Monday, January 31, 2011

IVF #1 CD 9 "Ganirelix"

My appointment went awesome this morning. The nurse had no problems finding my left ovary and I have pretty good follicle growth. There are about 15 follicles ranging from 14-7 mms so we'll see how many mature. I'm still on track to retrieve on Saturday. Which means... I started Ganirelix tonight. First impression: the glass syringe is totally intimidating but in a weird way cool. After giving the Follistim/Menopur shot (which has not gotten easier. If anything it takes longer to get up the nerve), the Ganirelix shot was painless! It didn't sting like the stims; I couldn't feel it at all. But then! It itches and burns and stings! I'd rather have the painful shot than the painful site after. Not excited about the rest of the Ganirelix shots.
Other than the shot I had a pretty great day. Got errands done, had lunch with a girlfriend, I even made a delicious and healthy vegan dinner. The emphasis on I made dinner! PS I don't subscribe to food diet terminology. I'm not vegan or any other thing. I try to eat healthy and enjoy it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

IVF #1 CD 8 "Sleepy Head"

I'm taking it to be a good thing that I had to get a calendar out and count to find out what CD I am on. I'm not being obsessive! Anyway, I have been doing really well the last couple days. Thank you all for your comments which reminded me that I really didn't have anything to be discouraged about. I have 4 follicles growing on the right and who knows how many on the left, and I am doing just fine. I am ready to go to my appt in the morning and find that left ovary, though! I want to know what is going on!
So thanks for the reminders and encouragements! I kicked myself off the self-pity train and I'm feeling good. I am, however, tired. I slept for 12 hours on Friday night, 10 and a half last night and I was ready to go to bed again at 6! Hopefully all this sleeping means lots of follicle growth!


I received my first awards this weekend! I am really quite new to blogging so this meant a lot to me. Thank you to Krista at Diary of taking small steps toward baby steps for the awards. (Krista, Hope you are feeling better!!) It has been really amazing to connect with new people and get to know others who are going through IF. I am so glad that I started this blog.

So, on to the rules for the awards...

Rules for accepting this award:

1. Thank and Link back to the person who awarded you the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 other bloggers the award.
4. Contact bloggers and let them know about the award and that they received it

7 things about me (Amy):
1. I am an artist. I graduated with a degree in painting in 2009. Sometimes painting is pretty slow around IVF though. Here's my art blog.
2. I met my husband because he was hitting on one of my roommates. And starting dating him after he went on a date with another roommate :)
3. I am a math/chemistry/physics geek. Don't get much practice anymore but, I miss my sciences sometimes.
4. I sing really loud around the house sometimes when M is at work. Belting may be more accurate.
5. I am really quite shy but, I'm trying to kick that habit. I often have a hard time saying what is on my mind (especially face-to-face).
6. I really don't like pets. I usually don't mind other peoples but really really don't like the idea of having my own.
7. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (mormon)

My 15 nominations (no particular order):
Alex at Alex's Adventures
ousoonerchick at One Day at a Time
Miss Mac at MAC and PC
Mrs R at Hearts Joined, Hands Fast
One who understands at One who Understands
Mrs Hammer at ...Expect Miracles...
Erika at Pollination Chronicles
Hopeisafourletterword at Hope is a Four Letter Word
Tabitha at Paper Airplanes
Fresh Conceptions at Fresh Conceptions
Tina at To Infertility and Beyond
To those who wait at To Those Who Wait
Sarah at Bio Girl
Foxy at Someday

You girls are awesome and have been so fun to read. I also really appreciate the support that I have received from your comments or your blogs. Especially as I begin my first IVF cycle. I love getting your comments and encouragement. Thank you!

Friday, January 28, 2011

IVF #1 CD 6 "Chatter Box"

Forgive me; I fear this may be jumbled.
Today started out really well. I had a really fun chat with my dad and my sister the whole 40 minute drive to the RE. So I was all awake and in a good mood when I got there (and I was even on time today!) I wish I could find the post I read the other day. It was talking about how invisible infertility can be because we can have a hard time opening up about it. Anyway, this article mentions how quiet and isolated it can be in the waiting rooms especially compared to cancer patients. When I read that I was totally reminded of my appt on Monday. The room was as full as I have ever seen it but, it was silent. You could have heard a pin drop. I remember noticing it on Monday and feeling a little depressed by it. So when I got to the RE, that article and my recollections of Monday were on my mind. I put my phone (and emails and blogs) away and struck up conversations - novel of me, I know. Anyway, it was a great experience for me. At least to my eye, it seemed to really lighten the mood of the room and, I think (and hope) it was well received. It was a little hard to get going at first. I almost gave up on the idea because I am little shy but, I am so glad that I put myself out there a little. Not only did the wait go by super fast (I almost wanted to have the nurse wait for me!) but, I met some really nice women. Definitely something I want to keep trying to do. Does anybody else have super quiet eerie waiting rooms?
Anyway, on to the actual appointment. The US was blah and, I am a little discouraged. I only have 4 follicles on my right ovary. They are all good size and all about the same size so, that is good, though. My left ovary was playing hide and seek and was really good at it. After turning the wand in every possible direction with every possible point of pressure, she gave up. So we don't know many are growing on the left side. My estrogen levels were not as high as the RE wanted them so, I'm thinking there the left side isn't doing much better than the right. I am a little discouraged. I was comforted to find out that the cyst on my right ovary has shrunk a tiny bit.
My follistim has now been doubled so hopefully we'll have better news (and be able to find the left ovary) on Monday.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

