Monday, July 30, 2012

One Sweet Little Blastocyst

After getting home from transfer, I took it extremely easy and slept a lot which is why it has taken me this long to write about the day. Just as a warning, this post will be long and it will contain words such as uterus and cervical mucus. If these words make you uncomfortable please ignore this post and wait for the next one.

The story of our first transfer:

We got up to University of Chicago very early. See, the problem with U of C is that one day your trip could take you an hour and the next day it could take you two and a half hours so you always have to prepared for the latter. When we arrived, we were the only ones in the waiting room, and it wasn't long before we were taken back to the transfer area. 

By this point, I had been waiting for them to call and say that none of the embryos had made it this far, but instead they told us to go ahead and get changed.  This is when I figured we had to still be in the game, and one of our sweet embryos was strong enough to survive to this point! I put on my hospital gown, cap, and booties, and David got to don an extremely unattractive white sterile jumpsuit, cap, and booties as well. After changing and giggling at how ridiculous we looked, we sat down and waited. 

Because we were so early, we waited for quite awhile as they had to take two other ladies before us to do their transfers (we were scheduled after them). Our transfer time was set for 9:30 AM, and we watched the clock anxiously the entire time. David ended up reading his book while I played games on my phone, and then we decided to take a picture of ourselves in our outfits since it was such an important day.

Finally, it was our turn! 

We were led back into the transfer room and I was told to sit on the nice, uncomfortable exam table with stirrups while David got a stool to sit right next to my head. Our nurse then went over all discharge instructions including the date of our first beta. She even offered to write us an order to get the beta drawn locally so we don't have to commute so far for just a blood draw.  After she was done with the instructions, we waited just a bit longer for the Dr. to get dressed and the team to be assembled. 

He ended up coming in with a nurse, a resident, and the ultrasound tech, and then the quizzing began! We had to repeat our names, birthdays, and reason we were here about 10 times! Once they were satisfied we knew who we were and that we weren't lying, we began talking about the embryos.

From my research, typically 50% of embryos from day 3 die out by day 5. This happens because the weaker embryos that wouldn't make it to a viable pregnancy are weeded out and the strong ones will make it to day 5. We originally had four mature eggs. Those four mature eggs turned into four perfect embryos. We expected to lose at least two of them by day 5. 

And this is why I began crying when he told us we had four embryos that survived to day 5.  All I could think is "What a miracle," and my tears had the nurse and resident tearing up as well. I was just so overwhelmingly happy and excited, and the only thing I could do was cry. 

As for the grading of our blastocysts: We had one that was absolutely perfect, two near-perfect, and one that was still in the morula stage which means it's being a little sluggish and is not yet a full blastocyst. They are going to watch that one until tomorrow and see how it does. If it does ok, we will be freezing that one along with the two near-perfect blasts that we decided to freeze today. For the transfer, we decided to use the "perfect" blastocyst. 

***This is the part that gets a bit medical and might be gross for some to read***

The transfer ended up taking longer than most because it took him 20 minutes to scrape/suction out my cervical mucus which he said was as hard as a rock (this is due to my CF). This could explain why we haven't been getting pregnant as he was just stunned by how hard it was. By the way, when you have something abnormal and are going through IVF, the idea of all the people looking at you during labor seems like nothing because so many people have already looked at you just to GET you pregnant. Everybody had to take turns looking at the mucus, and I just had to lie there and pretend not to care! It's quite an uncomfortable feeling.

Once he was able to get the mucus out, he then wanted to repeat a mock transfer to ensure that everything went smoothly. It was hard for him to get into my uterus the first time which he told me was because I'm young and healthy so the uterus is not easy to get into. I hope this also means that it's not easy for the embryo to get OUT of either! :)

After about twenty more minutes and some intense cramping (which he waited to subside before doing the transfer), we were finally ready! They quizzed us about 10 more times about our names and reason we were there, and then the embryologist delivered to the Dr. one sweet little blastocyst in a catheter.  From there it was only a matter of a few minutes before the catheter was inside and the transfer was complete, and then...the most amazing thing I have EVER witnessed happened:

We saw our little blastocyst on the my uterus. It was there! It was alive and there, and we created it (with help, of course). It was miraculous to witness this because so few people are lucky enough to see this part of conception.That tiny little white dot on the ultrasound screen could end up being our child. It's truly beautiful. 

