Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Friday!!

I just wanted to drop in and wish everyone a happy Friday and Happy New Years if I am not on before then. Our IUI is tomorrow at 11:00 with drop off at 9:30. Fun times! Also, I think I may have ovulated on my left side (where the humungo follie was) just now. I have only ovulated twice in the past 5 years so I am not really sure what it feels like but it was a twinging kind of pain that was off and on for about 3 minutes. I could almost feel my left ovary twinging. Very odd. Good thing we b'd last night in case I did ovulate from the side. Well, it's time for me to get back to work, there's nothing like the boss waiting until the last minute to get things out on a Friday!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holy Follies Batman!

Well, my follies definitely grew. I have one on the right that is 17.5, and one that is around 16. On the left I have one around 16 and one at 23! There was also another (I can't remember which ovary) that was 15. So I definitely do not need any more Follistim this cycle. Now we just have to wait and see whether my RE lets me go through with the IUI with this many follies. He is ultra-conservative when it comes to the number of follies. I am hoping that it is fine because there is three follies that are close to or over 18 and that is what they told me they were looking for to trigger. I will update when my nurse calls. Wish me luck!!
***Edited to Add***

Yay! My nurse called. She said trigger tonight and bd tonight (DH was excited to hear this) then schedule IUI for Saturday!! I am so happy! I consider this first IUI/Follistim cycle a success simply because we made it to IUI, and that is great for the first cycle! Hopefully now I will be able to relax! I didn’t ask about the exact follicle size or the E2 levels but it doesn’t really matter. Lastly, I want to say thank you to everyone who tried their best over the past couple of weeks to calm my nerves, especially Farah who has agreed to give me private therapy sessions via e-mail (just kidding)! I will definitely keep all of you updated. I promise, I am not always neurotic (although DH might disagree.)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holy Cow!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! Since I haven’t written since Friday I will try to update you on the events since Friday:

Saturday, CD 11: I went back to the clinic for another u/s & b/w. This was an interesting visit because we went to an office that we aren’t used to going to. This time there was an u/s tech and a doctor doing the u/s. The u/s tech would measure something and the doctor would tell her she was wrong. It was very uncomfortable to say the least. Anyway, the two follies I had were gone! My ovaries looked like a cd 3 u/s all over again. I was pretty upset to say the least. When the nurse called later that day she told me the doctor wanted to increase my Follistim dose from 75 iu to 83 iu (one click above 75 for those of you that have the pen.)

Monday, CD 13: Another u/s & b/w. This time I had two follies measuring at 12 each, one on each ovary.

Wednesday, CD 15: Today I went in this morning for another u/s and b/w. I don’t know the exact numbers but I will get them later. My lining was around 15 which is good. I had two follies on my right ovary at 15 mm and one around 14. I had a 16 on my left ovary and another 15 also on my left. So yay! My body finally decided to do something! I am not 100% sure about the numbers but I know that the right had a 15 and the left had a 16. I asked the u/s tech if she thought I had too many follies and she said no. She said hopefully the 15 and 16s will take the lead. Now I wait for the nurse to call me but they told me when I left that they will probably want me to come in tomorrow for another u/s. I am thinking that as long as these follies do not disappear like the others then we should trigger in a couple of days and have IUI by the weekend. I’m not really sure what size they are looking for to trigger so I will ask when the nurse calls later today. So, right now I am cautiously optimistic that we may actually complete a cycle. Also, I have decided not to ask for my E2 levels at every visit. It is causing me to obsess over it and I just don't see how it is helping me. I trust my doctor and I know that he wouldn't go forward if he didn't think it was worth it. So, I have decided to only as for my E2 levels right before trigger.

As for Christmas, I had an enjoyable time off of work. On Friday we had a little office get together an hour before closing time. My boss gave all the paralegals a $100 gift card to the mall. I though that was a nice addition to the nice bonus we got. On Saturday we had a family dinner. I made cheesecake and stuffed shells which were a big hit. I was nice to get together with family. We sang Christmas songs with the karaoke machine. Every year we have someone in the family dress up as Santa and bring in gifts for the little ones. This year DH’s uncle “B” dressed up as Santa. As soon as he walked into the room Shawn’s 2 ½ year old cousin blurted out “what’s “b” doing?” We were all amazed that a 2 ½ year old would recognize someone dressed up like that. It was funny! Needless to say it ruined it for the rest of the kids who now knew who was in the Santa suit. On Sunday we had a relaxing day, we didn’t do too much. On Monday DH had to work and I stayed home and wrapped presents, and Tuesday was Christmas. We spent the first half of the day with DH’s family and the second half of the day with my family. I got an MP3 player from DH which I am still trying to figure out how to use! I also got a nice stock pot from the MIL. But, the most special gift came from my Mom. She gave me a picture of my father when he was a little boy. My father passed away in 2006 and we don’t have many picture of him when he was little. It was so special and very bitter sweet to see that picture of him. While my mother was looking for the picture she also came across a card from my grandfather and grandmother for my 11th birthday that was somehow never opened. It had my grandfather’s handwriting on it and a poem he had written for me. My grandfather passed away in 1999 so this was also very special. The only not so great thing about this Christmas was that it ended with a pregnancy announcement. We were sitting around my mom’s kitchen table and my step sister mentions something about my step brother’s wife’s due date. I was like “Due date? Is she pregnant?” Everyone seemed to know this other than me and DH. I suspect that my mom was waiting to tell me and that she didn’t think Christmas was a good time. It definitely caught me off guard. I am okay with it for now but I know that when she has the baby it will he hard seeing my mom treat it like a grandchild. I am her daughter and I want to be the one to have the first grandchild. Oh well, I guess I have been able to dodge the pg announcements for so long that one was bound to come up sooner or later.

I will update when I get a call from my nurse.

**Edited to Add** I just got a call from my nurse. My RE says no meds tonight and come back tomorrow. I am happy that I don't have to do a shot tonight but I am worried that they will stop growing. I told my nurse this and she said they will definitly still grow (how does she know this? I am the one with the "disappearing follies") She said they are looking for one of those follies to be 18mm and then we will trigger. So, if all goes well maybe we will be triggering tomorrow night with IUI on Saturday? This would be ideal because then I wouldn't have to miss any work! Wish me luck that those follies keep on growing tonight even with no meds!

***Edited AGAIN to Add*** I forgot to include my follicle measurements:
R: 15.5, 14.3
L: 16.2, 15.6, 13.7
Lining: 15
And, even though I didn't ask she told me my E2 which was 875!!! Up from 256 two days ago! She told me the RE was having me coast because he wanted the lead follies to grow while the others shrink away. I told her I was worried that the big ones would shrink too and she said they will not shrink because my E2 was so high. So, now it's in God's hands and the hands of my RE.

P.S. My nurse told me I need a drink!! lol

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Holidays!!!

I probably won’t check back in until the 26th so I wanted to wish everyone a happy holiday. I go in for another u/s & b/w tomorrow morning which will either make me feel better or make me a huge b*tch for a family party we have later that day. So hopefully I will see that my follies have grown and that my E2 went up. I am really starting to regret even asking about my E2 because it has now created another thing for me to obsess over. I will be having a busy weekend to keep me occupied but usually when I am upset or worried stress and activity only makes it worse. So, until I “see” you again, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. Hopefully I will be coming back with some good news!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

B/W & U/S Results

Well, the nurse called, results are as follows:

Lining: 8.6
Right: 11.1 and 10.6
Left: 11.6
E2: 112 (down from 137 two days ago)

I asked her if it was a bad thing that the E2 went down and she kind of gave me a non-commital answer and told me to stay on 75 iu of Follistim and come back on Saturday. Of corse, again, she wasn't my usual nurse and was in a hurry to give me my results and didn't really seem like she cared to answer questions (not to mention she sounded like she wasn't old enough to be a nurse.) So, I have to admit, I am kind of bummed. My u/s didn't show a whole lot of growth from two days ago and my E2 dropped by 25. Isn't that bad? I just don't know what to think. I feel like my Re's office is not giving me any imput about whether things are going as they should. Whenever I ask they just give me some lame response. I haven't talked to or seen the same person twice this cycle. I have only actually seen my RE once when he had to do the u/s and he didn't tell me anything either. DH says I should call my RE but he doesn't have the most pleasant disposition. He isn't mean, just blah and very short and to the point. I don't know, maybe I am over analyzing everything. I just wish there was some chart somewhere that said, on this day your follicles should be this size and E2 should be this amount. What does it mean that my E2 dropped? Is that bad? GAH! Now I remember why I took two years off, I hate this stuff!

