Tuesday, August 30, 2011

dates set in stone!

brian and I decided that we were going to St. Louis to meet Dr. Silber this friday. They had a 4 PM appointment with our name on it. Well, I get a call saying they are over booked.I understand things happen, but I sure was looking forward to a much needed mini- get away!
It looks like we are on the books for Monday, September 19th. I will be interested in what his thoughts and treatment plans are. Then we have our other two consults on the 20th and 21st. Looks like it will be a week full of new hope for us.

we are headed to Folks Folly tonight to celebrate my 34th birthday. I'm ready for a great dinner and some much needed wine! :)

Finally some light was shed on our situation!



Today is my 34th birthday. I would never have thought several years ago I would be spending it on the phone with fertility clinics setting up consults and trying to figure out what to do next. My belief then was getting pregnant is easy- it happens when you want it to happen!!!!!!! Boy was I WRONG! We were hoping to be 5 weeks along today after our IVF cycle. Unfortunately it failed, so we are trying to fit the pieces of this crazy puzzle together.

We met with our dr. yesterday am and finally got some answers. I have now been moved out of the "unexplained infertility" category to "egg quality infertility" which honestly doesn't make this feel any better. Our doctor was very kind and patient with our list of questions. I really like him, but I just don't know if this clinic is the perfect fit for us. That's why we are going to get several other opinions at other clinics across the country. I am not a MD, but from going over the cycle, I am wondering why they didn't catch some of the issues. It's almost as if they were overlooked.

We went over my IVF cycle and these were his observations:

With egg factor infertility my eggs are not functioning as well as they would like. They need to make more estrogen. The max I reached on my HCG trigger shot day was 1064, which they would have preferred double this. So...why didn't they try to fix this before the HCG trigger shot and egg retrieval, knowing this was a major red flag? Each follicle is supposed to make 200 of estrogen, so with my 12, mine definitely fell very short!
He also thought I should have produced more eggs. This could have been that they started me off on a very low dose my first 3 days and my stimulation was terrible right out the gate. I know it is all about adjustments, but I feel wish they would have familiarized themselves with my previous records from my two IUI's and gone with a plan to get my estrogen up.
the next thing he mentioned were the receptors the eggs and how important it is for the medicine to interact with the eggs through these receptors. He is worried mine may not be doing that good enough.
There is an issue with my left ovary because the right side is the one producing the follicles.

So...where do we go from here???? He suggested IVF #2, rather than a frozen embryo transfer for our one blastocyst. He likes to have two to transfer due to the 30-40 percent chance of the blast not surviving the freeze. he wants me to have more eggs.
The dr. wants to do a Flair protocol, rather than an antagonist protocol (which is what I did first cycle) with a microdose lupron that would give estrogen a push right at the beginning. If it didn't go up, then the second IVF would likely be a failure again, which is so scary to think about.

brian and I are looking into other clinics around the country and have phone consultations with CCRM in Colorado, and Sher Institute in St. Louis late September. We also may travel to St. Louis this Friday for an appointment with Dr. silber at Infertility Center of St. Louis. He seems really advanced in his practice and Sarah Jessica Parker actually went to him for fertility issues. It will be interesting to hear what protocol other providers would want to do with me now that something is pinpointed. Ideally I would love to stay here in memphis to avoid the stress of travel while going through this difficult process, so we will see what others say!
We are going to figure this out one way or another, no matter what it takes!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's all in the music!

Music always makes me feel better. There's nothing like a good song to sing along with or cry to. As much as I am in my car every day I listen to alot of music. Here is my playlist that I am loving right now, with several songs that have really helped me get through this tough past week!


Dream- Priscilla Ahn- This is a must download!!!!!
Fix You- Coldplay
The Good Stuff- Kenny Chesney
You'll Be Fine- Widespread Panic
jesus Take The Wheel- Carrie Underwood
Blessings- Laura Story
Constellations- Jack Johnson
Forever Young- Bob Dylan
Toes- Zac Brown
Heaven- Talking Heads
I Won't Let Go- Rascal Flats
Sometimes You Can't Make it on your own- U2
No Place that far- Sara Evans
Romeo and Juilet- Dire Straits
If I Had the World to Give- Grateful dead
Instant Karma- John Lennon
If I Didn't Know Any Better- Alison Krauss & Union Station
Good Day For the Blues- Storyville
Until You- Dave Barnes
Flock of Words- Trey Anastasio
Come Monday- Jimmy Buffett
Just Like Heaven- The Cure
It's a Great Day to Be Alive- Travis Tritt
All These Things that I've Done- The Killers
Learning to Fly- Tom Petty
If I Could- Phish

What if Trials of this life are your mercies in disguise...

