More on Yesterday

Thank you to all of you for your support, especially on my last couple of posts -- I cannot express to you how grateful I am for your words of love, encouragement and advice.

As I mentioned last night, egg retrieval went very smoothly.  I spent the morning relaxing and we arrived at the clinic at 9:45.  I got to change into the lovely gown, footies (I was wearing the heart socks sent to me by one of my Braces Bunch friends), and hair cover (why are those gowns so darn big?).  I sat down in the recliner with hubby next to me and the IV was started.  Did I mention my favorite nurse was my nurse?  Katie's simply awesome!   She also went over the details of what we need to do between retrieval and transfer on Wednesday.  My clinic only does 5 day transfers.

I asked if I could take my headphones back to the retrieval room with me and was told yes (I was expecting to not be able to).  At this point we were just waiting for Dr. C to show up.  He showed up a few minutes after 10 and came in to see if we had any questions.  We didn't and I said 'Let's do this.'   He said "Just give me 2 good eggs to work with -- the rest is gravy."  Katie gave me some of the relaxation drugs and she and another nurse walked me back to the retrieval room.  

I laid down on the table and they immediately started covering me with blankets -- including wrapping each of my legs in separate blankets which I thanked them for in my drugged up state.  They spent some time cleansing my lady parts, asking me to lift my butt up and down and scooting down further.  Katie told me there were about to start and told me to let her know if I wanted more drugs at any point. I think something was said about exfoliation which frightened me a little bit.  Before I knew it wandy was put in and I was feeling the extraction, which was quite unpleasant.  So I asked Katie for some more of those drugs and that is the last thing I remember.  

I woke up around 11:30, laid back in the recliner in the recovery room.  I'm  embarrassed to say I woke myself up snoring!  Luckily we were the only retrieval yesterday morning. Hubby and Katie were there and Katie told me we got 8 eggs, which she said was great.  I asked how I had gotten back to the chair from the retrieval room and was told I had walked.  Um yeah, don't remember that at all!  Hopefully I didn't say anything too incriminating during this time!  Katie asked me about pain -- I had none really and then took out my iv.  

Hubby came into the bathroom with me to help me get changed and Katie marked 4 lovely spots on my tush for the progesterone shots, which start  tonight.  We headed home, getting some food on the way, and then I made my home on the couch, where I slept off and on until about 4:00.  

Yesterday and today I have felt pretty bloated and sore.  Not really crampy, but can definitely feel that there was trauma in that area.  Some light bleeding yesterday, but that has ended.  Today I'm taking it easy again. Tomorrow I am getting together with my best friend which will be awesome!

While I was initially disappointed about the 8 eggs, I am choosing to look at it very positively.  Given the news of my AMH and FSH earlier this year (AMH was under 1 and FSH was over 10), and my advanced maternal age (I hate that phrase) I felt like the clinic was sort of writing me off on producing much of anything.  I'm no longer a spring chicken ya know!

I went into this fully aware that the whole process could be canceled at anytime -- if I wasn't making any eggs, if fertilization didn't occur, etc -- and I feel extremely blessed to be this far with eight lovely eggs that may turn into my rainbow baby. While some might consider me a pessimist, I really feel that I am an realist and like to be prepared for the best and worse case scenarios. I will not take any part of this process for granted.  I'm trying to not Dr. Google too much. 

So now we wait until Wednesday for transfer.  Please continue to send your good thoughts and prayers for growth of the embryos!


Egg Retrieval

Went well today.  We got 8 eggs.  Of course I was hoping for more, but am very happy.  Feeling sore and very bloated.  Progesterone shots start tomorrow...any tips?

More tomorrow when I am on a real computer and not the iPad.

Good night!


Tomorrow is a No Shot Day

That can only mean one thing...I've been triggered!  Just minutes ago I gave myself the two trigger injections, following a fantastic appointment today.  But let me back up.

Monday when I got the phone call to keep doing stims and that I didn't need to be seen again until Wednesday I was a bit defeated. The nurse I saw didn't really tell me anything and was pretty brutal with ole wandy.   I was pretty certain this meant I wasn't progressing as they would have liked.  So I contacted my acupuncturist Lindsey (who specializes in fertility), and went for a visit.

Tuesday morning I woke up feeling bloated and by the end of the day I had to unbutton my pants.  Tuesday night I got together with my infertility peer group (also started by the wonderful Lindsey).  These ladies are amazing and everyone is in different places in their journeys.  Much like this blog, it is nice to have other ladies who understand what I am going through and can offer advice, stories and hugs.  Last month we couldn't stop talking and before we knew it two hours had passed.  This month Lindsey set a timer so we would stay at an hour and we still went long.

