Monday, December 28, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
I just hope and pray that Dr. W will be doing the transfer, which is currently projected to be on or around January 7.
Meds arrived today. Kinda annoyed because the IVF coordinator promised a calendar outlining exactly when I take everything, but has yet to send it.
Here's what was in the box:
- Methyl.prednisolone - anti-inflammatory and so my body does not reject the embies
- Doxy.cycline - antibiotic to take before and day of transfer
- Progesterone in both forms - in oil and suppository. Double the fun.
- Syringes with needles of various sizes: 18 gauge to suck the progesterone in oil into the syringe and 22 gauge, mercifully with a smaller needle for the actual injection. Neither Mr. Jem or I are looking forward to the injections
Right now I'm taking 2 mg of estrogen orally three times a day. As my period is slowing down, I get to shove one of the estrogen pills up my lady-parts starting this evening. Super fun! Dr. W assures me this really get the uterine lining to do it's thing. Have to get it to 8 mm or is it cm? What's with the metric systems, anyway? It's too confusing to go back and forth between inches and cm.
Okay, rant over.
I'm feeling very hopeful for this FET.
P.S. I've been totally craving caffeine lately. I broke down and had a decaf latte the other day. I made it full fat. Apparently full fat dairy is the way to go for fertility.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
My excuse: I was very premenstrual and pissed off by my lack of kids in my life.
The truth: I'd love to send out cards with pics of my progeny. Period. I'm a jealous bitch. So sue me!
More truth: Those of us suffering from infertility are super sensitive. We're like that super PC female friend in college that didn't like to be referred to as a Freshman and always corrected other people when they called the elite single-sex institution we attended a "girls school" ("It's a women's college!"). Just be aware that we're going through a total sh*t time of this. Think eggshells, folk. Eggshells. Sorry. It's just the way it is.
Last word: I love you all, whether you have children or not. Keep the cards coming. I truly didn't mean to offend anyone.
P.S. I do stand by my wish that you all would actually sign cards. But who am I to complain. I didn't send out cards this year. Maybe I'll send New Years cards, like they do in France. Love that tradition.
Monday, December 21, 2009
For you IComLeavWe'er, welcome. Here's a quick update of our IF journey.
After TTC for a couple of years, Mr. Jem was finally ready to really try. Low sperm count sent us straight to the RE and to IVF as our only option. In November Mr. Jem and I went through our first IVF. We suffered through hyperstimulation on my part and a testicular biopsy for him. Even tho we're suffering (appropriate word) from male factor infertility, but my body or my eggs weren't quite up to snuff, because the cycle ended with a chemical pregnancy.
We have 2 excellent, and 1 okay embryo on ice that we are planning to have transferred in the beginning of January. We were hoping to be able to do it the week between Christmas and New Years, but alas, I'll need to take time off work.
Mr. Jem and I have been talking a lot, helping me through the fact that I haven't felt especially "hopeful" about this cycle. I think it's me trying to protect myself from the pain of another negative outcome. Now that the cycle is starting, I'm actually very hopeful and feeling extremely positive.
I hope all you have a wonderful Christmas, or whatever you celebrate. I personally ate waaaaayyy too many latkes for Channukah. I'm hitting the gym today!
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Just got a call from our IVF nurse. The beta came back negative.
Now just waiting for my period to start so we can officially start our FET cycle. Only thing I can do is make a list:
- Start Period
- Start Est.race pills on day 2
- Reschedule appointment for mock transfer to map out lady-bits again
- Get scanned to determine lining thickness
- If thick enough, start progesterone shots (PIO)
- 6th day of PIO, transfer frozen embryos
Thanks again to everyone for their support. I've sworn off HPTs. Forever. Beta only for me going forward.
I'm not devastated by this BFN like last month. I'm glad to know. Not knowing was hell.
Went to my 10:30 a.m. appointment at the clinic. There I was, legs up in the stirrups, when this woman comes in who I've never met before. "Where's Dr. W?" I asked.
"Your mock transfer was moved onto my schedule." She answered.
I then explain about the craziness with the HPT. Her response, "Do you want to do an HCG test? I don't want to go in there with a catheter if there's something going on." (Her exact words).
I look at Mr. Jem, shrug and say, "Um I guess." Now, the probability of us getting PG without IVF is very, very low, as Mr. Jem's sperm count was 8 last time. Not 8 million. Eight. Period.
All the same, I got dressed and went to draw blood. I should know early this afternoon. If it's negative, we'll reschedule the topography session (mapping how to get the catheter comfortably up me) for next week.
Had a "very interesting" chat with our IVF nurse. After looking at the calendar, we wouldn't be doing the FET the week of Dec 28th after all. The absolute earliest it would be is Jan 4. Looks like all that deliberation we did (read this post) was for naught. The good news is that Dr. W is available that week to do the transfer. But who's to say who will actually show up. These clinics run to best serve their own schedules, never mind what WE want.
In any case, fingers crossed for the beta results. I hate to hope too much... I do feel much better after having taken the beta.
Oh, and one more thing:
Cost of the two types of HPTs: $32.60
Cost of the beta at the clinic: $55 minus what's covered by my insurance = $1.78
Peace of mind: priceless.
If only I could add: "BFP: priceless."
I have an appointment with Dr. W this morning for another mock transfer in preparation for our FET. Gotta map out my cervix, as Dr. Alternative had a hard time getting the embies up there during the fresh cycle. In fact, it hurt. Like a pap smear with the dentist from Little_Shop_of_Horrors.
Anyhoo. I realize this this my first cycle post IVF, but 32 is long for me.
So I bought my First HPT this morning, right when the pharmacy opened. Luckily, the Clear.blue's were on sale.
Not pregnant. But...
There is the faintest vertical line across the big fat horizontal line. Is this the famous evaporation line? If I were PG, at 2 days past the day I expected my period, wouldn't the vertical line be stronger?
I've called my IVF coordinator to ask her what to do.
I'm feeling super anxious right now.
Update:Peed on the 2nd test. Same very, very faint line. Jumping in my car right now to get a better test. Thanks for the suggestions. OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG...
Update #2: Bought the F.irst R.esponse digital. The little clock is flashing...
Update #3: No. Definitely negative. Oh well. It was a fun ride... Where's my period, then?
Update #4: I hate IF, I hate my body, I hate Mr. Jem's crap sperm. I just want to cry. When I left the pharmacy the last time, I turned down the offer for a bag. As I turned to leave, the lady at the register said, "Don't forget the receipt." I replied, "Why? Can I return the test if it doesn't give me the response I want?"
Ughh. Again, I hate this.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The other thing that bothers me is there is typically no note, not even a signature. It's like the card says, "We have kids and that's all that matters. Aren't they cute?"
Okay, maybe I'm projecting terribly, but that's the way it comes across. Of course these are dear people with very busy schedules and it's a miracle they got the pictures made and could even find a stamp for the cards, what with soccer practice, ballet, flute and all the kid birthday parties they attend. You know, the ones you read about on FB?
Okay, enough said...
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
There were a ton of kids at the holiday parties I went to this weekend. It was surprisingly easy, tho. I felt relaxed and happy around them. Slightly jealous, yes. Wondered if the parents would notice if I took one of the little ones home with me..
Thursday, December 10, 2009
What was sad was that she didn't want to show her baby bump or talk about her pregnancy. Every time the subject came up she would look down at her lap as she answered the question. And then change the subject.
She's 41 and it was an "oops" pregnancy with a man she's been on again off again with.
