Is it Thursday yet???

I’m really hoping that this week goes by as fast as the last few (mercifully) have. Thursday is my first pregnancy ultrasound and I’m just ready to know if there are 1, 2, or no babies visible in there. Our best case scenario would include Dr B seeing 1 or 2 good looking babies with heartbeats in the healthy range. I could really use some reassurance right about now.

 I had some spotting/bleeding on Friday, luckily it has stopped and seems to be an isolated incident. The other factor that was highly concerning was that I’ve been having cramps (on and off) since 3 days past embryo transfer. While this on its own is completely normal, the cramps on Friday were worse before the spotting started. I called my RE’s office and the advice nurse said to put my feet up, drink lots of water, and call her back if it got any worse. Of course, I started researching immediately. One possible cause I found was that the endometrin inserts can irritate your cervix if you put them up too high. Another possibility that the nurse mentioned was that there is more 1st trimester bleeding in IVF pregnancies and an even higher chance of bleeding in twin pregnancies, which they have no explanation for, of course. She said based on my hcg numbers, I am likely pregnant with twins. As much as I REALLY want to believe her, everything I’ve read has said you absolutely can not determine a multiple pregnancy based on hcg levels.

IVF expectations and realities

Truth #1:  I have probably found the proverbial end of the internet when it comes to infertility/IVF related information.

Truth #2:  I thought I had a pretty good idea of how my IVF cycle would play out.

Truth #3:  Nothing went the way I thought it would throughout my IVF cycle. (This was not a bad thing, however)

 

The first really unexpected thing that happened, or more appropriately stated, didn’t happen, was the overall lack of horrible side effects from all of my injectable medications. My husband and I were seriously prepared for the worst. The side effects I’ve had from taking clomid were literally 100% more severe than what I experienced with IVF drugs. Hell, the side effects from getting my period every month are a lot worse. I had a few crying episodes (nothing major) that may or may not have even been related. There was a lot of IVF-unrelated stress happening the week of my injections.

 

The second really surprising event-Dr. B retrieved 17 eggs. Holy fucking shit! Was not expecting that from my one lone ovary. Go over-achieving ovary!! The next day when the embryologist called with our fertilization report, we found out that of the 17 eggs, 11 fertilized ones had made it to the next day. This was very happy news. I was crossing every finger and toe hoping that by day 5 we would have 6 embryos. This # would theoretically give us 3 tries if my first embryo transfer didn’t work. These high numbers were definitely not in our vocabulary, so to speak, when we started this process 3 months ago. My RE definitely under-promised and over-delivered. At our consultation, he was not optimistic that we would have ANYTHING to freeze. Maybe one, he said. Hence the name, all my eggs in one basket. We thought we would only get one embryo transfer with this cycle.

 

The third thing, out of order, is that I only had to be on stimulation meds for 7 days! I guess this is pretty unheard of. The minimum is usually 8. Thank you, Jesus, because I was ready to be done with that part of the process. Bloated, much?

 

Last, but definitely not least, our biggest happy surprise (so far) in this process, when we got to the clinic on day 5 for our embryo transfer, the embryologist came in to give us our updated embryo report. I had been anxiously awaiting this as we hadn’t had an update since the day after egg retrieval. Drumroll please……we had 8 “perfect” embryos!! Did not see that one coming! We had 2 to transfer and 6 to freeze. Holy crap.

The End. (Before the beginning)

Because  I have been on blogger hiatus AND because I am one of those readers who is unable to control my eyes from skimming to the bottom of a page to find out what is happening, let me start by saying that it worked. I am officially pregnant!

 

I feel like I need to knock wood and pinch myself every time I even think the words “I am pregnant”. After riding the mind-fuck train that is infertility for so long, it is so surreal.

Egg Retrieval Eve

I can’t quite believe that tomorrow is my retrieval. The past couple of weeks went by much faster than I ever expected! It’s going to be very interesting to see how many eggs there actually are considering I only have one ovary. Since I didn’t do any updating during my stimulation (shots) phase of my IVF, here’s a timeline of how it’s all gone down so far.

8/6/13 Started period (cd1)
8/9/13 Started birth control pills, 81mg aspirin and Doxycycline
8/25/13 Last bcp, started taking dexamethasone
8/28/13 Started period
8/29/13 Suppression ultrasound-to make sure there weren’t any cysts, etc.
8/31/13 Started stimulation
morning: 75iu Menopur (1 vial)
evening: 200iu Follistim
9/1/13 morning: 75iu Menopur
evening: 200iu Follistim
9/2/13 ULTRASOUND & BLOODWORK
morning: 75iu Menopur
evening: 150iu Follistim
9/3/13 morning: 75iu Menopur
evening: 150iu Follistim
9/4/13 ULTRASOUND & BLOODWORK
morning: 75iu Menopur
evening: 100iu Follistim
9/5/13 morning: 75iu Menopur
1 syringe Ganirelix
evening: 100iu Follistim
9/6/13 ULTRASOUND & BLOODWORK
morning: 75iu Menopur
1 syringe Ganirelix
evening: 100iu Follistim
9/7/13 ULTRASOUND & BLOODWORK
morning: 75iu Menopur
1 syringe Ganirelix
evening: Lupron trigger
hcg trigger
9/8/13 BLOODWORK

Follow me!

