Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Waiting around

I am just sitting at my house - trying to work from home, and impatiently waiting for my delivery from Shraft pharmacy. This is one of the things that kills me about IVF. As if having to take time off for all of the various appointments isn't enough; you also have to wait around for the delivery of your meds. The reasoning is that some of the items have to be put in the fridge, and the box technically contains hazardous materials - so they can't just leave it on your doorstep.

I feel lucky that I can work from home on days like today, but I am probably the world's most impatient person. They told me my delivery would come "sometime before noon" - a pretty large window of time if you ask me.

This time my box of meds should be smaller since I don't need nearly as much. The Lupron has to be refrigerated, but everything else can go into my box 'o fun. My shots start on Saturday. If I can talk Bobby into taking a picture, I will post a lovely pic of me giving the shot.

I will write again Friday after my hysteroscopy. - Oh, and my insurance might actually cover this one (after I pay my co-pay of course) if I can get my regular Ob to give me a referral. I am waiting to hear if that will happen. I really hope it works out - It would be nice to actually have my insurance cover something!
Anywho - hope you all have a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Officially Started Round 2b

I decided I will call this round, Round 2b. Since it is sort of a continuation of Round 2. I started on my birth control pills a few days ago. I called my pharmacy to have them refilled and was told that they wouldn't be able to get them in until this weekend or Monday at the latest because their shipments came out of Seattle and at the time apparently nothing was coming out of Seattle because of the weather. Ugh! Luckily I had enough packs that had some left over active pills so I am covered until my pills get in. Oh, the reason I had leftover active pills is because during IVF they put you on birth control for random amounts of time. It seems you never use a whole pack. And (I found out during all of this IVF stuff) every "active" pill has the same amount of estradial or whatever is in it, so you could totally take them out of order and it wouldn't matter. That's a little fun fact from me to you :-)

So, Round 2b is getting off to a good start. I am officially back to my normal weight and feeling no bloat what-so-ever. Thank goodness! I am still caffeine free - I decided not to jump back on the caffeine wagon, since I would have to give it up soon anyway.

I got my call from Shraft pharmacy, a specialty pharmacy that is part of Walgreens and specializes in fertility meds. I am going to be giving myself injections of Lupron and Progesterone. And will be taking Estrace (a tablet), baby asprin, doxycyclene and medrol. My total for the order came to....$145! I told the lady over the phone that I wanted to kiss her since every order I have had so far has been in the thousands. I made her repeat the total twice to be sure I heard correctly. $145 seems like a drop in the bucket compared to the cost so far.

I won't go into details on everything we have spent (although I have a pretty hefty spreadsheet with an astonishing tally) - but we have surpassed the $20,000 mark and keep in mind that is the total since May of 2008. I am not including the nearly $9000 we spent on fertility treatments before we adopted our wonderful baby boy (which is a whole other spreadsheet). I guess at a certain point, you just have to laugh, say "it's just money" and commit to not buying any new furniture for awhile. ha ha!

I go in to the Doctor's office this coming Friday for my hysteroscopy. I pray the roads will be ok - right now we have about 2 feet of fresh snow, on top of the 2 feet we already had.

I am excited to get started again. I really hope we have success this time. This whole process just seems to wear on body and emotion.

I will post again later in the week. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy and Safe New Year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Series

So, the January series officially starts tomorrow for me. I have been instructed to start my birth control pills tomorrow. I also was faxed my calendar so now I have the plan on when to take my pills, shots, and when to go to my appointments.

My first appointment is January 2nd in Spokane. I am having a hysteroscopy (yes, this will be the third one that I have had so far) to remove the fibroid and anything else that might have decided to grow in my uterus. Because for some reason everything But a baby wants to grow in there.

I start my shots on on January 3rd and it looks like I will do the Doxyflush on January 19th and my transfer will be February 2nd.

I will blog about this as I go along. The frozen embryo transfer is a different protocol, so if anyone is interested...I am sure I will have some interesting stories.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and let's all hope for an especially Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Halleluja, I can wear jeans!!!

I feel a ton better today! I actually put on jeans and they fit - woo hoo!

My ovarian hyperstimluation has been very uncomfortable. I have gained anywhere from 10 - 12 pounds a day (it goes away after a night of sleep). I had a terrible pain in my left shoulder the other night, and swear I thought I was having a heart attack it hurt so bad.
But, today I feel better. I am a little bloated, but I can tell I am getting better. My weight is down a bit and I just don't feel the pain I did earlier this week.

