Life After IVF…

The last 4+ months have been pretty eventful. We took some time to grieve, and while I don’t think we’ll ever get over our two embabies, we had to count our blessings and move on. For those wondering “is there life after IVF?” the answer is yes! Now I know, our story is very different than most… we didn’t go through years of timing sex around when we were ovulating, we never did IUIs and we never even considered the good ol “turkey baster”…. we just jumped right into IVF/ ICSI assisted reproductive technology top dollar shit. But here we are… a year later. A little over $20,000 in (which I know is chump change compared to what some of you have spent), 30+ lbs gained, and baby/embryo-less.

Let me get back to where I was going with this… oh yes, life! Since my last post I celebrated my 29th birthday in Vegas with our closest friends. The last year in my twenties… ahhh!  We went to the Aquarium at the Mandalay Bay and went on the High Roller. While I highly recommend both, I wouldn’t pay full price to go to either so if you’re ever in Vegas use Groupon, Living Social, Trip Advisor, etc.

In May we celebrated our 3rd (marriage) anniversary. We flew to Florida and took a cruise on Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas to Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. While in Haiti we zip lined which was on my bucket list, and while in Grand Cayman we swam with the stingrays (which was also awesome!) I got pretty sh*t faced one of the last nights after we got into a discussion about “what’s next” (which I’ll get to in a bit) but overall we really enjoyed ourselves and I think it’s exactly what we needed. So much of our traveling was put on hold because of the baby making plans so the silver lining in our failed cycle was being able to take this vacation. We’re hoping to go to New York in December and then maybe take an Alaskan Cruise next May.

Our ship in Hait:

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The view of Hait from our balcony:

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This isn’t the best pic because it’s a screen shot of the video on my phone… but this is the view of when we went zip lining. Even at over $100 each I would do it again if I could!

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Grand Cayman:

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2 weeks before  the trip… we moved. FINALLY, no more apartment living. We found a 2 bedroom with all of the amenities the last place was lacking & for the same price! We finally have a bedroom again! Yay. Last weekend we traded in our car and got a 2016 Hyundai Elantra. We rented one for a week last year when we drove from San Francisco to Canada and we fell in love with it. We also lowered our car payment by $130 a month! Initially my wife wanted a Kia Optima and I was stuck on getting a Jeep Wrangler (my inner lesbian was really pushing for this one) but since we have bigger plans in the near future we went with an Elantra. Womp womp womp! Haha, I really do love it though!

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We recently joined Weight Watchers (err, again). I expected to gain some weight while on the IVF medications but I did not expect to go up 30lbs! (10 with the birth control and 20 with the progesterone shots!) I can’t blame it COMPLETELY on the meds. I also got lazy. So here I am, back on another weight loss journey (I don’t think I ever mentioned I previously lost these 30lbs before and the sons of b*&%es found me) Anyway, that’s that!

So “what’s next?” for us? Well, this topic hasn’t been an easy one for us to discuss. Reciprocal IVF is what we wanted. It’s what we planned for. We were so oblivious to the obstacles and challenges  we were up against. Now knowing what we do (my wife has a very low ovarian reserve) we were left to decide if we wanted to try IVF again (we prepaid for the 2nd cycle however we would still have to pay $2000 for the anesthesia and ICSI & $4000 for the medications + the sperm which I believe we paid about $950 or so with courier cost) or buy a house. In a perfect world, we would do both… but with our middle class income we are forced to choose. My wife struggles with the idea of me being pregnant and her not having any biological ties to the baby, while I struggle with the idea of not being pregnant period. Her carrying my egg is not what I want, I could care less (ugh that sounds so harsh) if the child is biologically mine, I just want to be pregnant and carry a child regardless of whose genes it has. We’ve had many discussions (and a few heated arguments) about it but we have come to an agreement.  Since my wife wants a house more than anything in the world, and I want a baby… we are meeting each other in the middle. She has agreed to (me) going through artificial insemination once we get a house. Hopefully, we’ll find one around the end of our lease next year and then we can move forward with the baby making. We aren’t sure if we’ll try at home first (so we can still say my wife knocked me up) or if we’ll go back to our reproductive endocrinologist but we have plenty of time to decide on that. For now, my heart is happy knowing that this journey isn’t over.

I thank each and every one of you who followed our blog and supported us. This community is one of a kind and I’m so grateful to have had you all when I needed you most. Our posts will be minimal from here on out but I’m still following along with you and continue to keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Until next time…

L&L

Friday the 13th… Game over.

A mother’s intuition is never wrong.

For the last 2 weeks I woke up, breast hurting like my nipples were about to fall off. I woke up every morning… living for the babies inside of me. I was so happy. I felt them. I lived for them. Then 2 days ago I woke up… No pain. I cried. I knew it was over. That night I cried myself to sleep. I knew they were gone…. & I was right.

Today was my BETA. The nurse called a little after 3pm with the results… It was negative. Our embabies are gone.

Thank you for the thoughts, prayers, and kind words. You were there for us when we needed you most and we will continue to be here for you ladies. We don’t know where we are gonna go from here. Our plan is to find a new place to live, buy new cars, and travel. But as far as a baby… those plans are on hold. We ask for your prayers to get us through this difficult time.

 

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I’m this pic I am on the left (the nest) my wife is on the right (the eggs)

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It’s been one week and one day since the transfer. The first few days weren’t so bad. The last few days have been horrible. My patience is wearing thin. I’ve been testing since Friday (I know, I know… too soon) and of course it’s been negative. I haven’t lost hope just yet. Last night I had some cramping. It could be implantation, AF coming or shit cramps…. Only God knows at this point. I’ve been on progesterone injections since 1/31/15 and I’ve been on progesterone suppositories since 2/3/15. I itch…. well, everywhere. I really hope all of this will be worth it in the end. Friday is our beta. I’m off that day so depending on results I’ll either be celebrating (cautiously) or drowning my sorrows. Either way, I’m just happy the TWW is almost over.

