Wednesday, August 30, 2006

it's hard to stay optimistic...

...for this cycle. All day my body has been feeling weird (crampy, ovulation-like pangs, tired, grumpy) so I'm thinking that everything is all screwed up in there.

We had a big celebration at work today for my project that is wrapping up. And I just couldn't stand to be there and pretend to be happy. So I just walked out.

I just thought of everything that I did to make that project successful. How much I gave of myself. And now it's over and I'm left with a screwed up FET cycle. What if I just declined the offer to lead the project? If I didn't go through all of that stress would I still be on track for a transfer next week? So I guess I'm bitter about the things that are going well now. Because the one thing that I really care about and comes so easy to so many others - I have no control over.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

we're trying natural FET!!

LOVE IT when my RE and I have similar thoughts!

We're going for the natural FET with this current cycle!! So no meds for now and I go back in on CD7. We'll use a little trigger shot to ensure ovulation when it looks like I'm about to ovulate....and if everything is looking good then we'll do the transfer a few days later. But there is a lot of risk that my body may not behave (again) so it might be cancelled.

And if this doesn't work out we'll get started suppressing for a medicated FET.

I'm happy because we're trying something while I'd be waiting to start suppressing anyway.

Soooo....I might be having an ET in about 2 weeks!


strong ovaries

Well my regular RE is back from Scotland and looking very happy & relaxed. He was also extra chatty (which I love because then I get more details!).

My follicles are still growing (up to 15mm), but I'm guessing that my E2 has dropped since I did get my period yesterday. He says my body responded strangely to Lupron and that I have very strong ovaries. Which is a good thing in general -- just makes getting this FET started a little complicated. And I reminded him that the same thing happened in my last fresh cycle as well (in that case we had to trigger off a dominant follicle before starting stims).

He also asked me if I was positive I knew how to do the Lupron. Uh...pretty sure. Should I bring in the nearly empty vial and my sharps container as evidence? :)

Sooooo....he's going to wait for the bloodwork and then decide what to do.

I'm afraid he's going to make me wait to calm everything down. Which sounds like the rational thing to do but it just kills me to put it all off (after everything I went through to get started in Seattle and everything that happened with work).

And he really isn't into natural FETs because it's more of a crap shoot - if I surged too soon then it's all over. And who knows what is going on with my body right now...

Which I don't *hate* anymore but I'm definitely still mad at it...

Monday, August 28, 2006

interesting development

After feeling crampy all weekend, I got my period this morning. Very light, but it's I'm assuming I go back in tomorrow for CD2... MUCH MUCH earlier than I was expecting...

so we'll see what the REs say after their big pow-wow today...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

tiny glimmer of hope...

Based on a quick conversation this AM, the RE thinks we might be able to try something this cycle (assuming my follicles actually continue to develop) he is reviewing my chart in detail today (my primary RE is golfing in Scotland this week)...

So what might happen is that I'll ovulate on my own next week (plus maybe a little trigger shot for fun), and then a couple days later they'll do the transfer (like a natural FET)... Maybe... possibly...

Or if that doesn't work out - maybe they won't bother suppressing me for the next round - so ovulate next week & then as soon as I'm on my next CD2 I'd start the EV IM shots... (side question - has anyone else use these for FETs? seems like most people do the pills)

Lots of question marks, but at least I won't have to just sit around for the next two months...

So to kill some time while I wait to hear next steps, I'll finally do my belated tag from SoCo...

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet and current street name)
Arrow Seventh

2. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (grandfather/grandmother on your mom's side, your favorite candy)
Yolanda Reese

3. YOUR "FLY GIRL/GUY" NAME: (first initial of first name, first two or three letters of your middle name)

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Red Dog

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Ann Berlin

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 2 letters of mom's maiden name and first 3 letters of the town you grew up in.)

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (your favorite color, favorite drink)
Red Gin & Tonic.

Mmmmmm...gin & tonic. We have a work happy hour tonight (to celebrate the success of my big project) and I'm definitely having one or two (or three?) of those!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

cycle cancelled

have I mentioned lately how much I hate my body?


