Saturday, May 30, 2009

You want to look at my tongue?

So today was my first acupuncture appointment, and it was actually pretty interesting. My Acupuncturist (is that what they are called?) was a super nice women who really put me at ease. She took me back to the exam room, which actually resembled a massage room at a spa - very nice. Then she had me sit and asked me to stick out my tongue. Ok, that's a little weird.

I guess the tongue says a lot about you. The shape, color, and texture can be very telling. She didn't tell me what my tongue said to her, and I was so intrigued by the question that I think I forgot to ask. Then we talked...a lot. I answered a ton of questions - mostly about my cycle, failed attempts, etc. Then it was time for the needles.

I layed down on the massage table and she lifted my shirt to expose my lower belly area. Then she put this heat lamp over the same area. It felt good and warm :-) Then she started pushing on different areas of my arms and legs asking me which areas felt sensitive to her pushing. When I indicated an area, she put a needle in. There were several on my feet, some on on my ankles, by my knees, one in my abdomen, a couple in my wrists/arms, shoulders, ears and one in my forehead. Then she left me there. I took a little nap, the heat lamp induced it I'm sure, and before I knew it she came back to check, turn the needles a bit, take my pulse (she checked my pulse a lot) and then left me alone for another 10 minutes. All in all I think I was in there with the needles in for about 40 or 45 minutes. Then she came back in and took the needles out.

She did have some instructions for me. I am supposed to soak my feet (from just below my shin, down) in warm water for 10 minutes every night. I should put a hot water bottle over my lower abdomen for about 1 hour 3 times a week. I have to cut out all dairy because I am getting too much animal protein from dairy and I am supposed to scale back other animal protein. So that's what I'm going to do. It's worth a try right? I will visit with her once a week up until retrieval and then I think I'll go twice before transfer and once after, but we'll play that by ear.

All in all, I have to say I think I like acupuncture. I left there feeling relaxed - like I had just had a massage. And I think I have tried everything else under the sun...maybe this is something that will help me in the IVF process.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

For the inquisitive minds

Ok, so I have had a few people send me e-mails asking if I ever heard back about whether or not you can do the spa thing while partaking in an IVF series. This is what my nurse told me.

That they recommend doing any sort of massage or pedicure at least 1 week prior to egg retrieval. I guess when you get a massage/pedicure there are toxins released in your body (the massage is supposed to rid the toxins). My nurse advised me that it could take a week (on the safe side) for my body to rid itself of those toxins. I am sure other doctor's might say it's ok, but I know my doctor's office tends to be overly cautious - which I don't mind.

So, my nurse told me if I was going to the spa thing I would have to do it next week. So I got on the phone and made my appointment for the 5th. Yay me!
I have to go to the doc on the 5th anyway, so this works out perfect because I can just go directly after. This is a weekday however, and because of that, I am going solo. I'm sad that my friend Nicole can't go with me, but at the same time it gives me an excuse to go again with her at a later date.

Well, I hope that answers any questions that some of you other IVFers had. I would always check with your own doc to find out what they say, everyone is different.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bring on the side effects

Ugh! I say "ugh" because that is the only word to describe how I am feeling. Maybe "blah" would be accurate as well, but "ugh" definitely does the trick. The Lupron side effects have started. I really thought I might avoid them, but realize now that I am simply not that lucky of a person.

I have been feeling sleepy...and when I say sleepy, I mean a "want to fall asleep all the time" kind-of sleepy. A "I'm about to take a big fat nap on the rug in my office" kind-of sleepy.
My memory was so consumed with the thought of my terrible Lupron headache that I completely forgot how tired it makes me. Add in the fact that I haven't slept well because of a little thing I like to call horrendous night sweating/hot flashes; also due to my lovely friend Lupron.

Luckily so far the sleepiness and overall sweatiness are the only side effects. Bobby might say that I have gotten a little "short tempered", I would argue with that - and maybe that proves his point :-)

Tonight is my last night on my bc pills and then I will have a breakthrough bleed, of which I am to report to my nurse as soon as it happens. It's so weird to call someone on the phone just to tell that that you started your period. But like a good little IVFer, I will do what I am told to do.

I called my nurse to get the ok for a spa day - thanks to my lovely sister, I now am the owner of a super fantastic spa gift certificate that I literally cannot wait to use! I have heard mixed reviews about getting massages and pedicures during IVF and I just want to make sure that I am cleared to go. I haven't heard back yet; I suppose my inquiry about a day of pampering doesn't rank right at the top of my nurses list of people to call back immediately; but she clearly does not understand the importance of this all to relaxing retreat.

Once again, I am taking it easy this go-around. I won't work the days I have appointments, instead I'm thinking some long naps in the hammock are in order. I have a ton of sick days that I've saved up and since I can't take them with me when my job ends, now is the perfect time to use them.

I have to admit that I am getting a little excited for this series. I really wasn't looking forward to it until recently. In fact, I had kind of resigned myself to going through the motions because since the Dr. didn't seem overly confident and still can't tell us why we aren't getting pregnant, I just started thinking this time wouldn't work. But now, every now and then, I catch myself thinking "omigosh! This could work and I could be pregnant in a month." And while I'm thinking that, I feel a flutter of excitement in stomach. Damn my optimism. I'm glad it's coming back and I am feeling hopeful - but I'm really hoping that I'm not setting myself for a great disappointment.

