Life with Baby K

May 22, 2008

Moving on…

Filed under: family,IVF #1,Prep for IVF #1 Round 2 — by Jess @ 3:36 am
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So its official, we are completely scrapping this IVF cycle and are now introducing IVF #1 Round 2! My one lonely 12.5 follicle only grew to 14 today and my estrogen level went up but not dramatically. So my doctors suggestion (and what I was leaning towards anyway) was to let this cycle go, get myself some provera and start over again. So that what we will do. I am going to be on provera for 10 days, wait for my period, and start BCP on CD 1. After 3 weeks of BCP I will go in for baseline ultrasound and bloodwork. As long as everything is clear, I will stop the BCP and on my 4th pill free day start using 300 of Gonal-F and 2 vials of menopur once a day. After about 6 days (or whenever my follicles are about 14mm) I will add Ganirelix until my trigger shot.

Today the whole IVF team had their big weekly team meeting where they discuss the failed cycles and figure out what to do next. So while they still aren’t sure why my estrogen level dropped, they feel that this protocol will be better suited to me. I asked if my lack of response indicated a low ovarian reserve and the nurse told me that there was no indication of that. She said there was no reason to think that my ovaries are failing. Thank God!! I also asked the nurse what is different about this new protocol compared to my last one and why they think this will work better. The team feels that I should have been on a higher dose initially and they think the lupron I was taking with the stims was prohibiting full stimulation. So we have completely cut out lupron and increased everything else.

So while I am still not happy that instead of sitting at home this weekend recovering from my ER I will be at the hospital working, I have accepted this cycle for what it was and I am moving forward. I just wish it didn’t take 10 days of provera and then 3 weeks of BCP before I can feel like I am “really” doing something towards my goal of having kids. But what can you do?

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In side news, please pray for my husband’s grandpa. He is in the hospital and is having cardiac problems. The doctors are thinking there may be a blockage which is cutting blood flow off from the lower left atrium. Meanwhile grandpa (who is a very active self sufficient 84 year old) is sitting in his hospital room, getting worked up about the fact that he needs to get home to finish cleaning and removing the storm windows in his house! It looks like he may be transferred to a different hospital, 1.5 hours away (the same one my clinic is at) tomorrow for a cardiac catheter. He is not happy about this. Please pray for my MIL who has pretty much been at the hospital all day for 3 days with him. She is feeling overwhelmed and exhausted right now. Thanks!

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May 19, 2008

WTF!!!

Filed under: IVF #1,Prep for IVF #1 Round 2 — by Jess @ 11:11 pm
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So today sucked. I got a call from the clinic today around 12:30. Except instead of one of the nurses, it was the head doctor whom I have only met once. As soon as he identified himself, my stomach dropped. I knew that this wasn’t good. So apparently there is a reason my follicles didn’t grow over the weekend: on Friday my estrogen level was 175 and today it was…..drum roll please…..164! WTF! My estrogen went down!!! The doc asked me what dosages I have been taking, I told him and he confirmed that I was taking what I was suppose to. So here is the kicker, he tells me that they are going to have the lab redo the blood level to see if there was an error, but that if it is correct that they are going to have to cancel my cycle!!! There are only a few times in my life I have been truly speechless and today was definitely one of them. I just froze. I didn’t expect that at all. Once I collected myself I asked if there was anything we could do to save the cycle. He said that at this point there its not going to work to do IVF because I just don’t have enough follicles. He said that if we wanted we could do an IUI. I told him I would have to think about it and talk to Jeff.

So when the nurse called later to tell me that the second estrogen level came back the same, I had had time to write down some of my questions. I asked what would cause my level to go down even though I was taking my meds like a good girl. They basically said that they don’t know why that happened and that they are as confused and surprised as me. I guess this just wasn’t the protocol for me. They told me to increase my gonal-F from 225 to 300 and stick with one vial of menopur with 5 units of lupron. I am going in on Wednesday morning to see if my two lonely follicles will mature. If they do, then we will do the IUI but if there is no change again than we are going to scrap this cycle, get myself some provera and have round two of this IVF stuff.

I am so pissed off that this didn’t work. I am angry that the meds didn’t do what they were suppose to do. I am frustrated that I have been shooting myself up for almost a month and have gotten no where. I am annoyed that I have drove 1.5 hours each way at freakin’ 6am to get to the hospital for 7:30am on 4 different occasions when gas is $3.75/gallon.

Yes I am pissed and angry and bitter and have said the word “fuck” more today that I think I have in my whole life.

No change….

