Our Journey to Baby

There are 2 parts in this section, the first is Our Story, which is the long (and I do mean long), more detailed version of what has happened so far in our infertility journey. The second is Our Timeline, which is just that, a timeline. It's basically a dated summary of everything since we started trying to conceive. I went ahead and provided a key for all of the acronyms that I used. (The world of infertility and trying to conceive has it's own language. So hopefully the key will help those of you who aren't quite familiar with it. :D) Also, if you ever have any questions or are going through something similar, I'm completely open to talking about any of it. Don't be shy, ask away!

Our Story
        When Eric and I got married, we had decided to wait at least 1 year before we started to have children, so we could have time to be together and just enjoy newlywed life. When I found out my sister wanted to have her second (and last) baby, we decided to start trying (even though we had only been married about 7 months, so it was May/June 2010) because I really wanted to be pregnant with her and have a baby at the around the same time as her. Since women in my family generally get pregnant if their husband looks at them the right way, we figured it wouldn't take long once we started trying.
        The first couple of months that we got negative pregnancy tests, I just figured it was because I had my IUD taken out and they said it'd take a little while for my cycle to return to normal. When I raised my concern with my mom, she said its normal for it to take around 6 months or so to get pregnant, so I just figured I needed to be patient. Around 8 or 9 months of trying, I was starting to get a little discouraged. My sister had had her baby and I still wasn't even pregnant yet. I knew that, in order to see a fertility specialist, we had to have been trying for one year. My sister-in-law saw a business card for a fertility specialist when she was at her OBGYN's office and passed the info along to me. I was so excited when I was able to call and get an appointment right around the 11 month mark. (This was about May 2011) It felt good to finally be moving forward and doing something other than sitting around waiting. 
        We went to see our fertility doc (Dr. P) and the first appointment was basically a chance for him to talk to us about ourselves and a little about what our options were. (May 2011) One of the first things the Dr. P had said to us was, "Wow, you guys are so young. Why are you even here?" I wasn't really sure how to answer that, but I was not very happy he was judging us for wanting to start a family, even if we were young. Eric had a semen analysis done and I had blood work done, both prior to the appointment so he went over the information from those tests. My blood work came back normal, but Eric's report showed low count, motility, and volume. So MFI or Male Factor Infertility was our diagnosis from that first appointment. After a few more snarky remarks from Dr. P, he said he wanted to send Eric to a urologist (an urologist? "a" sounds much better) for further tests to see if there was any particular cause of the low numbers. 
        After a number of tests at the urologist, he concluded that there was no particular cause of the low counts. (Sometimes if there is a blockage or they find another reason, they can perform minor surgery to help improve the quality, count, and volume.) We were glad that Eric wouldn't need surgery or anything, but it would have been nice to have a more concise answer and solution. So back to Dr. P we went. . . Only, when I called to schedule an appointment, they asked me if I wanted an appointment with Dr. P, or his new associate, Dr. A. (Dr. A had joined the practice right after our first appt with Dr P and I was looking forward to seeing someone else after that first appointment.) Can you guess who I chose? :) (This was about September 2011)
        Let me tell you about Dr. A, first of all. He just joined Dr. P's practice from doing a fellowship at a Mayo Clinic in the midwest. He grew up in the valley so he and his wife ended up coming back here after he finished school, residency, and his fellowship. (He and his wife have been together since their sophomore year in high school- precious, right?) He got into the fertility field because of some friends they had in high school were married also and were trying to start their family. They tried for years and couldn't get pregnant, and couldn't afford fertility treatments. Dr. A said he felt such sadness and frustration for them because he knew that having a family was so important to them, especially being LDS, since family is so important in the church. (*side note- Dr. A isn't LDS, but he said almost all of his friends in HS were and alot of his friends now are, and he often gets asked if he is LDS, we even wondered ourselves the first few times we met with him. Okay, end of side note.) So he thought it was so ridiculous that these wonderful people, who would be awesome parents, couldn't have a baby because of money