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IVF 2.0 Here we go again!

It’s been 4 years since my first IVF journey (well, more like a terrifying roller coaster ride) and after a failed FET this past October, we are starting another fresh cycle…um…tomorrow! Well, I’m hoping. We were supposed to start in January but decided we weren’t quite there yet. Then February comes and the insurance company decided to give us the run around and we missed that cycle. March comes along and, oh Lordy, I have never in my life had so much trouble from an insurance company. Or any company for that matter. I made sure the medication was ordered 2 weeks ahead of time but was told they couldn’t really place the order until right before it shipped. They (the pharmacy) didn’t like to ship it too early in case the doctor wanted to change anything. Sure, I thought, that sounds rational. The day before the medication was to ship I got THE CALL. “Sorry, Myrtle, you’re insurance company says you don’t have coverage”. And that began my weeklong dance with the devil, ahem, insurance company. I was on the phone from 8:30 am until 9:30pm with maybe a 2 hour break one of the days. HOURS on the phone. The stress, the yelling (yes, I yelled) the tears. I became a crazy person because everyone I spoke to acted like they had the answer then the next person would say the person before was “new” and apparently didn’t know what they were talking about. And the computer system! At least that is what they blamed every problem on. I won’t go into the dirty details, I’ll just say after 4 full days of getting nowhere, I found the benefits coordinator at the hubby’s work who did in 1 hour what I couldn’t accomplish in, like, 30! So here I sit, my COVERED BY INSURANCE medication tucked safely in the closet (with a few Gonal-F pens in the fridge), starting to freak out that my cycle started today.

Holy crap. I remember last time I was obsessing already. I was on every support website I could find and was just completely consumed by the whole IVF thing. This time feels different. Maybe because I am pre-occupied by my 3 year old son (my IVF success!). Maybe I am just in disbelief that the thing I put off for years is now looming over me. Who knows? There are a lot of things different now. First, my son. Of course. The pressure that we will never have a child is off but the desire to have one more to finish our family is still strong as ever. We are in a new house. I have made some really good friends that are in on the IVF “secret”, so I actually have real life support now. Physically, I’m probably not where I should be. I never lost my pregnancy weight and now I’m like 40 lbs heavier than where I started the last time. Ugh. I’m older, too, which means my eggs are older (as they keep reminding me). I’m on so much more medication this time around I’m wondering what the RE is thinking. Speaking of the RE, my other one left the practice so I have a new one. My superstition alarms are going off all over the place. I want things to be exactly like they were the last time. But nothing is, well, except my crappy fertility issue. So tomorrow is my baseline bloodwork and u/s (in the town next to mine so no more 1.5 hour travel for monitoring! Yippee!) and we’ll see if my ovaries cooperate or if they decide to pop out a cyst. Stay tuned!

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Week 10 update!! We have an apricot!

OK, I’m totally the worst blogger ever. You would think with all the time I spend in bed I would devote a little of it to updating this blog, but no, I’m so lazy I hardly even want to make the effort to turn on the laptop. Anyway, I’m not 10 weeks and 2 days and there has been a lot going on. I went to my midwife exam today and hubby came with me. We got to hear the heartbeat and I could have listened to it the whole morning. I have been freaking out since my BFP that something would happen to this little bean and so the midwives have been very understanding and have let me come in every week to hear the heartbeat on the doppler. That started week 8. I had my regular appt today and it was just an exam. Ah, that word sends shivers down my spine. Exams usually means I’m being poked and proded and you would think after 4 IUIs, hundreds of vaginal ultrasounds and the mother of all invasives, IVF, I would be used to a little speculum. Nope. I squirmed and complained about how it pinched and made faces and took dramatically long deep breathes, basically making a fool of myself and probably scaring the midwife into planning her vacation around my due date. It was over fast, though, and on with the question part of the exam. How’s my morning sickness. Still there but seems to be easing. When I went in on Tuesday for the heartbeat check, I told the nurse that I have been getting lightheaded. Apparently my blood pressure was very low and I was told to try to eat something every 2 hours, even if it is a couple of bites. So that’s what I’ve been doing. It seems to be working because I’m not really having the mind numbing nausea that has been haunting me since my IVF cycle started. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight and since I was already underweight, I now look like I’m wasting away. Good news is I’ve only lost a half a pound since I was weighed two weeks ago. Yay! Maybe I’m starting to turn the corner! I’m still experiencing my ridiculously intense exhaustion but I have been able to do a little more every day. Hubby even got homemade calzones for dinner tonight. I’m lucky that the smell of food doesn’t bother me, in fact I can’t wait to start craving food again and I have been watching the food network every day, dreaming of all the food I’m going to make when I’m finally ready to eat real food again! I did have a bit of a disappointing moment with the midwife, though. She looked at a letter my RE sent her and was told that my due date was 3 days later than I was told. That means instead of a new week every Wednesday, she’s counting my new weeks to start on Fridays. Whatever. I told her I didn’t care, I was still going to start my new weeks on Wednesday because I was originally told my due date was the 18th. Plus, my 2nd trimester will get here a little faster. Believe me, those 3 days make a difference. I will be so happy to have my next ultrasound (not this wednesday, but the next!!) and I think if it all looks good, we will spread the news to all who don’t know. And that’s pretty much everyone but the select few. I’m especially excited to tell my friend who is about 20 weeks preggo. She has been going on non-stop about “When your pregnant this and that…”, it’s a good thing I’m really am pregnant because she has no clue about how hard it is for someone dealing with infertility to hear their pregnant friend going on and on about being pregnant and then giving you advise for when YOUR pregnant. I just saw her today and she has the cutest bump and now I can’t wait to get a bump. Not sure when that will be, though. She was already unbuttoning her jeans in her 10th week and I just went out a bought jeans a size smaller than I normally wear. My spidey sense tells me I won’t have a bump for a really long time. Maybe it’s my skinniness or maybe my uterus is tipped back. I’ll be excited to get one, though. One of these days.

