Monday, January 31, 2011
Dr. H began our pre-transfer meeting with the routine, "How are you feeling?". Determined not to lie, I used slightly different words than "crap" as I explained.
He expected hyper stimulation because we knew that was a high risk... but we really thought we were going to be okay for transfer day. After all, I've been feeling a bit better the last few days. Not great - but at least better.
We went through the fertility report - we have two dar near-perfect Day 5 blastocysts and we will be transferring both. We have at least three more good ones (out of the remaining 15) which we anticipate will be ready tomorrow for a Day 6 freeze. Extremely hopeful...as I'm the only one in my "batch" (group of women who go through the IVF cycle together) who made it to Day 5. Everyone else had to transfer on Day 2 and 3.
The longer he spoke, the better I felt.
The longer he spoke, the more he knew something was wrong with me.
Not a good sign... so as a precaution we decided to do an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay before the procedure. Unfortunately, everything was not okay.
Goodbye Transfer Day.
Instead of an embryo transfer we ended up draining 4 liters of fluid out of my abdomen and the new goal is to keep me out of the hospital.
The "severe" hyper stimulation is much worse than he thought and although I'm actually feeling better - I'm ironically doing worse. A safe transfer wasn't even an option.
Our darnear-perfect embryos have to be frozen.
Transfer Day will be a minimum of 12 week away (quite possibly 6 months).
I'm back in bed.
Feeling a bit more than "like crap".
Positive mental attitude. Positive mental attitude. Positive mental attitude. Positive mental attitude.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Our conversation went something like this:
The Marine: "What's the deal - are you exercising or what?!"
Me: ".......umm.....not really"
The Marine: "why NOT?!"
Me: "....well....I'd tell you but I don't think you want to know the details."
The Marine: "Don't give me excuses."
Me: "....well....I'm kinda supposed to stay in bed".
The Marine: "That sounds like an excuse."
Me: ( a little bolder) "...okay I was trying to spare you details but you should know that the fact that I'm in bed has something to do with your next nephew/niece sitting in a petri-dish."
The Marine: "Never mind. I don't' want to know."
Then he busted out laughing and told me I was a cow. "Excuse me?!". With that he started to tell me everything that I've been going through which was almost accurate to a T.
How does he know?
Before he was The Marine....I guess he was a Reproductive Endocrinologist to cattle (aka: a cowboy). It appears that cows go through the exact same regimen when humans want to force them to have babies (so we can get milk). Shots and all.
With that I told him that he better leave the cows alone and stick to figuring out how to win wars.
(I think I just became a Vegan.)
As far as my Day 3 fertility report...I'm still trying to figure it out. Once again, it was spoken in another language.
One I don't speak but try to understand.
There are 17 (of the 26) in total. Five embryos are in "excellent" quality. Two #8; one #7 and two #5. Then nurse read some other numbers I didn't write down about the 12 that are in the "good" and "fair" category.
(Feel free to explain the number/quality system if you get it. Because I still don't.)
All in all - it looks like we're still scheduled for a Day 5 (Monday) transfer of 2-3 embryos.
Even if it does make me a cow.
I stink at bed rest.
I tried to go to work again today and made it a total of... not too many hours... before I waved my white flag and called Mr. Thompson crying. I called "uncle" and he had to end a meeting to drive me home. Things feel so much better horizontal except for one thing.
I get really bored. Really. Bad.
Which reminded me about how bad I was about mandatory bed rest 3 years ago. Most of my pregnancy with Colton was supposed to be spent horizontal.
I didn't do it.
And paid a dear price.
Which is all the reminder that I need to put me on my best behavior from here on out. Anyone know how to knit? Or have a good book to recommend? All you OHSS survivors - what's the secret to staying put... in one room?!
p.s. Thanks for all the great advise on the "conundrum". You gave me some excellent insight and ideas to think about. I love my peeps (which strikes me as funny since everything with IVF seems to relate to chickens)!
