Monday, January 31, 2011

It's been one week

Ok, it been more than one week, but I woke up last Friday with the Barenaked Ladies song "One Week" stuck in my head. It had been one week since we found it. I have been singing in periodically since. Here, get it stuck in your head too: One Week

Not too much to report these days, just waiting anxiously till Friday when we have our ultrasound. I am hoping for the best and my mood about it changes from day to day. Some days I feel great and have no reason to believe anything bad will happen. Other days (like today) I wake up with a terrible sinking feeling for absolutely no reason. I had a bad dream last night and was up for at least an hour unable to fall back asleep. I think this was part of my bad feelings about it all this morning. I guess also reading infertility blogs and forums makes you realize that miscarriages are all too common. I tell myself some days I need to stop reading and just relax.

I have been a little stressed about work since I am incredibly busy and exhausted as a result. I am making great money which really helps build up our savings. We are hoping to take a vacation this spring when my hubby gets a week off. I can't wait since we haven't taken a real vacation since last May in Aruba. I guess that isn't all that long, but it sure feels like it. I only took 2 days off for Christmas and am feeling like I really need a break.

Last weekend we got together with our friends who have the 6-month old baby. She is absolutely adorable and we had a great time. We witnessed a "polar bear plunge" into the finger lake Skaneateles (pronounced skinny-atlas.) It was quite the spectacle. The said the windchill was 5 degrees, yet people were jumping into the lake in their thongs. It was all for charity, but I can't see being that crazy.
I know it doesn't look sunny, but I am addicted to my sunglasses and wear them whenever there is the slightest bit of light. 

We had lunch and headed back to our place to hang with our friends and the baby. It is crazy to hear them talk about how 5 minutes of time to themselves is amazing. They had hired a babysitter a few nights before and gone on their first date since having the baby and were super excited about getting out and just being a couple again. They said the babysitter was $40 plus the cost of the date. Makes it seem much more special I guess. I know we have to enjoy our weekends of watching movies, relaxing, and being spontaneous. It is hard to appreciate it when you have it all the time.

It is so difficult not telling people our news, but I know it is for the best and we need to know everything is going well before telling people. We are planning to tell after our first trimester and should get a better idea of how far along I am on Friday. The hardest is when people ask "What's new?"

On other news I am definitely ready for a new bra since I take mine off now and have marks from it indenting into me. I am getting a little tired of the progesterone and leakage, but know it is for the best. We are thinking about investing in a larger mattress since we currently only have a full sized one. We bought it a few years ago when we had a tiny bedroom. Had we gotten anything bigger, we wouldn't have been able to get to both of our closets. We looked at some mattresses and bed frames this weekend and found some great deals so we will probably get one some time soon. I feel like things aren't too interesting these days so I apologize if I just bored you with my mattress talk. I am still hearing One Week in my head, how about you?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Feeling the love

So, Jessica at Knock Jessica Up made my day and gave me this fantastic award. Thank you so much for your recognition and support, it is nice to reach out to others in similar situations. 

This is how it works:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award some recently discovered bloggers that are deserving
4. Contact those bloggers and let them know about the award

So here are 7 things about myself:
1. My husband and I met working at a restaurant. He was a cook and I worked on the other side of the "window". Perhaps the fact that he was a cook at the time dictated that he would become the cook in our house. We knew each other for a few years and hooked up a summer I had a boyfriend, oops! It all worked out for the best though.

2. We spent 2 winters living in Jackson Hole, WY being ski bums. We skiied to work and lived to ski. It was pretty amazing, especially when the snow was good. We got into backcountry skiing and loved the solitude of the woods. 

3. We looked about about 35 houses before we found the one for us. We didn't even put an offer in on any houses until we found "the one". We knew it as soon as we walked in.

4. We have two dogs and a cat, all black. We got a puppy almost 4 years ago and drove all the way to Ohio to get her. She is really big and hairy and is named after a mountain pass is Wyoming (Togwotee). We also have a labradoodle that we "adopted" from my parents. Actually, he adopted us (Pepper). Our cat (Hobie) is a siamese mix and is a big talker. He loves to sit on the outside of the tub while I take a bath. 

5. I have a 9-year old little brother who was adopted from China. Both my mom and Dad were adopted although they are no longer together. My step-dad never had any children of his own and decided that it would be a good idea in his late 50's. I was the baby for 24 years and then became the middle child. 

6. I spent a semester abroad in Athens, Greece and loved every minute of it. My husband and I are thinking about taking a trip there some time this spring before vacations will never be the same. 

7. I hate deep water other than pools. Whenever I swim in a lake or the ocean I need another person right by my side and often get a little freaked out. Good thing I am a pro at treading water. 

Awarding other bloggers is difficult, and I feel like a lot of these awards are going around the infertility blogs which are the ones I currently follow. I think most have been mentioned, but here are a few that may not have been:

Infertility Inferschmility who is mid-way through an IVF cycle and always has humorous posts. 
 Carlia at the Stork Drop Zone who recently found out she may have PCOS but is gearing up to start her IVF cycle
Krista at Diary of Taking Small Steps Towards Baby Steps who's blog I follow closely and has recently been struggling with OHSS. 
and Springvegan at baby dellosa who was the first blogger I found I could relate to

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


It's hard not to worry these days. Every little twinge or feeling makes me worry. This morning I felt awful and had to lie down in bed a few times before motivating to get dressed and out the door for work. I debated just canceling and staying home, especially since it seemed like my body was trying to tell me to take it easy. I am taking progesterone suppositories 3x's/day and am constantly leaking (sorry if TMI), but this always makes me have to check to be sure I'm not bleeding. When I didn't have to pee much during the day the other day it made me worry. I am really looking forward to my appointment next Friday to check for the heartbeat. I am hoping it is all snuggled up in there.

