FET Prep Week 12: Clinic Says “No FET” due to COVID-19 Pandemic, Digital Roundtable on COVID-19

FET Prep Week 12: Clinic Says “No FET” due to COVID-19 Pandemic, Digital Roundtable on COVID-19

On March 17th, ASRM gave directions to U.S. fertility clinics advising them to stop all fertility treatments due to COVID-19. The following day on March 18th, I received an email from my clinic that told all patients the clinic would suspend services for an undetermined length of time. Although I was initially disappointed to hear this, I learned soon after how necessary it was. 

 

Catch-up on Previous FET Prep Posts

FET Prep Week 1: 3.5 months until FET

FET Prep Week 2: Supplements, WTF Email, & Increased AMH Level

FET Prep Week 3: You say Future Tripping, I say Future Planning

FET Prep Week 4: Bad News from SIS Test

FET Prep Week 5: Surgery, Depression & Trip to Nevada

FET Prep Week 6: Relax! You’re on Vacation. 

FET Prep Week 7: Food Plan, Medical Debt,  Post-op Follow-up, & Imagining Motherhood

FET Prep Week 8: Migraines & Some Good News

FET Prep Week 9: A Tough Decision

FET Prep Week 10: Down-Regulation Started, Infertility Group, Coronavirus Concerns

FET Prep Week 11: Possible COVID-19 Travel Restrictions, Postpone Fertility Treatment?, & The Skyrocketing Cost of Leuprolide

Countdown Until FET: ? days (Waiting for clinic to reopen after COVID-19 closure)

This will be my last weekly FET PREP post until my clinic approves me to continue with treatment. I will pick up where I left off with my FET PREP posts once my treatment resumes. I’ll be posting on other topics in the mean time.

 

Clinic Says “No FET” due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Here’s a quick breakdown of how quickly my plans had changed due to COVID-19:

March 10 – Started BCP to down-regulate for scheduled FET.

March 17- ASRM advised clinics to suspend all fertility treatments.

March 18- I received a message from my clinic notifying me of ASRM recommendations, FET cancelled.

March 19- Medications I had ordered previously for FET arrived at my home.

March 24- First day of FET medication would have been this day, had it not been cancelled.

April 24- Original date of FET, now cancelled due to COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

Honestly the week leading up to the message from my clinic on March 18th was the most agonizing for me. I was stuck in limbo, not knowing whether to fly to my Seattle clinic. If I did fly I would risk getting COVID-19, which is running rampant down there right now. If I chose to postpone my treatment it would push out the timeline for any future egg retrievals even further, and when you have a low AMH level like I do it can cause you to feel like you may miss your chance at being a mother altogether. I went back and forth thinking at times, “I should go now before it gets worse” and also “Seattle has some of the highest numbers of COVID-19, why would you go now?” If I did decide to start injecting myself with the medication, book my flight, and make all the final plans to go, it was possible that President Trump would suspend all domestic travel. He had mentioned on the news several times he was considering it.

Thankfully the decision was taken out of my hands, the ASRM decided to recommend no one do fertility treatments right now. Oddly enough I was relieved and grateful to hear that news. The timing of everything worked out fairly well for me, because I wasn’t in the middle of my cycle. I had only started my BCP and that was it. As it turns out my medicine had just arrived in the mail the day after my clinic suspended all treatments. On the bright side, my medicine has a long shelf-life and should be perfectly fine to use within about a year or so. I was able to avoid being pregnant during one of the worst pandemics of our lifetime, and that would not have been possible if not for the science of reproductive technology, where my little embryo waits safely in it’s cryopreserved state.

Now that the April FET procedure is off the table, there now comes the question of “When will I be able to do my FET?” As of today, no one knows the answer to when women can resume their infertility treatments. It may be a matter of weeks or months before we will be able to continue. But this is a minor inconvenience compared to the fact that so many people are suffering and dying from COVID-19. My heart goes out to all of those affected by the virus and to all of their families.

 

Digital Roundtable on COVID-19

I recently participated in the “COVID-19 Digital Roundtable Presented by Modern Fertility & Alma” on March 20th. Dr. Jane van Dis (OB-GYN) and Dr. Lucy Hutner (Reproductive Psychiatrist) gave an update on the COVID-19 situation as it relates to family planning including Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART). They answered questions live via Zoom video conferencing. They talked about the emotional impact of having to cancel fertility treatments, especially with regard to how some women feel their “time is running out” due to their diagnosis. 

This was my first time using Zoom so I thought it was pretty cool to try something new. It was a good experience. I had some questions written down ahead of time. Many of the other questions that were asked were also on my mind, so I felt a lot of my questions were answered. The one question I asked them was:

“I was taking a prenatal vitamin as well as other vitamins for my upcoming FET. Should I continue to take all of my vitamins as originally planned? Or should I drop down to only taking a prenatal vitamin until my fertility clinic reopens?”

They answered my question saying that it would be fine to continue taking my vitamins. I suppose my concern is there might be a long stretch of time to where I would need to pay extra amounts of money for vitamins. But on the flip side of concerns about cost is the fact that my body will have more time to prepare and absorb the vitamins needed for my future FET. 

Main takeaways from the Digital Roundtable:

For pregnant women, doctor’s office visits will become more limited and shift towards telehealth during this pandemic.

Postponing pregnancy is probably recommended during this time, but it is ultimately up to the individual.

Pregnant women have a more suppressed immune system, leaving them susceptible to having complications if they were to contract COVID-19.

Consider that SARS and MERS are similar to COVID-19, and SARS and MERS showed an increased risk  of miscarriage rates. There is currently not enough information on COVID-19 relating to increased miscarriage risk.

Now is the time to reach out to friends and family that can support you (using social distancing of course).

Avoid watching the news too much, because it can be overwhelming.

Dr. Lucy Hutner suggested having a “highly flexible mindset” relating to family planning timeframes.

 

Although I had no control over my clinic closing, after listing to the digital roundtable discussion I feel like it was explained in such a way that it made more sense as to WHY the clinics stopped services. They clearly explained the reasoning behind ASRM’s explanation to close fertility clinics. I highly recommend you listen to the discussion, because it might provide you with some clarity on some of the common questions many of us are asking right now. 

 

To my readers who were about to start their treatment and now it has been delayed due to COVID-19:

I understand your frustration, I felt the same way. You will save yourself so much pain if you accept the circumstances as they are. Just know that this is only temporary. It could be just a matter of weeks before we may be able to resume treatment, we just don’t know. It could also be months. But instead of wasting this time dwelling on the situation, I hope you will find peace in other ways. Here are some healthy coping skills you can do right now; clean your house, get outside (allowing for 6 feet for social distancing), take your dog for a walk, listen to happy music, watch some comedies, take a hot bath, and catch up on sleep. Do whatever you normally do to take care of yourself. We are all in this together.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here

Want to find out how fertile you are?

The Modern Fertility test is an affordable test that shows your hormone levels and gives you an overall picture of where you stand with your fertility. I recommend taking this test at least every 9-12 months to keep track of your hormone levels. What hormones will be tested? Depending on the type of birth control you are on they can test up to eight different hormone levels which may include:

AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone)

FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone)

E2 (Estradiol)

LH (Luteinizing hormone)

TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone)

FT4 (Free thyroxine)

PRL (Prolactin)

T (Testosterone)

Order your test today.

Modern Fertility Test – Women’s Health Hormone Test You Can Take at Home – Not Available NY, NJ, RI

FET Prep Week 11: Possible COVID-19 Travel Restrictions, Postpone Fertility Treatment?, & The Skyrocketing Cost of Leuprolide

FET Prep Week 11: Possible COVID-19 Travel Restrictions, Postpone Fertility Treatment?, & The Skyrocketing Cost of Leuprolide

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I don’t know about you, but the COVID-19 pandemic has already impacted my life, both in small ways and in big ways. A decent amount of people I know are not able to go to work. My city has restricted people to not allow them to eat in restaurants, exercise in gyms, or go to the movie theaters. It’s being taken very seriously in many parts of the world. President Trump has mentioned he may possibly restrict domestic travel to locations where the outbreak is the worst. Seattle has some of the highest number of cases of COVID-19 and unfortunately this is where my fertility clinic is located. Now comes the question of whether I should continue with treatment as planned, and the answer is more complicated than you might think.

 

Catch-up on Previous FET Prep Posts

FET Prep Week 1: 3.5 months until FET

FET Prep Week 2: Supplements, WTF Email, & Increased AMH Level

FET Prep Week 3: You say Future Tripping, I say Future Planning

FET Prep Week 4: Bad News from SIS Test

FET Prep Week 5: Surgery, Depression & Trip to Nevada

FET Prep Week 6: Relax! You’re on Vacation.

FET Prep Week 7: Food Plan, Medical Debt,  Post-op Follow-up, & Imagining Motherhood

FET Prep Week 8: Migraines & Some Good News

FET Prep Week 9: A Tough Decision

FET Prep Week 10: Down-Regulation Started, Infertility Group, Coronavirus Concerns

 

Countdown Until FET: 38 days (as of 3-17-2020)

Possible COVID-19 Domestic Travel Restrictions

I recently read on CNN that President Trump is considering restricting domestic travel to certain parts of the United States due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has not made a decision as of yet, but with the news rapidly changing by the day it could very well happen at any time. If he does this it will impact people in many ways, and for those of us who have no choice but to travel for infertility treatment it creates many issues. The fact that he already restricted travelers from China and Europe shows that he might follow through with the domestic travel restrictions as well. I have been following the CDC guidelines and comparing it to the WHO guidelines regarding travel during this time. I wish President Trump and the government would make a decision faster on whether to restrict domestic travel. I need to know and I need to know ASAP, as do many other people undergoing fertility treatment.

 

Postpone Fertility Treatment?

