Almost Transfer Day!!!

I am completely freaking out!!! Transfer is scheduled for 11 am tomorrow morning and I haven’t slept in days from anxiousness. I am so excited but so worried! I know I know but I can’t help it.

Retrieval was last Thursday. We retrieved 11 eggs. Out of those 11, 9 were mature. Out of those 9, 8 fertilized!!! EIGHT!! I’m grateful for this number. Based on my diagnosis of diminished ovarian reserve and the damage from endometriosis i honestly couldn’t have asked for more. Now i just hope they are strong healthy eggs. We have not had an update since Friday and it’s literally killing me not knowing. We have no idea how many embryos are still alive. I’m praying no news means good news. I mean the office can’t be irresponsible enough not to call ahead if it’s bad news right? There has to be at least one good embryo or there would have been a call. (Desperately trying to calm my irrational fears). So the plan is to arrive for our 11 am appointment. Wake, Pray, Transfer💞🙏🏼. Not much else we can do. I’m physically & emotionally drained and there’s still such a long road ahead. After transfer i have to wait 2 weeks for a blood test to confirm. For those ladies that have done this 3,4,5 times. I can’t imagine your strength. I keep repeating to myself this is it. It’s our time. It’s going to work

I ‘m heading straight to Acupuncture after transfer then relaxing for the next two day so the embaby can implant. No stress no worries. Stress increases cortisol and adrenaline which can negatively impact the ability of the embryo to implant. Not today Satan🚫.

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The Last 💉shot… for Now

We triggered tonight!! Hubs was a total pro😘. By taking this last shot of HCG before egg retrieval it prompts the eggs (inside each follicle) to complete the maturation process. Ovulation will occur within 36 hours (approximately)

Egg retrieval is set for 7 am Thursday! I am a ball of emotions. Anxious, nervous and excited and honestly a little nauseated. Not sure if it’s the HCG shot or my nerves. I ‘m also not looking forward to going under anesthesia. I didn’t react well at all the last time I was under, but it will only be for 10-15 minutes total this time. I’ve got a shit ton of instructions to follow before retrieval but I’m READY.

I don’t know how I will sleep the next 2 nights but I am just so ready to get this show on the road. This is just a small step in the direction we need to be.

Once egg retrieval happens , how many mature eggs will we get? How many will fertilize? Will the embryos live and multiply cells to day 5? Will they be good Quality? (Lower quality embryos are less likely to implant ) will we have any embryos to freeze in case it doesn’t work?

SO MANY THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT! And I am a worrier. I try not to be but I can’t help it.

They will transfer 1 embryo about 5 days after retrieval. We most likely will not know the status of our embryos until it’s time to transfer. TORTURE. Ugh. Patience is a virtue I need to learn. Can’t look back now but I am waiting for our miracle to happen. Send your positive thoughts. We need them.

EGGcellent news🥚🥚🥚

Tonight was day 10 of stims. I had a monitoring appointment bright & early this morning and we have 19 follicles growing!! Now most likely they won’t all be mature at time of retrieval but so happy that my softball sized ovaries are responding to meds at least! I am a bloated hormonal mess that can barely sit but I’ve never felt more grateful in my life. That we have this 2nd chance to make our dream a reality.

Estrogen is still going up which is good news and my lining is in great shape. I will get Instructions by Tuesday as to when to do my trigger shot 💉. I even had the nurse sharpie marker where on my butt the intramuscular shot should be given🤗. I’ve given myself all my shots so far but hubby is about to step up & help me with this one. Guys this is what we have been waiting for. I’m beyond excited & hopeful. Below are my follicle sizes so far. With a little luck most will reach close to 18mm & have mature eggs inside. The next couple of weeks are going to be the hardest weeks of our lives even if all goes as planned. But in my heart, I B E L I E V E something wonderful is about to happen !

