Friday, December 23, 2011

Dear Santa... (and the plan)

First, I told you that all I wanted for Christmas was a positive pregnancy test, preferably my own.

I understand the confusion, as you may have overheard me telling my husband about these super cute galoshes, and my mom about a Le Creuset dutch oven, and my in-laws about some new running gear.

Totally get it.

But I probably should have been more clear. And maybe omitted the "preferably my own" part. Though you did come through! I mean, not for Dr Boy and I, but for Rebecca, and W&W, and Megan, and AMiracle, and Heather, and Jenn, and @mhamer33, and @_ttc_2003, and @EndoJourney, my cousin, and my new friend K.

Yeah.

Thank you for helping all of them, and the others I'm sure I'm forgetting. Each and every one of them deserves this win so, so very much. Though, I'm fairly certain that there's only three of us whom I cycled with that aren't pregnant right now. Which, to be honest, is pretty damn good stats, which is why I'm thanking you, Santa.

Do you think you might have something else in 'ya though? Or, could you contact Cupid, or St Valentine, or one of the President's we celebrate on Presidents Day?

Because we could really use a win. This time? I'm amending my request.

One positive pregnancy test, please. Definitely my own.

-------------------------------------------------------

Good news at the RE visit yesterday. Got the usual "Sometimes the best embryos just don't stick, and the crappy ones do" speech, which I was expecting. I know there wasn't going to be any good reason why this didn't work.

We then got down to the business of our FET. Dr S is definitely on the same page as we are- getting this show on the road ASAP. As such, we're going to start BCP as soon as my period arrives, which it keeps threatening. I have totally AF cramps, to the point t where I feel like it's a repeat of the Great Toilet Paper Watch of 2011. I'm not quite to the point of tempting fate with lacy undergarments and white pants, but if we're a no-show this weekend, AF better watch out. I won last time, if you remember.

He wants me on BCP for a min of 3 weeks, at some point starting some lovely Lupron injections to keep me suppressed. I'll come off the BCP, do some u/s's to check out my lining, take some estrogen, start me some PIO-goodness, then transfer in early February, along with the rest of the patients on the Jan/Feb calendar. Bueno. Oh, yeah, and he definitely wants to transfer two again. So we don't have to have that fight later :)

If all goes well, I'll be PUPO by Valentine's Day. Though I have a ski trip planned to Breckenridge the weekend before V-Day, so we'll be planning around that. Maybe the elevation will help???

Could I ask you guys for input again? If you've had one, what did your FET med calendar look like? What kinds of meds were you taking, when, etc. If you've written a post on it, you can direct me there. I feel like all the research I did was on the fresh part of the cycle, not the frozen parts. Thanks!

I'm happy. I still have a crazy low trigger for crying, but honestly, I did before. Not this bad, but not all that abnormal either. I may or may not have cried during Top Chef last night.

Ultimately, I'm just glad to have a plan to get through the holidays, something to focus on instead of the pain and hurt that this cycle ended up as.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Dark Place

It's where I go when I'm depressed. I was there a lot before I started Lexapro. I've been there every now and then since I weaned off a little over three years ago. I'm there now. I have so many errands to run today, so many things to do to get ready to travel down to LA Saturday morning. Yet I'm here on the couch, watching my 7th episode in a row of Friday Night Lights.

Of course I am. It's expected. It's one of those days where love and support hurts. Knowing you have all these people around rooting for you and supporting you. Right now, I feel like I just have more people out there who I've let down. People who helped me during this cycle that I feel like wasted their time. Thoughts and prayers that went unanswered.

Emily wrote the sweetest post. Everything that was going through my head yesterday. All the questioning. And while it felt good to read those words, it made me cry. Just like when my IVF nurse called in the afternoon to check up on me. It made me bawl. The best part was me making the mistake of asking when, realistically, we could start our FET. Because right now, all I can think about are two things. 1. Why the hell am I here. 2. When the hell can we start again.

You know what she said? First, I have to cycle out of the provera (probably this weekend). Then, I have to have a natural cycle. Say WHAT??? My natural cycles are effing 50 days long, if I'm lucky. "If you're late you can take provera." Oh gee. That cuts it down to a 45 day cycle. That sure helps. Then I have to do BCP for a month, then the cycle we end up transferring. That, best case scenario, takes about 80 days until we hit CD1 for the FET cycle. Which takes us to the second week of March. Which means we won't even find out until the last week of March. That's three months away.

That's effed up. It sent me into some pretty hysterical sobs, strait into the bathroom with the chaise lounge doing a heck of a lot of the ugly cries. I spend the last half our of work there. Or rather the second to last half hour of work. The final half hour of work I spent on the phone with my friend N talking me down. She's kindof the best. Turns out Dr Boy texted her to call me and talk me down, because he didn't have time to at work. And you know what? She was able to tell him that she already had :) I am so lucky to have the two of them.

I turn 30 on March 13th.

I need this before then. I at least need this CHANCE before then.

I have my WTF appointment tomorrow afternoon with Dr S. I hope to hell she was wrong. I want to start BCP this goddamn weekend and get the show on the road.

Could any of you that have been here (and I am so so sorry that you have), what your timeline looked like? I need to know what's "normal" in this situation. Am I trying to rush it? Because I feel ready. My head needs this to happen much much more than my body needs to heal. I'm fine physically, and will keep working on being fine physically. I just need this to happen as soon as possible, so I can crawl out of the dark place.

I know these all just sounds melodramatic. I kindof want to punch myself for it but I can't seem to stop.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Shocker! (15dpo, 10dp5dt)


Had my second beta today. Not pregnant. I was reeeeeal surprised.

Not.

A list.
- Last night's PIO shot was the absolute least painful one yet. Go figure.
- I can't wait to feel like I can sleep w/out a sports bra on.
- Estradiol tabs give me heartburn from hell, not wishfully-thought pregnancies.
- Holy hell the withdrawal bleed is going to be awful, huh?
- Dr Boy was awesome and briefed his parents not to bring up the failed test on Sunday. Even when I brought it up, they were really good. No "we'll get 'em next time" or anything else unhelpful. Win.
- I went running last night. First time since Thanksgiving. It's amazing how weak I felt. I run intervals, but could only do one third what I was back then. Lame.
- Also? With every step I took, my PIO butt bruises jiggled. OOOOOWWWWWWWWWW. Today my hips hurt.
- WTF appt is Thursday afternoon. I want to get this FET on the road AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. I feel this sense of urgency about it that I just can't even explain.

I still have a lot to sort through, mentally. I keep forgetting that Dr Boy is going through this too. I'm not strong enough right now to help him get through it, and that sucks. You know what he was doing Sunday morning when I told him? Seeing newborns. Two to three day old newborns. I can't even imagine that.

I'm also grappling with success rates. But that's for another day.

Thanks for all the support and thoughts and prayers. I'm sorry it was a waste of time.

Monday, December 19, 2011

My boobs got my back (9dp5dt)

At my job, each day I work one of two shifts: one that starts at 6am, or one that starts at 7am (it's flexible, but I vanpool and we head in about that time). Today is my seventh day of work in a row. All with 6am-ers.

Let's first get this on the table that I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON. This fact cannot be rescued by caffeine. I have been known to be saved by the occasional donut or asiago cheese bagel with onion and chive cream cheese, but generally speaking, not. a. morning. person.

Now let's get THIS on the table. I frequently turn my alarm off in my sleep. About half the time, Dr Boy realizes it and gets me up (because he is a saint in this regard and i love him dearly), but the other half? Totally late for work. It's a problem.

Last week, between making holiday english toffee, going back to work after lots of resting, and not sleeping well due to stressing about implantation, I managed to turn my alarm clock off three mornings in a row. I'm talented, huh?