I emailed my doctor’s office this morning asking my doctor, “Do you recommend I postpone my FET due to the COVID-19 pandemic?” I have yet to hear a response. Several days ago the clinic sent out a letter that essentially said they were keeping their clinic clean and they are still doing procedures at that time. I’ve been checking my email regularly to see if there are any updates from them. 

At this time it could really go either way, I could just as easily not travel as I could continue with my plans to travel. At first I thought that it was all blown out of proportion, but now I see the gravity of the situation is really coming to a head. Instead of relying solely on the news networks or social media (please don’t do that!) to determine whether I should continue with my treatments, I am focusing staying up-to-date with the more reputable sources of information:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coronavirus (COVID-19)

World Health Organization (WHO) Coronavirus 

American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Novel Corona virus (SARS-COV-2) and COVID-19 Updates

European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE)

I will also take into careful consideration what my fertility clinic says. One of the big concerns I have is that I will get the green light to go ahead with treatment and inject myself with $1,000 worth of medication, only to be told that President Trump is restricting domestic travel to where my fertility clinic is. It’s a real dilemma, and it would really suck. But there are definitely worse things that could happen, and I know other people are dealing with way harder situations. 

I am waiting for the pharmacy to respond back to my email about my order of my medication for the FET. The patient representative I’m working with had an automatic email reply to my order that said she was out of the office. I hope the lady isn’t out of the office due to COVID-19 restrictions and therefore not able to respond to my order. I plan on ordering my medication whether I postpone my treatment or not, as long as my medication doesn’t expire shortly after ordering. From what I recall, most fertility medicine has a long shelf-life. I’m supposed to be starting my FET medication in seven days and I have yet to receive them. I have not made my final decision as to whether to continue with my FET or to postpone it. Soon enough that might be decided for me, either by the government or by my clinic.

 

IMG_20200316_160819

Out of toilet paper at my grocery store. We bought some before all the panic-buying started, but I was curious to see if it was as empty as everyone was saying it was. Only some paper towels in the middle.

 

The Skyrocketing Cost of Leuprolide

Another stressor I’ve been dealing with this week is I’ve been making many phone calls trying to track down a specialty pharmacy with decently priced Leuprolide, also known as Lupron. This time last year I was quoted for the same exact amount of Leuprolide at $148.59, but this year the cost is $549.90. If you do the math, the price has nearly quadrupled. I spoke with multiple specialty pharmacies that specialize in fertility medication and this was the best price I could get. If I had endless amounts of time to scour the internet and make phone calls I might be able to find a cheaper price, but time is not on my side. As I mentioned earlier, I only have seven days before I’m supposed to be injecting this medicine. Mind you, I live in Alaska so I also have to factor in the extra time it takes for my medicine to get to me from out of state.

After talking with my insurance company, my clinic, and multiple specialty pharmacies I decided to go ahead and place my order with the original pharmacy that gave me the quote. Some of the pharmacies refused to give me a price quote without the prescription, so I had to call my fertility doctor multiple times and ask them to send out my prescription to different places just to get a quote. I heard from everyone I spoke with about it that the cost of Leuprolide has increased dramatically this year, all across the country. 

The fact that Leuprolide seems to have artificially increased in price so dramatically really angers me. I told my husband the other day, “After all of this s***, I am going to DC next year.” In the past I have thought about lobbying for reproductive rights through RESOLVE in Washington DC to include fertility treatment rights. I feel very strongly that it is not okay for companies and clinics to jack up prices so high that women dealing with infertility who are low-income have zero options. I consider myself very lucky that I was able to win a grant for my first round of IVF, and my mom helped me with part of the second round, but there are so many people out there who have no help. Everything I’ve been through really motivates me to speak up in Washington DC and to talk to my congressman about why this is important. Women’s rights should include access to fertility treatment if they choose to pursue it. Fertility clinics, fertility pharmacies, and insurance companies should not be unregulated to where it feels like the Wild West and prices for treatment can be increased dramatically with no explanation other than, “prices change from year to year.” Yes, but no one is explaining to me why that is happening other than simply ending the conversation with that statement. Let’s be transparent, all across the board. Any time I get really mad about this infertility treatment process I find myself saying, “I’m going to DC” and some day I plan on doing just that. I have some connections with people who have lobbied in DC through RESOLVE so I have some insider information on how it works. I think it’s definitely in my future if given the opportunity.

Mini Victories for the Week

Not losing my mind with all the Coronavirus issues coming up.

Took the time to call around to price shop for fertility medications on a short timeline.

Got my month’s worth of groceries that is being recommended due to Coronavirus. I was able to get fruits and veggies too, both perishable and non-perishable. 

Work in Progress

Waiting to hear back from my fertility clinic whether they will still remain open. Continue to check email for word of any cancellation of treatment.

Reduce stress! Schedule an alarm in my phone to meditate daily, listen to more happy music, watch comedies.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here

Want to find out how fertile you are?

The Modern Fertility test is an affordable test that shows your hormone levels and gives you an overall picture of where you stand with your fertility. I recommend taking this test at least every 9-12 months to keep track of your hormone levels. What hormones will be tested? Depending on the type of birth control you are on they can test up to eight different hormone levels which may include:

AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone)

FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone)

E2 (Estradiol)

LH (Luteinizing hormone)

TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone)

FT4 (Free thyroxine)

PRL (Prolactin)

T (Testosterone)

Order your test today.

Modern Fertility Test – Women’s Health Hormone Test You Can Take at Home – Not Available NY, NJ, RI

FET Prep Week 10: Down-Regulation Started, Infertility Group, Coronavirus Concerns

FET Prep Week 10: Down-Regulation Started, Infertility Group, Coronavirus Concerns

This week was a blur. Lots of stuff going on lately. I’m a little behind posting this but better late than never. Last week I mentioned I wanted to stop my prescription medicine and my supplements for a few days to see if it would help with my headaches and migraines. Well, sure enough my daily headache disappeared and I only had one migraine this week. I started back up with my supplements and have not had any issues. This last week I have been drinking non-caffeinated herbal teas. The week prior I was drinking regular black tea which is caffeinated, and the week before that I was still trying to break my coffee addiction. So it was a step-by-step process of finding something to replace the one habit. I’m glad I’m doing this now as opposed to scrambling to break the addiction once I’m pregnant. I imagine my transition off of caffeine probably was a factor with the headaches. 

 

Catch-up on Previous FET Prep Posts

FET Prep Week 1: 3.5 months until FET

FET Prep Week 2: Supplements, WTF Email, & Increased AMH Level

FET Prep Week 3: You say Future Tripping, I say Future Planning

FET Prep Week 4: Bad News from SIS Test

FET Prep Week 5: Surgery, Depression & Trip to Nevada

FET Prep Week 6: Relax! You’re on Vacation.

FET Prep Week 7: Food Plan, Medical Debt,  Post-op Follow-up, & Imagining Motherhood

FET Prep Week 8: Migraines & Some Good News

FET Prep Week 9: A Tough Decision

Countdown Until FET: 41 days (as of 3-14-2020)

Down-Regulation Started

I got in touch with my nurse from my out-of-state clinic to let her know my cycle started. She said I needed to start my BCP (birth control pill) on Day 2. It’s official! This lady is down-regging! And in less than two weeks I’ll be starting all the shots. I’m in the process of putting in my order for all of my medicine including Leuprolide, Endometrin, Progesterone, and Estradiol. 

I imagine my headaches will probably return due to starting BCP. In the past I’ve had a low-grade headache with BCPs. I’m taking one that is a progesterone-only pill that does not increase blood pressure. I recommend talking with your doctor about taking a progesterone-only BCP or other alternative if you have blood pressure issues. Years ago I was on a BCP that increased my blood pressure to “stroke levels” my doctor told me. It’s kind of freaky to think that you are feeling completely normal but inside your body is freaking the hell out. 

For this upcoming FET I declined taking the BCP when they originally wanted me to start, which was months back. I instead asked them, “What is the least amount of time necessary to be on birth control prior to the FET?” They ended up having me start the pill one month before my FET. If you are about to do your FET or IVF cycle and you don’t like being on birth control, consider asking your doctor what the minimum amount of time is to be on BCP. I’ve also heard some women do IVF without any birth control. I think it all depends on your diagnosis and IVF protocol, which varies from person to person.

 

Infertility Group

Years ago I went to a miscarriage and infant loss support group. I only went to one or two meetings and it was just the group leader and myself. The group leader was dealing with a deep depression after the loss of her infant. I had just experienced an early pregnancy loss. I was trying to be supportive to the group leader because I felt like her loss was so much greater than my own. It was a very sad experience and I tried my best to be supportive of her. I decided to take a break of a month or two from that group because I didn’t feel I was emotionally able to handle it. I found out that group had ended due to low turnout. That experience made me nervous to return to whatever new group would start in the future. But a new group didn’t start for a long time.

Now there is only one infertility support group where I live, and it’s fairly new. I was really nervous to go in. I find it easier to write about it and ask questions in online infertility groups. So it was a big step for me to do an in-person group with people I have never met before. 

So this last Thursday as I sat in my car, about to go into an infertility group I had never been to before, I could feel my heart racing. I’ve been able to open up to friends and family about my struggles, but could I do it with strangers? I went in and as soon as I walked into the room with the three other women I immediately felt welcomed. I’d describe the energy in the room as light-hearted, kind, and open. Each of them were interested in my story and how I was doing. I felt like I needed this support to help me before my upcoming FET. I am so happy I went and not only did I feel incredibly supported but I also learned some new things to help me.

