Saturday, December 31, 2011
The week also afforded Adam and I the opportunity to visit some of our closest friends and some new friends, who happen to live in Jacksonville. We spent 2 days visiting with everyone in Jacksonville and loved every minute of these times together! Though we enjoy Tennessee, most of our friends are still in Jacksonville (except for a few)...so the visits were wonderfully refreshing for us! We also visited Grandmother in Moultrie on the way home, and we visited Grandaddy's grave site. Obviously, it was sad...but well worth the "detour."
We are now glad to be home. Adam will stay up tonight, eat pickled herring, and toast to a glass of sparkling wine. For me, I'll be barely awake, will eat the tiniest bite of herring possible to still "count," and avoid the alcohol because I'm on call! (Maybe a sip at most...) Tomorrow, we'll eat greens and black-eyed peas (for money and good luck) with Mom and Dad.
For me, New Years is not anything special. This is probably because I've been on call for 7 of the last 9 of them! Guess that takes away the "celebrating!" I guess for many though, New Years symbolizes fresh starts and hope. I don't have much in the way of resolutions, as this year has taught me that most of what I desire can't be given or earned. Frankly, this year has taught me two things...one is that really, there are many things that none of us can control in life. The second lesson that 2011 has taught me is that sometimes, we really can only handle one day at a time and have to often get by on a day-to-day basis. I've certainly had these reality checks this year!
2011 has been full of losses for us. Grandaddy's death was by far the greatest loss for our entire family. Our infertility and realizing that a "natural" pregnancy was impossible for us has been the second loss. Between the two, it's been hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel. 2012 is predicted by many (including Adam) to be a "better" year. While it's hard for me to believe it, I sure hope the "many" are right! For me 2012 is another year...just another calendar date to get used to writing. I'd love for it to be the year we have our first child...but time will tell on this matter.
For those who love New Years, Happy New Year! For those of us, like me, who just see a change in numbers tomorrow, best wishes that 2012 surprises us with its good fortunes! God bless you all in 2012!
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
|Jenny Wren...this is for you!|
Monday, December 5, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
|At the Helen, GA Gazebo after breakfast at Hoffer's Bakery!|
|Anna Ruby Falls this morning!|
|Adam and I at the falls!|
|Mom and Dad at the Gazebo!|
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
After some reflection, here are the things (and people) I am most thankful for:
1. My faith in God. The fact that I have somehow managed to maintain my faith this year and have learned to truly surrender my goals to meet his, is an accomplishment for me. Since we made the decision to change our plan/protocol for having a baby, God has granted us a peace that we haven’t felt since June 2010. For that, I am thankful!
2. My husband. Infertility destroys thousands of marriages each year and places unimaginable challenges on a couple. Not only have Adam and I survived, but we are conquering this process together. We have learned to communicate our feelings openly, to mourn our losses with each other, to lean on each other when we both feel guilty for the insufficiencies of our bodies, and most of all…to love each other so deeply that if we never have a child, we will still be super blessed that God brought us together! Adam is my soul mate…and for that, I am thankful!
3. My family. Losing Granddaddy this year was the biggest loss I have ever faced. His death was the devastating to everyone in my family, and we are still grieving the loss of such an amazing Dad, Granddaddy, husband, professional, and friend. In Granddaddy’s loss though, I have learned that our family REALLY loves each other. Mom, Dad, Leslee, and Trey are my life outside of Adam. They support me in my marriage, my medical practice, my personal life (including our infertility decisions), and my faith. For my family, I am thankful!
4. My friends. At many times this year, I have felt so isolated from my friends. Many have gotten pregnant and had babies, all while Adam and I are still in the “trying stages.” Many have had their children with minimal or no effort, so they simply have not been able to identify with our problems. Sometimes, I’m sure our friends avoided us just because they didn’t know what to say…which I have finally come to understand. However, there is a small group of people who have sent texts, facebook/blog messages, forum posts (esp. my DE II Ladies), telephone calls, and prayers. YOU are the friends who have sustained us in this process! And for my one best friend who made EVERY dinner during my bed rest, gave me many injections when Adam needed help or was in class, came to my house at midnight the night Granddaddy died to help me pack and to take Fonzie, laid on my bed with me rotating ice packs while I sobbed with the massive hip pain from the injection reaction, and sat by me on the couch for hours after the two IVF cycles failed and Adam and I were grieving in such different ways. I’ve never needed a special friend like I have this year, and you have truly been a gift from God. For my best friend and all of my friends, I am truly thankful!
