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50/50

Well, my RE gave us a 50/50 chance of this being a viable pregnancy. I am fairly certain those odds were totally made up, so there’s that.

Having done this initial ultrasound now twice before, I kind of knew what to look for. We were in with the ultrasound tech (who I’ve had for almost all of my ultrasounds since we started fertility treatments in 2014) first, and then saw my RE. Right off the bat I was relieved because I could tell that the sac was in the uterus. They also saw a yolk sac, but no fetal pole yet. My RE said that the sac size and structures look like a normal pregnancy at about “5 and a half weeks.” According to my calculations, I thought I was 6 weeks today, though my RE had me at 5 weeks 6 days. There was no heartbeat (which I guess makes sense with no fetal pole).

My RE said that it’s possible that the embryo took a couple of days before implanting, which would account for the lower HCG numbers as well as today’s ultrasound results. Or, this is another nonviable embryo. She said they want to have me back in 11-14 days and if at that point there is no heartbeat or it’s fallen even further behind, we’ll stop meds and assumedly talk about ending the pregnancy.

I’m trying to stay hopeful. It seems totally feasible that the frozen embryo just took it’s time implanting. It’s going to be a very long 2 weeks. I’m scheduled to go back for another ultrasound on July 5.

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Day 10 (and 13) Performance Review

Well, my ovaries have been subjected to two performance reviews in the last week. To review, I took 100mg of Clomid on days 3-7 this cycle. I went in for my first monitoring ultrasound on cycle day 10, and a follow-up on cycle day 13. This past Thursday was day 10 (and Sunday was day 13). Results of the performance review:

  • On day 10, I had 1 follicle on each ovary that was larger than 10mm.
  • RIGHTIE had a follicle at 12mm and LEFTIE had one at 10.8mm.
  • On day 13, the follicle on the LEFT had dropped off. RIGHTIE had grown to 14mm
  • My ovaries have scraped by this time, no pink slip.

I feel good about how things are going so far this cycle. I was hoping for more than one large follicle, but I’m fine with my body just doing what it’s supposed to do. I’m also very grateful that things seem to be moving along much quicker this cycle (probably thanks to increasing from 50mg to 100mg of Clomid). If you recall, I had ultrasounds on days 11, 14, and 17 last cycle with no change at all, and ended up having to pay for 6 ultrasounds (baseline, day 11, day 14, day 17, day 19, and day 21 I think). I scheduled a follow up for tomorrow morning (CD 15) to see how things went with rightie. I am hoping that the growth jumped quickly, the way it did last cycle (I went from 15mm to 21mm in 2 days), so that we can get things going and hopefully avoid another ultrasound. It would be magical to only have to pay for 4 this time around.

If that follicle is at least 18mm tomorrow, I will likely trigger with Ovidrel tomorrow night and go in for an IUI on Thursday morning. That timing would be excellent as I don’t work on Thursdays, so I could really relax after the IUI, and go to my regularly scheduled acupuncture appointment as well. I’m anxious to see how our new donor dude’s swimmers measure up. He is younger than our last guy so I’m hopeful that that means they are stronger. Does anyone else feel super creepy using a 19 year old’s swimmers?

In other news, Em and I got married one year ago. Our wedding anniversary was yesterday. I’m thinking about putting up another post with some pics in the next couple of days, but I’ll definitely password protect it. For all y’all using the WP Reader, I’ll put up a link in a regular post. If you want the password – shoot me an e-mail at:

inthebabycloset AT gmail DOT com

F.I.N.A.L.L.Y.

Just a quick post to update on my (5th) follicle scan yesterday. Finally, on CD 20, I have some growth.

To recap:

  • CD3 – baseline scan (no cysts! yay!)
  • CD11 – follicle scan shows: 3 follicles on the left (2 at 10mm, 1 at 11mm), 1 on the right (10mm)
  • CD14 – SAME SHIT DIFFERENT DAY
  • CD17 – still nothing bigger than 11mm, but now there are 2 at 11mm (one on each side), and a couple at 10mm on each side as well
  • CD20 – Ovaries are FINALLY getting their shit together. Nothing on the right anymore, 1 follicle at 15mm on the left (and a couple of others at 10 and 11)

So I finally have a dominant follicle, which is fantastic because if Friday’s ultrasound showed no difference again, this cycle would have been canceled. I did the math – that would be an epic waste of $850 (the total amount we paid for ultrasounds, Clomid, the “tank retrieval” fee, and the tank swap fee).

