This week. THIS week. THIS WEEK!

Wednesday through Saturday afternoon of this week had me feeling like a mouse on a wheel in its cage. I just kept running and running, at first it was fun and almost exciting, but that changed. It became exhausting, challenging, and supremely frustrating. There were problems almost daily; treks out to get more medications, pharmacies that couldn’t fill my prescriptions, people that provided wrong information, and HOURS on the phone. 
Fast forward to 7:30am this morning at my UltraBlood appointment. (Yes, I had one last Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.) My veins are fried. There is scar tissue on both sides, bruises, and hard veins to get in first place. Insert butterfly needle into bruise, and through scar tissue. The woman must have sensed it hurt, as she asked “are you ok?” I’m undecided if it was m clenched jaw or my white knuckles wrapped around the stress ball I was squeezing. A simple nod was all she got in response. Back into the waiting room I went. Then “Lois” came to get me for my ultrasound. She told me that things looked good on Friday and she had high hopes for me today. (I didn’t need her commentary, I had enough of my own hopes running through my head.) Up on tnd gable, and the ultrasound games begin…”starting with your right ovary…” At this moment while half asleep I realize she is going to give me the play by play. Peeking up slightly I responded “ok.” Whoosh, whoosh, click click, whoosh, click, whoosh whoosh, click click click. “You have five follicles on the right measuring between 14 and 16.4! And let’s go over to your left…” I lay there dumbfounded and mutter “oh. Five? Ok.” Another series of whooshes, clicks, pressing down on my abdomen, and “Lois” states, “three follicles on this side, 11, 12, and 16!” “Really?” I questioned her. “Yes, they’re looking great.” Repeating thank you over and over silently in my mind, I gave a small smile and a nod and told her to enjoy the rest of her day.
I quickly walk out to the waiting room and tell DH that “Lois” spoke to me the entire time. He gave me a concerned look, and I told him, “it was great!” And rattled off my measurements. Listen I know these aren’t amazing numbers, or huge follicles, but I’ve been lucky in the past to get two follicles above 14. So not only do I have eight total, more than half are measuring above 14. It’s a freaking miracle people. (Fully aware that it’s not, but allow me to enjoy my few minutes.)
Early this afternoon the nurse calls me to give me update information about my injections. I am doing the same combination, Gonal F at 75, a dose of Cetrotide, and 150 of the Menopur. She informed me my estrogen level was at 800 something, I have it written down but I’m in a comfy blanket cocoon as I type this so I’m not getting up. She then says ” you will either be triggering Monday or night Tuesday!” I gasped. “Isn’t it exciting? We need to get you in here tomorrow morning to see where things are, but it will be happening this week. Congratulations!” “I…thank…uhh, yes. Ok. This week!” was my eloquent response. 
After fisnighing confirming everything with her and taking my notes, the call was over. I scrambled into the living room, and told him the news. We high fived! It sounds lame, but it is by far the most excited we’ve been throughout all of this. Sitting there chatting and figuring out the days, and logistics, and everything else was elating.
Then the dread kicked in. Can’t I keep growing the eggs? Yes, they’ve grown slowly, but it’s going well. They’re INSIDE of me. My face drops. Things are correct. There are no problems. I don’t want the anesthesia. What if the eggs aren’t good enough? What will happen if  we don’t even get to an embryo transfer? My palms are clammy. I couldn’t help but to immediately start anticipating the worst. 
Almost five hours later, I’m more relaxed. I’ve trusted the process this far, despite my natural tendency to be pessimistic. I’ve begrudgingly taken it one day at a time, because that’s how your life is when dealing with infertility. But here I sit, optimistic and petrified, all rolled into one ball of hormones!

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Four Down

I’m going to keep it quick tonight. This evening was my fourth night of the Cetrotide injections. They seem to get worse every night. About 30 seconds after the injection I feel like I want to claw my skin off of my stomach it is so itchy I cannot even believe it! Instead of any more bruises, I now end up with a baseball size red spot for roughly 2 to 3 hours which eventually disappears. My stomach is full of little scars from all of the injections,  not exactly pretty but I am hoping that with time they’ll go away. 
I had an UltraBlood combo this morning. All went well and later this afternoon I received a call about my treatment and a dosage update. I was instructed to reduce my Gonal-F dose to 150, and to keep the Cetrotide at the level I was currently using. I will be doing this dose tonight-Saturday, and will be headed in Sunday morning at 7:15am for another UltraBlood combo! 
Here are a few things I’ve decided have made this round of treatment easier.

