Blog Update – 1/26 – The 411

Cray Cray

Today, I am eight days past transfer and I do not feel any symptoms other than they usual ones taking Delestrogen and Progesterone cause.  I do not “feel” pregnant and fear that this cycle is a bust.  I know that “technically” I am only six days past blast stage, but I just do not feel like this cycle took.  I remember when I got pregnant after my first cycle, I was having trouble breathing, was extremely sleepy, and I also remember having extremely sore breasts.

I try to look at every little thing as a symptom, but I honestly feel like my period is days away.  That weird body  / pms feeling you get a week before your period starts.. that is how I feel.

As positive as I try to remain, I lose hope every time I read a post about how another who had a transfer around the same time as mine are already testing and getting BFPs and are exhibiting symptoms.  I have none.  I am finding myself getting in a rut and becoming more and more depressed.

Now I will be left with the task of figuring out what, if anything to do next.  I felt that with donor eggs, I had my best chance at getting pregnant.  I was a bit dismayed that there was slight fragmentation with the donors eggs, yet I never had any fragmentation.  I was secretly heartbroken when I only ended up with three embies out of that batch of eggs, which meant I had none left over to try again and all that money out of the window.

With my move to LA, I will have to save up to do another cycle, unless I find donor embryos and pay my clinic for storage and $1500 per transfer.  I would have to talk to my RE about how that would work.  I also was looking into San Diego Fertility as well, as they have donor embryos already and charge $10k for a three cycle guarantee.  After those three cycles, if you are not pregnant, then your can either get three more tries with no guarantee or get your money back.   I would have to wait until the end of the year to set aside enough to cover this plus meds.  The only good thing is, I would not have to pay to travel.

Right now, my mind is just full of thoughts and I simply can not concentrate.   I am exhausted mentally and just want to crawl into a little hole and hibernate…



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

Cinco De Mayo CHUNKY SALSA – Recipe

chunky- salsa


  • 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


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

IVF # 5 – Stim Day 14 – The 411

ivf 5 - keep calm and stim like a champ

Today is stim day 14… I am starting to wonder if we are ever going to get to the end of stims !  I do not feel the “full” feeling I get when my ovaries are about to burst with follicles.  I can not wait, actually yes I can, to get to that point.  Stimming slow and steady is the best way to get quality eggs so I am being patient.

I have been so stressed out the last few days.  One best friend losing her son and grandmom at 10pm the SAME night on Monday, My godmother and mother both undergoing cancer treatment, and my best friend, actor, Gary Anthony Sturgis, has finally gone public with his mother’s stage four cancer diagnosis.  He finally got his mom to tell her siblings and now he was talked about it publicly, so I feel heartbroken for him, but at the same time relieved that he will have additional support.  Cancer SUCKS rocks !  In the midst of all of this mortality, I am trying to create life.  It seems strange.

In better news, my agent and I are submitting the final (although it is really just the beginning phase) mock ups of my reality tv project.  I am excited about the possibility of this show about my life, my struggles and the fertility struggle so many women and men face that I get to put a face on, being on national television !  I also know what this exposure can do for my career and other projects I want to launch in the future.  I am trusting God to open the right doors to the right people at the right time !

I am so eternally grateful for the opportunity to even be able to take this journey and I would be remiss to not thank God for His faithfulness because there are so many who would not be able to even dream of doing what I have done this past year.

I did my AM injections of Ganirelix, Lovenox, and Neupogen.  Tonight, I will inject 175 units of Follistim and 37.5 units of Menopur.

ivf - menopur  IVF 5 - Follistim  ivf 5 stim day 4 neupogen  IVF 5 stim day 2             Vitamin D emulsion

Tomorrow morning, I have another blood draw and sonogram.  Prayerfully there will be a little growth in the follicles, but not too much of a leap !  I want all the little ones to grow to the same size as the larger ones so that I have plenty of quality eggs to transfer back next week !

In the mean time, I am working on little gifts for the staff at the clinic.  I bough EOS balms and made cute hand tags that say “You Are The BALM!”  Thanks !.  I also got peanut M&Ms and put hand tags that say ” Thank You For Helping Make My Little Peanut (s) !”.  I also had Banana Bakery out of Dallas Texas make medical themed cookies that say thanks on them and they are shipping the cookies to my hotel in Albany to arrive next week and they are already hand wrapped individually.

To keep my mind occupied, I have been making flour with hard white wheat berries and baking and my team and I are working on the launch of Valerie The Pajama Chef, my cooking show.  You can pull up my flour escapades on Youtube that I shot with my cellphone LOL.

