Saturday, November 21, 2015

I was crazy to hope

Still no period and I am officially late, but the pre-period spotting started earlier this evening so I have no doubt I'll start tomorrow morning.

I broke down and tested on an old cheapie on Friday and it was negative. So there's no point in hoping now.

Thanks for the support y'all!

So onwards and upwards...

Donor #4 has confirmed her availability in Jan / Feb of 2016. However... Given the employment situation that date will probably need to be pushed out some more. We can't hold Donor #4 unless we pay a $1,500 deposit and we're just not comfortable putting that much down until we're sure what will happen with the hubs' job. We're trying to schedule a consult with Dr Prague for December - preferably not one of the 4am time slots they keep offering us.

So that's our news. I promise I'll catch up on everyone's blogs this week. I've been so out of the loop!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Donor Options

Still waiting to see what comes of our whirlwind ovulation weekend.  Any signs I had earlier this week are now well and truly gone, no more cramping, no more nipple pain, no more colorful CM - nada.  So I am fully expecting my period on Saturday. Not going to bother testing before then.

In brighter news I had an email from our Prague clinic rep today.  The doctor is satisfied with our pre-screening results and is ready to move forward.  But there's a new snag in the works.  The hubs lost his work contract and with the holidays no one is hiring in his field until the new year.  Ugh... So while we have most of the Prague funds ready to go, we kind of need to hang on to them to see what happens work-wise with him.  BIG bummer.  Also, not super keen on trying to cycle in Europe in December... given the cost of flights, etc over the holidays.  So I've asked if we can postpone until the new year.

Unfortunately, she also sent me a list of our donor options which of course has me all excited, but I doubt they're all going to still be available when we're ready to cycle.  I know they really dug deep to get me any kind of wavy/curly haired donors with my blood group options, and I believe these are the only ones they have because two of our options are completely not at all close to what we requested aside from being O+ and having slightly wavy hair.

BUT... the beauty of having limited options is that the clear winner is easier to pick and boy Donor #4 is almost perfect!!  I have some concerns about her age - she is 29, which to normal people is perfectly healthy reproductive age, but I know that my battle with infertility started at 28, so in my mind there's a chance that she also has issues.  (We won't know if she already has any children).  She is tall at 5'10, has blue eyes and curly blonde hair and has the same blood group as the hubs (O-) I am O+ so we were happy with any O blood group.  We have similar hobbies and interests, though apparently she has a greener thumb than I do.

The fact that her description says "Curly" is significant to me because they seem to take the difference between "curly", "wavy" and "slightly wavy" pretty seriously.  Her hair is listed as "curly" which made me very happy.

Donor #1 was "a'ight" tall-ish, O+, wavy - brown hair.  She will be a good second choice, but Donor #4 is so perfect that I think she makes #1 seem less ideal than she probably really is.

Sooooo... Obviously we have a winner, but the question is, who will be available in the new year?? I guess we'll let fate decide how this all plays out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

All Aboard the Crazy Train

Quick recap:  Thur 11/5 (CD12)  u/s showed two 15mm follies on left side.  Sounded promising so we decided to put a little extra effort into sex over the next few days.

"A little extra effort" turned into the kind of mania one would expect from someone who has been actively trying to get pregnant for ten years... We did it 5 times over 3 days and I spent most of the weekend in bed with my hips raised.  So yeah, you know... we took the "don't stress over it, but let's see what happens" approach. haha

I THINK I O'ed on Sat 11/7 because I had some brown spots which sometimes happen mid-cycle.

Nipple pain started on 11/10

Today I've had very mild cramps -- a lot like my pre-period cramps but it's way too early for that CD18.  I have 10 days before I am due.

BUT... ten minutes ago I had for the first time in my life PINK CM.  I've had what I thought was pink cm before but it was more brown than this.  This was bright pink, and translucent and plentiful.  BUT... I am only 4DPO... maybe 5DPO... or maybe this is because I am O'ing today?

