nav

Friday, January 11, 2013

sucker punched in the gut


I was not expecting that. At all.
It feels like I've been sucker punched in the stomach.
My IVF nurse coordinator called me with the results of my blood test. 
It was beyond bad.

My E2 level (estrogen) came back really low.
She began asking me, am I sure that I've been taking my injections? Am I sure that we are doing it right? A is a paramedic. We are doing it right.

My estradiol level tested at 37.6. 
Normal levels are between 250-700 after 5 days of stim meds.
They said if it were in the thousands, they'd back off my drugs.
Baseline levels at the start of your cycle are between 25-75.
Mine is 37.6.
What?

How is it possible that the drugs have not been working AT ALL?
Dr. M wanted me to come in for an ultrasound to see what my follicles look like.
I hardly slept last night as I grieved our October baby that I'd become attached to in my mind. 
I just knew there had been no mistake in the lab which is the best that I could've hoped for.

This morning, Dr. M took a look at my lazy ovaries.
I had (2) 10mm follicles and (3) 6mm on the right and (1) 6mm on the left.
He recommended canceling the cycle. 

Just like that...done.
28 shots for nothing.
$3,500 in drugs wasted.
And it's back to the drawing board.

This morning, I woke up laughing (like a crazy person) because of the irony that I was worried about getting OHSS when A gave me too much Gonal-F. How silly of me to think that I would overstimulate. For some reason, I was more prepared that we might not end up in our desired destination (with baby in arms) than I was to not even be able to leave the station. Last night was rough. A and I are sad and super disappointed but there is nothing to be done but to move forward.

A and I talked a lot with Dr. M about why I'm not responding to the drugs.
He said that some people have a hyper-sensitivity to the Lupron which suppresses the ovaries. He thinks that might be the case with me. He'd like to start over and try a different protocol.

Provera for 7 days to induce my period
28 days of a lower dose BCP
Swap Gonal-F for Follistim
Max dose of stims - 225IU Follistim and 225IU Menopur 
Ganirelix instead of Lupron

I asked him if the BCP could also be making my ovaries lazy. He said it was possible and he is willing to try a protocol without BCP if that is what I want. But the BCP are used to stabilize all of the follicles and make sure they are the same size at the start. If they are growing at different rates, I could only end up with only a few eggs that are the right maturity. He prefers the plan above. 

We talked about Diminished Ovarian Reserve. I wanted to know if that could be responsible for my ovaries not responding to the drugs. He said it is possible. My FSH was normal last time they tested but that was almost two years ago. So we are testing my AMH level as soon as my period starts to try to get some more information. 

Since I won't be using Gonal-F on my next cycle, I don't need the extra drugs that I have and can't sell it because it has been opened. If anyone would like it, please let me know. I have about 300IU (100IU left in the bottom of 3 pens) and I have 750IU left out of a 900IU pen.

To lift my spirits, I'll be indulging in all of the things that I've been denying myself. A and I are going to have sushi for dinner this weekend and I'll be having a glass of wine and a bath tonight. Hopefully these small things will help to take a little of the sting out of the fact that there will be no baby for us in 2013. 


75 comments:

Toni Rapp said...

Not what I expected to see. Omg I want to believe this was truly a freak occurrence. I am so sorry Jessica. I can't even imagine how you are feeling right now. Did you check the medications? By some chance maybe they were expired? Sending big hugs from Oklahoma.

Kerri Andersen said...

this breaks my heart. at least the doctor has a good idea of what to change to get better results. i think you have about as good as an attitude as possible in this sort of situation, and i am impressed. i pray things will go better for you in the future!

Sybil@PeaceitallTogether said...

So sorry to hear this. Praying for the both of you. XOXO

Heather said...

Oh, Jessah... I'm so sorry. No words - just many prayers.

Cristy said...

Oh Jessiah!! I'm so sorry. :( News like this is simply heartbreaking and I wish this wasn't the case.

It sounds like a plan is in place for the future, so in the meantime focus on taking care of yourself and A. Enjoy those baths and buy an extra special bottle of wine. Thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you sweetheart <3

Lya said...

