Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A simple plan?

I finally had my phone consult with my doctor yesterday and came up with probably more questions than answers, but, for now, we have a plan. He wants to talk again after we get the results back on the genetic testing of the embryo (which should be a few weeks). If it comes back abnormal, then we are going to go ahead with a CGH cycle (I'll explain in a minute). If it comes back normal, I have no idea at all what we will do. He said he doesn't even know what that will involve because obviously I don't have implantation issues, my TSH was under control, and everything was going smoothly. So, I'm a little scared. I voiced my concerns over the lack of viable embryos we've been producing and he said it is probably just an age thing...that I don't appear to have the dreaded "diminished ovarian reserve" because we still get a good number of embryos and they appear to be of good quality, but I may actually have already started diminished ovarian quality that comes with age. He said that if it is chromosomally abnormal, that this may have just been normal-everyday-bad luck. The kind of "it can happen to anyone" crap that is always so shocking when it happens to YOU. So, the plan is that we wait for the results and then likely start a fresh cycle of IVF, which should start in about 2 months...maybe sooner, maybe later.

Now, CGH. I'm not going to give all the technical terms and stuff like that. I'm going to put it in general layman's terms and if you want more info, google it. It is a type of genetic testing that only 2 fertility clinics are currently doing, as far as I know. We will start by doing a regular IVF cycle, up to egg retrieval. The eggs will be fertilized by ICSI (injecting the sperm directly into the egg) and then they will be allowed to mature for 5 days. On day 5, they will carefully remove a cell or two and then flash-freeze the embryos for preservation. Those cells will be carefully labelled and sent to a special lab that tests all 23 chromosomes for abnormalities. This takes about 2 months lately because of demand. We will get a report on how many have actually come back normal (if any did, and you never know). Then we will prepare for a frozen embryo transfer where we will de-frost those normal embryos and place them back "home". The success rate for my age group for this is approximately 89% (but that was quoted on a fellow blogger's site and I'm not sure where she got that number). I've heard others say it is about 80-85%. So, that will be our last big shot. Hopefully we will get enough embryos and they will be strong. I say this will be our "last shot" but I doubt it - especially if the insurance works out and decides to pay for 6 cycles entirely ($10 copays) which is what they claim.

In the meantime, I've started DHEA in order to try to improve egg quality/quantity. My doctor suggested it and said that some studies have shown success, but he isn't sure...but it probably can't hurt. So, I start 25 mg 3x a day today. Wish me luck. I get so nervous on the androgen type medicines. I'm afraid my hair will fall out (and I'm growing it to give to locks of love) and I will start growing facial hair, and get a big pot belly from all the male hormones. But, he assured me the dosage is really low. And, at this point, what haven't I done? And, even worse, what won't I do? Jeez, I used to be so normal.

In any event, I'm going to try to enjoy the rest of this month. Since I have a forced month off after this one, I am free to enjoy some wine during the holidays, so I am taking advantage of that. I still can't bring myself to have even a cup of coffee for fear of egg quality repurcussions, though, truthfully, I still miss coffee every single day. Isn't that sad? Oh well...I hope everyone is having a great holiday season.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

time off

Thank you so much for all of your comments. It means so much to me that you all understand and sympathize. I've had a really bad couple of days but we are making slow progress forward. I am scheduled for a D & C on Friday, but may miscarry before then unfortunately. I am hoping that I make it to Friday just because I think it will be so much worse at home. But, either way, it will happen. The doctors want to test the baby for genetic abnormalities since that is what they assume the problem is. They said that this is how it happens...usually they get a good ultrasound, beautiful strong heartbeat one week and the next week the baby is not moving with no heartbeat. So, given that, they said that it happens and has nothing to do with me or Brett, just bad luck, I guess. The really sad part is that my sac separation bleed had completely healed so I did good taking it easy and allowed my body to heal - so that played no part at all in this miscarriage. The baby simply had something wrong.

I didn't get to speak to Dr. G yesterday but Dr. Surrey called me to talk (Dr. G is on vaca, apparently). He suggested a D & C and said in a few months we should come pick up our 2 frozen embies. He said what happened with this pregnancy has no indication at all of the embryos that we have frozen, but I'm not so sure, why did only 1 of the 4 make it even this far? But, Brett and I cried and talked and cried more and decided that since we have new insurance starting in January that says it will cover 100% of in-network IF procedures, and Dr. G is "in network", that in about 3 months, after healing time, we will do another fresh cycle at CCRM. It is hard to think ahead right now...and hurts me to even consider, not to mention how scared I am of something like this happening again. I'm not even sure how you make it through something like this once. Have to work that part out. But, I just have to have a "plan" so I can relax, mourn, heal, and then move on without constantly thinking "what should I do?"

I know some people probably think we are nuts for already considering another cycle. I mean, when is it going to be enough, right? But, we were so excited about our little baby and the prospect of a house full of kids...that we can't give up. Also, I do have to keep telling myself that, according to the doctors I've consulted after my local IVF's, this was my first "real" cycle, and the only one I should consider, and it was a success....mostly. So, we have to go for one more...maybe do PGD or CGH and see what happens. I'm scared. I'm hurt. I can't stop crying. But, I have to start to consider everything, I guess. We are also looking into adoption. Maybe we'll do both if they will let us.

I may be intermittenly posting or not posting at all for a while. I'm not sure which will make me feel better/stronger/safer just yet. I may let this blog just fade...but I get the feeling I will take a little time and then come back and go through another cycle on this blog...we'll see.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's over

The ultrasound today showed a baby that had stopped growing at about 8 - 8.5 weeks. There was no longer a heartbeat. So, now we have to talk to the doctor and figure out whether or not I wait to miscarry or go in for another D & C. We have no idea where to go from here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

major freakout

My hormone levels came in - estrogen at 264 and progesterone at 25.2. They have both declined significantly and I haven't changed a thing. They are unhappy with the estrogen level and want to see it around 300 so I have to double up the patches again (good stuff) and they want to keep me on the pio shot. I just completely freaked out. My assumption is that the placenta is not taking over at this point and I am preparing for a miscarriage. Of course, they told me that this is unlikely as my progesterone is still above what they like to see (20) but they aren't sure why my levels are going down and not up. Its worrisome. I just called my favorite nurse at the local RE's office and she was sweet (b/c I sound like a wreck I am sure) but said that their office doesn't even check estrogen at this point at all b/c it isn't that important at all and that my progesterone looked great. She said that if I feel uncomfortable that I really should stay on the pio no matter what the other doctor says, but they said to stay on it and check again in a week. So, we'll see what happens...of course, all I want now is to get into that sonogram appointment tomorrow and see that things are okay. As soon as I see that things are okay, I am going online to order my fetal doppler rental for 3 months or so just so I can check the heartbeat here and there.

It's funny, Brett and I were watching a show yesterday and it said something about how women with prior miscarriages can never relax and every little thing seems to be a crisis. We both agreed that this is true...and here is the evidence of it, right? I mean, I'm a mess.

Dog Park!!!

We had a great weekend. Spent Saturday picking out a Christmas tree, Christmas shopping, and playing frisbee at the off leash dog park! I had to add some pictures because these are just the happiest dogs ever...












And, here they are later that night...












Besides that, I have an ultrasound tomorrow morning and just spent the morning getting bloodwork done at the old RE's office to see if I can finally stop taking the estrogen and PIO (doesnt this make it sound like they've kept me on it against my will instead of the other way around?). I do think I am finally ready to stop the PIO. I've recently started getting hot flashes and think that maybe the placenta has finally started its own production of the necessary hormones (Oh, I so hope this is true!).

I also went to the endocrinologist finally. For those of you who don't know, if you are hypothyroid and on medicine, pregnancy greatly alters your medicine requirements and the hormones produced by your thyroid are so necessary to make sure your baby developes properly -especially neurologically. Anyway, he really calmed my fears. My primary care physician had me scared to death about future radioactive iodine tests, possible goiters, etc...none of that exists. I simply have Hashimoto's Thyroidosis, which just involves antibodies fighting against the thyroid itself, so I need meds. He made me feel 100% better....So all is good here.


