Sunday, November 30, 2008

Heart Broken

IVF #3 is over. 11dp3dt - BFN.

Devastated doesn't even begin to describe it.




Searing Pain.

Broken Heart.

Pain in my body and soul.






The words seem empty. Empty like my arms. Empty like my heart. Empty like the 'nursery'. Empty like my womb...

I preferred the paralysis - at least there was a glimmer of hope there.

What might have been - it breaks my heart wide open to even think about it.

3 IVFs. 7 embryos, 7 little babies - gone. My body took them in, chewed them up and spit them out. What could have been...

A handful more arrested in a petri dish dark and alone. All those little lives... What could have been...

6 frozen. Waiting. What might be...

What if this is it for me? What if embryo transfer is the closest I will ever get to being pregnant?

How many more attempts will they allow me? How much more can I take? I am not done, not ready to throw in the towel, but oh the pain and the heartache and the anxiety.

3 failed IVFs. I can't believe this is my life, my pain, my reality. 3 failed IVFs. It has hardly begun to sink in. It barely seems possible.

How does this happen? Why? WHY?

It takes my breath away to even think about the month of December. Not just the holiday gatherings, but all of it. The music, the commercials, the mall, Santa, Christmas cards with adorable families and newsletters, the visiting, the kids, the food, the merriment. Is there any worse reminder of how much this hurts???

I want to run away. I want Sean & Libby & I to disappear to a place where it is warm and sunny and IVF and infertility are all just a nightmare from another lifetime. Where Christmas doesn't exist. Where it is adults only.

PIO after a BFN - could it suck any more? Icing on the cake tonight. Maybe my bloody mess of a post IVF period will start and this shitty day will be complete. A girl can dream.

What a day for a BFN - dark, cold, and rainy.


So here I sit 11dp3dt, pregnant or not, and I cannot decide if/when I want to know. I have not tested since Thursday.

I have never been so paralyzed in my life.

I can't stop thinking about it. Am I? Aren't I? The best news of our lives? Or another broken heart?

Sean & my mom both say they can't take the pain of seeing me so devastated. Maybe that is adding to my anxiety level?

I feel normal. I feel hopeful. I feel dreadful. I am scared. I am excited. I want to know more than anything. It is the last news I want to hear. I am anxious. I am obsessed.

Can I make it 3 and a half more days? Should I put myself out of my misery today?

It could all be over, for better or worse inside an hour... Don't know if I can do it.

Are you ever ready for the news that changes your life?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Livin' on a Prayer

Well, I lied. I said I would not test on Thanksgiving, but of course I did. I could not shake this stupid vision of getting a BFP on Thanksgiving and being able to share the news with our entire family in person on such a special day. So, mid afternoon on 8dp3dt, I tested. BFN. I know, it's still early, but now I am gun shy. I can't take another BFN.

Originally, I wanted to test tomorrow - 10dp3dt- but I am out of tests and can't bring myself to go buy any more. My old clinic would have been doing a beta tomorrow, my new clinic waits and waits and waits. My beta is Thurs 15dp3dt. Tomorrow is my last opportunity to test and be able to tell my mom in person, it's also my last opportunity to get bad news and be able to wallow in my sadness for a few days. We drive back to MD in the afternoon. Sunday - I have to work 1st thing in the morning and then it's Monday already and the weekly routine begins. I don't know what I am going to do.

Truthfully, I am terrified. I know if I get a BFN tomorrow, it is all but over. If I wait it out, I get to believe in this dream for 5 more days. I was quick to test early when I knew it could go either way, but now it's too real.

Sean & I went to the Sabres game tonight and they played Bon Jovi's Livin' On A Prayer & we looked at each other and laughed. It's our new mantra.

I still feel pretty normal. I was weepy & blah today, but I think that is the stress getting to me. Everything was making me tear up. Families at the game, the National Anthem, songs, when Sean told me I was glowing at dinner...

Boobs - eh - mildly tender. Some cramping and throbbing going on.

