Thursday, December 29, 2011

12 week update

My baby this week: size of a plum

Weight Gain: 1lb. Exercise routine has gotten a bit better. But still room for improvement. I am struggling a bit with this. I lost 12lbs this summer before IVF#1. I put 3 back on with the IVFs and now, I find myself paranoid about gaining too much pregnancy weight. Of course, doing what is best for baby is most important to me, but I do get a bit upset when the scale moves up. I know I need to stop weighing myself almost daily and get over it. I think once I start showing, the weight won't matter to me. 

Baby bump: My stomach is definitely rounding some. I don't need the maternity clothes yet, but probably in a couple of weeks.

Sleep: Light sleeper and waking often to pee. With IJ snoring so much lately, I have actually spent a few nights on the couch this past week. I sleep very well there.

Best moment of the week: Coming out of the pregnancy closet. Our family and friends all know now.

Symptoms: Tired, but not as bad. Hungry often. And I am already having some round ligament pain. It isn't so much painful as it is mild discomfort. A good sign baby is growing!

Food cravings: still french fries and spicy peppers - not good for the heartburn though.

What I miss: nothing really this week. I even ate sushi - one roll was vegetarian and the other was fully cooked shrimp - packaged separately from IJ's raw stuff. I love sushi!

What I am looking forward to: Level 2 US/Gender scan on Feb 14. Happy Valentine's Day!

Milestones: Almost finished with the 1st trimester.

Emotions: Excited. But nervous about the Downs/Trisomy screening next Friday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

11 week update

My baby this week: size of a fig

Weight Gain: 0lbs. Still great but exercise routine has not gotten better. I need to get better with it.

Baby bump: I think it is starting to show a bit. My clothes are definitely tighter but I don't look pregnant, just chubby...lol

Sleep: Restless. If I lay on my right side too much, my left side gets crampy around my uterus. I am trying very hard not to sleep on my stomach. But I still wake up on my back.

Best moment of the week: Buying more maternity clothes. Just basics but it is fun thinking about how the pregnancy will progress.

Symptoms: Fatigue still. I go to bed early. Nausea seems to have subsided again. Indigestion.

Food cravings: still french fries. Problem is, the salt is not good for my blood pressure. This could be an issue since I love salt.

What I miss: not worrying about everything I eat. I also miss being able to have a glass of wine at a Christmas lunch with coworkers.

What I am looking forward to: Looking pregnant.

Milestones: Almost finished with the 1st trimester.

Emotions: I cry at commercials and touching stories on the news.

Friday, December 16, 2011

10 Week update



My Baby This Week: size of a prune


Weight Gain: 0 lbs. Very happy with that but I do need to work exercise into my routine more. I attempted a cardio workout yesterday but I just wasn't feeling well enough.


Baby Bump: Nothing yet really. I feel more fat or bloated than pregnant. My stomach isn't flat to begin with so I am not sure when I will look pregnant.


Sleep: Tired all the time but I wake up a couple times every night. I usually fall back to sleep pretty easily. But falling asleep is getting uncomfortable. I am a stomach sleeper so I have to completely change that habit. It isn't easy!


Best Moment of the Week: Hearing the baby's heartbeat at my appt Monday night. I wasn't expecting it so it was all the more special.


Symptoms: Fatigue! I am constantly tired. I mean, ready to go to bed an hour after I wake up. My nausea was gone for a week but it seems to be back some.


Food Cravings: salty french fries. I haven't given in, but I'd like to!


What I Miss: Sleeping through the night comfortably.


What I'm Looking Forward To: switching to maternity clothes. My clothes still fit, but are starting to feel snug. I am loving my days off when I can wear my sweats.


Weekly Wisdom: Pregnancy is a lot more uncomfortable than I thought it would be this early on. But it is all part of the process and not something to be scared of.


Milestones: Strong heartbeat heard.


Emotions: excitement, disbelief, and all over the page

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A pleasant surprise

Last night at my appointment with the midwife, I got to hear the baby's heartbeat. I had no idea she would even try to find it. It was tough to find at first and I admit I got a bit nervous. But then, suddenly, there it was. A strong 168 beats per minute. I felt badly the IJ didn't get to hear it. The midwife grabbed my purse for me so I could try to record it on my phone but I guess the baby moved so we couldn't find it again.

After that, I had to get some basic "girl tests" done. It seems my retroverted uterus is even more retroverted now that baby is on board. I have never had that much pain during a basic pap. Otherwise, the appointment was fine, lots of questions about medical history and talk about my hypertension. I am right on the border of it being too high for pregnancy. I knew as soon as that BFP came in that my medication would be at least doubled. So I need to talk to my own doctor about that today.

I also decided on my Downs Syndrome and Trisomy 18 testing. Since I have no intention of aborting (note: this is our personal choice, I am not soap boxing here) I decided not to do the diagnostic testing (Amniocenthesis or CVS). I felt it would be irresponsible of me to not do any testing (note: again, a personal decision for IJ and I) so I decided to go with the sequential screening. It involves bloodwork and an ultrasound in both the first and second trimesters. This way, if there is an issue, we can take some time to understand the situation and research how to best help our baby once he/she arrives. I feel good about the choice. And I am looking forward to another ultrasound of course!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Nausea has left the building...

But exhaustion has moved right in. Yes, I spent much of the weekend either laying on the couch watching tv or sleeping on said couch. I have never been this tired in my life. Otherwise, I am feeling pretty good. I attempted to do some prenatal yoga today. It was a 30 minute program that wasn't very difficult, but it required a lot of yoga props - blankets, blocks - which I didn't have. So that took a bit of the enjoyment out of it. Wednesday night I think I will try one of the other discs - there is a pilates disk and another called prenatal workouts fit and toned. I am not a huge fan of pilates but I am willing to try it. I am very much wanting to keep my pregnancy weight gain in check. Based on my current weight, most of the books/online sites I have read say I should gain 15-25lbs. At 9 weeks 4 days, I up .8lbs. (Based on my pre IVF cycle weight). So far, so good.

My first prenatal visit with my OB practice is tonight. I am meeting with one of the midwives. I don't intend on midwife care for my pregnancy, but this practice always sets up the first appointment with a midwife, I am interested to hear more about what they do exactly. Who knows, I may end up wanting a midwife birth. I really like my OB though. The thing is, I can't really know for sure who will deliver my baby until I get to the hospital in labor. (Unless they end up scheduling a C-section.) I met 1 other doctor at the practice that I really didn't care much for. Hopefully I won't see her much.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2011 Open House

So tonight is my office open house holiday party. I can't seem to get into it this year. Probably because these parties turn into booze-fests and I can't drink. Now, don't get me wrong, I would rather be pregnant and have a healthy baby than to drink a few glasses of free wine tonight (and we happen to be serving my favorite red - Menage a Trois red). Usually, before our party, there is a margarita party on the 6th floor. Fortunately it isn't happening this year. They are some darn good margaritas! So I am (selfishly) glad that is cancelled.

My concern is, I am just not sure how to keep the secret in this sort of situation. I am driving a coworker home so I have the "I am the designated driver" excuse. But even then I would have a glass of wine earlier in the night. I will stick to club soda with cranberry juice so maybe it will look like a cocktail of some sort. In all reality, if I had to "come out" I would be fine with that but I am trying to wait until 12 weeks. Not sure why that number feels any better to me than 8 weeks 5 days does. No matter when I tell, whatever is meant to be is going to be.

On a side note.... I keep buying maternity clothes. I am definitely not needing them yet, but I see a sale and can't help myself. But I was thinking last night that I won't really start showing until about 20 weeks - which is the end of February. Well, I have been buying mostly sweaters and 3/4 sleeve items so I am concerned I have overdone it and won't need that stuff come spring. Spring in New England is hit or miss. The seasons have been blending more and more each year. Eh, who knows! But from now on, no more long sleeve items. Of course I will need plenty of summery stuff though!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

8 Weeks

Today, PB is 8 weeks and is no longer considered to be an embryo. He/she is a fetus.
I haven't really had any nausea today which is great... yet scary at the same time. I have had a bit more cramping than usual today and having just seen PB yesterday, I am not too concerned. But I don't imagine the worry will stop. But isn't that part of being a parent....

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ultrasound #1

Well, PB&J is just PB - one little baby in there. Which I sort of had a feeling it was one. I think IJ was hoping for two but I know he is happy with one. Here are a couple of photos of PB!



Baby J is 16mm, so measuring at 8 weeks exactly. I will be 8 weeks tomorrow so he/she is right on track. Heartbeat was 170bpm. We didn't get to hear it (our tech is "old school" and prefers to use minimal equipment to get the most important info), but we could see it on the screen which was amazing. My due date is confirmed to be July 12, 2012. Everything is looking good. And I was officially cleared to go to the OB. No more RE for me!

