Monday, April 30, 2012

Expired Exschmired and a Winner

I had my first monitoring appointment today. W came along so that was nice. The table I was on for the ultrasound decided not to work and raise up so I felt like I was lying on the floor for the exam. It was hard to read the screen but it's nice that my clinic has an online database where I can find all of the info. 

I had gotten a message back from the NP as I was pulling into the clinic this morning that the expired Gonal-F was likely no big deal and that the expirations are just a guideline. Can you imagine how much money we all waste by strictly following those guidelines? It blows my mind! 

My estradiol level came back today at 469 which is in between what I had for IVF #1 (11 eggs retrieved) and IVF #2 (28 eggs retrieved). That's what I was hoping for. What I didn't expect is that I have more follicles this time at this point than I did last time.  I had 4 on the left side (2 x 7 mm, 2 x 9 mm) and 6 on the right side (3 x 7 mm, 2 x 8 mm, and 1 x 9 mm). I am happy with these results. I'm always a little slow to get started, but it's good to know I am chugging along. 

So for my giveaway I picked a winner last night with a random number generator. I assigned every comment a number based on what order it came in and the winner was #4 Josey from My Cheap Version of Therapy. Email me and let me know which cover you would like! 

Also, JM from Meier Madness got the crap-tastic news today that FET #2 didn't work. My heart breaks for her so I hope you can all find some time to stop by and try to brighten her day a bit if you haven't already. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

To Add a Little Excitement and Drama

I was picking up clothes from the bathroom floor (we are such neat freaks!) in order to start laundry this morning and made a not so great discovery. 
On Thursday when I started my stims I asked W to grab what we needed from the fridge (Gonal-F). We have some old pens in there as well and he brought those up along with the new box which was in an opaque bag. We talked about the old ones (3 pens) and decided it was best to throw them out since it had definitely been more than 30 days since they had been opened. I started to mix the Luveris, measured my Lupron, and took the Gonal-F pen that was on the vanity and used it. 

I continued to take all of my meds for the past 3 days without thinking anything of it. I had seen the old pens in the garbage and ignored the opaque bag on the floor since I assumed it only had needle tips in it. 

That brings us back to this morning. I was picking up the clothes and I found the opaque red bag. Don't get me wrong, it's not that our laundry pile was so large it was buried, but it had ignored it, assuming what was in there wasn't an absolute necessity to deal with immediately. I opened the bag to get the extra tips out, and what do I find? I completely unopened box of Gonal-F! I immediately called W upstairs and we realized that instead of throwing out the pen that was so full, I had accidently been using it. We did the math and figured out this pen was first opened during IVF #1 in July!! Oh Shit! 

When we were talking about throwing them away, W didn't throw them all away, only 2 of the 3. He tossed the bag with the new one aside and put the old one up on the counter. Distraction set it when I started to measure out my meds and I grabbed the old one assuming it was the new one he took out. Man, is his support in this process a mixed blessing. Last IVF I got upset because he wasn't involved enough. This time I realize his company in the room is enough and that the meds need to be all my responsibility. That way I have no one or nothing to blame if things don't go as planned. 

So I spent a bit of time this morning googling expired and opened Gonal-F and am not sure what to think. If it hadn't been opened I wouldn't be freaking out. But, it's likely not as potent as it should be, if potent at all. I emailed the NP at the clinic and am waiting to hear back. I really hope this doesn't mess things up. There's never a dull moment with IVF, huh? I guess I just assumed by the 3rd time around I would have it all figured out. Well, not so much. 

It's safe to say the first tears have been shed this cycle. Maybe that means the FSH is working after all?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Still Here and the Real 200

I'm still here, but there was just nothing earth shattering to report. I have been feeling exhausted this week paired with fighting off some cold/sinus thing. I had an appointment on Monday and was sufficiently suppressed. I had hoped I would start stims that day, but I was cleared to start Thursday. I didn't ask exactly why but just realized that, once again, I can't control this process.  

This week crawled by. We woke up to snow on Monday and a lot of the schools were closed. It was not a pleasant sight. Then it was cold all week and extra grey. Sometimes living in Upstate NY has serious drawbacks. Like when you don't see the sun for a week straight. Or when you have to worry about your flowers growing outside because there is snow and frost most nights at the end of April. This week was filled with lots of report writing, meetings, and we joined back up at the gym and went all but one day. I'm sure all of these things played into the fact that I have been exhausted. 

