Thursday, December 18, 2008

Long Time No Blog

I had a doctor's appointment the other day and he was asking me about how things are going with work, home, etc. and although I think everything is going pretty well, I couldn't help but respond as to how tired I am all the time. ALL THE TIME. I can sleep for eight hours and not wake up refreshed. He responded with how that wasn't surprising considering that I work full-time, am 28 weeks pregnant and have a toddler at home. So, I am going to try and stop feeling guilty for feeling so worn out all the time and just accept what is and work through it. Needless to say, the things that have been falling by the wayside have been writing blog entries, amongst other things like grocery shopping and cleaning the house up.

One thing that has been taking my time is preparing QT's new big boy bedroom. I had all the plaster cracks in the spare bedroom patched which meant moving everything out of that room which actually worked out nicely since then it was empty when it came time to paint. I recruited one of my sisters and friend to help out with the painting. I managed to help for about five minutes before the fumes were just too much for me. So, lucky me got to supervise the kids while other people painted. I actually hate painting so it worked out nicely for me. Most of the painting is done but there is still some trim work and touching up to be done and I'm really hoping that gets done this weekend. I would love to be able to show QT his new bedroom on Christmas. His new bed was delivered the other day. Isn't it adorable:

I can't wait to put it together and see how it looks. QT was all excited when he saw the box and now he keeps begging me to "op it mommy, op it." I'm hoping that he'll be as excited when I ask him to sleep in it.

Another thing taking up my time is trying to refinance our mortgage. We have a first and a second mortgage and I really want to combine the two and get a lower interest rate. Everything seemed to be going fine until the appraiser pointed out that there is some chipping paint on our garage and some storm windows and apparently that is a concern when you're getting an FHA loan. An overly perky woman at the mortgage company called and in a super chipper voice told me that I'd have to have the garage door and storm windows scraped, sanded and painted prior to our being able to get the loan. Now, I live in Wisconsin and this woman is in Michigan so I can't imagine that the winters are all that different across Lake Michigan so I was astonished that she didn't see the little hitch in having scraping, sanding and painting done in the middle of winter. From everything I've read and heard the temperature ideally would be at least 50 degrees for painting exteriors and it certainly has to be above 35. None of this even takes into account the amount of snow that is now covering my basement storm windows and bottom portions of the garage. I'm frustrated by this and waiting and hoping to hear that there is some alternative.

Oh, and let's not forget Christmas. I think I did a pretty good job getting most of my gifts early this year and now they are wrapped and under the tree but like every year I am still trying to figure out what to get my father and brother-in-law. You'd think that my husband would be able to help me out with some suggestions but nope, I get nothing, nadda, when I question him as to what he thinks they may want. The only decision I've made regarding their gifts is that they will come from Kohl's since I have a 30% off coupon for Kohl's this week.

Right now I am going to spend my time eating. I've been doing a lot of that lately and I've even started gaining weight. I am still about 15 pounds under what I was when I got pregnant but hey who is complaining?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Still Sick

Over the weekend I had a terrible headache that just would not go away. It probably didn't help that I barely slept at all Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. QT was up every half an hour to an hour crying because his nose was so stuffy and he was having a hard time breathing. Of course, cleaning out his nose is a huge feat. You just wish that kids would understand how much better they'll feel after you have to do something to them that doesn't feel so good. Anyway, in part because of lack of sleep and in part because of the weather pressure, I had a horrible headache. In desperation I took some Tylenol with coedine and boy did that make me sick. I spent much of Saturday running to the bathroom and being sick.

The fun part of Saturday was taking QT to Trainfest. He loved watching all the model trains and just keep saying "choo choo" over and over and over again. The not so fun part of Saturday was babysitting my two nieces that night. Maybe it was the headache and all the vomiting but everything they did seemed to annoy me. It's at times like that when I question my desire to have even one more child much less two or more.

At some point Sunday my headache went away and I started feeling much better. Then this morning it was back to throwing up and then throwing up breakfast. Right now I am just anxiously awaiting to see if lunch will stay down. I still haven't really gained any weight. I've lost around 20 pounds and will sometimes gain two back but then I lose it again right away.

I've done a pretty good job sticking to my meal planning, coupon clipping and grocery shopping despite this week's plan getting a little off because the husband and I went out to dinner one night and his work schedule changed so that he'll be gone more nights than normal. Here's the big plan for next week:

Saturday - Picnic chicken made in the crockpot
Sunday - Tuna parmesan noodle casserole
Monday - Pizza
Tuesday - Pork chops and apple slices made in the crockpot
Wednesday - Beer cheese soup
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Frozen prepared meal or perhaps pasta
Saturday - Fiesta meatloaf

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Meal Planning

The entire time I was growing up my mother cooked dinner every night and we sat down together as a family to eat. How she managed that working full-time, raising three kids and having a husband who never lifted a hand to help her with any inside the house jobs is beyond me. I do work full-time but I only have one child and a husband who will help, along with eat just about anything (my father didn't consider Hamburger Helper to be a real meal) and yet I still only manage to make dinner one or two nights a week. The other nights we may just snack on things, or make a sandwich, have a frozen pizza or maybe get carry out. Not only is it expensive but I've begun to feel guilty that we never sit down at the table and actually eat together. Sure, we may all be eating at the same time some nights but the husband is on the couch, I'm sitting in the living room chair and QT is in his chair and we're all watching t.v. or I'm opening the mail or we're just tired and not talking much. I've made it a goal to change our ways and to establish a dinner routine, which undoubtedly will get thrown out the window once the baby is born, but I figure at least I'll have a goal to work our way back towards then.

I started this the week before last by doing something I never do, looking through the weekly grocery store sale ad. I made a list of anything on it that I either knew we needed or thought I may be able to use in a recipe for the next week. Next, I did something else I never do, I clipped coupons. Third, something again I never do, I actually listed out each day of the week and what we would have for dinner. Normally I detest grocery shopping but knowing that I wasn't just haphazardly buying things and instead buying items I knew I would use made it seem better. Even better was how exciting it was to use the coupons and then find out that so long as I shop on Wednesday or Thursday the coupons will be doubled. At this point every little bit will help.

Here is the meal plan I made for this week and the one I'm working on for next week:

Sunday - Spaghetti squash casserole
Monday - Since the husband isn't home either leftovers or frozen pizza
Tuesday - Cock pot chicken legs
Wednesday - Loaded baked potatoes
Thursday - Leftover day
Friday - Fajitas
Saturday - Chili

Sunday - Cranberry pork tenderloin
Monday - Probably frozen pizza again
Tuesday - Crock pot chicken thighs
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Crock pot macaroni and cheese
Friday - Sour cream hash browns and ????
Saturday - Pork chops w/ apples

Guess who just bought a crock pot recipe book?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Getting adjusted to all things pink

So, I think I have gotten adjusted to the idea of having a daughter. Whenever anyone asked me what gender I wanted for this baby I always said that it didn't matter to me, I was just grateful to be pregnant and want one healthy baby as a result. And, honestly, that is what is most important. However, I also just assumed or felt that I would have another boy. It's taken about a week for the news to really sink in. My first reaction was one of fear. What do I know about raising a daughter? When I'm with my nieces and look at all their Barbie fairytopia/mermadia things I always thought how lucky I was to not have to deal with all pink/purple princess/fairy stuff. I'm not one of those women who want a daughter so that they have someone to shop with, or go to the salon with, because those aren't the sorts of things that I really enjoy doing. At the same time, I was never a tomboy so I fall somewhere in between - not one of the popular, pretty girls but not one of the sporty girls either. Perhaps this is partly where my anxiety comes from. I don't want my daughter to experience the same things I did growing up. I was never the smartest, never the prettiest, never really the best at anything (other than perhaps at being a smart alec). I hadn't feeling as though I needed to lose weight, or wear make-up or have a boyfriend, etc. in order to fit in. I know that boys experience social pressures as well but having never lived through those I just assume they must be easier than what girls go through. The husband has none of these concerns and his worries lie squarely with how he will handle a young teenager, who was just like him, coming to pick his daughter up for a date. Needless to say, I'm already hearing about how "no daughter of mine is dating until they are 30."

