12 December 2007

11 weeks today!

Almost out of the first trimester, but not without any anxieties or aches and pains. My OB called last week to inform me that all my labs came back normal except for one. The antibody screen showed that I have antibodies in my blood for ALL blood types rather than just the blood types I am not. Or something to that effect. It doesn't make much sense to me! He said I am fine the baby is fine, however he really doesn't know what the consequences are for the baby at this time. This could cause me to be anemic - which I'm not, my hemoglobin was 13.5, apparently ok. Or, maybe the baby could become anemic. He says this is a rare occurrence and he is researching the subject. But, in the meantime he is sending me to the perinatologist to be evaluated and followed throughout my pregnancy. A perinatologist is a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine and handles high-risk pregnancies. Yikes! I have an appointment next Wednesday, Dec 19th, so will keep you posted. In the meantime, I have been trying to read up on the subject, but alas, there isn't much to find on the internet. I will just worry about it then. Oh, I also scheduled a first trimester screening ultrasound with the perinatologist since they do those and I was going there anyway. This will screen for downs syndrome and other problems. Not that we would do anything about it if we found something out, we refuse to terminate the pregnancy.

On another topic, I took a pic of my belly at 10 weeks, 4 days, but I just look fat! So, I may post it, but it's not very exciting and a little embarrassing to show off a flabby belly that just looks like I ate too much Chipotle. Heh. I am not sleeping too well lately - I can't fall asleep at night even though I feel exhausted and I wake up when Rudy gets up at 4:30am and can't go back to sleep. It really sucks! I hope this passes soon or I am going to have to start taking naps at work.

I hope you all are done with your Christmas shopping - I am almost done, but am doing the remainder online so it isn't too painful. I also have aspirations of writing a nice Christmas letter to send out, but don't hold your breath on that one. I can't remember the last time I actually mailed Christmas cards. I've bought them for the last few years though - or materials to make them, but it never actually happened. Oh well, I can only do so much! I can't believe a whole year has passed since last December when I was just starting all the tests with the fertility doc. I thought for sure I would be pregnant earlier this year, but I am so grateful that we finally did it! Being pregnant is the best thing that has ever happened to me and the best Christmas present ever!

28 November 2007

Belly photo #1: 4 weeks, 3 days

So this is me right after we found out we were pregnant. I am going to try to take pics every few weeks, or once a month or so to show the belly progress! I will take another photo this weekend. I have been putting off posting this, so here it is in all my chubby glory. I am a little fatter than I wish I was when I got pregnant, but oh well, what can you do? My ovaries are the size of lemons here people! I can't wait to see if I look any more pregnant in my next photo, right now, I just look a little fatter. 

19 November 2007


The baby is fine, but I am on bedrest due to subchorionic bleeding. What is that you say? Bleeding from the uterus basically - broken capillaries from the implantation causes some bleeding during the first trimester. It is very common, but annoying. I am on bedrest until it stops which really sucks! I have been on bedrest since last Friday when I called the nurse because I had noticed some spotting last week and it got a little worse on Friday. I have to stay on bedrest until it stops + 3 days. So, it has subsided for the most part today I think, so hopefully only three more days. Guess I am not cooking thanksgiving dinner! Sorry honey. Here is a picture of our sweet little alien baby! I think my belly is pooching out now too - it is hard to tell because I have been a little bloated the last few days. But, I feel better today and notice a distinct little bump below my belly button. I promise some side shots of the belly soon!

12 November 2007

Here comes the nausea

Wow, look how much we've grown! Isn't our little blob cute? I had my second ultrasound today and everything is measuring right on. The baby's heartbeat was going strong and nice and even. The baby is now 7.7 mm long - still a tiny little pea. I am so happy! The nausea kicked in last Friday finally. I was so enjoying not feeling sick. But, it is here, ugh. It isn't too bad, but it does seem to come and go all day long. I had too much food at taco bell for lunch today - it sounded so good!! It tasted so good!! But, now I have a tummy ache! My mommy sent me some preggie pops and acupressure bands - the preggie pops actually help, it's amazing. Not much else to report. I took a picture of myself when we found out we were pregnant. I will post it eventually I guess. I may take a new pic this week - but I am definitely not showing or anything yet. I have done some shopping for maternity clothes and baby stuff, but haven't bought anything yet. I am lucky to have friends give me a lot of clothes to wear, so I am pretty set for a while! Thanks girls! But, it will be fun to buy some new prego clothes soon. I can't wait to find out the gender - Aaron and Shannon are having a girl! I guess 16 weeks is the earliest they can tell, so I have a while to wait. I guess I won't be doing much shopping or nursery decorating until then. Ooooohhhhh, I can't wait!!!!

07 November 2007

I am so tired!

It was hard to get up this morning. Maybe this is for real - I am pregnant! Hee hee. It is just so hard to believe sometimes this early, there isn't much to go on. So far, this is pretty easy. The eating is annoying - I am trying so hard to eat the right things, it is hard to fit in everything you are supposed to eat in one day. 5 fruits, 5 vegetables? Who has the stomach to eat all of that and protein and whole grains and a ton of water!!!?? I am just trying to nibble all day long. By the way, my hcg levels came back at 15,300 on 26 days post retrieval. They are really good numbers, high in fact for just having one baby. They said she must have implanted right away. Or, maybe there is another baby in there and he is just hiding behind his sister! But, I doubt it. How could they not see the other one? I have another u/s and bloodwork scheduled for next Monday. I have already made an appointment with my ob/gyn for the last week of November. By then my fertility doctor will discharge me. They will monitor me weekly until then though I guess. So, everything is fine, going well. How do you like my new little baby widget - isn't it cute?

05 November 2007

1 strong little bean

We saw one little baby bean in there today with a strong heartbeat! We are measuring a little ahead of schedule I think. We are sad to say goodbye to our second baby, we had a feeling there might be two in there, but were wrong. But, our one little bean's heart was beating furiously - can't really see it in the pictures of course. We are mourning the loss of one bean and celebrating the wonder of the other! Now we don't have to buy a giganto car, so that is good news. We can't wait to watch her grow week after week and be born. I will update with my hcg numbers later, don't have them yet. We will go in for another ultrasound and bloodwork next week.

01 November 2007

5 weeks pregnant

I am officially 5 weeks (and 1 day) pregnant. Still no symptoms really except feeling tired and having to pee more often. I had my second beta hcg test on Monday and it was 1465 - so it more than doubled which is really good. It is weird that it went up exactly 1,000 units, isn't it? My dear husband came home with these roses the day after our official positive test from the doc. Aren't they just gorgeous? He knows me so well, I love this minimalist bouquet, it is so cool. I also received some other surprises from family on that day - the doorbell just kept ringing. My mom and dad sent the beautiful orchid and Aaron and Shannon sent the edible arrangement. That was great, it helped me up my fruit intake (and chocolate too). Thanks everyone for recognizing what a true miracle this is. I love you! We have another blood hcg test and our first OB ultrasound on monday so stay tuned!!

26 October 2007

I'm pregnant!!! YIPPEEEE!!!!

This picture just says it all, doesn't it? This was from Wednesday. Yea, that's right, I've been holding out on you. I waited to get confirmation from a blood hcg test and I got that today. It is officially 465 - don't really know the measurement of that, just that that is really fricking good!!! It is in the range of twins actually, YIKES!!! I go back Monday for another blood test and they look for the hcg levels to double by then. So, please keep praying for us as we are not in the clear just yet. I will be having an ultrasound in another week or so to take a look. YEA!!! We are just so happy, ecstatic, in shock, thrilled, relieved, excited, blessed... Thanks for all of your prayers and support. I am not having any symptoms at all of pregnancy, it is so hard to believe it is real. I can't wait to feel nauseous and have sore boobs and have a huge belly, let me tell you. This is the best thing EVER!!!!!!!