How unfair is this situation. L sat on the other side of the table, clearly tired, uncomfortable (physically and emotionally). Mr. Jem and I sat at the other side of the table. She clearly didn't want to be pregnant. I would give my right eye to be (not literally).
If I had been in her shoes (or better yet, me and PG), I would be beaming with joy. I'd be one of those obnoxious PG women who let friends (only) touch their bellies. I'd be showing off the baby bump with cute maternity wear (never mind that I look like I have a tiny baby bump with my IVF fat).
None of our local friends know we did IVF or that we're preparing for our FET. We plan on keeping it that way until we can announce some happy news.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Reasons for doing this:
1) FET less of a hassle than a fresh cycle, as I won't be stimulated. Boy was I hyper-stimulated last time... yuck.
2) I'll already be on vacation and won't have to take additional days off.
3) Won't have to explain to my boss AGAIN about needing time off for female issues
4) We've already reached our medical deductible for the year.
5) Dr. W will do another mock transfer next week to map out my lady-bizness
6) Dr. Alternative will have Dr. W's notes, plus as she's already been up in there, she should now have a better idea of my who-ha and it should be less painful this time (see reason 1)
7) Dr. W reassured us that all the doctors at the clinic have the same success rate.
There. Decision made. Boy does it feel good to make a decision. It's not the ideal situation, but it should work. One question we asked was, "Are we doing everything possible to make sure we have a positive outcome?" There is no medical reason why Dr. Alternative shouldn't do this procedure.
Now, if it doesn't work, then I'm sure we'll blame ourselves, "We should have waited for Dr. W!" But who knows at this point. It's only the transfer, not the retrieval!
Have any of you had decisions like this that you either regretted or not afterwards?
Wish us luck!
Monday, December 7, 2009
Dr. Johnson prescribed testosterone gel.
The good new: the Rx should help Mr. Jem’s testosterone level, increase his libido (yay!), his energy level, and core muscle mass.
The bad news: He’ll need to apply the gel every day for the rest of his life. It will not do anything to increase his sperm count.
The other good news: We still have the 3 embryos and a bunch of tissue from Mr. Jem’s testicular biopsy.
We still haven't made a decision on which doctor to use or when to have our FET. More discussion needed.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
He don't know why the fresh cycle failed. Everything was excellent: egg count, embryo quality, everything.
When asked what he would do differently, Dr. W stood by his agressive use of meds to stimulate me. He said we might not have had any embryos to freeze if we didn't go all out with the stims.
He even explained the poor fertilization rate: it was due to the fact that they used sperm from Mr. Jem's testicular biopsy, sperm that is less "mature" by nature.
He was encouraged by the fact that the beta was 8, even if we didn't get a pregnancy. At least something stuck, for at least a little while. A very good sign.
Conclusion: He felt we had an excellent chance with the three icies waiting for us. FET is much less expensive (~$3K instead of $13K) and less meds and less intrusive. It sounds like a walk in the park next to a fresh cycle of IVF.
We will start our next cycle, which should begin around Dec 15. The only snag: (and you knew there HAD to be a snag) Dr. W will be on vacation the week between Christmas and New Years, exactly when the ET will happen AND when I have (forced) time off work. Darn. Drat. Turds.
If we want HIM to perform the transfer, we can extend the cycle (just keep taking estrogene and hold off the progesterone shots) and wait until the beginning of January. But do I want to take MORE time off work? Not really. Do I want another doctor to perform the transfer? Not really. The first one was torturous (read my account here).
What should we do?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Yes, I have been able to sleep in, go to the gym when I want, make love with Mr. Jem without worrying about the children hearing. I don't care. I feel there is something missing in my life. I want to share the world with a little being. I want to experience the world through their eyes.
Yes, I'm totally ready to be a mom. Can I change the name of my blog to "Willing Womb"?
So, yes, I'm chomping at the bit. Bring on the next step towards parenthood!
Speaking of which, Monday we have our WTF appointment with Dr. Used-to-be-Wonderful and I need your advice.
Here's a recap of our IVF:
Antagonist protocol: 10 days of BCP followed by 225mg Foll.istim + 75mg Meno.pur
31+ follicles stimulated (ugh)
24 eggs harvested
16 eggs fertilized, 9 developed
2 embryos transferred (3 AA + 2 BB) on Day 5
Mild to medium overstimulation
3 embryos frozen (5 BB + 4 BB + ?) on Day 6
9dp5dt: Beta = 8 (boo hoo) = chemical pregnancy.
We had beautiful, excellent quality embryos transferred. We both did acupuncture, ate healthy food (except being overstimulated I was living off Gator.ade and Ritz crackers).
Why didn't it work? What lessons should we take away from our semi-failed IVF?
What questions should we ask?
Friday, November 27, 2009
It was a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch. My grandma was there. She's 94, almost 95, with dementia. She's such a sweety. When I come to visit she lights up. No one on this planet loves me like she does. I'm her only grandchild. Again, I'm so grateful to have her in my life.
I fell asleep really early yesterday and woke up at midnight, unable to sleep until 4:30 a.m. Slept in and then went to the gym. I've been going regularly the last week, and my muscles are super sore after months of babying them. It feels good to be physical.
Speaking of grateful, I'm so happy to have all of YOU, interwebenauts, in my life. Thanks for all the support, thanks for sharing your stories, your troubles, your joys.
Monday, November 23, 2009
So much hope, so much heart-break. The ups and downs. The maybes. The hormones. How do we do it? What if we succeed? When will we stop waiting for the other shoe to drop? Ever?
At diagnosis: disbelief. What? Why can't this be easy? Procedures explained: Hope, curiosity, apprehension.
Action. Body uncomfortable, mind in anguish: will this work?
Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Hope?
Waiting. Waiting Waiting. Cautious optimism sneaks, as does certainty that it can't possibly work.
Negative beta = Disappointment. Soul-crushing disappointment. Slow recovery. (Un)explainable tears. Hormones still raging. Raging.
Slowly more smiles. More hope. More hope? Nope. Yes. Maybe.
Where are you on the roller-coaster?
Sunday, November 22, 2009
This is my second month posting for ICLW.
Today is cyle day 8 after a failed IVF, our first IVF. Well, not exactly failed, even though we got a BFN, because we have 3 embies on ice. I took the BFN pretty hard and am just starting to heal. We have our WTF appointment with "Dr. not-so-Wonderful" on Nov 30th. I'm sure we'll be proceeding with FET as soon as possible. My clinic has very good success rates with FET, equal to what they do with fresh.
I'm actually looking forward to FET. I was definitely over-stimulated during IVF, which made me very uncomfortable physically. I hope to be in a better place for the FET.
The most important thing that I learned with my BFN? That I'm not so ambivalent about becoming a mom. I was so heart-broken. It was clear to me that I really, really, really, really want to be a mom.
It's not like I didn't already know that. How could we IF'ers go through what we go through without REALLY wanting a child.
I guess my heart really opened up with the BFN and I was able to feel my wanting in a way I couldn't before.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
At 6:45 a.m. it was clear that I wasn't going to make it and had to reschedule to be down there (20 minutes from home) at 7:35. I had flown back home from Texas the night before and was dead tired. But it was more than that.
We ended up getting there at 7:55 a.m. It was like my feet were made of lead.
I cried the whole drive down to the clinic. Mr. Jem asked, "What's wrong? I thought you were doing so much better."
"I was!" I answered. "But driving down here has re-opened the wound!"
I had a very busy time in Texas, long days working on a meeting. I didn't have time to feel anything. Now, back in the car, all the feeling rushed back. Good thing I didn't wear mascara today!
