Sunday, May 29, 2011

IVF here we come...again (sort of)

So we got the green light for an IVF cycle next month. AF arrived promptly on Friday (exactly 2 weeks after day 2 of IUI's) and I called the nurse at my clinic. At first the nurse starting listing everything we would have to do, and then I reminded her that we completed all of those steps in January. In case you don't know, we had started an IVF cycle in Jan after I learned my tubes were blocked in late October. Come to find out, the Lupron helped me to ovulate and when I went for my suppression check (ultrasound) there was a gestational sac. I did Lupron for a little over 2 weeks and that was the end of that IVF. Apparently at least one tube wasn't blocked. 

During our initial conversation the nurse said she would talk to my RE and give me a call back. She called a few hours later and gave me some tentative dates and my protocol. I will be doing the long Lupron protocol and was instructed to use some form of birth control this cycle. Here are the dates: Lupron start date June 16th, ultrasound/start stims July 1, retrieval July 12th. The only date I am going to count on in the Lupron start date. From there, I am going to roll with it. I am excited and nervous to have a plan in place and am now feeling much tighter with money. I want to do some research on ways to improve egg quality since this is a concern of mine. I am hoping there are some supplements are items I can add to my diet that will help. Anyone know of anything?

Around the homestead our garden is doing well. Below is the "map" I worked on this evening which shows everything we planted in our vegetable garden. A lot has come up from seeds, and some we planted as larger, already established plants. I will have to take a "real life" pic since it doesn't look as great as the map. 
I am so happy to have a 3 day weekend to relax. We always say weekends are too short and this one feels like a great amount of time. Only 2 weeks until our party so we are planning and working a lot on stuff around the house. I hope everyone is having a great weekend and getting as much beautiful weather as we are. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

IUI #2 CD 28

Yesterday I gave the HPT another shot. BFN as expected, so I stopped the progesterone. I was bummed on Tuesday, but it didn't really bother me much yesterday. I'm over it and over IUI's to be honest. I am now just waiting on AF and hoping she shows sometime soon. 

I've started working with this new child named Alex, and yesterday was the first time I saw him at home. I had seen him at preschool two times prior. He was just diagnosed last week with Autism and is 4 1/2. He has only been receiving therapy services since December, so he is fairly new to the system. It didn't work out with the last speech therapist and my boss (who is the occupational therapist working with him) recommended I work with him. 

Well, yesterday afternoon ended up turning into an extreme tantrum and I left feeling so upset. The first half hour went fine and although his attention was fleeting, he was pretty under control. Well, then I started talking to his Mom, and he didn't like that. He ended up (after about 20 minutes), screaming at her and hitting her repeatedly. He was so upset by the time I left nothing was going to calm him down or change his behavior. I spent the whole night feeling so sad for this mom who has to deal with this behavior regularly, and upset because I felt in over my head. She said his tantrums occur at least once a day and on some days more often. I am such a firm believer in early intervention and getting involved before behaviors reach this level. I was completely overwhelmed by the situation and spent a lot of time thinking about it. I even had trouble falling asleep last night because of it. The reality is, when you work in people's homes with children and don't have a support and problem solving team around you, it can be overwhelming as to how to deal with a situation. 
I called my boss and talked with him about it last night. He helped me to problem solve the situation. Bob is a great guy and is always really helpful when I find myself in a situation I'm not sure about. He will come to sessions and give me input if I feel I need it, and I always say he constantly thinks outside the box. Bob had been planning to see Alex today so I decided I would join for some of the time and see what their sessions were like.

The mom actually thanked me for coming back today and it went much better. I am now feeling more in control of the situation and know how not to push this child. I guess in life there are many learning experiences, but some are harder to process than others. I will only see this child until the end of the school year, but he made the children I previously thought were difficult look easy. 

Sorry if I lost your attention talking about work, but it was on my mind and was very upsetting to me. In fact, I completely forgot all about the failed IUI and was upset for an entirely different reason yesterday. 

If you stuck with me to this point, thanks. 

