No transfer. I'm still at an elevated risk for OHSS and another hospitalization. Instead, we are freezing the embryos and will transfer in two months, when I am recovered. I've been totally bummed the past few days. I may not update for a while.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I am way behind on ICLW because I just returned from the hospital last night around 8pm. I was admitted at 4am Monday via the emergency room for severe Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). I will explain it in every gory detail at a later date - I'm still groggy and exhausted from my little adventure right now, so the details will have to wait.
Update on embryo transfer: I will call the clinic today with a report of my progress and health overnight and we will determine from that conversation if I am well enough to handle the transfer today. It is very likely that my symptoms will quickly return upon transfer, so this is a very delicate situation. If we do transfer today, we will transfer two embies and I'm pretty sure we will have plenty to freeze for future cycles! I'm so excited!
Posted by GINA and KEV at 6:41 AM
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Thank you for all the well wishes. The ER went smoothly. The doc retrieved 20 eggs. Did ICSI with ten and all ten made it through the first night, and the other ten were left to do the magic on their own. Four of those fertilized and one split, so we have fifteen total today! I am hoping for another good report tomorrow.
I have severe bloating, pain, dizziness, and difficulty breathing. I am pretty sure I have OHSS to some degree, but the clinic is not open until Monday. I've just been resting since I got home yesterday, and that's what I am going to have to go do now. The dizziness has caught up to me once again. I don't want to faint again.
Edited to add: I misunderstood. We have 16!!!
Posted by GINA and KEV at 3:12 PM
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Those are my plans for tomorrow. Wish me luck.
See what the other kids are showing off this week.
Posted by GINA and KEV at 6:33 AM
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Posted by GINA and KEV at 12:26 PM
Thursday, June 11, 2009
The one-year anniversary of this blog came and went in May without even a peep.
I started this blog last year when we were beginning the first of three failed IUI cycles. I was very excited about the prospect of this blog quickly transforming into a chronicle of pregnancy, then of baby's first few years. Quite obviously, that did not happen. Looking back, I now see how naive I was about the success of IUI. I thought it was our magic answer. After all, we'd been trying for several years. We were DUE, right?
Actually, I've been naive about this whole process - about all the treatments. With every new procedure or plan, I find myself calculating due dates and sneaking peeks at baby furniture catalogues. This time has been no different. Kev and I have already decided that we have a pretty good chance of having a baby (or two) on his birthday next year. And last night, I fell asleep envisioning what additions I'd make to the nursery if we were somehow fortunate enough to be blessed with twins.
The word "naive" has such negative connotations. I think I need more positive language in my life right now. Maybe what I've got is not naiveté, but hope. Yes. Hope. That sounds better. But then again, hope can be dangerous, as I've found. If things don't go as I had planned, despair moves in where hope once resided. This is one thing I fear. That crushing despair can be so dark and lonely and consuming and convincing. It's this fear that has kept me from allowing myself to get as excited as I would truly like to be about our upcoming IVF. I am hopeful, of course. It's just a guarded hope.
So with that same guarded hope, I'll continue to trace my journey on this road to baby. I will continue to blog about it with the hope that I will soon be able to transition into a pregnancy blog then a bouncy baby blog.
And I hope to see good follies at my scan tomorrow too.
Posted by GINA and KEV at 4:37 PM
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Kev and I decided to find a new clinic to do our IVF. When we interviewed the clinic, we met with a certain IVF coordinator - let's call her B. She was very professional and knowledgeable. She asked all the right questions and answered ours very much to my satisfaction. Having been working with a Reproductive Endocrinologist for three years, Kev and I are pretty up on the infertility lingo of reproductive mechanisms. B did not treat us like idiots. She didn't assume (as medical professionals sometimes do) that Kev and I don't have an intimate knowledge of the workings of the female anatomy - however broken mine is - and she spoke to us in just enough medical and lay terms so as not to offend or alienate us. We left feeling confident that B would do a superb job coordinating our IVF. Honestly, B had a large influence on our deciding to use that clinic (as opposed to the other clinic who didn't even know what questions to ask me - I ran!).
I did NOT want to be bloated, slow, and moody for the hectic end-of-year rigamarole of high school English, so we decided to wait until summer to start stims and do the egg retrieval and embryo transfer. In the meantime, I got an email from some other lady - we'll call her C - saying she's new to the clinic and that she's going to be our IVF coordinator and do I have any questions. Uh, yeah. Who the hell are you? And, no you're not going to by my IVF coordinator. I met B; I trust B; B will be my IVF coordinator. It's not okay to switch on someone in a situation like this. There is just too much at stake.
