5 days of Hell, but HAPPY!!!!

I finally dragged myself into work today.  I had to knowing I’d miss another couple of days for the transfer.  Plus, the shareholders are voting on whether I should be made partner!  UGH.  Update:  Diarrhea still.  That makes 5 days.  It’s been HORRIBLE.  The husband got sick Sunday night and was throwing up all night.  We both stayed home Monday and slept (well, tried to sleep).  He’s off at the pool swimming right now over lunch, and somehow, I’m still SICK.  In a way, I was kind of glad that husband got sick– I think he was able to feel my pain.  Just throw in swollen ovaries and a harvest.

Latest news.  GREAT news.  8 eggs harvested.  6 mature.  5 fertilized (with ICSI).  Transfer day is THURSDAY!!!!!!  Let’s just hope all 5 keep on growing and looking good. Then transfer 3-4 and freeze the remaining (assuming all make it to day 5!).  Last time we transferred 3 EXCELLENT ones, and only one implanted for a few weeks.  I’m leaning towards transferring 4, but husband wants 3.  I just don’t want to go through all of this again.  The guidelines actually state 4-5 embryos for a 40 year old.  

Since the reasons for this blog are two-fold (one, to voice my blabberings, two, to help others in the process), let me tell you what I’ve learned with this process:

1- Repronex (sp?) shots KILL.  I ended up being allergic to the shots.  Got huge welts every night when we did the shots.  Best to do them at night so they can go away during the night.

2- We used Lupron the first round of IVF, and this round we did the antagonist (cetrotide).  This round was about $2,000 MORE than the Lupron, Bravelle and Menopur, but the cycle seemed much shorter.  Less eggs, less shots, but supposedly better quality.  Lupron made my body ache.

3- Progesterone shots work best if you heat up your butt.  We use a hot rag for about 5 minutes on my butt before the injections.  After the shots, walk around to get the muscle going.

4- Use ICSI!!!  We didn’t use it the first time, and only 3 eggs fertilized.  It cost us almost $1,000 more this time, but we had 5 fertilize.

Fingers crossed for Thursday!  Baby on board!

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3 day of hell, seriously

Thursday  afternoon at work, I emailed my husband and wrote, “I’m super happy!  I’m so excited for the harvest on Saturday!”  I was bouncing off the walls with joy.  Within 2 hours of writing that, I was driving home feeling bad stomach cramps.  I chalked it up to nerves.  Then, when I was cooking dinner, I leaned over the sink and threw up.  Not once, not twice, but about 6 times.  My husband was out running (he’s training for an ironman in May), and my stepdaughter ran into the kitchen and grabbed the phone to call 911.  Super cute.  I told her I was fine– just had to “empty” my stomach– so don’t call 911.

Husband came home, and I said I was just nervous and excited. I’m fine.  Wrong.  I continued vomiting for the next 18 hours.  All through the night.  Plus diarrhea.  Non-stop fluid exploding EVERYWHERE.  All over the living room floor (thank heavens for hardwood floors).  Then the aches came.  Keep in mind, this was all happening with swollen ovaries.  Delightful. Then I broke down and cried, because I had a fever of 100.8.  The Dr. said no harvesting if I had a fever.  I cried and cried. I didn’t sleep one bit Thursday night.  Then my fever broke, and I went into the clinic for IVs in the morning.  I have never been poked so much in my life with needles– they had a difficult time trying to find a vein because I was do dehydrated.  After 2 bags of fluid and anti-nausea medicine, I left the clinic feeling a bit better.  But the diarrhea didn’t stop.  It continued violently.  The next day (Saturday), we still proceeded with harvesting.  We won’t know the results until tomorrow– if the eggs are fertilized or even if they survived my violent vomiting and diarrhea.  I’m typing this with such a heavy heart…..

