IVF # 5 – Stim Day 13 – The 411

IVF 5 - Keep Calm Keep Stimming

Today is exactly one year from the day I did my first IVF transfer, which resulted in the conception of my daughter.  It is such a hard time.  I remember how full of hope I was and how sure I was I was going to be successful.  I was.. it just did not last !

I got up this morning, did my morning injections of Ganirelix, Neupogen and Lovenox. I went to the imaging center and had the longest, most uncomfortable transvaginal ultrasound of my life !   The new nurse was taking forever.  I felt like I had been molested by the time she got through twirling that thing in my hoo-hah !   It can not take anyone THAT long to look at a uterus, two ovaries and a lining !

Anywhoo…  My follicles are still small. The largest being 8 cm.  It has to triple in size before I will be ready to trigger.  The nurse called saying that I have 10 small ones on the right, three measurable, and on the left there are 2-3 small ones and two measurable so far.   They have increased the Follistim to 175 units and I am to stay on the same amount of Menopur as well as the other meds.  I go back on Friday to get checked again.

ivf 5 - stim day 13 scan 1                                 ivf 5 - stim day 13 scan 1

Now that my follicles are growing slowly, I am running a slight chance of missing Jared and his grandmother’s funerals.  The homegoing services are going to be on next Thursday morning and will be in the Bronx, which is good because I can take the train in to Manhattan and get a car service to the chapel then hop back on the train from Manhattan to Albany, if it is time for me to head there.

My friend just called me saying that the expenses are getting out of hand quickly and wants me to set up a GoFundMe account to help raise funds.  I am very conflicted about this because I am always VERY irked when people start these funds to pay for expenses they should be responsible for.  Preparing for death and life are things you have to take into account and make sure you have ample insurance for.  I more often than not decline invitations to fund these because I sacrifice about $400 per month in life insurance so that should something happen to me, my family will receive close to 1.85 million dollars. They have been instructed to cremate me and not waste my money on an elaborate funeral and just do a memorial service and release my ashes over beautiful blue water then get on a plane and go to the Caribbean right away.

I have to remind myself that everyone is not me !  Everyone does not live life by the same standards I do and low and behold, SHIT HAPPENS !   No one expects a 15 year old child to get sick at school and then come home, rest a few hours and then die at 10pm in an ambulance.

I am thinking long and hard about this, but I will probably end up setting up the page for my friend, reluctantly, albeit.  At least, unlike everyone else around me, she is not asking ME to fund a transport of her son’s body from Georgia to New York.  Jared LOVED Amtrak, so his mom wants to put his body on the Amtrak from Atlanta to New York to be laid to rest.  Evidently, the cost is a lot more than what was anticipated.  Why does it cost so much to ship a body by train or by plane?  It is not like they are taking up THAT much space, Jeezzz….

Anyway, I am going to pray about this and make a final decision.   I feel so conflicted because I do not like doing campaigns for frivolous stuff.  I do campaigns like this to raise money for the homeless, to raise funds to open an arts program for underprivileged children, and to fund my film projects… not to pay for funeral expenses.  But, hey, never say never because it will be the ONE thing you end up doing !

Here is a video of Jared on stage with Stevie Wonder:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNZWBTHvr8E&feature=share

After much thought and prayer, I decided to create the Gofundme page !   http://www.gofundme.com/jaredsangels

IVF # 5 – Stim Day 11 – The 411

IVF 5 - Follistim         ivf - menopur   IVF 5 stim day 2      ivf 5 stim day 4 neupogen

Today is the eleventh day of stims, sixth day on Follistim and fourth day on Menopur.   In the morning, I inject Neupogen, Ganirelix, and Lovenox.   I take various supplements and vitamins, and synthroid (which I have not taken since Friday because my TSH plumented to .1) and in the evening, I inject Follistim and Menopur.

Because my Vitamin D level has been low since February, I am no longer taking the pill version.  To raise my vitamin level, I have to take an emulsion at dinner that also has Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2 in it to help with absorption. (see previous post about Vitamin D levels).

Vitamin D emulsion

I ordered the emulsion from Amazon.com.  It tastes pretty okay.  Not nasty like I was expecting.

I had monitoring this morning and my follicles are slowly growing.  LabCorp had a problem with their machines today so my blood work was not in by the time my RE’s office closed.

ivf 5 - stim day 11 scan

I was instructed to just remain on my same meds and I will get a call tomorrow from my nurse once the blood work is in and they will make adjustments if necessary.

