The Day Before Retrieval


I decided to be a well prepared traveler for once this weekend.  I knew they really wanted to do a Saturday night Trigger but something in the back of my head told me to bring EVERYTHING with us just in case.  I had also asked the nurse if there were any extra doses of Ganirelix at the hospital that I could hold on to just in case as well as we used our last one that morning and there are no special pharmacies open on the weekend…luckily there was one on hand.  I got the phone call right after 1 that I was to continue on my normal medication and trigger on Sunday, which was my birthday and was quite a lovely birthday present.  I am not sure what I am going to do with myself today…there are no needles! I feel like I am in heaven! A nauseous, back aching, swollen and sore stomach kind of heaven but heaven nonetheless.

So the plan of action now is to take it easy today and relax after work.  Joe is home all week to make sure I am happy and comfortable and to get some stuff done around the house.  I have to refrain from eating or drinking after midnight tonight and arrive at the hospital tomorrow at 7:30am for 8am retrieval. I can’t believe we are nearing the end of this already.  A little more than two weeks to go until we know if we are going to be parents…how exciting!

I have to say, for someone as frightened as I am of needles, I took them all like a champ.  I did not cry once this cycle.  Sometimes you just have to clench your teeth and do what needs to be done no matter how much you hate it.  This WILL be worth it.

Wish me luck tomorrow 🙂

Here’s the email I received on Saturday after the blood draw:

Hi Erin,
HCG on Sunday night @9pm SHARP.
Monday home preg test, call with result, nothing to eat or drink after midnight
Arrive at Toll Center @ 7:30am on Tuesday.

MEDICATION INSTRUCTIONS for 4/27/2013:

81  tab of Baby Aspirin  to be taken orally every day

1  tab of Prenatal Vitamin  to be taken orally every day

250  ug of Ganirelix  to be taken subcutaneous every day

300  IU of Gonal/F MD  to be taken subcutaneous every day ( in the evening )

MEDICATION INSTRUCTIONS for 4/28/2013:

1  tab of Prenatal Vitamin  to be taken orally every day

81  tab of Baby Aspirin  to be taken orally every day

10000  IU of HCG  to be taken subcutaneous once a day

250  ug of Ganirelix  to be taken subcutaneous every day

MEDICATION INSTRUCTIONS for 4/29/2013:

1  tab of Prenatal Vitamin  to be taken orally every day

81  tab of Baby Aspirin  to be taken orally every day

BLOOD LEVELS:

E2 Level:       1464

P4 Level:       1.12

Day 8 Stims


Needles and Bruising and Swelling. Oh My!

I am crossing my fingers that today is the last full day of injections.  I am so sore and so bruised that merely touching the skin on my stomach is painful.  My left arm is completely bruised and there is no chance that it can be used for blood work at this point.  I’ve been using the right side for everything the last couple days because my whole left side of my body has turned into one big black and blue…hopefully this doesn’t happen to the right side before this is over!

I think this whole positivity thing is really benefiting me at this point.  Staying away from negativity and focusing my mind on the positives seems to be helping me a lot.  I am less panicky, I am less irritated, I am more hopeful.  I’m living in the moment and not worrying about the next step…it’ll happen when it happens.  I forgot to mention that we adopted swear jars at home a few months back as well and I think now that I have trained the swear words from being just another word like “the” I’ve been having a better mentality about things.  I do slip up when the hormones push me over the edge and I can’t fully express myself with just normal words but then Joe takes quarters off of me and I feel bad for saying the curse words.

I’m looking forward to the appointment tomorrow as this should be the last one before retrieval that we are hoping is on Monday.  What a way to end NIAW, with a trigger! (here’s hoping!) Have a great weekend everyone, I’ll be in NYC visiting my uncles and having a stress free weekend 🙂

Day 7 Stims


I just read back a couple months on my first cycle to see if what I am feeling was similar to last time.  It is.  I’m exhausted.  I feel “full”.  I’m nauseous.  Same as last time…that’s a good thing as I responded well last time.  The only thing different is it seems my follicles on the right side are growing a little slower than last time…lefty is a champ though…they are big!  Probably why my left side zings if I talk to loud.