5. For our pets. Adam and I lost Lilly (my iguana) this year, and Mom and Dad lost Maggie (their poodle). Both were over 15 years old! Fonzie is 13 years old this year, but he continues to be my bed rest buddy and keeps me warm at night. Our pets have brought so much joy to our lives, and for that…I am truly thankful!
6. My home and my country. While our government is in a state of disarray, I am still thankful to be an American and to live in a wonderful home in a safe community. For both, I am thankful!
7. Our infertility. Thanks to our infertility, I am a better wife, patient, and physician. I’ve learned to pray more, trust more, lean on Adam more, and to become more sensitive to the issues that others face. There are so many things I’ve learned NOT to say as a result of this process…not to mention those things you shouldn’t tell your doc or his office manager (haha)! In the end, this challenge has made me REALLY value my God, my marriage, and my life. It has also made me realize how very badly I want to be a mother and it has challenged me to endure more emotionally and physically that I ever have before…and that I thought I ever could! For our infertility (despite its hardships), I am thankful!
I sincerely try to make Thanksgiving a day of reflection on all of the things I am grateful for. I live a blessed life with so much to look forward to in the future.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone, God Bless You!
PS We were cleared to start our mock cycle on Friday! I am way too excited about getting to take shots again, but this is a step in a positive direction (for a change)!
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Overall, it was a beautiful weekend. Adam and I really enjoyed being together without offices, computers, TVs, and most of all...injections! Because my knees killed me on the tour stairs, I realized it was time to get healthy and shed some weight. So, with that realization....I have started eating healthy and exercising! So far, I've lost 4 pounds in 5 days...so it seems to be working!
Our new toy is an XBOX Kinect! We got it last night and danced ourselves to death! I'm really glad we have such a wonderuful marriage and that we can enjoy ourselves in activities like this! (Seeing Adam dancing in his underwear is enertaining enough!) I forsee a "sports" game in our future...like maybe even today!
As for our infertility future, we do have plans now that have been officially "set." Within the next 2 weeks, I'll hopefully start our trial-run in preparation for a costly and exciting cycle in late January/early February. Assuming my bloodwork and ultrasound look good, we'll be back on injections daily for about 2 weeks. Once things look "good," we'll come off of them and will basically be placed back on birth control pills to "sync" my cycle. If nothing changes (which with our luck...it could), then we are looking at an embryo transfer in February. As bad as bedrest was back in July, I can't wait to do it again...as it means that there's a chance that we could become pregnant! So, as has been the case for well over a year now, we wait.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
I guess there's not much to say other than that we attempted another IVF cycle and it "officially" failed today. Technically, we never even made it to the egg retrieval this round and were more-or-less forced to "settle" for an IUI (intrauterine insemination). It was that or nothing... In the end...it was nothing either way.
This cycle was physically and emotionally much harder for me. It started off so nicely, but when it went south...it REALLY went south! The good news is that I have been so upset since October 4 (the day the cycle was cancelled) that the "official" failure today was nothing more than a formality.
If there's anything I learned from this cycle, it's that I CAN handle quite a bit more than I thought I could! I've also learned that we have exhausted the capabilities of our region and IF we are truly serious about having genetic children, then we are going to have to travel (and I'm talking more than to Nashville)! We are looking into two world-famous clinics in the western US and have one phone consultation scheduled for next Friday. If we have a good feeling, we will be travelling sometime likely early next year. If not, we'll look into other options.
We've had lots of support this round from our families and close friends, and for that...I am grateful. I'm not sure what our future holds...but I'm just praying there's a baby in it somewhere. Otherwise, I'll ultimately just have to accept the fact that it's not meant for us and be thrilled to have an amazing husband and loving family to share my life with!
Thursday, October 6, 2011
We are truly blessed with wonderful families and friends! Thank you all!
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Tomorrow morning, we will head to Nashville for the IUI. The odds of success are slim to none, but basically...it's this or nothing. Since I had already planned to be off, I am going to take the day tomorrow to relax and give this the best shot possible (all 1% of it).