There was one minor thing but the RE said not to worry but he had to tell me because it was clear on the US. It seems that as the placenta has been growing, one of the blood vessels must have tried to connect before the placenta was quite grown enough and it caused a bit of blood to leak behind the placenta. (this might sound confusing, the little sketch he drew made me understand it.) So, he said I might have some brown spotting and this would likely be the cause if I do.

The nausea hasn't let up, but no vomiting still so that is a good thing. I am tired and cranky sometimes but overall, I can't really complain.

So next steps are 12/7 - call from a midwife at my OB practice to answer intake questions and then 12/12 I meet with a midwife for my first "normal" appointment. I doubt I will get another US that soon but I would love to be able to hear the heartbeat.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

So much to be thankful for this year - our family, our jobs, our home, the food on our table, and most especially, our pregnancy.

I know that everyone's journey to being a parent is different. And to some, the 18 months we had to wait for our BFP isn't a long time. To others, it is daunting. But to me, I have come to realize it was just right. I can't tell you how I know this, but I can tell you that it is what I believe. I spent a lot of those months being angry, being upset, asking "why me?". But shortly before IVF#2, I became grateful for all I had been through. I have met many wonderful women through this experience and, as with all difficult situations I have had in life, I find that there will be someone that I will be able to help get through a similar experience. And for that, I am also thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Slacking again

I haven't been very good about updating lately. Truth is, there really isn't much going on. I am in a holding pattern until my ultrasound on Nov 30.

Symptom-wise, a little nausea here and there and I am very tired especially around 5pm. My brain is already being affected and I am moody. Very moody actually. Got into a yelling match with my mom last night over some stupid thing. My fuse is shorter than it has ever been. Hoping that goes away soon. Not a good thing when I am trying to stay calm and relaxed. My weight hasn't changed and my clothes are fitting just fine.

I did buy some maternity clothes though. Just because they were on sale and I will need them eventually...not to mention I can't pass up a sale. I got a pair of jeans, 2 pairs of leggings and 4 tops for $90. I also got a halloween onesie for PB&J to wear next year - $3.50. I think I will get a Thanksgiving and a couple of Christmas ones once they go on sale too.

Also, I have been looking in to cloth diapering. There are many different types of cloth diapers. SOme sites/stores will even let you try the products out for a couple of weeks and then decide if you want to buy anything. A friend of mine at work cloth diapers his daughter. They love it. When she was a newborn, they used some disposables too. IJ is very open to the idea so we will at least give it a shot. I have been told it is easier than it seems. I guess we will find out in about 8 or so months.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bye bye PIO!

And the last progesterone intramuscular shot is done! Happy happy day.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ready for the next step!

My beta today was great! It needed to be at least 5500 and it was....7240! The nurse said I can stop taking estrace 2x per day and now take it only 1x per day. I have to do the progesterone shot tonight and tomorrow night but Monday night I switch to suppositories. Thank goodness! My left gluteal muscle has a huge hard lump in it from all the shots. The right side isn't as bad. My U/S will be Saturday November 26th @ 8:30am. I can't wait!!!

I was really hoping my ultrasound would be before Thanksgiving. But, I guess 2 more days won't be too bad. Except it is 2 whole weeks away!

I am thrilled beyond belief. I have been feeling great. Some cramping mostly at night and a little neaseua once in a while but nothing compared to what I had expected. It is still very early and I read morning sickness sometimes kicks in around week 6. So it could be starting soon.

Edited to add: I had to change the date of my ultrasound because IJ has to work on that Saturday. So now we have to wait until Wednesday November 30th. I know it is only 4 more days but it seems so long!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

figuring out a due date

So I have been looking for those due date calculators online and I am getting conflicting info from them. I think doing IVF makes a difference in how it is calculated but I am not sure how it affects the date. A couple have given me July 12, 2012 so I am going with that. I also got July 15 from one of them. Of course if I have twins, it will be more like mid-June. But we will cross that bridge when we get there.

Technically, I am 4 weeks 5 days and into my second month. It sounds so far along considering I was suffering the 2 week wait just a week ago. Of course I have a long way to go.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Beta #2

458! perfect. I go back next Saturday 11/12 for beta #3. Ultrasound will likely be in 3 weeks. I guess they prefer to do them at 7 weeks so we can hear the heartbeat(s). I thought it would be at 6 weeks. I just want to know how many are in there!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's official....

I am pregnant! I can't believe it! The nurse called at about 11:50. I wasn't expecting to hear from them so soon. She said my HCG is 205! Which is pretty high for 14 days after retrieval. Still in shock but thrilled beyond words. Off to the mall to buy baby books!

Nothing a little bacon egg and cheese biscuit can't fix

Oh, and a hash brown too. I never eat that stuff but I do give into any food whim when I am stressed. The beta draw went fine this morning. But it is waiting for the call that gets to me. I will update after the call comes in.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

yummy pizza....

So I treated myself to my favorite pizza today for lunch. Well, less than 2 hours later, I feel sick. Now this could be:

1. bad pizza
2. my nerves about the beta tomorrow, or
3. maybe our embabies (aka: Peanut Butter & Jelly) don't like my favorite pizza.

I am soooo hoping the answer is 3. Although, not sure how I would get through a pregnancy without this pizza. Sal's BBQ chicken pizza - don't knock it 'til you try it! Although I think they are only in the Boston area. Sorry.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

2 more days

UGH this waiting is killing me. Being bored at work is not helping at all. I am reconsidering taking a home test at all before the beta. Originally I was going to take one Thursday morning, then I was thinking maybe tomorrow morning. Now, I don't think I will take one at all before the beta results come in. If the beta is positive, I will probably take one everyday until the ultrasound. I just want to see a positive test!

I am still having roller coaster moments. One minute I am sure it worked, the next sure it didn't. Hope and prayer are getting me though and no matter the result, they will continue to get me through. A glass or 2 of wine will also help if the test is negative.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

8dp2dt

aka: 10dpo, the time when I start to get anxious.

So many waves of hope and discouragement. One minute I am sure this time worked, the next minute I am sure it didn't. Other than a few vivid dreams, I am feeling no symptoms. I had some period type cramping yesterday, but I also had some gas pain so I am not sure which was which and when. I want this so badly. But I am so afraid that I can't have it. Just a few more days of waiting. In less than 96 hours, I will know.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

5DP2DT

or 7 days past ovulation/retrieval.

Feeling all sorts of little things in my body. Tired, hungry, mild cramping and a lot of bloating. Every one of these things could mean something good, or they could mean nothing at all. That is the evil thing about the progesterone shots. (Well besides the constant soreness of the injection sites) The side effects are very similar to pregnancy or an oncoming new cycle. As if the 2 week wait isn't stressful enough.

So today I am halfway through said 2WW and last IVF cycle, I got a call from a nurse at the RE's office to see how I was doing. Nothing this time. Or at least no call as of yet. I guess 2 cycles makes me a pro. ha!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

3dp2dt

Translated is 3 days past 2 day transfer....

Embryo transfer was only 3 days ago and I am bored staying home. I go back to work on Thursday so I have been trying to do a little more each day. I think I overdid it a bit yesterday - my first non all day resting day. I was quilting a queen size quilt so I had to deal with ironing it and trying to maneuver it through the sewing machine. It was heavy and awkward but I just couldn't sit still anymore. I didn't do much else but did spend about 5 hours quilting. I had some cramping and a little brown spotting. I called the doctor's office and the nurse said it was normal and a good sign.

Today I took the dog for a light walk. It felt so nice to actually leave my condo! I made some cookies for IJ and I sewed the trim on the quilt so that I can start the hand sewing today. Now I am relaxing with some lunch.

Still have a little cramping and now I don't want the cramping to stop. I am feeling very different this cycle. Feeling a lot more this cycle which makes sense because I got twice the eggs this time. I am technically 5 days passed ovulation and this is about the time when an embryo (or 2) can implant. So I welcome all of these twinges that are giving me hope. I want this so badly, more than I have admitted to myself previously. I think I have kept questioning if I want this in order to not get let down if it doesn't work. I am not a big fan of disappointment.

So I press on through this awful 2 week wait. But I welcome the awful because at the end, it will be pure joy when I get those positive beta results.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Embabies on board!

Embryo transfer was this morning. We put in "2 excellent embryos". The RE looked back at our report from the last transfer and said these are definitely better. They are both 4 cell and one has very even cells. The other is a little less perfect in cell shape, but still great. We have 2 others that they will continue to grow but they don't look as good. He said if they continue to divide, they will be frozen. He didn't seem hopeful they would make it that far but you never know.

