Tuesday, June 28, 2011

*Think Sticky Thoughts*

Ok, our little embryos are in! Here's the picture they gave me today of the ones we transferred:

Our potential future children!

The one on the right is a blastocyst and the other is an early blastocyst - both really good quality! He said each one had about 25% chance of implanting so we have like a 50% chance of getting pregnant with these little guys...

The update on all our embryos: we were down to 7 on Sunday. Today we had the 2 that we transferred (1 blastocyst, 1 early blastocyst), and now there are only 2 others that are still progressing but they are a little slow so he's not sure if they'll be good enough to freeze or not. He said they'd look at them again tomorrow and hopefully they'll have progressed a bit more and then they'd freeze them. I was really counting on having some frozen embryos to be able to do a frozen cycle if this one didn't work. There's no way we could afford another full cycle again for a long time... so hopefully they eggs are able to freeze so we have that as a back up plan! Or! Hopefully we just get pregnant and don't need them!

Our apt today was at 1:15. We decided this morning to go to the temple before our apt - it's convenient since it's just up the road from the fertility center. It was a peaceful way to spend the morning and help us keep things in perspective! I hadn't eaten much so after the temple we raced to Panda Express near by and ate our lunch in about 10 minutes flat before racing over to the fertility center.

While we were sitting in the waiting room Tonya, one of the nurses, comes up and asks, "How about some valium?!" It seemed funny at the time! They give you valium before the procedure to help you relax as well as relax your uterus.

We waited in the exam room and Dr. Foulk came in and showed us the pictures of our embryos and told us how the others were doing. The procedure is pretty simple and took about 10 minutes. They do an abdominal ultrasound while the dr inserts a catheter and uses that to put the embryos into the uterus. Then they check under a microscope to make sure both of the embryos were transferred from the catheter.

When they finished the dr didn't want me to move at all - I believe his words were, "be like a wet noodle" - as they pulled me up farther on the bed and I laid there for at least 30 minutes. Rob and I were both so tired and the lights were still out so be basically snoozed the whole time... I couldn't go to bed last night til 1 am and then Robby woke up randomly at 5 and kept coming in! So 4 hours of sleep... didn't feel great... when they came back in and told us I could get up, go to the bathroom, and go home I was nervous to get up! I felt like, "are you sure they're not gonna come back out??"

We came home and now I've just been making the most of my "Princess Days" as they said. The nurse explained I don't necessarily have to be laying down the entire time but the point is we want all the blood flow to go to the uterus so I don't want to be moving around. So I can sit up, watch tv, read... Taba was able to come down today and took Robby and her kids out to the pool and then I took a much needed nap! Then my sweet primary ladies brought us dinner which was awesome. Rob came home and luckily Robby was ready for bed early (since he woke up at 5 am!) so it all went pretty smoothly today!

Rob has been very helpful tonight but I realize now how many times a day/night I get up to grab something or do something... he keeps making trips back and forth around the house for me, hopefully he doesn't get too tired of it too quickly! :)

Now that these little embryos are in there I just feel like the pressure's on a little bit... I feel like I'm fragile or something. I don't want to jostle them or do anything that's going to prevent them from implanting! We will have 2 blood tests and compare the HCG levels and we'll get the results on 7/8! Please let these 10 days go by fast!

I just want to say THANK YOU to all of you guys for your comments, messages, texts and just all your support!!! It means so much to us to know we have so many people rooting for us! So, thanks. :)

It's really gonna happen!

Ok so I had an acupuncture appointment today at 4 to get my body all ready for the transfer and we'll do another one Wednesday morning - they say it's good to do them as close to before and after the transfer as possible. We'd go tomorrow after the transfer but it's a long drive and Dr. Dummar said he'd rather I was resting and laying down then spend all that time in the car!

I spent the day doing laundry, cleaning, library run, errands, and working a lot so I can focus on resting the coming days. I just got done working but my brain is still running and this is a good way for me to unwind. The morning will be spent finishing laundry and doing more work before going in to our apt at 1:15! Really the only instructions were to come in with a semi-full bladder and wear loose clothes since I'll be laying down for an hour afterward!

I'm excited to see how the little embryos are doing! They will be blastocysts by tomorrow which is good - nice and mature! I'll give you all the details as soon as possible.

And in the words of my darling little boy Robby, "Bless that the eggs will turn into babies!"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tuesday it is...

