I've never been so excited to be sick before. Last night I was worthless when I got home from work - overcome by a mix of exhaustion & queasy stomach & overall yuck feeling. Even this morning I'm feeling it again. So I'm taking all of that as a good sign that Fish is still alive & growing. Positive thoughts, right?
And my stomach is feeling extremely bloated. Maybe from my poor food choices? Too much sodium? It's actually ridiculous - even my fat jeans are tight in the waist. And my ute feels like it's up to something right now - not really crampy but something is going on in there.
In other news we're getting ready for the bowl game tomorrow - we'll be hosting a nice little crowd. For some strange reason I'm excited to be social. Excited to have people over to our house. Even though we're still not telling anyone and I'm sure I'll be tired, I'm still feeling ready to rejoin the world!
Off to research creative non-alcoholic drinks!
Friday, December 29, 2006
I've never been so excited to be sick before. Last night I was worthless when I got home from work - overcome by a mix of exhaustion & queasy stomach & overall yuck feeling. Even this morning I'm feeling it again. So I'm taking all of that as a good sign that Fish is still alive & growing. Positive thoughts, right?
Thursday, December 28, 2006
What is there to say. I guess I'm in speechless limbo land because I don't quite feel PG yet and there really isn't much to do except to wait between appointments.
So our next u/s will be on Jan 3rd - hopefully we'll see a bean & heartbeat then(7w5d). And if that goes well my first OB appt is the following Monday.
I'm still a little anxious because my initial beta was low (indicator of possible m/c - even later) and at that 1st u/s they had a difficult time measuring embryo at first & when they finally did it was ~4d behind. I'm going with late implanter in my mind for now. Which makes sense because most of my frozen embryos didn't go to blast until day 6. But it all still makes me nervous.
Fortunately I've been feeling some symptoms - definitely reassuring:
- very very tired - 10-12 hours of sleep per day
- greasy skin & hair - gross
- sorta queasy stomach / heartburn and last night was the first time I felt truly hang-head-over-sink nauseous
- sore boobs, but not quite as huge as before
- weird feeling in my ute - I'm optimistically visualizing that it's getting bigger for Fish
- my work pants are getting tight - but I really attribute that to all of the recent holiday food plus stress eating over a couple years of IF
And so we wait.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
I called the nurse line at my ob/gyn's office to figure out next steps (I seriously doubt they would have ever called me with results). I talked to super super nice nurse so I think I'm going to go back there again - at least to get things started.
Based on doped-up doc's (DUD) report, they are fairly convinced there is no ectopic so no worries there. I also doubt it as well so I'm not going to push it. So next u/s will be with DUD sometime during my 7th week (1st week in January). Hopefully Fish keeps growing and develops a heartbeat by then.
And then my initial ob appt will be on Jan 8th with the certified nurse midwife - who is so so nice & sweet. She does my annual appts and I still like her. BUT I'm starting to shop around for a new practice anyway.
And they did get my beta # back as well -- still doubling appropriately:
14dpo = 11dp3dt = 43 (E2=275 , P4=45)
18dpo = 15dp3dt = 550 (E2=807, P4=56) doubling time=26hrs
21dpo = 18dp3dt = 2128 (E2=942, P4=62) doubling time=37hrs
26dpo = 23dp3dt = 12368 doubling time = 47hrs
Latest beta graph is looking good. PHEW!!!!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
OK - that was a freaky afternoon.
DH and I went to see my ob/gyn for our 1st u/s. The ultrasound woman used to work at an IVF center - cool. Sees a sac right away - only one - cool. She says that the u/s machine doesn't measure below 5w so she can't get a measurement. Interesting because I'm theoretically 5w5d. And then she checks out my tubes & ovaries just to make sure everything looks OK. Tubes OK. Ovaries OK. Oh wait - there is something near the ovary that isn't attached, but she can't quite see what it is. 5 minutes later of pressing on my sensitive cervix (ouch!) she still isn't sure what it is. Could be ectopic but without better machine it's hard to say. And the entire time she wouldn't move the display over for me to see - so I didn't get to see anything. Grrrr. She did give eventually us a copy of pic after I asked for it - twice. DH thinks that it looks like a smiling fish. So it's now called Fish.
So I get dressed and we go to talk to the ob/gyn. First she has to go on & on about why it's so horrible that they HAD to do the u/s and my RE didn't do it. I tried to explain that he was up in NYC and this was much easier for us and she said - well they should have kept you up there until they released you. Huh? This was from the woman who did my initial IF workup 2 years ago - thought I'd get some compassion. None. Sounded like she was trying to CYA. Why did you ever agree to do it then? Then she says that she wants a followup u/s with another doctor (a specialist?) and some bloodwork (another hcg) to see "just what they've got on their hands" because they have nooooo idea. Bitch - ask me anything you want to know. Better yet, don't do me any favors - I'll find someone else. But I was very nice (DH was surprised at how nice I was) and went along with all of it. For now.
Then the nurse was trying to draw my blood. My veins still look beat up so she kept wanting to see the other one. Trust me - I've been stuck many many time and I know that this one is way better. And then the other nurse & u/s tech (remember - who used to work at an IVF center) were asking me about my LMP. I should have simply said 11/10 - end of discussion - but I forgot to bring my calendar with me and couldn't remember off the top of my head so I did some calculating out loud. Bad move. They both were 110% convinced that LMP was 14 days prior to transfer - which is fine that they get it wrong - but they had such a bitchy attitude about it and how there was no possible way that I was right about it. Listen, bitches, I've been living & breathing IVF for the past 12 months - cut me a break. At least be nice about it and show a little respect - try not to be rude to me in my face. At least wait until my back is turned.
Anyway, so the other doctor with the better u/s machine was going to be able to squeeze us in that day. Cool. So we go over there (right next door) and wait around until they have a slot open. Very nice u/s machine - flat panel on the wall too. Cool. Eventually he comes in and introduces himself. Both DH and I think he was stoned. Majorly stoned. He checked out Fish with his fancy equipment - very cool! - and measured him at ~5w1-2d. Which is pretty close - maybe because my initial beta was low he's just a late bloomer? Zoomed in and saw a very clear sac & yolk sac. Cool! Then he's done. But.....what about that questionable thing? Oh - I'm sure it was just a cyst - maybe your corpus luteum - because you need that to support the initial part of PG. Ummmm....but I thought my CL gets zapped when my follicles were aspirated (and why I need the PITA PIO shots?). So you're not going to check? Are you feeling any pain? Ummm....no, but isn't that why we are over here? WTF? And I guess no nice pic from your fancy machine? Guess you have to hurry back for another bong hit?
So we just ran out of that building. And seriously doubt that I'll go back there again. We might try my old RE or even that overly expensive RE. And I'm definitely finding a new ob/gyn. My very patient & understanding DH even thought she was a major bitch and that we should switch.
So I guess I'll call my NYC RE tomorrow and give him the news. And since it's hard for me to blog without any visuals, here is a pic of Fish.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
I've had a lot of the same feelings as Lola on being on "the other side" of infertility. Disbelief. Guilt.
The good news is that I did stop POAS a few days ago - it started to seem excessive - even to me. I'm sure you'll be glad to not see any more HPTs on here. :)
But on the other hand the next month or two still seem so tentative - there is so much going on right now with the embryo (or should be) that makes this whole experience even more than a miracle that it has been so far. Given that there are so many things that can go wrong I'm trying to keep expectations low. And like Lola, taking things one day at a time.
I'm even going to make a mental cushion just to prepare myself for tomorrow's ultrasound (5w5d - to look for a sac & confirm no ectopic). If for whatever reason things don't work out, I am still be thrilled that we got this far. We have finally seen that elusive second line ("we seek him here - we seek him there - that damn elusive...second line"). It has given so much more hope to future cycles.
So my plan B looks a lot like the one that I did before POAS. I'd probably want to be more aggressive about cycling again - probably FET in NYC - soon to reap the benefits of recently removed endo.
I wonder what it is like for fertile people after a BFP - is it pure joy?
Friday, December 15, 2006
Just got results back from beta #3 - such a relief.
14dpo = 11dp3dt = 43 (E2=275 , P4=45)
18dpo = 15dp3dt = 550 (E2=807, P4=56); doubling time=26hrs
21dpo = 18dp3dt = 2128 (E2=942, P4=62); doubling time=37hrs
overall doubling rate is 29hrs
Each step that we take seems to be so monumental. Next step is ultrasound to check for a sac on Wednesday (5w5d). And then another one in 7w to check for heartbeat. And I can't even begin to think beyond that.
My cold is finally getting a little better - I decided that it wasn't worth it to take any meds at this point since it's so early so I've been working with saline nasal spray & menthol drops & LOTS of tea. Oh and a super spicy bloody mary (virgin of course) at lunch one day was so so nice (thanks M!).
And a pretty graph for the betas:
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
We were thinking about sending out a photo holiday card this year - what do you think? should I add in a newsletter in the voice of the embryos? or put a little "I heart NY" t-shirt on them? ;)
Just to keep things simple we're going to go to my ob/gyn for the ultrasound rather than finding another RE. Unfortunately they only do ultrasounds on Wednesdays (LOL!) so that got pushed off until next week - theoretically I will be 5w5d so I'm keeping my expectations low - "is it in the ute?"
