Thursday, September 30, 2010

A warm welcome and thank you

I just wanted to take a quick moment to welcome any new followers out there. I am seeing new people commenting and I love it. I love that I can help those going down their own journey get through this hell called infertility. It is not an easy journey and it is always nice to know you are not alone. So welcome and I hope you stick around for a long time.

Thank you to all of you for commenting on my posts when I need it the most. You make me sane, no you keep me sane when sometimes I feel like I am really losing it. Thank you!


IVF-Day 32 - 3dp5dt

I am 3dp5dt today. Some of you are probably thinking "what the heck does that mean?". It's just a little IVF jargon that means I am 3 days past a 5 day transfer, roughly 8 days past ovulation in a natural cycle. 

Nothing really to report except that my gluteus maximus is killing me. These PIO shots are not fun at all. I think a few times hubby might have stuck me a little too low, I feel like I have been working out those muscles all week and now they are sore. I don't think sitting on the couch watching TV is considered a workout though. I feel good, too good in fact. I have no side effects from pregnancy or the progesterone mimicking pregnancy symptoms. The doubt is starting to creep in even though I know it is way too early to have true PG symptoms. I am also agonizing over whether to test on Sunday which will be 6dp5dt. I know several women who got a BFP at that time. Ahhh the torture. . .


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A twin story

Since I could possibly be having twins, some of you might be having twins and some of you do have twins, I thought it would be a good idea to share a twin story coming from a twin. How many times did I just say the word twins?

I think some of you know that I am an identical twin. I don’t talk about her much but I think I should; she is my world. I cannot breathe without her. We know each other like the backs of our hands and I just pray that our twins are the same way.

She moved away last year to be with a boy. Not just any boy, the love of her life, one of my husband’s best friends. Now they live in D.C. and I can’t wait to visit her. But that is not the story; the story is about the freakiness of being a twin. You hear stories on TV about twins who have never met but have the same haircut, same clothes and marry a guy with the same name, things like that, right? This is not fake and it probably does happen. For example, her boyfriend and my husband’s nickname in high school was the twin towers because they are both over 6 feet tall and look a lot alike. Getting back to the story. . .

Sunday night I randomly texted my sister to tell her I was making “Savory Lemon Chicken” for dinner. We found this Campbell’s soup recipe several years ago and it is super easy to make and delicious. Five minutes later I get a call from her.

Amanda “Which Lemon Chicken are you making?”

Me “The Campbell’s recipe”

Amanda “Whoa! I am making that for dinner tonight too”

We went on to talk about how we both sat down Sunday afternoon and made a weekly dinner menu and then went grocery shopping. Neither one of us has ever planned our grocery shopping around a menu plan but it seemed like the organized thing to do that day. Out of the hundreds of recipe we share we both turned to that one and thought it sounded good to make for dinner that night. Freaky!

Things like that happen all the time. We will text my Dad the same thing at the same time, a lot. It totally freaks him out. I don’t think these things happen just because we are close but because we are twins. I know a lot of close siblings and they don’t have these freaky occurrence. Her ears are probably burning right now and she will probably call me in five minutes wanting to know if I just blogged about her.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

IVF - Day 30 - sad news

I just got the phone call I have been dreading the last 24 hours. Our remaining 6 embryos were not good enough quality to freeze. They weren't even borderline to risk it. Only a few of them made it to Blastocyst stage by today. 

I didn't think it would effect me this way but having frozen embryos was kind of our hope for future children; without having to do a full blown IVF cycle again. Now that is gone too. Why does every step of this journey have to be so damned bumpy? Now I have to figure out a way to tell the hubby, he will be crushed.


Monday, September 27, 2010

IVF-Day 29- dunh dunh dunh . . .

Meet our babies. 

As the nurse said "you were knocked up at 8:09 this morning". 

This is so surreal. The last 28 months we have only speculated on whether or not there was an embryo waiting to implant and now I know 100% without a doubt there are two embryos in my uterus and I couldn't be happier. 

I never thought this day would come, I really didn't. I didn't believe that this would ever happen for us, cynical I know but after 28 months of countless disappointment a girl gets a little jaded. But it is here and we are cherishing every moment. The Captain has become protective already and it has only been 5 hours. 

