Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 28th

Good afternoon Bleaders.  How have you been?  I guess I always ask that because I feel like we're having a conversation...however one-sided it may be.  (smile).

Yesterday could have been a little bitter for me.  Had we done our transfer on June 19th as planned, yesterday would have been the day we found out if we were pregnant or not.  I tried not to think about it, but it kept popping into my head every-so-often.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm now very glad that we didn't do the transfer on the 19th because of all the pain I was having.  Can you imagine if I'd been having that AND knew that I had 1 or 2 viable embryos in me?!  I would have been a wreck not knowing what was going on in my uterus.  It also gave me a little break from all the drugs, stress and restrictive diet.  Kind of a breath of fresh air.  And now we're ready to get back down to the business of baby making.

So how did I cope with yesterday?  I worked.  And I perfected the Fertility Binder for Holly.  It is now complete and has been dropped off.  Let's hope orders start coming in!  The sewing part takes a bit longer than I remember, but I know that once I start making them repeatedly, I'll get better at it again and it will be a breeze.  I worked on the binders on Sunday afternoon too, and got quite frustrated with my sewing machine.  At one point after rethreading the needle for the umtheenth time, I pushed the material in and literally willed the sewing machine to start.  It took me a minute after the machine wasn't moving to realize that my feet were tucked under me, and there was no power to tell it to move.  Silly Nikus!

I'm very happy with the finished product and had lots of help from Liz (Womb for Improvement) who let me pilfer her wonderful poem (IF) and Volleyball Queen who had lots of ideas about funner things to include that we Infertiles sometimes forget about in the process.  Also had some thoughts from Heather and Ashlee!  Thanks for everyone's input.  I'll post pictures later this week for all to see, and maybe buy!  I almost didn't want to give the cover up because I'd spent so much time making it perfect that I wanted to keep it for our baby binder which is waiting in the wings!  But I realized that I could make another one for me later!

Then last night I got a text from Super-Mom telling me that another friend of hers who had just done her first round of IVF with Dr. H found out she was pregnant with twins yesterday.  So hopefully good karma is around for us next month!  I told J about Super-Mom's text and he took it as a good omen.  Which opened me up for the ability to see what he thinks about twins.  (I know people think I am insane but ever since I had friends who were twins (yes, they still are) in the 5th grade, I secretly have wanted to have twins!)  I asked J what he thought about getting pregnant with twins and he said he'd like that, especially given all the problems we've had and the fact that we both want two kiddos.  So at least we're in agreement about putting 2 embryos back in, now to get Dr. H on board!  He doesn't want to because I'm younger than 35 and healthy.  But 2 just feels better to me.  Will talk to him at our ultrasound on the 21st before transfer on the 28th of July.

I thought this whole baby thing was going to go out the window after J and I watched Leno who had Tom Papa on (from The Marriage Ref) on Monday night.  Tom Papa has a special place in my heart because besides being hysterical, he was actually mc-ing at my work conferences for a few years before he started hosting The Marriage Ref gig.  And even after he did the first season, he was at our conference last year.  So he feels like the celebrity I "know" a bit.  Anyway, here's the bit he did.  And while we were both laughing like crazy, the back of my mind was a little concerned J would put the kibash on everything, but he didn't.  Whew!  Enjoy!  (For those of you reading via email, click here to be taken to the blog website to watch Tom Papa, totally worth it!)

Monday, June 27, 2011

I never thought I'd say this...

Why hello friends!  How are you?  Did you have a good weekend?  Oh, you'd like me to finish the title sentence?  Okay here goes....

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm so VERY happy that Auntie Flo has finally arrived!!!  (Sorry if you were hoping for something else, that's all I got!)

The last two weeks have not been a barrel of laughs.  Every movement was a calculated transfer of weight and new pain was never exciting.  While I'm not a fan of AF usually, this time she was welcomed with open arms, even at 3 am with a lot of cramps!  But at least I could go back to my staple of Aleve and not the Tylenol that really didn't seem to be helping, and a little glass of wine and (Volleyball Queen can you guess what else?!) N-A-C-H-O-S!  And now, she's pretty much gone!  Plus, I was finally able to go back to the gym.  I know most people don't look forward to that but I really do like working out.

And then today I got my new protocol from Holly.  Need a few more pills (no more shots...well to buy, still have shots, but not for a few weeks and we've already paid for them and they're sitting in the IVF medicine box) that Holly assures me aren't expensive.  Bad news, I have to figure out all my questions before Friday when Holly departs until July 31st!  I think I read her email and the protocol and the Embryo Transfer and Post-Transfer instructions four times tonight to try and pull out any minor questions that I might have before she disappears.  And yes, I've already sent her 2 emails tonight because I forgot to add one little question on the first email. 

One big one that I asked was because I had such pain and "complications" for lack of a better term with the retrieval, could this have any bearing on the transfer or hopefully pregnancy?  Her answer was no because that was "ovarian" and pregnancy is "uteran".  So I'm hoping she's right.  A worry that has been culminating is that because there have been so many issues with the retrieval, and really AF my whole life (just a lot of pain), that pregnancy will be very difficult for me.  I'm hoping that Holly's right and I'm wrong.  Only time will tell.

And with that, I'm off to work on the fertility binder a bit that I didn't finish over the weekend and then head to bed.  Night lovely Blogites!

Friday, June 24, 2011

There's an agenda today

Well hello out there in blog land?  Have you missed me? I haven't been gone that long!

A thank you, a quick update about my condition, a few notes and then my question.  How's that for an agenda?

First off, thank much to all my new followers.  Lately, every time I look at the list and there's more.  A couple months ago I was clinging to 30 and had been since about my birthday (in November) and now I'm up over 41, not including the email followers who I'm not sure are listed as technical followers.  SO THANKS to the newbies and WELCOME!

Great, check mark next to "thank you!"  Yes, I'm that lady.

Next, update about me.  I am so happy to say that I am finally feeling about at about 85%.  Most of my energy is back, finally.  No more bursting cysts, since Wednesday at least (knock on wood).  And the only real pain I have is going from sitting to standing or standing to sitting, and the occasional sharp 2 second pain for no reason or when I'm using the ladies room.  The "girls" are still sore and large, but we're dealing (smile).  Doc has cleared me for the gym on Monday, as long as I'm not running a marathon...I promised to slowly integrate back to my workout.  Meanie Christinie is visiting her boyfriend in Cali, so no boot camp next week works perfectly to let me ease back into working out instead of zero days to 5 in a row.  I'm slowly adding some carbs to the diet and not having any issues.  I hope to say by Monday I'll be at 90% or 100%!  Update, done!

Next agenda item, notes.  Happened to have The View on this morning and they were doing an entire show about surrogacy.  Yes, I know we're not there but there's always a chance we will be at some point.  Guiliana Rancic (of Guiliana and Bill show) was on to talk about their struggles with getting pregnant, as well as some people who have used surrogates (good experiences and bad) and one woman who's MOTHER bore her triplets through surrogacy (Mom, should we talk?  Just kidding!).  The doc said they took Mom's uterus "out of retirement" because she'd gone through Menopause already.  WOW!  Anyway, the couple snippets that I caught and will remember: 1) always use an attorney, just so everything meets all the legalites, 2) surrogacy is illegal in New York (say what?!  That's ludicrous!), and 3) embryos coming out of cryo (frozen) state can die. 