Thank goodness my parents were here earlier this week. They made me sit and drink lots of fluids, and let's be honest...I wouldn't have done that as well if it were just me. I needed the pushing. I am happy to be on the mend and hope I never feel that sort of pain/uncomfortableness again. On a side note, I think the reason this might be going away is that I am about to start my cycle, which I will take over the pain of this last week. Never thought I would be so happy to have my little friend visit!

Also, I am feeling really optimistic about this frozen embryo transfer. I know this sounds odd, but it is kind of nice to have a little break from it all for the holidays and then start again in January. It feels like a fresh start.

I will write more this week. I have a feeling I will be starting in on the series in a few days, so I will keep you all posted!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Transfer was....


Yep, you heard me right...we did not have a transfer for this round. I swear sometimes I think God is trying to tell us something. Let me back up and explain what happened.

I had been feeling sore after my retrieval, as is to be expected. But the soreness didn't go away and in fact made me feel quite uncomfortable. On Monday of this week, my stomach was bloated, I was uncomfortable and I had gained about 10 pounds over the course of the weekend. I called my nurse to tell her and she said that Bobby and I should arrive at 7am on Tuesday so the Dr. could check me out before they decided if they were going to do the transfer. It sounded like I had Ovarian Hyperstimulation. If that was the case, she told me the transfer most likely wouldn't happen.

~ Ovarian Hyperstimulation happens to about 10% of IVF patients. It means that your ovaries get too stimulated and enlarge and then you start collecting fluid in your abdomen. It can be serious if not treated. ~

Bobby and I got up early Tuesday morning and headed to Spokane. We were both kind of crabby not knowing what was going to happen and I was overly crabby because it had now become uncomfortable for me to breathe.

When we got there, they took blood and then Bobby and I had to wait in a room for the Dr. to finish ultrasounds with other patients. We waited forever! Karen took my vitals and all that stuff and said I didn't look very bad and maybe I just had a mild case. We were told we were assigned the last transfer spot at 11:30 that day and I felt hopeful that we would get to continue. On the off chance the transfer would occur, I was told to drink my 32 oz. of water between 10:15 and 10:30am.

Well, when the Dr. finally came in, he had me lay down, pressed on my belly and said I definitely have Ovarian Hyperstimulation. He said that if they did do a transfer, they would only be able to transfer 1 embryo back because apparently it is a really painfull thing to have when you are pregnant. He said the other option would be to freeze the embryos and do a frozen transfer later.
Basically he wanted to see what my bloodwork said before he made the decision. We were told to go to breakfast and hang out until they got my results back. Oh, and he said, "you are going to get much fact you might be spending Christmas with me". I looked at him like he was on crack, and my nurse explained that this will probably get worse. I can look forward to pain, severe bloating , and vomiting. Basically fluid is building up in my abdomen and I will most likely have to go back in to have tubes put in my stomach in order for the fluid to be drained - yuck!

We went to breakfast and I kept my cell phone within a fingers reach at all times, in case the call came in. When we were done, we still hadn't heard and we weren't sure what to do with ourselves. Nothing was really open yet, we didn't want to check into a hotel in case they just told us to go home so we drove around and hung out in the jeep and listened to Christmas music - we waited in the car for one hour, hadn't heard anything, and it was about to turn 10:15am...the time I was supposed to start drinking my water. I called my nurse and left a message, and decided I probably should drink my water just in case. I still felt like we might do the transfer that day. I knew that they had 6 other transfers before ours and they probably didn't have time to go over our blood results till those were complete.

Sure enough, Karen called at 10:32. I could tell by the tone in her voice that we were cancelled. She confirmed and said that my levels were kind of high and that Dr. Robins thought it would be in our best interest to delay transfer. Bummer! I felt horrible that we weren't transferring, but then again, my body felt horrible because of the Ovarian Hyperstimlulation. Karen said to stop my projesterone shots, and to call her on the first day of my cycle. They will put be on birth control, and then they will schedule me to do a uterine cavity search thingy. During this, they will remove my fibroid and do some sort of doxy flush with antibiotics to clean out my uterus. Then I start back on shots January 9th, and hopefully do the transfer on the 19th of Jan. This time my shots will only be Lupron and Progesterone since we aren't trying to make eggs, we are just trying to get my body ready to be pregnant.

