Friday, December 31, 2010

You Can Close The Book On 2010, but Life Will Go On

Updates First -

Lupron Day 7:  No more bee stings. Nurse Jackie said to make sure the alcohol has dried before injecting. So I did that, kept the needle in for 5 seconds after pushing in the Lupron, took extra time this morning which resulted in no bee sting. However, I'm sure it'll bruise since I saw a little blood at the injection site. Still less painful than Repronex.

Lupron Bleed:  ohmygawsh this is a nasty "period". Cramps on steroids, I ruined my freaking sheets last night (sorry, TMI), I ran out of pads and had to buy some at 7am this morning on the way to work (yes we are working today which blows). I am not taking any Aleve or anything for the pain as it's still less painful than all of my miscarriages so I figure I can tough it out. Still though, AF is a raging beyotch right now.

Too early in the morning for buying pads -
the checkout lady gave me a strange look.
I looked at myself in the mirror in the car and realized my makeup
was all smudgy b/c my coughing made me tear I'm a mess.

Sick:  Did I mention I'm sick? My sore throat keeps me up at night (I try to swallow to calm my burning throat but I'm out of spit so I choke and wake up...classy, right?), I am now coughing and my voice is fading. Luckily, for now, I don't have the typical congestion that comes with a cold. I'm sure it'll show up later at a less convenient time. And no, I'm not taking anything for this either. I'm on too many meds as it is.

As for my 2010 wrap-up, I have though about how I want to address this task. I think I'll jot down some positives and negatives to the year, then what I hope for 2011 to bring. I'll keep it short.

Got pregnant.
Refinanced the house.
My marriage got stronger.
We found (and kept) a baby kitty.
We got a new/used SUV.
I changed my hair color.
I dressed better, less tomboy-ish.
We found an RE that we love.
DH and I got new jobs that are way better than the old ones we had.
We went to a RESOLVE conference.
We went to Arkansas.
We went to Minneapolis (twice).
We saw Idina Menzel in concert!
We got a blu-ray player, finally.
I've been committed to this blog, good times and bad.
I made so many bloggie friends this year that I wouldn't trade for anything. Honestly you ladies keep me sane and hopeful so thank you so very much.

Now to acknowledge the things that didn't go so well for us in 2010:
Miscarried baby #4.
Gained 10 lbs (I'm thinking the BCPs had something to do with that, at least a little).
Stopped talking to the last of my remaining IRL friends due to my IF and her being a Fertile Ho (thanks ~C~ for the term!)
I got laid off.
I had another lap surgery and was diagnosed with Endo.
Also diagnosed with Ovarian Dysfunction (I call it ovarian rebellion, personally).

Hm. That list is shorter than I thought it'd be. Maybe because I've been feeling so positive about this IVF cycle, I've stopped being such a Negative Nelly?

Well that's it. I've had four pregnancies. I've dealt with all of them. I'm making progress. I've stopped promising myself that "by this time next year" I'd be pregnant or have a baby. I'm living day by day and that's good for me. DH and I have been together 8 years now, married 3. Our marriage is so incredibly strong, and I'm thankful for that.

I'm done with this year. 2009 was much worse, so I'm glad I was able to survive this one without suffering too much damage.

Here's to next year and all the hope it brings! Cheers!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lupron Bleed...

....has commenced. It was amazing to feel "normal" for five seconds. If this is a Lupron Bleed, how is it different from AF? The cramping sure seems the same. But this time there was zero spotting; she flung that door open and threw down her luggage all at once.

Bi*ch. I hope she brought me presents this time...

But it's nice to see her so I don't have to worry when she'd show. Onto monitoring next Monday and one week till stims. I still can't believe we're this close!

I had a dream last night about doing the transfer. I remember walking into the room saying I had to pee but that they want me to have a full bladder, right? I'm nuts.

Also the bathroom remodel, as predicted, is not yet done. DH called me 4 times today with questions about what I want in there. My dad (a contractor) is leading the job but since it took 2 years to get the chimney out, we want to paint and put in new floors. Dad is saying we should get our new vanity first. Arrgh. I don't agree. I just want the holes in my floor, wall and ceiling to be closed up! I had to use the downstairs bathroom last night and I was not thrilled. Oh well. The cheaper we can get out of this whole thing the better.

Three Things, One Is Really Important

1. I got the bee sting again this morning. No reponse from Nurse Jackie but I figure I'm poking myself too close to my belly button. I'll go a little more south from now on.

2. I am now sick. I have a nasty sore throat and it feels like it's swollen. I had this many years ago and I'm not happy about it. I'll likely go to Acute Care after work for a rapid strep test. Anyone ever on meds during IVF? Not IVF meds, but sick meds?

3. Please please please go over to Jen's blog at Maybe If You Just Relax and show some support. She gave birth to her FET twins last night, Evelyn and Ainsley. Evelyn was the bigger twin but passed away last night. Ainsley was the smaller twin and is "holding her own" at Children's Hospital. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts.

That is all. Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lupron Day 5 - Hello Bee Sting?

Is this a normal skin reaction to a Lupron injection? sure it gets itchy but today, for some reason, THIS happened.

It looks like its gone away now but I did email Nurse Jackie to find out what's up with this reaction. I figure if she's not worried, then I won't be worried. I still haven't been putting band-aids on the injections; no point if they aren't bleeding.

I did go and buy some 3mg Melatonin at Target last night and started my 1x/day regimen of that along with my other meds/vitamins. I fell asleep around 10pm and woke up at 5:30 am, ready to go for the day. So I put together a pot roast in the crock pot with some potatoes and carrots. I think I'll make stew on Saturday too, just to have some easy meals.

