IVF#1: Fail


Our first IVF has failed.  It didn't work.  It was not a success.  It failed.  Writing those words has to be one of the hardest things I've done in a long time.  I couldn't gauge it.  With the IUI, I had a feeling it didn't work.  The count was so low.  Even the doctor didn't have a true look of confidence.  But this time...This time it was different.  Dr. G. was so excited about our embabies.  She called them beautiful.  She called them gorgeous.  The blastocyst was ready.  Its little brother (I assume) was equally beautiful.  I knew one or both would take.

I did the pineapple core and POM.  I rested after retrieval and the evening of transfer.  I was up the next day because the office wanted me up and moving.  I didn't overexert myself.  I stopped jogging. I made sure to eat and take my meds.  I talked to them.  I encouraged them.  But the babies didn't stay. They went back to heaven.  They went back to creation. And the procedure failed.

I waited all day for the phone call.  When nurse A. called, I dialed S.  We'd agreed that we would find out together.  And then she said "Unfortunately" and I knew.  Less than 1.  A negative one.  My beta was a negative one.  I'm not quite sure how a number can be so empty it's negative, but it is and it belongs to me.  I didn't cry. I felt a flash of anger and disappointment wrapped in a white hot ball and I embraced it.

When the call ended, I verbalized "I'm done" and I simply shut down my office computer and walked out the door.  I drove to a parking lot and sat there for about ten minutes in complete silence.  No music.  No radio.  No words.  I just sat there and then I continued the rest of the day.

When S. got home, I didn't want hugs or to be coddled.  I just wanted space...white space, quiet space.  I still haven't received it.  I recognize that my husband is grieving too, so we've embraced. But I haven't been able to open up in what I'm feeling yet.  I honestly don't know.  Someone asked that I not lose faith.

I won't.  Whatever happens in the rest of this journey, I know and believe that God is my rock and in Him will I trust. I recently saw a young woman in our community curse God the other day when she lost her child at ten weeks.  I prayed for her.  Her pain was so real and palpable.  I know she is hurting and I know she professes to be a woman of faith.  I pray that she will be able to seek God again and let Him comfort her in loss and strengthen her is His grace.  We were never promised a life without trouble, trial or tribulation.  If she is reading this blog, I am praying for you and praying peace for you as well.  I didn't lose at ten weeks.  I didn't get to see the heartbeat or hear it beating with promise.  I don't know that ache nor can I pretend I do.  But I loved my babies as you loved yours. I truly believe that there is a purpose in this pain.  While I don't know that we will ever know on this side what that purpose is, I believe that it is for our good no matter how horrible that sounds.  And it is okay to be angry and hurt and disappointed.  Praying so hard for you!!!

My husband is currently sitting beside me being a wonderful husband.  My hormones are a mess and I have been cramping off and on.  I'm simply awaiting Aunt Flo's return.  We talk with our doctor on Tuesday to address where we go from here.  With no babies making it to freeze, we will have to start all the way over.  With most of my medication exhausted, it will be another larger payment that we aren't ready for.  But we will continue.  No matter what.  

Thank you to everyone for every kind word, every encouragement.  You have no idea how much this means to us.  I haven't met any of you.  But I consider all of you a part of my journey and I'm thankful to walk with you.  God bless you and keep all of you.

I will be in touch.
-K


Beta morning

Good morning!

Well, today is the day.  No matter what happens, by the end of this day, S. and I will know if by some miracle God has allowed us to successfully achieve pregnancy from our first IVF w/ ICSI cycle.  I've kept my promise and haven't tested anymore.  I don't know if I am pregnant or am not.  I've no symptoms beyond a little fatigue and occasional nausea, both of which are familiar to me as PMS symptoms.

I have been told there is no real goal IVF beta number, but Dr. Google begs to differ.  It doesn't matter.  This morning, I seek only to get this test done, and get a response.  Everything after is for another day.

Beta day is here

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8dp5dt: Just keep swimming

Sorry, I've been a bit absent.  Truth be told, I wanted a little time to catch my breath from the past couple of days.  On 5dp5dt, I was feeling really, really bummed because I didn't feel anything.  By anything, I mean anything.  I have been pregnant before.  I've even had chemical pregnancies advance with pretty convincing symptoms.  This time I felt nothing.  Not even a little bit.  I was disappointed and figured I was out completely.  So, I decided to log onto Instagram and saw several of my fellow #TTCsisters showing pregnancy tests at 5 and 6 days past transfer with faint lines and not so faint lines. I figured if I wasn't feeling anything and the test could confirm that, then at least I would know right?  I am also more than able to admit that there was a part of me that would see a line on my test.  It worked...kind of.

I found a couple of tests still in the house from my last testing frenzy.  The problem is they were blue dye tests.  Every single false positive or chemical pregnancy test result I have ever received has been from a blue dye test.  So, while I didn't want to necessarily put my trust in the test, I used what I had and this happened....

Hope your resolution is up.  There's a faint blue line behind that horizontal.

I had a positive.  Faint, but it was there.  Or was it.  Because I have come to trust the honest opinions of the ladies in our #TTCcommunity, I posted the result and asked for opinions.  Everyone saw the same vertical blue line.  BUT, several of the sisters admonished me to remember what I already knew. Blue dye tests are unreliable.  They asked me to try the first response early response test.

Well, silly me, I grabbed the wrong ones and got the first response rapid response tests instead.  They don't provide early pregnancy results.  So, I came up with this when I tried.

The top two were taken 5dp5dt.  The bottom two were taken at 6dp5t.
The CBs are the only ones that register positive.

There were no clear positives on the FRRR tests.  So, discouraged, I promised myself that I would not test again until beta.  But I was fooling myself.  I was so disappointed because yesterday, all I felt was a bit of nausea.  Even that was come and go.  I just wanted to see the test again.  Just to be sure.

