Tuesday, October 30, 2007

just breathe...

ETA: My estradiol is up to 391 (from 98 on Sunday) with 4 measurable follies over 10mm (with more than 5 under 10mm on each side).That seems like good news to me! Back in for bloodwork and u/s on Thursday morning.Grow follies grow!!

That was on the socks that my hypnotherapist was wearing yesterday. Mostly - she talks to me and calms me down... and then does a little hypnosis. But this time, she used a new technique called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) - and it's awesome! I guess I should preface this by saying that when someone first suggested I try hypnotherapy, I was a HUGE skeptic. After my first session of hypnosis - I was a total believer! I felt so relaxed, and didn't even feel like I was under for 30 minutes - felt like maybe 5.

Back to the EFT. At a high level, you say out loud your fears (for me, I'm worried this IVF cycle won't work, I'm freaked out, I'll feel all tied up in knots, I'm nervous I've cursed myself) and tap the side of your hand. And then tap other areas of your body. The bad feelings slowly melted away. I have no idea how this stuff works, but it does. I do know that by saying my fears out loud, I did hear how crazy some of them are! Love it.

This morning I went in for my bloodwork and u/s. I'm on day 8 of stims now. Unlike my other clinic - this place doesn't let you see the screen during the u/s. And she wouldn't even tell me how many follies she saw...said the doc had to read it. But, she did do a bunch of measurements... so I'm hoping I have some promising follies growing. I'll just have to wait until my nurse calls this afternoon.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Introducing you all to my craziness...

So. After last night's freak out (which is still continuing, thank you very much - although you all did make me feel a bit better!), I thought I should explain how I got there so quickly. I can remember the point in my life where I'm pretty sure I cursed myself on the fertility front.

Aaron and I had done a bicycle ride from Boston to P-Town (about 120 miles). We slept over that night, and the next morning, one of my girlfriends and I walked to get coffee. I saw someone with a little baby, and she said 'when do you guys think you are going to start trying'? And I said - 'I hope soon - I just have a feeling I'm going to have trouble'. I said that because one of my friends at work was pregnant after missing one BCP. One. I have in the past missed up to 3 pills in a cycle... and also had issues with taking the pill and getting flu. And didn't take other precautions... and didn't get pregnant.

I had no medical reasons to think I was going to have trouble. My mother had no issues. My brothers all have children. Aaron's brothers all have babies. Why would I even say that?

And then, when I really found out that we were going to need help, I was talking to some of my friends who have been through numerous cycles. One of the gals also was 'unexplained', and when I asked how her cycles went, she said that no matter how many drugs they pumped into her, she never responded.

When she said that, I thought, damn... I hope that doesn't happen to me.

So, when I go the call last night that I wasn't responding as they expected, my first thought was that I'd cursed myself again. Which is crazy. Totally crazy. I know it, I'm sure you all will tell me that... but it's what I'm thinking.

I'm going to get some hypnotherapy this afternoon to try and stave off the craziness.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Estradiol 98 pg/ml on day 6 of Stims?

Is this a big crisis? Should I be freaking out? They are upping my follistim by a little less than double the dose I was on before....

This is what I found on Dr. Google (at least I'm not at 75)

Abstract Purpose : To compare two GnRHa flare protocols among poor responders undergoing IVF-ET and to evaluate if a Day 6 estradiol level can predict outcome.
Methods : Retrospective analyses of GnRHa flare IVF cycles among poor responders. Group A (miniflare, N = 36) 40 g GnRHa s.c. b.i.d. from Day 3; Group B (standard flare, N = 24) 1 mg GnRHa on Days 2–3; 0.5 mg GnRHa from Day 4. ROC analysis was performed to find a Day 6 estradiol value that is predictive of cycle outcome.
Results : With the standard flare, patients required less gonadotropins and tended to have fewer cancellations and higher pregnancy rates. A Day 6 estradiol level 75 pg/mL was predictive of cycle cancellation, but not of pregnancy outcome.
Conclusions : Standard GnRHa flare offers some advantages over the miniflare. Day 6 estradiol 75 pg/mL is predictive of cycle cancellation. When the estradiol level is low on Day 6 (no flare), early cancellation should be considered.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Damn, I look good holding a baby

Go ahead. Click and go here. Scroll down to the first picture. That is me holding a friend's 5 week old baby. See! I need one of my own!

Doing the shot in my belly was MUCH better last night. Only major side effect is a constant headache... but it isn't a WICKED headache... just an annoyance.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Stinging Stims....

Last night, I started my follistim. We did the shot where we have been doing lupron (back of my arm) and DAMN did it sting. Maybe some of your IVF veterans out there have some tips? I think I'm going to try my belly tonight.

