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!