Friday, April 30, 2010

Stim Day 1 - My hope for this cycle...

I got to work at 6:45 this morning.  The office was quiet with just a couple people buzzing around.  I sat at my desk, looked at my calendar and was excited to think today is the day we have been waiting for.  Tonight while preparing dinner for our guests, J and I will both take our antibiotics, a lowered dose of lupron and our first follistim injection...finally.  I love coming to work on Friday's because they are half days but also because I get to cross three days off my calendar-Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Crossing three days off makes our goal that much closer.  This time I also flipped the page to a new month, our month I hope, May.  I started thinking of all the things that I hope May will hold for my J and I.  I'm not a very religious person but I did go to Church when I was younger and I do pray from time to time.  I said a quick prayer. 

I asked God to watch over us as we pursue our dream of having a child.  I promised him that I would make this child my first priority in life and would make it my mission to raise a child that felt wanted and loved.  I would give this child all of the good things I have been afforded in life and do my best spare it all of the negative things.  I would help guide this child to be a loving, responsible, caring, intelligent person.  I would give this child all that I have if we could be so lucky as to have a successful IVF cycle this time.

I also prayed for my sister-in-law and her husband who are experiencing tough times right now after a job loss.  There have been many times in my life where I have wanted to help someone so badly but haven't been sure as to how.  I feel powerless.  I told her that although we cannot help financially that I am here to listen and give advice, I just wish I could do more.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baseline U/S

Guess who went to their new RE's office at 8:00 AM this morning?????   ME!!!!!!  I was so excited to be starting fresh with a new IVF cycle and a new RE office.  I checked in and had a seat and in five minutes or so I was called back before my scheduled appointment was to start!  It's apparently the small things that impress me but giving blood at the SAME office I have an ultrasound scheduled THRILLS me.  I went back and had my blood taken and was told to go around the corner and have a seat on the bench.  The ultrasound technician told me I could just go right into exam room #1 and so I did.  I hadn't been to this ultrasound room before and it was different than I was used to so I sat in a waiting chair until I was told to drop 'em.  How refreshing to have a little private changing area with a mirror...and a bathroom connecting to the ultrasound room!  Again, it's the small things that give me the cheap thrills.  So I dropped 'em and grabbed a real cotton sheet (not a paper sheet) and walked over to the ultrasound chair, put my feet in place and took a little ride while the chair leaned back and adjusted as the technician got it to just the right position.  She said our objective was to make sure everything looked nice and boring, she took some measurements and some pictures and that was that!  Over in a flash!  B-O-R-I-N-G!  Starting with a fresh clean slate!  No cysts or abnormalities!

In my former RE's office the Dr. did the ultrasound but I didn't see a real advantage to it.  It wasn't like he remembered my uterus the next time I visited.  All in all a great experience, I was out of that place by 8:11!  Whew!  Love that!  I will be getting a call from the nurse today to give me direction for my stimming meds that start on FRIDAY!   I can't believe it, I am so happy to be getting this show on the road!  

UPDATE:  I just got a phone call from the office.  E2 is 55 (Dr. wants it below 67, so that's good)  Jamie and I both take our zithromax on Friday at the same time and Follistim begins!  225 units Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Blood work Monday and then I will get further instructions!  How refreshing to see a Dr. that fills in my calendar as we go and not before my cycle even begins!  LOVE IT!

Oh yeah, WAIT!  Honey, remember the other night when I told you to start practicing for our grow follies grow song!  You better get tuned up because it starts Friday! I expect PERFECTION!!!!  ;0)

As always...I am crossing off the days on my work calendar!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Everyone needs a feel good moment...

IVF Update:  Lupron injections are going well.  J has given each injection to me so far even though I am perfectly capable of doing so myself.  I like him to be involved so I prefer it this way.  He's a great nurse!  I had my last birth control pill yesterday and am looking forward to good ol Auntie Flo's visit.  I have an ultrasound on the 28th and I start follistim the 30th.  Crossing my fingers that this cycle goes better and further than last!

Everyone needs a feel good moment...

