Showing posts with label blood work. Show all posts

IVF #2, CD 6: New Cycle, New Symptoms, New Adjustments, and New Players

So, today is CD6, Stims Day 4. And apparently my body is just itching to overachieve. I went to my BW & US appointment this morning to see if any of my follies are starting to progress. The sonographer said she counted 13 on my right and 10 on my left! 


BUT...don’t get too excited. Only four of those thirteen are measurable right now. I have one 9.9 cm follicle on my left side. My right side, which loves to overachieve, currently has 11.5, 10.6, and 10.3. Looks like we’re trying to hit that 18mm mark sooner than later J. My lining measured at 5.3 and I’m all about making that as healthy and thick and beautiful as possible if it means providing a nurturing place for our baby(ies). I am all positive for this cycle.

If you have followed the blog for a while, then you know last cycle, my estrogen count on stims day 4 was 724. That was MUCH higher than they wanted it to be and they adjusted the amount of medication I took. Well, this time, I’m performing a bit better at 588, but still higher than the RE likes on stims day 4. So, I’ve been adjusted again.

Tonight, I will adjust my Gonal-F by 37.5 ius. I’m only taking 112.5 ius. The Menopur will remain the same dosage tonight BUT tomorrow a new friend joins the party….CETROTIDE!

(Okay, for all the nerdy people like me, I totally heard the ominous echo and had a vision of a Cetrotide transformer showing up. I love my imagination).

Anywho, I start one vial of Cetrotide tomorrow AM. Now, what is tremendously awesome is comparing my first cycle to this one and seeing the similarities. Like my last Stims Day 4, I am starting to develop a headache. I had a nasty one hit me almost immediately after taking my Gonal-F/Menopur cocktail last night. It went away but today, about 1400 (2pm), I started having one live behind my eye. It almost feels like a migraine but isn’t. Also, returning to the party, just like last time is the bloat. I guess the follies really are trying to grow. I certainly won’t complain!

Nurse A. just called and confirmed all of my meds and scheduling. I return to the office on Stims Day 6, IVF CD 8, and we’ll see what happens then. Here is today’s breakdown and I hope you find it helpful.

Stims Day 4
  • Gonal-F 112.50 ius
  • Menopur 75.00 ius
Stims Day 4 Symptoms/Side Effects
  • Headache behind right eye
  • Felt first “tugging” of ovaries. Never knew what my #ttcsisters were talking about until I felt it
  • Short stabby prick in right ovaries
  • Bloated
Stims Day 4 New Developments
  •  Estrogen count is 588
  •  Gonal-F reduced by 37.5 ius
  •  Cetrotide to be added 29 Nov AM
Next Appointment
  • Bloodwork and Ultrasound-IVF CD8, Stims Day 6

I will update you tomorrow!

-K

IVF #2 CD 4: IVF #2 has officially begun (Stims Day 2)



Hello everyone!  Happy belated Thanksgiving.  I should have written a couple of days ago, but it has been so busy in my household that it was next to impossible to do so.  I have my IVF #2 Baseline blood work and ultrasound on 22 November.  Everything was quiet and "beautiful" per the sonographer and I left with my new medication calendar and follow-up appointment scheduled.

While at the RE's office, I met a young woman who was just starting her IVF journey and she and I were sharing experiences as her husband has male factor infertility numbers similar to S.  The young woman seemed appreciative of the fact that I was willing to talk to her and it reminded me of our IG community.  It's nice to have people who understand and can relate to what we're walking through.  I told her she was more than welcome to talk to me about it in the future as well.

Fast forward past the 30+ people in our home and the controlled chaos of the Thanksgiving holiday (not to mention the gratitude of God) and yesterday found me at the start of ovary stimulation.  The first dosage was a bit tricky logistics wise because I had to excuse myself from all of our guests to take the dosage.  I also had a couple of changes from our first IVF cycle.