I do have hope and I feel like I am just waiting for the 2 lines to pop up at any second. At the same time, I know it could just as easily go the other way.

I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. I don't even know if I can bring myself to test...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Still Hoping

Today was 7dp3dt. I caved. I knew as soon as I brought those damn sticks in my house I was done. It was a BFN. I am not upset. A teeny-tiny bit disappointed, but not upset. My reason for testing was simple - there was an off chance it could be + and if so, I knew I could head up to Buf.falo much more relaxed. If it was BFN, I looked at it as a wash - no harm, no foul, still hopeful. So, here I am still waiting, still hoping, still praying for a miracle...

It was a quiet day. We drove up to NY and I had 7 hours to focus on my uterus. It has been kinda throbbing all day. Not really crampy, but twinges and throbs.

I am now officially pooped and it has nothing to do with symptoms and everything to do with getting ready for Turkey Day. Since we got in this evening, I baked Trader Joes Pumpkin Bread, made icing, peeled 15lbs of potatoes, made 2lbs of stuffing and the fresh cranberry sauce.

I won't test tomorrow, maybe Friday. My beta is still a week away, but Shad.y Grove tests late. If I was still at my old clinic my beta would be this Saturday - 3 days away! Knowing that, I will be pretty confident in my results by Saturday either way...

I am trying to keep perspective and remember that there is still a great deal to be thankful for this year. A wonderful supportive family, an amazing, loving, caring husband who also happens to be my best friend, the best dog in the world, great friends whom I consider my chosen family, a job I love, the ability to hope and to dream, an amazingly supportive network of bloggers and friends that I have met through the internet and so much more...

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!!! I'll be thinking of each and every one of you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Strange Bedfellows

Ah...Hope & Despair. Has there ever been such strange bedfellows? I am vacillating between the two daily. Welcome to the world of the IVF 2ww!

After yesterday's funk, I am flying pretty high today. I had lunch with my best friend, Amanda. We had a nice day - talking, laughing, eating - pretty typical for us! We also spent some time playing with color combinations for her super cute creations @ piecemeal people. She made my niece this monogram for her 16th b-day and I can't stop smiling every time I look at it. How cute is it??? It is even cuter in the white frame that we picked up. I hope Victoria likes it as much as I do! I also hired her to make 3 more sets for my other nieces for Christmas gifts. I'm addicted!

After our visit, I headed to Target and bought myself a sweater set for Thanksgiving. Target always makes me feel better, but I had to show some restraint. So many cute things. I did pick up a deadly weapon while I was there - pregnancy tests! Downright dangerous for me! Let the obsessing over testing begin!!!

In a little bit, I am off to get a haircut, manicure and eyebrow wax. I am so looking forward to that, I cannot even tell you.

I still need to pack and pick up the house a little before we leave for Buf.falo tomorrow. I HATE coming home to a messy house. Since I might walk right through the door on Saturday night and crawl into bed for several days due to depression over another failed cycle, I figure I better prepare. I guess the upside is that maybe I will be pg and need to crawl into bed out of sheer pregnancy exhaustion. Either way, clean house it is!

I am looking forward to going home, sorta. It is going to be an emotional week no matter how this turns out...

Overall, today I feel fantastic. Some cramping late last night, vivid dreams and VERY, VERY thirsty. Other than that, I just feel like myself. Yesterday, well that was a different story.

See, I told you - Hope and Despair - strange bedfellows indeed. Hope I enjoy, Despair - not so much!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Moody, Irritable, BLAH

I am 5dp3dt and I am in quite a mood today. I do not know what is wrong with me, but I am short on patience, extremely irritable and so emotional. I am guessing I have the PIO and Estrace to thank.

As far as symptoms go, there are none. With my past 2 cycles, I had to do the HCG booster shots so I was having major side effects, but I feel close to 100% normal this time around.

I have had a few twinges here and there and my boobs are mildly sore, but nothing like when I had the boosters. I do not have much of an appetite at all, but I am thirsty. Trying not to obsess - too much!