I had a sweet friend message me on Friday to tell me about this song. I bought it on itunes and have had it on replay since. I can't think of better lyrics during this time of my life. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mmgV6mPvb0

This brings me to a wonderful book I am reading called "When Life Is Hard" that honestly feels like this song should be inserted into this book! http://www.whenlifeishard.com/
I had another sweet friend encourage me to order this book the day after we found out. she said it has helped her through some tough times and is like food to her soul. I have loved every page of it, learning about trials and how God has a reason for every one he gives us. Even though we don't understand at that moment.

What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?

I feel like I am understanding more and more every day. God has a plan. We have to wait for him to give it to us.

Friday, August 26, 2011

picking up the pieces...



Wednesday, Brian and I agreed to meet at home at noon to get the phone call from the fertility clinic to get our results so we could be together for this life changing moment. I probably should have realized when I walked in the house that this was not a good sign of what was to come. I left the room the way it was because I couldn't deal with the mess in the midst of the most important phone call's arrival! I was ready to kill Buddy for being so destructive though, but wanted only positive energy in the house.

After we hung up the phone, devastated, I realized that our offices that was in shambles was exactly how I felt at that moment. I felt like everything was spinning out of control and there was not one single thing I could do about it. Nothing.

It's 2 days later and I am still picking up the pieces. I haven't cleaned it all up yet because I am not completely ready. I feel that Monday after we meet with the doctor and get some answers I can close this chapter, pick up the remains in the office and start fresh.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

the foster dog that knew



I rescued 4 dogs from a horrible shelter in abbeville, louisiana back in february. They use a gas chamber for euthanization by choking dogs with lawnmower fumes-its awful and so inhumane.
My good friend megan fostered 2 and I fostered the other 2. She ended up keeping one of hers and her mother took the other she was fostering, so they found amazing homes!
We had george and "princess flower" who was named by ella, my 5 year old niece. George got adopted at the beginning of this month, so we still have princess. We have princess still because I adore this sweet girl. And today, she reinforced why I think she is the sweetest dog I have ever met.
Sadie and buddy have (luckily) never experienced what bad is. Sadie is a rescue dog, but was pulled by a rescue at one day old. Princess has been through it all. I have never seen a more pitiful dog when it storms. Its obvious she has had to live out in the elements. She has been a mother already. Her little teeth in the front are rotted out-im sure from poor nutrition when she had to fend for herself. And she has heartworms. But this girl has the best spirit of any dog I have ever seen. Her original name was "wags" because her tail literally wags in a complete circle.
Today she sat with me in the living room after we got the news. She was laying on the rug and I was on the couch, heartbroken. I had been crying and noticed she wouldn't take her eyes off of me and was just a few inches away from me. She started blinking heavily, almost like she was crying with me. It made me think of all the has been through in her little life and she really seemed to understand how I feel. She knows what it feels like to be heartbroken and traumatized. This little girl has my heart, and I may have to ease brian into the idea of us being a 3 dog family!

when do the tears stop?

We are heartbroken. IVF did not work for us. All that we have worked so hard for the last few months is gone. This honestly feels similar to what experiencing a death is like to me.
Brian and I met at home today at noon to wait for the call. They gave us a window between 12-2. We sat in silence just waiting. When the phone rang I answered it and failed to put it on speaker. I didn't hear one word past "unfortunately negative" and burst into tears. Brian had to call back to get further instructions. I "de-IVF'd" our house. No more sharps containers, pictures of embryos, lists of meds or anything having to do with any of this as a reminder. After about an hour of constant tears and anger I went in the backyard and tilled up mulch beds. It felt good to let anger out and hit the ground! I had to do something to release these emotions.
I'm so angry! Why? Why? Why? We did everything right! We had 2 high grade embryos. Why did they do a 3 day instead of a 5 day transfer? We had one make it to a 6 day blastocyst. And I believe the 2 they implanted would have made it to blastocysts as well. I know the doctor makes the decisions, but this is our life too! They would have had such a better chance of surviving. Its all so overwhelming and I want answers. Right now!
Unfortunately, the doctor has to meet with the whole embryology team to see what went wrong, what could have been done better, etc. The doctor was going to call me to give me this info. Luckily brian explained that this is better suited as a sit down meeting and we need to be "fit in" to his solidly booked calendar.
So where do we go from here? Our lives are forever changed. I feel like God is testing me. Its hard to understand what his plan is for us and I'm mad that he did not answer our prayers. I have a constant stream of tears. I don't even think I'm crying and look down to see tears rolling down my face. I don't even want to get out of bed tomorrow. I hope this gets easier. We appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers. We were absolutely touched by the amount of messages we received today. It was so humbling. We need prayers now more than ever.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

could this be the last injection tonight?

