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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Because I'm Blessed

I spent last night and continue today to waver between trying to have a little hope, being realistic, crying, and being really fucking pissed off.  I told Mr. Rambler this morning that my goal for today was "to keep my attitude and mouth in check."  For those of you who know me, you know this can be quite a daunting task.

There have been times during this whole suckyass journey that I've felt completely alone.  I felt that nobody really knew what I was going through - especially my husband.  Boy has he shared the brunt of a lot of this ridiculous mess.  However, I wanted to share how wonderful my DH continues to be, and why I need to remember that.

Last night while I was shooting up (for probably no reason at all), DH came in to the bathroom and gave me a big hug. Of course, I started crying and told him that I was sorry. I feel like I'm just such a letdown since my body can't seem to help us make a baby. His response? "Don't even let ME be a reason you feel that way. We are fine and we are going to be fine."
I still feel like a big, baby-killing, non-baby making loser, but at least I have him to love me no matter what.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Down, but Not Out (Yet)

Had my appointment.  Not exactly what I'd hoped and prayed for.  I'm still sorting things out in my mind and my heart, and I have yet to talk with my DH outside of texting.  Here is the email I sent to some family members and friends this afternoon.  I'll post more once I've had some processing time.

My first monitoring appointment with the IVF specialist was this morning. After racing there from work, I got back to school just a bit ago & wanted to send an update. Overall, the news is not great. We aren't out yet, but I'm not trying to get my hopes up either.
They drew blood to test my estradiol (estrogen) levels & that will be back later today. No news is good news, so I'm hoping not to hear from them about that. The ultrasound that was done is to check my ovaries for follicles that produce eggs. Unfortunately, there were only two smaller-sized follicles (ETA: 10 & 12 mm follies w/ 13.6mm lining) on my right ovary & no measurable follicles on the left. While I try not to compare myself with others, I know there are many cases of women who produce dozens of eggs in comparison to my paltry, little two.

I am disappointed to say the least. The doctor wants me to continue the rigor of the medications I am currently taking and return on Friday. If the two follicles have grown and there are even more, we will discuss how/if to proceed. If there is no further development, then IVF will not be an option for us and Todd and will need to discuss where to go from here. I don't plan on giving up hope, but I'm also planning to be realistic about it all. Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Big Day #1 Tomorrow

Tomorrow is my first monitoring appointment for this IVF cycle.  I'm nervous that I'll get there and my u/s will showing nothing.  As in zero - zip - nada - no follies.  My wacky mind has even thought as far as, "What if my ovaries are gone?"  Well, I know my ovaries won't be gone, but I do have the worry that they won't be doing anything and we get cancelled.

My appointment is at 11:30 tomorrow morning.  It will be quite a race for me to leave school on time, get to Dr. Super's office on time, be seen, and race back to school to pick up my kids from lunch at 1:00.  Thankfully, I work with a supportive principal (who asks that I not share many details with him!) and a team of three wonderfully supportive women who are helping make this scheduling possible.

Please send any thoughts, prayers, vibes, raindances, voodoo, wishes - whatever you got - this way.  Goodness knows I need them.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tonight's Infertility Math Problems

Problem #1:

Problem #2:


Hoping next week's Math problems = lots of big fat follies
because that shit hurt tonight.

I'm starting to get a bit tired of this.

Thanksgiving - Infertility Style!

I just had to take a picture of this yesterday.  Only an infertile's refrigerator would have turkey, casserole dishes, drinks, and drugs --- all in one!  :)

Hope you and yours had a relaxing, food-filled day recognizing the blessings you have.  As I posted on my FB, "Life doesn't have to be perfect for one to be blessed."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving & a Recipe

Rather than whine about being tired, I shall blog.  Thanksgiving here in America is Thursday, and it is one of my favorite holidays.  No pressures of gift-buying and gift-wrapping and gift-giving . . . just food.  It's that one day of the year that you can eat all you want and nobody really says anything!  There is tons food (at least in our house!) and football and family and friends and wine and dessert and more food.  It's just awesome.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I should share a recipe with you all.  It's not really a "recipe" though.  It's really just how DH and I randomly made a turkey one year that was, according to my mother, "the best I've ever tasted in my life."  Since that day, The Ramblers are the turkey makers and turkey bringers for Thanksgiving and Christmas every year. As a disclaimer, I don't touch raw meat unless I absolutely have to make burgers or meat loaf.  Raw poultry makes me extremely nervous.  So, I prepare everything for the bird and DH touches it.  I'd hate for him to miss out on an opportunity to help with all of the cooking.  :)

Note: No husbands or dogs were injured in the prepping of the bird.
The Rambler's Thanksgiving Turkey Butter Compote & Prep

This prep can be done a day or two before you have to actually cook your Thanksgiving turkey.  However, once you begin, there is an ABSOLUTE MUST before you start cooking . . .