No doubt there, it's negative
And with that, here we are.  I will not test again.  I know the result.  I know that it's done.  I know that we we have to try again.  I know that we are fortunate to have five more chances before it's up for us. I am trying to have hope, but I'm pretty sure this cycle is a loss for us.

I'll keep you updated on Friday when we finally have our 14-day beta.

Have a great day.

-K

IVF CD22: The TWW (4dp5dt)

You can say that again!

Can I be really open with you all? I hate the TWW (two week wait). I do. I just do. Since the first month of ttc naturally, to the first IUI, to this very first IVF, I absolutely abhor the TWW. Sigh. I am trying VERY hard not to symptom spot, but I can’t help it. I sit and work and I’m bloated. Am I bloated from the progesterone or am I pregnant? I’m super sleepy after lunch. Is it the “itis” or am I tired because I’m pregnant? I’m feeling this very peculiar pinprick pain in one specific location in my ovaries. What is it? Pregnant or gas?

Ugh, seriously. I’m about to drive myself up a wall. Fortunately, I’ve not mentioned any of these symptoms or non-symptoms to S. He’s the sane one and always says “let’s not get too overexcited. We don’t want to get our hopes up”. True. We don’t, but we do. I really want to know what our baby(ies) are doing in there. I know the key is to keep your mind occupied. Fortunately, it seems like that will come sooner than later today.

Our eldest has his Back to School night (only it has been changed to Family Night to encourage everyone to come and try the new curriculum module activities). Great. I’ve no problem with that at. We’ve even managed to carve out some time with our son’s teacher. We’ve noticed some behavior we aren’t too thrilled with that we are attributing to hormones and growing up. He isn’t too excited about turning in assignments or focusing. He comes by that naturally. I’m so easily distracted sometimes. It doesn’t surprise me that he is too. But, it’s becoming a concern for S. and I because we want to make sure he has a successful and productive academic year. If we can get everyone—teacher, student, parent, administrators, etc. on the same page, we think it will be great. So, after the Family Night, S. and I are going to sit and converse with his teacher a bit about the best way to proceed going forward. Our goal is to make sure that he is doing everything he needs to do to succeed and that we are doing everything we can do to support him and his teacher.

Tomorrow, I’m taking our fur babies to the vet to have their nails trimmed. I don’t know what I was thinking when I scheduled at 10 in the morning, knowing that I’d still have to come to work, but navigating the time will keep my mind off things.  I'll sign back on after our meeting tonight.
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I'm back.  The parent teacher conference was productive, but not amazing.  We need to keep the eldest more focused and so we're going to try some things at the house to allow the school to supplement.  We need him to do better and be better.  Nothing bad.  Nothing wrong.  He's just being a little boy, but we need him to be more focused as it will definitely benefit him in the long run.

Now, it's back to the PM dosage of meds, my teacup of Pom, and my evening pineapple core.  Anything to help these babies stick.  I read online via IVFConnections due date calendar that today I should be 3 weeks and 2 days.  So, that's obviously way too early for me to even consider testing this week.  Maybe I'll try and convince S. to do so next week.  Then again, maybe not.  

Have a very great evening and I will write you all again soon.

-K

IVF CD22 Medications
  • Estradol- 2 pills taken orally (1 AM/1 PM)
  • Endometrin- 1 vaginal insert 3 times a day
IVF CD22 Symptoms
  • Occasional cramps (probable cause fertility meds)
IVF CD21 Developments
  • None to report
Next Appointment
  • Beta test day- 28 Oct 2016



IVF CD21: And then there were none (3dp5dt) ...


So, there I was trying to convince myself that I absolutely would NOT google track symptoms or lack thereof.  I also promised myself that I would not stress.  No matter what happened, no matter what came, no matter what I thought or may not have thought about symptoms, I would not stress!

Then, I received a phone call.  It was late.  I was supposed to have heard from our nurse A. yesterday regarding the remaining embryo and if it made it to freeze.  When I didn’t get a call, I thought nothing about it.  Today, I decided to call her and her voicemail let me know she was out of the office on conference this week.  No biggie.  I figured I’d leave a message with the front desk when I returned from lunch.  They beat me to it.


One of the nurses, G., is filling in for A. while she is away.  She called and informed me that we actually had two remaining embryos trying hard to divide after transfer.  They tried.  One made it a bit further than his brother.  Then, they both stopped.  No more dividing.  The clinic gave them 7 full days just to see if the extra time would help them divide.  It didn’t.

So, there are no embryos to freeze.  If this doesn’t work….if the two beautiful babies who are currently (hopefully) attaching and growing decide not to stick around, we will have to start all over.  And just like that, I felt the cramps and the sadness.

I know I shouldn’t give up.  I’m not.  I know I shouldn’t count our transferred babies out.  I haven’t.  But I feel loss for the emrbyos that didn't make it.   I’m still hoping and praying we have a great result and soon!

Have a great evening!

-K

IVF CD20 Medications
  • Estradol - 2 pills taken orally (1 AM/1 PM)
  • Endometrin- 1 vaginal insert 3 times a day
IVF CD20 Symptoms
  • Cramps off and on (probable cause is endometrin)
  • Slight nausea (probable cause is endometrin)
IVF CD20 Developments
  • No call about embryos for freeze report

IVF CD21 Medications
  • Estradol- 2 pills taken orally (1 AM/1 PM)
  • Endometrin- 1 vaginal insert 3 times a day
IVF CD21 Symptoms
  • Cramps off and on (probable cause is endometrin)
  • Slight occurrence of nausea today (probable cause is fertility meds)
IVF CD21 Developments
  • No embryos made it to freeze
Next Appointment
  • Beta test day- 28 Oct 2016

IVF CD19: A thief! (Non-ttc related)


 *This post is non-TTC related with the exception of the at-a-glance section at the bottom.  

