Monday, April 30, 2012

4/30/12 - Oh PIO

These progesterone in oil injections are a pain in the butt! Literally!

Yesterday I had a big tennis ball size knot under my skin on my right side injection site. Corey started the injection last night about an inch above the knot... But I immediately felt an odd sharp pain when the needle went a certain depth and Corey didn't feel comfortable injection the oil there in case he hit a nerve. So he removed it, switched the needle, and injected the left side. We made sure to give it a good massage after to get the oil distributed and then applied a heat pack.

Our friends Tracy, Chris and their little boy brought us lunch yesterday and it was nice to visit with them. Then my brother came over in the evening and we watched Tv for a while.

I know it's too early to actually feel any pregnancy symptoms but it's so weird that I have embryos in me right now. It just doesn't even feel real - that there's even a possibility. O'well, we'll know soon enough :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

4/28/12 - Day 1, Bed Rest

Today I just laid on the couch and watched Netflix and Hulu. I only got up to use the bathroom and in the afternoon I took a quick shower. I got a headache from laying on a pillow for so long. It's so weird that when your at work sometimes it feels like all you want is to be home on the couch or in bed all day, but then when you are you get stir crazy and all you want is to be outside.

A nurse called today and said to continue on 2 Estrace pills 3x per day, Doxycycline 2x per day, pre-natal daily, PIO injection daily, and ADD the lovely progesterone pills (vaginal suppositories) 2x per day.

Then the Dr called and officially said no more embryos developed, so we'll have none for the freezer. I was expecting this from what he said yesterday.

Corey's parents and sister came over tonight and brought dinner and the most wonderful little care package for me. It had all things needed for bed rest :). A movie, candy, gossip magazine, nail polish... And other great things. It was so nice to visit with them.

On a sad note, I found out today that my friend's embryos didn't make it through the thaw. We were on the same cycle with the same Dr and the same transfer day. (this was her 2nd ivf) She won't be able to transfer and plans to take a break over the summer before doing another cycle. I immediately broke down crying when I found out. My heart just breaks for her. We do so much for the chance of pregnancy and I can imagine the heart ache she's feeling. I wish it had worked out for her and it makes it hard for me to be happy about my own situation. I know it's always hard to see the positive when a cycle doesn't work out but I do feel confident that with the wonderful procedures we have available, it's only a matter of time for her. She's in my prayers.

Friday, April 27, 2012

4/27/12 - My Transfer Day, Recap

This morning Corey and I stopped for smoothies on our way to acupuncture. I got a PINEAPPLE smoothie because I've read that pineapple helps with implantation. :)

Acupuncture was nice. Corey went back with me and watched her put all the needles in but he left the room later because he was talking to me too much while I was suppose to relax. He took that picture.

I was very relaxed after sitting under the heat lamp for about 30 minutes. I didn't want to get up. Hopefully it helped :)

We had about an hour and a half to spare before our transfer appointment so we went to Whole Foods and I got some fresh pineapple slices, pineapple juice and brazil nuts (I also read they're good for transfer). Then we had lunch at Cafe Rio.

When we got to the fertility center they had me get into scrubs and wait in the recovery room next to a lady that I chatted with for a while. She was there for a transfer too and this was her 3rd try... 1st with this clinic and she said it was already soo much better than the other places she went.

They took me back to the op room and Corey came in with a scrub cap on. Dr. D came in and explained that we only had 2 embies left and they were both grade 1 (best grade). He recommended we transfer both. Corey and I talked about it and didn't like the idea of only transferring 1 and then refreezing 1 with a possibility of it not making it out of thaw if we had to do another frozen transfer. So we chose 2. Corey filmed the ultrasound monitor while they did the transfer and then the embryologist checked the container to make sure they were both out.

If you're interested in a good article about transfers...

Then they wheeled me into the recovery room while I laid on the gurney with my knees up for 20 minutes. It was so sad, a girl next to me was coming out of anesthesia from having a d&c :(

On the way home Corey made me put my feet on the dash and scoot down in the seat so my pelvis was more flat. :)

I'm home and on bed rest now. I'm so grateful for modern science and that we have the opportunity to do this. I'm so happy to know that there are 2 little embies trying to hang in there and make us a little family.

4/27/12 - Transfer Day!!!