One might think that a person in the interior design profession would automatically be able to dress themselves since they are able to "dress spaces".  Not so much.  I am wearing the same pants I bought from Old Navy in my college days to work---7 YEARS LATER!  Oh, and I compliment my old navy pants with target tops!  I hate shopping!  I have the hardest time putting an outfit together and therefore shopping is not fun for me and I don't want to spend a lot of money on clothes since they never look good on me.  While shopping, I walk around aimlessly, picking up items, putting items back, trying items on, etc, etc.  For two months now I have told my dear husband, Jamie, that I am in need of clothes and for multiple weekends we have brought our coupons to Macy's, I banned him from the misses department (because he follows me around like a puppy which makes me CRAZY), I shop for an hour or so and then meet him empty handed.  This happened at least three weekends in a row. 

Last weekend we had two dinner engagements scheduled with family members and I told Jamie I needed something to wear.  He said "this time we are getting you an outfit even if I have to buy one for you myself".  So we went back to our beloved Macy's, coupons in hand, split up and an hour later, I met J downstairs in the men's department with a black shirt and a silver purse.  He looked at  me and was like, "Amber, this shirt looks like everything else you have".  He ignored the purse because he hates it when I buy purses, but what can I say...they always fit! 

Anyway, next thing I know I am being led through the mall by my wrist.  He asks where he should take me because Macy's doesn't seem to be cutting it and I say J.Jill.  I stop to use the restroom and when I came out he was standing in front of J.Jill with his hands in his pockets and the biggest smile on his face.  I smiled back, thinking nothing of it.  So I go in the store and start browsing and Jamie still has this sh!t eating grin on his face.  Next thing I know,  a sales associate greets me...BY NAME!  She tells me she understands I need some new clothes and is here to help.  She sent me back to the dressing room.  I was terrified at first of the thought of someone else picking out my clothes but I went with it and 3 hours later I emerged with a new spring wardrobe!  The sales ladies were all smitten with J, saying I'm so lucky to have such a thoughtful husband.  I gave him a big hug at the register and then hugged the sales woman that worked her butt off.  I needed help but was afraid to ask.  What started off as a terrifying experience turned out to be such a gift.

J later said to me that night..."I know that when I look good I feel good and I know it will do the same for you."  With all of the IVF stuff looming in our lives I haven't been taking care of myself.  I dress like a tragic mess and  stopped wearing make-up anywhere because the IVF meds have broken my face out so badly.  For the first time in a long time I dressed nicely for work and wore make-up this week and I have to say I feel so much better.  I have pep in my step and it's all thanks to my loving, thoughtful hubby.  A big thank you to my husband, I only hope I can do something for you one day that will make you feel as good as you have made me feel.  I love you.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Big Girl Meds (Take 2)

Kinda like Groundhog day-I received my meds yesterday.  And like any dope fiend, I was practically frothing at the mouth to unpack them and organize them in anticipation of our next cycle.  All I can say is that we have around $2800.00 of follistim (liquid gold)  in our refrigerator crisper drawer...I don't want to brag but we've got one fertile fridge...or so we hope.  Speaking of hoping, I picked the meds up from J at work yesterday and when he brought the box to my car I said "are you delivering our baby?"  he said "I hope."  Me too.

So anyway just like last cycle I like to document the milestones in my journey.  Each milestone is so meaningful in IVF.  Getting a calendar is huge, receiving the box of meds is huge, starting lupron on Saturday will be huge...starting stims the 30th is even bigger.  I'm still not in the same mood this cycle as I was last cycle.  I'm not as naive and gushy.  I don't automatically assume there's a baby at the end of this cycle and then think "well, gee what if?"  This cycle I think "What if?" and then hope there is a baby at the end of this cycle.  It's different.  I talked to J about this a few weeks ago and I was saying how strange it is that I'm not as excited this go around and he said "It's because we know first hand that things can go wrong."  So true. 

The excitement and anticipation are building though.  With every milestone comes more excitement.  So anyway, without further are the obligatory photos. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tick Tock

Oh my goodness, this next cycle just cannot get here soon enough!  I feel like time is crawling lately.  Lupron starts Saturday.  Well, that's a small milestone I suppose.  At least the ball is rolling.  We order big girl meds this week.  Jamie usually deals with ordering the meds for me.  I love that he does this.  He does it to share the load, always looking for things he can do to take some of the IVF responsibilities  off of my shoulders.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Trial Embryo Transfer

