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.

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IVF # 5 – Trigger Day 2 !! – The 411

baby - novarel trigger

Today, my day started off kinda rocky.  The hotel called last night and arranged for a car service to come and pick me up at 10:15 am to take me to my fertility clinic.  At 10:30, I was still awaiting their arrival and I was supposed to BE at CNY at 10:30 am.  I was LIVID!  One thing that irks me is waiting for people.  I am PAYING you, you are not transporting me for free.  The driver arrives and explains that he was told to run someone up the street to Hertz.  I of course checked him and then moved on.  He got me to the clinic in 5 minutes LOL.

I went in CNY Fertility Center and Spa- Albany and did my intralipid infusion of two bags of intralipids and I hung out with my nurse, Kimmy.  We took a few selfies and chatted for two hours.  I absolutely LOVE my nurses, Kimmy, Stacy, and Aileen !  They are the most down to Earth, calming spirits.  That is a good thing when you are going through such a trying time.

After I finished my intralipids, the clinic called a cab for me and then I came back to my hotel, ate some lunch and then watched my soap operas and the Real before getting concierge to take me grocery shopping.  I did my shopping and came back in and made a nice juicy burger for dinner since I did not feel like going to the mall.

My ovaries feel ridiculously inflated and I am a bit uncomfortable.  It will only get worse tonight after my double trigger shot.  But I hope this pushes my follicles right to the edge and all the eggs in there mature and are ripe for the picking in the morning when they put me on that table !

I just lathered my backside with Emla cream to numb the area I am going to do the IM injection of the Novarel at 9:30 pm.  I want to go to sleep, but the film crew will arrive at 11:30 – 12 so I will probably lightly sleep until then so I can greet them when they come in.

I am very tired, but also excited about what possibility tomorrow can bring !  I am claiming this to be MY cycle !  I am claiming that my eggs WILL be mature and they WILL fertilize and I will more eggs than I need for Tuesdays transfer and will have a few to freeze for another time.

I am hoping and praying for 10 or more eggs. Putting that out there in the universe and whispering it into the ears of God !  If He wants to give me more than 10 dynamic eggs and wants to give me 14 or 15, hey, I am not arguing !  lol

Thanks to you all for your prayers, your concern, and for sticking this out with me.  You all mean so much to me !  xoxo

IVF #5 – Trigger Day 1 – The 411

baby- trigger shot

Tonight at 9:30 pm was trigger night !  #wootwoot  I did my Novarel 10,000 hcg shot IM !!

Today was such a long day for me.  I got up at 2:30 am and took a shower, did my Ganirelix, Neupogen and Lovenox injections around 3 am on my way to Union Station to hop on the train to NYC.  I got to NYC at 7 am and met my make up artist for breakfast and then hopped back on the subway to the Bronx for the visitation and homegoing services.

Some of my actor friends met me at the funeral home and we paid our respects.  The service was very nice and surprisingly not at all sad as I expected it to be.  It was truly a celebration of life for Grandmom Kate, who was 90 years old and Jared, who was 15.  Cristal was very composed and even spoke the zillion people who came from far and wide to celebrate the lives of the great grandmother and grandson who left Earth together. I did not attend to the burial program at the cemetery. I just could not do it.

I left after the funeral with a friend of mine and we went to midtown to Pio Pio and had a great Peruvian dinner.  I then headed over to Penn Station to board my 4 pm train to Albany.   I was upset that my car service was 30 mins late picking me up and then I missed the steak dinner the hotel serves on Thursday nights right off the grill !  I ended up eating mac n cheese from the freezer in the hotel mini grocer, waited until 9:30pm and then mixed and injected the first trigger shot.

As instructed, this morning, I did my am shots and I have taken my synthroid, prednisone, prenatal vitamins, and a baby asprin.  Tomorrow, I am going over to the clinic to do my intralipid infusion which will take an hour to do.  It is easier to do them on Friday when there is a full staff and a full day, as opposed to waiting until Saturday before the retrieval.  I do not want them to be rushed on Saturday, so I will go ahead and get it out of the way, plus it gives it a day  earlier to work and get my immune system dormant.

Praying that I have all immature eggs this cycle and that all of them fertilize.  I am hoping to have 4-5 embryos to transfer on day 3 and that two of them stick !   Putting it out there in the universe in case she is listening to me.  I am also hoping that I have  a few left over that I can grow to blasts and freeze for another cycle later.  It would be nice 🙂

IVF #5 – Stim Day 20 – The Last Night of Stims – The 411

One More Day

Today is officially my LAST NIGHT of Stimming !!   I have been patiently injecting myself am and pm for the past 20 days !  Tomorrow morning, I do my injection of Ganirelix, Neupogen, and Lovenox and then I wait until 9:30 pm and do my 1st Novarel trigger shot.