Filed under: family,Friends,IVF #1,Nieces — by Jess @ 4:08 pm
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I went to the RE for my bloodwork and u/s this morning. I don’t yet know the estrodial level but there was no change in my ovaries over the weekend, nothing grew, everything looks the same. This is rather frustrating to me. So depending on what my bloodwork says, I think they are going to bump up my meds. The RN did say that sometimes the estrogen level has to get to a certain point and then suddenly the ovaries kick in and there is a huge growth. Its funny because last week I could really feel things going on in my ovaries. This weekend I didn’t feel much of anything but I just attributed it to how busy my weekend was and that I just didn’t notice. But apparently there really wasn’t anything going on this weekend….very annoying. I have certainly not given up hope or anything. They told me that people with PCOS are often slow responders, so I guess its not surprising that my ovaries seem to have stalled out. I would just hate to see this get turned into an IUI like poor PJ at http://infertilityonthebrain.blogspot.com/. Not that anyone at the RE’s office has said anything like that. I am just getting ahead of myself, as usual!

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I am so glad that I decided to push back my cycle a week so I would be free for this past weekend. Saturday was my friends Alicia and Craig got married. The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was a blast. I LOVE dancing at weddings and my husband loves to be the center of attention so it makes for a fun event for us. Yesterday was my niece’s first birthday party up at my BIL’s mom’s house. Any time I get to spend with those girls is always fun. And I had a good time hanging out with my sister. So without a doubt this past weekend was worth putting my cycle back a week!

Oh I have a cute story to tell you from the wedding. I had to do my shot while at the wedding. So my mom and I went into the bathroom and I pulled my three different needles out, my three little vials of meds, and my alcohol wipes out. A friend of mine from church and her 13 year old daughter came into the bathroom with us. Of course I have no shame so I continue what I was doing, mixing my meds and such. So the four of us are all talking and I looked up at my friend and laughed and told her that I wasn’t doing drugs. She laughed and said that she figured as much since my mom was standing right there. So I explain about the IVF and such. She told me about a friend she has who went through IVF. She said she would be praying for us and such. Then I went into the stall to actually give myself the shot and she and her daughter left the bathroom. Apparently after they left the bathroom her daughter looked at her and asked what it was that I was doing. She explained that I am trying to getting pregnant. Her daughter looked at her mom and said “with a needle?!?!” I thought that was so cute!!!

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Alright, I will check back in once I hear from the RE. Please keep us in your prayers that things work out for this cycle.

May 17, 2008

I’m a tortoise…

Filed under: Friends,IVF #1 — by Jess @ 2:14 am
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Today Sam at http://theclam.wordpress.com/ discussed how she feels like the tortoise in the tortoise and the hare story. Everything she said about her cycle echoed what I was told today. I went in today for bloodwork and ultrasound. My lining was 9mm and a triple layer (which I guess is good. I have to do more research on this) I have 3 8mm follicles on the left ovary and 1 8mm on the right. They said I had 10 on one side and 12 on the other. My estrodial level today was 175. The nurse Ellen told me she thinks I am going to be having a longer cycle. She says I have a lot of potential and since its my first exposure to these stimulating meds they want to move slowly to allow the follies to grow at the same pace as each other. She anticipates my ER being the end of next week. Tell me why as she was telling me to plan on ER at the end of next week, my first thought was “wooohooo I will get to skip work next weekend!!” Just goes to show you how little I want to deal with work right now.

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I have never been the kind of woman who can feel ovulation. Perhaps this is because it just wasn’t happening, I don’t know. My sister swears she knows what day her daughters implanted into her uterus because she says she felt it. Now I have always thought she was being over dramatic. But since starting all of these stims, I am unnaturally aware of my ovaries ALL the time. I feel twinges and weird sensations all the time. So strange, yet I think I kind of like it. Of course as the follicles get bigger, I am sure I will grow tired of it!

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Tomorrow is my friend Alicia’s wedding. I am so excited for her. I have known her since she was like 10 or 11. I thought I was going to start crying at the rehearsal tonight, I can’t even imagine what I will be like tomorrow. I am reading Ruth 1:16 during the ceremony. I am so honored to be a part of her wedding. Of course the interesting thing should be shooting up in the bathroom at the reception! Oh goodness, the things we do!!!

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Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes! I can’t even explain how much it means to have the support of so many awesome women. Much love to all of you!

May 12, 2008

I don’t want your nasty cake anyways!

