Thursday, February 21, 2013

Infertility Treatments: Take Two

Hey Everyone!

Cycle two is done.  I'm going to get right to the point and tell you that it didn't work.  Again, not a huge surprise, but I had a little more hope for this one.  I'm not sure if it works this way for other women doing these treatments, but there comes a point when I just know it didn't work.  I don't need my period to show up or to take a test to know that I'm absolutely not pregnant.  It's weird, but I guess it also helps me to deal with it when that test day comes and I get a negative result.  

We had originally planned to do three cycles and then take a break.  We were going to do an IUI for the third cycle, just to maybe give us a little better shot at a positive.  That was the plan until last week.  Last week I just started to feel like I didn't want to do another cycle right now.  I don't want to take drugs, have multiple ultrasounds and have a Dr tell us when we have to DTD.  I don't want to spent another $1550 on a cycle that I really feel won't work.  We've already spent almost $3000 and it's only the middle of February!!  We knew that money would become an issue at some point and that point came a little sooner than we expected.  So after talking about it, we both decided that our heads are not in the right place right now to do another cycle.  We are going to try a different route.  

Before we left AZ I was seeing a naturopathic Dr.  I was going weekly to get acupuncture and massages.  I was also trying to see a chiropractor regularly, but wasn't doing a great job at that.  I loved that Dr.  I loved all the natural stuff I was doing, but I was also so stressed that I wasn't all that great at it.  Part of our goal when moving here was to really try to get healthier and more active and most of all, reduce our stress.  I think we've done great at reducing stress and we are working on getting healthier and more active. We recently found a chiropractor close to our house.  Our decision, for right now, is to see him regularly and continue making healthy positive choices for our overall health.  

I have to acknowledge that we may end up back at the RE's office.  I'm not expecting to get pregnant just by getting adjusted regularly and being healthy.  That would be amazing, but I need to be realistic, hopeful, but realistic   I've done the research and I know how important spine health is, but I also know how important those fertility Drs are.  You know, I just get so damn frustrated when I think of how much it all costs.  I read so many stories every single day of women and men doing cycle after cycle and not getting any results.  Now that I've done a couple of cycles, and know how much they cost and the toll they take on the body, it makes my heart break for these couples.  All we all want is a baby, a family, to be a mom and a dad.  It should not be this hard, but for millions of people, it is their every day struggle.  

It never ceases to amaze me the twists and turns of this journey.  The decisions that we make sometimes even surprise me, but I'm always so sure that it's the right one at that time.  I read a pin on Pinterest the other day that really resonated with me.  It said , "Do not follow your heart. Follow the conviction of the Holy Spirit."  That's always my goal.  

~Tonya

Please consider helping me raise money for RESOLVE, a wonderful organization that has helped me from the very beginning.  They do everything they can to raise awareness for those of us with infertility.  The Arizona Walk of Hope will take place on March 23rd.  Like I have the last two years, I am raising money and hopefully will be there to walk.  No one should walk this journey alone. 



Thursday, February 7, 2013

Infertility Treatments: Take One

Hi Everyone!!

Warning: This post is a little TMI and if you think you might be uncomfortable reading it, I would stop now! When you are infertile and doing treatments you just can't be embarrassed about this stuff.

In my last post I told you all that we were going to start treatments.  In this post I'm going to tell you about the treatments that we are doing.

Infertility treatments are weird.  They are stressful and unnatural.  They are so ridiculous and yet can be so amazing.  Our first treatment started at the end of December.  This is the treatment that most people who are struggling to get pregnant start with.  I was told to call the office on day one of my cycle and on day three I went in for a baseline ultrasound.  Now, I want you all to keep in mind that every time I say I went in for an ultrasound, I'm talking about a vaginal ultrasound.  I was given a drug to take on day three.  The drug is called letrozole (femara) and I had to take it for 5 days (days 3 through 7 of my cycle).  One day 9 I went in for another ultrasound so the Dr could check the follicles on my ovaries.  The great news is that I responded great to the drug and the Dr was very happy with the results.  On day 11 I went back for another ultrasound.  The afternoon of day 11 I went back to the office one more time and received a trigger shot in my arm which forces ovulation.  At this point is where the timed intercourse comes in.  We had to DTD (this is how I've referred to it for awhile now, it means do the deed) 24 hours and 36 hours after the shot.  I got the shot at 5 pm so the 24 hours after wasn't too big of a deal.  The 36 hours after was a little more difficult.  Setting an alarm at 5 in the morning and knowing that you have to DTD is extremely stressful and puts a ton of pressure on it.  We were not successful at 5am.  However, we were successful a little later in the morning.  After that we had to wait for 2 weeks before taking a pregnancy test to see if it worked.

It's hard to describe the feelings I had during that first cycle.  I kept thinking that we paid $1220 for this treatment and what if it doesn't work because we couldn't DTD at 5 in the morning, which I didn't want to say because the last thing I wanted to do was make Ryan feel guilty.  I had to take the drugs and get the ultrasounds, but he had to perform.  That's so much pressure and completely takes the romance out of it.  They start the treatment with timed intercourse because they say it makes it feel a little more natural, but I'm not sure it does.  It's not very natural to be forced to do it at a certain time and to feel like you failed if you can't.

Those two weeks of waiting were stressful.  I didn't drink any wine during that whole time which is good, but was extremely difficult at the time.  I was anxious and I just wanted a glass.  I tried to give up coffee but I couldn't or wouldn't, I guess.  I tried to eat healthy and exercise, but I wasn't sure at what intensity I should exercise.  I watched more TV than normal because I just needed to keep my mind occupied.  I didn't want to talk about any of it.  I was terrified that it would work and we would have to move out of our house at the end of our lease in August because our landlords live directly below us and wouldn't want a screaming baby above them.  Then I felt so guilty for missing wine and not wanting to move.  Ha.  It was two weeks filled with tons of emotions.  I prayed and prayed and prayed some more.

By the time the two weeks were just about up, I knew it didn't work and I was right.  The Dr had told us numerous times to not be surprised if it didn't work the first cycle because it typically doesn't.  I took the test and it was negative.  I called the Dr to let him know and they told me to take one again the next day, which just annoyed me because I knew one day wasn't going to change the fact that I wasn't pregnant.  The next day it was still negative.  I was prepared for that result and honestly wasn't that upset.  I know my body and I knew that I wasn't pregnant, but Ryan still had that hope, so it was much harder on him.  

I still look at that first cycle as a success.  My ovaries responded to the drugs, which is huge!!  I never thought they would.  I thought they were shutting down, so knowing that they responded just gave us hope that we had lost.  We've since started a second cycle and again I'm praying like crazy that it works.  I feel much better emotionally this cycle.  I'm not nearly as stressed.  I'm not missing wine and I don't care if we have to move.  I'm just trying to go with the flow and relax.  If it doesn't work (which I'm trying not to think), I'm not sure how many more cycles we will be able to do and at what point they will switch and do an IUI (intrauterine insemination), where they stick the sperm directly in my uterus.  We're still paying for all of this out of pocket so it will start to add up.  But, for now I choose to be optimistic and hope that we don't have to do too many before it works.

Please keep us in your prayers and send us positive baby vibes!! I'll keep you all posted.

~Tonya