Here’s our Infertility Timeline for those who are interested in our story, which runs concurrently with our Adoption Timeline…this is no longer being updated, but the post will stay as a link under the “Two Plus One” category header for those who want to understand how two people can try just about everything within their financial abilities… and still remain childless.
* January – got off BCP.
* December – officially started “trying” – OPKs, thyroid, etc.
* March – Blood tests: FSH 18, thyroid struggling. IUI/IVF not covered by insurance.
* April – AMH: .1 . Visited doctor who told me I “couldn’t get pregnant with my own eggs” yet recommended 4 rounds of Femara with IUI. Went for a HSG (not painful) – fallopians normal, but uterus is severely retro/tilted (no comment from any doctor – ever – about this my whole life). Began IUI Cycle 1 with Femara (worst bone aches of my life – never again). For unknown reasons RE refused to ultrasound, didn’t respond to attempts to find out why, then left town & office said I had to go to ORM for the procedure.
* May – IUI Day: OHSU collected husband’s sperm, report showed great motility, volume, count, viscosity, etc. Naturopath ended up doing IUI as ORM suddenly wasn’t available on the big day, but ND had too big of a catheter so basically just “got close to it”. Ugh. Unsuccessful. Scheduled appt @ NW Fertility – WAY better fit. Seemingly more humanity, empathy, intimate, no sales pitch, small boutique clinic.
* June – IUI Cycle 2: added gonadatropins/HCG/progesterone as “last try” (Bravelle), but ultrasound showed only one almost normal egg. IUI incredibly painful due to manual dilation, in severe pain for many weeks. Unsuccessful.
* July – Selected “Proven” Egg Donor from RE’s database (has donated 5X successfully with 2 kids of her own). Began Doxycycline antibiotics.
* August – DEIVF Cycle 1 – BCP. Massive yeast infection from antibiotics (took fluco, boric, supps, etc., nothing worked. Only hardcore all-types-of-sugar elimination did the trick after 3 months). Started Lupron.
* September – Delestrogen shots. Ultrasound: good. Weekly acupuncture + massage.
* October – Donor Egg Retrieval + Sperm collection = Insemination. Started Progesterone & Delestrogen IM. 20 eggs retrieved, 20 fertilized, 13 blastocysts!!! Embryo Transfer: 1 “AA” transferred, 12 frozen. Began Estradiol. FAIL.
* November – Still no period, no ovulation, missed starting Cycle 2 in December because fertility clinics only does transfers every other month (client “batches”).
* December – Started BCP. Still no period.
* January – Period. DEIVF Cycle 2 – Delestrogen, PIO. Ultrasound: good lining.
* February – Frozen Embryo Transfer – 1 “AA”. Daily PIO, Estradiol. FAIL. Started BCP.
* March – DEIVF Cycle 3 – Delestrogen. Ultrasound normal – 7mm.
* April – Diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer), went through outpatient surgery to have it removed. Started daily PIO injections. FET – 1 “AA”. Daily PIO + Estradiol. FAIL. Tested NK, ANA, thyroid (Results: negative NK & ANA, thyroid off so upped Synthroid). Started BCP.
* May – Endometrial scratch to encourage implantation. Doctor had not told me about this – a nurse at the clinic whispered that I should ask for it.
* June – DEIVF Cycle 4 – Delestrogen, PIO, Prednisone. Transferred 2 “BB” embryos 6/23.
* July – POSITIVE!! HSG @ 8dp5dt=50; @ 12dp5dt= 271! Progesterone good! Ultrasound at 6w5d: saw the heartbeat, baby measured at 5.54mm (“a little small but within range”).
* August – No heartbeat. Our baby died and our hearts were crushed into pieces. Took misoprostol to induce MISCARRIAGE at home @ 9 weeks. Ignorant fuckwit pharmacist prick said I “shouldn’t take this if I’m pregnant”. Devastated. 12 hours of hardcore contractions. Worst day of my life. 2 weeks of painful bleeding. Started back on BCP.
