Thursday, January 26, 2012

X Marks the Uterus!

PDLMBLATI*, from the lovely Emily** Arrrr, matey! X marks the Uterus!

We had an appointment this morning to get my baseline ultrasound and bloodwork, just to make sure there wasn't any rogue dominant follicle trying to claw its way through the lupron. That would have made me PISSED because this lupron stuff is a bitch that I never want to have to deal with again.

Luckily for all involved parties, I'm suppressed. No follies, ovaries nice and high and difficult to wand properly. Score. Not sure what my e2 came back at yet, but I can't imagine very high. They had to poke both arms though, so I'm already on my way to junkie status again.

We're clear to start our estrace tabs tomorrow, and the lovely estradiol valerate IM injections every Friday and Tuesday for the forseable future. Yay me. And yay Dr Boy, who gets to start shooting me in the arse again. We're still on track for a Feb 15th transfer, in 20 days if you're counting (like me).

Another word on the lupron though. I hates it. Much. It gives me hot flashes, it keeps me from sleeping soundly, it exacerbates my depression, and today, it gave me a migraine that wouldn't go away even with excedrin. Not cool, lupron, not cool. If we're (un)lucky enough to have to go through another FET (let's pretend it's for baby #2 so I don't curl up into the fetal position), I am going to urge REAL hard for a different protocol that does NOT involve this winner of a drug. I just don't like what it's doing to me. At. All. I think Dr Boy will be fully on board with this plan as well. So will Hannah. And the cats. And anyone else I've interacted with in the last 10 days or so.

As for the therapist, I'm still waiting to get an appointment. But it will happen, and soon. Promise. Thank you all for the lovely, wonderful comments. It helps to know I'm not alone, not the only person that's going through this. In fact, the formerly-annoyed-army-wife wrote a very similar post just today. Had a nice LONG talk with Dr Boy this morning, and I think we're both feeling a little better about everything. I hope. At least, it was made more clear that it's truly not you, it's me. Because it's NOT him. It IS me.

But it'll get better.

*PDLMBLATI- Please Don't Look at My Business Look at These Instead
**Emily, giving us IFers hope at A Peek Into Our Journey

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Clearly I need help.

No, seriously, I do.

I keep complaining ad naseum about how I'm still depressed over our Dec IVF failure, and how I'm not excited about our Feb FET, and how the world is grey and I have no motivation and blah blah blah. I know I'm depressed right now. And I know I'm not really doing anything to help the situation, other than sitting here and riding it out. In the years that I've been off the meds (nothing makes you sound like a wack-job quite like saying you're "off your meds"), that's been my main course of action. I have highs, I have lows. The lows suck donkey balls, but they never really last more than a week or so.

I think I've hit my four week mark.

That's too long to "ride it out."

I came to this conclusion over the weekend. Two things really kicked it in the ass for me.

1. Dr Boy went snowboarding and was gone for two days. I had a three-day weekend, and left the house once. Literally. When I let poor Hannah out to potty, I didn't even step outside. I owe her for being such a trooper.

2. I started wondering whether we should even bother with the FET. Clearly I wasn't able to take care of myself or the household, so how in the hell would I take care of a kid? And (in my mind at the time) it probably wouldn't work anyways so why bother with the fuss of it all.

Screeching halt. I was questioning whether or not the mom thing was something I even wanted anymore?

That couldn't be me talking. That had to be the depression. There are a lot of things that I've been questioning lately, and I can't sort out which ones are me and which are the depression. I know the lupron I've been on for over a week now is probably exacerbating things, as is the fact that it's CD2, but still. This isn't me.

So I called up the IVF nurses and asked for a therapist recommendation. They left a message with one to contact me, and unfortunately, I'm still waiting. A day and a half later. But I reached out, and the appt will get made, and I'll have a chance to talk these things out with someone that is equipped to deal with this.

Because I'm tired of whining. And having no motivation to do anything other than sit on the couch. Unshowered. In my pajamas. For three days. (ok i showered once in those three days, i'm not completely gross. and i changed my sheets after, if it makes you feel better.) I'm tired of not doing ANYTHING productive at work. I'm tired of gaining weight form inactivity and emotional eating. I'm tired of not calling up friends to interact. I'm tired of not being excited about anything any more.

