Friday, February 27, 2009

"Why can't we just have one kid?"

This is the question I get from Dan last night. The odd thing was, we weren't talking about babies, kids, IF, IVF, nothing. We were watching Amer.ican Id.ol, and this question comes out of the blue. I asked what made him ask that question. He said he just doesn't understand why all his friends have kids, and we just want one and can't. It's statements like this that make me realize that big manly man Dan wants this as much as I do, and is struggling right along with me. It upset me to hear him say it, like I felt like I am letting him down. But at the same time, it's nice to know we're in this together. I mean, physically, of course we're in it together, but emotionally...it's a little harder to see how it affects him.

Stims start tonight! I'm trying to plan little fun things for myself over the next week, something to get me through each day. Once stims start, it's really all downhill and my psychic prediction of March 12 for an ER date is growing closer.

I'm finding myself getting a little optimistic, too optimistic in my opinion. For example, I actually made up the image in my head last night of the nurse calling me with a positive pregnancy test. What would I do? What would I say? Would I cry? Would I be speechless? I guess I'd rather plan bad situations in my head so that I can prepare for the worst. Lord, that will be a horrible day if it's negative.

I've been wearing my Angie bracelet. I've been carrying around Fertility Person. Today, my new supervisor gave me a little set of fertility candles. Very sweet thought. It caught me off guard a bit. But it's so nice to have a new person on my side, rooting for me.

In very exciting news, someone may be interested in adopting Sally!!! We're supposed to meet her on Sunday, and if her current dog gets along with Sally then she will take her. This would be a huge load off of us. Neither of us wants to take her back to the shelter, but we also can't keep her.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm supressed!

I had my supression check yesterday which means that they drew blood to check my E2 and did an u/s to make sure my ovaries were calm. All looked good. My antral follicle count was 26, which is good. That is basically a count of all the little follies I have in there right now, but really I don't think it means much, b/c they could retrieve more or less than 26 (probably alot less!), so I really don't get the point.

My E2 was below 20. I guess they don't need to get more specific than that. This proves my point that I am currently operating at the same estrogen level as a menopausal woman. I found this stat on line.

"In menopause, the estradiol levels typically are less than 32 pg/ml and often <10."

Yep, that's me...going through a quickie menopause at 34. Fun stuff:-/

Of course now that I have one IVF under my belt I will obsessively compare this cycle with that one. Let's start now, shall we? My E2 at supression check with IVF #1 was 28; this time it's less than 20. I'm attributing this difference to the BCP that I took this time. Good/bad/doesn't matter? I have no idea.

I start stims tomorrow night. 150 IUs from Fri-Mon, and then go back on Tues for more b/w.

I had the talk with my new boss yesterday and all went well, so that's off my plate. I finished our taxes (and we get money back!) so that's done also. It's nice to be able to cross stuff off the list.

Wow, this post seems really choppy and garbled to me. I don't seem to be making much of a point. I guess that is indicative of my mental health right now:-)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


First of all, I'm still in a funk. I cannot shake this. Before I go into that though, I wanted to post a little saying that has been getting me through. I've been repeating it like a mantra:-) Stephanie sent it to me as flair on Facebook, but I can't seem to copy the button here. She sent it a few weeks ago, and it's been really important to me (thanks Steph!). It sums up my feelings very well. I will get through this, I HAVE to get through this.

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

Now...on to my continued funk and blah-ness. I slept almost all night last night, meaning from 6 pm on. Dan said "wow you were really sleeping!" My head was pounding like a drum after my last meeting, but I made it to the end of the day and went home and crashed. My E2 should be bottoming out tomorrow, so I'm sure that's what it is, but depression on top of a migraine that won't go away is oh so fun.

I talked to my nurse this morning to be sure it's ok to take Tynelol. I took 6 extra strength ones yesterday and she said it was fine. At this point, I can also take some Motrin. Once I start stimming though, it's back to Tylenol only. She also asked if I have a history of migraines (yes), so apparently that makes it worse too. Lovely. Thanks grandma for passing that on to me:-) I also found out that even if my supression check goes well tomorrow, I have to continue at the same 20 IUs of Lupron I've been taking. That won't decrease until Friday, when I add Follistim to the protocol. This means that I can expect the headache to hang around for a few more days.

