Thursday, April 26, 2012

Monitoring Updates

As I mentioned in a previous post, my nurse called me Friday afternoon to tell me that our donor would be starting stims on Saturday and would be coming in for her first monitoring appointment on Tuesday. She told me that she’d call me with the details.

As Tuesday afternoon arrived I started carrying my cell phone with me everywhere so as to not miss the call. And I do mean everywhere. I don’t put it in my pocket because I’d never feel it vibrate so I carry it in my hand. People must think I’m addicted to my phone. In a way, I guess I am.

I got busy at work and the call never came. I started to wonder if something was wrong. Did she not show up? Is she not responding? All sorts of scary thoughts were running through my head. As I was getting in bed, BJ told me that if something were wrong I would have received a phone call. It still did not sit well with me.

As soon as I got to work Wednesday, I e-mailed my nurse asking if everything was ok. She responded shortly with this message:

Hi TeeJay,

She was out of town yesterday (something I knew in advance) she will be in today. I’m sorry I forgot to tell you that. Nothing to worry about. I’ll update you this afternoon.


Now tell me this...why would she tell me on Friday that the donor would be in on Tuesday if she knew the donor would be out of town? Ugh. Sometimes I wonder about my nurse. Ok, she was out of town, hopefully she remembered to take her meds with her. She’s 22 and I worry about her responsibility level. Her future children are not riding on her taking those shots like clockwork. I’m trying to have faith.

Wednesday afternoon I began carrying my phone around with me again as I awaited the phone call. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. The afternoon became very busy at work because I needed to leave early to get to the LG’s baseball game. As I was getting on the bus at 4:00 I checked my personal e-mail. My nurse sent me an e-mail 2 hours prior!! So much for a phone call. I will know now to just let the phone sit and check my e-mail in the afternoon.

The good news? She has 26 follicles. They are small right now but that is ok. She goes back in tomorrow for another check. I’m hoping for some good growth at that scan. I’m also going to ask what her E2 is to give me a better idea of the condition of the eggs in those follicles. I was very excited to get that update. Tomorrow will be 7 days on stims so I think there should be some good growth by this point. It’s hard to believe that retrieval will be next week! I get butterflies just thinking about it.

The other good news? I went in for my last lining check (hopefully forever) and I’m at 9.5mm. The tech said that at this point they like to see it above 8 so I’m doing good! One of the cysts is gone and the other is really tiny so she said it’s trying to go away, too. All good news!

Things are going along so nicely...I’m nervous. I have no reason to doubt anything right now but of course the negative nelly in me is trying to come out and ruin my mood. I think it’s because there are so many intricate parts to this donor cycle than in a regular IVF. I mean, the donor has to do her thing and us 3 recipients have to do our thing and everything has to come together like the perfect storm right up to retrieval. There are so many things that could go wrong. For the most part, I’m staying positive and concentrating on the fact that we will be making a baby next week and that I will be pupo early the following week (at the latest hopefully). How crazy is that to think about? I never thought I’d be pupo again and here it is just around the corner. Wow. I’m going to do my best to keep the negative thoughts at bay because there’s so much to be hopeful for, right? I’ve been looking over the calendar and thinking about how far along I should be at certain times because we have some plans this summer...crazy to be doing that but I can’t seem to help it. See, I’m hopeful...maybe too hopeful? I want to stay positive because I think it’s the best thing for my mindset right now. Plus, I was very positive and calm last year and I really think it helped my little emby try to stick around. So I want to keep my mood even and calm this time around and hopefully we’ll get better results.

I’ll update tomorrow afternoon once I hear from my nurse...fingers crossed for good sized follies and a matching E2 number.

PS – how about my Capitals?!?! They really pulled out a great overtime win last night against Boston! I DVR’d the game and watched the whole thing after we got home from the LG’s baseball game. So exciting to win a game 7 in overtime but I really wish they would have just wrapped it up in 6. I get so nervous watching them play. Yay for making it to the second round!! Could this really be our year??

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Don't Ignore...the Facts

It’s NIAW and I’ve been pondering what I want to post about. I’m in the middle of a donor egg cycle so I’m right in the throes of my own infertility journey. There’s not much I can ignore since I’m currently cycling and since I’ve been on this road for so long. I’d like to offer some advice to anyone just starting out on their journey to parenthood.

