Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night

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I had my first monitoring appointment today, exactly a week after my cycle almost fell apart. Monitoring is normally more frequent by now but because of the confusion with the birth control and my estrogen level, my schedule got bumped by 3 days. To be honest, this is sort of ok with me, as it would put my retrieval over the August long weekend, so I don’t have to miss work, and I have more time to recover (if needed).

I was really nervous going into todays appointment, just because of the almost cancellation of the cycle, and then starting my meds 3 days later. Nothing really got off onto the right foot. I was scared that the cycle might possibly get cancelled because of the problems and delays. Yet again, I had a very early morning, and I wasn’t even first in line this time. Luckily I had to work late tonight so I was able to go into work around noon, well after my appointment finished and I had time to go to the pharmacy, and then home for a bit. I had J come with me because there was a bunch of consent forms that needed to be witnessed, so it was just easier to get the nurses to do it and keep our privacy.

I hate getting there early because then I just have to sit and wait, and stew in my nervousness. It was almost better that J was there, I at least had him to chat with. We went back fairly quickly, even though I was third instead of first this time. I had to wait a bit for my ultrasound as my doctor tends to get backed up on Thursdays as he has “learners” with him in the morning. I could hear him in the next ultrasound room once he finally got going, and he whips in and out of those ultrasounds pretty quick.

I do love my doctor though, he has very good bedside manner, and even though he is in a rush he takes time to be chatty and he loves to joke around about giving me stretch marks. He’s always very lighthearted and I know he tries to make his patients feel comfortable, which I appreciate. He checked my lining and said it looked very good, at 7mm. Then he started listing the follicle sizes out to the nurse to be recorded. The first one on the right side was 18mm! I was surprised there was one that was that big already, but not entirely shocked as I’ve been having some pretty strong, uncomfortable pressure on that side. He counted off the rest of them, on the right I think there were another 4 or 5 that were in the 11mm – 13mm range. The left side only had about 4 I think, again around the same size. I was sort of disappointed that there weren’t more of them, and I expressed this to Dr. M. He told me not to worry, that there would be more soon. He said he doesn’t like the look of the 18mm, it’s too big already so that one might be a bust.

So after that I was feeling pretty good, relieved that everything was on track (besides the 18mm keener). I was told to start my orgalutran (ovulation inhibitor) tonight, and to come back on Saturday for my next monitoring. The nurse who told me to start orgalutran, said come back in two days and that was it. I double checked with the other nurse as I was leaving if there was anything else I needed to do today. She said no, but she did helpfully inform me that apparently the clinic doesn’t do blood work on Saturdays so I have to go to a different part of the hospital, and then back over to the clinic. And the lab for my blood work doesn’t open until 9am. Normally this would be a nice reprieve from the early mornings, but I am supposed to be at work for 9am on Saturday…so I am definitely going to miss a few hours. I am not sure how long the waits are on Saturdays and what the protocol at the clinic is, so that’s another fun unknown.

So, slightly stressed about that, and had to tell my boss that I was going to be at another appointment on Saturday, plus I mentioned to her that I may have others in the coming week. She doesn’t ask me why, which I appreciate and think she knows I don’t want to talk about it. Besides protecting my privacy, and not putting any of my career aspirations in jeopardy, I realized I just don’t want anyone knowing about IVF because I don’t want to have other people waiting with bated breath to hear the results.

I had my cell phone on my desk at work today (like most days), I can’t generally answer it, but I can at least see if I get a message, or a missed call and then go attend to it away from my desk. Today, I did not notice the two missed phone calls until a bit before 5 pm. I checked my messages, both from one of the nurses at the clinic, urging me to take my orgalutran at 1pm as per my doctors orders (the first message from 12:40pm) and the second message reiterating for me to take it as soon as possible if I hadn’t already (this message from around 2pm) and my menopur was fine to take at the same time I normally do in the evening. The phone lines are only open until 3:30pm. I took my meds home after my appointment and had to stay late at work, until around 8pm when I normally take my menopur. So cue freak out (internally, as I was still at work). I am thinking Dr. M wanted to make sure that fat fucker, 18, didn’t rupture early and screw everything up. Something with my blood work must have come back high, to have them call me twice, and with such urgency.

