Archive for January, 2006

Groan . . . !

January 31, 2006

The nurse just called.

Dr. P wants me to stimm for one more day. Groan! Double groan, hiss, whine! Easy for him to say! Not the answer I was hoping for, but I can live with it. (Like I have a choice here). Oddly, I feel better just knowing something.

My E2 came back at 1,515 which they’re happy with. I thought it was kind of a cool number.

With the follies all over the place like they were today the hope is that those in the mid-range category will catch up a bit and “most likely” the middle ones will be the actual useful eggs retrieved, but you never know.

You really never know. That is the one sure thing in all of this: there are no sure things!

So, unless something really weird or bad happens by tomorrow morning, I will trigger tomorrow night, which means retrieval Friday morning, which would mean transfer next Wednesday. I can do this . . . I can do this . . . I can do this . . .

Signing off for now . . . chanting to myself: NBHHY, NBHHY, NBHHY . . .

****
PS

Not sure where to add this so I’ll just stick it down here at the end of my post. . .

This morning I reread Lindy’s Infertility 2.0 from November-ish when she was at this stage. And, there are pretty many similarities, including a sense that it wasn’t going to work no way no how and look how that turned out!! Lindy, you are my conquering infertility role model and Bloggirl hero (for showing me the way to Blogland).

Reality Check

January 31, 2006

IVF #1, Cycle day 13, 11th day of stimms.
Patience waning. Fast.
(I didn’t have much patience to start with though.)

I have no idea what to think. So I will tell you what I feel instead. I feel deflated. I feel depressed. I feel tired. I’m trying to decide whether the fatigue, stress and dreary weather are the cause or whether I really have reason to feel so discouraged about this.

Today’s U/S left me more puzzled than anything because I’m not really sure what it all adds up to. I now have between 17-20 follies on the “bothering to measure them” list. But . . . before you get too excited for me this is not as good as it sounds. Several are lagging in the 12-14mm range, the majority are in the 15-17mm range and then there are these few scary whoppers at 23-25 range. It’s the last batch I’m most worried about, and of course the size spread in general seems “bad” to me. I do not think we will have 12 mature eggs for ER. Maybe 8 if I’m really, really lucky. More likely 6.

My other obsessive worries of the day are: they are still hemming and hawing (are those words?) about when my trigger might be and I, of course, am beginning to wonder if we will even get to trigger! Next in line for the worry lineup is the EL: it was generous 11, then 10, then 9 and now 8! This is not really how the progression is supposed to work. It was 8.7mm to be exact and E. said anything over 9 is fine and we round up. So is it just me, or is 8.7 not really “over 9”?? Picky, Picky, I know!

Discouraged, I asked E., the U/S tech if this was still looking like at least an OK cycle, and she said yes. (Not very enthusiastically either by the way). She did not correct my OK and upgrade it to good or great. They had been telling me great. Am I reading too much into this omission of excited remarks from the staff?

At any rate I’ve had it with this IVF business. I know I am a wimp. My best guess as to what all this translates to is this: Today’s E2 level (yet to be determined) will decide for us whether trigger is tonight or tomorrow and then it’s anyone’s guess how many eggs we get and/or what happens from there.

Keep in mind that all this obsessing is just about the egg end of the deal. Sadly, the egg factor is not even our known problem area, and I have not even begun fretting about the sperm yet: their lack of proper morphology and those pesky antibodies (his) attacking the sperm we have left to work with.

One thing (one very sobering thing) I have learned from reading other IF’ers blogs is that this numbers game really means very little in the end. Someone may get a large number of eggs at ER and have nothing viable left for ET and someone else may get a bare minimum at ER and it’s touch and go all the way to ET whether their embryos are “good” and they end up with the take home live baby. So . . . it’s not over until the fat lady sings. I guess I better pass on watching American Idol for the next three weeks then!

Beep. You have One Voicemail from Hope . . .

January 30, 2006

Actually it was Nurse S. of the “deep veins” who left the message. It turns out that this morning’s E2 was 1,162! Whooohooo! Funny how happy a simple number can make me after freaking out all day! I feel like it’s all back on track now.

Well . . . Until the next stomach dropping dip in the rollercoaster . . .

Today’s fortune cookie was not prophetic but it was nice enough:
“Love is like sweet medicine, good to the last drop”
I’ve tasted both Western and Chinese medicines and neither tends to be sweet. Love, however, can be. The sentiment is nice in any case.