Once this fails, we are going to take a break until next year... I can't speak for Adam, but I NEED a break. For the next 2 weeks, we'll continue with 3 injections per day (2 Lovenox and 1 Progesterone/Estrogen combo)...which means more bruising for me. I figure it's like a torture sentence...but know that IF a miracle occured and we did get pregnant, we'd lose the pregnancy without it.
So...once again...with very heavy hearts, it just wasn't meant to be. Maybe not ever...guess we'll just see what the future holds.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Adam on the trail...
This weekend, I decided I needed to get out of town! I was not on call and Dr. M gratiously agreed to round on my one patient for me. I knew that I wasn't really comfortable being several miles back in the woods with no cell phone reception while on aspirin and Lovenox...so this was our last hike for at least a few weeks (hopefully for much longer)!
Mom, Dad, and Trey left Thursday for Pigeon Forge; while Adam and I left after work on Friday. On Saturday morning, we had a great breakfast at the Apple Barn together. Trey, Adam, and I then headed up to Cosby, TN to Cosby Cove, a portion of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. We really didn't have time to make our "usual" 5-7 mile hike secondary to the shorter days, so we chose a 4.4 mile hike to Hen Wallow Falls.
The ascent was a nice climb...for 2.1 miles. The last 0.1 mile was straight down a rocky, rooty, and VERY slick path! The falls were flowing very nicely and were quite beautiful! We enjoyed them for about 15 minutes then made our way back to the parking area. It was an absolutely perfect day for a hike and I am SOOOOO glad we went!
BTW...I got stung AGAIN by a yellow jacket on the trail! For those who have followed the blog for a long time, you may remember that this happened a couple of years ago. I ended up with a whelp that covered my entire flank! This round, it was on my left leg. For now, it's about 4"x2" in size. I suspect that it'll "grow" to about twice that within the next 2 days...if history repeats itself. Gotta LOVE sensitive skin with delayed-type hypersensitivity!
I'm now back home. My meds are all set for the week (injections that can be "pre-drawn" are ready and pills are in the organizer). I feel rested, calm, and just ready to get the process started tomorrow. Overall, the weekend was a perfect getaway for Adam and I to spend time with Trey and my parents...AND to relax! Hope everyone has a wonderful week!
Friday, September 23, 2011
Anita and I met (she says her quickest "calendar talk" in a long time) to review the calendar. I got my blood drawn, Dr. V did a quick ultrasound, and I was on my way. I guess you could say that we are now "regulars" because EVERY person in that office knows me by name!
We are heading to the Smokeys this weekend to relax, maybe hike (weather permitting), and to get ready for this next phase... For sure, we will be on 11-12 pills per day and 4 injections per day. We'll head back next Wednesday to see how things are progressing....
For those who have the time or can take it, please send prayers and warm thoughts our way! This is a BIG deal for us (though sometimes I think mainly me) and we'd LOVE for it to maybe work. Our odds are low for success (less than 15%), but this is our last round before having to move to some major protocol changes...
Have a great weekend everyone!!!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
So, I'll be you are wondering what this means. Well, it means that had we not done this, we could have gone through multiple IVF cycles only to miscarry. I am VERY thankful our doc tested early, as this could save us lots of heartbreak (which I'd argue we've had plenty this year).
The good news is that this problem is "easily" fixed... All we need is Lovenox, a prescription blood-thinner. And we only need it until we fail the cycle OR until we go into labor. Yep...this is a LONG commitment! I was, however, very thankful to get the call today from the pharmacy. The girl initially told me that we qualified for free shipping, to which my first thought was heck yeah...because you are about to tell me that it costs half of my mortgage every month! But, she went on to say that the drug (with our insurance who approved it immediately) was only going to cost $7/month... AMAZING! (If you think medication costs are high...try buying infertility medications!)
Now, if you are wondering about the title of the post...here goes. Instead of 2 shots per day (plus an almost daily blood draw in Nashville), we now get to take 4 (and we STILL get that almost daily drive to Nashville to take my blood)! I'm trying to mentally prepare myself to me a human pin cusion...and it's NOT easy! The meds arrive Friday and I'm imagining that we will be "stimming" by next Monday. 2 more days before the sticking (well...we are already on 1 shot a day...but I'm talking about the 4 deal), ultrasounds, drives to Nashville, and afternoon phone calls begin. Wish us luck!!! Again, why 2 when you can have 4???