Over the years I have opened up with family and friends about my miscarriages and infertility issues. It was a very slow process at first. I had kept my miscarriages mostly to myself in the beginning. I felt like I was the only one dealing with it, while everyone else seemed to have babies so easily. I hadn’t even told some of my friends yet. Years ago my coworker had mentioned the reason she hadn’t had any kids yet was due to a miscarriage. I listened to her and gave her support, and then I told her that I had several miscarriages too. This was the first time I had talked with anyone other than my husband and Mom about my miscarriages. She was so brave to have gone through that and even braver to talk about it. She doesn’t know it, but she was the first person to help me feel more comfortable about sharing my story with others.

That moment, with the two of us sharing our story created a whole domino effect. I started talking about it more easily in time and had no idea how many women in my life had been dealing with exactly what I was going through. It was as if each of us was waiting for someone else to talk about it, and when one person did we all started talking about it. Even the women who hadn’t experienced it themselves always knew someone else who did, and therefore had an idea of what I was going through. Soon enough I had built up a very strong support system of friends, family, coworkers, doctors, nurses, and an online community that was all rooting for me. 

 

Coronavirus Concerns

There are so many layers to the COVID-19 virus. I admit, I vacillate between being concerned and actively trying to avoid the news in order not to get overly concerned. I think the best thing we can all do is to follow the guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). I’m not going to pretend to be an authority on the subject, so please seek out information from reputable sources. 

As far as its impact up here in Alaska. We just had our first case of COVID-19 announced in the news March 12. From what I hear, many people did panic-buying and decided to clean the shelves of toilet paper of all things. Thankfully we did our shopping before it all went down and have a big Costco-sized thing of toilet paper at home. Facebook is flooded with funny toilet paper memes. Other things I’ve heard we are low on are sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer. The other day at work our maintenance guy came in with sanitizing wipes and I heard our contracted painter ask him with intense interest, “Where did you manage to find that?” I get the impression there is a lot of panic-buying going on, but I haven’t gone shopping in about a week, and it didn’t seem bad at all when I did.

 

IMG_20200127_180333

Credit: KTUU News I was watching this news report in January.

 

I’d say for me personally, my biggest concern is when I have to fly to Seattle for my FET in April. As of March 12, 2020 there have been 270 cases with 27 deaths in Washington state. I’m worried about possibly contracting it and it affecting my chances of conceiving and I’m also worried about passing it on to those in my life with immunity and health issues. I’ve heard that if you plan on traveling to do a self-quarantine period of 14 days. So essentially I’m taking the traditional 2WW to an extreme. I planned on being off work for two weeks after my FET anyway, so it hasn’t changed my plans. 

I’ve been checking my email from my Seattle clinic for updates. I’m wondering if they will send out an email cancelling any procedures. If they do it’s not the end of the world. I just hope I don’t get pumped up with all these hormone injectables, costing hundreds of dollars, only to find out it has to be cancelled. They did send out an email saying that they are being vigilant about cleaning and telling patients to follow CDC guidelines. I’m sure some women have opted to postpone their IVF cycles. 

In 2016 Kurtis and I had decided to try to conceive right after we got married. But we had to change our plans when we found out our wedding and honeymoon locations had cases of Zika. If you don’t remember, Zika is an “Infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects” (CDC, 2020). After we learned about the awful effects of Zika, we decided to wait six months to try to conceive after our trip, as the CDC suggested. In a way I feel like COVID-19 is yet again another issue that may potentially delay our plans. 

But so far we are still good to go. My husband and I are both healthy and plan on follow CDC guidelines in order to avoid this. We only planned to be in Seattle for a couple nights anyway and weren’t planning on doing anything while we were there other than be lazy in the hotel, so I feel like we won’t be missing much anyway. I feel for the people and their families who have been affected by COVID-19 and hopefully we will find a way to control this virus soon. 

 

Mini Victories for the Week

Went to a new infertility group and shared my story.

Started my BCP.

 

Work in Progress

Order my FET meds this week.

Plan to work less hours in April to prep for FET.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here

Want to find out how fertile you are?

The Modern Fertility test is an affordable test that shows your hormone levels and gives you an overall picture of where you stand with your fertility. I recommend taking this test at least every 9-12 months to keep track of your hormone levels. What hormones will be tested? Depending on the type of birth control you are on they can test up to eight different hormone levels which may include:

AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone)

FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone)

E2 (Estradiol)

LH (Luteinizing hormone)

TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone)

FT4 (Free thyroxine)

PRL (Prolactin)

T (Testosterone)

Order your test today.

Modern Fertility Test – Women’s Health Hormone Test You Can Take at Home – Not Available NY, NJ, RI

 

FET Prep Week 9: A Tough Decision

FET Prep Week 9: A Tough Decision

Something’s got to give, and so I took a risk and made a decision to do something that most everyone told me not to do. Sometimes you have to do what you feel is right, even if it flies in the face of everything you have heard. I’m going to be talking about a subject that is pretty controversial, when to listen to your body and not your doctor. Before we get into it, if you are following your doctors advice and you just don’t feel right go seek a second opinion. 

 

Catch-up on Previous FET Prep Posts

FET Prep Week 1: 3.5 months until FET

FET Prep Week 2: Supplements, WTF Email, & Increased AMH Level

FET Prep Week 3: You say Future Tripping, I say Future Planning

FET Prep Week 4: Bad News from SIS Test

FET Prep Week 5: Surgery, Depression & Trip to Nevada

FET Prep Week 6: Relax! You’re on Vacation.

FET Prep Week 7: Food Plan, Medical Debt,  Post-op Follow-up, & Imagining Motherhood

FET Prep Week 8: Migraines & Some Good News

Countdown Until FET: 53 days (as of 3-2-2020)

 

So what was the big decision I had to make? I decided to stop taking every medicine and supplement for a short period of time until I could figure out which one may be causing my migraines. It is a big risk but I felt that I had to do it this way, like starting from scratch. I have the MTHFR gene mutation, which is another controversial subject in itself. But with the MTHFR gene mutation, we cannot process folate correctly and are more likely to have a buildup of toxins in our bodies. If our liver cannot process medication properly it wreaks havoc on our whole body. One way a person can be symptomatic with their MTHFR gene mutation is through recurrent miscarriages and migraines. This is where you picture a big blinking neon arrow pointing down at me.

I think it was a whole domino effect, with no single root cause but various things that have contributed to the crappy situation I found myself in these past few weeks with my migraines. I decided to stop my blood pressure medicine which pretty much every single internet page on the subject screams at you to never do. But after revisiting the side effects of my blood pressure medicine, it’s no wonder I’ve been feeling like garbage. 

 

Screenshot 2020-03-02 at 10.53.51 AM

Some of the side effects of the blood pressure pill I was on. I had all of them except upset stomach.

 

My doctor told me if I don’t take my blood pressure medicine within a 1-2 hour window of when it’s prescribed, I’m basically asking for a rebound headache. And when you are experiencing pain in the body, such as headaches or migraine, it can elevate your blood pressure. Then I would have to take migraine medicine which I’ve been told not to take when trying to conceive. You see my predicament now? 

It boils down to “You need this pill, but if you don’t take this pill on time you will probably need this second pill. You may need a second dose of the second pill if your first pill didn’t work. In the morning, if yesterday’s second dose of the second pill didn’t work for the issue of the first pill, just take the first pill again along with the second pill. And it’s totally okay if you take two of this third pill with the second pill. And if the third pill doesn’t work for the second day’s dose of the second pill that was supposed to help with the first days first pill, then yes you can take a second dose of the third pill. But don’t forget to take your first pill again at night after that.” That is essentially the conversation I had with my doctor, minus the brand names of the pills. And when I asked the question, “But what if my second pill doesn’t work at all anymore?” she had a completely dumbfounded look on her face and said, “That won’t happen. It’s the only medicine that will work to help with your headache. It’s the best one out there.” Now here I am three weeks later and was still having daily headaches. Hence my decision to say “f**k this s**t” and start from scratch.

Mind you my blood pressure isn’t at stroke levels, it’s just elevated. Honestly losing weight, eating better, and exercising more is probably all I need. I am going to slowly reintroduce my supplements, one at a time to see if that’s what is causing the headaches. I have a blood pressure monitor at home that I will be using to check it. 

Mini Victories for the Week

Made the tough decision to take a break from medicine to see what may be causing migraines.

Replacing 1 meal per day with a protein shake.

Work in Progress

More exercise. 

Monitor blood pressure levels.

Slowly start taking supplements again.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here

 

Want to find out how fertile you are?

The Modern Fertility test is an affordable test that shows your hormone levels and gives you an overall picture of where you stand with your fertility. I recommend taking this test at least every 9-12 months to keep track of your hormone levels. What hormones will be tested? Depending on the type of birth control you are on they can test up to eight different hormone levels which may include:

AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone)

FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone)

E2 (Estradiol)

LH (Luteinizing hormone)

TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone)

FT4 (Free thyroxine)

PRL (Prolactin)

T (Testosterone)

Order your test today.


Modern Fertility Test – Women’s Health Hormone Test You Can Take at Home – Not Available NY, NJ, RI

FET Prep Week 8: Migraines & Some Good News

FET Prep Week 8: Migraines & Some Good News

This past week sucked. I was having daily headaches and for half the week I had a full blown migraine. I’m not exactly sure what triggered all of these, but dang, can’t a girl catch a break? But on the bright side I did get some good news recently.

Catch-up on Previous FET Prep Posts

FET Prep Week 1: 3.5 months until FET

FET Prep Week 2: Supplements, WTF Email, & Increased AMH Level

FET Prep Week 3: You say Future Tripping, I say Future Planning

FET Prep Week 4: Bad News from SIS Test

FET Prep Week 5: Surgery, Depression & Trip to Nevada

FET Prep Week 6: Relax! You’re on Vacation.

