Travel, Food, Work and a bit of Me Time

I can’t believe the summer is almost over. I know they say time flies but this summer has gone in a blink of an eye.

After our failed cycle at the end of June I really need some time to regroup. My heart hurt, my head hurt and my body just had enough.

My husband and I had planned a 2 week getaway to drive and tour around the east coast of Canada (we are from Ontario). He convinced me to just “fly by the seat of our pants” for this trip. I have to admit it was causing me major anxiety. I’m a type A that LOVES (read: can’t live without) lists and having set plans. But we decided to just get in the car and go… well ok, I had a map and a bit of a route planned but no dates set or anything booked! It was an awesome 2 weeks of sightseeing, exploring and connecting with each other. Just what we needed. And you know what, we always found somewhere to sleep at night! Here are a few pics from our trip.

east coast 3east coast 2east coast 1

When we got back we had to meet with our RE to talk about the cycle and make plans for our four blasts. It was a long meeting but in the end he is still saying to transfer the blasts to me (he isn’t recommending surrogacy) when we are ready. We still need to decide if it will be a natural or medicated cycle as there are pros/cons for each. Anyone have any thoughts I would love to hear them.   First though we are going to do monitoring of 1 or 2 natural cycles. I had a really messed up period after the IVF cycle so we want to make sure everything is on track and I wanted to wait until summer was over. Hopefully the natural cycle monitor will give a good baseline and help direct if we are going to do natural or medicated transfer cycle as well.

In the mean time I have been trying to enjoy the summer. We are doing lots of gardening – here is some of our harvest!

garden

Back to playing hockey and started yoga again. Work has been insanely busy this summer so I’m trying really hard to prioritize and not let it take over my life. I’m so over that (hopefully!).

One of the other goals I had after the cycle was to feel better physically (at the time that seemed easier than focusing on my emotional health which was going down the drain fast).  A week after we got back from vacation my husband and I started the Whole 30 (whole30.com). We are currently on day 25 and going strong. I recommend checking out the website to get all the info but essentially it’s a way of eating that eliminates soy, legumes, grains, dairy and all sugar (other than fruit).  After the 30 days you slowly start reintroducing food and see how it makes you feel. There were times when I didn’t think we were going to make it through (a girls weekend with tons of treats!) but I’m so glad we have so far. We both haven’t had any ‘miracle’ things happening to our bodies (like some you will read on the website) but I’m definitely feeling better, ‘fresher’ skin, and more energy. I’m looking forward to see what the reintroduction tells us. If anyone has any clean eating recipes or websites the love please send them my way!

 

2 Years

2 years ago it was a beautiful Monday morning. My husband and I woke up with sorrow but also lots of joy in our hearts. You see,  June 23 is my late mother-in-laws birthday. She was an incredible Mother and is missed, every day but even more so on special occasions.

As we laid in bed we were reflecting on the day. Although our hearts were heavy we were also very much looking forward to the day. We had our 2nd ultrasound appointment later that morning. As we got ready for work I really felt that my mother-in-law would be there with us that day sharing in our joy of seeing our little peanut’s heartbeat again.

Off we went to work and then met at the clinic later that morning. Soon after arriving we were ushered into the ultrasound room. That’s when the day started spiraling out of control. The full story here – Our journey so far

Coles notes version: 20 minutes later our worst nightmare was confirmed. The doctor walked into our room and told us that they couldn’t find a heartbeat and the baby had stopped growing.  Honestly parts of that day are still crystal clear and parts are very fuzzy – my heart just couldn’t comprehend what was going on.

2 years later and some of the pain feels like it happened yesterday. I’m left wondering if the pain will ever go away… will it ever stop feeling like I’ve been physically stabbed in the heart and kicked in the stomach? Will I ever been able to think of what could have been for more than 8 seconds without tearing up and feeling my throat start to close? Will I ever be whole again? Is there something wrong with me… should I not be “better” (at least more than I am) by this point? Am I just way weaker than I ever imagined? I’m haunted not only by our loss but by these thoughts as well.

Sorry for such a sad post today… just needed somewhere to share.

Father’s Day

I know I’m biased but I think I have one of the greatest dads out there. He has always been incredibly supportive, a great role model and always put my sister and I first. We didn’t have much growing up but he made sure our needs were met and that we knew he loved us and would do anything for us.

I tried really hard to celebrate him yesterday but there was an underlining sadness. I can’t wait to see him as a grandfather. I know he will be amazing and cherish his grandchild(ren).

Father’s Day didn’t turn out as planned this year.

My husband was away from Wednesday – Sunday evening. We were anxiously awaiting the first beta tomorrow (Tuesday) of our 4th IVF cycle.  I told myself I would wait until Sunday morning to take a HPT (home pregnancy test). However early in the week I backed that up until Saturday morning – here was my rationale… I had this big plan of buying my husband his first Father’s Day card, a little gift and showing him our double pink line on the test when he got home on Sunday evening. I pictured everything perfectly in my head… him opening the card, me showing him the test and us crying tears of joy together.

You know what they say about the best laid plans? Well they are right. Late last week I had a tiny bit of spotting. Of course I feared the worse. I was worried and sad but deep down I keep trying to tell myself not to worry to much, it wasn’t totally over yet. Until Friday night – that’s when I knew for sure this cycle had failed. It was confirmed Saturday morning with a test and in the following day my period. Instead of greeting my husband at the door with a smile and excitement he was once again faced with tears.

