Monday, December 29, 2008

Almost the New Year!

With Christmas behind us, and the new year approaching, this has been a time of reflection and looking forward at the future. The holiday season has been nice. It was stressful at times, but nice.

We spent Christmas eve with my family and Christmas day with DH's side. The day after Christmas we went to NYC and stayed until Sunday. That was a lot of fun. I was ready to get back. I didn't realize how crazy NYC was during the holidays.

DH took me to his Physical Therapy clinic yesterday for the first time. It was cool to see where he works and meet everyone. One of his co-workers a couple of weeks ago volunteered herself to do manual therapy on me. She did IVF about 10 years ago and was successful on her second cycle. After evaluating me, she said that my right leg is shorter than my left and that my blood circulation was poor on that side. The treatment wasn't painful and I didn't think she had did anything at all. She only pressed lightly on different areas of my stomach and back. After working with me, for about 30 minutes, I got up and she and DH reevaluated me. I was now standing evenly. I was amazed. I even had soreness on the side she adjusted. I am going to see her one to two times per week, until our next egg transfer. She also gave DH a to do list for at home. I can only do walking or the elliptical for the first couple of weeks. Nothing high impact. Next week she is going to work on my pelvic floor and circulation.

We decided that we will do our next cycle in February. If it doesn't work, then we will be on track for April, after our cruise. I'll start BCP end of January, stims end of February, find out if it works mid-end of March. I think that would put us with a HEDD of November 09'. I hope that the new year brings an end to this crazy infertility journey.

I'll be back in the new year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thinking about delaying IVF #2

I am thinking about delaying IVF #2 until April. I really want to lose 30 pounds before I get pregnant. I want to be as healthy as possible. I have a fear that if I'm successful at getting pregnant and am unhealthy that I won't be able to carry the pregnancy to term - especially if we get pregnant with twins. My cycles are like clockwork - 28 days exact - so that would put us at April 14th with a late January due date. That is a couple of days after we get back from a cruise we have planned to Mexico with the fam. I would love to be smokin' hot and wear cute outfits, drink, and have lots of fun being active. I wouldn't be able to do those things if I was pregnant. If I went ahead with January IVF, I would be around 11 weeks pregnant and paranoid. Cam doesn't want to delay, but I think that he would be happier with the outcome if we did. Still undecided, but that's where I'm leaning. I watched a show called biggest loser and they have me super motivated. I could really do some damage in 15 weeks.

2 Days Left!

Two days left until my two week holiday! Yay!

I took off of work yesterday, due to sickness, but today I'm back at work. I'm spending the majority of today cleaning my office and re-organizing all of my files and papers that should be in files. We are moving from our current building to another location, next month, so I don't want to be slammed when I return.

Not much happening on the IVF front, but AF should be here in a few days then well start the process again. I have been working out, both morning (45 min -elliptical at home) and night(gym) 6 days a week, and watching my diet. I just started last week, so not much in the way of results as of yet. Planning to be down some pounds by February when I am again restricted from exercise again. I'll put a ticker on this site to track pounds lost.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

IVF #1 Follow-Up Consult

I had a f/u with Dr. M this morning. When we originally met with him, for our initial consultation, he mentioned that they have gift programs for meds that we could inquire about if we had issue paying for them. He said that for IVF #2 we will be doing a protocol called Antagon protocol and upping my dosages. (I will put a brief description of this at the end.) Short and sweet...I asked him about getting some free meds and he said sure. I go in tomorrow morning to pick them up! So, for IVF #2 we will only be paying a few HUNDRED dollars! Instead of possibly $3-4,000. It is based on availability and a couple of patients have turned in their unused drugs from their completed cycles.

Plan for IVF #2
Birth control pills (1st day of Menses): 12/23/08
No Lupron
Menses: 1/20/09
1/21-1/22: start stims

Overview of Antagon Protocol:

Monday, December 01, 2008

Into the holiday season

This was a crazy Thanksgiving holiday. With hosting it at our house and having to watch BIL's kids we had our hands full. It all worked out well and we made it through.

Usually, we put up our Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving, but that didn't happen this year. This coming weekend, we'll take some time to do that.

I got a company wide email this morning, saying that they are shutting down operations from 12/22 through 1/2. We will still get paid for holiday days, but we can either do leave without pay or use vacation for the other 7 days. This has to be hard for some people, that are scrapping by to live, during these tough economic times. However, I'm looking forward to the off time so that I can spend it with DH and the boy. DH still has to work, but I am going to find some fun activities to do with the little one.

