Sunday, July 31, 2011

Going Global

Today's is day 5 in the world of embryo growth, which means a healthy embryo is 60-100 cells. The cells have begun to sort themselves into who's going to play the roll of the placenta and who's going to be the baby. As of today, should any natural splitting occur, it has happened.

For me, it's an 'damn, I wish I could see inside' day.
I feel great, maybe feeling some twinges late tonight, but most likely gas--you're welcome--since everything is jammed up against my abdominal muscles.

When the Women's World Cup was in South Africa, my college roommate/ teammate and I seriously considered going. And after visiting her, I got pregnant with Baby K and had my own little journey through pregnancy and delivery.

This cycle, our third IVF overall but first in a new journey, is nine days ahead of the cycle that brought us K. This is purely by chance in that it's just the way it worked out after starting back in February.

My friend AMS has a 4yo and 2yo twins just two weeks apart--conceived all on her own. And the list goes on.

Back when I was doing acupuncture, the needle sticker told me my body was 'on a summer schedule'--you know, from the looks of my tongue, my summer bday, and my love for summer foods. (I'm knocking it, but I did like it--minus the $80/session).

I read a study a few days ago--while contemplating a career change to become an embryologist--that pregnancy rates are higher in the summer possibly due to melatonin that is found in the follicles portecting the eggers like an antioxidant.

So, I pose the question to the nearly 800 people that have at one point read this, from 9 different countries: is the body 'pre-programmed'?

Just a deep question to ponder while I sit and wait for one embryo at a time to hatch.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Home on the Range

We arrived home this afternoon and started the laundry immediately, taking time to get organized while Baby K and Doggie D were still at my parents' house.

Felling the belly bloat, but otherwise good. We made a plan for the week to coverdown with the sitter and daycare as we both head back to work Monday. Hopefully that will mean left lifting of the little butterball for me, but I can't wait to get my hands on her after my week without her.

We also took the time to mow the jungle and tend to our container garden. It just so happened that our neighborsmoved out while we were gone and they left behind an untamed, disaster of a garden. So, we recycled some of their plants into our containers. It's not stealing, as we live in military housing, and technically they were abandoned. Plus, the tomato plants were snuffing out the squash/pumpkins. I think these people just put their veggetable food trash in this one area of their yard, staked it off from thie enormous dog, and whatever grew became their garden. Very green. Very annoying. It attracted birds and squirrels and they'd drop food on our side of the fence that Doggie D would then eat and get sick.

But they're gone. Whew. Now it's just a matter of what we get next.

I ate a PB&J, snipped a few hydrangeas, tossed in a load or two, hollered out a few 'how tos', before the husband yelled at me to park it on the couch. So hard when it's so nice out.

But this is just the beginning of the two-week wait.

Next hurdle: August 11.
Twelve days until we find out our fate.

Seems like forever!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Put it Back!

So, late last night after semi-depressing news I aske husband, "what do we do? Pray? Beg? Give up and start planning for a second cycle?"

I already knew the answer: All of above.

I remember stating we need a miracle as I sipped a glass of malbec. With only two B grades and one being a 2-cell, things weren't looking too great. But husband kept the flame going.

Today we rolled in at 9:30 and were the first couple for transfers. We got the briefing: check the PIO injection sites, IV site (all three), and the Valium.

I started drinking water as I had about 40 minutes till go time. But within 30 I was hurting, so I went and let a little pee out (this is actually harder than it sounds with all the swelling and abdominal bloating).

Finally we were called back and the US tech checked my bladder with the external wand. Then the Doc came in and gave us the run down.
2 4cf
Woaha! Three Bs?two are 8 celled?
Ok. Husband and I needed a second. We were expecting maybe an 6Cf and were thinking of adding that to the mix since they won't freeze t. But now with two 8s and a 7... Hum, triplets? Many complications--and what is the stars aligned and one of the 8s split?

Ok, after a little discussion, we'll stick with two and freeze the 7cell.

Practice transfer went fine, embryos came in, saw them on the big screen then watched the catheter deposit some babies in my uterus.

Yesterday I was doing my physical therapy and the PT suggested I use a stack of books. Well, in a hotel, the only books you can find are a bible and a book of Mormon. I decided not to stand on them to stretch my achilles.

Last time we had two beans with heartbeats, so we are hoping for the same great success. Accepting well wishes, prayers, good thoughts, and anything else you got for the next two weeks. Pregnancy test the day after my birthday! One hurdle at a time.