Pour yourself a glass of wine.  Keep the bottle on the counter because (1) you know you're going to want more and (2) because I'm not drinking while stimming and someone has to have some fun around here!
  1. Wash off your bird.  If it is so fresh that it has feathers, get thyself to the local WaMartz for a frozen guy.  (thaw it out in cold water for . . . forever . . . til it's thawed)
  2. Using your food processor (or masher if you don't have a processor), dump in the following:  a couple of sticks of butter, some leaves stripped off a couple of rosemary stalks, some fresh ground black pepper (NO SALT - dries the bird), and a couple of fresh garlic gloves
  3. Kick your food processor into high gear and slowly stream in a little bit of olive oil.  Scrape the sides as needed and make it do its thing until you have a smooth consistency (not runny - ew).
  4. Underneath and inside the hollowed out bird DH prepped for you, throw in chopped celery stalks, large chunks of onion (I usually chop them into fourths), and some random garlic cloves.  (Have you refilled your wine glass already? Go ahead honey, it's 5:00 somewhere in the world!)
  5. Help!  I'm working in the kitchen!!
  6. Force Bribe Make Barter Threaten Beg Ask your DH to get his ass off the couch   back off from that damn computer    do something in the kitchen besides watch me kill myself here lift the skin of the bird up and SLATHER it with the butter compote you made.  Give him a kiss   Tell him what a big man he is   Offer him sex later Thank him by turning on the water at the sink and squirting some soap in his greasy hands.  Send his lame ass back to whatever he was doing and pour a can of broth or stock into the bottom of your roasting pan.  (Get some more wine because the whine you just heard from DH having to do something to help with this monsterass dinner you're making didn't do the trick for ya.)
  7. Cover that bird up with some foil.  Just tent the pan by crimping foil along pan edges but allow some space somewhere for steam to escape.  You don't want steamed turkey for dinner.  Follow the cooking directions on the package.  If you get stuck, go to  Please don't ask me because you'll be drunk by now & I don't like drunk people unless I'm drunk too.
  8. Baste the bird with the squirty thing every now & then (at least each hour after the first couple of hours.  Kick back and enjoy some wine while your bird roasts itself in the oven
  9. Remove foil for the last hour or so or until the outside of the bird is nicely browned (not black).
  10. Let it rest for a bit before carving, so the juices redistribute throughout the meat.  Enjoy your dinner with a nice glass of wine.  Yes, you'll have to open another bottle since your lit up ass already finished off the first one!
Oh yeah, DHs are good for carving too!
And before you get too excited, please note that these photos are from Thanksgivings past.  DH will still help with the bird because he knows there will be no turkey if he doesn't.
I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving Day.  If you aren't in the States, make yourself a special day because you can and you deserve it.  I appreciate the love and support that you all have provided me through this crazy ride of loss and infertility.  It's my wish and prayer that I can bring you all some wonderful Christmas news.

Let the Stims Begin!

Sunday night began my E2 supps (ooey gooey fun - not) and last night I began the Gonal-F injections.  The Gonal-F is an ovarian stimulation medication which will hopefully force my ovaries to produce plenty of big, juicy, healthy, egg-filled follicles.  These follicles are what hold the eggs we'll need for retrieval.  The Ganirelix I'm taking suppresses my pituitary gland from producing FSH or LH - which are hormones that tell the body to ovulate.  We don't want my body to ovulate because eggs can't be released until they are vacuumed from my ovaries on retrieval day.

My uterus is not feeling full or heavy yet, but I'm already feeling different and definitely feeling some twinges going on down there.  Not sure if it is the Estrogen supps or the Gonal-F or the Ganirelix or the Dexamethasone or the vitamins or my other meds that are making me so tired, but I am exhausted!  The thing that sucks is that I can't sleep!  :/  So, I sleep from about 10ish to 6:45am (if I don't wake before which I have) so I can take my first shot.

