Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We hit the Jackpot!

Mom and I woke up early Monday morning, scheduled transfer day, full of nerves!!  We hadn’t heard anything about how our embies were doing since Saturday and Blue and I both were really anxious!  I think he called every 10 minutes until actual transfer hoping for an update!
When my mom and I got to Dr. Sher’s office we didn’t know anything about how the embies were doing, just that we were going to at least transfer one.  We happened to walk by the nurse’s desk and she grabbed my valium off of my chart and underneath it was the most beautiful picture in the world, our two tiny blasts ready for transfer!  (Luckily I saw that picture because they didn’t give me an official update until an hour later.)

Our two beautiful bubbles!

I had a good acupuncture session for about 30 minutes and then laid there with a bursting bladder for another 30 minutes.  When the doc finally came in things moved fast.  He told us we were transferring two today and that we’d have to wait on the embryologist to hear how the other 4 were doing.  When the embryologist popped his head in it was the first thing I asked!  He told us they were freezing one today and maybe the rest tomorrow.
We were ecstatic that there was one to freeze!  Then the doc and nurse prepped me while the embryologist loaded up our little babies (I think they look like little bubbles so maybe that will be their nicknames.)  When he came back in he told us that he just checked on our others embies and they were going to freeze all 4 that day because they had all made it to expanded blastocyst!!!
Mom and I immediately started crying and she cried through the whole transfer (I would have to but all of my concentration was on not peeing on Dr. Sher since the nurse was pushing on my bladder with the ultrasound wand!)  It was the most incredible experience of my life, watching the little bubble move across the screen in to my empty uterus. 
Who else but an infertile can say they watched their babies go into their womb??!!  Sometimes I get caught up in the fear and the depression that this rollercoaster brings but then a day like Monday comes along and reminds me of the blessings it brings too.

Cutting pineapple on the hotel bathroom counter (don't worry I alcohol swabbed the entire bathroom!)
So for now I’m eating my 1/5 of a pineapple a day and laying low.  My friend A, who I mentioned before, is coming to get mom and I for lunch and dropping us at the airport.  We’re going to spend a few quiet days in Tucson letting the bubbles settle in more.  I’m so glad I got to meet A and have met so many wonderful women through blogging.  I don’t know how I could have gotten through the last 2.5 years without you all.  I know I’m not officially pregnant yet but in my mind I’m PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise) and I’m going to enjoy every second of it while I can!
Here are the final stats:
10 follicles
8 mature eggs
8 fertilized
6 expanded blasts (2 transferred, 4 snowbabies)
First beta scheduled for Tuesday September 6th!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

In Vegas Alone...

I dropped Blue off at the airport this morning,  I’m really sad.  It seems like no big deal since my mom gets in this evening but it just hit me yesterday that he won’t even be here for conception… or can you even call it that?  Was conception egg retrieval?
Infertility takes a lot of things from you.  One of the smallest most inconsequential things it takes is the fact that your husband doesn’t even have to be around.  Forget getting pregnant the old fashioned way, I gave up my delusions about that years ago, but Blue not even being in the same state just seems wrong.  Blue has been fabulously supportive since IVF 1.5 started and now he’s gone and I don’t know what to do.  I didn’t realize how much I’ve been leaning on him.
My mom and I decided to leave Vegas on Wednesday and head to Tuscon to visit my sister who lives there.  The last time we were there was during our very first two week wait.  I wrote a post about how it felt to giggle and talk about baby names with Blue, about how IF had stolen my innocence, now it’s taken even more.  This time he won’t be there with me to giggle.
I know I should be happy.  As of day 3 we had 6 healthy embryos growing like weeds, we have so much to look forward to.  So why can’t I just enjoy this short period of good news?  I think I’m just guarding my heart incase the next report is bad news.  Maybe I’ll feel better when my mom gets here…  My sister sent me a care package with chocolate covered coconut macaroons in it, that should also make me happy since they’re my favorite.
For now embryo transfer is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 11:30.  If the embies haven’t made it to expanded blast by tomorrow morning we’ll reschedule for Tuesday.  I also scheduled for an acupuncturist to come before and after the transfer so that should be relaxing. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 3 Update!