So we went in today and talked to Dr. Foulk and discussed the health of the eggs and he said we are going to wait until Tuesday. This is good because it will give the embryos more time to develop but I have to say part of me was disappointed because I'd tried to mentally prepare for it happening today.

A little about our embryos - we retrieved 25 eggs, 14 were mature, 10 of those fertilized. As of today 3 had stopped progressing so we are down to 7. Of those 7, 4 were in the "good" zone (6, 7, or 8 cells) and 3 were still developing so by Tuesday we should have 2 that are really good to implant and hopefully 2 others at least to freeze.
Here are some of our little embryos!

So it is good news - we definitely want the best embryos possible! I'm just feeling kind of emotional about the whole thing! 

It isn't helping that my body is still hurting from the retrieval, just crampy in the front and the back and now these Progesterone in Oil shots are killing my bum! Oh my goodness! Maeris watched Robby this morning while we went to the fertility center and when I came back he told her, "My mom has to do diant (giant) shots in her bum!" These needles are way bigger than the tummy shots and the oil makes a huge welt and bruise... ugh! It's getting old fast - really if you can't be comfortable sitting how can you be comfortable?? My friend who has done IVF twice gave me some tips for these shots - ice the area first, lean on one leg so the muscle isn't contracted, do squats and rub the area after... I was just doing a little more research on a fertility forum and tomorrow I'll try using a heating pad afterward too... if I'm pregnant I'll have to do these shots till I'm 9 weeks - so hopefully I'll just have to get used to it. :) And I'm grateful for Rob's help with these! He didn't have to do any of the other shots but I just can't do these ones by myself and I'm grateful he's doing it with me every morning!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Egg transfer tomorrow??

 I have to say I had no idea the egg retrieval would be a big deal physically - I mean, yes, I was going under anesthesia and they were going to poke my ovaries with needles... but it seemed like they made a big deal about the egg transfer and I'd need to rest for 48 hours after that... anyway, my point is - my body is still hurting! I spent all Thursday with my heating pad on me and that helped but now I see why when we were leaving the nurse said, "So, just extra strength tylenol, if you need something stronger give us a call." I was like, why would I need that? OHHHHHH. I get it now. I'm surviving on just tylenol and still using my heating pad. I'm sure it'll get better soon.

Yesterday afternoon I called to check on my eggs and got what I felt was a little surprising of an update - so, they retrieved 25 eggs. Out of the 25 eggs only 14 were mature. They did ICSI on those 14 eggs (that means they injected sperm into those 14 eggs) and of those 10 actually fertilized. So, we went from 25 to 10 pretty quickly. Still good it just sounded not as great to me. She said they'd have another update for me tomorrow (Saturday) but didn't have any more information on if the transfer would be Sunday or Tuesday.

Today I called them at around 4 to see if they could tell me how my eggs were doing. (I feel a bit like a mother hen!) I left a message for the lab. I got a call from Tonya, ones of the nurses, and she asked us to come in tomorrow (Sunday) at 10:30 am prepared to do the egg transfer but that we would sit down and talk with Dr. Foulk and there's a chance we'll decide to wait but that we probably would do it tomorrow. Ok. I was kind of surprised because Dr. Foulk seemed so sure we would do the transfer on Tuesday but maybe our eggs are not doing so great so they want to do it sooner?

Later I got a call back from the woman in the lab and she was very nice and gave me an update on my eggs - she said 2 were 4 cell and looking great, high quality, and that there were a few that were a little fragmented but that they didn't worry unless it was 25% and it was only 10% (I'm just telling you what she said I did not really understand it!) and that there were 5 or so that were still 3 cell and had time to develop and so we'll see.... ok.... She was very nice and I appreciate her giving me the details even if I don't completely understand them.

Bottom line - we're going in tomorrow at 10:30 and we may or may not be transferring eggs. I feel anxious... like it'll be hard to go in tomorrow and then NOT do it but it might be the better thing so I'm trying to be prepared in case we do and be prepared in case we don't... all a very crazy mix of emotions.

Also the closer it's getting to putting them back in the more real this feels... the more I'm starting to feel myself really hoping that this works! And then it's just waiting to find out if it did or not. And I'm not exactly ready for the 48 hrs of bed rest, my house is kind of a mess and I'm sure I need to do laundry and should've gone grocery shopping today! Oh well! We'll survive. And it'd be nice if we did it tomorrow cause Rob would be home all day... but it's also maybe better if it's not tomorrow... back and forth...