I graduate to the OB this week!!! Cheers all around!!! Now, praying for a great sonogram tomorrow....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This one's just mean!!!



Yup, you got that right- the baby is the size of a "martini olive" according to the site I check in with!! First of all, I LOVE green olives. And, strangely enough, since I've been pregnant that is the one thing that I seem to "crave" - though I think I may just need the salt, not sure. Second, No fair! I love martinis!!! I double checked around because lots of sites give examples of how big the baby is and there are so many sizes of olives (especially if you are martini drinker, you know what I am talking about), so the baby may also be the size of a grape, which isn't nearly as fun until it is mashed and fermented!





So, the baby is developing nicely. His or her major digestive organs are growing as we speak - including the pancreas, bile ducts, gall bladder, and anus (fun stuff!) . These are all in place. The little guy is also starting to lose his tail! Further, he is supposedly already moving around like crazy in there, though I don't get to feel it yet (boo hiss!).


On my end, things are going well. I'm still nauseous, which is absolutely fine with me. I'm still on the vivelle and PIO in very limited doses until probably Monday. The doctors decided to be conservative because of my uterine bleed or sac separation or whatever they are calling it and keep me on them for a while longer. Fine by me (though that PIO shot is getting old!). I'm still on restricted movement. The first nurse who told me about the sac separation and blood under the placenta told me that this is common and they have never seen this cause a miscarriage...so I felt better. Then yesterday I spoke to my regular nurse and looked for some comfort about it. I said something along the lines of "but these are very unlikely to cause a m/c, right?" and she responded, "Well....as long as you try to take it really easy, keep off of your feet, complete pelvic rest, not even a tampon if you start to bleed, and don't lift anything, you should be fine." Um....eeeek. THEN, I found out the OB next week wasn't planning on giving me another ultrasound until week 19, so I called up and explained that I really need to monitor this thing to see if it is getting bigger or smaller (b/c I haven't been bleeding AT ALL, so I'm hoping it is absorbing!). So, she agreed and we are going in for another ultrasound on Thursday. Whew. So, needless to say, I am sure all is fine, but I am still nervous. Oh, and just to warn you other new BFP girls who did IVF, um, the belly does start to show MUCH earlier with IVF. I'd heard this before, but now I am really experiencing it. It's definitely true!!!!




Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Holidays are here!!!



We are pretty excited for the holidays this year. Can't help it. This pregnancy is progressing nicely so far and each day that goes by, we get more and more confident and more and more excited. I know things can always go wrong, especially so early, but it just isn't worth worrying about. So, we jumped on the opportunity to decorate the house yesterday. Since we live in Central New York, we get a lot of snow - some of it regional weather and some of it Lake Effect snow. Well, the last few days have been relatively warm so that all the snow from last weekend began to melt off of the roof and the yard. We decided to jump on that opportunity and start decorating the house. Brett decided that we'd go all out this year and do even the top tier roof. I thought he was crazy, but here he is putting them up.



And, here is the finished result...I can tell you honestly, it looks much better in person.










We had a great Thanksgiving at our neighbor's house with her wonderful family. I'm not always the hugest fan of turkey but it was really yummy. Unfortunately, I still get morning sickness at night so after the dinner, we left a little early and skipped dessert, and I was in bed by 8 pm. Well, the little bugger is taking lots of my energy!


We've been avoiding the stores so far this week, but I have to run out for a few things this morning. Brett is just itching to start painting the nursery. He's been lost without a home project to work on and this is one heck of an exciting home project. So, we may hit Lowe's on the way home. We already ordered paint from Mythic Paint and had it shipped to the house (free shipping!). http://www.mythicpaint.com I like to help paint and would be too worried about all the chemicals but this stuff has no health warnings at all associated with it, no VOC's, etc and has really high reviews for coverage and stuff. Before you guys think we are jumping the gun, you need to understand that the room in question is the one room in the house we haven't touched since we moved in almost 2 years ago. It is currently painted dark blue-gray with 2 of the walls being bright kelly green, there are weird stains and marks all over the walls, etc. So, we've been looking for an excuse to paint but have been holding off for all this time b/c it was supposed to be our baby's room! At least we haven't bought furniture yet!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Eva Longoria's Engagement Ring? Are you kidding?

So, that site that I go to that tells me how big my baby is (8 weeks today) told me it is the size of the diamond in Eva Longoria's ring. Lol. Are you kidding? We are lucky I actually know who Eva Longoria is. How am I supposed to know she's engaged or how big her ring is? Jeeez. Anyway, as a result, I had to search around for something else to compare it to so that we can all get an idea. So here is what I came up with...

Yup, the little booger is a pumpkin seed this week! Can you believe how fast they grow? No wonder I am so darned tired! But so so so happily tired!

I've decided to skip out on the "obligatory Thanksgiving post" as a fellow blogger put it. I have so much to be thankful for this year (and every year) that I don't want to waste your time by asking you to read all about it. Things are great. Granted, I'm still couch-bound, but for a good reason!!!

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fuzzy Pic

So, the little booger is getting bigger! We had our second u/s today and all is well with our little guy! The baby is growing nicely, the heartbeat was super fast and strong, and we are on track. However, that thing they thought was another sac last week turned out to be a bleed. The nurse called it a "separation" which completely freaked me out. So as soon as I got home I called CCRM to discuss. The nurse said that they are really really common with IVF and that my particular one (from last week's u/s) is very small. What it is (and you can see it to the left and below the baby) is that a bleed sometimes starts where the placenta is attached. That bleed then drips down to the bottom of the uterus and pools down there. That is it. What this means for me is that I have to continue to take it really really easy (sorry, hun, that means you still have to lift everything for me and even vacuum) and hope that my body reabsorbs it. If not, I may bleed a little bit. They said that spotting is fine but if I bleed a lot and very red, then I am on strict bedrest until it is resolved. Supposedly it is usually resolved by week 12 (aka, Christmas Day)!

However, we got to see a head, and arms and legs (tiny, you know, but still visible!). Of course the nurse tried to get both the blood and the baby in one image so both are fuzzy instead of just getting me the perfect shot I wanted of our little baby! So, apologies for the fuzzy baby pic! Just know that he or she looks perfect!

So, so far so good. Of course, this is not without stress, but I am so thankful. On a light note, Brett and I were talking yesterday about our plans for the holidays and we may have family coming after Christmas, which is great. I was laughing b/c I am getting so -ahem- "round" that I am not fitting my clothes (lack of exercise, only able to eat carbs b/c of nausea). I said something derogatory about myself and a particular barn animal. So Brett said that he'd get me a bunch of big sweaters in a black and white spotted pattern. I had to laugh and say, "you know, in the past, people might have thought I was going for the dalmation look, but now I'd be more cow". For some reason, he couldn't stop laughing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Tic Tac, and I know I am insane


I will stop these crazy posts one day but I am just having too much fun with this weekly "what size is Booger now?". So, she or he is the size of a tic tac. Oh, and if I acidentally repeatedly refer to Booger as "he" just take note that it is not a preference or a premonition or a wish...it is just generic and easier to say than "he or she" all the time. We sooooo don't care about gender...so much so that we aren't even going to find out the sex when we get to that point. Anyway, can you believe it? A tic tac. Yes, that sounds tiny, but when you think that this time last week, he was a sprinkle, that's just crazy! No wonder I am so tired!


Short post today, I have family in town and have lots to do...plus I have to check up on everyone else's blog now...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stuck with old RE

Oh well, I spoke to my OB and they are unwilling to monitor this pregnancy until week 10. How weird is that? CCRM would like me to move over to the OB in week 8 but I am stuck. I'm kind of beyond annoyed by this (probably more than I should be). I mean, the OB nurse was nice and happy for me but said that they'd love to be my doctor but they wouldn't get me in until week 10 b/c there is nothing to do? Um, if I was a non-IVFer, I'm pretty sure I'd have had a bunch of appointments by now...weird. Oh well, I am stuck with the old RE. FUN.