Filed under: family,IF ignorance,IVF #1,Mother's Day — by Jess @ 2:00 am
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So Mother’s Day pretty much sucked. Big surprise, I know. I really thought I would be okay since I would be a work and would be busy. Yeah, I kinda forgot about visiting hours and the fact that mobs of children and families would be coming in to visit patients and celebrate Mother’s Day. Because I work on the psychiatry floor our visiting hours are much more limited that they are in the main hospital, since we have group sessions occurring throughout the day. Today visiting hours were 12:30-2:30. So my morning was okay. A few questions were asked of me by the patients which sort of stung, but I was able to brush it off figuring that the patient wasn’t in a good place and the like. So when the patient asked me if I was a mother while I was taking his blood pressure and I told him, only to my dog and cats, and he looked right at me and said that pets didn’t make me a mom, I could force my bitterness down and continue taking his vitals without shoving the thermometer down his throat. However, I had a harder time letting things roll off my shoulders once visiting hours started.

It was maybe half way through visiting hours and I was surviving. But then an obnoxious woman came to the nurses station and announced that she had a cake she brought in from home. Then she loudly said that it was a cake for mothers only. She was very insistent on the mothers only part. In fact she said it four or five times in the 60 seconds she was standing at the nurses station. She looked at me and asked me if I was a mother. I told her no and she flipped her hand as if she was dismissing me and said “oh well you can’t have any cake then, its for mothers only” and she preceded to walk away with her ugly ass cake. It really was ugly too. It was a round chocolate cake which looked to be overcooked and therefore was crunchy looking on the edges. I know all of this because the pink frosting was such a thin layer that you could clearly see the cake. I wouldn’t have had any of her cake even if I was a mom and therefore allowed to partake in the magical cake. But in that instance of standing at the nurses station, being dismissed by this woman, I felt like I was teleported back in time to middle school. I was an awkward kid in middle school, even somewhat in high school. I had about two friends at school (not counting my friends from church youth group, thank God for that youth group or I may never have had any social life in school) I can remember being in 7th grade when my “friends” suddenly decided that I couldn’t be friends with them anymore. I was told that I needed to find a new place to sit at lunch and suddenly had no one to talk to in classes, or work with for group projects. I was dismissed in middle school from my friends. And today I felt the same way. I felt like I was being told that I was not cool enough or special enough to hang out with the cool kids. I wanted to take that cake and shove it in her face! Stupid ignorant people.

Yeah so next year if I am not pregnant or holding my newborn in my arms, I am hiding under my blanket and watching movies all day. Screw the world I don’t care!

**I did however pull myself out of my funk long enough to go to my in laws and my mom’s to wish them all a happy mother’s day. I am really grateful for my mom especially this year. I don’t think I would make it through all of this without her. **

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I forgot yesterday to write about our last SA. Jeff went down on Tuesday and did his thing and the nurse called me on Wednesday. Since my goal was to make his sample as bad as possible so the insurance company would cover ICSI, I made my poor husband go 5 days instead of the normal 2-3 days. Well wouldn’t you know that this was the best sample we have ever had. His morph was 5.5, his count was higher than before and his motility was awesome. Go freakin figure! So we are on for IVF but not ICSI. I think I am okay with this though because now I have two SA with higher morphs opposed to before when I had one higher and one lower and I had to guess which was the more accurate sample. So this is what we will do for now. Tonight was my second night of stims, it was much easier tonight than last night to mix all of the meds. So far I have not noticed any side effects, although it was hard to tell today if I was emotional and upset because of mothers day or because of the extra hormones. Probably a mix of the two. Oh and on a side note it is very amusing to look at my belly and see all of the little red puncture marks and the light purple bruises surrounding them. I feel like I am going to be able to play connect the dots on my belly when this is all done and over.

ETA: I just found this link on the IF community board I am a part of (dailystrength.com) and thought I would share it all with you. It is a beautiful story and validates everything I have been feeling: http://www.statesman.com/life/content/life/stories/other/05/10/0510raisingaustin.html

May 11, 2008

And then we stimmed!

Filed under: IF ignorance,IVF #1,Mother's Day,Nieces — by Jess @ 12:25 am
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Tonight I had my first stim injection. 225 units of Gonal F, one bottle of menopur and 5 units of lupron. I also started my antibiotic and baby aspirin today. I was a bit nervous about mixing all of the meds but it went fine. So I feel like we have pulled out the big guns today! I go back to the hospital on Tuesday for blood work to check my estrogen level.

So tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Yuck, I am not looking forward to it. I am glad that I have to work. When I get out of work we are going to my in laws for dinner and then to my mom’s house. It should be low key. Which is good.

