Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How it all began...

I've been toying around with the idea of starting a blog for a while. Why? Because I've gotten to the point where I need to just GET THIS ALL OUT. I started keeping journals on my 13th birthday, and for some reason I stopped writing about 6 or 7 years ago. I always felt better when I got my thoughts down on paper...so now it's time to start again.

Frank and I were married on November 25, 2005. We met on match.com. Frank was very persistent and tried making a date with me for a whole month before I finally agreed to meet him. You know...I was 'busy'...dating a few other losers, um, guys...I didn't have time for someone who actually showed a huge interest in getting to know me. Wake up Meliss!

So off we went to brunch on September 25, 2004. And to make a long story short, that's how our wonderful (and QUICK!) courtship started. We moved in together a month later, and got engaged on December 17, just 11 weeks later. And no, not one person thought we were crazy. Everyone knew, just like we did, that this was RIGHT. Finally, I met "the one"! :)

We knew from the beginning that we wanted to have children IMMEDIATELY. Why? Well, there are a few reasons...

1- We both love kids...and always knew we wanted to be parents
2- I've always had issues with my cycles...so we kinda knew from the get-go that TTC (trying to conceive) would be a little tough
3- I was 36 and Frank was 32 when we got married. Time wasn't exactly on our side, from a biological clock standpoint, especially if we want to have 2 kids.

About 6 months before we got married, I bought the CBEFM monitor and started tracking my ovulation, in order to get to know my body better (starting taking my prenatals too...just incase!). Well, I got to know it better alright...I began to realize that I didn't ovulate all that much. Hmmm.

We figured we'd take a shot at it (literally) and not be careful the month before we got married. Nada. Ok, fine...we've got the honeymoon. Nope. Ok, no problem, we've got time to deal with this...

But first, we have to buy a house so we have a place to put all these kids we're going to have!!! Yeah, GREAT IDEA!!! And inbetween all the chaos of househunting, saving money, realizing we couldn't afford to live where we wanted to, FINALLY finding a house we like, making an offer, making a counter-offer, closing, gutting and renovating half the house, packing, and moving (oh, and furnishing)...we'll keep trying. Great.

Or, maybe not.

Soooo, we figure it's time for professional intervention. Onto the OBGYN, who prescribes clomid and prometrium for 6 months. With NO monitoring. What did I know? I was too busy trying to figure out why I felt like I was going through menopause...holy hot flashes.

Tick, tock, tick, tock...

Finally, a referral to an RE (that's a Reproductive Endocrinologist, for those of you who are challenged in the infertility area)...what's that you say, you can't see me for TWO MONTHS? Don't you realize we've already been TTC for over a year now? Sorry honey, get in line...believe it or not, you're NOT alone. REALLY?

So, we wait...and while we wait, I lose my job, Frank begins what turns into a very long furlough, and my grandmother passes away. Happy 2007.

Our journey with the RE began in February of this year and this is how it's gone down...

Feb - first appt. with RE. referred to an endocrinologist after b/w and ultrasound tests are administered. diagnosed with PCOS, hypothyroidism, advanced maternal age, and unexplained infertility. Frank's boys are fine.

March - saline sonogram detects fibroids in my uterus (not detected during my HSG in December)...surgery is scheduled for mid-March (hysteroscopy). then we wait until I'm healed before beginning IVF cycle.

April - IVF cycle begins. protocol includes BCP (birth control pill), lupron, gonal F, ovidrel, and PIO (progesterone in oil). I might be forgetting something...there were just way too many needles and pills to count.

May - egg retrieval goes well, even though I'm bloated to the bejesus. 26 eggs retrieved, 21 fertilized (ICSI), 15 make it to day 3, which is when the RE calls and says, come in for your transfer. we transferred 4 embryos. 7 of the remaining 11 made it to day seven, and were frozen.

less than 2 weeks later was the first time I ever saw the word "pregnant" without the word NOT infront of it. also the first time I saw 2 lines (I took MANY MANY tests, LOL). we are ecstatic. the first few betas go well, until...

June - gestational sac and yolk sac are identified, but there is no fetal pole. missed miscarriage at 7 weeks. D&C scheduled for June 19th, the day after Frank's birthday.

pathology tells us the baby had Trisomy 16...and it was a boy.

more waiting...and waiting...how long does it take for my body to realize I am NOT pregnant anymore?

August - given the go ahead to begin cycling. we decide on a FET (Frozen embryo transfer) and will transfer 4 of the 7 frozen embryos. UNTIL, saline sonogram detects something "leftover" in my uterus.

Sept 11 - hysteroscopy/D&C scheduled. pathology detects no fetal matter...it was another fibroid. one week later, the RE gives us the go-ahead to start our FET cycle. protocol is BCP, lupron, and estrace...followed by PIO.

