Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Awkward...

I’ve been working on scheduling everything for the additional testing that Dr. Sher requested. First, the blood work. This special lab is sending me a blood collection kit, and then I have to have a phlebotomist come out to my house to collect my blood, put it in the kit, and send it to the lab. Weird, but kind of cool. I have it scheduled for next Tuesday.

And then I needed to schedule the saline/fluid ultrasound. Talk about difficult! Dr. Sher said any OB/GYN can do it, so I called my regular OB/GYN, and his nurse called me back, telling me that he doesn’t do those, instead call this fertility clinic. Um, yeah, that’s the clinic I’ve been going to for a year… I didn’t want to call them, so I called the local hospital, the same place where I got my HSG last year. I left them two messages, they never called me back. Finally today I was able to get to a human on the phone – dumbest guy ever. I asked for a saline, or fluid ultrasound, or sonohysterogram, trying to get him to understand me. He didn’t know what I was talking about. He kept putting me on hold, asking me to wait while he asked someone else. He came back asking if I needed a pelvic ultrasound after drinking 32 ounces of water! Um no, they shoot water up my uterus. He then got all uncomfortable when I started talking about my uterus… He didn’t know what IVF was, “IBF?” “No, in-vitro fertilization.” “What are you fertilizing?” Finally he was able to tell me that I had the wrong department – I need to talk to surgery. “OK, please transfer me.” At least the lady there was able to tell me quickly that the hospital doesn’t do these. “OK, so where do I go?” “I don’t know.” Thanks, lady – you’re very helpful.

So finally I called my regular RE, and asked to speak with a nurse. I uncomfortably explained the situation to one of the younger nurses: I talked with another doctor, I may be doing IVF with someone else, but he wants me to do a fluid ultrasound. She said they do them in the office, but first I need to have a consult with the doctor to make sure that’s what he wants to do! I explained that I already have a next-step consult scheduled for Monday, and she was happy. The thing is the doc doesn’t like fluid ultrasounds, he generally recommends hysteroscopy instead, since while they’re up there with the scope, they can correct anything they find. I asked about timing, and she said it needs to be done between day 8 and 10. Yeah, I’m on day 7 today. Then she said, it’s going to be too late, UNLESS you’re on birth control pills! Uh yes, I just so happen to be on birth control pills…

And since it was already so awkward, I asked her, “So if I choose to go to another doctor for IVF, can I still come to you guys for betas and ultrasound after the IVF?” She asked another nurse, and the answer was yes! So awkward. I feel like I’m cheating on my doctor. It’s like switching hairdressers, but still asking the old hairdresser to keep cutting my bangs. Have any of you ladies done this? Especially those that have gone out of town for IVF? Now I have to go to the doctor consult on Monday and explain that we may go to another doctor for IVF, but please help me anyway. Should be fun…

In related news, I sent Dr. Sher an email asking if a hysteroscopy would be fine, instead of a fluid ultrasound. Within an hour, I received an email from his head nurse, saying it would be fine. She was very nice in her email, answered my question, and I was pleased, felt like I had the answer I needed. But then about an hour later, I received a voicemail from Dr. Sher himself, explaining that I can do a hysteroscopy, but make sure they don’t scrape the lining of the uterus. If they find a polyp, they can snip it off, but make sure there are instructions to not scrape the lining as there wouldn’t be sufficient lining the next month. I love the attention that I get from this guy. And that’s all we want, right? Just a little love and attention…

Oh, and just to clarify some of the comments – I’m not doing your typical “Mini-IVF”. The Micro-IVF, as described by Dr. Sher, differs from the Mini-IVF’s as Mini’s typically use clomid or some other kind of drug instead of injectibles. The Micro-IVF that I’m doing really only differs from a conventional IVF in that there’s a little less monitoring, and there’s no ICSI. The conventional IVF at SIRM includes ICSI. So based on what I understand, there’s really no difference, except it’s cheaper… And they’re not “hard” protocols because they expect that they will be able to get lots of eggs from the drugs they give me. Interesting stuff though!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Consult with Dr. Sher