I only got up 3 times last night with diarrhea, but, of course, I haven’t eaten ANYTHING since Thursday morning.   Gatorade is my best friend now.  Jamba Juice is my second best friend.  My stepdaughter (8 years old) and I have watched, no lie, over 8 movies in the past two days– 17 Again (3 times), The Prince and Me, Inkheart (2 times), Mama Mia, Hanna Montana (I had to watch that one on Percocet), to only name a few.  Thank heavens for my cute daughter.

Bottomline.  I still have horrible diarrhea.  I haven’t eaten a full meal since Wednesday night.  I’m dehydrated. I can’t stand up for long.  I’m weak.  My ovaries are super sensitive from the harvesting.  I’ve lost almost 5 pounds in 3 days.  I find out tomorrow how my eggs are.  We will have transfer day either Tuesday or Thursday.  Let’s hope Thursday, just so maybe I can get better.  For right now, I’m feeling like crap.  (curtailing my profanity).  I can’t stop crying….

1347

That’s the estrogen level.  We’re harvesting on Saturday!!!!!! 

8 follicles = estrogen level of 1347 

Last cycle, we had 11 follicles and an estrogen level of 1326.  QUALITY, not quantity.  yaaaaaaaaaaaa!  Oh dear.  I’m getting all freaked out.  Give me that valium, Dr.!  I’m so excited!!!  Another roller coaster that’s going to bring us a baby this time.  Big, fat, chubby baby!  🙂

Not Ripe Yet

We went in for our “are they ready to harvest” ultrasound.  Still not growing.  Extremely low crop.  About 3-4 on each side.  Gulp.  Compared to last IVF which had about 6 on each side.  Oh dear.  I’m trying not to cry.  Keep positive.  We WILL have a baby.  As the Dr. said, “It’s not quantity we’re looking for.  It’s quality.”  So, if my estrogen levels come back over 1000, then a-harvesting we will go on Saturday.  If not, I’m getting poked on Sunday.  Good times.

I know I don’t have thousands of followers on this blog, but it’s nice to know I have at least a couple who listen to my crazy ramblings.  Thank you for listening!  Life is a bit easier knowing there are others who care– even if from a distance.  🙂

Drifting….

I just wouldn’t know what to do with my mornings if I didn’t get my usual vaginal probe, a.k.a. ultrasound.  The eggs are in slo-mo.  Only have about 4-5 that are “good-looking”, and about 10 that are below the measurement of 10.  We’re hoping to get those suckers growing in order to harvest on Friday or Saturday.  As nervous and as anxious as I feel, I just know that those eggs will grow.  There’s a sense of calmness that’s finally settled over me.  Or else I’ve been taking those damn nighttime Tylenols on accident during the day.

My co-worker just brought her new baby to work to show everyone.  She’s the one that got pregnant 2 weeks after taking out her IUD.  Kicker is, the husband didn’t want kids, and she was iffy about it too.  I still remember her coming into my office with about 3 different pregnancy sticks claiming, “They’re all f*ing pregnant!  What the f* am I going to do?”  She was totally distressed and in tears about being pregnant.  Little did she know who she was talking to.

One of the nurses that we really like at the fertility clinic is full-on pregnant.  I find it funny (and sometimes severely painful).  It’s like a person at a fat camp that’s super skinny and eating chocolate cake in front of everyone.  It’s been very hard pushing negative thoughts out of my crazy, busy head, but I’ve decided I’m only going to think positively.  We ARE going to get pregnant, and we ARE going to have a healthy, happy baby in 9 months.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  I must have faith, hope and loads of nighttime Tylenol or else I’ll crumble into pieces that won’t ever assemble again.

As I was playing brickbreaker on my blackberry the other day during my pedicure (which was happy this time), I realized something.  I’m just playing a big brickbreaker game, and whenever it says “Try Again”, I do.  I keep trying despite losing.  Now I’m about to beat my top score, because I’ve been practicing so much.  This is it.  It’s our turn now to win now.  I’m drinking lots of water, eating well, taking vitamins, sleeping well, and being less stressed at work.   I can’t wait to enter my name into the “top score” category soon.  It will happen.

