Fertile Journeys

June 30, 2009

Symptom Update

The crazy thing about symptoms is that I always worry and wonder are they all in my head? Here’s what I’ve been feeling the past few days.

  • Weird dreams – I only have weird vivid dreams when I’m pregnant
  • Sore boobs – I thought this was from the trigger shot (since that’s hcg), but it’s been persistent
  • uterine cramps/twinges
  • Wanting to sleep on my belly (this was more right after the IUI, not so much the last few nights)
  • Weird food issues – I won’t go so far as to say cravings – but, that’s where I’m headed. I’m HUNGRY – like I want constant food.

But, is this all in my head? My gut is telling me I’ll see a BFP next week, but now I’m already beginning my worry about will it last. Are my symptoms enough – do I have enough of them – what if they aren’t all the time – what if I don’t have the right ones? Etc, etc. etc.

Some moments I feel like this will work (or that I have a shot at it) and sometimes I’m convinced this will not work and I won’t be able to have a child at all. This is such a mind game!

I’m trying to approach this by just living my life and letting this happen, but not changing everything I do, eat, drink, etc. to make it happen. But, of course, there are some things I just can’t do. Like drink alcohol. Or row on my crew team. And yes, ladies and gentlmen, I’m bitter. I drove past our boat launch yesterday and saw all my old teammates waiting for practice to begin. And I was sad. Not sad enough that I would stop TTC, but sad. Sad like I’m missing out on my life in this effort to have a baby that might not exist. And that makes me sad. Maybe I’m just hormonal…who knows?

One of the SK girls has a quote that I’d like to borrow: “My desire to have a child is greater than my fear of miscarriage.” Yes, but sometimes it’s close.

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June 25, 2009

The 2ww Begins…

Filed under: Infertility — by lhoham @ 6:46 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Today was the day – we had our IUI! It’s really pretty uneventful and anticlimactic. The worst part is the speculum – ouchy! The only weird thing was the first nurse who came in was having trouble putting in the speculum (which felt awesome, let me tell ya) and then another nurse had to come help her. Oh, and apparently I still have the stitch in my cervix. I thought that was supposed to absorb….? So on the third try, they got the Mr. Speculum in place and we were off to the races. Then, they transfered the 83.5 million spermies and now…cross your fingers…we are knocked up! I feel a little bloated and crampy, but nothing too awful. I was told to start two other meds on Sunday evening (the prometrium and the Lovenox). I get a few days off from shots! Woohoo! After the IUI I went for acupuncture and had a great session and then got lunch at Wegmans (my absolutely fav. place!) and came home to rest. All in all a good day.

Okay so here is something I will write about in more detail later as the hormones and emotions really get going: My beta test to find out if I’m pregnant (that is if I don’t cave and POAS – pee on a stick) is the 1 year anniversary (to the DAY) that I found out my first angel baby had died. I was a little over 13 weeks along, went in for a routine appointment and found out the baby had died at 12 weeks, 6 days. It was a day that changed my life. And now, one year later, I will be finding out if this IUI was successful and if so, what the beta is – i.e. is it high enough for a viable pregnancy. Wow what a weird coincidence. I’m not sure how I feel about that…

But for now, I will focus on letting these little things (or this little thing) grow inside of me and wait to see what happens!

And the 2ww begins…

June 24, 2009

Let’s get knocked up!

Filed under: Infertility — by lhoham @ 7:32 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

A quick update today – sorry it’s not longer.

We are able to stick with the IUI! I have two follies that are definitely mature (17 and 21) and two more that are not quite mature, but could possibly end up big enough (not sure on those sizes). So, my RE feels comfortable doing and IUI, but wants me to go in tomorrow morning to prevent any further follie growth! I trigger tonight and we go in at 9am tomorrow for our IUI! Woohoo!!!!!

intralipid

I had the IV intralipid therapy today. Pretty uneventful except they hook you up to all this monitoring equipment. That’s enough to make anyone feel sick who isn’t! It took an hour and a half to adminster the meds. I was told to drink 10 8-oz glasses of water. My eyeballs are currently floating in my head! I went for a massage and Reiki treatment this evening – it was amazing. My therapist said my body took a lot of Reiki and I do feel good. So a special thanks to her for her time and talent – she’s amazing. I’m ready to get this show on the road!

Let’s get knocked up!!!!!!