I guess this mourning period takes longer than I thought. We've been TTC since Jan 2007, so I guess I should cut myself a little slack and not expect to just "be better" on command.
How long has it taken for you to recover from a BFN (if ever)?
Update: Results of HCG #2: back to normal
Monday, November 16, 2009
Auntie Flo decided to visit yesterday, a gushing end to our first IVF cycle. Closure. End to my "denial" stage of mourning.
Emotionally I'm doing much better. Only feel like crying once or twice a day. I'm actually feeling a little hopeful for our FET.
Thanks again to all my IF sisters and brothers out there in the bog-o-sphere. Your support and kind words meant the world to me. It is all still painful, but so, so good to know that we are not alone in this process.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
“No, it’s NOT okay.” I respond with passion. “It’s distinctly not okay. Today it has to be okay for it not to be okay. Right now it just sucks. Period.”
This is/was our first IVF cycle. I kept secretly hoping we’d be the lucky few that made it on the first try. It was bad enough going though two years of TTC before this. I had NO idea of the pain of a negative beta. I follow and comment on a lot of other blogs and have read other people’s anguish at a negative beta. I felt sympathy and compassion but nothing prepared me for how I would feel today. Nothing. I can’t believe I actually told myself, that I said to Mr. Jem, “I won’t be devastated if it’s negative.” Ha! Big, fucking ha!
All week I didn’t think I was pregnant. Of course, this doesn’t make the sorrow any less. Boy, do I wish it did. Instead, all I want to do is curl up in a little ball and cry. Drown my sorrow in a BFN diet. Let me tell you about it.
After hearing the news I went to McDonald’s and ordered a Quarter Pounder with cheese, fries and chocolate milkshake. Much to my chagrin I cried all the way to McDonalds. I placed my order, sunglasses on to hide my bloodshot eyes. Then I cried my way back to the office.
Back at my desk and wolfed the fast food down, barely tasted anything.
I then chugged half a coke in the kitchenette. “So there! I’m drinking caffeine! Ha! So there, fertility gods! I defy you! I drink caffeine! And I’m going to drink a butt-load of wine on Saturday night when I go out with my friend to a free dinner event at Chez Panisse, one of the best restaurants in America. Take that!”
I tried to stay at work, but I had to leave because I couldn’t stop crying. I tried to hide it, to avoid others. No luck. At one point one of my closest colleagues asked, “Jem, are you okay? Are you mad at me?”
I mumbled, “Of course I’m not mad. I’ll be okay. I’m not feeling well and am going home.” Zero eye contact. Not exactly the swift, low impact exit I wanted to make.
Shit. Am I going to have explain? What can I say? “I got some bad news.” Lie and say, “I had a really bad headache”? Fuck. I don’t want to talk to people about this. During the whole IVF cycle I simply explained that I was having “female issues” while making vague gestures in the vicinity of my tummy. I work with all men and this was enough. I don’t want to be the subject of office gossip, or discussion, no matter how well-meaning.
OMG, I just looked down and there are strings of snot on my sweater ask I’m typing this. I’ve been crying THAT hard and wiping my nose with a napkin I stole on my way down to my train. I’m on my back to my little suburb, to curl up on the couch with my sweet kitties Sharkey and Fluffy and of course with Mr. Jem. Maybe I’ll be up to watching something light and humorous on TV to get me out of this funk, but right now I’m just being sad.
Sad, but also mad, angry as all get-out and with more sad under that.
Insert more tokens to continue playing.
I can't be at work, as I'm a bag full of tears. Couldn't bear people's questions. "What's wrong? Why are you crying?"
Here's where the ear-muffs go on for those sensitive to swearing.
Shit, fuck, motherfucker. This sucks beyond anything I've ever experienced.
Blood drawn for HCG test at 7:00 a.m.
Waiting. Phone call from center expected around 1 p.m.
Ready for either outcome. No energy to write more. Holding it all in.
I'll update when I have news.
Update: No, I have not POAS. Too chicken. Couldn't take a false positive.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It also helped that I had a great night of sleep after a great acupuncture treatment. I was scolded by Dr. Needles for eating so much crappy food. Today I had homemade steel-cut oatmeal for breakies, then soup and whole wheat pasta for lunch and an apple for snack. I'll throw something healthful together tonight.
Thursday beta will tell all. Mr. Jem reminded me last night that we did everything humanly possible to make this work. If it doesn't we have 2 (or 3?) frozen embies waiting for us. If a FET doesn't work, we have more spe.rm from Mr. Jem's biopsy.
Filled with hope, I am.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
That's the happy part.
Here's the paranoid part: My OHSS has calmed down. Does that mean I'm not pregnant and I don't have the KU hormones?
I did have acupuncture yesterday and she said she put in needles to help eliminate the extra water. Mr. Jem and I are doing Moxa to help the blood flow into my uterus.
Have to remember to keep breathing.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
"So, you can chose to transfer or we can freeze them and we'll wait until your next cycle." said Dr. Alternate (Dr. Wonderful was out that day).
This was Tuesday, November 3.
I've been suffering from heavy bloating, nausea, shortness of breath since BEFORE egg retrieval and Monday it had been so bad that I called up the clinic in tears.
"I'm so miserable! Help!"
Dr. Wonderful called me back. "I think you are have mild to medium overian hyper stimulation. There's nothing we can do. Keep drinking Gator.ade and eating salty foods - 110 g of sodium or more. Let's keep monitoring you and see if we need to freeze the embryos tomorrow or transfer."
So, here I was on Tuesday, with a choice to make: Transfer these two beautiful blasts or not.
What to do?
After grilling Dr. Alternative about how I compare to other patients who are overstimulated, she said, "I think you'll be fine. If the OHSS continues, we can treat it and it won't interfere with you getting or staying pregnant."
Well, that settled it! ONWARD WITH THE TRANSFER!!
Dr. Alternative had a bit of trouble getting the catheter in place, which was a bit painful to match, but once it was in position, the rest was easy.
Oh, and I did acupuncture before and after transfer, as it's supposed to help with the overall success rate.
I've spent the last two days away from the computer, not checking email, not reading other people's blogs, just concentrating on relaxing. Total bed rest.
My goodness, you can't say that Mr. Jem and I haven't done everything possible to make this happen. From decided to do IVF, genetic testing, the acupuncture, changes in diet, meditation, yoga, all the damn shots, all the tears, the testicular biopsy to mine for sperm, treating the OHSS symptoms (I HATE Gator.ade and V8), then bed rest and tons of positive thoughts sent to the region just north of my pelvic bone.
All for those two little blobs of potential life.
Dr. Wonderful called yesterday to tell us that they froze two embryos: 5 BB and 4 BB. When I pushed to know the classification of those transfered the day before: 3 AA and 2 BB. He said all four were excellent. But what does that mean?
Can someone point me to a good source of info on classifation of embryos?
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
"More good news, Jem. Of your 9 embryos, 5 are excellent, 1 very good, 2 fair/good, 1 poor.
"This means we won't do the transfer today, but will do it on Tuesday. I feel very optimistic about having two great blasts to transfer on Tuesday, but we'll just see how it goes. We'll freeze the rest on Day 6."
I asked him the actual classification of the embryos and he blew me off, which was a little annoying. "All you need to know is that 5 are excellent, excellent."
OK. I guess.
In any case, we are very, very happy with this news.