In a word – amazing. He was so nice, definitely was willing to spend as much time as needed with us. For as busy as he must be, I’m very impressed. He conferenced me and the hubs in, and was very good in his communication and explaining things. He first went over all my history, making sure that he understood everything very well. He obviously read all of the patient intake form, as well as all the labs and the medical records I sent him. He didn’t waste our time by reading stuff while we were talking to him (my current doc does this) and he spent about 40 minutes on the phone with us, and he would have certainly been willing to spend more time (unlike my current doc – longest appointment has been 15 minutes, and I sometimes feel annoying with my questions). So here is what he thought about us:

-Hubs has no problems – I’m pretty sure the doc said they were superman sperm…

-Dr. is very concerned about having another ectopic. Even if the HSG shows clear tubes, he says that my tubes are likely damaged from infections (such as bladder infections – yes, I’ve had a few) or something in my past, causing the ectopic in February. Yes, I had a regular pregnancy in May/June, but he thought I have a have a high chance of another ectopic.

-MTHFR: given that I’m heterozygous, even compound heterozygous, he doesn’t think Lovenox or aspirin is necessary. He used to recommend aspirin but he rarely recommends it to anyone anymore. He thinks additional folic acid like the Folgard that I’m currently on is good. Lovenox wouldn’t hurt, but he doesn’t think it’s necessary. If I was homozygous for the C677T mutation, then he would recommend Lovenox, but not for me. Not a big deal according to him.

-FSH – my CD3 FSH is normal (4.37; 5.45; 5.40), so it shows I will respond well to gonadotropins (like I have with the IUI’s). “We should be able to get lots of eggs from you.”

-LH – this is where he got a little concerned. He said my LH levels are elevated compared to my FSH levels. They’ve been 7.29 compared to 4.37, 6.67 compared to 5.45, and 6.97 compared to 5.40. He says when LH approaches or exceeds FSH, this is not that common, and he’s concerned about PCOS, even though I don’t have most of the typical signs. He said that the IUI’s that I’ve done haven’t had any suppression of my LH levels, and when these are high at the beginning of a cycle, that this causes increased testosterone, and could impair the eggs and their chromosomes. The increased testosterone can damage eggs that would have been otherwise normal. He said that it could increase aneuploidy, which could be the cause of the miscarriage in June – we’ll never know as I didn’t insist on karyotyping. Because of all this, he is adamant that I should have my LH suppressed with BCP and then Lupron. This should help suppress the LH levels appropriately.

-He wants to test me first for Natural Killer Cells. I referred him to the lab tests that said they were normal, and he said that most labs can only test the concentration of NKAs, not their activation. He said there are only a couple labs in the country that can test the activation. I knew this – I really did. But when I asked my local doc to be tested for NKAs, he said, “sure, no problem” and sent me to the local LabCorp. I just assumed that this lab could figure it out – apparently not… He said you have to do the K562 target cell test. Especially with my lack of family history (I’m adopted), we don’t know if there are any immunological issues, and there could be.

-He also wants me to have a fluid, or saline ultrasound. He doesn’t like HSG tests. Yes, my HSG a year ago showed everything open, but it wouldn’t show any kind of surface lesions in my uterus, and especially that I had a D&C in June to remove my baby, he insists that I have a fluid ultrasound prior to any further treatment.

-My uterine lining has been good. It should be over 9 mm, I’ve had up to 10 or 11, so that’s good.

Overall, he said it should be easy to get me pregnant through IVF. I’m young-ish. In the next year or so, my fertility will decline rapidly. I have a fertile partner. And he thinks that based on everything, about 1 in 4 eggs are normal, especially based on my age. He explained that if you wait for the blastocyst stage, then certain embryos will die off, but of the ones that are left, about 1 in 2 should be good. So if we transfer 2 embryos at the blastocyst, we have a 50% shot of one of them taking. He also said I’m eligible for their Micro-IVF. Basically it’s a full IVF, but there’s not as much monitoring, and no ICSI. It’s only available for couples with no male factor IF, and women have to be under 36. I have seven months until my 36th birthday. The cost for Micro-IVF is $4,490 + $580 for anesthesia if want (of course I do!) + meds, which is between $1K-$2K. Plus of course travel… About 12 days for me, and at least 1 day for the hubs.

And here’s where it gets really interesting. He said we have enough time to do the IVF in December… But we have to decide before tomorrow, because I need to start birth control pills tomorrow!!! Holy cow!

