Thursday, July 31, 2008

If Only Boring People Get Bored...

Then I am clearly the most boring person who has ever walked the earth. 

I do not know if I can stand another moment alone stuck in this house. 

I have read the entire internet. Yep, you heard that right. Every word. 

I have watched every medical anomaly show: Born without a Forehead, My Life with Five Nipples, etc etc etc. 

I feel like I should be somehow "bettering" myself: preparing myself to be a parent. Or to not be a parent. Maybe I should write a book. But I don't know what I would write about other than a girl who is marooned on the couch, and that would be a very boring book. Trust me.

Luckily, this weekend I will be back on my feet, allowed to resume "full activity" (except for heavy lifting) and I have never been so excited about vaccuming and doing laundry.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Say Cheese, Kids!

Here they are!

This morning we had 2 beautiful blastocysts transferred. The transfer was a breeze: I got all decked out in the ever-fashionable booties, blue puffy hair containment system, and lovely gown. We spoke with the Dr who was doing the transfer (not our Dr and not the one who did the retrieval either!) and he showed us the pictures of the little ones. He told us we have 2 beautiful quality blasts (shown here) that they are transferring, plus one compacting morula and 3 other morulas that they are going to watch for another day before they decide who to freeze. I popped the Valium (didn't really need it, I felt pretty relaxed anyway) and they took me back to the same OR where the retrieval was done. Dearest again got to watch the ultrasound on a screen, and it was over within 10 minutes. Then I had to be still for about 15 minutes or so and that was it. Hard to believe it, but this was probably the most simple part of this whole process. I should mention that the Gnarls Barkley song "Crazy" was playing in the OR during the transfer. I thought it was pretty much the perfect soundtrack to this whole experience.

So...I guess that's it. Now I just lay low for a week and give these little guys a chance to settle in. Doctor said we have a 50% chance of them sticking, so I am trying not to go to overboard with the optimism, but things throughout this whole experience have gone so smoothly, it's hard not to be a little excited.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Magnificent Seven

You could have knocked me over with a feather when the embryologist's nurse called today at noon. On a Saturday? That surely can not be good news.

But guess what? It was good news. Very good. 

She said that "The embryos are all looking great, and Dr. B wants to change from a 3-day to a 5-day transfer." Hooray! We are going for a blast transfer! 

This news comes on the heels of an article that I read yesterday by a Dr. who will only do blast transfers. He went on and on about how the only reason embryos stop growing in the lab (assuming lab conditions are adequate) is due to a chromosonal problem, so any embryos that don't make it to 5 days in the lab will not make it in the uterus either. He sited some research, and when asked by a reader why any labs would do a 3 day he basically said that they do it to make themselves look better. In other words, if the failure to thrive happens in utero instead of in a petri dish then you will never wonder if it was something the lab did. It was a distressing thing to read, and it made Dearest and I really think about asking the lab to push for a blast transfer, even if that means that we only have one to transfer and none to freeze. They wouldn't have made it anyway, according to this guy, right? Anyway, I totally agree that not everything on the internet can be taken as gospel, and I have utmost trust and respect for my RE and the staff, so if they said 3 day was the way to go, we would have done it. But it was a huge relief to hear that they are all doing so well and I am hoping they continue to thrive so we can feel really good about the 5 day transfer. 

This is also good news because I feel like I could use a little more time to recover from the egg retrieval. I am still pretty sore, truthfully more than I thought I would be. It will be nice to be back at 100% before the next procedure. The only downside of delaying is that it means 2 more days of PIO shots. I have to tell you Nurse Jodi has been awesome, even coming to the house to do the shots. I am grateful to her, and I think Dearest is considering building a shrine in her honor since it means that he is off the hook in regards to darting me with the vicious 22 gauge 2.5" needle. Next to our shrine to Nurse Jodi I will build a shrine to Darvocet, my savior the past couple of days.

There's all today's news. Keep those good vibes coming for our little guys!

Friday, July 25, 2008

7th Heaven

I was not going to call the Doctor for the fertilization report.

I was going to let them call me.

Because, you see, I am not the demanding, high-maintenance type. Or so I kept telling myself.

But the thing is, it was 2:00. And my friend Kel started threatening that she was going to call them if I didn't. So I did. It was peer pressure, I swear.

Thankfully, the news was very good. Of the 10 eggs they retrieved, 8 were mature. And 7 fertilized.

Deep breath, followed by sigh of relief.

I was feeing ok when I first got up this morning, I thought "I've got this. A couple of Tylenol and I am good to go." Hah! By 10:30 I was literally writhing on the couch. I took a Darvocet at 11 and by 11:15 I was back to feeling really good. I guess I am going to stick with the Darvocets for the rest of the day, because I have a pretty high pain tolerance but this morning was uncool. 
I have made it through this afternoon thanks in no small part to Kel's company, not to mention the delicious grilled cheese sandwich, tomato soup, and strawberry cake that she brought from my favorite local sandwich shop. (It's called Cheeser's Palace. Brilliant!) Now I'm going to take a little snooze and dream about our 7 little ones who are hopefully continuing to flourish in an incubator across town.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Perfect 10

Everything went great. Thanks to all for your thoughts today. 