I had a second ultrasound yesterday. At my 20 week ultrasound the tech couldn't get a profile view of the baby and so my doctor wanted to try again. When I arrived for the scan the tech said that they would be trying to get a profile shot and then also re-checking the fetal weight. That was the first I was hearing about any weight check and questioned if the baby was measuring small, figuring that if I've lost 20 pounds thus far, perhaps my doctor just wanted to check and be certain that it wasn't effecting the baby. As it turns out, the baby is measuring big, but as of right now I still don't know what that means, or if it is even significant at all. I'm trying not to worry while I wait to hear from my doctor.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Honeycrisp Haiku

Crunch! Teeth breaking skin
Crisp, sweet, juicy honeycrisp
Only in the fall

Okay, so I was never much of a poet but I did just want to let everyone out there know of the wonders of the honeycrisp apple. If you've never had one, go get one! Now!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Political Confession

I am most likely NOT going to watch the presidential debate tonight. Instead, I will pick shows saved on my DVR and watch frivolous, meaningless television. Normally I love all things political but honestly, I think I'm burnt out on not just the presidential race, but all news. I read the newspaper every day and find that basically all it does is make me angry. Well, except for Miss Manners because her etiquette advice I always find to be so witty and charming. I aspire to be Miss Manners. But, back to news and politics, I'm tired of hearing promises from candidates that I know will never be kept, I'm tired of hearing one side bash the other when let's face it, they are all to blame for the mess our country is in, I'm tired of working hard and wondering if I'll be able to afford the baby I'm carrying much less ever have any more children since my taxes and just everyday expenses are so high. I'm tired of hearing how it's patriotic to pay taxes. Oh really? Ask the founding fathers that question. Clearly they didn't feel it patriotic to pay taxes given that the revolution was fought over the issue of taxes AND when this nation was founded there was no such thing as a federal income tax. Why we ever changed that I can't even begin to imagine. Also, if it's so darn patriotic to pay taxes then why do so many people in this country not only pay zero taxes but somehow, receive a tax "refund"? How can you get a refund for something you never even paid? It boggles my mind and makes my brain hurt. I'm getting a headache just writing this post and so I must stop. Tonight's viewing shall be an episode of Dexter and perhaps last night's House. Yes, that's what my world has come to, I would rather watch a show about a serial killer and a drug addicted doctor than watch the presidential candidates debate.

Friday, October 10, 2008


At my last ob/gyn appointment my doctor asked me if I was feeling the baby move yet. My answer was no, and wasn't it a little early for that given that last time I don't remember feeling movement that I was certain was the baby until after 20 weeks? He decided that it would make me feel better to tell me that most second time moms feel movement between 15 and 18 weeks. Oh great, way to make me panic wondering why I wasn't feeling anything yet. Well, for more than a week I've been feeling the little flutters that make you wonder is that the baby or is it just gas. Now I'm feeling that everyday, multiple times a day so I know it's baby. I LOVE feeling the little one squirming around in there. It is the thing I missed most after giving birth and it's something that I really want to cherish even more this time around since it is uncertain that I will ever be pregnant again.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Long time no write

Things seemed to get really busy really fast. First, we took our first official family vacation. We rented a cabin in Northern Wisconsin and spent a cold, rainy, chilly week wishing the weather would have been better. It was still fun though. QT really enjoyed hanging out on the dock and putting his fishing pole into the water. I figured I would be able to update upon our return but things have just gotten out of hand. First, I was getting pretty sick pretty often and that just took all the energy out of me. I finally gave in and called my doctor begging for some anti-nausea meds. He prescribed Zofran and so far I'm getting by on taking one pill in the morning. It seems to be helping although I'm still gaggy at times but that sure beats throwing up everything I eat. The Zofran came just at the right time as we had a birthday party for QT's second birthday. I can't believe my little boy is already two. Where does the time go?

There's no real big baby news. My "big" ultrasound is scheduled for the 21st so that is giving me something to look forward to. I've made zero progress on even making any decisions regarding moving QT to his big boy room. I keep saying that I don't want to decide anything until we find out if we're having another boy, but just between you and me, I have just been too lazy to make the decisions. My big accomplishment this past weekend was sorting through all of his summer clothes and boxing them up. Doing so made me think about what it would be like if we find out that we're having a girl. I've always said that it doesn't matter to me because really all I want is another baby. But, now I'm thinking that somewhere I've just always assumed that this baby would be another boy. I will still be thrilled either way, but feel as though I'll need some time to adjust my thoughts to all things girlie.

In possible future baby news I got some bad news yesterday. My current insurance provides for two IVF cycles. We were lucky enough to have our first try work and were planning on trying another cycle about six months after this baby is born. Well, yesterday I arrived home to a letter from wonderful, kind and caring United Healthcare saying that as of January 1, 2009, IVF will no longer be an offered benefit. I know it's silly for me to be sad about this but I am because it seriously reduces our chances of ever having more children, and they were pretty low chances to start with. Growing up I always envisioned myself having a bunch of kids, at least four, if not more. I love big family dinners and the thought of all my kids growing up together and returning home for holidays, etc. Two children are a blessing beyond belief so I shouldn't really be selfish but it is hard to give up your dream of how you thought your life would be.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Invasion Has Begun

Actually, it began on Wednesday. For those of you who think that Wisconsin is just all beer and cheese, I have news for you. Milwaukee once was home to many fine breweries, most sadly gone now, but we do still have the international headquarters of Harley Davidson. Every five years they throw a huge anniversary party and the city is set upon by thousands upon thousands of Harley riders. It is an amazing sight to walk down the street and see more motorcycles on the road than cars. It is also an amazing sound. Even here, at my desk, in a huge concrete building, I can hear the roar of those bikes loud and clear. Had I been smart, I would have gotten out of the city for the long weekend and rented out my home to some nice HOG members. But, as is often the case, I'm too smart too late.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm Done!

Here are a few things I'm done with, at least until we decide to try for a third:

1. PIO/PIA shots
2. Progesterone gel
3. Ultrasounds performed by a wand
4. Infertility treatments
5. Testing early for pregnancy
6. Taking my temperature every morning and charting
7. Ovulation predictor sticks'
8. Shots of stimulating drugs

I hope that I'm also done worrying, at least about this pregnancy and this baby. Today was my nuchal translucency ultrasound. The tech didn't really say anything either way but I saw her take the measurements and then promptly headed home to ask Dr. Google what they would mean. They are behold what would be a marker for Down's Syndrome so although I don't have the results I think everything will come back normal.

My morning sickness is improving. I'm throwing up some mornings but not every morning. Mainly I am gagging a lot but keeping myself from actually vomiting. More foods are appealing to me so that makes things easier.

It seems as though summer is winding down and I'm finding it somewhat sad. Normally I welcome the changing leaves but this year it seems I'm not quite ready to see summer end. Maybe it was horrible winter we had, maybe it's that I love the freedom to just run QT outside to play when he needs to burn off some little boy energy, or maybe it's just that the winter will bring so many changes. I've never been all that good with change.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Make me stop!

My RE told me that I could start to taper off the PIO a bit before 10 weeks and then and stop completely at 10 weeks. Did I do that? Noooooo. I figured I would wait until my after my ob appointment on Monday when I was 11 weeks. Did I remember to ask my ob about stopping? Noooo. Have I stopped? Nooooo. Why not you ask? Put simply, I am paranoid that I will stop and something bad will happen. My compromise for right now is that I think I am going to switch to progesterone gel. I have six days worth leftover from my IUIs so I could use that until I'm 12 weeks. It's perfectly safe to stop at 12 weeks, correct? Please tell me to stop!

Also, if you could please tell this baby that mom needs food and water to live. Those two items are not a luxury, they are a necessity. The throwing up/dry heaving is bad. It taking hours to decide what to eat may be worse. Feeling nasuseous all the time, specially after taking even a small sip of water, is horrible. You gotta work with my here and let me eat and drink.

Friday, August 15, 2008

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

I guess I should have known that there is a limited time span in which everything can go your way. The husband got a real, genuine, teaching job with the potential for an even better teaching job next year, he was so close to getting dissertator status and I got pregnant. Things were looking good. Then, the other shoe dropped. The husband had a rough time with his preliminary exams and will not get dissertator status anytime soon. The PhD committee has recommended that he take a YEAR and re-apply for dissertator status then. Not only does that push back all of our plans at least one more year but it also puts his current teaching job in jeopardy while basically guaranteeing that he won't be be offered the better teaching job next year. Making it all the worse is that this is something I have zero control over. It would be easier for me to handle if it were me all this were happening to. I feel helpless to say anything to the husband to make him feel better and feel helpless to make certain that next year things go well. That's if there even is a next year. The husband is in such shock right now that he's not even certain that he wants to continue on with graduate school. At least for now, we're in limbo, and I don't like limbo.

Monday, August 11, 2008

What's on the Radar?

I ordered a doppler the other day and it arrived on Friday. I've read about other women who got these and either loved or hated them. Yes, hearing the heartbeat would be very reassuring but not finding the heartbeat would bring on a panic like no other. The fear of the latter is what kept me from getting one for my first pregnancy. This time around is different though. I am used to more monitoring and so this long break of four whole weeks in between visits just feels like an eternity. I tried it out Friday, twice Saturday and again yesterday and nothing. I can find my own heartbeat and every once in a while the doppler registers a higher heartbeat, high enough to be the baby's, but even with the volume turned all the way up I can't hear anything. I'm trying not to worry as I am only 10 weeks today and I know that is early to be able to hear the heartbeat with a doppler but I'm really hopeful that I'll find it soon.

