12 December 2007

Kicked to the Curb

Had my last u/s with RE and have been given the boot the the OB. Dh came along and was a wee bit bubbly. We're at 20mm which puts us at 8w4d when my date is 8w6d....constistant with the 7 day transfer of slow blasts. hb = 178 ...wow, that's triple my resting rate. Saw stubby little arm buds, big head, and curling umbilical cord. Placenta is placed on upper posteior, which I guess is good. So no more "bean" we are in "grape" territory.

RE said he usually does final u/s at 9.5 weeks but he is leaving for Carribean cruise today and pushed it up earlier. Said at 9.5 weeks 99% of fatal trisomies will have resulted in m/c, so he said at 8.5 weeks he's 95% sure my pg is viable. He also dictated a note to my OB indicating I was not high risk and should only need genetic tests indicated by my age. *yeah*

Dh then proceeded to harrange me about how big this baby was gonna be...9-12 lbs runs in his family, 7-9 lbs in mine. Whoa boy! When Dh is 6'5.5" and I'm 5'11" the genetics run big.

I really wanted to go to Coldstone Creamery on the way back. I had saved extra calories just for the outting and it was closed with a sign on the door for employees to call to get information on why the store was closed. *bummer* Ended up eating my diet ice cream at home.

I guess this is my last blog until birth, because I have left my RE and the realm of IVF/ART. Big kudos to Dr. Daly & his staff at Grand Rapids Fertility & IVF making this possible. I can't say that I have enjoyed myself, but I do finally feel optimistic about finally becoming a mother.

26 November 2007

First Ultrasound

Weight: 157.4 lbs
Mood: a little moody
Medications: none!

So there is a little story to tell before we get to the results of my first ultrasound....

Last night I was laying on my stomach in bed waiting for my dh to finish up in the bathroom. It's my turn so I do some sort of quick maneuver to "jump" out of bed and end of pulling my entire uterus region out of wack. I doubled over in pain/discomfort. It passed quickly, but I was kicking myself silly.

Later that evening when I used the bathroom I had two light, mucusy spots of blood. I could have cried right there, but nothing followed those two spots. I had a horrible night of waking nightmares and squirrel brained worry.

I get up this morning and I am touchy in that region, kinda like something swelled-up
overnight and for the first time in all of the IVF process, I skipped Spinning. I was so nervous that I screwed something up. Of course, this entire time I am also thinking that maybe this is just the beginning of morning sickness. I already have what I call afternoon/early evening malaise about half of the time, but my mornings have been just fine.

Well onto the the ultrasound. I did tell the RE what happened and how I was worried that I had done some damage. He didn't seem too concerned especially after we found my proto-incipient baby, complete with fetal pole, yoke sack, and a nice little heartbeat of 118 bpm. Next ultrasound is the December 12th, which he admitted was early because he is going on vacation. He also instructed me to make my first appointment with local OB for later that week.

Oh...and my official due date is July 16th. We'll tell family as a Christmas present and friends at our New Year's party.

12 November 2007

Yeah I Stopped Posting

Weight: 160.4lbs
Mood: Normal
Medications: One last progesterone pill

Dh was wondering why I had stopped posting. Well this is my IVF blog, not my pregnancy blog. Since I'm off daily meds and am now in monitoring of my early pregnancy, I don't feel compelled to post everyday. I also found other IVF blogs annoying when I'd click through and they are blogging about their 3 year old twins having left IVF behind years ago.

I had my second beta today. I had a feeling it was going to be just fine because my breasts found another cup size this weekend. So my first beta at 7dp7dt was 29.6 and my second at 11dp7dt was 193. Also my progesterone is high enough that I can stop taking the pills. So I'm off meds entirely! I must have not done too much damage to my ovaries if they are producing progesterone for me.

My "hunt for the embie" ultrasound is in two weeks. I'll give another update then.

08 November 2007


Weight: 156.2 lbs
Mood: Bi-polar day
Medications: 1 shot of 1/2 ml progesterone in oil, switching to oral med tonight

So what does BFP mean....BIG FREAKING POSITIVE. In the words of the nurse, "We have a pregnancy". She shocked the hell out of me, I was not expecting it what so ever. My blood test was at 8:30 am and she called at noon. I betcha they call the postives first cause those are at least good news. She rattled off my hcg and pregesterone levels and tried to coax my pharmacy name out of me so she could call in my new perscription while I sat here slack jawed.

My coworkers where over the partition and Pam remarked to Missey.."She sounds shocked". But of course, since Pam isn't from my office and is not clued in, I had to wait until she left to confirm for Missey that it was the nurse with good news. So I have to admit my husband was not the first person to know because my coworker overheard the phone conversation. Well heck, I suspect the nurse #1, the doctor and the lab tech all knew too. So that makes at least four people.

Soon as I could clear the office of customers I called dh and said "Hello Daddy". Ok, he was shocked too. I usually don't call him at school, but exceptions must be made. That and I think it might have been tacky to tell him via instant messenger.

I had to call the nurse (#2) back because I didn't write down my beta numbers. My first beta at 14dpo is 29.6 which would explain the two negative home pregnancy tests in the last three days. I would have only started picking up on those today because most require 25-50 on the beta to even cause a faint positive.

I have to go back on Monday for my second beta to see if my hcg numbers are increasing like they are supposed to. Dh wants to go out for red bloody steak tonight, and I am sure that I'm the designated driver for the next 9 months.

07 November 2007

Last Shot!

Weight: 157.6lbs
Mood: Glad this thing is winding down
Medications: PIO IM shot 1/2 ml twice daily

Gave myself my last shot! Woot! I was getting sick of those things and being tied to a schedule. Official beta blood test is tomorrow. I noticed how my weight was up 3lbs as a result of transfer and how it went down on the first morning I tested. Seems the embies stuck around for the weekend before checking out.

I not as upset as you could imagine I'd be. I think this is going to work next time or maybe the time after. The success rates for my age group is only 35% which means you have to try and fail a few times. Next time's goal is egg quality over quantity.

I rolled over my sick time for the first time in 10 years, it's going to cut into holiday shopping money but hopefully if we catch on our February cycle I can take a nice long holiday break next year. I'm not looking forward to February driving for my monitering though.

I keep talking about that bottle of red wine, but I think I may decide to do the perfect margarita at Applebees. I think I'll go whole hog on the coffee tomorrow after beta too by getting a full on expresso.

As for my blogging plans, I'll post whenever there is a IVF related event to note, but this everyday stuff is going to stop. I blog my final, after period, weight for comparison to pre-cycle. I really wonder how much extra weight these PIO shots boobs are. They really are what my size should be and maybe instead of the boob reduction I wanted, I should invest in my real size. Ha!

06 November 2007

Right Cheek, Right Thigh, Left Cheek, Left Thigh, Repeat

Weight: 157.4 lbs
Mood: Normal, but tired after auditions
Medications: PIO shots twice per day 1/2 ml IM

They kept me late last night for auditions but did let me sing for a lead. I'm guessing I'll be a mission girl, probably the trombone player because the director and I used to march trombone together back in college. Actually considering who we've got, we could probably stage the Mission band with real instrumentalists.

I always know I'm doing a good job driving out to Vermontville if I see at least one deer. I saw two last night in the driving sleet. I also have the ritual of stopping for a 20 oz diet Faygo, but they where out and I ended up with something caffinated.

I was feeling crampy and PMSy yesterday, that's faded today. I feel my libido coming back and that has been actively gone for about 3 weeks now. I won't miss the PIO shots, I won't miss the worrying about how I move or what I lift and I won't miss the secrecy.

I told my boss on his return from Dodge City on the "death" of my embies. Just wanted to assure him that he won't have to freak out about a future maternity leave just yet. Actually now that the memory of egg retrival has faded, I feel like I can do this again. Ask me the day after retrieval and you would have had a different answer.

I'm 5dp7dt and not exactly optimistic.

05 November 2007

99% Accurate When Normal Hormone Levels Present

Weight: 160.4 lbs
Mood: Bummed Again
Medications: PIO IM shots 1/2 ml twice daily

Well I used the home pregnancy test today and got a big fat negative (BFN). My beta test is Thursday, but I wouldn't be surprised if my period showed before that. Ok, I admit that I am only 4 days past a 7 day transfer, but I didn't even get a whisper of a line and the test I took was supposed to be sensitive enough to read 5 days before your expected period.