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Because Adam is Catholic (though certainly not "practicing"), I really wanted to educate myself more on the Catholic stance of IVF. I knew the Catholic church was "against it"... but I wanted to know why and what scripture they used to support their stance. So...thus my study today.
Needless to say, there is not a concise answer. But...to be a brief as possible, there are two major issues/points that were published in the Catholic doctrines in 1987.
1. The Catholic church believes that babies should be created through relations between a man and a woman...period.
2. The Catholic church believes that souls are created at the time of fertilization, thus embryos have souls. Therefore, discarding embryos is considered abortion and thawing embryos that don't survive is in essence, the same.
Wow... Obviously this opens a HUGE can of worms! Rather than go on and on about my issues with this doctrine, I wondered where in the Bible these issues were addressed. As you might expect (since there wasn't anything even close to IVF in those days), they are not!
But here's one verse I did find...
Psalm 113:9 He gives the baren woman a home, making her a joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!
While looking a little bit further, I found this...written by someone named Carol. It pretty much sums up my readings and thoughts this morning. For those who haven't crossed these bridges, it will enlighten you. For those who have, hopefully it was inspire you!
I am a religious person and my faith in what God means when he gives people certain challenges has kept me going through this ordeal. What do I think God meant when he gave me infertility? I think he meant for my husband and I to grow closer, love deeper. I think God meant for us to find the fortitude within ourselves to get up everytime infertility knocks us down. I think God meant for our medical community to discover medicines, invent medical equipment, create procedures and protocols. I think God meant for us to find a cure for infertility. No. God never meant for me to not have children. That's not my destiny, that's just a fork in the road I'm on.
I've been placed on the road less traveled and like it or not, I'm a better person for it. Clearly, God meant for me to overcome my devastation, guilt and sorrow in order to develop more compassion, deeper courage, and greater inner strength on this journey to resolution and I haven't let him down. Frankly, if the truth be known, I think God meant for me to build a thirst for a child so strong and so deep that when that baby is finally placed in my arms it will be the longest, coolest, and most refreshing drink I've ever known.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
The wedding party.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
In short, we are NOT pregnant...the IVF cycle failed. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, Adam and I will head to Nashville to hear from Dr. Vasquez why he thinks the cycle failed, what could be changed for the next cycle, and whether or not another cycle is in our best interest. From there, Adam and I will decide what's best for us and our families. Frankly, we will likely go through the process again, but will wait a couple of months.
On a positive note, my red, swollen, hot hips (from the injections) will now get a chance to heal and I can begin to feel more like myself...and less "hormonal." I'm looking forward to being a wife again who doesn't require 9 extra pills and a nightly shot!
Thank you for all of your calls, texts, and emails today. We appreciate them all! Our only request is that you please hold your questions for now. The questions being asked are ones that we don't know the answers to yet...and may not for several weeks. Again, thanks!
And by-the-way...BFN means "Big Fat Negative!" It and it's counterpart BFP (the happy acryonym) are common IVF lingo. Amazing what you learn from this process...
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Sigh.....so much for the 1 day "pill" break!
Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday went relatively well. Adam took GREAT care of me, Mom came to visit and brought Sonic (my favorite), and Ms. Lokey cooked 3 meals... I watched some TV, slept, and read. Yesterday, however, things changed. My back was super sore and I just couldn't get comfortable. My hormone dosage also doubled on Tuesday night, which didn't help matters. (I melted down and cried because Adam wouldn't buy me a chilli dog for lunch...and I haven't eaten a stupid chilli dog in over a year!) By this morning, I was definitely done!
I woke up a bit before 5 (after a very restless night of being unable to get comfortable) and hopped in the shower. I thought it was going to be wonderful...but it wasn't. I have become so sensitive to smells that the smell of my hair conditioner literally made me nauseated...and I just couldn't seem to shake it. My face cream smelled bad, my garage stank, etc... So, I got clean and headed out for the drive to Nashville. Ms. Lokey offered to ride up with me for company and I accepted...as the 2.5 hours in the car gets old by yourself. We arrived on time and I had my blood drawn. Today is just a check on estradiol and progesterone levels...no pregnancy test yet as it's too early. Anita told me that I was off bedrest, but that I should kind of relax today. Frankly, I feel kind of washed out, so I didn't argue.
