Thursday, March 31, 2011


For my family members that don't know fertility lingo - my title means 5 days past 3 day transfer.  :)

Well, Tuesday evening did not come with good news.  Our other two embryos did not make it to the blast stage and were not able to be frozen.  I got off the phone with my RE and hubby and I just looked at each other speechless.  At first, we were both feeling very negative and thought well if those two didn't make it, there's a good chance the two inside me aren't going to make it either. :(  BUT on the flip side, we did put in our two "best" embryos and I'm hopeful that they're doing better in their natural environment versus a petri dish.  But wow did news like that bring me back to ground ZERO!

I am feeling pretty good.  It finally feels normal to pee again.  I was experiencing discomfort peeing ever since the retrieval.  The 2WW is horrible on it's own, but the side effects of the progesterone OIL is just plain torture.  It's not fair that each side effect also happens to be a pregnancy symptom.  It's like a big ol teaser...or a bad joke.  Oh here you go - here's what it feels like to be pregnant - ha ha ha ..UGH!  I am SO bloated - I seriously could wear maternity clothes.  I am running out of baggy, drape like shirts to wear to work.  I also have lower back pain and my boobs are sore to the touch.  I have been sleeping with my bra on because they hurt so much.  My hips are also incredibly sore (my RE has me administer the injections about an inch past my hip bone).  I switch off from hip to hip each day, but I seriously walk around like an elderly person.  I have been using a heating pad after each injection, which seems to be helping.  Oh and I'll have to do a post about the time we knicked a nerve...not fun!

Off to do report cards...oh joy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stuck Like Glue?!?!?!

Not much new to report here.  I went back to work today and took it "easy".  The kids seemed pretty understanding as I wasn't my usual chipper self.  It's interesting how hard getting back in the groove can be after resting for 3 days straight.

I think this 2ww part is the absolute worst part of ttc.  The anxiety is beyond belief.

I was thinking back to the transfer ... I was laying there afterwards just praying.  I was pleading to God and asking him to please let me be a mother.  As I was laying there, the song "Stuck Like Glue" randomly popped into my head and my mind was replaying the refrain over and over.  I thought maybe this was a good omen since I need my little embryos to do just that - stick like glue!  I mean what really are the odds that at that exact moment that song would literally pop into my head?!?!?! Wishful thinking - but needless to say, the song has been getting a lot of play on my i-pod.  I'm hoping there is a lot of "sticking" going on in the next 9 months!!!

Dad, I think you would like this song.
Stuck Like Glue - Sugarland

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Two Embies on Board!

These past couple of days have been crazy...I don't even know where to start.  Rewind to Friday mid-day. I get the call from my doctor at work in regards to how my embies are doing.  The original fertilization report of 4 still stood.  (the other four did not fertilize)  So she basically told me that one of the embies was doing "really good" and the other three were looking "normal".  There was no guarantee that any of them would make it to Day 5.  So after much deliberation we finally decided we were going to do the transfer on Day 3.  If we would have had more fertilized eggs to work with - we definitely would of waited to Day 5 and then hand picked the best two.  But considering we only had 4, we decided we wanted to get them in sooner than later and give them a chance inside me.

Next big decision - are we going to transfer in 2 or 3?   Hubby and I went back and forth all Friday night.  We just didn't know what to do - since this is our first IVF cycle and I have no clue how my body is going to respond to this.  Of course, we wanted to put in more for better chances - yet the thought of triplets was extremely scary considering all the complications the babies could endure.  So we went to bed content with making a decision once we got to the lab the next morning and got the official report on our embies. 

Okay - go to bed Friday night.  Extremely nervous.  Those of you that know me well know I am a very anxious person and considering we hadn't made our final decision yet, I was feeling the anxiety full throttle.  I set my alarm for 5 a.m.  The transfer was scheduled in Middleton for 8 a.m., so we knew we wanted to leave around 6 a.m. *At this point, this is where I had hubby check that the alarm on my phone was set correctly (as I always do about five times every night before bed).  Yes, I am a bit obsessive.  I'm the girl that checks to see if her curling iron is unplugged 8 times before leaving the house every morning.