Ok, I've blabbed enough for today. Acupuncture on Saturday - woo hoo!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shots started

My injections started on Sunday night and they went pretty smoothly. At this point I am only giving myself one shot each evening at 7pm (along with taking my bc and prenatal). I'm giving myself a 20Iu dose of Lupron. I haven't really had side effects yet. I normally get a pretty bad headache from Lupron but it hasn't shown up yet. There isn't too much to report and the shots are pretty uneventful. Everytime, I get a little nervous just before because I feel like I have forgotten how to give them...but then I guess it's sort of like riding a bike, it all comes back really quickly.

I start my acupuncture this Saturday and I'm pretty stoked about it. I'm not sure if it will help or not, but it's worth a try. My appointments in Spokane don't start until I add my other 2 shots - I believe June 5th is my first appointment. I will update later this week and let you all know how it is going and how the acupuncture appointment went. I'm thinking I'm in need of another spa day as well :-)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Calendar Change

I got a call from my nurse bright and early this morning...unfortunately I was trying to wrangle Connor into his clothes and missed the call, but she did leave a message. She said that they need to move everything on my calendar up by 2 days. *deflation here*

It's not that big of a deal, it's just that my calendar was perfect, and by perfect, I mean it fit my schedule great. But now it's all 'not perfect'. Now I will be starting my shots on May 24th (1 day before my b-day instead of after) - our retrieval which was set for the 18th is now the 16th, which just so happens to be my anniversary. Not a fan of having an outpatient procedure on my anniversary...really, it is not romantic at all. And now I probably won't have appointments with my fun friend Nicole. Boo to that, I was looking forward to having someone to talk to. I suspect it has something to do with the rather large group of people they have in this series, but I will know more when I speak with my nurse. I'll keep you all posted. For now, it looks like my shots will be starting in 6 days...Here we go again :-)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A little cramping my ass!

So I had my hysteroscopy yesterday. I made two mistakes regarding this event.
#1 being I told Bobby I could go by myself. I was fully convinced that they would take one look and say I needed a D & C and I would be on my merry pain.
#2 was listening to the Dr. when he said I would have a little cramping. I already knew this to be untrue, I had, after all, already had 4 or 5 previous hysterscopes (I've lost count at this point) and yet when he uttered the words "little cramping", I latched onto them and believed them to be true.

Well, this is what actually happened...I went in, changed into gown, robe and other various sterile accessories. I climbed up on the table and the new nurse was trying to talk me through how to position myself and I interrupted her and had to point out I was already in position...let's get this thing started. My legs were placed in the stirrups, vajayjay light was turned on and then....I waited. Yep, I waited there for 10 minutes while my lovely Dr. was on the phone - least let me put my legs down!

Anyway, the Dr. finally came in and said "ok, today we're going to take a look and see if you have any polyps" - Ok doc, I think we already know there are polyps in there, the question is "how many?". So (this is the part he warns me of a little cramping) they fill me with gas and send the long needle with a light thing up into my lady areas.

The first obstacle was tissue connecting the top and bottom of my "rather small" cervix (k, I have a small cervix and a small uterus. these are facts I know, and yet the Dr. has to tell me every time like it is a new discovery). Anyway he grabs these super long scissor things, inserts them and clips this tissue off and then comments that he's had to do that every time. Say what now?!? I freak out a little and he assures me it's just one of those things. Ok I guess.

So now I'm watching (there's a monitor in which you can see it all) as he sticks the needle light thing into my uterus and might I say yuck! Polyps, stringy things and scar tissue abound. He says "yep, you have some polyps". mmmmhmmmm...this I am aware of. What are we going to do? He says that we are going to take care of them right then and there since there are fewer than last time, but still so many that they will cause a problem. He told me there are 2 really large ones that he will snip out with the scissors and the others he will scrape off. I said, "so I won't need a D & C?" and he told me that we are basically doing the D & C right then and there, that we could because there weren't as many polyps and that it will save me money in the long run. Save me money? That statement made me happy in fact, I completely forgot that at my last D & C I was put under and this time I would have to sedation what so ever.

It took 1 hour. 1 hour people! It was excruciating. When he snipped my polyps I cried out, when he scraped the interior of my uterus I cried out. When they filled me with gas and then liquid to clean out all the blood, I cried out. I really think he was feeling bad for me, he kept saying "sorry, almost there". 1 hour! They did take a break in the middle to give me rest and just when I felt a little better, they started up again. I was sweating, shaking, and the whole time thinking "I wonder if this is what labor feels like...intense, painful contractions in my uterus, some guy's hand all in my lady parts, everyone in the room telling me that I'm almost there" hmmmm.

Anyway, when it was over I asked him if he got all of the polyps and he said that it's hard to say. He certainly gave them chase, but at a certain point it gets so bloody and shredded in there that you can't see much. Ok, did he just use the term "shredded" when referring to my uterus. He said that he got most of them and definitely got the biggest ones. Well, thank you for that.