Today was destined to be one of those mornings. I didn't get more than four hours of sleep Saturday night, so I had a lot of catching up to do. I still stayed up too late, opening presents and hanging out with the in-laws. I talked to my mom a little before bed. I FINALLY got to talk to Dr Boy, just the two of us, about the serious possibility, near-certainty, that we were one of those couples that have to go through an IVF BFN. There were tears, sobs, and snot. I finally fell asleep HARD shortly after 11pm.

The alarm very rudely woke me up this morning as I was dreaming about something or other. I know I dreamt but can't for the life of me remember what about. I was sleeping on my back, and started to roll over to turn it off and

BAM!!! HOLY HELL BOOBS FEEL LIKE HOT POKERS ARE STABBING THEM!!! In reality it was only my sheets and mattress, but wow. That sure as hell woke me up. No late for work for me!

So thank you boobs, for having my back, and keeping me from accidentally turning my alarm clock off.

Also, for giving me just the slightest bit of hope that this cycle *may* have actually been successful. Of course, it's more likely that the pain is from the PIO shots we take in the evenings, but still. A girl can dream.

Other "maybe" type symptoms include crazy fiery heartburn from hell no matter what I eat, and crampy ute. Of course, that could be AF trying to bust her way through the PIO/Estradiol, but whatever. I have also had a crazy amount of CM in the last few days. Crazy amount. Grody. Grody. Grody.

I don't know. I'm sure I'm just still trying to cling to the false hope stage. (coincidentally the reason i didn't poas this am) Either way, we'll know when the phlebotomist sings tomorrow.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My embies are lazy (8dp5dt) (edited)

Which would make sense, since they're half me. I was kindof hoping they'd get the half-my-husband in that department though.

They're still failing to give me any appreciable sign that they're still in there. Two more days of pee sticks, two more big fatty white spaces where a second line should be. I added the First Response Early Results into the mix yesterday, and they're just as pasty white. Maybe if I sent them to the tanning salon they'd respond better?

I had my blood draw this morning. Good times with a mid-forearm vein. Should get the results in a few hours. I'm hoping beyond hope that there's something still in there, just slowly stretching and getting into the hcg-producing swing of things. Slowly. Agonizingly slowly.

Yesterday and Friday were the days of grief. I was finally confronted with the very real possibility that this wouldn't work. That I'd fall into the 30-40% chance of failure, rather than the 60-70% chance of success that Dr S gave me. When he walked out of the room after the transfer, he said that he had no doubt in his mind that they'd be calling me with good news this week. I'm pretty sure the good news wasn't that we'd be sending more $$ their way in a month or two.

Today is more of a numb day. I'm slowly transitioning into the worst phase of my end-of-cycle processing- false hope. You know, the justification part? Well, it was probably just a bad batch of tests. It's still too early to really know. They could just be super-late implanters. Tests have been wrong before! The false hope makes you feel like a complete dupe when the truth comes out, but at least it's kept me from sobbing in front of computer models this morning.

Yes, we have 8 embies on ice waiting in the wings. Yes, they're probably pretty good quality. Yes, I'm still 29. Yes, we still have time. Blah, blah, blah.

Those aren't the things you want to hear when you're facing a BFN after something you thought would get you your take home baby. A great way to celebrate the holidays is with a BFP! Not a bottle of spiced wine. I just feel like I've let everyone down so far, with my mom coming up to take care of me through the retrieval/transfer, and the second beta being drawn on her birthday. And poor Dr Boy, who's rushed home each night to make sure that I had dinner and my PIO injection, and that our diabetic cat was taken care of so I could slack it up on the couch.

The best part is that the in-laws are heading over this afternoon when we get off work to celebrate Christmas with us, since we'll be heading down to So Cal to spend it with my family. You know how my blog title is Meier Madness? It originally stemmed from what I call the trips they take to visit us. While I love them to death, and they truly are wonderful loving people, high doses of the Meier's can be a lot to handle. A lot. And while they know that we'll be finding out some time this week whether we were successful or not, I just don't want to let them into this inner circle quite yet. If today is a false negative, I don't want to drag them down, or have them try to lift me back up. I'm not in the mood. I want to sulk, or celebrate, in peace with Dr Boy. But we won't get to do that. And EVEN better, they're spending the night, so we won't have our time alone until we both get home from work tomorrow. Fab.

I hope I'm just overreacting. I'm good at that. I hope that at least one of these guys chose to stick around. I really just want my Hanukkah miracle.


Please?
--------------------------------------------------
Today's beta came back at less than 5. Guess I'm hoping for a miracle on Tuesday.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Freeze Report and Why Early Testing is the Devil (6dp5dt)

So last I left you to take a gander at my right column dealio to decipher what we ended up freezing from this cycle. To recap, we still had 17 embies growing on the day of transfer. We transferred two, leaving 15 to continue growing and makin' da behbehs for us.

Our clinic will only freeze (or at least in our case) once an embie hits blasts. They'll give them until day 7 to do so, then call it quits. I called on Monday afternoon (day 7), and found out that 5 embies had hit blast by Sunday and were frozen, and another three caught up on Monday and were added to our lot.

We have 8 snowy embies! Snowbies! If you look at it as 8 out of the 36 that were retrieved, it's kind of depressing knowing that we lost about 75% of what was gathered. On the other hand, we TRANSFERRED TWO AND HAVE EIGHT FROZEN.

That maketh me happy. So do these slippers. Though not in the same way.
Gratuitous PDLAMBLATI. Noone's lookin' at my business,
but they sure are warm and cozy and cute.

Onto the devil sticks. I was emboldened by the success of Rebecca at Pink Lipgloss and Prenatals, whose trigger never tested out. She's had some great beta's and has her first u/s next week :) Awesome!

But anywho, I thought, well, I had some pretty good uterine cramping at 1, 2, and 3 dp5dt (days past a day 5 transfer). No implantation spotting, but that doesn't always happen. I had two GREAT looking embies transferred. Since about Tuesday (hmmmm, the first day I went back to work with a 6am start time) I've been reaching my awake limit at about noon. Right around there, I hit a point where my eyeballs burn and it literally hurts to keep them open. So much so that putting cold spoons on them sounds absolutely divine. Also, no matter what I eat, I get heartburn. Not awful, but definitely makes me think twice about snacking on anything other than cool water.

That's it though. Exhaustion, which can be explained away by lots of activity after lots of inactivity, and heartburn that can be explained away by unhealthy snacking. (though dude, even my dinner salad made me burny)

So I tested yesterday at 5dp5dt. Nothing. I had an incredibly vivid dream just before I woke up, where I just knew I was pregnant. Absolute, one hundred percent certainty. I felt so FULL. Full of everything that I can imagine it would feel like to finally have this happen for us. So Right. Perfect. I woke up still holding onto that feeling, and couldn't keep myself away from the devil sticks.

And I tested again today at 6dp5dt. Nothing. I again dreamt, this time of a co-worker announcing that his wife, whom I met on Tuesday, was pregnant. And due tomorrow. Holy hell, that one sent me into the breakroom in tears. In the dream, of course.

And tomorrow, I will test again. Because really, I've already broken the seal on this round and once you start, you just can't damn well stop before the beta, right? (sunday) But I'm breaking out the Big Guns. I have six First Response Early Results, the Rolls Royce of pee sticks according to Mo.

Please hold me. I'm finally on the doubt side of the roller coaster, and it feels like shit.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Part 2- Transfer Day (3dp5dt)

So Dr Boy is funny. He's all, That's so mean of you to just stop the story where you did! I know how it turns out and even *I* want to know how it ends!

So I apologize for making you wait. And I feel bad because some of the comments of gotten so far are going to be all "ohhhh, yeah.... ummmm.... I mean, what you decided is fine too! Swearzies!" Or you'll be judgy mcjudgersons but that's ok too.

And, we're back.

Saturday, Dec 10: After a short but restful sleep, we head in for the transfer. Still pretty emotionally exhausted from all the one-or-two talk from the day and night before, but still comfortable to transfer one embie, given the right circumstances.