issues. Soooo he decided he wanted to get into the field and hopefully be able to, one day, start his own practice where fertility treatments would be more affordable. Along the way through schooling and everything, Dr. A and his wife started trying to get pregnant and realized they had some fertility issues themselves. He had no idea going into the field that he would be able to relate so well with his patients, since he has been through it himself. He and his wife have a set of twins girls that are 5 now (yay!) that they conceived via IVF. They've been trying to get pregnant since then and actually conceived another set of twins (yay again!) via IVF earlier this year. I'm so happy for them! And it is wonderful to have doctor that can relate personally, especially in such a sensitive field. Also, one thing he said when he first met us is that he wishes he and his wife knew sooner they had some issues, so he's happy for us starting so young. Such a huge relief to not feel judged- let me tell ya! Anywho- we absolutely love Dr. A. He has been such a tremendous blessing in this process and we would highly recommend him to anyone struggling with infertility! I just had to put in a section about him so you can understand more about him and why we love and appreciate him so much. Okay, back to our story!
        Meeting with Dr. A and going over all of the test results that we had, he suggested we try an IUI (Intra-uterine Insemination) while being medicated with Clomid. Basically what an IUI is, is when they take the sperm and place it right in the uterus via a syringe. The Clomid is medicine that helps produce more eggs so you have a better chance of a sperm meeting up with one. Because there are more eggs being made, sometimes this results in multiple babies, generally twins.
        When going forward with actual treatments, we (okay, mostly me) decided to kind of keep it hush hush for a few different reasons. As selfish or silly they may sound to someone else, it was just how I felt. First, I didn't want to have to keep telling everyone "No, not this month" or "No, still not pregnant." I felt if people knew exactly when our cycles were, they would ask questions or want updates and I'd have so many people to keep up to date, and so many people to have to repeat the words "No, not yet" to. When struggling with infertility, it's hard enough seeing "not pregnant" yourself each month and having to tell your spouse- I didn't want to add to the number of people I had to tell, if that makes sense. Okay reason number two, if I did get pregnant, I didn't want anyone to know right away, just in case it didn't stick, and because I wanted to be able to surprise everyone in my own time, and in my own way. So if everyone knew when we were doing a treatment, they'd know that we would know + or - within a couple weeks and be expecting an answer, meaning I'd either have to lie, or tell them that early. Like I said, my reasons were selfish but it was what I decided. This included not telling family, as well as friends and others. There were a couple people who did know, but I really tried to keep it under wraps. If anyone was offended by this, I do apologize. I know some whose feelings were hurt, but that wasn't my intention. I did struggle with the decision because of my reasons, but I also knew that if people did know, that would mean that many more prayers and support for us, which is why I ultimately ended up telling our family during our last cycle we did. And it is also why I am putting all of this on my blog. I'm okay with questions and talking about it now, and I'm okay with telling people everything we have done so far. We truly appreciate everyone's support and prayers on our behalf, and I ask that you keep them coming! . . .Alright, now to the good stuff.
        So we did our first IUI cycle in October 2011. I remember taking the Clomid and feeling a little icky, but not too bad. Unfortunately it started my transformation into Brenley, the crazy, raging, bi-polar whackadoodle that I become on fertility medications- more to come on this later! So I actually don't remember too many details about this first cycle, but I do remember that we felt like, "Okay, this is it! We're about to get pregnant!" . . .Oh, little did we know. When I went into the room, the nurse said, "Undress from the waist down, cover up with that sheet, and the doctor will be right in." (This has become an all too familiar phrase, and I joke with Eric about how I drop my pants for our doctor almost as much I do for him! Haha okay, a little mean- but funny nonetheless!) The actual procedure was a little more painful than I anticipated but I just kept my mind focused on the stubborn little Duncan babies in Heaven. After an extremely long two weeks, we found out that it hadn't worked, and my womb was, in fact, still empty. On to try 2 we went! We didn't really plan on taking a break for November, but my cycle was going to fall the week of mine and Eric's anniversary and we had a trip planned so we decided we'd skip November and take a short, one month break.