Oh no!!! This really sucks big times! Infertility finds way too many times a way to come up with a totally unexpected bad surprise. I'm very sorry how things turned out.

It is probably not helping you today but I do hope that this new information will get you a great response for your next cycle and one step closer to your miracle.

((hugs))

Elizabeth Ann @ Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box said...

Will you email me?

Janet said...

Your situation sounds exactly the same as what I went through on my first IVF cycle...that we cancelled for the same reason. 5 days after stims was E2 was super low and the nurses asked me the same questions. The BCP combined with the Luron way over suppressed my ovaries. There were many, many tears and cries of frustration.

A month later we started again with no BCP and no Lupron with max doses of Menopur. Great cycle, 10 eggs retrieved (I was almost 36 at the time). Looking back, it was the right decision but it still hurt.

Thinking of you ((HUGS))

TheVagabondStudio said...

((hugs)) :(

Belle said...

I'm so sorry to read this! I know the frustration of wasting money on stims. While my cycle was not cancelled, my E2 never rose nearly as high as it should. I did the new protocol your doctor has lined up for you next and despite a very low E2 I was packed with eggs - 27 actually, all of which fertilized, 6 made it to day 5/6 freeze. This is not to boast but to give you hope, the new protocol might be just what you need to get your ovaries going. Lupron is a hell of a suppressor and some of us just don't respond ideally to it. I hope your ovaries pump out some eggs after a month of low dose birthcontrol. Hang in there xoxo

jAllen said...

Jessah,
My heart is breaking for you! It's such a trial and error process, but hopefully you will determine the cocktail for success! You've got a great attitude, be good to yourself
Hugs

Emily said...

Oh, please don't lose hope. You still have time for a baby in 2013! My RE was just talking at my IVF orientation this week about people who don't respond well on Lupron, and in those cases he uses a "microflare protocol" where the Lupron is greatly reduced and they tweak the overlap of the Lupron and stims slightly differently. He said poor responders do better on this protocol. Sounds like your RE is tweaking similarly though, and that is good that you can try something else! Sometimes all that's needed is a slight change, and BAM you get the results you are looking for.

I have always worried I will be the same way. It seems RE's only worry when you have high FSH and high estradiol, but my estradiol is SUPER LOW, like 15 on CD3 labs and my AMH is only .88, which shows I'm DOR. It's all one big fat science experiment I know.

I'm glad you're indulging in things that make you happy. Hang in there girlie! Like you said, the only thing you can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. I hope you have much better luck next time around...I'm sure you will! Stay strong!

Breathe Gently said...

Ugh, what a bummer. My E2 totally stalled out first cycle, and we needed a desperate boost to get it goingg - I know how scary and frustrating that must be for you. I used Follistim (called Puregon in Australia) and had good results from it - but I have NOTORIOUSLY lazy ovaries, so I never had a lot of follicles or eggs to play with.

Lots of hugs from me. x

Amber said...

I've been there and I know how much it sucks to have a cycle canceled and to have spent so much money on the drugs, all for nothing. I am so sorry you are having to go through this and I pray the next protocal is the one that works for you.

shay said...

oh no.... i am almost sitting here crying for you... that is SO disappointing. having been going thru this IF stuff too, it just SUCKS. i'm so sorry that it didn't work out. i did an IUI cycle last month that resulted in a BFN. Our 7th IUI. totally discouraging. so i'm here if you want someone to vent to...

anyway, try to enjoy the sushi and wine and bath... and i'm glad that you have a plan for moving forward. try to continue to stay positive! xoxo!

Natalie | Mrs. Janney | said...

NO! I'm so sorry!! That was NOT the post I was hoping to see.

Not to be one of those people that tries to immediately throw the bright side at you (because sometimes I hate those people and just want to be sad without having someone cheer me up), but if you are ready, I may offer one piece of optimism about this cycle...

Ready? If not, just quit reading.

You had to go through this cycle so they could find a better protocol that works for you. And now they can use that info to get on the right track and on the path to baby.