CD 9 u/s & b/w

I know, I know, I am not very creative with titles. The appointment this morning went okay I guess. The girl that usually draws my blood was not there so it was someone else. Of course, she had a terrible time finding a vein so once again I am sure I will have the battle scars to show from it. The u/s tech was there this time, thank God because she is a big more gentle than the doctor. I didn’t get the exact measurements because I didn’t have anything to write on but I will get them when they call later today. I have two follicles on the right measuring 10.something each and one on the left measuring 11.something (I think) and then a bunch of smaller ones. My lining was good (I also can’t remember the exact number.) I think when I get my E2 levels back it will help to determine if the follicles are growing and maturing. I still don’t know what to think. I keep thinking about all those Clomid cycles when I would go in every month only to find out that nothing was happening. I have nothing to compare this to and since every person is different it’s not like there is a chart out there that tells me what size my follicles should be on what day. When my nurse calls today I will ask her what she thinks. I have been so disappointed in the past that I can’t help but think that this will just be another disappointment. I will update when I get the call from my nurse.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thank You, and a little humor...

I just wanted to thank everyone for their kind words. You really have no idea how much better it makes me feel to hear all of your comments. I woke up today feeling a cold coming on so lets hope and pray that it goes away. Lastly, a little humor, someone found my blog by searching "amiture n*ude pictures." Ha ha! I must be missing something, when did I dicuss this topic? There was also another search "Why did Baby V take N*ude photos?" WHAT! I'm actually getting a little concerned that people are finding my blog by searching these things and even more concerned that someone would search something like this. Ewwww!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

CD 7 b/w & u/s

We arrived at the clinic today at 7:10 for our 7:15 appointment with the fanny cam. I got my bloodwork done and then we were sent into exam room one to wait. Well, the sonographer called and said she was going to be late so finally at 7:45 my doctor comes in himself to do the u/s. He had a terrible time finding my left ovary (they always do as I was told during my HSG that my left ovary is very high) and it was extremely painful. I was ready to come up off the table a few times. Anyway, here is the breakdown:
  • Lining: I have no idea, he said it was "coming along nicely" (I will get the actual number when they call with my b/w results.
  • Right: 20 follicles less than 10
  • Left: 15 follicles less than 10

So, nothing going on quite yet. I couldn't get a good read on my doc to see whether this is normal or not. I did ask him if it was normal that nothing was happening quite yet and he said yes. He also said that he put me on a very low dose of the medication (I am assuming because of my PCOS) and that things may take a little longer to get started. My nurse will call sometime in the afternoon with my b/w results and the dosage for the Follistim. I think that my RE will keep the dosage the same but who knows. I go back for more b/w & u/s on Thursday which will be CD 9. I really wish I knew what to expect and what is normal development. The bad news is that I have a huge bruse on my right arm from my CD 3 b/w and now I have a huge painful bruise forming on my left arm from today's b/w so I have no idea where she is going to take blood from on Thursday. I don't know what to think because I have nothing to compare this cycle to because I have never done injectables. Part of me is worried that this will be like every other cycle I have had with the Clomid & Femara where my body does absolutely NOTHING! Part of me is happy that there wasn't huge cysts everywhere. The only thing that worries me is that all the follies we did see where mostly the same size. What if they all grow at the same rate? DH said that he saw three follies that were a bit larger on the right but I didn't really see a diference. The doctor really didn't measure any of them because he said they only start measuring once they get to a certain size. If anyone has any experience with this and can tell me if all of this is normal for a CD 7 scan I would appreciate it. I am assuming we will be able to tell more from my b/w to see if the E2 is rising like it should. Well, I guess that is about it, my left arm hurts so bad where they took the blood that it is painful to bend my arm. Oh joy! I will update later when I get my b/w results.

****Edited to Add****
The nurse called back with my bloodwork and treatment plan:

Lining: 6.2
E2: 137 (was 105 on CD3)

So I will continue to do the 75 iu of Follistim and go back on Thursday for another u/s and b/w. I did ask her whether it was normal that no dominant follies were developing yet but it wasn't my usual nurse so she didn't seem too sure.

Monday, December 17, 2007

CD 6

Yes, I know, not a very creative title. Well, we arrived at Shady Grove's Annapolis office at 7 a.m. on Saturday. My regular nurse from the Columbia office was there and immediately came out to get me. She told us she was so sorry that they made us drive out there just to sign a paper and that if it was her that called she would have just waited until we came in to our next appointment. So, we signed the paper and she gave us our dosage information. 75 iu of Follistim and I will go in on Tuesday morning for an u/s and b/w. She said that pushing things back one day wont make a difference at all. We did our first shot on Saturday night at 6 p.m. I wasn't bad, the worst part was trying to get myself to stick the needle in but once I got it in it was fine. I really haven't felt anything while giving the shots, no stinging no discomfort, nothing. And I haven't bruised or anything. You can't even see where I did the shots. Last night, after my second Follistim injection, around 9 p.m my left ovary started to hurt. It hurt all night until I fell asleep. It doesn't hurt today so I am not sure what that is about but it was definitly uncomfortable last night. I wonder if it is normal to feel some discomfort after only my second shot? Anyway, we do one more shot tonight and then go in for b/w & u/s tomorrow morning. Hopefully we will be able t osee that something is going on. Thanks for all the wonderful comments. It really helps to know that I have people who understand. Keep the comments coming, they really mean a lot!

Friday, December 14, 2007


So, my RE's office called. They forgot to have me sign the Consent for IUI while I was there this morning. She told me that she cannot disclose my dosage amount until they witness both my husband and myself together signing the form. She asked if I could get there before 4:30 to sign it and I said no, we are both at work. So, she told me we will have to come to their other office which is 1/2 hour from my house at 7:00 a.m. so someone can witness us signing the document. So, now I wont be starting the Follistim until tomorrow night, assuming they didn't forget something else. It's only one day, but still!

CD 3 U/S & B/W

I just got back from my CD3 u/s and b/w. They had a little trouble finding a vein this time and the result is a painful purple bump on my arm! Ouch! The u/s went fine, my lining is still at 9 which means there is still more af left to be had. (blah) Both ovaires are quiet, no cysts (other than the usual pcos stuff.) I guess they don't count antral follicles because they always just put the same number (I think 10 or something like that.) Then we had a consultation to show us how to use the Follistim Pen. The consult was really rushed so good thing I read up on it and kind of already know how to use it. It scared me when she said if you dial past your dose and the dial the wrong way to correct it you could lose all of your medication. She also gave us a dvd which we will watch tonight before attempting the shot. My nurse will call with my exact dose after my RE looks at my b/w results. Then I go back on Monday for u/s and b/w. I guess that sounds about right, do the shots for three days and go back in to see if anything is happening. I wonder if I can expect to see anything happening that early? Anyone know?

