Friday, November 30, 2007

friday u/s...

I had my u/s today.
I even drank about 48 oz. of water this morning and had a cup of coffee just to try and make sure my bowels wouldn't be something that elusive left ovary could hide behind.
Between the anxiety of it coming so soon and the caffeine (which I usually do not respond to) I am have been pretty hyper and jittery today.
The u/s was great, the right one was "showboating" as the doc puts it and had tons of big ones. The left was elusive but he spent even more time and finally had the assistant press on my belly when I said I was sure it was high up. I pressed with her really hard on my belly and it rolled into view. There are 2 mature follies in there so I am super happy. They also counted 10 on my right.
I am listing them just for suture reference.

Right Ovary


4 others < 10

Left Ovary




So I have 10/12 mature which I am over the moon about as is the doc. It was also so neat because all women who had been at the egg class were before and after me and we were all able to cheer each other before and after our appointments. Also the staff would all wait in the hall to hear the news after each u/s and get super excited for each patient too. They were also decorating a gift bag for a woman coming in later for her last u/s before being discharged to her OB. The bag was a "mommy gift bag" and one of those personal touches that makes me love my clinic.

My ER will be Sunday, I will find out the exact time later today. So tonight is my trigger shot.

On my way home I picked up fast food for lunch. The doc says to try and stay on the maintenance phase but if I go off here and there not to stress that they have already grown. He also says that lowering stress is more important than following exact, so hence the burger, fries, and soda today. I will try and stay on track as much as possible though. I have done well thus far for 1.5 months following exact so I am giving myself a little latitude here.

I am good otherwise, just excited. I got an early x-mas gift of a bio-feedback computer game I am going to try out starting today so hopefully that will add to me staying calm and focused.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

egg class...

I just got home from egg class at my clinic. It was 2.5 hours. I was dreading it since I know this stuff (did embryo transfer with cattle in college). The class was great, and so informative. I wish I could have the transcripts to post here. I had to run to the restroom to give my stim shots at one point. I was the only single person and the only queer. I learned a lot which is a great night in my book.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I had my u/s this morning to see how I am cooking the eggs.

The doc was wonderful as usual.

The good news is I had 8 follies on my right ovary. All were between 11-15 in size. My lining was 13.2 as well which was great.

The not so great news was my left ovary was hiding. He spent a LONG time looking and I even go up and went pee during the u/s to try and help the glare my bladder was throwing on things in there. He finally said he thought he saw it with 1 inside but to be honest he was not sure. He said the follies could just be real small so far, or it could be my right is just doing all the work this cycle, or it is still hiding and we will see it Friday. (on a side not at my clinic the Doctor does all the u/s's himself)

I am a bit bummed about that but happy about the 8 on the right. The weird thing is that I have been feeling my left ovary more than my right the past few days.

I have my next u/s on Friday morning and he think my ER will likely be Sunday but will know for sure Friday.

I have the Egg Class (embryology class) tonight and acupuncture Thursday and besides that I am just doing my shots twice a day and trying to be positive. I am starting to feel the stim bloat which I am sure will get more and more uncomfortable over the next 3 days.

If anyone has a history of the hiding ovary I would love to hear stories. I have never had this happen before so it is the one thing my mind wants to obsess on.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

what I am thankful for... *

* see previous post

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

my bliss...

Five years ago today my every dream, my every wish of every penny I ever threw in a fountain, my every hope came true. Five years ago I truly gave birth to my Bliss.

The details of the birth are not how I would have wanted, but they are for another post. This is about Bliss. This is about my heart that lives outside my body.

When I saw him it was so overwhelming that I kept pinching myself. I would pinch myself, hard and seriously, numerous times a day for the entire first year of his life. I could not fathom that I was so fortunate to be able to have this beautiful wondrous being in my life. I still am amazed that I get to be his mama, that I get to wake up to his face each day and know him and watch him grow.

He is the light, the joy, the laughter, the faith, the truth of my life. He is so funny and smart and observant and kind and just interesting in every way. He has given me the opportunity to heal myself in so many ways as well. Along with parenting him I have been able to re-parent myself and love the little girl inside of me that was hurt so deeply and so often throughout my own childhood. I have been able to find that self love and self awe I have for my son in myself. One of the first things I realized right after he was born through my awe of his beauty was my own beauty.