Hope everyone else is doing well !  More tomorrow ~

IVF #5 – Stim Day 9 – The 411

IVF 5 stim day 2IVF 5 - Follistimivf - menopur                                           ivf 5 stim day 4 neupogen

Well, today is Stim Day 9 !   I am completely wiped out !!   I did not do my am injections until around 11 am this morning because I had to drive to NC at 3 am to meet my sister to drop off her kids.  My two year old niece and my 21 year old nephew were here visiting for two weeks over Spring Break.

I got back around 10:30 – 11 am this morning and immediately did my Ganirelix, Neupogen, and Lovenox injections.  I will wait until around 8pm to inject the Menopur and Follistim.

I am hoping that the Follistim is starting to do it’s thing and that the follicles will start growing to a measurable rate and not drag on.  I am beyond exhausted on this new med protocol.  I took a four hour nap !   I am still sleepy, but decided to get up and make the organic, homemade Strawberry ice cream I cooked and refrigerated yesterday morning.  Now I have two huge tubs of Strawberry and one fresh Peach in the freezer.   Now that my niece has gone home, I MAY be able to eat a little of the ice cream LOL.  Before she got here, she would never eat anything cold… go figure !  I started making the ice cream for my mom in the Cuisinart Ice Cream- Frozen Yogurt Maker I have.  My niece was infatuated with the machine and the ingredients churning, so when I finished a batch of Vanilla Bean, I gave her some on a spoon and then she insisted she wanted more in a bowl.  That began her love of ice cream.   I sent my sister a link to a Cuisinart that was now on sale so that she could make this at home for the baby.

I missed the Earth Day Concert on the National Mall today since I had to travel, but it is okay.  I am trying to avoid crowds and people …. and pollen !  No sense in hanging around outdoors too much and risking getting a sinus infection prior to these procedures in a week.

I think the only thing I wish I could do right now is enjoy a glass of white wine.  I hear a German Eiswein calling my name, but I can not have it 😦

Have an awesome Saturday !!

IVF # 5 – Stim Day 6 – Follistim Added – The 411

 IVF 5 - Follistim

Tonight Follistim was added to my protocol.   I was very nervous about how to set up the pen and cartridge, as I have used only Gonal-F in the past that has a prefilled pen.  I followed the instructions that the nurse gave me and it was easy.  I dialed up the 125 dose and injected it with no problem.  The needles that come with the pen are very sharp so you do not even feel the needle prick the skin.

After the intralipid infusion today and monitoring and blood work in two locations, I am worn out.

I did take my little niece to Dulles Town Center to the NATS Playroom and to ride on the Merry Go Round and then my mom, grandmom and I took her across the parking lot to Benihana for dinner.  She had a ball.  I have never know a baby to have such a love of soup !  She ate THREE bowls of the onion broth !  She is now happily watching Peppa Pig with my grandmom and they will be going to bed shortly.

Good night !!

IVF #5 – Stim Day 4 – The 411

ivf 5 stim day 1

Today is stim day 4 !!  It is Delestrogen (tush injection) day.  I did my Ganirelix injection this morning and took the other meds and prenatal that I am to take.  At lunch time, I looked on my instruction sheet and realized that today was the day I am to inject estrogen.  It is done every three days.  To give my grandmother something to do, I asked her to do the injection.  She is a retired nurse, but does have alzheimers so I was hoping and praying the whole time that she “still has it” and she does !  I did not even feel the needle go in and she proclaims, all done !  🙂

ivf 5 stim day 4 neupogen

I finally got my neupogen script and had to make an adjustment to my dosage after my dear friend informed me that the dosage I was taking was not the therapeutic dosage that Dr. Braverman wants us to take.  I was taking .1 ml and the correct dosage is .34 ml ! 🙂  WHEW !  Glad I know now so that is one more thing I can not worry about going wrong.  With the increased dosage, it should really help with the NK cells and cytokenes and also help the NK cells in my lining remain dormant as well so that my body is not fighting the embryos that are transferred.

I am nervous and excited and scared all at the same time about proceeding with the protocol.  After my next baseline on Wednesday, I am to start Follistim, which I’ve not taken before.  I am hoping there are no crazy side effects.

I will keep you updated and please continue to send up positive affirmations, prayers and thoughts on my behalf.  If this cycle works, I will will be having New Years babies !  Go figure….