This morning I went into my appointment feeling hopeful (and bloated) and really grateful for everyone who is cheering for us and praying for us.  Lab draw was first and she put the needle in and nothing came out.  So she moved it around a bit and still nothing.  This has NEVER happened to me.  So I am now sporting lovely bruises on both arms.  She felt horrible, but I told her in the end, if it results in a baby, I would forgive her!

Next was the ultrasound with a nurse I hadn't ever met before and she was AWESOME!  She explained everything to me, gushed about how everything had grown a ton since Monday, and that my lining looked perfect.  PERFECT!  She felt 90% certain that I would be triggering tonight and gave me all of the instructions for what to do.   Of course, she still had to wait for lab results before a final determination was made.  She assured me that if my retrieval was Friday, she and the nurse who has been my "case manager" would be by my side for the entire retrieval.  I left feeling really great and hopeful.

A couple of hours later she called and left me a message with directions and to call her back.  When I did, she explained everything in detail and answered every question I had.  Generally triggers happen 35 hours before retrieval, but mine was actually 37 hours as they think the trigger will help some of the smaller follicles mature and grow to the right size.

So that's it -- retrieval is set for 10 a.m. on Friday (we have to be there at 9:45) and that means transfer will likely occur next Wednesday.

EEKS -- this is really happening!


Still Growing...Still Injecting

Went in for another ultrasound and lab work this morning.  Things are progressing and more eggs sacs are showing themselves.  I did not get a call to tell me to change my protocol (based on estrogen levels) so we will assume all is well and keep on keeping on.  I go back in the morning for another check.  At this point I am guessing retrieval will be Thursday or Friday and I am optimistic for 8 - 12 eggs.

Right before I got called back for the ultrasound, someone who works for the same organization as me walked into the waiting room.  Then as I left the lab, someone I know quite well from a volunteer board we serve on was in the waiting room.  Can we say awkward?  I mean, really, what do you say in a situation like that?  Hi?  Oh are you here for monitoring?  An IUI?  What are you doing the rest of the day? Nice weather isn't it?  I stuck with the basic 'hi" and headed out the door.  We are a pretty big metro city, and there is only one fertility clinic with 2 docs, so I guess it is bound to happen.

I've got a pretty bad headache today and am generally just feeling down.  I'm sure it is because of the unknowns -- how many eggs will be retrieved?  How many will fertilize?  Will any of them make it to day 5?

Wishing you all a great week!



If you are visiting from ICLW -- welcome!  It seems like just a week or two ago it was the August ICLW.

Here's the backstory;
Welcome ICLW friends!  Here's a brief synopsis of our journey.  Been trying to conceive for almost 6 years, taking a very conservative path.  Slightly low sperm numbers, but didn't find anything else was wrong.  Did 3 IUIs -- all BFNs.  Did several months of Femara. On a natural cycle in 2010 we got pregnant and at 7 weeks miscarried.  Tried (and continue to use) lots of alternative/natural treatments including chiropractic, acupuncture, supplements and diet changes for me.  I lost some weight.  Still nothing.  This winter we received news that my numbers had changed for the worse and it looked like my egg reserve might be getting low (I don't put a lot of faith in numbers so have a hard time believing this).  Even though it was against everything we had ever said we would/wouldn't do, we decided to proceed with IVF.  Two days before the cycle was supposed to start my husband backed out.  I was heartbroken and we started couples 
counseling.  That was 3 months ago.  

Here's where we are today:
In mid-August my husband said he was willing to give IVF a try.  

  • On August 23, I began daily birth control pill and a testosterone gel
  • On September 7, hubby and I began antibiotics -- 1 for him, 2 for me
  • On September 12 I completed the bcp regimen and traded the gel for a testosterone patch
  • On September 14 I had my suppression check and learned to give myself injections
  • From September 3 - 17 I spent a lot of time on the phone with two mail order pharmacies, trying to get all of my meds and insurance in order.  I am so thankful to have insurance, but the pharmacies were a challenge to work with.
  • September 17 I began twice a day injections and immediately started feeling things happening in my belly.  
  • September 21 (today) I had my first monitoring ultrasound and labs
  • Retrieval should occur sometime between Wednesday and Friday next week, with transfer 5 days later (my clinic doesn't do 3 day transfers)
The appointment today overall went well.  I was much less nervous for this one than for my one last Friday.  I have decided that for now, I am not going to mention numbers on my blog (number of egg sacs, lab results, number of eggs retrieved, fertilized and transferred).  I may change my mind at a later date, but for now, I just need to keep this info internally.  It is so hard not to compare and drive myself crazy wondering if the number should be higher/different/etc.  The truth is, it only takes the perfect combination of 1 egg and 1 sperm to make our take home baby and THAT is my focus....along with staying relaxed.  I will say the number of egg sacs seen today was not as many as I had hoped for, but the nurse seemed pleased, and said there were likely some we couldn't see.  I go in again Sunday morning.  The nurse told me my doctor will be there on Sunday to do the ultrasound so looking forward to that.  