I went into the procedure so guarded. I was afraid to be hopeful, afraid they wouldn't be any better quality than last time. As soon as I was told they were better, my whole mood changed. I pray this is it for us! I have a little cramping here and there but feel good. And finally, I feel hopeful.

The RE also told us that of the 12 eggs they retrieved, 11 were mature but only 4 fertilized. I was so puzzled by this because last time 4 out of 6 fertilized. He said if we do this again, we would need ICSI, a procedure where they inject a single sperm into each egg to aid in fertilization. I wasn't expecting that news at all. I am trying not to think about those other 7 eggs. I need to just believe these 2 are the best of them all anyway.

So in 12 days I will go for my blood test. These next 12 days are going to be emotionally draining. But that sums up IVF doesn't it? An emotional roller coaster.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Report cards

The nurse called a little while ago with my fertilization report. Of the 12 eggs we retrieved, 4 are fertilized. I have no idea what happened to the other 8 - were they immature? did they fertilize and just arrest? or did they not even fertilize? Hopefully we can find out more at the transfer - which is scheduled for tomorrow at 10am. Another 2 day transfer. I am trying not to feel like this cycle is repeating the last one but my mind keeps going there. It hasn't been nearly the same as last time except for this fertilization report. Last time we had 6 retrieved and 2 arrested before we got our report which left us with 4. They were lousy quality.

So, I am hoping and praying with every ounce of my being that these 4 - at least 2 of these 4 - are superstars. I know, it only takes one. But, in the game of IVF, more is usually better. I have never hid the fact that I really only want 1 child. Of course I would be happy with twins but it isn't something I long for. So only being able to transfer 2 in is comforting in a way. More than that would make me concerned about triplets. But at the same time, this is it for IJ and I, no more IVF so I want us to have the best possible chances of success and if there are 3 stars, then we will probably put in all 3. If there are 4, well, not sure. Whatever the doctor thinks is best is what we will likely end up doing.

Grow! Grow! Grow! my little embryos. I look forward to meeting you tomorrow morning.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

And we're back

Retrieval went very well. We got 12 eggs this time. I as so happy with that. I cried when the doctor told us. Last time we only had 6 eggs. Praise God for this improvement.

There was a bit of trouble with my IV though. The nurse had a lot of trouble finding my vein. She also made the mistake of telling me she was nervous to do it. Not the right thing to share with me because I HATE the IV needles. Once it was in, I just knew something was still wrong. I was in some pain if I moved my arm even a fraction of an inch. Two other nurses came in and they decided to pull it out because it was causing me too much pain that they thought wouldn't subside. They decided to numb my right hand and put the IV in there. It went fine the second time. They sent the receptionist out to get IJ to help me calm down. We waited about 15 minutes and then they wheeled me in and I woke up later in recovery. Home resting now.

Tomorrow I will get my fertilization report. Can't wait to hear how my eggs are doing. Transfer will be Saturday or Sunday.

Hittin' the road

We are leaving for the retrieval in about 10 minutes. My ovaries are angry this morning. Hopefully it is due to so many mature, high quality eggs. I was paranoid that I would ovulate early. Not sure why I was so concerned about it. I think because I stopped the Ganirelix on Monday night. I only took 2 doses. I feel like that wasn't enough but I have to trust the doctors. They know far more about this stuff than I do. My peanut butter and jelly socks are on and I am ready to go. I will report later. Prayers and thoughts much appreciated.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No time for a sore throat

I called the nurse today because my throat was bothering me and I wanted to know if I could take anything or drink a packet of Emergen-C. Glad I called because she said no, all I could take is Tylenol. There are things I could take if I had a cough or congestion though. And, she said absolutely not on the Emergen-C. Too many vitamins. Fortunately, my sore throat isn't so bad and I am hoping it is more of an allergy situation.

While I was on the phone with her, something inside my head said to ask who was doing the retrieval. My usual doctor did the retrieval last time so I figured it would be him. But NO, it is a different doctor in the practice. It is the doctor that did my embryo transfer last time. So at least I have met him before. I am very glad I asked because that would have been the kind of unwelcomed surprise that could throw me off completely. I am not thrilled about this news but, I am trying to be positive about it and think of it as a change from last cycle, maybe he will be a lucky charm. Hoping my doctor does the transfer but he is away at a conference this week. Not sure when he is back.

I just finished drinking a huge bottle of Gatorade. The light purple flavor. I just do not love Gatorade. I will switch to just water now but I know the Gatorade has the electrolytes I need to help with the bloating. And believe me, I feel as big as a house today! I will drink more tomorrow and Friday. If I recall correctly, the worst day of bloating was the day after the retrieval. I should probably buy more Gatorade.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Take 2...

It's official - I will trigger tonight at 10pm and go in for the retrieval on Thursday morning at 10am. I didn't think I'd be this nervous about it second time around. I am thrilled to not have to do any other shots tonight and none tomorrow. Of course getting the IV on Thursday is a whole different story. Ouch! But, it is better than feeling, or even just remembering, the retrieval. No thanks!

I found out that my E2 yesterday was 1076. So it doubled like it should which is good. Hopefully it will double again by the retrieval (although, they will not check it anyway) and I will have about 10 mature follicles. And hopefully close to 10 eggs. And then... the dreaded two week wait for the beta test. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Stop... trigger time!

WOW! I had been waiting all afternoon for the call from the nurse. i walked away from my phone for 5 minutes and, of course, she called while I wasn't there. She left a message with my next steps. Tonight, same dose of Menopur and Ganirelix, tomorrow morning same dose of Gonal-F. But then, tomorrow afternoon, I will get a call telling me when to trigger. Tomorrow night!! So retrieval will be on Thursday. I can't believe this. I was hoping for Friday but Thursday is good -and hopefully it is at least a 3 day transfer. I mean, I know I am making a big deal about this birthday party for Br but I would like to be there. And a 3 day transfer would allow that, a 2 day, no chance I can go.

I can't believe it. I really had it in my head from the beginning of the cycle that the retrieval would be Friday. So I will stim for a total of 9 days. I think last cycle was the same. Not sure. More details tomorrow.

Thrilled!!

My ultra sound this morning went very well. My lining is the same but I have many many more measurable follicles! On the left, I now have 15, 14, 13.5, 14, 9 and 4<10mm. On the right, I have 13, 13, 14.5, 13, 11.5, 14, 9, 11 and 5<10mm. I couldn't believe it! I almost cried I was so thrilled. I went from 14 follicles to 22 follicles in 2 days! And the sizes are pretty good. Very close together with a couple leading the pack. The tech Kathleen, who is by far the best one there, said I am right on the cusp of triggering so it could be today or tomorrow. Amazing. On Saturday, we were thinking I'd need an extra day of shots. Now it seems I might need 1 less day of shots. I can't believe it. My only explanation is the amount of prayers that have been said for me in the past few days is astounding and I know this is the hand of God. I know this doesn't mean I am guaranteed a baby in the end, but I do feel that, no matter what God's will is, I am trusting Him that He knows what is best. I'll update after I hear from the nurse this afternoon.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oops, I forgot to post yesterday

Yesterday was a BUSY day! I had to get up at 5:45 to be at the RE's office for Blood work and an Ultrasound by 6:45am. I, yet again, got my favorite Phlebotomist. I thought for sure she would have the day off. I am glad I was wrong. Draw went well, no black and blue again! I went back into the waiting area to wait for my US. The place was more packed than I have ever seen it. Almost every chair had a body in it. I got called back relatively soon after my blood draw and got myself ready. The Tech came in - another woman I had never seem before - and we began. My lining was great - 8.6. But I only had 3 measurable follicles and 11 under 10mm. The measurable were 11mm on the left, a 10mm and an 11mm on the right. I was devastated that I had so few follicles at those sizes. I thought for sure I'd have more because I did last cycle at this same point. The tech turns to me and says, in a solemn tone, " Well, the nurse will call you later with your instructions." In my mind, she may as well have said "go home and throw out the rest of your meds because this cycle is a bust." I left and got in the car and called IJ. I was crying before he even answered the phone. I was so afraid the cycle would get canceled. I headed back toward home to go to my massage appointment set for 8:15.

My massage was fantastic. She did a bit of reiki as well. My 2nd chakra is blocked. The interesting thing in, my lower back (in the area of the 2nd chakra) always has a warmth to it. Considerably warmer than the rest of my body. She said it is energy, like a cluster, or maybe the energy is blocked/stuck. I looked up the chakra when I got home and all of the things that it controls/reflects - emotions, behaviors, physical issues - I suffer form them all. I couldn't believe it. Normally I am skeptical of this type of thing - energy, auras, and the like. But there may be something to this one. So, I need to look into aligning my chakras. I will mention it to my Acupuncturist on Tuesday night.

