It’s finally here, Part 4, the final chapter in our infertility story to catch you up to where we are now.
In September 2016 I had ovarian drilling surgery in the hopes of lowering my testosterone levels and getting my ovaries to respond better to the medications. After weeks of healing, in late October, I was headed back to see Dr. P. The only way to know if the surgery was successful was to do another super cycle IUI and see how my body reacted. We also discussed with Dr. P what the plan would be if nothing had changed and my body over stimulated again. He was always so positive that we would get pregnant. His plan this time, if we were up for it and were faced with cancelling again, was to take me in and do a follicle reduction surgery in the hopes of saving and preforming the IUI. But first things first was to see how I would react to the meds.
So in early November around my 29th birthday, I finished my Provera, waited for my period to start and when it did, I again was taking two needles a day, Menopur and Puregon. I was very excited for my first ultrasound. After the stress of surgery and everything I had recently put my body through, I was sure the meds would work great this time. Unfortunately once again I got my hopes up just to be let down. Zero growth. I would continue for the next few weeks going back and forth between stimulating and ultrasounds, learning there was very little growth, and when there was, that there were multiple follicles.
Three weeks of stimulation and my body was over stimulated once again. the Ovarian Drilling had done nothing to improve my fertility and I was in the same boat as last time. But Dr. P kept reassuring me that we would not cancel this IUI. So at the end of November, over stimulated with more than 30 follicles, I went in for my second surgery of the year. This one was the exact same procedure that happens when you remove eggs for IVF however there was no fertilization happening and to make sure Alberta Health Care would cover it, it was listed as complications of ovarian stimulation, which technically it was. I remember waiting all day in the hospital. Since we weren’t sure when I would need the surgery I was not scheduled in and would be fit in at the end of the day which could be any time between 10am and 10pm.
We were lead to thinking it would be earlier in the day; Dean took the day off work to be with me and we waited. And then we waited some more. After that, we continued waiting. I was annoyed, tired and oh so hungry! I had not eaten anything since the previous night in preparation of an earlier surgery. Plus I was already on edge because I just do not like hospitals. But shortly after 6pm I was finally heading down.
They discussed keeping me awake since it was such a quick procedure and thats how they do it during IVF but since the anesthesiologist was there and had prepped for putting me under, plus I was still nervous, they put me under and I woke up less than a half an hour later in recovery. They drained all the excess and smaller follicles and left me with 4 large ones, ready for my IUI. After a bit of time in recovery, I was taken upstairs to my room and shortly after that I was able to go home. A couple of days later I went in to see DR. P for the IUI.
I expected this recovery to be similar to the ovarian drilling since the procedure was so similar. For the first while it wasn’t too bad but unfortunately became a lot worse. I developed ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS). Before my IUI and after surgery, I had to give myself a needle of hCG to make the follicles ovulate. With all the excess follicles and the new hormones my body was pushed over its limit and I spent over a week bloated, uncomfortable and in serious pain. I barely left my bed and even rolling over hurt. Thankfully I only had a mild to moderate case of OHSS. Severe cases lead to women being hospitalized and needing fluid drained from their lungs or abdomens.
But through all the pain and being uncomfortable I just knew this was it. Dean’s numbers were good, we had 4 large follicles, everything had been timed perfectly and ontop of my OHSS, I was experiencing symptoms I had not had before. I know the symptoms could be from anything but after everything I had gone through already these were new to me and I hoped that meant something.
I was coming to the end of my TWW and even though I was still having the symptoms, something in me snapped one day and I started doubting it was going to happen. A few days out from my blood test i took an hpt. Negative. The doubt continued to build and that friday, it was mid december, I finally had my blood test and waited for the call.
I was at work when the nurse from Dr. P’s office called and I knew instantly it wasn’t good. I sat down in the board room and listened while she explained that my test was negative, I was not pregnant and that Dr. P wanted me to come in after New Years to discuss what was next. I tried my hardest not to cry until I got off the phone. I then spent the next half an hour crying in between phone calls to DH and my mom. Although I had felt it was going to be negative the previous few days it’s still a shock and a heartbreak every time it doesn’t happen. I wasn’t as devastated after that one as I had been previous times, I kind of just went numb. I didn’t know what to say or how to feel. I had been disappointed at every step and was very discouraged that it would ever happen for us.
We had spent some time discussing what would happen if this treatment didn’t work and I knew that meant we were now onto IVF. I took the next couple of weeks to try and enjoy Christmas and New Years with my family and friends, and keep it off of my mind. Early in the new year I went into Dr. P’s office to discuss the next step; being referred to Calgary for the IVF program.
All of that has led us to now; on the wait list for IVF treatment which if all goes well should be happening in June! I could probably go on for another 5,000 words about how I have felt and the frustrations we have dealt with, and although our infertility is a big part of our day-to-day life, we don’t want it to define us. We’ve also had a lot of wonderful things happen over the past couple of years.
Early after our wedding, DH started a new career. He had spent the previous 4 years becoming a Journeyman Electrictian but with little local opportunities, he decided to move onto a career in telecomunications. He is very happy in his new position and will likely be there for a very long time.
In November 2015, we adopted a little 8 week old rescue puppy that we named Rocky! Chuck our cat who has been with Dean since well before we met, wasn’t super thrilled at first but they have grown to at least tolerate each other. We weren’t fully sure what mix Rocky was so we did the DNA test – he is mostly 1/3 German Shepherd, 1/3 Siberian Husky and 1/3 Alaskan Malamute. He’s a very sweet boy and is a wonderful addition to our family!
We also have done a fair amount of travelling. We love to camp and after getting a new trailer we starting going out as early as possible with our season starting the Easter long weekend the past two years. Thanks to the warm weather we get in Southern Alberta we’ve been able to continue camping all the way through Thanksgiving. We’ve been all over southern Alberta as far as the Kananaskis area to the West and Cypress Hills Saskatchewan to the East.
On top of a lot of camping trips, one thing Dean and I said we would love to do is go away on a trip every year for our anniversary. So far we have kept that promise. For our first anniversary we went down with some friends and family to a resort in Cuba for a relaxing week. This past January for our 2nd, we decided to road trip in California. I didn’t want to go too far South and risk getting Zika (see the hope continues!), so we flew to LA and rented a convertible that we drove up the coast for a week ending in San Francisco. It was a very busy week but we had a blast!
Personally, I have a lot of other things to also look forward to and enjoy. I play a few different sports; volleyball in the fall and winter, and slow pitch in the spring and summer. I also joined what we call ‘Dress Club’ with some wonderful and amazing women. Some of us were friends before and others were strangers but over the past year and a half these women have become a huge part of my life. And even though I was already an Aunt to my wonderful neices and nephews, I also have become ‘Auntie’ to some of our best friend’s new additions. These kids all mean the world to me and getting to watch them grow and change is so rewarding.
As much as we have had some very low moments over the past two years, we have also had some incredible highs. We have struggled with our goal to add a child to our family and will no doubt continue to do so but we still love our life and everyone that’s in it. Soon we will start IVF and although my body will go through a lot and I know there will be tears and stress, I also know that someday one of these treatments will work and we will get to share with the world that our poppy seed finally took root.