Sunday, May 25, 2014

Scans 1 & 2

So - since I started with steps, I guess this makes for step 4.

Today is my 8th night of stims.  It really has flown by up to this point.  Overall, I'm feeling pretty good.  Around Wednesday, I started feeling a lot of tingling in my ovaries, but no significant pain.  The last couple of days, however; have been a little different, with more pain & very bloated feeling, and I've just been very tired.  I must say, I'm very grateful this is happening over a long weekend so I can get plenty of rest!

On Thursday, I had my first scan.  I saw Dr. H and Dusty was with me at the appointment.  Dr. H is great because he & his wife (Dr. P) also went through the IVF process, so I feel like he has real empathy for what we're going with.  All & all, the appointment went very well.  I had a total of 11 follicles.  The right side was pretty busy, with follicles 8, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10, & 10.  The left had a little bit going on as well, with 4 follicles, measuring 7, 7, 8, & 9.  I heard back from Sarah Thursday night and started adding 1 vial of Cetrotide to my nightly injections.

Today was my 2nd ultrasound.  When Dr. T found my right ovary, the nurse was even like, whoa, you have a basketful (of eggs).  No kidding!  I sure did!  No wonder I have been feeling so bloated and tired, and in general, just a very full and pulling feeling around my ovaries.  My right side had follicles measuring 8, 10, 11, 11, 12, 12, 13, 13, & 15 and my left had follicles measuring 10, 10, 10, 11, 12, & 13.  WOW!  I'm very pleased with those numbers.  There were also several smaller ones on each side that Dr. T didn't even bother with measuring.  So, those numbers definitely explain how I've been feeling.  I literally slept on the couch nearly 3 hours yesterday afternoon.  I've just been absolutely exhausted.  I guess growing these eggs is hard work, haha!

I'm still giving myself the shots.  I'm sure Dusty would if I asked him to, but I've started, so I'll just keep going.  I would have been a pretty terrible nurse though, as I have my tummy completely bruised (see below)!  I also had a slight scare on Thursday night when I gave myself Cetrotide the first time.  Almost instantly, after giving myself that injection, I told Dusty that the site was kind of burning.  Then, a few minutes later, I decided to look at the injection site, and I had a large bright red hive at the injection site!!  I emailed Sarah about it and she wrote back very quickly and said that in her 10 years, I was just the 5th patient to have that "bee sting" reaction.  She described it perfectly, it felt and looked just like a bee sting.  She said it goes away soon and to take zyrtec before my shot the following nights, which has helped! 

I wish I had thought to get a picture of my basket full of eggs, but for now, here is my bruised and bloated tummy.  I'll try to snap a pic of my ultrasound when I go back Tuesday. 




 
Then, a short while ago, I heard back from Sarah and it looks like we are likely going to have our egg retrieval on Thursday and assuming a 5 day transfer, we'll go back on Tuesday for the transfer!!  Wow!  I can't wait!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

All about the Stims - IVF Part 3

Over the weekend, Dusty and I made a quick trip to Iowa for his sister's wedding.  The weather was absolutely perfect, and the wedding was beautiful.  We're so happy for them! 

In addition to the wedding, I also started my injections Saturday night.  Let me tell you, my husband is a trooper!  Not only did he spend time in the women's bathroom before the wedding helping calm down his niece before she walked down the aisle with her momma, but then, during the reception, we snuck out to the bathroom so Dusty could help me make sure I gave myself my first injection correctly!  He's the best!

I was so anxious!  I was definitely stressed the entire day worrying about giving myself a shot.  I shouldn't have been!  What a waste of stress!  It was easy!  We unpacked one of the boxes, took the syringe with fluid, and filled the other bottle that had the medicine in it.  Then, took out a different syringe and drew down 300 units of the medicine (gonal-f).  More than the pain of the needle, I was worried about hurting myself by putting the needle in too fast or too hard, so I ended up doing it pretty slowly, but it didn't hurt.  I must say, I was pretty proud of myself!  Haha! 

