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 !

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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.

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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.

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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 !!!

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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….

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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.

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 – 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.

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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 !