Friday, April 29, 2011

First Baby Photo!

Today was transfer day! They transferred one 9-cell grade 1 embryo. That's the highest grade they give, and the second one is exactly the same and is still growing in the lab waiting to be frozen. I'm so excited about all of it. I keep praying and telling the baby to snuggle in tight. I hope it does! I'm scared to cough today lol. It's just such a neat process, and I'm so glad the embies keep growing quickly and well. I hope the other little one makes it to freeze!! And here's a picture of the little one:

I'm pretty sure I see ten cells, but I guess that could've happened after they looked at it, or I'm just seeing things. Either way, it's beautiful!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Am I Really Writing Three Posts?

Yep. RE called me tonight. She says she was very frustrated that I didn't have more eggs. She said again it could be egg quality. But I still don't think so. My follicles ranged from 14-30mm at trigger, so there's just no way the majority of them could be mature when they were so many different sizes. She wouldn't admit it was a protocol thing, but that's OK. If there's a next time, we'll try something different.

She did say she was happy that our 2 embryos are perfect! So perfect, in fact, that she wants to transfer 1 and freeze 1! She doesn't want to take any risk of twins, and the embie is so good that she wants to put 1 in instead of both. She said there is no difference in success rate between 3 and 5 day transfer, and we were going to do 1 5 day, so I guess it's OK. I still get nervous that maybe this one would have had an issue if we kept growing it, but I'm hopeful that as good as they look, they would make it anyway. She's going to watch the other two, and if the good one makes it to day 5 she's going to freeze it, and she may freeze the other one if it starts to catch up. It's a slow grower.

I can't believe I might get a frostie! I suppose if it doesn't grow, then it was meant to be, because if it won't grow in the lab, it wouldn't grow in my uterus. I hope the one we put in tomorrow takes, and I'm pretty excited that 2/3 of our fertilized embies look so good. I wonder if we had gotten more how many we'd have! I know I'm getting ahead of myself again. I suppose they could stop growing, but I really hope not. I love my little ones already, and I'm so excited that Andy gets to be with me when or little one goes in. We're going to just pray and hope it sticks. And we're going to pray for our little one growing on. I'm so excited!

Something That Gives Me Hope

Matthew 18: 18-20 "Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll be there." 

Needless to say, two of us have been getting together repeatedly to pray.

2nd Fert Report

I just got the call from the nurse about my little embies. I have to say I'm really impressed with the quick responses. She called me at 10am today! And the news is good. Of our 3 embryos, 2 have made it to 4 cells so far. One hasn't but she said it still could. And the 2 good ones look "really good" and have no fragmentation at all! She said she would guess they'd be grade 1 if they'd been graded already, but they don't usually grade until day 3. I wanted to know what that meant, so I found this:

Grade 1: even cell division, no fragmentation 
Grade 2: even cell division, small fragmentation
Grade 3: uneven cell division, moderate fragmentation 
Grade 4: uneven cell division, excessive fragmentation 

Multicell embryos that recieve grade 1 or 2 often develop to the blastocyst stage.

So our embryos look great! And a lot of times grade 1s make it to blast! We won't be going that far, but it's cool to know that our embies are good quality. It makes me freak out a little less about egg quality to know that out of 5 mature eggs and 3 that fertilized, 2 are awesome so far! I really, really hope they keep growing and still look like 1s tomorrow. I'm really excited that they don't have fragmentation. So hopefully we'll put 2 in and we'll be celebrating a pregnancy next weekend! I don't want to get ahead of myself, but this is great news. Praise God! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fert Report

Well I got the fert report. Of the 6 eggs, 5 were mature and 3 fertilized normally with ICSI. I was pretty devastated at first, but I'm trying to be positive. 3 isn't 0. 3 is 3, and it only takes 1. The doctor will call and talk to me about embryo quality and how many she thinks we  should transfer. I'm going to push for 2 at this point since it's day 3. I'm really hoping one of these guys is really good quality on Friday. I'll be so excited if we hear that at least 1 is excellent.

It looks like we probably won't have any to freeze, so we've got that money set aside for a second cycle. And I do have leftover meds. The nurse said it could be an egg quality issue that caused this, but I am still hopeful that's not it. My FSH is 5 and I had 22 antral follicles, so something is working. I think the follies just grew too fast, so she said next time we'd change up the protocol and slow things down 'cause it could have just been the wrong protocol for me. Hopefully this won't be an issue because this one works!!!

I don't know what to think right now. I'm nervous that my 3 babies won't continue to grow but I'm trying to stay positive. The nurse said they might all be perfect, which is true. It's weird thinking that there are 3 real embryos.. with  parts of Andy and I out there, waiting to snuggle into my uterus and grow into my beautiful little one. I love them so much and I hope they stick with us. It's hard to be positive but I'm trying. I have 3, and 3 is plenty to make this happen.

I love you little ones. Grow for mommy and daddy. We love you!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Egg Retrieval

Well I'm back from my egg retrieval. 6 eggs. I cried my eyes out when she told me. I'd had 12 follicles... 22 antrals. And 6 eggs. I knew something was wrong with this cycle. I knew it from the beginning, but I was positive. I think that the answer is I responded too well. I think my follicles were growing way too fast, and by the time they caught it, they tried so hard to slow down the bigger ones that the little ones couldn't grow. I was on ganirelix from day 4 because my follies were too big. I had a 30mm by trigger, and I triggered with some over 22, and I think those all over-ripened and turned into cysts. There was so much ganirelix that the little ones couldn't grow. It was a mess.

I hope that's what happened because I don't want to be broken. I want it to be the doctor's fault. I'd never done a medicated cycle - not even clomid, so she had no idea what to expect from me. But even the lowest dose was too much. But again, I hope that's it. I hope it's not my body being broken. Because that's how I feel.

The doctor came in to see me and told me 6 was great. I think he was humoring me, but at the same time I honestly think he was positive. He said "15 would've been better, but 6 is good. It's plenty to work with. If you'd had 0 or 1 or 2 I might be worried, but 6 is good". So I guess he has a point. I have heard of women getting 6 eggs and having all 6 fertilize and make it to blast. My husband is confident, and my dad says we'll have 5. The doctor himself said "You might get to transfer with 4 to choose from!". So we'll see. I know I always said I'd be happy with 1 perfect to transfer and 2 or 3 to freeze. That's still possible. But even if we don't have any to freeze... most women don't. What we really want from an IVF is a perfect blast to put in and snuggle in. So I'm trying to think that that's definitely still possible. We were only going to put 1 in anyway, so what's the difference between 6 and 16? A bunch to freeze and possibly never use? I'd rather not have 10 embryos sitting there wasted, so.. maybe this is good.

I'll get the fert report tomorrow and I'm positive that we'll have a few good babies. I'd love a 5dt, but i know 3dt can work just fine. I want this to work so much.

In a weird positive spin, I thought of 2 things:

1. If we needed to do another fresh IVF, the doc would be able to adjust my protocol now that she has some idea of my response.
2. If we don't have any frozen embryos, we'll have all the money in the bank to pay for our meds and part of our deposit, so we wont' have to borrow too much money. I also have an entire box of menopur and a ganirelix shot left, so I wouldn't have to order that.