I kinda used the gym as a place to work out some of those negative emotions. Wendy really worked us hard in Spinning class and I didn't exactly hold back. As my true BFN approaches, I try to steer myself back into normal thinking. I'm going to go audition for "Guys & Dolls" tonight, that should put me back into normalcy for then next three monthes at least. I figure we'll cycle again in February after the musical and before we audition for "Nunsence" which stages in late April.

04 November 2007

Oops, Almost Forgot to Blog

Weight: 161 lbs
Mood: tired
Medications: PIO shots twice daily 1/2 ml

Not much to report today. Slept in, went to gym and then I checked out the new Cascade Meijers. Nice store, I could spend hours in there. Some of my wierder purchases: frozen squid, mint-licorice mentos, wine gummy candy, spotted dick (British sponge bread with raisins), India butter chicken sauce, tofu noodles and leeks.

Nothing much on the IVF front, I don't feel pregnant. My legs are killing me though. My upper thighs are black and blue all over and very stiff. I had dh do a butt shot just to give some relief.

I'm a bit put off by a fellow poster on the IVF boards, she's shrilly declaring that my RE's lab killed my embies because they cultured them to blast. Give me a break, they're a "Right to Life" clinic, they'd have transfered them on a Sunday if they couldn't handle the extra culture. This is the same person that complains that her Hispanic housekeeper farts too much and that IVF is accessable to everyone. She is a rich east coaster who has no clue it seems.

03 November 2007

Pickles, Hold the Ice Cream

Weight: 159 lbs
Mood: Normal
Medications: PIO shot 1/2 twice daily

Sorry, but I don't feel pregnant. I just don't. The boobs are a side effect of the PIO injections and while nicer than my normal ones, don't mean anything. We went out for dinner last night and I tried to show my sister the pictures of my embies before anyone else showed and she didn't have much oppurtunity to look. They aren't exactly impressive anyway.

What will I do better my next cycle? I will cut my exercise to one hour and force myself to eat my daily intake plus an extra 300 calories. I'll try to avoid artificial sweeteners, pop, beer, caffeine and wine and go for the lean protein and fatted dairy. I will take 3 whole days after retrieval to recover too. Five aetretic eggs where five lost oppurtunities. We only had a 25% 4cell to blast rate when we should have had closer to 50%. Between me and the RE maybe we can get a good protocol sorted out. I so wanted to have embies on ice just in case and I have nothing.

02 November 2007

No Beer for Embies

Weight: 159 lbs
Mood: Sleepy but Sure
Medications: PIO shots 1/2 ml twice per day.

I'm officially 1 day past 7 day transfer of 2 blasts = 1dp7dt. They had birthday food for Jan down in Planning & Zoning and I cowed on low fat cheesecake bars and trail mix. I better be pregnant because I'll be paying the piper come the day after beta if I'm not. We are going out to the Walldorff tonight with 4 other couples. No beer for me! No caffine for me either.

Dh isn't too thrilled with the no sex restriction for 5 full days, hopefully he won't start crawling the walls too soon. I'm not supposed to jog, run or lift heavy weights. I did rake today though, they didn't say anything about that. I just cannot believe someone would have the patience to go on bed rest for 2 or 3 days after transfer.

My left nipple is feeling present...which is NOT and indication of pregnancy. My left nipple always does this about 5 days before my period. It's normal.

I'll try to remember to scan the picture of my blasts to post up here this weekend. You can really tell the good one from the bad.

01 November 2007

7th Day Transfer of 2 Blastocysts

Weight: 157.4 lbs
Mood: Keeping a lid on grief and optimism
Meds: PIO shots twice a day 1/2 ml

An evening of crying, soul searching, gnashing of teeth, rending of clothes and lots of chocolate consumed, that was my Halloween. We where told yesterday morning (day 6) that none of our embies where progressing past morula stage. They had until this morning at 10:30am before they where declared arrested. I couldn't cry until I got home from work, dh said if felt like he had been stabbed.

I had three big goals in my life and one was ripped from me. I feared perminent sperm disability, I feared for my own fertility, and I feared the looming expense of a 2nd try at something that is now a proven failure. I had to cry it out before I could step back and reassess the goal and it's alternatives. I can say that I did sleep well for a change having run a low grade fever with intestinal issues the last two days.

So with a heavy heart, dh and I set out for our IVF #1 post-mortum. It was nice enough day at least, the drive was quick and we arrived 10 minutes early.

Things started looking up with Nurse #2 entered the waiting room with our clipboard. Thats when I knew that something was positive. It wasn't the RE himself who is the bearer of bad news. I asked "We have something, I thought they all went belly up yesterday". She flipped the page and said we where transfering two. So she directed me into the surgical suite, asked me to strip waist down and empty my bladder (a retroverted uterus must be good for something).

The RE came in and that's when we had the "discussion". He fears for my egg quality, with slow stimming, 5 of 15 mature eggs disintergrating after retrivel, my age and dh's antibodies. The eggs I did get just didn't know what to do once they where embryos. At a 7 day transfer of what is developmentally a 5 day blast we have fallen out of sync. From what I've read late transfers are more likely negative and more likely result in a false chemical pregnancy. The RE didn't want to pin it solely on egg quality with only the results of one cycle and one tried protocol. He also said it could have just been a bad month to make those demands on my system.

So when (if) we got to round 2, it will be a different protocol to see if we can change the mix of maturation rates, egg quality and quantity.

Either way we transfered two blasts! The other 6 arrested, but we got two. We had one fully expanded average blast that was hatching and one partially expanded blast with a huge fragment in its middle. The transfer is similar to a pap smear without the nasty cotton swab, but then you have to lay with your butt up in the air for 1.5 hours. The scheduled my b-HCG test (blood pregnancy test) for next week Thursday.

Some people lay down for two days after transfer. That just wouldn't work for me, I would go nuts and its not proven to help or harm implantation. I was so hungry afterward dh let me choose lunch spot and we went to Seoul Garden with is a Asian (Korean, Japanese, Chinese) & Sushi bar. I didn't get to have beer or wine at all, which is what I planned for the failure of transfer. (I still have that bottle of Saki set aside for the 99% chance of a blood pregnancy test negative result.) We then went to the mall looking for games for the Wii and a Game Cube memory chip to save the Pikmin game to.

Officially I put my chances of pregnancy this cycle down to 20% versus the 60% I was anticipating before the morula issues popped up. On the bright side, we budgeted 10K for IVF and have only used 5.8K so far. Our insurance has covered $2000 in meds and about $1000 in labs/office visits. Another bonus is that we've paid one-quarter of that home equity line off already so we'll be in much better position for the second go round.

31 October 2007

IVF Sucks!

Weight: 156.4 lbs
Mood: Um yeah, no optimism left here
Medications: PIO shots twice a day

So when you are supposed to call the RE's office at 9 am and he calls you at work at 8:50 am...

Not good. It's day 5 and we don't have blasts. He wants me to come in tomorrow at 10:30 and IF we have anything to transfer we will, otherwise we need to have the discussion on what we learned this cycle.

Not a good sign either way. Glad we took them to blasts, we would have never learned that there was an issue, we'd just keep getting negatives after transfers.

8 to nada in one day. Don't even want to get into the emotional stuff until I have some time to process it myself and get some distance from the grief.

30 October 2007

The Race is On

Weight: 157.4 lbs
Mood: Okie Dokie
Medications: PIO shot twice a day

So I call this morning for embryo update: they say transfer tomorrow. I have 6 compacting morulas, and the other two are at the 4-5 cell stage and one is starting to compact. I am supposed to call in again tomorrow at 9 am to get the exact appointment time.

Halloween Embies!

29 October 2007

8 Happy Little Embryos; No Transfer Set

Weight: 158.4 lbs
Mood: Normal
Medications: PIO 1/2 ml twice daily

I called today to see how my "Eight is Enough" batch of embryos are doing. All hanging in there at pre-Morula stage. They can't give me grades because they are undifferentiated cells at this point. Also, because I have no leading contenders for transfer I have to call back tomorrow morning to see if they need me in tomorrow, Wednesday or Thursday. It doesn't look like they chose to freeze any at 4 cells which is fine by me. Halloween would be great by me, very memorable.

I didn't get to write about the fine ethnic dining we had this weekend. We took dsd to a Japanese restaurant for lunch after her soccer game. Dh ordered the bento box, dsd ordered tempura udon and I ordered quail egg soba. I liked mine the least, a raw egg dropped in a bowl of hot buckwheat noodles. Dsd's what much more interesting and tasty, tempur shrimp & vegging, with raw egg in hot wheat noodles. Dh's bento box had pickled veggies, california roll, pork, shirmp, potato salad and tempura. I'm starting to think that the only thing I really like in Japanese food is sushi/sashimi.

