April 30, 2010
We interrupt your regularly schedule programming – yes, those boring monitoring updates – to share with you an issue on a larger scale. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week which, to be honest, kind of rubs me the wrong way. My feelings were captured perfectly by a fellow infertile who said “I am aware EVERY DAY that I’m infertile. What does this week have to do with me?” With that said, it is so important to spread awareness to the rest of the world, so I’m going to play along.
I’m a little too late to officially participate in Project “What IF”, but I want to share my thoughts and support for the movement. The gist is to state our biggest “what if…” in regards to infertility, to take our deepest, darkest fears out of our heads/hearts/souls and put them out into the universe and the community for support. So, without further ado…
…we’re never able to have a biological child?
…once we finally do get pregnant, something happens to our child(ren)?
…we can’t even make it to retrieval and transfer?!
…my infertility eventually affects our marriage?
…we go broke before our children even arrive!
Okay, phew! Now, no more negativity! I’m not feeling quite strong enough yet to state the reverse…what WILL happen…but I’m hoping and praying that this is the cycle that’s going to work. (Oh, and for those of you who were wondering – my E2 doubled to 888, which is apparently a good thing at this point. So they’re scaling back stims just a bit – to 37.5/75 – for tonight, and I’m back in tomorrow morning for monitoring. At this rate, I’m going to look like a junky by the end of the weekend!)
In closing, I just want to share a comment from my fellow blogger Kacy:
A person with any type, degree, or complexity of infertility or loss is marked by something for their entire life. It’s life changing. And not because you walk differently or your daily routine changes but because your perspective changes.
I truly believe that I have some of the best friends in the world, and I know that even without having to go through it themselves, that all of their perspectives have changed as well. So thank you ladies – you know who you are – my life would be a much darker place without all of you. Hugs!
April 29, 2010
Yesterday was NOT a good day.
My estradiol at yesterday’s appointment was 335, which the RE’s office referred to as a “plateau” but was actually a 40-point drop from the day before. And let’s just say, I FREAKED OUT. My last cycle was cancelled because my E2 went too high and then abruptly dropped, so the lower number really worried me. I know that we didn’t want a super high number because then we’d be cancelled, but if I stalled out, then I could also be cancelled for that!
I grilled the nurse (who called to give me my instructions for last night – 37.5 of Gonal-F, 75 of Repronex, and back in for monitoring this morning) enough that she caved and agreed to have the RE call me. He wasn’t really interested in entertaining my questions – which was ANNOYING – but here were the key points:
- He is monitoring me very carefully
- We have to take it slowly and carefully
- Nothing about me is “cookbook” (read, normal)
- I need to have patience
- I need to have confidence
I hung up the phone and LOST IT. For no real reason except that I’m afraid that we’re not going to make it to retrieval, again. My mind is constantly whirling, trying to decide whether we’re going to transfer two embryos (if we have multiple embies to work with), but THIS is the reason why I think we should! If it’s such an issue even getting to retrieval, then maybe it’s actually less risky to try and bake two babies at the same time. Ugh. I know that we won’t really know what we’re going to do until the day we actually have to decide, but I CAN’T. STOP. THINKING. ABOUT. IT.
So anyways, this morning at monitoring, there was very little follie progress – one 12, and one 10 that turned into an 11, but also another chunk of growing follicles at 8 and 9. Ideally, the small ones would stop growing and the bigger ones would grow bigger, but of course, nothing with me goes according to plan. So that was another low point – I was even more afraid that it was a sign of stalling out.
I just heard from the RE and my estradiol was 429 this morning, so they want me to increase my stims to 75 and 75 for tonight, and go back in for monitoring tomorrow. I’m sure they still consider that slightly higher number a plateau, but at least something is happening. I was SO relieved that there was even that little amount of progress (and that they’re giving me a little boost with the meds), that my mood improved in seconds.
I was joking with the nurse that I was hoping I’d get to sleep in tomorrow, but said “I guess I won’t be able to sleep in for the rest of my life” (hopefully!). She laughed and said “If all goes according to plan, you won’t! We’re just giving you some practice.” 😉 The thought of actually having a baby (or babies) at the end of this totally gave me a lift, and I’m going to try to maintain a positive, calm outlook. I think that’s easier said than done though…suggestions welcome!
April 28, 2010
I woke up this morning and remembered the most delicious dream…I was pregnant with twins! For some reason, I was the one that did the ultrasound and discovered there were two, which yes, was a little strange, lol…but it was such a fun little thought. I woke up and knew that it was just a dream, but it gave me a big lift and was a great encouragement to get up out of bed and off to my monitoring appointment.