Today DH is tearing out the chimney that runs from our attic, through our 2nd floor bathroom all the way down to the basement. Both our dads are helping. I was promised completion of the project today or tomorrow. While I love him, I doubt 100% that it will be done. We'll see I guess. It'll be nice to have 8-9 square feet more room in the bathroom but we'll need to get some linoleum in there. I wanted to redo the bathroom with tile and fancy walls, etc. We can't afford that as we are spending all our money on making a baby....fine by me. The bathroom could use a coat of paint and that's about it.

Life continues. I start stimming a week from tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lupron Day 4 - Love the 3dt v 5dt Debate!

Thanks for all the feedback ladies!  I'll first answer your questions:

Sarah: No I'm not on Medrol but I saw a long list of side effects that look rough.

~C~: How much Melatonin? I found 3mg and 5mg bottles and I'm wondering where to find some with Valerian Root? We have Walmart, Walgreens, Hartig Drug, Target, and HyVee here to choose from.

Now for the 'splaining I need to do:

I have a long-standing internal debate over transfer days. So many hypotheticals qualify one for a 3dt over a 5dt or vice-versa.

I suppose it's simply my personal fear. If we have oodles of embies that are solid at day 3 then I'd push for a 5dt with no AH as it wouldn't be necessary.

If we have a small amount then I'd want the 3dt to prevent any further risk by keeping them out of their natural environment (me).

But an embryo is typically in the fallopian tube by three days post fertilization so is it natural to put it in the uterus?

These are all rhetorical, internal arguments I have with myself. If we pull the trigger to soon (3dt) what if we transfer the abnormal embryos while the normal ones survive fine to day 5? If we wait too long then the embryos might not survive the extra two days in the dish.

See? Torture. I trust Dr. S and the embryologist, please don't get me wrong. It'll be a day by day thing and the best decision for myself and the potential baby/babies will definitely be made. We are just hoping to get to the point where we can have a transfer! :)

Lupron Day 4: last night I took 2 Benadryl and slept wonderfully. The Benadryl were approved by Nurse Jackie so no worries. She also said once I start stimming the Follistim will counteract the negative Lupron side-effects so I should be able to sleep.

We are so pumped that we will be stimming in 8 days and that we'll be in STL for the first monitoring appointment next Monday morning! So that's that. Just trucking along. I have some mini-bruising from the Lupron shots but really they don't hurt that bad so I'm not complaining. The itching lasts about 10 minutes and that's all.

Laughing moment of the day:  remember that scene in "Home Alone" when Kevin goes in the basement and the furnace is really scary and every time he sees it it is big and frightening? That's what I see when I pass the PIO needles. They're HUGE!!!!



Monday, December 27, 2010

Lupron Day 3 - Last Day of BCPs - Noticing Side-Effects

I'm still not afraid to do the injections. I think the built up belly fat has helped prepare me for this experience.

However, I think I slept no more than three hours last night and no, they weren't consecutive hours. I gave up caffeine yesterday. At 12:30 pm today I could no longer stay awake so I had a diet pepsi with caffeine. Did I just screw up my IVF cycle? I trolled the internetz for info about taking Benadryl during the Lupron phase of IVF because I have GOT TO SLEEP. Mainly? I'm driving myself to and from work and don't want to fall asleep and crash. I work all day and need to be functional. I need to stay on some kind of sleep schedule. I'm willing to throw all that out the window for a baby, but not when I don't have one.

Also, I've had wicked mini-cramps for about 2 weeks now so I think its BCP related and not the Lupron's fault.

I can't believe that I can now say that next week I start stimming (barring any poor blood test results or AFC on Monday). In 3 weeks I should have my retrieval. In 3 1/2 weeks I should be PUPO.

Ah time flies. I figure I'm in a constant 2ww. Right? DH and I will have sporadic conversations about how excited but incredibly terrified we are for this IVF. Sure I could get pregnant, but what will keep me pregnant? Prednisone and Heparin with PIO injections and baby aspirin? That's our kitchen sink strategy with Dr. S.

Well then, onto Lupron Day 4 tomorrow.

Thoughts ladies:  if you were in the position to choose, would you do a 3 day transfer with Assisted Hatching or go for a five day transfer? We're transferring 2 (if we even have that many) embryos no matter what but I've been researching both options for months and I'm becoming quite torn! If we didn't have this one shot, I'd be less anxious about it. Help?

Thanks for the support and comments - you make my day!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Lupron Day 2 - What Needle?

Other than the itching for 10-15 minutes post-injection, Lupron hasn't been bad at all. I've had a difficult time sleeping because I'm used to taking a couple Benadryl at night which knock me out but Nurse Jackie told me I should stop those when I started injections.

So I'm surviving just fine; and I'm not even using a band-aid after the injections. I can't find the injection site to put the band-aid on so I figure there's no point. And for the masses, I don't have cook bandaids like "Scooby Doo", they're just regular old band-aids. Though when I get blood drawn I really do request a fun band-aid and a sticker. Seriously. They think I'm so weird. But recently the blood draws were for dropping betas or blood tests with double-digit vials. I figure I'm owed a cool band-aid and sticker. Last time I got a Crayon band-aid and a Sponge Bob sticker. DH made fun of me. But it made me feel better when my arm bruised up.

And that's it. Christmas was relaxing. DH and I hung out and then went to Tron: Legacy last night. Great movie, very enjoyable. DH got me a Hawkeyes Snuggie and some pajama pants (fuzzy cupcake pants). I got him some mens stuff from Bath and Body Works and some Wii boxing gloves. We kept the price limit to $20 but I think we each went over by about $5.

A lot less stress and worry compared to years' past. I'm trying to keep calm as we get into this IVF cycle because I figure the less stressed I am, the better. So the Lupron is going well and we head to STL next Sunday for our first monitoring appointment. We're so excited!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas - Lupron Has Begun!

First of all, thank you all so much for all of the support and advice!