I was feeling hopeful and peaceful, but today I am just BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. I need to shake it off...

I think a hot shower is in order, then maybe I will cook a yummy dinner to take my mind off of things.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

You'll Be Blessed...

The next few days are do or die for my little chipmunks (Alvin, Simon, Theodore, of course!) and I have been thinking a lot about that. In some ways in seems inconceivable to me that I could be pregnant in just a few days. I have been dreaming about pregnancy and children for so long, for so many years and here I am on the eve of a possible pregnancy and I don't know what to make of it, but at the same time I cannot imagine it not being so.

The last few days whenever I look at Sean, I can't help but imagine what our children will look like. Perfect infants with red hair, porcelain skin, huge blue eyes. It takes my breath away and brings a tear to my eye. Then, the tiny voice of doubt in the back of my head whispers, "Don't dare to dream it!" That voice breaks my heart & paralyzes me with 'what ifs.'

What if I am never pregnant? What if IVF fails us? What if we are never parents? What if I cannot give my husband a child to carry on his name, his legacy? What if I cannot give my mother a grandchild? What if I never hold my infant in my arms and whisper in her ear? What if I never look in my child's eyes to see his Daddy's baby blues or his Momma's soft green looking back at me?

I have so many hopes and dreams for these children of my heart. They will have blue eyes, or maybe green. They will have red hair. They will be fair and prone to sunburn like their Daddy. They will have fine, thin hair like their Momma. We will take family vacations to the beach, to Disney, to California. We will visit family in Buffalo. They will love to read. The boys will play hockey. The girls, well they're just a little uncoordinated like me. They will be smart and love school and bubble over with excitement on the first day. There will be Halloween Parties, Birthday Parties, Skating Parties and Slumber Parties. There will be dress-up and singing and tea parties. There will be football games on our lawn and floor hockey in the basement or garage. There will be laughter and love and some tears too. There will be practices and lessons and games and school plays and talent shows. There will be skinned knees and maybe a broken bone. They will fight with each other, but be each other's best friends too. There will be amusement parks and ice cream and popcorn. There will be pizza and movie nights. There will be crayons, finger paint and sticky fingers. There will be lunches to pack and homework to do and plenty of whining to go around. There will be kid's artwork on my walls and family pictures on every table. There will be stomach flus a'plenty, chicken pox, runny noses, sore throats and fevers. There will snuggling and jumping on the bed. There will be Christmas mornings, Easter Egg hunts and Trick or Treating. There will be toys and sporting equipment and backpacks and books strewn about my once tidy house. My laundry basket will run over with tiny socks and onesies. The house will never be quiet again and Mommy & Daddy will be my two most favorite words in the English language...

Please, oh please stay with me little ones. I cannot envision any other future for Sean & I. You are already loved so very much. You are our hopes and our dreams and our hearts...

Blessed by Elton John

Hey you, you're a child in my head
You haven't walked yet
Your first words have yet to be said
But I swear you'll be blessed

I know you're still just a dream-
Your eyes might be green,
Or the bluest that I've ever seen...

Anyway, you'll be blessed
And you, you'll be blessed,
You'll have the best
I promise you that
I'll pick a star from the sky
Pull your name from a hat
I promise you that, promise you that,
promise you that
You'll be blessed

I need you before I'm too old
To have and to hold
To walk with you and watch you grow
And know that you're blessed

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Triple Threat

We are home from transfer and we have 3 embies safe and warm!!!

It was a long day. We made sure we were scent free (per lab instructions, embryos cringe at scent), we left the house at 1:45pm and arrived in DC around 2:45. I was told to arrive with a full bladder and then had to sit in the waiting room for 1 hour! I thought my bladder might burst.

We were brought back to the transfer room and the Dr. went over our Day 3 report.

1 @ 8 cell, grade 1 - "perfect"

2 @ 5 cell grade 3 - slow growing/mid grade

1 @ 3 cell - don't know grade. I assuming a 5 - poor.