The good news is, they were able to freeze 8 good quality embryos, and we will take care of that pesky fibroid. The bad news is I feel horrible, am not looking forward to a possible abdomen drain on Christmas day, and 2008 will pass without a pregnancy. This has been a long year....

I will continue to Blog, since this round doesn't feel final until that frozen transfer takes place. Hopefully I will be able to manage the OHSS with rest and fluids - let's hope so anyway.

More later this week...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day 3 update

Today is day 3 and luckily I didn't have to wait very long to hear from Karen, my nurse. She called first thing this morning. I truly think she understands the torture of having to wait and does her best to call as soon as she can - God Bless her!

Today's news was really good and I am feeling really hopeful. Here is what she said:

We still have 17 fertilized eggs going (so we only lost 2 since Friday). Out of those 17, we have 14 that are 8 cell (this is the point they should be at by day 3, so these are the good ones). We have 1 at 7 cells, 1 at 5 cells, and 1 at 2 cells. These are the stragglers and more than likely won't make it longer than a day or two.

Karen said that we should plan to do transfer on day 5, which is Tuesday. Since we are at the end of the series, they don't have any retrievals that day, so they are starting transfers bright and early. She said to be prepared for the phone call from her and I reminded her that we have a 2 hour drive, and she said to go ahead and plan to be there at 9am. Our transfer might be first thing or it might be later, but that way we will be there ready. She said there is a possibility that we might get a call telling us to turn around and go home because the transfer might get moved to day 6. Let's hope for day 5 - Everyone think "DAY FIVE"!

She said to make sure I have my water in the car, because she will call me and tell me when it is time to start drinking it. Oh, I don't think I ever mentioned my water. So, basically you have to drink 32 ounces of water 1 hour before your procedure. You are not allowed to use the bathroom after drinking said water. Then when you get there, they will do an ultrasound to see how full your bladder is. This is important because your full bladder pushes your uterus into an optimal position. If your bladder is too full, they mark a little line on a plastic cup and send you to the bathroom to "unfill" your bladder a little bit. This is tricky because you are only allowed to "unfill" your bladder enough so that it reaches the line. Then you go back in, they ultrasound again, and so on and so on. Last time I got sent to the bathroom 3 times - and let me tell ya, 3 times of going and stopping mid stream is quite a talent that I am sure not everyone can do. Not exactly something you put on a resume, but a talent none-the-less.

Oh, and I also asked about the possibility of transferring 3 embryos, and Karen made a note of it and we will talk to Dr. Robins about it on the day of transfer. He might not let us if the quality of embryos is really exceptional. So, I'll keep you updated on that.

The progesterone shots are going pretty good. Bobby had the hiccups the other night and that one was actually a little uncomfortable. Note to future IVFers: find someone without the hiccups to give you a shot with a huge needle.

So, now we wait until Tuesday. We will head up to Spokane first thing in the morning. If we get moved to day 6 (Wednesday), I will let you all know. Otherwise, if we go on Tuesday, I will give a full blog report on Wednesday night when we return home.

Please continue thinking good thoughts - I think all of them have helped so far :-)

Friday, December 12, 2008

The number of eggs fertilized is.....

19! This is fantastic news for us. Here is what they told me:
They were able to retrieve 34 eggs. Of those 34, they perfomed ICSI on 20 and let 14 of them fertilize naturally. ICSI is a procedure where they actually inject the sperm into the egg. Naturally is when they just sort of let them find eachother in the little petri dish.

Out of the 20 that they performed ICSI on, 17 were mature. Out of those 17, 11 fertilized.
Out of the 14 they let go au na-tur-al, 10 were mature. Out of those 10, 8 were fertilized.
For a total of 19 little fertilized eggs.

This is officially day 1. The day of conception. Weird that it is in a petri dish, but that is the way things go.
Since I have been through this before I know the reality of things. I will get a phone call on Sunday (day 3) with an update on the embryos. More than likely only half of the 19 will make it to that point (if even that many). Than I get another update on day 4 and 5 - where we will probably be down by half again. Transfer should take place on day 5 or 6 (last time it was day 6). At this point we will probably have about 4 or 5 good embryos to choose from. This is really great news for us since last time we had one good embryo and one that was iffy.

I am going to talk to Dr. Robins about the fibroid and if he thinks it might be a good idea to implant 3 embryos instead of 2 since our odds of them implanting went down. I know when we failed the last round, he said that this is an option because of all of the troubles we have - I just want to see what he thinks.

