Sunday, May 26, 2013
At first I thought I might have OHSS(ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome) meaning that my ovaries were getting bigger and they could, worst case scenario, burst. But I didn’t have a fever and I hadn’t gained an unusual amount of weight in a short length of time. So of course I turned to my friend… Google.
Well well well… after my search I learned that how I was feeling may very well be from the PIO. Almost crippling stomach cramps, constipation, nausea and my nipples are so sore that even my shirt brushing against them sends a shock of pain. Fun times. But if this is what I need to go through for this pregnancy to happen then I will do what ever it takes.
I have been laying in bed catching up with the many items on my DVR and obsessing over pregnancy, babies, and child care items on Pinterst. Man that site is addicting! I also haven’t been able to stop staring at my ultrasound and the pic of the magic beans before they were transferred. I talk to them a lot, telling them how much we love them and how much we want them. I even have been dreaming about being pregnant and decorating the nursery… as of now it’s just a mostly empty room that we haven’t done anything with because “it will be the nursery someday.”
Praying that the magic bean(s) stick… please God please.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
THAT DAY! It was really happening!!
I was so excited! I emailed the hubs- I can’t call him because he’s a high school teacher. I told him he didn’t need to take the day off because we weren’t 100% sure if it was going to be a 3 day transfer or a 5 day transfer. In hindsight I wish he was there but I wouldn’t tell him that now, I know he feels bad that he wasn’t.
They said that I needed to have a full bladder for the transfer, that they will be able to see the uterus and be able to place the embryos a lot easier that way. Anyone who knows me knows that I constantly have to pee. I drink a lot of water, tea, decaf coffee… there are always at least 2 different beverages on my desk at work (non-alcoholic obvi, lol)
I got to the center and they had me go into the same area where I had the retrieval. I was led into the same changing room where I put on the two hospital gowns (one as a robe) and the super fashionable slipper socks. I went to the small waiting area to wait for the doctor to come and talk to me about how the embryos were doing and the progress of the other ones.
But… there was an emergency with another patient and the doctor had to go and do a scan on another floor. So I had to wait, which is normally no big deal but when you have a full bladder…
It was torture.
One of the nurses asked me if I wanted to relieve my bladder a little bit but I was afraid if I went a little bit I wouldn’t be able to stop and I’d just empty the whole thing. So I said I’d wait.
Thirty minutes later the doctor came. He sat with me and explained that we were going to be transferring 2 embryos. That they were Grade B and a 9 cell and 10 cell. I learned later from my Google search that the optimum cell count for a day 3 transfer are 7-10 calls. Grade B, although not an A, was still very good. They had fertilized all the embryos with ICIS and they had done “assisted hatching” on the two they were going to implant. I was told to be “cautiously optimistic.” (ICIS is when they inject the sperm into the egg instead of just putting the sperm and egg into a petri dish and letting nature take it’s course. Assisted hatching is when they make small cuts in the egg to, well, assist in it implanting into the uterus.)
Here they are… how freakin’ cool is this?
World, meet Magic Bean #1 and Magic Bean #2!!
I can’t believe I got this picture. I haven’t stopped staring at them.
Then came the bad news.
None of the other embryos survived. Out of the 13 that were fertilized we only had 2 left- the other 11 started to die the day before. This was when I really wished the hubs was there to hold my hand. The two we had left looked really good but they wanted to do the day 3 transfer versus the day 5 because they didn’t want to take the chance of one, or both, of them dying before the 5th day. I was so stunned.
This is it. This is our one chance. No extra embryos to freeze to try again.
Of course… I started crying. Ugh me and the water works- I‘d like to blame it on the hormones but let‘s be honest, it‘s not. I just have to be positive that this is going to work. I just have to be positive that these two little magic beans inside me are going to stick - one or both of them. We’re ok with twins… triplets… well we’d have to figure that out if that’s what happened. But for right now we’re focusing on the magic beans inside me at this moment.
So let me back up as to how these little magic beans got into my uterus.
After I talked with the doctor they led me into the same procedure room where I had the retrieval. I was still crying (of course) and the nurses and the doctor were just so sweet. I think it takes a special group of people to work with someone going through IF and I am so happy we are at this center. Anyway, they had me lay on the weird table with the leg holders so I was once again laying there spread eagle with my lady parts on display for the world to see. Except this time I didn’t get some magic stuff to make me sleep. Instead the bed shifted so that my legs were higher than my head- my business was now, literally, in the doctors face. Like I said before, a special group of people.