Ok, so I got that straightened out. B will be my coordinator. Done.
Well, B called me last Monday to say that she would not be in the office on Thursday (the day of my first appt. for suppression scan, catheter measurement, drug order, protocol explanation, etc.) and that she wanted to tell me personally because I had specifically requested to work with B. I was okay with this since she called; plus, it was a one-time thing, and she assured me that she is going to be my coordinator. I was hesitant, but agreed.
Upon my first meeting C, she went over the protocol for our IVF. It is called the lo-dose hCG protocol because I will be injecting a small amount of hCG along with Lupron and Gonal-F every day. This being my first (and hopefully last) IVF, I was confused about the hCG. In the past, I had always taken a very large dose of hCG to induce ovulation, so I wanted to know what function the small amount of hCG has. What does it do? How does it make my body react? Simple question, right? It should be for a professional. C looked at me, baffled, and proceeded to cough out some crap about it being a "helper hormone." I wanted to reassure her that she could speak to me in medical terms and explain to me what exactly it does in my body. So I told her I was just curious about what role it plays in the stimulation. She coughed a little again and spat out the same shit about "helper hormones" and then told me that it was okay that I was just confused.
I'm confused?! No, no. I believe you're confused. I dropped it. She obviously didn't know the answer.
When Kev arrived at the appointment, I told him about the interaction. He was curious as well, and decided that after the scan, he would ask her the same question after giving her sufficient time to find the correct answer (while in my scan). I was amazed that this time she said that she was confused (not him, not me) and again that it was a "helper hormone." Are you freaking kidding me? That's it? You've had fifteen minutes to either ask someone for the answer or look it up in one of the hundreds of medical reference books and databases at your disposal, knowing that you would have to see me again, and you didn't find the answer for me?
I will just say that I am glad C will not be coordinating my IVF. She's a nice enough gal, but I need to trust that my questions can be answered professionally and to my satisfaction. Should I say anything to B this Friday when I go back for my first follie scan?
Wow. These hormone shots must be getting to me. I just realized that I've ranted about this for about an hour. I'm not usually this negative in my writing. Maybe it's a good sign that I'm cooking some strong, healthy eggs!
Posted by GINA and KEV at 9:53 PM
Monday, June 8, 2009
It's been a while since I've posted a pic from "on the road," so here is one from Northwestern Missouri, captured at the lake my family retreats to once a year.
Kev and I went with my mother, my sister, her husband, their daughter's boyfriend, and my great-niece and great-nephew on a moonlight fishing outing on the pontoon. The moon was beautiful, the lake was calm, and the critters were stirring. The little ones had fun pointing out marmots, snakes, and owls, while I was enchanted by this magnificent bird.
Posted by GINA and KEV at 9:02 PM
Friday, June 5, 2009
Every year, my family rents a few cabins at a little local lake that has been a well-kept secret for a decade or more. It's absolutely gorgeous, cost-effective, and relatively quiet. I don't know why more people haven't heard about it, but it's fine with me. I like having the sunset to myself. I like knowing that the cabins will be available next year on the weekend I want. I like being able to enjoy my family while participating in all kinds of outdoor activities. We camp, build bonfires, boat, fish, golf, play bocci, cook for each other, play board games, fly kites, walk dogs, play our own version of volleyball, and about a dozen more things. This year was no different. Family fun was had by all, and a few family announcements were made, as well.
That's right. My nephew, who just got married two months ago, announced that they are expecting a tiny bundle of joy at the beginning of 2010. It's a wonderful thing! My nephew's new wife brings to the union a beautiful (and quite tall!) five year old princess from a previous marriage. With the promise of a new baby on the way, they are sure to be the perfect little happy family. And they're all just as sweet as can be. Which is why I hated the way I reacted when I heard the news. I simply said, "Oh, that's great!" and promptly left the room to keep from crying. I couldn't even squeak out the word "congratulations" before sneaking out. I wanted them to know that I am excited for them and that I think they are going to be wonderful parents together and that I wish them all the happiness in the world. I just couldn't say it. And now I feel like such an asshole.