Anyways - I kept waking up all night like every hour and would check my phone to see how much more time I had to sleep.  And to my surprise - the night dragged on for what seemed like forever.  I got a text from my Dad at 3:30 in the morning wishing me luck and one from my sister at 4:00.  I couldn't help but wonder why they were texting me SO early?!?!?!  Well, I woke up for the sixth time and checked my phone and it said 5:04.  I jumped up and though to myself, that's alarm didn't go off.  That's when I realized it was light out.  I jumped up and ran to the kitchen to check the time and it was actually currently 6:34 a.m.!!!!!!  Major freak out mode!  Ran back and looked at my phone to find out that it had decided to change to Jaipur, India's time zone and it was currently 5:04 p.m. there??? Sorry for the language - but WTF?!?!?!  So I literally woke up hubby (okay my screaming did that), pushed the dog outside to pee, fed him, and threw on the clothes that were laying on the side of the bed and we were on the road at 6:40.  I hate being late and the fact that I was going to be late on the biggest day of my life - not cool.  I said to Gus, this story is so ridiculous - my doctor is never going to believe this.  So we took a pic of the "wrong" time on my phone.  It had at least changed to Milwaukee, but was still the wrong time. 

You can see the correct time in the background.

So I call Dr. Schell and she says it is no problem - get there when we get there.  We arrived about twenty minutes late (not bad considering).

So we arrived at Wisconsin Fertility Institute and both changed into our gear.  Dr. Schell came in and said she was going to go get the update from the embryologists.  My heart was beating like crazy!  She peeked back in and said "good news".  The first two embies were doing great - both Grade 1.  One of them was a 6-cell and one of them was a 5-cell.  She also said the other two were also doing good - both Grade 1 and currently at 4 cells.  The embryologists felt the second two were doing good and would make it to the blastocyst stage (for freezing).  Since the first two were doing so great - we both looked at each and smiled.  2 it is!  Let's do this! 
(we had talked about if they were doing just "okay" we would have put in 3 and tried to freeze the last one)

Then the coolest part is the embryologist came in and gave us what could be our first baby picture/s.  He explained to us the one on the top was the 6 cell, but that one of the cells was hard to see underneath.  The one on the bottom is the 5 cell.  He also said they looked wonderful - no fragmentation and similarly sized cells. 

So when we saw the pictures, I immediately got really emotional.  At this point, it was about 8:30 a.m. and the embryologist was currently working on  performing assisted hatching on our 2 embies.  I knew I had about a half an hour until the procedure and my FULL bladder was killing!!! I said to my hubby "I think I need to let a lil bit out".  So we went into the bathroom and I peed for about 5 seconds.  Much better!  Try that with a full bladder - so hard to stop..haha.
Those of you not familiar with IVF, you must have a full bladder before the transfer to assure the catheter can be placed into the appropriate place.  

9:00 a.m. the nurse pops in with a smile and says "Are you ready to make a baby?"  Off we go to the procedure room.  The transfer was so awesome!  We got to see each lil embie inserted on the ultrasound screen.  One was stubborn and decided to stick on the catheter, so we had to go in a second time.  It was so rewarding to see each one magically appear in their new home.  The embryologist wished us congratulations and said we were currently carrying twins!  What an amazing experience.  

Lucky me - my doc then emptied my bladder for me, so I could relax comfortably for the next hour.  

Just returned from the transfer.  Happy as can be.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

One day at a time...

***Update - Just talked to doctor.  I seem to understand it all better now.  The one that fertilized that was not mature is just one step below maturity.  She thinks there is a great chance that it will "catch up".  She also said that the other four eggs were also one step below maturity so there is a chance that it may take them a lil longer to fertilize and it's possible we might have another one fertilized tomorrow. 

The report so far:  4 fertilized and of those 4 - 3 are mature.  What does that really mean?  Do we have 4 potentials or 3?  I didn't get to talk to my doctor because she was in a delivery.  (so all of this info is through her secretary). 

The embryologist did report though that there was a possibility that more could fertilize overnight.  He will re-evaluate tomorrow and let me know if he prefers to do a 3 or 5 day transfer. 

At first when I heard 4 I was really excited.  I was hopeful to have 2 to transfer and 2 to freeze.  Then, I didn't know how to evaluate one not being mature.  Is there still a chance for it?  Any insight you have will be great.  Hubby has convinced me not to spend my night "googling" cause that usually ends in me more anxious than before.

As my friend Pam says, one day at a time.  Looking forward to an update tomorrow and in the meantime I'M HOPEFUL!

Oh and progesterone injection #2 went really well.  It was not nearly as bad as I was anticipating.  I iced the area for about 15 minutes prior and I think that really helped.  I am currently icing it now too.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Could this be...

our first child's conception day?  Thinking positively and it very well could be!

The retrieval went well.  A lil something like this.....