This cycle I am still doing 150 of Gonal-F but we switched from Menopur to Luveris. Instead of doing 75 like last time I am doing 37.5. I'm not exactly sure what the difference between Menopur and Luveris is, I'm just trying to go with it. I finally made the jump to request a specific NP and I plan to each monitoring appointment this cycle. At my clinic there are a ton of nurses and at least 4 different NP's. Some seem more aggressive than others and I'm glad I did request Shannan. When I went after the FET I got a NP who said they were going to start me on a super small dose of stims. I don't want OHSS, but I do want a decent number of eggs. Shannan was super friendly and helpful answering any of my questions. She also booked my appointments for Mon, Wed, and Fri of next week at my preferred times. I'm scared to think of how exhausted I will be next week with 6:45 appointments 3 days. 

Dont' forget to enter my GIVEAWAY!! I will pick a winner on Sunday. 

So when I went through all of my posts I realized that I had only published 199 posts and that 1 was a draft. So, this is actually my true 200th post. In keeping with the theme I did for 100 posts I will add some pics so you can better understand and know me.

Fall is my favorite season especially living in the northeast. I just love the colors and how beautiful it makes everything. This is why we chose to get married in the fall.

We bought our house 2 1/2 years ago after living in a tiny cabin in the woods behind my parents' house. We looked at SO MANY houses before we found the right one. It was like trying on wedding dresses, I just knew when we found "the one". 

We have a four year old nephew named Owen.

I kind have a thing about decorating our dining room table seasonally.

I miss Mexico and being on vacation.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

200 Posts and a Giveaway!!

I can't believe this post marks 200 for me. I never thought I would enjoy blogging so much or view it as the amazing outlet that has become for me. I love that I have met so many people and the fact that it allows me to connect with so many others going through the same (yet different) journey. 
So, to celebrate, I decided to do my first giveaway. I wanted it to be something homemade so I racked my brain this weekend for something that anyone along any part of this journey could enjoy. Whether you are TTC, pregnant, in between things, waiting for adoption, or a mommy, you can surely enjoy this! We all need to relax. 

The last time I went to my fertility yoga class I was introduced to the most amazing item to assist in relaxation...a lavender scented eye pillow. 

I looked online at them and, sure, they are easy to buy and not overly expensive. But, I wanted to make it myself. So I found a pattern and sat down with my trusty sewing machine. I made two different removable and washable covers so the winner can pick the one they want. It is filled with flax seed and local lavender. It really feels amazing on your face and the added smell makes you feel super relaxed. In addition, you can heat it in the microwave to make it warm or put it in the freezer/fridge to cool it down. 
Here is the blue cover
And the purple
To enter, you must:
1. Be a follower or become one
2. Leave a comment to tell me you want to be entered
3. Answer the following question in your comment: What is the most valuable lesson you have learned along this journey?

Pretty easy, huh? 
In addition, I picked up this magnet that I liked the message of. I will pick a winner a week from tonight on April 29th. 
Good luck!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lupron Time

It's time to stab myself with some needles. I just can't get too excited about going through the whole IVF process again. It's not really something I look forward to, but hopefully this will all be worth it. 

We had a good weekend. We celebrated our dog's 5th birthday on Friday. 
The yearly tradition of taking her picture in a birthday hat. Isn't she cute?

Since we were so excited to celebrate Togie's birthday we failed to look at our tickets for Aziz Ansari (comedian from the show Parks and Recreation). We bought the tickets over a month ago and W and I both had the 14th stuck in our heads since buying them. We planned to go with a co-worker of mine and her BF. We went out for Thai food beforehand and had a great dinner. We then headed over, paid to park, and were walking towards the building. Just then, we saw a guy on the corner scalping tickets. We said we already had some and he said, "enjoy the game." I whispered to W to check the tickets and that's when we realized the show had been for the previous night. All of the other people were going to a hockey game. That would explain the hockey jerseys and lots of young children. Boo hoo! Giant waste of money. We laughed it off mostly W felt so bad and disappointed about it.

We headed to the mall to see if there were any good movies playing. We went to the arcade since my friend loves it. It's been a long time since I've been to an arcade! It was pretty fun and we were able to pool our tickets and get some crappy little prize.

No good movies were playing so we headed to a wine and dessert place and had some yummy dessert. So much for not eating much in the way of carbs or sugar. Overall, I've been pretty good with eating better. Lunch is the hardest, but I've been using the My Fitness Pal app on my phone to track calories and I've been staying below or at my goal most days. Taking the dogs for a long walk most days definitely helps. I am looking forward to warmer weather so we can go for bike rides. Sorry dogs. 

I went to a bridal shower today. I'm hoping the next shower I attend is my own baby shower.