Don’t ignore the facts. What do I mean by that? Let me explain:

When I first started TTC back in (gulp) 2000, I immediately jumped right in. I read article after article about how to best improve your fertility from what to eat to what to wear to elevating my hips after sex. I read Taking Charge of your Fertility. I felt so empowered and knowledgeable. I dared anyone to question my knowledge of how to get pregnant. I had great cycles, great EWCM, great looking charts...everything looked great on paper. After reading TCOYF, I soon came to realize that if we weren’t knocked up within a few months that something must be wrong. I feared I was the problem but quickly dismissed that because of how great I looked on paper. It must be the husband, right?

I followed the advice of everyone online and sought assistance after 12 months. Blood work was done, although it was not day 3 blood work. A semen analysis was done. I had an u/s. I had a sonogram to make sure my tubes were open. Everything came back fine. I tried Clomid for 3 months. My OB/GYN was stumped so he sent me to the clinic.

I’ve always said that I felt like the clinic was more interested in just doing procedures than in figuring out why I wasn’t getting pregnant. Since I had no money at that time and my insurance didn’t cover anything, we went back to just trying naturally. Then the ex-husband got his new woman pregnant almost immediately. That should have been a huge red flag. In a way I guess it was, but again, I just let it pass. When I went back to the clinic with my new husband, everything was checked again. This time, I was told that my FSH was slightly elevated but that it shouldn’t be causing any problems. We did 2 IUI’s and nothing. We tried an IVF and got cancelled due to poor response. We failed an IVF with poor response. We actually made it to a 5 day transfer on our next IVF and this is where the fog finally lifted and I was able to see the problem...I have bad eggs. I’m not just a poor responder, I have crap eggs that made crap embryos.

Here’s where the ignoring part becomes relevant. Do not ignore the facts. I ignored what was right in front of my face the whole time. I never even thought about having bad eggs, at least not a real thought. That was mainly because I was young and had age on my side. At least that is what everyone kept telling me. Instead of repeating the FSH test and doing an AMH test, we just kept doing what wasn’t working. Yes, I ovulated...but I ovulated bad eggs. No amount of stimulating drugs could make the eggs good. This is a fact.

Just because I don’t have any obvious signs of infertility, like PCOS or endo or anovulation, doesn’t mean that I should not have been tested for something else. Don’t ignore the facts that can be staring you right in the face. Speak up and ask for tests. Be your own advocate. If you know anything about your body and how it works it really shouldn’t take very long to get pregnant. If it’s taking longer than you think it should and you are young (or maybe not so young) don’t just sit back. Don’t ignore what could be a potential end game diagnosis. If I had pushed harder and demanded a few more tests I probably would have been a mother years ago with a donor egg child(ren). BJ and I would not have wasted all this time on trial and error...not to mention the money, goodness the money we spent on treatments. I know it can feel overwhelming and many women don’t even want to take the first step to see a specialist. I can understand that but at the same time, you haven’t a moment to lose. Every cycle you delay getting help and finding out what the problem is, is another cycle you will spend childless.

I wish I would have paid more attention to the facts and not gotten so caught up in my pride and obvious ignorance as to what was happening in my ovaries. I can only hope and pray that now that I know the true problem and I’m facing it head on that I will be rewarded for my struggles.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sick, Sick, Sick!

Oh my gosh, y’all. I have not been this sick in years. My poor husband started feeling bad on 4/12 and went downhill pretty quickly. He was feverish, coughing, congested, sneezing, aching...all of it. And then Monday morning I was getting ready for work and just didn’t feel right. I took my temperature and it was just over 100.

I was out of work all week last week. I was struck down hard by the flu. I will always get my flu shot from now on. I couldn’t keep the fever away and nothing I took helped me feel any better. I rode the couch for a week and only started feeling better Saturday. All of this while trying to remain focused on my estrogen shots. It’s like I told BJ, I’m glad I’m sick now and not in 2 weeks...THAT would have been disastrous.

So let’s go back in time to when I could breath and didn’t cough every 3 minutes....

I have been taking my shots every 3 days just like a good DE recipient should. I have not had any problems administering the shot to myself. It gives me some confidence going forward with PIO shots. Right now I’m on .2cc of the Delestrogen every 3rd day. I will go in on Thursday morning for a lining check and hopefully everything is ok and nothing got derailed by the sickness.