Since then, I have given myself 5 shots, and only one has hurt a tiny bit.  I've been moving around my tummy so it isn't all bruised in one spot, you know, have to spread out those bruises!  :)  Since both Dusty and I were out of town, but in different states, Tuesday night, I wanted to start off giving myself the shots so I wouldn't freak out when I had to, otherwise, Dusty would gladly be doing it for me. 

Below is a pic of the process.  Warning, there is a pic of the needle in my tummy, and, please excuse my bloated tummy!  I'm not skinny to begin with, so the bloating from the meds doesn't help at all!! 

 


 

 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

IVF Step 2 Part 2

We had our IVF class on Tuesday and it went perfectly!  We met with Sarah first and talked through the meds and went over our IVF calendar.  I'll start with 300 u of Gonal and take those injections starting tonight through Wednesday the 21st.  At that point, I will add Cetrotide.  I was pretty relieved when Sarah said I could take those two meds combined, in one injection!  I was seriously dreading two injections!

After that, we had blood tests done on both of us to check for any issues such as HIV.  Then, once our blood work was finished, I had an ultrasound to check my lining & ovaries, and then had the trial transfer, which felt pretty much like a pap smear.  All in all, Tuesday was pretty easy!!  

On Wednesday, I called the pharmacy to schedule the delivery of the injections, which were going to be delivered to my office Thursday before we left for Iowa Friday morning.  Well...everything was scheduled and I had a tracking number and it said the meds were shipped...until I got an email Thursday morning saying that due to a mechanical failure with the FedEx plane, my meds didn't ship Wednesday night.  I came very close to panicking!!  I called the pharmacy, who was awesome to work with, and had the meds redirected to my mother-in-law's house.  They were there waiting on us when we arrived last night, thank God!!  


I start the injections tonight.  I'll post again in a few days and let everyone know how that's going!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

IVF Step 2

I can't believe this week is here!!!  The good news, I'm still excited!  The even better news, this week is here and everything is getting kicked off this week!  We have our IVF class tomorrow, along with the trial transfer (with yet another doctor....sigh).  Then, on Saturday, we start our stims.  I can not wait!! 

I will admit, I've had a couple of slight freak out moments.  Thank goodness for my friend that has been through all this!!  I can't even tell you the number of random Facebook messages I have sent her over the last few weeks.

I realized last night that I wasn't sure if we had enough time to order the meds and get them before we leave for my husband's sister's wedding in Iowa on Friday morning.  I also realized that Sarah didn't have our prescription insurance information because my doctor's clinic doesn't have that.  So, I sent Sarah an email with a picture of my insurance card and also expressed my concerns about the timing of receiving the shipment of our meds.  Surprisingly, Sarah replied almost immediately and thanked me for sending the insurance information and said she thinks we can work it out so the meds are delivered on Thursday, or she will find a way to make it work!  I was so thankful for her quick response. 

Then, I started really reading through the packet of forms that we have to go over and sign (because I had only glanced at them before)...and let me tell you, that led to major freakout, serious life discussion!  In the forms was an advanced directive.  I did not think I'd be checking boxes stating what to do with me if I have to be kept alive through medical means.  I mean, whoa!  I freaked, had a discussion with Dusty about my wishes, then asked him wat his wishes were, and then cried.  Dusty reassured me and said that was just CYA (cover your a$$), and he's exactly right.  That helped, a lot! 

So, tomorrow afternoon, we will go to our local clinic & keep the ball rolling, yay! 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Hope

For the first time in a very long time, I am filled with hope.  I feel positive, I feel hopeful, and I feel happy.  In a month, I could be pregnant.  In a month, I could be on the way to giving my husband what I want to give him more than anything, a child, his child.  For the first time in a very long time, I feel hopeful that this will happen, we'll become parents. 