FET Prep Week 7: Food Plan, Medical Debt,  Post-op Follow-up, & Imagining Motherhood

Countdown Until FET: 58 days (as of 2-26-2020)

Migraines

These migraines are seriously affecting my quality of life. I’m waiting to get in to see my neurologist about it. I asked my neurologist the last time I saw her how quickly my migraine medicine leaves my system, because I was concerned about how it would impact my upcoming FET. She said that it’s leaves the body fairly quickly, within the day. I’m still wary about this because from what I’ve read they say you should act as if you are pregnant the three months prior to your FET. And I certainly don’t want to take anything that is not recommended for pregnancy. 

It all boiled down to the decision of either I take my migraine medicine or I don’t. If I don’t take it I will probably end up needing to go to the ER because it will have inevitably progressed to the point where I can’t open my eyes, each movement makes me want to throw up, and every sound pierces through my head like I’m being stabbed in my ears for hours on end. The pain from my migraines also puts my blood pressure through the roof, even with my blood pressure medicine. It’s a whole domino effect.

Unfortunately I just have to take that migraine pill at the risk of possibly having a residual effect on the FET. But like I said, my neurologist says this medicine leaves my body quickly. I wish I had my neurologist and my out-of-state reproductive endocrinologist sitting in the same room to hear them debate over this medicine and when to stop it before FET. In fact, I think I will probably send an email to my RE to see what he thinks about this. 

 

Some Good News

Miracle of miracles, I don’t need another SIS procedure! Oh yeah, party time! You all know how much I hate those stupid SIS procedures. My RE’s nurse wrote back and said that my uterus is all clear from my last surgery and I am good to go with my originally scheduled FET in April. Yay for a squeaky clean uterus, it’s the little things in life, right? I was almost certain I would have to do another SIS. But with this last procedure since they used the hysteroscope, a camera to help them actually see what they are doing, so they took pictures of when they were all done. The pictures confirmed they got all the scar tissue out. 

When you are so used to everything going wrong, it’s good news like this that helps you to keep carrying on. Now I just need to wait for my next cycle and I will make that phone call to my nurse. My nurse will then send out my medicine to me and create my FET medication calendar.  Now that I am in the clear, I am actually starting to get excited about my FET. 

 

Mini Victories for the Week

Picked up some more healthy groceries.

Watching my calories.

Finally got my migraine down to just a headache level.

Work in Progress

Email out-of-state RE my question about my migraine medicine.

Drink more water.

Go to the gym this week.

Stick with 1200 calories per day.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here

Want to find out how fertile you are? 

The Modern Fertility test is an affordable test that shows your hormone levels and gives you an overall picture of where you stand with your fertility. I recommend taking this test at least every 9-12 months to keep track of your hormone levels. What hormones will be tested? Depending on the type of birth control you are on they can test up to eight different hormone levels which may include:

AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone)

FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone)

E2 (Estradiol)

LH (Luteinizing hormone)

TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone)

FT4 (Free thyroxine)

PRL (Prolactin)

T (Testosterone)

Order your test today.


Modern Fertility Test – Women’s Health Hormone Test You Can Take at Home – Not Available NY, NJ, RI

Documentary Series Review: “The Baby Makers” (2016)

Documentary Series Review: “The Baby Makers” (2016)

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here

The Baby Makers (2016)

Documentary Series from Dreamscape

Season 1, Episodes 1-4

Watch on DVD

Watch on Amazon 

HopingForBaby.com Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

5 out of 5

 

This mini-series documentary follows couples from Northern Ireland as they try to conceive through In Vitro Fertilization. In each of the four episodes several couples are interviewed about the ups and downs they experienced through the IVF process. This documentary stands out from many others because they go in-depth with their interviews with the IVF medical team on what they actually do. They talk about each step of the IVF process as they actually show you what they are doing too. It’s one thing to hear about what the embryologists do, it’s another thing entirely to see it. After you watch this series, check out another similar documentary I highly recommend in my review of Baby Makers: The Fertility Clinic (IVF Documentary) which also goes into great depth about the step-by-step process from a medical perspective, as well as interviewing couples about their experience. They also cover some of the biggest concerns that come up for people during their IVF process including whether to seek out therapy as a couple, the impact of hormonal drugs on emotions, coping with a failed round of IVF and miscarriage, and when to stop fertility treatments. 

Spoiler Alert! I talk about some of the outcomes of the people from the documentary. Go watch this documentary series first on Amazon or DVD if you don’t want to read any of my spoilers beforehand.

 

thebabymakersdocumentaryseries

 

Episode 1

Adrianne and Adrian

First of all, I have to point out how cute it is that their names are so similar. Adrianne and Adrian were married 11 years at the time of the film. She had been trying to conceive since she was 30 years old. Before the show they had already tried three rounds of IVF and sadly none of them had worked. But they were determined to try it one last time, with a fourth round of IVF at Origin Fertility Care in Ireland.

During her egg retrieval they retrieved seven eggs in total. It was really cool to see the embryologist Richard show viewers what the ICSI procedure actually looks like, with his step-by-step narration of what he was doing. It’s such a delicate procedure where they puncture the egg with a superfine needle and insert the single sperm into the egg, all while a tiny tube suctions the egg ever so slightly from the outside, in order to hold the egg in place so it doesn’t float around. Super cool stuff, science is pretty amazing.

Once the sperm is inserted into the egg they wait 18 hours to see if the egg actually fertilized. Adrianne and Adrian said that this would probably be their last time trying IVF. In the end their fourth attempt at IVF had failed and they did not have a child from that cycle. It’s always hard to hear these stories, but it helps me also realize that I am not alone in this process and many others can relate.

 

Lynn and Glenn

And following the adorably named couple Adrianne and Adrian, is a couple with rhyming names, Lynn and Glenn. Many of the people in this documentary were seeking treatment at Origin Fertility Care. Lynn is the receptionist at the clinic, and her passion for helping others with infertility comes from a true understanding of the struggle. Their first cycle of IVF had failed. They decided to try for a second round of IVF, but while they were waiting to begin that process they conceived naturally. Lynn gave birth to a happy, healthy baby boy. I’ve heard many of these stories where couples were saving up money or taking a short break before doing IVF again but then they naturally conceived. It’s so nice to hear they had a happy ending to their story.

 

Alison and Shean

Alison and Shean talk about how they are experiencing secondary infertility and were trying to conceive for five years. Alison knew she had irregular periods, which were probably impacting her ability to conceive. I’ve seen a handful of different documentaries where it seems common for one partner to be more cautious while the other seems really optimistic by comparison. Alison said, “I’m a realist, and I’m like 50-50 chance, and I don’t like to count my chickens till they’ve hatched.” She goes on to say her husband tends to be the more optimistic during the process, to which he replies, “Optimism and pessimism, neither of them will change the outcome. But I suppose with optimism you have a better time getting there, and that’s the way I try to look at it.” That right there, that statement is worth its weight in gold. It’s so true though, you can hold your breath and white-knuckle through the whole IVF process or you can try to relax and be hopeful about it. 

Of their six embryos that were frozen, only four survived. Of those four, two embryos were transferred. During the two week wait, Alison said she was trying to keep her mind occupied by staying busy. And although she had a positive pregnancy test, she later had a miscarriage and lost both babies. I really feel for them with their loss. I’d be interested to hear a follow-up from this couple about whether their remaining embryos resulted in a live-birth. 

 

Episode 2

Mel

Mel’s story is so incredibly moving. Mel is 24 years old with three children and she decides to become an egg donor. It was heartbreaking to hear of the stillbirth of her son. She talked about how this greatly affected many aspects of her life. Later, after she had children of her own, she was motivated to donate her eggs, so she could help women who struggle with infertility. It’s so amazing to hear how women like Mel literally give a part of themselves to help others make their dream of becoming a parent come true. 

Mel talks about how the timing of her egg retrieval and how it fell on the anniversary of her son’s death, “The fact that it’s all fallen in the same week I think is a bit more than a coincidence.” She also talks about the grieving process itself and how although the pain is still there, she found comfort thinking her son’s spirit is still with her and her family. I cried tears of both sadness and joy for her as she was able to take her pain and help others in such a beautiful way.

The egg donation process was completely anonymous for Mel. Any children that result from her egg donation have the option to contact Mel once they turn 18 years old. Mel was able to write an anonymous letter to her potential children. The medical expenses of Mel’s egg retrieval were covered, but other than that Mel was not compensated at all. Another reason I think this woman is amazing, doing it purely to help someone else. In the end, 12 eggs were retrieved from Mel which not only were enough to help one woman but two. Although one recipient wasn’t able to get pregnant initially, Mel got the happy news that the second recipient got pregnant right away. I think if there was a Woman of the Year award, I think it should go to Ms. Mel. So inspiring!

 

Jude and Brian

After five years of marriage and dealing with infertility, Jude and Brian decide to pursue IVF. They talk about how they are limited to only one round of IVF per year through the NHS. For those of you unfamiliar, the NHS stands for the National Health Service, the UK’s public healthcare system. I’m from the US and my particular private health insurance does not cover a penny of infertility procedures. So to hear that the NHS offers one round of IVF per year I thought that was absolutely amazing. 

I wish this documentary had discussed the NHS’ role with infertility procedures more in depth. It just left me with more questions than answers. I need to do more research and maybe write an article on what I find out. Several couples in this series talk about how limiting the one-round-per year rule is for them. I think they have good reasons to feel this way, especially if they have really low AMH levels for example, because if they wait a year it just may be too late.

Jude and Brian are open to different options though if their round of IVF does not work. They were thinking about fostering and adoption later in their future. Although their round of IVF didn’t work out, Jude said they were trying to focus on other things in life, “God we put having a child in front of anything really, but you have to appreciate what you do have.” They plan on trying a second round of IVF and also looking into foster care.

