It’s Been a While

About 3.5 months to be exact. 

Here’s what’s happened…

  • IVF cycle 1 BOMBED πŸ’£
  • My grandmother passed away 1.5 weeks after we got the above results. ** I remember being at my doctors office discussing next steps and thinking “we need to leave. I have to go home, shower, and get dressed for the wake.” My doctor kept saying how surprised she was that things went so badly, that maybe the medications were too aggressive, and that we should take off the time during the holidays because they’re already stressful enough. I had already made up my mind (and was truly prepared,) that we were starting again in December, so when she said this, I froze. I said “no. I’d like to start next month.” Just like out of a tv show, she said “that would be against my medical opinion. You have enough going on.” I bit my tongue SO hard, but I could still spew thousands of angry sentences. Like…”I paid you $13,000.00 and you couldn’t get your job done, so I’ll tell you when you get another shot.” **sidenote- someone had the audacity to say that “now that your grandmother has passed she’ll take care of things up there and you’ll get pregnant right away.” WHY DO PEOPLE SPEAK? 
  • Had follow up ultrasound at the hospital to get the cyst checked out, and there was nothing. Minuscule happiness. I had the pleasure of having a doctor (not mine,) review the ultrasound with me. She was kind enough to point out that my doctor certainly didn’t know what she was doing, we should have had better results, that a cyst in an IVF cycle does not go undetected, and she’d be happy to take me as a patient. Her nurse also shared that I should definitely consider changing doctors, as the doctor who just spoke with me “is really great at getting women of your age pregnant.” I’m 32…Shoot me. 
  • I hate this blog. So many of you have announced your pregnancies over the past few months & I’ve broken each time. Crazy because although I know your experiences, I don’t know you or see you on a daily basis…I’m happy for all of you, but if you’re reading this, you know what I’m feeling. 
  • Coworker had her baby end of December. Thought the excitement at work regarding babies was done…
  • Picked up supplemental insurance that was effective 2/1/2017. Period started 3 days early in January, and the next round of IVF because of that would have started 1/31/2017. We missed it by ONE DAY. 
  • Two coworkers announced their pregnancies, and they’re roughly 2 weeks apart. Announcements were made about two weeks apart as well. One word to summarize those weeks: Delightfullllll! 
  • Had previously emailed all of the new insurance information to the financial coordinator/insurance guru at my doctors office so that she could get everything all set to start in March. She never responded to anything I sent her, which I didn’t really think twice about. I called the office to let them know it was “day 1 ” in February, “ok, great we will be in touch.” I followed up a week later via email, anddddd got great news. (If you think that’s the case, you haven’t picked up on the black cloud that has me pinned to the ground.) I have to go back for day 3 labs and DH has to give a semen analysis, as our tests from 2016 have “expired” as of February and the new insurance won’t cover anything until they have those updated. Now if the woman at the office had done HER job, this all could have been done in February, but God forbid. 

Basically what it comes down to, is that I’m in the extremely angry stage of this infertility nightmare. And, that is exactly what it is…a fricken hellacious nightmare that I can’t wake up from. 

Shots, shots, shots.Β 


Not exactly the type of shots I was thinking of, but how the times have changed. Above is the listing of what I’ve been doing since 10/13. Excuse the sloppiness, I have three different tracking lists. Crazy, yes. Obsessed that I’m going to goof something up, YES!

So far this week I’ve had an UltraBlood combo Sunday, at 7:15am, over 45 minutes away from where we live. Funnnnnn. The woman that was doing my blood work couldn’t find the vein in my left arm, so she fished around for a while, but was kind enough to ask me “does this hurt?” My response, “after inejcting yourself every night you kind of become numb to needles.” Which is the truth, it didn’t hurt, and I’m a human pincushion. Eventually she withdrew the needle and over to the right arm she went. Had my ultrasound, and it was time to drive home. Again, Monday morning, I had another UltraBlood. The heat wasn’t on in the office yet as I had the first appointment, so that made the ultrasound that much more comfortable. Went over had my blood drawn, and that was that! 

My dose on Sunday was reduced, and it’s been down to 75 of the Gonal F since then. I return for another UltraBlood combo tomorrow. The bruising on my stomach has almost completely disappeared. I still have little scars, but I am hoping that they heal or at least fade, right now it just looks like I have random brownish colored pin dots on my belly. 

Last night while puttering around on Pinterest, I discovered this gem:


I’m about one more injection away from bursting. I have seven follicles that are measuring, meaning that they are 14+. Until today I haven’t really given much thought about what could be happening over the next few weeks. 

Here are my top 5 concerns…these are providing that everything goes smoothly, and there aren’t any unforeseen changes. 