We have a nickname that we have been using (E.G.S) for early gestational sac. I've read it's only about the size of a poppy seed, but I feel so exhausted. I work with children and bring toys and games to play with them. I have been way too tired at the end of any day to switch the stuff I have from my car. I am getting pretty bored of Mr. Potato Head, but still too tired to do anything about it. As we were walking our dogs the other night my hubby joked that our E.G.S is "determined." I laughed and said, "you mean stubborn?" I guess it might have already gotten that trait from me.

The symptoms I have had so far:

VERY strong sense of smell. Last night the roasted red peppers smelled delicious. When I came home and smelled them today they smelled terrible.

Mood swings and being emotional especially when I am hungry. This morning I struggled with our garage door and then left without putting the dogs inside. As I drove off I saw them looking at me like WTF? I took a loop around the block and convinced them to come in with the empty promise of treats. By the time I left I was ready to break down into tears since I was running so late. Some afternoons I just feel like crying over nothing, probably because this is the time I am most hungry.

My boobs are SO sore and appear HUGE (at least to me.) I can't believe how much they seem to have grown already.

Exhaustion. Some days I have to come home and nap and we have been going to bed really early. It is hard to motivate to do anything after about 1:30. I had to laugh the other day when a kid was using an avoidance strategy of "I'm to tired" and I just said "I'm to tired too and pretended to lay down." He told me I should stay and take a nap on the couch.

Slight nausea and some food aversions. Things that I was eating a lot of before don't remotely appeal to me. Other things I never eat (like mustard) suddenly seem like a great condiment.

I am really happy with our situation and feel like I will be able to breathe a big sigh of relief after next Friday when we are both able to see it on ultrasound. I got to tell someone today (the Mom of the kid I work with who has known all about the IVF.) She was super excited and gave me two big hugs. It was nice to tell someone, especially since we won't be telling anyone else any time soon.

I am feeling really sad about moving on from my RE. It's not that I've never liked a doctor before, but I've never loved one like I do him. Between Friday and Monday he personally called me three times. He has always been extremely thorough and compassionate. I will be bummed to move on, but glad to graduate and no longer need him (hopefully.) It's hard not to get ahead of myself these days, but then there are other moments where I worry and fear for the longevity of this pregnancy.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Miracles DO happen

So I had my baseline/suppression check on Friday to get the green light to continue with stims. I had my appointment at 7:45 and left with what I though was plenty of time. I really had to pee about 20 minutes into my 1 hour 10 minute ride (usually about a 45 minute drive), but knew I was already pressing it on time so didn't stop to go. I was dying when I got to about 10 minutes away and hit stop-and-go traffic. I really started to stress and then my phone rang from the clinic. The were wondering where I was and were really annoyed that I was running late. I didn't realize it, but the person comes to pick up the blood at 8:00. The woman on the phone said they would try to get them to wait since I was so close. I rushed to find a parking spot in the garage and hustled up to the clinic. Needless to say, they weren't the happiest to see me at about 8:05. The nurse who is usually friendly didn't even smile back at me. They immediately took me in and started to draw my blood. I hadn't really thought to drink a bunch of water and about 1/3 of the way to filling up a tube of blood it stopped. The nurse thought it was strange and kept trying, but no more blood was coming out. All I could think was that it was probably all going to my heart since it was beating so fast. They then switched to the left arm and were successful. This made me feel extra bad, because I already knew I was running late.

The ultrasound tech was waiting outside the room for me and wanted to bring me right down to the ultrasound room. I begged to stop at the bathroom on the way and at that point was unable to empty my bladder completely since I had held it so long. She said my RE was stuck at the hospital and was trying to make it on time to be there for the ultrasound. When he didn't show up, she decided to "start without him" since she had another appointment after me. As soon as she put the magic wand it she immediately said my bladder was still too full and that I had to try to empty it more. At that point I was undressed from the waist down and she gave me a sheet and directed me back to the bathroom. I was more successful this time, but knew I didn't completely do the job. When I went back into the room she put the wand back in and said "that's better" so I guess it was good enough. She immediately started her measurements. There was a screen to my left so I was able to see the ultrasound and by now know how to read the measurements and view most things. She first measured my cyst, and like I figured, it had grown to about 6.5 cm. I had been feeling it more and assumed this was going to be the case. She then measured my ovaries and started to look for my uterus and get measurements there. Here was what happened next:

Ultrasound tech (UT): Got my uterus into view and kinda paused and asked me, "Is there any chance you could be pregnant?"
Me: "I don't think so."
UT: "It almost looks like you have a small cyst or early gestational sac there."

I saw it... a small circle in my uterus. She then said she was going to call and see if my RE was going to make it or not. When she got back into the room she said he wasn't going to make it, but that she wanted to look at one more thing. Back in goes the wand. She was super quick and and I then asked, "So there was another cyst?' and she just said "No." She then said that I shouldn't continue my Lupron until I talked with my RE and that she was going to add a pregnancy test to my blood work. She said that my lining was too thick and then said I was all done and that I didn't have to check back in at the desk and could just leave.

I was shaking at this point and waited to get out of the building before calling my hubby. He asked how it went and how I was doing and I said "I'm totally freaking out." I told him I was going to head to work but had to stop and buy a pregnancy test first. I wasn't going to be able to wait hours and still focus the rest of the day without doing this. He was pretty quiet, and I said I would call him in a little bit.