Thursday, January 27, 2011
The Embryologist reported that of our 31 eggs.... 26 were mature and in excellent shape for fertilization. Day 1 report is that ICSI was a success with all 26 (where they inject a single sperm into an egg via a needle for increased odds). We'll see what happens over the next few days but....I've got a feeling....
(One. Just one. That's all I ask.)
In other news: I feel like crapola.
I tried to go to work today and made it a total of 2.5 hours of sitting there before I had to excuse myself from a meeting. I had a good cry as I waddled to the car in an effort to get to my bed. Quickly.
So here I am and here I shall stay. Horizontal.
The nurse called me to check in (making sure I was following my "to do" list) and she laughed when I felt the need to apologize for everything I said and did as I was coming out of anesthesia. I think I asked the same question 15 times. Actually, I'm sure of it.
The problem is that I still don't remember the answer. So I'll ask you...
If we retrieved 31...and they only transfer three.....what-oh-what are we going to do with the rest?!
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
We retrieved 31 eggs today.
8 - 12 is normal.
I guess that would make me... abnormal. In the words of Dr. H's, it also means that I have "the biggest ovaries this side of the Mississippi right now". And they hurt. Bad. Our risk of hyper stimulation just shot way up so we're going to have to watch this very closely with the help of some Lortab.
I thought the Embryologist was going to either pass out or quit his job when he heard how many good eggs we retrieved. 31. Wow.
And now he starts to work his ICSI magic.
The day was filled with a lot of humor but I'll have to post more about that later. For now, I'm going to put on my Wonder Woman shirt and go back to sleep......
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Oh well. I figure, I'll enjoy it while it lasts since I haven't seen one of these in over 3 1/2 years.
Viva la Vida!
We go in for our retrieval at 8:30am tomorrow morning. The anesthesiologist will knock me out and I'll blissfully slumber while they go on their Easter egg hunt.
Maybe you better keep those toes crossed.
Monday, January 24, 2011
No. More. Shots.
After last night's final stimulation regimen...and two deeply bruised arms...I only have one shot left.
The Big Kahuna.
Personally, I think they call it that to comfort all the stim cycle survivors because after...day-after-day-after-day-after-day-after-day... of shots....
Any trigger will do.
(Don't get me wrong - I'm blissfully happy we've made it this far. Things looked awesome at today's appointment. Thanks for crossing your fingers and toes - it worked!)
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Cut my hair.
So when skiing was out after yesterday's ultrasound/blood draw...I decided to get my hair cut. Right. This. Very. Minute.
Which meant that I had to go to a new salon...correction: beauty college...which would take a non-patient "walk in".
(Do you see where I'm going with this?)
I may have saved $60 but I learned an important lesson: some things in life really are worth waiting for - a good stylist is one of them.
"Long layers" does not mean 2 inches from the crown of my head. I swear I had this Friends haircut in 1996. That was then - this is now.
So much for feeling better. If I didn't have two boulders residing in my belly I'd go skiing to get over it.
Any other ideas?
p.s. Tomorrow we find out if this hyper stimulation issue is too much of a threat to proceed this cycle. I have an obvious problem with patience... so cross your fingers and toes pretty-please!
Saturday, January 22, 2011
That is today's "stimming" report.
Although everything looks "exceptional" (doctor's words - not mine)...my ovaries have grown so big they are "kissing". This leaves me wondering about the bazaar (and uncomfortable) world I've entered into.
On the serious side, Dr. H is watching this very closely because I'm at risk for severe ovarian hyper stimulation (think last episode of Guilianna & Bill, when she was taken to the hospital in the middle of night...). As a result, we're going to "cool things down" and hope for a trigger on Monday with egg retrieval on Wednesday.
I feel like a darn chicken.
Or lab rat.
Positive mental attitude. Positive mental attitude. Positive mental additude. Positive mental attitude. Positive mental attitude. Positive mental attitude. Positive mental attitude. Positive mental attitude. Positive mental attitude. Positive mental attitude. Positive mental attitude. Positive mental attitude. Positive mental attitude. Positive mental attitude. Positive mental attitude. Postive mental attitude.