Anyway, I’ll probably be going back in the hear the little beansprout the middle of next week. It will be nice not to worry so much.

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UPDATE!

Wow, it has been forever since I have updated my blog. I feel pretty guilty for leaving everyone hanging but I had to take care of a few thing before I let you all know that this infamous IVF cycle WAS A SUCCESS!! That’s right, I’m pregnant!! I wanted to make sure I told the people that I know that read this blog about it before they read it here. And I also have been super lazy and have hardly turned on my computer! So for those who have been reading this blog, and those who may have just discovered it, after 5 years of trying to have a baby, a deep seeded fear of needles and doctors, lots of blood tests, pokes, prods, and more people looking at my who-ha than I can count on both hands, my first IVF worked! I am now officially 8 weeks today and have already seen the gummy bear (that’s how big baby is this week) 2 times and heard the heartbeat last week!! 133 beats per minute and it sounded amazing!! Hubby and I are still waiting 4 more weeks to spread the happy news to everyone, but only a close few know about our gummy bear.

How am I feeling this week? Well, I have been nauseous since the IVF cycle and morning sickness really started right away. In fact, I made a special dinner to surprise hubby and couldn’t eat a bite!! It has progressively gotten worse and has turned into all day nausea but no pukey pukey so I’m happy about that at least. I’m not at all surprised I’ve been queasy because my beta numbers were pretty high, in fact we were surprised there was only one growing in there. Beta #1 was 238, 48 hours later it was 620 and 4 days after that it was 3366!! I actually went to the midwife for the first time yesterday because I have been concerned about the weight I’ve been losing and she prescribed me Zofran. Hallelujah!! I only took a half a pill yesterday and felt much better and today haven’t needed one at all!! Hopefully I’ll notice I’m feeling better more and more and one day I’ll wake up and want to eat a whole pizza!! Oh, and when I mentioned to my mom that I haven’t felt well, she promptly told me that she wasn’t sick a day during her pregnancies and it was probably because she wanted to be pregnant so badly. Sorry, mom, that doesn’t help me on frickin’ bit!

How did I tell hubby? I have been thinking of this for 5 years! For those who have been through fertility treatments, you usually don’t get any surprises. We know when we ovulate. We know how many follicles we have. With IVF we know how many embies we put back. And probably the biggest thing is we know when we have to go in for a beta to see if the cycle worked. No “Gee honey, I just peed on a stick and it’s positive!”. We have to wait for the blood test for confirmation. Well, I wanted to surprise hubby with the results. I told him that I would get the results on a Friday when I really got them on Thurs. Thursday night I made a special dinner of cornish hens (they look like baby chickens), baby carrots, baby potatoes and baby corn. When I asked him what the common theme of all the food was, of course he had no idea. OK, good thing I had a back up plan. I had purchased a book called “What to expect when she’s expanding” a few months ago (before IVF even started) and it’s a really funny book for future dads telling them what to expect for the next 9 months. I was laughing out loud in Barnes and Noble. I wrote in the front cover “Congratulations, you’re going to be a daddy!” and gave it to him. That did it. He was shocked! And I got to surprise him even in an IVF cycle!!

I go for my first official midwife visit tomorrow (yesterday’s was just a ‘holy crap’ visit) and as long as I don’t get poked to much, I’ll be happy!! I’ll keep you updated!!

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To pee or not to pee…

That’s the question. I have no more HPTs in the house. I used up the 2 that I had on “let’s see if this works” testing. Meaning, one I used for real and one I ran under the faucet. Then I compared. See? I’m crazy. All these fertility drugs have made me crazy. I half expected to see the faucet HPT come up positive because it seems like everyone else around me is pregnant and I keep hearing it’s in the water so, hey, why not test that theory. And just as I suspected, it wasn’t in my water. Maybe that has been my problem all these years, I don’t have pregnant water. Didn’t Nicole Kidman find some miracle fountain in New Zealand or somewhere that made her pregnant? See, that’s what I get for not drinking the fancy imported bottled water. Thanks alot, Poland Springs!