Yesterday I was introduced to Guitar Hero for the Wii. It was fun but I feel like an arthritic old grandma who has been knitting for eight hours straight today. I seem to have lost some feeling in three of my left fingers. Guess I should have read all the fine print and warnings that come along with the game that I'm sure warn of the dangers of losing feeling in your finger tips if you keep battling some guitar hero to move onto the next round.

Where I found the time to play the Wii is the big question. In case you don't know, the Olympics started on Friday. I am an Olympics junkie. I'll watch anything and everything. I like them so much that I'm wishing I had taken some vacation time this week just so that I'd be able to watch the coverage during the day.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Worry Wart

It's Monday and I'm already worrying about how this week will go. Two weeks ago there was the brown spotting to worry about. Last week brought the worry to an entirely new level with the onset of pink spotting and red bleeding and a mysterious leg infection. So, what will this week bring? I hope nothing but good things!

Here's just a bit of advice, if you are ever in need of emergency room care and are in the city of Milwaukee do not go to St. Joe's. Sure, it's a great hospital and is even called the baby hospital but that apparently doesn't mean that if you're pregnant and bleeding that they will actually do anything at all to check things out. And, just because you're going to some place called the emergency room don't expect them to treat your illness like a real emergency. At least in my world, emergencies don't take FIVE hours to diagnosis and treat.

The full story is as follows:

Tuesday I began experiencing pain behind my knee and on the inside of my right thigh. I have no recollection of hitting my leg on anything, being bit by any insects or in any other way, shape or form injuring it. I just stood up from my chair to walk somewhere and it hurt. The pain worsened to the point that fully extending my leg or bending my leg was nearly impossible. When I walked I had a slight limp. Normally I'm the sort of person who blows things like this off and figures that they will work themselves out in a few days so although it hurt I didn't do anything about it. Wednesday I noticed a red splotch where the pain was so I did call my doctor and he said not to worry unless the splotch got bigger, was hot to the touch and/or my leg turned blue. That night before bed I looked again and sure enough, big red splotch that was hot to the touch. I was planning on just calling the doctor back in the morning but then I had the shock of seeing real, red blood when I went to the bathroom. It wasn't brown and not even really pink, it was red and there was even a small clot. I was just stunned. I went and told the husband who, being a typical male, didn't really get it. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that it was because he was already sleeping instead of thinking that he thought I went in the bathroom and discovered that oh, my arm was bleeding. The discovery of the blood made me call my doctor immediately. But, it would be too easy to just be able to call your doctor so instead it went like this, I called the nurse line, an operator called a nurse who called me back and then the nurse called the doctor and then called me back. An hour later I got the word that I should go to the ER and not so much for the bleeding but more so for the possibility of a blood clot in my leg. Oh joy.

I arrived at the emergency room at 11:10 p.m. and I left at 4:00 a.m. In between that time I sat around a lot. There were no magazines to read and I was instructed not to eat or drink anything. So, I just sat there, by myself, worried out of my mind. After over an hour I was moved into an exam room, after another half an hour I was visited by a nurse and then maybe another hour later finally I saw a doctor. Half an hour later I was taken to ultrasound so they could check not the baby but my leg. No blood clots were found and I was sent back to the little room and told to wait for the doctor to return. That seemed to take forever and when he did finally appear he had few answers. Maybe my leg was infected, maybe something had bit me, maybe this, maybe that, but they really don't know so they do what all doctors seem to do and handed me some antibiotics. They assured me that they are safe to take during pregnancy but that hasn't stopped me from worrying.

It was a relief to find out the leg issue is probably more of a nuisance than a real medical problem but I went home that night not knowing if everything was okay with the baby or night. The ER doc said that since I had just had an ultrasound done the week prior that he wasn't planning on checking anything and that I should just follow-up with my ob/gyn the next day. So easy for him to say. The next morning I didn't even have to call my ob because he actually called me and said that they would put me on the ultrasound schedule asap. It was a relief to see the little guy with his little beating heart. Both the ultrasound tech and the doctor could find no reason for the bleeding. My doctor just told me to stop doing so much (I didn't know that watching t.v. and putting my son to bed was doing too much) because if the bleeding didn't stop then he'd have to put me on bed rest. I was still worried but felt better when I left and I felt even better when I threw-up on Friday. I figure anything that makes this pregnancy more like the one with QT will make me feel more certain that everything is fine. The bleeding seems to have stopped but my morning sickness has also gotten a lot better. A normal person would just be thankful but oh no, not me, the lack of nauseousness and vomiting has led me right back into the bottomless pit of worry.

I am nine weeks today. When will I get to stop worrying? I know that mothers never get to stop worrying but when do I get to stop worrying specifically about this pregnancy? I don't even really mean stop worrying altogether, more just when can I have an hour or two of no worry? I've read that you can feel the baby sooner with a second pregnancy. I really hope that is true because feeling the little guy would really be a blessing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Please No NICU

The other day I was reading another blog and saw the picture of a mom holding her newly born baby in her arms while lying in the hospital bed. I want those pictures! I want to give birth and then be able to hold my child and not have him wisked away to the NICU. I want to be able to stay in bed and hold him instead of having to waddle downstairs, get buzzed into the NICU and sit next to an isolette. I want visitors to be able to come to my room and visit instead of having to visit my baby in the NICU. I know it's silly to feel like I missed out on something with QT's birth and that I should just be thankful that I have a healthy baby boy and yet, when I see pictures like that it makes me want the "normal" experience that much more with this baby. And so I declare NO NICU this time around.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why I Don't Like the Color Brown

So, I had a bit of a freak out this morning. I had some brown tinged cm and all the worry that had started to go away after the ultrasound last week came flooding back and then some. I have NEVER spotted. I didn't spot at all during my pregnancy with QT and really, I've never spotted ever before. I didn't even need to Google "brown tinged cm in early pregnancy" to know that it would tell me that some spotting is perfectly normal and so long as it's not bright red and so long as I don't have cramping everything is probably just fine. But there's that word - probably. That means that something could be wrong. I stopped myself from running to the phone and calling my clinic because really, what could they do? Technically I was released from their care last week and I did have an appointment scheduled with my ob/gyn in the afternoon. I pulled myself together, told myself it would all be okay, and made my way to work. There I proceeded to use the restroom more times in the four and a half hours I was there than I have in the last four and a half months. A little more brown but if I hadn't been really looking for it I never would have noticed it. Why must I torture myself?

The doctor visit went well. He was running late, as always, but when he came in the room he was super excited that I was pregnant. I had to laugh when he asked if it had happened "naturally." Nope, this was definitely a drug induced pregnancy. He reviewed my paper work from the clinic, saw that I had already had an ultrasound and yelled out to the nurse to cancel the order for an ultrasound. What??? No! I want another one. I quickly mentioned the brown spotting and my freaking out about it and then I didn't even have to ask him if I could still have the ultrasound because before I could say anything else he yelled back to the nurse and told her to go ahead and schedule one. So, that is how I got my second ultrasound today. I got to see the little guy again and the tech even checked the heart rate which was 137. Dr. Google assures me that is a good heart rate for a 7w2d old fetus. The tech also said that I was measuring right on time. Whew! Crisis averted, for now at least.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Peanut Butter, My New Best Friend

Creamy, sticky and tasty, what's not to love? Given that my queasiness is now a 24 hour/7 day a week event, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do to get by. Peanut butter seems to be my savior. I figured it's a decent choice because it's protein and does contain some good fat. For lots of pregnant ladies, protein gets to be a touchy subject. I think it's widely agreed that chicken turns stomachs. For me, chicken is always on the do not eat list whereas a big, juicy steak moves on and off the list depending on the day, hour or minute. Last night steak tacos hit the spot but now today the thought of them turns my stomach. I have been agonizing over what I will eat for dinner tonight. Ideally I'd like to be able to just pick something up on my way home. The husband is fishing tonight so I have to pick up QT from my sister's house and then make my way home in time to give myself the PIA shot. By the time I'm done with all that I know that I won't feel like making dinner so a drive-thru seems the way to go but here are the places I pass on my way home: McDonald's (too salty meat and see above for comments about chicken options), Burger King, Wendy's, Dairy Queen, Taco Bell, KFC and Subway. I can't think of a single thing at any of those establishments that I could stomach right now. In fact, just sitting here thinking about the options is making my physically ill. I wonder what is in my freezer......