Hourly Daily HPT Update:
This morning's internet cheapie looked about the same as yesterday - hopefully there still is some action in there!
Just heard back from my medical endo. and he wants to up my dose of Levoxyl because my TSH is creeping up. It was 2.3 on Monday and was 0.8 just before we started cycling. I have been feeling a little wacky lately (too hot / too cold) so that might be why. And I've heard being on Estradiol might also affect the thryoid as well.
And my next beta is on Friday.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I asked my doctor and he's letting do my next beta today instead of waiting until Friday - phew! I'm not going to hassle the lab company though so I won't be surprised if my results don't get up to NYC until after business hours. So I might not hear until tomorrow.
But I'm feeling much better because my HPTs have been getting much darker. Here are my last three internet cheapies:
11dp3dt - can you even see it anymore?
14dp3dt - finally a nice line
15dp3dt - even darker than yesterday (!)
So I interpret (wishfully) that my hCG is rising. And I'm hoping that today's bloodwork will show that it's doubling nicely. Since my 14dpo beta was 43, I'm hoping that today's bloodwork (18dpo) comes back ~200. I know that the doubling time can take up to 72 hours - putting the low end around 125? It's too early to do math. I'll have to plug it into betabase.info to calculate later. But I'd love a nice big increase.
To help support this thing called hope, I'm going to rationalize the late dark HPT lines and the relatively low 14dpo beta as a late implanter. Most of my frozen embryos didn't become blasts until day-6 - so maybe they're just a bunch of slow pokes. Fashionably late?
Beta was 550 (E2=807; P4=56) so doubling time was only 26.11 hours!!!!! Holy cow!!
And because I have endo they want me to do an early u/s (on Friday!) to confirm that it's not an ectopic. So hopefully we'll see a little black hole in my ute on Friday!!
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Thank you to everyone for all of your kind thoughts & words. I can't imagine going through all of this without your understanding and advice. And I apologize for being so self-absorbed lately - I'm hoping to get back to some kind of normalcy this week.
On a sadder note, my heart goes out to Lisa - there is absolutely nothing about IF that is fair.
And best wishes to Lola and Mr. & Mrs. Blue Sky with all of their upcoming adventures. Hope that Smarshy has some good news this coming week as well.
Today I'm feeling better about all of this. I had a nice clear line on the FRER test in the morning - definitely reassuring because I could even see it in a dimly-lit room. I'll try a digital tomorrow - my levels should hopefully be high enough tomorrow for those. And I did notice on my old FRER tests that I thought were negative that they did dry with a light line. So maybe there was a line there this whole time that I missed earlier (even though I know you shouldn't read them after 10 min).
I'm feeling congested and exhausted - but happy.
Friday, December 08, 2006
It took a few phone calls but the local lab did finally send up the bloodwork before my RE's office shut down today. Phew.
Got the call from the RE literally the second I dropped my pants to POAS -- LOL! I don't seem to have my pants on for most of our important conversations so I guess it shouldn't be that weird. It's extra funny to me because he made a joke to me at my lap that after all of my cycles I shouldn't be modest about dropping my pants in front of anyone. So it just made me laugh.
So the results are (for 11dp3dt / 14dpo):
hCG = 43
E2 = 275
P4 = 45
And the plan is to continue with PIO & E2 patches; next beta is in a week, but I might need to call to ask for an earlier one because I'm still concerned with the faint HPTs (and negative FRERs) and fairly low #s (according to Dr. Google - I didn't think to ask about it on the phone).
I'm partially relieved and partially anxious. Ack!
This just doesn't seem real - at all. My result lines are still very faint - even as of this morning which is my theoretical "first day of expected period". Maybe this was just a test to see if something could implant - and it did. That alone is very reassuring - I was starting to wonder if my ute was a pit of despair that no embryo could survive for more than a few hours. But at least one has survived for this long - which alone seems like great progress.
I am still in shock about the whole thing and don't really know how to react. I thought that if I ever saw another line I'd be jumping up & down with happiness. But I just don't know how to feel or react. I'm not quite happy. I feel like a fraud - like someone is going to realize that it's all just a big joke and turn me in. I guess I've turned into a pro at IVF/IF and I'm really really good at that. I have no clue where to begin if this is happening. I've been avoiding most things related to this for a long time.
Anyway the sketchy, scary lab down here "forgot" to process in my 2nd luteal bloodwork on Wednesday - nice. It just sat in a bin until yesterday when they realized they never sent it over to the lab. Guess that STAT means forget about it. So we'll see if & when the nurses up in NYC get the bloodwork today. I'll try to stay on top of it, but I'm guessing it won't be very early even if everyone does their job.
In the hope that this is real I made an appt with my endocrinologist for next week to check my TSH and also ordered more PIO/needles/syringes - which I could use for a future cycle if I end up not needing it now.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
DH went out last night to get another brand because I don't 100% trust the internet cheapies and FRER hasn't shown me what I want to see yet. So generic CVS brand is now my friend - it showed a vertical line within a couple of minutes (PHEW!) and I think it's dark enough to see in a photograph now.
So now we just need to get a decent # at our beta tomorrow and maybe it will seem real? Does it ever?
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Last night I got another faint positive from an internet cheapie and a FRER, but this morning the FRER was negative. I've gotten two more positives on the ICs though which were still very light. Probably will try another FRER this evening and buy some other brands tomorrow if the ICs continue to look positive. I have a digital but won't waste it until I'm sure my levels are higher.
I'm just in shock right now. Doesn't feel real - at all. A nice dark line would be reassuring. Along with a beta on Friday to back it up. And then we'll have a whole new set of hurdles to overcome - which would be nice because I'm getting tired of all of this IF business.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
...because I can't tell if this is an evaporation line or not...and I've been staring at it for the past 20 minutes trying to figure out if I'm imagining it or if it's grey (not pink)?
Are you f'ing with me, Mr. Internet Cheapie HPT? I've never ever seen a second line before so that would not be very nice.
I feel dizzy and nauseous.
My acupuncturist also said she felt a strong rolling pulse, which only confirmed my stomach ache last time around, but maybe it does mean something this time?
For me I *need* to have a plan B in place before I POAS. It gives me something to focus on and not feel that the world is coming to an end when I see that bright white space staring back at me.
So if this cycle doesn't work out, I am:
1) taking Friday/Saturday off from the world to grieve; drink a bottle or two of nice red wine; maybe share some with DH
2) drinking heavily with friends at the Redskins game on Sunday
3) drinking heavily at the cookie exchange on Monday - hosted by an IVFer with twins
4) doing a detox program with my acupuncturist (sauna, etc.)
5) really *really* getting back in shape - no really!
6) planning out a nice ski trip out West this winter (Utah is our fav - or should we try somewhere new?)
7) planning out our Greece trip (rent villa with DH's family)
and once we can think about IF again:
8) discussing treatment options for endometriosis with my RE - should I do Lupron Depot for a few months? Am I missing the Beta 3 Integrin protein needed for implantation?
9) weighing doing another fresh (#4) vs. FET cycle. My eggs aren't getting any younger.
10) throwing away all of the old needles & IVF supplies that I don't need anymore - I still have every needle that I've ever injected sitting in a collection of sharps containers in our IVF closet (w/mini-fridge and everything!).
Monday, December 04, 2006
I'm still feeling pretty numb about this whole experience. Went in today for my first luteal bloodwork. I went to a national lab place to get it done. MUCH cheaper than the
overpriced RE that I used for the early monitoring visits. But I find this place to be very uncomfortable. Especially when I have to wait in a crowded waiting room for an hour next to a smelly old man. Yuck.
Anyway if I had more energy about all of this I would be on the phone checking to see if the lab actually sent the results up to NYC. I'd give it a 50/50 chance that it happens today. But I don't have the energy so I'll just hope that they get it.
I'm thinking about POAS on Wednesday or Thursday. But this time around I'm way more scared about a BFN so we'll see. Do I really need to find out if it works?
In the mean time I'm going to try to do some Christmas shopping and come up with a "plan B" - which is like a mental cushion for me. Something to land on in case it doesn't work out so I don't crumble to pieces as I hit the floor.
Anyway, I'm really not feeling negative about the cycle. And then again I'm not feeling positive. Just there. Moments of hope & despair, but mostly it's just a lot of nothing. And I'm not complaining about that!
Friday, December 01, 2006
Today I was overcome by a feeling of numbness. My eyes are glazed over and I'm just counting down the minutes until I can slip out of work to go home.
Yesterday I started a list of reasons why I should be really excited about this cycle. We made some big changes that will hopefully result in a BFP next Friday. Today this list doesn't seem to matter at all to me. In the end it feels like it's all about luck. You can do everything right and still end up with a BFN. Everything can go wrong and end up with a BFP. So I guess the only question that remains is - are we going to be lucky this time?
