Someday I might actually share some real blog posts. But for now while I juggle IVF, work, life, and the emotional roller-coaster of infertility, I’ll be tweeting (@IVFJess) and updating my timeline here.
So here’s our story so far:
- June 2000– Jess and Mr. T meet in their early 20’s, fall in love, go to graduate school, have lots of adventures, and thoroughly enjoy life.
- August 2006– After waiting for years for Jess to ask him to marry her, Mr. T finally has to ask her. A beautiful wedding follows, and they pledge to share their life and love in sickness and in health.
- 2006-2009– The honeymoon years during which Jess and Mr. T enjoy life and don’t worry too much about babies yet, but are not trying to avoid them either.
- June 2009– After a year of actively trying, no baby yet. Jess is 32 and Mr. T is 33. It’s time for Mr. T to do an SA (Sperm analysis) After he’s done the deed in the cup, the nurse calls and asks him if he’s had a vasectomy. Apparently you need a few more than zero sperm to make a baby.
- June 2009- January 2010– While waiting for Mr. T to make the appointment with the urologist, Jess researches Azoospermia (the condition of zero sperm) and tells T that it sounds like IVF is the only solution- and that there’s no way she’s going to do that.
- February 2010– Mr. T finally gets to the urologist. Urologist confirms Jess’ research and explains that Mr. T has a condition called “Congenital Absence of the Vas Deferense” aka- missing tubing, likely due to a gene for Cystic Fibrosis (CF). He tells the couple that “the good news is that there should be plenty of sperm in there, and you shouldn’t have any problem at all having a baby with IVF.”
- March 2010– Jess comes to the realization that adoption isn’t as easy as L.M. Montgomery made it seem in Anne of Green Gables. She also realizes that she would like to experience the miracle of pregnancy- and all that entails- if possible. So Mr. T and Jess move forward with all the testing necessary to start their grand IVF adventure.
- April 2010– Mr. T gives birth to his half of their potential baby’s DNA through a not-so-pleasant surgery (yes, in that area) to extract tissue with sperm. The first scoop on the right side doesn’t appear to have any sperm, so the doctor have to go back in on the left side. Jess says that any man willing to go through this to have a baby is indeed a hero.
- June 2010– Jess and Mr. T write a very big check to an IVF refund program. This big check gives them fresh and 3 frozen cycles and a 70% money back guarantee if they don’t get a “take home baby.” But peace of mind is priceless- Jess and Mr. T are not gamblers.
- July 2010– Jess and Mr. T begin the “stim” process of tricking Jess’ body into making as many eggs as possible. This starts with 12 days of birth control pills so that all the follicles grow at the same rate. Then the injections begin- Follistem in the morning, Menopur in the evening and ultrasounds and blood tests every 2-3 days.
- July 29, 2010– Harvest Day! Jess and Mr. T get 11 mature eggs and seven fertilized (all with ICSI). All 7 make it to Day 5, all graded excellent to very good- including the first A++ embryo their nurse had ever seen. (Jess is inordinately proud.)
- August 4, 2010– Jess and Mr. T transfer two perfect embryos. A week later, Jess begins to crave pickles. Mr. T notices her boobs are even bigger than usual. They think they might be pregnant. A home pregnancy test confirms their suspicions on the morning of their official test. It’s the first positive test they’ve ever seen and Jess walks on air the clinic for the official test.
- August 16, 2010– Beta is 800!!!! Two days later it is over 1600!! Pregnant at last!! Oh Happy Days! Jess begins to dream of names and nurseries. Mr. T, a burstingly happy and proud papa already, tells all his colleagues and his entire Fantasy Football team- even though he and Jess agreed it would be good to wait. He’s so happy that Jess doesn’t mind.
- August 30, 2010– First ultrasound to meet the bean. Jess and Mr. T see a tiny heartbeat and the heartbeat is estimated at 120. Jess is worried that it’s measuring 3 days behind and seems to have a faint heartbeat, but Mr. T reassures her.
- September 8, 2010– Second ultrasound. Baby measures 6 weeks 3 days. No heartbeat. Lots of of sadness. Sometimes Jess really, really hates to be right.
- September 9, 2010– D&C.
- October, 2010– On break.
- November 2010– Time to go back for the frosties. Jess takes Estradoil to fool her body once again, prepping for an embryo it already cooked up in July.
- November 20, 2010– Transferred two perfect embryos. Both had “cavities” (apparently a good sign for defrosting frosties) and were continuing to hatch. One was almost entirely hatched already. Jess worried about its ability to survive the arduous journey without a shell, but the professionals are unconcerned.
- December 2, 2010– Home test the morning of the official test: faint line. Beta HCG levels are 91 and 270 four days later. Jess is worried. No one else seems to be. Jess insists on another test. Beta is up to 540. Jess is somewhat reassured. Nothing to do but wait and see.
- December 20, 2010– First ultrasound. Jess is a nervous wreck. She hears the doctor say that there’s only a gestational sack measuring 4 weeks. She hopes this is a nightmare. It’s not. There’s no baby. Lots of tears.
- December 25, 2010– Miscarriage begins naturally. Jess and Mr. T are out of town visiting family for Christmas. Because Jess is O Negative blood type, she needs the RH Sensitization shot within 72 hours. They spend all day in the emergency room going through unnecessary tests, ultrasounds, exams and waiting capped off with an impressive meltdown from Jess before they finally get the shot they came for.
- December 31, 2010– Beta test shows HCG is down to 50. Jess is relieved this one is almost over and that she can start the new year with a fresh start.
- January 4, 2010– Jess and Mr. T meet with Dr. IVF. He is empathetic, but still optimistic about their chances. Jess and Mr. T push to do every RPL (recurring pregnancy loss) test under the sun.
- January 14, 2010– Beta down to 3. Jess no longer needs to go for weekly blood tests to prove that she’s no longer pregnant.
- Today: Jess and Mr. T wait for test results before going back for another fresh cycle- possibly in March. Although they have 2 good frosties left, Jess feels betrayed by that batch and wants a fresh start. She’s afraid the old ones are doomed by the marathon she ran two days before starting the IVF cycle in July. Mr. T sees the glint in her eyes and knows it’s no use to argue otherwise.
So that’s our story so far. I’m curious what will come next- and how it all ends. One way or another, I’m determined to give this story a happy ending. And in the meantime, I’m doing my best to keep my sense of humor through it all.