Saturday, October 30, 2010


So the past couple of my days, my ovaries have felt like water balloons. Stuffed to the max with little eggs that are somehow protruding into my back and causing some pain. Thinking I'm being a hypochondriac, I head to my follow up blood work and ultrasound Friday morning. I thankfully get the friendly and cheerful ultrasound tech who lets you look at the screen and explains what everything is. She first starts by stating "You have a beautiful endometrium. Bet you won't hear that again today" with a smile.

She then continues to ask "Are you feeling uncomfortable at all?" I looked at her and laughed and made the water balloon comment. She chuckled and says "No wonder, you have a 24, 20.5, 19.5, 19, and 17 all on your left side!" Apparently, that's huge and impressive in the gyno world. She was being careful not to press too hard, knowing the pain it may cause. She then moved along to the right side. I have approximately 11 eggs on that side that are over 10, never mind a couple little guys hanging around. All in all I have about 16 eggs that will be mature enough. I left there feeling very happy and elated.

About 3:30 that afternoon, Nurse Liz phones. She goes over all my blood work and then reads off all of the egg counts. I am ready for retrieval!!!! I respond "Ya!", she does the same. (I love that this office gets so excited with you.) My egg retrieval is scheduled for Sunday, October 31st, Halloween at 8:30am. (Now I am seeing this as a "treat" instead of a "trick", atleast it better be the treat.) The even better news, Hubby will be able to be there with me. Most likely he'll still be in Nashville when they do the transfer, but atleast he gets to see all the eggs. This also means no freezing of his little guys.

I hang up the phone, and yup you guessed it, cried. Cut me a little slack, I'm hopped up on hormones and things are finally falling into place. I am trying not to get too excited because there's still two more steps.
The Steps:
1. Make embryos
2. Get pregnant
3. Stay pregnant
So everyone, please say a prayer tomorrow morning when you are hungover and covered in costume make up that the procedure goes well.
Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Almost there

The past couple of days I have been super tired. This morning at work, I could barely keep my eyes open. Now whether that's because I did 2.5 hours of yoga last night, the dog barking at 3:30am or my body continuously trying to grow eggs, whatever it is, I'm pooped!

I woke up 10 mins late this morning, so I quickly threw some clothes on and ran out the door. The nurse had asked me to get to my appointment 10 mins early and of course I get stuck behind every horrible driver on the road. Leaving early, I got there 5 mins late. There was a new ultrasound tech there today. She seemed nice enough, very business like. She did mention that my left side had two at 19cc!!! Which was fabulous news, but all the others were around 13 still.

I got a call around 1pm from the nurse. As stated, I have 2 at 19cc and 1 at 16cc!!! Plus a bunch of others all measuring around 15-11. This is fabulous! I am to take the same two shots tonight and return tomorrow morning for another follow up. I am praying that by then the 16 will reach 17. If not, my poor husband will have to "go" in a cup Monday morning so they can freeze his little men, then book it to Manchester, NH to fly to Nashville for 4 days and he will miss everything. If I can get three by tomorrow, I will take my trigger shot Friday evening, and have the egg retrieval Sunday morning. Still at best, my husband will be states away when I possibly conceive. (Oh modern medicine.)

On a side note, I've been leaning to more of a natural way of living lately, which my husband now refers to me as a hippie. Yet last night, we were laying in bed and he put his hand over my ovaries. He was giving my eggs positive energy. Who's the hippie now? The amazing part was I could feel when he lost focus and when he was channelling positive energy. While at yoga, I kept visualizing my eggs growing and multiplying. (The power of thought is amazing, don't underestimate it.)

Back to the point of this story. I've been doing research on diapers, food, yoga, acupuncture, and I am amazed at all the information the world has to offer. I found an all natural, whole food multi vitamin called Megafoods Baby and Me, I plan on picking up today. And discovered there's research that having acupuncture the day after your embryo transfer increases your success rate by 65%!!!! There are several super foods you should eat while trying to conceive as well: maca, royal jelly and spirulina. If you're thinking you will be starting IVF in the near future, start eating and taking these things now. It is recommended to begin 90 days prior to IVF treatments.

Tonight's plan: nap, hot yoga, nutritious dinner, shots, relax.

