Saturday, May 31, 2008

Yes, I'm still a blogger...

I know I've been gone a while...but I needed a break from everything. So, what's been going on since my last post? A lot!

First of all, I had my wtf phone discussion with Dr. A. He suggested I have a laparoscopy and a hysteroscopy. Really? Funny-I asked him for a lap and additional testing after IVF#1 failed. Boo! He also thought that after the lap if they did find endometriosis, then by opening up the "natural channels of conception" that my chances of success would be high. He even suggested that I could do an injectable IUI cycle instead of an IVF cycle. What? Why would I go back to an IUI? I don't like to move backwards in anything! He also recommended transferring 3 embies next time and doing assisted hatching. Again--I asked for both of these with IVF#2. Finally, he feels my chances of success (following a lap) are still excellent and even offered to place me into the shared risk program, where we pay $20,000 and if they aren't successful we get our money back. My thoughts? While I like to still be considered an "excellent candidate," I'm pissed! If he had done a better job at finding out why we are having trouble instead of just throwing me into IVF hell, then maybe I could respect his thoughts a little more. As it is, I no longer trust him and am ready to move on. I told him that I will be consulting with Dr. Schoolcraft at CCRM. He was astonished and commented, "Well, obviously, he is excellent." He did offer to remain my local center for b/w and initial u/s that take place prior to heading to Denver. Rather than meet another local RE and have 3 different ones on my case, I think I'll just do the few non-Denver appts. at IRH. They can't mess that up.

Denver? Well, we are set for our phone consult on June 10. I had an enormous amount of paperwork to complete, but I got it all in yesterday before my June 3 deadline. Yeah! I like being ahead of schedule!

We had a wonderful time in Chicago last weekend! It did us so much good to get away. Can't wait for more summer get aways!

Me? I feel more like the old Jill! Yeah! I started taking Wellbutrin XL following my failed cycle. It took about a week, but I'm back! I'm not perfect--I still have my bitter moments, but I feel so much better. Some of my friends commented this week that I looked happier, sounded happier, etc. That made me feel good.

Diet and exercise--oh my! I have been watching every morsel of food that enters my mouth since Tuesday. Result: I've lost 1 lb. Not much. I've got at least 20lbs. more to go. But, it's a start. I made it to the gym 3 times this week and busted my butt! I also did a walking/running stint on the treadmill. So, 4 workouts in 4 days. Not bad! Steve? Well, he's been dieting too and has lost 13 lbs. in 2 weeks. That's so unfair. Men!

I received 2 amazing cards in the mail this past week. One from my friend Christi and another from my friend Nicole. Christi-thank you so much for lifting my spirits! I am so thankful to have found such wonderful friends like you and Emily through this difficult IF process. Thanks for being, well, you! And Nicole, I'm so happy for you honey. You are going to make an amazing Mommy. Thanks for remembering me at my low points when I know you are on Cloud 9. It's so thoughtful of you!

I had my first girl's night out in well, I can't remember how long! It was great! I went to see "Sex and the City" last night with my friends Stephanie and Gina. It was such a great movie! I've been a huge fan since Day 1 and have missed the show so much since it last aired on HBO. Usually these kinds of movies aren't very good, but this one was! Yeah for good movies and good friends!!

Finally, my birthday is this Monday, June 2. I'll be 33. I've not exactly been looking forward to it as the thought of the last year of my life remaining stagnant truly saddens me. But, thanks to pharmaceuticals, I'm probably not as down as I would be, so that's something, right? And, I've got lots to be thankful for--good marriage, good family, good friends, good career, and good health (or at least from what's been assessed so far-ha!). So even though I didn't get the only thing I asked for when I blew out my candles last year, I somehow still have hope that this next year will be different. Three is my favorite number after all and with my age being 33, that's gotta be double the good luck, right? Thanks for indulging my silliness...

To my blogger friends: I look forward to catching up on your posts. Sorry I've been away! I hope many good things have happened to all of you since I've been gone.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's over. IVF#2: Failed.

Sorry I haven't posted an update until now. I was actually holding out hope that the stark white line would change. It didn't, so it's official: IVF#2=BFFN (you can guess what the additional "F" stands for). I hate to fail. I am not accustomed to doing that ever in my life. That is, until I inherited this IF diagnosis. I hate being a failure. I hate feeling like a failure. I hate failing. Period.

So, today I am numb and bitter. Again. I've shed my tears over the past couple of days and I'm sure I'll shed more. Even though I never felt "pregnant" at any point in this 2ww and had prepared myself much more than the last time for a failure, it still hurts. I won't lie. And while I feel sad about this failure, I also have a new feeling I haven't felt before until now: fear.

