Wednesday, December 28, 2011

6 DPO: Waiting (Im)patiently...

Today is 6 days past ovulation for me, and 6 days past possible conception. I get more impatient the more I think about it!!! I still have 9 days until my beta blood test.

Not to be dismayed, this is the result I was expecting at this point. I took an HPT this morning at 6 DPO just to be sure that the Ovidrel HcG shot was out of my system, because that is the one medication I took that could show a false positive when it comes time to actually test for pregnancy. Today is 8 days after the Ovidrel shot (which typically takes about 7 days to clear your system), so it means when I test in a few days if it shows positive, it is accurate! It is still days too early for pregnancy hormone to show a postive HPT.

I am almost confident that I am pregnant. When I was early pregnant with Emoree, my only symptom was sore nipples. In the last few days, however, I have sore nipples/boobs, slight nausea here and there, smell adversions, and exhaustion. I am not a person who has ever taken naps in my adult life, and the past few days driving home in the early afternoon I have to keep myself awake until I can get home and take a nap! Yesterday I slept for 3 hours. I do have a slight cold / sore throat, but its not that bad! I am wondering how I am going to make it through my 12:30-9 shift at work today, since I don't and will not consume caffeine!

I think I am going to do an HPT on Tuesday, if I can wait that long!! Tuesday is 12DPO and 3 days before my beta blood test. Tuesday is another 6 days away!! However, I got a faint positive HPT at 12 DPO when I was pregnant with Emoree!

I have two types of HPTs I bought... and still considering buying some $1 store ones for fun :) I stopped my Dollar Tree today and they didn't have any. The two I bought are Equate Early Result, and Clearblue Digital. According to the boxes, at 3 days before your "expected period", the Equate test has 74% accuracy, and the Clearblue Digital has 82% accuracy. If I make it to 12 DPO without testing, I may just try both :)

I'll update when I take an HPT again, so a week or less!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 21: The Two Week Wait Starts

I had my second IUI today at 1PM! I had 9 million sperm injected into my uterus! The procedure was again quick and painless. So the two week wait begins!

I am positive I ovulated between 8-9AM this morning... because after that point I have had awful cramping in my lower abdomen. I had to take tylenol when I got home from my IUI and take a two hour nap, feeling much better now.

I picked up my "intermittent FMLA leave" papers from work today and took them to the fertility center with me today.. better late then never, right? I didn't even think I'd need them until all that happened this week.. Regardless they told me they will be calling me next week for more info to fill out the paperwork, and it can take 7-10 days before they submit them. I'm not too concerned about it, as long as it gets done.

Now starting tomorrow until about 8 weeks of pregnancy I get to take prometrium twice a day. Sure, they look like basic capsules... they are not. They are a progesterone supplement used as a vaginal suppository twice a day (again, thanks to my lack of natural hormones). Progesterone helps with implantation of the embryo and helps with embryo growth, helping to prevent miscarriage.

My next update will be in a week or so... not much to say during the two week wait except waiting patiently and making myself crazy wondering if I am pregnant or not!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 20: 12 million, when it only take one!

I just got home from my first IUI! Easy, painless, and quick. I signed a paper explaining the motility, count, etc... They told me they like to have at least 3 million active sperm post-wash, and my little sample had 12 million! Woohoo! Another little interesting fact I didn't know before, aparantly the sperm sample I was using was frozen on 4/3/2006, I noticed that on the paper I signed. Anyhow, I thought it was interesting :o)

Easy and quick, they did the procedure it took less than 2 minutes. I didn't feel anything. Next they set a timer for 5 minutes for me to stay laying on the table, and told me to relax and for the next two weeks to treat myself as if I am pregnant. :o) They also told me I could stay as long as I liked, I think I stayed laying down for maybe 8-10 minutes before I left.

Next IUI tomorrow at 1PM! Then the two week wait begins...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 19: I can hardly contain my excitement!!

Day 19 is a good day!! I went in at 7AM for my usual, now daily, bloodwork and ultrasound. I got follicle measurements today!!! I have 19mm, 17mm, 13mm, and two smaller ones. EEK! The doctor looked at the ultrasound screen and said, "Well it looks like you pull the trigger tonight!" I almost bounced off the table with excitement!! The probability is that the 19mm and *maybe* the 17mm would release an egg, since there is still 24-36 hours or so for it to mature to 18. I got my phone call at 1:18pm today, so glad they didn't make me wait all day!! My estrogen level is 1,114. That sounds crazy to me!

