Friday, August 31, 2012

A Slight Delay...

I went to my 2nd monitoring appointment today and found out our FET is going to be pushed back by a week. As I have said in previous posts, our main focus this time around is making my uterine lining as perfect as possible for our little embies to snuggle into. So, I guess "perfect" means that it needs to have a triple lining and be at least a 6 (in what units of measurement they are talking, i have no idea). In today's ultrasound we saw that I have a triple lining already but am only at 5 in measurement. Dr. Lee said it isn't a big deal, we'll just have to wait another week to make it thicker. So instead of planning on the transfer being next Thursday, 9/6, its going to be the following Thursday, 9/13.

This is actually a good thing because Mike and I are getting ready as we speak to go out of town for the week. First we are driving tonight to Arizona to visit some good friends for several days. I can't wait to relax by their pool, have some drinks and just laugh! Then we will be driving to The Grand Canyon. Neither of us have been since we were super young and we don't remember what it was like. It just seemed like a cool idea to stop by and see what all the fuss is about, lol! Finally, we will be staying in Laughlin, Nevada for a few nights so Mike can give his poker obsession a release and I can tan some more by the river. Anyways, we were going to have to come home a day earlier then we wanted for the transfer, which of course is way more important then any vacation. But now we don't have to worry about that and can take our sweet time.

In the meantime, Dr. Lee upped my Delestrogen shot dosage to .4CC's every 3 night instead of .3CC's.  He also wants me to move up the days by 1 day (I wasn't supposed to take my next shot until tomorrow night, but now I will be taking it tonight and then continuing on every 3rd night from there on out). It's not that big of a deal but I'm not looking forward to more of the shot. It certainly is the least painful of all my shots so I shouldn't really complain at all. Apart from the quick prick of the injection, I don't feel any pain from the needle. And the medicine certainly doesn't sting the way the Bravelle and Menopur did. But I can feel it being injected, almost like a tingly sensation and for some reason I don't like it. I guess its just a weird feeling. Oh well, what are you going to do...

Since I'll be out of town for a while I probably won't be posting again until my next monitoring appointment a week from today. Hope all is well with whoever is reading this and that you all have a great holiday weekend!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Quick update: 

As you may have read in my last post, Mike and I are going to be driving to Arizona to visit some friends this weekend for Labor Day Weekend and I was going to call my RE to see if he wanted me to come in prior to going out of town or after we come back. Well, he asked me to come in on Friday morning before we leave for an ultrasound and some blood work. BUT then he also told me that he has my official cycle schedule and that my embryo transfer date is scheduled for September 6th, as in NEXT THURSDAY!!! Holy Crap! I was thinking it was going to be the following week, I can't believe how fast this cycle is going. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to be finally doing this, it's just a bit of a shock. The good news is Mike has all of next week off so he won't need to take any extra days off to be home taking care of me while I'm on bed rest.

Well, that's it for now. I'll let you all know how Friday's appointment goes :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

I could get used to this!

OK, so I don't have much to update you with but last night was my 2nd shot of the Delestrogen. So far, so good. I am so glad my mom gave me her advice on how to stand to make your butt muscles the most relaxed while doing the shot, that has helped a lot! And it seems like our technique of rubbing the injection site has really helped the oil to absorb well. So far no bumps or soreness. BUT.... I know it's only been 2 shots and I am only taking them every 3rd night so it may be too soon to start feeling any side effects. 

Anyways, I could really get used to the FET cycles! Seriously, this is a walk in the park compared to what a fresh IVF cycle is like. 1 shot every 3 nights, and basically just a couple pills to swallow every night is a cinch! For the first time in several months I finally feel like I'm back to old self, pre-infertility stress. My hormones seem to be back to normal, my emotions aren't all over the place, I feel completely back to my original weight (yay for no IF bloat)! I went to a BBQ this weekend at a friends house and it was the first time in a few months that we have really just relaxed and hung out and had a few drinks with our friends, and i really think it has a lot to do with how good I'm back to feeling. I pray that my 10 frosties are strong enough to make it over the years and that I can continue to simply do FET's going forward and not have to go through all the craziness and pain i had during the stimming and egg retrieval ever again. That's not to say that I don't realize I still have a lot to get through. I'm sure waiting for beta after the transfer is going to drive me insane, and if it's a BFN i know that will devastate me, but for now I'm focusing on the positive.

