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. 

UltraBlood

I’ve deemed ultrasound and blood work days: “UltraBlood” days. You’ve heard it here first. 

Again, I can’t praise my doctor and her entire office staff enough. (Yes, today is even a Monday and I’m in a good mood.) The ultrasound tech this morning was SO sweet, she introduced herself, was calm and thoroughly explained everything. She did the ultrasound, “click click…whoosh whoosh…click click…whoosh whoosh…click click…whoosh whoosh.” (The clicks were the machine and the whoosh were the images being printed.) I’ve now had ultrasound pictures printed!!! Even though I don’t have them, there’s a first for everything, despite the images being of my follicles. Oh well. 

I was done, and then I was off to the lab. 
Blood got sucked out, during which time I was told my veins were the tech’s “problem child” of the day, and how it’s really frustrating for her to have to have all the lab work from my doctors office done by 8:30am. As she was talking about how “rough” her day is, all I could think was “less talk and more work.” Here’s the mug shot of my arm once I got back to work. 

Later this afternoon I got the call about the ultrasound and the blood work. I am to do the same dose of the Gonal-F tonight, and Tuesday evening. I’m uncertain, but I am taking this to be good news; if the dosage had to be scaled back, it would have meant things were progressing too quickly. On the flip side, if the dosage was increased, it would mean things aren’t moving quickly enough. I should have asked the nurse, but I was so focused on writing down the correct information I didn’t think to. Right?!? Anyone want to confirm or deny my thoughts?!? 

I go back on Wednesday at 7:10am for an UltraBlood combination. 

Sooooooo day 6 of 112.5 here we go! πŸ’‰

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. 
β˜•οΈ πŸ‘ΆπŸ» πŸ’‰ 🚼 🍩 🍼
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? πŸ€”

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

Time’s a Ticking

Since our first appointment last Monday, I’ve felt nothing but levelheaded. If you’ve followed this blog from the beginning, you know I’ve always firmly planted myself in the swamps of pessimism because it’s easier to fall from there than the clouds of optimism. I’m calm, even though I have to give myself 6 shots this round. I’m less stressed than I was months ago. This is solely due to having some type of knowledge about what we are going through. 

  1. Payment has been made for our FSH/HCG/IUI round with our new doctor. 
  2. I was provided with a 22 page document about the entire IUI process: the medications, the procedure itself, afterwards, and when to test. I loved this. I have a hard document that I can refer to or ask questions about, in addition to all the other informative paperwork they’ve provided me. 
  3. My injections were ordered yesterday and were delivered today! 
  4. I have a scheduled phone appointment Wednesday to ask any questions I have about the injections; side effects, how to administer the injection, change the needle tip, etc. 


Things have been so EASY this time around and it hasn’t even begun. **Tentative start date is 8/18 or 8/19…all depends when my period starts. I don’t have to be on constant standby because the office staff isn’t sure when I need to come in; I don’t have to leave countless messages for someone to get back to me; and payment is one lump sum upfront, not looming over us at every single visit. 

Allow me to elaborate on the countless messages, and how I now longer need to panic over unresponsiveness. On Wednesday, I set a brief (3 sentence!) email to the administrative assistant at my doctors office about needing to speak with the nurse. Two minutes later, she emailed me back with a response. Eleven minutes later I was on the phone with the nurse. I used to wait hours, sometimes days for a response at my other doctors office. Now my questions are answered within 15 minutes. Mind blown. 

We do have to go on Monday for bloodwork for an STD/HIV panel. Apparently this is REQUIRED prior to having an IUI. Upon reviewing my records from my previous doctor, guess who didn’t have this done? My DH and I. No big deal, just more bloodwork, but mandatory. I’m amazed at the things that weren’t done correctly the first few rounds. 

Throughout this entire process, for the first time I feel like we are standing on solid ground. That alone, is thrilling for me, and I know that DH feels much more comfortable and informed about this entire process. It is truly amazing that one appointment with a new doctor has alleviated 75% of my stress, and has made me feel like a person rather than their personal ATM. 

Shut The Front Door

Let me start with this: thank you to all of you that are following this journey, sharing yours, and helping me keep my sanity! For those of you that are new to my blog, you’re in good hands. There’s a fabulous group of women that will lift you up when you need it, and be there with you in your darkest moments. If you ever have ANY questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me. This is an open blog! If my story and struggles make things easier for you, allow you a tiny smirk or chuckle, then I know I’m doing something right.


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Second ultrasound of the week was this morning. No, there was no excitement. I didn’t want to go. I wanted to stay at home, sleep later, and not deal with the anxiety. Alas, I rolled out of bed, showered, and was out the door. On my drive to the appointment I had this overwhelming since of dread, and knew that again this month, it failed. 
Upon my arrival the receptionist kept commenting how great my hair always looks, how I seem so nice and tan, and that she loved my dress. Ok, this I could get used to at 6:45am, especially since I am not a morning person. After checking my vitals (down a few pounds!!) I was ushered into the ultrasound room. I knew from my appointment Monday that my doctor would not be there today or tomorrow, which didn’t bother me.  The ultrasound tech is probably one of my favorite employees. She is always so nice, and has truly proven to be someone  I can talk to, and don’t feel uncomfortable around when I have a moment of emotional waivering. We were chatting about weekend plans, how our weeks were going, etc., she commented that my lining looked “nice an plump,” and unlike my bloodwork yesterday, these are good things. Then the conversation abruptly ceased. The ultrasound was finished, and she said “if I have to, I’ll see you tomorrow, otherwise have a good weekend. Someone will call you later today with results,” and walked out of the room. 

I guess we were done. Why bother calling, I knew it was bad new and that the conversation would revolve around the next course of action. Begrudgingly, off to work I went. 
This afternoon, in the middle of thinking about how one affords multiple rounds of IVF (bank robbery?) my doctors office called. I was fully armed, and my body was rigidly braced in preparation of the news. The nurse was speaking…blah blah blah…”you need to come back in tomorrow for an ultrasound and then go for bloodwork immediately following that,” blah blah blah…”I just spoke with the Doctor and things are progressing along quite nicely, which is why we have to have you do both the ultrasound and the bloodwork.” Me, “WHAT?!” Her, “yes everything looks very good!”
Shut the front door! Shut the back door! Shut all the damn doors! Now do the biggest freakin’ happy dance you know how to do!!! He was wrong on Monday! Yahoo!! It hasn’t failed. Wahoo!! Fingers crossed that tomorrow continues along on this upward swing…