Freedom Pharmacy (a mail order fertility pharmacy) royally screwed up my order this week. Instead of processing the right amount of Crinone (30), they submitted an order for 84 to my insurance. My insurance promptly denied it all and my bank called me to ask if I had made a purchase for $1150 to said pharmacy. I called them and they cancelled it and said they would credit me back $850. It still hasn't been credited. I don't think I will be using them again in the future. Good thing my bank caught the error. I haven't heard much in the way of an apology from them either for screwing up.

We finally filed our taxes this week (nothing like waiting until the last minute). We are getting back a nice return and should be able to remodel out bathroom without dipping into our savings. I'm looking forward to upgrading from 1970.
Don't you wish your bathroom looked this nice? Gorgeous!
We have been invited to my cousin's wedding in Hawaii in September. I really want to go. If we are saving for more rounds of IVF I don't think we can afford it. We shall see. My uncle might have a timeshare that we can use so I have to email him and see about that one.

I've learned my lesson about fancy painting jobs. We painted stripes on our office/future nursery over a year ago. I loved them so decided we should do a pattern in our bedroom. I looked online and finally found some diamonds I really liked. The process involves using painter's tape and then paining. I decided recently I didn't like the color and that the pattern was annoying. We tried to paint over it recently but we could still see the design through. We spent a large amount of time this weekend using "mud" for drywall and trying to smooth it out and then W spent most of today sanding it. I have 2 colors I like for the bedroom and now can't decide which one to do. What do you think?
Mozart Blue. This was the color I originally wanted to do but now I'm worried it's going to be too dark. We do have a large bedroom though.


Huntington beige. This is a much safer color but I don't want to be boring either. It goes more with the other bedroom colors upstairs.
A week from tomorrow I have my suppression check and hopefully will start stims that day. We shall see. So far we've gotten off pretty cheap this cycle since we have a 900 Gonal-F pen left over from last time. I'm not sure if we will need more since they will have me on a lower dose this time around. I'm not using Menopur this time, but Luveris instead. That was pretty cheap. The Lupron kit was on sale and then Crinone is mostly covered by my insurance. 

If you've made it this far you deserve an award for reading my jabber! Hope everyone else had a nice weekend. Input about paint colors is appreciated!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Suppression is Boring

What's new? Well... not a whole lot. I haven't written in over a week but that's because there's nothing all that new or exciting. 

 I'm still taking birth control pills but start Lupron on Sunday. I always feel like once the injections start things really feel like they get moving. The weeks on birth control pills feel like they move at a snail's pace. 

Work is pretty busy with lots of report writing. I've been trying to be much better about getting things in on time. I've decided to tell my boss about our fertility treatments, but I haven't seen or talked to either of them since the conversation. I am out on my own a lot for work and I don't have a ton of contact with them other than email. I also wanted to wait for things to blow over a little bit. 

One of the mom's of the kids I work with went through 3 IUI's and 4 IVF cycles before she got pregnant with her first child. She has known for a while what is going on with us and is an amazing source of support. When I told her about the meeting and my thoughts she agreed I should tell them. She advised me against writing an email since that could be possibly placed in my HR file. I thought that was a really good point. So, I'm just giving it some time, but I do intend to come out of the closet. 
One of the kids I work with had a cut on his arm. I asked him what happened and he told me they went to a bounce house place and the bouncy house "had rug burns on it." Love it!

I had a realization this past week. When I got to a house the 2 year old I see for therapy was sleeping. As the dad went into the other room to wake him up I noticed the 12 week old baby sleeping on the floor. I just stood there and stared at him. He was so beautiful and perfect. It was then that I realized it doesn't have to be MY baby for me to love it. I think if this IVF doesn't work out we might start actively pursuing adoption or at least starting to do some research. I know at this point I would love any baby, whether it has my eyes or my husbands curly hair or not. It doesn't really matter. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Job Poorly Done

The past two days have been pretty awful. I woke up Monday feeling so down. I literally almost started crying to the first person I talked to. I pulled it together and made it through to the afternoon. At this point I felt miserable. I cried my eyes out while W and I walked the dogs, came home and napped, woke up with zero appetite and a raging headache, ate a few bites of dinner, and then promptly fell asleep again. I'm pretty sure going from eating crap over vacation to eating no carbs, sugar, or dairy is a big part of the feeling. I had no idea it would make me feel so down emotionally. Also, the reality of going back to work, another failed cycle, and my period made for a tough Monday.

Tonight was the first time I ate carbs. I needed it after the day I had. I think I'm going to have to be a bit more moderate with this paleo thing, because I can't take what it is doing to me emotionally. I'm generally pretty positive and don't feel very depressed easily. The past two days? Horrible. 

