Monday, December 26, 2005

December 26, 2005

Christmas was lovely. We had my mother, sisters, one sister's boyfriend and dog for brunch Christmas morning. It was a little tight in our apartment, but nice to be together. I've been off my diet, but that was partly due to the potential pregnancy. I figure that now is not the time to be dieting. Okay - that's my excuse for eating without boundaries at the moment. I haven't really been dieting, just eating healthier, which was helping me to lose weight. Instead of snacking on chips and cookies, it was celery and apples. So - I've been slacking. My pregnancy test is Wednesday, but I plan to get back to healthy eating tomorrow (Tuesday). I am nervous about the beta. (Beta - IVF talk for pregnancy blood test.) I am hopeful and fearful. After the retrieval, my husband asked me what would I do if it as negative, but the RE said I could try again. I really don't know. I've had my mind set, accepting that this was the last try. What would I do if he said I could go again. Hopefully, that won't become an issue.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

December 18, 2005

We put back a basketball team yesterday - or as my husband terms it, a truck company (fire department lingo there). None were grade 1, but there were several grade 1.5. One of the five embryos was actually a morula - not quite a blast. I have no idea if that one is any more likely to implant. So - we're praying a lot. We're talking to the little guys and girls, asking them to stick around. I'm taking it as easy as I possibly can - even cancelling meetings at work - but somehow I still have to go to the dentist.

Now - I must say - GO TIKI! What a game yesterday!! And the makeshift offensive line did well. The defensive line stepped it up too, when they needed it. Go Big Blue. I think I will make this post blue in their honor!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

December 17, 2005

In two hours, they'll be transferring some of my little baseball team back into my uterus. I'm excited. I'm anxious. I wonder if any embryos not put back will make it to freezing. More than anything though - I am so hopeful that this works.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

December 15, 2005

The retrieval went better than expected yesterday. Way better. I went in expecting them to retrieve 4 to 6 eggs. When I woke up from the anesthesia and asked the nurse "how many" I guess I was still a bit groggy. I saw her hold up 6 fingers. I missed the first 10. They got 16 eggs! Like I said - way better than expected. The RE thought that some might be immature. Only 2 were immature. Out of the other 14, 9 fertilized. I've got my own baseball team!! I am very pleased with the results! Hopefully they will continue to divide and we'll have a bunch of good eggs to put back in on Saturday. I didn't say anything silly this time - that I know about anyway. Well - except for when the RE told me they got 16 eggs and I said "No bleepin way" except I didn't really say bleepin. The nurse did tell me that as they finished up with the retrieval, they were talking about how some patient told the RE that he looked like Richard Gere. They were going back and forth about it. Apparently, as they wheeled me out, I woke up, said "Richard Gere, I don't think so" and then went back out. I have no memory of that.

Now a drug update. No more shots in the belly. For the next several days, I take an antibiotic twice a day and a steroid once a day. I will stop those after the transfer. Then there's the fun stuff. I take prometrium pills in the evening. They put me to sleep. In the morning, I have to take a progesterone shot. It gets done with a "big ass" needle - literally. The shot goes in your butt. It's an intramuscular shot. You should see this thing! Most women have their husband or partner do it. Due to my husband's schedule, I have to do them myself half the time. He gets the left butt cheek, I get the right. It's not easy. I have to stand in front of a mirror and kind of contort myself. I'm always anxious as I go to do it - but I get it done. The shot itself really doesn't hurt. I ice the area before hand. A day later though, it is sore - like I worked out too much.

