Lupron Day 21 (FET Cycle)

Well, today is Day 21 on Lupron and tomorrow will be my 4th dose of Delestrogen.  My next appointment will be Thursday, a possible pre-op appointment.

ImagePhoto Credit to Google Search

 

I feel like I need to write today.  Most of the time, I plan my posts hours before I actually write them…. but today, I just feel like I need to write my little heart out.  You don’t necessarily need to read this…. this is just me blogging today.

As I was saying I’m on Day 21 of Lupron…. 21 days of shots every morning – not to mention the 1 1/2″ needle that goes into the top of my rear end every 3 days…. can I say I’m hormonal?????  I believe it’s the Lupron that makes me have hot flashes.  I could barely sleep last night because at one minute I was burning up from inside… then extremely cold the next.

And I Just Want To Cry

Really, I’m eager and excited for what is to come.  I am hopeful.  I don’t want to complain.

But these meds are no joke.  Now I understand why they have IVF support group, mentors, forums, blogs…. we need all the support we can get.  And if it was easy to tell outsiders what we’re going through, then it wouldn’t be so difficult.  Dare I say that the closest of friends, family, even spouses have no clue what us IVF-ers feel like having extreme levels of hormones injected into you every day (sometimes twice a day).  What makes it worse, is when you have an emotional day – they take it personally and the stress level rises when you feel like you have to carefully construct conversations when you really want to just SCREAM, and CRY.

3 more days…. THREE more days till my next doctor’s appointment.  I can wait. Please God, let Thursday come quick!

 

 

Sick Day (IVF)

I’m laying in bed a bit later than usual this morning… Yesterday I had this “fuzzy brain feeling” like I was tipsy… only problem was I wasn’t drinking.  The feeling lasted through the afternoon.  Then this morning I woke up with a headache.  I haven’t done much research on Delestrogen so I couldn’t tell you if it’s the side effects, if I’ve caught a bug, or just plain old stress.  Right now I just feel exhausted to the point where I have bags under my eyes and they look bloodshot.  I’ve had plenty of sleep, way more than usual. I am just tired with a headache.

My coworker called me a few minutes ago.  I confided in her a couple months ago that I would be going through IVF.  So she asked if I was OK.  I explained what I was feeling.  Then she asked me, “are you starting to wonder if it’s all worth it?”

Without hesitation I told her it is totally worth it. Absolutely worth it.

Who else would I go through the pain, sickness, overcoming my fear of needles, betting my future nest egg… who else would I go through this for..  But my own child?

This – All of This – is worth the glimmer of hope that we might be able raise a child that might look like me and act like my husband… or look like him and act like me.. whatever qualities… I don’t mind laying here fuzzy-brained on this perfect cloudy morning.

The Trust Exercise (aka Delestrogen)

The Trust Exercise: You know the drill.. One person stands with arms crossed and blind-folded.  A second person stands directly behind with arms outstretched ready to make the catch.  Hubby and I did this exercise once.  He’s a bit bigger than me so I thought I would immediately fall into his strong arms.  On my first attempt, though, my instinct told me to take a step back.  I didn’t even think about it – my feet just started stumbling as I fell.  The second time around, I had to tell myself that he was there ready to catch me.  Then I made the decision to fall.  He caught me.  Simple as that.  Then we switched places.  Same thing happened with him.. he stumbled on the first attempt, then on the second attempt he simply fell – it was a bit of a challenge for me but I caught him.

Today’s trust exercise was a bit different – with the same result.  Today was my first intramuscular shot of Delestrogen.  This new medicine will help my body get ready for my FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer).  It will help in building a healthy lining to welcome the little embryo(s).  All the fluff aside, the instructions called for my husband to inject what looks like a 2″ needle into the top of my hind quarters.  There is nothing pretty about this needle.  But for those of you who will be taking this injection, I will spare you the details and give you some tips later.

In preparation for this shot, we read the instructions together.  We thought it was no big deal. At this point, we’ve done dozens of injections – having daily shots of Gonal F/Menopur & Lupron.  We pulled out the necessary supplies.  Then, when we found the needle that connects with the syringe, we both paused.  This was supposed to go where???  My husband somehow hyped himself up to do it but I wasn’t ready.  When I was ready he hesitated.  We carried on for about 3 minutes then I finally grabbed a pillow and closed my eyes.  He injected the delestrogen and it was over. It hurt… yes, it did.  But we did it!

