Wednesday, January 27, 2010



–adjective 1. easily irritated or annoyed; readily excited to impatience or anger.

2. Physiology, Biology. displaying irritability.

3. Pathology. susceptible to physical irritation.

4. Medicine/Medical. abnormally sensitive to a stimulus

My birth control should have come with the warning "Prepare to be annoyed".  I am an irritable biyotch and I will be the first to say it.  I have been on the pill for two weeks and I have have been a raging mad woman for two weeks too.  The person at the very top of my sh!t list is currently a girl in my office that has THE MOST ANNOYING AND LOUD FAKE / CACKLING LAUGH.   Now, this laugh didn't start two weeks ago.  It's been happening for a good three years.  I have been putting up with it until now.  I am trying to avoid a confrontation with this person however I foresee something being said in the near future.  I am proud that I have made it this far.  You see,  I work in a large space with very high open ceilings.  We all sit in cubicles and I think we should all be considerate of each other.  I sit three rows away from said annoying person and can hear parts of conversations and that damn laugh from pretty much anywhere.  Oh yes, and when she goes to the kitchen and laughs I can hear it from there too.  I work a 9 hour day and have started wearing headphones for all but 20 minutes of my day.  I CAN HEAR HER THROUGH MY HEADPHONES.  I have shhhh'd her on several occasions from my desk, I even wrote "SHHHH" on a post it and put it on her desk.  (I am really trying to be non-confrontational, right???)  Now I am at the point where I have to figure out, do I ask my manager to say something or do I say something or do I ride the wave, bite my tongue and say nothing?  Of course the chance with waiting is that I may blow like a volcano and just trot over to her desk and say something nasty.  I have had it with the cackling hen.  UGHHH!!!
Note:   Said laugher just laughed and sound like this:  Ahhhhhhhh Hahhhhhhhh Hahhhhhhhhhh, Ahhhhhh Hahhhhhhhhh Hahhhhh.  
And my poor dear husband.  He put his hand on mine in the middle of the night and I kept brushing him off of me mainly because I hate skin touching skin (I know, I know, I am weird) but really because I was hot and he was hotTER.  I finally said, "get off of me, I'm hot and you're hotter!"  He laughed it off which he normally does, thank goodness. 
So, these new pills not only make me irritable, they make me think sad thoughts and CRY!  WHAHHHHH!!!!  I have cried nearly every single day!  Things I have cried about in the last week:
  1. Episode of Intervention-a dad 83 years old dies after getting clean
  2. Episode of Dateline-medical insurance nightmares-two people die (cried 2 separate times)
  3. Husband getting dressed for hockey-then leaves
  4. Husband hooked up to machines in hospital-for routine procedure
  5. At work for thoughts of feeling like IVF will not work
It's terrible!  I'm not even to the big girl medicines yet and I am this way.  I can only wonder what they will do to me!  AHHH!  I'm scared!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Last week in review (in pictures)...

I was feeling down today and started writing a depressing post and thought, you know what - I am going to focus on some good things that happened last week instead.  A lot happened last week and I wanted to recap a few things in pictures....

I got my IVF calendar.  I still have three weeks before anything starts.  This three week wait seems harder than any two week wait I have experienced. 

My wonderful husband had dinner and candles waiting for me when I got home that night...we do have a dining room table but I thought it was cute that he set the bar for dinner.  We had pasta with my favorite red sauce, he added zuchini, artichokes and tomatoes.  A nice salad as well.  He's a great cook.  For one of our first dates he cooked me stuffed shells with ricotta and spinach and I swore he bought it.  I still tease him about that.  Under my place setting was a card that said "Hang in there" on the front and it read on the inside "A - While I don't know where this journey will lead us I am glad I am on it with you.  J-"  He's so awesome.  Love that man :)

