FET Monitoring: Part 1

My outlook for this FET cycle is completely different than our fresh IVF.

Today, I had an ultrasound appointment at 9:30 am and needed to get my Estradiol levels checked before then. Instead of getting in line at the blood lab at 6:30 am, I decided it is counter-productive to go so early. You almost end up waiting longer and lose out on valuable sleep time. There’s really no point to rushing in. From my experience, as long as I get my blood work done by the mid-morning pick up, they always receive the results by end of day.

I got to the blood lab at 7:30 am this morning and waited just under an hour until my number was called. They front-desk recognized me immediately. I’m well known at this location after my need for recurring blood draws during our ectopic pregnancy. Each tech knows whether or not they can success with my difficult veins. You know because as if having fertility issues isn’t enough, I also have horrible veins! 

Today, a tech decided to try me even though she often passes. Well today, SHE GOT ME ON THE FIRST POKE! We both were so excited! This was my first ever positive experience when getting my blood drawn. The tech commented about how this was the fastest they had ever done me. I told her she completely made my day!

I arrived 15 minutes before my scheduled ultrasound. As I waited, the room slowly filled up with more and more pregnant couples. Instead of focusing on “what they have and I don’t”, I decided to enjoy the music and look at the art on the walls. A few deep breaths brought me back to a mindful state and I was called in for my scan right on time (I swear that NEVER happens!). 

It’s a well known fact that most techs at the ultrasound lab are complete morons when it comes to fertility treatments. Today, I actually got a tech who knew about IVF. She was curious about my FET protocol, so I explained it to her as she did her inspection with the dildo wand. It’s also standard that the tech DOES NOT relay information to you, but she was kind enough to tell me that my largest follicle was in the 10mm range. She said my lining looked great and was well on it’s way to being ready.

I’m relieved at how well this morning went and hoping it’s a sign for good things to come. 🙂

I always ovulate later on a natural cycle. My clinic has tentatively scheduled my transfer for January 27, but I’m guessing it definitely be a few days later.

Right now, I’m just waiting for them to email me confirming today’s results and my next steps….

Happy Monday!

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Another curve ball on the journey to baby

As we all know too well, this fertility journey can be unpredictable. 

We had our 1st monitoring appointment at the clinic today. Turns out, I’m responding VERY well to the drugs. I expected the opposite since my AMH count showed I was low fertility and therefore considered as diminished ovarian reserve. I wish I had said more as I had a hunch I would stimulate better than they expected. 

My follicle count is 29 – 18 on the left, 11 on the right. 

The downside is my estrogen is WAY TOO HIGH and rapidly increasing. 

On CD1, I started out with an estradiol count of 183. 

On CD6 (Monday), my estradiol was 3703. 

On CD8 (today), my estradiol is 5980. 

This puts me at high risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). The clinic has advised that we do a freeze all cycle and return in 2 months for a FET. 

Sad face

This is my “I’m disappointed” face

Although this is disappointing, I know that my health and safety is not worth the risk of transferring (even with a CD8 lining of 9.6 mm). 

I’m still praying for a miracle (meaning rapidly declining estrogen levels). Since that’s highly unlikely, we are just hoping for a successful retrieval with a few high grade, beautiful embryos on ice awaiting our return. 

I’m going back tomorrow morning for another blood test and ultrasound. My RE thinks the retrieval will be Sunday. 

Right now, my biggest side effects are bloat, swollen ovaries and slow walking due to swollen ovaries. I’m still getting tired easily if I do too much. My husband is pretty adamant that I take care of myself (meaning I’m not getting many opportunities to go shopping. haha) I’m actually feeling really emotionally stable. This taking things one step at a time is really helping. 

As much as we received some unexpected news today, I am still grateful that we have a good chance at quite a few eggs. 

I’m also grateful for: 

  • Gluten-free chocolate cupcakes – a must-have after today’s news. MMMMMmmmmmm good
  • The dog park beside the ocean at the end of our street which my husband drives me to
  • Maxi dresses to hide the bloat
Maxi dresses and an ocean-side dog park = best things ever

Maxi dresses and an ocean-side dog park = best things ever

For those of you who have been through similar scenarios:

  • What do you recommend to prepare for retrieval?
  • Is there anything I can do now to decrease my chances of OHSS?
  • What other advice do you have about OHSS? 

Let’s get this (early morning) IVF party started with blood work and an ultrasound

I am a sleeper and I am NOT a morning person. 

Today, I woke up at 5 am. WTF, seriously Lindsey? 

Whenever something is on my mind, or I have to be somewhere earlier than usual, my body goes into hyper awake mode. I often think it’s so that I don’t sleep through my appointment. Anyway, it sucks especially when it may be a 5:50 am flight (except I’m awake at 1:00 am) or in this case, 7:30 am blood work except I’m awake at 5:00 am. 