I swear I took a picture to show the hubs... but then I deleted it thinking I've probably scarred our sex-life enough this week...

Thoughts? (Aside from "Calm the F down")  Pink is good right?  I'm a freak...  cramps + pink = AF.

I am pre-menopausal.  My body has decided to start playing with my regular period time-lines.  This could be residual follicle fluid.  I probably damaged my insides with all the hand stands and sex marathon.

Shit!  Should I take Estrogen?  Progesterone?  I have a ton left over from my IVF cycles.  Is that considered self-medicating?

I need to calm the F down... 11/21 is a LONG way off.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

DEIVF Pre-Screening Complete

It's been a crazy few weeks... we're still dealing with my father in law in hospital, the hubs lost his work contract and now we're concerned about needing to use our donor cycle savings to float us until his next contract comes in but I've soldiered on in faith and we've now completed all of the pre-screening tests required before we can speak to our doctor in Prague for an initial consult.

We've had some surprisingly good news:

Mr R's 10 month post vasectomy reversal SA came back good.  There are swimmers present, and from what I can understand of his numbers his motility is "low average" and his count is too.  Still... low average is better than a big fat 0, so now we feel more like we're in with a chance for natural.  At any rate, his numbers are such that we can save ourselves the $1,700 needed for TESE in Prague, so that's a plus too.

I had the weirdest period this month.  It was 3 days late and I will be honest, I had the daydreams... but I refused to test until I was a week late - I am NEVER late, so this was highly unusual.  On CD 31 i started spotting, and on I had one day of regular flow, one day of my usual extreme cramping, doubled over, stay in bed kind of flow and then it just stopped.... I normally have 1 day of light, 3 days of ridiculous, 1 day of light and we're done.  This month it was just 2 days and done after being 3 days late... so of course my little day dream started again, but I didn't give it any much air time and carried on about my business knowing that I had a CD12 u/s scheduled for DEIVF pre-screening purposes and if there was anything exciting going on in there I'd find out soon enough.

Today, CD 12, I was a bundle of nerves walking into the clinic.  I hated sitting in that waiting room again.  Luckily I had a new u/s tech so I didn't have to do the whole "ohhhh you're still here, I am so sorry it hasn't worked out for y'all" talk.  This lady didn't know me from a bar of soap and she also apparently had no clue what the reason for my check-up was.  She announced that my lining was triamilar and perfect and as she checked my ovaries she announced "Oh you have two great follies on the left, you're probably going to trigger in the next day or two!"  Apparently I have 2 15mm follies on the left.  She seemed to think we were IUI patients, and since she pronounced my insides to be in perfect order for an IUI cycle at CD12 I thought I would Google what the ideal was...

Here's what I don't understand... from what I am reading online these women who are on Chlomid and on CD 12 have on average 2-3 follies of between 10 and 18mm... Here I am with my useless ovaries, non existent AMH and my too-high FSH and I have 2 15mm au naturale follies.  Is this a good thing?  Should Mr R and I clear our schedules and spend the next 4 days in bed?  Am I crazy to even think that we have a chance here after 4 failed IVF cycles?

For all I know the playing field looks this good every month - I've only ever seen it pumped up on drugs - and we've never been successful before so what would make this month any different, just because I am aware of what's going on in there.

Ugh... I just read through my cycle history and brought myself back down to earth... I could be showing 100 follies at 15mm today and all of them could release this weekend and the odds of me getting pregnant are still miniscule since my damn eggs are all dodgy.  Bleurgh...   I am going to go and clean something and stop thinking about this crap...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Long Overdue Update

It's been a long time internet!  MUCH longer than I expected.  Since our BFN in December I pretty much lost the plot.... I literally had a total meltdown and just couldn't do this any more.  I needed a complete break.  I needed to forget about all things baby related and just focus on myself, my marriage, my family and friends and frankly get my life back in order... Initially I started looking into DE options, but I was still struggling with that decision.  I just wasn't sure that I wanted to put myself through any more disappointment, but mostly I had yet to fully mourn my dream of having a child who is a genetic match for myself.