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Well, if I were looking for a way to keep my mind occupied as we enter out #TWW, I’ve located one!
This morning, S. discovered that someone had broken into his work office and stole his personal laptop and professional video camera (both used daily for his job). The video camera was an industry pro and utilized as he handles his company’s media, editing, and layout. The laptop is his and is loaded with his professional software (he self-purchased) and all of that cost a lot. But even worse, (because tangible material stuff can be replaced), the laptop has our family’s personal information on. Socials, addresses, budget spreadsheets, appointments, etc. All of it. And someone just walked away with ALL of it.

When he told me, my mind wanted to panic. But I managed to sigh and take a deep breath. The discharge instructions and our nurse have clearly said NOT to stress during the next few days. I couldn’t get crazy. So, I listened as S. and I created a divide and conquer plan. I’ve contacted the credit bureaus and have initiated fraud alerts to prevent new accounts and credit from being opened. I’ve also contacted my companies’ security office(s) to make sure they are aware of it in case anything untoward happens.

The good news is I had a colleague tell me that the operating system that S. uses is one of the most difficult to encrypt and even if by some magic they were able to use the computer, they wouldn’t be able to access the files without being a hacker extraordinaire based on the additional protocols we use. That made me feel better. The bad news is the computer also had some sentimental pictures and things on it that are irreplaceable. Those things S. can’t get back and as he isn’t a big fan of clouds. It can pretty much be counted gone.  Also, are the notes and projects he has already started for his job.  That's okay though.  He is still in good spirits and I know it will be okay.

I hope everyone has a good evening and I will write again, soon.

-K


IVF CD19 Medications

  • Estradol - 2 pills taken orally (1 AM/1 PM)
  • Endometrin- 1 vaginal insert 3 times a day
IVF CD19 Symptoms
  • Cramps off and on (probable cause is endometrin)
  • Fatigue (probable cause is endometrin)
IVF CD19 Developments
  • Nothing worth mentioning
Next Appointment
  • Beta test day- 28 Oct 2016

IVF CD18: Babies Onboard!- The Embryo Transfer story

DISCLAIMER:  This post was written on the day of transfer, 16 Oct 2016.  I fell asleep before posting.  So I am posting today on 17 Oct 2016.  Thanks!

-K
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Hello everyone!

Today was our embryo transfer day! Oh my, what a day it has been lol.  I have to tell you that I may have the new record for funniest patient in our clinic's roster.  I'll get to that shortly.

This morning, I woke up and lay beside S. just enjoying the quiet time with him.  He was disappointed that he wouldn't be able to join me because someone would need to be with our children and make sure the family made it to church on time.  (For those new to the blog, we have a 10 yo from a previous relationship (mine-ours) and a beautiful 2 yo through adoption).  None of our family are aware we are undergoing fertility treatment, so we couldn't ask any of them to watch the kids without a lengthy Q&A because it is extremely rare for us to miss church.  Since lying is out of the question, it just made more sense for him to stay with the kids.  We discussed and how many embryos we would like to transfer (we weren't even sure how many were in place at this point), and before you knew it was time to go.

I started drinking my 24-26 ounces in the car as directed and was more than ready by the time I pulled into the clinic parking lot.  Unfortunately, they were not lol.  I suddenly became aware that my sitting down was adding more pressure to my bladder and my walking around the lobby to prevent myself from going to the potty was not helping.  I finally went to the lobby and BEGGED if I could void just a bit because I didn't think I could sit for the estimated 30 minutes it would take from then to exit of the clinic.  The receptionist was kind enough to direct me to the bathroom with the instructions to count to five and then stop.  (I'd been through something similar in my past so I knew I could stop mid-stream).

Gotta go!!!

I did that and it didn't help at all lol.  But I managed to go into the back room when called and strip waist down and cover my nether regions with a sheet--for about five minutes.  Suddenly, I had to go SO bad that I was literally in pain.I got up and walked around the tiny treatment room talking aloud to myself that I didn't have to go and it was all in my brain.  (If someone were watching on a camera, they'd have thought I'd suddenly lost it.)  After five more minutes I couldn't take it anymore and I opened the door, peaked in the hall, and announced to the nurse that I needed to drain something or we would have a cleanup on aisle 4.  They laughed and told me not to empty completely, just take a little off the top.  This repeated itself twice.

Finally, the doctor came in the treatment room with the sonographer and went over the day's plan.  In our previous post, I mentioned that we had 12 eggs retrieved, 9 were were mature, and 4 fertilized. We knew that they were still dividing on day two but had no update since then.  Well, our RE now informed me that one didn't want to play and completely stopped.  One had reached blastocyst stage and was beautiful.  The last two were dividing albeit at a bit slower pace.  So, there were three in the game.

After much thought and discussion, I stuck to the discussion S. and I had this morning.  We decided to transfer two.  It just made sense when we remembered the low sperm count, the IUI failure, the success of only 33% of the eggs retrieved, and  so much more.  So, our RE gave us the risks and pros and cons, and then I signed the paperwork for two embryos (embabies) to be transferred!

Dr. G. (our RE) prepped me for transfer and confirmed that my bladder was the perfect amount of full for them to have a clear picture of my uterus.  While she was doing this our embryologist left to assist the second embryo in hatching and to collect both embryos in a transfer catheter.  The cool part about all of this is I'm watching the selection and capture on the screen above my sonographer's head.  I saw my name come up along with my patient ID number and then my beautiful embabies!