We will just go in, see what Dr. Foulk says, and go from there. Trying to stay calm! :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It went great!

So the news is everything is good! They retrieved 25 follicles (eggs) and Dr. Foulk said about 60% should fertilize, they watch them and see which ones look the strongest, and since there are so many we should be able to let them wait 5 days and then we'll put them back in! So Tuesday!

I'm home right now and they told me to take a nap and rest but I can't sleep  so I've just got my hot pad on my tummy and am watching a redbox... The Switch actually... ha ha... Rob took Robby to A&B's so I can just sit here and take it easy. Rob made me some tomato soup and I ate half a grilled cheese before he left - I was so hungry this morning when I couldn't eat and that sandwich and soup hit the spot.

Tuesday I went in for another ultrasound and a blood draw - they called me that day to say yes we want to trigger you, give yourself your HCG shot at 9 pm that night. They gave me instructions about what else I needed to do before the retrieval.

In the morning I was supposed to take a pregnancy test to make sure the HCG was in my system (since HCG is the hormone your body makes when you're pregnant and that's what those tests are detect!). It was very weird to see this positive pregnancy test not in relation to actually being pregnant - I told myself it was just an "HCG test." I called them to let them know it was positive.

All yesterday my tummy was feeling kind of full and uncomfortable - sometimes it felt like when you're pregnant and your ligaments are stretching. The spot where I gave myself the HCG shot the night before felt like a big bump and was really tender. Not to mention my chest has been incredibly sore - I'm sure it's just all the hormones. Anyway, I was just feeling kind of weird. I'm glad it was time to take all those eggs out!

The anesthesiologist called me yesterday to go over the details about my medical history and what I needed to do to prepare- nothing to eat or drink after midnight, nothing in the morning (kept having to stop myself from drinking some water). He said if I drank some gatorade the night before it'd help me feel better after the retrieval. So last night I had some yogurt and 32 oz of gatorade just before midnight. He said people seem to do pretty well if you can rest after the procedure and keep a hot pad on you. He was very nice and told me to call him on his cell phone if I had any questions!! I appreciated that.

My friend Maranda came over at 8:15 am in the morning (that was for you Tab! ;)) to watch Robby and we checking into the fertility center at 8:30 am. We met the friendly anesthesiologist and as always they asked me to go to the bathroom first (those bladders need to be emptied before all the ultrasounds and everything) then I just undressed waist down and put the hospital gown on.

He came in gave a little shot in my hand to numb it that stung a little but it meant I didn't feel it at all when he put the other needle in! Yeah! He put some IV fluid in me and then that's what he used to give me the rest of the medications. The anesthesia was the part I was most worried about and the only part I was awake for so I'll give you as many details as I can remember. He put the little oxygen tube in my nose, blood pressure cuff on my arm, heart monitors on my chest, and put his stethoscope near my throat too. Here I am in all my glory:

First he gave me something to help me relax and it made me a little sleepy. I liked that one because I was still conscious but stopped worrying. Then he put some anti-nausea medication which he said would last the longest. Then I remember them saying they were ready to get started and Rob kissed me goodbye and then.....

I started to wake up. I couldn't believe it was over. About 40 minutes had passed I think. I was sleepy and didn't want to wake up. My mouth was so dry and my lips too. Rob got me some water but my mouth just felt all cottony! They let me lay there and wake up slowly for about 15 minutes or so.

Dr. Foulk came in and told me they got 25 follicles. He explained that it's best to let them wait as long as you can - if you don't have very many eggs and they aren't doing great they'll put them back in sooner but if we can wait 5 days and still have 8 or so eggs to choose from and pick the best from there that's great. The longer you can wait then we can see which ones will be the strongest and have the best chance. So we'll put them back in Tuesday probably.

An example of an embryo 3 days after fertilization

They will call us tomorrow to let us know how many fertilized - they take Rob's sperm and mix them together within an hour or so of taking the eggs out but then it takes 12 hours to see how many actually fertilize.

So if we go in Tuesday then I think they do a blood test 7 & 10 days after that to see if it worked! The reason they do 2 is in case there's some trace of HCG still left in your system from the trigger shot and we don't want to have false information. But if there's HCG on day 7 and then it doubles by day 10 then it means your pregnant. So by July 8th!