Friday, January 21, 2011
To become a Harlem Globetrotter.
I'm serious. That isn't a joke. A Harlem Globetrotter.
It didn't matter that I was white. Or a girl. Who had no idea where Harlem was (something I would one day rectified by moving to New York). What mattered was that I lived and breathed basketball.
Even from the "B Team" at South Junior High.
Because as much as I lived and breathed basketball....basketball didn't necessarily live and breath me. I stunk at it. I was so bad in fact, that once, I ran to the wrong end of the court and made a point for the other team.
I thought I was a superstar as I out-sprinted everyone for the perfect lay-up. Little did I know that the overwhelming screams from the crowd, were actually meant to tell me I was running the wrong way. Towards the wrong basket.
But as much as I stunk - I had heart. And a talent for making the other team foul me. I couldn't make a free-throw for the life of me....but boy did I get the opportunities. And with those opportunities came the surety that I was eventually destined for greatness - to become a Harlem Globetrotter.
After all, I had the Globetrotter basketball. I had the Globetrotter shorts. I had the Globetrotter team poster on my wall. I even knew how to spin a ball on my fingertip. Fortunately, I also had a coach who understood and used it to teach me one of life's most powerful lessons.
The power of positive mental attitude.
Straight from the "B Team"...she took me aside after every practice for a mandatory assignment. For 10 minutes, I would have to lay on the floor in the middle of the basketball court...in silence...with my eyes shut...imagining myself making free throws. (which I would do with my magic Globetrotter shorts and ball).
And wouldn't you know...I eventually started making those free-throw shots for real.
I got promoted to the "A Team" and it taught me that if you can really catch a vision and truly believe it in your mind...anything is possible! That is the power to positive mental attitude. What the mind believes is real - becomes real.
Which is exactly why I lay in the middle of my bed each night...in silence...with my eyes shut...thinking about the other side of IVF.
The positive side.
Where with the opportunity comes the surety that I am destined for a different kind of greatness.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Then I started to laugh. For no reason.
Isn't IVF fun?!
This afternoon we are going to add my "Antagonist" into the daily routine. You better pray for Mr. Thompson because at the rate I'm going, I make no guarantees for what Google defines as...
1. One who opposes and contends against another; an adversary.
2. The principal character in opposition to the protagonist or hero of a narrative or drama.
Regardless of whether I'm laughing or crying...I guess I better just put my seat belt on and enjoy the ride!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
When you feel like crap because your body is being pumped full of hormones...take the day off work and go skiing with your husband and step daughter!
(How funny that the only picture that I could get of Mr. Thompson was the one of him hunched over at the top of the hill. Confession: for a minute...I felt better about those shots!)
Viva la Vida.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Please note that was a singular statement instead of plural.
Instead of 6 shots...I'm mastering the art of mixing. A little Lupron here, some HCG there, mixed strategically with 4 vials of Bravelle...and all is well.
For those with inquiring minds, this is how it works:
- Using Lupron syringe, I draw up 5 units of Lupron & inject into Bravelle Powder #1.
- Using same Lupron syringe, I draw up 20 units of Low-Dose HCG & inject it into Bravelle Powder #1.
- I toss Lupron syringe into my handy-dandy Bio-Hazard container & set Bravelle Powder #1 aside.
- Using big syringe & needle, I draw up 1/2 mL of water from vial package with Bravelles.
- I inject 1/2 mL of water into Bravelle Powder #2, swirl to mix and dissolve, then draw it back into big syringe.
- I inject mixed solution into Bravelle Powder #3, swirl to mix and dissolve, then draw it back into big syringe.
- I continue until all Bravelle Powders have been use,then inject the mixed solution into Bravelle Powder #1 (which also includes Lupron and HCG).