IVF #1 CD4 "The Shot is Good"

Late post tonight because I was watching the BYU vs SDSU basketball game! Awesome game! Sometimes I have a hard time getting into sports games. Not this one. The game was close, plays were exciting, and BYU won. Fun night. Jimmer was on fire, especially the first half. Anything he chucked up was going in. It was nuts. He has a great shot.
My shot was on fire today, too. I am definitely feeling an improvement though. It burns going in and for about 30 seconds after but, mentally it is a lot easier. I'm pretty happy about that.
I still was feeling great this morning but at about 5pm I felt tired and hot and slight pressure on my ovaries. Maybe the meds are doing something after all. I hope I don't feel like this for the next week. (but if I do, would that change anything? I'd still keep doing them.) I'm a little anxious to see the US on Friday. I still wonder about the cyst. I don't want to have my cycle canceled.
Or the discomfort is from meeting some friends for a walk and practically running to keep up! I exaggerate slightly but, they were cruising! I felt so ridiculous and pathetic: we were walking! Plus, now I have some nickel-sized blisters on the bottom of my heels. Despite that, it was a beautiful sunny day! No rain! Perfect to be outside walking.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

IVF#1 CD 3 "Day Two"

Well, day two of stims was a pretty normal day. I was really relaxed. I felt good. I started a new painting. I ran errands. I had a fairly usual day. I hope the rest of the stimming can be this normal. It probably won't because of morning appts but, at least today was nice and mostly IVF and IF free. I only had to pick up one prescription at the pharmacy and do shots. I love normal days. Plus, M came home for lunch today which I always enjoy! (definite perk to living 8 minutes away from M's work and me working from home)
Shots were a little late today because we were out doing errands and I had this mystery shopping thing that was for a certain time only. It was my first mystery shop. We'll see if it is worth continuing in the future - maybe I'll just stick to learning how to coupon better, which I do like. Getting stuff free through coupons is so satisfying. Sounds super cheap but try it sometime. It's great. Anyway, I'm getting way off topic here. It's late and I'm just waiting for M to come to bed so I'm rambling. But the shots were much better - well at least a little better - than last night. It took about half the time to mix them. Even the shot was less painful - but not by much. Other than the pain of the shot I have had no side effects. I keep telling myself that is a good thing (and I am glad I'm not sick) but, I can't feel if it is working or not. But thats why they use US. Hopefully, I will continue to feel great and have US show great growth!
Anyway, I'm rambling again. Good night.

Monday, January 24, 2011

IVF #1 CD 2 "Green Light!"

Yes, I am copying Krista on the title formats - hope that's alright :).
After a rough morning, lots of Google, dreary rain, and a ton of uncertainty about the cyst, I had a full afternoon of the same things, plus impatience. I was so sure that they were going to postpone the cycle and just wanted to hear it and put it behind me. Usually they call by 5, 5:30pm at the latest. At 6:30pm(!) M and I were getting concerned - did they forget about us? What about my shots tonight- do I take them or not?
Finally, finally they call...and we are good to go! I was actually surprised. I was totally prepared to wait (at least I think I was...) so, it took me a minute - I almost started crying!
Here we go! I gave myself my first IVF shots-which were way more painful than I thought they would be. For my IUI's I only had the Follistim and, I didn't mind the shots. However, the Menopur and the Follistim were brutal. I do not like them but, I'll do them anyway. As my dear M said, "No pain, no gain." Such a wise and comforting hubby I have.
I am relieved and excited to finally be starting. There was so much waiting, wondering, questioning, waiting. Now we are finally doing something. My retrieval is "scheduled" for 12 days away. That seems so close! Things are moving and moving fast. I hope it stays that way...