For now I am just having to give myself progesterone oil shots - or Rob will have to do it! They gave me my first one today while I was under - that one leaves a mark! These will be in my lower hip (bum) area. They look like they aren't going to be very fun but if it helps a baby stay inside I'll do whatever I need to!!! We will also do an acupuncture treatment right before the transfer as well. I need to an another post on acupuncture but that'll have to be later.

I'm just happy everything went so well! Rob gave me a blessing last night and I have been calm and happy and I just feel good. Thank you so much for all your support! I know that all your prayers are helping us stay calm and be comforted.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I've got eggs!

Lots of eggs!

Ok, so I went in this morning for an ultrasound to see how all my follicles/eggs are developing. Since the timeline is all subjective to how my body responds and there's nothing set in stone I've been trying to be prepared for it to take as long as possible - as in, probably won't have enough eggs till Wed or Thurs... trying to be patient!

So today when Anne Marie did the ultrasound and first things was check, my uterine lining looks "perfect" - great! Then she started looking at one ovary - she kept moving it around and measuring all the big black circles (follicles) - she quickly said, "looks like we'll be able to trigger you 1 day early!" (I didn't have a trigger day set in my mind but I guess she did!) She said even just based on the one side I had so many that were already almost the right size that we'd probably trigger me Tuesday evening!

Some of you are thinking - what the heck does "trigger" you mean? I will "trigger" my ovulation by giving myself a shot of HCG and then 36 hours later is when I would be about to ovulate so they will go in and do the egg retrieval then, so in this case if I trigger myself (give the shot of HCG) Tuesday evening then I'll go in Thursday morning for egg retrieval.

In a normal cycle you have 1 follicle that matures to about 20 mm and that is the one that is released when you ovulate. Like this:
So the black ish big circle...
In an IVF cycle where you are using the stimulating medications that I'm using (Follistim and Menopur) then you get lots of follicles developing, like this:
Got this off the internet but this is pretty much exactly what my ovaries looked like today!

Anne Marie said the criteria for being ready to trigger is that I need at least 2 follicles measuring over 19 mm and 5 over 15 mm - I already have 1 over 19 mm and the 5 over 15 mm and several other big ones. She counted and measured about 11 on each side so 22 total. I'm not sure if they retrieve all 22 or not but at least there are plenty in there we are sure to get a good amount out!

I'm just so excited that this is all coming along so nicely and that I might be doing the egg retrieval as soon as Thursday is just exciting!!! The sooner they take them out, the sooner they can go back in (2-5 days later, again depends on how they are doing!), then the sooner we can find out the results.

Saturday blood draw

So I've been giving myself the stimulating injections since last Monday and I said in my last post I hadn't had any side effects except that day I blogged - pretty much all day Thursday I felt awful (headache, shaky, dizzy), Friday I felt a little better but just in general had a weird yucky headache, then Saturday I went in for my blood draw to check my FSH levels and was feeling quite a bit better.

Look at the SYTYCD bottles! There's Robert, Lauren, and Kent!
I mentioned this to the nurse and she said I was probably getting dehydrated and since I'd been drinking tons of water starting Friday in anticipation for my blood draw Saturday morning that's why I was feeling better. She explained that because we're stimulating and growing all these follicles they are absorbing lots of the fluid in my body so that's why I'd be more easily dehydrated. She recommended I drink some Gatorade and lots of water. I hadn't even thought about that connection and I thought that was a helpful explanation!

Now if only we could do a blood draw that doesn't require at LEAST two pokes and doesn't leave big ugly bruises on my arms... oh well...Apparently I have small veins! Two pokes is considered a success - I hate when it takes 3 or 4 and they go for the wrist or top of my hand... ugh! I know to drink lots of water beforehand but besides that there's not much else I can do.

They told me they would NOT call me with the results if everything was fine but they'd call me if there were any problems or if I needed to increase or decrease my medications based on what my FSH level was. I got NO phone call so I gave myself the usual injections Sunday and this morning.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

IVF Calender & shots

I know they do this for all of their patients but let me just say, this is perfect for me. At my "plan of care" apt we sat down with Tonya and went over my calender.

May was not very eventful - I started my period May 13th so that's the day I actually started BCP (birth control pills). PNV is prenatal vitamins. BA is baby asprin. So green indicates the start of a medication and red indicates the end of one. Yellow means a visit to the office/blood draw. 