I believe life is about growth and improvement on a personal level. I have never worked so hard, nor wanted to work so hard to grow and improve as I have since becoming his mother. I want to be a better human being always, but especially for my son.

I am so "blissed" in my life (a term I use often) as a result of this amazing being and today I will start the day telling him the story of his birth. The story of all the good and bad but mostly of how deeply he was wanted and loved and how at 6:11am on November 21, 2002 my every everything came out of my body and into my world and has made it so wonderful every single second since.

I love you Bliss.

I will love you forever and for always because you are my dear one.

Love your Mama

Monday, November 19, 2007

let the stims begin...

Today I dropped down to 5 units of Lupron. I have been having pretty nasty headaches from it and they have been worsened by this crud cold sinus thing going around. I finally resorted to Tylenol this weekend but managed to keep it to one dose per day. I am trying to not put anything more that absolutely necessary in me right now.

Tonight I began stims. I take 150 units of Menopur and 375 of Follistim. I am really glad to be here as it is one more big step closer to the ER and the ET.

I also had my first food from the "bad" list. I had a soft pretzel at Sams Club. I do not want to know what horrid additives they have in them or it will make me ill but they have the BEST soft pretzels. I never even eat them anywhere else they have spoiled me for all time. It was good but I was stressed at the time from Lupron loopiness and probably did not enjoy it as much as I could have. I get my first cheat day this week but it is mixed with my vacation days for Thanksgiving. It actually makes it really hard that it is coming up so fast. I am staying strong so far but my goddess I want to just eat oatmeal with tons of butter and brown sugar covered in half and half with a huge cup of coffee. lmao I swear that is what I have been craving. The sad thing is I can make oatmeal, a normal amount, a 1000 calorie meal. So sad.

I am gearing up for my Bliss's 5th birthday this Wednesday. It makes me quite emotional. All the cliches about how fast babies grow were a gross understatement. Time has flown by and it only seems to get faster and faster. It truly crushes me. I have this urge to express so much about him but I will save that for his birthday.

The shopping is done and I am very excited about Thanksgiving. I just adore cooking that meal. This year I am scaling down a bit because of my diet. None of my special stuffing and only pumpkin pie. I usually make 3-4 different pies but that would just be self abuse after the 2 days off I get and I am not prepared to suffer that way. The stuffing is also for those reasons and because it is hard to make a tiny amount. I am actually fine without it, it means I will have yummy rolls instead. I will be eating TONS of mashed potatoes though!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

like surgery without the hospital stay...

I was a healthy kid. I also had parents who didn't believe the sniffles or a slight fever were reasons to stay home from school. I have always been relatively healthy, except when I am not. I know that sounds obvious but what I mean is I am usually fine, or having surgery. I have always been healthy until suddenly I am not and end up with some surgery and then I am fine again. I have had 10 (I believe) surgeries in my life. I still have my tonsils, but little else.

As a result of all these surgeries I am well acquainted with anesthesia and all it's effects. I am also well versed in prep, surgery, and recovery for a wide variety of ailments and procedures.

It is with this knowledge and background that I wrote the title to this post. Going through IVF is much like having a very very long and intense surgery and an even longer recovery all while we are to function daily without complaint and go on with our lives like all is fine. We are also to do all of this without the hospital stay.

Let's begin with the prep, the years we have spent living in two week increments, having our hopes raised and then smashed to smithereens every cycle we do not attain our goal. The countless miscarriages, blighted ovum's, chemical pregnancies, and ectopic nightmares we all endure. Then when we finally come to the next point the bar is raised, the hope climbs further still, and then we get our box of drugs in the mail.

The second phase I call the start of surgery but some may still consider it prep. The drugs. Most will start BCP a full month before the actual IVF. That is the appetizer drug, causing mild to moderate mood swings, if not worse, bloating for some, acne for some, clear skin for others, and crying, for some lucky ones such as myself, lots and lots of crying. Then you add the Lupron (if this is your protocol) which feels soooo good to start because it feels like you are finally doing something proactive. Injecting your belly each day feels like a step in the right direction. That is until the anger, rage, bitchiness from hell and short fuse to match no other begins. Then when the anger is just getting to it's peak the headaches begin. Just the thing to really help that bad mood.