Same Time, Same Place . . .

January 30, 2006

Man . . . this is starting to suck! (Starting?)

I don’t even know where to start. The whole visit to the RE’s was a comedy of errors this morning. Let’s see if I can get this down is some readable way.

First, just the facts, ma’am:

  1. Sunday corrections/catch-up: E2 was 786, B/P was perfect
  2. Today: More follies, bigger follies, E2 TBA . . . not ready to trigger yet, probably not even tomorrow. Maybe not even Wednesday. Still, all is well in my IVF world
  3. Very disappointed that trigger will be later than I “planned” on
  4. Serves me right for “planning”
  5. Today, waiting room experience and RE visit in general were, well, less than “ideal”
  6. Serves me right for believing “ideal” exists
  7. Stressed more than usual due to fabricating a white lie to skip out of office “for a quick errand” (code for I am having a dildo-cam shoved up my you know where . . . ) that turned into a rather long absence

The saga retold with superfluous details for those of you with some spare time to kill:

  1. Arrive to an overfilled waiting room
  2. Told by receptionist (loudly) that I am there 1 hour and 15 mins early (despite an appointment card that says otherwise
  3. Get dirty looks from all others in waiting room
  4. Told by receptionist (much quieter this time) that she made the error, not me.
  5. Sit scowling, while audibly relaying receptionist correction to C. for the benefit of other scowling patients (since they could not hear receptionist correction)
  6. Babies everywhere. I feel like I have taken a wrong turn at the pediatrics office.*
  7. Get called 40 minutes late despite it not being my fault re: “wrong” appointment time
  8. explain to U/S tech that it’s not my fault the schedule is off, show her appointment card
  9. C. told not to sit on chair in tiny exam room because previous couple had a poopy diaper changing accident on said upholstered chair. They also were largely responsible for 40 minute delay as their existing baby made a fuss during U/S. (Is it actually necessary to change a diaper during what should be a ten minute appointment and hold everyone else up??)*
  10. The tiny exam room smells very strongly of super nasty baby poop (as opposed to the normal level of smelly variety) and an overdose of air freshener which is fooling no one and making my eyes water
  11. U/S painful due to large ovaries and overfilled bladder (which I declined to empty in favor of saving time) (Ha, ha, ha!)
  12. U/S tech comments “Wow, you’re bladder is really full!” C. smirks helpfully.
  13. I love my husband. Honest.
  14. Am offered bathroom, again, but now toilet not working. Damn. (Flushed baby wipes perhaps??)
  15. Blood draw nurse of the day, Nurse S., cannot find a vein. Asks me if my veins are “deep.” I refrain from telling her that no one else has trouble and just endure while she pokes around to finally hit the red gold.
  16. I have a nice drug addict bruise now.
  17. One good thing: My BP is normal. But since she did this by ear and not with the automatic B/P machine, I am not sure I trust Nurse S. (of the deep vein theory)!
  18. My eggs are still not ready, I have to do this shit again. Tomorrow. Same time. Same Place.
  19. Probably Wednesday too. God grant me the serenity . . . . etc., etc., . . .

I want to be done!!! Now!!!! (Please note: I am fully aware that I am not having the worst time of it possible, but I am not a patient or relaxed woman.) This just sucks. To top it off Nurse S. dashed my fantasy by telling me that her guess is at least two more days of stimms. I want to trigger now. If not now then my consolation prize was tomorrow. But Wednesday or Thursday? Can I last that long? Obviously, yes. I just don’t want to.

*Now my disclaimers: I have nothing against secondary IF’ers. The two who know me will already know that, but for passing readers I have to say that I do indeed understand that bringing a previous success to the RE’s is a reality of life for secondary IF, and one I that do not envy by the way: having to juggle the stress of mommihood with the IF thing. I am too big of a wimp to do this again with a baby in tow. I can barely tow myself.

It’s just that three babies in the waiting room and one more pooping on the “spouse” chair in the U/S room was too much for me to bear in the span of one hour on an already anxiety ridden day. Also the waiting room mommies felt the need to have a loud discussion about strollers and car seats and then had the nerve to scowl at me for being “earlywhich I was not!

So please forgive me crankiness on the topic of babies/children/parents in the RE waiting room.

