Monday, December 27, 2010
It is 1.29
According to my RE:
Normal AMH is >1.5
Between 1 and 1.5 is OK.
Less than 1 is very worrisome & more likely will result in a lower pregnancy rate.
So my AMH isn't bad but it's not normal either. My entire IVF calendar was being based on that lab result so since I am in the "ok" range, the dates on the calendar still stand:
12/20 - start Estrogen priming protocol
2/14 - begin Provera
2/20 - take last Estradiol & Provera tablets
2/24 - start birth control pills, aspirin & dexamethasone
3/9 - "suppression check" appt
3/11 - start microdose Lupron shots
3/13 - start stimulation shots
3/24 - tentative egg retrieval
3/29 - tentative embryo transfer
Looking forward to getting the ball rolling! Here's hoping the month of Jan & Feb fly by!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
LOL - I saw this picture & cracked up so I just had to post it :)
For those of you who aren't familiar with what the pic is, it is an X-ray from an HSG procedure. Something that those of us who suffer with IF has done at one time or another. Actually, I am having one done in a couple of weeks.
Oh joy - I can hardly wait to get to lie on yet another exam table with my legs put into stirrups yet again & have a speculum shoved into my "hoo hoo" while a catheter is pushed through my cervix, contrast is injected into my uterus & x-ray's are taken. Sounds awesome doesn't it?? And when it is all done I get to lay there on the exam table until I have recovered from the severe cramping caused by the contrast swirling around in my uterus & fallopian tubes. Wow - I can hardly contain my excitement to get this fabulous procedure done!!!
All humor aside, I did just want to take a minute to wish all of you who read & follow this blog a very Merry Christmas & here's hoping we ALL get our BFP's in the New Year! Thanks to you all for the kind comments & words of encouragement that I have received on this blog throughout the year as well as on www.thebump.com! You ladies are awesome & I wish you nothing but the best in 2011 :)
Monday, December 20, 2010
In just 5 days, I have had 4 emails sent to me by my RE's Nurse Practitioner re: upcoming labwork, appts & what is planned for our next IVF. Today I went & had my CD 4 labwork drawn for FSH, Estradiol & AMH which showed FSH: 9.4 (8 or less is normal, 9-11 fair) & Estradiol: 20 (50 or less is normal). We are awaiting the AMH results which should be in by Thursday. My RE would like to see that result greater than 1.5 so I am crossing my fingers it comes back where she wants it. My entire IVF protocol is based around that result so I am hoping it is good.
I was also told today that my RE wants to do an "estrogen priming protocol" before I start suppression meds - hence starting the Estradiol today. She said taking the extra estrogen helps make sure that all of my hormone receptors are "awake & ready" to respond to the stimulation medication when it is time which she said might help them get more eggs!?
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
When we got there, we were taken into a consult room to go over both our history & last IVF cycle. We also went over how they do IVF at their clinic, what they wanted to do differently with my next cycle, we talked to the financial advisor to go over cost & then we got to meet & visit with the RE.
She was very honest, straight-forward & open with us about her thoughts on our next cycle which kind of bothered me at first but after thinking about it, it is what it is & there is no sugar coating the facts. I am 38 yo, my FSH levels are borderline average, I haven't responded well to ovulation induction meds in the past & we have a 35% chance that IVF #2 is going to work (according to their statistics for someone my age). Doesn't give us a lot of hope after you lay it all out there like that but like I said - it is what it is.
I think she sensed the disappointed look on my face after she went over all the statistics with us because she then told us that she wasn't going to count us out of the game just yet & she believes I will respond well to a different protocol (Microflare Protocol). She is going to be very aggressive with meds putting me on the max dose & seeing how I respond & go from there. She said she would like to see me get at least 12 follicles, then do a 5 day transfer & hopefully have a few embies to freeze. We also talked about OHSS in great detail since she said I would be at high risk for developing this with the aggressive approach to stims.
So, after going through everything in detail, we have decided to begin IVF #2 with the start of my cycle in Jan which is looking to be around the 3rd week with ER/ET around mid Feb.
All in all, we both feel it was a good appointment & I'm glad we seeked out a 2nd opinion. I am glad to hear they are going to be taking a more aggressive approach with this next round as it will be our last IVF cycle. I don't think I can mentally, physically or financially do a 3rd one!
I can't help but feel a bit negative about all the "facts" that were presented to us but I am somewhat hopeful that with any luck, we will fall into that 35% - or that we get a lot of follicles & have a few embies to freeze for later! So for now, I will continue to enjoy our "break", get through the holidays & gear up for IVF festivities in about 4 weeks!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The past 2 weeks have been crazy so I guess that is why time has flown by & I haven't posted anything on here since Nov 14th!? In those 2 weeks, I have been working alot of extra OT, taking alot of extra call, preparing the house for the Thanksgiving guests, cooking the T-giving meal, entertaining guests, putting fall decor away & putting up the Christmas decor - I am getting exhausted just talking about it all!