 

Eilish and Keiran

After trying for a long time to try to have kids Eilish and Keiran decided to try IVF. Although their first round of IVF was initially successful with a positive pregnany test, they unfortunately lost their baby later with a miscarriage. After they took some time to heal from the pain of the loss they decided to try once again with a round of IVF. Not only did they become pregnant with one baby but two. Eilish had twins, one boy and one girl. She talked about how she was feeling thankful for having her family feel complete now.

 

Episode 3

Ali and Andrew

What I liked about this couple is they not only acknowledge the issues they were having in their relationship due to the IVF but that they also allowed the cameras to follow them into their therapy session. I also think the producers for the show did a good job with paring down the essential conflict between them that so many other couples can relate to. That conflict is that men can not ever know what that experience is like for women, to inject daily shots, to have the chance to feel life inside, and to also have a miscarriage. It’s just not a shared experience. It’s hard for women to understand that their husband simply cannot understand what it’s like. At best we can have them listen and say supportive things. 

Ali wished Andrew knew when and how exactly to comfort her, even when she had a hard time putting it to words what she was feeling. The therapist came up with a great idea of having Ali either gesture or use an object to show that she needed extra support, even without verbalizing it. Andrew seemed really receptive to this idea, because it was a clear visual for him to comfort his wife, no mind reading necessary. I’m sure many of this can relate to that, I’ve only recently gotten better about speaking up when I need support and saying exactly what I need. 

therapy session

Credit: Amazon Prime Video. Ali and Andrew attend a therapy session to talk about how they can better communicate their needs during infertility treatment.

Ali had her AMH level tested and it was found to be normal for her age. Andrew helps prepare Ali’s needles to prepare for her egg retrieval. She had nine eggs retrieved and all nine fertilized, four embryos had properly matured. Of those four mature embryos, two were frozen and two were transferred.

Sharon and Gary

After struggling to conceive, Sharon and Gary were able to do an embryo transfer and had their son. Later they adopted their daughter from Russia. Gary talks about how adopting compared to doing fertility treatment, “In some respects that was more stressful than the IVF.” Sharon used her experience of infertility treatment as well as experience with adoption to help other women. She decided to provide advice to other women who are struggling through the group called the Infertility Network UK. It’s so great to hear stories of women who were able to turn a one painful experience into something that helps so many others. Sharon you rock!

Emma and Ben

Emma and Ben had a miscarriage and later found out that Ben had issues with his sperm in two different ways. Ben had issues with his sperm’s motility and also morphology. Emma is a photographer and decided to use her artistic talent to bring attention to infertility issues. She talks about how through the NHS, they only allow one IVF cycle per year, “For my masters I’ve begun a project about women’s access to reproductive rights in Northern Ireland.”

Ben talks candidly about the issues that had come up between them during their infertility. He had an interview alone with the film crew about the tremendous strain it put on their relationship. Eventually they decided to break up, which was really sad to see. I think the producers showed class with how they talked about their breakup, instead of sensationalizing it they did separate interviews with both Emma and Ben. They asked them individually if both of them thought about having children in the future, not as a couple, but with whomever they start a relationship with. Both said that despite all they went through they would still like to have children in a future relationship.

 

Episode 4

Jilly and Peter

Jilly and Peter were married five years and had a miscarriage before they turned to trying IVF treatments. Her doctor explained the importance of lowering her BMI in order to improve her odds of implantation success. I’ve heard that some fertility clinics require that the woman’s BMI below a certain number before they will consider treatment, this was the case for Jilly. Jilly seemed to take this news in stride and was able to drop the weight in order to meet the BMI requirements. I’ve heard of this requirement for some fertility clinics in the U.S. and I’m not sure if this is a requirement across the board for all NHS clinics, if you happen to know please comment below. 

Maya not only dropped the weight that she needed to but she also looked into alternative methods to improve her infertility including Maya massage. I had never heard of this type of massage before but it specializes in helping improve circulation and hopefully in turn improve implantation. The Maya massage therapist explains that it is most helpful to start Maya massage at least three months prior to doing IVF.

Jilly and Peter opted to do ICSI with their IVF. Although their round of IVF did not work for them, Jilly did learn one new thing that probably explained why she was having a hard time conceiving and keeping her pregnancies. She talks about how her natural killer cell levels were elevated. According to what Jilly was told her levels should be closer to 15% but her levels were at 20%. The episode left off on her maybe leaving the door open for future treatment with this revelation about her natural killer cell levels and how it might be treatable.

Barbara

Some single women, especially in their 30s consider freezing their eggs in order to preserve their fertility. Whether they find a partner later or not, it at least can provide some comfort knowing they have their eggs to work with in the future. Since fertility rates begin to decline around 35 years old, it’s becoming more commonplace for women to opt for freezing their own eggs. Barbara, who is in her late 30s, was initially unaware that her AMH level was low until she began the blood tests prior to her egg retrieval. When you have a low AMH level you are usually put on a higher dosage of medication for your egg retrieval. I myself have low AMH and was put on a plethora of meds to boost my little eggies growth. Unfortunately, Barbara was only able to have one follicle grow. It was such a low number they decided it wasn’t even worth doing the egg retrieval. 

Angela and Mark

Angela had a miscarriage and later learned that she had PCOS, polycystic ovary syndrome. One of the issues with PCOS is that although sometimes a fair amount, and even a large amount, of eggs can be retrieved it does not necessarily mean the eggs are of good quality. Angela had eleven embryos that were frozen, but not all of them survived the thaw or divided properly. It was sad to hear that they had a failed implantation and did not get pregnant. I think it would be hard having PCOS and getting your hopes up with having so many eggs or embryos but then have to face the news that it hadn’t worked at all. I feel like that would be such a rollercoaster of emotions to handle. It seems like it would be so much harder to predict outcomes as well. 

Elaine and Andrew

They had tried naturally for 1.5 years with no success before seeking out help from a fertility clinic. Elaine was at risk of developing Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome so they decided to freeze her eggs to avoid this potential complication. With that decision, Elaine made history with being the very first woman in Ireland to conceive by using a frozen egg. It was happy news to hear Elaine doing well with her pregnancy, although I didn’t see a followup in the film about how her birth went.

 

Overall Opinion

I think this was an excellent documentary series that looked at different aspects of the IVF process, including the perspectives of both the patients and the medical team. Oftentimes when people are experiencing infertility, the journey to parenthood can take multiple years. For some of the people in this show we don’t get to see whether they eventually became parents or not, due to the fact that we are only seeing them at one point in the journey. Although some were successful in the show, I imagine that many of the others eventually became parents. I’d be very interested in seeing follow-ups from these people on where they are at now.

I found it interesting to learn a little bit about what the experience is like in a different country through a different healthcare system. I really felt for these women and men going through this process, because I know how difficult it can be. The film covered a variety of topics that are common concerns for patients, no matter where they live. After watching this show I feel like it is a good snapshot in time of where we are at with our medical advances and how much further we still need to go in order to reduce miscarriage and stillborn rates as well as the health risks for pregnant women. 

 

Want to find out how fertile you are? 

The Modern Fertility test is an affordable option that shows your hormone levels and gives you an overall picture of where you stand with your fertility. What hormones will they test? Depending on the type of birth control you are on they can test up to eight different hormone levels which may include:

AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone)

FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone)

E2 (Estradiol)

LH (Luteinizing hormone)

TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone)

FT4 (Free thyroxine)

PRL (Prolactin)

T (Testosterone)

Order your test today.

 

FET Prep Week 6: Relax! You’re on Vacation.

FET Prep Week 6: Relax! You’re on Vacation.

Even though this vacation to Nevada has been really relaxing I wish I would have planned it for a couple weeks earlier. The first reason being that this particular January has been exceptionally cold in Alaska, and I wish I would have gotten out of our cold snap sooner. The second reason I feel like I planned my vacation a little too late is the timing of it fell within the crucial three-month window prior to FET. The three months prior to FET are important for building up a thick uterine lining to improve the odds of embryo implantation. I’m not aware of definitive evidence that stress in and of itself causes implantation issues, but I do believe that stress can contribute to poor health decisions (i.e., drinking, smoking, overeating) that can in turn affect implantation.

I tend to get stressed when I travel at times. A delayed flight, waiting in a crowded airport, and squishing like sardines into the ever-shrinking plane seats are just some of the typical stressors when flying. But now the news is talking about the threat of coronavirus. To top it off both of the airports I went through (Anchorage and Las Vegas) had confirmed cases of coronavirus. I later learned the news seemed to overinflate the actual severity of the issue, using dramatic language that might lead viewers to believe it’s an epidemic, knowing that helped put my mind at ease somewhat. A few years back the major risk to pregnant women and women TTC was the Zika virus. I think if you want to play it as safe as possible don’t schedule a vacation during your three months prior to FET, unless it’s a ‘staycation’ or you are traveling for your actual FET.

Catch-up on Previous FET Prep Posts

FET Prep Week 1: 3.5 months until FET

FET Prep Week 2: Supplements, WTF Email, & Increased AMH Level

FET Prep Week 3: You say Future Tripping, I say Future Planning

FET Prep Week 4: Bad News from SIS Test

FET Prep Week 5: Surgery, Depression & Trip to Nevada

Countdown Until FET: 69 days (as of 02-15-2020)

Taking it Easy

You know the type of vacations where you are go, go, go non-stop with so many activities and you have a specific plan for each day, well I chose not to do any of that for this one and it has been working out pretty well. Although we’ve been busy, it’s been nice to not be the ‘planner’ and to just go along with whatever everyone else wants to do. This vacation, I chose to just let go and take it easy. I’ve been to Nevada a few times before and already saw the major must-see things, so I didn’t feel the urge to create a must-see list this time around. I just let my husband and mother-in-law plan the events.

