Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The IVF Ride

IVF has it's ups and downs, it's peaks and lows, and I think it is quite appropriate to compare it to a roller coster ride. I like to think that Rhett and I have done our best to see the thrill it holds and try not dwell on the low points. Right now we are trying to focus on the excitement as the ride slowly inches up the hill before the big drop, the only problem is, waiting two weeks for the big drop (aka pregnancy test) can wear on you, so what else can you do but grab the loved one's hand next to you, smile big, and know that thrill inducing, heart pounding excitement will be here before you know it.

Right now, I am "pregnant until proven otherwise". I am 4 days post embryo transfer, and have been relaxing, keeping my feet up, watching endless red boxes and lifetime movies (seriously forgot how much I love myself some lifetime, did I just publicly admit that?!?)and just doing all I can to take care of myself and these darling little embies that reside inside me.

The transfer was on Sunday and went great! We transferred back 2 perfect grade, adorable little embies and the transfer went without a hitch! My lining was great, and I felt very relaxed and happy. Rhett did a good job of making me laugh before the procedure by being his goofy self and fanning me with magazines. These progesterone shots and estrogen patches have brought on some pretty awesome hot flashes, gotta love hormones! We went straight to a post embryo transfer acupuncture treatment and then home to rest!

My ovaries are still enlarged from all that stimulating, so I am only allowed small amounts of water and mostly gatorade, V8 and anything salty, which is supposed to avoid hyper stimulating. Well, there is only one kind of gatorade I can stand, which is the light purple kind, and CVS had gatorade on sale so Rhett went out on a mission to stock us up! Turns out a lot of people like that flavor as they were sold out at our local CVS! Have no fear, three CVSes later, Rhett came through for me with a box of purple gatorade! He has been nothing short of a saint, walking the dogs, taking care of dinner, replenishing my red boxes daily, and doing it all with a smile on his face. Is he going to be a great dad or what?!?

Here are some pics of the shirts we made for transfer day and our adorable little embies, who should have started implanting today!! Aren't they precious?

Friday, June 22, 2012

We like our eggs..... FERTILIZED!

So we got the call that out of my 44 eggs, 27 were able to be fertilized and are doing fabulously well in their petri dishes. They are dividing and hatching all on their own, so we get to do a day 5 embryo transfer which is ideal! We are so thrilled with these results! I guess we are going to have to have a big family!

Sunday is the day that we will have our embryo transfer, and we will get a call tomorrow in regards to what time. Once I know, I will be sure to let you all know! We are getting really excited to have the transfer day almost here, in fact so excited, we may or may not have had some t-shirts made for this occasion! Pictures to follow!! Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Retrieval Day!

Yesterday morning was a big day in our cycle. We had our egg retrieval. We arrived at FCI at 7:00 a.m. for our 8:00 egg retrieval. After given some next step instructions, and verifying my name and birthdate, I was pricked in the hand to begin my IV. Let me tell you, I have grown quite accustomed to be pricked for my blood everyday for the past week or so, but that is in the arm, getting pricked in the hand is a whole different playing field and it hurts so much more! I know you're probably thinking, good luck with childbirth, sweetie. Anyways, I digress. After having the IV in for about 20 minutes, they wheeled me into the procedure room. They prepped me for surgery and had me verify my name one last time, put the sleepy-time drugs (yes, I believe that is the medical term) in the IV, and I was out.

I awoke as I was being wheeled into the recovery room, where my darling hubby awaited me. I asked the nurse as she helped me into the bed, "Did I say anything weird?" I was assured I did not. After I was situated in bed, the doctor came in and told me that they had retrieved.... wait for it... 44 EGGS! I was blown out of the water! He said, they can't tell too much from just looking at them, but they appeared to be some good quality eggs to boot! We were both so excited! He did say that because of that many eggs, they will have to make sure I don't hyper stimulate, which is a condition in which the stimulated ovaries can cause fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity. The fluid comes from blood vessels that are found in the abdomen. This can be a serious condition, so they don't take it lightly. If this were to happen, they would need to freeze all embryos and make me wait about 2 months before transferring the embryos. We are praying and hoping this is not the case,as having an embryo transfer at the beginning of the school year would be less than ideal, and would probably mean me having to push it back even further. I am trying to just live in the moment and tell myself that this won't happen and just be happy with the results of our retrieval.

As far as how I am feeling, I am sore, I laid in bed all day yesterday and I plan to do the same again today. I am quite tender, but other than that no complaints. The nurse will call this afternoon and let me know how many embryos they were able to make and how they are doing in the petri dish. I will get another call the day following to let me know if and when the transfer might be. Please keep the prayers coming, and as always thanks so much for all the love and support!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Put a Fork In Me- I'm done!

Well, I got the call today, and it's go time! Tomorrow morning we will arrive at the fertility center for our 8 a.m. egg retrieval! It is a fairly simple procedure,that I won't remember, as they put you under for it. I will most likely blurt out odd things, as I did last time, as I come out of the medicated blur. Rhett has said he might have to tape me, I did not oblige, haha.