All the guests left Saturday morning & once I finally got a chance to sit down & relax (which was Sunday) I felt the all too familiar pain in my left & right side. Could it be? Why yes - it is ovulation time - already! I guess it has been 2 weeks since AF showed up!? So I grabbed my daily planner & counted out the days. Yep - CD 14 was here & I had all the signs: watery CM, left/right sided pain, bloated & the biggest sign of all: Predictable - I know my body well!
So we gave it another good ol' fashioned try & will hope for the best. I am expecting AF around the time of our 2nd opinion consultation (Dec 15th) so we will see whether she shows or not. I hope to be pleasantly surprised!
Speaking of surprises - I had kind of a crazy, weird, emotional infertility kind of day. When I first got to work, a co-worker of mine who is my age (38 yo) & has struggled for awhile now to get PG told me she is 6 weeks pregnant. After lunch I ran into another co-worker of mine who looked upset so I asked if she was ok & she bust into tears. She shared with me that she had found out last week she was pregnant & received a phone call from the doctors office saying her beta was not doubling & her progesterone was extremely low. They told her that she would probably miscarry this week. It was her 2nd m/c in the last 5 months. My heart broke for her as she confided in me & I could relate to exactly how she felt :( I hugged her, shared my experiences with her & we had a heart to heart talk. It really made me feel good to be able to help someone else who was going through what I have unfortunately been through not once but twice.
Later this evening, I get home, make dinner, sit down to eat & browse through the blogs I follow. I see one inparticular from Dandle Dreams & I was looking forward to opening it since she hadn't posted inawhile.
Now I have never met Dandle nor do I know her name. I don't even know what she looks like or where she lives. I only know her because we had both gone through our 1st IVF around the same time together. We both got our BFN results around the same time also. We have been supporting each other through the ups & downs of this unfortunate journey via our blogs & I have been thankful for her support along with the rest of these lovely group of ladies I follow & whom follow me. I like to think of them as the "Ya Ya Sisterhood of Infertility" & I hate that we all know of one another only because of our inability to have children :(
We both have IVF #2 tentatively scheduled to begin in January so I was looking forward to having another cycle buddy to go through this craziness with - that is until today. Today I read Dandle's post titled "Unbelievable" & it seems Miss Thang gone & got pregnant on her own. Au naturale. No ART involved. Even with a partly blocked fallopian tube & thin uterine lining. A-mah-zing! And you know what? I am thrilled for her & couldn't be any happier!
I love hearing success stories like this. Especially to those who are so deserving. It's these kind of positive outcomes from a journey that has been so long that restores my hope that moments like this weekend could possibly work out for us. Dandle is proof that it can happen & I am SO very excited for her.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
In other news, I have been doing lots of research on other fertility clinics here in the area. I decided to get a second opinion regarding our next cycle of IVF not because I am unhappy with our present RE, but mainly to see what this other clinic has to offer financially as well as treatment recommendations. Also to see if there is anything that might be done differently with us as well as see their success rates with other patients in my age group.
I called the Reproductive Resource Center & after filling out tons of paperwork, we have an appointment scheduled for Dec 15th. They warned us that this appointment will be 3 hours long & while there Shane will have to do a semen analysis & I will be getting a pelvic exam. Talk about getting right down to business!?! These people don't mess around! It makes me feel good that they are being so thorough during our first appointment.
So that is something to look forward to - I guess.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Today is CD 15 & I started having ovulatory pain this morning. Since I have a bunch of OPK tests left over from previous cycles, I thought I might take an OPK test today afer work to see what it showed.
Ta da:Oh smiley face - how I have missed you so. This means my LH hormone is surging & I should ovulate in the next 24-48 hrs. You can guess what is about to go down in our house the next couple of days! Even though we are on a "break" I figure if you get the smiley then you might as well give it a try! At this point, what do we have to lose!? It has happened naturally twice before so I guess anything can happen!?
Friday, October 15, 2010
Each year, an estimated 500,000 babies are lost to miscarriage, 1 in every 148 births are stillborn, & 3 babies in every 1,000 die shortly after being born. While the families touched by these losses struggle with their grief throughout the year, today we all pause to remember the babies that were lost.
I AM THE FACE campaign was created to spread awareness of pregnancy/infant loss, & raise support for those who are affected by it.
I am one of the faces affected by pregnancy/infant loss everyday & tonight I will light a candle at 7pm to honor those babies that have been lost. Please go to www.iamtheface.org to show your support and join the movement.
Too many women have to go through this journey alone & fortunately for me I was able to find a group of women who were there doing my weakest times. Miscarriage & Pregnancy Loss shouldn't feel like a taboo subject. Awareness should be as common as AIDS or Cancer awareness. The little ones lost deserve to be honored just as those who suffer from disease and cancer.