My beautiful babies
The catheter was then inserted in me and my babies deposited snug in my uterus with a gentle puff of air.  Snug as a bug!  The catheter was then removed and checked to make sure it was empty. Dr. G wished me good luck and congratulations, asked me lie down for five minutes, await discharge instructions from the nurse, and wished me a great day.  The embryologist came in with the above photo of our babies!!!  Yay!!! Two babies on board!  Stick, babies, stick!

The nurse came relatively quickly and gave me a bunch on post instructions.  No heavy lifting (>25 pounds), no high impact aerobics, low impact aerobics may only include walking.  No intercourse or orgasms for five days.  Nothing too stringent.  After she left, I practically ran to the bathroom to relieve my bladder (which hated me by the way), came back and collected my things and departed with two embryos comfortably riding.

When in the parking lot to go home, it hit me that for all intents and purposes, I am pregnant and carrying two little babies inside me.  I had myself a good cry and a good prayer time in the car.  No matter what happens, I thank and praise God for His provision.  We've come a long way in this journey.  We never would have made it this far without Him.

So, that's my transfer story.  I'll be waiting for a call to see if our remaining baby has made it to freezable.  And I'll be checking in during our TWW to keep you updated!  Have a great day!

-K

IVF CD18 Medications

  • Estradol  -   2 pills taken orally (1 AM/1 PM)
  • Endometrin- 1 vaginal insert 3 times a day

IVF CD18 Symptoms
  • Cramps in abdomen (probable cause is endometrin)
IVF CD18 Developments
  • Two embryos transferred today!!
  • TWW starts tomorrow (Booooo)
Next Appointment
  • Beta test day- 28 Oct 2016



IVF CD15: Grow, Babies, Grow!

Hi everyone!  I hope you're having a great day.  Things here are pretty tame.  Our lovely nurse, A., called me today with our embabies latest update.  On day two, all four embryos are still dividing like a champ.  I'm super excited about that!  The fertility staff leaves the babies alone for the next two days, so we won't know their progression until Sunday.  That's when we transfer!

Yep!  On October 16th, S. and I will be impregnated.  I'm so excited!

I'm also tired, so I'll just leave you with a development chart I stumbled across during Google Search.










Hope my babies are dividing properly.  Have a good evening!

-K


IVF CD14: Egg Update

Hello everyone. I hope you are all having a pleasant day. I’m feeling much better than I was yesterday. I am able to walk without being humped over and I move at a more normal pace. Our RE called this morning, which was awesome, and checked on me to make sure I was feeling okay and taking my meds. She admonished me to take it easy and even though I’m at work today, I’m listening to her advice. I do feel a bit tender cramping, but nothing too much so.

Our RE didn’t just call to check on me. She also called with our egg update. Our procedure retrieved 12 eggs. Of those 12, 9 were mature. Of the 9 that were mature, 4 fertilized. We have four embabies growing right now. I’m hoping and praying that they continue to divide and that we’ll have embryos available on Sunday. I have to admit, I’m a bit worried. We lost 8 eggs. That’s a lot. And we haven’t yet gotten to the transfer finish line with the remaining. AND what if they don’t want to hang around. Please God. Please.

I’ve searched the baby due date calculator. The one on IVF Connections is awesome. Should babies decide to hang around, they will be due on or about 4 July 2017. Wouldn’t that be an awesome Independence Day? I just want everything to work out well. I want the babies to stick around.

I pray I have great information for you guys tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!

-K

IVF CD14 Medications
  • Estradol-      2 pills taken orally (1 in the AM/1 in the PM) 
  • Endometrin- 1 vaginal insert 3 times a day
IVF CD14 Symptoms
  • Slightly tender in the abdominal and vaginal area (noticed when I get up or walk too fast)
IVF CD14 Developments
  • 12 eggs retrieved on CD13, 9 eggs were mature, 4 eggs were successfully fertilized
Next Appointment(s)
  • 16 Oct 2016 (CD18)- Egg transfer

IVF CD14: Musings--What I didn't know about Stims

Hello!  While, we're waiting on additional information about our eggs, I thought I'd share a couple of things I've learned for myself in this journey.  I will do one for STIMS and one for the actual egg retrieval. Hope you enjoy!

IVF CD13: Retrieval Day (long version)

Good evening.  I apologize for not writing or checking in earlier.  I'm a bit tired still, but RETRIEVAL IS DONE!!


I thought I've give my boring play by play for those who may be interested.  I hope this information helps someone.  As a disclaimer and a reminder, I am not a doctor nor nurse.  I might get a term incorrect, but I'll try my best to remain accurate to my experience.  Also, your experience may be different from mine depending on fertility clinic, protocol, etc.  Happy reading.

This morning S. and I were to leave the house at 0645 for our 0830 arrival and 1000 procedure.  We were running slightly behind, but fortunate to be on the road by 0653.  The procedure center is an hour and some change on a good day, but with our notoriously awful rush hour, that could switch up badly Thankfully, the first leg of our trip was uneventful (the Interstate moved pretty quick), however the second part not so much.  We called the center and were ten minutes late, but the receptionist told us not to worry and that was a relief.

Side-note:  Now, I've told you all that I've had mild cramping all week.  Nothing major, kind of like menstrual cramps, but not a big deal.  Ladies, oh my!  This morning, I was cramping and in such pain that I could barely walk straight.  I actually had to stop and breathe through those jokers.  It was progressively worse by the time I walked from the car to the main lobby to the pre-op area.  It should be noted I get bad ovulation cramps anyway.  Really bad ones.  I can always tell which side is ovulating because the cramping is real.  This time my right side (which has been the most active) was kicking my butt, but there was an equal dull ache on the other side.  NONE of this was felt yesterday beyond minor twinges/cramps.