I am pretty sure we will be moving on to IVF next cycle. The thing that concerns me most is that I ovulated on Lupron and got pregnant the cycle we were going to do IVF. Since my RE didn't think I was ovulating, he chose to start me on day 21 assuming it wouldn't be an issue. I just don't want to wait until after I ovulate to start Lupron since when I do ovulate it is very late (that month it was on day 25ish). I will ask the nurse about it when AF shows her face (hopefully soon). Since we did all the preliminary stuff for IVF in January, there shouldn't be any additional testing needed. We will see though. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

IUI #2 CD 26 (11 DPIUI)

So I broke down and POAS this morning. I had been planning to at 10 DPIUI, by my hubby and another blogger convinced me to wait. Well, I was able to wait an extra day. After waking up to a dream about getting a BFP I went for it. Well, no second line appeared, not even a hint of one. W and I were both super bummed, but realized that with IUI's the chances are really against you for it to work (about 20% chance for success). I am planning on testing the next two days to see if anything changes, but I am pretty convinced it didn't work. This afternoon I was much more moody (PMS style).  
I have still been getting up in the middle of the night to pee, maybe now it has just become a habit. I am thinking about stopping the progesterone after tomorrow if I don't get a BFP. I don't want it to delay AF from coming if I am not pregnant. When I had the miscarriage I kept taking the progesterone leading up to my D&C to precent bleeding. I'm not sure if AF will still come on time if I continue the progesterone. 

It is crazy to think about everything we put ourselves through for just a chance to get pregnant. Appointments, blood draws, ultrasounds, injections, progesterone, side effects, and missed time at work just for a shot at success.  I don't understand how I was able to get pregnant on Lupron but can't get pregnant with injectables and IUI. I know it's not over until the red lady shows, but I can't help but feel defeated. 

Maybe my luck will change, but until then I am trying to focus on other things. We put in 13 new plants in our yard today and are busy planning for our grad/housewarming party that is in just a few short weeks. Some of the seeds we planted in our veggie garden have sprouted and the weather has been great (see, I'm trying to be positive!)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Welcome ICLW

I would like to welcome anyone stopping by for the first time. I have done ICLW a few times now and always enjoy this time of the month (much more than another time of the month.) My name is Liz and I am 27 years old. I am a speech pathologist and work with children aged birth to five. My hubby (W) is 29 and is graduating tomorrow(!!) with his doctorate in physical therapy. We starting TTC last June and were seeing a RE by August due to me requesting a hormone level check at my annual GYN appointment. I was diagnosed right away with PCOS and have gone through two laparoscopic surgeries (Oct and Feb). The second one is where I ended up losing my left tube. I had a miscarriage in Feb at 8 weeks. We haven't been on this train all that long, but the ride has been bumpy. You can read more at our journey to learn more exciting and fun facts about me.  

I am currently 8 DPIUI #2. IUI #1 was with Clomid and ended up being a bust due to dominant follicles on the left side (for me think right is right.) This cycle we tried injectables and although I was slow to respond at first (due to a low dose) we ended up with at least 2 good follicles by the time of the trigger. For this cycle we tried back to back IUI's and I am taking progesterone (good times!) I tried testing out the trigger shot on Wednesday (one week past trigger) and got a faint positive. I haven't tested since and am trying to hold out until at least 10 DPIUI. 
I am hoping this cycle works and have had a few symptoms (perhaps progesterone related or due to over thinking), and my attitude changes from day-to-day and hour-to-hour about whether it worked or not. My boobs are huge (prob progesterone related), I have had some cramping on and off (possibly progesterone related), have felt super moody (who knows maybe that's just me), have been bloated, had some lower back pain, and my face has broken out a little bit (common for me leading up to AF). I had been getting up in the middle of the night to pee but that has subsided (since the trigger is wearing off ) and last night was the first time it didn't happen. Our plan is to likely move on to IVF if this cycle is unsuccessful. 

To better get to know each other here are some questions for you to answer:

What is your most embarrassing moment related to IF? For mine read this post

If you had the chance to go back in time for 24 hours, where and when would you go? I would go back to Jackson Hole, WY to one of the best powder days during one of my ski-bum winters. 

Do you shampoo first in the shower or soap? I always shampoo first

What is the number one song played on your ipod? Mine is Long December by Counting Crows

Monday, May 16, 2011

What goes up....