I got off the phone, completely overwhelmed. There’s no way we could do this in December – it’s too soon. I don’t know if I could get the time off for work, I don’t have enough vacation, I’m pretty sure this won’t be covered by the new insurance, there’s no way the hubs will agree to it so soon. And then he came home, and Mr. Rational (occasionally this is my name for him…) explained some good points. We have the money, we don’t have the time. This is barely $2K more than what we’ve been spending on each round of IUI. For the first time, we’re speaking with someone who really knows what he’s talking about, or at least that’s how it seems. I think I could convince my boss to let me work from Vegas and not have to take the whole time off. We could do 2 rounds of this before my 36th birthday, if we do it in December. If we wait until March, we could only do 1. He asked me about recommendations, and I told him about all the bloggy people who have great things to say about Dr. Sher and SIRM. And we even have an IRL friend that went to Vegas 6 years ago and we know this 5-year old really well…

And so, guess who’s starting BCPs tomorrow morning!!! We’re still going to keep the consult with my local doc next Monday, just to see what he says. And I need to go get blood work for the NKA’s and get a saline ultrasound done. Worst case, we change our minds in the next few weeks, and all we’ve lost is a month on BCP. One month of naturally trying – yeah, like that would ever work. I have absolutely no hope of that!

I don’t know why, but throughout all this TTC process, I had a feeling I was going to end up here. When we were a few months into TTC, I sat down and talked to my friend IRL that I mentioned above, and she gave me the website for Dr. Sher, and told me how wonderful he is. That was over 1 ½ years ago. My hubs scoffed at that – there’s no way we’re going to Vegas to get IVF. Fast forward all we’ve been through, and here we are. Somehow this seems right.

We haven’t completely made a decision yet, but we’re close. I’m starting BCPs tomorrow, just to be able to have the chance. And then I need to talk to my boss. I have to come clean with him to convince him to let me leave for 2 weeks and not take vacation, or much of it. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 22, 2010

ICLW Welcome – Finally!

Phew, it’s been a crazy week! I’ve been working like crazy this week… I usually have a good 2-3 hours each day when I can look at blogs, write on blogs, google like crazy – you know, the usual tasks of an infertile at work. But this week, I’ve been working at least 12 hour days, with not a minute to spare! I’m hopefully going to slow down soon, as I haven’t been keeping up my ICLW duties! But I wanted to do a quick ICLW welcome, and give everyone an update on this week.

For a quick recap for those of you that are new, I’m 35, been TTC for over 1 ½ years, been going to an RE for almost a year, have found no issues except recently I was diagnosed with compound heterozygous MTHFR mutations, have done 3 IUI’s, 2 of which have been technically successful. The first resulted in an ectopic pregnancy, the second resulted in a pregnancy that seemed like everything was going perfectly…until the ultrasound at 8 ½ weeks determined that my baby no longer had a heartbeat. And I just completed my 3rd IUI, with a BFN beta just a few days ago…

So now I’m moving forward! I have a consult scheduled on November 1 with my regular RE to see what he thinks should be the next steps, and if we should move towards IVF. AND I have a phone consult this Monday – October 25 – with Dr. Sher of SIRM. It’s amazing, I called them yesterday, and he’s available for an appointment on Monday! I had to fill out this huge questionnaire with all the tests and results and pregnancies and every kind of information possible, I just sent it in, and then we discuss it on Monday. Then Dr. Sher may have more tests run, and we’ll go over the results of those and go over his recommended plan on another consult on November 22. Both of the consults with Dr. Sher are free, and the tests should be covered by my current insurance.

Thanks for everyone’s comments a few days ago about SIRM, and whether I should talk to someone other than my current doc. I definitely considered going to the SIRM that is in Dallas (I’m in Houston), but I figured if I wanted to talk to a top doc, I may as well go to Dr. Sher – right? This is only for a consultation, and who knows if I’ll even go the IVF route. But I want to see what he says. I talked to the new patient coordinator about the time commitment for an IVF in Vegas, and she said that people need to be in Vegas for 10-14 days. Wow – this is crazy. But I think I could do it in March. I also think I may be able to convince my boss to let me work some from Vegas, which would allow me to not have to take the whole time as vacation, but that would involve coming clean completely with him. He has no idea I’ve done any infertility treatments… Something to think about – later. I’m getting ahead of myself.

