Monthly Archives: September 2012

Ironman Weekend

Now for a post not dealing with infertility….

I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that E was getting ready to participate in his first I.ronman. He did a half I.ronman a few years ago when we were stationed in AZ, but this race was a different kind of challenge to take on.

When he came home from deployment, he was a little heavier than he’s used to and set out to find something to train for. He came across an I.ronman here in NC, but he would be right in the middle of unit training. The closest race that he would be able to participate in was in KY.

Training began in the middle of February. Every week, E ran, swam, and biked. As the weeks passed, the time spent on training increased. As much I missed him on the weekends, I knew the training was important. During the race, he would end up swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles.

After months and months of training, race weekend was finally upon us. We split our drive up to KY into 2 drives since I just had my FET 2 days prior to leaving. We stopped in Knoxville, TN and had some great barbeque. The following day, we reached KY. We checked in at the athletes’ convention and bought some I.ronman gear. We attended the welcome banquet and checked out some local restaurants and attractions before race day. On Saturday, we had some amazing sandwiches at a grilled cheese restaurant and enjoyed organic cupcakes for dessert.

(Grilled cheese anyone?)
(Best chocolate cupcakes ever!)

Sunday morning came quickly. We were up at 4 AM and arrived at the race site around 5 AM. E dropped off his bike and his gear in the transition area and we started on the 1 mile walk to the swim start. The pro athletes started the race around 7:00 and the amateur athletes started shortly after. Since there were so many participants, E didn’t get in the water until about 7:30.

(That’s E in the green cap)
(Watching the sun rise over the Ohio River)
(One of the many bridges)

Even though I didn’t stay out and watch too much of the race, I did manage to see E at the end of every event. His times were impressive for his first time competing! He finished the swim in an hour and 12 minutes, finished the bike in 6 hours and 22 minutes, and finished the run in 4 hours and 50 minutes. His total time was 12 hours and 49 minutes. His goal was to finish the race in under 13 hours, so he did a great job!

(Finishing the swim)
(Finishing up the bike)
(Headed out on the run)
(Getting ready to cross the finish line)

He looked strong as he crossed the finish line, but had some problems walking after sitting down. We headed over to the medical tent and he was given an IV and a bag of fluid. He was craving fast food on the way back to the hotel, so at almost 11 PM, we grabbed some burgers and fries. We both collapsed around midnight and headed home the next morning.

(E – you are an I.ronman!)
What a whirlwind of a weekend! I’m so proud of E for setting a goal and accomplishing it. Even though he said at the end of the race that he never wanted to compete in an I.ronman again, he’s changed his mind and is already looking for another race. I would love to compete in a triathlon one day, but never an I.ronman. I’ll leave that to my professional athlete 🙂 
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What Now?

As you all know, our FET cycle failed and there are no embryos left. Where do we go from here?

E and I met with Dr. P. last Monday for a follow-up meeting. My biggest question that we had was regarding egg quality. Dr. P. doesn’t believe that there is an egg quality issue at all especially since 9 out of our 11 eggs fertilized during our IVF cycle. 
All of the tests that could be done, have been done already. 
The next IVF cycle isn’t scheduled until January. 
Our decisions now include: whether or not to go forward with another IVF cycle, whether or not we should try any other treatments while we’re waiting on said IVF cycle, and whether or not to just stop treatments and continue pursuing adoption. 
Right now, I’m at the point where I’m not ready to give up on having our own biological children. I know I said that we would only do one IVF cycle, but the thought of giving up right now hurts so much. We’re on the list for the January cycle, even though we do have the chance to change our minds if we choose to. 
We talked about doing one or two more injectible cycles before preparing for IVF. I don’t know if we’ll go down the IUI route or just do it the old-fashioned way with the help of my good friends, G.onal-F, M.enopur, and a trigger shot. Dr. P. asked if we wanted to do a medicated cycle this month, but I declined. I don’t think my heart is ready for another potential failure at this point. 
Since E is away for work for half of October, we probably won’t have an opportunity to do another cycle until the end of October/beginning of November. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see where we both are emotionally and mentally when the time comes. 

Another Failure

I found this afternoon that FET #1 was a officially a failure.

My first beta was actually last Thursday due to the 4 day military holiday even though it was 2 days earlier than it should have been. My HCG level came back at a 1.3 and my progesterone came back at a 22, which is by far the highest it’s been on any treatment cycle. Because of the higher progesterone number, my RE believed that there was a chance of late implantation. I was told to start testing on Saturday morning since my next beta wouldn’t be until Tuesday morning.

Saturday morning came and I tested. Only one line. I tested on Sunday. Only one line. I tested on Monday. Still only one line. I didn’t even bother to test this morning.

People kept telling me to stay positive and hopeful, but deep down I knew that my body had failed us once again. The nausea and headaches that I had felt last weekend had disappeared. My boobs only slightly hurt thanks to the massive amount of hormones surging through my body.

I went in for my blood draw this morning and waited. The phone rang around noon and my nurse delivered the news that I was anticipated. Not pregnant. My HCG levels dropped to below 0.5. I was told to stop my meds and that she was very sorry that this wasn’t our time. I wondered how many times I had received that same call. The 10th time. This was the 10th monitored cycle that was unsuccessful.

I told my nurse that I wanted to make a follow-up appointment with Dr. P. to find out his thoughts and opinions on whether or not we should go through with more treatments.

Right now I’m on the fence. Do we try IUI again while we wait until the next IVF cycle in January? Do we pursue more testing? Do we just wait until January rolls around and do IVF again? Do we stop treatments all together and continue on the road to domestic infant adoption?

I’m scared to try anything else because I’m scared of the heartbreak. We’ve been dealing with infertility now for 4 and a half years. All we have to show for these past 4 and half years are 2 angel babies, 10 extra pounds, over $10,000 spent, and an endless amount of tears and emotional pain. We also lost 8 embryos in a matter of 4 months.

I’m lost. I’m devastated. I’m furious. I don’t know what to do. My heart is broken and I don’t know how to put it back together.