I also started Ganirelix 1 day later last time…we started on day 4 this time but it was probably because I wasn’t coming in the next day…who knows.  When I started Ganirelix last time I had some 16mm follicles and this time it was 13 which seems right if they grow approx 2mm/day.  I can’t believe the difference between lefty and righty…lefty is definitely the front runner this go-round.

We are estimating the retrieval date for Monday.  The nurse confirmed that it would most likely be then as well.  We probably do not have to come in tomorrow but we are being left on the schedule until the blood work comes back just in case.  I do know we have an appointment set for Saturday morning, though.  I hope all the little follies catch up quick if we are planning to do the trigger on Saturday night!  Come on little guys, you can do it!

UPDATE from bloodwork:

Ms. Cutri,

Looks great, continue the same meds and return on Saturday. Sorry about
that nasty bruise!

MEDICATION INSTRUCTIONS for 4/25/2013:

1  tab of Prenatal Vitamin  to be taken orally every day

81  tab of Baby Aspirin  to be taken orally every day

10  IU of LDHCG  to be taken subcutaneous every day

250  ug of Ganirelix  to be taken subcutaneous every day

300  IU of Gonal/F MD  to be taken subcutaneous every day ( in
the evening )

BLOOD LEVELS:

E2 Level:       780

P4 Level:       0.703

NEXT VISIT PROCEDURES: Saturday

E2   [Blood]
Progesterone   [Blood]

Stim UltraSound

Your next scheduled appointment is 4/27/2013

Words


I have seen a few posts similar to this written for infertility awareness week.  I’d like to throw my hat in the ring and contribute my thoughts and feelings on this as well.  Below are Words I would use to describe our infertility and a little statement or story describing why I chose the word.

Lonely: I feel sometimes I avoid certain situations so that I can hide my unhappiness.  Infertility is constantly on my mind and I don’t want others to see it on my face.  I hide myself to avoid the inevitable “what’s wrong” question.  I went from an enthusiastic, hyper, social, hilarious girl, to an unhappy one who is seemingly avoiding social interactions to hide her emotions.

Overwhelmed: When Joe and I first started my portion of the treatments I felt like my world just came to a halt and started spinning in the other direction.  I had no idea what to do and it was so sudden that I feel like I didn’t fully grasp what was going on.  I knew I had to get injections.  I knew the basics.  I didn’t know that it literally overtakes your life for the few weeks that the treatments take.  I wasn’t prepared for that.  Even knowing how the last cycle went I was still overwhelmed as you are literally at the beck and call of the staff until the treatments and procedures are over.

Heartbroken: After our failed cycle a few months ago I have never felt that type of sadness and heartbreak in my life.  I couldn’t eat.  I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t stop crying.  My little batman and robin were not able to stay with us and even right now writing this I am crying thinking about them.  They were the closest thing I have ever had to becoming a mommy and it just didn’t work.  It is definitely heartbreaking.  I miss my babies.  I will never forget them.

Angry: I deactivated my facebook account for 6 months because I found myself getting angry every time I saw a pregnancy announcement.  I am not an Angry person normally and I felt terrible feeling the way that I did.  Babies are supposed to be happy, but why was I feeling angry?  Why do I think some women are less deserving than me to have a child?  Because I have spent over $50,000 trying to make it happen? Because we have been struggling for 4 years to make this happen?  Why should any of this matter to me?  I had no reason to get angry at some of these deserving people, but I did…so again, I removed myself from the situation to avoid the anger.  I have been working on this and feel I am getting much better at dealing with my emotions when confronted with the 10,000th pregnancy announcement in a few years.

Embarrassed: Do you know how many people have seen my naked nether regions in the last 8 months?? Can you imagine how embarrassing it is for someone to play in your hoo ha every other day wiggling around a dildo cam?  I’m getting a little better at it but it is still uncomfortable and embarrassing.  I think I am getting a little too used to people checking out the vag because I sometimes catch myself laying back and sticking my legs up in the air when all they wanted to do was take my blood pressure.  whoops! Joe has had his fair share of embarrassing moments as well.  He had to go spank it in a cup on MANY occasions and then face the nurses afterwards! They all knew what he was doing in there…they know he was playing with his wiener…they saw the aftermath in the cup…that’s all the proof they need that the deed was done.  How do you face these people after you know they know what you were doing in that sexy porn ridden room?  And he had to stick his “specimen” in R2D2 and hand it to the FedEx man while I am yelling in the background “Be careful with that! He came in it!”.  At least I am not the only one being embarrassed throughout this whole process!  Sometimes the only thing that keeps you going in this process is having a little humor.  You have to be able to laugh a little sometimes.

