Spring Update

March was a pretty busy month for us, despite the doctors office screwing up, AGAIN, when I needed to go back for day three labs, so we were put on hold until April. April rolls around, and I’m less than excited about starting another round of anything because I was just starting to get over a HORRIBLE cold, and was still feeling kind of run down. We hosted Easter, which made three days fly by due to all of the prepping, cleaning, cooking, and the actual day of! Not to mention those days I was feeling extra perky and was awake before 6am everyday. 
At this point we were just waiting for my period to start so that the lab work could be done;  again, a year later thanks to our new “supplemental insurance” and their mandated procedures. The hubby had gone the prior week and provided his “sample” for analysis. We were just waiting for me!
After Easter dinner I had some indigestion which seemed to be a new thing as of late. That carried over into the next day, and on my way home I stopped at Walgreens and grabbed some Tums, and a pregnancy test. I knew I’d be needing one after the second round of IVF, so figured just grab one now. Once I got home, I took one. My period was now 5 days late (it seemed to be later and later after each round of fertility treatments,) and I had all my regular PMSing symptoms, bloating, one small spot on my face that broke out, and sore boobs. 

 

Took the test and went about my business doing some cleaning. (Yes, I know, you’re supposed to take the test in the morning had a yada yada.) Went back a few minutes later, saw the one pink line, and picked it up to throw it away. Another negative, wghich meant I’d be getting my period soon! I looked again, and there was another line. There were two lines. 
THERE WERE TWO LINES. 

TWO FRICKING LINES!!! 

I’m pregnant.?.!.?


What the hell? How am I pregnant? We weren’t in ANY treatment cycle. And, there, as clear a day, were two pink lines. Immediately I start hyperventilating, at this point I was standing in the bathroom with the test in my hand, staring into the mirror with my chin dropped to the floor. 

For taking the test in the middle of the afternoon, I’d say that one BRIGHT pink first line. (At first when I had looked, the test was upside down so it obviously looked like a BFN to me.) 
After calculating the math, I was exactly 5 weeks on Monday the 17th…and my estimated due date is 12/16/2017! So while I may not have had a baby for Christmas last year as one doctor promised me, I will have a baby this year for Christmas, pending I don’t go that far over my due date. 
Then it was on to telling DH. The next blog will be about that, because it really is the most adorable, surprising, and sweetest thing I’ve ever watched. Since then I’ve watched it hundreds of times, and I still feel the same way! 

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Let’s Break (It) Down

  • I did my trigger shot Tuesday evening on 11/1.
  • Thursday, on 11/3 was my egg retrieval.
  • Roughly 36 hours after the retrieval, Friday, 11/4, I got the call at work from my doctor. 

Now I’m going to break it all down. 

Thursday morning we arrived for my egg retrieval. Despite being completely nervous about the anesthesia I was feeling alright. We were taken back into the surgical area where they had me change, and informed me about the anesthesia. Top picture is of my IV of saline. Interestingly enough or, if you’ve been following my blog, this won’t surprise you: they had an extremely difficult time finding a vein they could work with. 

 

Below was my view,  prior to the retrieval. It was ominous. I watched the woman before me who was also having a retrieval walk in. I also saw her on the recovery side. 

The one thing I don’t understand? No makeup, no nailpolish, no hair scrungies (as they called them) are allowed. But yet I walked in that day IN these socks…had the procedure with them on…and left with the socks never being removed. Logic? None as far as I’m concerned. And that, is my lovely hair net thing. Yuck. 

 