(Thank you everyone for your positive thoughts and prayers! We are so lucky to have such an amazing support system!)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

3 at 17

So I may have over estimated the number of eggs the doctor looks for. I had bloodwork and ultrasound yet again yesterday morning. The ultrasound tech did inform me that I had 3 follicles/eggs on my left side over 10cc and three on my right side over 10cc. Apparently this is the size that they look for to count whether or not the egg is viable. Later in the day when the nurse phoned, she did inform me of some great details. They will be monitoring me this week to see when I have three eggs over 17cc. At that point, that is when they schedule the egg retrieval.

As of right now, I have the following:
Left side: 1 @ 17, 1 @ 13, 1 @ 11, 3 under 10
Right side: 1 @ 13, 1 @ 11, 1 @ 10, 4? under 10

Needless to say, my body is responding to the Gonal F just fine. I am however feeling pretty tired and sore. My lower abdomen feels swollen and has a lot of pressure. This is obviously caused by the numerous eggs protruding out of my ovaries. (It is to the point that it is uncomfortable to sit in my favorite jeans. Not a feeling I was hoping for this early in the game.) I did however make it to a heated yoga class last night. Probably wasn't the best idea seeing as the swelling I have and the continued pain in my shoulder from that stupid tetanus shot. I do feel better this morning because of it though. I will need to start researching whether or not it is safe to continue heated yoga classes while pregnant. We shall see.

As for now, I am returning to the doctors tomorrow morning for follow up bloodwork and ultrasound. Fingers crossed...

Monday, October 25, 2010


Friday afternoon I left work around 2pm, and headed for the grocery store. I had a couple last minute items to pick up before hosting our monthly girl's night. I ran through the store like a crazy person trying to find my last minute ingredients and booked it home. I pulled into the driveway around 3:30 and began prepping all the food. The girls arrived around 4pm and we quickly gathered in the kitchen and began making dinner.

This also happened to be the first night I was to begin the GonalF injections. Ironically, the friend who first administered my Lupron shot was over again for yet another first. This shot is a little more intense than the Lupron. I must say, doctor's are pretty trusting of patients these days. The Lupron injections are filled and stabbed by yours truly. The GonalF is an injectable pen that has a certain amount of the medication already enclosed. However, I am responsible for cleaning and applying the needle. I then select the dosage the doctor has prescribed, and jab myself. Thankfully, it wasn't too hard to get used to. Although I am now sticking myself twice instead of once.

Saturday was a breeze, I hardly felt any side affects. I did notice I was having trouble falling asleep though. Sunday, we were driving up to a family christening and about half way into the ride, my stomach began to curl. I started getting dizzy and a little nauseous. I was assuming it was from the lack of sleep all weekend, but it didn't pass. We arrived at the church, and I was in need of sitting. When I tried to stand, I would become dizzy again. So I took it easy, and just listened to my body. We did make it to the party after, but only for about 2 hours. My stomach was still upset, and I could feel my lower region was swollen.

This morning I woke up to the same pain and cramping in my lower abdomen. Thankfully I had a physical scheduled at 10am. (Be advised, you need to have a physical within a year of having any egg retrieval procedures done. They need to have confirmation that your heart and lungs have been checked prior to anesthesia.) So this morning I was treated to the works: pap, breast exam, lung check, heart check, ending with a tetanus shot, which my arm is terribly sore from. Which means probably no yoga for me tonight because my arm and shoulder are super tender. Tomorrow morning is my first follow up to see how the GonalF is working. Until then....

I would like to state one thing that alot of people have been asking me about. I did mention to my doctor today that I eat vegan. Her words were : "Wow, that's great! Good for you!" She did continue to ask if my diet included an assortment of vitamins and minerals, and I assured her it did. So people, as long as you are aware of the things your body needs, it is perfectly fine to follow a vegan diet, even when trying to conceive.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Moving On

Once again, I hurled myself out of bed this morning and drove back to the doctors for more blood work and an ultrasound. (Thankfully I was not told any horror stories by the nurses.) Instead, I was greeted in the waiting room by a friendly two year old there with her mother (who I am guessing is trying for number two). Had my blood drawn, then crawled up on the heated table for my ultrasound. Apparently my left ovary is not very photogenic and kept hiding on the tech. Thankfully the right is very photogenic. She did mention that they both still looked calm and surpressed.

I got home and did some laundry and cleaned up our bedroom, which was an absolute mess. Drove myself to the gym around 2 for work. My phone finally rang around 2:45. The foreign and very difficult to understand, nurse begins asking me if I sent in my physical exam report. Obviously confused by this because 1. I'm expecting results, and 2. I've faxed that thing twice! I finally assure her I will fax it, yet again, today. She then says "I have your test results" and pauses like she's reading the finale results on Idol. "You will be starting the GonalF on the 22nd, Friday." I immediately respond "THANK GOD!" which she gave a little chuckle to.

