Monday, May 9, 2011

4th Time's Not A Charm

I have had bad days in my life...but yesterday was probably one of the worst one's yet. I found out I wasn't pregnant.

Now you may all say...well there's always next month... Not the case with Curtis and I. :( We have struggled with infertility issues for over 2 years. At first we weren't really "trying", we just weren't preventing. After 6 months or so we started "trying" and monitoring ovulation. Then I had a weird month were my period lasted like 27 days (probably too much info)...which took me into the OB. They thought maybe my uterine lining was just too think or something so they ordered an ultrasound. They saw that my uterine lining was normal but my ovaries were COVERED with cysts. The cysts were preventing ovulation - which meant no baby. So they put me on this drug called Clomid.  Probably the worst medication EVER!! It makes you moody and my face took a toll - ACNE everywhere. I've never had skin problems, but this drug made me look like a 14 year old boy going through puberty. HORRIBLE!! Clomid is supposed to help with ovulation, but it had the worst effect on me (which I guess happens with a small percentage of women) so I switched to a similar drug called Femara.  My face still looked like a war zone, but it seemed to help a little with ovulation - but still no baby.

My skin before Clomid.

(sorry, kind of a random picture to put in this blog post)


My skin after Clomid.  DISGUSTING!!!!
(It's getting better now that I've been off the med for a while)

I thought to myself - maybe we should get Curtis checked out so that if there's a problem with him I'm not going through with all this crap for nothing. We went to a fertility Dr. in Sandy and got the little spermies checked out. Well, they weren't the best. His little guys are shaped weird. Only 1% of his sperm are normal shape and swim well enough to fertilize an egg. I guess sperm can come in all different shapes and sizes. Some may have two heads, or two tails, or short tails, or long of tails, etc...so only 1% of his are "normal". The diagnosis was infertility. My polycystic ovaries dropped our chances of having kids on our own to 33%, and with Curtis' poor sperm shape we dropped down to below 1%. The only possible way we could ever get pregnant was through In Vitro Ferilization (IVF) with ICSI (which is where they get all the good sperm and inject it directly into my egg). So, at least there was a chance to still have our own kids...right??

We jumped right into a fresh IVF cycle. They started me on birth control to get my cycle regular. On June 14th I began Lupron injections (10 units) every night. Curtis was scared of the idea of sticking a needle in me so I had to do all the injections myself (thank goodness for my nursing degree haha...). On June 26th I went in for a blood draw and an ultrasound - definitely not the most comfortable experience. That night you continue the Lupron injections - decrease the dose to 5 units - and add 20 units of low dose HCG and 1 vial of Bravelle (which stimulates my eggs to grow).  I went in for another blood draw and ultrasound on June 29th, July 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th. They have to monitor you closely to make sure your eggs are growing slow and steady. They had to increase my dose to 1.5 vials of Bravelle to get my eggs to grow a little faster. My ovaries went from the size of walnuts to the size of grapefruits!! They were called "kissing ovaries" because they grew big enough to actually touch each other in my abdomen. Can you say...UNCOMFORTABLE! Ugh. You are so bloated and huge. It hurt to even take Tyson out on a walk to the mailbox. No working out, no playing volleyball or anything for that matter...which is extremely difficult for me to just sit around all day. I'm at a high risk for hyperstimulation, which is when your ovaries get too big that they start leaking fluid into your abdomen. For some women this can be a life-threatening situation where it makes it really hard for them to breath and they have to get the fluid pumped out of them. So they want to monitor me really close so nothing like that happens. 