IVF #5 – Stim Day 3 – The 411

IVF 5 stim day 2

Today is CD 4 and Stim Day 3.  Upon waking, I take Synthroid, wait 4 hours and then start taking the other supplement 2 hours or so apart.  I injected the Ganirelix with ease and am now relaxing and trying to figure out what to do with my niece today, now that she is not sick anymore.

Tomorrow, the Neupogen will be in at the pharmacy and I will pick it up and start injecting it.  I am so hoping that these new meds make a marked difference for me and this cycle will be MY BFP cycle and I will carry to term.  This whole process is very taxing and is so uncertain.

I have my next sonogram and blood draw on Wednesday and will be starting Follistim on that day.  I do back for more blood work and another sonogram on Friday and then again on the following Monday and Wednesday.

Fingers, arms, legs, toes, and eyes crossed that this works !  Prayers sent up too 🙂

IVF # 5 – Stim Day 2 – The 411

IVF 5 stim day 2

Today is CD 3 and Stim Day 2 !!  This morning, I injected the Ganirelix, took 20 mg of Prednisone, 175 mg Synthroid,  1 Claritin and I have to take 4000 units of Vitamin D, 2 prenatal vitamins (am and pm) and 20 mg of Prednisone later this evening.  My neupogen has been ordered and will be available for pick up on Monday.

In other news, I have my two year old niece visiting for Spring Break.   This morning, I awoke to her pelting my side with projectile watery vomit !  Is this what I have to look forward too?   She has an upper respiratory infection and chest congestion and yesterday she had a fever spike to 103.  I gave her Motrin for the fever and she is taking liquid Claritin for the allergies and has an am and pm natural cough syrup.   I hope she gets better today.  She is not acting sick, but you can tell she is not at 100%.  She is just not as wide open as she usually is.  This girl, my mini me, has energy for days !

My mom is still in a lot of pain this morning from the neuropathy in her right heel and still can not walk on it.  I really hope this passes soon !  No fun….

IVF # 5- Baseline – Antagonist/Estrogen Priming Protocol – Stim Day 1 – The 411

ivf 5 stim day 1  

ivf 5 stim day 1 sono

Today I had my baseline appoint on cycle day 2 !   To my surprise, I now have 6 antral follicles prior to stim meds.  I only had two on the left on Wednesday.  When I went in today, I was greeted by a student tech who asked if it was okay for her to do my scans with the assistance of the nurse tech.  I reluctantly agreed because they all have to start somewhere LOL.   I was glad that the nurse tech that came in was Jackie, the one who normally does my sonograms.  It of course took much longer than it normally does, but that was okay.

I left the women’s imaging center and went to LabCorp and got my blood work done.  From Wednesdays draw, my TSH is now normal (1.3) and my Vitamin D has come up quite a bit.  It is now 28, but is supposed to be 30 to be normal. I have been taking 5000 units a day for a month now and it still is not in the normal range.  Now that it is warming up, I will sit in the sun and bare my forearms twice a day.

My nurse called this afternoon and said my lining was now back to normal, as it was extremely thick on Wednesday, but as I told her, my period was near.  I knew what to expect from her comment…. A lot of thick clots !  Thank GOD there was little cramping and very minimal bleeding.  I love monthly menses when they are like this because I feel free to move around and am not confined to the house afraid of leaks 😦

I started my meds protocol today.  I took 20mg of Prednisone this morning and will take another 20 tonight and I injected the Ganirelix sub-q and the Delestrogen (which I inject every 3 days) IM. I am also taking 175mg of Synthroid, Prenatal vitamins twice a day, 5000 units Vitamin D, B6, Folic acid, and Claritin.

I had the doc call my Neupogen in to Target and I am going to pick that up in a few minutes and inject that as well every evening.

In Mommy news, my mother is suffering from the side effects from the chemo meds.  She has neuropothy.  It is kicking her butt !  The pain is mainly in her hands and in her right heel. The pain in her right heel got much worse today to the point that she can not walk on it.  Luckily, I had crutches from when I injured my knee two years ago after filming my movie.

I am excited that my film is premiering at the Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival tomorrow at 3 pm.  The film is a finalist in the film festival.  My film was also accepted as a finalist in the Reel Recovery Film Festival and will be screened around the USA and in Canada between now and the end of the year.  We are still submitting the film in festivals.

Today I cooked stewed chicken with pan gravy, buttered rice, organic collards, organic stewed corn, my soft and fluffy yeast rolls, and homemade ice cream to accompany the vanilla bean pound cake.