Andy also said he would be willing to do more IVF cycles. He'll do that 3rd insurance one if we get to that point. And that's good to know.

We're not there yet by any means. I have 6 eggs and maybe 6 soon-to-be embryos and one of those could very well turn into my beautiful, perfect baby. I'm focusing on this cycle and praying and praying for it to work. Andy says I WILL have a biological child and he says it will be this time. My dad says I'm going to get 5 embryos and this time will work. My mom says that too. So I'm choosing to be hopeful. As annoying as the phrase gets, it does only take 1. If it didn't, our plan wouldn't have been to put 1 in from day 1! So hopefully we'll still get that 1 beautiful blast, and maybe a brother or sister or two lol. Now I just have to get through to the fert report. Please, God, let it be good!!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

I Talk A Lot When I'm Nervous. See?

OK, so I know I've been posting like it's my job lately, but I have a lot to say. It happens.

I'm more than slightly annoyed that this cold will not go away! I feel like crap, but not enough crap that I should have stayed home today. Although I would've liked to. I feel like my tonsils must be 4 times bigger than normal, and like they're handing me little notes with every swallow that say "Hey, you know that 'experimental' treatment for your kidneys called tonsilectomy - yeah, you should try that". I mean for pete's sake, even if it doesn't fix my kidneys (which mounting evidence suggests it may), I'll probably get sick less, and that's fun!

That whole tonsil-kidney connection is something about how they're both attacked by the same immunoglobulin (A), so when you get tonsilitis, your kidneys get damaged. Neat, huh? Well, in a horribly morbid, want to throat-punch sort of way.

I also feel like if I bend too far forward my ovaries might burst like water balloons. I've got this picture in my head of all this fluid leaking out into my abdomen. I could swear I felt it earlier. I was also certain I ovulated, although my nurse just called and apparently my blood work disagrees. I am, however, ready to go for ER tomorrow. Holy fast, batman. And I've also decided that my rogue 30mm follie guy is actually 2 15s. I mean you just don't go from your biggest follie being 18 on Friday to 30 on Sunday. 12mm in 2 days? That's nonsense. Or he's got like an indie car in there and is cheating his little way to overmaturity. In which case, we'll have to have words. Slow and steady, grasshopper. Perhaps I should have read them the tortoise and the hare?

Tomorrow's the day we find out how many eggs are really in there! I told Andy his 1 job is to find out how many eggs they got and not forget.

Unfortunately I can't drink after 5:45 in the morning, so this sore throat is going to have to learn who's boss. Or I'll have to really stagger my morning pills so I can get a drink every half hour or so. Maybe super-antibiotics will help tonight. I hope so.

I can't believe tomorrow these eggs are coming out. Adieu, eggs. It's been a wild ride. I already love you so please make some good embryos for me. I'm rooting for you!!!

Worries and a Fun Fact

Trying not to worry about this cycle is an exercise in futility for me. I just don't think it's atually possible for me to stop. Perhaps it's the OCD, but maybe I'm just really type A about things. I want to know exactly what's going on, and I wish I'd had the chance to talk with the RE just 1 time during this process. Some of the questions I have are as follows:

"Why did I only get 12 follicles from 22 antrals?"
"Is an E2 of 1111 on trigger day bad?"
"Why do I have 1 follicle that measured 30 yesterday - does that mean it's over-mature?"
"Will the smaller ones (12-14) be mature at retrieval?"
"Should I have used a different protocol?"
"Should I have stimmed for 8 days like they wanted?"
" Will the big one cause me to ovulate since I'm not on ganirelix today?"

and then there are the "what ifs":

"What if they don't get any eggs"
"What if none of them fertilize"
"What if none of them make it to blast?"

Ad nauseum, really. I've been praying for some help with giving it up to God, and I've been trying to absorb myself in other things, but the giant ovaries I can feel every time I take a step are a constant reminder. I guess I'm just nervous. I don't know what I should really be expecting out of all of this. I feel like I'm going to disappoint so many people if it doesn't work. My family and Andy's family are both so positive. And I have been. A few days ago I felt like I just knew it would work. Today I feel like I'm doomed and I don't know why that is. I'm trying to stay positive for my little ones, who I know can feel me worrying. And I'll have let myself down. And I know I'll torture myself with "what could I have done" because that's what I do.

When I get home tonight I'm emptying the dishwasher, then changing into PJs and curling up to watch tv. We have to be up at 5:45 tomorrow to leave for retrieval at 6:15. That's 2 hours early, but that's how long it took us last time we had to go on a weekday morning. And if  we get there a little early, that's not a bad thing. Andy is going to be a zombie in the am, and I feel bad that he has to go back to work on Wednesday. It's going to be quite a week for us because we'll be going to that concert on Thursday since we can (yay!). I'm hoping to be home by like 12:30am, so we'll see how that works out.

In other news, I discovered that menopur is taken from the urine of menopausal women. So I've been injecting myself with reconstituted pee-stuffs from strangers for a week. This should probably gross me out more than it does. It doesn't look like pee, so that's cool, right? They should put yellow food coloring in it. That would be really disgusting. But it makes a good story!

"Hey mom, how did you guys do IVF again?"
"Well, son, for a week I injected older lady pee into my belly, and it made you grow!"

Ew. The truth can be harsh sometimes. And now... to try not to vomit from my own story. Gross.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

All of that time worrying about the trigger and it was nothing. I don't know why, but I kept thinking the big guy wouldn't go through all the way, or... something, but it went right through without issue. I kind of forgot to pull up the stopper to look for blood. Oops (don't tell SGFC!). It bled more than the others by a long shot, but still, it didn't hurt, and that was awesome. And now I know I can give myself IM injections if needbe. What a skill set I've developed.

In any case, NO MORE SHOTS! YAY! And we'll see what my eggs do with that little LH pump tomorrow. Hoping the little guys grow bigger. I think I had 7 over 16mm. 5 more to go! I just have 1 more work day to get through before retrieval. This is going to be quite a week, but we're getting there.

Trigger Time

I had my 3rd and final ultrasound today. I'm really nervous about how this stim period has gone. I still only have 12 follicles, and some of them are huge. I'm hoping the lupron trigger gets the rest of them ready, and maybe a few others. I still think there could be a couple more. In any case, I got the call to trigger tonight, so retrieval will be on Tuesday at 9:45am. My e2 was only 1111, which seems low, but I guess it could get higher over the next few days. They also told me that they like you to stim for at least 8 days, and since I won't be taking menopur or follistim tonight, I'll have only stimmed for 7. I feel like maybe they should have slowed me down some to let more follicles grow and stuff. I know there were more. And there has to be a reason they like 8 days....  is that going to cause a problem?

My ovaries feel huge. It's uncomfortable to be in pretty much any position, so I'm glad to be done stimming and I'm ready to get these eggies out. I just hope that it works. I keep getting nervous that the protocol wasn't quite right for me, and we won't get any eggs, or they won't fertilize, or we won't have good blasts. I know I need to not worry, but the prospect of paying for this again is terrifying. I am apparently still working on the whole "don't worry, let God take care of it" thing. I'm trying my best. I just had different expectations than what has happened so far. I won't know any more until Tuesday, unless they call tomorrow with e2 levels. No more ultrasounds at least. I can't believe how fast things have gone since I started the injections, and I can't believe that in a week I'll have a real embryo in there if all goes well.  I hope this cycle works. I really do.

