Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We're On For Tomorrow

Had my blood drawn this morning at 7:50am. The nurse called around 10:00am and said everything looked good so we are on for retrieval tomorrow morning. I have to be there at 6:45am. I just have to take it easy the rest of the day after the retrieval then I will be back to work Friday - which is kind of a bummer since I've been off since Christmas Eve. But no time to be sad - just need to think positive and hope that they get lots of good quality eggs, they fertilize like they are supposed to, they grow like they are supposed to and when they get put back in they attach and make 1 or 2 healthy babies!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Positive Thoughts and Prayers Worked!

We went in at 8:10 this morning for another blood draw. The nurse called around 11:00am and said that my Estradiol level was 5100! Yea - it went down!! So we are doing the Ovidrel "trigger" shots at 8:00pm tonight. We go in tomorrow for another Estradiol level at 7:50am tomorrow and if it looks okay, we have a retrieval scheduled for Thursday morning at 6:45am.

Thank you EVERYONE for all the positive thoughts, prayers, and support!!! It is truly amazing to have such great friends and family.

And today a picture of our happy faces after the good news :-)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Good News Followed By Not So Good News

We had an ultrasound and bloodwork today and were ecstatic afterwards - the ultrasound looked great, lots of big eggs. We were told retrieval on Wednesday morning. Given instructions to stop all the injections I was on and do the Ovidrel injections tonight at 10pm to mature the eggs for the retrieval. So looked like everything was good, we were super excited, I even did a little jumping up and down dance because things were working like they are supposed to.

Then about noon the doctor's office calls and says there is "a little change of plans." My estradiol level was 5600 today. It was around 2000 on Saturday. Anything over 5000 puts me at high risk for OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome). So the doctor wants me to "coast" for a day. That means another Lupron shot tonight, back into the office tomorrow morning for another estradiol level. If it goes down or at least stays the same we could do a retrieval on Thursday. If it goes up a little bit we could "coast" another day. If it goes up a lot the whole cycle could be cancelled.

Surprisingly I don't feel like crying - which I've done my fair share of lately with the crazy hormones. I am feeling resigned to the fact that nothing goes well for us, everything has to be difficult, and I shouldn't have let myself get my hopes up in the first place. Pity party for me. Maybe a nap will help my attitude...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Going Well...I Think...

It has been a few days since I posted anything - something about Christmas happening...

We have had two ultrasound/bloodwork appointments. The first was Christmas Eve morning. We had LOTS of eggs on the ultrasound. They measured about 8 of them and they will keep measuring to make sure they are growing. The doctor's office called and told me to reduce my Follistim and Repronex injections by half. The second ultrasound/bloodwork appointment was Saturday, December 26th. The eggs were growing! There were still A LOT of eggs on the right ovary but the left one was very hard to see. The nurse who did the ultrasound said that the ovaries get heavy and drop down and so they are hard to see sometimes. She also said it could be the right one was predominant and there weren't as many on the left side. So later that day the doctor's office called and said to hold the Follistim injections because my Estradiol level was over 2000 - which is apparently pretty high.

Now I am just hoping that the Estradiol levels don't get too high and cause OHSS - Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. We have another appointment tomorrow morning for another ultrasound and bloodwork. Then hopefully we will find out what day the retrieval will be - Wednesday or Thursday.

And just for fun, a picture of my bruised belly.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Better Tonight!

My belly was VERY sore unbotton my jeans sore :( So I called the doctor's office and one of the nurses called my back and said that it is common with this drug to have lots of reddness, swelling, soreness at the injections site. She also said to make sure I inject it at least an inch away from my belly button. So tonight I did it further away from the belly button and it went alot better!

All in all, second day of stims done, no ovary pain yet, pretty sore, a little bruised (battle scars I like to think), occasionally emotional.

The top picture is all my used syringes - and yes, they told us to put them in a soda bottle. The second picture is all my drugs ;) I have a tupperware container for them there are so many!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Started Stims!

So I started stimulation injections today - or stims for all us cool IVF people. Don't be jealous, you can say it too ;)

Anyway, started Follistim injections this morning. It is a pen type injection and I was a little overwhelmed with the three pages of instructions at first but it wasn't too bad. Tomorrow will definitely be easier. Then tonight I did my Repronex injection...that one sucked. First of all you have to use diluent to mix it. So I have to draw up 1mL of diluent, dilute the first vial, draw that up and use it to dilute the second vial then draw that back up, change the needle and inject it. And to do all this they gave me 1mL syringes which sounds like it makes sense but really a 3mL would be much easier so I don't have to draw it all the way to the top...or bottom, however you look at it. Anyway, this probably makes no sense unless you have done this before, or are in pharmacy or nursing...

Sorry, rambling...

So, the injection also sucked because I'm not so sure that subcutaneous injections are meant for injecting an entire milliliter because it hurt like heck! That or the medication itself hurt. I am going to try icing tomorrow before that one. Or maybe try the thigh instead of the belly. We'll see...

Well, keep thinking happy, egg producing thoughts for my ovaries! ;)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Baseline Ultrasound Today

This morning was the baseline ultrasound and bloodwork. The ultrasound went fine - uterine lining was thin and ovaries were "quiet." Bloodwork must have turned out okay because the office didn't call. The nurse said they would only call if there were any changes we needed to make. Other than that I just need to train my veins to behave a little better - they always have the darndest time drawing my blood and it is going to be a fairly common occurence over the next couple weeks. The lab director who drew my blood today suggested I try drinking some water before I come in next time to make sure I'm hydrated...we'll see how that works. I'm willing to try anything to not have bruises on both arms!