We walked to the lobby area, presented our photo IDs, and the reason and time for our appointment. The receptionist was very pleasant and told us we were checked in and to have a seat.  About five minutes later, our nurse H. greeted us, verified our info, and walked us back to the pre-op area.  I was asked to jump on the scale for weight.  ( Four pounds are sitting there that were not there last week. I'm blaming the bloat!) I was then invited to void if I needed to (as many times as I needed to), strip to the hospital gown with only bra and socks on, given the hair and sock covers, and told to get into the bed until vitals could be run.  An identification bracelet was placed on my arm with my name and info for the day.  Fever and blood pressure were run thereafter.

S. was escorted to the donor area to do his part of the retrieval.  I really have to get him to write his experience.  LOL.  He said the donor area was the most professional thing he has ever seen in his life. LOL.  While he was gone, a new nurse came and introduced herself, verified my information, and went over the procedure, the post-procedure, consents, and verification of information.

Post-retrieval instructions
So, there are two types of triggers for this procedure--Lupron or HCG.  Because my estrogen counts have been so blessed high and the RE and staff are trying to keep me from overstimulating, I triggered with Lupron.  The nurse explained to me that when I went in I may or may not receive an HCG shot in my arm.  It would depend on my levels and the directions received from the doctor.  She wanted me to be aware so if I woke up with a new bandage, I'd know what had happened.  I asked the nurse if my cramping so badly were normal and she said it was.  She informed me that when I was done I would need to inhale Gatorade even more so than water with my levels.  If I'm doing 64 oz of hydration a day, 40 oz. need to be Gatorade or some type of electrolyte.  She also told me to up my protein A LOT.

Soon after, S. returned to the room just in time for the anesthesiologist to arrive.  I loved him.  I mean he was one of the highlights of the day.  Funny and quick.  He verified my information, explained what he was going to do, saw my bruised arm and the tape burn, informed me he would have to use the same site, but it wouldn't hurt (and it didn't--the guy is good), and then had me all set up for my IV.  It didn't take him anytime at all.  He told me he would see me in the room in about fifteen minutes and he went to set up.

Meanwhile S. is doing an awesome job of rubbing my belly and holding my hands through these nasty cramps.  We decided it was time to pray before the nurse came back to get me, and pray we did. I love my husband.  There is something wonderful about having someone love you so much that their prayers sound like a love letter for your soul.  Anyway, a few minutes later, the nurse who took my vitals arrived and escorted me to the bathroom for one more void.  We then went by my area to say my goodbye and love you to S. and the nurse led me to the room.

Once inside, the anesthesiologist was in place and introduced me to the embryologist who verified my information and the name of my husband and left the room, I assume to get the sample.  The nurse verified my information once again and then asked me to sit bare bottom on the covered table.

I heard the anesthesiologist give the time.  I thought he said 20-25 and I turned to ask if he was referring to egg count.  He laughed, so no, just giving the time, and the nurse asked me to move up just a bit, and then I was out. (That stuff is GOOD).

I woke up back in the recovery area with the nurse beside me but no S.  He'd gone to the pharmacy to downstairs to collect my prescription for pain meds. (The nurses had sent him to do to keep me from having to wait on the way out). I felt a dull cramp that bothered me when I moved.  The nurse saw the discomfort and asked if I wanted my IV med for pain.  We agreed on half the dosage and that helped quickly.  S. arrived from downstairs, asked how I felt, and I told him I thought the nurse told me we'd had 9 eggs.  S. told me I must have been groggy and asked the nurse again in my presence and found out we have 12!  Yay!
Whoohoo!  12 eggs!

We checked out shortly thereafter complete with menstrual pad and heating pads and stopped for something to eat. As soon as we were back in the car, I fought with nausea from potholes.  I came home and chugged Gatorade.  To the young lady I told that it didn't work for me...LIES.  I felt so much better.  I used the heat pad given to me at the center and lay down for a very long nap..interrupted by the need to frequently pee, but I did keep chugging Gatorade.

When I woke up this PM, I felt much better. A bit slow and still crampy, but not enough that I have used the pain meds.  I've eaten protein, taken my post-up Estradol and will start Endometrin tomorrow.  I'll work a half day tomorrow and will get back to you all with updates as soon as I can.

Thanks so much for reading!  I hope I didn't bore you.  Tomorrow, I'll post some things I didn't know, but for those who are coming up on retrieval, the immediate.

1.  Be prepared for the possibility of major cramps on retrieval day.
2.  Make sure you have your Gatorade ready.  It really does help.
3.  You will be given a pad to wear home.  There will be spotting.  It will not be lots.
4.  Rest.  I slept for about four hours and my body appreciated it.  I also took it slow because getting up and laying down HURT.
5.  Let your lovie spoil you.  It was nice to have S. beside me and making me feel super special.
6. Try to relax.  It's out of your hands.  Whatever happens, will happen.  You've done your part.

Have a great evening!
-K

IVF CD11: I'm triggering today!

Hi everyone.

I woke up this morning and made an early morning trek to the weekend monitoring location.  The sonographer told me that she was fairly certain I wouldn't be seeing her again. She said my follicles were beautiful, uterus looked perfect, and I looked ready to go.

Great news and I went on to church not even thinking about it any more.  I enjoyed a good service even though the church didn't have power after an area outage, came home and did some follow-up bible discussion with S.  Incidentally, it is such a wonderful thing to have a husband loves God as much as mine does.  We spent a few minutes discussing topical questions and scriptures from today's sermon.  My father-in-love is a reverend and taught his children the Word of God very well.  When I need help with interpretation or just want to discuss the Word, I know I can count on S.

