Friday, August 30, 2013

IVF #2: Stim day 8

Things are moving along. Follicles are growing about 1 mm per day. Righty came in with one 13, two 12s, and a few 10s. Lefty had one 13, 5ish 12s, and a few 10s. Honestly, I never remember the numbers correctly. The nurse/tech/doctor (I still have no clue who that lady is) gets busy with the wand and calls 'em as she sees 'em while the nurse at the computer logs everything into my chart. I frantically try to keep up in my head and then promptly forget everything a second later. She (nurse/tech/doctor) said she likes the way lefty looks, but we might just get one or two eggs out of righty and, "that one could be your baby,". It was everything I could do not to cry when she said that. 

Last night was my first growth hormone injection. There was a bit of a mix up with the dosing seeing as the vial comes as 8.8 mg, the instructions say to add 2-3 mL of water, and my nurse said to take 8 units. When I asked for clarification, she said, "oh, I think it's 1 mL". Well, I eventually found out that there are 26.4 units in a vial, but then I temporarily forgot how to math and accidentally overdosed myself. But not by very much. Maybe it will give me a baby *and* make me taller (says the girl who lies about her height every time she says she's 5'3 - I am. In heels).

I'm feeling pretty uncomfortable these days. Not as terrible as I remember from IVF #1. More sore, crampy, and bloaty. I have officially switched to my fat pants...and only button them if I'm going out in public.

Nurse just called. My estrogen came back at 602 and my progesterone at 0.7. That seems low to me (the estrogen). Last time, on stim day 7, I was already up to 743/0.5. They want me back in the office tomorrow. I was feeling kind of happy about my follicle results but now I'm going to have to google the heck out of my estrogen results.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

IVF #2: Stim day 6 *updated*

Today was my first follicle check since my baseline. I was a nervous wreck this morning. S and I have been fighting, which I notice we do during every IVF (WTF). I am so anxious/nervous/obsessed with this cycle. I'd like to say it's because it's our last one. But it's not (well, it is our last one, it's just not the reason for my general neuroses). It's because it's fucking hard. It's because it's a dream we've been chasing (unsuccessfully) for 4 years. It's because I want this to work so bad. It's because I'm injecting buckets of hormones that may or may not have been extracted from nun urine. It's because it's IVF. The stupid thing is, it doesn't matter how much I worry, the outcome is the outcome.

Deep breath.

So far so good on my follicle counts. I had to look back (IVF #1: stim day 5) as I didn't remember the specifics, but this cycle is shaping up to be pretty similar to last cycle (let's hope the outcome is different). Today, righty had 1 follicle at 11 mm and ~5 at 10 mm. Lefty had the ever present cyst (now a whopping 24 mm), as well as 1 follicle at 11 mm and ~8 at less than 10 mm. I'm a little nervous about those two lead 11's. But hopefully everyone will catch up and grow nicely. Still holding strong at 450 IU Bravelle and 150 IU Menopur. Last time I started at 300/150, jumped to 450/150 on stim day 5 and back down to 300/150 on stim day 9. I'm not sure if I expected more eggs with the higher starting dose, new protocol, and 3ish months of supplements (DHEA, CoQ10, metformin, extra vitamins), but I do have my fingers crossed for better quality.

The RE is strongly recommending growth hormone (saizen). I'm supposed to order it today and start it tomorrow. It's damn expensive. But since this is our last go, I'm going to do it.

I'm not as bloaty as last time. During IVF #1 I felt like I had the worst gas ever and I couldn't even button my pants. This time, I have some lower back cramps (that's my typical spot for period aches and pains) and some very stabby stomach cramps. Not sure what that's about. Feels more like endometriosis pain than stim pain. Last time, around stim day 9, I was so uncomfortable I questioned if I would even make it to retrieval. However, I was recently talking to a friend (now 36 weeks pregnant with her IVF baby) and she had 44 eggs retrieved (!!!!) with no IVF pain at all. Seriously??? (on a side note, she's 39, did PGD, had only 4 genetically  normal embryos, put two back, and will be meeting her daughter in the next few weeks).

I'm pretty excited. Overwhelmed. And scared. I'm glad I go back every 2 days as I need the constant reassurance that things are progressing. Next up, follicle check Friday morning.

Nurse just called. Estrogen is 295 and progesterone is 0.4. Last time, estrogen was 176 on stim day 5. Tomorrow, I add ganirelix (every night until trigger) and saizen 8 IU (every night until retrieval).

