Monday, October 31, 2005

Med Update

Just got the call from Dr. Vest's office-I got to talk to him for a few minutes-he's so nice!

Anyway, tonight I take 150IU of Follistim and 5 units of Lupron, then decrease my dosage tomorrow to 150 IU of Follistim in the evening only and 5 units of Lupron, then go back on Wednesday for another scan and u/s. Dr. Vest said that I'm progressing nicely, but he wants to be really careful and not give me too much FSH.

I have a sneaking suspicion, which will probably be confirmed Wednesday, that I'll trigger on Saturday, with ER being Monday. I'll be surprised if he has me trigger on Wednesday, unless my follicles explode between now and then. Then again, the trigger shot will up my estradiol levels, so they'll know if I'm ready.

And, I am getting to that point-I want to get the show on the road.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

So far, so good.

I have 16+ follicles (at least, 16 that are bigger, the rest are small). The follicles on the right side measured between 10-11 mm, and the ones on the left measured between 8-9 mm. My E2 levels were around 935 as of Friday, and my endometrial lining is at 8mm. Nursey P. seems happy with the results-she said that it's just right for the timeframe I'm on. She also said that the follicle sizes are probably why I'm feeling a bit uncomfortable. I'm starting to get pains around my lymph nodes around my groin area (which usually happens during a normal cycle, around ovulation)-it was pretty bad last night, and I had to get up and take 2 Tylenol just so I could get some rest.

I decided to call in sick today too. I almost didn't, because I love Halloween celebrations at school, but I don't think that I'd be very comfy moving around all day (we have a parade around the school for half an hour). Plus, I'm getting to that stage where any pants with a waist feels tight, and since I can't wear sweats, it's better to laze about on the couch until my acu appt this afternoon.

So, good news so far-Let's hope that it continues. I'll update more this afternoon when Nursey P calls with the results.

Happy Halloweenie!! May you get lots of treats and no tricks today!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Our Story, or, Why My Husband Rocks.

I decided to take the challenge and enter my submission in The 2nd Annual Infertile Bloggirl Engagement Ring Fashion Show, brought to you by Jaime.

Firstly, here's the story.

I met Sean at the age of 17 (almost 18, really). We were in the University Touring Choir together; he, newly back from the choir's tour of Italy and their Papal Invite to sing at the Vatican; me, a green freshman who was in a bit of culture shock. During rehearsals, we sat in a sort-of U-shape-the sopranos on the right, basses in the middle on the bottom rows, tenors (of which Sean is one) in the middle on the top rows, and altos on the left. Being a freshman Soprano II and sitting in the top row on the left, I had a clear view of him every Wednesday night. My friend Jen and I used to remark on how cute he was (and tall), but we both thought that he must have been a little stuck-up, because he never really talked to anyone and had overly perfect singing posture (a sure sign, we thought, of someone who thought that they were a "super-singer"). Of course, I was totally wrong-he's not at all stuck-up, but shy and quiet and low-key, someone who would never make a spectacle of himself (like me).

Sean had been a freshman the year before, but had left school at the end of the year to work and figure out what he wanted to do with his life (a nice way of saying that he dropped out because he never went to class and probably would have failed out anyway). At the time, we didn't know or care about that-every Wednesday night was spent with us stealing looks at him during the two and a half hour rehearsal (and getting yelled at by the director for not paying attention.

As time went on, and I became a Music minor, then switched to a Music Performance major in school, I was in contact with him more, since we were in Madrigals and Choir together (My university allows community, alumni, faculty and staff members to sing along with students). I got over my crush, pledged a sorority, and got involved with fraternity boys who drank too much and treated me like shit; he hooked up with an alto from the choir who looked like an oompah-loompah (and I'm not saying that to be a jealous bitch-she was hideous), and dated other girls. By my senior year, we were friends-he was my page turner at my Senior Recital, since he was the only guy I knew who actually owned his own tuxedo, we, as a part of a larger group of Madrigal friends, hung out together on our last tour of Canada in the Spring of 1995. I was dating this frat guy (we'll call him Fat Bastard, because, well, he was) who was two years younger than I for over a year by then-at that point, not happily. He was a nice guy to start out with, but his love affair with Coors Light got in the way of our relationship, if you get my meaning. That, and the verbal abuse that I dealt with. But, that's another story.....

