You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘IVF’ tag.

Went to the doc yesterday, who says things look good down there.  With my next period, I will start estrace and then after the transfer, in lieu of PIO injections, have been allowed to switch to endomertrium.  I don’t know what this is, but am thinking it can’t be any worse than a sore butt for 3 months.  I will have to do a little research….I know that alot of docs prefer the shot because they can measure with 100% efficiency how much progesterone is getting in to the system.  Whereas the suppositories, rings, etc, can get a bit messy and um, leak, which means some medicine didn’t make it in.  But enough people seem to have used it and been fine, and as I am not crazy about self injecting (husband will be away for a week), I’m willing to give it a try.  Any comments on endometrium are very welcome!!  So for now……just waiting…… for the period….again.

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Last night I did my first stim shots, 75 iu repronex and 150 follistim.  It was a bit nerve wracking playing mad scientist in the kitchen, but we got through only wasting a few drops of meds and 1 syringe.   The follistim meds were just kind of free flowing out of the pen without us doing anything, so that wasn’t really our fault.  We used the big needled syringe to mix the meds and then got a little too eager and thought it was time to switch needles before actually drawing the meds up.  The needle doesn’t get changed until the meds are ready to go in.   So we figured it out and I injected myself with no other problems.

Helpful tips: Repronex has a bad rep for stinging upon injection.  The tip I’ve heard is to let the meds sit for about 10 minutes after mixing, which help decrease the sting factor.  I followed this advice, and there was no stinging.   I also massaged the area afterwards for a bit, to spread the meds out,  and don’t have any bumps or welts today.  Redness, soreness to the touch and a little itchy, but otherwise the injection site is fine.

Lupron decided to have its last hurrah yesterday, seeing as it was no longer going to be the center of my attention.  I decreased my dose to 5 units yesterday, and ended up with the worst migraine I’ve had the entire three weeks I’ve been on it.  I also had a ton of hot flashes, and stuck my head in the freezer to cool off!  My (very scientifically informed) theory is that the decrease in Lupron allowed some of my natural hormones  to get back into my system.  So it was like a prison break – with my normal hormones chomping at the bit to run free and wreak their usual havoc.  But Police Officer Tylenol was on the scene quickly and beat them down into submission.  I feel ok today.  Small headache, tired, but none worse for the wear.

Woo hoo, only 9-12 more days to go!  1st ultrasound tomorrow at 8:15….will anything be alive in there??

I just found this article, which is a more credible source on the Brangelina IVF issue, but again, doesn’t seem to totally confirm the IVF rumors. If Angelina had IVF and wanted to tell people about it, she would just say it, right? Doesn’t seem to me that any of the telling comments are hers.

Slightly amusing – “…since multiples are usually a side effect of IVF.” (my italics)

And laugh out loud funny – “What stress? Don’t people like to get pregnant by having lots of sex?”

But when you start picking on Perez Hilton as a credible IVF/IF news source, you should probably find somewhere else to channel your energy….

Like knitting!

I am teaching myself how to knit, and boy, its tough! The book I bought is pretty useless in the instructional aspect. But once I caught on, I was knitting away. I just unravelled the piece last night, and am going to try and learn a new stitch tonight. I am thinking that maybe, just maybe, while on bedrest, I will knit my little future baby a hat. Or a potholder.

My cyst is gone!  I made the doc repeat that sentence a few times this morning , because I couldn’t believe it!  Denial Junky and Hope Addict are celebrating up a storm and I am super excited!  I still need to get my bloodwork back to be given the all clear to start Follistim and Repronex, so I am not getting TOO excited until I get that phone call.  However, last week my estrogen level was a 12, which seems really low to me, so there shouldn’t be any problems this week.  Right?

I’ve been thinking about that number “12” all week.  “How many estrogens you got?  — I got 12.”  It just seems so strange to be quantifying our hormones this way, and then to not have 12 thousand or 12 million….just “12” …is funny to me for some reason.  Probably a side effect of the Lupron in the small print…”patient may find unexpected humorous content in resulting E2 levels.”