We went out to Habana Cuban restaurant last night with friends from Ann Arbor. They had just been there that week and it came highly recommended. It was a definate change of pace from typical "mexican" flavoring. Lots of lemon juice and tropical fruits & veggies. I really liked dh's shreaded port dish. The appetizers and sides where also really yummy.

Dh and I discussed getting a world map and pushpins for all the ethnic food types we've eaten in a restaurant or made at home since we where married. He parents have a US map with all the places they visited since married and it is getting quite full.

I went to Spinning class this morning. It felt awesome to be healthy again. No aches, no twinges and no fear of hurting myself (or my eggs). I am worried about how well I'm administering my PIO shots

28 October 2007

No Nothings

Weight: 161.4 lbs
Mood: Up and Down
Medications: 1/2 ml progesterone in oil intermuscular injection

Missing yesterday's phone call and they didn't leave a message. So no news is good news right?

Spent the weekend at in-laws. I had to do my own injections in the upper thigh. I couldn't catch dh's eye Saturday night, the boob tube had captured him. This morning we where sharing a room with dsd and I had to discreatly sneak out at 6 am for shot. This evening we where on the freeway and we stopped at a Panera Bread and I did the injection in the bathroom. Not a single shot in the butt yet.

I had to take it really easy yesterday, every ounce of liquid I drank I retained all day and peed out at night. Daily fluctuation of about 3 lbs. I tried getting some powerade and that seemed to work pretty well, but carbonated beverage was instant bloat.

I did try going for a walk this afternoon, felt a little bit touchy but otherwise ok. I'm not moving too fast, I had to remind long-legged dh to slow down for me. What I did on Thursday night and Friday Morning....FOOLISH. High carb & sugar foods cause water retention and Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrom is fluid retention. Working out...prolly pretty dumb too.

Saying that, I have packed my bags for Spinning class tomorrow. We find out tomorrow if our transfer is Tuesday or Wednesday, how many and how many of what was left survived their freeze.

27 October 2007

Ninety-nine Red Balloons

Weight: 159.4 lbs
Mood: Optimistic
Medications: Doxicycline twice per day, PIO 1/2 ml in PM

So I told you about the fabulous pig out, now for the after affect. By bedtime last night I had bloated to a not so healthy 166lbs. All the fluid seemed to be in my post weight lose skin folds around my belly. I didn't have any of the other signs of OHSS, so I decided to be patient and wait until morning before deciding what to do.

Every two hours last night I am up in the bathroom peeing and this morning back down in normal range. I promise to be more careful with my liquids & carbs today. Carbs I know would normally account for some of that, but geez!

We are off to Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor for dsd's soccer game. It's game day at U of M so the place should be a traffice mess. Dh hopes to get downtown and parked so we can window shop while the football freaks are tailgating. My only goal for today was to carve pumpkins with dsd at MIL's house.

Speaking of MIL, we start PIO shots tonight and she's a nurse. We have a real injection professional in the house and we are going to do our PIO shots in her basement under her nose. If you are reading this blog you are either on the short list of people who know, or a stranger. Of course this list seems to grow everytime I look around: our immediate work supervisor's know, my office manager knows something, dh told one of his coworkers, my sister & husband, dh's sister & husband, and our mutual friend Patty, the soon to be massage therapist.

Dh says nurse #2 was impressed that we kept a tight circle on this. I guess many 1st time IVFer's tell everyone and then have to deal with all that attention and emotional crap. Then they get nailed with a negative result and it gets worse. Like I said before, I'm not looking for pity. After the last two days, I'm not sure I'd make a career out of IVF like some people have.

26 October 2007


Weight: 161 lbs
Mood: Depressed
Medications Doxycycline twice per day

What happens when you take away a women's eggs and she had no polar bodies on her ovaries to produce progesterone....you get instant depression. Couple that with horrible cramps and issues using anything in the gut lower than the stomach = bad day.

Last night we went out to the Walldorff for dinner. For the first time in years I just let loose and pigged out. I felt so awful physically that I drowned myself in grease. My menu last night: 20 oz oatmeal stout, deep fried portabella fries with honey mustard dip, batter dipped Montey Cristo sandwich with raspberry sauce, big order of kettle chips and to top it off, coconut & pecan crusted vanilla ice cream snowball with fudge sauce. Oink, oink, oink. This is the type of food I used to eat at 270 lbs. I cannot remember a meal like this in the last three years hence the 161 lb weigh in.

I was hoping to sleep hard, went to bed at 8:30 pm, but as usual I was up before 5 am. I made sure I took the prenatel vitamins with stoll softener last night. Anything lower than stomach region is in total revolt. It hurts to do anything. It's like someone shoved a stick in my belly button and stirred it around.

I'm a stubborn cuss so I went to the gym this morning. Here I am, shuffling along, can't even stand up straight, in gym shorts and a tank wandering into a room full of sweaty adults pounding away on cardio machines. So what do I do? Park myself on the windjammer (think upper body bicycle) and proceed to slowly workout. Eventually went to find the seated stair stepper when I got bored. That was a hard workout but the hot shower afterward was glorious.

Work today has not been good, I'm in pain and my boss was upset that I missed a day. He was nicer when I reminded him that yesterday was surgery day....hello.

Another reason to be depressed: fertilization report. 18 pulled out of me, 15 good enough to mess with and only 8 fertilized. When they stripped the coverings off the 15 they found two more old maids and 3 immature. Two of them didn't bother to fertilize for us, leave 8. They said 4 where grade 1 and 4 where grade 2 at the two cell stage. Nurse#1 says they'll check on them again tomorrow, pull the frontrunners to take to blast and freeze the rest. She said I sould expect either two excellent grade embies or one good one and two average ones for next week.

I know everyone says that 8 is great, but what's gonna be left by Tuesday of next week. Don't get me wrong, I don't want 8 babies, but it just adds to the depression that our cushion of eggs/embryos dimishes every day. I wanted to have extra to share, now I might not have enough for just me. :(

25 October 2007

15 Eggs, and 3 Old Maids

Weight: 157.4 lbs
Mood: I'm in pain yet pleased
Medications: Doxycylcline twice per day

Egg retrival was this morning. I slept in until 6:45 am, showered, picked up the kitchen and tried to distract myself from my early morning hunger with gum. I wasn't supposed to eat or drink anything since midnight, but I know how easily I get dehydrated so I sipped water here and there to prevent that headache. I still had to take the antibiotic this morning. It has big red stickers...Take with 8oz water and take with meals. Of course I can't, so first 45 minutes after it hits my stomach are miserable. I thought I was gonna loose my cookies right there.

We waited until the last second for dh to produce his sample, hopped in the car and drove up to GR. I was driving and was too out of it being sick over the antibiotics to care that we where stuck behind a truck going 45 mph. We got there in plenty of time and got the parking spot closest to the door. I didn't want to have to navigate more than the one flight of stairs necessary to get out of RE's office. By the time we got there the worst of the antibiotic upset was over.

Going in there at 9:30 am is much more sedate than the 8:00 am rush. Nurse #2 got us squared away with urine samples, dh's blood sample, and the final consent to surgical procedure paperwork. They had me in a hospital gown and hooked up to heart rate moniter and blood pressure cuff while they where processing dh. I got to play a little with biofeedback on the moniters. My sitting heart rate was between 48-58 which set off the alarms when it dropped below 50. My blood pressure was in the 105/75 area.

My RE pops in, puts on his little surgical booties, hat & mask and proceeds to start my IV. He serenaded me with the little ditty "You're so vein, you probably think this needle is for you, you're so vein...." I musta been out of it, cause he was on the second refrain before I got the pun.

Dh gets to watch all garbed up in the corner. Nurse #1 joins us and fires up the good drugs. I assume the normal position and the drugs kick in. I know I was in pain. I can remember trying to resist it and stay relaxed. I remember both "excursions" into the ovaries, but I cannot remember any conversations going on around me. Dh says my face grimaced up and occasionally I would moan.

I don't really remember coming out of it. My first real memory is of Nurse #2 asking me if I'd like to sit up and Nurse #1 bringing in a juice box. Food! I wanted that juice box something fierce. They let me recover for a while. Sometime in there someone I asked what we got and Nurse #2 said 18 total eggs, 15 mature and 3 atretic (too old). Pretty good for the 17 follicles we found on Monday.

Nurse handed me some wash rags and a maxi pad. Now I expected blood, but geeze I left a mess on the table. I guess I assumed that follicles where full of clear liquid, dh assures me I was wrong. I was mobile at the point but still drugged enough to shuffle about and get dressed without assistance. Dh helped me down to the car and we where off in the bright morning sun, 2 hours after we arrived.