Makes a huge mess of your underwear and leads to embarrassing moments. Well, me and my progesterone have been getting along fine until today when it lead to some embarrassment. I was pretty busy all day with work and didn't get the chance to stop at a restroom as I was running late to see a few clients. I asked at one house to use the bathroom and they were fine with it. I realized I needed to change my panty liner but didn't really want to leave the old one in their garbage in case they wondered about it later (they probably wouldn't even notice, but I guess I am weird that way.) Well I wrapped the old one up in the new packaging and put it in my pocket. I didn't really think to take it out right away and went on with my day. 

I got to the next house and it was a babysitter's house. I have been going here about 3x's/week for about a year and a half so know the provider well. I got my stuff out and we were sitting at the table when Tami (the babysitter) said "I think this fell out of your bag." Well, it wasn't something I immediately recognized so I was like, "what the heck is that?" I realized as soon as she brought it closer to me exactly what it was and got embarrassed as I shoved it back in my pocket. She made a joke about it and was fine, but I felt flustered to say the least.
I have had many more moments that ranked higher on the most embarrassing list, but this wasn't a great end to my day. The top on the list are the time W and I were "caught" by a canoer having sex while on a camping trip, and the time I spent the night at a college friend's house and his dog brought my tampon wrapper to the dinner table only to have his Dad hold it up and wonder aloud what it was to everyone.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I missed you

Progesterone that is. Well actually, not at all. I am starting to think I was crazy for requesting progesterone with this IUI, but when I was pregnant my levels were always in the low-average range. When I asked my RE about this he said it could have been because the Lupron suppressed everything. I did not miss the leaky feeling or constant use of panty liners. Oh well though, a pretty minor complaint.
When I woke up yesterday my boobs were super sore. Most likely it was a result of ovulation since it was before I had started the Progesterone. I have had some cramping on and off the past day or so and my stomach has been off. I'm not sure if that is the Progesterone of Metformin. I've also been getting up in the middle on the night to pee. It is amazing how the trigger shot gives you pregnancy symptoms. I'm sure this will subside as the HCG works its way out of my system. 

We planted most of our garden yesterday and put in carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, winter squash, red green and orange bell peppers, jalapenos, oregano, parsley, basil, rosemary, cilantro, melons, yellow and green string beans, eggplant, 3 varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, red and yellow onions, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and lettuce. We also planted some sunflowers and marigolds. It was a LOT of work, but we are hoping it all pays off and we have some delicious veggies in a few months. We still need to plant our potatoes and peas and will do that as soon as the weather cooperates. I did a lot of squatting to plant rather than kneeling since the ground was so wet, but my hamstrings and inner thighs are KILLING me today. Walking fast or doing stairs has been a little painful.
We went and saw the movie Bridesmaids today and it was really funny. I had some gift certificates to the movies we have been meaning to use and it was nice to have a complete distraction from the 2ww. I will be really busy with work the next few weeks and we have W's graduation on Sunday. Saturday my boss has this event at the museum in Syracuse that is a sensory friendly day at the museum for children who have sensory issues. We are planning to do that Saturday and then have graduation on Sunday. Our party is coming up in a few weeks and we really want to paint our mud room (newly renamed the sun room) that W tiled last weekend. I should post some pics of the updates around the house. The 2ww is always good for house projects, especially with an upcoming graduation/housewarming party!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

IUI #2 CD 14 and 15 (back-to-back IUI's)

This month we did 2 IUI's rather than just one. The actual IUI's were Thursday and Friday. I'm not sure how much of a difference doing back to back IUI's makes, but it makes me feel like we really covered our bases. The first day when I picked up the sample from the andrology lab I asked about the count. don't remember the count but do know it had 95% motility. The guy actually said to me "I don't know what you are feeding him, but he is full of sperm." All I could do was laugh in response. 

The second day the nurse talked to me for quite a while after. It was a little awkward to have a conversation without pants on and lying on your back, but I'm sure she is used to it. I was able to ask a lot of questions, none all that important, but it was nice that she took the time. The procedures went fine and I had my ipod so I was able to relax and listen to music after. A nurse and the receptionist wished me good luck when I left yesterday. 