Needless to say, I cried. I am so relieved that we can finally start the next step. I am trying to remain calm and positive, praying that will make a difference. So starting Friday, I will now be injecting myself with two shots a night. I am scheduled to go back on Tuesday for them to check my progress.

So for those of you not familiar with my treatment protocol or how this all works, here it is.

Lupron: quiets your ovaries and keeps them from releasing/ovulating your egg. Instead, it keeps the egg tucked snugly in your ovary. Depending on how your body responds, this can take anywhere from 10 days to 14 days.
Gonal F: makes your body produce multiple eggs. The doctor wants to see between 10 to 15 eggs before they schedule the retrieval which can take anywhere from 8 to 12 days. This is taken along with the Lupron for 4-7 days.
Noveral: or trigger shot is taken the day before the egg retrieval. This is to help complete the maturation of the eggs.
Egg Retrieval: done with general anesthesia, you are knocked out for about 15 mins. They make a small puncture in your ovary and remove all the eggs.
Injecting with Sperm: prior to this, my husband gives a sample about a day or two before. This gives the doctors time to see which sperm are the strongest and most viable. Then they take the best looking "boys" and inject one into each of my eggs. They watch them for three days. Depending on how the embryos look, they will either schedule the transfer or wait two more days. (If none of the embryos look good, they will implant 2 on day 3. If a few of them look good, they wait until day 5 and take the best embryo, and implant that one.)
Embryo Transfer: they will either take one great looking embryo, or two poor looking embryos. The doctor has assured us that the embryos do not determine what kind of child we get, (bad looking embryo does not equal bad looking child). With the use of a catheter, or small tube, they will implant the embryo in my cervix. I will need to wait 30-60 mins before moving to give it time to make its way.
Hormonal Therapy: is either another set of shots, or a vaginal gel. After injecting myself for about a month, I opted for the gel. These hormones are given to help enhance the likelihood of conception.
Pregnancy Test: After two weeks they then schedule blood work and ultrasound to determine if the procedure has actually created a fetus. There is only a 50% chance that the procedure will work. The good news at this point is once they have embryos we can choose to freeze them so that we do not need to go through the whole process again. We can simply take the embryos and implant. Luckily Mass. insurance covers for 6 months of freezing. After that, it's out of pocket.

So please say a prayer, cross your fingers and toes that this will continue to go smoothly!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Show Must Go On

After Friday's appointment, I jumped in my car and headed to NH to babysit my nephews for the weekend. Two toddler boys, one's almost three the other is 19 months, both absolutely adorable! I spent the day alone with them and hubby came up around 8pm. This was the first time my husband was watching kids for more than a couple hours. I was nervous to see how he would do, or if he would even want kids after this. But I must say, the weekend was a success. If anything, it assured me how ready he really is to be a Dad. Between the poop incident, the crying for Mommy, the up at 530am, and the overall exhaustion, he and I were both in heaven.

The oldest had a tough time Sunday when I had to leave. His parents weren't back yet, so another family member came over for a couple hours. There is nothing like a gripping child around your neck asking you not to leave to melt your heart. The youngest gave a hug and a kiss and waved his chubby little hand, content as can be.

As if it wasn't difficult enough to have to leave the little guys after three whole days, I was on my way to a baby shower. My husband has been friends with the expectant father since high school, and his wife and I have become very good friends over the years. We started trying to conceive a year prior to them. (They are one of the lucky couples that only took a couple tries.) I am so happy for them, but it is difficult to watch their pregnancy progress. I wasn't sure how I was going to do at the shower, but I some how managed to get through it.

There was a moment or two when I was asked how our cycle was going, and my eyes welled up. I was able to redirect my thoughts and not let a tear slip. Once the shower was over, I got in my car, threw on my sunglasses, drove out of the lot and began to cry. I got home, hubby was still out, but my in laws were there. I kept my glasses on and went into my room. Controlled myself, and emerged. My father in law was suiting up for a bike ride, so it was just my mother in law and I. Each conversation we had, my eyes would start to water. I finally gave in, and just began sobbing. It lasted about a good hour.