I'm so sorry this cycle didn't work. I feel like I want to cry with you. :(

KC said...

Oh man, I know this feeling all too well. It is such a disappointment and I always felt like a failure. We always think IVF is our ace in the pocket and when it doesn't work the first cycle we are totally thrown for a loop. It sounds like it just wasn't the right protocol for you. I never had a problem with my estrogen level but I could never grow any follies, both frustrating. I am not an expert but couldn't they give you something to increase the estrogen? Obviously it can't be that simple but to me that number of follicle didn't sound so bad (although I am the worst responder ever so what do I know). I did a cycle with no BCP and I still didn't really stim (sorry to be a downer and mine was all endometriosis and premature ovarian failure).
I know how easily we see the babies in our arms with each cycle. I always went and calculated due dates as soon as I started a cycle, and the rushed feeling we have to get to the finish line. It is so hard but you will have a baby one day and it will be worth all of this agony. Every one has a path to their baby and this is yours and you will get there (I used to hate when people told me that, I thought it was smug so forgive me if that is how it comes across). I always say I wish I could have had a crystal ball so that I knew that one day my baby (turned out to be babies) would come to me, then it wouldn't have been so emotionally draining. You are doing everything you can and it really is out of your control at this point (so unfair). I say drink wine, eat chocolat, feel sorry for yourself (because it blows. Then when you are ready go full force ahead with the next cycle. The best part is you have a plan (I always hated the limbo the most). Take a little time to dust yourself off and then go at it full force again. Be kind to yourself and make sure hubby spoils you! P.S. Not to make light of things but you probably want a baby born earlier in the year anyways...lol.gives them the edge in school. (I used to tell myself things like this to make it feel like I had some control). Sorry for the rant I just really identified with your post.

Jess from Vintage Pie said...

I'm so sorry. Devastating. Your positivity shines through even now x

G said...

I am so sorry to hear this. I am sad that thiso happened to you. Ive been following your updates on instagram. I hope you get to enjoy some of the sushi and wine this weekend. I will be thinking of you and your heartache.

Ana said...

Oh honey, I'm so sorry to hear it didn't work out! Things will get better, I promise!

xoxo

Gypsy Mama said...

I'm so sorry! Even though you might not have have a 2013 baby, I am praying that you will spend most of 2013 with a big baby belly! The first thing I did when I got my BFN is indulge in all the things I had to avoid during my cycle.

I have read a lot about over-supression, and I hope that is the case for you, and that your new protocol will work much better

**hugs**

sandram said...

I'm so sorry. This setbacks are awful but I like the theory that you might have been over suppressed by the lupron and that without it you will respond the way you are supposed to. For some it's just a matter of the right protocol.

Enjoy your wine!

The Granberrys said...

I am so sorry to hear your bad news. I can't imagine how disappointed you are. Praying for comfort for you and for your dr. to have the wisdom to get your follies to grow, grow, grow this next cycle!!

E. said...

I'm so sorry. I had a cycle cancelled back in September; it came as a complete shock. FWIW, I think it's good that your doctor is checking your AMH levels. That will give you better information.

nogoodeggs said...

Ugh. I am so sorry for your bad news. This must be very disappointing! I hope that you can indulge in those things this weekend and relax a bit before going back to the drawing board.

Lisa said...

I am so sorry, Jessah. It is so cruel and frustrating. I was so much hoping that this cycle was going to be amazing. I am glad that the doctor already has a new plan. Is there anyway to switch to an IUI so the drugs aren't wasted, or not? I know that was an option when our IVF was cancelled. I am praying for you. Also so great to donate your meds!

Dream Chase said...

Oh, no!! I am so sorry Jessah! I want to give you a nice, big hug. i am really sorry about your IVF being cancelled. I am hoping that the next one goes much better and I def would get AMH rechecked just to see. *hugs* Hang in there!

amberlynn said...

I'm so sorry girl! I have a follistim pen and about 200 iu of medicine left in a 600 iu Carpule. There are a lot of needle caps left to. I also have a full bottle of estrace 2mg tab. Not sure if you use that or not. Let me know if you want me to send it to you. All my meds were covered through insurance. ::hugs::

amberlynn said...

