Monday, March 25, 2013

BFN :(

     The fact that I haven't posted in a while, coupled with my last post about spotting, probably clued you all in to my negative results.  It was no surprise to me; by the time we had the test, I had already been bleeding for 4 days.  Micah was very disappointed - he is ever the faithful optimist and he was holding out hope that somehow God was performing a miracle in the midst of the bleeding.  I love his faith - but it means we process things differently.  By wednesday, I had already realized that this cycle failed, cried, mourned, thrown things, etc.  When the news hit him, he had to deal with it while I had already moved on.

   We do have 2 embryos left, but I needed some answers before we just blindly allowed history to repeat itself.  This is the 3rd loss we've had and the 2nd time I'd started bleeding before beta.  So we scheduled a consult to talk to the doctor, which we did today.  I do like the RE that we met with, but I'm not sure I left with any answers.  He talked about research and how the word 'implantation' is a misnomer.  (Really, the lining grows up around the embryo, it doesn't burrow itself into the lining.)  The general gist of the conversation is that I'm normal.  The reason that I'm bleeding early is just because the embryo has failed to implant.  It's about the embryo, not me.  It has nothing to do with my hormones or my uterus or anything like that.  He thinks the the reason we've not been successful all boils down to the viability of the embryos.
     The RE made an interesting point in terms of embryo donation (or adoption.)  We talk about how we are giving 'leftover' embryos a chance at life.  Point being - they are leftovers.  While embryo grading is just guess about quality based on it's appearance, they use the embryos with the highest grade first.  So, chances are, when we receive a donation of embryos, we're not getting the best.  I guess I knew that - but I hadn't really looked at it that way.  (He also talked about the percent of embryos that are actually viable and mentioned that even in natural conception, embryos are likely fertilized month after month, but most don't end up as children.)  The bottom line is that persistence is key; it just might take several tries to find the embryo that will become our next child.

   The one other things that he said we *could* try is to do an endometrial scratch (or endometrial biopsy.)  Basically, there are some studies in women with recurrent implantation failure that show that "injuring" the lining in the cycle prior increases the chance of implantation.  The RE didn't think that I fall into the "recurrent implantation failure" category since I've carried a child to term and my miscarriage last spring indicated that implantation is very possible.  His words were "we can try that if it would make you feel better for the next cycle."
    So, now I don't know what to think.  First of all, the procedure does NOT sound like fun; most women call it painful.  Secondly, he doesn't sound like it would be that helpful   - we would be doing it just to try something different.  On the other hand, if there is a chance it could help implantation, then shouldn't I try it?  Or would I just be wasting my time, since success is mostly determined by the embryo quality?

  So - there's my update.  I don't know what our next step is.  Do we just jump right in with another cycle?  Do we try this scratch thing first?  Since these that we have left are likely even lower in quality, do we donate the embryos back and look through FIRMs profiles again?  (It would be much cheaper to use the ones we have, since they are already ours.)  I don't know.  I would love any advice or thoughts that any of you have.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

So much for that.....

My last post was all full of positive thoughts.  Those are all gone and I'm discouraged and frustrated.  I'm bleeding.  Not just spotting - bleeding.  Already.  And I'm having deja vu.

I'll admit that, as positive as I was, I still checked the TP every time I used the restroom.  (TMI sorry)  After the last 2 losses, I am conditioned to do that, I guess.
Yesterday afternoon, I discovered some "old blood." I was ok with that.  But then there was a little more in my underwear.  I texted Micah (who was out of town) and told him to start praying for our embryonic children.  It wasn't much of the rest of the day, so I assumed I was good and went to bed.  I was a little worried, just b/c of all that we've been through - but I tried to stay positive.  The RE said that spotting is normal.

But this morning, I woke up with red blood.  Off and on, pretty much all day.  Sometimes, I see more brown clumpy "old blood" but most of the time it's bright red.  I'm not filling a pad an hour (RE said to call if it gets that bad) - but I am changing my pantyliner every few hours.  I just want to cry.  It's too early to be my period.  (I'm just 6dp5dt.)  But clearly, something is wrong.  This is exactly what happened with our other failed cycle.  (And the miscarriage, but that didn't start until after the positive beta.)  That time I blamed it on the lack of progesterone.  (I was using Crinone only, and it was down near 5, instead of 20 like it's supposed to be.)  But this time, I'm using the PIO - I should have plenty of progesterone.  There should be no bleeding.  This baby needs to stay in there.  That was an incredible hatching embryo that needs a home - why is my body denying it that?  My cycles are so normal and regular all the time.  I just had a SIS done to make sure my uterus looked good.  There is no reason that my body is doing this.