16 October 2007

Only 2 left...

The remaining three sweet little embryo's didn't make it. :-( Only one made it to the blastocyst stage, but it wasn't good enough quality to freeze. I am mad I didn't put more back in - now they have gone to waste... We have so much riding on this one chance at IVF, I'm not sure we will be able to do it again...

14 October 2007

Embryo transfer

We had 2 beautiful embryos transferred yesterday. One was an 8 cell grade "A" and the other was a compacted morula. A morula is the next stage in the embryo's development so this is very good. A grade A is also the best grade an embryo can get. So, two beautiful little babies floating around in there. The doc said the transfer went "perfectly", so that is good news. I had to practically stand on my head for a half hour after the transfer with a full bladder. It wasn't much fun. My back was starting to cramp up and I had to pee SO BAD. I just listened to my ipod and held Rudy's hand and made it through.

I have been on bedrest since then - my back hurts from laying on it. I've watched a lot of tv and movies, it is getting kind of boring! Today I am on the couch. My mom left yesterday, I was sad to see her go. Thanks mommy for taking care of us for a week! Rudy's mom came by today and brought us food. Rudy's back is out and he can hardly move and hasn't slept in almost a week. He is in pretty bad shape, so it is hard to take care of me. Jackson has been doing a lot to help as well, he has been a trooper. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us - we need it more than ever. I won't know the outcome of this for a couple of weeks.

11 October 2007

Please pray for our 5 babies!!

Yep, that's right, we now have 5 official embryos growing up in the lab!!! We retrieved 10 eggs yesterday, 8 of which were mature enough to fertilize. They fertilized them via ICSI - intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection. I know, very scientific sounding isn't it? Basically, the embryologist picks up one sperm and actually injects it into the egg. They must have very very very very very strong microscopes! So, we ended up with 5 fertilized embryos. Not as many as I wanted, but enough to get us pregnant - it only takes 1 (or 2)! I pray that they all live until they are either implanted or frozen. I am scheduled for a day 3 transfer - this Saturday morning. We will put back 2 or 3, depending on their quality. I pray we can freeze the rest in case we have to do this again - we can skip the retrieval part and just thaw them out - pretty high tech, eh?

Please just pray that this works the first time and we never have to do this again.

So, yes, Rudy made it home from Salt Lake City on Tuesday afternoon, although his back is really bad, the poor thing. The retrieval was pretty easy - They gave me some versed - a great valium like drug - that knocked me right out. There was probably something else in there too, I don't know. It was great - I woke up and it was all done. I came home and slept for 3 more hours - the best nap ever! I was sore, and still am on both sides, but nothing major.

On another note - I can't remember if I mentioned this, but I was having some major anxiety for the last week. I had tightness in my stomach and throat - it was so awful, I could barely make it go away. I tried deep breathing, meditation, yoga - it helped, but it always came back. I just found out that lupron - one of the drugs I was taking causes anxiety. How NICE! It is finally gone now though, what a relief. I feel for anyone who suffers from anxiety, it is terrible, like you always have this feeling of doom and dread in the pit of your stomach. I hope the stress didn't adversely affect me too much...
Peace and love, Katrina

09 October 2007

My soap opera life

I love myself a good soap opera, but living it isn't much fun. I am trying so hard to be positive, but I am getting hit from all angles!! Give me a break! Let me start with the scientific aspects of this journey. Had my ultrasound and bloodwork yesterday. Showed up and the u/s tech had called in sick, so had to come back at noon, which meant I couldn't show up for work yesterday. Nick (my boss/principal consultant/coworker) is very understanding, but I know it is annoying to have an employee with all kinds of personal problems. Ugh. Anyway - when I went back in the u/s tech was kind of snippy with me and mom, which pissed me off because that was the first time my mom was coming to an appointment with me. Everything little thing adds up and causes me undue stress, ya know? Anyway - she saw 14 follicles with the following range of sizes: 2@21mm, 2@19mm, and then some at 17, 16, 15, 14, 12 mm. My estrogen was 1691 - they figure about 200 - 300 units of estrogen per mature egg/follicle. So, between 5 and 8 were mature yesterday I guess. I took the HCG trigger shot to trigger ovulation last night at 9pm and my egg retrieval is scheduled for 8:30AM on Wednesday, October 10th!!!!! YAY!! More follies will have time to mature between now and then - so hopefully there will be more than 8 eggs.

Please pray for lots of mature eggs (over 10) tomorrow and that all of them fertilize.

So, now on to the stressful yucky stuff - it is all about my poor husband. Rudy is still in Salt Lake City on his golf trip. He is supposed to fly in tonight at 9pm on the last flight outta there and we need to be at the doc's office for our retrieval at 7:30am tomorrow. See any problems with this? Well, I do. I made him change his flight to a morning flight today because I just couldn't deal with the chance that something would happen to his flight and he wouldn't get home in time. He needs to be there in the morning to contribute his half of the equation if you catch my drift. He wasn't too happy with cutting his golf trip short and not finishing the tournament which he is winning. But, I put my foot down - too much is at stake, so I had to be a hardass. I hope he forgives me. Anyway, he called me last night and was sick (vomiting) after a crappy lunch, so maybe has food poisoning. Also, his sciatica has returned and he is in serious back and leg pain. Poor baby - I hope he can stand to sit on the plane for 3.5 hours today. I just need him to come home and rest up today for the big day tomorrow. Pray for Rudy to feel better would ya? Thanks.

Well, I feel better now that I have dumped all this onto the rest of you. This blog writing stuff is pretty cathartic. I hope you can find the time to say a prayer or think of us tomorrow morning. If not, send us some money. Just kidding! We need all the positive vibes/prayers/help we can get.

08 October 2007

The size of lemons

Sorry I have been lax on the updates. I am on day 9 of the stimulation medicine. I had an ultrasound and bloodwork on Sat and here are the results:

11 follicles about the size of 14mm, and 1 at 18mm. Estradiol at 300 something and my lining is 7.6.
This is progressing more slowly than I expected - all follies need to be over 18mm to trigger the ovulation and do the retrieval. So - another day or two I think. I have another ultrasound today at noon so will update you again later today.

I estimate that my ovaries are the size of lemons - and they are sore lemons! There really isn't that much room in there ya know. I am really tired and sore in the afternoon - I need to take it easy now. I have been doing yoga and meditation to relax - it is helping somewhat. I am just feeling a little anxious from time to time.

OH I FORGOT TO MENTION!! Rudy's 2nd sperm analysis came back above normal!! WHOOPEE!!!!! I need to write a letter to the insurance bastards for the appeal - I think we have a really good chance of winning the appeal, but don't want to get my hopes up too high.

Please pray for lots of healthy eggs for us. The retrieval will most likely be on Thursday ( just a guesstimate). I hope I can go to the work for the next few days and not feel like crap.

03 October 2007

Final Answer: Denied

After careful reconsideration and 2 conversations with my reproductive endocrinologist (the fertility doc), Blue Cross is denying our request for IVF coverage. Phooey. BASTARDS! We are going to appeal this decision as it is based on Rudy being off 1% on the morphology on his sperm analysis (SA). He is going in tomorrow to do another SA, so please pray really hard that the andrologist counts lots of perfect sperm. Yes, it is done by a human with a microscope - yikes! Seems like there is a lot of room for error on these tests. If I was Sami on Days of our Lives, I would find this person and bribe or blackmail them into fudging the results. But, I am just not clever or devious enough to pull this off. Poor Rudy is under a lot of pressure to perform tomorrow morning. We decided if this one isn't good, we will do another one in a couple weeks until we get the results we want.