Well, that's it for now. Mike and I are going out of town this weekend through the beginning of next week to visit some friends in Arizona and I couldn't be happier to get away. I think my RE wants to see me around that time (he said to come back in after my 4th shot which will be Saturday) for my first monitoring appointment to check the thickness of my lining so I'm going to call him tomorrow and see if it can wait until we get back or if they want me to come in at the end of this week. If I get any updates I'll let you know. 

Until then, good night!

Friday, August 24, 2012

More Shots?!?!

Here we go again!

I had my baseline ultrasound appointment yesterday with Dr. Lee. In case I forgot to mention it before, this is basically your initial "let's start all over again and see what we're going to do differently this time" appointment. It usually just involves an ultrasound to make sure you don't have any cysts and your uterus looks fine...
Anyways, Dr. Lee was pleased to see that my ovaries have gone back down to normal size after the OHSS. He said I actually recovered rather quickly considering how bad it was (I don't consider a week of hell to be very quick but then again some women have it for a month or more!!). Then he told me the good news: no more egg stimulation!!! He really believes that because I have 10 excellent quality frozen embryos, we should be able to never have to go through a full IVF cycle again. He thinks we should definitely be able to have 2-3 children with our batch of frosties!! When he told me that I swear I heard the Hallelujah Chorus playing in the background because I honestly don't know how I would be able to make it through another round of OHSS! 

So our plan for this cycle is simply to transfer 1 or 2 of the embryos into my uterus once they have been thawed. Mike and I have had many conversations regarding how many embryos to transfer and are still undecided. Transferring 1 embryo significantly lowers your chances of having multiples since the only way that could happen is if the embryo split on its own, naturally. But the odds that you'll end up pregnant are also lower then if you were to transfer 2 embryos. We are trying to weigh the pros and cons and I think we are leaning towards transferring 2 but we are still going to discuss this with Dr. Lee and get his opinion. While I would prefer to have only 1 baby at a time, I think I could handle twins if it came down to it, which is why we are leaning towards 2 embryos. The chances of them both implanting is still significantly less then the odds of only one implanting, but either way we are prepared and OK with twins. The only reason that we are a little nervous about it is that with 2 embryos there is a chance 1 of the embryos (or both, yikes!) could split naturally and then we'd end up with triplets or god forbid quadruplets! I know in my heart that God doesn't give you more then you can handle and we'd make it through it (though I don't know how yet) but its definitely a scary thought. I guess in the end it comes down to a question of how badly do you want a baby and what are you willing to handle. We shall see... On a side note, can I just take a minute to say how absolutely amazing science is now and days?! I mean, it just blows my mind to think that not only do we have 10 frozen potential babies, but they can simply be thawed and placed into me? Geez, it's a crazy thought! Now back to what I was originally saying. Because we aren't having to try and produce eggs this time around, all we are going to focus on is making my uterine lining the most perfect it can be to help those little frosties implant and settle down for the next 9 months. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that I'm going to get off totally scott free when it comes to injections as I am basically just continuing my original protocol but only the part that was after the egg retrieval... 

I have to take an injection of Estradiol Valerate (also known as Delestrogen) every 3 days. This shot is a pretty thick oil and must be injected into my upper but/hip area intramuscularly. This is one of the shots that i stressed over in the beginning of my IVF cycle because I have heard that it can be painful over time. Last night was my first injection and it wasn't bad. As usual, Mike gave me the injection. It didn't hurt but it did have a weird sensation almost as if I could feel the oil being pushed into me, but it didn't sting or anything. I asked Mike if it was any different for him and he did comment that he could tell it was a really thick oil because it was harder for him to inject it, it was slower. We made sure to massage the area for a couple minutes afterwards to help the oil absorb. The doctors say this should help it to not form bumps going forward. I'm just thankful that I don't have to do it every night! So as of right now, I am taking the shot of Delestrogen every 3rd night, and taking a prenatal vitamin, a baby aspirin, and 1mg of Dexamethasone every night. So far it seems a lot easier then what I've been through before.