2 Grade 1 embryos transferred. Grade 1 is the best grade :). None for the freezer. Blood pregnancy test next Friday. Time for 3 days bed rest :)

I'll more later about how the day went.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

4/26/12 - Explanation

Dr. D just called me and said my embryos are at early blossom stage and he just wants to give them one more day to develop.  He seemed nervous.  I was a little bold and said "I know I'm not suppose to compare myself to other patients but my friend is doing this cycle too and last time she had to wait an extra day and then didn't have any embryos to transfer so I'm really concerned.  Just tell me honestly, should I not get my hopes up?"  He said NO everything looks fine they just want to give one more day to develop and the MAJORITY of patients need the extra day anyway and go to day 6 (which is tomorrow for me).  He said this is not unusual.  I asked him if he has actually looked at my embryos and if he could tell if they're bad quality.  He said they're not bad quality.  I asked if he could tell how many were GREAT and how many were Good.  He said "we have 3 in the running and hopefully by tomorrow we'll have 1 or 2".  <--- that wasn't very encouraging to me!  Oh well... it is what it is.  I can't do anything to change it at this point so I will try to relax and wait to see what tomorrow brings. 

On a BRIGHT note - I received this message through Facebook just now and it was very encouraging.

"Hi Kim,

I am a friend of Tracy Giffords. When she found out my daughter was conceived through IVF she told me about your story and your blog. Just wanted to give you some encouragement to hang in there. We had 12eggs retrieved, 7 fertilized and by day 5 only one had made it and it was an A/B. I was worried and disappointed on transfer day because the odds were not in our favor but it worked!!! This was only one cycle,also. Anyway, hope you don't mind me messaging you-I know the difficult journey and emotions of IVF. I am hoping your cycle is successful! If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them as best I can."

All it takes is ONE!

4/26/12 - Rescheduled Transfer

Dr just cancelled for today. He wants to give the embies 1 more day to develop. Transfer is tentatively scheduled for tomorrow. He's going to call me this afternoon to discuss why. I'm so worried and confused. I hope he calls soon. I'm going to head into work now. No need to sit at home.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

4/25/12 - Night Before Transfer

Today felt like Christmas Eve. I don't know if I'll be able to sleep.

Corey and I are seriously considering transferring 2 again... Because I don't want to go through this again and I'd rather increase my odds. We'll discuss it with Dr D tomorrow and make an educated decision.

At work today I did a test to see how long it took for my bladder to feel full after drinking 16oz of water. My bladder has to be full for the transfer tomorrow and I've heard horror stories about women drinking too much and peeing on the dr! I think if I drink it at 12:45, I will be ok. :)

Tonight I went to CrossFit then Corey brought home Olive Garden, then we went to the store and bought our very first baby gift. A teddy bear. Corey picked it out and loved it. It's sitting on our table next to all the needles :).

I was trying to distract myself from the PIO shot tonight so I turned on TMZ. That wasn't too smart because I was laughing and shaking while Corey had the needle in. No movement is best :). Corey says it always leaks oil and blood when he takes out the needle. Yuck.

Dr D should call tomorrow morning with a final say on how the embies are doing and to confirm if transfer is a go. 10:30am I have an acupuncture appointment and I have to be at the fertility clinic at 1pm to prep for 1:30 transfer. I'll keep you posted :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

4/24/12 - Thaw Report

The embryos were taken out of the freezer Sunday. Dr. D called me tonight.  (Tuesday)

Out of the 10, 4 are at the 8 cell stage, 4 at 6 cell stage, 1 at 3 cell stage. He said "so far so good". I wish I understood these #'s better.

He also told me he'd call Thursday morning (4/26) to say if it's a go. I'm scheduled for transfer at 1:30pm.

If any of you know more about those cell stages, will you please share your info?

4/24/12 - The EMOTIONS of IVF

Wow - yesterday was really rough.  I WAS EMOTIONAL. 

I'd like to think it had a lot to do with all the medication I'm on but I think it also has a lot to do with the stress and natural emotions that come with having to do injections every night, having your alarm go off all day to remind you to take different pills or injections, MANY Dr. appointments and phone calls with updates, AND the financial burden.

At my blood draw appointment in the morning I just had a bad attitude.  I didn’t want to be there.  I’m sick of Dr. appointments and I’m sick of needles.  I’ve been poked every day since March 7th.  It’s a lot.  It sucks.