So that's my life. Headaches, hot flashes and being on the verge of tears. Sounds great huh?! What am I going to do if this doesn't work? Seriously. I don't know how much more I have in me. I know once the hormone level adjusts I'll be feeling more normal, but what will I do if this fails too? I can't go there...but I can't NOT go there.

I feel like I'm a roulette marble that chooses red, while everyone's money is on black. Does that make sense? I just don't think I'm ever going to win at this. Win = a live "take-home" baby.

Monday, February 23, 2009

so blah...

I am feeling so blah today. I had a really relaxing weekend, especially yesterday. I watched a bit of TV, walked the dogs, worked on a new blanket, finished one book and started a new one. I was actually looking forward to work today. Well...I get here...and...not so much. I've been staring at my computer screen all day, looking at my calendar, knowing I have 2 big meetings this afternoon (one is in 20 minutes), and I can't get motivated to prepare. Not that I have alot to prepare...but it is so not like me to walk into a meeting with nothing.

I just don't care today. About much of anything. The Lupron is kicking my butt with the headaches. I've been a walking migraine for the past several days. Not really bad, just bad enough to be annoying. Plus, I'm sleeping on a new pillow and my neck is hurting.

I've eaten over half a bag of Starburst jellybeans today. I feel a stomachache coming on. I want nothing more to crawl in bed with Sierra and just veg the rest of the day, until my alarm goes off in the AM.

We will probably take Sally back to St.ray Re.scue. She is not behaving herself, and hasn't been for several days. It's obvious she's been beaten by a man, as she has started growling at Dan, mostly at night, and usually when something he does wakes her up from a deep sleep. He's not the most patient person anyway, and I just don't have the motivation/desire to help her work through this. I just want my quiet condo with 4 paws, not 8 running around. I hate that we will take her back, but it's stressing me out and that's not good.

My supression check is Wed so I'm counting down the minutes for that. But at the same time, I just don't care. WTH is wrong with me? I'm completely ambivilent about everything going on in my life right now.

And...I have to have the IVF talk with a new supervisor this week. I'm working on a few new projects 50% of my time, and so have a new "boss." I'm sure it will be fine, but it's such a hard conversation to bring up. I know I don't have to tell her, but to me, it's just easier to explain why I will need time off in March, but won't know until 36 hours before what those dates are, instead of calling in sick day of ER. It's less stress for me to do it this way.

Back to my ambivelent, unmotivated world...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

happy due date to me...

I've been so incredibly busy today, I just now realized today is Feb 18, which would have been my due date for a singleton, had IVF #1 worked. Had IVF #1 worked (with twins!) I would have been due Jan 27, so I would already have had at least 3 weeks of mommy-hood.

But here I am again, getting ready to feel like a human pin cushion whose sense of modesty will get thrown out the window once again. Who am I kidding though. My sense of modesty is LONG gone, and those who really know me, know how modest I really used to be. This sucks.

Dan got a little sappy last night and told me how grateful he was that I was so supportive of him. I got sappy right back and told him how thankful I was that he is willing to let us proceed down this path of the unknown...all the while spending just about every last penny we have. If he would ever put up a fight to stop trying, I definately wouldn't blame him, and honestly don't know how hard I'd fight back:-(

Monday, February 16, 2009

Menopause anyone??

Holy hotflashes. The Lupron side effects have started. A few friends IRL have asked me the purpose of Lupron, so I thought I'd copy a decent defination in this post.

Side effects: hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and headaches.

Lupron (leuprolide acetate) is an injectable medication administered just below the skin (subcutaneously or SQ). It is a gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist which means it should stimulate the release of FSH and LH from the pituitary gland. What is seen, in actuality, is a paradoxical effect. After an initial stimulation of gonadotropin release, Lupron actually prevents release of FSH and LH. This is the desired clinical application of Lupron in an ovarian stimulation cycle. By preventing the pituitary gland from stimulating the ovaries with FSH, and preventing LH from triggering ovulation, the ovaries are effectively "turned off". This allows your physician to control the amount of ovarian stimulation by the amount of medication you inject. Ovulation is also not likely without the surge of LH that is also blocked by Lupron. When the follicles are ready, ovulation can be triggered by giving HCG which has structural similarities to LH. After ovulation has been triggered there is no further need to continue Lupron.