The doctor then came over to introduce himself. (I knew it wouldn’t be my doctor performing the procedure, which I was perfectly fine with. We were informed of all of these factors at our initial consultation.) Until he spoke to us, time truly felt as though it was standing still. He was calm. Soft spoken. Shook our hands. Started talking about what he was hoping would happen,”I should be able to get 4-6 eggs today. So well hope for the 6. I’ll see you back there.” 
…I broke…
Sunday I was told there were 8 follicles. HOW WAS HE ONLY PLANNING ON 4-6?! I looked at DH and in a completely unflustered voice said, “this isn’t going to work. This is a loss. I can tell this isn’t going to work.” Tears slowly started welling in my eyes. Immediately I chastised myself about crying, took a deep breath, and was overcome with coldness. 
Rigidly sitting there in my chair, my fingers kept frantically edging their way around the hair cap or whatever it is called. Less than 20minutes later, the nurse came over. I was up. I’ll spare the details of walking in, the conversations once in the OR, and my other memories. Fast forward, well I don’t know how long exactly…and I’m in recovery. 
I felt good. Surprisingly good to be quite truthful. The nurse checked to see if there was any bleeding, none; and then asked if I wanted something to eat and drink. My choice was that of a five year old, animal crackers and apple juice. Listen, we were stopping at Starbucks afterwards, so I wasn’t going to fill up on crappy coffee or a bad pastry. As I was sitting there, I could overhear the nurse telling prior egg retrieval patient how well her procedure went, and the medication outline for the next few days. She then popped into my curtained area and asked if I wanted her to get DH. Yes, obviously. Minutes later he was sitting beside me asking how I felt. 

She seemed to reappear shortly thereafter, and indicated that the doctor was going to come over to speak to us. I looked at DH and said, “this is bad. This is very bad. Something is wrong.” From the split second she uttered those words, it was like I was having an out of body experience. The soft spoken and calm doctor was back. “How are you feeling?” he asked. “Ok.” I responded. “I’m afraid things didn’t go as we were planning.” Cue my usual direct and questioning attitude floating away. With that my fiery temper also seemed to instantly disappear. “Unfortunately, we were only able to get one egg. I was planning on 4-6 but it just didn’t happen. I’m so sorry. Also, one of the follicles that was measuring on the left, was not a follicle, it’s a cyst. I don’t know who was doing your ultrasounds or what your doctor was looking at, but this definitely shouldn’t have gone undetected. You need to follow up with your doctor about that. Again, I’m so sorry that things didn’t go the way you or I was planning.”
I really want to say the world stopped spinning, but it didn’t; it fell out from underneath me. I was white hot with unparalleled rage. HOW was there only one? WHAT were they counting? WHO told me there were 8? HOW was this cyst missed? HIS coworker is my doctor, and he was surprised she missed this? WHAT the actual fuck? WHO do I trust, him or my doctor? And my last thought, “I knew from the beginning this wouldn’t work.” This time no tears formed. I was borderline psychotic and completely paralyzed with shock, and immediately launched myself into the statistics. After a few minutes of mental calculations, I knew this round was over. I wouldn’t need the follow up call the next day, there was truly no need for it to take place as there wouldn’t be any good news. We finally we able to leave. I got in the truck, tried to fall asleep, and immediately started sobbing. Here’s a visual for you, I looked like a St. Bernard covered in slobber. I called my mom. I called my MIL, and texted those that knew what was going on. Everyone said the same thing “it only takes one.” After a few explanations that we were already at a negative starting point, all I wanted to do was sleep and forget this entire experience. Upon arriving home I did sleep after watching two hours of TV. Physically I felt alright, just a heaviness like pre-period cramps, but was exhausted. 
Well…that one didn’t take per the phone call Friday afternoon with my doctor. So for the sake of my sanity, please never say that to me again. Was I surprised absolutely not. Did I cry? Nope. Did I want to punch a wall? Certainly. The call sucked, the rest of my day sucked, and that entire weekend sucked. I don’t think I cried anymore after Friday evening and talking with DH. 
Until Saturday, 11/12 when I sat down to write this blog. I completely crumbled into a billion little pieces. I’ll get into that another time. 

Here’s really what I’d like to say…

A massive fuck you to my first doctor. The doctor that told me in the beginning of 2016 that we had a 95% chance of being pregnant by the end of the year. Thank you for etching that into my brain. Thank you for constantly making me feel like a failure and a huge disappointment to myself, my husband, and my family. You have demolished every ounce of faint hope that I ever possessed in this year. I was convinced after leaving your office that day I’d be pregnant for my birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Those were milestones I anticipated despite knowing there was a chance it wouldn’t happen. Well, now those times start a week from today, and I blame you for my misery, sadness, and the facade of happiness I have to display. FUCK YOU for making bold and brash statements that I allowed my sanity to cling to, and now I sit here with barely a shred left. 

