Monday, March 31, 2008

Three's a crowd

Got 2 5-cell and one 6-cell on board. They're not the greatest quality, but they're mine. Now we wait. Transfer was a breeze and I'm lounging on my couch watching opening day baseball. Stick embies, stick.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hanging in there

All three embryos are holding on strong and "look good", so we're going in for a three-day transfer tomorrow morning. I'll be back to update as soon as I can - thanks for all the well wishes!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

14 - 11 = 3

Ok, so I was right with the "questionable quality" of the 14 eggs. 11 weren't mature enough to fertilize, so that leaves us with three.


You know, leading up to this, I thought I'd be happy with three, but I have to say (and I hate myself for admitting this), the 14 eggs kind of got my hopes up. It's just that there's so many things that can go wrong between now and transfer. I just want to go to the lab now, and get those three embryos into my body so they can get their nourishment and grow. The lab says that they look good and transfer will most likely be Monday. They'll call again tomorrow with an update.

I know it only takes one, but I was hoping for some overflow to be safe. Stay strong for us embies! Please.

Friday, March 28, 2008

FOURTEEN? For real?

Retrieval this morning - 14 luscious eggs! Now, the doctor told me (and I'm sure) that a number of them are of questionable quality, but still - FOURTEEN! I can't believe it. I'm really discovering that it's the small accomplishments in IVF that can make your day.

All in all, the procedure went well. The Barron found himself a nice video, provided a sample and gave 'em a little pep talk. I was knocked out, so I didn't feel anything, but I think I made an ass of myself to the doctor and nurses post-procedure while coming out of my drug induced sleep. I pretty much acted like I do when I'm drunk. "Seriously, I just want to say that all of you are so wonderful. Everyone has treated me so great. I'm so happy" etc...guh. Now, I'm just a bit crampy and sleepy.

Now, we wait. Oh, and the Barron gets to stick a HUMONGOUS needle in my ass tonight. Great. Fertilize, eggies, fertilize!

Fert report tomorrow. Fingers and toes crossed.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spank Tank

Back during Freshman year of college, my friend G had the most disgusting roommates I had ever met. One of them shared a bunk with G, sleeping on the bottom. This vile dude would cover the side of the lower bunk with towels while he was "doing his business" - hence, the spank tank was born.

I bring this up, because tomorrow, while I am having my eggs aspirated from my ovaries via a needle in my vadge, the Barron will be providing the clinic with the most important specimen of his life (no pressure, hon!). After discussions with the Barron about this process, I have determined that the spank tank from my college days would be preferable to the cold, bare room at the clinic.

Seeing as we live roughly an hour from our clinic, hubby has had to give all of his specimens in-house, rather than at home and transported via car. Back when we first started meeting with the RE, he had to use the room at the clinic for his analysis and commented on the lack of "appropriate material" to get his juices flowing (no pun intended). Oh sure, there are a few old Playboys a couple of Maxims, and some outdated DVD's, but come on - this stuff is important! We need to bring out the big guns here!

So, I have told the Barron to find the best "materials" that he can possibly find on the interwebs to bring with him. I want him to be as primed as possible so that we have the strongest, most virile swimmers available. He better enjoy this while he can.

(This posting was approved by the Barron - wouldn't embarrass him w/out clearing it w/him first! - Hope it wasn't offensive to any of you!) :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ripe and Ready

Trigger tonight! Retrieval Friday. Finish line in sight - hope I actually cross it!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Fab Four

Sully: "So how many do you see"
Dr. C: "Four"
Sully: "Is that enough?"
Dr. C: "It will be."

Four growing follicles. Some folks have 17 - 20, others none at all. I'll take my four. I think I'll name 'em John, Paul, George and Ringo. Hopefully, these follies will be as successful as their namesakes!

The Dr. thinks I should be on stims for another day or so. Thank God, because I am OVER stims. And the funny thing is, it's not the needles that bug (good, considering that the needles will continue), but the damn reconstituting of the hormones. Reconstituting 8 vials of Bravelle/Repronex really starts to grate on the nerves (and eat up time)! Also, I have to say, my right arm is getting pretty angry at me for having all of my blood draws out of it...time to switch up to leftie, methinks.

Off to listen to some Beatles music - maybe the follies will perk up!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Moving right along

"It looks to me like your retrevial will be on Friday".....YEAH!

Still cautiously optimistic, but at least it looks like we may get to actually finish out this cycle. It's a small victory, but a victory just the same.

So, I've decided to get my little world organized this week in case I need a few days bedrest in the next week or so. First up is a little Spring cleaning, then some desk organization (I work at home), then getting rid of the clothes that no longer fit and are piling up on my chair by donating them. Other tasks shall be added, but you get the idea. I also need to get my laptop files organized in anticipation for the arrival of my new baby. No, I'm not that crazy optimistic to mean a human baby, I mean my shiny new laptop, which is scheduled to arrive later in the week! Woo hoo!

