Thursday, May 27, 2010

Should I be embarrassed?

I just had to share something that I thought was kind of our refrigerator broke a few months ago. The water filter exploded causing at least 5 gallons of water to spew out, running down the shelves, ruining our hardwood floors around the fridge, causing us to have to take every single item out and dry it off, etc. And we were standing right there when it happened! It spewed out that much water in the 30 seconds it took for Barry to discover the problem, pull out the fridge and turn off the water. Sigh. That was sad. But then it didn't have any other problems until recently when it started freezing our food in the fridge. Stupid fridge is only 3 1/2 years old...We had someone come out and look at it and it's thermisitor (? no clue on the spelling) is broken. (Basically it's the thermostat but Samsung calls it a thermistitor.) They ordered the parts 3 weeks ago and they finally came in today! So the man is fixing my fridge as we speak...

All that to say, I let him in the house, led him to the kitchen and then went back to my office. I come out to check on him and apparently everything has to come out of the fridge in order for him to fix it. So when I walk into my kitchen, on the counter lays my progesterone vaginal suppositories! ha ha taking everything out he had to handle my lovely suppositories as well as all of the injections, but they at least don't have the words "vaginal suppositories" on the side!

In a previous life (OK, try a couple of years ago) this would probably have been pretty embarrassing for me. Now, however, I think it's pretty darn funny and am not embarrassed in the least that he had to see and handle such crazy stuff. Amazing how your attitudes/perspectives/modesty levels change after going through infertility!! Often I find myself telling someone about Barry's sperm county, my follicles, how the process of an IUI works, and realize that maybe I am making them uncomfortable. I don't really have any boundaries in that area anymore...

Speaking of follicles...mine are still growing slowly but surely. I went in for monitoring (US and labs) last Friday, Monday, Wednesday and this morning (that's right, 4 times in a week) and the follicles keep a growin'! We've done 9 days of Follistim injections, today is CD 14. This morning I had follicles measuring at 18.05, 16.75 and 13.8 all on my right ovary. Lefty is not doing a thing this cycle. (Tons of little guys, but those 3 are the leaders.) By my predictions it looks like I will be triggering tonight maybe and then IUI tomorrow? Or possibly trigger tomorrow and IUI Saturday. We'll see what they recommend when I hear back from them this afternoon (in actuality it will be evening before I hear back).

Alrighty, gonna go check on my appliance guy again! So happy to hopefully have a functional fridge now! Fixed fridge and good looking follicles! It's a happy Thursday! :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

A booty load of follicles

I had my first monitoring ultrasound and blood work since being on Follistim on Friday. I had 20 follicles on my right ovary and over 30 on my left. Goodness gracious that's a lot...they were all pretty small though, none were over 11mm. I thought for sure they were going to tell me that we would have to cancel the cycle because I had so many (they will cancel a cycle if there are too many mature follicles because your risk of multiples goes up so drastically). But the RE decided that since they were all still pretty small and all about the same size to continue at the 50IU of Follistim. If we upped the dosage there is a risk that all of the follicles would grow and mature having to cancel the cycle, so even if it takes a little longer he wanted me to stay on the 50IU to see if we can get 1-3 of those follicles to break free from the pack and mature at a faster rate than the others! So we continued the Follistim 50IU on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (making 6 days on the Follistim so far, today is CD11) and I went back in for another ultrasound and blood work this AM. And happy news...there are 2-3 follicles on the right ovary that are getting bigger than the others! Yay! They are still kind of small (I think the biggest was 13mm) but at least a few are growing faster than the others! Now I am waiting to hear from the RE regarding more instructions...I think things are looking good though.

In personal news...OK, I guess news about my ovaries and follicles is pretty personal...but in non-infertility news...we had some friends in town this weekend and had so much fun with them! They came down from Nashville and we took their 2 1/2 year old to the beach for his first time! It was so much fun seeing his reactions! I am getting behind in my posting of pictures...I still need to put pictures up from the BBQ festival last weekend and now I need pics from the beach...but our computer crashed, booo (hard drive is bye-bye) that is my hold up. One day soon though I will get all of my pictures of our fun weekends up!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Here we go…

Uterine lining and hormones looked good Monday soooo…I started injectables yesterday (CD5)!  Isn’t that exciting?  :)  I am now officially a pincushion.  Here are my new meds…


Our fridge is now stocked with infertility goodness.  Follistim injectables to be used each day to help the follicles mature, Ovidrel injection to be used to induce ovulation whenever the follicles are mature, Crinone Progesterone vaginal suppositories to be used the day after Ovidrel to keep the uterine lining happy. 

Here is the Follistim Pen…

DSC02701 This is what I am using every evening.  You take the top off, insert a vial of medicine and then you just have to change the needle out each time.  On the far right you can see the little “IU” with a window next to it with the number ‘0’.  That is where you dial your dosage each time.  I am doing 50IU this cycle.