        Try 2 (December 2011) was a little more interesting because it ended up being the same weekend as one of my best friend's weddings, which I was in! (Now the thing about fertility treatments is, you can't exactly schedule them yourself. Your body is in charge and so many times, you don't even know when the treatment will be until a couple days before, and even sometimes the day of! So if you have other obligations and have to cancel your cycle, you have to wait an entire month to start again.) I just decided I'd be able to do both! Yes, I'm completely crazy. So I drove from the valley to Holbrook on Friday afternoon for the rehearsal dinner and then woke up at the butt-crack of dawn and drove back to the valley to make it to the clinic by 9:00am, got the IUI done, waited the 30 minutes I had to lay on the table, drove back up to Holbrook to get ready for the wedding, which I was almost late for. I missed half of the pictures, but hey, I didn't miss the most important part! I did inform my friend, since it was her wedding and all, and she, of course, was understanding and so wonderful about the whole situation. A couple of weeks later, we found out it was, once again, negative. During IUI Try 2, Dr. A suggested we get on the wait list for IVF, just in case it didn't work. The wait was initially until the end of April, which was 4 months away. Yikes, right? I was glad he suggested putting us on because I didn't even know there was a wait list.
        Try 3 (January 2012) I honestly don't remember much of. We knew the odds weren't exactly in our favor but we wanted to try one more time since our insurance covered it and we couldn't do IVF any sooner anyway. So we went through the same steps and were not so surprised when we saw the unfortunately familiar negative. After finding out IUI #3 didn't work, Dr. A, being the rockstar that he is, called and asked us if we wanted to be placed in the mid-March cycle for IVF since someone else cancelled. (Yippee!!) Now the date that you're actually given (i.e. March 10th, for us) is kind of in the middle of your actual IVF cycle if you count the birth control pills, so we had to go in right away to get our plan set up as I was only days away from missing our chance for that date. So now we get to the really exciting stuff- in.vitro.freaking.fertilization. 
        IVF #1: (Feb/March 2012) After Aunt Flow came when our IUI #3 failed, we went to Dr. A and he gaves us all of the papers for IVF, and prescribed me the birth control pills I needed to start taking. (You may be thinking, why birth control pills? Isn't that opposite of what we are wanting to do? Don't worry, I thought the same thing!) Basically the birth control helps the dr control my cycle and keeps my eggs suppressed. So for about a month I took birth control pills and during that time we got our calendar for all of our other medications. The birth control was a new experience for me because the IUD I had used didn't have that many hormones in it, and BC pills definitely do. I was kinda moody and emotional, but nothing I couldn't handle. . . nothing like the other meds! After a month or so of the BC pills, I had to start my injections. (YIKES. I have *eh hem* had a needle phobia.) So I had to inject Lupron (like you really care what all of my medications are called, but like I said, I'm wanting this documented more for me ;)) in the morning for a week or so, and then I had to add a Menopur shot in the morning as well, and a Follistim at night. All of these shots go in my tummy and are supposed to be perfectly timed. (The shots were to stimulate my egg follicles so that multiple eggs grow at once, rather than just one egg, like with a normal menstrual cycle.) Eric was the one that did my shots for me (for each IUI there was one shot we took 1 day before the actual procedure, so up until this point, I had had only 3 shots.) because I was chicken. Who wants to stab themselves with a needle?! One day, Eric was gone and I needed one of my shots- I couldn't wait until he came home because they were supposed to be at a specific time- and no one else knew we were even doing IVF so I couldn't have someone else give it to me, so there was only one option left for me. I had to do it myself. At first I thought, "Oh this is no big deal" and then I tried to do it and stood there frozen with the needle a millimeter from my skin. Then I cried. Then I said a prayer. Then I cried some more. Then I finally just did it! (Yay me!) Then I cried some more. Then I prayed again, to say thank you, of course, because there's no way I could have done it on my own. From then on, it wasn't a big deal to do my own shots for some reason and my needle phobia slowly diminished. . . Well not completely, but it's a start. So my 3 shots I did for a couple weeks, and while doing those, every couple of days I had to go to the dr to get my blood drawn and an ultrasound to check the progress of the eggs. After a little while, I ended up having to go in everyday, including Sat/Sun, the entire week before the retrieval to measure the eggs so we could get them out at the exact right time. When the eggs measured the right size, I stopped my shots in the tummy, and got the "trigger" shot in my butt. (Ouch! The needle for the butt shot is about 5 times the length of the belly one. It's probably about this long:
I wish I was exaggerating.) That shot triggered the eggs to ovulate, so they could take them out in the retrieval.
        The retrieval I was a little nervous about, just because I wasn't sure what to expect and and I don't exactly do well under anesthesia. (I'm a little umm. . . inappropriate? Maybe Eric can blog that experience ha!) I went in on an empty stomach, changed into a hospital gown, naked butt and all, put on booties and a hat, and the anesthesiologist came in to get me hooked up to an IV. They wheeled me in to the actual surgery room, which was cold and dark, and then I remember telling the anesthesiologist to make sure I was completely out, and then I was out. Obviously I don't remember any of what actually happened, but I can summarize what happens in the retrieval for you. Basically, they go in with a special needle and syringe, stab through the wall of my va-jay-jay and into the ovary, and suck up all of the eggs from that ovary and then deposit the eggs into their container and go in and do the other side. I actually had 31 eggs retrieved that first time. Thats actually about 2 years and 7 months of periods of eggs, to put it in perspective. Yeah, its alot. They usually hope for between 8-10 eggs in each ovary. Because I had so many, they said I had about 6 stabs in my you.know.what, which explained the pain I woke up in. Waking up from the anesthesia, I don't remember everything. Eric said I was like bawling and said it hurt so bad, so they gave me more pain medicine and I fell back asleep. When I actually woke up, which I didn't remember either, Eric said I asked the nurse if I peed on Dr. A while he was doing the retrieval. I do, in fact, remember being concerned about that before I was put under anesthesia so that explains why I asked. He said I also told Dr. A over and over that I loved him, which is also true haha but I love him in a "I really appreciate you so much" kind of way. Eric took me home and put me to bed and I do remember waking up the next day. Man that crap hurt. I can't even explain the type of pain it was. I couldn't sit up all the way, peeing hurt, laughing hurt, sneezing made me cry, walking hurt, basically everything just hurt so bad. And I wasn't allowed to take a bath, which is all I wanted to do. I also had to get shots in my butt, again, but with progesterone oil, so the needle was the same length as the other long one, only thicker since it had to push oil through. The oil was to help thicken the wall of my uterus so the babies could snuggle in. (I had to have one of those suckers every night until we got the blood pregnancy test.) (*One funny note about the PIO(progesterone in oil) shots is that I absolutely could not give one to myself, even if I was alone. I physically couldn't reach and they hurt so bad I'd mess it up even if i could reach. . . So of course, one night Eric had class and I needed a shot, so I ended up calling Eric's sister, Laura who is a nurse, and told her I needed her to give me a shot in my butt. Haha it was a funny situation and obviously I had to explain everything to her so she understood what was happening and why she had to give me such an awkward shot. Okay, end of side note.) Generally the lab calls the morning after the ultrasound and tells you how many fertilized and all that good stuff, so they called and told us of the 31 retrieved, 24 were the right size to use, and of those 24, 21 actually fertilized, which is an AWESOME number. Many people have less than 10 that even fertilize, so we were thrilled. 3 days after the retrieval is when they look at the embryos and grade them, and the embryologist, Dr. A, and us decide if we are going to do a 3-day transfer or a 5-day transfer. (The difference is that, 5-day embryos are called Blasts and they are alot stronger and more likely to implant and result in a successful pregnancy because you can pick the best out of them, 3-day embryos are a little less developed and may not have as good as a chance because you can't exactly tell which ones are the strongest) We had 6 A's, 6 B's, and the rest were C's and below, so everyone agreed to wait for the 5-day transfer, and we were all really confident that it was going to work and we'd even have a few left to freeze to use for future babies.
