IVF #5 – 4DP3DT Intralipid Infusion – The 411

ivf #5 - intralipid infusion bag and pole

Yesterday, Infuscience came to my home and administered my weekly intralipid infusion.  For some reason, my arm and muscle start to ache at times during the infusion, prompting me to move my arm in different positions.

The infusion is pretty quick and I make sure to drink lots of fluids afterward, as per doc’s instructions.

Today, we spent the day with our mom, taking her to brunch at this hard to get a reservation at restaurant called Founding Farmers.  The place is huge, and it is a buffet style brunch with too many food stations to name.  My mom and sister and I went.  We had a great time.   We came back to mom’s home and we presented her with her gifts, since my sister, Terry, will not be here tomorrow and we Ichatted my sister, Jessica, in.

We ordered my mom’s favorite cookies from Leri’s Sweets in Garner, NC, ordered Tiffany & Co. cereal bowl set from the Asian T&C store (they do not make them here in the States, nor carry them in the stores here), and we had a print of a lady quilting custom framed for her quilting studio.  She LOVED the cookies… LOVED the bowl set (which matches her mug she got for Christmas)… but… she was SPEECHLESS when she unwrapped that print.  Below is a pic of the print…

mom print

Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Burgers with Cranberries – Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 c black beans, cooked
  • ½ c onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ an avocado
  • 1 c quinoa, cooked
  • ½ c fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
  • ¼ c chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika

Directions: 

  1. Stab the sweet potato all over with a fork and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
  2. Scoop the flesh into a small bowl.
  3. Add 1 cup of black beans and avocado and mash well.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and use your hands mix until well combined.
  5. Form into six patties.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes, flipping once.

* If you are not vegan, top with a bit of goat cheese or swiss.

(c) 2010 Valerie Renèe

Deep Fried Creole Shrimp – Recipe

cajun fried shrimp

Ingredients:

20 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined

1 organic egg, beaten

2 tablespoons Texas Pete or Louisiana hot sauce

1 tablespoon French’s yellow mustard

3 teaspoons Tony Chachere creole seasoning

2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

pinch of cayenne pepper

Canola oil

1 organic lemon

Corn Flour Batter:

Ingredients:

1 cup Tenda Bake self-rising cornmeal mix

1 cup King Arthur all purpose flour

2 teaspoons creole seasoning

1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oil in a large pot to 350 degrees.

Rinse, peel, devein shrimp, leave tail intact if desired.

Mix egg with hot sauce and mustard.

Place shrimp in a large bowl, coat with spices, egg/hot sauce mixture and set aside.

To Prepare Corn Flour:
Mix all ingredients together in a freezer bag, shake well.

Dip shrimp in the corn flour, coat well, and place into hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.

Do this in 2-3 batches.

Cook shrimp for 2 minutes on each side.

Drain on paper napkin or newspaper.

Squeeze a little lemon juice on hot shrimp if desired.

IVF #5 – Embryo Transfer Day – The 411

I am Officially PUPO !! (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise)

IVF 5 - embryos

This morning, I had a hard time sleeping due to having vivid dreams.  I got up at 4 am and watched Law & Order SVU for an hour and a half and then I fell back asleep until about 7 am.  Shortly after I got up, Kimmy, my nurse called to let me know that three of the embryos had cleaved and were dividing beautifully and that the Embryologist  said they were perfect ! Of course I danced a jig !  😉

I got up, showered, got dressed and went down to the lobby for breakfast. I had the staff call ahead and schedule a cab to pick my up at 8:45 am to take me to CNY for my acupuncture and embryo transfer.  The cab was on time and we headed to CNY.  Of course the cabs here are not regulated, so this time, I was charged $20 instead of the $12 he previously charged me. I asked if there was a surcharge and with an attitude, the driver said NO. So I replied, okay then you are just rip off artists then…. give a receipt !

ivf 5 - et 1    ivf 5 - et 2        ivf 5 - et 9 ivf 5 - et 8                                                              ivf 5 - et 7

I went inside, checked in, and then was escorted upstairs to the spa.  I got changed into my robe and slippers and sat in the waiting area in front of the fireplace and waited until it was time for my acupuncture session.