Edit: I read that ganirelix could be the reason my e2 isn't higher. Apparently, as long as it's rising, the number isn't particularly accurate with ganirelix, so that makes me feel a little better.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Not Exactly TTC Related

So my husband has a pituitary adenoma. It sucks, and was very annoying for a few years of our lives. Once diagnosed, he started Cabergoline which seemed to help. He was supposed to get a follow-up MRI last year, but he's awful with MRIs, and didn't end up getting it until this Tuesday. Well this morning Andy calls me and doesn't sound happy, and tells me the primary care doctor's office just called.

"Andy, if you haven't spoken to your specialist about your MRI results, we suggest that you do so."

That's it. WTF is that??? Immediately my mind says "Andy, your tumor is so big your head might explode." "Andy, the tumor is eating your brain." "Andy, WTF are you thinking walking around with this monster in your head?"

All of the horrid scenarios I could think of. So I tell him "Call your urologist RIGHT NOW."

He does. Mr. Specialist is out until Tusday, so they ask if he can wait. I don't know what he actually said, but I'm sure it was something like "Are you drunk or just out of your ever-loving mind? I have a brain tumor, and you want me to wait until TUESDAY to see what it's doing in there!?"

So they left the urologist a message (yes, his urologist deals with his brain tumor. I don't ask). I received the following text from my husband moments ago:

"Dr. called and tumor has shrunk. He didn't have last MRI results to say how much. Just thought you'd like to know."

Thank you, hubs. I would indeed like to know. My thought is that asshole PCP saw a tumor and thought "Gee, that sucks, better take a look at that" instead of "Oh, this is better than the last time!" and called without looking. Asshole PCP was an asshole PCP long before this occurred, however, so I'm really not surprised. I'm glad an alien tumor from space isn't munching on my husband's skull cavity, though. Whew.


After careful consideration, I've decided that I love SGFC again. I never really didn't, but I've wiped the communication with my nephrologist slate clean. I went in this morning for Ultrasound #2, and was in and out in 15 minutes with quite a few updates!

I got the tech I really like. The other tech is OK, but she keeps mum about everything and I don't like to ask her questions. As it turns out, she was wrong about my follie count. This morning the tech said she didn't think I had 22 antrals, but we know I had more than 11 because I have TWELVE measurables! After 5 days of stimming with 75iu follistim, I've got:



So there are 12 big enough to measure, and she said there are at least a few more little ones that could still grow. The ganirelix seems to have helped because the 2 16s are still 16! The follies are pretty uniform, and I'm hoping to get a few more. The tech was really surprised at the number after 5 days, and said ideally they want 10-15 because it gives you enough to get good embies without the high risk of hyperstimulation. My lining was 8.5 already, and she said her guess is I'll trigger Sunday night. She thought they might even decrease my meds, but there isn't much room to decrease, so I'll see when the nurse calls. She said they want to keep you stimming for at least 8 days (I guess to give your uterine lining time to plump up) and Sunday will be 8. She even gave me a little printout of the measurements and said I'll be back every day from here on out.

So what's the problem with every day? Well, for one, my fabulous, close, on my way to work clinic is closed on weekends, so I have to go to the SGFC in Rockville, which is a good hour away. I don't really mind because it's a weekend, but on weekdays the traffic is horrendous. It's a mild nuissance to drive an hour for a 15 minute appointment, but we really need to keep an eye on my little ones. I know they're not embryos yet, but they're important!

The other problem is Sunday is Easter and we were planning to go to Philly. I kept saying I was going to be a high responder, so I don't know why I didn't think about that when we made our plans, but we either won't go, or Andy will go without me. The good news is, if I stick around, I'll be spending the day with my mom, so hopefully we'll be together when the call comes for the ass needle. And might I add that I've had other volunteers to stick a giant needle in my ass? Have I really done my friends so wrong?

Anyway, things are rolling along. Retrieval should be on Tuesday morning. I'm hoping just a couple more eggies pop up in the next few days. I know some of them might not be mature and some follicles might be empty, so I'm hoping we get a couple more and we can get a good fertilization rate. the ICSI should help. Still praying for 1 perfect to put in and 3-4 good ones to freeze. I hate that this whole process is so unkown the first time. We now know how I respond, but we don't know what my egg quality is like, or fertilization, or if my uterus wants to hang onto a baby. We'll know shortly, but the waiting is so hard! Come on, little eggs. You can do this!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

3-Post Day

I haven't updated this in a while, so here's current out of pocket costs so far.

SHG - $100
Day 3 blood work and ultrasound - $145
HSG - $231.50
Deposit - $3250
ICSI deposit - $250
Meds - $1578.19
Lupron - $10
Injection Class - $10.50

Total: $5575.19

I'm still not paying anything for the visits which is a nice change. If we have embryos to freeze that'll be another $1630 (unless we get that 50% off thing).

I can't believe that even with insurance this is going to cost over $7000. And we still might get a bill saying there were extra costs above what we've paid. If When this works, it'll be awesome, but holy geez. I see why Andy's cautious about 3 cycles. But, if necessary, he'll just have to deal. Although I have high hopes for this. Still trying to give it up to God and failing miserably, but it's in my nature to worry. I'm going to let that go for tonight, though. New med to try and see how it feels, and ultrasound #2 Friday. I CAN'T BELIEVE I'm doing egg retrieval NEXT WEEK!!!!!

OK, So Maybe I Freaked Out Prematurely

... Does this surprise anyone? It doesn't surprise me one bit. It's what I do. I'm surprised I don't have ulcers. Anyway, my nurse called. She says everything looks great. I was wrong about the "lead" follicle. Apparently I have 2 16s, a 14, a 13, and a couple 11 and 12. And then a bunch that aren't > 10 yet, and they only measure over 10. They have me adding the ganirilex tonight and upping my menopur to 112 (which means an extra half ml. Ow). I will do ganirilex tomorrow as well, and then I have an ultrasound on Friday. She says we'll probably have more follies pop up on Friday. She said they don't expect to see measurable follies on day 4, so I'm responding really well to the medication. Also my estrogen was 336 because I know I'm going to want to know that later.

So what I've gotten out of this is I'm actually responding better than they thought. The ganirilex should slow down the bigger ones and let more catch up. I can't imagine that on only day 4 (3 nights of stims) I wouldn't have a few more growing by the end of stims. She did say she thinks I'm going to go faster than she thought, so I won't be stimming for 10 days. Tonight is night 4 of stims. I'm going to make a very randomized guess of 8, which would put trigger on Monday and retrieval Wednesday (or maybe even Tuesday).

This process is going really, really fast. I'm so glad I got to talk to my actual nurse. I'm glad the meds are working (I can really feel it now, btw). I'm hoping some more follies catch up. Ideally I'd like to have 15 mature at retrieval, but that's a completely arbitrary number. If I have 1 perfect embie and 1 or 2 to freeze I'll be happy with the cycle. And if I don't... we'll know what to expect for next time. But lesson learned: don't freak out! I was upset with 6 follies and the nurse hadn't expected to see any! I need to calm it for serious.

