Monday, June 29, 2009

All triggered up and ready to go!

Today is Day #12. And this morning - at the lovely hour of 1:15am - my husband so perfectly gave me my HCG trigger shot. Today was my last monitoring appointment before retrieval tomorrow. Yay!

An update on the previously discussed bleeding - it's been quite scary - I started bleeding on Friday and it continued pretty heavily on Saturday and started tapering off yesterday. Today it is pretty much done - thank goodness. This morning, my RE said that my lining looked thin but hopefully it will thicken up once I start taking progesterone and I do still have 4-6 days until a transfer would be scheduled. Keeping my fingers crossed. If it doesn't thicken up enough, they will freeze our little embies and reintroduce them to us next cycle.

On a positive note, my RE said I have "great looking follicles." Sounds like a pick-up line, huh? But that is great news and, while I'm not likely to produce an abundance of eggs, last time I asked him I was up to at least 7 good follicles. I didn't ask him today.

I'll give the official tally tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to the valium :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

I had a bit of scare today...Day #9

I had a bit of scare today...

So my period this past time was way lighter than usual. I mentioned this at least twice at the doctors and no one seemed to think much about it, just said that they would know if there was a problem via my b/w.

Fastforward to last night and today. I started getting really bad menstrual-like cramps (which I initially just wrote off to being later in the stims game). I did a light work-out this morning and came home from the gym to find tons of bleeding. I was quite worried, to say the least. Thankfully I was going in today anyways for b/w and u/s. But the whole ride there I was praying but knowing that this cycle was going to be canceled.

When I first told Dr. D, he looked worried and said that would be very unusual. Well, to much relief, after the u/s, he said everything looks fine. He thinks it might be old blood from the last cycle but said to let him know if it is regular period red in color as that would be a problem (right now it isn't but I'll spare you the details). I go back again tomorrow for another round of monitoring, day #10.

As far as my check-up, he said he thinks he can get 5 good eggs at this point, which would be terrific (I have diminished ovarian reserve so I'm not expected to produce many eggs). My lining looks good and, if all continues to go well, retrieval will likely be Monday or Tuesday. Now I'm just waiting to hear back on my b/w and just hoping that they didn't see a problem!

This is all so stressful! Think positive! Think positive!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

When should I feel something?

Today is day 7 of stimulation (Microdose Lupron Flare protocol). I started out on 20 units of Lupron and 225 of Bravelle (3 vials). On day 5, they upped my Bravelle to 300 units (4 vials) and kept Lupron the same. I go in tomorrow for my next b/w and u/s.

On day 5, Dr. D didn't say much during the u/s, just that it was really early in the process. I asked him if everything was as it should be and he said yes, but he didn't give me any more feedback than that.

Now it's day 7 and, other than a million needle-prick marks in my stomach that are somewhat sore, I don't feel anything. No big ovaries. I want big ovaries! Since they had to up my FSH last time, I am fearful that I'm not stimulating well...

Hopefully I'll find out more tomorrow on how things are progressing and I'm definitely going to ask Dr. D more questions (help, what questions should I be asking?). But it would be great to hear from all of you about when you started to "feel" something when stimulating.

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's here already

I got an unexpected guest yesterday - my wonderful AF decided to visit 2 days early - which means today was my FIRST MONITORING DAY!

Wow, that came fast.

I went in this morning for blood work and an ultrasound and am waiting to hear back on whether to start my meds today.

All I can say is that I've never been so happy to get my period!

Update: The doctor's office called and I am all set to start my meds today. I did the Bravelle and Lupron this afternoon and will take another dose tonight. My hands were shaking so bad I was fearful I would slice my stomach open. But I'm pleased to announce that there was no excess blood loss.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Scared for the first time

All along I have been 100% confident that we would eventually have our own baby. It just had to be that way, right? And I think I've done a good job maintaining a positive attitude. As we prepare to begin our first IVF cycle, I have seen the stats "half-full" clinic has about a 60% success rate for people my age and that is the number I've focused on, not the fact that I still have a 40% chance of a BFN at the end.

But driving home from work the other day, I all of a sudden faced the stark realization that there is a chance we will never be able to have our own baby. While I think adoption is a terrific option and would consider it without hesitation, the thought of never having a baby that is part my husband and part me was heart-breaking. I'm sure many of you have been through this realization process, but this was the first time for me.

And it made me sad and scared.

But then I had the best devotional this morning!

** Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

** Proverbs 16:9: In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

Sometimes God just smacks you in the face and says I, NOT YOU, am in control!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Calling All June/July IVFers!