  1. For my ultrasound appointments I wear a pair of my husbands crazy patterned socks. He can’t attend these appointments due to his work schedule, so it’s like he’s with me when I have the socks on.
  2. As of this current moment, I’m more comfortable with IVF than I was with the rounds of IUIs. 
  3. Being obsessively detailed with my injection information and doses. 
  4. I sing a song to myself during the ultrasound. Crazy yes, but I don’t particularly like small talk.

Now for the good news! Not only did the nurse inform me that I could lower my Gonal F dose, but “you have a ton of follicles. None are mature yet, but they look great.” Hallelujah. Previously my follicles hadn’t matured until the 12th day of the Gonal F injections, so apparently we are close. 

Gonal F & Cetrotide; Night 1

This morning was my first UltraBlood combo of this cycle. There was someone getting their blood drawn when I arrived, but the ultrasound tech wasn’t in the office. Needless to say, I write down my name on the check in sheet at the lab, and was getting my blood drawn within minutes. After that, a quick twenty step walk to my doctors office. The ultrasound tech was ready. My appointment was at 7:15am, but I had both my blood work and ultrasound done prior to that time. It’s the little victories here, and this is of course one that I will take, as it meant I wasn’t late for work.

This afternoon, around 3:30pm, I received my update call from the nurse. Continue with the Gonal F injections at the 225 dosage tonight, Tuesday, and Wednesday. In addition to that, I am to start the Cetrotide. This will be my first time adding solution to the powder in the vial, extracting, changing needles, and then injecting. Here’s a picture of my medication and injection line up for this evening:

Injections done. Gonal F, no big deal, is it sad to say I’ve gotten used to that? One benefit is that the needle is small, and the dosage doesn’t seem to be as much solely due to the fact that the area where the medication is stored, is wider. In my head, that makes the injection amount seem less, and go by faster…ready set, here we go injection #1.

Now onto the Cetrotide. I had to mix the power in the vial with the premeasured solution. O always enjoyed science and chemistry in high school, but this is completely out of my normal thought process of what one should be doing on a week night. Mad scientists, watch out, I’m on your heels! 

Even after changing to the “injection needle” it hurt like a SOB. I could feel the fluid going into my body (weird,) and could then sense it dispersing throughout after the injection was done. Not exactly a comforting feeling. This whole process is still very bizarre to me. One fat that is really helping me mentally, is that they are stopping me from ovulating. As I tend to ovulate earlier in my cycle, this is GREAT news for me because I know it’s being suppressed, and my body can’t do anything about it. Which of course, goes against everything I should want, because getting pregnant is supposed to be “natural.” 

Ha. Ha. Ha. 

My souvenir kits now look like this…

Here’s my daily dose of positivity for you. I’m trying something new, and completely out of my wheelhouse, but maybe that’s a good thing. Yes, I’m aware it’s now evening, but you take what you get. 

I’m Unstoppable. 

At the end of August, many of you that read the blog knew I was done. Not just I, but we were done with this whole infertility shitshow. 

  • I was drained.
  • Always on edge. 
  • Tired of the disappointment. 
  • Annoyed.
  • Didn’t feel like myself. 

As a “Type A” personality, I struggle immensely with things when they don’t go my way. I know what sounds asinine, but this is me:

“…Type A individuals as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, sensitive, impatient, anxious, proactive, and concerned with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics.” They push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.” This was taken from Wikipedia. 

I’ve been planning Thanksgiving dinner since August. Our Christmas party has been planned since the middle of September. I make meal plan charts for dinner each week. I have seven calendars: the one on my phone, a blotter at work, a “fun” one at work, my outlook calendar, the dry erase calendar at home, my planner (yes, I know I’m probably one of the only people left using one,) and my gmail calendar. You now may have a better glimpse of why when things don’t go as planned for me, I struggle. Take my Type A add in infertility treatments, and we are bound for nuclear type explosions. 

We (I,) needed a month off to get “in control.” Really, I needed a period of time to readjust, focus, and be completely removed from the yo-yo of what had become daily life. 

