Saturday, March 22, 2008

coming to an amusement park near you - the IVF rollercoaster.* UPDATED

What a last few days. I wanted to wait to update until I had a clearer picture of what's going on in there.
Monday (9dt3dt) I couldn't take it anymore. I had to go to the drugstore to pick up my M.etformin and had to go inside to get some lip balm. If I could've gone through the drive thru I think I would've been ok. Of course, I chose to walk down the aisle where things like tampons, pads and - oh yes! those things - are kept. In a haste, I bought a box of generic tests. I thought I could sneak a test once home without D knowing (he is anti testing early) but whaddaya know, he is HOME. At like 5:00. I can count on one hand the times he's been home that early. He saw them in the bag and gave me this disapproving look. Undeterred, I tested.

It was positive almost immediately, and very visible but still light. In the afternoon. 3 days before my beta.

I didn't take one Tuesday.

Wednesday morning, it was darker, but it was in the morning.

Thursday morning, it was maybe slightly darker than Wednesday, but not by much.

My beta on Thursday (12dp3dt) was 257.

My progesterone was "well over 40, and we don't take a measurement over 40", as the doctor said when he called - I mean, WTF? I need to know that number - and my estrodiol was +2,000 which is like insane freakishly high. So, I am down to one estrace tablet a day instead of two and stay on 1cc of PIO a day.

Today, I went in for my repeat beta. It needed to be 514 to double within 48 hours. OF COURSE, in true tipsymarie fashion, it was 492. Just shy of doubling. OF COURSE I was feeling confident and ok with that first number only to get this news today. I know rationally it could still be ok, but I would just like some peace of mind if not for a little while. I go back next week for another beta.

One thing I've already considered is that both implanted and one did not make it, hence the high first beta and would also explain the almost but not quite double for the second beta.

Please, please let this be ok.

*Speaking of an IVF roller coaster, how about the trains shaped like giant sperm? And a cave along part of the tracks shaped like a uterus? Classy, no?

Updated to add:

Sorry to get all whiny titty baby on you all. I realize we are very lucky to have even gotten this far. After flinging myself about in a fit of ridiculous self pity and incessant worry all day long I came to the conclusion that it is very, very early and this is to be expected.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I feel like a real IVFer with my title.

Only obsessing going on around here these days. I was doing pretty well not obsessing until I went in for a p4/e2 check this morning. My progesterone came back at 32, and they want it above 15. Of course, even though it is fine by my clinic's standards, I am not happy with this number. I found a study talking about p4 on day 14 in IVF cycles and its correlation to a successful pregnancy. It was in the hundreds, like between 350-500 or some other such crazy number. That's in 7 days.
I have read everything google has to offer, and it is mostly conflicting information or information not specific to my current situation. Did you know there are no less than 5 ways progesterone is supplemented in an IVF cycle? Or that some clinics differ on their dosage of progesterone? Yes. It is riveting reading; so much so I spent two hours at work today reading about it. The only thing I have to show for it is a crick in my back from bending over the computer and a headful of relatively useless knowledge about progesterone delivery systems in subfertile women during superovulation induction.
It was like a slipped back to almost 3 years ago - the infertile googling queen. I can quote useless information like nobody's business.
But I digress . . .on to the more entertaining parts of this post:

Symptoms (?) are really nothing that can't be attributed to the PIO, so I'm not getting too excited about them. Although I do have one that is proving to be a joy. My massive bloated abdomen that preceded me entering a room is back. It was certainly an issue the couple of days following the retrieval - it was very uncomfortable and even a little painful - but luckily it started to resolve itself by transfer day. Well, now it's back. I wore a loose fitting dress to work today because I can't get my pants comfortably fastened and I looked about 4 months along. Maybe 5 after lunch. Even my nurse this morning was taken aback - you know you've reached a new level of freakdom when you can surprise a veteran IVF nurse with your bloat.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I got the call today that there were none left to freeze which wasn't a surprise. When 9 out of 14 arrest before day 3, it doesn't look too good for freezing.
I am hoping the two that were transferred are strong and hanging on as we speak. Healthy babies have resulted from embryos just like them, so it could certainly still happen for us. It was simply a shock to hear so many didn't make it by Saturday.

Anyway, on to more pressing details.
Today I have twingy ovaries and an achy feeling in my pelvis from time to time. I really noticed it this afternoon during acupuncture and this morning carrying groceries in the house (the twingy ovaries, not so much the achy feeling). I felt kind of conflicted about carrying something slightly heavy but I had to get them in the house. I think leaving chicken in the car on a 70 degree day (that's right, 70 degrees. Jealous? Don't be. It will probably be snowing next week. That's March in the South for you.) is not advisable.
I go back to work tomorrow and while I'm glad I took today off, I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and put this out of my mind as much as I can until next week. I am excited and scared all at the same time, and despite my best efforts, I am already attached to those little globby bobbly ones.
Remind me at about this time next week I said I would not test early. Because I don't want to be held at the mercy of a pee stick. Right. Remind me.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Here are the stats:

26 eggs retrieved on Wednesday.
18 mature.
14 fertilized.
9 arrested before day 3.
2 grade II embryos showing some fragmentation transferred today.
3 are being watched; but I don't hold out much hope. They didn't look too good.