I fear that I may never see 2 lines on a HPT, may never obtain a pregnancy, may never see a fetal heartbeat, may never feel my baby kick inside me, may never go through a delivery, and essentially that we may never be able to conceive a biological child. I naively thought that IVF would work. But after 2 failures, I've got to realize that it may never work. And, I'll have to be okay with that. In my own time and in my own way.

I will schedule a WTF appointment with Dr. A and officially fire him and IRH as my healthcare providers for all things IF. He won't shed any light onto the reasons as to why the cycles keep failing. He is such a sham.

We have a next step: Steve and I will be consulting with Dr. Schoolcraft from Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM) on June 10. I set the appt. up yesterday. It's an initial phone consult, which will be followed by extensive testing beginning around the first of July in Denver. CCRM is one of the top, if not the top, fertility center in the country. Here is their web link if you want to learn more: http://www.colocrm.com/. If we are accepted by the clinic (which I won't know for sure until our phone consult and then won't know more until July after our 1 day testing), then this will be our last shot at a biological child. That's why we're going to CCRM and not wasting any more time. We need answers and they will provide them. Good or bad. If we are able to cycle with them, my best guess is the earliest we would have a chance for an ET would be Nov. And that puts us at the end of this year to find out whether it worked. So, a very long process of lots of testing followed by lots of waiting. Not very exciting.

In the meantime, we are headed to Chicago this weekend for Memorial Day. It will be nice to get away, however brief the vacation. Finally, I just can't wait for AF to arrive (I'm being sarcastic). I've already been having horrible cramps. So, not only do you have no baby to show for it, but post IVF AF is the worst possible period you can possibly imagine ever going through. It really does suck.

I may not be blogging as much as I usually do. I'm just taking some time to myself over these next several months. Of course, I can be reached via email or phone. Thanks to all of you for your support. We so wished the outcome would've been different.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

5dp3dt: I feel nothing. Boo.

We again got the results from our RE a couple of days ago: none of the embies made it to freeze. Again. We got the feeling of deja vu going on and it sucks. Dr. Awadalla keeps insisting on remaining positive about the 2 we placed back, so I'm really trying to do so. But, it's still hard to think about 50 eggs, 25 embryos and no babies. WTF? What is the problem? There has to be one. Dr. A's answer: "Well if you want a high frozen embryo rate, you could consider donor eggs." Okay seriously?? I've checked out normal on every test we've undergone and he throws the donor card on the table. He soooo pisses me off.

So what about these 2 embabies? I have no symptoms at all. Zilch. Dear body-"Please send me some sign! Tender breasts, bloating (can't believe I'm asking for that one back), nausea, fatigue and the one I'm looking for most: cramps. Anything would be fine. P.S. You owe me."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I've been tagged!!!

My blog friend Jen (Blog: "Maybe If You Just Relax") has tagged me for this meme (don't know what that is). But, I am completing this little exercise in getting to know me better. One word about Jen--she is so cool that she's been chosen by Redbook to blog for their "Infertility Diaries." Check her out--she's so funny and awesome!

4 Things I did 10 years ago: (1998)
1. Education: Big year for me--I graduated from college! Yeah!! I completed my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at the University of Kentucky. I also was my class valedictorian. :-) Such a nerd.
2. Career: I began a relatively short career (2 years) as a Surgical ICU Nurse. I loved it! I liked the complexity of the patients I cared for--all the lines, tubes, pumps, etc. It was such an adrenaline rush for me. Good times.
3. Travel: I went to the Bahamas for Spring Break with some girlfriends. We were very tame, but came home all nice and brown.
4. Relationships: I broke up with a guy I had dated all throughout college 1 month before I graduated. I loved him like a brother, which wasn't great in hindsight. No sparks! I began dating the first guy I ever truly loved in July of that year. We had a great relationship but never married. And I learned my lesson from before: there were lots of sparks with him!! We dated for 4 years, I moved to Florida with him, only to move back to Kentucky a few years later alone, but back near my family and friends.

4 Things I did 5 Years Ago: (2003)
1. Friendships: This is what really got me through 2003. I love my girlfriends!! We hung out every weekend (and lots of week days, too) and partied pretty hard. Partying came to me much later than most. I really didn't start until my mid to late 20s...
2. Career: Moving on up...I was promoted to Institutional Healthcare Representative with my new company, Pfizer. And, even though I no longer work there, I met lots of great people who I consider to be close friends of mine today!
3. Events: Went to my first all out Derby weekend: Kentucky Oaks with Millionaire's Row tickets, Barnstable Brown Party, and the Kentucky Derby with my boyfriend. We had so much fun! Boyfriend and I finally called it quits later that year, but I still consider him to be one of my best friends. And, Steve really likes him too, which makes things great!
4. Health/Diet: I could still eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it. Age=27. I did work out pretty often at the gym, but when I think of all of those cosmopolitan martinis and glasses of wine I consumed daily, I don't know that it really balanced out. Gosh to be skinny again...

