Friday, December 30, 2011

IVF #3 Calendar

I had my IVF #3 calendar review with the IVF nurse today at 2pm via the phone.  Click HERE to see it.  I was so happy she didn't make me travel an hour to their office just to go over it.  It would be different if I'd never done IVF with them before or didn't know how to give myself shots, but I've become an "old pro" at it, and they just did this appointment by phone.

This is my first Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET).  Our first 2 IVF tries were from fresh cycles, but this time we are using embryos frozen from those previous cycles.  A friend pointed out the other day that I could have twins that were not conceived during the same cycle.  Never thought about it that way....

After looking at the calendar, all I can say is that my hip/bottom is going to be SO SORE from all the intramuscular shots this time.  Ugh....

3rd time's a charm, right???

Tell Me About Yourself Award

My blogger friend JJ nominated me for the Tell Me About Yourself Award.  I think this is a fun way to learn more about my fellow bloggers.  I read about your struggles with IVF everyday and I enjoy finding out about life outside of the crap we deal with.  Just like all the other awards, there are certain rules that apply in receiving this award:
  • Thank the person who passed the award on to you.  Thanks again JJ at A Journey of Emotions
  • List 7 things that people may not know about you. 
  • Pass the award to 15 other bloggers and don't forget to notify them as well.  Feel free to ignore my nomination if you received it from someone else :)  Please see my previous post about the Liebster Award.  These bloggers are amazing and you should follow them!  No need for me to list them again here.
 7 Things About Me You May Not Know:
1. I have a horrible sweet tooth - especially chocolate and cookies.  Which is only made worse by PCOS...
2. I'm a cat person.  I didn't know I was until we got a dog several years ago.  She's cute when she sleeps...
3. I am a pastor's wife.  I don't act the part and neither does Hubby.  We're not sure if it's more astounding that he's a pastor or that I'm a pastor's wife.  They broke the mold in either case...
4. I collect scrapbooking and card-making supplies.  I say "collect" because I don't usually have time to actually do things with them.  I just collect them and look at them and dream of all the cool projects I should be doing with them...
5. I love humor.  With all the crap that has happened to us over the last year (house robbed, car totaled, small business failed, job changes, diagnosis of CAVD & PCOS, 2 failed IVFs) humor is the only thing that gets me through sometimes.  It's either laugh or cry and I've done enough crying.
6. I feel pretty blessed.  I live in the house that I have loved since I was 9 years old.  It's required a total gut & re-do, but it's beautiful.  I have the car I have dreamed about since I was 16.  Her name is Sophie and she's a BMW Z3 Roadster.  She's beautiful as well.  I have a wonderful Hubby and he's also beautiful!  haha
7. Right now I'm thinking about going back to school to get a Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology.  I'm looking for some signs to tell me this is where I need to go.  I got confirmation that I need to move on.  I just need to figure out the next step.
(8.  You get a bonus!  Aren't you lucky?!) I am a Facebook Addict.  I use it for work to promote fundraising events and I put up funny stuff the kids say & do at my Youth Center.  I use it to stay in touch with friends and family across the world.  I put up pics of our life.  I've even put out a request (& received it) for a donation of a hand-me-down microwave because ours died.  I love facebook and love others who use it as much as I do.  I know that many of the IF blogging friends I have hate it when someone posts about their pregnancy on facebook.  However, I don't.  And I do plan on posting throughout the entire dang thing, if it ever happens.  I post about everything else in my life and the pregnancy thing has been a long time in the making.  WHEN it happens, it'll all be on there.  (Except naked preggo pics.  That's just weird.  I don't do naked pics now.  No way I'd do them when I'm ginormous.)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Liebster Award

My fellow blogger friend, Browning2222 nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award.  Please check out her blog, I Think It Is Time, if you haven't already.  Her story is very similar to mine and after failed fresh and natural cycles, is pregnant with triplets from a frozen cycle!

 Liebster is a German word which means "dearest" or "beloved." It is also used to refer to as someone's "favorite" and the idea of the Liebster Blog Award is to bring attention to blogs with less than 200 followers that deserve more recognition and encouragement. So, this award is to share with those blogs that you love to love... you know... the ones that you can't wait to see a new post from because somehow, some way, the blogger seems to always put words to things in a way that really hits home. 

There are rules for receiving the Liebster Award:
  • Thank the giver & link back to the blogger who gave it to you.  Thanks again, Browning2222!
  • Reveal your top 5 picks & let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.  OK, I chose 9.  And please just ignore this if you've already received it!
  • Copy & paste the award on your blog.
  • Hope that people you've sent the award to forward it to their top 5 favorite bloggers & keep it going!
Now the hard part.  I have to pick the top five favorite blogs that I follow.   Here is my list, even though I know there are many more of you who should be on here, too.  In no order:

1.  Lost In Translation has a blog called We Way IVF, They Say FIV.  She is currently pregnant and has given me hope that I can have a BFP someday, too.

2.  ADSchill has shared her emotional journey of recently losing twins on her blog MissConception.  Our IF community needs to pour out all the love we can on her.

3. Mommy-In-Waiting has her blog, Waiting on Our Miracle.  She has shared her experience with PCOS.  

4. A Miracle 4 Us has a blog by the same name.  She just received a BFP after failed IUI's, fresh cycles, and lots of heartache.

5. I just found Erin's blog the other day after she posted on mine.  Her blog, Never Surrender, started as a weight loss blog, but has turned into her own IF therapy.  Right now I'm the ONLY one following her blog, which is astounding.  She's real and honest.  She just poured out her heart about losing a child on her blog and needs our support.  

6. Kelli at Cinderella Wore Glass Slippers is sharing her experience of adoption.

7. Marianne at My Violet Thoughts just had a beautiful baby after many years of trying to conceive.

8. Lissie at Lissie's Luck is enjoying being pregnant.

9. Brave IVF Girl is as sassy as me and I look forward to her point-of-view on her blog, Braving IVF.

10.  Sara at Empty Whole blogs about accepting infertility and IVF.  She's made a New Year's Resolution to blog more often and I'm looking forward to it!

11. Laura at Wishing & Hoping & Dreaming & Praying for a Baby is making her way through finding out why, after TTC for several months, she has had no luck. She only has TWO followers, which is surprising for how honest and open she is on her blog.

12. Amber at Somewhere Only We Know lost a child almost 2 years ago and has a heart that is still hurting for that little child.  Her posts are raw and real. 

13. GlitterandRainbows1 at Glitter & Rainbows is hoping for a Christmas IUI Miracle.  I soooo hope that she has good news to share with us all soon!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Update

I am looking overdue on updating this. You all can scold me - I deserve it!

In November, CD1 didn't happen until Nov 13th (a week late). I have read OHSS can cause a woman to be late for at least 2 cycles following OHSS. I had a 2nd acupuncture appointment when I finally started. Work had been hell difficult that afternoon and I arrived very stressed out. She said she was putting the pins in that day in a way that was supposed to clean out my body. This time there was 1 in the middle of my forehead, 3 on my abdomen, and 4 down each leg and onto my foot. Then she put a heat lamp on my belly and another on my feet, turned on some soothing music, turned the lights down and left the room. What a small gift from God! I don't think I fell asleep, but I came pretty darned close!

I paid our deposit at the beginning of December. Because we are doing a frozen cycle, it's cheaper. Also, there are many tests I don't have to have done because we've just done 2 cycles. Plus, we had money left in our account with the Doc from the first 2 IVF's, so it was even cheaper than I anticipated! Clearance babies? I'll take 'em!"

In December, CD1 happened on Dec. 23rd (another week+ late). I think my bod is doesn't know whether to start, look for a shot, or grow multiple eggs for another egg hunt! My periods have been a bit more painful the last 2 months as well. I suppose it has the right to file these complaints with me. I have demanded a lot from it lately!

I called my Dr on CD1 and began taking birth control pills in CD3. Merry Christmas! You wanna have a baby? Here, have some bcp's! I got a call from the IVF nurse today saying she'd send out my calendar and we'd go over it via phone on Friday at 2pm. I love that they let me do things over the phone rather than driving 65 miles to their office when I don't have to! She said I will start my 1st Lupron shot on Jan. 6th. Bring on the hot flashes!. I'll need to call the acupuncturist as well.

On another subject, I am thinking of a career move. Leadership changed at my job in July and I have not been happy about it. It was supposed to be a temporary change, but has become a more permanent thing. More on that tomorrow.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

No Show

Well, it is Saturday, Nov. 12th. My CD1 is usually the 6th of the month. I still haven't started yet. I think after 2 rounds of IVF, my body doesn't know up from down. Poor's so confused!

And no, I'm not pregnant. I even took a test in case some sort of 2nd coming had occurred. ;-)

On a positive note, I've lost 8 pounds since IVF. I don't feel like I can take much credit for this. That medicine makes me super hungry. Once I get off of it, I don't feel like I could eat a house anymore!

