Monday, February 28, 2011

Follicle check #3: Trigger happy

I was late to the clinic this morning because I stopped and got a latte. In my defense they've been kept me waiting for 20 minutes or more lately. Quick and easy blood draw and quick and easy ultrasound. The nurse (not my normal one) asked "Do you have a left ovary?" Bwahaha. I said yes I did but it seemed to be sitting this cycle out. My lining is 9+ and there are three follicle on my right ovary. One 21mm, one 17mm and one 15mm. Trigger shot is tonight and IUI is Wednesday at 9AM. I hope that 21mm hangs in there until Wednesday.

Doug and I celebrated our 7th anniversary yesterday, I can't believe it's been that long. We've been 'together' for 10 years this coming September. Our first RE appointment anniversary is this November, it will 7 years too. My chart is starting to resemble a novel. I saw it the other day and almost laughed, it's so thick.

I can tell that something in Doug is changing, he's always wanted kids and he's always been 100% on board with everything we've done but I think he's finally getting that yearning feeling I've had since the beginning. He's made comments lately about when we have a kid and what it'll be like. 

Acupuncture is still going well, this week's tea is gag-worthy. It tastes like rotting mushrooms, dirt and spearmint licorice - but not in a good way.  He has put a couple of needles in my arm that made me flinch. It's not painful I just 'feel' it more than the others. 

Life is busy but I've managed to put together a routine of sorts during the week. After I get out the shower I brew up the tea, finish getting ready and then divvy the tea up into two jars and one mug. Then if I have a follicle check I head to the clinic. The jars get taken with me to work and I drink them at 9:30 and 1:30. My acu appointments are at 10:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so once I come back from them I don't leave work again until 5:00. At 5:00 on Mondays and Wednesdays I run off to class and I'm on campus until 8:35. Then I drag myself home, eat a bowl of Cheerios, spend a little bit of time with my husband, choke down my last cup of tea, get my Bravelle shot and go to bed. I'm tired but not overwhelmingly so. I've kind of developed the attitude of "quit stressing, it'll either get done or it won't". I'm not saving the world over here so I think it's okay for me to take it easy. My English class is non-stressful, writing comes easily to me. Macroeconomics and math however, ick. Those subjects I need to try a little harder in. 

I know it's bad to not think positively and all, but I'm already thinking about the next cycle. I'm hoping we can just do a less aggressive protocol with maybe Femara and a few doses of Bravelle mixed in there. Although based on the current results with all the Bravelle I'm taking now that may not be the best idea.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Little lazy ovary

I had my first follicle check this morning. I got there at 7:30, along with half of Memphis apparently, because I didn't get out of there until 8:50. My lining is at 8mm right now and on my right ovary I have two larger follicles and several smaller ones. My left ovary is lazy, there's not really any growth over there but the nurse said she saw a lot of little follicles. I have about four more days of drugs so maybe the left ovary with kick it in gear and get something growing. 

My only discomfort this cycle is the burning the Bravelle causes going in, holy crap it stings. I can't figure out why it does that but it hurts.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The green-eyed monster

A few months ago I had a conversation with my boss, who knows about our IF troubles and is also super-caring and understanding. Anyway, we were talking about all the people at work/in my life who are pregnant and he asked me "Are you jealous?" and before I could answer he said "No, I guess you aren't really a jealous person are you." I thought about it and I said "No, not really, I mean maybe a tiny bit but not typically." Now I fully admit to having pangs of jealously about the ease with which some people are able to get pregnant but I feel like that's normal given my situation. Over the weekend I was blog-surfing and read the blog of someone I went to high school with. I wouldn't say we were friends, but we were always nice to each other. Well she's expecting her second child and she seems to be due right around the time I believe I would have been, had IVF 2.0 not ended in a chemical pregnancy. For some reason this struck me and made me jealous. Jealous because it seems so unfair that she gets to have this white-picket fence existence. Don't get me wrong, I don't want her life, I just wish it didn't have to be so hard for me.

