Monday, April 30, 2012

Progesterone Complaints and an Update

I am anxiously awaiting "the call" to see how the chickies are doing and when we transfer tomorrow.  This would be the only day they actually don't call me until the afternoon!  Since I am waiting to call a sub (I secretly might not take the day off tomorrow...crazy?)  I just don't have any more good lessons the kids can do without me there.  And the AP test is in 2 weeks!  But I need to know a time to know if this is even in the realm of possibility.

But this post is about Progesterone.  I'm taking 1 pill orally in the morning and evening as well as 1 Endometrin suppository at the same time.

The Endometrin sucks.  The discharge is disgusting.  Thick and chalky, but also chunks.  Gross.  I'm seriously contemplating switching to the PIO shots, but I already have all of the Endometrin. I don't know if I can handle it for 3 months though.

And I'm getting slight blurriness and dizziness again like I did on Estrace.  It sucks too.  I just feel a little spacey.

Anyway.  I will update when I have more information.

*     *     *     *     *

Ok, got the call.

We have:

  • 2 morulae stage embryos (ideal stage)
  • 2 compacted (right before morulae)
  • 2 compacting 
  • 1 8 cell
  • 1 5 cell
So they're all still alive and kicking, but the 5 cell probably won't make it to freeze.  

Transfer is at 12:30 pm (Pacific) tomorrow.

I asked about freezing and he said it's usually 30-40% that make it to freeze.  We will be using 2, so that leaves 5 with a strong possibility of getting to freeze, but some don't survive the actually freezing process (I don't think).  So I'm going to hope for 2 frosties.

I'm very excited and definitely starting to worry about a BFN and how I will react.

One day at a time, right?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

IVF#1: Day 3 Update

So today the embryos should be around 4-8 cells.

Here's what our chickie babies are at:

  • 1 - 10 cell (over-achiever!!!)
  • 5 - 8 cell (awesome!)
  • 1 - 6 cell
  • 1 - 5 cell
  • 1 - 1 cell (this one is obviously not gonna make biggie, I haven't been counting it)
They are all graded good or fair with minimal fragmentation which is also great.

: )

Actually, I'm pretty thrilled with the news, my little smiley face won't cut it.

= ) (That's a tiny bit better.)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 2 Update

My embryology lab is awesome.  They called me at 9:30 in the morning to update me even though the little card they gave me says that today is an afternoon call.

Today the embryos should be between 2 and 4 cells.

This lab grades either good, fair, or poor.  Good has to be essentially perfect.  Fair is fine for now.

We have:

  • 5 - 4 cell embryos; 3 good, 2 fair
  • 1 - 3 cell embryo; fair
  • 2 - 2 cell embryos; fair
  • 1 - still hasn't divided; they'll keep watching it
So we'll be doing a Day 5 transfer!  I'm really excited and relieved.  

I also asked about the possibility of a Day 4 transfer if things don't progress well and she said she sees that in about 5 cases out of 600 per year.  So she's pretty confident we will transfer on Day 5.

*     *     *     *     *
I know at least 4 bloggers that had their ET within a day of mine.  We are all getting different news at different times and while it's really nice to share this experience, it's also really difficult to compare your results with someone else.

Because of some disappointing results from other bloggers, I've been doing some research.

1) The overall success rate for IVF seems to be about 40% depending on where you look.  Some of the studies are a bit old, but I like being low conservative anyway.

2) 40% of the women who don't get pregnant during their first IVF get pregnant on their second, ostensibly because of the adjustment of protocols based on the initial response.

3) Number of embryos does correlate to the number available to freeze, but does not seem to have a high correlation with actual pregnancy rates.

4) Neither does day 3 or 5 transfer (according to an Oxford study from 2000 - not sure if things have changed).

So if you have an embryo, you have a chance.  It really only takes one.

I hope we can all get pregnant this cycle, but realistically, that will not happen.  Let's make sure that we continue to be extremely supportive in whichever manner each blogger wishes.

Hugs to everyone.  I hate the phrase "baby dust," but maybe I need to use it this once.

Friday, April 27, 2012

We made babies!

The fact that we conceived babies yesterday really blow my mind!  We've only conceived once that we've known about, but that only lasted 4 1/2 days.  Let's hope these babies make it a bit longer.

The embryologist called and 9 eggs were mature (that's exactly what I was expecting based on the number of follies that were 15 or larger on trigger day). 

She said that 9 fertilized...woo hoo!  But one is lagging behind so they separated it from it's brothers and sisters (Mr. GG is calling them chicks) and we'll see if it makes it until tomorrow.

I'm going to die waiting for their call each day.  Especially tomorrow!  I have no idea how many they are going to want to survive the night to call for a Day 5 transfer.  But I think it would have to be most of them.

Before she called I said to myself that I would be super ecstatic if she said more than 9.  Very happy if she said 9 or 8.  Ok with 7 and a little said at less than that (on down to potential devastation).  So Very Happy it is!  I like managing my expectations and emotions in this way...very helpful.

ER: The Long Version (seriously, it's long)

Ok, I'm ready for the long version.  I tried twice yesterday, but the computer made me even more nauseous, so I had to quit.