Embryo Transfer Complete!

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2 of our 3 eggs fertilized & they were both transferred today! Grading wasn’t the best but it wasn’t the worst which makes me hopeful. The procedure took longer than it should have due to my curved cervix. I had to empty my bladder a little about half way through because it was too full. I have mild cramping but that was expected. So now… we wait. AGAIN. I’ve been on bedrest for 4 hours now and I’m bored out of my mind! My wife was kind enough to make me dinner: fajitas with avocado & beans! It was delicious! I’m going to take tomorrow off and resume work on Wednesday. Since I work from home I’ll still be able to be rest… I’ll just be resting in my office on the computer 🙂

We didn’t receive a call Saturday or Sunday regarding the status of the eggs…  needless to say it was the longest weekend ever! Saturday we went to Big Bear to see the snow. Afterwards we had dinner with our friends and hung out at their place. Yesterday we spent all day deep cleaning the apt. but not knowing if we had any embryos at all really took its toll on us emotionally and mentally. We couldn’t enjoy ourselves no matter how much we tried.

Progesterone shots are a pain in the a$s… literally. My butt cheeks are extremely itchy! And just to think the fun is just beginning!  The suppositories start tomorrow! Yay!

Thank you for your well wishes, kind words, and prayers. It means a lot to us. ❤

& the total number of eggs retrieved was…

THREE. Yup…. 3! IMG_7927 This is actually good news so be happy for us! Minutes before I found out the grand total the doctor came in, sat down and told me he was only able to get one. ONE!  My heart dropped. He went on to explain that all of the right follicles were empty, and he was only able to do the retrieval on the left by going through the abdominal area.  (Trans-abdominal egg retrieval) He was probably more disappointed than I was. He told me it was the hardest egg retrieval he has done in 12 years. I shook his hand graciously knowing he did everything he could. I was on the verge of tears and I started to pray… within minutes I felt better. I was more concerned about my wife and how she felt. There was another girl in the recovery area next to us who was in a ridiculous amount of pain and all  I could think was… “my poor wife!” Right before they brought her in Dr. A came in with a big smile on his face and said “he found 2 more in the last tube! you have a total of 3!”  My wife was then rolled into the recover area. As soon as she could see me she yelled “BABY!” in her high pitch spoiled voice. She was wayyy better than I expected her to be! I thought they had already told her the news but they hadn’t. She was bummed when I told her but I explained how initially we thought she only had one and how three was actually a good number in our case. They monitored her for about 30 minutes and we were free to go. She starts doxycycline today. Here is a picture of her before the retrieval and her lucky socks. I wore my Origami Owl necklace with the charms she gave me when we started the process. ❤

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IMG_7924 Because we only have 3 eggs they have scheduled the transfer for Monday. If Monday the eggs are doing good they might move it to Wednesday but as of right now we’re planning for Monday. I start progesterone injections today along with doxycycline and I’m done with Lupron. Should the transfer go well on Monday, I’ll then start the progesterone suppositories that you ladies love so much! (haha) Well, that’s about it for now. I’m sure I could go on and on about today but I need to clean and get this place in order for bed rest next week. I want to thank each of you who have followed our journey this far. Your kind words, support, encouragement and prayers mean more to me than I could ever express. This community is amazing ❤ I hope everyone has a great weekend. Please continue keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

January 28, 2015 (update) CD12

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I feel like we just started this journey… & I’m not prepared for it to end. Part of me has accepted the worst… already thinking of where to go on our next vacation… meal planning and looking for a gym membership for a better tomorrow. Thinking 6 months ahead to “when we try again.” The other part of me is still hopeful, reminding myself that it isn’t over yet… talking & praying to God… referring to”the baby” as if he/she already exists… planning for a family. Our family. & then the doubts trickle back into my mind and the cycle continues. It’s an emotional roller coaster…. and it’s exhausting.

My wife’s estrogen is at 800ish. It’s been the same for the last two days which basically means her body is done responding to the medication. At this point, we’re looking at about 4 mature eggs if we’re lucky. Dr. A gave us 2 choices; cancel the cycle or finish. We opted to finish since we’ve already come this far. We’ve known since the beginning that the outcome would be minimal so I can’t say I’m surprised. I guess I was just hoping for a miracle (don’t we all?).  Anyway, I injected her with the final dose of Menopur & Follistim as soon as we got home. The trigger shot will be done tonight at 12:30am and she is scheduled for an egg retrieval Friday at 10:30am. It’s going to be a long 36 hours….

I recently signed up for Today’s Word with Joel & Victoria. Every day an email is sent with a scripture, word, and prayer. I’m trying to work on my faith and relationship with God and these daily emails make it a lot eaiser. Just wanted to share…

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January 27, 2015 (update) CD11 & CD19

The wife (CD11): Today’s ultrasound showed follicles on the right AND left ovaries! The left side was still hard to see but at least we know it’s responding to the medication. I know I should have asked more questions (how many? how big? etc…) but I was just happy that we saw what we did! She is on day 9 of her injections, and if all looks well tomorrow we may be looking at an egg retrieval by the end of this week!! She will be going in for blood work alone at 7am tomorrow and then I’ll be meeting her for her ultrasound at 2pm. Please keep us in your thoughts!!

Me (CD19): My uterus is still doing her thing. My ovaries are quiet as they are supposed to be. I am good to go and don’t have any other appointments scheduled until we find out what’s going on with the eggs.

I know this update is super short but it’s straight to the point. Please send us positive vibes and/or say a little prayer for us. The more, the better! Good night!