DH and I got home from his parents house around 1 am, finally fell asleep around 2am. Bella woke me up at 6:15 am, so I went to the bathroom, tried to fall back asleep, then she woke me up at 6:53 am right before my alarm was going to go off for the 7:00 am injection.

I got it all drawn up and ready to go; it was just like the Repronex injections except I didn't have to mix anything which was really nice.

Once I was ready to stick myself, I got all wussy and kept staring at it. Then...and I couldn't make this up, Bella spit out a tooth. I picked it up, then stuck myself. I barely felt the shot go in and I pushed the plunger, then pulled out the needle 1/2 way and waited 5 seconds like I was instructed. I even put on the bandaid but I don't know if I even got it on the injection site. I can't believe I was so scared of it.

So Bella's tooth. I wasn't sure if she broke it or if it fell out naturally or what. Later today she spit out another one. She refuses to let us look in her mouth so we can only hope she is losing baby teeth. I'll call the vet on Monday.

Otherwise, the shot kinda itched afterwards and I felt nauseous when we got up later, but I'm fine and these should be easy. But it is day one, so we'll see. Stims start in less than two weeks!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tick Tock - Random Stuff - Anything Else Gonna Happen?

Three topics for this post - I'll try to keep them short:

1. Less than 48 hours till I stick myself with a needle and inject 20 units of Lupron into my non-abs. In a parallel way, millions, nay, billions of children are also counting down the hours in anticipation of Christmas Day and the gift opening that will occur. It's nice to look forward to Christmas morning again. It's been a long time. Nurse Jackie told me I could prep all of my injections ahead of time and stick them in the fridge so that I don't have to mess around with them at 7:00 am every day. Thoughts on this? It doesn't seem too hard to draw up some Lupron, wipe a spot, stick myself, and throw away the needle in my cool red biohazard container. Has anyone pre-prepared their Lupron injections?

2. I watched the season finale of sixteen and pregn.ant this week. You know it took me till probably this past spring to be able to watch any of that stuff, tee.n, etc. Now I'm practically addicted to it. Call me Captain Masochist. While I sit and judge the fertile kiddos, I rub salt in my wounds of jealousy. Sick, no? But the season finale has affected me so I decided to follow that young lady's blog (one she's had since she found out she was pregnant way back in May or June of 2009. It'll be on my blog roll if you want to check it out. I won't say how it's affected me, just that I want to see what happens in her life.

3. And finally, I'm starting to feel a bit paranoid. I know of the theory that bad things come in "threes". Last week: financial hiccup. Sunday: dryer quits. Other than my cat(s) insistence on peeing everywhere and once in awhile we find a pile of puke in the house....we're looking for the third "bad" thing to happen so we can get it over with. I don't want a cycle cancellation or bfn to bet the third thing, you know? I bruised my knee last Saturday night...I wonder if that'll count? DH scraped his finger last night at Walmart. On some cardboard. Yeah, what a lawsuit waiting to happen. *chuckle*. He acted like his finger was going to fall off. He has a cold and acts like he's gonna die. Any of these qualify? I keep looking over my dang shoulder. I had a dream/nightmare last night that our Traverse got totaled. I hope that doesn't happen. I better drive safely over the next week while DH is off (school break).


43 hours and 34 minutes.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cha Ching!.....Lupron Tips Anyone?

Barring some kind of stupid failure by my body to cooperate with the protocol.....this thing is happening! The payment has been made, we have our receipt, and we're doing IVF for sure!

I had this halting feeling today, looking at that receipt, that this feels like we've taken every cent we've saved and we're risking it all. Ever seen the movie "Rounders"? It's one of our favorites. We used to play a lot of poker in college. Ahh the crazy stuff we did back then....anyways, basically Matt Damon's character puts all of his money (and some borrowed money) on this one shot to win it all.

See the confidence? That's how I felt about IVF till today...

This sure feels like one shot to us. We talked today about how scared we are; while making that payment was a big weight off our shoulders, the impending fear is feeling even worse. Sure, positivity never hurt anything. I know I can get pregnant. I did that 4 times. My body just kicked them all out before they could grow much. I believe in this protocol and the Prednisone and the Heparin....I trust this doctor. Besides, we agreed today that should this fail and if we can't afford to do an FET right away (hopefully we have frosties to do an FET), we can do IUIs in the meantime. Just to keep me sane I suppose.

And what ARE the odds in Vegas? Poker, slots, roulette, horses....I'd rather have a 50-60% (typical IVF odds) chance of "winning" than some of the odds out there.

Also, I'm a moron and didn't write anything down during our shots lesson because I thought I'd get a ton of hand-outs for the injections. We got one for the PIO which will be super-helpful, but I'm suddenly panicking because I didn't take notes. I remember what she said and I'm going to type it up now.

But do you ladies have any suggestions (let's start small) for the Lupron injections? I start them this Saturday at 7:00 am (no sleeping in on Christmas? Wah.) and they'll continue till I trigger, I believe. I have heard all kinds of things about Lupron: the injections sting, I'll get headaches and mood swings, etc. Any tips for the actual injections or how to handle the side-effects? 20 units a day is quite a bit....will that amount equal lots of pain for me? Just curious and I'd love to hear what you all have to say!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday...Payment Day...4 Weeks To Retrieval

I know, right? 4 weeks to ER? 4 1/2 to ET? DH and I are getting sooooo excited! We are continuing to stay positive that this IVF will work because any negativity makes us hesitate to do this and we can't hesitate any  more. This is it!!! :)

So here was our weekend:

Saturday morning - the spotting turned red. Not rusty, not dark red, but red. The time had come to start the double-dose of BCPs. I now take them in the a.m. with food and in the p.m. with food. I alerted Nurse Jackie as well. Hopefully this spotting will stop now. The cramps have been pretty painful though. The kind that kind of buckle your knees and make you gasp. Yeah. That much fun, people.