Day 2 post transfer

We are a go for Day 3. Yes, there is some thought that a day 5 blast transfer is better, but due to numbers and quality we're going with Day 3--and need every positive thought, religious spirit, and good vibe.

14 eggs retrieved
7 fertilized
1 with tri-polar (genetically abnormal/fertilized by 2 sperm)*
2 B 4 & 2 cells
3 C 4, & 2(2)
1 D
* not sure how that happened when we used ICIS and can't really get an answer, but it's a junker now.

I had to take a day to greive over these stats and so I couldnt post yesterday on true day two.

About the grading:
Each clinic is independent in their grading. The history: When IVF first started, it was up to the labs to determine the grading schema. Since there were so few labs and the pregnancy rates pretty low, there seemed to be no worries about it.

Now that IVF is available to the masses--or at least those with good insurance or deep pockets, it's more of a nuisance to lab directors to go back through all the cases and change it to an industry standard.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day Three v. Day Five

We're on the flex plan for transfer.  While some clinics make a call today (the NEW Day 1) mine doesn't because--"there's nothing you can do...[and] means nothing"--unless it's bad news--and "we don't want you hovering around your phone.  Go relax" It's true!

And that's what we did.
A short trip into Boston to the Sam Adams Brewery--with delightful free samples. (AWESOME!)

It's a fantastic, little free tour, and kids can go-they get root beer at the end.  Donations are suggested and go 100% to charity.

We began the day with a market research sample at 10:43 am tipping our first glass.  Along the tour, the working brewery featured the two Brew Masters featured in the commercials working in the vats--pretty cool. We also learned the science of the custom Sams glass (featured to the left). The tour concluded in the tasting room where we sampled three more beers--one that's not even on the market--and toasted to one embryo at a time.  We headed back 'home' and laid by the pool with my distended belly hanging out over my bikini bottoms without a care.

So what if all 14 fertilize? It doesn't mean all 14 will survive 'til transfer day, so I'm on board with giving me the count when it really counts--what's left, what's being transferred, what can be frozen.   As they say, you only need one--but more than one would be nice.

At least we had a day to our selves--not controlled by the madness of my ovaries.  Hope you did, too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Egg on My Face--And in a Test Tube!

We arrived at 8:15 this morning.  We were a little early because we thought we'd be doomed by traffic but it was smooth moving--surprise, surprise! Got checked in and was immediately whisked away by the head nurse to get naked.  Why are those Jonnys so freakin' big?  I had that thing wrapped around me twice and it was still falling off.  Back to the gurney for the time being.

I was hanging out reading on the Kind.le and the husband was doing whatever on his phone waiting for his  appointment at 9am when nurse 2 came on over.  She reviewed everything the head nurse went over with the post-op care instructions: basically, if you're bleeding a lot, call.  We both nodded and said yeah, yeah, yeah, because we've now read it, had it read to us, and now have been read it again--should one of us had forgotten it in the last 8 minutes.  Ok, I'm just antsy and want to get the show on the road.  Nurse two leaves and returns moments later with the IV kit ready to go.

I've got plenty of veins that are all pretty visible--kind of disgusting actually.  They show up in photos and stuff.  It's one of those things i can't stand when they pop out.   With all this blood work, I've come accustom to all the needles.  So, not a big deal for the IV needle.

She chooses my left arm and ties the elastic tourniquet, pinching my skin.  Ouch. But i don't really complain and she realizes it and apologizes.  My fingers immediately go numb and what seems like five minutes later she's ready to stick.  She decides to go in at the elbow area. I hate the idea of bending my elbow with the IV in it, but that won't be an issue today.

"I'm meeting resistance," as she stops and says she can't get it in.
I give my husband a look.
"Let me try the other side."
"OK," I say, "but I'm going to need a minute," as now I'm feeling a little lightheaded.

She walks around the bed and prepares the other side and this time is a little lighter on tying me off.
So Number 2 starts IV number 2 and again goes for the elbow area.

And again 'meets resistance'.
Only this time I'm in tears as she was digging around--again what seemed like 5 minutes and what husband will report as "what seemed like forever"--and actually suggested my husband does it--and ask for another nurse to attempt number three.  I was SO nice about it--with tears running down my cheeks--even without breakfast!