So now we wait.

following dr.'s orders is *usually* advised

I decided that the egg retrieval went so well that following the rest of the instructions for the after parts was unwarranted. "Drink plenty of fluids" and "don't consume many carbs and stick to high protein" did not sound at all like the self rewarding fest I felt was due once home and in the days prior to the transfer. Granted, I was bloated all to hell from the stims and have PCOS so really, that puts me in the 5% category for developing OHS.S but what does that ol' doctor know that I don't? Please. I read the internets*. My body can take some delicious carbs and dairy. Me hungry!
I instructed D to go to the store and purchase avocados, tortilla chips, doritos and american cheese once we were home from the retrieval. You know, mostly healthy stuff.
Turns out the avocados he purchased were not right - either under or overripe - I mean, gawd, I just had surgery, can't he choose a decent avocado??
So instead, I consumed one and a half cheese sandwiches with mayonnaise and mustard and roughly half a bag of doritos. That was lunch.
Dinner was Wendy's.
I know you want to get judgy right now, and if you must, go ahead. Because I would too if I were reading this.
The next morning, I got up and felt all bloaty and abdominally crampy - kind of like being constipated. I thought it was weird but I went to work anyway. I didn't want to sit around the house all day and go stir crazy.
My diet was not much better this day either.
Then came Friday, and oh my. I was soooooo uncomfortable I started to freak out that I had OHS.S. At work I was so snappy that I just stopped talking unless I absolutely had to. I was forced, out of pain and discomfort, to follow the doctor's orders.
Turns out I feel better this morning because I watched what I ate yesterday and drank plenty of water. Yeah. It works.

I've already forgotten to take medication twice. I am so type b about this cycle I can't even tell you. Like too much and not in a good way. Like as in doing it to avoid thinking about what's really happening. I forgot my first dose of estrace the other day; and forgot my antibiotic last night. That's why I am awake at 5 am on a Saturday morning. Because I woke up and remembered I forgot it and that I'd better damn take it because it says so on my lis*t of instructions, which I've also misplaced more than once.

I will leave you with some embarrassing things I said once coming out of anesthesia from the egg retrieval:
1. To the nurses: "You guys are the best. This whole experience was great. I love you." Can I get a prescription for versed?"
2. To D: "This is the best cranberry/grape juice EVER. We need to get some." (this is not that bad, except it's an open room with curtains separating the bed and I don't like strangers to overhear me sounding moronic. right, because that's what's important at the moment.)

*it turns out that reading the medical journals online is in fact not the same as earning a medical degree and doing a residency in obstetrics and gynecology; eventually many years later, specializing in reproductive endocrinology. no. it's really not the same.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

versed rocks.

Just got done with retrieval and I'm at home.
Apparently, my clinic likes to ICSI some but not all the eggs . . . we went ahead with it because at this point, why not? I'm not sure that we even need it, D's results have always been great and we've been pregnant twice before so . . . yeah. I don't know.
I will post when I know more tomorrow!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

smallish sigh of relief - stim day 6

This is hard to type.
Everything looked normal today - from the u/s to the bloodwork. Of course, it is still early in the stim phase so a lot can still happen.
Go back Saturday.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

thursday is a long time from now!

I started stims last night and I am freaking out that it won't be enough. I don't go in for monitoring until THURSDAY. Does that seem like a long time to go for my first monitoring appointment? Why can I not relax? If there was one thing I could change about me (other than the inability to conceive and then subsequently bear healthy children - duh) would be my incessant need to go from "Hey, look at those pretty flowers and beautiful butterflies on this amazing sunny day" to "Oh my G-d, is that a giant black cloud with a giant swirling vortex coming to kill me and everything I care about in one fell swoop" in 10 seconds? I wish there was a middle ground for my emotional state that comprises a healthy response to stress. I think if this were pioneer times or antebellum times or some other time a long time ago, I would not have made it past the age of ten. I would've been one of those women constantly fainting or crying hysterically at something mundane like the washboard or the cast iron stove or something.