It ended up being my RE doing the ultrasound this morning, which was a nice treat, but instead of taking advantage of some face time, my mind went totally blank and I just nodded and smiled the whole time. Der. The appointment itself was a little discouraging…my follies just haven’t grown that much (10’s and 11’s, vs. 9’s and 10’s from Monday). Dr. T was hard to read, and just kept saying that we had to be super careful so that we didn’t have to cancel the cycle again. He wants to limp me along with the stim meds, so that the majority of the follicles stay small with just a few growing (and growing well).
We just have to wait to get my E2 number to confirm, but he thinks that I’ll probably do the same thing I did the past two nights – Repronex only tonight, then Repronex and half of the Gonal-F tomorrow. (For JS, and the others who might be wondering, the estradiol levels are used to determine whether too many follicles are growing. The bigger the follicles, the more estradiol they release, which is why the number goes up as the cycle progresses, but lots of little ones can release the equivalent of a few big ones. My E2 number is the reason that the last cycle needed to be cancelled, so they’re watching it very carefully.)
So I have to keep wishing for a low E2 but big follies…oh, and a retrieval either before or after May 6th. Just realized that I have a work presentation scheduled next Thursday afternoon, that I thought I’d definitely be able to avoid, but now I’m getting worried that my retrieval might be right on that date. And this preso is a HUGE deal. Figures.
I’m just feeling a little bummed out today…I hope to God that my E2 level is still low and that we don’t have to start worrying about that…but enough already, let’s get moving!
UPDATE – I gues I’m more than a little bummed out. I just started crying on the phone to S, for really no reason. He reminded me that things are progressing slowly because that’s what they want to be happening, and that I need to stay positive. He’s right, but I just can’t stop feeling SAD. Ugh, F these hormones. 😦
April 26, 2010
I heard from the RE’s office a little while ago and my Estradiol level is GOOD – yay! 374, which is pretty much right where they want it at this point. They still want me to back off on stims a bit (I’ve been doing 37.5 iu of Gonal-F and 75 iu of Repronex each night), just do the Repronex tonight, and then go back to the 37.5/75 for tomorrow night. And best of all? I don’t have to go back in for monitoring until Wednesday! 🙂
I don’t have a ton of spare time today, and am still EXHAUSTED from our weekend away, but just thought I’d share a few observations.
- 26 hours of driving in 3 days does not a romantic roadtrip make. ;-P We actually had a really nice trip, but the driving part SUCKED. 14 hours down on Friday and 12 hours back yesterday. We literally just took turns driving and napping and didn’t have any semblance of a quality conversation until the last hour of the trip yesterday.
- S looks handsome in a tux. I know you never had any doubts, but I’ll post pictures later to prove it. 😉 We ended up not bringing our nice camera (I couldn’t convince S to carry it, and it obviously didn’t go with my outfit), so we just used our iPhones. I have to wait for friends to post pics to FB and then I’ll grab one to share. Oh, and the black and white dress was the perfect choice – everyone (but the wedding party) was in short, sassy dresses – yay! Thanks friends 🙂
- Stims are NOT easy to do at weddings. We ended up pretending I was diabetic and asked if there was somewhere more private that I could do my shot. Everything was going fine until I had the needle in my stomach and then realized I hadn’t tapped out the air bubble, so then I had to stab myself twice and those (Gonal-F/Repronex) suckers HURT. And finally, my crowning glory was that I could barely get my dress back down over my @$$! Thanks a lot bubble skirt.
Anyways, we survived the drive and the injections, and had a great time while we were there. We spent Saturday before the wedding being totally lazy – slept in, worked out, went for a swim, had a late lunch – perfection. And the wedding was AMAZING – seriously, wait ’til you see the pics.
So this morning was back into the RE for the first E2/follie check. Not many measurable follies, but that’s normal for this point…I’m just hoping that the E2 levels are more reasonable than last time. Everybody needs to start praying that we actually make it to retrieval this time!!
April 21, 2010
So, many of you may recall the hard core diet/lifestyle change I underwent a while ago – wow, almost a year and a half ago! On the advice of my acupuncturist and nutritionist, I went completely sugar-free and dairy-free, and did it cold turkey. I lasted about nine months…I mean, seriously, you can do anything for nine months. 😉 I never really missed the dairy (I’ve always been slightly lactose-intolerant), but the no sugar KILLED ME. After a while, I just got sick of denying myself and thought that I could just eat some sugar and a little dairy…but clearly, I’m an all or nothing kind of girl.