Tomorrow I am going to go to the library to get some books to read during my retrieval recovery and bed rest after transfer.  Other than that and some light cleaning, this weekend is about relaxing and staying positive.  

Thanks for all of the good thoughts and prayers you have been sending my way!  Please keep them coming!  


First Casualty

My daily schedule changes on a regular basis.  I don't have a normal 8 - 5 type of job.  Most days I get to work at 7:30, so I decided I would give my morning injection (stims) at 7 a.m figuring that would be about the time I was leaving the house.  As fate would have it, I've had several morning meetings this week (unexpectedly).  Tuesday I gave the injection to myself in my office.  Today I gave it to myself in the car (parked of course).  There was a small casualty though.  As I was injecting using the Folli.stim pen, it slipped out of my fingers and was hanging from my tummy. Instant bleeding and bruise, which, as the day has progressed has turned into a bump and deep purple bruise.  It is truly impressive.  Luckily, I was able to regain my composure and stick myself again to deliver the meds.

Tomorrow I have a meeting at 6:45, so I guess I'll have to excuse myself to the bathroom and come back.  Oh adventures!  

Friday is my first monitoring appointment.  Please, if you are willing, please say a prayer and/or send good thoughts my way.  I definitely feel action happening in the belly area and last night my jeans felt tight already.  I hope that is good news.  

I'm feeling pretty good actually, other than the sore belly, which I planned for.  My emotions so far have been stable, which was my biggest concern (I think it was hubby's biggest concern/fear as well). I've had a slight headache off and on, but it is harvest time (and we live by a field) so it could be from that too.  I'm super tired -- feel like hibernating -- or at least taking a nap by mid-afternoon.  Not sure if that is the drugs, the cooler weather, the dark mornings, a crazy work schedule or something else.  I simply cannot wait for the weekend!  I actually feel better on the stims than I did on the antibiotics!  

I've been a horrible commenter lately.  I'm reading your blogs, just having a hard time commenting through blogger.  I intend to also catch up on that this weekend.  


I Survived!

The first day of injections that is.  I gave myself Folli.stim this morning (piece of cake) and Rep.ronex  tonight (a bit more intimidating due to the mixing involved).  I had no hesitation poking myself and though the Rep.ronex burned quite a bit, it was really pretty simple.

One day down...9-11 to go!

Tomorrow and Wednesday I have to go to work early, so the Follistim pen will come with me.  A new adventure.

I think I can already feel activity in my ovary area...is that weird...is it too early?


New, Blue and Morning...Plus an Update

I am so far behind on Em's 30 day photo challenge.  Instead of boring you with a post completely of photos, to get caught up, I will instead post 2-3 pictures everyday from here on out (that day's photo plus one from the time I missed).

Day 16:  New

This is actually a very old piece of furniture -- it was my great grandparents (on my mom's side).  My mom and dad spent a lot of time refinishing it many years ago and then somehow it ended up in my Grams' house (on my dad's side).  We moved my Grams to assisted living several months ago, so are working on cleaning out her house so it can be rented.  This piece of furniture is NEW in our house.  I love it!

Day 10:  Morning
This is my morning routine...lots of supplements and vitamins.  Hopefully this is gonna help me create some stellar eggs (that turn into stellar embryos) over the next two weeks!

Day 11:  Blue
This is my favorite place to be at my Grams' house.  I'm gonna miss this when the house is rented/sold.  I've spent many a good hour on this swing with a good book, chatting with a cousin, or just enjoying the quiet.