Next is the stims. That, again feels like a step forward, and usually come with a decrease in the Lupron, but it has it's own fine side effects. The bloating really begins in earnest now. So does the crampiness, and overall body aches. I was on a very low dose my last two months trying before moving to IVF and I am only too thrilled to see what the doses I am about to start will bring to my table. Really, so thrilled. Not. And let's not forget to mention OHSS which besides being very painful and very possibly dangerous to one's health, it can also cancel the entire cycle.

Along with the stims you may have a host of other side dishes to take, from baby aspirin, to Dexamethasone, to estrogen, all of which can have more lovely side effects depending on your own body. Add to those the trigger shot which is actually pregnancy hormone so you may start feeling pregnant even though you haven't even had the transfer yet.

Then the ultrasound/s to determine how many eggs are growing and their sizes. Does anyone sleep the night before these?? So add sleep deprivation to list of helpful symptoms.

Then the ER, which IS a surgery with all the fun of anesthesia and queasiness and worry and out-of-it-ness that comes with surgeries. Then when you should be relaxing and recovering from the very real surgery you just had you get to freak out wondering and praying and begging everything that is real to you that the eggs they got fertilize. Then you get to do the same thing over again with hoping they grow.

It is at this time you usually get to start the PIO shots with the ten inch needle in your ass 1-100 times a day depending. Fun stuff and it starts giving you pregnancy symptoms even more so now. Swelling breasts, queasiness, increased sense of smell. All of it and you know it is all just a lovely side effect but it still plays havoc with your head and your heart.

Then, hopefully you make it this far because let's face it we all know women who do not, you get to the ET. So you try to be calm, do the acupuncture or whatever you can to be relaxed and then drink a bunch of water and have the ET on a full bladder and try to spend the rest of that day, if not the next week, calm and relaxed.

This brings us to the two week wait, or 10 day or 15 day or whatever your doc decides it to be. During this time you need to take it easy, not exert yourself or get your heart rate up. Never mind you are barely able to breathe wishing and hoping so hard for it to take. Never mind you are financially destitute from this one try and know you may well need 5 or 10 of these before it works, if it works.

And once again I remind you, all of this is without the hospital stay. All of this without nurses tending to our every need. Without cooks making our meals which we chose according to how we are feeling every day. No staff making our beds and helping us to the bathroom or shower. Of course some of us have partners who do much but many of us find our our partners may not be capable of this or we have no partners at all and do this on our own. Many more of us have a child or two already who need caring for while we go through this process.

And I would do it over and over and over again if I could just end up with my baby in my arms.

If I could just finally have my Soul.

Monday, November 12, 2007

so it begins...

I began Lupron today. I am so glad to have started this phase because it means I am that much closer to the ER/ET dates. I have not had headaches or hot flashes yet but the mood thing....well let's just say I was a raving jerk for about an hour this morning and I really hope it was just me having an off day. I had to apologize to my son for being a grumpy meanie and tell him in the future if Mama starts using her "big voice" (as he calls it) to just ask me to hold him and I would quiet right down and be nicer because I could never be angry or grumpy while holding him, and because our rule that "niceness matters."

So of course the rest the day I have felt bad and after also apologizing to the roomie I am feeling much better.

On a strange note I found two half eaten bananas in my front yard, random.

I am working on meditation and jest being really present on my emotions when they begin to go haywire, or at least that is the goal.

I would also love non-carb, non sugar, non bread/flour/yogurt,banana ideas for breakfast beyond scrambled, fried, and omletted (my own word here) eggs. It is so strange, I can eat the same thing every single day if it is plain yogurt with granloa and honey or fruit and honey, or if it is a toasted wheat bagel with peanut butter and a banana, but when it is bacon and eggs or any of my now choices I seem to go nuts eating the same thing daily. I don't get it.

Friday, November 09, 2007

my child...