After holding back tears at the sight of the blastocyst on the screen, we were then told to relax for 30 minutes (we pushed it to 35 minutes), and then we were allowed to get up and go home. I spent those 35 minutes praying, thanking God, and thinking about being pregnant.  It was such a relaxing time, and it gave us a chance to reflect on everything that brought us up to this point. We witnessed a miracle today, and I will never forget it! 

And that's it! That's the story of our IVF transfer - a day I will remember forever!

Now, the waiting begins and we see if the little blastocyst decided to stick or not! 

Transfer Day!!

After only four hours of sleep, my eyes flickered open this morning. It took a few seconds, but once the realization of today's significance crept into my mind my eyes popped, and a smile crept over my face. Suddenly, I was flooded with that giddy feeling that accompanies children on Christmas morning, and at the same time I immediately felt the pangs of nervousness setting in. 

Today is transfer day! It means (hopefully) at least one of my little embryos has survived until today. Although we won't know for sure until we are up there, we are hopeful that one of them is strong-willed enough to make it to this point. 

It's truly hard to believe that today we will (hopefully) transfer an incredibly tiny bastocyst (the term for a day 5 embryo) into me, and I will (hopefully) be holding my future child whose gender, looks, and personality are already determined. Oh! It's such an amazing thought!!

When I look back on the entire process, it is overwhelming how incredible each step of the journey is. The fact that we, as human beings, have drugs and technology capable of overcoming fertility issues is truly nothing short of miraculous. I don't know that there are many harder pains than those felt by a woman suffering through infertility. The desire to have a baby is a consuming feeling which leaves you exasperated and despaired if it doesn't work month after month, year after year.

Therefore, regardless of what happens in two weeks, at my first beta, I've decided to revel in the remarkability of today! I've decided that today is about thanking the good Lord for bringing us to this point safely and strengthening our marriage along the way. I'm determined to be nothing short of stunned as I (hopefully) watch my little sweet blastocyst be transferred because today is a miracle to me. 

A true miracle. 

My Prayer Tonight. . .

About to head to bed, and needed to add another prayer in tonight which was:

Please let my little embryos make it to day 5 so we can do a transfer tomorrow morning!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I May Have Overreacted . . . .

Long-post warning! Sorry for the length, but writing about it all makes it so much easier to sort it all out in my mind. :)

Ok..I'm admitting it...I may have overreacted about the progesterone shots.

I won't say that the first one wasn't a doozy because it CERTAINLY was just that. I think it was a weird adjustment for my body and coupled with anesthesia it didn't sit too well for me.

That said, the shots have gotten better. I once in awhile get a hot flash, and I'm still dealing with the constipation issue (though not NEARLY as much thanks to some help from some fellow CF friends). I do think one of my problems is that I have virtually no fat on my backside so I do wind up with extreme muscle pains from them each day. It takes about a full day without a shot for my one side to feel better, and by that time another shot is due to be injected in that same side! Needless to say, I've been sitting on heating pads a lot as it hurts each time I take a step.

It's worth it though. Definitely.

Other symptoms from the shot have included an increase in appetite (which is good since my weight is down to 113...ouch), and I'm pretty tired, but it's nothing I can't handle!

Tomorrow, after my transfer (did I really just write that?!?!), I will switch to the suppositories so it will give my skinny little bum a chance to heal!

In other news, I did test for the trigger shot today. I was actually excited just to see a positive since I've never personally gotten one, and even though I knew it was going to be "fake," I wanted to see it. Well, surprise surprise..the trigger shot is already out. I don't know if this is because I metabolize things quickly or not, but I was a bit disappointed. On the bright side, if I decide to test early now I know that a positive is really a positive!

I also found myself very down yesterday after hearing from more than one person (indirectly) that they really don't think IVF will ever work for us.  I have obviously been worried about that from day one as I injected myself with crazy hormones for the process. Hearing it from other people is hard, though. I've been trying not to be pessimistic, but I've found it so difficult. I look at the statistics of it, and I realize that more than likely it will definitely take more than once to make it happen. I also worry that our little embryos won't make it to day 5, and I won't have a transfer at all. I know this is supposed to be a time of relaxation, but it's the farthest thing from it. As a fellow reader (and CFer) commented, it's completely out of my hands which is why the worry is there.

