In Other News

If you won the lottery what would you change on your body? If you say nothing, I don’t want to friends with you… Just kidding but man, that would be awesome. I actually think for the most part I’ve made peace with my lumpy bumpy areas and such but one part I have always wanted to fix is my damned teeth.

I’ve hated them my whole life. Well as long as I’ve had them anyways. I had braces for a bit but let’s just chalk it up to an unqualified dentist. So here I sit with a messed up grill and years of insecurity about my smile.

So I finally went to see someone about my pearly yellows and looks like I’ll be getting braces in 2016. I met with a dental surgeon yesterday and he was like “Ew, I can’t fix this, go see an orthodontist”… I’m sure he used more professional language and he was actually very nice and made me very excited about my options but it wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t a bit dramatic.

So I’m off to see the orthodontist in 27 days! N is worried that I’ll have to get the old school train track looking ones. I am just excited to be getting my teeth fixed! I’ll even go so far as to say I’m a teensy bit more excited than I am about egg retrieval. Just because I know the outcome of this will be awesome.

It’s going to be a great December, everyone.

Day 3, IVF 2:
300iu Gonal F
150iu Menopur

Physical:
Injection site sensitive. Found a bruise from yesterday.
No more dizziness
No more funny taste
Period seems to have ended. Happy day.
Twitches felt in abdomen. Whoop!

Emotional:
Read above about teeth. This is overshadowing any fear/anxiety of IVF process.

Food:
Roasted chicken
Sweet potatoes
Cheesy cauliflower gratin

Moment of Zen:
So cheesy but I lol’d.

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Follicle Watch: Episode 2

Quality over quantity… Don’t focus on the goal and enjoy the journey… Must remember these words.

Today we’re on 6 follicles measuring between 9 and 10mm. Still no symptoms to speak of. They’re upping Gonal F from 225 to 300 until Sunday. My clinic is over an hour away but thankfully there’s a satellite office 30min away on my way to work, but they’re closed on a Sunday so I’m going to be making that trek in the early hours this weekend.

Was feeling a little down trodden with the numbers, I thought this was gonna be a breeze because I had 20 antral follicles at my very first ultrasound. Anyway, I had a giant burrito at lunch to make up for all the alcohol I can’t drink so I’m feeling sleepy and happy again.

Hope everyone’s having a good Halloween and you all have fun plans. We have a party tomorrow but tonight we’re not entertaining trick or treaters. I didn’t get anything or even decorate so we’re turning out the lights and hiding in the bedroom. We rented Deliver Us from Evil. Hope it’s a goodie. I love me some scary movies.

xxx

Shots fired!

We are well on our way here in IVF land. Did my first set of injections last night. As was stated in my next set of instructions after my suppression check came back with the all clear.

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It was quite a production. I wish I’d video taped it but I was too preoccupied. My husband had to take the reigns because I simply couldn’t. All in all it wasn’t a huge train smash. The needle going in is easy peasy. I couldn’t even feel it but the Menopur burns, people. It burns like hell. That’s going to take some getting used to. Afterwards, I felt a bit dizzy but I wasn’t sure if it was in my head or not. While I was laying on the couch it dawned on me that I really have no idea what I just injected into my system. So I did some Googling. Here’s what I have and what Google says it does.

Gonal F:

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I have to do 150 units of this every night from the beginning. The pen already has the medicine in it and has to be stored in the fridge. Very simply, this guy provides the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) that helps stimulate healthy ovaries to produce eggs. It should be used with another hormone to help with growth of health eggs. I’m using it with Menopur. Gonal F and Follistim are the same thing, essentially. I inject this into my belly (subcutaneoulsy)

Menopur:

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This one has the follicle stimulating hormone and the luteinizing hormone (LH) also to help the ovaries make eggs. It’s also used in combination with another hormone medication. It burns going in. Be warned. I got 10 units. 20 vials. 1 has a powder (or what looks like a little urinal cake) and the other has a clear liquid. I have to dissolve some liquid into the powder which makes me feel like and evil scientist. It gets injected into the tummy too.