But mostly, I'm tired of having no energy to put towards hope. I can't go into our FET this way. And I can't expect it to magically happen on its own.

Why can't I just be chemically balanced? Sigh.

(and don't even get me started on how terrified i am of depression during the pregnancy and post-partum. effing terrified.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm blushing...

So remember when I posted this about our first IVF failure? I made it on that your ecards website. It summed up my whole thoughts on the process at the time.

Guess what?

Someone else found it too! Thanks, InfertileNaomi!!! I heart her blog. She may not have given me 999 reasons to laugh at infertility yet, but she's definitely working her way up there! Glad I could contribute :)

Also? Lupron hot flashes are for the birds. The kind of birds that can very kindly STAY THE EFF AWAY FROM ME thankyouverymuch.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The itchies and the bitchies

You know what today is, fine folks? Today is my last day of birth control... w00t! Very exciting stuff here. Based on my track record, I should be getting 'ol AF next Tues or Wed, and have an ultrasound and bloodwork appointment next Thurs to check out the oves and hormone levels. Show? Almost on the road.

I started lupron on Tuesday to suppress the heck out of lefty and righty. Though let's be honest, we needed to do fertility treatments because I *don't* ovulate on my own, so in my opinion it's overkill. But whatever, I was kindof missing all the lovely side effects from all the meds anyways :)

I was on the antagonist protocol for IVF, so I never used lupron for down regulation, just whopping high dose as a trigger. I remember the itchies that ensued for almost two days after the trigger QUITE well. Didn't think our litlte microdoses of 15 units out of an insulin syringe would have the same effect, but surprise! It does. Though it doesn't last as long. Just a nice little reminder for an hour or two that it indeed was there.

Oh! And I'm bitchy! (if you know me, you're all "well duh. not exactly the announcement of the century.") The lupron makes me bitchiER. I'm finding myself MUCH more annoyed by the little things these past couple of days, and I'm blaming it on the meds. Watch out- I'm on these babies for a full three weeks... good times!

In other news, we got the new esradiol valerate, mixed in ethyl oleate, a hypoallergenic (in theory) synthetic oil to replace the sesame oil stuff. Hope that plus the less frequent injections lead to less hives overall- always a good goal in my opinion!

Other than that, life has been a bit crazy. Lots of trip planning (things are set for our ski trip... yay!), lots of relaxing, and finally lots to do at work. I'm pretty much operating on "ignorance is bliss" mode right now. That way I don't have to think about the fact that there are 27 more days until our transfer, 35 more days until our beta, and 37 more days until our RE confirms success or failure.

That's a lot of days. A lot of time for something to go wrong. A lot of time to be reminded that this is our *second* embryo transfer. Every time I think about it, I'm reminded of the simple truth that IVF didn't work for us. The last resort, the big guns, failed. I knew it was possible. I knew it wasn't likely, but not likely doesn't mean not possible. I'm *still* having so much trouble getting past that simple fact, and I'm so annoyed by it that I'm ready to punch myself listening to me whine about it.

So instead of whining, I'm ignoring. All that excitement over today being the last BCP? Feigned. In fact, the thing I'm most excited about today is how AWESOME my hair smells because of shampoo I started using today.

One of these days I'll get "in the mood" for our FET. Just not today. And probably not tomorrow either.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

They're here, take two.

While meds for a frozen transfer aren't quite as exciting a delivery as those for a fresh cycle, it is still fun to see. I give you, in all their glory, my token frozen embryo transfer medication photo:
FET meds are faaaancy.
1. Big-ass PIO drawing-up needles
2. Insulin syringes for lupron shots
3. Needles for PIO administration
4. Sharps container (methinks one won't be enough though)
5. Needles for Delestrogen (generic for estrogen valerate)
6. Valium for transfer
7. Estrace
8. Steroids for retrieval/transfer
9. Delestrogen. In mother effing sesame oil***
10. PIO (ethyl oleate), enough for about 30 doses
11. Alcohol swabs (really, they thought 20 would be enough???)
12. Lupron
13. Moral support- Hannah

Not bad, not bad. The only thing missing is a round of nausea-inducing doxycycline. This stash is sickeningly cheaper than the stash for a full cycle. Even with the more expensive PIO because of the itchy-ass incident from last time around. It is comical that with all those needles, they really thought I only needed one sharps container and 20 flippin' alcohol bads. Seriously? <shakes head>

***I am also now SHAKING MY HEAD VIOLENTLY at my FET coordinators, as they ordered me an injectable estrogen in none other than sesame oil. They remembered to order the PIO in a hypoallergenic oil, but not the estrogen? Seriously? The deep bruising the hives left behind are JUST BARELY GOING AWAY. Narg.