I'm 10 minutes away from taking what could be my last progesterone shot. I act like a 5 year old child each night when it's time for brian to jab me with the inch and a half needle, but I know it has to be done and I am willing to do whatever it takes.

reality really sunk in and it hit me hard moments ago, thinking it is possible this could be the last injection I do. And the last estrogen patches I put on my stomach tonight as well. Or the last time I have to ice the injection site. as much as I despise these injections I would do them for the rest of my life if it meant we have a healthy baby. I want to do these for 8 more weeks and pray that we have the opportunity. This is such an emotional night and I am praying we get good news.

Less than 24 hours away...I am sick at my stomach!



Find more Lee Ann Womack albums at Myspace Music



First I want to say THANK YOU to all of our sweet friends and family for all of the messages of us being in your thoughts and prayers this week. We are so appreciative and lucky to have each of you in our lives.

This is tough. I am an absolute emotional wreck right now.My mind is flooded with emotions. Everything we have worked so incredibly hard for the last 3 months is riding on this one test tomorrow. We will know if every bit of blood, sweat and tears we have put into this worked. Honestly, I don't know what I am going to do if we get negative results. My world will be absolutely crushed. We have come SO CLOSE to making this dream a reality at this point and this just has to work! It has to.


I have good moments and bad moments. Since day one of starting IVF I made the promise of staying positive no matter how hard every day of this is.Brian has helped push me through the bad. But I am struggling right now. We have never had a good outcome when it comes to a pregnancy test, which scares me to death. I pray that these embryos were strong enough to implant and grow. It's definitely a coin toss when it comes to IVF. It creates miracles for some and destroys dreams for others. It's terrifying because IVF is the most intricate infertility treatment (scientifically and costly) you can do, so what's next? Where do you go from here?

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


Please pray for us to make it through tomorrow. We need every prayer in the world.

Leave it to my sister Mary to make me laugh though- she said she would have wine for either outcome- Fake, non-alcohol wine for positive and real wine for negative result. I explained to her I would probably down a magnum (or 2) at that point if it is negative! I needed that laugh today!!

PS- This Lee Ann Womack song is incredible. I have had it on repeat the past 24 hours. GREAT song!

Monday, August 22, 2011

what happens with the embryos every day

I have been so curious about what these little embryos have been up to day by day. I have a blogger friend (who just found out she is PREGNANT-YAY!!!!!!) that posted this timeline on her page. We are on day 10 today and it is amazing there is fetal development!

What Happens After an Embryo Transfer?
Once you complete your embryo transfer, you will have approximately 1½ weeks to wait before a pregnancy can be detected. The following tables outline an approximate timeline for what happens during a successful pregnancy after a 3-day transfer (3dt).

3-Day Transfer- which is what we had

1 day past 3 day transfer: The embryo continues to grow and develop, turning from a 6-8 cell embryo into a morula

2dp3dt: The cells of the morula continue to divide, developing into a blastocyst

3dp3dt: Three The blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell

4dp3dt: The blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus

5dp3dt: The blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation

6dp3dt: Implantation continues

7dp3dt: Implantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop

8dp3dt: Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the blood stream

9dp3dt: Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted

10dp3dt: Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted

11dp3dt: Eleven Levels of hCG are now high enough to detected

I go in on day 12 for my beta test to find out!I can't even explain the anticipation and emotions I am experiencing right now. PLEASE hurry Wednesday!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A couple of cheerful songs



We are 4 days away from our beta test to find out if we are pregnant. Time is literally standing still. This is TOUGH! Here are a couple of songs I like to listen to every day to make me smile and know that everything is going to be fine!
However, I would be even better listening to Bob Marley on a beach somewhere with a frozen "mocktail" in my hand. :)
These are a couple pics from watersound Beach in June. My most favorite place in the entire WORLD!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LanCLS_hIo4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LMVJ2xd1g8

Dear progesterone,




Dear Progesterone Injections,
I am NOT a fan of you. Every night at 9 PM I have to get stuck with this ridiculously large needle in my hip! And as if that's not enough, your side effects are terrible. I can barely keep my eyes open I am so exhausted. My whole body hurts and the bruises you leave behind are not pretty!
Please do your job and make me pregnant and I promise not to complain anymore- knowing EVERY injection will be worth it!

