Thursday, November 11, 2010

Journey

With the Holidays coming up it is a very difficult time of year for us, especially because of everything that we have been through in the past 16 months. Everyday it becomes harder to go through life pretending like everything is okay...because it is not. One of the most difficult aspects of this journey is knowing that you can't expect others to understand it, as they have not been through it. Another tough thing is seeing others so easily get what I have been working so hard for...but I have accepted that this is how life works, even though it doesn't make the experience any easier.

In my support group on Tuesday one of the women shared this video as it really sums up the emotions that we are going through. I can only hope that one day my prayers will be answered and this journey will come to an end.

http://www.tearsandhope.com/emptyarms_video.html

Monday, April 12, 2010

Trying to get myself together.

I have not been myself lately. I have been bitter and a bit on the mean side. I am actually attending a support group tomorrow night for those going through infertility...hopefully it will help and not depress me more than what I already am. We are still waiting for the pathology results, but I am crossing my fingers that this last loss was due to a chromosomal defect and not anything related to my health.


As we did with the first loss, we bought this angel on the day of my surgery so we will never forget the time our angel baby was with us. Another angel in Heaven to watch over me...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Another angel to watch over me...

Monday before my transfusion I had my weekly ultrasound to check the baby and we discovered that the heartbeat was gone. Because I was further along, they scheduled me for a D&C Tuesday morning. After not sleeping all night I decided 2 hours before my surgery to put it off as I was in total denial about what had happened. My primary care physician repeated the ultrasound Tuesday evening and confirmed that the baby had passed away. I rescheduled my D&C for Thursday morning and went through with it.

I will be taking a hiatus from life for a while as I don't want to participate in reality at the moment. I am sure that in time I will feel better but right now I am not okay. I appreciate everyone's kind words. I have had my phone and computer off all week so I apologize if I have missed any calls or messages. I am not ready to talk about this. Thanks everyone, for understanding.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Am So Bored!!

Well, I was discharged from the hospital (finally) yesterday afternoon. My wonderful Gastroenterologist was able to find a medication that is safe with my pregnancy. I am still having quite a bit of pain but it seems like things are finally starting to calm down a little. Today I went for another ultrasound and I am happy to report that the baby is doing fine. The heart rate is already up to 138bpm. I go for another ultrasound next Monday, right before my second transfusion.

So, I am home resting for a few days and I am absolutely bored out of my mind. I decided that I wanted to start looking at baby furniture and I was able to find exactly what I was looking for. I (very quickly) stopped at Babies'R'Us after my appointment and was able to see it in person.


Heritage Collection by Baby Cache in Cherry

I think it totally fits the style of our house and it is solid Mahogany (which I love.) We will get good use out of it as it converts into a toddler bed and a full size bed.

So that is all for now. Time for another nap!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quick Update

I am still in the hospital (second time in a week) and they still can't figure out what is wrong. It is like my intestines are seizing up and they can't stop it. The doctor that I saw yesterday said that after I get past the first trimester (about 5 more weeks), I would be able to go back on some of my medicine which prevents this. They had to take me off of it as it effects the baby's development at this point.

On a positive note, my OB did an ultrasound yesterday to check on the baby and the baby has quadrupled in size since Tuesday and we now have a heart rate of 113! I have 33 more weeks to enjoy this and I am hoping the pain will go away long enough so that I can. At least my baby is fine...that is all that matters.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

We Have a Heartbeat!!!!

After the fiasco this weekend (I will explain in a minute) our Monday ultrasound got pushed to today. My husband finally got to go with me which worked out great because we were finally able to see the baby and the heartbeat!!



My official due date is November 3rd! However, I am sure that by the beginning of October I will be ready to get it out!!

