Monday, January 30, 2012

IVF #2 CD 12 Trigger and Roller Coaster Emotions

The good news is my coasting and using Cetrotide seemed to work. My estradiol levels was much lower today and I was given the green light to trigger. I am so glad we are in the final stretch. 

We spent the weekend relaxing and I started to calm down about OHSS. When I didn't move on the couch, I felt great. When I got moving around I was really full and uncomfortable. By Sunday night some of the fullness had resided and I was confident things were looking up. 

This morning's appointment went fine. The NP really scared the crap out of me about OHSS and said if I were a "risk taker" she would suggest I continue with the trigger. If I were "more conservative" it might be best to withhold the trigger and cancel. She said most people do take the risk and continue with the trigger. The morning went by slowly as I waited to hear. 

My follicles had continued great growth. I had 2x13 mm, 3x14 mm,  2x15 mm, 1x16 mm, 2x17 mm, 4x18 mm, 3x19 mm, 1x20 mm, and 1x24 mm. Estradiol was 1215. 

So then I spent the afternoon worrying that it dropped too low. When the nurse called and told me the levels and that I should trigger I asked whether it was a problem they dropped so much. She said "that's what we wanted." When I asked whether I should do any more Gonal-F she said no. 

I also got a prescription for Dostonex to help prevent OHSS. I start that tonight with the trigger. They will also put me on Lovenox which doesn't start until after the retrieval. 

How can one go from fear of too high of numbers to too low of numbers in 2 days? I think the most important thing is that the follicles had continued growth and still look good.  I consulted Dr. Google and found this: 
"If you started cetrotide just before the estradiol drop it may simply be due to this; cetrotide and ganirelix will artificially lower your estradiol level and doesnt actually have any clinical relevance. (In other words the estradiol level becomes unreliable as a gauge of follicle size or growth when one uses cetrotide or ganirlelix). In such antagonist cycles you must go by the follicle sizes and their development in order to know when the stim is adequate, and most importantly, when to trigger with hCG."
So trigger is tonight at 9:30 and I go in for retrieval at 9:00 on Wednesday. I am so ready for retrieval it's not even funny. Man, IVF is such a ridiculous roller coaster!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

IVF #2 CD 10 Scared and Coasting

I had another appointment this morning at 9:15. When she started the ultrasound the NP commented on how big my ovaries were. On the right side she just kept clicking and clicking, measuring away. The left side didn't take as long, but there was still a lot of measuring. 

From what I can tell there are 10 measurable follicles on the left: 1x10 mm, 1x11 mm, 3x12 mm, 2x13 mm,  2x 14 mm, and 1x15 mm. On the right there are 10 as well: 1x10 mm, 1x11 mm, 2x12 mm, 1x13 mm, 3x14 mm, 2x15 mm. To be honest, on the database this isn't any more room than for 10 on each side. There may be more but I'm not sure. 

The NP had to call my RE to get his opinion on what to do. I am not to take any more Gonal-F or Menopur. Only Lupron and tomorrow night I take the dose of Cetrotide that they gave me. W has been joking that the 900 pen of Gonal-F that were purchased is going to be our golden ticket. 
Now on to the scary part. My estradiol increased to 7672. Cue Liz freaking out. I go back Monday morning and am hoping my levels decrease some and that I am able to trigger. 

I'm trying to up my protein and electrolyte intake already and plan to continue (thank you awesome commenters for your advice). I had to switch to Vitamin Water because the Gatorade was just too sugary. 

I've definitely got a cold now. Stuffed up nose and head, sore throat, and slight cough. It isn't helping me to feel better about everything. I love immunosuppressant drugs. 

I took a nice long nap this afternoon and am trying to take it easy but I'm scared. I can't believe how high my estrogen is. I'm starting to come to terms with the fact that we may not be transferring our embryos this cycle. I need to do what is best for my health and safety and I realize that may be it. I'm just hoping for some good eggs and embryos to freeze if necessary. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

IVF #2 CD 9 Freaked Out

I had another ultrasound and more blood taken today. The appointment was at 6:45 and W joined me. It was so nice to have him there and to drive. To be honest, I felt horrible when I woke up. I started Dexamethasone yesterday and think this was part of it. 