Oh I also have a lot of vivelle dot patches. Estrogen

Seagull said...

I'm so sorry. I know how it is to get so attached to a particular outcome and cycle. I do think you are on the right track about being over-suppressed. i have heard of this and it's good to know your AMH # as well. Just please keep in mind that this does not mean the end. It's just a setback that you will learn from for next cycle. Enjoy your sushi and wine and i'm sending you virtual hugs!

RadiantKristen said...

Oh, Jessah... I don't know how to tell you how sorry I am that you had to hear those words. Had to feel those emotions. Nobody deserves to go through that. Ever. My heart is breaking for you. If you need anything (yup, even my eggs... I'll put them on ice for you and send them your way), let me know.

Aramis said...

Oh Jessah, I'm so sorry to hear this. I've been exactly where you and it really really sucks. Hopefully it is just the Lupron and another protocol will work better. Enjoy that wine and sushi and know that you are in my thoughts!

Lisamarie said...

Oh no! What a difficult set back. But you know... the doctor just needs to find the right potion for you. And seriously.. I have a birthday in October and I have never been too fond of my birthday month. Your next round will just bring you one step closer!

JenS said...

That is devastating news. I am so, so sorry your cycle got cancelled but it sounds like your RE is ready with a new plan. I have never been on Lupron or even BCP for IVF because my RE is afraid of suppressing me too much. I still had a poor response the first time. The 2nd time I was on the max dose (menopur,follistim,ganirelix) and did much better as far as egg production. My RE told me just because you have a poor response once doesn't mean you always will. Each cycle is different. Hopefully, your RE learned enough from this cycle to make the next one more successful.

Deborah said...

Empathy, prayers, and hugs sent your way.

Belinda said...

I am so sorry to read this... I was hoping this was it for you!
You seem like such a strong person, I would be a total mess at this point.
Enjoy your weekend of relaxing & I hope those little comforts ease the pain a tiny bit. I am so sorry, once again!
Sending lots of love from Australia! xo

ThistleAshD said...

Oh I'm so sorry. I cannot imagine what your going thru. Prayers coming your way

Stephanie F said...

Oh sweetheart :( I feel your pain. Truly, my heart goes out to you and your husband. I can only imagine how hard all this must be for you guys.

Sending all my love.

Stephanie

Elizabeth Ann @ Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box said...

I am so so sorry for your canceled cycle. :-(

Lyndsey Davis said...

I'm am really sorry! This is so terrible. Not only do you have to endure all that goes along with infertility but now your IVF is cancelled. :( Prayers for strength in the coming days.

Gina Taylor said...

Oh my sweet Jess! I am so sorry to hear this :( I had just got caught up on your blog with the IVF news and was so excited for you. I am happy to hear that there are still some other options out there, it is just a matter of time until you find the right one. I am always thinking about you and this journey to have a baby. I know you will be the MOST amazing mom ever, and I know all your dreams will eventually come true. You are so brave to share your story and help so many others who share this same struggle. Enjoy your sushi, wine and bath tub.. and don't stop dreaming about those dimples!

Amy said...

Oh no. I'm so sorry for your disappointment. My thoughts are with you. I hope the new medications will work for you!

Anonymous said...

My heart aches for you. I have Endometriosis and see a woman who does body work to help heal that part of the body, (through massage, herbs, self-care...). Since I started seeing her a few months ago, my cramps have diminished from horrendous to manageable. It all requires a pretty giant leap of faith, but I am convinced. I recently found this site on her website, sounded inspiring-- I bookmarked it for future use, (if it becomes necessary for myself). I know you probably aren't in the mood for any of this yet, I just wanted to share because I have been so impressed with my own healing, but I get that it isn't for everyone. Gigantic hugs.

http://www.fertileheart.com

Elizabeth Lambert said...

Thinking of you, Jessica. I'm so sorry to hear this about this.

Sending love your way!

Alicia said...