Anyway, right after we'd finished the last conversation and had turned on the DVR for Sunday football, the phone rang and, per the ID, I knew it was our fertility center.  She told me my estrogen count is 4528.  My lining is 13 today.  I also have 13 measurable follicles with the largest being 22.4 mm.  I trigger tonight at 10:00pm.  I'm usually in the bed or going to be about that time, but trust and believe this is one appointment I will not miss :)

I'm fortunate that my trigger is subcutaneous, which means I can just slip it in the skin under my belly like my other shots.  I go to the doctor for blood work tomorrow at 7:45 a.m.  I take my zithromax with dinner tomorrow and then show up Tuesday at 8:30.  I am so excited and so nervous.

But I'm ready!  I'm also stopping on the way home for pineapple.  Got to get this core!

I will talk to you all soon.

-K


Stims Day 10

  • Lupron Trigger (To be taken at 10PM)

Stims Day 10 Symptoms
  • Crampy on the right ovary side
  • Sorest nipples in ages!  I haven't felt nipples this sore since I was pregnant with my first.  I don't know where they came from, but go away!
  • Not as frisky as yesterday, but my S. looks so handsome and amazing to me today.
  • Hot flash.  This is new.  Every one else in the house is comfortable.  I feel like I'm in a sauna.  What in the world?!

Stims Day 10 Developments

  • I get to trigger tonight!

Next Appointment(s)

  •  IVF CD12:  Bloodwork (Monday, 10 Oct)
  •  IVF CD13:  Retrieval (Tuesday, 11 Oct)

IVF CD8 and CD9: Tired and Trigger?


Bringing you up to speed..

Hi everyone.

I'm so very sorry for not posting yesterday.  All of the early morning blood draws and appointments finally caught up with me and I was exhausted.  That didn't mean I got to rest, quite the opposite actually since S. and I had company last night which put me to bed at 11PM.  Combine that with my alma mater's game on ESPNU and yep...I was done.

So let me bring you up to speed.  Yesterday's estrogen level was 2025.  I had 17 follies, up three from the 14 the day before.  There were a couple very close to the magic 18mm, but not quite.  My dosage was maintained at 150 ius of both Menopur and Gonal-F, and the Cetrotide this morning at 25 ius.  I had an interesting development yesterday when my left arm decided it wasn't going to play anymore.  I developed a small bruise and irritation from the bandage and the arm generally wasn't interested in producing blood.  However, it's sibling would not produce even the hint of a vein, so after some coaxing, the left arm remained my go to.

Stims Day 8
  • Gonal F- 150 iu
  • Menopur- 150 iu
  • Cetrotide- 25iu (1 vial)

Stims Day 8 Side Effects/Symptoms
  • Cramping in my abdomen
  • Moody (I cried at every article I read yesterday)
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Bruising on the arm and leg
  • Feeling "frisky"
Stims Day 8 New Developments
  • Estrogen levels have increased to 2025


Next Appointment
  • Blood work and Ultrasound-IVF CD9

This morning was CD 9.  I woke up early and made sure to take the Cetrotide.  It's much easier now that I have had a couple of days to get the hang of it.  No new side effects that I could tell.  I went to my appointment and was expecting a small growth, nothing major.  Boy was I shocked.

Not my ovaries.  Not my follicles.  Example via: Google Search
Several of my steadily growing follicles had decided overnight to touch the magic number of 18mm.  Two left ovary follicles and three right ovary follicles.  There are three other right side follicles that are at least 15.2.  This was the number the slower ones were yesterday, so I think these will grow as well.

When the sonographer saw my follicle numbers, she told me that she believed I would be possibly trigger tonight and that she wouldn't see me again.  That shocked me.  I was not expecting to hear that at all.

My awesome nurse A. met me in the patient room with a trigger instruction packet and just-in-case instructions.  She told me that the doctor would need to review my estrogen count today before determining whether I would trigger, but that if I did not trigger tonight, it would be a given that I would on tomorrow.

A few hours ago, I received my phone call.  No trigger tonight.  So, we are pretty sure that we're going to do so tomorrow.  I'll keep you updated.  We're getting close and man, I'm getting nervous!!

Stims Day 9
  • Gonal F- 187 iu
  • Menopur- 150 iu
  • Cetrotide- 25iu (1 vial)

Stims Day 9 Side Effects/Symptoms
  • On and off again cramping in my abdomen
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue (took a two hour nap today and would have lasted longer if not for duties)
  • Feeling "frisky"

Stims Day 9 New Developments
  • Trigger shot looming
  • A prescription will be ordered tomorrow for Progesterone in Oil (PIO)


Next Appointment
  • Tentatively IVF CD10

IVF CD7: Getting close and I want a nap

Hello everyone.

Exhausted tonight...

I'm kind of tired tonight, so I'm not planning a long post.  Just some of the basics.  This morning's appointment was at 7AM.  I had 14 measurable follicles this morning. Right side:  10.0, 13.9, 16.3, 10.9, 9.8, 10.4, and 14.5. Left side is 12.9, 13.8, 15.2, 12.8, 10.4, 10.7, and 12.3.

The sonographer stated she wouldn't be surprised if we trigger this weekend for a retrieval on Monday or Tuesday.  We'll see.  I'm a bit nervous, but I just have faith that everything is going to work out however it is supposed to.

I have been getting a bit more uncomfortable.  Not terribly, but if I sit for a while my back hurts and I find myself feeling cramping.  It has been hitting pretty consistently about 2 PM and 5PM respectively.  So has the desire to sleep.

Want to know what else hits?  The friskiness.  I would LOVE to baby dance with S., but I am way too sore and bloated to even think about it, plus it would have to be protected so we don't risk ruining the IVF.  No need to risk that.

In other news, I need a nap desperately.  Between all day meetings and early morning blood draws, I'm looking forward to some downtime to sleep just for a little while.

