Sunday, December 9, 2012

My name is Jen and I am infertile

We started TTC in October of 2008 - about 6 months after we got married. Obviously, we never anticipated having any problems.  It took me a long time to admit we were dealing with infertility and might need some help.  SH and I both have jobs that sometimes require us to work out of town for months at a time. In the early days of TTC, I convinced myself we just weren't timing it right. All we needed was to be in the same city for a few months and we would be pregnant in no time. I ovulate every month and my cycles are really regular. I charted for a little while, then moved on to OPK's and it just wasn't happening. I tried supplements and fertility yoga dvd's and it still wasn't happening.  I laid in bed with my hips raised for an hour after having sex and it still wasn't happening.

I was terrified of going to see an RE. Terrified. I didn't want to hear that we had an un-fixable problem and wouldn't be able to have children so I decided to live in blissful ignorance for nearly 2 years.  As long as I didn't know what the problem was, there was still hope every month. About a year and a half into TTC, I started seeing an acupuncturist who specializes in infertility. She is the one who finally convinced me to see an RE.  She even gave me recommendations for RE's she works with.

We went to see RE #1 and did all the testing. Aside from some uterine polyps that I needed to have removed, she said I was fine. The SA was not so fine, however. Low motility and low morphology. RE #1 said if SH's numbers didn't improve with a 2nd test then IVF was our only chance of getting pregnant. Well, we were not prepared for IVF. Couldn't we ease into fertility treatment? SH did not like that she didn't give us any other options. Also, SH had been working 6 days a week, 14 hour days and eating like crap for about 6 months so we figured he just needed to get healthy. We put off any sort of fertility treatment and doctors for months to see if we could improve his sperm with healthier living.

After a 6 month break due to me working out of the country and another 9 months or so of trying on our own without any success, we decided it was time to head back to the RE. We decided to go to a different RE and get a 2nd opinion this time. The results we basically the same. Healthy living had not made SH's sperm any better and I had more polyps that needed to be removed. Only this time I was told I have Diminished Ovarian Reserve. Fantastic. Now I get to have the feeling that every egg I drop is my last good egg. I am 38 so I already feel the clock ticking. This did not help.

We jumped into IVF immediately. It was terrifying. Did I mention I have a TERRIBLE needle phobia? I passed out when I got my ears pierced. This was my worst nightmare. Thankfully SH had worked as an EMT back in college and had no problems doing the injections for me. In fact, he was better at doing the injections than the nurse at our clinic. We figured out a system to get me through 8 days of injections without passing out. I have to lie down flat and ice the injection site while he preps everything. I can't even look at the needle. Aside from the first injection the nurse did where I nearly passed out, it wasn't too bad. I definitely got used to the shots but I still have to lie down and I can't imagine ever being able to do them myself, but at least I don't get light-headed anymore.

Little did I know my worst nightmare would get worse. IVF #1 did not work. I was a poor responder and we ended up with one embryo. Not only did I need IVF, but I needed multiple rounds of IVF. Awesome. We took a month off and started IVF #2 right away. During the month off I started taking supplements and chinese herbs that were supposed to help with egg quality and, hopefully, quantity. IVF#2 was better - we had 5 embryos. Unfortunately, it still didn't work and we weren't able to freeze any. So here we are getting ready for IVF #3, hopefully in January. We took about 4 months off this time. Our second failure hit me really hard and I just needed some time. I have continued with the supplements and herbs since they seemed to help. SH even started taking supplements and chinese herbs and is going to acupuncture with me. Hopefully, we'll get some really strong embryos next time. Third times the charm, right??






17 comments:

  1. Saw your comment over by Stork. I really hope third times a charm for you...your ovaries need a break!

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    1. No kidding. They are exhausted! I have promised them a tropical vacation if they just cooperate a little while longer.

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  2. Heya gorgeous!

    Third time is the charm, indeed. I am thinking super duper positive thoughts!

    So with the improvement of the number of embryos - did they think that that was because of the supplements or just luck?

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    1. The RE would probably say luck and higher doses of meds. He said each cycle is different so I won't necessarily always be a poor responder just because I was the first time. I personally think the supplements and high doses of chinese herbs made the difference. Hopefully, I'm right because if I have to rely on luck at this point then I am screwed.

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  3. Wanted to say hi and thanks for putting yourself out there. I'll be eagerly following your story, as a fellow DOR/needle phobe/previous poor responder/potential January IVFer. I swear I'm not single white female-ing you!

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    1. If you were single white female-ing me, I would say you chose poorly. Since you're my doppelganger, I'll definitely head on over to your blog to start stalking you.

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    2. I've never been a very good judge of character.

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    3. Not a blogger, but a fellow DOR coupled with MFI (we have to combine our egg retrieval--if we get there--with a TESE to find the ever elusive sperm; it's fun for the whole family). Starting the IVF cycle in early January.

      I'm eagerly following both of your stories. And maybe, just maybe, I'll move from commenting to blogging one day.

      Good luck to you both.

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  4. Hello lovely, thank you for saying hi! I am here for the duration. Glad to be along for the ride.

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  5. Hi Jen, Its Suzanne (SuzyQ15) from the twoweekwait website. I saw that you started a blog from your signature line and decided to check it out. Loving the SH reference! I think my DH would like that too. Just wanted to say best of luck on your upcoming IVF! It certainly sounds like you and SH are on the same page for the third time's a charm. Take Care!

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  6. OIE! the first step is the hardest! I think that it is human nature to not want to go to the doctor. I am glad that you did and that you and the hus are moving forward.

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  7. Found your blog recently and just wanted to say hi. As a fellow low-responder and only once out of four fresh IVFs had one lone embryo to freeze - well, I get the disappointment. It's so hard to know what is luck and what is lifestyle/alternative treatment/supplement related. Anyway, best of luck with your upcoming cycle, I sure hope the third time is it for you!

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  8. I'm a big believer in natural supplements to compliment IVF. I'm interested to read what you were taking?

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    1. My acupuncturist has given me chinese herbs but I don't know specifically what they are. She also has me taking DHEA and melatonin. I added CoQ10 and Royal Jelly to the mix, as well. I think mostly they are supposed to help egg quality but might also help a little with quantity. Now I just need something to help with implantation...

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  9. Third time may be the charm, sometimes you have to have a failure to figure out the right method for success, but it's an expensive and shitty trial and error. Best wishes in 2013!

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  10. Hey! Just found you here on the Interwebs and wanted to say hi back... :) I can't believe IVF #2 didn't work with 5 embryos! What happened? Are they just declaring them all poor quality or something? I am SO fearful of implantation issues, too... there are so many factors and I'm just paranoid these REs aren't considering every single possibility when they forge ahead with IVF round after IVF round. Will be keeping fingers crossed that number 3 is the magic one for you guys -- at least we'll be going through it together in January. Yay cycle buddies!

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  11. I just stumbled onto your blog, and now am in day 2dp3dt. I'm also 38, but this is my first IVF, and I'm exhausted! Can you let me know if your first 2 IVFs were also 3 day transfers? You're my inspiration that 3dts actually work, as I was distraught that my RE doubted they could make it to 5. I'm sorely in need of inspiration, as most infertility blogs are written by younger women....

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