Sunday, June 27, 2010

Busy, Nervous, Scared, & Curious

Tomorrow I'm getting up super early to drive to Kansas City for training.  Hopefully it will be a good three days.  I'm sure I'll be busy enough at work but when I go back to the hotel room all by my lonesome...that's what I'm nervous about. 

So far so good, I've only gotten nervous about Friday a couple times.  Friday is our blood test to find out if all this craziness worked, all the pins & needles, surgery & prayers.  I've been more positive the last month or two than I have been in a long time.  Our last IUI cycle, we knew that IVF was going to be the next thing to try.  So through the whole IUI cycle, I just felt like it would never have worked, so make it go quick so we can just move on.  With this cycle, I feel like it could actually, really, truly work.  I've tried a lot of positive visualization that has been good so far, but now it's getting hard.  I could see my follicles on the ultrasounds, see my E2 numbers rising, see the print out of the embryos, visualize them implanting, but this Thursday before going into the drs office I'm going to take an at-home test.  I want to be prepared.  I don't want to go into Friday with the blood test, get the results via phone during work, and be blindsided.  So this is where I get stuck.  It's pure classical conditioning.  I've done this part too many times.  I've taken over 50 pregnancy tests in the past 2 1/2 years and have seen over 50 negative results.  Never a positive result.  Not even a result that could have been confused with positive.  Therefore when I go to visualize Thursday morning, I get stuck.  I don't know what a positive looks like.  I've been conditioned to only see a negative result in my mind and that just stops my heart.

And while all that makes me very nervous and scared of Thursday morning, more scared than I've been in a long time - I'm also curious.  Curious to see what a positive feels like.  Curious to see what the test looks like, to see what Tim looks like when I tell him.  I'm curious to know if I will believe it.  I probably won't believe it...not until the blood work.  And then I'll probably not believe it until they do the second blood work a week later.  And then I'll probably be super cautious to believe it too much until I see it on the ultrasound.  I know to some that may sound like a lot of negativity, but it's our new reality.  Going on this infertility journey allows you to see many things in a whole new light, you walk each step of the journey a little different than others you may know, expect or be cautious of outcomes that others may never have ever thought of.  And through all this, it makes you stronger than anyone could have imagined.  Even yourself.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Time is Flying By.....No Seriously!

Oh my's Thursday!  This week has flown by, which I did not expect by the way.  Usually the two week wait is painfully counting the minutes as they trudge by.  But thanks to my new job, it's already Thursday!  My commute is just 15 minutes longer, so that helps pass the days.  I've been using that time to catch up with people on the phone.  I'm still really liking my new job, its super busy right now but in a good way.  I still can't believe it's Thursday!

This weekend should fly by too.  We've got a birthday party to go to for our nephew.  Then celebrate our anniversary on Sunday night, even though our anniversary falls on Monday.  Seven years married as of next week!!!!  How did I get so lucky?!?!!  Every morning I get to wake up next to the sweetest, most sensitive guy I know.  He can always make me laugh and has been a true partner.  I love him more than anyone will ever know!

We can't celebrate our anniversary on Monday because I will be in Kansas City for more training for my work.  Monday through Wednesday.  Hopefully they want to join me out for dinner otherwise those nights may tick by slow.  I get to drive out there which I'm grateful for.  It would take about the same amount of time or more for me to drive to the airport, park, get through security, fly, and rent a car than it would to just drive straight there.

I come back Wednesday night, Thursday morning I think I'm going to POAS so I'm not surprised with Friday's Beta results.  Still trying to decide on how to share the news, good or bad.  I don't want some of my family who is far away to find out via a blog post so I may be absent a little bit next weekend....we'll see.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Meet our Embabies

On Sunday, Father's Day, we went into the Drs office bright and early.  Our appointment was at 8:30am with a transfer at 8:50am.  It was kinda eerie going down the Highway and barely seeing any cars.  It's like everyone else got an important piece of news that we didn't.  But we showed up on time and it turns out we hadn't missed a thing.  We were the last on the schedule for the day, so the waiting room had some company in it.  A nervous husband waited while his wife was in surgery.  It was their egg retrieval, they got 9 and we wished them all the best.  Another couple was there waiting for an ultrasound to see when their retrieval would be.  Sitting there we noticed that we now speak another language.  A language where people know what it means when you say blastocyst, day 5 vs. day 3 transfer, follicles, morphology, stims, 6 cell vs 8 cell and their grades.  Crazy.

We finally headed on back and they hooked us both up with surgical garb.  I got a gown, booties, and cap - and so did Tim!  I thought it was funny that they tell the husbands that its preferred that they keep their clothes on under the gown!  :)  We headed back into the surgical room and got situated.  It was so cool that they had the ultrasound to help guide.  I don't know what it is about the "little embabies" but they came into the picture as a little spark of light, a little spark of life.  As if they were radioactive.  Just gorgeous.  I couldn't help but tear up.

And now for our two week wait.  Our first beta blood test is scheduled for Friday, July 2nd.  

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 5 It Is...Happy Father's Day!

