My Story

IVF #1

Posted by Juno on June 01, 2011


After my 7th failed IUI, I was growing desperate.  I was very scared to move on to IVF (surgery?!) but IUIs seemed futile, particularly since my RE didn’t appear concerned about getting to the bottom of what was wrong.  I decided it was time to find a new RE, so I started shopping around.   A friend recommended one RE whom I visited in July.  He wanted to perform something called the Clomid Challenge Test {The clomiphene citrate challenge test (CCCT) provides an additional assessment of ovarian reserve. It is performed by measuring the day 3 FSH and estradiol levels, the patient takes 100 mg of Clomid on cycle days 5-9, and her FSH is measured again on day 10. The test is abnormal if either the day 3 or day 10 FSH values are elevated or if the day 3 estradiol is greater than 80 pg/ml.:}, which involved taking Clomid for five days then checking my FSH levels on Day 3 and Day 10.  That sounded like something that involved running shoes and cross-training, plus it seemed like a colossal waste of time.  I’d already had my FSH measured (which fluctuated between 3 and 9.3); it seemed to me the doctor was just trying to cover his ass if the IVF didn’t work.   A friend of mine had had success through IUI at a different clinic.  She sang the praises of her RE so I decided to give him a call.   I dutifully carried my records to our first office visit in mid-August.  He took one glance and said words that were music to my ears:
“It looks like they missed something.”

His theory was that my first RE didn’t realize that my FSH was low because it was being suppressed by my out-of-whack hormones and that I wasn’t making enough estrogen.  He felt that Gonal-F {Follitropin alfa is a hormone identical to follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) produced by the pituitary gland. FSH helps to develop eggs in the ovaries.:} alone couldn’t correct the issue and that I should use Repronex { REPRONEX is a purified preparation of naturally derived gonadotropins, containing 75 IU follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and 75 IU luteinizing hormone (LH) in a 1:1 ratio. It stimulates eggs to mature in women whose ovaries are basically healthy but are unable to develop eggs. REPRONEX is usually used together with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and is indicated for the development of multiple follicles and ovulation induction following pituitary suppression.:}  as well.  He also exuded confidence and faith that IVF would work for me.  His optimism was contagious.  I liked him instantly and I began to feel like I was in good hands.
He decided to use a protocol that called for being on birth control pills for three weeks before the cycle start.  That didn’t feel right to me but what did I know? 

Then on Day 2:
• 2 amps of Gonal-F in the p.m.
• 2 amps of Repronex in the a.m.

Day 7
• 3 amps of Repronex in the a.m.
• Cetrotide (250 upg/day)

I went in for my retrieval on October 14th.  It went better than I ever expected.   I was not nervous and I had no pain afterwards.  They got five eggs.   Three days later, they transferred three embryos – one 8 cell, one 7 cell and one 6 cell.  The doctor said the transfer went as smoothly as they could have hoped.

During the 2ww my support group buddy kept pestering me to see if I felt any of the twinges that she had, any of the implantation cramping, maybe I’d seen some spotting?  “I got nuthin’,” I told her.  I was still slightly hopeful because I hadn’t had any bleeding until I learned at my support group that my progesterone suppositories were suppressing any period.  I was crestfallen.  I called my doctor to make a follow-up appointment for right after my pregnancy test to figure out what we’d do in the next cycle.  On the day of my beta, I begrudgingly trudged into the laboratory to give blood.  Then I went into the bathroom and cried because I had so hoped this one would work.  Killing time before my appointment, I went to the hospital bakery to drown my sorrows in coffee (with milk!) and a cheddar cheese bagel  (things I hadn’t indulged in for weeks).   Then I went to see my doctor. 

“So what should we do for the next cycle?” I asked. 
“Wait,” he scanned his paperwork for my results, “Was your Beta negative?” 
“I haven’t gotten the results but I’m sure it will be,” I answered.
“Why?  Are you bleeding?” He asked concerned.
“No, but I don’t feel anything.”
He looked relieved.  “That doesn’t matter.  Now we have to wait for the results.  Go home.  I’ll call you as soon as I have them.  And God-willing, (and he crossed himself), I’ll have good news for you.”
My phone rang that afternoon when I was at my desk.  It was my beloved nurse B on the other end. 
“I have good news,” she said, “Your test was positive.  You’re pregnant.”
I was speechless.  “That’s impossible,” I said as I scurried out the door not to be overheard by my officemate.
“Why, are you bleeding?” she asked concerned.
“No, I just can’t believe it.”
“It’s true,” she said.  “Hold on, Dr. G wants to talk to you.”
“Hello My Dear!  Congratulations.”
I laughed and laughed and couldn’t wait to surprise my husband for Halloween.

But three days later the bleeding started.  I was at work.  At first it was just spotting and slight cramping.  And then more.  I called Dr. G who told me to come in for another Beta.  I left work, praying that somehow the bleeding and cramping could have another explanation than the worst.  A few hours later Nurse B called to tell me that my HCG level had actually risen from 396 to 1017.  The doctor was encouraged!  But the bleeding continued.  He assigned me to bed rest for the weekend.  And on Monday, DAY 10, we went in for our first ultrasound.  The technician seemed serious and grim and after five minutes of fishing around said:
“At this point, I don’t see a pregnancy.”