Tomorrow I have my first appointment with my regular ob/gyn for this pregnancy. I don't think there will be an ultrasound but I'm just excited to see my doctor and to have him know that I'm pregnant. He was very encouraging to me during the last year and a half and it's a comfort to know that some doctors really do care about their patients. Seeing the doctor also means leaving work early and getting home early. Both good things.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

One Little Gummy Bear

After waiting over 45 minutes in the waiting room we finally got moved back to the exam room where we waited another 15 minutes. This whole time I am repeating over and over and over to myself that everything is going to be alright and even though I'm only 6 weeks and 3 days that there will be a strong heartbeat or two visible. Finally in walks the Russian ultrasound tech and my heart sinks because in all my past visits she never let me see the screen and I only truly understand about every other words she says. Thankfully, one minute later in walked Dr. Sherbahn. He did the scan and once he had located the little guy he turned the screen towards me so I could see. He did a scan of my entire uterus and there is only one little gummy bear in there. It's crazy how small the baby is at this point and even crazier how you can actually see a little white flicker which is the beating heart.

Here, see for yourself:

The circle is the yolk sack and the fetal pole is to the right between the cursors

On a totally unrelated subject, can someone please explain to me why QT loves going to the local wading pool, will sit down and even lay down in the water, but when it comes time to take a bath he screams and cries and refuses to even sit in the tub? Ahhhh, the mysteries of toddlerhood.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For

Last week found me agonizing over my pregnancy journal from when I was pregnant with QT. Apparently, that go round my morning sickness started in the fifth week. I was five weeks last week and nothing, and if fact, it seemed as though I had gotten my big appetite back. I was concerned and told myself that I would actually welcome feeling sick to my stomach at the mere thought of food because it would reassure me that things were progressing normally. After all, QT is a healthy, normal child and so if this pregnancy was the same wouldn't the result be the same? I know, faulty logic.

Monday I was exactly six weeks. Monday I started feeling queasy at all times of the day. Tuesday found me racking my brain to figure out what to eat at each meal time. No food seems appealing and so my meals have been an odd hodge-podge of crackers, cheese and whatever else seems to not make me feel sick just thinking about it. Today finds me running to the bathroom only to gag a whole lot but never actually throwing up. Ahhhh, the joys of morning sickness.

These new developments do make me feel more certain that the ultrasound tomorrow will go well but now I'm starting to worry about what if this morning sickness never goes away? What if it's a repeat of throwing up for eight months culminating in throwing up seven times during labor? Ugh. Now that is something I haven't wished for!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Why I Got Married

I could say that I got married because I really and truly love the husband, that he is my soul mate and we were destined to be together, that he completes me and blah, blah, blah. But really, I'm not that kind of a gal. Yes, I do love him but you have to understand, when I was picking out our wedding invitations I shocked the salesperson by stating that I didn't want one of those sappy invites that mentions "love" and "joy" and all that lovey dovey mumbo jumbo. I'm a practical gal who loves without having to use flowery language to express that. In the words of some bad 80's rock band I'm a "more than words" kind of a person. And so, I expect the same from the husband. Do rather than say. And, that normally works out pretty well, except when the husband isn't around. So, when the hose that carries the water from the washing machine and into the laundry tubs mysteriously falls out and all the water pours into the basement, he shows how much he loves me by telling me to stay out of the way while he cleans it up. But, like I said, he's not here which leaves only little 'ole me to clean up the sudsy mess all the while swearing because hey, this is exactly why I got married, so that I wouldn't have to deal with messes like this!

On a brighter note, QT and I perfected giving each other Eskimo kisses today. I sometimes joke that I am having children in order to have someone to clean my house for me, but truth be told I wanted to see the beautiful smile on a little boy's face when we rub noses together. Shhhh.......don't tell anyone.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

PIO is now to be called PIA

Every ivf girl knows that PIO stands for progesterone in oil, the most dreaded shot of the entire ivf process. The needle is longer and thicker than the ones used for the stimulating drugs and the shots must be administered into a muscle, not just under the skin like for stims. For most women their partners do the shots for them. It's a way to get them involved and a way for us to not have to contort ourselves to try and give ourselves shots in the behind, not to mention, the sheer fear of doing such. Unfortunately for me, the husband is gone this entire week. I don't really have anyone else that I would feel comfortable asking to give me the PIO shot so I've been doing them myself. Here's the procedure:

I choose to do them sitting down and always in my right hip because I am right handed. I load the syringe with the PIO and then I pick the spot I want to stick. I move my hand back and forth in a darting motion trying to get up the courage to actually jab it into my skin. This goes on for, two, three, no jab, one, two, three, no jab, one, two, three, buck up and just do it already, jab! Taking the needle out is perhaps even more nerve racking than sticking it in. You see, there is often blood, and sometimes lots of blood, after the needle comes out. My biggest fear this week is that I will run out of places to stick myself since I am not switching sides. I already have huge bruises from past sticks so it's limiting where I can put new ones. Not to mention that if I brush up against something just right I can feel the soreness of all those jabs. Even just carrying my purse causes discomfort because it rubs right where the bruises are.

And so, for all these reasons, I am declaring that PIO, progesterone in oil, should now forever be called PIA, for pain in my ass, literally.

Monday, July 7, 2008

March 9, 2009

That is my due date.

Yesterday I was at a family cookout and one of my cousins asked the dreaded question "so when will QT be getting a little brother or sister?" But, you know what? I was more than happy to respond with "March 9, 2009." At first she just kind of stared wondering how I could know the exact date I would have my next child and then it dawned on her that I am pregnant. It was fun just watching her react.

My parents have become quite found of saying that I am going to have quads. Now, for that to happen I would need both embryos to have split into identical twins and then every one implanted. Do you have any idea what the odds of that are? I know they are saying it because they don't really understand the ivf process that well and everyone assumes that high order multiples are a result of ivf even though in reality it's normally from iui's, but, at the same time, I would have liked a hearty congratulations from them instead of instant questioning as to our decision to try for a second child.

It is going to be a weird week. First, I'm worrying a lot about the upcoming ultrasound. I wish it was this week instead of next so that I could just put my mind at ease. Second, the husband is gone the entire week taking his preliminary exams for his PhD. I know how much pressure he's under and so I hate that he's alone the whole time. Oh, and I don't really like being home for an entire week without him. Third, QT is going to be staying overnight with his grandparents tomorrow and possibly even Wednesday night. What will I do in my not so big house all by myself for two nights in a row? Normally I'd open a bottle of wine and watch bad yet can't stop watching them movies but I'm pregnant so that cuts out the wine. But, I suppose I can still watch the movies. Yesterday I caught Center Stage. If you haven't seen it, I don't recommend it, even though I have seen it at least five times.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

We Have a Doubling Beta

Woohoo! And thank goodness. They called really early today so I didn't have to suffer long waiting for the results but my heart still sank into my stomach when I saw the clinic's phone number on the caller id. My beta hcg level went from 98 to 271 which is a doubling time of 2.04 days. So, it looks like things are right on track :-)

My first ultrasound is scheduled for Thursday, July 17th. There's so much obsessing to be done between now and then! I'm going to be busy.

In other good news, I get to wean myself off of the estrogen patches. I'm pretty sure they are what have been giving me dizzy spells. Even better, last visit the nice nurse gave me some extra patches so that I wouldn't have to order more from the pharmacy. Free drugs are always a good thing.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

T Minus 11 Hours

It's shaping up to be a long day tomorrow. I have to rise and shine early and be out of the house by 5:45 a.m. so that I can drive to Gurnee for my second beta at 7:00 a.m. Then it's driving back to Milwaukee and to work worrying the entire time about what the beta will be. After work I have acupuncture and if I'm lucky I'll get home before QT is in bed.

I was at Target today and wandered into the newborn clothing section. Oh my goodness, there was the cutest polka dot pajamas. I almost scooped them up and bought them but then stopped myself and made myself promise not to buy anything for this baby until I know the sex. After all, what little boy wears green, yellow and pink polka dots?

Sooooo, if I can't buy baby clothes that can only mean one thing, that I will start buying maternity clothes! I've already picked out a few things on that I want to get. I did save every last piece of maternity clothes from the last time around but I was pregnant in the summer and this will be mainly a winter pregnancy (at least that's when I'll be beached whale huge). I always hear women say how they don't want or don't like being pregnant in the summer but really, I think winter will be worse. It means having to find a maternity winter coat. It means pulling on boots and trudging through the snow with a huge pregnant belly. I'm up to the challenge but in the end I'm sure I will have found sunny August easier to handle.

I bought a pregnancy journal today. One of the questions is why did you first suspect that you were pregnant. Do you know what it was? I can no longer eat as much as I used to. Isn't it amazing that pregnancy seems to be the most effective diet I've ever been on? Maybe there really is something to that HCG diet I've read about.