I often remember our sweet angels that were taken from us too soon in March '09 & August '09 - especially today.
I am also remembering all those babies who grew wings too soon, for all my friends & loved ones who have had to take the journey of miscarriage, pregnancy loss, & still birth. My heart is with you all today.
What a great group of ladies this forum has & so generous! These exchanges have been so much fun shopping for! I'm hoping we do a Christmas Exchange next month!
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Can't believe that Halloween is right around the corner!? The first weekend in Nov I am flying to WI to see my sister & her family, then Thanksgiving follows a few weeks after that where my family will be making the trip to KC & I will be cooking for us all, then in the middle of Dec we should be starting things up for IVF #2 & Christmas will follow shortly after. With all that going on, the time is going to fly by - which is good!
I feel like taking a break was definitely a good thing to do & I am actually looking forward to returning to the "IVF World" in a couple of months & hopeful for all the possibilities it has to offer.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I work with a girl who knows we are TTC & having difficulty but has NO clue the extent of what we have gone through the last 3 1/2 years. She is far from considerate about the subject & is always asking me how "the baby-making" is going - usually in front of other co-workers. When I respond with "we are still trying" she will usually reply with "don't worry, when the time is right it will happen" or "maybe you need a vacation where you can relax & then you'll get pregnant" or "just be patient...it will happen one day" & that is usually followed by "at least it's fun trying"!
Today she asked the same question & replied with the same answer. I was a bit hormonal today & just couldn't bite my tongue any longer. I finally said what I was thinking & I was irritated so I know it sounded bitchy but I didn't care. It went a little something like this:
"Sarah, I know you are trying to be nice & I don't want you to take this the wrong way but when you know someone is having trouble getting PG please DON’T tell her to "just relax." Don't say it will happen when the time is right. Don’t tell her to adopt & then surely she’ll get pregnant on her own. Don’t say, “At least it’s fun trying!” because guess what? I've tried it all & then some & it hasn't worked. Scheduling sex around a calendar with the person you love is not fun. I have been trying to "relax" for over 3 years now & the timing STILL isn't right. So next time you ask me about "baby-making" the best response to my answer would be to say "I'm sorry" & just leave it at that. Or better yet, don't even bother asking at all!"
I then turned around & walked out of the department & headed to my WTF appt with the biggest smile on my face :) Man that felt good....
We have decided to do a 2nd IVF cycle but are going to wait a couple of months just to mentally & physically heal as well as finish paying off the 1st IVF. Looks like we will start the 2nd IVF cycle when AF shows in December.
Our RE is going to change the protocol a bit also. He said he would like to use Ganirelix rather than Lupron because he thinks the Lupron suppressed me a bit too much - hence the slow response & low # of follicles. He said he would also be a bit more aggressive with the meds & would like to see 12-15 follicles for ER so we have some to freeze. The other change would be to do a 5-day transfer (rather than a 3-day) & still transfer 2-3 embies depending on how they look.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I loved how it turned out. I liked it so much that I made one just like it for myself - except I left off the dragonfly. The girl I made this for likes dragonflies so I added one to her necklace. I hope she likes it!?
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Some of you have also asked how I am coping with everything & I thought I would show you...
Chocolate & wine - a girls best friend when times are tough :)
Friday, September 10, 2010
I went in at 7:30am for my blood draw & by 10am they called with the results. Hearing the nurse say the beta was negative just finalized it all & made hearing it that much more painful. It took all I could do to not bust into tears. Then I had to call my husband. That phone call nearly killed me & I had to do all this at work which is the shitty part. He was so excited to hear from me & when I managed to choke out the words "the test was negative" there was silence on the other end. I know he is heartbroken & so very sad but he would never show it in front of me. The first words out of his mouth were: "how are you? are you ok? can you come home?" God I love that man.
After that phone call, I knew that today was going to be tough but I didn't know how tough it really would be. We had a slow day at work so it gave me lots of down-time to sit & think & wonder & be sad & think some more. I had to hide my emotions from my co-workers & I was bottling up all that grief & despair inside & it was killing me. I needed to be by myself to have a good cry & grieve over the loss of our little embies...over the loss of what was to be.
At the end of the day I headed to the locker room to get changed & a co-worker of mine (who knows all about our IVF journey) came up to me in private & asked if I was ok - that I seemed "distant" today. At that moment, I caved & lost it right in front of her. She hugged me & let me cry & she cried with me & it felt SO good to get it out & let go. She will never know how much that hug & her support meant to me!
So now I sit here & I just don't understand. It was a flawless cycle. The IVF procedure went perfect. We transferred 3 almost perfect embryo's & had one to freeze & not a one made it. I did everything the RE told me to do. How does all that get you nowhere?!
I am truly beginning to believe that Shane & I aren't meant to be parents. Or perhaps, we just aren't meant to be parents right now...at this moment...maybe someday, but not now.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Hi - my name is Heather and I am a closet POASer.