Anyway, here is my list of changes we've made for this cycle - not in any particular order:
- endo removed via lap in early November
- endometrial biopsy (study showing that this can help with implantation)
- great IVF program & wonderful RE
- great lab/embryologist
- careful monitoring & adjustments to meds
- new protocol (no Lup.ron; step down approach for stims)
- trigger earlier
- E2 did not drop before ER
- embyros in co-culture
- TSH down near 1 on Lev.oxyl
- longer-term course of acupuncture (since summer)
- acupuncture before transfer (1/2 German protocol)
- TCM herbs for a couple of months prior to stimming
- Med.rol to help with implantation
- omega-3 fish oils
- antioxidants (CoQ10, grape seed extract, Vitamin C)
- E2 patches during luteal phase
- DH on antibiotics
- DH on proceptin (antioxidants)
- embryos looked beautiful - never seen that before
- 4 embryos survived to blast & looked good enough to freeze (at a very picky lab)
this is followed by a dose of reality:
- stress of cycling out of town
- stress of being stuck in Times Square (of all places!) around ET
- even if everything looks "perfect" many, many women don't get PG
- didn't eat as well as I could have - major stress eater
- drank wine a couple times during stims; sucka for red wine
- not in great shape right now - poor circulation? too much E2 from fat cells?
- getting older - are my eggs any good?
So maybe there were too many things floating around my head and something short-circuited up there...but there is a definite stillness. And it's eery.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
I'm feeling much calmer today - partly because I had a nice acupuncture session last night (even fell asleep!) and partly because we were reunited with our first baby last night. Maggie was staying at "camp" while we were out of town and there wasn't a good time to pick her up until yesterday ("camp" is pretty far outside the city - past a traffic nightmare).
She looks sooooo happy. Happy that she was running around with other dogs for the past 10 days. This dog LOVES to run - like nothing else. She gets depressed if she doesn't get some good runs during the week. She particularly likes to run in the woods and act as if she's in some kind of obstacle course - darting back & forth, dodging trees, and leaping high over fallen logs. With her goofy happy dog face smiling the entire time.
And she's happy to be home with us. Happy to cuddle up with us. Happy to pull out all of her fancy tricks hoping to get a treat. Happy to sniff out all of the nooks & crannies in the house and our unpacked bags. She does this all with that same big goofy smile.
I'm happy to have her sleep with us again - even though she's big and wakes us up. NOW I feel like I'm home.
her first day home with us:
Apparently they were able to freeze THREE more blasts today - Holy S*(&!!!!! So we have FOUR frozen blasts. I didn't even realize that our embyros were still growing in the lab! That just makes me feel so much better about this whole batch. And if not that's definitely enough to do a FET. OMG!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
My emotions are ALL over the place today - I almost cried twice on the drive to work - for no reason. And my stomach is all over the place too. Must be the elevated E2. Random nerve-wracking pains in my gut too. Argh - I just want to go home. Good thing I only have a couple mtgs today so I don't need to see too many people.
Anyway I just got a call from the RE's office - we have 1 frozen blast. Out of the 8 that they were watching (6 that looked "good") - only one made it & looked good enough to freeze. I wonder how well the three that we transferred made it to blast. Yikes.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Thank you for all of the kind words that mean so much to me.
We took the babies on their first roadtrip today - they got the full tour of the NJ Turnpike and I-95 South. Their favorite part was getting a decaf latte at Chesapeake House in Maryland.
Here is a more artistic pic of them - doesn't the B&W really show the emotion? I was debating between that and sepia.
OK - so I've only had a few weeks this year to pretend that I am happy & pregnant. This feeling will soon be replaced with doubt & fear - so I am going to enjoy it while it lasts. Feel free to ignore. ;)
Started E2 patches today - my RE prescribed them to me on special request. Oh and we forgot to do the PIO shots this AM so we did them at the reststop. Apologies for mooning anyone heading southbound on 95. For anyone that was wondering - it definitely hurts a lot to not use a heating pad right away to dissipate the oil.
My boobs are still very sore & huge which I think means my E2 (or P4?) hasn't dropped to the floor yet as it has in previous cycles (yay!). Even though I know that the "symptoms" are meaningless at this point they still are reassuring on some level.
How on earth am I going to survive the next 10 days?
Monday, November 27, 2006
Not the best pic (no scanner up here), but here are the babies. So much cuter than their older siblings. Hopefully they are as pretty on the inside as they are on the outside. And hopefully they like their new home and decide to stick around for a long time.
There are 8 other embryos (6 good ones & 2 questionable) that they are taking out to blast and will freeze if any look good.
My favorite part the transfer was when we were waiting for the catheter from the embryologist. I'm all prepped - legs up in the stirrups. RE sitting on a stool in front of me. And having a conversation with him on the best way to get to the Holland Tunnel tomorrow morning. LOL!
Just got a call from the doctor asking if we wanted to transfer 3 or 4. There are 9 embryos that are doing well! After we talked about our history (IVF failures) and thoughts on reduction he suggested transferring three. I had a moment of f'it and go for four, but do trust his opinion. So three it is.
Embryos K, L, M are coming home this afternoon! ACK!
Saturday, November 25, 2006
final E2 (Thursday) was 3184
# retrieved = 13
# mature = 12
# fertilized (ICSI) = 11
start PIO today (1cc)
Back for the transfer on Monday at 2pm. Guess we'll see how well they'll grow then - hopefully the co-culture helps.
I feel like an a$$ for whining so much.
Thank you for all of your kind words over the past few days - I really appreciate it!
I'm really OK with ICSI in general - just in our experience we didn't do as well with it. And I'm more worried about what caused the sperm degradation in the first place -- could it also be affecting some non-obvious aspects to quality as well? So then we'd end up with more dud embryos - if they even fertilize and survive to day 3? Guess I thought we were dealing with enough issues already with me (endo, NKs, lining, TSH, etc.), didn't really need to add another complication. Feels like we're taking a step back. If this didn't work when we had 100% fertilization on our last round, how on earth is it going to work now? BUT if we do need to do it I guess this is the lab to do it.
I also feel like with each of our cycles so far there has been something "wrong" that has happened. Everything with this one was going fine until that. Is this just not meant to be?
The good news is that our hotel room is sooooooo comfortable. Turns out that the hotel did renovate recently so we missed out on the mid-80s bedspreads that were in the website pics. And it's soooo quiet up here on the 42nd floor. They were even nice enough to provide a mini-fridge for my meds. If it had a kitchen (so we wouldn't to go OUT THERE into scary tourist land) it would be perfect. Although I guess there always is room service...which was quite tasty last night.
LMAO Oneliner - we are RIGHT. NEXT. DOOR. to Apple.bee's. The signs were so obnoxious we almost drove right past the hotel. If we do need to go out for any reason I'm running for a cab and saying "just get me out of here! doesn't matter where!" :)
After a nice long sleep I'm feeling much much better. Wonder if I was in extra pain yesterday because I wasn't sleeping? We had to finish packing and then take a bumpy cab ride over to the hotel...where we waited in the lobby for 2.5 hours to get into a room. I might have traumatized those kids from Omaha in the lobby with my tears. Didn't go well on the front desk manager either. "pleeeez...I just had surgery today [flashing my bandaged-up IV hand]...can you pleeeez give us a room soon?!!" - yeah, that didn't work on him. He didn't even flinch when I worked up some tears. Well my body finally has had time to recover and I'm feeling so much better. Don't even think I need pain meds at all today!
My theory on why I was in more pain than usual is that they do A LOT of retrievals at this IVF center. Rumor has it that they did 22 the other day. They did at least 15 yesterday. So maybe to get everyone in & out of there as quickly as possible they use different or lower-dose sedation for the procedure. In the past it would take me a solid 1-2 hours to stop asking the same question 20 times. Yesterday I was ready to go in just under an hour. Definitely not the restful ER nap that I know & love - I do feel robbed of that beautiful experience.
Well in less than 7 hours I'll have the fertilization report. Maybe since I was #4 on the list yesterday I'll hear sooner today? Although they had to do more work on ours (ICSI) so who knows.
Please please please let there be some healthy fertilized embryos to transfer on Monday!! Oh - and if they can stick around - that would be nice too!!
Friday, November 24, 2006
My retrieval was this morning and I'm just so upset now.
Get there very early & wait around for a while. Fine - everyone in the waiting room is friendly and there are plenty of magazines. Put on my stylish PJs.
A couple hours later I finally go back to the procedure room. I let the anesthesiologist know that I was a bit nauseous (RE there said it might be from elevated E2) and he says that he'll put something in my IV for that. Cool. About two seconds later I feel myself getting groggy. Guess they knocked me out before doing any of the prep which I didn't mind at all. In the past I've had it done while I was awake and it was a little weird having everyone in the room checking out your crotch. So I'm OK to sleep through that.
Next thing I know I'm in the recovery room and starting to come to. DH comes in and I give him my list of questions so I won't need to ask them 100x - how many eggs, what was my final E2, and confirm that they're doing co-culture (for some reason they had PGD listed on my chart earlier and I wanted to make sure there still wasn't any confusion). I wake up a little more and experience more pain than previous ERs. Nick checks with the nurse and they already did give me 1000mg of Tylenol when I first got to the recovery room. I push and push and eventually they give me codeine. Thanks. Overall though I didn't have the nice feeling that I normally do coming out of sedation. Darn - I was really looking forward to a nice relaxing nap.
Then the nurse has no idea how many eggs they got. They should know right away so what is the deal? Did something go wrong and they don't want to tell me yet? I hear the woman next to me rolled in and they tell her the number of eggs right away.