Yesterday I had lots of cramping most of the afternoon. I am amazed by how much EWCM there has been, I have been swimming in it! I will start progesterone tonight and do it 2 x's/day. Like the good 'ole days with my friend Endometrin. 

I am feeling really optimist about this cycle (who isn't at 1 DPO?) Now we are on to the 2WW. I am trying to convince my hubby that we should paint our bedroom, but so far have not been successful. We will see. We have to get our veggie garden planted, but it is raining today. It helps to have things to do and distractions to make the time pass more quickly. Any good ideas? What do you do to keep busy during your 2WW? 

Friday, May 13, 2011

IUI #2 CD 13 (Trigger)

Today was a really great day. The weather was fantastic, my appointment went well, we got the green light to trigger, and my hubby got offered a job!!!! 

The weather has been absolutely amazing and beautiful all week and I have felt so recharged and enthusiastic towards work. I forgot how much I loved learning new things (I know, I'm a dork) and the course I went to last Fri and Sat was fantastic. I learned a LOT and was able to look at my clients differently this week and apply some new ideas and strategies. I graduated with my master's 2 years ago and realized how different it is to learn new techniques and ideas while actually have clients to apply it to. While in school you learn so much theoretical info but don't really have anything to apply it to. Now I have a full caseload and had a new lens to look at everything under this week. 

I am meeting with one of my bosses and two other therapists (our little "team") on Friday to share with them some of the tips and info I learned. I am hoping to get some younger children on my caseload in the future to do more feeding therapy with them. I also started with a little guy who just turned 2 this week and is definitely on the autism spectrum. He doesn't respond to his name, follow any directions and rarely makes eye contact. I am excited to have a new little puzzle to figure out as well as a new challenge.  Ask me about this in another month and we will see if I am equally enthusiastic.
I got the word today that we will trigger tonight around 9:30. My estradiol level is somewhere in the 400 range (the nurse didn't have my chart right in front of her when I reached her) and we have at least one really great follicle on the right side. I will go in tomorrow and the next day for IUI's. I joked and asked W if he was excited to watch some porn tomorrow. 

In other great news, W met with the HR person at a local nursing home today. They offered him a full-time position and he has until Friday to let them know. I think he is crazy, but he really wants to work in geriatrics. They pay isn't amazing, but it is an offer and is 7 minutes from home. He would be able to start shortly after graduation and this would be such a weight lifted off of me financially. I had to remind him today how proud I am of all of his accomplishments over the past 3 years. Also, he is doing a clinic with kids right now and was at the school where I see a little guy this afternoon and was able to join me for the second half of a session today. It was so much fun to see him with this kid and we were all laughing and having a great time. 

Anyone have any good replies to sperm compliments? I never know how to respond when they compliment my husband's sperm to me. I also just found this amazingly fun game

Monday, May 9, 2011

CD 11 (Increasing meds)

Here are the updates from this mornings appointment:
I am now up to 12 follicles. On the right the largest are 17x11 and 10x6. On the left the largest are 13x8, 10x8 and 10x6. My estradiol level has risen to 172.5, but is still considered low. My RE upped my dose of Gonal-F to 112.5 and I go back on Wednesday.

I actually asked the ultrasound tech today how she is able to keep track of all of the follicles and she said that they all look different to her. I joked as she then measured another and said, "I think you already measured that one."

I headed off to work and went to a preschool to see some kids. In one of the classes they were working on something and the little girl I see wanted to stay to finish before I pulled her out. She was making a "numbers book" and on each page it had a number and the child had to recognize the number and then draw that many cycles. As she was drawing her circles all I could think was how much it looked like my ovaries. All different sizes and shapes, but all circles.

I really thought we were going to trigger tonight and was a little disappointed that wasn't the case. On to Wednesday to see how things are progressing. Does the waiting ever end??

Saturday, May 7, 2011

IUI #2 CD 8 (double digits)

I'm updating a day late, but here were the results of my appointment on Friday. I arrived for blood work at 7:45 and was then ushered down to the ultrasound room. The tech actually said to me "you know the drill" rather than giving me any instructions. 

We hit the double digits on Friday in terms on number of ultrasounds to date and follicles. 

The nurse was out sick so I got a call from "the man himself" (my RE). I have to say, I am much happier about the amount of support and guidance I am receiving this cycle compared to last. Also, instead of dreading appointments, I actually am starting to look forward to them. 

