Sunday, January 30, 2011

Two Embies on Board!

The transfer went smoothly and I now have two of our little embies on board.

Shortly after arriving at the U of I we were taken back to the procedure room and waited for our meeting with the embryologist.  While waiting the nurse told us we could play some music if we wanted. So, Steve was going through their CD selection and along with Classical Relaxation and John Mellencamp (strange?) Steve found Norah Jones- how perfect...her song 'Come Away with Me' was our first dance at our wedding. 

We met with the embryologist and she showed us pictures of our three little embies and told us which two she suggested for transfer.  All three were graded as perfect! Two were 8 cells and one was 10 cells.  She said the two 8 cell embryos would be the best choice and that she would continue to grow the 10 cell until day 6 and if it is still viable it will be frozen for future use. Here are the two that are relaxing in my baby palace right now.

Embie #1

Embie #2

And here is our 10 cell embie that is still growing away at the U of I

Embie #3
The most amazing part was watching our embryos being transferred.  Dr. Duran was explaining everything that would happen and the nurse was pointing things out on the screen and told me we would see a flash of white when the embryos were put in.  We were all staring at the screen so intently and the ultrasound tech let out a cheer when the flash of white showed up on the screen.  I have now seen my embryos inside me and there is nothing like it.  The joy I felt can't be described. 

Now we wait...and the waiting is the hardest part.  My pregnancy test is scheduled for February 11th and I am hoping this will be the best Valentines present Steve and I could ever ask for.

Bridget

Friday, January 28, 2011

I can't put it into words

It's hard to put my feelings into words right now. I'm sad. I scared. I'm disappointed.

I called the hospital to check on my embryos and learned that only 3 of the 8 eggs fertilized. 

I am thankful for 3...I just keep asking why?  What went wrong?  I thought for sure we'd have a higher fertilization report.  I felt so confident and positive. And now I just feel deflated and depressed.

I know I should be happy that 3 of my eggs were fertilized believe me- I am.  I know it only takes one to make a baby. But is it so terrible that I wanted my back up plan? That I wanted a couple of frozen cycles waiting just in case? 

We are scheduled for a day 3 day transfer on Sunday at 10:00- please send any prayers/thoughts/wishes for our little embryos to hold on.  They will transfer the two strongest and hopefully freeze the third if it meets their criteria.

Please, please, please let them hold on.

Bridget

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Party in a Petri Dish

9 eggs were retrieved today with 8 of them mature.  They are currently having a party in a petri dish and I am praying for excellent little embryos.

U of I is a great place.  Everyone is so nice, helpful, friendly....everything you hope for when you're scared and unsure.  I was taken back to the procedure room and the nurses were joking with me (trying to relax me I'm sure) about how tall I am, how great my socks were (Go Steelers!) and how much they loved my hair.  I'm a sucker for flattery and soon enough I was relaxed and ready to go (I'm sure the drugs helped as well). Dr. Duran did my retrieval which I was very happy about since he did our initial consultation and we really really like him.

My Steelers socks
A quick nap later and I was back in the recovery room asking Steve how many eggs they retrieved and if they looked good.  Pretty sure I asked Dr. Duran if they looked good a few times.  Then I realized how painful my lower abdomen was...thank goodness for tylenol with codeine.

Tomorrow we will get our embryo report and with Steve and I being the overachievers that we are, we are expecting no less from our little embryos.  The transfer will either be on Day 3 (Sunday) or Day 5 (Tuesday).  Fingers crossed for day 5!!

Thank you for all of the well wishes and prayers- we appreciate it more than you know.

Bridget

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My First Blog Award!

A huge thank you to Andrea at Palm Trees and Rainy Days for my first blog award!! And Crossing My Fingers But Not My Legs for the Stylish Blogger Award. (I had to combine the awards in one blog post- I didn't expect to get two in one day!)


Here's how this award works:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award. (thanks again Andrea & Crossing My Fingers!)

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.

