Tuesday, December 31, 2013


New Years Eve... and I'm over here looking at the clock waiting to trigger. Crazy!!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Consult #1

Today was a busy day on the Vagina Tour (lol). I went in for a follie scan with my current RE for our IUI (scheduled for Thursday), then back home to pick up DH and get on our way to Consult #1.

In a nutshell: Consult #1 was awesome!!!

Right off the bat, I was super impressed by how personable Dr. P is. It didn't take long for me to mention that I'm a marathoner (I love throwing that out there! Even if I can't run a marathon right now, it still feels so good to call myself a marathoner!), and he told us that he's a triathlete! Instant points to his street cred!! Obviously, there's more to all of this than that, but I feel understood by this doctor. When it comes to being an endurance junkie, it really takes one to know one.

After spending some time discussing our history, it was clear that he really did read our sizable file before the meeting. Even better yet, he actually had a few ideas on how he would approach our next IVF cycle differently if we were to cycle with him. I really, really liked how genuine and sincere he was while explaining everything to us. As a teacher, I appreciate his presentation style very much and thought he was highly effective (ugh, fellow teachers may eye roll with me on that one!). The best thing, in my opinion, was how adamant he was about "leaving no stone unturned" for our next IVF cycle. I couldn't agree more! TURN ALL THE STONES!!!

Here are the big points that he brought up:
  1. Morphology/ICSI - This doctor seemed to be far more concerned about our borderline morphology than our current doctor. He explained that the previous standards indicated anything lower than 14% was abnormal. Recently, this has been changed to anything lower than 5% is abnormal. Our first SA was 4% and the second was 6%. For this reason, he would do ICSI for all mature eggs retrieved. 
  2. Immunology Testing - A few of my fellow Dreamers and Bumpies have done this, so it was familiar to me. Basically, it's a blood test to see if I have NK cells that could possibly be attacking embryos in my uterus. If the test comes out positive, then I could take intralipids, an infusion, prior to ET to make NK cells a nonissue. Dr. P said that he was borderline about prescribing this, but the fact that I have endometriosis is what pushed him to recommend this option.
  3. Lupron Protocol - Dr. P explained his reasoning for why this might be a beneficial protocol for us over the Antagonist Protocol (which is what we've tried the past two times). It all made sense. But simply put: it's a different approach, and perhaps we would do better with it.
  4. Lining - Another topic that was far more concerning to Dr. P than our current doctor. I told him how my lining was always a source of stress for me throughout my cycles, and he asked how thick I usually measured. My current doctor considers 6 to be borderline, whereas Dr. P considers 8 to be borderline. When I told him that I had fluid in my lining at the beginning of IVF#1, he said that was extremely concerning to him. The good news is that there are ways to help the situation (like taking Viagra! And doing a FET rather than a fresh ET).
  5. CGH (Embryo Testing) - this is similar to PGD, but instead of just testing a few of the chromosomes, this screens all of the chromosomes. In order to do this, we would need more than two embryos to make it to Day 3 to justify the large expense (that is likely not covered by insurance).
How do I feel about all the above? I feel hopeful. I can't describe how valuable that is to me! I am very much looking forward to Consult #2 which is just a few days away!

IUI 4.1 Follie Scan #3

CD12, 9 nights of Follistim behind me (50iu each night except for last night... 16.667iu... for the full story, click here). Here's what this morning's follie scan showed:

Lining: 7.8
Right: 17, 16, 14, 11 (smaller follies were present, but not recorded)
Left: (small follies were present, but not recorded)
E2: 281 (it actually went down from Sunday's 340)
Instructions: 75iu Follistim tonight (I have to open the cartridge after all!), TI tonight or tomorrow, Ovidrel (trigger) tomorrow night between 9-10:00pm

IUI 4.1 is on like Donkey Kong! We are scheduled for 9:30am on Thursday, January 2, 2014 (whoa! New Year!). It's actually kinda funny the way that we are straddling the new year with this IUI. I will be triggering in literally the last few hours of 2013, and then go in for the IUI on the second day of 2014.

It does stink that the IUI is scheduled for the first day back to work after our long winter break. It's a good thing that I have an excellent relationship with my principal. I already told her and the vice principal that we are doing fertility treatments, so this appointment will come as no surprise. I count myself very, very lucky that I have their understanding and full support (my principal literally said to me, "Family comes first. Right now, your career has to come second to that. If there is anything I can do to make this less stressful for you, please just let me know.").

