Jan 31- One Day Past Three Day Transfer (1dp3dt)

Yesterday was the most exciting part of this whole journey. Transfer day. Now it was raining and I take that as a good sign. It rained on our wedding day.

With my father arriving the night before, we had to drop him off at my aunt’s apartment so he could help my other aunt clean it out before the first. I hadn’t slept very well. I kept having to pee and I broke the toilet. Ok so I didn’t really break it, the push button thing broke when I was flushing it. Yeah… at 2 am. My hubby wasn’t very happy. It kept running so he had to turn the water supply to it off. We had set the alarm for 7 am. When it went off I thought I had accidently kept it set for 5:45 which is our usual weekday alarm time. It was so dark.

It was in fact 7 am, just raining. Normally I like a winter rain here in the valley but I wasn’t looking forward to driving across the valley twice, especially with the superbowl traffic. So we got up and got ready. My dad was running behind as usual and by 8:30I was telling him that we REALLY needed him to finish up. So in the rain we drove 45 minutes to drop my dad off.

We thought the polite thing to do was go in and say hi to my aunt and great aunt. My aunt wasn’t terribly friendly. My great aunt hadn’t seen me since I was about 5. Now all this medication has made me really bloated. In the stomach area. So my great aunt pats my tummy and asks if that is why we had a doctor’s appointment and couldn’t stay. I laughed and said I am just fat but that we were working on that. She was so embarrassed but I told her not to be. We left shortly after. We drove all the way back across town and then north to the doctor’s office. We got there an hour early. I chugged my 2 bottles of water and we ate some egg mcmuffins. After 45 minutes we went in. I took the valium they gave me. Twenty minutes later they took us back.

Now they directed us to the doctor’s actual office. The first thing I thought was oh crap, the embryos died. We sat down. He told us we were transferring two beautiful embryos. One was an A with 8 cells and the other was B+ with 7 cells. We signed the consent and were taken to the transfer room. I got undressed and hopped up on the table. The nurse came in to check my bladder. It wasn’t full enough. They waited 15 minutes. Bingo, it was ready.

Now let me just say someone pressing on your full bladder with an ultrasound wand and with the vagina opening tool in, highly uncomfortable. In went the babies. They gave me a picture of the embryos going into my uterus. Now the hard part, laying there for 20 minutes. My sweet husband pulled up funny videos on youtube to distract me. 25 minutes later they finally let me pee. THANK GOODNESS. So they wheeled me out to the car and we went straight home. bed rest. It’s exhausting lol.

So we’re pregnant until proven otherwise!

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Jan 29- Embryo Updates

Yesterday I was so anxious for the clinic to call me and tell me how many of the 8 eggs were mature and fertilized. I figured maybe 6 would be perfect. Enough to do the 2 we wanted and freeze some for later. After some gals in my support group started updating their numbers, I got nervous. I called the clinic and left a message. It was after 10:30 when she called. I knew it wasn’t going to be good news. You don’t wait on good news. Those are the people you call first. Of the 8 eggs, 7 were mature. Ok, not so bad so far. Then the heartbreaking part. Only 2 fertilized. 2? 2! 2?! I thanked her and hung up. Only 2? What if this doesn’t work? I don’t want to do this fresh cycle again. I started crying. I text my hubby and asked him to call when he had a minute. He was disappointed too. Nothing left over to freeze. The energy I had earlier in the morning was zapped. I went upstairs and cried and slept.

Our neighbor’s friend is the one who referred us to this clinic. I text her to update her. She was excited. Her daughter was born from a 2 egg batch. She seemed to think it was great news. I felt a little better, but I was honestly disappointed. I secretly hated all the women with 10 plus fertilized and was happy when people had less than me. Terrible I know. I feel a little bit like a monster for feeling that way.