4. Make sure you contact these bloggers to let them know about the award

Ok, 7 Things About Me....

1. I'm a type A- control freak (I can't help it)
2. I have conversations with my animals (no I'm not crazy)
3. Steve and I got married after being together less than 2 years (best decision I've ever made)
4. I get severe anxiety when I travel (I hate being away from home)
5. I was in the middle of previsouly mentioned anxiety when Steve proposed to me in Mexico (he just couldn't wait) 
6. I could eat eggs every day of the week (I seriously love them)
7. I am addicted to my reality TV (RHW, Hoarders, The Bachelor, I watch them all)

Now, the blogs that I am handing this lovely award to are:
(In no particular order because I love them all!)















15. My Dusty Uterus

Now go stalk some of these new blogs I love!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's trigger day!

Just got the call I've been hoping for- it's trigger day!

Today at my ultrasound the nurse said I have 12 follicles altogether with 10 ranging from 10mm- 21mm and the other two are pretty close to 10 so hopefully they will continue to grow until Thursday. I was happily surprised that all of my follicles grew quite a bit over night.

Tonight I get the trigger shot that will mature the follicles so they are ready to be retrieved on Thursday.

I feel pretty good today. I can button my pants (barely) so that's a plus and there is some definite pressure and growth in my belly.  I hope the pressure goes away after the retrieval.

The nurse suggested I get some fun socks to wear for my two upcoming procedures (I'll take any excuse to go shopping). I loved Christa's socks for her recent retrieval and I found this website http://fertilitysocks.org/ but I'm pretty sure it's too late for me to sign up.

One step closer...no more Lupron, Follistim or Repronex...so exciting!

Bridget

Monday, January 24, 2011

Grow- grow- grow!

Has anyone seen the show Teen Mom?? These people get to have children and I have problems getting pregnant? Really? Unfair. I came across this show by accident over the weekend and I found myself sitting there screaming at the TV.  These were some of the most vile teenagers I have ever seen, wandering around without a clue or a care in the world.  And their poor babies were handed off to parents, grandparents, pretty much anyone who would have them, so these teen mom's could go out and party. Really great example to have on television.

I had another blood test and my first ultrasound this morning.  I have 12 follicles growing and 6 are over 10mm.  My E2 is at 836 and the doctor wants it to be higher so they are upping my Repronex to three vials tonight and I go back tomorrow for more blood work and another ultrasound.  So for now I'm just praying that my E2 goes up and my follicles keep growing!!

Bridget

Sunday, January 23, 2011

On my mind

Today is a rough day for me... seems like I'm having a lot of them lately.  Today is particularly hard for a couple of reasons. 

Today would have been my mom's 62nd birthday.  I miss her every day...what a wonderful woman she was- the best mom anyone could ever ask for.  I have been thinking about her a lot lately, mostly because I wish I could have one of our phone calls where I complain and cry about everything going on in my life and she fixes it all by saying just the right thing.  And a hug, a hug from her would be amazing right now.  I love you mom, happy birthday.

Today also would have been our due date for our second pregnancy.  The day I found out I was pregnant was the anniversary of my mom's passing. When I went home and calculated what my due date would be online I was in awe when the date January 23 came up.  I thought....this is the one- this is really going to happen.  My mom is up there in heaven looking down on us and giving us this huge flashing sign of hope.  I know due dates are rarely right but this just seemed like it was meant to be.  Unfortunately, it wasn't.

I had a good cry when I woke up and Steve made it all a little better with a hug and his sweet, concerned face asking if there's anything he can do.  I love that man more than anything in this world, everything is easier when he's with me.  This is how I know in my heart that one day very soon we will be parents...the world would be too unfair if Steve wasn't a father.  He was born to do be a dad.

Bridget

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What if...