Even with everything above looking so perfect and wonderful... I know it's not. At a glance, it looks like we have a great shot this cycle. But if you've been around this blog for more than a few posts, then you know that this IUI is a long shot. We are 100% expecting for this to result in a BFN, just like every other cycle that has come before it. But even knowing the odds... we have to do something. As much as I hope and pray that this will result in our miracle... and as much as it's going to crush me when I get my period... I am trying to keep a realistic expectation of all this. But it doesn't hurt to hope. And pray. And cross fingers. Even a 1% chance is better than no chance.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Open a new vial for 8.33iu??

I always feel spaztastic whenever I have to call the RE hotline (which now has occurred twice). I knew I would have to open up a new cartridge of Follistim soon (it's a 300iu vial, but the pharmacist routinely overfills the vials). I did my injection for tonight, 25iu, and fell short by literally one click on the Follistim pen. The last thing I want to do is open a new vial and then go in for monitoring tomorrow just for them to tell me that I'm all done stimming. What a waste for literally a few drops!! So I called the hotline. The RE on call told me that she thought it would be ok to skip the remaining dose (8.333333iu). Whew! I may need to open it tomorrow if I need more, but at least this way it gives the doctor a chance to see if it is really necessary.

Honestly, with 8 follicles... I'm worried that I'm going to get canceled. And either way, ovulation is going to hurt like crazy. I'm so frustrated with my ovaries.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

IUI 4.1 Follie Scan #2

CD10, 7 nights of Follistim (50iu each), and this is what happens:

Lining: 6.0
Right: 13, 12, 12, 10, 10
Left: 10, 10, 11
E2: 340 (I like this slow rise in spite of the amount of follies)
Instructions: 50iu tonight, 25iu tomorrow, monitoring Monday

I am not looking forward to the ovulation pains. I also feel that we are quickly approaching my breaking point. I feel defeated and broken. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

IUI 4.1 Follie Scan #1

CD8, today was a double header on the Vagina Tour. I had monitoring this morning then my annual with my OBGyn. After five nights of Follistim (50iu each), here are my stats:

Lining: 5.9
Right: 11, 11, 9, 7
Left: 10, 10
E2: 206 (rising nicely from two days ago, 96)
Instructions: 50iu Follistim for the next two nights, return for monitoring on Saturday

Today's appointment was especially awkward. The waiting room was packed because all of the satellite offices are closed this week (due to the holidays). There were three couples there with their child... ::side eye:: and literally all seats in the waiting room were taken. Dr. R did my ultrasound. Usually they give you enough time to empty your bladder & disrobe from the waist down before they come in. The doctor usually knocks and asks if you're ready. Well, I guess Dr. R was in a rush today, because after I had used the bathroom, I was kicking off my shoes and she burst into the room. I stared at her like a deer in headlights. She left the room and waited for me to get set. 

Then I went to my OBGyn appointment. Ugh, jump on the scale... Fine, but I'm taking my boots off first. I liked their scale a lot more than my RE's. And the nurse even took two pounds off for clothing. Blood pressure was normal. Time to get prepped in the exam room. I was prepared for "waist down" but nope, everything off but socks. I forgot about that part. Dr. K came in the room (after I had plenty of time to study the pregnancy poster). She asked me to fill her in on our TTC efforts. Depressing. Pity eyes galore. She wished me luck and said she hoped that I'd be coming in before my next annual appointment with good news.

How do I feel about all of this? My emotions are so mixed and intense... I can't even handle it right now. Christmas was hard. I am excited to get to the New Year... I am so sad about 2013. I had high hopes... 13 is one of my favorite numbers... I was sure it would be our lucky year. But no. 2013 goes down in the personal history books as the worst year to date. I hope, wish, and pray every day that 2014 will bring our miracle.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Power of Empathy

One of my fellow Dreamers and Bumpies shared this video... LOVE IT!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Over it.

Another FB pregnancy announcement. This one really hit me hard. Could it be the fact that they just got married a few months ago? Could it be that they're so young? Or could it simply be that I really will be the last one to get pregnant around here... if I ever become pregnant.

For the first time, I am having serious thoughts that it may not be in the cards for us. If we become pregnant... it will be a true miracle.

Why is this happening? What is so wrong about my genetic code that it needs to stop with me? Why is this so hard? Will there come a day when I can look back on all of this and say 'thank god it was all just a bad dream'?

I'm so very sick of all this. I actually feel sick to my stomach.... I have no idea how this is going to turn out. And that scares the shit out of me.