From there, I went straight to my quilting class. That was a very welcomed distraction from waiting for the nurse to call. I got home and made some lunch, it was 1:45 when the phone rang - it was nurse Sarah. She sounded cheery so I immediately said "I was so afraid you were calling to tell me the cycle is canceled. I don't have enough follicles." She said "It only takes one." and that I might just need an extra day of stims to help them grow. So, my protocol stayed the same for last night and this morning. Tonight, I will add in the Ganirelix and continue with the Gonal-F tomorrow morning and then go in for another blood draw and US. Had things progressed a bit more, I would have started the Ganirelix last night. I felt much better after her call and I immediately called IJ because I knew he was upset about my earlier call. It eased his mind as well.

We later went to my mother's house for birthday dinner #2. It was nice. My sister Ja made an amazing Oreo cake. It was 3 layers and looked like a giant Oreo when cut. It had a cream cheese filling and frosting. It was all from scratch and she did an amazing job on it.

So tonight we have the 3rd and final birthday dinner. (Well, not final I guess because I should be getting together with my dad at some point too) We are heading to a great restaurant a couple of cities away. I will see P&B for the first time since P told me she was pregnant. I am looking forward to it. Should be a great night with friends.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Infertility is....

http://vimeo.com/keikozoll/infertilityis

This is a neat video that was posted by a great infertility advocate named Keiko.

Not so Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday. I don't know if it is the fertility drugs or what but I am pretty miserable today. In the back of my mind, turning 37 and going thru IVF#2 at the same time is weighing on me... big time actually. I am totally depressed about it. Why I didn't take the day off from work is beyond me. I never work on my birthday. Perhaps in my twisted mind I thought work would be a good distraction today. Instead, it is one frustration after another. Boo today. It is rainy.

The t-shirt IJ got me for my birthday that I was soooo excited about, is the wrong size and so I couldn't wear it today (Friday's are "fun t-shirt" day at the office). When I opened it last night I was so upset. I know, it is only a t-shirt, and perhaps I should have been flattered that IJ thinks I wear a smaller size than I actually do, but it was disappointing. My personality is such that I am often disappointed on my birthday and Christmas. It isn't that I don't receive enough, I don't really care about the gifts themselves. It is the thought behind them that matters to me. And I always end up feeling like people don't know me at all. IJ meant well with his gift choices, but the t-shirt thing really threw me. I do think the fertility meds are affecting my mood this round. Last round, I had no issues at all. I was more even keeled and, dare I say, happier when I was on them. But not this time. Everything is setting me off. I have been awful to IJ all week long - and believe me, he doesn't deserve it. I need to be better about catching myself doing it and shutting myself off before I say something stupid.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Quick update

This morning I went in for my blood draw - again I got my favorite phlebotomist. YAY! My face lit up when I saw her. I probably should have been embarrassed. Anyway, draw went fine, ride to work on the other hand, not so fine. Crazy traffic with the rain we have today. People totally forget how to drive when it rains. It is so annoying.

Anyway, I digress.... The nurse called about 1 hour ago with my next set of instructions. Same meds tonight, tomorrow and Saturday morning. Then Saturday morning I go in for another blood draw and an U/S. I am assuming that they will start the Ganerelix shots Saturday night but we'll see. My E2 was 196. I think that is good for day 4 of stims. I will have to do a little googling.

So, more of the same. The excitement comes Saturday when I have the US so i can see how many follicles are growing. Quality over quantity... quality over quantity... that's what we want.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

3 days in...

So it is cycle day 4 but day 3 of stim shots. I am THRILLED to report that last nights triple dose Menopur shot went much better than Monday night's. I iced the area while I mixed the medications. And then I iced right after. There was still a bit of blood but no bruise this time. The burning was still there but very minimal. Overall a successful change.

I have 2 more shots before my bloodwork tomorrow morning. I am already starting to feel a bit of bloating and have had a headache for about 24 hours. I looked into the side effects and headache is definitely one of them. And since I am on 225 units per day, I assume this headache will last a few days. It isn't debilitating but it isn't fun either. Staring at a bright computer screen isn't helping much.

On a happy note, my fabric came in today! Not that I can start a project with it yet but at least it is here and I love it even more in person. Whether I turn it into a quilt or a diaper bag, it will be a great project.

Monday, October 10, 2011

One Down, many more to go

Blood work and ultrasound this morning. My favorite phlebotomist did my blood draw and barely left a mark. Yay! The ultrasound was quick. The tech was someone I had never met before. Everything seems to be in order - ovary size is fine, endometrial lining is 5mm, no cyst mentioned. Off to a good start. The only thing that has me concerned is that I only had 6 antral follicles (follicles in the ovaries at the start of a cycle). A low number of antral follicles can indicate low ovarian reserve. 6 is borderline low. Last cycle I had 13. So, I am hoping my body kicks out more follicles with all these meds. I am not sure how I would handle it if this cycle got cancelled. But all I really need is a couple of high quality eggs. And I am praying to that end.

So I spent the day trying to distract myself from the pending shot. I didn't get any quilting done but did buy some backing fabric to finish up a big project. The cashier even gave me a 50% off coupon to use. The nurse called around 2:30ish, while I was trying on shoes (more retail therapy to distract me). All systems go! I jotted down my instructions and headed home. I finished watching the Sex and the City movie (I just love that movie) and tried to relax. I remained fairly tense, just dreading tonight's shot - 3 vials of Menopur.

I prepped my supplies, mixed the meds and tapped the air out of the needle. I inserted it into my belly on the first try - no hesitation at all. Well, I tell you, it burned as much as I thought it would. I pushed the meds as slow as possible but it didn't help. I had to put ice on the injection site for a little while afterward. The site bled a bit and turned black and blue almost immediately. I might try icing before the shot tomorrow night. Tomorrow morning, I will inject the Gonal-F. That is the easy one.

This protocol will continue through Thursday morning when I go for more bloodwork. And we will see what the RE wants the next steps to be. Please follicles - grow, grow, grow!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

And away we go...

Cycle day 1 is here. And now it begins. The next 2 weeks will be intense...emotionally draining...scary...painful (from all the bloodwork and shots). But in a little over 4 weeks, the cycle and beta will be done and we will know if it worked. I really am going into this feeling very positive about it. It's going to work this time... Please Lord, I pray it is your will that this time works.

More tomorrow after my blood work and ultrasound results are in.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What's done is done

Finished the birth control pills last night. DONE! I am hoping I NEVER have to take one of them again! The first milestone in this cycle is reached. Next will be the start of my new cycle - probably this weekend - and then baseline U/S and BW early next week. That same evening, I will start my stimulation shots.

A cycle goes from boring to non-stop-action in a matter of minutes it seems. 2 weeks from today, I should be gearing up for my egg retrieval. I'll be all bloaty and miserable feeling. My stomach will be all black and blue. The sharps container will be halfway full. So many things to look forward to. I jest. But no matter how I am feeling, if I end up pregnant after this, I don't care how much discomfort I feel... how tight my clothes are...how much gatorade makes me want to puke. None of it will matter once the end goal is reached.

So here we go IVF#2 - let's do this thing!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I just couldn't resist....

Well, it happened, I broke down. It only took a couple of weeks...

Yes, that's right, I bought the fabric that I LOVE and plan to use to make a diaper bag. I know, I know. I should wait until a baby is here to do that but I just wanted it and it was on sale... Those who know me KNOW that I can't possibly pass up a good sale. And I figured that if there is no baby at the end of this, I can turn the fabric into a quilt. I really love it that much! Here it is:

Circa 1934 fabric family

My fave print from the collection

And here is the link to the bag pattern

Now, it is not at all baby-ish. But, it would be fine for IJ or I to carry because it is gender neutral. I am not convinced all things for baby need to look like they are baby-ish. The baby quilts that I have made recently are from more adult looking fabrics. Not this graphic but not light pastels with chickies and duckies and bunnies either. What can I say, I gotta be me!

Monday, October 3, 2011

3 to go....

Only 3 more BCPs to go. This cycle is fast approaching and I am starting to freak out a little. Don't get me wrong, I am excited and hopeful about it but the whole needle and bloat thing is entering my mind again. I am not liking the BCPs either. I never had an issue with them before but this time I have gained 2lbs and have some unusual spotting. Eh, only a couple more days.

Outside IVF world, I spent the day Saturday nauseas. No idea why. It was that feeling of wanting so badly to just throw up but you can't. So finally IJ got me some ginger beer (no, not beer beer. It is a ginger soda that has a lot more ginger flavor than ginger ale.) I hated it but it worked. I woke up Sunday famished. IJ and I went out to breakfast - which we rarely do but love to do. We spent the rest of the day watching football and I made oatmeal choc chip cookies and tomatillo salsa. I finished the day with some fabric cutting for my father-in-law's quilt which I hope to start sewing this week.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday night ritual

It would appear that Tuesday nights are THE NIGHT to call me to announce a pregnancy. Yup, last night I got a call from a dear old friend that she is. in fact, pregnant - 12 weeks along. This week's reaction was FAR BETTER than last week's. There are a few guesses as to why

1. she is 41 years old
2. they were trying to conceive for over 1 year before seeking help from an RE
3. I've been waiting for years for them to announce a pregnancy!