Transfer PDLAMBLATI.
I call them my embry-ho-ho-ho socks :)
We (my mommasita, Dr Boy, and I) waited nervously in the waiting room, and were called back a few minutes later. I had woken up with cramps that day, worse than I had actually had on Friday, so I was kindof terrified they wouldn't let us go through with the transfer. I was overreacting of course, but still. After I'm ready on the table, Dr S comes in and gives us our day 5 embryology report.

Which threw me into a breakdown of epic proportions and a tailspin of indecision.

Of our perfect embies, the ones that were growing in mass quantities at the proper speed, had failed us. Only 1 of the 17 (!!) still growing on that day had reached blast. On effing day 5.

Sheeeeeeet.

That was not part of the plan!!! We had not accounted for that possibility in our calculations!!! We had decided to transfer one, knowing that we'd likely have a bunch of other blasts to freeze for backup.

And we didn't have the reinforcements we were planning on. The reinforcements that would qualify us for the elective single embryo transfer program (ESET- 2 free frozen cycles if this godforbid failed). The reinforcements that would make us feel secure in only transferring one.

Here are some reasons I shouldn't have started sobbing and staring back and forth at my mom and Dr Boy. And flipping out not knowing what to do.
- Our blast? It was picture perfect. And given the highest grade our clinic gives out. So it was a pretty awesome blast.
- We still had 16 others growing, a bunch of which weren't far behind. By the embryologist's guess, only off by 6-12 hrs.
- If others hit blast *that day*, we *might* be able to retroactively qualify for the ESET program.

Of course, none of that was truly sinking in. All that was going through my damn head was that we only had one damn blast to transfer and now what the hell do we do.

Dr S really asked the question that put it into perspective. In a week, when we're going in for the beta, what question would we be saying to ourselves. Awww eff-balls, we could be having twins! Or, Awww, eff-balls, what if this doesn't work.

Dr Boy decided it for us- we go with two. The fear of failure at that point in time far outweighed the fear of a multiple pregnancy. With all the things that can go wrong between morula and blast, it's no sure bet that the rest would get there. It's no sure thing that even a picture perfect embie will stick. And we were never really driven by the financial incentive of ESET to begin with.

It was completely NOT the decision that I expected to walk out of the office having made, but I'm so glad we did. So glad. I still feel a bit selfish, but what's done is done, and I know that given the circumstances, we did what we needed to do to feel confident that this cycle was handled properly, both by us and our Dr.

Meet our little embies, a *perfect* blast, and a compacting blast, whatever that means.
We love them already. More than you can imagine.
(NO! I'm NOT crying right now. I don't know what you're talking about.)
I spent the rest of the day horizontal, relaxing and watching tv, and eventually saying goodbye to mommasita who had to head back to LA LA land. It was so, so amazing to have her here for the week. I would *not* have recovered as quickly without her. And I also would have driven Dr Boy batshit crazy. 

Sunday, Dec 11: Uhhhh.... boring day. Still horizontal on the couch. More movies. And resting. And... what is that? Period crampiness? Wha wha? I hear that's a good thing, but seriously, it felt like I was about to get my period. I'm still having them, but Sunday and Monday were the strongest, for sure. 

The other entertaining part about Sunday! I had just told the IVF nurse the day before about how the PIO shots were totally not that bad, and I'm so lucky to have a Dr at home injecting me, and blah blah blah PIO is totally not the devil. Then BAM. I can't feel my ass. For serious. I guess the needle (inevitably) went through a minor superficial nerve, and as Dr Boy was rubbing the site after the shot, I realized I couldn't feel it. Awesomesauce. It's mostly just on the surface, I can still feel the deep tissue and all, but no surface feeling. At all. I changed my mind about the PIO that night.

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This is long enough so I'll tell you about the final Day 7 embryology report, and how many (if any) we had to freeze. Or you could just look on my sidebar to the right. And tell me that I'm a big baby over-reacting nincompoop. Or you could wait until I type it all up tomorrow when I'm not exhausted.

Thanks for sticking with me! Only 4 1/2 days until my beta!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm alive! And PUPO! (2dp5dt)

Get Well flowers, from the in-laws.... really pretty!
Ummm.... so I kindof dropped off the face of the IVF blogging scene, huh? I was soooo soooo tired mid-week and had my mom in town taking care of me- bad combination for keeping up with the updates! Then we had the transfer, and seriously, blogging while horizontal is effing annoying. So I didn't do it. I'll try and recap the last few days for ya'll.

Wednesday Dec 7: Called for an updated fert. report, and was told our embies were still growing strong! At 2 days past retrieval, we had 1 6-cell, 5 5-cell, 10 4-cell, and 1 3-cell embryos. A-effing-mazing. The discomfort from retrieval was getting a lot better at this point, completely attributed to the drill-sergeant I have for a mother with regards to my protein and fluid intake. Dr Boy helped too :)
EAT MORE PROTEIN! AND DRINK  YOUR WATER! Or else...
I was still relying pretty heavily on my heating pad though- I swear that thing is an egg retrieval LIFE SAVER. Oh, and the colace. Even if you think you won't have a regularity problem? Take it. I did twice a day after the Annoyed Army Wife mentioned how pleasant post-retrieval moments can be. Never had a single problem :) Also? Lupron triggers don't light up an HPT. I checked :)

Thursday Dec 8: Called for an updated fert report, and to double-check we weren't doing a day three transfer. Found out Dr S was bragging about my embryo quality at the staff meeting that day... woohoo! Brag-worthy embies!!! We had a bunch of 8, 9, and 10-celled embies at that point (morulas?). Scheduled for a Saturday morning transfer. I felt a ton better that day, good enough to go out to lunch, on a walk, and rode in the car for a bit to pick a friend up from the airport.

Bedrest sure is hard, ya'll.
Friday Dec 9: Went to work for a 1/2 day. Definitely overdid it, activity-wise, but am glad I did in hindsight. I'm bedrest BORED! Called for my daily updated fert report, and found out that we had lost one or two embies, but most were still going strong. Crazy! Amazing, but crazy. Finally confident that we avoided the dreaded OHSS, as my weight only fluctuated by a couple of pounds through the week. As of today, I'm only up 6 lbs from my pre-IVF weight. I attribute this to the rapid increase in my sugar intake. And the 36 eggs retrieved.

Friday is the day that I pretty much went crazy, though. We were finally at (side note: my dog just ate a spider. i am thankful and grossed out all at the same time) a point where we had to make the one-or-two decision. I could write pages on this, but it really boiled down to two things. One, I didn't think I could handle a BFN if we only transferred one, knowing that we didn't do "everything" possible to make this succeed. Two, Dr Boy and my Mommasita were worried about the repercussions of a twin pregnancy. Not the aftermath- we know we could handle two at once financially and time-wise. It's more the medical perspective, and the increased risk to both me and the babies. I know people do it all the time. I know that. The twitters helped a lot- I got a lot of unique perspectives from people who had been there and done that. Ultimately though, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was pushing to transfer two for selfish reasons. I finally came to the conclusion that in the long run, I couldn't live with the fact that if something happened to the babies, it would have been because I was too selfish to just transfer one.

We decided that if we had multiple good quality embies at the blast stage on Saturday morning, we would transfer one. Our clinic freezes embies once they hit blast, which meant that if godforbid it didn't work out this time around, we knew we'd definitely have good options for an FET. They give them until day 7 to reach that point before they consider them non-viable. If we didn't, we'd go with two. This decision was INCREDIBLY hard-fought and stressful. I was pretty damn irritable and bitchy all night, but after a lot of tears and sobs and tissue, both Dr Boy and I were comfortable with our decision to go with one.

Sushi nomnomnomnom....
We went out for sushi that night as my "last supper." It was amazingly delicious. Even Dr Boy ate some! I consider this a big win. We all went to bed pretty darn late, completely exhausted after all the emotional discussions that went on throughout the day.