Dr. Transfer and the embryologist initially recommended tx 2, but Sean & I had already decided that if our report was still less then stellar, we were not settling for 2. Given the 2 embryos at only 5 cell (they should have been between 6 & 8 today)- we requested transferring 3. We explained that it was our 3rd cycle, (which this dr. and embryologist were not aware of) and that we were disappointed in our fert. report and embryo growth/quality.

Dr. Transfer said she understood and then gave us the spiel about risks of triplet pregnancy and asked if we conceived triplets, if we would be willing to consider selective reduction. We said we could not make that decision now, but if that ended up being the case we would seek out the best doctors and take everything under advisement. Dr. Transfer said she wanted to speak with the embryologist and fill her in on our history and see if she could contact our Dr.

The embryologist thought it was more than reasonable to do 3 given our history and Dr. M said to remind me that I was young and to make sure that I was given all the facts, but that he was ultimately ok with it, if it was what we wanted.

Dr. Transfer asked us to consider which outcome we could "live with". #1 - not tx 3, cycle fails, we are devastated and always asking ourselves if we made a mistake. OR #2 we get pg with 3 and have to weigh our options. Sean & I looked at each other and both knew the pain of another failed cycle would just bring too much pain and too many 'what ifs.' If it were to transpire that all three implanted, we will take one day at a time and seek out the best information we can.

3 it was! Assisted Hatching was performed and the embies were transferred into my beautiful triple striped uterus with a whoosh!

We just couldn't imagine choosing between the two 5 cells and having to leave one behind to likely arrest or be donated to science.

There seemed to be a theme of 3 today. It was IVF #3, a 3dt, we were scheduled for 3:15, we were put in room 3 (which we realized on the way out), my triple striped uterus, the artwork in the room was arranged in threes, & the 3 embies. Three was everywhere! We are big on symbols so we of course took it as a sign that we made the right decision! :p

Speaking of signs, one of my IVF anthems is Journey's "Don't Stop Believin" and it was the last song on the radio when we got the the clinic and the first song on when Sean flipped the channel when we got back in the car! Too funny.

I am on strict bed rest for 24 hours and then have to take it very easy for 2-3 more days. My beta is scheduled for December 4th which seems late to us, but one day at a time!

There is no better feeling then having your embryos back home safe and warm. I am hopeful. I am at peace. I am more than content with our decision.

I am warm and toasty on the couch. Sean is spoiling me and the embies rotten and Libby is snuggled up keeping us warm. I have fresh pineapple from Whole Foods, a pomegranate, & pomegranate juice all on the menu over the next few days. I bought Breaking Dawn this morning and plan to crack it open in a few. Looking forward to the next few days!

Thanks for all the wishes and good vibes today. I felt the love!

For now, I am thoroughly enjoying being "pregnant until proven otherwise!"

A New Day

It is the morning of transfer and I am feeling much better. I needed to work through my emotions, anxiety and disappointment yesterday, but today I am ready, I am hopeful and I am exuding peace and trust.

All of your kind words and understanding helped me get over the worst of it. I did my IVF meditation and it helped me let go of the negativity as well. Dr. M called me at home to see how I was doing. He told me that there has been a lot of good things about this cycle and asked me to trust and have faith at this point. He said I have age on my side and hopefully a good embryo or 2 to work with...

I am usually one of the most positive people you will ever meet and I hate being in the dark place I was yesterday.

Transfer is at 3:15! For now, I am off to Barnes to pick up Breaking Dawn and B.lockbuster to pick up movies for bed rest. I will meditate one more time and Sean & I will get on the road. I am ready to being my embies home! Dr. M mentioned that if there are 2 good ones, he will be a big advocate of only tx those 2, Sean is pushing for 3. We'll see when we get there and take everything into consideration before we decide.

Thank you again for all the positive, supportive, hopeful words.

"Anxiety is space between 'now' and 'then'." ~ Richard Abell.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not the news I was hoping for...

The bad news just keeps coming. There is no hope of a 5 day transfer for me, in fact, I am a little nervous that there is a possibility of no transfer at all. My Day 2 report is awful:

1 @ 4 cell
1@ 3 cell
1 @ 2 cell
2 with no growth - possibly arresting.

