Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Please crank the A/C!!

As I posted last night, I gave myself the first injection yesterday (well, the hubby did since i am a chicken). The problem that I should have worried about wasn't the pain of the injection but rather the side effects! Man oh man, they are killer! About 30 minutes after the shot I started having stomach pains. I'll be honest, it wasn't too painful but it definitely was uncomfortable. Without getting into too much details (TMI, I know) the pains were even worse when I had to go to the bathroom... Poor Mike was trying to make me feel better and decided to rub my belly and tell me "that must be all the eggs getting ready in there". While I appreciated the sweet thought behind his actions, I swatted his hand away and snapped at him for putting more pressure on my already painful belly. I am so grateful that Mike doesn't take any of my mood swings too seriously and I must remember to do something extra thoughtful for him soon as a thank you for putting up with my crazy! Luckily, though, I fell a sleep pretty quickly and was able to sleep through the night without waking up in any pain. But this morning I felt "off". Again, nothing too bad but just not good feeling. Things only got worse as I started getting horrible hot flashes throughout the day. Never again will I crack a joke about hot flashes at my mom's expense, I swear! I really believe hot flashes are the workings of the devil! One minute I am going about my business feeling normal and then out of nowhere I feel like I am burning up and sweating uncontrollably. This must have happened to me about 6 times today. Not only is it uncomfortable and gross feeling (can I have a shower installed at work?), but its exhausting. At one point in the day I was so drained and uncomfortable that I practically yelled at a customer on the phone for no reason. **Note to self: get that under control before someone complains to your boss!!** 

The one positive thing I have going for me with all this is my amazing coworkers. With the exception of one male coworker, I work with all females and we are all pretty close and friendly. Everyone is aware of what I am going through and is pretty sympathetic. At one point today, one of my coworkers started to call me over for help when they saw what I'm assuming to be my sweaty and pale face from one of the lovely hot flashes I was experiencing and instead came to me. I just keep telling myself to breath and take it day by day. Hopefully the side effects will lighten up as my body adjusts to the medication. But if not, it's only for 10 days. If the end result is a precious little baby (or two) I can certainly handle worse then this. 

With that said, off to bed I go (but not before another wonderful shot)!

Monday, July 30, 2012

My First Shot!

Well, I made it through the first night of injections and I'm still alive! Haha!! In all seriousness though, it wasn't THAT bad... My current protocol is 2 vials of Bravelle and 1 vial of Menopur each night now through Friday, at which point I will add 1 syringe of Ganirelix for 4 more nights. Luckily, I get to mix the Bravelle and Menopur together so I only have to take 1 shot! Everything was pretty easy to prepare since it was pretty similar to what I had to do for my last IUI. The only problem was that I received so many different syringes in my shipment that I accidentally messed up and didn't switch to the correct size for the actual injection. No biggie, I just unfortunately used a larger needle then necessary so it hurt more then I think it normally would. The worst part of it all is that AFTER the shot Mike says to me "are you sure you used the right needle tip? I don't think you did". Turns out he decided not to say anything because he was afraid I would freak out. Thanks a lot for saving me from the pain Mike! Oh well, no harm no foul. Thankfully, my hubby was on hand to deliver the shot. He has had Type 1 Diabetes since he was 12 so he is somewhat of an expert in giving shots. I was going to try and give myself the shot but in the end i panicked and started crying. As long as Mike is around I guess I don't need to put myself through that. 

In the meantime, I go back for my 1st monitoring appointment/ultrasound/blood work this Friday. I'm hoping everything will look good and be right on schedule. Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

It's about to begin!

I start stimming tomorrow and I am a bundle of nerves! I decided I needed to get away and relax for the weekend since the next couple weeks are going to be full of shots and doctor appointments so I went with one of my best girlfriends to Big Bear. We had a blast laughing, drinking, and talking. I definitely needed that.

But now I am home and thinking about everything that is about to happen. Our last cycle was going to be an IUI and I was on daily injections of Menopur. Unfortunately I developed mild OHSS and had way to many eggs to risk doing the IUI so it was cancelled. I think I'm mostly nervous that I'm going to react the same way and this IVF will be cancelled. Dr. Lee said he is obviously taking that into consideration and will be monitoring me closely the entire time. I just hope everything goes smoothly...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Look what came today!!

Look what the wonderful UPS man delivered today!!

It's truly terrifying to see all those needles! I must admit i unpacked everything like a kid on Christmas day, going through everything piece by piece. I can't be the only one who feels like I could be running a pharmacy out of my house, can I? As scary and overwhelming as it may be it's also a sign that things are progressing and we are really doing this. 

What exactly is all that, you may ask? 

  • Bravelle
  • Menopur
  • Novarel
  • Estradiol Valerate
  • Doxycycline
  • Medrol
  • Valium (scary that i need that!!)
  • And a TON of syringes
However, I was confused to find several medications on my list not there. I was missing Ganirelix, Progesterone in Oil, and Leuprolide. This is where my nightmare began...

