Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Postponing...again

Well, we decided yet again to delay our next embryo transfer that was scheduled to happen basically now.  If you guys recall I had a slight delay because of my body breaking through the suppression hormones where the Lupron that I was on that shut down my hormones wasn't able to stop by body from producing a follicle which in turn caused my lining to thicken when we actually wanted it to thin down to about 5mm.  After it thinned down I would start estrogen pills daily to build the lining back up, but unfortunately that follicle was found to be our culprit. 

Basically what I decided to do was to stop the Lupron, wait for a period to start & then start over again.  I was in the midst of this on the verge of my period when Georgia and I hit a very large buck in my car on Friday October 18th & my car ended up being totaled.  Luckily we were both OK, but it was at 6am, in the pitch black out in the country out by our house.  Both my air bag and the side curtain airbags deployed which was extremely scary.  Georgia is still recanting the story over and over each day so it clearly somewhat traumatized her.  The next day I was extremely sore and of course my period started.  It was in that moment that Joe and I had a hard talk about the necessity of the transfer at this point in time.  Although it took everything in me to get myself to the point of being ready to finally transfer after almost a year, we both felt in our hearts and guts that it was best to just wait.  We weren't stopping mid-cycle or anything like that so the timing was perfect but we did have to make a decision pretty quickly but we both felt it was for the best.  

I texted my doctor that weekend and explained and she was extremely understanding of our feelings which was so helpful.  We feel like we should get through the holidays and then transfer early next year, I'm hopeful for January.  Part of me wishes that we had still moved forward but my gut told me it was best.  Not only was this cycle not going smooth, but Georgia had been battling a UTI for two weeks + a fever, she had been at the doctor twice, there was a lot of stress around our drywall business, and then I hit the deer.  Things just seemed to be piling up and we were both so unbelievably stressed.  I didn't want to go into the transfer being as stressed as I was.  

At this point the storm has seemed to calm; Georgia is feeling better and for now is healthy, I got a new car, and the stress of running our own business isn't as bad at the moment.  Sometimes when I think about it I think to myself, such is life--there will never be a perfect time with no stress and nothing going on, I realize that, but there will be a better time, a time when things are a little more settled & I think right after the holidays, first of the year will be exponentially better for us.  We are so excited for Christmas this year & all of the festivities that we will get to enjoy with Georgia.  It will be soo magical.  She's been talking about Santa and presents, and cutting down a tree for a month now so when the season begins (which isn't allowed in our house til after Thanksgiving) I know she's going to be soo excited and fun!

These decisions are never easy, but from years of being infertile, we've made harder ones for sure.  I'm not sure why it has taken us so long to do this transfer--life, being a parent, healing, work, starting our own business, etc. I'm sure are some of the big reasons why but also fear of it not working again too.  As always we have gotten so much support for every decision we have made on this journey from our family, friends, and family and we appreciate it so much!

Monday, November 04, 2019

Daily Dental Routine with Smile Brilliant


If you guys recall a few months back I did a collaboration with Smile Brilliant using their teeth whitening system.  I couldn't believe how white my teeth got and how professional their whitening kit was.  I'm excited to continue working with Smile Brilliant, this time with their cariPRO Ultrasonic electric toothbrush.

I'll be completely honest here—dental care is not my strong point.  I've never been a big fan of having to brush my teeth, it just feels more like a chore to me.  I hate the dentist so you'd think I'd do a better job of it to try and avoid anything more than just a cleaning but that isn't the case.  I've had issues since I was a kid, I'm prone to cavities, and have several fillings.  I also had braces and spacers at a very young age, and overall just haven't done a great job of caring for my teeth.  This brush is super helpful if you have a lot of plaque buildup which is also something I struggle with because of how terrible I am when it comes to brushing my teeth.  

I hadn't used an electric toothbrush in at least a decade and because I have a lot of room for improvement in this area of my personal care, I figured I'd give this one a shot.  You guys, the last time I used an electric toothbrush it had one mode, on or off; with the cariPRO there are FIVE brush modes—Clean, White, Massage, Gum Care, and Sensitive.  It also has a 30 day battery life, an auto-interval timer, and a wireless charging doc.  I can't believe how much cleaner I am able to get my teeth after using this toothbrush.  I'm notorious for not getting my back teeth very well but with this brush I am able to thanks to the 40,000 vibrations/minute cleaning action.  The Massage and Gum Care modes are two that I have been using daily.

My preferred setting for now is the sensitive.  It does take a little bit of time to get used to the feeling of an electric toothbrush vs. a manual so the although the regular "clean" mode is really effective, I had to start off with the "sensitive" mode for a few days.  I am totally sold on the cleaning power of the cariPRO brush vs. a manual brush.  Also being a wine and coffee drinker, using this system helps to keep my teeth white. 

I'm so excited to offer my readers a 20% discount with code 20babyridleybump at checkout on all the cariPRO Ultrasonic electric toothbrush packages.  This would make a great Christmas gift for a spouse or even a gift to yourself or better yet, the couples package  which would be $150 with my discount!  Joe was pretty jealous when I received mine in the mail so maybe he'll get one as a Christmas gift this year!