My trial embryo transfer was yesterday.  I wasn't sure what to expect because this wasn't performed during my last IVF cycle.  Anyway, the Dr. was a little late as he seems to always be but I am generally fine with that because when it's my turn he takes his time.  So Dr. O came in and reviewed my records, he mentioned he had reviewed them a couple days before as well.  And then he said, "Did I tell you we want to do partial ICSI after your retrieval?"  "Um no, you hadn't told me that" (In fact, last time you said you prefer to wait until you see how the egg and sperm are behaving in the dish before deciding on ICSI)  I was confused as to why there was a change of heart.  ICSI is an additional $1300-$1600.  I asked why he thought we needed a partial ICSI, he said for precautionary measures they would like to let half of the eggs they retrieve try and fertilize on their own and the other half to undergo ICSI to better the odds.  I'm all for bettering the odds but Geeze, if we keep adding on to our tab we are going to have a wing named after us at this hospital!  I knew telling J this would not be fun and though he took the news well he wasn't excited about putting more money into this either, however, we have to trust that the Doctor knows what he is doing and as J's mom said...consider the ICSI like case the fertilizing doesn't happen naturally we have a back up plan.  I like this. 

So anyway, the mock transfer.  Uncomfortable.  It took three tries to get the speculum in the right position, this was the second time I have been told that my cervix is angled downward.  (Just in case any of you wanted to know this fine piece of trivia.)  Two catheters later we were done.  Not my favorite visit to the hoo-hah inspector but I'll take it.  The doctor said everything looks normal.  We're on our way, slowly but surely we will get there...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lucky Coconut

My Mother-in-Law, Nancy emailed me the other day and told me she sent us a "wish you were here" gift and to be looking for it in the mail. My husband and I met up before I went home and he mentioned he found the gift in our mailbox. I asked what it was (he knows I hate surprises) and he wouldn't say. So I get home and my eyes scan the kitchen and at first I thought there was a big rock on the counter and then I realized there was a coconut on the counter. I knew right away even from the backside that it was from Nancy. She lives in Florida this time of year and only she would think to do something this funny! I picked it up and shook it and looked at the shamrock and heart stickers all over it and told J-"This will be our lucky coconut for the next cycle." I mean it's covered in hearts and clovers right? Love and luck!

For a few weeks now I have wanted to post something about Nancy, I've been writing this post slowly. It's difficult to explain to people but she has been like a second mother to me for over 15 years now.  I was kicked out of my parent’s house at 17. I was kicked out for skipping class. I was in my third high school in three years and school was proving difficult for me. I skipped the classes in which teachers would call on me to answer questions out loud or classes that built on past education. I was embarrassed of my lack of knowledge so the easiest path to avoid the embarrassment was to skip. I know it's bad, but at the time it was the quick fix in my simple mind.

J and I confided in Nancy about our decision to move forward with IVF a in January and I am so glad we did. I am not lying when I say that she has emailed, called or skyped J or myself nearly every day for over two months. She has been an incredible source of support for both of us. I would imagine most girls leave an RE appointment and call their Mom to update them on how things went, I update Nancy. It's nice to have someone to relay information to in times of excitement or sadness and she has been that person for me.

Nancy has a knack for bringing family together and planning holidays with all of the trimmings and manages to make every person feel thought of. At Christmas every year the stockings hang heavily from the mantle, so many of them that they even cascade down the sides of the fireplace. Every person's name embroidered on their stocking. My first Christmas as J's girlfriend, I had my own embroidered stocking. I am still impressed. I have often wondered how much time and money she spends filling those stockings too...and they aren't filled with useless items either. They are filled with the neatest little trinkets, beauty items, lottery tickets, etc. Little treasures selected especially for each individual. Stockings serve more as decoration since my brother and I have grown up at my parent’s house. They're the best part of the holidays in my opinion and if it weren't for Nancy I wouldn't experience them at all. On my birthday this year when my parents didn't call or acknowledge me, Nancy did. She does every year.

The traditions that my husband looks forward to every year have become the traditions I look forward to every year. On top of ALL of this, she is a great cook, has a great sense of humor and is a fabulous grandparent. One of the things I admire about her most is her relationship to her grandchildren. She could out do most Grandmothers and she does it naturally with such ease. Her grand kids love her.

I'm grateful for my Mother-in-Law. I'm looking forward to the future with Nancy. I hope that I am able to witness a relationship one day between her and my own children. Some days it seems like a distant dream but the mere thought of it gives me what I need to move forward in this process.