As for the actual embryo transfer, Dr. Lee said it will be in approximately 3 weeks. The good thing about an FET (frozen embryo transfer) is that the day doesn't have to be as specific. With the full IVF cycle, you have to wait until your follicles are just the right size, then take a trigger injection and go in to retrieve the eggs 36 hours later. It's very precise and you don't really have any control over when it will end up being since some women's follicles grow faster or slower then others. But since we are simply placing the embryos into my uterus, with the FET we can literally pick which day is most convenient for us once my uterine lining gets to be the ideal thickness.

I don't think I will be going back into the doctor's office until the beginning of September but I'll be sure to update you if I hear anything else or if I need to vent about my shots...

Friday, August 17, 2012

What Now?

Waiting, waiting, waiting... What's new?!! 

First, I guess I should update you on how I'm doing. It is like night and day even since I wrote my last post. For the most part I feel better. I am still swollen and not loving my temporarily fuller figure but I know that it will go down soon enough. And who knows, maybe people will think I'm just preggo, haha! I still get a little winded when I've been walking or moving about. But other then that I feel like I am finally back on my feet again. I'm still reminding myself to take it easy and not over do myself because I know that I am still recovering. But it was nice to be able to get up and do some dishes and tidy up the house today (Mike has definitely let things slip around the house). I'm planning on going out to lunch with a few of my girlfriends tomorrow who have been dying to see me since the egg retrieval so that will be my big introduction back into society!

Now I guess it's time to start obsessing on the next step in this whole process. I got the final fertility report today from the embryologist and was told that we had 10 amazing little frozen embryos (going forward I will affectionately refer to them as our frosties). So to recap, we originally had 31 eggs, of those 27 were fully mature, of those 21 were fertilized normally. After 5 days of growing and dividing 10 ended up being good quality. I was a little bummed at first because I thought we would have so much more but after talking to a lot of people I have been told that 10 is actually an amazing number. Especially since Dr. Lee thinks we have a really good chance that at least 1 out of 2 embryos will stick in our first transfer, I guess that leaves a good amount of frosties to keep for the future. 

So at this point I am waiting on good old Aunt Flo to pay me a visit before we can move ahead with the next step which the nurse says should come within the week. From there she said everything will go pretty quickly. I will go into the doctor for another baseline ultrasound and the transfer should happen approximately 20 days from then. What we are trying to do this time is make sure my uterine lining is ideal to encourage implantation of the embryos. I will be giving myself progesterone and estradiol valerate injections (yay, more shots) basically as I was supposed to if we had done the transfer this week. 

Who would have thought that the day would come where I'd want to get my period....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Egg Retrieval From Hell!

**Warning, this is a long post**

I know it's been a while since I've updated you on my egg retrieval but trust me, I've had good cause to be absent - I'll get to that later... Here is a painfully detailed description of my egg retrieval day (for those of you out there like me who are relentlessly googling for information to help calm them for their ER).

The actual retrieval was scheduled for 8am but we had to be there an hour early to fill out paperwork and go through the pre-op stuff. The surgery center is in Newport Beach which is about 30/40 minutes away from my house so that meant that Mike and I had to wake up at the crack of dawn to get there in time. Normally I don't mind waking up early to go somewhere as it generally means I can convince Mike to pull through McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin (what can I say, I love them) but of course I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything past midnight so I was pretty grumpy as we drove to the surgery center. Once we arrived there and got checked in we pretty much had to sign our lives away. We were then taken back to the pre-op area where I got to change into the lovely hospital gown/cap/booties outfit. Then I was set up with my IV. I must say the nurse who did my IV was pretty awesome because  I hardly felt a thing. Then again, she gave me a shot of lidocaine first to numb the spot. That shot did sting quite a bit as I felt the fluid traveling through me but the nurse assured me it hurt less than getting the IV without it. I'm glad I wasn't looking because Mike was sitting right next to the nurse and said he saw the skin on my hand bubble up as she injected the lidocaine. I'm pretty sure I would have freaked out had I seen that!!