Other good news, I lost a little of my water weight today. I still super bloated. I feel more mentally "with it" today, which is good, as I've been in a bit of a hormonal fog. I'm even planning to take a quick walk around my little neighborhood this morning. Yesterday I was supposed to drive into San Francisco to have an abdominal massage, but Dr. Wonderful ixnay'ed that, as I'm so bloated. Plus, it would have been a total hassle with the Bay Bridge closed. I was happy to spend the day relaxing and watching TV and cuddling with Mr. Jem and the cats.
Mr. Jem is still in pain. He's been icing the family jewels since Thursday. Poor guy. It was clearly worth it for him to go through the biopsy, given his low sperm count.
Definitely worth it. It's still a bit surreal. Our babies are growing in a petri dish just 15 minutes drive from our house. Tuesday they will be in my body. It brings tears to my eyes to think about it. I've been avoiding thinking about it because I can't stand the thought of losing them, of this whole process not working.
When I was a child, an only child, my mother used to tell me about how she had a dream that I was calling down from heaven, telling her to go off birth control so I could come down to be part of her family. As much as I've meditated, prayed, talked about wanting a child, as an IF'er, I'm afraid to ask too much from the heavens, afraid to hope too much, afraid to have my heart broken. I'm also afraid I don't want this enough, as absurd as that sounds. Why haven't I had that dream? Does that mean it's not destined to happen to me? Of course, my grandma had my mom when she was 28, my mom had me when SHE was 28. I was single at 28.
How much does, "just because mom/grandma had this experience" count? My brain says, "not at all" because of the male factor IF. My heart cries out, "Everything! You're not going to have a child!" There's even a tiny part of me that blames Mr. Jem and his crappy sperm and crappy genes. Even though I had a bad taste in my mouth about using donor sperm if there was any chance we could use Mr. Jem's swimmers.
And then 5 minutes later I'm filled with hope and disbelief that this could be really happening. That pumping my body with hormones and cutting Mr. Jem in 6 different places - He's walking like a cow-boy! It's too cute - could really result in a little baby.
So many conflicting, painful, joyous, feelings.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Doesn't that make me "kinda pregnant?"
Dr. Wonderful called today and told me all our little ones are growing nicely. We only have a slim chance that we'll do a 3-day transfer. Tomorrow is day 3, so we'll see.
In the meantime, I'm still super bloated. I didn't feel like eating at all today. I just sipped my Gatorade. I did call the nurse, and she said a heating pad is okay, especially if it helps, but just as long as it's not too hot. I haven't gained any crazy weight, but I'm very uncomfortable. Seems like my whole digestive system has slowed down to a stand-still. Let's go over the drugs I'm taking right now:
- Medrol or methylprednisolone to lower the swelling, take until tomorrow
- Doxyccline a.m. and p.m. for another 4 days - this is what must be messing up my digestion
- Estrace - estradriol a.m. and p.m.
- Progesteron in oil - this shot isn't as bad as the Foll.istim/Meno.pur combo
- Asprin 81 mgs / prenatal vitamins
Uggh. It's hard to keep track and make sure I take everything.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Just got off the phone with Dr. Wonderful. Here's what he said:
"I have some good news for you. Of the 24 eggs retrieved, 16 were mature. This is perfectly normal, as some of your follicles were smaller. We had enough of Mr. Jem's sperm to fertilize all 16 eggs and freeze the rest of the biopsy material.
"About 2/3 of the eggs were expected to be fertilized. 9 of yours were fertilized."
Then he continued, "We're planning on a 5-day transfer next Tuesday, but I'll take a look at how they are progressing tomorrow and we'll do a 3-day transfer on Sunday, if necessary."
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Our day started early... 4:45 a.m. we were up.
Mr. Jem tried a fresh sample. No go. Who does well under pressure like that?
Anyways, we were at the clinic before 6:00 a.m. At 6:30 all Mr. Jem's paperwork was done and the had Mr. Jem walk, in his gown, cap, and socks. Unfortunately, Mr. Jem has "vagal syndrome" and passed out half way to the operating room. Luckily, the OR nurse and caught him and helped him to the ground. Oh, what is "Vagal syndrome"? It's a physiological response to the IV (or other needles). Mr. Jem gets pale, clammy, sweaty. This is the first time he passed out.
Anyways, they wheeled him into the OR. Over an hour later, they wheeled him out. Right as they were preparing me for ER (egg retrieval).
Poor guy, they urologist had to cut into both scro.tum, took 6 samples. Not a lot of sperm. Hopefully enough to fertilize my eggs.
Okay, on to my procedure.
They put in the IV (sans problem) and I was able to walk over to the OR and get up onto the high table without problem. The anesthesiologist was goofy. His first words to me where, "I'll be your bartender today." Whatever it was they gave me was amazing because after climbing on the table, I don't remember a thing until I work up an hour (?) later.
Dr. (re-)Wonderful stuck his head in the curtain saying, "Good news. I was able to get 24 eggs."
24 is a beautiful number. The woman in the bed next to me (who I never saw) woke up not long after me had 8. Not to belittle her 8, but boy was I proud of my 24. Fricking 24!
I (think I) remember Dr. Wonderful saying that they think they got enough sperm to fertilize all my eggs. At around 3 p.m. I called and left a message with my IVF coordinator asking, but got no call-back. I hope no news is good news.
My aunt and uncle came to pick us up at 10 a.m. at the clinic and brought us home, made us a wonderful lunch, lounged in our back yard in the sun while both of us slept and then made us dinner. I love, love, love my family. I'm forever grateful to them for their love and support.
I've been laying on the couch, with a heating pad on my belly (best investment EVER). I've been drinking gatorade to prevent OHSS and my belly is still very, very full. I have to eat small meals, because I get full very fast. No nausea or queasiness. I'm feeling mild cramping.
Mr. Jem is also near me, a bag of frozen peas cooling down his guys. We have our first progesterone in oil injection scheduled for later this evening. Vico.din is standing by in case his pain increases.
Sharkey, one of our wonderful cats, is on my legs, purring away. Fluffy is curled up on my chest.
I'm feeling very, very fortunately. I'm so glad we passed this huge milestone. Thank you to everyone for the outpouring of love and support.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
"Twas the night before retrieval
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Why? 5:45 a.m. pre-op prep for the spouse."
Yes, we are both going under the knife tomorrow.
Mr. Jem at 6:30 a.m. and me at 8:30 a.m.
In today's donation, they did find sperm (yay!!) The found 7 very healthy swimmers in the small small part of the total sample that they examined. We only need enough sperm to fertilize the 20 eggs they foresee harvesting tomorrow. All the same, Mr. Jem chose to have the biopsy tomorrow to find more just in case the little swimmers don't make it over night.
The hardest thing about this process has been having to make snap decisions that have such consequence. Quick, select a donor and have donor sperm shipped to the clinic! Quick, decide: biopsy or not? Dr. Wonderful had the gall to be inpatient with us this afternoon. As if I could care about the scheduling of his staff. Everything feels so rushed and last minute.
I just wish we had seen the urologist months ago, but Dr. (now-not-so-)Wonderful said in our initial visit, "You don't have to go to a urologist. IVF with ICSI is your only way of getting pregnant." This was back when the sperm count was a low 500,000. That's why we were so shocked last Friday to be told, "We found zero sperm." I have to let the resentment towards Dr. W go, as he'll be performing my surgery tomorrow. Nice Dr. Wonderful. I love you Dr. Wonderful! (Do I sound convincing?)