I am due back to the acupuncturist soon. I'm not sure what she'll do to me since I'm so late.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

And We Wait...

On Wed., Nov 2nd, Hubby and I made the trip to my Doc's office to talk about our last IVF cycle and to discuss future plans. Many of my fellow bloggers call this the WTF Appointment and this is actually pretty accurate!

Our Doc greeted us, shook our hands very sadly, and we all sat down in his office. He simply looked down at my charts and shook his head for a minute. He said he was baffled. He had thought IVF #1 was going to work and just knew that this IVF #2 was going to work. I responded well to meds, my bloodwork looked great, we used 2 great looking embryos again this time, and I did everything that I was supposed to do. He said that he was completely shocked it didn't work this time. I'm glad I'm not the only one...

He immediately dove into what could've gone wrong. He said that there is a possibility that there might be something wrong with my lining - that it was thick enough - but perhaps there was something else wrong with it. He said the only way to tell is to do an endometrial biopsy. The problem with that is that you cannot do one on the cycle you're using. So, you'll never be able to tell for sure. He didn't think there are enough signs to warrant this anyways.

I asked if dealing with OHSS would have caused problems with implantation and he didn't think so. I told him that it sucked and further, this whole round sucked, from more meds, a very painful retrieval where I felt everything, and OHSS. He said that he could give me more pain meds and apologized for hurting me.

He went on to say that since we have 3 embryos frozen, we should try a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET). He said they'd have me take birth control pills for 3 weeks just like the fresh cycles. Then, I'd go on Lupron to shut everything down. He said I'd have to travel to his office once for an ultrasound to make sure everything was quiet and my lining was "pretty" - not the first time he's described it this way. Then I'd take some estrogen and I'd have the transfer. In all, it would be about a 7-week process from CD 1.

He said he'd recommend thawing all 3 embryos to evaluate for use. He'd probably recommend using 2 if all make it through thaw and re-freezing the 3rd. He said if we wanted to use all 3, he wouldn't fight us too hard on it. In my mind,I thought I'd like to use all 3 and then quickly told myself not to worry about it. The last 2 times I have fretted and stewed about how many to use and the answer has been easily handed to us both times. He said it'd be an easier process on my body with no retrieval or OHSS. He said it'd also be much cheaper than a fresh cycle. Given that I'm out of allowable expenditures for drugs for the rest of 2011, that's good news.

He also mentioned that when I start the next IVF cycle that I should take a baby aspirin daily. He said that they used to do this all the time with patients, but stopped because there is no definitive data that says this helps. Hubby asked him about acupuncture and he said that if we can afford it, we should go ahead -it can't hurt and may help.

Then he asked me how I'm sleeping and if I'm experiencing sadness. I told him I'm probably not sleeping enough, but that's just because I'm busy and go to bed too late and get up too early. I told him I'm not overly sad - that it really hits me hardest when I see someone I haven't seen in a long time and they ask if we have any good news about IVF. Other than that, I think I'm ok. He said that's normal and just wanted to make sure I wasn't suffering from any depression symptoms.

On the way out, he had us stop at his Nurse's office where he gave her instructions to make note that we are going to do an FET. My CD 1 should be sometime around Nov 6th (tomorrow, my b-day). Counting 7 weeks from then would get us right in the heart of their Christmas break. So that's a no-go. :-( I could have a giant 2-year-old meltdown about how their vacation should no make me wait another month after we've already waited for so long - but where would that get me? So, I have to call on CD 1 in December and transfer would be in mid-January. This part made me sad. Another birthday, Christmas, and New Year's with no good news about a little one to share with family and friends. But I guess it is what it is, and so we wait...

In all, it was really a visit that I could've scripted before I went, except for the waiting part. I was pleased at my Doc's response - he's as baffled as we are and wants to make sure we're ok. He's getting us to do an FET as quickly as he can. He's a good Doc, for sure.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

On the Table with My Clothes On!

So at 4pm today, I visited my hospital's complementary medicine unit to receive my first treatment of acupuncture.  Now, let me say that I'm still not 100% sold that this is the key to getting knocked up.  However, I am desperate and willing to try it if there's even a slight chance that it helps.  I was nervous that it would hurt, too.

When I arrived, I had to pay the $75 fee, fill out a 4-page form about my health history, and was then led to a room down the hall.  Sara, the acupuncturist, who I know outside of the hospital, came in and began asking me questions.  She made some notes as we talked and reaffirmed that there are certain things that have to be done on certain days during the IVF cycle.  She mentioned that she may be going out of town this month, but has other acupuncturists on "back-up" in case I need something done while she's gone.  Sara reaffirmed that this visit was merely to strengthen my body and lessen PCOS symptoms to prepare me for the next round of IVF.  Hubby asked some questions about how the acupuncture is supposed to help and she went into some info about the kidney being the center of fertility and the liver having something to do with it, so they both are stimulated in Chinese medicine and I have to be honest - my eyes kinda glassed over for a minute.  Hubby said he was with her till she started talking about "chi."  Please give us the benefit of the doubt:  We are willing to try new things, even if we don't understand it all!

She had me slip off my jeans so she was able to get to a spot above my knee.  She ought to know that us infertiles are used to taking off our clothes and getting on a table by now...  I put a sheet over my middle and she began.  I didn't even have to take off my undies for her - just my pants, shoes, and socks!  She wiped a cold fluid on me before putting in each pin.  I'm pretty sure this was alcohol.  She began with one pin in between my eyebrows.  Then she went to my abdomen where she put four more pins: (Towards the right is my head, left is my feet.  This pic is just below my belly button.  If any of you make any comments about my very white belly, we are no longer friends.  Got it?)

Next, she put a pin in each of my hands and then she tagged me down each leg and onto my feet: (Again, no comments about how white and/or dry my legs are or we are no longer friends.  Got it?)

When she was done inserting all 19 pins, she put a heat lamp over my tummy and another over my feet.  She made sure I was comfortable and left the room for about 20 minutes.  The music was soothing and the lights were low.  I was warm from the heat lamps.  I was all calm and then I hear the clicking of Hubby's video game on his phone.  It made me giggle.  It was a relaxing way to spend a few minutes in a busy day.  I will give it that.

After the 20 minutes, she came in and quickly removed the pins.  I noticed a couple smears of blood on my legs where a couple of the pins were.  I honestly didn't feel anything but a slight prick when she inserted them all.  Before leaving, she suggested a website for me to visit if I'd be interested in some dietary suggestions for PCOS and infertility treatments that are meant to be paired with acupuncture.  (I need to check it out.  If it's worth sharing, I will.)

I'm to call her when I have a firm calendar from my Doc.  She said my next appointment will be within a few days of starting the next IVF cycle.  And now we just have to wait to see what the Dr. Larry King says tomorrow.

No Boo This Year

This is my 100th post! I hope everyone had a happy Halloween!

Each year, my church gives out hot dogs and candy for Halloween. We figure giving a little something to eat on the night everyone hurries to get homework done, get on a costume, and make the rounds collecting candy is a good thing to do. We gave out 750 hot dogs last night! I always enjoy seeing all the kids (sometimes parents too) in costume having a good time. Our friends who go to church with us stopped by to help with Halloweenie set up and then left to take their little girl trick-or-treating. That made me a little sad. I wish we had a little one or two to take out on this fun night. I remember Mom helping me get a costume ready for the big venture and having to negotiate with Dad about how many pieces of my candy he was allowed to have when I was little. This is one of those holidays that makes me feel left out now. Perhaps someday we will have a little pumpkin or lion to take trick-or-treating. I'd even dress up, too!

I am anxious about my first acupuncture appointment later today. I hope it doesn't hurt! It cant be as bad as those awful IM shots in the hip...can it? I think Hubby is going with me to see what it's all about. And perhaps a little moral support as well.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


I called my Dr office Monday afternoon. I told them that I hadn't heard from the since the nurse sent me to get my beta done a day early (waited a second or two for a response, an excuse, but nothing) and that hubby and I would like to find out about next steps with FET.  We made an appointment for Wed., Nov 2nd  to talk to the Dr. That's right before my next cycle starts, so hopefully we can have FET done in Nov because I'm impatient I know Hubby and I would like to try once more before the end of 2011.

The acupuncturist also called me back. She started the conversation with, "So you want to get pregnant, huh?"  The receptionist that I talked to last week must've written down why I was calling. I explained that we have had 2 failed IVF cycles and are looking at doing an FET in Nov. I hoped to know more after my Nov. 2nd appointment.  She said that she has a schedule she follows and there are certain days that she does certain things in the cycle. She wants to go ahead and get me in once before we start another IVF cycle to strengthen my body.  So I scheduled an appointment with her for Tuesday afternoon.  What the can't hurt, right?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Hubby and I were being silly last night. I suggested we get T-Shirts made that say, "I went through IVF and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt."

He laughed and said we should wear them to our follow up appointment next week.

After gaining my composure, I said that we couldn't do that to those poor people in the waiting room.