Back the truck up!  Let's go back to number 3!  Guiliana was explaining her process of IVF, and that they got preggers with the first only to chromosonally miscarry.  Then the second, they retrieved the eggs, made embryos, and froze them to wait for her uterus to heal from Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (similar to us kind of - I'm not all the way to OHSS, but my uterus certainly wasn't ready for embryos).  When they unfroze the embryos, they died!  So they had to start over.  Now I realize that they aren't going to unfreeze all my embryos to put in 1 or 2 next month, but if unfreezing the embies means we'll lose some, we might not end up with as many tries as I thought.  So what did I do?  I called Holly, of course.  My go-to.  

She assured me that this doesn't happen often and especially probably won't to ours because of their outstanding quality and day 5 status.  Plus their lab has a 90% unfreezing success rate!  So feeling better about that note.  This was when she assured me the gym on Monday was fine.  And that she'd be around next week when AF is due to show, with my protocol, with my transfer date tentatively scheduled for July 28th.  She'll be gone for most of July, but around for August when I'm freaking out while we wait and when we do the pregnancy blood tests.  I told her I was working on the binder she wanted for the office, and would try to bring it in next week (possibly with banana bread, but I didn't tell her that!). 

And that brings me to agenda item number 4 (see how I did that?  Just swung right into it?  I'm so clever!)  My question to you my fellow Infertiles are:
1) What did you need that you didn't have with your process?  (I'm talking information, organization, calendars, contacts, support, paperwork, a guide, etc.)
2) If you could have one thing in a fertility binder that would help you, what would it be?
3) What would you be comfortable paying for a comprehensive, organized, pretty system of recording your infertility journey?

I'm again working on the fertility binder, and it's a bit more difficult than the baby binder.  Yes, I'm using the binder I created for myself as a guide, and I'm sure nothing will cover everyone's path, but I'd like your help on what you'd look for.  Holly was very excited because she has a lot of patients who are unorganized, so that's the main purpose.  But I also want it to be inspiring, instead of a depressing process.  So that's where my weekend will be spent, save for the lunch with my girls (Music Maiden is in from Cali) and a movie with Mama K afterwards.  Want to have it ready for Holly early next week to see and put at the office to hopefully sell and help pay off the hole in my credit card from the retrieval. 

I would greatly appreciate any comments, thoughts, advice you have to give.  Maybe even have a page with just inspiring thoughts or things to do to make whomever buys this feel less depressed about the whole process. 

PLEASE HELP ME MY DEAR BLEADERS!!!!  I know you'll come through!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another exciting morning (please note the sarcasm!)

Hello Bleaders...I'm still here.  Seemingly not recovering as much as I would like.  But first, let's go back...back to where we stopped.

Recovered from Monday and on to Tuesday.  No issues, a little bit tired and crampy but that has come to be normal in my life lately.  Slept in the fetal position Monday night and that seemed to help everything.  I want you to know how ingrained J is in this whole process.

Last night (Tuesday) when he got home from work he wanted to tell me about a dream he had Monday night.  Apparently, he kept thinking/dreaming that he had to be sleeping in the fetal position to help me not be in pain.  So all night long he was curled up and if he would wake up into that "half-sleep" and not be in the fetal position, he'd immediately curl up thinking he was helping me.  He finally woke up enough to realize that it didn't matter how he slept, because it wouldn't make me feel better.  Unless he was kicking me in the stomach in his sleep, which he isn't (for the record, I'm the fighter in my sleep...100% of decking him at least once and kicking him at least a dozen times in my sleep - and he's still here!).  I couldn't help but laugh when he told me, a deep belly laugh (that again didn't feel very good, hurt me quite a little bit), so not only am I laughing at how much he is trying to walk in my shoes, but I'm trying to stop myself from laughing because it hurt so much.  The two of us were quite a sight!

Finally, able to calm ourselves down, and pretty soon it's time for bed.  I head upstairs usually before him (mostly out of habit because usually I get up earlier than him to go workout, just not the last 2 weeks), and go to bed without any issues.

I was having a very odd dream about being a media buyer once again and trying to get a buy done before my deadline (Where do you think I got this Schelle?) and then I realized I had to pee rather urgently in my dream.  So I rushed out of the office, only to find a huge line at the bathroom and only a few working toilets in my dream bathroom.  Finally, was able to get to a toilet...and I woke up, again in pain.  Rushed to the bathroom and closed the door hoping not to wake J, but that didn't help my pain.  Now we're back to the serious pain of Sunday night, and add to that sweating like crazy and feeling hot, and rapid breathing because I'm freaking out about what is happening to my body.  Decide that it feels worse than Sunday night, so I swing open the door and yell, "J!" 

He wakes up rather quickly and says, "WHAT?" 

I half screamed, "it's happening again!"

By this time, I have crawled off the toilet and am laying in the fetal position, on the cool tile floor, almost in tears and that's where he found me.  He wanted to get me back into bed where it was more comfortable, but I refused.  He asked me what I wanted him to do and I said, "Call Holly!"  He ran downstairs to get my cell phone and handed it back to me.  I had gone back to my "throne" at this point, hoping to alleviate more pain by releasing my bladder, but no luck.  By this time (6 am), J has connected with Holly and told her that I am in extreme pain and what should he do.  I heard him say, "Northwest" which is our closest hospital.  He hung up and started to get dressed saying we're going to the hospital.  Meanwhile, I'm still in the fetal position in bed not wanting to move a muscle, but have slowed down my breathing which seemed to help the pain a bit. 

He's running around getting dressed, brushing teeth and finding shoes.  I'm still curled up contemplating how we're going to the hospital if I can't move and sitting in the emergency room waiting for hours.  I think I even said, "is an ambulance better?  At least we'll get right in!" 

As he ran downstairs to give the dogs water, I noticed that the pain was starting to slowly subside.  So, now I pick up the phone and call Holly again (6:15 am). She picks up and now can ask me questions to determine what we do from here.  After telling her of the pain, the quickness of its onset, the slow regression of the pain, the sweating, the rapid breathing, etc., she determined that it was indeed a ruptured cyst and not a twisted ovary.  She said with a twisted ovary I wouldn't be able to walk and the pain would be much more constant.  I told her that I feel it all day but it's about a level 4 pain, and then the pain this morning was about a 12, and at this point it had diminished back to a level 8 pain.  She concluded again, that it was a ruptured cyst and nothing really that we could do, except rest in bed with feet up and Tylenol.  So determined not to go sit at the hospital when the pain wasn't there anymore as bad, and they couldn't do anything anyway.

J crawled back into bed and we both tried to go back to sleep.  Finally, my alarm went off about 7 am and I had determined that I'd be working from home again so let Mom know that I wasn't coming in today.  Still, not feeling the best.  But at least a little better.  Still have to take my time getting out of bed and finding that perfect spot to lay so I'm not in pain.

Of course, I've emailed Holly to thank her for being so cordial at 6 am when we called her, and to ask if there is anything we can do so no more follicles become cysts that rupture.  But I am pretty sure her answer will be just to wait for AF, which for once in my life I can't wait for it, meaning she'll probably be late, because that's the kind of games she plays.  Can't wait! (again, note the sarcasm).

A special little note before I forget to say this, I've been walking around rubbing my belly because it hurts.  I swear strangers must think I am preggers because 1) I keep walking around in public rubbing my belly, 2) I have a belly to rub, 3) I need a bathroom more than every before.  Am hoping this alludes to happy things to come!