I had my first ultrasound and bloodwork check after being on the stimulation medication for 4 days. I will have the results later but so far everything is looking good. Getting 3 shots a day in my tummy really sucks. And, I am looking at giving myself the shots on Friday night and Sat morning after Rudy leaves and before my mom arrives. I haven't been able to do it myself yet - it is just so hard to stab yourself, let me tell you. I've done it with Rudy holding my hand and sticking it in, but not myself. I think when the time comes and I just HAVE to do it, I will be ok. But Rudy wants to watch me do it myself so he knows I will be ok. I don't know if I will be able to. I must start mentally preparing for that now...

01 October 2007

there is a tiny, itty bitty, teeny weeny bit of hope left

My infertility doctor, the medical director of the fertility center, got on the phone with the medical director of the IVF unit at Blue Cross Blue Shield and reamed him out. YES! J/K, I guess he asked him to reconsider my case and said there was no reason to deny coverage based on a measly 1% difference in the morphology for crying out loud. I am sure the conversation was much more intellectual and persuasive than I am describing. THANK YOU DR. MILLER! They are going to call back tomorrow with a decision. So, there is a tiny eeny weeny itsy bitsy super small little bit of hope left. Either way I am going forward. Please please please please please throw me a bone mister really important insurance man. And I am back in limbo for another day.

We started stim medication yesterday - three shots a day. I am sick of it already and it's only been 1.5 days. If it wouldn't totally freak you out, I would post a pic of my poor, sore, swollen belly, but I won't. The shots sting and leave welt marks and bruises. But, I am sure I have told you all that already.

27 September 2007

Denied :-(

Blue Cross has denied us coverage for IVF. I can't believe it. We are looking at $15,000 per cycle plus the cost of all the medications and cryopreservation if we have left over embryos. Now what? I can't imagine having debt for a failed cycle.

If you haven't heard from me lately...

It's because my entire life is obsessed with my infertility. I've been doing a lot of reading up on the subject - it's one way to get support. What I've discovered, not surprisingly, is that women suffering from infertility tend to withdraw from their friends and family and it's completely normal. I am sure you have felt uncomfortable dealing with the fact that I am suffering and you don't know what to do or say. Well, neither do I. This is by far the worst thing I have suffered through in my life. And, it is a poorly understood thing for people who haven't gone through it. I just feel like all I do is complain about this and I don't want to burden you with my problems. It's the only thing that matters to me right now. It is also difficult to be out in the real world with people and their cute families and wonderful children. My life is frozen in time and I can't move on until this is resolved. I am not really feeling any joy, it is hard to do the everyday things. All I can say is please be there for me when I eventually come out of it. I need everyone. You could call me and tell me you are thinking of me though. Maybe when I get the motivation I will share some other insights about how to deal with me. Like any other illness people suffer through, this is on my mind every minute of every day. It defines me. It has changed me. I don't know why God is putting us through this suffering. It is definitely making me stronger. And, luckily, it is making my marriage stronger. I couldn't go through this without my wonderful husband. He is my rock - he is always there for me. We are definitely feeling this pain together. We are expending all our energy just supporting each other and keeping it together for Jackson. He knows what we are going through and has his moments of not understanding. Like last week when we had to work at home on Monday to get to a doc appointment and couldn't work at home on Tues which meant we couldn't make it to his cross country meet. He is vulnerable too - we are juggling so much to make this all work. Sorry if I haven't been there for you...

24 September 2007

prayers for us are needed for the 1%

We are anxiously awaiting for Blue Cross to pre-certify our IVF. You would think this would be done by now, but no. I think the doctor's office dragged their feet on this one. But, it is not looking good. Since Rudy had a vasectomy reversal, our infertility cannot be because of his vasectomy or all coverage is ended. They determine this by several factors.
1. Is his sperm analysis normal?
2. Is the infertility because of me?

1. According to the latest sa, we are off by one f***ing percentage point on morphology. It must be 4% and above, and it was 3%. Conveniently, last year in August, it WAS 4%. But now it's not. They only look at tests within the last year.
2. We have unexplained infertility. There is no diagnosis. There is nothing out of the ordinary wrong with me other than I think my luteal phase is too short. But that was fixed with all the drugs they give me.

Sooooo... I am thinking we are basically screwed. Over 1 PERCENT. I can't handle this. I finally was feeling like this was going to work and now something new to stress over.

Blue Cross won't let me talk to anyone about this. I mean, they will only talk to the doctor's office. The doctor's office tells me to call the insurance company. It is so freaking funny. But I am not laughing.

Did I mention that out of pocket this will cost over $20,000 !!! I am freaking out right now.

17 September 2007

Here we go...

All the drugs have arrived and we had our consultation with the IVF nurse today. We signed all the consent forms and went through the entire protocol. As you can see, it is pretty involved. Here is the list of drugs we have to take:
Apri tabs - (me) Pill - birth control pill to suppress ovaries (already taking)
- (me) Injectible - stimulates follicle/egg growth
Repronex - (me) Injectible -stimulates follicle/egg growth
Lupron - (me) Injectible - supresses my ovaries from ovulation
Doxycyclin - (me) Pill - antibiotic
Cipro - (Rudy) Pill - antibiotic
Baby aspirin - (me) Pill - I don't know what this is for, trying to find out...
Medrol - (me) Pill - steroid so my body doesn't reject the babies
HCG - (me) Injectible - to induce ovulation
Endometrin - (me) Pill - the vaginal progesterone pill (I am going to try this out and see if I like it in lieu of the progesterone injections. If not, it's back to the butt shots)

I start the Lupron shots this wednesday (a couple days earlier than I thought) and take those for 7-10 days then start the other shots. Then, 3 shots a day for 10 days until egg retrieval. Rudy is going out of town for 5 days and I am going to have to give myself the shots while he is gone. Yikes! Should be interesting... I will keep you posted on our progress.
xoxo Katrina

11 September 2007

: : : : Project Baby : : : :

Well, we have a tentative IVF schedule. This stuff takes time. I was hoping we would be knee deep in this by now, but we had to play the testing and waiting game. Finally all of our tests are back and we could schedule the consult with the IVF coordinator.

I've decided to call this "project baby" - it helps me to deal with the seriousness of this with some fun. Here's the project plan: (keep in mind this is always plus/minus 2-3 days due to factors outside of our control). In other words, my body is in charge and even I can't control it :)

Mon, 9/17 - Meet with the IVF Coordinator.
Sign consent forms, learn about all the fun injections/drugs.

Fri, 9/21 - Start Lupron injections to suppress ovulation

Sun, 9/23 - Stop taking birth control pills

Sun, 9/30 - Ultrasound, bloodwork. Start stimulation drugs to stimulate lots of eggs/follicles

Wed, 10/10 - Egg retrieval, fertilization, start incubation - grow babies!!!!

Sat, 10/13 or Mon, 10/15 - Embryo Transfer (2-3 embryos)
(3 day transfer on Sat or 5 day transfer on Mon)

Sat, 10/27
or Mon, 10/29 - Beta test (find out if it worked!) A positive test will be the best birthday present ever!!!