IUI 4.1 Baseline Scan

Today is CD2, so I went in this morning for my baseline scan. The "Vagina Tour" is off to quite a start... over the course of the next month, I will have at least five different doctors all up in my hooha (baseline & monitoring at my current clinic, OB annual exam on 12/26, Consult 1 of 3 on 12/30, Consult 2 of 3 on 1/2, and Consult 3 of 3 on 1/14). It's like a freaking parade around here. Where are the damn horses?!!? Someone strike up the band o_O

Walking into the appointment, I already felt grumpy and fearful. I still feel action around my ovaries, so I was bracing myself for my doctor to tell me that it was cyst city and our cycle would be canceled. The receptionist was very friendly, but she's the new girl... I miss B!!!

Then Nurse R called me back. She looked at my chart and seemed confused that I was there for an IUI cycle. Then I rolled up my sleeve, and she started with the chit chat. Nurse R: "We're looking forward to the holiday break so much." Me: "Yeah, we could all use a break." Nurse R: "I know. I'm potty training a 3 year old, so my life is hell right now." ::cricket.... cricket....::

I could not believe my ears! How insensitive and rude to bitch about the challenges of parenting to an infertility patient the second before jabbing my arm with a needle for a blood draw!!! Seriously?! WTF. I'm sure parenting is hard. Parents have the right to complain about it. But not to an IFer especially in the RE lab!!! THROAT PUNCH THROAT PUNCH THROAT PUNCH

Thankfully, my fellow Dreamers cheered me up. I vented it out, and then they made me laugh with jokes about jumping the nurse in the parking lot with assorted turds and cat piss (LOL!!! The Jersey crew is a tough but lovable crowd!), lots and lots of stickers (you gotta love the FB stickers! Chickin, you're gonna be shocked when you see what JayTee & I did while you were working! LOL), and so many hugs. I don't know what I'd do without the Dreamers. They keep me sane(ish) :D

Dr. J found a few small cysts during my ultrasound. I wasn't surprised. He said that he would need to take a look at my blood results to make sure it was ok to start. As long as I don't get a phone call from him this afternoon, then I'm going to start tomorrow night with 50iu Follistim. I'll go in for monitoring on Christmas Eve Day.

Ok, fine, so I made it to work, and once I started teaching, I was distracted and enjoying the music lesson. Then at 10:30, I went down to the gym to help my colleagues with the Holiday Sing Along. All of the adorable kids from pre-K up to 4th grade were buzzing with excitement while Ken played carols on the piano as they entered the gym. And that's when I noticed all of the babies. The Prego Posse strikes again. Apparently, today was bring your baby to work day. They were all there with their babies... so I did my part with the 3rd graders (they played Frosty the Snowman on their recorders! They did great!), and then snuck out. I have been hiding in my classroom with the lights off ever since.

I got a call from the pharmacy to let me know my order is ready to pick up. I was originally planning to pick it up this afternoon on my way home from work, but seeing how it's not my day, I could get canceled, and I won't need the meds until tomorrow night, I have decided to pick them up tomorrow instead. I wish I could go home and snuggle with my doggies on the couch for the rest of the day, but I have a gig tonight. I am not looking forward to the traffic... and I need to either buy another pair of black pants or do laundry before I leave the house tonight (I'm so damn lazy, I'm going to buy a new pair!).

Thursday, December 19, 2013


I woke up this morning to spotting, and by the time I got to work CD1 was officially declared. As much as it stinks to get a period, I am thankful to be moving on. I am scheduled for a baseline scan tomorrow morning, and will be picking up my meds tomorrow afternoon. As long as everything looks good, then I'll start Follistim either tomorrow night or Saturday. Here we go with our IUI 4.1 cycle.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


People ask me throughout my day, "How're you doing?" I've never been a big fan of small talk or just shooting the breeze, but lately... it's been pissing me off. I know they are trying to be polite, and fill any awkward silences with conversation. But I'm getting sick of the stock replies: "I'm good. How are things with you?" and "Hanging in there. Can't wait until break." I am lying through my teeth, I feel like such a fraud.

Sometimes I want to scream out the truth, "I'm miserable! I'm infertile and even with the most aggressive forms of medical intervention, I'm still not pregnant after 21 months of actively trying. My heart has been broken so many times in the past several months that I'm beginning to wonder if it's possible to glue it back together. Other than that, things are swell. How are you and your ninety billion kids??" Yeah.... only in my dreams would I ever respond that way.

Speaking of dreams, I had my first ever pregnancy dream last night. It was a very strange dream. John and I were at the hospital for some reason (maybe to visit a friend?) and we spontaneously decided to get an ultrasound. And guess what... the nurse found a baby in there, heart beating away. We left to go find our friends and were talking about it in the elevator. I asked John, "Do you remember what the heart rate was?" And he replied, "I don't know... was there a heartbeat yet?" We giggled and reveled at the thought that we were pregnant.

