Egg Retrieval Set! Thursday 9/27/12!

I just got the go ahead to take my two injections of Ovidrel tonight!  Woo! That means it’s egg collecting time.  (Why am I suddenly picturing my doctor dressed up as the Easter Bunny with a white, wicker basket?  I’ll blame the hormones.)  I am very excited to be getting this news, especially since a week ago I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make mature follicles at all. Whew… one less thing to worry about…

Now the worry begins about how many they will retrieve.  We only have 7 mature and ready to be collected, but my doctor said that there might be a few smaller ones that may be okay within the next two days.  Not likely, but maybe.  He said he is going to try as hard as he can to get all 7, and I am OVERJOYED that he will be the one doing the retrieval Thursday! Woo!

Tonight I will take my double dose of Ovidrel and then either have sex (hmmm…) or have the hubby “clean the pipes” (as the new doctor so awesomely put it).  Not sure my ovaries are up for sex, but we can give it a whirl.  Then tomorrow night I start the Z-pak (antibiotics) and no eating after midnight tomorrow night (that won’t be hard, I can’t even stay awake past 9:30).  Then Thursday morning at 8:00am… retrieval. (with a dose of hydrocodone and anesthesia) Ahh! I wonder if time is going to stop now or after the retrieval.  I’d guess after.

Any tips for the upcoming madness in my life?

**Update** got a call from the doctors office with my estrogen level.. it’s higher than 1,500 (can’t remember the exact number) so that’s good.. it’s going up! And my lining was at 7.8 today (forgot to mention that earlier).  They want me to take my two trigger shots AND 225IU more of the follistim.  I guess they really do want a few others to mature… I hope so too!  Keep on keeping on, ovaries!  Sorry belly, three shots tonight.. ouch.

One More Scan…??

Looks like I should only have one more scan, which will be tomorrow (Tuesday).  I am glad to hear this because every time I go in for a scan it’s $300.  I only had to go in today to make sure I didn’t need to order any more drugs.  From the looks of things, the doctor says I should be good to go with what I have.  He says if I need another round of meds on Tuesday night, then I can just use follistim at a higher dose, since I will be out of Menopur. Cool!  I already spent $4,200 on meds, so I’m glad to not have to spend anymore.  Oh, and I spent $33 (love this price!) on the other drugs… Hydrocodone (for the egg retrieval), Aspirin, Azithromycin (antibiotic), Ondansetron (?? No clue… Guess I’ll have to look back at my papers) and Methylprednisolone (Steroid).  I remember that the antibiotic is to help keep infections away after the retrieval and the steroid is to lower my immune system a little so the implant is more liking to take.  Yikes, what a stash!

So here are the results… Looks like we will have about 6-7 mature follicles by the time the retrieval is done (looking like it will be Thursday).  I really did expect more, but that’s probably because I’m still in my PCOS brain, instead of my DOR brain.  It’s hard to switch over when I’ve been so used to producing follicles like it’s nothing.  Well, the doctor is still happy with the size and he seems to be happy with the amount, but I know he wanted me to have 12.  Hopefully he will at least get 5-6 out during the retrieval.  I’m hoping for at least three to be implantable, but I will be overjoyed if we have at least one.  I cannot believe how stressful this whole process is.  There are just no guarantees, so the longer you go through, the MORE anxious you get.  I thought once I saw maturing follicles, I’d be a little more relaxed.  Wrong!

Next scan is tomorrow morning at 7:30am.  My estrogen level is at 1,253, which is amazing.  So glad that’s going up!  My lining is at 6.6, so it still has a little ways to go, but my estrogen is quite high, so I think it will get there.

Tonight: (Last injections?) 300IU Follistim, 300IU Menopur and one Ganirelix.  (I started the Ganirelix last night and it still burns and makes a nice, red, irritated patch on my skin).

Also, my husband came with me again today.  When I dropped my pants he giggled, got a big smile on his face and starting clapping.  What would I do without him? 🙂

Scan Moved To Monday

My next scan has been move to tomorrow instead of Tuesday.  I emailed the doctor and let him know that I only have enough meds to make it through Monday night, so if I needed more after that, I’d need to know how much on Monday morning so I could get the meds overnighted in time.  He said there would be no way to tell how much more I would need without the next scan, so it was moved to Monday.  No way to reschedule that over the weekend, so we will be a walk in on Monday.  I hope it doesn’t take too long to get seen, I’m already starting to freak out again.  I keep thinking that if I can’t feel my ovaries aching that there is something wrong.  “Are they continuing to grow?” “Did I ovulate early?”  They said to wait until tonight for the Ganirelix, so if I ovulate early it’s their fault and they owe me money for meds next time.  I don’t think it’s a possibility, but who really knows?  I’m just stressed about everything at this point.