I have been peeing on sticks for over 18 months now. I can't tell you exactly how many I pee on monthly. It is usually 3 - since FRER comes in a box of 3, so I might as well use them all up right? But sadly it is sometimes more & it is a sick & sad addiction.
In my madness, I have held tests up to the light, walked over to a window for better light, have even walked outside into the natural light to get a better look. I have taken my glasses on and off usually squinting until I think I see something - then I head outside AGAIN to see if I can see it better. Is there a line or isn't there?! What if I tilt it a bit to the left or right...is there a line now?! Maybe if I put the stick up against a dark background...wait - still no line?
Seriously - what drives a sane person to act this way? I'm pretty sure that if I can't see a line just by looking at it like a normal person, then the line isn't there, and I should just accept it, right?!
This month though has been different. Ever since the ET took place I have been afraid to POAS. I have a box of 3 FRER tests & a CBE test all sitting under my sink & I have not yet peed on even one of them. I am SO afraid to see another negative & then I will be faced with the fact that we have spent all this money & gone through this whole IVF process for nothing. I am afraid to be faced with no plan for the next cycle. For the last 10 mos I have always had a plan in place for next month but this is very possibly the end of the road for us at our attempt in TTC & that too scares me.
Tomorrow is my beta & if by some chance they call me & tell me it is positive then I just might take out all 4 of those PG tests and pee on them all - just to see that 2nd line....just to see the word "pregnant"!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I am a bit concerned though. Last night I woke up around 3am to pee & noticed some light brown spotting. This morning it was still there. By early morning it had turned to a pink-tinged spotting & as of 2pm today it is back to a light brown color & still hasn't gone away.
Physically I feel like AF is right around the corner (crampy, bloated, lower back pain) so I'm trying not to be down but I can't help but feel that way. The spotting hasn't changed color or gotten any heavier but is definitely alarming to say the least. I am trying to take it easy today & not do too much in hopes that it will stop. I know it could be a number of things but I can't help but fear the worst. I think this is my way of protecting myself mentally if it turns out that the IVF didn't work.
I guess in 2 days I will know the answer....
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
This waiting is the worst & to think I have 8 more days of it! I am heading to South Dakota for the holiday weekend to spend some time with my family so it will be a nice & much-needed distraction! My sister is the only one out of my family that knows we did IVF so it will be comforting having her there to talk to.
So, with that said, I hope everyone has a wonderful & safe Labor Day weekend!
Day 2: the cells of the morula continue to divide, developing into a blastocyst
Day 3: the blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell
Day 4: the blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell & begins to attach itself to the uterus
Day 5: the blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation
Day 6: implantation continues
Day 7: implantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta & fetus have begun to develop
Day 8: human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the blood stream
Day 9-10: fetal development continues & hCG continues to be secreted
Day 11: levels of hCG are now high enough to detect a pregnancy
Monday, August 30, 2010
Grade A: embryos that have round and symmetrical cells, look "textbook" perfect in every way and give high pregnancy rates when transferred.
Grade B: embryos have a small amount of cell fragmentation, but otherwise look relatively normal. A small amount of fragmentation is normal however, and can be expected in most human embryos.
He shared with us the guidelines of how many embryos he transfers in someone my age, the fact that we only had 4 eggs fertilized as well as the success rates. After much discussion, we decided to go ahead & transfer 3 embryos & will hope for the best.
The procedure was similar to having a PAP. They have you lay down & put your legs in the stirrups & then insert the speculum. In the meantime they are looking at your uterus on abdominal US the entire time. The embryologist went to get our embies from the lab & delivered them to our RE in a long catheter. The RE inserted the catheter into my uterus & we watched on the US as he injected our embies. They then took the catheter back to the lab to make sure all the embies had been injected & they had. That was it - easy peasy & took less than 10 min! They then transferred me back to the stretcher & moved me to a room where I laid for 30 min. Then I was able to get up & head home.
We are going to see how our 4th embryo develops & the Embryologist will decide on Wed whether or not it will make it to freeze. We are saying many prayers & crossing our fingers that at least one of these embies stick! Beta is scheduled to be drawn on Sept 10!
*sigh* It's going to be a LONG 11 days!
Just got the call & all 4 embryos have made it to 8-cell stage so the plan is to go ahead and do the transfer today. The Embryologist said she performed "assisted hatching" to all 4 embryos & from what I have read, this is supposed to increase your chances of implantation.
ET is scheduled for 11am so I will provide an update when we get back! SO very excited...
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The plan is if they all make it to the 8-cell stage by tomorrow morning, then we will go ahead with the transfer at 11am Monday morning. If for some reason they are progressing a little slower than that, then we will let them grow until Wed & will do a 5 day transfer that morning.