I am really sore today! I didn't take any Tylenol with codiene and decided that I would come to work. Only now, I am regretting that decision, but nobody else is here and we have a mini-broadcast this afternoon that I have to stick around for. I'm not complaining too much; the people I work with have always been so awesome about working with me and my scheduling. I just really wish I was home, in sweat pants watching a Lifetime Original Movie.

We started my projesterone shots last night. Bobby was great as usual and it didn't hurt at all. I will try to take a picture of the needle, so you can see the size (it is really big!). I am also taking an antibiotic and a steriod, but luckily these are in pill form.

My parents are coming this weekend to help out. Since we don't know what day they will call us up to Spokane for the transfer we are kind of in a holding pattern. Having my parents here will relieve stress because I know that Connor will be well taken care of (we have to stay the night in Spokane). Last round, my dad came up during the week I had to be in Spokane every day and he was a tremendous help. Connor really missed "nanny papa" when he left :-)

Well, I will of course keep you all updated. Please keep us and our little fertilized eggs in your thoughts.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Retrieval day

Today was egg retrieval day. We went up to Spokane this morning; it was nice having someone else in the car to talk to. We got there by 7:45am for Bobby's appointment. This is almost the end of the series, so there weren't many people waiting, I think only 2 couples. They called Bobby back and when he was done we had about 1 hour before my appointment so we ran and got breakfast for Bobby (nothing for me since I wasn't allowed to eat or drink).

We went back to the office for my appointment and they took us right back. Bobby was allowed in the room while I changed and waited but then he had to go out to the waiting room. They don't let husbands in because it is a sterile operating environment. Anyway, the IV guy came in and hemmed and hahhed about my veins. Finally he picked my right hand and got the IV in, but he seemed hesistant about it. I asked him about 10 times if he was sure it was in and he said he was, but he wasn't too believable (or maybe I am just paranoid).

I went in for the procedure, laughing and joking with the nurses along the way. As I was falling asleep I think I asked if they could turn the music station to Christmas music - I'm weird.
The procedure took about 30 minutes and when I woke up in recovery they were putting a warm blanket on me and Bobby was by my side. My nurse said the first thing I did when they woke me up was to throw my arm in the air and declare that "yes, in fact my iv did stay in the entire time". Ha! The things you say when you are all doped up.

I had to stay in the recovery room for about 1/2 hour and then we were able to leave. As we were waiting they told us they were able to retrieve 34 eggs!!! Woo hoo, go ovaries. We will have to wait until tomorrow to know if any of those eggs were mature and if they were mature, how many were able to fertilize. I feel good...I mean 34 eggs has to give me better odds than 12, right?

I know that this will sound weird, but it never actually occurred to me that we might actually get pregnant after I heard about the fibroid. But then I heard the number of eggs that we had and I found myself feeling hopeful and excited :-)

Let's hope tonight goes well for my little eggs, and I will update tomorrow with the number of embryos we have. I really don't like this part of the is a waiting game and I am the worlds most impatient person.

Till tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Today is my one day of freedom from shots! I am practically giddy, or as Bobby so eloquently put it...I'm acting like I'm on crack.

The HCG shot went great last night. God Bless Bobby because he is probably the best "shot giver" ever. He really missed his calling. The needle is large, and when I say large I mean like an inch and a half. Yikes! We both kind of dozed in front of the TV as we waited for the time to come to give the shot. I set my alarm on my cell phone so we wouldn't sleep through it. When the alarm went off, I darted off the couch and ran to the bathroom, all ready to mix and shoot. I had forgotten one thing.....Bobby. So I ran back to the living room and woke him up and he sauntered down the hall to our bedroom still half asleep.

I mixed the shot according to my instructions and damn I was fast. Too fast. We ended up having to wait 10 minutes to give the actual shot. 10 minutes seems like an eternity when you are waiting for something and you are ready to go to bed because you know that you have to get up 5 hours later.

Finally 11pm arrived - hooray! We marked the spot so Bobby would have something to aim at (men, I swear) and I iced the area for a minute to help ward off some of the sting I thought was coming. I leaned on the counter a bit, and bent my leg on the side I was to receive the shot - it's funny how fast these things come back to you. And I waited and waited and finally I hear Bobby say, "OK, let's go to bed".

I was like, Uh, excuse me...could you please give me the shot already. But the funny thing is, he had given me the shot and I didn't feel a thing. Now, let me tell you, he was always this good at giving the shot the first round. I bragged to everyone how wonderful he was. But I kind of thought he was out of practice and I was in for at least one bad shot before he remembered how to do it. Thank goodness that wasn't the case.