Here is what my RE said: 
The good: We have 10 follicles, but many under 1 cm at this point. The largest is at 1.4 and the next closest is .9 x .9. We are continuing to see good consistent growth.

The bad: My estradiol levels are not rising as quickly as would be expected. On tuesday (after 2 days of stims) they were at 60.1. On Friday (after 5 days of stims) they were at 74.2. I have to admit, I am concerned about this. He said that sometimes people are slow initially and then they pick up. I am hoping that is going to be me. I think he said something about my ovaries still "recruiting" more follicles rather than maturing. He did not think it would be a good idea to up the dosage (from 75 IU's) since I would then be a high risk for OHSS and we are trying to avoid that. 

I'm not sure what to think. I was feeling really great and positive until I consulted Dr. Google last night and read the levels really should increase about 50% over 2 days. This is not a good sign. I am hoping this weekend the levels rise and everything looks good on Monday. The good news is that the dominant follicle is definitely on the right side this month and we have a much better shot than last month. I am trying to be hopeful and not worry, but it's not always that easy. 

My RE said we would ideally have 2 follicles between 1.7 and 1.9 and would be able to trigger. I just hope my estradiol levels pick it up a little bit. I don't understand how I can have so many follicles yet such a low E2 number. 

I go back on Monday for repeat blood work and ultrasound. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

IUI #2 CD 6 (sick)

Yup, I have an ear infection. I was resisting going to the doctor all week, but decided this afternoon my ear wasn't going to clear out the fluid on its own. It was a little difficult disclosing all of my current meds to an unknown nurse, and she didn't know what Gonal-F was so I had to explain. She also asked me if I was diabetic due to the Metformin and when I told her I wasn't she asked me why I was taking it. All in all, no biggie. I left with some antibiotics and filled it this afternoon.
I am hoping this will help me feel better since I have been off all week. Hoping the amoxicillin doesn't interfere with the Gonal-F, but my nurse said I was fine to take anything at this point. My main concern is that it runs 10 days and I might be PUPO at that point. Any input?

Yay, more meds!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

IUI #2 CD 5 (ultrasound)

I had my appointment this morning. I dragged my sick butt out of bed early and got on the road. Well, about 5 minutes into my drive I got pulled over... boo! He asked for my license and registration as they usually do and a minute later he held up a card and said, "Is this your license?" Apparently I handed him my bank card. That shows how clearly I was thinking. He then asked where I was going and I told him an appointment. He was quick in looking up my info and came back and told me to slow down and let me go without a ticket. I was amazed he didn't give me a ticket because I was going 46 in a 30 MPH zone. I think I assumed it was 40. This was definitely a sign my day was going to improve.

I arrived early and was taken in for blood work. The nurse who did my IUI and answers all of my questions drew my blood. I looked at her and said "wow, you do it all don't you?" I then had an ultrasound and waited for the phone call this afternoon with further info.

The call occurred earlier than normal but the news was fantastic. I have 3 follicles on each side and the lead follies were on the right...yay!!! I had one that measured 9x6 and one at 7x6 on the right side. My estradiol level was 60.1. She said to continue the meds at 75 IU's/night and to come in Friday for another appointment. Things are looking much better for this cycle so far.

Monday, May 2, 2011

IUI #2 CD 4

Injection this evening - check
Feeling like crap - check
doggie diarrhea on our upstairs carpet - check

I woke up around midnight to my hubby coughing and the light on in the other room. I asked what was going on and he said our dog came upstairs and had diarrhea all over our carpet. He was scrubbing away in the other room, and when I woke up this morning it didn't look too hot in there. Thankfully, he was able to go and rent a steam cleaner this afternoon and the rug is in much better shape now. It's not even noticable anymore. I was getting worried we would have to replace the carpet, but I don't think that will be necessary.