Over the months I have to admit, I even started seeing the "silver lining" of life without kids.  "Can I meet you for a drink in an hour? Sure!  I don't have to arrange child care or anything."  "You want to take a spur of the moment road trip to Louisiana? Let me grab my purse!" I focused on those thoughts for a couple of months, but the sadness continued to hit me when I least expected it .  If you're reading this blog I am guessing that you know exactly the kind of sadness I am talking about... the sadness that rises up from deep inside and burns it's way up your body until it breaks out in a deep, loud sob complete with hot sweats and shaking.  The kind that causes your palms to tingle and your eyes to burn when someone asks an innocent question like, "How many kids do you have?" (Though I did once manage to try on a new reply to this question, "None."  Not expecting the third degree that would follow:  "None?? Why not?"  "I just don't want any." "But kids are awesome!  I can't imagine my life with out my kids." <-- yeah, so that went well.  It still ended with me hysterically crying and almost walking out with an incomplete set of acrylic nails.... Ohhhh the joys of infertility!)

So yeah... despite now being able to see the benefits of a child-free life, I am clearly not ready to accept that as my "fate".  I am recovered from the fog.  I've lost 20 of the 40 pounds I gained last year and I am ready to dust off, and move forward with the new plan... Donor IVF.

I've asked around and done some of my own research on our options and for us the best option is European donor cycle.  We've chosen a clinic in Prague which has a great guarantee program, awesome pricing, and seem very willing to work with me on my biggest issue which is finding a donor with curly hair.

My only real issue with this clinic is that the Dr (we will call him Dr. Prague for the purposes of this blog) will not do an initial Skype consultation with us until we've done some of the preliminary screening tests he has requested.  Given that it's been over 2 years since we last did some of these tests we need to repeat them and this is taking some time.  He also wants my records from Dr. S's office which I thought was going to be a simple thing to get to him -- uh, no... 4 IVF cycles, 4 TESE procedures and a laparoscopy seem to have created well over 100 pages of records which now need to be scanned (by me) and sent on to Prague.

Additionally, though I made certain that my local RE office would be willing to do monitoring appointments for an overseas cycle after reading about other's experience with this issue - they are now saying that they will do ONLY monitoring appointments after the cycle begins, and they will ONLY do these with an order from Dr. Prague.  They are unwilling to do any of the pre-screening tests for us. I emailed them back and what I wanted to say was, "I am shocked that after spending about $80,000 with your practice you are unwilling to help us move into this new option - even though we are more than willing to pay for these services!"  I reworded the message several times before sending... in the end it sounded more like "Boy, well that's upsetting.  Since we started this journey with <RE-NAME> we really had hoped to follow through with you to the (hopefully) happy end.  I was under the impression that we were partners in this, and it saddens me to think that we are on our own now."  Thankfully they responded to let me know that after some discussion they have decided to make an exception for us and then listed several criteria that we need to meet, but basically, yes, they will do pre-screening and monitoring for us.

Phew!  So that's where we are now... running about getting tests done, checking on the success of the vasectomy reversal surgery - hopefully Mr R won't need another (5th) TESE in Prague as there they do it under general anesthetic and it will confuse matters - plus, you know... it would suck for him.  And finally I'll probably be stationed at our manual, one-page-at-a-time scanner all weekend digitizing our medical reports to send to Dr. Prague on Monday.

Mentally, I guess I am excited about DE now.  I am still sad at the loss of genetic children, but I've decided for certain that I don't want to be childless.  The success rates at the Prague clinic are encouraging -- maybe too encouraging -- 63% success with single embryo transfer which rises to 70% with two.  I have caught myself browsing baby gear online while picking out a gift for a friend's toddler.  I had to stop myself from saying out loud what I was thinking when moving furniture around between our two spare bedrooms.  I couldn't bring myself to stop discussing baby names with Mr. R, though... I am human after all.