Today, I was getting ready for my job interview and I kept swearing I wouldn’t answer when the clinic called. I figured if it was bad news I didn’t want to cry and ruin my makeup on the way to the interview. To my surprise they were calling at 8:30 am. OH MY GOD it must be good news. I answered. It was. Our only 2 embryos are doing exactly what they are supposed to. They are Grade A. One is a 4 cell and one is a 5 cell. The transfer is scheduled for tomorrow morning. 11 am. They are doing both. I am still terrified, but feeling better. I am still holding my breath that they will continue to do well so we can transfer both tomorrow.

On the job interview front, it was going pretty well. Until it wasn’t. At the end, the guy said he understand what it was like to lay off people (a fact they had learned from another source so I couldn’t deny it) and to keep my head up and keep up my positive attitude. Yeah… that doesn’t sound like I am getting the position. I am not sure what went wrong. Oh well.

On the death of my aunt front, my dad is flying in tonight. I am a little stressed since I am supposed to be on bed rest tomorrow and Saturday and with everything going on, I will feel rude to decline family gatherings. Apparently my cousin and her newborn, and a great aunt are flying in too. Ugh. I am feeling guilty about needing to be selfish about our time. We can’t afford to screw this up. The timing can’t be changed or moved. Dilemmas,  dilemmas.

Wish me luck for the transfer tomorrow!

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Jan 27- Retrieval Day!

The night before the retrieval I felt like I had so much to do. I had to remove my nail polish, shower, do a medicated douche (that was a new one for me) and make sure everything was ready to just get up and go in the morning. There was the added pressure that my aunt was in the hospital across town. Once I was told she was in the ICU my mind was made up for me. The ICU at her hospital had staff changes from 6 to 8:30 so it would be impossible to get back to she her. We had to be in bed at 9:30 for our early morning appointment. Not to mention it was raining, in Phoenix. Rain in Phoenix is like a Nor’Easter to New England. Everyone loses the ability to drive and there are triple the car accidents. Add to that the extra traffic in town for the Superbowl and US Open and there was no way we were making it there and back. I had to remember I wasn’t being selfish. We have been working on this for over a month! Birth control, shots, appointments. The timing was set in stone. I can’t tell my ovaries to hold out another day. It doesn’t work that way. We did not go to the hospital, we stayed home. We relaxed, ate dinner, did all the necessary preparations and went to bed.

Surprisingly, I slept pretty well. I woke up a couple times and it took a bit to fall asleep but generally I wasn’t nervous. Until we got up! Our appointment was at 7 am and they wanted us there at 6:45. We live about 30-45 minutes from the clinic (depending on traffic). We got up early enough that we had an hour to get to the clinic. My first thought was, gee I hope there was no car accident that shut down the freeway. I thought, nah that’s crazy. That rarely happens. Don’t be such a worry wort. I got the doggies feed and let them out. Made sure not to put my contacts in and we got ready. My darling hubby had to drive because well I couldn’t see! The rain stopped but the road was still damp.

We hop on the highway and what is the first thing we see? A road sign that says “Highway closed ahead. See alternative route.” Are you kidding me?????? Turns out some idiot got on the highway going the wrong way and there was a fatal crash. Yup. I started to panic. Now my hubby drives a lot for work and knows the Valley like the back of his hand. Like a pro he navigates around it and we get back on the empty highway behind the accident. We ended up being almost 30 minutes early.

Ok, now I am really nervous. What if there aren’t any eggs? What is they are all immature? What if…. I try to relax. We headed in. They had me go to the restroom, change and then the sleep-inducing man came in. Asked about allergies and such. I signed a release (which I couldn’t read-no contacts). The doctor performing the retrieval comes in to introduce himself.  They walked me to the procedure room. It looks like an operating room with stirrups. I lay on the bed. They actually untie the gown which my hubby had tied up (so no one could see my bottom). Dignity? Yep, out the window.

