Monday, September 28, 2009

4dt5dt-Self-Preservation Is My New Best Friend

So far, so good. I've had a little cramping off and on, but I'm really not feeling anything else as of yet. Of course, we all know that progesterone is a little bitch in regards to side effects screwing with your mind, so I'm trying not to read into anything as of yet, since it's too early to tell anything.

Yesterday we got a little shock when we got a phone call from my brother and sister-in-law, who were visiting my parents. They kept asking us if we were going to be there, but we wanted a weekend to ourselves, so we decided to stay home.

I'm glad now that we made that decision. My brother announced (after asking that we put him on speakerphone) that he and his wife are expecting. They'll be married six months on Sunday. Nice, huh? I couldn't even talk to him-I managed to choke out a "congratulations" and had to walk out of the room. After Sean hung up the phone I just lost it (pumped up by My Buddy Progesterone)-I mean, LOST IT. I cried for two hours, because it seems like EVERY CYCLE we have, someone else gets pregnant (and, I'm not kidding-I can connect almost every one of our friend's or family member's children to when we've done an IVF or FET cycle)............and it's never us. I couldn't help feeling that it's a bad omen of what's to come.

Of course, my mother had to call later and bitch me out because I was "wrong" to act the way I did. Hello? Really? I got into an argument with her (yeah, thanks again hormones!) and told her that perhaps, PERHAPS, she should've told him what was going on (since they didn't know we were doing a cycle) and maybe they should've waited to call me until we find out what's going on (they aren't far along anyway, why the frig are they telling us NOW?). She said that she did tell him, and that he wasn't sure to call, but my mother "didn't think that it was a big deal, because everything's going so well (JINX!!) for us". Yeah, because it's not like we haven't done this before, and things have gone well in the past......and we know how that turned out, right? I told her that there is no guarantee that this will work, and it was shitty of her to be so naive. She tried to put me on the phone with my father, but I just didn't want to talk to any of them. I just freaked out, and they were pissed off at me and hung up on me (after my father angrily told me that my brother doesn't want us to tell anyone. Great. I didn't want to be told, why would I broadcast it?).

Of course, Sean is upset. We were both thrown by the news. But he's more upset because he doesn't want me to be stressed out, because he thinks that my stress levels and the outcome of this cycle are connected. I just couldn't help reacting the way I did. Sean actually called my parents later and tried to explain how I'm feeling to them, that, although they are supportive, they will never know the hell we've gone through in regards to infertility. That the hormones I'm taking aren't helping my reaction, and that even he can't fully relate to it, because he's not the one who is being poked, prodded, injected, hooked up to things and having surgery to have what others have. He told me later that he thinks she has a better idea, but she still has "her opinions" on the matter (whatever), and that she does care about we're going through. Sean just thinks that she's just the type of person who isn't totally involved emotionally, which he's right.

My family, who is SUPPOSED to be supportive of us, can't understand why I'm so upset, that it's not fair to them (true, but again....HELLO?) and that we "should be happy for them". Yeah, well perhaps if I wasn't in the throes of what is my last IVF cycle and in 2WW hell, I could've probably mustered up an acceptable theatrical display of oohing and ahhing. But I feel like my mother, MY MOTHER, should've tried more to protect my feelings on this. Instead, she's all happy happy, because she's getting her long-awaited grandchild; and, like I always felt, it won't be from me. Even if this does work, it's like the thunder has been stolen from it, because he got there first. Yeah, it's selfish and babyish of me to think that way, but when the Only Son of the family announces that he's knocked up his wife, everything else in an Italian family just isn't as important. I should be used to it, but I always, stupidly think that it'll change and my parents will magically *POOF* realize that. Nah.

So I've decided that I won't talk to any of them right now, and if we're lucky that this works, we still won't tell them until we have to. I'm tired of being the one who always worries about what my family thinks. It's time to think of myself first. Yes, I know that at this point there's not much more I can do for those embryos, but I can try to help myself.