More eggs, please!

Based on the first ultrasound, the Dr. bumped up my FSH.  I broke out in tears when I was told that my ovaries were “low” on eggs.  Apparently, I was supposed to have 7-10 potential eggs in EACH ovary.  Nobody told my ovaries that, so they only had 4 in the right and 6 in the left.  More drugs.  We went for the second ultrasound, and yup, still not enough eggs.  More drugs.  More estrogen.  I actually really enjoy the estrogen, because my skin starts looking like I’m 20 years old (as in glassy smooth and no blemishes).  I’m trying to see the positive in all of this.

I can’t believe how stressed out I am.  I came to work today, and all I did was play minesweeper.  Wasn’t exactly a productive day.  How in the world am I going to de-stress?  When I’m stressed, I lose my appetite.  Not a good thing for me right now.  Let’s just say I don’t have a curvy body to begin with, so losing weight isn’t a  good thing.  Especially when I’m trying to build eggs.  It’s all about the eggs. 

Just want to give a shout out to the two NYC bloggers who are preggo.  Congrats and hope it rubs off on me!!  🙂  By the way, I went to NYU undergrad, so I guess I’m a former transplant NY’er.  Good times. 

And for the acupuncture comment, it sounds like a marvelous idea.  However, I asked the Dr. about it today, and he said it might stress me out even more, because I haven’t done it before.  Needles are not my friend.  Anyone have any other suggestions besides just taking nighttime tylenol??

The eve before the 2nd IVF cycle

I’m so anxious.  I couldn’t sleep the other night worrying about everything.  Tomorrow I get my first base ultrasound, and I start my FSH shots.  It’s hard to explain in words, but actually starting the cycle makes me sick to my stomach.  Maybe it’s because it’s real.  As in, before I started my cycle I had heaps and heaps of hope.  Now, reality is settling in.  This is it.  The drugs are in the fridge.  The credit card has been charged.  THIS is it.  My mood swings are like a freaking pendulum.  Super excited thinking about having a baby, then the deep, black sorrow about not getting pregnant.  It’s so dark in those thoughts, and I just push them away quickly, because I know I can spiral down fast.

I’ve been isolating myself regarding this 2nd IVF cycle.  The miscarriage about killed me, and even my own husband freaked out about how depressed I got.  I’ve only told my mom and dad about this new cycle.  I just don’t want to talk about it with anyone except my husband, my parents (which is really only my mom since my dad has dementia), and this cyberworld.  I just want to shut down and ignore everyone.  It was so hard last time when everyone knew, and I had to explain to everyone that I was NOT pregnant (I miscarried).  Some people, like my sister-in-law with 2 kids, just don’t understand and ask stupid questions.  Like, “So how are your eggs?  You having triplets?”  I’m so sick of the fertility multiple jokes.  What I’d give to even have just ONE baby.

Then there’s the husband who starts to recoil at my constant comments about IVF, blogs, babies, and pregnancy.  Oh, how different males and females are.  Plus, he’s already had a child, so for him to be inside my head and understand my ups and downs is completely unrealistic.  He will never understand my dark thoughts nor my deep, painful empty aches for a child of my own.  Adoption still gives me a little twinge of pain, just because I know that would mean I’d never be pregnant, birth a child, or have a child with my own traits and DNA.  Although I know I will consider it if we need to.

Anyway, there are my blabbers for today.  My thoughts are going out to cyberworld…….

Hastily Read Blogs Create Havoc

I recently posted some family pics on the family blog.  Underneath some of the pics, I said something to the effect of “I wish that I had a little bump in my stomach at the time of our family pics, but things don’t always go as planned.”  Then I further explained, “We don’t have any announcements to make.  I’m just dreaming….”

