Friday, October 31, 2008

Ok, so now I'm a little nervous

We're really gonna do this again!

E2 came back at a pretty safe 1926.

We are going to trigger on Sunday for retrieval on Tuesday, election day.

A friend from my online group said that if she went to retrieval on Election Day she was gonna wear her YES WE CAN! button. I so wish I had one! We voted absentee (thank God) so we don't have to try and squeeze that in too! I'm also glad that I'm not gonna be on bedrest on election night, because I don't think I'd be allowed to jump up and down and scream (fingers crossed!!!)

Here are the instructions I have so far. The nurse will call me tomorrow with exact times for Sunday and Tuesday.

10/31(pm)-Reduce gonal-f to 150iu

11/1(am)-5u Lupron, no gonal-f

11/1(pm)-Reduce gonal-f to 75iu

11/2(am)-5u Lupron, no gonal-f

I'll post my exact instructions for posterity when I get them.

So here we go. . . the wait starts Tuesday!



Needles, Needles, and More Needles!

First thanks for all of the support! I am really feeling pretty good. Tired, but overall very good.

The monitoring this morning was good. Doc is a little worried about hyper-stimulation, he had a very concerned look while doing my scan. I have a LOT of follies-probably 10 or more on each side. I pushed him to go for a lot of eggs and it looks like I'm gonna get my wish. I have to wait for my E2 this afternoon. Looks like I may trigger Sunday for Tuesday retrieval.

I went to my first acupuncture session after my scan and was really surprised by how knowledgeable she was about IVF. She is confident that the increased blood flow to the uterus caused by acupuncture helps with implantation. She had me feel my belly (where my ovaries are distended) when we started and then again when we finished. The difference is AMAZING. My ovaries are still big of course, but at first my tummy was hard to the touch and after it was soft. I also left feeling confident and relaxed which is a nice side effect!

Most of the studies I've read don't point to exactly why acupuncture works, just that is seems to help. At this point, we've tried everything else, so why not!

So I will post this afternoon with my E2 and my instructions!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Do you know where your ovaries are this morning?

I can tell you the EXACT position of each of my ovaries!!!

At my scan yesterday my right ovary was much more active than the left, but I think lefty may have caught up because she is aching today. I am not really that uncomfortable, my belly is noticeably bigger for the first time this cycle, and I'm tired, but mostly still feeling pretty good.

I have been debating since the last IVF about trying acupuncture. It's not that I'm afraid of it, but that I worry about the additional expense. So, I called a center near my IF clinic and she had a lot of good info and thought that even at this late stage she could help. I made an appointment for tomorrow morning after my monitoring ultrasound. She said we would schedule another appt the day of ER and again on the day of ET.

What made me decide to go for it?

I think that $200.00 or so dollars at this point is a reasonable amount of money to risk if it will in any way improve our chance of success. I'm not saying that $200.00 is not a lot of money, it is, it's just a LOT less than the $10000.00 it will cost should we need (and decide) to do another cycle.

I am giving this cycle everything I've got!

Thanks for all of the continued support!

Keep on prayin'!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

First Monitoring Ultrasound Update


Last IVF I was only at 156 at this stage! I am so psyched. I am hoping, and praying, (and crying b/c that's what I do these days), that we get enough follies to go to 5dt.



Awesome First Monitoring Ultrasound

I had my first monitoring ultrasound today and the doc said that there were too many eggs to count!!! He marked down at least 3x's the amount of eggs I had during my last IVF.

I will get my E2 level and instructions this afternoon. I looks like I will be going for another u/s on Friday or Monday.

I had a burst of energy last night and got some household stuff done. I am super anal about my house, so I want to try and have it as clean as possible before ET and hopefully it will stay (mostly clean) for Thanksgiving. I am planning to clean this weekend too, if I'm not too tired!

I will give an update with the E2 later!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Instructions to retrieve overage in Gonal-f Pen

FIRST-I am NOT a medical professional--this is just how I do it and others will likely have better ideas!

I try to get pens in small doses (like 300) b/c then I get more overage b/c there's some in each pen instead of the overage in one 900 pen.