Once the IV was in they gave me something through it that was just for hydration. Whatever it was I didn't like it! It made my arm feel cold from the inside out. The anesthesiologist came by to go over some basic questions regarding previous surgeries etc... Before I knew it I was being wheeled away and told that everything would all be over within 30 minutes. Once we were in the operating room they got right to business and said they were going to administer my anesthesia through the IV. I was out so fast that I can't even remember what their next sentence was.

The next thing I remember I was opening my eyes in the recovery room. I had an oxygen mask on which made my throat feel dry. The nurse saw me open my eyes and came over to tell me that they had gotten 31 eggs!! I remember feeling happy that they had gotten so many eggs but then I was overwhelmed with grogginess and passed back out. The next time I opened my eyes (the nurse said it was only 15 minutes later) the nurse removed the oxygen mask and went to get Mike. I was so happy to see him when he walked into my room! He just sat next to me and rested his hand on my arm since my IV was still in. Dr. Lee came in a few minutes later to tell us how shocked he was to get 31 eggs! He said everything looked really good and that I should be fine once I got home and rested (little did I know what was to come). Shortly after Dr. Lee left I started to feel extremely nauseous. I made Mike get the nurse and she told me that was a normal feeling but she still gave me some medication through the IV to make me feel better and said it should last for 8 hours. After that I felt a lot better and was able to get dressed once they removed the IV. They then let me sit in a wheel chair and wheeled me out to the car. 

Once we got home Mike helped me get set up on the couch with a bunch of pillows and blankets. I could only seem to get comfortable by laying on my side but other then that I felt OK as long as I was lying down. Whenever I moved it was pretty painful in my lower belly but I thought I'd be OK after taking it easy for a day or two. The next day however, I started to feel a lot more pain and my belly seemed to be swelling a lot. I literally looked like I could pass for 3 or 4 month pregnant woman. Then came the nausea... Whenever I moved I would feel like I was going to throw up and about every 30 minutes I would feel sick regardless of moving or not. Finally midway through the day I actually did throw up! At that point I made Mike call Dr. Lee because I knew based on everything I had read that this wasn't normal. Dr. Lee confirmed my worst fears, I had developed OHSS. He said that he was concerned this was going to happen after seeing how many follicles I had. He basically told me that there really wasn't much that he could do and I was going to have to ride it out. He also made the decision to freeze all of my eggs once they fertilized and push the egg transfer back to next month to allow me time to get over the OHSS.

The next 3 days were probably the worst days of my life, thus far. Seriously I have never been in so much pain. For 4 days straight I was only able to lay on my side to avoid stomach pain. This caused me to have so much back and hip pain, though, that I couldn't get comfortable at all. I wasn't able to sleep at night because of the pain and vomiting. I had to keep drinking water and eating food even though I knew I was going to just throw it up later. Sure enough, about an hour after eating I would start to feel sick and would just lay there and pray that it would happen quickly so that I could feel some relief. Meanwhile, all my family and friends kept calling me wanting to talk. No matter how much I tried to explain to them how I was feeling, they didn't seem to understand that i was in serious pain and was not able to just chat. Finally, after 4 days of excruciating pain, lots of tears and pleas to Mike to help me, he went to the store and bought me some anti-nausea medicine and Tylenol PM to help me sleep. I don't know if it was the medicine or just finally passing the worst of it but I feel like a whole new person today! I actually woke up in the middle of the night starving and made Mike get me some frozen grapes and tortilla chips and I devoured them all!  I woke up this morning and felt so much better. My belly swelling has finally started to go down (since I am finally peeing again) and I actually have an appetite (and am able to keep my food down now). For the first time since Saturday I've been sitting up today which feels so good on my back. I'm still taking it easy today because the last thing I want to do is over do it and then get worse. I know that I will probably still have some bloating for a week or so but I am pretty sure that by the end of this week I'll at least be able to be up and about.