I felt sick to my stomach and bloated most of the day.  This is a side effect of the Progesterone in Oil (PIO).  My hips HURT from the injections.  These PIO shots are NO FUN.

For the first time I actually thought about the possibility of NOT doing another cycle of IVF if this doesn’t work.  It’s just too much.  I’m worn out and emotionally drained.

It didn’t help that yesterday I found out that my ’07 Nissan Altima needs new brakes, new air compressor and other fun things like belts and stuff… $2,000!  We just paid $2,000 in taxes last week and I will be paying $1,000 to cobra this week (which makes a grand total of $10,000 so far for this IVF cycle).

I called my sister on my way home from work, put her on speaker phone, and just cried it out.  I couldn’t help it.  I was just bawling.  Sort of throwing a fit.  Saying “I’m sick of it!  I’m sick of SHOTS!  I’m sick of Dr. appointments!  I’m sick of PAYING so much for something that might not work!  I’m sick of taking time off work for appointments!  I’m sick of waiting for a call from the Dr.!  I’m sick of ALARMS going off all day!  I’m sick of bruises from shots!”  There was really no point in me throwing this fit.  It just felt good to let it out. 

She has 3 beautiful kids that I love to spoil.  I miss them a lot (they moved to Connecticut a few years ago).  She put her son on the phone (he’s 4 years old).  He said “What’s UP!?”  I told him that I was just telling his mom how much I want a baby.  He said “Oh Kimmy, I pray for you every day to have a baby!  What do you want to name your baby?”  Then we discussed baby names.  He suggested ZOOM as a baby name.  It was nice to talk to him.  My sister tells me all the time that EVERY prayer he HAS to pray that Aunt Kimmy will have a baby soon.  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Bed Time.  If someone forgets, he makes them re-do the prayer.  He’s such a sweetheart.

I just kept busy at home with chores until Corey got home, then I broke down again.  It was bad.

I don’t mean to be negative or scare anyone reading my blog that’s considering IVF.  I’ve just decided that this is a very real part of the process and I should share this so you don’t think you’re crazy if you have the same experience.

I do feel that I am MOSTLY happy and positive throughout this process.  It’s just been a rough few days.

4/24/12 - Blood Work, Vivelle Patches

I had blood work yesterday morning before work.  I didn't like being there.  I'm getting sick of Dr. appointments.  I think I just woke up with a bad attitude yesterday.  (More about that in next post)

Dr. D called in the afternoon and said the blood work looked good and to continue on 2 estrogen pills 3x per day and 2 units of Progesterone In Oil at 7pm every night.  He also said to ADD 2 Vivelle Patches.  They're small clear patches that stick to my abdomen and release estrogen.  I switch them out every 3 days.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

4/22/12 - Progesterone In Oil Injections

After I posted on Friday night I got a call from Dr. D.  He left a voice message explaining that my ultrasound and blood work looked good and to start progesterone in oil injections Sat night (just like the nurse told me).  He also said that they will be taking my 10 embryos out of the freezer on Sunday 4/22 and he will call me with an update on Tuesday 4/24 around 6:00pm!  That seems like a long wait to hear how many survived.  I know multiple girls who's embryos didn't make it to a stage that was transferable and they didn't end up transferring any.  Soooo I'm nervous.

I can't believe transfer day is almost here!  I am very excited and very anxious to get it over with and find out if all these injections and blood draws and ultrasounds since Feb were worth it.

I started Progesterone In Oil injections last night.  Wow.  I'm really not looking forward to doing these every night until the beginning of June (if i DO get pregnant, that's how long I'll be on them).  The needle is thick and long and goes in the love handle area, alternating left and right side each night.  I lay on my stomach on the couch and try to distract myself with a movie.  It hurts going in but not too much DURING.  It just takes sooo long to get all the oil in.  Corey does it really slow because we were told that if you do it fast you can get a big ball of oil under the skin.  Yikes.  Corey wipes it up for a minute as it leaks blood and oil.  Ugh.  Then he massages the area (which the nurse said to do).  Today my right hip hurt from yesterdays injection.  It feels like a bad bruise under the skin.

