Friday, July 2, 2010

Look at me, I'm on a horse.

Look at me. Now look at my husband. My poor husband.

I'm about to start stims again.

I'm getting back on that horse.

It's scary as hell.

We haven't done a single thing fertility wise since our epic fail IVF cycle last August/September. Nothing. Nada. Sure, I've been taking CoQ10 in insanely high dosages since our review appointment last October in an effort to improve my apparently crap egg quality. That needed at least three months to (hopefully) have some kind of impact. Why go with three months when you can try nine? Surely that has to be three times as effective, no?

Yeah, I don't believe it either. But it's fun to say.

So, catching up.

We had said review appointment October 10, 2009. I was pretty much sure that it was the end of the road for us - that IVF was our only option, and with everything else going on, we just couldn't continue to pay for everything involved. And that's when Dr. H told us he had an idea.

It's a pretty crazy idea, but sometimes certain ideas are just crazy enough to work.

As you may know, I have PCOS. So I make lots of eggs, but they suck. Apparently I'm all about quantity over quality. And where that may be beneficial in particular circumstances, getting pregnant is not one of them. You need at least one good egg to get this party started, and, well, my eggs just aren't party caliber.

So he suggested that we use my ability to crank out lots of eggs to our advantage, believing that sooner or later, one of them has to be good. And, hopefully, good enough to actually be fertilized, become an embryo, and stick where it's supposed to.

Therefore instead of IVF which is expensive and doesn't really seem to be working well anyway, he suggested what he calls a high stim IUI. Basically I take all the drugs as if I was doing IVF, but when the time comes I'll trigger, ovulate all the eggs I produce on my own (gulp!) and do two back to back IUI's. And cross our fingers that out of the 4-12 eggs he's hoping to recruit, one of them (and just one, lest hubby pitch himself out the window) will make it to the head of the class and do the rumba with hubby's swimmers. And then stick. For good.


So yay! This sounds like a good option! Way less expensive - $600 for an IUI versus $11,000 for IVF? Where do I sign? Sure, we have to buy all the IVF drugs which, for me, amount to around $4,000. A bit of a ding, but again - we're saving $11,000. Okay.

Then we figure out timing. Need a minimum of three months to let the CoQ10 do it's magic. Earliest is therefore early January. Didn't want to cycle in the winter and needed hubby to finish school and get a job so we were more financially sound, so that brought us to the spring. But we weren't ready.

Then we thought we'd be able to start May-ish, but I had a conference in Edmonton to travel to and didn't want to be stressing over timing so nope! Wait 'til I'm home from that.

Then...well, we might as well just wait until I get my bonus to pay for everything so we're not abjectly poor while trying to live the rest of our daily lives. Yeah, that sounds good.

Sooooo, I plan it out. Call the clinic, tell them I want to come for a random day three mid June. That way I can take provera, bring on a fresh cycle, then we can get started right as we get close to my bonus payout.

In I go, full bladder at the ready, marvelling at all the new staff faces at the fertility clinic. How the hell long have I been gone!?

And of course, my body has other plans. Despite the fact that I'm already at cycle day 70-something, my body is apparently stuck at day 3 levels. Estrogen is good, lining is light, no need to bring on a new cycle, I'm ready to go.


I'm not actually ready to go! This puts a mega wrinkle in my plan! We won't have the money in time! I don't want to have to go downtown for monitoring or the IUI during the flipping G20!

Thankfully they understood and allowed me to pick my go forward date.

Which is today.

Not to be daunted by a wrinkle in my plans, I did some clever recalculations and decided that this made the most sense. If everything was set, I would start stims today and the IUI would be on a Monday/Tuesday so we could have an ultrasound guided IUI (they don't do those on weekends).

All I needed was my body to cooperate. And for a change, it apparently has.

Estrogen 202. FSH 4.8. Lining .56. And I'm back on that horse.

I take my first shot tonight - 300 IU of Gonal F. The equivalent of what would be well over $300 if it wasn't for the most wonderful, amazing generosity of a stranger (now friend) in internetland who knew we were cycling again. She had meds left over that were going to expire before she could get back on this horse. So when she heard I was going to be cycling again she contacted me and offered me what she had.

And what she had was over $3,000 worth of the good stuff that I needed.

Yeah. Isn't that amazing? She gave it to me. Out of the goodness of her (and her lovely hubby - don't want to leave him out!) heart. I was touched, humbled, and so overwhelmingly grateful.

Needless to say they got a nice, big bouquet of flowers from me when I stopped by their house to pick it all up! T and F, if you're reading this, I can't ever thank you both enough and I wish you nothing but joy and success on this road we're both forced to walk. Let's get together again soon.

So that's the update! Stims start tonight, likely around 10:00pm. It's going to be the weirdest thing, really. I'm not nervous, generally, because I pretty much know what to expect from these drugs. This is round number five of injectibles so yeah, I'm a veteran.

I'm going to be using this blog as a way to update those of you that are interested in how we're doing because I'll be staying rather mute on WB and Facebook. Not that I don't want people to know, but because that many people knowing, even if they're rooting and hoping and praying for you, is pressure, man! So much pressure. And I hate feeling like I'm letting everyone down when things don't work. So this time I'm going to hold my cards a bit closer to my vest this time and see how that goes.

Therefore, I ask that if you're reading this you PLEASE refrain from making any cycle related comments on WB or FB. Thanks muchly. Tis appreciated.

Here we go again!!!!!!!!! I've got my drugs and my talisman (she's pink!) so let's rock this thing.


CHAR on July 3, 2010 at 6:45 AM said...

Wishing you all the best! I will be cheering you on.

Kate on July 3, 2010 at 8:33 AM said...

Let's hope your stuck-on-day-3 high stim IUI cycle works as well as my stuck-on-day-3 IVF cycle did last year!
Good luck - hope to hear good news in a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

Shannon - I couldn't think of anyone more deserving to pass along the gonal F too. You are such a kind and beautiful person that has helped so many along the way. Thank you for the kind words. I will be following you and cheering you on !!

merium on July 4, 2010 at 1:27 AM said...

Glad to see you're back! My fingers are crossed for you...

Janny A. on July 6, 2010 at 6:04 PM said...

Ok, so WOOHOO for the generosity of strangers/Internetland peeps! :) That brought tears to my eyes. WOOT to T&F!! :)
Just did some googling (as I didn't quite know what this whole process was) and I'm cheering you on yet again!! :) And sweetie, you never let us down when it doesn't work. If anything, you make me wish I had your strength! You rock, and everything is crossed for you guys that it sticks this time!! :)

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