And then the embyrologist comes in and says that he strongly recommends that we do ICSI. This is a big surprise to us because for our last IVF cycle we had 100% fertilization rate without ICSI. He says that DH's count was significantly lower than in the past -- last time was ~70 million. For one of our IUIs last year it was even 96 million post-wash. This time it was only 2.5 million! And he also says that they aren't progressing well. This has never been a problem in the past. One time DH's SA came back with borderline morphology, but never an issue with progression. So we agree to the ICSI. But WTF is wrong with DH's sperm?!? I did have him taking some antioxidants - was it that? And they also had him take antibiotics for this cycle - could that have affected his quality?
Anyway, this is all very upsetting to me. What is the underlying issue that is causing all of this? How do we know that the sperm that they pick for ISCI are really any good? In our first IVF cycle we did half-ICSI and the embryos that were ICSIed did not do that well.
So when I was explaining to DH why I was so upset over this he just downplayed it. And then at one point he even said "I guess it's going to be a looong day." So now I'm pissed at him for not taking the situation or, more importantly, my feelings about it seriously.
Turns out we did get 13 eggs - hopefully some of his f'ed up sperm can fertilize them and then not die before transfer. :(
Oh - and we get to lug all of our stuff over to Times Square in a couple of hours. That should be fun. I'm just really ready to go home right now. :(
Thursday, November 23, 2006
I'm exhausted and heading to bed in a few minutes, but I wanted to post again before my retrieval tomorrow.
Trigger last night was fine - only 4000IUs though which I thought was odd since my E2 doesn't seem that high. And today has been a bizarre Thanksgiving. Didn't really feel like a holiday at all. I had my pre-op appointment (follicles up to 18-19mm) and N got a bar of antibacterial soap to wash his junk tomorrow. LOL - many many jokes about that today. And we had a mediocre meal at a top-rated restaurant. Guess they had the B team working on a holiday? At least we had some turkey and mashed potatoes though.
Anyway I feel really nauseous right now - maybe from the hCG shot? My boobs are killing me too. So I'm *really* ready to have my happy nap tomorrow morning - I luv twilight sedation. And then I'm sleeping all day on Saturday. ALL day. It will be such a novelty not to wake up early for monitoring.
So the plan for tomorrow:
5:30am wake up & get ready
6:30am arrive for retrieval
7:45am DH does his thing (and I'm assuming my procedure will be starting about this time)
1:00pm need to check out from apartment
3:00pm official check-in time at hotel (we're hoping to get in early though)
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
A few years ago N and I attended his grandmother's 80th birthday party and I met some of his extended family. One of his cousin's kids was a real character. He was about 4 years old and ran around playing games & amusing everyone. At one point he lost a game and said in his best cartoon-character voice "Boiled again!" N and I started cracking up. And now, years later, we still say "Boiled again!" whenever our plans don't work out quite as expected.
So last night we were excited to make reservations for lodging for the last few nights we'll be up in NYC. We actually knew the dates that we needed (a big plus!) and we weren't really limited to one neighborhood because we won't need to head over the IVF center that much. Cool. We found a few places that we liked but weren't too happy with the prices. So we thought, why not use Priceline? We know the dates and in the past we've gotten some pretty good deals on nice hotels.
So I look up the 4 star hotels that they use and see that one of my fav hotels (stayed there for several months when I was on a project in Manhattan) had a freakishly low advertised rate. Good location. Much quieter than our current apartment (have I mentioned that we are at the off ramp of Queensboro Bridge; traffic 24x7). Nice rooms. Cool - based on the prices I'm really sure that we'll get that hotel so I don't even bother reading up on any of the priceline message boards.
Well - the hotel we got really wasn't what I expected. It wasn't the hotel I was thinking. The advertised rates for this hotel were way way higher than our winning bid. Decent chain, but from the pics on the website it looks like this particular hotel hasn't been renovated in at least 15 years. And RIGHT on Times Square. So much for peace & quiet. It's my least fav part of NYC - ugh. But at least we got a really good deal. Right?
My follicles were almost all up in the 17-18mm range now so we're definitely triggering tonight. And it looks like more follicles have been appearing - the RE was guessing that we would get 6-10 eggs based on the number of follicles that I have now. He was very fast though so I couldn't get a great look myself. Boo.
So the schedule is:
tonight - trigger
Thursday - pre-op appt
Friday - retrieval
Monday - transfer
Tuesday - head home
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I feel so much better today - thank you again for all of your kind words. Very much appreciated.
I did see my own RE this morning and it looks like my follicles got busy last night. They are mostly up around 15-16mm so he wants to give it one more day of stims. So then trigger tomorrow (Wednesday), ER on Friday, ET on Monday. And we'll probably head back home on Tuesday. I don't think this practice pushes bedrest which is fine with me.
I'm still feeling a little sick (cough, sore throat) so I'm going to take it easy today. And I'm debating if I want/need the acupuncture session tomorrow...
|2||150+150||52||4||-||day 1 of stims|
|4||150+150||179||-||-||start belated period|
most bet 15-16mm
most bet 17-18mm
most bet 19-20mm
Monday, November 20, 2006
My emotions are all over the place right now and I even had a mini breakdown at the RE's office today over something very stupid.
Last night my RE called with my results and said he wanted to do my u/s himself today (normally it rotates across several docs) and I should get there by 7:30am. Cool. So I wake up feeling rested and excited to see my RE (I really heart him). The traffic cop at my corner says "good morning, beautiful!" which makes me smile. I get the feeling he says that to anyone with boobs, but hey, I'll take it. Feeling great.
So I get there nice & early at 6:50am - 10 minutes before monitoring even starts. I give the receptionist my name and tell her that my RE wanted to do my u/s. Ask her if I still need to sign into the regular sign-in sheet and she says no & writes down my name on a sticky note, below someone else's name who was supposed to see him as well. Wasn't too crowded. Cool. Read a magazine. Starts to get more & more crowded. Later (7:30ish) I hear someone say that they are slow to get started - only two names from the monitoring list have been checked off. OK - running late. Keep waiting & start to get hungry and tired. I remember my RE saying something about heading over to start retrievals around 8 or 8:30am. By 8 I get a little restless. People behind me say that they've been there since 7 and still haven't done bloodwork so I know things are still running late. But does that apply to me since I'm even on the list? WTF if I can't see him - do they put me on the bottom of the list?
At 8:30 I go over to ask the receptionist what is going on. Somehow she forgot to give my name to the nurse. Nice. And my RE had already left to do retrievals. REALLY not a huge deal, but for some reason it made me upset. My eyes starting welling up and the nurses quickly got me the bloodwork and u/s with another RE. I'm sure they thought I was a freak show for crying over something so stupid, but I really just couldn't control the tears.
Anyway the other RE said I probably won't have ER until Thursday or Friday. I'm a little concerned because my E2 (yesterday = 956) and lining (today = 7.7mm) seem to have slowed down. And then I read online how step-down protocol (reducing stims as you go along) can decrease egg quality. Argh. So now I feel like things aren't going well with my cycle.
AND I feel like I'm getting sick. I've been trying to avoid germs & wash my hands 1000x per day. But now I have a sore throat & achy & upset stomach (not from cheesecake this time). AND I was feeling home sick and missing my pup.
BUT the good news is that DH is getting in early tonight! His afternoon conference call was rescheduled so he can take an earlier train. Yay! He always makes me feel better. If only he could have snuck our dog on the train with him.
I usually get depressed at some point in my cycle so I guess this is it.
p.s. Thalia - thanks for info about the endo diet. I haven't been hard core about any diet since college so anything I do is in moderation. :) I'll be sure to add in some extra protein this week as well. Thanks!
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Work has been busy (conference calls and emails) and the DSL wasn't working in the apartment when I first got here so I haven't been online much. Let me recap...
- Finally got my period so I got worried about my lining.
- DH drove me to the train station - I'm missing him lots right now.
- I was on a conference call for most of the train ride up to NYC - not fun.
- Stayed in Brooklyn with a good friend.
- Went in for bloodwork and ultrasound. My RE saw me - said that he snuck in when he should have been doing something else (he's so nice!). He gave me the lap pics and said that he isn't too worried about my lining, but he might slow me down a bit so my lining can catch up.
- Hung out with my friend watching movies & grocery shopping.
- After a yummy dinner (Brooklyn version of Moroccon chicken) and a couple glasses of wine (ooops!), I headed up to my apartment in the pouring rain. Thank god for car service.
- Very happy with the apartment - very cute & spaceous! But it is right on a noisy intersection. Trust me -- honking your horn won't make you go any faster.
- Meds are knocked down to 75 Folli.stim & 150 Meno.pur
- Unpack and crash
- Head in again for bloodwork & ultrasound - the waiting room was really packed. Follicles are starting to creap over 10mm. Largest was around 13mm. Said I'd probably start Gani.relix that night.
- Got some groceries on my way back to the apartment. Got a little too much liquid to carry - it's heavy! And a few too many unhealthy things. Oops. Must get something healthier next time!
- Saw my acupuncturist and had a nice treatment. First time I had electric treatment.
- Took a nap when I got back and also watched some movies. Ate a slice of cheesecake for dinner. MUST eat healthy on Saturday.
- My stomach was definitely not happy with my food choices. Yuck.
- Started Gani.relix and continued 75 Folli.stim & 150 Meno.pur.
- Waiting room was even more packed this morning - I was there for almost 1.5 hours.