On July 8th they said my eggs were ready so I stopped the other injections and gave myself the "trigger" shot injection. 36 hours later I went in and got all my eggs retrieved. They put you under for this procedure. I guess it takes about 45 minutes. Afterwards you wake up SO groggy. I felt pretty nauseous after, so they gave me some anti-nausea medications. I slept from 2pm-9pm and felt a lot better. They ended up getting 25 eggs out of my HUGE ovaries. 19 of them were mature, so they injected all 19 with Curtis' spermies. 14 of the 19 fertilized and 4 were really good quality embryos. You start progesterone injections or vaginal suppositories 2 days after the egg retrieval. They let the embryos grow until day 5 and then put 2 of them back into me and froze 2. You are awake for this procedure. It's uncomfortable and your uterus gets really crampy, but it's not too bad. Then they say to take it easy for the next 48 hours. The night of my embryo transfer I woke up at 4am in the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced. I woke Curtis up and he said he had some pain medications, but I was SO scared to take anything when I just had these embryos put back in me. So Curtis called the on-call Dr. and he said it was okay to take something and to come in the next morning. They think I had a cyst burst because there was some free fluid in my abdomen, but they don't know for sure. Then came the waiting game for 14 days. I ended up starting my period about 10 days later so I knew it didn't work. I went in anyway for the blood draw and it came back negative. Ugh!
TONS of injections for one fresh invitro transfer!!

Curtis, all dolled up for the Operating Room prior to embryo transfer.

Here I am after getting 25 eggs pulled out of my ovaries. Completely out of it. Lovely.

Getting ready for our fresh embryo transfer 5 days later...

Looks enjoyable right?

Nerd.


Hoping for a baby...

#1 - July 14, 2010 - 2 Fresh Embryo Transfer

We went back to our Dr. and asked him what we should do and he said we can go right into a frozen cycle.  I got back on birth control and got ready for a frozen embryo transfer. The frozen cycle is a lot easier since you already have the embryos. You have to do Lupron injections every night to prevent ovulation and take estrogen pills to build up your uterine lining. Then you start on the progesterone to help build your lining as well. You have to go in for a few blood draws, but definitely not as many as with the fresh cycle. Once your lining is thick enough you come in for the frozen transfer. They thawed our 2 embryos out and they both looked good. Usually 50% of frozen embryos do not survive the freezing process, but ours were good. They implanted them back into me and 14 days later I came back in for a blood draw pregnancy test. I hadn't started my period yet, so my hopes were high, but it came back negative. I was DEVASTATED. My best friend in CA just found out she was pregnant, so I was SO excited to be prego together. Not so much... Curtis took the second one a lot harder than the first one too.

#2 - September 16, 2010 - 2 Frozen Embryo Transfer

So back to the fertility Dr. it was.  We opted to try a fresh IVF cycle again. I think I forgot how terrible the first cycle was, and went right into it. It wouldn't be so terrible if you were guaranteed a baby in the end. But when you go through injection after injection, tons of blood draws and vaginal ultrasounds, gain 10 lbs and feel so bloated, huge, and uncomfortable, can't do anything, the emotional roller coaster, the money spent on everything...and still no baby...it sucks! But we definitely wanted to try again, so I got back on birth control and went through the same process all over again. The blood draws, the ultrasounds, the injections - all the same as the 1st time. We actually had our egg retrieval on Thanksgiving morning! How fun huh?! We had planned to go to Curtis family's house, but had to stay in Utah. We ended up going to our friends Zac and Julie's for a late Thanksgiving dinner. I laid on the couch for a couple hours and nibbled on some of Curtis' plate. This time around they got 14 eggs and 7 were mature. They injected all 7 with Curtis' sperm and all 7 fertilized. 4 were good quality and 3 were fair. Three days later we went back in for monitoring. Our Dr. recommended we do a day 3 transfer, so we did. We implanted 2 and froze 2 again. 10 days later I started my period. Wonderful?! Ugh. I had a feeling I wasn't pregnant, but I was still hoping. I told Curtis I started bleeding and we immediately started crying. We thought 3rd time was a charm right? Not so much. I went in for the pregnancy blood draw and it obviously came back negative.