Here is the super exciting part... My IUIs are scheduled!!!!!!!!!! I do my trigger shot tonight between 6PM-12AM. I go in for my first IUI tomorrow (Day 20) at 3PM!!  At 2PM tomorrow I have to call the Andrology Center to start thawing my donor sperm, that has been sitting there frozen for more than 4 years! My second IUI is scheduled for 1PM on Thursday (Day 21). The reason I am having two IUIs done on consecutive days is because I am using frozen sperm, and that is standard practice of the fertility center I am going to. If it was fresh, it would be one IUI.

If I haven't already explained it, IUI stands for InterUterine Insemination. The procedure takes all of 1-3 minutes. They insert a small catheter through the cervix directly into the uterus, and inject the sperm! It is painless, but can cause some cramping. After it is injected, they have me lay on the table for 5-10 minutes before leaving. That is it! Then it is best practice to "take it easy" for the rest of the day.

One hour before my scheduled IUI procedure the Andrology lab thaws the sperm, and also "washes" it. During this process they put the sample in a test tube and then a centrifuge, which seperates the sperm from other fluids. They then take the sperm and add liquid media on top, and then the most active sperm swim up into the media. The final sample contains just the most active sperm. Right before the IUI procedure, they will tell me the sperm count and motility of the sample.

I am going to do my Ovidrel injection tonight at 7PM. This shot "triggers" ovulation to occur, usually about 36 hours after the shot. With the times that my IUIs are scheduled, The first will be 20 hours after trigger, and the second will be 42 hours after trigger.

I have hope that this will be it!!! After this comes the "two week wait" before the blood pregnancy test, scheduled January 6th. I will probably post a small update tomorrow and/or Thursday after the IUI(s). Fingers and toes crossed the I get pregnant!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 18: Patience is a virtue I do not possess..

Well,  no trigger shot tonight. I am a little disapointed. There wasn't much follicle growth since yesterday, and I don't have much of an update. However, my estrogen level is 987 today!! I am to take just 75IU of Follistim tonight and go back tomorrow morning on CD19 for bloodwork and ultrasound again. I have to open that new vial of Follistim tonight.. not happy about that. I was really hoping I could just return it to the pharmacy but if I use any of it I can't.

This is slightly off topic, not completely, but I need to vent because it is stressing me out a little. Today was the first of 7 appointments in the last two plus weeks that interfered with my work schedule. I was supposed to be at work at 7AM, but my monitoring appointment was at 7:15AM (the earliest time I could get), which I went early to, so I got to work as soon as I could at 7:40AM, which is exactly what time I told work I would get there, and I got there as soon as I could. I've been slightly open about this process I am going through with management sparing any details, but today I got this "we have been more than gracious with you answering your cellphone", "schedule your appointments on your days off" and "don't wait until the last minute to let us know" BS. And yes, I am completely aware that it is the week of Christmas and our busiest week of the year. I CAN'T CONTROL THIS. I seriously thought this would all be over with nearly a week ago! How many ways can I say I don't "schedule" these appointments.. they TELL me when to come in! So after explaining this yet again, I also mentioned that if I have my "procedure" this week that I will need that day off and I won't know what day it is until 24-48 hours in advance... and nothing was said after that. So I am anxious waiting to see how this plays out... I am trying not to stress out too much but this doesn't help!!

Hopefully a better update tomorrow night!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day 17: 48 hours makes a world of difference

Day 17, Today is a good day. I had bloodwork and ultrasound this morning at 7AM. My favorite blood draw tech told me that two days ago (when I didn't have any follicle measurements) that I actually did have measurements, and there was 1 at 11mm, and 2 at 10mm. This made me feel a little better I almost cried, because I went in this morning with very little hope.

My ultrasound went well today!!!! I am excited to say I have 4 follicles over 10mm!! They are 16mm, 14mm, 12mm, and 11mm. Over 17mm is a mature follicle so I am ALMOST THERE!! I just hope my doctor doesn't think it is "too many" follicles that could possibly release eggs, and that just the 16 & possibly the 14 mature. I got my phone call just before 1:30pm today and my estrogen level is 849!! Crazy!!  I take 100IU of Follistim tonight, and I go back tomorrow morning at 7:15am. Tomorrow morning is the first appointment that will conflict with my work schedule (I'm suprised it hasn't up to this point!) but I will just be about 45 minutes late for work. Oh well!! This is much more important!

This could be it!! I am *really* hoping that all goes just as well tomorrow and that I am instructed to do the Ovidrel trigger shot tomorrow night!!! I am so excited now!!!

Another update tomorrow night!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 15: Monitoring is making me CRAZY.