***warning, totally TMI comment ahead***

Okay, you have been warned. Does anyone else think it is gross when you get your day 3 u/s and then get up from the table? I mean really, do I really want to leave my business on the table for someone to clean up? I am always so tempted to pull the paper off. ewww

***end of TMI comment***

Well, thats about it for now. I will update with my dosage when I get the call from my nurse.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Wooohoooo! AF finally arrived at exactly 8 p.m. last night. That would make today CD1, right? Since if you get AF later than 6pm CD1 is the next day? Hmmm, I will ask when I call me RE and set up my day 3 u/s and b/w. I talked to my nurse yesterday, she said everything is set for me to start this cycle and she doesn't know why the other lady used the word "probably." I was definitely relieved. So, if today is in fact CD1, which I believe it is, then CD3 will be on Friday. So we will start the stims Friday night. We have to go to the pharmacy tonight and pick up the Follistim cartridges (which supposedly come with needles?) and the RE's office will give us the Follistim pen on Friday. AF is definitely here with a vengeance! She must be mad because I have been talking crap about her in an attempt to lure her out of her hiding place. Now she is making me pay for my smart remarks. The Prometrium gives me a different kind of AF than the Provera. I cant explain it except that I have different side effects this time. Usually I have pretty bad cramps a couple of days before AF arrives, this time not much. This time I had much more emotional side effects (ie. being a real b*tch.) Last night, after I discovered AF, I went to bed at 8pm and slept until 6 this morning. I woke up at 6 completely drenched in a cold sweat and was actually shivering. Really strange. ***I just called my RE, today would be CD1 and my appointment is scheduled for Friday at 7:15***

So the plan is: CD3 u/s & b/w on Friday. They will give me the Follistim Pen on Friday and show me how to use it. They will call me in the afternoon with my b/w results and tell me what the doctor has decided my initial dose of Follistim will be. I guess he waits to see the blood work results. She didn't tell me when I will come back for my second scan. Does anyone know how soon they bring you back in after your initial injection?

A couple of questions for those of you that have done this before:

1. I want to pay much more attention to particulars this time (ie. follicle size and blood levels.) Did you just take notes while your doctor was doing the ultrasound? How did you get all the specific information like the exact amount of follicles, their sizes, and E2 levels? I don't remember them telling me anything specific about blood results other than it looks good. Is there a place I can look online that tells me where my levels should be?

2. Is it beneficial to temp BBT while doing injectables? I haven't done BBT in 4 or 5 years, before I knew there was a problem, but for some reason I have the need to really know what is going on with my body this time and to keep track of symptoms. Do the medications affect your BBT? Would it still be accurate?

3. Is there any limits to what I should be doing physically once I get the IUI? I am doing a dinner theatre for church which involves some dancing and a lot of moving around. I am contemplating telling the director that I can't do the dances after I get my IUI. I just don't want to do anything to hurt my chances after we spent all of this money.

Well, I guess that's it for now. Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to comment on my blog and to those of you that just lurk (I know you are there) come out and say hello! Sorry I am so full of questions but remember, we haven't done any type of treatments for about 2 years so it's like starting all over again.

Last but not least, please stop by Cece's blog and give her some love, she is going through a hard time.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Yup, you read it right. Still waiting for the old witch! But, my last Prometrium was on Friday night and I have been having some brown discharge (TMI-sorry) last night and this morning so hopefully AF will be here either today or tomorrow. This will put my day 3 u/s on Wednesday or Thursday. A co-worker who knows about our IF came in this morning to my office and asked "did AF show up yet?" I couldn't help but giggle! She is even getting the terminology down. I am always the pessimist. I am still trying to figure out what could go wrong to keep us from starting this cycle. When I was talking to the nurse at my RE's office going over our plan (this was a couple of weeks ago) she said something about not starting stims this cycle. I asked why on earth would I be bringing on AF then if we weren't going to do anything this cycle. She pulled up my chart and said that she saw we already had all of our pre-treatment tests (Day 3 b/w, etc.) completed so we probably would start. Now, as I get closer to having AF and getting started it worries me that she said "probably." I can't imagine why else I would bringing AF on if we weren't going to start this cycle. I already brought AF on once just to do day 3 b/w. It isn't like this is the first time I have ever gotten any kind of IF treatment. I have done tons of cycles with this RE's office. Just some of my irrational fears, but somehow the always seem to be right. For instance, i spoke to my pharmacy on Wednesday and they said they were ordering my Follistim and it should be there on Thursday. So I just had a feeling that they didn't do it (they are a Kaiser pharmacy) so I called Thursday morning to make sure. Sure enough, the girl that answered the phone said she didn't order it because she had never ordered Follistim before. Huh? So, she simply decided not to order it because she had "never ordered it before?" So, she told me she was putting the order in right that second and that it would be there by Friday afternoon. We couldn't pick it up on Friday so we went to pick it up Saturday morning. As we were walking in I told DH that I bet that it wont be there. Sure enough, the Ovidril (sp?) was there but the Follistim was not. I asked the lady when it was ordered and she said Friday afternoon. So, obviously when I was speaking to the girl on the phone she lied to me when she told me she was ordering it "right that second." So I picked up my other meds. They were keeping the Ovadril in the bin with the other medications as opposed to the fridge even though it says on the box that it is supposed to be refridgerated. The label says it was filled on Thursday so basically it was not kept cold for two days? I have no idea if this will affect the medication but I just put a call in to my nurse to make sure. I can't believe how much I hate Kaiser. I never read that people have so much trouble with their insurance! My husband works for Kaiser so I feel that I have the right to complain. To top it all off, when we left the "confused pharmacist" gave me the credit card slip I signed instead of my copy. And when I aksed her "don't you need this copy?" she gave me a dirty look! All of this is really making me nervous about having prenatal care through Kaiser. What if they mess up on something? They don't seem to be concerned about anything, what if they are like that when I'm pregnant? When my DH broke his ankle and was taken to the emergency room they told him the bone in his ankle was shattered and that he needed surgery asap! They wanted to do the surgery there but called Kaiser and Kaiser said no, that they would find their own surgeon. So we took DH home and I called Kaiser as soon as I got him settled. The girl on the phone asked me why I didn't call them immediately why DH broke his ankle and that I need to call that sort of thing in right away. I told her I was sorry that it was the last thing on my mind as he was laying in the middle of a baseball field waiting for an ambulance. All in all, we ended up waiting 4 days just to get him in to see the orthopaedist that Kaiser insisted he see and then he had to wait two weeks for his surgery. Can you imagine sitting there for over two weeks with the bones in your leg completely shattered? So, this is the reason I have little to no faith in Kaiser coupled with the fact that my husband works for them and I see how they treat their employees. Anyway...sorry to go off an a tangent there.

In non-IF related news. I had a really busy weekend. It was one of those weekeneds that makes you feel like you didn't get any rest at all. I got my hair cut on Friday. I love my salon because they have the massage chairs that you get to sit in while you get your hair shampooed. But it is very pricey! I spent $80 on a haircut, shampoo, and conditioner! But, it was worth it, I love my haircut and I love the shampoo and conditioner. I never thought using the professional stuff would make a difference but it really does! I got a significant amount of hair cut off. My hair was donw to my mid-back and is now up to my shoulders. It is much easier to maintain though.

Then on Saturday I had a Longaberger open house. We did a joint open house with a pampered chef consultant and some other various consultants. I didn’t do great, I only go three orders but I also got a couple from church so not too bad. In case you are interested you can check out my site here. In case anyone is interested, this is the way I fund a lot of our IF treatments so if anyone is looking for an additional way to raise some money this is a good one.

On Sunday we skipped church (there could be a whole other blog about our church’s issues) and went to choir practice afterwards. We are doing a dinner theatre to raise money and have been practicing from 12 to 4 every Sunday. Then we had a Sunday school play at church that we attended (only because there were some people there that I wanted to hit up for Longaberger We got home just in time to watch the Ravens get their butts kicked…again!

That’s about it for me. I am awaiting a call from my nurse from the RE’s office to put some of my irrational fears to rest.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Holiday Humor

Since it is snowing and I am feeling in the Christmas spirit, I leave you with a bit of holiday humor:

Where is AF?

WANTED: Mean ugly old lady named "Aunt Flo"
LAST SEEN: Sometime in the month of October

Have you seen "Aunt Flo"? I mean seriously. Yes, I know I am only on day 4 of taking the Prometrium but come on already! I am getting impatient. I just want to start this darn cycle already. I’m calling the pharmacy at 11:30 (they don’t open until 11:30 today) to make sure they have my meds (which had to be special ordered). If they have them we will pick them up tonight. I really have no idea how much they cost but I keep on having to remind myself that the money in our savings account is for the treatments. I am not really having much side effects with the Prometrium. I actually had a lot more side effects with the Provera. However, currently my face looks like a pimply thirteen year old, I am so bloated that my pants are cutting off my circulation, and I have awful, painful gas. But, really, no side effects (okay, maybe a few side effects).

