Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hope + Hopelessness

Yesterday was the most difficult day of my life, but today is proving to be stiff competition. I'm writing this from Mom's bedside in the neuroscience stepdown unit, where she is heavily sedated following her MRI. We are waiting to see her doctor. Wondering if she will come home. I do not want to spend time and energy describing or documenting what has transpired since Mom had her seizure yesterday at 5:30 am. It has been a horrific 30+ hours, and I'm going on little sleep. I'm hoping that, in time, I will forget some of the details and committing them to paper/computer won't help.

There is nothing worse in this world than the hopeless you feel watching someone you love so deeply suffer. The only thing amidst all of this that brings me a brief respite (besides Nathan, Trevi and looking forward to the routine of going back to work) is the hope that I will soon be pregnant. I pray that this round of IVF, which I officially started today, will work.

A few things are different this time around. For one, I am on 20 units of Lupron injections for a straight two weeks. Before, I was only on them for three days. Lupron plays an important role in the down regulation of your cycle. In conjunction with the birth control pills, it helps shut off the body's normal process of hormone and egg development. This way, when I begin the stimulation drugs, there will be more of a response. Like how a dry sponge soaks up more water than a damp one.

The cost is also dramatically different. The first round cost $17,000. This clinical trial was $3,500 plus $550 in medication, which I was very excited to pick up Friday. I picked up Lupron, my trigger shot and my estrogen, which I will be on for two weeks once the embryos are transfered. The study medications are actually free, and I receive them at me next appointment on the 28th. That's also when I when I will find out if I am in the study group (AFOLIA) or the control group (Gonal-F).



On my first round of IVF, I did not know that different doctors have different protocols. It makes sense that they would, and helps explain why different clinics and doctors have success rates that vary wildly. The previous clinic I went to had a success rate of 17% for my age group. This clinic is actually at 50% for the same age group.

I was also fearful of the needles first time around. With my eyes tightly shut, I sat at our dining room table for about 20 minutes; my hands sweating and trembling. I was slowly pressing it to my skin, but not hard enough to make any progress, drawing out what should have been quick and (relatively) painless process. This time, I gave myself the shot like a champ. As soon as I woke up in Mom's hospital room and remembered it was go day, I was almost excited. I took out the medication out of my overnight bag, cleaned my skin with the alcohol wipe, filled the syringe and stuck it in with a dart like motion, just as the how-to videos describe.

With everything my family is going through, I am thankful to have something this positive to look forward to. Hopefully, a final difference between this round and the last is that this is the one that works.




9 comments:

  1. I just started following your blog and I'm in awe of your strength as you endure this very trying time. I, too, just started the Lupron and it's also a very different protocol for me since switching doctors. Thinking of you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sarah! What is your possible retrieval date? I'm looking at 9/9. Do you blog? Sending baby dust your way!

      Delete
    2. Oh, Where the Heart is! Following your journey as well. BFPs all around! xo

      Delete
  2. So feel for you watching your Mom suffer like that. Hoping that this cycle is it for you on your journey towards motherhood.

    ReplyDelete
  3. First, I just want to say I know all to well the emotions that come with watching someone you love so dearly battling cancer, especially when it's a parent. My heart is most certainly with you and your mother. It takes a lot of strength and courage to be there for a loved one fighting cancer, not to mention the strength that infertility requires and here you are, managing both, and with such grace and bravery. Wishing you nothing but the best on this IVF cycle and your journey to being a mom.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Saying a prayer for strength for you... xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. I hope your mom is stabilizing! I was going to mention the other thing that influences success rates is who is accepted. Some doctors or clinics are much pickier than other ones and don't let in those who don't have a high level of success. But clearly some are also superior, I've switched clinics and know that too!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm so sorry you and your family have to endure this suffering. It's hard not to feel powerless, I've been there myself. You can do this though. You can be strong for your mom all while trying to become a mom yourself. Women are great at juggling, you know.

    Prayers and baby dust to you, sweet pea!

    ReplyDelete