He said that we are those poor people in the waiting room.

I wonder how long it takes to get T-Shirts printed.... ;-)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Photo Shoot

Hubby and I have owned our own photography business for three years. Just recently, word has spread and our calendar has gotten busy. We're still not as busy as some of our awful competitors, but we're certainly getting there.

On Sunday, Oct. 23rd, the afternoon was beautiful! The leaves were bright colors, the sun was out, and we had a family shoot at a farm. There were a set of grandparents, two grown boys with wives and grandchildren in high school - 11 people in all. Shooting them was fun as we went all over their farm capturing them with the beautiful backgrounds. We asked if there were any other combos of family members that they'd like us to shoot and they said they may have us come back sometime to shoot just the grandparents. I suggested that we go ahead and do it while we were there. The grandpa is not in great health and I've learned from my own father's passing that you take the opportunity when you have it for things like this or one day it'll be too late and the opportunity will be gone. We went inside their home, set up the backdrops, and got a few sweet shots of the older couple holding hands as they explained how they'd been together 54 years. Wow! To have such life full of family blessings. But what really got me was, as we were packing up, I saw the dining room table set for 11 people in the next room. We thanked them for their business and said we'd leave so they can eat dinner. The grandma said that they were in no hurry - that all 11 get together for family dinner every Sunday evening.

I want that.

I wanted that for my Dad, who is now gone. I want that for my Mom, who will be 70 in a few months. I want that for Hubby, who said he wanted to have lots of children with me that September day 14 years ago when he proposed. I want that for me.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Small Town Phone Calls

I've not really been convinced one way or another about acupuncture or deep tissue massage helping with implantation. (If you are confused, see my last post.). For every study or story that says it helps, there are just as many saying it does not. I can see it having value for relaxation, but I can get that from the jacuzzi tub I've already paid for that's in my own bathroom. Nevertheless, I have a call into the only acupuncturist in town. She's only in certain days of the week, so I ought to hear from her on Monday afternoon. I asked specifically if she does acupuncture for fertility and was told that she does. Then I asked who performs the acupuncture. When I found out who the acupuncturist is, I laughed. Of course, the woman knows me. Guess the cat will have to be out of the bag soon.

I have several recommendations for massage, but I need to do some follow up as far as pricing and specialties.

I, also, still need to talk to my Doc. We've still not been contacted since the day I told the Doc's nurse that I had started and she told me to go get my beta done early. Luckily, I know how to get my results from the lab, or I may have been wondering the last ~3 weeks...I know we're due for our failure follow up appointment (or as some of my fellow bloggers call the WTF appointment - Hubby says they are all WTF appointments...). I know that the Doc will have no real reasons why it didn't work this time. He had no real answers as to why IVF #1 didn't work and attempt #2 was better, so I don't expect to have any answers this time either. We do, however, have 3 frozen embryos (aka frost babies or babies on ice). Doing a frozen embryo transfer (FET) is new territory for us and I'd like to talk to the Doc in greater detail about that. I know that odds of success diminish when using frozen embryos, if they even survive the thaw. That doesn't make me feel great, but it does mean I don't have to go through retrieval again - at least for attempt #3. That is a small miracle in itself because of 2 reasons:
1. I don't like pain and last time was very painful.
2. I don't like passing out and I've tried to twice.

I guess I have to make some phone calls tomorrow to see about attempt #3.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What's Next?

Hubby and I are trying to recover from this 2nd failed attempt at IVF-ICSI. Most of the time, I'm ok. Work has been extremely busy lately. Every once in a while, though, I start feeling sorry for myself. Friends at work and church were so disappointed to hear it didn't work. My sister-in-law emailed and said she was sure it was going to work this time. I wish she was right.

I think I've handled it better this time because I found out on my own terms in private. There was not this giant get-your-hopes-up build up. I didn't have to agonize over how many hours I'd have to wait for the beta blood test and then the phone call with results. My period came early. It was an unexpected, unwelcome surprise. But it happened. In my bathroom. In the morning before I really had my wits about me. Several days early. God let me down easy this time.

Hubby hasn't said much, other than he's so very disappointed. Makes me sad that my body is now the one not cooperating. We jumped his IF hurdle. Now why is my bod not doing its job?

Several days after the beta, I realized that my math was a little off. I have been saying that we've now been trying for more than 4 years. That's not actually the truth. Technically, we've really only had a shot at it twice. Out of 4 years of timing, taking temps, charting, and now shooting myself up, we've only had a real shot at a baby two times. Stats show that it takes sometime between 3 months and a year to be successful. I do not like what I just realized.

My body is still recovering from this round of retrieval. My left ovary was handling the brunt of OHSS and I think it's still mad at me. Every once in a while, I feel a tinge of pain. I know you're angry! You don't need to take it out on me!

And now, I need your input! I was speaking with my other sister-in-law about the whole ordeal last weekend. She had several miscarriages and had a lot of trouble conceiving their 4th and final child. She gave me a book that was recommended to her that talks about nutrition and infertility. She and others have suggested both acupuncture and deep tissue massage. Our problems stem from Hubby's infertility issues. I've tested very young and healthy internally, minus PCOS which is regulated well by drugs. I can understand doing these things if I was the one in the marriage with fertility issues-but I'm not. My Doc is pleased with me and with the quantity and size of eggs I produce. Would these things do me any good? I'd normally say any excuse to have a massage is a good one, but in reality, these things are rather expensive to have done-especially more than once. What's your experience been with these things and implantation?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

IVF #1 All Over Again

On Tuesday, October 4th, I was still feeling crampy, hungry and tired.  I noticed that there was a little spotting when I went to the bathroom.  I began to panic.  This is exactly what happened with IVF #1 - and even on the same day.  From that point, I was kind of a mess.  The home pregnancy tests were still coming out negative.  Things didn't look good.

On Wed., Oct. 5th, I got up and took another pregnancy test and as I was waiting the 3 minutes to read it, I noticed that there was blood in the toilet....Now isn't that the most ironic awful thing ever?  Of course the test was negative. 

I wasn't due for my beta blood test until the next day.  When I could regain control of myself and my voice, I called my Doc's office to find out what to do.  The nurse told me that I could go ahead and get my beta done early if I wanted because they had to have at least one blood test.  Not only did I want the whole thing over with, but I didn't want to take that giant needle with Progesterone in the behind if I didn't have to.  That would just be salt in the wound, really.

After a staff meeting that day, a couple co-workers asked me how I was feeling.  And that is when I lost it.  I had held it together really well until then.  I told them that I was taking my "lunch" after the meeting to go get my bloodwork done.

The trip to the blood lab was terrible.  I knew what the result was going to be, yet I still had to go through with it - another necessary evil in this process.  I called to get the results a couple hours later and it was, in fact, negative.  I got the final smack in the face in this whole process - a day early!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Blue Dye Tests are the Devil!

So on Sunday, Oct 2nd, curiosity got the better of me and I began the ritual of POASing.  I have read many other blogs and know that this day (5dp5dt) is when many fortunate ladies have gotten their BFP.  I decided that, even though the doctor's instructions say not to, I needed to take a home pregnancy test.  I'm impatient - refer to my previous post!

I used a CVS Brand Early Detection Test.  This test, I've come to find out, is one of the tests that uses blue dye.  One line if you're not pregnant.  Two lines if you are.  I saw 2 lines very quickly - and then 1 went away.  What the heck did that mean?  I got so excited that I started crying.  Was that a BFP?  The more time went by, the less the line was able to be seen until I got Hubby several minutes later and he could not see a 2nd line at all.

What just happened?

I sat the test in the drawer in my bathroom and went to church for the evening.  I pulled that test out when we got home several hours later and there were two lines for sure.  But the directions say not to read anything after a few minutes.  So I was feeling really "iffy" about the results.  Later that night, at the encouragement of Hubby, I tested again.  This time, a 2nd line showed up again, but not for about 20 minutes - way past the time you are supposed to read the results.

I, of course, consulted Dr Google, who taught me that "evaporation lines" are a real problem with blue dye pregnancy tests.  Any test that uses blue dye has a tendency to show evaporation lines - lines that show up and then quickly disappear.  They also have the tendency to give false positives after the recommended reading time.  Looks like I was a sucker for both of these problems in one day.  That was an awfully mean joke.  So....

Hubby and I made a late night trip to Wal-Mart where we bought a pack of First Response Early Response  tests (pink dye test that doesn't have the probs of the blue ones) and a pack of ClearBlue Digital tests.  I used one of each when we got home and they were definitely negative.  I also used a First Response Test the next morning and it was negative too.  I hate it that the blue dye tests got my hopes up like that.  Finding out I was one of many who fell for its tricks was an awful feeling.

The Wait

After transferring 2 embryos on Tuesday, Sept. 27th, I had to wait 9 days till my 1st beta blood test.  Have I mentioned before how much I hate waiting - for anything - let alone major results like this?  Perhaps some would say I have no patience, but I like to refer to myself as a person of action.  I like to get things done - and the quicker the better!