So I started the stimulating medications on Monday and then next Monday I go in for my first ultrasound to check how my follicles are developing. They could be ready Mon, Tues, or Wed - whatever day they look good (as in lots and the right size) then I'll go home and that evening give myself the HCG shot to induce ovulation. 36 hours after that they would do the egg retrieval - which is why on the 24th it says "a common day for egg retrieval." We will just have to wait and see what happens! Then we'll see how many eggs fertilize, then 2-5 days later put them back in! Then wait! 

I have to say - I just LOVE this calender. I sit and look at it and it just makes me happy. :)

So now that I'm giving myself 3 shots every morning this is what my morning looks like: 
(don't worry, Ness, no actual needles have been photographed. Yet.)

The pen is my Follistim - you put a new little needle on every day and I put a cartridge inside it with the medication that lasts for two doses. This one doesn't hurt at all.

The orange normal bottle is the Lupron - that's the easiest one, I always do that one first. The medication stings when it goes in. And these needles are tiny but don't always want to go right in, like some of them aren't super sharp or something so it's a little hard poking yourself hard enough! 

The two little glass bottles are the Menopur - well, the one with powder in it is the actual Menopur. I have to mix it with the little Sodium Chloride bottle. I feel like a chemist. 

Robby is so cute - every morning he loves to watch me give myself my shots. When I'm hesitating and deep breathing about to poke myself he chants, "Go mommy! Go mommy!" He's the best cheerleader! Rob is usually already gone to work but the other day he was here and I made him sit and watch and I think he gained even more appreciation for me. :)

Now the only problem is I feel like I'm running out of room to poke myself... my hand is covering my belly button - I'm supposed to do it just in this area under my belly button and I alternate which side I do them on each day but the Follistim and Menopur leave these little marks and it's looking like I have chicken pox or something!

this stomach should not be photographed for any reason but to share all these lovely details with everyone! yikes! and it looks even worse in person, the shots I mean... fyi...

I would say I haven't had any negative side effects from the drugs but today I'm feeling exhausted and had a bad headache and my vision was all weird for like 30 minutes I was seeing stars.... but usually I feel pretty normal. I wanted to get a lot of cleaning done today in anticipation of probably wanting to be resting a lot next week after the egg retrieval (like you know how you want your house clean before you go out of town? That's how I feel) but so far I'm just mostly laying in bed... oh well! Maybe tomorrow!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back on track!

That was a close call!

So after being pretty worried and stressed and imagining the worst (which at this point would be that they put me back on birth control for 8 weeks since we can't do IVF next month cause we'll be in MD) it turns out everything is now ok!

And now there will be a few graphic-ish details so feel free to skip - the basic message is everything's ok now! And now I am happy like I am in this picture:

When we got to my apt I told them that I was worried I never really got my period but that I just spotted/bled the whole time I was on birth control. Dr. Foulk was doing the ultrasound and he quickly saw that my endometrial lining was very thin and reassured me that all that bleeding was my period and we were good to go. Ok sounds good.

Then the cyst - still there and it was really big. He said we could just drain it and then it'd be gone and we'd be fine. Cysts will form and then dissolve all by themselves but we didn't want to leave it there because we didn't want it to interfere with the follicles that we were going to be stimulating. I was a little nervous about the draining bit but was definitely on board with doing whatever was needed to keep us on our current schedule!

(desperate for pictures!)
Ok so some details on this - not for the squeamish... so in order to drain the cyst they needed to first clean me out so they did what he called a "super-douche" which was kind of uncomfortable but he had warned me and it wasn't as bad as he made it sound. He said "dilution is the solution to bacterial pollution." Ok great. Since they were going to be inserting a needle through the vaginal wall we needed to make sure there wouldn't be any chance of infection - or the round of antibiotics we did last week would be for naught!

After the "super-douche" they put the ultrasound probe in, found the giant cyst, and then he warned me when he was going to put the needle in and that I'd feel a poke but to try not to jump. It was definitely a "whoa" feeling but like he said, it lasted only about 5 seconds. Ok, then this was crazy, he showed us the amount of fluid that was drained out - it was 35 cc's so that was like a syringe as thick as my thumb full. He said it was fluid just like you'd have in a blister. Anyways I was shocked! We watched on the ultrasound machine as the needle went in and then it totally shrunk... very interesting. Sorry if that was gross. Wait, I created this blog so I wouldn't have to apologize for sharing details! Just, usually that won't be that gross hopefully....