I feel soooooooo much better now.

So here's the long version of the story.

*     *     *     *     *
I got up easily yesterday morning.  And totally unlike me, I cleaned the kitchen before we left.  I knew it would stress me out if it was messy when I got home and I wouldn't want to clean it.

Also, Mr. GG was gone last night.  I'm pretty sure he told me the other day, but it didn't really click that he'd be gone the night after Retrieval.  I was a little stressed about, but he told me he'd cancel if I was feeling too bad, so I felt better.  He also took the rest of the day off work yesterday which he wasn't planning to do because he felt guilty.  So that was nice. : )

Before I left I also got all of my meds together for last night and the next few days.
  • Endometrin (vaginal progestrone)
  • Prometrium (oral progesterone)
  • various meds for the next few days - I'll tell you about them when we get there
When we got to the RE, I took my Zofran.  I was a bit hungry after not eating since 9:30pm but not too bad.

They took us back to the recovery area and went over procedures and discharge instructions.   The doc came in and leaned in awkwardly close to my face and told me everything would be ok and that he would take very good care of me and that he would be meticulous about finding all follicles and eggs.  Then the embryologist came and went over what would be happening the next few days.  She also said that we qualify for a research study which we get $200 for. Score!  The study checks for biomarkers in the morula and the follicular fluid (stuff they would remove from the egg and throw away). So it won't affect our IVF in any way, but they'll see if any of these biomarkers can predict fertilization and pregnancy rates.  Last, the anestheseaologist came in to start my IV.

Then the doctor seriously "hug-walked" me to the room.  The nurses kind of laughed at him because he was technically doing their job.  It was sweet, but extremely awkward.  I got on the table, lying flat with my legs hanging over the edge.  The doctor held my hand and said more comforting things while the anesthesiaologist put the sleeping med in.  He said I might taste it. I did and it was nasty.  I filled up my whole throat with a weird taste (but no liquid) and it made me cough.  I remember closing my eyes about 5 seconds later, then I was OUT!  They weren't kidding when they said it takes 10 seconds to work.

I woke up in the recovery room and the nurse told me they got 12 eggs.  Then for some reason I started streaming tears.  I won't say "crying" because it was more of spontaneous leaking.  No one was in their then, so I just moved my mask and wiped my tears.  I was extremely woozy and sleepy and kept dozing off.  When the nurse came in again, I said "You said 12, right?"  And she confirmed.  Mr. GG was on a conference call, so he took about 15 minutes to come in.  They gave me a hot IV bag to place on my abdomen and I asked for one more because my stomach felt uncomfortable higher up too.  My pain never reached higher than a 4 (the entire day) but I did still have her give me some IV pain meds.

The only time I really started crying was when the dizzyness got really bad.  This was after she explained my discharge instructions and I had to read (or I did anyway) and answer her questions.  I was not in a state to attempt listening and speaking. 

The doc came in again to tell us that everything went great in his opinion, that getting 100% eggs from follicles was rare and to expect 70% of those on average to be mature.

Then we left...

*     *     *     *     * 
The ride home was pretty painful (nausea-wise).  I guess some people go eat lunch right after?  I was in no state to be in public. Every time the nausea got really bad, I had a major hot flash.  Mr. GG was blasted the AC the entire way home.  Cold air was the only thing that really made me feel better.  I decided that I wanted an Acai Bowl from a coffee shop by my house and Souplantation chicken noodle soup.  So DH got the Acai Bowl, took me home and then went to fill my pain prescription and get the other stuff.  When we got home I went immediately into the back yard and just sat.  I figured it would be nicer to puke on the grass and the cold air felt good.  About 5 minutes later I was ok.

My best friend yesterday was pretzels!  During the retrieval DH got my shopping list: pretzels, bread, soup, rice, yogurt, berries, milk of magnesia (which I haven't tried yet), and Tylenol.  

I never puked at all, but I had what I would call 3 major episodes of nausea.  It was seriously horrible.  It makes me think being awake would have been better.

I guess that there can be bleeding and other pain from the procedure.  I didn't have one drop of blood.  I'll have to credit my awesome doc for this.  I feel a little uncomfortable when I sit on a hard surface, but I think it's more due to the gas and liquid pressure than anything else.  

So I'm glad I took work off today. I probably could have been there, but I would have been moving really slowly and I would have had to get up early.  Sleeping in (until 10) was really nice.

The embryologist called when I started this post, but I don't want to put the results at the bottom, since this is sooo long and I bet few people made it this far.  So I'm gonna make it a whole other post.  My babies deserve it. : )

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happy, but feeling like crap.

I'll start with the news that you probably want to hear first. 

We got 12 eggs! 

The doc said that there was an egg in every single follicle...normally only about 70% yield an egg.  He was very happy and so are we.

I feel disgusting.  But pretty much all of it is due to anesthesia, not to the retrieval.

I'm almost too dizzy to be typing, but I've got to update my peeps!

We find out tomorrow how many eggs fertilized and then on Saturday whether we do a 3 day or 5 day transfer.

I'll tell the longer story later, but I am having massive waves of nausea (no puking yet) so I need to go lay down some more.