1st Ultrasound Woes

Ugh. I'm freaking out, and I really don't know if I should be. So if anyone has been through an IVF cycle, please help me decipher my results from today!

A week ago, the day after stopping BCPs, I had 22 antral follicles. I then got my period. Antrals start developing before AF, so... 22 at baseline. I started stims on Sunday night - 75iu follistim, 75iu menopur. Today was my first ultrasound after 3 days of stims. The tech first asked if I'd had any cysts at baseline, which I hadn't. This freaked me out, as I could see what she was referring to on the screen. GIANT round black spot. So she measured it and looked around. She said she could only see 11 follicles, and 6 were measurable - the big one was 16mm. ON DAY FOUR. So the other 5 were under 10. I'm not worried about those since we're only 3 days in. But here's what I am worried about:

1 - WTF dominant follicle!?
2 - Where are my other 11 follicles!???

I asked the nurse and she said "Well we can't wake all of them up". But ELEVEN?? That's half! This is the same nurse that told me 20 total follicles was too many and I probably had PCOS, but when I asked MY nurse she said it was awesome.

So what's going on? Is it too early to have a lot of measurables? I do have about a week left of stims. Could more catch up? Could some have been hiding behind the GIANT follicle that took up half the screen?

My actual nurse is going to call me later with information, so I'm going to ask her all these questions. I'm expected to start ganirilex tonight to slow down the lead guy and let the others catch up. I hope it helps. I was really hoping for 18+ follicles today (not measurable, just visible). So I hope I'm freaking out for no reason because it's just too early. Any info would be very much appreciated :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Exciting Stuff

Mr. S is currently on his way to the doctor to finally get a follow-up MRI. He's only a year late in doing it, but at least he's going. My dear husband has some issues with claustrophobia, and he can't stand the MRI, so he needs xanax to get through it. His mom was with him for the last one where we got the initial tumor diagnosis. It took him two pills of xanax, which knocked him out for 3 days, but he got through it. His mom couldn't come this time so my dad took him. I'm excited that Andy and my dad get to bond today, but I hope Andy is at least conscious for some of it, unlike last time. In a few short days we'll know if the tumor is gone. My prediction is that if it's not gone, it's a lot smaller. The change in Andy since he started taking the medication regularly is huge. His hormones have definitely elevated to the point where he's like ... pubescent, so it's definitely going away if not gone. I don't think his hormones are too high, I just think going from no hormones to normal hormones is an adjustment. I really hope for his sake that the tumor is gone and he can stop the cabergoline. The fewer medicines the better. At least one of us should get to be relatively normal.

I just read that after Thursday it's supposd to rain for a week straight. I guess it's good that I wasn't planning on gardening this weekend. I'd really like to get everything planted before transfer, and I don't have a lot of weekends for that. Our patio needs a good cleaning and I need to de-clutter it, but then I'm going to want to be out there all the time reading my kindle and looking at the gorgeous garden I've created!

Tomorrow is my first ultrasound and I'm nervous. I keep thinking the medicine isn't working and I have no follicles and... I dunno. That everything has gone wrong. I hope that's not the case. I still feel 99% normal, and I'm afraid that's bad. I felt something in my ovaries again shortly after my shots last night, but since then nothing. I need to stop worrying so much. I think stress can affect a cycle, and I don't want to put myself through more of it than is necessary. Another reason I'm thrilled that we got appointments this weekend for our manicures/pedicures.

I'm also happy that this weekend is Easter weekend. I feel good about that. I'm going to go to the Saturday service and really talk to God about this cycle. And try my very best to give it up to Him, which I haven't been very good at so far. We'll see how that works out.

Depending on when my transfer is, I should have a 3 day weekend. I told myself I was taking a day off, so even if it's on a Saturday I think I still will take Monday off and lay around. I could use it anyway.

I can't believe I'm on day 3 of stims! I can't believe it!! It's all happening so fast now that it's here. I hope one of these follicles is growing into what's going to be our beautiful new year's baby!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 2 and Weekend Plans

I don't intend to document every single thing that happens over the next 9 days (I swear) but I had to post today. Aunt flow is still visiting, so I'm not sure if it's from that, but I've been crampy today. And there's definitely something going on in my ovaries. If I move quickly, or in a certain direction, I get twinges of pain... not quite like normal pre-O pain, but definitely something.

My headache went away so I'm hoping it was just because I had a rough day. I guess I'll find out for sure tonight. I'm not looking forward to the menopur, but I have read that it stings everyone, so at least I know I'm probably not completely screwing it up. I'm excited to see what the ultrasound says on Wednesday. I still feel like I'm going to stim fast and my retrieval might be a day early. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but we'll see. Part of me is a little nervous that I won't stim at all, but these people know what they're doing, so I'm trying not to think that way.

This coming Saturday my mom and I are having a girl's day that I'm really excited about. We're getting manicures and then hour long pedicures and then having lunch. It's going to be so relaxing (and finally allow me to wear open toe shoes). And I'm planning on going to an early church service afterwards because Easter will be spent up in PA with Andy's family. We'll be up there twice next week. Andy and I tend to argue in PA... I have no idea why, but we do, so hopefully we can avoid that. We had an awesome trip a few weeks ago, and he has been ridiculously sweet to me lately, so I'm hoping to just have a great day with his family and then a great day at the Further Seems Forever show (right, ovaries? You want to go, don't you? So stim well!). Time will tell, but at least I've got some cool things to look forward to and take my mind off of IVF for a while. Baseball hasn't been cutting it!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Injections Day 1

Today I finally started my injections. I can't believe I'm here. I documented the process in pictures. It was a little different than I expected. I had my instructions:

And all my supplies:

I started with the follistim because I knew it would be easy. Put in vial, screw pen together, screw on needle, dial up 75iu, inject.

The follistim was no sweat. The needle is SO thin I really didn't feel it going in, and the amount of medication is so little that I didn't feel it injecting either. 

Next was the Menopur. There are a lot of steps with this one. First I had to screw the qcap on the syringe, then put it on the little vial of water. I filled the vial with 1ml of water:

Then I put the syringe (with the qcap) onto the vial of menopur, which is a powder, and inject the 1ml and let it dissolve.

This is the qcap on the menopur vial once I put the liquid into the syringe.


And this is the syringe with the needle on it, ready to be injected. I had a little bubble, so I hope that doesn't cause any problems. It doesn't go into a vein so it should be OK (right?).

 This one was not what I expected. Like the follistim, the needle for this is tiny and you don't even feel it going in. They're also insanely sharp, so that helps. When I started injecting, however, it hurt. It was hard to push the plunger down. I think the needle may not have been screwed in as much as it should have been. It worked, but I had to really push. And I guess because there's so much liquid, it hurt going in. I was wondering why she kept stressing to use ONE ml, not both that come in the jar, and now I see why. It stung for a while, and I can still sort of feel it. It's not any sort of terrible pain by any means, but I was surprised since the other one didn't hurt AT ALL. It's making me more nervous about the trigger. I'm afraid it's not going to go in cleanly, but I guess I'll just have to see what happens.

So that's my whole process for the next few days. At some point I'll add the ganirilex, but those are pre-filled syringes, so there isn't as much work to it. I also do that one in the morning with, if needed, some extra follistim. Is it weird that I can already feel something happening in my ovaries? I JUST noticed this.

