Thursday, September 18, 2014

And just like that, it’s cancelled…

After our first cycle failed, my good friend, Ashleigh, sent me this poem that she had started reciting for me before we received the news:
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord their souls to keep
And if they should die before she wakes
I pray thee Lord their souls to take
And if they should live for other days
I pray the Lord will guide their ways.
This was one of those messages from a friend that just about took you to your knees.  I cried.  Todd cried.

I don’t know if I have thought about this prayer since that week.  It’s not because I didn't love it because it’s one of the most amazing combinations of simple words that I have ever heard.

For some reason, I thought about it today.  I was headed home from work to be with Todd, and it came to my mind.  I already knew the fate of our two embabies, but I still needed to rest assured that I had asked God to care for their sweet souls for us.

This day was perfectly planned.  I was going to go to work for a couple of hours.  Then, I was going to go have an acupuncture session because there are some studies that show…yada, yada, yada.  I would run by the house, wash my face of make-up (none allowed in the operating room at TFC), hop in the car with Todd, change clothes on the way, and arrive at TFC for our 12:15 “transfer talk” with Dr. McKinney.  Transfer would start at 1pm…and hopefully no later because I was nervous about having to hold a full bladder for very long.

God had a different plan.
One the way to work, "Say Something" came on my radio, and I hesitantly listened.  At the end of the song, I realized that it didn't give me the awful, drowning, "our dream is ending" feeling that it used to give me.  I actually thought to myself how much I have grown in the last 9 months.  (Ironic that it's been 9 months.)

Right around 9am, I was doing a happy dance with two coworkers because I was getting “knocked up” today.  (It’s funnier to say it that way.)  So, there we were celebrating when my phone began to vibrate.  When I saw it was Dr. McKinney’s office, I immediately assumed they had forgotten to tell us something.  When I answered and heard Dr. McKinney’s voice, I immediately assumed that this wasn't going to end well.

Embaby 2.0 had stopped dividing.  Basically, he had discontinued growing, which is what they call “arresting.”  Embaby 3.0 had more than 50% abnormal chromosomes.  She began reading off everything that was wrong with him, and I started to wonder if there was anything that was okay with him.
She continued with a lot of statistics about how 70-80% of all embryos are chromosomally abnormal, and I began wondering where they come up with these statistics.  If one couple has 70% abnormal chromosomes, and another couple has 80% abnormal chromosomes, on average, 75% of chromosomes are abnormal, right?  Why would they say 70-80%?  It’s just such a strange way to put it.  Then, I realized that I was analyzing something ridiculous.  This is what my brain does, though.  When scared, flee towards the numbers.  (I’m an Engineer.  You can’t blame me.)

The bottom line is that I have always hated statistics because it’s not mathematics…it’s too grey.  Today, I realized a new level of hatred that I have towards it.

I was telling Todd last night that I really thought this was going to be the cycle to round everything out.  We have now had 6, 9, and 12 eggs retrieved (not in that order).  In the same order of cycles, though, we had 1, 2, and 3 eggs transferred (if we had made it to transfer today).  "Third time is the charm."  I think there were some other silly things, but I wanted this to be it.

We have now had a cycle end with a chemical pregnancy (miscarriage), one with no implantation, and one with no transfer.  I think we have covered the main categories except full-term, viable pregnancy.  Am I right?!

That being said, Todd and I are doing fine.  We had planned to spend the last half of our day cuddled up on the couch watching funny TV shows/movies/comedians…whatever we could find that would make us laugh.  Oddly enough, we are going to spend the last half of our day doing just that, plus maybe a glass of wine and some sushi.

It seems that we are getting better at having failed cycles.  And it kind of sucks.

Oh, and Embaby 3.0 was a little girl. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Embaby 2.0 & Embaby 3.0

My college friend, Stephanie, nicknamed our embabies today:  Embaby 2.0 and Embaby 3.0.  I love it! 

Yes, you read that right.  On the third day, God answered our prayers and strengthened one of our embabies.  We have moved from 2.0 and 2.5 grades to 2.0 and 3.0.  Of course, Embaby 2.0 is still too weak to be transferred tomorrow, but Embaby 3.0 is getting closer and closer to be considered “thriving.”  I love my embabies and couldn’t be more excited that they are both still alive.
Within the very near future, we should receive a phone call from our nurse to tell us what time our transfer appointment will be tomorrow.  When we arrive tomorrow, they will inform us of the results of the genetic testing.  At that time, Todd and I will have about 45 minutes to decide what to do with the embabies. 

Now, it must seem that we have put so much time and effort and money into this process, so we would obviously transfer whatever they will allow.  Ha!  Oh if only it were that easy.  Our first two cycles were that easy.  Not this cycle.

Tomorrow, we could find out that our embabies are chromosomally abnormal.  Then, we will have to decide what to do at that point.  Here are the options for abnormality (as I can remember them):
·         They are abnormal in a way that it will be impossible for them to become a viable pregnancy.
·         They are abnormal in a way that will result in miscarriage.
·         They are abnormal in a way that will cause the child to be disabled, i.e., Down Syndrome, Turner Syndrome, etc.
·         They are abnormal in a way that is unknown what will happen.

They could also be completely chromosomally normal.

Todd and I have discussed how we will handle each of these.  It’s not an easy decision to make.  Everyone has different opinions, too, but you have to decide what is best for your family. 

This is just another of a long line of decisions in infertility.  I still remember when we first had to decide what we would do with frozen embryos in the case that we divorced or one of us passed away.  WHAT?!  Yep, you have to think about those things and sign paperwork stating your decisions before you even start IVF.  In case you’re curious, we would have donated our embryos, but again, that’s a very personal decision that isn’t easy for anyone to make.

Anyway, we are thrilled to have our babies alive and well.  We cannot wait to see what happens tomorrow.  I hope each of you are having as blessed of a day as we are!
 
*********************************

Shot Counter – 42 total:
Saturday, 8/30/14:
1)      Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
2)      Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
3)      Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Sunday, 8/31/14:
4)      Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
5)      Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
6)      Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Monday, 9/1/14:
7)      Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
8)      Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
9)      Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Tuesday, 9/2/14:
10)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
11)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
12)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Wednesday, 9/3/14:
13)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
14)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
15)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Thursday, 9/4/14:
16)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
17)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
18)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Friday, 9/5/14:
19)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
20)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
21)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Saturday, 9/6/14:
22)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
23)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
24)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Sunday, 9/7/14:
25)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
26)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
27)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Monday, 9/8/14:
28)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
29)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
30)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Tuesday, 9/9/14:
31)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
32)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
33)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Wednesday, 9/10/14:
34)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
35)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
36)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Thursday, 9/11/14:
37)   Follistim 300 units, in the a.m.
38)   TRIGGER SHOT!!!
Friday, 9/12/14:  SHOT FREE DAY!!!
Saturday, 9/13/14:
39)   Progesterone in oil 1/2 mL, in the p.m.
Sunday, 9/14/14:
40)   Progesterone in oil 1/2 mL, in the p.m.
Monday, 9/15/14:
41)   Progesterone in oil 1 mL, in the p.m.
Tuesday, 9/16/14:
42)   Progesterone in oil 1 mL, in the p.m.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Stupid Imagination

Two blog entries in one day?!  In the defense of myself and proof that “I do actually work,” I would like to mention that I wrote the first one yesterday and just didn’t get to tweak it for publishing until today.  This one was all today, though.

I have a friend from college named Ashleigh.  She has made an appearance on my blog since sometime before my first IVF cycle last May.  She usually leaves comments that will blow your socks off with kindness, creativity, humor, or a combination of all three.

Well, today we were emailing, and she got me off on a tangent that was almost like an epiphany for me.  I knew I was having a problem with this issue, but I was unable to put it into words until that moment.  For the sake of my sanity and my clarity, I want to admit this on my blog, to all 10 of my faithful blog followers.  J  (Crud, since Ashleigh already read this in an email, this is only an admission to nine of you.  Oh, well.)

So here it is.

I’m struggling to imagine that this cycle is going to work, now.  And it’s breaking.my.heart!!

I know we aren’t out, but we’ve been here before.  In the past, it hasn’t led to pregnancy.  That doesn’t mean this one won’t, though, and I know that.  I want to start imagining that I’m going to get pregnant.
The part that kills me is that I have such a good imagination usually.  I can actually play out an entire scenario in my head.  For instance, I have daydreamed about losing a loved one.  (Really more like a “daymare” than a daydream, but I don’t think that’s a word.)  I can actually envision all of it happening to the point that I have emotional pain from it.