Then I woke up. UGH. No fair, no fair, no fair. I want to go back to my dream.

Have you ever had the thought that maybe all of this is just a very, very bad dream? This can't be real, this isn't actually happening. Soon, I'm going to wake up and say, "Oh, thank God, it was just a dream!" Sigh. Wishful thinking.

On a more technical note, I finished two out of three new patient packets. The second one was an epic novel. Gees, it's a lot of paper. Then I called my favorite nurse to straighten out the meds order for our upcoming IUI cycle. I'm praying for a miracle. Yup, still praying for a miracle. Who knows... I'm sure stranger things have happened.

Now it's just a waiting game for AF to make her inevitable appearance. I really wish she'd get on with it so we can put this whole terrible cycle behind us. The daily cramping is getting old. I have been cramping literally every day since my ER. Thanks a lot for the painful reminder that my ovaries fucking suck. Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sad Face

I am trying so hard to put on my happy face... I am doing a pretty terrible job of it. I looked a wreck all weekend because we had nowhere to be. The snow storm caused us to cancel all our plans. So no makeup, shower, or hair styling resulted in a very rough looking Cici. Fortunately, my husband loves me and didn't say a word about how hideous I surely looked (though this morning when I woke up, my hair looked like a mad scientist all frizzy and puffy. I joked that this was how I would wear my hair to work, and we both laughed. It was absolutely ridiculous!).

I'm trying my best to move on with my life and just get through the work day. I went to the restroom and looked in the mirror... even with a fresh shower, hair styled, and makeup on my face, I still look so, so sad. My resting face looks like I've been crying nonstop (which I have been crying a lot). Sigh.

It is so difficult to be this devastated and miserable when everyone around me is buzzing with holiday cheer. I ordinarily love the holidays, and this year I find myself wishing they'd just be over already.

I canceled my annual gingerbread house party because literally one person could attend. I thought about just having fun decorating gingerbread houses with just me and Cath, but the timing was bad. I scheduled it for Friday the 13th thinking I'd be halfway through my 2ww... needing a distraction... In reality, we had our WTF appointment that day. I was not in the holiday spirit after hearing about how my eggs suck. Besides, as much as I love spending time with Cath, I just couldn't deal with it on that particular day. She was in the loop with our first IVF cycle and I learned the hard way that it was a mistake to tell her. She is sincere, but nosey, and doesn't know how to take a hint. I told her very directly that I didn't want to discuss my fertility issues with her anymore back in October. She has still broached the subject a few times after that (asked me if I was ok when I clearly wasn't... I lied and told her things were fine). I knew that there was no chance of putting a happy face on after my WTF, so I canceled.

Christmas shopping? Yeah, I haven't even started. Ordinarily this level of procrastination would cause me to have a mental breakdown, but I'm so sad about our TTC efforts... I don't have any energy left to stress out about gifts. To tell the truth, we don't have many people to shop for... just our parents and the family kids. I don't know how I'm going to get through shopping for the six children on our list... two being babies. I think I'll drag Johnny along with me. I want to get them all a nice gift (I love them so, so much) but I know I can't brave those stores alone.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

WTF Appointment

It is hard to come up with the words for this post. I have been sitting here staring at the blank screen for about ten minutes now, and I don't really know how to get started... I don't want to be making posts like this!!! I should be posting right now about how much the 2ww is driving me crazy, and how I hate progesterone, and how I hope there are a few sticky ninjas in there, and how I am trying to make it until beta without testing... I should be PUPO right now, not digesting the words of my doctor from our WTF appointment. I hate this...

John & I went in for our appointment yesterday. My favorite receptionist and financial person told me last week that she was leaving the clinic to pursue another career. When she told me that she was leaving, we figured that I wouldn't be seeing her again because I wouldn't have to come into the office after my transfer until after her last day had passed. I thought that I would make an extra trip so I could drop off a card and a small gift for her. Well, instead we came in on her last day for our WTF appointment. I handed her a little gift when we got there, and then asked her about my records. When I scheduled the appointment earlier in the week, I requested a copy of my records. Later on, I found out from some other bumpies that I would have to specifically ask for John's records and both embryology reports, otherwise they likely wouldn't include them. So I asked her to include all of those, and she told me that she already had everything ready to go. I was shocked. At minimum, I thought it would be two weeks to put everything together, but I walked out yesterday with a very thick envelope full of our records.