By that fall, my relationship with Fat Bastard had deteriorated-we were fighting constantly, I wanted to go out with my friends, but couldn't because he wasn't of age yet (not that it stopped him from drinking), he was jealous, we weren't happy. A week before our two year anniversary (and two weeks before my 22nd birthday), he called me and told me that he "wanted out and wanted to enjoy his senior year" without the baggage of a girlfriend.

I was devestated. I went on a drinking binge, depression, the normal breakup trauma. Then, one morning about a month later I woke up and realized that I wasn't really that upset-in fact, I was relieved. Then, as the days went on, I decided that I needed to wade into the dating world again. I was still singing in Choir as an alumni, so I still saw Sean weekly. The idea started to float into my head-hmmm......well, we are friends, and if it doesn't work out, then it's okay, because we can still be friends. But, I kept it to myself for a bit.

At a concert two weeks later, I ran into my friend Priesty-Boy Jim (so called because he was a seminarian and is, well, a priest now), and was talking about getting excited to see my "cute boy" the next week.......and, well.........he weaseled it out of me. And ended up getting more excited than me and announced that he was going to set us up on a date.........WHOA!

Yes, I was actually set up on a date by a man who was taking a vow of chastity. And had a wonderful time. And never looked back.

Fast forward three years. Sean and I both knew we wanted to get married, but he had finally figured out that he wanted to go back to school and finish his degree in Theatre Design/Production. We both knew that it was at least another two years of school for him, but we were prepared to wait. Still, it didn't stop us from going ring shopping "just to look", and just to dream. We joked about friends who had elaborate ways that the "question" was popped, and he was adamant that he would never do something like that in public. Little did I know that he had already picked out the ring, and bought it, and was waiting for the right time.

At the time, I was playing Sarah in Guys and Dolls in a small theatre in NJ, and had to perform on my birthday. Sean wanted to take me to this really nice restaurant for my birthday, and we were going back and forth as to when we'd go. One night, he called my apartment and said "Hey, let's go next Friday night" (which was Oct. 2nd), and, since I didn't have a show, agreed.

The restaurant is located in an old Victorian, and, at the time, was known for it's food and atmosphere. It's also expensive as hell. He picked me up at my apartment promptly, looked gorgeous, and off we went. We had a nice meal, a bottle or two of wine, talked, held hands-all that romantic stuff. I kept noticing that there was this man, a few tables down, who kept staring at us-I had mentioned this to Sean, but he said that I was being weird. But, I kept thinking that maybe I had food in my teeth or something, or was being gauche in some way (it's that kind of a place).

While waiting for dessert, he told me that he had a birthday gift for me. As a tradition, we always give each other two cards for an occasion-one silly one, one romantic/serious one. He hands me one card, which is beautiful and romantic and lovely, and my gift, which was this cute Classic Pooh figurine that had a compartment on bottom (and yeah, it was empty). He then handed me the second card. I opened up the envelope, slid the card out, and looked at the front, which read "Best Wishes On Your Engagement". Still not getting the hint, I opened it, and read, in his handwriting "See Sean for details......". I looked up to see him, on one knee in the middle of the restaurant, with an open ring box in his hands. I said yes (after freaking out and him having to ask twice).

Oh, and that guy that was staring at me? He was the owner of the restaurant, who was in on the secret. He came up and congratulated us, and brought us a phone and told us to call anyone we wanted to share the news.

We were married two years and five days later, by Priesty-Boy Jim (then a newly ordained deacon and one year away from being a priest) and, despite infertility throwing a monkey-wrench in our plans, we're still going strong.

I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Stims, Day #5-Bubble, Bubble, Toil & Trouble

I am starting to get a little uncomfortable and bloated. I'm definitely getting those ovarian growing pains now, and they're more noticeable. I'm trying my best to drink a lot of water, but all I feel is sloshy and slightly nauseated. I've noticed that I get really thirsty as well-don't know if that's the stims or not.

My belly is also getting those lovely telltale bruise marks-I can play connect the dots now. I'm also exhausted-today I did absolutely nada. I got up at 7:30 so I can do my shot by 8am, then went back to bed and woke up at 11:30, then laid about for most of the afternoon. I figure, since obviously all of my bodily energy is going into making eggies, I might as well just lay there and let it happen, right? Plus, they have all the good movies on cable on Saturday afternoons.