I went in this morning for monitoring and I have 11 follicles on the right and 3 on the left.  I am hoping that by Saturday retrieval they are ALL mature and retrievable.  I am getting anxious.  I just need this to be MY cycle !  My doctor called in a script for Viagra for me to take vaginally to make sure my lining is an 8. Of course insurance will not cover it and its $41 per pill !   $900 for a prescription… I swear insurance companies are rip offs !  Since my lining looks pretty good today, as opposed to the drop it took last week on Friday, I am only going to get 4 of the 20 pills they called in.

IVF 5 stim day 2                           IVF 5 - Follistim   ivf 5 stim day 4 neupogen     ivf 5- viagara                 ivf 5 meds 2

This evening, I will inject the Gonal-F and Menopur.   I have packed all of my belongings and shipped them to the hotel and I have my dress and coat laid out that I am wearing for the funeral tomorrow.  I am going to just wear it to NY since I am not lugging luggage with me.  It is easier to just wear a comfy dress and take my dressier satin overcoat that I will switch into and a pair of heels. I am taking an oversize purse with my laptop in it and the heels so it will be easy for me to move about.  I am meeting my make up artist for breakfast in the morning and then leaving from breakfast and heading up to the Bronx to the funeral.  I am not looking forward to attending a double funeral AT ALL !   I absolutely HATE funerals.  They are too sad.  I will be there to show my love and support and will forgo the burial.

I will update tomorrow with how things went ~

IVF #5 – Stim Day 19 – The 411

ivf 5 - keep calm stim on bear

19 days and counting…. Just two more days of stims and then hopefully Thursday night is trigger #1 and Friday is trigger #2 and then I can get these little eggs out of me before my babies come out looking like Benjamin Button ! lol

I did my normal injections this morning of Ganirelix, Lovenox and Neupogen.  I took the 20mg of Prednisone, Claritin, and also took my prenatal vitamin.  This afternoon, I took the Folate and also the Synthroid.  I will inject Gonal-F tonight (ran out of Follistim and the two are interchangeable) and the Menopur.  I have a pm prenatal that I take along with more Prednisone and the Vitamin D emulsion.

I just packed up my clothing, shoes, notes for my book, sheets, and heating pad into a box and have it sitting waiting on FedEx to pick it up and ship it ahead to the hotel.  I am elated to not have to drag luggage with me all around New York while I am in the city for the funerals.  I will leave from the funeral and head to midtown, grab lunch in Penn Station or nearby and then hop on the train to Albany.  It will be nice to be in a quiet hotel suite, equipped with a full kitchen, and no grandmom to ask me every five minutes if there is something she can help me do !  Thank you Jesus !   🙂    She means well, but at times, it is taxing. I wish she could do some of my writing so that I can take a nap LOL.

Today, my mom had her first radiation treatment.   All went well and we met with the doctor afterwards. I took her to lunch at PF Chang’s and then home we went.  After she worked for a while, I made her go to bed to take a nap and rest.   She is probably downstairs on her Ipad or cellphone playing around on Facebook lol.

In regards to my swelling ovaries, I spoke too soon !  Those things seem to start filling up late last night about 11-12 and felt like they were being blown up a bit kinda like a balloon for several hours.  It was so noticeable that I could not sleep from the discomfort.  My tummy is now a bit distended so I am hoping that nothing is growing out of proportion or too fast and I end up having the surgery on Friday.  I was looking forward to having all day Friday to relax and maybe catch a movie at the mall up the street from the hotel, hang out in the huge Border’s Bookstore and get a juicy burger from Five Guys in the food court.   Hopefully I will be able to get that in.

More tomorrow after my scan…. I am going to take a nap before I have to go to infertility support group meeting tonight !

IVF #5 – Stim Day 18 – The 411

ivf 5 - thou shall respect the stim

Today is the 18th day of stims.  I went in this morning for monitoring and blood work.  I have 11 follicles on the right and two on the left according to the technician who did today’s scan.  I have not logged into the patient portal as of yet to read the follicular report, so I am just regurgitating what was told to me this morning.

I did my morning injections of Ganirelix, Lovenox (which is causing to me to bleed from the little scabs on my tummy where I have been injecting the past 18 days) and the Neupogen.  I took my synthroid today, which I have been taking every 2-3 days because my TSH plummets when I take it daily and I also took the prednisone, prenatal vitamin and Claritin.

This evening, I will take my vitamin d emulsion and inject the Menopur and Follistim.  I will also take the second dosage of Prednisone.