Friday I was supposed to go to acupuncture while Jamie had an endoscopy.  I rescheduled my acupuncture appointment for this Friday.  I just wanted to be there for him when he woke up like a good wifey should.  I walked into the recovery room and my eyes teared up seeing him hooked up to all the chords, iv's, etc.  It just made me feel lucky that he wasn't in the hospital for something major and only a minor procedure.  He woke up and started cracking jokes with in 10 seconds.  He had the nurse and I laughing, he thought he was perfectly fine to drive to work and carry on the day.  We both insisted he was out of his mind!    I snapped this pic of him in recovery.  I know how special he is, but this was one of those reminders that reinforces what someone means to you.   Isn't he so cute and innocent looking?  :)

And lastly, I would like to share a picture of my new prenatal vitamin.  I'm pretty sure Mr. Ed and myself are the only two that take pills this large.  The little white pill is my birth control pill. It's like swallowing a canoe.

 We had dinner with our friends Saturday night.  We had such a great time and they were kind enough to bring us a home warming gift.  I thought the gift was so thoughtful.  One part of the two part gift was a karma ring, we are supposed to make a wish and hang the ring.  The second part is a sage bundle.  We will light it and cleanse every room in the house with it.  The friend who gave these to us knows of our struggles with infertility and I just thought it was a clever gift!



Well... that's all folks!  Aren't iphone camera's great!?!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Calendar Review!

The appointment went very well!  There is soooo much to read and learn! 

All the prescriptions have been faxed to the pharmacy in New Jersey.  Our coordinator tells us that this pharmacy has the cheapest follistim which is a few hundred dollars for one tiny vile!  She did say that we are on the cheaper side of the med scale at $2000 to $2500 (whoa - cheap?)  We will receive a large box of needles and meds by mail in the next couple of weeks.   One other good thing in regards to injectible meds - the oil injection - patients use to have to inject it every day towards the end but now there is a new prescription allowing every third day!  Whoo hoo!  I wasn't looking forward to a nightly date with that big ol' needle.  Eek!

I also just dropped off three prescriptions at our local pharmacy for a z pack, prescription prenatals (I have been taking otc ones for the last year with a separate folic acid pill) and one other med that I will take during stimming.  The prescription prenatal pills have over double the quantity of all the important stuff.   We learned how to inject the different types of meds and where to inject as well.  We also learned how to measure and mix some of the meds. We were given our follistim pen which is pretty neat.  It has a dial at the end that allows you to click to the dosage you need.  We both got a lesson on how to use it and a practice cartridge filled with saline.

And more information!  Pretty detailed information on medications and storage temps, tips and a little description of each med I will be taking as well as injection sites.
As far as the calendar goes, there will be many more ultrasounds the first and/or second week of March to monitor follicle growth but I won't know until later when those are.  I will get a whole new personalized calendar based on what has happened during stimming. 

Some neat things - the dexamenthasone (she told me it's side effects: jitters and hunger-great...)which is my first injectible med helps my body readily accept follicles, the follistim med stimulates the follicles and the lupron helps them grow.  The day of retrieval Jamie will give his specimen and drive me home, we will also get an approximate count of eggs retrieved that day.  The day after retrieval we will get a fertilization report letting us know a real count of how many eggs they retrieved  and then we will get reports every other day or so hopefully on how they are growing and how many there are. 

I hope that we make it to the egg transfer.  I hope that my body responds well to everything.  In hopes of preparing my body I am going to my first Acupuncture appointment tomorrow, I will write more about this tomorrow afternoon after I pick up Jamie from the hospital - he is getting an endoscope - poor thing.  We have had a couple of emergency room trips for him in the last four or five months.  We're a medically needy household!

Okay, one more thing I thought was neat.  My coordinator had two kids because of Dr. Ahlering!  She has PCOS too - a great success story that made me feel good.  Oh yeah, We have a trip to Chicago scheduled for Feb 19 and 20 which I am so glad won't be affected by our new calendar as I can't wait to see my friend Anna and her son Jack.  Guess we will be traveling with a small pharmacy! 

So, really there is just a lot of waiting going on here until the 17th of February!  Can't wait to get the show on the road!  Anxiously waiting for our first chance!   I have a question for you ladies that have done this before - how do you organize all of the meds, etc?  I was thinking about getting a large tupperware container for the fridge and counter as not all of them are refrigerated.  Any tips from the pro's?