Outside of IF, we decided that we need new tires on our Escape. The tires are two years old and are getting worn down. This is the last thing we wanted to spend money on right now but it is a necessity. So this weekend we will go tire shopping.

It is snowing outside!! This is our first snow of the season and although I think we are only supposed to get a coating it is beautiful to watch. It is really neat to watch the snow fall from the 25th floor of a building in Baltimore City (where I work). I had an amazing view before but the snow makes it even more beautiful.

I am having a really hard time concentrating on anything right now. I think it is the anticipation of starting a new cycle when we have been TAB for so long. I am also way more optimistic when usually I am a hard core pessimist. I can’t help but be hopeful that this will be it for us. I can’t believe that it has been five years since we decided to start a family. You would think after five years of IF we would be further along in the journey right now but a combination of financial issues and generally just needing to take a break from all of the stress has put us where we are today. After five years the only thing we have tried is SEVERAL rounds of Clomid/IUI and two rounds of Femara/IUI. Through all of that I only ovulated two or three times. My body just doesn’t do what it is supposed to. I guess that is what is causing me to be overly optimistic about the injectables. I mean really, I have only ovulated two or three times in five years, so assuming that there is nothing else wrong with me this should work right? That is the hopeful side of me talking, the cynical infertile side of me says that I will spend thousands on injectables just to have cancelled cycles or failed cycles and have no baby to show for it in the end. Then we will have to start all over with saving money unless one of us can find a job with insurance that totally covers IVF. I have learned so much in these past five years but it has been hard. I am ready to move on! Someone tell me that it is okay to be hopeful, that it is okay to dream. I am just so worried that if I am too hopeful and it doesn’t work that it will make it that much harder to deal.

Anyway, until next time! Hopefully I will be using the title CD1 for my next post!

Friday, November 30, 2007


All is clear with the blood work and I am starting the Prometrium tomorrow night (the pharmacy is closes at 5 today.) My nurse confirmed that I would be doing the Follistim Pen. Looks like a complicated little bugger! She said she is going to call in my prescription for it because the pharmacy might need to order it. Bet you it's not going to be cheap! So, all of you that are hoping that AF won't show up for you, you can send her my way! Well, I'm outta here for the weekend. Hope all is going well with everyone. Happy Friday!

Pre-Cycle Re Appt.

Our appointment was at 7:15 a.m. We actually arrived a few minutes late and were surprised to find that there we a lot of people in the office for that time in the morning. They called me back for blood work and the lady drawing the blood actually remembered me. In case I haven’t mentioned it before I have very small veins which make it very hard to draw blood. Usually it becomes quite painful because they have to try in several different locations before they find a vein. Usually they end up taking it from the top of my hand or the middle of my arm (both not so pleasant places.) So, when I walked in the lab technician laughed and said “I remember you!” She already knew to get out the butterfly needle. She was actually able to draw blood on the first stick and we were both very pleased. Then they told me that my doctor wanted an u/s done. I asked why they would do an ultrasound before I even start my cycle and she said to make sure that I don’t have any follicles developing and to make sure that my lining is think enough to bring on af. So off to exam room one I went, after stopping by and grabbing DH who reluctantly put aside the latest issue of some sports magazine. A female doctor actually did my u/s today and she was very nice. My lining is 8mm. She said it is thick enough to bring on af but it will not be a heavy one (oh darn!) Then she moved on to my ovaries and said “there’s the polycystic ovaries.” I swear, I must be the poster child for PCOS or something. I have several small follicles on both ovaries but none larger than 10mm which is good. Then we went back to the consultation room and spoke with one of the other nurses. She gave me a prescription for Prometrium instead of Provera. She said my RE prefers to use the Prometrium instead. She said I can start taking it tonight once I get my blood work results from the nurse who will call me later today. She said I will take two capsules before bedtime for seven days or until af shows up. If af shows up before the seven days to stop taking them and set up my day 3 scan. I then asked about the injectables because I still haven’t been told which medications I will be taking. She looked at my treatment plan and said it looks like they have me down for the Follistim Pen. She asked if I needed to take the injection class again and I told her no but I’m not sure how to use the pen. She said when I come in for my day 3 they can give me a DVD to watch on how to use the pen. Of course I am going to confirm all of this with my nurse when she calls me today. So, for now it looks like I will be starting the Prometrium tonight. Hopefully af will come quickly so we can begin! I will update when I get my blood results.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Well, it looks like things are finally in motion! My RE gave the okay to do FSH/IUI. He wants me to do a “no menses work-up” which is essentially a blood pregnancy test (ha ha) and a test to determine if I ovulated (again..ha ha.) I will get that blood test tomorrow morning at 7:15. They also told me the doctor may do an ultrasound tomorrow although I’m not sure why he would do this. I’m on CD 30 or 40 something right now. They will call me with the test results tomorrow afternoon and if all is a go (which it will be because a.) I am not pregnant, and b.) I have never ovulated in my life) then I will take the Provera to bring on AF. I will call them on CD1 to schedule my CD3 scan and blood work. I am assuming when I go in for my CD3 they will give me my script for the FSH. Does anyone know if that is the case? Also, does anyone know whether I would inject the FSH with a regular needle or the pen? Obviously I forgot to ask these questions because I was expecting to do IVF but I will ask when I go in tomorrow. So, now we just wait for AF to show up. I usually take 2 Provera every night for 5 days and AF usually comes within 5 days after stopping the Provera. So hopefully within the next two weeks we will finally get to start! I am actually kind of glad we wont be starting until mid December because the last thing we need for a Christmas present is a negative beta or to be worrying about whether or not I am pregnant.

I also rearranged my blog links on the side into categories so that people who are reading my blog and looking for other blogs to read know before they open a blog if that person is pregnant. That way I don’t upset anyone. Hopefully no one minds that I put them into a “category.” I follow everyone’s blog no matter what stage of the process you are in but there are other who may not be ready. I love reading success stories because it gives me hope for myself. So, if you have been lurking and haven’t commented yet be sure to leave a comment so that I can add your blog to my list and keep up with your progress. I love reading your comments and it lets me know that someone is reading my crazy ramblings. Also, if I put you in the wrong “category” for some reason let me know. I found a nifty way to follow updates on people’s blogs, the website is called Bloglines. It keeps track of all of the blogs that you “subscribe” to. It is much easier than having to visit tons of pages every day. Everyone else probably knew about this and I am probably a little behind the game but the whole blogging thing is still fairly new to me.

That’s it for now. I will update after my blood work tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nothing new...

Sorry that I have been a bad blogger! I really don’t have much to say right now though. I spoke to my nurse on Wednesday (I was off of work on Thursday and Friday) and she said that she will speak to my RE, who was out of town and came back yesterday, to make sure he agrees with doing the injectables and IUI instead of the IVF. She also said that she has no record that anyone from their office actually talked to Kaiser. I told her that the woman from Kaiser referrals told my GYN that she called and spoke to a doctor from my RE’s office who agreed that I should do the IUI(which kind of pissed me off because it made it seem like I just “decided” to do IVF on my own). She said the doctors always make notes on the charts, especially when they speak to insurance companies. So, either someone forgot to update my chart, or the more likely scenario, the lady from Kaiser was lying. I told my nurse that either way they are obviously not going to approve the referral so we have no choice but to do the IUI/Injectables first. She also told me that before I take the provera to bring on AF I need to do a blood pregnancy test. I really don’t know why they insist on this because I literally take provera every time I need to make AF come. I am not paying for the pg test though! So, she told me if I don’t hear from her today with my “plan” then I should call her. I will probably call her this morning to remind her as I am ready to get this thing going! I will be back with an update as soon as I have one.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A turn of events…

