Showing posts with label ICSI. Show all posts

First Trimester Favorites

DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.

Hi everyone!  I was recently asked about my favorite first and second trimester favorites since we are starting to approach trimester three.  I was eager to share my top four and decided to make a post out of it as well.  I hope these help you as much as they did me.  I was very thankful for them.  I'll share my second trimester favorites soon.  In the mean time, feel free to comment on your favorites as well. 

1. Preggie Pop Drops. You know, I never really had morning sickness with my son. I would feel an occasional nauseous rise, but nothing substantial. Oh my goodness, this pregnancy was so different. I can’t exactly recall which week, but I know it’s listed in the blog, that I started being fit with overwhelming nausea, but I did and it was no joke. Someone suggested preggie pops and I very skeptically tried them. (insert angelic melody of angel chorus). They were an immediate help. They are basically hard candies, but something about them stops the nausea and lets you focus on other things for an hour or so instead of concentrating on not getting sick.

2. The Pregnancy Bible. The title is a misnomer, but it’s an excellent book that I have enjoyed sharing with friends and family alike. I loved it when I was carrying my first and it has been a welcomed reference in this pregnancy as well.  I'm told there is an updated version now.  I didn't purchase this one, but I certainly am considering it!


3. Gummy Prenatals. These are the ONLY prenatal vitamins I was able to take without them visiting me soon thereafter. They taste great and provide almost all of the nutrition my little one needs. The exception is iron which I supplement through food or a small pill later in the day.

4. Seagram’s Ginger Ale. When all else failed, this ginger ale helped to keep my stomach settled and my body functioning. The funny this is it was only the Seagram’s that did this. Everything tasted like cardboard.  It got so bad that it was this that I craved when I finally started craving.

So there you go!  It's a short list, but it helped me immensely.  What were your first trimester favorites?


IVF #2 9dp5dt: Cramps and spotting

Hi everyone.

So, I am trying NOT to get excited.  I am also very cautious in sharing this.  I have been cramping off and on for the past two days.  I shared a couple of Instagram posts about it.  They haven't been filling me with a warm and fuzzy.  Tonight, the cramps reached a fever pitch.  I was on the verge of tears because they really hurt!  I told S. that I didn't think this worked and went to the bathroom because it was time to take my Endometrin.  I went to the bathroom first and upon wiping discovered pink blood that only appeared when I wiped.  I immediately thought implantation bleeding as I remembered this vaguely from my son's pregnancy a decade ago.  I used the vaginal insert tool and when I withdrew it after inserting the tablet, there was a scant amount of pink there too.  I wiped again and nothing.  Then, I thought...too late for implantation bleed, right?  Anywho...

I flew down stairs and told S. that this may have just worked.  He wisely told me not to get to excited, but was smiling himself as I explained.  I still have cramps but it is accompanied by back aches.  The cramps now aren't horrible, but they are still there.

I still have NOT tested and I will keep my promise to S. not to.  I hope to not be disappointed on #beta day, but I can't do anything but pray and not stress now.  I won't be sharing this news on IG in a post.  I also won't share it with my two "real-life" #ttc cheerleaders as there will be no point if this isn't good news.

For now, I'm going to enjoy being pregnant unless proven otherwise.  And I am going to continue to joke with S. about baby names just in case.

Have a great night everyone.


IVF #2  9dp5dt: Medications
  • Estradol- 2 pills taken orally (1 AM/1 PM)
  • Endometrin- 1 vaginal insert 3 times a day
IVF #2 9dp5dt:Symptoms
  • Recurring cramps
  • Intense Cramps
  • Slight nausea
  • Pink spotting
IVF #2 9dp5dt: Developments
  • None to report
Next Appointment
  • Beta test day- 23 Dec 2016

I love our community

I've said it more than once.  Our #TTC community is amazing!  I've had more support in my virtual family than I could have ever imagined.  But this latest episode?  Oh my am I overwhelmed.