I had no major symptoms one way or another - and now that I was recuperating from OHSS this time, I really could not tell what may be causing what.  I was hungry and thirsty.  I had some pain and pinching in my abdomen.  It still hurt to use my muscles to start and stop peeing (sorry if that's too much info).  I was tired and napped most afternoons when I was home from work - even if I did nothing all day.  I ran a low grade fever for a couple days, but am attributing that to fighting a sinus infection.  I felt kind of blah.

Several of my friends asked me if I felt anything or felt any different.  I wish I had some great answer for them.  I told them that I could tell something was going on, but wasn't sure if my body was prepping for an oncoming period or pregnancy.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Deja Vu Transfer

We headed to the doc's office on Tuesday, Sept. 27th for transfer.  I was looking forward to this because we'd learn how our little embryos grew over the last couple of days.  I, however, was in some pain as well.  The Doc ordered me to have a full bladder for the procedure.  (Having a full bladder helps them see where they need to guide the embryos on the ultrasound screen.)  So, I emptied my bladder an hour before the procedure and drank 20 ounces of water in a matter of minutes.  And then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.....

I was still having some pain from retrieval and OHSS and a full bladder was causing me pain.  I think my bladder must've been rubbing my left ovary or something...  At any rate, my bladder was VERY full and VERY painful.  And then the Doc was running 20 minutes late.  They called my name and I told the nurse that she may have to help me if I pee my pants.  I probably shouldn't have said that in a full waiting room, but oh well.

I was prepped and put onto the table.  Dr. Larry King, my Doc, was going to do the transfer.  He came in and immediately apologized that he was running late and asked if I wanted to relieve my bladder just a little.  You're darned right I did!  So, after a 5-second bathroom break, I was back on the table and ready to begin.  He came in with our embryo report.  Two had made it to a Grade 1 blastocyst stage, 4 were at the late morula stage, and the rest didn't make it.  Two again?  After I had once again worried about how many we should transfer and weighed the pros and cons of 1, 2, or 3, the decision was made for us once again.  We agreed that we'd transfer both blastocysts.  The Doc also said that they'd let the 4 late morulas grow through the week and freeze anything that made it to the blastocyst stage, like last time.  Anybody else feeling deja vu?

After I signed the papers for the 2 to be transferred, things moved fairly quickly.  The nurse, the Doc, a student-Doc, Hubby, and embryologist were in the room.  The transfer was quick and painless.  When he was finished, they passed the tube through the window to the lab where it was examined under a microscope.  The exclamation, "Clean!" from the biologist told us that the embryos were in.  Everyone cleared and out and I laid on the table another 20 minutes while I begged Hubby to tell me a story to get my mind off my full, painful bladder.  He talked to me about his soccer team that he coaches.  The embryologist that had actually injected the sperm into the eggs and had called me each day with the update came in to introduce himself.  He told us that the embryos looked, "Really great" this time and that he hopes it's successful this round.  I thought it was nice that he personally came in to introduce himself and reassure us about our little embryos.  It was nice to put a face with the voice that I so looked forward to hearing from each day!

When the 20 minutes was up, I ran to the bathroom and was never so happy to get to pee.  Then I got dressed and we made our way out and laid down in the vehicle on the way home.  I made one quick stop at the bathroom before going to bed for the next several days.  Hubby had gotten cables and plugs to be able to hook up the computer to the tv so I could watch shows.  A friend brought over some books since some of my favorites were stolen at our other house.  My cat was by my side.  I kept getting texts and emails from friends checking in on me.  I was set.

Now, these embryos just needed to do their thing!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Babysitter Updates

14 retrieved & all fertilized with ICSI procedure on Thurs., Sept 22nd.
9 growing on Fri., Sept. 23rd.
9 growing on Sat., Sept. 24th.  All had divided.  7 4-celled Grade 1s.  2 4-celled grade 2s.
9 growing on Sun., Sept. 25th.  6 8-celled grade 1s. 1 8-celled grade 2s.  1 6-celled grade 2.  Dr said not to worry about the 6-celled one - that it could just be timing of when he checked on them.  He said that they were all looking great and were put into the growth medium under the incubator.
No update on Mon., Sept. 26th.  They leave them alone under the incubator until Tues., Sept. 27th transfer.

Grow babies, grow!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dr Called Me at Home

The next morning, the Dr that was on call the night before called me at home to find out how I was doing.  Can I tell you how pleased I am with the entire medical staff at my Doc's Office?  She asked me if the pain was under control and if I'd been sick.  I told her that the 4 Advil were quite the blessing the night before.  She said that she only wanted me to take more Advil if it was absolutely necessary.  She told me to expect some sickness and trips to the bathroom - which had already happened - and asked me to keep an eye on my weight.  She said if I find that I put on a significant amount of weight in the next day or 2 (like 5 pounds of more) to let them know.  I'm thankful that did not happen!

I continued to take the Tylenol and lay still, except for running to the bathroom.  Hubby has been so sweet to me - making sure I'm fed and comfortable.  I think the night before scared him as much as it scared me.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Ohhhhh HSS

On Friday, Sept. 23rd, I laid around, watched Netflix, and slept.  I only got up a couple times to pee - which by the way was painful again this round of IVF.  It seems that a fuller bladder was rubbing against something that did not like being touched right now.  I was pretty sore from retrieval and wasn't in the mood to move much!  Hubby stayed home with me, fed me every few hours on my demand, and was good to me.

I was relying heavily on Tylenol, which I was taking every 2 hours to keep the pain to a minimum.  The Dr. said that was all I was allowed to take - so I did!  Hubby gave me a Tylenol at 3pm and then went to coach his high school soccer team.  He came home around 6pm and I fell asleep almost immediately.  At 7pm, I woke up with terrible pain.  I figured it was just from meds wearing off and a full bladder, so I quickly made my way to the bathroom.  While I had to pee, the pain did not subside.  It actually got worse.  By the time I wobbled back to the couch, I was in tears it was so bad.  What in the heck was happening?  This didn't happen with IVF Round #1.

Hubby shoved 2 Tylenol into my mouth and we waited for it to take effect.  It did not.  After an hour, the pain had reached a level that even scared Hubby.  The Tylenol hadn't begun to even touch the pain.  I laid on the couch and writhed.  I seriously thought I was giving birth to my ovaries.  I was worried and confused.  Hubby called the Dr Office's after-hours answering service to have the Doc on call get ahold of us.  She called and before Hubby could even finish explaining what was going on, she explained that I had developed Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS).  She told him that they had only needed to go after the larger eggs this time instead of fishing around and taking everything like last time.  The smaller eggs were still being stimulated by the trigger shot that I took on Tuesday.  They were getting large and bursting, causing pain.  They were also leaking fluid into my abdomen causing me more pain.  She explained to Hubby that the pain associated with OHSS was excruciating.  She told him that if he had any heavy duty pain meds left from his sperm retrieval in March - find it and give it to me just to knock me out and get me out of pain.  And here I was only supposed to have Tylenol!?  Unfortunately he couldn't find the meds, so she instructed him to give me 4 Advil ASAP.

After another 30 minutes, the Advil worked and I was finally able to lay still and relax.  There was still pain, but it was bearable.

I told Hubby that it was a good thing that OHSS hadn't happened the first round of IVF or there might not have been a 2nd round!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


On Thursday, Sept. 22nd, Hubby and I headed off to retrieval. I must admit that I was a little anxious - I knew what I was in for this time! At 8am, I took my Xanax happy pill as prescribed. I think it made me calmer, but it didn't make me loopy like last time. Since I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything since midnight the night before, I was really thirsty. I thoroughly enjoyed that little sip of water I got with the pill. I offered Hubby a large sum of money if he'd sneak me a glass of water, but he said no.

At 8:45am, we arrived at the cryogenics lab and signed papers for them to thaw Hubby's sperm. We then went next door to my Doc's office to get ready for the procedure. A woman from the lab came over and had us sign papers for them to thaw the 1 embryo we had frozen last time - just in case there was some major fluke of nature and we didn't have many fertilize this time. After that, I got a shot in the rear of dilaudid (narcotic). The point of this was for me to relax and take away pain. As with the Xanax, it worked, but only marginally. I was relaxed, but I wasn't goofy.

By 10am, I was on the table, the Doc had opened the window to the lab next door, and I was being prepped. The nurse and I chatted about our allergies being bad this year as the Doc numbed me -what else do you talk about while 4 people are in a room with you while you're naked and getting your you-know-what numbed?! The Doc pulled up the pics on the ultrasound machine, and set to work. Hubby stood at my left, held my hand, and rubbed my forehead. Once again, we could see everything that the Doc was doing and the doc through the little window in the wall started saying numbers aloud.

Then the pain started. I was certainly feeling more this time and it wasn't good. Hubby and i watched the ultrasound screen intentky as we could see each black follicle be punctured and then get smaller as the fluid was taken out of each. By the time he had moved over to the other ovary, I was really experiencing pain. I could feel everything he was doing. I kept thinking that I just needed to hang on long enough for him to get through and it'd be over.