There is a bumper sticker on the ceiling that says BREATHE and I focused on that. I know that the doctor and nurses were talking to me about how it only takes one embryo and how the two we have look pretty good. But at that point I just needed to focus on breathing, on calming down and praying that we are granted a miracle.
They used the ultrasound on my abdomen as they put the speculum in to open my cervix to allow the catheter to go all the way into my uterus (kind of like an IUI except with an ultrasound and longer and thicker catheter- I believe). The nurse and doctor both said, “wow look at that bladder! You win the prize for having the fullest bladder today!“ I wanted to say, “yeah no kidding I‘m about to pee on this table in a minute.”
Before I knew it, they were done. The doctor showed me an ultrasound photo of the two little magic beans…
…see that white line there? That is the fluid that the embryos are in- right there in my uterus. Magic beans growwww!!!
They wheeled me to the recovery area where my head was lower than my feet and I had to lay there for 35 minutes. They said, “how are you feeling?” I said, “incredibly uncomfortable because my bladder is so full.” Then they said the most beautiful words…
“would you like a bedpan?”
Oh my goodness I cannot even tell you the gloriousness of relieving my bladder. It was the best pee of my entire life. Have you ever been on a long car trip when you have to pee really bad and you finally get to your destination and run to the bathroom and it’s like… “ohmygeeee ahhhhhhh”…? Well multiple that by 5 because I went in there with a full bladder, had to wait an extra 40 minutes, then had an ultrasound wand pushing on it. If they do not offer you a bedpan after your transfer and you have to really pee - believe me ladies, do yourself a favor and ask for a bedpan. Do not be shy - they are all medical professionals and I am sure that people are peeing in bedpans around them all the time. Remember you have to lay there for 35 minutes and the time will crawl if you are about to pee your pants.
After the 35 minutes, they let me go to the bathroom (yeah had to pee again after I filled the bedpan) and get dressed. When I was getting ready to leave Nurse Roberta said, “now remember be cautiously optimistic. Those are good looking embryos. I’ll be praying for you.” I whispered, “thank you” because I was tearing up again, and made my way home.
I have been laying in bed ever since. I emailed the hubs from my phone while I was in recovery and told him about the other embryos. He left work early and got home shortly after I did. I’ve read that you don’t have to stay on bed rest, as long as you stay off your feet the day of the transfer then it should be fine. But we’re in a long Memorial Day weekend here and I will lay in this bed 4 days if it will help. I will lay in this bed until my June 4th test date if I thought it helped - but of course I will be going to work on Tuesday J
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The nurse called today...
20 eggs obtained, 19 were mature and 13 were fertilized! Whoa mama!!!
Our numbers last time were 18 obtained, 17 mature and 10 fertilized. Now we wait for Friday morning for the nurse to call and let us know which day we come in. Thinking positive and trying to have faith in the doctors and their team that they figured out the best plan for us this time and we will have some super healthy embryos...
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
15 + 10 = 25.
That explains why my abdomen looks like I'm 5 months pregnant and I am so... so... SO uncomfortable. My lining is also at a 9 which is absolutely amazing! Prior to the hysteroscopy surgery on my uterus in January the best it ever was was a 6.8mm. For an IUI they ideally would like for it to be at a 7 and for IVF they hope for at least an 8. Sunday it was a 9mm. It grows about 1-2mm a day. It's also a "triple stripe" lining, which I have never had before. I have googled "triple stripe lining" and I cannot find what it means, only that it is what is needed for IVF and indicates the it is the optimal lining thickness for embryo implantation. If anyone can tell me what a "triple stripe lining" means that would be great! Haha!
Anyway, so on Sunday they told me that the ER would be on Tuesday and that I should do the trigger shot (HCG) on Sunday evening. They also said that I should accompany the HCG shot with a 450iu shot of Follistem. Yowza!
This morning (Tuesday) I woke up at 5am with very intense ovulation pains. I never felt that before being on the fertility drugs but with 25 follicles releasing 25 eggs... ouch. It's hard to explain the actual feeling it was just intense.