Love you all! Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Sidenote: Some of my longer-time readers might remember that I have the same birthday as Harry Potter...July 31st.  Well I don't know how I missed it the past 6 years I've been teaching it, but I have the same birthday as Juliet too!  The nurse says "Come Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen."  Lammas Day is August 1st.  (Naming this post "Retrieval-Eve spurred that digression in case you were wondering...)

But that is not the point of this post.  I want to talk about preparing for retrieval.

One of my IVF graduate friends had a doctor who called for very low carbs and high protein during the entire stim period - with special emphasis after retrieval.  Apparently this has been shown to lower the incidence of OHSS (which she still had a severe case of).

I asked my office about this and they said that it can be good, but didn't not stress it in any way.  They just said to avoid caffeine and alcohol (or maybe they just said alcohol!).

I chose to eat healthy, but somewhat normally during the stims.

But I am now hearing that I need to prepare for extreme constipation after anesthesia.  Awesome.  My first hint of this came from a blog mentioning another blogger's "poop" post and saying that prune juice didn't cut it.  Then my acupuncturist asked her secretary to go over the "retrieval diet" with me.

To prevent a painful situation, I am eating as easy-to-digest foods as possible.  I forgot about it until after I had bought a lamb gyro last night for dinner.  And I kind of forgot when my student offered me a cupcake this morning.  But now I'm on track.  I even gave away my organic (high fiber) apple.

Mid-morning snack: plain bagel with low-fat cream cheese (I haven't had a plain bagel on purpose in years!)
Lunch: Chicken Noodle Soup
Beverage: Grape G2 (and water)
Dinner: Regular pasta with olive oil (I'll have to see if I have any non-whole wheat pasta!)

I'm probably going to just pretend chocolate is easy to digest for dessert.

Then, no eating after midnight...retrieval is at 10 am.  Arrive at 9.

*     *     *     *     *
By the way, I REALLY appreciate all the well-wishes!  It's really nice to have a sort of "team" cheering me on.  Yesterday I had 430 some page views.  Incredible!  Thanks for the support.

(That's my name!  I think I'm going to start using it now...  But you can still call me Mrs. Green Grass too.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

IVF#1 - Ultrasound 4 (and trigger!)

I got the official word that we trigger tonight for retrieval on Thursday morning.

Here are the new stats:

There might be a couple of others; it was hard to tell.

The NP said that the size on trigger day was the best predictor of maturity and she said they like them to be above 15.  Hopefully the two 15s will grow a bit before I trigger tonight, then I can expect 9ish mature eggs.

I'm very excited to get to the real part of this process!

But some of my irrational fears are also starting to set in:

  • What if they shrink before Thursday?
  • What if I ovulate on my own?
And I'm starting to think about the rational fears too:
  • What if the eggs don't fertilize?
  • Will I have any to freeze?
  • Will the embies make it to a 5 day transfer?
I'm going to go schedule a massage for this evening and celebrate my last shot!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Update: Trigger Tuesday

I got the call that I will trigger tomorrow for a Thursday retrieval.

The NP said they were being "greedy," that they wanted to get a few of the smaller ones to a mature point.

My E2 is now 1300.

IVF#1: Ultrasound 3

I just deleted my whole post because I'm rambling so much!  I'm feeling quite anxious just because I'm nearing the end and I want more information about everything at every moment.  And that is making it hard to concentrate on anything else.

Let me try again.

At my ultrasound today, I got this picture:

14 follies 9mm or bigger.  The largest is 23mm.  I'm happy with the number.  The 9's may or may not be mature enough at transfer, but even if they're not, 11 or 12 would make me very happy.

The NP said that depending on my blood test results, I will either trigger tonight or tomorrow night which means retrieval either Wednesday or Thursday.  YAY!

But that's also where my brain goes into overdrive.

Note: We are in block schedule at school right now for state testing.  I have each class for two hours, one day the odds, the next, evens.  This means I only have a prep period every other day.  Throughout my time at the RE, I've been able to schedule 90% of my appointments during my prep period (which connects with lunch).  Since block start, my prep has only lined up with 2/3 ultrasounds...meaning lots of teachers covering my classes out of the kindness of their hearts.

Scenario A: Trigger tonight.  Need sub for Wednesday.  Wednesday is still state testing, so it'll be a pretty easy day to plan.  If I'm out Thursday, it's odd block day which means two hours of the freshman for the sub - reading Romeo and Juliet - ouch.  I'm going to have to work very hard to come up with a good plan for them.

Scenario B:  Trigger tomorrow night.  Go in for another ultrasound tomorrow.  Find someone to cover my class tomorrow at the last minute since I do not have a prep period.  Out on Thursday (see above).  Potentially out on Friday.  No big deal because the classes will repeat Thursday's work.

I'm hoping for the trigger tonight.  I still have to do the same amount of planning, but do not need any other teachers to cover for me.  Hopefully they call back soon!

