Happiness Cycle Day 13: Intralipids

I’ve got two hours to kill while hooked up to an IV bag of intralipids, so I thought I’d type up a post with my left hand. It’s harder than it seems!

I had a crappy sleep last night, as something’s up with my digestive system. I had the worst bloating and gas, which continued overnight and into the morning (poor DW). My diet is so clean right now, that I have no idea what could be causing it. My colon felt like a balloon that was inflating and reaching its maximum stretching ability. As I lay here hooked up to a bag of mayonnaise, all I wanna do is fart. But because they’re checking my vitals frequently, and I’m in a closed room, I’m trying to hold it in. Unpleasant!

Anyways, I’m happy to be doing the intralipids. It gives me some hope for this FET. While I wish we had two embryos to transfer, that’s nothing I can change. All I can do is give all of my love and hopeful energy into this embryo. The RE finally reviewed all of my immune results and wants to put me on prednisone, fragmen, and baby aspirin, in addition to the estrogen and progesterone that I will be starting someday soon. I’m happy that it seems like we’re finally being taken seriously now. Fingers crossed that our embryo is a good one, and that he/she thrives inside me.

As for the intralipids, today I’m having 100mLs injected into a bag of saline, to create a 20% mixture. Then the mixture is introduced to my bloodstream via IV cannula. I’m glad that I brought a blanket, because I feel so cold not being able to move. I also brought my iPad, a decaf vanilla Earl Grey Tea almond milk latte, and two slices of the paleo banana bread that I made last night. I haven’t been able to do much other than type on my iPhone.

IMG_5510.JPG

IMG_5509.JPG

Once I get a positive beta, there’s another infusion (approx four weeks), and then one more after the six week ultrasound. Each treatment is $750, and out of pocket.

The cannula hurt going into my arm, but is fine now that it’s in. I can’t feel the intralipids at all, though I feel colder than usual overall.

The nurse comes by every 30 minutes to check my temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate,

It’s been about an hour and a half, and I’m almost done:

IMG_5512.JPG

Tomorrow I have to go in for monitoring blood work and ultrasound again. Hopefully we will find out when our transfer will be. We also meet with our family doctor, who will hopefully agree that it’s in my best interest to continue being off work until I’m in the right state of mind to deal with those additional stresses. DW has taken the day off tomorrow to support me.

More updates tomorrow!

Embryo Transfer #2 = Miscarriage

20140525-123023-45023498.jpg
(From http://community.fertilityflower.com/blog-home/pregnancy-loss-art/attachment/mabith-miscarriage-quilt-version-2-2010-3/)

I have a difficult time trying to describe how we feel, not because I’m lacking in words, but rather because I am overwhelmed with such intense feelings. It’s like there is a Wordle in my heart, dense and under high pressure, weighing me down. Each day a new emotion is added to the list.

This round of FET was particularly frustrating because the nursing team at the fertility clinic FUCKED up on two accounts:

1. Dating of DW’s beta – no big deal but if they are messing that up, what other time-sensitive stuff did they also mess up?

2. Her medication. DW had major irritation from the Endometrin (vaginal progesterone suppository), and so they instructed her to replace the 300mg of Endometrin with 300mg of oral Prometrium. I had a weird feeling about it because often specialists instruct patients to take the prometrium vaginally rather than orally because of absorption issues. I had her call them again to confirm that the dosage and route was equivalent to the 300mg of Endometrin. They confirmed it and she followed as they had instructed. A few days later, she started spotting, which is sometimes normal, except that the spotting became red blood and then a full period-like bleed. At about the same time, the intense nausea that she had disappeared and she started having cramps. Really intense cramps.

Trying to make sense of all of this, I found this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2695240/#__abstractid1101714title

Which finds that oral Prometrium will test in expected concentrations in the blood, but very little of it actually makes it to the endometrium of the uterus, which is where it is needed.

A lack of progesterone will make your uterine lining shed.

Now, I’m not sure if there is a threshold amount of progesterone that is required and if we were okay in that respect anyway, but 300mg of oral Prometrium actually is like 30mg of usable Progesterone and is no where close to the 300mg of Endometrin which absorbs almost completely into the uterus.

Anyway, we’re in a strange place right now. Part grieving, part blaming (ourselves and the clinic), part next steps.

IVF and FET have a much greater chance of success than the IUIs we were doing last year.

DW wants another go at it (FET), because she feels like she won’t be a stakeholder in these babies (if they ever become real), but two miscarriages in a row necessitates more investigation into why she isn’t keeping the pregnancies. At the same time, we only have 3 embryos left, and my womb hasn’t had a try yet.

What to do?

Right now my daily life is very difficult to navigate through. I teach at a really rough school, where the kids are extremely disrespectful to teachers and administration. I was successful in transferring to a different school for September, but I still need to ride out the last month and a bit of this year.

On a daily basis, I have extreme moments of stress because of my job. In addition to that, everyone around me is pregnant or having babies. A friend/colleague of mine just found out she is having twins, and is griping about it. All I want is a piece of that, and I feel like with each failed attempt, my image of having children gets blurrier.

I am struggling with a lot of emotions and expectations and I feel like my own needs aren’t being met. The problem is, that I am so far down each of these holes that I can’t even find a way to climb out.

You Want Me to Stick this Medication Where?

20130615-163948.jpg

Those who have been following my blog may know that while I ovulate on my own, I have ridiculously short luteal phases. They range from 6 days to about 10, even after supplementation with vit B6. Normal is somewhere between 12- 14 days, while longer seems to be better.

One possible cause of a luteal phase defect is a progesterone deficiency. What happens here is that progesterone is responsible for maintaining the lining of the uterus and preventing it from shedding. Once progesterone levels drop, the uterus begins the process of shedding and menstrual bleeding begins.

Certain events, such as the fertilization and subsequent implantation of a blastocyst release hormones like HCG that prevent the lining from shedding, and allow a pregnancy to continue.

But timing is everything, and if HCG levels aren’t high enough at the time when progesterone levels drop, a chemical pregnancy may occur.

Because of my short luteal phase, my RE prescribed a 3 week course of synthetic progesterone in “bead” form. I was instructed to insert two of said beads into my va-jay-jay twice daily. I could take them orally, but the side effects are more intense that route.