I'm off to the bathroom, A-G-A-I-N!

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

Hello dear ones...when I say adventure, I don't mean last week, I mean last night!

Literally, almost immediately after I hit "publish" for the blog and signed off to go to bed my abdomen started screaming at me.  I went to the bathroom, still having a lot of pain.  Popped some Extra Strength Tylenol.  Laid down.  Pillow between my knees.  And finally fetal position.  Felt 10% better, yes that says ten percent better.  J was nice enough to rub my back a bit and I think that's why I finally dropped off to sleep, only to be awakened at midnight with more extreme pain.  I would say "excruciating" however I would say that that feels like being shot, and I don't think it was that bad.  However, the pain was so intense that the following thoughts ran through my head:
"do I wake J?"

"do I call Holly and wake her up?"

"do we need to go to the hospital?"

I was in serious pain.  It felt like someone squeezing the life out of whatever was left in my ovaries.  After hanging out in the bathroom for what seemed like an eternity weighing my options, I opted to try to go back to sleep and if I couldn't in an hour or so I'd start waking people up.  Thankfully, I was able to go back to sleep, but only in the fetal position with a pillow between my knees.

I had intended to go back to the gym this morning and just walk on the treadmill, but after the events of last night, when my alarm went off that thought went out the window and staying as still as possible and as comfortable as possible won.  I did decide that I needed to call Holly though.  I had been fine all weekend, why was now any different?

Showered and dressed, gingerly, ensuring that my outfit didn't press on my belly at all and even ALMOST opted to wear completely flat shoes to work, but didn't.  (For those of you who don't know me in person, this is a H-U-G-E deal!  I wear some kind of heels everywhere!)  Got downstairs to the cell phone and called Holly's cell phone (of course I have this number) and left her a message about the events of last night, saying that I would be close to the office in about 20 minutes if they wanted me to stop in for an ultrasound.  About 10 minutes later in the car, I decided I should actually call the office and maybe catch her there.  No dice, but at least my buddies at the front desk knew the deal too.  As I almost reached my office, Holly called me back and told me to head to Dr. H's office.  So quick U-turn and back 10 minutes to the office to wait about 45 minutes to be seen by Dr. H. They had to slip me in between appointments, and after they told me to get on the table sans skirt, decided they needed to weigh me.  Waddled down the empty hall in my sheet for a quick jump on the scale and opted not to tell them that we'd been indulging all weekend.  Back on the table and in comes Dr. H and Nurse Pamela.

He tells me to lay back while he measures my belly and as is so very natural, the minute he slipped that measuring tape around my middle, I sucked everything I could in!  Then realized that probably wasn't doing any good and said, "sucking it in probably isn't what you are going for here huh? Natural reaction!"  Let loose (a bit) and he seemed okay with whatever reading he got.  Then we did an ultrasound outside the belly...I think my first ever.  Gel and everything!  He liked what he saw there and now it's time for my date with Wandy again.  Everything looked the exact same as the last time I saw down there, still a bunch of follicles hanging out and big!  I asked how big my ovaries were now, figuring golf balls down from baseballs and he said, "yeah's about the size of a handball" which he showed me to be about 2 inches in diameter.  Lovely!  He also found some liquid in my belly which he said was normal.  So after a lot of poking, prodding, question asking and discussion, he determined that I probably twisted an ovary last night and it may have twisted back or still be moving around.  It's not anything he did or I did, just the fact that the ovaries are figuring out how to get back to their normal resting places, and not quite sure how to do this.  What can we do?  No exercise (not even walking slowly on the treadmill).  No carbs (dang it!).  Pee every chance you get because that is what will help (and according to Dr. H, even if you are in bed and don't want to move, just pee yourself.  He actually said that! But I doubt that will happen!).  Dr. H said that my bladder should be bone dry all day.  Which means many trips to el bano...great!  And no sex (sorry J).  Just need to wait til AF shows up and clears the area.  Great.

Dressed and back outside where I run into Holly and we discuss his verdict.  She thinks I ruptured a cyst because her experience matches the way I explained the pain, and because of the liquid Dr. H found in my belly.  Holly explained that sometimes the follicles keep expanding and grow into a cyst.  Then with no where to go, they burst.  I believe I experienced this back when we started trying to get pregnant in 2007 when I had some severe pain and was thinking a hospital would be where I would be spending my Thanksgiving, but never did.  So not really sure what it was, but either way I'm still in the process of healing and need to treat myself like that.

Before Holly left my side, I asked how our embryos were doing.  She jetted off to find the embryologist and came back to tell me that all SEVEN embryos had become Blastocysts and would be frozen today!  Discussed AF and how the next cycle would work and learned Holly would be out of the office for all of July!  All of July?!  How can I do this without Holly?  I've sucked up to her, I'll have to start all over again!!!  Well, at least it won't be as ingrained as this cycle, but still.  I need my Holly!

Finally, time to pay.  Surprise, surprise...there's no charge.  This is part of the monitoring process...making sure I survive and recover.  YAY!  First break!  Now time for work.  And breakfast!

To the office to relay some of the details to the girls, then finally down to it.  Good for most of the day.  Definitely noticed when I needed to visit the little girls' room and paid more attention, but not terrible pain until about 5 pm when my body was giving out.  Dr. H had wanted me to ditch work yet again, but I just couldn't.  Needed to get things done and not use up all my PTO!

At one point when I was scrounging for what to have for lunch, I emailed Holly to verify what I could eat...meat, fruit, veggies and beans?  She approved beans and then told me about the grading of our embryos.

"Total of 7 embryos frozen.  d5 cryo of 2x5AA, d6 cryo of 2x5AA, 1x4AA,  2x3BB in individual straws.  Remaining embryos did not reach quality blastocyst stage and were discarded."

Now what does all that jibberish mean?  Each blastocyst is graded with a number and 2 letters.  So... 
2x5AA means we have 2 blastocysts (actually 4 since we have 2 sets of this) that are 5AA quality.  5 means the fluid filling the blastocyst is fully expanded (great).  The first A means the inner cell mass that will become the baby is a "good distinct cell mass."  And the second A means the outer cells that will become the membranes are continues and consistent cell coverage of the sphere.  All in all, EXCELLENT!

1 blastocyst at 4AA means all the same as above except instead of fully expanded, the blast is simply "expanded."

The last 2 are 3BB quality meaning: 3 - the expansion has a small cavity in the blastocyst. B - cell mass is present but not as organized as A. And B - good cell coverage, some gaps in the sphere.  All in all, probably Good. 

Holly's verdict was "Very good news! We will start with transfer of one of the 5AA embryos. You have excellent embryos!" 

Great news! 

And there's my 7!  Seven embryos became 7 blastocsysts and 7 frozen. 777!  Then randomly, later tonight, Ms. T emailed me and told me I needed to go check out this website about "Angel Numbers" where 777 is described as "777 — The angels applaud you… “congratulations, you’re on a roll! Keep up the good work and know your wish is coming true.” This is an extremely positive sign and you should also expect more miracles to occur."  I'm gonna take that as awesome!  Thanks for the heads up Ms. T!

I'll take $9k on lucky number 7 please! Night folks.  This belly is aching...and belly-aching!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Father's Day Post

Hi folks.  I know it's late on Father's Day, but it's Father's Day still nonetheless.

