Wisehubby and I had been TTC for a while and, on a hunch, discovered his severe male factor infertility--basically, he has an army of mutant sperm. I'm also mutant; I have a clotting disorder: Factor V. We were on the IVF with ICSI track, and I gave birth to a beautiful boy after IVF #2. We've tried varicocele repair, too--ugh. Our frozen embyro transfer ended in miscarriage at 9 weeks 1 day. We don't know where the quest will take us from here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Retrieved, take 2!

This morning I rolled out of bed and into the car that rolled north to our fertility clinic for egg retrieval. I fell asleep quite a bit in the waiting room and again in the recovery room in which we got all situated.

My nurse was nice, but she put the IV line in too tight and it pinched my skin the whole time. I complained to the anesthesiologist who promised to get me put out soon so that I wouldn't notice.

Wisehubby was, as always, very sweet and kept coming over to kiss my forehead and hold my hand. I tried to put him on blanket patrol too, but Dr. B covered me with my blanket after walking me personally to the bathroom. Methinks the nurse may not be invited back to work there again.

Anyway, everything went smoothly, and they retrieved 19 eggs for ICSI fertilization. I'll know more tomorrow about how many fertilized. Last year, 19 fertilized initially out of a batch of 33, but Dr. B was trying to avoid getting so many immature follicles that wouldn't fertilize and grow well. Here's hoping his plan worked! I'd love to have two for transfer and a few for freezing, but I'll be happy no matter.

I pretty much slept all day after we got home, and I had some amusing dreams since Wisehubby used my lack of consciousness for a rare news marathon. I dreamt the I was riding a bus with President Obama, and we ate Kit Kats.

We had some friends come over with dinner for our weekly Homeland viewing party, so now Wisehubby and I are just chilling. Tomorrow I'll be home alone, but my parents are coming over with lunch, so I should have a pretty good day.

Final note on retrieval day: Wisehubby didn't want to be bugged with trick-or-treaters while I'm recovering, so he hung a sign on the door that reads, "Sorry, no Halloween at this house! Thanks!"

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Silly Ovaries

As of this time tomorrow, I should be about twenty eggs lighter, which is no joke because as of Monday, the sonographer--who is normally one of the most confidence inspiring medical personnel I've ever met--temporarily mistook my left ovary for my right. "Silly ovaries," she quipes, "you're too close together!"

Ah, shit! My ovaries are so swollen that they had seemingly merged on the sonogram machine. What?

My meds dropped down to the bare minimum dosage for Saturday and Sunday nights, and we were rewarded on Monday with thick uterine lining, growth on the follicles that were more mature on Saturday, and slowed growth for the immature follicles. My right ovary is out-producing my left, both in size and quantity. Either way, my sonographer swears that I'm overachieving and doing great. They scheduled me for a 7:30 trigger shot on Monday, which meant no more Lupron, Follistim, or Menopur. I also dropped the Lovenox, but that will come back tomorrow night.

Hurricane Sandy kept one of my very favorite people in town for a few extra days, so instead of quietly triggering at home, like last time, I packed up my insulated lunch sack and headed out on the town. I triggered in the women's restroom at a Turkish restaurant, which is probably weirder for a Texas girl than the sports bar of yester-cycle.

Today was a great day at work, despite a rough parent phone call, and I finished it up with a late meeting with my district curriculum writing team. I work with some amazing men and women, and it was really nice to see them all in person and hear their well-wishes for our retrieval tomorrow.

I'm just a little anxious, and I'm determined not to toss and turn, so I am just watching Dancing with the Stars and trying not to notice my seriously swollen, very silly ovaries.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Shots on the go

Here are some different places that I've taken shots during my IVF journey:
-The bathroom of a sports bar (Ovidrel, trigger shot before retrieval)
-The bathroom at a watch party or three (Follistim and/or Lovenox)
-The front seat of the car in the parking lot of a restaurant in Addison (Follistim and Menopur)

The weirdest and best location of all will definitely be this Saturday when I take my Follistim, Menopur, and Lovenox at the medical clinic at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium during the OU/Notre Dame game. Hopefully the security staff won't give me too much crap about bringing in my sack of injectable meds.