Other than that I had a great weekend.  Went shopping with a friend, we met up with friends for dinner, I ran a 5k, watched the UFC fights at a friends house and we volunteered at an aid station for a 100 mile ultra marathon.

Blood work in the morning, so more updates tomorrow :). Goodnight.

Friday, April 20, 2012

4/20/12 - Ultrasound and Blood Work

This morning Corey went with me to the Dr.'s office.  We brought everyone bagels.  I had my blood drawn and an ultrasound.  Then they showed Corey how to give a Progesterone In Oil injection and drew targets on my love handles so he knows where to do it.  And they called me in a prescription for pre-natals.

I also asked for more information about how the embryo thaw works.  They said they will thaw all 10 on Sunday and keep me updated over the next 5 days on how they're developing.  I might transfer on Thursday (4/26) OR Friday (4/27).  They CAN re-freeze any good quality embryos I don't transfer.

The nurse called this afternoon and said the ultrasound and blood work looked good and to take my last Lupron injection tonight and start the Progesterone In Oil injection tomorrow night.  I could potentially be on this injection until the beginning of June.


I have my next blood draw on Monday (4/23).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

4/17/12 - Ultrasound and Blood Work

"It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn" - BC Forbes

Hopefully we reap some harvest in 2013!! :)

I had blood work and an ultrasound this morning before work, 7:00am.  Everything went well.  I like that everyone knows me by name.  They are a VERY busy office and people can easily get lost in the shuffle.  I think I'll bring them donuts and bagels on Friday morning when I'm there for more blood work and another ultrasound :)  I like kissing up to the people that have my future and sanity in their hands.  The smoother this process is, the better.

The nurse just called me and said the blood work and ultrasound looked good and to continue on 2 Estradiol pills, 3 times per day and 10 units of Lupron injections every night.  Friday morning Corey and I will get instructions on how to do the progesterone in oil injections. 

Oh, and yesterday I emailed my Dr and asked if I can run a 1/2 marathon on June 23rd... if this does work and I'm pregnant.  He said I could walk it briskly.  Darn it!!

OH AND... in order to think positively and have good energy for this transfer Corey and I are going shopping sometime this week for the baby!  I know... I know... it may sound weird.  We're not pregnant yet, but I think it's important to stay positive and I think it will be a fun little date night.  Maybe we'll pick out an outfit or something :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

4/16/12 - Blood Work, Throwing Knives

It's Monday and I haven't posted in a few days, but I'll fill you in on what you've missed.

So last Wednesday night is when Corey accidentally hurt me during my Lupron injections and he felt really bad about it.  So Thursday I picked up a little gift for him.  He had recently pointed out some throwing knives that he liked from Sportsman's Warehouse.  I gave them to him when he got home and told him thanks for stabbing me even though it's hard to do.  (of course throwing knives are an appropriate "thank you for stabbing me" gift. :))

Blood work on Thursday morning came back fine and I'm continuing with 10 units of Lupron and 2 Estrace pills 3 times per day.

This weekend we went to Utah to visit family.  We had to do my injections in the car at a gas station on the way home :)

This pic was taken this weekend while visiting family.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

4/12/12 - Lupron Injection - OUCH!

Last night Corey was doing the Lupron injection in my abdomen (which is my favorite injection so far because the needle is so small and the medicine doesn’t sting) with the LOWER dosage of 10 units instead of 20. 

Corey doesn’t like giving me injections because sometimes they hurt a little and he doesn’t like to hurt me.  He always tries to talk to me to distract me and then he’ll sneak in the stab… or he’ll start counting to 3, but he’ll actually stab when he gets to 2… so it’s sneaky and quick. 

WELL, last night he stabbed really fast and a little harder than usual, which was just an accident of course, but IT HURT!!  The whole area was in pain immediately and I burst into tears.  I felt like something was wrong and I started saying “Take it out!  Take it out!  Stop!”.  Poor Corey had the most concerned look on his face and he took the needle out right away.  The area started to bleed a lot as soon as he took out the needle… which isn’t normal. 

Corey was wiping up the blood and I was just sitting there crying because the area still hurt.  By the way… I’ve never cried because of pain during an injection before.  I blame my meds.  And there wasn’t a TON of blood, it was just more than usual… being that usual is 0 – 1 drops.

After a minute we decided to just try the other side.  That side only hurt a little – the normal amount. 