Lupron is usually overlapped with birth control pills to help coordinate the treatment cycle and synchronize the growth of follicles.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Optimism is hard...

but it is what I'm striving for. (Yes, I know not to end a sentence with a preposition, but it's my blog so I can do what I want:-))

My optimistic thought of the day: I now know (congrats Stacy!!!!!) 3 women who have had successful IVF cyles from my RE clinic in the past 1.5 years. Obviously, there are many more who were successful...but I don't "know" them. To me, this is a good track record. Am I jealous? No, not really. Do I wish it were easier for me? Sure do. But the fact that I know my RE has success is enough to keep me going for the next few weeks. Apparently I am just her problem child.

I didn't sleep well last night and was really restless with IF stuff on my mind. These thoughts just kept ruminating through my mind and I could not relax.

1) I hate that I look at a women's stomach before I look her in the eye.

2) I hate that if there's a bump, it's even harder for me to look her in the eye.

3) I hate that Dan looks for bumps too.

4) I hate that Dan points out those bumps to me. Duh, dumb ass...if you saw it, don't you think I've already seen it?

5) I hate that he complains he's the only guy in his group of "friends" on Facebook without kids.

6) I hate that I am afraid to pick up the phone/check certain e-mails b/c I'm afraid someone is going to tell me they are pregnant.

7) I hate the fact that I will look up a due date, based on my ER.

8) I hate the fact that if IVF #2 doesn't work, that due date will be stuck in my head forever.

9) I hate the fact that my due date from IVF #1 is coming up faster than I would like.

10) I hate the fact that I have alcohol swabs and syringes in my bathroom on a regular basis.

11) I hate the fact that I'm afraid the only time I'll sit in the u/s chair is for a follicle check.

12) I hate the fact that I have to avoid the baby department at Target.

13) I hate the fact that I have depleted our savings and begged for money from parents b/c sex just won't do the trick.

14) I hate the fact that my sister is scared she'll have IF, just b/c I do.

15) I hate the fact that I'm paranoid my sister will have IF, because I do.

16) I hate the fact that people have to walk on egg shells in front of me.

17) I hate that I pray for twins, just so we won't have to do this again.

Well that's only 17. Maybe I'll be back later with more.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Aim, shove, squeeze...

As in, aim at the spot on my belly(there's a lot of space to aim!)...shove the needle in...and squeeze the plunger.

Lupron shot #1 is DONE! Feels good to be back in the game. Now the hard part will be in remembering to take it every night. It's not hard to remember to take Follistim, since I get some almost instant gratification from my monitoring appts. But Dan's been told he has to remind me every night at 9 pm to take my "baby medicine." We're such dorks.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Let the games begin!!!!!!!!!!!

I have been waiting over a month for today. I get to start Lupron tonight!!!!! I don't know why I'm so excited...I guess I have the hurry up and wait mentality. Although I start tonight, I won't know what's going on in there for 2 weeks. My protocol is to take 20 IUs for the next 14 days, and go in for u/s and b/w on 2/25. In other words...this is just a boring period of time as the BCP phase.

And I'm SO glad that's almost over. I take 5 more BCP and I'm done. Finally.

I'm starting to get anxious. I want to be positive, but...it's not my first time at the rodeo. I know all too well that IVF #2 might not work. In fact, there is a 50% chance that it won't work. Actually, scratch that...last time Dan and I saw Dr. K she had a 57% chance of success stat that she read to me, based on all our info, and her clinic. I suppose I'm happy to be over the 50% mark. But. Ugh. This is going to be torture.

As I was saying, I want to be positive, that is my nature. But I also want to be realistic, which to me pretty much means going into this assuming it won't work. Nothing like having low expectations, huh;-) Seriously. I'd rather be prepared for the worst and get the best, that be overly optimistic and have my heart broken again. Not to mention the bank account.

Thankfully, I don't think we'll need to ask MIL for money. We'll pay for 1/2 this time, and my parents the other 1/2. If it comes to #3(GASP) it'll be time to hit her up again. If I could even go through it again.