I hadn't been feeling great this past weekend, but this morning I felt the worst. My throat has been bothering me, but I woke up around 6 with intense ear pain. I got the heating pad and that helped some, but my ear is still plugged now. I ended up staying home and resting. I had cancelled my first few kids of the day and then got up to shower and make breakfast and realized how awful I was feeling. I am hoping today was the worst and that I will start to feel better and be up for a full day of work tomorrow. I don't usually get sick despite being around lots of kids and sickness. In the past 3 weeks I have come down with 2 separate colds. I'm not exactly sure why but it could be that W is currently working with kids as well. I think my immune system can only handle so many germs. I didn't go to the doctor and am hoping the fluid drains from my ear without antibiotics. I hate to take more drugs right now. 

While looking at the calendar today I was amazed to write in W's graduation. It almost doesn't seem real since we have been waiting on this for so long (a 3 year doctorate program plus 2 years of prerequisite classes.) We will know by the time he is done with this clinical whether this round worked. I am hopeful and can't wait to clap the loudest when he walks across the stage! Now we just need to get our evites out for the party.

Appointment and ultrasound tomorrow. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

IUI #2 CD3 (first shot)

I took this title theme from Krista and have been thinking of her today. She found out her FET didn't work after her first cycle that started in January. She has been on a long journey to this point already.

 I started my Gonal-F this evening with 75 IU's. I didn't realize how much Gonal-F we actually had since it has been sitting in the back and bottom of our fridge for about 5 months. We have 3 900 pens and 1 300.

We actually had a "practice pen" that I was given during my IVF training. W practiced on a grapefruit since it was going to be different than holding a small syringe like Lupron and Ovidrel. It was hard to push it in, but he figured it out and did a great job with the shot. It didn't sting or get red or anything. So far so good (hard to mess it up at this point).

I have an appointment scheduled for Tuesday at 7:45 so we will see how things are going. It is going to be a busy day with getting up early and driving into Syracuse along with 2 meetings for work. Needless to say, I won't be making much money that day.

On Friday and Saturday this week I will be going to a continuing education course for work. I am looking forward to it and hoping to add some goodies to my "bag of tricks". The topic is feeding therapy through a sensory motor approach.

Happy May Day

I don't really know what May Day ism and when I think of it I think of a distress call, but happy May Day! I can't believe it is May already and spring has definitely sprung around here. The trees are all in bloom, the grass is green, and flowers are aplenty. It is amazing how fast it happened, we just needed a few warm days. 

I appreciate all of the feedback from my post on Friday about when to take the gonal-f. The reason I didn't call my clinic is because they are not open on the weekend, and my first shot is tonight. I am planning to do it around 7 and hoping for the best. My hubby is a pro at the little syringes at this point, but that big pen will take some getting used to. I am looking forward to starting tonight and much more hopeful for this cycle. 

My Dad came out yesterday and we worked on some gardening. Since we have an acre lot, we have a lot we could do. We went to the store and as a housewarming present he bought us a ton of bulbs, seeds, a magnolia tree!!, some herbs, fertilizer, etc. He also brought out some plants from his garden including catnip. We were busy, busy working until 8:15 planting last night. I was sad he didn't stay the night, but we got a lot accomplished. We put in a walk way a few weeks ago (an entire weekend project) and we added some plants along there. Here are some pics of our recent landscaping projects:

This was our walkway before. It would get extremely muddy when it rained, so we found stepping stones in another part of the yard and moved them here. See the big tree to the left? Can you say LOTS of roots below the ground. W became a pro in no time with the axe. 
Here is is with the stones and newly planted items alongside. 

We also worked on this flower bed last weekend which already had the daffodils growing in it. It also had a ton of coal which we raked out. 

Yesterday we worked on this flower bed. We put down the plastic and plan to mulch when the bulbs pop up. Growing there will be calla lilies, beebalm in numerous colors, stargazer lilies, iris, peonies in three different colors, and day lilies.
With plastic down and no mulch yet. Not exactly instantly gratifying. 
We also tilled and fenced in an area for our veggie garden. 
Today we planted the Magnolia tree:

I know all of our house improvements aren't extremely exciting, but those are the updates in my life. I have been feeling pretty crappy between my period coming and having a little cold. I usually don't get sick despite work with little kids, but in the last month I have gotten two different minor colds. Last night my throat was killing me and my neck was super sore (still is today). I am hoping it feels better tomorrow. Also, the Metformin is definitely having it's "effect", but nothing too bad. So far it is tolerable.