I went to Spokane today and had blood work and ultrasound. I got the call from my nurse and everything looks great. She sounded really positive. She went over my instructions for tomorrow, although she didn't really need to because I read over them so many times I think they are burned into my brain. Tonight will be simple: light dinner, no dairy, nothing to eat or drink after midnight. Tomorrow: shower, and put on loose clothing, also: no deodorant, lotion, or anything with a scent because apparently the eggs do not like scents (this is actually one of the reasons they give, haha).

We are off to Spokane in the morning, and by tomorrow night (if all goes well) we will have some little embryos incubating!

I will write tomorrow when I get back. Thanks for all the positive comments and thoughts sent my way - it is wonderful to have such a great support system.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Tonight is the trigger shot - aka my HCG shot! I went to my appointment today in Spokane, and let me tell ya, I am tired of driving that drive. The Dr. asked if I thought my ovaries were ready and I said "yes, I really think they are". He looked at my follicles and said that indeed I was ready and that I "must really know" my ovaries. I laughed and joked that we were old friends. Really what I wanted to say was that, "how could they not be ready? They feel like 2 cantaloupes playing pinball with my internal organs"!

So, I left and still had to wait for confirmation from my nurse. I just talked to her on the phone and she gave me my instructions. Tonight I am not supposed to take my Follistum, Menopur, or Lupron - woo hoo, no tummy shots! I will, instead, take my HCG shot. This shot is given in the backside, kind of above the tushie and near the hip area. It is completely impossible to reach which is why Bobby gives me this shot. The HCG shot basically "triggers" ovulation. They give you an exact time to give the shot because ovulation occurs 39 - 42 hours after the shot is given and this is how they know when to do the retrieval.

The time they assigned me to give the HCG shot is 11pm. Thank goodness! I know some people that have to give it at 2am and I was praying that wouldn't be us. We are actually on the same schedule as the first round, so this feels familiar.

So, we mix the shot at 10:45 pm to make sure we give ourselves plenty of time. Then we give the shot at 11pm. Then I go back in tomorrow for blood work and ultrasound (I think to make sure that my body hasn't decided to ovulate on it's own - scary). Then tomorrow night is the "glorious" night. I call it "glorious" because it is my only night without ANY shots. This is wonderful since I am on my 23rd day of shots and it is no fun at all. Also, once they retrieve my eggs, Bobby has to give me a progesterone shot (in the same area as the HCG) until we know if this round was successful. And if it is successful I can look forward to that progesterone shot everyday for 8 weeks. Whew!

Thursday is egg retrieval day. I'm not really too nervous about it - it is a simple outpatient procedure. They give you anesthesia, so I will get a good nap. Thursday is also Bobby's "big moment". He finally gets to "contribute" to the process - ha ha! We go in at 7:45am for Bobby's part and then back in at 9am for me. My procedure isn't until 10am, but they have to do some prep like putting the IV in, and signing various paperwork, etc, etc.

Think good thoughts for me around 10am on Thursday - the last round they were able to retrieve 12 eggs, but only 6 were mature enough to be fertilized. Let's hope we have some better results this time around.

More later....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Better Spirits

I am feeling a lot better about the whole fibroid thing today. I went to my dr. appointment in Spokane this morning, and when I walked into my ultrasound I told the Dr. that this fibroid thing was freaking me out. I wanted to know where it was located and how big it was. He said it wasn't too big and it wasn't growing so we didn't need to be concerned about it at this time. But if this round doesn't result in a pregnancy we will have to do a hysteroscopy or laporoscopy to remove it before we go to the next round. This conversation made me feel mildly better and I didn't feel the need to cry the entire 2 hour drive home.

When I got home I was exhausted! Connor (my 2 year old) has been a little sick and decided that he had to sleep in our bed last night at 2am. There was no talking him out of it, and frankly I was too tired to argue, so I gave in and let him sleep in our bed. Unfortunately for me, sleeping in our bed means cuddling with Bobby and kicking me, so I didn't get much sleep.

My nurse didn't call until nearly 3 pm, for a minute I thought maybe I had fallen through the cracks and was forgotten. When she called she told me to stop my Follistum and Menopur, and to only take 5 units of Lupron this evening. Then back up to Spokane tomorrow morning for another blood draw and ultrasound. My follicles are the right size, but they want to give my eggs another day to try to get them mature. Things are looking good in that area!