I use the pen until it would not let me dial any more doses (when you pull back the plunger it doesn't click), but you will still be able to see liquid in the pen.

Open a new syringe (like you use for Lupron, diabetic)

Insert the needle into the gray top of the pen (without the tip on it.)

Draw back on the needle until you have all of the liquid in the syringe.
{In my limited experience (I've done 3) each pen has about 150iu in it, which will take your syringe up to the 25 mark.}

The 25 mark on the diabetic needle is 150IU of gonal-f; the 50 mark (full) is 300IU.

I also do not 'prime the pen' as per the instructions. I dial 37.5 and the just barely push the plunger to see if liquid appears on the tip of the needle. If there is no liquid, push a little harder, if there is still no liquid push till it clicks and start again. I have only had to push it all the way in 2x in 4 cycles of meds. This saves what you would've used in the priming.

NOTE : I am only sure on the conversion for gonal-f. It is 1:6. If you take something different call a specialty pharmacy like BioScript or Scraff's for the conversion.

The three I have done have saved me $360.00 in meds!!! WOO HOO


The tiredness persists

As indicated in the title, I am still dead tired. It also hasn't helped that my stomach has staged a rebellion the last couple of days! I really don't feel THAT bad, just tired and tired of being in the bathroom! Dave gave me a great back rub last night as he has agreed to do every day during this process. On Sunday night I fell asleep before I could get it so I made sure to tell him I was going up to bed at 7:30 last night. I did get to sleep really early, but my stomach had me up every couple of hours, so I'm not sure how much real sleep I got.

I succeeded in saving the leftover meds from the gonal-f pens and I used it this morning! There is like 150iu ($160.00worth) leftover in the dosage pen and I can't bring myself to throw it away! If anyone is interested in how I saved it just leave a comment with your email and I'll send you directions.


Monday, October 27, 2008


I seemed to have conveniently forgotten how dead tired these drugs make me. I started injections on Saturday AM, and by Sunday I felt like I was half in a coma all day! Today it's a tiny bit better, but it's gray and cold so that makes me want to get in bed even more!

My cousins' wedding was beautiful. Her new husband sang a beautiful acoustic version of 'Brown Eyed Girl' there wasn't a dry eye in the house. I so LOVE to be with my family we all had so much fun! I also got to hang out with my cousins baby who I could just eat up!

Overall things are going well, I'm just so DANG tired!!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Back in the....continued

My E2 came back today at 46. The nurse said that's right where they want me to be. On to the good drugs!


Back in the saddle...or the stirrups as the case may be

A friend from the online infertility support group I rely on, shared the following quote with me the other day when I was feeling down.

"Courage is being scared to death, but getting in the saddle anyway." ~John Wayne

Well today was my first ultrasound and blood work for IVF #2 and I showed up, so I guess I am back in the game!

The b/w results won't be back until this afternoon, but my ovaries are very quiet and filled with too many small follies to count which is awesome! I expect the b/w to be completely normal considering the u/s, so it's looking like I'll get to start the stims in the am!!

I'll try to post this afternoon with the final go-ahead.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

On the Upswing

I am feeling better today.

For me, telling my secrets always takes away some of their power. I still will have to deal with all of these feelings and emotions, but now that I've come clean about them it doesn't feel like it's consuming me!

We live 45min-1hr from the clinic, so to avoid the mad rush I have made some hotel reservations 2 miles away. I booked the whole week and will just cancel what we don't need.

My switch to Lupron in the morning has been smooth, and my nurse assures me that my error won't screw up the cycle. On Saturday morning I'll take 150iu of gonal-f and Saturday eve I'll take 225iu. That's 5 vials a day!!!! I'll be on it for 10-12 days. If you figure $60.00/a vial times 50 vials--donated meds have saved us $3000.00. We could NEVER have done another cycle this year without them.

So to all of you who have ever donated your leftover meds to your clinic--THANK YOU!