Well, it seems that we have a turn of events. After much discussion with my doctor from Kaiser, the Kaiser referral people (whoever they are) and my RE they have decided that they would like me to do one, possibly two, rounds of injectables and IUI. I am confused, because my RE is the one that said that he wanted to go with IVF, I even asked about injectables and IUI. My concern is a couple of things: 1) That I will hyperstimulate or produce too many follicles and have a cancelled cycle; or 2) That I will become pregnant with high order multiples and will have to face the choice of having to reduce or put my health at risk. I am prepared for the possibility of having twins, but I don’t know what I would do with more than 2! But, nonetheless, I have no choice, because Kaiser will not pay for the IVF unless we have tried this first. There must be a reason for all of this or it wouldn’t happen. I am just hoping that the outcome will be positive. I would love to hear from any PCOS women out there who have had injectables and IUI. I do know that women with PCOS have success with injectables and that gives me hope, it’s just that my body is so darn stubborn! I only ovulated a few times in my many, many, cycles with Clomid and Femera. So, it’s hard to believe that somehow this is going to make me ovulate. But, I guess it is a step in the right direction. I am somewhat excited about actually being able to start something but a little scared about the issues mentioned above. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will work. Please, if anyone has any words of wisdom I would love to hear them. You can either post a comment or contact me by e-mail at

Outside the wonderful world of TTC… I finally baked a perfect apple pie! The first apple pie I tried to bake a couple of years ago was awful but I decided to try again this weekend and it was yummy! Shawn loved it and had two slices that night. I took a picture of it and I will try to remember to upload it along with the pictures of my fall decorations that I promised a while ago. Well, I guess that’s it for now. I promise to post more when something actually starts happening. I have a call into Shady Grove to talk to my nurse about the next steps to start this unexpected cycle. The first step I am sure is to bring on AF. I think I am on CD30 now so I am clearly due to an AF. Ta ta for now!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Insurance Woes 2.0 & Other Ramblings

Ugh! Just when you think it can’t possibly get any more annoying it does! We got a bill for the blood tests that my insurance company required us to take in order to “approve” the referral, which still hasn’t happened. Anyway, the bill was for $1,001.00. What?! And this is after the supposedly paid half of the bill. But my argument is that they made me get the tests, they were not for treatment of infertility or diagnosis of infertility. It just makes me mad! Will we end up paying it? Probably, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to call them and let them have it. This takes 1 grand out of our IVF fund, it totally better be worth it. Also, my GYN put through the referral again with a note asking them to actually look at my chart before they deny it. I really don’t see how this is going to help but she has taken it personally now. If worse comes to worse I will ask her to please put in a “consult referral” to Shady Grove and let them put in for the IVF. I really haven’t heard of anyone having this much problems with their insurance company??

Lastly, I feel like Shawn is being left out of all of this. I often find that people come up to me and comfort me and give me support but no one ever acknowledges how hard it is for Shawn. People forget that we are going through this together and that he is hurting too. I also feel like he doesn’t have anyone to talk to because it is mostly women who talk about their experiences. So I was wondering if anyone knows of a male blogger or maybe a site where men actually talk about IF so maybe he can feel like he has someone to share his feelings with?

Well, that’s about all for now. TGIF!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Insurance Woes..

So, my insurance company denied my referral for IVF. I think in the end it was a big misunderstanding but still, it is another road block. My GYN is very confused about the whole referral for IVF process. I think she was supposed to put in a referral for me to simply go to Shady Grove (because the one I had previously ran out) and then Shady Grove was supposed to request the referral for the IVF. The denial letter said that IVF was not medically necessary. You’re kidding right? I have been TTC for 5 years, and you tell me IVF is not medically necessary! It said that the next step would be IUI with injectables. Now this makes me mad. They must have some chart that they look off of to tell them the “steps.” Not everyone fits neatly into this little “chart” of how things are supposed to go. Because of my PCOS my RE (who is the expert) said that IVF would be my greatest chance for conception while avoiding a good chance of several cancelled cycles due to too many follicles with IUI. I don’t want to have a litter after all. But, in the end, I think because my GYN put in the referral for IVF instead of the RE that is really the problem. So, I called my GYN back and left a message asking her to please simply put a referral in for me to go to Shady Grove and then they will request the IVF referral. So this will be the THIRD time I am putting in this darn referral. If you ever even think of getting Kaiser insurance, DON’T! They have been nothing but trouble the whole time we have had them.

But anyway, before I calmed down and realized that this is probably all just a mix up I had a bit of an emotional breakdown on Friday night after receiving the denial letter. First, I was upset that my GYN did not call me to tell me the referral was denied. She always gets the denial first (I should know as I have been through it plenty of times) and she should have called. I realize she is not used to all this high tech fertility stuff but she is still my doctor. Second, it was like in an instant, while holding that denial letter in my hand (which I promptly ripped up in a fit of rage) all those old feelings came crashing back to me. If you are dealing with IF or ever have you know exactly what I mean. All of those feelings that come along with the pain of IF. The feeling of inadequacy, loneliness, hopelessness, and the worst of all jealousy. Jealousy is the hardest feeling for me to deal with because I am not normally a jealous person, it is also the most harming. You know the feeling, why did so and so get to have a baby when she wasn’t even ready for one and here I am, married, with a steady job and a house and no baby. I haven’t had these feelings in so long. While I sat on the couch and balled my eyes out I had one of those moments where I looked at my husband who was at a loss for words as to what to do to make me feel better I realized that I am the reason he is not a daddy. Then I began to hate this thing called PCOS that makes me feel less like a woman in so many ways. What did I do to deserve to be born with this horrible monster living inside of me? I haven’t had a moment in so long where I had sort of a faith crisis. I just called out to God in the most desperate moment of pain and asked myself, if there is a God, where is
He now? Why is He allowing us to go through this horrible isolating experience? But then it dawned on me, why not? What makes us so special? What about all of those other couples out there who are going through the same thing? They don’t “deserve” it either. But I still don’t understand why God allows people to conceive when they don’t appreciate what they have. Those women who don’t take care of their children or the ones who dump their babies in dumpsters. What makes them so easily able to conceive? I’m not sure if God “chose” me to go through all of this or He just “let” it happen, but I sure would like to know why. What purpose is supposed to come out of all the pain and suffering? I guess I will never really understand it. So here I am, waiting AGAIN for a third referral hoping and praying that the waiting will finally be over.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It just hit me today…

…how close we are to beginning this process, and honestly, I’m scared to death. I think I have been fine for the most part up until now, but as it gets closer the more emotional I get. I so want this to be it for us. I can’t help but think about how we only have enough money for one, maybe two cycles and that’s it for now. I can’t help but think about how this is the last shot. If this doesn’t work there is no other option for us. I have so many things running through my mind at one time. I don’t know how I am going to survive the stress of the IVF cycle let alone more than one. I know I will find the strength though. So many times throughout this IF journey I was sure there was no way I would get through it, and somehow I did. I can’t help but think how unfair it is that some of us have to go through such heartache to have a baby. We have been TAB for so long that I could ignore all of those old feelings that IF brought about. But now that we are starting again they are all coming back. I am so worried that my PCOS is going to complicate things and cause cancelled cycles. What if they still can’t get me to stimulate? I know these are all normal feelings but sometimes it seems like I am all alone. I know my friends and family have been so supportive but deep down inside I can’t help but wonder whether they really understand. Do they really know the deep emotional pain the IF causes? Do they know what it does to your self esteem, especially when you add PCOS to the mix? Do they really understand what it is like to not be able to do what so many other women do so easily? Shawn and I have very few friends to begin with. When we got married we grew apart from our single friends. But now it’s hard to make friends our age because they move on to have children and it seems that they pull away. I’m not sure why, maybe because they don’t feel like they have anything in common with us, or maybe because being around us makes them feel like they are making us uncomfortable. So, here I am feeling all alone like no one understands how I am feeling. I know that is not true. I know that unfortunately there are many other couples going through what we are going through. I am still waiting for my GYN to answer my e-mail about clearing me for the IVF due to my medications. I’m starting to wonder if she ever got the e-mail and I think I will call her today. Thanks for reading my blah blog today, I promise, it wont always be this depressing!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Waiting for the Referral