And finally it was.

They closed the window to the lab, got me cleaned up, and got me a glass of water. Thank goodness! It doesn't take much to make me happy these days! The nurse began sitting me up gradually. She was there during retrieval #1 when I tried to pass out and didn't want me to do that again. When she left the room, Hubby said that he could tell I felt more this time and was in more pain because he caught me holding my breath several times. What can i say? It hurt! After several minutes of laying there with my glass of water, the nurse came back in, helped me sit all the way up and asked Hubby to help me get dressed.

When she stepped out, Hubby sat at the end of the table, looked at me funny, and asked me if I was ok. I said yes. And then about 5 seconds later, I got that really weird feeling again - the feeling where my head is floating above my body and my fingertips go numb. Darn it! It was happening again. I told Hubby I wasn't ok and he immediately laid me back down. He ran out and got the nurse, who came in and told me I'd lost my lips -and all other color - again. She put a cold rag on my head. I apologized for pulling this stunt again and she said that it was very common, which made me feel a bit less embarrassed. She put a cold rag on my head and had me lay there a while longer.

After a few minutes, she put me into a wheelchair with the stylish paper blanket over me and wheeled me to another room where I could lay down as long as I needed. When I was able to hold myself up, Hubby got me dressed and we made our way out. On the way out, the nurse told me that the final egg count was 14!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Not Doing It Right

The morning after a Trigger Shot, I'm supposed to take a home pregnancy test to make sure that the trigger shot worked.  Not that I'm pregnant, but the test will come up positive because of the hormones released from the shot.  When I got the result, I was to call the Dr's office - no later than 8:30am.

I set my alarm and got up at 8am on Wednesday, Sept. 21st.  I peed on the stick and let it sit.  I waited.  And I waited.  And I waited.  The darned thing didn't do anything.  I didn't get a positive.  I didn't get a negative.  I got nothing.  So, I got on the phone and called the Dr's office.  I offered to wait till I had to pee again and take a 2nd pregnancy test, but the nurse said I had to go to the hospital to have some bloodwork done as soon as possible.

Hubby and I headed to the lab at the hospital where I had bloodwork done "STAT."  After that, I headed to work and waited to hear about the test results.  Hubby must've been a little nervous as well because he called and texted me to see if I'd heard about the results yet.  My co-workers asked me why I didn't just take another home pregnancy test and I had to explain that I couldn't "go" again before I had to call the dr.  Believe me, I had already thought of that one!

The nurse called me later that afternoon and said that everything tested fine and I must've just had a "dud" test.

So after all that worrying, I was fine.  So not only can I make a baby, but apparently I can't even pee on a stick the right way...

2nd & 3rd Monitoring Appointments

On Friday, September 16th, Hubby and I went to our 2nd monitoring appointment.  My estradiol level came back at 754, which the nurse said was great.  The ultrasound also showed that most of my follicles were measuring between 10-12.  I told the Dr that I was already very uncomfortable - that my jeans were fitting tightly and I didn't feel great. I was also losing my voice because my allergies were trying to turn into a sinus infection. I wasn't whole-heartedly admitting that, though, because I was afraid they'd cancel the cycle if they thought I was sick. I had also been through enough sinus infections in my life to know that my regular Drvwould prescribe antibiotics for me to get rid of the crud. It had been made VERY clear to me that all I was allowed to take for ANYTHING was Tylenol. The nurse asked what was going on with my voice and I explained that I have terrible allergies that always try to turn into a sinus infection. I was happy to hear that I could go and get antibiotics -and so I went later that afternoon and saw my regular dr too.

On Tuesday, September 20th, we had our final monitoring appointment.  I had a couple follicles in the 20s, which the Dr said might have gotten too big, but was worth it to let all the rest get big enough to use.  The rest were 16-18.  My estradiol level was in the 3000's.  The Dr said we were "Ready to go."  I was happy to hear that I was done shooting up with Lupron and Bravelle every 12 hours of my life and this uncomfortable feeling might have a chance at going away soon!

On Tuesday night, Hubby rushed home from coaching a high school soccer game to give me my trigger shot (Novarel) at 10pm.  (Trigger shot is a mega dose of stimulant that tells the eggs to mature in order to be ready for retrieval in 36 hours.)  Apparently, Hubby got a little light headed from sticking such a long needle in my behind.  It stung and was over soon enough.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Taglines for Drugs

Xanax and Dilaudid on retrieval day...

God's way of letting IF's feel like they "just relaxed," or "had a few" and it just happened.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Useful Info

It is already difficult for me to mix meds and give myself shots at 7am. As you'll recall, I don't get up till later because I work later than most people.

Mother Nature decided to give me a little challenge this morning...

It is extremely difficult to shoot up when you have violent hiccups at 7am.

Picture this: I am holding a syringe in both hands, holding my breath. I drank a whole glass of water. I even tried jumping up and down. Nothing worked.

Yes, there was blood. I'm ok now! :-)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sleepless Night

Last night was not very restful for me. I started to become uncomfortable a couple days ago and it just seems to be getting worse. I realize this is because I have lots of eggs growing and they are significantly larger this time around. I think I might have been this uncomfortable the night before retrieval last time- this time I still have almost a week to go. Either I'm becoming a whiner or it's worse this time! They did up my meds, so I'm hoping I'm not a whiner.

I'm having a hard time explaining just how I'm uncomfortable. This is not a cramping feeling. It's not a sharp pain. It's more like a dull ache that cannot be alleviated by changing positions in the I found out from 4am to 5am last night.

At 4am, I woke up and could not find a position that would let me sleep. At 5am, my pillow and I went downstairs to the couch where I was able to sleep while sitting up. I hate to think this is how im going to sleep for the next week, but it worked last night...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

1st Monitoring Appointment

We headed to the Dr. early in the morning on Wed., Sept. 14th.  I had my bloodwork done and then met with the 4th Dr. in the practice - the only one I hadn't seen yet.  He is filling in for mine who was out yesterday.  This Dr. kind of looks like Bob from the Viagra commercials, so we will call him Dr. Bob.  Dr. Bob did my ultrasound and pointed out that I have 6 large follicles on the right and 5 on the left.  (I thought there were more on the screen, but they were smaller and he didn't measure those.)  He pulled out my chart from the last IVF round and showed that I have a couple more follicles and they are a little bigger than where I was at this point last time.  So I guess the extra medicine this time is helping a bit.  Let the record show, it's still a pain to shoot up every 12 hours...

I got a phone call from the nurse later that afternoon.  She said that my E2 level had come back at 310.  During Round 1 IVF at this point, I had an E2 level of 204.  So this was also above where I was last time.  The nurse went on to state that the threshold for retrieval is 500, so I'm well on my way to getting there.  She said that they want me to come back in 2 days for another monitoring appointment.  She went ahead and put me on activity restrictions (no running, high impact, or strenuous activities).  Also, no alcohol, caffeine or pain meds other than Tylenol.  I guess I'm a lot closer than I thought I was if they're already doing that!

As of writing this on Thursday, Sept. 15th, I am starting to feel uncomfortable.  My stomach is a bit upset when I wake up in the morning.  I'm a little sluggish and tired.  And I'm just uncomfortable - kinda bloated and tender - like I'd rather wear my pj pants all day.  I seem to remember feeling this way when I got close to retrieval last time.  However, I'm not complaining.  If this round is successful, I'll be way more uncomfortable!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

14 Years Together

Happy day to Hubby and I!  We've been together 14 years TODAY!  We began dating our freshman year of college on this day. Nine years ago today, the rascal proposed to me.  And the rest is history....

Knee Deep

I am knee deep in Round #2 of IVF-ICSI. 

I began birth control pills in mid-August - you know, those pills I never thought I'd take again!  I had the same type of trouble this round getting Lupron on time - backorder again!  Ladies beware:  DON'T wait until the last minute to get your Lupron.  This time, the drug company messed up.  They had my order for more than a week and didn't call me to get payment or schedule delivery.  I finally had to call and start the process.  Then they tell me it could be weeks before I get Lupron.  Of course!  At 5pm the night before I was supposed to begin Lupron shots, a courier arrived at my door with the beloved Lupron.  He couldn't speak English very well, but he delivered the goods, so we were instant friends.  Nothing like cutting it close....

And that brings me to my next dilemma with this round: I used up almost all of the allowable drug money from the last round of IVF.  So this time, I have to pay something like $2,200 for Bravelle (stim shots).  14 days worth of drug will cost me several thousand dollars - the only word that can possibly describe that is STUPID or EXTORTION!  You pick.....

