 5-7% chance of having triplets. It looked like we were going to have quite a few to freeze for later use, so we decided that we would just transfer 2 this time and then there would be embryos for the future if we needed them.

I felt ok yesterday, except for a few times when I had pain going through my abdomen which come to find out was probably gas pains. I still have big ovaries so I can feel those at times too. But overall I feel pretty good. I am continuing to be shot with progesterone in oil (PIO) shots every night and take estrogen pills twice a day.

This morning we got a call from the embryologist. They were able to freeze 3 embryos yesterday and 3 more today. Folks that means we have 6 frozen embryos for the future! Talk about excited!  I am having a hard time not being excited about this cycle. Everything has gone so well, even above and beyond what we expected. I can't help not thinking that this is going to work. Once again we are back to my being an instant satisfaction girl!  Only time will tell!