Well hello there! It's been awhile. Not even sure anyone is still reading this (not that there has been anything to read) and if not that's ok. This post is more a therapeutic outlet than informative although it will accomplish both. Before I get on with my true reason for writing, I would be a horrible parent if I didn't provide a Brynlee/life as a parent/whirlwind of awesomeness update:
To say the last 18 months has flown by would be an incredible understatement. They say time flies when you're having fun and that could not hold more true. Being a Mom is nothing short of wonderful. And I'm sure it helps that we have a super fantastic kid too. She is so loving and kind (most of the time - she definitely has her moments) and smart and full of curiosity and innocence. She is forever on the move... busy busy busy! She loves to dance, play outside (sometimes it's a fight to bring her in... ever!), she loves to hunt lizards, the church nursery, bath time and is completely obsessed with our cat and youngest dog. Buc (the dog's name) is her favorite word with apple being a close second. She also says: book, sock, shoes, MAAAAAAAAMAAAAAAAA, DADADA, bad dog, cup, please (which is more like peas with a lisp), more, meow, duck, Jack (my nephew), cheese and she will tell you what a dog says (woof woof), a monkey (ooh ooh aah aah), a chick (peep peep), a squirrel (clicks her tongue), and I know there is more but that is all that comes to mind. She will try to repeat many things but the aforementioned is what makes sense. :) One of my favorite things is that she loves to give kisses and she makes a kissing noise (if that makes sense at all), more of a smacking then a mwah, when she does it. She kisses the dogs, the cat, us, her babies, a toy if you ask her if she loves that toy? She was even kissing her bath toys last night. Silly girl!
Brynlee starts school in June. Until then, she will continue to spend the days Cozart is working, with Cozart's Aunt Janie. She loves to spend time there. She has kitties (one of her favorite things), turkeys, has caught frogs in the swimming pool, watched cranes drink out of the rain bucket and Aunt Janie has great toys. We have made the decision to send her to school part time (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) so she can still spend a few days a month with Janie. We are so blessed to have her and to have the reassurance that she is in good hands and loved so much.
We don't have her 18 month check up until the 20th but I would guess she weighs about 26lbs and is about 32in tall. I can't believe how big she has gotten. Cozart was carrying her in from the car the other day and she was asleep. She looked ENORMOUS! So long and definitely not the little tiny baby we brought home yesterday, or so it seems. She has been relatively healthy, I say relatively because she is currently getting over a cold. We all are. Yuck! I can count on one hand how many times she has been sick. She has 12 teeth and has had those 12 teeth for what seems like forever. I'm dreading her getting her I teeth because I've heard their the worst but I wish she would just get it over with already.
She is still everything we ever hoped, dreamed and prayed for and so much more. A fellow blogger/friend once said in her blog that she couldn't imagine life without her daughter and if all those months they had failed pregnancy test after failed pregnancy test were a positive that baby may not have been THIS perfect child they were blessed with. I couldn't agree more. She is definitely worth the wait!
Which brings me to the second part of this post. We have started the journey all over again in hopes of adding another perfect little miracle to our family. I had my annual exam with my OB/GYN early January and he gave us the all clear to try for #2, in fact he was shocked I hadn't already made an appointment with my RE. Of course, I was on the phone with them as soon as I left his office. I wasn't able to get in quite as quickly as I thought I would be able to, being an established patient, but we still didn't have to wait long.
Little (pretty huge actually) side note: I started a new job in November (which I completely love by the way). It's a global company and the benefits are much better than my old company. However, even with fantastic benefits, fertility treatment coverage isn't all that common. Well, not only is it a job I love, working for a fantastic company, the benefits also cover fertility treatments... (INSERT CHEERS!) I seriously felt like I hit the jack pot. Nothing short of amazing.