There was no way S. and I could afford another $4K in meds.  I told S. that I was going to contact the #TTC community on IG for assistance.  My honey was skeptical.  I told him it couldn't hurt to try and we'd be no worse off than when we first started.

So, I put out the call for Menopur, Cetrotide, and Gonal-F pens.  Several ladies contacted me.  We were able to connect and discuss what was needed.  Some ladies just contacted to let me know they were sharing my request with others.  Two ladies in particular became saving angels.

In the past four days, I have received all of the items requested plus some beautiful notes of encouragement and #TTC goodies.  I've also shared some laughs and encouraging words behind the DM screen.  I tell you I am humbled.

This community really is amazing.  I don't have enough thank yous in me because there are simply not enough to show the gratitude I have for you all.  This journey is hard.  It's especially hard because S. and I are in this solo.  With the exception of one girlfriend who has successfully walked through this journey herself and one #TTC supporter who successfully delivered her own healthy bundles, no one knows we are having these issues.  Even the supporters don't hear from me often.  It gets frustrating.

Every day I log on to my phone or computer and I see messages of encouragement from #TTCsisters worldwide to each other.  I see you all mourn when a baby receives angel wings.  I see you celebrate when a baby is born.  I see excitement when a #BFP is announced.  I see fierce Mama Bear protectiveness when someone comes insensitively to another sister or brother (I see you all out there and love you too!) walking this journey.  I also see the shared devastation  and support when a #BFN is shared.

If our entire world could embrace the support and love that is found in this community, it would be a powerful thing.  I thank you for that.

I plan to edit this post to include pictures of the meds received and the gifts attached.  I think it is important to see that there are still wonderful people in this world.  S. and I still needed to make some additional purchases, but no where near $4K and that is a HUGE blessing.

Thank you very much and may God Himself cover you with His love and blessings.  My husband and I thank you.


IVF Prep: Mock Embryo Transfer and Injection Class

Hi everyone!

Apologies for being a bit quiet.  I actually have a few drafts in the platform.  I just forgot to hit the publish button.  So, let's bring you up to speed.

Today was my mock embryo transfer!  I woke up this morning calm and collected.  I went about my normal business, got the little people situated, and made it to the clinic with ten minutes to spare.  I'd taken my extra strength Tylenol as a precaution, drank my 32 ounces of water (oh my did I have to go!), and walked up to the door.  It wasn't until I walked in the actual doors that I go nervous.

The procedure itself wasn't bad at all.  It was more of my own anticipation that drove my nervousness.  When I arrived at the front desk, I was asked to give a urine sample for a pregnancy test.  I also confirmed some information for the front desk and received a copy of the IVF contract that S. and I will need to sign and return before Monday.
Waiting for the name to be called
After I'd given my sample, I was asked to have a seat and wait to be called.  While I was waiting, a lovely couple came from the back beaming surrounded by one of the doctors and nurses.  The woman was teary eyed.  All were smiling and speaking loud enough to be heard.  The doctor called it a "bittersweet moment", but wished them "many more congratulations".  Then, the woman asked if they could return with the baby after it was born so everyone could see him or her (though there is a child-free office policy).  Everyone beamed 'absolutely' and the woman glanced at me, smiled through her teary eyes, and they walked out the door after saying their goodbyes and thank yous again.  I realized the couple had just "graduated" from the clinic with their healthy pregnancy and I couldn't help but smile and beam as well.  The front desk looked over at me and I at them and we all just beamed.  It was an awesome moment and I was glad I got to experience it.

Shortly after that, I was called into the back and met the nurse who asked that I undress from waist down and sit on the table.  The room was quiet and dark and I have to admit my anxiety increased a bit.  After a quick wait, there was a knock on the door and in walked the doctor who would be doing my mock transfer and her assistant.  They introduced themselves and took me step by step through the process.