I was too busy feeling sorry for myself & crying at work to provide more detail. My follicles are all continuing to grow and my E2 is rising. I've asked the nurse/RE if we can convert to an IUI or a natural FET and should hear back tomorrow.

As much as I was OK with any outcome this morning, I'm really not. I'm crushed to not even have the attempt to get PG anytime soon. All of the positive energy I had built up over the past few months seemed to be zapped out of me all at once.

Nick and I are seriously reconsidering our next steps. Even though we're just coming off of a break, we're tired of all of this. So now we're thinking about selling our sensible sedan to get a little 2-seater convertible. And trying to think of some other way of being irresponsible with our lives...

I'm alive!!

After a grueling 2 weeks of work, including a 36-hour straight stretch over the weekend, my big project at work is now wrapping up. And I survived. Phew... Now I can get back to worrying about my FET and all of that fun stuff. :)

My TSH looked perfect (1.1) but I will go back in on 8/30 just to make sure that it hasn't spiked up.

Apparently my ovaries are really really REALLY happy on Lupron -- according to my RE I'm growing follicles almost like I'm on stims. The RE is going to decide what to do once we get the b/w back this afternoon (cancel? I'll have to ask if we can convert to IUI)...he was really nice & funny about it this AM and made me laugh about it. :)

So I'm wondering why don't I suppress well? This happened with my last fresh cycle too... Could this be a symptom of PCOS (which I don't think I have since my LH/FSH ratio has always been fine - just curious)? Should we try different suppression meds (Gara-something???)? Am I doing the Lupron shot correctly? I'd hope that after giving it to myself *at least* 50 times this year I'd know that by now...

Anyway I'm kinda OK with whatever happens with this cycle. I'm still just so very happy that my work project is done and we sold the townhouse. Getting rid of two out of three headaches ain't bad. :)

Off to catch up on blogs & message boards!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

getting ready...

Looking back I guess we've really been preparing for this cycle for a long time now...but I think it's finally hitting me that WE'RE CYCLING! (guess the big deduction from our checking account and the daily Lupron shots weren't enough of a clue)

So I'm starting to refine our game plan.

My latest FET prep list:
- Recheck my TSH (will hear results on Monday; will check again on 8/30)
- Recheck my NK count & activity (blood test w/Millenova; will RE draw blood for me again after I've been a PITA about this?)
- Up my Omega-3s to 4mg/day (to treat NKs)
- Start some additional supplements (Selenium, CoQ); I've already been taking Prenatals + baby aspirin + ginger + chinese herbs
- Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet to help with NKs (avoid beef, dairy, trans/satuated fats, yogurt, refined carbs); so I think that leaves chicken, salmon, berries, walnuts, olives, most veggies, herbal teas, water
- Take bromelain (1000mg) for 5 days after ET

I just looked through the protocol sheet again and it looks like the plan is something like this:
8/21: drop down to 5u Lupron (daily until 8/31) & start 2mg EV (Estrodial Valerate) IM
8/24: increase to 4mg EV IM
8/28: increase to 5mg EV IM (and continue this Mondays & Thursdays until beta)
9/1: start antibiotics
9/3: start progesterone suppositories (100mg)
9/4: start PIO (1cc)
9/6: transfer
9/20: beta


Work is really out of control. I'm actually procrastinating doing some work right now (on a Sunday) by updating my blog. Fortunately it should be dying down right around the time I start my EV injections...

I think I need to update my links on the right before actually starting some work. :)


Also just to recap our IVF journey so far:

IVF#1 (Jan 2006)
Microdose Lupron "flare" protocol
started at 250IUs of Follistim & ramped up to 450IUs
stimmed for 11 days
~14 follicles observed
14 eggs retrieved
10 mature
7 fertilized (half ICSI)
3 survived until Day 3
3 transferred (1 8-cell and 2 6-cell)
0 frozen

IVF#2 (April 2006)
Long luteal protocol
added Menopur (75IU); started at 250IUs of Follistim & ramped up to 300IU
stimmed for only 6 days + 1 coasting day
~14 follicles observed
12 eggs retrieved
12 mature
12 fertilized
10 survived until Day 3
3 transferred (1 12-cell and 2 8-cell)
7 frozen (all 8-cell)


just to keep my notes all in one place -- here are the Chinese herbs that I've been taking for a few weeks now (10g/day)...
Lin Wei Huang Wan (4g)
Tu Ci Si (1.5g)
Du Zhong (1.5g)
Suan Cao Ren (1g)
Dang Gui (1g)
Bai Shao (1g)

I'm going to continue with acupuncture 1x/week and have already scheduled a session immediately before/after my ET (she's only a couple miles from the RE's office).