Sincerely-
Lauren and our two embryos

PS- We have officially filled up an entire sharps container!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Patience IS a virtue!


I have always been a very impatient person. It's something I strive to get better at in my life. If I want something done, I want it done immediately! Well, this week I am really having to practice my "being patient" skills. They need lots of improvement :)
Today We are ONE WEEK away from finding out if we are pregnant! I am counting down the hours, minutes, seconds until 8 am on August 24th!!!!!!!!!! This is really tough. Last week was hard waiting on the calls from the embryologist, but this definitely kicks it up a notch...A lot of notches!!! I will say that this past week flew by-even being on bed rest. It's hard to believe at this moment last week I was going under anesthesia for our retrieval. here we are one week later and survived!
I have been reading a lot- finished The Carrie diaries and am now reading The Help. I love it so far but already know it will be a tearjerker. I have caught up on alot of TV as well- probably too much! I have been trying to occupy all my time so I don't think too much. That can be dangerous! I am ready to go back to work tomorrow!
i decided to work on a project for our bare wall behind our bed. It has been 2 years and we have done nothing to our bedroom. I am a huge fan of burlap so I decided to use that. Now let's see how long it takes for these to actually get hung on the walls :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

TRANSFER DAY PICS!


Brian has always made me laugh when it comes to being supersticious. We witness this just about every weekend in the fall when a Alabama football game is on. He has a certain pair of pants and a shirt that he likes to wear that were part of the attire on a big win like the natonal championship, etc. he has even made outfit changes in the middle of a game. So transfer day he was getting dressed and said he didn't want to wear pink or blue because he wanted to be "neutral" and not let the embryos think he was pulling for a specific sex. This made me laugh pretty hard. So he decided on the trusty green shirt he wore on retrieval day since we had a good retrieval.

Here are a few other pics :)





we have one little blastocyst!

I feel a lot more encouraged today than I did yesterday. yesterday was the hardest day of this process so far. Yesterday I talked to the embryologist and we had a few other embryos we were trying to get to "5 day blastocysts" which means they could be frozen and used for a frozen egg transfer at a later date. The outlook on these was grim and she wasn't confident any would make it to this stage. I was so sad last night. I was terrified that if the ones transferred Saturday did not work we would have no other options. It is a scary feeling after this grueling process. I don't think I could do two entire IVF cycles again. This is very hard. My body hurts physically and mentally. It is alot to endure. And the progesterone shots at night have just about sent me over the edge and I had a complete breakdown last night. Hello hormones! With the news around the blastocysts more than likely not making it, and the emotions of this whole process with the meds, needles and waiting to see if this has worked it was bound to happen.

Today is MUCH better. We got news that one embryo did make it to the blastocyst stage! So that embryo is now frozen for us. we are THRILLED! I can breathe much easier today and we are so thankful.

2 little embryos


Well, here they are. We are so proud! :) We think the one on the right is going be a future alabama football star and the one on the left will be a spoiled little girl ! haha. It is truly miraculous, this entire process! We are already in love and hope these sweet babies are getting comfortable.

Monday, August 15, 2011

bedrest update

Well, not much has been going on with me except for lots of rest and food! We came home saturday around 11 am and I have been in the bed since then. I plan to take off work for the majority of the week and go back on thursday. I hope I have been doing everything I can to get these little embryos comfortable :)
The hardest part (besides the wait to find out if we are pregnant on the 24th) is the progesterone shots. We have to do these shots every night at 9 and its torture. The needle is 1.5" and the progesterone is in oil so its thick and takes a while for the med to get through. Awful. The first night I seriously threw a tantrum and flipped out. Even if I ice the injection site, these still hurt because they go in the hip. The only advantage I do have is the several lbs I have gained to cushion the muscle its injected into! 9 pm is not a good time at our house every night!
My mother has sent over so much food and helped us so very much! We are so appreciative. And we had a wonderful dinner from the wages last night-thank you so much! We appreciate all the prayers and thoughts.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

at home on bed rest with 2 little embryos!