In other news, I have to go into Boston for bloodwork (thankfully, no wanding.... although I am curious as to what is going on in there by then) on Sunday morning. 8 AM. It's an hour drive one way. And my father in law is visiting. Sigh. This baby is messing with my sleep schedule before it is even conceived!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Good times

So. AF came yesterday. And then stopped. And then started again full force late night.I may be cheating, but I went in for my baseline bloodwork and u/s today. I was supposed to go the day after AF started. Does AF starting at 11 PM count? Does it really matter? Guess I'll find out this afternoon when my nurse calls with the results! I just have an important meeting for work on Weds morning, and didn't want to chance being late.

I've never had a baseline u/s... but it took forever. And I was so worried about the bloodwork lady not being able to find my vein that I drank a bunch of water (like 32 ozs) before I got to the office. I now think I would rather deal with multiple sticks for bloodwork than 20 minutes of fishing around in my private parts for my ovaries. I would be self conscious, thinking it is because I am heavy.. but when I was 20 pounds heavier, my old clinic had no issues. I blame my bladder. I did empty out right before I went in... but I bet it filled up again before long.


Guess the shots start tonight! I supposedly should have to go back in for another round of bloodwork and u/s for 6 days.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cranky Scale

I'm about an 8.5 on the cranky scale today. I'm on day 10 of lupron... and AF was due yesterday. She's still a no-show. They told me that it may take longer to get my period on Lupron, but I didn't believe them. Guess that means it's all working, right? The combo of PMS and the lupron is making for good times though - I'm pretty cranky.

I am hormonal Cece, hear me roar.

Anyway - I spent the day Saturday at the NY Sheep and Wool festival. For knitters, this is kind of like a mecca of wonderful knitty things and people. I got my spinning wheel fixed (hopefully that is going to be a good stress reliever this winter) and got to spend time with an internet friend who is pregnant now after IVF. She did a great job of reassuring me about the shots and the rest of this cycle... and gave me a bit of hope about the whole thing. I also spent time with another fiber pal who brought her 5 week old baby girl... and let me hold her as much as I'd like. It was great.

I think the other reason I'm cranky is that I stayed up way too late watching the Red Sox last night - GO SOX!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Side Effects?

So. I'm 6 days into my lupron... and I was going to post last night about how I'm side-effectless.... but I don't think that is true anymore. I thankfully do not have any headaches or (more than normal) moodiness - but last night I woke up covered in sweat. Yuck. I hate that. And today, as I was drying my hair for work, I had lines of sweat running down my face.

Damn, I'm sexy.

A year ago today, we found out my much awaited pregnancy was ectopic. I was wondering how I would feel today - and honestly, I'm totally fine. I was much worse on my EDD of June 14th...I think it's because I'm moving forward and we are back to working with the docs. In June I was still with old doc and being jerked around by insurance. AF is due tomorrow, but my nurses tell me that it may take longer to arrive because of the lupron. We'll see. But once it comes - I'm starting the follistim, and the real fun begins.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It's really happening, isn't it?

It's slowly sinking in that I'm actually getting ready to start my IVF cycle. The cycle that I've been waiting for almost a year for. I know that we all complain about how much the waiting sucks... but in hind site, I think I needed this time off.

Oct 19th, 2006 - my husband and I happily made our way to my 6 week ultrasound. I had already had a whole list of names in my head, already finished knitting a whole baby sweater.... and we found out it was ectopic. Not really what we were expecting, to say the least. I was devastated. I wanted to jump right back into TTCing. I raged at Aaron. I felt like I was 'broken'. I was desperately trying to 'relax'. I dropped 30 pounds thinking maybe it was my weight that was the issue.

Months passed. Still no sign of a pregnancy. We made the big decision to go to IVF in April. We got delayed. And rejected. And rejected. Somewhere in those months, I came to a weird sort of peace. I became my own advocate. I changed docs. I stopped working out 3 hours a day.

I was getting so spun up in the moment.... people giving me advice about what to do, what may help, my doctor talking about different thing for us to try..... I was out of control. This 'forced' TTC break (even though we were trying on our own) was probably the best thing that could have happened (shhh don't tell Aaron!). Now that we are FINALLY ready. Now that I FINALLY have my meds sitting in the frig... my plans made - I feel calm.

I obviously hope this works the very first time. I would love to bring home a baby in July. And I feel like I am in control this time around. Me. And that is the most important thing.

Not saying that the whole needle up my ho-ha doesn't make me nervous. Or that I'm looking forward to the weeks of shots. But I'm ready, and I'm in a good place. Now, let's hope I can stay here!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Red Sox, Lupron, and the importance of pinching

This weekend Aaron and I went to see the Red Sox. Aaron got the tickets from his office, as a little bonus - and did we have a blast!

