Saturday, February 28, 2009

Stim Check #4

So after 7 days of stims, my e2 level is 3,700. My ultrasound this morning still looked great. She asked if I was feeling "full" and sore, as she was pushing on my ovaries, which feel like giant bruises at this I managed to squeak out a "yes." :) I probably sounded like a 12 year old boy whose voice was changing. She said there is a lot of swelling and it was hard to count how many were actually in there because they are so smashed together at this point.

I got my bloodwork results earlier than usual today because it's Saturday and they close earlier. :) They are lowering my dosage of Gonal F tonight from 150 to 37.5, but other dosages stay the same. Still taking the Ganirelix tonight with the Gonal F and 75 IU of Menopur in the morning. I got the OHHS speech this morning because of the number of follicles and my E2 level being so high already, so I have to take it easy as much as possible and stay hydrated. I had mild OHHS with our first IVF and it was awful so I will do whatever they tell me to do to avoid it this time. So 17 shots & 5 blood tests down and about 8 shots and 2 blood tests to go. Then retrieval! There is light at the end of the tunnel. :)

Adam is feeling much better, but I have managed to come down with the cold he's been fighting. Doctor's orders are to stay in today, push fluids and rest. I have to do everything possible to keep it from getting worse. So, we're pretty boring today.

We want to send a special thank you to the Antonsens and the Cliffords for sending us a surprise package that arrived today with some yummy goodies inside. They are delicious!!!!!! THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!

I'm an emotional mess these days.....can you say hormones? Everytime we receive these special treats from our friends or receive an e-mail or a phone call, I am overwhelmed with emotion, usually start bawling, and feel so lucky to have such a wonderful support system. I can't thank you enough!

Love you all!

Thanks for being here!

T & A

Friday, February 27, 2009

Stim Check #3

So everything is still going well. Today is my 7th day of meds. So after 6 days of stims, my ultrasound went well this morning. Still showing about 19 eggs. My bloodwork showed my E2 level this morning was 2600 so it was a nice jump from yesterday. I was instructed to continue the same dosages for tonight. I did my shots and we decided to get out and have some dinner. It was nice to get out, but my ovaries are happy to be back in my comfy and loose jammies and relaxing at the condo. Adam seems to be feeling a little better which is good because he was told today that he isn't allowed to take any medications....except Tylenol. They don't want his swimmers to be all drugged up and out of it when it's time to get their job done. We are doing a procedure called ICSI.....for those of you who are lucky enough to NOT understand what that basically means they inject a sperm into each egg to fertilize it, as opposed to putting a bunch of swimmers in a petri dish and letting nature take it's course. The funny thing is the way they ultimately choose which swimmers are the "chosen" ones. They are put through a battery of tests......kind of like sperm boot camp. The ones left standing...or I should say still swimming in a straight line with one head and one tail, will win and be chosen to fertilize the egg. It's crazy.

Anyway, that's it for now. We're exhausted and have a really early appointment tomorrow morning for my daily wanding and sticking so we'll probably go to bed pretty soon.

Thanks for being here!

T & A

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stim Check #2 (@ CCRM)

We arrived in Denver last night. Nothing exciting to report. The landing was pretty rough due to some high winds, so as soon as I got off the plane, I puked. I think it was a combination of feeling awful lately and the topsy turvy landing. Anyway, once I threw up I felt better. :) Great info. right?

We went to CCRM this morning for our first stim check with them. I have 10 follicles on my right ovary and about 9 on my left. No wonder I feel like I have to pick my ovaries up off the floor every time I get up. They are hoping to get at least 19 eggs out of me at retrieval. Keep your fingers crossed! The more the merrier! My blood work came back at e2 level of 1760, which is a good jump since Tuesday. I got my IVF physical out of the way today as well. When the nurse apologized that she was going to have to prick my finger to check my iron count, I started laughing. Seriously?

Adam got to visit "the room" again......I believe he described it as a prison cell with some excitement last time. He had to give his "back-up" sample today. They freeze this one just in case something happens between now and the retrieval day. They will ultimately use his fresh sample he will be providing on retrieval day though. I had him sneak the camera in to get a few pictures....nothing X-rated of course, just a Hustler magazine in the background. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait to see the pics until we get back to Chicago though. We'll do a little montag when we get home.