Today was our transfer day. We did it! I couldn't sleep at all last night, terrified that we could get a call that the embryos didn't progress the way they should. So many emotions (good and bad) fill your brain during this time! Its hard to get the wheels to stop spinning.
We went to accupuncture at 7 and then had our transfer at 8. We hit the jackpot having a saturday transfer. We were the only patient, besides one other ivf transfer there today. It was so quiet and peaceful at the surgery center today. The perfect setting to create the perfect environment for our embryos.
We were elated to get the news......two perfect embryos were the ones they selected for us! One was 8 cell grade 1, and the other is a 9 cell grade 1. These are the healthiest they can be! We are beyond blessed. They gave us a picture of our 2 embryos and the little dish that was their first home. I'm already attached and love them! The procedure was quick and easy, and I'm now on bed rest for several days to help get these little ones comfortable and wanting to implant.
Please pray these embryos have everything they need to implant and become babies. I urged them with a muddys cupcake a few minutes ago :) that would do the trick for me!
Thank you for everything so much! Every little bit of it! Prayers are working!

Friday, August 12, 2011

We got our grades!!!!!!!!

video

We transfer tomorrow! We are absolutely ecstatic! I already feel so attached!
Please excuse how gross I look. I haven't left the house in 3 days except to go to accupuncture yesterday! Yikes! And trying to talk straight ahead into the imac doesn't work so well! :) I wanted to capture my emotions on video for our sweet baby to watch one day!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

hello meltdown!

I have been watching lots of tv as I have been resting the past 2 days. I saw this commercial today and boy did the floodgates open! I loved this precious commercial so much! No matter how we get our baby, it will be our little miracle. I can't watch it without getting teary eyed, but it is so very sweet!




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxbRdxbBROI

A few pics from our big day!

Brian happy he's not having this done to him!


Waking up in recovery...looking awful with no makeup!



Time to go home!



beautiful flowers from mymom!


And the call came in...

After I was pretty much ready to get in my car and go stalk the lab we got the report call! I have never ever been so anxious to get a phone call in my life!
Out of the 12 eggs they retrieved, 7 have fertilized. So 7 were mature and the other 5 were immature- the DNA wasn't right for those 5 to fertilize. We did a procedure called ICSI where they select the best sperm to inject into each egg, so they performed ICSI on all 7! Not all eggs are created equal, so some have better chances than others.When the eggs divide they want their results similar to a bell curve. Where a few are above average, some at average, etc. they want them to really show themselves so they can gauge which are the best eggs for transfer.
Everyone has a protective shell around their eggs that naturally bursts open when they egg is ready to be released, but mine is very thick so it would be harder for the eggs to release. they will be doing a procedure called assisted hatching to make the eggs release easier!
Today they will be dividing and tomorrow we will get a call with what grade they are. 1 and 2 are above average and very good. they said they grade tougher than most so they rarely see a 1. A 3 is average normal and they transfer 3's all the time. 4 is below average, and 5 is "quite unfortunate" as she worded it. So, here's to hoping and praying for really good grades!
Thank you for all the calls, texts, facebook messages, emails checking on me! I have such amazing friends and family!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

lucky number 12

I am home and have been for several hours. I have been sleeping and just resting. I'm pretty uncomfortable if I move, so the bed is where I plan to remain! We went in at 8 and they did all the pre-op procedures, including the dreaded iv in the hand! I got pretty emotional before I went back and shed a few tears as I was really scared! Dr. Ke was amazing, and so was my anesthesiologist, dr. Lindsey. All of the nurses and staff at the surgery center did a great job-especially eva who was my recovery nurse. I don't remember much past looking at the clock and it was 9:23 in the OR. They had an ipod on and I got situated on the table. Dr. Lindsey told me he was giving me med to take the edge off and boy did it! We were talking about how I sell diabetes equipment because he used to be a primary care dr. Then I was fast asleep! I woke up in recovery and felt pretty good minus the cramping. I asked 3 times apparently how many eggs we had and the number was 12. They made sure everything was good and sent me home. Brian and my mom have been great nurses. She brought us lunch and she is making us dinner. We will get our first report tomorrow on how the eggs are doing. And they will continue these reports until it is time for our transfer. It could possibly be saturday. Thank you all so much for your sweet messages and prayers! Please pray these will be viable eggs that will create our sweet baby! Much love!