We stopped at Cracker Barrell on the way home as well as the office to visit with Mom and Dad. Now, I'm home and going to rest a bit.
One thing I didn't count on at the start of this process is the amount of medication! I'm now just back to my BP meds, vitamins, (off antibiotics and steroids) and nightly injections of progesterone and estrogen. Today marks one full month of at least one shot every day (well...got one day off). In some ways, sore hips and bruises are becoming part of normal life!
Overall, I am certainly praying this process is successful and worth it! And while I'm kind of sore and tired today, I am VERY thankful to be off of bedrest!!!
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Around 8:30 am, we were called to the back. I, once again, had the opportunity to change into a buttless gown and booties. I placed my clothes in "my" locker and went to sit in the all-to-familiar recliner. There, we signed consents for the transfer. I also was given another intramuscular injection of Demerol/Phenergan and had more blood drawn. The nurse had to look for areas that had "less" bruising, as I've become one big bruise as of late!
After the forms were signed, Dr. Vasquez came in to talk to us. He was not nearly as worried about our egg quality as Anita had implied. He stated that it was "fine" and that he "saw no issues with it." We discussed what options we had and the pros/cons of each. We had a total of 3 embryos. Two were Grade B (He said they almost never gave A's.) and there was one Grade C, which was fragmented. He offerred placing one, two, or all three. After more discussion, Adam and I chose to go with the two Grade B embryos (one with 8 cells and one with 10). The Grade C will likely arrest tonight, so can't be frozen. Overall, we KNEW that triplets would not be safe for us in light of my blood pressure issues and the fact that we both work! In the end, we went with our original plan, which was to place 2!
After all forms were signed and my drugs (which also included Valium) were in, I was escorted to the OR. Adam was allowed to "dress" as well and go with me this time, which was comforting. During the wait, we also talked to the embryologist who assurred us that our eggs were ok and that if this failed, we were NOT hopeless in the future. We waited for a bit more and then I got to sit with my knees in stirrups for several minutes...almost an hour! I drifted in and out...half awake. Dr. Vasquez, the embryologist (via a side door), a tech, and his nurse all came in. The speculum was placed and we got started. After lots of "embryo-safe" prepping was done, he began to position things. Adam describes his placement as a "roller coaster." Apparently, my anatomy is VERY hard with two sharp twists in order to make it into the uterine cavity. Even with two cervical sutures, he had a tough time. I was defnitely thankful for the drugs, as I'm pretty sure that the process would have been REALLY painful otherwise. Even with drugs, it was uncomfortable (and frankly painful) at times. Once ready though, the embryos were verified as ours and passed through the embryology "door." Shooting them in was definitely something that I felt! It was actually painful, but such a relieving and happy moment as well! He then removed the cervical sutures, which caused a fair amount of bleeding. I had to sit with some packing for about 20 minutes to ensure that everything stopped. Dr. Vasquez then came back in, removed things, and was pleased. I laid on the bed for another 15 or so minutes, then was transferred to recovery via stretcher. After another 15 or so minutes, I was allowed to dress (while laying with my head just barely elevated) and to use the restroom. I was then rolled out to the car and rested in the back seat on the way home.
I've laid around all afternoon and cannot get out of bed except to use the restroom. Actually, I can't even raise my head above 45 degrees! We called Dr. Vasquez (as instructed) this afternoon, who reported that our labs are good. Now, we continue our plethora of meds and nightly shots...while being glued to the bed!
Overall, I can't start to express how thankful I am that things went so well today! Friday's news was devastating, as I was afraid that we would be told that there was no hope for us having a child who was biologically ours. Satuday was torture and today was just wonderful! The pain was nothing compared to the happiness we have knowing that we DO have a chance and that this may just work! Whether the ending is happy or not, today was a perfect as it could be and for that, I am super grateful. Our (and many of your) prayers were answered today! Perhaps, someone else had a little influence as well...at least I'd like to think so!
Thank you to all who called, emailed, and messaged us this weekend. I read every one of them and appreciate all of your prayers and support. And Jordan, thanks for the "eye candy" package!