Well, not much to report here. My GYN put the referral in on Wednesday so we should get it back any day now. By the way, we got the official results from the HSG and all is clear! I'm not really sure why that doesn't make me happy, I mean I guess because what's the point of having clear tubes if you have NOTHING to travel down them! But anyway, I guess it's good that they are clear. My RE wants me to see a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist because of the medications I am taking. Mainly because of the medications I am taking for depression/anxiety. I find it funny that I never had an issue with depression until going through infertility. The anxiety started after my boss unexpectedly passed away and then I lost my father 2 months later. The RE also said that they would accept an all clear from my GYN to continue with the IVF and continue to take the meds. Honestly, if I had to I could stop the Welbutrin but the anxiety is much more scary and I don't think I can stop the Zoloft. If anyone has any experience in this department I would love to hear from you. So, as soon as I get the all clear from my OB I just have to wait to bring AF on and then we start the birth control. I can't ait to get started by I am also scared. I have very high hopes that this will work and honestly that scares me. I am the eternal pessimist. It's much easier to expect the worse and be suprised than to expect the best and be devistated. But, I find myself getting excited about the possibility to becoming pregnant and finally moving on from IF. Although, I think IF has changed me for good and I don't think I will ever forget it. So, the fact that I am so optomistic scares me to death. What happens if it doesn't work? Will I crash much harder? It's just that I have been dreaming of having a baby for so long and I am so ready to move on! I know five years isn't long compared to what some of you have been through, but it feels like an eternity! But anyway..enough about that.

I had a good weekend. On Friday we went to church and helped to set up for our annual Ham & Fish Dinner. We are junior youth group leaders (Shawn and I) and the junior youth group ran the white elephant room. Then on Saturday we went out to breakfast at Bob Evans. It was really nice to spend some quality time with Shawn. I love him so much and I never get tired of spending time with him. I feel so fortunate that we have such a strong bond because I know a lot of marriages are not like that. The we went to chruch and ran the white elephant room until we had to leave to go to my Mom's house for my step-sister's 21st birthday. On the way home from my Moms we stopped at a convienience store and I sat in the car while Shawn went inside to get some drinks. I was just sitting and listening to the radio when all of a sudden the whole car lurched forward. Some girl had tried to pull into the parking space next to us and hit our car! There were no other cars in the parking lot but she had to pull right next to us and then totally missed her parking spot. I got out of the car just as Shawn came out of the store. She looked scared and told me when I got out of the car she thought I was going to kick her a$$. Ha ha! I didn't know I look that mean! We exchanged information and I called our insurance company as soon as we got home. There is not a lot of damage but there is a scratch and dents on the driver's side door. I wouldn't care except the car is white and there are no other scratches or dents. So we are waiting for a return call from our insurance company. On Sunday we went to church and then went to visit Shawn's father who had hip replacement surgery. Then we went shopping! I wanted to get some things to help organize our cabinets at home. I am tired of opening a cabinet door and fearing for my life! Then we stopped at Michaels where their fall decorations were 70% off! So I loaded up on fall decorations and went home and decorated the house. I will upload some pictures tomorrow. Then we sat down on the couch, I lit some candles and we watched the rest of the Ghost Hunters live Halloween episode. All in all it was a fun and relaxing weekend.

Lastly, I want to thank those of you that are commenting on my blog. It makes me feel good to know that others are reading my comments and that I am not rambling into nothingness. I will be checking out all of your sites as well. Anyway, be back tomorrow with pictures of my fall decorating (because I know that is exactly what you want to

Monday, October 29, 2007


Finally! All the testing is done! I got my HSG on Friday and everything went according to plan (sort of). I got to my PCP’s office at 8:20 and the nurse was there and ready to give me the toradol shot. She made it sound like it was going to hurt like hell so I was a little apprehensive but I figured since I am doing this IVF thing I’d better get used to huge shots. She had me bend over a stretcher and pull down my pants on the right side a little. She told me to be prepared for a very intense sting (my GYN told me the same thing), funny thing was, I didn’t even feel her give me the shot! For those of you that don’t know, I have a herniated disk in my back and more often than not my right butt cheek is completely numb, sometimes even my left. So, I didn’t even know she gave me the shot and I never did feel the intense burning that she said would come about 15 min after the shot. Hmmmm, I will have to remember this when we begin the shots for the IVF. Then we were off to American Radiology for the dreaded HSG.

When we arrived at American Radiology at 8:45 a.m. (right on time) there were tons of people in the waiting room and a line waiting to check in. The funny thing was there was three people at the front desk but only one person checking people in, the other people were doing God knows what. When I got up to the desk to check in and gave the girl my insurance card she very rudely asked me if I had the original signed copy of the referral from my doctor. I told her that I did not and that the doctor made the appointment over the phone and told me all of the information would be sent over to American Radiology and that when I called to make the appointment for the HSG I gave them the referral number my doctor gave me. They never told me I needed the original signed paper. She told me that they most likely would not be able to do the procedure because Kaiser requires them to have the original signed referral before they can do it. I flat out told her to do what she needs to do, call Kaiser, whatever, because the procedure needed to be done that day. I guess she didn’t want to mess with me because they called me back 10 minutes later.

When they called me back I was a little nervous but for some reason I was fairly confident that the toradol shot was going to help. When I walked into the room the nurse handed me a gown and told me to change. When I came out they had me lay on the table with my butt on a pillow. Then the doctor came in. She was very nice. I told the nurse and the doctor about my bad experience and they looked at me like I was insane and said they had never heard of anyone passing out during an HSG. I swear, I am not a big baby and I actually have a pretty high threshold for pain! The doctor told me that she has never heard of anyone passing out and that she would make sure to be gentle. The most uncomfortable part about the whole procedure was the inserting of the catheter. I got a little cramping from that but it was very light and definitely bearable. I didn’t even feel her insert the dye. The whole procedure took about 10 minutes. It took a little longer because for some reason initially they couldn’t find my left tube. Finally she found it and told me that my left tube was significantly higher than my right tube. But both tubes are clear and no abnormalities in the uterus. This is good, but in my case it doesn’t really matter because I don’t ovulate anyway. All in all it was a MUCH better experience minus the b*tch at the front desk. I’m really not sure if it was the Toradol that helped or if it was just that the doctor was much more gentle but either way, I’m glad it was less painful than before.

Now we wait, (AGAIN) for Kaiser to approve the referral which should hopefully be within the next week or so. Then I will need to bring on another cycle and start the BCPs. I’m only on CD10 so I will need to wait to take the provera. Stay tuned…

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Yes, that is how I am feeling right now…stressed! Lets see if I can recap the latest events:

Shawn got his SA results back. The motility wasn’t great but we think that is because they made him wait over an hour before they took the sample. We have never had a problem with the SA results before so hopefully this is the case.

I got my day 3 blood work done and everything came out fine.

So, the ONLY thing left is the dreaded HSG. I called my GYN and explained to her that I would NOT even think of doing the HSG unless she gives me something stronger than Motrin to take prior to the test. So she prescribed a shot of Toradol which I will get at 8:30 tomorrow morning. Herein lies the main source of my stress, my HSG is scheduled to begin at 9:00. They told me to be there by 8:45. That leaves me 15 minutes to get the shot and go to American Radiology. Now, Kaiser has not been known to be the most reliable. I am concerned about this short time frame considering they open at 8:30. I called and spoke to the nurse today who is supposed to give me the shot and explained to her that I was worried about the timing and getting to the HSG on time. She said she usually arrives at 8:15 and that she will give me the shot right away. Then she went on to explain how she was an hour and a half late to work today because of traffic due to rain. NOT so comforting after you just got dome telling me that you will be there at 8:30. So, my pan is that if for some reason she is late, they don’t open on time, or whatever other lame reason Kaiser has for once again pissing me off, then I am just going to get the HSG with no medication at all. I don’t want to wait another month to do this because it will push the IVF back two months. So, come hell or high water I will be getting the HSG. And, if I pass out on the table (again) then it is Kaiser’s fault and they will just have to use what ever results they get and approve the referral.

The other source of my stress is AF herself. She is here, like I wanted her to be so that we could do the day 3 BW and the HSG, but now she wont leave! She is playing peek-a-boo with me all day. They made it clear to me that all signs of AF must be gone when I get the HSG or they cant do it. It is day 7 already! Go away! So, it seems that so many things are stacked against me while I am trying to get this stupid HSG which Kaiser wanted me to get I the first place. My RE did not require me to get the HSG. So, like everything else that sucks in my life, I am blaming it all on HMO’s!