We plan on going in as soon as they open tomorrow (7:30) so I’m hoping everyone else is too lazy to go in that early.  I’m hoping for at least 14’s on righty and some 12-13’s on lefty.

Scan #2 – Much Better

I can say that I have never been so nervous to be in the waiting room of my fertility clinic.  I was very glad to have my husband with me this time.  I knew that whatever the verdict was, he’d be there to hold my hand, and that meant the world to me.

We went into the room, I peed, and then I de-pantsed.  My husband thinks me getting naked from the waist down “in public” is hilarious.  I told him it doesn’t count as “in public” because we are in a closed room at a doctors office, but he still laughs and says “I can see your butt!”  This is why I have to have him with me when things are stressful.  He is amazing.

So the nurse comes in to do the ultrasound, and I am happy to say that it is my favorite nurse.  She is fun and positive and just happens to be the one who did my IUI when I got pregnant, so I’ve always had a love for her.  First thing she checked was my lining, which is now up to 6.1 (yay!) and then she checked lefty.  There were probably about five follicles ranging from 9-10.  Not GREAT, but at least they are progressing.  Then on to righty, who was slacking on Wednesday, and righty had about five as well, but they ranged from 10-12.  Fabulous! Progress!  My estrogen has also gone up to 535 (it was 119 on Wednesday). She thinks that today and tomorrow, they should all grow about 2mm a day.  They want them to be around 16-18 for the retrieval.  (I always thought it was 18-22, but maybe that’s for IUI?  Or maybe I was mistaken… it WAS over nine months ago).  Sunday and Monday night I will add the Ganirelix, which will prevent ovulation and slightly slow down the growth, but I imagine they would still grow about a mm a day?  So that should have them all grow about 6mm before my next scan on Tuesday?  I’m hoping that Tuesday they say “take your two trigger shots and we’ll see ya on Thursday!”

My biggest concern is that there are only about ten total that would reach maturity in time.  The doctor seemed to think this was good, but I was hoping for at least 12-15 follicles.  I know how the statistics work, so starting with more follicles would be great, but i’m not going to complain about ten if they think that’s enough to go forward.  I’ve been so worried that they were going to cancel this cycle that I’m just happy to hear that they are happy.

Keep on keeping on, ovaries!  You can do it, follicles!

Lefty Says HEY!

Yesterday I could really feel righty saying “hey,” now it’s lefty screaming “HEY!”  Lefty was doing a tad better than righty on Wednesday.  I’m hoping they are both kicking in to full gear.  It’s just a little over 12 hours before we know the verdict and I’m freaking out.  It’s probably good that my hubby decided to go play cards with the guys tonight.  Not sure I’d be very good company.  The conversation would probably be all about my ovaries and what they are doing.  “Do you think there are more follicles?”  “Do you think they are bigger”  “Do you think we’ll have enough to continue??” “AHHH!!”

Sounds like fun, right?  RUN, HUSBAND, RUUUUN!!  He loves me though, and he has been AMAZING the past few days (and all the years before the past few days) while I’ve been stressed out and crying.  Lots of crying. Sometimes over important things, sometimes because of a TV show… the hormones control the tear ducts.  He is much more in control of things than I am.  He has the ability to say “let’s wait and see how things and going, and then we will start making decisions about our next options.”  I’m more like, “let’s figure every single step out right this second!”  He’s right though.  It’s better to wait until we HAVE to make another decision.  No reason to think the worst before the worst is verified.  He is my rock, my best friend and the love of my life.  I know that whatever comes, we will make it through it together, and that’s all that really matters.

No matter what you go through with infertility, always remember who you are going through it with and how much you love that person.  They are the most important thing in your life, not your infertility.

Pumping Up The Meds

Had my first monitoring visit this morning at 9:00.  I’ve got three measuring around a 6 on righty and 3-4 measuring around 6 on lefty.  Righty also has a tiny one.  So I have about eight total, which is about half of what they want me to have.  Grow follicles, GROW!!  They are upping my dosage to 300IU of Follistim with 3 vials of Menopur (Follistim went up, Menopur is staying the same) and I’ll go back in on Saturday.  Since my period finally stopped yesterday, my estrogen should start going up to help with my lining (currently at 4.4) and follicle growth.  I’m hoping for really good results on Saturday with the combo of a higher dose and estrogen doing it’s job.  I will be able to tell when my estrogen goes up because I will begin to get weepy.  Doctor Who made me cry last night, so that might be good sign. 😉

Other than a tiny bit of weepiness creeping up on me, I’m getting an achy back, achy ovaries, bloating (of course) and as soon as I take my injection I get totally exhausted.  I was falling asleep within ten minutes of doing the injection.  Instant sleep! Sweet!