Father's Day can be a bitter sweet day for us Infertiles and today is no different for us this year, especially this year.  We're both thankful that we still have our fathers and they are very present in our lives, and positively at that.  However, today should have been the day when we had embryos placed into my belly.  I won't say that I wasn't disappointed when we were told this wouldn't be the case this year because I was REALLY disappointed.  Besides progressing that one step further into this process of IVF, what a great omen that could be for our impending child(ren).  But even from the beginning when I would tell people the day of my tentative transfer was Father's Day, I would say "no pressure" sarcastically afterwards.  I knew that it may or may not go that way.

Now looking back, I'm actually a bit grateful that there was no transfer today for a variety of reasons.  I'm still in pain - abdomen and breasts.  Sometimes intense, sometimes very little.  Both are swollen, breasts more tan abdomen which J loves to look at but hates that he can't touch because they hurt that much!  But still don't feel like myself unless I am severely drugged or having a glass (or glasses) of wine.  That brings me to number 2, I can actually have alcohol!  And caffeine!  And carbs!  No, I am not an alcoholic but I do like a glass of wine after a rough day, or just on the weekends.  I may be a carb-aholic, or at the very least a nacho-aholic, but not really a caffeine addict.  And this weekend we had the wedding of my friend brother.  Pictures to come later.  It was nice to be able to relax and eat and drink what I wanted, instead of worrying about everything little thing.  It was a nice break after the adventure of last week.  Which leads me to number 3, a break.  It was nice to have a break and have a little down time with J where every conversation we had wasn't about IVF or the eggies or the embryos or the drugs, etc.  Sure, it came up at the wedding because we knew a bunch of people at the wedding who knew what was happening, and because people ask when you are going to have kids at weddings.  But we did have happy news to share because of Tuesday.

Now for the happy news we received on the way to the wedding on Friday...we have SEVEN embryos that have made it to the 8-cell stage as of Friday afternoon from Holly and are "PERFECT" (that's how she wrote it).  I don't really know what happened to the others if they weren't quite there yet, but will hear the final verdict tomorrow.  Seven "embies" (not eggies anymore according to Holly) is a great thing!  "Lucky number 7" she said (so maybe there's our seven!  If you don't know what I'm talking about go read this post - coincidentally named "Lucky Number Seven" on April 18th).  We're still progressing.  I'm very happy we started with 19, because we're already down 12 and we haven't even placed any IN ME yet!  Tomorrow afternoon we'll hear how many made it to the blastocyst phase and thus were frozen either today or tomorrow.  Then, we just wait for good ole AF to show up so we can get started again.

That's another thing, my energy level is zapped.  And still feel bloated. I'll start to have pain, like P-A-I-N and realize that I just need to pee and my bladder is pressing on my larger-than-normal-size ovaries (I'm guessing golf-ball size now), but it takes me a bit to figure that out.  I'm ready to feel normal again.  I want to go work out, but I'm a bit afraid.  I may just go and walk on the treadmill tomorrow to test the waters.  I still have a little pouch that I am hoping is still bloated from all the "ovary swelling" and not the events of this weekend, but I'm thinking it might be a little of both, or a lot of both.  Either way, I'm really ready to be back to normal.  Or at the very least pregnant! :)

And on that note folks, I'm hitting the hay.  I hope you and yours had a wonderful Father's Day.  I am very grateful to have a wonderful Daddy, whom yes, I still call Daddy.  But he is just that.  And always will be.  Well, until we make him a Granddaddy that is!  Hopefully sooner than later.

Last note, sorry...those of you who upped my followers to 40(!) THANK YOU!  That's awesome!!!  So glad to have you along for the ride!  And we're now up to 21 email followers! Holy cow!  I'm hoping at some point this year we'll make it to 100!  IF WE DO, I'll do something...a raffle or something to honor it.  So help get me there and maybe you could win something yet to be determined!  Thanks much Blogites!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Frozen Cycle Process

Hello dear Blogites...I'm doing much better.  Still sore in the belly, and eating can go either way (starving or not hungry at all), but progressing in the right direction.  Let me say here and now that I am so grateful for all your support, all your stories (thanks tickyicsi for your story about the air bubble and Ashlee for talking about ME and my deviled eggs to the docs at YOUR retrieval, in your sedated state no less! So funny!) and all your love.  This process can make you feel very isolated at times because everyone around you "rolls over and is pregnant" that hearing about others going through IF and IVF and surviving (and becoming preggers) is awesome. So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!  To quote my Grandma E., GO INFERTILES GO!  Love you Grandma!

And thanks to all my family and friends who have taken care of me the last couple days, checked up on me via text/phone call/email, and just been at my back when I was having difficult times (Mama K!).  It is very much appreciated and I love you guys more than you will EVER know!

Talked to Holly this morning and heard how the frozen cycle process will go (haven't heard yet how our eggies are doing today, she said this afternoon).  First, we have to wait for AF to show.  Who knows if she'll be early, late or right on time?   But when she shows, I call Holly and let her know.  They may put me on BC for a week or so just to buy us all some time.  Dr. H will be out of the office until about July 17th, and I'll be out of the country for a work trip until about July 19th (thankfully about the same time).  I'll basically get a new protocol and have to take some estrogen pills for a couple weeks.  Once I get back, then we'll go in to do an ultrasound to check the lining of my uterus.  If he says it is thick enough, we'll start the progesterone (that we've already got) and then transfer the following week.  Basically, we are tricking my body to think that I already ovulated.  So about the end of July will be my transfer, feels far off but I've got busy times until then so I have a feeling it will be a nice little break and will come quick, just like my first IVF appt did.  Then we wait, and hopefully get a positive test.

And the best part of my phone call with Holly was she said I can have a glass or two of wine at the wedding, and even some coffee!!!  YAY!  Since we're not taking anything out, I can relax a bit!  The silver lining...

On that note folks, I've got to finish packing us up for the wedding this weekend and rehearsal tonight.  Have a wonderful weekend.  A very happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there (especially mine!) and soon J will be added to that list I hope!!!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

We officially have petri dishes

Hello Blogites, I'm alive still.  Recovering, but still more sore than I'd rather be.  Able to sleep more on my side than the last couple days, so that's nice.  Still weak due to the lack of carbs!  But alive and progressing in the right direction.

We have news of our eggies.  Of the 19 eggs (technical term: oocytes), 16 were mature enough to attempt to fertilize.  Of those 16 that were ICSI'd (shells cracked and spermie shoved in), 11 took to the fertilization and now we're holding out that those 11 progress to the 8 cell stage and the embryo stage.  Cross those fingers.

So what else is going on?  Not much.  J has been awesome in taking care of me.  He's quick to jump when I make a request for something, and last night even made dinner matching the doc's requests of veggies and protein (salad and brats, no bun for me).  He texts a couple times a day to ask how I am feeling.  He's been ideal.

Yesterday when he got home he told me that he had told a couple of his buddies at work what was going on, and one of the guys jokingly said, "I don't think J will be a good dad."  Another friend who is pretty quiet most of the time, piped up, "you are sooo wrong!  J will be a great dad.  He's serious, but knows how to joke around.  He's a kid at heart, but knows his responsibilities.  And he's fun.  He'll be great."  I could see how proud J was to tell me that his friends felt this way about him.  I too think he'll be a great dad.

And a few moments later he said, "I thought of a name for a boy."  He told me, sorry that's classified information, and we actually had a discussion about names.  Now, I've had a list of names in my phone for years, so I brought up a couple listed here.  It was very sweet to see how excited he was that it feels like we're on our way.