Saturday - DH's mom's side Xmas at a local hotel. There are way too many people (and kids) to have Xmas at his grandparents' house anymore. The event in a word? CHAOS. Those kids aren't parented very well sometimes and just wreak havoc wherever they go. Can't wait to be a parent to show them how its done. (man that sounded snobby and judgemental. but you should have seen it; they were destroying stuff at the hotel and no parents were even blinking at the misbehavior. they were too busy chatting with other adults and drinking beer.)

Saturday evening - my family's first ever "Sweet Swap". I made the cake balls. They were a hit! I forgot to take pictures. Sorry...we played "Scene It - Movie Edition 2."  DH and I were on a team and won 2 out of 3 games. I'm just pretty awesome at those kind of games. Don't ask me to do math under pressure though. I suck at that.

Sunday morning - tried to sleep in, unsuccessfully. Lounged around till 10 am. DH went downstairs to rotate laundry and lo and behold....the dryer that came with the house stopped working. Panic ensued, phone calls were made to parents for help on how to fix it. We determined the cost of repairs wouldn't be worth it so we decided to buy a new dryer. We have had issues with the washer too (also came with the house) so we ended up just buying a new set. Not at all what we'd wanted to do with our Sunday, much less with our money, but it'll all be okay. Our new set will arrive this Thursday.  Here are pictures of our new washer and dryer (Whirlpool Cabrio models):

The reviews are split, some love the models, some hate them. I guess they're super energy-savers with "h.e." technology and we'll have to re-learn how to do laundry, but still, not a bad deal and they're way bigger than what we've ever had. Plus we got the 5 year warranty that covers parts and repairs. Totally worth it.

Finally, we relaxed last night watching "Shrek Forever After" (okay in my opinion) and "How To Train Your Dragon". I fell asleep in the first 5 minutes of HTTYD and napped for about 45 minutes. I was so tired.

Otherwise, I start Lupron shots in less than 5 days! Whoo hoo!  Also today I'll be calling the clinic and making the GIANT payment over the phone. We can't wait to have that done so we're paid up and we know this is all going to happen.

And just for anyone who wants to know, I have orders for labs to be drawn 4 times during monitoring.

1/2/11 - E2 (estradiol) and LH (lutenizing hormone)
1/3/11 - Ultrasound
1/9/11 - E2
1/10/11 - Ultrasound
1/11/11 - E2
1/12/11 - Ultrasound
1/13/11 - E2 and P4 (progesterone)
1/14/11 - Ultrasound

They might add more but in the meantime this is the schedule we have been given. The days I get blood draws I'll do them in Iowa and then that night we'll leave for STL and by the time we arrive for our 8:45 am ultrasound appt, the blood test results will be reviewed and addressed as needed.

I start stims on 1/6/11. Can you believe it? 2 1/2 weeks till stims!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Its Thursday...Life Continues

A couple of things today ladies (and possibly hidden gentlemen that I'm unaware of...):

- Thank you for all of your support this week, it has been immensely helpful!  No hiccups with the clinic and we are making our IVF cycle payment on Monday...FINALLY. I can't wait to finalize all of this since Lupron injections begin in 8 days and 15 hours! Financially we are back on track, but I'm basically grounded from spending any money outside of bills right now. Trust me, it's 100% self-imposed. And deserved. No worries, I have a 4 lb bucket of Red Vines at home waiting for me for comfort. And a billion cake balls to make tonight and tomorrow. First-timer here. I'll try to take pictures tonight!

- An attorney I work with, who is a very nice older gentleman from NY (though I'm not sure that age or birthplace has anything to do with this) just said, "I don't know. That sounds a little queer to me."  I can't remember the last time I heard that word used in its proper context of, "odd or strange". How refreshing in this day and age of hatred and prejudice. I just thought I would share that with you.

Here is some TMI. You are welcome to skip below if you are not interested. It will not hurt my feelings:

- I have been on BCPs for exactly 4 weeks and 1 day now and only taking the active pills. I am technically on CD32 (I had to count those days up on the calendar to be sure) and my body is demanding that I have a period. I swear. The mood swings, the deep desire for all things sugary, salty and chocolatey (is that a word?). Also, the spotting and cramping kind of tipped me off. Nurse Jackie told me that if I begin bleeding and it is red, I'll need to double up on the pills by taking 1 in the morning and one at night, both with food. I take one at night right now with all of my other pills, just for the record. Sunday I was crampy. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I had pink/brown CM. Today I am SUPER crampy and have had the strangest stuff go on but I haven't had a full-on red bleeding session. It's like I'm in the middle of a raging AF based on my cramps, but at the same time the "output" is more like only the stuff I get at the beginning and the end of an AF: pink, rusty and brown. I have been keeping Nurse Jackie in the loop and find myself amazingly unashamed about emailing her about my CM color. Unreal. Am I so deep in this IF stuff that I'm okay with putting all of this in an email and sending it to a nurse? A woman who hardly knows me? Oh well. For this kind of money I'd tell just about anyone the details of what's coming out of my "muffin". Lol....Lady Gaga. Glee. Idina. Too funny. Her concert was great, but you had to be there. Lol...

Back on track, I guess I'll just deal with the cramps and the continued pantiliners. But have any of you ladies had breakthrough bleeding with the BCPs for IVF? Trust me I'm not panicking because I was given a plan for everything (right up my alley for my Type-A personality) it's just that I was hoping I wouldn't bleed at all. It reminds me so much of when I was pregnant and would constantly check the tp. So strange to be on BCPs and hoping I don't bleed when I did the same thing while pregnant. Sigh....

