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.