Sat, 7/5 - Babies are due!!! (If I am pregnant this cycle and it is twins, they will be due earlier than this actually)

That seems like such a loooooooooooong way away. We are delaying starting this a few days due to Rudy going out of town on Oct 5-9, but it worked out pretty good. Except that I will have to inject myself while he is gone. YIKES! Mommy! Come and visit me that weekend!

15 August 2007

IVF Plans

Well, I don't know much yet as to how this is going to work other than it should happen in September sometime. Yippee!! I am starting birth control pills today for three weeks (at least). During this time Rudy and I have to repeat some of the tests we have done - some tests have to be repeated every year and others every few months. I have it all scheduled for the last week of August. Hopefully all the results will come back normal the following week and we can get started. We've been seeing the fertility doctor for almost a year now (it will be a year in November). We just passed our 2 year anniversary of trying to conceive though (Sunday). I didn't realize it until the next day, but I was very depressed on Sunday. Actually since we got our negative beta results last Thursday, Rudy and I have been pretty low. I will spare you the knowledge of the bottom of our despair, but it's pretty darn low. Despite everything that has happened, we are coping somehow. It feels good to be planning our next steps and know a little about what is going to happen.

We are meeting with Dr. Miller next Monday just to go over what we've done and get some questions answered. Also to find out more about IVF and his thoughts about the success rates. We probably won't know the entire protocol until we meet with the nurse for another injection teach. Yes, IVF will involve lots of injectible medications, more than we have done before. But, we are old pros at it now, so shouldn't be a problem. I think we may have one or two injections to do a day in addition to the twice daily injections we were doing. Rudy is an expert nurse, I am so blessed to have a husband willing to do all of this for me so I don't have to inject myself.

We are very excited to move on to this step as the success rates are much higher and they can also find out a little more about why this isn't working. For example, maybe my eggs just aren't as young as me. Hopefully not and nothing we've done has indicated that, but who knows. IVF also unfortunately means that the process of retrieving the eggs and putting them back in involves a surgical procedure (I am drugged thank goodness). But, it also means missing some work and possibly bedrest after the procedures (i'm good with that!). We are very lucky that our insurance pays for IVF and for everything else we've been doing. It has still been a dent in our wallet paying 10% co-insurance. But, it is nothing compared to the women I have met that pay for it ALL out of pocket. That really is unfair and must really add a new dimension to the stress of it not working.

Speaking of failure. I can't imagine how devastated we will feel if IVF fails. Especially since this seems to be the final option for us to have biological children. But, I can't think about that yet. I just can't come to that acceptance in my mind ahead of time that this won't work. It HAS to work. It just has to. Please pray for us.

09 August 2007

The final IUI (#5) - BFN

Well, another cycle is done and failed. I don't have much else to say at this moment.

07 August 2007

Not looking good

Well, of course I have been testing myself for the last week to see if I am pregnant. And, this morning at 12 days post IUI it is negative. I have a blood test scheduled on Thursday, but I just know that it's just not gonna happen this time around. It is early, but a lot of women get positive tests by now so I don't have any hope. If the beta (blood test) is negative, we will be moving on to IVF. Since the pregnancy rates are much higher with IVF, I have a lot of hope there. But, it will be two months before I know the outcome of the first IVF. This all takes up so much time and energy, I am exhausted...

02 August 2007

No pain, no gain

I've been in a lot of pain this time around. It stopped hurting yesterday finally. My ovaries were killing me - the right one especially which I was told is wedged in there tight to begin with. It feels constantly achy, and sometimes it just feels like somebody kicked me in the stomach. When I had my ovaries measured on Monday - the left one is even bigger! Weird that the right one is bothering me, but I guess it has less room. The left one was 6.1 cm and the right is 4.5cm. They have never been that big before. I know this because if your ovaries are over 6cm, you don't need an HCG booster shot. So, I didn't have to have one! But, I am paying it for it now. I am bloated and in pain. The only thing that helps is my lavender scented bellywarmer. I pop that in the nukerwave for 2 mins and it feels just wonderful. Oh, warm showers are good too. I can only take Tylenol which doesn't do a damn thing.

27 July 2007

The final IUI (#5)

Well, we had our 5th and final IUI this week. It went pretty good. Here's the nitty gritty details:

On ultrasound, Left ovary: 4 follies at 19mm, 3 @ 17mm. Right ovary: 1 @17mm. There were some smaller ones too, 15, 14, 13, etc., I believe. Estrogen at 1050 or so, lining 7.8mm.
So, in summary, good lining and 5 follies at mature size, yikes! Took the HCG shot at 8:10pm that night to trigger ovulation.

IUI 1: 9am postwash 23million sperm count, 55% motile
Thur: IUI 2: 10am postwash 69 MILLION, 66% motile !!!!!! Whoopee!! Good job honey! Felt all the usual ovulation pain on Thurs morning and afternoon, the timing seems perfect to me!

The nurse freaked me out on Thur - she didn't know what she was doing and put the speculum in and out like 4-5 times. She was fumbling around, poking around and wrenching that metal thing around and I thought, gee, this bodes well for success if the nurse can't even figure out how to work the stupid speculum. She couldn't find the opening of my cervix apparently. She eventually called the other nurse and she came in and had it over with in like 2 mins. All it took was me scootching down a little to change the angle or something.

Marcy suggested I do some visualization exercises before/during this time, so I did it, ok Marcy, I did it!! I tried to imagine the little eggies popping out just beautifully and spinning around while floating peacefully down the fallopian (don't ya just love that word?). Then I imagined the little spermy soldiers swimming fast and knocking on the eggs to say "let me in!". Then, two eggs meet their fate and start blooming into pretty little flowers. It was relaxing, however, on Thurs it was harder to concentrate after the nurses left me all freaked out with their fumbly exercises. Sometimes it's hard to have confidence in all this when people can barely do their jobs. The lab tech guy who handles Rudy's sample on Wed was all unorganized and looking for Rudy's paperwork. These people need to work a little harder to make us feel more confident, so much rides on what they are doing.

Well, let's pray that one or two of those little eggies met up with a soldier, but hopefully not 3 or 4. Crossing my fingers and toes and invoking all the karma, prayers, good luck charms and positive horoscopes I can find that this works. Otherwise, it's on to IVF in September. The two week wait begins again..

My husband, Mr. Nice Guy and karma

Here's a little heartwarming story for you. I haven't wrote in a while and wanted to give you an uplifting post, rather than a downer post. This morning my wonderful husband drove me to the train station to drop me off - we usually go on the train together, but he is working at home today. The train station drop off area consists of two lanes, one for the buses and one for the rest of us. He pulled into the bus lane and parked in a parking space that you technically can't park in until 8am (it was 7:55am or so). We chat and eventually the parking police pull up next to us. She is a friendly older woman, probably in her fifties I suppose. She has 'yelled' at us before because Rudy likes to break the rules and drop me in that lane quite frequently. She told us we needed to move, and we should park over there, and it's a moving violation to be there, $95 dollars, yada yada yada. I said, "I'm getting out now" and kind of got short and annoyed with her. I started yelling at Rudy that he should just follow the rules and pull into the other lane, blah blah blah. I said goodbye and hopped out and went to work. Later, Rudy tells me he went to Starbucks and got a coffee and a $20 gift card. He drove back to the train station and hunted down the parking lady. He then proceeded to apologize and tell her he knows she must have a really hard job and probably takes a lot of flack from people, etc. He told her 'thank you' for doing her job with a friendly face, even though she probably doesn't have to and people are most likely never nice back. She got all teary eyed and said that no one had ever said anything like that to her before in the 17 years she has been on this job. Her 17th anniversary is next Monday actually. She said someone actually threw their coffee at her once! Rudy said "Well, I won't throw coffee at you, but I will give you this gift card for all the good work!". A good deed, indeed.