I am headed downstairs to my kitchen now to make mile high buttermilk biscuits !  I am craving them, so I am making them and will go get some molasses  🙂   I know I am supposed to be doing gluten free, but one little biscuit is not gonna hurt much !  With all the hell going on around me, I deserve one little biscuit right?  🙂

IVF #5 – Stim Day 5 – The 411

IVF 5 stim day 2ivf 5 stim day 4 neupogen

Today is stim day 5.  Nothing too exciting….  I took my synthroid, prenatals, Vitamin D, B6, L-methofolate, and prednisone at various times today and did the am Ganirelix injection and mid day Neupogen injection.  I took my pm prednisone, claritin, and will take my other all natural prenatal vitamin before bed tonight.

For some reason, I am very tired and anxious.  I so dislike that feeling.  Like something bad is looming…  I am assuming it is because of the Delestrogen or the Ganirelix, as I have never quite felt like this before during stims.

I finished my mom’s tax return and am now working on my grandmom’s which is very simple and I am going to relax for the rest of the evening. The medical delivery service just delivered my intralipids for tomorrow’s infusion.  I have my blood draw and an sonogram in the morning at 7:45 am.

Hope everyone else is progressing in their cycles, pregnancies or in their TTC attempts !

IVF #4 – 9DP3DT- 2 WW- Doubtful – The 411

baby - sad face

Today, I am 9DP3DT, and I am having period like cramping.  I feel like my period is about to start at any time.  I am now doubtful that this cycle has worked.  I did test this morning and the HPT was negative.  My beta is scheduled for Monday, which would be the 13th day post three day transfer and 11 days post blastocyst date.  I almost skipped my estrogen and progesterone suppositories today, but felt I better keep inserting them just in case.  I did not do the PIO shot nor the Lovenox.  I am bumping into things and bruising pretty badly with light bumps so I do not want to keep taking the blood thinner daily.  I did do the Neupogen injection and used the last vial I had.  A fellow IVF’r from my clinic overnighted me more Neupogen that she had left over from her previous cycle.

I am trying to keep busy and not focus on another failed IVF attempt.  I have no symptoms, except the swollen boobs which is contributed to the PIO.  My mother is disappointed but told me not to worry about it and to just start saving up for a donor egg cycle.  Why not add another $25,000 out of pocket to the already $70,000 I have spent in the past year out of pocket trying to have a baby?  That would have almost paid for my Range Rover Sport I have been eyeballing !  $70k and nothing but a dead baby and tons of research to show for it !

My mom’s platelet count improved and she was able to to her chemo treatment this week that they were unable to do last week.  Today, I took her to get the Neulasta injection which prevents her white blood cell count from dropping.  She has one more chemo treatment and then she will start radiation !!  A light at the end of the tunnel !!

My mother’s blood sugar is elevated because of the steroids she has to take.  The blood sugar is ranging from 200s to 500s.  They put her on Metformin, but it doesn’t seem to be doing much.  We are going to see her PCP tomorrow so that she can be evaluated for insulin injections.

I am looking forward to burying myself in work this weekend !  Two of my producers are coming down from Manhattan to work on development and scripts for two new webseries I am producing.  I completed the SAG AFTRA New Media contracts for the projects this week and I pretty excited about it !

I spent the day for the past two days baking fresh blueberry muffins, miniature Dominican Rum bundts, and cranberry orange scones and I wrapped each in individual cellophane baggies and got some really cute boxes from Michael’s to put them in for each of my nurses and all three RE’s I deal with at CNY.

mini rum cakes blueberry muffins cranberry orange scones

Please keep me in your prayers… this is going to be a rough few weeks for me ~ 😦

IVF #4 – 6DP3DT- The 2WW – The 411

baby - ivf 4

At 6DP3DT, this morning, I had to go to LabCorp for blood work ordered by my Reproductive Endocrinologist.  They ordered progesterone (which is 35) and estradiol (which is 1207), and they also ordered a TSH and Vitamin D, which has not been posted as of yet.  Dr. Kiltz is now requiring blood draws at retrieval, transfer, 4-7 days after transfer and then beta 7 days later.  They are charting something to try to improve BFPs.

I am now dealing with insomnia !  I am not sure why or if it is a result of the progesterone or the embryo taking root.  I am so sleepy off and on throughout the day.  I climbed in bed this morning and took a three hour nap !

I got up, went downstairs and mixed up meatloaf.  My mom has been bugging me about making one for weeks and my nephew in California LOVES when I make it, freeze it, and ship him one.

