Friday, July 29, 2011


Ever since my very first two week wait (and what a long, long time ago that was), I have known that the whole thing is a huge mindfuck.

This two week wait, the stakes are much higher, the possibilities much greater, the investment much more intense.

That said, at 5dp3dt, I am feeling good. I have not lost my mind yet. My beta is one week from today, and although I know between now and then time will slow to a screeching halt, the past 5 days have gone much faster than I thought they would.

I’m continuing my “science experiment” of taking an HPT every morning and keeping track of all the lines. They are varying degrees of light to dark, depending on the timing of my booster shots. The effects of the first booster shot had gotten very faint by the time I tested the morning of the second shot.

I’m hoping that with my last shot on 7/30, by about 8/3 the test will be either blank or truly, honestly positive.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Transfer day.

After all of the heartache following the fertilization report, the transfer was a good experience.

On Saturday night we drove back to the RE (our third 3-hour trip in one week - *whew*). We had déjà vu checking into the same hotel we had checked into three nights before.

TMI, but I was suffering from some really serious constipation around transfer time. I tend to be constipated anyway, but this was terrible. It hurt to even sit down on the bed, I had to sit with my legs folded under me for cushioning.

Therefore, I spent most of the night before transfer trying in vain to have a bowel movement. It hurt. I was stressed out about it because I knew in the morning I’d be loading up my bladder and it would be a bad time for my bowels to start moving.

We got to the hospital and I took the Valium I had been directed to take upon arrival. They settled me in with my gown and some beverages.

The embryologist came to give us a photo of our embryo. She said they would have liked to have more to choose from and some to freeze, but overall this was a beautiful embryo. I know enough to know that 6 cells isn’t great. But I chose to believe her.

In what seemed like no time, Dr. Friendly came in to take me back.

I wish I hadn’t taken the valium because it made me feel very floaty. My memories of the transfer are fuzzy, and I had questions to ask him that I promptly forgot.

I did remember to ask what the chances were of this working. He had previously told me I had a 75% success rate with IVF, but that was before The Day My Eggs Turned to Shit.

He just looked at me and smiled and said “It’s gonna work. That’s the attitude we have to have. It’s gonna work.”

Another note about Dr. Friendly: that man is a WHIZ with a speculum. The radiologist who did my HSG practically wrenched me apart with his speculum, and both my IUIs were uncomfortable bordering on slightly painful. Maybe it was the valium, but his just glided right on in.

I could see the catheter on the ultrasound machine and watched as he squirted Little E into my uterus. I laid there for about 5 minutes, and then it was time to go home.

I stayed in bed all day Sunday and on the couch all day yesterday. Now I’m back to work and the girls here are being incredibly sweet by doing a lot of my work that requires walking for me.

I am upset because I am on these hcg booster shots. Has anyone heard of these? I take the 7/24 7/27 and 7/30, beta on 8/5. Unfortunately any HPT I take prior to 8/5 is going to be unreliable. I have tested every day since the day of the transfer and I’m keeping the tests taped to a piece of notebook paper so I can monitor the boosters’ effect.

It’s a little heartbreaking to see three positive pregnancy tests and know I’m not really pregnant. But I hope that by keeping careful watch on the lines, I have an idea of how the beta will turn out. I have to get the news at work and my husband will be out of state when we hear. So I really want to have a good idea going in.

Thank you all for your support, and HOORAY for making it to transfer!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Yesterday morning my husband and I were sitting at the dining room table. I had my phone close by because the IVF lab had said they would call if our embryo stopped dividing, and if they didn't call, it's good news.

Well, they called, and my heart sank. I picked up and she said "This is soandso from the IVF lab, I just wanted to tell you your embryo is dividing, I checked on it very early this morning and it is a beautiful 2 cell." I let out a huge sigh of relief and said "You have no idea..." and then got choked up. She said "I know, I could tell you were holding your breath so I tried to talk very quickly!" Haha.

Friday was spent grieving. I cried a lot. I cried because we wouldn't have two to transfer and I wanted twins (I really, really wanted twins). I cried because we wouldn't have any to freeze and I'd have to go straight to another fresh cycle if this fails. I cried because I doubted the quality of this little embryo if all of his other friends were so messed up.

But mainly I grieved the notion that my eggs are young, perky, beautiful, and capable of anything. This seems to be false. That is still a hard pill to swallow and things like "premature ovarian failure" keep popping into my head in dark moments.

But by the time I went to sleep Friday, I had stopped grieving and had focused all my thoughts towards this one little embryo making it through the night and coming back to my body.

And he did! I am PUPO. I will write more about the transfer tomorrow.

