IVF #4 – Egg Retrieval Day – The 411

baby - seven ehThis morning, I arrived at CNY Fertility Center and Spa at 8:15 am.  I checked in and sat in the lobby with my mom until I was taken to the dressing room to change into a hospital gown, cap and socks.  I got changed, verified my information, got weighed in and then was escorted to my operating room.  I got on the table, discussed the procedure with the nurse, spoke with the Anesthesiologist, met with the Embryologist, and met with Dr. Ditkoff.  They answered all of my questions, and I theirs.

My IV was put in and I remember getting the antibiotic and after that, I woke up.  I do not recall anything else, not even the doctor coming back in.

I awoke and learned that they collected 7 eggs that looked pretty good.  I went back to sleep as they infused the two bags of intralipids.  I woke up a couple of times and then I woke up for good and was ready to eat.  I had heavier bleeding this time than I remember having in the past.  The bleeding subsided later in the day.

After the driver picked my mom and I up from CNY, we went to A Tailored Tea to pick up scones.  We went back to the hotel and rented a movie on PPV.  I had the concierge take me to grocers down the street and got the stuff needed to make garlic mushroom chicken, buttered noodles, squash with onion and peas with snaps.   I came back and started dinner, which my mom was supposed to finish, but when I looked up, she was in the bedroom lying across the bed watching Law and Order SVU.  I finished dinner and ate and am relaxing in my fluffy pink post egg retrieval socks I found at Target.


baby - fluffy socks ivf 4 post er

My fluffy pink post retrieval socks

I am going to relax the rest of the evening and just watch tv.  I wish I could hop in the shower, but was told to wait until tomorrow.  I am feeling pretty good.  I have no bloating yet, thank goodness.  Maybe I will get lucky and will not have any…  I am keeping a heating pad, on low, on my tummy.

Tomorrow morning, I will get a call from Embryology to update me on the eggs, fertilization, etc.  Prayerfully, all of the eggs will fertilize and grow.  One can hope right?

IVF #4 – Trigger Two – The 411

Twas the night before Retrieval…….

baby - bravery socks ivf 4

I arrived in Albany this morning, went to my hotel, checked in, had the concierge take my mom and I to Cheesecake Factory for lunch, then we came back to the suite and unpacked.  One great thing about being a repeat customer, the entire staff knows me and my film crew and they also give me the best suites in the house !  This time, they gave us a two bedroom suite.  I love that this hotel has a full kitchen in every suite.  It makes for healthier eating because I can cook what I want to eat.  The hotel served a full hot breakfast every day and serves a nice full course dinner Monday thru Thursday nights.

After getting unpacked, I put on my “bravery socks” that were sent to me by my Canadian sock buddy.  I love the double pink !!! Twin girls?

baby - baby dust

I have my baby dust that my sock buddy gave me as well.  I have taken it to all of my appointments and I have it here with me for good luck.

Tonight, I will do my double trigger of 10,000 Novarel.  Last night, I did the injection intramuscular since I have read that the HCG is more concentrated in the blood when done IM as opposed to Sub-Q (which can be affected by body weight and body fat).  I am debating if I should do a Sub-q injection for the second trigger. I have until 10:30pm to make up my mind.  The doctor’s office always gives Sub-q instructions.

baby - novarel trigger

In the morning, I have to be at the fertility clinic at 8:30 am so that I can check in and then go to acupuncture prior to the procedure.  I am praying that this double trigger coupled with the adding of HGH will help me produce mature quality eggs that will fertilize.  I will be asking my doctor in the morning about doing regular fertilization first and then converting to ICSI if it is possible for me to have a higher fertilization rate.  The fertilization also depends on egg maturation and quality as well.

Wish me luck !  Send up prayers !  Thanks for the support 🙂

IVF #4 – Trigger Day 1 – The 411

baby - novarel trigger

I went in for monitoring this morning and the nurse called after getting my sono results.  I have 6 large follicles and 14 other smaller ones.  They decided to do my first trigger tonight of 10,000 Novarel and then another trigger tomorrow night of 10,000 Novarel and my egg retrieval will be on Saturday, unless something weird happens with my blood work, which was not in at the system as of yet this morning.  Since the nurse has not called back, and my blood work should have posted by now, I am leaving on the 4 am with my mother to Manhattan and then taking the 8 am connecting to Albany !

I am nervous that I have so many smaller follicles, but hoping that I have more than just six eggs in there. I am doing a double trigger to try to help mature the eggs before retrieval so this double dosage should do something, right?

I am not looking forward to the -1 temps in Upstate NY, but am glad to be getting this show on the road.

Please keep me and these eggs in your thoughts and prayers.  THIS IS MY CYCLE !!!

IVF #4 – Stim Day 10 – The 411

baby - my body is not ready yet

I went in this morning for my monitoring appointment and everything is looking good.  Unfortunately, I have two leads on the right and three on the left and a gang of additional follicles that have not caught up.  My E2 (estrogen) level is just under 1000.  My nurse conferred with Dr. Grossman and Dr. Kiltz and I have to stay on meds another night or two.  I am sooooo glad I did not sell off all of my additional meds or donate them !  I kept two boxes of Menopur and some of the Gonal -F and of course I still have some Lupron left in the vial I have been using.  I am completely out of Omnitrope, but I am not flipping out about it.  I took in three vials over the past 9 days.  The HGH/Omnitrope was an added medication to help with egg quality and maturation.