I did ask Karen (my nurse) about the fibroid. I told her what Dr. Robins said and that I wasn't sure if he was giving me all of the info and that I wanted her to tell me how bad it really was. She totally put my mind at ease. She told me that the Dr. is very cautious when it comes to this and would never do anything to harm the embryos or go forward with a cycle if it was doomed for failure. She also said that if anything, they will retrieve my eggs, fertilize them and then freeze them. That way we don't waste this round and we will be able to implant them at a later date when we have removed the fibroid. So that is worst case scenario - but it looks like (at this point) that we will probably give my HCG shot (the shot that makes you ovulate) tomorrow night and then have retrieval on Thursday.

I am super excited about only having to give one shot tonight and just feel soooo much better about it all. There is still that thing in the back of the mind that knows there are still so many things that can happen. But at this point I am happy that we are moving forward and things are looking relatively good.

More tomorrow~

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bump in the road

I had a dr. appointment this morning - blood work and ultrasound. Everything was going along fine, until I heard my doctor sigh as he was giving me the ultrasound. Then he said that I had a fibroid. Ugh! He said that I didn't have it during the last ultrasound in my last round, so it has grown since then. I had a hysterscope to remove polyps and clean out my uterus, so this is especially frustrating. I am trying to stay positive and not read too much into things.

I'm supposed to stay on my meds (same dosages) and go back in on Monday. At that time I am hoping to get more information. But it looked pretty big when I saw it on the ultrasound and I was reading online (which I promised myself I wouldn't do because I always freak myself out) and most everything I read was doom and gloom. Fibroids can cause an embryo to not implant, or if it does implant then it often causes miscarriage, and if by luck a pregnancy does result it is rare that the baby is carried to term and in most cases has to be delivered by c-section. See? Doom and Gloom!

It doesn't help that I am tired and really emotional. Bobby is obviously disappointed and since we don't really know what is going on we are both feeling crabby about the whole thing. What if they decide that we can't continue? Does this count as our second round? What if we do continue? What are the odds that it will work - I read that they are reduced by 1/3. That's not great since our odds weren't exceptional to start with.

I am a bit of a control freak and it is frustrating not being able to control your own body. I actually felt better about this round because I knew what was happening and what to expect. But I also knew the different things that could go wrong. But I never would have imagined that I would grow a freakin fibroid! I mean c'mon, haven't we had enough roadblocks? This is not a good day. Sorry, hopefully Monday I will have more positive news.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Day 18

Today is my 18th day of shots - only 6 more days (hopefully) of my tummy shots, and then we get to move on to the "huge, Bobby has to give them to me in my hip because I can't reach" shots. I thought I was doing really well, because up until this week I hadn't bruised at all. But I should've knocked on wood because the bruises have started popping up and my stomach is starting to look like a mine field. I just bruise like a peach! Bobby said it looks better than last time, so that's good I guess. I wish I could say the shots are getting better. Last round, I was a pro and they didn't hurt - but this time they are really uncomfortable. I haven't had to use ice to numb the area yet, but I am considering it for tonight. First I have to find a spot that isn't bruised or near a bruise which may prove to be a challenge.

Today I had a dr. appointment in Spokane. Same old routine of getting up at 4:30 and heading out the door. My bloodwork and ultrasound looked good and Karen says I am right on track and to keep my meds the same. They want to see me back there on Saturday. I'm really glad I took 3 days off this week. I am way more relaxed this time around.

Oh, and I hate to say "I'm right", but well...I sort of am. Today there were only 2 husbands in the waiting room and the ladies were looking a little haggard. Ha! I don't mean to sound mean, but it's just kind of funny. I love to people watch and an IVF waiting room is a great place to do that.

Karen told me to keep taking it easy and to not take on any extra activities. We'll see if I can keep it up. I'm not really a "sit still" kind of person. Anyway, that's about it for today. I'm sorry there isn't a lot of new info. We are aiming for egg retrieval to happen on the 10th and then transfer sometime between the 13th and the 16th. Last time we were a day early for retrieval and a day late for transfer, so we'll see what happens this time.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A-OK, so far

I had another appointment this morning. I left a little early because I was worried about the roads. Which was good, because although the roads were fine, there was really thick fog so it was slow-going. The last round, I didn't discover decaf coffee until the end, but this time it is my savior. I think I have actually convinced my brain that any kind of coffee will keep me alert. Also, I have decided to try once again to listen to my "learn Italian CD's", so we'll see how that goes. Il capisco umpo l'italiano! (I can understand a little Italian).