Luckily, we have our injection re-training tomorrow morning, so we can bring that little situation up. Oh, and an ultrasound to make sure all my lovely cysts from post-retrieval have gone away. It's been so long since I've seen wandy... I'll have to be sure to pick out some nice socks for him :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Clearly my feelings are delicious

Or I wouldn't currently weigh MORE THAN I DID ON EGG RETRIEVAL DAY.

Yes, I said it. I have managed to gain weight during a time where it should be falling off my mid-section, one empty follicle at a time. Really though, how does one actually expect that to happen when they eat like they're growing triplets, but the only thing going on down there is a shrinking barrel of cysts?

Don't get me wrong. My feelings were delicious. The holiday candy, the large servings, the godknowshowmany bottles of wine. And hot damn they were necessary! These past four weeks post-BFN have been a bit of awful followed by less awful followed by GOOD GOD HOW DID YOU THINK YOU WERE OK AGAIN awful. The less awful was spent with family over the holidays, a blissful ten days where I could bitch and moan about my horrible period, pop a BCP, and bury myself in playdates and Christmas cheer. And 80-degree weather (thank you Los Angeles).

The awful awful hit this week, as I think it does for many people post-holidays. In my case, the post-holiday depression wave collided with the post-vacation depression wave, which then collided with the here's-your-fet-calendar-because-ivf-failed-wave. Those of us who remember our physics know that when waves collide, they can sometimes cancel each other out, but with my luck? The amplified into a tsunami of grief that I just kept feeding.

It ended in me crying at the movies last night. Seeing Sherlock Holmes. Which I assure you, is not a sad movie. Though I cry a lot at movies, this was a new low, even for me.

I'm not going to feed it anymore.

I'm going to be ok.

I'm going to get pregnant. (eventually)

I'm going to stick to my healthy living/eating resolutions. (more on how THAT's going later)

I'm going to get through this.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Well that last calendar sure lasted long :)

I've been a bit anxious about our proposed FET date and beta. Our plan had our transfer on Monday Feb 6th, then flying off to Denver to hang out with friends and ski five days later. We'd come back Monday the 13th, then have our beta on V Day. I had reconciled the fact that I wouldn't be skiing while there, and refraining from imbibing with friends. No biggie. We were, however, nervous what effect the travel and inevitable activity and excitement of the weekend would have on implantation. We know it would have occurred before Friday, but if this cycle ended up a bust, we would for SURE blame it on the weekend. Two things would happen. Well, three really.

1. I would be pissed off at the FET for ruining what could have been a fantastic weekend of skiing and drinking with friends. (which, I might add, I'd gladly give up for a baby, but we're moving on the assumption that this doesn't result in a cute pooping blop of smooshable baby)

2. I would be pissed off at the weekend of travel and hanging out with friends for ruining our implantation and blame it for our BFN.

3. I would cry a lot. (inevitable, yes)

None of these things would be good, so we changed our FET date. Our new transfer date is Wednesday Feb 15th, *after* we return from our trip. I am so relieved that we did this. I know we won't have anything to pin a failed transfer on, so nothing gets ruined. Plus, there are no major holidays or important dates for the BFN parade to rain on (yes, I'm now superstitious about that).

Our new calendar looks like this:
The color coding makes me insanely happy. Insanely. Click to enlarge.
I'm still anxious about pushing it back, strictly on the premise that we wanted to get to our next transfer as soon as humanly possibly. I'm willing to deal with that anxiety, though, knowing how much the good of a delayed transfer outweighs the good of an earlier one.

Plus, I didn't love my old calendar enough to color code it, so that must be saying something.