ivf 5 - et 6      ivf 5 - et 4         ivf 5 - et 5

After my acupuncture, I was escorted downstairs to my OR room for my transfer.  I was greeted my my nurse, Kimmy, and she did a blood draw and then Dr. Grossman came in to tell me that I had two Grade 4 AA and one grade 4AB embryo and they were really strong and over 8 cells already !! The Embryologist came in to assist Dr. Grossman, since they now use Embryo Glue with the embryos to aid them in sticking.  The mock transfer and the transfer went by really quickly and then I had to rest for- 15 mins before they would come get me to take me upstairs to the spa for post transfer acupuncture.

ivf 5 - et 11 ivf 5 - et10 ivf 5 - et 12       ivf 5 - et 13      ivf 5 - et 14                                                             ivf 5 - et 15

After my acupuncture, I headed back downstairs and had the staff call a cab for me to take me back to the hotel.  I ran upstairs, put the boxes on the cart and rolled it back downstairs for FedEx to pick up my clothes and other belongings I had shipped here ahead of my arrival, and I came upstairs to my suite, grilled two thin center cut pork chops, heated the squash and cabbage I made yesterday, and ate a nice little plate of food, while watching my soaps.  Now I wish I were in Canada so I can see tomorrows Bold and The Beautiful.  The show is only 30 mins so I miss sooo much waiting for the next day LOL.

I am relaxing in my hotel room until this evening and then I am going to have concierge take me to the mall so that I can go get dinner either in the food court (think Five Guys Burger and Fries) or PF Changs for pork fried rice and then I will head over to Cheesecake Factory for a slice of the to die for Lemon Meringue Mascapone Cheesecake !  I… can… not… wait !  🙂

Stick babies stick !!!

Cinco De Mayo RED AND GREEN LAYERED BEAN DIP – Recipe

red and green layered bean dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 15.4 ounce can reduced-sodium refried beans, such as Amy’s brand
  • 1 recipe Red Salsa (below)
  • 1 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 recipe Green Salsa (below)
  • 1 cup canned no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/3 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 18 ounces baked tortilla chips
Green Salsa
  • 12 ounces tomatillos, husked and rinsed (8 tomatillos)
  • 1 small onion, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 2 fresh jalapeno chile peppers, halved and seeded*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro laves
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Red Salsa
  • 1 cup seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped red sweet pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 small red hot chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped*
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

1.
In a 2-quart baking dish spread refried beans. Top with Red Salsa. In a small bowl combine Greek yogurt and chili powder. Spread mixture over Red Salsa in dish. Top with Green Salsa. Sprinkle with black beans, green onions, queso fresco, and cilantro. Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Serve with baked tortilla chips.

Green Salsa

1. Brush tomatillos, onion slices, and jalapeno halves with oil.
2. For a charcoal or gas grill, place tomatillos, onion slices, and jalapeno peppers on the grill rack directly over medium heat. Grill, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until softened and darkened, turning once halfway through grilling. Or, preheat broiler. Place tomatillos, onion slices, and jalapeno peppers on a broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until skins are softened and darkened, turning once.
3. Cool vegetables slightly. Transfer to a food processor. Add cilantro, lime juice, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Cover and process until nearly smooth.

Red Salsa

1. In a medium bowl combine tomatoes, sweet pepper, onion, chile pepper, lemon juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and black pepper.

Cinco De Mayo CHUNKY SALSA – Recipe

chunky- salsa

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds plum tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 20 ounce package frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 5 1/2 ounce can tomato juice (about 2/3 cup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

Directions:

1.  Combine tomatoes, corn, onions, garlic, jalapenos, cilantro, tomato juice, salt and pepper in an 8-quart pot. Bring to a simmer over high heat.
2. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in beans and cook 5 minutes. Cool and spoon into jars. To give as a gift, pair with tortilla chips and include a chip-and-dip bowl, if desired. Refrigerate with this note: Use within 2 weeks.
(c) 2014 Valerie Renèe

Virgin Cinco De Mayo Frozen Margarita – Recipe

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/2 lime, cut into wedges

1 lime, juiced

1 can (6 ounce size) frozen limeade concentrate, thawed

1/4 cup orange juice

4 cups ice cubes

Directions:

Put the salt in a shallow saucer (must be large enough to dip the inverted serving glass in). In another shallow saucer, add the lime juice.