The next part was the worst for me. They have to put the IV in. Me, with the tiny hiding veins. The doctor put it in my wrist! OUCH. Oh and he couldn’t place it just right so he was moving that long ass needle a bunch trying to get it in properly. Did I mention this way in my right hand? The one I use for everything. Son of a gun did that hurt. The doctor comes in and says the drug guy is going to give me a “margarita.” Whoosh, damn did I feel sleepy. They tried to get me to slide down the table and they were putting my feet in squishy stirrups. Black out.

I come to in a completely different bed, in a different room. The IVF coordinator and my hubby were there. Now I am trying really hard to focus on what she is saying but let’s just say a bunch was lost in translation. Thank goodness hubby was there. She printed out a schedule of pills, the transfer and blood beta (pregnancy) test. The final count for the eggs was 8. I was a little disappointed because I had about 14 follicles. She told me I had a new prescription to fill. Some follow up care instructions. Etc. Then I get dressed and get wheeled out to the car.

We decided to go to breakfast at a diner we like nearby. After that we hit Target for the new script and an electric heating pad. After that we went home. I took all the pills I missed and drank tons of water and Gatorade. I toughed it out with regular Tylenol. Yeah I was trying to be tough but by the end of the day I wished I had taken something stronger. Luckily I did not notice any symptoms of OHSS (Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome).

On a personal front my aunt passed away at 8:30 the night before. My dad is flying out tomorrow. I am trying to stay focused on the process we are in, and not on the added stress of the week.

I can’t wait to get the call regarding how many eggs were fertilized with ICSI (a procedure where they inject the sperm directly into the egg to help fertilize them). Grow eggies grow! Our clinic almost always does a 3 day transfer. So assuming our eggies make it Friday will be the transfer! The pregnancy test will be Feb 11 if everything goes according to plan. More updates to follow!! And some MANY MANY pills….

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Jan 26- The Harvest Day is Almost Upon Us

Hehe ok ok so tomorrow isn’t all THAT dramatic. But it is the day we go in for our egg retrieval. The steroid pills they have me on have an awful after taste. The only way to mostly get around it is to put it very far back on the tongue and chug milk as quickly as possible. Ewwww. It tastes like metal chalk. The aftertaste lingers. Not my favorite part.

So to prepare for tomorrow I need to remove the nice dark polish I just put on last weekend, shower and do a medical douche (the one with iodine versus vinegar). I personally have never done that, never really wanted to. Not looking forward to that. I will lay out my retrieval socks and my new fuzzy pink slippers that my hubby helped me find this past weekend. No food or drink later this evening. Tomorrow I can’t even put my contacts in! Ugh. So I guess the hubby is driving.

Did I mention we have to be there at 6:45 AM? Yeah so we will be getting up pretty early.

This morning had some unexpectedly sad news. My aunt is in the hospital with fluid in her lungs. She was refusing treatment. My father who lives back east couldn’t get a flight out of New England because of the huge Nor’easter coming in. Now for you non-New Englanders a “nor’easter” is just a big fast storm that drops a ton of snow. Yep, so all that snow. In addition there is the added complication is that the superbowl is here in Phoenix this week. So EVERY flight is booked to Phoenix this week. /sigh.

I am trying to stay positive but clearly I am sad about my aunt. I had to take the approach that I will do what I can, but no more. We need to stay focused on what we have been working towards for over a month. I am excited to see how many eggs we actually retrieve tomorrow.

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Jan 25- Last Day of Shots!! I Survived!

Ah day 10 of shots. I made it. The finish line. The last thing I need to do is my trigger shot of HCG at 8 pm tonight. Although now that the shots are done, there are just so many pills!