In a way, the worry shouldn't be there at all if it's out of my hands since God has a perfect plan..regardless of what I want to happen. He knows when it's right, and I have to trust Him. Also, I truly believe that with Him anything is possible. Even the impossible.

I will say that my negative feelings have been a bit way off from the beginning. I was sure that I wouldn't make it to egg retrieval..then I was sure that I would ovulate early, and we would wind up with no eggs. From there, I just knew that our eggs wouldn't fertilize, and then if they did, they wouldn't make it to day 3. I am not normally a negative person at all, but I think I'm just safe-guarding my heart from failure as much as possible. This is by far the most emotionally invested I have ever felt about something, and failure would hurt. A lot.

The two things I have tried to focus on are God's power to do anything - even the impossible, and the fact that not only did the eggs fertilize, but all 4 of them look perfect on day 3. The fact that we have created embryos and they have done this well for this long already is truly miraculous. It fascinates me, and it amazes me. It also makes me think that perhaps the problem really has been that egg couldn't meet sperm before. So maybe once that problem is out of the equation, the end result will be success.

Ok...I'm ready! Bring on the transfer!!

To Transfer or Not to Transfer?

At 5 AM this morning, we were up and going.  I had to shower, do my treatment, eat breakfast, make coffee, and then of course take my progesterone in oil shot.

Then, we began our journey to the clinic for what felt like the millionth time. We ended up making great time, and we got there before 8 AM. We went in, and the doctor wanted to check all of my vitals for signs of OHSS. So, we did just that.

Well, my vitals looked GREAT! My pulse was a little high, but it always is so he wasn't concerned. So with my weight being the same as on transfer day, my vitals being good, and looking good, he wasn't concerned about OHSS. I could have told him that, but I get why it's better to be safe than sorry. Also, he did suggest a couple more options to help get rid of the constipation safely so that's what we'll work on when the issue arises again.

Then, he brought up the sweet little embryos that have been growing over the past 3 days.

Ahhh our sweet embryos! Who knew I could feel so nervous and excited for little dividing cells!

He told us that they have decided to push the transfer off because. . . *drum roll please*. . .

We have 4 PERFECT 8 CELL EMBRYOS!! This is the best they can be on day 3 so that's super exciting!

David and I almost cried lol..honestly. David even said, "I never thought I'd be this nervous about it," and Dr. agreed saying that he is ALWAYS nervous about how the embryos will do.

So, now we're hoping that they keep growing and dividing exactly the way they should, and we will have the transfer (provided at least one makes it to day 5) on Monday morning.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Transfer Day?

Is today transfer day? That's the big question we're all waiting to hear an answer for. 

We were hoping (and still are hoping) for a day 5 transfer since it seems those have the best odds. Yesterday, however, I did call the office to ask about what I can do to ease the constipation issues I have been having. Rather than giving me a nice easy answer such as, "Try this product," or "switch to the suppositories to see if that makes it a bit easier," they told me "Come in to the office tomorrow."

They want to evaluate me for OHSS (which I'm 99% sure I don't have as I'm not gaining weight or unable to pee), and they will decide at that time whether or not we'll be doing a transfer today. 

Yesterday, I was NOT excited about this one bit because I was in so much pain from constipation..I could hardly breathe! At 3 AM, though, things MOVED and now I'm feeling conflicted....I feel now like I don't want to go up there because there's no point (I felt like this yesterday anyway), but I feel excited that today might be the day when an embryo is transferred! I definitely want them to make it to day 5 though, so I'm kind of disappointed that it may come early. I almost feel like I'm failing them if they decide to put one in early. the same time...I could have my future child transferred to me today...HOLY COW!!!!!!


Friday, July 27, 2012

Progesterone in Oil, How I Hate You

There are very few things I hate in this world...but progesterone in oil is definitely one of them.