Tonight we get to "fall" back and move our clocks back one hour. I love this time of the year, because that means that I get an extra hour of sleep on a Sunday morning, especially since I have to cantor at 8am tomorrow. Of course, the thing that I hate is that it will get darker earlier-boo. But, Halloween is on Monday, so I need to get on the ball and get lots of candy to satisfy the little rug rats that ring our doorbell. I'm a bitch when it comes to trick-or-treaters.....I make 'em say it instead of standing there with bags outstretched. I also don't give candy to the punk-ass teens who show up without a costume. Yeah, I know, it's horrible, but it's the hormones talking, not me......

Maybe I should be a hormone for Halloween. Or, at the very least, a psycho-lunatic bitch.....

Oh, wait, that's me. Never mind.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Changing the Dosage

Nursey P. just called me-I'll continue my 225 units of Follistim and 5 units of Lupron for tonight, but starting tomorrow (and lasting through Monday), I'll be on the following protocol:

A.M.-225 IU Follistim
P.M.-150 IU Follistim + 5 units of Lupron

I totally forgot to ask her my E2 level, but when I go in on Monday I'll ask her for the numbers. The good news is-NO Repronex-woot! I don't think that I can add another injection to the fertility cocktail, if ya know what I mean. Especially one that I have to mix myself......I didn't do very well taking Chemistry in high school......

Have a great weekend, all----may all your follies be large and your linings be thick.

Here's The Dirt

My follies are all between 7-8 mm in size. Mr. Techhie told me that he stopped counting after 10, so I don't know if that means that there's more than 10, but there were at least 10 that I could see on the screen.

I tend to produce a lot of eggs-with my last fresh cycle, I had 24 follicles, and 17 mature eggs were retrieved. Mr. Techhie called me the Italian Egg Factory. He also said that if the Martians ever came to take people, I'd be number 1 on their list-they'd treat me like a queen and get me to produce lots of eggies. I remarked that hopefully they could do it without me having to shoot up twice a day, I'd be waiting in the nearest cornfield.

Of course, since I've been prodded, I'm now a little sore. By Monday I'll be a nice bloated mess-can't wait!

I also had the bloodletting, and also had to go get my pre-admin testing for the ER. Dr. Vest told me that I need to come back in for another wanding and bleeding, and that he'd be able to get a better idea as to when the retrieval will be, but that the earliest he can see is next Friday.

So, that's about it, for now-Nursey P. will call me this afternoon with my E2/LH/Progesterone results, so I'll post about that in a few hours.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Hey Good Lookin'-Whatcha Got Cookin'?

Day #3 of FolliSTING-fuck, I forgot how much that shit stings. I had a couple of "bleeders" (the puncture site started to bleed afterwards), and I'm getting a little bruised. My belly is starting to look like a junkie's-maybe if I play Connect The Dots, I'll find a cool Halloween picture....

I think that something's cooking down in my nether regions-the past day or so I've been getting slight crampiness in the ovarian area. Plus, I got a little moody yesterday. I'm still exhausted, and I'm getting really hungry all the time, so I need to be careful, or else I'll be as big as a house. I also have to make a conscious effort to drink more water, otherwise I start to get a headache.

Tomorrow I go for the bloodletting and crotchnoculars, then I stay to see Dr. Vest for an exam, then I assume he'll clue me in as to when the ER will be. Then, I need to get to the pharmacy to refill my Lupron and then also get my progesterone in oil refill-oh, goodie!

I just want to get this all done-I'm ready to move forward. Let's hope my ovaries will heed the call and cooperate.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Stims, Day #1

I started my Follistim this morning-225 IU, twice daily(am and pm).

I forgot how much the medication stings-yeouch. For future reference I hereby christen the meds Folli-STING. I also stuck myself this morning in the finger right before I dialed the dose-I usually don't take the cap off of the needle until just before I inject it......why I did that, I have no idea..........anyway, I then had to take the needle off and put a new one on and start again. But, I did it. Now, only three more days to go until ultrasound number 1, and we'll see what's cooking in there.