Hopeless: It always seems that when you are at your lowest point you think “it can only get better from here” only to get kicked in the gut and you are down even further than you were before.  The trying for 4 years, the loss of my batman and robin, the failed coculture…these are all things that kept kicking me back down after I thought things were going to turn around for the better.  I have since started a new thing where I am trying to rid my life of negativity…I don’t want to hear it, I don’t want to be around it, I want only positive thinking, positive talking, positive feelings.  This positivity is giving me a better outlook on the situation and for once I feel like I am becoming me again.  I am joking around a little more.  I am happy and honored to be able to afford to do what we are doing…some people just aren’t as lucky as us because this is a very expensive process!

Blessed: I’m using this word for a few reasons.  I feel blessed to be able to do this…there IS hope for us even if it is through ART.  I feel blessed to have someone fight for us, the staff at my doctor’s office is amazing and are doing everything they can to give us a baby.  I feel blessed to fight for something that I want so bad as I know that my love will only be stronger as a result.  I feel blessed to have someone by my side who understands the pain that I am going through, who will comfort me when I am feeling sad, and who tries to bring the light back out of me when I am at my dimmest.  I feel blessed to be able to share my story to help others and read others journeys and support them when I don’t even know who they are.  I feel blessed to have such a supportive family who are rooting for us during this process.  There is a positive side to infertility and if you are willing to talk about your struggles you will see that not everyone freezes up and says things that don’t help…you will find that there are more people than you think that have nothing but your happiness in mind.

Guilty: Jealousy.  I feel guilty that I am jealous.  I am jealous of the good mommies and daddies out there.  I want what they have.  Jealousy is not a good feeling and as a result I feel guilty about feeling the way I do.

Helpless: This is two fold for me.  Sometimes I just get in one of those moods that I can’t shake.  It doesn’t matter what is said or what is done to try to make me feel better, I am just stuck.  Also, sometimes some people think they can say something so wonderful that it will shake me of my constant struggle.  “You can always adopt” was a recent one.  Don’t you think I know this?  I am trying everything I can right now to carry our baby(ies), I am not giving up on that. Or “Just relax and it will happen naturally” uh, no…there is 0% chance this will happen on it’s own or else we wouldn’t be doing what we are doing.  My favorite is “At least you can have fun trying!” Once it becomes a chore, it’s not fun.

Pain: I am at the point right now where I have to get needles every day…three times a day on days I do not have to go for blood work.  I am bruised.  I am sore.  I am swollen.  My ovaries are growing.  There’s not enough room in my abdomen for everything so my stomach is expanding to fit my growing ovaries while other things are being pushed backwards and causing some back pain.  My arms look like a pin cushion and are full of bruises from going through the veins.  My stomach is expanding with the growing ovaries, it’s swollen and bruised from all the needles.  Getting stabbed with more needles on top of all the bruises and swelling does not feel great.  Getting blood drawn from bruised arms does not feel great.  Prior to this getting tissue scraped out to attempt a coculture without anesthetics does not feel great.  Physical, Emotional, and Mental pain is definitely present throughout the process.  The only thing that gets me through all of this is the glimmer of hope that we have that this is going to work.  I am not good with pain and I do not look forward to each evening at 9pm or each morning at 6am or each doctors appointment.  I don’t like being poked and prodded on my already damaged and exhausted body.  It hurts.  I am in pain.  But this pain will all be worth it.

These are 10 words I would use to describe our story with infertility.  I could probably go on with a dozen or so more but I would like to extend this challenge out to you as well.  What other words would you use to describe your experience with infertility?

Just always keep in mind, we are not alone.  We are 1 in 6.  We have an amazing support group and if it wasn’t for your stories and support I would be a hell of a lot worse off than I am now.

Say a little prayer for our fellow infertiles out there.