On a good note, the nurse at my OB's appointment said that they aren't one of those offices that consider all IVFers to be "high risk" and therefore require C-sections. The thought of that just makes me so angry. When I asked her this question, she was shocked that people do that and said she'd be angry at that too! I was like, THANK YOU!!! So, I become a normal pregnant woman (I mean, within reasonable limits, lol) on December 11th!!!

The booger?

So, when most of us who do IVF get to this point we end up with cute little names for that little baby that we finally get to see as a tiny little dot on the ultrasound. In my due date group there is already a peanut, a bean, a cashew and a tater. Well, we now have our own. Yesterday, Brett comes into the family room and says, "how is the little booger doing?"...I was like, "huh?". Well, he goes on to explain. We can't call it the bean anymore because last year we had an ectopic and before we knew it was ectopic, we were praying for "the bean" and chanting, "Grow, bean, grow" because the betas were so low. Well, that didn't turn out so well, obviously. So, then, we'd be inclined to call our little baby the "peanut". However, we call our smaller-than-usual boxer female, Harley, the "peanut" because she is just so cute and petite and she knows this as one of her names....so Brett thought more about it and started calling our little baby the "booger", which still concerned me until he started laughing when I asked him why "booger" and he said, "because they stick"!!!! lol...so it is the booger because I really want this baby to stick! Oh, the poor thing, off to a rough start, lol...

On another note, I am cutting down my progesterone shots again...freaking out...! My progesterone was still >40 yesterday even though I cut it down to every other day. However, my estrogen fell from 1,300 to 800. So, I am staying on one estrogen patch and going in on Thursday and Monday for more bloodtests to see how I do. I am cutting down the PIO to .5ml every other day and re-checking it on Thursday. Hopefully it will never go <40, even after I stop the shots b/c that makes me so nervous!

I get to call the OB today and see when they will allow me to transition over from the RE. I can't wait! I hope they are willing to transition me at 8 weeks and I can only stay with the RE until I wean off all the meds...otherwise I have to wait until week 10...should I beg? I mean, the nurses at my old RE's were great. They let us actually HEAR the baby yesterday and Brett and I got lots of hugs and well-wishes, it was great. However, I am not a huge fan of the RE himself and hate that I might bump into him...so I'd rather just move on...

Monday, November 17, 2008

A perfect little bean!!!


We saw and HEARD one perfect little bean and heartbeat!!! According to the RE, I am at 6w6d....we found this little guy, sitting in a great position, and with a heartbeat flickering away! The nurse thought we might be able to hear it so turned on the doppler and unbelievably (it is really early to hear anything) we heard the fast, little heartbeat! It was an incredible moment. I was a nervous wreck. Thought I was going to be sick this morning I was so scared and it all dissolved in that moment!

The nurse also found what she thinks is another sac, though it appeared to be empty. So, it looks like we may have had twins at one point. However, she isn't positive it is a sac - it could also be a small bloodclot, it is too early to tell. She was leaning towards it being a sac...which is sad, but at least our one strong hb is there! The picture is a little grainy, but you can clearly see our little bean!!!

So, now that we've seen the heartbeat and heard it, some doctors say that the risk of miscarriage goes down to about 5-7% at most, so Brett is insisting that we are going to just be happy now. No more obsessing about what could go wrong and just be plain old happy. So, I'm going along with it. I will be waiting for a phone call from CCRM tonight to see what they say and if I am still on restricted movement (which may be because of the possible blood clot), but besides that, I am just beyond happy.



Friday, November 14, 2008

Gray hairs???

One of the things that I didn't think too much about before we got pregnant was dying my hair. I forgot that I had an appointment all set up last week to cut and color. I've read repeatedly that hair color is probably safe for pregnancy. um....that isn't enough for me, so I decided my hair didn't look too terrible and I would skip the color this time. I'm glad I made that decision because a few days ago I received a letter from CCRM saying "congratulations on your pregnancy, here are some things to avoid....hair color...". Whew. Well, that's all great...but, um, my grays are showing. I already decided that after the first trimester I can do a rinse to "blend" my color. It uses all natural vegetable dyes and is perfectly safe, but again, afraid to do anything right now. So, here I sit, stressing out, getting chubby (happily, though, this is not a complaint), and going gray (not so happy, but definitely willing to put up with it). I just had to share. Oh- they also said to avoid mani/pedi's (not that I do these too often but have considered to reduce stress/make me feel pretty this week- Lord knows I need to feel pretty!). Guess they worry about infection. Jeez, I'm just gonna be a big disaster!

Besides that, still waiting. On checking up with some of my fellow IF bloggers, there has been some wonderful success stories this week and also alot of pain. I know how hard this journey is. I know that very little of the pain comes from the physical side (though we've seen this week too that the physical ouchiness is nothing to belittle), but is almost entirely and unbearably emotional. My heart just aches for all that we each go through. Stay strong. Look forward to things again....and love each other (and don't forget to spoil the furbabies).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

a sprinkle?


Acccording to some pregnancy counters, I am a full 6 weeks pregnant today. According to the other ticker, I am 5w6d. In any event, my baby is the size of a sprinkle today! I had to post this image from the web because it serves several purposes. I was looking for a cute image of a sprinkle and this one came up and next to the caption, it read: "Michigan Avenue. This lemon-infused cupcake is topped with a zesty lemon cream cheese frosting and garnished with yellow and blue sprinkles. Go Wolverines." Now, if you all knew that what I do every Saturday is sit on the couch with DH and watch Michigan play whatever team is available, you'd know why I had to choose this picture. And, yes, Honey, if you are reading this I have finally learned the difference between Michigan and Michigan State....Love you!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Symptoms??

Can you believe I've been nauseous for the last week straight? I still think this is too early for morning sickness, but apparently not! I'm actually going to assume this is because my own hormones seem pretty high right now and I'm still on the daily PIO shot and vivelle patches. I think my body doesn't quite no how to process all of those hormones! In any event, it makes me really happy - if I ever start to feel better, I get nervous. In fact, Brett is a rock and he was getting nervous because I was too hot last night. I'm never too hot. In his experience, I'm only too hot when I'm taking the PIO and I'm not pregnant. So, he was a little nervous this morning, mumbling something about how he doesn't like the hot flashes and night sweats thing. I had to explain to him that it is just a symptom of too much progesterone. It may even be a good thing. So, I'm not the only high strung and crazy one in the house!!!!

But, for those of you who love to hear about symptoms, my bbs are ridiculously sore right now (sleeping with a jogbra on), I get dizzy a lot (glad I'm not teaching yoga again just yet), and if I don't eat for a few hours my stomach really hurts. I also have weird and ouchy digestive stuff going on as well as some ovary pains. I think that sums it up. This is unusual for me because though I know the supplemental meds can cause some of these, I've never experienced them before to this extent. So, I will continue to take that as a good sign.

We've been not-so-patiently waiting...and cancelling trips. Brett and I were supposed to be going to Las Vegas this weekend for some convention that he had to go to for work. As a result, work was paying for a beautiful hotel room and Brett's flight. Several friends from Brett's work were bringing their significant others and the spouses were planning to hang out and have fun while the employees went to their conference. Well, CCRM doesn't like traveling during the first trimester, and I am absolutely unwilling to argue with them, so I had to cancel. Then the ultrasound was scheduled for 11/17 and Brett had to cancel too. Now, we are in the middle of considering canceling all of our holiday plans. We both live far from our families and have to travel and I won't really be released to travel until January...so looks like we will have quiet at-home holidays this year. It doesn't seem reasonable for everyone else to travel...but, I can't complain AT ALL. I couldn't come up with a better reason to adjust plans...you know?