I'm exhausted today. The rain and yuckiness of the Nor'Easter outside doesn't help-I just want to crawl into bed and read a good book, especially now that the heat is FIXED (happy dance inserted here). I feel like I can't wrap my brain around things today, and I'm not sure if it's the meds or the weather-probably a combo of both, right? Today is a blech day. Even the kids at school seem to be blah, which is unusual for them.

I need to think about what I'm going to be for Halloween this year. We have a parade every year during school, and last year I dressed up as a cat (that way I could get away with wearing a black tracksuit to school-heh) with ears on a headband and a tail, and made up my face with makeup. So, I've gotta think of a costume that I can wear a tracksuit or something, because by Monday the old ovarian bloat will start to kick in. I have a tan tracksuit, so maybe I can be a lion? I dunno-I'm not usually good at these things. Any suggestions that don't require going to the costume store?

Blech-it's that kind of day. Just blech

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Calm Before the Storm

but Sean finally got the transformer! He actually got the wrong one at Home Depot, so he had to call to find the correct one. Hopefully the heat should on tonight!

According to the thermostat, it's 59 degrees in the house-yikes!!

I went this morning for the bloodletting and dildocam, and heard back from Nursey P this afternoon. Starting tomorrow, I add 225IU of Follistim twice a day, and have to cut back my Lupron to 5 units a day. I was a little concerned initially about the amount of Follistim, since this was the same dosage I was on back in March and April, and I developed OHSS, but the fact that they're reducing my Lupron shows that they're trying to get my follicles to get bigger sooner, rather than later-that way, they can back me off the meds if need be. The party starts here.......

I had my acu appointment this afternoon. I was fully prepared to undress, as usual, when the nurse told me not to, because the doctor was going to "do the ears" today-huh? They're gonna stick needles in my ears? But, it wasn't really bad, just weird, and, after they were all in, oddly relaxing-I had a bit of a doze. He told me that he's going on vacation in two weeks, and that the office isn't going to be open...........shit. That kinda sucks, but I'll deal with it. Maybe I can find someone else to go to for that week, if it's around the retrieval.

Other than that, it's the calm before the storm. I go back to Dr. Vest on Friday for more blood and another dildocam (or, as my friend Ken calls it, Crotch-noculars-heh), then I have to stay for a physical exam, so there's another Friday (the third in six weeks) that I'll be out for doctor's shit. That's the only thing that sucks about being a teacher-it's not a nine to five job, so for me, coming in a 10 am from the doctor isn't an hour late, it's two out of a six and a half hour workday-a third of the day. Or, three classes. So, that's another sick day that I need to take-sucks.

What can you do, right?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Pins and Needles

So, I never actually posted about my journey into acupuncture, so now that I have some free time, and I'm wrapped up in my fluffy robe and down throw, it's time.

The reason, btw, that I'm in my fluffy fleecy robe, down throw, sweatsuit, socks and the laptop firmly on my lap for the heat, is this-we (or should I say, Sean) tried to fire up the furnace today, since it's rainy and cold as hell. It's been really cold the past few days, but Sean needed the time to clean out and refill the furnace, and put in a new, digital Energy Star thermostat, so I've been trying to be nice and not complain that my fingernails are now a lovely shade of blue. Anyway, in firing up the furnace, he blew the transformer on it, so he's now off to Home Depot to buy a new one............

It's still cold as hell......but, I digress.........

So, acupuncture is pretty relaxing, and not at all painful, really. The guy that I'm seeing has been practicing for over 30 years, is very nice and has experience with IF and IVF patients. The first appointment was odd, though. They brought me in, checked out all of my pulse points, and noted areas that were "cold". The acu doc noted that my feet and hands tend to get cold-apparently, your energy flow begins and ends in both your hands and feet, so if those areas are cold, your energy is not flowing evenly and correctly. We discussed what I wanted to accomplish with acupuncture, and he recommended coming in twice weekly until after the transfer. The first time he put the needles in were weird, because you didn't feel it (I actually kept my eyes closed until he was finished). I get them in my belly (about 5-6), shins (3-4 each), feet (2-3 in each-those are a little uncomfortable) and forearms(1-2 each). Then he leaves me to stew (marinate?) for 20-35 minutes, at which time I'm relaxed and want to drift off, but am scared shitless that I'll shift and hit one of the needles (yeouch!). Then he comes back in, takes them all out, and I'm done until the next appointment. All done in a professional, conversational manner.