        Eric had to work and couldn't get off, so my dad ended up coming with me for the transfer. When we went in for the transfer on day 5, Dr. A said that he was really sorry, but most of our embryos didn't survive and there were only 2 that made it to blasts, but they were poor grades, and a few others were low grade morulas (which means they weren't quite blasts but still alive and kinda growing). He said he wanted to put in the better looking blast and one of the better looking morulas. So I got in the hospital gown again and was giving a couple Valium to relax all of my muscles and then once again was in the surgery room. The transfer was actually pretty cool to watch. I got to be awake for it and my dad got to come in and watch too. (He was by my head so he didn't see any of my bid-ness down there.) We got to watch the transfer on the ultrasound machine and they printed out a little picture of where the embabies were and then I had to stay and lay down for an hour. They sent us home with some instructions on what to and what not to do and we started the dreaded two week wait. . . . . . Fast forward two weeks and we went in for a blood test. I already had a feeling it was negative, and I didn't really have my hopes up. To be honest, Eric gave me a blessing right before we went in for the retrieval and I knew at that time it wasn't going to work, but I felt peace and comfort and encouragement to do the cycle anyway. So when Dr. A called a couple hours later, I already knew what he was going to say. Yep, big fat Negative. He said on the phone that he thought it was a fluke and there was no way it shouldn't have worked for us and that he wanted to try again. And being the wonderful person that he is, Dr. A said he would put us into the next cycle, even if there wasn't room, he'd make it work. So that meant we wouldn't have to wait another 4 months or whatever. We checked with the insurance company and it ended up working out so that we didn't have to pay a hefty amount to be able to do it again. (If you've never looked up the cost of IVF, let me tell ya, it generally costs between $10,000-$16,000 PLUS another $3,000 or so for the meds, and this is PER CYCLE.) Who can afford that? We certainly could not, but we were so very blessed between insurance and other wonderful, tender mercies from the Lord and others, that we were able to do IVF #2.
        IVF #2: (April/May 2012) I'll skip all the details about the BC Pills and the shots, since it was basically the same as the first IVF, only easier and I knew what to expect. We did the dosage for the medication a little different this time, to see if it made a difference, but other than that everything went basically the same. I also got a blessing from Eric again this time, multiple in fact, and both of us felt really good about this cycle, and I truly thought it was going to work. I don't really have any funny or interesting experiences to share from everything pre-retrieval so we'll just go on to that part. (I promise this incredibly long story is almost over. . . for now!) So the retrieval for IVF#2 went well, I was a little nervous about the anesthesia again, but tried to have a clear mind so that I wouldn't be so inappropriate. I figured, if I wasn't thinking about anything before going under, maybe I wouldn't say anything crazy! After the retrieval they told Eric they got 17 eggs out this time, which Dr. A was happy about. (With the change is doses for the meds, Dr. A was thinking quality over quantity, so he was hoping for less.) Again, I don't remember the rest of that day, and when I woke up the next day, it really wasn't that painful. I think I only had 2 pokes in my hoo-ha that time since there were less eggs, so it was way less painful. The lab called and said 11 were fertilized and we scheduled our day 3 appointment to see if we'd do the 3-day or 5-day transfer. Now before we even did the retrieval, we were thinking about our state trip to New York that we had planned and paid for in February. It was planned for the last week in May and it seemed that our IVF transfer would fall that week as well so I was concerned either we weren't going to get to go to New York and would have wasted all of that money or we would have to just decide to do a 3 day transfer so that we could go, and that could potentially mean we'd have less chance. I was trying not to stress about it but I couldn't really help it. The day 3 appointment was Monday, and our plane to New York was leaving Tuesday night. Before we got to the appointment I had decided I'd give up our trip to New York for a chance to get pregnant, if the dr recommended a 5-day transfer.
        When we got into our appointment, Dr. A had a grim look on his face. My stomach instantly dropped, and I knew it wasn't good news. Eric's mom came with us this time, since she was in town and I had said if we did a 3-day then she'd be welcome to watch. The first thing Dr. A said was that we were doing the transfer that day for sure. Then he proceeded to tell us that all 11 embryos were C's or below. He also said he wanted to transfer 3, if I thought that was alright. I was so ecstatic! I had been thinking for the past couple of weeks that I wanted to ask him to put in three but I knew it was a ridiculous question. With someone under 30, the recommend putting back 1 maybe 2 embryos, and 3 was basically out of the question. Dr. A said he would feel comfortable doing 3 with what happened last time and he truly wanted us to get pregnant. He thought we maybe would even have a good chance for twins doing the 3 embryos. I told him I would absolutely love 3 transferred and so we went in to the patient prep area, I got into the hospital gown