Of course though, the more you plan, the more things get shaken up.

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I'll finish this off tomorrow... I'm exhausted and have to head back to work tomorrow!!! It's the office holiday party though, so at least it'll be a fun day :) Missed you guys!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Oh Chai! (CD15) (& fert report)


I'm feeling a bit better than yesterday. I felt considerably worse as the day wore on yesterday, which I suppose is normal as your body starts to realize that it's lady bits have been assaulted by a needle and vacuum probe. I slept horribly. I am definitely a stomach sleeper- something I attempted at 3am but was incredibly unsuccessful at. Or rather, it was highly successful as long as I didn't need to breathe, which lasted for all of 15 seconds. Sleep Fail. 

Doing better today. I don't feel like I need to hold my stomach to my body as I walk anymore. I swear, I felt like if I didn't physically push my stomach towards my body, it would fall off. It's like I had absolutely no control over my abdominal cavity. Which is also probably why I'm super sore in my ribcage just under my boobs, as I think I'm using those muscles to sit and stand more than I clearly ever did in the past. Oh, and Medrol? It gives me a case of the nausea. Real bad.

Enough bitching though.

Fertilization report is in!!! 

Of the 36 eggs retrieved, 22 were mature.

Of the 22 mature eggs, 18 fertilized.

18 fertilized eggs. I know this is an absolutely effing fabulous number of embies to start off with. <insert ungrateful remarks here> It's just a little hard when you see that it's literally 50% of where we started yesterday. <end ungratefulness> But I'm not going to look a gift embie in the mouth, I'm going to focus on the 18. Not the 36. The wonderful, positively great, worked extremely hard for 18.

Also? 18 is a very lucky number in the Jewish faith. It represents life. The symbol for it, Chai (pronounced "hi" with the weird throaty ch sound) it pictured above. It's a popular charm to wear and have around, even the phrase "L 'Chaim!" means "to life"! It's GOT to be a sign, right? Right?

So for now, I will proclaim L'chaim! as I take my PIO. And keep hoping that some of these 18 embies end up as a part of our lives in a concrete way, not just little guys trying to grow in a dish. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Retrieval complete (CD14)

All done! The ultrasound this morning showed plenty of eggs for retrieval, and it just looked like the smaller immature follicles left the party.

On my way home now. Pretty groggy, but generally ok.

Retrieval count?

36.

Wowzers. I'll find out tomorrow how many were mature and fertilized.
Retrieval PDLAMBLATI

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Oves Like the Dramaz. (CD12)

I knew I should have been worried that things were running too smoothly.

PDLAMBLATI for the day. Hot DAMN I love these socks from Emily. 
Also? I swear I don't have cankles even though it looks like it.
I forgive them for not being super lucky today.

Rewind to yesterday. Had my am appt with wandy and the blood draw. Things looked fine on the ultrasound. Righty was continuing to dominate the party, and lefty a few mm behind. Not bad though. On the right, we had around 25 large follies, the largest being 18.6, 18.5, 18.0, and 18.0. Lefty had around 20 large ones, with sizes around 18.2, 17.3, 16.7, and 16.4. Based on that, Dr S gave me a 90% chance of triggering last night, but wanted to hold off the final decision to take a look at the bloodwork. He *wanted* to wait another day, to give lefty a chance to catch up, but didn't think righty would wait. My bloodwork came back with an e2 of 4228, and a progesterone of 0.5. Based on that, we decided to wait one more day. We took no pm stim shot, and were to hold off on the morning follistim until Dr S could take a look at the oves.


Fast forward to today. We go in for the u/s this morning, and it would appear that righty has totally stopped growing- in fact, the largest seemed like they even lost a little ground. Sizes were 19.3, 19.2, 18.7, and 17.3. Lefty follicles did grow a bit, sized 20.0, 19.6, 18.9, and 18.3. We got the green light to go for the lupron trigger tonight and set a retrieval time of 7:30am Monday morning. We decided that everything was big enough, so no am dose of stims. 


Then my bloodwork came back. My e2, in 24 hours, had plummeted to 1866, and my progesterone dropped to 0.5. Not. Good. At. All. No, no, no. The nurse called around 3pm and told me to take a 150 unit dose of Follistim ASAP-RIGHT-NOW-PLEASE. Basically, what we think happened is that the follies on righty got tired of being the over-achieving growers, and pooped out. We probably lost some of them by going so low on stims over the last 36 hours, instead of coasting like was the goal. Lefty's continued to grow, but weren't contributing as much e2 to the party. The rescue dose of follistim this afternoon was taken to try and prevent us from losing any more follies between now and Monday morning. 

Click to enlarge. The madness that has been my stimming.

Fuckity fuck.


Dr S said he's fully confident that we'll still have plenty to retrieve, but we're probably looking at more like 10-20 instead of the 20-30+ that we were looking at before. Though there's still a fair-to-good chance that we'll continue to have follies bail the party. Effers. I liken this to a party running out of beer- some people leave, some people wait for the host to run to the gas station to pick up a few more cases. I'm hoping enough people stuck around for the reinforcements. This won't affect egg quality at all, just the amount retrieved.


There's also a chance, he said, that everyone could bail before retrieval. Eff balls. We're going to do a quick u/s Monday morning before I get set up for surgery to double check that all my follies haven't deflated. If there aren't many left, we may cancel the retrieval and start over next month. It terrified me to even type that. Dr S said that there are lots of clinics who wouldn't even bother with a retrieval if this were to happen- though he still absolutely will. Because I had so damn many mature follies yesterday, he thinks a retrieval will still be more than worth it even with losing a bunch. Still though. Fuck.


So we're triggered. And  please, please, think patient thoughts for my follies- give them the patience to hold out until more beer arrives. Please. Because I don't want to plan another party. Not any time soon. Nope. I don't.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's not all rainbows and unicorn farts (CD10)

The life of an IVF patient is pretty damn glamorous, as you've all realized by now. I mean, we are the center of attention for a hoard of people for damn near two months, we get to take nearly a week off work, we get to use expensive medications... It's awfully fancy-pants.

The not-so-glamorous side, however, includes the shots. The awfully bruising shots because of the baby aspirin you're taking. The Frequent Wandings. The rapidly increasing list of people who've seen your business. (wait, that's celeb-like too. scratch.) The weight gain. The ugly cries.

But you all know about that stuff too. There have been quite a few things that I wasn't prepared for with this IVF business, though. You're about to get a whole heck of a lot more personal with me right now, so step aside if you're not game. These include:

- A mother effing yeast infection. Made possible by the ten-day course of doxycycline I took post-mock-transfer. Common, yes, after coming off of a round of antibiotics, mother effing annoying? Also yes.

- Pee cramps. Every time I pee out some of the daily 100 oz of water I'm trying to drink, my entire abdomen cramps up. I have to stop and start, stop and start, just to allow the rest of my innards to ooze back to where they're supposed to be. Ow.

- The runs. Admittedly, I've been consuming a lot of protein. A lot. And for a girl who just a few months ago added meat back into her diet after 15 years of abstinence, it's been interesting. Lots of belly-gurgling. Which is fun with the pee cramps.o

- The lack-of-runs. I keep going back and forth between not being able to poo and HAVING TO GO NOW. Constipation sucks. Especially at 3am.

-Lafobbing. Otherwise known as sobbing so hard you realize you're ridiculous and start laughing. But you can't stop sobbing either, so you end up with tears and snot streaming down your face and you try not to inhale them during bits of maniacal laughter. This has happened once per day thus far, since about stim day 6.

- Granny panties and Mu mus. You REALLY think you're going to be fitting into your Sevens when you've gained five pounds in as many days, all in your waistline? Think again. Mu mu's are your best friends, and thongs will get more up close and personal with your business than wandy if you attempt to whip them out this time of the month. (unfortunately, this one speaks from experience)

So there you have it. The ugly side of Hollywood IVF. And this is all PRE-retrieval. Super. It's a good thing my boobs are getting (even) bigger, because Dr Boy reads this blog and I'm pretty sure this post is one big ock-block, if yaknowwhatimean.