Yesterday was my second ultrasound which determined when the trigger would be. The nurse that was there was the one who couldn’t find a vein last time. I wasn’t as charming as I should have been, I said oh you’re the one who couldn’t find a vein last time. It just kind of slipped out. She smirked at me as she tightened that damn rubber strip. She couldn’t find a vein. Yup, she had to get someone else to do it. I was just glad there was someone else available since the Saturday crew seemed light. Damn that one hurt more than the hand and the top of the elbow. Speaking of that, I have a lovely bruise from the top of the elbow…

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So off to the ultrasound. A few more follicles popped up. I now had 5 in my rightie and still 7 in leftie. 4 of them are still small (less than 10 MM), which means they might not be mature. So we have about 8 good size follicles. Well that’s better than nothing I supposed. They gave me the news that I will be triggering today at 8pm for a Tuesday retrieval at 7 am. I am trying to move my interview that I was supposed to have Tuesday afternoon to another day. yeah, let’s be all drugged up for an outpatient procedure and try to be competent in an interview later that day. I don’t think so. I had a moment of panic when I realized they put the wrong date for the retrieval on my paperwork and I was worried I was starting the anti-inflammation medication too soon. Have I mentioned that since I am not on the shots anymore that it has now become a myriad of pills?! Its crazy. I feel like I need a pillbox sorter for all of it.

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In the end I know it will all be worth it. I have sort of taken the attitude that it is going to happen. My hubby and I have been picking up some items for potential babies. I may have developed a little shopping habit. Did I mention my furbaby LOVES socks?

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I am so glad the shots are done. My ovaries feel like huge balloons I have been waddling and barely been moving. Poor hubby had to walk so slow as we browsed through the mall. Thank god this part is almost over.

 

Jan 23- First ultrasound on Shots

Yesterday was my first ultrasound and blood work on the stimulation medications (AKA stims). Again they couldn’t find a vein. They can’t keep saying I’m dehydrated. I have been drinking ridiculous amounts of water and Gatorade for weeks and stopped drinking pop altogether. They put the rubber tie around my elbow on my left arm. Nothing. Right arm. Nothing. The nurse says that she is going to get a colleague. ooh yay? The new nurse comes over and ties the rubber so hard it is hurting. I tell her it really hurts. She looks at me like are you serious? and loosens it. Still nothing. She starts looking at the top of my arm. Finds a vein there. Asked me if anyone has even drawn blood from there? I say I don’t know because well I don’t remember. So that’s the lucky spot. It hurts (but not as much as the hand did at the baseline appointment). Yeah not my favorite. Then they take me back to my room.

After losing all shame in being half naked, I strip down from the waist down and hop up on the table (after making sure I didn’t have a full bladder given what happened at the last appointment). In comes a new lady. She is the nurse practitioner. I make a joke about now that we’ve just met let’s get really personal. crickets… apparently I am the only one who finds myself funny. My hubby gave me a courtesy laugh when I retold it to him. Aw he is so sweet.

Any who, she gets right in there and my lining looks good. 8.5 MM. Good start. Right ovary. Now this ovary only had about 5 follicles at the baseline and it was hard to see so that number might be off. I have one big follicle and one normal size one. At this point I’m freaking out in my head. My support group is full of ladies with PCOS which means they are great at growing follicles, not great at ovulating or menstruating. The nurse is KILLING me with the hard pressure and weird angles she is using on the ultrasound wand up my woo-haa. I am trying to sit still and just whisper ow ow ow to myself. She moves over the left ovary. Now this one is doing better. There are about 5 good size follicles (around 12 mm) and 2 baby ones (6 mm). Overall 7 good follicles and 2 that may or may not catch up. She shows me the photos of each follicle as she takes and measures it. I think she was taking pity of me and giving me a break between hard, weird angle jabs with the wand.

So we have a conversation about it. Now to set the mood I took my hormone shots RIGHT before the appointment. I could feel the menopur burning as it was moving through my tummy on the 45 minute drive. So needless to say I was emotional. Add that to my support group where women are popping out 20 plus eggs and I hear 7. I am on the verge of tears. My nurse tells me I am right where I should be and that she is happy with my numbers given my AMH levels. Ok so she actually said gals with low ovarian reserve. I am sitting there trying to absorb this info because when I asked the doctor is low AMH meant low egg reserves she said not necessarily. So to hear the nurse say it matter of fact was hard. She says quality over quantity. So then my mind immediately went to what if they AREN’T quality? She has no way of knowing their quality until the retrieval.