RETRIEVAL day!

Today is the day. All of the shots and every bit of medicine my body has endured comes down to today. I can't even begin to describe the wide range of emotions I am experiencing right now.
The hardest thing about infertility is not having control over the situation. In my life I have worked hard to get what I want. If I want something I put my mind to it and get it done. For instance- I majored in education, decided not to teach because I wanted to go into pharmaceutical sales. Knowing this would be hard to achieve I pushed on- got a job in radio sales to gain experience and now-I have spent the last 9 years in the medical sales industry. Why can't this work that way? We would make wonderful parents and there is nothing that we want more. It truly is very difficult to grasp. I know I have no control today over how many eggs they retrieve but please please let this work!
We leave in 30 minutes for the surgery center. Anesthesia always scares me so I am definitely on edge. Please continue to pray for us. Thank you friends and family.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Today I get to be pregnant and take valium! It's a good day!

Well, no shots for me today :)!!!!!!! I am VERY happy about that!

we started off this morning with a pregnancy test (Strange I know) but this is part of the protocol. Last night we (Thank you Ellen!) injected my Novarel, which is a HCG trigger. It causes your body to ovulate in 48 hours and gives a positive pregnancy test. My dr said if I got a negative to call them because with all of the meds I am supposed to have a positive, so we are right on track.

It was a little bittersweet taking that test after ALL (too many to count) the pregnancy tests we have taken with the dreaded negative outcome and tears. We HAVE to see that positive sign again in a couple weeks after transfer! This has to work.

Today my only direction is to take a valium before bed. I can definitely handle that!

I am very nervous about tomorrow. I hate anesthesia and it always terrifies me. I am making my body relax and not stress about this which is difficult! The key is staying very busy today :)

Please pray hard that they get lots of good eggs during my retrieval tomorrow!

24 more hours until retrieval!




It's so crazy to think that our little egg that will hopefully be our child is living in one of these follicles! We are very ready for tomorrow morning!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Let's go make a baby!!!!!!!!!!

Well, it's official- our retrieval day is Wednesday!!!!!!!!!

Brian and I were all smiles this morning after our appointment for STIM day 10. Here is the good news we found out: :)
It would only let the ultrasound tech measure 9 follicles but they were really good ones! yay!!
Left side:
18, 19, 18 and 20!
Right side:
21, 22, 17, 20 and 14
Apparently this weekend my follicles decided to grow rapidly!
The rest are smaller and not developing as well as these are, but we are happy with 9 great #s.
My estrodiol (I have been battling this number all through the stimming process) was 1064, which isn't very high. But since my follicles are good they are basing off that. I am the lucky recipient of estrogen patches for the next few weeks to help increase this number.

No more Follistim, Menopur or Ganiorelix shots! Tonight I do my HCG trigger which will cause me to ovulate. It's seriously insane how they control everything your body does with this! This is a intra-muscular shot which means in the hip- ouch! So my sweet friend and neighbor, Ellen is doing mine- she's a doctor.
Then I head to East Memphis Surgery Center Wednesday at 8 AM for the retrieval! It is scheduled at 9.

Let me just say that I feel like a blimp and look like I am pregnant- definitely bloated from the follicles getting bigger and pretty uncomfortable. I have also had some nausea spells and wanting different types of food that I never eat. For instance, last night I wanted brian to grill hamburgers! I have never asked him for burgers (and I rarely eat red meat) so he looked at me like I was crazy, but then went to the grocery to get hamburger meat and mint choc. chip ice cream :)
I am definitely tired from the medicines and have been sleeping very well! Our new feather bed was the best purchase of the year. Especially as I will be putting it to great use later this week and next week!
Thank you friends and family that have been so wonderful through all of this. Every call, text, email, etc. we appreciate so much!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

StiM day 9 update!

We went in Saturday AM for the normal drill- bloodwork and ultrasound. It looks like I am progressing better than Thursdays report according to the nurse. She said I am a late bloomer!
Here is the latest:
Unfortunately the lab machine was having problems, so we couldn't get the e2 results! But...
I have one follicle at 15
2 at 14
3 at 13
2 at 11
1 at 10
The rest are under 10, but I am glad several are growing! They want them to be 18 before retrieval. So they added my Gonarelix injection, which stops LH surge so ovulation doesn't start. I am now at 3 shots a day. It is truly amazing how they can control everything my body is doing!
I feel extremely bloated due to all of the excess follicles growing and not the best from the meds- I am ready to get this show on the road! I go back in Monday for more bloodwork and another ultrasound and it looks like retrieval will be Wed, Thurs or Friday! I am nervous and excited! I have never felt so many emotions at once. we are hoping and praying for this to work! Please continue to keep us in your prayers!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I have the best husband in the world!