Here's the part that I first thought was really weird, weird enough that I almost left at the first appointment, but now could care less......................he's blind.

Totally blind, and no, I'm not setting up a rude joke. He really is-he was in an accident as a child, had 10 surgeries to try to repair the damage, and was totally blind by age 20.

I'm sure you're wondering "How the fuck can he do what he's doing?". Well, apparently a lot of acupuncture has to do with touch-for example, he would massage certain areas on my shins and feet to see if they felt tender to me, and if so, that's where the needle went in. He also has a nurse assistant who helps him and makes sure that he's got what he needs. Also, he's been doing this for a long time, I'm sure that his other senses are heightened to compensate for the loss of his vision.

I'm not worried anymore about it-he has a busy practice, and, as I've been telling people about my appointments, I've heard nothing but good things about him. I feel relaxed, and I'm not getting the horrible headaches and hot flashes with even the remotest frequency that I did the last time I used Lupron. I feel more focused than I have been in a long time. To be honest, I could care less if he can see me or not. The important thing is that it helps me.

Plus, there are some advantages to having a blind acupuncturist-you don't have to worry that your legs and cooter aren't perfectly groomed, or if you have a zit or a bad hair day, or that you've got on your period panties because you forgot to do the wash. He's there to help me get pregnant. And I'm there to focus on the task at hand.

All in all, it's a fair trade, isn't it?

Keeping My Head Above Water

I have found out in the past three days that not only one, but two of my friends are pregnant. Both of them are IF patients. Both of them have had their share of heartache.

One of them is my friend T, who I went to the Feast with on Sunday. Of course, she didn't know that she was pregnant then, but she's been trying for #2. The other one is a theatre friend of mine, and, from what I understand, has been through the wringer with IF issues.

We went to a pumpkin-carving party (I had never carved a pumpkin before-yes, I know that I'm a loser) at a friend's house last night. Sean met us there, since he came from work, and these friends live locally to us and was nice enough to pick me up so we wouldn't have to take two cars. Now, they know all about what we've been doing-in fact, the last time we saw them was at a party over the summer, right before we found out that we were pregnant (and later miscarried), so they didn't know what the update was with us. So, I gave them the short story as we were getting out of the car, and that we were gearing up for IVF#2. I suddenly remembered that I had extra St. Gerard medals in my purse (one of the volunteers gave me a handful of them), so I pulled one out, gave it to her, and told her to keep it with her. She then told me that she was pregnant, and due in April. She's 14 weeks along.

Not to say that she's had an easy time of it-she's scared shitless, had a spotting scare this week, and has been through one miscarriage already, back in the beginning of the year. I really am happy for her, but it brought it home to me that we would have been due within days of each other, had my baby made it. That it would have been the both of us sharing this news to our friends, instead of just her.

I am glad that she told me before she made the announcement last night-it was less of a shock that way. However, it didn't make it easier to see everyone's reaction as she broke the news. It tore my heart apart. I actually had to leave the room at one point because I thought that I was going to start bawling, and I didn't want to ruin that moment for her and make her feel badly.

It also didn't help that I, in the midst of this celebrating, had to do my nightly shoot-up. It brought my situation home to me in a way that I never realized before.

I know that I need to focus on this cycle and not let anything distract me and get in the way-it's so easy to fall into that pit of despair and wallow about in it. I also know that the Lupron doesn't help-the past day or so has been a bit emotional, and the drugs magnify everything 100 fold. I think that the old bitch is about to make her comeback tour through my uterus (although Nursey P informed me that it really isn't her, it's her cousin, Lupron Bleed). The acupuncture has been helping, but it isn't going to permanently prevent my emotions from going into high-gear. It can't take the hurt away.

I've gotten quite good at crying without making any noise, so as not to wake Sean in the middle of the night. He's seen enough tears from me.

Infertility has taught me that, along with other hard truths, like not to expect anything, so you'll be pleasantly surprised later. That you really shouldn't compare yourself with other people, because everyone's story is different.

And that, when it really comes down to it, it's all easier said than done.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Birfdays are cewl.........yo...........

Today's the big 3-3 for me. Of course, we all aren't where we expected to be at this point in our lives, but whatever.