This was our trust exercise. I couldn’t… WOULDN’T go through this if I didn’t trust my husband.  And he made this most frightening experience a little better because he was talking the fear out of me the whole time.

So, here are my tips… ice it! I didn’t ice the injection site because I break out in hives when my skin has contact with cold things.  But Ice It for about 5 min before you inject, it will make your life so much easier.  For me, I gave myself a pinch.  I usually do this before getting blood taken to direct my attention to a different area of pain while I get injected.  Lay on your side or flat on your face so your muscles are relaxed. Finally, don’t sit down for about 30 min.  I did this after my shot and it hurt badly.  Instead give yourself a bit of time to relax, watch TV or read a magazine to pass the time 🙂

Well, there you go.  After a month of birth control & 2 weeks lupron, I’m finally on a new page in my IVF cycle.  Just a step closer to transfer day!

Lupron (IVF FET) Week 2

Recipe for Crazy

1 pill Birth Control

1 shot Lupron

Take Lupron in the morning and Birth Control in the evening. Everyday, indefinitely.

 

Had another check up.  It has now been a full 5 weeks since egg retrieval.  Our 6 little blastocysts have been patiently waiting for my body to prepare for them.  I’m now on my 4th straight week of birth control and 2nd week of Lupron.

For those of you who have already paid your due diligence on this lupron/birth control cocktail, God bless you.  I’m sure that symptoms are different with each patient, but for me……

I am at my wits end. I have hot flashes like it’s coming from my core.  Then I get cold…. chills cold.  I want to cry at EVERYTHING. I attended a pre-screening of Draft Day yesterday, which was a great movie.  And I CRIED when the Kevin Costner character made his draft pick. I can usually contain a good cry but for some reason I couldn’t.  I feel like my insides (my nerves) are on edge.  I want to cry, scream, sleep… all at the same time. I’m tired, achy, throwing up… and my hair is falling out… is that normal?

It doesn’t help that my boys have picked this very month to have their own teenager problems.  It also doesn’t help that my husband considers every outburst as a “mood swing”. It’s at these very times when I need the support of my family, but on the outside I look “normal” so to them, I’m just crazy. On top of that, my car broke down twice and overheated 3 times.

I had my doctor’s appointment this morning.  My ovaries look better, well rested.  Thank goodness.  But my lining is still a bit thick.  Which means I could be looking at another week (or 2) on this dreaded Lupron cocktail.  I NEED SUPPORT.  Seriously. I don’t want to give up, but this medicine is draining all good things out of me.

Note to My Normal Self: Come back please! I miss you!

P.S. In writing this post, I looked up the word “Patient” (for spell-check purposes) and it came up with various synonyms: enduring, easygoing, tolerant, serene….. None of which describes me, the patient (noun), right now.  Ahh, the double entendre.

Freeze All (IVF FET Cycle)

FREEZE ALL… I should have known….

I remember playing a silly running game in elementary school..  First, everyone stands on one side of the gym.  When the teacher yells “GO”, everyone runs.  When he/she says “FREEZE”, everyone stops.  They keep doing this till someone, the Winner, reaches the other end of the gym.

I would always be somewhere in the middle… not the slowest, and definitely not the fastest.  But I always looked at the finish line on other side of the gym thinking “today, I’m going to be the winner.”  The funny part is when you get to 3-4 steps into it, you start developing a good stride..then they yell “FREEZE” and you MUST freeze or else you’re out of the game.  And only ONLY if you run as fast as you can, and abruptly stop when they yell freeze, you just might have a chance to win.  I can’t remember the name of this game.  But I believe the adult IVF version should be called “Freeze All”.

See, under the suggestion of my IVF doctor, we chose to do a (Part 1) “freeze all” (no immediate transfer), then to a (Part 2) Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET).  The first part went pretty smoothly, rather quickly actually.  Then they told us to wait.  We waited till my next cycle started, then on cycle day 3 (CD3), they did a sonogram/bloodwork.  Based on my results, they put me back on birth control for 2 weeks… to let my ovaries rest.

I’ve been in a pretty good mood… I’ve been patient… Even enjoyed myself a bit while I’ve been on been on this birth control regimen.  But, yesterday I went in for a check up and I have, yet, another week on birth control and they added a nice little dose of Lupron to my daily routine.  So I remain frozen, feet in place, eagerly focused on that finish line…. And our little ones stay frozen.