We're actually on our huge step down, another right in front.  Partner by my side.  I couldn't ask for more.

I love my J.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baseball anyone? (Egg Retrieval)

Well hello Bleaders, I have survived...somewhat barely it seems.  Let me recount the events of yesterday for you.

Our appointment wasn't until 11 am, so J and slept in a bit, showered and got ready, fed the animals and then I waited downstairs (not drinking or eating anything) while J did his duty in the cup.  You are supposed to keep the cup warm and upright, they actually recommend placing it between your thighs or breasts to keep it at body temperature, so that's where it went...between the ladies.  By the way, my abdomen feels like it is about to burst all morning.  Just so very full of follicules and eggs!  We get to the doc's about 10:45 am and check in, deviled eggs in hand.  They wanted us to hold on to J's sample, so he kept it warm while we waited.  I went up to pay so we wouldn't have to do it later, and I was kind of afraid it would break the credit card so wanted to be awake to call Mastercard if necessary, but the $4,950 went on without issue!  $4,950!!  Holy least we get air miles on that!?

Finally, a woman I'd never seen called my name.  She said she was the anesthesiologist, and told me to leave all my things with J.  So I figured I would be back in a minute after they took my blood.  She walked me into an entirely new room that I had never seen before and I thought, "oh man, I don't think I'm going back out there."  She showed me where to put my clothes and gave me a nighty and socks to wear, then left for a bit.  I had put my mp3 player in my purse to listen to Volleyball Queen's remix while I was under, so didn't have that.  Then I hopped up on the OB table/operating table.  It looked like an OB table on crack.  Instead of just stirrups, they had kind of ski boots at the end, I guess when you are out your feet would fall out of the regular stirrups.

Dr. A (the anesthesiologist) told me where to sit and started to talk about blood needed.  I told her about the lab losing my STD tests and that I hoped they could pull it out now.  She went to find Holly to figure out how much she needed, etc.  Holly came in dressed in her scrubs, and we discussed the blood work issue.  And I told her what I had brought them and she freaked out saying, "I love deviled eggs!!!  You are so funny!" and proceeded to tell Dr. A that if it weren't for me she probably wouldn't have eaten for the first part of June.  They determined that Holly would draw that blood out of my left arm, while Dr. A would put the IV in.  So Holly took two vials of blood I think, while Dr. A found a vein in my right hand and put a bit of numbing solution in it, then the IV a moment later, the numbing solution hurt more than the IV thankfully.  Holly had disappeared at this point to go have a deviled egg.  Then the questions started from Dr. A (or it might have been questions before the IV, I can't remember), when did you last eat and drink (before midnight and 2:30 am - I double checked Holly's math on the drinking water thing and it was off by an hour, I didn't know if that meant we might not get to do things until noon, or what, but I didn't dare risk it, so instead of getting up at 3:30 am to drink, I got up at 2:30 am and drank probably 24 ounces of water - which they said worked because drawing blood was easy and putting the IV in was too), how much do you weigh (not telling you guys, sorry), how tall are you (5"6.5"), what level of pain are you in now (8!) and what did you put in the deviled eggs -"they are delish!" (they had both snuck away to grab one).  Then all the other machines get hooked up to me, blood pressure cuff, heart monitors, fingertip pulse thingy, and oxygen mask.

Finally, the drugs start to flow and after my legs are strapped into the stirrup boots, Dr. H comes in and says hello and gets started.  I recall telling Dr. A and Holly that I felt dizzy and possibly felt a speculum go in, then I was out.

MEANWHILE, out in the lobby, (per J telling me after everything was done) J was wondering when I was coming back and when he looked at his watch he realized I'd been gone about 20 minutes and they had probably started.  But he still had his cup, which he isn't supposed to, so he asked the receptionist again, and finally they came to get it.  He also realized the deviled eggs had been out for a while so went to give them to the receptionist to be put in the fridge.  He also had the job of going to the pharmacy to get the remaining drugs for the transfer.  So he walked over to the pharmacy and they kept asking him if my name was Jasmine, not Nikus.  He kept repeating my name and they said they didn't have any prescriptions for me.  I had written out the drugs needed and sent him with my protocol, but they couldn't make it work.  So he walked back to the doc's office and they called to double check the prescriptions.  J walked back and waited there for a while, getting antsier by the minute, wanting to be in the doc's office when I woke up.  The second time he walked out of the pharmacy he saw Holly standing outside the office waving him over.  So he rushed over to her and she told him I was done.  So he came in and I had told Holly previously that I wanted him to take a picture of me hooked up to everything.  (Holly wanted me to note that even though the photos below look like there's not a doc in sight, there are actually two in the room, so no worries everyone, I wasn't left alone like that.)

Ok, back to me.  At this point I am now waking up and starting to feel some pain in my belly.  Holly had told me that the woman they retrieved before me had woken up a little early (once all the eggs are plucked, they turn the anesthesia off so the patient wakes up, but Dr. H was still looking at her uterus when she woke up) and she asked Dr. H "did you move furniture around in my vag-j-j?!"  And everyone started cracking up, but she was dead on!  That's what it feels like!  They gave me some extra strength Tylenol and WATER (finally). They let me wake up a bit more and were asking questions, etc.  Finally, unhooked all the machines and let me stand up, and helped me walk to the recovery recliner in a separate room.  

Sat down in the recliner, with a heating pad on my belly, and a blanket on my legs.  Let me drink a little bit more and wake up, then Holly came in to tell me that they were able to retrieve 19 eggs!!!  19!  And they may have scratched the inside of the uterus a little bit.  Also, that my ovaries are the size of baseballs.  Baseballs people!  They are supposed to be the size of walnuts! Walnuts vs. Baseballs...are you seeing a difference here?!  Then we started to go over how I should feel (in pain, like having AF and a little bit more than that), symptoms to watch out for (bleeding, fever and super intense pain), what I should eat (fruits, veggies, protein, but no carbs because that increases the bloating), and when we'll know if we are doing the transfer.  Then Dr. H came in and checked my pulse and said he was overjoyed with how many eggs they got.  He also said my IVF process has been "ideal" and things had "progressed perfectly."  Holly gave J a print out picture of my uterus, that I'm choosing not to share because it just looks black and has a bunch of random numbers on it that I don't really know what they are all reflecting.  Dr. H also asked when I was going to go to the bathroom and Holly had told me that peeing would be an "experience."  An "experience" because when my bladder was full, my ovaries kind of floated around it.  So when I peed and released my bladder, the ovaries would kind of float up back to their normal position.  She said it would feel "funny." So I tried to go pee, but since I hadn't drunk anything since 2:30 am, there wasn't much in my system, despite the fluids they had given me during the extraction.

J and I are left alone and that's when he told me about the pharmacy debacle.  J helped me get dressed back in my own clothes (while I commented, "I'll bet you never thought you'd have to help your wife GET dressed"), and about that time Dr. H came back in to tell me that the deviled eggs were so yummy!  And that he tried to get two, but someone else walked in behind him and snaked the last one.  The deviled eggs were gone before we were! I know what everyone likes now, and how to get on their good side yet again!  After I was dressed, J helped me walk out to the car and get in.  He then went back and made sure we had all my meds, fertility binder and purse.  Dr. H had been in the conference room which has a window facing the parking lot so came out again to check that we were okay.