Now the plan is to go in for another scan tomorrow morning (CD22). My nurse assumes that the dominant follicle will be at least at 17mm. If it is at 17mm, we are triggering on Sunday night (CD23) for ovulation and IUI on Tuesday (CD25). If it is bigger than 17mm tomorrow, we will trigger tomorrow night for ovulation and IUI on Monday (CD24). I am hoping to do the IUI on Monday for 2 selfish reasons: 1) If we have to wait until Tuesday we will have to pay $30 for another tank swap to stay inside the cryobank’s 5 day guarantee – plus spend time driving to Cambridge and back to actually do the swap. And 2) I cancelled my Monday morning patient proactively, so it’d be great if things could actually work out for my schedule for once.

Time will tell! I’ll update again tomorrow with the results from my CD22 ultrasound. Here’s hoping that follicle just keeps getting juicier!

Damn Follicles

But really, ovaries, what the fuck are you doing in there? Not growing follicles, that’s what.

Today’s ultrasound revealed … wait for it … nothing bigger than 11mm. STILL. I wanted to cry. It sounds like a few more follicles have grown, but nothing has taken the lead to become dominant and mature enough for trigger. I want to say she said there were 2 or 3 at 10mm and 1 at 11mm on my right (last time there was just one at 10mm), and pretty much the same on my left.

Per a voicemail left by my nurse, the plan is to do one more ultrasound on Thursday to see whether things progress at all. If not, I think they are going to induce a period and start over. I’m really disappointed. I expected at least SOMETHING to have happened since last week. I know that I tend to have later ovulation, but it seems like I should be further along by CD17 on Clomid. It makes me wonder what my body was doing the previous 4 cycles. Like, did my follicles grow at all for those ones? I know I was ovulating – I had fairly clear thermal shifts and positive OPKs associated with appropriately fertile-seeming cervical fluid. So SOMETHING was happening.

I think this is all the more frustrating because I really had put a lot of emotion into this cycle. I had that view that, “okay, this is cycle number 5. Most women are pregnant in 3-6. We’re pulling out the big guns, all the meds, ultrasound monitoring, triggering ovulation, progesterone … this is it. This is the one.” Clearly my fail-proof plan to keep my expectations low epically crashed and burned this cycle. All I can do at this point is hope that my ovaries get their shit together and start growing dominant follicle(s) before Thursday. I just really don’t want to skip another cycle. Not after all of the money put into the ultrasounds and the emotional weight I’ve been putting on this one.

Also I want you all to know that I tried to put some cute/funny little image in this post to lighten the mood, but Google had surprisingly little to offer from the searches “stupid ovaries,” “stupid follicles,” “i hate my ovaries.”

This was the best I could do.

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 5.23.39 PM

Arrested Development

Failure to launch, folks. My follicles were EXACTLY THE SAME as they were at my last ultrasound on Tuesday. To recap, that’s 2 at 10mm and 1 at 11mm on my left, and 1 more at 10mm on my right. That means that, after taking 50mg of Clomid days 4-8, my follicles have had zero growth between CD 11 and CD 14. That can’t be normal.

I would really just like someone to explain this to me. I called the nurse back after she left a message with the results (I was with patients all day until about 4) to get some answers, but haven’t gotten a call back yet. So, here’s the deal: I know that I have PCOS and that I often ovulate late (like, after CD 18 but before CD 40). It stands to reason that my follicles would take their time even with Clomid. I did (maybe incorrectly) assume, however, that things were supposed to go a little faster with Clomid? I mean, I was really worried about ovulating too early. That is certainly not happening here, folks. I also assumed that, even if I ovulated late, I would see some growth in a period of 3 days.