I was taken to change my clothes and then meet with my nurse. I felt a little woozy walking down the hallway, and was told to sit and was given a big glass of water and some ale.eve. My nurse went over what just happened and told me that the reason the Doc didn't want to do a full-put me under-D & C, was because the last time it didn't seem to make a difference and by doing it again, I could get more scar tissue and possibly another blood clot. My first round of IVF I had a few polyps and I actually had one of the embryos implant for a day or two so it doesn't appear a D & C is in my best interest. Then she said the good news, I didn't get cancelled. What!?! I didn't even know that was an option, but boy am I glad that I didn't get cancelled.

I am to call my nurse when I have a withdrawl (from bc) bleed - probably around May 29th. I start my Lupron shots on the 26th (I take bc for 3 days while on this). I did get my meds in the mail and cleaned and organized my Rubbermaid tub so that the old stuff is out and the new stuff is in. So basically I have 2 weeks till this all starts again.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Should have known

I really should have expected my calendar because it seems every time I write on my blog that something hasn't happened yet, then *poof* it happens as soon as I log out. Case in soon as I logged out yesterday, I got the call from my nurse that the calendar was being faxed to me as we speak. Now if only I could get it to work for other parts of my life...hmmmm..I haven't won the lottery yet. (check back tomorrow to see if it works!)

Anyway, thrilled to get my calendar. Seriously, it was like freakin Christmas at my house. I told pretty much everyone I know - my calendar's here, my calendar's here. (I hope you are sensing my elation). I don't know why I am so stinking euphoric about it this time. Maybe it's that I know this is my last time, that I have once again been renewed with hope, or that I can finally plan my life past the month of May. Whatever it is - it feels wonderful.

So, I will have 21 days of shots. That's more than the first series but less than the second since I actually had to go through 2 rounds of shots on the second series. I have 12 days of just Lupron shots and then 9 days of Lupron, Menopur and Follistum shots. Toward the end we'll throw in my trigger shot and progesterone shots and I will be full of hormones and lots of fun, I'm sure.

My shots start on May 26th - awesome because that's the day after my birthday. I will get to spend my birthday without worrying about this IVF stuff - yay! Then our trigger shot is due to happen on our anniversary, which sounds bad but has it's positives such as that is the last night we can have s.e.x and are actually told we should - Bobby is thrilled for obvious reasons. Retrieval will probably be on the 18th and transfer on the 23rd (most likely). It is all subject to change and let's be would be weird for me if this series goes smoothly because I haven't had much luck in the past.

I admit that I am a little sad that this is my last try - but feel I am reaching acceptance. I am also scared out of my mind that this fresh cycle will result in an overstim situation. They said they knocked my dosages way down, but not too far because then my eggs won't be mature and that they will monitor me closely. But still, overstim freakin bad. Let's all hope that I don't have to go down that road again.

Hysterscope is on May 13th (Wednesday) - I'm sure I will have news to report.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Slow days

I still have not received my calendar. I know they are finishing a series, but c'mon...don't they know I am anxiously waiting. I suspect that I won't actually get it until after my hysterscope next Wednesday because things may have changed based on what they see.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that my hysterscope is in fact going to be covered by my insurance - yay! What a relief, especially since recent events have made me stress a little bit about money.

That's all everyone...I know this was probably the most super exciting blog you have ever read :-)

Things will be picking up next week, so you can expect to see blogs from me more often.

Friday, May 1, 2009


So, not too much new on the IVF front - my day 3 tests looked "spectacular", I am still awaiting my calendar and my hysterscope has been scheduled for May 13th. All and all that is about it for news about my next series.

I would like to share that I won't have to worry about the stress of losing my job during this series (as I mentioned in an earlier post) because I found out yesterday that I am, in fact, being let go. Ugh! (feel my deflation here).

Our entire unit is being "dissolved" and they will no longer be extending our appointments. Which is fancy way of saying - due to budget cuts, you're out! I feel so many things about this. I have worked here for 8 years, have always had exemplary reviews, and frankly enjoyed my cushy job. I had really flexible hours, could work from home, was able to take a ton of time off for IVF....I worry about what's next.

I did get 6 months notice (as is required for my position) so my last day isn't until Dec. 1 (my 6 months won't start until June 1). I have heard of a few jobs here on campus that I may be eligible to apply for, but the hiring freeze is still in effect and won't lift until fall sometime. I'm not so worried about my lack of income, although that is quite a blow, but more worried about lack of insurance - really worried. So I am looking for a job that has benefits, and also looking into buying health insurance, which I never realized was a complete rip off but now that I won't have insurance I finally see what all of the hullabaloo is over. Health insurance is mucho expensive and they don't even cover half the stuff my current insurance covers. Grrr....

I can say that I am soooooo relieved that we didn't decide to do 2 more IVF cycles - that would just have been too much stress. And I feel thankful for my family and very supportive husband who just "knows" everything will turn out ok.

As for me, I am going to rely on my spa day tomorrow and some girl time to boost my spirits.

Till next time....