Today I was at the park with my mom, brother and my two nieces. I was up on the jungle gym with Nadia and saw a friend of mine from church who was picking up her daughter who was also at the park. She yells over and asked me why I wasn’t at the baby shower today. Ugh. Today my church was having a big baby shower for my pastors wife. I just didn’t have it in me to go the it. In fact I had actually forgotten about it (forgotten or repressed….who knows) I was able to just use my nieces as an excuse, told her I had to watch them today. But really I just couldn’t do a baby shower at church with all sorts of people who know nothing about my IF issues, and deal with Mother’s Day, all in one weekend. So I chose to spend the day with my adorable baby nieces instead. Sounds like a much healthier option.

In other news, I am done with school for the summer! I am very excited about that. I am brain dead from this semester and in need of a break. I have enough on my plate this summer with IVF and such.

Well my husband just got home and I think I will go watch a movie with him. I hope everyone has a tolerant day tomorrow. Lots of love!

May 5, 2008

No longer a ultrasound virgin….

Filed under: IVF #1 — by Jess @ 6:17 pm
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I am no longer a dildo-cam virgin! I had my first ever vaginal ultrasound this morning. I was a bit nervous that they were going to start the ultrasound and discover I didn’t have two ovaries or something stupid. But alas, everything was as it was suppose to be and where it was suppose to be. My lining was 4 mm and I had several follicles waiting to be stimulated in each ovary. Oh, and my estrogen level was 44. So on Saturday eve I start my stims, 225 units of Gonal F, Menopur, and 5 units of lupron. Saturday I start my baby asprin and the antibiotic for Jeff and I. Then I go back to the hospital for more bloodwork on Tuesday morning.

Jeff is going down to the hospital tomorrow to give another semen sample. Hopefully things will work out with the insurance company. I still feel like ICSI is our best bet but I feel like it isn’t the end of the world if we just do “plain old IVF” I was so focused on having ICSI that I forgot that the lab will still process the sperm the day of ER and only introduce the best sperm to the eggs. But like I said I am still pulling for ICSI.

So I have been wondering how you are suppose to balance having hope and positive thinking with the realization that a cycle may not work and trying not to set yourself up for a huge crash? How can there possibly be a happy medium? I am a strong believer in positive thinking and needing to have a positive attitude. And obviously I want this cycle to work. And most of the time I find myself thinking about the future in terms of pregnancy. For instance, Jeff and I, my parents and brother, and my in laws are all going on vacation to Lake Champlain in August. I keep thinking in my head things like, gosh I hope I don’t have morning sickness too badly while we are on vacation. And a part of me really does think this cycle will work. But I also know that things may not work out. I don’t want to focus on the negative things which could go wrong, but I feel like I need to in order to bring myself back down to reality. But then I am left thinking that I am setting myself up for failure! YUCK! What an awful catch 22! So I am reaching out to the IVF veterans, how do you balance this teetering seesaw???

May 2, 2008

Insurance woes…

Filed under: insurance woes,IVF #1,Nieces,school — by Jess @ 11:35 am
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Yesterday I got a phone call from the IVF insurance coordinator. Turns out that Jeff’s last SA had a morphology of 3%. The first SA was 1.5%. Blue Cross requires two SA with a morph under 2% to pay for ICSI. So, we have been denied!!! I was so upset yesterday! They are going to pay for IVF but don’t deem us as needing ICSI. So after considering our options, Jeff and I have decided to have him give another SA with the hopes of the morph coming in lower. If that doesn’t work, then we will just do regular IVF and see how that goes. We could self pay but we don’t have $1200. Since we weren’t expecting this we didn’t save anything. Truth is that I don’t think that we are going to do anything that the insurance company won’t pay for, at least not at this point. We are not in a position to be paying tons of money for IF treatments.

I always feel like an ungrateful jerk when I complain about insurance. I know how lucky I am that I live in Massachusetts and have good insurance. I admire and respect everyone who self pays, and maybe in the future when I have my nursing degree I will be able to self pay when needed. But its just not possible right now.

Anyway on other news, the semester is almost over, THANK GOD! I need the summer to relax and focus on IVF and/or possibly being pregnant! Actually I am just looking forward to spending time with my fam and my adorable little nieces. Last night was my last chemistry class, today is my last lab and then next week is my last two A&P classes. Summer is almost here!!! I can’t wait.