Although my meds calendar seemed overwhelming, I really feel like I'm not doing enough to make this all happen.  All of the injections and pills and suppositories and all aren't really bothering me.  I truly feel like there is something dynamic and earth-shattering that I should be doing.  Guess it's really up to my body, which scares me more than the thought of me having to do something.  God knows my body is a stubborn, broken piece of crap.  Hopefully the drugs will trick it into doing what normal, non-baby killing bodies do.

I started my holiday vacation seeing a longtime friend that I met in junior high for the first time in fifteen years and lunch today with another friend.  I'm trying to rest and relax while enjoying the time we have and getting some things done.  Other than that, I'm just ready for some turkey and family and friends.  Guess I should hit the kitchen because I have a LOT of cooking to get done!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Adding to the Party

We have new meds!  For the past two weeks, I've been taking a daily oral dose of dexmethasone along with a morning injection of either Lupron (finished 11/9) or Ganirelix.  This is joined by my regular meds of PNV, folic acid, 81mg aspirin, and my bp meds.  Oh, and two E2V IM injections this week.  (Thanks, Mom!)  That is over a half-dozen meds for those of you counting, which is also equaling to one almost-full sharps container.

Tonight I add (insert dripping sarcasm) a fun & new med - the E2V vaginal suppository! Ew ew ew EW!  I've been "feminine product" free for only one day (yesterday) out of the past 22 days and continue to wish that I had stock in Kotex.  The supp is not going to hurt or be uncomfortable or anything like that, but is *IS* something going up my hoo-ha.  Yet another thing to add to the party now known as my hoo-ha.  Plus, you know what they say about what goes up . . .

Coming tomorrow to a stomach near me: STIMS!  This is a big week, people.  Gonal-F injections to stimulate the ovaries to produce follicle-filled eggs is next on the agenda.  Then, Menopur injections later this week.  Add to that all of the above meds, and we should have a fun-filled, possibly highly-emotional Thanksgiving holiday.  :)

It's all been kinda fun and games and cute to this point, but now we are getting serious.  Let's just pray that the massive amount of meds that enter my body will produce many high-quality eggs that pass the CGH genetic testing & are prepared for transfer or freeze.  Otherwise, we will have wasted a lot of money, time, energy, and emotion.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Really Missing Her

I'm a mess this morning.  I have really been missing this woman more than usual lately:

We were friends.

We were party buddies.

We were part of a long line of strong women.

  We were in love.

We were happy.

She was amazing and beautiful - all in one.

My grandmother always knew what to say - how to make me smile, make me laugh, cry through the tears, and let me know that NO MATTER WHAT things would be okay.  I need her so desperately lately.  She's been in my dreams more than usual, but I just need to talk with her.  She would understand about all of the needles.  We would laugh about them.  We would make fun of them.  She would understand the fear and worry.  She would help me stay strong in the times of fear and worry.  She would continue to be my example.

But she isn't here anymore.  And I miss my Mary.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I'm not talking about . . .
. . . Flash Gordon.

Or a camera flash . . .
. . . even though this one is on my Christmas list.

Or a flash drive . . .

. . . although I have one of these, but it is pink.

And I'm definitely not talking about one of these . . .

. . . OH HELL NO!!!!

It was more like this . . .

Yep --- that's more like it.  Wow.  Holy bejeebus. 
Let the hot flashes begin!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Coming Out

Just wanted to let you all know that I've decided to open up my blog again.  There are several reasons why I went private for a while (albeit a short time), and there are now several reasons why I am opening up it again.  Since I'm too tired to write it all down and it's my blog, I'll do what I want.

I will repeat, however, that even if you are reading this blog it does NOT (will not ever) give you the carte blanche to discuss the affairs of my husband and I with anyone else.  I realize this is a public forum, but  I'll post what I posted before in case anyone missed it:

Just to be in full disclosure, this blog and my own living room will be the only places I plan to talk about our plans moving into and experiencing IVF. Not even our entire families are aware of what we are doing. (Most of our immediate family members do as of this writing.) Our entire journey of not having a baby has been public - and I realize that it's by my own doing - but I am needing for things to be more quiet now. I need to have the chance to destress and not feel that I need to keep up with everyone and everything. This blog is my living journal just as it would be a handwritten diary in my nightstand drawer. I will blog as I see fit/need, and I will not discuss it further, unless it is of my choosing.  I welcome your comments and questions via this blog, but that's where I prefer to keep it all.