I think this process is going to be interesting. I have an awful headache, but I think I had the headache beforehand. 9 more days of stims!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Already, Ovary?

Holy begeezes. My right ovary HURTS. I'm not even on injects yet, so I can only imagine just how much more painful this is going to get. I'm expecting a visit from my most hated aunt (aunt flow) any day now, and what I can only assume will be a life of mostly celibacy for the next few weeks. I am so not psyched about that lol. For now my biggest complaint is... nothing! Well.. except this ovary thing, but if I'm complaining now I'm going to be a wreck for the next two weeks. I have my work pants all ready. I intend to wear the same pair almost every day because they're insanely comfortable and a little too big for me. They should be gentle on my growing ovaries.

I can't believe I actually have 22 follicles I'm trying to grow to 14+mm each. It doesn't sound like much, but then you pull out a ruller and realize each follicle is almost an inch! That's 22 inches of follicle!! I've decided to document the injection process of growing these puppies, so I'm recruiting Andy to help me take some pictures Sunday. I saw someone else's journal with photos once and it helped me, so maybe if anyone comes across mine and is going to go through an IVF cycle it will help them to see what the process is really all about. Andy's still trying to avoid poking me with sharp objects (which for the most part I can appreciate) but I have no qualms about doing it myself. The needles are tiny until the Lupron trigger. I'm not excited about that one.... actually I'm mildly terrified. I got an IM injection of the flu shot last year and it really wasn't a big deal, but it was given by a nurse who knew what she was doing. I'm not sure me jabbing myself in the thigh is going to be quite so pleasant, so I may still have my mom do it in my hip. She was a phlebotomist, so even though she didn't inject things, she knows how to get a long needle in without causing death and destruction. The only problem with that is I discovered yesterday that they can have you trigger ANY time. They start at like 7PM and go on through midnight, and sometimes through 3AM. I'm not sure I can convince my mom to get up at 3AM to shove a needle into my butt. Can you blame her? So we'll see how that goes.

Also, because I'm a visual person, I took a picture of how long my needle is on a ruler, with a penny for scale. 2 1/2 inches. That's crazy.

And my umanicured nail for your viewing pleasure. Yes, I'm harping on the length of this needled, but I'm allowed to be a baby every so often.

Oh, and pushing back 1 day has landed my egg retrieval directly on the day hubs and I were planning on going to Philly to see a band that isn't even together!!!! They went through 3 singers then broke up, and now they're doing 4 shows with the original singer. They're one of my top 5 bands and I might never have this chance again!!! I told Andy if I stim for 10 days (which is what they expect) my egg retrieval will be that day. If I stim quickly (which I might - my ovaries feel ready) the retrieval will be the day before. If that happens, at minimum he can go. I would have to play it by ear. He said if I still hurt he'll drop me off and sit me in a chair all night so I don't have to do anything but watch the band. I don't know what to expect from this, or what doctor's orders are, but if they let me move around, I'm going. It won't be bad for the babies 'cause they'll be growing safely in the lab, and if I'm cleared, I'll deal with some discomfort. I suppose it's up to the doc. If retrieval is the day after it will depend what time. If I have to be there at 7am, we're out of luck, but if it's.. you know, noon, we might still go and come home that night. Andy's depressed and doesn't want to talk about it lol. I am, too. But only time will tell. I just hope I stim fast!

On a positive note, after Sunday i will have 4 whole days of leave, and 5 by the time of my retrieval. This means that even with 2 days off for that and a day for transfer I will still have leave. I'm amazed! And later this year I start earning 1.5 times the amount of vacation, so that's good. For now I'm just waiting and excited and ready for Sunday to get here.

PS: According to my current schedule, if when this IVF works, my due date will be 1/18/11, so with two weeks less for delivering at 38 weeks, that's Wednesday, 01/04/11. I'd still like a 2010 baby so we'll see.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Happy Last BCP Day to Me!! (Take 2)

The nurse called me yesterday with my blood work. It was all good. Her exact words were "Your body is ready for this". That was cool. Unfortunately, they've got a lot of women whose bodies are ready, so she asked me to take one more BCP to push our cycle back a day. MAN!

So my injects now start Sunday and the first appointment is Wednesday. I'm glad I get to do my first day of meds at home slowly rather than out and about. The injection class was pretty crazy. There's a lot more to it than I thought, and I'm a little nervous that I won't do it right, but I have step by step instructions.

I am so freaking excited.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Baseline Ultrasound and Other News

Well I got my creatinine results in last night. 1.15. Definitely under the 1.4 mark. Whew! My doctor freaked me out because he sounded very concerned that it was up from last time, but he has told me the margine of error in this test is 15%! Meaning it could be as low as .97! Or higher, but still under 1.4. Plus, when I was on Diovan (bp med) it was 1.25, and he said it was because of the meds and how they take stress off your kidneys or.. something that made no sense. Well at my last test in December I wasn't on anything, but for this one I was on Aldomet, which is a different med, but still for BP, so I asked him if that could be the cause for the rise. I read online that Aldomet can mess with your creatinine, so I'm hoping it's just that. Either way, it's well under the cutoff mark for "can expect a normal pregnancy" so I'm OK. I was a teeny bit depressed last night, but hubs and I decided to stop worrying. I've done everything I can do. Two rounds of steroids haven't worked, and the only other medications have side effects worse than the disease itself! We decided to take a break from depression - from bad news and shitty test results for my kidneys. I'll go to my next appointment and talk with the doctor, and I'll try harder to lower my sodium intake and lose weight, but I'm not going to let it run my life anymore. We're in the midst of an IVF cycle. I'm 30 years old, trying to have a baby and have some fun. I'm not at a point yet where I'm willing to try Cellcept, or Rituximab, (a cousin of a medicine that almost killed my dad in 2008 - same type) so I'm going to stop worrying until I am there. I think once we have a baby it'll be a different story. I'm not excited about the potential side effects, but, if I'm being honest, my real issue is that you can't TTC on them, and if they don't work, my kidneys could be too crappy to try by then. So my goal right now is a healthy baby. I hate that I have to face this sort of decision. But on to the good news!

I had my baseline ultrasound today. First, they did not weigh me, which made me very happy. They did try to bleed me out, but I stopped them! OK, maybe I'm being a little dramatic. They were taking blood, and at the end, she started pulling up on the needle, so it was pressing against the top of my skin. It looked gross, and I was like "Is she about to take that out without gauze??" It didn't hurt, but it looked like it should. So she takes it out and bandages me up and I head to the bathroom before my ultrasound. I pee. It is good. Then I go undress and sit on the table and I look down at my elbow and the gauze is soaked through and blood is dried up all around the outside. I pulled up the bandage and I've got this weird purple thing that looks like a blood blister. It's gross, and they gave me another bandage.