- I swirl to mix and dissolve all meds in Bravelle Powder #1, then draw back entire solution into big syringe with big needle.
- I twist big needle off the big syringe, and twist on the little needle.
- Mr. Thompson injects into my belly or back of my arm just like Lupron injection.
Wallah. I'm a freakin' Chemist! (you have no idea what a feat that is.)
Tonight, Mr. Thompson rewarded me with a lollipop (and a kiss) for not crying like a wuss. (you have no idea what a feat that is either!)
And so it continues until Monday, January 24th...
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Well, somebody better throw me some of those pills because I think that I just caused an international incident.
In India's defense, it is not their fault that the United States has outsourced all of it's health care billing and customer service work to their beautiful country. In this case, a crap job.
In my defense, I didn't know that I went postal on an Indian (with the Dot not the Feather) instead of an American until it was all over.
Today's international incident went something like this:
So after all that poking and prodding with Dr. H's wonder wand (which will now happen almost every other day)... I stopped at the phlebotomist so she could make tracks up and down my arms in search of the seven viles of blood she needed for infection disease testing....Last stop was the Billing Department for my much anticipated down payment.
(You see where I'm going with this, don't you?...)
As you know (or may not know), In-Vitro can be very expensive (don't ask me how Celine Dion could afford do to it 6 times...oh wait- she's Celine Dion)! For those of us who are not rich but have the blessing of a savings account, excellent health care benefits, and/or a combination of the two - everything has to be lined out at the beginning with the Billing Department. Perfectly. Because who wants to pay $13,000 dollars out of pocket (which they make you do upfront).
Not Mr. Thompson and me.
Enter my Medical Flexible Spending account. That handy little IRS approved, tax-exempt account that saves me valuable tax dollars on eligible medical expenses. I give them my money...they give me a credit card which taps directly into all that non-taxable money I've given them...and all is well.
At least that's what my Benefits Center told me when I called them in December to ensure that everything was lined up for no glitches - no surprises - no financial whammies.
The Benefits Center happens to be located in India.
And there resides an Indian (with the Dot not the Feather) who lied to me.
Which was unfortunately discovered when I went to make my down payment. A glitch. A surprise. A whammy.
So I called back and spoke to another Indian (with the Dot not the Feather) who told me that I couldn't use my credit card (which was issued specifically for this purpose) and would rather have to pay out of pocket for the reimbursement. He said that this process could take up to two months.
Three of his friends told me the same thing without rhyme or reason (for which the language barrier didn't help).
After two hours and tense international relations - a man name Shankar ultimately waved the white flag.
Shankar lives in New Delhi and after conferencing with the Dr. H's Billing Department...learned all about IVF. In his efforts to right the wrong of the Indians who were sacrificed before him...he chose diplomacy as a different path tried to reason with a mad woman. As a result...
He knows what a suppression check is and how mine went.
He got briefed on the monitoring and knows when mine are scheduled.
He sympathizes with Mr. Thompson and my 5 daily stimulation injections.
He understands egg retrieval and is fascinated.
He knows all about embryo transfer and "is full of hope that it doesn't snow that day" (Don't ask me about that comment...I'm still trying to figure it out except that he told me he's always been fascinated with snow and the Utah Jazz basketball team.)
Shankar assured me that we are friends, and as a friend...he will be personally calling me next Tuesday Thursday, and Saturday to follow along. (Don't be surprised if you see India added to the Viva la Vida map - they guy was serious and I bet he will find me).
He's also invited me to come and visit him in New Delhi where he can take me to the places of Gandhi and Mother Teresa...
But only if I'll invite him to Utah so he can finally see snow and the Utah Jazz.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Like a magician - he'll do an ultrasound, take some measurements...and be able to tell you EXACTLY when you're going to start your cycle.
What's not so amazing is the "digging" he had to do with the ultrasound probe looking for my lost right ovary.
It was almost as bad as the snorts of laughter that I heard coming from my husband in the corner while he was doing it.