Got there at about 6:45, they took me back to prep for surgery and Dearest to make his contribution pretty much right away. I looked so absurd in my gown, blue cap, and booties, it was hard to be dramatic. The nursing staff was top notch. They asked me about 75 questions and got my IV in and fluids started and then Dearest got to come back and sit with me while we waited for the Dr to be ready to go. I was not feeling too nervous (ok, a little) but I was shaking! 

Before you know it they took me to the OR, and Dearest to a little room where he could watch the ultrasound on a screen. He said it was pretty awesome to watch. The anesthesiologist (who did not mention our tardy payment at any point) told me I would feel a little burning where the IV was in and then I would be out. I remember the burning, I was just getting ready to crack a joke about it, but I was out before I got the chance.

The next time I opened my eyes, I was back in recovery and Dearest was holding my hand. I think I asked him how many eggs they got, he replied 10, and then I apparently demanded to be put back under. No such luck. I was pretty sore, truthfully, but once the nurse saw I was awake she said if I would eat some crackers I could take a Darvocet. I did, and that took the edge off. By 8:30 or so I was on my feet, Dearest helped me get my street clothes back on, and I again asked how many eggs they got, because I was very groggy the first time I asked and I wanted to be sure. He confirmed 10.

So now we have 10 little sparks sitting in a petri dish 30 miles away. (Boy, we left 'em with a babysitter young!) I can only hope that one of those sparks grows to be a flame. We will find out how many fertilized tomorrow. For now, I'm doing just fine. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Normal is the New Weird

Triggered last night. Woke up this morning, prepared for the worst. But it was even worse than the worst. Because I felt nothing. Like (physically) this whole thing never even happened. My belly was flat. No more feeling like I had swallowed two lemons. I was not queasy, and everything about me that had felt very strange this week felt "normal". I did what any self-respecting IFer would do, and by that I mean I freaked out.

I have really tried not to make myself neurotic. But this morning I made up for it. I was in tears, telling Dearest that this had all been for naught, that clearly my body had somehow decided to re-absorb all of those beautiful eggs and it was game-off. Went to my 9:15 pre-op this morning and told the Dr. my concerns. "Nope," he said, "nothing to fear. That is a normal reaction. Your body is just so used to being pummeled by hormones that it starts to settle down at this point for some women." WHAT?!? You should WARN a sister when all of her symptoms are going to disappear!!! I almost had a coronary!

Anyway. Everything is fine. Today I go fill scripts for the new drug regimen to begin tomorrow, which includes: tetracycline, medrol, darvocet, valium, and a vinegar-water douche. Yes, you read that correctly. The nurse said that to me and I thought to myself, "That's it, cancel the retrieval. I am not sure I want kids enough to douche." Who does that? I thought that was one of those 80's trends that had died with hair crimping. So I guess I have to go to the store and buy that. Would I be out of line to tell the check out lady (guy, actually. You know it will be a guy.) "This is for a medical procedure, not because my cooch is stank." Maybe they give you that valium to take before you go buy the douche, so you do not feel the pain of humiliation. 

Guess it's game-on. I go in tomorrow at 6:45, should be leaving the joint around 9 or so if all goes according to plan. Then I will snooze all day under Dearest's watchful eye until I have to meet nurse jodi at the school for ass-shot #1. Can't wait until it's over!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday, Part Two

It's really happening!

Got the message from the RE this afternoon, my E2 level is >2700, I am triggering TONIGHT! 
I go in tomorrow morning for the pre-Op check up, then if everything is looking great the surgery will be Thursday morning. Seems like this has been so long in the making and now everything is happening really fast. 

So, I will be off of my feet Thursday and Friday, and hopefully I will be back in full force by Saturday.

That's the update. :) 

Oh, Mama

Back victoriously from stim check 3. It was hard to be patient, our Dr. was in surgery that ran long before our ultrasound time so we were very twitchy by the time we were seen. Dearest especially, since he needed to get to work and was watching the clock. Anyway, we finally got a glimpse at the ovaries and the news is pretty good. About 4-5 follies on the right looking around 16-17mm, and the little ones on the left are catching up: a 23mm, 20mm, and a handful of 15s. So...they are going to take a look at my E2 blood levels this afternoon and let me know if they want me to trigger tonight (!?!), tomorrow, or Thursday, which means a retrieval between Thursday and Satuday. Zoinks. 

I'm continuing my quest to stay cool, calm, and collected. Went to the Flea Market with my friend Val yesterday, so many yummy fresh fruits and veggies to choose from! By 10:30 or so it was about a billion degrees out and we headed back to Clermont. Spent the afternoon resting and practicing my poker face in the event I should need it any time soon. Also practiced shrugging shoulders, rolling eyes, and saying "It's no big deal. I didn't expect it to work." over and over. I know that use of energy is slaying certain readers of this blog who are big into positive visualization, but I have learned that I handle disappointment much better if I am prepared for it than if I am blindly believing that something is going to be a rousing success. Of course I want this to have a happy ending, more than I can say, but one way or the other I need to be able to walk away from this experience in one piece. 