5:30 a.m.    Leave for Middleton

7:30           Arrive at Wisconsin Fertility Institute  - At this point, we were just swallowing that it  was really  happening.  As we were sitting there, we saw a woman walking up with her child.  She smiled  and waved for us to come in.  As we got out of our truck, a man was walking up with his child (another smile).    This man and woman happened to be husband & wife and our embryologists (Dr. Pritts and Dr. Olive) with their children.  Dr. Pritts and Dr. Olive struggled with infertility for ten years including 6 IVF's.  In 2008, they adopted their two daughters from Haiti.  They are adorable - check them out here.   

7:35          We were taken back to my own room, where I changed into a gown, slippersocks, and head wear.  My nurse then put my IV in (as hubby watched cringing..haha).

7:50          Dr. Schell arrives and goes over everything one last time with me.  Any questions? Nope.

8:00         I was wheeled into the "Procedure" room and Gus was sent to wait for his 8:30 collection appointment.  I remember my doc and two nurse practictioners getting me ready.  (legs in stirrups, leg warmers put on, monitors on my chest, etc).    The nurse practitioner  told me she was starting the medication.  The first one caused some stinging in the butt.  Weird, I know.  The second medication was my sleep juice.  I remember looking up at the ceiling and feeling emotional, about to cry.  Hopeful & scared.  And that is all I remember.

9:30         I start coming "to".  Hubby said the only thing I said was "Pain, cramping".  The nurse then gave me some pain medication that lasted for 6 hours.  Much better!  Apparently  my oxygen level kept dropping and I just remember my doc telling me over and over to take real big breaths. 

9:45         Roll over - its time for doc to teach hubby how to inject the progesterone.  I was still so out of it - I didn't even feel it!!!!  She marked me with Sharpies too, so he knows where exactly to give the injection in the future. 

10:00      Time to start sitting up - or should I say "throwing up".  Major hot flashes, diziness, and a lil vomitting.  Felt much better though once I was done.  I was given some more medication for nausea. It really helped.

10:15       I finally ask hubby "Did you do it?".  He said, "Yes, of course".  Then, I looked at doc and said "How did it go?"  She said it went very well.  They extracted about 16 follicles and  8 of them turned out to be GOOD EGGS.  A few of them were not mature and a couple of the follicles didn't contain an egg.  I currently have 8 eggs undergoing fertilization.  I am really hoping for some more good news tomorrow!!!!!  The anticipation is making me crazy!  I do feel very relieved though.  I went into this with a big fear of not having any healthy eggs.  The fact that I have 8 to start with makes me ecstatic. 

10:30      Head back to Milwaukee.  I caught some zzzzz's the entire way.

12:30      Get pampered by hubby.  I love him so much!!!  He was amazing today. 

Oh and now the fun part - My before and after pictures...ha. 

Before:  Happy!  Rearing and ready to go. 

Before:  Joking around with hubby while we wait. 

 After:  Right after the procedure.

After:  OUT OF IT!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's Here

Well, this is it.  Tomorrow is the retrieval.  I experienced a range of emotions today, ranging from excitement to fear.  We have come a long way and I just can't believe it's here. 

We have to check in at 7:30 tomorrow and the procedure is supposed to start at 8:00 a.m.  I will definitely post an update when I get home. 

I received a sweet card from my Mom & Dad today (perfect timing).  The inside read:
"Praying all of your dreams will come true". 

Me too Mom and Dad, me too. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Trigger Shot: Check

So kind of crazy night - I was supposed to meet up with my doctor around 5 p.m.  She was on a road trip for the day taking her son to visit some colleges in Michigan.  Well, on their way back they got stuck behind an accident in Chicago and her return was delayed.  We ended up meeting at her office at 8:45 p.m.  I kept saying to myself - this doesn't feel real. 

Anyways - the follies were looking good, along with my levels.  Right after my ultrasound, I instantly pulled out the Ovidrel from my purse and hubby injected it. 

We officially have our retrieval scheduled for Wednesday morning at 8:00 a.m.

Today doc measured 19 follicles :) and my lining was at 13.9.    My bloodwork from early this morning showed an estradiol of 2,060. 

Super hopeful! 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Moving Right Along

Well, everything is moving right along.  I had my first ultrasound on Saturday (and another one today) and things are progressing like they should be.  I have about 16 follies growing.  There are a few that are on the smaller side, so not sure if they will be ready in time - but definitely happy with my numbers so far. My lining is at 9 and estradiol is currently at 1,500.  Tonight should be my last dosage of follistim, menopur, and lupron.  I go back tomorrow for more bloodwork and another ultrasound.  If all looks good, we should be deciding on a trigger time.  The retrieval is still tentatively set for Wednesday a.m. I am finally passed the nervous stage and now just plain 'ol excited!!!! 