If you plan on starting an IVF cycle this month or in July, you should join this new community over at Baby Center (I'm sure August IVFers would be welcome too!):

I think having this group of virtual friends going through the exact same thing at the exact same time will be amazing and a wonderful source of encouragement through the ups and downs (hopefully a lot more of the former than the latter).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My husband ROCKS!

As you know, yesterday was our injection training where we not only did practice shots but also learned how to mix all the medications and get them ready for injection (Lupron, Bravelle, HCG, POI). I'm so glad we did this because 1) it will give us confidence when we actually do the shots for real and 2) the medication mixing is kind of tricky - for example, the Bravelle requires mixing 3 separate vials of powder with the liquid. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it (twice a day for around 10 days!). And yes, I plan to give the shots that go in the stomach and my husband gets the joy of the butt shots. Yes, we did a practice butt shot and he did great.

But that's not why my husband rocks. During our entire two hour session last night, my husband took pages and pages of notes...he wrote down every tiny detail. BUT on top of that, once the nurse left, he went and typed up all the notes! I know, unbelievable! And it was great because we got another run through on everything as he was typing.

He is really stepping up to the challenge and God knows we all need as much support as possible. So now we wait...I should go in for my baseline around Sunday (my periods are 24-25 days) and then will start the meds if all is well. I just can't believe how close we are to getting this started. After 18 months of hopeless trying, we will soon be moving forward! Yea!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Injection Training TONIGHT!

I'm sure my husband is just gonna love learning how to perform this most enjoyable task! many needles so little time. We will be on Lupron and Bravelle (then progesterone in oil). Please share any of your best secrets on surviving meds and the endless needle sticks! I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More on "To tell or not to tell?" and Beth Moore

So this weekend I did tell one of my closest friends about our struggles. It was very difficult just getting it out - and of course coincided with lots of tears - but it actually felt good having someone I care about, outside of my husband, share in this time.

She was so supportive and understanding (though it made me cry when she apologized for talking about her year-old son so much - I love that others have been blessed with kids and while there are pangs of something resembling jealousy, I would never wish this on anyone else). My friend didn't try to gloss over the issue but actually asked me specific questions about when I started medications and the timing of the major parts of the cycle. I really appreciated that. And she said she won't bug me with any questions during the cycle and will wait for me to share with her what I want to. I love my friend!

My friend and I had gone to a Beth Moore conference this weekend ( I had heard of Beth Moore before but had never done any of her Bible studies or attended any of her speaking engagements. She is PHENOMENAL. I highly recommend her if you ever get a chance to do any of her teachings. Beyond funny and very insightful. Her whole teaching this weekend was about the "perfect storms" in our lives (when all the winds of troubling times seem to meet and you are caught in the middle) and how often we go through storms because they are the only way to get us to where God wants us to be. Wow, it so spoke to me because I feel like I've been in a "perfect storm" for the past year and a half and that I can only have faith that I will come out the other side where God wants me to be - whether that is with a child or not - it will be God's will. Tough stuff to swallow but it's the truth.

Anways, enough preachy stuff. 1) Beth Moore is fantastic. 2) I'll make it through this storm. 3) And thankfully I now have a friend to help me weather the heavy winds.

Enough said. Hope everyone's week get off to terrific starts. Tomorrow is our injection training - fun, fun!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

To tell or not to tell? That is the question!

Ok, so here's the deal of why I need this blog so much. I am a very private person and can't stand having others in the "real world" know my business. But even more so, I hate showing signs of weakness or anything less than perfection. Yes, I know, I put a lot of pressure on myself. Always have. And no, I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination!

That being said, we have told NO ONE about our struggles to conceive - no friends, no family. And as we gear up for our first IVF cycle, we don't plan on telling our immediate families until the end (though my mom is coming up to visit during our cycle so we may not be able to avoid her seeing the millions of needles and vials of medicine around the house).

Part of the reason for keeping mum is that I think the disappointment from them if the cycle doesn't work out would be too much to bear on top of our own disappointment.

But I do want a community of some sort - a group of "virtual" people that have been there, done that, or are still doing it...that's where all of you come in!

So what are your thoughts? How much have you confided in friends and family during this process? Helpful? Not helpful? Would love to know your experience.

And P.S. I don't want any of you to think that I'm embarrassed of having to do IVF and that is the reason I've been quiet about it - it is more that I don't think I could stand the sympathy and disappointment from family and friends if, God forbid, it doesn't work out. Just want to clarify!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More on our story...

So, where to begin? I guess the beginning!