October 17 - all 4 embryos survive the thaw (which is almost unheard of) and look great. what could be better? we go in for the FET and things seem so promising...

one week later...of course I'm going to test, who waits for the beta? sure enough, I'm pregnant, again. YIPPEE!!

one week later...2nd beta indicates slow growth. no more bloodwork...scheduled to come in for an ultrasound a week later to see what's going on.

and, one week later...my Dr. detects a sac which is great news! ok, some relief! until my beta comes back later that day...and it's NEGATIVE. early miscarriage at 5 weeks 1 day.

Which brings us to today...the day after I took my first birth control pill for our next FET cycle. Yep, call us masochists, but we're trying again, and even making sure we get it squeezed in before this miserable year is over. Why, you ask?

1- um, hello, haven't you been paying attention? I'm old in the eyes of fertility. 39 will be here in less than 3 months. I can still hear the clock...
2- the other fun factor that is dealt with in this crazy world of IF...the insurance factor. my coverage is through my COBRA policy, and guess what? COBRA doesn't last forever. matter of fact, mine ends in June 2008.

IF, and I do repeat, in my most positive voice, IF this FET cycle doesn't work, we will be candidates for a new procedure coming out in Jan/Feb which is the most thorough embryonic testing out there. That'll be sure to give us the answers we need regarding my ancient eggs.

So there you have it...if you read this far I commend you for your patience and your bravery! I feel better already...all it took was typing out all this craziness we've been through in the past two years.

The most ironic thing of all of this (and I'll end on this note, I promise)...

When Frank and I were engaged, we talked about how we sometimes wished we'd have more time 'as a couple'...since we dated for such a short period of time, and agreed to TTC immediately, we realized our time alone, without children, would be limited. But, we were so excited to start a family, and knew it would bring us just as much happiness...or MORE...even if we couldn't drop everything and go away on vacation, or sleep late, or spend money frivolously, or go to AC on a moment's notice...

Guess who got their wish.


Gillian said...

What an open, wonderful blog.. you know what I mean. I'm sure this is somewhat cathartic to write this all down, and I thank you for sharing it..

I've (somewhat) followed your process through the boards, as you know, and I've always wondered and hoped for nothing but the best for you and Frank, but didn't want to pry.

I'm glad to have been given a "glimpse" of what's been going on.. and you're, in a word, amazing!

Best of luck on this FET as 2007 winds down, and that 2008 is the BEST year for you YET!

Janine said...

Wonderfully written! Glad that it has helped you to feel better. I look forward to updates and a happy ending. Wishing you the best in your journey.

Delilah said...

Doesn't it feel good? I know that nothing can take the pain and heartache away; but at least you can relieve yourself of some of the emotions brought on by this process.

Congratulations on finding your own outlet. And GOOD LUCK, you know I have been routing for you for some time now.

Nicole said...

Wow. I have been following your story on the boards and it really opens my eyes to what you have been going through. I wish you and Frank the best in the rest of this year and for 2008. I look forward to all your updates.
nicole (mikeandnicole05)

Glenn said...

Mel, sending super strong St Gerards prayers for this next try. I hope if works for you and Frank and you get the baby/babies you so desperately want and deserve. I always wish there was more I could do.
Lots of luck, kellyann1972

Adrienne said...

Wow, I've been following your story on the boards, but didn't know too many details. You've enlightened me so much about what someone in your shoes goes through.

I wish you and Frank nothing but the best in 2008 and hope you get the children that you want and deserve.

theresa said...

You are such a courageous women. Who the hell knows why this is happening to you, and after reading everything you have been through, it doesn't seem fair or right that two people should have to struggle for a child in the way you have. You know I wish you a ton of luck, and don't necessarily know what to say , but I do know sharing this blog will hopefully allow people to be more considerate and understanding when things are said to or
around you. It certainly put things in perspective for me and hopefully I will be able to better support women in your position. I am glad you got to get some stuff out..

Mazzy said...

I have hope that you will be a great mommy someday. And when that day arrives you will know this was all worth it. Painful, yes. But worth it.

Healthy fertility vibes your way!!

Jennifer aka "Jeneliz" said...

I want you to know that you are really in my thoughts and prayers...and I dont mean that to be corny, but believe it or not I do think of you. I'm not sure why. I just hope that all of this would work out for you guys!

As Tony B would say " The Best Is Yet To Come...." and its very true!!

I hope you stay committed to this blog!

Robin said...

Melissa...thanks so much for sharing with us. You write so eloquently. I wish you and Frank the best as you embark on your next transfer. *lots of dust for babies and stickiness.* I hope Santa will bring you a good end of the year.

lori said...

i love your "voice". you write very well.

welcome to the IF blogsphere. i'm sorry you have to be here. but, i'm glad you are b/c it will give you that chance to vent all that you have to go through, to be heard and understood, and to find an incredible amount of support and information.

wising you the VERY best on your next FET,
-lori, mama to a former frostie who is now my beautiful 22-month-old miracle daughter

Maricel DeMaio said...

Best of luck.....