All in a day’s work

July 31, 2008

Wow.  Sorry I didn’t update earlier…I actually had a lot going on today, and now that I’m home, the last thing I want to do is get on the computer – but – I know people are waiting on an update, so here it goes!

My appointment went really well this morning.  I’m right on track for where I should be (having been on stim drugs for 7 days), so that made me happy.  A few stats for you infertile girls who know what I’m talking about…

E2 – from 148 on Monday to 883 today  ||  still have 14 follies – 18, 17, 2 14’s, 2 13’s, 2 12’s, 11, 3 10’s, and 2 9’s  ||  lining was a 10

And for those of you who have no clue what the above means, it’s good.  My estrogen (E2 from above) went crazy high from last time, and all of my follicles (fluid-filled cysts that contain the golden eggs) were right on track with their growth.  They tend to grow around 2mm each day, so there’s still hope for some of the smaller ones to catch up (the size of the follicle equals the maturity of the egg inside, and an egg is considered “mature” when the follicle is between 16-20 mm).  This means that if our egg retrieval (ER) is on Sunday, I should have at least 9 eggs retrieved, and if the ER is on Monday, I should have at least 14 eggs retrieved (at this point, we’re hoping for Monday because it would = more eggs, but we’ll see).

I have to go in again tomorrow morning at 7:15 for another ultrasound and blood work, and then Colleen (the IVF nurse) will call me to let me know what the plan is.  We will likely either trigger tomorrow night for an egg retrieval on Sunday morning, or Saturday night for an ER on Monday morning.  Remember, the “trigger” shot that I’ll take will basically force me to ovulate 36-40 hours after it’s administered, so they can time my retrieval for around the exact time that my eggs are all ripe for the pickin’, for lack of better terms.

*******

I drove almost 100 miles today, between driving to my ultrasound appointment this morning, to immediately after that driving to my acupuncturist across town, straight from there to work, and then home again tonight.  Ugh.  And I get to start all over again tomorrow morning, and then maybe Saturday morning as well.  Totally reminds me to go back and log all of the miles we have driven to and from the RE’s office for tax purposes next year…

On the drive home from work, I left work over a half hour later than normal, and thank goodness I brought my drugs with me.  I hit an accident on the way home from work, so I had to make a beeline for the nearest place to shoot up – Caribou Coffee.  So, to all of you coffee patrons who were at the I-225 and Colfax location of Caribou Coffee, sorry I was in the restroom for so long (without flushing the toilet I might add).  Part of me kind of wanted to throw a used needle under the sink for kicks, but alas, I didn’t.  I got my shots done, and walked out of there without even thinking of buying a coffee (I have to drink decaf now anyway, so why bother?).

Jeff and I have been working on a “list” of things we have learned while going through infertility, and although it’s almost done, I’m not quite ready to post it.  But be on the lookout for “The List” coming soon.  I was reminded of it because I was feeling a little down today about the lack of support from certain friends and family members who we were certain we would have TONS of support from.  I mean, I understand that everyone has their own life, and I’m not in ANY way implying that our life is more important than anyone else’s, but c’mon!  We’re going through something that will (hopefully) be the single most important thing we do in our life together, and we can’t get some freakin’ support from those who we have supported through good AND bad times?!?!?!  It has really shown us who we can count on, and the results are astonishing.  I would have never in a million years thought that my Internet friends (most of who I know in real life, but some I have never even met face-to-face) would be some of our biggest supporters, but lo and behold, they are.  It would be nice if some of the people that we have come to know and love and be friends with through the years would show an ounce of interest in what we’re going through, but I guess you can’t force your “friends” to care…

Boo hoo, enough of that.  Lesson learned.  All in a day’s work.

Kerry

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Storytime Wednesday

July 30, 2008

I’ve always liked the Dixie Chicks, but this just sealed the deal for me.  It’s a great article, and a short read if you have a few minutes.  Granted, it’s not my story – but it very well could be in a few short weeks…

http://www.conceiveonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=71&Itemid=148

I love the quote from Emily, one of the members of the group who struggled with infertility for two years, “In the beginning I felt such a stigma about it, but then I found out how many people are affected by infertility, and what a beautiful thing it is that there’s this technology and science out there to help couples have children. The more people talk about it, the less stigma there is. I never want anyone to feel that it’s not as beautiful a way to have a child as any other.”

I just thought you all would enjoy this.