I am SO nervous that my little embies will stop cleaving :( I just need to think positive thoughts but that is much easier said than done! Will update with the plan when I hear something tomorrow morning!
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Oh - & another pleasant note...
I started the vaginal progesterone suppositories last night. I am taking Endometrin rather than the Prometrium & I get to enjoy these lovely little tablets 3 x's a day!!! I thought since these were "pill-like" rather than "gel-like" that they would be better but I was sadly mistaken.
Instead of my "hoo-hoo" feeling constantly gooey it now feels constantly "wet" & like water is running out of me everytime I stand up. Pleasant visual isn't it?! Sorry if that is TMI! And to think I am going to have to take these all throughout my 1st trimester :(
BUT I am not going to complain because if the end result is a baby then I would shove these little bad boys up my "hoo-hoo" everday for the rest of my life!!
Friday, August 27, 2010
The day has finally arrived. After all the shots, the bloat, the headaches, the mood swings, the bruised belly - it is finally time to do the egg retrieval.
"Transform anxiety into excitement; focus not on the fear of what lies ahead but instead the possibilities you might create."
This is a great quote that I read yesterday & found it to be very inspiring for todays events. Trust me, we were BOTH full of anxiety. Shane was nervous he wouldn't be able to "perform" out of his comfort-zone we call "home" & I was anxious about being under anesthesia & the entire procedure itself.
We arrived at the RE's office around 8am & got checked in. By 8:15am they were taking Shane back to do his "thang" :) Then they took me to the IVF lab where I changed into a gown, made sure to put on my "lucky socks" (picked the pink flowery ones with the lacy ruffle :), signed some paperwork & met with the anesthesiologist. He put in my IV & by the time he was finished Shane had joined me. It was 17 minutes since I last saw him - can you say my husband is a rockstar!? So much for being "shy" - must have been some good visual-aids in that room :) lol
The RE met with the both of us & went over the procedure again & I signed the consent. Next thing I know I was being taken to the procedure room. They got me all hooked up to their monitoring equipment & propped my legs up in the stirrups & then I felt it....the wonderful "high" you get when they slip the feel-good medicine in your IV. 2 minutes later I was out & woke up back in my room with my wonderful husband looking over me. The whole procedure took about 30 min & I was glad it was over with.
I remember these 3 things as I woke up:
- Kenny Chesney was playing in my room on the overhead speaker - he is my absolute favorite country singer & calms me whenever I hear his music.
- They told me they retrieved 7 eggs & I kept saying "lucky #7"!
- I looked down to see that my lucky socks were still on....and they were.
I would like to think that these 3 things are a good sign & it gives me hope that this is all going to work out for us. Tomorrow we get our 1st fertility report so we will see how many eggs were mature & how many fertilized. In the meantime, I'm going to take my pain meds & spend the rest of the day curled up in bed. Other than some moderate cramping, I am feeling pretty good.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I got several super cute pairs of pink "lucky" socks, some homemade choc-chip cookies, penguin stickers, some chocolate & an adorable penguin & bulldog card. I LOVE it all - so very thoughtful!
Now I just have to figure out which pair of socks to wear to my ER tomorrow :)
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Estradiol = 886
Uterine lining - 8.8mm
7 follicles measuring 15mm-22mm
Several smaller follicles found that may catch up.
Was given the go ahead to stop the Lupron & trigger tonight with the Ovidrel injection. Egg retrieval is scheduled for 9am Friday morning.
Here we go...
Sunday, August 22, 2010
I had 2 measurable follicles on each side around 11mm along with 3 smaller ones on each side so a total of 10 right now. Meds will remain the same & they moved my 3rd appt from Tues to Wed morning since I am responding a little slower this time around.
Saying a little prayer that the smaller ones catch up & we will be able to proceed with the IVF after Wednesday's appt! Looking at egg retrieval possibly Friday morning if Wed appt goes well!
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Say a little prayer that all these meds will keep my follies growing for tomorrow's appt!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
My next monitoring appt is Sunday morning. Crossing my fingers that increasing my meds will help those follies grow!!!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
I finished the BCP on Tuesday & have been on Lupron injections for 7 days now. Can I just say I HATE Lupron. It makes me feel insanely crazy. I have a constant dull, nagging headache that won't go away - even with Excedrin. I can go from sweet, innocent Heather to crazy, psycho bitch in a matter of 60 seconds - thank you co-workers for putting up with my mood this week. It hasn't been pretty. I feel like I am in a fog & have lost track of where I am going or headed to several times this week. And my emotions are a constant rollercoaster. Any TV show, commercial or situation that is even somewhat touching & I will bust out into tears.
With any luck I will only have 11 more days on Lupron.
Trust me....I am counting down the days!
Saturday, August 7, 2010
The paperwork I got with the Lupron says: "these side effects may occur while using Lupron: nausea, vomiting, hot flashes, night sweats, severe mood swings, bone pain, swelling of feet & ankles, headaches, difficulty urinating the first few days as your body adjusts to the medication, & reduced sexual desire."