And so it begins...
Last cycle I was started on 225 iu of Gonal-F and 75 iu of Menopur.  I responded much quicker than expected and the RE ended up reducing my Gonal-F to lower my risk of OHSS.  (My estrogen numbers were high!). This cycle, I have been started on 150 iu of Gonal-F and 75 iu on Menopur.
I'm interested in seeing how my body will respond though I have to admit I have already felt ovary twinges and I'm familiar enough with them by now that I know it's not my mind playing tricks on me.

Here's my breakdown for the Stims Day 1:

Stims Day 1
  • Gonal-F    150 iu
  • Menopur     75 iu
Stims Day 1 Symptoms
  • Definite recognizable twinges in my ovaries, particularly right side
Stims Day 1 Developments
  • N/A
Next Appointment(s)
  • IVF CD6:  Bloodwork (Monday, 28 Nov 2016)

I'll see if I can post again tonight with an update on stims posting today.

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

After a bit of chaos, we're off

Hello everyone.  If you follow the Instagram feed you already know this story.  If not, I'll fill you in. We had a scare yesterday when we received a call telling us that the already arranged payment by S. and I would not be executed in one day because they can't release such a large payment in one day. Bull (sorry for the language).  We know they can do so.  We went through this during our daughter's adoption.

Our financial coordinator (officer) at the RE office told us if we didn't have the final payment in today, we would have to cancel the cycle and wouldn't be put back in until next year because that would be the next availability and when everything (body wise) would restart.  Sigh.  so of course I started to worry.  The post released earlier today (should have been last night, but I fell asleep) speaks to it. But S. told me not to worry and to continue as if everything was okay.  It would be.

I have to be honest.  I wasn't so sure, but I prayed and told God that I wasn't sure what would happen, but I would trust in His plan.  I meant it.  This morning, I woke up crack of dawn for my early morning appointment.

I left my house at 6:40 and that should have been more than enough time for my 7:15 appointment. But it was raining and in our area, people panic in precipitation.  So there were accidents.  Several accidents.  I didn't get to my appointment until just about 0840.  Yeah.  I was so exhausted when I got there.

Fortunately, when I walked in, S. was on the phone with the front clerk.  She, he, and the company coordinator responsible for the execution of our funds were on the phone trying to get everything executed.  They [the finance company} gave the excuse of daily spending limits, but that was proved false by the large payment made on yesterday.  Long story short, a compromised was reached that allow us to pay and break no rules.  We get to go forward in treatment!  Yay!

I went in for my bloodwork and my ultrasound.  The technician and doctor said everything was gorgeous (her words). She then told me my nurse, A. would call me this afternoon with the confirmation that everything was good and the sub nurse handed me this:

My injection schedule..so far..

This afternoon, A. called and confirmed.  This Friday, barring any more issues, I take my first stims injections.  I am to take them between the hours of 6 and 10PM and must take them at the same time consistently from now on.  I'm thinking of 9:30.  Everyone is pretty settled and I will have time to do it without interruption (and if I need to re-psyche myself up).

So, that's all for the moment.  Things will be pretty quiet for a few days.  I'm going to continue to work out and try and prep my body for what it's about to undergo.  I feel like neither one of us (body nor I) are truly prepared.  BUT I'm so ready for the journey.

-K

Moment of Honesty: Nervous (Yesterday's Story)

I took my last birth control pill this morning. This little colored sphere marks the day before everything changes. Tomorrow, this journey becomes tangible. It becomes warrior mode. Tomorrow, I start the scouting mission. The prep work laid by quieting my body’s hormonal tendencies and the bending of its will to that of mere humans…Yep, all of that. Man, I’m nervous.

I just called the finance officer and dropped a huge payment on this journey. Tomorrow, I drop one more and it’s a go. I bless God for being able to do that. It isn’t easy. It won’t be without sacrifice. Oh my the ramen noodles and easy prep meals will be a staple for a while, but we do what we must. Tomorrow, I walk in that office at crack of dawn in the morning and give my “Pre-IVF Evaluation blood work and ultrasound”. Then, I wait. I wait for my amazing nurse A. to call me and say “all is well. Start injections on Friday”. And then it begins. It really begins.