Feeling good today. Hopefully not jinxing myself by posting this.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Extra Help

I've always been an advanced learner. In elementary school, I was placed in the gifted program; in high school, the majority of my course load was AP classes, and in college, I took more Honors courses than not. I've never really had to deal with extra help (well, maybe in math), or what we here in NY know as "Regents Optional" this is all new to me.

The ovaries are getting put into detention. - they're still plugging along, but slooowly. Today's sono showed 5 eggs (or follies, not sure). I'm on the max dose of stims, so there's nothing more they can do except to split up my dosage. So, now it's one shot in the AM and one in PM, each w/4 vials. This does not bother me, as I'm willing to stick as many needles as necessary into my abdomen to make this work, but it sucks just the same.

Do they need a tutor? Maybe a little extra encouragement? I've started talking to them for chrissakes. "Just do me this favor and I'll be so good to you for the rest of my life...I swear". The RE keeps saying that my age works in my favor however (31), but how can that help when I have the ovaries of a slow - learning middle-ager?

I'd exchange all of those good grades back in the day to have these bad boys working as they should.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Walk, don't run

Saw yet another RE again today - think I've seen everyone in the practice by now. We're finally seeing follie development. Slow, but they're there. Told me not to panic. Not canceling (yet), but I'll probably be on stims for an extended period of time. "All you need are 3 follicles and 2 eggs and you still have a shot".

After coming out of the exam room, I ran into my original RE, whom I LOVE. He is the Director of the facility and only sees new patients and does the initial diagnostic testing (then passes you off to the IVF specialists). I was so happy just to see his face. Asked how I was, told him my frustrations, and he says: "It's still early, you'll probably be on stims for another 10 days or so. This is the issue with your body - we'll get it to work." I wanted to kiss him. Love that man.

So, waiting for the follow up call about my drugs. Thanks for all of your advice! I bothered the nurses today, showed them what I was seeing with the fluid loss and they told me that it wasn't a big deal - I have so many vials to mix that it's only natural.

Feeling much better today. I know it's still a long shot, but at least I'm still in the race!

Monday, March 17, 2008


Question for all of you ladies out in IF land. As I've noted, I'm currently maxing out on my stims and have to mix 8 vials of powder in 1 little cc of water. Problem is, when I finally get to that 8th bottle, I have inexplicably lost some water along the way. Not spilled out on the counter or anything, but it seems that the switching between bottle after bottle and the absorption of powder has led to the evaporation of some of the water. The nurse at the RE's office said that going one line above the "1" shouldn't be an issue, but I've been hitting about 1.5 - 2 lines above the "1" (after they switched me to the 8), and I can't seem to make it any better. The barron and I actually scrapped a full needle of stims to re-do it on a second syringe, which was only slightly better.

Has anyone else had this happen to them, or am I the only idiot out there? Any feedback would be appreciated. If this cycle doesn't work, I don't want to be sitting around going..."I fucked up my needles - that's why it didn't work".

Gah....I hate IF.

So much for optimism

Just got off the phone with the IVF nurse. My suspicions are correct. My body responded horribly to the stims at the start. Estradiol levels only went up marginally. I am now on the maximum dosage and just praying that my ovaries perk up and start getting to work! Please, please, please - let this work.

Needles and Pins

First off, let me say Happy St. Patrick's day to one and all. As an Irish-American, today is usually a day full of celebration and let's face it...drinking. I still plan on celebrating today, but it's going to be hard to resist the Guinness. Oh well...greater good, right? :)

Back in high school, I went to see Pulp Fiction with two of my friends at the local movie theatre. There is a scene in the movie where one of the characters shoots up heroin while driving his car. I remember watching that scene and having to avert my eyes from the screen because watching the needle go in bothered me so much. Ever since that day, I have been unable to view any type of needle on TV or in the movies. I also get faint pretty much every time I receive a vaccination, blood draw or anesthesia. Perfect candidate for IVF, right?

I never thought I would say this, but for the past 3 days, I have been successfully injecting myself with hormones as well as receiving regular blood draws. I watch the needles go in, I sink the plunger, and I pull it out. And, I'm still here. I'm in shock myself, I tell you. So, the first positive to come out of this entire process is that I am no longer in fear of needles (well, I'm still afraid of the scary PIO one - but I still have a few weeks for that!).

Anywho...things have been going alright so far ( I think). Had a blood draw and morning coffee with the dildocam yesterday and received an increase in my meds. I'm now on 8 vials of powder in one cc. That's a whole heck of a lot of hormones. The thing that is troubling me is that I haven't had any side-effects to date. Is that just lucky, or a sign that things aren't working? My ovaries are not in ideal shape, so I'm afraid that this already isn't working and I'm only 3 days in. Anyone have experience with this? I'm trying to remain as positive as possible, but I have this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that's saying "it's not going to work - stop fooling yourself". Gah!!!!