Here are a few tips about shots on the go:
1. Avoid it if possible. Seriously, it is much easier to do them at home with your trusty sharps container.
2. Have a really cute insulated lunch sack. Mine is almost indistinguishable from my purse, so I don't look bizarre carrying it around.
3. Pack back up bandaids, sterile gauze, and alcohol pads. Who knows when you'll get a gusher!
4. Find someplace private and somewhat clean.
5. Consider how you're going to deal with the sharps in advance. Don't discard the caps and such; many times you can recap the needle. Bring something to wrap or close them into if not.

Happy travels fellow IVFers!

UPDATE: They dropped Menopur for the remainder of my cycle, and we were running a touch behind, so I injected Follistim in the hallway of Catlett Music Center at the University of Oklahoma so Wisehubby could run the drugs back to the car and not carry them around the whole day. With no drugs to mix, I just took my prefilled syringe of Lovenox to the bathroom under section 18 of the stadium after OU's last scoring drive and gave it to myself in the stall.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What swollen ovaries feel like

Swollen ovaries kind of feel like off-centered bladder infections.

That is all.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Injecting the crazy - Side effects

I started stimulating with injectable hormones last night, and have already given my dosage for tonight. Last year, I took Lupron in the mornings and Follistim in the evenings. This year, my protocol is Lupron in the mornings, Follistim and Menopur in the evenings, and Lovenox at bed time. I suppose that I could switch Lovenox to the evening time period, but man, it burns like hell and I don't think I could stomach it as shot number three.

Here are my feelings so far on side effects:

  • Lupron (prevents ovulation) - Though everyone on message boards bitches about Lupron headaches, I don't know if I've ever gotten one. I get sinus headaches all the time, so there could have been many a Lupron headache lurking in disguise that I just attributed to other things. I can tell you that my left eye has been twitching, but I don't think that has to do with the hormones so much as the stress.
  • Follistim (stimulates ovaries) - Last year I took this and my only effect was really heavy, sore ovaries, which is the intended effect. It's not comfortable, but it is what I signed up for.
  • Menopur (stimulates ovaries) - Everyone on the internets complains about how it burns, but these people have clearly never taken Lovenox. I did have the most amazing nausea and stabbing stomach pains this morning, which I am chalking up to the Menopur, as I did not experience this last year. It was so bad that I went to our school nurse to get my temperature taken, worried that I'd contracted a virus. Nope, it was just all the crazy I've been injecting into my system. "Oh, well, it's the new medicine I am on, I suppose," I tell the nurse. 
  • Lovenox (prevents blood clots) - HOLY MOTHER OF WHATEVER! Have I complained about this to you yet? No? Well, let me rectify the situation. Lovenox is the devil shot. It is putting me off of shots all together, which is not good. Not only does it stab like a @#$%@# when you inject it, but once you finish it burns and aches for a good thirty minutes while the medicine creeps slowly around your abdomen. Enjoy! I had to tell my friend, Dr. B the hematologist, that he should give it a try sometime before he decides to prescribe it again. It is pure evil. "I'm so glad that I found out that I have a genetic blood disorder," said no one ever.
Today, I felt pretty normal, but after my second injection, I immeadiately felt my ovaries. It is a very distinct feeling, this noticing an organ that you don't normally notice, so it could just be the medicine I'm injecting, or it could be that I'm injecting a dose of crazy. Only time will tell.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It burns like hell

It burns as bad or
worse the nurse
warns, matter-of-fact.
Where am I supposed to
put four shots a day?
My already inky belly?
The fleshy bit of
my thigh.

Every night,
Every morning
he watches as I
stick myself.

It burns like hell.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thirty-two Shots and Counting

I'm thirty-two shots into this IVF cycle, and we still haven't started stimulation. It's just making me really tired; the stress is exhausting and both Lovenox and Lupron list tiredness as common side effects.  In fact, if you Google Lovenox, two suggested searches are, "Lovenox burns like hell," and "Lovenox fog". I have spent a disturbing amount of time in the last week since I started Lupron in combination with Lovenox staring at my computer screen, attempting to will my brain to work productively.