I actually had a very lovely day. I met two friends from work at the butt-crack of dawn for breakfast and fun, then taught all day. The kids were so cute-one class made me a birthday card, a group of kindergarteners first graders sang a rousing off-key rendition of "Happy Birthday", and generally everyone was very nice to me, which is a definite breath of fresh air from the crap school, where nobody even acknowledged me last year on my birthday.

Sean got me the first season of The Muppet Show on DVD (he ROCKS) and some quirky cow stuff, lots of cards and cool stuff. Special smooches to Cat and Shelli-you guys are awesome!

And, I even got an acupuncture appt today-there was a cancellation-how good is that? I'll have to write more about what's going on with my acu later on-it's pretty interesting.

All in all, a great day. Of course, I still didn't get that one special gift that would have made my birthday complete, but, looking back on my birthday post from last year, I feel like I'm in a much better place than I was. I know the drill........I'm a hardened veteran in this infertility war, and I'm determined to win.

And, I don't mind late birthday gifts..........better late than never, right? Especially the gift of life-getting that gift makes it the best birthday of all time, no matter what day it really is.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Power of Prayer, and Faith

So far, the belly-jabbing is going well. The first night was a bit weird, and I hesitated, but now it's strangely and disturbingly familiar to me, like riding a bicycle......

Sad, isn't it?

We had a pretty full weekend. Saturday was major cleaning day-dusting, vacumming, washing clothes and sheets and hanging stuff on the line, since we FINALLY saw the sun after eight days of rain. Then we picked up Shelli and Narda at the train station and trucked on down to the McCarter Theatre to see Gem of the Ocean. It was such a powerful and wonderful piece, and there were many times that I was moved to tears. We got a bite to eat afterwards and dropped them off at the train station. It's great that I'm lucky enough that we live close enough to each other to be able to hang out.

Today I had to sing the later two Masses, then we went, along with our friends, to the Feast of St. Gerard in Newark. For those of you who aren't familiar with St. Gerard, he is the patron saint of motherhood in the Catholic Church, and the National Shrine is literally a 25 minute drive from here. People come from all over the U.S. and even Italy to the Feast, and wait in lines around the plaza to make donations and venerate the saint's statue (which is life-sized). It was overwhelming at times to watch the men and women climbing the dais where the statue was, bringing flowers, offerings of money (some people brought capes literally made out of dollar bills, which they draped around the statue) and objects such as handkerchiefs and baby clothes to hold to the statue. The most emotional thing for me was to see mothers with babies holding their children up for special blessings. Sean, being non-Italian and not a cradle Catholic like myself, had never seen anything like it before.

My friend (who had problems TTC her first child, prayed to St. Gerard, and is now having problems TTC her second) and I patiently waited, with our dollar bills and scraps of cloth, to climb the dais and touch the saint's statue, to receive special blessings that our procreational endeavors will be successful.

It still brings on my usual questions and struggles of faith-I try so hard to believe that things, like prayer and acupuncture, will help you. I want so badly to believe that. I've heard stories from other women who have prayed and had faith and that their prayers, although not answered right away, were ultimately answered by St. Gerard and they had healthy, happy children, whether they gave birth or received them through the gift of adoption.

Seeing that crowd of people holding dollar bills, flowers, bits of cloth, pictures and babies to a statue made of plaster, blessed by the Church and containing the saint's relic, asking for St. Gerard to intercede on their behalf, or thanking him for being blessed with their children, or grandchildren, showed me today that miracles can happen, if you believe. That prayer, whether it be from people you know, or have never met, is a powerful thing.

Maybe it's entirely coincidental that I'm cycling around this Feast Day, or maybe not. Maybe it's not about receiving special blessings, making donations, eating great food (and I mean GREAT Italian-American food), and getting blessed religious articles. Maybe it's about giving up your burden for someone else to carry. Even if you can't physically see that person.

Maybe that's what faith really is. And maybe that was the real reason that I was there.........for God to show me an example of what faith and prayer really means, and to give me the fortitude and strength for the battle that lies ahead.

Bring it on, Lord. I'm ready.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Okay, people.........

We're moving forward! Nursey P called me around three with the results.......I did ovulate (I could have told her that), so we proceed with 10 units of Lupron tonight.

