Things that are Disheartening Doctor News

Friday, August 26

Shortly after I got my big fat negative (BFN), Chase and I met back with our doctor. He sat us down and said that he was very sorry that this cycle didn't work.

Unfortunately he didn't have good news for us. At least for me anyways...

He said:

- My egg quality sucks
- There are 5 ways to bring a baby to our family; an egg donor, embryo adoption, adoption, sperm donor, our own embryos
- The Depo-Lupron shots didn't work, they had a reverse affect (got 5 instead of the number increasing)
- My egg quality is probably well past its prime based on the number of follicles I had during this cycle

His recommendation was for us to either use an egg donor, adopt embryos, and/or adopt.

Basically, any direction we go I won't have a biological child that is genetically linked to me. They can potentially be linked to Chase if we use an egg donor. Or not be linked at all if we adopt embryos or adopt a newborn baby. That has been extremely hard for me to process, and that has been extremely hard for me to understand. "Why me?," "Why can't I have children?," is what I keep asking myself and praying about. Right now, I don't know what God's plans are for me and Chase, but what I have learned is that I still need to have faith that He will lead and guide us down the path we need to go.

I feel like my last few posts have been a bit negative. I guess this part of the journey is quite negative, and it's sometimes so hard to stay positive for everyone when inside I feel like I'm breaking. Because it has been so negative the one positive out of all of this is that I have had SO much support these past few weeks. My friends and family have really made an effort with sending texts and tagging me with positive quotes of staying strong and keeping the faith. That has helped my attitude change (along with taking niacin again) and remembering that I need to have a deeper love and connection with God. Because He is ultimately the one that will help heal mine and Chase's hearts.

And to leave you with a positive note here's one of my favorite quotes:

Our journey is not over but for now it is on hold as we continue to learn patience and learn to trust God.
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Things that are Moving Past a BFN

Tuesday, August 16

The two week wait was pretty long. I don't think I have ever wanted the time to move faster than those two weeks. Chase was also gone for almost a week of that, so that made the time go by even slower.

I tried staying positive and being mindful of what my body was going through. I had told a friend that I have felt like I had been in a fog (like a medicated one) and that I was trying hard not to think about the embabies or whats been going on with my body. Mainly, so I didn't think anything negative towards the cycle failing and putting myself into depression. She said to stay strong and that we all have trials that test us to our absolute limit. She also said to to have faith and trust in God, and He's preparing us for our ultimate reward.

Friday I was one of the first blood draws for the day. I waited and tried not to think about it, tried to keep my mind off of things (listen to podcasts, think about this upcoming weekend, think about how I would keep it a secret from everyone), and tried to work hard at work to distract myself. I had this feeling that they weren't going to call until I was home without others around. We didn't get the call until 6:30pm.

"Your test result was negative, I'm so sorry"

This was probably one of the hardest phone call to hear, and I'm sure it was hard for the nurse to give it, too. My beta was 0.25 essentially 0, that means I didn't even get pregnant.

As I write this I'm already bleeding and in a lot of pain. 3 months of not having a period, my body is definitely vengeful.  We have an upcoming meeting with our RE to discuss what happened.

We are both so done with getting negatives... after 7 years of actively trying, going through 6-IUI's and now 2-IVF's I would say we are tired of seeing countless negatives. It definitely makes it extremely hard when we paid $14,000 and got nothing for it. That's like paying for a gently used ($14,000) car and not getting to be able to use it or even own the car.

my mantra through life

So, what's next?

Well I told Chase that if things in this cycle don't work out, then I want our next goal to be for us to become debt free. It's been a tough year for us while doing 2-IVF cycles, and saving up in cash to pay for one of them, while trying to stay sane, and stay married. We decided that we need a break to strengthen our marriage and work at achieving our goal together.
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Things that are IVF Part 2: Embryo Transfer

Friday, August 12

So after Egg Retrieval (ER), I was feeling okay. Not the best, but not the worst. I knew the next day would be worse then ER day (maybe it's the drugs from anesthesia).

I decided I would work at least half a day. That was probably the worst idea because being on my feet and moving around probably wasn't what my body needed. It definitely needed rest. I think if we ever have to do this again I will be sure to take 2 days off for ER.

The day after Egg Retrieval I waited to hear from the embryologist to tell us our fertilization report. Unfortunately, of the 5 eggs that they retrieved, only 4 were mature, and only 2 fertilized. I was/am heartbroken from hearing the news. Why only 2?! Why couldn't all 4 fertilize?!

