IVF #4 – Stim Day 10 – The 411

baby - my body is not ready yet

I went in this morning for my monitoring appointment and everything is looking good.  Unfortunately, I have two leads on the right and three on the left and a gang of additional follicles that have not caught up.  My E2 (estrogen) level is just under 1000.  My nurse conferred with Dr. Grossman and Dr. Kiltz and I have to stay on meds another night or two.  I am sooooo glad I did not sell off all of my additional meds or donate them !  I kept two boxes of Menopur and some of the Gonal -F and of course I still have some Lupron left in the vial I have been using.  I am completely out of Omnitrope, but I am not flipping out about it.  I took in three vials over the past 9 days.  The HGH/Omnitrope was an added medication to help with egg quality and maturation.

I was all packed and ready for my 7 am departure tomorrow, and am kinda disappointed that I will not be leaving until this weekend.  Not that I want to rush anything, I am hoping my follicles grow like gang busters overnight so that I will do my retrieval on Saturday and my transfer on Monday or Tuesday.  I am pretty sure my mom has her next chemo therapy treatment on Wednesday, which means she has to come back on Tuesday.  I just hope I am done by Tuesday so that we can head back to DC for her treatment. Again, I am not going to stress about it.  It is what it is.  My mom can just hop on the train back to DC if need be and I will just come the day after.  Her chemo treatments are now 5 hours long so I do not stay with her anyway.  I was just hoping she would be at the clinic when I put her grandbabies back in 🙂

Baby - keep calm im not ready yet

Here is a picture from the monitoring screen today:

baby - ivf 4 stim day 10 scan

Time to go mix my meds and inject them !  More tomorrow after my monitoring appointment.

IVF #4 – Stim Day 9- The 411

baby - ivf 4 stim day 2

Tonight is hopefully my LAST night of stims !  I mixed and injected all the meds and surprisingly this cycle, I do not have one bruise !   WOW !   I made it through without looking like a human cushion pin !!

I have a monitoring appointment in the morning and more labs and I am praying that the other follicles catch up to the 20, 16 and 14 leads that I had on Monday.  I feel a lot fuller and more bloated.   My acupuncturist noticed my abdominal bloat this morning.

I went to acupuncture with my mom and then we grabbed lunch at a place she read about since she was craving fajitas.  She ended up not even liking them, which is typical lol.   Her taste buds are so off, I do not even know why she even tries to eat out.

After starting Taxol last week, my mom started experiencing radiating pain.  She text me at 2 am to ask if I was awake so that she could figure out something to take for the pain in her back.  I gave her a flexeril but it didn’t do much to help.  We called her Oncologist’s office this morning and they wrote a script for Vicodin.  I went and picked it up this evening and filled it when I went to pick up my Emla cream.  I found the numbing cream does help when injecting the PIO (progesterone in oil).

I have packed my box of spices and treats, packed up all my meds, needles and supplies and I am shipping those boxes to the hotel tomorrow so they will be there when I arrive on Thursday.  My hotel has a kitchen in the room, which I love, although they do serve a full breakfast daily and dinner Monday thru Thursday.  I always eat breakfast, but I usually just have to concierge take me to the grocer and I buy food to cook since I am so picky.   My mom is going with me this time, so I will have company !!  I am excited that she will be coming along.  Being that Upstate NY is extremely cold and it is to be -2 on Thursday, I doubt we will venture out except to the grocer.  We will probably go see a movie on Saturday at the mall if I am up to it.

Please send up some prayer that this last injection pushes these little follicles to where they need to be.  I will drink a few cups of Ballerina Tea tomorrow when I get  back from my appointments and “clean out”.  I found that by cleaning the digestive tract, I did not have nearly as much bloating and discomfort post-procedure since I emptied my colon and intestines the day before.

IVF #4- Stim Day 7 – The 411

baby - lets get this party started

Today is stim day 7 and there is a party going on inside my ovaries !  I feel pressure and like I have gone from moth balls, to golf balls, to little baseballs in there.  My nipples are starting to get tender, my abdomen is swelling and my boobs are swollen !  I am a hormonal MESS !

To top off my hormonal messiness, my mom’s steroids are kicking in so she is cranky, fussy, and irritable.  Needless to say, I took off for the basement and hid out until after most of the day had passed LOL.  After her nap, she appeared from upstairs level refreshed and normal. (THANK GOD).   The steroids given to cancer patients makes them little demonic gremlins !

I mixed all my meds and drew up the Omnitrope and injected all of my meds.