The ER is a surgery so no eating or drinking since midnight. We went to the clinic this morning for 7:45 am.
(Please keep in mind that this is my experience and it may be different at other clinics)
I went into the surgery center by myself while my hubs went into a separate room to give his sample. They had me take off all my clothing and put on a hospital gown facing backwards and then another one as a robe. I also had to put on a cap to cover my hair. Fast forward through signing paperwork and confirming date of births and social security numbers for the hubs and myself. I started to get very nervous... when I get nervous I break out in a blotchy red rash on my chest and neck... and then I cry. Yep. Big fat tears rolling down my face and I just couldn't stop it. Gah. It's just an overwhelming thing, this whole process is terribly overwhelming and then with losing all of the embryos last time... I was just scared because so much is on the line here. This is it. This is the final dance. This is the final IVF that our insurance covers and I am unsure if this is something that we can afford to do again if it doesn't work out.
But... no pressure right?
The staff thought I was nervous and concerned about the surgery so the nurses and anesthesiologist were very sweet and trying to console me... but I was so choked up that I couldn't explain to them that I wasn't scared about the surgery I was scared about losing all of the embryos again like last time. The surgery, no biggie.
After I got the IV in my arm they lead me into an operating room. The end of the bed is gone and in it's place are holders for my legs because, obviously, they have to get to my ovaries and how they get there is through my va-jay-jay. They positioned me on the bed with my legs spread eagle (I'm covered up at this point but I am sure not for long). The anesthesiologist gave me some magic stuff in my IV...
...and I woke up 30 minutes later in recovery.
I had some cramping/pain. They gave me some medicine to help with the pain and my hubs came in to sit with me. They told us that they got 20 eggs! Even though I had 25 follicles they were not able to get to them all. They go through the wall of my uterus to my ovaries and some of the follices were unreachable. I was there in recovery for about 45 minutes and then we went home. I slept for 4 hours and have been a couch potato all day.
I'll go back to work tomorrow and wait for them to call in the morning to let me now how many eggs were mature and how many were fertilized. Then they will call on Friday morning and let us know if we will do the transfer that day or wait until Sunday. That was the phone call last time where they told us that the embryos didn't survive. I'm going to try and be as positive and optimistic... but...
Friday, May 17, 2013
5iu (International Units) of Lupron. This is what my meds look like – please keep in mind they yours could look different.
Using the syringe in draw back 5iu of air, put it into the plunger of the vial and release the air in there. Then I draw back 5iu of the liquid. The needle is very small but I still ice my stomach before I inject it.
Next is 75iu of Menupor.
This one has 2 vials. One is filled with liquid (saline maybe?) and the other a power form of the medication. This is kept in the refrigerator. I put that plastic cap on the end of the syringe (it’s already on the syringe in the picture) and draw back 1iu of air. Then using the cap (it has a sharp end) I click it onto the top of the vial with the liquid and inject the air. I draw back 1iu of liquid and immediately throw the vial with the liquid away. I then switch out the cap for a needle and inject the liquid into the vial with the powder (I throw away the liquid vial because now that the powder is dissolved into the liquid they look very much alike). I draw ALL of the now dissolved powder into the syringe. This needle is small but it might be a little thicker so I use the ice to numb my stomach before I inject it.
Last but not least is the 150iu of Follistem.
This was the only medication I was on last IVF as well as the 2 IUI’s I did with injectable meds. This one is very simple. It comes in this handy case with a “pen” application. The vials are separate and this medication also needs to be refrigerated. You put the vial in- it’s long and skinny and I just keep it in the “pen” until the vial is empty and I need to put a new one in. Screw the pen top on and you turn the dial on the bottom to the number you need, in my case 150. The needle is very thin – you can hardly see it in the photo. So I usually just pinch the skin on my stomach and stick it in without ice. There is a button at the bottom of the “pen” that you slowly push to dispense the meds. Easy peasy.