Also in preparation for any future fresh cycles, Nick is going to start taking Proceptin (bunch of antioxidants) to bring down his % sperm DNA fragmentation to a more "fertile" level. He's at 28% now (over 30% is considered abnormal; below 15% is best for fertility). It takes a few months to make an impact so he's starting now just in case...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

baseline today (CD2)

I went in to my RE's office this morning for my baseline (CD2) visit. It was a little bizarre being there again. Apparently even though I was on BCP and Lupron for a couple weeks I still have "strong ovaries".

He's also putting me on Estrogen to keep my uterus happy because we extended out my transfer date. Turns out it's good timing for my RE too because he's going to be golfing in Scotland in a week or two...

Somehow when I was getting dressed I got blood all over the bottom hem of my shirt...nice.

I am noticing the extreme emotions already -- when I was driving to work I slowed down for blinking school sign...and somehow thinking of that elementary school made be cry... It's going to be a looooong cycle... ;)

So I'm still waiting for the call about my plan but I'm assuming that I take this Estrogen pill and stay on Lupron for another week or two.


AND some good news -- we finally got a contract on our townhouse today!!! Yay!!! I'm still not deeply excited about -- and probably won't until 5 minutes after closing. But it is a relief for us!!!

Friday, August 04, 2006

My heart aches for Serenity. Her mantra from a couple days ago ("I will be a mom someday") is still ringing in my mind. I know she will find her way there.


And I'm in & out of denial that we are cycling again. I'm so f'in scared to think that we're going through this again. Especially with a FET - do they really work?!?! So when I'm accepting that we're "in the game" I'm worried about our protocol (still need to convince RE to give me a script for Dexamethasone for my elevated NK cells) and then when I'm in total denial I'm forgetting to do my Lupron shot and drinking way too much coffee.

On brighter news (not) we of course still have no contract on our TH and just realized that the buyer's agent is an idiot. Um, yes, there is a garage - you're saying that you're about to put down a contract and you didn't know that? ok....have you seen the place?

Given the large amount of people in our area experiencing IF (something in the water - no seriously, is there something in the water?) -- my DH and I have thought of a new approach to selling our TH. Instead of offering a new car or free trip to Hawaii, we're going to try a different type of incentive to target a different group of buyers...

(ack! no good graphical editor on this computer - sorry for the sloppy image!)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

four things...

I've been tagged by serenity & amy!

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. engineering assistant (made blueprints & learned how to use a CNC machine - very exciting back in HS)
2. computer lab attendant (actually I really enjoyed this during grad school)
3. IT consultant (traveling out of town M-F for way way too long)
4. IT project manager/director (oh the fun!)

Four movies I watch over and over:
1. Princess Bride - inconceivable! (hahahaha! all new meaning now...)
2. Pride & Prejudice (along with the other movies in my A&E Romance Collection)
3. Strictly Ballroom
4. any & all cheezy 80s movies -- e.g., Footloose was on last night and I couldn't resist -- I might have even danced around the house a bit

Four places I have lived:
1. Berlin, NJ
2. Ithaca, NY
3. Cambridge, MA
4. Arlington, VA (for the past 10+ years!)
(actually those are just about the only four places I have lived...)