I had gotten up last night around 3:30 or 4 to pee and had a really hard time falling back asleep. When I did I had horrible dreams. I was super late for my appointment in my dream and started off by getting a ride from my Mom in a crappy car. Then I was driving a rental van with a bunch of people and got stuck in really bad traffic. Then I was running and happened to be running more or less in circles. I woke up feeling incredibly nauseous and anxious. I really thought I was going to throw up but ended up being ok. W drove this morning so I was able to listen to music and recline in the seat. 

I had a much better dream the other night that I was riding my dog all around town. I had to hold on to her collar, but she was definitely larger than life in the dream. I also dreamt that I was pushing an empty baby stroller. 

I've been feeling really full and uncomfortable. Lots of action down there for sure. Today I really started feeling nauseous and my appetite wasn't very good. I've also started getting a bit of a sore throat and feel like I might be getting sick. A lot of the kids I work with are sick right now, but I'm hoping for the best. 

My blood pressure was a little better today because I had a nurse I like a bit more. When the RN did the ultrasound she commented on how many follicles there were but how it was a "great IVF cycle" since I had so many follicles so close in size. Her first reaction was "Oh, wow!" When I told her what my estradiol was on Wednesday, she said to expect a call with a change in instructions this afternoon. I left feeling really optimistic and positive about everything. 

On the left side they measured 8 follicles. 2x9 mm, 3x10 mm, and 3x12 mm. On the right they measured 9 follicles. 2x9 mm, 2x10 mm, 2x11 mm, 1x12 mm, and 2x13 mm. 

Then I got the call around 12:30. Yeah, my estradiol is 5006. Holy $#!*. I was told to take a much smaller dose on Gonal-F tonight (37.5 instead of 150) and to skip the Menopur. They want to see me again tomorrow and were talking about giving me something else (Cetrotide?) to help reduce to estrogen levels. 

I'm totally freaked out and worried about OHSS. I know there are more follicles they haven't measured and my estrogen is scary high. It jumped from 1710 to 5006 in two days. I'm scared. I'm really hoping it goes down a bit and that were are able to do a fresh transfer. 

Hoping for better news tomorrow. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

IVF #2 CD 7 Another Day, Another Co-Pay

I had an appointment this morning. My blood pressure and pulse continue to be a concern for me at the office as they are both rising each time. Just to be sure I mentioned it to the NP and later took my BP two different times during the day at a local pharmacy. Normal both times. My fight or flight reaction is in high gear when I go for my appointments, but I can't seem to control it. At least I know it's only there. 

The NP was able to measure seven follicles on each ovary.  On the left I had 1x11 mm, 3x10 mm, and 3x8 mm. On the right I had 3x11 mm and 4x9 mm.

The NP doing the scan mentioned that they hadn't changed much since Monday. This got me worried and I checked online every half hour or so until my estradiol was posted. I was worried it wasn't going to go up enough, but it was 1710. After 6 days on stims. I stay on the same dosage of everything and go back Friday. 

The headaches are mostly gone but this afternoon my stomach was upset. I went and had acupuncture yesterday for the first time and was able to take a nice nap. I haven't found the Circle + Bloom to be as helpful this time around as I can't seem to stay focused on it. My mind wanders a lot despite my best efforts.  

I guess I would rather be reading my Kindle. I am SO CLOSE to finishing The Help and it is great! 

Today was the first time we have paid for Gonal-F. I got an initial allotment from the Compassionate Care program and was able to coast on those for a while. Last cycle I had some donated. Today? I shelled out $911.00 for 1 Gonal-F 900 pen and the trigger shot. Ouch!! I guess I'm getting off pretty lucky though. My bank account doesn't agree.

Monday, January 23, 2012

IVF #2 CD 5 Another Day, Another Headache

I had an appointment this morning and guess who actually came? W, that's who! It was nice to have his company in the car, as we waited (for a freakin' hour), and on the drive home. It wasn't as nice to compete for the bathroom this morning. Usually the wait is much shorter at the office, but it seems like when he comes for appointments it takes longer. I really think it was just that it was Monday morning and they were busy. I told him it was sensitivity training to see how much of a real inconvenience it all is. I'm letting him off the hook for Wednesday but not Friday. 

The ultrasound went fine and the RN measured 6 follciles around 8-10. When I asked her how many there were she said "a lot." She also said it was a good thing we were doing IVF and not an IUI based on the number of follicles. 

