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 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.