To top it off the parents of the poop incident couple : a) were a couple and didn’t have to both be there with baby at all b) where too retarded to change a diaper without getting sh*t on the furniture and leaving the mess for the rest of the staff & infertiles to live with all day c) were so retarded trying to get their bundle of joy bundled back into her adorable pink bunting thing that I felt a huge urge to intervene and put them all (including the eventually screaming child) out of their coat donning misery!

Aside from my crankiness, my general skepticism that this cycle might actually be going well, and my bitterness that IF is even a reality of my life . . . the staff all seem quite happy with my “progress” so while I am not letting Hope out of her dungeon yet . . . I do hear her calling me. She wants to be let out but I’m not falling for her tricks.

***OH NO!

I almost forgot the most important factor: The lucky socks. They were wet. Yesterday I did not have enough laundry to do a load so I washed the lucky socks by hand. Sadly, they were still wet this morning. (Note this next part will prove I am a nutjob.) Well, they are handknit wool, so unless I wanted baby booties to come out of the dryer, I had to think of something else. So, I hung them from my car’s cupholder in front of the heat vent on the way to work and then again on the way to the RE’s, by which time they were still damp but I put them on anyway. Conclusion: This day’s shitty luck is being blamed on a wet pair of lucky socks. I think the dampness must have impaired their magical powers. But, to not have worn them at all . . . was unthinkable. Imagine what might have happened then!

Well, I am off to get some Chinese take-out. I am a bit scared of what the fortune will say today.

Yo-Yo E2

January 30, 2006

My brain is in continuous fret mode now. Poor C. He’s had to listen to me ask him “Are you sure this is alright?” about twenty times since Dr. Substitute called at 3pm! (Note: that was about five hours ago).
Sadly my brain didn’t even register my exact E2 number but the gist is that it has barely changed in the past 2 days. It went from 716 to let’s say 792 or so (it was just under 800). Now it’s too low. Damn. So I am to increase my dose, which sounds reasonable to me but the amount has me a bit worried. Maybe I am just crazy. She wants me to increase the Follistim from 50iu to 150 iu. and leave the Menopur the same at 75iu. So my overall stim dose is not even doubled but the follistim dose is tripled. And I am driving myself nutty imagining that Dr. P would not have made this same choice but Dr. Substitute is on call so she’s the boss.

Anyway, this is not even an update in sane people terms. The main update is my pathological level of worry in reaction to this. I have never had such a cooperative cycle and I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. Any minute now. I am also a chronic worrier in good times. And these are not good times. Good for mid-IVF maybe, but not good as compared to say “normal” daily living.

God, I wish drinking were allowed in this phase! Could a glass of wine really hurt? To top that off C. rented a couple of movies for the evening, one of which was “Dodgeball.” Pity me. It was awful. Has anyone else been unfortunate enough to see this movie? It might be funny if you’re drunk or otherwise impaired. Utterly juvenile. I guess that’s what makes it so “funny.” C. acknowledged this but watched it through to the end anyway.

Well, Internets . . . nighty night . . . I hope I don’t dream about exploding ovaries or something even more fretful. I am such a basketcase.

Thanks for all the encouragement and well wishes in your comments. Much appreciated!

Getting Close Now

January 29, 2006

Well today’s U/S left me feeling somewhat closer to optimistic! Dr. Substitute seemed very pleased. I still have in the neighborhood of 10-12 contenders. I’m happy with that. Size-wise we have a wider range now. The smallest is measuring 12×13 and the largest measuring 17×17. The majority are in the 15mm range and there are “a lot more” that are too small to count at this point. I did not ask for an E2 call tonight. She will only call me if I require a dose change which I do not expect at this point.
Dr. Substitute feels that it is possible I will trigger tomorrow but her money is on Tuesday, which means ER Thursday. I guess this is good. I am cd 10 and 8 days of stimms now, so that would put trigger at cd 12 and ER at cd 14 which seems reasonable since it corresponds to what happens during a “normal,” drug-free cycle. I can hardly believe I am this close already. It seems like a lifetime of waiting and a blink of an eye all at once!

Sadly, my warped little mind is now actually distressed about how “good” I feel. I feel bloated. Wanding is unpleasant. Intercourse is out of the question (thanks to all your responses I figured out that I do not have to be some kind of hero in that department!) . . . Yet I do not feel the kind of pain or the kind of insanity that I felt during my injectibles/IUI cycles at this stage. Instead of feeling grateful for this, I feel a sense of doom lurking . . . as though pain and torture are a prerequisite to IVF success. So, if it’s this easy right now, then I will not get the reward: aka a baby.