I could use that Guinness right about now.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Client #9

Ok, I have determined that nothing in the world is weirder than discussing the current sex - scandal of NY's former Governor Spitzer with the RE while he is giving you a vaginal sonogram. Nothing.

Yeah, that was my morning.

I'm sure he meant well, and was trying to distract me from the procedure, but it was a bit surreal.

Today is officially the start of IVF #1. Had my bloodwork and baseline sonogram today, and the Barron and I got a quick lesson in stim injections. We also paid our balance in full, and let me just say, thank Jesus for the Barron's health insurance. We are extremely lucky to have a great deal of our expenses covered for this. For those of you who don't, I truly do feel for you - I don't know if I could do this if we didn't have coverage. I really do think that congress should put some pressure on the insurance companies to include fertility treatments in their basic coverage.

Anywho, I start stims tomorrow night. Last Friday, I was out at a bar living up my last weekend of drinking, and this Friday, I'll be pumping myself full of hormones. 2 Repronex and 4 Bravelle. Seems like an awful lot to me. I'm sure I'll be a raving lunatic by Saturday evening. (For those of you who are wondering, due to my FSH levels, my protocol did not include Lupron. I've been on the pill for a month and am just now starting stims.)

I'm so excited to finally be getting things underway! At the same time, I know that in about 3 weeks time, I'll either be ecstatic or completely lost. Here's to hoping for the first.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Still figuring this out

I just realized that I have comments! Yay! So, to those of you who have been reading and wondering why I'm being so selfish and haven't written back, I apologize. I'm a dope at blogging. I promise I'll get better :)

Who am I?

Well, I'm heading to the RE's tomorrow for my first official "Injections 101" lesson, along w/ baseline sono (love that dildocam), blood work, and of course, payment in full. So, I should be posting more frequently in the coming weeks, which brings me to...

My story. I realize I haven't said much about my background to date, and I've always found it helpful when reading other's blogs. So...without further adieu.....

The Barron and I got married back in 2002 - we were in no rush at the time to start a family, and silly me, being convinced that I'd get knocked up at the drop of a hat went on the pill. This was no small decision for me. I was raised Catholic (still am) and my parents are of the old belief that birth control (along with pre-marital sex) was against my faith (although they have loosened up with this in recent months considering their open-ess to IVF). Needless to say, I was wracked with guilt over going on the pill and swore that 3 years would be my cutoff point.

Fast forward to 2006. We had just purchased our house and were ready to start the process. I came off the pill in February and we waited until July to get started. Months pass....other friends get pregnant...babies are born, negative test, negative test. Money spent on OPK tests, pregnancy tests, pre-seed and the like. I'm thinking something is wrong. Everyone is telling me "just relax".

A woman knows her own body and when something isn't right. That's all I have to say about that.

I go in for my regular pap in 07 and my OBGYN referrs me to an RE "just to check things out". RE is awesome, schedules me and the Barron for some tests. Barron is all good - has super sperm - yay for him! Everything looks good on my sono, so I get signed up for the HSG. HSG is a miserable experience. I know for some of you ladies out there it wasn't so bad, but for me, it was awful. My single worst experience (to date) in this entire process. Results are clear. RE says "give it a few more months".

A few more months pass. I am given a 3 day blood test and then scheduled for a laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, D&C and tubal lavage (phew). Only after all of this do we get to the diagnosis, which brings us to today.

I've spent the last few months depressed over this entire thing and am feeling optimistic for the first time in a long time. I know it's a long shot, but by this time next month, I might be pregnant. I also know that my wait and struggle hasn't been as long or as problematic as some others, but I feel that infertility is a major obstacle in itself and every person who goes through it is stronger for it (even though it royally sucks).

I'm also so excited to see that I made the blogroll on Stirrup Queens - I guess I really have to start writing better now!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Fra - GEE - lay

During November and December, I love waiting for the various deliveries that will end up on my porch holding holiday gifts for loved ones and sometimes even for me. I hear the UPS truck coming down the street and get all excited. Who's gift is it? Is it something that the Barron ordered for me? Should I shake the box? Does it look as nice as it did online?

The drugs (yes, THE drugs) will be arriving on my doorstep between 3 - 7 PM. Even though this delivery is not a gift by any means, I find myself looking out the window at every car/truck that goes by. This is the delivery that's going to get things started. This is the delivery of the items that could potentially give us the child we've been longing for. Therefore, I can confidently say that this is quite possibly the most important delivery I will receive.

Handle with care, pharmacy delivery people.