On another note, I'm on the 4th book, of the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, by Stephenie Meyer. This has been an enjoyable series to read. I started the first book last week and have been hooked! I have been trying to get out to see the movie, Twilight, but haven't been able to as of yet.

Monday, November 24, 2008


The test was negative.

I needed a couple of days to process the news. At first I was very sad (Saturday, I was under the covers until 3pm w/ a wet face) and disappointed. It felt like all that I did was for not. A conversation with C on Sunday morning totally changed my outlook on fertility and the future.

DH is a man that is about action and will rarely discuss how he feels, as most men are. So, I have felt alone in this fertility struggle. It has been my vendetta to get pregnant, because I thought I knew how he felt and what he wanted/needed. I couldn't let him down. I didn't realize it would be this hard or have such a huge impact on changing who I am...who we are.

I have never seen him be more genuine as he made these key statements:

1. He married me for me and if it was just him and I, he would need nothing else.
2. He is in love with me and I owe him nothing. Just to love him and our life that we currently have together. Not what the future may or may not bring to us.
3. He admitted that it is not hard for him to be around people having kids (like it has been for me) because he already has what he wants and anything additional would just be an another blessing.

I must have done something good to deserve this man. I'm a moron. I have been wasting these past couple of years for no valid reason. Thank you God for this clarity.

I just got a call, this morning, from Dr. M. He said that he is optimistic and that he wants to make changes to my protocol for the next IVF cycle, in December. I made a consult appointment with him for 12/1 to discuss. It is amazing that I really don't care as much as I did before. It would be nice if this happens for us, but if it doesn't I have a wonderful husband and son that I will love and be content with forever.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Test Day....Tomorrow!

This has been the longest wait! I am happy that this cycle is over and I will find out if this craziness has worked or if it's a flop. Still no symptoms, except for sore chest. I have been trying to prepare myself for the negative, by thinking of positives if this cycle has failed.

Here is my list so far....

1. We have no left over embryos for a future attempt...maybe another cycle with a different protocol will give us extra eggs...hence extra embryos.
2. If I am pregnant now, I will probably not be able to go on the cruise scheduled in April 09, with the fam, due to being over Carnival's 23/24 week pregnancy cut off.
3. I want to lose the weight I have gained this cycle, due to meds and emotional eating, and start my next cycle off lighter and with more energy.
4. If this didn't work, our IVF cycle #2 will be in December which would possibly give me a delivery date before CJ's next birthday. I really didn't want my kids spaced over six years, but at this point this is less important. We plan to adopt regardless, at some point, so possibly that child will fill the gap.
5. I can't think of anything else. I hope it worked this time!

To be continued........

Monday, November 17, 2008

Feeling Doubtful

Well, I'm now 9 days past our 3 day transfer. I'm not feeling very positive. It just doesn't seem like it's going to work. I'm trying to be more optimistic. No symptoms. Just pain from my endometriosis and severe bloat syndrome.

I made our blood test appointment for this Friday, 11/21.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bye Bye Baby Shower

Today we had a baby shower for my SIL at our house. (Talk about punishing myself) I love my family so much that at times I put aside what is going on with me to make others feel good (that's what family should do). I was successful at that today.

Although I wasn't the host, when it is your house, you are basically a host as well. Every time I tried to sneak away, I would hear someone call my name because they couldn't find something, they wanted my opinion, etc.

What stung about this particular shower was that I was due 4 weeks behind my SIL, this coming January. It was a lovely reminder how quickly time has gone and how I am still TTC after all this time. Around the time when she was about to deliver her last child (3.5 yr ago), DH and I had decided to try for #2. Now she is having another and it forces me to see the amount of time that has actually past. I pray that in another 3 years I'm not floating through the same reality. I'm so blessed, but I can't deny the void in my heart due to this process.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Johns Hopkins MBA!

I'm so proud of my Big bro! He is so wonderful. :-)

We all had a great time tonight at his graduation dinner. My favorite part was hearing so many people say such nice things about my brother. I was so happy for him. Great time.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Can you be a little pregnant......into the 1 Week Wait

This has been such an interesting experience to say the least.

One thing I can say is that DH has been so supportive and sweet. He has been going to get me drinks when I say I'm thirsty, doing things with the boy that he may not normally do (like make lunches, laundry, etc) before I can get to them, getting my heating pad ready before I take my Progesterone shot at night. He is just a great person. This morning, I had my work bag sitting by the door and he went over to it and picked it up. Then he said, "This bag is too heavy for you to carry". (I'm not suppose to carry over 10 pounds) When I went out to the car, I thought that I forgot the bag in the house, but when I got my son situated in the backseat I noticed my work bag there. I love him! xoxoxoxo

It has been 6 days since the transfer. If this were a normal cycle, I would get my period on day 28, 11/19. I promised DH that I would wait until the blood test to find out, if we are expecting, but I am so tempted to take a home pregnancy test around the time I would normally get my period. The blood test is almost an entire week past it! Maybe I can talk C into it.

