The two-week wait (the time between ovulation and being able to take a pregnancy test; lovingly referred to as the 2ww) has got to be one of the weirdest times during the infertility roller coaster.
Seriously. We landed instrumentation on a damn asteroid. Can’t science figure out how to speed this up? Chop chop.
Jokes aside, I am currently 4 days away from being able to take a semi-reliable test (more on that later). Back in December, when we were told that we should try with my eggs, the first couple of tries went like this:
First cycle (December): I messed up my meds and ended up with a dominant follicle. My RE changed up the routine for the next cycle anyway, as he still wasn’t impressed with what he saw regardless of my med mishap. We went ahead with a single IUI with one 17mm follicle but, predictably, the hpt was negative.
Second cycle (January): Ovarian cysts on my CD 2 ultrasound. I was told we would need to skip this cycle to let my ovaries calm down a bit (OC are common in FX carriers). Damn.
Third cycle (February): We’re a go! I still messed up my meds, but only by a little. Oops. The result wasn’t too awful, though. Here is a breakdown of what we did…
- CD 2: Baseline ultrasound to check for any cysts. Green light to start meds
- CD 3-6*: 10 mg Femara (letrozole) in the evening. (*On the evening of CD 6, I was supposed to double up and take both the femara AND the Follistim/micro-dose hcg. I didn’t; I only took the Femara. Hence my “oops.”)
- CD 7-8: 300 units Follistim (FSH…I’ve taken Gonal-F as well; just depends on what is available to me at the time), followed by 5 units of micro-dose hcg. (MDhcg is a hard cookie to find research on. It is a diluted form of the hcg used to trigger ovulation (I used Novarel) Per my RE, however, it is supposed to help mature eggs that would otherwise have a hard time making the grade. Anecdotally, it has led to increased fertilization and clinical pregnancy rates. It is taken at the same time as FSH injections, with the dose determined by the RE. Since I’m at the “kitchen sink” part of ttc anyway, I had no qualms about giving it a go.)
- CD 9: 3 mg Cetrotide (1 kit) to prevent early ovulation (I have a history of this. My body likes to spit ’em out early and immature.), 300 units Follistim, and 7.5 units hcg. My ultrasound today showed 4 follicles: 18, 16, 15, and 12 mm.
- CD 10-11: 3 mg Cetrotide, 300 units Follistim, and 7.5 units hcg.
- CD 12: 8:30 am – Trigger time! 10,000 units hcg delivered to my tukis. Ultrasound showed 23, 22, 21, and three 12 mm follicles. I was told the 12mm follies wouldn’t amount to anything.
- CD 13: First IUI at 9:30 am; 24 hours post-trigger. 77 million of DH’s swimmers at 86% motility. My RE said he likes to do IUIs at 24 and 48 hours post-trigger to make sure we catch ovulation.
- CD 14: Second IUI; 48 hours post-trigger. 86 million at 96% motility. Supercharged! Lots of ovary pain as I woke up this morning; my nurse said I likely ovulated late the night before. On this day, I also started 5,000 units of subcutaneous Heparin twice daily to combat the inherited thrombophilia.
- CD 15, 18, and 21: 1.5 mL subcutaneous hcg booster shots. RE said this was to up my progesterone production and create a better environment for implantation. Since I’ve had issues in the past with my progesterone falling into the toilet while I was still pregnant, I also added 1 daily 8% Crinone supplement in the evenings. I’ve gone through all of this so far; I refuse to let something like not enough progesterone tank my chances. Bad eggs creating bad embryos…I’ve learned to deal with that. I would never deal well with not adding something simple like extra progesterone and ending up with another miscarriage.
And this brings me to now, CD 26. I’ve tested every 48 hours so far to “test” the hcg boosters out of my system. I figure by this Friday, 3/11, I’ll be able to see which way the lines are going – lighter or darker – to determine if this shebang worked. I still don’t know that I’ll have a blood test taken next week. If I’m pregnant, I’m pregnant. With the Heparin and daily progesterone, I’m already doing everything I can to keep the baby. A blood test won’t do anything; and seeing a doctor won’t stop a miscarriage. I’ll just make an appointment for an 8-week ultrasound. And if I’m not pregnant, I’m not.
In the meantime, I have e-mailed back and forth with Eva Kopecna, my coordinator at Reprofit. DH and I still have 10 donated eggs on ice in Czech, and we will be paying storage fees again in June to keep them. We paid €90 for one year of storage last July. If this IUI cycle is a bust, well…we’re still squirreling money away for a second trip to Brno for another DE IVF. And you know, I’m actually REALLY missing that region. Funny, no? I learned how to make Czech Goulash (Hovězí Guláš) and Wiener Schnitzel from Vienna, but it just isn’t the same!