I think this vacation has been a nice balance of relaxing and also going to different events. It’s nice to go to bed and not have to set an alarm for the morning. It felt like such a luxury to be able to sleep in as long as I wanted. There were only a couple days that were warm enough to be outside in the sun since we’ve been here. It’s been crazy windy, so much so that they actually have a high wind warning in effect. The wind is so strong it sometimes shakes the house. It was kind of funny to see about 40 tumbleweeds whip across the street at the same time. Not a good time to go for a walk and catch a prickly tumbleweed to the face. No thanks. I’ll stay inside until it dies down. It’s also been cold outside most of this week, in the 30s and 40s mostly. I learned this cold snap in Nevada was pushing down from Alaska. How typical, just when we try to leave Alaska’s cold weather it follows us.

 

IMG_20200205_151902

This wind is redonkulous! One of the many windy days on our vacation.

 

IMG_20200205_151853

Okay this one turned out better, with less wind whipping my hair around.

 

So although the weather has been crappy most of the week while on vacation, we still had fun doing other things. We saw Shin Lim, the magician, at his Vegas show. Normally I am not into magic shows, but this guy I swear is a true wizard. I saw him on America’s Got Talent, where he showed a card to the camera and somehow was able to make the numbers on the card actually change. Here is his show on AGT where he does that trick at the 20:00 minute mark. How in the actual eff did he do that? I was definitely impressed with his show in Vegas. I won’t give away too many details of the show, but it is definitely entertaining and I highly recommend you go check him out.

I also went to my first Tournament of Kings show, and I nearly s**t myself several times when the pyrotechnics went off. I felt like an idiot with how many times I screamed with each burst of fireworks. You definitely won’t fall asleep with this show, I’ll tell you that! So if you aren’t familiar with the Tournament of Kings, it’s a show where the performers act out a medieval storyline. The audience sits circled around the actors as they have epic battles using swords and also do jousting with real horses. 

 

 

We did some other cool things on our trip too. We drove to Mount Charleston. I didn’t expect to see snow in Nevada, so that was pretty cool (cheesy pun intended).

 

IMG_20200205_151923

IMG_20200205_152110

 

Of course we went to a handful of different casinos and tried our luck on the slots. Well, I mostly watched Kurtis try his luck on the slots. I’m not much of a gambler. The first time I ever visited Vegas years ago I had very little money. I would go from casino to casino and sign up for their players club card, where you would get free plays on the slots. It wasn’t worth much, maybe $10-$15 but it was still fun to try it out and not worry about losing money. I did a little of that this time also. I tend to enjoy playing bingo more than slots. The first time I ever played bingo back home I won $1,000, beginners luck of course.

IMG_20200201_202402

 

Keeping up with Supplements While on Vacation

I am not being super strict about following a diet while on vacation, although I could have been. I had a very laissez faire approach with my FET prep while on vacation. Although I did try to consistently take my supplements.

Here’s what I did to help me stay on top of taking my supplements while on vacation:

Reuse old prescription bottles for free pill organization.

Take a marker and write on the cap when you plan to take your medicine. For example I wrote “AM” on the ones I take with breakfast and “PM” on the ones I take with lunch. Since I am also taking L-arginine multiple times throughout the day I decided to create my own travel bottle specifically for that supplement. 

Set phone reminders to take supplements.

Most supplements for FET prep recommend taking with a meal. But if you are not yet in the habit of remembering to take your pills after you eat, setting an alarm in your phone can be really helpful to make sure you don’t miss your dose. You can remind yourself in other ways like putting a post it note on your mirror or refrigerator. Do whatever works for you.

Keep a snack in your purse at all times.

This snack should be your designated backup in times when you cannot have an actual meal with your supplements. For example, if you are going on a long road trip or flight and you are unsure of when you will be able to have a meal with your supplements, that snack in your purse will help you to stay on track with your supplement schedule. 

 

The Game Changer

I plan on adopting in the future, whether I have a biological child or not. And I’ve considered adopting through the foster care system. But what is one of the biggest obstacles that keeps so many people from starting the path to becoming a foster parent? I’d say it’s becoming attached emotionally to raising a child who after some time ends up going back to their biological family. I can honestly say I am not ready at this point in my life to handle that possibility. I’ve read articles and memoirs from foster parents who say it was one of the most painful experiences of their life. Some said it was as painful as grieving the death of a loved one.

I’ve been visiting my husband’s family in Nevada this past week, and my mother-in-law was a foster parent. I explained to her that one of my hesitations for becoming a foster parent was that I didn’t know if I was emotionally ready to handle getting attached to a child that would end up leaving back to their biological family. But she explained that she learned that some foster parents choose to only foster children whose parental rights have been permanently relinquished, and are therefore adoptable. That right there, was a total game changer for me. I did not even know that was an option. I thought it was inevitable that as a foster parent you had to expect that possible loss, I didn’t realize you could avoid that whole scenario altogether. Now it’s just a matter of finding out if that option is available here in Alaska too. The plan for now though is to continue trying infertility treatments until I turn 35, which is over a year from now. 

 

Mini Victories for the Week

Kept up with supplements while on vacation.

Got more sleep and relaxed more this week.

Asked more questions and did a little more research about the foster care system.

 

Work in Progress

Contact the Seattle Clinic to find out if I need a repeat SIS before my upcoming FET.

Reduce caffeine intake from 1-2 cups down to less than one cup next week. Eventually completely cut out caffeine sometime soon.

Get back on a 1200 calorie per day diet.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here

 

Want to find out how fertile you are? The Modern Fertility test is an affordable test that shows your hormone levels and gives you an overall picture of where you stand with your fertility. I recommend taking this test at least every 9-12 months to keep track of your hormone levels. What hormones will be tested? Depending on the type of birth control you are on they can test up to eight different hormone levels which may include:

AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone)

FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone)

E2 (Estradiol)

LH (Luteinizing hormone)

TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone)

FT4 (Free thyroxine)

PRL (Prolactin)

T (Testosterone)

Order your test today.

Modern Fertility Test – Women’s Health Hormone Test You Can Take at Home – Not Available NY, NJ, RI

FET Prep Week 5: Surgery, Depression & Trip to Nevada

FET Prep Week 5: Surgery, Depression & Trip to Nevada

The beginning of this week was really difficult for me. I had my surgery to remove some scar tissue from my uterus. Both my local doctor and my doctor in Seattle require my uterus be clear of all scar tissue before I can proceed with my FET in April. I’m hoping this will be the last surgery I need until then. I felt some really low lows this week, but I’m happy to say at least this week ended well.

Catch-up on Previous FET Prep Posts

FET Prep Week 1: 3.5 months until FET

FET Prep Week 2: Supplements, WTF Email, & Increased AMH Level

FET Prep Week 3: You say Future Tripping, I say Future Planning

FET Prep Week 4: Bad News from SIS Test

Countdown Until FET: 81 days (as of 02-03-2020)

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for photos of our trip to Nevada and my other FET Prep photos. 

 

Hysteroscopy Surgery

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Bored Julie takes selfies before surgery. That teal hairnet though!

On Monday I had my hysteroscopy surgery, to clear the scar tissue from my uterus. My most recent miscarriage in September resulted in this third surgery. Three subsequent surgeries for only one miscarriage, and that doesn’t even count all the other surgeries I had before those three. When I woke up from surgery I remember saying to the nurse how painful it was, and it was more painful than the other ones. They gave me some oral pain medicine after the surgery but it didn’t kick in until I got home. Normally with my other surgeries I request hydrocodone, but this one I chose not to. My doctor said Ibuprofen should be good enough. 

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Waiting for surgery in my snazzy surgery socks. 

I went to work the next day and did some physical work cleaning. But after one hour of cleaning I started to feel really wiped out and was hurting, I think I overdid it. Normally after my surgeries I take time off work, but I decided not to this time because with my SIS procedure and now this hysteroscopy, among other bills I just could not justify not working. I absolutely had to continue working to pay all the bills coming my way. I also had to clean up the house a bit before we left on vacation, and pack. I did a whole lot of bitching and crying this week from the intermittent pain. 

I called my doctor’s office Thursday to ask for some hydrocodone but my doctor was out for the weekend. I could not get the medicine at all due to me needing to leave on Friday. I learned that narcotics can’t be called in to a pharmacy due to needing the paper copy to be brought in-person. So right now I only have ibuprofen to help with the occasional pain.

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Kitty cheering me up after my surgery.

 

Depression

I’ve been dealing with a low-grade depression since September, when I had my most recent miscarriage. But with this surgery I had this week and all of the stress that comes with this process, my depression really reared its ugly head. I haven’t felt that deep of a depression in almost a decade. I think it was just an accumulation of all the miscarriages, fertility treatments, and the large amount of debt that accumulated so quickly this previous week. 

I was stressed, angry, and not getting enough sleep. I was working every day of the week after my surgery, despite the pain. I was feeling so incredibly overwhelmed and really feeling like there was very little hope of pulling myself out of it. As much as I wanted to lie in bed for the next month, I decided to do the exact opposite of how I was feeling. I pulled myself out of bed and slowly got started cleaning. I cleaned the house during the hours that my ibuprofen was working the most. I made some progress and took a step back to look at the progress. It felt pretty good to get at least something accomplished even though I felt like garbage. That was the first little glimmer of hope I had.

My to-do list was still long but I was determined to knock out one thing at a time. One-by-one I completed most of the things on my list that I wanted to do before my trip. Instead of forcing myself to get everything done, I chose to put off certain things that could wait until later. I think for anyone that is feeling overwhelmed or depressed, start with one simple task. Then prioritize just a few other tasks. Don’t worry about doing it all, because if you don’t set realistic expectations you’re just setting yourself up for failure. In the end I was able to do about 90% of what I needed to before the trip, not too shabby. 

I also got the call back from my doctors office and my nurse explained to me that they found out it was simply scar tissue and not uterine cancer. I immediately felt a huge wave of relief. This is the second time they were concerned about me developing uterine cancer and I have gotten the all clear. I’m feeling very lucky and grateful right now.

