Archive for February, 2009

The quickest update this side of the Mississippi…

The IVF nurse called today and out of my 4 fertilized eggs, ALL 4 are now excellent embies!! I’m so happy! I was so worried that I only had 4 eggs and yet they all are real fighters and decided to stick around! I know a lot can happen in 24 hours, but I keep praying that they keep growing and doing their thing and I’ll have 2 beautiful embies to put back and hopefully 2 to freeze. I know because the clinic’s freezing criteria is strict that might not happen, but maybe I’ll give them a little pep talk tomorrow! The transfer is at 10:10am and after that I go for my acupuncture treatment and then home to bed. I’ll keep you all updated!!

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My big ‘ol sigh of relief…

First of all I want to thank you all for your well wishes. Dealing with all of this IVF stuff can be so stressful and it really lifts the spirits knowing you have support.

OK, on to the good stuff. My retrieval was yesterday and to say I’m terrified is like saying the snow is kind of cold. Total understatement. I hate not being able to eat or drink after midnight and by the time I got to the clinic my mouth was completely dry. I started crying the minute I stepped into the sign in room (which was also the recovery room) and kept crying off an on the whole time. I think all the nurses felt bad for me because they kept coming over and being all sympathetic, which was nice but made me cry more. I had to change into the jazzy hospital gown and socks and then I really looked awful. Eyes swollen, no makeup, my hair a mess and a hospital gown that hung off me like I was wearing a tent…I looked like I escaped from an asylum. Lovely. I’ll bet hubby won’t get that picture out of his head for a while! They give me a valium and I suck down the 1/2 inch of water I got with it like I have been lost in the desert for a week. Then comes the IV. I warned the nurses (like I have a million times before) that my veins are hard to get and there is really only one that is good (no thanks to the lab tech that botched my only other good vein) and they said “we do this all day, there will be no problem”. Ha. I’ve heard that before. So the nurse goes for my arm vein and the other nurse wants me to hold her hand. I told her I really should hold my hubby hand because I’ll probably break hers. She thought I was kidding but quickly realized how lucky she was to have 2 working hands. I squeezed hubbys hand so hard I think I left permanent marks. I could feel the nurse trying to force the IV catheter in in two different places in my arm and then she decided to give up and call the anesthesiologist. Hubby looked at me and asked if he was pale. Pale? He looked like the sheet I was wrapped in. Apparently he looked as she was trying to force the IV in and thought it looked like an alien was in my arm. Now he’s on the verge of passing out and all the nurses are buzzing around him to prevent him from keeling over. Thanks for stealing my thunder, honey. Actually, we were both laughing about it as he was sipping on his ginger ale with an ice pack on his head. The anesthesiologist gets the IV in my hand after two more trys and they start the antibiotic. I made sure I would get anti-nausea meds too and apparently he gave me two different kinds. They worked like a charm, by the way. The doctor doing the retrieval comes over to introduce herself and asks if it’s ok if a student nurse watches. I’m crying again at this point and the student nurse peeks out from behind the doctor, and looked completely terrified. I have that effect on student nurses and intern doctors. Apparently me crying gets them all nervous and panicky. Actually, it’s kind of fun. I don’t do it on purpose but it’s a funny little side effect to my blubbering. Now I’m in the OR (first time in one and I was scared) and there are about 6 or 7 people buzzing around. The anesthesiologist tells me to take a deep breath and I’m starting at the ceiling with my eyes wide open thinking that the medicine isn’t working because I’m not sleepy. Then my arm starts to hurt as the meds go in and my head and face get all fuzzy. Next thing I know I’m waking up with hubby next to me and that was it! I don’t like the groggy feeling after the anesthesia but I really felt OK. After a while they made me use the bathroom and we were on our way. Not the most fun I’ve had, but much easier than I expected.

They retrieved 5 eggs but only 4 were mature. As of today, all 4 fertilized which is great. The clinic usually looks for a 50% fert. rate and ours was 100%. Of course, I’m freaked out that there are only 4 eggs to work with but I’m praying that they keep growing and turn into 4 healthy embies. I go in for my transfer on Saturday and then it’s bed rest time. Hubby has been wonderful. He’s so attentive and I’m really lucky to have him. Even if he is force feeding me protein and Gatorade. I’m not bloated today and I feel pretty good, although I was really sick to my stomach this morning but I think that was from all the sugar and salt in the gatorade from yesterday. I’m going to stick to smart water, instead. I don’t have to do the progesterone shots, but I do have to do the suppositories 3X a day. Fun. Hey, I’m not complaining! I would not relish having bruises on my bum for the next 10 weeks (hopefully).