Those of you who have experienced this know how it feels for well-meaning people to feel that your body is a topic of idle conversation. So, if you know my DH and/or me IRL or even on the internet (FB/TB/Besties, other online forums, work, mutual friends, etc.), I am asking for your discretion and courtesy in keeping your damn mouth shut. Don't ask me questions, don't post things about it (not even what you think is in code), don't talk about it with one another, etc. The only people who will know what is going on other than our parents and a few select family members are those who have access to this blog.

If anyone chooses to disrespect the wishes of my husband and me, I will not only shut this blog down but I will stop sharing with everyone altogether. I'm not trying to sound ugly, but I really and truly mean it. I have been perfectly open with our journey, and I hope that you will respect the fact that I desperately need some privacy now. (I mean, hell, if you're on here you'll know everything anyway.)


Geez Louise ---- last night became a bit of a CF (clusterfuck).  I had some definite stress before my EV2 injection, but overall I felt as if I handled it pretty well.  For whatever reason, I had a major headache yesterday.  It was a busy day at school with hands-on Math activities, Science test reviews, recess duty, and the ever-cute annual Kindergarten Thanksgiving play to attend.  I made it through the day without jabbing out my eyeballs or cutting my head off, then I tutored some kids after school and made some copies before racing down the highway to acupuncture.

Acu was good, but I just couldn't completely relax.  It is not unusual for me to fall asleep on the table after my needles are in.  Surprisingly, the fact that I had needles in my ears that were attached to vibrating electrodes didn't even phase me, but I was hoping for a nap to rid me of the headache.  Once I finished my stabbing & zapping, I called my mom who was meeting me at home to give me my first IM injection before my monthly neighborhood Bunco game at 7:00.  I left her a voice mail, raced home, said hi to my husband, found yet another pillow from the couch the dogs had drug outside, chewed them out, let my mom in the door (to be greeted by the pillow murderers), went to the fridge & then figured out I DIDN'T HAVE MY MEDS.  Lovely.

Because of my screwy insurance, I've had to deal with four different pharmacies just to get everything filled. The pharmacy that did fill it was obviously delayed in shipping, so I was estradiol-less. Without completely losing it, I started making phone calls & finally had to call Nurse J.  I found a local specialty pharmacy that had ONE VIAL left & raced over to get it. Once again, Nurse J and the pharmacy saved the day. I was stressed out but definitely handled it okay. I was late to my neighborhood Bunco group and DH was working on a grad school project and wanted dinner & I just wasn't handling it all. So . . . DH had to learn to feed himself!

My IM injection went fine once all of that was over. My mother made sure I drew it up correctly (that was stuff was thicker than I thought it would be!), and the injection itself didn't hurt despite the size of the needle. However, I have tiny bruises all over my right butt cheek today. They aren't near the injection site though. Strange.

I'll handle the stress and chaos and bruises as long as we get some babies out of the deal.  I'd just prefer to have the babies and not the other crap that goes with it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Random Ramblings

Had a busy morning here.  There was plenty of poking and prodding on all sorts of my lady parts by 11am, and I feel as if I've been violated enough for one day.  I made it to school to rescue my sub by 11:30.  Around 3:30 (after my kids were gone), I started having hellfire cramps and headed home to the heating pad.  Luckily DH went to Albertson's to get "cheap chicken" (seriously - that's what they call their chicken dinner), so we were easily fed.  He's now cranking out a major class project that is due on Wednesday & I'm in bed with my heating pad, laptop, cell phone, home phone, one dog, one cat, and a remote.  Lotsa heat going on 'round here!  Anyway, enough rambling - on to my appointment.

Nurse J got the radiology group to squeeze me in for a mammogram this morning, so I got my b/w done, piac for whatever test they need it for . . . then ran downstairs to fill out paperwork, wipe off deodorant & get a mammogram . . . then back upstairs for u/s and MET.  The mock transfer went fine.  Dr. Super told me there was some resistance from the catheter in passing the cervix, but I didn't feel it.  No cysts were found during the u/s, but Dr. Super found another damn fibroid that he believes is outside of the uterine cavity. It better be or my chances of maintaining a normal pregnancy are shot closer to hell than usual.  I have no idea if I have any follicular development at this point.  In fact, I don't even know if I should or not.  Clueless much?  I chatted with Nurse Helpful before I left and made my next appointment.  It will be my first monitoring appointment, set for 11:30.  I will race from school (at least 20 mins from Dr. S' office) at 11:00, do my appointment, and race back to school in time to pick up my class from lunch at 1:00.  It will be a race.  The monitoring appointment is when more b/w is done to test my E2 levels and Dr. S will do another u/s (aka "follie check") to see how my ovaries have responded to the Gonal-F (stim meds).  I should have lots of fat follicles ready to have eggs vacuumed from them during the ER.