#3 - November 28, 2010 - 2 Fresh Embryo Transfer

So on to attempt number 4.  We had heard that there was this AMAZING Dr. in California named Dr. Marrs. He was the first Dr. to ever successfully complete a frozen invitro transfer. We still had 2 frozen embryos, so we thought he was the best option for us. He flies out to Utah every few months and partners up with a fertility Dr. out here (Dr. Richards). So I got back on this special type of birth control (which made me have this outrageous appetite). I am ALWAYS hungry and gained like 8 lbs in 4 weeks. Dr. Marrs also recommended that I get on this drug called Metformin. It's usually used for diabetics, but I guess it helps women with Polycystic Ovaries as well. I had to be on it for at least 8 weeks prior to the frozen transfer, so we couldn't just jump into a cycle.  We had to wait for 3 months. Then came the blood draws, vaginal ultrasounds, more medications, etc. We had two frozen embryos, but only one survived the freeze. So 2 weeks ago we transferred the 1 embryo. I took the pregnancy blood draw today and it came back negative! :(
We had to transport our two frozen embryos to our new Dr.'s office in this freezing cold tank. We locked it up tight in the back seat so it wouldn't tip over. :)

#4 - April 28, 2011 - 1 Frozen Embryo Transfer

So now what??? Do we try one last time? Do we look into adoption? Surrogate? What now?? I have absolutely no idea what we are supposed to learn from all this. It makes NO sense that two people who would make great parents and love their baby unconditionally, can't have kids, but some 16 year old can pop one out like nothin'. This is what lead to this LONG blog post about my worst day - or actually worst year ever!

21 comments:

Blake and Brandi Beck said...

I am so sorry hun! If there is anything I can do for you let me know! :)

Fosters said...

You are SO brave to go through all the turmoil and share it with us. I say don't give up but I'm sure each new try gives you more stress and if it happens more heartbreak.
If you do end up with adoption, you will still be the most loving and fun parents to a child that really needs it.
You are loved!

Meaja said...

You are in my prayers and thoughts Kim. Destressing was "key" for me. Great things will come your one way or another. They always do.

Stephanie said...

I Love you!!!! : )

Josh and Megan said...

oh my gosh kim! I had NO idea that you and curtis were EVEN ON this rollercoaster. I'm SOOOOOo Sorry! That is so horrible. I had a hard time getting pregnant with Mason and ended having a CYST that was HUGE burst on me too and it was the most excruciating pain ever...so I do understand that one for sure!!!
I'm so sorry! I love you girl.

Rebecca said...

I'm sorry life's not fair sometimes.... Actually, sometimes it just downright sucks! Different circumstances, I know, but I've been learning that continued faith is VITAL during this sometimes crazy mortal life. Heavenly Father is in charge and he knows how your eternity will turn out. He loves you and I love you. Prayers and hugs :)

Kat said...

Kim. I love you girl. I too have never understood why 16 year old girls (and younger) can get pregnant when they are in NO WAY able to take care of a child and yet a loving couple like you and Curtis have to suffer through a trial like this, not being able to get pregnant. It really isn't fair. Love you girl. You guys are in our prayers.

Meggie Marie said...

Honestly you are a champ! To put yourself through that over and over is BRAVE and tough. I would be devastated too. I can't even begin to compare my miscarriage drama with yours BUT I kinda sorta get where you are coming from. One day you will get that baby-One way or another. I love you girl! I know you are so so so tired of talking about and living it but yiu can always call, text, email me etc.

Barrett, Melinda, & Angel Trinity Adams said...

although we travel different roads Kim, I understand your emotions. 10 years ago, we got pregnant fast with Trinity, but then whe was so very sick, lived in the hospital for 2 years, then passed away in 2007 at 5 years old. We don't have any other kids, and the same thoughts have gone through my head. "WHY???!!!" I still don't know the answers to that question. Life doesn't make sense, and I'm so very sorry you're struggling with infertility right now. We are considering the adoption route since we want more kids as well. Who knows, maybe we can walk down the adoption route with you guys? Hang in there (I know that's so cliche'...many people told me the same thing during our struggles with Trinity's illness and her death...I just wanted to slap them many times for saying that). Take a deep breath and do what you and Chris feel is the best route for you guys into parenthood. Love ya!

Mindy Adams (Britta's cousin and Megan's sister)

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

Hi! I found your blog through a friend who found it randomly. lol. I just want you to know that my heart hurts for you. There is nothing anyone can say that can change that. I hope it's not weird for me to say that I'm thinking and praying for you and your hubby. :-)

The Pearson's said...