Friday, September 25, 2009

1dp5dt, Times 3

Well, folks....the deed is done. There are now embryos safely smooshed between my uterine walls, to hopefully do their little thing. I'm kinda counting on them to know their role and attach, but you know how kids are.....they NEVER do what you want them to. Unless it involves massive amounts of Jolly Rancher candies, McDonalds and XBox video games. But, I digress.

I show up at the surgery center almost promptly at 1pm, with my bottle of water in dutifully in hand, and do the usual melee of signing away your life (or those of your embryos) in paperwork. I was the only one in the waiting room, and it didn't take long for someone to come and get me to prep for the transfer. I get my rockin' hot designer outfit of gown (open in the back, of course), slipper socks (grey) thick, fluffy robe (that tries to make you almost believe you're in a spa, but then you suddenly realize that the only "massage" you're getting involves a metal speculum. WITHOUT LUBE), and a blue paper hat that makes you look like a lunch lady and sit in my little recliner (complete with warm towel-see what I mean about the spa part?). They take my vitals, blah blah blah, and I sit and wait for the RE to come in and give me the news. And she gave me a whole lot of news.

Now, as we last left our little saga, we had 18 eggs retrieved, 16 mature and 12 fertilized, which are pretty damn good stats. As of yesterday (day five, remember) All 12 were STILL GROWING. Yeah, you read that correctly. I still had all twelve as of yesterday. It was better than they could've hoped for. So......the recommendation was to transfer in three blasts. I was a little apprehensive at first, given that blasts are more likely to succeed, but they want to take a "more aggressive approach" this time around. What worried me is the higher-order multiple risk, but the doctor assured me that the triplet rate is only around 5%. However, the twin risk is around 35-40%, which is probably higher in my case, given that twins run in both sides of my family (there have been five sets in my family, and three are still living-my mom's brother and sister are twins, and we don't have any as yet in my generation of family members). Whoo hoo-double trouble!! So I made the decision to go through with it, and off I went to the OR and had them transferred in.

So here we are, at 1dp5dt. And I'm really okay about it, so far. I'm not overly obsessive yet, and I was pretty calm during the drive up there. Really calm, in fact. Which is pretty much my attitude throughout this whole cycle-there really hasn't been any anxiety over anything. As for the remaining blasts-well, they will check them today to see if they meet freezing criteria, and will freeze what's okay. Hopefully we'll have some frozen, because I like to hedge my bets. But, seriously.....I'm actually pretty peaceful about it all. I'm taking my prenatal vitamins, eating well, sleeping well (except having to get up at night to pee-damn progesterone!!), not having too much progesterage and Sean still has all of his body parts. What could be better than that?

Other than the obvious, of course. Beta is scheduled for October 3rd.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Well, Well, Well.....

Got another surprise this morning at around 9:30, but in a really good way.

Dr. Pipsqueak called while we were having breakfast-my embryos are doing really well ("the best we've ever seen" is what she said) and are going for a day-5 transfer on Thursday-TBA. We'll know exactly when later today.

Did I mention exactly how great the new place I work is? I went in yesterday morning and had a talk with my principal (who I've been honest with about our whole journey, so she knew that we were going to do this) and told her that we weren transferring on Tuesday and I'd need the day off. She told me it was absolutely no problem; and, in fact, I should also take Wednesday off to "rest and relax". I told her that it was really not necessary, but she insisted. She's already told me that she really wants this to work for us, and that she'll do whatever she can to make it happen. How cool is she?

I'm excited, I'm nervous, I'm scared shitless. I know that blasts have a higher implantation rate, and from my own experience the only success I had was with a blast, despite it being a FET. But, the fact that it failed also is sitting in the back of my mind too. This whole cycle has been one big surprise in the way that nothing went as planned, from the cysts to actually getting to transfer at all. Perhaps this is the ending we all want? I'm afraid to hope for it, so I don't jinx it.