As we drove home and the drugs wore off the pain got bad. I had to eventually lie down. At first I wanted to stop in GR for lunch, then looking at the time I thought we could hold out for Hastings, by the time we got to the M-6 I just wanted to go home and sleep it felt so bad. I almost collapsed twice it was so bad walking into the house, but dh got me installed on the couch with an afgan and a Vicodin. An hour later I was fine and looking for decaf coffee and a bowl of oatmeal. Confort foods extrodinare! Even now it's like very, very bad constipation.

We'll go to the Walldorff tonight and since I'm doing a 5 day transfer I'm thinking beer, bbq, and dessert!

24 October 2007

Ripening Egg Day

Weight: 159.6 lbs
Mood: Tired, but that's to be expected
Medications: Doxycycline twice per day (antibiotic for tomorrow's procedure)
Nurse's Restrictions: No sex, no milk products near antibiotic time.

So dh gave me the trigger shot last night at 11:30 PM. He was quite nervous about it, but I had it mixed and ready to go. Maybe he's afraid he would hurt me, but I've been enduring self adminstered sub-Q shots and all these blood draws, so what's another needle shoved in somewhere. He was really surprised how well the needle went in, and the injection itself didn't hurt much. I've looked three times and I can't find the exact spot he hit me at.

I tried to nap between the end of Biggest Loser and the shot while dh stayed up, didn't get much sleep. In fact I was up at 5 AM like usual with only 7 hours of sleep (again). This time I had a sore upper hip to boot.

So guess what I woke up with this morning....2 more lbs of Boobs! These are the real deal, the ones I used to have when I weighed 180-190ish. The ones I dieted out of because they where a real pain in the back. When I weighed in the 270's I was wearing a 46DDDD, when I got down to 180-190 I was wearing a 36DD/38D, but I felt between sizes and my back was killing me. I have the same issue that many post-bariatric/post-weightloss women have with bra sizing. I won't go into details but I went to bed a 36D- and woke up a 36D+ full figured.

I did Spinning class again today. I have less ovary awareness as the time has gone one, things have settled into new homes in my gut. I'm still restricting my movement on the bike and avoiding certain weight machines. The sandbag gut is an afternoon thing.

Less than 24 hours to egg retrieval, wish me luck!

23 October 2007

Release the hounds!

Weight: 157.6 lbs (still :) )
Mood: Normal
Medications: 250 Ganirelix Acetate, 10000 units HCG

Trigger shot tonight at 11:30, retrival at 9:30 Thursday AM.

I did a full blow workout today at the gym. I couldn't sleep so I went early and ended up with leftover time on the treadmill reading a magazine. The last few days I haven't really felt anything except after sitting at work for a few hours. Once I get up and moving, I reattain normalcy. I want to stay up to watch Biggest Loser tonight, but then I have to get up again at 11:30 for trigger shot. I might as well mix it up and take the injection upstairs.

I can't say dh is happy about having to give the shot, but this one's gotta go in the butt and I can't reach.

22 October 2007

Halloween Embies!

Weight: 156.7 lbs
Mood: Bummed in AM, much happier after nurse's call
Medications: 150 Menopur, 125ish Follistim, 250 Ganirelix Acetate

Today was my final ultrasound/bloodwork. I did my normal run through Spinning class. Brenda was substituting for Wendy, so I didn't have to explain why I was taking it easy to a second person. Lifted a few weights but didn't do a full 15 minute cardio because I thought we'd be on the edge of egg retrieval. I was wrong.

I got to the RE's office by 8:10, looks like I was again fourth in line. Started with my ultrasound, he was counting and measuring away. He also took a measurement of the thickness of my lining. Same resident/intern was recieve lessons on how to manipulate my uterus so you could get a nice side view. Good thing I wasn't tender today. So either way, my left ovary is still the leader with 11 folicles (7 big, 4 small) and my right has made an attempt to catch up with 6 follicles (4 big, 2 small). Only one was over 20mm so RE said retrieval 40% chance for Wednesday, 60% chance for Thursday depending on bloodwork.

At this point is when I asked him if there was a big red button for Dh to push where he could say "release the hounds". He laughed and said "He has to do the HCG shot". I guess it counts cause its a plunger. Maybe I should get magic marker and color the end of the syringe red. RE was pleased with the appearance of things.

Then they shuffled me off to the nurse's office for consult regarding HCG shot and retrival procedures. The nurse (#3) filled out two seperate protocols entirely for the two date options. They said 9:30 appointment for either day, but they want us there at 9:10 with dh's sample. I guess dh has to do a urine test and blood draw the day of the retrieval. I assume they'll get the same from me, but they where not explicit about it. They also told me about my antibiotics and how I can't eat/drink milk products with them. Darnit! I want my cereal for breakfast!

The blood draw today was not fun. My previously reliable left arm gave up, the nurse (#3) hunted around for another vein in my right arm and wasn't having any luck. She was looking in my hand, but didn't want to go there because my hands where too cold. She got called away by nurse (#2) who substituted in, hunted around another few minutes before going back to left arm and trying a vein about 1/2 cm to the outside of the first try. That was not pleasant; I won't miss blood draws!

Two things I like about my RE's office, good magazines & bowls of chewy candy and chocolate. One thing I don't like (and neither do they), no space. The place is tiny. Two docs, three nurses, two embryologist and 4 receptionist/secretaries in an office the size of a 2 bedroom aparment. Nurse #2 joked that you should see them all and lunch time crammed around their little coffee table.

I was pretty depressed coming home. I started doing the math and with a retrevial on Wed or Thurs our weekend was going to get really complicated. They prefer 3 day transfers, being a "right to life" orientated office, RE is nervous the longer embies are out of the body or not frozen. So we where looking at an embroyo transfer on Saturday or Sunday, right when we where supposed to be spending the weekend at the in-laws. Dh was already living down the flack from bailing on grandpa's visit when his class got rescheduled. So was it going to be Wed/Sat and screw up dh's parent-teacher conferences & kidlet's soccar game, or was it going to be Thur/Sun and cause issues with in-law brunch?

So I sat at work, bloated and bummed out about the excuses we where going to have to make. Luckily, nurse called and said Thur/Tues(Wed). Woot! 5 day transfer. Makes me happy because it's a reduction in multiple rate and they must feel confident about my chances to take it to 5 days. Many outfits don't do 5 day transfers because 1) it takes more effort in the lab, 2) they don't want to be in the position to say none of the embies made it to 5 days and there is nothing to transfer. Doesn't matter where the embryo is, petri dish, or in uetro if there is something wrong with it, it won't make it to day five. Shaking the rotten apples out of the tree before you start picking might mean fewer apples, but they'll be better.

21 October 2007

Fall Color Tour

Weight: 157.6
Mood: Normal
Medications: Follistim 150, Menopur 150, Ganirelix Acetate 250

Just arrived back from my bike ride to Thornapple Lake and back. The wind out of the south was a killer. I got a little sun and a little excercise. Michigan in the mid 70's at the end of October...can we say global climate change? Dh and I plan on grilling tonight, possible last chance of the season.

I'm a bit nervous about tomorrow. I haven't felt any issues in the pelvic area in a few days. I expected that I'd be couch bound by now, but am relatively perky. Time is just crawling by. I'll be so happy to drop this sandbag from my gut. Theoretically only one set of stimms left to go if I'm going to trigger tomorrow night.

20 October 2007

Nine Squares

Weight: 157 lbs
Mood: Normal
Medications: Follistim 150, Menopur 150, Ganerilex Acetate 250

Today is going so much better. Woke up without the alarm, had a leasuirly breakfast and went to the gym first thing for Spinning class. I told Brenda that I was taking an "active recovery" day and wouldn't be doing anything in position 2, which has the most bounce. Gave myself a good workout by modifing resistance instead. I also substituted eliptical machine for the rowing machine to avoid midrif issues.

I finished piecing the top of my nephew, Alex's, quilt today. Simple blue 9 square with 5" squares. This is my 9th quilt so far. I made a log cabin in HS, a 4 square for my bed before I was married, a hex flower one for my step-daughter, a earthtone 9 square for my neice Kimmy (10), a red 4 square for my neice Sammy (9), a pink 9 square for my neice Shayla (6), and two hand pieced crazy quilts which I think? are still at stepdaughter's mom's house. I intended on sending the nice hex flower one home with her, but she claimed the crazy quilt (made from dh's old twin comforter) instead. I thought she was getting grabby, but she explained that she still had a character (Barbie?) comforter, and she was getting a little too big at age 9 for that. So the flower one is on her bed here instead.