*     *     *     *     *

And now a bit about Estradiol (E2).  I've seeing a lot mentioned about Estradiol levels in other blogs who are cycling right now.  My levels have been 198 on Day 6, 500ish on Day 8, and whatever today is.  I'm seeing many people with much higher levels as well as one scientific article (from 2001) that says higher is basically better.  My RE said that it's impossible to compare because the E2 level depends on the number of follicles and that as long as it's rising, it's good.  So I guess my levels are fine...just wanted to put the info out there.

*     *     *     *     *
And now a few questions for you:

1. How many of you needed to take an additional day off after transfer?
2. Why do I have to take off my nail polish for the egg retrieval?  (not important - just curious!) : )

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Don't Ignore Infertility

This post is for National Infertility Awareness Week.  I'm participating in Resolve's "Don't Ignore..." prompt.  Please feel free to link to this or to send it to people outside of the infertility community.

So please, Don't Ignore Infertility.

Don't pretend that it doesn't exist.

Don't believe that because babies are born every day, that thousands of other couples are not struggling to realize their hopes of having a family.

Don't think that it's rare.  Or that it only happens to young cancer victims, or people over 40.

Because I am infertile.

And so are many of my friends.
  • My sister had a miscarriage before her current 36 week pregnancy.                                             
  • My good friend from high school struggled for almost 2 years and then had a miscarriage before  conceiving her daughter.  
  • Another high school friend had her first while on birth control at 22.  But it took her over two years to conceive her twin boys afterwards.
  • My co-worker had a miscarriage in between her two healthy baby girls.  The 2nd time took 8 months.
  • My other co-worker has been trying for over 2 years and is taking a break from the meds and IUIs.
  • A good friend and her husband tried for 2 years before having a successful 1st IVF.                  
  • My BFF has been NTNT for about 18 months now.
  • Another friend tried for over a year (without intervention) and was totally shocked when she actually got pregnant after about a year and a half.
  • Another couple we are close to has tried for over a year with 2 miscarriages.  They have done Clomid + IUI and are looking at IVF.
Facebook is telling an even bigger story although usually through kind of cryptic posts.  I found out today about 1 Facebook friend who had a miscarriage and there's another that I'm pretty sure has had one.

It's scary to talk about personal issues in the real world.  But the more people like Giuliana Rancic talk about their struggles with infertility, the easier it is for the rest of us to say that we too struggle.

Infertility hurts me every single day.  Even on the days when I'm happy.  Even on the days when I'm not sticking needles into my belly.  It hurts when I see women with their babies.  It hurts when I hear pregnancy announcements.  It hurts when I re-imagine my future with my husband potentially without a child.

As humans, we have a biological desire to procreate.  To see our genes live on in another.  Adoption is great.  But it doesn't solve this most human of urges.

As a teacher, I have taught over a thousand students over my career.  Is it too much ask that I have my own child to teach?

Please, don't forget me.

Additional Resources: 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Starting to Feel It

I'm uncomfortable.

And really glad that I bought myself some new "IVF" sweatpants.  Sweatpants make me happy.  They are purple and soft and I love them.

I started to really "feel" my ovaries yesterday (Day 7 of stims).  They just feel large.  It's kind of hard to describe, but now I get the no major activity during stims rule.  Do you think golf will be fine?  Ovary torsion sounds like one of the scariest most horrible tortures ever invented.

I was also kind of crampy yesterday.  Like pre-AF crampy.  For me, sometimes this goes into my upper legs.  Like yesterday.  And my boobs hurts a little (and I NEVER have boob pain).  It's extremely annoying having hormonal symptoms when you know you are not pregnant.

My tummy is also very sore.  I have had 2 shots bleed, both on the left side.  I was going to try to avoid this side for awhile, but starting last night, I now have 2 shots instead of 1.  The Cetrotide actually hurt a lot less than the Bravelle/Menopur combo.  That one stings a bit going in.  I didn't feel anything with the Cetrotide.

Here's a quick list of the numbers (You'll like this Belle!)

  • 11 needles inserted (9 at home, 2 blood draws)
  • 3 bruises (2 on belly, one on arm)
And the "trash":
  • 9 syringes and their wrappings
  • 8 alcohol swabs
  • 8 Q caps
  • 18 needles (every syringe comes with a big scary one - then I put on a much smaller one)
  • 16 bottles of Bravelle
  • 9 bottles of Menopur
  • 8 bottles of Sodium Chloride
  • 1 bottle of Cetrotide

I had another first last night too!  I brought all of my stuff and shot myself up at my sister's house.  I was hoping no one asked what was taking so long when I got up in the middle of the movie.  But 4 out of the 5 people probably guessed what was going on.  (I went over there because my dad came down for the night.  He knows we are trying, but I haven't discussed any medical stuff with him.  Mostly because his girlfriend is a weirdo who would find someway to make it awkward.  She's the one who told me she thought I was pregnant when I posted on Facebook about having food poisoning.  And said she had a dream that I was having a girl at Thanksgiving.  Both of these incidents were after a year of trying unsuccessfully which she knew.)

Everything went well!

I'm at school right now proctoring a Practice AP Test for my kids.  I'm wearing my wonderful sweatpants and I don't care what they think about it!

Friday, April 20, 2012

IVF#1: 2nd Ultrasound Results

I'm not sure if these results make me happy or unhappy.  You tell me what you think.