In other news of things that are kind of freaking me out, but there is nothing I Can Do About It Because It Is Just the Way Things Are -
At work, I got the assignment I wanted for next year, which is completely shocking to me. Mainly because I am in disagreement with some of our policies and I have voiced that - usually when you do this, it does not bode well for your future in that job, right? In fact, in a meeting in which I voiced these disagreements in a way that seemed valid, it actually was not and my head ended up several feet from my body when my supervisor took out a machete and hacked it as she called my comments "Completely wrong and unfounded." Yes. It was totally awkward, but I am sure it was only so for me. By the end of the day, fences had been mended because my supervisior was kind of cool about the whole thing so I was fine, but others who were there still talk about it and embarrass me, making me think all was not fine and I had only succeeded in making a giant ass of myself.
Anyway, imagine my shock when she took someone who has been in the assignment I wanted for many years and removed her from it and appointed me to it, which I did not know was the plan. Without going into all the logistics, which I assure you are quite boring, I said I wanted it in part so I could work with this person because we work so well together, and I love the subject matter. I never imagined I would actually get what I wanted at someone else's expense. This person is a dear friend of mine and came in my room very upset after she got the news. And when I asked her what flaming backstabbing bitch took her job, she looked at me and said "You." To be accurate, she said it with a laugh.
Silence, gaping mouth. I really did not know what to say. So I stammered on about how it was unfair and such. It was a completely lame attempt to make her feel better and I am sure it failed miserably.
I don't think she is angry with me because she knows I wouldn't do that to her or to anyone else; usually when I don't like someone it's pretty obvious and there is not any need to employ subversive screwing over techniques because I will just tell you to fuck off to your face and there is no reason to assume I would expend additional energy to make your life any more miserable. No, not something I would do.
So, I don't know.
I want Thursday to get here and to be good news, and I want my friend at work to be happy on Monday and not pissed off at me and not thinking I somehow stabbed her in the back even though I know she knows I would never do that.
I am hoping this week is a good one . . . here is to optomism! ha ha. I will try, at least.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

yummy recipe I just made up

I am sure someone has made this before. But I want to continue feeling my genius for right now because this was really good and satisfied my ravenous red meat craving i've been having since starting the lupron.

Vegetarian Spaghetti

1 can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
1 can no sodium diced tomatoes undrained (the no sodium thing isn't important. it's just what was in the pantry when I was hungry today.)
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1/4 medium onion finely minced
dried oregano, thyme and basil
olive oil
thin spaghetti
grated parmesan/romano/pecerino (seriously, I cannot spell) cheese

Cook the garlic and onion in the olive oil until soft. Add the beans and tomatoes. Then add 1/4 palm full each: oregano, thyme, basil. Fresh basil would be even better but i didn't have any. You know, fennel seeds would be good as well but only a very little bit.
Cook the spaghetti until soft. Make sure you salt the water liberally.
Top with a generous amount of grated cheese.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

favorite quote from this week

"You know, you don't really know what love is until you have kids. It's changed my life so much and I can't imagine going through life without them. I mean, I know people do, but man. How empty."
- from a male coworker who knows I've started IVF; as we watched his kids playing. I should add I am not angry or upset at this completely insensitive and rather banal comment because this person might be the biggest idiot I've met in a long time. I don't think he can't help anything that comes out of his mouth even if he wanted to. He also added "just wait, you'll end up with twins." Ah, yes. Of course. And remember, they're implanted, not transferred.

I've started suppression for my Very First IVF. The best part is that I never really stopped bleeding from my last period - my body *hearts* to spot brown on the BCPs, and the Lupron! Oh! Even more so. It's been great being all Leaky McLeaky for the last couple of weeks. I took my last BCP three days ago and started what I believe to be a period today. It seems kind of soon, but who can judge. It looks as though I will start the big drugs this week.

In an attempt to get my anxiety under control, I began taking Z.oloft. I was told I would be sleepy for a few days, but that would wear off, and then my moods would stabilize and I would "see a drastic decrease in racing thoughts, shortness of breath, irritability, and just in general, you will stop acting all crazy and shit." The prospect of not being crazy anymore relieved me greatly, and my husband even more so. I couldn't wait to walk around in a medicated haze, stopping to smell the flowers and smiling plastically at work. Is this everyone's secret who seems so damned happy at work? Unfortunately, it was not meant to be for me. The first day I took it, I was awake until 3 am, wandering my home like a vagrant - chewing on my nails, talking to myself, swatting at invisible Crazy Bugs. It was horrible. So I stopped. I haven't pursued any additional anti anxiety/anti depressants yet, but has anyone else had this reaction from Z.oloft? I will talk to my dr. about this next week when I go in for a suppression check and see what she has to say about my reaction and what I could try instead. I've toyed with the idea of seeing a therapist. I just don't feel like I have that much to say. Maybe I have more to say than I think.
It feels good to write another blog entry again, and I am still the shitty commenter I've always been. I have 39 feeds on my bloglines so I have to excuse as I've been reading everyone's updates about once a week. As always, I vow to get better about this.
I hope I still have some readers out there - there's nothing like a blog about infertility that takes a year to actually get going with some real treatments. What can I say? I love to procrastinate. So do my ovaries.
P.S. I tried to spell check but it's not cooperating. If you see any egregious spelling errors, please disregard. Or print it out and mark the shit out of it in red ink. Whatever makes you feel at peace.

ETA: About the z.oloft . . . it was prescribed by the therapist at my RE's office. After we had our counseling appointment, she stressed that I need to be under the care of a psychatrist while I take medication. She was very responsible about it and did not call in any refills and said she wouldn't until she knew who I was seeing regularly. I really, really don't like to go. I've seen two - once as a teenager and once as a child, and to be honest I found them to be rather annoying - patronizing even. So I hesitate to go. It's also difficult to find one convenient to me, who specializes in infertility/anxiety disorders, takes appointments late in the day and who is under my insurance plan. I am thinking about asking her for a referral to someone in my area because she practices about 45 minutes away - and that's with no traffic in the afternoons. I did like her, so it is a shame.