Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Not-So-Oral Estrace

Last time I spoke to the doctor, he had mentioned that my lining (at the last FET) was about 8.6mm (they aim for over 8) but that he would consider adding in an Estrace suppository this time around. I asked the nurse about this, and the doctor agreed that I could add in the vaginal Estrace. I was expecting her to call in a new script, but (unlike Progesterone), there is no "official Estrace suppository" and you just take the exact same pill vaginally! That's stick that little blue pill up there.

I started this last night and am hoping it will help to increase my lining this time. It is a bizarre thing to do, but I spoke to two nurses about it (and read a few online message boards). I highly recommend wearing a pantyliner!

All in all, even with the extra steps of taking 2 pills (orally and vaginally) 2 times a day, it is much better to take the pills than to do the injections. You only have to do the injection once every few days, but there's so much involved with the injection (time of night, numbing, drawing up medication, switching needles, injecting, heating pad, etc.)...not to mention that I can't give it to myself since it's very hard to reach back there. The pills allow me to be much more independent, but just require that I have 2 alarms set every day.

I was looking at my calendar and I can't believe the transfer is only about 2 weeks away. I am not looking forward to the actual transfer (with the full bladder) and I am certainly not looking forward to the 2-week wait! Hopefully, it won't be as dreadful this time around. I am telling myself now that I will not do any at-home pregnancy tests this time. I am hoping I can exercise enough self-control.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Here We Go Again...

After our negative pregnancy test (7/28/16) and then stopping the Estrogen and Progesterone injections, I got my menses relatively quickly (8/3/16)...but I kept waiting and waiting for it to come again so we could start birth control to prepare for our next FET, and it just wouldn't come. After nearly 60 days, I had the nurse order a no menses panel which included: STAT Estrogen (E2), Progesterone (P4), and HCG (Quantitative) blood I drove 3 hours to the closest fertility clinic that could fit me in (on 9/23/16)...only to find out later that day that my menses "was on its way" and the doctor felt I should wait instead of inducing. It did end up coming a few days later (on 9/27/16). I was finally able to get my official protocol for our FET (scheduled for 11/10/16).

I started birth control on 10/1/16 and took my last pill on 10/15/16. Two days later, I drove another 3 hours to get my bloodwork done at an outside lab and then went to (yet another) fertility clinic for my baseline ultrasound. Long story short, I found out later that afternoon that the lab I went to did not/was not able to STAT one of my tests, so my nurse/doctor never got the results and didn't call me to tell me if I should begin my Estrogen. I was incredibly frustrated with this situation, as I had only made my appointment with this particular lab after calling first to find out if same-day results were available, and what the price was. (It was significantly cheaper than having it done at the fertility clinic.) Things turned out ok in the end (after multiple calls to the lab as well as the answering service and on-call nurse at my clinic). I started oral Estrace that evening (10/17/16). 

There is currently a nationwide shortage of injectable Estrogen so the doctor switched me to oral Estrace (2mg tablets 2x/day). My next appointment (bloodwork and u/s lining check) are scheduled for 11/5/16. I do have to say that oral Estrace (though I have to take it twice a day, 12 hours apart) is a lot easier than having to do IM injections, since I have to have someone do those injections for me. When/if I start Progesterone after my lining check, I will have to begin daily injections of those. 

My plan for the FET is to fly to my parents' house that Wednesday (11/9/16), do the transfer on 11/10/16, then fly back here on Monday, 11/14/16. I'm hoping that resting for ~3 to 4 days will be enough before I have to go back to work. I am not getting my hopes up for this transfer, specifically because the embryo had to be biopsied twice (thawed and frozen twice), which decreases the chances a little bit...but of course part of me is still hoping (and praying) it will work. I did end up finding an acupuncturist here in town that specializes in fertility, and my first appointment was last Friday (10/14/16). I will go to her another three times and will also do appointments at the place connected to my clinic before and after the transfer.

Trying to manage everything with outside clinics (3 hours away) and my home clinic (which is 3 hours ahead of us) while teaching full-time, has been somewhat of a nightmare. Not only do I have an extra busy semester this fall, but I also made the (crazy?) decision to take on a supplemental position with the business school, which requires an additional 8 hours/week of my time. I have been working 10-11 hour days, 6 days a week...and it's been exhausting. David and I were able to escape to Disneyland two weeks ago for a much needed 4-night, 5-day getaway, and an absolute blast. :)

The second time around, I am hoping my emotions will be less up and down. I am hoping that now that I know what to expect, I will be able to relax more and that I will be able to bounce back more quickly from any disappointment. I am determined that one of these six cycles will eventually work...