My husband and I met in high school - yes, I know - so cute, high school sweethearts. I was 16 and my husband was 18. We dated all through college (but went to separate colleges) and got married as soon as I graduated. For the next 6 or so years, we enjoyed being a married couple - doing all the fun things you can't do once you have children (or at least things you can't do as easily) - and focusing on work.

Some time in 2007, we both started getting the itch to delve into parenthood. Due to my work, we decided to wait until the beginning of 2008 to start trying, thinking "this is perfect, I'll be pregnant in the next few months." Those first few months were exciting filled with hope - checking out baby due dates on the computer at the beginning of each cycle, not buying new clothes because, hey, I'll be pregnant soon, using pregnancy tests each cycle, and planning summer activities around the idea that I would be pregnant.

Then the months started to drag on. In June 2008, I finally visited my ob/gyn and was assured that everything was a-ok, just give it time. I figured I was just being paranoid. The doctor even said, I'm confident we'll see you back here before your regularly scheduled pap smear in September...

September came and went but we decided to wait until it had been a solid year. When we still weren't pregnant, my husband had a sperm test and I had a test to ensure my tubes were open. Still, everything was a-ok. But I was told by my ob/gyn that there really wasn't anything else she could do so, and if still not pregnant in a few months, it was time to see a RE.

That brings us to April 2009...our first visit to Dominion Fertility and meeting with Dr. DiMattina. After some more tests, he concluded that there was a slight diminished ovarian reserve and a slight sperm issue (mobility and morphology). Nothing that should stop us from spontaneously getting pregnant.

And he gave us 3 options. Do nothing and wait - yuck! IUI with clomid. Or natural cycle IVF.

So, then the decision time came. Doing nothing didn't seem like a good option. Our insurance doesn't cover natural cycle, so we ruled that out. IUI with clomid seemed ok but I had read so many comments on others' blogs were that seemed like a waste of time and a hurdle to getting to IVF.

Well, our insurance does cover regular IVF...but you have to get authorization, which according to our fertility clinic is not easy to do, especially since we didn't have any major issues. So the clinic submitted the request for authorization, but we figured we'd have to do at least one cycle of IUI first. But lo and behold, they approved IVF right away...

So that brings us to where we are today...about to start a Lupron flare cycle and counting the days down until I start taking medication (around June 21). I find myself once again using the computer to calculate due dates and talking about baby names, again with a renewed hope that maybe, just maybe, we aren't too far away from the end of this journey.

You know, you often think you are the only person feeling a certain way or going through a particular struggle. But it has become abundantly clear to me that SO many women have felt the same way as me and dealt with this tremendous burden. And that's why I'm turning to this blog, hoping to connect with more women who have walked in my shoes or are maybe walking down the same path as me right now. And it gives my husband a break from having to talk about this all the time!

I hope you'll visit often!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More on medications...

Thanks so much to all of you for posting. So much fun to get my first comments! I really, really, really hope that you all will stick around, bring more friends, and visit often so I can ask a lot of stupid questions and get support, advice, and encouragement! No idea how to promote my blog and get people here but hopefully it will work out. If any of you want to pass my blog info around, that would be GREAT!

Anyways, for those of you familiar with Virginia's IVF clinics, we are using Dominion Fertility (

My GIGANTIC cooler of medications came this past Friday...not really a great gift but I still got a little excited knowing that we are hopefully moving one step closer to making our dream a reality.

So I am doing a Lupron Flare cycle and will be on Lupron and Bravelle to start with. And then the wonderful HCG shot and then what I hear is the best part of all (sarcasm!) the progesterone in sesame oil and suppositories. I was told that the needles are the same ones used by diabetics - we'll see.

BTW, I must also mention that all of this will coincide with my 30th birthday - not a great gift at all - though getting a BFP would be the best present ever!

I'll let you know how the injection training goes. My husband isn't looking forward to the shots in the butt but as our nurse said, really the only thing he has to do in all of this gives him pleasure so he needs to earn his keep!

I think I need to also post something giving a little bit of background on our TTC for that post to come.

Thanks again for stopping by!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Injection Teaching

Our injection teaching is on Monday, June 15th. This is the part about which I'm most afraid. Any suggestions???

First Post

Hi all,

So in my quest to find out as much as I can about infertility, I've visited numerous blog sites and have become enthralled with following others' difficult, painful, and hopefully successful journeys to parenthood.

Well, now I'm starting IVF in just a few days - probably around June 20th - and I thought this would be a good way to chronicle my own personal, hopefully successful, journey.

I would love to find others going through this around the same time...

Hope in Virginia