So my fiasco this weekend...I have been having quite a bit of pain over the past week in my lower abdomen and back. After verifying that the baby was okay, the doctor told me to keep on eye on it. Friday night, on our way to see a musical at the theater, the pain intensified so much that I didn't think that I was going to make it. I called the on-call nurse and she said that I should go to the ER. Well, the pain let up in about 20 minutes so I decided not to go. The next night the pain got so bad that I thought I was dying. My husband immediately brought me to the ER where the physician was sure that I had a rupturing appendix. They tried to see what was going on with an ultrasound but they couldn't. They then spent 3 hours trying to convince me to have a CT scan but I refused because of the amount of radiation and how much it would put the baby at risk. Finally, the radiologist agreed with me and decided to do a MRI, however, the hospital's MRI was down and they had to transport me via ambulance to another facility for the MRI. Needless to say, my appendix was fine, but they found I had an intestinal blockage...hence the horrible pain. They admitted me (to maternity) and hydrated me with fluids and gave me medicine to help clear the blockage. I am still in a bit of pain but I'm sure it will get better with time. It is amazing that this little thing inside my belly is causing so many problems...already!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

*SIGH*....

Earlier today I had my first ultrasound and yet another blood draw to check my hormone levels. Everything looked right on track and I got to see the gestational sac.



They told me at my next ultrasound that I should be able to see the fetal pole and possibly even a heartbeat!

After this weekend's events I was a bit nervous to get the results of my blood work. Until we see the heartbeat, the only way to tell that everything is going well is by my hormone levels. CNY called me right around 1:30 and informed me that my HCG went from 740 (Friday) up to 4793.6 which is a 237% increase. They told me at this point I have nothing to worry about and should try and relax until my next ultrasound which is a week from today. I am also a bit relieved as this was my last HCG draw as my levels are perfect. Everything else will now be based on ultrasound. I am so happy!!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ughh!!

Well, I am happy to report that I have made it through my first transfusion with nothing but a headache and fatigue. Well, sort of...

Let me start from Wednesday night. I had a total meltdown abut 10pm on Wednesday as it was the first night using Lovenox (injectable blood thinner) and I couldn't seem to get over the fact that I had to stick this inch long needle into my stomach. I almost went to the ER to have a nurse there do it as every time I put the needle up to my stomach I would start violently shaking and sobbing. Needless to say I ended up doing it as I had no choice. Last night went much smoother.

So...after coming home yesterday I was exhausted and laid down for a 3 hour nap. I got up and went to the bathroom and noticed bright pink blood. I immediately freaked out and called the nurse on-call. She said it was probably a mix of the progesterone supplement and the blood thinner but she wanted me to come in this morning to have blood work just in case. When I woke up this morning the bleeding had stopped. When I got to CNY I thought I had to go to the bathroom again but it was a false alarm but I started bleeding again. They assured me not to worry (yeah right!!) and they would call me later with the results. When I got home I thought, yet again, that I had to go to the bathroom and this time I was right but the bleeding got a lot more severe. Again, I freaked out and called CNY immediately. They said that what I was seeing was probably a result of the progesterone building up...they said they see that a lot. Just in case, they have decided to put me on bed rest until my ultrasound on Monday. They did tell me that my HCG again more than doubled bringing it now up to 748. They said that it was excellent! They did say however, that if I am going to miscarry again that there is nothing that can be done (which I already know). They did say that if I was miscarrying that I would have a lot more blood than I do now and I would also be having bad cramps. The only pain I have is gas pains...thank you lovely pregnancy hormones!!

On my ass I will sit all weekend. I am sure that everything is okay but I am afraid to get my hopes up. I will know more on Monday. Who the hell ever said that having a baby was easy!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What a relief!!

So my appointment ended up getting delayed because of this stupid snow so my anxiety had a chance to ruminate for an additional four hours. They came in and drew my blood and warned me if my HCG level didn't quite double it was okay as it hasn't been a full 48 hours and HCG levels should double every 48-72 hours. After they were done they brought in a training kit to show me how to inject the Lovenox, which is a blood thinner similar to Heparin. As soon as they took the needle out and told me that I had to give myself an injection every night in my stomach, I became extremely lightheaded and nauseous. I must have turned white (or green) as the nurse grabbed my arm and asked me if I was okay. I had a hard time responding as there was very loud ringing in my ears and my vision was quite spotty. I finally came to it and realized that the room was now full of staff! I can't believe that I actually blacked out. The only response I had was "what the hell!" After bringing me in something to drink I felt better and I went on my way. About 2pm I received a phone call and the nurse asked me if I was sitting down, so now I am freaking out. She informed me that my HCG more than tripled with the value being 303.2 and my progesterone went up from 25 to over 30. She told my numbers were phenomenal. I am so happy, and a bit relieved.