I really take my hat off to Mr. Jem for being so courageous. He chose to have surgery because he wants to do everything humanly possible to have this work, with both our DNA. It's totally what I want, too. I used to think, donor sperm? No problem. I'm still cool with donor sperm, but only as a last option, if there's no way to have Mr. Jem's guys. Mr Jem said, "If I don't do the biopsy, and there's no sperm tomorrow, I would kick myself for not doing everything I could."
He is my hero.
Reading over my post, I realized I barely mentioned my own feelings about egg retrieval tomorrow. I have stuffed back my feelings. When we started this process I was super scared, even resentful of Mr. Jem that I had to go through all these procedures, take all these drugs and all he has to do is romance a cup.
I still have moments of resentment, especially this afternoon when I felt so bloated and even a bit faint (yes, I talked to my nurse and I'm hydrating with electrolytes). For the most part I am very grateful for Mr. Jem, and his love and support.
I do have moments of total fear and "I don't wanna!"
Right now I wanna go watch an episode of Entourage.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
In exactly 36 hours we'll be harvesting those eggs. BTW, here is my first sonogram of my right ovary!
Beautiful, isn't it? Look at those gorgeous follicles. A face only a mother could love.
I'm still feeling so many contradictory emotions, and it's not just due to the elevated estrogen! Right now I feel elated, hopeful. And then I think of Mr Jem's seaman (ha!) analysis tomorrow, and I'm full of dread. If it doesn't go well, he'll visit the urologist tomorrow afternoon to prep for surgery on Egg Retrieval on Thursday. If they don't find sperm, then we'll have to go with donor sperm. Mr. Jem was involved with the selection, but after looking at a bunch of profiles he said, "You pick, I can't take this anymore." This was when he was told that we had a 98% chance of getting sperm from a biopsy. We'll know for sure our chances tomorrow.
So many ups and downs in this process.
I had my last u/s this morning - sans Mr. Jem - and the lady said I look ready to trigger.
Right: 16 follicles ranging from 12 to 21 mm
Left: 14 follicles from 11 to 24 (!) mm
I'm very, very full and feel ready to pop!
My E2 was 3887 yesterday, so I cry at the littlest thing.
Waiting for a call from my IVF coordinator to give us the official go-ahead to trigger tonight. If it's a go, then we'll do retrieval on Thursday.
On Mr. Jem's side, he's schedule to give a sample tomorrow, our last chance to get a dozen or so decent (not good, just alive!!) sperm the "fun" way.
Plan B is to to have a urologist lined up to go in surgically to get sperm on the day of retrieval.
Plan C (Z, really) is using the donor sperm we ordered yesterday. Wow, it was surreal to be going online and checking out donor profiles. Close to $900 (gasp!) and 24 hours later we have our very own vial of donor sperm waiting for us at the clinic. I hope we don't have to use them.
Last night Mr. Jem and I both had acupuncture. Dr. Needles didn't hold back with Mr. Jem's treatment. The funny thing was that Dr. Needles put needles on Mr. Jem's nostrils. According to Chinese medicine the nose represents the pe.nis and the nostrils are the scro.tum. I kid you not. I couldn't make that up.
Mr. Jem is a total trooper!
All hinges on tomorrow's donation. Please send your positive thoughts our way. We need any help we can get!
Anyone else been in this 11th hour situation? Waiting for sperm?
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Mr. Jem came to today's appointment. After having my blood drawn, we were sitting in the waiting room. The door opens and a woman I've never seen before calls, "Jem?"
Mr. Jem and I stand up and follow her into the u/s room. She leaves and I get undressed from the waist down, as instructed. I'm in position when she comes back into the room and I'm explaining to Mr. Jem that my follicles should be pretty big.
She looks puzzled and says, "The follicles should be small. Let's have a look." She inserts the dildo-cam.
I look even more puzzled. "Uh, no. This is day 8 of stims for us."
Her reply, "Your chart says this is is your baseline."
Me: "Nope. Not at all."
Her: "Hmm. Something's wrong. You're 'Jen' right?"
Me: "Nope. Jem" (Jem is not my real name and she had said a name that is one letter off from my mine)
Her: "Oh, that explains it. Your names sound similar. I did call Jen. Let me go get your chart."
Mr. Jem then offered to go get our chart, but she said no, she had to go. She then turned to Mr. Jem. "Can you hold this?" referring to the dildo-cam. The instrument still inserted into my va-JJ.
So there I was on the table, with Mr. Jem standing between my legs, holding on to the non-business end of the vaginal sonogram.
Then he starts with the jokes.
"Speak into the microphone." and "Who's your daddy?"
I start laughing uncontrollably. The ultrasonographer come back in and I'm laughing, howling with tears streaming. The u/s has unlocked itself so it looks like Mr. Jem is scanning me and the images is jumping up and down as I'm laughing so hard.
The tech takes the u/s wand back just as another nurse pokes her head in the room to double check the chart mix up. "It sounds like you are having way too much fun in here," she comments.
The rest of the visit was uneventful. My 20 follies are growing perfectly. Getting nice and big, all above 10 mm, and most of them around 12-14 mm. Next u/s scheduled for tomorrow. I'll post E2 and Progesterone numbers later...
As you can tell, Mr. Jem and I have processed the suckitude of the news from yesterday. We still don't like it, but we are dealing. And laughing together. That's what I love about him.
Friday, October 23, 2009
This is a big steaming pile of dog doo. It represents how I feel right now. Total Carp.
Mr. Jem's SA produced 3 non-moving sperm. The sample was looked at by two lab staff, including the director.
1) Go forward with ER on Wed, and hope that Mr. Jem's day-of sample will be plentiful. Back-up: Order donor sperm
2) Go forward with ER on Wed, and hope that Mr. Jem's day-of sample will be plentiful. Back-up: Freeze eggs. Chance of getting PG cut in half.
3) Go forward with ER on Wed, have Mr. Jem give a sample the day before and hope that Mr. Jem's sample will be plentiful. Back-up: take biopsy from testicle to find sperm the day of.
This sucks. Why??????????????????????????????????????? (me shaking my fist and swearing at the heavens!)
We'll go with option 3, with more donor sperm as more backup. Total suckitude.
In the meantime, I'm a ball of hormones. My estrogen is so high that I must be emitting crazy pheromones. Strange men are hitting on me on the street, in the elevator. My belly feels like I'm pregnant with a litter of puppies. I have 19 little guys growing in me.
I just want this to go smoothly and it's not. Thus, I'm back to that steaming pile. Yuck.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
He'll try again on Friday.
It's like a kick to the gut.
Sorry I don't have a better post to welcome those visiting from IComLeavWe.
To learn about how we got here, check out this post, my first post.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
- Right ovary: 11 follicles, ranging from 5 to 11 mm (3 are at 10 or above)
- Left: 8 follies, ranging from 6 to 9 mm
The u/s lady was excited said they looked very good. Next u/s scheduled for this Thurs.
I feel like a million bucks! My smile is thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis big inside!
I just pray that Mr. Jem is producing wonderful sperm to go along with my eggs. He gives his first donation tomorrow, which will be frozen just in case his fresh sample doesn't work on ER day.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Last night Mr. Jem and I mixed magical potions. We twisted the special pen, click, click, click until the perfect numbers showed on the dial. We broke seals, then carefully measured fluid and added it to powder before sucking the whole mixture into a vial. Screwing the right needle on, we were ready to go!
After a brief icing of that special place just south of my belly button, I averted my eyes and Mr. Jem plunged the needle into my fat (I'm glad to have gained a little weight lately). I could hear him counting, "One, two, three... five! I'm so sorry!" and out came the needle. The deed was done.