We also met with the genetics counselor this afternoon for 90 minutes to go over the Micro-Array testing we will be doing on our embryos. Adam and I both had to give blood for that as well because they freeze it and ship it off with the biopsied cells. It's their way of distinguishing paternity and maternity to make sure the embryos are eventually transferred into the right couple. That's refreshing to know. If I eventually give birth to a baby with anything but blonde hair and blue/green eyes.....something's up. Adam wasn't thrilled about his blood test, but got over it when the nurse reminded him that I had blood drawn TWICE today, got my finger pricked and have to give myself 3 shots today. :)

I actually feel awful for him today. He's not feeling well at all and has come down with a really bad sinus infection / cold. He looks and sounds awful. I'm staying away from him, that's the last thing I need right now. The anethesiologist would not be happy if I showed with a cold for the retrieval. :)

So, we go back tomorrow morning. I have another ultrasound and more bloodwork and I'm up to 3 shots a day now. The good news is that I'm progressing so well, the retrieval will most likely be pushed up to Tuesday now instead of Wednesday.

I want to say a special thank you to our friends Brian and Kristy for taking the time to put together a care package including some research on fun things to do while we're here. That's SO sweet! It was such a nice surprise to receive when we got back to the condo after a long day.

Thanks again to all of our friends and family for all of your love and support! We are so lucky to have all of you cheering us on!

Breaking news.....Adam just announced he will be doing a post of his own later stay tuned for that!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stim Check #1

So after 3 days of meds, I had my first monitoring appointment this morning. My ultrasound looked good with 6 good sized follicles (an egg is inside each follicle for those of who are not up on the infertility lingo :)) and about 7-8 smaller ones that will hopefully catch up eventually. My E2 level was 776 today which is a GREAT start according to the nurse. I am definitely starting to feel the pressure, heaviness and pains in my ovaries now. I am also peeing every ovaries are swollen, therefore they push on my bladder etc. etc. Similar to the uterus pushing on the bladder during pregnancy I've heard. :) So I've got that going for me.......which is nice. I keep thinking that all of this has definitely prepped me for pregnancy and childbirth. Hopefully, I'll be like "seriously? this is it?" Probably not, but a girl can hope.

We're just about packed and set to fly out tomorrow afternoon. I can't wait to go through carry-on security with my bag of fun.......needles, syringes, alcohol wipes, a cooler to keep my meds cool, vials of drugs. Should be a good time. I had my nurse e-mail me a letter I can carry with me just in case they give me a hard time. If you see us on the news as the couple who tried to board the plane with's all legit, I promise.

I had a massage today at my chiropractor which was WONDERFUL and very relaxing. I cleaned the house today too. I have this wierd thing where I can't go on vacation if the house isn't clean. I just love coming home to a clean house after being away. I'm starting to get sad about leaving my "girls," but I know they will be in good hands at my parent's house. They are so spoiled over there. :)

An update on Tenley. We took her back to the vet last night for a follow-up and the vet thinks she's improved about 10%. Her pupil reaction is a little quicker than it was so we're moving in the right direction. I've never seen her so calm at the vet before. We usually have to hold her and comfort her up on the table for the vet, but this time she just sat down and relaxed on the table. It was almost a defeated..."let's get this over with" look. She looked completely disgusted. We're holding off on the opthamologist for now because our vet doesn't think it's necessary to spend thousands of dollars at this point when she seems to be getting a little better. She can see enough now to get around. When we throw her toy now she can see the general direction it goes (which is a big improvement), but still can't see it when it's right in front of her. She has to smell for it. It's so sad to watch. Her eyes also look really bug-eyed still. I know, I know, Pugs have big eyes anyway, but her eyes are really swollen and are definitely bigger than normal. Poor baby. She is on a daily medication now to keep the swelling down. We'll take her back in when we get back from Denver for another follow-up and if things haven't improved, we'll take her to the opthamologist. What's another couple of thousand dollars at this point? :) That damn rubber chicken she got for Christmas........thanks Santa! (Adam :) )

I've had a few questions regarding why we're not doing the transfer right away. We're doing what they call a "freeze all." We are trying to grow our embryos out to 5 days where they are called "blastocysts." Once the embryos reach blastocyst stage....which is tough to do in a lab, the cells that will eventually become the placental cells will be biopsied and sent out. It takes about 6 weeks to get the results back. This testing is called CGH testing, which tests all 23 pairs of chromosomes. The test is ideal for us because of our miscarriages and our failed previous cycles. Once we get the results back, then we "prep" for the transfer, which will probably be in early June. Hope that's a good enough explanation for now. :)

I can't thank everyone enough for all of the e-mails we've received wishing us well. We have the best families and friends anyone could ask for. I bought a new laptop bag yesterday and even the Macy's salesperson said he would pray for us. How cool is that.

Love you and thanks for being here!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

To clarify

'Heavy post" warning.......