June 22, 2009

Ode to my Ovaries

Filed under: Infertility — by lhoham @ 5:37 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Oh ovaries, You are so finicky sometimes.

Usually you hurt, Most always on the right.

Sometimes you make a few eggies And sometimes you make too many.

For why do you make me worry so?

IUI or IVF how do we know?

Friday you gave me five, Today you added one.

Lions and tigers and eggs Oh My!

We shall meet again on Wednesday You will stim until then.

Gonal-f and Lupron shots And a little blood thinner for kicks.

Stay calm little ovaries? Or Grow, Grow, Grow?

What do I want you to do? If I don’t know, How will you?

As you may be able to tell, I’m having an issue with my ovaries. When I went in on Friday, I had five follicles growing. I felt great about that. That’s a good number. A safe number. Safe because not all will mature, most likely. And safe, because I had no idea how big they were. Ignorance was power in my mind, apparently. So today I go in and I have SIX. The sizes are 16, 16, 14, 12, 9, and 9. There are four in the lead with two lagging behind. Let’s make an educated guess as to how many will be mature then on Wednesday – say four? That sounds like a great number…except for one thing. I do not have any problem getting pregnant; it’s staying pregnant that’s my problem. So, if I have four eggs release and then four eggs meet up with four spermies…that’s FOUR potential babies. Woah, Nelly. If I had never been pregnant before, I’d say what the heck? Go for it. But, I am not prepared to get pregnant with potentially four babies.

I asked the nurse if the six that I have are too many. She said it was too soon to tell. She indicated there is a slight possibility we will need to either cancel or convert to IVF. Well I do not want to cancel – obviously. You don’t pump me up full of hormones and enlarge my ovaries thus causing pain, discomfort, crankiness, etc. and then cancel…not cool. So what do we do?

I know this is such a stretch. We have no idea how many follicles will be mature on Wednesday, if any. But, I can tell you this, my body is responding VERY WELL to these drugs…too well, in fact. But, maybe not “too well.” See, there is a part of me (I’m not sure how large a part of me, but it’s growing) that wants to jump right into IVF. I wouldn’t jump right into it because it’s not financially prudent (6 IUIs are all covered by insurance, but IVF is not). But, I have this nagging feeling that I won’t get to keep a pregnancy unless I do IVF. And statistics show that the success rates are much higher with IVF than IUI for recurrent pregnancy loss. I don’t know where that feeling is coming from, but it’s there. I feel like I will continue to have m/c until I go for IVF. That’s weird, I know. So I feel, in a way, like this is my out. Maybe this is my way of getting to IVF. But, how do we know if this is the right thing to do? What if we have four or five mature follicles and they leave the decision up to us? What do we do? Do we risk the high order multiples or do we convert to IVF and hopefully put 2 embryos back in? When I asked the nurse if I should be preparing financially for the possibility of having to convert (or cancel altogether), she said no. But, I’ve seen it happen where gals have 2-3 hours to decide if they can afford and wish to convert and that’s too much stress so I decided to plan ahead. So I called my RE’s financial guru and got the scoop. I now know how much it would cost and when the money is owed to them. IF we get there. Maybe I’ll only have two and this is a whole lot of wasted energy. Why is IF so up in the air? Can’t we catch a break anywhere????

I am so putting the cart before the horse.

What would you all do? Any amazing success stories that would help me make my decision?

June 20, 2009

I’m Foliculating!

Foliculating: (verb) To create folicles in one’s ovaries as a result of folicle stimulating hormones. (Note: I don’t think this is a real word. BUT, I heard a girl say it with pride at my support group meeting on Tuesday and thought it was a perfect word!)

I knew yesterday was going to be a good day. I woke up with a positive attitude and was really excited to head to the RE to see how I was responding to my drugs. I got out of the house on time and there was one last diet coke for the ride after I had thought we were all out. Things were going great. And what did the u/s reveal?! FIVE follies!!! Woohoo!!!! I’m foliculating! I have two folies on my left side and three on my right. They are, of course, not mature yet. But, the nurse was happy with the progress. We are still on target for a mid to late- next week IUI. So, in less than a week I should be knocked up!

I asked the nurse about antibiotics around the time of the IUI. I’ve heard that in some cases, antibiotics can prevent miscarriage so I wanted to ask. She was going to check with the RE to see what type of protocal he wants to use. So I guess I’ll find that out, as well as when I’ll do the intralipid therapy, on Monday. I’m ready to get this thing going!!!