4 Things I did yesterday:
1. Continued my bedrest. Watched lots of shows and took a couple of naps. It was wonderful!
2. Went to a wedding where Steve was the Best Man last night. It brought back lots of memories from our own wedding almost 2 years ago, so that was nice.
3. Danced with Steve. Slow. Since I was technically supposed to be taking it easy, I only was able to slow dance. Kinda stinks--since I love to dance. I felt like I was back in 7th grade. LOL
4. Prayed that my embabies continue growing and developing. I want you guys to make it so badly!

4 Shows I love to watch:
1. Grey's Anatomy. Although Meredith is really starting to get on my nerves!
2. The Office. I love this show. Best comedy on TV IMO.
3. Brothers and Sisters. They are currently doing a great job with the IVF story.
4. Jon & Kate Plus 8. This show scares me, but I also find their kids to be very cute. :-)

4 Things I love to do:
1. Read. I don't get to do it as much as I would like. I look forward to summer time and vacations as I always get to read more at those times.
2. Walk outside with my dog, Sonny. He loves it and I like to do things for him that make him so happy. :-)
3. Talk to my family and friends. I love to talk. I'm a Gemini. It's my nature.
4. Remember others birthdays. I think it's so nice to be remembered on your day. Not a holiday. But your day. I think others appreciate me remembering.

This was a lot of fun!!

I tag (if you see this post and want to play): Emily, from "No Expectations Except a Baby"; Christi, from "Our Journey"; and Megan, from "Lawyers Do Not Eat Their Young".

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pregnant until proven otherwise...

That's what I'm telling myself, anyway. :-)

We transferred (2) 10 cell embies at our ET yesterday. One was a 10 cell Grade 1, which was the best on their grading system, and the other was a 10 cell Grade 2, which is still good. Our little "overachievers," as an embie is only supposed to be 8 cells on Day 3!! Please snuggle in little embabies! We want to keep you guys around!!!

The other 8 looked variable, anywhere from 5-10 cells. I am doubtful that they will continue to thrive in the petri dish and grow to a blastocyte which is my RE's requirement for freezing. I'm thinking we won't have any to freeze again. At least this time I'll be prepared! There was another 3rd 10 cell embie. The RE did not recommend this one because it wasn't as good quality as the other two we did transfer. I should've done it anyway. NOT because I'd want triplets-10% chance (I would handle whatever God blessed me with though), but because it breaks my heart to think about them all dying again in the dish. I wanted to give as many a chance at life as I felt in my heart was possible. Also, Steve didn't support me.

Overall, I'm very happy with the quality of these embies. Much better than last time thanks to all of the protocol adjustments I demanded. Not to toot my own horn, but it was nice to be a better doctor than my RE. :-) And, I think acupuncture has helped too. I went before and after transfer yesterday (as the literature suggests is optimal).

So now the wait begins, again. I did stay on bed rest yesterday. But, I have to attend a wedding later today. Yippee. Otherwise, I am laying low this weekend so those embabies can snuggle in. And, the best part--I get to be pregnant on Mother's Day as my embabies are here now!! Yeah!!Beta will be 5/20 -- primary election day in Kentucky! Maybe I'm housing future politicians in my uterus??? LOL

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Embryo update

I spoke to an IVF nurse today about our embies. Of the 10 that fertilized from yesterday, we have approx. 5 that are at 2 cells that may catch up and approx. 5 that are at 4 cells that are right on track with their growth--that's great! These are estimates from the embryologist--they don't normally disturb the embies 2 days post ER, but they quickly looked for me today since I'm such a PITA to them! Gosh they sure do need to get me pg so that they can get rid of me!

Our time for transfer was pushed from 7:45am to 10:45am to let their growth catch up. If things are really taking off though, RE did mention we may get moved to a 5dt on Sunday. But, we won't know till tomorrow morning around 9am...I'm still thinking a 3dt. And honestly, I really miss my embabies! I want them back in me as soon as they are ready to come home. :-)

Side note: so far, PIO hasn't been that bad. I've given myself 2 shots and getting ready to administer the 3rd. The big needle just looks scary, but it's really not that bad!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fertilization report

I'm so glad that I took today off from work! I feel sooo much better than yesterday. Pain is significantly diminished. I'm much better today than I was day after retrieval last time! At any rate, out of the 17 eggs, 12 of them were mature, and 10 fertilized with the help of ICSI! So, as of right now, we have 10 embryos growing in the lab! Such a weird idea. Last time, we had 33 eggs and 15 embryos, but I'm still very happy with the fertilization today.