BUT NO...I get the professional!  Excellent!
The Drug Doc comes over and starts a conversation with something like, "I hear you're having trouble with IVs"
To which I comment "Well, the nurse is having trouble," and he laughs and rolls his eyes.  He looks at my arm and says, "This is no problem, You're good."

He's in and out in under 30-seconds and it was painless.  Just like it always is.  I never have had "resistance'--at least not from my arms.  Ouch.
It's finally my turn and I stroll on into the OR wrapping my oversize shirt-dress around my body to protect other people from seeing my nakedness and sit down on the operating bed.  Now this OR (I really wanted to take my cam in for you) is like an over zealous gyno-room: your knees have little lifts instead of your feet.

As I'm sitting there they check my bracelet, review my DOB, hot embryologist confirms, and ask me to lay back, put my feet up and hands down.  A little O2 then I have no idea what happened next--I mean, I know what they tell you happens, but I can't remember a thing.

Except they retrieved 14 eggs (don't get too excited just yet) and I was offering to take everyone out for lemon martinis.  If you know me, you know this is quite possible.  Honestly, I don't know if I should be embarrassed or hysterical.  Can't be the worst anesthesia talk they've heard, right? Now THAT would be a good blog!

I had a little nausea so Drug Doc gave me a bonus shot of something that seemed to work pretty quickly.  Guess I do owe him a martini.

After a little nap and some high protein mini-meals, I'm feeling pretty good, peeing well, and the soreness in my belly is decreasing.

Now we await the daily reports one embryo at a time.  All aboard the crazy train!

Choo. Choo.

Monday, July 25, 2011

'Eggs-traction' Eve

In some households, this is a major holiday of sorts.

Much like Christmas.
Well, minus the religious celebration of the birth of Christ and someone else unwrapps your 'presents' then tells you what you got.
So, nothing like Christmas. But none the less, a family holiday about the idea of conception (even without sex).

I was on time last night with my hCG and within two hours I was feeling sick. Everything smelled sour and my stomach was churning. I laid in bed gazing at the ceiling only to hear the clunking of (what I imagined) a 700 pound man pacing at 12:30am because his angina was keeping him awake and his loving 400 pound wife constantly getting up to get him a Tum.s.

A lovely night indeed. But life goes on and of course husband was stuck in DC with a delayed flight--ETA 11:30pm. Another well rested evening I am enjoying.

Looking forward to my 8:30 am cocktail the handsome anasthesiologist mixes for me--as long as he remembers I don't like gin.

Other than that, the injection site is sore. I made it to the gym for a very light workout, but it still felt good. Plus, I picked up a few baggy t-shirts that are styling enough not to look like a frumpasaurious for the next two weeks until the bloat settles. No go on the mani-pedi and massage; everyone was 'booked.' blah.

Ok, well cheers to a double needle piercing through the wall of my Vajay tomorrow while husband has peaceful time to himself (wink, wink)!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

hCG Top Ten

We're pulling the trigger tonight to start the process of getting all these eggies floating IN the follicles--no one allowed to escape. I trigger at 8:30 pm EST and go back to the Center at 8:30am on Tuesday for a 9:30am retrieval.  36-hours of the calm before the storm.  IVF-ers you know what I mean. Newbies & followers:  you'll understand after the next few posts as the crazy-train begins to board on Tuesday and we wait to hear the news, one embryo at a time.

Tonight's solo-shot is of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) produced naturally by the pituitary gland in both males and females and artificially from the pee of pregnant women.  It has a variety of uses such as higher doses are given to prepubescent boys if their balls don't drop--


It's used by 'roid users to help their balls from shrinking--like Man.ny Ram.eriz who was suspended 50-games by MLB for testing HOT for hCG (ESPN, 2009).


But for women I find it an amazing hormone.  Here's my hCG Top Ten (in random order):

1. The amino acids mimic that of the luteinizing hormone (LH) necessary for ovulation--goes with the luteal phase of a cycle--and can be used to assist timed ovulation induction= timed intercourse (no extra sex, honey!) or retrieval in IVF
2. It's what you test for when you pee on a stick. And some women go home after IVF and wonder why they're positive--it's the hCG getting picked up on the test
3. It's the hormone that makes you super-sick in the first trimester.  Ok, this one's not so awesome.
4. It can be an indicator for birth defects (later on)
5. It can be an indicator for cancer in women
6. It may help prevent the transfer of HIV-1 to the fetus
7. It helps the lining get all cushy and gooey for the embryo to move in and helps embryo attach
8. It is thought to help block the mother's immunity defenses from 'attacking' the embryo.
9. It has a generic form that's relatively affordable (and actually covered by my insurance company
10. It's a treatment for fatness
Yes, you read number ten correctly.  While the rest of us are shooting this up while gaining weight in the hopes to gain more weight, people are shooting it to lose weight.  More irony. Go ahead, open a new tab and Google hCG diet.