And for some fun, I thought I would continue with the laughs - here are some more random funnies that I've enjoyed lately:

I have been enjoying for some time now and this was on it.
I know I'll sound old or something but...what is "Four Loko" Drunk?
I haven't been a drinker for 3 years so I'm a bit out of the loop.
Also I'm a novice at FB. And no I'm not FB Friends with my parents.
They barely know how to use their laptop.

I am SO glad they don't have these here.
Could you imagine the IFers being tempted by these during the 2WW? My goodness....


Um...are the inflatable decorations weight down the house? It looks like its sinking.


Aaaand where's the house? There's America for you. No wait.....HERE'S America for you:

I'm quite sure she is a "fertile". And is quite lazy. Or in a hurry?
I still don't know what to think about this one.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Other Shoe - Not A Dealbreaker

Well I thought things were going too well.

On the fertility clinic front, I received all the paperwork I'd been worried about. They are completely in line with what we were looking for and when we go for our first monitoring appointment on 1/3/11 we will sign them at the clinic. Next Monday we will be making the IVF Cycle payment. Unfortunately, the cost of embryo freezing was not something we'd budgeted for from the start. The remainder of the money we need will probably be available next week but most likely not until 12/31/10. Yup. New Year's Eve. The last day of the year to make a payment. I don't even know if they're going to be open that day. But it will probably come down to sending a check in the mail that week and post-dating it for 12/31/10. Not much else we can do I guess. We really don't want to put it on a credit card.

Here's the other shoe - other than this paperwork stuff, things had been going along just fine. Until last night. It came to our attention that I had made a major budgeting error for one of our checking accounts. Long story short, that's where our embryo cryopreservation funds are going right now instead of with the big payment to the clinic all at once. I'm not perfect. I do not have any addictions and I'm extremely proud of that. However I did not monitor that account properly and at the end of the day we have to move some money around to fix my screw up. I did not sleep at all last night and I was the phone with a couple of banks this morning fixing everything. This all was so avoidable. It's not the end of the world, it just puts us in a holding pattern for about 2 weeks. Sucks but we can and will get through it. This other shoe was a necessary wake-up call for me and it won't stop or prevent this IVF cycle from going through as planned.

Here's the thing:  if DH pulled this stunt, I would be up his butt in a flash and basically becoming super-bitch by coming down on him so hard.

How did DH react to my fcuk up? With hugs, a smile, telling me he was disappointed and that he doesn't want to have to take over all of the money and bills, etc. He told me it'll all be alright, that he knows I won't let this happen again, and that he's happy that I was 100% honest with him from the start instead of hiding it because other couples have problems and by hiding them it makes the marriage weaker.

I still can't figure out how I got so lucky to marry such a wonderful guy. Sure he's not perfect, but after last night I felt like I didn't even deserve someone who treats me so well when I push him so hard all the time. Perhaps the wake-up call wasn't just financial but emotional as well. I've got to stop nagging him and instead I need to focus on being a better wife. I think I've been a brat lately and been feeling so sorry for myself that I've taken too much out on him and probably made him feel unloved, unattractive and unworthy. I'm going to do so much to make that right.

In the meantime, I get to do zero shopping for myself and we have to severely budget for the next 2-3 weeks. Stupid, stupid Christa. When will you learn?

I leave you with how I've felt the last 21 hours:

Also I came across this one which was kind of strange...

And because I became distracted and tried to cheer myself up, I looked up "fertility fail" and found this which I've seen before but it still makes me shake my head:

I showed this to DH several weeks ago and all he could say was, "Man I wish THAT was our problem."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Feeling Better - Update On Fears *UPDATE

Thank you so much ladies! I agreed with all of you and your support really helped me not feel so crazy...

After I posted yesterday I emailed the manager at the clinic and expressed my concerns. I did include that we have appreciated the fact that the clinic has not made this all about money and their rules as the other clinic did in April. She answered all of my questions and re-sent me the fee schedule/contract for treatment. It did not include anything about their refund policy (there are policies in place which we agree with where we'd be refunded if the cycle is cancelled due to poor response or other reasons). After exchanging more emails, here is where we are at:

We got the total amount that we owe right now. We were also told that it will cost an additional $500 for them to freeze and store any embryos for one year. I still need to find out if we'll be refunded the $500 if there are no embryos to freeze or if they fail to freeze.

Also, I requested that they send us anything else that we'll need to sign, such as paperwork during the procedural parts of the cycle. We'd like to review them while we're somewhat lucid as we know that when we're in the middle of cycling we will likely be either out of it or super-stressed. Since we live hundreds of miles away, we want to be fully prepared as both our time is just as valuable as the clinic's time.

Finally, I asked for a contract or revision of the fee schedule to include the refund policy. I explained that the money we're paying them for this cycle is all that we have and we would feel comfortable having everything on paper (and not in email exchanges). I

'm expecting all of this to happen and for us to go through the cycle. However I will be requesting either an in-person meeting or a conference call with the people in charge regarding the process of becoming a new patient and the flow of the IVF cycle including meetings about billing policies and contract signings. Honestly they need to understand that the PATIENTS are the ones with "everything to lose" and they must realize that not only is our physical and emotional care important (which they treat extremely well) but our financial care must also be a priority. It has felt like they are trying not to inconvenience us whenever we visit by having us stay too long, but we travel there for the distinct purpose of getting everything taken care of that day. Imagine if we were flying there from a further distance? Why wouldn't we want to meet with everyone we could meet with while we were there?

Am I nuts ladies? Have I asked for too much? Do you think I'm out of line? Nobody has been rude or anything and I know they are trying to do what they can but it seems like their patient load has exponentially increased and they almost are too busy to cater to everyone now that they are so full of patients.

I emailed the only nurse they have yesterday because AF was starting to show up even though I'm on BCPs and I was worried about it; I asked if I should double-up on the pills. I still haven't gotten a response but I should call too. I just don't have time while at work and it's a cell phone/long-distance call...luckily it's just been cramping, nasty mood swings (I feel like a freakin' toddler because I was throwing mini-tantrums last night), and light pink/brown CM. So I didn't take 2 pills and I'm just chillin' with my pantiliners till something happens.