I had 13 follicles on Wednesday, ranging from 5-11mm.  Today I have 10 ranging from 7-14 (although she only measured 8).

I'm a little bummed because I was hoping to have more than 13, not fewer.  But I guess it's good that they are pretty close in size.

I would really like to hear from some of you about your follicle sizes on different days of stims and what you ended up retrieving.

Definite good news is that my lining is 8mm and "perfect."  That's never happened before so, yay!

Tonight I start Cetrotide in addition to my Bravelle and Menopur and I add an additional Menopur so 150 iu each of Bravelle and Menopur.

Retrieval is still most likely the end of next week.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Crying in front of the TV and IF in the real world.

I think I've been pretty lucky on the side-effect roller coaster.  My #1 side-effect is a hangover-like feeling: tired and headachy.  I've had a few hangovers in my day, so I can handle this.  I've had some hot flashes.  It's weird when you go from comfortable to blazing in a matter of seconds.  (A teacher at my school said body can temp can increase a full 6 degrees during a hot flash!)  And I'm a little weepy.  That's the only emotional effect. Not sad, just easily set to tears.

*     *     *     *     *

On Monday night I watched Giuliana and Bill and The Little Couple back to back.  Oh my god was I bawling! Ok, not really bawling, but lots of streaming tears (without any of the choking or audible crying).

On Giuliana and Bill they were preparing for Giuliana's double mastectomy.  Their RE told them that she shouldn't get pregnant for at least 5 years because of the risk of stimulating cancer growth with all of the hormones.  They have two embryos left from their last IVF and they decided to go with a gestastional carrier to conceive.

It was amazing that they were basically signing the papers for the gestational carrier i.e. practically conceiving a baby, just as she was heading in for her surgery.  How scary to have both things happen at once! But I also agree with her that the baby will give her something to look forward to and focus on besides the cancer.

And although it scares them, it's basically their only option.

Then, on The Little Couple (which I have only seen occasionally) they happened to be doing an egg retrieval.  What?!  How did I happen to stumble upon this show, on a totally different channel, right after Giulana and Bill?  Anyway.  She flew to LA for the retrieval - with 3 follicles - but got no eggs.  It was really sad. : (

*     *     *     *     *

I really like that infertility has become more of a common topic on reality TV.  Khloe Kardashian (as much as I can't stand that family - I've only seen one episode of Khloe & Lamar) is even struggling to get pregnant.  Having these "famous" women share their infertility is really helpful for the rest of us.

I'm still not public.  But I kind of want to be.  I'm just scared to post to ALL of my Facebook "friends."

But I am very open about my struggles with all of my IRL friends.  Over the past year and half plus I have figured out who to share with and who not too.  90% of the people that I've talked to have been excellent.  They ask questions and show concern and support.  10% (the socially awkward type) can only say weird or annoying things, even when they mean well.  These are the ones that I stopped sharing with as soon as I started ART.  I'm thinking about opening my blog up to some of these people.  Especially my friends who are also struggling to conceive.

While I'm on the topic, I want to talk about my mom for a sec.  She is so careful with me, that she typically doesn't bring up the subject.  And it actually bothers me!  So she ends up thinking I don't want to talk to her about it and I end up getting annoyed that she isn't asking about it.  So last week when she kind of brought it up, I told her the truth.  I want her to call me and ask.  It's much more awkward to call her and bring up the topic.  I think she gets it.  (She was just trying to protect my feelings.)  And I'm glad I told her what I really want.

What I've realized through reading all of your blogs is that we are all a little different in what we need from others, what bothers us and what doesn't.  But the best way to know what someone struggling (from anything: cancer, IF, divorce) needs is to ask.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ultrasound #1: So far, so good.

We started out with my left ovary which had 5 follies measuring from 11 to 5 mm.  When we got to the right, she said "good, there are more over here."  There were 7 or 8 with roughly the same measurement range.

There can still be more next time, right?

Either way, I'm responding.  Things are happening.

She estimated that retrieval would be near the end of next week.  It was SO NICE to get an actual estimate!

I should hear later today whether I continue the same dosage or not...after they run my bloodwork.

Here's the pic of the ultrasound - otherwise there is no way I would remember the details!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

103rd Post: Shakespeare Hates Infertiles

I missed my 100th post.  IVF-brain I guess.

I've been meaning to keep track of it, but blogger counts all of your posts, even the drafts, and so I counted all of my drafts a couple of weeks ago and I thought it came to 18.  But I recounted today and it was only 14.  So this is my official 103rd post.  Woo Hoo!

*     *     *     *     *

Did you know that Shakespeare hates infertiles?  (This post will be a touch tongue-in-cheek.)

I'm teaching both Romeo and Juliet  and Othello right now.  And to prepare, I have my students analyze sonnets.