I've stopped the birth control pills, so I should start my period tomorrow or Friday. Once I do, I can set up a plan for when to start stimulating with Menopur and Follistim, putting my daily shot count up to 4. I was looking over my timeline from last year, and it looks like we'll have the retrieval and transfer in about three weeks.

Sorry this one is not a witty or even compelling post. Just sitting here letting the Lovenox burn like hell and put my brain in a non-witty fog.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

IVF Playlist

I've got a new playlist for this IVF cycle, so I thought I'd take you through it a bit so you can get a glimpse into Wisehubby's and my head space, as well as our sense of humor.

The first part is an ode to the money woes.

"Circumstances", Shemekia Copeland
The words say it all:  Circumstances in control of my life; circumstances gonna rule me till the day I die.

"Billionare", Glee Cast Version
Proof that I'm a nerd: I don't even know who originally sang this song, nor do I care to find out. Why? Oh, I want to be a billionaire so freaking bad, buy all of the things I never had.

"Bills, Bills, Bills", Destiny's Child
I kind of want to shout this at the male Dr. B sometimes: Can you pay my bills? Can you pay my telephone bills? Can you pay my automo'bills? Then maybe we can chill. I don't think you do, so you and me are through.
OK, here comes my fucked up section. Enjoy the cray-cray!

"Bitch Went Nuts", Ben Folds
Oh, the bitch went nuts, but everyone thought she might, oh holy fucking shit. It's the stress that makes me crazy, not the drugs. I am prone to crazy ass mood swings, even when I'm not on the hormone therapy yet. Explain that one to me!
"Artificial Nocturne", Metric
I'm as fucked up as they say. I can't fake the daytime, found an entrance to escape into the dark, got false lights for the sun. It's an artificial nocturne, an outsider's escape for a broken heart. I'm me. All that I believe, I set myself free. So take all the time you need, and let yourself be.

"Scar Tissue", Red Hot Chili Peppers
Blood loss in a bathroom stall, southern girl with a scarlet drawl. Wave good-bye to ma and pa 'cause with the birds I'll share, with the birds I'll share this lonely view. With the birds I'll share this lonely view. 

This southern girl actually stopped in a bathroom stall at a place called Country Burger to take a pregnancy test during her miscarriage. How fucked up is that?

"Breaking the Girl"
, Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Twisting and turning, your feelings are burning. You're breaking the girl. She meant you no harm. Think you're so clever..."

"Annie Wants a Baby", Red Hot Chili Peppers
Annie wants a baby now. Annie wants a baby any way she can. Missing pieces, she's got a lot of em.
Time decreases, I wish I thought of em before. Before it's time to close the store. Oh yeah. Installation,
A lonely sink of fame. Some liberation, the only seed we ever plant. I wanna help you but I can't. No, no.

"Hallelujah", Jeff Buckley
Baby I've been here before. I've seen this room and I've walked this floor (you know). I used to live alone before I knew you. And I've seen your flag on the marble arch and love is not a victory march. It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah. Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah...

Enough wallowing, here comes the upswing! Wisesister will be so proud! Also, can you tell that my favorite band of all time is Red Hot Chili Peppers? Weird, right?

"Factory of Faith", Red Hot Chili Peppers
Be my wife, I think you right that we should mate. Tell your friends, I got a factory of faith. Late last night, I had a dream that it was great. Tell your friends, I got a factory of faith. I got a factory of... Faith. And love.
"Let Go", Frou Frou
So let go. Jump in. Oh well whatcha waiting for? It's all right 'cause there's beauty in the breakdown.
"When We All Get to Heaven", Brad Paisley
Let us then be true and faithful, trusting, serving every day; Just one glimpse of Him in glory will the toils of life repay.

"View from Heaven", Yellowcard
And I'm sure the view from heaven beats the hell out of mine here. And if we all believe in heaven, maybe we'll make it through one more year down here.