I also read the blogs of people I don't know but who are pregnant, some of them posting light-hearted complaints about the not-so-fun parts of pregnancy. But all I could think about was how I wish I had those problems. What I would give to have morning-sickness, heartburn, swollen ankles or stretch marks. I would gladly take all of those symptoms and more if it meant I'd get to be a mother.

In the end I always go to back to the eternal question -"why isn't it our turn yet?" Haven't we waited long enough? Haven't we suffered and sacrificed enough?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Groundhog Day

Yeah, it's not Groundhog Day but it feels like it. It's actually Cycle Day 3. This morning I made my return to the clinic for bloodwork and ultrasound and to give them all of my money. We had a balance of $340 from last cycle, can't really explain that because we paid them every time I stepped foot in the door. I think it has something to do with out shitty insurance/deductible, which I don't get because we're paying out of pocket anyway. So within seconds of getting there this morning I had to empty my wallet to the tune of $1000 - and that's not the last of it.

Sweet phlebotomist was there and despite her best efforts she had to stick me twice. There was yet another woman with her toddler in the waiting area. This makes me batty. We're in an infertility clinic people, leave your babies at home please. My ultrasound was fine, although at first the nurse thought I was on day 10 or something and was confused as to why there was no growth. Then I told her I was just day 3 and hadn't had any drugs yet. She counted 17 antral follicles, yay for that. 

I start Bravelle tonight, 225U until Wednesday when I go back for follicle check and bloodwork. My guesstimate is that the IUI will be on March 1, a Tuesday like last time. Acupuncture is still going well, this week's 'tea' mix is tolerable, I'm able to get it down without gagging so that's good. I'm trying to go into this cycle with a healthy dose of optimism and reality.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Friday night on Dateline, there was a story about a couple, that through human error at their RE's lab, were given the wrong embryos during transfer and the wife became pregnant with another couple's embryo. I can't begin to think about how hard that would be to deal with, on either side. I will say that I wouldn't even have to think about carrying someone else's baby for them. Knowing how hard infertility/IVF/FET is, I can honestly say I could never terminate another couple's embryo. Doug and I watched this together and both agreed we would have done the same thing. I wonder if my fellow IF'ers feel the same, would you do it? I know it would be immensely difficult but I couldn't imagine not doing it you know?

This whole situation was made more difficult because the mother who was carrying the baby had had complications with her prior pregnancies, as well as miscarriages before, so they were concerned she could miscarry again or have her health and the baby's health compromised.  It was heart-wrenching story all around. In the end the baby was born healthy but the mother who carried the baby was advised not to get pregnant again. The couple who carried the baby also tried to use a surrogate for their remaining embryos but the surrogate had a miscarriage and subsequent attempts didn't work. They wrote their full-story in a book, found here

I know that this probably makes me a horrible, terrible person, but it was really hard for me to connect with them because they had three biological children (granted two were from IF treatments) that the wife was able to carry herself. I know that they felt thankful for that and all, but that made me jealous. Not only did they have three children already, but they had embryos left to freeze and the wife was at least 10 years older than me. At twenty-four and twenty-nine I never had leftover embryos make it to freezing. Ugh, I can't believe my eggs are that bad. Like I said I know this makes me a horrible, terrible person but I can't even get one biological child. 

This story also made me think about a post I read over at The Fertility Lab Insider awhile back about about how one day embryos might have barcodes. Interesting. I have to say that despite all the other worries I have during an IVF cycle, getting the wrong embryos is not one. I guess I've always trusted our embryologist and lab, or I've just been more concerned about eggs being fertilized and how many embryos make it to Day 3.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How to make a cup of revolting tea

1. Bag of flora and fauna from Dr. Acupuncturist

2. Put bag in pot, add 6 cups of water
3. Cook for 30 minutes until it smells horrifying in your kitchen
4. Drain tea
5. Choke down cup of sewage water, alternating it with orange juice to help get the putrid taste of 'tea' out of your mouth.
Bon appetite