Anything else you've all experienced that I have to look forward to?
 
What we've been up to, through today. Friday's dosage is TBD pending the am wanding.
Click to zoom.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Goodbye, NaBloPoMo (CD9)

Today is my final *required* daily post for NaBloPoMo. Am I glad I did it? I think so. This has been one absolutely crazy month, and I know I wouldn't have been able to remember nearly as much as I would have wanted to without Big Brother making sure I did. 

Will I continue to post every day? Ah hells no. More than I did before, for sure, but definitely not every day. I mean, there were a few days in there that I posted absolute crap just to post, and that's not fair to all of you. I'm not in the time-wasting business, just remembering. And talking about myself. And getting ya'lls advice. A lot.

--------------------------
PDLAMBLATI*... Thanks, W&W!

Enough about that. You're probably wondering how my u/s went this morning, huh?

Good! First off, LOVE the nurse that drew my blood this morning. I have awfully difficult veins, and she got me on the first stick, completely blind. Love it. 

Second off, my e2 has started to level off, which is fantastic. It rose to 3673 today, up from 2864 two days ago. Dr S wanted it to stay at or below 4K today, so good times! I'm all up for decreasing my chances for OHSS, and have been really good the last two days about getting my required 100g protein. I even drank 100 ounces of water today. Holy hell. Must be making a difference. Maybe.

My lining was still at 8.1mm. Boo. Not bad, just not better.

As far as follies go, 'ol righty continues to be the breadwinner in the family, though lefty is still making a significant contribution. Righty has 16 large follicles, the largest of which are 14.1mm, 14.1mm, 14mm, and 13.9mm. Lefty has a respectable 12 large ones, 14.0mm, 13.1mm, 13.1mm, and 12.9mm. Basically, everything has grown between 2-4mm since Monday, about 1-2mm per day. 

Follicles? These are my readers.
Readers? These are my follicles.
Make nice.
We've done some creating dosing decisions for the next couple of days. I held at 75 units follistim this am and 1 vial menopur in the pm. Thursday, we're lowering to 50 units follistim, and skipping the pm menopur (yayzies!). Friday, I'm bringing the am follistim to the appt and Dr S will decide where to go. Looks like we'll either be triggering Friday or Saturday, for a Sunday or Monday retrieval. Crazy, considering the Monday retrieval is what they quoted in my calendar. Who would have guessed that it would actually have gone according to plan???

I'm off to go get some sleep... and maybe another glass of water :) Night!


*PDLAMBLATI- Please don't look at my business look at these instead.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Caviar Taste. (CD8)

This has absolutely nothing to do with my post.
Though I think she's saying "I'm glad you don't eat Le Beef"
So a couple of weeks ago, Emily commented on one of my pre-IVF posts "Have you told your ov's your plan yet? They are going to be SO PISSED when they find out what you are gunna make them do!"

Holy hell that girl was right. The cramping started Sunday night. The bloat started in earnest yesterday. I'm up 3.8 pounds. I can feel some swelling in my hands and face, kindof like when you eat a meal that has way too much salt or MSG in it. To combat all of that I'm supposed to try and eat around 100 grams of protein per day, and drown myself in water and electrolytes.

My oves have realized that I'm finally making them get up off their lazy asses and WORK DAMNIT. Their response? "Fine. You want follies? We'll GIVE you follies." I got my results from the e2 bloodwork yesterday.

2864. Wowzers. Help me, Rhonda. Come on, Eileen.

My oves have caviar taste, what can I say. When all we were spending was random $5 copays for IUIs, they laughed. "Really? That's like giving a girl a garage sale purse instead of heading to Coach. We're not putting out for that." Now that we've written the big check for IVF? They're giving up the goods. They wanted to make sure we BOUGHT the damn cow instead of getting the milk for free.

More news tomorrow when we have our u/s. I'm to hold my dose tonight at 1 unit menopur, take my ganirelix in the morning before the appt, but bring the follistim so they can decide how much to give me.

Dare I say it... I actually have hope.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Where I learn I can grow follicles (CD7)

Today's PDLAMBLATI (thanks, Waiting and Wishing!)
 And lots of them, at that.

There aren't many times a PCOS-er is thankful for the hundreds of piece of ess cysts she's got on her oves. During the stim phase of IVF? That's one of them.

Turns out I've got about 14 "good sized" follicles growing on 'ol righty. My RE categorizes "good sized" as 8 or above. The biggest four were 12.3mm, 11.6mm, 11.4mm, and 10.9mm. Lefty is slacking, but only to the tune of 10 "good sized" follies, the biggest of which were 11.6mm, 11.1mm, 10.8mm, and ~9mm. I'm happy. Very, very happy.

Recap: around 7 follies over 10mm on the morning of stim day 6. At least 15 more above 8mm. Score!!! Waiting to hear back about what godawful heights my e2 has climbed to. The plan is to hold our doses at 75 follistim and 1 vial menopur, and start adding in the Ganirelix as soon as I get home this afternoon (moving it to the am tomorrow).

Estimated trigger? Friday or Saturday, which means estimated retrieval? Sunday or Monday.

HFS.

Also, I made a completely anal-retentive spreadsheet to keep things straight. Enjoy!
It could have been worse- I refrained from color-coding.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Just swell. (CD6)

Apparently having your e2 go up by eighteen-fold in four days causes quite the ruckus in one's mid-section. My tummy has been progressively more tender through the day, and I swear, if you were bored enough, you could watch it grow like bamboo. I swear.

Needless to say, this is the first of what I'm sure will be many uncomfortable days ahead. All for a damned good cause, but uncomfortable nonetheless. I am so antsy to get a peek at what's going on in there, which I will in about ten hours. I'm also grateful that my body is responding. I was so doubtful after the piss-poor response we were getting with the IUI stims. Apparently Follistim just does this body good. I made sure to get some protein in with dinner, and had my first bottle of Gatorade. Weight gain as of this morning was 1.6 lbs, though I'm not sure how much of that is ove bloat and how much is sugar bloat

Also? I know I said it yesterday, but I'm so glad I went on a run yesterday. I'm feeling the way I thought I would today, which means no more running for a while. Glad I still did while I could.

10 more hours...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holy Estradiol, Batman! (CD5)

Soooo.... I got my e2 results back. To recap:

11/22 Tuesday: e2 of 55, suppressed ovaries with 25+ follicles on each
11/23 Wednesday: 150 units Follistim am, 2 vials Menopur pm
11/24 Thursday: 150 units Follistim am, 2 vials Menopur pm
11/25 Friday: 150 units Follistim am, 2 vials Menopur pm
11/26 Saturday:  150 units Follistim am

The e2 today? 892. Holy effing ess. Holy. Effing. Ess.

It's funny, as soon as they called, I was all "Wow... I sure feel a lot of pressure near the oves." I'm terrified that I'm stimming too fast and I'm going to get all immature eggs. Terrified. Or, I'm going to end up hyperstimmed.

Needless to say, Dr S decided to cut my doses in half. We started tonight, and cut the pm Menopur down to 1 vial. Tomorrow morning with be 75 units of Follistim. I go in Monday morning for another blood draw and my first U/S.

Also, I went on what I think will be my last run until I feel safe while pregnant tonight. My dad, brother, and Dr Boy all went through the greenbelt in town, and it felt awesome. I'm really glad I got that in before things get going *too* much, and I'm glad my family got to enjoy that part of the town we live in too.

But the rest of it?

HFS.

Blood Draw-maz (CD5)

So you know how I mentioned I was starting to get stretched a little thin?

Yeah, I definitely am.