It wasn't that bad. Actually, having my blood drawn earlier in the week hurt more. I was mostly scared. In fact, right before the injection I was just about to tell Mr. Jem, "Forget about it! Let's just NOT do this..." but I know I am courageous and could do it.
I'm actually looking forward to tonight's injection. All this seems like sacred ritual to call down a baby to us! If I thought it would help to paint a pentagram on the floor and light black candles, I would! (not really, but you know what I mean!!)
Last night my injection "cherry" was popped. It's merciful to be starting with Folli.stim and Meno.pur rather than Progesterone in oil, isn't it?
How was your first injection experience?
Friday, October 16, 2009
The FedEx guy just delivered a box full of meds! I snapped this picture and rushed the Folli.stim and Ovi.drel to the fridge.
I was so nervous that the meds wouldn't come and afraid that we'd have to delay, again!
This morning Mr. Jem and I attended our IVF course. There was an awkward moment when I looked over at a couple sitting in the waiting room and it was our mortgage broker with her husband. Mutually awkward, at least
Haven't decided if Mr. Jem or I will be be giving the Folli.stim and Meno.pur injections... Tonight Mr. Jem has Poker Night, and I have pizza and Wii girls night. We're going to do our injections early, tonight only. Our IVF coordinator said it was OK for one time.
I'm really, really excited. I slept so badly last night. I had a huge stress headache, like a band of molten lava across my temples. It didn't help that work has been really stressful. One of my colleagues took over two weeks off and I've been covering for him. He'll be back on Monday. I just need, want to lower my stress level. I think I'll be better once we ice down my belly, mix the drugs and inject!!
Wow, this is really happening!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Thanks to Pie for this award. I'm not usually big on these, but if it helps us know each other little better, I'm game!
Here's the deal:
1. You Can Only Use One Word!
2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers
3. Alert them that you have given them this award!
4. Have Fun!
The Fun Part
1. Where is your cell phone? on my desk
2. Your hair? Brown
3. Your mother? supportive
4. Your father? stoned
5. Your favorite food? avocados
6. Your dream last night? None
7. Your favorite drink? Cranberry juice
8. Your dream/goal? Own voice-over business
9. What room are you in? Office
10. Your hobby? Knitting
11. Your fear? Heights
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? home
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something that you aren’t? tall
15. Muffins? pumpkin
16. Wish list item? baby
17. Where did you grow up? Oregon
18. Last thing you did? Ate
19. What are you wearing? work (office) clothes
20. Your TV? multiple
21. Your pets? 2 big black cats
22. Friends? in the dark about our IF
23. Your life? amazing
24. Your mood? motivated
25. Missing someone? Mr. Jem - haven't spent enough time with him all week
26. Vehicle? civic
27. Something you’re not wearing? watch
28. Your favorite store? Ann Taylor Loft
29. Your favorite color? violet
30. When was the last time you laughed? this morning
31. Last time you cried? yesterday (damn insurance companies)
32. Your best friend? Mr. Jem
33. One place that I go to over and over? Trader Joe's
34. One person who emails me regularly? Poppet
35. Favorite place to eat? home
I nominate the following blogs for this award:
I Cant' Whistle
Bridgewater Soccer Mom's view of the world
Sass and Alex
Knocked Up Knocked Down
Bottoms On and Off the Table
What an ordeal. I won't bore you with details, but know that it involved incompetent customer service people, lost faxed prescriptions, wrong mail-order pharmacies who don't accept my insurance, frustrating conversations with the Rx insurance company, and dyslexia. Only the dyslexia was on me. I think it was because my head was going to explode from all the bureaucracy.
But all is well that ends well.
Mr. Jem and I have our injection class tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. and start injections (Folli.stim & Meno.pur) tomorrow.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
We didn't test for polycystic kidney disease, as it would take too long and Mr. Jem doesn't have it. We did test for the full panel of Jewish dissent (intentional incorrect spelling) diseases.
Monday, October 12, 2009
We got an interesting call from our clinic asking if we want to be part of a study called "PICSI" - it's for couples doing IVF with ICSI. It's a new technique that helps them select the best sperm for ICSI that will result in increased pregnancy rates.
The cat just jumped on me... I'll post more on PICSI later...
Friday, October 2, 2009
I'm disappointed not to be starting IVF (for real) and having to put it off. And I'm also a bit relieved to wait two weeks. I have a lot going on - charity golf event on Oct 11 that I have been working on (the charity part) for months.
Plus, I'm scared the IVF won't work. If we haven't started yet, we haven't failed yet. Of course, the inverse is true, too. We haven't gotten pregnant, either. I'm pretty darn scared of both - scared of a failed IVF AND scared of actually getting knocked up.
Ambivalent. But still moving forward.
Question for you all: What do you have mixed feelings about?
Thursday, October 1, 2009
The good news is that Mr. Jem does NOT have any cysts, and at age 46, if he was going to get them, he would have already. Mr. Jem has seen two separate doctors over the past three years, and had two u/s that showed no cysts. None. I'm sure there are some of you out there who know what a happy thing that is.
PKD is not a disease that skips generations, so the likelihood of Mr. Jem being a carrier of the gene is almost zero. Testing takes 8-12 weeks for results, yes, you read that right, eight to TWELVE! Clearly, we don't want to put off IVF for 2 to 3 months. Not happening. If we thought there was the smallest chance of passing on the disease we would, of course, but Jean agreed with us.
The other thing we discussed with Jean was testing for diseases for people of Jewish ancestry. Luckily this only takes two weeks to get the results.
Dr. Wonderful wants to put me back on BCPs and push back starting stims until Oct 16 (instead of tomorrow, Oct 2). I suppose I can live with this.
Mr. Jem doesn't want to do any of the test. If we weren't going through ART, this wouldn't have spoken to a genetics counsellor. I'm scared as it is that I'll have a baby with chromosome issues, which is much more of a possibility than PKD or Tay-Sachs disease.
Arghh. What to do? Dr. W wants us to test. Mr. Jem doesn't.
Yet another reason that IF sux!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
More like "Yellow light"
Yesterday I had my baseline U/S. No problem there. Uterine lining thin, ovaries resting. Check.
Got voice message from Dr. Wonderful: "Jem, I've left you messages at work (bad girl, travelling, I didn't check that voice mail while I was away...) and we may have a delay..."
Dr. Wonderful continued... "I just got a letter from Dr. Johnson (not his real name), the Urologist, who said that he saw Mr. Jem and Mr. Jem has polycystic kidney disease in his family. You need to see a genetic counsellor asap and we need to put the IVF cycle on hold until we know if Mr. Jem carries the gene."
Then Dr. Wonderful said, "If Mr. Jem is a carrier, we can still do IVF, we will do genetic testing on the embryos to select those without the gene. The most important thing is for you to have a healthy baby."
So what does this mean? It means that we have an appointment with the genetic counsellor Wed a.m. Hopefully we can do the testing quickly and together with Dr. Wonderful we will make a decision on what to do next. I suspect Dr. Wonderful will put me back on the BPC pills again for a couple of weeks and get us back on the IVF train.
I was poised and ready to start stims on Friday. Arggghhhh!
Has anyone run into this type of thing?
Friday, September 25, 2009
My sweet, my love, my precious child(to-be),
This is my first letter to you. My first love letter. I just want to tell you how much I love you, how much I love just staring at your beautiful face, how just watching you sleep makes me happy. I don't even mind that you don't let me get a full night sleep! Or the diapers. Or your for crying for no reason.