Then.. DUN DUN DUN.... (queue "something is about to happen!" music) the ultrasound. I was terrified because she was taking pictures and showing the ovaries and I only saw what looked like 2 or 3 follicles. And I got the 1 tech who doesn't tell you how many you had, so I asked her, and she seemed weird about it, but she told me, and I had 22! Eleven on each side. That's actually more than I had last time (19) or the time before that (20). Still not close to PCOS range. I'm starting to think the RE is right and I don't even have that. Between normal testosterone levels and no string of pearls... who knows. Anyway, 22! YAY! So that's 22 potential eggs. This is my first cycle so we don't know what to expect of the quality of embryos or anything like that, but with Andy's morph at 5% there should be some good ones for the ICSI. Honestly I'm hoping to get 5 or 6 good quality embryos - 1 to put in and 4 or 5 to freeze.

According to Advanced Fertility, this is what my antral count means:

Normal (good) antral count, should have an excellent response to ovarian stimulation.
Likely to respond well to low doses of FSH product.
Very low risk for IVF cycle cancellation. Some risk for ovarian overstimulation.
Best pregnancy rates overall as a group.
This is pretty exciting, and I fall right in the middle of this group (16-30).

We turned in our consent forms, which thankfully I dragged Andy out to get notarized yesterday because they needed them today. Tomorrow is my injection class and I start Saturday. YAY! I can't believe I'm in a cycle now for real. I still have to get my blood tests back and I really hope they're OK! My nurse should call me soon. I hope it's good news.

Update: Doc says Aldomet wouldn't increase the creatinine, but there is always a problem with precision for the test.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy Last BCP Day to Me!!

If nothing else, realizing that tomorrow is DAY ONE! has done one thing for me, and that's kicked me back into gear with my food and exercise. I'm terrified of them weighing me tomorrow, so in a last ditch effort, I've been trying to do well today. Even though it probably won't have a profound effect on my weight tomorrow, all I usually need is 1 day of sticking to weight watchers to really get back into the swing of it, so that's a good thing. I'm still praying they don't weigh me. Why would they? We already crossed that bridge! OK, Ok, I'm trying to convince myself. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

I've decided not to weigh myself during the actual cycle. I want to continue to eat right and exercise, but I don't want to get discouraged because the meds are screwing with me. I've been down that road and it's not fun, so I'm going to attempt to wait until after the transfer. I'll probably make it a day or two if I try really hard!

Today is my last BCP and I am so happy about that. Last month I spotted for like 2 weeks, and it makes my uterus hurt. I don't know why that is, but it's weird, and I just don't want to be on it anymore. Saturday I will be home all day just ready and waiting to start my injects. We'll see how that turns out, though I'm fully expecting a debacle.

There's so much going on right now - it's crazy but in such a good way.

Oh, I'm also planning a girl's cruise perhaps in October. I need that damn vacation and hubs won't go on a cruise, but I can get airfare and a 5 day cruise for $425. That's good enough for me. I tried to get hubs to go with me, but he won't, and I can't think of another vacation we could take for that cheap. Hopefully he and I will go on one next year (with baby S!). I feel horrible going on a trip without him since he deserves a vacation too! We'll see if we actually end up going, but I want to SO BAD. I need to get a new passport! Yikes.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Random Things

My weight is the bane of my existence. I really hate that 4 or 5 days of not being perfect = gaining 5 pounds. I hope they don't weigh me at my baseline on Wednesday, but I'm just going to have to be perfect until then and hope it all works out. I will be off birth control soon and hopefully that will help. Aaaaand it would help to stop having "bad" days with food. Right.

In more positive news, the government will not be shutting down (yet), so I will continue to earn leave and money to afford this whole process. I can't believe it's starting in FOUR days!!! I''m so close I can taste it! I'm sure I won't be nearly as chopper when my ovaries are the size of grapefruits and it hurts to move 'cause my belly is covered in bruises... but for now I'm psyched. I just really hope it works and I'm trying to continue to be positive.

I'm taking this weekend to chill out. I had a horrible day yesterday and made an ass of myself at work crying in front of my boss. I was so scared about not getting paid that I made some stupid decisions and ... it was a mess. Hopefully it will be forgotten on Monday. Today I'm going to get a shower, head out to pick up a birthday present for my dad, and go to the grocery store. Then I'm going to watch tv and clean and make potato salad for my dad's birthday dinner tomorrow. I love the family recipe and my dad's always happy to have it since only my mom and I can make it. Tomorrow should be a fun day. My family hasn't been over in a while and we have some cool new things, and my cats love them so that'll be fun. Unfortunately it requires giving the cats baths since they both smell really bad lol.

It'll be nice to have a clean house, good food, and my family. I need it after the last week, and I could use the moral support. Plus it's a Sunday. I can't even say how nice it was to sleep in this morning. We're going to church tomorrow so I have to be up by 9:30, but it's still sleeping in, and with all the 7am appointments coming up, that's going to be nice.

I can't believe I'm starting this week. HOLY CRAP.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Money, Alcohol, Cats, and Dinosaurs

I haven't had a good day. I don't know why I'm surprised that the government would choose the middle of my IVF cycle to shut down, but I have to say that going into this without a paycheck in sight is not comforting. I know there's still time for an agreement, but I don't see it happening. And although my husband works hard, for now my income is the majority, so we really need it. We didn't want to have to use savings to pay our bills. We wanted to freeze our embies with that money. We'd just been getting to a point where we were putting money away, and I'm nervous about all of this. I ended up getting so overwhelmed by this, and my kidneys, and everything, that I cried in front of my boss today. I was mumbling about how I don't have any sick time to use and how hard that is, and how we won't be earning any while we're shut down, on top of still having to pay my medical bills with no paycheck. I felt like such a dolt, and I think my co-workers think I'm a whiny brat because 2 of them were chosen to keep working, and they're getting back-paid, and I need money too, so I asked why they were chosen. I thought it was a fair question. I've been working my ass off on my current project. But I digress.

I've had a few hours to calm down. I still feel like a hot mess, and I want to go home. I'm hungry and I need a nap. Andy's stressed out about all this, so he's been snippy, which really isn't helping. And what's worse is that it's all still up in the air. I hate not knowing. I need to rest. My ovaries have been aching a lot lately and I wonder what it's from. I hope it's because there are going to be a ton of antral follicles on Wednesday!!! But I'll have to wait and see.

Tonight I'm going to go home and cuddle with these two who always know how to make me feel better.

Although Rio (the silver one) has been flipping out because a cat keeps coming to the window to visit her. It's rather hysterical, but I feel bad that the cat doesn't have a home and I want to bring it inside. Columbus (black and white) only cares because Rio does, and that makes me laugh too. Normally I wake up or fall asleep with one of both of them on me, and that always puts me in a good mood.

Tomorrow I'm resolving to do nothing but watch sci-fi movies and hang out at the house. I might go to the gym if I am up to it. Fortunately there are awesome movies on, like TRIASSIC ATTACK! and

How can I be upset when that's on tv tomorrow night? Yes, I'm being serious, and my husband is getting punched if he tries to tell me no.

I guess we'll see what happens. I will be drowning myself in bad sci-fi, since I'm not supposed to be drinking right now... something about being bad for fertility? I dunno, it's probably BS, but I don't want to take any chances. Giant dinosaurs will have to fill the void.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Kidneys are Assholes in Disguise

I knew I shouldn't have posted that blog about my kidneys. As it turns out, they have gotten worse... or so my doctor would have me think. See here's the thing. He says my urine protein/creatinine ration went up from 3.1 to 3.7. This is bad... but I can't help but feel like it's not accurate. For two reasons:

1) My doctor always says my urine creatinine is way too high for my body mass. We don't know why this is, but my thought is what if it normalized? If it came down but my protein didn't, it would skew the ratio.