- Lining is growing back nicely - up to 6.4mm already so I don't think I'll need to worry about it - and I had a couple more follicles that were just over 10mm - but most were still under and not measured
- I guess since they are so busy they don't have clean blankets left so I had to use a gown/poncho thing (with head hole right in the middle) to cover up which is fine until...
- the RE notices that they didn't get my weight at baseline since I started out of town so she wants to weigh me - before I put my clothes back on
- so I make my way over to the scale and hope I didn't moon the nurse too much - oops
- and the scale confirms that I definitely need to eat better - thanks
- I'm still feeling tired and a bit off so I've been lounging around; going to a party tonight with some old friends - should be nice to catch up with them...
So I'm a little worried that we won't end up with a lot of mature eggs, but I do know that this practice does a slow & steady stim and values quality over quantity. Which is great, but there is some comfort in numbers.
And I'm not really sure why I don't have an RSS feed for my blog...guess I'll need to look into that. :)
Dropping the Folli.stim completely tonight - of course that is the easy, nice drug that I'd much rather take. I get to keep the annoying mix-it-up & sting yourself Meno.pur. Oh well.
And apparently I get to give even MORE blood for co-culture tomorrow. And this nurse thinks I won't trigger until at least Tuesday. Guess I better start looking for places past the 24th when they kick me out of my apartment.
|2||150+150||52||4||-||day 1 of stims|
|4||150+150||179||-||-||start belated period|
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Today was hectic. Lots going on at work and then lots going on at home to get ready for my trip. I had another meltdown after work today. Poor hubby - he must think I'm a freakshow. Good thing that he is so understanding and didn't go running for the door. Also a good thing that the pug is so hilarious - definitely helped lighten things up tonight. I'm thinking that I should just bring him up to NYC with me -- he'd be great company. Think my brother-in-law would mind if I dog-knapped him?
I'm staying with my friend in Brooklyn tomorrow night and then move to a corporate apartment on the UES on Thursday. I think once I get there I'll feel more settled and will relax more.
So I did the same dose of stims today (150+150) and go in tomorrow for bloodwork. Although I'm wondering if I did the right dose of Follist1m last night - tonight it seemed like I dialed it much further. Hope it's not a big deal. So the more I have to mix up the Men0pur - the more I heart the Follist1m - the premixed vials & pen make it 10000000x easier. But my ovaries seem to love the LH so I'll suffer through it. Plus it feels a little bit like a science experiment. Hopefully my concoctions won't bubble over and melt through my desk. Chemistry was never my favorite subject.
I think I was sooooo focused on juggling all of the appointments/paperwork/logistics over the past couple of months that I didn't have time for it to really sink in that we're actually doing this - again. We're putting ourselves out there - again. I didn't get too emotionally invested in our FET mess. But this - how can I not? Top IVF center. New protocol. Co-culture. Right after a lap cleaned out my surprise endo. On fish oil & NKs are down. On Levoxyl & TSH is down. Weekly acupuncture for the last 6 months (and a couple months of herbs). Third time's a charm. We're traveling out of town. We really, really want it. No weird delays like in previous cycles - everything is going eerily well. Of course it's going to work. Because if it doesn't - will it ever?
Monday, November 13, 2006
Once my sticker shock wore off I was happy to see that my lining looked nice and thin (4mm) and my ovaries seem pretty calm. No cysts or follicles that got a jump start. Seems like BCPs are the way to go for me!
Oh and I could have done without the 'tude from the overpriced nurses when I was calling to confirm that they sent the FAX (NYC nurses couldn't find it). For that much money you should FAX it as many times as I want - and like it!
I had a minor meltdown after work over something stupid - I think that was my emotional release from all of the stress about whether we were going to cycle or not. But I feel much more relaxed now. Phew.
So after a lot of nervous energy I did finally get that call from NYC - we're a go! I start out with 150 Follist1m and 150 Men0pur for the first two days and then check bloodwork on CD4. I forgot all of the details involved with stims - which syringe do I used again? which needle? and where do I stick that Q-thing? I got spoiled on the easy natural FET cycle. Figured that I shouldn't use the 6-month-old Follistim cartridge that was still in there (although I did put it in the fridge just in case;). And Men0pur stings like a motherf'er! I don't remember that from the last time. Maybe because I used two vials this time? And I think I can taste the meds in my mouth? Weird.
Anyway, I'm VERY excited that this IS happening!
follicles: lots of antral
oh and here is
Sunday, November 12, 2006
In the afternoon we went for a nice little hike with Maggie and Gillie (our next door neighbor's dog joined us). Some trees were bare and some still had beautiful yellow and golden leaves. The stream trickling down to the river was very serene. And just as we hoped the dogs ran like mad!
Later in the day we also attended the first b-day party for our neighbor's youngest son. His nickname in utero was "the little olive" - so the cupcakes were decorated as little olives. So cute. Fortunately it was very adult friendly event. I think there was a set of IVF twins there -- I'll need to ask my neighbor.
We finished off the evening by getting cozy and watching a movie.
And I do love rainy days so I am enjoying Sunday as well. After a leisurely start we are doing those chores/errands that we put off yesterday.
This is exactly what I'm going to miss when I'm in NYC.
@ 9:11 AM
Thursday, November 09, 2006
After a lot of ups & downs today I think I've found a solution for lodging. I found another (cheaper) corp apt that is available for the core days that I should need to be in NYC. So I'll stay in Brooklyn for the first night and I might need to find a hotel for a couple of days at the end if I stim for more than 8 days. The good thing is that I won't need to fax in my registration info (payment) until Monday -- after I go to my ultrasound to see if my lining/ovaries are OK to start. So that gives me an out if I need to reschedule.
Thanks to Serenity for the tag. Here are my 5 things that you probably didn't know about me. (or want to know?) :)
1. I have turned into a wimpy skiier/snowboarder. 5-10 years ago I had bigger balls than most of the guys on my ski trips. I'm embarrassed to go with them now because I suck. I hesitate, catch an edge, and it's all over. I miss my gusto.
2. After I die I want to be cremated and have my ashes spread over the water in some cool location - Aegean Sea? The infinity pool at our fav honeymoon hotel? That way Nick (assuming I go first) will get a nice trip out of it. He doesn't think it's a good idea though.
3. Back in junior high, one kid from my neighborhood modified the lyrics to "Crimson & Clover" to include my name - because it rhymed. I was very shy back then and it made me uncomfortable - he would sing it all of the time. But now I think it's kinda cool when I hear the song. "[spark], over and over"
4. I was voted shyest girl in my HS senior yearbook. I had a hard time relating to most people in my class so I usually just kept my mouth shut around them. Usually the louder and more obnoxious people are, the quieter I am. And growing up in NJ - we had a lot of characters. :)
5. I once drank beer out of a ski boot...called "shoot the boot". Disclaimer that I was not the first person so I rationalized that it was already cleaned out...and it was a woman's ski boot - not some big old smelly man boot. Pressing my lips on the smushy, beer-soaked lining was the grossest part.
I will tag:
@ 5:24 PM
I think I'm majorly screwed for lodging for NYC. I had a corporate apartment lined up that was perfect (location, price, dates), but I waited too long and now it's booked. There are some hotels available, but they won't have a refrigerator which I need for the meds or a kitchen for me to prepare some meals. And most of the hotels really aren't all that close. Also to get the good rate at the hotels you need to prepay and I'm still really unsure about the dates - will I have issues getting my money back? And the other corp apt that I found in a good location is a 2 bedroom and 50% more expensive (but still cheaper than most hotels). And if I did a corp apartment and needed to change my dates I still need to pay 20% of the days that I don't use. Yikes!
So if I am NOT ready to start stims at my baseline on Monday then that would really really suck. But if I wait until then to book anything, very little will be available (as I learned on our last trip). I'm really gun-shy about booking something because for our last two ART cycles I wasn't suppressed well at baseline and everything needed to be put off by about a month. TWICE. So I feel like that might happen again. Of course I've never tried BCPs before so maybe it will be different. But ack!
I can stay with my friend in Brooklyn, but that's two hours of commuting every day. And lots of walking - love it, but it gets tiring. And I also don't feel comfortable with all of my stuff spread out all over her living room. Her sofa bed is comfy though and I love hanging out with her.
So do I book a hotel room now just in case and hope that I don't have issues cancelling later?
Or book the expensive corp apt because that is *by far* the most convenient option (has a kitchen, newly renovated, couple blocks from RE)? And then just suck it up if I need to change dates?
In other news, I'm going to get my "healthy living" back in action! I've been a little slack since the surgery so I need to make my list of what I need to do.
- take 4mg/day of fish oils & baby aspirin (now that it's been a week since the surgery - shouldn't have any clotting issues)
- continue supplements (CoQ, OTC, ginger, Vit C) along with prenatals (new brand without spirulina)
- take bromelain (500mg) for 1 week after ET (research if I start earlier because of endo?)
- determine if I want to add a B Complex, Cal/Mag, and also evening primrose oil (check prenatal)
- will not take TCM herbs this time
- go back to an anti-inflammatory diet to help with endo & NKs (avoid red meat, wheat, dairy, trans/satuated fats, yogurt, refined carbs, yolks, caffeine, chocolate); leaving hormone-free chicken, salmon, berries, walnuts, olives, veggies, lentils, herbal teas, water (organic where possible)
- avoid heating & storing things in plastics
- avoid chemicals (pesticides, insectides, etc.)