You can guess what happened next.  Somebody, anonymously, wrote, “WOW!  Congrats are in order for you guys!  That’s a great announcement!”.  Now, to any normal human being, this would hardly offend them.  But keep in mind, I’m not normal.  For a 40 year-old trying IVF a second time and who recently had a miscarriage from the first IVF, well, you can only guess how my blood started to boil.  I quickly responded with an incredibly curt comment about reading blogs carefully, then decided that was rude so I deleted the entire comment section.

The lesson of the day is:  Hastily read blogs create havoc.

The River “De-nial”

The husband and I had one month to try and save some money by doing the pregnancy route “au natural”.  Hopes ran high simply because, hey, why shouldn’t they?  Husband made comments like “we certainly nailed this one” (when referring to the ovulation stick), and then….my ovaries started burning.  When I was pregnant by IVF before I miscarried, my ovaries felt like they were on FIRE.  As I was told by the baby factory after my IVF, the burning ovaries were a “good sign”, because it meant my body was still pumping out estrogen.  Hurray!!!!

So, we “nailed” the ovulation and my ovaries were on fire.  THEN…. the little, iddy, biddy, brown spotting in my underwear.  THEN, no period.  Excuse me??  A baking powder??  Am I pregnant?  Are monkeys flying out of my butt?  My mood swung about as high as it could get.  I told my husband one night in bed, “I think I’m pregnant.  If I’m wrong, I’m wrong.  But mark my words, I’m saying that I’m pregnant.”  Could it be??!! 

Then THE 28th day came and went.  No AF.  Over Thanksgiving, I was visited by a few brown leaks.  No red.  I promptly went to “the google” for information, because “the google” is ALWAYS TRUE.  Guess what I read?  Implantation bleeding is usually brown.  WHAT??  Ovaries on fire, brown spots, no red blood, no cramps.  Have the stars aligned and we struck the jackpot?!!

Saturday morning, I just couldn’t take it, and I peed on a stick.  It wasn’t one of those “plus signs ones”.  It was the MEAN ones that actually tell you in words….. “NOT PREGNANT”.  Maybe the stick could underline it and put it in bold, because I didn’t quite see what it said after staring at it for an hour.  Could the stick maybe remind me again that I was NOT pregnant??  Mood swinging low….DENY DENY DENY the pee stick….

Sunday morning the husband and I bonded (since this is a fertility blog, I guess I can say we had sex, right?).  Lots of brown stuff and a tiny bit of red.  Mood swinging lower.  Lower still. 

The problem is, I have to start taking BC pills, but was this really my period??!  Bright and early this morning I, of course, called the baby factory.  One of the nurses informed me that the brown blood was probably leftover from my miscarriage.  Oh fun, another reminder.  My period is probably on it’s way as I type.  Oh FUN!  The ovaries are still on fire, but there’s no bun in the oven.  No baking this cycle.  My spirits are low….

This weekend we found out that my husband is a quarter native american Indian (long story about how he didn’t know– I’m about as opposite as can be…pale, blonde–Danish mom).  Anyways, I told him he needed to start praying to Kokopelli, because the fertility deity certainly isn’t listening to pale face.

Fingers crossed.  IVF #2.

IVF with pixy stix

We met with the ferility doc yesterday, and we are set to do cycle number 2 (and FINAL one, right?) in January.  This time we are doing a different “cocktail” of drugs to get more eggs PLUS ICSI.  When I first heard the doc mention ICSI, I thought she kept saying “pixy”.  WTH?  IVF with pixy.  So, we’re going to harvest the eggs and sprinkle pixy dust on them from a pixy stix.  Might as well, since the last round didn’t exactly work.  I think I’ll choose grape pixy stix.

Speaking of sticks, we’ve been using the ovulation pee sticks, and they are more complicated than advanced calculus.  I get a line almost every day.  I told the doc that, and she said that my system is most likely messed up since I had a pregnancy/miscarriage.  Duh, yeah, since I’m on about day 26 and barely ovulating (according to the wizzard pee sticks).

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