This past Thursday marks the start of our first IVF (whattttttttt?!?) cycle. Tonight was the fourth night of my Gonal-F injections, dosage level is at 225. Puffy, tired, but otherwise feeling good. Tomorrow is my first UltraBlood combination. Wonder what kind of damage will be done to my veins this time around; more to come on that. 

Cinco ✔️

20 minutes ago was my fifth injection of Gonal F at the dosage of 112.5. 

Tomorrow morning, I get probed and punctured. I’m officially undecided if I’m sarcastic because it’s funny, or sarcastic with this topic specifically because it’s a level of self protection. I suppose I’ll call it both when it comes to the infertility journey. After the ultrasound has been reviewed, and the labs are back, the “team” will consult. From there the dose will get adjusted; up or down, it’ll still be injections. 

I survived the first five! Here’s my “basket of trophies.” HCG injection was from a previous unsuccessful cycle while taking Clomid. I know that there aren’t many needles in there compared to others, but this is where we are during our struggle. 

Quickie

It’s been a long day. So for that reason, and that reason alone here’s the rundown. 

That is my injection ready to go and all packed up for a road trip to Plymouth for a friends wedding. Travels quite well don’t you think? My purse is already the size of the cooler, so lugging two items around that size was hella weird. With that, I shot up tonight in the passengers seat of my husbands car. That car was parked in a Dunkin Donuts parking lot. 
☕️ 👶🏻 💉 🚼 🍩 🍼
A few quick thoughts on that: babies equal lack of sleep and the adults are required to drink copious amounts of caffeine; donuts should be given as a prize after self injections are administered; I shot up in a parking lot. Clearly if I’ve figured that correctly, I’ll be pregnant tomorrow!!! Yeah yeah yeah…I know that’s not how it works. Isn’t that where dreams of having your future children came from? Listen with what we are paying this future kid won’t like Dunks, he/she will want a Starbucks Gold Card. Too bad mommy and daddy spent that money having you, and now won’t be able to afford their own Starbucks.
Ha. Nothing like having one side of a dress around your waist and your husband staring at you while you hastily jam the needle into your gut. Like I said it was a long day. Aggravating as well. Apparently when I’m already exhausted and aggravated, I have NO ISSUES getting the disposable needle to thread correctly onto the Gonal F Redi-Pen. What gives? 🤔

Side effects:

  • Still have that tingling feeling underneath my skin, but now it feels  much deeper. Almost like the sensation that something is in there crawling. 
  • Two red dots from my previous injections, but no bruising. Tomorrow I’m sure I’ll see some lovely blue and purple. I’ll try to take a picture tomorrow of my 2 current dots! 
  • Bloating. Like out of nowhere, POOF there’s the bloat. I didn’t realize it until tonight after getting ready for bed. 

Alright love muffins that’s all I have in me tonight. Sweet dreams of coffee beans! 

XoX

Gonal F Aggravation

I am superwoman. I have no problem stabbing myself with a needle and injecting things into my abdomen. Obviously, this must mean there is something incredibly wrong with me. Who has no problem jabbing a needle into their own body? Me! 
Here’s what my problem is. I am using the Gonal F preloaded pens, with the disposable needle tips. Every night I have struggled immensely with attaching that damn needle. All I’m supposed to do is tear off the cover, and screw the “pen” in counterclockwise. IT DOESN’T WORK. I was swearing for 15minutes solely out of frustration, and broke the first needle tip before it was even on the “pen.” I finally got the second needle attached, but it wasn’t even straight. It wasn’t crooked though, if we are to use a 90 degree right angle for reference, the needle was at 88 degrees. At that point I didn’t care, and in it went! Does anyone else struggle with getting these needles on the pen? Am I the only one that thinks they don’t just “screw in” counterclockwise? This should certainly be the easy part…but it’s baffling to me that I struggle so much with attaching this!!
Here’s a closeup of the second “crooked” needle: 


Niceeeeee! Also, I’m “fatter” on my left side as I felt this injection less! Haha. You wouldn’t expect to make it through a blog post of mine without some type of self dorictainf comment, now would you? For side effects…

  • No bruising!
  • No headaches!
  • Slight tingling radiating under where the injectionswere given. 
  • No bloating! 
  • No nausea! 

I know I’m only on my second day, but given the headaches I had when I took the Clomid, I’d rather the injections than that little white pill.