Corey felt sooo bad and he just hugged me while I whimpered for a minute.  The area was sore for the rest of the night and still is a little today, but I think I’ll survive ;)

Ah the joys of infertility J

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

4/11/12 - Ultrasound and Blood Work

This morning I had blood work and an ultrasound at 7am.  They found some cysts during the u/s which the nurse sounded concerned about.  She said that if my blood work comes back with normal hormone levels there’s no worry.  But I’ve had IUI cycles cancelled due to cysts and hormone levels – so yeah, I was worried.

I got a call from Dr. D around 3pm and he said my uterus lining looked PERFECT and that I’m ready to start the Estradiol (estrogen) pills tonight.  I will be taking TWO pills THREE times a day.  Yikes!  Tonight I also have to reduce my Lupron dose from 20 units to 10… which I LOVE… because I have been very emotional and irritable on Lupron.

After I sent Corey an email explaining what Dr. D said and that the cysts are not a concern he wrote me back this email: "Yayyy!!!!!!!  Kimmy Bird, you did it!!  I’m so the proud of you!"

He's just being silly... and I love it.

Let’s get this show on the road!!!  J

Monday, April 9, 2012

4/9/12 - Too Much Aygestin


On Friday I checked out my friend's blog (the friend that's on the SAME exact transfer schedule as me).  She listed out her schedule and I noticed that hers said to take her last Aygestin pill on Thursday 4/5/12.  I thought, "that's weird, I took an Aygestin pill this morning."... then it clicked... WHOOPS... I wasn't SUPPOSE to take one.  I forgot to delete it from my calendar in my phone and it reminded me to take one that morning.  I called my IVF Coordinator and she said IT'S OK.  I started my cycle today and I have an ultrasound and blood work on Wednesday 4/11, so hopefully everything still looks good :)

Easter weekend was lovely.  I ran 5 miles on Saturday and it was a beautiful day! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

4/5/12 - Giving MYSELF an injection!

Yep, a couple of nights ago I prepared the needle because Corey was playing a game on his phone and taking too long.  I acted like I was going to do it myself if he didn't hurry and then I thought... WHY NOT?  I WILL do it myself!  So, I pinched up my tummy and stabbed it right in.  It was no big deal.  It didn't hurt, it wasn't hard to get the needle through the skin... but keep in mind, this is the EASIEST of the 5 different needles and medications that I've taken so far :)  At least I tried it out on the easiest one, so that if I ever HAVE TO give myself an injection, I'm not totally freaked out by it :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

4/3/12 - Keep Calm and Stab On (New Injections and Blood Work)

Injections started again a couple of days ago (4/1).  They’re really easy little needles.  It's a new medicine called Lupron. 

I’m having some trouble with Keeping Calm lately.  Well, not that I get upset or crazy, but when I started this process on March 7th I felt so much peace and felt so relaxed.  Those feelings carried throughout the whole process including egg retrieval. 

I would go to work and nothing really ever bothered me.  I would come home and just relax and not worry about anything.  I mean, I WORKED at it.  I meditated, did acupuncture, facials… whatever I could to be relaxed.  It’s suppose to help get a positive outcome.  I’ve read and heard that being stressed really effects this process. 

Well… ever since the retrieval I’ve felt very anxious and some people in my life have been stressing me out.  I try to keep myself away from those people but it’s been very difficult lately.  Tonight I’m going to do a RELAX REBOOT.  I’m not going to the gym, I’m just going to meet a friend at the book store, pick out a lovely book and head over to a fun little coffee shop and read, then I'll go to dinner with Corey – who doesn’t stress me out and always makes me laugh.  I’m going to start meditating again and just get back to that pleasant place I was at last month J

This morning I had blood drawn.  They just called me with the results and they said "I just want to confirm what medications you're taking" which was a little weird.  So, I listed them off and she said "OK, your bloodwork looks good, but since you started Lupron on the 1st, we're going to move your next ultrasound and the start of Estrace to the 11th (which was originally scheduled for the 8th) and we're going to have you stay on Aygestin through Thursday (I was suppose to stop today)"  She said it's FINE that I started on the 1st and I did exactly what I was told to do.
They sent me a new FET transfer schedule which is basically just check up appointments pushed back a few days but my transfer day is STILL APRIL 26th.