Whoevers reading...please send me good thoughts.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Get the facts straight, people

I have avoided commenting about the recent octuplet birth until now. I've done a good job of not reading articles, listening to interviews/reports, etc. However, I am FLOORED at the inaccuracies that the media is promoting (and that octoplet mom doesn't seem to correct).

She did NOT have 7 embryos IMPLANTED. She had 7 embryos TRANSFERRED. Big difference, big big difference.

If all of our embryos had been implanted, we would be on our way to having five kids. We TRANSFERRED 2 for our fresh IVF cycle, and TRANSFERRED 3 for our FET. None of them implanted...hence the reason I am NOT pregnant.

I found the following definitions on wikipedia.

Embryo transfer refers to a step in the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF) whereby one or several embryos are placed into the uterus of the female with the intent to establish a pregnancy.

Implantation is an event that occurs early in pregnancy in which the embryo adheres to the wall of uterus.

Let's summarize:
Transfer = intent to establish pregnancy
Implant = adherance to wall of of uterus

This latest media frenzy isn't the first time "implanted" has been used incorrectly. There was a Law and Order episode in the last few years that did the same thing. You pay that much to produce an epidode of a wildly popular TV drama and can't get the facts straight??? I don't get it.

I realize that most people who read this blog know this. But I just had to get it off my chest. Plus, who knows....maybe I helped educate someone.

I am also secretly afraid that this octuplet birth (and transfer of 7 embryos) will scare Dr. K into changing her mind about transferring 3 for us. Dan and I know the risks well, have talked about it, feel comfortable with our decision and continue to be willing to transfer 3. Honestly? If 4 looked good on day of ET...I'd go for it.

OK...off my soapbox for the day:-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


The do-gooder, social worker in me won out yesterday. Dan and I volunteer for Str.ay R.escue of STL. Up until now, our volunteer work has been fairly minimal, consisting primarily of taking shelter dogs to adoption events in the area. This gets them exposure, and ultimately, hopefully a forever home:-)

Well...Dan has decided to devote more time to the organization and had an orientation yesterday which will allow him to help out in different ways. Guess what?!?!? He asked the shelter organizer which dog was "most needy" and then convinced me to foster her. She really is a sweet girl. She's 1/2 pit bull, 1/2 Boston terrier (we think), about 50 pounds. She was found on the streets "nearly dead" and definately has some scarring on her muzzle that appear to be dog bites. She's also extremely leary of men. Dan's taken it upon himself to change that perception:-)

I'm not really sure why she is the most needy, except that she was sharing an "apartment" with a much louder, bigger, obnoxious dog.

So now she's sharing a condo with us. We do not intend to keep her. We were merely getting her out of her bad environment, which also allows the rescuers to pull in another homeless dog off the streets.

She and Sierra seem to be getting along, although I feel horrible for Sierra. I feel like we're not giving her as much attention as she's used to. I feel bad about that. But I'm also glad that she has a playmate:-)

So there you have it...this appears to be my way of getting my mind off of IF and the upcoming IVF. (It's working so far!!!)

And here's Sally!! Any STL peeps...she's up for adoption, just let me know if you are interested!
In IF news...finished my first pack of BCP this morning. More progress!

Monday, February 2, 2009

TGIF (February)

I'm so glad that February is here. It brings me one teeny step closer to the next step in my protocol. I'm on day 19 of BCP, and got a new script filled last night. Guess I'll only be using about half of that pack. I will be SO glad to be off them. Other than some teenager pimples it hasn't been bad....but still it's the PILL. Who would have thought I'd have come full circle after 4 years of trying. All Dan can do is laugh and roll his eyes when he sees the tell-tale BCP case.

I've started reading book #2 for 2009 and have been ploughing through it. It's called If You Lived Here by Dana Sachs...http://www.amazon.com/If-You-Lived-Here-Novel/dp/0061130494/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233613031&sr=1-2

It's about IF and the quest to adopt a child and the subsequent chaos caused by that. I believe it's fictional, but there are some sentences that are just SPOT ON. I had to read them a few times b/c they were SO accurate. I don't have the book with me, but I'll try to remember to pull out a few sentences for this entry. Anyhoo...I'm not done, but so far I would highly recommend it.