I finished the 3-weeks of birth control pills, shot myself up every morning with Lupron and was doing pretty well.  I was only nervous giving myself the shots the very first time.  Then, I just fell back into old habit.  The alarm clock going off at 7:20a.m. every morning still startles me, but once I figure out why it's going off so early, I get up and do my thing.  This time around, I haven't had the massive hot flashes like last time.  I just seem to always be several degrees warmer than everyone else.  But there's no ears-neck-face-turning-red-and-instantly-sweating this time around.  No one's had to ask me, while in a professional setting, "Are you OK?"  I can deal with warm - especially since it's the end of August and that's normal weather for here.

I think I have been more emotional this round, but that could be due to several things.  Yes, I am on drugs that will do that to a lady.  But I'm also having a stressful time at work.  My boss stepped down and we have interim people filling in for him (that are clueless).  I'e been fighting allergies and sinus infection all summer, mostly due to stress and lack of sleep.  It's all just kind of ganging up on me and currently, I have no voice at all.  Hubby is in heaven!

I had my baseline ultrasound and bloodwork on Friday, Sept. 9th.  They wanted my E2 level below 80.  Mine was at 13.  I was given the go-ahead to start stim shots on Sat., Sept. 10th.  This round, the doc upped it to 2 vials in the morning and 2 vials at night in the hopes that we get a few bigger, mature eggs in the end.  Let's hope those little guys are growing!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Decision is Made

We've weighed the options and have come to a decision. 

On one hand we could do a frozen cycle.  The positives include it costing less (ONLY $1k-HA!), require less trips to the doctor (who is an hour away) and would be less of a strain on my body.  The negative is that we only have one frozen embryo.  That means one chance with an embryo that will not be a Grade 1.  And, it may not even make it through thaw, which means I could go through the entire prep, get on the table, and then have nothing to work with. 

On the other hand, we could do another fresh cycle.  The positives include that we might have multiple embryos to work with again and we could add the frozen one to anything we get to increase our odds.  And if we have extra embryos, we can freeze them to put with our one little frozen embryo.  It will also mean another $8,700 for the doc and procedures, as well as another several thousand for meds since I used up my allowable spendable per calendar year last time.

We've decided to do another fresh cycle for several reasons.  Since I'm not 35 yet (i.e. close to death in the fertility world), we figured our chances are better with a fresh cycle now.  Also, I can't imagine mentally going through the prep for another cycle and then having nothing to work with the day of transfer.  Life has been cruel enough lately and we seem to always fall on the bad side of average.  We know it's going to cost us more and dealing with the meds is a pain in the you-know-what, but figure it's worth the chance.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Seeing Double Again!

A couple weeks ago I went out to eat with Mom.  We went to her favorite place - it's the same restaurant at which I saw a set of twin girls on Mother's Day earlier this year.  On this particular visit, I noticed that I saw 2 sets of twins there at lunch.  This time, there was a set of little boys and another set of little girls.  All were a-dor-a-ble!    I told Mom that I find it funny that I see twins every time we are there.  She said she is going to take me there more often!  A-MEN!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Naive Talk

One day during the last month, I was talking to a friend about his current job and his upcoming wedding.  Sounds like they really have a plan.  They will be married in September.  They are apartment-hunting right now because they plan to have a family fairly soon.  He also plans to ask to be switched to day-shift at work in order to be able to care for the children that will soon be conceived....

Oh you silly, naive young man....

I once had plans like that.  I was going to finish my Master's Degree, teach for a year to get my permanent license, then have a child the next year.  Well.....I finished the degree in 2007.  There were no teaching jobs to be had, so I continued to work at the Youth Center where I still am now in 2011.  The Dr. said that once I went off birth control in the summer of 2007, it should take 3 months to get out of my system and we'd be good to go.

I had mixed emotions as he talked.  At first, I just thought he was a silly and immature young man.  Life never works out according to plan.  Didn't he know that by now?  On the other hand, I hoped for the best for him.  I hoped that things worked out according to his well-thought-out plan.  I hoped he never knew the pain of how badly those plans can be messed up and never had to try to salvage the pieces of a plan.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I have been MIA for a while and it's been good for me. I haven't shot myself up with anything, haven't worried about whether the tea I'm having is decaf or not, and haven't had any blood drawn.  I've even had a few beers.  It's been good.

Since my last writing, Hubby and I have traveled to have one last visit with his bro's family before they leave for their long-term mission work in Papua New Guinea.  It was a bittersweet visit.  It was so good to see them and catch up, but it was sad because we won't all be together again for quite a few years.  They have three little ones who will grow up on the other side of the world, which will be an amazing experience...just far away.  Thankfully, I found out that they will have access to the internet and I will be able to see their adventures through their blog, emails, and maybe even some Facetime on my iPad if I can figure out how to make it work!

I also caught up with some of my college friends and spent a day with them while they were nearby.  It was good to see them - even the one who is pregnant with twins.  Of course it's the roommate that we never expected to get married, let alone have kids!  They were all so kind and wanted to prepare me beforehand in case she was showing.  I am fortunate to have people that care so much about me and want to protect me

I avoided a baby shower.  I know...terrible, right?  Remember the insensitive girl at my church that I told you about in an earlier post?  It was her baby shower.  I have a gift for her soon-arriving little boy and I will give it to her at church.  I just couldn't go to the shower.  I don't think I could stand listening to her complain about putting on weight, wearing maternity clothes, or any other comment that makes me want to smack her.  Please note, I'd never smack a pregnant woman...not on purpose anyway....

The Youth Program that I run is in full summer-mode.  We completed 30 4-H projects and they all got A's.  We've been to the pool, played on the playground, and enjoyed ice cream from a local shop.  I'm putting together a huge new fundraiser at work.

Life is busy.  It's been a good month.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What's Your Vote?

Wed., June 15th at 10am we traveled to Dr. Larry King's office for our follow up appointment.

As soon as I walked in, Dr. Larry King asked me how I was truly doing.  He really is a nice guy.  I told him that I had my days.  He said that we were average straight down the line as far as response to medicine and number of follicles.  I finished his statement by stating that we just "fell on the wrong side of average when it came to the results."  He agreed.  The Doc pointed out that this happens all the time in the real world and people don't even know.  He said that there could have been something wrong with the 2 embryos that stopped them from implanting...or it could have been nothing.  There just isn't an answer.

As far as next steps, he said we could either do a frozen cycle with our 1 frozen embryo, or we could start all over with a fresh cycle.  He said that the frozen cycle would be a lot easier on me, require less medicine and trips to his office (an hour away), and be significantly less expensive (around $2,500).  Our other option would be to start all over with a fresh cycle, which would be the whole process all over again and another $8,700.  In either case, we could begin the process as early as July, but he suggested waiting until at least August to let me heal mentally and physically.

The downside to a frozen cycle is that we only have 1 embryo.  Doc pointed out that it would not be classified as a Grade 1 blast because it grew late, which diminishes our chances.  Also, the process of freezing and thawing is hard on the embryo and there is a possibility that I get totally ready for the cycle, get on the table, and the 1 embryo doesn't make it through the thaw. 

The downside to the fresh cycle is that it's hard on my body, there are no better chances for a 2nd time, and it is very expensive.  The Doc did point out that if we don't end up with enough embryos with a fresh cycle, we could put the frozen one with the fresh ones.  If we end up with too many to use during this next cycle, we could freeze them to put with the one we already have frozen to make for another cycle.

We asked the Dr if there was anything that he'd do differently if we tried another fresh cycle.  He said that he had plenty of room to play with medicine dosage, so he'd probably increase the dose of Bravelle.

He told Hubby and I to think it over and take some time to figure out what we want to do.

What's your vote?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pity Party

OK, here's a run-down of the weekend after I got my BFN:

  • It was the 5th anniversary of my Dad's death.  I miss Dad and find it hard that he's really been gone five years.  Makes me want to have children as soon as possible so I don't rob my Mom of knowing her grandchildren, too.
  • It was Father's Day weekend.  My Dad is gone and Hubby isn't a Dad.
  • All you-know-what is going down at work between my boss and Board of Directors.  Lucky me, I'm in the middle of it all!  (yes, sarcasm font)
  • Allergies are awful and I'm fighting with my own face.  Ever had an ongoing battle with your own face?  You don't win.  I haven't been able to wear my contacts in a week.
  • I've put on weight since not being allowed to do anything vigorous the last 2 months.  There's no way I'm getting my skinny jeans on anytime soon.  Guess I'll have some ice cream or maybe a beer to make me feel better...
  • We are going to have to do some major renovations to our previous home in order to get rid of it or even be able to rent it out.  This will take the money that we've saved for IVF attempt #2.  (I asked our insurance agent if I'd be in trouble if I burned it down and didn't turn it in for insurance.  She said that, while it would not be insurance fraud, it would still be arson.  And for that, I'd go to jail.)  Well....don't they pay for all your medical procedures in jail?  I could kill two birds.....
  • And IVF-ICSI attempt #1 failed.

I'm feeling sorry for myself.  Insert pity party dance here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Good News, Right?