I try to give these quilts for Christmas around kindergarten, so it's been about one per year. I'm planning on a purple one for next year for Ella (4), a yellow one for Sara (2), and green for Drake (6 m). I might get more adventurous with the patterns soon. I'm thinking scallops for Ella and some sort of sunburst (diamonds) for Sara. I started another crazy quilt with scraps with no particular use/destination in mind.

I can't for the life of me remember what happened to the crazy quilt I made out of dh's ex's old comforter. I think her little half-brother actually has it. I don't know how Aiden got it...but that where I think it ended up. (Found it eventually at Patty's house)

Did I also mention I make soap?

19 October 2007

Fuzzy Headed

Weight: 156.6
Mood: Befuddled, tired.
Medications: Follistim 150, Menopur 150, Ganirelix Acetate 250

Now I know why most IVF blogs die out in the few days before egg retrieval. Sheesh, I just gained a sandbag around my middle. I really took it easy today at the gym and knocked off 15 minutes early. I just haven't had my normal enthusiam for life today. I almost cried at my desk today when I realized the Monday at work could only be worse.

Today I start taking Ganirelix Acetate to prevent premature ovulation and drop my Follistim a bit. Menopur is doubled but I've run out of the 30 gauge micro-needles that came with my meds. Closest thing I could get locally was 27 gauge. They look a little more intimidating, but then again I'll have to work up to 25 gauge for my inter muscular shots.

It was particularly cold out today, and like last Saturday I was pretty miserable. Seems that my achiness and lethargy are related to temperature. I am so much happier in my warm house right now.

Took my mom out to lunch today. She was lamenting the fact that her children are too busy for her. Of course, we all work, support families and have social lives outside of our birth family. I try to take my mom to lunch every other week and try to peg it to my paydays so I can treat. We went to Mill's Landing which is supposedly a fish place. Dh isn't thrilled with the place, but it is my mom's speed.

I hope I feel better tomorrow. I still want to do Spinning with Brenda. It's a stubborn thing, sticking with my routine, but I want perpetuate my good health through this process. I don't think you do yourself any favors by shocking your system with a change daily activity in addition to all these injections. Of course, we'll see how I feel these last few days.

18 October 2007

Still Pokey

Weight: 157.6 lbs
Mood: Normal bordering on happy, getting excited now!
Medications: Follistim 200, Menopur 75

Today was my second stimming ultrasound and blood draw. Same intern/resident doing the ultrasound with the RE. My RE is a real baseball movie & Kevin Costner fan. I felt kinda bad because he was trying to be conversational about something I know nothing about. Didn't want to crush his efforts by saying that I wasnt' exactly into baseball. I'm more of a participant than a spectator.

Either way...today's good news. Looks like 12 follies over 10mm on the left ovary and 4 follies over 10mm on the right. RE asked me if I had any plans for this weekend. He sent me into a bit of a panic. I was supposed to have ultrasound on Saturday and I thought ER this weekend was too soon. So he says "make some plans, enjoy yourself, because I don't need to see you again until Monday." *whew*

I'm very pleased with my left ovary, it's kicking butt! Pretty darn good for a 35 year old collection of proto eggs. Hopefully righty catches up soon. RE and intern/resident both have had problems getting the right ovary to display on the ultrasound. They knocked my Follistim back to 150 and Menopur up to 150 starting tomorrow and added the Ganerilex to mature the follies.

I'm not feeling the ovaries as much anymore, kinda gotten used to their presence. I am avoiding anything resembling a torso twist or anything that is jarring. I also have tried to find more loose pants. RE said I had a little fluid around the ovaries but that was normal.

Dh and I went out to the Walldorff for dinner last night. We didn't get Sushi because they were booked. So we set in the bar and enjoyed a nice normal meal. So no beer and no raw fish for me, so I wasn't even tempted. Dh ordered fish & chips and two Oatmeal Stouts and was quite happy by the time we got home. We saw the sushi and decided that we lucked into a better meal. We are used to "real" sushi and the local offering wasn't exactly "artistic".

17 October 2007

Being Careful

Weight: 156.4 lbs
Mood: Normal
Medications: 200 Follistim, 75 Menopur
Side Effects: Firm lower abdominal area (had to get bigger pants) & oilier skin.

I notice I am being more careful. I was thinking if some axe murderer jumped out of the bushes that I couldn't exactly run away. I measured by waist at lunch and it's two inches larger then normal. That's a very firm measurement too, not my usual jiggly gut. It felt very good to come home and find my relaxed jeans.

My weight popped back up saving me from being spoon fed lard. We did negotiate that the lard could be contained in a donut or other such fried food. Since I make handmade soap, I do have a bucket of lard lying around. Actually I am the oil queen. I have tallow, vegtable shortening, coconut, safflower, sunflower, walnut, olive, palm, soybean, castor, sesame, apricot kernal & grapeseed oils, cocoa & shae butters and wax. I have 38 essential or fragerance oils too. On that note, I made for myself and dh a batch of unscented soap for embryo transfer day, so we aren't smelly.

Afternoons seem to be my most tender/bloated times. I'm fine in the morning which is good because that's when I go to the gym. I did Spinning class again today and held back a bit, but Wendy was running us with Strength & Endurance so I was able to adapt. Since my 3rd blood draw is Saturday, I won't be Spinning then. I noticed that bending forward on the rowing machine is becoming an issue, no pain just presence.

Dh and I are eating out tonight, he is late back from meeting at work, so it's stims and off for Sushi night at local brewpub. I'll stick to the safe fish....promise.

16 October 2007

Early Blog

Weight: 155.4 lbs
Mood: Tired cause I stayed up to watch Heros
Medications: 200 Follistim, 75 Menopur

Not much to report today. My weight dropped again but I have been eating full daily caloric requirement (I keep track ya know). If I had to guesstimate, I would say that stimming is taking about an extra 400 calories out of me per day. If I hit 155, then I cross into the "husband force feeding me lard" stage. Of course, this all may be natural variation within a normal cycle.

My inclination is to have dinner out and enjoy a license to "pig-out". Unfortunately last Friday when we went out to dinner I could barely finish my salad. After I set for an hour I ordered some pie and that went ok. My stomach growls near meals, but I don't feel that emotional pressure to eat. That emotional need to eat has been a constant for as long as I can remember. I eat on schedule now to limit my food intake, but now that schedule is keeping me eating when I may be inclined to forget.

I keep thinking I should post some before and after weight loss pictures, but that would require finding something particularly fat for the before and something particularly happy for the after shot. I should find a grumpy skinny shot and a happy fat shot to prove that it was real weight loss rather than a doctored picture like you see in the weight loss ads.

15 October 2007


Weight: 155.8 lbs (yes, it's down again)
Mood: normal (still)
Medications: Follistim 200, Menopur 75

Had my first stimming ultrasound and first blood draw today. I still went to Spinning class knowing that Wendy likes to do strength training on Monday which is no bouncing around. I decided to shower at the gym before leaving. I was at RE's office 10 minutes early last time, so I figured 20 minutes later start time would get me clean and avoid rush hour traffic. At 8:10 am when I arrived I was 4th in line of what would be eventually 6 people.

That tacked another 40 minutes onto my wait. It seems that my RE has interns/residents on rotation. There was a young doctor at our initial consult and a different one today driving my ultrasound. She was having a bit of a problem finding my ovaries. I have a retroverted uterus, which places the ovaries anterior and the uterus posterior along the spine. The RE got her redirected and started the counting and measuring. Looks like 4-5 on one side and 6 on another, nothing greater than 7mm.

The RE said I was being "pokey" in my response and asked if my period went later than normal. It had by a day. He remarked that I wasn't producing enough of my own estrogen and so he upped my Follistim. He then asked if the intern/resident could keep looking around. I must be a real sport; I could be one of those pelvic exam training coaches like I met at the NOW National Conference.

I have a "too tall for stirrups" problem, my feet rest on the top edge of the stirrup and the circulatioin gets cut off to my toes. I can see where in another few days this exam is going to get painful because I have to have my legs at such a severe angle to be far enough down for the exam. I haven't been having any real pain, but I can see this is gonna get uncomforatable pretty soon.

After ultrasound was the dreaded blood draw. My usual nurse brings me into the cubby and I promptly inform her that I need to lay down. So she drags me off to the surgery suite for my blood draw. I tell her to go for the hand, so she chooses a likely spot, but further down my hand than I am used to. She wasn't getting good flow, and needed 3 full vials. I could feel the needle hitting the back of my vein along the tendon and broke out into a sweat and got a bit loopey. She gave up at that point, hoping that it would be enough.