Here's the sonnet we analyzed last Thursday, number X1:

As fast as thou shalt wane, so fast thou growest
In one of thine, from that which thou departest;
And that fresh blood which youngly thou bestow'st
Thou mayst call thine when thou from youth convertest.
Herein lives wisdom, beauty and increase:
Without this, folly, age and cold decay:
If all were minded so, the times should cease
And threescore year would make the world away.
Let those whom Nature hath not made for store,
Harsh featureless and rude, barrenly perish:
Look, whom she best endow'd she gave the more;
Which bounteous gift thou shouldst in bounty cherish:    
She carved thee for her seal, and meant thereby     
Thou shouldst print more, not let that copy die.

Let me translate:
In order to live on, you must have children.  
This is wise and beautiful.  
Not having children is stupid, 
and you will die a cold death.  
If all people didn't have kids, 
the world would end in 60 years.  
Let those who cannot have kids, die a harsh, ugly, barren death.  
Let those who are better endowed (i.e. fertile) cherish their children. 
 Nature made you.  Make children or your genes will die.

Okay, that's a pretty rough translation. And I skipped a few parts.  But that's basically his point.

And yes, I know he wasn't as much talking about the infertile as the beauty of living on through your offspring, but still.

I actually found it ironic and slightly funny that I was teaching this poem on the eve of my IVF.

I would have loved to share the irony with my students, but alas, I share it with you instead.

Shakespeare hates infertiles.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Staying Hydrated

So apparently I'm supposed to be ingesting insane quantities of liquid during this IVF.

I've done a tiny bit of research, but it's yielded mixed results.

Most people say to drink Gatorade.  I might switch to Gatorade after retrieval (which seems to be the most critical phase) but for now I'm just trying to drink more.  And it seems that although it may be necessary to restore electrolytes after transfer, Gatorade seems mostly to be an internet-fueled recommendation more than a doctors.  Please comment if you know better!  I'm still learning.

I had a terrible headache yesterday.  (Like a lump of tension underneath my eyebrow).  I realized I had not changed my liquid intake.  And I usually have less on weekends anyway.

So here's how I am staying hydrated:

So far, I've had two large mugs of tea (probably 16 ounces each).

My two teas of choice right now:

Tension Tamer

I typically don't like fruity herbal teas.  I like the ingredients to be as naturally as possible.  This one is really delicious!

Eleuthero, peppermint, cinnamon, ginger, chamomile, West Indian lemongrass, licorice, catnip, tilia flowers, natural lemon flavor with other natural flavors (contains soy lecithin), hops and Vitamins B6 and B12.

My other favorite:

Yogi, Tahitian Vanilla Hazelnut

It tastes great.  It smells even better!  I first found this at my acupuncturist's office and I went out and got my own the next day.

Roasted Chicory RootCarob PodCinnamon BarkCardamom SeedGinger RootStevia LeafClove BudBlack PepperNatural FlavorsEssential Oils

*Hmm...not a fan of the Stevia Leaf or Natural Flavors.  But oh's yummy.

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It is harder for a teacher to go pee than the average person, but I'm suffering through it!  I just can't leave for a second during 5th period.  Damn crazy freshman!

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After 3 days of injections, still feeling pretty good.  Tired.  Headache (although may be due to sinuses).  And a slightly sore tummy at the injection site (I'm not sure if I pinched myself too hard or if I did the injection too close to the first night.  Oh well.)  My sleep is also weird.  When my alarm has gone off for the last 3 days, I have literally had no idea what day it is.  Like not even weekend or weekday.  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 3 of Stims

I have given myself 2 shots so far and they went well!

For those of you that have not done injections.  I want to give you a quick run-down of what giving injections means.

1) Gather supplies. (2 Bravelle, 1 Menopur, 1 Sodium Chloride, 1 Qcap, 1 syringe, 1 needle, 1 alcohol swab)
2) Pop tops of vials and swab with alcohol.
3) Get rid of big huge needle on syringe and put on Qcap.  (Thank God!)
4) Get 1 ml Sodium Chloride, put in 1 vial of Bravelle.  Swirl to mix (liquid with powder).  Pull liquid back in syringe.  Put all liquid in next Bravelle; then repeat with Menopur.
5) Swab skin with alcohol.
6) Pinch a chunk of skin.  Insert meds.


You'd be amazed at how much trash there is each time!

The first time Mr. GG helped "supervise" to make sure I got everything right.  Then he winced.  Not me.  When I inserted the needle.  And asked me if it hurt while I was still giving it.  Not super helpful.

I'm a little tired. And have a slight hangover feeling.  But not bad.  I can do this!

I don't have a whole lot to say...just wanted to update.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Shh! Don't wake the ovaries!

My ovaries are quiet.  So quiet that they were apparently hard to find!

AFC: 14

That means...I start sticking myself tonight!

I can't believe it's actually here.  It's IVF time! 

I'll go in for monitoring and acupuncture next Wednesday.  But until then, I'll just cross my fingers that the meds go smoothly.

Guess what I forgot to do before my appointment today?

Get the money organized.  Yep.  I called Mr. GG frantic a half an hour before the appointment.  He went straight to the bank and it all worked out.  But there are just too many details to keep track of!

Anyway.  Happy weekend everyone.  It's cold and rainy here.  Perfect comfy clothes weather.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Update & Ovarian Reserve Stats

Got the test results.  (They called me by 2:00 which was nice.)  I doubled checked that they were the right ones over the phone and then again when I picked them up.  They are!  Imagine that!