So I am TRULY happy for this couple! I am sure telling me wasn't easy since when I saw them Sunday night I was relaying the story of when my sister told me last week and how badly that went (Hey, I had no idea they were even trying!) I told IJ that I didn't feel one ounce of disappointment/frustration/sadness when P told me the news.

So, congrats to P & B on their soon coming baby - due to greet the world in March of 2012!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Getting ready to begin again

Great weekend. Not so much because I did anything very exciting - mostly quilting and dinner with some friends last night. More because I feel like myself again. Well, myself but better because I am hopeful for this IVF cycle. I tend to be, shall we say negative.... Not sure why, but, I am what I am.

I spoke to my sister on Sunday morning and explained to her my feelings my reaction and we had a good talk about things. Turns out, she was thinking about how this would affect me from the very beginning. IJ and I stopped by her house on the way to dinner with our friends. I was happy that things are resolved.

A girl whose blog I follow has her beta today. She tested on a home test on Friday and got a positive. It was her second IVF cycle, she never made it to transfer on the first one. I am thrilled for her. I keep checking her site to see the beta results. Congrats Emily!

I have 9 more days of pills and hopefully only 2 weeks until I start the stim shots. It is approaching fast and I am very ready to begin this cycle. IJ and I were talking about the timing of the shots and decided that my morning shot will be done at the office at 9am and the evening shots at home at 9pm. This is assuming the shots have to be every 12 hours in order to keep feeding the follicles. I am not thrilled about doing the shots at the office but it makes the most sense as far as 12 hour time frames. Fortunately, the morning shot will be the Gonal-F pen - easily portable, no mixing or measuring. Just swab area and the pen nib with alcohol, put on the needle, dial up the dose and pull out the trigger, pinch the skin and inject. Should take all of 2 minutes. I am not sure if the Ganerelix will be morning or night but those are easy too because they are pre-filled syringes. So they'd be fine to do at the office as well. mini pharmacy in the beer fridge I guess.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Needles, needles and more needles

Seems I just can't get enough of needles lately. Yesterday i met with a new acupuncturist who specializes in fertility and came highly recommended by my RE. I was seeing a fantastic acupuncturist for a while in the spring/early summer but then she was on vacation when I really needed the treatments the most (during the ER/ET timing). So, this being the "pull out all the stops" cycle, I decided to spend the extra $$ and go with Jose.

We had a great consult and I left feeling really positive about the whole thing. I am booked, and have paid for appointments 2x/week for the next 4 weeks - right up until the retrieval. Then after the transfer, I will continue 2x per week until the beta test. I have prepaid up through one visit after the transfer. I am really hoping this helps with the stress of the whole process.

So after Tuesday night's news, and spending Wednesday in a very dark place, I am feeling back to myself since yesterday morning. I have actually been in a better mood than I have been all week. Even though my sister doesn't know how the news affected me, I have been feeling like I should talk to her about it. The problem is, we have never been that close, and all 3 of us have some self-esteem issues due to some choices our father made when we were younger (and even still if I am honest about it). I am concerned that she will take it badly if I try to explain how I felt. And if I talk about how I don't feel like she even wants to understand what I am going through. Or that her support would be very helpful to me. Or that I want to be closer to her. You see, she has the middle child mentality of "why can't everyone just get along?".

As my mom pointed out when I spoke with her Wednesday night, I had always said that I would rather have someone hurt me with the truth, than to hide something from me or lie to me about something. And Je calling to tell me about the pregnancy, I am sure, was difficult for her. But, she did it. She did before there was any chance I would hear it from someone other than her. And I really am thankful for that. I think the first time I see her face to face will be tough. And if my IVF fails I am not sure I will want to see her for a while. But no matter what, she is my sister and that baby is my nephew or niece. And regardless of my own hurt or happiness, their health and happiness is vitally important to me.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm back...

...to my normal self. Feeling so much better thanks to chats with some fabulous, supportive people. My cousin Kr, my sister Ja, my Mom and IJ. Infertility sucks, but hopefully I will be beating it down in about 6 weeks!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Will it ever end?

So last night I got a call from my sister to tell me she is pregnant. Fertile Myrtle already has 2 kids and basically gets pregnant if her husband sneezes in her direction. While I am, of course, thrilled for her and love the idea of another nephew or niece, I am basically devastated by this news. I feel like someone sucked out my soul, put it in a bottle, mixed it with acid and smashed it into a million pieces. It so happens that her due date is the same week mine would have been had my IVF worked. AWESOME right?! So when April rolls around, I get to relive the pain of the first failed attempt every time I look at the baby. MOST EXCELLENT!

Now some might think I am overreacting, and perhaps once the pain subsides I will agree with that. But for now, anyone who has not had to deal with infertility and that devastating feeling month after month after month should just keep their mouths shut... or take my side :-) (Yeah, joking is the best medicine for me.)

In all reality, it is a great thing and I truly know that. But I can't help feeling betrayed by my sister. I mean, if the situation were reversed and I knew that my track record was getting pregnant within 1-2 months of stopping birth control, and knew my sister was dealing with an IVF cycle at the same time, I would have waited a month to try. I would have let her cycle run its course and then tried. I would NEVER have done this to her. NEVER. Do I know I am being selfish making this about myself - yes I do. Do I care at this moment - no I don't.

I am at the end of my rope here. I know I am in trouble when I sit on my couch, staring at the wall at 1am, wishing my life would end. I know God doesn't give us more than we can handle. And I know this too shall pass. But right now, other than the depression I was dealing with 14 years ago, this is the most difficult time in my life. And right now, I see no way out of it.

Until my head clears, IVF#2 is on the shelf. Fortunately I have two and a half weeks to decide what I want to do. If I had to decide today, I'd give up and donate all the meds to someone who deserves a baby... because clearly, I don't.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

They're here!!!

My meds are here. Another giant box of drugs. It was a lot messier when I opened the box.

Total cost to me $113. Yup, nuts right? I can't begin to express how truly blessed I am to have such amazing insurance coverage. I know I repeat that often but it is really amazing. 

Today is only day 6 of the pills so I am looking at another 15 days of pills and then 3-4 days before the IVF cycle starts. I'll just organize this stuff and store it in the closet for a few weeks until needed. I am sure the time will pass quickly. IVF#2 here we come!

edited to add: I just made an appointment with a new acupuncturist. Right down the street from the fertility clinic. Came highly recommended by my doctor. Will be a bit pricey but we are pulling out all the stops this time. No regrets!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Take 2...

Meds are officially ordered for IVF#2. They will arrive at my office on Tuesday. I didn't even ask the cost. I estimated it to be about $225 for all the co-pays but it is really about $5000 worth of meds. Thank you Blue Cross Blue Shield! Not sure we'd be doing this again if we had to pay out of pocket.


Please visit resolve.org to help get legislation passed so that all people are eligible for IF cost assistance through insurance and/or tax credits. Please use the site to write to your congressman to help get the bill passed.

This cycle, I am going to go extreme on everything. Taking some time off work after the transfer to make sure I rest enough. And I will REST. Last time I got up off the couch and walked around too much. Not this time! I am going to try to do acupuncture 2x per week and schedule it around the retrieval and transfer if possible. I am thinking about avoiding soymilk and any meat with hormones in it. No alcohol once the stim cycle starts, just like last time. I am going to really try to limit my stress as much as I can. I should really get back into yoga. And I will listen to my Circle & Bloom meditations again every day.

I just really want this to work.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Seeing red

Spotting! WHAT!?!?!? If my temps are right, I only ovulated a week ago - not a good LP. Perhaps Dr. Hardy is right, temps do not mean anything and I did ovulate way back on CD14 like my symptoms implied. That would make me a "normal" person. And it would bump my IVF schedule up a week and put my retrieval around October 21 - the day before my nephew B's 4th birthday party. This will be cutting it close. I don't want to miss the party.

We'll see what the rest of the day brings before I call the doctor's office. wowza

Edited to add: Officially cycle day 1. Pills start tomorrow and I should be stimming in 3.5 weeks. o.m.g!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The joy of a timeframe

Well, who would have thunk it but as of yesterday, fertilityfriend.com thinks I ovulated on Thursday (cycle day 21). My temperature is very low for post-ovulation temps. I don't even think it really happened but whatever, if it did, I will be starting the pills in just under 2 weeks. So, about 6 weeks until ER. Now this is a timeframe I can wrap my arms around. When I tell myself "only 6 weeks to go" I feel like that isn't really a lot of time. Especially at this time of year where the days seem to fly by.