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. 24
2. Daily Show (Jon Stewart is my TV husband)
3. Lost
4. Barefoot Contessa

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Seattle - just got back!
2. Stowe, Vermont
3. Virgin Islands (St. John & Virgin Gorda)
4. Tuscany, Italy
(most recent destinations in reverse chronological order)

Four websites I visit daily:
1. MSN TTC6Mos+ message board
2. IF blogs
3. IVF Connections
4. Washinton Post Soduku

Four of my favorite foods:
1. pizza - any kind, anyplace, anywhere - I'm a pizza slut
2. Fatteh bel Djaje (Lebanese Taverna)
3. Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio (grilled pork and crispy spring roll over rice vermicelli)
4. moussaka (my own of course)

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Santorini, taking a nap by the infinity pool
2. the beach, listening to the waves crashing while taking a nap
3. laying on the bow of my dad's sailboat, taking a nap in the warm sun with the refreshing breeze cooling me off
4. taking an afternoon nap cuddled up with our dog on our comfy bed

Four favorite bands/singers:
1. Erasure
2. Vivaldi
3. Sublime
4. Dixie Chicks


I am very lightly spotting again and feel a bit crampy today so I'm guessing I'll get my period any day now.

Some good news - my acupuncturist said that I can cut back on the herbs a bit because they were starting to taste yucky. And the acu needles on the right side of my belly were freaking out last night! My right ovary always has more action anyway...more follicles, more eggs...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

dramameter reading says...."low"

I'm pulling for ya, Serenity!! Hoping that you have some late implanters...


This week started out with MUCH more drama than I care for... but I think it's all been resolved now.

Just heard that there is no need to move to a crappy cube now. Yippee!! So I guess I'll have to hold off on resigning until something even more absurd happens. ;)

AND I just passed a big certification exam this afternoon!! I've been putting off the exam for, oh, 5 years and finally got around to taking it (since the young people on my team all had it I felt like I needed to just do it already). I was supposed to study on vacation last week, but put that off until yesterday. Oooops. Guess my old study habits haven't changed much since college/grad school. But after all of the self-imposed stress of "will I pass? will I pass?" - I passed! Phew.

So I'm feeling very low stress right now! Yippee!!! And dare I even write it - we're expecting a contract in the next day or two on the townhouse. Probably won't be a reasonable offer, but at least it's something (I might even call it a miracle at this point). I feel like I should be out celebrating or something!

Oh yeah - I did forget to do my Lupron shot until ~1am last night (up late studying). And today I spotted a teeny tiny bit (related to the Lupron timing?). Which makes me a tad nervous because I don't think I'm supposed to get my period for another week or two. I think -- better go & check my protocol sheet. But I guess I'm really just on Lupron for the next couple of weeks no matter what (because I'm delaying the transfer until early Sept to avoid a very busy time at work) so it most likely doesn't matter...

Off to acupuncture to feel even more relaxed!! Except that I will probably melt there because she only mildly air conditions her building...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

the madness!

I have to vent briefly about work for a minute.

So yesterday was my first day back to work after a nice vacation. Yuck. One of the first email messages I read is from some woman informing me that I am moving to a new cube this Friday. OK....

This frustrates me to no end because:
1) I am not supposed to move -- my group is staying in this building -- why is she trying to move me in the first place?
2) she is trying to move me one aisle over from my current location - one. aisle. over. seriously, WTF is the point of that?
3) the new cube is 1000x worse than my current quiet corner near a window - with my new promotion I would really appreciate an OFFICE not some crappy cube with no privacy...thankyouverymuch...
4) she just notified me on Monday about a Friday move -- giving me less time to "fix" this nonsense -- despite the fact that she says she's beeing working on this since April so that's why there's no way she can change this now (WTF?)
5) I would have to spend all morning on Friday packing up, watch the movers roll my stuff around the corner sometime in the afternoon (we're not allowed to move ourselves), and then half a day on Monday to unpack again. Such a f'in huge waste of time/money.
6) when I tried to talk to her on the phone about it she talked nonstop and yet sooooo slowly....and got mad at me for trying to interrupt... It was very hard to not just hang up on her...

WTF?!!? So I basically told her I wasn't moving. It's just so absurd to that I can't do it. Waaaaay beyond my threshold for idiotic corporate nonsense.

As silly as this sounds this situation really makes me reconsider working here. There are a few other reasons that have come up recently -- but this might be a deal breaker. Especially now that my IF benefits have run out...

To vest next year or not to vest. That is the question. Argh.