Monday, June 30, 2008

First Beta Down at Least One More to Go

I had my first beta this morning. My blood was drawn at 7:00a.m. and then I headed off to work. By the time I got there I felt sick to my stomach. And no, it wasn't morning sickness sick to my stomach, it was when are they going to call and give me the actual number sickness. It's amazing how even seeing nine positive hpt's doesn't mean a thing. A nurse called around 11:30a.m. and told me that I was pregnant. My beta was 98. I think that's a good, respectable number. She congratulated me and for maybe two seconds I was just happy, not worried or anxious or stressed, just happy to be pregnant. But, then she had to go and ruin it by saying that I need to come back Thursday for a second beta because the number today doesn't mean anything unless it doubles within 48 to 72 hours. I knew that but I wanted to put off worrying about it a little longer.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Here are my two beautiful embryos making their internet debut:

Which of these do you think implanted...........or did both of them? I'm dying to find out.

And, here is QT announcing to the world that he is going to be a big brother:

I bought that shirt for him over a year ago, back in the days when I figured I would get pregnant within a few months. I can remember being annoyed that the store didn't have any smaller than a 2T. When I put it on him this morning it just fit. I guess the store knew better than I did.

Oh, and last but certainly not least, can you say obsessive?

Friday, June 27, 2008

To reward my loyal blog readers (all two of you)

First, I was wrong about the First Response Gold test not being a digital test. It is, indeed, digital. It gives you a nice "+Yes" or a not so nice "-No." How do I know? Well, I read the box better this morning WHEN I WAS USING THE TEST. I'm happy to announce that I got the nice +Yes response.

Oh.My.God. I think that I am really pregnant.

Did you hear me???? Pregnant!!!!

Although I am over the moon happy nothing is really official until my beta on Monday. I know the odds of the trigger shot still being in my system 13 days later is slim to none but the thought that it could be lingers in the back of my mind. And, the lady who posted on Fertility Friend that hers stuck with her for 18 days really isn't helping that worry to go away. 18 days? She must have a freakish metabolism. Wouldn't you agree?

By the way, the reward is that you are the first to know. Very exciting for you, I know. So, if you see the husband you are under strict orders not to tell him. I want to test at least one more time before I tell him.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I got the look

You know that look from the Walgreen's clerk when you are buying pregnancy tests? Well, I got it big time tonight. Perhaps, just perhaps, it was because I was buying three boxes of them. I'm pretty sure that the 17 year-old behind the counter was wondering why in the world it would take six tests to figure out that you are pregnant. Ideally, it would only take one, but very little is ideal in the world of infertility and trying to conceive.

Here's what $50 will buy you:

2 Answer regular old school one line not pregnant, two lines pregnant tests;
2 First Response Gold tests that test for two hormone variants that occur in early pregnancy and although not a digital test the screen actually comes back saying either pregnant or not pregnant, or maybe it just says yes or no or maybe it's positive or you just wasted tons of money on an ivf that didn't work-sucker;
and last but not least,
2 Walgreen's digital tests.

Doesn't that First Response Gold sound fancy? It sure should be for $18.99!

Now the question becomes when to start using this stock pile of tests?????

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Only an idiot would test at what is 9dpo.

I am an idiot.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Three Little Birds

Rough day at work today. That's just something I don't need on top of the stress of an ivf cycle.

This morning I applied three estrogen patches to my stomach. By the time I got to work I wasn't feeling so great. I'm tired, exhausted really, and am having digestion issues. I'm assuming all of this is a result of the progesterone and now the added estrogen. If I'm pregnant that's fine, I can deal with whatever comes my way but if I'm not..........well, I don't want to go there.

Do you believe in signs? Sometimes I do. On Thursday when we got the news that the transfer would be that day I was really worried. We dropped QT off at my parent's house and got in the car to drive to the clinic and Bob Marley's Three Little Birds was playing on the radio. We turned it on just in time to hear "everything gonna be alright." I took it as a sign and it made me feel better. On Saturday I had a great lunch with some women who are also have trouble conceiving, although everyone but me was having trouble trying to conceive their first. During lunch we were discussing infertility and low and behold Three Little Birds came on. I couldn't help but take that as a sign. So, I'm going to try and break out of this funk I'm in right now and just keep that reggae beat in my head and the knowledge that everything is really going to be alright.

I did another test this morning and stark white negative. I'm still not totally trusting the cheapie tests but I think the trigger may really be gone. Today is nine days past so that would make sense.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What a Blast

The clinic called yesterday to say that our little six cell embryo had grown into a blastocyst and is now in deep freeze. I'm happy that we have one little frozen blast but at the same time I know they like there to be more than just one to do a frozen transfer. The odds of them just thawing out correctly isn't the best but then to only transfer one, I don't even want to know what the odds are of that working.

What makes me feel good though is that I'm thinking if the one they felt was the "worst" of the three made it to blast then there's no reason why the two that were transferred haven't done the exact same thing.

Today is 8 days past my trigger and I did a test this morning to see if the trigger was gone. I used a cheap test that I bought off the Internet and depending on how I looked at it I could or could not see a line. So, I'm going to assume that the trigger is still there and will try again tomorrow morning with a better test. I know that I could just save my money and the tests and wait for the results of my beta, just one week from tomorrow, but come on, that is so not going to happen!

Friday, June 20, 2008

This 2ww is different

Today is only the first day after the transfer and I'm already constantly wondering if I will get pregnant. I look at the picture of my embryos and wonder if they will implant and what kind of people they could become. That's when it hit me, this 2ww is different from any other I've ever had. In every past cycle I had no way of knowing if my egg had fertilized. After so many failed cycles I really began to wonder out of how many of those had an egg even fertilized. Was our problem one of the sperm not getting where they needed to be, one in which the sperm couldn't penetrate or fertilize the eggs, or was it an implantation issue?

This time around I know 100% for sure that there are two embryos in there. Now my wondering turns to are they still developing and will they implant. Oh please let them implant.

Transfer Complete

I was lying there enjoying my acupuncture treatment when I could hear the husband's voice out in the waiting room. Instantly I knew what that meant, the clinic had called and wanted us to come in today for the transfer. Now, I had really been hoping that our 5 little guys would thrive and we'd be able to do a 5 day transfer but I quickly got over that disappoint and just began worrying that we wouldn't even have any to transfer. It was a long hour and a half drive down to Illinois. When we arrived and they took me back for the ultrasound to make sure my bladder was full enough I was relieved. Clearly they wouldn't need to check anything unless there was indeed something to transfer. For the second time I had been told to drink 36oz. of water and then was told by the ultrasound tech that my bladder was too full. Do you have any idea how hard it is to empty your bladder just a bit when you feel as though it's about to burst? I was sent across the hall and told to empty only one cups worth and then return. I was worried that once started I wouldn't be able to stop but I managed and was more comfortable for it. The tech was happy with the results as well. Soon the doctor came in and he explained that one of our five eggs had arrested. Another was football shaped which although they don't know what it means they assume it isn't good and won't develop normally. That left us with three: one six cell, grade 3 embryo, one seven cell, grade 3 embryo and one 8 cell, grade 4 embryo (grade 4 being the best). He recommended that we transfer the 8 and the 7 cell and we agreed. After signing something saying we understand that we could have twins, triplets, quads or worse, the procedure was underway.

All in all it was pretty quick and painless. When they were down we were given a picture of the two embryos we had transferred. As I looked at it all I could think is that this is how QT looked at just 3 days past conception. How is it possible that he was ever that small? How is it possible that eight little cells that can't even be seen by the naked eye can develop into a living, breathing human being? Shocking.

So, now I'm officially in the 2ww and I still haven't come up with a plan to get me through it without going insane from worry and wonder.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Countdown 7, 6, 5

I got the call yesterday, about two hours after I expected them to call, that of the seven eggs, six were mature and that then five of those fertilized. It's hard to not want all of them to have fertilized but now is the time to focus on the five that did. I've been trying to send good vibes to them, asking them to continue to develop normally, but as it often is with children, you're just not sure they're paying any attention to you.

Tomorrow morning I have acupuncture and will again be anxiously awaiting a call from the clinic. When I see their phone number on the caller id my heart leaps into my throat and despite having been waiting and waiting for the call I'm suddenly scared to answer. Tomorrow they will call to tell me if we're doing a 3 day or a 5 day transfer. I'm praying that all five embies are still going strong tomorrow and that the transfer can be pushed to Saturday when we'll better be able to pick the best two.