This whole thing has really cut into my Christmas shopping time. I won't be able to do anything this weekend - I'll be on bedrest. I really want to try to take it easy next week - no flying to Chicago this time! But that also, for me, means that I don't want to be out doing a boatload of Christmas shopping. I'm trying to do most of it over the internet. We will have to do some in person, but I think I can limit that. I want to give the little guys their best shot at sticking.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

December 13, 2005

Tomorrow is retrieval day. I'm definitely ready. I can feel my ovaries! It's not as bad as when I had the 15 follicles going. That time, if I went over bumps in the road, I was seriously uncomfortable.
I had to go in for more bloodwork this morning - to make sure I did the trigger shot correctly. I have no idea how much blood they have taken from me over the months - but I'm thinking it's a lot. I know it's a lot. So - what's the trigger shot? It's human chorionic gonadatrophin aka hcg. And please don't quote me on the spelling. The hcg does something with making the eggs mature. It's also the hormone that they measure in a pregnancy test. There are some side-effects the first few days. Basically, you get some of the symptoms of pregnancy.
Tomorrow, they'll put me out. The first time, I woke up saying all sorts of fun stuff to my husband. There's not a whole lot of pain - but it does usually hurt to laugh afterwards and to dance. I'll probably end up sleeping most of tomorrow afternoon. Then back to work for a day or two and then the transfer. There will, of course, be many more drugs in the days to come.

Monday, December 12, 2005

December 12, 2005

I trigger tonight. I've got at least 4 follicles - so off to egg retrieval we will go. This is a faster response than I've had in the past, but a smaller response. Will that make a difference? Who knows. It only takes one. It looks like I'll be doing a lot of my shopping over the internet, so as to keep my post-transfer activity to a minimum. I certainly won't be flying off to Chicago 3 days later this time!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

December 11, 2005

I went for another follicle check this morning. I'll definitely be going ahead with an IVF, but it's looking like there may be only 4 follicles. That's a bit of a downer. The first time we did it, they retrieved 15. Last time, where it was iffy whether or not I would have enough to make it to retrieval, I ended up with 6. Now, only 4. I know it only takes one. To a certain extent though, I feel like it's a game of percentages. With 15 eggs, there was a much bigger chance that I would get a lot fertilized and at least one or two would get to 8 cell grade 1 embryo status. With only 4 - who knows. I shouldn't complain though. I've read, on message boards that I frequent, of twenty-somethings who produced 20+ eggs and got no fertilization or ended up with poor quality embryos. It's possible, but the numbers are just a little disappointing right now. They are also confusing. Why one month did I produce 15 and this time only 4? I know that a lot of this is a guessing game. It's trial and error to find the protocol that produces the best results.
Oh - the other thing today - looks like my retrieval will be Wednesday or Thursday. I sure didn't expect it to be that fast. I guess the thing is I have one follicle that is leading the pack and driving things - so we're going by the size of that one.
So - what else is up? Playoff today in fantasy football. I'll probably get my butt kicked, but that's okay. I've had fun. I'm working on a sweater for my husband. I like knitting, but I tend to work on projects a lot for a week or so, then put them down for months. Maybe I'll finish this sweater before our 20th anniversary! :)
I suppose I'm going to have to get off my butt and do some Christmas shopping. I had hoped to maybe take Wednesday off to do it - but I may be otherwise occupied that day. Hmmmmm internet shopping may be the thing this year!

Friday, December 09, 2005

December 9, 2005

So - it snowed today. I had to go to the RE for my follicle check and bloodwork. They take you between 7 am and 8 am for that. It's normally about a 30 minute ride for me. I figured with the snow, I had best leave early. Good thing. The town I live in had not plowed yet. Oh joy - me in my little sports car going through the freshly fallen snow! I-95 was not bad. Then I get to the Rte 7 connector in Connecticut. The bleepin' ConnDOT had not yet plowed it. As I'm approaching the end, going up the hill towards a traffic light, I'm behind a Transit bus - which is sliding to the left. I'm wondering why they had not put chains on the bus! I made it to the RE at 7:59. I'm sure they made allowances for the weather this morning and were doing monitoring later than normal.
So - how are the follies doing? I've got a couple that seem to be outpacing the others. This could be a problem. They like them to progress at the same speed. The RE doesn't seem to worried about it yet. Other than that, I seem to be right on track.
I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend. I'll watch some football, maybe do a little knitting and just relax. I'm afraid that I may get knocked out of my fantasy football playoffs in the first week - but that's okay. I made the playoffs and that's enough for me. This year. Next year - I want it all!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

December 6, 2005

Not much to say today except - I made the playoffs in my fantasy football league! I am so psyched! I'm the only girl in the league! :)

And - I just found out that my meeting tonight is at 6 pm, not 7:45 like I thought. :)

And - one of my cousin's has come through and is hosting Christmas, so I don't have to make a decision to drive to the Cape or not to see my family, they'll be coming here. :) Of course, the downside to that is that I will have to get my apartment "Mom's visiting" clean because Mom will likely spend the night with me.