Monday, February 7, 2011

The club I can't get into

I'm seventy-two days away from turning thirty, which seems completely impossible. Some days I feel like I'm still in high school. But I'm not, I'm an adult who has been working full-time since I was 19. I have a mortgage, I pay taxes, I'm closing in on seven years of marriage, I go grocery shopping, I have health insurance, I donate to charity, I'm responsible. Yet, when I'm around my friends/families with children I feel like a child myself. I don't feel like an adult, I feel younger, the way I used to feel when I was a teenager and babysat for my aunt and uncle. Being a parent seems like a special club - a club that keeps turning me away at the door. We had dinner Friday night with my family, including my sister-in-law who is a considerable amount younger than I am but she's a mother. Being around her makes me feel impossibly immature because I'm not a mother. I don't know if Doug feels the same way with his friends but I feel like I'm getting the "you wouldn't know because you're not a mother" vibe sometimes. Or perhaps I'm paranoid, that's more likely.

There is so much frustration sometimes because we've done everything we're supposed to, we go engaged, we got married, we bought a house, we've stayed gainfully employed - yet starting our own family continues to elude us. Sometimes I wonder if we should have done things backwards, would our luck have been different then? Sigh. 

I had my third acupuncture session today. I'm definitely feeling more relaxed - except when I have to choke down that godawful 'tea'. I don't know if the feeling is just in my head or what but as long as its useful I don't care. I'm currently waiting on CD1 to start, I'll probably order my meds this week, we'll be using Bravelle again. Oddly, I don't feel too much stress about the impending cycle - which is good - I think.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My love affair with needles continues

Monday I bit the bullet and made an appointment with the acupuncturist my RE's clinic works with. I figured it couldn't hurt. Yesterday was my first appointment. The acu-Dr.'s office is new, bright and modern. He is the entire staff though so he's running around a lot. He's a very nice Chinese man, a little hard to understand but I mostly got everything he said. He took my pulse and looked at my tongue and told me my qi is very low and I think he said I have problems with my spleen, kidneys and liver. He also asked very um, 'detailed' questions about my cycle - questions no one, including my OB/GYN or RE have ever asked - but I assume it's important information for him. Anyway, I had thought I'd just have a consultation at first and then go back for the needles but after the pulse/tongue exam he told me to take my clothes off and lay face down. (not while he was in the room mind you) I was totally cool with that except I had not anticipated being in my underwear so soon, otherwise I would shaved my legs beforehand! I really should know better, practically every doctor I see these days required me to remove my clothes. 

I laid down on the table in my skives and he wiped certain areas off with alcohol and then did the needle thing, which was super quick and not painful at all. He put a few at the base of my neck, some on my arms, my back, my legs, one on each wrist and one on each ankle. Then he pulled this heat lamp over on me and left me there for around 15 minutes. It was relaxing but I had a hard time getting my face/head in a comfortable position. He came back, removed the needles and then I turned over and he put more needles in, one in between my eyes, one on each arm, a lot in my abdominal region (I guess that's my trouble area), a couple in my legs and another set on my ankles. I got the heat lamp treatment for another 15 minutes and then he came and took out the needles and I got to get dressed. 

He gave me a plastic bag full of small white paper bags filled with a mixture I'm supposed to brew for tea. He told me it was going to taste bad but I should just hold my nose and drink it. I can only describe the 'tea' in these bags as sticks and berries with other miscellaneous flora and fauna. I steeped my first batch last night and y'all it is the nastiest tasting liquid I have ever put in my mouth. It smells like rancid mushrooms and dirt. It's the color of the Mississippi River and I was barely able to get a cup down. I'm supposed to drink it three times a day! This morning I tried to drink a cup and I got most of it down and then...(Kenan if you're reading this divert your eyes!)
the last few tablespoons came right back up, ewww. My gag reflex for this stuff is not strong enough. It's soooo disgusting. I tried it with a straw and I don't know if it made it better or worse. Blech. I go back for more needle poking on Saturday morning. The acu-Dr. said treatment would be a long-term thing and once I get pregnant I'd see him for three more months or until he felt comfortable. In comparison to the other IF-related expenses the acu sessions are pretty reasonable and relaxing so I think I'll try it.  Although at the this point if someone told me to wear a chicken suit and dance down the interstate and I'd get pregnant I would probably do it.