My expectation is that I will most likely stim 1-2 more nights then it’s time to get those eggies🙏🏼🙏🏼

The IVF Rabbit Hole🐰⚫️

Before Alice got to wonderland , she had to fall pretty hard Down a deep hole. Being on IVF Meds is similar. Before I can get to the anticipated moment of egg retrieval I have to free fall through a pretty dark hole I call IVF stimulation Meds.

Today is Day 7 of Stims. Deep anxiety has set in and the sharp headache that never goes away. If i do fall asleep I’m having crazy vivid dreams and just wake unrested. I’m beyond stressed at work which I’m sure is amplified by the hormonal mess that I am. Basically I’m stressing about the stress I have.🤦🏻‍♀️ what am I stressing about? Everything and nothing at the same time. I think it’s a side effect of the cocktail of injections I’m on.

Yesterday We got some pretty good news. My estrogen which I was worried about tripled! AND we recruited some more follicles. We went from 5 follicles on morning of day 4 to 13 on morning of day 6. THIRTEEN!!! I am so relieved. My ovaries are actually responding to the Meds!! Let’s just pray that it continues. The 13 follicles are between the sizes of 4mm-9mm and we need them to get to around 18mm for egg retrieval.

I also visited the acupuncturist yesterday. Like i need more needles in my life right? Acupuncture is supposed to help with blood flow to the uterus and also for relaxation. It was recommended by my Dr. The acupuncturist put needles in my abdomen, hands, ears, feet and legs. Status: human pin cushion . But I will do whatever it takes, even if there’s only a slim chance it will work. I will update again over the weekend, hopefully with good news again. . I have another date with this guy bright & early tomorrow morning 😂

Even though today was a tough day I’m trying to remind myself that we are on a slow and steady pace to victory. Egg retrieval is only the first leg of this marathon. Please follicles, please grow 🙏🏼

IVF:Giving body shots a whole new meaning

Day 4 of stims but 6 days since I started Lupron injections. After 6 days i truly thought i had it down, but I’ve made my stomach look like a banana you forgot about in your work desk drawer🤦🏻‍♀️. Between the headaches, the sweats and the “foggy” feeling I’m not sure which one I’m enjoying more? Lol oh and throw in some random joint pain to the mix. These are all standard side effects I’m told but honestly it’s not all too terrible. The headaches are intense and i can’t take anything except for Tylenol which does NOTHING but makes me feel like the Meds are doing its job, maybe? Sure?

The Fogginess is the most worrying. I had a monitoring appointment this morning and when I got to the parking lot I was like how the hell did I even get here?? The rest of the day at work wasn’t any better. My head and my heart are just somewhere else.

I have another monitoring appt on Wednesday where hopefully they will explain my blood tests and ultrasounds a little more since I’m worried my estrogen level is low. This was part of the reason my last cycle was cancelled. They told me to keep my Meds at the same doses so no changes.

Trying to stay happy, positive and stress free is nearly impossible when your pumping yourself full of hormones. Today I went through the entire spectrum of emotions. I laughed, cried, raged, stressed all in a matter of like 20 minutes! Such a rollercoaster!

No really though. I apologize in advance if we come into contact and I’m not my normal self. Because today is just the beginning of the intense mood swings. Pray for my poor husband. #IVFhusbandLivesMatter 😂

This is my affirmation for today. We are having our nightly pep talk with the follicles to please behave and grow big and strong eggs for us. If you are reading. Send prayers

Stims!!!

It’s finally here! First day of stimulation medication!!! While I’m so excited we are finally at this next stage I am terrified of the havoc these hormones are going to wreak on my body. I am starting at pretty high doses due to my low ovarian reserve (due to my endometriosis ). The Lupron headaches have been relentless and the night sweats are something else. More symptoms to follow!

To recap the medications I’m on:

Lupron -suppresses the pituitary gland (this gland is responsible for triggering ovulation which we don’t want just yet!

Follistim– A follicle stimulating hormone that helps healthy ovaries to develop and release mature eggs.

Menopur – Stimulates multiple follicles and eggs to develop. Women normally don’t naturally develop more than one mature follicle per cycle but in my case we want MULTIPLE mature follicles. Be warned!!! MENOPUR feels like your injecting acid from the depths of hell straight into your abdomen !

