Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bad Sunshine

OK I have done a really crummy job of keeping up with this.  I have all of the numbers from Follie Check #2 and #3 and will post them over the weekend when I feel up to it.  Right now I can feel the effects of my trigger shot and am dreading a long night at work.  Retrieval is at 8:15 tomorrow morning.  No eating or medication after midnight, no perfumes, no makeup, no putting gas in the car on the way to the hospital.  Apparently all smells are toxic to embryos, so we have to be a blank slate.  Ivory soap blank.  I am scared to death and broke down in tears last night when I got my Ovidrel shot.  Please send lots of prayers for healthy mature eggs and a great fertilization rate.  Cycle 20 has to = BFP!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

IVF Follie check #1

I am a little behind in documenting this journey.  In a perfect world, I would be able to take vacation and completely chill out during this process.  I actually was just looking at my pay stub from Friday, and it seems that my vacation days are maxed out, as in I need to take some because I can't accrue anymore.  Can someone please explain this to my boss? 

Friday was follie check #1, and we had 10 rising to the occasion.  I was actually surprised there weren't more with as much medicine as I am taking in; however, I have never taken Menopur so I assume that is making some of the difference.  The fab 10 were fairly close in size, which is what we want them to be, measuring on the left side: 11.5,10, and 2@ 7.5; on the right: 13,12, 2@10.5, and 2@8.  Lining was already up to 13 and only needed to be a 6 to be "on track".   We were sent home with instructions to continue the 300ius of Follistim and 150 ius of Menopur and start the Ganirelix shots on Friday night.  

Tomorrow is follie check #2, and to say I am bloated is an understatement!  Favorite Nurse estimated that ER will be this Thursday, the 30th.  If we are still on track for that tomorrow, we will most likely do one final FSH injection and Ganirelix tomorrow night and my trigger shot on Tuesday night.  I think we also start PIO shots with the trigger, but I am not sure. I may have blocked that out!

I had a stressful end to the work day on Friday, and as I was venting to my mom on the way home she told me, "You probably shouldn't let this bother you so much.  You need to relax."  I was thinking the exact same thing.  I am glad I didn't have that day after embryo transfer.  But those days are unavoidable unless I get some much needed vacation.  I think the hormones are making me more vulnerable.  I cry over almost anything these days.  And to top it off, I need to call my grandmother and ask for a check to cover the rest of this process.  I know she knows it's coming, but I really hate asking!  Why can't I be like everyone else I know IRL and get knocked up the old fashioned and free way?  IF sucks!  I do pray that God will put an end to this suffering in the next few weeks.  I still don't know what lesson I am supposed to be learning here.  I am guessing it has something to do with patience, but I think I learned that one while waiting for my marriage proposal!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Let the games begin!

AF arrived yesterday morning, and I have never been happier to see her!  April 19 Beginning of IVF.  Stims began tonight.  I am sure I am imagining it, but I feel a little queasy.  I am totally freaked out about putting 300 iu's of Follistim and two Menopur powders in my body everyday for four days in a row.  It looks like nothing in the syringe, so I am sure I am overreacting.  First follie check is Friday at 8AM.  I can't believe we are doing this!!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

And we wait

Before I bring everyone's attention to the content of said picture, how about a round of applause for the simple fact that I know HOW to post a picture in my blog???  Pretty exciting stuff, eh?  Nearly as exciting as the contents of the innocent enough looking box that FEDEX delivered on Tuesday.  And voila, here they are, scary IVF meds.  It seems unfathomable to me that I will put all of this in my body in about 4 weeks time.  The majority of it in 10 days.  But when?  I told the RE that AF would probably arrive April 20.  I really thought sooner, but tomorrow is the 18th, and no sign of the old hag.  Yeah, just my luck.

Last Monday we had our mock transfer which involved me emptying my bladder 1 hour and 15 minutes before our appointment time, and then chugging 32 ounces to refill it for the appointment.  This would have been fine except that they had overbooked their morning and didn't get me in until an hour later than scheduled.  I felt on the brink of explosion and was pretty certain I would pee on the doctor.  They offered to let me "go" a little bit to make me more comfortable, but I told them that I was pretty sure once it started it wasn't gonna stop! So while I held it a few minutes longer, my RE threaded a catheter through my cervix and in to my uterus.  The sono lady showed me everything on the screen.  It was completely amazing!  The doc removed the catheter and told us that our transfer would be easy, and there was nothing wrong with my parts.  So why do I feel like there is??   Anyway,  I got dressed and beelined for the bathroom.  Ahhhhhh..........

