(Click to See My Fertility Chart)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

6 Embryos!

The fertilization report is in. We have 6 embryos growing in the lab. I am THRILLED, just absolutely thrilled.

Having said that, though, I feel like that is a somewhat low fertilization rate (and I'm not sure how many out of our 17 eggs were mature: I didn't ask, and this info wasn't volunteered). I'm not going to worry about it too much for now, though. But I do wonder if this may at least partially explain why we haven't been getting pregnant?

Also, that progesterone needle looked like it was going to kill me. But then, it went in so easily. And was absolutely painless. Still, that is one long ass needle.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Egg-cellent News!

Okay, I'll just get to the good stuff right away. 17 eggs!!! Woo-hoo!!!

Although this is not an exciting story, here is what happened. We took a cab instead of the subway because I was worried that walking to and from the subway would jostle out any remaining eggs that hadn't already skipped town. We totally over-estimated the amount of time it would take to get there (we figured traffic at that time of day would be terrible, but I guess it wasn't) and arrived 40 minutes early. I had time to read the entire NY Times before they called us back. I disrobed and put on the requisite gowns, we waiting a few minutes in a small room by ourselves and then they called back hubs for his contribution. Hubs finally returned and then we waited a LONG time and I started to get nervous. Finally they came for me, hooked me up to an IV, and took me into the OR. After making sure they had the right person, all of a sudden I started feeling a little light headed. Then, I woke up, and thought I was still in the OR and they hadn't started yet and then realized that I was in recovery. They offered me canned orange juice and graham crackers and I when I finished them I told the recovery nurse that they were delicious (and they were!). About that time she told me that they got 17 eggs. After about 45 minutes, which somehow passed really quickly, they escorted me to the bathroom, and then afterwards took out my IV and told me I was all set.

I'm supposed to take the rest of the day off but I feel totally okay. I guess I should just to be on the safe side, though, so I've got some DVDs and I'm just going to hang out on the couch for the rest of the day.

Okay, Eggs, Stay Where You Are!

The calmness has left me. Over the past 24 hours I've convinced myself that I'm going to ovulate early and that by the time of the egg retrieval those eggs are going to be long gone. I mean, 36 hours is a long time between trigger and retrieval. And my eggs were getting kinda big there at the end. It's 7:30 am and we don't have to be there until 9 but it's all I can do to stop myself from rushing over to the clinic, flinging open the door of the OR, and yelling, "We're gonna lose 'em, people! Let's get these eggs out, STAT!"

I have never heard of this happening to anybody during IVF (but I have not and will not google it lest I find that it HAS) yet I am certain this will be my fate.

I also had a dream last night that they were able to retrieve 50 (!) eggs, but then only 2 went on to fertilize. So, my conscious and subconscious apparently disagree about exactly how things are going to go wrong, but they do agree that things WILL go wrong (although 2 fertilizing is not the end of the world, but 2 out of 50 just sounds bad).


In other, more positive, news, I'm having a good hair day! Although I'm not allowed to shower today (something about fragrances being bad for eggs/embryos), my (slept on) hair looks fabulous anyway. I heart good hair days.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Of Mice and Men (and Infertiles)

I have no idea what my estrogen level is. I don't know exactly how many follicles I have or how big they are. I am not temping, I'm not using OPKs to make sure I don't ovulate early, and I only know how thick my lining is because the doctor volunteered this information.

Ah, sweet ignorant bliss.

That $12,000 is spent whether I get a BFP or BFN. So, whatevs.

I triggered 10 minutes ago. Retrieval Monday. I am like an isolated lake on a clear summer's night: calm.

But tired! Took a 4 hour nap this afternoon. Those kids! It was like watching a tornado for 3 days. Not stressful (for me, hubs was a different story: I was almost afraid that by the end of it he'd say, "Stop the injections! Let's rethink this whole kids idea!"), but fascinating. What do you do when 3 kids all refuse to go to bed, and you're completely exhausted? (Speaking from my "fertile friend's" POV, of course: me and hubs just said "goodnight" and closed our bedroom door.) What about when you're on an elevator full of people and your 4 year old and 20 month old won't stop pressing the alarm button? (MFF looked at me and loudly exclaimed "Jane, your kids are sooooo bad!") Or, when, on a city street, your 4 year old disappears around the corner and when you go looking for him he's nowhere to be seen? (She screamed at the top of her lungs until he finally reappeared. Yes, people stared.)