That brings on a whole new set of fears.  When Dr. S finished my u/s and MET today, he said that he'll see me again when it's time to see how many eggs we will retrieve.  I said, "Great!" and asked if I just need to watch my fluid retention and weight gain in the case of OHSS.  Dr. S responded, "I don't think you will have problems with over stimulation.  My main concern is that you won't respond at all."  UGH.  It is a well-known fact with anyone familiar with my protocol that I will be on the highest amount of stimulation medication possible (twice as much as the most highly medicated women) and on tons of estrogen along the way.  If we get cancelled because my body is non-responsive to the meds, then I guess we will be done.  I don't even want to think about it right now, but I also want to be real.  Why can't this just be easy?

I'm still bleeding some. Still exhausted. Weird as hell dreams. Looking forward to the break ahead.
Next up: Acupuncture and E2V (estrogen) IM injection tomorrow & Friday, then stims + EV2 supps begin next week. Loads of Thanksgiving & hormonal fun ahead!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Up in My Bidness Again

Tomorrow morning I will spend some time in the stirrups with Dr. S and crew.  My baseline u/s (to see what my ute and ovaries look like) and a mock transfer will be done.  I'll also be vampired for my baseline E2 levels.

I've been so.very.very.tired & haven't been able to get enough sleep.  The sleep I have gotten is interrupted by stranger than usual dreams, waking up to check the clock, and early morning injections & oral meds.  I've also been bleeding/spotting for 15 - count 'em - FIFTEEN days.  AF induced by Provera was light, but she came.  Then she tapered off & let Lupron take over the job.  Hopefully it will stop - and soon.  I'm so damn tired.

No matter what the state of my hooha is right now, she's getting the looksee tomorrow.  Hope she's looking so nice & clean & sparkly that Dr. S. finds a perfect place to place lots of lil embies for us in a few weeks.

ETA: Just got an email from Nurse J & I am required to get a mammogram before I can stim.  Lovely.  I swear there won't be a piece of me untouched by stranger hands!!!  Mother trucker.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Irony of the Beverage

I like to have one Dr. Pepper or Coke each day, but my favorite beverage of all is cold, bottled water.  I literally drink 4-7 bottles a day at work.  My throat is now hurting, so of course I panic about getting sick (strep or whatever - it was this time last year I was dying from H1N1).  Yet my acupunctress said no cold water - only room temp.  She wants me to stay away from cold beverages, no caffeine, etc.   In the past few days, I cannot quench my thirst.  It's not easy finding alternatives to things you like to drink.  No cold water, lemonade, iced tea, sodas, and pretty much everything else it seems.  This poses yet another issue.

Those of you who know me IRL know that I like to get my drink on.  I'm definitely my grandmother's granddaughter.  :)  I guess I could say that I've been known to party a bit in my day (stfu to some of you!) - even though that has slowed down considerably (almost come to a screeching halt) in the past several years.  I do still enjoy having drinks with friends or enjoying a drink with dinner.  I've just always been a very . . . very . . . "celebratory" person!

Although Dr. Super said it is okay to drink alcohol during the cycle, I have been trying to find other things to drink besides a  ________ (glass of red wine, white wine, beer, margarita) with dinner.  However, the crazy part of this whole deal is that every-single-alcoholic-beverage I have tried since starting injectible meds has NOT tasted good to me.  The other irony of it is that the only time alcohol hasn't sounded good to me is when I've been pregnant.

Not pregnant.  Can drink.  Tried red wine.  Didn't like it.  Tried white wine.  Didn't like it.  Tried beer.  Didn't like it.  Tried Amarula.  Didn't like it.  Irony?  Yes.  Sick, sick irony . . .