Overall we still love this clinic and want everything to go ahead as planned. We're 10-ish days from starting Lupron and I have all my meds ready to go. We just need to sign off on that check but we don't want to till the paperwork (the fee schedule with the refund policy at least) is done. And with a deadline of payment for the cycle plus the freezing/storage fee needing to be in prior to our first monitoring appointment (though it needs to be before the end of the year for our tax purposes), time is quickly running out for them to get this done. I really hope we don't have any bumps in the road.

*So I got impatient and called the clinic to speak with the business manager. I found out why we're so off-track: we thought there would be a meeting while we were in STL with the clinic regarding costs, contracts, etc. The business manager mistakenly thought we'd already had the meeting so she didn't set one up or have one with us last Monday when we were there. I never said anything about wanting a meeting because it seemed so busy and I got flustered. I hate seeming like the bitchy, demanding patient and I guess I figured that we'd have that discussion via phone or email as they were too busy last week and if it was important, they would have had us do it then, right? Right.

Well the manager and I discussed the "missing paperwork" and apparently we were supposed to have it already. She explained what was in the documents and what kind of contract-signing protocols they have, etc. She even went over embryo freezing and storage, and what happens after the first year. I agreed with all of their policies and rules she outlined for me. I just wanted to have the paperwork in my hands to read myself. She will be sending it all ASAP and was extremely apologetic. 

So I feel even better now; I emailed the update to DH who I'm sure will completely relax...though I've been the uptight one the whole time. Hmmm. As it stands now we just need get that paperwork and I believe she will be emailing me the fee schedule to sign and send into the clinic. We'll likely make our big payment by the end of this week or next Monday, plenty of time before the deadline.

I hope I can sleep tonight!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Nightmare That Has Me Freaked Out

I had a nightmare on Friday night. Maybe it was because DH was gone hunting and I was sleeping alone. Maybe it was because I didn't take Bena.dryl to help me sleep. I dunno. But here goes:

I dreamt that DH and I and dozens of other couples showed up at the STL clinic for Embryo Transfer day. DH and I got into the room and Dr. S and Nurse Jackie were there. I asked for the Fertilization Report as I hadn't had one yet and how many eggs they'd gotten in the retrieval. Then I realized I didn't remember having the retrieval but it must have been because of the anesthesia. Dr. S said we had 5 embryos. I asked how that could be because we hadn't even stimmed yet. He said everything was fine and that we were transferring all five embryos that day. I got even more upset because I knew that without stimming and medications that they couldn't have retrieved five mature eggs from me. I then realized that they got five immature follicles with the eggs also being immature. Therefore it was impossible that they had five of MY embryos to transfer. I couldn't figure out whether they were transferring someone else's embryos or if they were going to fake the transfer. Dr. S and Nurse Jackie got really mean and pushy so DH and I ran out of the room and yelled to all the couples that the clinic was a scam and all they wanted was your money and to run. Couples started running out of the building and Dr. S and Nurse Jackie threatened us...I can't remember if they said they had a bomb or that they would ruin our lives, etc. It was a dream. Anyways, I remember sobbing in my nightmare, begging DH to forgive me for finding that clinic, for the waste of money it was for him to withdraw all of his retirement money for our one shot at a baby.

I couldn't get the fear and anger to dissipate after I'd woken up. I went on with my day and got in a pretty good mood. But that heavy feeling of fear and impending disaster has been hanging over me ever since my nightmare. I told DH about it, all the details I could remember and he laughed and said everything will be fine. I asked him if he regrets or has any doubts about the clinic or Dr. S or Nurse Jackie. He said absolutely not and that at any time if he had disagreed he would have said something. He reminded me that we are using all of his retirement money on this so he does care, a lot!

I only took Intro to Psych in college and that was a LOOONG time ago (okay 7 1/2 years since the class) but still. About 1/4 of my lifetime ago. I'm trying to analyze why I would be so scared about using this clinic.

Here's what I've come up with:

DH's money came in on Friday and all I need to do is call the clinic and pay the remaining bill over the phone. It's a huge bill and I still haven't had a conversation with anyone as to what will happen if the cycle is cancelled or if we'd get any bit of a refund for a cancellation due to poor response; or if the transfer is cancelled because all the embryos arrested, etc. The other IVF clinic we met with spent over an hour going over what financial protocols were in place. This clinic seems just a bit too relaxed and it really concerns me. I haven't signed any paperwork yet, no contract or agreements. I just paid a $500 deposit for the January 2011 cycle and that was it.

All of this is such a humongous risk for us and I don't feel like the financial aspect is being taken as seriously by the clinic as my health. Isn't it strange? The other IVF clinic cared more about our money than about personalizing my care, and at this clinic its the extreme opposite. I did receive an invoice from this clinic's billing company but it was for about $400 less than what we are supposed to owe at this point and when DH and I were in STL last Monday, the billing person told us that amount might be incorrect and when we call to pay she'll review our account balance.

Ladies, do you have any thoughts on this? Any advice? I'm avoiding calling the clinic because I'm so nervous that the other shoe (which we haven't seen for awhile) will drop. In the meantime, I'll just send an email to the billing person at the clinic and copy Nurse Jackie and share my concerns. Maybe the answers will help me to calm down a bit.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Life Updates (with pictures!)

Though I've been pretty consistent in blogging recently, I thought that I'd put down some thoughts about how life is going these days for me.

*Last week, I moved from a small, windowless but nonetheless the nicest office I've ever had to myself at a job and moved into a lovely office with a huge window. I'll just say that some of the secretaries, who have been at the firm for decades, were none too pleased that some chick who's been a paralegal for 9 months just got a corner office. I have chosen to ignore the negative nellies and just enjoy something good happening in the workplace for once.