Within the first 12 hours of this shot I have felt the following:

- Flushed all over my face and my left arm
- Shortness of breath
- Extreme bum pain to the point where I can't sit at all unless it's on a heating pad
- Irritability/sadness
- Nausea
- Extreme boob pain to the point where I was pretty sure I was having a heart attack until I realized it was just my boobs being sore.
- Extreme constipation starting already despite having taken miralax. I may be upping my dose to twice a day or something because this is ridiculous.
- Sensitivity to smells. My beautiful Subway sandwich (which I was ALL excited to eat) smelled like something you would catch a whiff of at the baboon house of the zoo...Also water smells funky, and I can't stand my perfume.

Yep...all within 12 hours. My husband is convinced it's all in my head, but I truly don't think my head could make up all these symptoms.

Needless to say, I'm terrified for tomorrow's shot, and I'm quite ready to be done. Good thing this wasn't the first part of this IVF process or I never would have made it through..they tease you by putting it at the end: sadistic people I tell you...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

We have embryos!

That's right!! We have four little sweet embryos growing in a lab and trying to get where they need to be for our transfer!

Out of the six eggs retrieved, only 4 were mature, but those four are fertilized! The nurse said we're still hopeful for a day 5 transfer because of me being so young. After the first progesterone in oil shot, however, I wouldn't be opposed to a day 3. HOLY COW.  I still feel like I have a charlie horse in my butt. I also got flushed like crazy in my face and left arm.  I also started having a bit of shortness of breath, but I don't know if that's from the oppressive humidity here, muscle soreness, the shot itself, or from the anesthesia yesterday. It's not bad enough to warrant a trip to the hospital, but it was/is noticeable.

They won't call tomorrow, but they will be calling Saturday morning to let us know how everything is looking, and to see if we'll be doing a day 3 or day 5 transfer. I'll keep you updated as we find out :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

And the egg count is. . .


We ended up with 6 eggs after the retrieval today which surprised me for the number of follicles I had. That said, it only takes 1 to make a successful pregnancy, and my lining is nice and thick so hopefully it can burrow in nice and deep!

As for the pain? Not nearly as bad as I imagined. I have some cramping, and once in awhile I feel a twinge of sharp pain, but overall REALLY good (praying to God it stays that way).  I've taken one tylenol, and the anesthesia they gave me was great because I felt wide awake an hour after the whole process. I ended up forcing myself to take a nap, and I have been doing nothing but relaxing all afternoon. In fact, we're ordering Chinese food so I don't have to cook anything at all (but so that I can have something more than a sandwich since my husband does not have a strength in cooking).

They did switch things up a bit on us...originally we were planning on doing regular in vitro where they put the eggs and sperm together and let the "best one" win.  However, with the limited number of eggs and the sample given it was decided that ICSI (where one "healthy and well-chosen" sperm is put into each egg) was the best option.  They gave us the choice, but suggested ICSI. I was still under at that point, but my husband said if they felt it was best..that was the way to go. I'm proud of him for making that choice because he usually struggles with big choices like that. He did well :)

So as for me, I'm planning on taking it easy at least through tomorrow, although I do plan on cooking a nice meal tomorrow if I can manage it.

Thank you for all your good wishes, prayers, and thoughts. You all are wonderful, and I'm so grateful!

Also, I'll be posting tomorrow as soon as we know how many eggs ended up fertilized.  If the little embryos don't do too well, then we will do a day 3 transfer, but we're still hoping for a day 5. 

Egg Retrieval Day is Here!!

Being a CFer, I should really be used to surgeries and procedures by now.

I'm not.

They still scare me, and I don't do well with the anticipation.

Take last night for example: 4 AM and I was up with a massive panic attack. Then, I started coughing and felt like I couldn't stop. Normally, when a coughing fit ensues, I drink water but since I was required to be water and food free past midnight, that was out of the question.  So I coughed..and coughed, and coughed. Then, I was positive I couldn't breathe which set off my panic even more. I finally managed to get to bed by 5:30, and now it's 7:40 and I'm almost out the door for my "big day."

So what scares me about surgery? There's a couple things, but the major one is anesthesia.  I'm always afraid that I'm not going to wake back up. I worry that they won't be able to reverse the anesthesia meds if they need to. I know it's silly, but it's always a fear when I get put under. I hate the idea of not being able to fall asleep on my own with it too.  The fact that they control when you sleep and when you sleep terrifies me.