The cravings for food are still there too.  Right now i’m drinking a decaf frappachino and eating cheez-it’s.  Not even sure how those two things work together, but they are so so yummy!

Okay, that’s all I’ve got for now.  Just waiting on my phone call for my estrogen level, which I know is going to be lowish, and my updated dosage information.  Hopefully it’s a straight forward phone call with no problems….

**Update**  Just got the call — Estrogen is only at 119.  They are confident that the higher dose and a few days will help get things moving at a better pace.  They think I may have to be on the meds longer than they thought.  Guess I’ll have to break the credit card back out….

Actual Medicine Symptoms

Since my stomach virus is finally starting to go away, I can actually tell what the Menopur, Follistim, or combination of the two is doing to me.  The answer?  Headache.  Super headache actually.  I guess when I think back to Saturday night and the thoughts going through my head about how I was sure it was causing my fever and upset stomach, I guess a headache isn’t so bad in comparison.  I’ve emailed the nurse to check and make sure extra strength Tylenol is still okay to use.  It was okay during my IUI’s, but I wasn’t on Menopur and I wasn’t on such a high dose of meds back then…. you know, because I had a ton of eggs back then… that somehow went missing…

I’m starting to get anxious about the ultrasound on Wednesday.  Last year I was never worried because I produced follicles without any problems.  Now, since my AMH has gone down so much, there is no telling how my body will respond, or if it will respond at all.  Two days will probably go by just as fast as they always do… 24 hours each, but I bet it will feel a lot longer.  *Twiddles Thumbs*

Nursing Class

Whew… that was a lot of information.  My favorite part of the class was the nurse (she was awesome) and my second favorite part was learning that even though I will be taking 2-3 meds at a time, I get to mix them together and only do one injection a night! Woo! I had no idea that was a thing!  My least favorite part was when we had to pay $9,555.  Ouchy.  Later this afternoon I get to pay $3,000 for the meds.  Worth it!!

So, here is my dosage per day:

225 IU of Follistim
3 Vials of Menopur
(Do this for X number of days — depending on how the ultrasounds go)
Then eventually add in Genirelix for maybe 3-4 days
Then 2 trigger shots of Ovidrel 36 hours before retrieval.

Right now the retrieval is schedules for sometime between September 24-28, with transfer sometime between October 1-5, depending on how the follicles are growing… which is my biggest worry now that I know my AMH has basically disappeared.  My first ultrasound will be next Wednesday on the 19th.  Let’s go ovaries!  You can do it!

It’s True… But How?

I’m so confused right now.  I went in for my ultrasound thinking “stupid blood test making me spend $250 just to find out that everything is fine!”  Well, how wrong I was.  The blood test was right.  Somehow I’ve misplaced all my eggs.  I went from a 6.9 AMH in August (super high because of my PCOS) to 0.67 now.  How the hell does that happen?  I still have PCOS.  Do I now how have some of other super fun piece of shit disease or disorder or something?

I am so angry and upset.  I don’t understand how all the sudden, the ONE thing my body did right, can’t do it anymore.  How did this happen? HOW?! And why!?

I wish my doctor had been the one to do the ultrasound today.  This lady doctor doesn’t have a very good bedside manner.  The only thing she asked when she saw it was “have you had any pelvic surgery recently?”  I said “No” and then that was it, she didn’t have any other ideas at all.  She said “It’s good you’re doing IVF! We definitely have to have you on a high dose!”  IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE!! I had to be on the lowest dose possible (25 units of follistim) for the start of my IUI’s.  So, any explanation doctor….. Oh, nothing?  Just the words “Don’t worry, it’s going to be okay” as you walk out the door?  That made me feel even worse about it.  I knew it had to be serious for her to give me the reassuring BS as she walked out the door.  I mean, thanks, but now I know it’s worse than I thought.

This kind of takes away some of my joy to start the process.  Now I know there is a chance that I won’t make a lot of follicles, which is insanity! I am the girl who made 9 follicles on the lowest dose of meds possible.  How is this happening?  Is there something wrong with me?  I’ve been on BC since our last IUI failed in January, so I know they didn’t all ovulate out over the past nine months.  Where did they go.  I’m so confused. Someone help me!

I’m just going to have to take some advice from Florence and the Machine in their song “Shake it Out.”  I’m grateful for my husband, my family and my friends.  And I’m lucky to be able to do IVF at all.  I must remember these things, because she’s right, it IS hard to dance with a devil on your back.

I’m going to take the rest of the weekend to be ill about this though.  Hopefully I’ll be better by nursing class on Tuesday.

____________________________

“And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road
And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark and right at my throat
‘Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Looking for heaven, for the devil in me
Well what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me

Shake it out, shake it out,
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out,
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa”