Saturday, December 11, 2010

More Than Half Way

On Monday I will be 22 weeks along. I will be honest... in those first few weeks... those first few scary-ass weeks - I dreamt about the feeling that 22 weeks would be. I dreamt about anything over 20. About being pregnant at Christmas, instead of empty handed and empty wombed. We are so incredibly thankful for this pregnancy, and for the fact that it has been fairly easy since that first trimester hiccup.

Now, everything we do, we make an alternate plan for next year.

"Well, next year when the girls are here... "

"The girls will be grabbing stuff by next year, standing possibly... we can't put this here next year..."

And it's wonderful.

This past week we had two appointments. The first appointment was on Monday - which was the follow up to my 20-week anatomy scan. I purposefully ate WAY before my appointment - knowing I wouldn't be able to hold lunch until after, and remembering my near-puke experience from last week. We were only going back to focus on Baby B - to see a glimpse of her facial structures to be completely sure everything was okay (they have a 20 week checklist and she didn't show us her face last time!) An hour and a half of being poked and pushed and turning every which way - the technician gave up and the doctor came in. About 15 minutes and he was about to give up on it, when there it was - a clear glimpse of a perfect little lady face.

Then, on Friday, we had our monthly appointment with our ob/gyn. I have to say, that so far the most interesting part of these appointments are hearing whatever person is on the phone wanting to talk to her about some emergency. The first two appointments she was called as soon as we got there for deliveries. (Her office is in the hospital). And then the next two, she had to take phone calls from women who were either convinced they had cancer because their friend told them so, or had sex at the worst possible time if you don't want to get pregnant. Yes, the walls are THAT thin. I keep that in mind when we're in there.

Then we got to hear their little heartbeats.

So, since everything is going well - we are still on a once-a-month schedule. We'll go back next month for another round - and to see our little ladies again.

Until then, we're hopeful for a continuation of the drama-free pregnancy.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Banana Gram

Today is 20 weeks and 1 day. Which means, that even IF I was going to carry our ladies to 40 weeks I'd still be half way. Half way.
So I checked today and our babes are the size of bananas. Ish. They should be about 7 inches long. And because of yesterdays visit, I know that baby A is 13 oz. and B is 11 oz.

I also started adding to our registry today. G and I previously started with a few items, but today I really loaded up on some stuff that will probably be determined useless about 2 weeks into their lives, or be remembered about 2 months after the intended time frame of usefulness.

My massive blemish - er- gift from my ladies is very slowly de-reddening. Still the size of Mt. Rushmore, but getting better. This morning I woke up with swollen glands that feel like bruises - apparently swollen glands are fairly normal, but it's uber-uncomfortable. I will keep an eye on it and see what's up in the next day or 2. I'm hoping no dr. visit is in order.

Today also marked the day in which I received the "WOW!" comment about my stomach. I guess they call it "popped." So, pregnancy, I have arrived.

15.5 more days until Winter Break.

Monday, November 29, 2010

20 Week Happenings

This weekend my girls (yes, they are still girls!) gave me my first daughters-to-mommy gift. It's so sweet, I can hardly be upset with them. However, a blemish the size of a small country is not exactly what I had in mind. I'm not even kidding. Redness, itching, and swelling make this blemish the only thing I can keep my mind on today.

That was, until about 1:00. Then it was time for our 20 week anatomy scan. The big one. The one where they measure everything. Head circumference, cerebellum, eye sockets, leg bones, stomach, heart... all of it.

G and I got there right on time, and were taken back almost immediately. I changed into the lovely gown (I have to strip from the waist down, so I at least got to keep my shirt on). I'd regret the shirt soon....

The tech squirted out about half a bottle of that lubricating gel and got busy. They start with baby A - who was head down when we started but wouldn't stop moving the entire time! Baby A is measuring 20 weeks and 1 day. Good girl. I think the coolest part, for me, was seeing the flash of blood running through the heart, the ventricles, and the stomach and bladder (both full)!! Baby A kept moving so much that it was taking forever to get the right heart pictures. And, of course, she had her hands over her face most of the time.


The scary 3D image. Baby with a placenta hat. Home made. These images are still kind of creepy since they don't have much baby fat - but it's still kind of neat.


The best profile shot of our mover & shaker.

It was about an hour in - trying to get Baby A's heart - that I started to sweat and feel a little nauseous. Quickly. I had to ask to sit up, and at that point I thought I was going to either vomit or pass out. I then asked to go to the rest room to wash my face, and decided to take my shirt off and leave myself in only the gown. Best decision, as I felt instant relief. I think the combination of being on my back that long, pressure from the machine... and probably lunch sitting in there that had me ready to call it quits for the day.

But alas, Baby B... we can't keep you waiting :) Baby B is measuring 19 weeks and 6 days - more good news. B started to become uncooperative, but not as much as baby A was. The tech said "If they're like this now, you're in trouble..."


Sleeping on a pillow - or so it looks to me.


That's Baby B pointing - or giving us a #1 sign. Or tattling on the technician for pushing too hard. "It was her!"


Profile of Baby B.

Oh yes. Trouble. Our lovely ladies of trouble.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's a funny feeling when you realize that you are ACTUALLY growing people inside your body. Like super small people that are breathing and swallowing and peeing.

This week is Thanksgiving. If you could see my stomach, you'd know what G and I were thankful for this year. I am very excited for next week, when we get to see those little babes again via sonogram.

The last sonogram we had we were told that they were most likely 2 girls... so I'm wondering if any new revelations will arise or if we can truly be seeing pink :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

16 weeks


Babies being a bit shy - they were kicking each other!




Look at those legs! Moving moving moving!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The image is weeks ago, but the sound is from today. There are 2 sound files - there is a clear break between the 2 in the middle!

Too Long

Whoa, it has been far too long. I blame myself and my incessant worrying that something will go wrong. That this wonderful gift will somehow slip from our hands. I try, and have been successful, in letting go of the worry and just embracing this - one day at a time. And I'm proud to say that my little family has made it safely to 15 weeks.

15 weeks. These tiny ones are almost the size of an avocado - (side note: what's with all of the food analogies with babies?). Just short of announcing the news using a bullhorn at the top of a mountain, I believe it is safe to say that everyone knows. Which is great news considering I now own 2 pairs of pants that fit.

I am still getting up FAR too many times in the middle of the night - either to pee or because I am uncomfortable. I have reached a point in which I can not comfortably sleep on my stomach - which is usually the ONLY way I sleep. Big adjustment in that aspect.

I have lost any cravings for sweets (except starburst!). I am usually a big chocolate person, and now I could care less. I have been really craving fruit, though, so I'm still getting that "sweet" in there somewhere.

Two weeks ago G and I went to the OB - who found those little heartbeats right away. Monday we will go to get an ultrasound to measure my cervix, just to be sure all is well. At that point we're hoping that we might get a glimpse into the sex of the tiny ones. But really, I'm just glad to be able to see them again. I get really anxious leading up to the appointments, but so far have only been greeted with great news.

Thank goodness.

It is still very odd that there are no more shots. No more meds. No more blood taken every other day.

15 weeks.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Still Waiting

It feels as though this entire process is about waiting. I am not a patient person when it comes to babies and waiting. Waiting for the cycle to start, waiting for meds, waiting for my body, and waiting for answers. Well, after my first "emergency" appointment, I was left waiting. Waiting to see if I'd bleed more, waiting to have another ultrasound...

My babies had heartbeats of 140 and 142 at exactly 6 weeks. They were measuring 6weeks and 5weeks 6 days. (It's common for one to be a day ahead/behind, apparently). They looked okay. But I had that clot.

Fast forward a week and a half. G and I went to this appointment together. I hadn't had any more bleeding, only some random "stuff" - but I hadn't worried myself with it. It's also important to note that I have been crampy for this entire time.

So, we showed up to our appointment at our RE's office. Dr. B was there, and our favorite U/S tech, Julie. They spent a little while looking at the screen and taking measurements, and then they turned the screen towards us. I interrupted my ceiling tile count to take a look at the screen. There they were - still hanging in there! The heartbeats were 160 and 167, and they were measuring right on schedule. The clot was bigger, but they hardly mentioned it. No cause of worry, or they would have said something. That's what kept me calm. This appointment was at 7 weeks, 3 days. I was almost 2 months along and the babies were doing wonderfully!

And... the good news... this was my last visit with Dr. B. I was being released back to my usual ob/gyn. Like a normal person and a normal pregnancy. Hmm. Not sure how to do "normal" after a year+ of specialist care.

The nurses and doctors gave us hugs, told us the directions for the meds (stop progesterone and estrogen at 10 weeks), and how to come back and visit on their lunch breaks so that they can "cuddle" with the babies. They give you discharge papers to deliver to your OB, and then you're done. You leave those doors with nothing but an empty wallet and full heart (and uterus). It was such a strange feeling.

The tough news: That I was going to have to wait 3 weeks to see another doctor. THREE WHOLE WEEKS. Again, with the patience.

Those three weeks were excruciating, but we made it. Last Friday afternoon - when I was 9 weeks and 4 days, we had another ultrasound. Again, the babies had great heartbeats and are measuring right on schedule. The best part of that experience was seeing them on the screen. Moving. Their little bodies moving back and forth, and their little arms moving.... it was amazing. Their heads are huge and their arms are stumpy looking - but those are some adorable little big headed babies.

Monday, September 20, 2010

And Then There Were Four

I've been hesitating updating the blog for a few reasons.

1. I had to tell people that read the blog before they, well, read the blog.

2. Superstition. Anxiety. Ridiculous mindset that if I share too soon, or share too much, that this will just go away. I will "ruin" something that seems to be going to perfectly well.

3. To get further along.

So, I am 10 weeks pregnant today. With twins. Buy one, get one free. Or both for half price. I have a few more weeks until I am out of the first trimester - but everything is looking really great. So now, I will backtrack and tell you all about the last few weeks (not all in one post - don't worry).

The Week We Found Out
I was due to take my beta test at the doctor on a Friday. The Friday before G's parents were due to arrive. I didn't even make it through 10 days before I wanted to test at home. So - a full 4 days before my beta I decided to do a home test. It could go 2 ways - negative (in which I would have convinced myself that it was just far too early to test positive) - or positive and then I could start stressing about being pregnant again.

Well, it was positive. Already. And by the time we beta tested on Friday, my levels were already over 1,000. GREAT news.

The next few days were spent enjoying the good news with G's parents, and napping. I was exhausted. Couldn't help myself, I could hardly keep my eyes open while out shopping! We kept the news quiet beyond them - anxious to get our follow-up beta levels and our first ultrasounds.

Well, the beta levels increased by over 60% (they never doubled) over the next 2 beta tests. We scheduled our first u/s for the following Wednesday.

The Weekend Before the U/S
Greg and I travelled via car to Indiana for a wedding. An amazing wedding. I love dancing with my husband, which he usually grins and bears... but this time my feet were tired and I was wiped out. He actually had to do most of the convincing. We had a wonderful time. We were in high spirits when we left Sunday morning for the long 10 hour drive home.

Hour 2. Rest stop. I had been having mild cramping - mostly just discomfort. Bathroom. Blood. I hardly made it to the car without breaking down. It wasn't nearly as much blood as when I miscarried, but it was enough. And bright red. Major freak-out worthy. So, needless to say the next 8 hours in the car were awful. We stopped approximately every 30 minutes to an hour. The bleeding slowed a bit - but never diminished completely. But because it was never as bad as before, I kept it calm.

We arrived home. We slept. I woke up super early and decided to calmly walk into my RE's office unannounced. They were incredible. The nurse calmly hustled me in, the doctor arrived, they assessed the bleeding that happened the day before. And then they hooked up the magic wand. I stared at the ceiling just hoping that everything was okay. I heard a lot of clicking, and both doctors were staring at the screen with concerned expressions. Then Dr. B said "Once we take some measurements, we'll turn the screen and show you what we see."

Okay, I thought. This sounds okay. I will continue to count the ceiling tiles and everything will be okay.

Then they turned the screen and I looked at them again. This time, they didn't look concerned. They looked surprised. And then they showed me what they were looking at.

One sac. Measuring 6 weeks. With a little grain of rice looking thing that flickered up and down. The heart beat.

Second sac. Measuring 5 weeks 6 days. Another flickering grain of rice.

Twins. Great looking twins.

And the blood. There was an area of bleeding- mostly all together in a clot - hanging out in there as well. That's what had caused the 10 hour ride from H-E-double hockey sticks.

They weren't the least bit concerned. Only warned me that the bleeding would probably continue for a bit (which it didnt). And they scheduled my next U/S appointment for a week and a half from that day. Eternity.

But at least our babies were doing well.

Enough to allow me to rest at ease for a while. I went right back home, hopped into bed with G and shared our new pictures and the news. (I let him to stay home and sleep - thinking I was not going to see anything except empty uterus that morning).

I'll keep updating to fill in the past few weeks... ;)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

One. More. Day.

Until the dreaded 2 Week Wait is OVER. Yes, that means that we are finding out on Friday the 13th. Both my husband and I were born on the 13th, and I was born on Friday the 13th - so this doesn't bother us at all. I think the hardest part will be waiting between the time they draw blood and the time in which they give me a call with the results.

I'm not trying to read into anything, and am so paranoid about "messing it up," that when I feel like I've walked too much or if I start to feel crampy, I promptly return to the couch and put my feet up. Poor G is wondering what the heck I'm doing all day.

I'm incubating offspring - or so I hope.

I'm currently still taking Endometrin - which are progesterone inserts - that I HATE. Eventually, they turn into a gloppy mess. It's disgusting. I also think they are irritating my cervix - which I heard could happen (but doesn't affect the uterus). I'm also still taking 2 small pills of Estrace (Estrogen) every day as well. It's like a bitchy cocktail.

By this time tomorrow, we will know. And then it will continue to be one day at a time.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Baby Pictures



There they are. Two Grade AA blastocysts. Top notch. What can I say - we sure know how to make 'em. Now if we can just focus on keeping them.

24 eggs retrieved, 18 fertilized normally.

At day 5 transfer, we still had 18. 2 were transferred. Three days later we had 2 that were good enough to be frozen. This is pretty low, I think, considering how many we started with - but I'm hoping that we won't even need them. (Hoping while my feet stay completely grounded).

Just trying not to read too much into anything these days - letting the 2ww drift on by.

A little info on the image: the blastocyst had not yet hatched when this picture was taken. They typically hatch on day 5, which means that it should have done that after the transfer while safe and sound inside of the uterus. The big bunch of cells in the middle of each is the inner cell mass - or what becomes the fetus. The edges (the inside bumpy part) is what becomes the placenta).

G said that when these blastocysts are graduating high school, this is the baby picture we will put in the back of the yearbook. Instead of the cute chubby-cheeked picture that everyone else has.

One step at a time.

Friday, July 30, 2010

This Time

So, it's been 4 days since my egg retrieval, and we still have 18 embryos. They are all developing normally. Hanging in there. This is exciting because tomorrow, transfer day, they will get to pick the best out of a large number of great embryos. When I partially fill my bladder for them to come in and transfer the embryo(s) (not sure if it's 1 or 2 yet) - I will know that those ones are the ones that have the best chance. Partially full. Nothing like that one time... I've learned my lesson.

I am still battling with a bad cough from my bout with bronchitis - so I will spend today with the humidifier to see if I can break it up some more. I can't completely get rid of it by tomorrow, but perhaps I can lessen the strength. Keep my body calm for that little embryo to stick.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 1 Post Egg Retrieval

d1pER as the blogs normally say. Takes me too long to decode that.

Great news - all 24 of the eggs retrieved were mature. All fertilized, but only 18 fertilized normally. They don't invest in eggs that show 2 nuclei or look the least bit out of the ordinary. So, 18 it is! Still a great number!

Tomorrow I will talk to my nurse and she'll tell me the quality and if we'll be doing a day 3 transfer or a day 5 transfer. In the mean time, I sit back and think about my 18 potentials. :)

And the pain today is so much better than last go 'round - I feel like I can be at least a bit functional. I'll still take it easy - but hooray for a quick recovery!

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm An Accountant

Retrieval Day is always exciting and hectic. We were scheduled to be there at 9:30 for a retrieval at 11am. G and I have to take along a "sample" from home, and they say to make sure you get it to them within 2 hours. So, we secured the sample, (which, Mom M, magically happens). I'm only sharing this because of the rest of the day. So, we leave our place just before 8am, having to make the trek all the way up to their main office. Because of traffic this takes us over an hour, and we arrive about 10 minutes before our scheduled arrival time.

The whole way up there I have the sample nestled between my legs to keep it warm. In order to walk it in, I put it in a pocket of my purse.

9:30: Scheduled time of arrival. Still in waiting room. Sample in purse. G is playing game on phone. I am twitching.

9:40: Still in waiting room. This is the moment that the 2 hour limit is up on our sample. I whisper to the sample to hang in there. G keeps looking at his watch and staring at the brown paper bag poking through the top of my purse.

9:41: My twitch leads me to the reception desk, where I mention our time limit and give the best "I have sperm in my purse and it's very awkward" look.

9:45: They finally take us back. The area they have for prep looks very much like an ER Triage, lots of areas with curtains. They drop off paperwork for me to fill out, my beautiful pink gown (open in back), my foot booties, and a hair net. G is now holding his sample. They say they will call the lab to come pick it up.

10:00: I am completely changed (minus the hair cap thingy, I save that for last minute). The anesthesiologist arrives to hook up my IV. For the record, that numbing needle hurts. He also gives me meds through my IV to "dry up my secretions" since I have that cough and "extra secretions" that go with it. He calms my fears by saying they've been doing a lot of this lately. G is still holding his sample. 2h 20m.

10:30: Nurses come in to complete paperwork they gave me earlier. We mention that we still have our sample. I know they know what they're doing - but Please. Take. Sperm. Away.

10:35: Doctor comes in to introduce himself. He has the best skin I have ever seen on a doctor. We talk about assisted hatching, and ICSI - both procedures that we didn't need previously, but he had to go over them anyways. This is the last time I see him today, as I am already knocked out before he enters the surgery room.

10:40: LAB shows up. Takes sample. Big sigh of relief. We didn't hear anything about it, so we assume that everything was fine and they didn't all jump ship. We joke that if there's a problem, G could just use the urine sample cups in ample supply in the bathroom to produce a new one. It's at this point that lots of things are funny. Twitch.

A last bathroom break with IV tag along later, and I'm walking into the surgery room and G is led to the waiting area. They will bring him back after they wheel me back to my curtained area.

I think I mentioned this before, but there is music in this room. Rock music today. I took this as a good sign. There are also about 4 nurses and the anesthesiologist. He's carrying my IV bag.

Nurse 1 is in charge of untying the back of my gown and getting me strapped into the table. They put you up in these super-stirrups at your knees, and your legs are literally at a 90 degree angle. Then they put a thick strap across your shins. I asked how many people try to escape the table. They laugh. I'm kind of serious.

At this point the anesthesia guy puts a mask on my face. That's all I remember. Last time I don't remember anything until much later in the recovery area. Today, I remember being wheeled back with the mask on my face and coughing really badly. Which, by the way, REALLY HURTS when they have just poked a needle through your uterus.

The whole thing lasted 25 minutes - much faster than before. I started to worry because they said if I started coughing during surgery, they'd stop. I was awake at this point, not nearly as groggy as the last IVF retrieval.
The nurse asked how I was feeling. I was feeling very "with it" and so I told her "I feel good. I could do your taxes."

I can NOT do her taxes.

She went to go get G, and I think she truly enjoyed telling him my comment. I try to explain myself, but I am so hoarse and still a big groggy - I just laugh it off.

In about 15-20 minutes I have been given pain meds through IV, extra strength tylenol (which I asked for again, but then remembered I already had it), had my IV taken out, and was on my sobriety walk. They make you walk a bit before they will let you go to make sure you're not going to fall on your face when you leave. Also because of nausea and all that jazz.

I was good to go, so I got dressed and we left. We were in the car around 12. MUCH faster than last time!

I am at home, resting, it's totally uncomfortable, but I am pleasantly surprised with how much LESS pain I am in this time.

And, the good (great) news: They retrieved 24 eggs!

Tomorrow we will hear about quality and how many fertilized. I can't wait :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Night Before Retrieval

This past week I was battling bronchitis. I was on the Z-pack (a 5 day stint) to get rid of the worst of it. I wasn't expecting to lose the cough right away... after all, they said it would take a while, but perhaps I was expecting a lot less coughing than what I have now. Tomorrow is my retrieval (more on this in a minute), where they put me under. Randomly, G says "I hope they don't have to intubate!" WHAT? He really got my mind reeling with this one. What if I'm under and I have to cough? What if I can't cough? Will I choke? Oh my. Luckily, my Dr. has known about my bronchitis, and I'm sure they'll hear my cough, and I'm going to ask if it will be okay. This seems so silly to be worrying about, but I suppose you never know. And, at least it has kept my mind off of the pain afterwards (I experienced quite a bit of pain after my first retrieval). My cough and I will go in tomorrow and see :)

Retrieval is planned for 11am tomorrow - we have to report by 9:30. This protocol had me trigger with Lupron - which puts the brakes on ovary production and will hopefully keep my ovaries in check in the after shock of the retrieval. Yesterday my estrogen was at 3,523 - so it looks like it's hopeful that they will retrieve almost all that they measured - 17-20. About half from the count that I thought they had - but we'll have to just wait and see tomorrow for the final count.