The needles are small-insulin size, and are subcutaneous, so they go in the stomach, so it won't be too bad..........of course, ask me that at around 8pm when I have to do the shot........

Here we go again!

Round Two Begins

I went to Dr. Vest's office this morning for the usual bloodletting and dildocam poking, and all went well. I have to call Nursey P this afternoon to find out the results of the progesterone test, and, if all goes well, I start with 10 cc of Lupron tonight.

I also went to Schrafts to pick up my meds-I almost fell over when I saw the woman come out from the back with a HUGE box and two bags. I'm not exaggerating, the box was the size of a toaster-oven. They must have seen the look of panic on my face, because they said "don't worry, it isn't filled with medication, it's just the stuff that needs to be refrigerated."

Great......that makes me feel oh so much better. That and the $55 I had to fork over. I did the internal happy dance for my prescription coverage and the fact that I live in a state that mandates health coverage for IF-otherwise I'd literally be paying 100 times that amount.

In unpacking the Box From Hell, I noticed that they repackaged the Follistim cartridges-they actually give you more needles-woot! So, I have 8 vials of Follistim, one Lupron kit, one vial of HCG trigger, two boxes of Repronex (which I didn't need the last time and have added it to the two unopened boxes I already have. If I don't need it this time, will try to donate to an IVF clinic), and enough needles to stick half the population of Northern New Jersey. The only thing that's missing is the lovely Progesterone In Oil vials, which I forgot to renew, so I need to call the pharmacy back and get those and the 18 gauge sharps to draw it up. Luckily for me I won't need that for a few weeks, so it's not a big deal to get it right away.

Tomorrow night Sean and I, along with Shelli and her partner Narda, will be going to the McCarter Theatre in Princeton to see Gem of the Ocean (written by August Wilson, who passed on a little over a week ago). Narda stage managed the Broadway production (which starred Phyillcia Rashad, who's also in this production), and had also worked on other plays written by Wilson. They were talking about possibly going backstage afterwards to meet her (ACK!!), so that would totally be cool. The only shitty thing is that I have to cart my Lupron with me to shoot up at McCarter. Thank God I know the CM of the theatre (he was my Frederic when I did Pirates), so I'm going to try to find him to see if I can find a quiet spot somewhere instead of using the ladies room.........that's all I need.......some old biddie freaking out as I comandeer the bathroom countertop.

Four hours to go until the phone call. I'll post an update when I hear.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Rainy Days

As much as I know that we need the rain and all, it's getting more than a bit annoying.

We are at day number 5 of rain, and boy, is it coming down. It's starting to flood the streets. It's that kind of cold rain that gets into your bones and makes you freezing cold, even when you're indoors.

It's the kind of rain that makes you want to curl up in your flannel pajamas in bed and read a good, trashy novel.

At least it isn't snow-at least you don't have to shovel rain.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

New Look

Like it?

I got bored and I was sick of the blogger templates that are on the site, so I found this one.

I do want to change the font on the title and make it bigger......anyone know how to do this, and be able to explain it to a html-idiot like me?


Monday, October 10, 2005

Let the Poking Commence

I called one of the places this afternoon about doing acupuncture. The office seemed really nice when I called saying that I had questions about using alternative medicine along with IVF, and they said that the doctor would call me back. He took the time and answered all my questions, and it turns out that he gets referrals from the clinic that Dr. Vest uses very frequently, which is good. So.......I have my first appointment on Thursday evening. It's kinda scary and not anything that I've ever done before.

But it seems like it's the right path to go down, if you know what I mean.

Bedtime, folks-school is tomorrow. Thank God for Christopher Columbus.


The Low Down

Here's the deal:

I met with Dr. Vest this morning. We're moving forward with fresh IVF cycle #2, and quickly. How quickly, do you ask, since it seems like IVF calendars move slower than slugs?

If all goes well on Friday with my progesterone draw and ultrasound, and I get the "all-clear", I start Lupron shots on Friday, which will be cycle day 21.

Holy motherfucking shit. But, it's a good holy motherfucking shit.

We're not changing the protocol at all, it will still be 10cc of Lupron once a day, then once I get the auld red harlot, Follistim, then the trigger shot. We're going to do the PIO this time and not fuck around with twat rockets and the gross Crinone gel-what's the point, when the PIO works? The shots weren't that bad-they really didn't hurt that much. Probably because my ass has a lot of fat in it.