I've been reading a lot of blogs for ICLW and I am amazed that there are so many strong couples out there dealing with infertility.  A few of the blogs give me hope that IVF will work for us on the first try and others make me sad and scared that it might not work and we will have to figure out what our plan B is.  I am now playing the 'what if' game in my mind. What if there aren't enough eggs for a frozen cycle if the first cycle doesn't work?  What if my eggs aren't good quality?  I'm so used to failing at pregnancy that I can't help but think the worst. But I'm trying my hardest to be positive...some days are better than others.

I had a blood test this morning (at the lab from hell because the good lab isn't open on Saturdays) and my estradiol level is at 345.  The nurse said they thought the level would be higher so they are increasing my injections for the next two days.  Monday I have another blood test and our first ultrasound to see how the follicles are doing. I asked when she thought the ER would be and she said she would know better on Monday but thinks it will be Thursday or Friday. 


Bridget     

Friday, January 21, 2011

ICLW Week!

Happy ICLW- this is my first time participating and I'm excited to read and comment on new blogs!  What a fantastic idea- you can find out more about it at Stirrup Queens.

If you aren't a regular stork follower here's a little info about me and here are links to my first post and my favorite post. Thanks in advance for visiting and commenting!

I started injections for IVF on January 5th and hope to have my egg retrieval next week.  I'm nervous, excited, scared, hopeful....quite a range of emotions actually.  Thankfully, I have an awesome support system in my family, friends, and of course my amazing husband.

Take a look around and enjoy!

Bridget

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What else did I forget?

Every night I get my coffee (decaf of course) ready for the next day so all I have to do in the morning is push the button and away we go.  This morning in a complete fog I woke up and went out to the kitchen to start my coffee. So when Steve came in the bedroom and asked why I didn't make coffee I was confused...I pushed the button, I remember!  Well, what I didn't remember is that last night I passed out on the couch in my Repronex haze and didn't get the coffee ready.  Way to go Bridget.  My forgetfulness didn't stop there... I also locked my keys in my office at work and forgot a huge stack of paperwork that I needed for an off-site meeting.  The side-effects just keep getting better. It seems appropriate to use one of my dad's favorite sayings from my childhood- "you'd forget your head if it wasn't attached".  Yes Dad, I believe I would right now.
On a better note, I had another blood test today and my estradiol level is at 148- awesome!  My injections stay the same for now and I go back for another blood test on Saturday.  I can't believe my egg retrieval is coming up so fast!  It seems like yesterday that we started this whole process and now the big day is almost here.

Thank you for all of your positive comments yesterday- it was a bad day for me and your thoughts helped so much! I know that all of this torture (25 shots and 4 blood tests in 16 days and still more to come) will be worth it when we have our bundle of joy- but getting there has been one rocky road.

Bridget

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ugh.

I've been trying so hard to be positive...mind over matter and all that jazz.  But today I feel like I've been hit by a bus.  Everything hurts. I'm exhausted.  My head feels like it's in a vice. I've got bruises everywhere. And my stomach is huge. 
I hate Repronex.












Ok enough complaining. Tomorrow will be  better. Right??


Bridget

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Let's Add Another Injection!

I had my estradiol levels drawn again this morning and it's at 39- I have no idea what that means but the nurse said they are looking for it to increase 2 1/2 times by Thursday (fingers crossed).

My drug regimen now includes Repronex which should be interesting because 1. we have to mix the solution ourselves (which I'm sure will be fine after some practice) and 2.  it is intramuscular (ouch). 

This is what the conversation sounded like between Steve and I...
Me: "Does this look right?"
Steve: "I think so...Wait, I don't know..."
Me: "Read the directions! Are you as nervous as I am?" 
Steve: "I'm trying to stay calm"
Me: "Where's that picture?"
Steve: "OK, are you ready? Don't look"

Let me explain this now hilarious conversation.  Repronex has to be mixed- so you draw up 1 ml of a solution and inject it into a vial of powder.  Then you draw that solution out and inject it into yet another vial of powder.  Then you draw that solution out and inject it into your hip muscle. But before you inject, you have to follow the injection instructions and hope you are doing it right.  I'm pretty sure we did- we're good at following directions.

this is the Repronex- yes, that's a big needle












So tonight and tomorrow I get injected with:
5 units of Luprolide
150 units of Follistim
2 vials of Repronex
and then another blood test on Thursday.