Today I had to go in for bloodwork only - and the message they left later simply said that all of my levels look perfect.

Perfect for tomorrow. Let's hope that everything else goes perfectly.

C'mon little follicles :) Hang in there!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Feeling of Being This Close



Like I'm carrying a sack of rocks around in my uterus. This morning was another monitoring appointment, and it took forever. Forever because they were measuring ALL of these follicles! Hooray!

The nurse measured 8 on the right ovary - the largest at 19mm - and counted an additional 7 over 10mm. There were also about 4 under 10mm. That's a total of 19. In ONE ovary. The other ovary was just as great - measured another 8, counted an additional 10 over 10mm, and then there were about 3 under. Lost count? That's 40 follicles.

Now, I'm not expected that 40 will be our retrieval number - but Dr. B was no kidding when she said "I know I can get more eggs out of you!"

I asked for a few images of the ovaries (well, actually, I asked if I could take a picture of the screen and they offered the print outs - with a little hesitation on if that was allowed or not). So, here are my bad photos of the screen shot print outs. I will scan them and repost later if they turn out better that way. :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Loaded Up

I'm part of the "Daily Club" now - which means I go every morning for monitoring - blood work and ultrasound. Today I had Dr. G (another doctor at the office), and one of the nurses doing my ultrasound. As they looked at the screen, they began talking about tomatoes growing in their garden at home. I will take this as a compliment that my eggs look almost ripe and ready to pluck. Right?!

The list of measurable follicles is up to about 10 now - this means that they are over 10mm. The lead is about 15mm, and they trickle down to about 12 or so. GREAT news. Plus, there are a bunch of follicles in there that are "under" - meaning under 10mm and they don't measure them, just count how many there are.

Needless to say, my ovaries are feeling very full. Walking feels a little strange. And we want those things to keep growing, so the fullness will become more obvious.

Also - yesterday my estrogen was close to 1500 - a nice jump up from the day before. They say it should be about 200 for every mature follicle, so we want that number to grow!

*Insert mental image of someone carrying a huge, overstuffed, fragile load*

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 7

Another monitoring appt this morning. My E2 level is 546, and I'm up to 12 & 7 (or more) follicles. G thinks that's it's actually 12 and 12, but I don't want to get my hopes up. Next time I am going to ask them for a print out of the image because it's so cool to look at - an ovary full of follicles. It really just looks like crowd of bubbles all squished together. If bubbles could be fertilized and implanted, that is.

I also ran into a friend at the Dr. today - which was great. It's one thing to talk about what you're going through with someone, but then to actually see them gives you this odd sense of comfort. No, we are not alone.

AND another friend had an appointment today, as well, but at a different office. Unfortunately for her, she ran into a student and father from our work. She said it well when she said that you can't pretend you are there for something "usual," that just being there tells at least part of the story for a person.

I have another monitoring appointment on Wednesday - we're on the every-2-days thing already.

Dosing has also changed, trying to slow things down a bit, perhaps...

Gonal-F will be reduced to 150iu (my dosage for IVF #1), but Menopur will remain the same.

Getting close.

Interesting hiccup - I managed to contract brochitis. Again. I need to get over this quickly and take another visit to the acupuncturist. She hates bronchitis. I think she will stick me in the lungs to get my Qi moving. (ha!). I think of her often, hearing her voice as I talk to myself (in my head so I don't sound crazy) to calm myself down, relax my breathing (cough) - and just to generally chill. I also recreated a lunch I saw her eating. So she's also my walking recipe box.

Until Wednesday!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Twinkles of My Ovaries

My bathroom is overrun with meds. Must be that time again!

Today is the fourth day of my 2nd IVF cycle. So I have been on injections for 3 days. I am currently on 225iu of Gonal-F, and 75iu of Menopur. For the record, the 1st IVF was 150iu of Gonal-F (same of Menopur). Today was my first monitoring appointment since starting the meds. My estrogen is over 100, and there are 12 follicles so far - (8 on the left, 5 on the right).

I go back on Monday morning to continue the monitoring. I forgot how involved the IVF was - I've been spoiled with the FET cycles thrown in there. I am hoping that the estrogen doesn't continue to rise so quickly - it would put me at a higher risk of hyperstimulation - what they call OHSS.

I was also not on Lupron at the beginning of the cycle this time, they are using the Lupron as my trigger, so I will be taking that 2 days before my retrieval.

Updates will keep on coming! See you Monday!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Protocol?

My RE (well, really, my nurse) mails home my protocol before my cycle is due to begin. I read over it, and then I put those dates in my calendar on the computer (the one I look at EVERY DAY). Well, this time the protocol arrived right as I was due out of town - so apparently I only put in the "big" dates - the ones that involved my uterus: retrieval, transfer, ultrasound.

The others, such as blood work - didn't make it on the calendar. No big deal, I wasn't worried, we've done this so much that I know to call on day 1, appt on day 3, etc... Easy as pie.

Well, apparently - this new protocol changed not only the meds, but also the timing. So, when Tuesday rolled around (day 1) and I called the doc - my nurse asked why they hadn't seen me on Saturday.

Hm... you mean the day I slept in and had absolutely nothing to do?

Long story short - I screwed up. I missed an apparently critical appt called "Pre-IVF evaluation" blood work and ultrasound. The same blood work that would give me the big OKAY to start meds on time. Which, by the way, was yesterday.

So, I beg my nurse (bless her heart) to please ask the doctor if we can go ahead and start OR SOMETHING so that I'm not pushing this back another month (and right when I am due back at work). Some discussion with the doctor and they say that they can't make a decision until they see me and get my blood, etc.

It's not like I have a cycle on my own when off meds, so I'm thinking this won't really be a problem. So, I went in today to have the ultrasound and blood work. I haven't gotten "the call" yet - but Dr. B said she expected me to be able to start the meds today with no problems.

Thank you, Dr. B. I can't believe I blew the start of the cycle - this is what my summer was for! But, it looks as though all will be right in the world... just waiting for the confirmation call. I will update the protocol and add meds/amounts after I find out if i'm starting today!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rocket Scientist

I only have a few more days left on the BC pills. I have not noticed any side effects this time, which is a relief. I'm always careful to at least pretend that there's not more crazy in the house, but sometimes those pills invite it - and it catches me off guard. But, this time, like I said - everything has been good.

I have had the luxury of spending the last few days reading up on some info about increasing egg quality and overall success. While my last retrieval granted us high quality eggs, I want to be sure the level of quality is maintained or increased.

G and I also had our annual infectious diseases screening - simple blood drawn from both of us. Poor G came out of that room with medical tape wrapped halfway around his arm (just to hold down the cotton ball from where they took blood). I told him he'd better rip that off asap - the longer you leave it on, the harder it is to take off. Me, on the other hand, came out with a Dora the Explorer bandaid that was not that much bigger than the actual cotton ball.