Stay tuned…

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Gettysburg Weekend

Well, we got back from our Gettysburg trip late last night. We had a great but interesting time. When we left Friday night it began to pour down rain. So bad that we could barely see the road! When we finally got to the hotel we were supposed to stay at, which is this one:

The girl at the desk spent several minutes looking on her computer and asking again and again how to spell our last name. I knew something was wrong when after five minutes she still hadn't found our reservations. Then she finally found our reservation but told us that they had us booked for NEXT weekend and not this weekend. She then went on to tell us that they had no rooms available that night. So, we had to cancel our incorrect reservation and back out into the rain we went! After stopping at several hotels and being told over and over that they had no rooms available we began to worry that we were going to be sleeping in our car, or turning around and driving all the way back home. Finally someone working behind the counter at the last hotel we stopped at told us that there was only one hotel in town that had available rooms. So, we drove 5 miles outside of Gettysburg to the Eisenhower Hotel. We found the hotel but the parking lot was confusing. We ended up driving around a circle that lead to nowhere with several other cars before we finally figured out how to get to the entrance of the hotel. By this time we are both starving. We were finally able to get a room but we had to pay about $50 more than what our original hotel room was. The room was really nice and actually pretty large:

After we put our things in the room we headed off to get something to eat. While eating dinner we were both exhausted and giggly. Anyone who knows me knows that I sometimes have a tendancy to talk loud, especially when I am tired. We were discussing what I packed in our suitcase and I made a rather loud comment about how Shawn had a pair of holy underwear. Basically the whole place heard me and Shawn turned red! lol! (That's what he gets for not letting me throw away the holy undies!)

The next morning we decided we were going to have breakfast in the hotel. We could smell breakfast but darn if we could find where we were supposed to go! The hotel was like one big maze (just like the parking lot). We never did find where they served breakfast so instead we had breakfast at the Avenue in town where we sat behind a couple who was very loudly discussing child support payments (we are so nosy!).

After breakfast we spent the day driving around the battlefield. We took some beautiful pictures. Here are a couple of them.

This is Shawn checking out the inside of a cannon. Do you see anything in there Shawn?

Actually, yes, he did see something in there! Have you ever seen the inside of a cannon? Pretty cool huh?

Obviously I did a little editing to this picture. I thought it was pretty neat though. This was on the corner of the field where Pickett's Charge took place.

I was impersonating a squirrel here.

Here I am listening to the cannon...don't ask..really.

Here is a picture Shawn took of me.

Here we are together.

And again.

After driving and walking around the battelfield all day we were ready for dinner. We had planned on eating at General Pickett's Buffet. They have great food and we have eaten there a few times and were always pleased with the food. While we were waiting to be seated a tour bus full of 45 people showed up and apparently had reservations. Then another tour bus of 45 showed up too. They also apparently had reservations. At this point we decided it would be no fun having to wait in line for food with so many people in the place so we decided to try to go somewhere else. Bad idea! We drove around Gettysburg for another hour trying to find a place to eat only to find out that everywhere had a 45 minute wait or longer. We couldn't wait because we had scheduled to go on the Ghosts of Gettysburg tour at 8:15. So we finally decided to get dinner at Wendys and drive back through the battelfield in the dark and do some ghost hunting. It was really neat to be out on the battlefield in the dark and also a bit creepy. There were several other people out there taking pictures also. You could look out over the battlefiled and see camera flashes everywhere. By the way, we didn't catch any ghosts on film. Oh well..

Then we went on our ghost tour. We went on the Seminary Ridge tour and met the guide and the rest of the people going on the tour (all 120 of them!) There was a group of about 10 very annoying boyscouts in front of us. They split our group into three smaller groups and I specifically told Shawn that I hoped that we didn't end up in their group. Guess what, we did! But they were actually pretty quiet besides asking some lame questions. The tour was pretty cool. We walked throug the grounds of the seminary and heard some ghost stories. I told Shawn as we walked through the fields that I hoped that we didn't step on dog poop, guess what...I did! I swear, I am not going to say anything that I don't want to happen because apparently God has a sick sense of humor! I ended up riding home with no shoes and no pants and a blanket over my lap!

We took a lot of pictures during the tour but because it was so dark most of them didn't come out. I did take one picture of a building that was used as a field hospital during the war. The story was that people still hear the screaming of the soldiers that were in the basement of the building getting amputations. I got a pretty cool picture although my personal opinion is that it is just matrixing. But anyway, here it is.

Do you see a screaming face in this picture? If you dont I took the liberty of circling the face that I see.

Now, let me make it clear that I do NOT think that this is a picture of a ghost. Even an amiture ghost hunter knows that you never take pictures into mirrors or windows because of the reflections. But it is a creepy picture either way.

Well, that's about it for our trip. We had a lot of fun and got the relaxation that we were looking for prior to beginning our IVF cycle. Now we are well rested and ready to go. By the way, since this is technically a blog about IVF, I got AF on Saturday so today is CD2. So tomorrow I will need to call American Radiology and schdule my HSG! Then maybe we can finally start! Stay tuned...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hormonal Mo

Today I have been really antsy and grumpy. I think it is a combination of a lot of things. I am such an impatient person so all of this waiting and nothing happening is really hard for me. I feel like I have waited long enough already! I have taken 4 provera and will take two more tonight. By Sunday night I will be done the provera and I will just need to wait for AF to show up. Assuming she does, which she usually does after I take the provera, then I can schedule the dreaded HSG for CD 5-10. Then I will be calling my GYN and insisting on a prescription for some valium! That is the only way I can justify putting myself through something that was so painful the first time. I really wish I wasn’t such of a pessimist! I blame it on my mother. Yes Mom, I know you are reading and you and I both know that I got my pessimism from you! It is almost impossible for me to imagine that this will ever happen for me. I just can’t imagine myself having a baby. After all these years you would think that I would be able to imagine it but the fact that it has been ALL these years makes it seem less and less likely. But, then I tell myself to think logically (which I am usually pretty good at) and remember way back when I reached all of those other milestones in my life which I could never imagine doing. I remember when I was still in high school thinking that I couldn’t picture myself actually going to college, then I remember thinking that I couldn’t picture myself actually getting married and being a wife. Well, here I am, a college graduate (for what its worth) and happily married for five years to this most amazing man in the whole world (no, I’m not biased, its true!) I think part of my irritation today is probably also caused by the provera. Introducing more hormone into my body always makes me moody.

Shawn and I scheduled a mini vacation to Gettysburg for next weekend. We are staying overnight on Friday and spending all of Saturday there. I really, really, need a vacation, even if it is for a short time. I love Gettysburg in the fall and I cant wait to take a ghost tour!

I also found two interesting links I want to share:

The Visible Embryo is a visual guide through fetal development from fertilization through pregnancy to birth. This is a cool website! If we ever get pregnant I am sure I will using it a lot!

Making Baby the High-Tech Way: Click on the In vitro fertilization link at the top and it tells you a little about IVF.

So, that’s about it for me today. I have convinced myself that having a pumpkin spice latte after lunch will make it all better! We shall wait and see…

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Confusion Continues..

I am really starting to wonder if the whole IVF experience is this confusing for other women or if it is just because I am dealing with an HMO. I called Shady Grove (my RE) and spoke to my nurse. I asked her about the doctor possibly writing me a prescription for a pain killer prior to the HSG. She said that they can do that. I then stated that obviously I need to take provera to bring on AF since I never get her on my own. I told her that my GYN had given me a huge bottle of provera to bring on AF every couple of months or so. She was surprised and said that I should really have a “no menses work-up” (AKA more blood tests) before I take provera on the off chance that I might possibly be pregnant. HA! I have heard this a million times, and I know that I have never ovulated on my own through this whole five year ordeal and I seriously doubt that I have this month either. So, I have decided on my own that I will take an HPT and start the provera on my own. I really do not want to get any more pointless blood tests that I have to pay for. Once the ole’ bat (AF) rears her ugly head I will call the doc and request a pain killer for my HSG. The HSG is done between day 7 and 10 of my cycle.