I asked her about my loss of appetite. She said usually the meds make you hungry because any nausea is overcome by the extra B6/B12 in the prenatels and most people stress out and eat. That made sense in my case then because I am not taking extra B6/B12. She took my blood down to the lab who sent her back for more. *sigh*

We tried in the arm the second time. Much better success. I speculated that we stopped taking blood from my arm about the time I was hitting my max weight. She said extra "andropose" causes problems with blood draws. I hope we can go back the the arm veins, it went so much better. Ending up taking out 4 1/2 vials total and I hit the granola bar and red pear I had in my purse like a women possessed on the way out.

So they've upped my Follistim to 200 units. She said they'd call only if there was something wrong in the bloodwork and that I need to go back on Thursday and Saturday. I'm really glad I have been using the entire Follistim cartridge, because with the increase I only have another 6 days worth.

I'm not feeling too hot at the moment. I started feeling weird at today's injection. Late afternoon seems to be the worst for me. It's like the blood pools in my gut after sitting all day and going home and starting chores is uncomforatable. I was actually leaning on the shopping cart at Meijer today because standing straight was uncomforatable. I'm hoping a bath tonight will soften some of these bean bags in my pelvis.

14 October 2007

Maybe I Need More Caffiene

Weight: 156.8lbs
Mood: Awake finally, limited appetite still
Medications: Estrace/Estrido 2mg, Follistim 150, Menopur 75

I didn't get to sleep-in much today. We had to grab step-daughter's guest and have her home in Kalamazoo by 10am. I proceeded then to crash on their couch for 2 hours to make up for lost sleep while the kids played D&D. I had every intention of going down to Bicentennial Park to get some excercise, but that idea flew out of my head when I wrapped up in the fuzzy blanket on the couch. Good thing I did, the drive to take step-daughter home would have been terrible without the sleep.

On the trip back I grabed a 1 liter Diet Mountain Dew, totally forgetting about staying off the caffeine. About 15 minutes later I felt so much better. Sitting in the passenger seat of the car is a bit uncomforatable in the mid section, so I put the seat back a few notchs and felt much better. Driving didn't cause any issues. I was telling dh that the pressure is kind of like having gas but no constipation. I have a feeling that I should be looking for my elastic waist pants for later this week.

I think most of my issues yesterday were due to the cold weather. I do notice my discomfort comes in waves, mostly due to being stationary for too long. Well off to do my 6pm injections. Tomorrow is my 2nd ultrasound and 1st blooddraw, gotta remember that granola bar.

13 October 2007

It's Late and I haven't Blogged Yet

Weight: 156.2
Mood: Fine
Meds: Estrace/Estridol 2mg, Follistim 150, Menopur 75
Side effects: Pimples, appetite loss, mild discomfort in lower abs

After midnite and I finally shooed the last house guest out the door. Dh went to bed sick, so I couldn't beg off myself to go rest myself. The last three days I've noticed a decrease in appetite. I didn't think it was a side effect of the meds, but after three days now, it probably is. I also have three tiny pimples, here today gone tomorrow. That is not normal. I also know that I have ovaries now...a wee bit of on again - off again weirdness in the lower abdominals. No pain, just parts shifting about.

I started at the gym as normal, after a night trying to get comforatable sleeping on my side. I was careful with weight lifting, taking core areas slowly to check for any discomfort. I was fine until I got to Spinning class. Normally if it had been Brenda, Wendy, Angie or Lynette, we would have a more sedate class of endurance or strength training. Jon on the other hand likes speed and jumps, something I was leary of doing. I didn't exactly get a stellar workout having a bit of discomfort as my innards tried to adjust to 120 rpms on a stationary bike. The first fifteen minutes of class I held back, then it felt like things relaxed a bit and I was able to finish the class with less concern. I was spending alot of concentration of supporting my abdominals and limiting the amout of "bounce" in my pedal stroke. Any further Spinning classes will have to stay in the seated position or a heavy climb with slow cadance.

After that I drove to Grand Rapids to table at an outdoor event. Spent most of my time on my feet in 50 degree weather. I was glad to come home, even if it was to a houseful. My back is achey from all that standing and ovaries are saying "hello there" with every shift in position. I worry that I knocked a few follicles out of contention today.

After so long promising to myself that I'd be good during IVF, I had a beer last night with dinner. I didn't exactly order it for myself, sipped at it a bit and gave most of it away to a friend. That and they didn't have caffine-free pop at the restaurant. They only had one type of diet even. I'm not a worried about pop as I am about coffee. I did have one cup of regular coffee today that friend purchased for me. Out in 50 degree weather and on my feet, I really wanted the warmup.

I had packed my shots in the cooler with my lunch and hid all my meds in the box on top of the china cabinet (except for Follistim extras in the cheese drawer hidden behind the tofu). I just took my little Follistim med case which I had loaded with the Menopur supplies up to my room and did my injection with all the company downstairs.

I'm really tired now and it is well after midnight. Making pancakes for breakfast tomorrow for step kid and her overnight guest. I hope I sleep well.

12 October 2007

Stealthy Plans

Weight: 156.8
Mood: Normal
Medications: Estrace/Estridol 2mg, Follistim 75, Menopur 150

How do you hide all those IVF meds from the 12 year old step-daughter, the cleaning lady, friends & family? In plain sight of course. Who looks in my cheese drawer or in the big white box on the dining room table? It's hiding the injection schedule or working around it when you want to go do dinner in the big city that is going to be a challenge. I have a 6:15 injection that I need to make a little bit early and then I have to hide the meds for Saturday or take them with me to the event I am tabling at for NOW. I guess I'll just take the Follistim along with me. It has everything it needs in it's little carrying case. The Menopur is a problem in that it needs to be mixed and has two needles, one syringe and two vials in it's production.

As for hiding IVF, there is the short list of people who know. My sister and her husband know, Dh's sister and her husband know and I told my boss yesterday. I told my coworker that I was going in for bloodwork to "balance my hormones". I didn't want to explain IVF to her, she has a startling lack of basic education. As for the rest of the family...there are some that would be supportive and other's would make clueless and mean comments. The problem is that even the supportive ones may make clueless comments and hurt my feelings. I don't want the judgement, I don't want any sympathy, and I don't need the stress of failure extending from their expectations.

For the last 5 years, dh and I have cultivated the belief within our family that we where childless by choice. My family knows about his vasectomy, his family does not. (His mother would kill him.) If we were not sucessful in vas reversal, then no one knows and everyone thinks things are going just like we planned. Monkey wrentch tossed in the mix by a sucessful vas reversal with antibodies. So close... natural conception might occur anytime before I hit menopause as his antibodies go away, but who wants to be surprise pregnant at 42?

If this works, I expect the most surprised person with be my step-daughter. I hated my mother when she got pregnant when I was 14 with sibling #5. I had three more years of high school with a infant brother that mean-spirited fellow student accused my virginal self of giving birth to. Made it worse when he was found to be partially deaf and I had to take him to pre-primary impaired special ed classes at my school every morning. I hope my step-daughter won't have the same issues that I had with the age difference.

Injection last night went quicker; I'm getting better at pulling fluid out of vials. We are going off to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner and trivia with a friend after tonight's injections. Tomorrow I have to try to fit the injections in between a trip to Grand Rapids and company at my house (three kids, and 6 adults). That's what bedroom locks are for I guess.

11 October 2007

More Details on Sharp Things

Weight: 157.2 lbs
Mood: A wee bit tired, coming down off being nervous as a cat and catching up on two late nights watching Hero and The Biggest Loser
Medications: Estrace 2mg, Follistim 150, Menopur 75

I kinda glossed over my first injection because I had rambled on too long regarding my baseline ultrasound. I had to stop at the market after work to get cotton pads and rubbing alcohol since it wasn't inculded in my box from the pharmacy.

I have this habit of putting off work I don't want to do with work I don't want to do a little less. So instead of doing dishes, I may cut coupons which I find to be less onerous, but is still work that needs to be done. So to put off playing pin cusion, I decided to start working on cuttng hot peppers for the batch of salsa I plan on making tonight. I've made the mistake in the past of not wearing rubber gloves and got all sorts of eye burn when I accidentally touched my eyes. So with rubber gloves on hand I delayed my first injection by inhaling noxious pepper fumes. Our peppers are hot enough the breathing them in burns too.