I had the worst nausea yesterday and thought to myself "Oh, my God. I might be pregnant". But, I don't want to get my hopes up. I didn't have any nausea with my son. I am hoping to be as lucky the second time around.

This weekend is going to be super busy. I should be distracted, at least, until Monday.

On another note, I have decided to go organic and low-carb. Due to the medications, I have gained between 5-10 pounds over the last 4 weeks. I am retaining water something awful as well. When I was pregnant with my son, I gained all of my weight in the first 5 months and then lost 1-2 pounds, every doc check up, or stayed at the same weight for the remainder of the pregnancy (He still had a birth weight of 8.5 pounds). The reason for the lull in weight gain was that I was put on a low-carb diet due to gestational diabetes. I plan on learning from that is to start now, so that I don't add another 40 pounds on to my current weight. I read that if you start overweight (I have a BMI of 29) that the recommended weight gain is 15-25 pounds. I'm going to try hard to fall into that range. That would keep me under 200 pounds post delivery and make it easier to lose the extra pounds. I am going to google pregnancy weight for twins if your overweight (since that's a possiblitiy!). DH said last night that he wants to buy a treadmill, which would be great. I'm nervous about using my elliptical, but walking would be totally fine. Well, off to Giant's salad bar.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What Makes a Mother

I came across this poem called "What makes a Mother" and it brought tears to my eyes. It made me go over our TTC journey. The joy that I have felt when we have found out that I'm pregnant, only to find out that I wouldn't get to see my bundle of joy 9 months down the road.

I have possibly one, two, or zero babies in my womb right now. If I find out I'm pregnant, I truly feel that I won't be able to feel joy and only numbness. Since we see an RE, we will get an early u/s at 6 weeks. Maybe then I will be able to find a connection with the pregnancy. But until I see a heartbeat, I'm going to pretend it's not even there. My heart must be protected.

Today I was so sleepy and crampy and a wave of fear came over me. Please God give me the strength to accept the things I cannot change and rejoice in the things that you have blessed me with. I have such an awesome husband and son. Who am I to ask for anything more?

What makes a Mother

I thought of you and closed my eyes
and prayed to God today.

I asked what makes a mother
and I know I heard him say...
"A mother has a baby."
This we know is true.
But can you be a mother
when your baby's not with you?

"Yes, you can,"He said with confidence in His voice.
"I give many women babies.
When they leave is not their choice.
Some I send for a lifetime,
and others for a day.
Some I send to fill your womb
but there's no need to stay."

"I just don't understand this,God.
I want my baby here."
He took a breath and cleared His throat
and then I saw a tear.

"I wish that I could show you
what your child is doing today.
If you could see your child smile
with other children and say,
'We go to earth to learn our lessons
of love and life and fear.
My Mommy loved me oh, so much
I got to come straight here.
I feel so lucky to have a Mom
who had so much love for me.
I learned my lesson very quickly.
My Mommy set me free.

I miss my Mommy oh, so much
but I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep,
on her pillow is where I lay.
I stroke her hair and kiss her cheeks
and whisper in her ear,
"Mommy, don't be sad today.
I'm your baby and I'm here.

"So, you see, my dear sweet one,
your child is okay.
Your baby is here in my home
and this is where she'll stay.

She'll wait for you with me
until your lesson is through.
And on the day that you come home,
She'll be at the gates for you.

So, now you see what makes a mother.
It's the feeling in your heart.
It's the love you had so much of
right from the very start.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

3 Day Transfer

Their in! We did our transfer this morning and put back two Grade 1 (7 cell) embryos. The doctor said that everything looked great.

The plan for the rest of the weekend is to take it easy. I am on 24 hour bedrest and then I just have to tread lightly for the next 3-4 days.

Our blood pregnancy test on 11/24 seems so far away!

Friday, November 07, 2008

We have fertilization!

I didn't get the call on my cell phone yesterday, but I did get one at work! When I got into the office, this morning, I had a call from A. our nurse saying that out of the 4 eggs they retrieved, 3 had fertilized normally!

After I listened to her message, I called her and she said that she would call me back as soon as she got today's report. Then she would know if we are doing a Day 3 transfer (tomorrow) or Day 5 (Monday).