I have never had anything like it. I know I can't keep looking back, but I also cannot deny that something has not worked with this cycle. Sean & I have always made amazing embryos. Embryologists oooh and ahhh over the beauties we make. We always have many to choose from and some to freeze. This time, not so much!

I am guessing my eggs hated the Ganirelix. Everything else was the same, except for that. I knew early on when I was stimming too fast that this protocol may not have been the answer.

My nurse said they will likely be able to do the Assisted Hatching and that they will discuss the option of putting back 3 given the crappiness of the situation.

I am mad, sad, angry, disappointed. I cried and sobbed and yelled and proclaimed my hatred for infertility.

I know it only takes one.
I know that some of the ugliest cycles produce beautiful happy endings.
I know I should not give up.
I know that each cycle is different.
I know this is the chance you take when you switch clinics and change protocols.
I know that I am "ahead of the game" because my polyp was found and removed by this clinic and no longer taking up a 1/3 of my uterus.
I know that even though this cycle is crazy, I am still at a wonderful clinic.
I know that this is not the end.
I know that I could have beautiful 8 cell embryos tomorrow.
I know if it is bad news in the end, we will try again.
I know that right now, this hurts like hell...

Tomorrow, I will put my hopeful, positive, optimist hat on and walk into transfer with a smile. I will welcome my embies home and try to provide them with the best possible environment and hope and pray for the best, but for today, I need to work through this.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fert Report

9 out of 11 were mature and 5 fertilized with ICSI and are growing and dividing normally.

There is no way to hide it, I am very disappointed. I have always had 95% fertilization reports before so 60% is a big drop for me. It makes me question my protocol all over again.

It also makes me doubtful for a 5 day transfer. I had 7 embryos with IVF #2 and they all made it to my 3 day transfer, but the remaining 5 arrested before making it to blastocyst. They will have a better idea tomorrow, but I am going to be a WRECK...

My nurse was very positive and said they are very happy with my numbers - anything over 50% is great, apparently. Too bad everything I have ever heard suggests fertilization rates with ICSI are typically 70-80%. She wasn't too helpful, so I called the lab directly and asked to speak to an embryologist and was told they "do not speak to patients. call your nurse."

Sean doesn't think getting answers right now is necessary. His theory is that it really doesn't matter - we can't change anything now anyway. "Knowing" isn't going to give us a different outcome. He thinks we just focus on what we do have, write down our questions and concerns and if this cycle fails, then we can voice all questions and concerns. He is right, I guess.

We did get some good news. It seems that Sean's varicocele repair and vitamins are making a difference. The biggest jump came in his motility. He began with 35% motility and it was 70% yesterday!!! His post wash numbers have always been less than a million and he had over 2 million yesterday. His count is still extremely low, but it is on the rise! This was the earliest possible time to start seeing improvement and we are, so I am happy. He could continue to see changes for a year.

Sean 's vitamin regimen is Conception XR and 200mg of CO Q 10 per our RE's instructions.

I know I have reason to be optimistic and I am, but I am also disappointed. It may all turn out to be undue worry and stress and we could very well have beautiful blasts to work with, but it is day by day, hour by hour right now. Even if we go on day 3 again, I know I still have reason to hope!

I think part of what is going on is that by switching clinics, I put unrealistic expectations on them. I expected everything to be perfect - better than any cycle we have done before and that is not fair. Every cycle is different. I have to remember that they have a state-of-the-art (no pun intended) lab and this is where the magic happens. I know that we are still going to employ assisted hatching and that we do have a chance to get to blast. I know I am already better off because the huge polyp is gone from my uterus. I have to trust that we are in good hands and that even messy cycles lead to beautiful results.

Thank you for all your support!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Home from Egg Retrieval

We are home from ER and they got 11 eggs! I am thrilled. I was hoping for 8+ so 11 is wonderful. I am nothing if not consistent. I have had between 9 -11 with each cycle so far. I do not know anything about maturity at this point.

