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.


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.


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.

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.

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.


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.


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 :)
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.


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?


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

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.