This weekend I am babysitting the girls Saturday all day and overnight into Sunday. I am super excited! I love those girls so much. Hopefully the weather is okay so we can go to the park on Saturday.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

April 23, 2008

The one thing I said I wouldn’t do…

Filed under: Friends,IVF #1,Nieces — by Jess @ 2:50 pm
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I just did the one thing I swore I wouldn’t do with this IVF cycle: I just pushed my cycle back a week. I was adamant about not doing that. I had decided that if I had to miss my friends wedding, than so be it. But last night I got an email from her asking me to do a reading during the ceremony. I couldn’t very well pass that up. But I wasn’t sure if there was anything I could do since I already started the lupron. So I called this morning and left a message for the IVF nurses. Ellen, the nurse who did my protocol class called back and I explained what had happened. She told me just to do an extra week of lupron to leave my ovaries in limbo a little longer and then I will start my stims the weekend of May 10th instead of May 3rd. While I didn’t want to push it back a week initially, I feel really good about this plan. Whats another week when I have already been waiting a year and a half!

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I meant to post the other day, Monday, the day that I began the lupron but I had a big A&P test on Tuesday so I was studying. Anyways it was an experience. I was really kind of freaked out about it. My mom came over to the apartment for moral support. Jeff was still at work and I needed to get the shot done and over with for my own sanity! So after a false start (there was more resistance to pushing the needle into my belly than I anticipated) I gave myself the shot and lo and behold, it wasn’t bad at all! Last night I gave myself my shot at work (the joys of working evenings during IVF) which went fine. I went to Walmart last week and bought a little insulated lunch bag and a ice pack to keep my meds refrigerated when I am at school and driving in the car and such.

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I spend Tuesday morning babysitting my nieces. Oh my gosh they crack me up! Nadia put her Elmo Easter basket on her head and was marching around her living room like a marching band member. And Sasha is so close to walking and its driving her nuts that she isn’t quite there. That kid gets so frustrated and mad when she can’t do something. But then when she does do it or gets to the item she wants, she gives the biggest smile with her four little teeth showing. Nadia is so smart for her age. She is saying three and four word sentences. She is just like my sister and Sasha is just like a little mini version of my brother in law. I can’t wait to give them a little cousin to play with!

Alright, I suppose I should go and be productive and study or something. Or maybe I will look online to find a pretty dress to wear to this wedding…

April 16, 2008

My puppy isn’t such a puppy anymore….

Filed under: Furbabies,infertility ripples,IVF #1 — by Jess @ 2:23 pm
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So I should clarify something. While I refer to Daphne as a puppy, she is not. She is actually going to be 8 years old this summer. I brought her to the vet yesterday and found out that my Daphne has arthritis in her elbow on the leg that she was limping with. She is now on a pain med till Saturday and will be on joint supplements for the rest of her life. I think it may have been aggravated by the fact that Jeff and I got a new bed frame recently which is higher than our old one. I think it is just too much for her. Of course there is no way to stop her from jumping up there so hopefully the joint supplement will cushion her joints and make it easier for her. I am just glad that she is okay.

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I got all of my meds yesterday! I am excited and anxious for Monday to come. I want to get things moving here. It looks like my period should start around 4/27 and they are estimating that ER and ET will be the week of May 14th. Which of course is the week of my friends wedding and my nieces birthday and my birthday! The IVF nurse suggested that I could push things back a week if I want so that I will definitely be free for that weekend. HA! I think another week of waiting to start would kill me. No thanks, I will gladly miss the wedding and/or Sasha’s birthday party if needed. It would be kinda cool to have one or the other land on my birthday!

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Its funny to me how much the infertility has become a part of my daily life. Battling this disease isn’t even an option for me. Its a necessity. As I was explaining the shots to my sister she told me she hopes my kids will know how much I went through to get them someday. To me there was no choice about if we should do IVF or not. I guess its the way I grew up. My brother was diagnosed with pediatric bipolar when he was 7 years old. My family has always just approached struggles head on and just pull together and do what needs to be done. Same thing when my gram was paralyzed after a doc screwed up a surgery or when my uncle died 2 months after my gram’s surgery and my mom and uncle had to tell my gram that her oldest son was dead. We Rowlands just pick up the pieces, put them together as best as we can and push on through. That is the way I feel about IVF. Do I want to give myself shots? Not at all. But thats what has to happen so that the way it will be. I think my sister thinks I am a little crazy for going through all of this. LOL I guess that what happens when one sister is fertile myrtle and the other isn’t. But just as my sister will do anything for her two daughters, I feel the intense need to do whatever is needed to bring my children into the world. I know that I am suppose to be a mom. It is something I have dreamed about since I was a little girl. So if I have to go through IVF or adoption to achieve that calling, so be it. I know that God will give me the desires of my heart. He would not have given me such a strong desire for motherhood if it wasn’t meant to be.

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