When it was done they had me stay laying down for 10 minutes because sometimes people can be a little woozy. The nurse said, "that was like a mini egg retrieval - just 5 seconds instead of 45 minutes!" I got up and felt fine - a little weird down there but not bad.

I was just so relieved that we didn't have to push this back or go back on birth control or anything! I was able to start my other 2 medications tonight (was supposed to start this morning but they had told me to hold off till we re-checked the cyst) and then the next step is a blood test on Friday to check my hormone levels.

I'm so grateful that things are going well so far - thank you all for your prayers and support!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Thanks you guys for all your support! It helps to know people out there care about us and are interested in the process.

I'm anxiously awaiting 5:30 pm tomorrow to see what the ultrasound shows! And my period still hasn't come...I don't think.... as in, I had a lot of spotting last week and so unless THAT counted as my period it still hasn't shown up. My back is crampy and feels like how it does before it starts so... again, I'm not sure what that means exactly but I think it needs to start.

In the meantime I wanted to share a little more about the acupuncture we're doing. So, I've heard that studies have shown increased success rates of IVF when acupuncture is done during the cycle as well. Also I'd read this Pregnancy Miracle ebook and she talks a lot about the benefits of Chinese Medicine.

We happen to know someone from our old BYU ward who is a licensed Chiropractor, Acupuncturist, and has a masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine - Dr. Ron Dummar. His office is in Heber (30 min away) so it's a bit of a drive but we felt good about going to him since we know him and my brother and his family see him for regular adjustments.

We are currently going for treatments once a week. He gave us some supplements and herbs to take for our infertility. We are both taking Fish Oil and something called a cofactor that's like a multi-vitamin. We each have our own herb concoction mixed up - the herbs have already been brewed and then dried out. We just have to mix them with water and they reconstitute. 

I'll be honest... this doesn't taste... well, as Dr. Dummar said - it doesn't taste like licorice or candy. Rob's mix was so hard for him to drink that he suggested we put his in little capsules and instead of trying to get the herbs down in water he just has to take 6 little capsules.

It took me 2 hours to capsulate what was left in his bottle and it'll last maybe 2 weeks...

So you know how I HATE needles? Well, when he puts the little acupuncture needles in it's not too bad - every now and then there's one that makes me go, "Ow!" And then he turns off the lights and leaves me with these lovely heat lamps hovering over my body and relaxing music in the background. For about 20 minutes. Until last week's apt I had never been brave enough to even look at any of the needles in me - I know any of my sisters (or Andrew) reading this are probably weak in the knees as they read this! I usually just close my eyes the whole time until he takes them out. But this time while I was laying there I was wondering what the dang things looked like so I slowly lifted up my right hand and I saw it -bah! Very skinny but it was long and looked kind of feathery at the top! I put my hand down and kept my eyes closed the rest of the time.

Part of the Chinese medicine stuff is seeing what is out of balance so he checks all of our pulses on our wrist for the different parts of our body... it's hard to explain and really the best thing I can do is tell you to go see someone who specializes in Chinese medicine!

He also gave us a book that I've been reading - it's called Making Babies. It's written by the guy who did the first ever successful IVF and a Chinese medicine lady. It's about combining Eastern & Western medicine and getting the maximum results. Very interesting. It talks a lot about the over use of IVF and how it should never be the first resort. It might've been interesting to see if after 3 months of just following their program if that would've worked to get pregnant but right now we are committed to trying IVF and are hoping it works right away! And we've definitely waited a long time and tried lots of other things first.

It's not cheap though... To do the full 3 month program with Dr. Dummar (acupuncture, herbs, supplements, chiropractic if needed) the husband & wife need to pay $2880 each. So, yes, it's cheaper than a fresh cycle of IVF and definitely more natural for your body but it's not like the cheapest thing out there. Might be super effective and the answer for lots of people though!

So we are pulling out all the stops - doing everything in our power to give ourselves the best chance possible. Hope it works!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Sorry if these posts are boring and have no pictures - I keep trying to think of ways to add pictures but didn't think images for "ovarian cysts" or whatever would be that good to put up for all to see. :/ I have a post I want to do about the acupuncture stuff we're doing with some pics but I haven't had time to write it all out yet! Hopefully soon.