However, for the life of me, I can’t get my brain to imagine this cycle working.  It’s like I’m trying so hard that my brain is being defiant.  It sucks.  I just want to have all of the happy dreams in my head to go along with the happiness I’m showing on the outside. 

I do have 100% complete faith that God has control of this and will do what’s best for me.  However, I’m just struggling to imagine it will be in this cycle.

I haven’t completely given up.  I’m not throwing in the towel.  I’ve starting praying that God will allow me to imagine success at the end of this week.

I’m trying really, really hard to just keep it together today.  I’m at that point in this process where I am so sick and tired of spending minutes or hours or days upset over this stuff.  I think it’s obvious that mourning is necessary and healing.  However, it can also be mind-numbing and all-consuming.  I need a break from it, so I have made the conscious effort to find the happiness in all of this.  The problem is that about every hour or so, I have to find the happiness, again.

I’ll keep doing it, though.  I need to.  I want to.  I want this to be a happy experience, even if the outcome is not what we had hoped.  Being happy and positive is more fun for me.

Now, I just need to figure out how to get my imagination on board.
 
*********************************
On a side note, Mom and I talked today after I received another message from a different college friend, Casey.  We decided this was going to be our new tagline for our baby.  Casey told me that our pastor uses this, and she does with her miracle baby, too. 
"When God decided to create you, he said, 'Watch this.  I'm really going to show off now!'"

God, I Need You Now

*****This entry turned out to be a lot longer than I had planned.  I wish I had written a little each day this weekend, but I had other things on my mind…as you’re about to find out.*****

How many times have you heard me cry out
"God please take this"?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
This has easily been five of the strangest days of my life.  I have never felt more like I was on a rollercoaster than I have since Friday.

(I have awesome…and I mean awesome!...stories of support and love that started Friday night.  However, they were so out-of-this-world that I have chosen that I will write about them in their own post later...they deserve that kind of attention.  At this time, I want to share the rollercoaster.)

We started our weekend in prayer together.  When we got to the doctor’s office Saturday morning, Todd, Mom, and I held hands, and he prayed.  Luckily for me, I wasn’t allowed to wear make-up because I would have looked like a raccoon.  Luckily for Mom, she’s good at dabbing her eyes without messing up her face.  J  We were all in tears…the good, “God is awesome & will provide for us” tears.  We were hopeful and excited.

Our procedures went well on Saturday.  The results weren't great, but they were good.  They were able to retrieve 6 eggs from me and approximately 800,000 sperm from Todd.  At first, I was a little sad because I was hoping for a few more, but I quickly was able to remind myself how lucky we were to even retrieve 6.  Some women could never dream of having 6 eggs retrieved at one time, so I sucked up my pity party and began rejoicing.  We spent the rest of the day on cloud 9.  It may or may not have been a hydrocodone-induced cloud 9, but we were there.  J  Todd and I were both elated that things went so well and that we were home quickly to recover.  (Remember that our first two cycles required an hour-and-a-half drive home from Oklahoma City in order to recover in our haven.)  Mom spent the day with us on Saturday, which will be more detailed in another entry later.

The next morning, I awoke and headed to Sonic to pick-up breakfast for myself and my horizontal husband.  While I was waiting for it to be delivered, I thought I would check my portal to see if there was an update on our embabies.  To my surprise, there was!  To my dismay, it was less than admirable.  One of our eggs was not mature enough to be injected, and 3 of them did not survive.  We had suddenly gone from 6 eggs to 2 embryos.  I was heartbroken.  Sitting there in the Sonic parking lot, my wind had been knocked out of me.  I suddenly wished I was home in Todd’s arms. 

For the next couple of hours, we went from sobbing tears (mostly me) to thanking God that we had 2 still alive.  We spent time together doing a Bible study from my favorite infertility devotional (thanks, Elisha) and in prayer together.  We prayed for our embabies, for my uterus, and for the knowledge of how to make all of the decisions we have coming to us this week.  Praying together is one of the most intimate things Todd and I do.  I love it!

We had on-and-off visitors for the majority of the day, and it was a good distraction.  (Again, more on that love in a future post.)

Yesterday morning, we headed to the doctor for bloodwork that I will also explain later.  We had the opportunity to talk to our IVF coordinator, Amanda.  We needed to know if there was a chance we would be doing a day-3 transfer and if we should still proceed with the genetic testing.  She was very patient and thoroughly answered all of our questions.