I don't think that men quite understand how this feels.
But since I guess I'm premenstrual...I'd sure like to show them!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
He was gone.
Instead, I was greeted by a new guy. A guy who didn't know my name. A guy who didn't light up when he saw me like I was his long-lost cousin or pat my hand in quiet understanding when I handed him yet another prescription. A guy who has no idea about infertility with its horrible medicine and emotional roller coaster. A guy who didn't sell me a pregnancy test with fingers crossed or close every conversation with the simple reminder that he is praying for me.
This wasn't the guy who slid me a candy cane on Christmas along with the birth control...reminding me not to fret because next Christmas we would be discussing Children's Tylenol.
This wasn't the guy I'm endeared to for life.
So I asked where Russ was.
And was told by the new guy - that he's the "new" Russ.
Because Walgreen's sent the old Russ away.
37 minutes away.
To the other side of town.
So he can spend more time with him family. (he's working graveyard)
I must have looked like I was going to cry because the new guy tried to comfort me by telling me that I was the fourth customer who came in to leave Russ something on a holiday that the new guy didn't know was a holiday.
And I left sad because I didn't get a pat on the hand or a lolly pop in comfort when broke the bad news.
Something the old Russ would have absolutely done.
If I was superstitious - I'd think this is a bad sign.
Good thing I'm not (but you can bet I'll be driving across town for my IVF medicine cabinet now).
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Unbelievably, made by yours truly. Blindly.
(Which according to the old fashioned "Motherly Talks For Little Housekeepers" brings me one step closer to motherhood and domestic bliss!)
..and also reminds me of something funny my older sister randomly does about once a month. She phones me up and in her best Irish accent says, "Tell me, does your mother sew? Get 'er to stitch that!"
And then we laugh. For about 10 minutes.
Which, by the way...happens to be really good medicine during an IVF cycle.
Viva la Vida!
Saturday, January 8, 2011
The postal kind.
At the Fertility Clinic.
During a 3-hour IVF class.
I had to turn my face towards the window so he couldn't see me laughing. If he would have seen me crack, it would have pushed him over the edge.
Speaking of edge...it was almost a signed, sealed delivery when it came to the frozen embryo consent. We are at a stand still between what to do with our extra embryos. I think we'll implant 3...but what will we do with the rest? I vote donation for another infertile couple, and he votes research to help the doctors figure it out.
I forced him to sign it despite the dollar signs that were dancing around his head.
I figure that we'll cross that bridge when we get there. In my defense - that lottery ticket was purchased in Idaho. I'm hoping it's a relative!
If it wasn't, then the Thompsons have a moral dilemma.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
As I lay here curled up on the couch, I've been catching up on the 2010 Creme de la Creme list. Pretty inspiring stuff.
As I read the best of the best blog posts from the ALI (Adoption/Loss/Infertility) community, it comforts me to know that I'm not walking this path alone. Never alone.
Infertility is a roller coaster of emotions - highs and lows.
Loss is one of the saddest thing a person can go through.
Secondary Infertility isn't anything to brag about.
IVF is a blessing. With its challenges.
Adoption is a powerful (and sometimes painful) process.
This is a community full of inspiring people with profound stories. They teach me that no matter how much we struggle in life - we never struggle alone. Although at various stages, we are all on the same winding path.
There are people who have walked before - forging the way. There are friends who walk beside - lifting us up. There are those who walk behind - reminding us how far we have come.
To all, I am profoundly grateful.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
I have something to say.
On my soapbox.
With my bullhorn.
(leave now if you don't want to hear it - censorship is not an option. Your only option is that little red [x] box in the upper right side of your computer screen)
Always assume the best in people. Not the worst - the best.
Assume that their intentions are pure. 9 times out of 10 - they are.
And for that 1 time you think that they are not - do the right thing - talk to them directly. Not about them. Not around them.
There. I feel better. Viva la vida non-loca.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Communication is an even bigger concern in a marriage which undergoes "therapy" at a reproductive clinic.