Now, what possessed Rudy to do such a thing? Well, let me tell you something about my husband. He is a very thoughtful and generous person who 9 times out of 10 puts others before himself. He can actually see situations from another person's perspective, even when he is annoyed and in the wrong. Think about that next time you get mad at somebody for something that you are doing that you know is wrong. We all do it. Somebody calls us on something that we know we did wrong, yet we turn it around and give it right back to them. Some of us are clever enough to even twist it around and make it seem like it is the other person's fault. I hate people like that. Don't be like that!

Every once in a while, try to put someone else's needs ahead of your own. The reward may surprise you.

So, how does this even relate to our quest to have a baby? I am thinking that Rudy just gave us some really good karma. Let's hope it helps.

11 June 2007


Big Fat Negative. Again.

We are taking a month off due to going on vacation next week. Sigh. If only I could really relax. We were going to switch to IVF next month, but can't due to insurance restrictions. We must complete 3 IUI's with injectibles before we are allowed to move on to bigger and better things. I am pretty much convinced now that the IUI's aren't going to work and I have to do one more time. UGH. And, since we are taking a month off, that puts us into Sep/Oct before we will get IVF (it is a 2 month protocol). Now I know why it takes people so long to make any progess. Rather than being pregnant this June, I may not be due until June of next year, if at all. I thought for sure I would be pregnant this summer, but guess not.
Major pity party tonight with lots of wine involved. Hey, at least I get to be drunk for my entire vacation. Whoopee.

23 May 2007

Summer is here...!

Not much to report here, just thought I would say hi.
I have an appt tomorrow for ultrasound and bloodwork to check my progress this month. On Monday, they didn't see much going on, so upped my dosage of Bravelle (FSH - that's follicle stimulating hormone for you curious people). So, hopefully there will be some good progress tomorrow and the IUI will happen this weekend or early next week. Then, I can enter that time suckhole known as the 2ww (two week wait), or as someone on the infertility message boards I frequent called it: ww2. Heh.

So, it is CD7 for those of you keeping really close track of my menstrual cycles (I am assuming that would be none of you). So, I guess I told you that so you can live through this with me. Only 21 more days until I can possibly see a "BFP" (big fat positive). I will be going on vacation shortly after that, so at least I can relax on my vacation and not wonder what the heck is going on. I hope. Maybe this month I will be celebrating! If not, Rudy and I decided we just might do IVF next month. That is "in-vitro fertilization", basically, a baby made in a glass dish. It is a little more invasive (requiring more shots and a surgical procedure), but it has a much higher success rate. There are some ethical considerations that go along with it, but Rudy and I are on the same page with how we would handle the different situations that may present themselves. Of course, you never know exactly how you are going to feel when you are in the thick of it. This is a heavy topic I don't want to get into now, maybe we won't even have to worry about it!

On another topic, summer is here and we are anxiously awaiting the cicada invasion that is scheduled to arrive any day now after 17 years. Yuck! Big giant bugs everywhere isn't really my ideal way to spend the next month or so, ick. On that note, I am going to get back to work.

14 May 2007

Another failed cycle

Well my friends, I got a BFN today (Big Fat Negative).
*****Warning: this post may bring you down*****
Didn't work. Nada. No baby. Nothin', zip, zilch, zero, buzzer, please try again. I actually tested yesterday and got the BFN on Mother's day. Let me tell you, Mother's day sucks when you are not a mother. (And you are not with your own mother.) It wasn't a good day for me, but what can you do? Pity party for Katrina. Why isn't it working? There is no way to know. Yep, that's right, the doc has no answers. Now we start the rollercoaster all over again. We will do another IUI now (if my body is ready for it). The doc will change up the meds a little. Now I am just waiting for the next cycle to begin. Sorry, don't have much to say, it is all too depressing... :-(

03 May 2007

The two week wait, again

This has been a stressful week. I am still trying to quell the butterflies and stomach churning. It is not good to be stressed right now, I did some yoga to relax yesterday. I wish I could go for a hard run, that would do the trick. But, not supposed to do anything too strenuous right now.

The custody case was settled finally. We now have sole custody of Jackson and we are all very happy about that, Jackson included. The child support payment part didn't go as well as we would have hoped. Unfortunately, the courts are still skewed toward the mother. She did a lot of lying and bullshitting in court to to plead her case. It made me SICK that she just went on and on that she was going to have to move and poor Cassie would have to suffer in all of this due to Jackson's disruption. Like this is even Jackson's fault, the poor kid. It is HER fault, why would she put Cassie in this position? What about Jackson's suffering? Anyway, the child support was cut in half (better than nothing), but Kathy doesn't have to pay us any child support for Jackson. I can't write about this anymore, I really need to put it behind me, it is still stressing me out.

*Sigh* I need a massage!!!!! I don't think I am allowed to get one in the two week wait though, something about making the uterus contract or something.

Okay - so, I didn't tell you about the second IUI we had on Sunday. It went great! 29.8 million little guys and 68% motility. I had major, and I mean MAJOR ovulation pain all day on Sunday, and then it vanished at about 5pm. So, the IUI's were timed well and there were plenty of little guys waiting when my egg or eggs popped out. I really don't know how many eggs were released as they didn't check that at the doc's office. I started up with the progesterone shots on Monday. Yeach.

I had another ultrasound today to measure my ovaries. They just want to see how big they are, if they are under 6cm?, then I need an HCG booster shot. I do need one, so Rudy will give it to me tonight. So, two shots tonight. Egads, I am becoming a pincushion.

I don't know if I mentioned this before, but if I am pregnant, I have to continue taking the progesterone shots until I am 12 weeks pregnant. YUCK! Oh well, it is worth it.

The beta test (blood HCG test) is scheduled for Monday, May 14th. Not sure if I will post the results here or not. Last month, well, actually 2 months ago when I got that negative test it took me a few days to get over it. I feel it may be worse this month if it is negative because injectibles are supposed to have a much higher % of success, especially with the first one. Since it was timed perfectly, I really just don't see how it couldn't work. I know, I am getting my hopes up way too high, there are so many factors involved. I am really worried all the stress I am experiencing this week is going to ruin the whole cycle. So, I guess it could possibly, maybe not work. Isn't that hilarious, I am stressed about being too stressed.

See, I am obsessed. If it is negative, we will probably do another month of this, then maybe move to IVF. Maybe. Don't know right now. It just HAS TO WORK! I can't take much more of this!

28 April 2007

IUI#3 and a magnolia tree

We arrived at 6:51am and the guy that runs the "man room" wasn't there yet. He didn't know he was supposed to come to work today. Nice. So, Rudy had to wait to give his sample. Poor baby, like he doesn't have enough pressures. Anyway, fast forward to 8:30am or so and we are called into the stirrup room. Post wash numbers on the sample was 29 million guys with 58% motility. Pretty darn good I guess. Only experienced intermittent cramping and it was all done. La-z-boy to the test tube to the catheter and into the uterus in under an hour. Very, very romantic. Rudy did hold my hand the whole time, he is such a sweet man, I love him so.

On our way home we bought a magnolia tree. It was Arbor day yesterday and there was a tree sale in Naperville. We got a flowering Magnolia that blooms giant red blooms to plant in the back and further improve our view. I don't think I will see it bloom this year unfortunately. If we are still here in this home, we can look forward to it blooming this time next year. Hopefully I will have a blooming baby or babies to enjoy too.

