33 weeks

My anxiety has unfortunately not improved in the past few weeks.  While I feel like I am getting so much closer to the finish line, I also continue to panic that something could go wrong at any moment.  Baby’s movement continues to be a source of anxiety for me as well. I also made the mistake of spending too much time on Google reading up on breech babies (why are they breech, risks of remaining breech etc.), and let’s just say I shouldn’t have done that.

If/when hopefully baby arrives safely I am sure I will miss being pregnant, but at this point I just want to it to be over. The weight gain and being physically uncomfortable does suck, but it’s more the mental torment that is making me question whether I could handle another pregnancy in the future. I have not felt fully emotionally stable or healthy since before I was pregnant. That’s a long time to feel so much stress!

Last week I had my 32 week growth scan, at which time baby was still breech – Frank breech position to be exact. (Explains why I’ve been feeling big pokes on the right side, it’s baby’s foot).  My OB’s office started the paperwork for my c-section, which is scheduled for February 22. I will be 39 weeks + 6 days.  Of course, I have a whole other set of worries here. That’s pretty much 40 weeks – what if I go into labor before then? Again I’ve read way too many scary things about going into labor with a breech baby.I feel a little bit like a ticking time bomb, though maybe that’s just me being overreactive with my anxiety.

To a much much lesser extent, I am still a bit disappointed about not being able to labor naturally. People keep saying there is plenty of time for the baby to turn head-down, but I’m starting to feel skeptical. The further along I get with a baby that is still breech, the less likely I know it is that he/she will turn.  Ultimately all that matters is a baby that arrives healthy and safe, but in a perfect world I would have gotten to have a normal birth experience.

At this point I am trying to make preparations as I feel up to it. It’s hard some days to pick up a baby book or buy things for the baby when I lack the confidence that everything will turn out ok ,but I am doing the best I can.  When I first told my family I was pregnant, I asked them not to plan a baby shower as I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable having one, and at this point I’m very glad that I had that foresight.  Going to a big celebration centered around my pregnancy/baby would have been way too much for me at this point, mentally.

Bad Day

Almost two years ago, after a few too many surprise pregnancy announcements, I deactivated my Facebook account.  Periodically, when I’m feeling brave (or nosey) I’ll go back on and see what so many of the people I’ve lost touch with are up to.

Today, I was curious to see if any of the hundreds of people I follow on Facebook posted anything about National Infertility Awareness Week.  There are so many people on social media portraying perfect lives that, although I don’t want anyone else to suffer, it would be comforting to know that someone else out there is fighting the same battle.

I should have known it would be a bad idea.  I got sucked into a rabbit hole of looking at profile after profile.  So many women I used to be close with are now on their second or third child.  Women who got married after I did.  I feel like I’ve blinked and lost three years of my life. For my own sanity, I usually try not to compare my life to other people’s lives. But today I couldn’t help it, looking at the perfect family moments and photos that everyone else gets to have. The pain takes my breath away sometimes, when I realize that everyone else is able, with relative ease, to have the family they always dreamed of, and I am still so broken and alone.

I have learned to cope – not perfectly, but better than before – with the pain of failed cycles.  And the strain infertility imposes on our marriage, finances, social life… The list goes on.  But the loss of control over achieving my goals and dreams is something that haunts me regularly. No woman should have the ability to build a family taken away from her.  To have to sit by and watch what feels like everyone in the world create what you want so desperately. We are always told that life isn’t fair, and there is nothing like infertility to remind us how true that really is.

 

Home stretch

Yesterday was my lining check.  I was at 9.2mm and triple stripe 6 days before transfer, so everything looked good. I sat down with my nurse after the scan to review my plan for the next week and I asked her to add in another blood draw for this Saturday, the day after I drop Estrace back down from 3 to 2 pills a day. She happily obliged, as they have for everything I have asked for recently. I feel like I am some kind of VIP at my RE’s office. Everything I ask for they say, “Sure, you’ve been through so much.”  I do feel like I have been through a lot but I also know that there have to be patients there who have been through even more. More cycles, more losses, more heartbreak.

Or maybe not, considering the type of women I have run into the past few times I’ve been there.  Last Saturday there was a woman loudly playing with her toddler while her husband waited in the car. I mean come on.  He couldn’t have kept the kid in the car with him? Yesterday there was a girl talking loudly about breastfeeding her child at home. Considering some of us may never get the chance to breastfeed any child at all, she could have kept that gem to herself.

But I digress.

So tonight I am to take my first dose of Neupogen. Up until this point I have put any medication in my body that had been thrown my way without a second thought, but I am a bit nervous about this one.  I guess because I read the scary portion of the side effects where it talks about ruptured spleens and anaphylaxis. I am going to try not to think about it because I know I will give myself a panic attack if I focus too much on it.