I will get my first fertilization report tomorrow between 12pm-3pm.

We are excited to hear about Sean's semen analysis results as well. This is his first one since the varicocele embolization. The lab tech knew we were nervous so she popped her head in and said, "The sample is looking great!" I have no idea what that means, but we'll take it.

My in-laws were on the road before we got home, so I was relieved. Sean is making me some eggs and toast for breakfast. It is a chilly, windy day and we are looking forward to snuggling up on the couch and resting. I am also hoping to finish Eclipse today!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

That's Our Story And We're Sticking To It!!

Sean and the guys are playing cards and having a few beers. Sean decided to casually ask what time they are thinking about getting on the road. They said 9ish. Sean dropped his voice and said, "Well, Emily is having a little procedure tomorrow -you know 'female stuff' -and we have to get on the road kinda early. Not sure when we'll be home or how she'll be feeling, so I hope you don't mind seeing yourselves out. Em feels really bad about not being here and she didn't even want to have to tell anyone she was having another procedure, so let's not bring it up at all..."

Something to that effect anyway. They bought it hook, line and sinker! They are men after all and they are drinking beer and any talk of "female stuff" freaks them right out. Hopefully they don't run home and tell the wifeys because then it will be 20 questions. Oh well, buys me a few days anyway! Thanks for all the ideas!

They had a fantastic time at the Navy vs. Notre Dame game today and a great visit overall. I, on the other hand, am ready to have my house back. From left to right - my father in law -Chuck, my hubby, my nephew -Vinny and brother-in-law- Dave

I am feeling ready for tomorrow. Feeling hopeful and optimistic. I have fingers crossed for at least 8. The most we have had is 11. We have always had all but one or two mature and our fertilization rates hover around 95%, so I am hoping for more of the same. Is that asking too much!

I feel really good today. Usually the day after trigger is terrible for me - sore, bloated, nauseous, but I feel damn near 100% today. Sleepy though. I have always done Novarel in the past and this was generic - I have no idea if that is making any difference or if my e2 being lower is playing a part, but I will take it.

I have been really wanting to post something more heartfelt and emotional, but I think all the testosterone in my house is killing my creativity! I can't truly let myself feel everything going on in my head or heart right now; it's a slippery slope and I am trying to create the appearance of normalcy for tonight. More time to reflect in the coming weeks.

In other news, I hope you will join me in welcoming my best friend, Amanda, to the blogging world. She launched her blog today and could use some positive feedback. Her blog, Piecemeal People, is her forum to introduce the super cute mosaic art she creates. Her work is original and adorable and 100% customizable. I hope you will visit her link and be inspired. One warning - she is a mom and children are mentioned on her site. Also, her work on display right now is very "child" orientated, but she does other stuff too!

I have already hired her to make a monogram for my 16 year old niece and nursery artwork for my goddaughters' Christmas gifts. I had the pleasure of receiving a portrait of Sean & I for my college graduation gift and everybody comments on it when they see it for the first time.

Amanda is my chosen family. She is as close to a sister to me as I've ever known. She is an ENORMOUS source of support for me and I hope to be the same for her as she ventures into a new exciting phase in her life. Thanks for taking a minute to visit her link and browse her work.

I am off to have a cup of peppermint tea, read some of Eclipse and head to bed. 4am comes awfully quick. I'll update tomorrow!!! Thanks again for all your support!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Trigger Tonight!

Triggering tonight at 8pm! ER on Sunday - we have to be to DC @ 6am - YUCK! Still working on a story for the in-laws. Hmmm...we have to be up and out by 4:30am on a Sunday because...???

Seems like everything should go off without a hitch. My nurse even gave me permission to have a glass of wine tonight! Mmmm! We are heading to F.ogo De Chao for a late dinner and I can't think of anything better to compliment my steak than a nice glass of red wine. Yay for wine! Yay for steak! Double yay for wine and steak and maybe even dessert!!!