I've told you all that my uterus is tilted and I've read horror stories about transfers.  This one was no issue.  The doctor noted that, in addition to its tilt, it also sits at a pretty unique angle.  (This would be where my husband says I'm special lol).  It wasn't a problem.  She just made a note in the system so that she or whomever would be doing my actual transfer will know the best angle to insert the catheter.

I felt a slight uncomfortable scratchy sensation from where she cleaned my cervix and then a slight cramp from the insertion of the catheter.  It wasn't unmanageable and wasn't prolonged.  There were screens that allowed me to see what the doctor was seeing and I saw fluid released into the uterus and the clarity of it was amazing.  Before pulling out, she also checked my ovaries for follicles.  I currently have 10 on my right side and 9 on my left.  She said the numbers looked great and would hopefully duplicate themselves come retrieval time.

Then it was over.  It wasn't even a full fifteen minutes.  Yay!  I was allowed to dress and use one of the supplied pads for the fluid and possible staining of the cervical swab soap, and then went to the wait room to be called for my injection class.

When I returned to the waiting room, there were quite a few people.  I don't know why we don't like to look at each other in infertility clinics.  We are all in this together.  When my name and the names of two other ladies were called to begin our class, I introduced myself to the other ladies.  We may never see each other again, but just so we know we aren't alone is helpful I think.

I was right.  After that icebreaker while awaiting our nurse, we all discovered we were there for our first IVF cycle.  All of us had tried IUIs, all were unsuccessful.  Our nurse instructor came in and we spent the next hour going over ALL the meds.  The class was great, informative, and interactive.  There are videos available online to assist if I get confused about what I'm supposed to do.  [And]  ALL of my meds, including the trigger, are subcutaneous so no evil intramuscular butt shot...YAYYYY!!!!!

Next week, I am supposed to go in and start Pre-IVF bloodwork.  Unless otherwise directed, I will start the Stimulation Phase on 30 Sep 2016.  Then, it's a very daily check in and shots and movement until retrieval, transfer, and beta!  I really pray this works!!

Pray for us, guys!


Excited about Cramps?!

Yep!  You read that right.  I never thought I'd be writing that lol.  But this infertility journey has me doing all kinds of things.  Usually cramps for me mean Aunt Flo is headed to town.  Usually I do an internal pout and hope beyond hope that she isn't.  This time, I'm thrilled.

This time, it means we are rapidly approaching the next phase of our journey.  This time, we do things a little bit different.  In a few days, I start...birth control...

So, it may not have come as a surprise to you, but it certainly was to me to find out the first step in this IVF process was going on birth control.  Fortunately we have an awesome nurse and a great RE and her staff to explain things for us.  According to them and their site, I take birth control pills because it will decrease the chances of creating cysts that could interfere with the cycle start.  It also allows our RE to control the timing of the cycle.  That's actually a good thing for me because I have been known to have a few cysts just hanging out around my ovaries from time to time.  I don't want anything to stop us from moving forward.

Oh! Another benefit is the medication is to put my follicles on one accord.  Everybody will be on the same stage ready to be retrieved on a date our doctor and we choose.  No overachievers here lol.  I need everyone to cooperate.

I called my nurse today when I started cramping and told her I was a bit nervous that I would start early.  I wanted to know what to do.  She was great and calmed my fears.  I would just call her when I started and come in for my CD3 blood work and ultrasound.  (Ugh...anyone remember how much I dislike the trans-vaginal ultrasound when on my period).  I wait for a call from her confirming the results are what they want to see and then I start the pills that evening.

Then, there is a HOST of other stuff to get taken care of, but I'm ready.  I'm so very ready!  Keep us in your prayers everyone.

Have a great day!


22K reasons...and another waiting game

I meant to share this post sooner, but got so busy I didn’t get a chance. Hope you enjoy the laughter. I sure did!...

My husband is hilarious. I mean it. He is absolutely hilarious. S. and I were lying on the bed talking about upcoming financials for this ICSI. We know the base cost minus meds is $22K. We were discussing how we would pay for that and were reviewing the Fertility Friend loan information.