I would feel better if I felt worse. How backwards is that??

So, I am busying myself to try to put this out of my mind after I log off here. I have two more days of U/S bloodwork to look forward to which makes for three days in a row. As unpleasant as that is, I am grateful for the watchful eye approach they are taking.

Funny bit from my acupuncture appointment on Friday. She advised me to eat lots of protein, especially eggs. I asked: “eat eggs for my eggs you mean?” (thinking I was being funny) and she said “exactly!” “That is what we believe in Chinese medicine. You eat eyes for eye trouble, brains for brain trouble, and so on.” Sadly, I did not think of this reply until I was in the car. But if I am to eat eggs for my eggs (and especially since we have mainly MF) . . . what exactly should I be cooking for my husband tonight?? ;-O

OK, enough funny stuff . . . we settled for steaks at the Outback for lunch today after my appointment. That is protein too. I did eat an egg for breakfast in case she’s right.

Quick Update

January 28, 2006

Today’s E2 was 716. My doses stay the same and my appointment has been moved to Sunday. We’ll see what that brings!

Holding Pattern

January 27, 2006

There is not really anything to report here that is “news.”

My EL is up to 11mm now which is good. I have 7 follies in play on the right and 4 on the left plus “a lot” of smalls on each side which (if I am interpreting the U/S tech’s vague responses correctly) can still catch up all of a sudden and come into play. The thing that is puzzling me is that the measurements of said follies have not really changed significantly since Wednesday’s U/S, most are still measuring an average of 12mm. The good news is that 11 follies is a generous number to work with, and they are all very close in size which is important because during my IUI cycles I tended to have 1 that “got ahead” and took over which meant that the smaller ones were useless and did not release at trigger. So overall the report is still very good at this point. I’m curious to see what today’s E2 comes up as. I won’t get the call until 3pm or so. C. thinks it’s amusing that I insist on wearing my lucky socks to every appointment. I can’t afford to miss out on their good vibes for even one wanding . . . imagine what could happen! (For anyone’s that’s worried, I do launder them for each occasion.) Part of C.’s amusement is my struggle to juggle the laundry routine when I have RE appointments two days in a row.

I go in again tomorrow. This is getting old, but it is also to be expected. My insides are getting rather sore so the “wanding” is getting rather more unpleasant each time. And for the record, s*x at this point really sucks. I don’t recommend it. Live and learn. I just figured it is only going to get worse over the next couple of weeks, so we should get one last hurrah in. (OK, more truthfully I wanted to flush the lines, so to speak! We need some brand new fresh from the factory soldiers for this mission!) Our little romp last night, while not memorable, hot or exciting did manage improve morale at our house. I somewhat hessitantly kissed my toad, and while he did not turn back into a prince quite yet, I don’t want to smack him today so that is an imrovement anyway. And the “O” probably did my nerves some good as well. Though with the pain thrown in, it was a narrow margin trade-off at best.

Writing that, I just got to thinking: hey ladies . . . remember when O stood for org@sm and not ovul@tion?? God, this infertility thing really sucks . . . sucks and sucks and sucks the fun right out of life! Blech! S*x for fun? Really? People do that?

OK, I’m over that now.

So . . . I am getting a little antsy to know when this retrieval might be. But you can’t rush a good thing, I guess. The vague U/S tech chose not toplay my guessing game at all. And the blood draw nurse’s best guess was “sometime the middle of next week.” We’ll see what Dr. P’s partner says tomorrow. She is the doc on call and thus doing all Saturday scans. (She was my original RE until I switched to Dr. P. I doubt she even remembers that by now since I’ve been a patient at their practice since March 2004. I used to feel paranoid that she minded my ditching her for him. I am sure she has bigger things to think about.)

I’ll update with an E2 when I hear. In the meantime I better get back to earning a living so I can pay for all this fun and frivolity. I have an acupuncture appointment this afternoon. So, at least I’ll get a nap in today.

PS I have not had the urge to cry or snap anyone’s head off (yet) today and it’s almost noon. So, I think it’s going to be a good day. I hope I didn’t just jinx myself!

How Would you Like your Eggs, Ma’am?

January 25, 2006

Warning this is about to be another disjointed, mixed up emotions kind of post!