* September – DEIVF Cycle 5. Began Low-Dose Naltrexone, Delestrogen, Estradiol, and changed thyroid meds to compounded T4/T3 (TSH @ 5.2). Vitamin D, fish oil, prenatal w/o folic acid (didn’t test for MTHFR test but treatment for a positive result is methylated folate, so took as precaution). TSH @ 3.9, upped meds. Ultrasound @ 8.5mm lining (best ever). Started Prednisone, PIO.
* October – Transferred 2 “BB” embryos. Prometrium suppositories post-transfer. Our RE “couldn’t remember why” he used BBs instead of existing AAs. Embryologist said she “just gives him the ones he chooses”. Furious. FAIL. Scheduled 2nd opinion. TSH 2.1, antibodies very high. Stayed on LDN, adjusted compounded T4/T3 dose.
* November – Second opinion recommended ERA, karyotyping (latter is completely irrelevant to our medical situation). RE was horrific – a real bastard, trying to require unnecessary tests (AIDS test for my husband even though we had existing embryos? WTF!), treated us like a number, shouting at me then overcharged for visit AND fraudulently tried to charge $100 for an unscheduled call he made to me! Asked regular RE about ERA, he agreed to try it for first time with Igenomix. Retested thyroid, TSH 2.5, antibodies up, changed T4/T3 again. Provera to stimulate period. Suffered herniated disc injury to lower back (L4/L5) and hospitalized over Thanksgiving weekend.
* December – Began Mock ERA Cycle #1. Delestrogen. TSH tripled to 7.5 in 3 weeks, with antibodues up to 323. 175 mcg Synthroid + 5 mg Cytomel. Ultrasound just under 9mm (best ever), began PIO+5. Weekly physical therapy for back injury.
* January – ERA= pre-receptive!!. Started Mock ERA Cycle #2 to confirm PIO+6. Weekly PT for back + acupuncture + chiro.
* February – 2nd ERA attempt = Unsuccessful – my cervix would not open enough to allow the catheter in no matter how much meds I had in me. Excruciating beyond belief. Called Igenomix’s geneticist who said it’s 90% probability that P+6 is my implantation window. Scheduled 6th transfer at P+6 in April. Started BCP. Weekly PT + chiro.
* March – DEIVF Cycle 6. Delestrogen. Weekly PT + chiro. Back begin to flare on the hormones, debilitating pain.
* April – Ultrasound: 7mm. Borderline but “acceptable”. Extra acupuncture as precaution. PIO+6. Transferred 2 “AA” embryos with Demerol to ensure smooth transfer (bonus – no dilation required for 1st time ever). Weekly PT. FAIL. The day before these results, we found out Ethiopia had suspended all adoptions. Nine embryos, 1 international adoption, and over $60,000 later, we were still without a child.
* June – Right retina spontaneously detached (idiopathic), had emergency vitrectomy same day as diagnosis, requiring general anesthetic, 2 hour surgery to repair 2 tears and 3 days of face-down recovery to start. Biweekly PT.
* July – Vitrectomy surgery recovery continued. Biweekly PT after car travel allowed.
*August – Made the excruciating decision not to pursue any more rounds of DEIVF with the remaining (BB) embryos, and signed paperwork to have them donated to medical research. The most difficult decision of my life but with my body failing me in so many ways, from skin cancer to herniated disc to detached retina along with 9 failed embryos and a miscarriage, I could not in all self-respect to my body put it through any more rounds of IVF, not to mention the massive risk to my mental health should we miscarry again. RE tried to call to get us to change our minds after thinly veiled accusation that we were trying to “kill” the embryos by “not giving them a chance” (and refused to discuss embryo donation), we did not pick up the phone. One woman in the office there had been through failed IVF and ultimately adopted, and emailed me with her empathy and support. There are no words that can wholly describe our heartache after these years of failures to build a family, or what it’s done to our hearts and our perspectives on the world around us.