Now, on to the thing that I think most scares people when it comes to IVF, the progesterone in oil shot. I've opted to not even try and give these to myself and have passed that job to the husband. So are so good. I can feel the poke when the needle goes in and then I don't feel anything else until he starts injecting the oil. It's a weird feeling, but not a painful one so that is good. One shot a day is better than the six I was doing. Six shots a day, however, was easier than the schedule I'm trying to keep up with now. Right now I'm taking 4 Tetracycline pills a day, 1 Medrol pill each night, 1 baby aspirin each night as well as eating 1/4 of a pineapple each day along with 8oz of pomegranate juice and some extra protein because I heard doing these things may help with implantation.

Here's my burning question of the day - how much bed rest, modified bed rest, light activity do I really need after the transfer? I'm pretty sure that the last time I got pregnant there was zero rest after my son was conceived so I'm questioning the notion that I would need multiple days of couch time (not that with the right movies and dvr'ed t.v. shows that couldn't be tons of fun). My RE advises bed rest the day of the transfer and then light activity from then on. The husband was shocked to learn that meant no sex. Yea, I "forgot" to tell him that when I outlined everything IVF entailed. Anyway, back to the question, if the transfer is in morning does that mean I can't go out to dinner that night? I want to do what's right but there doesn't seem to be any consensus as to what really is right. I'll save the hair coloring question for another day.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lucy Number Seven

The egg retrieval went well. They retrieved seven eggs, which the RE said was average for my age. We decided to ICSI them until four "took" and then if there were any eggs left we would try to fertilize those naturally. I'm anxious for the phone call tomorrow that will tell us the results.

I'm at home and feel as though I could head into work. Apparently, super narcotics don't have that great of an effect on me. Sure, I was out to the world during the procedure, but I woke up right after they had finished and was totally awake and alert. The nurses were all impressed with my ability to converse and at one point I heard them discussing how they wished all patients were like me. Awww, how nice of them.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cervical Flip Flop

The RE called yesterday to say that he thought my eggs needed one more day and that he was concerned about the position of my left ovary. He wanted me to come back for another ultrasound this morning and the plan was to double team me, have one person do the scan and another press all over my stomach to get things where they need to be. There was a brief sentence about how if it couldn't be moved then those eggs would not be able to be retrieved. How can you not worry with news like that? I'm a worrier by nature so I'm apt to worry about just about everything but these seemed especially worthy. I tried to talk myself out of worrying by repeating "my left ovary is moving down" over and over and over again.

This morning I returned to the clinic for the scan. The Russian tech yielded the wand and one of the super nice nurses pressed a little bit. Then, upon seeing everything she asked the tech if she could take over. She exerted some real force in pressing the wand and I actually felt real pain. I had no pain during my hsg, any of my iui's, the hysteroscopy, and heck, I barely had any pain during childbirth, so the intensity of this pain shocked me. I guess it doesn't help that my ovaries are the size of oranges. The pain was worth it though as the nurse kept jabbing me and looking at the screen and saying "this is accessible, all I had to do was flip the cervix." Why flipping my cervix would change the position of my ovary I have no idea and I don't really care so long as it works.

So, for the big news, my egg retrieval is scheduled for Monday morning at 7:30am. The next time my cervix gets flipped I'll be blissfully under heavy sedation.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Missing - One Type A Personality

Please let me know if you find my lost type A personality. Normally I am very much the control freak. When we decided to try and have a child I was all about charting, green tea, mucinex, cbefm, etc. After having my son we decided to start trying again right away. Six months later I was worried and because of my age started seeking treatment. I researched, kept charting, used the cbefm, added in some opks, began clomid. I went to an RE and then switched to another and finally to yet another, always looking for a place more responsive with better success rates. I questioned the docs and nurses about every aspect of my treatment. I googled relentlessly. Then, something changed, I started this IVF cycle. Don't get me wrong, I still google things here and there but today, as with all my other follie checks, I didn't even ask the tech to write down how many I had and what size they are. I've never asked what my E2 level is and find it oddly comforting to NOT know what it is. People say that ignorance is bliss and I think that I'm beginning to agree! Knowing every last detail just gives me more things to worry about and why worry about something I can't change? This is a whole new feeling for me.

If you haven't reached the ignorance is bliss state yet listen to some Van Morrison and perhaps that will help change the tide. Not that Van promotes ignorance, but some of his songs are very much about letting go and letting God. I highly recommend The Mystery and Whenever God Shines His Light. What could be more mysterious than how babies are made?

Oh, and because I haven't completely abandoned my desire for knowledge, I did at least ask the nurse how things looked and she responded with "it looks as though you have a couple of mature follicles." At the same time she told me to order more Luveris, enough to get me through Tuesday morning. I sure hope I'm not still stimming come Tuesday! Right now I'm waiting for them to call and let me know what the next step is.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Double Take

Let me start with thank God more follicles were seen this morning. I felt better the minute I saw my ovaries on the screen and all those wonderful little black circles.

Now, on to the double take. I had my blood drawn and then was just waiting for an ultrasound room to be free. A nurse ushered me into the room, gave the standard "undress from the waist down" and told me that Tina would be in soon. I racked my brain trying to remember if Tina was the tech with the thick Russian accent. Please no, please no, please no. In walks Tina and she is definitely not the thick Russian accent tech. She allows me to look at the screen while she does the scan and I can see black circles appearing and, as she twists and pushes the wand, more and more appear. I let out a huge sigh of relief because without even having to ask I can see that there are more than four just on the left. The right shows four or more as well. A comment is made about the space in between my left ovary and the vagina where the retrieval needle needs to go and I begin to worry again that the left ovary will be inaccessible. Tina says that a nurse will just have to sit on my stomach during the retrieval. Okay, I'm fine with that. She finishes, places the pretty pictures in my chart, turns and says "oh wait, stay right there, don't move, I have to go ask a question." Panic! It's hard to panic and not move. My mind is overflowing with questions of what's wrong. She returns to say that the RE had specifically requested that the scan be done on the 3d ultrasound so that they can better see the misplaced ovary. She offers to sneak me down the hall into the other room only using the paper drape to cover myself but I decline and say that putting on my pants seems like the better option. The second scan is very brief and I don't get to see the screen but I'm okay with that as I don't want anything to ruin what I saw during the first one. If there are fewer then I just don't want to know about it. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

They gave me the final IVF checklist/instruction sheet today and told me to keep it with me at all times because when they call I will need to fill in the blanks and follow the directions to a tee. That made me think that the retrieval is coming up but I'm still thinking that it won't be until Sunday at the earliest. Those follies need some more cooking time. I will hear from the clinic this afternoon and they will give me further directions. If they tell me to order more Gonal-f I'm going to scream.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Fab Four????

I had my second follie check yesterday morning and was nervous but kept telling myself that even if only half of the original 18 were still growing strong I'd be in a good position come retrieval time. They drew my blood and then I waited for the ultrasound tech hoping like heck that it would be Cathy and not the woman with the thick Russian accent. Of course it was the woman with the thick Russian accent. She did some pressing on my stomach to try and move the left ovary but didn't seem to be having much success. Then she asked if anyone else had tried to move it. Like who? Me? The husband? I just said no, that the other tech hadn't pushed at all. This got me to worrying that she doesn't think it is movable and if they can't move it then they can't get the eggs from it. Ugh. So, she tells me to sit up and I ask how everything looked and she said "good" and then left. I was kind of hoping for more detail than just "good" so I asked the nurse who was checking me out how things looked. She was a bit more descriptive, telling me that four of the follicles are where they like them to be (over 10mm) but that the rest were lagging behind. I was stunned and then the shock turned to panic. How could only four be growing? I asked her if she thought some of the others would catch up and she looked and then said "nope, these are the four dominant ones and none of the others have gotten bigger since your last check so they probably won't get any bigger now." What a blow. Then, to add insult to injury, she commented on how my estrogen level needed to go up as well. I told her I'd get working on that and see them all Wednesday. The drive back was filled with doubts, anxiety and desperate attempts to keep a positive attitude. Later in the day the office called to say that I should stay on the same stim schedule, same dosages, and that I should order MORE Gonal-f. This sent me into another panic because as of right now I have enough Gonal-f to get me through a nuclear holocaust and yet somehow my RE thinks I'll need to stim for even longer than that.