So I’m very excited to see what the docs say should be next steps. I think no matter what, that we probably won’t do IVF before the end of the year, that it will be in February if with the local doc, and in March if with Dr. Sher. So in that case, we will likely do an IUI in late November/December, assuming of course we can get the new insurance thing worked out by then. I really don’t want to pay OOP for another IUI if we’re moving towards IVF. But we’ll see!

Oh, and everyone will be real proud of me. I handled my super-fertile friend at work announce to our whole department that she’s pregnant with twins (accidentally!) very well. I didn’t say much, but I sat there were a forced smile on my face, and I didn’t cry or anything! Interesting though – I’m amazed at how many people ask her if she has twins in her family, and if she was trying, and all kinds of personal questions. Weird – I wonder how that would be after coming out that you’re pregnant with multiples, but it was the result of infertility treatments. Oh well – it would be a good problem to have. Oh and the other fabulous (not) thing is she’s been doing a good job at hiding her belly, but now that she’s out and proud, let the tight belly-showing clothes come out! I love this woman, and she’s one of my closest friends, but I have such a hard time paying attention to anything when her cute little super skinny but pregnant with twins belly is sticking out everywhere!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's Official

Just got the call - it's officially negative. Well, at least it’s not ectopic, right? I had such a debilitating fear all morning about this – so petrified that it would come back positive, with low progesterone and estrogen, and I would have to go through that horrible rollercoaster again. So at least the results are clear. Not happy, but at least I know for sure.

I have an appointment with the Doc on November 1 to see what he thinks about the next steps should be. Here is what I think are our choices:

1. Do another IUI with injectibles. It’s worked before, it will probably work again at some point. I could do lots of these with the $25K infertility benefits we will now have. Could definitely do another cycle in December.
2. Do an IVF cycle with my current doctor. He’s a fine doctor, one of the best in Houston based on success rates. We call him the Wal-mart doc – he churns through patients, he’ll do whatever, doesn’t seem too cutting edge. Advantage for this is he’s right here. I may be able to do it in December, if not I would need to wait until February.
3. Do an IVF cycle with Dr. Sher at SIRM or some other fabulous doctor. Cutting edge, really good doc. This would involve travel, and would definitely delay it until March, as that is the first time I would be able to take enough time off.

No matter what, I’m going to ask my current doc what he thinks, and I may schedule a phone consult with Dr. Sher – he does them over the phone for free. I’ve always thought that if we get to the IVF step that I didn’t want to go with my local doctor, that I wanted to go with someone more top notch considering how much it cost, but now that we have insurance, I don’t know.

Maybe I’m jumping ahead of myself and I should be just trying another IUI, but I’m pissed it didn’t work, and I don’t like the stats. I’m really pissed that I first saw my doc in November of last year, and it’s been almost a year seeing this guy, and I’m not freaking pregnant!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Hope is Gone

First, I want to thank all of you who commented on my post on Saturday. I really appreciate the support you give me. It was a hard day, and your words comforted me and made me feel a little better, and definitely not alone.

In other news, it’s 13 dpiui, and I’ve been testing again – all BFN’s. So either the IUI didn’t work at all, or it will be something like February – ectopic. Oh I hope that doesn’t happen again. At this point, I’m almost wishing for a BFN at tomorrow’s beta. Which sucks too. I know that the chances for IUI’s aren’t that great – 20-30%, but for some reason I thought that IUI’s really work for me – I had a 100% success rate from the previous two! Don’t know why I thought I was above the statistics. But I did.

And before anyone asks, I’m using FRER as I’ve psyched myself out before. I’ve used cheaper tests before, and never believed them as they were too cheap to work, so I would go out and buy FRER anyway… And I hate the digitals. When they say “Not Pregnant” to me, I find that so insulting. It’s like it’s taunting me. I find one line to be so much nicer… Yes, I’m crazy, but I don’t care.

