Wednesday, December 31, 2008

IUI #7 is a-go!!!

I just got the call from my nurse. IUI # 7 is scheduled for Saturday morning at 8 am. I will stim one more night (u/s tech was right), trigger on Thursday night, with IUI the next day.

She confirmed that I was ok with the # of follicles. Yep, sign me up please:-) I have a 15, 14.5, 14, and 10, with 4 others in between. So it looks like I'll have 3 mature, which is fantastic to me.

This will be my last IUI. If it fails, we'll head right into IVF #2, assuming Dr. K won't make me wait a cycle.

Getting dressed...

just to get undressed.
This is the most annoying part of early morning monitoring for me. I mean, it's not like I can go without a shower, and then run home and get ready for work. I have to go to these appts ready to go to work. I got all dressed today (in new clothes from Santa) and look pretty darn cute, thank you very much:-) It just felt like I got dressed, and then 5 minutes later was taking off my clothes again. It's just frustrating sometimes.

Anyhoo...I now have EIGHT measurable follicles. The biggest is 15, smallest is 10, and they are several that are between 13 and 14.5. The u/s tech (the one I don't like) said she thought they might stim me one more day. I doubt it. As always, b/w will tell the whole story, so I'll be anxiously waiting for that call.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Results from monitoring this morning

Well. The increase in my meds appears to be working. I had 6 follies measuring over 10, with 2 in the lead, and 2 at the back of the line measuring 10. My E2 was 564. (To compare, last cycle when I only had one mature follicle my E2 only got to about 180 at my last b/w). So there should definately be more than one ready to go:-) I'll go back on Wed morning, after two more nights at my increased dose. My nurse thinks I'll trigger Wed night with IUI on Friday. I actually can't believe Dr. K isn't lowering for these last 2 nights. I suppose now I'm a little afraid that she'll re-think things and try to talk me out of this IUI if there are multiple mature follies. I say bring it on:-)

We also got the results of Dan's sperm freezing. Now that I'm thinking about the #s the nurse read me, it's not adding up though. I thought she said he had just over 98 million guys, with about 78 million being motile. But then she said we had 6 vials frozen, with 40 million in each one. That is what isn't adding up. oh well. All I care about is that there's enough for IUI #7 (plus we still have one vial frozen from before this most recent freeze). that should also hopefully get us through IVF #2.

Putting it in perspective

I got to visit Amy and her wonderfully beautiful little Mattie yesterday. First of all, Amy looks fabulous. You'd never guess there was a baby in there 9 days ago. It is amazing.

We were talking about her induction/delivery, and the fact that Matt got to be there for it. We also talked about our mutual struggle with infertility. She said something that just stopped me. A fact I knew was true, probably, but I often lose sight of. She said "I thought that was the hardest thing I'd ever have to go through."

When you are in the trenches of infertility, it's 1) hard to imagine that you will ever get out, and 2) impossible to believe that this is not the worst thing that can happen to you. But really, it's not. There *are* worse things, it's just so hard to imagine what those might be, b/c some days...I feel like this is just sucking the life out of me. I hate that it has done that to me, but it has. Don't get me wrong. Some days are great, and easily managable, but there isn't a day (probably an hour) that goes by that I don't think about infertility and wonder if I'll ever see the other side.

Amy really put it all in perspective though, and I am thankful for that.

I also realized that Mattie was the first baby I've held in over 15 months. And I loved every minute of it:-)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Two follicles so far!

The title of this post isn't so exciting, but *is* accurate. I went in today for my cd7 monitoring appt. I have 2 measurable follies on the R ovary, and a "group" of smallish ones on the left, and it looked like one of those in the group was taking the lead.

Here's to hoping and praying for THREE this time, although I will settle for two. Well actually, as we all know, I'll settle for one...but the more the merrier. The increased Gonal-F seems to be doing it's job (thank you very much me, for begging Dr. K to increase it:-)) I'll stay on 150 IU's tonight and tomorrow and go back on Monday morning.

I'm guessing IUI #7 will be Jan 1 or 2.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cup o' sperm in the bra, anyone???

I know a few of you are guilty of this, you HAVE to be:-) That was me this morning. Dan's "job" this morning went off without a hitch, ahead of schedule actually so neither of us stressed too much, although last night was tense, with the thoughts of what needed to be done today.

It is freezing here, literally. Usually, I hold the cup between my legs for the car ride to Dr K's office, but I was afraid even that wouldn't keep it at the right temp. So in my bra it went. ANd it arrived safe and sound. Phew. Dan said "I hope there's a baby in there." My response was, "I have no doubt there's a baby in there, it's my uterus I'm worried about."

Anyhoo...they will wash the sperm, and then freeze it into vials of about 10 million. Last time (last Dec!) Dan had to do this we got 11 vials, which was WAY more than expected. I don't expect that will happen again, but it would be great to get enough for this IUI + a few more cycles. We typically use 2 vials per IUI.