The nurse told me that normally women are on the Luprolide for 12 days before the trigger shot and egg retrieval which would put us at around the 27th or 28th for the egg retrieval. I can't wait!

Bridget

Monday, January 17, 2011

I forgive you...but don't do it again

I've been listening to my Circle + Bloom faithfully since I bought it and last night while lying in bed, doing my meditation like a good girl, something on the recording really struck me.  In a nutshell it said- trust your body to do what it needs to do and forgive your body for anything that has happened in the past.  Wow.  This hit me- hard.  I thought to myself, I am pretty pissed off at my reproductive system.  I'm mad at my fallopian tube for not passing on the egg like it was supposed to, I'm mad at my uterus for not welcoming a fertilized egg with open arms, and I'm mad that my body isn't doing what it is naturally supposed to do. So, I had a little talk with my lady parts and I forgave them.  It felt pretty darn good.

Now, since I'm trying really hard to be on the "positive frame of mind" path, I want to share a Cherokee Legend that my fantastic husband told me about yesterday.  I found it online today and it helped me realize that while going through infertility and all the tests, shots, doctor's appointments, and feeling like an all around failure and science experiment- I have forgotten to feed my good wolf...

Two Wolves

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.
"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Bridget

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Easy as 1-2-3

Well that was easier than I thought it would be! Injection #1 of follistim done and under our belt. *Insert huge sigh of relief*

This little contraption is the follistim pen that injects the meds.
Easy as 1-2-3.... insert a vile of the meds, dial up the dosage you need to inject, insert the needle below the bellybutton, push the button- and voilĂ  meds dispensed!  The needle is small so it didn't hurt as much as I had imagined.  The injection site is a little tingly but not unbearable by any means. 

For another example of "I'll try anything", I purchased the Circle + Bloom IVF meditation program today.  Thank you to A at Remember All The Way for introducing me to this site.  I listened to my first session today and it was awesome!

I also want to say thanks again to my family and friends that came out last night- it was wonderful to see everyone and we had a fantastic time! 

Bridget

Friday, January 14, 2011

TGIF

I'm tired, I'm cranky, but thank God it's Friday and I get to see some of my fantastic family and friends tonight!

I probably got four good hours of sleep last night.  Irrational dreams and night sweats/hot flashes are a good way to ruin your beauty sleep. Let me share what I remember of my dream last night...

Steve and I were at the hospital and I was having some sort of procedure done (I'm pretty sure it was the egg retrieval).  When the doctor was performing the ultra sound she was shocked to find an embryo already growing in my uterus (as was I- really??).  Everyone was so excited and amazed at this miracle (how did this happen on birth control?) and then out of nowhere I come unglued asking if we would get our money back since we didn't actually need IVF.  Bizarre right?  You'd think after everything I've been through I would just be happy that there was an actual baby growing inside of me....but no, I was concerned with getting our money back.  Oh dreams...

As for the night sweats/hot flashes- they are tiring. I woke up and ripped the covers off at least five times last night with sweat pouring off of me only to wake up a few minutes later freezing my butt off. And during the day I have to layer my clothes because one minute I'm hot and the next I'm cold. I imagine this must be a little bit like going through menopause...?

Nevertheless, I'm counting down the hours until I see my family and friends tonight- dinner then drinks...since today is officially the last day I can drink (hopefully for a long time).  Then the real fun starts tomorrow with my first follistim shot.  Do any of my IF friends out there have any words of wisdom on this shot? From what I've read on a few posts this one's a bitch.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Green Light for Stimming!!

For those of you not obsessed with IVF terminology (I'm still learning a lot of it), stimming is stimulating your ovaries to produce follicles.