And even more awesome news – my friend at work who is pregnant with twins is announcing her news at work this week at our department’s meeting on Wednesday. And I’m the stupid one who suggested it to her – what the fuck was I thinking! I was thinking I’d be pregnant by now, so it would be fun to watch her announce her news. How the hell am I supposed to sit through her announcement and act happy, and not cry??? Should be a fabulous week…

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Remembering My First

Today would have been my first baby’s estimated due date. I only had this baby for six days from the time I found out I was pregnant until it was all over when I found out I had to take methotrexate to terminate my pregnancy, but I will always remember this little one. This baby taught me the unbridled joy, the debilitating fear, the wild emotions involved in being a mother.

It was a Wednesday. I had tested negative that morning on a home pregnancy test, the morning of my beta. I didn’t want to go into the clinic for that blood test – didn’t see the point. I held it together until the nurse asked me while she was drawing my blood if I had tested yet, and then I burst into tears. Yes I tested, but I’m not pregnant. That afternoon when I received the call with the results, I was so surprised – I was pregnant. The nurse sounded hesitant – my hcg, estrogen and progesterone levels were low – but all I heard was I was pregnant. She gave me prescriptions for estrogen pills and patches, and told me to increase my progesterone suppositories – I should take 4 per day. I was so na├»ve, I thought all I would need to do is take a bunch more drugs and everything would be fine. I ran to the store to get my script filled, and as I waited in the aisles for my drugs, I called the hubs. I told him I was pregnant. I was so excited, but as I explained the low levels of hormones, my hubs wouldn’t get too excited – I didn’t understand.

The next day we had a company-wide meeting where our CEO was speaking. I was sitting in front, and I couldn’t leave. I started having bad cramps, and I could feel myself bleeding. I had to sit there until the end of the meeting, in complete fear that I was losing my baby. As soon as I could, I went to the clinic. They did more blood tests, and I went home to stay in bed. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I thought if I stayed on bed rest, maybe it would be ok. The doc called that afternoon, and he said my hcg levels have risen appropriately, and my estrogen and progesterone levels have improved too, although they still weren’t great. I went in on Friday and got more blood tests, and those looked better too. I stopped bleeding. All was well – I was scared, but I thought it would be fine.

I spent all weekend in bed, just thrilled to be pregnant. Finally, I was going to have a baby! Monday morning I went in for more blood tests, and waited for the nurse to call me with good news. Instead she said my levels haven’t increased enough – it was over – the blood work shows the baby is ectopic. I pleaded with her over the phone – is there a chance? She said no. She told me to pick up methotrexate from the pharmacy and come in tomorrow for the shots.

The next day, my hubs and I walked into the clinic, and I started to freak out. Please don’t kill my baby. How do we know? What if the blood tests were wrong? Prove it to me that it’s ectopic – can’t we wait? They gave me an ultrasound, there was nothing in my uterus, and they saw something in one of my tubes – can’t remember which one. They said I shouldn’t wait – I may lose my tube if I wait. And so I agreed. I cried as they gave me the methotrexate shots – I couldn’t believe I was killing my baby.

My husband, my mother, my mother-in-law, everyone said the same thing. Thank goodness they found it early – thank goodness it didn’t hurt me – ectopic pregnancies can hurt you, even kill you! I would just look at them and shake my head, if I didn’t start crying. They didn’t understand. It wasn’t about me, it was about my baby – I thought this was it, I thought that come October, I would have a baby in my arms – finally! I would have given anything for this baby to live – even my life.

Eight months later, I miss that baby. That little one, who I barely knew, taught me so much. Today I remember my little baby who lost its way – nestled down in the wrong place. Although you were lost, little baby, you found your way into my heart right away. I remember you today – and always.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Not Yet…

Notice the positivity – not YET! I started the testing marathon today, and it was a BFN. Not even a shadow that could play mindtricks on me. But it’s super early (10 dpiui) and last time when I tested positive at 10 days, my hcg levels were so high they were off the chart. So maybe this time my levels are simply normal – right? So I will continue testing every day, because that’s the kind of obsessive freak that I am… And then the beta is on Tuesday!