Anyway, I am still cautious to make all these adjustments so am not cancelling all engagements likely to be affected by this YET. I am obsessing about heartbeats and wondering if everything is still okay in there. Also thinking about all the couples who are heading out on the same journey I just completed with a lot of hope and excitement. I want every single one of you to get your strong BFPs. I check up on every one of you daily!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Update on the P4 debate

I just talked to my nurse at CCRM. She told me that my levels are so high that most of the REs at CCRM would already start weaning me off the meds this week. For some reason, Dr. G is much more conservative. I was like "THANK GOD!". Anyway, it seems that my levels are very high...CCRM looks for an E2 of 300, mine is 1,364. They look for a P4 of 20 and mine is ">40". She said that in order for them to be concerned about my P4 levels causing a problem, it would have to go well below 20 and that is unlikely because it is clearly higher than 40 and we are just cutting it in half. I tend to agree, I mean, it sounded reasonable, but it still freaks me out. She even said that skipping the shot on Sat the 15th, taking it on the 16th and then getting the b/w done on the 17th should not be enough time to cause any problems at all. If they see it went lower they will tell me to start shots again right away. So, I am inclined to trust them. Oh, I so hope I have a healthy viable baby in there! This wait is just killing me. Oh, and what the heck kind of RE has a machine that doesn't measure more than a level of 40 progesterone? No comment.

P4 and E2

Yesterday I had to go in to my local RE for bloodwork to check on my progesterone and estrogen levels. To support this pregnancy, I've been taking progesterone in oil shots (PIO, 1ml every day) and estrogen patches (2 applied every other day). Now I don't know about estrogen support but most RE's wait until about week 9 or 10 to start decreasing progesterone support because by that time, the placenta should have started making enough to support itself. CCRM is different. They had me go in yesterday to have my levels checked and the nurse called with the results. The estrogen was 1,364 and my progesterone was >40, which sounds crazy, but my old RE does not have a machine that measures P4 higher than 40...which sucks for me. Basically the nurse told me that I am to start weaning off both estrogen and the PIO. Next Saturday (literally, 2 days before my u/s), I can start using 1 patch of estrogen every other day and I can cut down to 1 ml of the PIO every other day instead of every day. Now, you girls who have been through these crazy procedures are starting to understand my freakout, right? The nurse said that she wishes she knew if my P4 level was at 100 or higher or closer to 40 itself or somewhere in the middle. She simply said that in any event, they will find out on Monday if it ends up going below 40 that it was closer to 40 than 100? Um, are you crazy? If it goes below 40, I believe I can lose the baby I haven't even seen on u/s yet???!?! Yes, I know CCRM knows what they are doing, but isn't there a better way? is it bad to have too high P4? I'd rather just keep with the daily PIO, am feeling downright warm towards those bruises on my hips!!! I asked the nurse if I could go to another lab, like Quest Diagnostics, and have them draw the blood to be shipped to CCRM or tested in an independent lab so we'd have a better understanding of my levels and she said its okay, we will know if P4 drops that it was lower than we thought....eeek! I am going to call them today and speak to my regular nurse or to Dr. G himself b/c this is killing me! I am not usually very high maintenance with this stuff. Believe it or not, I trust the people at CCRM, they certainly know more than I do....but this is just plain scary! Maybe I'll consult the girls on the boards....

Besides that, nothing new to report. Some symptoms: I've been exhausted in the evenings lately; have had a bit of nausea though not enough to vomit; daily headaches and lightheadedness. These are all good things according to me and DH. Every time I hint that I don't feel 100%, Brett's face lights up and he says something silly about this is what we signed on for! and then he apologizes that me being sick makes him happy...but I get his point. And, it makes me laugh:-)

Monday, November 3, 2008

yoga student alert and waiting again...

I've given the link to this blog to a few of my yoga students and I wanted to make a general announcement to those of you who check this site...I won't be returning to work as scheduled originally on Nov. 15, it looks like I will be continuing to vacation until the end of November and should be returning in December. This delay is entirely related to my ultrasound date being scheduled on Nov 17 and my need to find out how healthy this baby (or babies) is before I go ahead with normal activity again. I'm sorry! I've heard that most of you have not been having a very good time recently and the teachers are not being consistent (barring Thursdays I think). I've spoken to a few of you on the phone so hopefully the word will get out. Though I may attempt to stop by the studio to say hello sometime next week:-)

Besides that, I am still just waiting. I am sure my posts should start getting interesting again soon with other thing going on...but this weekend I was totally obsessed with this pregnancy. I am now constantly nauseous and have some painful digestive stuff going on and some headaches so it hasn't been much fun....but it makes me feel great! I take this as a sign that maybe my baby is really strong in there and working his or her little tail off growing! Which is all I want:-) So, once I start to get used to this I should start posting some fun stuff again...because in all honesty, we had a great weekend. We shopped for little, silly baby things to keep the positivity going (without going overboard), we had a great time at a neighbor's house on Halloween night with a bonfire, beers (none for me!), music, and great friends, and we finally got the house a little more settled from being away for so long.

I have 2 weeks left for the beancount! I am less concerned with how many now than I am with seeing just one beautiful heartbeat! I truly can't wait.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Guessing it is one!! But one HEALTHY one!!!!

We got our second beta - it is 170!!! GREAT NEWS! I will now risk a guess and say that I have one early implanter! So far, this is one REALLY healthy start! They said my progesterone was super-high so we wait another week, I go in for p4 and e2 testing and then they will start to slowly wean me off of the medicines.

I am so unbelievably happy. I know I was nervous about this number today because I was babbling to one of my favorite nurses this moring about how I'm supposed to be positive and not be nervous, etc, and now that I know it slighly more than doubled, I feel such relief and excitement that I am almost shaky!

I also talked to the nurse at CCRM yesterday about my concerns with my thyroid. She left me a message saying they wouldn't mind if I had it checked, so I snuck it onto the order form for the HCG test this morning. Wasn't sure how ticked they'd be at me for doing it, but it turns out they weren't upset at all and the number came back around 2.7, still within normal limits, so I am doing well with that too! oh, thank you thank you thank you....!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More waiting?

I know I seem crazy to some of you. Probably those of you who haven't done multiple IVF cycles or had multiple miscarriages or other complications. To the rest of you, you know exactly how I feel. Yes, I am thrilled by my strong early beta number. However, I am more nervous about the more important number- the number I get tomorrow. Early high levels of hcg can suggest multiples or it can suggest one strong, healthy, nicely-implanted embie...however, the most important question is if that number is going up properly. Generally speaking, the number should double every 2 days. Though there is variation (see betabase.info for specifics), I will feel much better if my beta doubles or more than doubles...if it is sluggish I will truly be scared.

In December, I had an ectopic pregnancy (they think, though they couldn't find it anywhere) and to give you and idea: my first beta came back at 18 on 9dp5dt, the next day (10dp5dt) it was in the 30's and then 2 days later (12dp5dt) it went to 58, this all combined to make it so that we knew something was wrong and this was very likely not going to be a healthy baby. The numbers continued to go up and then down and then back up, until I had to have surgery to remove it before it did damage.

In contrast, this cycle is beautiful so far...so, though I have fears, I am also ecstatically happy. I was attempting to be cautious for a time but then Brett had a good point, he asked me if I try to be cautious and hold back my excitement, will I be any less disappointed and hurt if it doesn't work out? I said of course not, to which he replied: then lets enjoy it and be happy for now! Ah, words of wisdom....

So, I will post my second beta number tomorrow. Until then, I will be happy and excited and, yes, still nervous and on pins and needles.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Beta is in!!!!

I just got the call - my beta level was 81.9!!! And I am one day early, 10dp3dt. The nurse said they look for the level to be >50 on 11dp3dt, so it looks like I am well on my way!!!! It looks like it can be a singleton or twins, though there is still a chance for more...

Waiting

I had my beta moved up to today since everyone finally talked me into it:-) I went in at 8:45, got a huge hug and "congratulations" from some of the nurses here and then gave blood and left. Now I sit here and wait. I have TONS of things that I can do but I am completely useless. Of course, I convinced everyone else that my beta would be high enough, but not myself. So I dug around in a drawer until I found an old Walgreens brand digital (those puppies are not at all sensitive, supposedly) and I peed on it (what else is new?). Thankfully, it came up "pregnant" within about 8 seconds, so I think I am still pretty safe, but I want to know!