I headed out of Syracuse and stopped about 20 minutes later at Wegmans. I'm not sure if you're familiar with Wegmans at all, but it is my favorite supermarket. They have a bunch of them all over Central New York and recently Alec Baldwin was in their commercials since his mother lives in Syracuse.

 I always stop to use their bathrooms while working, because they beat a lot of the bathrooms at the houses I go into. I was driving knowing that my IVF cycle wasn't going to continue at this point, and that was my main concern. I didn't really think I could be pregnant at all. I went into the store and bought a pack of 3 First Response tests. If I bought pregnancy tests in the past I always tried to purchase something else so it wasn't the only thing. This time I couldn't even think clearly enough to think of something else to purchase. The cashier said "good luck" to me upon cashing me out. I don't think I even responded, I had a hard enough time finding my credit card and differentiating if from any other cards in my wallet. I took the test immediately to the bathroom of which was being cleaned. As I was waiting I was so much is a haze that I got hit with the men's room bathroom door because I was standing right in front of it. It took the guy about 3 more minutes to finish cleaning the bathroom and I entered. I took the packaging out and POAS in a public restroom that happened to be quite crowded at the time. The lines appeared pretty quickly and it was a BFP!!!!!!!!! I was still so much in shock that I ended up squirting soap all over myself while washing my hands. A bunch of people witnessed it and I felt pretty dumb. I went to my car and pulled the test back out and stared at it. Still two lines. I took a pic on my phone and sent it to my hubby and tried calling him multiple times. He called back about 10 minutes later and was super excited. I was still to shocked to even think about being excited.

The RE called me at about 11:15 while I was working with a child. I recognized the number and was happy to have had a puzzle out that the kid continued to work on while singing in the background. He said what I already knew, that I was pregnant and that my blood work confirmed it. I think he was almost as shocked as I was and had already done some research into Lupron and early pregnancy. He had some studies he told me about that there is probably as much of a risk of birth defects as with any pregnancy, the rate didn't seem to be increased. He told me I needed to start my progesterone ASAP and continue until told to stop. I was to refrain from sex, any activity with "lots of jostling" such as running or aerobics and that I should call the clinic to schedule another ultrasound for about 2 weeks from then. He preferred if it was in the afternoon so he could be there. He then went on to say he wasn't sure when I conceived and that I obviously wasn't pregnant on Dec 22nd when we did the trial transfer. He was interested to know that I took a home pregnancy test on Jan 5th (the day I started Lupron) and that it was negative. He said at the next ultrasound we would try to determine how far along I was. He said to take things "one day at a time" and that it was a "miracle baby." Between having polycystic ovaries, blocked tubes (to our knowledge), and a huge cyst on one of my tubes, it was amazing I managed to get pregnant. He warned me that my risk of miscarriage was high with PCOS and that I should be excited, but cautious.

My hubby came home that afternoon with a huge bunch of flowers and gave me a big hug.

 I have to admit I had been feeling a little bit pregnant, but attributed it all to side effects from Lupron. The only one I couldn't explain was my heightened sense of smell. We had gone to the gym the day before and I had felt nauseous from every stinky sweaty guy there. I can update more soon, but I had been in so much shock that I wasn't sure I was ready to update my blog up till this point. I feel badly for making another pregnancy announcement for all those people because I know how much it stings each time. I also want people to know that there is hope for everyone who feels hopeless. I was feeling a little guilty about announcing it to my new online friends.

I am having a hard time shifting gears and am feeling a slight loss over my IVF cycle (really weird, I know.) It is hard to accept and realize that I AM PREGNANT!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Still no visit... but an update

Still no visit from AF yet, but I talked with the IVF nurse today and got some answers. She said that she and the RE had been talking about me on Friday and he said it was possible I may NOT get my period at all on the Lupron due to my polycystic ovaries. I'm not sure why this is, but that is what she said. 

I have an appointment scheduled for Friday at 7:45 at which time they will do blood work and possibly a ultrasound (the nurse wasn't sure.) She said as long as everything goes well, we will start stims that day. I am so glad I called and found out my period may not ever come, I feel so much less frustrated and depressed about the situation. 

I asked why we couldn't start sooner and she said that the clinic doesn't typically do retrievals on the weekend since they need a RN, an anesthesiologist, the embryologist, and some other staff members (including of course my RE.) She said they typically do retrievals about 12 days after starting stims, so that would put it on a Tuesday or Wednesday (Feb 1st or 2nd.) I then asked if they do monitoring on weekends and she said they do but it is just difficult to get all the staff members together on a weekend to do the retrieval. My clinic does not have their own anesthesiologists and they contract through the local hospital. I guess it is most difficult to get the anesthesiologist on weekends, but do-able if absolutely necessary.  

I have been continuing to have very violent dreams on the Lupron. I dreamt last night that it was Christmas and I became really frustrated with my hubby for not wanting to open all of his presents with his family. Since his sister wasn't there he wanted to save half of them and open them when she was there. I was so frustrated that we couldn't just do Christmas in one day. When we got home we started fighting and he said something about me telling his mother I didn't like a gift she got me. I became so mad I went after him and started to slam his head against the fridge. I was like, holy crap, I guess I am SUPER violent in my dreams. We hardly ever even fight, let alone get physical when we are mad so it was pretty intense. Today I was super tired and feel asleep waiting for my hubby to get home. I have been getting at least 7 1/2 hours of sleep each night but am so tired lately. I also had a pretty crappy headache all day today. 