When I got to my appointment (at 6:55 am), I was the second person there. Score! They call you in the order that you arrive, so I knew my wait time wouldn't be very long. I'm glad I got there when I did because the waiting room filled up today. It must have been the start day for a lot of people.

There are some nice things about this being my second round. First, when I arrive, all I have to do is smile and wave at the front desk lady and she calls out "Hi Jennifer, I got ya down". It's nice to be known. Also, the phlebotomists and nurses all know me, so it's a familiar and relaxed feeling. The first time it was a lot of nerves.

I had to laugh today because there are two of us who are going through the second round. Everyone else must be new - and you can tell because they all brought their husbands and were practically giddy to be there. Heather (the other second rounder) and myself are dressed rather comfortably, hair in a respectable pony tail....the "first rounders" were all dressed up like they were going to a show.

I laugh for one, because that was me the first round. And secondly, because later this week (little do they know), they too will be sporting the sweatpants, or other similar comfy-wear, hair in pony tail and no husband in sight. Note to first rounders: it gets more uncomfortable, and I am sorry to say but the appointments will lose their luster for the man in your life since he doesn't get to go back with you and has to sit in the waiting room with 20 hormonal women. Note to first rounder husbands: treat the waiting room like a bus...if you are in a seat and there is said hormonal woman standing next to you - offer her your seat! 'nuf said about that.

Anywho, my appointment went well. Just a blood draw, which today I had the girl who is so much more gentle than the male phlebotomist. Thank goodness. And then I went to the waiting room and waited to be called for my ultrasound. Normally I only wait for a minute or two, but they must have been running behind because I waited for about 20 minutes. It didn't bother me too much because it allowed me some much anticipated reading time. (I learned early on to find a great book and only plan to read it at the Dr. office - it makes the time go by fast)

When I got called back for my ultrasound, I saw my nurse who always gives great hugs. I love it when she's the nurse that's there. Let me explain about the ultrasound. When I said in a previous post that they put you through like cattle, I was not exaggerating. This is what it's like:
There are 3 exam rooms. The middle room is the room with the Dr., a nurse and the ultrasound machine. The rooms on either side are the patient rooms. They take you to a room and tell you to remove clothing from the waist down and drape the little paper sheet over yourself. Then you wait for a knock on the door. When you hear the knock, you go into the room, quickly lay on the table, feet in stirrups. The doctor checks uterus, left ovary, right ovary, wam bam thank you mam, you're done. It is literally that fast. Then you get up and leave and as you close the door, you hear them knocking on the other door.
The thing that is most weird about it is that the person doing the ultrasound is your Dr. but you aren't really allowed to ask questions or anything because it's not an actual appointment, it's more of a "check" to see where you are at.

When everyone is gone, the Dr. and a team of nurses goes over everyone's results and makes a plan for the next day or two. Then the nurse calls. I was happy because I got the phone call at 10:30 today (last round my calls didn't come in until 3pm). Karen, my nurse, said everything was looking good. I have 4 follicles in my left ovary and about 8 in my right. My right ovary is always the stronger of the two. In case you are curious, the follicles, as I understand it, is where your eggs grow. So when they say you have a certain number of follicles, it doesn't necessarily mean you have that many eggs or even that the eggs will be mature.

Karen directed me to stay on my meds, same dosages, and for Bobby to continue taking his doxycyclene (an antibiotic) for the next 2 nights. I am to return for another appointment on Thursday. Hopefully the roads won't be icy, it's supposed to be pretty cold on Wednesday night.

On a funny side note. I haven't noticed too much irritability, but I am a little emotional. Not a "cry in my closet" emotional, but I did get a little teary eyed when I heard an On-Star commercial this morning. ha ha!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

First appointment

I had my first appointment yesterday, so Bobby and I made the trek up to Spokane. We left around 4:30am. We had to take Connor down the street to the in-laws and he was not happy to be left there so early in the morning.

Ok, so I might need to back up and explain this whole appointment thing. When you first sign up for IVF, you get this master calendar that explains when/time to give shots and all of the days that you tentatively have appointments. All appointments are at 7 am in Spokane. Every appointment is either blood draw and ultrasound or just blood draw. And, by the way, the ultrasounds are not the fun..."oooh that's cold on my tummy" ultrasounds. No, these are internal - and very uncomfortable. At least this round I can wear socks. Last time it was during the summer, so I was always concerned about whether or not my toenails were painted. Ahhhhh, I digress.