Oh Jessah, this is so disappointing. I'm so sorry. So so so sorry to hear this. What a terrible drag. Hang in there, eat lots of sushi and drink lots of wine. You and A deserve it.

waiting and wishing said...

Oh no, I'm so sorry! I've not been in your shoes, so I won't pretend to know how you're feeling, but try try try to stay positive! I had A LOT of failures before success, and I can tell you one thing- we learned something (sometimes big things, sometimes small) from each of those failures... And in the end, every one was worth it!

Sureye said...

Times like these suck...I wish I knew what to say to make you feel better.
im praying, praying and praying for you.
Please hang in there

Xoxoxoxo
Sarai

themosbysinchina said...

I'm so sorry. I can't even imagine what you are feeling. Don't loose hope. There's always hope.
Even if it doesn't look like what we think it will.
I hope that 2013 still holds many joys for you both. And that God strengthens and nourishes your marriage.
And gives you both wisdom on how to move forward and what step to take next.
Enjoy the food, wine and bath!

ADSchill said...

Oh my...I'm so sorry. How completely disappointing. I think your doctor seems to know what he's doing. I used BCP's for my cycle and they worked just fine. I wish you the best and hope you have better luck this next time around.

Jennifer said...

I am so sorry!

I hope that your next go-round works out better!!

Enjoy your sushi, wine & bath...sometimes doing things for yourself has such an amazing uplifting impact!

Sar said...

Am so sorry- please take care, and you are brave to move to another cycle.

Sarah said...

Oh my gosh, I am so sorry. I cried reading your post because I completely understand and feel your pain. I have had trouble with stims after birth control in the past which is why I decided not to use birth control and do IVF from a spontaneous cycle... while this totally backfired for me it's worked well for many people. You can also do priming with estrace instead too. Big, HUGE hugs and thinking of you.

Sarah said...

Oh no :( This is really sucky news :( I'm so sorry! As much as it stings, I guess it's better to try a new cycle than to have had this one end with a BFN. But really...it just sucks..I feel your pain girl. Enjoy your sushi and wine!! When can you try again? Hugs...

babystepstobalance.com said...

I am so sorry that they will be cancelling your cycle. I came close to that a few times. I was a very slow responder and was on higher dosage of Gonal-f. It sounds like you will be doing an antagonist cycle next time. I had the same issues with BCPs and Lupron oversupressing me. I hope the change in meds does the trick next time. It's is so hard when you are so invested (financially and emotionally) in a cycle and they have to cancel. Take Care of yourself and enjoy the wine and sushi!

The Bird said...

Oh, Jessah, I am so, so sorry. I wish things would just go as planned. I hope the new protocol will make the next cycle preparing for IVF successful...plenty of beautiful follicles and no OHSS, and that you will have a late fall or early winter baby to celebrate.

Laura said...

I am so sorry. It's hard to focus on being positive (which you were doing SO GREAT with!)when you know something can go wrong at every turn. How are we to relax and stay hopeful when we must also plan for the worst? Thinking of you. XO

Darcy said...

I am so so so sorry. I can't imagine your disappointment with this news. Huge virtual hugs to you and A. I Will be keeping you in my t&p that the next protocol works xoxox

Sunflower said...

I am so sorry. These IF curveballs really suck.

I have been in a similar position. Although I am much older than you, my first IVF yielded one egg - yep one -- which I could have got without any injections anyway. We then switched (at my insistance) to the Estrogen Priming Protocol which seems like what you are doing next. That yielded 6 mature eggs which for my age I was happy with.

Don't give up hope. I know how super disappointing it is to have to get such results. Wishing you all the best for your next cycle.

Sunflower said...

I am so sorry. These IF curveballs really suck.

I have been in a similar position. Although I am much older than you, my first IVF yielded one egg - yep one -- which I could have got without any injections anyway. We then switched (at my insistance) to the Estrogen Priming Protocol which seems like what you are doing next. That yielded 6 mature eggs which for my age I was happy with.

Don't give up hope. I know how super disappointing it is to have to get such results. Wishing you all the best for your next cycle.