So my AMH is 1.9.
FSH is 10.6
AFC is 16.

I guess this is all "fine."  Especially because of the AFC. 

I'm not freaking out because I kind of expected the results.  

Am I right?

As a reference, my clinic requires AMH over 2 and FSH below 9 for the "Success Guarantee" Program.  (They let me do the program anyway knowing the FSH value, but not the AMH.)

I will definitely post the results of my baseline ultrasound tomorrow.  I haven't ever had a cyst that I've known of, so I really hope I don't tomorrow. 

Oh and here's a pic of my medications on my pool table for good measure:

That's 5 boxes of Bravelle, 2 sharps containers, 3 boxes of Menopur, 3 boxes of Endometrin, various pills, and lots of syringes and needles.

angry. very angry.

Fucking medical bureaucracy bullshit has got me crying again.  WTF?!

There has been nothing more frustrating in this entire process than trying to deal with ordinary doctors getting fucking test results.

I had my Day 3 test and STD panel re-done at the beginning of march before my IVF Consult.  For some reason, the AMH and HTLV tests did not get done.  The nurse had no idea why.  I completely freaked out (as you can read here) but my RE said we could continue with the appointment as scheduled.  (They had told me it would be canceled if I did not have all of my tests done.)  The nurse reordered the tests and I did them the same afternoon.

That was 2 weeks ago.  Spring Break threw off my schedule and I forgot to wonder why I hadn't heard about the results.  I called on Tuesday and was told that the results are in and that the doctor would get back to me.  Why does a freaking doctor need to release the results?  They won't even fax results to another doctor.  I have to pick them up.

So I call back today.  The doctor is still not in, but should be this afternoon.  I tried to explain that I MUST HAVE THE RESULTS TODAY!  My baseline ultrasound is tomorrow.  They must hear a tone of month late lab tests like mine because they (all 3 of the people I talked to) just used the standard lines "I left a message for the doctor and I will have to wait until he/she responds."  I told my entire sob story.  I AM PAYING $18,000 TOMORROW FOR IVF.  I HAVE PLANNED MY ENTIRE LIFE AROUND THIS EVENT.  I MUST HAVE MY 2 MEASLY TEST RESULT TODAY!!!!!! Fuck.

Then I got off the phone, started sobbing uncontrollably.  And now we're here.

I've calmed down now and am now going to treat my self to Starbucks.  Decaf.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tagged...a little bit about me.

Alright, I'm playing along since Storkchaser from DogMomChasingTheStork asked so nicely : ).  I haven't posted too many random facts about me lately and I know I have some new readers.  Enjoy!
Here are the rules:
  1. Post the rules. (These are the rules)
  2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
  3. Create 11 new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
  4. Tag 11 people and link them to your post.
  5. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

1. What was your favorite food as a child? My mom says I loved lima beans!
2. What’s the #1 song on your Ipod/MP3 player playlist? The Garden State Soundtrack.  I usually go for relaxing music.  But my current favorite song is the one by Gaultier.
3. What is your least favorite mode of transportation? Something crowded, smelly, or scary (like a motorcycle.)
4. What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Mostly all of them.  Probably putting my clothes away.
5. What is your favorite Halloween costume you have dressed up in? I hate Halloween because I like dressing up but I think it's too much pressure!  So I always try to come up with something at the last minute and it's often kinda lame.  I was Harry Potter this last year which was fun.  I was also one of Lenny's rabbits from Of Mice and Men one year.  I thought it was funny.  Some of my students got it.  (Those are my school costumes.)
6. If you could stay a certain age forever, what would it be?  I'm liking 31.  But my body felt a little better a few years ago.  So I'd want my life now, but maybe my 25 year old body.
7. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for? I was going to say none, but actually Nina Garcia from Project Runway.  I've gotten it twice, many years apart.  I hope it's not an insult since she's much older than me!
8. What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at your destination while traveling?  Lay on the bed.
9. What was one of the best parties you have ever been to?  Hmm...tough one.  I really had fun at the foam party I went to in college!  We host pretty cool parties at our house.  I think the 80's party was the best one, for my husband's 40th birthday.  We even had karaoke with a speaker system in the backyard.  
10. What do you miss most about being a kid?  I guess the lack of responsibilities and the fact that everything was excited and anything was still possible.
11. The best part of waking up is? Folgers in your cup?  No.  I hate waking up.  I love sleeping.  Having my dog next to me makes it a little sweeter.  She's only allowed in bed in the early morning. questions.
1. If you could choose the time you wake up each day, when would it be?
2. Where have you always wanted to go...anywhere in the world?
3. What is your biggest pet peeve?
4. How is your life different from how you thought it would be when you were 15?
5. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
6. What did you do after high school?  Go to school?  Get a job?  
7. What's your favorite book?
8. Do you have any irrational fears?
9. What are your top 5 favorite TV shows?
10. Which character on Friends do you most identify with? (Please don't say you're too young to know!  My students are and it makes me feel sad and old.)
11. Post your favorite some ecard.  (If you don't know what this is, google it or go to Pinterest.  You'll die laughing.)
My work filter won't let me post my favorite:
"I'm sorry for the unkind words I spoke out of hunger."
I sent it to my husband and told him to reference it whenever necessary : ).
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I don't really like tagging people, so how about if this sounds fun to you and you haven't been tagged yet, you say that I tagged you?  I had fun writing my questions...I was on a roll.  So I hope lots of you choose to answer them, even if you've already answered other ones!
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Injections class today.
Bravelle received...Thanks again Kayla!
Rest of meds to be delivered today.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Another Confession

I was REALLY happy to see my ex-boyfriend's wife holding a drink when their picture came up on my Facebook feed last night.