I called the hotel to readjust my hotel arrangements since I am being told that Friday is the big day instead of Monday.  I am all set !  I have my travel tickets for me and my mom and am praying I do not have to change them again.  Sometimes the fare is less but more often than not it is more.  At any rate, I am pretty glad that my mom is coming with me and I do not have to go through this last IVF attempt by myself being BORED to tears in Upstate NY in the COLD ! 🙂

I am kinda sad that we got about 14 inches of snow so we were not able to do my mom’s celebratory tea.  I did make the cutest little guest gift bags with white bags with a tea mug, teas, and cookies enclosed.  I put pink tissue paper in each and they turned out pretty cute.  We have rescheduled the tea for next month when hopefully the weekly snow will be over.

IVF #4 Upcoming – The 411

baby - ivf egg and sperm

Last night, Dr. Robert Kiltz, who owns CNY Fertility Center and Spa, called me and said he wanted to schedule a phone consult with me for Saturday morning.  He said he was reviewing my file and would call me.  This morning, as promised, he called to discuss my latest failed cycle and to make a plan to move forward.

He wants me to try one more cycle with my own eggs prior to moving on to donor eggs.  He feels that I have good equality and is happy that he sees all my embryos making to blast.  He feels that I need to do a few things:

–  Add Saizen / human growth hormone to my cycle to improve maturation and egg quality

– Use neupogen post transfer

– Do a neupogen wash

–  Do a Hysteroscopy with biopsy

– Do an endometrial scratch on day two of my cycle to improve implantation

– Continue on an estrogen priming protocol

– Use 300 Gonal-F and 300 Menopur with Lupron for stims again

I have decided to give my own eggs one more last shot while I am saving up for a donor egg cycle.  I am going to detox my body first.  All of these hormones have take a toll on my body.   I am going to start a protein train on Monday (protein shakes only, apple sauce, sf popsicles, sf jello, water, diluted apple juice, oatmeal).  I will actually start by drinking only water with lemon, cayenne pepper and grade A maple syrup for two days to detox my body from my sugar habit.  It really does work !  By drinking loads of the lemon cayenne tea, it cuts sugar cravings and helps you follow the Bariatric diet more easily.

For those that did not know, I had gastric bypass surgery March 31, 2004.  When I follow a strict diet for short periods, it helps me refocus and I also drop weight pretty quickly.  I want to get back to my starting weight prior to starting stims.  I should be able to drop the few pounds I have gained due to the hormones.  It can only help with my quest to get pregnant.  Weight loss releases the hormones that are stored in body fat back into the bloodstream.  This is why a lot of women who became infertile due to obesity find themselves pregnant unexpectedly after gastric bypass, lapband, or significant weight loss.

Ironically, one of my friends out of the blue reached out to me late yesterday and said that God had laid on their spirit to relay to me to hold on…. that my bundles of joy were on the way.  I told my friend to go back and relay a message for me…  I will hold on, but can He speed up this timeline ! lol

IVF #3 Stim Day 11 and Beyond…. – The 411

baby - waiting

Today, I went in for what I thought would be my LAST monitoring appointment.  Alas, I got the call from my nurse to continue on the same meds thru the weekend, go in for monitoring on Monday and then they should be ready to do my retrieval on Wednesday.

I had to call the hotel, call Amtrak and get an appointment for Monday for monitoring.  I was able to get everything done.  I decided to just stay in Albany the entire week instead of coming back to check on my mom.  Since I leave on Tuesday, there is no point in my coming back on Thursday and then going right back there on Sunday for Monday’s retrieval.  I actually got a $35 refund on my ticket because I changed the return date to a week out.

Currently, I have 12 large follicles and there are still some smaller ones that are growing.  They want to make sure all 12 are maxed out in size before they try to do a retrieval.  They are not in the range they should be yet to get me to the finish line.  My E2 is now 1000, which is good and will surely rise quite a bit between now and the time they check it again on Monday.

I am a tad disappointed that I am not ready for retrieval yet, but at the same time, glad my doctor is closely monitoring me and making sure that we maximize this cycle and work to get the best possible eggs.  By waiting until Wednesday to retrieve, I will have more mature eggs to work with which means better quality, stronger and will likely have more fertilized eggs.

I am in the process of mixing my meds now and will do my injection at 6pm.  I let my meds sit out at room temp for 30 mins before I mix them. I am short on my Menopur since I have to stim longer.  I am short 75 units per day.  The doctor said I can substitute 75 units of Gonal F for the missing Menopur.  WHEW !!  I was about to go into total freak out mode !  lol  Tomorrow I am going in for an acupuncture session and will probably do another on Monday before heading to Albany on Tuesday…. hey… it can’t hurt !

baby - IVF3 stim day 1

IVF #3 Stim Day 8 – The 411

baby - IVF3 stim day 1

Today, my mom had her first follow up with one of her surgeons.  Her plastic surgeon took the drain out and said everything looks good !   My mom is more alert and is coming out of the anesthesia fog.  Today, she went out with me for an hour to take the car to the Audi dealership so that they could replace the brake light bulb, but it turns out the whole LED assembly has to be replaced… $600 !  REALLY?   Okay….. gimme the loaner car and fix it!  It is nice to be able to hang out with my mom because truly things could have gone another way !