I happened to mention that this week (now last week) is my fertile week. I’d temped starting the week after menses to see if I could detect ovulation surge. We’d already baby danced, but I purposely didn’t mention that it was my fertile week because I wanted to be about intimacy and not fertility.

Ya’ll, I kid you not. My husband in his hilarity said, “wait, you’re fertile now! Like, right now?!” I responded I very well could be with all the signs and we've already made love once this week. To which he responded….”Oh, we have to get this done right now. We have 22 THOUSAND REASONS why we need to conceive this month!” 

 LOL. Then he proceeded to strip. Lol. Can I tell you how hilarious this man is and how silly?

I love my husband lol.

Fast forward to today (8/23) and my husband and I are still waiting for the financial rep to call us with information about the true costs of ICSI.  I'm beginning to get a bit frustrated because the longer we are in limbo, the shorter time for us to get stuff approved and set into place to begin.

My cycle should start about 3 September.  I will then start birth control and bloodwork/ultrasound visits.  But the 3rd isn't really that far away, so we really need an answer and soon.  I'm nervous.
Admittedly so.  

Today S. and  I went to a fitness assessment.  S. is in the gym every day.  It's a destressor for him.  I honestly loathe going to the gym.  I love the feeling I get after I complete my workout, but man do I lack the motivation to get there (just being honest).  Anyway, I know that I need to get into a gym for health reasons and not weight.

Yes, it would be great to have arms like Angela Bassett and a stop traffic figure like my girls Jennifer Hudson and Jill Scott, but I've neither the time nor the money.  So, I just want to tone some things up. I want to lose a few as well, but I know that pregnancy will definitely put that on hold lol (and I don't mind at all).  So, I asked the assessor/trainer what happens during pregnancy.  Her response was they adjust lol.  She has no idea.  I told my husband that I would listen to what our doctor says when the time comes.  I know there will be days of bed rest (like after the retrieval and transfer) and times where I myself will be extra cautious or just plain sore.  So it may take a while, but I'm all about it.

All of that being said, S. and I still need an answer for our fertility finance question.

And when we know.  So too will you!


ICSI Bound?

The last I wrote it was to tell you all that S. and I were taking a bit of a break from #TTC.  That didn't exactly last long.  We stopped purposely tracking and doing basal temps, but we both acknowledged that we would probably not have success with natural conception.  We already know that IUIs won't work with us, so we decided to visit our RE again and see if now was the time to try something else.

It most certainly was.  After talking with the doctor, asking tons of questions, and discussing what we hope to have occur, our RE would like for us to try for an Intra-cytoplasmic injection of ICSI. ICSI differs from traditional IVF in that a single sperm is injected directly into an egg, instead of fertilization taking place in a dish where many sperm are placed near an egg.  This is a preferred treatment for those who have a low sperm count and poor morphology like S. 

Now, we're on a fast track for everything. S. and I are filling out the paperwork for a fertility loan this week.  The cost for us, including medication, will be approx $26K.  Yep.  That's right.  $26K.  Our insurance won't cover anything EXCEPT blood work and initial lab work for diagnosing an issue with infertility.  Even though we already know what the issues are, we have to retest to make sure nothing has changed in the nine months that have passed since our last failed IUI.

That $26K seems so grossly unfair considering we are attempting to have life, but many insurances now cover termination of life.  The same comparison was made when S. and I adopted our daughter. It is just ridiculous the cost, but we are more than willing to move forward.

Assuming approval, the office has already began drafting protocol.  I will start birth control in September.  Then comes the constant monitoring and the ultrasound while on my cycle and all the fun things.  Egg retrieval and finally transfer will occur 6 weeks later in October. 

How crazy is that?  If everything goes as planned, in six weeks, I'll be looking for double lines on a plastic cartridge.  In ten months, we may be welcoming a new member to our family.

Here's to research, plans, and information.  Let's see what happens!!!