This morning I didn't realize how nervous I was until the phone rang.  Then the nurse called with unexpected news....embryo's looks good enough to wait to do the transfer on Day 5!!!  We were shocked!  Our "little embryo's", that's what the nurse called them, are at 7,8,9, and 10 cells!   

She called me back once she had all the detailed paperwork on the "little embryos" and they scheduled the transfer for Sunday morning....Father's Day.  I don't usually put too much stock in signs, but I think it's a good one to do the transfer on this Sunday.  We're praying for a couple of beautiful blastocysts to get to transfer.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mikey, Taco, and......

As I'm sure everyone expected, I couldn't wait all day to find out the results of the fert report.  I texted Tim after lunch to find out.  4 of the 6 fertilized!!!  I think that's really good.  They usually expect 50% to fertilize.  So that put us at 66%, but really the last one was a straggler and I didn't think it would make it.  So if you take the 4 out of the 5 expected, that's 80%!!!!  Would I like to have more....of course.  But I will take what I have been given.

They're estimating Friday morning for the embryo transfer.  Or if all four are still looking beautiful, maybe Sunday.  Now I just need to kill time till then.  My mom suggested coming up with names for our four little munchkins.  We got stuck after Mikey and Taco though!

Half a Dozen

I've been putting off this blog post since Tim and I were half joking that he should do it.  Before the retrieval, the nurse kept joking that I'll forget a lot of stuff and I'll ask questions multiple times.  Then throughout the day Tim kept asking if I remembered stuff....and I would but I just needed my memory to be jogged first.  The good and bad of anesthesia is that I was groggy most of the day and took some glorious naps.  But it's now almost 4am and I've been up since 2am desperately trying to fall back asleep.  I gave up and thought I would give it a whirl on remembering everything.

They wanted us there at 6:45am, so that meant waking up at 5:30am.  Me and 5:30 have never been the best of friends.  Usually I would snuggle up to a cup of coffee and everything would be better but I had been cut off of food and fluids since midnight.  I figured that there's no need in both of us being miserable, so I did grant Tim the ok to get coffee for himself.  (Plus the Cards did score more than 6 runs last night - for all you out-of-towners that means 25 cent coffee the next day)

We show up at 6:45am on the dot...I was a little excited.  They greeted me by name and took us back.  It's really nice when your doctors office has their own surgical unit too.  It was a really nice set up.  After they went through all the disclosures and got the IV in, Tim kissed me bye and I went into the operating room.  I felt the telltale cold in the IV and was probably out seconds later.  Thank goodness too!  The whole egg retrieval process is what freaked me out in the first place, but not being awake for any part of it made it a lot more doable.

I come to in my room by the nicest nurse anesthetist ever, thanks Pam!  I'm still really groggy, dozing in and out. About 15 minutes later, Tim comes in.  They got all 6!  I had my 5 that were doing really really well and then a straggler that I didn't think would make it.  But it did!  Gotta love the underdog!  The lab suggested we do full ICSI, instead of the partial that we had planned for due to things that they had seen in our samples.  They're the experts, so full ICSI it is.   Vivian, the nurse, then covered all my discharge info and gave me my progesterone shot for the day.  I must have still been groggy because I also agreed to be a drawing canvas for Tim.  Vivian had asked if he felt comfortable on where to be giving the shot and I could tell by the look on his face that he would have liked a clearer picture.  She nicely suggested that since she had a surgical drawing pen, she could circle the spots for my shots.  You could see that he thought that would be ideal, so now I have two big circles above my butt that are in surgical pen, so they'll be there for a few days.  Why??? Because of anesthesia and a hubby who obviously was looking for some entertainment :)

We got breakfast on the way home and then I proceeded to nap for most of the day.  When I wasn't napping, we were catching up on the shows on our DVR.  I believe this all accumulated to why I am now awake in the wee morning hours.  Oh well.  Good thing is that there has been minimal pain.  I wouldn't really say it's pain, but more like just being uncomfortable.  We'll see how tomorrow feels.

Tomorrow they'll call with the "fertilization report."  We gave them Tim's number since I'll be at work and probably unable to take the call privately.  Plus then I won't freak out at my new job over the results (good or bad) but I will have to wait till after 6pm to find out when I get home.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Quality not Quantity

On Friday I was kinda bumming.  Drove down to the Drs office (an hour away) for the 4th time in a week, got blood drawn, then went into ultrasound.  Only 5 follicles!!!  I was hoping/expecting/praying for many more.  All these shots and injections and meds and only 5.  Of course I hopped online and started comparing to a lot of other IVF'ers.  I wasn't devastated but all of a sudden the bad "what if's" starting popping into my mind.  What if all 5 aren't mature, maybe 4 are, then maybe only 2 fertilize, then maybe they don't make the transfer.  What if.... 

The Drs office called and said that they were at least a good five. They're growing evenly, all were about the same size. They're growing in clusters, close together instead of spread out. Tim kept telling me that its quality not quantity. But I was just focused on the 5.  I came home from work.  My new job started on Monday and has been the craziest week.  I was brain fried from work, plus down from the ultrasound.  But Tim is the best.  He really is.  He knew I was brain fried so he didn't bother me about all the details of what happened.  It was a great work week, just fried.  He knew I was down because of the ultrasound, so he got my mind off it.  He made me laugh, took me out to dinner and a movie.  I felt lots better.