The clinic called later that night, and we set things up for a day 3 transfer.
This is me on Valium taking a selfie

Transfer was scheduled for Saturday July 30 at 8:00AM, and I happened to be his first patient. I took my Valium at 7:30, and got to the clinic at 7:45. By that point I was feelin' good! If you know what I mean! We spoke to our RE before the procedure and we knew we were gonna transfer both embryos. That would give us our best shot once again. My uterus did great, and they put the embryos where they needed to be. I told my RE that I was still cramping a lot post ER, so he prescribed me more Valium. yippie! ;) They require you to lay there flat (no instruments in place) for about 10 minutes. The nurse gave me instructions on what to do next, with starting nightly suppositories, heparin twice a day, and morning PIO shots as well as including when my beta pregnancy test would be.

I took the Valium per doctors orders (and Tylenol) for 2 days after embryo transfer. I slept most of the time. Which is great, and I didn't need a lot of people taking care of me.

our day 3 embryos

So now that is over, Chase and I set out to be in the waiting game. It actually went much slower than I expected. I think it goes slow for everyone that is in the #2ww. I focused on being mindful and tried really hard not to think about my upcoming beta test.

2ww shave ice

We decided that we were not going to tell anyone the results. We wanted to keep it between us, for now. I felt like I needed to have some control over this whole process again. My thought is, you wouldn't tell friends and family, until what - week 10? If you're a normal couple and don't have to go through this process, would you tell family and friends after your first initial pregnancy test? I don't think so, so why should I have to divulge my first pregnancy test?

Finally able to walk after my "princess days" were done
 I also felt like last IVF round it was up and down for me and for everyone I told. It was "well I'm pregnant but... my numbers are really low," and "we are trying to stay cautiously optimistic." It was really hard for me to tell everyone (over and over again) and was a constant up and down for me. My soul didn't need that to happen, and it broke my heart every time, and every person I told. What I needed was for me and Chase to stay positive, have faith and trust in God.

We are so beyond grateful for all the love, support, the many prayers and positive thoughts from our friends/family during this whole process. 

Things that are IVF Take 2: Injections, & Egg Retrieval

Tuesday, August 9

I'll be honest, ever since I had my breakdown after meeting with my coordinator I haven't quite been "in this" cycle. I have been trying to take things day to day rather than seeking what lies ahead. I didn't keep track of how many follicles I had or what my estrogen was at mainly because I didn't feel like there was this "need" to keep up with it. Yes I prayed extra hard that there would be more than 5 follicles retrieved, but that was pretty much the extent of it.

Like last time I kept a journal of how many times I went in for appointments. There were ultrasounds with "wanda" as No Bun In The Oven would say, as well as a blood draw to check my estrogen at each appointment.
This box was huge with all my meds, sans meds

My schedule for daily shots were:

225 Gonalf
150 Gonalf
1ml Menopur

I did daily shots for 12.5 days. From July 12-25, then I triggered ovulation at 1:00AM on Monday, for a Wednesday 1:00PM egg retrieval.

Day 4 of my stims (what are called stimulations, because the ovaries are being overstimulated) my body decided it wanted to start bleeding. I was devastated! I thought the cycle was over, and that I was just going to be wasting all of this money on meds when my uterine lining wasn't gonna be perfect (because that's what breaks down with each period). And of course this happened on a weekend! I called our awesome on-call nurse and she said she would get me in for an appointment. Well... crisis averted my lining was fine and I got put back on estrace (estradial) and I started taking it twice a day to help the bleeding stop, and it did after a few days. **Remember I've had no estrogen in me, and then all of a sudden I'm pumping myself full of it (stims & estrace)!**

Towards the end of the 12 days my follicles weren't responding as well to all the injections as the should have been. I kept hoping that "today is the day," for egg retrieval, but it never was. I went into my clinic for 6 days in a row. That meant me and my not so lovely friend "wanda"got to meet for 6 days straight, as well as my arm being bruised and sore from being poked to check my estrogen levels. Lets be real - I was pretty stinking upset at my body for not responding the way that it was supposed to.

I was a little nervous for Egg Retrieval. With having done it before, I felt it shouldn't be that big of a deal. It was the fact that I would be put under anesthesia once again, that made me nervous. I got a blessing from Chase to help calm me down, and it helped a lot.