I heard/read about it a few years back when we started all of this-- when the A.lles, et. al. hit the market without an Rx.  But now there seems to be a whole portion of the weight loss industry devoted to it.  

The drug is 'illegally' used in this capacity and in NO WAY do I suggest trying it out.  In fact, I actually agree with the FDA (be VERY surprised at that) that the studies were--well, stupid.  The claim is a low--I mean super low--calorie intake of about 500 Kcals  plus hCG will have you losing weight.  

Ask any anorexic and they'll tell you the same thing: cut the calories, lose the weight. Duh! 

I thought it'd be a good blog entry today and while surfing around for my 'research' and found myself laughing---there are a few pages for some of these companies. Of course I just had to scroll on down the wall and get a good ab workout in.

"I'm terribly hungry" said one user.  NO WAY? REALLY?
The page admin replied, "Eat apples all day.  As many as you want but only apples." 

Someone told Snow White to eat apples, too.  Oh, and I won't leave out Eve. 

However, what I found hilarious was the fact that this same company was advertising a 'program' complete with a recipe book like these on their FB wall. 

Who buys a recipe book when eating only 500 Kcal/day?

I did a quick search for 'calories of food counter' and a whole lot of programs populated for FREE much like the ones I used in my college nutrition classes.  OH, and an apple--that's about 55 Kcals for a small one at approximately 1/4 of a pound--go ahead and eat 10.

I know the hCG Diet is aimed at burning 'the fat' not muscle, but I find it totally ridiculous.  Here's my summation: Eat less. Work out.  Do the work. Reap the rewards.

The Whole (Day) 9 Yards

Sunday morning US.
Arrival time 9:05. Appointment time: 9:15am. Actual time seen: tbd.

Frustrated at waiting? No, not really. The weather is kind of crummy and it is not a great beach day.
Frustrated at the number of people here waitig? Yes. And they keep coming! It's 9:30 and three more just showed up--including the family. You know: the hippy mom, the loud and cheerful dad, the 4yo boy needing the free crackers (for those that passout with BW). Ugh. Why not wait in the family waiting area?

The dude walks in and while everyone is minding their own business starts whistling and saying "Goodmorning" in his peppy voice. Grrr. It's Sunday morning and I'm obviously without any caffine. And that lady who left crying needs some, too.

Why do so many need an RE? THAT'S what frustrating.

Oh, ok it's my turn!Do you think blogging on the table would be appropriate? Describe the jamming of ovaries into my diaphragm? The US gel slipping out of my Vajay?

It's really not that bad.  And how could it be with little oven mitts on the stirrups?
And it's already over. Little fluid on each ovary--not surprised since it pools on it's own without drugs. Uterine lining at 15.9. Nine on the left and 10 on the right. Bunch still under 10mm. Got some props for not having a bunch of poop back there--I'm "photogenic" (thanks?). One or two are already at 20 so I'm betting we'll trigger tonight.

Meanwhile, the husband is traveling today and coming back tomorrow night. He's flying, but it's only a 6 hr drive. Hope he enjoys the business-expensed hotel perks while I cringe in this place. You think those E2 levels are starting to affect me? Ha. Ha. Ha.

IVF CD 'Lucky' 7

Things are going pretty well so far. I began monitoring on CD4 with 2 follicles on the left and 1 on the right over 10mm with E2 at 1124. Today's report is somewhere around 14 >10 with 23 under 10mm. Dropping down to 150 for this evening and going in on Sunday for a another check. Also thinking this may be trigger day.

Nurse Chris is not clairvoyant, but rather I'm tracking at a pace nearly identical to the last cycle where I got preggers with Baby K. My D7 E2 was 1155 in 2009 and is 1154 today. My lining is at 11--maybe that accounts for the extra baggage I feel I'm dragging around.

Still cautiously optimistic as those follies need to be filled with something good. Cheers to hopefulness--one embryo at a time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

All this and I Forgot to Pee!