The Drs office wanted to see me on Saturday to confirm the growth.  Went in for more bloodwork and another ultrasound.  The good thing was that the line for the ultrasound seemed to be the women all in my stage.  Going through IVF, about ready for the egg retrieval.  So that was comforting.  The bad thing is that the nurse had walked a husband through the hall to meet his wife after their egg retrieval and said that they had collected 6 follicles.  I only have 5.  Again, all the bad thoughts starting to creep in again.  I started wondering what's the minimum number of follicles they'll allow to continue through the process.  They had 6, still more than me.  That stung a little bit.  I've just always reacted very well to stim's.  Our IF is unexplained, I produce eggs, so why isn't this the perfect textbook reaction to stim's???  Oh well, that's the journey of IF.  I just keep repeating Tim, its quality not quantity.

Saturday night was the last night of stim injections.  No more lupron, no more follistim, no more menopur.  Tonight we do our injection of HCG.  And I say we because Tim is going to have to help with this one.  I'm not that flexible or talented.  So far my shots have been sub-cu, in my stomach, and I've been able to give them to myself.  This shot, plus the progesterone when we get to that stage, needs to be given intramuscular (aka - drop your drawers).  And twisting around to get to the upper right quadrant of your a$$ with a big long needle isn't the best angle to give to yourself a shot.  Tim's done this shot before, so I know he's a good shot-giver.  He's been great during this whole shot process.  He helped with an HCG shot back last September.  Then with all these IVF meds, he's helped mix all my menopur and prep my shots.  That way I just inject, inject, inject.  It helps so much and doesn't make me feel like I'm going through this alone.  We were great before IF, but all this has brought us even closer and stronger.  Anywho, Monday will be a shot free day and then Tuesday we go in to see what these follicles look like.

Since Tuesday they'll put me under anesthesia, I'm not supposed to go back to work that day.  Instead I will be a couch potato.  I'm thinking I'll run to the library ahead of time and see if they have any of the Twilight books.  I was anti-Twilight, but after so much media brainwashing, I think I'm ready to read them.  Unless anyone else has ideas on how to best waste the day away from the couch :)

Oh my.....after 2+ years, it's all leading up to Tuesday.  Here we go!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lists and Making Room

Lists....I like lists. I like to have things orderly. So here it goes....

June 4th - Day 1 of Stims - E2 = 25
                        - lupron 10, follistim 250
June 7th - Day 4 of Stims - E2 = 51
                        - lupron 10, follistim 150, menopur 150
June 9th - Day 6 of Stims - E2 = 234
                       - lupron 10, follistim 150, menopur 150
June 11th - Day 8 of Stims - E2 = ???

I know that all cases are different, others are using different meds, have different fertility issues, but I still can't help but compare. The nurse said today that they want it to keep doubling, so my numbers look really good. I'm always so nervous because this is what we've always heard. " You're responding to the meds really well, your ultrasound looks really good, this is a beautiful cycle" but nothing ever comes of it. So we'll see.

I am running out of room though. They say its best to spread out your shots and not inject them all in the same location. But when you're doing three shots a night, I need more room. Then tonight, I used up my first Follistim vial and needed to open the second one - so that was another shot. Then my menopur decided to act up tonight. I injected it just like every other night, but when I pulled out the needle I started bleeding, noticed blood in the syringe, then below the skin under the injection site was hard knot. Not fun, freaked me out. I don't think that would have freaked me out normally, but I think the hormones have started to make me a little crazy. Called the afterhours line, to have the Doc tell me that it'll be alright.
Other than that, so far so good. Migraines have slowed, stomach issues are less, still having hot flashes. More news coming on Friday when I go in for my E2 check and an ultrasound to see how many follies I'm cooking.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I don't wanna wear the sweater.....

I'm hot!!!!  That is the quote I have been hearing from my hubby for the last week or so.  He's a big fan of Family Guy and the Mr. Rogers episode was supposedly a really good one. 

Hot flashes are wicked!  For all those that know me, know that I am always freezing.  It could be 80+ degrees and I would be happy in jeans and long sleeves.  But with these meds, the hot flashes are crazy.  Tim finds it humorous because now I know what "he feels like all the time."  They were coming mostly at night but I've been getting some during the day now too.  To just be sitting still and feel it coming.....rolling up my jeans....then rolling up my sleeves, and still the sweat starts dripping......its just crazy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Yesterday & Tomorrow

Yesterday I had Ultrasound#16!  How crazy is that?!?!  I thought I was becoming a pro at these things and then the ultrasound tech did something I didn't expect.....I got a 3-D ultrasound.  That was kinda cool.  Seeing your uterine lining in 3-D is something I did not expect to have done.  Everything looked good though.  All nice and resting and peaceful.

Tomorrow I lower my dose of Lupron to 10 units and then start taking 225 of Follistim.  My last two shots have bruised, so my belly is about to get a lot more colorful by adding another shot to the mix.  Tim and I also take our antibiotics tomorrow too.  It'll be a busy day :)