So with peppers finished, I pulled out the Follistim pen, Follistim med, and Menopur pack. The nurse had taped the syringe and needle I needed to use for the injection to the box so no confusion there. I pulled the Follistim pen out, took it apart and had to consult the instructions as to how to load it up and swab the bits. I also had to put on the tiny little needle it wanted. It also asked me to prime the needle to make sure it kicked out the fluid.

There is something good about loosing weight and going from a 48 inch waist to a 32 inch waist. I have 32 inches of nerve endings spread out over 48 inches of skin. So pinching a inch or two and putting something sharp into it is less likely to hit a nerve. I've had injections and blood draws over the last few years often enough to know to look away and get it over with. Self inflicting the injection though.....That follistim pen's needle was tiny. Smaller than a straight pin, and certainly sharper. I swabbed the area correctly, let it dry, and after a moments hesitation I pushed the needle in....

No pain, just presence. I've had painless blooddraws where your skin doesn't acknowlege pain, but you veins cry a silent bloody murder which will cause a cold sweat. So my internal system knew something was disturbed, but my skin wasn't participating in the excercise. Took a moment to get my hand adjusted and I pushed the meds in. It's funny how the pen rotates against your thumb, but I did it.

Now onto the Menopur. No pens and some mixing to do. I had watched a YouTube video on mixing the meds, so after cleaning the water vial, I took the syringe (with a big needle) and injected 1 cc of air into the vial and let pressure help me take out 1 cc of liquid. I then put that into the powder vial, which dissolved immediately. At this point is when my husband asked how it was going and I told him that I had already did the Follistim and had moved onto the Menopur. (He was a wee bit surprised)

Now getting all the med out of the vial took a little while. The method on YouTube didn't work for me and I went with the method the nurse showed me, which worked fine. I changed needles to the tiny one which seem to be the same size as the Follistim. I am sure I made a mistake on this first injection. I thought I had all the air at the top of syringe, but as I pushed the plunger into to eject it, I kept getting medicine. So I wasted all of the medicine in the needle. Next time I plan on pulled air in to clear the needle before I check for bubbles.

The second injection was easier, knowing to expect little or no sensation. I had more fluid to put in so it took a little while longer to push it all in. Neither of the injection locations bled at all, and one day later are tiny little red pin pricks. The Menopur had a bit of warmth afterward, but not the burn that some people say it does. (I'm only doing 75 IUs though)

So here I am expecting some symptoms to show up...still waiting. I ran to the library to get a new book on tape for the gym and to the store for some onions for tonights salsa. I guess I do my injection tonight after cutting onions. The injections should be a breeze once I stop crying from the onions.

10 October 2007

Busy Day with Tomatoes & Sharp Things

Weight: 158.8
Mood: Pumped
Medication: 2mg Estrace morning, 150 Follistim, 75 Menopur in evening

I got up at 4:50 when I couldn't sleep anymore, took my Estrace, dressed, packed my meds, ate a larger than normal breakfast and went to the gym for Spinning Class. I ate the large breakfast in anticipation of a blood draw at my first visit. Spinning class took forever, it's hard to zone out when you have "brain like squirrel".

I dashed out of Spinning class and had to drive in rush hour traffic up to Grand Rapids; East Beltline no less. I left the gym at 6:50 and arrived at Spectrum at 7:40, brushed my hair, ate and apple and hucked my big box o' meds up to the third floor. I was the first one there; actually I was the only one there. Dr. Daly breezed in at about 7:55, grabbed my chart and we where off and running. After a quicky ultrasound to discover I have about half a dozen proto-incipient follicles on the right and another slightly larger batch of proto-incipient follicles on the left, he released me to the nurse for my injection lessons.

The Nurse sat down and started writing out my instructions as I gazed out the window. The sun had come up to mostly overcast skies, but a break in the clouds had provided the opening and the dark, ominous clouds where the back drop for a very nice rainbow *good omen*. I had spent some time up on You Tube looking at injection lessons, so I had some knowledge going into the meeting. I didn't feel like a total dork and all of my meds looked to be in order. She also gave me the paperwork necessary for embroyo donation. It's a requirement at this office unless you personally check your embies out and destroy them yourself. I had to fill out a form for our general apperance and ethnic background.

Me - 5'11" 158lbs, brown hair, brown eyes, fair complexion, English/German
DH - 6'5" 175lbs, dk blond hair, blue eyes, fair complexion, Polish/German

The ladies took my $7125 cashier's check while I grabbed some salt water taffy from their candy bowl and I was off again. Time: 8:30!

The drive back home was a fraction of the drive up to GR. I stopped at the farmer's market lookin for some tomatoes and ended up playing u-pick while a hayride full of elementary students drove by. The owner only charged me $4 for these late season Romas. I had to stop back home to put groceries away and rechill my meds and I was to work by 10:30.

Just before noon, I finally cornered my boss. I told him that I'd be out on and off for the next two weeks because Jeff and I where doing IVF to get pregnant. He broke out in an ear to ear smile and said congrats and good luck. I told him that he was only the third person to know and not to tell anyone and he said actually he couldn't because of HIPAA. I decided to tell him first rather then our office manager, Missey, because I though it would be bad form to tell a non-department co-worker before my boss. I actually wanted to tell Missey and Debbie, but with Debbie off on family medical leave, I'll wait till she stops in to visit.

So today I start my injectables! I have plenty of saggy belly to jab stuff into and the nerve endings are spread out over a larger area then a "never been fat" girl. It was so much easier then I expected and compared to the hot pepper fumes I was inhaling in as I cut up peppers for salsa, much more pleasant. We'll see tomorrow if I have any brusing or welts or soreness, but 45 minutes after the injections there is nothing noticable.

09 October 2007

On for Tomorrow

Weight: 159.2
Mood: Nervous as a Cat
Medication: Estrace/Estridol 2mg

I called and confirmed for tommorow. I plan on getting up really early to hit the gym and have my med box packed and ready to go with me. Hopefully I won't be too sweaty after spinning. I hope my intern can manage without me, because for some strange reason I don't expect to make it back before noon.

Not looking forward to the blood draws. I have a habit of passing out. I plan on taking an extra granola bar or two with me. I also plan on doing the low maintance method of clothing, jeans and a t-shirt for me.

08 October 2007

The Stink of Clean

Weight: 159.6
Mood: Normal
Medications: 2mg Estrace / Estridol

Cleaning lady started today. I tried to go home for lunch and my kitchen floor was damp. I decided to head for Subway instead. She had the vacuum going in the other room and I didn't want to disturb her too much on the first day.

We decided to go back to a weekly cleaning after about 4 years of going without. We suddenly needed a new car and decided to cut that $134 per month expense to help make the payments. I have missed it ever since. Since both dh and I work full time and are admitted slobs, we really needed the help. What facilitated the rehiring of the cleaning lady is a sudden (somewhat unexpected) raise dh got when he discovered his coworker was getting paid 20% more than he was for the same job. The raise should also help pay down the home equity line that we took out for IVF in about 6 months less time.

I though today would be a good day to explain what my "routine" consists of.

I excercise everday. I track my calorie intake too. Simple fact is that keeping 115lbs of weight off when every gene in my family is programmed to put it back on is a part time job. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays I take a 45 minute Spinning Class, do another 15 minutes of cardio in the upper body (Windjammer & Rowing Maching) and try to do about 15 minutes of weights. On Tuesdays, Thurdays & Sundays (in winter) I do a circuit training between cardio and weights for about 1.5 hours. On Fridays I relax and just do anything I want in the gym as long as I keep busy. Summer Sundays are usually bike rides in the country or hikes or maybe even a full day off.

Going to an IVF friendly diet hasn't been too hard for me. I've already kicked the white stuff: sugar, white flour, potatoes, white rice. I try for lean protein sources and nothing that I drink other than alchohol has calories. I also am a fruit & veggie freak. My favorite foods are carrots and apples, neither of which I would have eaten before loosing the weight. I call my diet the lean protein & fiber diet.

I am very predictable. Typical day is Kashi Go Lean Cereal, flaxseed, fruit & skim milk for 1st breakfast. Oatmeal/Wheat Groats for 2nd breakfast. Ham, lettuce, pickle, mustard on a low carb wrap with carrots for lunch. 100 calorie Popcorn or sugar free Jello with low-fat whipped cream for snack. Dinner is whatever my dh makes less the starch, then I snack on popcorn, yogurt, ice cream, veggies, fruit, beer or wine until I make calories for the day or go to bed.