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
She also suggested I not share this process with too many "acquaintances" - like casual friends, co-workers, etc just so that I don't get bombarded with constant questions which can add stress to the whole process.
The only people I am telling are my supervisor at work - since he is the one clearing me for all my appointments, my sister - because I tell her everything, my BFF Jill - as I was her confidant when she was going through this same process, & my neighbor Julie (who doesn't know it yet, but is going to help me with my progesterone shots since they are IM). She is a labor/delivery nurse & has offered to be my "doula" if I end up delivering also. I wonder if she would want to be my postpartum doula afterwards?! :) And of course those of you who read my blog which is only limited to my sister, Jill, Julie, my girlfriend Desiree & Jen (who are both going through IF issues) & those of you on thebump.com.
So, here is my "calendar of events" for the month of July & August so that you all are "in the know" :)
7/23 - Fri: CD 2 US, bloodwork (Estradiol, HIV, Hep B & C, RPR serology)
7/26 - Mon: Hubby gets bloodwork drawn for same as above (minus the Estradiol)
7/26 - Mon: start birth control pills & 81 mg baby ASA daily
8/4 - Wed: 8:15am appt for saline hysterosonogram w/trial embryo transfer & drop off for semen analysis to test for ICSI - 1:00 pm - couples' appt to go over & sign consents/class to educate on giving injections
8/7 - Sat: start Lupron injections - 10 units every evening
8/10 - Tue: last day of BCP - continue daily baby aspirin 81 mg
8/13 - Fri: 730am baseline US & bloodwork
8/15 - Sun: Start Bravelle injections & decrease Lupron to 3 units daily, continue baby aspirin
8/16 - Mon: Happy Birthday to me :)
8/19 - Thur: 730am US & bloodwork - start Menopur injections
8/22 - Sun: 8am US & bloodwork
8/24 - Tues: 730am US & bloodwork
*depending on what this last appt shows, I will be triggering at anytime with the Ovidrel injection & the egg retrieval will be 36 hours after the Ovidrel is given. I will take a dose of Azithromycin with the Ovidrel. They will then do the embryo transfer 5 days later & then I will be on Progesterone for 14 days. After the long 2 week wait, they will do a blood draw to determine if I am pregnant or not.
Can you see now why I needed an IVF calendar?!? :)
Incase you are wondering, here is an explanation of all the meds & why I have to take them:
birth control pills - suppress ovaries prior to stimulation
baby aspirin - believed to help with implantation
Lupron injection - suppress the pituitary & prevent premature release of the eggs
Follistim injection - stimulates the ovary to grow follicles which contain an egg
Menopur injection - helps stimulate ovaries along with the Follistim
Ovidrel injection - triggers the follicles mature & release the egg
Azithromycin - reduces the risk of infection from the egg retrieval
Progesterone - helps prepare the uterus for implantation
That is all the info I got thus far. It is a bit overwhelming & I hope I can keep up with all the medications!? Wish us luck as we start this crazy journey & say a prayer for us that the end result is positive :)
Thanks for following....
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
So, on Friday I have my CD3 bloodwork & US to make sure my estrogen levels are low & that I don't have any cysts on the ovaries. On CD5, (Monday) I will start birth control pills & take them for 3 weeks to suppress my ovaries. During that time, I have to have some more labwork drawn as does Shane as well as have another saline sonohysterogram done - fun fun! It is strange to think I am going back on BCP as I have been off of them for almost 4 years now?!
So that is where we are at. More to come later as we begin this IVF journey...
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Hoping this is thee last time I have to do any of this. Please cross your fingers, toes & anything else you can cross for me! Prayers couldn't hurt either!?
Sunday, July 4, 2010
US showed all 9 follicles have grown & I am definitely feeling it! I have 2 that are 19mm, 2 at 17mm & the rest were 13-16mm. The 19 & 17mm follicles are ready to trigger so the RE went over all the risks & chances of multiples by having that many follicles. After giving it some thought & with my track record these last few months, I decided to go ahead & proceed with the IUI. So I will trigger tonight with the Ovidrel shot & plan on doing the IUI Tuesday afternoon!
Everybody say a prayer...
Friday, July 2, 2010
Had my CD10 US & b/w today & I have 9 follicles all measuring 12-13mm. The NP said "we need to be extremely careful with you this cycle" so I am a little concerned. All 9 follicles could reach "mature" levels by ovulation & if I were to trigger with all those follicles I could end up being the next Octomom!
So the RE told me to decrease my Follistim from 125iu to 100iu & come back Sunday morning for another US to see where I am at. May have to cancel the IUI if there are too many mature follicles which would pretty much suck since this is my last month of injections as well as all the $$$ I spent on injectables this round for nothing :(
So we will see what happens Sunday! Ugh - IF is so frustrating!