Here's today's breakdown.  I'll keep you posted and check in with you later.

Stims Day 6
  • Gonal F- 150 iu
  • Menopur- 150 iu
  • Cetrotide- 25iu (1 vial)

Stims Day 6 Side Effects/Symptoms
  • Slight headache that may or may not be related to the injectables (or estrogen)
  • Cramping in my abdomen and back
  • Mood swings
  • Medium Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Bruising on the arm and leg

Stims Day 6 New Developments
  • Estrogen levels have increased to 1,225 (increased by 100)
  • Gonal F injections increased by 37.5 iu
  • Cetrotide now taken in the AM.


Next Appointment
  • Blood work and Ultrasound-IVF CD8

IVF CD6- Protocol Adjustment, Bloat, and the Itch of Cetrocide?

Well, today has been a really long day.  I started it with my 8AM blood work and ultrasound.  The doctor was pleased that my uterus looked "gorgeous" and my follies were "beautiful".  They grew quite a bit last night.

Another visit to the office!

My left ovary produced 13.1, 11.7, 13.0, and 11.7 mm follicles.  My right ovary produced 12.5, 12.8, 13.3, and 12.8 mm follicles.  The follicles weren't the only thing growing.  My estrogen count is now 1152 up from 724 yesterday.  The technician confirmed that I will now be visiting the doctor's office every day.  Tomorrow's appointment will be at 7AM.

So, let's talk about symptoms.  Well, the headache still comes and goes, but it is nothing major.  The big one is the bloating.  Oh my goodness!  I feel like a whale out here.  Everything is sluggish and nothing wants to move.  But that's okay.  As long as it means things are growing, I'll keep my complaints to a minimum.  I drank a bunch of Gatorade and water today and that didn't really seem to help too much.  But our lovely #ttcsisters have suggested coconut water, so I'll see if I can locate some fresh tomorrow.

I do have one new symptom.  Tonight, I took my cetrotide after the upped dose of Menopur.  Almost immediately after I took it, I started itching at the injection site.  I mean really itching.  A few minutes later I saw a red rash around the area.  It calmed down as long as I didn't put any pressure on it, but it was a good ten minutes that it was there.  Anyone else experience this?

Speaking of cetrotide, I am having a harder go of it.  Not because of the injection, but because of the reconstitution of it.  I always seem to run into some trouble mixing it.  I'm sure I'll get the hang of it soon, but man!

Other than that, I am a bit tired today, so I'll call it until tomorrow.  Have a great evening and I will talk to you again tomorrow, God willing.

Stims Day 5
  • Gonal F- 112.50 iu
  • Menopur- 75 iu
  • Cetrotide- 25iu (1 vial)

Stims Day 5 Side Effects/Symptoms
  • Slight headache that may or may not be related to the injectables (or estrogen)
  • On again/off again cramping in my abdomen
  • Mood swings
  • Medium Bloating
  • Itching/Rash at the injection site

Stims Day 5 New Developments
  • Estrogen levels have increased to 1,152
  • Gonal F injections reduced by 37.5 iu
  • Second dosage of Cetrocide taken

Next Appointment
  • Blood work and Ultrasound-IVF CD7

IVF CD5- Grow, Follies, Grow & Estrogen Overload

I wasn't too far from the house when I realized that I'd left both my badge and wallet at the house this morning.  That's what I get for shifting my wallet to S.'s diaper bag instead of my own.  I couldn't turn around.  I was right in the sweet spot of making sure I would make it to my appointment on time.

Timeliness is no small feat in our area.  It seems like no matter how early I leave, I'm always about 5 minutes to 30 minutes late because of the traffic.  It drives me crazy because I hate being late and make it a point to try and be at my appointments 15 minutes early.  But, if there is rain or any reason for traffic to act crazy,crazy it will be.  So, just turning around and trying again later was not an option.  I plugged on and made it right on time (Whoo hoo!)

So, after my blood draw, I went in for my transvaginal ultrasound. Almost immediately, my ultrasound technician smiled and spoke of how great my follicles were growing!  She counted several on my left side at 9.7, 9.8, and 9.5.  My right side decided to join in with 9.7, 11.2, and 12.7!  That's awesome.  My ultrasound technician said that they (the office) would probably be seeing me more than what I'd planned that week.  Awesome news, right?!
Right and Left Follies!
I don't know if it was the knowledge of things growing or mind over matter, but I've still been cramping all day and having these pretty sneaky on again/off again headaches.  I figured it was just the Menopur.  Then, I got the phone call.

Our nurse A. called me this afternoon and asked how I was feeling.  I told her a little crampy and a tiny headache, but nothing major at all.  She informed me that the doctor was reducing my Gonal F by 75 ius and adding Cetrocide to join the party starting tomorrow morning.  When I asked why we were reducing the amount of Gonal F, she informed me that my estrogen count was 724!  That's much higher than they want it to be on stim CD4, so they need to calm some things down.

I also have to go to back to the office tomorrow for more blood work to make sure the levels come down.  It also looks like the RE's office is going to be my new favorite visiting spot this week.

Here is today's breakdown

Stims Day 4
  • Gonal F- 150 iu
  • Menopur- 75 iu

Stims Day 4 Side Effects/Symptoms
  • Slight headache that may or may not be related to the injectables (or estrogen)
  • Feeling pretty consistent cramping in my abdomen
  • Easily irritated today
  • Bloating/Weight Gain (1.4 pounds)
Stims Day 4 New Developments
  • Estrogen levels have increased to 724
  • Gonal F injections reduced by 75 iu
  • Addition of Cetrocide starting 4 Oct
Next Appointment
  • Blood work and Ultrasound-IVF CD6
See you then.