I had a date tonight with an accountant I met on Match.com.  He is really sweet.  He is Philipino  and Ecuadorian and is 6’2.  He is very family oriented and is a huge music and movie buff.

I got in and immediately mixed my meds and did my injection. My gonal-f was increased to 450 for the next few days to get my E2 level to rise.  When checked on Monday, it was only 123.  It needs to rise this week to over 1000.  Since they are stimming me slow and even, they expect it to rise late in the cycle but my RE did agree to max out the Gonal-F to help kick the E2 up.

Tomorrow is my next blood work and monitoring appointment, and then my mom has a follow-up appointment with the breast specialist/ oncology surgeon.

I kinda worry what reaction I will get from guys I am dating and interested in once they learn I am undergoing IVF treatment.  I see no need to put my mommy quest on hold.  I may or may not ever meet Mr. Right, so who ever God sends in my life will have to accept me for what I am… twins on board and all !

IVF # 3 – Cycle Day 1 – The 411

baby - lets get this party started pink keep calmUnexpectedly as I was in the garage about to hop in the car to go to the movies with my mom this morning, I felt this little gush and I ran in the house to see what was going on and lo and behold, my PERIOD STARTED !!!  Can you say HEAVY !  UGH.  I had no cramping… no twinges…  Aunt Flo just showed up with a vengeance !  I absolutely HATE clotting.  It messes every freaking thing up because tampons are not going absorb when clots are present so you have to change them frequently and SHE does NOT use pads!  I HATE the feeling of something running and the thought of messing up my clothing is not appealing either.

I was relieved that the clotting stopped and the bleeding lightened up after a few hours because we are leaving this afternoon for the trip and I was dreading having to deal with this all weekend !

Now I am in the mad rush to get my Menopur here by Tuesday.  I have one box left from last cycle and I also have all of my other meds except the Menopur.  I was able to get Menopur pretty cheap some from another patient who has left overs.  Being about to buy meds from other women who have gotten their BFP or who have abandoned their treatments after a BFN has been a blessing !  I can use that money to do other things, like buy baby equipment and furniture.  I will donate any meds I have left over after I get pregnant and make it past 7 months.

I am really upset that my period started early because that just pushed up my egg retrieval date to the week that my mom has her surgery or the week after.  I was going to have a 2 week retrieve.  Now I will just fly in and out the day of my retrieval and then come back in 5 days for my transfer and leave the same day again.  I am not going to stay in Albany for a whole week by myself.  I am thinking about not having the film crew film this IVF.  I am tired of being on display.  I have not even looked at the footage from the first 2 IVFs.

In other news…. guess what I got?

baby - ivf 3 PIO

Yep… butt injections.  Progesterone In Oil !  I have avoided this like the plague since IVF #1 but the 22 gauge needles have found a way into my life 😦   I will be doing PIO in addition to Endometrin after my retrieval.

I swear my kids better be saints and NEVER give me a day of grief with all I am going through just to have them LOL.  We can all hope right? 🙂

Day Two of Stims – The 411

Day Two of Stims - The 411

This evening, it was a lot easier to mix the medications. I iced my tummy for 15-20 minutes before while I waited for the Gonal-F to warm to room temp. I mixed my Lupron, Menopur, and Gonal-F as directed and injected it. I then injected the Lovenox (which has caused my menses to continue – ugh) and took the oral Prednisone. I was done in less than 15 minutes once I started mixing the meds. I dabbed Ambesol on the injection sites to numb them and then iced for 20 minutes after.

Surprisingly, the injections do not hurt or sting. I am becoming a pro already ! 8 more days to inject these meds and then I will find out if I get to trigger. I am hoping that I will not have to report to the fertility center until the day after they are anticipating so that I will have five days to let my little embryos grow to blast. They do not do transfers on Sundays so I am pushing for a Thursday retrieval so that my transfer will be on Monday.

It is going to be really interesting to see how this all plays out since a camera crew will be on my heels the entire time I am at the center, in my hotel, and everywhere I go. Reality TV, here I come !

Gonal F, Menopur, Lupron, Novarel – Injection Meds for IVF have Arrived !

Gonal F, Menopur, Lupron, Novarel - Injection Meds for IVF have Arrived !

This morning, the last of my medications for my IVF cycle arrived from Freedom Fertility Pharmacy. WOOOT WOOOT !!!

I am glad that all of my meds are here and that I will start injections on Monday or Tuesday. After my baseline on Monday, I will told when to start injections.

Me, sticking needles in my abdomen … by myself? LAUD !! Here we go… #babymakingviaivf2014