My sister-in-law saw how I was affected by the announcement, and she came outside to talk to me. She comforted me and assured me that she prays for Kev and me all the time. Sometimes people say this and you can just tell it isn't true. But somehow I knew that she was telling the truth. She went on to say that recently she has been getting the feeling that when she prays, she should no longer be praying for a child for us, but for peace instead. When she told me this, I about lost my mind. What it sounds like to me is that I will not have children, and that I need to find peace in my heart and accept this fact. Terrifying. She reassured me that this was not the feeling she's been getting, but rather, God has the babies figured out for us and we need peace until that happens. I hope that's all her message from God means. I am definitely not ready to give up trying to create a family. I am not giving up. I am not! I don't want to seek that kind of peace.
I also explained to her that now that we're doing IVF, we will have to pull our adoption profile because we won't be able to afford both IVF and open adoption. She told me that she strongly feels that we are not supposed to pull our profile. She thinks that we are supposed to leave it in place and if we get matched, we will roll with it. She said we should not worry about the money, that the money is not important and that it will come if we need it. I hadn't considered this. I thought it had to be one way or the other. But, honestly, I like her idea better. I like keeping our options open. We've been trying to start a family for six years. I don't like closing any doors to that opportunity - no matter how financially prohibitive they seem.
So I think that's our plan. We pursue IVF and keep our adoption profile in place. If we are matched for an adoption, wonderful! If we conceive through IVF, wonderful! If both happen at the same time... DOUBLE WONDERFUL! I can't imagine a happier answer to this infertility question we posed six years ago.
For this idea, I would like to thank my sweet (and brilliant) sister-in-law. I would also like to thank God for giving her the grace to talk to me about this. I would also like to congratulate my nephew on their pregnancy. Maybe we'll have kids a few months apart. *Fingers crossed*
Posted by GINA and KEV at 5:42 PM
I haven't been writing much lately and there is really only one reason for it: I haven't been writing for myself. I have found myself holding back from what I truly wanted to say out of fear that I would offend someone, that a reader would comment something I didn't want to hear, or that I would turn someone off by not writing what they wanted me to. Because I haven't been writing for myself, I have felt out of sorts. I haven't known what to write about. I haven't had many thoughts that I felt worthy of posting for this imagined judgmental audience that I dreamed would flog me for not doing what "they" wanted. I must be delusional. I have also felt that I haven't been honest with myself or with my readership.
I probably wouldn't even have started this post had it not been for Mel at Stirrup Queens writing on this very topic. I needed someone to remind me of the reason I started this blog. The point was to document my journey through infertility. To explore my thoughts, joys, questions, fears as I navigate my way on this (so far) heart-wrenching trip. Of course, I expected some people to come along for the ride with me - well, at least to read about it - but that's not solely who this blog is for. I needed to hear from Mel that transitions in regards to the world of infertility are worthy of blogging about. That transitions are hard but important. Which leads me to what I've wanted to write about for the past few months.
During the course of writing this blog, Kev and I have gone from monthly Femara with injections of HCG and timed relations to a more aggressive hormone treatment and three failed IUI's to being approved for domestic adoption and waiting, waiting, waiting to our most recent additional plan for starting our family. It's a big move. We're moving on to IVF.
Kev and I start stimming for IVF on Sunday evening. I've been taking Lupron injections for a little over two weeks, and this Sunday I add Gonal-F and low-dose HCG to the mix. I will give myself three injections per day for the first few days. This number of injections will likely be bumped up after my next scan on Tuesday.
That feels good to get off my chest. I feel as though I've been holding back for you so you wouldn't get upset that I'm moving on to IVF. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that I'm writing this for me. I do still feel that I have to explain a little. Hopefully, this compulsion to justify my actions will go away again and I can get back to writing for real.
This move doesn't mean that Kev and I are no longer exploring adoption at this time. As far as I can tell, we are still waiting. I do imagine, however, that there will be some of you who disagree with our decision to pursue IVF while waiting to adopt. This doesn't mean that if we are matched tomorrow that I would reject the match. Not at all! We would love to be matched and explore an open adoption with a birth mother. I hope that people realize that this move doesn't indicate our closing a door, but more of our openness to beginning our family by any means available.
We've been trying to start our family for six years. We need to be able to explore many options. We need your support. We need your prayers. I need to be able to express my thoughts, ideas, fears, and joys through this process - through this transition - for my own peace of mind. Maybe this was the peace my sister-in-law was talking about last weekend.
How wonderful! I now have something to blog about tomorrow: the advice I got from my sister-in-law last weekend.
Thanks for the reminder, Mel. I needed to get back on track.
Posted by GINA and KEV at 12:01 AM