I had a wonderful nurse today and she put my mind even more at ease. She said again that they are really happy with my cycle. It is looking like 8ish eggies and possibly a couple more if some smaller follies kick it up a notch.

Oh, and guess what??? I am a math genius and today is Day 9 not day 7 or whatever the hell I thought it was! I have no idea how I did it, but I somehow lost time and had myself all worked up about timing for NO REASON. Day 9 is wonderful - I have triggered on day 9 before. Silly me! I think the hormones are messing with my brain power ;)

E2 was 1611 today. Lower than it has been historically on trigger day, but I am done obsessing for today.

I plan to write a "real" post tomorrow. You know, something thoughtful and not filled with numbers and stats and freakouts and dosages.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Feeling Better

My nurse called and the follies will grow another day!!!! Whew! She said everything is looking good and no reason to freak out (yeah - easy for her to say!). She said the right side was looking beautiful and my E2 was 1589 - higher then it has ever been at this point before. My Follistim and Menopur have been cut back for tonight. Tomorrow will likely be trigger!

I am going to have to come up with some tale to tell my in-laws about why we are getting up and driving to DC at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning... Oh well, better then ruining the football game. They'll have to lock up and see themselves out- a little rude of us, but what can I do???

I am feeling better and I think this was just a pre-ER freakout. Thanks for your support and hopefully and I will have a more insightful post sometime soon.

Talk Me Down

I just got back from my stim check and my anxiety is sky high. My u/s tech, Hope, (isn't that a perfect name for u/s tech at a fertility clinic?) said things looked great and I would possibly trigger tonight or tomorrow. What??? Trigger tonight? It has only been 6 days of stims! Then, I go have a sit down with some random nurse that I did not particularly care for and she tells me the same thing! I ask about my 16 follies and she says it looks like 8 are ready to go. 8? WTF??? What about the other half? What about the fact that this protocol was supposed to boost me to the 15ish mark. I have a sneaking suspicion that the antagonist protocol is not for me. She did say my bw will be determining factor and she would like to see me go one more day.

You may be wondering why this all has me freaking? Well, I think it is too fast, but the real anxiety factor is that I have my father-in-law, brother-in-law and nephew arriving tomorrow for the entire weekend. They have tickets to the Navy vs. Notre Dame game on Saturday!!! If I trigger tonight, ER will be on Saturday, Dh won't be able to go to the game and the whole weekend will be ruined. Not to mention, we haven't even told family we are doing IVF #3! I was already stressed about their visit and now my anxiety is sky high.

Please, please, please, let me go one more day!!! That would still be soon and a little complicated, but it would be better. So much better.

I know I need to take a deep breath and probably go meditate to the wonderful IVF meditation that
Gretchen raved about during her last cycle. It really is wonderful and you can find it here. I should go do that now and just relax until I get the phone call this afternoon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stim Check #2

Well, things are looking good. I have 14 follies on the right and still only 2 on the left with none hiding. The largest are measuring 13-15 and that my friends, means we add Ganirelix to the mix tonight!

My E2 was 595.

Follistim stays at 225 - evenings only

Menopur increased to 225 -whoa!

1 pre-filled Ganirelix syringe

I checked my records from IVF #2 and I am up by a couple of follicles this time and my E2 is a smidge higher. My nurse said I am "right on track" and looks like I will trigger on Saturday for a Monday ER. That would be 9 days of stims and one less day than usual. So far, this new protocol is not really shaping up to be that different from my usual Lupron protocol. As long as the outcome is different, I am ok with that!

Back on Thursday for next stim check!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Quick Draw McGraw

First stim check was the morning and it seems the new protocol is working, perhaps too well. I had 14 measurable follicles - 12 on the right and 2 on the left (left always lags for me). That would explain why I am already feeling my right ovary!

The nurse called this afternoon and said that my E2 was, "way over 300" and I would not be taking any Follistim for 24 hours.

I have to do the 2 amps of Menopur tonite, skip my follistim tonight and in the morning and then resume follstim tomorrow night - dosage 225.