In addition to dropping off this lovely specimin, I had my cd3 u/s and b/w today. All looked good. I have 25+ antral follies just ready to start growing. Between u/s and b/w I saw Dr. K in the hall. I wasn't sure she would recognize me (baseball cap and no make-up thanks to Dan eagerness to do his thing), but she did. She gave me a hug, told me she was sorry about the last cycle and asked how I was. I just got so darn emotional. Once in the car I cried, but I held it together in the office. I did ask her if she would increase my Gonal since last cycle only gave me one mature follicle. She reminded my nicely that one is all they hope for, but that she would review my chart prior to calling me with instructions.

She DID increase my meds, to 150 Gonal, which is up from 112.5 last cycle. I'll take that for 4 days, and go back in Sat morning to see what's going on. I suspect if we see more growth than with last cycle she'll probably lower it back to 112.5. I would be fine with that, I just wanted a little extra jump start which she thankfully gave me.

ANd I have decided that the next step is IVF #2. No more IUI's for me.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

On to IUI #7

AF showed in full force this morning. Believe it or not, this is a GOOD thing. Last cycle was my first cycle post endo removal, and I spotted about 6 days, which is the norm for me. This cycle, I only spotted 3 days. I will look at this as progress:-)

Anyhoo...I'll call tomorrow for my cd3 u/s and b/w on Tuesday, and we'll be off and running again. IUI #7 would be around Jan 2. This is assuming that we are able to freeze more of Dan's sperm. After IUI #6 we only had one vial left, and we typically need 2 to get enough for one IUI. So hopefully he can do his thing on Tuesday too...and then that will be off my mind. Let's hope so.

Otherwise, it's been a busy weekend. I'm jumping from project to project today...so not getting anything DONE, but at least making progress on lots of things.

I talked Dan into getting our pics taken with Santa Paws at Petsmart this weekend. Here's the outcome. I like it! Sierra was such a good girl:-)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The spotting has started...

Yep, you read right. I started spotting yesterday, which means IUI #6 is a bust. Just lovely. I'm not upset. It is what it is. I had low (very low) expectations for this cycle to work...so it looks like I did a great job in meeting that expectation. My "test" day is this Saturday...but at least the spotting will save a pregnancy test. And no...I have no hope that this spotting is implantation, or any other indication of pregnancy.

I am not pregnant. Again.

Thanks to (another!) generous nestie, I'll be able to do one more IUI cycle prior to moving to IVF #2. Do I have much hope it will work? No. But it's worth a try.

I signed up for Flex Spending again for 2009, which means that $450 will be taken from my paycheck each month...to be spent on medical expenses. At least if we have to do IVF again, there's 5K that can be applied immediately. I did the same thing this year...so won't miss (too much) that $450 each month.

As for my 2nd opinion appt with Dr. S.ilber...I have decided that I really didn't like him. I will take his main 2 ideas to Dr. k and see what she says. It seems that some some sort of sedation at ET is fairly common, so I don't imagine she would put up much of an argument with that.

On to IUI #7.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

my 2nd opinion appt

It's now 8 pm, and I'm just now really ready to think about my appt with Dr. S.ilber. First of all, my appt was at 3:30 and I didn't get in until after 5 pm. It was only after telling the secretary that I wanted to reschedule that they got me in. I was told "he likes to take his time with all patients and doesn't like to rush."

I FINALLY get in. The first question from him is "where is your husband." Umm...he has to work. He had planned on coming, but at the last minute he couldn't. The second question is...have you had a problem with transfers before. My answer: YES!

He thinks the ET processmay be my big issue (as far as IVF is concerned), b/c of my severely tilted uterus. . I told him about the problem Dr. R had at the fresh ET, and also about Dr. K's trouble with my FET, despite 2 trial embryo transfers. He explained (much more eloquently that I) that the cathetar can be similiar to an IUD (which obviously prevents pregnancy). When my uterus is poked so much, in an effort to get in, in can actually hinder implantion. His solution: sedate me or almost completely knock me out for an ER, so that my muscles are relaxed and so it would take little effort to insert the cathetar.

Other thoughts: He suggested mini-IVF which is essentially using Clomid for an extended period of time, and supplementing with FSH at the end. I told him that Clomid and I don't get along well. He asked why, and was surprised at my Clomid issues like hot flashes, night sweats, etc. He said it was usually the opposite, and that injectibles usually caused people the most problems. This immediately set me on alert, b/c I've always heard (by women who have experienced both!) the opposite.

He said if we do conventional IVF he would stick with a similar protocol to what Dr. K did. BUT, instead of doing 150 Follistim (a relatively low dose) all the way through, he would start out higher, and then lower it. Apparently, the FSH you take at the beginning of a cycle impacts the most, and the FSH you take toward the end doesn't do much of anything. He said if he started to see I was over-responding with the higher dose he would have me take HCG to even me out a bit.

If he had done my first IVF, with the same resulting embryos, he would have given me a 70% success rate. He also said that his protocol for freezing embryos (vitrification) gives them an almost equal FET success as with a fresh cycle. He said he can see a time when all ETs will be FET.