   Micah is still positive (as usual.)  I am really trying - but he's not the one that sees what's in my underwear every time I use the restroom (which is often, lol.)   I'm praying for a miracle; for the bleeding to stop and the baby to hang on.  But I'm doubting it'll happen.  I'm right back where I was 9 months ago.  It doesn't help that I would likely have a baby now if I hadn't miscarried (I would have been due this pas week.)  It's just a lot of emotional baggage.
  I guess I'll go back to doing what I do best: staying busy.  Then I can pretend that this isn't happening AGAIN.  Seriously, will God drag us through this yet again?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Holy Hatching, batman!

     As I said earlier, I am feeling very positive and hopeful about this cycle.  This is not like me - I tend to be a pessimist.  (Well, I call myself a realist, but Micah says I'm a pessimist.)  I'm just all too aware of what can and often does go wrong.  I know statistics and maybe a  little too much biology.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
     With the last few cycles, Micah was always so positive - he would always tell me that God wants us to have children and He could save this baby (when we were losing them.) My response was always - sure, He could - but I don't think He's going to.  Maybe it's just a difference in theology - my God is not all sunshine and roses; not everything works out the way the Christian wants them to.  Sure, God works all things for the good of those who love Him (Roman 8:28) but that doesn't mean we get our way in the moment.  So - usually, I'm cautious, I'll admit - even pessimistic.  Maybe I just like to protect myself from disappointment.

  But THIS cycle - it's totally different.  I really believe that I'm going to have a baby in 9 months.  I think that this child is a gift straight from God's hand and that He'll breathe life into these embryos.  I was feeling positive even before this weekend. But in church on Sunday, as we were worshipping, I began to feel even more hopeful.  They played two songs that are very special to us.  First was "Never Once" by Matt Redman - talking about how God has been with us through all the trials and battles and He's never left us.  Then we sang "Mighty to Save" by Chris Tomlin - which has sort of been "our" song - we chose it for worship at our wedding and it was a special experience where everyone in the room (nonbelievers too) could sense the presence of the Holy Spirit.  (The non-christians didn't call it that - but they commented on "something spiritual' going on.")  As we worshipped God through those songs, I began to feel even more confident and hopeful that God is going to do another miracle for us through this cycle.

  Then we got to the clinic on Monday morning.  We had a couples massage right before my transfer.  (To help me relax - and Micah wanted one too.)  There is a spa attached to the clinic so it was all very relaxing.  Then I saw our embryos.  Check out this pic:
That little one is really hatching.  Not just a little bit - it's looking of a place to implant.  Hopefully, it found one!  The transfer went smoothly.  They are trying something new where they squirt a little HcG into the uterus about 7 min before they put the embryos in - I guess studies have shown that HcG increases the receptor cells in the uterine lining.  Whatever - I'm up for anything they think will help.  (It just meant that I had to lay there for 7 minutes with the catheter through my cervix before they transferred the embryos.)

   I've just been laying around resting yesterday and today.  The next week is super busy - Micah is going out of town with our teens for a few days and I have lots of work to do.  Our first beta is next Wednesday.  (We've only told 3 family members, and they all think beta is Friday - so we can see if it doubles before telling anyone.)  I think the time will fly by quickly.  I hate waiting.  I just want to know right now if it worked!
    I realize that by being so positive and hopeful, I'm setting myself up for greater disappointment if it fails.  But the outcome will be the same regardless of how I feel about it.  So I'm going to choose to be positive this time.  I'll keep y'all posted.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Aahhh - that familiar pain in the rear.....

We are just days away from our FET! 
We started the PIO shots yesterday - and, as it was last time - Micah did a great job with the shot itself - barely felt it.  Later in the day, I walked down the hall and thought "ahhh.... there it is" - the sore butt with the achiness shooting down my left leg.  The knowlege that it's only going to get worse.  The memories of limping and the bruises built up. Followed by the joy of knowing that I'm doing everything I can to create a healthy environment for this next little embryo.  The 2 "failed" cycles we had were both with Crinone only, so I am actually pleased to be on the PIO.  It makes me more confident.
  In fact, I'm feeling very positive about this whole cycle.  The first time, I was nothing but hopeful.  I hadn't experienced the pain of loss yet.  But after a 6w miscarriage and a failed cycle - my innocence is gone.  I know all too well that things can (and do) go wrong.  I imagine that I'll be checking the TP every time I go to the bathroom.  But I do feel good.  Micah scheduled a massage for me to help me relax before my transfer on Monday.  I took both Monday and Tuesday off from school so I can lay on the couch all day. 
   I'm already planning on being pregnant this spring and summer.  I'm in a wedding so I'm trying to find a maternity bridesmaid dress.  In talking about vacation plans, I'm assuming I'll have a newborn next Christmas.  I know the danger in planning ahead.  (In fact, my due date for the one I lost is next week - I had planned on having a baby now.)  But, yet - my mind is off and running.  I'm taking it as a positive, healthy sign b/c I can be a bit of a pessimist.  This time, I'm hopeful.
Send some prayers my way on Monday morning if you think of it - pray that those embies snuggle in tight!