So now I need more tests. Do I want to spend the money? I’m telling you, I’m have stimulated the economy over the years all by myself buying HPTs. I mean, the cheapest one at the drug store is $14.99 for 2. Ha, what a joke. Then they make you feel like you are getting a deal when they throw in an extra one for $4 more. I swear, these manufacturers know a good thing when they see it. They prey on all the ladies out there who are hoping every month to get pregnant and they know that we start testing (at least I do) as soon as I think I’ve ovulated. Not every month, mind you. 12 months a year for 5 years means a small fortune would have been spent on tests. Um, Mr. President, do you think while you are shelling out another $30 billion to AIG, can you sweep a couple of hundred my way. I promise I won’t have a gaggle of kids and use taxpayer’s money to support me like a certain mother we know out there. What do you think?

Well, onto the symptoms update. From 5dp3dt (that’s 5 days past a 3 day transfer) I had cramps pretty much all day. 2 acupuncture treatments in a row didn’t really stop them. Today, they finally seem to have calmed down. I hope that’s a good sign. Hopefully my body is not trying to get rid of anything, or maybe the cramps were a sign that my little embie(s) were trying to snuggle in. I am still getting tired, but now with daylight savings time the sleepiness starts around 5pm. And as tired as I get, I’m still not able to get to sleep at night. That’s pretty much it.

So, I have less than a week until I know for sure if this IVF worked. I don’t want to think about it. I just want to be pregnant. So, I guess I need to decide whether or not I should pee or not before the beta. Hmmm, to be continued, I guess…

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PUPO…

I am officially pregnant until proven otherwise! The transfer was yesterday and I really had no idea what to expect. I googled everything there was about egg retrievals but didn’t think to look up what to expect with an egg transfer. I figured with 4 IUI’s under my belt, there really shouldn’t be much mystery, right? Well, it was just a little different. Hubby and I got to the clinic an hour before the transfer time and I started drinking water. I brought my own bottle but was told that it wouldn’t be enough to fill my bladder. What? I don’t exactly have the biggest bladder and I figured that my 20oz of smartwater would do the trick. Apparently they wanted me to be doing a little dance with my legs crossed as we walked into the transfer room. I was fine until the u/s tech started pressing on my bladder looking for my uterus. Even after drowning myself, my stubborn bladder was still not full enough. I was really hoping that they wouldn’t make me go back out to drink more. There were 13 transfers that day (I was number 3) and I didn’t want to be bumped to the end of the line. By the way, we picked the month that they had a record number of retrievals, 246 in fact. So now I’m starting to feel like I’m on an assembly line. Anyway, back to the uncomfortably full bladder. Fortunately, the doctor said everything looked fine and all of a sudden the room is buzzing with people. I had one nurse on each leg and they wrapped their respective leg in a blanket and put it in the stirrups. Not the kind with the foot thing, it was the kind that went under my knee. Yeah, it was just as comfy as it sounds, which was not at all. I had bought a pair of over the knee socks in a cute stripe pattern because I figured it would be nice to dress up a little and really, socks are the only thing you would be able to see. The nurses appreciated my extra effort but promptly covered up my legs so now I look like one of those Thanksgiving turkeys with the fancy white covers that go over the legs. I had a blanket over my legs but it really didn’t cover anything so there I am, legs open for all the world to see and a doctor and 2 nurses that I had never met all staring at the same place. Oh, plus the embryologist, but she didn’t really come in for too long. It’s funny, I don’t even care anymore when total strangers are mulling around my girlie parts (well, as long as they have some sort of medical degree!!). Modesty? I remember that from a long time ago. How quaint. So we get to see the pics of our 2 wonderful 8 cell embies on a screen and then the u/s tech told me to look at the u/s screen because I would be able to see the catheter and the embies go in my uterus. So in goes the speculum (ouch), then the doctor took her sweet time cleaning my cervix and apparently someone ordered the deluxe wash because she was in there for quite a long time, and then in goes the catheter. I didn’t even feel it, which was very suprising. Usually my poor cervix is poked like there is a person trying to thread a needle with their eyes closed, but this time it was quick and easy! We watched on the screen and saw 2 tiny air bubbles and the doctor told us that between those bubbles were our little embies. After that, I had to lay there for 10 minutes and then it was time to go. I went right to my acupuncturist and got my treatment and then home to bed. So I have been lounging around in bed all weekend and have almost watch all of my new DVDs. I’m not really feeling that good today, I don’t know why, but I’m hoping I’ll be feeling better tomorrow. I’m a little freaked out that there are 2 embies inside me that are hopefully growing and getting ready to implant. It’s exciting, though! I get my beta in 2 weeks and I’m hoping for great news! Now I’m off to watch another movie!

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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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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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