First, I must apologize.  I haven't written in a while.  I needed some time to deal with my emotions.  Also, I must apologize because of my recent saddening posts.  I guess that's part of this process, though, right?  And I started this blog as therapy for myself and also to help someone else out there going through this process who is as clueless as I was.  I didn't want to be a big downer and make everyone feel awful or sorry for me - there are a couple sad posts coming.  But I didn't think I'd be true to myself if I left out some of the hurt from a BFN.  And that's where I am right now.  So bear with me.

Now, on with the post:

"You have good news to share, right?"  These words have come to haunt me during the last month.  I think I'd be OK with them if I knew they were coming.  But no, it can't be that easy.  Those words have to smack me in the face, leave a sting in my eyes, and embarrass the crap outta me.

I first heard them at a big church conference just three days after we got the phone call telling us that my blood test was negative.  We saw our former preacher, who keeps up with us through some mutual friends.  He walked up to us, gave me a big hug, and said, "So I hear you have some good news to share?"  I couldn't even answer him.  All I could do is shake my head and try not to do the "ugly" cry.  You know the one - where your lips are curled and your face shows just how bad you're hurting.  It hit me hard because I wasn't expecting it.  I didn't even know that he knew we were attempting IVF-ICSI.  It seems that if I'm not prepared for the "smack," it hurts badly.  He fell all over himself apologizing and I told him it was OK - that it was still just very new news - that I would be all right - and that I was happy that he cared enough to ask.

The next time I heard those words was on the phone about a week later.  A friend called me at work to talk to me about several charity auctions with which we were helping.  As soon as she identified herself, I knew the question was coming....and sure did.  But I had the feeling that it was coming, so I was ready.  I could tell there was sadness in my voice when I told her that it didn't work, but I didn't bawl all over the place.  She gave me some sympathy and words of encouragement to not give up.  I handled this one better because I was prepared.

I wish I had better news to share with everyone.  And, since I don't, I wish I was better prepared to tell people that IVF-ICSI attempt #1 didn't work.  Wasn't one of my first posts titled, "No is the hardest answer"???  Boy if that's not irony.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Made A Fool of Myself in Public

On Sunday, June 3rd (2 days after the Nurse called with the BFN), I was due to sing in church with our praise band.  It just so happened that this weekend, I was singing by myself because the other singers were on vacation.  Not good timing.  I was pretty apprehensive about it, since I was having trouble even praying, let alone singing praises to God when my heart is hurting.  Hubby, who is our worship leader and guitar/piano player, encouraged me to get through it and I said that I'd try.

When I arrived at church, I managed to really avoid any conversations.  Just under the surface, I was still ready to cry at any moment and I was trying very hard to keep it together long enough to sing.

As the service started, I made my way up the aisle to take my place on the stage.  A friend's Mom grabbed my hand and asked how things went.  All I could manage to do was shake my head and continue my walk.  Breathe.  Get through this.  Don't lose it in front of everyone.

I took my place at center stage while the associate pastor made the announcements.  At the end, he stated that he'd been visiting family this week and found out that he's going to be a grandpa.  This was more than I could take.  I looked at Hubby and just lost it.  You can probably picture this one:  Pastor standing down in front of me smiling and happy about the news he just shared with the congregation.  Then, behind him up on stage, I begin to cry.  I walked off the stage and tried to compose myself.  Thank goodness he went into a long prayer before our music, so I had the time to calm myself down and rejoin the band on stage as the music began.  How in the world was I going to sing?

Somehow, I sang better that day that I had in a long time.

And as soon as the music was over, I left the sanctuary and cried.   It was so unfair.  I was hoping to have an announcement of my own that same day.  I was also embarrassed that I lost it in public.  If anyone wondered what was going on, there was no question after my public display.  Way to go!

Monday, June 13, 2011

What Not to Say

Many friends have asked about the results of our recent attempt at IVF-ICSI.  I've had friends hug me, express how sorry they are, cry with me, and search for words to help me feel better.  While I know they are trying to help and there are no words that can help, I wish they'd just remain silent sometimes.  The following are things that you should not say to anyone in a grieving situation:

"We just don't understand God's plan."  As I've said to friends, this infertility crap, as well as failed IVF are not things that come from a loving God.  God would not plan for 9 little embryos to die.  God would not plot for such sadness and grief in our lives.  I refuse to believe in that kind of cruelty, especially from God.  If a human planned to end 9 lives, we'd call him a murderer.  My God is not a murderer.  I can get mad.  I can ask God why.  But I am not blaming God for things that are not his doing.

"Everything happens for a reason."  There is no reason for all this to happen.  If there were a reason behind it, that means there is some plan behind it.  See above for my thoughts on that.

"Let's pray together."  I just can't right now.  I bowed my head the other night and had nothing to say.  While the time will come, I just don't have it in me right now.  You can pray for me.

"When will you try again?"  I just need to be sad for a minute.  I'm not at the next-step phase yet.  I'm still grappling with the medical bills, physical exhaustion, frustration, and sadness.  (And did I mention one of the worse periods that I've ever had?!)  I don't know next steps yet.  When I do and I want to share, I'll let you know.  Until then, please don't push ahead without letting me get over what just happened.

I do appreciate all the love, comments, and text messages that I get letting me know that I'm not alone and when I'm ready, I'll emerge a stronger person.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Reactions

I've had a mix of emotions running through me since getting the BFN last week. I'm going to attempt to summarize some of them.

I feel sad.  I had hope that we had found out all the problems and had taken steps towards the solution, finally.  I felt good prior to the BFN.  I followed every direction to a tee and tried to make sure that it was successful. 

I feel cheated.  February 8, 2012 would've been my due date.

I feel confused.  After all this bad has happened, aren't we due for something good?  Did I do something wrong?  I feel like I'm back at last August wondering what I've done to make God angry with me or why I wouldn't be a good parent?

I feel mournful for the loss of little lives - 8 to be exact.  I feel very strongly that life begins at conception.  We had 8 little lives - little beings made up of Hubby and me - not make it.  We have 1 frozen and I've read that it may not make it through the thaw.

I feel mad.  I bowed my head to pray at dinner the night after my BFN and I found that I had nothing to say to God. The other singers in our praise band at church were all on vacation this week.  I wasn't sure I was going to be able to sing Sunday morning. 

I feel irritated.  A girl at my Youth Center told me that her sister is pregnant with her 3rd by a 3rd man.  Did I mention she's 19?

I feel embarassed.  My Mom helped us pay for IVF.  I feel like I've wasted her money.  I feel that same feeling as when my father passed away and we got the medical bills from him being in the hospital several days after his funeral.  What good was it then?  What good did it do for us now?  It just feels like a giant waste of time, procedures, and money.  And we have nothing to show for it all except all these used needles and track marks on my stomach, hip, and arms.

Monday, June 6, 2011

9dp5dt - The Answer

I got up really early on Thursday, June 2nd to go to my morning Rotary meeting.  I poas - my last test.  I thought it looked a little questionable.  I couldn't tell if my eyes were playing tricks on me or if there really was a very faint line there.  I even got Hubby up to look at the thing.  He really couldn't tell either, but I could tell he was cautiously excited.  Maybe my HCG level was finally detectable.  That would mean it had to be around 25, so I felt good as I left for my meeting.

Of course the speaker at Rotary went over his time limit and then we had to have our individual pictures taken for the new roster.  I thought I was never going to get out of there to get my blood drawn for the beta.

Finally at 8:30, I got to the blood draw station and was told that I could call in 3 hours and get the results.  I was ecstatic that I didn't have to wait till evening.  I'd have an answer.  Soon!

I went to work and managed to keep myself busy until 11:30am when I called the lab to get the numbers.  I had a busy day with a tour at 1pm and a potential employee coming for a job interview at 2pm.  I had things to get ready prior to both of those.

At 11:30, the lab tech told me that my beta came back at less than 2.4.  I am not pregnant.

The rest of the day, I was a mess.  I called Hubby who left work and came to sit in my office and cry with me.  My staff members all came to check on me.  My Mom even came to be sad with me.  I texted friends a simple message - It's a no.  That's all I could manage.  Some called, but I just couldn't answer my phone.  If I opened my mouth I just cried harder.

I tried to pull myself together to get through the rest of the day.  I know my eyes were puffy and I looked funny, but it was as good as it was going to get that day.  I gave the tour and got several new volunteers and donors.  I hired my Summer College Intern.  I managed to get through the day with the children at the Youth Center.  It was the last day that we were open for the school year.

Friday, June 3, 2011

8dp5dt - Giant Question Mark

Wednesday, June 1st was 8 days past transfer.  I got up, poas, and it was negative.

I went to work and was busy most of the day.  I still had discoloration all day going on, which made me nervous.  AF:  Either come or don't.  But make up your gosh darned mind already!