I am hoping my sister will be coming out this weekend with her fiance. She said they would come on Sat afternoon/evening to stay the night and see our new house. I haven't seen her since Thanksgiving, so it will be nice if she actually comes. I think my hubby is really doubting it, but I am hopeful. I am glad I have Friday (starting stims hopefully) and the weekend (my sister coming) to look forward to. In other news, I have a friend from high school who is in town who now lives in Seattle. We are hoping to have her and her BF over for dinner some night this week. It is so nice to have a nice house to be able to entertain in. We lived for 3 years in a "cabin" in the woods behind my parent's house. We fixed the place up and lived there rent-free. I was about 600 square feet a a bit rustic. It worked well in that it allowed me to get through grad school without extra loans and allowed us to save the money for a down payment on our house and have enough money left over for IVF. I can't complain. Here is a picture of our cabin. 
We did paint it at one point, but I guess I don't have a pic of that. 

And now a pic of our new house (front view)
Back View
You could say the new house is a bit more spacious!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Alright already!

So I have finally gone insane. I am on day 13 of Lupron and still no signs of AF. I woke up this morning incredibly disappointed (my period tends to come at night when I am sleeping.) I actually started crying when I told my hubby, and then thought for sure that because I was crying first thing in the morning that it would come today.

I tried to call the RE's office this afternoon when she still hadn't appeared, but they were closed for MLK day. I am sure I will be calling tomorrow, because I am starting to wonder whether she is EVER going to show up!! I am beyond frustrated and feeling a bit depressed. The nurse told me about 10 days after starting she would come and we are now 3 days past that. I tend to do well with bad news or things not going well when I am prepped in advance. My worst case scenario was that it was going to come this weekend, but NOPE. I guess the plus is that if it had come over the weekend I would have tried to call the RE's office and stressed that they weren't open. I was doing really well handing my stress up to this point where I am starting to feel REALLY stressed out! I am starting to fear I have a new cyst, I will run out of Lupron during this cycle, or my cycle is going to get cancelled. Those meds in the fridge are just staring at me!

I've tried everything else, so maybe just posting this and complaining will convince AF to show up! A lot of people say once they called their RE's office and made an appointment to get things checked out, it came. I have been feeling like it has been coming for about a week or so, especially since my boobs are SO SORE!! I can barely walk down the stairs without being in pain (I know this is also a side effect of Lupron.)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Crazy Dreams

Each morning I wake up and remember the crazy dream I had the previous night. I've read that one of the side effects of Lupron relates to having vivid dreams. I once had a dream dictionary that was very interesting. You could look up symbols that appeared in your dreams and try to interpret the dream. I wish I knew where that was these days, because I did find a good resource online.
Here are some symbols I have seen recently:

To see a starfish in your dream, suggests a period of healing and regeneration. Alternatively, it indicates that you have many options to weigh and decisions to make- 

I dreamt last night that as I was leaving somewhere I noticed there were multiple starfish stuck to the bottom of my wheel wells of my car rather than snow. I think this makes a lot of sense. I have recently had a lot of decisions to make and am hoping for some regeneration in my life

In particular, to dream that the violence is directed to yourself, represents self punishment and guilt. You may be feeling helpless or vulnerable in some area of your life.

I dreamt about a lot of random violence in my dream last night. It kept erupting out of nowhere and I was always involved. I do feel sometimes like the infertility is my fault because the problem lies in me. Also, I feel completely helpless and vulnerable about our current baby-making situation. Vulnerable is a good adjective to use in particular.

To see a gun in your dream, symbolizes aggression, anger, and potential danger. You may be dealing with issues of passiveness/aggressiveness and authority/dependence. Alternatively, a gun represents the penis and male sexual drive. Thus, the gun may mean power or impotence, depending on whether the gun went off or misfired.

The gun definitely went off in my dream.

To see a tomato in your dream, symbolizes domestic happiness and harmony

I dreamt I was chopping tomatoes into a large bucket last night. I'm not sure this actually has any meaning, but it sounds good to me.

To see or carry a bucket in your dream, indicates an improvement in your current situation. If the bucket is filled, then it signifies abundance, love and wealth. If the bucket is empty, then it signifies that you will overcome some loss or conflict.

I chopped the tomatoes into a bucket that was quite full. I am hoping for an improvement in my current situation!

To dream that you are chopping something, indicates that you are trying to cut your problems into smaller, more manageable sizes. You need to break up the issues and attack them piece by piece. Consider also the significance of the object that you are chopping.

Am I cutting away at our "domestic happiness and harmony"?

Wedding Ring
To see a wedding ring in your dream, represents completeness and eternal love.
To dream that you lose your wedding ring, signifies a problem or unresolved issue in your marriage.

As a chopped the tomatoes I took of my wedding rings. In my dream I had 3 rings when in fact I really only have two. Weird that I remember this detail, but not sure it means anything. I dreamt I took them off but then put them on once I finished chopping. I would say we have an unresolved issue though, no kids!

To see or dream that you are in a greenhouse, represents transformation. You are experiencing some changes in your life brought about mainly as a result of your own doing. It also suggests that you may be too overly controlling. You want things done your way, but in the process you may be isolating yourself
I dreamt I was chopping my tomatoes in a greenhouse. I would love to have a little more control in this whole process! And yes, I did bring on this IVF thing (a big change). I have been trying to coax my period into coming, trying to have more control than I should.

To see your sister in your dream, symbolizes some aspect of your relationship with her, whether it one of sibling rivalry, nurturance, protectiveness, etc. Your sister may draw attention to your family role.