They will call us tomorrow with an update on the remaining 6 embryos, they were all still in the Morula stage and if they make it to Blastocyst they will determine which ones qualify for freezing. I am praying that they all can be frozen for future siblings. I go for my Progesterone blood test on Friday to check my levels and the big pregnancy test is Friday, October 8. I am pretty certain that I will be POAS well before that date. After all I am a POAS-aholic


Sunday, September 26, 2010

IVF-Day 28- embryo transfer scheduled!

We are going in tomorrow morning at 6:45 am, again! The transfer will take place at 8:00 am. They need an hour to prep me? I have to do the transfer with a full bladder so because we live 45 minutes away I have to empty my bladder before we leave and then 15 minutes out from the facility I have to start drinking 32 oz of water. So I get to sit in the waiting room for an hour while having to pee like a racehorse and then have them pushing on my bladder with the ultrasound wand guiding the catheter. Sex is so much more fun, why can't we just have sex to make a baby? 

We will get a picture of our embryos tomorrow and a souvenir dish (replica of the dish our babies started to grow in).

They don't look at the embryos today, they let them rest. They are transforming from Morula to Blastocyst today. As of yesterday all 8 were still thriving, there are 2 front runners though. We had:

2 - 8 cell
2 - 7 cell
1 - 6 cell
2 - 5 cell
1 - 4 cell

I pray that whether we transfer 1 or 2 that they stick, stick, stick!


Friday, September 24, 2010

IVF-day 26-daily report

The nurses called with our daily report; the embryos look really strong. They all made it through the night and she looked at them at 6:00 this morning.

We have:
2 - 6 cell
3 - 4 cell
3 - 3 cell

"Embryos should be at 2 to 4 cells at 48 hours after egg retrieval and preferably about 7 to 10 cells by 72 hours. The cells in an embryo are also refered to as "blastomeres"."

They look strong to go to a day 5 transfer so we go in Monday morning!

For those of you who told me the POI shots are nothing to worry about, lied. There is something to worry about when an inch long needle is going into your bum. It hurts. There is no way around it. The Captain doesn't seem at all phased by what he is doing to me, that is a little worrisome. His pep talk is "keep your eyes on the prize". My eyes are on the prize all right and on your hand with that giant needle in it. 

Someone or something is pregnant in our household at the moment and it isn't me. One of our fish has a mouth full of babies she is getting ready to release. We discovered this last night when we saw that she wouldn't eat anything and kept all the other fish away from her. I think I am a little jealous of this fish. She got knocked up so easily. That can't be normal, can it? Being jealous of a fish? Once she spits the babies we will try to save as many as we can before they get eaten and put them in our pond out back.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

IVF-Day 25-we have fertilization happening

We have 8 fertilized eggies!!!!

Apparently there were 18 eggs retrieved not 17. 11 eggs were mature and 8 fertilized. I am beyond ecstatic right now to know that we have 8 babies being formed right now. Please say some extra prayers that they all make it to embryos. We will hear from the nurses again tomorrow about this same time. They will tell us if we are doing a 3-day or 5-day transfer tomorrow as well. Yippy!

I get to start the wonderful Progesterone shots tonight. Whats one more needle at this stage of the game anyway?


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

IVF-Day 24-Aspiration

I woke up from my nap about an hour ago and wanted to let everyone know what happened this morning at the Egg Retrieval.

Are you ready for this? 17 eggies! 

The aspiration went so smoothly. In the operating room I could not keep the smile from my face every time I thought about why we were there. I woke up in recovery and asked the nurse if we were ready to go back to the operating room now. She just laughed and said "honey, you are in recovery". I think I asked her how many eggs I had 5 times. 

This was the first time I had ever had and IV or Anesthesia, it was so cool. DH told me that when the DR came to talk to him after, he said they only expected to get 10 eggs from me but they got 17. I will get a call tomorrow with the fertilization report and let you know how many fertilize. Now I am going to become a couch potato for the rest of the day.

Thank you for all the well wishes and support. I could not get through this whole process without you.