When I turned my phone back on Thursday evening in the airport I had numerous messages, emails, and texts. One text was from my boss B and it wasn't good. He said I hadn't sent him a report and it was due while I was away. The worst part is I stayed up late typing it the night before I left and then I guess I forgot to send it off. He wasn't happy about it. He then said I needed to plan to meet with him and the administrative boss S on Tuesday at 1:30 and that they had some "issues" to discuss with me. Welcome back to reality. The sadness set in on the last plane and I started crying due to this new work stress. From Thursday on I tried to push it out of my mind, but it was hanging over me. 

Well, today was that meeting. It really didn't go very well. Picture me at the head of the table and my two bosses, one on each side, telling me how my work performance has declined. I know exactly why, but I knew if I voiced this I would break down in tears. It was hard enough sitting there and not letting that happen without telling them the drama of my fertility treatments. The male boss B was much better about at least providing some positives within the negatives. The female boss S just tore me to shreds. She didn't have a single positive thing to say and made me feel like total crap. The issues all have to do with paperwork not being done in a timely fashion. They also had issues with the way I'm coming across to others, and then how that reflects on them. There was nothing said related to the actual job I perform, which is therapy. They told me I am not organized and appear scattered. I know I have to step it up and do a better job with the paperwork end of my job since this has really gotten bad the past few months.  I'm also really debating coming out of the infertility closet. I'm not trying to use it as an excuse, but I think it would help to explain what has been going on. So, I'm asking you, have you told you boss about your infertility? 

My job is super flexible and the fact that I make my own hours has allowed me to not tell anyone. I can miss a day here and there and no one really notices. My appointments are early enough that I can still go to work and be fine. I certainly don't need to tell them and honestly feel uncomfortable telling anyone. I feel like people don't know how to respond when you tell them and that it makes them act weird. The only people who really know what is going on are my in-laws and one of my friends. My parents or sister don't even know. It makes me super sad just thinking about telling other people. It sucks and I hate talking about it. I hate admitting to what I have going on and hate the way people treat me once they do know. I don't want anyone's pity, but I do need some understanding. 

Things have really changed since I changed clinics. Since December I have done 1 IVF cycle and 2 FET's. When I switched to the new clinic the pace of things really picked up. I have more appointments and have done more cycles. It's overwhelming in itself trying to get my job done, let alone trying to balance everything and do a great job.

I ate some carbs tonight and am hoping I can start to feel like myself again. I don't think it's the bcp's since I took them in the past and they didn't bother me at all. I'm so glad that meeting is behind me, but I'm not going to lie, I cried my eyes out the entire way home.    

Sorry for the downer post but I had to get it all out. I need your input as to whether I should tell my boss or not what is going on. Thanks!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A New Start

Today is CD 1. I started my BCP's and it's only 3 more weeks of them. I hate this part of the IVF cycle, it's so drawn out and boring. That's why the antagonist protocol was much more appealing, but alas, I will be doing the LONG lupron again. 

Yesterday I started my supplements that I took last cycle. When my first IVF resulted in embryos that were all slow to divide and pretty crappy I did a little research on egg quality. I think it made a difference last time around so I will do it again. I am taking wheatgrass pills (5 in the morning and 5 at night) and royal jelly twice a day. 

I also started eating a paleo diet yesterday. After gorging myself on vacation and gaining weight consistently, I decided it was time to take action. I'm not happy with my weight and my self image is struggling. Failed cycles suck emotionally, but they get me the most when it comes to my self confidence. It's hard to have confidence in your body when it's not working how you want it to. 
The premiss of the paleo diet is pretty easy to grasp. Basically you eat like a caveman/woman. No dairy, wheat, or sugar. Easy to follow? A bit harder. Yesterday wasn't bad but I let myself get too hungry today and was out and about and had a hard time finding something to eat. I have to say I'm missing my carbs. We will see how it all pans out, but I'd love to stick with it for the month of April. I know that PCOS is carb and sugar related, so it would be interesting to see if it helps with that at all. I'm not holding my breath that it will change my PCOS, but I need to get proactive and could stand to lose some weight. It's nice because counting calories always makes me feel hungry. I never feel like I eat enough and it's hard work. This is going to be even harder work most likely. I found a great website which has tons of recipes so that is definitely helping. Lunch is going to be my biggest challenge since I eat while I drive. I think if I plan ahead I should be OK. 

Boo hoo to going back to work tomorrow. I'm not ready and am still in vacation mode. I have a feeling it's going to be a long week.