now and ever more

each journey begins with one step . . . a baby step

OH THE HORROR-mones October 30, 2011

Filed under: IVF/FET Journey — nowandevermore @ 7:38 PM

Ok so today was a bad hormonal day for me.  Cried a little, but mostly just wanted to scream!  Did not sleep well last night, which I am sure added to my mood, but this made me not really want to go out of the house today.  I needed to pick up a couple of items from Wal-mart.  But I decided that surely I could get them at Walgreens.  It was a little closer to home and I knew it would not be that busy.  What I didn’t count on was that of the 5 items I needed they only had 2!  Usually they are my “go to” store, but not today.  So I left without getting anything.  I went back home.

About an hour later I mustered up enough strength to go to Wal-mart.  The parking lot confirmed my fears, that the store was going to be packed.  Day before Halloween…parents buying costumes, candy…you name it.  There were people everywhere!  I had people walking about 1 mile an hour in front of me blocking the entire aisle.  Finally I had a chance and I bolted around them.  After all, I only had 5 items to get.  Every turn around the aisle, someone was there waiting to cut me off or lollygagging like they had nothing better to do than go shopping.  And to top it off my cart was making a horrible loud noise as I walked.  I was sure everyone was staring at me and could sense that I was a crazy woman on a mission.  Or just a crazy woman with a loud cart.

I made my way around the entire store getting the items I needed and safely (and quickly) made it through the express lane.  I am grateful the person in front of me had less than 12 items.  I would have hated to have gone ballistic because they had 13, but I would have done it.  Almost out the door.  I had a clear path.  A woman came out from the bathroom and joined her husband right in front of me.  Slowed me down a bit, but I was able to get around them and out the door…all without screaming.  Well, all without screaming out loud.

You know I think back at our 1st IVF attempt and how my hormones were then.  I did a lot of crying, not full-blown sobbing, but tears here and there.  Always apologizing to my husband for my moods.  He was always great about it.  After we got through the cycle I remember telling him how great he was during my craziness and he said to me…it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  hmmmm…if he could have only been in my head today.

Tonight I take my last birth control pill.  So I am hoping that I get a few days of sane-ness before I have to start taking more hormones to get me through the embryo transfer.  But it is all part of this journey.  And as long as I don’t end up in the looney bin I should be ok.

Hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween.  Here are some goodies I baked yesterday to get you in the Halloween spirit.

Thanks for reading.

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I can’t watch . . . October 28, 2011

Filed under: IVF/FET Journey — nowandevermore @ 9:39 PM

So I am sitting in bed trying not to watch the baseball game.  Don’t get me wrong, ordinarily I would be watching it.  Afterall, it is the St. Louis Cardinals, my hometown team and it is game 7 of the World Series!!  I just don’t want to have the memory of seeing them lose the game.  No I am not a fair-weather fan, I love my team but who needs the stress!  LOL!  So I sit here trying to distract myself from it, tuning in every so often to see the score.

It got me thinking.  Thinking about this baby making journey we are on.  How often do we try to distract ourselves so that we don’t have to think about trying to get pregnant or especially during the dreaded two-week wait?  Distracting ourselves so we won’t constantly obsess over every little symptom we may be having and thinking it either means I am pregnant or I am about to get my period.

Vacations?  Nights out with friends.  It doesn’t help.  Because when you decide to start trying, babies are EVERYWHERE!!!  I have seen more pregnant women in the last 2 1/2 years than I did in all my years before we started trying.  Ok, that may be an exaggeration, but you get my point.  As you can see I suck at distracting myself.

So here I am trying my best at distraction.  Distraction from Game 7 of the World Series.  Distraction from cycle number 29.  And here I am failing at both.  Bottom of the 7th inning…Cards lead 5-2 and I know in 30 minutes I have to give myself another shot of Lupron.   So both are ever-present in my mind.

But that is ok.  The game will be over in another few innings and I won’t have to think about it anymore (at least not until next baseball season).  And in about 3 weeks I will have my embryos transfer and hopefully not have to think about getting pregnant again (at least not for another 9 months).  🙂

Thanks for reading.