There you have it. Our plan. Revised. Let me know if you're cycling in Jan/Feb- I'd love to follow along!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Top Ten...

...things that have happened since you last heard from me. In no particular order.

1. We got our calendar for our FET. Or rather, I got my period on Christmas Eve, called the clinic, and started birth control on Christmas Day for our FET. THEN we got our calendar. It looks a little something like this:
And by a little something I mean exactly. Click to enlarge.
Basically, we're transferring on February 6th. Which puts our 1st beta on Valentine's Day. I think I shall protest. (In fact, this calendar is looking like it's going to change. More on that tomorrow.)

2. Post-IVF periods are quite possibly the worst periods OF YOUR LIFE. Let's just say the PIO did it's job, because it was NOT PRETTY. So much cramping. Didn't help that we drove for 6 hours the day it started, but seriously? Worst period cramps of my life. They were about the same level as my cramping from the retrieval, about 1 or 2 days post-op. It's a miracle though, that I didn't set myself on fire with my grandma's borrowed heating pad. I wish I got a picture of this thing- I think it was seriously from the 60s. We threw it away when it started to smell like burning.

3. I set goals for getting healthy (again) this year. Mainly, shape the eff up before our FET. I'm dropping the sugar like a rock again this month. Yay. Dr Boy and I signed up for another 5K, which we'll run the day before the FET. Take THAT, bedrest-bloat. We bought headlamps and warmer running clothes so we have no "wah wah i'm too cold it's too dark" excuses with running.

Our sleepy passenger- complete with doggie seatbelt. Safety first!
4. I spent 10 days in Los Angeles with the fam. Loved every minute. It was definitely the time away I needed to finish healing after our December failure. I still feel the grief from the BFN, but I am in a MUCH better headspace to move forward with our next step. Though I can't stop crying whenever I hear "Shake it Out" by Florence + the Machine. Try listening without crying. I dare you.

Carey and I... isn't she lovely? (i'm left, she's right)
5. I met Carey, the ModVegan, for dinner. She's pretty incredible. Despite having a tragic ending to her triplet pregnancy with three handsome boys, she is an amazing source of strength and positivity out there on the twitters. I can't imagine going through what she has and still being such a cheerleader for us in the trenches- she's truly a beautiful person and I'm so glad to have met her... and even told her my name :)

6. I had a delayed reaction to the PIO shots. My last one was on December 19th. On Christmas Eve, I started to get this really bad itching on my hips, where if you wore a string bikini bottom they'd tie, you know? I took a peek and there were these lovely red welts on both sides. WEIRD. There's nothing that I was recently exposed to that could have caused it. It's not exactly where the shots went though, more like if you went about 3-5 inches from the injection sites outward. Today they look like deep bruises. I talked to the IVF nurses, and they're going to switch me to a PIO that's synthetic for the FET, just in case it was a reaction to the sunflower oil. For now? I just want to stop scratching my ass.

7. My pregnant cousin was absent from Christmas this year. Big sigh of relief. Though I think I would have been ok- there were Christmas margaritas.

8. I still have not lost any of the IVF weight. At. All. Damn you Christmas, and your delicious temptations.

NYE sparkles
9. I went to a New Year's Eve party. At a house. With a stripper pole.

Say what?

No seriously, in the upstairs bonus room.

It was supposed to be a classy blind wine tasting party!

No, I did not dance. See #8.

My lovely hair, post-treatment. Still looks like that, even after washing!
10. I got my hair chemically straightened! I did the Yuko treatment, a more permanent Japanese cousin to the Brazilian blowout. This is my fourth time over about 5 years doing it, and I LOVE IT. The only sucky part is the whole not washing your hair for three days while it settles part. I was fairly grease-tastic by day 3. Today though? Amazeballs. Two minutes of flouncy blow drying in the am to get the drying started, then out the door. Life. Changing. I know that sounds dramatic, but when you fail an IVF cycle? Shiz like this suddenly becomes life changing. I HIGHLY recommend it. Love.

So that's me in a nutshell for the last almost two weeks. I'm slowly sorting through all the posts I missed while I was all post-IVF depressed and woe-is-me, and then on vacation.

Here's to a new year, with new hope, and all that good stuff :)
Gratuitous sleepy puppy photo. Because she's cute.