The other night I dreamt I got into a huge fight with my sister. This was the night after I added my blog entry about being her maid of honor. I told her that I was disappointed in her and that she was a huge failure. I woke up feeling horrible about it.

Seeing naked breasts can also denote a feeling of exposure and invasion of privacy. In particular, for a woman, the dream may indicate anxieties about becoming a woman/mother.

I know, really random, but I dreamt about naked breasts the other night. They were really big and saggy and the nipples were HUGE. This could also be because my boobs have been REALLY sore lately. I do feel exposed and like my privacy is being invaded with infertility treatments. For most people, conception is one of the most private things in their life.

Maybe I've read too much into the symbols in my dreams, but my experience previously was that my dreams always seemed to relate to real-life experience, fears, problems, etc. I did a research project on dreams in high school and believe they are a good look into our subconscious. I will try to update more symbols as I remember more dreams.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Matron of Honor

My sister is getting married July 23rd of this year and I am the matron of honor in her wedding. Unfortunately my sister lives about 3 hours away and we don't see each other that often. She was my maid on honor in my wedding in October of 2009 and it was pretty obvious I would play that role in her wedding (I am really happy to be the one). The problem is, she went dress shopping with her friends a few weeks ago. Lately she has been pressuring me to go look at dresses and maybe even order one. I can't remember when they ordered the dresses for my wedding, but I know I still have some time.

The thing is, I'm not ready. I weigh a little more than I would like right now and am really hoping I will be pregnant for her July wedding. Her friends like a specific dress from David's Bridal but she also gave me the option of picking my own dress. The biggest issue is I WANT TO BE PREGNANT and don't want to buy a dress yet. There, that's my rant.

In other news I think the rash that developed on my hands was not a side effect of Lupron and was instead a side effect of too much hand sanitizer and really cold temperatures. My hands ended up cracking and becoming really dry. I talked with someone today who showed me her hands and they looked even worse that mine. I bought some Burt's Bees hand lotion and that seems to be helping.

We joined the gym for 2011 yesterday. I had been going for over 2 months on a free month membership, but finally got busted last week. We went the past two nights but had to leave earlier than we wanted to get home and do my shot. My body really seems to be adjusting to the Lupron and I am have far fewer side effects. I am still waiting on my period which seems to be allusive. The nurse at my RE's office said it should be about 10 days after starting Lupron. Tonight was our 9th shot, so tomorrow is the 10th day. Please come on out lady friend (wow, she's my friend now)!

I was really hoping originally that I would be starting stims this week, but I realize much of this is a waiting game and out of my control. I know once we start the stims it will all happen very quickly. I am able to talk with one of the mom's of the kids I work with since she also went through IVF. She said the most important thing is to reduce my stress and not let my mind play games with me. She said I should do whatever relaxes me. I love taking baths but know I will have to stop this soon. I have a great new book I have been reading and we have been going to bed much earlier. It is really relaxing to lie in bed next to my hubby and read a great book.

We had brunch with some friends on Sunday who have a 5 month old baby girl. The wife of the couple (C) was a classmate of my husband's and she got pregnant 2/3 of the way through school. When we got to know her better, she told me the baby wasn't planned. Their insurance had changed and they had been using the "pull and pray" method of birth control. C ended up taking this entire year off from school and will go back next summer to complete her final year of schooling. When we first got there they were running behind schedule. C still had her hair up in her towel and was chopping veggies. I immediately noticed a pregnancy test on the counter. Eventually her hubby took it off with a bunch of other stuff, but it was staring me in the face. It was hard to pretend like I didn't see it.

We ended up staying about 5 hours and the pregnancy test issue came up as C and I were talking in another room. I asked her if she is able to take birth control while nursing and she said she is on a progesterone only "light pill" but that it completely throws off her cycle. Her hubby made her take the test because she hadn't had her period, but she is not pregnant. I had a great time with their little girl and it was the first time we saw her that she didn't cry when I held her. She is starting to babble sounds and imitate a little bit and I got her laughing really hard. I had a great time playing with her. And then the question came up: When are you guys going to have kids? We have debated telling them about all of our issues, but the main reason we haven't is because they take their fertility for granted (I'm not positive of this but it's hard not to think it.) They got pregnant without even trying and here we are, dropping a ton of money for the chance to get pregnant.  We had a great time with them and are so glad to find other people who we have so much in common with (I think that is part of why they want us to have kids.) We are planning to go x-country skiing with them in two weeks and my hubby is planning to take the baby on him while skiing. He is very athletic and confident (especially when it comes to skiing), but I think he is crazy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Let the fun continue

Some of my side effects have vanished (hot flashes, diarrhea) some continue (bitchiness, moodiness) and I had a new one last night (a rash all over the tops of my hands.) I'm not completely sure this is a side effect of the Lupron, but I looked online and it seemed like it could have been. I guess I started noticing it Saturday night when my left hand started itching like crazy and little bumps popped up. I really hadn't worried about it at all until last night when the backs of both of my hands became blotchy red, slightly raised, and burned when I washed them. Most of the kids I work with are sick right now so I was using my hand sanitizer quite a bit yesterday. This is when the burning started (I use it all the time and have never felt this before.) I got a little bit nervous last night, but was able to calm down. When I woke up this morning it had faded quite a bit. I'm trying not to let the side effects bother me, but I did freak a bit last night. Also, I had worse bruising last night at the point of injection and it became blotchy and red all around it. Today it looks a little red, but is mostly just a bruise. I haven't really had many headaches or been feeling very tired, so that is all good. I try to drink a lot of water during the day and that seems to help (minus all the additional bathroom trips.) Speaking of bathroom trips, I can no longer sleep through the night without getting up to pee. Ahh, the joys of it all. Other than that, just waiting on AF to show her face so I can start the stims. Reading through a book the other night I thought they made the whole IVF thing seem so simple and quick. Unfortunately, I have not felt that way.