Monday, September 20, 2010

IVF-Day 22-we are done (in a good way)

We are done stimulating and ready for aspiration!! I got the call from the nurses around 4:00 this afternoon to tell me that we are doing the retrieval Wednesday morning! I am more excited than I thought I would be, I thought it would just be like getting ready for the IUI but this is different. I immediately texted The Captain and said In less than 48 hours we will be growing babies. We have never had the reassurance that an egg, any egg, was going to fertilize. Here is the protocol for the next few days:

9/20/10 - HCG trigger tonight at 8:00 pm. I am to do only 1 cc instead of the full 2 cc's because I have so many follicles they don't want to risk me Hyper-stimulating. This is the big needle folks and The Captain could not be happier. 

9/21/10 - No meds except both of our antibiotics need to be taken morning and evening. No fluids or food after midnight. No problem there since we have to be up at the crack of dawn the next morning. Wait scratch that, before the hint of the crack of dawn.

9/22/10 - Arrive at the surgery center (45 minutes away) at 6:45 am for the RETRIEVAL! We will know how many eggs they got before we go home that day. Drink lots of high sodium liquids to reduce the amount of bloating afterwards. I can have Gatorade, tomato juice or V8 juice and Chicken Noodle soup broth (not the noodles). The nurse said for some reason that really brings down the bloating and to not stop drinking that stuff into I feel back to normal. She said to drink some water but having a lot will make me more uncomfortable.

Today my ultrasound showed my right ovary has 6 measurable follicles and 7 too small to measure, they were 20, 18, 17, 17, 15, 14. The left ovary 8 measurable follicles and 6 too small, they were 16, 16, 16, 15, 14, 14, 12, 12. I think that is good I haven't really researched the sizes. My Estrogen was at 4,501 she said she has seen some as high as 6,500 and everything was fine. If you know more about these numbers please share I would love to know. 

I haven't had any side effects from all the drugs yet except some tenderness where my ovaries are and one alleged angry outburst.

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it. I'm about to lose control and I think I like it. . .


Sunday, September 19, 2010

IVF-day 21-I am done

The nurses just called and I am done with the injections after tonight! Yes! I was so sick of stabbing myself 3 times a day. She anticipates me doing the HCG injection tomorrow night and then the retrieval on Wednesday. Looks like we are really close now.


Friday, September 17, 2010

IVF-Day 19 - I have. . .

Tons of follicles but not quite ready for plucking

Ovaries the size of tennis balls that are killing me

A cold that is starting to kick my butt

A husband who is the best injection giver

A whole lot of thank yous for the support I receive on this journey

I went back to the RE this morning for more blood work and another ultrasound. My follicles are growing just as they should be. They aren't quite ready for aspiration yet; thinking the retrieval will be Tuesday the 21st. I should get the call about 2:30 to see what the next step is. I am anticipating having to go in tomorrow as well.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

IVF - Day 16 - progressing along

Once again I dragged myself out of bed at 6:00 am to be at the RE's office by 7:15 for my monitoring appointment. I am so tired! Before you say anything I know that lack of sleep is what I have to look forward to once we do have a baby but atleast that will be the reason and not to have blood drawn or sit on an exam table with my bottoms off waiting to be examined, again. 

The Sonographer said everything is growing nicely and my follicles are almost to a point where they can start being measured. If my Estrogen levels come back high then I will have to go back tomorrow otherwise it will be Thursday morning. I should know this afternoon and will keep you updated.

In other news, we went to the Rays vs Yankees game last night with some friends and it was a blast! The game was boring (there were no runs until the bottom of the 11th inning), I like a baseball game with lots of action. Rays won! Ok that is all I have for sports. This is not a sports blog nor will it ever be but I do love a good Yankee spanking.

Did I just type Yankee spanking? Twice? 

Must be the hormones. . .


Friday, September 10, 2010

IVF-day 12 - yank-n-bake

The Captain now refers to our IVF cycle as our Yank-n-Bake cycle. I love that man, he can make me smile in the worst of conditions.

Went to the RE this morning to do my baseline blood work and ultrasound. Everything is calm in there so I am stimming tonight. That's 3 shots tonight! As The Captain said to me Bang, Bang, Bang.