My nurse called me Friday to let me know that our donor would be starting stims on Saturday, just as planned. She will be coming in for her first check tomorrow. I will get a full report in the afternoon of how things are progressing. I can’t wait for that phone call. Fingers crossed that everything looks great.

The estrogen is definitely affecting my a positive way. At some point last week I noticed that I had some EWCM being produced. Not to be too descriptive or give TMI, but since going on the bcp I’ve been pretty dry and it’s been a hindrance to say the least. It’s nice to have some CM down there to make things a bit more pleasant. And since BJ and I have both been sick for so long it was nice to finally feel up to doing something AND having the CM. My boobs are still tender but not as bad as before. Other than that, I haven’t noticed any side effects from the estrogen.

Back to Wednesday....the LG had his first game Wednesday. I was so sick, but I was not missing it. It was cold and damp and dreary, but we managed to make it out there anyway. I had been hoping the rain would cancel the game but that was not the case. They ended up winning and the LG got a hit and an RBI. It was exciting even though I couldn’t really cheer or jump up and down for him. I really wish his mom would have found somewhere else to sit instead of right beside me. The last thing I wanted was to be social. But I put on my happy (tolerant) face and talked to her anyway. I was glad when the game was called due to darkness.

I have so much catching up to do with you all, and with some new readers that have stopped by in honor of ICLW. I barely read any blogs while I was home sick...I just couldn’t bring myself to focus. I’ll be catching up over the next couple of days though.

Sorry this is short, especially since I have more things to update on, but I’m pressed for time and just wanted everyone to know I’m still here and I’m ok. I’ll be back soon!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

All Clear!!

I could barely answer the phone when it rang.  I was filled with such dread.  I hate that IF has made it nearly impossible to imagine a positive outcome.

She didn't drag anything out but cut right to the chase that everything looked great (she used that exact word!) with my blood work and u/s and that I need to stop the Lupron and start my estrogen shots tonight!!  She also said that my donor will begin her stims next week (probably the 20th or 21st) and that she'd call me to let me know.  She also said that I'd get a call every day that the donor came in for monitoring.  Awesome!

Thank you all so very much for your positive thoughts and your hopes and your prayers and all the things you crossed!  I knew I could count on y'all to think good things when all I could come up with was negativity.

Ok, now to start fretting about the shot tonight.  :-)  It's always something, isn't it?  I will do FINE.  I have been looking forward to this for a very long time...bring on that big scary needle!!  I hope everyone has a great weekend!


I’m as jittery as a heroin addict that just got pulled over by the 5-0. I had my suppression check this morning. They were running very slow and it ended up taking a very long time. As I was sitting there I was wondering if any of the other ladies were in my ‘group’. I guess I’ll never know.

The blood draw went fine. They always have to get the butterfly needles for my small veins. Whatever works is what I’m fine with. Then it was u/s time. My favorite tech (her name is Hope) did the scan. As she was looking at my paper work she said, “Has it really been a year?”. Yes it has. Almost to the day, actually. She asked how I was and I told her we had moved on to DE and she was pleased to hear it. She measured my lining which is at 6.8 right now. She asked if I was on my period. I told her that I had had some spotting but no real flow as of yet. I’d been on bcp for over 40 days with no break so I think things were a little thrown off.

As she was scanning my ovaries she saw 2 small spots on my left side. Of course this is the cyst-y side. I told her it felt like I had a cyst and she said the blood work would be more telling. She said they could be follicles trying to shrink down or cysts. She doesn’t know if cysts will interfere with my cycle.

Then it was off to the nurse for final consult. Nothing remarkable happened with the nurse and I was off to schedule my next scan for 4/26.

If all goes well, I will start my estrogen shots tonight. However, I have a sinking feeling. I have a feeling that those 2 cysts or follicles or whatever the hell they are, are going to screw everything up. That is just how it usually goes. Only now, it won’t be just waiting one cycle to get will be starting over and possibly having to choose another donor and go through another 3 month wait to synch up with everyone. I’m not sure how I’ll handle that. I know BJ will probably want to pull out of the program if that happens. He’s already impatient enough...more delays may push him over the edge. I’m not exaggerating. He is always telling me that he’s too old and that people will think that he’s the child’s grandfather. He has a fear of leaving the earth while his child is young. His mother died when he was 17 and his father followed 7 years later. He doesn’t want to do that to his kid.