I made the nurse show me three times how to do the repronex and follistim and then had to play with the teaching tools myself.  Bless her heart for being so patient.  I may be infertile, but I am definitely not an alchemist, and mixing strange powders (which may be stranger than any of us think) and sodium chloride do not sit well in my little bubble of life experience.  On a positive note during the lesson, the nurse did tell me that air bubbles in subQ injections were not a problem health wise – which was relieving because I kept expecting to drop dead every morning after injecting syringes of Lupron with visible air bubbles at the top.  The medicine would come out the needle tip when I checked, but I could still see a pocket of air in the syringe.   I learned that any large air bubbles in a subQ injection would just take the place of the medicine going in…so although its not a good thing to inject air, it won’t hurt you at all.  And since my estrogen level was 12, I was evidently getting plenty of meds into my stomach.

So…blood test results are up next.  More waiting!!

I feel frozen this week, like my whole life hinges on the results of tomorrow’s ultrasound (i.e. if Cysty has persisted), and nothing else is of any importance.   And I realize that this is a terrible attitude and can’t be good way to look at things.   And yet I go on with this tight little ball of anxiety in my stomach –  waiting for the big moment when the magical dildo cam will predict my future.  About 15 hours from now.

I probably should have been proactive about it.  But I think I am in a constant state of denial which makes it hard to take action.  For instance, I have not yet contacted my husband’s health benefits company to talk about how/if they cover IVF.  Which will be a really important consideration tomorrow if we are delayed again, or have to cancel the cycle.  I also have not looked too closely at the calendar to determine when the latest day is that we can do this thing and still let my husband travel overseas.  And the reason?  Because Denial Junky and Hope Addict have joined forces and have led me to believe that I am going to be cleared to start stims tomorrow, so why worry about it.   I want to move forward SO BAD.

Only a few more hours of not knowing.  I can get through.  And the decisions we have to make we can make tomorrow.  I guess I only will need to decide if we’re canceling before Friday’s Lupron shot.  And  I guess I can always keep shooting up until I decide, too.  So, it’s not that bad, really.  And maybe my “denial” has just been a defense mechanism to avoid unnecessary stress, right?  And I think I’m going to call out of work, to at least avoid one crappy area tomorrow (as I happen to be mighty unsatisfied in work at the moment).

I haven’t been drinking while on Lupron, but I think I have a glass of Bailey’s coming my way tonight.

The big question – do we think that my new friend the ovarian cyst, I like to call it “Cysty” – is shrinking?  I am feeling like the shrinkage of Cysty in a week would be a miracle, which isn’t likely.   And which will cause big timing issues for me and husband.  He has a trip to CA and a trip to South Africa coming up in mid-August, so things need to get a move-on with the stims or else we have a problem.  I won’t let him cancel these trips (he recently took this job specifically so that he could do trips like the aforementioned) and he won’t let me do the IVF procedure alone….so I don’t think we will have any alternative but to cancel and try again in another month or so.   Which wouldn’t be all that terrible (despite 21 days of Lupron injections and headaches for nothing)…..except that we are trying to sell our house, so may not be in the area much longer, and receiving benefits that will pay for IVF, being close to our current RE, etc.

I guess I need to figure out if his insurance will pay for IVF when we switch over, which will probably factor in to our decision to proceed or cancel this week, if Cysty is still there.

It’s so frustrating all the choices that us infertiles have to make….these are not things that normal baby makers have to take in to account.

They have sex on cycle day 14 (in October of course for a summer birthday) and whammo – baby on the way!

VS.

Our months and months of trying which begins to turn sex into a mechanical exercise in how male and female anatomy correspond, questioning whether to go through uncomfortable and often serious medical procedures to determine the causes of infertility (and then winding up with a diagnosis of “unexplained infertility” to show for our troubles), having all sexual privacy invaded and providing “specimens” on demand at 6:30 am, questioning whether to start letting the docs take partial control of our bodies with IUI cycles and then questioning whether to hand complete control over to them for an IVF cycle.  And geez, while we’re making these decisions, can we really handle twins?  Or triplets??  I’m not even going near selective reduction issues.  And then, at last committing to an IVF cycle –  and wondering whether all of the injections and bruises and headaches and potential life threatening risks we are taking will even bring us to our goal.  And then a cyst can come along and make things REALLY interesting.  It’s fucking hard, and it just goes on and on.  Even when we are lucky enough to get pregnant, it’s beta numbers to stress over, and super early ultrasounds and PIO injections for 12 weeks….