Off to die of dehydration.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Right now, I'm experiencing a wave of emotion that is linked to fear ---- fear of the unknown, fear of failure.  In reading a couple of different online forums, I've seen some cases of women going through similar journeys as ours that have experienced failed IVF cycles.  I read their stories and questions and my stomach sinks into a small pit.  I am trying to remain positive and hopeful, but the inevitable (aka my history) takes over and I just want to be ill.

I do have smaller waves of emotion that bring excitement, hopefulness, and readiness.  I need to work on riding those waves more often than not and continuing to review my mental images (visualizations) of the outcome we want.

Let's just hope when I start the real hormones next week, that the waves don't look more like this!  :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Making a Change

It's not even an exciting change.  Well, at least what I can tell right now.  I finished the Lupron today (yea for no more Lupron headaches!), and I start 125mcg sub-q injections of the Ganirelix tomorrow.  I haven't heard of too many s/e for Ganirelix, so I hope it's relatively easy - especially since I'll be injecting it every day for the next few weeks (until ER).

Next week I'll get to see my mom twice for some booty shots.  IM injections aren't exactly fun, but it's not too bad since I know my Mommy is giving them to me & I get to see her.  DH will also start his IM lessons for when/if he needs to do my PIO injections after the ET.

On a side note, DH and I met on a blind date seven years ago tonight.  If we only knew then what we know now!  However, through all of the ups & downs & heartache of IF, I can't imagine having anyone else in this with me.  For him, I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Adding to the Needles Collection

I have been working consistently to add to my sharps container, and I'm doing a good job of it.  Tomorrow is my last day of Lupron before I begin the daily Ganirelix injections.

Today I began acupuncture again.  I went to a new acupuncturist (we'll call her "Dr. Puncturess"), and I really liked her.  She specializes in infertility, and as we began discussing my IVF cycle, she knew exactly what was going on.  She asked questions like, "Are you still taking the bcp?  What about Lupron?  When do you begin stim?  Will you be taking Menopur?"

She knows Dr. Super and his style of practice, what he approves of, etc.  I'm hoping adding acupuncture twice a week will be another positive in the goal for baby. 

Needles, needles everywhere
In my stomach, in my hair.
Poking, prodding, sucking blood
Give us a baby and we'll be good.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I'm working on remaining hopeful and positive, but I also am keeping the reality in my head that this could be a total bust.  There are no guarantees in this life, and we've definitely learned that the hard way over & over again.  The reality is:

~ There may be no eggs to retrieve.
~ Even if there are enough retrieved, there may be none that fertilize.
~ Even if they fertilize, they may not grow properly.
~ Even if they grow properly and are biopsied 3dpt, they may not pass the genetic testing.
~ Even if they pass the genetic testing, they may not make it to 5dt.
~ Even if they are transferred, they may not implant.
~ Even if they implant, we may still get pregnant and miscarry.

But then again, none of that may happen and we make actually get a baby or two or three out of it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Don't Be Skeered!

I wake up before DH each morning (well, working mornings) and am close to ready by the time he gets out of bed.  This morning, as he sleepily stumbled in to bathroom, he asked, "Did you shoot up your heroin?"  I told him that I had not because I was waiting on him. 

As he walked in to the shower, I heard, "I won't do it until . . ."  I thought the end of his sentence was something about not doing my injection until he was more awake.  Uhhhhh - I was wrong.

When he got out of the shower, I was dressed and ready to go.  I said, "Okay, you ready for me to show you?"  That's when I learned that DH does not plan to do my injections until AFTER my mother shows him how!  Ddduuuuuddddddee . . . this is an easy sub-q.  No big deal!

Guess I'll wait until Mom gives him personal lessons.  And I warned him the ones he'll be giving me are going to be a lot worse on him AND me!

In My Head

I am a very organized person.  While some like to joke about my OCD, I prefer to call it organized.  Even if things appear a bit scattered, I can find anything because everything has a place and there is a place for everything.  Well, I'm trying to keep all of my med schedule, appointments, future possible appointments, etc. in my head.  I need to just print it out and have it available everywhere I turn!