I will never get used to needles but after watching the instruction videos like 100 times I finally stuck myself with 3 separate needles with the moral support from hubby and pups 💞.

We will be having a pep talk with my little follicles tonight. Grow follicles, grow. Please🙏🏼. We need lots of healthy eggs to harvest once they are mature enough. At my baseline ultrasound on Wednesday we had 5 follicles on left ovary and 4 on the right. They are low numbers but it only takes one!! Although I pray we have at least 1 to freeze.

This is a reminder to myself:

Shots, Shots, Shots💉💉💉

Not the fun kind of shots but I’m just as excited believe it or not. I had my first ultrasound and bloodwork of the cycle this morning and I started Lupron Shots that will be 2x a day for the entire length.(anywhere from 10-14 more days) Friday I will add 2 more shots of Follistim @300 units and Menopur @150 units. Already starting to feel the headache and stomach distress side effects but overall not terrible. For now I just have to keep chugging water.

I had a slight issue with the Lupron. I made a rookie mistake of NOT quadruple checking the expiration dates and unfortunately the pharmacy sent me a vial that expires tomorrow 2/22/18🙄🙄. Luckily we realized it in time and they will overnight me a vial for free due to the mistake. Crisis (not panic attack) averted but lesson learned!

I have a wonderful coworker who has been through IVF, that gave me this card for Christmas. I keep it pinned in front of me as a daily reminder❤️B E L I E V E

Round II

So Here we go again Kids.

It’s been some time since I’ve updated. To those of you who actually read this, thanks always for the Support ❤

The last few months have been total whirlwind of Physical and emotional chaos. Since our failed egg retrieval we have switched to a new Dr. and we absolutely love her.

Switching doctor’s was not an easy decision but the best one we have made so far. Every office is different but for the most part I feel so much more positive. The Dr. actually takes the time to call me with results and EXPLAIN things. It’s quite amazing actually, the difference between my previous Dr. and my new one.


To quickly recap:

  • Early November: Met with New Dr. She was very kind and Knowledgeable and we decided to immediately leave the old practice and start fresh.
  • Mid November -Late December- Repeated every blood test possible and transferred all my records to New Dr.s Office. (it was not easy!)
  • January  2018– I was SUPPOSED to start IVF Cycle- NOPE JUST KIDDING

A lot of the times even the smallest setback can feel like a mountain. I was physically and mentally ready to get the ball rolling again. My period was of course taking it’s sweet time and i was a few days late.  When you are having trouble getting pregnant, no matter how hopeless your situation, you ALWAYS pray for a miracle. So being late is just a big giant mind F*ck. Testing everyday, hoping we somehow got lucky, only to get negative after negative.. Absolute heartbreak each time. Then my period finally starts and I”m likes YES i’m ready for this. Time to call the Doctor! but only to be met with more setbacks.

Early January i called the doctor’s office to let them know i started my cycle and was told there were still things on my IVF checklist that were not completed. For example, my husband still had bloodwork he had not completed and the repeat blood tests i had been waiting on shows that my Prolactin level is elevated.  All i could think was WHAT?!!?@

It was like bad deja vu. I had switched to another office that couldn’t figure their shit out. I had called and asked SEVERAL times to ask what else needed to be done.  They had in my chart that i was on birth control pills, which i wasn’t. They put an order in for my IVF meds and i found several mistakes. (like why am i more of an expert than these nurses??) There were like 4 or 5 nurses who had their hands in my chart and none of them seemed to put the correct information in.  There were also a few other little things that they seem confused about regarding my chart and I just felt like i could not go through this again. I immediately called and left a message with the doctor to express my concerns. I was shocked when she called me first thing the next morning and totally agreed. She put my mind at ease by reviewing my chart and making sure the correct information was in there. I was also called by the nursing coordinator right after and she is now my only contact. It might seem like I am overreacting but my attitude with my first IVF cycle was not to be so “high maintenance”. Little mistakes and miscommunications are exactly what can lead to a failed cycle. This process is stressful enough and i need the professionals to know exactly what they are doing and I need to be able to trust in them.