The nurse at CCRM was really supportive of me coming in a day early since I told her that my HPTs were coming in darker and darker. I can't say the same for my local RE's office - they tried to talk me out of it. So, here I sit, on pins and needles, waiting for proof that I am right and I have a nice, strong HCG level....The way this works here is that my local RE draws the blood, measures it in the lab and then faxes the results to CCRM. The results get to the nurses and doctors and then CCRM calls me....so it could be anytime...but likely later this afternoon that I get the call. I hate waiting!!! Then, if the number is good (prayers, please), I get to go in again on Friday to make sure it is going up properly. Then we wait at least 2 weeks for the first ultrasound. I'll update when I get the number...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I had to post this!

I hate these FRERs usually b/c they never come up positive for me...but check this baby out. This is 9dp3dt. Isn't it great?

POAS addict.

Most of you who know me and have been with me through prior cycles know that I buy out the local stores of all of their HPTs. I tried not to do that this time. I really really tried. Usually I start the day after transfer so that I can slowly watch the false positive from the HCG shot slowly leave my system so that I can get a blank slate and know that any positive test after that is a real positive. I didn't do that this time. Then I got what appeared to be implantation bleeding. This caused Brett to be convinced I was pregnant and to actually (for the first time ever) encourage me to POAS! So, Sunday night (7dp3dt or 10dpo) I took an EPT (my favorite brand) and it was positive within 3 minutes. Faint, but positive (within the time limit, and you DIDN'T have to hold it up to the light to read it!). I couldn't believe it. So I took another yesterday morning (+) and another yesterday evening (+). I think you get where I am going here....Um, I am pregnant!!!! I know I should be "cautiously optimistic" but I've decided to say screw it to all that worry, and just be happy for once!

My beta HCG blood test is set for Thursday so we will know for sure on Thursday but for now, I am definitely pregnant!

I will, of course, continue to take HPT's so that I can (hopefully) watch the test get darker and darker and reassure myself that this isn't a chemical pregnancy and that the baby(ies) are still growing nicely...but I am beyond happy right now.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

7dp3dt - the 2ww is so hard!!!

So, I don't want to get my hopes up, but I also wanted to document this for the future. Friday was 8dpo and I started a little brown spotting, right after having a little cramp. It went away and then yesterday, 9dpo, I had a little more brown spotting. Now, for you non-IVFers I am sure this is TMI, but for the IVFers in the know, you are screaming "it's implantation bleeding!!!!", right? I am desperately trying not to get my hopes up...but I can't help but see this as a good sign. 8dpo would be the exact time that implantation would likely occur, so for all of you with questions here is the table:

this is what happens in a 3dt :
1dpt ..embryo is growing and developing
2dpt... Embryo is now a blastocyst
3dpt....Blastocyst hatches out of shell on this day
4dpt.. Blastocyst attaches to a site on the uterine lining
5dpt.. Implantation begins,as the blastocyst begins to bury in the lining
6dpt.. Implantation process continues and morula buries deeper in the lining
7dpt.. Morula is completely inmplanted in the lining and has placenta cells & fetal cells
8dpt...Placenta cells begin to secret HCG in the blood
9dpt...More HCG is produced as fetus develops
10dpt...More HCG is produced as fetus develops
11dpt...HCG levels are now high enough to be immediately detected on HPT

Now, this chart always confuses me though b/c I've been told from prior cycles that the morula is actually the stage before blastocyst (when it is compacting and cells are no longer countable but it is not yet a blast). So I am confused why this says the morula stage is later. However, this is a pretty accurate chart for what should be happening. So, I am now on 7dpt. Interesting, huh?

I am just hoping that the spotting was IB! I will absolutely refuse to post any other symptoms at all. The meds I am on mimic all the signs of pregnancy and I know for a fact that there will be hundreds of women every day researching their days post transfer and feverishly looking for symptoms who will encounter my blog and then search for symptoms. So, though I've done this every cycle for the last year, I won't go there:-) If I am pregnant, I'll post my symptoms later...

Pray for us!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Before we leave...

Here is some general fun stuff...

I told you all about Thrifty Rent a Car and the minivan. Well, not only did it not have air in the tires when they gave it to me, but the brakes went yesterday. I called them from the restaurant at dinner and they asked if I'd like to drive it out to the airport...I said no...anyway, they drove out a brand new beautiful Dodge Charger...










why couldn't we have this the whole time?

And, check me out on bedrest! Hot, right? Brett took great care of me,

you can distinctly see that I have a very flat pillow, a remote, and room service book. He's the best DH ever!







Finally, I don't know if you can see this one...but for those of you who haven't been to this part of Colorado - there is a massive overpopulation of prairie dogs everywhere! this was a field by the interstate that had tons of them every day. I really wanted to get a quality picture that showed the sheer numbers (and cuteness, though they make angry little noises when you are nearby), but there was nowhere to stop to take a picture and the car behind us honked!




On that note, we are leaving Colorado tomorrow - hopefully carrying the best souvenir or souvenirs EVER. I'll let you all know in about a week... Until then, I can't wait to get home. We've had a great time and we've got lots of hope, but I can't wait to see my dogs and I'm really ready for this chapter to be over. To all the girls who are going to CCRM after me, feel free to contact me to discuss anything...I know this is a hard process to do even when you are doing it in your home town. My one piece of advice- treat it as a vacation...it is a beautiful place and you are stuck here anyway:-)

2 snowbabies!!!


So, out of 10 embryos that we left in the lab, only 2 made it to "freezable" quality. One is graded a 4bb (the pic on the left) the other had another grading I didn't recognize but was about the same. Isn't it pretty? The lab technician was so sweet, she was happy that I wasn't sad that only 2 of them made it (actually laughed) b/c I'd already decided none made it to blasts of good quality. She said that there would be 2 beautiful blasts waiting for me in 2 years when we come back for a sibling!!!! I grilled her about quality and stuff, made a few jokes and got off the phone very relieved. Only 2 out of 10 isn't great but considering that we put in 4 beautiful 3 day embryos, I can't complain - and, as of last Sunday we already knew that there was a MAJOR distinction in quality between the 4 we transferred and those that were left. So, a decent result, especially if we get pregnant this time. I am refusing to think about how terrible it will be if we don't...
Oh, the picture is from the advanced fertility center website. They have alot of great information about IVF and grading, so I thought I'd use some of their info, but still give them props.
So, Pray for my 4 babies. Today they are supposed to be hatching and attaching to the uterine wall...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

2dp3dt

For those of you questioning, the title means 2 days post 3 day transfer. It's a fun time. Just waiting. Right now I am waiting for a phone call from the embryologists telling us if any of the remaining 10 made it to blast. I've been trying to remain calm but things have been kind of hitting the fan. I had a negative reaction to the progesterone medicine I was taking and have again been told to do the dreaded PIO- the horrible progesterone in oil shot. A big 2 inch intermuscular (in the butt) shot that must be given daily. I hate it. But, if it helps, here we go.

I am finally off of bedrest. CCRM requires more bedrest than most, but their stats are so high, I willingly complied. So day 1 was flat on my back with a very flat pillow and only getting up to use the bathroom. Day 2 is propped up with no more than 15-30 minutes upright at a time. Today, then, I am sitting up on the couch with Brett, blogging and watching TV.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

PUPO X 4

Ok, so the last time I wrote we were waiting for the transfer... ok all done. We put in 4, what our RE called 'perfect, embryos! Which is good! And to which we also found out is the new standard at this particular office. When they are looking at the state of the embryos and there are clear leaders at the 3 day check, they now go ahead and transfer those versus waiting until a 5 day. Hmmm... interesting concept, wish they had told us that before we flew out of our hotel and raced in a complete panic to the RE's office in fear we had only three embryos and the rest had stopped growing. Oh well.. we are really happy with the end result however - so all's well that ends well! As for the rest of the 10 remaining embryos you ask? Well they are still growing.. there are a few they can see right now probably will not make it to day 5 and they only freeze those that are of high quality.. so we really don't know yet. But we are pleased as punch to had 4 really great ones transferred and hopefully a least one decides to stay around for the long haul!