Dinner at the Bellagio for our Anniversary!
Sorry for not updating sooner!  We got the call on Thursday, our 4th anniversary, that all 8 of our little eggies fertilized!  Needless to say it was a fabulous anniversary! 
Nurse SS said she and Dr. SS were really pleased because they usually only expect 70% to fertilize properly.  So we defied the odds!
We had to survive two days with no updates which was TORTURE…
They called us this afternoon to tell us that our embies are doing great!  All 8 embryos are still alive and kickin’ we have 3 – 8 Cells, 3 – 7 cells, 1 - 5 cell, and 1 – 4 cell.  They hope for them to be between 6 and 8 cells at day 3 so 6 embies are right on track.  They don’t expect the two little guys to make it but we’ll keep praying for them.
For now embryo transfer is scheduled for Monday at 11:45, but they’ll call us Monday morning if they haven’t made it to expanded blast stage and we’ll delay transfer to Tuesday morning. 
I’ll write a post tomorrow about feelings and such, but for now I’m just happy they’re all still alive!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

8 Little Eggies

Just a quick update to let you all know egg retrieval went good. 
I don’t remember much of what Dr. SS said but according to Blue we got 8 mature eggs and Dr. SS was happy.  We’ll call tomorrow morning for the fertilization report.  For once I know there is ABSOLUTELY nothing I can do to help them and it makes me sad and happy at the same time.
It feels good to let go of some of the control/worry/blame/self loathing.  I think I will sleep well tonight for the first time since we got to Vegas, well the first time not including the awesome 5 hour nap I had after ER today!
Blue also gave me my first PIO shot in the bum tonight and it went well.  We also played a little blackjack after my nap and won $225.  Overall a very good day.  Keep our little embies in your prayers tonight!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Getting Nervous

Blue was a champ with the trigger shot!  My arm is still a little sore but otherwise today was a great day.  Today was the first day in 20 that I haven’t taken a single shot!  It is weird to feel like a normal person… Well not totally normal, I’m still taking the dexamethasone, an oral antibiotic and an antibiotic suppository.
Yesterday I made the mistake of reading a post on Dr. Sher's blog about the importance of the trigger shot.  Apparently he had a patient once who forgot to mix the liquid and powder together and just gave herself a shot of water instead of the trigger.  When he went in for retrieval he couldn’t get a single egg because none of them matured.
I’m nervous about tomorrow.  Egg retrieval is set for 10 am tomorrow.  What if I did something wrong?  I double checked the trigger shot 10 times so it probably wasn’t that, but maybe it was something else?  It’s exciting to have gotten to this stage but I don’t do well with situations I have no control over.  I wish I could plan it or organize it or do anything to have control over how it will go.
I guess I’m just going to have to appreciate the fact that I am paying a great doctor gobs of money to have all the control.  I’m paying him so I don’t have to worry… so why am I still worrying?

Monday, August 22, 2011

We're Triggering Tonight!!

We went in for our first E2 and folli-scan this morning.  It was a polar opposite trip to our last folli-scan, Dr. SS did the ultrasound himself and my right ovary looked like a piece of popcorn!  It was incredible!  Even Blue knew it was good news from looking at the monitor.  I couldn’t help myself, I kept cheering “way to go ovary!” I think he thought I was nuts.  He kept saying, “I told you all you needed was the right protocol!”

I have ten almost mature follicles on my right ovary, (some are even 20 mm already so hopefully we’re not too late for those guys) and only one follicle ready on my left.  Dr. SS said sometimes one ovary works great and the other just shuts down so I guess that’s what happened with the left one.  He originally thought we’d trigger Wednesday or Thursday so it’s a huge surprise to be ready for trigger tonight!  Nurse L showed Blue how to give me the shot today, and wants him to do it in my arm so that should be interesting.  I also have to admit I’m pretty excited to start using my ridiculously nerdy trigger calculator, maybe I’ll have to start an experiment with it…

I feel hopeful, for the first time in a really long time.  I feel like we might have a shot at this.   I was expecting to either have to come back for a banking cycle or to move on to egg donation or adoption.  I’m scared to let myself really feel the excitement, but part of me thinks it’s worth it to just let myself be hopeful for once, even if I do get crushed again.

Today I also got to meet another IF sister in real life!  We’ll call her A, she’s also cycling with Dr. SS right now.  Blue and I had lunch with her and her husband at a great breakfast place near the clinic.  It was so nice to look someone in the face who you know is going through all the same things as you!  Please keep her and her follies in your prayers since she’ll be going in for another check tomorrow.