I would definitely die a little if she was pregnant.

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Ok, you need a back story.  The ex and I were together for 5 years.  We meet our senior year in college.  Our relationship was tumultuous (just lots of arguing) but we really were best friends (more than anything else).  Our break-up was basically mutual and we remained friends.

He even knows Mr. GG.  They would play poker together before we started dating.  Mr. GG actually asked the ex for permission to date me.  (He said sure.)

He and his wife got engaged right after Mr. GG and I (which made me happy for the ex) and they got married a couple of months before us (which annoyed me) : ).

We continued to talk from time to time, but she did not like it and we haven't spoken probably in a year.  Which is ok, but kind of sad.

But on the bright side...I won't hear for a long time if they get pregnant.  At least I don't think I will.

I don't know why it would bother me so much.  Probably because I kind of compare where I am at with where he's at.  I just want it to be even.  Well  unless it doesn't work out for us...then I still want it to work for him.

So I guess I'm not a total bitch. : )

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In IVF news, I got ALL of my Bravelle from Kayla at Life is Simple, It's Just Not Easy and I am SO thankful!  Go over and give her some love after on her new FET BFP!

Injection class is Wednesday.  Baseline ultrasound is Friday.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Just Chugging Along

I feel like time is flying and going super slow all at the same time.  It doesn't really make sense to me.

A friend asked me this morning if I was excited about IVF.  I said, no...excited is not the right word.

She asked, nervous?  No...not nervous either.

I still haven't thought of the word, but it's something along the lines of "just keeping going" (and that doesn't even work grammatically).

I guess cautiously optimistic would work but it would have to be mixed with cautiously pessimistic too.

I want this to work, but I'm not hoping it'll work.

The blog world has been amazing for me.  I didn't know anything like this community existed.  But with community comes a heavy dose of realism.  I can list names of people I have never met for whom IVF still has not worked.  Or it started to work, but ended in miscarriage.  I can't ignore that.  But I know that I need to be more than pessimistic to prepare my body.  I definitely believe in the power of positive thinking.

I haven't quite figured out what I will do, what my mantra will be.  I'm not sure how far I am going to take my diet, etc.  (I have another post planned on that.)  But I definitely want to give it the best shot I can...within the limits of my sanity.

In other news, I added up the cost for my meds.  Looks like it'll be about $3,300.  That's not bad!  If only we didn't have to add it to $18k.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Let's Catch Up!

This is the longest blogging hiatus I've taken since I started and it felt weird!  (It was only 4 days.)  I'm almost caught up on everyone else's blogs.  There seems to be lots of good news, but as always in this world, mixed with some bad news.  Hugs to Cristy!

Let's start the catch up with the Baby Shower.  First, let me just say that this shower's planning and decorating will put the shower I'm "planning" (in quotes because I haven't actually planned a thing yet) to shame.  It was a sock monkey theme in a gorgeous house with awesome food.  They even had custom water labels.  Sorry sister...that's probably not in the cards for you. 

I was still extremely hung over from my super fun night out on Friday, so I was moving a bit slowly.  I would've been on time to the shower if I hadn't missed the turn by at least 10 minutes.  FML.  But the shower was very nice and I enjoyed myself.  There was a ton of baby talk, but all of the moms were in their 30's so it didn't bother me much.  No hint of tears...until...the mom-to-be got up to thank everyone.

Oh my goodness.  She thanked everyone for supporting her through her long journey to that day.  She and her husband got married exactly one year before us and started IVF exactly one year before us also.  I'm sure I was not the only one who teared up, but I definitely knew it was time to leave.  It's really nice seeing where I can be in another 8 months or so.  I got super choked up.

Then an hour later, Mr. GG and I were on the road!  We packed a ton of stuff into a 3 day trip!  Universal Studios, a Comedy club, wine tasting in Santa Barbara, lots of good food, a couple of in-room movies...  But the best part was just getting away from everything. 

Oh and I got my sister the most adorable's one of the minions from Despicable Me. I couldn't wait until the shower to give it to her, so we gave it to her yesterday to thank her for watching the puppy.

Unfortunately I have a hard time really enjoying vacations because I feel like I have so much to do!  I started getting stressed out on the ride home.  But I've already gotten a ton done today so I feel much better.  Remember that office?

Done and Done.  That was only 2 1/2 hours of work combined with 3 loads of laundry!  I am very proud of myself.

Now I can go see The Hunger Games and go out to dinner without any guilt. : )