Monday, January 30, 2012

Beginning of Ivf cycle

This is what the beginning of an Ivf cycle looks like, birth control and baby aspirin!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Road to IVF

So we had our consultation with Dr. Sullivan on Thursday (1/12), it went really good but of course I always think of one million questions after I meet. Anyways, I found this really great website that explains the whole IVF process from me starting a new cycle to hopefully finding out that it worked. The article is called Understanding IVF Treatment Step by Step. It's helped me understand things a little better but I think I still need to make a phone call to talk to the IVF nurse to answer a few more questions.

Our percentage of IVF working is even greater than IUI, so I really hope it is successful...IVF is going to be the beginning of an end of an era for us, whether it works or not. I am of course still very hopeful that I'll be able to have my own children. One of the things we took from the meeting was that our percentage of having twins is now 50%!! This is super exciting for us. Within days of dating, Casey and I both talked about wanting twins. It's just something we've both always wanted. So maybe the reason we have to go through all of this is to get our twins...who knows. Of course we would be ecstatic to get one baby, but we'll be excited if we get two as well! Anyways, after all the scientific talk and what drugs I'll be taking and what not, Dr. S. talked about how well I've responded to the Follistim in the past (ie the reason we had to cancel the current cycle - I responded too well for IUI), so he thinks he'll be able to get 10 good oocytes out of me and about 70% will likely become embryo's. Dr. S. will transfer 2 embryo's into my uterus. This could leave 5 healthy embryo's leftover which will be frozen for possible future use. So if this IVF doesn't work or if we decide to have more children in the future, we don't have to go through all the hassle we've gone through this time. I would just have my body "tricked" again then when the time is right, embryo's would be transferred in. If we decide not to use them, we can have them destroyed, can give them to someone else we identify within the practice (huge hassle though as he pointed out, plus I don't know if I could let someone else have "our children"), or they can be donated to research which would be ideal for us if we don't use them.

Once I start my new cycle, I'll get started on birth control and then Lupron to trick my pituitary gland. Essentially, the doctor will have total control over my reproductive system. The meds he gives me tells my body what to do and when. Pretty crazy how we can take control over our bodies! Then I'll be back on Follistim and a new drug for me called Ganirelix. Then once Dr says it's time, I'll take the Ovidrel shot and have the egg retrieval done 36 hours later!! I'll get an IV of "Michael Jackson's favorite drug" Propofol (don't worry, it's a very safe form of an anesthetic when given safely and as prescribed) to put me to "sleep" while they retrieve the eggs. I'll then add another drug in there after retrieval (can't remember the name of that one right now)...this is a lot to remember!! Lol. Then, 3 days after egg retrieval, he will transfer 2 embryo's into my uterus. So after the embryo's are transferred, I will start the daily Progesterone (brand name endometrin) and have the dreaded two week wait to see if it worked. So stay tuned, this is a fairly long process. So that's what IVF is in a nutshell, the link above probably does a better job at explaining it than I have, but that's where we're at...

To end, in 7 days and 10 hours, we will be on that big bird to Las Vegas!! :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Got my progesterone today. Unfortunately won't need it this cycle, at least I'm prepared for next cycle!

An Emotional Roller Coaster

Wow, this week (only 3 days in) has been one emotional roller coaster that I certainly was not expecting!

Let's start with Sunday morning. I had an ultrasound (Day 13) to take a look at my ovaries to see how they were looking. Well the nurse starts on my right ovary, there are so many follicles in there, so she begins counting and measuring. After about 10 minutes of looking around on the right side, she goes to my left side, there are probably just as many on my left side. After another 10 minutes, and multiple pictures later, we are done with the ultrasound. I didn't get an exact count on how many follicles I have but it's easy from 15-20, ranging in all different sizes. Lately, I've had at most 5-6 follicles total. The one other time I had a lot of follicles, the doctor made the call to cancel my cycle to avoid Hyperstimulation. I feared this would happen again this cycle, but would have to wait and hear what my instructions were on the nightly tape (which I can listen to usually after 4:30 pm). The tape indicated to stop taking the Follistim and to come in Monday morning for bloodwork and ultrasound.