Ganirelix Acetate:

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These guys come in pre-filled syringes. I have 4 of them. It blocks the release of LH to delay ovulation and increases the chance of producing fertile eggs. From that I gather that I would start taking this towards the end of stimulation. Another one for the tummy. That’s going to be fun!

Leuprolide Acetate:

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Also known as Lupron. This is used to treat advanced prostate cancer in men… Wait, what? It is used to stop early puberty in children… Hang on… oh, here it is… It may also be used to treat disorders of the uterus. In females, leuprolide reduces the amount of estrogen that the body makes. It is used to decrease the amount of hormone you make for a short time and to prevent ovulation. Now, it looks like it can be used before starting stimulation meds to suppress the ovaries. However, I haven’t used it yet. Not quite sure how it’ll fit in. Watch this space.

And last but not least,

Chorionic Gonadotropin:

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Also known as hCG. Also known as the trigger shot. This is a shot that has to be taken in the butt (awesome) at a very specific time at the end of your stimulation when you’re at your most bloated and uncomfortable. It causes ovulation, I believe, within 36hrs of taking it. Hence the strict timing. It looks like the Menopur with the liquid and powder mix.

And there you have it. These are the meds I have. I’m still pretty clueless as to what I’m doing since this is my first time but I hope this helps if it’s your first time too. If you’re a vet and you’ve noticed some stark inconsistencies in my information, please let me know or give me some other info I can add on.

I hope all your cycles are progressing smoothly and have a great day. I’m at work and I’m pretty sure my lunch hour is over.

Happy Monday!

Finally…

I’m just going to gloss over the fact that I haven’t blogged in over a month. I guess I had nothing of import to say. Until now… and even now I feel like it’s not really important but here goes.

CD1 has finally arrived phew… Okay lots has happened in between so I’ll do a quick blow by blow.

We had our second follow up where we signed all the consent forms and got the final tally on what this mess is going to cost. We’re very fortunate to have my insurance (hubby is starting his own business so we’re on my insurance for now) cover 80% of ivf with a 2 cycle lifetime limit. So in my mind we have 2 go’s which I’m okay with. The final cost came out to $1760 excluding the medication copay (covered at 100%) but including the biopsy for the PGD and the ICSI. That is not bad at all. I’ll pay that every day. The only other big cost now is paying for the PGD clinic to get the biopsied cells and to test them. That is also covered with a 20% coinsurance but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

The next step was to get a phone consultation with the PGD clinic in Chicago. I’ve just sorted this out now. The appointment is on the 28th which is cutting it a bit fine because I will be a few days away from retrieval at this point and we need to do a few things with them before it’s approved. *nerves*

A few days after we finalized everything my clinic called me to tell me that my insurance counts an egg retrieval and a fresh transfer as a cycle. A frozen transfer is counted as a separate cycle. This means that I will have used up my lifetime limit of 2 cycles in one PGD cycle… *queue many many tears*… During this time two of my bestest friends from home announced their pregnancies…

It took me a few days to recover from the shock but I discovered Wachusett Blueberry Ale in this time as well. She helped me a lot :). Thank you, WBA!

Anyway, so I called my insurance to say “What the hell dude, this is how you repay me after 2yrs of loyal service?” then the nice lady was like “Whoa bro, you qualify for eSET.”

eSET: Basically, if you transfer 1 embryo in your first cycle and it doesn’t take, they give you a 2nd frozen embryo transfer for freeeeee!! Obviously, you have to have frosties to use from the first cycle and you have to transfer 1 on the free cycle as well.

The choice is ultimately up to us and our RE but it’s nice to know we have options. And also nice to know that a frozen embryo transfer without insurance is about $2500 sans meds and that price isn’t as awful as a fresh cycle. So we’ll let positivity reign as always. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have my WBA.