The doctor called us back, and it was time to start. I had braced myself to hear him say some difficult things. He got started right away by telling us that he sees three options for us:
  1. IVF with PGD - he actually said that although this was an option for us, that it wasn't one that he recommended. Since it seems that we are working with an egg quality issue, and the past two IVFs showed such terrible results (the second actually being worse than the first), that this option didn't seem to be worth the expense in his opinion. He said that it is possible that our embryos simply do not like being outside of my body, and that the lab environment is too unnatural for them. Seeing that the past two IVFs produced 11 embryos, and only two of them made it to the point where we could have even considered PGD... I don't see how this could work.
  2. IUI with Injects - this was the option that he suggested the most strongly for us. He said that he does believe that I can become pregnant, and that the past two IVFs have proven that fertilization is not an issue for us. With IUI, fertilization would likely happen inside my body, and it is possible that our 'golden egg' would come along. Especially if our embryos don't like being in the lab, this way would be better because they would stay inside my body. We also didn't completely rule out the IUI+inject route before moving onto IVF. We did three clomid+IUI cycles, we did an inject cycle (got downgraded to TI because I over responded... in retrospect, we should have gone forward with the five mature follies), but we haven't yet tried IUI+injects.
  3. Donor Eggs - he actually was reluctant to say this option, and I was the one who pulled it out of him. (He said we had three options, but only listed the two before he seemed ready to move on... so I asked) He also said that he thought we had a lot of room with our other options before we needed to discuss this. I am absolutely not ready to entertain the thought, so we moved on pretty quickly.
Along the way, John and I asked a lot of questions... what did he think of autoimmune testing? Testing for clotting factors? Coculture? Is it possible that I had too much medicine? That I triggered too early or too late? Maybe my body rejected the HGH? Test the sperm for DNA fragmentation? Are there any further tests for egg quality?? Supplements?? Anything???

Doc's opinion was that IUI+injects was the way to go, and he even recommended that we go get a second opinion before trying IVF again. He is a good doctor. I wish so much that this would have worked by now...

As we walked out, he shook our hands... it felt like we were all saying good bye. My two favorite nurses were there, and Susan asked me how it went. I told her he recommended going back to IUI... she gave me the most sincere, empathetic look... I had to turn away before I cried. The receptionist handed me our gigantic file, and gave me her email address. We said goodbye and walked out... 

It is beyond me why I am still getting worked up thinking about it. In general, I hate goodbyes, but this one really, really hurts. I know deep down, we never expected to be at this point. We thought this was going to work. I am still so, so heartbroken. 

So, the plan for now is that we are going to do an IUI+injects cycle with Dr. J while we wait for our other appointments. We have consults scheduled with three other REs to get a second, third, and fourth opinion. We do not feel comfortable moving forward with another IVF cycle unless there is a rock solid plan and a decent amount of hope. The consults are scheduled for December 30th, January 2nd, and January 14th. I am working on filling out the new patient forms for those three appointments. And I'll be scanning and emailing our extremely large file to all three of them when I get the chance at work on Monday. In the meantime, I'm officially waiting for AF so we can go onto our next cycle.

I cannot believe this is happening.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


The night before ET was canceled... I lit a candle for each of our ninja embryos.
If you look closely at the upper left picture, there are five glass angels in our tree <3
The instant I was fully aware this morning upon waking up, I started crying.
John held me for a while before he had to go to work.
Thankfully, my district canceled school today because of the snow.
The dogs kept me good company as we snuggled in bed.
"Seriously, mommy, when are you going to let us out of here??"
My dogs amuse me and can make me laugh even when I am heartbroken.
What a surprise!! I had to throw my bathrobe on to answer the door.
The delivery man must've thought I was nuts,
because as soon as I realized that it was a gift for me I started crying.
I am so touched by this gesture... I am beyond thankful for the wonderful people in my life <3

Monday, December 9, 2013


I was watching the clock, waiting for the seconds to tick by so I could call embryology this morning. I was instructed to call at 8:30am for a report and instructions, so naturally my plan was to dial in at precisely 8:27am.

I did not get that chance. At 8:20am, my phone rang and the caller ID said it was my clinic..... Ok... Maybe the lab is calling me instead? I picked it up and the voice on the other line was my doctor..... My head flashed back to a few months ago when Dr. J told me that if I get a call from him after ER, I should sit down because it is not good news.

The tone in his voice as he said hello said it all. I couldn't keep my voice from sounding instantly strained as I squeaked out one word: "Hi."

He delivered the news quickly and honestly, like tearing off a bandaid. He told me that none of our embryos had grown past two cells, and that there was nothing to transfer.

The tears instantly started flowing as I processed his words. He instructed me to stop all my medications, in a few days I would get a period, the doctor and embryology team would have their meeting to discuss my case tonight, and that I could come in to discuss this further anytime after today.