Friday, June 24, 2011
For now, we wait until tomorrow to hear if the embryos cleaved appropriately. If they did well, we will not be called and will be going to Nashville on Sunday at 8:15 am for an embryo transfer. We have been encouraged to consider placing more than 2 embryos in light of the egg quality, but will be able to make better decisions depending on how the embryos look on Sunday.
If we are called tomorrow, all embryos essentially died and the cycle is a failure. Frankly, with poor egg quality...I'm not sure additional cycles would be in our best interest as they are likely to fail as well.
Our fingers are crossed that the phone doesn't ring tomorrow, but we are prepared either way. It's going to be a long weekend for sure...
Thursday, June 23, 2011
For those who want details (otherwise, that's the end of the post):
We got to CRH at 7:15 am (early as usual to avoid traffic) and went into the office around 7:40 am. There was one man who came into the waiting room from the back, so we assume he was waiting on his partner's egg retrieval. We waited until 8:10 am and were beginning to get a little anxious. (The trigger shot we took on Tuesday was at 8:45 pm, and egg retrieval should be done 36 hours later...if too late, you can ovulate and lose eggs.) They took me back at 8:15 am to the OR area. I had to provide a urine specimen for a pregnancy test (still find this a bit ironic) and get changed into the infamous open-backed gown, blue cap, and booties. I then went to a recliner where I signed some consent forms and received my ID bracelet. I was asked to consent to a cervial stitch. I wasn't even sure as to what it was or was for, but not wanting to delay...signed the form anyway! Very shortly after, I walked into the OR and got onto the bed. It looked more like a modified exam table than an OR bed, which makes sense for what they are doing. 2 CRNAs (one was a student) and the anesthesiologist came in a spoke to me. They put in an IV (and drew some blood....shocking, I know) and within minutes, I was out! I vaguely remember moving onto the strecther and hearing something like "18 eggs." I woke up about 10 minutes later in recovery doing well. I got dressed and was wheeled out to the car. Adam asked Anita about the eggs and was told that there were 19. So....in my stupor, I was close!
Overall, it was a positive and easy experience! Now, we wait to see how many fertilized!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
After some counting, measurements, and a brief pause, Dr. Vasquez basically said that there was no way we could wait until Friday for our egg retrieval. I was just too far along and waiting could cost us a lot of good eggs. I knew he was "building" his case because I had firmly told him on Saturday that I could NOT have the retrieval on Thursday because I had patients scheduled! After the way I've felt today....I would have been fine with tomorrow! So, I told him that I was "cool" with moving the retrieval up and we were good to go.
Anita called this afternoon and told us that my E2 level was 2800. "Normal" for retrievals is 500-1500... Over 3000-4000 can lead to some severe hypsertimulation syndromes. So, I'm at the upper end of success without falling into the high risk range!
Our "trigger" shot (which is a wholloping dose of pregnancy hormone which will make a pregnancy test positive btw) is tonight at exactly 8:45 pm. Tomorrow, I get a break from all injections!!!!!!!! (After 1-2 a day plus tons of blood draws, this is a TREAT!) On Thursday, we have to be in Nashville at 8 am ready and in the OR by 8:45 am. I'm a little scared and nervous, but also excited that we are entering another phase of this process!
On a happy note, our embryo transfer will be on Sunday, the day of our Dampier family reunion. I guess someone upstairs might have had a little hand in that...
Monday, June 20, 2011
Today the ultrasound tech was running late. I guess Anita felt bad and knew I had to get back to the office (which was wound care clinic today), so she grabbed Dr. Vasquez to do my ultrasound. It's kind of nice having the doc to do it as you get answers quickly! His "critique" was, "Things look great! Anita will call you this afternoon once the labs come in." (He's a man of few words...) I counted somewhere around 20 follicles again and all seemed to be around 12-20mm.
This afternoon, Anita called and guess what??? I get to go to Nashville AGAIN in the morning! (Plus, I get to have 5 amps of Repronex tonight...our highest dose ever!) Dr. Vasquez wants to repeat the ultrasound himself and make the final decision. Anita (who watched today's ultrasound) feels pretty sure that he's going to move the egg retrieval up a day. She even told me that I might want to "free up my Thursday." So, things are going very well...a little too well. Looks like we could go on Thursday which would make our embryo transfer on the day of the Dampier Family Reunion.