On Wednesday we went back to the office for my baseline u/s.  We were happy to learn that our last IUI failure had not left us with any ugly reminders in the form of cysts.  All clear!  Yay!  Also, we are starting this cycle with 14 antral follicles!  That's huge for an old lady.  If we were able to get 14 eggs, we would probably have some to freeze, assuming they fertilize correctly.  I do bounce back and forth between optimism and dread.  I am told this is common.  I am sure it is even more common among the completely out-of-pocket expense set.  I am trying not to think about that though.  All I want to think about is our family coming together, the family I have waited so long for and dreamed of nearly all my life.  Happy thoughts!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter, yet such an emotional day

I started today by taking my temperature.  Not so unusual in the whole ttc realm of things.  I think I am 9dpo.  I think I actually o'd despite having a heavily medicated cycle last month.  Then, not true to form at all, I got up and tested.   BFN.  Not unusual at all for 9dpo.  My reasoning, of course, is that if we should be so lucky as to conceive naturally is that I want to find out ASAP before my IVF meds are shipped.  They will be sent tomorrow.  I guess I am committed.  I guess prayers are not enough.  I will test again in the morning because the meds are sent from Phoenix (very ironic) and I have a 2 hour grace period.

Lots of girls on the TTC after 35 board have gotten their BFP's lately. I thought it might be a good omen for us.  I also feel bad because I have been in this position before.  Multiple BFP's usually means that someone will miscarry.  It is sad to think about, but I will be there for all of them.  I feel ill-equipped, never having been pregnant myself.  The statistics just stink for us older girls.

I do think I have done a bit to piss off a few of the ladies on my board lately.  Of course it is not intentional, but there is the reality of my situation.  18  months, no pregnancy.  Sorry, but that's my reality.  If I could change it I would.  I have flirted with the idea of moving over to the TTTC board, but I feel like TTC over 35 is my home.  If I am evicted, I will go begrudgingly, but I feel like I have a lot to offer my home board.  If any of you read this blog, I am sorry if I offended you.  My personal  journey is difficult, and if you don't want to read about it, please, skip over my posts.

Tomorrow is our mock transfer. Wednesday is our ultrasound to check for cysts, and then we wait for AF.  I just want to get this show on the road.  So tired of waiting for my little ones. And so tired of apologizing for how I feel.  Thank the Lord for blogging!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Not my usual leisurely day off

After working 7 days straight (I reach my pain threshold at about 5), I was really looking forward to sleeping past 6 AM.  Unfortunately, I felt obligated to peel myself out of bed and go in to work for an early meeting given by a vendor who had flown in from NY.  I do hope my dedication is being noted when I need to ask for time for IVF.   Speaking of said IVF, I told my boss yesterday and gave her an approximate time frame of events.  I was concerned that she might find my timing not in line with the needs of the business.  Remarkably, she was totally fine and supportive about the whole thing.  Maybe they are planning to let me go....hmmmm...I sure hope not!

After the quick meeting I drove home, picked up Pierce, and off we went to meds instruction.  We didn't get Favorite Nurse this time, but Second Runner-Up seems to be warming up to us and did a great job.  I am a little fuzzy on prepping the Menopur, but I am sure we will manage.  PIO shots continue to terrify me, and no one tries to sugarcoat it.  Yes, they are painful, they suck, you will bruise, it is necessary for your baby, OK I'm in!  I do find it moderately amusing that the nurse will draw circles on my backside with a Sharpie, so Pierce knows exactly where to stab.  Awesome!  My assistant at work is addicted to Sharpies.  I think if I told her about this, they might be ruined for her!

After meds instruction we went to Whole Foods to check on wheatgrass shots (drinkable, not injectable!).  After enlisting the help of 2 associates and pulling some poor guy off of his break to locate these things in the freezer section, I decided those things are ridiculously overpriced! Normally, I would buckle under my self-imposed pressure and purchase them after engaging half of the staff in my search, but I just had to walk away.  Too many expenses right now.  Now if they were Girl Scout cookies, then we would be on to something.