So here’s where I sit now:

  • I have another ultrasound scheduled for Tuesday morning. The nurse wanted me to schedule for Monday but they were apparently totally booked solid on Monday so couldn’t even offer me a shitty time, let alone an appropriate-for-my-work-schedule time. So I grabbed a Tuesday morning slot and am waiting to hear whether they think it is so important that I go in on Monday that I have to travel to some other site for a totally-inappropriate-for-my-work-schedule appointment. We’ll see. I’m hell bent against canceling patients off of my schedule (who were scheduled up to 6 months ago and plan to come for a 2 hour eval) just to go to a 15-minute ultrasound, so they better find me something close to do-able. UPDATE: Just got off the phone with my nurse. She double booked me for a 7:30am appointment on Monday morning, because she said “a lot can happen quickly” and she doesn’t want to wait until Tuesday. I’ll probably have to sit and wait (and will probably throw off their u/s schedule for the whole morning) but at least I’ll get in.
  • I called the cryobank to see if I could just postpone my tank pick-up. It was scheduled for this afternoon at 4pm. I figured that if I called in the morning (before they even prepare the tank), there shouldn’t be much of a problem just moving my name on the schedule from 4pm today to 4pm on Monday or something. I did, after all, already pay my $55 to pick up and rent the tank. It was naive of me to think that (duh). They said I would have to pay … wait for it … an $110 same-day change/cancellation fee. That is twice as much as I already paid for the tank! Just to move my name over! Given that the fee to swap tanks (which would be necessary after the 5-day guarantee window … so on Wednesday) is only $30, we just went forward with the plan for our friend to do the pick up. We’ll almost definitely have to do the tank swap, but even if we have to do 3 tank swaps (aka buy ourselves an extra 15 days), we are still paying less than if they had moved it to Monday. Riddle me that one, folks.

    mel3

  • We have now had 3 ultrasounds this cycle. At somewhere around $150 per (15-minute) ultrasound, that puts us out $450 so far this month. With at least one more and maybe two or three (??), we’re looking at $600 or $750 just on ultrasound monitoring this cycle. Luckily all of the meds (Clomid, Ovidrel shot, Crinone suppositories) went through insurance, so we paid about $70 in co-pays for those ($10 for Clomid, $30 each for the others). The sperm ran us about $800, plus at least $85 for the tank and 1 swap fee. Plus the actual IUI … so this cycle is going to cost us in the range of $1,755 – $2,000.

I have to say, I was not expecting this outcome today. I was definitely feeling really down and anxious on my drive from the ultrasound to work this morning. At this point, I at least know that my nurse didn’t mention canceling the cycle and didn’t seem at all worried … so I guess it just means more ultrasounds ($$$) and waiting. And I can do that. I can pay for ultrasounds (to a certain extent) and I can wait (impatiently). So we’ll keep on keeping on and hope we get some movement at the next ultrasound on Monday/Tuesday/sometime.

Anyone have any experience with no follicle growth after taking Clomid?

1 more UPDATE: I spoke to nurse Tracy on the phone and she seemed really not worried. She said I have follicles (so I guess no follicles at all would be more worrisome?) and sometimes despite the drugs, your body just wants to do things on its own time. Since I ovulate late usually (and totally erratically), she expects that to be the case now as well. I guess we’ll see how things progress. I am, at the very least, glad to be doing the (albeit expensive) ultrasound monitoring so I can see what’s going on in there and feel relatively confident as to what’s happening and whether or not I’ll ovulate, etc.

#lesbianproblems

I had this text conversation with one of my best friends today:

mel1

I have an ultrasound tomorrow morning to check on my follicles, and realized that if they are good to go (possible but not likely) tomorrow, we’ll need our sperm for an IUI on Sunday. Since the bank is closed on weekends and requires 24 hours notice before pick-up to avoid exorbitant late fees, that means I would have to call today. Today, meaning a day before I know if I’ll need it or not. Ugh this shit gets so complicated.

Anyway I called nurse Tracy and asked her opinion. She basically said that yes, there is a possibility that we’ll need it Sunday and she doesn’t want to be the one who told us not to get the sperm and ruined a cycle that we have invested so much in (fair). Also that it is still likely that we’ll use it within the bank’s 5-day tank guarantee window starting tomorrow, so makes sense to just go for it.

