My 100th post! :)

by Kathy on October 9, 2007 · 0 comments

in FET #1, Sean

This is my 100th post since I began this blog six months ago, in April of this year!

Sean is taking a nap this afternoon, for the first time in over a week! So I actually have some time to check in…

Today is day 18 of our cycle and God willing our ET will take place on Thursday! To show what a headcase I am, or at least have been in the past, my boobs feel bigger and sore, my uterus is crampy and I am experiencing a lot of fatigue and they haven’t even put in the embryo yet! 😉 It just goes to show that I am capable of having pregnancy symptoms, even when I know for sure that there is no way that I could actually be pregnant, at the moment I am experiencing them! 🙂 That said, it also speaks to how effective the many hormone replacement medications that I am taking are at convincing my body that I am pregnant, even when there is not an embryo in my uterus.

The PIO shots have been going well overall, though they seem to be hit or miss with us (pun intended), as Saturday’s was a little painful and the area where it was done stayed sore in the 48 hours or so following, whereas the last two night’s were almost painless and the area where they were has been not very sore the past two mornings. Go figure…

I will do only two more Lupron shots, tonight and tomorrow night. I will continue with everything else until the Beta (including daily PIO shots, twice daily progesterone vaginal suppositories, two estrace patches that get changed every three days, twice daily estridol vaginal pills, daily Baby Aspirn and daily prenatal vitamins). We should receive a phone call sometime tomorrow (Wednesday), letting us know the time for our ET on Thursday.

I am getting excited for Thursday, to be PUPO again, and trying to convince myself there there is actually a decent chance that this could work. I am trying to remind myself of all the FET success stories that I have heard about and read about recently and know that it isn’t out of the question that we could become one of them! 🙂 I have been thinking a lot about our dear frozen embryos and sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers their way.

To follow-up about my day 14 “lining check” appointment on Friday, as I said in my last post, overall it went well and things looked good, as far as my uterine lining and estrogen level (at least I gathered that, when I didn’t receive a phone call that afternoon telling me to adjust my protocol). However, I had a few interactions with one of the nurses that morning, that took me a back a bit… As she was drawing my blood, she was making small talk about our reproductive history. She asked if I had any children already and when I said yes, she asked if they helped us to have him. When I said no and explained about our secondary infertility issues, between our two miscarriages, our ectopic pregnancy and not having been able to conceive since then (November of 2005), the nurse asked me if our son’s birth had been a c-section. When I replied yes, she essentially gave me a knowing look and said something like “that figures, it seems a lot of women who have c-sections with their first child, can go on to have problems conceiving and/or sustaining future pregnancies.”

Though I have often thought about and wondered how much having Sean via c-section may have played into the problems we have had TTC#2, no one has ever been so blunt. When I have asked doctors in our OB/GYN practice, about any connections between c-section scar tissue and miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and general implantation problems, they have shrugged it off (maybe because they were the ones who preformed the two c-sections that I have had). Our RE has always said that he thinks the interstitial ectopic we had and the resulting surgery to remove it, is the major cause of our current infertility issues. So even though I know that there is nothing we can do about it, whether or not my previous c-sections are effecting our ability to conceive and/or sustain a pregnancy now, it is/was still hard to hear/know that they could be a factor.

I have always been a little disappointed that I didn’t have a vaginal birth and wondered if there was anything I could have done pre-labor (such as eaten better or exercised more, during my pregnancy, to lower Sean’s birth weight from 9lbs. 11oz.). That said, I know so many other women who had c-sections who ate better, exercised more and even had smaller babies than I did, which leads me to believe that such pre-labor adjustments, might not have made a difference. Regardless, there is nothing I can do about it now and though I know it is okay to think about it now and then, I need to try to move on. I really had made peace with my birth experience with Sean a long time ago, but this particular nurse’s comment on Friday, just brought the whole thought process to the forefront of my mind once again. I also had always wanted the opportunity to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section), if and when we were blessed to conceive and sustain a pregnancy again, but unfortunately, due to the surgery to remove the ectopic, our doctors don’t believe that my uterus should ever be in active labor again and would thus insist that we schedule a c-section, if and when we are to carry a pregnancy to term someday.

Another crazy thing that happened while I met with the nurse on Friday, after my u/s and blood work, was that when we reviewed the plan for the ET this Thursday, she tried to confirm that we would be transferring “two” embryos! YIKES!!! I was stunned and asked her where she got that idea. I explained our situation and emphasized how important it was to us and that we had been advised by our doctors, that ONLY ONE EMBRYO be transferred. She thumbed through her paperwork and the only explanation she could come up with, for the confusion, was that on our medical release forms, where it asks the maximum numbers of embryos to be transferred, she thought that my number “1,” sort of looked like a number “2.” I apparently had written it more formally (with a line at the base and a small line coming from the top left side of the number), versus just a single line. Also, our RE had a bad cold during our last consultation and wasn’t his usual self, in terms of remembering all of the details of our case, so even though we spent a great deal of time that day discussing the pros and cons of transferring more than one embryo in our situation and Bob and I both thought we were all on the same page at the end of our meeting, that we would still go with only one at the ET, I suppose it is possible that our RE misunderstood what we wanted to happen this time around!