I got up at the crack of dawn this morning to go get my blood work done so that I could get to work on time.  I went to a different lab that my Dr. recommended because I was being stuck at least 3 or 4 times per visit at the old lab.  Needless to say I was dreading this blood draw.  Not only because it was 6:50am, but I was not looking forward to having a lab tech search around in my arm with a needle and then call another tech over to do the same thing in my other arm only to settle on drawing it from my hand- ouch.  So I go to the new lab and I tell the lady right away- I'm a really hard stick.  She says, "don't worry honey, I've been doing this for 12 years."  Hallelujah!!  She gets my blood on the FIRST TRY!  I was so happy I almost hugged her.

Dr. Figge's office called with my results this afternoon and said my estradiol level was less than 20 which is good news and means we are still on track to start Follistim on the 15th.  Yay!!

This is what my injections look like for the next few days:

Jan 15th: 225 units of Follistim and 5 units of Leuprolide
Jan 16th: 225 units of Follistim and 5 units of Leuprolide
Jan 17th: 225 units of Follistim and 5 units of Leuprolide
Jan 18th:  Estradiol level blood test drawn

I am chanting and praying that I don't have any crazy side effects from the Follistim and I don't really know what to expect but I'm ready for it....I think.

P.S. A big thank you to my husband for making me rice krispie treats last night- love you xoxo

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Let's Nourish Your Baby Palace"

Last night was my first time back at acupuncture since my fallopian tube ruptured last year.  I go to Linda at Ancient Wisdom Acupuncture and she is fantastic!! I highly recommend her if you are interested in treatment and live in the QCA.  She remembered everything I had been through and picked up right where we left off. After placing the needles (one in each wrist, one in each foot and one right below my belly button) Linda said, "Let's nourish your baby palace- that's what the Chinese call the uterus- the baby palace."  I liked the thought of that, so now I guess I'm working on nourishing my baby palace. The treatment was nice and relaxing- just what I needed.

At the end of my visit Linda told me I need to be eating more iron rich or "blood rich" foods before the egg retrieval and embryo transplant.  This includes dark leafy greens, lean red meat, nuts, beans, etc. She also said to have Steve start eating walnuts and pumpkin seeds to strengthen his swimmers and improve motility. Off to the grocery store we go...we'll give it a shot.

I made my follow up appointment for next week and I will be seeing her once a week until my egg retrieval and when the egg retrieval is scheduled I will go see her for a special treatment the day before.  Here's hoping acupuncture can up our chances of conceiving.  When you're going through infertility there is nothing you won't try- I'm not exaggerating.

I think we try so many things because if we don't we'll lose hope and hope is really all you have when you're trying to have a baby.  Well, hope and laughter... we've got to laugh because if we don't we might go insane.  Here's an infertility joke I found amusing today from 999 Reasons to Laugh at Infertility.

How many infertility patients does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Screw in a light bulb! Hmmm . . . do you think it might help? . . .


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Quitting Coffee and Other Tidbits

I love coffee- I really do.  And I can't have caffeine anymore so I am trying to switch over to organic decaf...not the same, not even close. My head is pounding and I feel a bit like a zombie in the morning. I wonder how long caffeine withdrawal lasts? As far as drug side-effects go, other than being a little more tired than usual (which could also be from lack of caffeine) and a little itchiness at the injection sites I haven't felt any side effects of the Leuprolide yet- maybe I will get lucky.
** I had to edit this post since pretty soon after writing it I experienced the wonderful side-effect of hot flashes- they are fun let me tell you!

Today is the last day I take a birth control pill and I will be getting a blood estradiol test in a few days when my period starts. This test is to confirm that the Luprolide has successfully suppressed my ovaries to a baseline state. They will be looking for a blood estradiol level less than 50 pg/ml. We are really hoping for good results so that we can continue to the next step of IVF.