After the wheatgrass misadventure, we went out for a nice lunch at a favorite restaurant that I don't believe we have enjoyed since my birthday last summer.  It was long overdue!   The weather was  perfect, despite temps in the 30's this morning...Welcome to Texas!, and we sat on the patio.  This is not negotiable with me.  If it's not patio weather, we can't go there. Period!

Tonight we drove back to the hospital for our orientation.  One poor girl, who works in the lab and I am sure is brilliant, gave us a blow by blow of the entire embryo development process. Her power point presentation was great, but I was very distracted by the ummms and stuttering.  I feel like I am throwing stones here because I am certainly not a great speaker, but I felt a little like she was recruited to do this presentation at the last minute and wasn't completely prepared.  Despite this minor issue, I found the hour fascinating.  One point that I was really happy to hear was that we shouldn't put too much stock in the grading of our embryos.  Apparently, excellent blastocysts do not always result in pregnancies, and poor quality embryos have been known to make some perfect babies.  I am always excited when I learn something new and something positive!

I am trying very hard to remain positive.  It seems silly not to, but the more I read about IVF the more I realize that it is not perfect.  I have said several times that this is a one-shot deal for us due to the cost, but according to both IVF books I have read there is a real chance it won't work the first time.  I am supposed to prepare myself for this reality.  One book went to so far as to say that if you only have the means for one shot, then IVF is not the best choice.  I am seriously considering not picking up that book again.  I don't really know what we'll do if this doesn't work.  It's too painful to consider.  It is amazing how this journey has brought us to this place that I never thought possible.  One year ago, I knew I was frustrated with trying to conceive, but I wasn't in panic mode yet.  I knew we had an appointment with a great RE coming up in May.  And at that appointment, he outlined a plan with IVF as the final step before donor eggs.  I remember thinking, "We will never do IVF.  We will never be able to afford that.  Something else will work."  Yet, here we are.  My cousin told me that we would never know how far we would go unless we were put in the situation.  All I can say is, she was right, and we are in deep.  Dear Lord, we need you now more than ever.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Meds, paperwork, and embryo custody?

The week of work and not obsessing is coming to a close.  Tuesday's med instruction and hospital orientation are weighing heavily on my mind.  Thursday it only took a five minute phone call to the Apothecary to learn that my IVF meds will total $3,570.35.  That's actually less that I had thought they would be, and I told the pharmacist this.  She seemed shocked.  I think I have completely lost any concept of reality when it comes to the cost of this.  If I allow myself to think about all of the girls who get knocked up for free, I will continue to get more pissed off. So expecting my meds to be 5 grand and learning they are only 3,500 is fabulous.  We will be expecting our box of fabulous on Tuesday, the 14th.  Thankfully, Grams has already sent installment #1 of Baby Sunshine's funding.

Last night I started sifting through the folder of paperwork the hospital gave us.  I hate reading consent forms and learning every imaginable complication that could befall me!  I also really love signing papers that say even though I am giving you a shitload of money,  you are in no way responsible for the outcome of my treatment.  I mean really!  However, the craziest paperwork of all was that pertaining to cryopreservation of embryos.  As with everything else, they assume no responsibility for loss in the freezing and thawing process.  Mkay..... And Pierce and I have to decide the future of our frozen embryos in the event of our deaths or divorce.   Whoa, there will be none of that.  For the sake of paperwork, we have decided that I receive custody of the embryos if this perfect marriage should fail.  I mean, I am the one with the uterus.

On Friday in the middle of all of this stuff, it looked like my body might be gearing up to ovulate.  I was in complete shock!  I have never had o problems before, but my body forgot how to do this the cycle after IUI #1, so I assumed it would follow suit this time around.  I could not get home from work quickly enough!  I was convinced that it was a sign from God.  This was our ultimate Hail Mary cycle, and IVF wouldn't be necessary.  Well, it is now Sunday, and I don't think it ever happened unless my thermometer is whacked.  Who knows.  I wasn't expecting it, but it sure would have been nice!