The evidence? I went to bed at 11:30 last night after the movie, frozen yogurt (red velvet cake batter/cable car chocolate swirl with hot fudge, more sprinkles than yogurt, and a little spritz of whipped cream) (clearly the sugar fast is over) (though i know i need to dial it back when the fam's gone), and hanging with the fam back at the house before everyone went to bed. Woke up at 5am this morning to get to work by 6. Left work at 8 to get my blood drawn. Pulled up to the lab, and realized I COMPLETELY FORGOT TO TAKE MY LAB ORDERS. Mother effer. Another case of me being my father's absent-minded daughter.

After a frantic call home to Dr Boy (who was *just* about to get in the shower, thank god I didn't wait), he sent over some cell phone pics of the documents, so the lab could at least get started with the paperwork, draw, and processing. They wouldn't send anything back to my RE until we faxed things over though, but we had until 11am to do that. PHEW! I am so grateful they did that for me, as there was NO WAY I could drive home and get it, especially not before the 9am deadline the RE gave me. And NOT with having to head back to work right after.

Then the phlebotomist told me all about her love of purses, gastric bypass surgery, and how she left her husband after she lost the weight and her husband couldn't handle it. She went out to get the mail, and never came back.

Dramaz! To her credit, she found a vein pretty damn easily in my arm and it didn't hurt. Win! I should be getting a call from the RE in a couple of hours to see what my E2 is and if we need to adjust the meds.

After work, we add in-law madness to the plate. Four of my family are leaving though, so it's an even exchange. Still, I cannot WAIT to sleep for a year after this weekend is over. Maybe Dr Boy can just give me my injections while I'm passed out?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Short and Sweet (CD4)

I've been hanging out with family since Wednesday which has been AWESOME. I am starting to get spread a bit thin though. My parents, grandma, brother, uncle, uncle's gf and her two kids, and my parents two dogs all came up to visit, some at our house, and some at the hotel. I am so thankful they're all here, but the reason they came up here? I have work. 6am to 2pm. Every. Day. So I'm kindof flippin' tired now. Really. Really. Tired.

Oh? Also? Today was our fourth day of shots. We were out at dinner at 6:30, when it was time, we headed back to the bathroom and did the deed there. How's THAT for a quickie! The menopur burns more than it used to, though we were given 27 gauge needles this time instead of the 31 gauge needles we used during our IUIs. They are DEFINITELY worse, and I highly recommend requesting the 31's. For serious. Also, the follistim is leaving little bruises. Very, very annoying.

Last, we went to see Hugo tonight, in 3-D. The first act was a bit slow, but once it got going, the movie was truly beautiful. Highly recommend, but not for kids. Too slow. But beautiful. That's not the point of mentioning that though. They had previews for some other movies coming out... one of which was the re-released Titanic in 3-D. It brought me right back to senior year of high school, when I saw the movie in the theaters THREE TIMES. And bawled my flippin' eyes out. THREE TIMES. Glutton for punishment, this one is :)  So back to the preview. Just watching it? Bawled my eyes out. Damn stims. I was quite the source of entertainment for my family today!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

TVT, Turkey Style (CD3)

It's Thought Vomit Thanksgiving, ya'll! I am way too tired from cleaning and baking and organizing and setting up for my visiting family (four staying with us, four in a hotel) to put together more than bullet points today. Though, let's be honest, when do I ever?

- After three injections, I have entered the irrational crying stage of IVF. I cried this morning at how happy I was that everyone was in town. I cried when I got a picture of my dad and brother, who just finished running their first joint 10K. I cried when I started THINKING about how annoyed I am at not being able to watch HIMYM for a while. To be honest though? This irrational crying thing? Makes me feel more like me. So I'm good with it.

- The final weigh-in is complete for my sugar-fast challenge. On Halloween, the first day I abstained, I came in at a shocking 193 lbs. Thank you, two rounds of IUI/injectables, and lots of Mike's Pastry in Boston. And finding consolation in a bottle (ha! *a* bottle) of good wine. And a bag (or two or three) of Trader Joe's white cheddar puffed corn (fake pirate booty). To recap, I'm 5' 8 1/2". Last year at this time, I was 178. Super duper. So.... what does running a 5K and laying off the white stuff for 25 days get you? FIVE POUNDS. Yup, I weighed in at 187.8 this morning. It helps that some of the AF bloat went down too. It's def not where I want to be, but it's a good starting point.

- I went on another baking binge Tuesday night, to make my family think I'm all Suzy Homemaker. I baked chocolate zucchini muffins, pumpkin spice muffins*, GF pumpkin bread, and pumpkin cookies w/cinnamon icing. The most impressive part of that was actually cooking all the damn deliciously battered items without tasting A SINGLE MORSEL OF BATTER. Or finished product. Until yesterday.

- Apparently, there are a few of you out there that like me! I've been bestowed the Liebster Award! Apparently, Liebster means "dearest" in German. This one has been floating around the blogosphere this week, going to folks with less than 200 followers. I received it from three other awesome ladies whose blogs I *love* to see pop up on my unread reader list. Rebeccah from Pink Lipgloss and Prenatals, Oak from Acorn Chronicles, and Kelly from Team Baby are all rockstars themselves, and I VERY much appreciate knowing that they enjoy my thought vomit! They've all been great support so far in this IVF journey, as have the rest of you!



Here are the rules to pass this baby on: 
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite bloggers and keep it going!
 
Here are 5 bloggers I would like to pass the award on to:
1. Lauren, from Not Just An Army Wife (she barely squeaks in at 195 followers!)
3. Megan, from This Space for Rent
4. The lovely Waiting and Wishing
 
These ladies are all truly wonderful, and deserve a good look! They'll crack you up and make you cry, all at the same time. Or maybe that's just me.... 

Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving!!! And to those of you *not* celebrating Thanksgiving, Happy Thursday!


*One box spiced cake mix, one can of pumpkin, 1/2 cup water. Bake according to the directions on the box, add a minute or two of baking time. Thanks, Lauren, for the recipe!!! She also suggests you add a decadent cream cheese frosting... hold me...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Take THAT, ute! (CD2)

The taunting worked :) I arrived home yesterday after work and errands... and voila! Just barely, too, as the props used in the taunting were unscathed. One point JM, Zero points Ute.

See kids? Scare tactics work. And school yard bullying.


We did our first injection this morning, and our second this evening. The schedule for now is for 150 units Follistim in the mornings, and 2 vials of Menopur in the evenings. Dr Boy has been awesome and woke up at 5:30am today so he could inject me before I left for work. He rocks the IVF-spouse job. The follistim bruised. Not a fan. It didn't burn or hurt, just left a surprising bruise. The menopur hurt like a mother effer this time! Which shocked me, because I didn't find it that bad last time. I think we shot it too close to the follistim bruise. We'll fix that one tomorrow, for sure.

The plan is to do bloodwork on Saturday and evaluate things. (Did I mention my e2 from Tuesday came back at 55? Nice and suppressed. Though not as low as it could have been. Oh well.) I'll have my next ultrasound on Monday, which will be the 6th day of stims. Good times!

Also, I ended the sugar fast today, since I started stims. My breaker of choice? A pumpkin spice cookie with cinnamon frosting. It. Was. Amazing. I made it a very proud 25 days.... woohoo! It'll definitely make me think twice about the sugar I put into my body from here on out. At least for, say, the next five minutes or so.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm suppressed.

Had a bit of both the good and the bad this morning. Part of the good was Dr Boy being there for the visit :) With how hectic his schedule is, it's awesome that he's making the effort to go to as much as possible, even if it means getting up a whole hour earlier.

The good- I'm properly suppressed. Lots of follies on each ovary (he said 25+), all nice and small and anxiously awaiting the hard stuff. My lining was measuring about 3.5mm or maybe a wee bit thicker, so Dr S said to expect AF to arrive later today or tomorrow. I have yet to experience a single abdominal cramp, so we'll see about that. (side note: I am taunting AF HARD CORE today. I wore light khaki pants, and fancy undies. And a hot pink sweater. I am practically saying "nah nah nah nah nah, you can't catch me!" in hopes that she's as petty as I am and will show up. I use taunting whenever possible. Even with my own body.) We had a funsies back-of-the-hand blood draw, and we're going to see what my E2 is to decide whether to start stimming tomorrow or Thursday. Ack. Big, big, ack. I should hear from them in the next half hour or so.