Injection #1 - Lupron - 5 units evening only from now on

Injection #2 - Follistim - 150 dose in Follistim pen

Injection #3 - Menopur - 1 powder mixed with 1 cc of liquid

Well the RE just called me back as I am typing this post to tell me that instead of coming in on Stimulation Day 5 they want to see me on Stimulation Day 4 because I already have 23 follicles! We haven't even starting any of the stimming drugs yet. Better safe than sorry to come in one day early to see if they need to lower my dose.

Getting excited. . .


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

IVF-day 9-the wicked witch is here

Well the wicked witch arrived at 5:00 am in full on witch mode. The cramping woke me out of a dead sleep. I had 30 minutes left until my alarm too. I guess getting worried it wasn't working was a little silly. I was definitely not feeling like poking my belly this morning with these cramps. ugh! 

I go Friday back to the RE for blood work and an ultrasound to see if we can start stimming Friday night!!


Monday, September 6, 2010

IVF-Day 8-The hits just keep coming

I thought I would have started my period by today. I hope this doesn't mean that I am not down regulating properly and that everything can still go as planned. All of this is so new to me that I don't know what to expect.

I have had zero side effects from the Lupron which is good in the sense that I have no side effects but what does that mean? Are the drugs working? So many questions.

The biggest hit of all. . .

The Captain was fired from the restaurant Saturday night, in the middle of the dinner rush none the less, by some corporate a**hole. We had a sense that it was going to happen because Corporate has had this vendetta against everyone associated with one of the investors and we are big time. It is a long story but slowly but surely they have been letting everyone go that are from this area and not South Florida, it is personal, political bull shit. When the Regional Manager was letting him go he even said to him "This has nothing to do with how you are as a manager, you did everything right and what this company has asked of you. It is merely a personal vendetta against Ben. You are the second highest grossing store over last year in the company right now". 

We are so pissed! I don't even think that word covers it. The staff is devastated, they loved him so much. We are pretty certain he will find another job fairly quickly. We have already had requests for his resume from several companies. This just sucks, like we need the added stress of having only one paycheck right now on top of everything else. We are trying to enjoy this weekend and deal with everything first thing tomorrow morning. I could really use some prayers right now that everything works out for the best.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

IVF - Day 3 - My husband says I am becoming a druggie

Since I am becoming an expert at shooting myself up with drugs. Not heroin or crack but drugs none the less.

I thought I would give you a step-by-step pictorial on how I give myself the Lupron shots. For those of you who haven't started your cycle yet and are freaking out about the needles I hope it will ease your anxiety.You will quickly realize once you start your IVF cycle that 2 things will happen: 1.) you need a personal assistant, there are way too many things and appointments to remember daily 2.) you have become a human pin cushion.

These pictures were taken at 7:30 am with one hand and sometimes no hands; I apologize ahead of time if some are blurry. I have to administer the Lupron twice a day for the next 9 days or so. That is 2 needle pokes a day and once I get to the stimulation meds it will be 3 pokes a day and the needles only get bigger from here.

The cast of characters: 1 handy dandy sharps container, safety first!, 2 alcohol swipes, Lupron container and 1 insulin syringe

First I wipe off the top of the Lupron container with the alcohol swab to kill nasty germs that could infect me. 

Open the other alcohol swab and wipe off a spot on my belly. I do the left side in the morning and the right side in the evening. That way I get a 24 hour reprieve on each side. I never thought my abs (or lack there of) would make a blog debut without a baby inside.

Next I draw 5 units of air into the syringe to deposit into the Lupron container. It is important to put in the amount of air you will be taking out in liquid. It will make withdrawing the liquid easier. You can see the bottom edge of the black rubber is at the number 5.

Then turn the vial upside down to withdraw the liquid, air goes to the top and I get the medicine without air bubbles. They taught me to take out more and then push it back in until I reach the desired dose.

Pinch some skin to make inserting the needle easier and less painful...drum roll please

Ta-da! Easy as pie.

Lastly recap the syringe and deposit it into the sharps container and I am off for the day. I get to repeat it all again in 12 more hours. Fun times!


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