Next stop... IVF
IUI + Progesterone
After our 2nd loss, our doctor recommended trying IUI again with progesterone support. Entering another cycle and trying again after another loss was all sorts of emotions. Especially when you hear the words "one we can write off as a chromosomal abnormality issue two we need to start to look into." We had several tests done, with still no conclusion.
My emotions were all over the place - and several of them happening all at the same time. Excited that something new was added that may help. Nervous that it may be positive. Because after a loss, a positive no longer represents just hope and excitement. It represents the pending of another potential loss in the near future. Fearful. Hopeful. Afraid. Optimistic.
I went into the cycle afraid to hope - but also looking at the positives. It was my right ovary's month, which is the ovary that responds better. We had a plan. And we had gotten pregnant after only our second try. Progesterone support started the day after my IUI - the crappy thing about progesterone support is you can start to feel pregnant but don't know if it is the progesterone or a true pregnancy. And let me tell you - the vaginal suppositories of progesterone are just gross. But I kept going, because we have a dream of having a family.
They scheduled my blood draw to see if it worked 12 days after my IUI, 11 days into the progesterone. That was a Monday. But Saturday I was pretty certain any symptoms I was having was just from the progesterone. By Monday morning, I knew I wasn't pregnant, I could feel it. But I still anxiously waited for my doctor to call with the results. He called about 2:30 in the afternoon - I could tell by the tone of his voice my intuition was right. But being who he is, he first stopped to ask how I am. Then apologized he wasn't calling with good news.
Next he said something along the lines of having to make a decision. While we could do another IUI, IVF is now also an option because we have done 3 cycles without a viable pregnancy. "Viable pregnancy" is something that hits the bottom of my soul. It's not easy for us to get pregnant, and when we have succeeded the two times, neither has been viable. There is still no answer to why. So the question remains - will we ever get to the "viable" part of pregnancy?
I asked what he recommended, he said IVF, but it is up to Jared and I and also dependent on how tired we are. IUI has a less success rate than IVF. But IVF also involves a lot more. He said if we did choose to do the IVF, he wants us to meet with him within the next 2 days.
I called Jared to let him know. It wasn't a hard decision for us - it was one we were prepared to make. We had even gone to our physician's webinar on IVF A to Z to prepare. We were ready to move onto something with higher chances. So I let the nurse know and called to make the appointment.
We let our families know what our next step was. We've been open and honest with them through the whole process.
We met with Dr. Hobeika Wednesday morning where he talked us first through the decision. Then through the process. He answered our questions and left us with some decisions to make, but clear education prior.
I'm medical - and this has been a lot for me.
Over the next 36 hours I received a lot of information both medically and insurance wise. Since then we've spent a lot of time digesting and researching and discussing. Saturday night Jared and I had a 2 hour video, quiz, and consent signing date. We had to talk about tough things like - what happens to the embryos (if we have enough) if one of us dies? If both of us die? If they are genetically abnormal if we do genetic testing?
I've spent time calling the insurance company to get clarification and answers on certain coverage.
Tomorrow morning I will go in for a monitoring appointment to make sure it's ok to start a short birth control cycle, prior to stimulation next week.
In Less Than a Year...
There have been a lot of emotions. A lot of thoughts. I've heard it a lot, but now I've lived it. Infertility treatment stress is equated to that of cancer and other high intensity management diseases. As an oncology nurse I thought no way. Now I'm living and breathing it.
Less than a year ago I wrote things off as we just weren't timing things right.
In so many ways, I feel like I'm living in a dream or rather, a bad nightmare. That we can't actually be at this point. Maybe I'm overreacting? I think the hardest part is, we have no reason for this, at least not yet. They say IVF can be diagnostic, which makes me both excited and anxious about answers.
In less than a year I've lived through two pregnancy losses, 3 IUI cycles, and countless tests.
In less than a year, our dream of a family went from "it will happen soon" to "will it happen at all?"
In less than a year, our lives have been completely turned upside down. We went from being able to plan, to having to say "it will depend on our cycle, but we'll try our best to be there".
In less than a year my faith has been rattled and shaken more than I ever thought possible.
In less than a year, a lot has changed. But isn't that the truth of life? It can always change in the blink of an eye.
In less than a year, my life has been rattled and shaken. I now have to step away from certain conversations I can't handle. And certain relationships I've had to take a step back from. And I'm learning that's ok. I can only handle what I can handle.
In less than a year, I went from being the nurse giving care, to the patient receiving the care. It's given me a whole different perspective on what my office can do better for our patients.
In less than a year, my life has changed. I have changed. We have changed as a couple. But I can't help but think in the bottom of my soul, it will be worth it. Whatever way it is we become parents - I hope and pray it happens. Whether it's our own flesh and blood or adoption.
And I'm forever grateful for those who are walking beside us, or walking along with us on their own journey. It's the club you never wanted be in, but forever grateful for those in it with you.
So here we go, next stop - IVF.