It all seems so weird. I know that I didn't post this, but for my retrieval my anesthesiologist was the same guy that I had when I had my hysteroscopy ages ago with Dr. Vest (which was right before I started my first cycle), and we recognized each other. Now, I'm (fingers crossed) about to have a blast transfer, like I did for my first FET, which did result in a pregnancy (albeit briefly). Perhaps everything is parallelling because it's coming full circle, and this is really the cycle for us? Am I reading into too much? Hmmm......

I don't think that I've ever heard Dr. Pipsqueak so excited about our results. She said that she told the embryologist that "this is it....this is the cycle where she gets pregnant".

From your mouth to God's ears. We'll know soon enough.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Holy crap, has it been like two weeks since I've last posted? Sheesh. Sorry y'all, but the past two weeks were a kick in the ass in relation to time-management. But, I do have updates! Woot!

Lets see......what's new? Oh, we got another cat! She's an adorable six week old kitten that we've named Callie. She was part of a litter that my MIL rescued (she's kind of the crazy cat lady of her neighborhood) when they were about a week or so old. She raised them, and we decided to take one of the litter. She's really sweet and loooves to cuddle, but has all that crazy kitten energy that has resulted in little claw marks all over my legs. We've kept her seperate from Peachy for now, since she's so small (she's in the office, which is partly why I haven't updated-the computer is in here and every time I try to get on she wants to play....typical), but I'm sure in a week or two she'll run havoc around the house.

Mom's doing well-she had phase two of her chemo treatment that, honestly isn't as much "fun" as the last time. She had to go into the hospital for three days for partial IV chemo (1 day) and then they also inject a dose directly into the port that's in her abdomen. Then they flush her body with 1000 cc's of fluids so the port chemo doesn't stay in her system-kind of like marinating her insides. So she's feeling a bit nauseous this time, not to mention the bloating and constant peeing from the fluids. She's lost about 15 or so pounds through this journey (she's down to 97 pounds) so it's important that she eats, but she wasn't hungry because of the fluid push-hopefully that will change. Not fun, but necessary.

Now, onto the main cycle!

When we last left our saga, I was starting Lupron and going back for monitoring that Thursday. I started the FolliSTING that night (75IU, can you believe it!), overlapping with the Lupron and stopped the BCP's. So, I was plugging along on the same dosage (I'm still amazed at that small amount of stims....unreal, right?) and going every two days for monitoring, which really sucked because I had to get up at 4:30am in order to get to the clinic and to work on time-with the new job it now takes me an hour to get to work from there. Starting this past Monday I was going every morning (double suckage), and they let me trigger Thursday, with the retrieval being Saturday morning. Then Dr. Pipsqueak decided that she wanted to throw a small wrench into the plan by calling me on Friday and letting me know that there was a "distinct possibility" I could have a fresh transfer this cycle, since I did so well with the stims (her words were that I didn't "explode like you usually do"). So I had to get PIO and Medrol from the office, since it was never ordered for me. Luckily I was already in the hospital visiting mom and I could just walk over, and I already have tons of leftover PIO needles!

I had the retreival yesterday (LOVE those drugs ,btw!) and they got 18 eggs! We'll find out today the fert report and whether or not we'll do a fresh transfer this cycle or not. I did start PIO last night (yeah, forgot how much THAT sucked!) just in case.

Let's hope that the wrench in the plan is a good one.


Nurse Blondie called late this morning with my results:

18 retrieved, 16 mature, 12 fertilized. Day 3 transfer scheduled for 12:30pm on Tuesday.

Here we go again.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Ganirelix Love Affair

First of all, thanks for all the comments and support. Honestly, I thought that, because I've been neglectful of this here blog, there would be nobody really around these parts, but thanks to you (and rock like a aging heroin punk groupie on the Bowery) I know that I'm still not alone, even though I've been at this shit for as long as I have been. I'm the crusty old infertile that sits in the corner of the room talking about the "good 'ol days", when men were men and women were.....well, you know what I mean.