Anonymous said...

Ive experienced that sucker punch- What a bummer the cycle didn't work out - wait for the AMH level to come back and regroup. I have low ovarian reserve at 38 with a normal fsh 7.9 and an AMH .3 . I had 3 unsuccessful IVF cycle before moving to DE.

Hang in there and have fun while waiting -

Sarah J said...

I am so sorry to see this post. Our bodies are so amazing and yet can drive us absolutely crazy when things don't seem to work the way they should. I know the disappointment all too well.

I really hope that you have success with this new protocol. And definitely indulge in some wine and sushi and all things you love. You deserve that right now.

EndoJoanna said...

I am so incredibly sorry for this postponement. I'm hoping and praying the new protocol will do what it needs to do. Pamper yourself and try to hang on to that perseverance and optimism that we all admire about you. You deserve this so much. Sending you huge hugs xxxx

Alicia said...

I can't stop thinking of you. Only good will come of this awful experience. I hope you're doing ok. Believe me, I can relate to disappointing news.

Endo sucks so bad.

Alicia said...

Also, a recommendation moving forward - Get your FSH levels tested pronto. Hugs hugs hugs. Hang in there.

Becky said...

Ugh, I feel punched in the gut for you! That's a lot of money and a lot of shots....how disheartening! I hope that a new protocol will be more effective and you'll be on your way! Fingers crossed for you!

Leslie said...

I am so sorry that your cycle did not go as hoped! I hope that a new protocol will bring you much better results!!!

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now since I found it. My husband and I are potentially looking toward IVF after not being able to conceive. You are so inspirational, your blog is raw and honest and relatable! I am so sorry this happened! I really hope you are able to move forward another cycle and you get to hold your baby in your arms soon!!!

Melanie Schultz said...

I am so so sorry to her this. My heart aches for you. You sound like such a strong person and I am happy you are moving forward with another treatment. I wish you all the best. Remember, its only January. You could still have that 2013 baby. HUGS!

Team Harries said...

So sorry to hear that! Praying!

lo @ crazy ever after said...

I'm just now catching up on your blog. I'm so sorry you're experiencing this. :(

Whitney B. said...

I am so so so very sorry for your loss. It truly is a loss. I hope things work out for y'all. Take that bath and eat/drink whatever you want, you deserve it. Tomorrow is another day and I hope it is a better one and that you will get a sweet baby soon.

Kara said...

Aw man, I am so sorry to hear this Jessah! IVF is such an emotional roller coaster. I had a super slow response and was almost cancelled after 4 days of sitms. However, my RE tripled my dosage of meds, and after 13 days of stims (and tons of money in re-ordering of meds), we finally had more than a couple follicles. We only ended up with 5 mature eggs (not many for my age - 32) and only 3 fertilized. We were pretty discouraged with those numbers. Not the way we had wanted or planned the cycle to go at all. We transferred all 3 (not our original plan) and luckily one of them stuck.

I am praying for your next cycle. I will pray that you will respond perfectly and get lots of beatiful follies. Remember to focus on quality over quantity. It only takes one!

Hugs,
Kara
www.waitingonbabyb.wordpress.com

suzanne said...

Hi Jessah! I'm just checking out your blog for the first time and this post just hurt my heart. I'm so sorry that you went through all of those meds only to have to cancel. I totally get how devastating that must feel. DOR has been a tough diagnosis for me to accept, but it is what it is and I just have to figure out how to get our baby from the cards we've been dealt. I hope that your AMH results come back great and that won't be a concern for you and this set back was a one time thing. Best of luck and big hugs to you.

Suzanne
www.hope4babybump.blogspot.com

Amber said...

Oh Jessah, I have been there. Lupron is very powerful and can definitely oversuppress the ovaries where there wouldn't have been a problem otherwise. If you're worried about the birth control pill doing the same thing, ask about an estrogen priming protocol: this will help things grow evenly. In the meantime, the Pismo Beach pics are gorgeous. Take good care of yourself and rejuvenate your strength and resolve <3

Blogging tips