Friday, April 27, 2012


Thank you for all of your thoughts, prayers and support. Unfortunately, they were unable to fertilize the egg they retreived yesterday, so we are back to square one. This sucks... A LOT. However, it just wasn't in the cards this time and we will try again when we are able to.

We know we will be parents, it's just going to take a little longer than we had hoped. I'll start posting again when we have a game plan.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Egg Retrieval Update

Hi everyone! Just wanted to give a quick post-retrieval update. The doctor was only able to retrieve one egg, she said the other one had deflated (I didn't know that was possible). However, in her words, the egg she retrieved was "beautiful," so that is good! We will know tomorrow whether or not they were able to fertilize the egg, so please keep all your fingers and toes crossed! As we all know, all we need is one!

I am doing fine. I was annoyed that it took 3 sticks to get my IV, one of which resulted in a giant bruise on my arm :/ This is one reason I am glad I told some of my close co-workers about what is going on; between the IV and the multiple sticks for blood work that leave bruises, I might look like a junkie to the uninformed!

I'll update tomorrow with the news!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Two Little Follicles that Could

Yesterday I got a call from my doctor with some not-so-good news. He told me that I would only have two good follicles to go into egg retrieval with. Usually they like to have 8-10 because not all of them are able to be used. He gave me two options: one was to proceed to retrieval with the 2 eggs, or stop now and start over with different stimulation medications (the shots I was taking). He also said there was no right answer and it was totally up to us. Ryan and I talked about it and decided to go forward with this round. If we stopped and started a different course of meds, it is possible that we could end up in the same position, so we figured we would just go for it.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, there is no guarantee that the two follicles that are retrieved will be able to be fertilized, so if it does not work we are back at square one physically, emotionally and financially. Fortunately, my doctor will not charge us his fees again until we have a baby. However, there are many other costs associated with IVF such as the medication and lab fees, none of which are covered under our insurances.

My egg retrieval is on Thursday and I take my “trigger” shot tonight that will make me ovulate. Please keep my two little follicles in your thoughts on Thursday; I’m hoping they are the two “A-team” follicles!


Friday, April 20, 2012

A different kind of body shot

So we're on Day 4 of my injections and everything is just moving right along! I had an ultrasound and blood work today and the doctor said everything looked good. They told me to start another injection called Ganirelix, which prevents premature ovulation:

As you can see it comes in a handy, pre-filled syringe, so no additional mixing of medication (although I am becoming a pro at that!)

I am proud to say that I am able to give myself the injections! It is something I never would have thought I would be able to do. They do not really hurt aside from stinging as the medicine goes in and then a minute or so afterward. Not too bad! I haven't had too many other symptoms; I haven't screamed at anybody (yet... today I came close due to a cranky co-worker). I feel somewhat bloated and have been getting headaches (which could also be caffeine withdrawal), but that's all.

I have another appointment on Monday morning; another ultrasound, more blood work. I am happy to say that I am getting better at having my blood drawn. When I was in high school, getting my blood drawn sent me into a panic attack. Now it's just like, eh, whatever. I am also glad that these appointments don't take very long so I don't have to use too much of my PTO at this point! (I'll need that for OB visits, fingers crossed!)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Green Light!!!

I am happy to report that my doctor gave us the go ahead to start the IVF cycle! In fact... I have already done my first shot! The medications I am taking are designed to stimulate the maturation of ovarian follicles, which contain an egg that they release during ovulation (this description is from the Houston Fertility Institute website)

Mixing up the medication was actually more nerve wracking for me than the actual needle stick was. I was just hoping I didn't kill myself by accidentally leaving air in the syringe or something! My brave husband got the honor of doing the first stick (it is after all his birthday), but I will practice sticking myself in a couple days since he will be out of town on Friday. This is the medication: 2 vials of Bravelle and 2 vials of Menopur. The vial in the middle is the saline to mix them up since both medications come in powder form. (The dosage is subject to change when they check my blood work, which they will do every few days)

This is the needle to draw up the medications ONLY... this sucker is getting nowhere near my belly!

When I have drawn up all the medications, I switch it to this more user-friendly needle.

I am not generally a huge fan of needles, but I'm not terrified of them either. I actually think I have gotten better because of all the times I've been stuck for bloodwork lately! The stick was not bad; we'll see in a couple days if I can give myself the shot!

As for the side effects of these lovely medications, the nurse said it could be like bad PMS. I've also read on some message boards than when you get toward the end of the shots there could be some discomfort, so we will see. I'm not expecting much after day one though, apart from some shattered nerves :)

Oh, as if this wasn't fun enough, I am also weening myself off of caffeine in preparation for *fingers crossed* pregnancy. I don't drink coffee, but if you know me you know I can put away some Diet Pepsi, so this will be a challenge. Hormone shots + decaffeination = STAY OUT OF MY WAY! LOL Just kidding.... I hope!