again, took my Valium, and sat and waited for it to kick in. While I was sitting there, Eric, his mom, and I were talking about how I've kept everyone in the dark and how nice it would be to have everyone's prayers. I decided (or the drugged up version of me decided) that I'd text all of our immediate family and ask them to pray for us and gave a very brief explanation of what was going on, barely realizing that would mean I;d have plenty of questions coming, since no one even knew we were doing something as huge as IVF, let alone for the second time. Shortly following the text I sent, I got wheeled into the surgery room, once again. Dr. A let both Eric and my mother in law in there, which was so nice of him since usually only one person is allowed in. I was so happy to have them both there, and for Eric especially since he wasn't able to come the first time. I had such a wonderful feeling about the three embryos being placed in my uterus. I was so sure it was going to work and I'd have one, possibly two, babies start to grow. After the transfer, I stayed laying down for the hour I was supposed to and just I felt such a peace and a comfort like everything was working out the way it should. Then began the dreaded, what seemed eternal, two week wait. We did go to New York for 5 days, so that was a nice break from everything. I welcomed the distraction. It was hard because I wanted to do so much, but I also knew I needed to be careful and cautious with my body. I asked Eric for blessings periodically, and always felt the same peace and comfort. I decided a few days before our blood pregnancy test I would take a HPT just to see, and my heart sunk as I saw the negative sign. I took one more the next day, only to see a negative again so I knew that it failed once again. When we went in for the blood test, I asked the nurse if she's ever had anyone get a positive on the bloodwork even after getting negative on a HPT the day before. She said she never has, but thinks it has happened once or twice total at the clinic, so needless to say, my hopes were not high. They called a few hours with the negative and I was much sadder this time than I was the first time. I completely felt it would work, so I wasn't expecting to see or hear negative at all that weekend.
        The next week (mid June 2012), we went in to talk to Dr. A and he said he was so sad for us and has been looking over my chart to see what we could do differently. He said with having my eggs act the same for both the first and second IVF, he knew there had to be an egg issue as well. He did think the first was a fluke, but with a worse outcome the second time, he said my eggs are probably poor quality. Dr. A said the weirdest thing is, my body and eggs react to the medications and everything as someone with PCOS but I don't have any other symptoms to be able to be diagnosed with actual PCOS.
        This brings me to what I'm currently doing. Dr. A said he wanted to try putting me on the medication, Metformin, he recommends to patient's with PCOS for 3 months. Metformin helps improve the quality of their eggs, and he's hoping it will do the same for mine. He also put me on a diet and said I should try to lose 20-30lb, and he's thinking the combination of the medicine and the weight loss will help my little eggies and the next IVF we do (whenever we can figure out how we'll pay for that) will end in a positive. So I'm dieting and taking my medicine and the weight is slowly but surely coming off. The fertility medications I was taking caused me to gain weight and I wasn't able to exercise because I couldn't have my ovaries bouncing around, so I was very frustrated at how I both looked and felt. I'd give up being skinny for being a mom any day, but I am truly grateful for this break from fertility treatments to have a chance to get back to a healthy weight and to be happier with myself. So even though the waiting is hard, I know in the end it will be worth it and I'll feel way better about myself. (Although I'm pretty embarrassed about it, I included my weight statistics in the timeline for documentation purposes and to see how far I've come. I can't even believe I was that big. . .)
       So I lost 30lb and we proceeded to do IVF #3 starting stims on 11/24/12. Our retrieval was on 12/7/12 with a 3 day transfer on 12/10/12. I ended up taking home pregnancy tests which all came out to negative, with our beta on 12/22/12 also coming out negative. With this IVF I really felt I did all that I could to give us the best possible chance of getting pregnant. I lost the weight I needed, I took medicine that would potentially improve the quality of my eggs, I got acupuncture, I ate pineapple core, I wore socks, we had absolutely zero sex, and it still didn't work. So we've decided to move on from treatments and pursue some of our other goals. We definitely are not giving up on having a baby, whether biologically or through adoption, but we will cross that bridge (meaning start treatments again or start the adoption process or both) when we feel we're ready.
       For now, that's our story! :)