I hate when they take blood and put the gauze and pressure on my arm when the needle is still in. I have a needle in my vein, please don't push hard on it. 

My estradiol came back today at 639. During my last cycle I didn't have my first monitoring appointment until the next day (CD 6), and my estradiol was 249. 

I've been having headaches (as my blog title implies) almost every day. Yesterday it was pretty bad and the Tylenol didn't do anything to touch it. I know it's just part of it, but headaches that last for days aren't fun. I'm also starting to feel my ovaries a lot more. They are definitely getting busy down there.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, a video I took this evening of my dog Togie. She is such a big baby (as you can see when she dodges the bottle I threw to her) but talks a big game. I haven't given her a bottle in a long time and it has been an amusing evening.

video

Sunday, January 22, 2012

IVF #2 CD 3 First Tears

On friday night we went out for a nice dinner. Since my shots fell around the time we were at dinner I had to excuse myself and go to the bathroom to do them. I bent the Lupron needle slightly and realized I probably should bring extras for times like this. Everything went fine and we continued our dinner. 
My shots ready to go on the back of the toilet, so sanitary!
I was so tired on Friday that I napped after work, napped after dinner, and then fell asleep just fine around 11. 

Last night W was watching the Syracuse basketball game. I gave him a 5 minute warning for my shots and he didn't seem very interested or concerned. He then got excited because he remembered the TV upstairs and ran upstairs to turn the game on up there. Usually he grabs my meds from the fridge to help, but no go. There were about 5 minutes left in the game and SU was losing for the first time this season.

 I became upset to say the least and told him not to worry about it (hoping he would get the hint that he really should worry about it.) He said fine and went downstairs to watch the rest of the game. 

At that point I was really upset. I don't need him to do the shots, but it's nice to have him in the room for emotional support. Of course I had to finish one pen of Gonal-F and open another so that meant an extra shot. I also couldn't seem to get a pocket of air out of the syringe for the Menopur and became frustrated with it. 

W came upstairs half-way through this ordeal and I locked him out since I was upset. Then the tears started flowing. I told him I felt like he wasn't invested in this process and wished he could just be there to support me. I told him it would be nice to have him at some monitoring appointments since he's never even offered. The tears continued for a while and we talked, eventually reaching an agreement. He told me that this IVF cycle is more important than anything else right now and promised to show that to me. Hopefully it will be true. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wow, I Feel Smart

This morning my car didn't start right with my car starter. I tried it again and it the engine tried to turn over about 4 times and still didn't work. I ended up trying the old fashioned way (with the key) and it took a few attempts before it worked. I think it was because my gas was low and it was 15 degrees. 

I headed to the first gas station. I got out of my car to pump the gas and couldn't get the nozzle to go into my tank. I was frustrated and assumed it was frozen shut. The cap came off just fine but there's a little door-like closure on the actual tank that I couldn't seem to get past. 

I became so frustrated I asked these two older guys at the pump next to me. They came over and immediately solved the problem. Yeah, I was trying to put diesel gas into my tank. It wasn't frozen, the nozzle was too large to protect people from doing this. 

 W wanted to tell his co-workers but I was too embarrassed. Im hoping I was just thrown off because my car didn't want to start and this won't be a repeat. TGIF!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's On

Lesson of the day? I need to chill the f#$% out! On Monday when I went in for my appointment the NP told me I would get a period. As the next few days progressed and nothing showed I started to stress out. I was actually thinking and wishing that someone I spent time with would have their period so maybe it would rub off on me. I found out that my good friend C had hers yesterday as we drove together to a meeting for work. Yeah, that didn't seem to help. 

My hubby was happy he was getting lots of action in my hopes that it would help entice AF. When I woke up this morning and it still hadn't arrived I was really getting stressed about my appointment. The RN today told me my lining was so thin I would likely not get a period. Humph! Not to mention my blood pressure was 145 over something. Yeah, it's never been that high. I still don't get how my lining shrunk without any change, but oh well.

I was given the Ok to start stims tonight. 150 IU's of Gonal-F, 75 IU of Menopur, and 5 units of Lupron. 3 shots of fun. Then this afternoon I started spotting so who the heck knows. 

I've realized why I will probably gain weight while doing IVF. I have been getting myself breakfast on my monitoring mornings. I've also decided that coffee is delicious again and have been drinking some here and there. I had completely cut it out for months and just now have been drinking it again. Oh well, it isn't going to kill me. 

