Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our story...Up until today...

Where to begin?  … I started a written journal this past June, just as we were beginning fertility treatments.  I found journaling to be quite therapeutic, but I also found that my hand cramped and my writing became illegible with some of my lengthier entries.  J  Typing seemed a much better way to get my thoughts out.  I was inspired by a friend of mine who is also struggling with infertility to create a blog.  This is all totally new to me, but if my journal entries make even one other person out there feel better, then I feel this is all worthwhile.
Our Infertility Struggle—The Reader’s Digest Version
Our first two children were conceived very easy 10 yrs. and 7 yrs. ago.  When we decided to try for a third child last year, we got pregnant again very quickly.  I miscarried at six weeks and we were devastated.  My first two pregnancies had gone beautifully and I guess I never imagined that a miscarriage was even a possibility.  I went through quite a bit of depression after the miscarriage, but we marched forward and tried to get pregnant again right away.  No such luck.  After several unsuccessful cycles, lots of blood and saliva tests for my husband and myself, some hormone replacement help, two semen analyses, and an HSG (a test to see if tubes are clear), we decided to leave our regular OB and move on to a fertility specialist. 
Fast forward to June 2011—We met with Dr. Jarrett, a reproductive endocrinologist, and felt that he was a great “fit” for us.  After looking over all of our tests and records, he recommended that we try ovulation induction (OI) with IUI (intrauterine insemination).  Even though I have incredibly regular cycles and had no issues conceiving in the past, he believes that I’m no longer “ovulating well” (his words).  I’m only 33, but apparently it is not uncommon for women to begin to quit ovulating (even though they have regular cycles and even positive ovulation tests) in their thirties. 
We started our first medicated cycle almost immediately.  I began taking Femara (Letrozole) a drug that is actually intended for post-menopausal women who have had breast cancer.  (Strangely enough, my husband works for a drug company that makes this medication—and NO, we don’t get it for free!) After five days of Femara, we began injections of Follistim at home.  Follistim is intended to make a women produce multiple eggs in hopes of increasing conception odds.  Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a fan of needles.  I told myself that these needles were teeny-tiny, though, and was determined to give the injections to myself.  My husband and I carefully prepared the injection, following the directions on the typed sheet as if we were preparing to conduct brain surgery, and I sat down on a stool to give the injection to myself.  I remember aiming the needle at my stomach, but don’t remember much else.  I woke up on the floor with my husband trying to shake me awake.  In my cockiness to give myself an injection, I had passed out!
Any way, we proceeded with the injections as planned (my wonderful husband became a pro with those needles) and I went for an ultrasound on day 10 of my cycle as planned.  The ultrasound was intended to check on the size and number of the follicles.  Ideally, the RE wanted to see 2 or 3, maybe even four follicles.  Well…. I had nine follicles.  I’ve always been called an overachiever, but this was one department I wasn’t supposed to over-achieve in!  My cycle was cancelled and again we faced a lot of disappointment.  We had already put a lot of money, time and emotions into this cycle.  They gave me a drug called Provera to basically end my cycle and I was sent home to let my baseball-sized ovaries rest and return to normal. 
Fast forward to August 2011-  After a 7 week resting period, we got to start a new medicated cycle.  This time, they decreased the amount of medication in each injection and I produced six follicles, with only one follicle maturing.  One is not ideal, but it is better than none.  We proceeded with the IUI and began the terrible two week wait.
I’m supposed to go in for a blood test this Friday to check for pregnancy, but the multiple urine pregnancy tests that I’ve taken at home have been negative.  I’m not pregnant—again.    L