IJ and I spent the evening watching 9/11 memorial shows on tv. We saw on that was AMAZING! 2 french brothers were following a rookie firefighter for his first 6 months on the job. One of them was IN tower 1 with the firefighters and police officers when tower 2 fell. The footage is incredible and really brought the day to life for me even more than when I had witnessed the events on TV 10 years ago. This company he was with, Engine 7, was called the miracle team because they didn't lose a single officer that day. Amazing.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Status Quo

No changes to report. My temp did jump up a bit today but I think it was because I didn't get a solid 3 hour block of sleep before I temped. We will see what tomorrow brings.

On a happier note, the sun is out today. Nice to see it after 4 days of rain!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Vampires

Still no signs of ovulating. None. Nothing. Zilch. I called the RE's office today and left a message on the service. Hoping they will not make me wait too long for Provera - hoping to start it end of next week.

UPDATE: Nurse Jamie just called me back. If I do not start a new cycle before 9/16, then I can call for Provera bloodwork to see if I need it. (They constantly want my blood over there) My RE doesn't trust basal body temping at all. Um, ok, what! Now I won't start Stims until 3rd week in October and my ER and ET may push into 1st week November. Not the news I wanted. But on a good note, it would align things so that I will not have to miss my nephews birthday party in October.

More waiting.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Frustration and Despair set in again

So, cycle day 18 with NO SIGN of ovulating in sight. I had some signs early last week but they have passed and I haven't had a basal temp jump so therefore, no ovulation. So, I am guessing I am anovulatory AGAIN and that I can't seem to ovulate without medication. Great. So now this cycle will be long and that will delay IVF#2. This process is so frustrating and I am just about ready to give up all together. It is just too much to take month after month. Waiting to ovulate. Waiting for new cycle. Waiting to finish BCPs. Waiting for new cycle. Waiting to start stims. Waiting to trigger. Waiting for retrieval. Waiting for transfer. Waiting to test. Waiting for the phone call...... enough is enough.

Not to mention IJ's health insurance may be changing late fall once the buyout of his company goes through. If that happens, I don't know what it will mean to our Infertility coverage. Awesome. More good news.... NOT!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Um, What the?!?!?!!?

So the pharmacy just called to confirm my Rx before sending the meds for IVF#2. So she is reading the script off to me and it just wasn't sounding right. When she finished, and I looked at the list, and it was the script from IVF#1. So I said that to her and she said it was JUST faxed over from the RE. So, I immediately call the RE's office and sure enough, they sent the wrong script over. Um, hello, this is expensive medication. What if they had shipped all this useless stuff to me (granted, some of it is the same but the amount needed is much different) and I had paid for it. What a waste that would have been!

So, all will be fine, the right script is going over today and I will call the pharmacy when I am ready to fill it. I want to wait until I know this natural cycle didn't work before I order. Because there is that 7% chance I could actually get pregnant on my own like a "normal" person. lol

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Here I Go Again!

Appointment with the RE went well. We are trying again!! He is using a different medication protocol called an Antagonist Protocol. There will be less weeks of shots but the dose of one of the meds (Menopur) will triple. It is the medication protocol I thought he would do so at least my research has been valid. I should have my retrieval around mid-October (my birthday).

He said I didn't respond well last cycle. (um, duh!) The Lupron may have suppressed me too much. No Lupron this time. I didn't have enough mature eggs and the ones I did have weren't very good. He thinks the 2 we transferred probably didn't survive more than a day or 2 inside me. SO the goal this time to is find my good eggs and give them time to mature and feed them plenty of hormones to help them grow.

So here's how it will shake down:
3 weeks of BCPs starting day 2 of my next cycle
on day 2 of the following cycle, I will go in for baseline BW and U/S
that same day I will inject 3 VIALS OF MENOPUR (YIKES!!)
next morning, 225 of Gonal-F (same as last time)
I will continue this AM and PM regimen for a few days - BW and U/S mixed in there too
at approximately cd 7, I will start injecting Ganirelix to prevent ovulation (instead of Lupron) and continue the other 2 meds
a few days later I will trigger with HCG as I did last time
a day and a half later is the retrieval (approx Oct 15)
and then we will figure out the transfer date

I should have my beta test before Halloween. Wouldn't a Positive be a nice treat - no Negative as a trick.


Edited to add: In looking at a calendar more closely, I don't think I will have my retrieval until the last week of October. So that would put the beta mid November. The RE got a phone call while we were talking dates and I think that threw him off.

Monday, August 29, 2011

One more day....

Tomorrow is our meeting with the RE. I hope the news is good. When the nurse called last week to say I didn't need the birth control pills, I wasn't sure what to think. Trying to stay positive about it. We will have a plan in about 27 hours.

Friday, August 19, 2011

What a rough week

Rough week for IJ and me. It started with the negative beta test on Monday. On Wednesday, IJ went down to his hometown where his mom has been in a nursing home for 2 months. She was looking very bad and has contracted a severe case of pneumonia. She has been struggling with an infection for months and was very weak but not struggling this badly. She had trouble breathing, was barely conscious and moaning and groaning in pain. That night, they started her on morphine. I was able to go see her on Thursday for a little while but she was never conscious. I am very glad I went because this morning at 7:30 we got a call from the nursing home that she had passed away.

We had so badly wanted to be pregnant before her time with us ended. She wanted so badly for IJ to be a dad. I pray now that it will happen for us and that she will be looking down over us from Heaven thru this next phase of trying to conceive.

Rest in peace Rachel. I promise to always take care of your son. We love you.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The heart ALWAYS knows

Well, the call came in at about 1:45 yesterday afternoon - it's now official, IVF#1 Big Fat Negative!

It was heartbreaking. I was at work at the time so I managed to somewhat keep it together for about an hour and a half before I had to leave the office. I managed the half mile walk to my car and as soon as I closed the door, the floodgates opened and I had mascara running down my face. I drove home and when I got to the top of the stairs, IJ was waiting there for me. I threw my stuff down and just held on tight. The loss belonged to us both. Yes, this process is more physically intense on the woman, but emotionally, I know IJ was totally invested. Deep in my heart, I knew it hadn't worked. When I woke up after the Egg Retrieval and the RE said he got only 6 eggs and that we might do a Day 2 transfer, I knew our shot was over for this cycle. I tried to remain positive, and of course did the Embryo Transfer and the PIO shots and took the pills. But I tried to keep my heart a bit shielded. Maybe I failed at that because it felt like a train hit me when I got that call.

We sat and held each other, I cried off and on - ok, maybe even sobbed out of control for a little while - made some dinner and drank some fabulous Merlot from our trip to Napa. I had a headache and took Aleve (a woman can't take Aleve while trying to conceive, it thins the uterine lining). Wow did I miss Aleve... and the wine too of course!

So, we meet with the RE on August 30th to talk about the cycle, what he thinks our best options are and then decide if we want to give it another go. Until then, no thinking about what went wrong, no blaming myself for not resting enough, for lifting the dog, for lifting that water bottle... for anything and everything that I might have done wrong in the past 2 weeks. We have to trust that God has a plan for us, a plan that may or may not include a child. I know we will both be praying for guidance.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Debbie Downer

or as IJ calls me "Ms. Negativity". In a totally bad headspace about today's beta. I was not wanting to leave the house, then hesitated to get out of the car at the RE's office, then cried when I got back into the car after the blood draw. I just do not have a good feeing about the results. I have ZERO symptoms. Nothing. Not a one. One good thing, I wore my same socks as I wore for the ER and ET. Maybe they will bring me full circle good news....

I should get the call in the next 3 hours or so. I will probably gain 10lbs eating in the meantime. I tend to eat when I am nervous. Yeah, I know, not a good habit. But at least I kept it to a banana and a low sugar granola bar.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oh the agony of waiting...

Yup, still waiting. And exhausted! Trying not to read too much into that though. I am only technically 9 days past retrieval so I shouldn't feel anything yet.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Boring

Well, I have nothing exciting to report. I am back at work - finally! I was actually looking forward to getting back into the office instead of sitting at home alone for 4 days. I did a little too much on Saturday with bringing the dog to the groomer, a trip to the mall and a trip to the grocery store. Too much lifting I think. But I felt good Sunday and today good too. I have some minor, and I mean MINOR, cramping/flutters but otherwise, nothing.

Blood test is in 1 week. I hope with everything that is within me that the test is positive. I am not sure if there is anything that I have ever wanted more.

Friday, August 5, 2011

More waiting

I was chatting with a friend today and it seems that trying to conceive a baby is a constant waiting game. Waiting to ovulate, waiting to test, waiting for a new cycle to start... It is frustrating. And I am not good at waiting for much of anything!

