life

The emails

So far, I had been keeping my close friends and family updated through email.  The most recent emails I’ve sent them are below:

Before IUI #3:
This is a bit easier for me than to keep everyone updated via text.  If you
would prefer to not have updates, just let me know, I am mainly only
updating so you don’t have to ask, so not sharing would also be okay with
me! I went in for an ultrasound to check on follicles on Friday, April 7th.
The follicles were not ready at that point as they were last cycle, so I
went back on Monday, April 10 for another ultrasound.  The dominant follicle
is still not what it was last time (15mm this time as compared to 22mm last
time), but they do still see some success, so we went forward. I did the HCG
injection last night and will go in tomorrow at 10 for this round of IUI. I
will have an ultrasound on the following day to determine if the egg
released properly. Last month, the egg did not even release properly, so
even though my body acts like it’s ovulating, there wasn’t a chance for a
baby.  If that, or something similar, happens this time, I will refuse any
further rounds of IUI. Though the cheaper option, it’s not cheap, and ends
up being $1200-$1500 or so each time, depending on the amount of
ultrasounds, office visits.  So, after this round, we will be down about
$2750.  Though the cheaper option, if I’m simply doing something that’s
never going to work, it’s not worth my emotional capital OR the actual
capital when it could be spent on something more productive.  As most of you
know, my best friend is getting married in May. Assuming this cycle does not
result in a pregnancy, I will take May off, due to extensive travel plans to
both DC and Vegas (and not wanting to spend the energy when I have something
so fun to celebrate)!!! In June (or as soon as is prudent), I will start
IVF.  This is the process where I will go get harvested for eggs
(appropriate that I’m talking about this around Easter) and they will create
embryos outside of my body, then implant them.  The process for this is much
more involved, both monetarily and medically. It will certainly be an
interesting experience at the very least.

I appreciate all the kind words and thoughts that have been sent my way and
want to apologize for at times not wanting to discuss.  It’s not you, it’s
me…. Haha.  Though I know 30 is young, I am having trouble reconciling
what my plans were for 30 with what will likely be the reality (perks of a
severe type-A personality, I suppose). So, it has been a challenging couple
of months for me, personally.  Please know that I do understand how lucky I
am to be healthy, to have a fantastic family and friend group, and I
understand that my struggles aren’t anything compared to most of the world.
I am very cognizant of that and able to rationally think about things, but
the excess hormones sometimes get the best of me.
All my love,
Annie

After IUI #3:

Well, I finally got the news that every girl wants to hear! You will never (99%) be able to conceive on your own.  As most of you know, I have thought this forever, so I suppose I should be more confident in my psychic abilities in regards to other things. I’ll email you guys stock tips from here on out. I went in for my ultrasound today and they examined everything in detail.  Unfortunately, my ovaries are covered in scar tissue (due to the severe endometriosis), so my eggs will never release on their own, thus not being able to find any delicious sperm with whom to unite.   We went over my surgery (February 15) in more detail to discuss – and the doctor immediately laughed when reviewing my records and said “WOW!”

Normally, I love positive reinforcement, but this is obviously not a great thing.  So, I had already known that I had Stage 4 endometriosis, but did not know my actual “score.” Stage 4 (the most severe stage) is given to those who receive a score over 40.  Well, I’m not to be outdone by many, as evidenced by my super high score of 126! J Obviously, this isn’t a good thing, but at least I excelled at the severity (looking for silver linings where I can).  So, after we got that out of the way, we went on to the discussion of next steps, which is IVF.  During this discussion, we went over the costs, and choices that I would have as we pursue this option.

In years past, IVF was done on a “beauty pageant” basis. This means, the woman would get harvested, the embryos would be created, they would see what fertilized, then choose the two best looking ones (think pyramid style with eggs harvested as the base).  As holds true in life, the best looking embryos weren’t necessarily genetically sound, so they have introduced genetic testing into the embryos.  This improves the chances for success (also increases the cost) significantly.  There are some people who are against this practice, but it is something, I believe that we will choose to do.  The goal would be to get a lot of embryos, freeze them, then be able to implant when we wanted to add to our family. That is not always possible with one round because there is a chance that very few (or none) will be genetically viable. The hope would be that we would get several with our first round so it would be a slightly cheaper and less invasive process for us down the road as we add to the family. It’s so funny what infertility does, because I’ve gone from wanting 2 children to suddenly (over the past two years) wanting at least 6, maybe more.  I don’t have any yet, so to put a number on it is asinine, but it is funny the way the mind works.

So, IVF. As stated below, I will not be doing anything the month of May. That being said, that would not have been an option, anyway. I will call the office when I get my period and I will start on birth control (fucked up, right?), but it’s done to calm everything down in there and start from a fresh slate.   The basic steps are as follows: 1. Ovarian stimulation & egg development (accompanied by lots of hormones and injectable medications to aid in the synchronous development of multiple eggs) Then, I will have many tests to discern when might be an optimal time to do the HCG injection.  36-38 hours after the HCG injection, I will go in for egg retrieval (I much prefer to call it a harvest, but tomato, tomah-to.) 2. Egg Retrieval – Eggs are removed from the ovaries with a needle inserted. 3. Embryo creation. 4. Embryo transfer 5. Wait (and take more meds). You can find much more detailed information, if you so choose, on the internet.

So, cheers to Friday and to wine! 😉

Xoxo,

Annie

 

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