10/31 - started BCP
11/5 - started Lupron 10 units (morning) & Dexamethasone(every morning until ER)
11/9 - last BCP
11/10 - switch to Lupron 5 units
11/12 - drop Lupron, add Ganirelix 125mcg (every morning until ER)
11/15 - Baseline u/s, E2 levels taken, MET (mock transfer) - 1/2 day off work
11/16 - First E2 - 4mg injection at night (IM - ouch)
11/19 - Second E2 - 4mg injection at night (IM - ouch)
11/21 - Begin nightly EV2 vaginal suppository - yucky (continue until ER)
11/22 - Begin Gonal-F injections 750 units/night
11/25 - change Gonal-F dosage to 375 units/night, add Menopur (1 vial/night)
11/29 - u/s and E2 levels taken (more time off work I assume)

Depending on what my follie scan and estrogen levels show, we will receive further instructions on the 29th.  I'll have many appointments in which I go in for an u/s to see what my ovaries are up to that particular day.  Being a teacher adds a new twist to just "going in for an appointment" because I just can't leave for just a bit.  Well, I could, but that would leave way too many kids on their own for too long.  I'm hoping that my principal and my team will continue to support me through this, and I know they will.  They've been along for this ride with me and have been awesome.

Weird that we're looking at a transfer a little over only three weeks away because it seems like it will be!!!  The earliest we would go trigger and go in for the ER would be December 1st, but Nurse J thinks it will probably be a few days up to a week after.

Since I'm a person who may possibly tend to hyperfocus heavily on details, I'm trying to just go day to day.  You can see by looking at this schedule that it's hard to do sometimes.  Breathe in . . . breathe out . . .

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's That Time

My daily headache has begun.  About 5 hours after my Lupron injection, I get a dull headache that lasts a couple of hours.  Tylenol, water, and a nap . . . here I come.

Other than that, I am feeling fine.  I know that will change eventually, so I'm enjoying the asymptomatic time I have right now.  :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Learning = Lack of Sleep

This morning's Lupron injection went off without a hitch.  The nasty taste of the Dexamethasone was a helluva lot worse than the needle in my stomach!  Maybe this meds thing won't suck so bad like I thought it would.  (Well at least for now while I'm doing sub-cu injections!)

However . . . I learned tonight that my meds are supposed to be injected at the-very-same-time-every-day.  For the next month, I will be up every day no later than the asscrack of before dawn to shoot up.  Including during my week off at Thanksgiving.  For those of you who don't know me personally & know how sleeping in is next to Heaven for me . . . maybe this meds thing might suck after all!  :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Let's Go!

Let's go!                       Let's go! 

L - E - T - S - G - O!!!!

DH and I went to see Nurse J today to get vampired for CGH testing, review over things, ask more questions, sign our lives away, fork over cash, and sign off on what to do with our hopefully-soon-to-be frozen embryos if we croak.  I made DH promise me that if I kick the bucket, he won't marry some ugly chick and make her have my babies.
1/2 of our 8-seat dining table is now a legal drug lab.

Most of my meds (about 90%) are here and ready to go!  Not pictured are the Dexamethasone & Zithromax, plus we have Ganirelix, E2 supps and more Gonal-F on the way.  I start living the life of a junkie  shooting up  injections and oral meds tomorrow morning.  Here's a quick view of my meds calendar:

Each line represents a different medication to be administered either orally (by mouth), sub-cu (injected into the top layers of skin) or IM (intramuscular injection).  Lots & lots of drugs.  I'm a little nervous about keeping up with it all, but not so much with the actual needles.

While my greatest fear in this entire process is that we pay all of this money and none of it works, I think DH's biggest fear is that I'll lose my shit being on all these hormones and make his life miserable.  Luckily Nurse J and Ms K told him it'll only last a month.  :)

So, we're just going to give it all we've got, do our best with what we have, and hope and pray for the best. 


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Costs of Good News

I did a Google Images search for "good news" and couldn't pass this one up.  Ah, the ugly truth . . .
After hours upon hours of phone time with my pharmacy, Nurse J, & Freedom Fertility Pharmacy (FFP) . . .  My meds are on the way!  The BEST PART?  Between FFP and my lovely Maria donating me a few leftovers, the total cost for all of my meds is about $150.  That is SO MUCH better than $8000!!!!  I honestly can't believe it.  What relief.  While I was thinking it might be between $500-$600 OOP, that $150 is a hella lot better than any other numbers other than free.

Another bonus?  Thanks to DH's lovely numbers in the past, we aren't required to leave his mighty soldiers for freezing at tomorrow's appointment.  That will save another $157!