Currently, I am waiting for my blood test. 10 days to go. It should come quickly, and I don't want to wish my life away, but I really can't wait. I am still crampy and that does have me a bit nervous. I am still taking it easy and slowly getting back to my normal life. Fortunately, we do not have much planned for the weekend so it will be relaxed. But hopefully not too boring for me. Time drags when I am bored.

Oh, and the PIO (Progesterone in Oil) shots SUCK! They don't hurt while being done, but my muscle is so sore. And the idea of this going on for possible 9 more weeks is sort of annoying - but worth it if I get a baby out of the deal.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Embies on board!

The transfer yesterday went well. We had 2 embryos still growing so they were both transferred - nothing to freeze. One was a nice looking 4 cell and the other a 2 cell with 2 nuclei - so it was a bit behind schedule but still worth putting in. The procedure was painless. We watched on the ultrasound monitor as they were put in. I laid there for about 10 minutes and that was it. Time to go home. We left with a printout of our 2 little embryos. It is on the refrigerator. I keep looking at it and talking to them - telling at least one of them to stick. I just have this feeling it won't work. I know, I know. Be positive. I am just a glass half empty person. I keep feeling crampy when I stand up and it freaks me out everytime. I did ask the nurse and she said it is normal, especially when on Progesterone shots. Which are going really well, but my butt muscles are so sore and we have only done 2 shots so far - lots more to go!

I have been stuck in the house ever since the transfer. I am not very good at resting. I get bored so easily. I have played lots of Soduko and broke down and checked my work email today - only 165 new emails, WHAT?!?! Glad I checked it today so tomorrow won't be so bad. I am working from home tomorrow. Back to real life on Monday. I am definitely planning to leave the house tomorrow or Saturday though. And definitely to church on Sunday. We have so much to be grateful for. So very much.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

66%

So 4 of our 6 eggs have fertilized!! YAY!! not bad at all. My transfer will be tomorrow so I am praying at least 1 makes it through the night. I have no idea of the quality or any specifics about them, just that they are growing. I guess quality does rule over quantity.

EDITED TO ADD: Transfer was moved to Thursday.

EDITED AGAIN TO ADD: Transfer was moved back to Wednesday.

Tom Petty was right

Waiting is the hardest part.

I meant to post this yesterday:
Well I am home. The procedure went ok. They took me in 50 minutes late so of course I was starting to get more and more nervous. The IV wasn't too bad and I got pretty relaxed once I saw my doctor. They wheeled me in and gave me the anesthesia. I don't remember anything until I woke up. I guess they were talking to me but I have no recollection of any of it. The doctor said they got 6 eggs. I am pretty upset about this as I was expecting at least 10-12. I was visibly upset and he told me it was fine, that 6 is fine. But I know it isn't very good. He told me not to dwell on it and to hope for the best. I am trying to but I just keep getting teary about it. All those shots and all that discomfort for only 6 eggs. They will fertilize them today and call me tomorrow with a report on how that are doing. He said the transfer will be either Wednesday or Thursday. I have never heard of a 2 day transfer (Wed) which also worries me. But, I just have to stay positive and keep praying that things will be ok. I am going to try to get some rest and eat salty foods like I was told to do (can't complain about that part!). 
Post anesthesia


Of course I wore my socks!


And here is where I am at today:
So I gained 3lbs last night. Yup, 3. I guess some bloating is normal but I feel HUGE. My pants are too tight and the occasional soreness has returned. I probably should have stayed home today but I am at work. The nurse just called me back, I left a message this morning about the 3lbs, and she is going to talk to the doctor about it. I don't seem to be feeling any better. She said once she talks to him, she will call me back and should have the fertilization report. I am praying for at least 1 to have made it thus far. 

I will post again once I hear back from her.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

And the countdown has begun...

We are about 17 hours away from the egg retrieval. Here's a recap since Thursday.

Friday morning's U/S and blood work went well. The U/S tech said she thought I was very close and that the trigger shot would be Friday or Saturday night. I was thrilled...and petrified! The nurse called me at around 3:30pm while I was with my nephews. She told me to repeat my cocktail Friday night (Gonal F and Menopur) and do the Lupron 5unit injection Saturday morning and that I'd get a call on Saturday.

I waited all day for the phone to ring, I couldn't wait to hear from them. At about 2:30, I got the call. We are good to go for the trigger at 10:30pm. Our retrieval was scheduled for 10:30am on Monday! omg!! I waited for IJ to get home from work and tried to calm down. I helped make dinner (I had planned to cook it all myself but the heaviness and cramping in my ovaries was killing me.) and then went into the bedroom to listen to my meditation cd - there is a specific track for the trigger shot. Of course I fell asleep but not for very long. It was only 9pm. So I turned on the tv to kill time. Next time I looked at the clock (yes, I fell asleep again) it was 10:05 and time to ice my butt! I iced for 20 minutes and then went into the kitchen to mix the meds for the trigger. I was done at 10:28 and then laid face down on the couch. I was petting the dog, taking deep breaths and suddenly, I felt IJ's hand stretching the skin and the needle was in! I barely felt it! He injected it and put pressure on the site. He did an AMAZING job!! I was so proud of him. And of course, happy it was over! Once the cold wore off the site, it did start to sting a bit.

Today I feel pretty good. My ovaries have an occasional twinge but much less than the past few days. It sort of makes me nervous that something is wrong. But I am forever the pessimist so it is probably just me being me. I hope I can sleep well tonight. I am nervous about the IV tomorrow but that's about it... you'd think I'd be over the needle issues by now!

I'll report tomorrow on our retrieval report. Here's to hoping for lots of eggs!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Almonds to walnuts

IJ saved the day and I was able to do my Gonal-F shot last night. All went fine. The Menopur shot however, a different story. I couldn't get the needle to go into my stomach. I tried a few times and only ended up with spots of blood all over my stomach. I walked away for a minute and then got it done right away. I thought it would get easier but I just feel like a pincushion.

Woke up at 3:20 this morning to use the bathroom and when i tried to fall back to sleep, my ovaries just weren't going to allow it. They feel huge and heavy. I guess they go from normal (size of an almond) to enlarged (size of walnuts). Not painful, but uncomfortable. Especially when I stand up or sit down quickly. The RE's office said I can take Tylenol and drink Gatorade. Gatorade? hmm, ok. Not my favorite but I will do it. Not sure why that helps but I hope it does!

The nurse also said that after my blood work and U/S tomorrow morning, they will have a better idea of when my retrieval will be. She thinks Monday or Tuesday of next week. o.m.g! It is coming up. I am scared but also thrilled to stop the ovary pain and 3 shots per day. Of course then IJ will be starting my intramuscular progesterone shots... waaaat waaahhhhhh

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

AWWW Freak Out!

Yes, I am freaking out a bit now. Just got the call from the RE's office with my next steps. Same protocol as I have had the past 2 days - 5 units Lupron in the morning, 225 units Gonal-F and 1 vial of Menopur in the evenings. Ok, sounds easy enough, EXCEPT I AM OUT OF GONAL-F!!!! The nurse seemed shocked by this but I told her I was only sent 1200 units and I have already taken 1125. She claims the pharmacy can get it to me today. Um, really?!?! In the next 3 hours before I leave work to go to Acupuncture?!?! ok. Why don't I believe that? Maybe because of all of the hassle getting the correct meds in the first place. I don't do well with this sort of situation. I love predictability!!

So Friday I have to go in for more bloodwork and another ultrasound. I am not sure which is worse. Today's blood draw hurt so badly! and my arms are already covered in black and blues. Not sure where they will draw from this time. Today's ultrasound wasn't very comfy either. She was wielding the wand like an Atari joystick. I am still uncomfortable. There are (I think) 23 follicles in there. Although not as big as I had thought they'd be. Hopefully Friday they can tell me when my trigger will be. I was hoping it would be Friday night but now I am hoping it is Saturday. Much later than that might put me over the edge.

Edited to add: IJ will be driving to Byfield after work to pick up the meds - one Gonal-F 900 unit pen. That is enough for 4 doses. So I guess I should be triggering no later than Saturday. I HOPE!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Burn baby burn

So the Menopur - not nearly as bad as I had anticipated. The mixing and such was a bit stressful, but once IJ got the dog out of the kitchen and I could focus on the task at hand, things went fine. The shot did sting when I first pushed the meds in but quickly subsided. The injection site is a bit tender still. So tonight is a repeat of last night - 225 of Gonal-F and 75 of Menopur and tomorrow morning is 5 units of Lupron and then in the car to head to the RE's office for my U/S and more bloodwork - I need a few more black and blues on my arm to go with the others there already.