**UPDATE**

CARDS WIN WORLD SERIES!!!!  🙂

 

what a difference a few hours make . . . October 26, 2011

Filed under: IVF/FET Journey — nowandevermore @ 9:43 PM

So today I woke up in a bad mood.  I did not sleep too well.  Woke up in the middle of the night dripping with sweat.  Not sure if it was the Lupron or what.  But I had a few hot flashes all morning.  And to top it all off I was waiting for that phone call from the doctor’s office to know if we could proceed.  I tried to keep myself busy so I wouldn’t think about it.  Trip to the grocery store.  Bought a pumpkin to carve and the seeds make a tasty treat once they are baked in a little salt and butter.  Made some homemade applesauce and then the phone rang about 1:15pm.

It was the nurse telling us we are good to go!  Apparently the doctor who had done the polyp removal was not aware that we had already started preparing for the FET (been on birth control for 4 weeks).  He just assumed that there would be no way we could get my body ready in time for the November cycle since it was already the end of October.  So much for being well-informed!  So the doctor who had done the ER said it was not an issue and we could continue as planned!  What a relief!!!  (We still need to make sure the pathology report comes back ok, but it should.)

I was so happy after I hung up I burst into tears.  Damn I hate these hormones…cry when you are sad, cry when you are happy, cry when you see those darn Hallmark commericals…cry …cry …cry.

So after the wonderful phone call, I got a burst of energy.  I finished carving the pumpkin (will bake the seeds tomorrow after they dry).  Gave the dog a haircut and even did his nails.  Then I made dinner.  I had more energy after that phone call than I have had in a week!  I think the antibiotics are also kicking in.

I finally feel like things are moving along again!  I have been in a waiting game since September 14th, the day they told us how many embryos we had on ice.   I know these next three weeks will probably fly by.  There are so many things I want to do before the FET on November 20.  I think mentally I have been putting them off because I just didn’t know when things were going to happen.  So now I can proceed.   And being busy helps the time to fly.

So all in all it was a good day.  Lupron shot #2 in about 15 minutes.  Hope I don’t get the night sweats again!  But, if this is what it takes to get that baby, then I will deal with it.  Doesn’t mean I have to like it! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

P.S.  Here is the pumpkin I carved.  🙂

 

History continued . . . October 25, 2011

Filed under: IVF/FET Journey — nowandevermore @ 5:06 PM

So yesterday I left off at IVF #1.  This was certainly something I never bargained for.  I think the thing that bothered me the most was dealing with ethics of it all.  Yes, I am Catholic and you guessed it, the Catholic church is not exactly for this type of thing.  So I struggled a lot with the decision as to whether or not I wanted to do this.  I thought long and hard, and of course prayed about it and decided to take my chances.  I thought about all the possible outcomes.  That is how I go about every tough decision I make.  What are all the possible outcomes that I can think of that could happen in each situation.  Yes that seems a bit crazy on my part.  And I tend to worry about things more than I should, because I tend to think of the worst possible outcome first.

Anyway, we decided to go ahead.  I think aside from all the medications, the consent forms were the scariest part of it.  All the things that could go wrong, what happens to the eggs, embryos, sperm, etc if you or your spouse dies, or you divorce, or you just decide you don’t want to try anymore.  I won’t say that I came into this process with rose-colored glasses, thinking that IVF is a walk in the park, but there is certainly a lot you don’t ever think about when you decide to go through with it.

So we signed the consents and did our blood work to make sure we didn’t have any communicable diseases.  Great one more thing to freak out about.  We were both fine, but geesh!  And the next part…sticker shock!!!  Unfortunately we do not have insurance coverage for IVF.  So we are paying completely out-of-pocket.  I think it helps that we are “older” and have been able to save up money longer than some couples who are in their 20s.  But I can’t help but feel envious of those who have insurance coverage and can do as many IVF’s as they want.  We have limited ourselves to 2 with a small possibility of a third (hopefully we won’t even have to talk about it.)

So once we “paid the piper” (oh yes they want it all up front!) we were ready to go….but wait!  That IVF money that we just paid does NOT cover the medications or surgery center fees for when we do the Egg Retrieval (ER) and the Embryo Transfer (ET).  So we had that to look forward to!

Once I received all my medications the nerves started setting in.  For IVF #1 I was going to be taking Follistim, Ganirelix, Medrol, Doxycycline, and Endometrin.  Not to mention I had to be on birth control pills (BCP) for a month before I even started the meds for the IVF.  I have never been on BCP before and thought it was ironic that here we are trying to get pregnant and I am taking pills to prevent it.  Oh well!