It’s just not fair.

IVF #4 – transfer done!

Our transfer is officially done! And now the long (or what feels long) wait begins.

We are so incredibly happy and grateful to report that we had 5 blasts on Thursday. We decided to transfer 2 and freeze the remaining 3. I’m honestly having a hard time believing it… Only in our first IVF did we even have 5 day 3 embryos. The second we had 3 (day 3) and the third only resulted in 2 on day 3. We never before had the option to try to go to day 5.   To have 5 on day 5 seemed like they must have mixed us up with some other patients.

Now I am hopeful but also incredibly fearful.  What if that was the end of our success? What if my 2 little blasts don’t make it?

Trying so hard to push that fear away and just focus on the positive. Remain hopeful, be strong and when that fear creeps in just send it packing again. Any tips for that are more than welcome! 🙂

Snuggle in little blasts… I love you already.

Transfer decided!

We went in to meet with the doctor today preparing to potential transfer as it’s day 3.

My anxiety was quite high today… I couldn’t wait to hear about the embryos and make a decision (if there was one to make) about day 3 or 5 transfer. After what felt like forever the doctor came in and gave us the news…

We still had 9 embryos… I couldn’t believe it. I was bracing myself for bad news. We have 4 – 8 cell grade 4, 4 – 8 cell grade 3 and 1- 6 cell grade 4.   After some discussion and debate we decided to go with the recommendation to wait until day 5.

I’m trying to mental prepare to  “on average” lose 50% of the embryos. I do understand that if embryos arrest they would have arrested whether we transferred them or not but it’s a harsh reality to face right now.

I’m totally at peace with the decision we made and feel like it was the right one. I’ll just be anxiously waiting for the progress call tomorrow from the clinic.

I’m so grateful we have had such a good cycle so far. My husband believes this is it, it’s finally going to be our time. I do feel good but am so nervous… Believe

IVF 4 – update 4. Retrieval done!

Whew, it feels like the past 3 days have gone so slow but also crazy fast at the same time.

On Saturday I went in for my retrieval. Instead of being booked early morning it wasn’t until 2:30p.m. It was a very long wait that day to go in. I had to stop eating and drinking at midnight the night before so needless to say I was pretty thirsty throughout the day.

I was feeling pretty good with nerves until we go there that day. Definitely better than in the past but the nerves crept in pretty good while we were waiting to get called back. Finally got called back, did vitals and then got changed.

Then the ‘fun’ really started… It took them 5 tries before finally getting the IV in and to stay. They have had difficulty before but never this bad. Finally the doctor had to come out to do it. I was in tears just from the stress of it… I swear that IV is my least favourite part of it. I felt like such a dork but nothing I can do about it now.

After that we moved into the procedure room. The second nurse who was doing vitals and emotional support was really great. Overall the procedure went really well. It was more painful than normal (I’ll tell you why in a second) so I got a couple more little doses of drugs. The lab calls out the number of eggs as the procedure goes so that is really nice to hear the progress and gives a boost to get through the rest.

After the procedure was over the doctor left and the nurses got me to sit up… that’s when I notices I was soaked. And I mean soaked… the whole side of my body. How I didn’t realize before that I have no idea because it was like someone through a bucket of water on 1 side of me. We quickly realized by IV was leaking everywhere. Hmmm, that could be why the drugs weren’t really kicking in! I moved back to the recovery area and got the final number of eggs retrieved… 18 eggs!!! We were so excited! Because of the lack of drugs in my system recovery went really quick. Had lots of water, a couple of different times for vitals and then we were free to go. Had a little nap when I got home but felt great and not groggy (again thanks to the lack of drugs). I was incredibly tender so just relaxed the rest of the day and next day.

Sunday the clinic called – out of the 18 eggs retrieved they tried to fertilize 17 of them. after 24 hours we had 9 that fertilized. Such a relief – that is by far the best we have ever had.

Today they called again and we are so thankful that we still have 9. It seriously feels like a dream – it’s never been this good. We have a tentative transfer scheduled for tomorrow but they will call to confirm tomorrow or wait until day 5 on Thursday. I’m not sure how I feel about waiting until day 5. I know it’s pretty common but we have never been a candidate for that so it makes me super nervous. Anyone had to make this decision or thoughts on it?

Excited and incredibly anxious. Keeping all fingers and toes crossed that things keep going well.

IVF 4 – update 3

My retrieval is set for tomorrow at 2:30p.m – yikes! No more food or drinks after midnight tonight. I’m not worried about the food but that’s a long morning/early afternoon without a drink. Ah well, could be a lot worse 😉

I had to get up at 2:30a.m. this morning to deliver the (hopefully) last self-given needle ever.  Had a bit of trouble getting back to sleep but overall it was uneventful.

Over the past week everything has been going well. Follicles are continuing to grow, at my last scan I had 20 ranging in size from 19 – 10mm. I know the 10’s are on the small side but hopefully we’ll have a lot on the bigger side “batched” together containing some super healthy eggs.

My meds dropped throughout the week as well. Gonal-F stayed consistent but went down to only 75u of menopur. Plus side of that is that it stung way less!

I’m trying not to over analyze everything but I can feel the anxiety slowly creeping in. I’m trying not to get ahead of myself but am already thinking about the phone calls to tell us how many were mature and fertilized… there is just so much riding on this.  Hmmm, will have to get some strategies in place to deal with the 2WW again.