We drove home and I asked J to drive "smoothly."  He called my Mom to let her know that we were on our way home, and she had planned to bring lunch too, but I couldn't have the macaroni and cheese I had requested from Boston Market.  Boo!  Made it to the house and J walked me in and upstairs, taking care to hold my arm and walk behind me on the stairs.  Then, he got everything else out of the car and got me settled.  He was amazing and so sweet.

About that time, the doorbell rang and Mom was here.  She dropped off the food in the kitchen, and came up to check on me.  I was really tired, so I just wanted to rest.  J left for work and Mom worked a bit, leaving me alone.  I drifted off a little bit, but I'm a side or belly sleeper and obviously that wasn't about to happen.  I may have slept a bit but then I heard Mom on the phone. I found my cell phone and checked my email to find an email from Holly saying that my LH level was .18 and it needed to be above .4 in order to do the transfer on Sunday.  Boo!  The doorbell again - Mama K was here.  I let her know I was awake, so she let Mama K in and then they both came upstairs to hear about my morning.  At one point I asked them what they were staring at because they were looking at me like I had two heads or would explode!  They laughed and said they were just listening to me.  Mom brought me up some broth and salad, and then left to get on with the rest of her day.  She was wonderful and I'm so grateful she could come care for me so J could go back to work.

Mama K and I just sat and talked for a bit, I broke down a bit when I told her that we couldn't do the retrieval and she did her best to comfort me.  I understand why they don't want to put a perfectly good embryo in a uterus that isn't ready, but I just want to be done with all this.  Now we need to wait until July to put embryos back in.  Mama K and I then decided it was time for a movie.  So we watched The Proposal and I tried not to laugh, because that hurt.  She was awesome, asking me if I needed help for anything, getting me more water and broth, and she even brought us dinner, although because it was a lasagna type dish, I can't eat it, but J could.  Her daughter, Rhe Rhe had even made me a "get well picture" of a rainbow and wrote on it "I hope you feel better" and "I love you" and "Love Rhe Rhe."  So very sweet.  My MIL called to check how things had gone and how I was feeling.  We chatted for a bit, and then she let me go.  She was grateful Mama K was here to take care of me and had brought us dinner.  Mama K and I chatted and watched Everybody Loves Raymond and about that time J texted to see if I still had company, and I responded that yes Mama K was still there.  He got home probably 20 minutes later and came up to check on us.  Mama K had crawled under the covers with me (still no making out!) because she was cold.  But no spooning! :)  She left to go home about 6:30 pm and I was very grateful that she had been here all that time.  It was also about then that I could have another dose of Tylenol.  YAY!

J brought me some more water after Mama K left, and some dinner and finally let the puppies in who had been outside all day in 105 degrees.  He was downstairs and I was upstairs trying to stay comfortable and relax, which was still painful.  Called Mom to tell her that I probably wouldn't be at the office Wednesday, if I still felt like this.  Then, I decided I needed to email Holly to tell her how I was feeling and make sure it was still normal.  I knew she had gone to bed early because she'd been at the office since 5 am and had to do more retrievals today.  I also decided that if I still felt as hurting as I was, I would call the office this morning to make sure everything was okay.  Finally started to get tired about 11 pm, and tried to sleep, however I'm not a back sleeper, so it was difficult.  Woke up about 4 am to go to the bathroom, and wasn't able to go back to sleep for a while after that.  I also took another dose of extra strength Tylenol.  

Woke up and decided that I wasn't going anywhere today and would call about 9 am to make sure I was okay.  Called my office to let the staff know that I wouldn't be in and gave them an update about yesterday's events.  They told me to rest and feel better.  Then called Holly, only was told she was doing retrievals so was passed to Nurse Pamela who as soon as I said "good amount of pain" she passed me straight to Dr. H.  He asked what was going on and I told him that I was still in a lot of pain, more than AF pain.  He asked about bleeding, fever and pain.  And confirmed that I was having the normal amount of pain and should still stay away from carbs still.  BOO!  And keep them posted, and they would let me know when we had update on our fertilized embryos.  

I think that's about all about our little adventure.  I'm still in a decent amount of pain and am afraid to sneeze, cough or make any other quick movements.  I coughed a bit, and man that wasn't fun!

The reason we can't transfer on Sunday is because the LH (luteinizing hormone) is too low, which means even though the uteran walls were thick enough, they aren't "sticky" enough to get the embryo to stick and develop.  There's also too much testosterone in my body and it's probable that the embryo would die.  So why go through all that work, money and effort to put a perfectly good embryo into a bad home? It still upsets me, but it makes sense.  And I'm kind of okay with it now because I'm in so much pain and would hate to have to do shots, etc. right now.

But on that note folks, I need to leave before the laptop shuts down.  I am alive, happy that we got 19 eggs, not so happy that my ovaries are as big as baseballs, but happy that I can be at home to recover today.  And very grateful for all the texts, emails, FB posts, and phone calls checking on me.  Thanks folks!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

HCG Shot, Test Results and TOMORROW!

It seems like everyday I have something to blog about dearest Bleaders!!  So let's start where we left off...

I did the last of my regular shots last night (Follistim and Ganirelix) at 9 pm, and while messing with those mixed the HCG up from the water and the powder and put it in the needle, so I wouldn't have to do that at 1 am.  Finished up and headed for bed. YAY for no shots tonight!!  Finally, a night off!

I had to do the Yaegermeister (correctly spelled Jaegermeister as I was told on FB this morning) HCG shot by myself at 1 am this morning.  Super-Mom felt really bad that she couldn't help, but I assured her I would survive.  I set my alarm next to my bed and on my phone for 12:50 am, and when it went off I rolled over and realized I needed to get up quick!  Stumbled downstairs to the fridge, fished the needle that J and I had prepped before we had gone to bed out, found the alcohol wipe, and wandered into the bathroom and took a deep breath.  I pinched an inch on my hip (technically: love handle), tried to stab and couldn't.  Poked myself, yelped.  Finally, another deep breath and the 1.5 inch needle was plunged into my hip.  I'm not gonna lie, it did hurt a bit.  Not tear-jerkingly, but more than the tequila Follistim shots have.  Pulled the needle out, put it in the "sharps container" (water bottle) with all the other needles.  Shut the light in the kitchen off, and back to bed.  I made a bit of noise when I crawled into bed, so J knew that I had done my duty at which point he mumbled, "did you do it?" and "Good job".  However, just because I went back to bed, doesn't mean I went back to sleep.  I had so many things running through my head, that I probably didn't drift off until about 2 am.

Had set the alarm to go to the gym, but when I woke up my abdomen was VERY tender, so I opted for a bit more sleep and little movement.  Up finally, showered and ready for work.  Good day, busy but productive.  Handed all my left-overs to Mom and scooted out a bit late to hit acupuncture, drop my dress for the wedding off at the dry cleaners and get groceries at Target, in addition to returning the dress pants I had bought for J that were too long, to get ones that weren't.  I had emailed Holly half way through the day to inquire about what my Estrogen level was and if we had ever gotten my STD results officially.  She emailed back that they were still bugging the lab about the STD results, but would have an answer today come hell or high water, and that my Estrogen level was at 2758.  Last Tuesday it was 418.  So to me, I think we won't hit the dreaded 4000 by tomorrow.  If we hit 4000, we can't do transfer.  If it took 6 days for 418 to become 2758, I highly doubt that 2758 can become 4000 from Sunday to Tuesday.  Let's hope I am right!  I had also asked Holly what she wanted for goodies tomorrow because she commented on having a muffin this morning. 