Sorry for the short update. I’m off to take my shots! I’ll give you all the folie update on Monday!

June 17, 2009

Cycle Day 4

Filed under: Infertility — by lhoham @ 8:46 pm
Tags: , , , ,

(Creative title for today’s post, huh?)

This week has been crazy so I’ve had limited time to post! I’ll give you the quick skinny…

I called the RE on Monday and they told me to come in yesterday (Tuesday) for my baseline u/s and b/w. I went in and everything looked great – no cysts or problems. My lining looked as thin as it should be for that day in my cycle and we are all set to go. They gave me the go-ahead to start the Gonal-f and Lupron last night. I’m on Gonal-f at 150 units and .05 units of Lupron. I also started back on the baby aspirin last night. I was in a hurry to get the shots done last night as I was headed back up to my RE’s office for my support group meeting. I forgot how un-fun giving yourself shots is! I was reminded of this and felt flushed as I attempted to stab myself (Ross was at work so he couldn’t help me). I did it and went to my support group only a few minutes late. So today was day 2 of the shots. I actually feel like crap already. I haven’t been this tired since the last cycle. I realized that today as I was struggling at work…these next few weeks are going to be trying. I go back Friday for a follie check and at that point I will hopefully schedule my intralipid therapy appointment for early next week. They anticipate my IUI will be late next week. Things are moving fast. Is it bad that I’m already dreading the 2ww (2 week wait)? Last cycle, I didn’t test at all during the 2ww, but I think I will this time. It was too emotional waiting for the RE’s office to call with my beta results. It still will be hard b/c I’ll want to know if it’s a viable beta number, but at least I will know if I’m actually pregnant or not.

I had a meltdown today. I just feel like sometimes I have nothing left and that this won’t work and how many times do I have to go through this without it working. BUT, I got over it. It was a solid temper tantrum that would put any toddler to shame. I know I need to try as hard as I can to be optimistic and do the best that I can. I know (at least I want to know and try to know) that everything is a gift from God. And He has a plan for me; I just don’t know what that plan is. And I can do this. It won’t be fun. It won’t be comfortable. It won’t be easy. But, I can do it nonetheless. So, with that I will move forward with my evening (which may include some newly-acquired lactose-free cookies `n cream ice cream!!).

June 14, 2009

Roller Coaster

Filed under: Infertility — by lhoham @ 1:31 am

This is a TMI post…also…I was originally thinking this blog might serve as a funny or witty take on the experiences of infertility. But, as I think about it more, it’s really more of a daily chronicle of my experiences: the good, the bad, and the TMI. It’s a roller coaster of emotions that you may, or may not, want to ride. So feel free to hop off if it’s not what you’re looking for. But, this is my life. If nothing else, it’s very real.

I feel like I just need to get some things off my chest. Maybe I’ll sleep better. This probably won’t follow any logical course.

So when I called the RE’s office yesterday (Friday) telling them AF started, the nurse (the one who usually doesn’t have as much patience as the others) told me that I needed to call back when it was “full flow.” She said she wouldn’t schedule my appointment until then, etc. Okay, fine. Well, that happened tonight. They are closed tomorrow. I will probably need to get in there Monday. Not a huge issue except I’m supposed to be in a retreat for work all day Monday so I’m going to need to get out of that for a short period of time (and by short we’re talking one hour drive each way plus appointment time). That’s problem #1. Problem #2 is that when I called to get my Lupron Rx refilled, they told me my pre-authorization ran out and they will need to contact the insurance company on Monday. Well, b/c AF showed today, I will need the Lupron Monday…it’s a mail order pharmacy which means the drugs won’t come until Tuesday. So, I’m hoping that when I go on Monday for my baseline b/w and u/s, they will give me one dose of Lupron at the same time. Not that the timing is ever okay for infertility stuff, but this timing is just sucking real bad. So my friends today were like “what’s the big deal? Just do it next month.” Right. I’m gonna let that one slide b/c they haven’t been through this. A month is like a lifetime in the infertility treatment world. I’m not putting this off another month. Do they realize my first angel baby would have been five months old on Monday? Monday – the day when my meds were supposed to arrive and the day that I’m supposed to be in a retreat and the day that I now need to race my heiney up to my RE’s office in between pow-wowing with my colleagues at a retreat – yeah, that Monday. I started crying tonight over the frustration of all this stuff – and I was at a party. I was looking so forward to this party and halfway through AF “full flow” as she is now known arrives, I realize the drugs I need are being held hostage in a warehouse until a day after I need them, and I’m going to, yet again, have to leave work to deal with this shit.