So, now I’m here. Finally. Cramping and happy. Waiting to start taking birth control pills for the first time in about 4yrs. And now that I’m relatively in the game now I’ll see if I can blog at least once a week. I mean really. I paid the $18 to get the .wordpress out of my blog name. I gotta use it right? riiiight…

PS. Sending baby dust to each and every one of you out there who’s struggling with infertility. xxx

A Momentary Lapse of Composure

I’m annoyed right now. I think writing is cathartic and I’m hoping that the following run-on sentences will help me process my emotions. So we went to our follow up appointment today and I probably got the wrong impression because I thought I would get my plan of action today and actually I was hoping I would have something tangible to grab onto so that I know that this actually happening. I hate being in this pre-ivf limbo. It’s infuriating.

Please excuse the bad grammar, spelling, swear words… Here goes:

so…

I honestly in my heart of hearts thought we’d go there and sign all the paperwork and pay them the fucking 2grand we owe them and get this shit going.

we drove 1.5hrs and the GD doctor got there HALF AND HOUR late and then all he did was tell us the results of our tests WHICH WE KNEW!!!! so we walk in there and he’s like oh these are your test results. yes mofo, you call us with all the test results as they you get them. I know this shit. where do I sign?

so he’s like okay you have 2 choices, donor sperm or ivf with icsi and pgd. yes asshole we told you we don’t want to do donor sperm. we’re doing the latter. where do I sign?

no no.. we’re going to set up another appointment with me for an hour so we can go through the paperwork…

uh this paperwork… that’s in front of us now?
yes…
*blink* …
and you have to meet with our pgd nurse to discuss your pgd plan….
uhh the plan that we discussed with the genetics counsellor that you referred us to who sent you the plan that you have in front of you right now…???

yes that plan but it’s with OUR nurse….

*blink*

oh and we can’t seem to find a day when I’m in the office and the nurse is in the office. hahaha it may be a few weeks til we see each other again to discuss things that you already know and possibly not sign anything cos we like to make you spend money for office visits.

okay doc, sounds good. we’ll let ourselves out. eat a dick.

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*breathe*
Okay… okay…
I’m more annoyed at myself for not questioning him more. I don’t know why I get angry about this stuff after the fact. He could see I was annoyed and said that I wouldn’t be able to start this month anyway because I have to wait for my period next month. so it’s a mixture of me having unrealistic expectations and my body only being ready once a month. fuck nature.
apologies for the quality of that gif. it's how I feel now lol

apologies for the quality of that gif. it’s how I feel now

*breathe again*
I need to regroup. This journey isn’t something you can plan it seems and if I’m this upset about the first not-even-real bump in the road then I have some big surprises in store. I actually have some other big things going on in my life right now. Two of which are 2 trips home to SA for 3 weddings. 1 at the end of November and then again next year July for another 2, one of which is my brother’s wedding which I canNOT miss. So I don’t really know why I was so hard up to start this month anyway, I would have to miss my brother’s wedding if I happened to get pregnant this year.
Okay, I’m okay now. That was just momentary lapse of composure… The fact of the matter is that aside from staying healthy and on top of things that are in my control, the rest is really up to the fertility gods. So whatever man. I’m not going to worry about it anymore… I’m going to try :).
In other news… I turned 33 on the 21st. I didn’t have a for real party because I think those days are over. But I play kickball in a co-ed league with some friends from work and afterwards we usually go for a drink which is really one of the best parts of the week for me. We just happened to play on my birthday so I just made everyone come out drinking with me afterwards and I made hubby and some other friends go too. I had the best time. The parts I remember anyway. For some reason my birthday makes me emotional when I see all the love I receive on the day. I love love love my birthday and this one was up there with the best. I feel like after 4 years of being in a foreign country I’ve solidified a fantastic group of friends whom I treasure and wouldn’t change for the world and the fact that they all came out to celebrate with me confirms that the friendship isn’t one sided (lol) and that really is the best part of every birthday. Knowing that I am loved and I have people I can call my friends… Yes, yes, my insecurity is showing :). Here’s a tiny collage from the night. The watermelon was a gift. One of the players is a farmhand. I love it.
[edit: picture removed for anonymity]
Thanks for letting me vent. Happy Wednesday and baby dust to all my ttc sisters! You’re all at varying points in your journey and I’m following you all closely and sending out positive vibes and well wishes and I’ll pray if you need me to pray.