I just found another email from Holly that I missed during the end of the day because I was very busy getting things wrapped up and she was very upset.  It seems that the lab did my HIV test and all of J's STD and HIV tests (all of which were negative - like we didn't know that), but neglected to actually do my STD tests!  To recap a bit, if we don't have these tests done BEFORE eggs come out, than they can't be put into any other bellies (MBM if we need her) or if we don't, we can't donate these eggs to a needy Infertile sister!  Holly said that she gave them a serious piece of her mind about their error, but I am hopeful (and have emailed Holly to verify) that they can draw my blood tomorrow morning before the retrieval so we still have the opportunity to use the eggs in MBM if we need to or donate them if we don't.  I can't see why that wouldn't work.  I had told Holly I was worried about not making it to transfer, but she thinks it won't be an issue.  The rest of her email is below and made me laugh:
"Anyway, we are good to go for you tomorrow and it will be a lovely day and we will get beautiful eggs and J will have lovely sperm and life will be good. You are NOT to bake today or bring treats, it is our turn to give you the treat of the anesthesia spa experience :). And, I am good for tomorrow, I have my muffin!"

She cracks me up.  However, I had an absolutely B-R-I-L-L-A-N-T idea at the grocery store for what to bring to them tomorrow that was not only easy, but very humorous, at least to me...
That's right folks, we're taking  Deviled Eggs to our Egg Retrieval!  I hope they find it as hysterical as I do!!!

I have noticed all day long that I am SUPER tender in my abdominal.  Every twist and turn is kind of painful.  And I found that if I don't move for a while and then switch positions, it almost hurts more.  In fact, I kind of feel preggers right now because I've peed so much today!  Not only have I been gulping water like a mad woman, but I don't think there is enough room in my body right now for a full bladder!!!  I swear I have a little pouch now, but no measurements to prove it.  Sorry folks.

So before I head for bed, only to be woken up at 3:30 am to drink as much water as possible, to go back to bed and then be at the doc's at about 10:45 am I wanted to give you this update because I will most likely be out of commission most of tomorrow.  You are more than welcome to shoot me an email or a text to inquire about how I am doing, knowing that email won't get answered until late in the day and Mama K may be the one texting you back in my absence while I'm sleeping off the anesthesia.  

Once the eggs have been pulled, they'll be sent off to the embryologist with J's boys and we'll hear from there how many eggs we've got and how many progress to embryo stage.  Will keep you posted.

It feels like we are in the home stretch and the only things to pray for is that tomorrow goes off without a hitch, we can pull blood before for the dang STD tests, Estrogen level is under 4000, and we don't get more than 20 eggs.  I guess "only" isn't so little. 

Prayers are welcome.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Third Ultrasound and blood draw

WHOA!  Where do I begin?

When last we spoke, I said I was going to blog after I upped my drugs and obviously I didn't do that.  So let's go back to Friday, with a little reflection first.

A week ago Friday, we started injections.  This Friday, I did 2 shots.  My lovely tequila Follistim, and then we added vodka Ganirelix to the mix.  Remember, Ganirelix suppresses ovulation until the Yaegermeister  HCG Trigger shot tonight.  So, 9 pm rolled around and it's time for shots.  Follistim, no worries.  Ganirelix, ouch!  The Follistim needle is quite thin.  Literally, slides into the belly like butter.  The Ganirelix needle is a bit thicker and did actually hurt a bit.  But got it in and then noticed a tiny air bubble in the needle before I could stop myself from depressing the plunger into get the rest of the drugs out.  So after a little belly-aching (literally) to J, I ran upstairs to make sure I wasn't going to die in my sleep from injecting myself with a tiny air bubble.  Dr. Internet quickly confirmed that to die from that the air bubble had to not only be injected into a vein (not the fat of your tummy) and it had to be a very large air bubble!  And obviously, here we are 3 days later and I'm still alive.  So we're good.

Which brings us to Saturday.  Nothing really new to do Saturday drug wise...still 2 shots, and 2 pills.  However, we were instructed to "baby dance" (TMI, I know but it's important!) Saturday night so that J's boys would be in tip-top shape on Tuesday.  So after shots last night, we did just that.  Now remember, my abdomen is very tight and that "process" for lack of a better term didn't sound very appetizing to me.  But doctor's orders, so it got done.  And after I said to J, "well, that wasn't as bad as I thought it might be." and he replied, "I'm trying not to be offended!!!"  I said, "NOOOOOOO, because of my stomach being so not happy right now!"  He understands and we went to bed.

So on to today and all the happenings of this morning.  Up somewhat early to shower and get ready for the doc appointment.  Got there right on time, homemade blueberry muffins in hand (I pilfered a few that Robot and the Boot Camp Girls gave me for the docs so I wouldn't have to bake yet again!) and they were very well received.  I figured Dr. H and Holly H. might not have had a lot of breakfast yet and it would be a good snack.  I was right!  Where to begin about today?

Holly brought me back for my blood test which was a little more painful than usual, I think mostly to just being stuck every couple days in the same place.  Then she handed me yet another print out of how the extraction and transfer will work.  I had left J in the waiting room, so I walked back and read it while we waited to be called back again, giving J tidbits he needed to hear.  Finally get called back to our room to get ready.  I had worn a sundress today so I didn't have to change, just slip off my under-roos, but Dr. H was knocking practically as I hopped up.  Finally ready, and he comes in and the show begins.  Holy schmoly Batgirl, talk about follicules!  So many.  I easily counted 15-17, or more.  There was lots of measuring going on and he said there are plenty that are in the right range (now remember my abdomen is already full and "Wandy" up there doesn't make it any this is a bit painful...maybe a 5).  As he continued to count, we were chatting finally brought up that if there are too many eggs, they won't do the transfer.  So if Tuesday he pulls out 20 or more eggs, the transfer next Sunday is off.  That's a little dismaying to me because I just want to be done already.  But Dr. H said that is a good problem to have and it may not happen that way at  all.  He said many times huge follicules don't produce an egg and small follicules do, so we could be perfectly fine.  Won't know until Tuesday afternoon.  The reason the transfer would be off is because if I produce that many eggs, then my estrogen level will be really high (could be over 4000!) which also means that my testosterone level is really high, and that means my uterus won't be perfectly hospitable for a little embryo.  Why put perfectly good embryos in a uterus that won't be perfect, thus wasting a lot of time and money.  After lots of measuring, we were finally done and ready to go.  Well, almost...still need to go over my HCG shot with Holly H.  Bottom line, Dr. H said we are progressing as scheduled and nicely.  Let's hope that continues.

Dressed again and pop out to talk about that.  The reason this is different is that the HCG comes in two vials.  One is water and one is powder.  All the other shots are pre-filled.  So you take a portion of the water out with the 1.5 inch fat needle, put it into the other vial with the powder, mix, then change the needle to the smaller version and inject using that.  It's still a 1.5 inch long needle, but it's a lot skinnier.  It goes into my "love handle" at 1 am tonight.  So I must get up about 12:55 pm, inject (I'll mix it all before we go to bed), and then try to go back to sleep.  I texted Super-Mom and told her that unless she wanted to come over at 1 am to do my shot, I was on my own.  She agreed she didn't, so I'll just have to suck it up and do it.  Holly H. swears it won't hurt in my hip (not my butt), gotta go into muscle.  Man I hope she is right!  Then tomorrow (Monday), I have NO shots!  I finally get a day off. 