Nothing like shootin' up at a Roy Rodgers.

Yes, there still is one left.

Today's our travel day and at 8:30pm we magically hit the Mass border. While the hubby jumps out to take a pee, I begin shooting up in the parkinglot in front of two school bus loads in the back of my Lexus. I'm a advocate for real-life adventures--and they just got one one embryo at a time.

And because it seems I always F so
Something up, tonight was Menopur. After mixing the vile I am ready to withdraw it in my giant needle that I am ready to stick myself with in order to avoid the double stick, only to have 1/3 leak out all over my hand. Secretly hoping it absorbs through my dermis, I don't wipe it. It's a bit sticky should anyone else care. So I gear up for the second vile and this time use the 50 u needles--the one that requires two sticks. Boo.

The end results: five puncture wounds (I barely broke skin the second time and needed a repeat) and six mosquito bites. We get back on the road swatting the buggers that made it inside as we randomly itch our exposed limbs and a curse at the thought of one on my toe.

I did pack bug spray.
I did pack hydrocortisone.
I did forget to pee.

Weekend Update

I've been off the BC and had a mild period...just fine with me...and hittin' the needle.  maybe too often. Friday I was in for my BW and US and that came back well, so Friday was another night of 10 Lupron, and Saturday began stims.  But of course nothing is that easy.

The med window is 7-9 pm on my protocol and by 10:30 I realized, 'There's something I'm missing.'

I loaded the Follistim pen and cranked it up to 225--all good. Down reg of the down reg, so 5 of the Lupron--all good.  Then the damn Menapur.  I get this bonus because, well, my eggs need some extra love.   It's a mixed cocktail so you're putting in 1cc into the powder.  I used the PIO needle--the big 18 guage one --for that part.  Then you have to stick it in your belly with the others, only I realized I haven't got any other sub-q needles besides the little Lupron ones (they only hold 1/2 a cc).


I go with it and get an extra stick out of the whole deal. And find myself with a dull needle. Even better.  Stick number 4 finally goes 'in'.

Way to start.  
It's now Tuesday and I've been stimming for three nights on the Holy Trinity (Lupron, Follistim & Menapur), but I'm feeling pretty good. Haven't reached the bloat phase yet, but I know it's coming.  But I know my clinic is anti-OHSS and super precautious, so that's good.  The weather has been sticky and hot, so I haven't been exercising either.  Today is our travel day and I'm looking forward to the beach--after the magic wand each morning--starting tomorrow.  Tomorrow the excitement begins.  The follicles counted, the ovaries measured, the arms attacked.  All the anticipation, one embryo at a time.

Cheers to the Holy Trinity and dear old St. Jude.  Drinking lots of water, downing a little royal jelly, and a choking on a horse-pill of a vitamin. 

Blowin' in the Wind

Apparently I'm not as savvy as I should be and this has been sitting in draft form for four days now, so I appologize, but it is totally worth the wait!

After all the 'work' of a cycle, and it is WORK, what do you do with the left over embryos?  Freeze them should something happen? Have another?  Donate them to a couple? Donate them to science? Have them destroyed? It's an individual choice, and I'm not here to judge, but I heard this --what I found to be-- a totally hilarious IVF story the other day. It may be religiously offensive to some, so feel free to have your own opinion--as I have mine--but please don't send me hate mail.

Here goes my retell of her ordeal:

So this couple has been married for a few years and decides to wait to have children--you know the deal. They get pregnant with the first one no problemo. And a few years later, while living in New Mexico, they start to plan for baby number two.

But of course baby number two doesn't come that easily so they seek help from an IVF clinic. After a few treatments, and several thousand dollars, they become successfully pregnant with twin boys who were delivered and are loved so deeply.

But the husband and wife had a dilemma--what to do the the remaining 10 frozen embryos? They couldn't decide, so they paid the storage fee monthly. And months turned into five years, and the couple knew they needed to make a decision.

They decided not to have another baby, as they loved the three they had, but knew they would not be able to care for 5, 7 or 10.

The couple did not feel comfortable donating their embryos to another family and the State of NM made it so difficult post fertilization to make that happen anyway.

The couple decided to the donate them to science, but the State did not allow that (this is 2009).

Finally, the couple was left to having them destroyed. The clinic mandated they undergo counseling and during counseling, the couple learned that the State did not actually destroy the embryos. Instead thy signed them out to the owners to destroy.