- recheck TSH (and NKs?) in early December
- also DH will continue to take proceptin and multivitamin
And my meds look like this:
- take last BCP on 11/11
- if all looks well on 11/13 ("CD2"), start off with 150 Foll1stim + 150 Men0pur
- DH would also start antibiotics that day
- Ganirel1x when my follicles get big enough
- hCG trigger
- val1um for ER/ET (I'm requesting this)
- Medr0l (yay!) and antiobiotics for me
- PIO (probably progesterone suppositories as well)
- Estradiol during 2WW (I'm asking about this)
I am so so fortunate to have a friend who is donating th Foll1stim & Ganirel1x. THANK YOU!!!!! You continue to amaze me with your generosity.
And I've been reading up on endo, my fav info so far:
"Research suggests that frequent and early pregnancy, use of oral contraceptives, and daily exercise may all help decrease the incidence and severity of endometriosis."
LOL! Guess I should have gotten knocked up in HS after all! And a few times!
And at least one study has shown that removing endo via a lap has a positive impact on fucundity! (LOL that I just wrote fucundity! Who puts the fun in fucundity!?!) But seriously that is good to hear.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
...for yesterday's vote showed just how backwards the people in my state are.
I can understand why there is a close race for the Sen.ate (which is still pending - keeping my fingers crossed). Lots of different issues there. But to have a clear majority of people who think that it is A-OK to ban the rights of others? That makes me want to puke. OK - it might really just be the BCP upsetting my stomach, but this is definitely disappointing.
I am proud of my little county though -- we had a very strong vote for No (74%). Too bad the rest of the state thinks otherwise.
If it weren't for my local liberal area I'd be packing my bags to head back up North.
@ 6:54 AM
Monday, November 06, 2006
I'm so impressed with my new RE. I FAXed him with some questions around 4:30 today...and I get a call from him on his cell (heading home?) around 5:30. He is so nice. I heart him!!
Anyway so he said that my endo was between stage II - III and was all over the place (behind the ute, in front, on ovaries, etc.). My tubes & insides of my uterus looked fine (he also did a hysteroscopy). So the plan is that I'll take BCPs until Saturday and go in for a scan on Monday. If my E2 is low enough & lining is thin enough we'll get started! Guess I better try to get in touch with the IVF nurse again about the meds -- funny how it's 1000x easier to get in touch with the doctor instead of the nurse.
And I talked to my boss who is now totally cool with me "working remotely" for a good chunk of November. Phew! Now I just need to figure out the NYC lodging situation. I found a corporate apartment close to the RE's office -- just trying to figure out if it's worth the extra money to stay there vs. save some bucks and stay with my friend, but then I'd have to spend 2+ hours a day commuting back & forth to Brooklyn. I loved the walking & her neighborhood & everything, but it was very draining.
Ack - I'm getting soooo f'in exciting about this cycle. Am I setting myself up for a big disappointment in the end? I think I'll be completely crushed if it doesn't work out after everything we've done to prepare for this and to cycle out of town. I still haven't quite caught on that no matter how hard I try, no matter how much we want this -- we ultimately cannot control the outcome. Something that this control freak still has a hard time grasping...
Sunday, November 05, 2006
It's funny...I am completely fine with the general anesthesia and all of the meds they pumped through me last week...but yesterday (CD3) I took my first BCP in a long time and it made me *extremely* nauseous. It's such a teeny tiny pill and it kicked my a$$. I'll try to take it with food today.
So I'm on BCPs for about a week to recover from the lap and then I stop. Once I get my period again I'll start stims on CD2.
Friday, November 03, 2006
My lap went well yesterday. Turns out that I did have lots of endo and the RE removed it. So now I'm trying to research whether it's better to jump right into another IVF cycle (after being freshly "cleaned out") or to look at additional treatments (Lupr0n Dep0t) before starting.
After having unexplained IF all of this time, having a diagnosis is in some ways reassuring. I know what it is (assuming it's our only issue) and we can treat it. And it definitely could explain the elevated NKs (endo causes scarring and inflammation, which triggers NKs).
But having endo seems like a really big deal. There are plenty of women who I've read about who never had luck with endo. Also my aunt who adopted her three kids had endo. So did my aunt who had successful IVFs. So it does make me concerned that we will never be able to conceive our own children.
So it is a bittersweet diagnosis.
But the lap itself was fine and I'm in relatively little pain. Actually my mouth and throat bother me the most. I joked with DH that they had the JV team (it's a teaching hospital) put in my breathing tube. My stomach muscles feel like I've done 1 million sit-ups and I can't really pull myself up to sit without using my arms. And I'm walking around like a caveman but haven't had to take any pain meds since being in the recovery room. No nausea or other side effects from the general anesthesia. So overall I feel like it was best-case scenario.
recap of my lap experience so I can remember later:
- DH ran down to a late-night deli to get grilled cheese sandwiches right before midnight so I wouldn't be too hungry the next day (love him!)
- slept fine for most of the night despite the traffic noise below
- when I woke up around 7am I was able to take my thyroid medicine in the morning with a little water per my doctor's instruction
- realized that my period started; my RE joked that I'd probably get it when I was laying on the table
- took a nice hot shower
- walked DH over to the RE's office so he could get his bloodwork done (1 vial); he's a complete wimp about bloodwork so I had to escort him. :)
- realized that we had a couple of hours left to kill so we went back to the hotel room
- headed over early because it was in a different part of the hospital than I'd been in before
- we got there in 2 minutes and proceeded to wait around for the next 2+ hours
- they took me back fairly quickly to get my PJs on and then I waited for an hour for the nurse to interview me and give me my IV
- I used my old faithful vein for my IV and now I'm regretting it because it's got a huge lump on it now...and it was already starting to develop scar tissue with our last FET; hopefully I haven't abused it too much
- then they went to grab Nick and we waited around for another 45-60 minutes
- don't read this Smarshy: actually we did go & pee together; he helped me with the IV :)
- then my doctor and his "fellow" came to get me
- we took the stairs up one floor because the elevator takes forever
- we went into the operating room and I was fascinated by all of the equipment
- met the nurses & anesthesiologists, answered some questions, and signed some more forms
- it took me a minute to lose my PJ pants & undies (remember I just got my period that morning) and my RE joked around that he thought after all of my IVF procedures that I'd drop my pants for anyone faster than that (I heart him - soooo funny!)
- jump up on the tall table
- they pull my arms out of my PJ top and stick me with monitors
- RE tells me to stick around until Saturday so I tell him that if he sees my DH before me to please ask him to book a room (we had a hard time finding reservations for Friday night)
- the main anesthesiologist tells me we will get started in a bit
- chit chat a little more and next thing I know they are asking me to scoot over to another bed
- then roll me down to a recovery room for serious surgeries because the ambulatory section is completely full
- I was next to a guy who had brain surgery and also a woman in A LOT of pain
- I was pretty out of it at first and my vision was very blurry; also I got dizzy if I moved my head too quickly to one side
- I felt some cramping and asked for some pain medication; the nurse got it right away and I felt a lot better (can't remember what it's called); I also got some Tylenol before leaving as well
- time flew by very quickly and before I knew it 1 hour or so had passed
- the nurses were really nice and brought me some apple juice and a muffin
- my RE came down to find me and told me about the endo and called it the "best case scenario" for our upcoming cycle; he also showed me some pics of the endo that I can pick up later
- the nurses eventually find my DH and ask him to come down
- it took a long time for me to feel ready to pee; once I did I got dressed carefully - wasn't 100% on my feet
- got my discharge info and peed and we were out of there
- we stopped by the deli to get some Ben & Jerry's ice cream on our way back to the room
- we also ordered some Italian food and started watching TV when I finally crashed
- I slept pretty well last night and haven't need to take any Tylenol or Percocet yet
- DH confirmed that we could stay an additional night in our room so we didn't have to move (yay!)
- my mouth and throat are killing me though! the right part of my lip is swollen and sore. my throat feels like it always needs to be cleared (which hurts my tummy) and is very sore. the nasty plastic taste has finally left my mouth, but it took several hours for that to go away.
- a nurse called a couple hours ago to check on me; she said to gargle with salt water and mention the sore throat to my doctor when I see him tomorrow
So all in all it went really well. I'm glad we stayed the extra day so my body has a better chance to heal. But I'm really REALLY looking forward to getting back home tomorrow and cuddling with Maggie!!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
NYC has been very busy. I stayed with a friend in Brooklyn for the first couple of days and spent a significant amount of time moving from one place to another - on the subway, on foot, and in a cab. I checked into the medical hotel last night and have really, really enjoyed not moving.
Some random highlights from my trip so far:
- I *love* Brooklyn -- it has so many cute restaurants & shops...and just feels good. Can't wait to stay with my friend again!
- I loved figuring out the most efficient way to get from point A to point B. There is a moderate walk from the subway to the RE's office and I would decide which way to go based on which path had the walk signal. I guess it's not too surprising because the lights are synchronized, but I took the same exact path a few times in a row.
- Having so many unique & creative restaurants will definitely make going back to generic-suburb-land very difficult. Although DC has much better Lebanese food. :)
- They took a ton of blood for the co-culture, pre-op testing, as well as some additional testing that I needed to complete before starting our IVF cycle. I still feel pretty drained (har har) which kinda surprised me. I used to donate blood before starting acupuncture and didn't feel quite as affected.