We will get a call after the egg retrieval, usually in the day following, to let us know how our little embies are doing. Then, we will have our transfer either three days or five days after tomorrow, depending on how they are sustaining in the petri dish. We are both so excited that it has finally arrived, and my ovaries are too. Carrying around 20 plus follicles takes it's toll on a girl and it was getting a bit uncomfortable! I will be sure to keep you updated! Thanks for all the prayers!

Here are some pics from this weekend:

Rhett ran in a warrior dash on Sunday:

Rob and Sarah had us over to celebrate Father's Day, We gave Lucy a necklace like one I have that she adores and a doll from Mexico, I think they were both a hit!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Home Away From Home

It seems like these days my home away from home is a place filled with needles, ultra sound equipments, and some of the most amazing sonographers and nurses that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. My home away from home has been a fertility center, and as weird as it sounds, it isn't half bad.

Four years ago I was 26 years old, had been married about a year and was so excited that Rhett and I had made the decision to try and start a family. As most people, I thought it would take a few months, I'd get pregnant, and then boom, instant family. Well, as we now know, that plan didn't go exactly as planned. Infertility has caused a lot of pain, stress, and taken it's toll on us emotionally, physically, and definitely financially. There are things I am thankful for in this journey, and the main one being the amazing staff at FCI where I go for my treatments. The sonographers, nurses, and anyone else I've come in contact with has made me feel loved, cared for, and like I have some cheerleaders in the corner rooting for us, and hoping and praying that we achieve our dream someday. I have spent quite a few days in the past years in that office, and I actually enjoy going, being welcomed by smiling faces, and reassured by compassionate nurses when I start to freak out about something small, or in some cases, something big. I have spent everyday in the office since Sunday, and truth be told, I actually look forward to going. Just today, I got to sit down and chat with my favorite nurses, and it made me so happy to see them and know that they are more than just nurses they're friends. They care about my outcome, and they care about me. It's a really nice feeling to have, that you're being looked after in the best way possible. I feel fortunate to have fostered relationships there, and to be on a first name basis with a lot of the staff, I just hope soon, I'll be bringing our little one or ones in for a visit, not for labs and ultrasound!

Speaking of labs and ultrasound, my follicles continue to grow, my estrogen has been yo-yoing a bit, so my meds have been increased to try and help with that. I am feeling very relaxed, but a bit uncomfortable in my stomach and low back from all these shots and enlarged ovaries. It will all be worth it though! They are thinking my egg retrieval should be Monday or Tuesday, as long as everything keeps growing and numbers keep rising. Please keep the prayers and positive thoughts coming, we feel them and appreciate them! Happy Friday!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer, Summer, Summertime!

Yes, I am that cool. The title of this blog is inspired by an old-school favorite written by the talented Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff. I remember the first week of summer as a youngster, in my p.j.s til God knows when laying on the couch and watching music videos, and getting so excited when this video would come on, it instilled feelings of freedom, happiness, and anticipation of the exciting things that summer would hold. Now, as a 30 year old teacher I still get those giddy feelings and am seriously contemplating turning that jam on and dancing around my condo with my dogs, because it's 10:30 on a Monday, and really, who else is home to catch me? Aww summertime...

It has been a month since I've blogged and so much has been going on. The school year ended on May 25th and then Rhett and I jetted off for an amazing week in Riviera Maya, Mexico, which is about an hour away from Cancun. We relaxed in the sun, drank fruity cocktails, played some "loco games" the friendly entertainment staff had to offer, and basically just lived it up. It was so nice to spend so much one-on-one time together. I ate and drank anything I wanted because I knew as soon as we got home, I would be starting my shots for our upcoming IVF.

I started follicle stimulating shots on this past Wednesday. The purpose of this is to stimulate the follicles and make them mature at a more rapid rate. The follicle is what holds the egg that is released each month. Most women who ovulate normally, produce one mature follicle each month, which in turn releases an egg, and there you have ovulation. Well, when you are doing an IVF, the goal is to get many eggs, so that they can weed out the best ones, combine them with a generous um, "contribution" from my dear hubby and make some embryos. Some that will be transferred back 3-5 days later, and some that will be frozen to use for a future IVF cycle.

I went to the doctor yesterday and I have quite a few follicles, none that are at maturity yet, but well on their way. I went back today, as they will be watching me really closely now, as they don't want to overstimulate me which can cause my cycle to be cancelled. The nurse yesterday told me my egg retrieval could be anywhere from Thursday to Sunday, so we are getting closer. I feel so relaxed, as this is my only job this summer, making a baby. I am excited to hear what they say today, and can't wait to get to retrieval and later my embryo transfer. I feel so hopeful, as I know I always am, but I really think the time is now. I will never give up hope, and neither will Rhett. We are destined to be parents and I just hope that God has decided now is our time! I will be better about blogging and keep you all in the loop!

I hope your summer is off to an amazing start!