Thank you all so, so much for the outpouring of love and support I received from my post on Friday. It means more than you know.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Of the 8 eggs they got yesterday, my clinic did TBS (to be sure) ICSI on three.

Two fertilized abnormally, one fertilized normally.

Of the other five that were left to their own devices, none fertilized.

We are set for a day 3 transfer on Sunday, if the one little guy makes it that long.

The embryologist indicated that the egg quality is a concern.

I just turned 25 two weeks ago.

I am devastated.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


They got 8 eggs. I'm not sure if that's good, I usually hear people getting a lot more, but my friend who had her retrieval yesterday got 5, so I'm happy with 8.

Everything went pretty well. We checked into a hotel last night which was a huge blessing. This morning we checked into the hospital and were taken back pretty quickly, which was good because I am REALLY grouchy when I can't have breakfast.

(Question about pre-op instructions. Does anyone drink their toothpaste water? Why do they always say "Nothing to eat or drink after midnight, including water, you can brush your teeth but make sure you spit out the water." WTF? Who swallows that crap? Nasty.)

Anyway, I was pretty stressed out once I got in my hospital bed because the nurse in charge of me was flitting around, told me she was feeling scatterbrained, and could be heard loudly complaining in the hallway about how she was running behind and was too busy to get everything done. Excellent.

The embryologist came and and told us how everything would go. That they would call me tomorrow morning with the fertilization report and tomorrow afternoon to tell me if it's a 3dt or 5dt.

Dr. Friendly came in and said hello. He rolled me into the OR and I got on the table. I noticed the little door where he could communicate with the embryologist. He told her that the last person's husband was happy to only get 3 eggs because they didn't want to do cryopreservation anyway.

Then they started the twilight anesthesia (the anesthesiologist was the nicest, most polite and most comforting person I've ever met in a hospital) and I was out.

I woke up and was in quite a bit of discomfort. The scatterbrained nurse asked me what she could bring me and I asked for a muffin. She laughed. She brought me crackers and apple juice.

A came back from giving his sample and we hung out for a bit and they wheeled me out.

I'm home now and I feel okay. Very crampy. Hard to walk. Need the heating pad. But I feel better than I expected. I will probably return to work tomorrow.

I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The first time I had sex with my husband.

I remember the first time I had sex with my husband. It was in my first college apartment, on a twin bed, with pink and black polka-dotted curtains above us, to Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird". It might not sound like it, but it was super romantic. That was five years ago.

Today, a nurse in a different state told me to have intercourse with my husband tonight. The funny part is it didn't seem odd to me at all to have a doctor's office ordering me to have sex.

The part that bothered me the most is that I don't want sex tonight. My abdomen hurts. I want everyone to leave me alone, and all through my very shitty 10 hour work day with no lunch break, I dreamed of coming home and putting on my PJs. Intimacy is a giant chore today.

So tonight I called my husband and politely requested that he masturbate before I get home so I didn't have to deal with it.

How did that young naive college couple making love on a twin bed get to this place?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Retrieval is Thursday!

We have a retrieval date! I am so happy that I won't be stimming till the day I die! The retrieval will be this Thursday, 7/21, with an expected day 5 transfer of Tuesday, 7/26.

Tonight I will take my final dose of Lupron (which I was provided by the nurse this morning -- hopefully it was worth six hours in the car today). Tomorrow morning I take my last stims. Tomorrow night, at a time TBA, I trigger, and sometime Thursday morning is the retrieval.

Right now I have six large follicles on my right ovary (as the u/t said on Saturday, "That ovary is JUICY!"). I have two sizable follicles on the left (underachiever).

I am done feeling inadequate with my follicle count. I have chosen to love my body and appreciate whatever it gives me. I can feel that it is really trying and for that I feel nothing but gratitude. It must be hard to do more than six times your normal workload!

I am thankful for the eggs that I do have growing and I do not wish to have any more. Honestly, my right side is uncomfortable enough with the six and their smaller buddies that I can't imagine how it must feel to have more, or to even overstimulate.

I'm also very thankful that my lining is at a 10. It has doubled since Saturday! In all my clomid cycles, my lining never got thicker than a 7.6, and it still has a few more days to grow. I feel like this time it will be a nice squishy inviting-looking home.

I am hoping for four embryos. Any more than that are an added bonus. I'm hoping for two to transfer and two to freeze. That may be an ambitious goal but it's my goal nonetheless.