Next Friday I have my annual meeting with my Ob/Gyn. I can't believe we've already been doing this for a year. My uterus must be waiting for the rocket scientist embryo.

Dear Uterus,

Healthy will do.

Love, Us.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Third Eye Poke

So today was my third trip to the acupuncturist. I have to admit that I was somewhat of a skeptic, which is probably why it took me so long to make my first appointment. Alas, I am grateful that I made the appointment, and the ones afterwards. Mentally, it is so relaxing and refreshing. I leave that office feeling calm and energized. So, I will keep going. She knows where I am in our cycle, what is upcoming, and her support during each visit is reassuring. I overheard a phone call she had today with another client - some woman who just called to celebrate the embryo transfer. With her acupuncturist. Ahh.

As I lay there and she pokes me and twists needles, she restates the purpose of why I am there and just makes the most calming, positive statements and affirmations. Even the "zings" of certain points of entry slowly fade away as I lay there. So strange to me, still...

So, back to the technical stuff. I just received our protocol for our 2nd IVF. I am currently on birth control pills, which I will continue for 21 days. After that point, my cycle will start and all of the injections and doctor visits will again be upon us. It's looking like my retrieval will be around July 24th, and transfer a few days after. (Hopefully 5 days, like last time!)

I'm absolutely not looking forward to the retrieval. I know that Dr. B is going more aggressive, as she said she thinks she can get more eggs from me this time around (like some sort of dare) - which means more bloating, more discomfort, etc., before the actual retrieval. I'm not sure if # of eggs retrieved will affect the pain. I'm hoping that knowing the after effect will help me mentally prepare better. Plus, I don't have work until late August, so I don't have to worry about rushing back. Slow and steady.

I am, however, excited about another try. Although I appreciate the breaks for my body, I just want to keep on going.
C'mon IVF #2! :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On a Break

Me and my meds are on a break. Just like Ross and Rachel on Friends. On our break I am enjoying my glass(es) of wine, a few brews that G enjoys sharing, and (shhh....) even just a few sodas snuck in there... What can I say, it's crazy at work (testing season) and every bit of caffeine is appreciated.

I also took this time to make my first acupuncture appointment. I'm a total needle maniac now that I have had to jab myself in the butt a few times. So, finally committing to the act, I called the acupuncturist that was recommended to me, who was able to fit me right in. I went yesterday, Memorial Day (and a day off of work). Her office was so very inviting, the rooms cozy with bookshelves, homey lamps, and lovely chairs. It didn't put me off one bit that she was about to stick me with a whole bunch of needles.

She asked me a ton of questions about medical history, my RE regime up to this point, meds I have been on and will be on the next cycle, hormone levels, etc... I knew she was a specialist in acupuncture for fertility (or infertility) - but I was still pleasantly surprised by her thoroughness. It was also nice to know that she has seen many patients from Dr. B - and in fact, had one in another room "cooking" while we were talking.

Other than that it was fairly uneventful - she put needles along my arms, stomach, and legs, as well as one in my forehead for relaxation. She then walked me through a breathing exercise - she had the most calming voice, and with my eyes closed it was easy to become comfortable laying there with a bunch of needles sticking out of me. I laid there for, well, I don't really know how long. She came in to check on me and to twist the needles, wave her hands over the ones on my stomach (it tickled), and to make sure I wasn't getting too antsy or agitated - which, I suppose happens to some newbies like me. I, on the other hand, was an acupuncture pro. (ha!)

I thought to myself, as I laid there, "What the heck am I doing? This is ridiculous." I didn't feel any different, I had this itch on my nose that I couldn't wiggle out of, and I was starting to feel kind of silly laying there with these teeny needles jabbed all over.

Then, she came back in to remove the needles from me. She left the room, letting me get up at my own pace to get redressed and ready to leave. It was at that moment, the moment I stood up, that I just felt. I felt energized and comfortable. I felt relaxed. I just had this wonderful feeling about the whole thing. And then, all that silly feeling melted away. For now.

I go back on Monday. I am looking forward to the great conversation as much as the acupuncture itself. Although, I am still a little nervous about the needle thing.

We also had a recent meeting with Dr. B. The plan is intact, we will start BC pills in about 2 weeks to start the next cycle. They will be more aggressive with the dosing of the meds, and we're changing the repertoire a bit, but nothing drastic. She's sure that we can get more eggs on this retrieval by being slightly more aggressive with the meds. I hate the retrieval part, so if we can get more and lesson the chance of me going through this part again, I'm all for it.

So, in this lull.. in this "break" - I am enjoying things both related to baby-making, and not. I will enjoy it while I have it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Rolling with the Punches

and the plan.

It wasn't really a huge shock when I got the call on Wednesday. After 2 very long weeks, some of the same symptoms and some not. I wasn't trying to be the pessimist - I was desperately trying to remain optimistic while still being realistic. Not letting us get our heads too far in the clouds, because that would be a very long fall back down.

I couldn't answer when the phone rang in the middle of a reading lesson. My heart was beating quickly and I was dreading the little "voicemail" notification that was looming on my screen. But, in a few quick moments I listened and learned what I thought I knew was coming. The Beta was negative. I am glad to know, was glad the wait was over, but was really hoping that this one would be the one.

We are now out of frozen embryos, so will be going back to a second round of IVF. This means the injections that overstimulate my ovaries to produce more eggs, the bloating, the cramping, the constant desire to wear elastic pants.

But, it will be worth it one day. One day it will work.

We meet with our doctor again at the end of this month - to discuss our past year and to create an aggressive plan of action for the next round. I am looking forward to this meeting. We always leave that office feeling powerful, in control, and optimistic without even a doubt looming.

I want that feeling back. Every cycle is a blow. We have it in us, we can do this - but not without feeling a hit every time we have to know our latest cycle didn't work.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

4 Days Post Transfer and I Feel Fine

...and trying not to read anything into the tiny signs.
Tired? It's rainy and gray outside. Who's not tired during that weather?

Crazy irritability? (at G drinking from a cup in the car too many times - the pick and and put back of the cup had me heading over the edge). I will explain this away by just stating that it was truly annoying. Okay, okay - and probably b/c of my tiredness and the fact that I'm still injecting notable amounts of hormones into my butt every day.

When that bra fits - the one I had to buy a few short months ago because of a little extra unexpected "growth" - then, perhaps, I will have my first true sign that this will be a positive.

But, honestly, for now - it's just a day to day wait. Wait-and-try-not-to-think-about-it.

10 days.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Picture


This is the image they give us as we're doing the 5 minute rest after the transfer. They present us with the form we filled out when we arrived - listing the number of embryos being transferred, how many we have left in cryopreservation, etc. Then, of course, they hand us this image of the ones they transferred.

They said they both look great - as if they'd never been frozen - but I can't help but notice a remarkable difference between the 2. I believe that "halo" around them is called the zona, but I'm not positive if that's true or if it has more of something to do with the fluid they are in. I can clearly see the mass in the embryo on the left - which will eventually (hopefully) form into a fetus - but can't see it in the one on the right. But hey - I trust those doctors. After all, they went to school for this stuff, while I depend on Google. :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Show Time

We're awake, we're showered, and G is even in there shaving as I type. Today is the big day. The day we enter that room with the dimmed yellow lights, the lazy-boy-esque chair in Dr. version, and the lone chair for the Mr.'s of the world. The screen on the monitor is a snow-filled triangle, empty until they're ready.