Once the day was here for my baseline appointment at the doctor’s office it all seemed to move pretty quickly.  The blood work and ultrasounds.  The injections and the hormones.  All told, I stuck myself in the belly with needles, 16 times over the course of 10 days.  From what I have seen on other blogs, etc. that doesn’t seem like too many compared to others, but my belly had enough by the 7th day.  But I kept telling myself, this is for something special.  I can take using my belly as a pin cushion if it meant that in 9 months I would be holding a little miracle.

The day of the ER I was so incredibly nervous. I knew what to expect from what I was told and what I had read, but it doesn’t really help until you actually go through it yourself.  They were able to retrieve 8 eggs.  Of those 8, 6 were mature and we got 4 of them to fertilize.  I was thrilled.  Right off I decided that we would implant 2 and save 2 for a later date.  Trying to be optimistic about everything.  Well, obviously the 2 we implanted did not latch on and unfortunately the 2 we had left over did not make it to freeze.  At first I was very sad when they told me that they did not make it (at this time I figured I had a baby growing inside of me).  I actually cried.  Then 2 weeks later I got the dreaded call that we were not pregnant.  I was home alone and my husband had told me to call him.  I left him a voicemail which I absolutely hated to do.  I was a mess, broken and lost.

You go through so many emotions.  No I was never pregnant, but I felt as though I suffered a loss.  As if I had been pregnant and miscarried.  I had already attached myself to those little 8-cell embryos even if they had not attached to me.  It is hard to imagine how you can feel a loss of something that you never had to begin with, but it is a loss nonetheless.  And I feel that only those women who have gone through it can truly understand.  I am in no way discounting the feelings of women who have suffered miscarriages, etc.  I know that would be devastating.  But I will say, at least you have been pregnant.  I have never been pregnant and often wonder if it is actually possible for my body to get pregnant.   I am optimistic that it will happen.  I have to be.

So after picking up the pieces, we decided to go for round 2.  And that meant back on the BCP for a month before we start injections.  The doctor decided to keep things the same as my body responded pretty well to the medications the first time, for someone my age.  Ouch!  And this time it was responding pretty well again.  I think a lot had to do with my attitude.  It was very different this time.  More positive.  I just knew this was going to be the one (I still do).  More blood work and ultrasounds.  Medication and hormones.  Timeline-wise I was actually ahead of where I was in the 1st cycle, by 2 days.  Unfortunately the day I was triggering,  my follicle count went down from the day before.  From 8 great looking follicles down to 5.  Apparently these things happen.  Oh ok, no problem!  😦

And to top it all off, they noticed a polyp in my uterus while doing the ultrasound.  MANY tears later, calls and discussions with the doctor, we decided to go ahead with the ER and then postpone the ET until the polyp could be removed.  I just hoped and prayed that we would get 3-4 great embryos out of this because we decided this time to transfer 3-4 since it would be better odds for someone “my age”.  I am happy to report that they retrieved 4 eggs that were all mature and 3 of them fertilized.  I now have an 8-cell, 6-cell and 5-cell embryos on ice.

So a little over a month after my ER, I finally had the polyp removed ( one week ago tomorrow).  I am supposed to start my Lupron injections tonight and then Wednesday I will find out if we are actually getting the go ahead for the November transfer or if we have to wait until December.  The doctor who did the retrieval (not the polyp removal) is going to review my chart and let us know.  I really hope it is November. I have already prepared myself, mentally, emotionally (the best I can) and also just scheduled “life” in general to coincide with everything.

I do know that God has his plan and if my body isn’t quite ready for these embryo’s to latch on in November, then December it will be. I think it is hitting me that I will be turning 40 in November and I certainly never thought I would be trying to get pregnant at 40, or 39, or 38… Isn’t life funny?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

A little history… October 24, 2011

Filed under: IVF/FET Journey — nowandevermore @ 10:42 PM

I never imagined that it would take me until I was 35 to meet my soul mate.  But that is how things happened.  We dated long-distance for over a year and got married and then decided to give ourselves a little time of just “us.”  Because I figured that once we started trying to get pregnant it would not take that long.  I don’t smoke, don’t drink, have tried to eat somewhat healthy, I could stand to lose a few pounds, but that shouldn’t cause any problems.  After all there are a lot of women out there who do smoke, drink, are overweight that seem to get pregnant with ease.  Boy was I wrong!