Anyway, so yesterday was my first appt. I had a blood draw (or as they like to call it "labs") and ultrasound. Normally when I get to the office, there about 20 other people waiting, so I was very surprised when I arrived and there was only one other person and she was just getting her blood drawn. I was the only ultrasound. It was really weird, but they told me it's because they are really trying to stretch me out this time, so I am basically the first one to start the series and will be the last one to finish.

The appointment only took about 5 minutes - they are very fast, and tend to move people through like cattle. When you leave, they tell you they will call later with instructions. So, off Bobby and I go to get breakfast and do some Christmas shopping. We were going to see a Broadway show that evening, so we decided to stay in Spokane overnight. The show ended up getting cancelled, but that's another story for another day.

-K, so back to waiting for the phone call. I finally get the call from my nurse, Karen, at around 11am. (When you sign up for IVF, you are assigned a nurse who basically becomes your lifeline to the clinic and the entire process. I got Karen, and I'm glad I did because she is absolutely wonderful.) She instructed me to drop my Lupron down from 20 units to 5 units. To add 75 of Follistum (last time I had 250, so 75 sounds better) and to add an entire vial of Menopur. I am told to give these injections at 7pm.

I got everything ready that evening and gave myself the three shots. I have to be honest, the Menopur stung quite a bit. I think I need to mix it earlier and let it sit for awhile. Now I have about 10 to 14 more days of these 3 shots. Hopefully they will help. Last time, my eggs didn't come out mature, so we are hoping this regimine and stretching it out longer will do the trick. I don't know if it's the anticipation, the massive change in hormones, or just the getting up early and driving several hours...but I am really tired this time around. I took a nap yesterday and feel like I should take a nap right now. And if you know me at all, you know that I am not a nap person.

I have included some pics of my new nightly routine of shots. And also some pictures of what I like to call my "tub-o-fun" which holds all my meds.

Stay tuned for more riveting info from the IVF world :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving week

So, I'm trying to be all Zen and not stress about upcoming holidays. Thanksgiving should be easy because all I have to bring is asparagus and a very delicious "Death by Chocolate" trifle. I can make both of these in my sleep, so I'm not worried. I have tried to get all of my Christmas shopping out of the way and have informed everyone at work, that this time around I am doing this thing "stress free". The guys have been good about not having me lift heavy objects (I'm not sure if this is necessary, but c'mon...I don't have to lift heavy objects). And I have told my boss that I am planning to take a bunch of time off to just relax. Driving to Spokane at 4:30 in the morning really wore on me last time. So this time, I hope to take it easy - well, as easy as you can take it when you have a very active toddler at home.

What I am worried about however, is the fact that for some reason I keep forgetting to give my shots. Luckily I remember within moments of when it should be given. But it just seems weird to me, since the last time we did IVF I was waiting in anticipation for about 1/2 hour before every shot. This time I actually had to set an alarm on my cell phone to remind me.

Oh, and by the way...Lupron sucks. Not sure if it affects everyone this way, but I am really crabby (just ask Bobby). I start my other shots this Saturday. The Follistum I feel ok about. I had it last time and it didn't affect me at all. The Menopur...not so sure. I have to mix it - everytime, ugh!

Ok, that's all for today. I'll probably update once more this week, and definetly when I add my new shots.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Round #2 - Here we go!

So, we have officially started the second round of this crazy rollercoaster called Invitro!

I started my Lupron shots (20 units every night at 7pm) on Monday, Nov. 17th. I was told to continue my birth control for 4 days, so last night was my last night taking birth control. It still cracks me up that they give people trying to have a baby, birth control.

I didn't have Lupron injections in my first round, so it's a little new. I guess a shots, a shot - but these seem to make me more irritable. I suppose some of the irritablity could be coming from the fact that this is the second time going through this...but I think I'll continue to blame it on the shots :-) Also, I find that these seem to irritate my skin a little more than the others did.

Anywho - I am becoming quite the pro at giving the shots. It takes me less than a minute from start to finish...which I think is pretty good considering the fact that I used to have to be held down to get shots at the dr. office before all of this reproduction hullaballoo.

My first labs/ultrasound appt. is on the 29th of this month. At that point, I will also add my Follistum and Menopur shots every night.

I will try to update as the process goes on - not too much to report until the 29th, unless you are interested in my increasing crabbiness (haha!).