Now I just have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to get the report on my embies. Keep on growing!

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And away we go!

After Stim check #3 (yesterday) I found out that my ovaries popped out a few more follies. Small follies, but follies none the less. So the total count as of yesterday are 8 and the sizes are 20, 18, 17.5, 17.5, 15, 12.5, 12.5 and a 10. My E2 levels were 1614 and my lining was 12.5. I triggers with Novarel last night and it’s now the point of no return. Didn’t love the Novarel, it stung going in and my arm still hurts. I’m also not too happy because I’ve been feeling sick for the past 2 days straight and was told that’s because of my high estrogen level. I talked to my IVF nurse and she said that I’m probably going to get major morning sickness. Nice. Give me something to look forward to. So I decided that I wasn’t going to listen to her. Of course I feel sick, I’ve pumped tons of medicine into my little body for the past few weeks and now they are going to hoover out my eggs and I’m nervous. Drugs+lots of eggs+complete terror over the ER=super queasy tummy. I’m pretty nervous about tomorrow. I hope they get a good amount of eggs that fertilize well. I hope there are no complications during the ER. I hope I don’t feel sick or too uncomfortable afterwards. I’ll be glad to get back home and in my own bed. I went on amazon.com and bought a bunch of DVDs so I have a lot to keep me entertained. I just want everything to work out.
Hubby is having a crazy day. He’s busy at work trying to get things done and I had him go food shopping for me since I felt too yucky to go myself. I hope he does better tomorrow.

Anyway, I’m starting to feel a little queasy again so I think I’ll make myself some tea. This time tomorrow I’ll be back home, less 5-8 eggs! YAY!

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Ladies and Gents, step right up and see the amazing disappearing follicle!

That’s right, folks, my nine has gone down to 5. It’s a pretty decent 5, but who knows if any of them will even have a good egg inside. Needless to say, I’m pretty disappointed. I do have 10 maybe even more that are too small to measure but apparently they are too lazy to do much of anything but cheer the other 5 on. So here is the count. Left ovary – 17, 15.5 and 14 and right ovary – 15 and 15. OK, the 17 looks a little like the kid in class who always has his hand raised because he wants everyone to think he’s the smartest. Honestly, we don’t need 2mm bigger and don’t get any ideas to suddenly explode into a 21mm when everyone else is growing slow and steady. My E2 levels are 904 (I’m told that’s good but I really have no idea, I’m just glad it’s not through the roof and I’m at risk for OHSS) and my lining is 12mm. So I guess I could have worse news. I stay on the 300 of gonal-f and my lupron was upped to 10 again. I guess my RE doesn’t want anyone to get excited and ovulate on their own. I also have to go back tomorrow morning and get another check. That should be fun in the snowstorm we are having. Hubby offered to drive since his jeep has 4 wheel drive but I’d hate for him to get up so early. Of course, I’m looking out the window right now and it’s like a winter wonderland, so I might take him up on his offer. I’m really hoping for better news tomorrow. Maybe a follie or two were hiding at todays u/s. Or maybe one of the underachievers decided to step up. I just would hate to go through the retrieval and wind up with nothing. I’m trying to be positive about this but it starting to get hard. Plus, I still don’t feel well so that doesn’t help. Oh, well. I’m thinking by next week it will all be over and hopefully I’ll be cooking some good looking embies!