And, I apologize for leaving anyone hanging out there in regards to what's going on with my girly-bits. I went back to work on Tuesday (kids came on Wednesday) so it's been pretty crazy right now with getting back into the swing of things, and then adding in getting up at the ass-crack of dawn (the ass-crack being 4:30 am to get out of the house by 5:30 and getting to the office by 5:50am)to go to BIC for monitoring and THEN going to work, which is an hour from the office (with some traffic).....all to make it in time for my homeroom. Sheesh.

So. I went to the RE on Sunday morning, bright and early for my bloodwork and wanding. Of course, I was also killing a few birds with one stone, because my RE's office is attached to and affiliated with the hospital where my mother was recuperating from her cancer surgery (more on that in another post, but the streamlined version is that they did the total hysterectomy, didn't have to remove any of the bowel, the cancer cells were 99.9% gone according to the surgeon, and they installed the intra-peritoneal port for course #2 of chemo under her skin.). I drag Lovely Sean with me into the wanding room, where he proceeds to yet again prove his lack of common decency by asking me if he thought that Dr. Pipsqueak would find it odd if he asked her if he could lick the probe afterwards, like a Kohr's Frozen Custard on the Jersey Shore boardwalk. Really. I can't make this shit up, I swear.

And, no......I didn't let him. Although it would've been worth it to see the reaction he got, I DO have some pride left in me throughout this.

Yes, people-I STILL want to reproduce with this man. And make him partially responsible for any offspring I might release from my loins. Um....yeah. Of course, since any child we have will be half mine and half his genetically, and Murphy's Law being what it is, they'll more than likely inherit this lovely trait from him. Wonderful. I'll be the future gestator of probe-licking children who have no "filter" button. Can't wait for Back-To-School Night already!!

Oh, sorry......anyways, the upshot of this whole thing is that, once the wand was inserted, we all find out that the cysts are GONE. Buh-bye! It was like Ganirelix is the Wonder Drug Of The Fertility Universe. Like, I'd marry it if it were legal. Hell....I'd even let it not put the toilet seat down afterwards. Because THAT'S how much I love this damn medication. I even read something online about a study that was recently done using Ganirelix on high responders and those at-risk of OHSS, and it worked in lowering fast-rising E2 levels without compromising egg quality-better than lowering doses or coasting. I mentioned it to Dr. Pipsqueak and she got a big shit-eating grin on her face and agreed that the findings were pretty cool. It's like Ganirelix was MADE FOR ME! Hallelujah!

I got the call Sunday night to start Lupron (10 units) and overlap with the BCP. And, OH MY GOOD GOD, I forgot how much injecting suuuucks. I've been at it for almost a week and I'm still getting over that "my hand is trying to stick a needle in my body" mental override that you have to do. I mean, for the first time EVER I bruised badly enough that I still can't inject on my right side. It was bright purple and about the diameter of a golf ball, I swear (but is now starting to turn that pretty shade of yellowish-pink). I even had the school nurse look at it, to make sure that I wasn't internally bleeding to death (she didn't think so, btw). It still freaks me out looking at it.

I had to go back to BIC for monitoring on Thursday (how I made it through the day I have NO IDEA-thank God we only had the kids for a half day) and got the all-clear call from Nurse Blondie-I could stop BCP's, and start the Folli-STING (75IU-can you believe it? It's like the dosage for an IUI!!) tonight. Woot! Sean also got to start his Doryx today. I get to go back on Tuesday for monitoring and we'll take it from there.

Wow.....we're FINALLY on the ride! I thought we'd never get here. I am a bit excited now that the process has started. Of course, once I start daily monitoring (probably the middle of next week) I'm sure that if you asked me, I'd say that I'd rather have a dirty spork sticking out of my eye than stim. But, I'm feeling good about it at this point in time.

And, that'll do for now. Quite nicely, in fact.