In other news our doggie Togie has been having knee problems for a while. Today she is feeling REALLY bad and we are going to take her to the vet. We went x-country skiing for 2 hours on Sunday with my inlaws and their crazy dog. The vet recommended surgery previously, but I can't fathom spending that right now. I hope she is OK and that it doesn't cost us too much. She hasn't really moved much all day, yelped when I pet her, and wouldn't eat food out of my hand (VERY unusual for that piggy.) She appears to be feeling a little better so, but better take her and see what the vet has to say.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Side Effects= Menopause

So I started feeling the side effects of the Lupron yesterday. We are doing 20 units which seems like a lot compared to other people's blogs and postings. I see now why avoiding the internet is probably a good idea at times. Sometimes it makes me wonder whether they may have made a mistake with the dosage, but then I remember that the nurse had my chart in front of her while talking to me. I try not to doubt anything about my RE and trust in him 110%. It's amazing how quickly this all seems routine. Filling up the syringe, injecting, and then giving the team ___(our last name) high five to complete it all. 

Yesterday after work I decided I wanted to go out and do something for our Friday night. Usually we spend weekend nights sitting on our couch streaming something off of Netflix. We like to lay low most of the time, but it also results in us falling asleep early. I decided I wanted to stay up later so last night was our gift card night. We had a bunch left over from Christmas and I am usually horrible about using them. I've heard that companies make a lot of money this way.

We first went to Marshalls to look for a side table to put next to our reclining chair. We ended up finding one but also got dog treats (2 varieties) and a new shower head (so our stinky dogs can get baths.) Of course we spent more than our $50.00 gift card, but nothing excessive. We then went to dinner at Panera with our $20.00 gift card. Midway through the meal I felt a hot flash. It put it together that I had felt one previously in the day as well. My face got so flushed and I felt extremely hot. I thought it would be an OK sensation (I'm almost always cold), but once you actually feel one you realize how unpleasant they really are.
Also, earlier that morning I was driving to a house for work and the sun was coming up. It really was beautiful, but not worthing tearing up and almost crying over. 

The other really unfortunate reaction I have had relates to my digestive system. Once we finished eating we headed over to Target to look for either a Yoga Wii game or dvd. We weren't able to find a Wii game, but as soon as I found the dvd selection, my dinner hit my stomach. This made me immediately feel like I had to go to the bathroom. I guess I will be more direct and state the truth: I have had really unpleasant diarrhea. I go about 4 times a day and it's not fun, especially in a public restroom. That's all I'll say about that one. On the other hand I am excited about our new yoga dvd's. 

This evening we are having some family over for dinner. We were cleaning up the bathroom and my hubby dropped something into the sink as I was cleaning it. He then proceeded to clean it off on the new and clean towel I had just hung in the bathroom. I immediately yelled "what the heck are you doing?!" He looked at me like I was crazy and then told me he thought it was a bit of an overreaction. I looked at him jokingly and yelled "I'm going through menopause!" In case you don't know, Lupron shuts down your body and acts similarly to menopause. Basically I am going through menopause, but I guess it is just a look into the future and will make me more understanding to those who actually are going through it. 

I've noticed my skin breaking out a little more. Usually at a certain point in my cycle I do break out a little bit on my chin. That time had come and gone when I started my Lupron. Sure enough, those little suckers popped back up with some friends.

The hardest part has been not telling people about our IVF. Whenever I am around friends or family I think about it, but then realize it is just more people asking how things are going. 

I work with a lot of young children and their families. This week I had two mom's asking me whether I had kids or not. This tends to be one of the first questions people ask me when they see how much I seem to enjoy children. I do love them and love working with them, but am sick of people asking me if I have my own children. Early on my reason was because I wasn't married yet. Once we got married, I said we were newly married and wanted to enjoy our time without kids. My newest reason is that my hubby wants to finish school and get a job first. This was the main reason we waited a while to start trying, but now that he is almost done this excuse isn't going to work for long. Here is a conversation I had with a mom this week:

Mom: When are you going to have kids?
Me: Ask my husband
Mom: Why, he doesn't want to have any?
Me: No, he just wants to have a job first
Mom: That makes sense. Isn't he almost done?
Me: Yeah, he has 19 weeks left
Mom: Well then you should start trying
Me: (smile)
Mom: (looks at the little boy I work with and says) Don't you think L should have a baby in her belly?

Awkward to say the least. Most of the families I work with the parents are younger than me and already have a few children. One of the families had a baby 3 weeks ago and I went to the house for the first time since she was born this Thursday. I was really looking forward to seeing the new baby, but when I got there she was sleeping in the bedroom. I kept looking over to the video monitor to see if she was going to wake up, but she never did. When the session was over I had to ask to see her. The mom brought me into the bedroom and showed me the beautiful sleeping little baby. She was absolutely adorable. I've found with the infertility that the initial pregnancy announcement is hard to take, but once I get over the initial shock I am really excited for them. One of my co-workers is pregnant and due in May. This week she found out she was having a boy. I am so happy for her because that is what she wanted. When she first told me I was shocked. She just got married in May. I tend to pry a bit and ask a lot of questions "do you guys start trying right away?" They were the "were weren't trying but we weren't not trying." 