*DH and I have been getting along quite nicely. We spend FAR TOO MUCH time together as I have zero friends IRL that I hang out with and sometimes he gets on my nerves and I snap at him. It reminds me of when Milo (our middle, gray kitty) hisses at Bella (our 4 1/2 month old kitten) for bugging him. But I"ve been trying to pick my battles with him.

*Our Traverse we bought in September has been handling the Iowa winter weather quite nicely thus far. I've never driven or owned an All-Wheel Drive vehicle before and it's been so great! We drive 25 miles to work and then home again each day so having a safe vehicle in bad weather is a nice luxury.

*DH sent me flowers last Friday at work as a surprise for my new office. He'd also sent flowers the day after our wedding anniversary last month. Very sweet. The co-worker ladies are quite jealous.

*After Milo's obsession with peeing on my stuff all the time seemed to have subsided recently, Jack, for the first time in his life, has started marking our stuff. Mainly our drapes. I took one of the needle-less syringes (still in the packaging) and sucked up some of the pee that was on the top of the carpet for a sample to give the vet tomorrow when Bella goes in for her 4 month shots. Pee samples are usually hard to come by for cats but when they choose to pee outside the litter box, you can get a 1/2 CC. Nice.

*Bella has been eating not only her own soft food but also the soft food I give to the boy cats. Thus she threw up two giant piles of puke on my pillow Wednesday night and then had a nice liquid barf in the same night. The gross part? I was sleeping through the puke piles incident and they were inches from my face for an unknown period of time. The liquid barf happened when her upchucking sound got so loud I heard it over my earplugs and the box fan I have running next to the bed at night. I stuck my left hand out in front of me to feel out which cat was doing it and she barfed all over my hand and my awesome fluffy robe I leave on the bed at night. Needless to say, DH and I woke up at 1-ish a.m. to address the nastiness of a puke-a-thon from our kitten all over the comfortor, my robe and my pillow. The best part? It soaked through the pillow. Yeah. Nasty.  Soft food with "tuna" feedings have been temporarily interrupted/suspended for the time-being. Bella gets a small spoonful in the morning and at night. The boys get a small spoonful of mushy Friskies soft food at night when Bella is not in the room. They will not be getting their delicious Meow Mix tuna soft food in little yellow cups for awhile.

Side-note: I will be declining tuna sandwiches for an indefinite period of time. (Shudder....)

So that's about it. DH will be hunting tomorrow about an hour north of home with my dad and brother. I will be home but will take Bella to the vet plus Jack's pee sample. Then I'll probably clean the house a little and have food ready for DH when he gets home. We have bowling league tomorrow night and then Sunday will be frigid cold here with a high of 2. Yes, TWO DEGREES FARENHEIGHT. So I'll be in my sweats, watching tv and chillin' with my kitties.

By the way, yes I'm in a league. Yes I have my own bowling ball and shows with a matching bag. That stuff was my Christmas present from DH 2 years ago. What is my average? It has fluctuated between a 98 and a 124. Yes I am terrible. But I look like I know what I'm doing when I pull out my own ball and At least it's exercise people. And I won't be bowling once I'm stimming so tomorrow is my last night bowling since there's no league for Christmas and I'll be stimming 2 weeks after Christmas weekend!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Time Continues To Pass

I've been kind of bummed this month because my due date for pregnancy #4 is coming up at the end of the month. The other bloggers out there who got their BFPs when I got mine are about to pop and I guess I'm just sad about that. Of course I'm happy for them, but at the same time I was so looking forward to our Christmas or New Years' baby.

At the same time though, we're really getting excited for next month. 5 1/2 weeks until the projected retrieval...6 weeks till the transfer. I get to start sticking myself with needles in 2 weeks and 2 days. What a great Christmas present!  I started the second pack of BCPs last night too and go to see that I wasn't even going to be finishing the whole pack so that was neat. I have a great routine at night - I take my prenatals, chewable baby aspirin, Folgard and birth control pill right before bed. I find that taking them at night helps with the nausea I seem to get from taking pills.

Dr. S talked with us as to why I'm on the Long Lupron protocol. They really want to take control of my ovaries and my body as a whole because, like my personality, it likes to do what it wants, not necessarily what it should. So with the 5-ish weeks of BCPs plus the Lupron at the end of the BCPs, my body is reproductively being shut down and then restarted. Like what I do with my laptop when it's being a brat. Kind of. But I've done a lot of research on why Lupron is introduced and overlapped with the last few days of BCPs. It's essentially a recruitment period when those two hormone treatments kind of wake up the dormant ovaries and let them know that something big is coming.

I should have a bleeding period (not sure if it'll be full-blown AF like I normally deal with, which will be painful and at least 7 days long) once I stop taking the BCPs which will be on 12/27, two days after I start the Lupron. But the first monitoring appointment won't be till 6 days after I stop the BCPs so I should be nearly done bleeding by the 3rd of January, right? I just don't know.

I am kind of writing this post (and most others) as a journal entry for myself too, so that I can look back and remember what I felt, experienced and learned during this whole process. If we have a baby, then great because we'll be going back for a sibling later on. If not, then I can also look back to see what we did and ask specifically why it didn't work.

Here are my main fears at this point for the IVF cycle regarding my potential response to the meds:

- I usually got 1-2 follicles from Clomid. A lead follicle would jump out very quickly, usually by CD11 or CD12. What if my body is still stupid and decides to get a lead follicle again instead of doing what the 20 units of Lupron and the double dosages of Follistim are trying to make it do?
- What if I have tons of follicles but they're over-mature?

Hmmm. I'm starting to play the what if game. I should stop because I think I'll drive myself crazy too early in this process. I'm trying to limit my stress, even before I'm being injected 4 times a day. Man my belly is going to look (and feel) awful.

