Wednesday, June 29, 2011

First injection done!

We did our first injection last night. Overall it went well, although I was on edge and may or may not have snapped on my husband and left the room in a huff right before. But I apologized and he seemed to accept it. He really does put up with more than his fair share…

A worked in a hospital for 5 years, so he is really great with needles. He was calm, quick, and efficient with the injections. The needle didn’t really hurt at all, but the Lupron stung a little as it went in and the injection site was red and puffy for about an hour. It was weird feeling the medicine under my skin so I massaged it for a while.

After we did the shot, I went upstairs to listen to my first circle + bloom meditation. I liked it. It definitely relaxed me and I’m interested to see how they go as I start stims.

I’m also interested to see how far I can get into this process without having a breakdown and crying. It’s definitely all going to overwhelm me at some point, I know that much for sure. But I’m doing great for now.

Just for shits and giggles, let’s take a look at the medicine report for the week, shall we?

Morning (7 pills total):
500 mg Metformin (x2)
150 mg Welbutrin
81 mg aspirin
Prenatal vitamin
10 mg Claritin (because my fall allergies are already starting up)
Birth control pill

Evening (2 pills/1 injection total):
500 mg Metformin (x2)
20 units Lupron

It’s kind of exhausting. I’ve been holding off on getting one of those old lady pill counters, but I think it might be about time. The problem is I don’t know if it’s big enough to hold all my pills for a day! Most of them are small but between the 4 Metformin and the giant prenatal vitamin, they take up a lot of room.

Not much else going on over here. I am taking a frivolous day off work on Friday to go to a water park with A and some friends. It’s frivolous because I should really save my paid time off for upcoming IVF cycle(s). But it’s kind of my last hurrah before I get too bruised and bloated to go on water rides : ) I’m looking forward to it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mixed emotions

I got my Lupron in the mail last night. It was cool how they packaged it to keep it refrigerated, and I photo documented the process of opening it.

What? This is a big deal, people.

That said, as much as I want to remember this process so I can tell my children about it someday (please god please god please god), I’m still pretty scared. I put the Lupron straight in the fridge and refused to make eye contact with it.

I spent more on the Lupron than I thought I would. I guess there’s a nationwide shortage of the stuff, which is pretty scary when you think about it. How many women are there walking around all sweaty and ragey? I shudder to consider it.

Anyway, since Lupron is in such high demand, the pharmacy I got it from is compounding it differently, which means it’s not a recognized drug on my insurance plan, which means I paid out of pocket for it. But it’s really not bad, regardless. I don’t dare complain since so many of you pay out of pocket for all this crap.

Bravelle and Menopur are being ordered and I start those on 7/8. Our start cycle appointment is three hours east of our house, on Thursday 7/7. On Friday 7/8, we drive five hours west of our house to visit some friends for a trip we planned long ago.

We’ll be traveling with a cooler full of hormones (sounds like the name of a band, huh?) and we’ll see three states in two days – sixteen hours of driving in five days. Whoo hoo!

I asked the nurse when I should stop drinking. This is a difficult question because it makes me feel like an alcoholic. “When do I have to give up the sauce??” I made sure to say I usually just have a margarita once or twice on the weekend.

She said the Dr. says anything in moderation is fine throughout the cycle. Even after the transfer, she said there’s no placenta there so one drink won’t hurt anything. I personally won’t drink after the ET, but it’s nice to know how relaxed they are. She said Dr. Friendly would probably even suggest a drink or two to help get through the process. : D

I forgot to ask my nurse if I should add baby aspirin to the mix. No one has mentioned it, but I know it can help. What do you guys think?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The death of a friendship

It’s hard to watch a friendship fall apart. I’ve seen a number of them come and go, but I’ve probably never stressed out about one as much as I am stressing about my failing friendship with J.

It’s hard to know where it all went wrong. It started with personality differences. Once I got some perspective, I realized I didn’t really like the way she conducted herself.

Then I felt that she didn’t support me in the right way with the infertility stuff. To be fair, I didn’t really know how to articulate my needs and I recognize that she was in a tough position.

Then she and her husband started TTC and that was the first major nail in the coffin. I couldn’t handle it and she showed an enormous lack of empathy. She had the guts to complain about how tedious sex was on her second TTC month, while I was gearing up for my first IUI and mourning the loss of sex in the baby making process.

In January she deeply offended me by pushing her religion on me. I responded too harshly and she was hurt.

Then she, understandably, went radio silence for a while when she found out she was pregnant and hadn’t told me yet.

When she told me she was pregnant, I thought I reacted very well. In fact, looking back, I probably reacted too well. She thought she could talk to me about her pregnancy and I wasn’t ready.

I told her I needed space and she honored that for a week or two and then stopped giving me the space I needed.

I was too firm with my demand for space.

She kept trying to make the “break” on her terms, and about her. I was in a dark place after my second IUI failed and she didn’t respect what I needed.

Then I emailed her inquiring about a mutual friend. Apparently, she didn’t like that. She was short with me in her response.

So I gave up.

Gearing up for our group dinner last month, I texted people and said “please don’t bring up my infertility. We can talk about it one-on-one if you’d like an update.” That was the agreement: no pregnancy talk, no infertility talk when J and I were together.

Then she stomped all over the agreement by talking about her pregnancy almost exclusively.

I was so mad when I left that I was trembling.

So now we pointedly do not talk. We do not communicate.