Kerry

I had a short dream last night where my dad had a roommate (who looked an awful lot like my mom’s hairy boyfriend from my last bizarre dream), and they lived in this really kick ass loft in downtown Denver.  Anyway, my dad kept calling and calling and calling – both Jeff and I – because he wanted us to bring over Guitar Hero so he and his friends could rock out.  Now don’t get me wrong…my dad liked Guitar Hero enough when he played it at our house earlier this year, but I doubt he likes it enough to leave my mom, move to downtown Denver (yeah RIGHT), and live with some gross, hairy dude!  I just thought I would try to end this day on a positive note, since it’s (obviously) been so shitty, so here’s a picture of my parents rocking out to Guitar Hero last time they were in town…

So serious.  Mom and Dad rocking out to "Sunshine of Your Love".

So serious. Mom and Dad rocking out to "Sunshine of Your Love".

Kerry

“How can a word mean so much, yet so little to me at the same time?  How can this word be such a blatant insult when it’s used in a happy context?” 

The thing is…and stop reading right here if you are offended easily…you shouldn’t get to say you “finally” got pregnant when you haven’t even been trying a year (even if you claimed to be “one of us”).  It’s offensive to those who have struggled with trying to conceive, and I just assume that everyone should know better.  Even when Jeff and I first started trying to have a baby, I would have NEVER said how frustrated I was that it wasn’t happening right away (before we hit the year-mark anyway), as I knew that it took most healthy couples anywhere from 6-12 months to get pregnant.

I know that it’s not healthy to be bitter like this, but I just can’t help it, and yes – I’m going to blame the drugs (psychotic episodes anyone?).  I would have never been this offended and hurt if Jeff and I were fertiles, but we’re not, so I am.  It doesn’t mean that I’m not happy for this person, but it also means that I’m not going out of my way to say “congratulations” either.  I mean, really?  “Finally?” 

:::rolling eyes so far back into my head that it hurts:::

Kerry

“Finally…”

July 29, 2008

“Finally”

How can a word mean so much, yet so little to me at the same time?  How can this word be such a blatent insult when it’s used in a happy context?  More on that later, I have to go to the dentist – fun times.

Kerry

Appointment update #2

July 28, 2008

I just got the call from my nurse, Colleen.  She told me that 14 follicles is really good this early in the game, and she also told me that the average number of follies on the first scan is only 8, so YAY for being above-average!  My estrogen raised from 30 (last Thursday) to 148, so that’s really good, too.  When I told Jeff, he said, “well that explains your mood swings!”  Poor guy.

I will stay on the same dosage of all of the meds until Thursday morning at 7:15, when I go back for another ultrasound and blood work.  Holy crap, I’m getting so excited!!!!!!

On a somewhat-related note, I am feeling TONS better today, so that makes me happy.  I still have a constant headache, but at least I’m getting used to it.  =/  But, I don’t feel sick to my stomach anymore, and the twinges in my nether regions have changed to a small annoyance, rather than a debilitating, constant occurance.  I’m looking forward to having a nice, relaxing night with my husband when I get home.

Kerry

Appointment update #1

July 28, 2008

Thank you so much for all of the great, supportive comments and emails – my ovaries, Jeff, and I really appreciate them!  =)  The ultrasound/follie scan went pretty good, I had 8 follicles on my right ovary, and 6 on my left.  I will know more later this afternoon when the nurse calls me with the results of my blood test (where they are checking my estrogen level to make sure it’s rising like it should be). 

A brief reproductive lesson to catch you all up to what exactly all of this means…

These “stim (or superovulatory) drugs” that I’ve been taking since Friday are basically designed to stimulate my ovaries to produce more than the one egg per cycle that my body usually releases.  Multiple eggs (oocytes), of course, increase the potential availability of multiple embryos (fertilized eggs) for our transfer, and will ultimately increase the probability of IVF working for us.

And what exactly are these “follicles” (or follies for short) that I keep talking about?  Follicles are fluid-filled cysts (the good kind) of the ovaries that contain one, or sometimes multiple eggs.  The follicles get bigger as the egg(s) mature, and that’s why I have to go in for ultrasounds every few days.  The nurses track their development, mostly to see if I need to increase or decrease my medication because they are growing too slow or too fast.

When (most of the) the follicles are mature, they will schedule the egg retrieval (ER).  Thirty-six hours before the ER, Jeff will give me a “trigger shot”, which is basically just an injection that will “trigger” ovulation to occur.  I will then go to the clinic, where my RE will insert a small, hollow needle into my ovaries (BEFORE I ovaulate) and extract the fluid-filled follicles, which should now all (hopefully) contain a perfect little egg.

Does that make more sense now as to why I’m doing what I’m doing, and why I have to be monitored so closely?  I hope so!  And please let me know if any of you have questions that either Jeff or I can answer – both of us are more than happy to do so!