I think fertile women have about a 2% idea about what being infertile really means, and how it effects our lives in so many ways.   I know this, because if they had any sort of reasonable understanding, they wouldn’t dare complain about their babies/kids/pregnancies in front of us.

I suppose it’s all relative, which is an important thing to remember.  There are women who would love to, but could never afford IVF and so don’t want to hear me complain about the resulting choices/stresses.  And there are people who don’t even have homes or jobs, let alone health insurance that covers IVF, who also would tell me to shut up and count my blessings.

I am really hoping that my blessings include the ability to proceed with an IVF cycle this Thursday.  Fingers crossed.

Angelina Jolie had her twins a few days ago, a girl and a boy. (Anyone know how many weeks along she was by the way?) I have been wondering all along if she had IVF. That is the rumor, but I can’t find any statement that she has ever made confirming or denying it. I wish more celebrities who have undergone IVF would be candid about it.  I mean, I know I shouldn’t care how Angelina Jolie got pregnant, right?  But somehow, if she had IVF,  it does matter to me now….do celebrities who undergo IVF have a  responsibility to other infertile women?  Of course not, but its probably the right thing to do, or at least a NICE thing to do for other infertile women.   And I know its a private affair and a tough/personal time to go through, and some of us regular Joes don’t even tell other people in the midst of treatment….but once it works and you have babies, I think its good to say where they came from!  It is so helpful to others going through the experience!

I joined an online support forum that has made the process so much easier for me, and I think the main reason it helped is that it has normalized the process….so many women are doing it, therefore it seems like a much less drastic/crazy thing to do (which is what I thought before I got started). If more celebrities who undergo IVF, like Courtney Cox, talked about it openly, it would be all the more “normal” to the rest of the world.  And then when a non-celebrity woman finds out that she has to go through IVF to have a baby, she will A) at least know what it is, and B) feel like it’s not a crazy thing to do, because she knows of at least a few celebrity women who have gone through it successfully.   I often feel like a pregnancy leper at times…other fertile women (read: every single female I know) don’t know what IVF is, and so don’t understand anything that I’m going through…..and when they get pregnant, they don’t tell me, because….well, I guess they don’t want to hurt my feelings, but being left out of announcements just because I’m infertile is pretty hurtful in itself, more hurtful, in fact.   So the IVF celebs speaking out would be as much for the benefit of fertile women as infertile…maybe even more so.

I think if you’re getting paid 25 million dollars for a few weeks of work, and buying 70 million dollar estates in the South of France…then you should give something back.    And sure, Angelina does, moreso than most celebrities, but I think if she did have IVF, and spoke out on it, then it would be a huge morale booster for other infertile women, and thats an enormously positive effect with very minimal effort!   And, if she really wanted to be activists for the cause….considering she (and J. Lo and Marcia Cross and Nancy Grace and whoever) has tons of money….she could donate money to local IVF clinics, to help women pay for the treatment.

Maybe she just got pregnant with twins naturally, and if so, she can disregard these comments (ha).  But it still applies to the rest of the infertile celebs!!

I was really worried about being under suppressed or over suppressed for my baseline check today.  Turns out I should have been worried about the cyst on my right ovary.  Apparently it’s been there for some time (before I even started Lupron) but no one ever mentioned it until today.  I am a little pissed about that, because at least the news wouldn’t have been such an unpleasant shock today.

The cyst means that I can’t start the stimulation phase tomorrow, which really sucks, because I was geared up to go.  If it is a normal cyst, it may go away on its own, and the Lupron should help accomplish that (hasn’t seemed to help at all over the last 2 weeks, but I’m ignoring that fact for now).  So doctor’s orders are to stay on the same dose of Lupron for another week and then go back in to see what the cyst looks like.  Hopefully it is gone.  If it is smaller,  that means the Lupron is working and I will spend yet another week trying to shrink the cyst.  If it is bigger…..well, the alternative to the Lupron therapy seems to be surgery, so we are REALLY HOPING THAT IT DOES NOT GROW.