My husband offered to stay home and take me to my appointments. With our IVF trip and harvest coming up, he has zero paid time off left, so I told him no. Thanks, but right now, I’m more about the benjamins, baby. 

This morning, I’m getting my blood work done, followed by my ultrasound (with a full bladder I must add). 

Getting my blood work done is an experience I HAVE to prepare myself for because: 

  1. Old people drive me nuts
  2. Old people line up at least 1/2 hour before the lab opens outside the door
  3. I need my blood work done ASAP this morning
  4. That means I’ll be waiting in line with these old folks

I’m going to make myself a big peppermint tea and find some sense of humour or delight in watching the old folks this morning. 

Last time I had an ultrasound done at this location, they were running over 1/2 an hour behind. They did have some good oldies tunes playing on the radio though. Hopefully, my bladder and I can make it through it. 

I’m truly looking forward to when we arrive at the clinic and have our monitoring done there. 6 days to go… 

My affirmation for today is: Everything will go smoothly with my IVF process. 

Deep breath Lindsey. 

It’s trigger time: game on baby!

CD11. Trigger Day. 

Today, I had my first follicle monitoring ultrasound of this cycle. Back to the OB/GYN since she’s not on vacation anymore. 

And the results are AH-MA-Zing! My left side is dominant this month with a 20 and a 15. My right has a 12 and two 11’s. 

A 20?!?!?! I’ve never seen one that big on an ultrasound yet.

It’s funny how us (in)fertiles are amazed at the biggest little things. 

This month, I got an extra dose of Clomid crazy. My husband is ready to throw the fertility drugs out the window. I have been extremely irritable, emotional, and just downright bitchy. My ovaries are also swollen and sore, almost comparable but not quite as bad as the December cycle. 

I knew there must be a pay off! And it turns out a nice juicy follicle is it! Are follicles juicy? How would you describe them? Lush? Round? bah! whatever. 

I do my HCG trigger shot at midnight tonight. Whoohoo! And for once, I mean WHOHOO! Trigger shots are not comparable to liquor shots, but I’m still excited. Let’s get this show on the road.  

IUI #2 is scheduled for Wednesday. Him at 11am, me at 12:30pm. 

I’m hoping for a easy rest of the week. Work is crazy busy right now, but I’m trying my best to let it go and focus on maintaining a consistent level of sanity. That means: please be nice to me HCG. I know we’ve only met once but why can’t this be a win-win relationship? 

I feel better today, but that’s probably because we have a game plan. 

IUI #2 – here we come! 

 

 

 

 

Dildo cams, growing eggs, and frozen pre-seed – oh my!

Currently, it is a frigid – 28C outside, but it feels like -39C with the wind chill (For you Americans, that means it feels like -38.2F). BRRRRRRR

Even with the clomid crazies, I still have my sense of (in)fertile humour. This morning while texting my bestie, who lives in balmy Toronto, I told her I hoped my eggs didn’t freeze on the way to my appointment. Hahahaha. Lame. I know, but whatever keeps me laughing is what I need right now.

CD 10. Follicle monitoring ultrasound #1.

My largest follicles are measuring 13. The Clomid must have worked since I’m measuring about a week sooner than my last drug-free cycle.

Our game plan is to get reacquainted with the dildo cam at 8 am on Monday morning. By then, my follicles should be measuring large enough to trigger ovulation. At this appointment, we will also go over how/when to give the HCG shot.

My guesstimate for first IUI: Wednesday December 11.

As I sit here digesting all of this information, I all of a sudden realize…

OMG what if my pre-seed freezes?

Yes folks. You got it right. Clomid made my cervical mucus not-so-normal anymore.

I won’t deny. I used to be proud of how textbook my CM was. If there was a CM contest, I would have submitted a photo. Perfect egg white. Every time… until now.

This week, I sent my hubby on a manhunt throughout our city to find pre-seed – the only fertility friendly lubricant. My hubby came home empty-handed and grumbled that he was never doing that again. He even asked two pharmacists for their help and checked three different pharmacies.

All our local stores are sold out???? Even though the one website said 5 in stock! Seriously, how does pre-seed disappear like that? Or is society just not willing to admit how many (in)fertiles actually live here?

Anyway, I turned to my best friend Mr. Google and found makeababy.ca – a Canadian company that sells pre-seed and also offers Xpresspost shipping. Bingo!

My fertile-friendly lubricant should arrive before Monday. And if it’s not frozen to my mailbox when I get home, I am seriously contemplating working from home on Monday to await its arrival.

Oh the crazy things us (in)fertiles do!