 

Trip to Nevada

I had a true turnaround with how my week was going. I went from feeling so depressed at the beginning of the week, to feeling so happy and centered by the end of the week. The timing of my trip could not have been any better. As soon as my butt was in the seat of that plane I breathed a sigh of relief. My only regret with planning this trip is I wish I would have planned it for about two or three weeks earlier, due to the weather we were experiencing in Alaska. 

January is notorious for being the worst month to live in Alaska. It’s one of the darkest and coldest times of year. We had a cold snap where it was -10 to -18 at times. Although December is the darkest month, with winter solstice having about 5.5 hours of sunlight, at least there are the  holiday festivities and it is not quite as cold. In addition to my good old fashioned depression, I might have some Seasonal Affective Disorder as well. As soon as I felt the Nevada sun warming my pale arms from the window of my plane, I felt like I was starting to come back to life. 

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During our hike in Tecopa, California I found these stacked rocks. 

We are visiting Kurtis’ mom and step-dad in Pahrump, just outside of Las Vegas. We’ll be staying in Las Vegas near the end of our trip. Saturday we drove out to Tecopa, California, which is not that long of a drive from Pahrump. We visited a farm where they grow dates out in the middle of the desert. Kurtis and I hiked a trail right next to the date farm. It was out in the desert, surrounded by mountains and ancient riverbeds. I have always loved the desert. I feel like I am on Mars, it’s so drastically different from Alaska. I don’t think I’d last a second out here though if it was in the middle of the summer. But it was a comfortable 70 degrees on our hike, the perfect temperature I think. 

We finished up the week with Super Bowl Sunday. Kurtis & I are fans of the 49ers so it was a big deal that our team made it to the Super Bowl. Even though our team lost, it was still fun to watch. We wore our 49ers shirts and watched the game with his mom and her friends. Kurtis is a die-hard fan. He will yell and scream with excitement for every touchdown, field goal, and any gain of yardage. When his mom’s friends left a little before the end of the game Kurtis said to me, “I hope I didn’t scare them away with my yelling,” I just laughed and said “You probably did.” Back home he would watch the games every Sunday, Monday and Thursday and be yelling at his players, the other team, and the ref’s. Even when I wear my noise-cancelling headphones I can still hear him whooping and hollering. I’m not sure if they actually make noise-cancelling headphones that truly block out all the noises of a superfan. A week or so before the Superbowl I showed Kurtis some YouTube videos of sports fans losing their s**t. I told him, “I’m happy you aren’t like those crazy guys.” We thought those videos were hilarious and we had full-on belly laughs with tears watching these. Amazingly there is a treasure trove of many videos of fans going ballistic, I highly recommend checking those out if you need a good laugh.

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Kurtis & I before the big game.

Mini Victories for the Week

I did not take any time off from work after my surgery. Gotta pay those bills!

I went from being emotionally overwhelmed, to feeling a lot better by the end of the week.

Got out hiking in the sun.

Chose not to have alcohol at all this week so I can stay on track with my FET prep.

Keeping up with most of my supplements.

 

Work in Progress

I’ve been a little lax with how I’ve been eating this week. I’ll allow some wiggle room with how I’m eating, so as not to stress myself out while I’m on vacation.

Opt for veggies as much as possible while on vacation, including salads, and veggie side dishes. 

weight

 

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here

 

Want to find out how fertile you are? The Modern Fertility test is an affordable test that shows your hormone levels and gives you an overall picture of where you stand with your fertility. I recommend taking this test at least every 9-12 months to keep track of your hormone levels. What hormones will be tested? Depending on the type of birth control you are on they can test up to eight different hormone levels which may include:

AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone)

FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone)

E2 (Estradiol)

LH (Luteinizing hormone)

TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone)

FT4 (Free thyroxine)

PRL (Prolactin)

T (Testosterone)

Order your test today.

Modern Fertility Test – Women’s Health Hormone Test You Can Take at Home – Not Available NY, NJ, RI

 

FET Prep Week 4: Bad News from SIS Test

FET Prep Week 4: Bad News from SIS Test

As per usual, my original treatment plans get tossed out the window because my body decides to go rogue. I would be more surprised if things actually went according to plan, ever. Sometimes the universe seems to throw every obstacle in my way. It’s hard not to think these challenges are designed to test my limits constantly. I know it’s not the end of the world, but damn, give a girl a break! Before I jump into everything that happened this past week, let me proudly announce that I did not lose my sanity, at least I have that going for me for the time being.

Countdown Until FET: 88 days (as of 1-27-2020)

 

Catch-up on Previous FET Prep Posts

FET Prep Week 1: 3.5 months until FET

FET Prep Week 2: Supplements, WTF Email, & Increased AMH Level

FET Prep Week 3: You say Future Tripping, I say Future Planning

 

Bad News from SIS Test

My IVF clinic in Seattle requires I have a SIS test completed prior to my FET. If you don’t know, SIS stands for saline-infusion sonogram. I absolutely hate doing these, I’ve had to do this maybe three or four times and I would take surgery with anesthesia over this any day. I’ve always had pain doing my annual PAP smear. The SIS test uses a speculum, just like with a typical PAP smear, but then they put in a catheter to fill up your uterus with saline, or salt water. At the same time they use a transvaginal ultrasound wand to look inside the uterus. It feels like you have to pee while also feeling similar to moderate menstrual cramp pain. Some women have no pain with their SIS test, but everyone is different.

The SIS test I did on Thursday was just as unpleasant as all the previous ones. What made it worse was knowing ahead of time I would need to pay $1200 for this test. So there I am lying on the table, looking at a white blob on the screen. The doctor had her hand on the catheter wiggling it around the blob, pushing on my stomach rapidly over and over again (not a pretty sight if you have some extra pounds on the belly), and telling the ultrasound tech to move the wand around all over the place inside me. “Maybe if we take the catheter and push on it, it will break it up. It might just be a blood clot, let’s try to push into it to see what happens.” Tap, tap, jab, jab, ouuuuuch! “Okay, that hurts!” I told her. She apologizes then asks me to try moving my knees out, then rolling on my side. But now matter what any of us three women did, this blob remained immovable.

“To me it looks like it might be an adhesion or scar tissue, I don’t think it’s a blood clot because it’s not moving. But I’m not sure exactly what it is. I will send these images to your doctor in Seattle and see what he says,” she tells me. This could very well throw off all of my plans for my FET. She explained I would probably need a follow-up SIS, or surgery. Both are expensive and I don’t have the money for either, I’m still trying to pay off my other medical bill from my recent miscarriage. 

 

Surgery Scheduled

The following morning I get a call from my local OBGYN who explained that he spoke with my Seattle doctor and they felt the best option was to go ahead with another surgery. They didn’t think it was a simple blood clot based on how it looked, they thought it could be scar tissue or something else, but they wouldn’t know for sure unless they did a pathology test on it to figure it out. It’s the “something else” part I’m concerned about, because both doctors have explained to me I am at risk of developing uterine cancer. So I’m hoping it’s just scar tissue. 

They will be doing hysteroscopy surgery. Essentially that’s where they put a little hysteroscope, or camera, inside to actually see what’s going on in there. “It will either be a diagnostic surgery or an operative surgery, depending on what I see” my doctor explains, “If that tissue is still there I’ll go ahead and remove it, then send it out to be tested. We want your uterus to be absolutely clear of any tissue, polyps, or fibroids before your Frozen Embryo Transfer. Because you only have one embryo right? Yeah. So if the embryo tries to implant on that tissue you could have a failed FET or another miscarriage.” I agreed that it sounded like there was no other option but to remove it, whatever it is. 

Thursday and Friday I had to answer about half a dozen different phone calls from my doctors office, the surgery center nurse, the financial department for the surgery center, then the financial department for my doctors office. “We’ll need $3200 the day of your surgery” the receptionist told me from the surgery center. Mind you, this didn’t even include the doctor’s fee or the anesthesiologist fee. Oh yes, let me just fork over thousands of dollars I keep lying around. Yeah, right! The weird part is the surgery center never expected everything up front like this before. I told her there was no way I could do that and asked about a payment plan. Apparently they no longer do payment plans, so I had to apply for Care Credit. I’ve never used medical credit before, so it’s all new to me. I got approved for the amount of the surgery, so I am hoping everything goes without a hitch on the day of the surgery. Then it would only be a matter of monthly payments to the Care Credit company. 

 

Bills, Bills, & More Bills

In a single week I’ve accumulated $5,439 in debt. F**k my life! 

  • Car repair for exhaust leak, needed new catalytic converter and gasket (my car sounded like it was going to blow up): $539 
  • Natera (pathology report from last miscarriage): $400
  • SIS bill (Pre-FET ultrasound test): $1200
  • Hysteroscopy surgery estimate: $3300

Plus add in the bill I’ve already been paying on…

  • 2019 ER visit for miscarriage: $2500 remaining (that’s after the $1000+ I already paid down)

Grand Total of Current Debt = $7939

Yes, it’s a lot of debt at once. And I may have downed three glasses of Merlot quite rapidly when I got home the other night when I did all the math, but when I pull back and look at the big picture, it’s not that bad. I’ve been dealing with miscarriages and infertility treatments for going on five years now, and to only have just under $8,000 of debt is actually kind of impressive. I know other women who owe upwards of $40,000 all the way up to $100,000 in debt for infertility treatments. Yes it definitely throws a wrench in my plans for the year and I’m still kind of panicking, but perhaps I’ll use that stressful energy into finding a solution. 

