Jan 2010 – Started seeing Dr. Hofmann at Bethesda Fertility Center; confirmed cystic ovaries and anovulation; took Provera to start my cycle, tripled the dose of Clomid to 150 mg Days 3-7; Came back for ultrasound on Day 14 – nothing. Took Provera to restart my cycle.
Feb 2010 – Upped to 150 mg of Clomid Days 3-9; Day 14 U/S – EGG!! First time I ovulated …. in years? Ever?? However my lining was very thin so doctor said we would do something differently next time. Took HCG shot (Ovidrel) and did IUI day 16! Our first good chance at getting pregnant!! However, it didn’t take.
March 2010 – Nurse error, put me on 150 mg of Clomid PLUS 7.5 mg Femera Days 3-9 – (instead of one or the other!!!!) I felt crazy and the medicines actually counteracted each other. Ultrasound showed cystic ovaries- no egg. That cycle was canceled and we could not go further.
April 2010 – Because of their error, had to take 6 week break due to timing of vacation
End of May – end of June 2010 – Took Provera to start my cycle, took 7.5 mg of Femera Days 3-9 and Dexamthasone for my lining days 1-14. Came in for Day 14 U/S – EGG! Not big enough yet so I came back for a repeat U/S at Day 16. Egg looked great, lining was good – perfect conditions!!! HCG shot, IUI Day 18. No pregnancy.
End of June – end of July 2010 – Same meds, same deal. 3rd time is a charm? Thought so – cycle started a day later than it had before. I’m late!! That means pregnant right? Nope. Third IUI – no pregnancy. Feeling like we’re being “tricked.”
August 2010 – Last time on this medicine regime. Everything has looked good so far, so my doctors are very hopeful for good results. TWO eggs on Day 14 U/S… twins has been my dream all along. How great would it be if God was giving us MORE than we original hoped for? Things are SO promising!! Follow up ultrasounds on Days 15 and 16 reveal one egg becomes dominant. Still, the dominant egg looks good so we do our fourth IUI (and that smaller one gives us a better chance too!!) I meet a new doctor, Dr Abdallah – Hofmann’s partner – who makes that experience a MILLION times better and less painful, who spends time with me and explains what we would do next. Feeling great and like I’m not starting… we totally think we’re pregnant. We literally get to the day where we would call the doctor had I not started, we plan on how I would go in for blood test, how we would hear the news together. We even were seeing each of our families the next couple nights and thought it was perfect timing and we would get to tell them immediately. That morning – only minutes before I was going to call the doctor to get a pregnancy blood test, I started my cycle. Devastating.
Sept 2010 – Met with our doctor to talk about options – he was encouraging IVF and we discussed it in depth, but wanted to try injectable medication first. Injectables are more expensive and intensive but have a higher probability of a pregnancy. I start Follistim and try to get used to giving myself shots in the stomach every day. I go in for U/S and blood work Day 3. Blood work day 8. U/S and bloodwork starting Day 10 every other day, sometimes more. Because of PCOS everything was a mess. We wanted 3-4 large eggs. My body thought it would be fun to grow 30-40 medium and small eggs. It was a delicate balance to try to get only a couple to the growth where they could support fertilization without them all getting bigger. (If there were too many, my doctor wouldn’t have risked a high multiple pregnancy- we would have had to cancel the cycle after all that work.) Finally got it – did our fifth IUI with multiple larger eggs and very high percentage rate of success. Spotted at Day 10 which had never happened – hopeful for implantation bleeding! Unfortunately not, my cycle started.
Oct 2010 – Did injectables again. My estradiol levels were through the roof way too early so they had to back off. I had some fluid in my pelvis which is a sign of OHSS (hyperstimulation – the really dangerous side effect of fertility meds.) I has to drink a gallon of water and a gallon of gatorade per day for a few days, weigh myself to make sure I wasn’t gaining pounds of water weight. Thankfully, the fluid went down. My doctor said “I’m glad. I was very worried we were going to have to cancel to make sure we keep you healthy.” There were way, way too many small and medium sized follicles and not very many large ones. It was very tricky getting a couple to get bigger and not too many because then they would have to cancel as well. We had a lot of roadblocks this time, but eventually there were a couple bigger ones taking the lead so we went ahead with IUI. However, with my blood levels peaking so early I started just a few days after our 6th failed IUI. Devastating, devastating. Because my ovaries were so “active” we wouldn’t be able to start right away and we were going away to the lakehouse so we went ahead and took a month off.
End of Oct 2010 – We met with my doctor again to discuss what our next steps could be. We discussed IVF and got many of our questions answered. We realized we needed to think about whether this was the right step for us, whether we wanted to do injectables again (my doctor said he would do those a time or two more) or whether we were ready to look to another option and maybe proceed in adoption of some way.
It was so nice to take a break from the intense physical and emotional roller coaster so we continued with that through the holidays. We decided we are not comfortable moving forward with IVF and trying previously failed options seemed like a waste of time and money. We looked into other options, trying to hold fast to Jesus and trust Him through this crazy journey He has prepared for us!