I was all packed and ready for my 7 am departure tomorrow, and am kinda disappointed that I will not be leaving until this weekend.  Not that I want to rush anything, I am hoping my follicles grow like gang busters overnight so that I will do my retrieval on Saturday and my transfer on Monday or Tuesday.  I am pretty sure my mom has her next chemo therapy treatment on Wednesday, which means she has to come back on Tuesday.  I just hope I am done by Tuesday so that we can head back to DC for her treatment. Again, I am not going to stress about it.  It is what it is.  My mom can just hop on the train back to DC if need be and I will just come the day after.  Her chemo treatments are now 5 hours long so I do not stay with her anyway.  I was just hoping she would be at the clinic when I put her grandbabies back in 🙂

Baby - keep calm im not ready yet

Here is a picture from the monitoring screen today:

baby - ivf 4 stim day 10 scan

Time to go mix my meds and inject them !  More tomorrow after my monitoring appointment.

IVF #4 – Stim Day 9- The 411

baby - ivf 4 stim day 2

Tonight is hopefully my LAST night of stims !  I mixed and injected all the meds and surprisingly this cycle, I do not have one bruise !   WOW !   I made it through without looking like a human cushion pin !!

I have a monitoring appointment in the morning and more labs and I am praying that the other follicles catch up to the 20, 16 and 14 leads that I had on Monday.  I feel a lot fuller and more bloated.   My acupuncturist noticed my abdominal bloat this morning.

I went to acupuncture with my mom and then we grabbed lunch at a place she read about since she was craving fajitas.  She ended up not even liking them, which is typical lol.   Her taste buds are so off, I do not even know why she even tries to eat out.

After starting Taxol last week, my mom started experiencing radiating pain.  She text me at 2 am to ask if I was awake so that she could figure out something to take for the pain in her back.  I gave her a flexeril but it didn’t do much to help.  We called her Oncologist’s office this morning and they wrote a script for Vicodin.  I went and picked it up this evening and filled it when I went to pick up my Emla cream.  I found the numbing cream does help when injecting the PIO (progesterone in oil).

I have packed my box of spices and treats, packed up all my meds, needles and supplies and I am shipping those boxes to the hotel tomorrow so they will be there when I arrive on Thursday.  My hotel has a kitchen in the room, which I love, although they do serve a full breakfast daily and dinner Monday thru Thursday.  I always eat breakfast, but I usually just have to concierge take me to the grocer and I buy food to cook since I am so picky.   My mom is going with me this time, so I will have company !!  I am excited that she will be coming along.  Being that Upstate NY is extremely cold and it is to be -2 on Thursday, I doubt we will venture out except to the grocer.  We will probably go see a movie on Saturday at the mall if I am up to it.

Please send up some prayer that this last injection pushes these little follicles to where they need to be.  I will drink a few cups of Ballerina Tea tomorrow when I get  back from my appointments and “clean out”.  I found that by cleaning the digestive tract, I did not have nearly as much bloating and discomfort post-procedure since I emptied my colon and intestines the day before.

IVF #4 – Stim Day 8 – The 411

baby - ivf 4 stim day 8 scan

This morning, I went in for my monitoring appointment and labs and I now have 14 follicles !! One on the left is 2cm and there are two on the right that are larger than the others.  By Wednesday, they feel the smaller ones will catch up and I will be able to trigger on Wednesday and double trigger on Thursday for a Friday morning retrieval.

I am starting to feel very tired and ridiculously sleepy.  When I came in from my appointments this morning, I climbed back in my bed, turned on the heated blanket and went to sleep ! I woke up a few hours later and went upstairs into the kitchen and whipped up another pan of the soft and fluffy yeast rolls I made for the first time on Sunday.  They are so soft, sweet and yummy !  I had several colleagues who saw the pics on Facebook and demanded that I send them some.  I now have 8 bags of them in the freezer and will ship them out tomorrow after I get back from acupuncture.

I am having trouble trying to  focus.  My godmother was just diagnosed with recurrent breast cancer and my best friend’s mother was just diagnosed with lung and spinal cancer.  Although my godmother will be okay, I worry about my friend’s mom because the cancer on her spine has been there for years undiagnosed; to the point that it has mangled her ribs !  The good news is that the cancer on her lung is on the outside and the doctors feel that the cancer is treatable, but the work “inoperable” is what scares me.  2015 has been a true bitch for a lot of people I know.  I am just trying to stay positive and spread as much love and faith around as I can.  I am a witness that God can do exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ever think or imagine and He is also a healer.  I am putting all of them, my mom included, in the palm of His hand and I am standing on the unshakeable faith that God is bigger than any problem.