When I was pregnant with Bliss I am said the one thing I wanted more than anything, after health obviously, was a child with a sense of humor. I got my wish in spades and daily he cracks me up in new innovative and imaginative ways.

Bliss likes to make up words. I also did this throughout my childhood. He loves the word "taint" but it means something yucky or something he doesn't want to do, he will say "That is so taint!!!" He says all sorts of made up words all the time, some are just him playing with sounds and some he gloms onto for longer periods of time. Sometimes the words are utter nonsense sounds and sometimes they sound like words in the English language but they are not meant for the usual definitions.

Today Bliss started saying "I am so kunt." Then he said "That is so kunt" and laughed and laughed. No before you ask I will say that is not a word that has ever been used in front of him. First of all he doesn't do it that way and secondly I am the clingwrap mama who is never away from her child, no daycare, no babysitters, just me, so I know he has not heard it. Plus if he uses any word sounding like "stupid" (one of our bad words in this house) he always gives a look real fast like he knows he is skating on thin ice. So next he asked me if I knew what cunt meant and I said no what does it mean baby. He said it meant something was really really silly. LMFAO

I explained that that word was also a real word, and to many people it is a curse word or a vulgar word so it was probably a good idea that he doesn't use it anymore. I can just see the next time we go to the movies Bliss yelling out "That is so kunt!!" Not a great picture.

But still, he cracks me up to no end, and every day, no matter how bad that day may be, I laugh, a lot, because of my Bliss.

red quinoa couscous salad...

1 cup red Quinoa (or any color)
(cooked according to directions then cooled and chilled)
1 cucumber diced up small
1 red bell pepper diced small
1 package grape tomatoes cut in half
1/4 red onion diced small
2 spring onions diced small
2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1-2 tablespoons of curry powder (to taste)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

Toss together and serve.

I figured out the entire calorie count and it comes to 308 calories for 400 grams of salad for anyone interested.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

let there be light...

During Halloween week we watched a movie called The Little Vampire. We enjoyed it. In the movie, in the boy's bedroom he has a beautiful blue star shaped wall lamp. It has tiny holes in it and it casts little polka dots of light around the room. I MUST have this light. I thought it was one from Ikea and went there only to find our local Ikea no longer carries it and won't be ordering it even though all others do. So the next day I drove 90 miles to the next closest Ikea to get it. They had it, but it was nothing even close to the one from the movie. It does not cast dots and just plain sucks.

I have posted on IMDB, I have even posted on the set designers page on IMDB. I am going nuts. I pride myself on being able to find things, a super sleuth in my own mind. I cannot find this. I cannot even find a picture of it for reference here for others to see. I want this light.

I have probable spent close to 4 hours online dedicated to just searching for this lamp. I am reminded of my obsessive tendencies as I scour the net for a picture or some item even closely resembling this light. Have I mentioned I want this light?


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

something important to me...

Just about anyone who reads my blog or any blog dealing with ttc knows Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters . Mel has created a port in our collective storm. A place to feel safe, to find others that truly "get it" no matter what our "it" may be. Her tireless enthusiasm is unapralleled and her creativity never ceases to amaze. All of this is done while she also maintains a great spousal relationship and wonderfully mothers twins. She truly is a Wonder Woman I look up to. She also always seems to have time to write a note, give some small sort of personal encouragement that makes me feel special, like I won some great contest.

Well now is our opportunity to show her how much we love her and how grateful we all are. She has been nominated for an award. It means a lot to her and would at the same time have the potential to really shed some light and education on the struggles of infertility. You can VOTE HERE and you can do it once every 24 hours. PLEASE DO and also take some time to say thanks so Mel for all she does. She deserves it.

Monday, November 05, 2007

shit shit shit...