To move onto Monday morning, my ultrasound was scheduled to be at 7:15 am. I got called back by my "favorite" nurse (not really) because I forgot to ask for someone else. She begins looking at my ovaries via ultrasound. She is astonished at how many follicles I have, she saw I had many in my paperwork, but definitely was a shocker seeing it for herself. This ultrasound was very uncomfortable as it lasted about 30 minutes between the two sides. My ovaries are already feeling "full" and the added pressure does not help. In case you didn't know, all of my ultrasounds are done vaginally. So yeah, 30 minutes...not so pleasant! While in there, she takes lots of pictures of all the Follicles and doesn't even measure them, she's just concentrating on getting pictures of all of them. So when we're done, I go get my bloodwork done and wait to meet with the Doctor. It's usually not good when you have to meet with the Doctor at the spur of the moment. While I'm waiting, she's manually measuring the follicles from the pictures she's printed. I have a couple large follicles and the rest of them are smaller but growing.

Dr. Sullivan comes into the room and tells me that we basically have two options, pending where my estrogen level is at, which I'd know later in the day when the bloodwork results came back in. My two options were to stop the cycle because of too many follicles, or the other option was to convert this cycle to an IVF cycle. Since IVF is my next route anyways, we decided we'd go ahead with the IVF cycle as long as my estrogen level looks good. Around Noon I got a phone call from the IVF nurse, Kathy. She said we can go ahead with the IVF cycle. At this point, I'm excited but nervous at the same time, it was hard to wrap my head around all of a sudden doing IVF. Anyways, she explains that I'll need to take Follistim again that night and a new injectable drug called Ganirelix which even after reading about I'm still not 100% sure what it does. Unfortunately, I could not find this drug anywhere in our area, so I'd need to pick it up at the Doctors office in Snyder. So I called up my Dad to see if he could drive up there to get it for me, what a huge weight off my shoulders it was for him to go get that for me! Kathy continued to say that I would need to come up Tuesday morning for bloodwork and an ultrasound performed by Dr. Sullivan himself. So at this point, I'm excited about doing IVF right now and doing something unexpected at the time, hoping maybe it was a "sign" or something...

Tuesday morning, Casey goes up to the doctors with me. I walked in and had my bloodwork then went back for my Ultrasound. Dr. Sullivan started on my left ovary and started measuring. He sees lots of follicles, but noticed they didn't grow like he was expecting. Since they had me stop taking my Follistim Sunday night, that possibly backtracked me. When it was stopped, that was because my estrogen was high and IVF wasn't in the picture at that point. He continued onto the right side and saw the same thing, lots of follicles but not the expected growth. So now I'm bummed. I was all geared up to do IVF this week, and now everything this cycle might have been for nothing. All the shots, medications, bloodwork, trips to Buffalo, the emotional exhaustion...possibly could have gotten me absolutely no where. However, I do have to wait on the results of my Estrogen to see how that looks. If it's where they want, they'll look at me again tomorrow and make a decision. If it's dropped then the cycle comes to a halt and wait for the next cycle to I'm sitting here crossing my fingers, toes, legs, arms waiting for a phone call...

Welp, I just got the phone call from Kathy that we won't go forward with this cycle. I feel crushed. I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up. I'm not mad, I know it's for the right reason, I'm sad and emotionally exhausted. I know I have good things to look forward to though. We are having our IVF consultation on Thursday afternoon as planned. I'll learn more about it and what they do and get prepared for the next cycle. So I'll definitely have something new to look forward to. I'll still take the Ovidrel shot on Thursday evening to push my body into Ovulation so we can move forward. So that's what's happened the last 3 days. I'm spent. I cannot wait for our Vegas vacation!! I need it more than ever. Counting down, only 11 more days until we're there!! :-)

Monday, January 9, 2012


I've had blood drawn 4 out of the last 5 days, tomorrow I get more done...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year!

So I realize it's been awhile since I've done a new post about our journey, so I'm finally sitting down and writing one.

When I last posted, we were in a month of trying to get pregnant "the old fashioned" way ;) Well I got excited that cycle because it was longer than normal, I ended up going to Buffalo for a pregnancy blood test on a Saturday, thereby not receiving results until Sunday. I got a phone call Sunday morning that it was negative, and hours later my cycle started...hence, my body hates me! If only I'd waited another day, I would have saved myself the copay, gas money, and time to get a test I didn't need.