Last Minute Rush

Ok, well Sue isn't posting this because she is current getting stuck with tiny little needles - acupuncture (supposed to calm her down?) - because we are preparing to do our transfer today. Yep, a three day and not a five day like we had been planning! Is that good? Or is that bad? I am not really sure.
See we had planning to relax all day today and actually move hotels into a nicer more upscale place in preperation for the 2 day "lay around all day" requirement after a transfer. But today we were also supposed to get our embro update and see how they were going. See, that's where things got rushed. All I know is that there are a few still hanging around out there, but three are almost picture perfect - so they decided to have us transfer today. The bad news is that there may not be any left to freeze and you get a better idea of overall quliaty at a five day than a three day. Does this decrease our chances? I am not sure - Sue is smarter at this than I am. I just know that we got the call at around 830am and here I sit at CCRM waiting for the transfer to occur (and its around 920am).
So for all of you following this blog.. fingers crossed! Toes too please.. sounds like we may need it!

-- Brett (standing in for the better blogger, Sue)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Waiting and recovering

Now we wait. We've spent the last two days doing random Colorado things. I can't do much physically since I am still very bloated and sore from ER. Though it is killing me to be in such a beautiful place with such beautiful weather and not be able to do fun stuff outside. So, we've modified things. Yesterday we went up to Vail (lots of driving, very little walking). It was fascinataing- the town itself opens right up to the chairlift! I mean, you are walking through cute cobblestone walking-only streets with shops and restaurants and then you are right at the chair lift.




It was nuts. We took some time to shop for souvenirs for the neices and buy $5 chapstick (we were desperate) and then went to the ski museum and got dirty with a statue of William Shakespeare...fun stuff. Brett also got to got to see the statues dedicated to the Tenth Mountain Division, which he used to be a part of out of Fort Drum, that started in Colorado before WWII. Again, in these pics, ignore the pregnancy belly, it is a mirage...



Then today I felt a little better so we went for a very short, very easy hike to Castlewood Canyon State Park. We started down the nature hike but then followed a more rustic path down to the Canyon floor and along the ridge. It is a really pretty area but was a little crowded (as you get with the more easy hikes locally). We only went about a mile or so - just to get out - then called it quits since I was told not to overdo it.



That leads me to this afternoon and since University of Michigan and Michigan State are playing, you can go back to last Saturday and see that pic for our daily activity. I actually considered taking another picture of Brett on the couch with a beer, but it would be no different from last Saturday - was he even wearing the Army t-shirt last week?

Why so many eggs?

So, I've had a lot of questions from non-IVFers who wonder why us IVF girls are so intent on getting as many eggs as we can. I mean, it is not at all comfortable, it can cause a dangerous life-threatening condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and really, you only need one, right? Well, we can start by saying that each IVF costs a lot of money and you really want a good chance and the more embryos you have, the better your chances of being able to do multiple cycles with only one stimulation/retrieval cycle. However, the quest for as many eggs as possible gains more importance as women get older.

I've had it explained like this. Imagine a fishtank filled with colored golf balls. In your teens and 20's that fishtank is almost entirely filled with green golfballs, with just a few red ones in it. If you take a ladle and drop it into the tank, you will come up with almost entirely green golf balls, and these are good eggs, likely to create healthy embryos and term pregnancies. As you get older- into the late 20's and early 30's, there are more and more red balls so that maybe it is 50/50. If you drop a ladle in, now you get a few green and a few red, your chances are still good to get a healthy baby and pregnancy. Now imagine mid 30's, there are maybe more than 50/50 to almost 75/25 in the late 30's, your chances of getting green golf balls is getting slimmer and slimmer. As a result, you really want to get a bigger ladle, right? so that maybe a bigger ladle will increase your chances of getting at least a few green golf balls and having a healthy pregnancy.

These numbers are not the same for all women. For some of us, as we learn from all this IVF testing, our eggs go bad sooner (some I've seen at 32-34). Others have many good healthy eggs at 38. You really don't know this until you do A LOT of testing of FSH levels, AMH, antral follicle counts, etc. And, even with all that testing, doctors still consider age itself a factor. So, you see, it is not strange or greedy to want to get more eggs, it is simply a numbers game, and we all want to win.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fat Tire!!!


I forgot to post all about our OTHER brewery tour. The day before ER (Wednesday) we drove up to Fort Collins and toured the New Belgium Brewing Company, makers of Fat Tire beer! For Brett's MBA last year, he did a case study on this company because they are a tremendous success of employee satisfaction, environmental stewardship, and community responsibility. After his case study, he told me this is the kind of place he could get into working at. So, we had to go (actually I think we had to go more b/c of the beer, but I didn't say anything:-)). The town of Fort Collins was really pretty and is home to many breweries b/c it is abundant in clean water, ideal for brewing beer.


At the start of the tour, you are told that you are free to have 4 samples of beer that you can sit and enjoy before the tour or when the tour is done. We were early for our tour so we sat and sipped first. They give you a long sheet with all their beers on it and you pick 4. We picked 4 different ones b/c I wasn't allowed to actually drink it, could only take a taste and we were both curious about some of the rarer ones we hadn't tried before. Like Abbey Lager, the new seasonal 2 below, the standard Sunset Wheat, Fat Tire, 1556 Black Lager, and a bunch more. The tour itself was fun and during that we got to try some of the more alcoholic beers that they keep up in the brewery - Big John's Voodoo which has about 8.5% alcohol and contains Yerba Mate for a caffeine kick too (oh great, the doc said stay away from caffeine and alcohol and this one supplies both) and a kicker version of Abbey that had about 10% alcohol. It was fun.

On a side note, out of only 8 people on the tour, including us, 5 of them had ties to Syracuse! Isn't that nuts? some were from Syracuse or nearby CNY, others had gone to school there. We were surprised. Anyway, if you ever come to Denver, you should take this tour...it is worth it!

14 embryos!

We got our fertilization report! Out of 19 eggs, 17 were mature, and 14 fertilized normally. Now we wait. We should get a call on Sunday to let us know how they are progressing and then are likely to go in on Tuesday for transfer. I'll keep you all informed! In the meantime, the weather is sunny and beautiful (72) today so I am trying to find something fun to do outside that isn't too athletic because I am still sore and achy. Tomorrow it will be almost 80!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Call me a hen

I woke up out of ER with two thoughts- one was that I desperately wanted pancakes and the other was that I only got 5 eggs after all that work, stress, money. Well, I got 19 eggs! um...19!!! So, this will be a short post b/c I'm tired. But, Brett took me out for pancakes on the way home and then I came back and went back to bed. We will know in the morning how many of them were mature and how many fertilized...can't wait.

On a side note, boy was ER different here than at my old clinic. I actually felt like I was going in to surgery here...they take things very seriously. I was kind of impressed. And, I'm really impressed with myself now- 19!!!!

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rocky Mountain National Park


Look at the sign! Don't look at me!!! Can you imagine how bloated I feel if this is how I look? Eeeeeek! Anyway, we had fun traveling through Estes Park and up to the Rockies yesterday. It happens to be Elk rutting season, which is supposed to be "something to see". Basically, what we saw was a lot of Elk cows grazing with a few lone Elk bulls wandering around the meadows. I thought it was cool.

However, you all know I have stuff to complain about - it is my nature. The rules at the park during Elk season are to stay in or near your car when you pull to the side of the road, don't go into certain meadows on foot, and stay at a distance from the Elk - not only for human safety reasons but so that us humans don't actually interfere in their reproductive trends. Let them mate, dammit! Well, boy were people out of their cars (which is fine), and into the meadows (not fine), and right on top of the Elk - I mean just a few feet away (so not fine that I almost wanted to call the rangers!). People are awful. We actually watched one guy with a big camera approach a huge male...um, during mating season. Genius. I was getting all upset about it. In any event, we didn't hike much because I am getting kind of uncomfortable and was trying to take it easy, but had a great time driving around. So wish that we could have really seen some of the beautiful trails and really gotten a good hike in, but I'll take what I can get. Anyway, here are some pics of Elk and stuff, taken from the car or right on the side of the road, next to the car. Enjoy!!!
And, here is a male deer laying on the side of the road where we stopped to take the "Rocky Mountain National Park" sign picture. Do you think these guys are used to humans or what? there was at least 4 female deer standing around about 6 feet from our car, one fawn, and a male laying around. Amazing. Bet all you New York hunters are jealous, huh?