UPDATE!! We have been certified to adopt!! Please visit our FB page, Adoption Blog, and our Adoption Profile!! :)

Our FB Page:

Our Adoption Blog:

Our Adoption Profile:

Our Timeline
Key For Fertility Lingo: (in order of appearance ;))
PCOS- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
MFI- Male Factor Infertility
TTC- Trying to Conceive
RE- Reproductive Endocrinologist (Fertility Dr) 
BW- Blood Work
SA- Semen Analysis
IUI- Intra-uterine Insemination
BFN- Big Fat Negative
BFP- Big Fat Positive
IVF- In Vetro Fertilization
ER- Egg Retrieval
ET- Embryo Transfer
ICSI- Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (Sperm actually injected into egg)
AF- Aunt Flow (period)
CD1- Cycle Day One (or whatever number of your menstrual cycle you are on)
HPT- Home Pregnancy Test
POAS- Pee On A Stick
FRER- First Response Early Response (type of HPT)

Me (22) – poor egg quality and my body reacts to meds as if I have PCOS, even though I don’t actually have it.
Eric (24) - MFI- low count, motility, and volume

11/2009 - Married
06/2010 – Marina IUD Removed/Started TTC
06/2010-05/2011 BFN every month
05/2011 – First visit to RE
06/2011 – BW/SA (low count/motility) Dr wanted to see if there was any blockage/any reason behind low counts so sent us to Urologist
07-09/2011 – Tests with Urologist – no blockage, or specific reason for low counts, back to RE we go.
10/2011 – IUI w/ Clomid #1 – BFN 
12/2011 – IUI w/ Clomid #2 – BFN 
01/2012 – IUI w/ Clomid #3 – BFN 
03/2012 – IVF w/ICSI #1 – Day 5 Transfer with 1 grade C blast, one grade C morula BFN (31 eggs retrieved, 24
     mature, 21 fertilized with ICSI, on day 3 grades were 3A's, 6B's, the rest C and below. Only 1 made it to low  
     grade blast on day 5, the rest didn't make it. None made it to freeze)
05/2012 – IVF #2 w/ICSI – Day 3 Transfer with 3 grade C embryos
   05/25 - ER - 17 eggs, 11 fertilized with ICSI
   05/28 - ET - 3 grade C embryos - everything was C and below
   05/30 - Found out no embryos survived to be frozen
   06/06 - 9dp3dt POAS with FRER BFN
   06/09 - First Beta BFN
06/13/2012 – Started Metformin – ER decided since my body seemed to react to meds in IVF like someone with PCOS, so he wants to try Metformin for 3 months to see if my egg quality improves and also on a diet to see if I can lose 20-30lb to see if that would help as well.
                  June Starting Weight: 189lb (gag.)
                  6/12 – 183.6 (-5.4lb)
                  6/17 – 178 ( -5.6lb)
                  6/27 – 180 ( +2lb – started p90x, so muscle maybe?)
                  7/1 – 177.2 ( -2.8lb)
                  7/8 – 175.4 ( -1.8lb)
                  7/15 – 173.6 (-1.8lb)
                  7/22 – 171.6 (-2lb)
                  7/29 – 169.8 (-1.8lb)
                  8/5 – 169.6 (-0.2lb - boo. hard week.) 
                  8/12 – 167.8 (-1.8lb-what is up with the 1.8s?) 
                  8/19 – 165.2 (-2.6lb - thats more like it!)
                  9/17 - 160.2 (-5lb - I'm missing a few weeks in here. Oh well.)
                  9/23 - 159.8 (-.4lb - into the 150's! woohoo!)   [Total Loss= 29.2 lbs]