Tomorrow (Monday) after work I have an acupuncture appointment and then will come home and relax.  After midnight, I'm not allowed to eat anything.  Holly H. said I should set my alarm for about 3:30 am to get up and drink a bottle of water so I am not dehydrated for the procedure.  After 4 am, not allowed to have anything to eat or drink.  So no Dox pill Tuesday am.  No boot camp either.  Will sleep in a bit, get ready and head over to the doc's about 10:30 am.  J has to bring his sample.  We'll get settled, IV in and off I go to sleep.  J will go to the pharmacy and get the remaining drugs that I need for the following weeks.  Even if we don't do the transfer next Sunday, the drugs will still be good for when we eventually do.  Procedure takes about an hour to an hour and half, with recovery.  I'm the last patient of the day (boo, couldn't get my time moved up due to the lab demanding that a different patient went first because they required more time), but at least they won't be rushing to get me out of the room.  Holly said to bring something with a little sugar and a snack because I might be hungry, then we'll head for home.

Will call my Mom on our way back and she'll meet us at the house. J will drop me, hopefully Mom will be there by then, and then he'll go to work and hopefully make some money.  I'll probably go take a nap while Mom works in my office.  Then, probably about 2:30 Mama K will come relieve Mom of her babysitting duties.  Now this could change because Mama K has been sick, but is almost over it.  However if that changes, either my Mom will stay until J gets home or my surrogate mother, Mama Ledford will come over and babysit until J comes home.  Holly said Mama K being sick isn't a big deal as long as we don't make out! :) I hadn't planned on doing that anyway.  Sorry Mama K!  But I think she'll be fine by then. 

Hopefully, we'll get a call Tuesday evening about how many eggs were taken out and how many embryos are being created.  Then, we'll know if the transfer is happening or not.  Either way, they'll still put the eggs in a petri dish with their shells cracked and a spermie inside and see how many embryos we get.  The embryologist will grade them based on this scale that I'll get into later (basically, "excellent," "good," and "poor" but far more specific).  If we do move to transfer, then next Sunday, they'll put one or two in (as of yet to be determined and will discuss after we know if we are going to transfer) and we're good.  If we don't move to transfer, then after the embryos become blastocysts, they'll freeze all the good ones and we'll wait until next month to put them in.  Not sure how all that works, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

And lastly, we wondered if a fresh cycle (what it is called if we make t to transfer this month) was better than a frozen cycle (if they freeze all the eggs and we transfer next month or later).  The answer is they are about the same, and if they are minutely different, the frozen cycle just might have a slightly better chance.  Volleyball Queen just told me that a friend of hers has gone through 2 IVF cycles, one fresh and one frozen, and the frozen one gave her twins.  So if we don't get to transfer this month, that's okay.  But I really want to, because I just want to be done!! 

Now tell me you aren't overwhelmed?!  I am...again!  First, I was overwhelmed as all of this was happening and now again re-telling you.  I just really hope that I don't have too many eggs and we can move to transfer.  I just want to be done!!!  I just want to be pregnant and go on normally...although I know that will never happen...not the getting pregnant part, the normal part!

I've got some chores to do before Sunday goes away so I must leave you know to digest all of this information.  If you think about it Blogites, please send a prayer out to the universe that we don't have too many eggs and we can transfer next week and we get good eggs.  That's how you can help!

Thank you and happy Sunday!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Time to up the cocktails

Hello....can you tell we are getting close my lovelies?

Yesterday was my last shot of tequila Follistim by itself. I've taken to calling my shots by names of alcohol since I can't have that and it sounds so much more enjoyable than Follistim. So now we start to mix. Tonight through Sunday we'll add vodka Ganirelix and then Sunday we'll add Yaegermeister HCG (Trigger shot) as well. (I'm not a fan of Yaeger, and I'm not a fan of the needle that HCG has, see below.)

The needle at the very top (yellow) is Follistim, the middle needle is Ganirelix, and the bottom needle is HCG.  I know they are kind of hard to see the length.  I'll take a better photo when they are all out of their protective coverings on Sunday.  There is a business card behind them and I lined them all up at the edge of the business card so you can see where the needle starts. 

This is my box-o-drugs!  Way too many if you ask me!  But whatever helps me get preggers right?!

I definitely feel like a chicken lately. Not because I am scared, although I am. But because I feel very bloated and like I'm holding lots of eggs. I'm also finding that I'm having more headaches and feeling tired quicker. My patience (while it's always been short) is even shorter now. At least my filter still works. I say MANY things in my head, that don't make it out of my mouth.

We, yes J too, we had to start taking Doxycycline on Tuesday and I think that actually makes me more tired than the Follistim. J noticed that too. In fact, Tuesday night after I made him watch me do my shot and we both took our evening pill while having dinner, then headed for bed a little while later. J is the only person I know that reads every little detail about whatever drugs is prescribed...side effects, what you can and can't do, etc. I look for warnings and go from there. Anyway, after you take Dox you aren't supposed to lay down for 30 minutes and you aren't supposed to take it with milk products. So J watches the clock after he takes it to know when he can go to bed. He comes to bed on Tuesday and says his stomach hurts and "he thinks he is getting his period" because that is what I say when I have cramps and my tummy hurts! I almost died laughing! It was so very funny. He is definitely my comic relief!

Then, yesterday after work I had to stop at the pharmacy on my way home to pick up my HCG shot that I forgot didn't know about picking up on Tuesday. I pulled the thing out and the needle is 1.5 inches long!!! My Follistim needle is about a half inch long, and the Ganarelix needle is maybe an inch. But the HCG needle is H-U-G-E! So I may need reinforcements for this bad boy...also if memory serves, this needle goes into my hip (read: muscle) instead of belly. I've had a couple friends that have offered to do my shots for me, and I think I need to call one of them in. Super-Mom lives the closest and she's given shots to others before. She's up to the task, now we just need to see what time I have to do it. If it is late late at night, I may have to suck it up and do it. (HCG is the shot that tells the body "it's time to ovulate" and then the doc will go in and get the eggs before I actually ovulate, so they aren't floating around in my belly.) The timing of the shot is C-R-U-C-I-A-L! In the past, I've done these shots at 11 pm, 1 am and I think 10 pm. Holly H. said the shot wouldn't be at a crazy time, so I am hoping she is right and that means Super-Mom can swing down from her house, stab me, and go.

And ending on a very happy note, I went to boot camp this morning and not only was Lobster back from vacation (YAY!), but the girls (Meanie Christinie & Robot) and Chaz (our one male boot camper) had brought me homemade blueberry muffins and a gift card for a manicure and pedicure at my favorite salon! How ridiculously sweet are they?! And I need a mani-pedi before next weekend's wedding! I can't wait to go be treated!!! They are too good to me. All of them also said to call them if I needed anything...ANYTHING! Hmmm....dinner and housekeeping?! ;) Love my boot camp ladies!!! Their company alone is worth the money boot camp costs and getting up at 5:30 am to go. Thank you ladies, I am so blessed to have you in my life and to be in your prayers.

But honestly, if you want to do anything for me during this time...the best thing to do is to send me a little text or email just telling me that I am on your mind. That goes much further than food, cleaning, etc. Volleyball Queen has texted about every other day and it always brightens my day! Makes me feel less alone in this battle process.

Will blog tomorrow after I've had my shot of tequila and vodka tonight.  :)