As for my little embies, I got the first fertility report on Sunday. Of the 31 eggs that they retrieved, 27 of them were fully mature and 21 of them were able to be normally fertilized. I received another call yesterday with a 72 hour update and found out that 20 of them were still doing great! I won't get anymore news until tomorrow which will be 6 days post retrieval. At that point they are going to let me know how the eggs are doing and then freeze them. I am so thankful that Mike and I got so many eggs because we decided that going forward we will only be doing transfers with our little frosties. I am obviously very prone to OHSS and do not think I could go through this again. I think we have really good odds of having multiple successful pregnancies with our 20 embies but even if we only ever get 1 baby I will be thankful and consider myself blessed. At this point in time, I just don't think I can handle another OHSS experience.

I know that my experience is not really a common one and I hope that anyone reading this knows that and doesn't freak out about their egg retrieval. I'll be sure to update you as soon as I find out more...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

T-Minus 36 Hours!!

That's right everyone, i have officially triggered and will be having my eggs retrieved in 36 hours. For those of you who are mathematically challenged like me that means I will be doped up and out of it Saturday morning at 8am while Dr. Lee sticks a needle through my vaginal wall, up into my ovaries, and aspirates the eggs out! OMG I think I just gave myself a panic attack! But I'll get to that later. First up (as I slurp up a delicious chocolate shake that Mike made me as a reward for all my shots tonight) is a pic of my final night of shots - well my final night of stims shots; there are quite a few more shots in my future.

I graduated from one to two and now three shots in one night! The two larger bottles in the back left are the HCG Trigger (which will force my body to ovulate). The small bottle in the middle with the dark blue cap is the Lupron Trigger (what is going to hopefully prevent me from getting OHSS). And the 2 little bottles in the back right is my final Bravelle shot. And I'm guessing the plethora of needles don't really need much of an explanation.

I am going to admit that I was terrified for all the shots tonight!! I knew what to expect from the Bravelle so I opted to start with that one but the HCG and Lupron Triggers brought me to tears. I've only ever taken the HCG Trigger once before and that was my very first IUI cycle in which I was only on Clomid, not injectables. I remember it hurting more but looking back I think that might have just been because I wasn't as used to shots. In all honestly I felt a little pinch as Mike stabbed my booty but then it was over before I realized what had happened. Finally, it was time for the Lupron Trigger. This one frightened me for multiple reasons. First and foremost was the fact that it had to be injected into my thigh muscle, not my belly or booty fat like the other shots. Maybe it's just me but the idea of stabbing into a muscle sounds more painful! Secondly, this shot was A LOT of liquid, literally the entire syringe (1mL) was filled. I had visions of the pain lasting forever as Mike slowly pushed all the medicine into my thigh. Anyways, I hate to disappoint you all but this shot was also relatively uneventful. After a few minutes of reviewing the diagram I was given to figure out where exactly on my thigh to stab, I sat down on the couch, hugged a pillow and closed my tear filled eyes only to be told a second later that it was over. I can't believe I made such a huge deal out of all this; it really wasn't that bad! Never the less, I am looking forward to taking a couple days off from injections...

All these shots are really messing with my emotions lately. I think I have done really well this time around with not being overly emotional but it seems that all the hormones are finally playing catch up. The simplest thing is making be burst into tears, happy and sad things. And the most bazaar thing yet, I spontaneously burst into laughter last night for no reason at all while Mike was giving me my shot. I was so scared that my laughing was going to cause the shot to hurt more and I was desperately trying to hold in the giggles but I couldn't control myself! Mike hurried up the shot as fast as he could and then just looked at me like I had completely lost it. I'm just glad that Mike and I are able to laugh through it all...

I'm also trying to pay really close attention to my body for any signs of OHSS. Sometimes I really think that I might be a hypochondriac so it's typically best not to tell me about random diseases and/or their symptoms because I will usually begin to freak out that I am dying. Anyways, by this time in our last cycle I was feeling very full/heavy/bloated and was having really bad cramping. This time, however, I have been feeling so good and hardly even felt much bloating. At my appointment yesterday Dr. Lee seemed to be pretty surprised that I was feeling so great because I have even more follicles then I did last time with the OHSS. At first I didn't think much of it and just took that as a good sign that I won't have OHSS this time. So he sent me on my way and told me to pay close attention for any signs of OHSS, especially after I trigger since the HCG can actually make OHSS worse. I think Karma is paying me a little visit since I was bragging about how great I was feeling because ever since my shot last night I have been feeling very bloated. I'm not really in any pain like I was last time and I don't think the bloating is really bad but I don't have anything to compare it to since my only other cycle with injectables resulted in OHSS. I know that it's normal to bloat during IVF, I just don't know when I need to be concerned...