06/13/2012 – AF, CD1
07/13/2012 - AF, CD1
08/12/2012 - AF, CD1
09/12/2012 - AF, CD1
10/11/2012 - AF, CD1
10/30/2012 - AF, CD1
11/24/2012 - AF, CD1

12/2012- IVF #3 w/ ICSI- Day 3 Transfer with 1 A, 1 B, 1 C embryos - Antagonist Protocol
   11/24- Start stims
   12/07 - ER - 21 eggs, 18 fertilized with ICSI
   12/10 - ET - 1 A, 1 B, 1 C transferred, everything else was C and below
   12/12 - Found out none of the remaining embryos were viable to be frozen
   12/19 - 9.5dp3dt POAS = BFN
   12/20 - 10dp3dt POAS = BFN
   12/21 - 11dp3dt POAS = BFN
   12/22 - First Beta = BFN
12/25/2012 - AF, CD1 - Merry Freakin' Christmas! 

01/2013 -We've decided to take a break from treatments for a while



  1. Wow dear, I definitely feel for you.

    We have begun the baby trying process again, For us IUI worked the 1st time and baby 2 came as a surprise, but final baby 3 is challenging us.

    I do have PCOS as well as a curved S shape Fallopian tubes that make it difficult for those little spermys to make it but with lots of prayers and hope we will be blessed again. IUI will be out of the question for us again because of the cost and insurance will not pay for any of it so I have to try and replicate everything naturally and organically. I am also on the metformin and losing weight, but at least I am finally having a regular period, that's a plus for me (I've never had one before Regular that is.)
    I know this in know way makes it easier and you at least didn't have to go through 5 years before someone helped Thank Goodness for Dr A. but at least we can journey on the infertility train together. We have been trying since March and just began the Metformin again in June so maybe we will be blessed with our next baby and we (even though we are not family) can have and be prego together. Sure love you and crossing fingers that your time comes soon(of course I have often prayed for you in the last few months, I didn't know why I just felt like you needed them.)

  2. Dear Brenley,
    Your story has touched my heart. I love your detailed chronology which will be a treasure to many. Your beautiful, jubilant spirit comes through though I haven't seen you for years, and I admire your courage and tenacity. Stay in the fight! Whatever comes it will be worth it.

    Best regards,
    Michele Ward

    1. Thanks so much Michele! Love you and miss you!

  3. I just read through your whole story. I am so sorry to hear all that you've been through. I'm excited to follow along with you on your journey. I'm sending lots of thoughts your way!! I can related to some that you've been through. It's easy to see that you have an amazing spirit and I am rooting for you on this journey!


    1. Hi Amanda! I'm happy to get to know another blogger, especially one that can relate! :) I read briefly over your journey, still trying to back track and read from the beginning ;), and I'm so sorry to hear about your failed FET. :( That is no fun at all! I wish you the best in your journey, I'll be following and supporting you! I think our next cycle will be later this year, so I may not be any fun to follow for a few more months ha.

    2. Thank you so much! You are so sweet. It's so nice to have other people to go through all this mess with! I may not be much fun either for the next several months until we start IVF #2. We can be boring together! :)

  4. Hey Brenley,

    I just read your blog. It's a pretty touching story, especially all of the big needles. I don't really like needles myself. Anyway, Just wanted to tell ya that I admire your strength and your determination. When you see your baby for the first time, you'll know that it was all worth it. Keep your faith in God, and He'll make it happen for you guys. I'm rooting for you and I'll keep ya in my thoughts and prayers. =]