Menopur isn't fun. It burns like I've heard everyone say. I think I will be a chemist by the time this is all over. 

We booked a vacation to Mexico tonight for the last week of March. I'm super excited but wish it was a little sooner. The week we wanted to go was no longer available, so oh well. It's going to be amazing. It's an adults only resort so it will be nice to not be subjected to tons of little kids. As if I don't do that to myself every day at work. At least they're cute!

I go back Monday morning to see how things are progressing. Until then I jab myself with needles and ride out the side effects. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'm a Middle of the Day Kind of Person

Some people are morning people and some are night owl's. I'm a middle of the day kind of person. 

6:45 for an appointment is just too early for me. When the alarm went off at 5:00 I wanted to sleep for 5 more hours. I got to my appointment on time and everything went well. My lining was at 6.5 so they want me to get a period before starting stims.

We discussed whether I would use Menopur this cycle or not and came to the conclusion that I will. They even had a box they gave me so that was convenient. The NP said it helps improve egg quality and since my last IVF cycle was unsuccessful it would be good to mix it up. 

I go back Thursday for repeat blood work and another ultrasound. I will start stims that night. The monitoring appointments are unfortunately not part of the package price. I have a co-pay for each one (which is way better than the $320 actual cost), but $25.00 each time is going to add up. 

More crazy dreams around here. I dreamt one night that at the end of stims I had welts at every injection site. I also had a tease of a dream about a positive pregnancy test (after getting up to pee multiple times that night). Last night involved a plan crash but we have been watching LOST lately so I'm sure that's where it came from. 

Went to a staff party for W's work Saturday. I had no idea it was going to be so formal and we both felt way underdressed. About 90% of the women were wearing dresses. Oh well, the cream puffs were delicious. I guess I need to reconsider my definition of dressing up.

Hung out with friends Friday and Sunday nights. Both friends have kids but enjoyed snuggling with Max (7 months) and singing songs and playing with E (17 months).

Had a pregnancy announcement from a family I work with. It didn't hurt at all. I'm not jealous of their situation.

Took a nice long nap while W cooked dinner last night after my early morning appointment. I'm really starting to get excited about everything. Come on Thursday!

Friday, January 13, 2012

They Hit

Side effects. Always after 3 days on any medication I start to feel side effects. I have had a dull headache since Wednesday night right before bed. I woke up yesterday and it lingered all day. I was able to take a nap while hubby was cooking dinner so that was nice but when I woke up the headache was still there. 

Crazy dreams! This morning I was dreaming about a giant horse kicking and biting me in the face when W woke me up. It was scary! I also dreamt I was in my freshman college dorm. Little things pop up during the day that remind me of parts of a crazy dream. 

I'm feeling a little spacey and forgetful. I will start a sentence and not be able to finish. Makes me look smart. 

Hot flashes. I'm usually pretty cold but yesterday when I asked someone "Is it hot in here" and they replied, "no, I'm actually cold" I knew something was up. I drove with my windows down for part of the day. 

My boobs are getting a little sore and uncomfortable. 

I'm craving crap food. Not sure if this is just me though. I can't seem to consistently make good choices. I was at a pre-kindergarten class yesterday and it was someone's birthday. Those cupcakes looked too good to pass up. Funfetti with whipped cream frosting. Boy did I regret that one. I don't ever eat that much sugar so it shocked me a bit with a super intense headache and stomachache. It was pretty delicious in the moment though. 

We have a bunch of snow on the ground this morning and are supposed to get a few more inches today. I wish I could just stay home and drink hot chocolate. 

3 more BCP's and 4 days until my suppression check. Is this really happening? Hope everyone has a safe Friday the 13th. I have a friend who has her beta for IVF #3 today. I hope she gets good news. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Awesome Sauce

What makes the sauce so awesome? The fact that my thyroid is fine, that's what. 
On Friday I had my ultrasound. No big surprise the tech didn't want to give me any info. 

On Thursday, Friday, and Monday I called my physician's office and asked for the full thyroid blood panel. When I called Monday and they told me my doc would return my call that morning I was super annoyed when I didn't hear back. I went ahead and started the Lupron because I wasn't going to let the unknown issues with my thyroid delay me. 