My name is Megan, and yes I have some control issues...

The other thing that always scares me is complications. This surgery is a very "easy" surgery by definition. I just worry that with all my scar tissue from my previous surgeries the doctor will have trouble getting where he needs to be, or he will hit something that shouldn't be where it is due to adhesions pushing it there.

Ok, well that's it..the list of my fears this morning as I head off to this procedure. I will update whenever I'm awake enough from the sedation to do prepared it usually takes HOURS for me to stop falling asleep from anesthesia! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Day Before Egg Retrieval...

Bear with me if I manage two posts in one day yet again since writing helps me to deal with my nerves.

So tomorrow, by this time, I should be just about ready to go home after having my egg retrieval done. I should know how many eggs were collected, and hopefully I won't be feeling TOO terrible.

I've read the horror stories (shame on me..I should truly stay away from Dr. Google), and I hope that these stories come from women who have no pain tolerance. Someone I really respect had IVF done, and she stated that the retrieval wasn't too bad, but I should plan on staying in bed at least the first day. I totally plan on doing just that. I will stay in bed, and I will NOT use my vest tomorrow. I know it sounds terrible, but over the last 5 days I've had to cut back on my use of the vest and increase my accapella use to ensure I can clear my chest. The vest, on anything except the lowest setting, causes INTENSE pain in my ovaries for hours afterwards and increases nausea (as I found out this morning). So, I will be huff coughing and using the accapella like crazy over the next day or two until I feel less swollen and sore.

Overall, I have to admit that even the day before egg retrieval, I feel pretty good pain-wise. I had more pain in the beginning of the stimulating process than I do now, and I feel like the majority of that pain was related to constipation. Now, I feel a little full but overall I feel like I could go shopping for a few hours, and I'd be ok. Like I said, the only time I feel pain is with my vest.

As for the trigger shot, it went well. I watched the clock CAREFULLY, and I gave myself the shot at 11:01 after a bit of hesitation. I didn't feel anything after the shot, and I slept the best I've slept in weeks knowing that I wouldn't have to get up to give myself any injections today (WooHoo)! Today, however, I'm feeling the effects.Wow. Holy..Nausea...Batman.

I figure this is because the amount of hcg in my body went from non-existent to SUPER high. The vest made it worse this morning, but now I'm just trying to take it easy, and I think I'll be drinking a lot of water and eating easy foods today. I also have a pretty rough headache which could be contributing to the nausea.'s been pretty good! Now..on to tomorrow's surgery! Ahh!

P.S. My big fear today is that I will ovulate before egg retrieval..thus making this whole cycle pointless. I'm feeling super flushed and my temp is up which worries me that I did, indeed, ovulate. I sure hope not!

Monday, July 23, 2012

In One Hour. . .

In just about one hour, I will be giving myself my trigger shot to induce ovulation!! Holy COW!

Looking back at everything, I am amazed at how we got to this point. I am truly impressed by our dedication to the process, and I am overwhelmed by the love I feel for these eggs that aren't even embryos yet (yes, I know it sounds odd). 

It's been a little bit of a rough road, and I'm truly glad to be done with all of the injections (minus my last one tonight..AHH)! I was thinking back to the beginning of this and doing some calculations in my head, and here's what I've come up with (These numbers do not include trigger shot or anything beyond tonight):

Total Injections: 45 between the lupron and the stimulating meds.
Total Ultrasounds: 7
Total Blood Draws: 8
Approximate miles spent driving back and forth: 880 
Total spent on drugs and other costs (excluding fuel) so far: 2000
Total amount of time spent googling about E2 levels, OHSS, and all other random worries: WAY too much

How much I want this to work: Indescribable 

It's crazy looking at all this and seeing what has gone into it. I just can not wait for Wednesday so that we know how many eggs are retrieved and then how many grow the way we would like them to.

Going into the retrieval my stats are: Estrogen level is 2200 (slight concern over OHSS due to how rapidly my estrogen rose), lining is 11mm (nice and thick!), and mature follicles number at 11 prior to trigger shot.

As for the OHSS, my estrogen tripled in two days so they are slightly concerned. I also am at risk due to being young and thin. I pray that I don't get it for many reasons (especially CF reasons), and I pray that we are able to do a day 5 transfer on Monday, July 30!! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Yes, 2 Posts in One Day!