I've made some changes in the past few weeks that I really think are helping.  First, work has slowed down, and I'm not as tired (i.e., not as cranky) and that is really helping.  Second, and more importantly, I've become more faithful.  I've been pushed to my limit, and for a while, lost my faith, and only went through the motions.  I've spent a lot of time in thought and had lots of friends and family members praying for us, talking to us, and just in general, checking in on us, and I know that has helped!  I've also started designating time through a challenge with a couple of good friends to spend 30 minutes a day reading my bible, devotionals, and praying.  I can honestly say, all of those things have helped so much.  I go to bed and don't cry myself to sleep, and instead, look forward to our IVF procedure and all of the hope that comes with it! 

I told somebody a couple of days ago that if this didn't work, I'm afraid I'm going to hit rock bottom.  He told me I can't think like that, and he's exactly right.  I absolutely can not think about that now.  A friend that went through IVF recently (and now has a very handsome little boy) told me that she, once the IVF process started for her, decided she would only have positive thoughts.  From this point on, it's only positive thoughts!  This friend has been such a Godsend during the last few weeks, and has answered the most random questions I have about this process.  I am so thankful for her!!  

I, as much as anyone, know life isn't always sunshine and rainbows, but for now, I'm going to convince myself it is.  I have to!  I owe it to my husband and our future children.  We are going to get pregnant.  We are going to have a baby.  In a month, I will be pregnant!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

IVF Calendar!!!!!!!

Yay!!!  I am so excited!  I heard back from the APN today (Thank you, God!) and we now have our IVF calendar/timeline!  I want to document it here because I know when I was reading blogs and talking with a friend who went through IVF, seeing their timelines helped me so much!  It is as follows:

May 13 (Tuesday) - Initial IVF class to review consents, injection teaching (eek), perform ultrasound and trial transfer plus blood work on Dusty and me

May 14 (Wednesday) - Stop taking birth control pills

May 17 (Saturday) - Start stimulation meds

May 20 (Tuesday) - Initial lab visit

May 22 (Thursday), May 24 (Saturday) & possibly May 26 (Monday) - Ultrasound and lab monitoring

May 26 (Monday) - May 28 (Wednesday) - Possible days for the egg retrieval

May 31 (Saturday) - June 2 (Monday) - Possible days for the transfer (assuming a 5 day transfer)

Wow!  I just can't believe that in a month, I could be pregnant! 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Some good news!!

After starting to feel pretty panicked last week once I realized that Dusty and I both had several days out of town coming up in the next 8 weeks, I emailed our APN (last Wednesday).  The subject line "Starting 2nd Pack of Pills - Concerns about IVF Timing due to Travel" apparently caught her attention (about time....but anyway, I'm letting that go)!  I laid out all of our upcoming travel dates and who would be gone and told her that when we met with her in March and she asked if we had upcoming travel, we said no, because we thought we'd be much further along in the process by this point.  Our APN wrote back the same day and asked a little more about one of the weekends we are gone.  I replied immediately and told her more details about that weekend.  Well...after hearing nothing back from her since that first question, I emailed her back yesterday and asked if she can give me an estimated timeline for our IVF based on my response to her previous email.  Surprisingly, this morning, I heard back from her. 

In today's email, she asked if I would be ok with Dusty not being there for the transfer, as it looks like we are having our transfer June 1 or 2, which are days that Dusty was going to be in San Francisco for work (seriously, Dusty gets to go to San Francisco for work, I get to go to, oh, you know, St. Louis & Kansas City, which are fine, but they definitely aren't California!!).  Dusty and I talked and decided that he would talk to his boss about missing the San Francisco trip, and I would write Sarah (our APN) back and tell her that yes, we're ok with Dusty not being there, but that he's also going to try to get out of the work trip, however; if he can't, we don't want to wait any longer.  So, that's what I did.  And, surprisingly, I got another quick response from Sarah saying the calendar was being made to have us look at the timing to make sure it is acceptable, and she'd include options a & b, and we can discuss tonight and decide which is best for us!

So, that is where we sit!  I'm waiting anxiously for the email with the calendar timeline.  I can't believe we're finally moving!  It still feels like baby steps, but at least we're moving!!  I have felt completely stuck since the first part of April.