There was nothing I could do. As soon as I got home, around 8:45pm, I did the orgalutran shot. The pharmacist said it might sting a bit, or cause some nausea, as well as redness and swelling around the injection site. Oh great, I thought, because the menopur wasn’t enough. Firstly the syringe is pre-filled, which is handy, secondly, the needles are dull as fuck. They are about the same size and diameter of the menopur needle but with menopur it slides into my skin with ease, like a knife through butter. I pushed the orgalutran needle to my belly, and nothing, it barely dented the skin. So going at it the second time I had to give it a bit more force. Thankfully it went in, and the injection did not sting whatsoever. I then iced my belly for a bit to prep for menopur. Now, backing up a bit the pharmacist did tell me to do menopur, and then orgalutran, but because the clinic seemed to adamant about the orgalutran earlier in the day (and therefore first) I reversed the order and did them about 20 minutes apart.

My belly did get red around the orgalutran shot, and when I went to do the menopur shot, I tried doing it on the same side as the orgalutran. I picked a spot a fair distance away from the orgalutran site, and away from the redness. I barely pierced the skin, and immediately pulled it back out. Oh the pain! Apparently orgalutran and menopur do not play nice together. Take two, I did the menopur on the opposite side, with no major issue (besides the normal burning).

I have been cycling paranoid nightmares through my head that I’ve ovulated or will, that it’s too late. I’ll have to wait until Saturday to find out if I’m safe or not. I called the clinic and left them a message telling them the situation, so I’ll hear back tomorrow morning as to what, if anything, I should do, beside continuing on with my meds. It may just be my imagination, but I feel like I am having less pressure on my right side, where the biggin’ is/was. I may just be projecting my delusions onto my ovaries, but so far I have been very in tune with my body and able to feel what’s been happening. So now I have a really bad feeling.

In my naiveté I thought our IVF cycle would go smoothly. Then after our first hiccup, I was nervous. But everything looked good today, I though we were back on track, and I let myself get hopeful again. I didn’t think I had any naiveté left, after everything that infertility has taken from me. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Please hold on little (big) follicle. I need you to hang on.

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Rumblings

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Well, I am officially stimming. I am on day 3 of my meds, and so far the only one I am on is Menopur. I go back to the clinic on Thursday for my next blood work and ultrasound check and I am really hoping everything looks good. I keep obsessing over the fact that when my cycle almost got cancelled, the nurse called me and told me to stop birth control (the birth control that she initially didn’t even know I was on, yet was prescribed to me by the clinic at my request) and told me I could start stims on Jul. 20. I just stammered some sort of confirmation and hung up the phone, not mentioning the fact that I had already stopped birth control 4 days prior…because birth control ends on a Sunday, and I was speaking to her on Thursday. So I am really hoping that doesn’t bugger things up, but I am thinking (hoping) that it should be fine because they had my estrogen level, and saw my ovaries and lining, and apparently it all looked good (after they found out I was on birth control). Based on that, I hope all will be well.

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My meds for 4 days. Yup, just 4 days, $1350…

So, my first injection actually went very smoothly. It was a bit of a slow process because I am on 375 IU of menopur (does that seem high to anyone?), so it take 5 vials of powder and lots of mixing. I have a little cardboard mat that came with my menopur that has a spot for each thing I will need so I can lay it out, and not forget anything. I try to be very methodical about it because I really don’t want to fuck it up. I thought the needle would be awful, and that I would have a hard time sticking myself, but it has really been a very surreal out of body experience. I didn’t hesitate for very long at all before doing the first one. The needle is quite small, so that helps. It really doesn’t hurt going in, it’s the menopur that sucks. It stings quite a bit going in. I do it slowly because I am scared it might hurt more if I do it too quickly. It grosses me out that I can feel it going in.

Meds for dummies mat. Actually quite helpful.

Meds for dummies mat. Actually quite helpful.

My bio hazard waste bag, and the little not-so-scary needle.

My bio hazard waste bag, and the little not-so-scary needle.

Now that I am three days in, I am feeling…something. Today at work I had some sort of pressure, and rumblings in my lower abdomen. It’s a weird feeling that I haven’t had before, and can’t really describe. I did my third shot tonight and I was feeling pretty uncomfortable afterwards. Nothing awful, or intolerable but not particularly nice. I was laying on my side and I had to roll onto my back because it was causing awkward pressure. I am sort of surprised to feel something already, but I know it’s not just in my head because I already have an abundance of EWCM, which I have heard comes from the extra estrogen in your body.