We still have another $250 OOP for my MET.  (Stick w/ me, Marsha, it's another acronym!)  MET is a Mock Embryo Transfer is exactly what it says - a practice run of the embryo transfer sans embryos.  It is basically a uterine mapping that Dr. S will do to determine the position of my cervix and where the best placement will be for our (cross your fingers) fresh embroys during transfer.  Due to no issues during my failed IUIs of the past, I don't anticipate any issues with the MET or ET.

Of course, there is still the $14K that will cover everything from appointments, baseline u/s, additional u/s, tons of blood draws, the ER, the ET (including surgical room, anesthesia, supplies, etc.), blood pg tests, and pregnancy 2 u/s.  This also will include freezing any additional embryos for up to a year.

While over $14,000 is a HUGE amount of money, I was happy to learn that it's not thousands more.  I just had to share this with my captive, voluntary audience.  I hope this is Part One of much good news to come!!!  :)

Taking Turns

If you have gone through the journey of loss and IF, you and I both know that you've been through the ringer.  Yeah, your DH/SO may have been by your side (or not) and supported you along the way (or not).  However, I also know for a fact that most men certainly haven't had all of the invasive procedures, blood draws, & more that their wives have experienced.  Sure, they get to share their soldiers every now & then but how bad can *that* be?  (insert little giggle here)

Almost four years and dozens & dozens of vials of MY vampired blood, I'm gonna be polite and take turns.  DH will finally get vampired.  We go to the IVF clinic tomorrow for blood work (yes, I still get vampired again).  We both will have blood drawn for genetic testing and DH for infectious diseases.  My recent b/w results came back & I am not infectious.  :)

While at the clinic, we'll also start forking over some cash and sign a shitton of paperwork.  We have statements of consent, promising that it's not their fault if I explode, go crazy or die, etc.  Other documents we sign (for those who haven't done IVF) are papers that share our wishes on what will happen to our frozen embryos (if we have any) should one or both of us die.  It's like a will for snowbabies.  Cute!  I just hope & pray we have some snowbabies to freeze - a need for the "will."

I think after all of that, I'll have DH take me for sushi.  Sounds like this taking turns things isn't so bad!  Wonder if DH will let me shoot him in the ass with a needle just once?  Ya know . . . for practice!  ha!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What the Hell Am I Thinking???

IVF.  In vitro fertilization.  We're doing IVF.  IVF with ICSI and CGH.  Am I crazy?  This will be me.  Voluntary Madness.  In the loony bin.  Seriously.  I must be absolutely insane.  What in the hell am I thinking here?  Do I think I'll actually get pg AND stay pg?  Hope?  Is that what I have?  I have hope?  Ha!!!  How stupid of me!  I definitely have to be totally off my rocker.

And the meds . . . WTH am I really going to be doing to myself?  Will I just be a human pin cushion?  Multiple injections, pills, vaginal suppositories, and shots in the ass every day?  What???!!!!!  Will I explode?  I'm going to be a raging bitch, aren't I?  I'm going to really need to watch myself.  I can't go batshit crazy again.

Oh fun fun - the doubts have returned!  Haven't seen them in a while, but then again I haven't had that silly hope thingy running around in my mind either.  Crazy or not, we're doing it anyway.  Lord have mercy . . . this will either be really great or totally suck.  I told you that this might be a bumpy ride!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Meredith posed a very good question in the comments, so I'm going to answer it since I actually know the answer for this one!  :)

Estrogen in the form of the birth control pill is administered to somewhat regulate the body and especially to shrink the ovaries prior to an IVF cycle.  Through ovarian stimulating drugs (in my case, Gonal-F), the ovaries are grown to extremes.  The typical size of a non-stimmed ovary is about the size of an almond.  Through the IVF process of stimulating the production of egg-filled follicles, the ovaries can become as large as grapefruits.

And I'm complaining about some cramps.

Keep the questions and comments coming!  Like I said - I'm trying to learn everything I need to know, but it is SO MUCH.

Okay . . . I Get It

AF is in charge right now.  I get it.  She is such a nasty beyotch.  After 5 days of Provera, AF shows up this weekend and now I'm cramping like a mofo.  My back, my sides, my front - my everything - is very uncomfortable.  Last night didn't offer me any relief, so with a lack of sleep, I'm exhausted today on top of the cramping.  Guess it's AF's of showing me what is to come.  Oh goody.  On the flip side, I started BCP.  It just seems so weird to be popping a bc pill when I'm trying so desperately to get pg!  Oh well . . . back to the heating pad.

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