Totally switching topics now…(I told you it’s like a roller coaster…so if you’re dizzy – you were warned). I’m sitting at this party tonight and I start feeling dizzy. It’s more like woozie. I felt like I was drunk (okay still do a little), yet I’ve not had a drink of anything in a week. So yeah, let’s just add that into the mix. It’s probably just head congestion or something silly like that, but seriously? Do I need anything else? (Yes, I’m feeling sorry for myself – just for a moment).

I bought a hope bracelet today. A hope bracelet is a bracelet that says the word hope in lots of different fonts over and over. Rocket science. I’ve been looking for something like that for a while. I need a visual reminder to remain hopeful. Lot of good that’s doing me today, right? At least if I’m not absorbing what it has to say, it looks cute on me. So I’ve got that going for me.

I know I need to be really looking forward to starting a cycle on Monday, but I’m beat. Not beat like I shouldn’t start the cycle – don’t even say it – you can think it, but don’t anyone say it. Just tired. Emotionally drained. I’m not convinced this is going to work. I have this feeling it’ll be like the last four and in 6 weeks I’ll be saying, “Hi, my name is Lindsey. I’ve had 5 m/c.” I know, this time is a bit different with the addition of intralipids, but I’m still not convinced. But, being scared and frustrated isn’t going to cause a m/c, is it?

Maybe by going to bed right now, all my problems will go away. At least maybe I’ll sleep better now that they are all written down here. Sorry to be such a killjoy. On a funny and positive note, I went to a hot air balloon festival today – and there were no hot air balloons! Really. I was bummed. It was still an awesome day, but I would have enjoyed seeing balloons! Next year…

June 12, 2009

Waiting…

Filed under: Infertility — by lhoham @ 10:01 am
Tags: , , , ,

This is a TMI post…

I called the RE today. They said I need to call back when I’m experiencing “full flow” of AF, not just spotting – since I can spot for up to 5 days or more…the nurse said as soon as I get full flow to call and they’ll bring me right in. I may start the drugs that same day and we’ll get moving…I’m calling to get a re-fill on the drugs as soon as I do inventory! 🙂

June 11, 2009

AF Showed!

Filed under: Infertility — by lhoham @ 5:44 pm
Tags: ,

I was hoping to get a few more days in between surgery and AF, but she decided to arrive this afternoon.

I’ll call the RE tomorrow and schedule my first baseline u/s and bloodwork. I need to order more drugs as well.

Let’s get this party started!!

June 10, 2009

Laparosocopy/Hysteroscopy

Disclaimer: I’m on pain killers – good ones. So, if something doesn’t make sense, or, gasp, I misplace a comma, please forgive me. Also, there may be a bit TMI in this post…

I’ve had a long time to think over the past 24 hours. It’s been hard for me to process and accept that there is nothing wrong. I’m a very logical person and this is very illogical – 4 unexplained m/c. It just doesn’t make sense. But, before I get more into that, I’ll recap the past few days. The good, the bad, and the ugly!

I didn’t sleep well Monday night. I was so anxious about my surgery on Tuesday that I couldn’t sleep. We got up and made the one hour trip to our RE’s office and arrived promptly at 9:45AM. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait too long in the waiting room – just long enough for Ross to get some coffee. I’m such a nervous nelly – I watched the nurse walk to the waiting room door and I knew she was going to call my name and I freaked out even more…all under-cover though…nobody but you all know how silly I was. She asked Ross to put on a gown, booties, and a head cover and led me to the bathroom to change. I had to put on a gown, head cover, compression stockings, and booties. But, here’s the thing: they gave me a plush bathrobe. I love my RE’s office. They always take that extra step to make you feel comfortable. So they led me to the pre-op room and put in my IV, took blood, and explained the procedure. They joked with me about how my name sounds like Lindsay Lohan (it’s very similar) and the nurse said “you probably get that a lot.” I do, but it put me at ease to laugh. They let Ross back and told us to relax and that it would be a while. They checked up on us periodically and brought me magazines from the kitchen and homemade coffee for Ross. In total, we waited 3 hours and 15 minutes for the surgery to begin. Man were we bored! Here’s a photo of me all ready for surgery!

lap surgery

So at 1:00PM, the doctor (whom I never met before) came in to talk to us about the surgery and to briefly go over my history (to give him clues as to what to look for). So I told him about my chronic right ovary pain, pelvic and lower back pain. He also asked about the pregnancies and m/c to get a clue as to when we were losing them. Both Ross and I really liked him; he was respectful and very nice. Excellent bedside manner. And so with that, I kissed Ross twice and walked down to the OR.