Next up is the egg retrieval Saturday morning. I'll be sure to fill you all in on how everything goes once I get home from the procedure. Until then I guess I'm just going to lay around and hope my little eggs are good and ready!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Just Got The Call!!!

**I want to preface this entire post by apologizing for my excessive overuse of exclamation marks. I know my high school AP teacher would probably have red pen marks all over this but I'm excited and want to punctuate accordingly so too bad Mr. Powers!

Anyways, I had my FINAL monitoring appointment today and it was great! Dr. Lee said I had at least 25 fully mature follies (happy dancing as I type)! I am going to take my final stims shots (I am out of Menopur but have 2 more Bravelle vials that Dr. Lee said to take, along with my last Ganirelix shot) tonight and then it's trigger time tomorrow night at 9pm with an egg retrieval on Saturday at 8am!! For the trigger I will be taking an HCG hormone shot in the booty. This shot triggers my body to ovulate 36 hours after the injection (hence the term "trigger shot"), which is when I will be undergoing the egg retrieval process. I will also be taking a Lupron trigger tomorrow night which is supposed to help my body somehow to not develop OHSS again.

I got so much paperwork today with tons of directions for what to do leading up to and after the procedure. The paper they gave me is literally highlighted with at least 5 different colors all over the page. Talk about an overload of information!! And of course, Mike wasn't able to come to this appointment. Why is it that he is always present for the uneventful appointments but the ones where they cram me full of information are the times he can't make it?!?! 

The reason Mike wasn't at my appointment was because he was at the embryologist providing a sample (fun times) that they are going to freeze and have as a back up in case he isn't able to produce a viable sample on the day of the retrieval. I got a call from them this afternoon and they said they were able to freeze an entire vial that had a very good count/motility/morphology etc... Basically, we have a good sample so I am a very happy camper right now.

At this point all that's left for me is to sit back and relax...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Look What The Meds Fairy Delivered!

Yup, that's the last of all my wonderful medications: Luprolide Acetate Trigger and wonderful Progesterone in Oil. As you may recall these are the 2 medicines I had to go to battle over. My insurance ended up not covering the Lupron trigger and while they did cover the PIO they said that due to some funky California law they couldn't ship it to me and I would therefore need to pay OOP because they only cover medications filled through their pharmacy. After many exhausting phone calls I was able to get a supervisor to agree to reimburse me for the PIO since it definitely isn't my fault that they can't ship to me. So glad that is finally taken care of.

I can honestly say that the PIO is all I've been worrying about since this IVF process began. I have read such horrible stories about it (I think my favorite was the common "it felt like i had rocks in my butt and hips"). I have been doing so much reading online about tips to help ease the pain of this shot and the best I have found was to warm up the oil prior to injecting it and to definitely NOT ice my booty first. Everything I have read has said that while that might help ease the initial sting of the shot, it certainly doesn't help the thick oil absorb into you, hence the lumpy rocks... I'm just saying a little prayer that it's not as bad as people have been making it out to be. You know back when you were in school and you would compare teachers with your friends and they would tell you things like "ooh, he's a horrible teacher, no one passes his tests" etc... And then you get to the class and realize you actually like your teacher and don't know what everyone was complaining about? Maybe this PIO stuff will be like that. Here's to wishing! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monitoring, Round 2...

Happy Monday!! It's another week and another doctor appointment... I went in this morning for my second monitoring appointment with not a whole lot to report. First up was more blood work. I don't know about you guys but I am a worry wort and spend a lot of time online reading and researching everything. In my research I found that the point of the frequent blood work is to check my Estradiol (E2) levels which should keep rising as my follicles continue to grow. Every post I read from people said that they would receive phone calls from their RE with updates on their E2 levels. This made me nervous because I hadn't gotten any calls from my doctor about my E2 levels so naturally I started panicking. Mike told me to calm down because they would have told me if it wasn't good but that didn't help me calm down. Anyways, I made sure to ask the nurse to call me today with the results. Turns out I have nothing to worry about because my levels are totally within normal range... 