Prior to our appointment, I was actually really excited to see Dr. D again. My final memory of that clinic was pure joy, I knew it would be hard not to hug him to thank him for the best gift we've ever been given. Our appointment was mostly just a consultation, plan of action type appointment. We determined we would pick up where we left off, with the treatment plan that was successful. We would be open to doing a modified IVF cycle for the right side months, should my right tube still have a blockage. We would begin with an HSG (xray test to see if the tube is still occluded) and then begin the first treatment cycle following the HSG.
HSG result: my right tube is no longer completely closed but still has significant narrowing. Conclusion: we forego right side months due to the narrowing or proceed with a modified IVF/Mini-IVF on right ovulating months.
Modified IVF vs Traditional IVF: in a nutshell - Modified or Mini doesn't use as many drugs. The cycle is treated like an IUI but completed with a retrieval of eggs and a transfer after fertilization. They aren't trying to get as many eggs as possible without blowing up your ovaries like a traditional. They will retrieve one or two or whatever they can get and transfer what fertilizes, provided one does.
Cycle 1: U/S on Day 3- cyst on my right side but estrogen level shows it's a non-functioning cyst. Given the green light to begin letrozole on Day 3-7, Follistim injections on Days 6, 8 & 10, U/S on day 11, Ovidrel injection (trigger) when given the ok by Dr. D (based on U/S results)
During our consultation Dr. D stated they have changed protocol with regard to letrozole (used to stimulate ovulation). They have doubled up the dose, 2 tablets once per day vs. 1 tablet once per day. Apparently they have seen better results with the doubled dosage. Ok by me, especially if it increases any chance we have of this working.
Days 1-10 complete with injections went very well, it's like riding a bike I guess? My U/S on Day 11 showed 4 mature follicles, one on the right and 3 on the left. With the largest being 27mm (HUGE! Some docs want to see at least 15mm to trigger, some say 20mm.). My estrogen level was at 366 (not great for having 3-4 mature follicles. Ideally you want to see 200 per mature follicle.). Dr. D's nurse followed up with the results later in the day, stating I should give myself the trigger shot that evening and scheduled both my appointment and Cozart's for 2 days out.
By the day of IUI, I was feeling very bloated and crampy. Neither of which I felt in any of the previous 4 IUIs. I took this as a positive thing, maybe this was the increased letrozole. Cozart went in in the AM for his appointment and I returned 3 hours later for the insemination. Cozart's count was outstanding as per usual. I was relaxed, all went well. This should all be a piece of cake this time around.
Or not.... for days (3 maybe 4) post IUI I felt awful. Cramping, bloated, tired, just overall crappy. And then there is the emotional side of it. Even before we went in for our first appointment I have had this guilty pit in my stomach. Am I being greedy wanting another child? Is this fair to Brynlee? Will I be able to love a second child as much as I love her? What if it doesn't work, ever, like even after we have used all of what our insurance will cover? I feel like I'm really up against a clock, this time around as I'm older and the window of child bearing years is quickly closing. By the time I had my 7 days past IUI blood work, I was quickly transported back to all the disappointment I felt in that clinic. It was like the memory of joy was gone. Almost like I was experiencing some crazy form of PTSD. Anxiety set in and really hasn't left since. The anxiety is also coupled with guilt for feeling this way when I have a beautiful child at home. Some people are still battling infertility to have their first and some will never have a child and here I am stressing over having a 2nd. Ugh! I can't say that it's worse this time around because there is hope, hope I didn't have because I had never carried a child to term before. I have that now. But I will say that the pressure, anxiety and guilt is real and different than the first time but still very intense.
Day 7 past IUI blood work is to test your progesterone level, confirming ovulation. My P4 level was 26.6. They want to see 15+ This number is great but not indicative of pregnancy, unfortunately.
I'm 11dpiui now with zero symptoms of pregnancy, but definitely signs of a new cycle rearing it's ugly head. I'm preparing for disappointment on Friday, if not sooner. I'm not being negative, I've just been down this road before.
Should cycle day 1 come, we will start over again with an U/S and prepare for a possible mini-IVF due to the likelihood of it being a right side month.
That's all for now...
Back on the roller coaster we go...