I’ll update more later this afternoon…

Kerry

Tomorrow morning

July 27, 2008

Tomorrow morning at 7:15, we will be going in for our first ultrasound (follicle scan) and blood work to see how good the drugs are working.  We’re really hoping for some good news – most of the time your first follie scan is a good sign of what’s to come in the future, so we’re hoping for A LOT of nice little follicles getting ready to produce some eggs.  Time for bed, we’ll update you after our appointment tomorrow morning.

J&K

Geez.  I really didn’t think it would be this bad.  I mean, I’ve been on stim drugs before, and they have NEVER made me feel the way I do right now.  I’m sweaty, then freezing cold.  Bloated, but hungry as hell.  I’ve had a constant “Lupron headache” for the last two weeks – I’ve described it as someone taking my optical nerves behind both eyes and pulling on them pretty much all day long.  And yesterday, the sick, uncomfortable feeling in my stomach started, it’s kind of like someone tugging and twisting on my ovaries all day long.  I practically did nothing yesterday, other than go out at night to see a movie (but only because Jeff wouldn’t go without me, and I knew he really wanted to see The Dark Knight).  I planned on getting up this morning to clean and then go to my friend’s baby’s baptism party, but I just can’t do it.  Thankfully, Jeff has offered to clean for me, and I guess I’ll just do the same thing I did yesterday – nothing.  I cannot tell you how bad this sucks, not feeling like myself.  I am not a lazy person, and hate that infertility is STILL keeping me from doing things I want to do.

I just have to keep telling myself that there’s only about one more week of the drugs.  And it WILL be worth it.

Kerry

I love saying that!  It’s so…dumb!

Jeff and I went to a group mind/body counseling session at our fertility clinic last night, and although I was a little apprehensive about going, I’m really glad we went.  There were four other couples there who were all in different stages of the infertility treatment process, and we were the big winners!!!  We had been trying the longest and had done the most treatments, and we were also the youngest.  :::pumps fist:::  YES!!!  Finally, we win at something.  LOL!

It was really good to hear others who are facing the same challenges and difficulties as we were, but man am I bummed out that I didn’t reach out to the couple that was sitting to our left.  They were a really sweet couple, they held hands throughout almost the entire session – you could tell they really loved each other.  Anyway, she had a high FSH, so they were in the process of considering IVF using donor eggs, but her husband was having a really hard time accepting the fact that they should be considering DE in the first place.  I just wanted to reach out and give her a huge hug, because she really looked like she needed one.  I am actually considering calling the clinic to see if they can pass along my contact information to the couple, because I bet my infertile friend (and cycle buddy), L, would be more than willing to talk with her about how she and her husband came to the decision to use donor eggs.  Maybe I’ll just do that…

The group talked about feelings towards sex, emotions, finances, and pretty much everything else in between.  Where have these sessions been the last three years?!?!?  We left the group almost two hours later, and I finally felt like I was “normal” again (whatever that means)…that’s really saying a lot these days.  The drugs have already done a number on me, and it’s only been a couple of weeks.  I have a good 7-8 more days on these things!!!!

After our group session, Jeff and I headed to our friend’s 40th birthday party.  These are my friends I met through a local message board who are a Conceptions (our fertility clinic) IVF success story.  They are (I think) 15 weeks pregnant, and just the most awesome couple ever.  It was a great party, with great conversation (I just loved her dad, he’s so CUTE), and as we were leaving, both D & C reassured us that it will get better, and to just hang in there.  I know you all think that sounds cliche, but it’s SO NICE to hear that from a couple that isn’t just blowing smoke up our asses – they know it WILL get better. 

Jeff took me out for gelato after the party, and it was sooooo good to sit outside and just talk a little bit after the rough couple of days we’ve (I’ve) had with all of my emotional outbursts.  It was funny though, we were sitting next to this couple who had to have been on their first date, and they started talking about kids.  Both Jeff and I caught bits and pieces of their conversation, and overheard that the girl said she wanted 4 kids, and the guy said he had twins in his family, so he was hoping for twins.  When we got into the car to head home, we had to laugh a little bit at the fact that some people (including us) can be so naive about the whole kid thing.  I mean, you have one plan completely mapped out in your head, including timing and how many children you will have, and then in our case, three years later, you are just hoping and praying for one.  One healthy baby would mean the world to Jeff and I, whereas several years ago I would have told you that you’re smoking crack if you think we’re having an only child.  When I made the decision to have children (after I met Jeff), I knew I would have at least two kids, because I would want nothing more than to have them have a relationship like my sister and I have.  And now, like I said, we will be happy with just one.

Kerry