Next up was the always fun vaginal ultrasound! I got to see my millions of follicles which was pretty cool, although to me it just looked like a bunch of little round balloons. Doctor Lee only measured the biggest follies but there were about 10 on each side, all around 14-15 in size. Apparently this is a good thing because he told me that he would put me in the top 5% of egg producers (yay me!!). BUT Dr. Lee said I am moving a little slower then average when it comes to the growth rate of my follicles. So it looks like we won't be going through with the egg retrieval this Friday, as scheduled. Instead its looking more like that will be Sunday/Monday. Ugh, waiting waiting waiting. In the meantime I'll just keep on stabbing myself with needles every night...

In other, unrelated news I had a pretty rough day today. There's no way to say it so I'll just come out with it. I lost my job today. I've been through the entire range of emotions but I think over all I'm finally coming to terms with the news and I'm surprisingly OK with it. I'm still covered under my husbands insurance so I'm not concerned about out IVF coverage. And I think I have some pretty good ideas lined up for another job. Honestly, I've been really stressed lately and not into my job. I think it's time to move on to something new and better. I'm going to choose to look at this as a good thing and not let it overwhelm me with sadness. Also, I must admit the idea of taking a week to just relax before I start getting back into things isn't that bad either. Well, that's enough about me for the night. My next appointment is on Wednesday and I'm hoping to get the good news of when I will be triggering. Until then, goodnight!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

And Then There Were Two...

I am starting this post off with a picture that summarizes everything I love about where I live!! Absolutely nothing beats a perfect day at the beach, when the sun is shining and the water is refreshingly cool (the numbing sensation your feet get in the beginning of summer isn't fun)... On Saturday I went to the beach with my sister and two nieces, Violet and Kenna. It was such a relaxing day which is exactly what I needed. All I did was lay out and splash around with the kiddos. Today, Mike and I spent most of the day laying around the house (I think all the sun really zapped my energy yesterday) but did venture out to get an amazing 1 1/2 hour massage. We capped the night off with a stop for some FroYo for me as a reward for what was to come (see below...).

Yup, as evidenced by the above photo, I am now taking 2 shots a night! I have been both dreading and looking forward to this night. Dreading it because another shot is another opportunity for pain and crazy side effects. But I was looking forward to it because obviously it's just one step closer to the end game. The bottom (and much bigger/scarier looking) syringe is the shot I have been taking for the last 7 nights now - it's a combination of Menopur and Bravelle. The top (and thankfully much smaller) syringe is the new medicine, Ganirelix. While the Menopur and Bravelle are both supposed to help me grow lots of eggs, the Ganirelix is used to prevent premature ovulation. It is basically allowing the release of my eggs to be controlled. I was originally supposed to start taking Ganirelix yesterday but at my monitoring appointment on Friday Dr. Lee told me to start it today instead. I was very nervous about taking it but it ended up being a breeze! Seriously, I didn't even know Mike had stabbed me yet, let alone done the entire injection. The only thing I  did notice was a slight burning/itching sensation around the area of the injection a couple minutes afterwards. The directions said to gently massage the injection site for a couple minutes to help the medicine absorb into the body. So that's what I did and after another minute it felt fine.

I have another appointment bright and early tomorrow morning to do another ultrasound and more blood work to check on how my little follies are growing. Hopefully I'll get a more concrete date on the egg retrieval. Until then, this little pin cushion is going to bed!

Friday, August 3, 2012

The appointments never stop...

Today was my first monitoring appointment since I've been on my stims (today will be my 5th day of injections) and I am happy to report mainly good news! As he expected, Dr. Lee said I was cranking out follicles like a rock star! Those of you who follow my blog will remember our last cycle was cancelled due to my crazy high amount of follicles which caused me to develop OHSS. So far I have about 8 follies on each ovary that are all measuring around 9-11 in size. Dr. Lee said he was very pleased with what he was seeing and expects that I will have enough embryos from this retrieval that we may not ever need to do it again!