So, one day, the husband went to the clinic and showed his ID, and just like checking out a library book, he was handed over 10 straws each containing an embryo as they were frozen.

The man stuck the straws in his pocket and drove home. He got home and handed the wife the straws. They had a moment together and,not knowing what to do with them, she stuck them in a pencil cup holder.

Every day she looked at them. She thought of her twin boys and the love she had for them.  She then thought of the mound of laundry, the diapers, the need she had to work, and the thought of daycare. And then their dog  died just a few days later. 

They brought home the ashes of the dog and decided to take the beloved family member on one last walk through the desert and thought that was also the best way to return the embryos to mother nature. They set out with all the children and strolled along, spreading ashes.  One of the boys got hungry and tried to drink from an embryo straw.  And so the family decided that it was time to say goodbye to the embryos, move on from that difficult journey, and focus on the current travels their adventure was taking them on. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Poetic Justice

T'was the night before ultrasound,
When all through the Inn,
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even the gin.
The air conditioner was set at a brisk 65,
As I lay my head down in this bearable dive.

The folicles all tiny and asleep,
In hopes of this cycle playing for keeps.
And I I'm my jammies alone in this room,
Am trying not to think of the possibility if doom.

When through the thin walls I can hear all the speaking,
I toss in my bed and listen to the sink leaking.
I grab my iPhone and stub my big toe,
And let out the softest yet angerfilled crows.

The moon hanging low in the Boston night sky,
I sqint to focus my cloudy left eye.
When what to my surprise should I see,
But a frazzled young lady screaming at three.

"Now Benny and Josh and Kim won't you listen"
"Stop touching and fighting and no one is hitting!"
"Get out of the car and grab your own bag!"
"I won't ask again, I'm not an old hag."

My eyes all aglow, and feeling all merry,
They were green with a twinkle, and cheeks like a cherry.
I pulled up my jammies and went back to bed,
While I remembered to pump myself full of med.

I spoke not a word and went straight to work,
I am meat that has been stuck with the tiniest fork.
I lay down my head for a quiet evening's rest,
And can only hope this all turns out for the very best.

I'll wake in the morning to a shiner new day,
And look ford to nurses giving me the O-Kay.
I've spent all our savings right down to a dime,
But it'll all be worth it, one embryo at a time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kisses. They Make Everything Better.

Wow, what a difference 24-hours can make.

Baby K just got attacked by a wild dog! And I am exaggerating this to the fullest extent to 'sell more copies'--or at least get all my sneaky readers to confess by 'following' me. Wink. Wink. But in this 'altercation', she got knocked over and scraped her shin and back and got a two little black and blues.

But kisses made it all better.

Me? I had a full on falling out last night--complete with mascara running down my cheecks and black stains on my pillow cases as I starfishes in my empty bed alone. All by myself. Without husband. Without child. Just wallowing in self-pity about my family--you got it--say it with me---ONE EMBRYO AT A TIME.

And Kisses made it all better.

Too bad they gave me diarrhea. Whew, my bum burns! Apparently there's a serving size for a reason!

All these years I'd eat one or two and be fine, minus the extra calories and fat backpack I put on. But last night I had an bolt of lightning jolt through me lighting the BRIlLIANT bulb inside me rumbling that tropical storm:

Eat your way thin: Eat so many you have diarrhea: Poop it all out: No worries.

I'm amazing. My toilet paper

Wait--another tropical storm is brewing!

Ok I'm back.

My Toilet paper supply is running low. But c'mon. A. Mazing! I've lost 1.6 pounds since yesterday morning--ok, a little more than 24-hours, but rad! Take that Jenny Craig you Beotch. Weight Watchers time waster.

Alright, alright: again, I am exaggerating this to the fullest extent to 'sell more copies'--or at least get all my sneaky readers to confess by 'following' me. Wink. Wink. I'll leave it up to you to decide what parts, but I think I have a stomach bug-or nerves, or stress-which is so less glamourous, especially anywhere in public: like a three hour drive tomorrow to have an US wand crammed up my Vajay. Hope it's gone by then; if not, awesome for the tech.

In the meantime, 2x the H2O and you should have some, too.

And kisses to everyone. It will be all better.