But the husband, amazingly, did not ask me to call off the IVF. He said we would raise better behaved children. Best laid plans, indeed.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

IVF Update CD 10

Quick update: today my biggest follicle was at 16mm. I have about 10 follicles on the left and 8 on the right. I go back in for monitoring tomorrow. They are estimating retrieval will be Sunday or Monday. Things are moving fast! I don't have time to update much more than that: my "fertile friend" (the one with 3 little kids) is in town and I am spending all my time going to playgrounds and parks. It's not so bad, really. I will write a post soon about her kids. They are cute but sure are a handful. I've been cuddling the littlest one, trying to get her to send my uterus some baby dust! It's been keeping my mind off this cycle and as of this moment I'm still feeling very calm. I think the circle + bloom is helping. Or maybe the acupuncture. Or maybe all my hope has been sapped away over the last 20 cycles and I am now an empty and emotionless shell of my former self. Anyway, I'm calm, so I'll take it!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

All Aboard!

Today I officially boarded the IVF train. Woo-woo!

Rolled out of bed at 6:30 am (pretty early for me), caught the subway and on the (lightly) crowded elevator up to the clinic was surprised when only one button was pushed.

Ah, yes. We were all going to the same place.

Then there was a long line (of 30-something professional women) to sign in.

Ah, yes. Fertility clinics.

Bloodwork, ultrasound, and I was pronounced "good to go." I start 150 units of gonal-f and 2 vials of menopur tonight, lupron down to 5 units (goodbye headaches? fingers crossed). I go back on Sunday, cycle day 6.

In other news, I had my second acupuncture session today. Although I like my acupuncturist, she did tell me at my first appointment that she was experiencing "mommy brain." UGH! She then quickly told me that she didn't have her first child until she was 38 and then her second when she was 40. I resisted asking her how long it took her to get KUed, cuz I bet it was on the first try each time. UGH! Anyway, like I said, I DO like her. She is calm and centered. She also says I need more "fire" and less "dampness." Is that why I love the desert so much? Hmmmmm....

And! I have purchased the Circle + Bloom IVF program. I've only listened to 2 of the sessions so far. I'll get back to you on my review soon.

Finally, I am feeling very calm. Almost too calm? I'll take it, though.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Punched Him In the Face

Just kidding. I wish. But I did confront him.

I didn't think I could do it, I didn't think I had it in me. But I was urged on by your comments. It was pretty unanimous that I should confront him. And I had to admit to myself that it was the right thing to do. The problem was that I did not want to do it. Instead I wanted to bury my head in the sand. But then I thought, well, what if I did? It would be turning over a new leaf for myself, and maybe it was time for me to turn over a new leaf: the standing up for myself leaf. So, I decided what I was going to say, and I stuck a post-it to my computer with the 3 main phrases that I wanted to make sure I used: "not called for," "not appropriate," and "disrespectful." I spent 10 minutes repeating them over and over in my head so that I wouldn't forget, and then I called him into my office. As I waited for him my heart was beating so loudly in my chest I thought he would be able to hear it when he came into the room. But then... all of a sudden I started to get mad. Mad that I was sitting there with a post-it note and my heart racing all because he gets a power trip out of giving me shit. And when I got mad my heart stopped racing and I became calm. And he came in and I said "I just want to tell you that I didn't appreciate your criticism on Friday. It was not called for, it was not appropriate, and it was disrespectful." And then he apologized. Sincerely. He said that he had felt bad afterwards and that I was right, he shouldn't have criticized me like that, and then he apologized again. And so my anger melted away and I started to get anxious again (ugh!). And I said it wasn't a big deal and that I appreciated the apology. But my voice cracked a little when I said it. Luckily, I had already planned that as soon as I talked to him I was going to leave for the day, so I then said "Okay, I'm off!" and walked out the door!

Thanks for your supportive and encouraging comments. They really meant a lot to me. I'm so glad I stood up for myself. Such a little thing, but a step in the right direction (and, boy, I would never make it in the "real" business world, sheesh!!).