Due to my slightly elevated prolactin level of 31 (they don’t want to see it higher than 25) i  couldn’t continue yet with a new IVF cycle & needed to go get an MRI of the brain. In SOME cases, elevated prolactin can be an indicator of a mass on the pituitary gland. Prolactin is a hormone that plays a role in fertility by inhibiting follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), the hormones that trigger ovulation and allow eggs to develop and mature.  So this could be a possible piece of the puzzle of why we haven’t been able to conceive naturally. My previous Dr. never even checked for this hormone and now I’m being told I may have a mass in my brain…. Sigh.

Thankfully after the MRI everything came back clear. I had a very small less than 1mm mass and the Dr. was not concerned at all. She put me on Dostinex (Cabergoline) even before the MRI and by the time i had my 3rd Prolactin check  4 weeks later, i was down to a 6. Such a whirlwind of emotions. Scared, worried, angry and depressed all mixed into one. Infertility is full of constant 2 week waits. 2 weeks to find out if your pregnant, 2 weeks for important blood results, 2 weeks for MRI results. The WAITING is soul crushing. If it weren’t for bad luck i’d have no Luck at all and when these little things happen it’s so hard to stay positive.

Flash Forward to Last week. Period comes a few days late. Again more POAS (peeing on a stick) just to get disappointed but HERE WE GO. We are ready to get STARTED.  Birth Control for 15 days to “quiet” the ovaries. We have an appointment this week to go over the Medication protocol and baseline ultrasound and bloodwork.  Then a few days after that I will start Lupron microdose twice a day. Then a few days after that we start Stim medication for 7-10 days of Menopur and Follistim.  I CANNOT WAIT. I want every single Injection.I want the bloating. I want the side effects. because we want the baby we have been praying for.  A week after turning 32 & 7 months after my laparoscopy,  WE are going to put every ounce of effort into putting all the positivity out there that this WILL work. Do you hear me UNIVERSE?? THIS WILL WORK.  We are only able to start this cycle so positive because of the total love and support from our friends and family.

We are working on a Miracle with LOVE, FAITH & a little SCIENCE. My box of meds arrived today. It feels real. I will keep everyone updated 🙂

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Caution Speed Bumps Ahead

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It’s been a few weeks since I last updated. I have tried several times to find the words and they just never came to me.  Since I last wrote, I have been taking 3 injections a day. Lupron, Gonal F and Menopur. I can’t tell you how EXCITED i was each time they told me i could start the next medication. PROGRESS i kept telling myself. One step closer. I could handle any physical pain that was handed to me at this point. It was the emotional pain that i can’t handle. The emotional pain is what’s so draining and sucks the life straight out of you. The emotional pain transforms me into something I don’t even recognize when i look in the mirror.

After the initial fear of the first injection, I felt fine and thought to myself; this is easy. I could inject myself no problem and genuinely looked forward to the injection because i was getting one step closer. That was until they started introducing the other 2. When you inject yourself 3 times a day, everyday, in one tiny area of your stomach you start running out of spots that you didn’t already stab yourself the day before. I was making myself bleed everyday and my stomach looked as if I was being used as a punching bag with all the black and blues.

MENOPUR. How i loathe Menopur. It BURNED and the needle was larger and harder to inject because i needed to use more force to get it in.  I did find a good tip on another blog about icing the area first for 5-10 minutes to literally numb the area. This did help but even bringing the menopur to room temperature did not stop the BURNING around the injection site. It felt like someone was pouring rubbing alcohol on an open wound. This lasted for about an hour before i fell asleep each night.

I am also currently trying accupuncture, which i have heard great things about.  I have to honestly say that I don’t enjoy it or find it relaxing at all. But i have read a lot of research that shows it can really help with IVF success by improving circulation to the uterus during implantation. I will literally try anything to help me become a mother, including becoming a human pin cushion. Never in my life did i think i’d have to be stabbing myself with needles everyday and paying something to poke me from head to toe with even more needles.