I just re-read my line about God abandoning me and I wanted to clarify. I actually started crying when I re-read it because I don't think my thoughts came out the right way. I am not an overly-religious person, but I do believe in God with all of my heart. Talk about emotional huh?....must be all the drugs. :)

Anyway, what I meant to say was that over the last 4 years, my relationship with God has been tested. I'm sure it's a similar test that anyone dealing with anything that seems unfair has been through, and yes there have been times where I have felt completely abandoned by him. Infertility is not fair and has left me with a lot of questions. I mean, why me? One in every 10 couples goes through why did Adam and I have to be in the category who is the 1 of 10? I have wanted nothing more than to be a Mom my entire life and Adam will make an amazing why us? Just because I have questions for God, doesn't mean I have lost my faith in him. To be honest, if anything, all of this has started to bring me closer to God again. I find myself praying a lot more and I also find that I am so much more thankful and AWARE of all of the good things he HAS given me in my life. My adorable and loving husband, my strong and close family, my unbelievable friends, my dogs who I love so much, my job, my home.....etc. etc. I am a VERY lucky girl. I just get frustrated when someone is given the precious gift of a child and they take it for granted....or worse, they abuse or abandon the child.....and then the anger and frustration builds up inside me and cuts me to the core with pain. Infertility is such an open wound. Everytime someone announces a pregnancy or has a baby, it hurts. Every time I see someone who is pregnant, it hurts. Baby showers....hurt. Don't get me wrong, I am genuinely and honestly happy for all of my friends and family who are blessed with a child, but sometimes, well, it just hurts and the questions start all over again. Anyway, God and I are on good terms lately and all I can do is have faith in him at this point, so even though I don't understand why Adam and I are being put through this journey.....I still have my faith in him and I guess that's all the matters. :)

Sorry to get so "heavy," but it felt really good to write this post. :)

2 days In

So I started my shots yesterday. I'm taking 75IU of Menopur in the morning and 150IU of Gonal F in the evening so far. I'm also taking a steroid called Dexamthesone. As we go along, I will be adding a 3rd shot everyday, but not yet. :) I wasn't happy that the first shot I did, was bleeding pretty badly. I consider myself somewhat of an expert shot giver / taker and this was definitely not my best work. The rest have been fine though. :)

Two days down and about 8 more to go. I can definitely feel some twinges and pains in my ovaries which is a good sign that there is some activity going on in there. Hopefully there are quite a few eggs growing in there and my ovaries are slowly waking up. I compare the medications to coffee. It gives you that much needed jolt of energy to get going. I imagine my little ovaries drinking some gonal F and menopur out of their little Starbucks mug.

The more eggs the merrier. Our first IVF, we retrieved 19 eggs. Our 2nd IVF, we retrieved 18 eggs and our 3rd IVF we also retrieved 18 eggs. If there's one thing I'm good at in all of this, I'm pretty consistant. I am on lower dosages this time because I seem to stim really fast which is not such a good thing. Stimming too fast could affect the quality of your eggs, so I'm happy we're trying to slow things down a little bit this time. My only concern now is that we won't have as many eggs form because of the lower dosages. The other difference is that with my previous IVF's, I took my shots all at the same time every evening. Now, I am taking one every 12 hours essentially. Who knows what will happen.

The only thing I do know is that all of this is out of my hands and I just have to go with it. I need to have confidence in my Dr., in myself, Adam, and most importantly, God.....even though at times it's felt like he has abandoned me completely. I know this isn't true though and I just need to have faith.

I'll update again after my stim check on Tuesday.

In other news, Adam and I had a very scary night on Friday night. Our 5-year old Pug, Tenley, was playing with her toys one minute and completely blind the next. It was awful. She was shaking and couldn't walk because she suddenly couldn't see and was scared. We took her to the emergency vet, who told us her eyes were completely fogged over and he could see blood behind her eyes, along with a "tortured vessel." He also mentioned something about swelling of her brain and asked if she had suffered any trauma like hitting her head on something. We couldn't think of anything. They did bloodwork to rule out kidney or liver failure, seizures, diabetes etc. The bloodwork came back normal. So they sent us home, me bawling uncontrollably, and told us we should take her to a veterinary opthamologist. It was a LONG night for all of us. Adam and I couldn't sleep because we kept checking on her. We called our regular vet the next morning and they got us in right away as an emergency. Our vet looked at her and noticed swelling on her eyes too. He gave her a steroid shot and some antibiotics in an IV to help with the swelling. He also mentioned trauma and that's when it hit us. She has this rubber chicken toy she got for X-mas that is pretty heavy. Anyway, she loves to shake it.....not just shake it, but violently shake it. She holds it by the neck and whips the rest of it around...sounds lovely doesn't it? It's the hunter in her. She had hit Adam and I with it a few times while she was playing with it and shaking it, and it actually really hurts. Our vet thinks she may have hit herself "just right" with it while shaking it and caused temporary vision loss. The opthamologist wasn't open over the weekend, so we are just waiting to see how she is tomorrow when we take her back to her regular vet for a follow-up. She still can't see very well, but she can see enough now where she can get around etc. We won't know if she caused permanent damage for awhile. Anyway, it's been a very emotional and stressful weekend. I'll keep you posted after her follow-up appointment tomorrow. Basically, our family needs prayers all around.