On a personal and sentimental note, to transfer what could very well be our future child/children on the day of our family reunion, would be really special to me. If it happens that way, I'd like to think my Grandaddy had a little something to do with it. He always made the reunion a high priority in his life. While I won't be there this year, I'm praying that Sunday becomes a day that in some little way, perpetuates our Dampier family. Wouldn't that be a special story to tell our children??? It's been over 3 months, but I miss him tremendously...every day (especially yesterday). Hopefully he's getting a nice view from above and is pleased with all of the things we, as his family, are doing!
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Tonight, we go back to our 4 amps and guess what??? I get to go to Nashville AGAIN tomorrow AND Monday! Adam will ride with me tomorrow. Unfortunately, the only way to regulate the drugs is to look at ultrasound results and lab values. Looks like lots of blood draws and trips to Nashville this week.
Our goal is several follicles over 2cm (usually it's less for women, but because I am good...they are shooting for "better" eggs) and an E2/Estradiol level above 3000. At the pace I was going before we backed off, I'd have been ready by Tuesday. So, slowing down now...we are still looking at Friday. I'm definitely getting more excited... Even if things don't work the first time, I'm happy that we at least are able to give this such a good shot and that things are going very nicely so far. I talked to our doc today and he's happy with everything, so we are too!
Friday, June 17, 2011
Today was another followup visit to Nashville. Our drive up was uneventful and we arrived about 20 minutes early. We were taken back a pinch early, but to different areas. Adam had to cryopreserve his sperm today ($300 extra dollars), so he went into the "man room," while I headed to the lab. I had my Estradiol level drawn then headed to the ultrasound room. My ultrasound showed significant growth in my 20 or so follicles today, which is good! I kind of knew that though because I can FEEL my ovaries (inside...not from my belly)! As best I can measure, they've grown from a normal size approximating a kumquat/olive to a kiwi/tangerine in 48 hours. Looks like I'll have grapefruits by next Friday!
This afternoon, we received our telephone call with future instructions. Turns out, my estrogen went from 469 to 906 in 48 hours. While we want it to rise, doubling is a bit excessive! They dropped my Repronex again to 225 units tonight and guess what??? I get to drive to Nashville AGAIN tomorrow...sigh. Basically, I'm driving up to a specialty lab to have another level drawn. Then sometime after 5, I have to call Dr. Vasquez for instructions on how to adjust my medications.
I'm WAYYYYY overachieving at this point, which is good (that my ovaries work) and bad (that they work way tooo good). Hopefully the labs will be ok tomorrow. As expected, I go back on Monday for another ultrasound and blood draw. Thankfully, I have good veins! Can't do anything the easy way....it's in the Dampier genes!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
While operating, Anita at CRH called to let us know that we had 20 follicles on ultrasound and my estrogen was 469. (On Friday, my estrogen was under 60 and was likely approaching 0 on Sunday.) For only 3 days of stim drugs, my response is practically perfect! So, I'll take my same dose tonight (4 amps Repronex) and tomorrow I'll decrease the dose to 3 amps. Will continue my same Lupron dose for now as well. So, still 2 shots per day until Friday! I go back Friday for more labs and another ultrasound. If things continue to go this well, our egg retriveal will be next Friday for sure (the 24th)!
Also, our vet called today. Fonzie's repeat hearworm test was negative!!! They will recheck him in one month and if negative again, he's good to go! I am soooooo very grateful for this news and will just hope for the best next month!
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Because I felt so washed out, I was eager to start the hormones today! We have to take the shot around the same time every night (within 1 hour), so we picked 7:30pm. Ms. Lokey came over to help and give Adam some moral support...and to be supportive to me as well. Adam has never given any type of injection before and has a huge issue with needles. So...this was a BIG deal to him!
Overall, I'd give him a B+....or maybe an A-. He did everything right, but was a pinch slow. Ms. Lokey helped him and talked him through the process step by step. I'm glad it's done (for tonight) and that each day will get easier and easier...at least from an injection standpoint.
I'm thrilled that the process has officially begun and just pray that we see some growing follicles on Wednesday! Thanks to everyone who has sent messages and left comments these past few weeks. I've read and deeply appreciated every one of them!