I decided to start acupuncture treatments again next week. There are a lot of people who swear by acupuncture and a lot of people who say it's nonsense but I've been treated before and it was so relaxing and I felt better after each treatment. I figure, it can't hurt anything and it relaxes me so I am looking forward to that on Monday.

I am throwing a baby shower for my friends M&B today.  They are due in February and I cannot wait to meet their little one!!  Last night Steve and I went to the store to get a gift and a few other things for the shower and we were amazed at how much baby stuff there is!  It's funny how I have shopped for babies before and never really payed attention to the amount of gadgets, cute clothes, and toys there are.  Every few minutes Steve came running up to me with something in his hand saying- We are totally getting this for our baby! I am anxiously awaiting that day....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ready....Set....Inject

Injection #1 done and I even did it myself (much to Steve's dismay).

I got home from work and Steve was at the grocery store...I just couldn't wait (I'm Type A- I told you!).  And since the Leuprolide is the only drug I can inject myself I just went ahead and got it out of the way.  Whew!

I won't bore you with all of the details but I will tell you that it was hard to stick myself with a needle- even though this is the smallest needle we will be using throughout our IVF treatment.  Leuprolide suppresses my naturally occurring hormones and is injected in your upper arm or outer thigh (I chose thigh).  It stung a little but wasn't bad at all. 















So, Steve got home and I ran right out to the living room to meet him and blurted out- I already gave myself the shot! He laughed at me and said- I need the practice!  As if he won't get enough practice this month...

One injection down....lots more to go ♥

Monday, January 3, 2011

Emotional Ups & Downs

I am a 'type A' kind of person- that is no secret.  I'm having a really hard time waiting for this process to start and I don't like that there isn't much I can do to make sure it works. Sure, I've read all kinds of websites that tell you to do yoga, get acupuncture, eat only organic foods and full fat dairy...but how do I know any of that will help (and where do I find the extra money to pay for it all)? I was sitting on the couch last night, trying to relax before starting the work week, and my mind was engulfed by all of the what-ifs.  I told Steve I felt anxious and nervous and he said, don't worry, everything will be ok.  There are numerous times I have been jealous of how relaxed and easy going Steve is and this is definitely one of those times.  How does he do that?  How does he stay so positive and relaxed when I feel like a crazy person?
 

Remember going to the amusement park for the first time and being so excited to ride the big roller coasters? 

You were finally tall enough and felt like a grown up. You waited so long in those snaking lines and the closer you got to the front the more nervous you became. Well, I am finally tall enough and grown up and right now I am in that long, snaking line towards my emotional roller coaster. 

My injections start Wednesday....I feel nervous, excited, fearful, apprehensive, eager....the list goes on and on.



Saturday, January 1, 2011

Good Riddance 2010...

Welcome 2011!! I had most of this post written before Steve and I went out last night and when I came back to the hotel and re-read what I had wrote I had to edit.  It's amazing what some really good laughter will do for a person.  We spent our New Year’s Eve in Milwaukee.  We had sushi at a neat place called Wasabi and then went to see our favorite comedian, Jim Gaffigan.  Two hours of laughter is just what the doctor ordered.

Last night at dinner Steve sat across the table from me and asked "What do you think 2011 will bring babe?"  Well that’s a good question.  And it’s funny to me that my answer is the same as last New Year’s... a baby of course.  Last year at this time we didn’t know we were pregnant (and about to have the year from hell) but we were optimistic that a baby would come into our lives.  A year later we have been through the wringer but we are still here, still trying, still hoping.  I am thankful.  Thankful we made it through last year, thankful for the chance to try again and most of all- I am thankful to be married to such a supportive and loving man. I will not miss 2010 but I did learn a lot about myself and I know that it could have turned out much worse than it did.  So I just want to say a sincere thank you to my amazing family and friends that helped us through the last year and an extra special thank you to my best friend and husband, Steve…I don’t know what I would do without you.

Good riddance to 2010-  I am looking forward to a much better 2011.