Invert the glass and dip the rim into the lime juice to moisten. Then, dip the rim into the salt to evenly coat it.

Combine the frozen limeade, orange juice, and ice in a blender on high speed until well blended and the ice cubes are evenly crushed.

Pour the margaritas into the rimmed glasses. Garnish with the lime wedges. Serve immediately.

IVF # 5 – Blood Clot – The 411

ivf 5 - blood clot

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So, I spent the night after retrieval in excruciating pain.  First it was the awful gas bubbles in my tummy that were trapped and had no where to go.  I was ridiculously uncomfortable.  I way lying in bed and then noticed the backs of my knees were also hurting pretty bad.  I could not get comfortable and  my right knee pain was radiating down into my calf.  I was finally able to fall asleep after the Dulcolax I took earlier in the day kicked in.  I was still bloated and the abdomen was distended and my legs ached.  I told my camera man to keep an eye on me and if he noticed my breathing change to call 911 immediately.

I talked to my nurse when she called with the fertilization report and she suggested I go to Albany Medical Center.

When the camera crew was leaving, I arranged for a cab to come pick me up to and take me to the emergency room. I got there in about 20 mins, checked in and waited for a room.  I was seen by an ER doc and then sent to radiology in the middle of his interview.  I gave him my list of meds that CNY printed out for me to take over the next few days and off I was rolled to radiology.  That was THE longest ride ever !  I had a doppler done of the groin and both legs and the scan did not show anything above the knee.   After I was done, I was rolled back to the room #13 that I was previously in and two more ER docs and an assistant came in shortly after and explained that doppler scans and xrays do not show much below the knee and that it was suspected that I had a clot in the right leg in the calf. The good thing was that the Lovenox was started again after egg retrieval, so it will help dissolve any clots, being that it works very quickly, unlike Cumadin and other blood thinners that take days to build up in the system.  Lovenox begins to work within two hours of the injection. Next, the insurance coordinator came in and got my information, registered me, and took copies of my insurance card and id.  I relaxed on the cot and watched television for two more hours before they finally let me go.  It took AN HOUR for a cab (after calling 2 different companies) to show up to pick me up and take me back to the hotel.  I ordered pizza on the way back and it arrived within 20 mins of my return.

I was instructed to walk several times a day to increase blood flow and to monitor for various symptoms.

The leg pain was gone by last night before bed, so I was happy about that.  The bloating has done down some and I am no longer in pain.

This morning, I got up an inserted the estrace, Endometrin, did the PIO injection, took the antibiotic, and later took the Prednisone, Claritin, and prenatal vitamin.  I have to insert the Estrace three times a day and the Endometrin twice a day.  I was going to do the Delestrogen, but since my elevated hormone levels are the cause of the blood clot, I will just stick to the vaginal dosage.

Tomorrow, I have to report to CNY Fertility Center and Spa in Albany at 9 am for acupuncture and then I will be having my transfer of prayerfully all three of my embryos at 10:30 am.  I called today, but they do not check the embryos again until tomorrow so I am praying and hoping all three of them are still with us and growing and dividing strongly.  I won’t know about the 4th one until tomorrow either.  I have had dreams about three and so has my mom, so I am going to go with THREE !

IVF # 5 – Fertilization Report – The 411

ivf 5 - fertilization

This morning, my nurse, Justine, called to update me on my how my little eggs are doing.  Of the 10 collected, 6 of them made it to the fertilization stage.  They were able to inject four of the eggs and I have three that have fertilized.  I will be transferring all three of the embryos on Tuesday, provided all three are still with us.  Fingers, toes, eyes, arms, and legs are crossed that all three of them are good and strong and will be able to be transferred on Tuesday !!

I expected that only 1/3 of what is collected will remain, which is typical.  Not too shabby eh?  Two girls and a boy hanging on and hanging out to stick into this ole womb ! 🙂

Last night, I had the WORST abdominal pain and pain in the back of my legs.  I took Dulcolax to help “clean out” my digestive track, which is helping, but the pain in my legs is still there.  It was a bit difficult to walk around last night.  I spoke to my nurse about it and I am going to Albany Medical Center this afternoon to the emergency room as a precaution and let them scan my legs to rule out blood clots.  It could be just because of the stirrups, but I am not one to sit around and wait for something to happen.  I would rather them SAY it is just sore because of the stirrups instead of awaking to not being able to breath etc… I am working with the film crew doing some outtakes and also cooking some organic squash and sweet onion and cabbage for dinner later today.  I did not want to head over to the hospital until noon when the film crew heads back to the train station en route to NYC.