Gunning Towards The Finish

I’m not sure whether these qualify as treats, but they definitely count as tricks:


This morning I had another UltraBlood combination. Pending what the doctor saw and my levels, there was a chance tonight this evening could be THE TRIGGER shot night. A nurse usually calls between 1-3pm with my update instructions, so I was anxiously awaiting the trill of my phone. Once it started ringing, it didn’t even get through the first full ring, anxious nerves had me all jumbled up. I am happy to report, that this evening, I DO NOT have to inject the Menopur, the Gonal F, or the Cetrotide. 
I am doing my trigger shot! Promptly at 8pm as the nurse instructed three times. We were originally going be using the Lupron, but that was changed today. I should have asked why, but I was just relieved to hear we are finally moving forward. I’ve previously used the Ovidrel for my trigger shot, so I’m not worried about that. I am relieved (for the time being) that there is only this one last injection to give. 
…and THURSDAY is my egg retrieval. Ahhhhhh!!! The excitement, jitters, anticipation, nerves, and anxiety are all over the place. This is a very good thing as I am so uncomfortable it isn’t even funny. I can’t imagine having more follicles than what I have. My clothes don’t fit, I’m bloated all throughout my abdominal region, and the pressure is so uncomfortable. 
However, despite all of the above, I am trying to stay relaxed, focused on the specifics, and being calm. Easier said than done for me, but I’m making a valiant effort.

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!

Menopur Madness 

This past Wednesday afternoon I received my update call from my doctor. “Everything looks great. Seven follicles. We’re going to have you do a few more night of injections, and then an ultrasound and bloodwork on Friday. So…Continue the Gonal F and the Cetrotide, and you are going to start the Menopur.” 

But I didn’t have Menopur. It had to be ordered, and I had to go after work to pick it up because I needed it that night. Leave work a little early 4:10pm. Haul out to the pharmacy which is usually a 45minute drive. I ran in expecting to pick up the medication as it was ordered hours earlier. Get inside pharmacy, and wait about 15-20minutes. If you’ve done the math, you have figured out that I will now be in rush hour traffic headed back home. Rush hour traffic, being hungry, exhausted, and crying because everything is going wrong (ironically not with this, just work, cars, etc.)…doesn’t make for a good copilot. My poor husband dealt with it all wonderfully! Held my hand, told me everything will be alright, and to just take it one day at a time. 

Hours of traffic later, I’m back home prepping for my injections. I decided I wasn’t mixing the Gonal F with the Menopur because I simply wasn’t comfortable with that. That decision of course led to me injecting myself three times. At this point, what’s another injection? As of last night, it’s been two week straight of injecting, varying from one to three. 

On the upside, I’ve become obsessed with one specific type of alcohol prep pad. I am by far the biggest fan of Braun! 

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. 

Yeeeeeeeouch!!!


That is a CLOSE UP of my souvenir from the Cetrotide injection, combined with some scars. Yeeeeeeouch!!

No side effects today from the first round of double injections, other than the lovely color burst on my stomach. Which I will certainly take, as I’ve heard nightmare stories about the headaches some get. I won’t refer to this as a side effect, but the bloating/puffiness. 

Holy. 

Hot. 

Damn. 

I put on a skirt this morning (fitted throughout but has an elastic waist band,) and it looked like I was pregnant. Not cool. Not cool at all IVF treatments. It’s not because I’ve gained weight, I know that because I weigh myself every morning. 

It’s completely mind blowing to me that in roughly two weeks we will hopefully, (fingers crossed as well,) have two embryos transferred. I am not even able to comprehend…

Tuesday’s thought: 

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. 

24 Hour Rewind

Monday morning: UltraBlood combo. Ultrasound tech asks, “so your doctor thinks you’ve ovulated already?” Me: “no.” …defeating silence throughout the rest of the ultrasound…
Monday afternoon: the nurse calls. “You’ve ovulated, so we missed this cycle. You’ll need to come in on 9/12 for a blood test to see if you’re pregnant. We will also schedule a follow up with the doctor to determine next course and next treatment cycle.” *Trust me when I say with 1,000% certainty the test will be a BFN.
Monday night: I am done. This was previously determined on Sunday night, but had been communicated Saturday and Sunday. By done, I mean I am permanently exiting the infertility roller coaster and running out of the park. 
A lot has happened Friday-Sunday, which I do not even have the heart to blog about. Unfortunately, because of those events, they’ve factored in heavily to this decision.