Saturday, August 14, 2010

These Are the Bullet Points of My Life

I know I haven't posted in forever. The truth is that I seem to have over scheduled myself. I panicked a bit when I first realized this, but hey, maybe this is the best time to be over scheduled? Gotta keep busy, right? So, a bullet point post is in order, to convey my current bullet pointed life:
  • Today is day 11 of lupron. I've been told if I don't get my period after 13 days of lupron, I have to turn myself in to the period police, er, I mean my RE. Hopefully it doesn't come to that. AF is due tomorrow, but I have been googling and it seems sometimes lupron will delay one's period by a few days. I am just starting to feel little twinges of cramps down there, which usually means that AF is still a few days away, so we'll see.
  • At first I thought lupron was my bitch. But lupron is sneaky, and now I'm thinking lupron might have turned the tables on me. Headache: check. Irritability: check. Fatigue: uh, CHECK. Hot flashes: eh, not so much. YET, that sneaky SOB!!
  • I have given up coffee, both decaf and regular, and am avoiding most caffeine. This could also explain my headache, irritability and fatigue. Yeah, so giving up coffee SUUUUUUCKS!! Don't let anyone tell you different. If you've been drinking coffee every day for the past 20 years, it is NOT fun to give up.
  • I have taken on another volunteer position. This is a big part of me being over scheduled. It's only 6-8 hours a week, but on top of my other volunteer position, which is about 10 hours a week, it's kind of feeling like a lot. But I kinda flipped out that if I can't have a baby than I need to go back to grad school so I can have a REAL career and for that I need to be able to have letters of recommendation in the field I'm interested in, THUS, the volunteer position. If you want to make fun of me for wanting to go back to school at 35, I will not hold it against you.
  • I made an appointment with an acupuncturist and will start going twice a week. I had thought about it before, but it wasn't until I read on someone's blog that acupuncture cured their teeth grinding that I decided to go for it. If she can make me stop grinding my teeth I will be so happy. I've been doing it for 4 or 5 years now (maybe longer, but it's been 4-5 years since it's affecting my day to day life) and my jaw and teeth ache all the time and I hate it. Oh, and if she can help me have a baby, that's cool, too.
  • My fertile friend (the one with 3 kids and the only person I've shared our TTC struggles with) is coming to town in a week and a half and is going to stay with us for a few days. Not exactly sure where I'll be in my cycle then , but most likely I will be stimming and getting close to retrieval. Now, some would question as to whether or not it's a good idea to have a bunch of little kids running around my house at that point in my IVF cycle. I, however, just want to get my hands on her baby again. I think if I can just cuddle her baby for a few days, maybe my uterus will finally "get it." But, we'll see. My uterus is a hard nut to crack.
The last thing I'd like to write about is a workplace issue. Fun, right? And I'm just going to put it out there right now, so there's no question as to my purpose with these last paragraphs. I'm looking for some sympathy, people!

Ok, so I own a small business and I have employees. This is the first and only business that I've owned, and I've never managed employees before, so I don't know if this is common or not (any other employers or managers out there please let me know), but my employees kinda treat me like shit. One in particular. This is a story about that employee.

Now, I don't want to tell you what business I'm in, since I'm trying to remain somewhat anonymous, but I'll just say that on some days I will do the same work that is expected of my employees, and I believe strongly in the "lead by example" motto, and so when I'm doing the same work that I ask them to do, I do it well (if I do say so myself). But I have one employee in particular that likes to criticize my work. Which leads me to yesterday's incident. It was a busy day yesterday, and I rushed to complete all the tasks that needed to be done, but was not successful. This was not necessarily my fault: I was on my own, with no help, and different things kept coming up all day that were getting me more and more behind. I knew at one point that there was no way that I would be able to catch up. When my employee arrived at his designated time and he saw that I hadn't completed everything, I made the comment to him that "it was a busy day." He then said (sarcastically) "yeah, right, lot's going on, huh? Real busy? Isn't it always for you?" And I said that, well, yes, it had been busy, actually, and what's the big deal? And he said the big deal is that I'm the only one that doesn't get all the work done when it needs to be done and that I'm always coming up with "slacker excuses." At that point I just walked away.

Now tell me that that isn't a super disrespectful thing to say to your boss? And he says this stuff to me all that time. And, I hate to say it, he makes me feel really bad. He is always questioning my decisions, often in a subtly mocking sort of way ("How many of [product x] did you order? You really think we need that amount?") or asking me to do things for him ("Can you get [product x] from the back for me?"). And I don't know what to do about it. I would really like to fire him, but we are a small company and 1) I know it would rock our little world if I were to fire someone; 2) I don't have the time or inclination to hire someone new and train them; and 3) I don't know if I have it in me to fire someone.

I would like to just ignore this behavior, and to just not engage him when he acts like this (I am guilty of trying to defend myself against his accusations in the past, which he usually just turns into "oh, excuses, excuses."). But maybe I need to confront him?

Anyway, I was in tears much of last night due to him accusing me of being a "slacker" yesterday and I, for obvious reasons, don't need this BS right now.

******And finally, please go say "congratulations!!!!" to Egg over at Such a Good Egg on her long awaited BFP!!!******

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Would Anyone Sign This?

I was reviewing the IVF packet they gave me and found that they'd included the "Research Subject Information and Consent Form." This is the consent form for the "research study" that I was "invited to take part in" that would allow them to use our "discarded, non-viable sperm, eggs and embryos to further [their] research towards understanding and advancing reproductive science." A worthy cause, indeed. But I refused to sign because of the following sentence:

"Should we ever provide your cell lines to anyone else for research or commercial use, it [sic] will do so in such a way as to try to protect your privacy and confidentiality as stated in the confidentiality section of this consent form."

Yeah, you read it right, they're gonna "try" to protect my privacy. Uh-huh. Sure. And commercial use? What, exactly, does that mean? (If Mon.san.to's going to start splicing my genes into soybeans so that they're no longer able to reproduce, thus protecting their intellectual property, well, maybe that could work, but I would be totally against it.)

Sheesh, are they able to get anyone to sign this?

Or am I overreacting?