Thanks for being here!!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's a Go!

AF flew in on her broom, pissed off as ever yesterday.

Since she arrived yesterday, it would be considered CD1. I had my CD2 ultrasound and bloodwork this morning. My u/s looked great. No cysts, antral count of 18 and thin lining......exactly what it's supposed to look like. My bloodwork results came back this afternoon. My E2 level was 51.....apparently they like to see it 50 or 51 was "no big deal" at all according to my nurse....close enough to 50. :)

So the fun begins tomorrow morning. I will be taking my Menopur injection every morning and my Gonal F injection every night. I will also take the Dexamethazone every night as well. My nurse said it may cause dizziness so to take it at night. So basically, I'm going to be a severely bloated, bruised, crabby, dizzy bitch for the next 2 weeks. It's a good thing I'm not a big complainer (yeah right).........Adam is such a lucky guy.

I will take the above injections Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Tuesday morning will be my first monitoring u/s and bloodwork. My Dr. will call me with any dosage changes on my meds etc. on Tuesday afternoon. Then we fly out on Wednesday! Yes! Wednesday, February 25th is our official travel date to Denver. We have to be at CCRM on Thursday, February 26th and pretty much every day after that until retrieval. My estimated egg retrieval date is Wednesday, March 4th and we would fly home on March 5th.

Tenley and Cooper's reservations have been confirmed at hotel "Grandma and Grandpa's" in Geneva. I can't tell you how much easier it is to leave "our girls" when we know they are having so much fun at my parent's house. We also confirmed our limo to the airport......his name is Bill.......aka Dad. :) Thank you for everything and we love you Mom and Dad!

I thought I would include a picture of our babies. :)

We also confirmed the condo we will be staying at in downtown Denver. We decided to stay in a condo instead of a hotel so it would be more of a "home away from home".

So we are booking our flights tonight and planning a few sight-seeing adventures. I will keep you posted as we go. :)

Thanks for being here!!!!!


T & A

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Drugs anyone?

Let me start by apologizing for not posting lately. To be honest, there really hasn't been much to update. I highly doubt anyone wanted to hear about Adam and I taking our 2 pills a day of antibiotics and finishing them. First, we put the pill in our mouth and washed it down with water.....then, ....blah, blah, blah....boring.

We celebrated my 32nd birthday on the 3rd, but to be honest, all it did was remind me that I am celebrating yet another birthday and am still babyless....see?.....completely depressing, which is why I spared all of you with the details.

So, some exciting drugs arrived today! I am torn between 2 emotions.....excitement and dread.

Excitement because we are starting again and are hopefully on our way to becoming parents. Dread because I am reminded of everything that comes with these drugs, including:
  • Bruises and welts all over my stomach
  • Bruises all over my arms from the daily bloodwork

  • Gaining 10 lbs.

  • Feeling flu-ish

  • No fast movements because of my aching and swollen ovaries

  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Bloatedness, bloatedness, and more bloatedness.
Then I get excited again, because these drugs also bring:
  • The possibility of becoming parents
  • The creation of our little embabies
  • Hope
  • Dreams
  • Closeness and unconditional love with my hubby as we go through this together.
On another note, I have saved every syringe from every injection I have given myself or Adam has given me in our past 3 IVF's and IUI's. So I laid all approximately 130 of them out and took a picture. Someday, when our child / children are being punks, I want to show them what we went through to bring them into this world. They probably won't care since teenagers think the world revolves around them, but it will remind Adam and I of the very special appreciation we will have for our child / children that we worked so hard for and we will feel that much more blessed.

Here are a few pics:

We will be adding about 100 more if I end up pregnant and about 40 more if not. This is because if I do get knocked up....oh please God, please let there be a baby at the end of this one....I will continue a daily progesterone injection in the rear....administered by Dr. Adam himself, until I am at least 12 weeks pregnant.

I have to say that Dr. Adam has gotten very good at giving me my progesterone shots in the butt. Sometimes, I think he enjoys it...a little too much. It's so sad that since I always feel so crappy from the meds, the only action the poor guy gets is a quick glimpse of my butt as he jams a needle into it and massages it afterwards to spread the medicine out. It just doesn't get much hotter than that does it? It's okay to be jealous guys.

My af is supposed to show up on February 18th. I can hear her knocking though and am thinking she may show up early, so we'll see. We will travel to Denver about 7 days after she shows up.

I will let you know when she shows up....she better be on time because I am in no mood for tardiness.

Thanks for being here!