So far, I do not have that overly full ovary feel that I am used to having.  By now, on the other protocol, I would have had a hard time sitting up straight by now.  My nurse said my largest follicle is 17 mm so I have a little ways to go.  I am scheduled to trigger on Thursday and my retrieval will be on Saturday morning.  I assume that my transfer will be on Tuesday or Wednesday.  I am not doing a five day transfer, but a three.  I want to get back and spend Mother’s Day with my mom.

ivf 5 - stim day 18 scan

I am relieved that my uncle is going to come get my grandmother the day before I leave for New York and keep her until I return.  My mom started radiation this week (tomorrow is the 1st actual radiation as today was just practice) and I was worried about how the radiation will affect her.  My grandmother is a sneaky little thing and if left unattended (while my mom is asleep) she will plunder throughout the house or do things she knows she is not supposed to do, like feed her dog my $23 pot roast complete with rice and gravy, as my mom caught her doing while I was at the theater on Sunday, lol !

It is akin to having an 83 year old child in the house.  You can not leave your mail or documents lying around unless you want them read.  Alzheimers or dementia causes the elderly to become extremely suspicious.  I am not exactly sure what it is she thinks she is going to find…. It drives me mother crazy and I find it hilarious.  Well, I found her antics funny until she fed that damned dog my pot roast !  I made the pot roast for myself and got a really good cut.  I gave my dog and her dog what was left over on my plate that I had as an early lunch, so I guess in her mind that translated to FEED THE DOGS POT ROAST !  When my mom came into the kitchen, my grandmom was preparing a plate for her dog and almost jumped out of her skin when she got “caught”.  She knew I was gone because she can see me pull out of the garage and out of the driveway from her room.  I think she assumed my mom was with me and she was at home alone lol.   We have cameras up all over the house so even when away, we can see what she is doing.

I am excited to report that tomorrow is the first day of filming for my cooking show. I got my final SAG documents today and I faxed them my taft hartley paperwork so that I can get my SAG AFTRA card.  I got a cute grey and white pj set to cook in.  I only wish my make up artist were here to beat my face, but for a cooking show, I can pretty much handle a simple make up job.   I can not wait for you guys to see my logo !   🙂

Have a great evening ~

IVF # 5 – Stim Day 17 – The 411

ivf 5 - stimmy day

Today is stim day 17 of my fifth stim cycle !!  WOW !! That is a long time… 28 days of being on some type of hormone, developing and cultivating follicle and eggs and still three more days of injections to go at least before we can pull these bad boys out !  I just hope my babies do not come out looking like they are Benjamin Button because I have been making the eggs so long LOL.

This morning, I did my injections of Ganirelix, Lovenox, and Neupogen.  I took 20 mg of Prednisone and one prenatal vitamin.  I later took the optimized folate and a Claritin.   The vitamin d emulsion, I take with dinner and then in the evening around 6pm, I inject the Follistim and Menopur.

I decided to do a me’date day and I took me to the movies.  A friend of mine, Terrell Tilford, is starring in the new film, Blackbird, so I went to the Arclight Theater in Bethesda to see it.  Nice theater !  I love the fact that theaters have full bars in them now.  I of course indulged in a glass of Moscato and a little bucket of popcorn with butter.   I won’t be able to drink for the next year or two so, hey.. enjoying it while I can !

I just whipped up some vanilla bean butter cupcakes the other night so I finally got around to making browned butter frosting to top them.  Saturday morning at 1 am, I was restless and craving sweets, so I came down into the kitchen and whipped up cupcakes.  I ate one and went back upstairs and climbed in the bed !

I am going to spend the rest of the evening writing my book. I am finally getting somewhere with it.I will be glad when I have all the chapters outlined an underway.  Then I will work on figuring out which recipes I will put in the book at the end.  I am simultaneously working on another cookbook.  I am going to create a second edition of my first best selling cookbook and renaming it.

I have a crazy week ahead !  My mom starts radiation tomorrow a few hours after my monitoring appointment.  I have to come back in and pack and box up the clothes and things I am shipping to Albany and get Fedex to pick it up along with the frozen waffles and pancakes I put up to ship to friends in California.  I am actually glad that I am shipping my things to the hotel so that I do not have to lug a suitcase around New York City on Thursday prior to hopping on a train to Albany that afternoon.  I will not get into Albany until around 7pm on Thursday and will have to report to the clinic at 8 am, if all goes as planned.  On Tuesday, we will be filming the first episode of Valerie The Pajama Chef, my cooking show.  I have to pick out some new pjs tomorrow at the mall for the shoot…  I am nervous and excited at the same time !  Wednesday, I have monitoring and then I am leaving for New York on Thursday and will leave from the city for a week in Albany.  Busy week indeed !

Have a great night everyone !!