I went ahead and called in the sperm for pick-up tomorrow afternoon, and it turned out that both my wife and myself are majorly booked at work and literally cannot get away at any point while they are open, spurring the above texts. Lucky for us, we have awesome friends, and she offered to leave work a few minutes early to grab it for us! I was really getting stressed because there are literally maybe 2 other people who know that we are trying and therefore would be on the list of people we can ask. She did ask for something in return though …

mel2

“If I do this, you must name your first born after me”

All’s well that end’s well. We have awesome friends. Here’s hoping this VERY LAST vial of our first-choice-donor does the trick. I’ll have an update with the stats from my ultrasound tomorrow.

TTC 2.0 is on

Now that I’m back on the blogging wagon, a few updates on the TTC front. I got my period on Thursday, so today was CD3, which means I went in for my follow-up ultrasound. I was more than a little nervous that Larry the cyst hadn’t packed up and left yet, and that I’d end up pulling my hair out during yet another cancelled cycle.

Luckily for us, that was not to be! This time around, my wife accompanied me to the ultrasound, which was really nice. Actually, it was also satisfying – I had told her last time about my experience with the less-than-comfortable dildo wand, and she didn’t really give me the sympathy I was hoping for. This time around she got to see it, and I got plenty of sympathy today!

Since it is Saturday, my doctor and nurses were not in the clinic – I just went in to see the ultrasound tech. I have to say, I enjoyed this tech much better than my previous one. She told us everything she was doing and looking at throughout the whole thing, which I really appreciated. She also let me insert the wand myself – I must say, it was much less violating that way. Although she clearly isn’t my doctor and can’t officially read the ultrasound and report results – she did not see a cyst. I watched, and there was certainly nothing there. A couple of underdeveloped follicles on each ovary (like 2-3 mm), which I believe is what they would expect for cycle day 3.

She did mention that my lining was very thin, which would indicate that I have already shed most of it, which leads me to my next point – my periods this month and last both seemed rather light to me. I know that my lining is supposed to be thin at this point in my cycle, but it seemed like she was surprised at the thin-ness of it. I also know that I am totally reading into things probably in a crazy-lady-obsessive way, but I’m worried about my current ability to build up a good enough lining. I am now going to crazy-lady-obsessively Google ways to ensure a nice juicy lining for a little embryo to nest in. Am I being obsessive? Anyone have any tips and tricks for getting a good lining?

In terms of the plan – as far as I know we are on for another unmedicated IUI cycle. A nurse from my RE’s office (no one I’ve talked to in the past) called and said that the ultrasound was all clear and that we are good to go for this cycle. I can’t remember if anyone had mentioned doing this cycle medicated, so I’m going to call back on Monday, but I’m assuming I’m on for another natural cycle. I have been ovulating, albeit fairly late, and I think my RE wants to try to let my body do its own thing if it can. I tend to agree, though of course I also want to speed things along.

A couple of hiccups that I’m hoping don’t mess with things for me:

  • We have 3 weddings to attend in the next 6 weeks, one of which I’m a bridesmaid in. It actually might be 5 weeks. I am just hoping that my O doesn’t fall on a day that I am out of town or in the middle of a wedding-related obligation. I’m pumped for all of the weddings though (especially for my best friend’s).
  • I’m also leaving the country for a conference that I’m really excited about. This is actually the event that actually has the potential to throw things off for me. I have ovulated on CD 24, 33, and 27 in my 3 most recent cycles. I’m boarding a plane out of the country on CD30 this cycle. If you all are the positive-vibe-sending types, send me some vibes for an earlier O this cycle! I will be so super bummed if I have to miss another cycle because of the one thing I really can’t get around. On the plus side, if I do ovulate before CD30, I’ll have a really baller built-in distraction for a good chunk of the 2WW!

So my plan for now is to think happy thoughts, keep going to acupuncture (and specifically ask him to work on thickening my lining and telling my body to quit dawdling with the ovulation business), increase my exercise and healthy/fertility-friendly eating habits, call the RE on Monday to make sure that we’re a-go for a natural cycle, start using OPKs in about a week,and hope hope hope that this is my cycle for a BFP. Although I’ve been a bit silent on here, I’m reading along every day, and am so excited for the BFPs this month, and of course feeling just as bummed but determined as all of you who are still waiting for that BFP. ttc meme

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