My mom went with me today because I didn't ask A to take a day off work just for bloodwork and an ultrasound. It was a very cool experience for her, as she has been just dying to get involved in this process. She got to see all my follicles on the screen and she was amazed by all of the science behind the process. The follicles on my right side are all squished together, so the nurse kept saying "I can't really measure this guy, he's getting squashed by his friend." It made me laugh.

I'm feeling positive despite some discomfort, but I have not yet started hoping. I can't let my mind wander to belly bumps and fetal heartbeats. I need to remain detached for now.

Hope you are all well.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

When plan A fails, and plan B fails, and plan C fails...

What a crazy day.

I went to the hospital this morning and had my ultrasound. I have a 17, 14, and 11 on my right ovary, along with a bunch of smaller ones. The left has a 13 and a bunch of smaller. I'm a bit wary of how many mature eggs we're going to end up having.

Then I went upstairs to get my blood drawn. They didn't have my orders. I told them I needed LH, estradiol, and progesterone, but they refused to draw it without the doctor's orders. It was 9:30 am and my doctor's office's phones were already off because they're only open from a different time zone.

Oddly enough, there was another patient there who also sees my RE, but in a satellite office, and her blood orders were missing too. I blame the hospital, not the doctor's office. This hospital has been known to be incompetent.

Anyway, the other girl was on the phone with the satellite office -- and they were still open! So I spoke to that nurse who called the top secret "back line" at my office and got the orders faxed.

The nurses woke me up from a nap later with the news. Obviously, we're not ready for retrieval yet. It's getting pushed to Wednesday, possibly Thursday. Which means I need way more drugs, which means I don't have enough. And tomorrow is Sunday so there's no way I can get them in time.

So I'll be taking an unexpected day off on Monday to drive 6 hours and go to the RE for my ultrasound/bloodwork instead of doing it in town. They'll give me enough Lupron for the rest of the cycle.

All of this took about three hours of phone calls/waiting to get figured out.

I know my ovaries are still small but I'm starting to feel a little bloated, and after 9 days of stimming I'm disappointed that I still have several more days ahead of me.

IVF is officially not fun and easy anymore.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Oh, so this is what everyone means when they talk about bloating.

Appointment tomorrow morning. I can't wait to find out what they see in there because I have felt a lot of activity the past two days. Tingling, twinging, just general busy-ness.

My pregnant friend at work got put on bedrest for the last few weeks of her pregnancy and a C-section is scheduled for 8/3 (the baby is breech).

Incidentally, my beta is currently scheduled for 8/3.

Things are about to get interesting.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I’m disappointed. I have five follicles on my right and six on my left. I was hoping for more than this…like twice as many as this.

Can I hope to get more still or do I basically get what I have now and watch them grow bigger?

The good news is that they are all pretty uniform in size. Hopefully I don’t need to worry about a dominant follicle.

Now the waiting by the phone game.

Edited to add: We have kicked it up a few notches from 1 Bravelle, 1 Menopur to 2 Bravelle, 3 Menopur. That should get those babies producing! I go back on Saturday.

Monday, July 11, 2011

IVF word vomit

Note: this is really jumpy and random, sorry!

Today is day 4 of stims (FSH) and it’s going very well. I had A mix the first two injections and I mixed yesterday’s and today’s, but I’m still having him inject me. I’m doing the Lupron on my own consistently each night, but the FSH just seems scarier. It seems like that syringe gives some resistance and I’m a bit nervous to try it.

I don’t feel bloated at all and I’m a little worried. That will come later right? It’s probably too early to feel bloated.

We did the first FSH injection in my belly like we’ve been doing the Lupron, but I noticed it was sore every time I bent over and my waistband touched the injection site. So we switched to using the thigh and it’s working a lot better. Lupron remains in the belly.

I’m superstitious about this process. I had a hard time mentally adjusting to thigh shots because in my unscientific brain, the shots should go in my abdomen because my ovaries are located in my abdomen. My ovaries aren’t anywhere near my thighs.

Don’t bother explaining how irrational this is to me. I know. I understand that the medicine isn’t getting injected into my ovaries when I use the abdomen and that my bloodstream is my bloodstream no matter where I inject. But it was still a silly little mental hurdle.

I like doing IVF. Please don’t hold this against me later when I am crying about how much I hate doing IVF. What I mean is, I like it a lot more than IUI. There’s more to do, I think the injections are interesting, and it feels like I’m really doing something as opposed to just taking clomid for five days. I realized with a jolt of excitement yesterday that my retrieval is next week – wow!