Sadly, things went badly in the 11th inning... and we lost. But it was SO much fun. We were there until 1:30 AM.

I'm on day 3 of the Lupron, and thankfully - no side effects as of yet. I've had a cold for the past week, so maybe I'm just concentrating on being miserable with that? Aaron has been giving me the shots in the morning (I've been doing the back of my upper arm - it works out great), and this morning, he forgot to pinch my skin. OUCH. Lessons learned.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Have I mentioned I love my new clinic?

ETA: Aaron got the call - he said it this way, and those of you that know me IRL will totally laugh: 'The nurse says you are totally normal, and we can start shots tomorrow'. Totally normal! LOL!!!

Today was my first blood draw - the day 21 progesterone test to see if I can start my lupron tomorrow. Par for the course - I'm kind of freaking out about it, as I've never had a day 21 progesterone test. I hope all comes back fine. Another reason I was freaking out is that my last clinic had all sorts of issues finding my veins... calling me difficult, pretty much always taking multiple attempts to stick me, and once or twice needing to stick the needle in the top of my hand, which hurt. I dreaded it. My new clinic? Took the lady one try, and when I commented that she was a goddess, she laughed, and asked why I would say that. I told her about my past bad experience, and she said - well those people obviously didn't know what they were doing!

Yep. I agree.

The drive into get my blood drawn is about 40 minutes one way... which is a huge change from my 10 minute detour for my other clinic - but I feel so much better about that whole experience, that it's OK. I even treated myself to a breakfast sandwich on the way back to my office.

Speaking of the office....I'm going forward with my new job opportunity. I think it'll be a good diversion will all this IVF crap going on, and in the long run, a less stressful job. Although I'll be giving up managing a team, I will be gaining a new skill.. so it all evens out in the long run. This is, of course, assuming I even get the job! I work for a large company, so things tend to move very slowly.

Monday, October 8, 2007


That was a bit of a blogging break, I guess! I was frantically knitting on a shawl to wear to a family wedding this past weekend, and didn't have time for blogging. Check it out here.

Anyway! Thursday was the IVF class at my clinic, and although taking 4 hours in the middle of a workday kind of sucked - all in all it was really good for both Aaron and I. I was forced to give myself a shot - which wasn't as scary as I thought, and Aaron got to know all the nitty gritty details for the whole process. He kept on saying over and over again how we should call our old clinic and tell them they should do something like this.

My protocol is Lupron for 10 days (minimum) and then follistim. After ER (or ET?) I'll start the progesterone shots. It all sounds scary and exciting at the same time... but I feel ready for it!

In other news, on Thursday night I got offered a new job (same company, different job). It's a quandary for me. I would be going from my current job, where I have 15 people that I manage to an individual contributor - but in charge of a big project with a HUGE budget. There are pros and cons to both - but currently, I'm bored in my job, and the politics in my department kind of suck. But, we are high profile and do good work. My new job would be project management (a highly portable skill) where I would be interacting with new people and learning a whole new skill set. Of course, I would love to be able to wait a month or so to decide. But - I know I will regret not at least seriously considering it.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Really teetering on the edge....

When I started this blog back in April, I really thought that I was 'teetering on the edge' of starting IVF. It seems like it would really just be the next month. Or if not that month, maybe the month after.

Well, here I am - really teetering! 7 months later! Aaron was telling me how he may have to be traveling for business next week - and I told him not to worry about it - so long as he was home for Friday. Because I think I'll be starting my lupron shots on Friday. And he said 'That soon?!'

I'm not going to talk about the common theme across IF Land that we spend a hell of a lot of time waiting. Because you know it, I know it, and anyone who has ever tried to get pregnant knows it. I have spent so much time WAITING... it's kind of scary to be MOVING. I'm sure a lot of my questions will be answered in Thursday's class, but I feel like in the past, I knew what to expect. I know we have shots to take, and u/s to go to, and blood to be drawn... but then there is the V-NOD*, seeing real time how Aaron little soldiers and my eggs get along when they get close to each other... and hopefully, god willing...the transfer (how many? Aaron strongly wants to do 2. I go back and forth. I'd love twins. Twins run naturally in both of our families... but can I handle it?!??!)

The fact that I honestly didn't think I'd get approved until November, so I have plans to go away the weekend of the 2nd, and was also planning on going to Disney for a long weekend on Nov 9th. That I may BE PREGNANT around the holidays.

Ok. Deep breath. (and maybe a gin and tonic when I get home tonight.)

*V-NOD is a acronym that Geohde and I came up with for the 'vaginal needle of doom' used at retrieval.