So, no stims for me yet.  Just more morning fun and headaches with Lupron.

On a positive note, I taught myself how to knit last night.  It is hard, but I am getting the hang of it..and its fun!  Maybe by the time I am on bed rest, I’ll be able to knit something for real.

So, if I am lucky enough to have more than 1 good quality embryo come embryo transfer (ET)time, the doc wants to put 2 embryos in.  With 2 he says we have a 50% chance of getting pregnant.  Out of those 50% of women who get pregnant, 25% of them end up with twins.  A few end up with triplets, as some embryos can divide naturally.   If we transfer 1, the success rate drops to around 35%.

I’ve been thinking about this alot.  Alot of infertile womens’ knee jerk reaction is “Hooray for 2 babies!”    But, there are alot of risks that come with that package.  For babies and mom.  In a study, when these same IF women were counseled on the risks, many of them decided to do a simgle embryo transfer.

Because of the added risks (plus where am I going to put two carseats in my two door Acura?!?), I am leaning towards a single embryo transfer, which seems unheard of in this country…. even though in the UK, by law clinics are going to have to start doing more single embryo transfers to reduce the multiples rate.

I guess ultimately it will depend on our own individual situation.  IF we have embryos to freeze, AND can do a five day transfer, AND have a strong little embryo, I will lean towards the single embryo transfer.  I feel like there is nothing wrong with me that would make pregnancy less likely, so that 2 would stick just as easily as one.   But if we have none to freeze, and I am faced with going through another IVF cycle to MAYBE get to the embryo transfer stage again…..I will probably lean heavily towards putting more than 1 back in.

I suppose its really a wait and see situation.  But I don’t like waiting….

I have received several comments and am so flattered that anyone actually came here, read AND commented. Thanks, everyone! I am creating my links, and so added your blog (if you had one), I hope this is ok, please just let me know if it’s not!

Today at a wedding shower, my best friend was talking about getting pregnant in October so she could have a summer baby. I remember when I was like that…it seems so long ago… when I thought that having SEX at the right time of the month would result in a pregnancy. How naive!

My IF story:

Once upon a time I thought that having sex on and around cycle day 12-16 would result in a pregnancy. Immediately. 6 months later, no baby, I knew that something was wrong and my OBGYN referred me to an RE. He did a mini-workup with exam, bloodwork and post-coital test. There were no obvious problems and so I was told to have an HSG (hysterosalpingogram probably spelled wrong) done. When I found out what that was, I decided that maybe trying naturally for a little longer wasn’t such a bad idea. 3 months later, no baby, I decided to have the HSG done. It HURT like a motherfucker, but was VERY fast, over in probably 30 seconds. No obvious problems with my tubes. Semen analysis: normal. The RE wanted to do a laproscope, and scheduled it two months into the future. I KNEW that we would get pregnant in the interim because holy crap, I was not having SURGERY when there was NOTHING WRONG WITH ME. 2 months later, after gaining 10 pounds eating lots of desperation flavored ice cream, and no baby, I had the surgery. 1 tiny dot of endometriosis which was “probably not the culprit” was found and removed. It was not the culprit, as the following 4 months of trying naturally were futile. IUI #1 found that my husband’ sperm count was (unexpectedly) very low we were told that the IUI probably wouldn’t work. IUI #2 found another low count, and the RE advised that IVF would give us much better odds. But no WAY was I giving myself injections and having another surgery,and risking OHSS… this was crazy talk, IVF was not something that I did. During the third IUI, IVF was advised again. After IUI #3, I got my period, right on schedule, and had to make the biggest decision of my life. And so……after 2 years of trying, I took the plunge and began giving myself Lupron injections a week ago. And here we are. And what fun it is!

But, in the past few weeks, I have met some awesomely amazing women in cyberspace, and know so much more now about my body than I did before, and will never ever ever assume that a woman without children just doesn’t want them and say dumb things to them like, “So, when are you going to have kids?” And I have a blog, too, which is kind of fun.

So, all in all, sex = babies is definitely the better equation, but this equation is mine, and I have accepted it, and it is really not so bad thus far! Hopefully the end result is the same…