Not only do I have the discount, I am also GIVING AWAY a cariPRO electronic toothbrush with an additional brush head & charger to one lucky reader valued at $119!  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

electric toothbrush

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

ERA Results & FET Delay

On September 16th & 18th I had the biopsies taken for the ERA test.  If you guys recall we moved clinics and decided to proceed with the Endometrial Receptivity Assessment (ERA) before we proceeded with any further transfers.  We had our embryos moved up here to Chicago from Georgia and decided on a September ERA with an October transfer.  Along with the ERA I also had a hysteroscopy at the same time on the 18th and all was good and clear.  My new doctor, Dr. Jeelani wanted to get a clear picture of what my uterus was looking like more in depth.  She wanted to check for polyps and other possible issues but luckily I had none!  Sometimes results like that can actually be a little disappointing because you're secretly hopeful that something is wrong and there's a reason as to why things aren't working out.

On 9/27 I had a follow up with Dr. Jeelani and we discussed my results of the hysteroscopy which she said were perfect.  We also discussed transferring 1 or 2 embryos and we decided on just 1 as we always have.  Dr. Jeelani said I could expect my ERA results on Monday.  When my results were uploaded into my patient portal I quickly logged in to see that they were "receptive" -- basically meaning that the progesterone protocol that we used for the ERA/mock cycle was sufficient for an embryo to be received.  Honestly, I was a little disappointed.  I was hoping that maybe there was an issue with my window of receptivity and the answer to why previous FETs had resulted in miscarriage, but unfortunately that wasn't the case.  I know the results aren't the end of the world and some people may welcome these results but ultimately for us it causes more questions than answers.  

At my follow up on 9/27 we did a baseline but found that my lining was 11mm so they were unable to consider that a "baseline" as my period had not quite started yet (it started the next day) and they wanted my lining to be around 5mm before starting estrogen to rebuild my lining for transfer.  My period started the next day so I scheduled a second baseline for 10/1.  I went in but my lining was still too thick, it was around 7/8mm so Dr. Jeelani told me to go back again.  I went back on Thursday 10/3 to find my lining had only decreased to 6mm.  My doctor knew I  was getting frustrated but reminded me of the importance of a "clean slate" to start rebuilding on.  I scheduled a 4th baseline for Monday 10/7 and kept my fingers crossed that by that time it would go back down.

In the midst of my mock cycle we started to potty train Georgia which went extremely well this time around compared to when we tried the first time back in January.  She did so well and really seemed to grasp the concept this time around which was very rewarding for us.  I noticed that Georgia was beginning to protest going to the bathroom, sometimes for hours upon hours so on Friday 10/4 I had my mom take her to urgent care where they took a sample of her urine.  They told us that it looked like she had elevated white blood cells but wouldn't know til the lab tested the culture so we were to push fluids over the weekend and wait for a follow up call Monday.

Monday rolled around and I had spent Sunday night deathly ill with a fever and vomiting.  I went to work because I basically had to but luckily was feeling well enough to go into work at least for a few hours before I would head to my baseline.  The doctors office called to say that Georgia's results came back consistent with a UTI so when I left work for my baseline I headed to the pharmacy to pick up her antibiotic.  I made the 1.5 hour drive down to Peoria for my baseline where the tech measured my lining at .87cm or almost 9mm, my lining had actually thickened!  I texted my doctor (I do my monitoring in Peoria which is closer for me than my doctor in Chicago) and she was baffled.  She told me that I was somehow getting estrogen through the Lupron which happens in less than 10% of patients.  She told me she'd review the images and results of my bloodwork from baseline & call me back.  I spent the drive home crying and feeling like absolute death.  I couldn't wait to get home & was so discouraged.

A few hours later I received a call from her saying she had found the culprit. A follicle had been growing and producing estrogen which was causing my lining to thicken, exactly as it should be if I wasn't taking Lupron.  My body broke through the Lupron suppression which is extremely rare, but can happen.  She gave me two options--continue with the lining that we had or stop meds, induce a period, and start back over.  I knew what the right and best decision was and that of course was to delay and start fresh giving my embryo the best chance for implantation.  My doctor agreed and said that is what she believes is best even though it's not what we expected.  My coordinator called me shortly after and told me to stop the 10 units of Lupron I had been taking and begin Estrace that night.  Then on Friday I will begin taking 20 units of Lupron this time along with 200mg of Prometrium (progesterone) for 7 days.  Once I stop those on 10/17 I should have a bleed a few days later and hopefully be ready for a successful baseline with a lining at 5mm.  

It's been an exhausting and frustrating process so far at the fault of no one but my uncooperative body.  Everything that has been going on with this cycle plus being sick and dealing with Georgia's UTI and growth spurt she seems to be going through have made for a rough few days.  I know that getting myself and Georgia health and getting my lining where it needs to be is the most important thing right now and I'm at peace with that now.  I really appreciate everyones outpouring of love and encouragement with the news of this delay.  It certainly isn't the end of the world by any means but another hurdle that just seems to accompany every round of IVF that we have gone through.  We are no stranger to bumps in the road and this one isn't the worst we've ever dealt with.  As of right now we don't have a new transfer date but I will do my best to keep this space up to date for those who still come by to read!


 
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