More about acupuncture tomorrow!  :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rambling thoughts-Blogs/Mothers/In-laws/IVF

Blogs - I spent some time early this morning looking at IF blogs on stirrup queens website.  Just kind of looking for people in a situation like mine.  I do this ever so often to find women to identify with in the crazy land of IF.   I browsed blogs writing about a first IVF coming up or currently going through IVF, etc.

Many discontinued blogs both due to people throwing in the towel on infertility and being pregnant.   Many pregnancy announcements with updates and then the pregnancy announcement with the token "I've decided to retire this blog announcement".  Almost like erasing the infertility foot steps, pretending like it never happened.  I can't say I blame them.

Alot of women going through different treatments with no luck and at a loss for what to do, where to turn or how to continue their journey financially.  My heart aches for them.  It's so sad to see the number of treatments under their belts on the side of the screen and yet so amazing to see that they sprinkle their blog postings for their current treatment with smiley faces, still hoping for their miracle.   These women inspire me. 
Mothers - My Mother and I are still not speaking.  It's been since October.  I dealt with the mean and hurtful things she said by not responding.  We did not speak or see each other on Thanksgiving (she was out of the country), my birthday (Christmas Eve) or Christmas.  Obviously I am about to go through IVF and it would be nice if we were talking so I could share the good news.  My ultrasound news the other day would have been nice to share-15 follies on each ovary.  I had told myself a couple of months ago that I was prepared to go through this without my parents and I still am, it doesn't take the pain away though.  I feel like stress is toxic, especially when trying to create a new life and I wish I didn't have the stress of not speaking with my mother while undergoing treatment.  I am just at a loss of what to do since I sincerely feel I was right and my parent was wrong and not over one issue---over several issues.

My mother doesn't even know I am going through IVF in March.   I have wondered if I should tell her.  Should I give her the option to repair this and be part of the experience that most mothers would want to be part of, or just tell her if I do get pregnant or nothing at all God forbid it not workout?  This is a tough decision.  I was thinking about this in the car the other day and thought, I should send her an email but then realized-My mother may not know I am signed up for the March cycle of IVF but she darn well knew that we were receiving information packets in October for IVF.  She knew Jamie was switching jobs and that we were looking to the new year for IVF.  She could easily make the call as well.  

In-laws- I posted a couple weeks ago about telling my Mother and Father-in-Law (and their spouses) about our upcoming treatment.  I don't like to keep secrets and while I didn't tell them of my IF problems earlier out of embarrassment, I now want them to know.  Not even so much for my own sake but for J's sake.  I read blogs, I know what this process can do to you, but he on the other hand is unaware and I want him to have a support system, just in case. 

I was scared to let J's father down as he is sensitive like his son, but I am happy to report that telling both of them went very well.  We went out to dinner with J's Dad and his Step Mom.  J told them both and they took it so well, as I knew they would.  A lot of questions which is to be expected but a lot of support as well. 

Jamie told his Mom by phone and I think that went very well also.  She is in Florida and I want her to feel like she can be as little or as much involved as she wants so I have been sending emails to her updating her whenever I have news.  She's been great, just as I knew she would.  I am looking forward to sending her our calendar so she can follow along with us.  The best thing I can say about having issues with my own Mother and Father is having the privilege of having great in-laws handy which makes it hurt less.

IVF- I am excited for my first IVF cycle coming up.  I can't help it.  Every little appointment (Calendar Review Next Thursday!), every little test, I get all excited.  I am excited for the real possibility of becoming a mama.  Perhaps it is natural to feel the first cycle will be "THE ONE" and that's how I feel for the most part and I try and keep myself in that mind set because letting my mind go too far down the "what if" path is depressing.  Am I setting myself up for failure to let myself bask in the possibility that the first cycle could be "IT"?  The last couple of days I have thought of my upcoming weeks and getting all happy and then reminding myself that all too often it's 2, 3, 4 or 5 IVF's and no luck.  Do I dream of the possibilities or do I sell myself on multiple cycles and hope to get lucky on the first go round.  I ask myself this a lot.  I have decided to be positive.  So please don't take me for delusional or misinformed.  I read too many blogs to not know the possibilities here, I am just choosing to have a good outlook.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dr. A gave me an A+