One of the weird things about my job is that I problem-solve situations about children with the parents (temper tantrums, potty training, getting rid of pacifiers, ideas for play, developmental milestones, napping, etc.) It is strange to give advice about these things not being a parent yet, but it gives me a better idea of what it will be like. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly for sure!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

995 million

So we did our first Lupron injection tonight. I have been reading on forums people saying "It didn't even hurt" so I guess I thought I wouldn't feel a thing. When my hubby stuck the needle in, I jumped a little. It really wasn't bad and we watched a few YouTube videos prior to pump us up.

 We watched someone give an IM Progesterone shot and that made me feel great about the Lupron, especially since we won't be doing IM shots at all. It seemed like on all the clips we watched, the women had laparoscopy scars, maybe that is just a right of passage in this whole infertility process.

It was all quick and easy although I had gotten pretty nervous beforehand. We threw the syringe into my newly acquired sharps bin, and were done. It's amazing the things I get excited about these days (injections, sharps bins, etc.) The area got a little red after, but no big deal.

I talked with the nurse at our clinic today about the Lupron shots and the fact that I received my Menopur, but that it didn't come with any syringes. When I first talked to her a few days ago and she told me to take 20 units of Lupron between 5 and 7 I assumed it was in the PM. When I got home and told my hubby he said "AM or PM?" I called her to make sure and it was definitely PM. She also said she has some syringes that I can have and I can get them when I go in for my baseline ultrasound and blood work. I am not looking forward to more ultrasounds with this cyst, but there's not much I can do about it. When the RE did the trial transfer, he was a little more aggressive with it than the ultrasound tech had been previously. It's amazing how many vaginal ultrasounds I have gotten and I not even pregnant! I am supposed to call the nurse back when I get my next period (she projected it would be about 10 days). At that point I will go back in for my baseline ultrasound and blood work. I have been reading and it seems like it tends to come about 7 days after, I am hoping for a shorter timeframe. 

We got the results of the semen analysis today and they were great!! I am so happy we (hopefully) won't have to pay for ICSI. His count was 995 million and the average is about 60 million (wow, he's got a lot of those little swimmers.) The motility (percentage of normal movement) was 74% and the average is 60%. His morphology (percentile of sperm that have normal shape) was 37% and the average is about 30%. We bought something called Proxeed that the RE recommended as something that we could do that may help prior to doing the semen analysis. I think he assumed the count was normal, but knew this count boost it up. I figure it can't hurt at this point. With my PCOS I worry that the eggs won't be of great quality or I have also read that often the outside shell is harder to penetrate. We need his swimmers to be top notch. 

The results of all of our blood work was fine. I was a little worried about getting the results, especially the HIV. I was a little bit promiscuous in my teens and early twenties and had been offered to be tested previously by my GYN. I didn't really think I had it, but it is just a fear of being tested I guess. My sister feels the same way and has always refused to be tested. I was very happy to hear everything is great and we can continue on as planned. 

I had dinner with some friends last night. They are both girls I went to grad school with who live locally. We try to get together pretty often to discuss work and life. The funny part is I wasn't really great friends with them while in school (especially one of them-we will call her M), but now that we are all working, we have a lot more in common. We are all Speech-Language Pathologists. One girl (M) works basically the same job as me but has a much crappier gig. I work for a private agency who contracts through the  county (early intervention) and with school districts. I cover a small area and drive about 40-50 miles a day. The main reason it is such a good deal is because the agency I work for has only been around 2 years and I have been with them for 1 1/2. My friend works for an agency that is HUGE (you can buy stock in them), and therefore, she gets screwed. She drives about 200 miles a day and has NO area in particular that she covers. I feel badly for her because of this, but there is nothing I can do about it. M just got engaged over Christmas so much of the conversation was spent talking about wedding planning. She is from Long Island and plans to invite 250 people. We only had 60 people at our wedding and this is something I will never regret. My other friend (J) works with adults and does swallowing therapy mainly. She works for a center and seems to like her job. She recently started dating a guy who is from India but lives about an hour and a half away. He is a physical therapist and they have been officially dating for 3 months. When I asked her what the status of their relationship was she said they are more than just dating. Apparently she is planning to go to India with him for his sibling's wedding in March. They will stay for 2 weeks and meet his parents. She said that he is expected to have an arranged marriage and that both of his siblings did. He technically is not supposed to be dating, but hasn't ever dated anyone else. Well, I guess they are hoping to get his parent's blessing for them to be married when they go to India. She was beaming with her new love and I didn't want to burst her bubble.

When my hubby and I went Christmas shopping we saw a couple sitting on a bench making out. I jokingly turned to him and said "remember when we loved each other that much?" It's not that we don't love each other, but we waited at least 3 years before getting engaged. We lived together very early on, and had some crazy fights. I wonder if J has even had a single fight with this guy. Yet, they are ready to say they want to get married. My other friend M just got engaged after 8 years with her BF. She was pretty shocked, but also agreed about things changing as time goes on. I said the most important thing is that the guy you are with is your best friend because all the infatuation stuff wears off over time. We will see what happens with all of that but she said they may move to India some day. She knows that if she is with him she will be happy no matter what. Ahhh, young love (she is older than me, ha!)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sitting in Limbo