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
It is CD 7 & I have been doing injections for 4 days now. During my US the nurse found 4 good-sized follies growing. Two 10mm's on the left & two 10mm's on the right. My cyst has shrunk down to 9mm so that is a good sign. I go back Friday morning for a follicle re-check & will probably be doing the IUI either Sun or Mon if everything looks good.
My appt was at 7:30am so I ended up being 30 min late to work. I had called the lab supervisor at the East location (I work at 3 different hospital locations) around 6am & left a message on voicemail informing him I was going to be a bit late so I didn't think of it as a big deal. Lucky for me my boss at the main hospital knows of all my fertility appts & has excused me from all late arrivals while we go through this process. Since we don't start procedures at work until well past 8:30am I didn't think my being late was going to disrupt anything.
I get there promptly at 8:24am, changed into my scrubs & they were just putting the patient on the procedure table when I walked into the lab. I went about my day as I normally do & around 3:30pm the lab supervisor asks to talk to me in private right before he is about to leave. Not sure what this was about but I followed him into the break room & sat down. He stayed standing & proceeds to tell me (while he is pointing his finger at me) that it was unacceptable to call in like that & tell him I was going to be late for ANY reason whatsoever - even traffic & we start at 8:30am & how he expects us to be there at 8am & how my actions were inexcusable. He told me to consider this a "verbal warning" & my unexcused tardiness will go into my file & my boss will be talked to about my late arrival.
I could not believe what I was hearing. In my 11 years of working for that hospital I have never had anyone belittle me or talk to me in that way before. I can count on one hand all the times I have punched in late & if you ask anyone that I work with they would vouch that I am an exceptional employee. What pisses me off the most is that this guy isn't even my boss. I have worked at the hospital far longer than he has. He just happens to be the "lab supervisor" there so I'm not sure who died & made him in charge!
At that moment I had a hormonal breakdown & started to cry. These damn hormone injections make me an emotional mess - can't even watch a Folger's commercial without tearing up :( This "scolding" had sent me over the edge.
So I wiped the tears & proceeded to tell him that why I was late was none of his business but if he needed to know it was because I was undergoing fertility treatments & it was very important that I get to these appts & that is why I make them for first thing in the morning. I also told him that my boss is very well aware of my treatments & has excused me of any & all "late arrivals" due to these appts so to go ahead & tell him of my "unexcused tardy" because guess what? He already knew about it :) Once he got wind of all that he backed off, felt like an ass for being such an ass & apologized for "being so harsh" - as he should!
As if it's not bad enough already dealing with injections, raging hormones & morning dates with the dildo cam but I have to deal with an asshole at work too!
Ugh - Calgon...take me away!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Later in the afternoon I got a phone call from the nurse & my Estradiol came back at 41 & FSH was 8.8. Both numbers are within normal limits so the RE said I was ok to proceed with injections starting tomorrow night. Hopefully the cyst will shrink in the next couple of weeks!? Will see what it is doing during my CD7 US on Tuesday.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Nice, huh? Beta was 3 so just one more month of disappointment, sadness & frustration to add to the list :(
I have decided to do one more month of injectables - only because I still have $300 worth of medication in my refrigerator to use. If I end up with a "BFN" this next round then I am calling it quits with the injectables route. I will then be scheduling an appt with the RE to discuss what the next step should be. Going to gather all the info on IVF & the cost that comes with it & then we will make a decision.
I do know that whatever we decide, it will be a final decision. I will be turning 38 in August & honestly, I just don't know how much longer I can keep doing this - mentally & physically!?!
So with that said, Cycle #16 - here we go...
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
After taking Prometrium (progesterone supplements) for the last 9 days, I have gone up at least one cup size. I am literally popping out of every bra that I own & it is NOT comfortable. My boobs feel "full" & are SO sore. Today it hurt to even wear a bra! I was so tempted at work to just take the damn thing off. I even had a female co-worker ask me if I was wearing the VS Plunge Bra!? Seriously - do I look that much bigger?
Only 5 more days left & then maybe my boobs will return to normal - for a couple of weeks anyways! Unless of course I get a BFP & then I will be on Prometrium indefinately! God help me....and my boobs!
Monday, June 7, 2010
I started having right & left-sided pain around noon today & by 1pm it was almost intolerable - which makes sense since I was scheduled to ovulate anywhere between 1-4pm today. We collected our "sample" around 1:30pm, drove up to the RE's office to wait for the sample to be prepared & by 2:15pm they were calling for me to come on back for the IUI. Props go to the hubby for having a 22 million sperm count this go around - woo hoo :) That is 12 million more than our last IUI!
So with 4 follicles, an awesome sperm count & good timing let's hope that this is the cycle we get our BFP! Beta is scheduled to be drawn on June 21st so now we wait....