My appointment for the Fluid Ultrasound was this morning at 9:20.  I arrived at 9:15.  They took me back at 10:10 or so.  The nurse took me back to a room and told me to get undressed from the waste down, cover my girly bits with a piece of paper and that I could use the restroom first if I needed to.  I went to the restroom through this archway and on the other side of the restroom is like a mini ICU full of women and their spouses, a lot of rooms separated by curtains - I guess this is the recovery area?  Not sure but I guess I will find out soon enough.  I was waiting for the restroom and a lady behind the desk in the ICU looking room said "Are you Amber?"  I looked up and said yes and the lady introduced herself, it was my IVF coordinator Andrea.  I shook her hand and she told me that we should have a schedule review next week for the meds and maybe a meeting with Dr. A to go over the blood work results.   She was so nice and I could tell she was very sincere and excited for me.

I made it back to the room after using the restroom.  Got undressed from the waste down and just a couple of minutes later Dr. A and the nurse came back in.  He asked me about the weather and explained that this would feel somewhat like a papsmear.  He looked at my uterus.  Then he looked at my right ovary, said it looked good and had 15 follicles, then over to my left ovary which also had 15 follicles.  Said again that everything looks "darn good".  He gave me a helping hand up and told me I get an A+, then said we would talk hopefully sometime next week after my blood work results came back and figure out what to do from there. 

When I exited the room the nurse told me March would be here before I knew it!  That made me smile.  I left the office, called Jamie and got my blood work done, I think there were 10 viles of blood taken.  Jamie called me and said that his "MAN TESTING" was done.  That made me laugh. 

All in all, a pretty "Darn good" day.  I hope this sets the tone for the rest of the cycle.  I didn't know what to expect today as I have never done any of this before but I can say that it wasn't as scary as I feared it may be and the results were better than I feared they could be.

Monday, January 11, 2010

CD-1 HOORAY!!!!!

So the provera did it's magic and AF started yesterday morning!!!!!  Strange enough, Andrea my coordinator at the SHER institute emailed me to introduce her self asking me to let her know when AF showed.  I called her right after receiving her email.  She is so nice which will make this journey so much easier.  I really fear mean nurses/coordinators! 

I am trying to learn as I go along so bare with me while I post some of my more interesting findings on here.  Just little tid bits of info, I won't bore you with all of it!

This is what we discussed:

  • I will have my first fluid ultrasound tomorrow to measure my ovarian reserve and antral follicles. 
Ovarian reserve is essentially my bodies fertility potential or remaining egg supply. 

Antral follicles are small follicles (about 2-8mm in diameter) that we can see, measure and count.   The fluid ultrasound will also detect polyps or cysts.  Antral follicles are a good predictor of the number of mature follicles that will be able to be stimulated in a woman's ovaries with injectible FSH medications used for IVF.  For more on this click here

Average or high number of follicles usually gets a good response with mature follicles. Pregnancy rates are higher in this case. 

When the follicle count is intermediate the response is not predictable.  This could have a high or low response.

Few follicles usually gets a poor response with few mature follicles.  Cancellation of the IVF is common here.

  • I will have blood work after the fluid ultrasound.
  • J called and got his MSA and STI scheduled for this week as well as infectious disease  blood work.  (sounds like something a monkey would be tested for)
  • Start Birth Control Pills after blood work-taking only the active pills, throwing away the inactive pills and starting a new pack in the inactive pills place. 
  • Calendar review will probably be next week.  
I am so excited to get this going!

Monday, January 4, 2010

It's official! All signed up for the March 2010 IVF Cycle!

We are so blessed and I am so excited.  For one year our chances have been next to nothing as I haven't ovulated.  To just be blessed with the chance (about a 50% chance) to have a baby makes me feel incredibly fortunate.  Now I just need Aunt Flo to show her lovely self and we will be on our way.  I need some blood work and J needs some DNA testing. 