The good news: Dr P. is very pleased with my ultrasound today. My RE did the scan today which is always a bonus because it gives me a chance to drill him with questions. (I am sure he loves that!) He estimates a nice even dozen for retrieval “or maybe more.” There is more action on the right than the left, but so far the follies are pretty equal in size, averaging about 12-14. He is concerned about the E2 “getting away from us” but this is mainly because I have tended to overstim in the past (IUI cycles). I have yet to hear today’s number** and whether my dose will be lowered or not. Overall I am happy with the egg report.

My B/P remains high. I asked Dr. P about it again and he said he’s not too worried but we’ll watch it. Then he says if it stays up though, anesthesia won’t put me to sleep. WHAT!! We can’t have that I told him. He reassured me that we still have time to watch it and treat it if needed. He better not plan to have me do this retrieval awake! That will make my B/P go really, really high!

So, I basically have all good news, so I should be smiling, right? So why have I been on the verge of tears on and off all day? Well, let’s see . . . I hate that I have to be doing this in the first place. I resent that we have male factor but I have to suffer all the treatments. I hate that in light of that fact, C. is being a toad. (He was off to a good start this cycle but it didn’t last long. As of last night, he is a toad, hence the four hours sleep.) I am ready to tell him to f* himself. Literally. I do not want to have sex with a toad just because the thought of using 2 week old*** sperm for my beautiful, hard won eggs and my $10,000 IVF lottery ticket makes me hyperventilate! As far as I’m concerned he can just get some “sample producing” practice in this week. This whole thing is so clinical. I need to get over that, but it really, really bothers me. (Obviously I have not truly made peace with the A.R.T. of it all.)

The BF issue is more or less resolved. I realized that I was seeing the relationship as I wanted to see it not as it truly is. I will maintain the friendship, but stop hoping for what is not there. As a wise woman pointed out: she is quite likely to give mommy assvice too, should I ever be lucky enough to need any. (Maybe mommy assvice will not hurt as much as IF assvice but I’m sure it will still be annoying!) As another wise woman suggested: I could try to educate BF on the yays and nays of what is helpful to say to an IF friend. It may be worth a try. I think I will wait until I am less hormonal lest I say something really b*tchy.

So, please forgive me Internets . . . here I am doing pretty well all things considered. NBHHY. (I love that one . . . I hope it’s OK to borrow it!) My dozen eggs are cooking (I prefer sunny side up) . . . and I am a miserable wench! Get a grip Beagle! So as a default I am blaming it on: the hormones! (And 4 hours sleep.)

**Just got the called from Nurse D. E2 is 425 which is still higher than RE would like for this early but bad either. I am to lower the Follistim dose to 50u. Menopur stays at 75u and Lupron stays at 5u. Next U/S and bloodwork: Friday 7:45 am.

***two weeks old because there’s been no romantic action around here. Between the usual busy-ness of life, my persistent sadness, and a persistent AF on Lupron I have not been playing the initiator. My theory is that if I can go through all this crap, then maybe C. can (at the very least) put a little effort into the good lov’in department. I not only hoped for this, but specifically and clearly asked it of him before we started this cycle. But no, he expects me to be in charge of that too! Grrrrr . . . . men!

Ultrasound #2, Day 4 of Stimms, Part 2

January 24, 2006

The fast track to OHSS? Or just a case of eager ovaries?

Nurse D. called at noon to say my E2 is a bit high for this early: 308. I need to find a chart that tells me what is normal for corresponding cycle day. I am cd 6, day four of stimms (inject at night) so the E2 of 308 reflects only 3 doses of stimms. (That should be clear as mud.)

They want me to come in tomorrow for repeat U/S and E2. They are keeping my doses the same which surprises me a bit. I don’t think 308 is sky high, just higher than ideal. I have had OHSS twice already on IUI cycles so Dr. P likes to treat my ovaries with kid (latex free, of course) gloves. So my dose remains at: Lupron 5u in the morning, then Follistim 75 u and Menopur 75 u in the evening.

In IUI cycles 150 u of Follistim where enough to put me into OHSS. 75 u was an understimmulated cycle so we finally ended up with 112 u, which worked well. I would have voted for sticking with that but I think with IVF they want to be a little more aggressive also there is the Lupron to consider.

We’ll see . . . in a matter of hours I went from hopeful to worried. Again. I think I’m still OK because cd 6 is still pretty early. I do take some comfort in the fact that Dr. P is on the ball and keeping a close eye on things.

Tomorrow’s appointment 10:45 am. Better go launder the lucky socks! Again.

Sigh . . .