It really helps that I now know that the next step, if this doesn’t work out, could be IVF. Now that we have infertility insurance up to $25K, it opens up this possibility. I don’t know a ton about the whole process, but I don’t think my clinic has any kind of waiting list or anything. The insurance kicks in on November 1, the date my hubs starts his new job. So assuming this IUI didn’t work, I’ll get my period around the 23rd after I stop taking the progesterone. So I’ll get another one on or around November 20. I know the IVF process takes awhile, as you usually go on birth control pills first. Is there any chance I could do the actual retrieval and transfer prior to the end of the year? I guess it depends on what my clinic’s Christmas schedule looks like. I’m very busy at work all January, so I wouldn’t be able to take the time off required for IVF, so it would have to wait until February if we can’t do it in December. But any thoughts from those of you who have done this would be helpful.

I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but it helps to think of our options if this IUI didn’t work. You guys understand that, right? My hubs doesn’t want to talk about it – he keeps saying “let’s talk about it later.” That’s ok – I can think about it myself, and then present it to him later – right? In the meantime, I’m crazy busy at work, so that’s good at least for today. And this weekend is the hubs’ first weekend at home since August, so we plan on just vegging and watching movies. So it should be a great one!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

YIPPEE!!!!

It’s one day before the testing rollercoaster begins, and we just got the best news – my husband got a new job! It’s a perfect position for him, he will work a lot less, we don’t have to move so I can keep the job that I love, he makes much more money, everything’s great! And then… he got the details for the medical plan, and guess what… His new company pays for $25,000 in fertility benefits!!!! If I’m pregnant (and I actually have a baby...), great. But if there aren’t twins in there, I plan to have another baby, and with these type of benefits, I will not pass go, I will not wait, I’ll go straight to IVF. If someone else is paying for it, why not??? It did say that pre-approval is required for fertility drugs, but even if we have to pay for the drugs, that is A LOT less than we would pay otherwise.

And the best part? Last night, while celebrating the offer he received, I told him, “I think you’ll be a better dad in this new job.” And he said, “I know – I’ve been thinking a lot about that. Now we can share responsibilities more, and I can be more involved.” Love him!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Let the Anxiety Begin!

I was doing so well – and I thought it would continue… Silly girl! The anxiety time of the 2ww started overnight – woke up at 4 am, couldn’t get back to sleep despite listening to my Circle+Bloom session, finally fell asleep right before the alarm went off, exhausted all morning, having a hard time getting work done, time is passing SO slowly, wishing people would post stuff on their blogs more often so I could pass more time by reading updates, and the #1 sign I’m in full anxiety mode: I started trolling the fertility friend message boards – any time I start doing that, I know I’m in a world of hurt! I’m just a nightmare now – I keep thinking, am I or not? All I want to know is if I’m pregnant!!! Why can’t I know now????

The hubs surprised me this morning by asking when we find out if I’m pregnant. He has never asked before – I’ve always brought it up. I think he never asked so he wouldn’t stress me out, but when I saw that he was a little anxious this morning, it made me so happy. I love that I’m not the only one on pins and needles! I told him I was going to start testing on Friday, and then my beta is on Tuesday. And he didn’t even object – he has been annoyed with me in previous cycles for testing “too early” but this time he’s fine with it. He even said he noticed I wasn’t taking my temperature this month. Wow, he’s observant – I never knew he noticed! I told him I wasn’t doing it because it stressed me out. He said “good job.” It was a nice conversation – I thanked him later for asking, it made me feel good that I’m not in this battle alone.

So now we wait – day after tomorrow, at 10 dpiui, I’ll start testing. I know it may start a huge rollercoaster – whether or not it’s positive, but I know me, and I can’t hold out past then…

Monday, October 11, 2010

How I’m Feeling

I’m about to start the 1 week wait, with the first week almost done. Beta is scheduled for a week from tomorrow. And who am I kidding, of course I’m going to test before that. Probably this weekend. For my last pregnancy, I had a positive test on 10 dpiui, and that will be Friday. If I can hold off until Saturday, that would be ideal, but I may start POAS on Friday… I’ve been doing pretty well. Keeping busy, not thinking of everything too much.