I’m a bit nervous about the cryopreservation factor of this equation, since that was just introduced last Thursday. I’m nervous both that we won’t have enough embryos to freeze and that we will have way more than we could possibly use. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

My pregnant ex-BFF that I write about all the time completely ignored my birthday. Not so much as a text or a facebook message; this is the first in many years that this has happened. But I am a good person and I am still sending her a shower gift. I really, truly, hope this doesn’t go unnoticed.

I am keeping a detailed spreadsheet of costs for this cycle. So far, just for drugs and two office visits and blood work, it has cost me $363.88 and my insurance company $4505.41. I am thankful for my insurance coverage with every breath I draw these days.

I go on Wednesday for my first follicle check. Keep everything crossed for me.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I won't say it's been the worst birthday ever...

Last night A and I loaded up the pups for the second time to start the long trek to the RE. This time we had to be there in the morning, so we spent the night at my parents' house last night. We slept fitfully on an air mattress all night while our dog paced around because she hates when her routine is broken (me too, sister).

Luckily, the drive went smoothly this morning. The first thing they did when I got there was take my blood, and it was the most painless needle prick I've ever had, which is saying something considering I had barely had anything to drink all morning.

Then, I went into the ultrasound room and was reunited with my old flame: the dildocam. It had really been too long since I had felt its probing touch. It was determined that my ovaries were sufficiently suppressed. (Thanks Lupron!)

This is where it started sucking. I have had what I've been calling "a fake period" for two weeks now. Light-to-medium spotting, enough that I need a tampon at all times, while my body tried desperately to have a period despite the BCP I had been taking. Well Tuesday I took my last BCP and that has opened the floodgates. My flow is pretty heavy and I'm crampy.

I hopped off the exam table and got dressed, moving directly to the rest room to return a tampon in its rightful spot. Some stupid dude was in there and would NOT come out, leaving me to hop around outside the bathroom hoping I wasn't bleeding too much all over my clothes. The nurse who was to do my appointment kept asking me if I was ready and I kept saying no.

Slow bathroom dude finally came out, so I rushed in there to do my thing. Such was my hurry that halfway through the tampon insertion (which wasn't going so smoothly since they were the dr-provided ones and not my usual brand), some girl just walks right in the bathroom, because I had neglected to lock the door. I was mortified.

Then we proceeded to our calendar/consent meeting. We got our calendar with the remainder of our injection information and our tentative retrieval/transfer dates. She showed us how to do the Bravelle/Menopur injections.

The hubs and I had previously decided not to do cryopreservation. But we had misunderstood the procedures the doctor's office follows, which means we pretty much must do the cryo. So that was a $1200 expense we were not planning on and that kind of shit stresses me out.

We left the doctor's office and I didn't even make it to the elevator before the tears started. I had a good hour long cry. I lamented all the things we could do with the money we're spending on the cycle. I cried because I was so broken that we had to do this in the first place. I cried because I'm scared, I have no idea how I'm going to react to the hormones I'm about to inject into my body, and because I was completely confused and overwhelmed by the injection demonstration.

I wept because there are just so many hard decisions to make, and I also wept because my husband is so good to me and says things like "The cost of this cycle is such a small price to pay to start our family" and "You can do this, we are already at the finish line, we just have to sprint the last few feet" and "You are so strong and you have no idea what you are capable of". I cried because I don't really deserve him.

I also cried because, goddamnit, it's my birthday, and why did the emotional breakdown have to come now??

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hopefully I sweated out all the stupid.

Tonight I did a bit of shopping. I am that girl that the retail workers hate because I take in a thousand items and purchase one (maybe). It's not my fault that I am a medium in some brands and an extra large in others. I always have to take in an 8 and a 10 in pants no matter what. So really it's the retail industry that is faulty, not me.

So I am pulling on and off lots of shirts and tank tops and capris and bras and the dressing room is tiny and all of a sudden I feel like I'm going to die. I am dripping with sweat and my heart rate is accelerated and the walls seem to be closing in on me (probably because I have cluttered the already small room with so many damn clothes).

I left the dressing room and tried to find a quiet place. I called my husband.

"I think I might be having a hot flash."
"Yeah. It feels like a panic attack. I'm incredibly hot and my heart started beating really fast. It was weird. I think it's the Lupron."
"It is supposed to do that?"

So he said some supportive things and we hung up.

I proceeded to the checkout with a self-satisfied smile on my face. I am so strong. I am going through this difficult IVF thing and I am remaining cool headed about it. I am making so many personal sacrifices for my baby. I am so superior.

That's when I noticed a lady fanning her face with a coupon. And a guy fluffing out his shirt for some ventilation. And someone else dripping in sweat.

And it dawned on me. The air conditioning was not on. I was not having a hot flash. I am just an idiot.

Lesson learned.