I think the strangest part of the process is the dual door system. We enter and the Dr's enter from one door - the front door. The back door is passage for only one person - the embryologist. No one is allowed to go back there, and if the Dr. opens it, he/she is only allowed to open it a crack and yell a series of words - something sounding like a football play. Then, from deep within the music filled room (they play various types of music for all the embryos to enjoy) - we hear someone yell the same play back as a confirmation. Last time when we had a showroom of people, the intern opened the door more than a crack, started to step in - at which point both the ultrasound nurse and the Doctor began to panic and sputter out half-word commands to get her to come back inside.

Must. not. enter. Foot. Stay. No. Back. Yell.

I'm fighting the urge to wear sweatpants in public, as it's a chilly and rainy day out. I have them laid out for me when I get home. G and I will be back in no time to spend the rest of our day in bed watching movies. And, of course, me blogging some ridiculous thing that happened - most likely while they were in the middle of the work "down there."

It's like first scene of Act I. The Beginning. (Again).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Let the Positive Thinking Begin

Injections, check.
Crazy hormones, check.
Crying at lame TV shows, check.

And finally we are arriving at the big day. I had my pre-transfer (mid-injection schedule) lining and E2 check on Friday. Everything is looking good - which means that I'm getting all stocked up on lining to hopefully hang on to those 2 embryos. Those LAST 2 embryos that we have cryopreserved. We have decided to go ahead and put them both back again. We're hoping that at least one of them hangs on in there. I'm not even going to think about repeating the IVF egg retrieval process. Not yet.

Our scheduled transfer will be on Wednesday. Due to our last experience during the transfer, I will sip my water only right before the transfer - instead of drinking the entire way up to the center. No need to put myself through that debacle again.

We are excited. And nervous. I keep playing the last transfer through my head, and the day it ended. The signs. What I ate. How I felt. Where I was. I am not going to let it control me, but I do want to continue to be aware to what my body is telling me. And take it a little easy for a bit.

So, keep your fingers crossed. We'll post after the transfer (just in case there's a story there somewhere!) ha!


Monday, April 5, 2010

On My Own

I stuck myself. Without tears. Without hesitating. I just loaded up and jabbed it in.

Phew.

The stress and procrastinating about this hurdle has haunted me all day. Well, really since I found out that G would be out of town for the start of the meds. But mostly all day. :)

I figure I will start worrying about the next solo-shot in 2 days. (Shot is in 3).

At the Starting Line

Down in ready position,
holding
holding

It's hard holding position while waiting for the start. But alas, we have held, and we have waited, and it is now time to begin. I went again this morning for a lining check, and finally, a week late, I have been given the "Looks good." That translates into being able to start the injections again today.

Since the last cycle ended in a pregnancy (technically), then they are sticking to the same dosage and the same schedule of meds - which is pretty standard. I will be taking Del Estrogen every 3 days, and returning for another lining check on the 16th. This time we're looking for thickening of the lining at that date. If it looks good, then I will add the Progesterone in Oil injections on a daily basis.

And transfer has been rescheduled - we are now looking at April 21st. So, until then, I will be taking my baby aspirin, prenatal vitamins, and the shots...

I am excited for the new cycle to finally start - but a little anxious because I will have to give myself the intramuscular (read: HUGE NEEDLE) injections the first few times. Greg's out of town, so he's off the hook - at least for this week!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Have My Chaps Always Been This Itchy?

We're back in the saddle. All of the signs point in that direction. The meds were delivered, unpacked, and stored in the cabinet. The BC pills have ended. We met with Dr. B about our failed pregnancy and about the hope for our future. We are mentally ready to give this a go... again.

But as we get back into the groove, I can't seem to find the comfort spot. Perhaps it's because I have enjoyed the month without injections. Perhaps I like being able to just enjoy my husband without checking a calendar or obeying "stay away" orders. I know, truly, that once we get started it will all get back in line. I'm ready.

My body, on the other hand, is not. I am still waiting for the lack of birth control to jumpstart my body to clear out the uterus... to get ready to come on back to zero so that we can plump my lining up again. My lining is currently 10mm... a nice size after being on injections for a week or 2...but I have not yet begun my injections. Looks like our dates and our meds on the protocol will be pushed back as we all patiently wait for my body to catch up with our heart and our mind...

Until then, we enjoy and we plan, and we get ourselves ready for what could and will and may be.

I will go back soon enough for another check via ultrasound and blood work. A few short days away...

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This is therapeutic to me thus far. Just typing out the facts, the happenings, getting them out there in the big wide open - in a way it makes me feel better. And that's what I'm hoping today.

Last Tuesday night - the night before my first Beta test - I had this overwhelming urge to take a home pregnancy test. Usually I'm good about staying away from those things, sure that I will ruin whatever outcome is in store for me - dooming me to a negative and setting my mind to something negative. But, well, I did it. I came in, peed on a stick (really? still? isn't there a more dignified method yet?) then I walked the dog and came back in. On that short walk I convinced myself it was a huge mistake, and that it would for sure be negative. To my shock, it was not. It was a big fat positive on that digital screen. And again on the one I took later that night. G and I were so excited, yet still apprehensive.

The next morning I gave my blood for the hCG test (pregnancy hormone). They're usually looking for numbers between 100 and 200 - or so I read somewhere. Well, when they called that afternoon my hCG level was 800. HUGE! It was a great number, the nurse was so pumped, and so we were feeling great. Then, I repeated the blood test on Friday and the numbers (which should increase by 60%) more than doubled to 1640! Just great numbers, and we were thrilled.

In our excitement, we shared the news with people who have shared in our journey thus far, or at least most of them. I was looking up how far along I was - about 5 weeks - reading about development and what I should or shouldn't be doing, etc.

Then came Saturday. Just a normal day. I was feeling pretty nauseous at lunch, but felt better after I ate something. We were driving back from visiting family when I got the most uncomfortable cramping I have ever experienced. In my mind, during that ride, I justified the pain. I was thinking I was being a wimp, and that these might be the "growing pains" I was being told about. When we got home, the cramps were gone for the most part - but when I stood up and walked inside it was different. There was blood (a lot of it). When G got back in from taking the dog out, there I was - hysterical, crying... I just knew it was over.

We finally decided to call the emergency number for our RE clinic. You leave a message with a message service and a nurse will call you back. Imagine poor G trying to explain to a message service about what was happening. We just sat and waited. The nurse called back pretty quickly and, in a sweet calming voice tried to tell us that this happens to a lot of women during pregnancy, and bleeding is normal and cramping is okay.

This was not okay. We decided to go to the Emergency Room after we got off the phone with this woman. I appreciate her trying to keep me calm, but there was just no way that what I was experiencing was normal.

The ER was calm. I will tell you about this experience only because it was so strange at different points. When I walked in, and signed in, they make you write what your problem is on this small form. In a box with one inch of height, I wrote that I was pregnant and experiencing, well, see above.