Saturday, June 11, 2011
We were taken back quickly by Anita (the IVF Nurse Cordinator). She organized each medication into separate bags with cute labels...practically idiot-proofing them! She them went through exactly what we were to do and allowed Adam to "practice" his injection skills. His practice round went well from the standpoint that he didn't pass out, but I'm a little nervous... He REALLY wants to give them and be a part of this process (he gets the "good" part), so I'm going to grit my teeth and bear it tomorrow night... I will have Ms. Lokey with us though, so that she can inject if Adam wimps out (or hits the floor)! We were given our schedule and then send down the hall for our ultrasound and labs.
The ultrasound looked great (thin lining and lots of follicles) and I assume the estrogen level was low. (Anita said that no afternoon phone call meant good news.) So, we are good to start the next phase. We have survived the suppression phase and are now starting the stimulation phase tomorrow.
For those who really want to know, here are details:
Today: Last dose of Lupron 10 unit suppression.
Tomorrow (Sunday) through Wednesday: Start Doxycycline twice a day (both of us). Decrease Lupron to 5 units per day. Start Repronex (hormones) via hip injection nightly. So, looks like 2 injections per day at least until Wednesday's appointment!
Will post any "new" news Wesnesday... I did learn about my week of bedrest yesterday, which was NOT what I had in mind! From Monday the 27th through Friday, July1, I can't shower or get out of bed for ANYTHING except for using the restroom! They are VERY strict about the bedrest protocols... I even have to eat in bed. Since I'm not lazy and I'm definitely not someone to stay in bed, that is going to be an interesting week for sure.... Hormonal, dirty with frizzy hair, and on steroids.....watch out!
More to come on Wednesday... If things do work out and everything goes according to the schedule, we'll have our first pregnancy test on July 8. If they don't, we'll at least know what to expect!
On Memorial Day Weekend, Adam, Mom, Dad, and I went to Pigeon Forge. We arrived Friday night and got settled in our hotels after a shopping trip at Bass Pro Shop. On Saturday, we all had breakfast at Cracker Barrell. Dad, Adam, and I then went to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail to hike to Rainbow Falls. Because we had to park quite a ways from the trailhead, we actually hiked 6.6 miles round trip with 1800 feet of elevation gain! It was a gorgeous day and we had a great time.
Dad and I on the trail at the "teaser" falls!
Adam and I at Rainbow Falls.
After we finished our hike, Mom and Dad met up with their friends and Adam and I went for dinner and Old Mill Icecream. We had a rough night (probably from being so sore), so slept in Sunday morning. (Actually, I got up at 7 to start my shots, but went back to bed....)
More to come in next post....had to break it up for photos.
Monday, May 23, 2011
I have found this experience to be one of the loneliest times in my life. Adam has been my biggest supporter and best friend through the process (which isn't exactly a shocker), but unfortunately there haven't been too many others. Frankly, my best friend (who I really thought would be super-supportive during this time) seems to have withdrawn from me...which is pretty discouraging.
Not once in the past month has anyone asked how I felt in this process or how we were doing. Noone (outside of family) has called; or if they have called, our "fertility" issues were never mentioned. I suppose it's uncomfortable for folks and frankly something that most of my extended family, friends, and collegues can't really understand. Nor does anyone really want to hear about it...
Here are some things said by my patients, collegues, and random others that we don't want to hear....
1. Adopt a child and then you'll get pregnant.
2. Go on a good vacation and it'll happen... (Nope...did 9 days at Disney and 9 days in the Caribbean...didn't work!)
3. Relax and it'll happen. (Tried that too...doesn't fix our problem.)
4. I get pregnant just by looking at my husband/sharing soap/etc.
5. Complaints about your pregnancy or children...
We know our friends love us, but in this case it's from a distance. We start our shots on Sunday, assuming plans don't change. Unfortunately, because of cycle issues...they may. For those who do pray, please pray for us. For those who don't, please send up well wishes, positive vibes, or whatever it is that you do.
I'm so thankful for Adam and our famililes and would kill for friends who care. Unfortunately, I think we are on our own with this from here forward. I'll post again if it seems appropriate, otherwise consider the blog dead...again. Also, please don't comment or message me through Facebook as I'm not planning to spend any time there either over the next several weeks... Hearing pregnant people whine, mothers complain about their children, and others post about how special motherhood is just makes people like me want to vomit. I guess social media isn't always for the best... Til next time, if ever....