And I’m determined to be positive. I’m trying very hard not to psyche myself out. I’ve been Googling “IVF/ICSI first time success” and going over the risks that my education modules so blatantly put before us. I really pray this works. S. is also hopeful, very hopeful. We had an extremely busy weekend and he still found time to snuggle with me and place his hand over my womb and tell me how I’ll have to take it easy a bit. He asked about retrievals and transfers. A lot of those questions were answered by the modules and the risks gave him pause. He didn’t say anything, but I saw it. He heard it from me in the sigh of miscarriage risk and the injection videos, in answering the questions, and in planning our calendar for “what if” moments.

This is going to be something. It’s going to be one of the most difficult things we have ever gone through as a couple. I remember when we walked the journey for adoption of our daughter. I blogged then too. I remember how stressful it was and how sometimes I felt like I was all alone because S. kept his emotions and thoughts to himself. That was a very hard time. But we endured. We came through it together. It was a victory in our marriage, a battle scar we wore together—proudly. The joy that our children bring is amazing. Yet, we’re about to go into another journey.

Hormones aren’t exactly nice to me. Mood swings aren’t great during regular cycle time. I can only imagine what we’ll see now. But it will be worth it. The pain will be worth it. The bloating. The tears. The scheduling. The early mornings. It will all be worth it. Why? Because I believe with everything in me that we will have another child. I’m praying that he or she comes via this cycle.

Talk to you all soon!


-K

CD2: Gearing up

Hello everyone.  Apologies for being absent on the blog.  It's been a busy couple of days here.  Our family hosts an annual End of Summer cookout.  This year, we had well over 40 people show up for food, fun, and massive moon bounces. I've been going nonstop for the past three days and I am more than a bit tired.  But it was more than worth it.

Today is cycle day 2.  It's been a long time since I was excited to see Aunt Flo and even longer since I was excited about starting birth control pills.  Come to think of it, I don't think I was ever excited to start birth control pills.  Tomorrow, I have my first blood work and ultrasound appointment in preparation for IVF.

I'm not nervous.  I went through this with our IUI, but knowing that tomorrow I will get blood work to verify if my body is ready for IVF is different.  I've been reading blogs and following other IVF/ICSI couple social media sites to see what I can expect.  Hopefully,  I'll get the calendar that lets me know what  our protocol will be and how soon S. and I can start the main part of our journey.

Yep.  I'm excited.  I am ready to go.  I just hope this journey goes smoothly.

-K


The wait...

So, I took a test two days ago. I swore I saw a shadow, the shadow of a second line. I didn’t want to get excited because it was so faint. So faint I wasn’t sure it was even there. But my son saw it too, not even realizing what he was looking at. So, I took another yesterday. This time, it was a bit more shadow, but I could see it. It was there. I swore it was there. But, again, it was very, very faint. So I made an appointment with my ob/gyn to have blood drawn. The earliest time they could see me was 1000. I was there at 0930 because I was so nervous. Then, they told me I wouldn’t know until Monday at least since they don’t work on the weekends. Oh joy.

So, I drove back to my office, not feeling anything except crampy. I hoped that maybe it was implantation bleeding. With my son, on the day my cycle was due, I had what can only be described as an “explosion” pattern in my underwear and then nothing. I wiped and nothing. So, as I am at work, I go to the bathroom and observe creamy CM tinged with about three specks of brown blood. I wipe thinking I would see the beginning of my cycle like always. No. Nothing. Frustrated, I take another test, one of two remaining. BF N. I thought I saw a shadow, but….it could have been wishful thinking. I honestly don’t know.

All I know right now is I feel bloated, a bit crampy, and so confused…oh…and tired….I want a nap. All PMS symptoms, all possible pregnancy symptoms. And I won’t know which is which until Monday at least. Uggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I haven’t even told S. what’s going on. There is no need to tell him, get him excited, and then have him not excited. So, I’ll wait until Monday. Fortunately, there are a number of activities this weekend to keep my mind occupied. Let’s see how this goes.

Praying for positive.

-K