I controlled my sobbing long enough to ask him what happened... Begged him to tell me exactly what happened to my five embryos. He went through it with me... 14 eggs retrieved, 9 mature, 5 fertilized, 2 made it to the cleavage stage and stopped growing, 3 didn't even get that far.

How is this possible? What is the cause of this? Through my tears I asked him these impossible questions. The doctor said that he suspected egg quality, though he wanted to take the time to talk to the embryologist before coming to that conclusion.

We said goodbye. Commence the ugliest cry imaginable. I called John. He was teaching Symphonic Band, but he picked up. He couldn't understand a word I said for at least the first three minutes because I was bawling, gasping, sobbing. Finally I managed to tell him that our embryos were dead and that we were not doing a transfer. Which lead to more sobbing, gasping, hyperventilating. My dogs were gathered around me wondering what was going on... Coda barking, Mocha trying to lick my face.

What do you do after your heart is broken? Again?

Sunday, December 8, 2013


I went to church this morning and I prayed extra hard. I listed my blessings... I am thankful for so much. I was forthcoming with what I want (you don't have to think hard about that one!!). I asked God to be clear. Send me a sign. If there is something that I still need to learn or do before we can get to the next level... just tell me. We'll see how that goes.

The days between ER and ET are the most difficult, excruciating days. I am doing everything in my power to fight off the negative chatter in my mind. I'm trying to keep myself from thinking the worst... It is very, very challenging.

I was actually doing a decent job of keeping myself together. I spent the whole day on the couch yesterday. I was so uncomfortable... yuck. Today, thankfully, I feel better. I went to church, met with a few girlfriends for manicures and lunch (LOVE YOU, JERSEY DREAMERS!!), picked up some groceries, and had a nice, long chat with a dear friend. I was doing great!

And then I opened my email and saw this...

The email I got tonight.... And the pineapple whose core will be consumed! STICKY NINJAS!!
Yeah, that pretty much unglued me. Thank god for the beautiful and lovely Jersey Dreamers. They listened to me cry... Why is God doing this to me? What did I do that was so wrong? What am I supposed to learn from this so that I can just get to the next level???

I wish that I hadn't read this email tonight... during this very frail time when I'm just hoping that my embryos are still alive. I wish that she would have told me a week ago. Or a week later. But I have no control over when people announce their happy news.

Maybe that's what I am supposed to be learning from this... that things are tough right now, but life goes on. Even though I am stuck, the rest of the world is moving on. Maybe God is testing me to show me how strong I really am.

Whatever the case may be, I am putting this out there. It has been vented. And now, I'm walking away from it. I am going to go do my Circle+Bloom, and move on. I need to focus on my embryos, my transfer, my family.

::breathe in:: ... ::breathe out::

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Day One Fert Report

14 eggs retrieved
9 mature
1 did not fertilize (will be discarded)
3 fertilized abnormally (will be discarded)
5 fertilized normally

I had a hard time curbing my emotions while I was on the phone with the embryologist. I actually burst out, "FIVE?! That's it?!?!" I am just so surprised that this quickly we can go down from 14 to five. I knew there would be a decline, but I was hoping for more embryos than the last time!!! (Last time, we had 10 retrieved, 6 mature, 6 fertilized)

The embryologist then proceeded to tell me that I should call the lab at 8:30am on Monday morning to find out if I would have a 3- or 5-day transfer. Just like the last time, they will look at the embryos on Day 3. If there are more than two embryos growing normally, then they may push us to a 5dt. If there are two or less, then we'll go for the 3dt. 

I am preparing myself mentally for a 3dt. I feel sick. I feel like we are headed for the same exact outcome as the last time... The only way this could possibly get worse is if we have nothing to transfer on day 3. Heaven help me........

I asked some questions about egg quality and sperm quality. It is too early to determine embryo quality. The embryologist said that there was nothing to indicate that there was poor egg or sperm quality. The sperm count was 110 million with a 64% motility. Ok, fine. 

So now we wait. Again. And hope. And pray. And distract ourselves. I wish I could be placed in a medically induced coma for the next two days. 

I don't know what else to do, but to keep marching on. So... I'm going to go distract myself. I pray that my five little ninjas are kicking ass in their petri dishes right now. Grow, embies!!!! Grow!!!!!!!!!!

Egg Retrieval

This was in the locker at the clinic where I stored my stuff during ER. 
So, yesterday was my egg retrieval. I had a page full of pre-op instructions to follow including no perfumes or scented products, wash my hair the night before, no mascara or make up, wear warm socks, take two Pepcids and a Visaril the night before and one of each in the morning, no food or drink after midnight, etc.