So, I find it rather funny that Mr. Thompson left a copy of this in my journal last night...
Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird.
We had made plans to meet at a restraunt to have a drink.
I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I
thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late,
but he made no comment on it.
Conversation wasn't flowing, so I suggested that we
go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but
he didn't say much. I asked him what was wrong.
He said, 'Nothing.' I asked him if it was my fault that
he was upset. He said he wasn't upset, that it had
nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it.
On the way home, I told him that I loved him.
He smiled slightly, and kept driving. I can't explain his
behavior. I don't know why he didn't say, 'I love you, too.'
When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely,
as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore.
He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued
to seem distant and absent.
Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed.
About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. To my surprise,
he responded to my caress, and we made love. But I still
felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were
somewhere else. He fell asleep -I cried. I don't know
what to do. I'm almost sure that his thoughts are with
someone else. My life is a disaster.
My Snowmobile wouldn't start today, can't figure out why,
but at least I had sex.
...and with that, I guess I'll stop asking him what's wrong. :)
Monday, January 3, 2011
1. January = IVF. Received my calendar from Dr. H today and it looks like implantation is scheduled for January 31st. Yay for us! (Boo for the trip I had planned to McCall for the winter ice carnival). I will also take my favorite pharmacist something for Pharmacist Day next week on January 12th (thank you Baudville for sending me a new - free- calendar which pointed this obscure holiday out.)
2. February = Got bored last night so called Little Brother who was also bored. In all our boredom we planned a trip. Since he has weekends off and can go anywhere within 500 miles of Camp Pendleton, we settled on a weekend in Vegas for a Garth Brooks concert. I'm not a fan of country music but seeing Garth live in Central Park years ago was a fun little thing so I'm up for a Vegas repeat. Especially with Little Brother. He's my favorite dude.
3. March = Surprise birthday plans for Mr. Thompson. It will be his 42nd and this is my year to pay it forward since he always does my birthday surprise up really big. (maybe we'll reschedule that trip to McCall, so I can kill two birds with one stone by also picking out our retirement spot).
4. April = Spring Break with Lil' A. Mr. Thompson is talking about New York City. Totally excited...but not sure I want to take a 9 year old to my stomping ground. I was thinking more along the lines of adult fun.
5. May = Flowers. Going to plant a killer garden this year.
6. June = Will celebrate the loss of at least 40 pounds by this point. (unless of course we are prego then I'll be rejoicing the fact that we made it beyond 6 months!).
7. July = Lots of parades because I'll be a member of the Salt Lake Scots by this point. Give it up for the bagpipes and the fact that I've graduated to "group lessons" this semester! Who would have thought at a music lesson whim would have turned into a serious talent.
8. August = Big trip to Scotland. Mr. Thompson wants to go on two big trips this year - NYC and Scotland. I'm cool with both. Especially if we go to the Edinburgh Tattoo which is why we'll go in August.
9. September = If we don't go to NYC in April...we'll go in September with a jaunt up north to see my brother in New Hampshire. Late September in New England is oh-so-glorious.
10. October = Will celebrate my 37th birthday...hopefully with a baby who will be due on October 19th (according to the calendar Dr. H sent me today). How's that for wishful thinking?! (Did I just jinx myself? Please say no....)
11. November = By this point I should have figured out how to use my new sewing machine (thank you Santa!). I have plans to make little burial outfits to donate to the hospital. Chalk it up for another "pay it forward" goal. I'll also take a killer family photo for our Christmas card (which I didn't get to this year) and will submit a good blog entry for Creme de la Creme 2011 (which is another thing I didn't get to this year...)
12. Christmas = Make a difference somehow and reflect on how happy and peaceful I've been in 2011!
There you have it - that's my list. What's in your bucket for 2011?!
p.s. Thanks for the great birth control advice. I called Dr. H and he changed my prescription which means no more migraines or chest pains. Thank goodness!