Tonight I have acupuncture (because six needle jabs a day just isn't enough). Hopefully those little needles will find a way to make my slow follicles get up off the couch and kick their butts into gear. Tomorrow morning will be an early one and all I can say is that if I'm going to get out of bed at 5:00 a.m. to go have my follies checked then they damn well had better cooperate and be abundant and of decent size.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Out Damn Spot

The Tide to Go pen should be re-named the Tide to Go Stink You Up pen. The thing smells horrible! In my attempt to be healthy and have a good IVF cycle I went out and bought a bunch of those fancy juice drinks that claim to have super antioxidants in them. They are super expensive but I figured what the heck, when you're doing a procedure that is over $15,000 what is spending $15 on some juice? Anyway, on my way to the doctor's this morning I opened one up and took a sip. Next I looked down at my sweater and sure enough, HUGE purple stain. I had an old bottle of water in the car so I opened that and started pouring it onto the stain but when you're driving 60 miles an hour it's hard to just hit the stain target so instead there was water flying everywhere. Lucky for me the drive is over an hour long or I would have been getting out of the car looking like I had wet my pants. Needless to say, the water was almost useless and so upon my arrival at my office I used the Tide to Go pen and now I totally smell, and not in a good way. Would it be too much to ask that they add some pleasant smelling fragrance to the pen to perhaps lift your spirits since you are doomed to spend the rest of the day walking around with a big stain on your shirt. Isn't that punishment enough without having a stench attached to it?

In better, brighter news, I have 18 follicles! There are 11 on the right and 7 on the left. The nurse was hesitant to give me a number and kept repeating that there's no way to know how many will get big enough to potentially contain a mature egg but I'm just relieved that there's more follicles than I had during my antral follicle count. I only did my Lupron injection this morning and am now waiting for the office to call me with further directions. I'm assuming he'll keep me on the same dosages but I am assume a lot of things and end up being wrong. Just in case he does though, I called and ordered more Gonal-f a/k/a liquid gold since it is just as expensive and more Luveris. I also was explicitly clear on needing syringes and needles to go with the Luveris. Hopefully all of it will arrive tomorrow so that I don't have to drive down to the bad part of town hoping to score some needles off a heroin junkie.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

You've Got Mail


I've seen You've Got Mail at least 25 times and yet here I sit watching it yet again. I chuckle at watching them sign into their AOL accounts, with dial up where you can hear the dinging modem. That movie was made just ten years ago and look how far we've come since then. Ahhh, it takes me back to the good old days of chat rooms, hourly charges for being online, and actually being excited when you heard "you've got mail" because it was a time before spam.

I had acupuncture after work today. It's so nice to go somewhere and just be able to relax in quiet for half an hour or so. It helps too that the acupuncturist is so nice. She's easy to talk to, funny and very understanding.

Between work and the appointment I found time to stop at the grocery to get a big piece of chocolate cake. Ugh. I also bought about five different antioxidant drinks to the tune of $15. Being healthy can be expensive! I've read that eating protein and taking antioxidants can help with egg production and that the antioxidants can also help with implantation so I figured I'd give it a try. What's $15 when you're doing something that costs over $15,000?

It's going to be an early morning tomorrow. My follie check is at 7:30 a.m. and the office is over an hour away so I'll need to leave around 6:00 a.m. to allow for traffic. With that said, I should be going to sleep.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Poking at you poking at you

Remember that Snickers commercial "round about noon when your hungers poking at you, poking at you?" No? I guess that goes to show two things: 1.) I watch way too much t.v. and 2.) I've eaten too many Snickers in my day.

These days it's not my hunger that's poking at me poking at me, it's me poking needles into myself. Six a day to be exact. The Lupron with it's super skinny insulin needle is the easiest, or perhaps tied with the Gonal-f pen which gets props for letting you just dial your dosage. I hate, I repeat, hate the Luveris. You have to mix sterile water with the powder medicine and then switch needles and for some reason those needles don't seem to go in as easily. When I look at my stomach I can see bunches of little red spots and even some small bruises. I shudder to think what the trigger and progesterone shots will be like.

QT is leaving on Friday to go stay with his grandparents for an entire week. Oh my gosh how I will miss him. He's been doing this thing lately that I call running huggies. You ask him for a hug and he'll come running over to you with his arms stretched out and just crash into you in this big little guy hug. It's so sweet it just makes me want to hug him and never let him go. Under normal circumstances I'm not sure that I would agree to have him gone for a week but the husband and I thought that going through an egg retrieval would be easier without having a toddler at home to take care of and entertain. Also, we haven't told our families about our choice to do ivf, and if we hadn't sent QT to his grandparents they would have come here next week. I would just prefer to not have visitors. So, he's leaving this Friday morning and coming back next Saturday. I'm hoping that the retrieval will be Friday.

Speaking of watching too much t.v., I believe that Top Chef is on tonight. Woohoo!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Injection, injection, what's your function?

I did my first of many Lupron injections yesterday. I was a little hesitant to stick myself but decided that I would be a huge baby if I chickened out. Given the size of the needle, which is so thin, I only hesitated a minute or so and then jabbed it into my abdomen. I barely felt it go in and I wouldn't say it hurt, although pushing the plunger down just feels strange. I guess in all my years I never thought that I'd be injecting myself with drugs. I've never even smoked pot for heaven's sake and now all of a sudden, here I am, a Lupron junky.

My ultrasound got changed to Friday morning so that I will have been on the stim meds for three full days. I'm anxious but trying to stay positive.

I've had a dull headache all day which I am attributing to the Lupron. Normally the only headaches I get are migraines, which thankfully this is not, but it's still annoying.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Let the obsessing begin!

My baseline ultrasound and blood work this morning went well. At least I think it did. During the ultrasound the tech did a lot of pushing on my stomach in an attempt to view my left ovary. Apparently, it is quite shy and doesn't like to be on camera. Later I overheard the tech and the nurse talking about how it's favored position of sitting atop my uterus may make egg retrieval difficult. When I questioned the nurse she down played the difficulty and said never fear, that a nurse would be able to "really press" on my abdomen during the retrieval thus moving the ovary into a better positions and that I wouldn't feel a thing thanks to some very powerful drugs. I then queried the nurse as to what my antral follicle count was. She said that at this point it didn't really matter. Oh, but it does to me because what good is it to obsess about big things when there are minute details that I could obsess over? I was taken aback when she looked and told me 16 on the right and 4 on the left. What???? 20 antral follicles? That's double what it was last time and puts me well into the normal range. As I was driving home it occurred to me that she probably meant to say 6 and not 16.

A very nice nurse called later and gave me the dosages for the multitude of drugs I will be injecting myself with. Here is the plan:

Sunday - begin 20 units of Lupron every morning and every evening along with one baby aspirin per day
Tuesday - continue Lupron and baby aspirin but add in 25 units of Luveris every morning and every evening and lastly, do a megadose of Gonal-f (600 units) in the morning
Wednesday until told otherwise - continue Lupron, baby aspirin and Luveris but change to doing 300 units Gonal-f every morning and night.
Thursday - ultrasound scheduled in the morning, lots of follies to be seen I'm sure

Count with me here: two injections x three drugs = six injections every day

Turns out that the $5,000 plus of drugs I've already gotten won't last nearly long enough given the mega-doses I'll be taking sooooo more drugs have been ordered and more money has been spent. In a bit of speciality pharmacy/insurance humor when I called to check on the order they informed me that they wouldn't be able to fill the new prescription until after June 19th. Don't they know that my perfect embryos will be nicely implanted in me come June 19th? For a speciality pharmacy they don't seem too quick on the uptake. Once I explained that these weren't re-fills of the drugs but instead a dosage increase they kindly agreed to ship them out to me asap, which really means that I will get them Tuesday.

Friday, May 23, 2008

average number of eggs retrieved in a micro dose lupron flare protocol

Yes, I really did just google that. The closer I get to actually starting this ivf cycle the more I wonder, no, it's more like worry, about whether or not I'm doing the right protocol. I know that it's impossible to know if it's the right protocol until we're in the midst of it but shouldn't there be some hard and fast rules about all this? People with fsh under 10 get this, people with fsh over 10 get this, etc.? I don't think I'd be questioning this nearly as much if the new, new RE had stuck with what he originally suggested to us, which was an antagonist protocol using Ganirelix. I have a friend who just finished an IVF cycle using a Ganirelix protocol and she had 9 eggs retrieved, which was great considering her high fsh. My fsh is technically in the normal range and so I'm wondering why I'm doing what seems to be considered the protocol of last resort. It's like being on the short bus to go to grade school. I feel as though he has no faith in my ovaries to produce good eggs and isn't even willing to give them a chance to show him what they can do. And I know they can do well, I have a child for god's sake. I love the instant access to information that the internet affords and yet let's face it, it is a curse much of time. Sometimes not knowing really is better and back in the day I would have just accepted my doc's recommendation, trusting that his medical wisdom certainly was better than anything I could ever come up with because basically I would have nothing to come up with. But now I can come with a hundred studies saying that such and such may work better and a hundred more that say we're doing the exact right thing. I won't know which is really right for me for another month. That's going to be a long wait!

Monday, May 19, 2008

What would you do for a Klondike bar?

Or, more accurately, what would you do for a Trader Joe's chocolate ice-cream bon bon? I spent entirely too much time shopping on Saturday, buying foods I shouldn't be eating, clothes that I don't need and shoes that I really, really, really don't need.