When we came home around 11am, I went to bed and watched HGTV for a while, then finally fell asleep until 3pm or so. It felt so good to take a nap, I can't remember the last time I took a real nap! However, it was too long and I woke up feeling very groggy and still do. I am just laying around now watching reruns of Charmed - love those witches! I wish I could cast a spell and suddenly be pregnant and have this custody battle over Jackson resolved. Finally having the child support payments reduced will be a huge burden lifted. Then Jackson can breathe a sigh of relief too - he is worried that he is going to have to go back and live with his mom and he just doesn't want to. Speaking of Jackson, what a sweet, thoughtful, sensitive and smart little man he is. Our ice maker is broken and I was trying to make iced tea the other day and realized I didn't have enough ice to do it. The next day I find a tray of ice cubes all made in the freezer. He found an ice cube tray I didn't even know we had and made me some ice. Without me even asking him too!! I love him so much, he is such a good boy. I don't understand what his mother's problem is, I just don't get it. I pray everything is resolved before Tuesday so Jackson doesn't have to suffer through a court hearing and listen to all the nasty things his mother will say.

Well, I am rambling about all sorts of things today, I better get back on the couch for some more Charmed! Tomorrow we have IUI#4 starting at 8:15am. I don't think I have ovulated just yet, still feeling pain on both sides. Seems like this is being timed very well this month, it just HAS TO WORK!!

27 April 2007

IUI #3 prep

I had ultrasound and bloodwork yesterday and today. They are watching my follicles like a hawk! Here's the scoop:

April 26, 2007

Estradiol: 1017, Lining: 7mm - pretty good
Follicles (don't know which side they are on):
1 @ 17mm, 3 @ 14mm, 4 @ 13mm, 1 @ 11mm, 1 @10mm

April 27, 2007
Estradiol: 1075, Lining: 7.8mm - better! Lining above 7mm is good for implantation.
Left ovary: 1 @ 19mm, 1 @ 15mm, 3 @ 14mm
Right ovary: 1 @ 16mm, 2 @ 14mm, 1 @ 11mm

Looks like I have at least 2 maybe three eggs ready to bust out! Whoopee! The more eggs, the more chance I have of getting pregnant (and the more chance of multiple babies!) I will take an HCG shot tonight to trigger ovulation between 8 & 10pm and then go in at 7am to do the first IUI. We will have a second IUI on Sunday.

I am so glad we are having this done this weekend as we have a court hearing on Tuesday for custody of Jackson. I was really worried I would have to have this done the same day as court and I would be so stressed out that day. I am feeling really hopeful about this cycle though. I really think this is the month! But, I can't get my hopes up too high or I will lose it when I get that BFN. (Big Fat Negative). So, I will be praying and trying to pamper myself all weekend starting with going out for some tasty deep dish Chicago style pizza! I am thinking lots of sleep, some yoga, a pedicure and lots of tv and reading.

25 April 2007

Black and blue

Well, I was wrong about these shots being better than the progesterone shots. They burn going in and are leaving a trail of welts and bruises on my tummy. Whaaaaaa... I am being closely monitored by the doc - went in for blood and ultrasound yesterday morning. Everything is going as planned - my estradial (estrogen) level is at 345. I have 11 noticeable follicles on the right ovary with only one that is measurable at 11mm (they only measure ones over 10mm). I have 5 follies on the left ovary with one nearing the 10mm mark. My lining looks good, whatever that means. They changed the dosage of the injections and I go back on Thursday for blood and u/s again. I think I am up to 8 ultrasounds now, and will probably have a whole lot more. I am wondering if the meds will make me ovulate sooner than normal? Usually it doesn't happen until day 15 or 16, but the follicles grow about 2-3mm a day supposedly, so that would make the one follie 15 or 16mm by tomorrow. They need to be above 18 or 20mm to give the trigger shot. They give me an HCG shot to force ovulation, then they will do the IUI the next two days I believe.

We are going to court on Tuesday morning for a custody hearing for Jackson. I am praying that the IUI doesn't need to happen that day. That is going to be an extremely stressful day for Rudy and I and I am hoping I ovulate earlier so we can get that over with.

Please oh please oh please, let me ovulate before next Tuesday and please please please let the custody be settled on Tuesday. I need to put some stress behind me, I really do.

16 April 2007

Cycle canceled - next stop: Injectibles

Just a quick update. This latest cycle was canceled due to my lining being too thin (3mm) - should be like 10mm or something. Sniff. So, I am done with Clomid, thank God! But, that means we move on to all injectible medications - 2 shots a day for 10 days or so. Then 2 IUI's followed by endless progesterone shots. As soon as aunt flo arrives, we will start the next cycle. It should be starting this week sometime. I hope it starts before the weekend because I am going to Texas this weekend. Rudy and I are helping my parents drive to their new home in Austin, TX. We leave Sat morning and fly home on Monday night.

Rudy and I went in for more injectible training - this time we get to do Sub-Q shots (subcutaneous) - that means under the skin. It is much better than the intra-muscular progesterone injections in my arse with a 2 inch needle - ugh. The sub-q needle is much smaller and goes in my fat belly. Rudy is still going to administer them - he is such a wonderful husband! I couldn't give myself these shots, no way.

I pray I don't have any cysts on my ovaries this month. There is just so many variables, so much to worry about. But, I have a good feeling about this month. Keep your fingers and toes crossed and say lots of prayers! Oh, one last thing, the chance for twins is at 20% with the injectible medications. Yikes!!!

27 March 2007

Clomid is horrid

I can't sleep. It is pure torture to lay in bed at night and watch each hour tick by. It started on Saturday night, coinciding with my first dose of Clomid for this month. My doc increased the dosage to 100mg, doubled from the 50 mg I took last month. I haven't slept since and I am tired and pissed off. Guess what? Insomnia is a side effect of Clomid. Along with mood swings, hot flashes (having those too), sore boobs, major ovulation pain (check!), crying, depression, psychoses, you name it. I have a lot going on in my life right now already, so no sleep and mood swings add up to me being pretty much a nonproductive mess at work.

I wasn't even sure we were going to do the IUI this cycle. I went to have my ultrasound on Friday morning and lo and behold I have a cyst on my right ovary. It is a leftover follicle that is still filled with blood. If it is too big, they cancel the cycle. I was on the border, so the nurse had to speak with the doctor to get the go or no go. He said go, THANK GOD! I was going to really be a complete mess if they canceled IUI#2. One thing is for sure, getting pregnant takes 3 times as long as you think it will, it is just painfully slow to get through all the steps. Lots of waiting and waiting and waiting.

So, here I am happy as can be that I doing the IUI this month, leaving Orbitz for a fresh, spanking new fun project at LeapFrog. I could use the distraction of a fun new project in San Francisco!! I get to be a real consultant and travel and work on a cool, fun website. NOT. Orbitz decided they just can't let me go. I must stay and be tortured. I cried when I found out I was leaving Orbitz, now I am crying because I have to stay. I am just so completely bored here. Bored out of my freaking mind. Oh well, now I don't have to travel and give myself injections, let's look at the bright side!

That's all for now, IUI will take place in a little over a week or so and then I'll be in the 2 week wait, wait and wait period. Oh what fun.