I was so busy making sure I had all the directions correct that I never asked for my exact E2.

Back for stim check #2 on Tues! In the mean time, I coast and hope this did not eff up the entire cycle...

Friday, November 7, 2008

IVF #3 and Unwelcome Visitors

I am a little late in posting this, but IVF#3 is underway!!!! I took last BCP on Sunday, had my suppression check on Monday and started stims on Thursday morning. I am doing an antagonist protocol this time and here it is:

225u Follistim in the morning

75u Follistim at night

150u Menopur

1 baby aspirin
1 prenatal vitamin with DHA/EPA

Ganirelix when my follicles start to reach the 14mm mark. No Lupron for me!!!

ER is tentatively scheduled for 11/18, but I am betting on sooner by a day or so.

5 day ET with AH (assisted hatching) tentatively scheduled for 11/23
I will be doing PIO and Estrace starting on day of ER.

My first stim check is Sunday morning.

This protocol is brand new for me:
higher stim doses
stims 2x per day
antagonist protocol
5 day ET

It is exciting - sort of. I said before that the one word that summarizes my feelings about this cycle is apprehension and that is still very much the case. When it was time for the 1st dose, I had to refrain from running screaming the other direction. When it was done, I felt a little, tiny bit better. I am hopeful as well, but that is definitely not the overwhelming feeling.

We have not told anyone (minus the entire blogosphere) except my best friend & my mom. We are very leery about sharing every aspect of this cycle with our family and friends. At this point, we have opted to keep it (mostly) to ourselves. If we have good news, they'll be the first to know. Otherwise, it is just too painful to have so many other people disappointed and sad along with us. Telling the story over and over pretty much sucks!

In other news, we have unwelcome visitors in our neighborhood. 30+ turkey vultures have ascended into our yards. Even worse, they gave us a special wake-up call this morning.

At 6:30 we heard a tapping and scratching sound coming from the master bath. We went in to find 3 HUGE turkey vultures on our skylight very captivated by something. They wanted in and they were going to work on the glass pane. It was freaky!!! We felt like we were on the set of a horror movie. Sean tried to scare them off, but they were unfazed. They finally got bored after awhile and took off to the tree tops where they look like the harbingers of doom.

I stepped out a few hours later to snap some photos. They are down right CREEPY and I hope they will be on their way soon.

For your viewing pleasure - the scavengers!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Day

I woke up this morning feeling like a new day had dawned for America. I am over the moon about the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America.

Yesterday was incredibly emotional. I was all misty while casting my vote, then I swelled with a sense of pride as I knew I just helped make history. I spent the next five hours phone banking at the Obama headquarters. I called hundreds of voters in PA and the calls were so uplifting. I spoke to many, many people. I even helped get Florence, an 83 year old, partially blind African American woman, a ride to the polls to cast her vote for Obama. It was an amazing feeling. The atmosphere at the campaign office was electric and for the first time I allowed myself to really believe this might be happening.

The rest of the day felt like "the day that never ends" and I was anxiously awaiting the results to begin rolling in. Sean, a recovering Republican, kept insisting it would be a landslide for Obama, but I didn't believe it until I saw it happening before my very eyes. When they called Ohio for Barack, I broke out the tissues.

At 11pm when the election was called and Barack Obama was President-Elect, the floodgates opened. Tears of joy spilled from my eyes and I was filled to the brim with hope and pride and optimism. I am so proud to be an American today.

As I listened to Obama's acceptance speech, so somber and yet so inspiring, and I saw the faces in the crowd, young, old, black, white, Asian, Indian, Hispanic, male & female, I knew a new era had dawned in this country. YES WE CAN, YES WE CAN, YES WE CAN!

This morning as I watched the news, the words of Martin Luther King rang out loud and clear,

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character...

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day...

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true." MLK 8/28/63

Martin Luther King's dream has come true today. We are a great nation and yesterday we elected a man based on the content of his character, not the color of his skin.

Now I am not naive enough to believe the nation is healed over night, but I do believe this is one giant step in the right direction.