We start stimulation injections next Monday - 3 shots a day - woohoo :-/ And I say "we" but really Jeremy just watches and I personally feel he is a little too excited about all these injections I have to give myself...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Going Slowly but Surely

So not much exciting is going on. I have been doing the Lupron injections for a couple weeks now and those are going pretty well. I got alcohol swabs with benzocaine to numb the area because I was kind of nervous and so I don't know if that's why but they really don't hurt. That could also be because I use a pretty fine needle...

So anyway, just doing the Lupron shots every night, multivitamin, baby aspirin, and folic acid every day. The Lupron is "quieting" my ovaries - basically we want nothing to be happening down there right now. The week of Christmas I start the stimulation injections - more about that when it happens.

I'll try to post a picture of all the drugs I have soon - it's entertaining. I literally have a tupperware container to hold them all.

So, the process is going along slowly but surely. One day at a time...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Here We Go!

Today is Day 1! I've never been so excited for my period to start ;) I start my birth control pills today as well as my baby aspirin. I notified the clinic today is Day 1 and they are getting my calendar ready. The calendar is like the bible for my IVF cycle and will tell me when to start and stop what meds.

I also got my injectable meds delivered today and my kitchen is being taken over by drugs! I am a little nervous about the size of the needle for the progesterone injections but those aren't for awhile so maybe I can find something smaller before I need that...

Can't wait to get my calendar and get a little more organized!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

IVF Class

We had IVF Class yesterday! There were 6 other couples in our class and basically it was a Powerpoint presentation about IVF/Infertility and then a discussion of how to do the injections. So, for anyone who wants to know, here is how IVF works...

The first day of my next cycle I will start Desogen - a birth control pill and a low-dose aspirin daily. Before starting Lupron (which I'll talk about in just a minute) I will take a weeks worth of antibiotics (Doxycycline and Metronidazole twice a day) and Jeremy will take Augmentin twice daily for a week. This will clear up any infections we don't know about and protect against any possible infections (from the procedures or that we might develop otherwise). Then after I finish my Desogen (how long I take that is decided my the Dr.) I will have a baseling ultrasound.

Then I start taking Lupron injections every evening to "quiet" my ovaries which prevents the spontaneous release of eggs prior to retreival.

Next I start Follistim injections in the mornings and Repronex injections in the evening (in addition to the Lupron) to stimulate the ovaries to produce several eggs in one cycle. During the stimulations injections (stims) I will have multiple ultrasounds to monitor how many eggs are developing and their size.

Once, there are the appropriate number and size of eggs, I take two injections of Ovidrel to mature the eggs. Then 35 hours later we'll have our retreival!

So the retreival is done in the fertility docs office under light sedation (Fentanyl and Versed). They use an ultrasound guided needle to "suck" out the eggs :) Then they fertilize them that day. They grow for 3-5 days and then we go in for our embryo transfer. Then we wait...

After the embryos are transferred, we have to wait 12 days to have a pregnancy test to see if all of the above worked. I think that's going to be the worst part since I am so impatient ;)

Last night I was feeling pretty overwhelmed but I am doing better today and just telling myself not to worry about what I can't control. There are so many things that have to go right it is so hard to imagine that this could work but I want to stay positive so I am just trying to take it one step at a time.

Oh, and after the transfer, I have to do Progesterone injections which are IM and have to be given in my butt - Jeremy is excited he gets to do that one since I told him I was doing all the shots ;-)

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Getting Started

Well, we really aren't getting started. We've been at this for about 17 months now. Long story short - I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (herein referred to as PCOS). I had surgery in March 2009 to remove cysts from my ovaries and check my fallopian tube function. Turns out that I have lots of scar tissue and adhesions in there (possibly from some infection I had but don't know about). Oh, and some of my organs were in the wrong place - like part of my intestine was adhered to my uterus... So, they fixed that as best they could. Then they shot dye through my tubes to see if they were working and one was, the other was blocked.

I have taken a drug called Femara which is technically for breast cancer but works like Clomid to make women ovulate. I took that for 3 months and did ovulate...but didn't get pregnant.

So now - our next option was either Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). We decided with our Fertility Specialist (Dr. Y) that IVF would be a better option than IUI because of all my scar tissue and the fact that it is really best for women who have ovulation issue. I ovulate just fine - the little boogers are just a little reluctant to be fertilized.

So, decision made. Now what? Well, we have to set up a meeting with the financial specialist at the Fertility Clinic. We have to have some bloodwork done. I have to have a "Mock Embryo Transfer." This basically entails filling my uterus with water, using the same catheter they will use to transfer the embryos (the same type, not the exact same one of course ;) and pretending to do so . This lets them use ultrasound to look at my uterus and make sure there aren't any problems with it, they measure it, and can determine exactly where they will place our embryos. Kinda cool... Then we have to take a class to learn everything you could ever want to know about IVF including how to give myself the hormone injections.

We are feeling very excited to get this started and relieved that we know what we are doing next. So far this whole process has been a whole lot of hurry up and wait. And those of you who know me know that I'm not the most patient person...