I know I should be thinking more positive thoughts but it’s hard right now. Right now I’m waiting for a very important phone call that could go extremely well or extremely bad. And don’t even get me started on all my negative thoughts about the other recipients and their scans that probably happened today as well. If something happens to them I’m screwed, too. And what if I’m the one that messes them up? I will feel horrible. It’s a lot to handle and it’s a lot of ducks that have to line up. I’m hoping and praying that when my phone rings it’s good news. Please hope and pray with me...please.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Quick Update and Random Thoughts

There’s too much to write about so I’m just going to give a quick bulleted update. I will try to keep it short. :-)

• My shots are going well. Of course, the first one I administered hit a blood vessel and left me with a dime sized bruise on my belly. It’s actually almost gone, though, so all is well. No major side effects that I have noticed as of yet and that is always good.

• The weekend was good. I was off Friday and didn’t really have any plans but to get the stuff for the Easter baskets and then work on my scrapping. I actually did a lot of laundry, too. It was a good relaxed day. We went to the Bass Pro Shop on Saturday and the husband has decided that he wants a bass boat. That is another post all to itself and will need to be tackled another day. Since the LG was with his mother on Sunday, BJ and I cleaned out the garage. The weather was beautiful and we were able to clean and mostly organize the space. During the winter months the garage really suffers so cleaning it up felt really good.

• Work is busy and I’m not enjoying any of it. I’m not happy with my job right now or my current boss or some of my co-workers. If you’ve been following me for a year or more you know that I have a new boss. I don’t like him. He’s so different from anyone I’ve ever known so it’s really difficult to find our stride. He won’t ever change so I know I just have to deal with it but the situation is stressing me out.

• I’m coming up on some important dates and it’s starting to bring me down. My first ever BFP anniversary is only a few weeks is the anniversary of my first (and hopefully only) loss. I should be on maternity leave right now and I think that might be part of the reason I dislike my job and boss right now.

• The blogosphere has been filled with some really high highs and some really low lows lately. As I read through the happy mom posts I get excited and start to think about what it would be like to be writing posts like that. When I read the pregnancy blogs I also hope to be writing my own posts regarding morning sickness and beta numbers. And then I read the sad blogs. The one where a mother had to say good-bye to her child before it was born. And the one where the mother just went in for her 12 week scan only to find out that her little one’s heart had stopped beating just a couple of days ago. It breaks my heart and makes me worry about something like that happening to us. I mean, just because we have struggled for so long does not mean that we will be successful with our DE cycle(s). It’s scary.

• The weather has been so warm and then we had a cold snap and now I’m afraid my roses may not bloom. They have buds all over them but they haven’t begun to open yet. I have 5 beautiful rose bushes and judging by the size and the number of buds, once they open, our yard will be the prettiest on the cul de sac. I just hope the cold nights have not damaged them. We haven’t gotten frost, but it’s been in the 30’s a few times. I’ve noticed that the warm weather caused the Tulips to bloom early and they are already losing their petals. Crazy weather, I tell ya.

• I got an Easter card from my mom. She called me a while back and I told her that I’d send her a calling card with cell minutes on it so that she could keep in contact with her kids. So far, so good. I’ve gotten a couple of text messages and a phone call and now the card. She’s working at a motel as the cleaner in exchange for a room. I’m ok with that. As long as her deadbeat significant other does not mess it up for her like he did last time everything will be ok. I don’t know if she has contacted my other siblings or not but that’s not my problem. As much as they try to make it my problem.

• I have been looking at my cycle calendar at least once a day if not more. And judging by the dates they gave me, my donor will be starting her injections on 4/21. I always started my stims on CD3. If that holds true for her then her CD1 will be 4/ mother’s birthday. Odd timing to say the least. That means that the donor will be starting stims NEXT weekend! Yay!! All of this assuming she passes her second and final FDA blood panel on 4/16.

• I’m going in for my Lupron evaluation on Friday morning. I’m hoping for nice quiet ovaries which shouldn’t be a problem given my history. And I’m hoping for normal blood work. I’m also hoping that the other recipients are still on track with everything. That’s one of the biggest worries I have. I worry that one of them will have something go wrong and we’ll have to scrap the whole thing. IF has jaded me, that’s for sure. I’m always certain that something bad will happen. I’ve read and seen too much to think otherwise. I’ve always been on the wrong side of the fertility statistics so why should now be any different? I’m hoping that it’s very different...very different indeed.