Monday, December 05, 2005

December 5, 2005 - afternoon

Now it's the afternoon. More time to post. So - I'm back in the saddle again - or more accurately, the stirrups. My last IVF cycle has begun. I start the drugs on Saturday. I got the expected headaches yesterday from the one drug. I expect that sometime today or tomorrow I'll have the usual emotional explosion. Picture what it's like to be PMSing - and multiple that by 4 or 5 times. When you are taking these drugs, your estrogen level increases dramatically. That's what sets off those emotional explosions.

I'm back to the same regimen that I did for my first IVF cycle. I figured I would explain what it's like.

I started with one dose of a lupron on Saturday. It's a shot given with a teeny tiny needle, done sub-cutaneously. I do it in the stomach. Beginning Sunday, I added gonal-f and continue with the lupron. I do this twice a day. The gonal-f comes in a pen. It's really neat. You dial up the dosage you need, pull the plunger out and stick the needle in. For me, one pen gives four doses. For others it's more. This also has a small needle and is done sub-q (I'm real good with the lingo now) and is done in the stomach as well. I think that some women do the shots in their thighs - but for whatever reason, I picture that as hurting. The shots really do not hurt more than an occasional pinch. I sometimes bleed a little and get bruising. Backtracking a little - a week before I started the shots, I started taking one baby aspirin per day. Being on the aspirin leads to a little more bruising than normal. The first shot of lupron gets your ovaries producing somehow. The rest of the lupron shots actually keep you from ovulating. The gonal-f is a hormone that causes the follicles in your ovaries to mature, so that you get more than the one that is normally produced. Later on in the cycle, I will take a shot of human chorionic gonadatrophin to push the follicles to final maturation prior to the eggs being retrieved.

So that's the shots part. The stirrups part is the checkups. The doctors monitor you very carefully. You get ultrasounds and bloodwork on a regular basis. As I get closer to the retrieval, it may be every day. It's really not bad. The only "bad" thing is that I end up with ugly bruises in my arms where they draw the blood. In the summer, that's hard to hide and prompts questions.

That's part one. I'll post about the egg retrieval and transfer and what follows as that comes closer for me.

I'm feeling good about this cycle. It may not work, but at least I will know that we tried everything possible. All along, since we started talking about trying to have a baby, I've pictured us as having a little boy. I want a little boy who looks just like my husband. Funny thing is - as I've started this cycle, I've been thinking more and more about having a little girl. Either way - I hope that if we have a baby, they get my husband's hair! His is a nicer color and it's curly. Mine is a blah brown - well, when it's not dyed that is - and it has no body whatsoever. The biggest negative to this cycle - but well worth it if it works - I have to go through the Christmas party season alcohol free! Like I said though - well worth it if it works.

December 5, 2005 - morning

I labelled this post "morning" because I intend to post more this afternoon. I just want to get these morning thoughts down.

Travelling in to work this morning, after yesterday's snowfall, I see the winter idiots are back in force. I don't get the people who don't clear the snow off their car. Do they not get that snow on the roof can begin to melt and slide down the window obstructing your view? But - better than that - this morning there was a guy on I-95 who didn't clear off his rear window at all. Not one little bit. Okay - I know you can use your side mirrors to see what's behind you - but not totally. Then, I get off 95 and am driving local streets and pass this woman who only cleared the area off her front windshield in front of the driver's seat and did the same in the rear. Are they lazy or dumb?