I don't even know what to say. And I'm sure whatever I say won't make much of a dent in your emotions but I know I want to tell you I love you. I know in the beginning you were kinda quiet about what u guys were going through because I didn't know any of this was going on but I had a feeling there was some struggle from this last summer when chan and I hung out with you guys. I am so sorry to hear you and Curtis have been dealing with this horrific trial for so long. You are one courageous woman! You are truly amazing to have done all that you had to do for so long. Chan and I read your long descriptive blog post together... I appreciate your story. I hope the best for you two... I know you had to have a lot of patience with this journey so far but continue with that patience and Heavenly Father with unfold the answers for you in what to do next. Love you both!

Anne M Adams said...

I have pcos also and didn't get pregnant till I was 33..I tried the clomid and it didn't work for me. I have ultra sounds of my ovaries that look like strings of pearls around them. When I did get pregnant at 33 I wasn't using any fertility drugs and all signs of pcos are gone. I have a 3 & 1 yr old. Prayer changes things the dr's cannot explain. I am a born again christian. I love the Lord and thank him every day for making me a Mommy.. Pray!! I just stumbled upon your blog lol :-)

Ashlei said...

I'm so sorry Kim! I know you would make a wonderful mother. Let me know if I can help in any way!

Nelssie said...

Leaving a comment on your blog is totally making me look like a stalker since I don't know you, I'm sorry if that is weird. But this is what happened, I also went to the Bruno Mars concert so I was trying to find out the name of the band that opened the concert so I googled "Bruno Mars concert @ UVU" then your blog came up, I was just interested in finding out the name of the ding dang band but I was not succesful. Then I read this post and I couldn't help it but to think that I should share with you what has helped me get my health back. They're supplements from Omnilife (name of the company); I've personally consumed them since 3rd grade they helped me get over my asthma, I still take them. My mom's friend, a lady in her mid 30's got pregnant (after years of trying)her and her husband gave these a shot and were able to get pregnant they up to this day still take consume them as well. You can email me nsfm06gmail.com and ask whatever, there's nothing to lose after all. Good luck with everything.
Sarahi (Utah)

Linda said...

Hey, Kim! It's me, blog stalking, but had no idea! I was just looking at the FABULOUS cruise pictures nad then scrolled back. Oh, girl. it's NOT FAIR. You'll be the Best mother EVER, I know it. You have so much love to give. I'll pray hard, if that helps. LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!

Melodie Anne said...

Ugh- this is kind of wierd of me. I'm Megan's friend that you met at the Garlic Fest, and I saw you on her blog. So now I'm one of those creeps that comments on people's blogs even if I don't know them. Ew.

But I wanted to say that I'm so sorry for what you are going through. There is no feeling in the world that compares with the "Why not us" of infertility. My hubby and I tried for 2 years before finding out I have a uterine malformation and undergoing surgery to get it fixed. Ouch. We haven't started trying again, mostly because it is so emotionally painful that I'm just not sure I can take it yet.

I wish you the best of luck in getting a baby, however you end up getting one! If you have any interest in trying another doctor I have a cousin who is preg with twins through in-vitro. She loved her doctor and he is in UT. Good luck and stay happy! A puppy helps :)

The Becks said...

Hey I found your blog on Katie Hodgkiss's and came across this post. I just wanted to let you know that I was thinking about you. Jason and I have been through a similar situation and it's heartbreaking and crushing. We struggled with infertility for almost 5 years and it was incredibly hard. I hope you know you and Curtis are in our prayers and we hope it all will work out for you two. You both are such sweet people and deserve to be parents. Don't give up...even though it's so hard, stay strong and positive.

JiPoshy said...

Wow that Clomid really brings on the fire. Thanks for inspiring us to look into that and be more educated on this subject. You're awesome!

tia celise said...

Thank you for posting all of this- I too have PCOS and have tried getting preg for 4 years and finally have had help to do IVF. I'm so scared, and so glad you blogged everything! Thank u again.

KILL LI said...

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from CANADA