We arrived at the clinic at 8:30 and were taken back to the locker room within ten minutes. I got dressed for surgery and then we were seated in the pre-op/recovery room. The nurse went over all of the pre-op forms with us. I got a fancy looking hair net and a thermometer sticker on my forehead. John assured me that it was a good look. I chewed up two Tums, and the nurse took my baseline vitals. Then the IV. Ouch. I hate that part. It never felt comfortable to me, and I couldn't wait for them to take it out. I spoke to the anesthesiologist and then after a quick trip to the bathroom, they walked me into the OR.

Immediately after walking in, there were three or four people pulling at me, placing me in the right spot, putting the oxygen tubes up my nose. In less than a minute, the room got futz and then I was out.

I woke up in the recovery room and felt extremely groggy. One of the nurses walked by and I was fighting to keep my eyes open. I wanted to know how many eggs we got!!! She told me we got 14 eggs. I was so happy to hear this!! John came back to sit with me, and the doctor came back to talk to us before she had to do the next ER.

My recovery was going pretty well at first. The nurse say me up little by little. Then I got some crackers and ginger ale. About three crackers in, I started to feel a bit nauseous. The nurse came over and noticed that I looked pale. She laid me back down and drew some blood so she could check my hemoglobin. Those numbers were a tad low, but that was to be expected after ER. She checked them again later so she could compare, and those numbers were fine. She gave me a shot in my arm to help my heart rate which was low. Then I had sudden, intense pain on my left ovary. It hurt so much, there were tears in my eyes. She rushed to get the doctor who did a trans abdominal ultrasound. I tried to focus on my breathing because I knew I was starting to panic and hyperventilate. Thankfully, the ultrasound checked out ok and there wasn't any excessive fluid around my ovaries. The nurse came in to give me a shot in my hip of some sort of pain medication (Demarall?). The pain of the needle was a welcomed distraction from the pain in my ovary. Ten minutes later, the medicine kicked in and I felt a lot better. I had to lay in recovery for a while longer because the nurse was afraid that the pain medicine would cause me to get sick. I felt nauseous for a while, but we eventually were able to get me home and in bed. I had a puke bag ready to go in the car, but thankfully didn't need it.

The doctor sent me home with Percocet to manage the pain. I took two doses (at 2:45 and 6:45). That stuff knocked me out. The nurse called me within 30 minutes of arriving at home just to check on me.

John did a good job of taking care of me the rest of the day and night. He got me yummy chicken noodle soup from Benny's kitchen. And Gatorade. Lots of Gatorade! For dinner, I was able to have potato skins pizza from Chimney Rock. Yummmmm!!

I knocked out pretty instantly after taking the second Percocet. And then had the most horrifying dreams. I dreamt that Coda was out in the yard, nowhere to be seen, and then three bears came running through. I never saw him again. I called and called for him to come back, but I knew deep down that he was either hopelessly lost or that the bear got him. Then the next day, Mocha and I were outside and the bears were back on the other side of the fence. Mocha somehow jumped the fence and onto the bear's back. I screamed after her and tried to scare the other bears away. It seemed like Mocha was out for revenge, but she was outnumbered and they were so much bigger than her... I woke up before the other bears retaliated.

I am so nervous about my fert report from the embryologist. I have been dreading this moment for weeks. Any minute now... I hope and pray that things go differently this time. In the meantime, I am holding my breath waiting for the phone to ring.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


I took my trigger shot last night at 9:30pm. That means tomorrow is the big day :D Well... one of the big days :) I will have my egg retrieval at 9:30am.

I am feeling so bloated, full, uncomfortable, achy, gross... and I'm thrilled about it because I have lots of follies in there :) I am hoping and praying that at least one of them will be my sticky baby.

The Bandaid of the Day is Beaker :) I am taking my last shot of the Tev Tropin tonight. I am not planning on a bandaid for that shot though. It's such a quick and easy shot, and I have very specific pre-op instructions (no scented products of any kind, no food or drink after midnight, etc, etc).

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Monitoring Appointment #4

CD11, 9 doses of stims including 4,000iu of Follistim, 18 vials of Menopur, 240iu of Tev Tropin, and 4 doses of Cetrotide. Today's follie scan showed the following:

Lining: 8.1 (HOLY SHIT!!! I'm so excited about this!!)
Left: 19, 18, 17, 15, 14, 14, 13
Right: 18, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 14, 14, 14, 13
E2: 2,247
LH: less than 1
P: 1.3

Dr. J was happy to see all those follies and said that things look good. He asked me how my left side was feeling. Apparently, my left ovary is laying long. Well, that explains why I've been feeling like this! My left side has never been this active, and I feel a constant pinch in my back along with pressure on my bowel. I feel like I have to poo all the time, but I don't. I've been drinking lots of water, so the bathroom trips have been plentiful.

