Monday, January 01, 2007

12w3d - 2006 - A Year in Review

So, as I sit here on January 1st, it seems only appropriate to take a look back at this last year and think about what 2007 might bring.

January 2006
This is when the bad news really started to roll in. After approximately 18 months of TTC a 2nd child, we had our first appointment with an RE (reproductive endocronologist - fertililty specialist). I had done 3 rounds of Clomid with no luck. At least I was sure I ovulated on the crap, but otherwise, it was NOT a good drug for me. I was moody and the hot flashes really sucked. After some basic testing (cd3 bloodwork) I got some seriously crushing news. My cd3 FSH level was 16.5 - this is not good. I'm officially diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Reserve, nearly a death sentence in the world of infertility. My consultation with Dr. Google gives me nothing but a poor prognosis and talk of donor eggs. I start to believe that my dream of a 2nd child is all but over. Luckily, I also started seeing Lee, my acupuncturist, in January and saw that there might be a bit of light at the end of this tunnel. She helped me to start believing that FSH is just a number and not what defines me.

February 2006
We got yet another bit of bad news. The RE decided not to waste the Clomid I took for the CCCT and do an IUI. Since I'd been pregnant twice already by Hubby, we had no reason to suspect that there could be a problem there too. But alas, there was. The sperm count came back miserably low - post-wash was a mere 800,000. Most REs won't do IUI if the count is below 2 million. We were significantly below that, but since the sperm was already ready to go, we did the IUI anyway. We were crushed to realize that this was not likely to be our magic bullet.

March 2006
We re-group and decide to get going with IVF as soon as possible to not waste any more of my eggs. We have a trip to Hawaii already planned and it looks like my cycle isn't going to cooperate to allow us to start the IVF, so I go on progesterone suppositories to attempt to lenghthen my cycle so we can start the IVF upon our return from vacation. On the day of my last bit of pre-IVF testing (mock transfer & final bloodwork) I decide to take a hpt on a whim, just in case. Lo and behold, it's a BFP! Are you serious? We're supposed to not be able to do this on our own! Since I'm already at the clinic, they do a beta - it's a 6. Levels have to be above 5 to be considered positive. I'm not even worried about the level because I'm so surprised it was positive at all. Betas jump up nicely in the following days and we head to Hawaii on cloud 9.

April 2006
Hawaii was a blast and we anxiously await our first u/s to see this little bean. Finally, it's time and we see one baby with a heartbeat! Hubby is very happy, my RE, not so much. The baby is measuring several days behind where it should be and the heartrate is very low - 81bpm. I can tell from the look on her face that she doesn't expect this to go well, but they have us come back in a week to see. THE LONGEST WEEK OF MY LIFE. My acupuncturist helps me to 'get out of my head' and listen to my inner voice. I wake up one morning hearing a female voice telling me, "This pregnancy isn't going to make it, but it will be ok." Surprisingly, this brings me peace.

May 2006
Our second u/s showed that the heart had stopped and the gestational sac was already beginning to collapse. The D&C is scheduled for the next day, May 5. Happy friggin Cinco de Mayo to me! The next few days/weeks are a bit of a blur, filled with lots of tears and anger and hopelessness. Not a good time.

June 2006
My period shows up 28 days after the D&C, at least one thing was normal about the process. My RE wants me to have one more normal cycle before IVF so we wait. We get the karyotyping results back from the D&C - a normal baby girl. No known cause for the loss.

July 2006
Still waiting. No AF after 30 some days so my RE has me come in to take a look at what's going on. Here begins the battle with the cysts - 35mm on the right ovary. We decide to use an hCG trigger shot to get the cyst to pop so I can start IVF once we get back from a trip to the New Jersey shore for a family reunion. I also find out that my mom has 2 clotting disorders, Protein C & S deficiencies. Testing will later show that I have neither of them, thankfully. While in NJ, my period shows up too early and is heavier than I've ever experienced. No way to get cd2 monitoring done, so we have to wait another month to do IVF.

August 2006
Once again, my cycle goes beyond 30 days so off I go to the RE to take a look. This time the cyst is 30mm and estrogen is low, but we trigger again anyway and hope for the best. AF shows up and I go in for cd2 monitoring. The cyst is still there, but it's down to 15mm (just at the cut-off) and we decide to go ahead with the bcp for the IVF. My FSH has gone up a bit to 16.9, but whatever.

September 2006
After 11 days of bcp, I go in for suppression check to see how things look and WTF? the cyst isn't gone and it's recruited a friend - 23mm & 28mm. I have the buggers surgically aspirated and my protocol gets switched from MDL (micro-dose lupron) to Antagonist which I'm very happy about. 2 days later, we take another look and the 2 cysts are smaller, but not gone and there is a 3rd one popping up! All of this was for naught though as after 5 days of stims, my cycle is cancelled due to no response. Not poor response, but no response. My estrogen only climbs as high as 81. Due to the scheduled lab closure, I have to wait until November to try again. Fuck! Our post-cycle review appointment brings further bad news. My RE thinks that based on my response (or lack thereof) that we need to be very aggressive and plan to put back all the embryos I can make, if any. Up to 6. That absolutely freaks Hubby out and me a bit too. Our best odds for success with IVF is 15% - that's the best we get. I'm so over this and just want to be done already.

October 2006
Ah, yet another waiting cycle. I bring out the old thermometer so I'll have some idea of what's going on with my cycle and lookie there, I ovulated on time! This should time out perfectly for my IVF to start in early November. Finally, something's going right. In the 2ww, my temps are crazy high and I start to worry that my FSH is skyrocketing, that would not be good.

November 2006
On Nov 3, I'm 14dpo and temps are higher than ever. I finally give in to the POAS gods and they offer up the best reward ever - a very strong BFP! You hear about women who get pregnant on their own right before IVF, but not twice in one year! I'm scared that this pregnancy will echo the last one, but try not to stress about it. That BFP is already darker than anything I got last time. I'm supposed to be going in for cd2 monitoring on the 5th, but instead, I go in for a beta. It comes back at 331. 2nd beta is 592, we scheduled the u/s and wait and hope. First u/s shows one baby, in the uterus nice and high with a heartbeat of 128bpm, very healthy and normal - finally!

December 2006
2nd u/s shows that the baby is doing great with a heartbeat of 176bpm and measuring exactly on for dates. My 1 hour glucose screening test comes back with a very good score of 75. The NT scan shows a nice thin NT measurement. The bladder is big, but we're hoping that our streak of good news continues and the bladder measures smaller at the next u/s.

It's been quite a year and it ended waaaay better than I expected it to during most of the year. I hope that 2007 continues the positive trend, but after last year, I know not to take anything for granted and enjoy the good stuff as much as you can.


MereCat said...

Amazing how similar our stories are! Glad it turned out to be a good year after all.

Happy, happier, happiest 2007!

Kristen said...

Ok, now it is time to breath. :>)