2) I didn't complete the test. They gave me a smaller bottle and I filled it with 4 hours left to go, so I missed my morning pee. You'd think that this wouldn't affect the ratio, but what it my last pee didn't have much protein. Or had extra creatinine. I just feel like it's not completely valid.

My doctor does, but I don't, so I've asked if I could do another test very shortly. Also because I don't understand this ratio, but I do understand total protein, which we definitely didn't get, so I'd like to know what it is. 

For some reason they didn't send him the blood results, so I don't know my blood creatinine. If it's still around 1 I won't freak out too much. By itself, losing urinary protein doesn't really do much. The problem is when it's reabsorbed by your kidneys and they get damaged. But if my blood creatinine is staying the same, that's a good sign. And as I mentioned previously, it was close to 1 in December, and has never been over 1.25, so hopefully it's still under that mark.

This shouldn't affect my IVF (unless somehow my creatinine completely shot up which I pray it didn't). My only concern is that the prednisone last time kept my protein lower, but when I got off of it, the protein went up quickly. How will they differentiate when I'm pregnant between my kidneys doing what they do and going up in protein, and an issue due to the pregnancy? My blood pressure is likely to go up too, just because.. that's what kidneys do. How will they tell? I guess frequent liver tests? I mean 300mg is huge in someone without kidney problems, but I have 6000mg on the regular.  300 is a drop in the bucket, and statistically insignificant for me. I'm fully expecting to be on bed rest, potentially hospital bed rest, for part of this pregnancy. And that sucks, but it is worth it to have a baby. With creatinine under 1.4 I should be fine. I just don't want them to think I'm having an issue with pre-eclampsia or something when it's a kidney thing. I guess I should probably worry more about getting pregnant right now than something that might not even be an issue. I'm hoping to get to 30 weeks without issue, and if I have to lay in bed for the next 8 that's fine by me so long as my baby and I end up healthy. 

Hubs says this is the year of the baby. I hope it's a perfect, normal pregnancy. We'll see what happens. My first appointment for baseline ultrasound and bloodwork is Wednesday! YAY! And I start injections next Saturday. I can't believe it's finally here!! Hooray for babies. 

One thing I find extra cool about the idea of snow babies is that say I do need a transplant in the next few years, but we want another baby and I'm.. I dunno, 36 (it's OK to have babies after transplant if you wait a year or two). I'd have snow babies from when I was 30 to use, so I wouldn't have to freak out over egg quality decline or anything, so that's a cool positive about this IVF cycle. I hope and pray it doesn't come to that. That I'll be miraculously healed, or simply not get worse. But it's still cool to know it's an option. I'm excited for this upcoming cycle, and I just can't wait to get it all started. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Obligatory "I got my medications" post.

This is them:

Please pardon all the other crap on the table. I didn't want to take everything out of the boxes, lest I forget what they are and what they do. So it doesn't look like as much as it really is. I found it interesting that the only thing that came in a refrigerated container was a pack of papers. Thankfully hubs was home. It looks like the only IM injection I have is my lupron, which I though I'd be taking on a daily basis, but apparently my trigger is lupron (not hcg!?). I guess that means I'll be able to take an hpt with soe semblance of accuracy. But because I'm not excited about it, I'm posting a blurry picture of my IM needle, too:

It's blurry, but hopefully my finger gives some scale. I'm too lazy to find either of my actual digital cameras. So there you have it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Good News, and How We're Getting Some

My husband and I had a shit-tastic first year of marriage. I mean... it freaking sucked. when we got married in October of '09 I was on IV infusions of high-dose steroids for my kidneys. In November we found out Andy had no testosterone. None. Seriously, it was 20 (no missing zeros). Just for emphasis, I think mine was like 42, so it was less than mine (and if you're curious, I am, indeed, a woman). A supplemental MRI showed a pituitary tumor. Aaaaaand another physical anomaly I promised him I wouldn't put in here, but suffice it to say, it was another fertility negative. We got crappy SA results, and my kidneys went back to ground 0 after looking like they were doing OK. It sucked. Cancelled IUIs, more prednisone... I mean it was just a mess. We were starting to lose faith and headed into every month going "this HAS to be better than last month, right?". And it just wasn't happening.

So far, though, 2011 has proved to be just a little bit better. I was cleared to start fertility treatments, insurance actually approved us with no problems whatsoever, Andy is feeling much better, and it seems like we might actually be headed in an upward direction. Now I do not have my latest batch of kidney tests, and I am by no means expecting them to be perfect. I am praying that my creatinine is still close to 1, and that the ratio of protein in my urine has gone down. It doesn't have to be gone... I just want down. Prednisone worked last time, so I'm hopeful, but part of me is thinking "what if?". I'm waiting for my results and.. boy would it just be a kick in the pants to have really terrible results when we're about to start this cycle. Now they say the cutoff for creatinine with having a good pregnancy outcome is 1.4 or less. Mine has not yet been over 1.25, and I was on a medication at the time that raised it some. With me on the prednisone there's no reason to think it would be higher. Plus, after 2 months of prednisone my urine protein was in the 5s instead of the 6s, so it was headed in the right direction, allbeit slowly. So we'll see how it goes. I'm just hoping for "better". And I suppose if it's not, we'll find a way to deal. I feel like there's always a hurdle but if we can clear this one with a "better" I'll be a happy girl. But I'm trying not to jinx myself so I'll move on to what I actually wanted to say today.

I mentioned that Andy and I decided to pay for freezing of our embryos, which is $1600. Having decided this on a whim, we now have to come up with $1600, and we don't want to use credit. We have some savings, but not a ton, and I thought the constant monitoring coming up might drop it to pretty much nothing. I called Shady Grove today, though, and she said I don't have to pay for ANYTHING from here on out. She said all of my upcoming monitoring is covered by the deposit and there are no more out of pocket charges in the office (I assume we'll be getting  a bill for about 500-1000 that insurance doesn't cover from what we've paid already, but that's not until later). So our savings can be used for any frosties, and I'm very happy!! Although it sucks to be using up our cushion, it's nice to know we have it there. And I can't imagine how people go through this without help or without really good jobs. Because my God is it financially draining.

Andy said to me this morning "If we have frozen embryos, does it make the next cycle cheaper? Probably not, right?" And I said "Honey with frozen embryos we don't have to go through nearly as much medication or the egg retrieval... even with medications it's about 3 grand at our center". Needless to say he was very excited about this. I wish our insurance covered FET, but we're still paying less than half out of pocket, so I'm not going to be ungrateful.

This of course depends on having frosties, which we may not, but I'm hopeful. We've had a lot of good news lately and I hope that translates into this cycle's outcome. We have a Disney trip to plan with our little one lol.

Edit: I just read in their IVF PDF that if you do elective single embryo transfer, your cryo charges are 50% off!! So if I qualify for eSET, we were planning to do it anyway, and if that program is still going it's $800 instead of $1600. That's awesome, because that much we have sitting there, and the other $800 could be the start of saving for the deposit for a FET if we need it (but we're not going there yet. Positivity is the name of the game!).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I Have a Schedule!