Tomorrow I have my first IVIG infusion at 9am. I am pretty nervous. They told me to bring in a book or magazines as it is a very slow, and boring process. Despite this wonderful news, I am very excited that I am having my first ultrasound on Monday!

We are still very early in the pregnancy and anything can still happen but I am feeling quite positive that we will be having a baby at the end of October, beginning of November. Once I hold my baby in my arms, everything that I have endured will be worth it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Is it the hormones??

I don't know if it is the hormones raging through my body or if it is just pure anxiety but my dreams have been out of control. Last night all I dreamt about was losing the baby. I even woke up to find that I was soaked in sweat...talk about being hormonal!!

Tomorrow I go for round 2 of blood work to make sure my HCG levels are doubling every 48-72 hours like they should be. I am quite nervous as it was the second set of blood work back in November that we found out that our pregnancy wasn't viable. Needless to say I am scared to death. CNY called me this morning and said that they collaborated with my Immunologist and decided it was best to start me on specialized blood transfusions called IvIg. The infusions take anywhere from 2-4 hours and I have to have them every 28 days. I was happy to find out that my insurance has agreed to pay for them in full as they are extremely expensive. My first transfusion is Thursday morning. I will post another update tomorrow once I know the results of my blood work.
Everyone say a few prayers for me tonight!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Where do I start??

Last Thursday we anxiously attended our consultation with the new RE. We were very impressed with the facility as it was both comfortable and relaxing.



We initially sat down with the doctor to go over my past history and to discuss the whole "baby thing." He asked me why I wanted to have a baby so badly and I sat there for a few seconds and I responded "because I can't imagine my life with one." He seemed very happy with that response as he was grinning from ear to ear. He then said "well, lets get started."

A nurse came in to get me for an ultrasound while another one came and got my husband to do the wonderful task of, umm...well, getting is Olympic swimmers into a cup. What this man won't do for me! Anyway, as the doctor was doing the ultrasound his total demeanor changed. I hesitantly asked him what was wrong as I didn't want more bad news. He asked me if any other physician ever said anything about my ovaries. I said "no, why?" He told me that both of my ovaries looked polycystic. He said that this would explain why my periods are so irregular and painful.

I joined my husband back in the consultation room and told him what the doctor had said. At this point I couldn't hold back the tears. The nurse and the doctor both came in and started discussing our options. He said that he recommends going right to IVF or the injectable hormones and IUI, at the very least. Since the insurance covers the IUI we decided that we would go this route to start. I walked out with 3 different meds I had to inject, a progesterone supplement, and a diabetic medication that is supposed to help with the polycystic ovaries. They told me to call them the first day my period started and they would have me come in for a "needle in-service" so I knew how to inject myself.

At this point I am now very excited about getting my period (I think that is a first) and don't you know that it never came on Friday. All I could think is that there is some greater being that absolutely hates me. Saturday morning...nothing...what the hell!! My husband saw how frustrated and stressed I was so he took me out to my favorite Italian restaurant. While we were there my emotions became very overwhelming and I started crying. Needless to say, I thought for sure that this bout of drama was due to my upcoming period.

Sunday morning I woke up and still nothing. I was so fed up! Well, needless to say we had a "kink" in our fertility plans, but it wasn't the kind of kink we expected...


We are cautiously excited!!

I went for blood work this morning and everything looks good so far. I have to go back Wednesday morning to make sure my HcG levels are doubling like they are supposed to. I could have my first ultrasound as early as next week. We are very happy and very cautious at the same time. Once I get through the next 8 weeks, I will feel much better.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sorry for the delay....

I know many of you have been wondering what happened on Thursday and I have been waiting to tell everyone about my experience at CNY Fertility Center. Over the weekend we had a little kink in our fertility plans so I will update my blog as soon as I know what is going on. I am going in to see the doctor tomorrow morning at 8:30 to figure out this "kink" and I will update everyone as soon as I know more. I would rather have the whole story before I share.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

2 Days and Counting!!

I am now counting down the hours to my appointment at CNY. I am having a lot of mixed emotions about what is going to happen. My husband and I have been doing a lot of talking about what to do, as the RE tends to let his patients decide what course to take. We are are up in the air if we should start with Meds and IUI or should we go straight to IVF. We are quite concerned about multiple births with either procedure but naturally IVF carries a higher rate, with IUI the chance is between 20-40% for twins. I wouldn't mind, but my husband would lose his mind! Could you imagine if I was the next Octomom!!