I imagine your whole life ahead, the possibility, the joy, the disappointments. I love to watch you discover the world.
I can see you running towards me, "Mommy, I want to show you something!" You hug me. Your little face is dirty, from jam or dust, your hair in swept across your forehead, cowlick sticking up.
You open your little fingers, and show me a special sea shell, an acorn, a rock that glistens in the sun.
We sit down together and you ask me to tell you how the sea shell, acorn, rock got there. You snuggle in my arms, sitting on my lap so I become your chair. Your hair is so fresh, so soft.
"Once upon a time," I begin and together we are transformed into mer-people, diving under the sea. We are walking in the footsteps of the first people to walk under these trees. We will hear the grumble of trolls, the whisper of elven arrows through the deep green canopy of leaves. Sometimes you stop me and ask, "why, mommy, why did that happen?" I reply, "Shhh, be patient, little one, all will be clear..."
I love you for the black eye you got fighting back at the bully, even though your dad told you that next time you should just disarm him with a joke. I love you for bringing home the baby bird that fell from a tree that you tried to nurse back to life, and balled your eyes out for when it didn't make it.
I will always be there for you, to bandage the skinned knees, to console you if you lose a game. I'll be there for the bruised ego, the broken promises, the time-outs. I know you'll probably hate me at times. You'll yell, "You're not the boss of me!" just like I did to my own mom. And you'll be wrong and right at the same time.
Later, much later, you come to me to cry on my shoulder as your teen-aged heart is broken by a lost love, a mean girl or... wait, is that you shooting hoops with Mr. Jem, laughing and discussing Red Sox pitching? Is that the sound of a car door slamming at 11:58 p.m. two minutes before curfew. "Mom, dad, I'm home!" We roll over. Now we can sleep. And now I understand my own mother's worry. Her relief when I would come home on time, in one piece.
I bake you a special cake to celebrate first your birthdays, then your acceptance letter to the college of your choice (not mine, but I'm secretly pleased), your betrothal (is he/she good enough? If you love him/her, than we do, too!) then your own children's birthdays.
I tell you family stories about your great, great grandparents immigrating from Europe. I show you the pictures of the people who would have loved and cherished you so, so much. Gazing at the sepia photos, people in lace shirts, strange hats, stiff poses stare back at us. Somehow, across the years, we feel their love, support and remember them.
I tell you about my own adventures in my 20s, living abroad, learning French, traveling and then choosing to come home to America.
I love you so much for you, for the choices you make, for paintings you bring me so I can hang them of the fridge. I love you for your mistakes, for the time you decide the cat and you both need hair cuts. I'll try not to laugh too much, but if I do, you'll have to forgive me. I can't even promise the whole thing won't end up on You.Tube. What's You.Tube? I'll explain another time. It was all the rage in my day.
I love you for you.
Your mom forever, Jem.
OMG, I hope I don't jinx this IVF cycle by posting this letter to a child who has not yet even been conceived! He or she is definitely a tinkle in dad's eye!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
That's what we IFer's are all about. Waiting!
It's day CD9, and I have just a few more days of BCPs to take. I'm already sick of waiting.
Tomorrow I fly to Dallas for work. Just glad I'm not traveling while stimming, not that I know what that will be like, being an IVF "virgin."
Nothing else to report... waiting...
Monday, September 21, 2009
I'm 39 years old, married for 6+ years to Mr. Jem. Marriage just gets better and better and interestingly enough, facing IF has brought us closer together (after the initial denial and anger phase reacting to Male Factor IF). We've been TTC since Jan 07, but Mr. Jem really wasn't ready to deal with IF or a baby for that matter until May of this year.
We have just started our first (and hopefully last) IVF cycle. We will be doing IVF with ICSI, as Mr. Jem's count was so low (600K) and his motility low too. I ovulate and my FSH is in normal range, as is my Estradrol level. We are very optimistic about this cycle. We've been eating really healthfully (organic when we can, no caffeine, no alcohol, eliminating sugar (as best we can), good lean protein, lots of supplements). We're even doing acupuncture. Okay, I'm doing it mostly. Mr. Jem will have some right before his two donations for the IVF (one will be frozen, the other will be fresh). My understanding is that acupuncture right before and after embryo transfer can greatly increase the chance of a viable pregnancy. Gotta do anything possible to make this work.
Thanks for visiting my humble blog. I appreciate all the comments, support and encouragement.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I received my IVF schedule on Tuesday (CD 3), same day I started BCPs. I’ll be taking them until Sept 27th (CD 15). Baseline U/S is already schedule for Monday Sept 28th (CD 16) to make sure that my ovaries were sufficiently suppressed. I begin stimming on Oct 2 (CD 20) after taking injection class with Mr. Jem (gotta get him involved in the process).
“What meds will be injected into your tender flesh?” you ask.
225 IU Foll.istim and 75 IU Meno.pur with a 81 mg Asp.irin chaser.
First follicle check on Oct 6 and then Dr. Wonderful has me tentatively starting Gan.ir.elix Oct 8 (CD 25). HCG with Ovi.dr.el (Rx TBD) and the rest depends on how things goes (don’t want to jinx anything!). Basically, by roughly Nov 1, we should have our BFX.
Wow, is this really happening?
I don’t think it will feel real until I, or rather we start stimming. I now know why couple say, “We’re pregnant.” I used to find this very obnoxious and pretentious. “What’s this “we” stuff? Only a woman can get pregnant.” I now get it. For non-IF couples, “it takes two to tango” but with us IF’ers, boy, is it a “we” a big, fat “WE!” – me, Mr. Jem, Dr. Wonderful, IVF Coordinator Ivonne, Dr. Needles, and countless others. Oh, and the support of our wonderful families. And all of you, interweb-anauts. Couldn’t do it without you and your support, too.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Goes to show you that there's still a large part of me in denial about needing medical intervention to get preggers, needing IVF. I'd so love to just avoid the whole procedure, the whole mess.
Denial, not just a river in Egypt!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Is today CD1 or tomorrow?
Update: I just spoke to Ivonne, my IVF Coordinator, and she said that if full flow starts tonight, I should call her tomorrow morning and tomorrow will be CD1.
Today is CD 29. Just one more to go before IVF starts.
I just got these knitting patterns by KittingAtKNoon in the mail from an online yarn store. I am looking forward to starting them this weekend (still finishing up a sweater from last summer).
To those knitters or other crafters out there, what are you working on?
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Okay, it's CD 28 and I'm really psyched about starting IVF.
I'm trying hard not to become completely obsessive and spend the whole day reading blogs - might get my butt fired! And then how would we pay for IVF?
I've been distracting myself with other websites, too. While at my mom's house, she turned me on to this wonderful sourse of spices and herbs: Penszys Spices. These are the freshest, most wonderful spices I have ever tried. I love the catelog, which is filled with amazing recipes, pictures of happy customers and kids'drawings.
I just ordered the Herb Gift Box for my in-laws. I know they will will really appreciate it.
Okay, interwebenauts, talk to you later!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
"Can I travel day CD 13?" (answer: "yes")
"Will it be harmful for me and my DH to paint our guest room / nursery?" (answer: "Not if you wear a mask and gloves")
"How do I take the BCP's during the next cycle? Do I start with the placebo/sugar pills like I used to do?" (answer: "No, you don't take the sugar pills. You'll start with the hormone pills on day 3.")
My other concern is that I'll have ER or ET on the day of my big golf tournament. I'm one of the charity fundraising co-chairs organizing the raffle/silent auction and there's a ton to do to set up, etc.