The Gauntlet

Well, it appears the IVF demons have taken my last post as if I threw down the gauntlet and, they decided to pick it up. The rain has not subsided but was horrible the whole drive. Really poor visibility and a little hydroplaning, I made it, though (and only 12 minutes late). Probably if I had been on time I would still have waited, but I sat in the waiting room for about an hour. The new nurse then couldn't find my vein, poked around, and then gave up and went to the other arm - at least I'm symmetrical.
My follies look good (yay), but it turned up on the US that I have a rather large cyst on my right ovary. Bloodwork will determine if it is still producing estrogen. If it is, we will have to postpone the cycle. In the case that it is not producing estrogen and the Doc says it is ok, we will proceed as planned. But I'm really doubtful of that right now. The nurse said I still have a lot of lining to shed - that I have a big period coming. I'm thinking that the estrogen is affecting my mini-period. Also, my period has been really mucus-y, gross I know, and I'm thinking estrogen affects CM, too. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get bad news tonight. Thus, I am consigned to prepare myself to postpone the cycle until March. Silver lining - no worries on the bike trip :)

Now, what can Dr. Google tell me about cysts...

Feel Good Morning

I am feeling so much better this morning. and I am no longer afraid of
falling asleep at the wheel. However, it is back to rainy, dreary
weather. And I am a little concerned that I haven't had enough of a
period. They said I should have a period after I stop the birth
control, but I've been spotting, mini-period at best. Does that even
matter? I don't know. Guess I'll find out at my appt this morning. So
to combat these downer influences, I am wearing my feel good shirt.
Anyone else have one? I love it, M loves it, strangers love it...I
always feel good in this shirt.
Bring it on, IVF

Sunday, January 23, 2011

T-minus 1 day

Well, here we are. Tomorrow morning I have my baseline appt for my first go at IVF. I've had a lot of emotions coming up to this day, but right now, I am just tired. Exhausted might be more accurate. Maybe from emotions, maybe from stress, maybe from getting off birth control, maybe from camping this weekend (which was really fun!), maybe from fasting, maybe from a busy day, maybe from all of the above. But it is 7:30pm and, I am so ready for bed.
But, alas, I need to stay up just a little bit longer. So I'll tell you about my last weekend get-a-way before IVF. It was actually a great weekend. We went camping Friday night with some friends. It was almost perfect. The only complaint we had was the temperature. We got up there and it was 34F - and the fire pit was really wet and cold. Consequently, it took a long time to get a fire going and hot. So we were real cold at first. We did have the best tin-foil dinners I've ever had so far; it just took them awhile to cook. Our friend Rachael had this great idea to get Reese's for the smores. So good! I love smores over the campfire, even the sticky mess.
That night it got down to 27F! But, we got these awesome sleeping bags as a gift from my parents. They were incredible. I was hot. Getting out in the morning wasn't very fun though.
But, I did and made oatmeal and hot chocolate - no wait on the fire that time:Maybe it is just me, but food when camping is so much better.
We did about a 6.5 mile hike (trail walk- not a whole lot of elevation change) and I'm feeling it in my legs this morning. The forest was really different from forests back in Utah, but it was still pretty- and the weather was perfect. By the time we left it was 55F and so pleasant.
I remember now how much I love camping and being outdoors.
The rest of Saturday we tried to get the smoke out of everything - clothes and hair mostly. I probably still smell like a bonfire. And then we started Ben Hur. It is a super long movie though so we finished it today. Pretty good movie but a lot longer than it needed to be.
Church today was also really good. It was our ward conference and the theme was "I know the scriptures are true". I am so grateful for the scriptures and for the Savior. I really don't know how I would go through IF (or life) without knowing that God loves me, that I am his daughter. I pray that this IVF will work and get me preggo, but if not, I pray I can find comfort, peace, and faith.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Decision Time...Again

Back at the beginning of January when we decided that we were going to go ahead and do our first IVF, I thought that we were done making decisions. I mean what else was there to decide? We are going to do IVF/ICSI. (I did have to decide on a Pharmacy but, that was easy- call them up and see who was cheaper. Done) Well, I was wrong.
We went in yesterday for our teaching visit and just to go over everything with the nurse. We are getting all our questions answered and almost everything is making sense. But then, we start going over the calendar. There are no problems with the IVF cycle calendar, but in case it works and I get pregnant... we have a little conflict. So if it works, then I am supposed to get BW done every 2 days! Check hormones, make sure supplements are right and development is right. But 3 days after the pregnancy test, we are going out of town. So the nurse was like, "oh, it's okay if you are gone a couple days and miss an appt". Well, we will be gone 9 and I would miss 3 appts. Oh, and its a biking trip.
The nurses thought it would still be fine for me to go - the chances are small that something would go wrong that would have been fixable if I were here. They did worry that if something did happen which wasn't caused by the trip but happened, we would blame ourselves. (good point!). But, I was pretty stressed out last night. Should we postpone IVF? Cancel the trip? or stick to the original plan? Am I totally over-reacting? We don't even know if the IVF is going to work, and the nurses didn't seem very concerned about the trip.
Anyway, not really a fun night (followed by 1 hour in traffic trying to go somewhere 15 minutes away). After we were a little more relaxed, we came to this conclusion: Go ahead and do IVF now and still go on the trip - but if I get pregnant and everything is not 100% perfect, we are canceling our trip. I'm going to talk to the RE today though- just make sure that is okay with him. If so, I go off the birth control today and start stimming Monday!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sweet Deal