No matter what road we decide to take, it is going to be a long and time consuming journey. With either procedure comes constant monitoring with ultrasounds (generally once a week), injections multiple times a day and the pure anxiety and anticipation of what is happening in the "oven". Until then, I will try to relax...yeah right!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What the hell!!


I am beginning to believe that there is a greater power that is determined to make me miserable. Just when you start having a bit of hope, something else has to go wrong to take it away. This month isn't going well at all. My monitor is indicating that there is an insufficient amount of Estrogen in my system, despite my early cycle levels being good. My levels should have increased dramatically by now but they haven't...I don't understand.

It is kind of ironic as we spend the first 15 or so years of our "womanhood" trying to avoid getting pregnant, not caring if our monthly visitor ever shows up again. It isn't until you decide that it is time to start a family that you realize how difficult the process it. It is easy to take for granted the process of how this happens. Yes, there are those lucky women who get pregnant right away with no problem, but I am finding out how common fertility issues are by talking to other people. I have learned that 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Many of them go unnoticed as they happen before a woman even knows that she is pregnant. Just since I started this blog, I have had 3 people that I have known for years confide in me that they too went through much heartbreak, some having a happy ending, others, not so much. It is very frustrating to find out that fertility problems are so common, yet the topic is so taboo.

I am starting to accept that this is not going to be an easy road, by any means. I keep telling myself that I don't need help and that it will happen on its own. Being told that you can't produce children naturally is like being told you aren't a woman. Until you have gone through it, you don't understand. I am very thankful that I have had my husband through all of this as he has been an absolute saint. I am very lucky to have him. I apologize for my sappiness today, but I received an email update today from one of the baby sites that I signed up with when we found out I was pregnant, and it was congratulating me on making it through my first 18 weeks of pregnancy. Not a good day...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Level 1 Assessment...Check!

I received a call from my OB/GYN a little while ago, one that I have been waiting anxiously to receive. Today she got the results of my Cycle Day 3 blood panels and...everything looks fantastic!! They said the quality of my eggs are fantastic and all of my other hormone levels are well in the normal range. This takes a huge pressure off of me as this just ruled out Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), something that makes conception virtually impossible. The only blood panel that I still have to get done is my progesterone level, but this cannot be done until 7-10 days after ovulation. This is the area where they think I have a problem, but at least it can be corrected.

A Level 2 assessment consists of checking for physical barriers to conception such as tubal and uterine abnormalities. I already have my ultrasound scheduled for the day of my appointment with the RE. I am hoping that they are not going to want to do any type of exploratory procedures as I do not think they are warranted at this time. Luckily, I have already had a Level 3 assessment done as a result of my diagnosis of having a primary immune dysfunction. If the RE determines that this is causing the fertility issues then I can receive IvIg transfusions every 4 weeks. Over the summer my Immunologist tried to get these transfusions approved, but my insurance wouldn't cover them as I was not "sick" enough. I am currently at about 65% immune function and the threshold for treatment with my insurance company is 30% (or near death..haha). The reason for this is that each transfusion, because they are so specialized, costs between $8000-10000 each. However, if a specialist makes the determination that it is impeding my fertility, they have to pay for it.

So I guess this is good news for now. Hoping for more magical baby dust!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Not what I wanted to hear, but not as bad as I thought.

My husband and I went to go see my OB/GYN today, and after reviewing all of my information, she informed that she believes that it is in my best interest to see a fertility specialist. She said it was very promising that I was even able to get pregnant in the first place, but I am going to need some help to get to the end result I want...a healthy, full term pregnancy. I was referred to an RE through the Central New York Fertility Center based out of Syracuse. He is supposed to be one of the State's leading fertility doctors so I am very lucky that I got in to see him. My OB/GYN explained to me that several options will be given to me including Clomid/Progesterone therapy, hormone therapy with IUI, and hormone therapy with IVF. Tomorrow I have to go get a series of 5 blood panels done and an ultrasound in a couple of weeks in preparation for the appointment which is on Feb. 18th. I am a bit discouraged that it is such a long wait, but from what I have heard, I am actually getting in pretty quickly. I am not looking forward to getting poked and prodded, but it will all be worth it in the end. Hoping for lots of magical baby dust!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Why me?