**Please don't try this at home. No, I'm not a MD. Yes, this is my liability disclaimer because it's a crazy world and all my money is paying for fertility treatments. Laughing all the way to the embryo at a time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Voice of Reason

Boy, did I want it to shut the F up today.

Man walks in to room.
Other man starts on how they are 'trying'.

1. Weird--my husband, and about 99.99% of men just don't spring this conversation up. Women between women---maybe. But dudes? Weird.

Shut the F up.

2. Man 1 tells Man 2, "Your wife is healthy and active it will be easy!" Oh, my bad. I should have been more active and healthier along with the other million women who use fertility aids--and your wife who just popped in a blasto or three. Guess I'm not smart enough (debunked yesterday's posting!).

Shut the F up.

Ok, I hope it is for them--seriously, wouldn't wish it on an enemy (you know the one with three kids from a blog or two ago). But it ain't that simple. Obviously. Or I'd be $9700 richer.

3. You read that right $9700. The loving husband called from DC in-between blood-boiling screams from Baby K to let me know he reserved the baby motel.

Shut the F up.

What happened? Where'd the other 300 come from? Jeeze. I read that letter wrong?

Well, if you know anything about me, you learned about my Marriott Points obsession through this all. And I'm happy to report that $9700 moves us up three steps towards platinum status--and we haven't tallied the bills for the rest of the month. How anyone does this on a single salary I can't imagine.

4. While trolling Facebook, the FB algorithm pools my data to some provide me with four relevant posts that populate in my news feed:
A. I find an ex-coworker preggers with baby #5 (or six) at the ripe old age of 40-something. Um, one leaving for college and one on the way? Hysterical!
B. The pee stick photo album. Really, a whole album dedicated to her pee stick.
C & D. The US shot(s) of none other than twins. My HS friend at 34 & couldn't happen to a nicer person. So long Mustang convertable (whole photo album to the 'Stang that was well done)! ---I hope you're getting all the irony here :)

Shut the F up!

And then the Voice of Reason whispers, "It will all work out. You'll survive this. You will be just fine, one embryo at a time. Now shut the F up."

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Beginning of the End...or End of the Beginning?

Half empty. Half full. Still means the same: room for more.

Today is the end of week three on BC which is the end of the wait to begin, the beginning of the true craziness that my IVF protocol is marked by. And the middle of all the bloating and hormonal mood swings.

As a repeat-IVF-offender, I forgot about the time commitment--and not just the dedication to the crotch-cam.

First suppression check is Friday morning, hopefully no news will be reported. Funny how that dildo doesn't phase you after the first few. In fact, I almost feel uncomfortable when I go into some place and the US tech makes me insert it. Awkward.

But there's so much other stuff that's on hold due to this routine, and that intercedes my time commitment. I'm active--or at least try to be. For example, I will need to suspend at least 4 weeks of playing on my women's soccer team. That's 1/2 the season! Boo. And those four weeks will be no-run weeks, too. Double Boo. So while I just amass fluid and fat, I'll be on the D-L in fighting it. All preparation for the time commitment of baby---hopefully.

Sorry, I like to plan--if I'm going to go upstate and run a race with a slew of buddies in October, so I can train and be able to complete it. But, I won't know until sometime in August. Or if this is a failure, will we be starting again? Starts to get frustrating. Annoying. Depressing. And without telling everyone we are going through this process--or pregnant at four weeks--there becomes a lot of shady dodge and duck going on.

Meanwhile...Baby K has been a terror at home and I'm flying solo again with the husband on the road. The first IVF cycle I had a broken hand in a cast (made the IVs interesting) and now I'm battling a foot injury--which is a funny side story. I go into the surgeon and he wants to insert a needle of novicain into my ankle. I say sure, he loads it up and marks the spot. Asks if I'm ok, I say yes and needle goes into joint. Awesome. But seriously, no biggie. It's all over and surgeon says, wow! That's a 22.5" needle you did great. And all I can think is 1. Lots of practice 2. Feels beetter when a professional does it as opposed to when I jab it into my thumb on accident.