Essentially, he said he would be in charge of my ET (under some sort of sedation), would transfer 2, and freeze the rest with vitrification.

Overall, I would say he passive aggressively put down the WU RE's. He told me he didn't understand why they did all those tests. I asked what tests and he said the lap. I felt the need to defend Dr. K by saying I had requested it and she hadn't felt the need. He also pretty much said I had wasted tons of time with IUIs. I reminded him I was oop and he didn't say much then. He also didn't approve of their freezing method.

I also asked him about acupuncture. He said he didn't think it did much good,except to relax. He's a bigger proponent of muscle relaxation excercises.

I don't know what to think. I think I will take this to Dr. K to get her thoughts. I agree with his theory about the ET and my severely tilted uterus. Transfers haven't been easy. I'm a bit overwhelmed. He's at a hospital that is significantly farther away from us. Not that proximity is the only issue. I don't know. I didn't get a bad vibe, but also didn't get a good one. It just makes me wonder....if I wasn't happy with Dr. K how would I feel after being given all of this new info.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Now waiting...

I'm in the 13day wait! See, this is how not into this cycle I actually am. I didn't come rushing home yesterday to post on my blog, or the nest (although I finally did update my facebook status late yesterday afternoon).

IUI #6 was yesterday. 14.5 million spermies went swimming for that one mature follie. Certainly one of them can find it, right?!?!?! I came home, Dan made me biscuits and gravy, and I took a LONG nap. As usual, I can test 14 days from yesterday, which puts it at Dec 22. Much too close to Christmas if you ask me. Not sure if I'll test or not.

Anyhoo...thanks for all the good thoughts.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Triggering tonight

IUI #6 will be Saturday. I only have one follicle, but I will hold out hope that it's a good one. After all, my endo is gone; maybe I am reproductively "healthy" now. Fertile girls get pregnant with one egg all the time, so why not me?!?!?

Anyhoo...I trigger tonight, and the IUI will be about 8:30 Saturday morning. I'm glad it's Saturday b/c that means Dr. K will probably do it. I'd certainly feel more optimistic if she was doing it. Not that I don't trust the nurses...

I think I may have enough Gonal-F for another IUI (thanks to another nestie:-)). If it comes to that, I'm going to ask Dr. K to up my dosage.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I am so done with this

My day did not start off well. I went for my 7:40 monitoring appt. Apparently my two follicles on Monday are actually just one. I won't go into details, but the tech today (who is the best and I trust) thinks the tech on Monday made an error. So, my follicle that was 11 on Monday is now 14.5. No others in sight. There are 18 that aren't measurable (meaning they are too small) b/t both ovaries. Tech thinks I will have an IUI on Saturday. According to her, she hopes "I have a few more sprout up." Yeah, me too.

WTF. I am just so done with this. All of this. This issue also proves my point that I respond waaay better to Follistim than Gonal-F. I'd have 3-4 mature follicles on Follistim. This just sucks. Can I say it again? I am done with it. If this cycle doesn't work I really just want to head back to IVF #2. My chances are so much better, and we know how I will respond.

Maybe they will increase Gonal a bit in the next few days? I will sit here and anxiously await my nurses call. I really will not feel optimistic if I have only one mature follicle. Mother f***er.

UPDATE: My nurse just called. My E2 is up to 121 (needs to be b/t 150-200 to indicate a mature follicle) I'll keep Gonal-F at the same dose tonight and go back tomorrow for more monitoring. So much for an IUI on Fri or Sat. She thinks the earliest the IUI will be is Monday. That gives me a bit of hope that I might get another follie to pop up.

I'm still completely done with this. Totally and completely.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Crazy day

Our wonderful furry friend Sierra got into the raisin bran this morning. I'd heard that raisins/grapes were bad for dogs, but I'd never really looked into it. It is indeed true. They can cause renal failure. By the time I realized I left the bag where she could get, she'd already eaten what was left (about 1/4 of the bag). I freaked out and called the vet. She instructed me to give her hydrogen peroxide, which would make her throw up. 1) I had no hydrogen peroxide, 2) how was I going to give it to her. I went to the pharmacy, got the peroxide and ended up using one of my ginormous PIO needles to get it down her throat. Like clockwork, she threw up about 10 minutes later.

I talked to the vet later in the day. All appeared fine, but she offered to give her charcoal to clear anything out that might not have been thrown up. I figured better safe than sorry, so off we went to the vet to get her charcoaled. Let me tell you...that stuff looked Yummy (sarcasm here). However, now all should be well, except for some black poo that they told me to expect the next few days.

In IF news, I had my u/s and b/w this morning. E2 is up to 81 and I had 2 measurable follicles. I'll continue on same dose of meds tonight and tomorrow and go back Wed for another check. I looked back at my last 2 injectible cycles. If they are representative, I can expect to trigger on Wed or Thur, with IUI on Fri or Sat.

BTW--I think I decided against the tree:-(