Thursday, November 30, 2006

3dp3dt - home sweet home (+blast update)

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:
Maggie's First Day


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

1dp3dt - first roadtrip

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.
day 3 embyros

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

first baby pic

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!

transferring 3

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

fertilization report

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.

sleep is an amazing thing

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

Happy Thanksgiving!

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

CD11 - Boiled again!

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?

Boiled again!


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

CD10 - much happier day

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...

2150+150524-day 1 of stims
4150+150179--start belated period
575+150293-under 10mm
675+1504535.2max=13mmstart Gani.relix
70+1507566.4max=13.5mmstop Folli.stim
most bet 15-16mm
most bet 17-18mm
most bet 19-20mm

Monday, November 20, 2006

CD9 - emotional mess

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

CD7 - slow & steady wins the race?

I bought some tulips for my apartment and thought they looked beautiful in the morning sun.

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.

2150+150524-day 1 of stims
4150+150179--start belated period
575+150293-under 10mm
675+1504535.2max=13mmstart Gani.relix
70+1507566.4max=13.5mmstop Folli.stim

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

CD3 - anxiety

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

CD2 - baseline

This morning I went in for my baseline appointment - simple bloodwork & ultrasound, right? I almost passed out when the receptionist told me the cost. It was almost 3x more than my old RE's office would have charged and 2x more than my NYC RE charged for a similiar appointment last month. WTF?! Why on earth did I not ask about this before? I definitely should have shopped around a bit. I am hoping that insurance will cover some of it and now I'm debating whether I should find somewhere else for my CD4 bloodwork. I'm hestitant to try another lab (different results?) though and it should be a lot less because it's just bloodwork. Or should I just head up to NYC a day earlier?

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!

CD2 recap:
lining: 4
follicles: lots of antral
E2: 52
FSH: 4.2
Follist1m: 150
Men0pur: 150


oh and here is the little gremlin our "nephew" that we are dogsitting this week - he is ridiculously entertaining:
helping to make the bed

Sunday, November 12, 2006

great weekend!

We had incredible weather on Saturday so we skipped most of our errands and just enjoyed the day. On our way to pick up Nick's new car, we stopped at a cute little cafe and ate outside with Maggie. Everyone around us gave her some lovin' and she ate it up. When we got home Nick spent a significant amount of time in the driveway playing with his new toy (LOL!).

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.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

5 things...

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:
Embro Motel
Southern Comfortable
the oneliner

getting ready for IVF#3

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

A moment of silence...

...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.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Just heard back from RE

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

one little pill

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

endo: bittersweet diagnosis

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

in a New York minute...

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. :)