The receptionist guy says "Wow- pregnant - CONGRATULATIONS!" Thanks, dufus.

We were taken back pretty quickly, hooked up to an IV, blood drawn, vitals taken, pain scale assessment asked, the whole thing. They said something about taking my temperature because I was so flushed and I simply said "I've been crying." "Oh, poor thing."

Then we were led to the ultrasound room - I was rolled and G got to follow. They made this huge deal about letting him go with me because it normally wasn't allowed. That was nice. This 100 pound nurse pushed me on this gigantic bed all the way there. This is where we met the ultrasound nurse who, honest to goodness, didn't stop talking. Oh, I forgot to mention - her only "rule" for G to be allowed to come in was that we knew we couldn't ask any questions. So, there she was, talking about miscarriage, but not talking about us, instead she was talking about other couples "like us," who are so nice yet go through this. Are you telling me I miscarried? Please, just give me an answer. I can not stand being on the fence.

At this point they asked me for a urine sample. This urine sample stayed beside me on my hospital bed the entire visit.

They wheeled me back to my ER room, where the doctor finally saw us. She did a pelvic exam to see if my cervix was open or closed, and then, and this is the part I've been looking forward to sharing - she goes on this tangent about pregnancy and that 19 year old kids that do crack (no lie, she said it) that have no business being pregnant and having babies are the ones that never have any problems, and yet, here we are - this nice couple, experiencing this awfulness. And when she left my room, she turns back and says "Go home and do crack. Then you'll have a baby."

Everyone danced around what I already felt, what I already knew. They could not confirm, or would not confirm. I was sent home with a discharge form that read "Threatened Miscarriage." They tested my hCG level while I was there, which was a great 2548. The only hope I got from this episode.

During my visit, the ER doctor called the RE clinic. The doctor on call said we could go in the next day to talk, be monitored, etc at the office that is open on weekends. We decided not to go, and just wait for my scheduled visit at my usual office.

I couldn't sleep. I woke up a lot, and finally got up super early with a huge pit in my stomach. That lonely feeling, where something just isn't right. Or isn't the same, or something. I showered and woke up G to ask to go to the weekend RE clinic. I'm glad I did. They were warm, and welcoming, and did everything they could to give me as much information they could. They also tested my hCG level, which I wouldn't find out until later in the afternoon. They did another ultrasound, but didn't see any gestational sac in my uterus. Bad news, even though they didn't say so. They said "Maybe we're just missing it - it is sort of early." The doctor, not the one they called the day before, entered the room - said he was sorry - even though they weren't telling us one way or the other if I lost the pregnancy. Mixed signals.
But it was still nice to be there. I felt better for some reason, getting checked out by the group I was familiar with.

They called that afternoon to tell me that my hCG level was only 900. A sure sign that I had in fact miscarried.

So I stop the injections. I let my hormone levels return to "normal." I go in a few days for the next few weeks to be checked out - until my hCG returns to 0 or negative numbers.

And we try again.

But, for now, it hurts. I feel pretty unstable, and cry just randomly. I'm blaming it on the mass exit of hormones, plus the disappointment. G is amazing, and I'm so lucky that he is mine.

But this is not our end in this journey. We are looking forward to trying again. We knew this was a possibility, and we will continue our plan knowing that it could happen again.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Human Contact

Today I stopped by my RE's office. Yep. Just stopped by. Hey, don't judge. I've been cooped up due to snow (Snowmegeddon, Snowpocolypse, Snowtorious B.I.G, you pick). So I grabbed my full sharps containers and started my car for the first time in a week. When I got there, I think that Deb the receptionist was as glad to see another human as I was. I'm sure they've still been busy - everything there is on a strict time-table, as you probably have figured out by now - but she was all alone in the front. So we shared in some chit-chat and some exchanging of sharps containers, and I was on my way.

This woman, Deb, is the woman I see when I check in. She is the woman I check out with, as well. She takes my payments, and she wishes me luck with every step in this process. She calls me Ms. Jennifer, and seems to go out of the way to give me those kind words. I know how many patients that she must see on a daily basis, but I just adore her. And I especially appreciate her meaningful messages to me as I trek down this path with G.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

7dp5dt

So I'm home for the week due to weather. I take this as a message for me to just relax and putz around the house. I have also used this time to read up on some fertility blogs and messages from people going through exactly what I am.

But, my problem... they all write in code. I am trying to decode all of their acronyms and abbreviations and messages. Like my title. Apparently 7dp5dt means: Seven days past 5 day transfer. What it should really be is 7di2wwGC (Seven days into 2 week wait and GOING CRAZY). I blame it on being mostly housebound for the past week, and reading all of these women on the online forums. They're not all neurotic, but I think once you reach a certain breaking point you are just the type of person to sit all glassy-eyed with a pasted grin on your face speaking in a high-pitch squeaky voice about gardens and babies and optimistic things like a BFPs (Big Fat Positive. I do not lie. It's in their "glossary")

Well, some of these women are sitting glassy eyed in the corner of internet, waiting to send "baby dust" to every new woman that arrives on the forum. They call your animals "furbabies" and discuss their husbands sperm count and mobility on a regular basis.

"Oh, WantBabies4eva, your DH's (dear husband's) sperm count sounds so promising! Baby dust to you both! Not much longer in your 2ww!!!!!!"

And their user names. I can't even discuss them. It is clear that these moments in their life define them. And while I read their messages and try to make sense of it all, I feel sad for them. And for me. That we have to go through such a rigorous regimen when those around us seem to be popping babies out like, well, there's no good metaphor for popping babies. I can see how some might just go batty.

I do not feel like these moments define me or G. This is just something we are going through. Together. Something we are laughing about as he stabs me in the rear with a needle. Something I whine about when he leaves a bruise. Phone messages that we can't wait to share, even when it's bad news. Days off, reflective lunches, and discussions that revolve around a hope that one day this will be behind us because we will have reached the end goal.

I wish these women, the ones I go to in some way for support, will stop sending me fairy dust and get real already. Tell me about the procedures and the side effects, the phone calls and the doctor visits, the twings and pangs of your body when you had a BFP or a BFN (I'll let you figure that one out.) Tell me! Break down and let it out so that your messages can help someone. Or guide them. Or give them peace when all they're looking for is a sign. Any definite sign.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Before the Rush


I picked up this magazine in the grocery store today...
and then I flipped in a few pages and saw this:

THAT'S MY RE! Can you believe it?? Man, am I glad that we are ALREADY her patients... I can only imagine the demand for her time now! And like I've said to her in our meetings - it's always nice to see her when I can keep my pants on. Giggle.

Way to go, Dr. B!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Big Day


Today was the day. And it's worth the recap - every disgusting bit...

We'll start at the beginning, when I spent about 3 hours preparing plans for a substitute at work today. Then, we were granted a snow day. What a relief! I always think about work when I'm not there, so this was a load off of my mind. I could truly focus on our transfer. G had the day off, and his phone wasn't beeping at all. (Good sign).

We were due to be there at 11am, and b/c we were unsure of the road conditions after the snow, we left at 9:30 to be safe. Didn't want our thawing embryos to wait! As it turns out, we arrived in the city an hour early anyways. So, we killed some time in a nearby Best Buy. We purchased water. Ha! I was then on a mission to "moderately fill" my bladder before my transfer. (I had already downed about 16 oz. and 1/2 a gatorade).