I want to brag about how lucky I am to be married to Brian. He is seriously my sanity through this process! Here are a few things that he has done that make my heart melt through this not-fun experience:
~Every morning he prepares my dose of menopur at 7 AM. This involves sterilization, measuring, mixing, etc. It takes a while to get it just right. He does every bit of this so all I have to do is inject! It definitely takes a ton of weight off wondering if I am mixing properly, etc. He holds my hand or leg and cheers me on as I inject the stinging medicine morning and night.
~He has come to every single doctors appointment- even if it is just for bloodwork. He wants to be there for me every little step of the way and that means the world to me.
~Printed off a calendar for us to keep up with everything
~Daily reminders of meds, appointments, accupuncture, etc...
~ Calls to check on me several times throughout the day to see how I am feeling

I love that he wants to be so involved. I know this is a great indicator of just how amazing of a father he will be!
we are truly in this together :)

Slow and Low?

I have to admit I am a little discouraged right now. I am scared to death of this not working. This truly is a emotional rollercoaster.

I went in this am for bloodwork and first ultrasound since stimming started. I got the call this afternoon with update-next steps...
There are about 18 follicles and out of the 18 only 2 are growing at the pace they would like. One is 13 and the other is 10. The rest are hanging out somewhere under 10. Follicles grow between 1-3mm daily during stimming cycles. However, a ray of light appeared when they said my estrodiol level had tripled from 115 to 426. That indicates there is activity and things could turn around. If the e2 number had not increased then that would not be good at all.
My uteran lining was 6.8 which is thinner than what they would like. Luckily this will thicken with stimming according to the dr.If not they can add another med to help this. what's another med at this point in time, right?
So...I may fall into the category of those folks who stimulate at a "slow and low" pace! That is what I am hoping!!

They are keeping my Menopur at 75 and Follistim at 225, so I had to place another order. More shots for me for several more days!!!
My next ultrasound and bloodwork will be on saturday. Please pray that these numbers increase and my follicles get bigger! we want them over 18!
if all goes well with the numbers and growth, they should be doing my retrieval late next week!

My stomach is bruised and the shots sting terribly,I am exhausted but I know in the end this will all be worth it. Every single bit of it! Especially to have moments in life like this with babies of our own one day!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

STIM day 4 update! E2 bloodwork

Yesterday morning (Tues.) I went in to get my E2 (Estradiol) bloodwork. This is something they will measure every other day, along with my LH. My number was 115 and they like to see it between 100-300. If on the lower end they alter meds to a higher dose and vice versa for higher numbers. So that means more meds for me! I am increasing my 7 PM injection of Follistim to 225 from 150 per Dr. Ke's orders.I had to do 2 injections of Follistim last night bc my cartridge only had 150 units left. I was not happy about 2 injections as they really sting bad! I have my next round of bloodwork tomorrow and a ultrasound to see how the follicles are developing. I am pretty tired today. maybe it's the 120 heat index, but I am guessing all of the meds are definitely starting to have an effect. Let's hope they are making some great follicles!
brian and I researched exactly what E2 measures and here is what we found:

Estradiol: What It Is and What It Tells Us.
The level of estradiol is measured in almost every blood sample taken during the monitoring of almost every type of assisted pregnancy. It is arguably the most informative of the three tests. Because of this, we will spend more time and space on estradiol. Don't worry-- the other two won't be nearly as long.

Estradiol is a hormone that stimulates the lining of the uterus, causing the lining to grow, and to make itself ready for embryo arrival. (This is not estradiol's only function, but for us, it's the important one). Estradiol is tied into pregnancy by it's method of production: oocytes (eggs) contain follicles. These developing follicles contain 'granulosa cells'. These granulosa cells synthesize the estradiol and release it into the blood circulation.

This means that more follicles produce more estradiol. This helps measure how many follicles are actively developing. The longer they continue to develop, the longer the estradiol level continues. As they develop, the level continues to rise. This rise can further indicate that the oocyte within the follicles is reaching its maturity.