We triggered!

Good news! First of all, my lining yesterday was at 12-13, so it looks like we might still get a fresh transfer out of this and might leave with the BEST SOUVENIR EVER!!! Also, there were 18 follicles of good size, with about 5-6 tiny ones...so I'm hoping for about 12-15 eggs, any more than that and I'll be beyond happy! In my next few posts I'll explain why it is so important for women in their 30's to get more eggs...it seems counterintuitive until it is explained really well, but overall, it just gives us a much better selection since all eggs are not going to be normal or healthy or strong.

We got the go ahead to trigger last night. Brett gave me the big ugly trigger shot in my tush. That gives us 36 hours until retrieval. So I will be going in at 7:45 tomorrow morning for the retrieval. Wish me luck.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Guess where we went!!!!




Hey, someone has placed a logo over my face!!! Okay, so I forgot about the date stamp when we took this picture. But, you get the idea:-) I can't drink alcohol but I can still enjoy its history!!! and, this made Brett very happy. We toured the Coors brewery in Golden, CO. It was great...and lots of free samples! Unfortunately (how embarrassing) my samples had to be of the unalcoholic variety. Boo Hiss.



This will be short one. Will have tons of more fun pics tomorrow since the weather has improved again and we are either going to Estes Park (rocky mtn national park) or up to the Fat Tire Brewery!!! That one is going to KILL me! I want samples dammit!

Okay, so some good news some bad news. On the good news. Still lots of follicles going. Still taking a long time to mature, which seems annoying but is good for quality reasons. However, my uterine lining is already a 14!!! What this means is that I may have to go through egg retrieval, get all the good eggs fertilized, watch them grow and then freeze them and go home b/c my lining will be too thick to put them back in! For now, they are just watching it. And, I know , most people think that it can't be too thick. Thickness just means that it is a more lush environment for the embies to snuggle into...However, it does seem that it can be too thick...and I am on my way to being there. So, I may have to leave without the embryos and come back in a month to get them defrosted and transferred. (one last thing is that frozen embryo transfers, or FETs, are usually not as successful as fresh transfers, so this was somewhat crushing and stressful today, but it seems that CCRM has a great success rate with FET's so I'll just have to deal with it if that is what happens).
For now, I am stopping gonal-f for the night, doing one more menopur shot in the A.M. and going in for another ultrasound and blood test tomorrow. I think I will be triggering either tomorrrow or Wednesday so going for retrieval either Thursday or Friday. Hopefully I will know more tomorrow.




Sunday, October 12, 2008

The friends you make online

Brett and I took a trip up to Bloomfield and Lafayette, CO today to meet up with one of the women I've been talking to for the last 8 months on one of the fertility bulletin boards. It is amazing to finally meet people who have supported you and who you've supported for such a long time. We drove up to their house (which happens to be one town away from where Brett and I are considering moving to!) and we all went out to lunch. Jen is about 5 months pregnant now and looks very happy and nicely round:-) Her husband, Walt, seemed like a great guy. Brett and I had a great time and can't wait to meet up again next weekend!

Besides that I have a small update on the follicle front. As of yesterday we have 14 follicles that look likely to make it to the right size and another 3 that are lagging a little. However, the 14 good ones are all almost the same size which is amazing! Unlike every other cycle I've done, in which there was always a lead follicle that steals all the meds from the other potential eggs, they are all growing nicely and evenly (thanks to the genius docs at CCRM and the new protocol). So, everything looks great. My hormones were all so good that I was able to skip another day of monitoring and didn't have to go in today. So, I will know more tomorrow.

The weather is supposed to get great again tomorrow so Brett and I are thinking about going up to the Rockies or down to Colorado Springs again (Brett used to live there and we know the hiking areas better). I can't wait to get outside a little again! Hopefully I'll have some fun pictures!

Friday, October 10, 2008

He's arrived!!! But, without luggage!


Brett arrived last night! I did any number of turns around the airport trying to pick him up while he waited for his bags. And waited. And waited. And then found out the bag was still in Boston. So we came straight back to the room and crashed (it was 11 pm). We were supposed to get the bag at noon today. Never happened. BUT, I am happy to report it arrived at 4:45 this afternoon in good condition. So Brett is now comfortable in sweats, on the couch, TV on and beer in hand. Finally relaxing.

Today was easy. Went to CCRM for the IVF physical. Nothing too shocking there. Then dragged Brett to lunch and to see Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Sometimes you just want a sweet, silly movie. It was fun...a realy cute story with a cute moral. It distracted him from the fact that his white undershirt was smelly for a little while! I offered to buy new ones at Walmart but we didn't think we'd be able to fit anything additional in our bags on the way home...so we waited. The weather wans' t great so we didn't miss out on much (we had planned on a hike, but it was freezing and gray). We may have snow tomorrow though!!!

I have an u/s and b/w in the morning. Hopefully will have more news and be more entertaining tomorrow. All of the extra meds are making me very emotional, cranky, and tired. So, I'm losing whatever personality I had...have to work on that. Maybe I'll be better tomorrow.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

17 Follicles!!!

Quick update- went to CCRM this morning for my follie check. So far....17!!! Well, 9-10 on the left ovary and 7 on the right. They are growing nicely and the lining is perfect. I still have a lot of time to let them grow but this is so promising. I feel so much better than I did on Tuesday! More later...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I made it!!! No thanks to thrifty rent a car!!!

I made it! yay! The flights were great but I will say this...NEVER EVER use Thrifty rent a car. I landed at 10:15 last night (way earlier than expected) and got my bag promptly. Then waited for over 30 mintues for the shuttle to the car while everyone else got picked up. I mean, I saw all the other shuttle buses go by more than 5 times each. I called Thrifty 4 times and they never answered the phone. There was no one at the counter and no direct phone to get anybody to the counter. Finally they picked me up another 15 minutes later. THEN Thrifty didn't have my car available so I got a minivan (I don't have babies YET -maybe it's a sign?), THEN the tire pressure light started blinking and an alarm went off before I even left the lot. I went to figure it out with them and they said not to worry - drop in air temperature always causes that (um, it was still 54 degrees). So I was so annoyed I just took it but I think I'm going to stop by when I pick up Brett on Thursday.

Besides that, I spoke to CCRM yesterday and they increased my meds. It seems that they are going to change the dosage every day based on my blood tests and ultrasounds. They literally gave me what different dosages to take yesterday, this morning, this evening, and then tomorrow A.M. and after tomorrow, I go in daily for monitoring. Um wow. Lets hope all this monitoring works.

Well, I am going to get out and do some grocery shopping, stop by Corepower for some mcyoga at noon, and then come back here and take a nap. I am sooooo tired.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

First Follie Check

So, I hate to pick on my local RE because I love the office. The nurses are amazing there. However, my first follie check was a mess. They were confused about which part of the cycle I am in and not sure if I want a thick or thin lining at this point. Most RE's offices then go in with a dildocam (okay, you girls know what I mean by this...the ultrasound wand that goes inside) and look at the lining and each ovary to count the amount of developing follicles. Well, besides not knowing what we want lining-wise (it was thin and should be at this point), they looked at the ovaries and instead of counting them, said I had a "few" on the right ovary (my underachiever usually) and a "bunch" on the left and we were done! I was like, BUT, HOW MANY? I should be used to this, I know, but I thought because they were following the orders from CCRM that they would count and measure. She counted and measured a few, but that is it. It looked like 5-6 on the right and 10 or so on the left....but I don't know and probably won't know until Thursday at CCRM. I left feeling really deflated. I know I probably shouldn't, it is really early and I didn't get any info at all...but I feel let down.