The current dose is a 66% increase from my last cycle. Last time my E2 was only around 1500--which is nowhere near OHSS. I had 10 follies retrieved, 9 mature, 6 fertilized, and 3 survived to day 3 for transfer. The three survivors were about a day behind in growth, but had grade A appearance. So our goal this time is to up the dose to try and get more eggs. I want to try for a 5 day transfer which my clinic only does if you have 10 or more mature follies. I also would like to have some to freeze, and I don't feel like upping the dose will endanger my health.

The other thing we're doing differently is Dave's sample collection. Over the course of years of treatment, Dave has been tested many times, and has always been above normal. He has always collected at home. For our IVF cycle we were instructed that he MUST collect at the lab. For the first and only time, his sample was of super low volume. That forced us into ICSI and I think also may have contributed to our embryo quality. He has been tested again since, with a sample from home and was again above normal. So this time we have been given permission to collect at home or at the hotel as the case may be.

My progesterone came back last time at just 15, and after that test, the RE instructed me to up it from .5 to 1cc for the second week, so I am going to ask tomorrow if I can just take 1cc from the start. Even if it doesn't help I think it will make me know that I'm doing everything I can.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Anxiety is building

I can start to feel myself getting kind-of keyed up. I have a general feeling of low-level anxiety and tension. I know that its due to my impending injections--the real start of my IVF cycle.

I think that over the course of the last few days I am starting to understand, or at least acknowledge that the reason I'm feeling all of these mixed emotions is that I have to once again face "what if it doesn't work?"

I guess that maybe I'm not feeling guilty about hope, no one would do this without it. I am starting to wonder where we will go from here if it doesn't work again.

You might think that we're old hats at this, but we rarely make solid plans about what we'll do if the current one doesn't work.

We talked hypothetically that we would do 3 rounds of IVF, but to be honest I NEVER thought we'd need more than one. I have made it clear to the Doc that this is our last shot--at least with him, but I don't really know if that's true. I have no idea how we would pay for another one (we have no coverage), if we should do another one, and who we should do it with if we need another one.

I am terrified to face the possibility that this won't work, and I know from experience that it might not.

I am terrified that the next round of decision making might be the one that I have to come to terms with not having biological children.

So that's it.

It isn't guilt.

It is pure FEAR.

And I am terrified to face it.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

When Hope Hurts

It's typical for me that as the actual cycle approaches and the possibility exists that I MIGHT actually get pregnant, hope creeps in.

That hope is at best a double edged sword.

Of course I want it to work, and I think that it's possible that we will finally get our BFP, but there is a dark side of hope that makes me feel like an idiot for having any at all. We have been trying to start our family for more than five years, and here we are still trying, so to have any hope that this is THE cycle makes me feel guilty and stupid.

I also know that whether or not I believe it will work, if it doesn't I'll be devastated. So, in that respect I guess it doesn't matter whether or not I allow myself to hope.

I feel sort-of like a crazy person for all of these feelings about my feelings, but I'm not really sure what to do with all of them.


Monday, October 20, 2008

A little bummed

Well I figured out that I've been taking my Lupron wrong! The nurse said that the box says to take in am, but I must've missed it!!! I asked if that would screw us up and she said no. So I guess we wait and see!

Our party on Saturday was really great. We had lots of family and friends join us. We spent Sunday relaxing and re-grouping, and don't have much planned for this week.

I go for my suppression check on Friday morning and then I will start gonal-f on Saturday am and drop the Lupron to 5IU.

I'm feeling bummed about the mistake, but I think I'm starting to get tired from all of the events this month too.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Nothing much to report

I have intended to post almost everyday this time, so I have a record for myself about how I felt as I went thru the IVF process again, but I find that I don't have much to say. This is a very rare occurrence for me, as I usually have more to say than any one person should.

Mostly I don't feel that different.

My restless legs have definitely intensified. I never required medication for restless legs until the Lupron suppression phase of the last IVF. I had had incidences of it in the past, but few, and never frequently enough to require medication. Once it started though, it has persisted. I have had to remain on medication. Now even with the meds, my legs are going crazy. I finally called the doctor yesterday and I'm waiting to see whether to up the dose or try something new.

My mood has been up and down, but not extremely so. But then again, I'm probably not the person to ask about that!