Who doesn't use Unless you are one of those really few people, go get your $20 gift card for only $10! HERE is where the deal is happening. Enjoy!
(I know it is listed as a D.C. deal, but since they email the card to you, it doesn't matter where you actually live)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pre-Cycle day 3

The new year had begun and we have decided to go for it. We are starting our first (and hopefully last) attempt at IVF - and so far we feel really good about it.  I went in this morning for my baseline and blood work appointment before I start birth control. Ovaries look good! Uterus looks good! So far so good. We'll have to wait for the blood work but I am not worried about that.
Let me just say that I love my nurse. She is awesome. Sometimes she may seem a little rushed but she is actually very considerate and gave me a bunch of free medicine and numbers to multiple pharmacies so I could shop around for the rest of the medications. Some were pharmaceutical samples, but a bunch were donated from a canceled cycle. The woman had breast cancer so she had to stop. Yikes. I hope she is okay, but it was really nice of her to donate her drugs. I'm on the phone now - on hold - tackling the other half of the list. 
So far, what has surprised me the most is how different this is from an IUI. I did injections with both IUIs but that was so simple. This is so much more intense. I'm going to have to be really on top of all the meds - there are so many!
After my appt this morning, I had to go get more blood drawn - the pregnancy blood work up basically. 6 vials - I was getting a little woosy by the end. I don't usually mind blood. I watch all the needles going in and the blood coming out- the changing of the vials was a little icky though. Instead of filling up nicely like the first vial, the blood shot out and splattered all over the inside of the vials. That was a little too blood-like. Anyway, I made it through that, didn't faint or anything.  I'm fine now - wanting a big burger - but otherwise great. The worst part was the bandage wrap ripping all my arm hairs out.
So, now that is done, not much is going on for the next week and a half. I take birth control and get all my drugs. We get our teaching appointment - and M gets a turn to do blood work! I paint. M goes to work. Life as normal as we can make it...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2011. I have not yet really sat down and thought about the old year and looked ahead to the new year so it doesn't seem like a big change. I am planning on doing that tonight on my flight home or tomorrow once I get home and settled.
Hawaii was pretty good. I got sick and am still trying to kick some congestion so that was a bummer. Also, we got word the first day we were there that my grandfather passed away. Although this is something we have wanted for him for a long time, it was still painful to say goodbye. He suffered from severe Alzheimer's and was very unresponsive the last few years so he was ready to go. I am glad that he joined us for Christmas morning last week.
Most of us stayed in Hawaii until Sunday but my mom and sister went home that night. My dad followed after a day or two. And we rescheduled our flights home to attend the funeral. So it wasn't the trip we expected but overall it was still fun.
I didn't get much sun. I have super pale skin and I fry faster than anyone else I know. So even when I was out in the sun I was way too coated with sunscreen to get any color.
Oh well. Hopefully it will be worth it and I will never get skin cancer.
Hanging around my preggo sisters and their adorable kids went well. I didn't get down or jealous...until the night before we left. Well to be more accurate I got upset about doing IVF. It was New Year's Day and it sunk in that unless we decide differently we will be starting our first IVF later this week. And that scared me. I never wanted to get to this point and I'm scared it won't work and it is so close! So there I am watching football with my family and crying.
I wasn't loud and I'm not sure anybody but M even noticed. But later one of my sisters found out I had been crying and so we talked about it. At first I was just saying, I'm ok, I'm ok.... But my sweet sister just looked at me and said, "it is ok to say it hurts, it's hard." and then I really started crying. She held me till I cried myself out. By then my other sisters had gathered. We all talked about being scared, about being unhappy I actually am so infertile we have to do an IVF, about getting ready to start. It was so nice and I felt so much better after. I still don't know if we will do it but I feel much more calm and emotionally prepared. And it was nice to share how much it sucks with my sisters and feel their support.
We had the funeral today and it was beautiful. All his kids spoke and there was a lot of music. Military honors and bagpipes at the gravesite were so special. My grandpa was a great man. A doctor, a WWII POW, an awesome gardener, dedicated to his family and to God and a Scotsman through and through. I wish I could remember him better from before he got sick. I am very grateful for the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ so I can see him again and get to know him. I know he is happy to be gone and back with his wife (a miracle women as well - in a wheelchair for 55 years and never heard her complain). I can just picture them dancing.
I'm on the plane home now, and I am totally exhausted and emotionally drained. (is there such thing as emotional hangovers?) M is asleep across my lap. I fear it will be an early morning tomorrow.