I have been taking a multivitamin with extra folic acid since I started the diet. I started adding L-tyrosine and L-carnatine when we first tried to concieve. They are just amino acids to help offset some issues with secondary ammenorea that I had at the end of the weightloss. L-tyrosine is for low thyroid and L-carnatine is to prevent muscle tissue from stealing protien from the reproductive system. I only take the L-carnatine on days where I lift weights for more than 15 minutes.

Back to waiting for AF. I hope my first appointment doesn't take to long. I have an intern I have to supervise three days a week.

Addendum: AF showed after work. I'm jumping to the conclusion that Wed will be my baseline cause there is no way I am ready for tomorrow morning. Bouncing around the kitchen with nerves.

07 October 2007

Long Nap

Weight: 158.4
Mood: Normal with PMS flashes
Medications: 2mg Estridol

Wow, I didn't intend that. I layed down at 1:30 for a quick nap and three hours later....

My natural body clock resists sleep much past 6am and I went to bed after midnite. Then I got up and did my usual Sunday jaunt, a two hour bike ride. To boot, AF is on her way. I have the three zits to prove it and I had an episode of "flame-bitchy" while searching for something in the fridge.

We stopped over at my sister's for dinner last night...Qdoba, one of my favorites. Ever since they put Mexican Gumbo on the menu, I've been a happy camper. I got some quality niece & nephew time. Dh and I had the discussion a couple of weeks ago that Drake & Ella are like the kids that I hope to have. My middle sister and her husband share some of the same values dh and I do when it comes to interacting with children: make eye contact, follow through, set limits. My youngest sister and her husband communicate through the yell til you have to beat them method. Unfortunately, that sister is my neighbor and you can hear the yelling and fights throughout the neighborhood.

06 October 2007

Spelling Errors

Weight: 157.2
Mood: Normal, but hungry
Medications: Estridol/Estrace 2mg

"Therefore we are candidates for IVF with ICSI (iconoclasytic sperm injection)."

I know, I know. I can't spell. My dh found this so funny. I guess "iconoclasym" has more to do with heresy, idol worship and the expectation of the Spanish Inquisition. The word I was looking for is intracytoplasmic.

I talked to my sister last night, but the phone kept cutting out. She's got a infant at home and he wanted in on the conversation. I don't feel like the conversation is done yet, but we had some general catching up to do regarding the rest of our family. I tried to give the general run down of the process, but it has taken me months to get to the level of comfort I have the the terminology and now I have to translate. My sister is a super-duper geneology machine of my family. She's trying to make the link between Crisler and Greisller, which is not proving easy.

AF should show up these week. I'm waiting in line for the rollar coaster in the little ques with the metal bars on each side. No turning back now.

05 October 2007

We got Wii

Weight: 157.2
Mood: Bummed about cat
Medications: 2mg Estrace/Estridol

Not much to report in IVF land, just waiting. We had a really nice dinner out at the Walldorff yesterday. Then we wandered off to the retailer of shame (WalMart) to see if they had the Wii. Dh been looking all over for it and they actually had three. So we bought it and I strained my left arm playing baseball in my living room.

Dh is upset about being the lead on the cat issue and has promised that it is my turn if we ever have to do it again. I actually had nightmares where Buddy was actually alive and chasing me around the main farmhouse at Circle Pines Center. He was an evil looking cat in real life and not much better in my dream.

We have the uber house cleaning planned for Saturday, since dh got a raise, we designated a portion to a weekly housekeeper. We used to have one before we had car payments and I really liked it. I suspect that all three of us will be working just to reach some sort of base level. I still have costumes to clean and store from the last play. Dryelling 4 costumes at a time takes a while but I really need to rediscover my basement and laundry room.

04 October 2007

Buddy's Last Day

Weight: 158.8
Mood: Normal
Medications: 2mg Estrace/Estridol

Today we put our eldest cat to sleep. He had been getting the habit of running in front of vehicles, walked with a pronounced hip displacement and missed the litter box 95% of the time. Our friends won't understand, they think he was the world's best cat, but we had to live with him. He was totally flea ridden but was too arthritic/old to scratch and as of the last few months I was noticing that his eyes where clouding up. He had a good summer, but as the weather turned his quality of life was going to take a nose dive.

As for the IVF journey, things are going well. Dh joked about our friends accidentally finding the meds in the fridge when they come over for gaming next time. I stopped at the bank and had them cut the monster cashier's check. I still haven't told my co-workers that I'm going to be out frequently. I keep putting it off or now at least waiting for Debbie to come back from her motorcycle accident.

At this juncture, the notion of triplets is scaring the hell out of me. I know the RE wants to transfer three in, but I couldn't cope with three. This house is going to get infinately smaller with the addition of one body.

03 October 2007

Weight bump normal

Weight: 158
Mood: Normal
Meds: 2mg Estrace

Well looks like my weight bump concerns are unfounded. RE's office called yesterday looking for missing STD and bloodtyping panels. We got her straigtened around by the end of the day. They passed me over to the "financial" guru who informed me that the check for $7125 is due cycle day two. DH choked on the figure, but I was more prepared.

I also made a batch of cold-process (homemade/handmade) bar soap last night. I used coconut oil, red clover buds and pink dye. I plan on gifting them to the RE's office for the embryologist and anyone handling my embryos. I also stayed up late to watch The Biggest Loser.

Since this is a quiet day, I'll give more stats on why we are doing IVF.

Me: 35
DH: 36 with daugther from previous marriage

My husband had a vasectomy shortly after the birth of his daughter. The reasons are his and his ex's, but I never consider it a good sign when a child's mother won't do overnight feedings/changings. We married under the assumption that I wanted him first, children second and we'd reopen the subject in 5 years.

So at the 5 year mark my husband graciously went under the knife for a vasectomy reversal (and I lost 115 lbs). We got swimmers at his first post-op visit and assumed we are open for business. We tried to concieve for one year at which time my local OB said head for the RE to figure out it there are any problems.

Being post-vas reversal, the first lab ordered was a semen analysis. Great numbers, great motility and 99% antibodies. So dh's swimmers know where they are going but try as they might the are nerfed at the critical moment. The antibodies may fade in 3-5 years, but then I'll be hitting declining fertility. Therefore we are candidates for IVF with ICSI (iconoclasytic sperm injection).

I really haven't had much labs on my other than a quick exploratory ultrasound where they found my happy little natural follicle for that month. Since I had been tracking LH surges for a year we know I'm ovulating regularly. Theoretically since I'm of normal weight, no thyroid, hormonal, blood sugar, fibroid, POAS, tubal problems we should be a straight forward case.

02 October 2007

Big Box o' Meds

Weight: 160
Mood: Normal
Meds: 2mg Estrace

I recieved my box of meds today at work. It's sitting in the fridge down the hall. The snoopiest person in my building is blessedly absent today and the box was accidentally delivered to a different office; therefore, no opener to the IVF discussion. My coworker was in a motorcycle accident this weekend and I want to let the cat out of the bag when she get's back.

Weight popped up this morning, but it's within my normal range of variation. If it goes up again tomorrow I might be inclined to blame it on the estrace. My sister's best friend from childhood found out that she had a pituitary issue which flooded her system with estrogen, when she went on supression meds, she dropped 75 lbs. So...I figure that estrace might cause the opposite to happen. I didn't exceed my calorie requirements yesterday and I didn't notice an increase in appetite.

01 October 2007

My first day on IVF meds!


Weight: 158.4
Mood: Normal, a little tired from the weekend.
Meds: 2mg Estrace

Today's my first official day on meds. Because I am allergic to the birth control pill (bcp), I am on supression with Estrace (Estridol generic). I would have started injecting Lupron last week if I was on a normal cycle, but it seems that I am on a Lupron "flare" cycle.

I took the pill around 5 am and spent the next hour worrying that the allergic reaction I had to bcps would start. Bcps give me horrible hives and swells my face shut. So far so good.

I plan on keeping to my normal routine and diet for this next week. I've already kicked the caffiene habit, but alcohol can wait until I actually start stimming (stimulating follicle growth with injections of hormones). Therefore, I dutifully went to the gym this morning, took a spinning class, another 15 mins of cardio and lifted weights for another 10 until it was time to go to work. I really hope that I can keep a "normal" routine around shots and doctor visits.

At this point, the only person who knows about this IVF cycle is dh (dearest husband). I suspect I'll tell my sister soon because I need a back up driver for ER (egg retrival) or ET (embryo transfer) if it falls on the day my sister-in-law if visiting from Colorado. I haven't told my coworkers yet and my next "scheduled" doctor visit is 2nd day after AF (Aunt Flow = menses) which should fall in the work week. I am expecting the big box of meds and sharps to arrive sometime tomorrow here and work and that might be the opener to that discussion.