After getting over my body’s readjustment to eating those things (I still feel super bloated and sluggish if I eat too much sugar), I now just try to eat generally healthy, with a few sweets here and there. (I mean, dinner isn’t dinner without dessert after. ;-)) But for some reason lately I have been CRAVING dairy. I still can’t stomach a glass of milk, but every morning I have a Stonyfield Farm yogurt super smoothie, and my snack of choice (well, besides dark chocolate) is an organic mozzarella string cheese! Oh, and we just had our inaugural ice cream from the local creamery. 😉
I have no idea whyI’m suddenly craving dairy, but I can only think that this might be a good contribution to our upcoming cycle. Maybe my body knew that I needed extra protein and calcium…I mean, can’t hurt, right?!?
April 19, 2010
After a hysterical mid-afternoon crying fit on the phone to S, I’m wondering if I spoke too soon. Perhaps the recent increase in stress and tears isn’t just a result of my crazy new job…? Might the hormones have something to do with it? ;-P
Today marks day 7 of Lupron…only three more days until baseline! Crazy, right? This cycle has felt weird for so many reasons. The most obvious is the external stresses I was dealing with last week – car accident much? 😛 But the other is that S really wants to lay low with this cycle…not tell our families, and not make assumptions that this cycle will work. That probably sounds pessimistic to most of you, but I think he’s trying to protect us. For four years now, we’ve lived our lives for “when we get pregnant…” and look where that’s gotten us. Just disappointed.
It’s so weird though! Every morning I do my Lupron shot, but I don’t really FEEL anything while I’m doing it. And by not feeling, I mean no emotions. I literally haven’t yet acknowledged to myself that we’re mid-cycle, or what it would mean for this cycle to be successful…or not. (And no side effects this time either, not from the BC or the Lupron, which is nice…but WEIRD.)
I’m also being less anal this time…the RE’s office tells you to do shots at the SAME TIME every day, so my previous cycles I did it at the EXACT same MINUTE every day. But this time, my first shot was the day after the accident so I ended up sleeping in and missing the time I wanted to do it, so I called the office to find out how much I could adjust it. The nurse I spoke to said that you only need to do it at ROUGHLY the same time, so even an hour here or there is okay. So now I don’t stress about that – as long as I get that needle in my belly between 6 and 7 am, I’m good to go. But again, just such a different way to think about this cycle. Some mornings I even forget whether I’ve done the shot yet!
It kind of feels like we’re pulling an ostrich, burying our heads in the sand…but with all the pregnant bellies around me, neck-deep in sand is really a safer place to be.
April 14, 2010
So, as if my week hasn’t been bad enough…today on my way between campuses, I managed to lock myself out of my (running) rental car!! I had no phone, no wallet…and seriously just wanted to call time out and start the whole week over. I managed to grab a guy walking by and borrowed his phone to call S, who called AAA and came to meet me.
Thank God I have a husband who comes to help – no questions asked – although he still definitely gives me a hard time. There have been a lot of crash test dummy jokes since Monday. 😛 He’s getting a little tired of me this week though, so hopefully I won’t get a third strike!
April 13, 2010
So, I had originally planned to write this post yesterday and to talk about how strange it was to be re-starting Lupron for cycle #3.5…but that was before I spent yesterday getting into (and then recovering from) a CAR ACCIDENT…!
To try and make a long story short, here are the highlights:
I was on my way to a noon-time work presentation (the first one that I had run by myself) and had just picked up sandwiches. I was following directions from my GPS (had never been in this town before), entered a rotary, and halfway through, SLAMMED into a van! Apparently halfway through there was a stop sign giving the other half of the rotary right of way, and I literally DID NOT see it. THANK GOD no one was hurt, except for the two cars, both of which were un-driveable.
My colleague (and former boss, who was joining me for the presentation) picked me and the sandwiches up off the side of the road and we actually went and DID the presentation! I had planned to give him the stuff and then have S pick me up and spend the rest of the day crying in my bed, but my colleague just assumed that I’d still be going, so I decided I had to suck it up and go.
After the preso, S picked me up, brought me to the tow lot and helped me empty my car of the millions of boxes of books (which he thinks is the reason why I didn’t get hurt – that the weight of the books actually held the car down). He brought me back to his shop (because I didn’t want to be alone) and I spent the afternoon making phone calls.
So now, I’m in a rental car for the foreseeable future, and just feeling SO guilty and embarassed about the whole thing. Luckily, it was the company car, so we don’t have to pay for repairs, but I still just can’t believe that it happened.
Oh and yes, I did my first Lupron injection this morning. Crazy.