Okay, so now that I am on the verge of the end of fertility treatment, I am finally starting a blog. Recently I started reading a variety of IF posts and blogs, and it has been really helpful. But I must say, I'm really nervous to be entering what (one way or another) will be our last IVF cycle. Especially to start sharing all the drama that will go along with that -- it might make it all the more real. But I've seen what a great network many of you seem to be to one another, so I think it is time to share.
My husband and I are 35 and dealing with unexplained secondary infertility. We have a wonderful boy who just turned 4 and, when he is not a terror, is a complete joy. It took nine months and one chemical pregnancy (I hate that term!) before we conceived J, and I was frantic that it would never happen. Infertility has always been a secret premonition for me since I was in my 20s. My husband and I married when we were 23, but both of us were pursuing professional degrees and held off starting a family. Like everyone with IF, I of course question that choice. But it would have been a nightmare to do both. Anyway, my mom was fertile mytrle (6 kids) and my sister had her 2 girls at over 33 -- so I had prayed I was okay. We had our son and I told myself the next one might take a little while, but would happen.
Well, after a year of trying ... nothing. We went directly to an RE, and he is great. Just to torment us, all our tests were normal. My husband and I are both medical professionals, so it was torture not to have a diagnosis. Diagnosis you can treat, unexplained you just fiddle around with. I did 7 months of Clomid and IUIs -- one extra since we missed an ovulation one cycle. Then I had to take some mental health leave, four months. By then I was chomping at the bit to get back in the game. We did our insurance covered 3 cycles of injectables with IUI. Nice follicles, great sperm counts -- no pregnancy. The only diagnostic test remaining was laparoscopy, but we decided that with no history of endometriosis we would pass. So it was time for IVF -- no insurance coverage for that.
I had been staying at home with our son, and opted not to go back to work when the fertility jaunt started. Well, that meant no money. We were lucky to get accepted for a NY state grant for one cycle of IVF where we paid a sliding scale amount based on our income. Then while waiting for the grant to come, I got pregnant -- non-treatment cycle (a curse of sorts since it echoed all those who insensitively tell you that you just need to relax). But my betas weren't doubling and it turned out to be a non-viable pregnancy or blighted ovum (I'm not a big fan of that term either). So after suffering through the Christmas holidays, I returned to the RE for a D&C. That was hard.
We finally did our IVF cycle and were devastated when 8 follicles only yielded 5 eggs, of which only 2 fertilized (one by ICSI). So they rushed them back into me and I suffered the 2ww. But I knew at 8 days post-transfer I wasn't pregnant, I just know my body after a stim cycle. And my beta confirmed -- no baby. Anyway, turns out my estrogen levels weren't rising much at the end of the cycle even though my follicles were growing. So my RE thinks the eggs weren't mature enough. Of course, I constantly worry that they are just old and crusty.
Now after all that background ... you can know that we are about to embark on our last hurrah of IVF. We scrounged some money and will live in further debt to give it one last try before my eggs shrivel up and blow away. We really can't afford this cycle, but couldn't live with ourselves if we didn't try. So on Saturday I start a new stimulation protocol and we cross our fingers. And toes.