Anyway, will update this afternoon when I get word about the blood work. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bigger Is Not Always Better

Back from Stim Check Numero Dos. Yup, on a Sunday morning. And the place was jammed. Hard to believe there are so many souls in the same boat...

So, it went ok, I think, but not exactly perfect. I have about 6 follies on the right, all in the 11mm ball park. The left ovary is a little more erratic. I have 2 biggies, one about 15 and one more like 17, and then about 10 little guys around 8mm. This is not ideal. They need to get the big ones to settle down and give the hoards a chance to catch up. So they are dropping my Follistim to 125 (from 225). My E2 level was around 1300. They always tell me what the level is, but they never tell me what it's supposed to be. Is 1300 on day 7 good or bad? Anyway, we were hoping for a Friday retrieval, I am not sure if I should hang on to that hope or not. Guess it depends on what those little follicles do. Come on, dudes!

I still feel ok, a little pangy around the middle, but nothing that will slow me down. I have had moments of weepyness (to Dearest's chagrin and befuddlement). That is so not me. Also, I forgot to pay the anesthesiologist. Yes, you read that correctly. I was supposed to pre-pay him on treatment day 1, but they moved things around and I was so fixated on getting my meds and appointments all in order and I just flaked. Worst. Wife. Ever. Because, you see, there was a sizeable discount if you pre paid a week prior to your procedure, a discount we will not be receiving on account of I am a retard. And at the time they told us about said discount I was like "Oh, I will remember to pay that for sure! I would never anger the man in charge of the pain drugs!" Turns out the man in charge of the pain drugs does not give a damn, but the man in charge of the bank account, whom I vowed to love, honor, etc, was (rightfully so) not thrilled with me in the least.

So that made Saturday not great. It was like we did all the normal Saturday things we usually relish: running errands, hanging out, swimming, etc. But we did it with this feeling of waiting for something hanging over our heads. I wish I could think of anything besides possible outcomes. But apparently my head is so full of possible outcomes that I can't save any cells to remind me to pay the anesthesiologist. Derp.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Best ever...makes me laugh every time I look at it. 

made you a cookie

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stim Check 7/18

Well, so far so good. I have about 3 "lead" 11mm follies on each side, with quite a few smaller ones on my left ovary. It is always the showoff. So nothing has changed much, just continuing the Lupron and HCG shots in the morning, and Follistim at night. Plus antibiotics, baby aspirin, prenatal vitamins, etc etc. Ha! And all this into the body of a girl who has spent the last several years trying to do everything in the most organic, low-impact manner possible. It's not even ironic. It's just kind of sad.

I'm feeling fine, really. Everyone who knows what's going on asks me a thousand times a day, and I think they are maybe a little disappointed to hear that I feel pretty normal. For a human pincushion. The other day I accidentally stapled my finger at school, I couldn't believe it. I went running into Kel's room and I said "Damn it! A wasted puncture!!! That makes 5 punctures in one day!" 

Really the worst thing has been that the antibiotic is supposed to make you photo-sensitive, so I have been avoiding the sun, which is torture because our beautiful pool is sparkling in the back yard, and the water is like 89, which is so perfect, and I can't go out there. I have been waiting and Dearest and I have been swimming when he gets home at night, but it is not as good as swimming in the SUN!!! Even when I go to feed and water the chickens I have to try to stay in the shade of the coop. Lame lame lame.

Anyway, not trying to complain. Thrilled with the stim check. That's what's up.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

And we're off...

I can't believe it's come to this. I am trying so hard to be cool, to be casual, laying here on this table with my feet up and some practical stranger probing regions never meant to be probed to the tune of $600, but it's not that easy. I make little cracks while the nurse demonstrates how to stick myself with a needle (so much for the effectiveness of the DARE program). I roll my eyes at my husband as we are warned of the risks and chances of effectiveness for the thousandth time. The whole time during this final IVF consult I can't stop thinking "I CAN NOT BELIEVE THIS!!! I AM NOT THE PERSON WHO THIS KIND OF STUFF HAPPENS TO! MY LIFE IS NOT BLOG FODDER." But here I am. Blogging about my infertility because, to be honest, even though I know better, it's hard not to feel like you are the only freak on earth with "Unexplained Infertility" who has ever had to endure this ordeal. I have come to view others' blogs as the voice of the couple that you try to ignore in the waiting room. The people you have so much in common with but for some strange reason avoid eye-contact with. Because you think less of them? Because you are afraid they think less of you? Because you don't want to strike up a conversation for fear that they have had 40 failed IVF treatments, or worse yet that they are pregnant and are there for their final appointment? Anyway, here's my voice. The voice of the brunette sitting across the waiting room from you at the RE's office. The one who looks like nothing is bothering her, who is trying to make her hubby laugh, who is in silent disbelief on the inside.