I had acupuncture today to help get my body back in shape from ER yesterday. I think that may be helping my progress as well. I'm so glad that my body will be in better shape and recovered for ET this go around! I will return again to acupuncture either before or after ET depending on the time I actually go in for my transfer.

My tentative ET is scheduled for Friday at 7:45a.m. The IVF nurse said she would call again tomorrow with a final report to ensure it's definitely a 3dt and not a 5dt on Sunday. Either way, I cannot wait to have my little embabies back inside their Mommy's uterus very soon! Have I said yet that I sure do hope that at least one decides to stick around?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

17 eggs!

We had a great ER this morning with 17 eggs retrieved! I'm so happy with this number. Still quite a lot of eggs, but not as many as 33!! So, I hope my mantra of slow and steady helps me to have lots of mature, high quality eggs. We get our embryo fertilization report tomorrow morning. I can't wait! I'm not nervous about that call, but I am nervous about Friday morning when we get to see what our quality was this time. I hope much better!

I'm still really sore and have lots of pain. The good news is my RE finally wrote for me to have Tylenol 3s! He didn't do that last time and I was in a ton of pain. So, yeah for pain meds! I've been sleeping all day. I've also been pretty nauseous today as well. I don't remember that last time.

And for those of you wondering: I gave myself my PIO shot tonight. It really wasn't too bad. Steve really didn't want to do it and felt very anxious about it, so I figured that would be worse. So, I just twisted my body around and gave the first of hopefully many more, butt shots!! Yippee!! Here's to 1st trimester PIO shots!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Trigger tonight!! ER is Tuesday!!

I officially trigger tonight at 9pm. ER will be Tuesday at 7:45am. I am already so bloated and sore, I just can't wait till the trigger shot hits these follies and then I will be doubled over in ovulation pain. Good times ahead. Ha!

Fingers crossed for lots of mature, healthy eggs! I think that things are looking good, but they've looked good at this point before. I get a shot-free day tomorrow! Yippee!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Final stim check update

My final stim check appt. went well today. Steve went with me, which was kinda nice. I always seem to go to these alone as he is usually busy or I'm driving somewhere away from home to work for the day immediately following the morning appt. I think only the nurses were annoyed by his presence as he is an attorney and asks a million questions. We nurses like to quickly move along with education (ha). And, I still haven't decided if I'm going to give myself my IM PIO butt shots. Carolyn--can you stay with me for at least 2 weeks and shoot me up?? LOL

Lining=11mm and also has a triple stripe, which is said to be a good sign for implantation (although I had the same stripe last time as well). On my right side, I have the following follies: 1 at 17mm, 2 at 16-17mm, and 3 at 13mm. On the left side, I have: 2 at 15mm, 2 at 14mm, and 3 at 12-13mm. E2=1305 and LH=1.7. I am worried that the E2 is a little high and such a large jump after 4 days, but the nurses and RE don't seem to be concerned. Boy things are really cookin' in there!

You might be wondering how do I "know" things are cooking? Well, I gained 4 lbs from yesterday to today thanks to all of this bloating. Boo! I don't even have a good story like: "I was really craving something sweet and ate a whole pan of brownies or I finished off a gallon of ice cream." In case any of you are wondering: I had a salad, spinach, and small steak for dinner last night, a grilled chicken sandwich with fruit for lunch, and a breakfast bar for my total consumption all day yesterday. No lie. Wearing elastic waist today. Need to buy some fabulous shoes to detract from what appears to look like I'm in my 2nd trimester belly bloat. I hate this shit. And, the cramps--yikes. I'm getting a preview of baby kicks I think! Or I should say, I hope!

So, I'm set for 2 more days of stims at same 150IU dose of Follistim tonight and tomorrow and then I'll trigger with Ovidrel on Sunday night at 9pm. I'm having my ER on Tuesday morning with a probable transfer back on Friday.

Career update: I know I mentioned my cool new boss, but guess what? After days of agonizing and losing sleep over missing crucial business meeting in Philly next week (Wed-Fri), I decided to come clean with him and spilled all of my crappy IF story. Maybe it's a good sign (I really hope so), but he and his wife did IVF as well to conceive their 6 year old twins! He understands. Unbelievable! I told him I would fly day after ER to Philly and then return home on day before ET (yes, I'm crazy but I really hate to miss anything). He said not a chance and to take care of myself. And, also he told me to forget about working from Tues-Fri. Seriously. I love this man. Okay, not like I love Steve, but I'm feeling so good about my new career with him! What are the chances that my boss had IF issues too? Raising hand to answer my own question (I'm still such a teacher's pet): 1 in 6!!!