I have had some mild acne, more than usual for me, but not so bad that it's gross.

My energy has been pretty good, but I have a lot of stuff that I HAVE to do this month, so not feeling like it doesn't really matter.

Our BIG fall party is tomorrow. I'm excited, but ready for all of the prep to be done!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Fantastic Fall Wedding

This was an amazing weekend for a wedding. The weather was perfect, the leaves were just right, and the bride looked amazing! Our wedding this past weekend was an outdoor one at Burr Oak Lodge in Glouster, OH. It was one of the best weddings I have ever been to. The setting was fantastic, the food was good and the band was phenomenal. Stacy and Rudy are going to continue to be so happy!

On Sunday we were forced to return to the reality of our hectic lives! Dave had to go and work on a project at one of our rental homes, and I had a long list of to do's for this weekends wiener roast. I think I got everything done I was supposed to, but time will tell.

On the fertility front, I started Lupron injections of 10IU on Friday evening. As I popped the plastic seal I noticed that it expired in JULY!! I went ahead with the weekend's injections, and I called the doc today. He said that it would probably be fine to keep using it, but he ordered in some more so I'll inject the good stuff starting tonight. It's always something!!!!

I am still feeling teary-eyed a lot, but mostly I'm feeling good. My skin is breaking out like a teenagers, but I am willing to endure this minor problem.

Hope everyone is feeling good. Prayers are always welcome!!!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Another weekend, another wedding

This weekend is the wedding of our oldest friends as a couple. We have been married nearly 6 years and they were engaged before we were married!!! We sort-of figured that they wouldn't ever get married since they never seemed interested in making it "official." We were shocked to discover that they were taking the plunge! The wedding this weekend is at a Southern Ohio State Park Resort Lodge, it will be beautiful! We are travelling there early tomorrow morning to help set up and decorate. I am really looking forward to this little break, even though I will miss my little doggies!!! They won't even notice I'm gone, because they will be getting spoiled rotten by their Grandma!

I start Lupron 10IU tonight when I get home, so I hope I don't have any adverse effects from it. I didn't bother me before. The BCP's are making me emotional. An online friend posted on her blog about the effects of BCP's that really sums up my topsy-turvy emotions.
For example, I am a strong Obama supporter, and I cried all the way to work because good poll results were released....real tear jerker, huh?!? I don't really feel bad or sad, I just tear up over nothing. The only other side effect that's driving me crazy are my restless legs. I was up most of the night last night and they've been bad again all day. I hate the weird sensation.

It will all be 1000 times worth it when we have our family, but it helps now to vent!

More soon.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008


One would think that after enduring nearly 6 years of infertility that I would have learned the virtue of patience. Unfortunately, that is not so! The pool company was supposed close the pool yesterday and didn't show up AGAIN! It's the 3rd time!! We obviously called another company, however now that we're in a pinch we have to take whomever is available and it's going to cost a lot more money. I guess this is another good example of getting what you pay for!

The carpet cleaner did show and he did an AMAZING job. The carpets look great, but I hate that terrible drycleaning smell in my house. It was so strong that I couldn't sleep in our bed. I left the windows open and the fans blowing today so I hope by the time I get home it will be aired out.

My girlfriend whose wedding is this weekend called last night from Tennessee and asked if I could come to the venue early and help decorate, so we're not going to be home at all on Saturday which means I'll have to cram a lot of prep for the wiener roast into Sunday.

I start Lupron at 10IU on Friday so I get to pack all my needles and crap to the wedding. The last time I was on Lupron we flew to NYC it seems like everytime I'm on this crap I have to haul it somewhere.

Still looking forward to a night away with Dave--he's been working so much and helping my Dad get a project done, I've hardly seen him!


Monday, October 6, 2008

One Down

The wedding on Saturday was a resounding success! Our friends make a great couple and they are going to be very happy.

We attended the rehearsal dinner Friday evening and then got up EARLY on Saturday to tackle the pool furniture and accessories. I am so happy to say that we were able to get everything, cleaned, deflated, and stowed away for the winter. The pool company was supposed to close and cover the pool on Friday, but the technician was sick, so hopefully they will arrive to do it today. Gone are our summer patriotic buntings and flags, it's sad to have to put all that away, but I'm glad the chore is done.