I have been really struggling with my Provera medicine this time around.  It's a ten day pill system used to start my cycle.  I have four left and I have been really REALLY down in the dumps this week.  Signing up for the March cycle is the only thing that has made me smile in at least three days.  I finally have something substantial in this journey to look forward to...that's all I need for now.

Friday, January 1, 2010

How to tell the one's you love that you're infertile...and about to undergo IVF

My immediate family has known for some time that I have been struggling with fertility.  Telling my family was easy.  I wasn't worried about letting them down, I wasn't worried about what they might think. 

Telling my husbands family is different.  When I first found out of my infertility problems, I wanted to keep it from anyone on J's side of the family.  I know why too...I felt responsible and ashamed.  Jamie nonchalantly mentioned to me six months ago that he told his Mom about our issues.  At the time, we were on our second Clomid cycle and I wasn't ovulating and my niece was born (a real low point in my journey with IVF).  When J first told me that he told his Mom, I won't lie, I was a little pissed and a little relieved.  Pissed that he knew I wished for him to keep this from his family and said something anyway but relieved because his Mom knew.  I never shared my anger with him because the relief outweighed the anger. 

With IVF in our near future, telling J's family has been on my mind a lot lately.  Jamie's parents are no ordinary in-laws to me, they are my family, right now they are the only family I have besides my brother as my parents and I are not speaking.  The reason J's parents are family is because when I was in high school I lived with Jamie's Mom and sister for a few months while I was kicked out of my parents house.  J's Mom and sister took me in.  Thank God for them, I don't know what I would have done, where I would have gone.  This was 15 years ago...I can't believe it's been that long.

After returning from our vacation to Hawaii, we had dinner with Jamie's Grandmother who was in town for the holidays.  I told Jamie I wanted to tell her while she was in town and was glad to hear that he felt the same way.  We have always been able to tell her anything.  We told her at dinner and she was so supportive and assuring.  I started tearing up while Jamie told's hard to tell your husbands Grandmother that you are the reason her Grandson doesn't have a child yet.  I know there was no blame, but you can't help but feel responsible for the need to have this talk and for the fear you have in your heart that there may never be a child.  The future is so uncertain.  If I could have one wish come true, it would be that we have a child soon enough to meet Shirley, J's Grandma.  Telling her that we were trying I suppose is the next best thing. 

Since our financial appointment at the RE's office I have been thinking about how we would tell J's Father.  While J and I were having lunch yesterday he asked me, "So.................................................................................How.....or we......tell people that we are going to go through IVF?"  I told him I had been thinking the same thing and that I thought that as soon as we put the money down for our first cycle, we could tell close friends and family.  He agreed.

Well, I expect we are putting money down on the March cycle early next week and we are having dinner with his Father and Step Mother tomorrow night so we briefly discussed mentioning this to them at dinner tomorrow night.  As far as I know, J's Dad knows nothing of our infertility.  I have suspected that telling J's Dad will be the most difficult.  He is as sensitive as his son and very protective...I love that about him.  He's not protective in a tough way but a loving way.  The day I married his son, he told me to take good care of him.  So sharing our information in regards to the upcoming IVF is hard, like I am not holding up my end of the deal.

As far as telling J's Mom.   She as I mentioned earlier knows of our struggle but I don't know if she knows that IVF is the route we will be taking.  It's probably more drastic than anything she had imagined and so soon.  Telling her is a little easier because she knows some information already but I still have the same fears of feeling responsible.  I know I shouldn't but it's hard. 

I think one of the things I have wanted more than anything since I started dating Jamie years and years ago was to make his parents proud.  Thoughts of giving them Grandchildren have come around many many times in the nine years we have been together.  They are tremendous Grandparents to Jamie's niece and nephew.  I never experienced that type of Grand parenting, I watch them do it with such ease and in total amazement.  I just pray to God that we end up with a child after all of this.  I want to experience being a Mother, I want to be the best Mom I can be.  I want to see Jamie be a Father-he will be amazing I am sure of it and I want to see his parents become Grandparents to our children.