But, frankly. What's more important? Golf or a baby?
Yes, I know the answer is categorically "BABY!!"
Wow, I am filled with anticipation and hope. I'm more than a little nervous, too. I haven't gotten my protocol yet, so I don't know what to expect. I have been reading blogs about other's experiences with IVF. It's so good to know I'm not alone, even though I don't wish this on anyone.
Wow. It's a lot to think about, to take in.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Here's a picture of me playing with ladies from my women's golf association earlier this year.
Golf is such a fun sport and a great way to bond with my family. My step-father got me playing last Labor Day during our annual Oregon pilgrimage last year. I've gone from complete beginner with no swing, to decent beginner, with a swing, and working on my short game. Did I mention I love the sport? So relaxing and exhilarating, all at the same time. And never boring!
So, anyways, it should be a good weekend with the 'rents. They are so supportive of our IF situation. Yes, they want grand kids. They did say if we end up with triplets they'll move down to our area in California to help take care of the babies.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Here's to all of us succeeding and having our very own (baby) labor day! And for all those adoptive parents (future and -to-be), you rock!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
At least I didn't look like the picture above!
(BTW, this is NOT a political blog, by any means! This photo just made me laugh.)
Let me explain: I'm an only child. My cousins lived far away. Most of my close friends are single women or married couples without children. I am rarely around children, let alone babies.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Wow... made me think! Are we doing the right thing to jump on the IVF bandwagon? At 39, I don't think I have a bunch of time to sit around and wait for possible fixes for Mr. Jem's swimmers.
Arghhh!! What to do?
- "Conclusions: Current preliminary evidence suggests that acupuncture given with embryo transfer improves rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation. "
- "What is already known on this topic:
- In vitro fertilisation is lengthy, expensive, and stressful (duh!!)
- Safe, low cost, adjuvant treatments to improve success rates would benefit patients and reduce costs (you bet!!)
- "What this study adds:
- Current evidence from methodologically sound trials showed an odds ratio of more than 1.6 for clinical pregnancy after in vitro fertilisation with adjuvant acupuncture
- On average, 10 women would need to be treated with acupuncture to bring about one additional clinical pregnancy
- The magnitude of this effect depended on the baseline pregnancy rate"
- Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women iwth electro-acupuncture - Human Reproduction vol 11 no.6 pp. 1314-1317, 1996
- Quantitive evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility, Fertility and Sterility Vol. 84, No. 1, July 2005, p.141-147
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Here are my current list of regrets/questions:
- Why didn't we start ART sooner? - I'm 39 for goodness sake!
(Answer: because first I wasn't ready and then Mr. Jem wasn't ready)
- Why did I think gleefully evil thoughts when I heard that previous (live-in) boyfriend couldn't have kids because of a childhood accident?
(Answer: No idea. I know there's no direct correlation between my evil thoughts and our present situation. I can't help think that some twisted karma has me and Mr. Jem facing Male Factor IF.)
- Why did I decide to wait until next cycle (in September) to start IVF? I'm ready to start now!!!
(Answer: because Mr. Jem and I weren't psychologically ready and we have some travelling to do before the IVF cycle starts. I'm totally ready/impatient now!!!!!!!!)
- How come two of my male colleagues just had babies, but not me?
(Answer: who knows?!)
- Why isn't this easier?
(see Answer 4)
- What are your biggest regrets/questions?
Monday, August 24, 2009
I promise I'll make it worth your while!
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make but I hope you will.
- What I create will be just for you.
- They say I have a year to get it to you. But I promise it will NOT take that long (11 months maybe, but NOT twelve ;-)
- You have no clue what it's going to be. It’s a surprise to both of us at this point.
Saturday rolls around, and the girl keeps begging off riding the rides. It becomes obvious that something is up. We look at the signs in front of each ride: there are pictures of a person with a hurt neck, another with a hurt back, another wrapped up (recent surgery), and a pregnant baby. My DH blurts out, "You aren't pregnant, are you?" And our friend says, "Yes. I didn't want to say anything as I'm only 7 weeks along, but I can't lie."
That's almost as good as the time I traveled cross country to visit and friend (from college) who I hadn't seen for years and she opens her front door with a huge belly. She neglected to tell me she was knocked up. I wanted to cry the whole dinner.
Have any of you been surprised with knocked up friends?
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
"Greed it good!"
Let me explain. As stated in an earlier post, I work for a very big, billion-dollar (try a hundred billion, Dr. Evil!) company. Let's call it McBig Corporation (even if we don't sell burgers).
I heart McBig Corporation because I have fantasitc health insurance that covers IF and amazing Rx coverage, too. My upcoming IVF cycle is going to cost us only 10% of the total cost.
- $584.82 for the cycle fee with ICSI (and hopefully cryo for Mr. Jem's swimmers and extra embryos, too!
- $300 (approx) for pre- and post-cycle testing
- $380 for meds (could be less, as Dr. Wonderful is lowering my doses)
- There is a$10K Lifetime Limit on IF benefits.
- This is not counting the $750 I just paid Dr. Needles for 11 sessions of acupuncture or massage. I only get reimbursed 70% (instead of 90%) on that.
Needless to say, this is a huge relief to me and Mr. Jem (who is currently unemployed).
Sometimes it pays to be employed by a behemoth corporate entity (sounds like the Borg, doesn't it?).
I have no immunity to German Measles and Chicken Pox.
I never got Chicken Pox as a kid. When my best friend Y and her brother had it I went over to their house, but never got it. Dr. Wonderful said that if I got it an adult, the symptoms would be much worse.
German Measles is a whole other story. If I got it while preggers it could cause deafness or retardation in the baby. Gulp.
I could take a vaccine, but then I would have to wait 3 months to start my IVF. Dr. Wonderful said that would be fine if I was 25 (I'm not. I'm 39!!).
I said I didn't want the vaccine. He then recommended I stay away from groups of children. I work in corporate America at a Fortune 500 (but a much smaller number) company. Some of the employees may act like children sometimes, but that doesn't count. I should be just fine.
Have any of you out in the interweb faced this decision?
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
What's on the menu for today's visit?
As an appetizer, the chef recommends an ultrasound. Main course? Saline ultrasound with a "mock transfer" for dessert, of course. It's the house specialty.
So, I'm waiting for Dr. Wonderful to arrive. I'm naked from the waste down, flimsy paper thing gripped at my waist, sitting on the crinkly paper at the bottom of the examination table, and what do I see? This:
Yes, folks. Those are pot holders over the stirrups. "Gourmet Classics," indeed! I can hear the ad now... "We cook up nothing but the best here at the clinic." I could go on to make omelet jokes, but I'll leave that up to the more humorous blogs (shout out to 999 Reasons to Laugh at Infertility).
So, the wonderful news it that my uterus looks great. No cysts. My ovaries are producing eggs as we speak. The mock transfer was easy and painless. Actually, I barely felt anything!
Dr. Wonderful said he's going to change my Rx to lower doses of meds because things look even better than he had suspected.
Mr Jem and I brought over our test results to the acupuncture clinic associated with the the IF clinic. "Dr. Needle" looked at all the results and gave Mr. Jem vitamins and herbs to take to make his sperm better, swim better. We were both a bit skeptical as we're doing IVF with ICSI, but Dr. Needle reassured us that it should help. Hmmm...
All the same, it's nice to walk out of the clinic smiling.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Highlight of the visit was that I met Ivonne, My IVF Coordinator. She'll let me know the results of my tests tomorrow.
Thursday, August 13, 2009