And here is the case with some of the needles…


Fun times.  The first injection went great yesterday.  I got the pen all ready to go, and Barry did the injection.  I still just can’t do that.  It wasn’t painful at all - I barely felt the pinch.  Two more days of injections then I will go back in on Friday for another ultrasound and more bloodwork. 

And I will leave you with a picture from our trip to Gulf Breeze, FL Monday for the injections training.  We ate the best lunch in the entire world at a very cute beachy restaurant in Pensacola Beach.  It made the trip totally worth it!  :)


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Boo to IUI #3

That’s right…boo…it’s a no go…unsuccessful…BFN…

It actually was probably the easiest “no, you are not pregnant” call I have gotten though.  I kinda thought it was going to be negative and had prepared myself for that, so I wasn’t really surprised when that is what the nurse told me.  Plus we had friends in the car when I got the call, so it forced me to be in control and I didn’t even tear up.  Progress if I do say so myself.  :)

The next step…my RE gave us the option to #1 do another cycle on Clomid or #2 to start on injectables. Of course, sticking with true infertility fashion we had about 24 hours to make the decision about which path we wanted to take (we had briefly been forewarned that this decision was coming but didn’t want to think along those lines because we wanted to be positive that #3 would work).  The hard thing about this was that we got the call at 4pm on Thursday afternoon while we were in the car headed to Memphis with some friends.  We got to Memphis late that night, shared a hotel room with our friends and were at the Memphis in May Barbeque Festival ALL day Friday and Saturday with thousands of people around.  So it was very hard to discuss pros, cons, do research, etc before we had to let the nurse know Friday!  Luckily we have great friends that I feel comfortable talking about such things with! :)  Another kicker in all of this was that we have to do a training on injectables before we start and it has to be done either in Mobile (3 1/2 hours from Dothan) or Gulf Breeze (3 hours from Dothan) on or before CD3.  Which means taking ANOTHER day off work (after being off Thursday and Friday) AND tomorrow is my last night of GPS so there is a ton of prep to do before the meeting and I HAVE to be back in Dothan by 3pm at the latest to get everything ready!  Sigh, nothing in this is easy!  Our final decision was to schedule the appointment to be trained on injectables Monday (tomorrow, CD 3) and pray about it for the rest of the weekend.  Then tomorrow during the injectables training we can ask more questions and if we don’t feel comfortable with it, do another round of Clomid. 

Rationale behind injectables instead of Clomid…Clomid tricks the brain into thinking that the body is not producing enough Estrogen.  This makes your body create more estrogen which leads to the production of more FSH, which helps in the production of ovarian follicles.  However, since it is messing with your estrogen levels it can cause problems with the uterine lining which can impede implantation.  The injectables (the medication is called Follistim) bypass the estrogen route.  The active ingredient in Follistim is FSH so it directly stimulates ovarian follicle growth.  However, with this medication comes more risks…risk of multiples on Clomid = 8%.  Risk of multiples on Follistim = 20%. (These stats totally do not bother me…I really would love to have multiples…)  There is also a risk of hyperstimulation causing hospitalization and some other stuff.  Because of these risks they monitor you MUCH closer than with the Clomid.  They not only do an ultrasound on CD3, but they also do lab work.  Then you do several days of self administered shots, then go back in for lab work and ultrasound.  Then they evaluate how you are doing, then possibly a few more days of shots, more ultrasound and bloodwork, etc.  We will know more tomorrow, but that is the initial info I got from the nurse.  (That was the extremely dumbed down version…for more info on any of these medications or treatments check out the Fertility Journey website.)

Prayers…that my lining will look good tomorrow, that I will have no cysts and that we will know which route to take this cycle!  I have never done back to back cycles because something always comes up forcing me to take a month off in between so I am praying for the best tomorrow so we can go ahead and do something!

I will post pictures from our so fun Memphis trip later this week!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother’s Day Ickiness

Mother’s Day…those two little words make me furrow my brow when I hear them.  :)  Mother’s Day…an awful holiday for an infertile.  Mother’s Day…probably the hardest day of the year for us.  So does anyone else want to skip church with me Sunday?  Hands, hands??  The “Happy Mother’s Day’s”, the “please stand if you are a mom”, the “when will YOU be a mother?”, the sermon about mother’s…it is SO not easy for an infertile!!!  CONSTANT reminders of what we sooooo wish we had.  I SOOO wish I could stand!!!  After last Mother’s Day I vowed to NEVER go back to church on Mother’s Day until I was a mother.  The entire time I was choking back tears.  I really had planned on being strategically out of town this weekend so we didn’t have to be there but the more I thought about it and the more I prayed about it I decided to not let the devil win.  By not going to church I was in a way saying, “God, your grace is not sufficient to protect my heart and emotions so I am going to protect myself.”  (This is just what I feel like the Lord was telling me…not necessarily what I think every infertile should do.  I COMPLETELY understand if going to church that day is too hard for you!!)  I did go back and forth and back and forth…thinking, even though God can protect my heart, I also have to know my own limits and that is just one of them.  But in the end…I think….I have decided that I am going to brave it.  Although…only partially…I think we will head back to the nursery and see if we are needed in there for the church service.  That way I can at least avoid parts of the cursed day.  :)  I am clinging to the below promises…