15 March 2007

Obsession with the question

with the question
Am I pregnant?
Could this be it?
I’m not nauseous, just cautious
Of every little blip, pain or twinge
And there’s the syringe
Very pointy
Filled to 1cc
With something oily
To go into me
Is this a rap?
Or just crap
I’m spewing to get my mind off
The ugly truth

With the question
What’s my level of E2, P4 & HCG?
Why me?
You couldn’t possibly understand
This brand
It’s out there, left of left
Full of snow white tests and
Message boards of anonymous friends
Broken insides
With no explanation
Only emotions
That need ablation

With the question
Where’s our baby?
Give her to me
This feeling of alone
Can’t be shown
It’s difficult to comprehend
But in the end
The ultimate failure
No bed baby in the future
Instead a sterile injection
From the la-z-boy to the catheter
please let it work this time
i'm out of rhyme

12 March 2007

Needles, shots, injections, oh my

I had to start receiving a progesterone shot daily last Friday. The progesterone suppositories were irritating my va-jay-jay, so they recommended I switch to injections. Rudy was very brave and volunteered to learn to give me the injections (like he had a choice in the matter!!) I watched warily as the nurse made us watch a lovely video, then get out all the long, very pointy needles and vials of oily progesterone. Yuck. I was getting woozier by the minute just watching all the prep.

I first had to receive another 5,000 units of HCG, a "booster" shot to keep everything on track. She gave it to me sub-cutaneously in my stomach. Didn't really hurt, no biggie. Then it was Rudy's turn to give me the first progesterone shot. It is an intra-muscular (IM) shot. I dropped my drawers and bent over the nearest table and put my faith in him to not poke me too hard. My heart was pounding so hard, I was very worked up and nervous even though I had had a shot just like it a week before. It was a piece of cake, just a tiny little prick and then it was over. I jumped about six inches when it went in though, it was a more of a jolt than a painful prick. When it came out I started to feel faint and had to immediately sit down. I was sweaty and clammy - basically got myself worked up over nothing. But come on, the needle is 1 and half inches long! I sipped a little Sprite and was fine.

Rudy has given me two more shots since then and it really isn't a big deal. I get less and less worked up each time. I just can't watch him do all the prep or I will get freaked out and dizzy. He is such a good, supportive and loving hubbin. I love him so much!! I like that he takes good care of me and has a special job to do for our baby every day.

I have an appointment on Monday, March 19th for my first blood pregnancy test. They measure the levels of HCG in your blood. They are doing it 10 days after my last HCG shot to ensure it is out of my system. If the levels in my blood are above 5, I am considered pregnant, but they would prefer to see 20 or 25, I forget. Then, I get tested two days later and if the HCG levels have gone up, I am pregnant! By the way, my progesterone levels were tested last Friday and were 80.5 - they want to see 15 or up, so I am well above the minimum.

The bad news is that if I am pregnant, I still need to continue the progesterone shots daily until I am 12 weeks pregnant! That is 8 more weeks of shots, or 56 more shots. My bum is going to be a sore pincushion! Although it is worse if I am not pregnant as I will have to start this whole cycle over again and do Clomid, then start the shots again. At least I can take a couple of weeks off from the shots though. However, Dr. Miller may change the protocol and put me on some other kind of shots.

Basically, I am not going to get away from the needle until I am 12 weeks pregnant. COME ON BABY!!! I really really really really pray and hope that I am pregnant right now. Please please please?

05 March 2007

Two week wait

The 2ww (two week wait) has officially begun. I am hoping we find out if we are pregnant around St. Patrick's day in honor of my Papa's birthday. (According to the nurse I just spoke to, it will probably be on the 19th). It may be after that though. It sucks! I can't take a home pregnancy test because I am getting hcg shots and that is the hormone that the tests detect. So, I would get a false positive. The only way the doc can tell is by doing two consecutive tests I think - if the hcg levels go up, then you are pregnant. But, you have to wait 3 weeks for the hcg to be out of your system completely or something.

So, now would be a good time to introduce you to some of the terminology of the infertility set. This is a whole subculture that you probably never knew existed! This is terminology used by people ttc (trying to conceive) everywhere, but as you struggle with infertility you become more obsessed and use these abbreviations and terms more and more. If you ever visit any message boards (tcoyf.com is one) regarding fertility, you will see these all over the place. Here are a few to get you started.
  • TTC - Trying to conceive - as you saw above, it is used alot! Pretty self explanatory
  • CM - cervical mucus - one of the indicators of your fertile days - it must be clear and stretchy, like egg whites. I know what you are thinking, ewwww gross!!
  • DH - dear husband. This is your partner in babymaking, duhhh!
  • HPT - home pregnancy test. I don't get to take these because of the hcg shots, whaaa!
  • IUI - intra-uterine insemination. I had this on Sat. AKA AI: artificial insemination.
  • IVF - in-vitro fertilization. This is where they harvest eggs, mix with sperm in a petri dish, then put them back in. This is our next step if IUI fails after 4-8 months of trying that.
  • LP - Luteal Phase - The second half of your cycle from ovulation to the day before your period starts.
  • LPD - Luteal Phase Defect. This is when your LP is too short for implantation to happen. I think this is part of our problem. My LP is sometimes 10 days which is borderline too short. This can be corrected by taking clomid (i am), hcg and progesterone (I am , I am).
  • O - Ovulation. This is when the egg is released from the ovary and is available for the next 12 - 24 hours to be fertilized. You better get some sperm in there during this time!
  • OPT - Ovulation Predictor Test. Use this to predict when ovulation is going to occur. Not a very reliable test for me unfortunately.
  • PG - Pregnant! I hope I get to use this one very very soon!
  • RE - Reproductive Endocrinologist. This is the fancy name for your fertility doc.
  • SA - Sperm Analysis. All the ones Rudy has had are normal to above average. Way to go dh!!
That is enough for now!! God I feel nauseous this morning, ugh. Too bad I can't attribute it to pregnancy because of all the fertility drugs and hormones I am taking. So, I will be in the dark if this worked or not until the 19th - 2 weeks from today!! Hence, the 2ww.

03 March 2007

Our very first IUI - intra-uterine insemination

I ovulated last night! We arrived at the doctor's office this morning at 7:45am and immediately had another fabulous ultrasound. There were two enlarged follicles, one at 14 mm (too small), the other had already released the egg. Yay! Wait, no! Usually they try to catch it before ovulation occurs - did I call as soon as I had a color change? What? What does "color change" mean? The instructions for using the ovulation test were confusing. I clarified with Dr. Miller that I should call when the lines were the same color - that is the definition of a color change. The nurse said a color change is when a line appears at all. Well, a line was appearing from the first day I started taking the test (day 9), so this makes no sense to me. They will be speaking with the doc to decide what to do next month. He may decide to change my meds or put me on injections to be able to better pinpoint my ovulation.

We went on with the regularly scheduled programming anyway as the egg can live for up to 24 hours, so the insemination may still work. They drew some blood from me, then sent Rudy to "the special room". I then received a giant shot of Hcg - the shot didn't hurt, but my backside was pretty sore afterwards. But, it was not as bad as the pain I was having last night where my ovary is - it was ovulation pain! Duhhh!!!

Oh - more about the ultrasound. The nurse said my right ovary is tucked under my uterus, so it has less wiggle room. So, when it swells up, it is like being stuck in a vice, thus the extra sensitivity. My other ovary is not touching my uterus, it has more room, however there were no mature follicles on that side. I wonder if that is normal? I will have to see next month if my other ovary produces any eggs. Hmmmm...

Rudy came out of "the room" and we waited on the couch for a while for the specimen to be prepared. About 20-30 minutes later we were called back into the stirrup room (named for the stirrups I have to put my feet in every time I enter that room). The nurse brought the specimen in and gave us the sperm analysis - 25 million sperm! Wow! She said anything above 5 million is good, so a very good specimen. The little guys had been spun around til dizzy to remove all the non-swimmers. They were also mixed with a medium to eliminate the sperm anti-bodies. It was pink for some reason - I read somewhere that they put pink dye in it.