Now for the bad news (it couldn't just end there, could it?!?!). He is still a little concerned that I may continue to produce more follies like crazy and get OHSS again. So, nothing is for sure yet but he mentioned the idea of doing the retrieval, fertilizing the eggs, and then freezing them all. We would do a frozen transfer the following month which would push the transfer into September. A frozen embryo transfer (FET) is pretty much what it sounds like. Your embryos get frozen (which can happen because your cycle is being delayed or even because you have extra embryos left over after doing the initial transfer) and when it's time to put them back into you they simply thaw them out. He explained to me that he just doesn't think the risk of me getting OHSS is worth it. Plus, apparently there is a lot of studies coming out now that shows there are actually higher success rates from FETs versus fresh cycle transfers (something having to do with the lining of the uterus being extra thick from all the medication, and waiting a month allows your uterus lining to thin out more). I hear what he's saying and ultimately I know he only has my best interest in mind. Obviously I'm going to do what he recommends and that may mean waiting a month. I just don't want to!! I feel like all I do now and days is wait and I don't want to wait another month! He did still say that since I am most likely going to have a decent amount of embies, as long as he doesn't think I'll have OHSS we can still do the ET this month. I guess it all depends on how things go. I go back on Monday after adding Ganirelix into the mix this weekend to see how my follies are looking. If all goes well, we are planning on triggering Wednesday with the ER on Friday.

In other news (full disclosure warning, this is going to be a little long)I feel like ripping my hair out when it comes to my insurance! I don't understand why things have to be so darn difficult. I will preface this by saying that I am not mad at the actual people I have been dealing with, more the stupid policies of the insurance company. Working in a customer centric environment myself, I definitely want to give credit where it is due. I'm just really irritated because back when I first ordered my medications a couple weeks ago they told me that they didn't want to ship the Lupron trigger shot or the PIO yet because it had a shorter shelf like. Ok, no biggie. So then I called back earlier this week and was told that my insurance actually doesn't cover the Lupron trigger shot (but as a side note they would cover if i needed the full 2 weeks worth of injections - WTH?) AND due to some strange California law they can't ship it across state borders so I'll need to order that through a different pharmacy and pay OOP. That was irritating but since I have had amazing insurance coverage thus far (seriously, we're talking a total of $200 max for all my meds) I decided to let it go and pay the full price. So my RE referred me to a pharmacy called MDR Pharmacy and I was told I could get the Lupron trigger shot for about $100 (phew, no problem!). Now today I called my regular specialty pharmacy back to order the PIO and they are telling me that while it is covered by my insurance, again a strange California law won't allow them to ship it to me so I was referred back to MDR Pharmacy. At this point I'm about ready to scream from all the back and forth phone calls, the bazaar California laws , and also why was this never mentioned to me during the other 10 times I've called about this medication?!?! So I finally get back in touch with MDR only to be told that my insurance declined coverage of the PIO and that I would also need to pay OOP. I feel a little bad because that was where I snapped and little miss attitude reared her ugly head. I told that woman that I had literally just been on the phone with my insurance company and was told that it was covered. Thankfully she didn't hold my attitude against me and said she'd call them. So It turns out my insurance company has a LAME policy that regardless of if i am technically covered or not, they won't pay for anything that isn't shipped through them. That is total BS! Is it my fault that where I happen to live there is a stupid law that is different from all the other states? NO! I was able to get it escalated and am now waiting to hear back from a supervisor on whether they can override this stupid policy for me since it isn't really my fault. Who knows. MDR said worst case scenario I'm looking at paying $169 for both the Lupron and PIO. I know I should be thankful because many woman going through this pay a ton more then me but its the principle. What is the point of having awesome insurance if they aren't going to cover what they say they cover? Ugh, I'll keep you posted...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ok, I can do this!

Today was amazing!! I finally made it through a day without feeling like a sweaty pig AND I didn't have any headaches. Granted, I didn't wear a suit to work today (my boss can deal with it) and I made sure to crank the a/c every time I walked by (sorry coworkers complaining they were freezing)! So it looks like after 4 days of injections my body might be (fingers crossed) adjusting to the medication. I go in to see my RE tomorrow for my first monitoring appointment and then will start adding Ganirelix injections into the mix. Here's hoping everything looks good tomorrow!!