Day 15, and I had bloodwork and ultrasound this morning. I was the first one there, so I got in and out quick (I wonder if they talk shit about me after I leave for showing up 15 minutes early? Either way I don't care). During my blood draw the tech told me that 3 days ago (CD12) my 2 leading follicles were 9mm and 8mm, and told me hopefully I should have some 12, 13 or maybe 14mm follicle today! That gave me hope, that was quickly crashed down upon during my ultrasound. My actual doctor did my ultrasound, and he didn't really say anything today which made me nervous. I saw on the screen what looked like more than 2 measurable follicles, and it seemed like the 2 that were leading didn't grow much. I asked him if it looks like this was going to work out this cycle, and his answer wasn't too uplifting to me... He said, "It isn't a matter of if, it is when. If too many of these follicles develop, we will have to cancel this cycle to avoid the risk of multiples." I held it together at that point, and was still okay. I don't even know what the follicles measured at today, because I even asked the nurse when she called me this afternoon what my follicle measurements were, and she told me sorry, but the doctor didn't record any follicle measurements. That really let me down. What she did have for me was my estrogen level for today... 604!!!! It TRIPLED in the last 3 days!! The freaks me out a bit, since I didn't have any matured follicles, and typically your estrogen level is about 200 per mature follicle. Now I'm upset that this cycle might be cancelled... I've been injecting hormones for the last two weeks and now it may have been for nothing?!? I'm a person who is used to getting what I want.. and not because I am spoiled, but because I work my ass off for it. This sort of thing makes me crazy because it is out of my control, and I must admit I am a bit of a control freak. Also, I definitely should have not googled "Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome" because that freaked me out even more... since I am in the catagory for every one of the risk factors (Under age 35, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, irregular cycles, ovulatory disorders...) and it is a very real possibility. To top it all off the injections are making me feel crazy.

I was also a bit upset that I had to go to the pharmacy today to pick up that 2nd vial of Follistim 300IU just incase I still need it on Sunday evening... another $284 after being told this cycle could possibly be cancelled.

I go back in for yet another monitoring appt of bloodwork and ultrasound on Sunday morning at 7AM, which will be cycle day 17. That really makes me feel like I am running out of time for this cycle to actually work out... I would love to go in there Sunday morning to find that I have just two nearly mature follicles with a comparable estrogen level, and that it is time to trigger ovulation with Ovidrel. Unfortunately, I think I'm dreaming... my luck has not been working out that way. We shall see Sunday I guess....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 12: and still monitoring....

Today is Day 12, and I wish I had some kind of update. I don't have much. I had bloodwork and an ultrasound this morning at 7AM. Of course, I am still waiting for my phone call today between 12-6pm for my estrogen levels, but I already know from my ultrasound this morning that my follicles have not grown much. I was watching the doctor measure the two leading follicles I have, and I am pretty sure they measured at 11mm & 10mm. I should find out for sure when I get my phone call this afternoon. They already told me to come back in 2 days, on CD 14 for ultrasound and bloodwork again. Also, I got double stuck this morning for blood draw, my veins were not cooperating.

So for tonight and tomorrow night, I am still taking Follistim injections. It will most likely stay at 100IU but I will find out for sure when I get my phone call. I think the part that bums me the most is that I have to buy another Follistim vial. I talked to the nurse this morning and she called me in a script for two vials of 300IU, because I didn't want to have to pay $852 for another full 900IU if I am not going to use all of it. I am going to pick up 1 vial of 300IU today from the pharmacy, and then I will pick up the second one on Friday if I still need it. I really, REALLY hope I don't need it, but most likely I will.

The bruises on my stomach from the injections and the ones on my arms from the blood draws are a constant reminder that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get what you want.  There are emotional highs and lows in this whole process, and it is stressful and sometimes frustrating, but hopefully in the end it will be worth it.

I will post a short update after my phone call today!

**UPDATE 2:30PM**
I got my phone call at 2PM today and my estrogen level is 174, so it's going up in the right direction! I am to take 100IU of Follistim tonight, tomorrow, and Thursday night, and go back Friday morning (instead of Thursday) at 7AM. I hope CD15 brings better luck! Follicles typically grow 1-2mm a day. I am about to go to the pharmacy to pick up a 300IU vial of Follistim.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 9: Monitoring continued.