IVF #4- Stim Day 7 – The 411

baby - lets get this party started

Today is stim day 7 and there is a party going on inside my ovaries !  I feel pressure and like I have gone from moth balls, to golf balls, to little baseballs in there.  My nipples are starting to get tender, my abdomen is swelling and my boobs are swollen !  I am a hormonal MESS !

To top off my hormonal messiness, my mom’s steroids are kicking in so she is cranky, fussy, and irritable.  Needless to say, I took off for the basement and hid out until after most of the day had passed LOL.  After her nap, she appeared from upstairs level refreshed and normal. (THANK GOD).   The steroids given to cancer patients makes them little demonic gremlins !

I mixed all my meds and drew up the Omnitrope and injected all of my meds.

I called the hotel to readjust my hotel arrangements since I am being told that Friday is the big day instead of Monday.  I am all set !  I have my travel tickets for me and my mom and am praying I do not have to change them again.  Sometimes the fare is less but more often than not it is more.  At any rate, I am pretty glad that my mom is coming with me and I do not have to go through this last IVF attempt by myself being BORED to tears in Upstate NY in the COLD ! 🙂

I am kinda sad that we got about 14 inches of snow so we were not able to do my mom’s celebratory tea.  I did make the cutest little guest gift bags with white bags with a tea mug, teas, and cookies enclosed.  I put pink tissue paper in each and they turned out pretty cute.  We have rescheduled the tea for next month when hopefully the weekly snow will be over.

IVF #4 – Stim Day 6 – The 411

snow frb 2015

This morning, I ran out to the grocery store before the snow storm was to start so that I could get more organic milk and white chocolate chips so that I could whip up a pot of homemade hot chocolate. I got the recipe from a friend in one of my foodie groups.  It is to die for !!

I spent the morning putting little gift bags together for our friends and family who are coming to our gather tomorrow.  I found oversize tea mugs and places three different teas, sweetners and a pack of vanilla cookies inside and placed the mugs in a white bag with handles and stuffed them with pink tissue paper.  They are so adorable.

My mom keeps sending me recipes, so I made some of the soft and fluffy yeast rolls she found and they came out amazing !!  As you can tell, I was bored stuck in the house today and quite hormonal LOL.

fluffy yeast rolls

I was sitting on FB chatting with my IVF buddies and almost forgot that I had set my meds out to be mixed.  I got them mixed and injected although I was 30 minutes later than I was supposed to do them.  The doctor’s office gives us a 3 hour window, but I try to inject every day at 6 pm.

I have noticed that with the Omnitrope, I am getting the runny nose, which the Claritin seems to be helping with.  I am starting to get weepy and hormonal.  That is not a good place for me lol.  Sitting around on the verge of tears is definitely not cute.  But hey, pregnancy is the goal right?

It is STILL snowing outside !  I am just hoping that the 50 degree weather we are expecting tomorrow will melt enough of the snow for us to do the tea room tomorrow in Winchester….

IVF #4 – Stim Day 5 – The 411

baby - ivf 4 stim day 1

This morning, I went in -15 degree weather to the women’s imaging center for my ultrasound.  Guess who has 12 follicles?   ME !!!!   I am glad that the follicle count is increasing, which is indicative of my body returning to normalcy after my miscarriage this past summer.    After my transvaginal and pelvic ultrasound, I trekked over to LabCorp and got the blood work done.  It is really sad when the entire staff KNOWS you !  They are all rooting for me too.

I got instructions from my doctor to remain on the same medication dosage and return on Monday for another ultrasound and more blood work.

From the looks of things, they anticipate my egg retrieval being on Friday, February 27th.  I was thinking it would be on Monday instead.  I have a monitoring appointment on Wednesday, and depending on what things are looking like then, they will let me know if I am to trigger Wednesday night and again on Thursday night for a Friday morning retrieval.  That puts my embryo transfer on Monday, March 2nd, for a three day transfer.  This time, I am doing a double trigger and doing a three day transfer in lieu of a five day.  Dr. Kiltz wants to put back all of my embryos on day 2 or 3 and take it from there.  He feels that putting them back in earlier will possibly increase my chances of them sticking and staying.   Fingers, toes, legs, and arms crossed !  Prayers sent up….

IVF # 4 Stim Day 4 – The 411

baby - ivf 4 stim day 2

Tonight, I mixed my meds and injected them with ease.  For some reason, I am a bit tired already.  Thank goodness there are no headaches with the Lupron and the nausea that I had the first two days on HGH dissipated.

My mom had her first chemo treatment with Taxol yesterday and so far, she is doing very well.  She seems to have a lot more energy, but I am sure it is because they doped her up with steroids. LOL.  She has been moving furniture in her quilting studio all day !

This afternoon, she had to go back to her doctor’s office to get the Neulasta shot, which will hopefully bring her white blood cell counts back up to a normal range.  I just hope that this round of chemo, which she has 3 more treatments, spaced out 2 weeks apart, does not wear her down too badly.   Right now, the effects on her are just exhaustion and her taste buds being off.  If the food is spicy, she loves it !  Everything else tastes weird.

Tomorrow morning, I have my first appointment for monitoring since starting the injections.  I will update tomorrow on what I learn.  Pray for great follicles and mature eggs !  🙂