She says she wants to see me back on Saturday morning. We will either do Saturday night trigger with HCG for a Monday retrieval or Sunday trigger with Tuesday retrieval. Saturday’s appointment will determine.  On the drive to work after the appointment I tried to focus on my driving. I didn’t want to stress. I got to work and my senior asked how the appointment went. I looked upset and told her everything. She said 7 that’s great! Said good little egg grower! and gave me a hug. I am so thankful to have her. She told me to stop comparing myself to the other women. She’s right. I can’t do that. I have a completely different issue. So how am I feeling about it today? Thankful that I have 7 good size eggs. That could be seven potential babies. I’m glad we didn’t put off this process any longer. I might not have had any eggs if we waited. I’m thankful that my hubby makes jokes to cheer me up. I’m thankful that my senior is so understanding. She actually thanked me for sharing the process with her. She said she learned a lot from me. Day 8 of shots today. So close to being done with them. So close to the retrieval!

I hope it happens on Monday because I have a job interview Tuesday afternoon. I guess we shall see Saturday! Alright I am off to mix my drugs! Happy Friday!

EGGS (5)

Jan 20- Day 5 of Hell, I mean Shots

Day five. Halfway through this hellish phase. Today I added the ganirelix shot. Prefilled syringe. My doctor freaked me out by telling me the needle is stubborn to go in. The instruction pamphlet said to put the needle in, pull back the plunger to check for blood and if there is blood move the needle without pulling the needle out. Um what? No, no. I ignored the pamphlet. I threw caution to the wind. Instead I doubly iced my tummy. I was very nervous. I noticed there was an air bubble in my needle. So I turned it needle up and pushed the plunger a little to try and get the bubble out. Instead I shot a couple drops of medication on my hand as it went flying out of the needle. All I could think was that was like 300 bucks! I gave up on getting the bubble out.

I grabbed my stuffed animal, I mean the BABY’s stuffed animal, did the menopur. Done. Follistim, Done. Ganirelix. Jabbed it in, ouch! Pushed the medicine in. OUCH. Heard the air bubble pooft on it’s way out. Bled from both my menopur and ganirelix shot spots.

My tummy is tender. Like it’s bruised without the actual bruises. There are tiny ones at each injection point. At this point I can’t sit straight up. My ovaries feel like sloshing water balloons. Sitting on my bladder and uterus. They feel like if I lean too far forward they will fall out. I was walking SO slow. I felt like I am a hundred years old.

I can not wait until my appointment on Thursday. I just pray I get pregnant this round. I don’t know if I can do this part again. I mean I am proud of how far I am in the process, but it is not a fun experience.

On a non-baby making point, I have a third interview with a company in the next week. It’s very encouraging. Of course then there is the dilemma of do I stay until my job ends or take the new job immediately? Lose out the severance bonus but have a job. I don’t want to risk losing a potentially good job to wait on a bonus. Ah but there I go putting the cart before the horse. One thing as a time. Now what am I going to wear that doesn’t make my ovaries hurt? Hm……..hypodermic-needle-manufacturer

Jan 18- Day 3 of Shots

I apologize for the frequency of my posts during this phase. Needles freak me out and being able to write about it helps. Day three wasn’t so bad. My darling hubby was home so he was more than willing to help (a good thing? or he has always had a desire to poke me with sharp objects? ha ha ha). So I got the meds ready and iced my tummy. He did the shots. It is always nice when he does it because I can’t see the needle (I mean I can feel it that’s for sure), but it takes a lot of the stress out of it. For the women that do them all yourself, you are quite brave!