UPDATE (12 noon): I got a call from A, our nurse, and our transfer will be tomorrow morning! All three embryos are still growing strong. DH and I will have to decide how many we will transfer. This is so exciting!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Grow embies grow!

We had our egg retrieval yesterday. All went well. I am still a little sore today, so I am resting and doing some work from home. I don't know what I expected to happen, but it was a pretty uneventful experience. We left the house around 6:45 AM to get to Rockville, MD by 8:15 AM. The traffic was horrendous. I hate being late for appointments and was really stressed on the ride over. I though we would be terribly late, but we arrive only 5 minutes late. The techs took us to an area of the clinic I hadn't seen before. It looked like a triage at a hospital. Each patient was partitioned off by a curtain, so it was semi private. I found it interesting to listen in on other patients questions and retrieval results.

At exactly 9:45 AM, on the dot, a nurse came to get me and off to the operating room we went. It had to be 30 degrees in there! I was freezing. I sat at the edge of the table and all I remember saying was "It is so cold in here". Someone in back of me answered "We will cover you up once you go under". I laid back and the next thing I remember is being in recovery. It didn't take long to come out of the anesthesia fog. I was given discharge instructions and the doctor came in with our retrieval results. She said that she retrieved 4 high quality eggs and that the embryologist would call us in the afternoon, today, to give us our fertilization report.

We didn't get our call today. I called the office and they hadn't received the fertilization report telling us how many of the 4 are still growing. If all goes well, we will do our embryo transfer on Saturday afternoon. I hope that they all make it until Saturday! Grow embies grow! I will post an update once we get our call.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Trigger Time!

I'm so excited that we are triggering this evening. That makes our egg retrieval Wednesday morning! Yay!

I had an appointment Saturday(#3), Sunday (#4), and this morning (#5) and the same 8 follicles are ready to go. Although we only have 8 that are still in the running (that they can see), it only takes one.

Instructions are no more meds tonight or tomorrow night (except for HCG injection, tonight, to release eggs from follicles) . That will be a nice break.

The retrieval will take place at the main location in Rockville, MD. We have to arrive by 8:15 AM, for a 9:45 AM retrieval, so we are thinking about staying at hotel a couple of miles away, tomorrow night. That way we can just get up and have a short ride over instead of having to fight with the morning rush hour. We are already an hour away without it. Our son is going to stay with his cousin overnight. We are so blessed to have a situation were we live close to BIL and SIL and our son's go to the same elementary and after-care. That works well for all of us.

Please pray for us! I will give an update after the retrieval.

Our Routan Twins

C and I are secretly hoping for twins....shhhhhh......Thanks to the Routan baby maker if we had twins.....

Our Routon baby A

Routan C

....this is what they would look like. Fun tool to get me away from working. Awww...They both have Cameron's ears. ha ha ha

The first one kind of looks like CJ as a baby.......Hmmmmmmmmmm........................

Try it out!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Monitoring Visit #2

We are getting closer! I can't believe how fast this cycle is flying.

Today, the nurse found 8 follicles that she could see. She did say that there may be some hiding behind the others. So far, I have been on stims for 5 days. I asked her if that was a low number, being that some ladies have 15-20 by now, and she said that it is more about quality over quantity. She said that some patients have 4 follicles and are successful.

I guess that I was hoping to be one of the ladies to have more, so that we would have left over embryos for a future pregnancy attempt, if we are successful. The reality is that this will be the only and last time that we will be paying for IVF....unless we get a rock star insurance company that will cover it.

My next appointment is on Saturday for another u/s and follicle check. Until then, my instructions are to stop taking Lupron in the morning and to increase my Menopur dose to two vials (150IU), instead of one. Follistim will stay the same. I had to call in a refill of my prescriptions because they keep upping my dosages. I thought that my ovaries wouldn't need any additional help, so I just purchased what I would have needed if nothing changed. You can't return medication, so I didn't want to have any left over. That would have been a waste. We were told when we started IVF that it would be a flat fee for the 6 attempts, but then meds can fluctuate depending on the patients response. We were told that meds can run from $2,000-$6,000 per cycle. C and I spent $1,500 initially and just spent $1,100 a couple of minutes ago. This crap is expensive! So, that's a grand total of $2,600 for meds this cycle. That does put us at the bottom of the $ range, but still. Damn! No complaining though. Some people are paying $6,000. If it's Gods will, we will have a bundle or two to show for it soon...... I pray!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Their growing!

This morning I went in for my first u/s and blood work appt since I started stims 3 days ago.