I used to read a lot of blogs that I never technically followed or anything, just kept them in my “favorites” so they were easy to find. Then I discovered that I could a actually “follow” some of these blogs so I would receive an email whenever there was a new post, instead of just checking all the time. So here’s my point all of you non-followers…..scroll down to the bottom of this page and you’ll see a follow button. Put in your email and never miss a fabulous update from me again 😊

Ramblings……..

Yesterday was my last day on the antibiotics. Hooray! I’m not sure if it was just the doxycycline, the birth control pills, or a combination of the two that have been leaving me feeling generally like crap-ola. I hate to even complain about these nearly benign little pills when in just 2 short weeks from right now I or my husband will have just injected my stomach with follistim for the very first time. Eeeek!

So, a little over a week ago I had my combo massage/therapy appointments. Nothing too exciting to report there. I was really hoping that I would hit it off with the therapist since she specializes in infertility and that I could start seeing her more regularly. Although I love my therapist that I’ve gone to off and on for the past 7 years, infertility is just not her thing. It’s not that we didn’t “hit it off’, it’s just that she kind of made it sound like she doesn’t really see people more than the one time that the fertility clinic pays for you to go. Weird.

Next week is the required IVF teaching class #2. We’re supposed to watch videos online on how to give the injections before we go. I tried to get my husband to watch them yesterday, but instead he wanted to watch episodes of Private Practice instead. I don’t blame him.

Here we go

Tomorrow we officially start our IVF cycle. We’ve waited so long for this and I hate to admit that I’m not even very excited. Hopefully that changes in the next few weeks. I’ve had a rough couple weeks-my husband even asked me his morning if I was in a good enough place emotionally to go ahead this month. I have to find the strength to keep going with this! I have an appointment tomorrow with a fertility therapist and I’m also getting a massage, so I’m really looking forward to that.

Tomorrow’s medication isn’t anything exciting like injectables, just birth control pills, antibiotics and aspirin. You’ll have to wait a few more weeks to hear about the shots in my stomach 🙂

Hard times in this crazy town

I wish that I was considered one of “those” people. You know, the person who has struggled through something very difficult, an illness or a divorce or whatever….. And people always say things about them like “she was always the most optimistic”, or, “even through the darkest of days, there was always a smile on his/her face”. The bottom line is that “those” people had courage, grace, and perhaps just a little dignity.

Well, folks, I am not “that” person. This has been a very tough week, emotionally speaking. I’m not sure how many weeks like this one I could take.

I’m the exact opposite of a graceful infertile, if there is such a thing. I’m the most crazy, green with envy person I know and it makes me sick.

Would you go back in time?

A friend of mine posed the question tonight on facebook……

If you could go back in time and if there was a chance you do something different in your life what would it be?

 
I typed “I wouldn’t wait until my 30’s to start trying for a baby, and I would have gone to dental school”.
 
Then, I deleted all of it.  I realized that even through this struggle of infertility, I wouldn’t change the fact that I waited. Sometimes I like to say to my husband that we should have started trying sooner, or that we shouldn’t have waited after the miscarriage, but I don’t really mean it.
 
My mom had me 2 months after her 18th birthday. My whole life this has, in a way, haunted me. Every birthday after my 18th was a milestone- that I had surpassed her in some way. I wasn’t a statistic, I WOULD be independent and have my own job. I would never be beholden to a man.
 
So I guess there you have it. If I end up childless, I won’t regret not doing it sooner, just because I most likely WAS more fertile 10 years ago. I don’t regret the fact that I’ve been able to live a selfish life where I could explore and become who I am today. Most of the time, I really like who I’ve become, and I know that if I’d had children any younger than I am right now, I would be a completely different person, one that I probably wouldn’t like as much.

Really smart or really stupid?

Going into IVF I knew that the medications were going to be crazy expensive. The range that they give you is $4000-6000, just for the medications, not even including the actual IVF and all the testing, anesthesia, embryo freezing, etc. The fact that we’re not starting the actual process until August has given me some time to try and find alternative medication sources other than just the pharmacy my RE (reproductive endocrinologist) recommends. This next little bit I’m about to share is making me feel like I might be a little crazy…..

Being the researcher/bargain seeker I am, I found myself hunting around on Craigslist this morning and found someone in the Seattle area selling 3/4 of the amount of one of the injectable medications I need for only $90. I emailed her to see if she would be willing to ship it to me as I live about 3 hours away. This would save about $400. Am I totally nuts for even thinking about this??? Everything is sealed and in the box and the expiration dates are good. I haven’t heard back yet, so it may not even happen.