I need an attitude makeover.

My transfer is 13 days away and my attitude sucks.

I have zero hope this will work. I have already cried multiple times just thinking about the bad news I will receive on beta day. I have a pit in my stomach that grows by the day.  I am simply dreading this. I can’t talk to anyone about it because I know I will sound crazy.  How can you possibly know this is a failure before it has even happened? 

I just know.

I think I’ve searched every corner of the internet for stories like mine.  Suffice it to say, there aren’t very many.  And those that I have found, don’t exactly have happy endings.

It won’t work, I’ll have another chemical pregnancy, no embryos remaining, be out thousands of dollars, and probably get fucking cancer from the Neupogen.

FET Cycle #2 Begins Today

Today officially marked the start of our second FET cycle. After waiting to see if my insurance would authorize this cycle since my first cycle didn’t make it to transfer (it was a freeze-all for PGS), and getting the subsequent denial, we moved forward with baseline bloodwork and an ultrasound this morning.

Everything looked A-OK and the date is set.  On October 6, we will transfer our remaining two embryos. (Yes, my husband finally agreed that was the best course of action. Small victory!) Beta is set for 11 days after the transfer which is going to be an agonizing wait, considering I have decided I will not take any tests at home this time. Last cycle I tested every day (twice a day) from 5dp5dt through 9dp5dt and it almost drove me to the looney bin.  I am embarrassed to admit I actually carried the tests around with me, squinting at them in different lights trying to determine whether the line was getting darker. I simply can’t do that to myself again.

I wish I was excited about this.  Instead, I just have a pit in my stomach.  The thought of going through another chemical pregnancy is too much to take. I feel sick just thinking about waiting for the dreaded phone call on beta day.  I feel like I am hovering over a line right now – Am I someone who just had very bad luck with a PGS normal embryo last time? Or is there something wrong with me that NO ONE can figure out and renders me doomed to continue to have loss after loss?

If this cycle ends in another loss, I will know I fall into the latter category, and that is a scary place to be.  There are no hard and fast solutions for those in that category.  In that category, your success hinges on a stroke of GOOD luck for once. I have had zero good luck in the past two years, so you do the math on that one.

bc25e771a39f7911299ea55de815364c

Moving forward: FET #2

Yesterday I met with my SIRM RE to discuss my next FET. We decided to try Neupogen, which did not come as a surprise to me, considering we had been discussing it over email. I will be doing 0.4mL every 4 days, starting the first day of progesterone. My WBC will not be monitored, which is a bit concerning to me, but I was assured the dose was small enough that I was not at any risk. I am encouraged by the small studies I have read so far about the high success rate with women who have unexplained RPL, but I know this is not a magic cure.  I felt sure PGS would be the answer, and it wasn’t. So I can’t really bring myself to put much stock in any treatments at this point.

It's like liquid gold. $600 for this tiny vial!
It’s like liquid gold. $600 for this tiny vial!

I also came away from this meeting pretty concerned about the quality of my remaining frozen embryos. What we transferred for my first FET that wound up a chemical pregnancy was a day 6 blast, and was my only expanded, best quality one. What we have left are 2 average-graded, unexpanded blasts. One is a day 5 which is fine, the other is a day 6. My understanding is an unexpanded blast at day 6 is no bueno.

My SIRM RE says it is definitely worth transferring both over two separate eSET’s because even “ugly” embryos can become babies. But I feel totally hopeless about the remaining day 6. The thought of investing time, money and more Lupron craziness on a cycle with a crappy embryo is really hard to swallow. My mind is made up that I want to transfer both remaining embryos next cycle, but my husband strongly disagrees.  He is very wary of the risks associated with twins, and while those are not lost on me, they are risks I am willing to accept.

I have no idea how we are going to come to a decision on this. For now I am taking the healthy, mature approach of avoiding discussing the topic simply because it stresses me out too much to deal with it right now.

The results are in!

My RE called this morning and my EFT results are in…

Normal!

With all the other RPL testing I have had done, a normal result for each has been upsetting to me.  Normal results have meant no explanation for my losses, and nothing I can fix.  But for this test, I am relieved it came back normal.  I did not want to have to make the decision to do 3 months of Depot Lupron when I didn’t even 100% buy into this test to begin with.  But now that it’s been determined normal, I can check the box on this and move on without any regrets or what if’s.

My next step is to meet with my RE at SIRM next week.  He will review the EFT results in detail (apparently there were a few notes in there about the development of my lining), as well as any potential immune treatments for my next FET.

Then, I finally get to stop Lupron! All around, good news today.