One thing that has really helped to calm myself is the Circle+Bloom meditation series. It’s perfect – it has a relaxation section at the beginning, and then you visualize whatever is going on in your body at that moment. I am listening to it every day, at least once, but I really need to listen to it while I’m a little more awake. I usually listen to it when I go to bed, and I’m not awake for the visualization part. I guess the good news is I’m sleeping pretty well, and feel overall pretty relaxed. I’m on the 20 and 21 day session, even though it’s technically CD 22. My IUI was a little late – on day 16, so I’m listening to the sessions a little late. During the 18 and 19 day session, it had a nice exercise during the visualization part. I really should listen to it again as I was a little sleepy, but this is what I remember.

Visualize a chalkboard or a dry erase board. Write down all the feelings and thoughts you have right now about your cycle, look at it, acknowledge them, and then leave the chalkboard up, or erase them all to let them go. I guess I’m making it a bit permanent by sharing on my blog, but I thought I would share - here are my current feelings and emotions:

-Anxiety: Anxious that this cycle won’t work, and anxious that it will work.
-Optimistic: If I had to bet, I would place my bet on the cycle working.
-Negative: If this cycle works, then I have to deal with pregnancy, and all the worry that that will bring.
-Nervous: Only a few more days, or up to a week, and I will know.
-Ambivalent: Sometimes I don’t care if I’m pregnant or not. Life would be easier if I’m not.
-Guilty: For feeling the above.
-Happy: Thinking about the little embryo(s) inside me, starting to nestle in my body over the next couple of days. Thinking about June babies – both me and my hubs are June babies, it would be fun to have another June birthday in the house.
-Angry: At myself for thinking of things like due dates.
-Sad: Speaking of due dates, my first baby’s due date was going to be October 16 – this Saturday. I barely got to know that little one, as it went to the wrong place – my tube.
-Scared: What if it happens again? Ectopic, miscarriage, whatever… So very scary.

I’m all over the place, but I’m doing pretty well. We flew to Maryland this weekend for a wedding, and saw a lot of people that the hubs and I used to work with – it was really fun. I have a friend in town tonight, so we’ll go out for a nice dinner. My hubs has a 2nd interview tomorrow for a job that would be really good for him, and it also would mean that we would stay in Houston instead of moving back to Denver, which is my personal preference, so that’s exciting. And I’m super busy this week at work, so that should help time go faster. Overall things are going pretty well. I just have to make it through this week. I wonder what next week will look like…

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

IUI’s – done

Both IUI’s are done – now we wait. Beta scheduled for 10/19. It all went really well. This weekend was interesting. On Friday night, I was an anxious mess. I think I got all psyched up to do the IUI’s this weekend, and when my schedule changed, I got so anxious and nervous. I don’t know why I do this to myself. I felt so out of control, I even started having mini panic attacks, where I couldn’t breathe, my heart started racing, everything.

Saturday was better – the hubs left on his trip, and I went and got my hair cut and colored (last time for a long time, right?). And I just focused on being nice to myself. Sunday I wanted to feel like I was productive, or something, so I made a huge list of things that I’ve been meaning to do around the house, and I did them ALL! So proud of myself. To reward myself, I went and got a mani/pedi, and then ordered sushi take-out that night. I love sushi, and I wanted it one last time – heavenly. The other thing I did was I finally ordered Circle+Bloom. I’ve been thinking about it for awhile, but it seemed so expensive. Finally I rationalized that I’m paying thousands of dollars for this to work. I’m a nervous and anxious wreck – I have got to do something to relax myself. I wish I would have purchased this earlier. I love it! Sunday night I listened to the trigger session, and yesterday and today I listed to the insemination session. Then tomorrow I’ll start the various 2ww sessions – I think it will help tremendously! I find myself in a much better place than I ever have been before – just by listening to it.

The IUI’s went fine – I had the hot young doctor do it yesterday (love him!) and the nice nurse today. I should tell you about the hot doc. He’s not my regular doc – I have the old head guy do all my consultations and planning of my cycles. But the hot doc has been there for some very important times in my life. I first met him the day when they told me I had an ectopic pregnancy. He sat there, handing me tissues, and telling me all about what to expect. Then he did one of my IUI’s during Round 2. And he has the most amazing bedside manner. He says, “ok, now I’m going to touch your thigh,” and he does. And then he runs his hand up my inner thigh… Yes, it’s just to insert the speculum, but at that moment, I’ll take any nice thing! After Round 2 of the IUI’s, he was there for the 30 minute ultrasound when they were looking for another ectopic – they thought for a little while that I had an ectopic pregnancy at the same time as my regular pregnancy. And then he was there for the No Heartbeat ultrasound. And he was great. He did a very good job at explaining my options. Yesterday was the first time I had seen him since. He was nice, just saying, “It’s great to see you again.” Oh the memories…