I wanted to update everyone to let you all know that FedEx did come (I know you were on pins and needles waiting to hear the news ;) ).  I ended up getting my full dose of Follistim in, and I will take my Menopur in just a few minutes! I'm excited for my ultrasound tomorrow to see where my follicles are at. It feels weird not feeling pain anymore so I surely hope they are still growing!

We've been busy cleaning all day today. My dear husband has been working his behind off over the last few weeks to get our spare bedroom organized and cleaned out. I should explain that we have two spare bedrooms, but one serves as an "attic" since we have NO storage in our house whatsoever, and having a teacher at home means needing storage. So we have managed to throw away over ten bags of garbage(!), and we have organized the attic to the point where if we found out we were pregnant three weeks from now, we'd be all set to convert our current spare bedroom to a nursery. Ahh! It feels incredible just typing that out!!

Other than that, I've been catching up on laundry and dishes that have been building up over my last few days of pain. I am determined to make my own laundry soap in the next month or so because I'm so tired of all the detergent I go through. It's expensive, filled with chemicals, and makes me feel yucky when I breathe it in while doing the laundry.

Also, I'm determined on my next store trip to buy a journal which will allow me to record my thoughts and feelings for my potential future child. I've always wanted to be able to give my children a diary of the feelings I had during pregnancy, the thoughts that kept reoccurring, and the overwhelming love I'm sure I'll feel from early on.  Over the last few days, I've felt that desire to start the journal grow very strong. I figure I might as well start it during the IVF journey as there are so many emotions running through my heart and mind. I go to do some more cleaning and anxiously await tomorrow's appointment. 6:45 AM can't come soon enough! :)

Please Hurry FedEx!

The doctors appointment went well! I now have 7 follicles that are above 10mm with one weighing in at 19mm (we will probably lose this one as it will be overmatured by the time we have egg retrieval).  My lining is also thickening up and is now 10mm which is great, and my estrogen level just about tripled to around 630. 

With these results, the doctors decided to up my meds yet again. This wouldn't be a huge problem except that I have NO additional Follistim which is the drug they want to up.  I was on 75 units, then 150, and now 225.  I'm currently waiting on a package from FedEx which was shipped for overnight delivery. The problem is I'm supposed to take these meds at the same time every day, and I normally take them at 10 AM (and it is 9:55 AM currently) Ugh. Please FedEx..hurry!!

Other than that, my dear CF friend really helped me out with some issues over bowels, and after taking some miralax, I FEEL AWESOME. I have NO pain. It feels AWESOME. My ovaries don't even hurt anymore (unless I walk), so I feel amazing. Without the horrendous pain, I'm able to focus on the beauty of what we are going through that much more. I love it!!

I hope everyone is having a great day!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ovaries are Working!

Well my ovaries are definitely working and growing those follicles because I feel constant twinges and pulls. It's kind of a neat feeling, but it hurts at the same time. Other than that, I feel GOOD. For the first night since starting the stims I feel happy and not concerned about the cycle.

This is due, in part, to the moment I had yesterday...I was lying in bed completely upset and devastated about increasing my meds. I felt my heart rate increasing, and all of the sudden my breathing got extremely shallow, and I realized at that moment that this..worry..this silly. I have NO control over what happens in this situation, and the only person that does is God. I know that He has a plan that is far greater than any "plan" I may have for myself, and I just have to trust it.


That's what I'm working on. I need to trust that whatever happens, good or bad, it's the way things are supposed to happen. My husband has a feeling that this egg retrieval will go through, and our first transfer will work. I have that feeling too, but I'm trying not to get my hopes too high. Then again, I'm trying not to be too pessimistic. Again, trust. Trust allows me to not worry quite as much about whether it will or will not allows me to see the beauty of the entire process, and it truly is beautiful.

I held my stomach today while lying in bed, and I realized for the first time that one of these little follicles growing inside of me right now could eventually be part of my child. And I was content.