The bad- Dr Boy had another analysis of his contribution a little bit ago. They run a more detailed SA for IVF at my clinic than they do for IUIs, with much more strict criteria for morphology and such. Dr S said that only about 25% of samples actually pass the threshold (15% morphology something-or-other) and get recommended to regular old fertilization post-retrieval. Unfortunately, Dr Boy's sample was only at 8%. So, we have a couple of choices. Go ahead and do ICSI, or retest on the day of the retrieval and decide.

We're not sure what to do. Or rather, I'm not sure what to do. I'd rather fertilize naturally, but Dr Boy just wants to take the sure bet. Obviously if the test comes back sub-par on retrieval day, we'll just ICSI and be done with it, because certainly rather get lots of fertilized eggs than not. I think we're going to table that one for now and decide later. That's a plan I can get on board with.

So... yeah! There we are. One of our last injection-free days for the next four months or so, hopefully!

Oh, and here's your daily dose of my "please-don't-look-at-my-biznass-look-at-these-instead" socks. Otherwise known as PDLAMBLATI socks. Also, I shaved my sasquatch legs today. Not for Dr Boy. For the RE.
Today's PDLAMBLATI brought to you by my SIL. I think.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Welcome, ICLWers!

Welcome to anyone stopping by my little piece of the interwebz from ICLW! I love finding new blogs during this time of the month... and I love when new people find me! But really, who doesn't, right?

You've found me right at the start of our journey with our first round of IVF. After almost three years of trying, three rounds of clomid, and two IUI's with menopur, this PCOS-er is moving on and pulling out the big guns. I've got super cystey ovaries, so IVF is the best way to stim them and still control how many babies I pop out at the end :) We took our last BCP on Thursday, and are patiently waiting for AF to arrive so we can start our stims for the antagonist protocol. Either way, our suppression check is tomorrow, bright and early.

Aside from that, I'm your typical almost-thirty year old infertile. Lots of obsessing over each little thing, crying at HIMYM, wistfully staring at moms participating in stroller 5K's.

Oh yeah, also? I've sworn off sugar until I start stims. Today marks my 22nd day. Which, you'll notice, started on HALLOWEEN. I know not why I torture myself.

Stop by and say hi... I'll do the same!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Patiently Waiting

For my family to arrive Wednesday for Thanksgiving.

For my (hopefully) last CD1 for the next year-ish to arrive.

To start IVF.

Baseline u/s is Tuesday morning no matter what happens.

Patience is not a virtue I possess.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I trotted! Turkey Style!

I did it! I finished the race :) I knew I would finish. The only thing in question was the time. I'm thrilled to say I finished the Turkey Trot in 39:23- which was faster than my goal of 42 minutes! I know it's still a painfully slow pace (just over 13 minute miles), but I'm still happy. I haven't run a race in 7 years, and to be honest, this is the first one I didn't want to die after having run. I consider that a WIN!

Also a win? The fabulous sign my friends made for me and Dr Boy at the finish line. It definitely gave me the adrenaline I needed to SPRINT the last 20 seconds or so.
Names have been obscured to protect the guilty
Rock on.

Things of note:
- I love running intervals. I ran (with a friend) for the first 11 minutes straight, then took on intervals of 3 minutes running, 1 minute walking. Worked for us!
- The adrenaline of all those people starting out the race together? Intense! No wonder we skipped our first few walking intervals.
- It was 41 degrees when we started the race. I wish I had mittens. But at least I looked cute-ish?
Admire the fancy running gear
- Dr Boy finished 5 minutes faster than me. Damn him. My consolation prize? I hurt less now than he does. Of course, I trained, and he didn't, so that's fair.
- After the race, Dr Boy had a beer. Because that's how he rolls. We then went to breakfast and ate way more food than is justified for only having run 3 miles. Whatever. It was delicious.
- I'll be taking December off of running (IVF, duhzies), but plan on getting back on the horse in January, pregnant or not. After consulting my physician, of course. The real one. Not the one I'm married to.

Thanks for all the support!

(also, here's one of my favorite pics from this morning, before the race. Love.
We are clearly way too cool for this race.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The kindness of "strangers"

You might remember that about a month ago, when Dr Boy and I were struggling with the decision of whether to go with another menopur/IUI, a fantastic pregnant-with-miracle-trips-through-IVF blogger, Emily, sent me some AWESOME socks. We all know how important socks are! I like to think that it's the socks they're paying attention to while I'm all up in the stirrups, not my biznass. And ya'll will just have to let me live with that illusion.

Well, looks like the immense kindness of the IF community has struck again! I am so lucky to be a part of this group- you are all such wonderful people, and immense sources of knowledge and strength. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

But back to the story. Something AWESOME-SAUCE showed up in the mail today. Something that looked like this:

My cycle-buddy over at Waiting and Wishing sent me an IVF care package. She and I took our last BCP on the same day, so we'll be quite close to each other in terms of cycling. Which is soooo nice. So nice to share the crazy. I like to think that we keep each other entertained. I made her look bipolar on the elliptical, and she made me rethink the way I look at public restrooms forever. We're a good pair!

Not one, but TWO pairs of awesome please-don't-look-at-my-biznass-look-at-these-instead socks. A bookmark with a beautiful inspirational quote. And a note card that looks like it has TWO IMPLANTABLE EMBRYOS!! How flippin' awesome is that?

I am so lucky, you guys. In spite of all this unlucky, I am lucky.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ode to my BCP



You are now done.
Let's have some fun.
With ovulatory action.
And a bun to put in my ovun.


Today I took my last birth control pill. Quite the exciting swallow. (that's what she said) (yes I'm mature enough to parent) (or at least i will be in 9 months)

I do have a dilemma though, and I'd love some advice. Initially, my protocol involved me taking 22 BCP's, which would make tomorrow my last. Back in the day that I thought I actually needed birth control, I used to get a CD1 about 5 or 6 days after the last pill, which in this case would be Wed or Thurs. I'm supposed to have a baseline u/s on CD1, then start stims on CD2. Right now that u/s is scheduled for Tues, which I think will be too early.

Soooo... I talked to my nurse and she said to cut it down to 21 pills. Hopefully pulling my cycle up by one day and making everything hunky dory.

My question- do I take the 22nd pill or not?

I'm so afraid of timing this all right. I kindof with that it weren't overlapping Thanksgiving, but I guess it is what it is. At least this way we'll know if it was successful before Christmas. Which will be good or bad.

I think I'm just going to call it quits at 21, but I'm still nervous. The RN mentioned that I can still have my baseline u/s on Tuesday, whether I've gotten CD1 or not, so I guess we'll just go with it.

Watch, I'm going to start this weekend and it'll be all screwed :) Because that's what you get when you try and plan, right?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Century Club

Yep, this is lucky number 100. I wish I had something more earthshattering or even entertaining to talk about, but, really, you're not reading Meier Madness for life affirmations so it's ok.

So I'm running a 5K on Saturday called the Turkey Trot. I shall trot away, and hopefully not end up looking like a turkey in the process. My goal is to not finish last in my age group, which may be difficult when you're slow as eff like I am and still under the age of 30. I have to keep telling myself that at least I'm out there doing it, right?

Right?

Even if it takes me 45 minutes?

Awww gee. At least I get to wear my new spiffy cold-weather running clothes. That'll make it fun, right?

What things do you all do that you never thought you would? I hate running. Or, at least I used to. Now? It doesn't suck quite as much ass.

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This lame post has been brought to you by NaBloPoMo.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Because the picture before didn't do it justice...