The great news is he called this afternoon and told me no further testing was needed since the ultrasound revealed my thyroid was fine. I am so relieved and happy that I can continue on with the cycle full steam ahead with complete confidence. 

Dr. Google had freaked me out a little bit after my extensive searches. 

Today was day 2 of Lupron. I stop BCP's on Sunday night and have my suppression check on Monday morning bright and early. I don't usually start my Monday mornings until 9:00 about 10 minutes from my house. My appointment is at 6:45 about 45 minutes from my house. Help me please. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Not Sure

I have an appointment tomorrow for an ultrasound to check my thyroid. I've been trying to get my doctor to order a full panel for thyroid testing, but he wasn't in today so it hasn't happened yet. I will call the office again tomorrow morning and request it again. 

My TSH levels were 1.07. I've found anything between .3 and 3.0 to be within the normal range. I just don't get it. Smack dab in the middle. I know I had them tested previously and they were normal as well. 

I called my fertility clinic today to ask them about the thyroid thing. They told me it probably wouldn't be the best to do an IVF cycle if my thyroid is all out of whack. I'm supposed to start Lupron on Monday and I have a suppression check in 11 days. I asked if they were to put me on Synthroid how long it would take to work. They said at least 6 weeks. This means potentially delaying another IVF cycle. Delays are not something I have dealt with well in the past, I'm not gonna lie. 

I'm so frustrated! I really need to be able to make an informed decision about whether to continue with this cycle or not before Monday, but I'm not sure that is going to happen. I can't make a decision based on my emotions alone. 

I don't understand how I've been to 2 RE's and neither of them have mentioned my thyroid. I've already done an IVF cycle and don't think my thyroid has anything to do with it failing. Yes, I've had a miscarriage, but I'm pretty sure that was due to low progesterone levels and not my thyroid. 

I've done some (understatement) research and found that the most likely thing is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. I don't really have any of the symptoms and found that treatment is controversial. Some think if your TSH isn't elevated there is no reason to treat it. Others show that treatment helps. 

I just feel lost and not prepared to handle another delay. I know if there is a problem that needs to be dealt with it is best to do before cycling again. It's just hard to accept that and wait another couple of months. Hopefully I can get some kind of answers tomorrow regarding the ultrasound. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thyroid

I have to get yearly physical for work along with a tb test. I made an appointment and went today. Apparently I called the on-call place rather than my primary physician. When I showed up at 5 and the office said it closed at 4 I was confused. Someone let me in since they saw me outside and my physician said he'd do the physical since it would be quick. I couldn't thank him enough for doing that.

Everything was fine until he looked at me and said, "What's going on with that goiter?" huh? When I heard the word goiter I was instantly transported to disturbing images. He proceeded to feel my thyroid and told me it was enlarged.

The thing that surprised me most is that I see an endocrinologist and no mention of this has ever been made. I told him I had my tsh levels checked last week and they were in the normal range. He asked me to call or bring in those results and said he wants to refer me for an ultrasound of my thyroid.

I just hope we can get it all sorted out. Anyone have any experiences with an enlarged thyroid and normal tsh hormone levels?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Grief

It was a long weekend with at least 3 hours of travel for 4 days straight. We started by heading to my sister's place for Thursday night. We exchanged Christmas gifts and hung out. She watched our dogs as we headed to NJ the following day. 

On Friday there was a service at the community where W's grandma lived. It was short but it was nice to be able to see everyone. A reception followed and then we headed back to her place to look through books and other items. The whole family went to dinner that night. 

Saturday was the funeral. It was a long service and it's been a while since I've been to church. W and I had talked while driving about how his grandmother now knew about our miscarriage. It was a nice to think she was with her husband again (who passed about 10 years ago) and our baby that didn't make it. W also said "hopefully she'll put in a good word for us." I hope so. 

As I sat there thinking of her life and the love she shared, I felt the grief around me. It has been the first time I have been surrounded by grief and where it felt OK to feel sad. 

Once I allowed myself to feel sad, it was overwhelming. I thought of my conversation with W and of our little one who was now hanging out with his/her great-grandmother. I thought of all my blogger friends who lost their babies far too soon. I know that death is a part of life, but I guess it's never easy. 

In a sense it was nice to be able to feel free to be sad. I don't think I allow myself this enough. On the other hand I was amazed by how overwhelming a feeling it was. 

W's grandmother will be greatly missed.