After many calls to my insurance's specialty pharmacy (I have Aetna so I'm going through CVS/Caremark) I was told that the PIO and Leuprolide only have a shelf life of 30 days so they don't want to ship those to me until closer to the date (which I don't quite understand because I'm scheduled to take them in less then 30 days but i'll humor the insurance company and just wait a week I guess). Then I was told that Ganirelix is apparently back ordered nationwide (how does that happen??). They told me to try calling Freedom Pharmacy because they supposedly had some. I tried that but was shut down immediately. Freedom said that they will only give it to people who are ordering their entire cycle worth of meds through them. Um ok... My RE said that they were going to try and order them "as office supplies" and then i'd just have to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed from my insurance company. Thankfully, I got a call from CVS/Caremark today saying that they got some Ganirelix in today and are going to have it shipped to me tomorrow! Yay!! Then I was told that I wouldn't be able to get the Leuprolide through them because apparently California has some strange law regarding shipping it (why wasn't this told to me earlier when I was talking to them about why it didn't ship initially?).Ugh! So now it looks like I'm going to have to order that through my RE and pay for it out of pocket (they said it will probably be about $115). It's just frustrating that I have to call around and figure all this out... I guess it's all sorted out now so all I have left to do is get the PIO shipped to me in a week or so and then just sit back and take my shots...

Add one more med to the list...

I only have 4 more days of taking birth control pills (woohoo!!!). These suckers have been messing with my period! I have essentially been spotting the entire time i've been on them. Dr. Lee said it's totally normal and not to worry unless it starts to turn into bright pinkish colored (which it hasn't) but it's not exactly pleasant...

Today I also start taking 1mg of Dexamethasone daily for 19 days. Getting those pills was an adventure in itself. I picked up the pills from Walgreens to be told by the pharmacist that they don't carry the pill in 1mg form, they only have it in .5mg so they are giving me double the amount of pills and to just take 2 pills a day. Ok, no problem. This means that I should have 38 pills. Thankfully I was reading the warning labels on the outside of the bottle later and noticed that it didn't look like a whole lot of pills were in there, so I decided to count them. Turns out they only gave me 19 pills! You better believe I called up the pharmacy immediately, ready to battle if they didn't believe me. But the pharmacist didn't even seem surprised (which is a little scary to be honest) and just told me to come on back and get the rest. Moral of the story is: count your pills!

Saline Ultrasound...Messy!

I’ve been on birth control now for 15 days and had a saline ultrasound and trial transfer done today. Two words: No Bueno!! I guess I should back up a bit and say it really wasn’t all that bad, just uncomfortable. First Dr. Lee had to do a regular transvaginal ultrasound which hurt more than it has in the past. I’m not sure what the problem was but it felt like he was really pressing the wand thing hard against my ovaries. He did see a small cyst on one ovary but he said it’s so small that he doesn’t think it will be an issue.
Next up was the trial transfer. I guess the point of this is to practice with a catheter where the best place to drop the little embryos off will be. On the day of the embryo transfer they want to be extra sure that nothing goes wrong. Dr. Lee said this would feel very similar to how the IUI felt but again, it hurt more than normal. He said I had a “false passage” or something like that which made it hard for him to get the catheter into my uterus and I could feel it poking around which hurt a little. Once he found a good entrance and was able to get into the uterus everything was fine though. It was pretty cool watching the catheter on the ultrasound and seeing where he thought would be the perfect location for the egg transfer!
Finally, it was time for the saline ultrasound. Dr. Lee told me he was going to insert some saline into my uterus to see if my uterine lining was clean or not. My first thought was “I don’t know how my lining could be dirty but I really hope that’s not the case!!”, lol! Thankfully I didn’t say that out loud because once he explained to me what that actually meant I realized how dumb I would have sounded. A "clean" uterus means that the walls are smooth, or in other words ideal for implantation. Anyways, turns out my uterus is clean and pretty darn perfect looking, according to Dr. Lee. It may seem like a strange thing to take as a compliment but at this point I’ll take what I can get! What I wasn’t prepared for was the gushing afterwards, sorry if that’s too graphic of an explanation but it's the only way to describe what it felt like. I was shocked (and embarrassed) when I tried to sit up and felt like I peed in front the doctor! I'm sure they see this all the time and he didn't act like it was anything new but still... I guess I should have realized that what goes up must come down one way or another, lol!

After all of that the Dr. Lee told me that overall he feels that I am in the best category you could be in and that we had a really high probability of getting a take home baby from IVF! Yay! Now I just want to get going with everything...

This is going to take how long?!?!

Am I the only one who was shocked to find out an IVF cycle is a month and a half long?? When I found out we were going to be doing IVF this cycle I was excited to get my period and get the show on the road. I started taking birth control pills – that threw me for a loop too because it seems counterintuitive– and thought I’d get going with injections any day. Imagine my surprise when I got my schedule and saw that I was going to have ANOTHER period before everything happened! Ugh, I’m obviously going to have to learn a thing or two about patience. One thing I have been doing that I find really helps me feel productive (warning: I might have a slight OCD problem) is every morning when I wake up and take my pill I highlight that day on my regimen calendar, kind of like crossing a day off a calendar. At this point I’m only taking a birth control pill so it feels like nothing is happening; this somehow makes me feel like I’m making progress. I told ya’ I have OCD!