So this is what's needed for the antagonist protocol, eh? (click to zoom)

I took a photo on my phone when they all arrived, but it definitely didn't do the hoard of meds justice. So, in all its glory, I present you with the obligatory IVF medication photo.

1. Follistim pen
2. Ganirelex (5 doses)
3. Follistim vials (900ml and a 600ml)
4. Antibiotics for retrieval
5. Lupron trigger... in a vial in the bottle
6. Valium for transfer
7. Estrace
8. Steroids for retrieval/transfer
9. Menopur and q-caps, 14 vials
10. PIO (sesame), enough for about 30 doses
11. Needles for drawing and administering PIO
12. Needles for administering menopur
13. Needles for administering the lupron trigger
14. birth control, ALMOST DONE!!!
15. Alcohol swabs
16. TWO sharps containers.

The only things that are missing are some gauze for any bleeding shots, and a small dose of HCG to be administered on retrieval day. The theory is that it'll help my lining to stay thick, and do something or other to mitigate any OHSS I may develop.

Seeing it all laid out like that? Holy cow. At least with the antagonist protocol, there aren't additional lupron shots to be given at the end of the BCP phase, so I can honestly say that this ISN'T as bad as most!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Recipes!

First off, did I make a mistake posting this on a Sunday? Because I cracked myself up. And the goat pic with the milk on the lip? Adorbs. #thatisall

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Second, I love the internetz. While I also love the few cookbooks I own, the interwebz is such a fantabulous source for finding new things. From last night's cooking binge came the following:

Triple Chocolate Cookies- I also love this blogger's muffins. Oh, and with the cookies? I bake eight to a sheet for 14 minutes each. With the dough refrigerated in between batches. And usually freeze a bunch of the dough to snack on w/out baking. So. Ridonkulously. Good.

Gluten Free Bread- Elena has a thing against Almond Flour from Bob's Red Mill, so I bought the stuff she touts on the website. The next day, I found some at Trader Joe's. So.... yeah. I have a lot of Almond Flour. Good thing I like the bread!!! I also used a regular loaf pan, so it's more biscotti shaped than bread, but it's still FABULOUS lightly toasted with butter or a bit of cream cheese!

Roasted Tri-tip: Yes, I know she said to use tenderloin, but the basic concept is the same. And butter? Critical.

The meatballs were a family recipe courtesy of my FIL. So I can't go there.

Enjoy!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A List.

1. I baked one gluten-free loaf of bread today. And? It tastes delicious. Who knew?

2. I baked one batch of triple chocolate chip cookies today. EFFING TORTURE. Today is day 14 of the sugar hiatus. I didn't lick a spoon, taste any dough, or enjoy the fruits of my labor. But, Dr Boy will have a nice fat batch to take to work tomorrow, making up for the fact that we didn't have a contribution to the potluck last week due to an untimely power outage.

3. I roasted a tri-tip. Lots of beef for Dr Boy to eat through the week... I'm thinking on top of a salad, steak sandwich, and BBQ style. Good times.

4. I made turkey meatballs. Four servings of easy Dr Boy dinner, coming right up.

5. The theme of today was: I'm too lazy ass to do big cooking during the week, so I'm going to get it out of my system today.

6. I made fried zucchini cakes for ME. And they were delicious.

7. We folded six loads of laundry.

8. I am now going to go to sleep. Feeling productive. And tired. And a little cranky, but I think that's the BCP talking :)

9. INJECTION TRAINING TOMORROW. 'Nuff said.

10. Good night!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

More Farm Fun!

So things are still going slowly and boring, so I shall regale you with more tales of the barnyard babies that I busied myself with the week before Halloween.

When we went, one of the areas had a pair of pygmy goats that had been born 11 days prior. With their protective, but still very docile, mother. They were ADORABLE. See?

That hand was later marred by the cute bunny.

Lots of adorable-ness to be had. We pet, we prodded, we swooned. Eleven day old goat kids are totally adorbs. And, like most eleven day old creatures, are hungry. So, so, very hungry.

Awwww... look at how cute nature is in the act.
So the goat kids went on their merry way nursing. And then, something happened. Something, primal.

The goat kids? They WENT AT THOSE NIPS LIKE THEY WERE BOBBING FOR APPLES. Hard. Core. I swear to god, the force they pumped their heads into those teats sent my boobs shriveling up inside my body. Holy HELL they were nursing aggressively. I swear to god, that shiz made me think twice about wanting to breastfeed. For serious.

I might be cute, but I might also rip this shiz off to get a better flow. Don't think I won't. 'Cause I will.
I seriously don't think you understand how AT IT these kids were going. I still shudder to think about it.

Oh yeah. I totally scarred you. Scarred your eyes, and scarred my mom's nips.  Mmmm hmmm.
Oh, and if you think it wasn't on purpose? Think again.

Goat milk. Does a body good.


I may never look at a baby goat the same way again.

Friday, November 11, 2011

They're here!

Our meds arrived!!! Holy hell there's a lot of needles. Injection training is Monday. Last BCP is next Friday.

This might actuay be happening, huh?


Thursday, November 10, 2011

TVT

- I am tired of sugar-fasting. TIRED OF IT AND I WANT TO EAT SUGAR DAMNIT. Yeah, that's one of them. Today completes day eleven. My goal to stay off the white stuff until I start stims? In a perfect world, that's fourteen days away. I'm not even halfway through. I caught myself staring at the candy bars in the snack shack at the work kitchen today while my lunch was in the microwave. Sad. I'm hoping this is just the hard part getting past the hump and then it'll be smooth sailing. Jamima said it worked that way for her. Dear god please let this get easier.

- I am so effing antsy to start stims. Or more accurately, to get my damned period, which will mark when I'm able to start stims. I don't know if it's because I started BCPs on CD20ish, without a bleed, because there was no ovarian activity, but MAN, my ute feels ready to burst. 8 more pills. And seriously? I wouldn't be surprised if AF makes me pay for the fact that I'm trying to make it my last for a year.

- Meds arrive tomorrow. ALL of them, apparently. Unless we need refills, of course. I talked to the pharmacy today and it looks like they did order my post-transfer stuff along with everything else. So the cheapie price? Wow. Happy times.

- Our power finally came back on at 11pm last night. We forgot to turn off all the lights, so we were thrown from sleep into a VERY WELL LIT HOUSEHOLD. I think we'll do a better job at not leaving all the lights on in the house from now on ;)

- On that note, we DID manage to cut our gas/electric bill in half this month! To be fair, weather permitted us to not turn on the heat OR the a/c a single time, but still... I'm happy! That certainly won't be the case this month, as it's been flippin' frigid. Because yes, 38 degrees in the morning is frigid to this CA wuss.

- I have tomorrow off... thanks a ton, Veterans! No seriously, thank you. You are awesome. All of you who ARE, or have significant others who are members of our armed forces, you are ridiculously awesome, and I wish I could thank every single one of you.

- I have tomorrow off, thank god because I might damn well murder one of my colleagues. It's a boys club in the office. I'm the only woman who works there, aside from our admin assistant. There's lots of douche-baggery that goes on, and I don't always feel very included. Today especially. Effers.

Vomit on, folks!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Power

We don't haz it.

Instead, we haz candles. And blankets for the chill. And blogging from my cell.

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In more important news, we ordered our IVF meds today! They arrive on Friday, so we can take them to our injection training Monday morning. Two pluses:

1. The clinic sent in some coupons that took $400 off the bill. Score!

2. The bill was $1K less than the estimate! Double score!

I'm sure we're going to end up outlaying more, as they were conservative with the quantities. That's always nice. Plus, this doesn't include the meds needed post-transfer. Those are a steroid, an estrogen of some sort, and the ever-exciting PIO. Estimate for that isn't bad at all.


One more step closer! And only 9 more BCPs.

The wait is killing me, but I'm sure it'll sneak up fast!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Such a Good Girl

This pup? She makes my heart melt.

Most days.

Today is one of them :)