I will get a call later to let me know what time I will be triggering. Egg retrieval will be on Friday.

Whenever I think about Saturday, the day after ER... the first fertility report... I get really uneasy. I'm trying not to think about it because when I do, the negative thoughts come flooding in. I want to stay as positive as possible for as long as possible. Circle+Bloom has been helping to keep me on track.

And, finally, the BANDAID UPDATE!! First, let me just tell you that I had to shoot up in the bathroom at work during the 5th & 6th Grade Concert. It was not fun dragging my bloated and grumpy ass back to the auditorium. I had to set up the stage (lifting lots of chairs, stands, percussion equipment, and electronic equipment... don't tell on me!), conduct the Concert Band through their two pieces and direct the Jazz Band through their selection, bring them off stage to put down their instruments, and then when they went to sing with the Chorus... that's when I snuck off. The superintendent was at the concert... he never comes to our concerts! But for some reason he was there last night. I was so nervous that someone would come looking for me. Anyway, I got through my shots as quickly as possible, and luckily no one seemed to notice my absence. I used the bandaid of the day to cover my Cetrotide shot which bled again. And now, the moment you've all been waiting for... drum roll please.... The Bandaid of the Day is........ Fozzie the Bear!! Woohoo! Or should I say, Wakka wakka wakka!!

UPDATE!!! I am triggering tonight at 9:30pm, returning to the lab for blood work and pre-op instructions tomorrow, and ER is on Friday at 9:30am!!! I am to finish the Tev Tropin (40iu tonight and about 20iu tomorrow). AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! I'm so excited!!!! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Monitoring Appointment #3

CD10, 8 nights of stims behind me, 2,825iu of Follistim, 16 vials of Menopur, 200iu of Tev Tropin, 3 doses of Cetrotide. Today's follie scan:

Lining: 7.54
Left: 16, 15, 18, 15, 13, 11
Right: 15, 14, 13, 10, 11, 10, 11, 12, 10
E2: 1,564
LH: less than 1
P: 1.2

I am over-the-moon-happy with the above!! I was completely expecting my 8 follies to be there, but didn't think there'd be any more. Now I have 15 measurable follicles!! And my lining!!! My lining!!!!! I can't believe my lining :D 

I am waiting for the call from my doctor with instructions. My favorite nurse was there this morning. She is awesome, and I love it when she does my appointments. She is very gentle with the blood draw, and when she does my scan she is very verbal. She was explaining everything, showing me all of my gorgeous follies on the screen, making sure I had enough medicine... I'm going to call the pharmacy to order more Follistim, because it seems that I will be stimming for a few days more before the trigger. Good, good, good!! Plump up those follies!! I hope some of the smaller ones will catch up :)

And now the bandaid update :) I fully admit that the use of bandaids for these shots is mostly unnecessary. They are essentially stickers, but they make me smile whenever I see them. Even though I'm up to three shots a night, I've only been putting one bandaid on just for the fun of it. So after my first shot, I opened the wrapping to find Miss Piggy's eyes glittering and gleaming :) My last shot of the night (Cetrotide) made me bleed, so I actually needed a second bandaid. So now Kermit the Frog is on my belly too. It's so adorable. They are making googley eyes across my belly button ;)

UPDATE: My doctor just called. I will continue with the same dose tonight and return for more monitoring tomorrow. He is estimating ER for Friday, but said that we'll get a better idea after tomorrow. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Monitoring Appointment #2

CD8, 1,275iu of Follistim, 12 vials of Menopur, 120iu of Tev Tropin and a dose of Cetrotide over the past six nights. Whew!! Today's follie scan showed the following:

Lining: 5.9
Right: 11, 12, 11, 13
Left: 11, 11, 14, 11
E2: 649
LH: less than 1
P: 0.7

I will update later with my blood work results (E2, LH & HCG were measured). Dr. D did my scan today, so he gave me my instructions on the spot. Same doses for the next two nights (275iu Follistim + 2 vials Menopur, 40iu Tev Tropin, and a dose of Cetrotide). I will return for more monitoring on Tuesday.

I am feeling good. Bloated and full. Spirits are up. Maybe not as high as a few days ago, but still up.


Updated: I was scratching my head to figure out tonight's bandaid. Then Laur figured it out :)

At first I thought Fozzie the Bear, but that wasn't right...

It's this guy! The Chef!!