The stinging from the menopur subsides fairly quickly, but then the site of the shot is tender the following day. It could also be my technique that’s causing the tenderness, who knows. I’m doing the best that I can. I decided to ice my belly before and after the shot tonight, see if that makes any difference. I think I am also going to buy a heating pad for when I start to get even more pressure, and bloating. I’m nervous that if things are already rumbling that it’s going to be really not fun by the end, but only time will tell. I suppose if things are moving along too quickly they will change my dosages.

My day one injection site, so far the one that is still the most obvious. Practice makes perfect?

My day one injection site, so far the one that is still the most obvious. Practice makes perfect?

In other news my sister in law is in town for the next few days. Apparently she had plans to be here all along, yet just message myself and J tonight to see if we could watch her younger daughter tomorrow evening. Terrible timing. She is just under 1 year old, and I’m sure I would have no problem watching her but I don’t want to. As terrible as that sounds, I don’t need to deal with someone else’s child while shooting myself up to try and have one of my own. Plus the timing would have been such that J wouldn’t be home so I would have to manage our two dogs (one of which doesn’t like children, I know something to address at a later time), a baby in a non baby friendly house, and at some point in there also giving myself my shot.

Not only is her timing terrible (not that she’s aware of that) but she asked us last minute, when we both work, and have lives that don’t revolve around children. I don’t have to work tomorrow, which would have been fortunate for her, otherwise it would have been a definite no. I told her I would try and make it work, if her other possibility fell through. I felt bad saying (almost) no, but seriously, even if we weren’t in the middle of IVF this would have been inconsiderate. She lamented to us that all of her friends who had previously offered to babysit declined because “when push comes to shove, a baby cramps their style”. Direct quote. She can be a lovely person, but sometimes, just…headsmack.

So all in all, I am surviving injections. Conveniently, I have to work late on Thursday so I have the morning off, and can go to my next monitoring appointment without rousing too much suspicion at work. Here’s hoping everything goes off with out a hitch. We are still trying to buy a new condo, the offer has been presented, just waiting to hear back. Also waiting to hear back from a tropical paradise to see if they would like to sponsor my hubby to come join their island workforce (which would cause us to back out on the condo offer). Still a lot going on, but overall I am feeling pretty zen. I have moments of anxiety when I think ahead to the “what ifs”. So I try not to do that. I have enough things pulling me in different directions that they all distract from each other, but IVF is numero uno, so if everything else falls through, I have some perspective. Things could be worse (and they may be). But we’ll save that all for another day.

 

Enjoy the Now

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Mondays suck. Especially when the weekend was particularly enjoyable. We had a glorious weekend, filled with sunshine, friends, family, food and drinks. I had another Saturday off, even though it was technically my “turn” to work. We spent the morning lazing on the couch, hanging out with the dogs and watching golf (yes, I like golf). J had to go out to get his brother a birthday present so I asked him to pick up some blueberries on his way home so I could make pancakes. We visited a teeny tiny little restaurant in NYC that made the most heavenly blueberry pancakes, and I wanted to recreate them in my kitchen.

J came home with blueberries in hand exclaiming that he felt like he went to Whole Foods for how much they cost (we don’t have Whole Foods in our area, but I am well aware of its nickname “Whole Paycheck”). $8 for a medium-sized clamshell of blueberries! Apparently it is still too early in the season to be buying such things. If it were me that had gone to get them, I would have said forget it at that exorbitant price, but J doesn’t see money the same way I do. Oh well, I was craving blueberry pancakes, and that’s what I got. They were delicious, although they were more blueberry than pancake (oops). The dogs also got to enjoy some of the blueberries as well, which they were quite pleased about. Most expensive dog treats ever. But hey, at least they’re healthy.

We met BIL and SIL with the nieces for some late afternoon appetizers, and we sat out on a patio. I indulged in a delicious mojito (doubles were on special, so I had a double). We then had dinner at our friends’ house, along with another couple (who we’re also friends with) and I enjoyed a few more drinks. We had a fire out in their backyard and it was so nice visiting in a quiet intimate setting, rather than a large group of people. Even J commented on the way home, that he really enjoyed himself and I was very happy that we got to have a nice evening out with friends. Him and I are both, for all intents and purposes, introverts. We don’t always come off that way, but neither of us like big parties, or being around a lot of people for an extended period of time.