My next cycle, I went back to the treatment pre-surgery. I started out on the Femara pill, then took the Follistim shot, then the Ovidrel shot 36 hours before insemination. Since Casey is now laid off, he came to the insemination with me. That same morning, a fellow infertile friend had an insemination. I asked her how it went on my way to my appointment, and she told me that her's was horrid! She said it was very painful and that the nurse was very rough with her. I asked her to describe the nurse to me and it happened to be the same nurse that I once had and had a painful insemination with. Inseminations are not meant to be painful, they can be uncomfortable at times, but definitely should not be painful. As Casey and I waited in the waiting room, after 30-45 minutes (very unusual wait time), we were called back by that same nurse. My stomach instantly sank and I became very nervous. I was almost in tears knowing that she'd be doing my insemination. Well before the insemination, they do an ultrasound. This was a very uncomfortable ultrasound (which normally they are not), which made me even more nervous for my insemination. The insemination was long and painful. When it was time to leave, Casey talked to a fellow nurse and asked if there was anyway that I could chose to not have her again. It's not something they can put in our file (which is understandable) but when we checkin we can request to have a specific nurse or request to not have a specific nurse, thankfully. I'm already emotional about this whole thing, I need to be as comfortable as possible when having a catheter inserted!! I know most people would agree here!! Anyways, unfortunately a new cycle started two days after Christmas. Thankfully the day it started, I had plans to do lunch and shopping with a friend. That definitely helped get my mind off things for a bit. Thanks Lindsay! :-) Anything to take my mind off starting a new cycle is a good thing!!

So we're doing one more cycle of the same combination Femara, Follistim, Ovidrel and IUI. They've upped by dosage of Follistim this time, so hopefully that'll help! I've been monitored via bloodwork which checks the Estrogen levels. Ohh and I've given myself every single Follistim and Ovidrel shot in the last 2 cycles, go me!! (I guess it's not necessarily a good thing I'm getting good at these). The one I gave myself tonight kinda hurt, and so did last nights! I think the skin gets a little tender after a few days of the shots. So I have bloodwork tomorrow morning (Saturday) and I'm assuming I'll go back into the office on Sunday or Monday for bloodwork and ultrasound. I'm guessing my IUI will be somewhere between Tuesday and Thursday, my guess is it'll be Wednesday. Then we'll wait and see what happens.

In the meantime, on Thursday January 12, we have an IVF consultation with Dr. Sullivan. IVF is also known as In Vitro Fertilization. This will likely be the last thing we do to hopefully beat infertility. It is considered to be the most expensive and most intensive infertility procedure. My guess is that if this cycle's IUI is not successful, we will begin IVF. I don't know a whole lot about IVF, I mean I know they take my eggs and Casey's sperm and put them together to make an embryo and then insert 1-4 back into my uterus, but I'm not sure what meds I'll be on and how often I'll have to be monitored. I'm assuming the meds will be like the ones I'm on now, but my guess is I'll have to be monitored closer, therefore more ultrasounds and more bloodwork. I've found a couple links that describe the IVF process and it is very interesting. I'm really hoping it works. At least doing all this, I'll know that I've done everything possible to conceive my own child, and hopefully I'll have the piece of mind knowing that I did what I could do. One link I found is through the American Pregnancy Association it basically explains IVF in "Layman's" terms. Another link I found is a Youtube video that's a 3D animation of how IVF works.

So that's what's been going on with us! I'm still hopeful that we will get pregnant.

Onto fun stuff, we're going to Vegas January 21 through 28th, I absolutely cannot wait!! We definitely need a vacation to get away and to get things off our mind!! I really hope that Vegas will bring us some good luck!! Casey plans on doing some gambling, I might play a couple slot machines but that's about it! I'm more interested in seeing everything and shopping!! I can't wait to see all the ritzy stores that I dream about! :-) We will be taking a day to go to the Grand Canyon Skywalk, I've heard that it's breathtaking, I cannot wait to step foot onto the Skywalk and look down! Haha! And take tons and tons of pictures and use my new Flip video camera!! We're also going to visit the Hoover Dam as well. Hopefully we'll see a couple shows as well! I know that it'll be a busy week, but I can't wait!!

I'm still selling Miche Bags and loving it!! Definitely a great thing to get my mind off things and have some extra fun! I got a new website which is pretty awesome, check out My Website! Feel free to shop around and let me know if you have any questions! I'm looking for parties. I want to share the word on how awesome this product is! :-)

Anyways, thanks to everyone who's reading and offering their support. Since I've started writing my blog, I've received support from people I didn't realize I'd receive support from and it's been great! Writing has definitely helped me to express everything I'm feeling emotionally and to just get it out there! So Thank You!! :-) Happy New Year!