So, to catch up, here is the rundown of how last week went:

Thursday - good day at work, friend had her egg retrieval and they got more eggs than she had follicles so that was great news, and I was so looking forward to my acupuncture appointment when the guy next to me went straight instead of turning left and ran right into my car. I think I handled it pretty well and was even able to laugh about it. That's easier to do when no-one is hurt and your car is still drivable. I ended up missing my acupuncture session because I was busy reporting the accident to the police, who in turn told ME to fill out the accident report form and then send it off to the Department of Transportation. Since when did I become a police officer? When did the police stop doing accident reports? If the guy who hit me didn't fully admit to being at fault who would then make that determination?

Friday - another good day at work, talked to insurance company about car accident and finalized the prescription order for all the many IVF drugs. Wow, there's a lot of them and it's a lot of money. My payment was $518 but the price without insurance would have been over $5,000. The Gonal-F alone is over $4,000. What is it, liquid gold? The drugs should arrive tomorrow and I'm sure then things will seem more "real." Right now I'm just popping a birth control pill every morning and it doesn't feel like it's enough.

Today my friend told me that her egg transfer went well. They had four grade A eight-cell embryos and they transfered two of them on Sunday. The two other grade A, along with two grade B embryos were frozen. Almost everything I've read talks about waiting it out until day 5 before freezing but they froze hers on day three. That lead me to google like mad about which is better and from what I found it sounds as though it's better to freeze on day 3. But, if there is a higher implantation rate with day 5 embryos then what? Is it better to transfer and freeze on day 3 or wait it out and hope like heck you have something left come day 5? I'm seeing having any frozen embryos as a huge bonus but is it strange that I'm actually hoping we don't get too many? The husband and I both have some reservations regarding creating embryos and agreed that any we have and are frozen we will use in the future. Neither of us can see voluntarily having them destroyed and although at some point we may agree to give them to another woman it would be weird to think of our biological child being raised by someone else and our children not knowing their sibling/s.

Wednesday is my third wedding anniversary. I got the husband a new pair of sandals. How romantic is that?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Let them eat cake!

I have a piece of sugar free cheesecake in the frig right along side a huge piece of yummy looking cake. Which to choose?

Our break cycle ended today and so our IVF cycle starts today! I picked up the birth control pills on my way home from work and will start taking them tomorrow. My baseline ultrasound is scheduled for the 30th. I'm so excited and I'm vowing to stay positive despite there already being a snag with my insurance coverage for the meds. I am sure that all that will be resolved tomorrow and then it's pregnancy here I come! I can't wait for the vomiting, heartburn, sciatica, and wonderful kicking to start.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Spoke too soon

Losing weight? Ha! Apparently all it took was me writing about how I'm finally losing weight for me to stop eating better and stop losing weight. It just seems that every time I turn around someone is inviting me out to dinner or brining junk food into my house. I know those aren't really good excuses because I am the one who chooses to eat the wrong foods or to eat too much but it is easier to stay on track when there is little to no temptations. I only have two to three more weeks before I'll start the stimulation drugs so I need to get back on track asap..........or, right after dinner out tonight..........

I talked to my RE yesterday and he has decided on a micro-dose Lupron flare protocol. Assuming I'm not pregnant, and we are all assuming that aren't we, I should be starting the birth control pills next week. I'm excited and nervous. Most times I just have this feeling that ivf will work for me, and on the first try, but then I remind myself that the odds aren't really that great and I should assume the first one won't work and set my sights on having a second. But, I can't get rid of that feeling that it will work. I think I'm over confident because we had a natural pregnancy.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Still Infertile but Finally Losing Weight

Wow, how time flies. QT finally started walking on his own at 18 months and now he's all over the place all the time. He's turned into such a little boy and although I am overjoyed watching him evolve into a real little person I ache for a little baby again.

Let's catch up and I'll start with the part of my life that is actually somewhat successful right now. I've been eating better and have FINALLY gotten back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm still battling my mindless eating. My first week went pretty well but each week since has had more and more slip-ups. It's hard to go out to eat and not over do it or it's hard to not eat the chips once they make their way into they house. Just tonight I gave in to a craving for chips and salsa. Despite these falls, I'm still proud of the weight I have lost and I resolve to do better starting now.

I got serious about losing weight because we will be starting our first ivf cycle this month. Ugh, did I really just say that? Yes, we are going to ivf. The new RE did a whole bunch of tests. I passed the Clomid challenge test with flying colors. The hsg showed totally open tubes. The husband's sperm analysis came back with multiple problems. Low count, low motility and zero normally shaped sperm. We were both pretty shocked given how easily I got pregnant with QT. The husband saw a urologist who couldn't give us any explanation for why his numbers were so bad and how I got pregnant the first time around.

Here's where things started going wrong with the new RE that I had such high hopes for. First, he questioned whether I was being honest about having been trying for a year. Second, he suggested that we just keep trying on our own for another year. Third, when I pointed out that I wouldn't be there talking with him if I just wanted to try for another year with no help, he suggested we do three iui's. Okay, I thought now we're getting somewhere. So, I took clomid for the 7th time and had an iui. I had two decent sized follicles, good uterine lining, and my husband's count wasn't great but wasn't horrible. No success. I assumed we'd move on to injectables but the RE wanted to do another cycle with clomid and an iui. So, I took clomid for the 8th time and had an iui. I had two decent sized follicles, good uterine lining and my husband's count was quite a bit higher. No success. While the RE was doing the iui I asked him what the next step would be and he said that we should try the clomid a third time. Third time? It would actually be my 9th round. When I said that to him he said that I'd only done two. Yea, two with him but six previous with my ob/gyn. He actually seemed shocked and had to go look at my records to confirm that I was telling the truth. We had discussed my history at my consultation and he had all of my medical records so I was really taken aback that he making recommendations without having any clue what we had already tried. He then said that I didn't need anymore clomid. What I need, according to him, was ivf and then he added "which I've been recommending all along." I almost lifted my leg out of the stir-ups to kick him upside the head. Since when had he even brought up ivf to me? It certainly wasn't during the just keep trying for another year speech. And so that is why I decided to get a new, new RE.

The new, new RE is wonderful and is with a clinic with a very high success rate. He did an antral follicle count which came back a tad low at 10. That made him question my clomid challenge test results and so he re-tested my fsh and it came back at 9.5. Anything under 10 is considered normal but the higher number makes my follicle count make more sense. He also performed a hysteroscopy because they suspected a polyp and/or fibroid. Turns out I have both but neither are big enough or in a place that would prevent me from getting pregnant. Now we're just waiting for my next cycle to start and we're on our way to ivf. My advanced maternal age coupled with my husband's sperm issues give us about a 35% of getting pregnant. I'm nervous and excited all at the same time.

I think we're caught up and so I'm off to catch up on some reading.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Still infertile, still fat

So it's been a while but sadly, not much has changed. I'm still infertile and still fat. My New Year's resolutions are to get pregnant and to lose weight.......but not at the same time obviously (although read the post below and you'll see that pregnancy by far was the easiest diet I've ever been on.)

Here's the update: I'm beginning my 15th cycle of ttc today. This past cycle was a very difficult one. It was my 6th round of Clomid and my second time using the progesterone. Around 9dpo I had a big temperature spike and my chart was triphasic for a brief while. I started thinking that this could really be it, that I could be pregnant, but then my temps came crashing down and that was the end of that dream.

This cycle I won't be taking anymore Clomid but I'm hoping to keep using the progesterone as that is the only thing so far that has really increased my luteal phase. I am seeing the new RE on Thursday and will see what he thinks about continuing to use it. As my cycle has already begun and I don't see the RE for another week I'm calling this cycle my "Back to Basics" cycle. I'm going to keep charting, use my cbefm and try and time things the best I can. Other than that I'm going to try and not obsess the heck of things. I have an acupuncture appointment next week as well and am still trying to decide if I'm going to continue taking the Chinese herbs. Did I mention that the acupuncturist is pregnant? Yep, she can get pregnant but most of her patients can't. Isn't that ironic? Anyway, she's due in under six weeks so this may be the last cycle I have before she's on maternity leave.

So, with a plan for ttc being imminent once I see the RE, that leaves me with putting a plan into place to lose weight. I've decided on returning to a low-carb diet. I've printed off probably 100 recipes and am making my grocery list today so that I can go tomorrow and be prepared. I always find preparation to be the key. It's when I don't plan out my meals that I run into trouble. The husband has agreed to give it a try with me but I'm doubting that he really means it. He loves pasta, rice, etc. and so I know that it will be hard for him to give those things up. Not to mention that he practically lives to drink Limeaide. I'm hoping that he really does stick to it but honestly right now I'm more focused on achieving my own weightloss goals.