……Until they say “Go”

 

 

FET CD4

What a whirlwind weekend we had! My husband’s birthday is this Wed and I surprised him with a spontaneous trip to New York for the weekend.  It was SO much fun, yet SO exhausting… I’m glad to be back in quiet, go-at-your-own-pace, warm, sunny Florida.

While we were there, we went to a spot called “40/40 Club” which was awesome.  Great music, good service, nice atmosphere. This gorgeous chandelier surprisingly reminded me of little sperms surrounding an egg…. or that must be IVF-Brain talking..

ImageAnyway, I had my ultrasound/bloodwork done for Cycle Day 4. Initially, it was planned for last week, but I ended up canceling because I realized I wasn’t in full-flow mode (which is required for a CD 1). The problem of having Luteal Phase Defect (link courtesy of WebMD) is I can start spotting right after ovulation if I don’t take progesterone!

So, everything looked nice and calm during my ultrasound. BUT my estrogen level was a bit too high (104) so she’s putting me back on birth control for 2 weeks. 2………..     longgg……..     weeeeks….

Meds were already delivered last week. I’m almost ready to start the second phase of IVF: My FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer)

 

Day 6 Update (6 Little Snowflakes)

I just received a phone call from the nurse who informed me that we have 6 little snowflakes.  We had 4 yesterday, but 2 caught up!  They just needed a little time to grow… So now we have 6.

Coincidentally, my cycle started today.  So I have an appointment tomorrow morning for an ultrasound & bloodwork.  They’ve faxed in my prescription… and here it goes!

Day 5 Blastocysts

I started this post around 9 o’ clock last night… but I was just so exhausted that I closed it and went to sleep.  Waiting can surely take the energy out of you!  We got the call from our nurse around 8:30pm and she gave us the news.. this time she broke it down for us:

Of the 13 eggs retrieved, 9 were mature, they ICSI’d (injected the sperm into the eggs) and 8 fertilized… that’s what we already knew from our Day 1 call.

So, of those 8, 4 were frozen.  She explained that they were B-graded expanded blastocysts.  I tried to ‘google’ what this meant and found this link from the Advanced Fertility website.

The other 4 were given 1 extra day to catch up and we will get our final count this afternoon.

So, we have 4. I’m happy, nervous, excited, and anxious….

We’re not transferring during this cycle, instead my body rest and do an FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) next cycle… so until then, I’ll be checking for updates on all my fellow blogging buddies!

Happy Tuesday!

 

 

Waiting

One thing we hate doing is waiting.. I don’t think I’m out of the norm when I say this.  We all hate waiting, don’t we?

Reason why I don’t go to Disney World, and if I do, I make sure to utilize their Fast Pass system.  Reason why I use the UPS route system to drive to work – attempting to make more right turns than left. Reason why I request a read receipt when sending important emails so I know the recipient at least received my email before they actually respond. Yes, my impatience can be quite annoying.. but I just hate waiting.

So, it’s now after noon on my side of the world and I have yet to receive a call from the nurse about our 5-day-old embryos.  I did call, but they transferred me to the nurse’s voice mail.  Now, I have nothing more to do than wait……

Day 1 (Post Retrieval)

I prayed over our little embryos last night.

I couldn’t sleep, not sure if it was the cramping, vicodin (which should have knocked me out, right?), or just soaking in the process that’s taking place.  Nevertheless, I prayed.  I don’t really know what happens to the other embryos, say, if we have a positive the first or even second round.  Do we just keep them forever and ever?  Can we donate them?  We weren’t too keen on giving them up for research. So, I just prayed for God to watch over them all. As far as I know, they are all babies-in-the-making.

The nurse called me this morning and said of the 13 eggs, 8 fertilized.  We have 8 little ones, as of yet.  The pre-op paperwork said they’d call on Day 1 (today), Day 3, then Day 5.  But since we’re heading into the weekend, our next call will be Monday (hopefully)!  That’s just too long to wait!  I’ll just keep praying… for a healthy baby, or maybe 2. This is our first IVF and I’ve read other blogs of 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 8th IVF’s… so I’m still cautious.  I prayed for you fellow IVF-ers too this morning.

Until Monday, Have a great weekend!  Oh yes… and another thing, the nurse did say I could have a glass of wine. So, party, I will!