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Queasy, breezy, beautiful…

Well, I think my estrogen levels are rising because I have been queasy for 2 days. I am not really hungry but I’m trying to force myself to eat. I did make some fresh veggie juice today so that I got something decent in me, and I made scrambled eggs this morning but I carbed it out for the rest of the day. I also notice that my posts are getting shorter. Could be because I feel yucky and don’t want to type or maybe I don’t have much to report. I’m sure they’ll get longer once I’m out of stim limbo. I spoke to my IVF nurse today to see if I could get some more Lupron needles since I only have 5 left. I was also concerned I would run out of Lupron, but amazingly that bottle is like the loaves and the fishes, there always seems to be medicine in it regardless of how many days I’ve used it. In fact, I’d swear there is more in there now than when I started! No such luck with the Gonal-F. Liquid gold, I’ve heard it called. I have one 900 pen left and that will last 3 days. I have a 300 pen leftover from my injectible cycle and I hope that’s all I need. At $1000 a pop, I really don’t want to have to order another one! Anyway, back to the nurse…we talked about my 1st stim check (I didn’t talk to her before) and she said everything looked great, my follies were just kind of small. Great. Now I get to worry about whether my follies will grow by my Sunday stim check. I’ve officially completed 6 days of stims and I feel like I’m going to need 6 more, but if all goes well I’ll only need maybe 4 more days. I’ll be glad to finish all this stuff, it’s really getting old. The needles have not been bad at all and up to this point I haven’t been too freaked out. Now that the ER is looming around the corner, I’m getting worried. Will I be cancelled? Will I have any good eggs? Will I get any healthy embies? Will they stick? What if, what if, what if…? I’m also noticing that my mind is totally scrambled. I’m forgetting things and I start a conversation but quickly realize I don’t know what I wanted to say. Wow. Gotta love these meds. I have been furiously googling all things IVF related and I think I’m driving myself crazy! I’ll be happy to know what going on when I get checked on Sunday. Hubby’s coming with me to the clinic because I really want him to be a part of this as much as possible. I go to monitoring by myself during the week but since this is a weekend, I want him to come. When I told him I wanted him with me Sunday, he looked confused and said “But Chik-fil-A is closed on Sundays!” Ha! That’s how I usually lure him down to the clinic. We don’t have a Chic-fil-A near us so it’s a treat to go to the one down there. Poor hubby, I’ll have to find another special place to go on Sunday. It’s almost 3am and my stomach finally feels pretty good. I guess I’ll go off to bed and hopefully sleep in in the morning. Maybe my body will be a little more used to the estrogen tomorrow.

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I was just kidding, I don’t want to do IVF anymore.

Well, today was my first stim check and as I lay on the u/s table looking at my ovaries I thought, “Well, there’s no turning back now!” Gulp. It’s not like I have a boat load of follicles, actually I was freaking out most of the day because I felt that I didn’t have enough and with all this medication I’m shooting up I should have more to show for it. It was when I saw the follies on the screen that I realized I was speeding down a hill in a car with no brakes. It’s not like it would be healthy to ovulate a bunch of follicles on my own. I’d wind up like the octuplet mom. No, I’m going to have to go through with getting them hoovered out. It made it much more real and I freaked out a little.

OK, so how was the b/w and u/s you ask? Glorious. No really. I went to lab tech Amazing and she was…well…amazing. One, two, three and we were done. We chatted while they spun my blood and I was on my way. Seriously, I think she is magical. She was so surprised when I told her no one could find the elusive vein that she always gets and I’m tempted to have her draw a bullseye over it for when I have to get monitored at the clinic on the weekend. So I drove the hour to the clinic with 2 vials of blood wrapped in one of my hats (I wanted them to have extra cushion so they wouldn’t break) and I missed most of the traffic. Of course, when I got to the clinic there was no place to park and after driving around in circles and making one unsuccessful attempt at parallel parking, I just made my own spot. Now, I was a little nervous about the u/s since all my other ones have been less than ejoyable but the tech was wonderful. Super gentle, in fact she didn’t hurt me a bit. What the heck were the other one’s doing? I got to see the screen and she pointed out all my little follies. Then it was over.

Uterine lining – 8.4 good
E2 level – about 230, I kind of forgot but in the good range
Follicle count – well…5 on the left and 4 on the right. And all measuring under 10. I was a little disappointed but now that I have had the chance to Google the heck out of “follicle count on day 4 of stims” I actually feel a little better. I just want them to grow!

I stay on the 300 of Gonal-F and go back on Sunday for more monitoring. I’ll have to see if lab tech Amazing can draw a bullseye on my arm so the people at the clinic don’t use me as a pincushion again!

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MIA recap

So I’ve been MIA for a few days so here’s the recap.