Thursday, August 22, 2013

IVF #2: Baseline Ultrasound

I got reacquainted with the dildocam this morning. I forgot how sad it is to sit in the sad waiting room with the sad ladies. I did not forget how uncomfortable it is to take your pants off, throw your legs in the stirrups, and have a stranger jab at your uterus with a stick. Righty, my little underachiever, was silent on the matter of IVF #2. No follicles. No cysts. No nothing. This has been typical since my 2010 surgery to remove the dermoid. Lefty kept the party going with multiple follicles ("several" was the official count) and one big cyst. The cyst landed me in the blood draw room so they could check my hormone levels. I've been anxious about it all afternoon, but the nurse just called and I'm cleared to start stims tomorrow.

I have a little suspicion that the "cyst" is actually a mini dermoid. My surgeon said she suspected lefty had a small dermoid, but she didn't want to cut into my intact ovary, since righty had been hacked to pieces. And that same cyst showed up during IVF #1. It's probably a hairy, toothy, mini-me of the tumor that was removed back in 2010.

For the record, estrogen was 52 (I'm on vivelle patches) and TSH was 1.7 (which is the lowest I've been since I started levothyroxine).

The excitement is starting to creep in. I've been feeling eeyore-ish in general lately. But this bit of good news has me smiling. Stims tomorrow. Follicle check on Wed. Here we go....

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Surge! (and more bullets)

  • I did finally get an LH surge on CD15. That's a little late for me, but considering all the damn pills I'm on, we'll call it normal
  • I started estrogen patches (one every other day) on CD25 and ganirelix (one shot every night for three nights) on CD26
  • I freaked out a little after reading up on the estrogen patches and all of the info on blood clots. You Will Get Blood Clots. Do Not Take This Medication If You've Had Clots. Oh, no big deal, me and my clotty clotness will just be in the corner injecting lovenox and hoping for the best
  • CD1 was Monday and I go in for my baseline ultrasound tomorrow. In general, that makes me incredibly excited. Except....
  • I lost my shit yesterday. I didn't realize how terrifying I would find IVF #2. I thought I was feeling good. I thought I was prepared. I know this is our last try but we have back up plans B, C, and D and I thought I was going to be zen about the whole thing. Not so. I am so scared to do this again. Because it is hard. And it hurts (mostly emotionally, but a little physically). And it has always ended poorly
  • It does't help that work has been a nightmare and I've been putting in 12-14 hour days for weeks. And some of the people I'm working with are being beatches. And I'm generally just over it
  • And it doesn't help that we had 3 weeks of ups and downs with a birth mother, including multiple calls with her and her mom, and plans to drive to their home town to meet them (at their insistence), which all ended very suddenly when we received a call from the mom (birth grandma) that they had decided to parent
  • I owe a bunch of people Liebster responses and blog comments. I've just been overwhelmed with life. But, I'm hoping to get back to my regularly scheduled life soon. And back to things I enjoy, like all of your blogs (and mine too)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

It came with a pregnancy test (and other bullets)

  • I had to get a new pack of pee ovulation sticks. Target was out of the generic brand and I was too tired to drive to the other target (side note: I recently found out there are 42 targets in my city's "metro area". Seriously?), so I handed over the extra $4 for first response. Apparently, when you buy the fancypants brand, you get a free pregnancy test. I am now obsessed with it. I'm constantly thinking about that little pink pregnancy test in my sea of purple ovulation tests.
  • For those of you playing along at home, CD1 was July 22. I thought I would surge today (CD13), but so far nothing. I'm now worried that the pee sticks are broken. But it's probably me. (or, most likely of all, it's just normal and I should calm the f down and I'll probably ovulate tomorrow)
  • Work has been a total nightmare and that's pretty much all I have been doing since my last post.
  • We were contacted by a birth mother last week. She is very young and very early in her pregnancy. She sent us a long sweet email and we played it cool and wrote back something very noncommittal. Now I feel bad about that. After 3 years of this we're so jaded and we let that get in the way of making a connection with her. I hope we get a second chance
  • Tomorrow the social worker comes to our house for our home study renewal. I'm supposed to be cleaning the house right now, but instead I'm reminiscing obsessing letting my mind run wild with the last 4 years of the adoption/IVF journey and all the possibility that awaits in the next few months
  • Sometimes I spiral down into thoughts of this being never ending. The shots, the pills, the hormones, the emotions, the waiting, the wondering, the disappointment, the hope, the heartache. But I keep trying to remind myself that every day brings us one day closer to the resolution. One day we will step off this roller coaster. I don't know what it will look like, but one day we will be there and we will be thankful for all the years we put in (and of course then we'll step onto a new and different roller coaster [hopefully parenthood] but I am so ready for new and different)