They're going to watch me carefully because I did hyperstim the last time, but it looks like that they'll start me out on a lower dose of Follistim. My estrogen levels literally went from 3700 to 7200 in two days (I had 24 follicles, but STILL) so I made sure that they're going to really monitor me, because I do not want to go through being so sick and having to get fluid drained again-NOT fun.

I called my insurance company, and my Lupron authorization is still valid, but the Follistim needs to be re-authorized, so Nursey P needs to call them tomorrow. Otherwise, it's going to happen.

I still need to call about acupuncture. I narrowed it down to two places which are local to me and, after looking at their websites, have experience with IF patients. I definitely want to do it-if anything, it will help with the stress.

It's finally autumn and colder outside. I got to wear a sweater for the first time so far, and I'm making a pot roast tonight (yummy!) with potato dumplings (Sean loves them-it's the Eastern European/Austrian in him) and rolls, with salad.

I love autumn-it's my favorite time of the year. I met Sean during autumn, was married in autumn (just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary on Friday), born in autumn........and perhaps I'll conceive in autumn.

And then, this favorite season of mine would be even more special to me. Hopefully.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Four Days.....

Until my next appointment with Dr. Vest to go over my IVF protocol.


No really, I'm kind of excited, in a sick and totured way, about it. I just want to get on with it.

I've decided on doing the acupuncture, though (thanks everyone for the input, btw). I found out that my insurance, although they don't cover it outright (BASTARDS), they will give you a 25% discount on services if you use a recommended provider. I ended up finding two that are local and, according to their websites, have experience in working with IF patients, so I'll call them for consults.

As for the therapy............well, the jury's still out on that one. I'm still back and forth between doing it and not doing it. If I do, I want to find someone who has experience with IF patients, but I also need to find someone who takes my insurance, so it will be tough. I looked on RESOLVE's website and the local NJ one, and there are some, so I just need time to research it.

If I do it. I've been feeling pretty good for the past two days, but I know that it isn't the be-all-end-all, either.

Almost three days until Dr. Vest and the Amazing Technicolor Protocol. Can't wait.

Thursday Fun

Got this from Shelli at Hydrangeas Are Pretty. Just go to Google, get images for the items, and upload them to blogger. If you do it, go to Shelli's site and give her props......

Town I was born in:

Town I live in now:

My name:

My grandmother's name (as well as my mother's and my cousin's):

Favorite Song:

Favorite Food:

Favorite Drink:

Favorite Smell:

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Personal Contemplation

Thanks ladies, for your kind words about my last post. I'm doing okay, no worse, but not wonderful.

I sort of talked with Sean on Sunday night about what's going on in my head (at least, as best as I can verbalize them), and he feels that I would benefit by "talking to someone" (ie. therapy). Don't get me wrong, I'm not adverse to the idea, but it's a big decision for me. I'm not sure that I can open up to someone that I don't know. Then again, I blog my inner thoughts for all of the Internet to see, so why not, right?

The answer is this: my husband, family and non-IF friends have no idea that this blog exists. I don't feel judged by them. I am, for the most part, anonymous.

Sean told me that he's concerned for me, especially since there's a history of mental issues in my family. My aunt is bipolar-she was diagnosed in her thirties and had many episodes until they figured out her personal drug cocktail. However, when she went off the deep end she was always delusional and manic, not depressed. Anyway, I digress.

Firstly, I do have mental health benefits under my insurance, which is good. However, I would like to try to find someone (if I do decide to pursue it) who specializes in IF, or, even better, someone who has personal experience in IF (a stretch, I know). I'm still on the fence, though.

In other news, I have an appointment with Dr. Vest on Columbus Day to talk about my next IVF cycle, which should be fun (NOT!). Then I'm sure the meds will be ordered and the fun will begin. I'm also thinking about doing accupuncture along with the cycle-I've heard that, if anything, it will help with stress, which is a positive thing. There's a woman I know from the theatre world that did accu along with her IVF, and she's convinced that it helped her get pregnant. Anyone out there done it? Is it painful? How often do you go and how do you find someone reputable? I'm not sure if I can deal with more needles in my body, but hey, if it helps, I'll suck it up.

I'll do anything to make this next cycle work out.