I didn’t feel super awesome yesterday, even though I didn’t have that much to drink the day before. I wasn’t hung over, just really tired and felt kind of junky. For now I am not going to concern myself with my alcohol consumption. I don’t normally drink much to begin with, but summer is here and I have more parties, weddings, ect. that I will want to indulge at (or don’t want to be questioned endlessly if I don’t drink. Is it bad that I drink in front of some people so they won’t ask me if I’m pregnant?). So I will imbibe on those special occasions, but once IVF time comes around, I know I’ll have to stop. I’ll enjoy it while I can.

Sunday was another fairly lazy day. J and I went for lunch with his mom. It was a little awkward as there is still some fairly heavy family drama going on that does not  involve us, but we are, unfortunately, intertwined. I mostly get to stay out of it, but J is often caught in the middle and he doesn’t know what to do about. We had a fantastic yoga sesh yesterday, and generally enjoyed each others company. All in all a lovely weekend.

In a totally unrelated line, I’ve been using a meditation app on my phone to help me fall asleep lately (as I have had problems sleeping for the past several months). Last night I put my ear buds in and tried to fall asleep, but one of our dogs was in the bed and making it difficult to get comfortable. I tried to shift him over (he is only 10lbs after all) but he was just dead weight. Normally if I pick him up and move him, he’ll squirm or yawn or something, but this time nothing. He was making these weird wheezing noises occasionally, and for some reason I had this irrational fear that he was going to stop breathing. So then I couldn’t fall asleep because I kept touching him to make sure he was still warm, and listening to his little heart beat, and his lungs rising and falling. I was just being paranoid, and he was just really tired but it freaked me out. It was like all of my worries and anxiety were brought to the surface by this little dog sleeping soundly at my hip. So then it took forever to fall asleep, which I finally did, although it was rather fitful. So needless to say, I was not happy to wake to the screeching of my alarm this morning.

Again, totally unrelated, last week I was reading a book about called IVF: A Patient’s Guide (highly recommend it, it is written by an embryologist, for patients. Had lots of great information). J asked me what I was reading, which led to him asking what our IVF “deadline” was so to speak; when we would officially be starting, and when he should stop looking for/applying for jobs. I told him I anticipated CD1 would be around Jul. 16, and that should be pretty accurate seeing as I am on BCP, and my cycle is like clockwork on those suckers. Realizing this is only 6 weeks away, he said “well I shouldn’t even bother continuing to pursue job opportunities then”. I told him he could if he wanted to, as we agreed that we would keep at it until IVF started. But the likelihood of something coming through in that time frame is pretty slim, and he realised it. He still has some applications floating around out there, but opportunities always seem to peter out before they even get going.

He is annoyed that it hasn’t been easier for him to get a transfer, and also, obviously, frustrated with IF (which in reality is the bigger problem). I feel bad for him, because I know he blames himself for the fact that we have to do IVF. I mean, yes, when it comes down to it, the main issue seems to be on his side, but in the grand scheme it doesn’t matter whether it’s a problem with him or with me, it is a problem for both of us. But that, compounded with the fact that he can’t take this next step with his career is a lot to take. I can see how he must be feeling totally helpless.

I sort of already had it in my head that more than likely we would go forward with IVF, but I kept it to myself since I wanted J to know that I am still open to the idea of moving. If something had, or does, come up, I will still be open to it. But again, chances are not great. I am still trying to think of IVF in abstract terms and not psych myself out about it since it is still in the distance, but at the same time educate myself as much as possible. I am treating it like a research project right now, rather than something that is going to happen to me. But time is ticking away quickly, we are already in June. I know the next 6 weeks will go by quickly, as we are busy and have lots of events to attend. I am a bridesmaid in a wedding on Jul. 12, and that will be the last hurrah before diving into IVF a few short days later. It will be a good distraction, but I hope I am not to stressed out by the impending IVF cycle to enjoy it.

I have a lot bouncing around in my head lately, but I’ve mostly been doing well. I think not having to worry about TTC or even consider whether I’m pregnant or not (thanks BCP!) has helped. I still have tough days. When it is not busy at work, I troll IF blogs, and get too worked up about everything. I try to have somewhat of a plan in my head, but we all know that IF does not care about your plans. I am also trying not to think that it will work the first time. As much as I desperately want it to work, more than anything, I have to be realistic and not get overly hopeful (I know, we haven’t even started cycling, I’m just trying to stay grounded).

I have an appointment with a psychologist tomorrow, just to help me work through everything and hopefully be in a decent head space before we actually start IVF because I’m sure it’s going to be a bumpy ride.