"Way Back into Love", Hugh Grant and Haley Bennett
All I wanna do is find a way back into love, I can't make it through without a way back into love, and if I open my heart to you, I'm hoping you'll show me what to do, and if you help me to start again, you know that I'll be there for you in the end!

"Book of Love", Peter Gabriel
The book of love is long and boring and written very long ago. It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes and things we're all too young to know. But I love it when you give me things, and you, you ought to give me wedding rings.

"Such Great Heights", Iron and Wine
They will see us waving from such great heights, 'come down now,' they'll say. But everything looks perfect from far away. 'Come down now,' but we'll stay...

"Broken Road", Rascal Flatts
Now I'm just rolling home into my lover's arms. This much I know is true: That God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you.

"In the Waiting Line", Zero 7
Wasting my time in the waiting line. Do you believe in what you see? Nine to five, living lies, everyday, stealing time.

"Haven't Met You Yet", Michael Buble
I'm not surprised. Not everything lasts. I've broken my heart so many times I stopped keeping track. Talk myself in. I talk myself out. I get all worked up, then I let myself down.

I tried so very hard not to lose it. I came up with a million excuses. I thought I thought of every possibility.

And I know someday that it'll all turn out. You'll make me work so we can work to work it out. And promise you, kid, that I'll give so much more than I get. I just haven't met you yet.

I might have to wait. I'll never give up. I guess it's half timing,  And the other half's luck. Wherever you are. Whenever it's right. You'll come out of nowhere and into my life.

And I know that we can be so amazing. And baby your love is gonna change me. And now I can see every possibility...

They say all's fair in love and war, but I won't need to fight it. We'll get it right and, we'll be united...

I just haven't met you yet. Ohh, promise you, kid, to give so much than I get. (I said love, love, love, love...) I just haven't met you yet.

I just haven't met you yet.

"Many the Miles", Sara Barielles
Red letter day and I'm in a blue mood, wishing that blue would just carry me away. I've been talking to God. Don't know if it's helping or not, but surely something has got to got to got to give 'cause I can't keep waiting to live.

How far do I have to go to get to you? Many the miles, many the miles. How far do I have to go to get to you? Many the miles. But send me the miles, and I'll be happy to.

"Happiness Loves Company", Red Hot Chili Peppers
Make time for love and your happiness. The mothers of invention are the best. We all learn and struggle with some loneliness. A tender mess for everyone I guess.
"God Put a Smile on your Face", Coldplay
Where do we go? Nobody knows. Don't ever say you're on your way down when God gave you style and gave you grace and put a smile upon your face.

"Dog Days are Over", Florence and the Machine
The dog days are over. The dog days are done. The horses are coming, so you better run.

"Ever Ever After", Carrie Underwood
Storybook endings, fairy tales coming true. Deep down inside we want to believe they still do. And a secret is taught, it's our favorite part of the story. Let's just admit we all want to make it to ever ever after.

Starting your fashion, wear your heart on your sleeve. Sometimes you reach what's real just by making believe, unafraid, unashamed. There is joy to be claimed in this world. You even might wind up being glad to be you... Though the world will tell you it's not smart... The world can be yours if you let your heart believe in ever after.

No wonder your heart feels it's flying. Your head feels it's spinning. Each happy ending's a brand new beginning. Let yourself be enchanted, you just might break through to ever ever after...

"Dance, Dance, Dance", Red Hot Chili Peppers
Dance, dance, dance, dance! All night long, yes all night long! Dance, dance, dance, dance! We got strong, yes we got strong!

"What I am", will.i.am and the Sesame Street monsters
If what I am is what's in me, then I'll stay strong; that's who I'll be, and I will always be the best"me" that I can be. There's only one me, I am it. Have a dream, I'll follow it. It's up to me to try. Oh! I'm a keep my head up high, keep on reaching high! Never gonna quit! I'll be getting stronger. And nothing's gonna bring me down! (no!) Never gonna stop, gotta go. Because I know, I'll keep getting stronger.

"Damn Girl", Justin Timberlake
That's got me saying, "Damn girl, you're so fine!"