Egg Retrieval (ER) wasn't until 1PM and I had to fast from 5AM to 1PM. So I got up at 4:30AM and had a few bowls of cereal and milk, then went back to bed. I didn't get back to the ER room until 1:30, got poked twice for an IV line, and didn't wear my socks because I was hot. My RE, the anesthesiologist, and one of the nurses all had hair caps on, and I said "what, I don't get to wear one?!" So they got me a cap and they put it on me, because I couldn't reach my head. haha

It took them 20 minutes, and only remember getting the oxygen mask put on my face. I was told that I may have some spotting because I started bleeding a little after they retrieved the eggs. My RE came in and told me that he was only able to retrieve 5 eggs. They found several other follicles, but they had no eggs in them (which can be a factor of having low ovarian reserve). He mentioned doing a day 3 transfer instead of a day 5. He said the only reason to do a day 5 would be if we had more embryos, so they could grade them, and put the best quality embryos back in. After speaking to him we both were a little bummed, but put our trust in his knowledge.

hat that is partway on
After we left the clinic and headed to Cafe Rio to get some much needed food, and since Chase didn't want to eat in front of me. We also felt we both needed something than what we had at home. We got home and both were exhausted from such a day so we took a nap, and waited for me to get the fertilization report the next day.
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Things that are Cheap Meals

Tuesday, August 2

Last September Chase and I decided we were going to get out of debt, and figured it would take about 9 months. Chase started driving for Uber and we reduced our food budget significantly. We cut our 'eating out' budget to $0 and for a while I cut our 'clothing' budget to give us a little more money to work with.

Before we had decided to get out of debt we already had planned on going to Disney World for me to run The Dopey Challenge. So while reducing our budget we were also in the process of saving for IVF. I know it sounds like we were doing too many things. But any money left over from our trip would help us pay for IVF.

I cut our monthly food budget to $100 a month. When I first pulled half of it out ($50) I got really scared, I was scared this wasn't going to work and we wouldn't have enough food money to get us by. After pondering why I was scared about us doing something good, I realized that my scared feelings were coming from someone who wanted to destroy my faith, my hope and dreams of becoming debt free: Satan. Once I realized where those thoughts and feelings were coming from, my mindset changed, and I had more confidence.

I figured if we could go at least a year with living super cheap and eating as "clean" as we could on that budget it would be worth it in the end. What's a year of eating poorly compared to the years to come? With a statistical standpoint it's not very significant. 

I started budgeting roughly for every 2 weeks (give or take) based on when we got paid. That helped keep us on track since I pull money out and put it in envelopes.

These are some of our meals that we've had:

-Oatmeal, PB and Brown Sugar (every day), it's also what we used to eat when trying to lose weight last year and its super cheap.
-Egg white French Toast (on the weekends)
-Egg white omelet with salsa or sriracha sauce

-Sandwiches (I prefer PB and Honey)
-Cottage cheese and carrots
-Chase goes home for lunch so it's whatever he can find or make

-Top Ramen - with added mixed frozen veggies and black beans for protein - sounds disgusting, but it's not too bad.
-Tunafish sandwiches with apples, celery and pickles. I've also added mashed chickpeas for even more protein. Which you could probably do if you are vegan or vegetarian.
-Macaroni and Cheese and then I started adding chili, and this last time I added diced tomatoes.
-Bean and Cheese Burritos (using dried beans).
-Pasta, spaghetti sauce and one time I mashed up lentils for in the sauce. Probably should have blended them, but I wanted some protein in with the carbs we were eating. I also used frozen broccoli to go on top.
-Rice, beans and hot dogs or kielbasa with some butter, garlic, and salt.
-Brussel sprouts (Or broccoli) with hot dogs or kielbasa. We like to use this balsamic glaze from Trader Joes on it.

I like to switch it up every few weeks and rotate through my Pinterest feed to find new cheap recipes and add my own frugality to it.  Whether that be using rice (we always use brown rice) instead of quinoa (which is expensive), or using beans in place of meat.

It has helped a lot to only cook 3-4 meals in a 2 week period and just repeat them. For example:
Monday: Ramen with veggies
Tuesday: Tuna fish sandwiches
Wednesday: Mac N Cheese
Thursday: Ramen with veggies
Friday: Tuna fish sandwiches
Saturday: Burgers and veggies on the grill
Sunday: Beans and Rice

I try and buy veggies and fruit when I can, but I also try and keep it as cheap as possible. Before this we used to spend $200+ on food for just the two of us. Now it's roughly $100-$120.

We are determined to get out of debt, and we were determined to save up all $12-14,000 for IVF. We have accomplished our savings goal for paying cash for IVF and are now back on track to pay off our other debt.

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: @runningwithinfertility1
Pinterest: Running with Infertility
Twitter: @runwinfertility
Bloglovin': Running with Infertility
Facebook: Running with Infertility