We left there, stopped one more time to pray all together (Mom was with us again as Todd’s chauffeur), and headed our separate ways.  I decided to treat myself to my favorite fast food MSG breakfast of Whataburger.  While I was in the slowest fast food line in all of Oklahoma (if you have ever been to any Whataburger, you know what I’m talking about), I decided to check our portal.  I think God told me to do that, so I would have time to lose my mind before I got to work.

The grading scale for our embryos is 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, with 4.0 being the best.  Our two embabies were coming in at a 2.0 and 2.5.  This was devastating.  I called Todd and Mom to give them the news and cried and prayed and cried and prayed the rest of the way to work.  (I learned that our embryos need to be at 2.5 to be considered viable for transfer.  They can still improve, though.)

I sent a message to my pastor, Ashley, that visited us Sunday night because I knew that she would have comforting words for me.  Her responses were as follows:
“But I will call on God, and the LORD will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the LORD hears my voice.”  ~Psalms 55:16-17
It is all in his control. Pray for that to be freeing rather than restrictive. There is still hope!
Love seeing this lived out through you both. You are a true inspiration to us all.  "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."  ~Romans 5:3-5

That was it.  That was what I needed to hear. 

It’s in his control, and that can be freeing or restrictive.  I choose for that to be freeing.  I pray for God to give me the peace for that to not be restrictive.  It’s up to me how I allow this to work.  All I have to do is pray and give it up to God.  I know that’s easier said than done.  Trust me, I know.  This is my life and my mind that has to make these decisions and live with them.  It is absolutely the hardest, and most rewarding, thing I have ever done.

“We can rejoice…when we run into problems and trials.”  That is how I have spent the last 5 days.  Every piece of news that wasn’t what we had hoped for, we prayed and rejoiced.  God is teaching me something much bigger than I can see right now.

I allowed myself some more tears to try to really get them out of my system.  Then, I changed my focus.  Now, I am concentrating on only rejoicing.  When I start to get down, I stop and thank God that we still have 2 embabies alive.  They may not be thriving at this moment, but they are alive.

I messaged with one of my friends, Allison, that had her retrieval this weekend, too.  She was asking if the scores could improve, and at the time, I didn’t know.  Her response to me was, “Even if they don't He is a God of miracles and numbers never mean anything to Him!”  I couldn’t have thought of something more perfect than that.  God is bigger than this process.  God is bigger than our embryologist.  God is bigger than this scoring system.  He’s going to do what is in His plan.

And that’s where it gets difficult for me, again.  I start to worry that his plan is “not right now.”  I want Him to be ready for me to have a baby this time, this cycle.  I want Him to impregnate me this week.  But it may not be in His timing right now.
I will continue to believe, though.  I will continue to trust.  I will continue to pray.  I will continue to leave it up to Him to decide.

(Funny side note.  I was telling my friend, Ashleigh, about what Allison said about God not caring about the numbers.  Her response:  “It's so true - God doesn't care about the number.  Well, I think he cares about Avogadro's number, and maybe pi, and probably 7 because of the whole creation thing, but otherwise, I don't think he cares about numbers.  :)”  That cracked me up.  Ashleigh has a special way with words.)

After lunch, Amanda, the IVF coordinator, called to tell me that she and Dr. McKinney spoke.  They needed us to decide within the next 3 hours if we wanted to move forward with genetic testing.  3 HOURS?!?!  I was at work.  Todd was home, hopefully asleep, but definitely a little loopy on pain meds, and we had 3 hours to decide.  Bouncing buffalos!  No pressure, right?  I called Todd, we discussed.  We weighed the options.  We discussed the pros and cons of both.  What kinds of items do you discuss when trying to decide if you should perform genetic testing, you might ask?  Well, here are the ones I can remember:
·         Is it worth spending the $5,000 when we know that they could all come back normal and basically be a waste?
·         What if we fall into that very small percentage of people that are told their embryos are abnormal when they are actually normal?
Seriously, my brain has completely shut down the last couple of days, and those are literally the only two questions I can remember discussing with Todd.  You should have caught me on a clearer day.  You get the gist, though.  Now, I’m starting to doubt if either of us were of sound-enough mind to be making decisions like this.