So cheers a bruised belly, over flowing sharps container, and desperate urge to chew life away on Tootsie Rolls--and I've been really dedicated to the latter--one embryo at a time.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Second Guessing

I mentioned that I was all out of wack about why I can't focus and be dedicated to this IVF cyle last blog entry and I needed a few days to think it over and chat with my super nurses and Baby-Doc. My husband needed a few days to catch up on Angry Birds and investigate the 'achievenment awards' he can amass. But I digress. **insert picture of Golden Eggs here for sarcastic image of husband and IVF**

So, we're scheduled to begin with the same protocol and perhaps this is/was making me double-take. With my diagnosis--PCOS, annovulatory, higher FSH--we're working with a slim margin of success. Coupled with an established practice that conducts research, they maybe slightly more conservative in medicating to prevent OHSS as they are establishing and following industry standards (still maintain 49% success rate and they aren't the 'super-selective Center' focused on keeping their stats up). Baby-Doc views success as 11 fertilized, 2 implanted embryos, 1 live birth, 2 frozen embryos. So yes, Baby K is a 'good egg'. **revert back to Golden Egg image**

We view this as 25%, or 1:4. Sure both implanted--and I believe I would have carried twins had I not had a uterine hematoma--which perhaps I wouldn't have had had I not been taking baby asprin. But we'll never know if it was that or Mother Nature/genetics.

So the question becomes if it ain't broke, can you make it better? And our answer is take it for a test drive first.

So, we'll go ahead with this cycle, shelling out over 9K, hope for baby(ies) one embryo at a time and if not take the info and create a more aggressive plan. meanwhile button down the hatches...going into super-saver mode. Cha-Ching.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Loopy on Lupron

Starting week three of birth control, and I am scheduled to take my first dose of Lupron. There's a national shortage of Lupron so I was prescribed a compounded version that was shipped from Arizona. Tells you something when there's such a demand for a fertility drug.

I'm on 10u for the first two weeks. My clinic sends out a calendar with all the drugs, monitoring dates, tests, etc., to follow because in all this mayham it's so easy to get confused. Infact, even with the calendar I seem to mess it up.

Like last night when I thought I was doing 5u. So, into the belly goes the needle. Yay! Day one done. Then James checked and I had to do another.

5+5=10 right?

Hope so.

Gosh, what's wrong with me? The first treatments we tried everything to help ourselves get pregnant: acupuncture, diet, supplements, etc. Now it seems just doing the minimum--no drinking and a prenatal vitamin.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Irony: the Opposite of Wrinkly

This photo made me laugh--at the irony, not the idea of teen pregnancy, of course--as it came up in my irony Google image results.

It also reminded me of a friend's effort for my cousin's wife's baby shower--were you able to follow and connect the dots, whew!  Anyway, in good faith she ordered a cake, and the decorator took the liberty to write "Sent from heaven above, a ball to love."  My cousin's wife was huge. We all cracked up. so much for the baby part.

There seem to be so many ironic moments in this journey.  Here are my top three:

1. Taking birth control pills(BCP): So, I pay the clinic $9,328 and the first thing the doctor prescribes is a pill that prevents me from getting pregnant. As part of down regulation, you're placed on BCP. Still weird. Still depressing. Maybe this this month I just happened to ovulate the perfect little egg and the sperminator wiggled his way into a cracked shell, and my cozy uterus said, "Move on in!" Ok, realistically doubtful--and a good reason to turn down a extra request of sex--but still weird.

2. Inject yourself with diabetic medicine: again part of the down regulation, but maybe I should just not eat the dozen chocolate chip cookies last week when my 26 year old neighbor shared her great news of getting knocked-up on the first try. I'm excited for her. Seriously. Just frustrated with myself, and at the time the cookies--and three Hershey bars--really did make it better. I encourage pity parties, so long as you put a time limit and are only celebrating yourself--no neighbor bashing!

3. Wait to have a baby so you're prepared: this still gets under my skin because I believe people should wait. Live with your love. Work and save money. Get out your demons. Let your eggs shrivel up. Ok, who knows about the the latter, but with time comes age--and naturally more health issues. But thankfully, we waited seven years for baby K so we were able to pull the $15,000+ after insurance to have her. Totally worth the wait. But perhaps somewhere in that 25 year-old gyno appointment someone should have run a FSH beta? Just sayin' it probably would have swung our timelines a bit. So, while a day three FSH isn't the tell all if you should let-go of your egg-os, it's a start.

I think this irony settles in with an unsuccessful or canceled cycle--like the procrastinator's meeting has been postponed.  So, while I bask in the shadow of irony, eat a sugary snack, pop a birth control pill, fill up on diabetic meds, and write checks to a doctor for an impoverished family's yearly income, I rub St. Jude and visualize our family one embryo at a time.