For those of you going through the same thing, you can understand the need for tears. As happy as you are to see your friends elated during their pregnancies, it is so heart wrenching to watch. The entire time I was at the shower, all I could think was its supposed to be my shower. I was supposed to be first. How can it be so easy for some, yet practically impossible for others? I'm at the point where I don't even care if we have to adopt, I just want to know if this will work so I can take the next step. I just want to be a mom! Thankfully, my mother in law is a rock and let me just cry and yell. I cried out almost all of my emotions. It's really the waiting and the unanswered questions that's the hardest.

I woke up Monday morning, to puffy, black eyes and a very sweet text from my expectant friend. Yesterday and today, I have still been very emotional. I started cramping yesterday and had some slight spotting. I woke this morning to a full blown period which should make for an interesting appointment tomorrow.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Another 5 Days....

Oh where to begin...

Friday morning I pulled myself out of bed at 7am, threw on a hat and hoodie and ran out the door for my appointment. Blood work and ultrasound day. I have been feeling really good this cycle and I really think it's the yoga that is making a difference. I am trying to go once a day, knowing I will miss a class here and there. If you haven't tried heated yoga, I strongly recommend you do. Talk about therapeutic! Anyways, I drive to my appointment in the freezing rain and cyclone winds we were blessed with Friday. I get my blood drawn and then sit and wait for my ultrasound. Since restarting the Lupron, I missed my period. Trust me, I'm not complaining. But I was hoping it was a good sign.

My name is called and I scurry into the room. Remove my pants and undies and wrap myself in that horribly scratchy "sheet" they provide. I crawl up onto the table and spread my legs. Ahhh, a nicely heated table, (at least there's one comforting thing). Now why is it, every nurse or ultrasound tech insists on sharing their terribly negative stories on conceiving?! Sorry lady, but I do not want to hear about your 6 tries it took to conceive through infertility treatments. That is not a motivating story I want to hear this morning. The only redeeming moment this woman had, she did tell me my ovaries were calm and suppressed. Finally, a positive moment! I try not to get too excited and keep my emotions at bay. I put my bottoms back on and walk out to my car. I begin to drive away a tear up just slightly. I am relieved and calm. Hoping this means the next step.

I get a call mid afternoon from my nurse. Although my ovaries are calm, one of my levels (which I couldn't even begin to process at that moment) was too high. She barks something about being 296 when it should be 70. She then states a few other stats that resembles an adults' voice from the Peanuts. No clue what this woman said to me except I have to wait another 5 days and repeat the blood work and ultrasound.

I am beginning to question my doctor. Why isn't she upping my dosage knowing my levels are too high and last time we tried this, I ovulated through?! Just more unanswered questions rattling around in my brain.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Round Two

A weeks vacation! The perfect way to start round two. Hubby and I just celebrated our 5th anniversary, so we headed north for a little R&R. (If you have yet to visit Stowe, VT, especially Trapp Family Lodge, I strongly recommend you put it on your bucket list. Breathtaking views, organic farms, and vegan friendly restaurants. I'm in heaven!)

Monday morning we took an early morning drive to S. Burlington to complete some blood work. The nurse was lovely. Sweet woman that shared a personal story of her conceiving experience. I am slowly starting to see that every woman has a story. Some are happy, some are not so happy, but all have ended with a precious little child. Here's my story:

For the past several months, before we really knew of the difficulty we would have conceiving, I like every other woman peed on a stick 5 days before my period was due. (A little eager, I know.) There have been several times that I would have a faint or light line appear. If you actually read the package, like I did, you will notice that even a faint line is considered a positive. I would then try again a day or two later, and the line would slowly start to disappear. These are called chemical pregnancies. (50% of pregnancies end in miscarriage.) A chemical pregnancy is when you first conceive, but for whatever reason, it quickly terminates. It is extremely discouraging to the point where it starts to convince you that you are crazy. But I checked with my doctor, and she agrees most likely, that is whats happening to me.

This past weekend, it happened again. I had the darkest line I had ever seen, but Monday's blood work stated I was not pregnant and could begin the Lupron again. So here I am, 7 days after starting and I actually feel great. I am going to guess that not taking the pill has something to do with it. I am having no cravings, I'm not emotional, completely different than last time. I am however noticing some irritability and lack of appetite. I woke up yesterday with a rash on my neck, chest, and one arm & shoulder. Putting a call into the doctor today because it has yet to disappear. I am praying it is not an allergic reaction to the medication, I do not want another interruption.

On a side note for my family: Friday afternoon as hubby and I were getting in the car there was an enormous rainbow that filled the sky directly in front of us. I am taking that as a sign that this time feels different, because it will be different. Always good to have people looking over us! Hugs and kisses