Baseline apt - bad news?

Friday I had my Baseline apt to make sure everything was good to go before I start all the stimulating medications on Monday.

The first thing they did was an ultrasound - I haven't actually started my period since stopping my birth control pills Monday night which they seemed like it should've started but it's still normal so my uterine lining was still kind of thick. THEN she was checking my ovaries and dang it.... a cyst. Next step was a blood test to see if the cyst was making estrogen or not - if not it shouldn't be a problem. So after two pokes they got my blood and I would get the results later that day. They finished the apt with the shot class to teach me about the next two medications I would be starting Monday if everything went to schedule.

I got a call from them that day just before 5... she said my estrogen level was 36 and that that was normal and good but that Dr. Foulk wanted me to come in Monday to recheck it to see what the cyst was doing. I'm supposed to keep doing my Lurpon but not start the other medications till after they recheck it. Sometimes cysts can just dissolve and go away. If the cyst was making estrogen then it would interfere with the stimulating meds. If it's not making estrogen then it might be fine to just not worry about and continue with the meds. I'm not exactly sure why if my estrogen level was normal that I can't just take my meds on Monday and keep going according to plan - except I haven't really gotten my period yet either and that could be related and I think it needs to actually start.

So basically I need two things to happen right now - for my period to actually start (instead of spotting like I have been for weeks), and for this cyst to go away. Praying for this to happen asap! Monday I'll go back in and see what they say.

Worst thing would be if they decide the cyst is a problem and then they put me back on birth control and this all gets pushed back. I'm going out of town July 15 - Aug 7th so that would really mess things up if this gets pushed back.... ugh! I feel like despite how annoying this is I'm trying to stay positive - there's really nothing I can do at this point and I know no matter what everything will work out... somehow...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Beginning of IVF Cycle!

Tonight I take my last birth control pill! I know, it's weird, birth control when trying to get pregnant? To be honest I'm still not super satisfied with answers I've gotten for why this is necessary but I'm going to go along with the program even if normally I'm not for going with the flow.

From what they've explained it's mostly an office management tool - they want people on the same time line and to do all the IVF procedures around the same time so by using birth control they make you not ovulate and then using other hormones have more control over your cycle. Also, the nurse said it's to give my ovaries a rest before we start pumping the stimulating hormones into me! On my end it's mostly just made me bleed most of the month off and on and have awful period cramps... but if it's what I need to do right now then that's fine.

So I guess I'll have my period after stopping the birth control - which is kind of weird, I didn't really think about having my period again when I started the pills and felt like we were on our way to IVF! This feels like a failed attempt even though we haven't actually started and everything's still going to plan.

I have also been taking Lupron for the last week - a drug also used to prevent you from ovulating ahead of schedule. I was lucky enough to have my neighbor/friend Shayli come over and help give me my shot the first two mornings which helped me not be too scared to do it myself. Last year when Rob was helping me give myself shots for our IUI cycle every time, all 3 shots, were just ridiculously hard even though the needle was tiny. We were just both so scared to actually jam it into my body! So watching Shayli do it with expert ease gave me a little more confidence. A week later, I'm basically an expert! Not really... but almost.

Other medications so far - they put both Rob and me on an antibiotic, Doxycycline, for 10 days to make sure we don't have any kind of infection that could mess this up! Also, I'm taking prenatal vitamins of course and they have me taking Baby Asprin which reminds me of the days in the Eager Study.

We are also taking some stuff that our Chinese medicine doctor has given us! I think that's for its own post...

And I'm going to try to take some pictures and see if I can't make this a little bit more exciting... we'll see!

Let the over sharing begin!

I did it! I started this new blog so I can share everything that I want with you and not worry about if people want to read it or not. Guess what? If you don't want to hear every nitty gritty detail - don't read this blog! Ok. Great. That being said...

To those who are still here: WELCOME!

As I've said before - writing, blogging, publishing my personal thoughts on this matter for the whole world to see, seems to help me feel better. It's like a little bit of the weight is lifted off of my shoulders when I hit that "Publish Post" button. I will admit, part of the "therapy" comes from the wonderfully nice comments you people leave me. So feel free to share your thoughts if you want.

I'm grateful for the chance to write and share my thoughts and if something I put on here helps someone going through the same thing then that would be wonderful! And if the only purpose this serves is a dumping ground for my brain and journal of my experience then great!