My cycle of emotional retardation continued last night. I was so upset about not going to Chicago, and I ended up crying while Andy held me about how I want him to have everything he wants. He told me he had everything he wants because he has me. I'm not making that up. I got upset thinking he didn't want to do this again, and he got a bit offended and said that's not true, but, again, he's not going to gush about it and obsess. We did get into a conversation about affording all of it, though. My parents were going to pay for freezing of embryos and let us pay them back, but I really don't want to do that, so we're paying the $1600 out of pocket for it if we have embryos to freeze. Planner that I am, we decided we'd do a second cycle if this one doesn't work. But if we have frosties we'll do those first. Andy said he's not sure about doing a third fresh cycle, though. I told him that's how many my insurance covers and I was comfortable doing 3, so if it comes to it we'll have to talk about that. I hope it doesn't take 3, but we'll see. I also told him I'd be miserable forever if I didn't have a baby. But he doesn't want to be flat broke at the end of it and still not have a baby. Which I do understand. We've made plans for him to go back to school full time next year which would cut out his income. Although I make plenty by myself, it would be really tight if we were paying for multiple IVFs, so we decided on a couple of things.

First, we're done spending unnecessary money. Lately my bank account has been bleeding and I've come home with tons of new clothes and new toys (I bought a kindle this week!). We make enough that we should easily be putting a few hundred a month away, but we haven't been, and it's time to strap it down, get some credit cards paid off, and put as much into savings as possible.

Second, we're done thinking about "what if". We've made the decision to pursue a second fresh cycle if necessary if we don't have frosties, so there's no reason to keep talking about it. From here on out THIS CYCLE IS WORKING. There's no room in our lives for negativity over this. We have a month until transfer and we're not allowing anything but positive vibes in. "Relax" may not be the key to pregnancy, but stress definitely has negative effects on the body as a whole, so we're trying to just be positive and support each other and do this! So without further adieu, onto the cooooool stuff I got in the mail!!!

It's a little hard to see, but this is my list of meds. It looks like SO much to me. I knew it would be a ton, but seeing it listed out and designed specifically for me, I'm like "holy crap". I was also hoping to get away with no IM injections, but unfortunately it looks like the lupron is IM. Andy is terrified of giving me needles, so I told him I'd try to do it myself first. He knows he has to step in if I can't do it, but he is so afraid of hurting me. It's pretty cute, actually. It might just be the trigger that's IM, and if that's the case I may get my mom to do it. Also cool about this? It has DATES. I have 4/16 to start stims, which is pretty much set in stone (2 weeks!!!). They expect retrieval to be about 4/27, with transfer 4/30 or 5/2.

Holy. Crap!

I probably shouldn't be so excited about this next one, but I am. So there.

These are the first 4 days of stims. I think 75 is the lowest dose they really give of both meds, so I hope it does the job. My first monitoring appointment will be 4/19 so I guess they'll up it if they need to. In a way I'm glad she thinks I won't need too much medication. It makes me feel like she has high hopes. Which I guess is silly, but it means she thinks I'll have a lot of follies, and that's a good thing.

Tonight I'm hanging out with my girlfriends, and my goal is to get through one day without being a blubbering mess of ridiculousness. I am an emotional jackass right now, so we'll see what happens.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Our Bank Accounts are Bleeding

The Aetna Specialty pharmacy just called about my order. She went through the list of medicines so fast I didn't hear anything but Ganirilex and Menopur. Oh yes, and Follistim pen. I should figure out what those things do. And it's time to update the cost! Hopefully for the last time in a while, because, seriously? I'm over it.

SHG - $100
Day 3 blood work and ultrasound - $145
HSG - $231.50
Deposit - $3250
ICSI deposit - $250
Meds - $1578.19
Lupron - $10

Total: $5564.69
Now really, so far, that's not too bad. I'm sure the cost will go up some, and hopefully we'll be freezing some embryos which will add another $1200. I think, all in all, we're going to look at a final total of around $7500. which isn't truly all too terrible considering that includes all of the testing leading up to it. But still. It's nothing to sneeze at. Please hang out here for a while, tally... until freezing time? I know I've mentioned that my parents are paying for most of this cycle. We've paid for testing, but they paid for meds and the deposit. We'll be paying for freezing and any subsequent embryo transfers. They are paying flat out, but we want to pay them back anyway. So it's a lot of money. Yep.

Edit: Apparently one of the meds wasn't in that shipment. Thank God it's a $10 co-pay. He's looking out for me. It is going through a different pharmacy, though, and now my head is spinning.

Edit #2 - Added the Lupron $10 Co-Pay since I just paid it.

Temporary (?) Insanity

Interestingly enough, Andy and I got into a conversation about how he refuses to go to Chicago this year. He says he's not worried about it, and we need money in case the IVF doesn't work. In my ridiculously emotional state I decided that this meant he doesn't think it's going to work, and I threw a little bit of a crazy-woman fit. I also decided that Chicago was "his" thing and the baby was "my" thing and he didn't care and didn't want to have the baby.

Yes, the same day I wrote the post below about how awesome he is.

He said I deserve everything I want, which I, of course, took to mean he didn't want it, and it spiraled from there into me almost in tears complaining about how he doesn't want to do this and I'm forcing him into it. No, I'm not even on the crazy hormones yet.

He admits that it's more important to me to have the baby, and I get that. I'm a woman and obsessed.He doesn't think about it the same way. He's a guy, and not obsessed. Does he want the baby? Hell yes. Is he excited? Hell yes (this is the guy who put a onesie in his desk drawer so it would be close to him). Is he a crazy person who can't think about anything else? No. And of course this means everything in the ENTIRE WORLD is BAD and I can't survive anymore. Is this what hormonal rollrcoasters are like? If so, I would not like to purchase a ticket. However, if they're handing out babies at the end, I'll go for it. I'll pay 10 grand for THAT emotional rollercoaster. This one notsomuch.

The honest truth of the matter is he does think it will work, but he's logical. In my birth-control-filled rage, logic has flown out the window and I can only think in terms of how everything on earth relates to our baby. Fruit in a market in Asia might make it into the baby food my child will eat when he's on soft foods. A fish swimming in Australia could still be around when I take my kid to the Great Barrier Reef. My friend's refrigerator breaking down. Mowing the grass. EVERYTHING relates to my as-yet-unconceived child. This means there's no room for logic, and saving money and earning sick days don't compute. What's that? I should probably be able to pay my bills? What does that have to do with anything?

And somehow, Andy wanting to give up Chicago for us to have a baby means he doesn't want it. I defended myself with "But if we don't do it now we might never have a baby!". And while he should have given me a "WTF are you talking about, I'm on your side!" look, he said "That's right. Chicago will always be there. This chance might not." And do you want to know what I said??

"What if Chicago's NOT always there?" Really, Erika? Seriously? To which my glorious husband replied "Well then we've got bigger problems".

Oh, twisted hormones of IVF... lay not your hands on me!!!! Dear God I hope this cycle works... but will I find something else to obsess on? Absolutely. My husband deserves this trip. We deserve our baby. And I.. might deserve a trip to the looney bin if I don't control myself. Lord help us.