I am not going to her baby shower, although I will send a gift card. I’m not callous enough to let it pass by completely unnoticed.

Looking back, I’m not sure if I could have done anything differently. Some things are just meant to end.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

update on my cycle/anti depressants

I have been on BCP for two full weeks now. The first week was terrible. I don’t understand, because I took BCP for 8 years and had no problems. But I guess getting adjusted to it is the hard part, because I was so hormonal last week I couldn’t stand it. It was worse than anything I experienced on clomid.

That seems to have resolved itself but now I have unpleasant physical side effects. My acne is worse than it has ever been and my hair is falling out in handfuls (literally). 

I am still going back and forth between excitement and stress. My support group met this week and while we are supposed to be supporting each other, they kind of made me want to turn and run the other direction.

I have worked my butt off to lose 10 pounds in three months and my pants have been delightfully baggy, but I know that by the end of the IVF cycle I’ll be giant again. I know it’s shallow but I’m not looking forward to the bloating. It is really going to throw a wrench in my self-esteem, which is already suffering because of the acne.

I haven’t said much here about antidepressants. Now that I have been on 150mg of Welbutrin for two months I can say that they have helped. I still have conflicting feelings on the medicine and I haven’t told anyone that I’m taking them besides A. 

My depression isn’t the kind where I can’t get out of bed in the morning or I weep every day. The main reason I knew I needed help was actually work. My work performance started really suffering. I didn’t have the energy to do my tasks as well as I used to, or even at all. 

That changed almost immediately after going on Welbutrin. Obviously, I’m not happy all the time. And it’s not a miracle drug. And I have to stop it once I get pregnant. But I think I made the right choice.

I start Lupron on 6/28 and take my last BCP on 7/5. I’m trying to decide when to stop drinking. Obviously after the transfer. But should I stop when I start stims? Or when I start Lupron? Or now? I only have one drink every now and then but I don’t want to give it up before I have to. I also need to ask the nurses when to stop going to the gym.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

And finally, the protocol

I’ve been waiting all week to get my protocol from Dr. Friendly’s office. I started BCPs last week and have been anxiously carrying my phone all over with me waiting for them to call. I have had a nervous, impending job interview feeling all week that is finally gone.

Here it is:

6/3 start BCP
6/28 start Lupron
7/7 (my birthday) visit clinic for start cycle appt
7/8 start FSH
7/13 first scan (at Dr. Lovely in town)
Retrieval week of July 18
Transfer week of July 25

Friday, June 3, 2011

Stupid work

There is a third woman at work pregnant. Let’s just review this, okay?

I work with 14 women.
3 are pregnant
3 are in their 40s, have kids in high school/college, and are apparently done building their families
2 were just on maternity leave last summer
2 are post-menopausal (in their 60s) (both have children)
1 has a husband who’s had a vasectomy (two kids)
1 has had a hysterectomy (one kid)
1 has a child, is planning her wedding, and I’m pretty sure has an IUD (hopefully no more babies from her for a while)
1 is single and not even nearly ready to settle down and have children (she’ll probably be the next to get knocked up)
And then there’s me.

Since we started TTC a year and a half ago, I’ve seen two babies born and now three pregnancy announcements – just in my department.

Apparently I am drinking from the wrong water fountain.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Poor me.

I have always known that infertility is isolating. I have understood that from the moment I went off the pill and got that gut feeling: this isn’t going to go down the way I want it to.

But lately I have learned this the hard way. Yesterday was one of the worst days I have had, and now I understand why.

When you’re pregnant, you get a lot of support from your friends. At dinner last night I’d say 25% of the conversation focused around my pregnant friend. People know the kinds of things you’re supposed to say and do.

People don’t know what to say or do around infertile people. I’d argue that my upcoming IVF cycle is just as big of an event to me as my friend’s pregnancy is to her. I think it carries just as many feelings of excitement, apprehension, anxiety and stress. There is just as much to talk about.

But do I get to speak about it at a group dinner? No. No one knows how to talk about it. It makes people uncomfortable.

People know to ask at 20 weeks about the gender. They know to tell you that you look great even if you look enormously fat. They know to ask about names, nursery colors, registries, birth plans, daycare arrangements.

They don’t know what to ask you if you’re infertile. They don’t want to debate the merits of IUI over IVF. The pros and cons of transferring one embryo vs. two. How your husband feels about his role in the process. How to administer injections. How badly the egg retrieval hurts. How to approach your boss about time off for treatments.

They don’t know how to celebrate with you on the day of your embryo transfer. They don’t know how to commiserate with you as you suffer through the two week wait. They don’t know how to mourn with you if it doesn’t work.

How many times do we hear “pregnancy brain” thrown around as an excuse for messing up at work? How many of you get cut some slack because everyone knows you’re waiting for the call about your fertilization report? I can’t speak for you, but I’d guess zero.

I don’t want special treatment. I don’t think the world should revolve around me. I just wish that I could be on the receiving end of some compassion and concern from someone other than my husband. I hate that the only people I know who get it are computer friends. I love you all, but you’re not there in person during the horrible moments when I just want to make eye contact with someone who understands.

If a friend ever goes through something that I know is hard but I don’t know the details of, I vow to research it. If a friend is diagnosed with breast cancer, I vow to read about it and educate myself. I vow to never let my ignorance get in the way of my ability to support someone.

That is, if I have any friends at all left after all of this.