Around 11am on Saturday I started heating the food I had made previously and frozen for their casual reception. I went over to the church and set up the buffet at noon, so that all we had to do was add the food at about 3:30.

The wedding was small, plain, and lovely. The food was extremely popular and we managed to get everything cleaned up just in time for me to get home for the Buckeye game.

On Sunday after I cleaned up the dishes from Saturday night, I started on my big project for the weekend---cleaning out closets, and unpacking winter clothes! I managed to get through them all; man that is hard work! The winter clothes are cleaned and hung and the summer stuff is all put away. I am very pleased to report that I was able to part with 10 bags of stuff!!!!

Sunday afternoon my reward was a trip to the pumpkin patch! I got all of the fall stuff I love, bales of straw, corn shocks, Indian corn, and of course pumpkins! My front porch looks amazing! I 've just got to figure out what to do with the side porch!

Today the carpets are being cleaned while we're at work so one more task is complete gearing up for the big party!

I'm not having side effects from the BCP's--my energy level is actually quite high. I start Lupron on Friday, so I'll have to wait and see what that will bring!


Friday, October 3, 2008

Let the Wedding Extravaganza Begin!

This weekend begins a marathon month of weddings and events for us! Tonight we have a rehearsal dinner for our closest friends and tomorrow I cater their wedding and Dave will take the photos. Luckily, it's small and we're happy to help them maintain a tight budget. I am a social butterfly and don't mind being on the go constantly, but I fear this month will really wear on Dave. He does ok socially, but doesn't always enjoy it!

Next weekend our other very close friends are having a large out of town wedding that we will attend in Southern Ohio. There's no work for us to do at this one, and even though I just got back from a trip, I am looking forward to a night in a resort with my husband.

The third weekend in October is the only one free of weddings for us, but it's hardly a break because its the weekend for our annual wiener roast. Every year we invite both sides of our very large families, all our friends, and basically everyone we know to a huge outdoor party. We live on 5 acres, and don't have neighbors to bother. It is a really good time, but it requires a lot of planning and hard work to pull off!

The last weekend in October I will be starting stims for IVF#2 and we will attend the wedding of one of my first cousins. This last wedding is local, thank God, but I fear that by this time Dave will only let us stay for the vows, (well maybe the food) before he wants to go home to his little used recliner.

I have NO IDEA how I will manage to keep our house clean, yard mowed, laundry done, and prepare for our biggest party of the year, but I know somehow I'll manage and it is very likely a blessing that I will be busy up until time for the nitty gritty of IVF to begin.

Stay tuned for all the events November has in store---our calendar doesn't clear up much!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Recurring Angel

I'm sure I've mentioned before how much I LOVE the nurse at my RE's office. But I have to hold her up on a pedestal once again!
I've been with the same doc for several years and have come to really depend on his nurse as source of sound advice and constant support. She has laughed and cried with me many times and we would not be able to do this second IVF if not for her. She went to the drug rep on our behalf to help us out with meds for this cycle. When we got our orders the other day and realized we only had half of what we needed, she even succeeded in getting us a little more. We'll still have to buy some, but she saved us thousands of dollars because she was willing to go the extra mile once again.
I am so so grateful that God gave me her as an advocate and a partner in this process.

I hope that each and every one of you are as blessed as I am to have someone like her to root for you!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My legs are running and I'm sitting still!!

Hey everyone!

Mostly I'm feeling ok, not a ton of side effects from the birth control pills. Although, just like last time it has really intensified my restless legs. I had incidences of restless legs before IVF but they were rare and usually related to medications like Benedryl, but once I started Lupron with my first IVF, my legs became unbearable. For those who are so blessed to have never had it, it is the most insane sensation. It doesn't really hurt, it kind of itches and forces you to move and kick. I was given a prescription for Mirapex which has helped until now, but my legs are back at it, so I think I'm going to have to ask for an increased dose.

Nothing more to report for now.

Stay tuned...