So here's to trusting the rest of the cycle, and to trusting God! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day 6 of Stim Meds

First some random facts:

*Day 6 of the stim meds and my stomach looks like a pin cushion with some very nice yellow bruises and some very tender areas.
*My eyes and other random muscles keep twitching.
*Nausea has set in but only when the pain is bad..and the pain only gets bad when I have really bad gas.
*Gas-X has been my best friend recently.
*I'm losing weight which could be from the fact that it's consistently over 100 degrees here, and it's quite frankly too hot to eat!
My headaches continue to be a fun issue, but they're getting slightly better which is a good thing
*Oh yes..I'm ready to be done with these drugs!!

Now to continue on to the juicy appointment details from today...I have 14 follicles on my left ovary and fewer follicles on my right ovary. Of those follicles, only 4 are larger than 10 mm which means that I'm not stimming enough. My estrogen level is 216 which also means I'm not stimming enough so the doctor has doubled my dosage of medication. Prior to today, I was taking 5 units of Lupron every day, 75 units of Follistim, and 37.5 units of Menopur. Now, I will continue the 5 units of Lupron, but I will take 150 units of Follistim every morning and 75 units of Menopur at night. The goal with this medication change is to increase my estrogen level and increase the number of follicles that are above 10mm. My lining, however, looks pretty good and is 8mm thick which I guess is right on target (YAY)!

So what did I do with all this news, you may ask?

I broke down - I got really upset about the fact that more follicles haven't grown yet I feel like I have softballs in my abdomen. I looked at the "guideline" sheet when I got home, and it says that my estrogen level should be in the hundreds, and my follicles should be growing. That's all it says. So according to that, I'm right where I need to why the sadness? I guess I just really want this cycle to work, and I want enough eggs at the time of retrieval that we have enough to freeze.  I know it's asking a lot, but that's my wish. I ended up tearing up and panicking all at the same time this afternoon due to this news about the increase in medication. It seems silly because it's not a huge deal, but whether it be from the hormonal rollercoaster I'm riding or something else..I'm certainly emotional.

So for now..I will continue taking my new doses of drugs, and I will return Friday for another ultrasound and more blood work.

P.S. Sorry about the HORRIBLE quality of my writing lately..I just have been jotting down ideas without actually working at it. Hopefully once my emotions are better, I will feel more like my old self and feel like writing properly again. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A week from tomorrow. . .

A week from tomorrow and I could possibly be having my egg retrieval done. It's crazy that it's all moving so quickly, but I'm ready to be off of all these meds already..that's for sure.

No real "updates" per say, but I have been getting TERRIBLE headaches with the Follistim injections. They are to the point where they make me sick to my stomach and I don't want to move. It's like intense pressure all through my head, and it happens in the afternoon each day. When I take the Menopur, it starts to get a bit better. It's strange...

Also, I expected the Menopur to be terrible after reading many reports of how bad the injection burned. Well, I've had Lovenox (blood thinner) injections so maybe that's why burning has a different definition for me, but the Menopur injections aren't bad at ALL. I do push the drug REALLY slowly to avoid any potential burning, but honestly the Menopur is a piece of cake. To be fair, all the injections have been easy (this could be due to my CFRD and taking insulin already), it's just been the side effects that are rough.

It's late morning now, and I can already feel that headache creeping in from the morning injection of Follistim. It is truly some of the worst head pain I've ever will ALL be worth it when I hold that precious little angel in my arms...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

CF Clinic and First Ultrasound

Wow! What a couple of days it's been!  I have decided that I truly hate driving in Chicago rush-hour traffic! I've also realized that each ultrasound appointment requires me to drive in Chicago rush-hour traffic so I'm not away from it by any means.

I'll start of with Today's appointment which was CF clinic. We began our day by finding out that our normal route was going to be inaccessible as the road had buckled and was creating a traffic nightmare, to say the least! The travel times were over two hours from about 20 miles north of us so we decided we'd try a new and different route. I'm so glad we did! We found an alternate route that got us into the city in just under an hour (an amazing time given our location and that it was 7 AM in the morning)!