My next appointment is on Friday, so I'll give an update then!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Update - Good News!

I had another ultrasound today, but much to my surprise this was no ordinary ultrasound. I had a saline ultrasound so the doctor could take a good look at my uterus and make sure the septum (the tissue that I had the surgery to remove) was completely gone. This kind of ultrasound was quite different than what I am used to, pretty uncomfortable actually. I had to take a pregnancy test beforehand, which they make me do every time they mess around with my uterus. I guess they have to cover all their bases just in case, but it's pretty ironic. (Spoiler alert: it was negative... LOL) I included a description of the procedure below if you want to know more about it  (the squeamish may want to skip!)

The discomfort was worth it though because my doctor was very happy to see that the septum was completely gone and said that my uterus looked great! In fact, I have a regular ultrasound and blood work again on Monday, and if everything looks fine, we can start the shots! Keep your fingers crossed that we can get this thing going on Monday!

Excited! Nervous, but excited!!! Thank you again to everyone who has been cheering my uterus on... she seems to be listening! Hopefully soon you can cheer for our embryos :)


The Procedure: Saline Infusion Sonohystogram
Once all the equipment is ready,  your doctor will widen your cervix with the use of a speculum. The speculum is slowly inserted through the vaginal opening, and then gently opened to allow a clear path to your cervix and uterus. This is the same type of procedure used at the start of a PAP test. The speculum may be a little cold since it is sterilized at room temperature.

Once the cervix is widened, your doctor will clean your cervix with an antiseptic such as Betadine. There is no discomfort while the cervix is cleaned.

Next, your doctor will begin to insert the catheter tube that will administer the saline solution. The thin plastic tube is inserted into the vagina, past the cervix and into the uterus. You will feel abdominal cramping as the tube is inserted past the cervix. Your uterus' natural reaction to a foreign object is to push it out, so cramping is a very normal reaction.

Once the catheter is inserted, the ultrasound technician and doctor will work together to position it before injecting the saline solution. The ultrasound technician will slowly insert the trans-vaginal ultrasound wand into the vagina to see the current position of the catheter. Once the catheter is in the correct position, the doctor will inject the saline solution. A small amount of saline solution, approximately 10cc's, will be injected into the uterus through the catheter tube. The saline solution may feel a little cold since it has been stored in room temperature conditions.

As the saline solution fills the uterus, the ultrasound technician will move the trans-vaginal wand around to get different views of the uterus. They will be able to capture still images and measurements of the uterus for further examination after the SIS procedure.

Repositioning of the catheter, the trans-vaginal ultrasound wand and injections of saline will continue for a few minutes until all areas of the uterus have been examined. Cramping during this part of the SIS procedure may be mild to moderate and cause you discomfort.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hurry Up and Wait

What’s that, you say? I have already posted an entry about how much it sucks to wait? (See my post from March 6) Well, welcome to IVF folks! You get tons of practice at waiting, even if you feel like your head is about to explode J

Anyhow, welcome back! The blog was on a 3 week hiatus after my surgery since there was really no news to report (see above).  I was taking my hormone pills as directed in the hopes that my uterus would cooperate and do whatever the doctor needs it to do to start IVF. I am done with the pills so I went into the clinic today to have an ultrasound and blood work, and they want me to go on birth control pills at least until Friday when I will have more blood work and another ultrasound.
Honestly I’m not really sure what they are looking for! They are checking the lining of my uterus, I know, but I’m not really sure what the criteria are for me to start. Whatever it is, it was not enough to start IVF today. The nurse I talked to said hopefully we can start next Monday which isn’t too bad. I will try to get more detailed information on Friday. All I know is we are not starting today :/ (I never thought I would be so eager to get stabbed with a needle!)

I am trying very hard to be patient. I know that it can take people who conceive naturally several months to get pregnant. I also know that it seems like every time I turn around, someone else is announcing their pregnancy! While I am extremely happy for them, of course, I am very eager for it to be my turn! I found this quote and it is quite helpful for when I’m having a bout of baby fever-induced anxiety:

It is a good reminder for me to practice my patience (plus, Cinderella is my favorite princess!)
I also know my doctor wants to make my uterus as safe of a home as he can for Cupcake. If that isn’t a good reason to be patient, I don’t know what is J

‘Til Friday!

P.S. Feel free to remind me when I am 9 months preggo and miserable that I was so eager to get this started…. Just be sure to have some protective gear on when you do! I hear pregnancy hormones can be quite, um, intense ;)