I put my feet in the stirrups, and the nurse put in the speculum. She then proceeded to clean out my cervix and said this may be uncomfortable since I have just ovulated and my cervix would be sensitive. It wasn't so bad - like a pap smear. Then, she did her thing. I guess they put in a thin tube up into the uterus, I didn't watch. Then, inject the sperm. Not a very romantic moment in my life, but Rudy did sit next to me and hold my arm. I felt a little crampy - especially at the end when she finished, OUCH!!

I laid on the table for 12 minutes, then got dressed. All done! Tomorrow I start prometrium (progesterone), then go back next Friday for another hcg shot. I will go in for a pregnancy test in two weeks.

I am feeling pretty crampy - it hurts when I cough and pee. I laid in bed for a few hours and am now lounging on the couch. I am supposed to take it easy for a few days, so I am! Emotionally, I am feeling ok. I am definitely stressed, we have a lot of stress in our lives right now on top of dealing with infertility.

I really, really hope we get pregnant so our infertility journey is over. Something good has to happen to us soon, we have had too much bad stuff happen and it is time for a turnaround.

02 March 2007

We're making a baby

I am starting this blog a little ways into the process, but feel it is time to start putting this down so we remember the tough journey. We are having IUI (intra-uterine insemination) tomorrow at 7:45am. Whoopee!

Some background. This may be more than you wanted to know, or you may already know it all. My dear wonderful hubbin (that's gibberish for husband, more about that some other time) had a vaso-vasotomy (vasectomy reversal) on July 12, 2005. Thirty days later we got the green light to make a baby! I thought for sure it would happen right away. Or, even within 6 months. The doc said it would take 6 months to a year to be back to normal in terms of sperm quality. We kept tryin' and tryin', but nothing happened. By early 2006, I started tracking my ovulation using a method in a book called "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler. I started taking my temperature every morning and checking my cervical fluid and cervix position and softness to determine when I ovulated (I said this would be TMI!!). You see, everyone is different and you don't necessarily ovulate on day 14 like the medical doc's say. At the time, I was very regular and seemed like ovulation was happening on day 14 or 15. Several months later it started to slide towards day 17-18, although I think I had it wrong all along. At least that was the excuse I used to explain whey we weren't pregnant yet. I also started to notice I was spotting several days before my period is supposed to start. Around this time Rudy had a sperm analysis. It came back totally normal! Above average, in fact! We thought we would try for a few more months because maybe it just became normal and we hadn't tried on our own long enough.

By September 2006 - one year of trying under our belts we'd had enough of the fun. I called the fertility doctor and made an appt. Surrrrre, you can have an appointment. In. two. months! ARGH! This is one piece of advice I would give people - don't wait too long to see the doc, it takes awhile to get in as they are very busy.

November 12, 2006 we went to see the fertility doc. He asked some questions, said maybe I have endometriosis and made out a treatment plan. First, bloodwork to test some hormone levels and make sure I don't have any infections. He also wanted to schedule some tests to poke around and have a look see. All of the tests were normal except for Rudy has anti-sperm antibodies. This is pretty common and could be treated by washing the sperm before doing insemination.

The treatment plan was as follows: do an ultrasound, then a hysterosalpingogram OR laparoscopy/hysteroscopy (which is surgery) to look in the abdominal cavity and inside the uterus to diagnose and treat endometriosis. These tests would also ensure the fallopian tubes were clear. A hysterosalpingogram is an x-ray of the uterus and tubes while pumping a dye through them - it gives a picture of the outline of the uterus and tubes to identify any problems. I didn't know what to do, but Rudy was adamant he didn't want me to immediately have surgery, so we decided to sleep on it. The rest of the plan involved doing IUI (artificial insemination) while taking Clomid for several cycles.

The next morning we went in to have the ultrasound - a fun vaginal one! After a few minutes of looking around Rudy said "it looks like a necktie!" The nurse said "actually, what we should see is a flat top on the uterus, but yours has a depression in it". This could be a septate uterus - one with a division in it, or it could be arcuate, just a little dent in the top that doesn't mean much. She would have to talk to the doctor to determine the next steps. I received a call the next day and the doc wanted to schedule a hysterosonogram - another vaginal ultrasound, but this time they would pump saline into the uterus to be able to better see the shape of the inside and outside of the uterus. I was transferred to the receptionist to schedule my appointment. She said "Oh, we can fit you in on December 10th". ONE MONTH AWAY, WHAT? I was freaked. I had to wait a whole month to find out if my uterus was deformed or not? Oh. My. God. In the mean time I had developed chronic cervicitis and was being treated with multiple antibiotics with no relief. Great. Luckily, the hysterosonogram went well and they found my uterus to be just fine, no septum that would need to be removed surgically. But, now a month later, I was back to where I was in November. Still no answers as to what our infertility problem was. The doc still wanted to do the surgery or the hysterosalpingogram, but it was my choice. The surgery would tell us everything and be able to fix any problems on the spot. I decided this was the way to go as I was in a hurry and we scheduled the surgery for January 10th, 2007. Big surprise, I had to wait another month for this next step.

January 10th after a bowel prep (awful) and no eating, we showed up at the hospital at 8:30am. By noon or so I was in recovery and felt awful. This was really the beginning of all the physical pain I was going to have to endure to achieve pregnancy. I know the worst is yet to come with child birth, but no one really realizes that infertility is a painful process to live through as well. I woke up nauseous and that was the first word I said to the nurse when they asked me how I felt. "Nauseous". I went to a recovery room where I finally got to see Rudy. He told me the surgery was a success, I didn't have endometriosis and they didn't have to remove anything. My tubes were clear, but they did a tubal lavage to wash them out and stretch them. I also had a pre-sacral neurectomy to cut the nerve that gives menstrual cramps. Awesome! I am still waiting to see if that worked as it takes 3+ months to heal. I scheduled my follow-up appt, couldn't get in for 7 weeks. Very frustrating. VERY very frustrating. I finally asked the nurse when I could start insemination and she said you just call on day 1 of your period, the doctor is not involved. But, we decided to take a month off after surgery because I needed the recovery time. The IUI would happen right around the time I went back to see the doctor.

A few words about the surgery recovery. Even though they didn't do much, it was painful. I couldn't get myself out of bed for a couple of days. Rudy had to lift me up to go to the bathroom or move around. They gave me vicoprofen and it hardly made a dent in the pain, and kept me up all night with a totally buzzed high. I was high, but still felt all the pain, it was not fun. I tried several other painkillers, but none of them were much better. Tramadol ended up being the most helpful with the Vicoprofen a close second. It took a good 3-4 weeks for all the pain to subside. It was a lot better after a week, but still had a lot of tenderness for while. It was not fun and I really felt that I had the surgery for nothing because nothing was wrong with me. However, at least I know now that nothing is wrong!

Which brings us up to date. Tomorrow morning we go in for our first round of IUI. I took 5 days of Clomid from day 3-9 (25 mg). I think that is a fairly low dose, but man, I have had a pain in my side for a week now and it is getting worse. I think I always get ovulation pain, but this is pretty exaggerated. More pain to endure. I have a rice bag that I warm in the microwave on my belly non-stop, I couldn't live without it. It hurts pretty good tonight, I hope it subsides after I ovulate.

Well, I hope you haven't been too bored, I will keep you posted on the progress of the IUI. For now, good night.