Today (well technically yesterday, since it's just past midnight I'm a little late getting to this!) was day 9 and I went in for bloodwork and ultrasound this morning before work. I love 7AM appointments, they get you in and out pretty quick! Didn't even have to pay for parking because I was there less than 30 minutes. My blood draw today was from one of my favorite techs who I remember from 4 years ago who I had not yet seen this cycle! She is good, I did not feel a thing. Today my ultrasound was done by my actual doctor too! I was a little disappointed after my ultrasound I must admit... I did not have any follicles over 10mm. I do have 12 follicles in my right ovary as of today, and I do have two that are leading. They must be close at 8mm or 9mm, the doctor just doesn't measure them if they are under 10mm.  They told me my uterus lining is good at 7mm. My estrogen level today was 107, I was hoping for over a hundred this time so that increased well!! I go back in 3 days, on Tuesday which will be CD 12.

I am continuing with 100IU of Follistim each evening as well. I am hoping I get to use the trigger shot on Day 12 or 13, because otherwise I am going to run out of Follistim and I don't want to have to buy more!! Four years ago when I had Emoree I did my trigger shot on CD12, and I hope it is close to the same this time. Fingers crossed!

Next update Tuesday!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 6: Monitoring + etc.

First thing I've got to say is I don't know how all of you "normal" women deal with having a period every month. It can seriously GO AWAY now! 6 days is too long!

Anyway, after 3 days of Follistim at 75IU I went back in for ultrasound and bloodwork monitoring this morning. The doctor didn't say anything during my ultrasound this morning, but I did peak at the computer before I left and saw my uterus lining was about 10 mm, and the other measurements were just of my ovary, not of individual follicles, which I must admit I am a little disapointed about. He said I would most likely be coming back in 2 days, but to wait until I got the phone call this afternoon to see what the bloodwork said.

So I got the phone call, and my estrogen level was 60.2 which is a slight increase and a teeny step in the right direction, but no LH response, which my initial reaction was it is a little early for a LH surge anyway. They decided to up my Follistim to 100IU for 3 nights, and they want to see me back in 3 days (on Saturday) for bloodwork and ultrasound, which will be CD9.  I really, really hope I get SOME kind of follicle measurements on Day 9... or I may be a little heartbroken. My boobs have been sore, my lower abdomen has been cramped, I really felt like the Follistim was working appropriately so I was really suprised to be told to up my dose.

I did my injection of 100IU of Follistim tonight hoping and praying that I will not have to buy an additional vial. I've also been scowering the internet for similiar stories and blogs from women who have been in the same spot as me and I probably shouldn't have because now I am more anxious, worried, and a little discouraged. There are some really sad heartbreaking stories out there. I vow that I will not look up any more information on the internet about estrogen levels, LH surges, or follicle growth.

Hopefully I will have a better update on Saturday...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 3.. starting injection time!

Weekends at the fertility center are busy in the morning! The waiting room was packed. I had bloodwork and an ultrasound this morning at my 8AM appointment, I was only there for an hour. My veins didn't want to cooperate this morning, so I had to get stuck twice :-/ Anyway, I got the phone call earlier than I expected today! They said they would call back between 2PM-7PM for instructions, I got the call right at 2PM! Everything checked out good to start my IUI cycle! My estrogen level was 53.0, and my FSH level was 5.33. I am to take 75IU of Follistim tonight, tomorrow, and Tuesday and go back in for bloodwork and ultrasound on Wednesday morning. So exciting! I already took my injection tonight, since I am planning to do them at 8PM every night because it is best to do it around the same time each evening. I took the expensive little vial out of the fridge and put it in the cartridge pen, but not before reading over the instructions for the 20th time. I know I know I've done this before, 4 years ago, but I just want to be sure I do it right! I was again suprised at how the needle doesn't hurt! It is one of those little ultra fine needles.

Tomorrow I need to call the fertility center to set up my appointment for Wednesday morning, since I had missed the call today and had gotten all of the above information off of my voicemail. I'm so excited! I'm slightly nervous as to how crazy hormonally nuts the medications are going to make me over the next week or two... but in the end it is all worth it!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 2

I feel like I haven't updated forever, but up until now there hasn't been anything going on! So anyway, I just wanted to do a quick update before tomorrow. Today is Day 2 of my cycle, so tomorrow (Day 3) I have an appointment at 8AM (yes, even on a Sunday!) for bloodwork and ultrasound. As long as that checks out okay, I will start the Follistim injections tomorrow evening to start maturing those follicles!!

On the topic of medications, it might not be a listed side effect but I would swear that Provera can cause temporary short term memory loss. This past week I would have lost my head if it weren't attached. I lost my cell phone at Target on Black Friday (thankfully someone turned it in!), I seriously forgot what day it was on numerous occasions, and sometimes had no recollection of what I was doing just 15 minutes prior. Maybe it is just anxiety, but who knows! Hopefully that is overwith now. I'm ready to move forward!

I hope to have a more detailed update in the next day or two. We shall see!