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

Happy Mother’s Day though to my own mom and grandma and mother-in-law!!  And to to all of the other mother’s!!  I hold no ill will towards you, I just wish I could join you in the celebration.  :) Next year, next year, next year….that will be my mantra.  :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

IUI #3

Alrighty, so the last time I heard from the RE it was about 3:45 Friday afternoon and they told me to go ahead and trigger. But I cannot do this on my I had to hastily call someone to help!! :) Thankfully, I am blessed to have great friends who are available at a moments notice to inject me. So I drove out to Rachel’s house and let her poke me, which she did an awesome job at! No shaking or anything. I am so mad at myself that I forgot to get a picture this time though. Boo.

The IUI itself was set for Saturday morning. We had to be there at 7:30am and with a 3 1/2-4 hour drive I REALLY did not want to head there Saturday morning. So we decided to get a hotel that night and Saturday night and make a weekend out of it. I had just a couple of hours to trigger, tie up loose ends at work, pack, book a hotel, cancel church responsibilities, etc. before we had to leave town to head to Mobile. But it all got finished and we were on our way by 8ish that night. It rained/thundered the whole drive to Mobile, but we made it safely. We even saw the truck in front of us on the interstate swerve into the median, do at least three complete rotations and finally stop on the other side with oncoming traffic. It was so scary to watch! I don’t know if he hydroplaned or what, but the Lord was watching over the people in that truck because they were fine! There “somehow” weren’t any cars coming in the oncoming traffic lanes so they were able to get out of the way before they were hit. Crazy.

Everything else about the weekend went perfectly smoothly!! We got to see….


Yes, yes those are my husband’s swimmers! :) I debated posting it…didn’t know if it would be appropriate or make anyone uncomfortable…but I decided it was just too cool not to share! :) The camera didn’t take a great picture through the microscope, we could see them better than this but they were just a swimming around! And then…


DSC02574 No pictures of the actual procedure though so don’t worry. :) And we also had to pose with…

DSC02577Not a great picture at all…but we HAD to get a picture with Conception Street!!! It was only appropriate. Our hotel was only about 2 blocks away from here!

The weekend was fun though! We stayed downtown in a neat little hotel, took naps, walked to a cute restaurant and coffee shop (decaf of course), went to a movie, shopped a little, ate at Lambert’s (Home of the Throwed Rolls…they really do throw them :) ), went outlet shopping…it was so nice and relaxing. I have read that more babies are conceived on vacations than at any other time, so there you go….making a mini vacation out of it! :) Please join with me in prayer that God is working a miracle in my body right now and we will get pregnant this cycle and have a healthy baby in 9 months!!

This cycle is going to be the death of me

I went back in for my day 14 ultrasound on Friday morning (8am) to see how the follicles were doing and to see when we should trigger, IUI, etc.  The lady that did the ultrasound was not the one that normally does it, I love the normal lady.  But this lady I have only had one other time, the time she told me I didn’t have any cysts when I actually had a huge cyst that they put me on birth control for.  So I was not thrilled in the least that she was the one doing the ultrasound.  I saw one follicle on my left ovary measure at 19mm and another measure at 14mm.  The right ovary had several little guys and I think 2 other good size ones, but I didn’t get the measurements. 

I get a call from the RE’s office (at 3:30pm...does it REALLY take that long to look at my results???) and they said it looks like I have already ovulated because there weren’t any mature follicles.  They wanted me to come in and get a progesterone check on day 22 to see if I had ovulated or if the 100mg Clomid is not doing the trick.  Sooo I say to the nurse, I SAW with my very own eyes 2 large follicles AND I SAW the measurements.  And she says, well that’s not how the ultrasound tech wrote up the sheet.  And I said, well that’s what I saw.  And she said, OK I will call the OBGYN’s office to see if we can figure out what is going on.  :) My OBGYN’s office closes early on Friday so I just knew no one would be there and we were going to have to cancel this cycle.  Not so excited…so I started to blog…then I tell myself that the first thing I should do is not blog but to turn my anxieties/anger over to the Lord.  So I stop blogging and begin praying and no more than 5 seconds later I hear back from the RE (God is so cool, isn’t He??) that I have 4 MATURE FOLLICLES!!  A 19, 18, 15 and 14!!  The ultrasound tech had just written up the form wrong.  I mean seriously…if only everyone would do their job my life would be so much easier!!  :) 

With everything that has happened with this cycle I have decided that there must be some great results on the other end of it.  It had to have been the devil trying to get this cycle canceled and get me discouraged – the cycle almost got cancelled like 4 times!  Everything from nurses telling me the wrong things to too thick endometrial lining to not being able to get the medication to miscommunication between the doctors offices….but he did not succeed!  I persevered!!  :)  IUI #3 was ON!!  More on that to come…