Why do I feel like God secretly wants us to have twins, after all these little mishaps? Such as when the RE who did our ET last cycle, almost transferred two and now this?! 😉 As much as it might be awesome to have two at one time, we have been over and over this and believe, in light of the surgery to remove the ectopic, it is safest for us/me/my uterus to only transfer one. If the one would somehow split (a 1 – 2 % chance), we would welcome twins and closely monitor my pregnancy for problems, but we chose not to put me in a higher chance category for that to possibly happen, by transferring more than one. Alrighty, hopefully the door is finally closed on this topic and we can continue on with our plan to transfer one and ONLY one! 🙂

As usual, this post is getting really long, as they seem to, when I haven’t posted in awhile… A few more updates, not so related to our SIF (secondary infertility):

Sean’s 4th birthday week long celebration concluded on Saturday afternoon with a very fun “family” birthday party at our home! Sean had a great time celebrating with his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and some close family friends! He received some very thoughtful and generous gifts and has had a great time playing with them this week! The older he gets, the more Sean seems to appreciate his whole birthday experience, which is awesome to observe! 🙂

On another note, as I mentioned in a previous post, one of our relatives, who I also consider to be a good friend, had been training since April of this year, to run in her first marathon, here in Chicago, this past Sunday! She was prepared, excited and ready to achieve her goal when she set out to run 26.2 miles on Sunday morning. As you may have heard, unfortunately due to the record breaking heat for a Chicago marathon and the organizers apparent lack of planning to be prepared for that heat (in terms of things like not having enough water for the runners), about 10,000 of the 35,000 that set out to complete the marathon on Sunday were unable to. Many didn’t or couldn’t finish because of the heat, either by choice or by actually having to be rushed to the hospital for dehydration. Another large group, that included my friend, was told when they reached approximately mile 16, that due to the weather conditions, that the rest of the race was being cancelled and they literally were not going to be allowed to finish.

This was heart-breaking for my friend, and so many others, who had been training for months and were so motivated and determined to finish the race that day! Bob, Sean and I actually had taken the train downtown on Sunday afternoon, so we could be there when our family member crossed the finish line. We didn’t feel we could commit to being there all day for the race (which my friend predicted would take her over 5 hours to complete), for a variety of reasons, but we are/were so proud of her and wanted to be able to support her that day in person and celebrate with her when she reached her goal! When we made it to the runners area, where she had returned to (with her husband, some of her family, close friends and some of the people she had trained with over the past 6 months who also ran on Sunday), after being told she would not be allowed to try to finish the marathon that day, we felt so sad for her. My friend understandably was having a really hard time accepting that something she had worked so long and hard for, was not to be, at least not that day and she is determined to try to do it again some year in the future.

My friend self proclaims that in many ways she has been lucky and her life in many ways has been easy for her. She says that a lot has been given to her and that training for and running in this marathon was one of the first things (other than being pregnant and giving birth to her now 15 month old daughter) in her life that she can know and say that she did on her own, without help. No one could run the marathon for her, so that if she was able to do it, she would know that she did it on her own! She explained this in a very honest and touching thank you letter that she gave to those close friends and family members (including Bob, Sean and me), who supported her along the way, before the day of the marathon. Anyway, for better or worse, I think my friend learned another lesson on Sunday, in that even when you work hard and do your best, on your own or with assistance, that everything doesn’t always go your way or turn out as you expected. That is part of life and something we all need to learn to deal with. It doesn’t mean you don’t get to or can’t try again, but as “they” say, sometimes it is the journey that you get the most out of, more so even than reaching your destination.

To draw a parallel to my own struggle with infertility, that a guest on Oprah’s show this morning (that actually dealt with infertility) spoke about so well… Our whole lives people tell us that if only you work hard and do your best that you can achieve anything you want. Unfortunately, that truly is not the case with infertility. You can do everything in your power to try to have a biological child and that doesn’t mean it will happen. This is a very frustrating thing that infertile couples live with everyday. Of course ultimately even infertile couples have to move on, if they do not have success TTC and many are able to grow their family through adoption or decide to remain childless. But it is a reality that many people don’t have to deal with, unless they are touched by infertility. Anyway, my point being, that I could appreciate some of what my my friend was going through emotionally on Sunday afternoon, when despite her efforts to prepare for and finish the marathon, forces beyond her control precluded that from happening. Please pray for my friend that she can make peace with not being able to complete the marathon, at least not this time, and that she will continue to learn and grow from her training and race day experience, as she moves forward with her life.

Thank you, as always, for your comments, emails, support, thoughts and prayers, as we approach our third experience with an ET on Thursday. We hope and pray that this will be our time, that this little miracle will be the one that sticks, that expands our family and makes Sean a big brother! If this little one doesn’t implant, we will certainly be disappointed. But we also know that we are strong, that we will be okay and that we will be able to move on in the direction that makes the most sense to us after we review our options (be they another FET, another fresh IVF, adoption or to live on in contentment, with our family of three, as we are). Take care and may God bless you and yours.

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