Friday, June 4, 2010
The plan is one more shot of Follistim tonight, trigger shot of Ovidrel late Saturday night & IUI scheduled for Monday afternoon. Looks like I won't have to be doing the IUI during the wedding weekend afterall! Nice...
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Looks like bumping up the Follistim helped! I have 4 good-sized follicles growing - 3 more than I have ever had at one time! The nurse said that is awesome for being CD 7! My Estradiol was 247 & is a climbin' so that is good also! So I shall return on Friday morning for another US & we will see what the plan is for the weekend!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
So on Saturday the RE called in a prescription to the only pharmacy in the KC area that carries Follistim. It is a privately owned pharmacy located inside one of the hospitals here in Overland Park, KS. I left work early today so I could get there in time before they closed.
When I got there, I gave them my name, told them what I was there for & the pharmacy tech went to look for my prescription. Turns out that they were OUT of Follistim. I almost flipped the F out. My RE told me that they are supposed to ALWAYS have Follisitim because they are the ONLY pharmacy in Kansas City that carries it & they are telling me they don't have any. WTF? This prescription was sent to them on Saturday & they didn't even bother to call me to tell me they were out?! It is Tuesday for F sake!
So after I said a few choice words to the pharmacist, he goes back to the frig, pulls out somebody elses prescription of Follistim, slaps my informaion sticker on it and proceeds to ring me up. I was somewhat bothered that I was getting some poor girls prescription but was secretly glad they were able to accomodate me.
Then the pharmacist says:
P: that will be $399!
H: Um - how much? No, that can't be right! It is $285 through Walgreens Specialty pharmacy - there must be some mistake!?
P: No ma'am - that is correct. We are not a specialty pharmacy so we don't offer a discounted price.
I sat there speechless & stunned. I had to have the medication so I had no choice but to pay for it. He swiped my debit card & it comes up declined! Seriously? WTF! I have plenty of money in my checking account so I don't know why it came up declined. He swiped it again & ran it as credit & it processed. By this point I was pissed & I wasn't sure exactly why or who I was pissed at?!? Maybe it was the pharmacy that didn't have my meds in the first place? Maybe it was the fact that I am having to go though all this infertility BS every month? Maybe I was mad at the insurance company for not covering a single dime of ANY of my fertility medications I have to take every frickin' day!? Who knows...I was just glad to have my meds & be on my way.
I ended up stopping at Gambinos's, our local pizza joint here in Spring Hill to pick up dinner because at this point I was mad I had to spend $399 for one little vial of medication & wasn't in the mood to cook. I go to swipe my debit card to pay for the pizza & again my card came up declined. The gal tried to run my card & it came back declined...again! I was so F'n mad & embarrassed. Gotta love living in a small town because they let me write a check w/no problems.
Got back in my car & was on the phone to US Bank to figure out what the hell was going on with my debit card. After waiting for 10 minutes, I finally get someone to assist me. Turns out that my purchase at Perry Drug was "suspicious" & they had suspended my debit card from any other purchases until I contacted them to discuss it. Nice of them to be "looking out" for my account but irritated they froze my card. After going through all my transactions for the last 2 days, they cleared my card for use again.
What a crazy day...here's hoping to a less chaotic tomorrow! I'm starting my morning off at the RE's office & a date with the dildo cam so anything is bound to happen!
Saturday, May 29, 2010
They are increasing my dose of the Follistim to 125iu's daily instead of 100iu's to see if I can't grow more follicles. I start that tonight with the next US scheduled for Wed morning (CD 7) so we will see how things are progressing then.
I am on the same exact schedule by the day as the last 2 months so if everything tracks the same, we should be doing IUI next Mon or Tues.
To be cont...
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
So if tomorrow is CD1, then that means the following weekend my follicles should be ready to trigger & do our IUI procedure - the same weekend we will have TONS of family in town for my brother's wedding! Can the timing be any more wrong?!?
Can you imagine the morning of the wedding, before I'm to get my hair done with the rest of the bridal party, rushing home to "collect" my husbands sperm & run it to the clinic, get inseminated & rush back to the girls before too many people notice I am gone! NICE...
Good thing is the IUI should happen over the weekend so the hubby doesn't have to get out of work. Bad thing is it is the weekend of my brother's wedding. Oh well, I guess you can't "time" mother nature?! We will see what happens...
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Not sure how many more "slap in the face" moments like these I can take. I wasn't even the least bit excited this morning to test. In fact, I woke up dreading it because deep down I knew what the result would be but I went throught the motions anyway. It is really starting to wear on both me & my husband!
I said I would give the injections a 6 month try but after just 2 months I am not so sure anymore. I am starting to think we should just accept this fate of ours & move on. I am going to talk with my RE during my CD3 visit & see what his thoughts are. Pretty sure he will suggest moving on to IVF but I just can't grasp paying $13,000 out of pocket for something that only gives us a 50% chance of working?!