I had a really great meeting with my therapist on Friday. The topic of conversation was letting go of my fear.  She started by asking me what my biggest fear in life is?  I replied "Never having a family".  After our conversation, I have come to the realization that I will indeed some day have a family.  The only thing that is unclear is the means.  This is just one step towards reaching our goal.  This may be the step that gives us our family and it may not be.  If it is not, we are willing to take the next step, and the next, and the next..... 

But, in the meantime - hoping and praying that our lil miracle is about to join us!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Time to Bring Out the Big Guns

So I started my stim meds last night: 300 iui's of Menopur and 300 iui's of Follistim. The Follistim seems to be a breeze for me.  The Menopur really hurts...I just hate it!  For some reason, it really stings as it is entering me.  (and it is already at room temp)  Ah well - I can only hope and pray that it will all be soon worth it!

I also went to acupuncture last night.  I love my acupuncturist.  He always makes me feel so much better.  Leaving his office was the first time I've felt "positive" in a long time.  He has another whole outlook on all of this and in some magical way, it all makes sense to me.  We talked a lot about fear and he really encouraged me to try and replace my fear with love. 

I have the night "off" as I call it.  No acupuncture, doctor, or therapist appts.  Just time to rest.  But looking forward to another visit with Michael (acupuncturist) tomorrow. 

Thanks to all my family & friends who have been by my side every day.  I really am grateful to have you in my life.  I also appreciate how patient you've been with me, as I know I have not been myself.  Mom, thanks for the beautiful card today that came in the mail.  It's comforting to know God is hearing many prayers on my behalf. 

Another thanks to all my TTC friends.  Your posts, messages, and texts mean the world to me.  I can't believe there ever was a time that I went through this without ya'll.  Please know I think of and pray for you daily.  XOXO  

Pic of the day - My biggest supporter, my sister Shelley.  I don't know what I would do without her constant support, love, & encouragement.  I think she believes me in me more than I believe in myself sometimes.  Love you sis!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

For Better or For Worse...In Sickness and in Health

Infertility is a true test of a couple's marriage.  I would characterize it as a "worse" when considering vows or  maybe even "sickness". 

Well this "worse" or this "sickness" actually has brought me one thing to be thankful for.  The one positive out of all of this is just how close I have grown to my husband.  No matter how discouraged, ashamed, or terrified I may be...he is ALWAYS there for me.  I was looking back at photos today and I came across this one...our wedding day, July 16th, 2005.  The best day of my life!  I think back though and reflect on how naive we were.  We truly thought we would be able to start a family when ready and had no clue how much we were about to suffer.  Although we have not progressed our family yet, we have most definitely progressed our love. 

We have each other and we are a family.  For this, I am grateful. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Moving Forward

I have to start by saying this is a really hard post for me to write.  If my first pregnancy were to have been viable, I would have just given birth this past week.  Instead of holding my firstborn in my arms, I am busy pinching the flab on my stomach each night so my husband can inject me with hormones.  I knew my due date week was approaching, but it didn't really hit me until I opened up my Facebook today to see a picture of my college friend holding her newborn son right after delivery.  We had found out we were pregnant on the same day and our due dates had been days apart.  BIG obvious difference - she carried her miracle to term and I have nothing but unfulfilled dreams. 

Here is a pic of hubby and I just hours before I realized I was losing my baby.  We were on top of the world celebrating 5 years of marriage...just absolutely beaming!  Little did we know that our lives were about to turn upside down. 

I still can't understand why this had to happen...I am missing my angel.  

Upside - Still in love more than ever. 

*Current cycle news - I had my initial ultrasound & blood work this morning and it went well.  We continue to move forward.  Every breath I take is followed by a prayer. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

My mom used to call me sleeping beauty as I was growing up.  I can tell you now that I am no way in hell a sleeping beauty anymore.  I could take out the beauty part and think of a ton of more fitting words.  :(

The point...I haven't blogged in a couple days because I have been SO incredibly tired.


*I am excited for my CD3 ultrasound tomorrow morning.  Everything seems to be falling into place.  I was shocked how quickly my period came after stopping bcp and starting Lupron. 

*My first RESOLVE meeting was awesome!  We had a guest speaker come - an RE from the area.  We were able to just drill her with questions - very informative. I definitely plan to go to the next meeting in April.  The women there were so warm, caring, and welcoming. 