We checked in at the receptionist counter just before 11am. Rachael Ray was on their tv and the waiting room was full. I drank. Then on came Dr. Phil. I drank some more. Dr. Phil show was almost over, and it was now almost 12 pm - the time our transfer was due to start. My bladder was so full that I could not even sit up straight.

What's a girl to do?

I did what any other girl would have to do. I snuck to the bathroom.

I then downed a whole new bottle of water in hopes that I could fill my bladder again before they called my name.

Big mistake. Flash forward to 12:40, when they finally called my name. By this time my body had processed that water, and it was all sitting in my now full-again bladder. No lie. I toughed it out. I didn't go. I put my booties over my socks, and did the pee-pee dance all the way into the room. I assumed the position and waited. I signed paperwork, checked ID, tried my best to carry on conversations. What's that? You want an intern to watch? Sure, whatever, just PLEASE hurry. I laid back and was feeling okay.

Let me explain the scenario. There is now a woman in charge of the transfer positioned at my toes armed with a speculum and catheter. Behind her is the intern. Or whatever they call future Dr.'s. Beside me is G, of course, and the ultrasound screen so we can watch. Then there's the woman on the right of me. She's in charge of using the ultrasound wand to press down on my abdomen. I hate this woman.

I was having flashes of terror where she was pushing down, and the other woman was trying to get in position, and I just peed all over them.

Then they went into action, pushing and putting things into place. They have to push down on my lower abdomen in order to see where the catheter is going. My bladder was SO full that it was creating a sharp curve up to my cervix, and they had to try like 10 times getting the catheter in place. They called in the embryos. Then they sent them away b/c they couldn't get in position. All I wanted to do was get them to hurry the heck up. I have to go, people!

I wanted so much to be so relaxed during this time. I was so tense. It was so uncomfortable. Then they say the magic words. "Do you want us to empty your bladder a bit?"

WHAT? You can do that in here? Because there was no way I was going to be able to stop it on my own in the restroom. So, I said, in desperation... "Um, okay?!"

It was over in a jiffy. They emptied a bit of my bladder - just enough to make me comfortable. In front of 4 people. In the middle they kept asking how I was feeling. At some point I said "Much better, but this is kind of gross." Seriously, you're making THAT face right now, aren't you? Me, too.

Then, suddenly, everything worked. The catheter went right in, the lady pressing on my abdomen was now my friend, and I let my death grip on G's neck relax a bit. They called the embryos back in, (which they oddly have to announce every time like an order at a deli - "Two in 23!" "Check, two coming in!").

Then, it was over. They removed all tools necessary to make magic happen. It was just me and G and a timer for 5 minutes before I could get up.

Here they are... the wonderful little things...
These are some good-looking spit bubbles - don't you think??

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Butt Stabbing

Here's the skinny on the meds that I have to take for my frozen cycle. First, the pros.

Less injections overall
Not every night until the last week before the transfer

That about does it.

Now, the cons.

Bigger needles
Intramuscular injections rather than subcutaneous
Thick medication = slower injection time = more time needle stays in

My upper tush is so sore that it hurts to walk. Poor G has to stab me every night, and while I try not to flinch, it's hard not to. Especially now when my injections are nightly and there's not time for my bruises to heal. Oh, that's right - bruises. They have me on baby aspirin, too - which apparently has just enough umph to give me the new superpower of "easily bruises."

The transfer is in 3 days - not sure what time yet. I am excited. The possibilities on the cusp - we're hoping for the best, clearly, but don't want to get ourselves all worked up. I will, however, get worked up about my butt bruise recovery. :) Hooray!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Checking It Out

This cycle is trickling along. I'm not sure if it's that I don't have to go in for monitoring every few days, or the every 3 day injection thing - but whatever the reason, this cycle feels soooo loooong.

Tomorrow is our monitoring appointment. If everything looks good (lining is thick, hormone levels are okay), then we are a-go for a transfer on the 3rd. So, 2 of our little baby embryos will be thawed and put back. I hope they enjoy the thawing process and have not been affected by the freeze process. If they show signs of damage, then they will simply thaw another in it's place. It only takes about 40 minutes for the thaw process. I have a feeling that the whole thing will go smoothly.

Here's to plump lining and good hormone levels. I am ready to be off of this delestrogen already!

Monday, January 18, 2010

On the Calendar

I woke up this morning with a to-do list - including "Call nurse about FET schedule." But, of course, our nurse beat me to the punch. When I came back in from walking the dog - there was a message waiting for me.

She stated that she was surprised I came in this weekend to start my FET cycle. Um... what did you think I meant last week when I said "Any day now!"? Well, anyways, she was able to fit me on the schedule for this cycle - which, as she said in the message, meant that we didn't have to cancel this cycle. Well, thanks. I guess.

I started taking the Delestrogen last night. It's an intramuscular shot that requires your love to jab you in the butt with a needle the size of a #2 pencil lead while you hold onto something for dear life. No side effects yet - but if I start pulling hair out and barking out orders like a mad woman, I'll be sure to let you know.

So, I continue my Delestrogen every 3 days until the 29th, when I go in for a mid line check (I assume this means they measure the uterine lining). Then I return on the 3rd of Feb. for the transfer.

It feels good to know that progress is again being made and that another try is upon us...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

At the Start... Again.




About a month ago, G and I closed the door to the fertility scene to just sit back and enjoy the holidays, vacation, and each other. Well, yesterday we pried that door back open. Day three monitoring - bloodwork and ultrasound. It's odd how foreign the whole morning was to me - even after having been through months of it just a short while ago. No one forgets how to put those feet in stirrups (I mean, seriously, it's like riding a bike) - but the whole prick of the needle and waiting and filling out forms... I could have done that all with my eyes closed a short while ago. How quickly we forget...

So this time we are doing a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) cycle - since we have four frozen blastocysts in storage. From what I hear, this is like the vacations of all cycles. Minimal appointments, less injections, infrequent dates with the probe... sounds great. It did start with a bit of a hiccup though - my meds were just called in last week - six days before my appointment - and were due to be delivered on Friday for an injection start on Saturday. Well, they didn't arrive and apparently it was b/c the insurance company hadn't had enough time to process and approve said medications. So while the nurse said "It's a go!" in her adorable British accent - I was all "But..."

So, instead, today we drove up to the ONLY office open for non-monitoring appointments to sign some consent forms. They were also able to fill our prescription on the spot so that we could get this cycle started and not have to put it off for another month.

We paid out of pocket, but will likely be reimbursed from the pharmacy once the insurance kicks in.

So here's the plan: I start injections of Delestrogen (intramuscular) tonight, and will continue every three evenings for about a week and a half. Then they add in some progesterone which I will continue until the day of the transfer - which looks like it will land on the 25th or 26th of this month.

I call my nurse tomorrow to confirm the date of the transfer, and the progesterone start will begin about five days prior.

We'll keep you updated!

PS - the above shot prep materials are for the Delestrogen. I was amazed at the amount of needles we got with this one... eek.