  1. Anesthesia at the egg retrieval. I’ve never had any. Ever. I’ll be in a twilight sleep, sounds all sparkly (hehehe,) but this is really bothering me.
  2. That this is considered a surgery. That freaks me out. Again, I’ve never had surgery. So now we are taking two things I’ve never had done, and I’m getting both done, at once, on the same day.
  3. That I have to actually have the embryo transfer. Sounds ludicrous, but hear me out. Isn’t those little containers/Petri dishes or whatever they are stored in, they are safe. They are growing. They are, truly alive. Once the transfer happens, that can change. Once the two embryos are transferred into my body, they can not take. 😱 …and there’s a chance of this, a pretty decent chance. (Please don’t tell me to be optimistic. Obviously, if we didn’t want a baby we wouldn’t be doing any of this. I have to stay level headed. I have to know the statistics and keep them in mind. I can’t be blind to the fact that I can leave that office pregnant after the transfer, and then shortly thereafter, learn that we aren’t. 
  4. The 10-12 day wait to find out if we are actually pregnant. 
  5. Nothing takes. By that, I mean the fertilization doesn’t work, and we have to do this all over again. (Again, I’m fully aware that there’s a very probable chance of this.)

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’‰

Cinco βœ”οΈ

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. 
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

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. 

Tomorrow, we INJECT!!

Haven’t blogged in a few days, but that is because there wasn’t much to say. Well, that’s not entirely the truth, so let’s get you all caught up! 

Monday we went for our STD/HIV testing. Overall nothing earth shattering…the lab tech was a bitch. The lab was supposed to open at 7am, which was when our appointments were scheduled for, but she didn’t get there until 7:15ish. She then allowed the 3 other people who didn’t have appointments to go first, despite DH and I waiting, in addition to another person who had a 7:05am appointment. Here’s a notion, if it’s your first day back from a week long vacation, maybe you should show up early. Just a casual suggestion. Anyway, my blood wasn’t drawn until 7:50am. She complained the entire time, basically threw the urine sample cup at me, and I could feel the needle being reinserted in my vein EVERYTIME she changed the vial. There were 4 of those changes. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Worst part was watching DH have his done, she definitely seemed to be doing more of an exploratory blood draw on him, and at one point he turned green. She’s lucky he didn’t throw up on her. 

My period started Monday, so tomorrow is day 3…and that means INJECTIONS!!! But before that, I have to have my Q&A phone call with the nurse about my Gonal-F injections. Wednesday night is shot time. I will be doing 5 days (Wednesday through Sunday) of 112.5iu. I have no anxiety about giving myself these. Which is interesting because the first time I had to give myself the HCG injection, I was anxiety ridden all day. Tomorrow, I’m thinking the nerves will stay at bay, but I’m sure at some point I’ll have a freak out moment. Probably when I have to attach the needle tip! Eeeeeeep. Just some casual Tuesday night reading…

Things I won’t be looking forward to: the bloating! I’ve heard and have read nightmare stories about this. Has anyone had any interesting side effects while taking their medications? Suggestions about the injections themselves? I secretly ove having my own little stash of alcoholic swabs. It makes me feel like a nurse…which was what I wanted to be when I was younger…but that’s another story! 

Here’s to being on the road again to the amusement park. The big bright colored rollercoaster of infertility treatments is looming in the distance, and we’re almost in the parking lot getting ready to pay our entry fees. 

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.


—————–
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…

Old Faithful

So today is Clomid round 3, day three. It’s Thursday, and of course that has me feeling much better about the day. This morning at work I went for my morning coffee walk, the sun was shining and it was going to be a great day! Although the day was moving at turtle speed, we are one day away from the weekend and no Clomid side effects! #winning

Wrong.

Exactly in the middle of a two hour meeting, there it was; it couldn’t leave me alone and let me enjoy not expericing side effects. My head was pulsating. It felt like a bass drum was inserted in my skull. 


When your skull feels as though someone is smashing it repeatedly from the inside, you want to crawl in a hole and smother yourself with anything to nullify the pain.   I could tell from the onset, this was going to be a nasty mother… I popped some pain relievers, crossed my fingers, and sat there fists clenched and head throbbing. After lunch it hadn’t gotten better, the pain had only amplified and I felt as though my head was being crushed. As someone who gets migraines,  this pain today was unparalleled. Minutes ticked by and by the end of the day, I was on the brink of tears. 

My drive home was excruciating. Finally, after what seemed like the never ending commute, I was walking through the door. I started sobbing. 


My.head.hurt.so.badly. 

I immediately changed into some comfy clothes, down two ibuprofen, chugged a glass of iced tea, and crawled into bed hoping that throughout the previous actions I’d knock myself out cold so I wouldn’t have to deal with the pain. I mean who wouldn’t run into their REs office and beg for Clomid after reading about this?! As I lay in bed with tears streaming down my cheeks, and in an intense amount of pain my only thought was “get through the night.” 
About 4 hours later, as I sit here in front of the tv, I am feeling like a different person. While I’ve knocked the headache out completely, I am exhausted. I told my DH It felt like someone had sucked the life out of me. Let’s talk about irony. I feel as though I’ve been drained of all life due to this medication, and I am taking this medication in hopes of carrying a life. How’s that for a brain teaser? These headaches have become my ‘old faithful’ throughout this experience. 

Knowing my Clomid headaches are back, tomorrow I’m sure will result in another doozy.