Friday: Suppression check! I got to the lab early because I had to have an ultrasound and I didn’t want to be punished by another u/s tech for being late. Of course they messed up my info again and so I had to stand there and wait for the lady to enter me in the system for the trillionth time. By that time it was almost too late for the u/s so I headed there first (again, not wanting a sadistic tech scrambling up my insides). Of course I sat in the waiting room for nearly 20 minutes. I couldn’t understand why, there was no one else there. What the heck were they doing in the back. Finally, the tech came out (another one I hadn’t seen before – I just love how so many strangers have poked around my bajingo in the past year) and took me back. No apology for making me wait, not even a smile. Uh oh, here we go again. She did give me a reason for my waiting, though. She said they were all back there talking and lost track of time. Gee, that’s nice. I have nothing better to do but wait for you to finish hanging out with your work buddies. It’s not like you guys have this thing about getting all the u/s done by 7:30. So then I’m on the table and as she is probing around like she’s looking for the lost treasure of the Incans, I started to wince a little. She proceeded to tell me that if I just relaxed then it wouldn’t hurt. Ok, I said, how am I supposed to relax when you are all up inside my business searching for what I can only assume is the 3rd ovary I didn’t know I had. Then she has the nerve to say that I’m not going to make it when the time comes for me to have daily monitoring. Wow, lady, I don’t think I can take much more of this encouragement and support. In fact, I think the only way I would feel better about going through all this IVF stuff is if you shot me in the head. The probing finally ended and I make my way to the lab.

I had Mr. lab tech again and I figured that like the last blood test gave me, this one would be fairly easy. Ha! Not exactly. I was in the recliner again and this guy who looked to be about 60 was sitting in the other desk/chair. I could tell he was wondering how long it would take before I passed out. Then I hear him tell his tech that his veins are small and hard to get. Hey, buddy, you haven’t seen hard to get veins until you’ve seen mine! So Mr. lab tech comes in and after about 5 minutes with the hot pack he goes for my vein. You know the one, it’s the only vein any of them can get. It’s a decent vein that hasn’t let me down in that lab yet. All of a sudden he start digging in. I can hear him mumbling about not getting any blood and of course I start to cry. I knew it wasn’t going to take much to set off the tears. Lupron was killing me and AF was showing up; I was an emotional mess. So I’m crying, sobbing actually and the other guy starts looking like he was going to cry. I don’t know if Mr. lab tech cried but it wouldn’t suprise me. After he was done he proceeds to say “Well, doesn’t look like we can use that vein anymore.” Um, what? The ONLY vein you guys have managed to get any blood from and you BROKE it?? And believe me, it was broken. It was bruised and there was a bump where the needle went in and I couldn’t touch my wrist for HOURS. I went home and hubby was just getting ready for work and when he asked how it went I just cried and cried “He broke my vein!” Now, hubby is tired of me being man-handled by these people and when he got to work he called my IVF nurse to brainstorm how we can make my life a little easier when the heavy duty monitoring begins. Long story short, I get to get my blood taken at the lab that is 5 minutes from my house which means I can take a hot shower right before I go and that usually pops all my veins out. Plus, there is an amazing lab tech there (we’ll call her Lab Tech Amazing) that can get my blood in one poke, out of my arm and everything! She is the only one that can do it and if I could take her around with me whenever I need someone to find a vein, I would. So I can have her take my blood and I’ll carry it with me down to my clinic where I’ll get my u/s by a tech who know what they are doing when someone has a ton of follicles and isn’t too comfortable. Blood to go, understanding u/s tech, long drive to clinic…ok, aside from the long drive I’d say my monitoring will be a lot better than I had first expected. I can take an uncomfortable u/s over a terrible blood test anyday. Oh, the results of my suppression check? I start my Gonal-F on Sunday night and drop the Lupron down to half the dose! Yay!

Saturday: Happy Valentine’s Day! I woke up with a KILLER headache that lasted the entire day. Hubby and I were supposed to go to Boston at night but I felt too horrible to go. So we just lazed around and played x-box games. I finally tried to get some sleep but the stupid headache kept me up until about 6:30am. Hubby was up until about the same time because after the nap he took earlier in the day, he couldn’t sleep. We were a mess.

Sunday: My head is much better and hubby and I slept late so that was nice. We ran around and did some errands and bought 2 new chairs for the island in the kitchen. It took us nearly an hour to pick the perfect chairs out and I was so excited. We bring them home and realize too late that they are bar height chairs, not counter height. Oops! About a foot too high. That night I took my 1/2 dose of Lupron (super quick and easy now!) and hubby gave me my Gonal-F shot in my arm. Thanks to EMLA, I didn’t feel a thing. Well, there was a little sting at the end, but not bad. Yay! One down, not sure how many more to go, maybe 8, maybe 9, who knows.

Monday: So today I returned the chairs and got other ones that fit under the counter. I’ll have to paint them since they’re unfinished but I really like them so I’m happy. Gonal-F shot #2 was tonight and it went off without a hitch. If I think about how next week will most likely be my egg retrieval, I start to freak out a little so I can’t think about it. One day at a time. Breathe…

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