Finally, DH's parents offered to come with us for one of the monitoring appointments during the week we'll be driving back and forth every other day. They said they'd drive for us and let us rest. How nice, right? I think we'll be taking advantage of their offer.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We're Back! All Went Well

We had a nice long talk with Dr. S who let me ask my Type-A questions:

Why the Long Lupron Protocol for me?
What are your thoughts on the new Endo Stage I-II diagnosis?
Will DH need to give samples to be frozen prior to the ER?
What are your goals for me as we progress into the cycle?

That kind of stuff. He was great and answered all of my questions without making me feel annoying or crazy. He actually suggested that I should go to med school because he's trained a lot of residents and apparently I think and have the same verbalized thought process as those he favored.

DH thought that would give me an inflated ego because I was told on Saturday night at my firm's Christmas party that I should go to law school. I thought it was all pretty funny. Especially since we're spending all our time and money trying to have a baby. So that's why I laughed when Dr. S suggested med school for me.

We had our injections lesson with Nurse Jackie and that was really helpful. She answered some more of my questions and I feel really prepared for the whole thing.

Also, we found a great Chili's near the hotel which is only 3 miles from the clinic; and there was a Marshall's with a Home Good store attached so I got a bunch of stuff for our kitchen and some Xmas gifts for my nieces and nephews. It was awesome.

Funny story - at Marshall's I found these great fleece pajama pants that I've been wanting really badly; I bought one pair (XL) for $7.99. I got back to the hotel that night and tried them on and while they say they're adult XLs, they fit like "girls" XL. Hilarious, right? So DH and I go back to that Marshall's after the doctor's appointment and exchange them for 2XLs because I thought maybe they'd fit even though I don't wear that size normally. I just figured they'd run small.

Then we went to Waffle House (there aren't any in Iowa so we ALWAYS eat at WH when we travel now) and afterwards I put on my new 2XL pants in the car because I wanted to be comfy. Well, they fit alright. But what they gained in waist size, they lacked in length. Apparently anyone who wears 2XL pants is 5 feet tall. I'm 5'10". You can imagine the hilarity as I walked around the back of the car in my "capri's" while I looked for my regular sweats in my travel bag. Very embarassing but funny at the same time.

We set up our next appointments too so I updated my IVF Calendar on the side margin for you to see that at you leisure. I can't believe I start Lupron shots in 2 1/2 weeks! I'm even refilling my BCPs today!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Over The Hill And Thru The Woods To The Fertility Clinic We Go...

DH and I are about to leave for STL, can't wait!

I'll let you know how it goes....also there's snow here and I hear that it's much warmer (above freezing) "down south" in Missouri....yay!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I have a Google alert set for Idina Menzel. I was hoping to find out when she'd be going back to Glee, adding tour dates, etc.

48 hours ago, my phone (smartphone, I get emails, etc.) blew the hell up. Here is why:

Idina Menzel to Play a Single Mom on ABC

12/1/10 at 03:30 AM
ABC is developing an hour-long drama about a mother-daughter relationship starring Tony winner Idina Menzel. Menzel will play a single mother of a teenager who, to make ends meet, waits tables and performs at weddings and bar mitzvahs. Menzel may also return to Glee later this season, playing Lea Michele's mom.



And to think, I JUST saw her in concert 2 weeks ago. With her plans to act in and produce a show on ABC, when would she be getting a chance to tour anytime soon? Exactly. Like I told DH - probably a once in a lifetime opportunity to see her in that environment, venue, etc.


Love her.

Its FINALLY December - Will I Be PUPO in 7 Weeks?

That's right people. Six and a half weeks until the anticipated 3dt (w/ ICSI/AH) on January 20th, 2011. Now I know 100% that these dates may change, either forward or backward. But the RE's office set 1/17/11 as the ER date and the earliest transfer date would be 1/20/11. That's exactly 7 weeks from today.


Then, in about 8 weeks, give or take, I'll be POAS-ing ( way can I wait for a $10,000 beta result over the phone) and finding out if it actually worked!

In great news, Jessica over at The Night Is Always Darkest Just Before The Dawn is pregnant!!! She got her BFP a few days ago will be getting her beta results tomorrow! Please send congrats and good wishes her way...hopefully she's got one or two sticky embies in there!

She is a patient at the same clinic as me and since it's the first year they've been open and treating patients, we're kind of the freshman class. It's a little nerve-wracking, but at the same time, their success rates (which won't be published for 2 years per federal mandates) so far are incredible! 100% success in October!

So...I have tons of stuff to look foward to - including the last 4 weeks on BCPs, which starts tonight...Lupron injections which start on Christmas Day....and next Monday's appt in STL with Dr. S and Nurse Jackie (yes that is her name and she is my new favorite nurse ever; and that show is freaking awesome too). Last night I had a dream/nightmare that we went to the appointment and they didn't have me on the schedule, then I got moved around for the day and I forgot my Follistim Pen and meds for the injection lessons. Good thing I woke up and remembered that I am an over-planner who would never let that happen.

Current side-effects of medication regimen: zits, zits and more zits; increased appetite (I ate a whole Jimmy John's sandwich last night very quickly. That's never happened before); iffy libido (sorry if TMI).

Sure, maybe it's just me and not the BCPs. But I'm just noting it for now.

7 weeks! PUPO! Woot woot!

And, without further ado (and no long backstory, you're welcome) below is a picture of us taken last Friday when DH's side had family portraits done. I hate how I look b/c somebody said something dumb and I started to laugh (ahem, double chin). So I will post it here and not on a Christmas card. Oh well. Maybe next year we'll have a card to send out with pics of our baby/babies.


I Can't Control Everything | Desenvolvido por EMPORIUM DIGITAL