I want to explain everything that I’m doing and what I’m going through because when I did the first IVF I was unable to find a blog that told me everything that was going to happen. Of course the blogs I found were wonderful to read on experiences and the emotional aspect of this journey but I wanted someone to tell me what I was going to expect and what I could possibly have to do. What are all these meds they are sending me and what the heck am I supposed to do with them? Of course the nurse sits down with you and goes over everything but I wanted to know NOW not when I was at the appropriate part of my cycle, haha. Knowledge is power and I feel like if I know what I’m going to expect then I’m more relaxed about it… I think that’s why I don’t have that much anxiety about this second IVF because I did it once before and I kind of know what’s going to happen – even though so far all medication protocol is completely different than what I did before.
I just got a call from the nurse and all the meds stay the same – my estrogen is 999, which I’m guessing is good (I’ll have to consult Dr. Google). So I go back in on Sunday and we’ll see what happens then
Friday, May 10, 2013
Let’s get this party started!
I went to the doctor this morning for blood work, baseline (internal) ultrasound and a consult with the nurse about the treatment plan. First I have to say, I love my clinic. The IVF nurses are so nice – the one I saw today totally took the time to sit with me for 30 minutes and go over everything and was so sympatric about losing all of the embryos last time.
She said that on the treatment plan for this cycle it says that the oxygen level for the embryos are to be at 5% - she said that the doctor would only write that if he thought that might have been a contributing factor last time (it’s always at 20%. 5% is what it is inside the womb). Also in the notes it said that upon review of the case they feel that my follicles matured too fast last time and I was triggered too late – that when they did the retrieval they thought that my eggs were too large. So along with the new medication protocol, the 5% oxygen for the embryos I am going to be triggered a day earlier this time (triggering means a shot of HCG which will force the follicles to release the eggs. I will also do a shot of Follistem that evening too).
So let’s talk about the meds… I will be giving myself 3 (THREE!) shots a night. Last time it was one. I have never given myself more than one shot at a time. Oh boy – I am going to run out of room on my abdomen! I’ll be doing 5iu of Lupron, 150iu of Follistem and 75iu of Menopur (starting tonight). I go back for blood work on Monday (cd4) and then blood work and ultrasound on Wednesday (cd6). Last time I triggered on cd9 because my follicles matured quicker than they thought, it’s usually 12-16 days. So who knows when I’ll trigger this time? I’m not sure when my ER or ET will be (egg retrieval / embryo transfer). I’m both excited and nervous… I am happy we are finally getting the process started but I’m of course nervous because of what happened last time. I’ll also start the castor oil packs tonight… can’t wait to see hubs reaction to that! He’s usually is like,” what… are you doing?” Then I tell him whatever crazy thing I am doing and why and he just rolls his eyes – HA!
I’ll keep you posted - xo
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
But I cannot stop looking up pregnancy.
I am telling myself that I am trying to calm my fears about the possibility of twins. I’m telling myself that I am thinking positive and preparing for what IS GOING to happen. I am telling myself I needn’t worry how I’ll feel if this doesn’t work this time because it IS GOING to work. I am trying not to think about what happened last time after our egg retrieval. I am trying to think about it ALL working. I’m trying to think about this miracle happening for us and this 29 month journey through heartbreak and infertility will be over soon because I will finally be pregnant.
Pregnant for the long haul.
Beautiful, happy, healthy baby(ies) growing in my womb.
I think about all the people I know who just had to go off the pill and then try a couple times (and a handful only had to wait one or two months) and they were pregnant like that
How does that feel?
How does it feel to just decide to have a baby, to have a beautiful miracle, and it just
I have to believe that this will be our turn. This will be the time when we will get our miracle.
Friday, May 3, 2013
I keep trying to tell myself that this is the kind of thinking that stresses me out and is exactly what I am trying to avoid. I need to just let it go and not let myself get sad. But it’s just so hard when my two good friends here in the office (M&M) are literally days away from their due dates and I work very closely with them on a daily basis. You’d think I’d be over the belly envy but when I see another, and then yet another pregnant belly around the office… I can’t help but be sad.
I need to have hope. I need to be hopeful.
I got a text from a good friend of mine the other day and she said, I sent you a little something in the mail, you should get it in a day or two. I had no idea what to expect… then this showed up…
It absolutely floored me how thoughtful and sweet this was. It’s exactly what I needed – it’s exactly what I need to remind myself of on a daily basis. I need to have hope. I need to believe in miracles. I need to believe that this can and will happen for us. I need to have faith in our doctor and his team… I need to have faith in God that we will be granted this wish that we want oh so deeply.