So I spent two more hours on the phone this morning, being told the drugs were not covered, again, by the pharmacy and then calling back the insurance and being told that not only were they covered but here was a reference number. Finally the head manager of the pharmacy had a conference call with a head at my insurance and myself and the insurance person from the pharmacy and the end result, I am not covered for Gonal-F, Menopur, or Pregnyl (HCG). I am so peeved I cannot see straight. I am aware these drugs are often not covered, but 5 yes FIVE different people have told me they were at my insurance over the past week so it really ticks me off. It is also not fun when this is thrown last minute at me and now I am scrambling to figure out which credit card to charge these on. I talked to the doc and I can use Follistim if it is easier. I have a vial of it and the pen left from before which is good but still need 3-4 more 900 vials to get what I need. So anyone who has extra meds feel free to contact me and in the meantime I am scrambling and fuming.

Friday, November 02, 2007

what's new... (updated)

Happy Belated Halloween. Happy Samhain as well, and Dia de los Meurtos too.

Bliss had a great park party the day before, but I think he wore himself out spending 4 hours almost entirely on a merry-go-round spinning thing. On Halloween we had plans to trick or treat at the local businesses in a small nearby town but 5 minutes after we left we had to turn around because he said he was going to throw up. This was BEFORE he had had any candy. He decided not to go out at all and we got in the bath (it always makes him feel better). Then when we got out he was playing and seeming to feel better and then he began crying that he wanted to go, so we got ready and left again. This time half way there (it is about 20 minutes) he said he was sick again and needed something to throw up in. I grabbed my Trader Joe's bag that is plastic-like and gave it to him and pressed on as I knew he just had to get there. He put his head in the bag (it is a stiff bag, no suffocating hazard) for the entire rest of the drive. When we got there he perked up and we ended up having a really nice time. When we came home we ate and I let him have 8 small pieces of candy after which he said "no more for me" and then we spent the rest the night sitting on the front porch together talking and handing out candy. I have a "No Candy No Treats" policy and he thought it was a good one.

Yesterday I got my schedule which made me very very happy.

Nov. 5 - shot class
Nov. 12 - start Lupron 10 units
Nov. 14 - take last BCP
Nov. 19 - decrease Lupron to 5, start Gonal F 375,
start Menopur 150, and start Dexamethasone (25 days)
Nov. 27 - take AM Lupron then go in for U/S and find out HCG time & ER date, Embryology class in the evening

ET will likely be first few days of Dec.

They called in my meds and I got a call from the pharmacy this morning. It seems the Gonal F, Menopur, and HCG were not covered with them as they are only in-network for my RX benefits and those meds would be covered by my in-network pharmacy that covers my major medical. So they forwarded the Rx and I called the new (to me anyway) place. They were very nice and told me they would process everything and all me on the 6th to let me know what my coverage and co-pays were. That is great but I need to know now. On my insurance website it says these drugs are covered except for $30 co-pay. So I next called my insurance and they told me that all was ok and the pharmacy the first one had forwarded me to was the correct one and that it should all be covered and they were not even seeing that there was a co-pay. I still think there will be but I am happy to hear them tell me I will be covered since I had assumed I would be this whole time. I then asked if they could check the predetermination status since it had been sent in over 3 weeks and they have only 30 days to respond. She put me on hold then came back and said they had not gotten any predetermination requests. I got a fax number that was supposedly a direct one and then hung up and called the clinic. I KNOW they sent the stuff so I let my clinic know what they said and gave them the number and am currently waiting on a call back. It is not an awful thing, we already know I have coverage. The thing we don't know is if any specific parts of IVF are not covered, and I would really like to know that prior to the procedure, not that it would change anything but still.

So that is what's new with me.

UPDATED: Shortly after I posted I got a call from the new pharmacy saying now 4 drugs weren't covered, even though the previous pharmacy said it was only 3. They told me they needed me to get a letter from HR and from the insurance. WTF????? I called my insurance again and they said I was covered and I spent the next hour and a half talking to various people with my insurance company. They were then closed but still helping and finally said that we had to wait until Monday to get this straightened out. Then after all that time and all these different confirmations the first guy says "well we shall see if these meds are covered and get this figured out on Monday." He is one of the ones who had assured me they were covered. Three other people did as well, but shit, now I am worried all over again. I then went online to re-look at my coverage online because I can put in specific drugs and get cost projections, well it is temporarily unavailable, of course. I have cried and yelled and sighed for the past 2 hours on and off and now, as always in IF land, I wait.