I was being monitored every other day with bloodwork and an ultrasound. I was the type of person that got all worked up about going to my annual Gyno visit every year because i hated having a doctor down there. Now I here i am getting my lady bits checked first thing in the morning, 3 or 4 times a week. If they told me to go everyday, i gladly would have because if they were checking me that meant a higher chance of success. But unless you are going through it, you have no idea how awful it is to start almost every morning with having your your insides poked and prodded before starting yet another stressful day at work.

The list of side effect on all the medications are a mile long but these are the only ones i felt:

  • Constant buzzing headache: but i just found a way to trudge along without any advil or excedrin.
  • MOOD swings: I was either extremely weepy or angry. unfortunately the moods never turned to extreme happiness. I didn’t feel like myself anymore. I had zero patience and no matter how hard i tried to have PMA (positive mental attitude), i was constantly terrified. there was always a new problem around the corner.
  • Depression: depression is a side effect that i already didn’t need any help in since this whole journey is pretty depressing.
  • Anxiety : The extreme anxiety at all times. I felt like chicken little. ” the sky is falling the sky is falling” because no matter how hard i tried to be positive, everything always felt doom and gloom,  I felt sad and weepy even though from the outside it seemed like we were making progress. Which i believe has a large part to do with my Doctor’s office. which i will get into shortly.
  • Stomach issues. I won’t even get into how all the meds messed with my stomach
  • Nausea:  most morning i was able to hold off on throwing up but some got the best of me
  • joint pain: Luckily this was at a minimum but I would randomly have terrible shoulder pain or knee pain.  Essentially my body and mind felt like I was an 80 year old woman
  • Lack of concentration and blurry vision: the blurry vision i started noticing a few days ago. I would look at my computer screen and all the words seemed to be dancing on the screen or blurry. I thought i had just been a long day until i read it was also a symptom of Menopur
  • Elevated Heart rate: I mentioned this to the doctor several times but they seemed to think it was normal.

Throughout the whole monitoring process I tried really hard to trust in my doctor’s office. I kept telling myself that my doctor is not meant to be my best friend. I kept telling myself the nurses have a stressful job and have a lot to do. I can’t expect them to always be available to answer every single question i have or be happy to see me. But here i go, always putting other people in front of my own well being. I’m finally at a point where all i can say is FUCK THEM. WE are paying them to do US a Service. this is about ME and my Husband. I feel as if i’ve earned the right to say that something is about ME for once.

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My breaking point finally happened yesterday. Where i waited all day for a phone call to tell me how i’m progressing. It was 3 pm and i still had not gotten a call even though my results had been posted since before Noon on my portal. I immediately knew something was wrong. My follicles had SHRUNK in size. I had 5 little follicles on Cycle day 10. On Wednesday they measured in the 11-12 range. On Friday they had shrunk to the 8-9 range. (for reference they should be at least 16 or above when they do egg retrieval) They were not supposed to be shrinking. All the meds were supposed to be stimulating growth. I worried myself sick all day trying to be patient waiting for this call. I finally gave in and called because i knew they closed early on Fridays.

When i called, i spoke to a nurse that i truly believe should find a new profession because in all my dealings with her she has a terrible way of relaying information and can’t seem to even muster a smile when i see her in the office. Her reply was “Oh, Ya, the doctor wants you to stop all your medications. and we will see you in the office next friday for another ultrasound and bloodwork. what time is good for you” She sounded as if she was taking my lunch order. I immediately started crying and she asked me “oh no why are you crying”. WHY AM I CRYING?. Is this the first go around with a patient that was just told that the last 33 injections she took were for nothing? Do they not deal with desperate women every day that are hoping to have just one chance at having a baby? Did we not just spend almost $3,000 on medications that we just flushed down the toilet? I said to her why is the cycle cancelled? and her only response was that i was not responding to the medication.