- I like my RE more & more that I see him. He's just so funny & down-to-earth. And I'm also impressed with the whole staff - everyone seems so nice AND competent!
- The co-culture biopsy was very fast and much less painful than I expected. Guess the 800 ibu. helped out a bit.
- My feet have blisters even though I wore comfy shoes. But I've really enjoyed the walking. The weather has been beautiful.
- There is a spot in the Lexington subway station - as you are going up the last escalator - that smells just like my dog, Maggie. It made me miss her even more.
- I like my NYC acupuncturist -- very sharp & approachable.
- I have to keep reminding myself that the medical hotel is right next door to the hospital and very cheap. Otherwise my spoiled self would have escaped to something more luxurious last night. The room is blah as expected, but the air quality seems horrible -- the only way to get some cool air is to open the window and listen to the ambulances approach the emergency room next door.
- Halloween in Brooklyn was so cute. The kids go from store to restaurant to bar going in and yelling out "Trick or Treat!" Very funny.
- REs back in VA are not very interested in doing monitoring visits for the start of our IVF cycle - no one wants to return my call.
- I think our ER will be right around Thanksgiving. Guess we might not make it down to Savannah to see my ILs. Ooooops!
- I desperately need some new clothes before heading up again. I feel sooooo unfashionable it's painful!
- I was glad to hear that no bowel prep was required for the lap. I would be very grumpy if I couldn't eat today and had some unpleasantness in the bathroom tonight.
- I can't wait to see my DH tonight!
- I wish I brought my camera - there were a few picture perfect moments that I had to commit to memory. Unfortunately I have a horrible memory.
Off to get my hair cut with my friend!
I LOVE my cut (took off lots of bulk & added layers) & color (copper & low-lights)! So now I need to come up here every couple of months to see my new favorite stylist & colorist. At least my hair will look good for tomorrow's surgery. I'll need to get it updated before any future procedures. ;)
And mental note - Broadway is NOT the same as West Broadway.
DH should be here soon!
Just got the call from the hospital -- surgery isn't until 1pm. I'm going to be starving by then! I'm going to stay up tonight & eat something at midnight. :)
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Since I'm having a hard time posting comments on some blogs (thank you, Blogger Beta) I thought I'd share my comments on here...
I hope that the Hotel Manager at the Embryo Motel gets some relief soon. That does NOT sound like fun. Also I've met a bobcat at a couple points in my life as well - for two different types of growth spurts.
And congrats to Serenity on the job offers. You rock! Good luck with your decision -- for me it's always been really important to work with great people. But then again commuting does suck.
I'm getting more & more excited about spending the week up in NYC. I'll be living in Brooklyn (Carroll Gardens) with a good friend for half of the week and then moving to a hotel closer to the hospital prior to the surgery. I have already picked out the subway lines that I'll need to take and located the closest Whole Foods. Still trying to make appts for acupuncture and hair cut. Looking forward to some good food (before the clear liquid diet day). And might catch up with some other friends. One of my good college buddies just had #2 - I guess I should work up some excitement there.
But I'm also feeling very anxious about something. Not really the surgery, but I'm guessing that will hit next week. Maybe about the IVF cycle itself. I'm afraid that the moons won't align and I'll have to push it off to January. The more that I think about it that scenario seems less likely, but I'm still anxious about something.
Actually I haven't told my boss about taking off time for the IVF. I wanted to get a better feel for the dates before saying anything. I did hit that I might need to take off more time later in November, but didn't really mention that it'll be 2 weeks out of the office. Oh yeah - right after this week of being out. I do plan on working "from home" for most of it so hopefully it won't be an issue. Actually we do have a tiny NYC office - maybe I'll try to work from there to not feel as guilty about taking off so much time during a busy month. Part me wants to say F it because of everything that I've done for the company so far this year and then part of me feels bad for leaving my boss in a tight spot. And he is very cool. So maybe I'll spill the beans to him and also work hard to support him from NYC when I can.
So maybe it's a lot of little things are making me nervous all around? Guess I better work on some relaxation techniques...and maybe another acu session before I head up?
Sunday, October 22, 2006
I love the beach - any time of the year. Actually I might like it more in the off season when it's not overrun by people. Having spent so much of my childhood at the beach ("down the shore") I can't imagine living any further from it than we are right now (2-3 hrs). Rivers and lakes are a nice water fix for me, but there is something about the salty smell and the sound of the waves that makes me feel at home. Some day in the future I do want to live close to the beach again.
We had a nice visit with my grandmother, who looks pretty darn good under the circumstances. My aunts were joking that even at her worst a week ago her hair was still perfect -- guess the rest of us weren't lucky enough to get that gene. Aside from being tired, I never would know that she has cancer all over her body. She has another biopsy this week to try to diagnose it and determine appropriate treatment. It was nice to have a "normal" visit with her and the rest of my family -- almost everyone was there. It was just like a holiday minus the decorations. I tried to savor every minute of it because we may not have many "normal" weekends like that in the future.
We tried to work off the indulgences with a couple of walks on the beach. Maggie loved every second of it. She had her "happy face" on the entire time.
@ 9:49 PM
Friday, October 20, 2006
Heard back from the coordinator today (who again answered the phone on my first attempt!) - current plan looks like:
10/30 - bloodwork for co-culture
10/31 - endo biopsy for co-culture + pre-op appt
11/2 - lap surgery
So it looks like I'll be spending the whole week up in NYC!
And I'm waiting to hear back from the IVF nurse (who also answered the phone immediately! and has a v. cool accent) about the protocol/dates, which theoretically starts right up after the lap.
I'm going to go & crash. I haven't slept well this week and I just got back from a Habitat for Humanity build and I'm just exhausted! Only thing I *really* need to do today is to pack for our NJ trip tomorrow...I can do that later tonight, right? ;)
And I think the reality of my grandmother's condition will hit me when we see her this weekend (got the "reserved" bedroom back BTW). I'm still in denial right now...
Here is a pic of her back in happier days -- smiling & getting down at our wedding (dancing with my dad's girlfriend):
Thursday, October 19, 2006
After all of the confusing semi-dark OPK tests I finally got a nice & dark one today at work. Which means that I can't do the co-culture biopsy on 11/2 -- it'd be too late in my cycle (needs to be no more than 12 days past my LH surge). I called the coordinator who surprisingly answered on my first attempt (I've heard she can be difficult to track down). She said that I can do the biopsy on 10/31 but she's not sure about when I can do the lap. She was going to check with the doctor after he got out of surgery and give me a call tomorrow with the plan. I'm really hoping we can squeeze this all in the next 2 weeks...
Smarshy's summer vacation pic has me looking at old vacation pics now...and remembering the good 'ole days before IF was hanging over our every move, including vacations.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
these little pink lines on the OPKs are killing me -- they've been getting darker & darker today and as of tonight are *almost* as dark as the control line...meaning that I will probably surge soon. a little too soon to get into this upcoming cycle schedule with the new RE (their lab is shut down right now)...probably pushing us out to January for IVF#3. we did our first IVF last January and I really didn't enjoy that time of year - bad cold, bad weather, bad embryos, yuck. :(
and it seems like my least favorite aunt is flying into town this coming weekend and kicking us out of our "reserved" bedroom at my grandmother's house. and my dad said my grandmother is getting more & more weak. yuck.
yuck. yuck. yuck.
update/question for OPK pros:
will the test line definitely be darker than the control line when you surge? the last three tests over the past 18hrs have been really dark...did I surge?
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
I just got back some of the results back from our testing earlier this month - everything so far looks normal except for elevated white blood cells...
> my karotype results came back normal - and good to know that I AM in fact a female for anyone who was wondering
> still waiting on DH's karotype results
> elevated white blood cells - from a cold? I think I did have a sore throat back then...or is it some other underlying infection?
> T4 (free) = 1.46
> TSH = 1.36 (came back as 0.8 a week later with my medical endo)
> prolactin = 9.7
> slightly elevated LDL - damn those delicious egg sandwiches
> NK cytolytic activity came back normal (8.6%) -- guess the fish oils are helping? or I had a fluke result earlier?
> RIPs all came back normal
> all APAs were in normal range
Oh and I had some ovary twinges & EWCM again today...so I think I'm going to O soon. If I can make it until Thursday before LH surge then I *might* be able to do the co-culture on 10/31 (and go up the day before for the blood draw)...we'll see...
The endo biopsy for the co-culture needs to be 5-12 days past the LH surge...and the blood draw needs to happen before that...very complicated.
Still no surge yet - yay!
I saw that someone from NYCDoc's office tried to call me a couple of times over lunch today - but left no message. WTF? Now I'm dying to know why!
And I had a great bitch session with my boss today. *He* started off complaining about the rash of stoooopid decisions in our company lately - and then I jumped in of course. OK - so I like my boss. That makes *everything* much more bearable at work.
Not sure if I've mentioned this before but when I first told him that I'll need off some time for "a surgery" in early November (days before a huge work milestone) he didn't even blink an eye -- he just said "no problem" and went on to the next topic. My last boss asked 100000000 nosey questions to figure out what was going on. Part of me suspects that he already knows which is quite possible because a few people at work do know -- and he's friends with them. And then part of me thinks that he just really doesn't want to know - whatever it is. Either way I'm grateful that he's being so cool about it.