Anyway, I have to run around and prepare to travel tonight. Hopefully I hear from Jen at CCRM early today so I am sure that I am still going and nothing is wrong with the bloodwork or u/s that they get. I guess we'll see...I'll keep y'all informed!

On the homefront, you should see this house! What 5 dogs and a polish lady can do to a house, lol. I'm kidding...its just there is a lot going on all of the time! But, the dogs are having fun and my mom is doing great...

Monday, October 6, 2008

On her way

Mama Norman is on her way to join my pups for a fun filled 2 weeks of dog sitting. Those of you who don't know, this is gonna be a RIOT. The neighborhood will soon be filled with loud polish yells, things being thrown, and laughter. Yes, my mom is an incredble, warm, not-so-quiet Polish woman with 3 dogs of her own. She has been incredibly sweet by offering to take 2 weeks off of work (unpaid, I might add) and driving her dogs 4 hours to our house to watch my babies! Just so you understand this -she has a terrier mix who is 14 years old, a papillon who is about 6, and a Chihuahua who is about 8, and how they get along with my 2 big, goofy boxers is nothing but a miracle! The best part is that my mom is usually in the middle of all the play, yelling her head off. Oh, and ALL of the dogs are scared of the Chihuahua!

So, I've already warned the neighbors...though they will still probably be in for a shock. Maybe I'll have some cute pics later just to help explain the situation. Brett is leaving for a business trip in Massachusetts today so, lucky him, he gets to avoid the craziness...but in the meantime, I have to go get a shot ready to give (the new docs want me to do menopur in the a.m. and lupron and gonal-f in the p.m. so it is a lot more to think about), and a house to clean, and maybe a couple of dogs to exercise so they are nice and tired by the time Mom gets here...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

One more quick post

You guys have GOT to try this recipe. I made it last year about once a week for Brett and I because its just so easy and yummy and good for you! Here is the link: //www.recipezaar.com/55796

Cleared for take off!!!

Yay! I get to start stims tonight! I know to those of you that do not battle IF it may be shocking to be so happy about giving yourself 3 injections a day, but I was soooo looking forward to this! DH and I went to a ghost walk in Syracuse last night where the historical society gets a bunch of actors to act out ghosts of famous people and times in Syracuse history (don't laugh- you'd be surprised!!!). It was fun and chilly and about an hour after we got home, I got AF. So, I had to run in to the local fertilty center this morning for my bloodtest and ultrasounds which were then forwarded to CCRM for analysis and I got the call that we can start shots tonight! That sets me up for another ultrasound/bloodwork appt on Tuesday here, flying out Tuesday or Wednesday and start at CCRM on Thursday. NOW I have a lot of work to do!!!

On a fun note, Brett and I went to Old Navy last weekend to pick up a few things and there was this incredible sale, so we got halloween costumes for the dogs. Oh, I know, we don't have tiny little dogs that tolerate that sort of thing, but we love to torture our boxers with a little dress-up every now and then. So...I will try to post the pics here...



I'm new to this whole blogging thing so it is not the most graceful picture placement but it will do for now....Aren't they funny? Sherman is the devil (not too far off...) and Harley is the royal one (totally RIGHT ON with that constume! she is the princess). Oh, I'm going to miss them for 2 weeks!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Running Late

It looks like my cycle is already slightly postponed! As of today, if all goes according to schedule, now I should be leaving for Colorado on Tuesday, October 7th, so it is a good thing I didn't schedule a flight, though I have to call the hotel and change the dates. However, this is solely depending on the fact that AF is late- and I am NEVER late- so it could be postponed even more! No, don't get excited, I'm not pregnant...we were kind of told to either abstain or be really careful b/c I started some of the injections a week after I ovulated and this could cause problems for a baby....so we were careful. In any event, I just want to get started so I'm a little frustrated. Hopefully, I get her today...like the girls on the bulletin boards say, I should wear my favorite sexy undies, put on a pair of white pants to go to the mall (w/ no tampons in my purse), jump my husband when he gets home from work, and spend the rest of the day vaccuuming. I've even heard put on a light colored bikini and go to the beach - but it is too cold for that!

I, of course, waited until this morning to check to see if starting lupron on CD 20 or 21 causes a late period and what I've learned is now freaking me out! they say it can take up to 1 to 2 weeks to get AF after starting lupron! eeek...oh, please don't let that happen to me! My mom is coming in on Sunday after taking 2 weeks off from work to watch my dogs while I am away, this will seriously mess up EVERYTHING!

So, pray for me. Never thought I'd say this but I really really need to get AF soon!

Thanks:-)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Yoga and Infertility

The October issue of Yoga Journal has a short little article in it written by a yoga teacher who was experiencing Infertility. It is an interesting article that I've had people reference to me several times, many of them pointing out that that particular yoga teacher never even got to IVF, instead, she got pregnant with a few rounds of IUI (interuterine insemination) using a pill, chlomid. This has been pointed out to me with bitterness on occasion, but I still have to address the benefits of this article from a yoga teacher's perspective. No, she didn't have to go through surgeries and egg retrievals and daily injections but she did have to confront the fact that no matter how much effort we put into taking care of ourselves, our bodies sometimes just don't do what we want them to, and we have to be okay with that.

To go even further, I've had struggles this past year with my own yoga practice and infertility. Most of the time, in yoga communities, subjects like infertility only get addressed by saying that yoga can help with this by decreasing stress and teaching patience (and sometimes working with blocked chakras). The subject is almost never addressed from a medical community perspective because yoga practitioners and teachers tend to shy away from modern medicine. We much prefer to treat ourselves holistically. BUT, when that fails and the odd yoga teacher has to go to an RE and start fertility treatments, she or he starts to feel a disconnect from the community...(you mean you are giving yourself shots of medicine? you are messing with your system! why don't you try treating the whole thing, maybe work on your relationship and try to eat better?). It is very hard to be a member of this community and believe in this for a long time and then have to daily ingest medicines that should help but that you feel causing all these changes in your body. You start to feel less connected to your body and, in my case, I noticed myself practicing less and spending more time trying to "take it easy" and ignoring my body and the changes.

There is something I am very grateful for though - my students have helped me immensely. I may have started to ignore my practice but by including me in their practice routines, my students helped to keep me connected. I would leave in the evening to teach a class, feeling somewhat removed from everyone and everything and they would quickly and with great humanity bring me back. By the end of class, I'd feel connected again and happy for this great position I am in where I can do what I love, have a fun time with wonderful people, and just be a part of something good.

Oh - I've placed a couple of links on the side of the page to a utube video that is hysterical. It is entitled, "innapropriate yoga guy". Some of you will completely "get it" just because you know this guy or have been at a studio where you either have been the subject of his interest or saw someone else...have fun!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Starting a blog

So, I've thought about it and thought about it and, though it may keep me from writing the Great American Novel in my spare time, I am starting a blog. It will probably be short, though I will try to keep it entertaining! It is mainly for those of you who I have told about our journey (and there have been many many of you) who are interested in keeping up with us as we travel across the country for one more (and hopefully our last) IVF!!! So, here it is. I have some work to do on it, so be kind, but I would also love some constructive criticism.

Here we go- I am three days into giving myself the first of many shots. I started lupron for a long protocol IVF cycle on Tuesday, September 23rd. I also started taking .5 mg of dexamethasone, which I have never done before. So, I'm not sure if it was the lupron dosage being higher than I am used to or this new medicine, but I am officially b*tchy already! I have a headache and have been sleeping terribly...but, strangely, I find this comforting since it has never happened before and maybe that means that it will work this time. I will take all the discomfort if we can come out of this with a beautiful baby (or babies!).

I am a few days away from a suppression check at my local RE and then I start stims, go for one more check up here at the end of next week and then hop on a plane to travel to Denver, CO for the rest of my cycle. I'll try to keep everyone informed...or no one if I get no visitors (hey, at least I'll be working on my own mental health!).