In the end, we decided to tell them to move forward with the genetic testing.  There is a chance that the embryologist will find that the embryos are too weak or not viable for genetic testing, and he won’t move forward with them.  If he decides they can be tested, though, we are moving forward with it.

This was a much tougher decision for me than you can imagine.  I have a woman in my life that talks so negatively about this testing.  However, Todd and I have decided it is what is best for us and our family.

I prayed one more time that this was the right decision and sent the email to Amanda.  Her response to me was, “Whatever you decide, is the "right" decision.”  Now, we just have to wait and see what happens.

As for some other questions I have been asked today, here are answers:
1.       The results of our genetic testing will be available on Thursday when we arrive for our transfer.
2.       We will probably not freeze these embryos because I don’t believe they will be strong enough to survive a freeze and thaw.  Therefore, we will do a fresh transfer, if the embryos are chromosomally normal and viable.
3.       We have not fully discussed our plan moving forward if we receive negative results from the genetic testing.  There have been a lot more “ifs” in this cycle, so we are taking them a step at a time.  How do you eat an elephant, right?!

4.       Todd is staying strong for me…except for the part where he walks like a little, old lady.  He’s been a rock, even in the moments he’s needed to cry.

I think the most surprising part of this weekend has been my deep-seated desire to be near these babies.  When they were in Oklahoma City, I didn’t feel like this.  Maybe it was because there were more of them, and I felt that they were stronger.  Maybe it’s because they are so close to me in proximity.  Maybe it’s because I’m scared that I may lose two more of our babies this week.  I am a believer of life beginning at conception.  These are our babies.  We deserve to watch them grow.  They deserve to become children.

Today, I am still holding onto that hope that this will happen.

I’m in love with hope. ~Mitch Albom
 
*********************************

The below song has become my theme song this cycle. It breaks my heart a little every time I hear it, but it also gives me peace knowing that I am finally giving this process to God.

"Need You Now (How Many Times)" 
by Plumb
Well, everybody's got a story to tell
And everybody's got a wound to be healed
I want to believe there's beauty here
'Cause oh, I get so tired of holding on
I can't let go, I can't move on
I want to believe there's meaning here

How many times have you heard me cry out
"God please take this"?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

Standing on a road I didn't plan
Wondering how I got to where I am
I'm trying to hear that still small voice
I'm trying to hear above the noise

How many times have you heard me cry out
"God please take this"?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

Though I walk,
Though I walk through the shadows
And I, I am so afraid
Please stay, please stay right beside me
With every single step I take

How many times have you heard me cry out?
And how many times have you given me strength?

How many times have you heard me cry out
"God please take this"?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

I need you now
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
I need you now
I need you now

*********************************


Shot Counter – 41 total:
Saturday, 8/30/14:
1)      Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
2)      Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
3)      Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Sunday, 8/31/14:
4)      Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
5)      Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
6)      Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Monday, 9/1/14:
7)      Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
8)      Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
9)      Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Tuesday, 9/2/14:
10)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
11)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
12)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Wednesday, 9/3/14:
13)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
14)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
15)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Thursday, 9/4/14:
16)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
17)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
18)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Friday, 9/5/14:
19)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
20)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
21)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Saturday, 9/6/14:
22)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
23)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
24)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Sunday, 9/7/14:
25)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
26)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
27)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Monday, 9/8/14:
28)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
29)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
30)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Tuesday, 9/9/14:
31)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
32)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
33)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Wednesday, 9/10/14:
34)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
35)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
36)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Thursday, 9/11/14:
37)   Follistim 300 units, in the a.m.
38)   TRIGGER SHOT!!!
Friday, 9/12/14:  SHOT FREE DAY!!!
Saturday, 9/13/14:
39)   Progesterone in oil 1/2 mL, in the p.m.
Sunday, 9/14/14:
40)   Progesterone in oil 1/2 mL, in the p.m.
Monday, 9/15/14:
41)   Progesterone in oil 1 mL, in the p.m.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Trigger & Retrieve

Trigger & retrieve.  And trigger & retrieve.  And trigger & retrieve...as needed.  (First "Friends" reference of this entry.)

We have a retrieval date!!!  I’m so excited.  I had started this super sweet blog entry about how my husband is so awesome, and then I checked my portal (my online communication tool with my doctor) and saw that we had a retrieval date.  All sweet entries got pushed out the window.  I’m in sheer excitement mode, now.

