Timing is everything

I’m back into the mode of looking at a calendar at least once a day to estimate when I might start my next cycle or when I would be perhaps getting the retrieval done, etc. It’s a strange addiction that comes with TTC. I need to look at every scenario and figure it out. Will I have to give myself the trigger shot during the holiday party? Will I be feeling bloated and gross on my birthday from swollen and full ovaries? Will the timing even work out for a December IVF cycle?

That last question is the one that hadn’t even dawned on me, but is now stressing me out. I started estrogen patches on Friday. When I called to ask the nurse a question, she very nicely plotted out all the dates for me so she could estimate when I’d start stimulation meds.

“You were told that we’re closed for 2 weeks in December, right?”

Silence on my end although my heart rate immediately started racing as I panicked.

“The last day for you to start stimulation and still make it in time is December 1st” she continued.

I stared at the calendar hanging in my office counting days even though I knew full well that December 1st is the day my period is due if it’s an exact 4 week cycle. It would suck to miss it by 1-2 days! In the past, I wouldn’t have been so worried. When not on progesterone, my cycles were shorter so it would be highly likely for December 1st to be no issue at all. However, my last cycle was 32 days and I have no idea what my body will do while on the estrogen.

“Is there anything I can do to get my period sooner?” I asked. “Will the cetrotide (which I start on the 27th) make any difference?”

“Not really…although some women get their period even before starting the cetrotide.”

Another panicked look at the calendar. I’ll be out of town Wednesday through Friday! I can’t miss my window for getting the blood work and ultrasound on day 2-3. I can’t even fathom having to wait until January. There’s nothing I can do about it. The “sweet spot” is obviously that my cycle starts this weekend, but even if it’s Thursday or Friday, I’d still make it in for the monitoring appointment. It really comes down to hoping that I have no longer than a 27 day cycle right now.

Oh the joys of the human body and having little to no control of when and how things happen!

Where did the year go?

We’ve reached the time of year when adults start to say to each other, “Where did the year go?” or “Can you believe it’s almost December?” I’ve had that conversation with at least 3 people in the last week.

Having a December birthday has meant, for me at least, a lot of reflection this time of year. Not only do I start thinking about what happened over the past year (2015), but also what has happened since I turned [insert age here]. Some years I have felt accomplished, but many years I have felt that I stayed still and didn’t accomplish much of what I had set out to do when the year began.

If I look at it from my usual perspective, then I’d tell you that since turning 35 not much has changed. If anything I am chubbier and much more a loner than I was at 34. If I pretend I’m a glass half full kind of gal (fake it till you make it!), then I’d tell you that I realized how strong yet vulnerable I could be this year. I’d tell you that I had a lot more determination and guts than I thought I had. Not only have I been going after a dream without giving up, but I’ve also taken on a new role at work that has forced me out of my comfort zone.

Do I wish I was already pregnant? Of course. I wish I was sitting here writing about the impending birth of my child. For whatever reason that hasn’t happened for me yet, but I have high hopes for my life at 36. Hopefully this time next year, I can be telling you about how I’m too tired to think about all that I accomplished in the past year.

Almost ready for IVF#2

As difficult as all these months of blood tests, ultrasounds and hormones have been, I’d strangely gotten used to the routine. It feels weird not to be going to the doctor’s office at least once a week…to not be spending at least one weekend morning driving an hour away to get an ultrasound.

Without even realizing it, I had gotten used to all of it. It wasn’t just the doctor’s appointments, but it was living my life in 2 week increments. I have felt off balance without the routine and I have felt like this “break” means I’m not trying hard enough. I know that’s ridiculous because it wasn’t a self imposed break, but it still makes me feel like I’ve been wasting time that I don’t have.

Thankfully, I’m back into my 2 week increments as I wait to ovulate and then start estrogen patches leading into my next cycle. Before I know it, I’ll be back to the nightly injections and almost daily monitoring appointments.

I really hope that this break and the new protocol will increase my chances this go around. I’d love for all the doctor’s appointments to be related to my pregnancy rather than what seems like an endless road of TTC.

Post IVF Consult

A week ago I was at the beautiful Nizuc resort in Mexico feeling totally relaxed. It was a great idea to get leave town for a weekend and it was a much needed weekend of just eating, sleeping, reading and spa.

I have been focusing on letting go of stress related to “trying for baby.” Sometimes I’m successful and other times, not so much. I did have the post IVF consult with my doctor last week and we’re going to change up protocol a little bit with the next try.

Last try I took birth control pills the cycle prior to IVF. The pills are a form of suppression, so that when you stop and then start taking the stimulation meds, you should start seeing more follicle growth at a faster rate. The doctor said that some women with sensitive ovaries end up having a different effect, which is what apparently happened to me. By day 5 of meds it was like nothing was happening. Then it started too, but not at the rate he was hoping or expecting based on my response during my IUI tries.

So this next time, I’m going to start estrogen patches about a week after ovulation which is a milder form of supression (at least that’s what I understood). Then, once I start the stimulation meds, we’re going to start at a higher dosage. Both those things combined should result in a greater response. This at least would give me more eggs to fertilize and hopefully a wider pool of embryos to consider transferring.

Right now I am just waiting for my period to arrive. I spent all those months wishing it would not come and it usually came early. Now I’m late and I just want to get started. It’s murphy’s law, of course. I think my body is just out of whack from the chemical pregnancy. It’ll be about 3 weeks from now that I start the estrogen and then about a week after that would start stims again. I’m guessing retrieval will be mid-December.