On the u/s the tech was able to see 4 follicles on the left ovary and 2 on the right (6 total). I got a call from the nurse to up my dosage of Follistim to 187IU, from 150IU. I have read on the net that the goal is to have at least 10-12 follicles minimum. I'm almost there! Follicles, in the ovaries can have no eggs, or more than one, so I'm hoping that everything is growing as it should!

This is an example of what your ovary looks like with multiple follicles (eggs). When the nurse did the u/s this photo is similar to what I was looking at.

stimulation example

My next appointment is this Thursday, 10/30 to do another u/s and blood drawl. According to my IVF calendar the remainder of my cycle should go as follows:

10/30 thru 11/3: More U/S & blood work visits
11/3 HCG Trigger (releases the eggs for retrieval)
11/5 Egg Retrieval
11/10 Transfer of embryos
11/20 Pregnancy Blood Test (approx)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cycle Day 3

I went to the RE's office today and had my day 3 ultrasound and blood work. The ultrasound showed no cysts in my ovaries. While we were out running some errands a nurse called with the results of my blood work (around 2:30 PM). She said that all of my levels were perfect and that I can start stims this evening.

When we got home, I went and got out the box the pharmacy sent me when we first ordered our meds. As I started pulling things out of the box, I thought taking a picture of all our meds would be good for posterity.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Halloween Costume for the boy

I am such a slacker. Why? Because Halloween is in 7 days and I haven't taken my son to get his Halloween costume! He saw a batman costume at Marshalls that he wanted. I pray that it is still there (in his size at that), so that we don't have to drive around the world to find one! That would be what I get for waiting till the last minute....I wonder if I could create my own batman costume from scratch.......hmmmm....

Update: Guess What?!?

Halloween 2008

He said he had to make sure it fit. :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Still No AF

Still waiting for AF. For the past 4 days, I have been feeling like it was going to come and then nothing. I hope that it comes soon. On my protocol, the nurse has 10/22 listed as my AF start date. 10/23 or 10/24 as possible lupron eval days. Hopefully it will come and I can get this IVF party started.

I will call the RE's office tomorrow if no AF. I will have been on Lupron for 9 days. The nurse wrote to call after 9 days if AF didn't show. I wonder what their protocol is for dealing with that. I tried to google search it, but it seemed like different REs do different things. No tellin'.

Until then....still waiting......

UPDATE (3:10 PM): I have never been so freakin' happy to see my period! I was worried I would fall into the small percent of women who don't get their period on this drug ( I normally fall into the 1% range..) This has me thinking.. I seriously need to take a chill pill and relax. This whole process has me totally on edge. More positive thoughts and deep breaths. I Promise! Yay! Calling the IVF nurse now!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sleepy at the J.O.B.

Today has been a sleepy sleepy day. I think that the Lupron that I'm on has me wanting to hibernate! I've also been getting off and on headaches for the past couple of days. No fun. My cycle should be jumpin' off by morning, so I have more symptoms and issues than you can shake a stick at.

C and I met up today at SGFC to sign our consents for IVF and for cryopreserved embryos. I couldn't believe how thorough they were. What do you want to do with your embryos if the patient dies? What about if the partner dies? What if you get divorced? After 5 years, what do you want to do with them? Move them to long term storage? Hubby said to me, "I can't even plan out six months (when it comes to TTC) let alone 5 years!". It is so interesting to me that the embryos that are frozen for 1 or more years can be put back inside me and create life. Science has come so far! It's amazing! Scary, but amazing.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's been one year!

It feels like an eternity since I was on here last. Yesterday was the one year mark since my last post. A lot has happened since then. I will do my best to update you on the major events.

Our son started Kindergarten this Fall and is doing great! He loves his new teacher and is adjusting well. I can't believe how big he's getting!

C and I bought our first single family home with the help of my SIL this past July! We love it. Only thing is this home is much larger with empty bedrooms and spaces that we are trying to create ideas for how to use them. The condo we owned was very cozy. I miss that in a way. My lab, Buddy, sure doesn't.

When we had a contract on our home we found out that we were expecting. It was a spontaneous pregnancy, no trying. Thanks to Endometriosis, the pregnancy was in my tubes. I just knew that God was having mercy on us.....but I'm sure that he has bigger plans for us than we can imagine for ourselves. I am starting to have a collection of HCHC patient bracelets. I really should throw them away......

After lots of scrimping and saving, C and I are starting our first IVF cycle! We have been doing Lupron injections since Thursday and my period should be here by this Wednesday. The meds that I will be on are Lupron, Follistim, and Menopur until retrieval. It is nice to know that we are bypassing my tubal issues. Starting this cycle gives us hope that we will have a little bro or sis for our son soon.