Day 5 Stims


Today is Day#5 of the stimulation portion of this cycle. If I had to guess based on how much medicine we have left, my last dose of Ganirelix would be on Saturday and that would probably be my trigger day making Monday the retrieval day and either Wednesday or Friday being the transfer. This is based on the fact that they gave me my first injection of Ganirelix this morning because I have some 13mm follicles already.

I’m already looking like a drug addict. There are so many needle marks on my arms and stomach. I have a large bruise from this morning’s blood draw as the nurse punctured through the other side of the vein and had some “spillage” underneath my skin. It didn’t hurt then but it does now. I jinxed it, though. I had just gotten done raving about how great this nurse is. I still like her. She takes the time to explain things to me and is so nice.

It was pretty funny in the examination room. We finished looking at how beautiful my lining and follicles look when it was time to decide whether I was going to start the Ganirelix today or not. Based on the size of my lead ovary’s follicles it was safe to say we were starting the Ganirelix today so the little guys have a chance to catch up to the big ones. The nurse prepared the injection and I asked whether she wanted me sitting or laying and she told me wherever I was more comfortable so I layed down like I do at home. I felt a cold hand on my leg when I shot up and started freaking out and scared both the nurse and the doctor half to death. The nurse nearly dropped the needle to the floor! I said please don’t stick it in my leg! Put it in my stomach! They just started laughing because they thought something was really wrong based on how freaked out I was. LOL. She tried to get me to cough while she was injecting but that freaked me out and I just told her to stab me and get it over with…which she did…and it stung like a bitch as Ganirelix ALWAYS does. It was pretty funny. We all had a good laugh. Including Joe…I’m not sure why he didn’t stop her when she was trying to jab my leg…he knows I don’t like that. Oh well…at least it was an interesting visit.

I’m just waiting for the results of the blood work which they said looked absolutely amazing yesterday so I’ll update this when I get the actual numbers. My next appointment is slated for Thursday morning. I have a feeling they are waiting for me to tell them I feel funny or I have this side effect or I’m getting uncomfortably swollen in my belly because they’ve been asking me every day how I am feeling…aside from some hormonal stuff I am pretty good. I am starting to get a little tender in my lower abdomen but I am attributing that to the light bruising from the injections…I do definitely feel those ovaries growing but I did last time so it’s nothing new to me! I’m just waiting for the day I don’t have to get stabbed anymore…today is going to be 4 stabs by the end of the day. Blah. Ok…enough rambling. I wish I had something funny to say but at the moment I have nothing. I’ll update this thread later today with my blood results.

UPDATE: need to increase gonal f to 300 iu starting tonight. Everything else looks golden! Here’s my results:

MEDICATION INSTRUCTIONS for 4/23/2013:

300 IU of Gonal/F MD to be taken subcutaneous every day ( in
the evening )

250 ug of Ganirelix to be taken subcutaneous in the morning

10 IU of LDHCG to be taken subcutaneous every day

81 tab of Baby Aspirin to be taken orally every day

1 tab of Prenatal Vitamin to be taken orally every day

MEDICATION INSTRUCTIONS for 4/24/2013:

300 IU of Gonal/F MD to be taken subcutaneous every day ( in
the evening )

250 ug of Ganirelix to be taken subcutaneous every day

10 IU of LDHCG to be taken subcutaneous every day

81 tab of Baby Aspirin to be taken orally every day

1 tab of Prenatal Vitamin to be taken orally every day

BLOOD LEVELS: look good!

E2 Level: 446

LH Level: 1.99

P4 Level: 0.591

STIM ULTRASOUND RESULTS

Endometrium thickness is 6

Endometrium type is

3 left follicles less than 11 mm in size
2 left follicles between 11 to 13 mm in size
0 left follicles between 14 to 15 mm in size
0 left follicles between 16 to 17 mm in size
0 left follicles between 18 to 19 mm in size
0 left follicles greater than 19 mm in size

5 right follicles less than 11 in size
0 right follicles between 11 to 13 mm in size
0 right follicles between 14 to 15 mm in size
0 right follicles between 16 to 17 mm in size
0 right follicles between 18 to 19 mm in size
0 right follicles greater than 19 mm in size