Not that I think any part of this experience is going to be fun but this part is really tedious. I am so tired of dealing with Kaiser, I just want to get on with the whole thing. I mean seriously, it seems like Kaiser does EVERYTHING at a snails pace. That is the worst part about IF in general, the waiting. It seems like that is all we ever do!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It never ends...

So, my GYN caleld yesterday, Kaiser denied our referral because they said we need more tests done. They said Shawn needs to do a semen analysis which we knew they might require. But, they also said that I need to get another HSG done. Now, let me tell you that three or four years ago when I got this test done it was the most painful thing I have EVER had done. I would get my gallbladder out again before I would get this test done if I had the choice. The last time I had it done I was in so much pain duing the procedure I ended up passing out and they had to stop the procedure early. For those of you that don't know what an HSG is here is the rundown:
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)- an x-ray procedure performed to determine whether the fallopian tubes are open and to see if the shape of the uterine cavity is normal.
I honestly have no idea why it was so painful for me but my GYN said the pain could have been caused by a couple of things, spasyms in my tubes or blockage in my tubes. Lets hope it's number one. Not that blockage in my tubes would make a difference at this point considering I do not ovulate anyway, but she said sometimes if there is scarring in the tubes they will remove them prior to IVF. I really don't want to have to get another surgery so lets hope it is number one.
Honestly, yesterday I was kind of upset because I was ready to start and now we have to get more tests. Plus, I am obviously not looking forward to a procedure that caused me so much pain last time. But, I guess pain, both physical and emotional, are part of this journey. So here we go, making more appointments and the poking and proding continues...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Still Waiting...

So my GYN called yesterday to let me know that our referral is still being reviewed. She said we should know something this week. She said that they may deny it because they may require Shawn to do a SA. If they do we will do the SA and they should approve the referral. Either way, hopefully it won't be long. I also just remembered that the medication I am taking for my acid reflux is known to cause birth defects so I have to call my PCP and have him switch it to something else. Once we get the referral I will then start the first step which is 3 weeks of birth control so nothing exciting happening in the month of October. Keep checking back for updates...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blood Test Results

I got my blood tests results today. They are as follows:
TSH,BLD,QN- 1.220
FSH- 5.4
All of these results are normal so thats good! The doctor said she ut through my referral. Now it is all in Kaiser's hands. LOL, that is NOT very comforting.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Yard Sale

We had our last yard sale today to raise money for our IVF. It was hot and humid and somewhat rainy in the morning. By mid-day it had cleared up but was still really hot and humid. We did okay, we made $350, not as much as last time but still good. We are glad that we are done with the yard sales because they are a lot of work!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Toe Friday

So, I injured my toe so badly that I thought I would need stiches, I needed to go to Kaiser to see my doctor to make sure I dadn't need stiches and for her to clean my wound. So Shawn and I stopped by the lab to get our blood work done while we were there. It was kind of cute in a strange sort of way. I got to sit next to Shawn and we had our blood drawn at the same time. Talk about a bonding moment! Of course, I have tiny veins and they always have trouble taking blood from me. Shawn has huge veins so they didn’t have any problems with him. Now were are just waiting on Kaiser to process the referral. I will call them in a week to make sure they are on top of things.

Friday, August 24, 2007

IVF Consultation

We had out IVF consultation visit with Dr. Osheroff. He went over a lot of things including the whole IVF process from beginning to end. He explained the success rates and the complications that may be involved. Basically it goes like this:

1. First we will have to get our blood work done for our referral through Kaiser. I will need to get basic hormone tests done as well as an infectious disease test. Shawn will also need to get an infectious disease test. Once we get our blood work results Kaiser will issue the referral for the IVF. The blood work that will be done will include Hepatitis B, HIV, Blood type, and Rubella Status, and likely others.

2. Once the referral is in order and the fee is paid to Shady Grove I will begin oral contraceptive pills, this will help prepare my ovaries to be cyst free. I will take the pills for approximately three weeks. Honestly, I find it highly amusing that I need to take birth control pills to HELP me get pregnant!

3. Then we will do a “mock embryo transfer.” The doctor explained that this is to help our doctor determine what size catheter to use when doing the actual embryo transfer and to get an idea of the shape and size of my uterus.

4. Then I begin a series of medications:

Lupron: (2 weeks) Lupron will lead to a suppression of the pituitary hormones, with subsequent drop in estrogen production. Lupron will allow the ovaries to produce more eggs without the fear of premature ovulation. We will be doing the Lupron as a subcutaneous injection, once per day, beginning on or about cycle day 21 in the month prior to the egg retrieval. I have done subcutaneous injections before without much trouble, I do them in my belly. The side effects are listed as follows: Headaches, fatigue, mood-swings, hot flashes, delayed onset of your period, bruising or irritation at the injection sites. Basically, from what I have heard from others, it will give me symptoms very similar to menopause. Sounds like fun!!

GONADOTROPINS (Pergonal, Humegon, Repronex, Gonal-F, Follistim, Bravelle) These drugs will act upon the ovaries to cause the eggs to develop and grow. Usually, several eggs develop on each ovary. They contain either pure FSH or FSH and LH. They are administered subcutaneously once or twice per day, according to the particular protocol. They are started when baseline tests (ultrasound and blood tests) indicate that the ovaries are in a resting, “non-productive” state. Like they already haven’t been “non-productive!”Side effects: Mood-swings, discomfort around the ovaries, abdominal fullness, soreness at the Injection sites.

HCG (Profasi, Pregnyl, Novarel) This hormone is taken once testing indicates the eggs on the ovaries are ready to be released. It performs two functions: structural changes inside the eggs to make them able to be fertilized and expansion of the fluid inside the follicles (egg sacs) that would eventually lead to rupture and ovulation. This must be taken as an intramuscular injection (which is odd because I have taken this before as a subcutaneous injection??) This will be taken approximately 36 hours before the scheduled time for egg retrieval Side effects: Discomfort around the ovaries, soreness at the injection site.

ANTIBIOTIC (Doxycycline, Tetracycline, Keflex)I believe we were informed that both Shawn and I have to take antibiotics. When performing the procedure to retrieve the eggs, a needle is placed through the vaginal wall and into the abdominal space. The antibiotics is to minimize the risk of an infection due to this puncture, as fevers are not good for developing embryos. I am not sure of the dosage of this medication yet. Side effects: stomach upset, allergic reactions (hives, itching, swelling) vaginal yeast infections in women.

PROGESTERONEThis hormone make the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) receptive for embryo implantation. This hormone is so important for women like me with PCOS because many women with PCOS have a lower level of progesterone which can cause a miscarriage. This is an intramuscular injection begun one day after retrieval and continue (daily) through 10 weeks of pregnancy. I have heard that this injection is VERY painful, but I will let you know. Side effects: Breast tenderness, soreness at the injection sites.

PRE-NATAL VITAMINSThey already gave me these to start taking but I have to admit I have not done a good job. I have to take so many pills during each day that I really have to force myself to swallow them! But I really need to take these.

LOW-DOSE ASPIRIN (1 (80mg) tablet, by mouth, per day.)I really don’t know why I have to take this but I am sure there is a good reason.

5. The next step will be the egg retrieval. They told me that I will have to be put under IV sedation while they do this. Shawn will provide a "sample" at this time. They then combine the eggs and the sperm into a Petri dish and hopefully they fertilize. The center will call me with updates every day on how our little embryos are doing. We will be told how many eggs have fertilized (the more the better) and when the transfer will be.

6. Embryo Transfer: This is the procedure where they put the embryos back into the uterus. I will be awake during this procedure and Shawn can be in the room with me. I have to have a full bladder for this as they use an abdominal ultrasound. That should be fun! I will have to lay flat for about an hour after the transfer. Believe me when I say that there will be a lot of praying during this time!

7. Last Step-Pregnancy Test 14 days after transfer! That is going to be a long two weeks!!

Well, that's it for now. If you actually read all this good for you!!