I also want to give a shout out to Braving IVF and a fabulous post she put together about what to do in Vegas when you’re here for IVF!  Blue and I took one of her suggestions and hit an outlet mall today, when I feel well enough to get out again we’ll be hitting up some of her restaurant suggestions.  We're also planning to eat at another restaurant reccomended by A miracle 4 Us, but for now I don’t feel like doing much other than lying in bed, which isn’t even that comfortable!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Made it to Vegas!

We made it to Vegas! I'll update more tomorrow but for now we're lounging in the suite we got a smoking deal on, an MMA fight and Garth Brooks tonight!

I feel so much better now that we're here, all the bagsmade it, etc!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Granny Panties

I’ve never been a TMI blogger and I’ll try hard not to start being one today but man are these suppositories nasty!  I think I could handle it if we were talking 1 time per day at bed or something, but no, I have to take them 4 times a day.

I seriously can only wear granny panties right now and go through about 10 panty liners a day.  Since I only own 3 pairs of granny panties, I think I need to go shopping.

I’m excited tonight is finally here because I take my first shot of Luveris.  No, I’m not excited because I love giving myself shots, I’m excited because it means I can quit worrying about how to do it!  If you’ve been reading this blog much you’ve probably realized I’m a total spaz/control freak/stress case.  I’ve been worrying about the stupid Luveris shot for weeks. 

I pulled up a video on you tube today at work just to watch how I was supposed to mix the two, it actually was made by SIRM (Sher institute of reproductive medicine).  I’m ready to take off for Vegas so that I’m not just sitting at work worrying about IVF, I feel like a kid with ADD!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Follistim Savings!

I started stims last night!  I also learned a great trick, which I figured I should share with all my bloggy-buddies.

Dr. SS ordered my Follistim in all 300 IU cartridges, I was a little irritated by this because it meant lots of extra shots.  Little did I know that he clearly knows all the tricks and was saving me lots of money.

I knew I’d have to take two shots last night since I had part of a 900 IU cartridge left after my last cancelled cycle.  I should have had about 150 IU left so I dialed the pen up to 375 and watched in wonder as it continued to go down all the way to 125… 100 IU more than it should have, then I freaked out. 

Was my pen dosing me wrong?  How had I gotten an extra 100 IUs out of that vial?  Then I go.ogl.ed the crap out of it.  Turns out many inferts have already figured this trick out.  Follistim overloads all of their vials by almost 100 IU. 

Here are the number breakdowns in percent savings by cartridge size.

900 IU cartridge - get an extra 11% free
600 IU cartridge - get an extra 17% free
300 IU cartridge - get an extra 33% free

So yet again I learned the importance of having a doctor that knows what they're doing.  My last cycle I got two cartidges a 900 and a 600.  This cycle I got 6 - 300 IU cartridges.

As for the V-supps, which I also started yesterday, I would rather take 4 more shots a day, they are awful.  I’ll save that for another post.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

You might be an infertile if....

You might be an infertile if… the front desk lady at the hospital lab knows you by name.

I’ve become a Jeff Foxworthy joke… Sad.

I get my blood drawn often enough that the front desk lady at hospital admitting actually knows my name.  Maybe it wouldn’t be so sad if it was just the doctor’s office, but this is the hospital for Pete’s sake!  She looked at me as soon as I walked up at 7:15 this morning, barely awake and said, “Good morning Lindsey!”

Luckily I was still asleep so it took me some time to process how truly disturbing it was.

I have 3 days left of Lupron + dexamethasone, then I’ll add in the V-sups and Follistim.  I think the only stop gate before stims is if my estrodiol level from today was high, which it shouldn’t be since I’ve been on BC since my last suppression check wanding.

Do you girls have any great “You might be an infertile if…” stories?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lupron + Dex = Love

I waited all weekend to start feeling super exhausted from the Lupron (like last time) but it never happened…  Instead I’m sleeping well and at normal hours, I’m not running any marathons but over all I’m feeling pretty darn good!

I decided to attribute this overall “good” feeling to the fact that lupron and dexamethasone are a match made in heaven.  One makes you sleepy, one causes insomnia, but together you are balanced.

For now I’m not complaining about anything, not even waking up an extra 30 minutes early to eat and shoot up.  I don’t even have any bruises on my belly yet, maybe it’s a positive omen?  I am a little hungrier than usual but I’ve made a point of having healthy foods around.