I was right, things are not looking so positive. My cycle ended abruptly. It is now confirmed that my body cannot sustain a pregnancy on its own as my luteal phase is way too short. A little medical info:

Your luteal phase is the phase between ovulation and when you get your next period. Typically this phase is between 12-14 days. During this time your body starts to produce progesterone, which will support a baby until the placenta takes over around week 10 of pregnancy. If your egg is not fertilized your progesterone levels drop, and you get your monthly visitor. Well, in order for a pregnancy to be supported, your progesterone levels must stay elevated long enough for the uterine lining to build, otherwise, a chemical pregnancy will result. A luteal phase under 12 days is considered a defect. My average is 9 days, with my current cycle being only 8 days. It is absolutely impossible for a person to stay pregnant when this happens. This results in continuous miscarriages.

I am not jumping to conclusions, but I am very upset. My appointment is tomorrow morning so I should know a lot more. Typically, they start to treat you with fertility drugs and progesterone supplements, and if they don't work, IVF with heavy duty fertility drugs are used. This is not what I wanted to hear but what can I do. I am fearful that my OB/GYN is going to want to take biopsies before starting me on anything which will delay the "baby making" process by a few months. Keep your fingers crossed and I will post an update tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why am I writing this blog you ask?

Because we want to have a Baby!! I have been blogging on other sites for a while about various things, but I have decided to start this blog to share some of my experiences about our journey to have a baby. So here is my story to bring you all up to speed:

Back in 1999, I was diagnosed with Stage IA cervical cancer. This means that it was in the earliest stages. It could only be seen under a microscope and did not spread to nearby lymph nodes or other distant sites. I was VERY lucky they caught it when they did. This is partially due to the fact that I was under close watch as my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV uterine cancer when she was 32. I underwent surgery and they were very successful in removing it all. After the surgery, my doctor at the time told me that it would probably be wise for me not to have children as I was at risk of miscarrying the fetus once it reached a certain weight. So for the next 10 years I had it in my mind that I never wanted children. Why want something you can't have, right? I then went on to marry the man of my dreams in November of 2006 and that was that.

Well, fast forward to 2009 when everything started to change. After moving up to Saratoga Springs, I decided to change to a wonderful OB/GYN. We talked at length about my history and then she asked me if I ever planned on having kids. I told her what my previous physician said and she informed me that if I wanted to try and have a baby, she would work with me and get me through it. Over the next few months I really started to think about it and became attached to the idea over the summer. Needless to say I went off my birth control (after being on it for 13 years) and we started to plan things out.

Things didn't go as smoothly as I thought they would. After coming off of the pill, my cycle went crazy. After not getting my period for almost 3 months, she diagnosed me with infertility. I was mortified. We decided that we would give my body a few months to work itself out and then we would take action. Well...needless to say we weren't infertile, we were pregnant. We found out we were pregnant in the beginning of November. She sent me in for an ultrasound about a week later...I remember that it was a Friday evening that we went, and we left without any results. At 2am Saturday morning we got a call from the ER and we were asked to come right in. They ran some blood work, told me that I had a 16mm mass on my right ovary and sent me home. I went back Monday for repeat blood work to make sure everything was okay. At 1:16pm on Monday I received the phone call that no pregnant woman ever wants to get. They told me that my HCG levels (pregnancy hormone) were not increasing like they should and that this pregnancy was ectopic and had to be terminated. My husband took me to the ER where I received 2 injections of Methotrexate to dissolve the pregnancy. I can't even describe the emotions that were running through me. I was angry, confused, sad, all at the same time. How could I be given such a gift just to have it ripped away from me a short time later? I kept telling myself that everything happens for a reason, but deep down inside I didn't believe that. After being discharged from the ER, my husband and I went to the gift shop to get something to drink and something caught my eye. It was a ivory colored porcelain figurine of an angel reaching down to a small child. I refused to leave without it. It now sits in my china cabinet as a reminder of what I had and what could have been.

Since then I have been using a fertility monitor and monitoring my basal body temps to see if there is some kind of abnormality. So far things are not looking very positive but we are waiting for this cycle to finish to see what the outcome is. Keep your fingers crossed.