Here are some photos from my day yesterday….

IVF 5 - luck socks      ivf 5 - surgical socks      ivf 5 - getting ready for er

ivf 5 - egg retrieval day

Egg Retrieval Day – The 411

baby - 10 eggs

This morning, I got up at 6:00 am and took my shower and put on deodorant and scentless lotion.  I got dressed and then made sure my camera crew was awake.  Since I could not eat breakfast, I was salty LOL.  I stayed in the room until 7:10 am when the car service was scheduled to arrive.  My cameraman went down and ate his food in 10 mins and was ready to go when I hit the lobby.  We hopped in the car and then headed over to CNY.

Upon arrival, I gave the front desk girl two gift bags and checked in.  My nurse, Kimmy, came and got me and the camera crew quickly and had me get dressed.  CNY now has these dark blue, fresh out of the dryer warm, bath robes that they use for surgery instead of the white ones.  I LOVED the warm robe !

My camera crew had to get “suited up” to come into the OR to film me getting set up.  The first thing that was done was my IV was put in and then the nurse did some blood work.

The first person to come see me was the Embryologist and she thanked me for the gift bag and was really touched by them.  They got a kick out of having the custom made cookies that were flown in from Dallas.   We went over my information, confirmed the donor info, and I was asked if I wanted to shave the sample of use the whole thing.  Since this is my last own egg procedure and last procedure at CNY, I opted to just use the entire vial.

Next, Dr. Grossman, my RE, came in to greet me and he thanked me for the gift bag and told me that he had it on good authority that “He was the BALM,” making reference to the EOS balm I put in the bags.  We went over what was to happen today and he asked if I had any questions.

After a while, the Anesthesiologist came in and he went over the same information and then went over the meds I would be administered, my allergies, etc.   He also mentioned the gift bag and said thank you.

Kimmy came back in and took some additional stats and then I was given propofol, versed, and two other meds including an antibiotic.  I started to fall asleep and when I awoke, Kimmy and the anesthesiologist were there and talking and I told them I was starting to wake up and I should not be.  They smiled and informed me that the procedure was over and I did well !   That was when I noticed that my feet were back down LOL.   I thought I was waking up too early !

I went back to sleep off and on and the camera crew came back in after the Acupuncturist came and placed all the needles.  I went back to sleep so I do not know what was filmed.  After a while, Kimmy came back in with a diagram from the Acupuncturist and removed the needles while Mark filmed and then she helped me get up and walk to the bathroom to get dressed.  Dr. Grossman came hopping out of his office, very excited, saying we got TEN eggs !   How exciting !   Kimmy had already told me.  She went over my discharge instructions and then I got changed and called the car service, who was running late.  Since they got there closer to 11 am, I asked that they drop us off at Carrabbas Italian Grill for lunch.  I could not eat since yesterday, so I was ready to eat !

We ate lunch, and then called the car service, who was not answering the phone because it was a busy time of day.  I was like HELLO, I just had surgery and I told you to be back here AT NOON !  We walked over to Target to pick up a few items and some Gatorade and then walked back across the parking lot to the restaurant to await the driver.  He finally showed up at 12:25 pm.  We went back to the hotel and the staff greeted me and asked how things went.  They gave me my package that arrived and then I came upstairs and got in the bed.

I feel pretty good, except this gassy tummy.  I hope this bloating goes away quickly.  It is THE WORSE thing about this procedure.

I intend to take it easy the rest of the day and nurse a couple of bottles of Gatorade. I have spaghetti left over from lunch that I had them pack up when they brought the dish to the table.  I am supposed to teach my cameraman how to make a pasta dish with ground turkey, penne, and a five cheese sauce.  I will work on that in a few hours LOL.  Right now, I am enjoying my heating bad and watching random shows on television.

I will update you tomorrow with the fertilization report !! 🙂    Thanks for all the prayers and concern.