Monday, October 16, 2006
I started with the overpriced, well-known brand of OPKs from the pharmacy over the weekend. And today my cheapy internet OPKs arrived -- so now I can test all I want!! To keep my obsessive-self busy I've decided to test in the AM (~11am) and also in the PM (~8pm). A watched pot never boils? Maybe a watched LH won't surge too soon then...we can hope?
Since I'm coming off of a mildly-medicated cycle, I'm hoping that I'll O a little later than my usual CD14-15 (LH surge probably CD12-14?). That has been true for the past few post-ART cycles so we'll see.
Worrying about surging too soon has made me very cranky at work. Well it's that plus the combination of stoooopid decisions that a few people have made. DH just started his new job today (yay!) and I have complete envy of his smart co-workers. I've already heard a few basic smart things that would *never* happen at my company.
For example they gave him an extra power cord for his laptop. They do that for everyone with laptops because - gasp - you probably use your laptop in multiple locations and it'd be gosh darn convenient to not have to deal with a mess of cords on a regular basis. At my company, if someone had this brilliant idea to include an extra power cord with every laptop it would be debated for months & months across 10 different departments until eventually the idea would lose steam and everyone lost interest. Good idea? Who cares.
So it sounds like I should polish up the old resume and maybe start exploring some options before I get truly disgruntled. Maybe after the holidays? Maybe after I get my bonus payout in March? Maybe after I vest in May? Maybe I can get PG and then just quit altogether? HAHAHAHA! Argh.
Well I better go & play with our restless pup who misses her doggie boyfriend. Max's "parents" got back from Greece on Saturday so we are now a one-dog household again.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
A little concerned about EWCM I've had today so I better go & do my OPK before I fall asleep.
@ 8:33 PM
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Just started OPKs today to monitor for my LH surge. It feels so weird to go back to using them again. And it's been so long that I forget details about them -- when is the best time in the day to do it -- late morning? I'll have to go & research.
So now I'm just waiting to surge -- and the longer I take the more likely that I'll be able to stick to our schedule. A week from now (CD17) would be perfect. Otherwise everything will get pushed out and we probably won't be able to cycle until 2007.
Think lots of LH-surge-later thoughts. I even have my acupuncturist trying to delay ovulation. :)
Thursday, October 12, 2006
I've been having trouble posting & leaving comments ever since upgrading to blogger beta. So hopefully this works.
So my driving confessions, as requested...
I'll start with a little bit of background. I grew up in NJ in a family and community of fast drivers (in high school I remember being passed by a cop when I "slowed down" to 75mph on the turnpike). As I learned in my driving class the other night, I'm an adrenaline junkie. I LOVE to drive fast. I do limit my fast driving to daytime/clear weather/highway situations and I do pay close attention to everything around me and try to anticipate & avoid bad situations. Overall I do feel like I'm a good driver, just a bit faster than those around me at times.
When I was in college I was more than a bit faster...and I ended up with a few tickets to show for it. Granted two of those were on a speed-trap highway (watch out for those sneaky state police in Camaros around Binghamton, NY!).
By the time I moved down here I was driving slower, but still got a couple tickets. One of those was on a beautiful clear weekend morning. I was driving back home at 75-80mph on a straight highway - no traffic & clear weather. I had the radio turned up and was generally just enjoying the ride. Unfortunately that part of the highway it dropped down to 55 putting me at 20-25 miles over the speed limit...which just happens to be reckless driving in this state (is that true everywhere? maybe I need to move). Clueless me did not get a lawyer and had a jacka$$ judge so I walked away with a reckless on my record.
Few years later and I'm looking less & less like Speedy Gonzalez. One day on my slow commute home I did have an exchange of fingers with another driver over his rudeness (cutting aggressively across a wide merge area) & my intentions to not to let him merge back over later on. A cop happened to catch that exchange and pulled us both over and charged us with reckless. This time I got a lawyer & got it knocked down to improper driving. The other guy did not get a lawyer and ended up with a pissed off judge.
So after all of that AND the fact that I'm getting older and have a deeper sense of mortality, I am much much much MUCH more careful & conscious when I drive now. But I have that beautiful driving record to accompany me.
Anyway, several weeks ago I was heading over to meet my husband to pick out granite for our basement. It was the week after we thought our FET was cancelled & I had stopped all meds. The road I needed to take was closed, but there were no detour signs or people directing the f-ed up traffic. There were some cars cutting through a couple of cones to go over to the access road, which wasn't closed. So I follow a few cars over there and find a group of cops further down the road. They ended up pulling us all over for cutting through to the access road. I'm sure that everyone else simply got detour directions, but I was a huge smart a$$ and got a general reckless charge.
The cop started off with a bit of attitude, which I did not appreciate. I matched some of his sarcasm and got pretty fired up as it escalated. And I got REALLY pissed when he wrote it up as reckless. My lawyer said that the cop probably saw that I had prior tickets and wanted to screw me over.
I've learned in this driving class, which BTW is run by a very-cool former cop, that you really do need to "play the game". Also there really is no true justice - difficult concept for this fair-loving Libra. It ultimately is up to me vs. the cop. And I better no piss him off. I’m sure that everyone else in the world knows this – it seems so obvious. I just get so fired up sometimes that I don’t think. And I was already on edge from our cancelled cycle before the whole incident.
So this is just a BIG lesson how to control my emotions as well as to learn how to "play the game".
"You must have had a good reason to pull me over, officer"
"I'm sorry, officer"
On a side note, I had my TSH tested again this week and it came back at 0.8. So that's good for now -- my endocrinologist prefers to keep it on the lower end because theoretically when you cycle the additional estrogen can cause it to increase.
And we should be getting our new insurance cards next week!!!! DH doesn't actually start work until Monday -- we're very impressed with the new company's benefits dept!
@ 5:05 PM
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
So in the mean time I guess I'll keep busy by:
1) Figuring out the insurance situation -- so far it looks like we'd be effective this coming Monday and we'll get the insurance cards before we head up to NYC for the lap -- yay! And even though it'll probably be considered out-of-network, we still get such better coverage from this new insurance -- double yay!
2) Taking a few defensive driving classes. I got - um - another really bad driving ticket recently and need to take some classes to bring up my points. Actually the lawyer said it would be a good idea. In my defense my driving wasn't that bad -- it was the smart a$$ comments made later to the cop that was the true mistake. Oooops. I'm trying to see if I can use "insane by IF" as an excuse... ;)
3) Playing with the puppies. We are dog sitting right now and have *finally* have figured out a good routine to keep them tired - and us happy. :)
@ 11:37 PM
Monday, October 09, 2006
Looks like DH's new company does have IF coverage (yay!), but we still need to see if the timing works out for the lap & IVF -- since they both need precertification and it's scheduled for 11/2 and I most likely won't be covered until 11/1 -- at the earliest. Also it would be out-of-network with my new RE though since they don't really accept insurance for IF procedures (lap theoretically would be covered)...
@ 4:39 PM
Sunday, October 08, 2006
First, I am so sad for Serenity, but still so impressed with her positive attitude and amazing inner strength.
And I'm really pulling for -M this cycle - more now than ever before. I hope you get wonderful news next week.
I am so glad that we are cycling with NYCDoc!! Out of everything I was most impressed with his attitude - he was open to hearing my thoughts & answering my questions - and very down to earth. I immediately felt comfortable with him. Yay!
After a lot of discussion about the various options, we are planning to do a lap with him in early November - and if my body behaves & the timing works out with my current cycle (I'm CD3 today) then we might be able to do the co-culture at the same time. Assuming we get both of those done then we're going to jump right into an IVF cycle! If I ovulate too early & the procedures get pushed out to later in November then we'll have to look at the calendars again (holidays, etc.).
He actually brought up the lap, not me, and thought there were enough indicators for endo (incl. the NKs which I didn't know) to go ahead with it. Also he said that one of my tubes looks a little enlarged (first time I've heard that) so it'll be good to check that out. And he said he won't use Lupron in my protocol because I don't suppress well on it -- we'll use Ganirelix instead (along with Follistim & Menopur again). And he definitely isn't into IVIg, but fish oils are fine.
He also took a look at my antral follicle count and said everything looked good. So given that & my age & by retrieving the eggs before they are "overripe" & by adding in the co-culture that we have a very good chance of success. Yay!
So I need to cancel the FET now...and save those frosties for another day...
10/14 - start checking for LH surge
10/21 - ideal surge date
10/23 - call if no surge
10/31 - pre-op appt
11/1 - co-culture bloodwork
11/2 - lap + co-culture biopsy
11/3 - bonus NYC recovery day
Oh - and I had a great trip in general. I ran into an old co-worker at Union Station and we caught up on the way up. And then I ran into an old roommate (!) on the train back down - the train was full and I was asking her if her seat was taken when we realized that we knew each other. Suuuuuuuuuuch a small world!!!! Anyway it was nice to remember the good 'ole days with both of them and feel reconnected with old friends. And plus I always love taking the train.
I did miss my train back though (#6 had issues because of a police investigations) so I was stuck in Penn Station for an extra couple of hours. For some reason I always get stuck there -- it's like a blackhole...
Now I'm hoping that I don't surge too early...so that we'll head up to NYC on Halloween for pre-op appt! Please behave body!! PLEASE!!!