So we finally ended our Christmas celebrations with my Dad and his fiance (for all practical purposes she is my step-mom because they don't really plan to get married.) I was happy we didn't have to travel to Albany, but they only stayed about 3 hours. In total, they drove for double the amount of time they were here!
My Dad is starting a new job on Monday and needs to move into a new apartment before then. I don't think they would have come out at all if they hadn't cancelled the previous weekend due to the huge snowstorm in the Northeast.
It was nice to see them in the short time. We had a great lunch of turkey, brie, and spinach paninis and pineapple. We then opened presents. My step-mom loved her Michael Jackson CD and sang her own renditions of most of the songs when she listed which ones were on the CD. It was entertaining to say the least. 
My step-mom has two daughters who are about the same ages as my sister (30) and myself (27). I'm pretty sure Amanda is 29 and Liz has a birthday two weeks after mine. Amanda has two boys (ages 6 and 2) and got married a little before me. She is all drama and when I got engaged she also needed to get engaged and then get married before we did. I understand though because she did already have two kids. Liz just got married this past summer to a guy who is 41. He has two children from a previous marriage (about 13 and 11) and had a vasectomy after the birth of his second child. In addition, Liz weighs about 90 pounds and never eats much. My step-Mom told me about a conversation she had with Liz where I guess Liz said she hoped to be pregnant by the end of 2011. First of all, she would need to gain about 10 pounds, and secondly they haven't even seen a doctor about the vasectomy reversal they plan to get. It's not that I wish anyone problems getting pregnant, but it bothers me when people make statements like that. Who knows if the vasectomy reversal would even work, and then they have to try too. 
My sister is the oldest, yet she will be the last of us four girls to get married this July. I told her what Liz said, and she said "Well, I hope I get pregnant this year too." She also said she didn't want to be the last at everything. To be honest, I hope we all get pregnant in 2011. I really just hope they don't both get pregnant and not me. 

My newest philosophy in life is you have the idealistic, and then you have the realistic. I think this applies to most things in life. When we first got engaged and I started thinking about and planning our wedding, I was so idealistic. As more time went on I realized I needed to be realistic and cut out or change many of my original "idealistic" ideas. When we first were purchasing our home we thought we would make all these great upgrades and changes (the bathroom, kitchen, deck), but then we moved in. We realized that the bathroom, although totally retro, functions just fine. In addition, we found out we would have to finance IVF and this put the house projects on hold. When it came to starting a family, my hubby was so scared to start trying. He assumed we would get pregnant the first month, and I was kinda disappointed when we didn't. If we had, I would have been 5 1/2 months pregnant. Instead, I was put on birth control pills for a few months, had laparoscopy surgery, and have since been waiting to start our first IVF cycle. Nothing in life really seems to work out and be idealistic. 
So we moved the antique couch to our house today and it looks great in the foyer. My father in law stayed for lunch and we ended up having a conversation about finances. He is planning to buy my car from the bank and charge us less interest. He was a banker before he retired and is really good with his money. He plans to charge me interest, but at a 4% rate rather than the 7% I am paying now. That way, he is making money off his his money and helping us out at the same time. After that, he started talking about retirement accounts. I have been working for about 1 1/2 years at my current job. I didn't start a 401K yet, but hope to do it soon.
 He started to ask if he have money in the bank that I could invest now. I didn't want to say it, but we now look at that money as our "ivf account". My hubby was giving me weird looks like he wanted to tell his Dad what our plans are with our money (he later told me he wasn't giving me any looks). I took this cue and just said "we are about to take on some more expenses" and I think he interpreted it wrong. He said regardless of what our other expenses are (bills, vacations, kids, etc) that we still need to have a retirement account. I wish he understood how much money we are about to spend just to get pregnant, but I wasn't comfortable telling him. We may be telling him if this cycle doesn't work and we need a loan to help pay for another round. 

I have been feeling really nervous about starting the Lupron. I really want to start the injectables, but also am scared. I have been reading forums and blogs, and IVF doesn't always work (big surprise). I am so scared my cycle will be cancelled, or that they won't retrieve any eggs, or I will get OHSS, or the eggs won't fertilize, or they embryos won't continue to divide, or everything will go well up until the pregnancy test. It is so much money, energy, and time to put into something that may or may not work. I want to continue to be optimistic and positive, but also don't want to be shattered if it doesn't work. 

This is a good song to sum up how I have been feeling: Sitting in Limbo by Jimmy Cliff

Sitting here in limbo
Waiting for the tide turn.
Yeah, now, sitting here in Limbo,
So many things I've got to learn.
Meanwhile, they're putting up a resistance,
But I know that my faith will lead me on.

Sitting here in Limbo
Waiting for the dice to roll.
Yeah, now, sitting here in Limbo,
Still got some time to search my soul.
Meanwhile, they're putting up a resistance,
But I know that my faith will lead me on.

I don't know where life will take me,
But I know where I have been.
I don't know what life will show me,
But I know what I have seen.
Tried my hand at love and friendship,
That is past and gone.
And now it's time to move along.

Sitting here in Limbo
Like a bird ain't got a song.
Yeah, I'm sitting here in Limbo
And I know it won't be long
'Til I make my getaway, now.
Meanwhile, they're putting up a resistance,
But I know that my faith will lead me on.

I don't know where life will take me,
But I know where I have been.
I don't know what life will show me,
But I know what I have seen.
Tried my hand at love and friendship,
That is past and gone.
And now it's time to move along.

Gonna lead me on now.
Meanwhile, they're putting up resistance,
But I know that my faith will lead me on.
Sitting in Limbo, Limbo, Limbo.
Sitting in Limbo, Limbo, Limbo.
Sitting in Limbo, Limbo, Limbo.
Meanwhile, they're putting up a resistance,
But I know that my faith will lead me on.