All week i had been afraid of this but every time i asked i was told everything looked great even though it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out something was not going great based on my follicle scans.  From day 1 i have felt as if the Doctor’s office lacked any human compassion. I have always felt like just another number to them and tried not to be too needy but they have also given me conflicting information, or they sound extremely annoyed when i call asking questions. If i’m not constantly asking questions i’m not getting all the information I need. She told me to “stop all medications” and i had to actually call back and find out if she also meant the Metformin pills. She had to put me on hold to find out if i should still be taking the metformin. Honestly this should be information she ALREADY knew. I shouldn’t have to double check every bit of information they give me.  I think we are finally just DONE. Monday Morning I am calling around for 2nd and 3rd opinions and start the process of transferring to a new doctor. I know they are not going to make it easy.  Unfortunately we have already paid them so we also need to make sure we can get our money back since the cycle was cancelled. I also know that this will delay us even further but I need a doctor and staff that at least pretends to give a shit regardless of how busy they are.  I don’t blame them for the cancelled cycle as i know that it happens to alot of women. I know that we should expect delays. But i do blame them for a lot of the  extra emotional stress they have put on us. Not only by lacking in human compassion but the lack of communication in what is already a very difficult situation. There has to be another doctor and doctor’s office that can provide us with the support we need.  I also shouldn’t feel agitated when i see my doctor which is what happens now. He normally doesn’t do my ultrasounds but they were shorthanded this past weeks so he was “helping out”. I truly loathed having him doing it because of his cold demeanor. He didn’t even say good morning to me. He literally walked in, sat down and inserted the ultrasound doppler without a word or even warning. Like hey i’m about to insert this large probe into your vagina. but you know, good fucking morning to you too. 

So here we are at square one again. Except this time i don’t feel even the slightest bit of hope. I am so lucky that my husband is right there with me. I hate seeing him share my pain but I am so grateful that I have him. I don’t know where i’d be if he wasn’t with me every step of the way. Unless you have gone through this heart wrenching ordeal, it’s so hard to understand and so easy to say to “just be positive”, “trust in god” or “things will work out”. Right now it doesn’t feel like things will work out. I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted but i have to go on pretending that I am perfectly fine.  It feels like we are not even living life anymore.

 

 

Here we go!

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After a slight delay after Dr. reviewed my bloodwork and ultrasound a week ago. I went in yesterday morning for more bloodwork & I was finally given the go to start injections yesterday!! YAY!!! Never in my life did I believe I would be so excited to stab myself with a needle everyday.  But here I am, as happy as a bird with a french fry to be doing just that. They changed my protocol a little and instead of Centrotide I will be taking Lupron. Lupron will stop me from ovulating before Egg Retrieval.

Every morning I will administer Lupron injection, & in 1 week I will start with a 2nd and 3rd injection Of Gonal-F and Menopur. These 2 are the injections used to stimulate the development of multiple eggs.  also called the “stims” period on the IVF timeline

I was truly freaking out about injecting myself as I cannot stand needles. I can’t even watch when they draw blood. I know a lot of women say that they don’t think they can do it but when it finally came time, I didn’t even hesitate because I want this so badly! I finally feel like we are on the right track.  After so many delays it felt like we would never even get to this point.  For anyone freaking out about injecting themselves for the first time, it truly only hurts with the first Pinch.  The most nerve wracking part is making sure you put the right amount in the syringe because it has to be exact. I still have several medicines to go but so far so good! I haven’t noticed any side effects yet (but I’ve only taken 2 doses so far) &  have only experienced a slight headache. Lupron does come with a slew of side effects that I’m hoping I don’t have to experience. Fingers crossed!

For now we have decided to share our Journey with very close friends and family.  The outpouring of love & support we have received is truly amazing. I’m happy that we are not keeping this a secret as it’s an everyday struggle for us to keep positive. There are so many things that can go wrong going forward, as the road ahead of us is long but there are so many things that can go right. That is what we are holding on to. That all the right things will align for us. PMA ♥

 

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