This past Wednesday I finished off the birth control pills and started testosterone patches (vs. the gel I was using everyday).  Friday was my baseline ultrasound that should lots of resting follies, and learning how to use the meds.  Friday night my Repro.nex, Ov.idrel and Progeste.rone arrived from one mail order pharmacy.  As I opened it I realized though that they did not send me any syringes for the Repro.nex (which I start tomorrow) and the Progeste.rone.  Oops.  So I called yesterday and they will overnight them to me tomorrow, so I should have them hopefully in time for my evening Repro.nex injection.  Tomorrow I will have to check with a local pharmacy to see if they will give me just one syringe to get through tomorrow night.  My other meds, the Gani.relix and Follis.tim should arrive on Tuesday.  I actually star the Follis.tim tomorrow morning, but luckily my nurse at the clinic gave me a pen and cartridge to last me until then.  I never knew getting meds all lined up could be so terribly stressful.

I was so nervous for the appointment on Friday.  I know at anytime this whole thing could be derailed.  Pessimistic?  Not really -- just trying to be realistic.  I was happy to get the green light to start moving forward tomorrow.  At this point I'm just ready to get this show on the road.  My first ultrasound and lab will be on Friday and she said by then we have to have 5 follies that are 9mm or bigger to move forward.

So here's to some serious egg growing this week.  Cheers!


Out of Town

Out of town for a long weekend...back soon with more of Em's photo challenge.  Hope you are all well!


Photo Challenge Day 4

My heart is breaking tonight for Steph, who at her 9 week graduation ultrasound after her FET, found out there was no heartbeat.  Please say an extra prayer for her and her husband tonight!

Day Four:  School

I would be a full-time student if I could afford it.  Multiple times I have strongly considered going back to get my PhD, but the dissertation scares the living crap out of me.  Luckily, my employer offers tuition reimbursement, so last fall I was able to take a graduate class in Compensation & Benefits (the really big book in the picture).

I've also taught at local colleges as a part-time job since getting my Master's Degree 10 years ago.  This spring I decided to take a break from it and focus more time on other things (like becoming a mom).  I feel good about this decision, though I know I will miss it.


Photo Challenge Day Three: White

For some reason when it came to the prompt white, my mind kept coming back to snow.  Weird since it is 80 some degrees today...and I'm okay if the snow stays away for a long long time.

Day Three:  White

This is one of my most valued possessions.  This was my mom's piano.  When I was little she taught piano lessons to all of the neighborhood kids, and she played the piano and organ in church.  I never got to take lessons from her, but did for awhile in elementary school.  Unfortunately I gave up the lessons after about 6th grade when it wasn't cool anymore to play the piano.  After my mom died, my dad kept the piano for me, and it moved from house to house with him.  When I was in college and early adulthood, my dad lent the piano out to a family that had 5 boys, so they could learn to play. This is also the reason for the green marks on the keys.  I've never figured out what the green stuff is, but it won't come off.  When I moved into my first house at the age of 27, I finally got the piano.  Someday I think I will take some lessons as a way to honor my mom.  I love the thought of my child(ren) also learning to play.


Two Photos, My New Best Friend, and Recipes Needed

Happy 3 day weekend everyone!  I mentioned in my last post that I am doing Em's September photo-a-day challenge, so here are days 1 & 2.

Day One:  The Beginning

E is the first letter of my middle name.  (No, it's not J, as in JJ. That's just a nickname I had in high school) My middle name is my Grandma's first name.  My grandma is so important to me -- she is my only living grandparent, and is the one who took care of me and my siblings after my mom died (while my dad was at work).  She recently turned 94 and I hope she is still around in time to see our first child, and her 14th grandchild.  If we get pregnant through IVF, or any other way, and if the baby is a girl, she will be named after my grandma.

Day Two:  Fire

A few weeks ago I was part of an emergency drill in our community.  The drill was an airplane explosion and this is the plane fire simulator.  I have to admit, it was pretty cool.  All of the "victims" were on another part of the runway channeling our inner acting skills to play out our injuries.


On Friday morning I went to my chiropractor, as I do every week or two.  While there, she asked where we were on things.  I told her we were getting ready to do IVF and she told me about a recent study she had read that showed that women who eat an avocado a day (or 4-5 avocados a week)  tripled their success rate of IVF.  Let me say that again.... TRIPLED their success rate of IVF.  So, I went and bought me some avocados before work.

Problem is, I don't like avocados.  Tonight I had some guacamole. My husband loves it, so I make it 1-2 times a week, but I usually don't eat any.  Well tonight I made it with two avocados, and split it with him, and I choked it down.

Tomorrow I am going to make some black bean, corn & avocado salad to take over to a barbecue.  After that, I've used up all of my tricks.  So I need recipes and ideas if I am going to eat 4-5 avocados a week (my new best friend)  for the next 4 - 5 weeks.  Please please please send me your ideas, recipes and favorite ways of eating avocados!  Thank you in advance!

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