Meatloaf making 1

Meatloaf making 2

Today’s dinner is going to be meatloaf, mashed potatoes, string beans and yeast rolls.  🙂

IVF #4 – 3DP3DT – The 411

baby - one more day praise the lord

Today, I am three days post three day transfer.  I am feeling great !  I have been taking it pretty easy.

Last night, I took my mom to the emergency room at the urging of my sister.  Her blood sugar had dropped from the 600 range down to 285.  Her platelet count is coming up a bit, her red blood cell count is low and her white blood cell count is elevated because of the Neulasta shot she was given after her chemo 2 weeks ago.  I asked the ER doc if she should be on a low dose of Metformin to help regulate the insulin in her body and he agreed with my assessment and thought I was a doctor LOL.

We left the hospital at 10:30pm and the roads were a sheet of ice !  We got home safely and in one piece.  I wanted to go to the grocery store to get the items I needed to make authentic Pho Beef Soup, which by the way is AWESOME for pregnant or TTC women.  Any bone broth soup would be.  I decided to drive straight home since the temperatures were plummeting.

This morning, my mom had a follow up visit with her Oncology nurse.  All is going well and they are glad that we made her go to the ER and that I suggested the Metformin. (something they should have done from the onset considering they knew 2 wks ago her blood sugar was at 400 because of the steroids she is on !)

I was able to get InfuScience to set up my in home infusion services for weekly intralipid infusions.  I refuse to go to Albany on the train every week for this !   I will just pay the $235 out of pocket and submit to my insurance company in case they will pay for it.  I am out of state so they may give me grief…

I get my infusion done tomorrow after my morning acupuncture session.


I did go to the International grocers today as well as Harris Teeter to get all the items I needed and I have been simmering oxtails with a whole onion, garlic, and some spices since noon.  I will turn it down and let it simmer overnight, just as they would in Vietnam.   I can not wait to make it for lunch tomorrow !!

For dinner, I made the Guinness Beer Chicken, Fresh Corn on the cob, and a five cheese skillet mac n cheese.  It smells divine so I am going to eat with my mom and grandmom.

IVF #4 – 2DP3DT – The 411

baby- bloating

Today, I am officially two days past three day transfer (2DP3DT).   The progesterone is starting to kick in.  The sore full boobs, the weird slight bloat, the prednisone food cravings… etc.

I am a bit tired, but other than that, I feel good.  I guess what they say about every cycle being different is true.  This IVF cycle, I did not have the pain and bloating I had with the first three.  The 1st cycle was the worse.

Today, it is snowing in the Washington DC Metro area, where I am visiting my mother.  I only went out to the mailbox and I have been taking it easy.  My mother cooked breakfast at 5 am (she thinks about food while awake or sleeping because of the steroids they have her on !)   I was up so I ate.  I spent the day watching tv and cooking.

I  made homemade yeast rolls, cubed steak with onion gravy, corn on the cob, mustard greens, buttered rice and also chocolate chip english toffee cookies for today.  Once I finished prepping today’s dinner, I cooked the Guinness Beer Chicken I seasoned yesterday and allowed to marinate in a bottle of Guinness beer for 24 hours.

It looks phenomenal !  The sauce has brown sugar, scotch bonnet sauce, red rice wine vinegar, and ketchup in it.  I am going to make skillet mac and cheese for my mom to go with it.  Soft foods go down easier for her.  Her gums and mouth are sore and her throat gets sore off and on.

My mother’s nurse called her at 2 am after reviewing her labs that had just come in to leave a message saying her glucose level, because of the meds, has shot up over 600.  Her platelet count is extremely low, so they could not do her chemo yesterday.  It has been rescheduled for next week when her platelet count is above 100.

We called her doctor’s office to try to get her seen or have them call in a script for insulin, but because of the terrible snow storm they were not open today.  I am going to take her to emergency room in the morning after the snow has stopped and all the roads have been plowed.  They do not come to clean our driveway and sidewalks until tomorrow.

My sister, who is an RN has been on me all day to make her go to the ER as she is worried about her getting deathly ill because of the high blood sugar.  My mom used to be diabetic before having gastric bypass 10 years ago, so her blood sugar has not been elevated in 10 years.  With a compromised immune system, my sister says it is worse.  I would go out now, but the roads have not been dragged and getting into a car accident would not be cute either !

My my mom says she feels fine so she will just go in the morning. She is more worried about the “non-driving” people around here LOL.