6 months of trying on our own and nothing!  Well, I shouldn’t say nothing….AF started playing tricks on me!  I was ALWAYS regular, if I happened to be late at all it was a day, but I was typically 26 days.  Then a month before we “officially” started trying I was late.  Could this be it?  I had that rush of feelings come over me.  Nervousness – were we really ready?  Excitement – wow, we weren’t even “officially” trying yet.  Then I decided to test.  Now I went right for the digital tests.  I didn’t want to take any chances of reading those lines wrong.  And to my utter disappointment those words almost screamed back at me “Not Pregnant.”  How was that possible?  I was 3 days late!!!  Guess Mother Nature just wanted to have a good ol’ laugh at my expense.

So this went on for about 6 more months.  After all, if you are over 35 you are supposed to give it 6 months before calling the doctor.  I always try to follow rules, if not, there would be chaos!  Yeah right!  Well, Mother Nature teased me a few more times during those 6 months and I was NOT happy about it.   I tried my best to “plan” our trysts around when I might be ovulating by doing those over-the–counter ovulation tests, even going so far as to prop my legs up after…just an FYI…that doesn’t really help and just makes you look silly.  But nothing worked.

So we both decided to get tested.  I had blood work done and my husband gave a sample.  It appeared as though I did not ovulate every month.  Husband tested fine.  We were told it was not hopeless so we were happy about that.  The doctor put me on clomid with timed intercourse.  Now this is when things start to become really sexy!  (please note the sarcasm in my tone)  Basically the doctor was telling me to take 1 pill a day for 5 days then pee on a stick to see when I was going to ovulate and have sex.  Let the romance begin!!!

Well, after 7 rounds of clomid and not one single positive pregnancy test, the OB/GYN referred us to a specialist.  More tests.  It took over a month to go through all the testing and then at the end of the 2nd month I had to have laparoscopic surgery so the doctor could take a look at my insides to make his final diagnosis.  He suspected that my tubes were blocked and he was able to see that I had a ton of scar tissue around my tubes.  Not sure what it was from but he said he had never seen so much!  Lucky me!  😦  So he told us the bad news.  The right tube was blocked and the left one looked ok.  So we had a few options and again it was not hopeless.

We tried our luck at IUI (intra-uterine insemination) with clomid.  In a nutshell, those did not work.  At this point I had stopped taking the over-the-counter-pee-on-a-stick pregnancy test.  It just got too difficult to see those words “Not Pregnant”.  I vowed that I would never take another one until the doctor told me I was pregnant or until I started showing…just to see “pregnant!”

Oh and after the 3rd failed IUI, we decided to do one more IUI but would use injectable medications this time.  It would let us know how my body responds to those types of medications so that if we had to go to IVF we would have a clue about things.  Well, we never got to do that cycle.

I had an unusually long cycle after the 3rd failed IUI and had to take medication to start my period.  Well, it finally started and the cramps came.  I took something for the pain and used a heating pad and the pain would not go away.  It actually got worse.  I called the doctor’s office and they told me to go to the ER.  It was the worst pain I had ever experienced in all my life!  At one point, on the way to the hospital I could feel me start to pass out from the pain.  So I bent over and was able to get enough blood flow to the head to stop that, but the pain was unbearable.  I remember telling my husband, who was driving, that I didn’t want to die.  Looking back at that I feel horrible for even saying that, but the pain was so bad.  They gave me something for the pain (a lovely shot in the ass!) and I was much better.  After several hours of waiting and several tests, they told me that I most likely had an ovarian cyst that had ruptured.  I never want to have to go through that again!  So we decided to skip the 4th IUI and go right for the IVF.

Which sort of brings you up to speed.  It appears as though I have written quite a lot already.  As I am new to the blog world, this may be too much for one blog.  So I will end your suffering now and continue my story tomorrow.  Thanks for reading.

 

Joining the blogging world… October 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — nowandevermore @ 10:54 PM

Well, I decided to give this blogging thing a try.  Not even sure if this post is going to work, but thought I would see if I can get the “bugs” worked out before I officially “begin this journey”.  Not sure who is going to read this or even if anyone is going to read it.  I think it is more about helping me cope with things going on in life.  So to those of you reading, I hope I don’t bore you and thanks for stopping by.