I also talked to my mom yesterday, if you remember I’d been struggling with her and my sister a lot lately.  My mom decided to come to Vegas for the second week I’m there (hopefully ET) since Blue has to go back to work.  I didn’t realize how down I was about being there alone… I’m so happy that she offered and I already feel like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. 

I also extended my trip so I’m not coming home until September 3rd.  I originally planned for September 1st but knew I’d be cutting it close for ET, with the new flight I can relax and won’t have to worry about changing my ticket if things get pushed back some.

Monday, August 8, 2011

You have baby?

Rewind a month and a half, the last day we were in Europe… (I can’t believe I haven’t written this post before now!)

AF finally showed up 2 weeks late for the first time after our cancelled IVF 1.0.  For a little while I was delusional and thought maybe we magically got a BFP, but no.  So, just to set the stage, the bitch showed with a vengeance, the worst pain I’ve had in years.  We had to leave our hotel room at 10 am and our train didn’t leave for another 7 hours, so we wandered the streets of Prague.

We happened by a Thai spa that offered a “pedicure” where tiny fish ate the dead skin off of your feet, of course Blue could not turn down this opportunity.  I on the other hand didn’t want within 10 feet of those fish!  Luckily they also offered foot/calf massages.

I sat down for what should have been a relaxing 30 minutes to help break up a pretty awful day.  I leaned my head back and closed my eyes, when I looked up my masseur and the lady next door were chattering in Thai and looking at me.  Finally the lady next door looks at me, points at my belly and says “you have baby?”

I replied “no” with a well placed glare and then spend the next 29 minutes trying unsuccessfully to stop crying.  Worst 29 minutes ever.  I wish she spoke enough English for me to give her a piece of my mind, but unfortunately it would have been lost in translation…

For the record I’m not the skinniest person around but I am in the normal/healthy BMI range for my height.  I just had a horribly bloated stomach from AF and felt awful.  I’m not sure whether it was worse to hear some one call me fat, or to be asked for the first time ever if I was pregnant and have to answer no, especially that day of all days.

So why am I revisiting this horrible experience?  Well most importantly to share it with you girls, the only ones who would understand how truly awful it was, but also because I’m so scared its going to happen again when my belly gets bloated from fertility drugs.  What can I do to hide the bloat?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

IVF 1.5 Day 1 (Lupron and Dexamethasone)

Here is this morning’s lovely cocktail.  I woke up a whole hour before I normally do thinking I’d be ahead of the game.  I wasn’t. 

I move really really really slowly in the AM. 

I got up, let the pups out (Blue is out of town so I have to do his jobs too…) fed them breakfast, drew up my lupron, cooked myself breakfast, ate, swallowed my vitamins and fat cow meds, and then finally shot up.  The whole process took 40 minutes, how sad is that??

Besides waking up at the butt crack of dawn, (ok actually the sun rose 26 minutes before me…) today is a great day.  I finally started meds, which seems to never come when you’re waiting to start a cycle!  I also have a massage scheduled today at lunch, I feel so fancy!  And, to top it off I have tomorrow off which means I get to pump myself full of drugs and then fall back into bed!

I’m pleased to let you know that as of yet I am not any fatter than yesterday, we’ll see how tomorrow goes… 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I wish I hadn’t Dr. Go.og.led this…

According the Wikipedia this is a steroid used to fatten up cattle, and Bangladeshy prostitutes…  It is also addictive, makes you sick to your stomach and causes insomnia.

I get to take it for at least 30 days.  Lucky me.

Monday, August 1, 2011


My meds showed up in the mail Friday!  Two giant boxes worth of expensive medicine, needles, syringes, sharps containers, and more vaginal suppositories than anyone should ever have to see, let alone use!

I hate to admit this, but the only part of my new protocol I’m scared of is the suppositories (now lovingly called V-supps since I’ve set up hidden phone reminders with this name).  According to Blue I should just be happy they aren’t “traditional” suppositories, I think these are easy words coming from someone who doesn’t have to take them 4 times per day for the next several weeks…

The medicines that are “new” to me are dexamethasone,, V-supps, intralipids infusion, ciproflaxcin, clydomycin suppositories.  Does anyone who’s been-there done-that have any tips, warnings about any of them?

I’ve heart the dex makes you gain weight and sick to your stomach (but don’t they all).  I start it on Thursday with the Lupron so wish me luck!