So that’s a quick rundown of what’s in my head and what’s been going on recently. There’s much more but I don’t seem to have the time right now to write about it. My boss will be on vacation next week so I’m hoping to have more time to get some good posts up. I have some things I need to get off my chest and you guys get to be my sounding board. Lucky you!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Countdown Has Begun

In less than 24 hours I will begin my Lupron shots. Yippee! I could not be more ready. I actually have butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it. Since this will be first shot in about a year, it’s good that I’m off work tomorrow so that I don’t have to rush in the morning.

I’m literally counting the hours until I get to start stabbing my stomach with needles. Isn’t it crazy how IF makes us look forward to things that other people would dread? And I can’t wait to take my last bcp on Sunday. Again, counting the hours (well, days at this point).

Thanks to all of you that recommended some remedies to my going problem. I bought some milk of magnesia yesterday but forgot to take it last night. I’ll be taking it tonight for sure. I couldn’t bring myself to buy anything that I would mix with liquid and drink. Although, if the MOM doesn’t work that will be my next avenue of self-treatment.

I’m also counting the minutes until I get to leave work today. I’m so excited to be off tomorrow with nothing planned. The only thing I have to do is hit the store to get my boys some candy and treats for their Easter baskets. The rest of the day will be putting laundry away and working on my scrapping. I’m really looking forward to working on my albums. I feel like I really accomplished something when I have several pretty pages of pictures to look at.

Is it time to go home yet??

I hope everyone has a great Easter in whatever way you may (or may not) celebrate! The next time you hear from me I will be bcp free and full of Lupron! Let the countdown continue...tick...tick...tick.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Weight a Minute

No, that’s not a type-o. I actually feel like I’m gaining weight by the minute. Since I started the bcp and the pre-natals, I have gained just over 5 pounds. I swear the scale goes up almost a half a pound a day.

The pre-natals make it difficult to, um, go...if you know what I mean. I took Colace a few times to try and help things along. I started with 1 pill and since it didn’t do anything for me I took 2 the next day. I let a full day go by and took another 2. Granted, I went, but not much. Ewww...I know, tmi. I’ve stopped taking the Colace for now. I’ve seen no benefit of it.

I’ve been on active bcp since February 28. That means that I have not had a cycle since February 26. That’s over 5 weeks since my lining has shed. My uterus can’t even take it anymore as I have started to spot here and there.

Between my belly being full of things it should be getting rid of and my uterine lining trying to break records, I feel exceptionally bloated and full and fat. I have not seen numbers on the scale like this since 2004. My eating habits have not really changed so I know it’s not because I’ve all of a sudden decided to eat everything in sight.

I keep telling my husband that I can’t have a snack with him at night, something we have done for years, because I’m turning into a big fatty. He looks at me and says “you’re probably going to be pregnant soon so who cares if you’re a big fatty?” Nice but not nice. Of course he said it while laughing but it still made me want to smack him. See, the bcp have not stopped making me a crazy lady, either.

I know this is all part of the process and I’m thankful to be going through it, really. I just wish I weren’t such a nut about keeping my weight in check. I feel like I can’t do anything about it right now. I could always exercise more but who has the energy for that after work? They closed our gym at work to make renovations and it won’t open again for another 6 or 8 weeks. I don’t want to starve myself or go on some crazy diet as I’m trying to keep myself healthy for an impending transfer. I feel stuck and I hate that feeling. I also hate the feeling of my pants getting tighter and tighter by the day. Ugh.

I have my suppression check Friday morning. If all goes well I can bid these bcp farewell on Sunday. I’ll be able to shed my lining and hopefully that will help. I’m sure the bloat will return with the Lupron but I don’t really remember having many problems with it before so hopefully that trend will continue.

I know this may all sound petty and trivial but my weight has been an issue with me for a very long time and I panic when it goes up this fast. I’ve been able to maintain my weight, within 3 pounds or so, for the last few years of IF treatments so to see such an increase so fast has really left me feeling quite defeated.

Anyway, thanks for listening. Also, thanks for the advice with my PIO shots. I talked to my doctor and he recommended taking a warm wash cloth and wrapping it around the bottle before injecting. He also suggested warming the injection area with a heating pad or hot water bottle beforehand. And finally, massaging the area after the injection. The only thing left to figure out is how to give it to myself because I know BJ is not going to want to do it. I’ll watch some YouTube videos and I should be fine.