Hopefully tomorrow they will be able to estimate my egg retrieval date. I am hoping for Sunday or Monday of next week. That would put my embryo transfer either Wednesday or Friday. YIKES! it is getting close. And my nerves are gearing up. Each step closer scares me more and more. I am starting to get that fear that it won't work. That I will go through all of this and no embryos will survive to transfer. That I will have the transfer but end up not pregnant. I know I need to put these things out of my mind but it is tough. Believe me, I want to be able to do that.

Monday, July 25, 2011

So far, so good....

Busy weekend but things are progressing fine I think. I started the Gonal-F injections (225 units) on Friday night. Other than the 2 day headache, the shots have been fine. I like the pen and the fact that I don't have to fill a syringe. I just dial up the dose and inject. I did bleed 2 of the 3 times I injected it which seemed odd. But, I guess I was just lucky with the Lupron injection placements. So now my belly has a few black and blues but nothing major.

I went for bloodwork this morning and am waiting on the call back for next steps. They only drew one vial so I let her use the big girl needles - instead of my baby butterfly needles I like so much. Looks like a small bruise but much smaller than the one from Thursday which I still have.

On a sad note, we had a rough day yesterday. My sister's boyfriend lost his mom to a blood clot that went to her heart and took her life quickly. It was very unexpected and she was only 50 years old. I haven't been able to put it out of my mind since I found out. We rushed to the hospital to be with him and his sister. It was such a difficult thing to see and it shook me to my core. There is no value that can be placed on a mother. My heart breaks for him and his sister.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The first check-in

So my IVF cycle officially started yesterday. This morning, at 6:30am, I was in the waiting room at the RE's office. I was whisked in for blood work and then waited a few minutes for a tech to come out to get me for the ultrasound. I sat there on the table for quite sometime. Why do they keep those rooms so cold? And why do they give me a thin paper sheet to cover up with? I should bring my own blankets from now on. (Note to self: this may be a good market for selling my quilts.)

So the tech comes in, does her thing while rattling off my stats and I write them down on the clipboard for her. Yeah, ultrasounds are interactive. Everything sounds good to me, but of course I started researching as soon as I got to the office to make sure. Bonus: my cyst is GONE! yay!

So I got to work, close to on time, and have been waiting for my call with the results/next steps. Finally, at 2pm the phone rang. We are go to start the stimulation meds! Tomorrow night through Sunday night I have to inject 225units of the Gonal-F at night and only 5units of the Lupron in the mornings (half of what I have been injecting). I go back for more bloodwork on Monday. (Hopefully the black and blue on my arm from today will be gone by then!)

Wow, this is exciting. Although I will, of course, admit I am scared of the shots. I think the first one of each medication will be scary. They will become comfortable but never easy.

ETA my stats for my own records:
4.3 lining
left ovary - 9 follicles: 1 13mm and 8 <10mm
right ovary - 6 follicles: 1 12.5mm and 5 <10mm
1 fibroid in the back

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

And away we go....

Cycle day 1 has arrived and now we get to the exciting part. I will go to the RE's office tomorrow morning between 6:30 and 7:45 for my baseline ultrasound and blood work. Tomorrow afternoon I will get a call from the nurse to explain the dosing and timing for the next round of meds. YIKES! Here we go! I may have to do the first injections at my cousin's house, since I will be there tomorrow night and they could start me tomorrow. She has gone through this process herself so it might be a good thing. Just have to make sure I take supplies with me.

Melissa = scared + excited + ready

On a fun note, my ER/ET socks arrived. At least my feet will be having fun during the procedures. The ER and ET should be the week of July 31st. So I hope to have an April baby this spring.

More tomorrow when I get the good word from the nurse.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Oh the joy of side effects!

I had my first major mood swing from the meds on Saturday afternoon. I was watching some cheesy chick-flick while IJ was out for a ride on his motorcycle. All of the sudden, I got up off the couch and started pacing and crying. "Why am I doing this?" "I can't do it." "I won't be a good mother, I am too selfish." more pacing, more crying. It lasted about 10 minutes. Finally I got face down on my bed, prayed I would feel better and get through this whole thing and shortly there after, the tears stopped and I was ok. Still in a down mood for sure, but no longer crying.

My last pill was Saturday night so now I wait for my next cycle to begin. Then, the fun really starts. Injecting the stimulation meds (up to 2-3 MORE shots per day) and ultrasounds and blood work almost every other day. My guess is Thursday will be my first US and BW but I don't know for sure. I know, I know, it will all be worth it in the end.  It just feels overwhelming now.

I now have an annoying metal taste in my mouth too. It started Saturday afternoon and has been off and on since then. And I have put 1.4lbs back on. I am still down 11.4lbs so I can't complain. I have decided to ease up on the WeightWatchers while going through the IVF. I am still going to watch my eating, but no longer stress about the point counting. I will go back to it eventually now that I know it is a system that works for me. Hopefully I won't be worrying about it for about 9 months though.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Back at the beginning

So I tried to add some fun graphics and such to my blog page and royally screwed it up. It took me all morning to fix it. Not sure I will try that again.

This morning's shot was a bit rattling but I got through it. Trouble getting the air out of the needle. Can't wait to do this 3 times a day! I did speak to a nurse at the RE's office today - acupuncture is highly recommended - YAY! Guess I will keep that going weekly, and maybe 2x per week once the stims start. Man am I afraid of those stim drugs. I had a mini nightmare about them last night. That fun starts next week - stay tuned!!

On a very sad note: A friend of mine from babycenter.com just had an Ectopic pregnancy. My heart is broken for her. She and her husband have been trying to conceive for 15 years. Her first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Which is a total fear of mine as well. I just can't imagine the grief. Sending love and prayers her way today.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Stick Together

So I have been reading as many IVF blogs as I can find and have come across a few who wore some "fun" socks during their egg retrieval and embryo transfer. I guess the idea is to bring a little bit of relief to the stress and tension of those events. So I decided to find some for myself. And here is what I got:
I have a t-shirt with a similar illustration and under them it says "stick together". Once the embryo(s) is/are transferred back in, I will want it to implant. Women trying to conceive often hope for a "sticky bean", or an implanted embryo. So, for me, these were the perfect socks.

Day 2 of shots went fine. I was more hesitant this morning than yesterday. I think maybe yesterday, I was running on adrenaline. But, still no bruising YAY!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One and done...well, done with the first one

The first shot of Lupron is done. I injected myself at about 6:15 this morning. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I didn't even feel the needle but the medication itself burned a bit going in. Tomorrow I might try to warm it in my hands a bit before I inject. IJ was disappointed that he didn't get to watch me do it. But I felt like I needed to face the fear and conquer it by myself. He'll have enough injections to watch once the trigger and Progesterone shots start.

I am not sure if I should be feeling anything from the meds. I keep thinking that I feel dizzy, and now I suddenly have a headache. Perhaps I am trading the fear of needles in for becoming a hypocondriac.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Anticipation is always worse than reality right?

T minus 16 hours until shot #1. I have felt sick to my stomach for 3 days. Women do this all the time - what am I so afraid of. They are insulin needles for goodness sake, thinnest needles there are. I can do this. I CAN DO THIS! Ughhh, I hope I sleep tonight.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I never imagined it would be this difficult

So, since I never use this blog, I have decided to give it a specific purpose so that I use it more. It will now be my official IVF journal. Yes, IVF. Man I never thought I'd be in this position but, if IJ (my husband) and I want a baby, the RE says IVF gives us the most chance to have one.

I have been on birth control pills (yes, weird I know) for just over 2 weeks now. I finish up on Saturday. But this coming Wednesday, I start my first injection. Scary stuff for the girl who HATES needles. But, they are small and only have to go into my belly so shouldn't be too bad... or so I keep telling myself. So Lupron on Wednesday morning for about 2 weeks. This will suppress my ovulation so that the doctor can control when it happens. Once my new cycle starts sometime next week, I will start the stimulation injections to get my ovaries producing many, many eggs.

I can't explain the overwhelming feeling of this whole thing. Somedays, I am paralyzed with fear. Other days I feel like I am the strongest I have ever been. Hopefully, when I am staring down that first needle Wednesday morning, I am having a strong moment.

I will tell you one thing I have learned from this: it is amazing how many people deal with infertility. And how many go the route of injectible meds with IVF or IUI. Once I started talking to people about it (because I like to share things with anyone who will listen), almost daily I would learn of another person that I knew that went through the same thing. One good thing is, I have a large support system both in my personal life and work life. It will be good. It won't be fun or comfortable, but it will be good in the end. And hopefully, in about 6 weeks from now, I will be pregnant.

Oh, I should have mentioned that I have lost 13lbs in the past 9 weeks. I <3 WeightWatchers! Figured it a good idea to get my body in better shape before growing a child in there.