Holy intimidating. Typically, I prefer to be given some type of medication prior to entering the OR so that I don’t have to really take in my surroundings. Each surgery center does it differently (I should know since this was my seventh surgery) and in my RE’s OR, they take you in completely sober. I sat on the OR table (it’s like a dentist’s chair almost – can sit upright and then lay down…should have been a clue to the scariness that was about to ensue…). The anesthesiologist came in and asked me a bunch of questions. I commented to the nurses how incredibly intimidating the OR was. Ladies, if you think stirrups at the OB/GYN are intimidating…this is stirrups on steroids. Fortunately, I was only awake a few more minutes. Enough for them to joke with me about my name again (we are operating on Lindsay Lohan!) and then I was OUT. At first they gave me something to “relax” me. Well I must be immune b/c I didn’t feel a thing from that particular cocktail. So I kindly reminded the anesthesiologist not to stick a tube down my throat w/out first knocking me out and about two seconds later I was done.

I slowly began to wake up three hours later in the recovery room. The first thing I asked, of course, was “did they find anything.” I was told no. This was probably a good time to tell me that because I was too high to cry and too tired to ask questions. Plus, I could hardly talk b/c I was so hoarse from the intubation tube. By the time we left there, we were the only ones in the building (plus my nurse). I felt bad making her stay late (which I told her numerous times). She even stayed extra late to let Ross go get my Rx filled while I waited in recovery so that I could take it right away. At that point I was already starting to hurt.

After an excruciatingly long drive home, I laid down on the couch and slept. I tried to go through the night w/out pain meds, but woke up at 2AM in horrible pain (made worse by the fact that I had to get out of our high bed, go downstairs, get the meds, eat something, and get back into bed and then let the meds start to work). I will not go w/out pain meds tonight – I learned that lesson! Laparoscopic surgery feels like being kicked in the stomach repeatedly – but, actually worse than that. The incisions aren’t bad…I just feel like I have one huge bruise between my belly button and my pelvic bone. Oh, and I learned today I have stiches in my cervix…the doctor told Ross that and told him not to tell me until today so that if they come out in the next week I wouldn’t get scared. Lovely.

So they found nothing. Seriously. I want to cry, but it hurts too much. The doctor doesn’t know what’s causing the pain. I suppose it could be from being pregnant 4 times in the last 16 months. I mean, that’s not normal. Not sure…but, lots of people deal with chronic pain – I’m just joining their ranks. I had also asked yesterday whether we could start a new IUI cycle as soon as AF shows (which should be in 5-7 days). As of yesterday, they had said we would find out when we can start at our post-op. But, when I spoke with them today, they said we absolutely can begin as soon as AF shows which may be before my post-op. I simply can call them and they will do my IUI baseline appt at the same time as my post-op. Perfect. That gives me some hope as we move forward. I hate not doing anything, but knowing we are starting very soon gives me something to look forward to. Well, as forward as you can be to nightly injections, feeling like crap (and that’s putting it lightly), and worrying constantly whether it’s giong to work or not. But, you know…I’m still looking forward to the possibility that I might stay pregnant. Just maybe.

So, that’s where we stand. I’ll be starting my second injectable IUI cycle soon with the following drugs: Gonal-F, Lurpon, Baby Aspirin, Lovenox, prometrium, progesterone-in-oil, Pre-Natals, and added to the mix this time, Intralipids. I feel like I may be forgetting something….but you get the idea.

Thanks again for all the warm wishes on FB, SK, in person, on the phone, and on here. A special thanks to my young friends E & T and their mom and dad who made us brownies today and for the adorable card which is hanging on my fridge. While we may not be blessed yet with a child, we are incredibly lucky to have such amazing friends and that can really get you through a lot.

Thanks for reading to the bottom!

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