-K

IVF CD 4- "Wow, you look tired"




Lol.  I love my brother in love.  He is one of the most genuine persons I've ever met and the second most honest (my husband being the first).  And the fact that he is married to one of the realest young ladies I've ever met (my sister in love) just caps it off beautifully.  So, when after church was over and I found myself sitting in the car, my daughter secured in her carseat, head resting on the window sill of the car window while waiting for some of the traffic to ebb so I could pull off, I should not have been surprised to hear my brother in love's opinion vocalized.  But I was lol.

"Wow, K, you look tired!"

Okay, I was a little ready to go home.  I stayed up later than I wanted to because I couldn't get to sleep.  I don't do well with excess hormones, never have.  I am either very moody or insomniac.  Last night, it was a mixture of both.  When I finally went to sleep, it felt like only a few minutes before it was time to wake up for a pre-church meeting I needed to attend.  I got to the church, received a great Word, and when everything was done, I found that I was ready to find my bed. Lol, I just didn't expect anyone else to see it. 

I ended up making an agreement with him and my sister in love for a Girls' Night Out where the husbands watch the kids.  I put a tentative on it because such nights usually include an invitation for a Blue Motorcycle or another adult beverage.  I've been abstaining from alcohol of course. Continuing to do so with my sisters in love will cause eyebrows to raise and conversations to begin.

S. and I are still anonymous in our journey.  None of our families know and only two of my very good sister-friends know since they have both walked this journey before.  We will see what happens. 

Stimming

So, today is stims day 3 and so far, so good.  I'm getting more comfortable with the injections.  This time there was no hesitation with the sticking and I only needed to consult the instructions once with the Menopur.  I'm certainly claiming that as progress.

I will say that tonight I am feeling very crampy on my right side.  I don't know if it's because my cycle is still on or if it is because of the drugs.  My cycle is really odd this month.  I've been very light and has not progressed past brown.  I'll make sure to ask our nurse about that tomorrow.

Stims Day 3
  • Gonal F- 225 iu
  • Menopur- 75 iu

Stims Day 3 Side Effects/Symptoms
  • Slight headache that may or may not be related to the injectables
  • Feeling crampy in my abdomen

Visiting the RE for my BW & U/S tomorrow.  I'll update you later.

Have a great evening.

-K

IVF CD 3- Stims Day 2

Happy October 1st!  I absolutely love this time of year.  I'm so excited about all the Fall stuff that our family will be able to do.  I have a bunch of Fall Festivals and fun activities planned.  Hopefully, we'll be able to have nice weather to do so!

I posted earlier today about yesterday's adventure in injectables.  Today is Stims Day 2.  I've absolutely no complaints.  I do have some self- observations that will make this process work a bit better for me.

Our nurse A. gave me the option of between 6-10 PM on Day 1 and then at the same time every night thereafter.  It sounded like such a simple thing until I realized some of the evening activities our family are involved in would make it necessary to have the shot at about 7:15 p.m.

So...that worked out well yesterday.  We had an event to attend and I was able to get everything done and completed before S. came home from working late, changed, and we left.  Tonight, I was sitting with the family discussing some upcoming holiday plans when I realized it was it was almost 7 and I hadn't yet taken the meds out the refrigerator!  I dashed to the kitchen, took out the box, and then bolted upstairs to our bedroom to lay everything out to hit room temperature away from the inquiring eyes of our little people.  I have quickly learned to add a daily alarm to remind me to remove the meds from the refrigerator.  I will also have an alarm to take my meds.

It wasn't too long before I was ready to go upstairs and take my Day 2 injectable.  This time I asked S. if he would accompany me for moral support.  I would have been quite understanding had he declined.  My husband is not a fan of needles at all.  So seeing me poke and prod myself may have been a bit much, but surprised me and said yes.



I managed to get through the shots though it was the Gonal F pen that gave me trouble today.  The blessed needle bent during the capping process.  Grrr...No worries though.  Everything came out as it was supposed to.  Best part is I received a kiss for my efforts.  Got to love that.

Now for today's breakdown.

Stims Day 2
  • Gonal F- 225 iu
  • Menopur- 75 iu

Stims Day 2 Side Effects/Symptoms

  • Slight pain at the injection sites about 30 minutes after
  • Slight headache that may or may not be related to the injectables
  • "Twinge" in lower abdomen 
That's about it.  Have a good evening.

-K

IVF CD 2- We've started STIMS!

Guess what?!  Yesterday was officially day one of stims.  Yep.  It seemed like forever before it would get here, but once it did, things got real very quickly.

S. was caught in the torrential rain storms we have been having here lately.  So, that meant I got to do my first IVF injections by myself.  Not a problem.  It was kind of the way things happened when we did our IUI, but I have to admit this one had me slightly intimidated.



The protocol is 225 iu of Gonadotropin (Gonal-F) and 75 iu of Menopur.  The Gonal-F pen was pretty simple.  For that I'm thankful as I have seen some posters have to do quite bit more than I for their injection.  Make sure you allow the Gonal F to warm to room temperature.

The Menopur was a bit more complicated.  I actually used the education sheet and the video to make sure I was doing everything properly.  I  also took the advice of several #ttcsisters and some of my personal girlfriends and iced about 10-15 minutes prior to the Menopur.  That helped and I didn't get too much of a burn factor, but I did get a bit of headache later that I've read is associated with the injections.

Tonight will be Stims Day 2.  Hopefully, it will be just as smooth.

For those that want a quick at-a-glance, I've included it here.

Stims Day 1

  • Gonal F- 225 iu
  • Menopur- 75 iu

Stims Day 1 Side Effects/Symptoms

  • Slight pain at the injection sites about 30 minutes after
  • Slight headache that may or may not be related to the injectables

I'll check in with you later.
-K