* BIG NEWS - Tentative retrieval is set for 3/23 and transfer is 3/28.  My doctor said this could change slightly, but looks like some magic will be taking place around these two dates. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Special Delivery....uh gut check

Well, this weekend was filled with a range of emotions.  First of all - my meds arrived.  When I saw the delivery dude walking up my sidewalk, I was really excited.  I yelled to my hubby..."They're here".  I knew the box would be big - so no surprises there.  However, as I began unpacking med after med and needle after needle, I felt like crying.  This delivery was a complete reality check for me.  This IS really happening.  I felt like crying because I just felt so helpless looking at the meds on my countertop.  Purely helpless.  I thought to myself, I have to inject all of these meds in my body for a "chance" of getting pregnant?!?!?!  I know if it works, it will all be worth it and this process will be a thing of the past.  But, wow ...I wasn't prepared for it to hit me this hard. 

Fast forward 2 hours...I headed to an appointment with my doc to go over all the medication.  My wonderful sis was in town, so she came with me. It's always good to have an extra set of ears and eyes.  After my doctor was done explaining everything to me, she asked if I just wanted to do my mock transfer and hysterosonogram right then and there, instead of doing it on Monday.  I agreed. 

The mock transfer part was a piece of cake.  The hysterosonogram - not so much.  Painful!  (and I had even taken meds beforehand)  Luckily - I am polyp free!!!! 

In other news...
I finished my birth control yesterday and started my Lupron.  If you are wondering what Lupron is - it is a hormone injection that supressses the pituitary before starting ovarian stimulation.  Pituitary suppression is important for the recruitment of multiple follicles.  I am surprised that I am having some side effects to the Lupron.  (lower back pain and body aches)  I basically feel like CRAP!  I'm hoping my body will adjust and get used to this new med sooner than later (first time on Lupron).

Oh and super excited for my first RESOLVE (support group) meeting tomorrow night!!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Note to Self

Note to Self - Don't freak out before talking to the doctor. 

I called my RE's office today to make sure my Lupron was ordered and would be here on time for me to start it on Saturday.  The secretary at the office then informed me that my doc will be out of the office when I would be starting my injections and said she didn't think I would be able to pursue this cycle.  She also then suggested that I just do another round of birth control.  WHAT?  I made this plan to do IVF this month with my doctor.  We both sat down together ...looking at our calendars, I might add...and went over a tentative schedule.  Here would be the perfect time to note that my doctor never said anything about being out of town.  Well, the secretary hears me start freaking out over the phone.  I told her I was speechless.  She was insisting that I "just" do another round of birth control like what I'm going through is as simple as a "just".  No lady, you don't get it!  She said she would have the doctor call me.  I got off the phone and of course, lost it. - broke down to my hubby and my sister.  I kept asking myself why would my doc set me up on this schedule if she knew she was going to be gone and wouldn't be able to accommodate my cycle?

Well, doc did call me about  an hour later.

Yes, she will be gone....BUT this should not interfere with my cycle.  I will need my day 3 ultrasound while she is out, but she said I can just have that done at the neighboring hospital.  The cycle is moving forward as planned.  I told her that the secretary had really upset me with how lightly she was referring to this.  How dare she make a suggestion to "just" do another round of birth control like IVF is just something so simple that could be easily pushed on to the next month? (like a massage for God's sake)

Therefore, major lesson learned here today.  Don't freak out unless it comes straight from the doctor's mouth!!!

Meds are officially ordered for the entire cycle and should be here Saturday.  I am meeting with doc Saturday afternoon to just go over all the meds one last time.  I am familiar with Follistim and Menopur, but have not done Lupron before.  She said it's easy enough, but I appreciate her willingness to just go over it all with me again. 

Then on Monday I have my mock transfer & hysterosonogram.  I need to do some reading as to what exactly that entails.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

3 Big Steps...

#1- I had my first appointment with a therapist last Thursday and I actually loved it!  I left with a few things to work on.  The one I'm really focusing on right now is "the twenty minute rule" which is a strategy from RESOLVE.  It basically is an agreement a couple makes to only talk about fertility related issues at a certain point of the day for an agreed upon time (give or take time when necessary).  That way, my entire day does not have to be consumed with fertility talk.  Hubby and I each know we will have a chance to talk every day, but also realize this conversation does not have to evolve throughout the entire day.  So far, it's been working really well for us. 

# 2 - I found a RESOLVE support group in my area.  They meet on the first Monday of every month, so next week Monday will be my first official meeting.  I am SO excited!  I can't wait to meet women that I can relate to and hopefully build some supportive friendships.

# 3 - I received a letter today from my insurance company - approval for 1 "Complete Invitro Fertilization Cycle".   I am blessed.