Tonight we had our end-of-year cookout and party for the children enrolled in my Youth Center as well as all of their families.  One of the mothers had texted me on my cell phone while I was at home the night before transfer.  Normally, if a parent wants to talk to me, I will talk, even if I'm "off the clock."  However, this particular mother is one of the type of people that thinks mainly of herself and is quite the drama queen.  I just didn't think it was good to talk to her at that point.  I had texted her back that night saying that I was unavailable - that I was going in for out-of-town surgery the next day and I'd be on bed rest and off work for the next week.  I told her that I'd be happy to talk to her when I got back to work the following Tuesday.  Well, at our cookout on Wednesday night, I got cornered by this mother that asked if I was OK and for what I had to have surgery.  I was really put on the spot and wasn't sure what to say, so I told her that Hubby and I are trying to have a baby and are having to go through IVF.  She put her hand on my shoulder and proceeded to tell me to just adopt some and then I'd get pregnant because that happened to someone we both know.  My Mom (God bless her) was standing behind me and piped in saying that it wasn't that easy - that's not how it works - that it'd never happen naturally - and that that was not our plan.

I have to get used to not being so shocked that people are so flippant with their comments and say something back to them.  I can think of all these witty things to say after-the-fact.  "Thanks for that useless advice."  "Easy for you to say since you have many children with your ex husband."  "Perhaps you wouldn't say that to me if you knew the amount of heart-ache, money, shots, and procedures we've been through in order to have a chance at having a child."  Or maybe I should just stick with the whole, "I don't remember asking for your opinion."

Later that evening my father-in-law called to see how I was doing.  We updated him and told him that we hoped to have some sort of answer tomorrow with my 1st beta.

I felt like I was on the verge of tears all day.  Hate that all the symptoms are the same.  I feel like I have a giant question mark hanging over my head.  I'm hoping that I'll be able to get the numbers from my beta very soon.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

7dp5dt - Bloodwork and Back to Work

I got up at 9am and POAS.  It was negative.  This was my last First Response Early Response Test.

I was in the tub getting ready for work when I received a call from Doctor's office because they never received my progesterone bloodwork from Thursday and the nurse wanted my local lab's phone number.

I received a voicemail, later, that she got ahold of the lab, that my progesterone was 21.5 and anything over 15 is good.  The lab also decided to perform one of the beta tests, even though the lab clearly states that test isn't to be performed for another several days.  The lab told my nurse that I must've turned in the wrong paperwork.  I did nothing of the sort....

I called my nurse back and left a voicemail that they took ALL of my paperwork, which had dates on it for each test, so I'm not sure why they say I turned in the wrong paperwork.  Also, I said on her voicemail I was concerned about them saying I'd already filled a beta test and I might need another order from her since they already performed the test.

She called me back and said she called the lab and straightened them out promising to credit my account with the beta so I didn't need additional orders.  I laughed and said, "Shouldn't this be the easy part of this process."  She agreed that this should not be the difficult portion.

I went back to work today  It was absolutely crazy from being gone for a week.  All my staff wanted to know how the transfer went and how I was doing.  Apparently my emails had not been sent from my phone, so they were really worried when they'd not heard from me all week.  I was really busy returning phone calls and emails and trying to catch up with paperwork with the school year ending and summer programming beginning at the Youth Center where I work.

I noticed some minor discoloration on the toilet paper before I went to bed.  Not really bleeding or even spotting - just a little off-color.  I lost it.  This is what happens for several days right before my period.  Hubby came upstairs to give me my PIO shot and found me crying while still sitting on the toilet.  He told me that I just have to hold on - that it's not time to get upset.  He's right, but I was still rattled.

I took a bath, hoping it'd make me feel better, or at least cool down because it's so darned hot right now.  I calmed myself down, took my bath, and went to bed.  This process, just like a period, is becoming a necessary evil that I'm not sure I like.

6dp5dt - Escaped Out of the House

Monday, May 30th was 6 days after our transfer. Happy Memorial Day!

I had a good feeling about today. I got up, POAS, and it was negative.  Not going to let it bother me today.  I had enough of that yesterday.

I noticed a little acne on my chest.  Could just be from being so hot the last few days.  It gets hot there between the girls...

Was hungry from the moment I got up today.  I ventured outside and cleaned out a couple flower beds and trimmed a couple bushes.  I tried not to overdo it, but I was really tired of being lazy in the house.  It was super hot today, so I had to do the yardwork in small shifts taking many breaks along the way.  It felt good to get out of the house, be active, and make the yard look a little nicer.  I only took a half hour nap today!

Today was 11 days past retrieval, so I am allowed to take baths again.  No more showers, thank goodness!  It felt SO good to take a bath after all that yardwork today!  What a treat!

When I went to bed tonight, my ovaries hurt.  I don't know whether this is a sign of an oncoming period or if they're just still trying to heal from all that's went on.  They were still huge on the ultrasound the day of transfer, so I'm not sure.

Back to work tomorrow!  Let's hope I don't have to kill my boss for saying anything he shouldn't!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

5dp5dt - Fear Sets In

Sunday, May 29th was five days past our 5-day transfer.  I immediately got up and POAS. It was negative, as usual.  While trying to get ready for church, I found myself looking up info about sensitivity of pregnancy tests.  I read that the ones I'm using aren't very sensitive.  That made me feel a little better.  I was hoping for a positive by today.  Hubby asked me if I tested and I told him yes.  He asked the outcome and I shook my head.  He looked as disappointed as I felt.  I informed him that I discovered that I'm not using very sensitive tests and that I've read First Response Early Response is one I should be using instead. 

We went to church and then out to eat some lunch with friends.  On the way home, hubby suggested that we stop at the pharmacy and pick up a pack of the First Response tests.  Someone must be as anxious as me.  When we got home, I laid down and took an hour long nap.  I'd only gotten up, gotten ready for church, and eaten.  Why I needed a nap is beyond me.

When I got up, I had to pee again, so I tried one of the new tests.  It was also negative.  That made me disappointed again today.  Twice in one day?  That's just unnecessary torture on myself.

My husband leads a Sunday night worship group and we had the group over to our house that night for a cookout.  I had some minor cramping in the left and center of my abdomen during the cookout.  It was a grab and release type of cramp over and over.  ugh.  Is this a good thing or a bad thing?  I wish I knew.

I found that I let things bother me today.  I'm sure it was the fact that I got a BFN on 2 tests today.  Fear is beginning to set in.  I know it's early.  I know I should not be torturing myself like this.  But I am.  And it's starting to scare me.

Monday, May 30, 2011

4dp5dt - No News

Saturday, May 28th was 4 days past our 5-day transfer.  I slept till 10am and then hurried to the bathroom to pee.  Yes, I tested.  No, it was not positive.  I wasn't surprised, so you shouldn't be either.  No pity party here. 4 days past transfer is still way early.  I mean, I know I've read about some of you very fortunate ladies who have gotten faint lines this early, but I'm not counting on it.  I've been straight-down-the-line average the entire process - from depth of uterus, number of eggs produced, days on stims, etc., so I don't expect stellar above average results with a home preg test.  I didn't have any "symptoms" today either - cramping, etc.  Surprisingly, I didn't really think about it either! Go me!

It was a pretty tame day.  I cleaned the kitchen and found my counter and sink.  I didn't know we had that many dishes!  I took a bath, ate, and watched a lot of TV.  We had a couple friends come over to hang out for a little bit that night.  All in all, a very tame day for Hubby and me.  I'm not sure I'm going to know what to do with myself when I have to go back to work on Tuesday!  I could get used to this!

3dp5dt - Not Very Nice

It was Friday, May 27th - three days past our five-day transfer.  Early in the morning, I got a call from cryogenics lab.  On day of transfer, we were told that we had 4 embryos that had quit growing.  There were 2 that had made it to blastocyst stage that we used in the transfer.  There was one that was "iffy" that had made it to the late morula stage.  They were going to let it grow to see if it made it to blastocyst stage.  The woman from the lab called to say it had made it to a Grade 1 blast, so we have one frozen embryo!  YAY!  I didn't think we were going to have any left and we'd have to start this process all over again if we wanted to try again.  That was a nice surprise!

I did a home pregnancy test today and it was negative.  I know that it's really too early to get an accurate result, but I sort of did it just to see if the trigger shot was out of my system so any future tests would be valid.  Looks like it's all out and tests in the future would be valid.

I got so irritable today that I picked a fight with Hubby.  He went to work for the afternoon and I took a 2 hour nap.  Unfortunately, it didn't make me much nicer.  I mentioned in my last post that some friends brought over a casserole for me to make.  I put that in the oven for dinner for us that night.  It wasn't a peace offering, but it was as close as I was going to get that day.  I just wasn't nice and I don't even know why.

 I had quit having the constant dull pain in the middle of my abdomen like I had yesterday.  Today, around noon, I began feeling like I was getting ready to have my period - all bloated and feeling full in the uterus.  It was a different feeling than yesterday altogether.  I hoped this was not a bad sign of an impending disappointment.

Hubby hit a blood vessel and I bled heavily from my 11pm Progesterone shot tonight.  I suppose that's what I deserve for being such a you-know-what to him today.