My original plan was to pay off my previous ER bill (and my only bill prior to this week) before my FET, then I’d be golden. I could have been pregnant, and off work to reduce stress for my high risk pregnancy. I could have just chilled at home baking a little bun in the oven. I would have had some money in savings to pay smaller bills like my phone and car insurance. But all the bills started rolling in this week. But this week my dream of being a stay-at-home preggers wifey just exploded in my face.

So what the hell am I going to do next? Well if my pathology report from this upcoming surgery shows it was simply scar tissue, I’m hoping I will still be on track with my FET date of mid-April. I talked with Kurtis about how I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to get a second job during this critical three month time before my FET where they emphasize the importance of reducing stress. A new job would definitely add to my stress level. Luckily, my current work schedule is very flexible. I can work as much as 40 hours per week or as little as one shift per month, since I am an on-call staff member. 

I talked about with Kurtis about a tentative plan after the FET, I plan to work the minimum amount of one shift per month for the first trimester, that is if I’m lucky enough to actually get pregnant. Then after I pass the first trimester I’ll probably work more. It’s risky to be working, especially considering my history of miscarriages. Even just writing those last few sentences, it just doesn’t sit right with me. It essentially boils down to a question of “Are you willing to risk your pregnancy to pay bills? Or do you need to just accept that you will be in debt for a while?” I’m already looking at the trajectory of this year and it’s looking like our dream of buying a house this year is out the window. It’s sad, and it sucks, because both Kurtis and I made plans for it to happen this year. If infertility was personified it would be that mean schoolyard bully who relentlessly pummels you into the ground. On the flip side, I keep getting back up to fight back. I hope you are at least putting your money on me winning instead of that asshole Infertility. 

Speaking of money, if you want to help a sister out, you can donate to us to help pay down our medical bills. It would be much appreciated. Every little bit helps. 

 

Mini-Victories for the Week

Completed SIS procedure this week. 

Local OBGYN was able to quickly get me scheduled for surgery first thing next week.

Did 18/6 intermittent fasting a few days this week.

 

Work in Progress

Surgery scheduled Monday for hysteroscopy.

Need to cut out alcohol completely now that I am in my 3-month window before FET.

No caffeine whatsoever. This past week I transitioned from coffee to tea, now need to cut out caffeinated tea.

Did some stress eating with all the new bills and upcoming surgery, need to be careful not to do this for this next week.

weight

 

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here

 

Want to find out how fertile you are? The Modern Fertility test is an affordable test that shows your hormone levels and gives you an overall picture of where you stand with your fertility. What hormones will the test? Depending on the type of birth control you are on they can test up to eight different hormone levels which may include:

AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone)

FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone)

E2 (Estradiol)

LH (Luteinizing hormone)

TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone)

FT4 (Free thyroxine)

PRL (Prolactin)

T (Testosterone)

Order your test today.

Modern Fertility Test – Women’s Health Hormone Test You Can Take at Home – Not Available NY, NJ, RI

 

FET Prep Week 3: You say Future Tripping, I say Future Planning

FET Prep Week 3: You say Future Tripping, I say Future Planning

I always like having a backup plan in case my original plan doesn’t work out. It helps keep me sane. Even though I believe in taking one step at a time, I also believe having a Plan B. It’s so important for being able to keep the momentum going and headed in the right direction. What if you want to try IVF again but your partner does not? In this post I write about this exact situation that my husband and I found ourselves in. Openly communicating how you both feel might be really difficult if you are on different pages. It does not necessarily mean there is no way to compromise either. Keep reading to find out how I may have found a good compromise that might work for us if this upcoming FET does not work. This post will also cover some of the changes I’m working on to help lower my weight in preparation for my FET.

 

Catch-up on Previous FET Prep Posts

FET Prep Week 1: 3.5 months until FET

FET Prep Week 2: Supplements, WTF Email, & Increased AMH Level

 

Countdown Until FET: 95 days (as of 1-20-2020)

 

18:6 Intermittent Fasting

So right off the bat, I don’t recommend fasting for everyone. But I talked with my doctor and for my particular situation intermittent fasting could help me kick-start some weight loss. I need to lose some weight to get closer to a healthier BMI. It’s been about a year or so since I’ve done intermittent fasting. There are a lot of misconceptions about intermittent fasting. I’ve known people who did intermittent fasting to shed a lot of weight. One person I know lost about 100 pounds doing intermittent fast over a one year period. It all boils down to doing your research and listening to your body. 

Twice this week I did 18:6 intermittent fasting, which means that 18 hours of the day no calories are consumed while six hours of the day you can eat calories. The longest I went was three days. Going three days without food when you are obese is not as extreme as some might tell you. What’s more extreme is having to deal with the deadly effects of obesity including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Unfortunately I’m currently dealing with high blood pressure and need medication. My goal is to eventually not need the medication, but this may be a long road to get there, but I have hope. 

I used to be prediabetic, which is a really scary thing to be told by your doctor. But I am happy to say I was able to lose that dreadful label. Obesity is no joke, and I think finding a doable eating plan can give people hope. For me, an 18:6 intermittent fasting plan is more doable. The goal is to avoid taking in more than 1200 calories in a day and use intermittent fasting to increase ketones activity and hopefully boost weight loss. But I’m not perfect, there were a couple days this week I didn’t track what I was eating. Although I don’t think it was an extreme amount of food, I still should have been tracking. Even if this whole weight loss endeavor is a ‘two steps forward, one step back’ kind of thing at least I’m still moving forward. 

 

HCG Test Results

Once again my hCG results were zero for the month, and I am very happy about this. If you are new to my blog, you might be scratching your head right now and asking, “But don’t you want to have a positive hCG result for a pregnancy?” The short answer is no, not right now. In a nutshell, my last miscarriage was due to a partial molar pregnancy and my doctor advised me to not get pregnant for six months due to risk of Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD), which could turn into uterine cancer.

I have to get a blood test monthly to ensure my hCG levels remain negative for the next few months. It did rise slightly at one point early on and I needed a second surgery. But ever since that second surgery I have been so happy and relieved that my levels still remain negative. I only have three months left of my monthly blood test. Then after that I hope I will be doing hCG testing for a positive pregnancy test (post-FET) rather than hCG testing for potential cancer. I still find it so bizarre that it’s the same test but used for two entirely different purposes. 

 

CNY Consult Scheduled in May

So although my husband is not too keen on talking about a backup plan if this upcoming FET does not work, I am very much the type of person who prefers to have a Plan B. It helps to ease my mind knowing there is a plan in place for when things don’t work out, and that’s honestly how I think I’ve managed to keep my sanity over these years. I find that I am able to bounce back more quickly with a backup plan. My husband sees it differently, he said, “You’re future tripping. You’re expecting it [the FET] to fail before it even happens.” I don’t see it as expecting failure though, I see it as being realistic about the odds of it not working and choosing to plan ahead just in case it doesn’t work. My doctor said, “there is a 40% chance it will not work, and there is a 60% chance that it will.” The odds are in my favor, but there is also no guarantee.”

So what does my Plan B look like? It’s a phone call for my initial consult with a prominent doctor at the CNY clinic in New York. He is one of the most highly recommended doctors I’ve seen on the infertility forums and he is at one of the most affordable clinics. I chose to schedule my initial phone consult with him in mid-May. I chose mid-May because by then I would know for sure whether my embryo implanted from my FET. If it did not implant I would have that appointment all set up just in time to move forward. I knew the wait time for a consultation with CNY can be months out, so I decided to lock in my time now. 

 

When Egg Freezing Makes More Sense

What do you do if your husband or partner says they might not want to do IVF again? IVF is physically, emotionally, and financially one of the most difficult things a couple can go through. My husband has mentioned that if this upcoming FET does not work he doesn’t think he wants to pursue further IVF treatments. But I feel very strongly the opposite way. Some women run the risk of resenting their spouse for giving up before they are ready. This can lead to major regrets later in life. If you have a low AMH level it limits the amount of time you have left to have biological children, and if you change your mind later on and decide to do IVF it could be too late. So what’s a girl to do? If in your heart of hearts you feel very strongly that you are not ready to completely give up on doing IVF, I recommend an alternative solution. 

I decided a solution to my current predicament is to consider freezing my eggs. I could do a few egg retrievals, freeze those little eggies, and take the time to focus on my marriage and other goals I have. I see it as a win-win. I would be preserving my potential fertility while allowing room for other things in my life, rather than being fully consumed with infertility treatments back to back with no break in between. Even the idea of freezing my eggs and taking a year off to actually live my life seems like a nice option. We need to find some sort of compromise, and I think egg freezing can be a good one. Egg freezing isn’t just for single women, it’s also for couples like us who need a break and still want to preserve their fertility for the future. If you are in a similar situation, I’d suggest doing some research on egg freezing and consider whether this might be a good idea for you. The same goes for my male readers as well, consider freezing your sperm at a younger age to help preserve your fertility, if your partner is saying they need a break from doing IVF.

 

Mini-Victories for the Week

Reduced gluten intake somewhat (less wheat bread).

Did 18:6 intermittent fasting a couple times this week. 

Set up CNY phone consultation with the doctor I wanted.

 

Work in Progress

Go shopping to buy more veggies and some fruit. Fresh preferred, frozen…okay, canned…meh (but better than nothing).

Consistently track calories daily.

Don’t overdo the exercise like I did this past week. Try to aim for consistency with one hour daily, six times per week.

weight

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure here

Want to find out how fertile you are? The Modern Fertility test is an affordable test that shows your hormone levels and gives you an overall picture of where you stand with your fertility. What hormones will the test? Depending on the type of birth control you are on they can test up to eight different hormone levels which may include:

AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone)

FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone)

E2 (Estradiol)

LH (Luteinizing hormone)

TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone)

FT4 (Free thyroxine)

PRL (Prolactin)

T (Testosterone)

Order your test today.

Modern Fertility Test – Women’s Health Hormone Test You Can Take at Home – Not Available NY, NJ, RI

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