My excitement is three-fold:  (That line is for you “Friends” fans, too.)
1.       I don’t have to take anymore stim shots!  Woo hoo!  My thighs are stoked to be moving on to the next step.  My bruises can heal, and my pinholes can close.  (Of course, this means the even more uncomfortable Progesterone shot starts in 2 days, but at least I get some better drugs for that one.)
2.       I don’t have to have another blood draw until Monday and then not another one for a couple of weeks.  This morning was the worst blood draw I have had this cycle.  She always goes for the same vein, but that vein was screaming today about how sore it was getting.  Sayonara to those!
3.       I don’t have to order more Follistim.  My biggest fear was that we were going to have to order more of the “Liquid Gold.”  It’s the most expensive of the stim meds by far, and I wasn’t looking forward to scrounging through our budget to pull together another $1,000 or so.  (We did end up with a little over $1,100 extra in meds, but like my cousin said, "That's a drop in the bucket.")

So, trigger shot tonight at 12:30 AM on. the. dot.  No accidental sleeping through it, or my cycle is cancelled.  We don’t have that problem, though.  I probably will be too excited to even fall asleep tonight.

Tomorrow is the best day in an IVF cycle, in my opinion.  It’s SHOT FREE DAY!  Of course, when I get a positive pregnancy test this cycle, THAT will become my new favorite day.  J

Tomorrow, I just take my regular vitamins, and I trade the Dexamethasone (egg producing pill) with Doxycycline.  This is just used to make sure I don’t get an infection from the transfer procedure.

Saturday morning, Todd and I have to be at the office at 9:45 AM.  My retrieval will be at 10:30, and his will be at 11:15.  Since we both have the privilege of going completely under general anesthesia this time, my mom will be going with us as our chauffeur.  We’re excited to share this experience with her since we are becoming old pros at it.  J

That day, I also start another new pill for me called Medrol.  It’s an anti-inflammatory and may increase implantation rates.  Bring on the double doses, Doc! 

That night, we do our first Progesterone shot.  Hopefully, Todd will be feeling well enough to give it to me since it’s the first one I’ve had in 9 months.  It’s carrying agent is oil, so it’s really thick.  The needle is larger than the others.  It has to be given in the muscle in your hind side.  It can start to cause knots and lots of bruising.  It has to be given in the same spot every night…well, you get to switch sides each night.  Sound fun?!  Ugh!  You take this shot for your entire first trimester.  When it ends, you celebrate like banshees.  (I don’t know what banshees are, but I bet they like to celebrate.)

The rest of the day on Saturday and Sunday, we will be doing what Provences do best…laying around!  We have an amazing friend from church bringing us dinner for Saturday night.  That way, my mom doesn’t have to worry about cooking and caring for a big cry baby…Todd.  J

Next Thursday, we will return to the office for our embryo transfer.  I will be receiving daily updates on their growth between Saturday and Thursday.  There is a lot more to the transfer this time because of our decision to undergo genetic testing that I will explain later.

At this point, we are thrilled.  We are staying busy, and we are ready for a relaxed weekend of retrievals and Tivos.  (We don’t even have a Tivo, but it fit best with the word retrieval.  The truth is that we will be laying on our backs and watching TV all weekend.  Ah, the life!)

Hope everyone else has as relaxing of a weekend as we do!  (Take note how I’m trying to be positive and wish any pain to stay away from either of us…especially Todd.)


Shot Counter:
Saturday, 8/30/14:
1)      Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
2)      Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
3)      Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Sunday, 8/31/14:
4)      Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
5)      Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
6)      Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Monday, 9/1/14:
7)      Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
8)      Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
9)      Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Tuesday, 9/2/14:
10)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
11)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
12)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Wednesday, 9/3/14:
13)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
14)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
15)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Thursday, 9/4/14:
16)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
17)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
18)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Friday, 9/5/14:
19)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
20)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
21)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Saturday, 9/6/14:
22)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
23)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
24)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Sunday, 9/7/14:
25)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
26)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
27)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Monday, 9/8/14:
28)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
29)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
30)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Tuesday, 9/9/14:
31)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
32)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
33)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Wednesday, 9/10/14:
34)   Follistim 225 units, in the a.m.
35)   Menopur 75 IU, in the a.m.
36)   Follistim 225 units, in the p.m.
Thursday, 9/11/14:
37)   Follistim 300 units, in the a.m.
38)   TRIGGER SHOT!!!