As far as the actual appointment goes: AWESOME!! My FEV1 was 86% and my FVC was 136% which is awesome, and I was NOT expecting it to be that high. I was so happy, and I have been thanking God many times since getting this news. I was concerned that it would be down thus cancelling my IVF cycle in order to go on antibiotics. Instead, I got a good report and was told they were all hoping for a positive pregnancy test for me! Couldn't ask for better! :)

Now for my ultrasound report: AWESOME as well!! At this point in the IVF cycle, the follicles should be really small, there should be no cysts, the uterine lining should be really thin, and the estrogen levels should be less than 100. My follicles were tiny with no cysts, I have a very thin uterine lining, and my estrogen level was 24.  I start stimulating meds on Friday!!! I will be injecting both follistim and menopur. The menopur needs to be mixed, and I'll be heading over to my dad's house to make sure I do it correctly (he's an E.R. nurse so he's pretty good at that stuff)!

I'm not sure how I'll feel during the stim meds, but I imagine to feel bloated and a little uncomfortable. I'll be sure to let you know, though! :) Next ultrasound appointment is Wednesday so we will see how everything looks then!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tomorrow's Ultrasound

I've been staying pretty far away from all social media, including blogging lately. I've just felt the need to disconnect and focus on my husband and the IVF process. I truly didn't know what I would feel going into the IVF process, and I'm surprised by how personal it feels. Despite the few anger/crying jags that I've experienced, the process has brought us closer together. The connection we feel is so strong and incredible at this point, and we just keep focusing on how much we're doing to get toward our goal of having a baby.

David has been waking up with me each morning to help me do the Lupron injections. I don't need help with the injection part, but I always like to have him double check the amount in the syringe prior to injection. I feel groggy in the mornings, and an extra pair of eyes never hurts. He's truly so good about it, and I feel that he's as connected the process as he can possibly be.

In fact, at 5 AM tomorrow, we will be venturing off together to U of C for my first ultrasound since starting the drugs. I'm anxious. The goal is to be suppressed enough that the stimulating medicines can help, but I'm not sure if I am or not. I've been feeling like I have an ovarian cyst going on. Now, this could be just a case of CF tummy acting up as I've had to take some miralax and things have been a bit irregular for me. I haven't experienced issues like that in years, and I have to wonder if the Lupron is causing it? I'm hoping that these issues will pass once the egg retrieval process is done.

Anyway, I will be sure to keep you all updated on what happens tomorrow. Hopefully good news! I also have my CF clinic on Thursday so I'm hoping for good PFTs from that appointment as well!

We will just have to wait and see!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Today. . .

I'm 10 days into my Lupron shots and a week from tomorrow will be my baseline ultrasound and blood work. I've noticed that I've been a bit emotional, but not overly so. Also, I have a daily headache..behind my eyes. It's not too bad, but it's noticeable. Being 10 days into the cycle, my mind has begun wandering to the idea of a positive pregnancy test, and I keep trying to not get my hopes too high.  Today, however, has been an AMAZING day so I've let my mind wander as much as it wants.

Why was today amazing, you ask?

1) I began my day by getting some AMAZING news about a dear friend. The news I got made my whole week, and I nearly screamed at work. I was just SO excited for this person. I love hearing good news about my friends/family.

2) I worked with my favorite co-workers today and the day went pretty quickly which is ALWAYS a good thing.

3) My sister's follow-up appointment at Northwestern went extremely well, and the doctors are so pleased that they do not feel the need to see her again. They told her she is welcome to start chemo whenever she wants. AMAZING!

4) My husband had planned a sweet romantic day to celebrate our anniversary.  He's booked massages and has a nice place picked out for a dinner afterwards. What a true sweetheart I have!

5) I dreamed about positive pregnancy tests alllll day today. I read forum after forum about when people got their positive tests following their transfers. I calculated my test date/due date. I did it all.  Then, I started to worry that I might be over-suppressed or over-stimulated this cycle, and it might just get cancelled. I also started to worry that my lung function will be down so they will decide to cancel the cycle to put me on IVs. Then..I told myself to stop worrying and enjoy my I did just that. I went back to dreaming about what that positive will look/feel like when it eventually comes. If everything goes JUST right..hopefully beginning of August! :) 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A LITTLE Anger...

It's official. I've had my first "angry" day from the Lupron. David asked me a very simple and normal question, and I all the sudden felt the need to punch something. It lasted for about an hour then the anger went away. I've felt it three times since...

It's going to be a long month I'm afraid...