I’m feeling ok, very positive. My ovaries are hurting like hell. I have to applaud you IVF ladies. I can’t even imagine. I know that my ovaries are swollen, but your ovaries are even more swollen with your many follicles! I have to hand it to you ladies – seriously! I plan to take it easy the next few days, and then I’m off to Maryland on Friday for a wedding. Hopefully this 2ww will go fast – and then we’ll move on to the next step… Ugh.

Friday, October 1, 2010

IUI’s are scheduled - not till next week!

I went in for the final monitoring before IUI’s this morning, my left ovary still doesn’t have anything substantial, and my right ovary has one follicle at 18 mm, one at 14 mm and one at 12 mm. The nurse said the 18 mm was ready, but the 14 mm & 12 mm is not. So here are the two possibilities:
1. Do one more night of stims, plus Ganirelix to suppress ovulation, then trigger tomorrow night and do the IUI’s on Sunday and Monday. Both of these would be using frozen sperm.
2. Don’t do any more stimming. Trigger tonight, go in tomorrow and Sunday for IUI’s. Tomorrow’s IUI would be with fresh sperm.
I prefer option 1. Yes, I know that the count and motility decreases when you freeze and thaw sperm, but it’s all about odds, right? I’d rather have two eggs ready to receive millions (even after freezing) of sperm rather than one egg. I’m currently waiting to hear from the doctor – I guess he gets to make the decision.

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OK, just got the call. I love how everything gets all jacked up by the doctor, but I guess this makes sense. Do TWO more nights of stims plus Ganirelix tonight and tomorrow. Then trigger Sunday night and do the IUI’s on Monday and Tuesday. This means I have to go talk to my boss and tell him something about having to be gone Monday and Tuesday mornings – ugh. Anyway, we’re sacrificing the one follicle that is currently at 18, as it will likely be too big on Monday. And hopefully by Monday the two at 14 and 12 will be big enough to be ready. They wanted to increase the likelihood that I’ll have two follicles ready that are about the same size. So two more nights of 3 shots each (Gonal-F, Ganirelix and Lovenox – hate that Lovenox…) and then Sunday night the trigger and Lovenox, plus start the Medrol on Sunday. And then Monday until 6 weeks after delivery do Lovenox (seriously, why do they make the one that I have to keep doing for a long time so freakin’ painful!!!). Start progesterone suppositories on Friday, and then a positive beta (look at me with my positive attitude!) on 10/19.

Oh, and just to keep a record of my bloodwork, my Estradiol was 572, LH at 1.90, and Progesterone at 1.67. So this looks good – Estradiol keeps rising, and the LH and Progesterone still low appropriately. Thanks, Ganirelix!

I was really looking forward to doing the IUI’s this weekend instead of missing work, as it’s just so darn awkward. But oh well. I would feel better about the plan, if I didn’t have the sneaking suspicion that they’re f’ing with my IUI schedule because they don’t want to work the weekend… And I really wish that the hubs would be able to be there with me for at least one of the IUI’s, but he leaves tomorrow, and doesn’t get back until Tuesday afternoon. Which sucks. But I’ve done these IUI’s alone before – I can do it again.

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Oh wait, one more thing – I have amazing news that I have to share. As I’ve shared before, I have a friend who was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer at the beginning of the summer. She had a 5 cm tumor in her breast, and some breast cancer in her vertebrae. She was not given a great prognosis – the doctor didn’t even want to do a mastectomy because the surgery would be too much, and they wanted to focus on her quality of life. Well, she went through 12 weeks of chemotherapy, and then she just had a bunch of tests done to see if anything changed. The tumor is half the size as it was in June!!! AND they didn’t find any evidence of cancer in her breast or her vertebrae!!! Amazing, just amazing. They’re now scheduling a mastectomy, and will continue chemo. She is no by no means out of the woods, but they didn’t even think the chemo would do much! I’m so excited for her, and her husband. Just puts it all in perspective, doesn’t it.