As far as symptoms, my back really felt sore day 1. Day 2 it was much less and day 3 it was gone. I seem to develop a slight/very soft headache in the afternoons (I do the shots in the morning). The worst symptom by far was brought to my attention when my hubby grabbed me by my hips to pull me in. He does it all the time and I find it to be quite sexy. Except for today. Yeah he must have poked one of my ovaries in the process and oh boy did it hurt. It really REALLY hurt. I limped around for about 5 minutes after. I had to ask him not to grab my ovaries LOL. Something I never ever thought I would say! Poor hubby. He was just trying to kiss on me and bam! ovary pain. The doggies also think it is fun when climbing into my lap (something they do all the time) to elbow my ovaries. Who knew I would suddenly become so aware of where my ovaries are located haha!

On a personal note my mother called me yesterday. Since I haven’t really spoken to her since Christmas I answered (out of guilt). I hate speaking to her but it was worse this time. She was talking about her grandbaby and she got to go to an ultrasound. She was talking to me about how the fiancée was SMOKING. Like chain smoking. WHILE PREGNANT. I was pretty furious. My mother kept going on about their money issues. Neither of them works, has a car or a real place to live. My brother and his baby mama have been bouncing between houses. They stay until they have irritated that parent enough and then switch houses. That’s fine for now, but what about when the baby comes? You can’t be moving every 3 weeks with a baby. The last straw was my mom talking about how all 3 sets of parents were going to pool their money and buy them a crib and stroller and car seat. Well I explained that we weren’t going to have a ton of spare money to buy him gifts. I already bought an adorable Bruins onesie in pink of course. But we aren’t going overboard. I think we planned to spend about 30 dollars. I mean, it’s not like when we announce our pregnancy that they are going to buy us ANYTHING. Or drop everything to fly out here and meet his niece/nephew, as he is demanding I do with his child.

I wish family understood how hard this is. I tried to explain how much we had just spent to even TRY and get pregnant. I had to try and explain that I am getting laid off in March so I don’t know if I will be at a new job or still unemployed and flying out there might be too expensive for us. They don’t understand that I myself might be pregnant and flying across the country might be really uncomfortable for me. /sigh. I give up trying to explain myself to them. I am just so thankful for friends and my support group and this blog. I think I would go crazy otherwise.

Jan 17- Day 2 of Shots! Flying Solo.

So I made it through last night’s shots with my darling hubby being the stabber. Today he had to work in the morning. I was on my own. I gathered a couple of items from my future baby stock pile. I put them on the table as I mixed my meds. My hand was shaking.

I started to ice my tummy while the meds got warmed up to room temperature. I was getting so nervous. I grabbed my eeyore stuffed animal, er I mean the BABY’s stuffed animal. <cough>. Finally, I got the nerve. I got the band aids ready (I bleed a little last night) and grabbed the menopur. Done! Follistim, pushed it in. This one burns a little (I think I need to let it warm up more). Done! Hey, I did it and lived to tell about it!

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Jan16- Bring on the shots!

So my lovely pharmacy forget the follistim injection pen for my shots today. I finally got through to my doctor’s office and they want me to do my shots today in the evening and tomorrow morning. Oh yay?

I got home from work, where I had been stressing about this all day. I tried to mix up the menopur and it was very difficult to do. I’m not impressed. I iced my tummy. Got into position and bam! My hubby went full bore and gave me the first shot. Yup, menopur definitely burns. We grabbed the follistim and bam! Another shot down. The follistim burned too, well on the way in. It stopped as soon as we were done. I grabbed some band-aids (some slight bleeding). I survived.

Honestly it wasn’t bad and it was terrible all in one. Thank god for my hubby doing the deed though. I would have cried. I didn’t even see it go in (although I felt it). Nine more days of this (give or take)?!?!?!?! I don’t know how I’m going to make it.

On a positive note, my senior at work knows about what is going on and posted some adorable twin baby photos on my Facebook page as inspiration. It really touches me that someone who didn’t experience infertility is so understanding. Really makes up for all the ignorance in others. I can do this? One more time, more convincing. I can do this!

My first bruise (I bruise easily so I know there will be more to come)!

10373847_10205631882065622_2827823410174001532_n Where I had my blood drawn on Wednesday!