Countdown! (IVF FET Cycle)

I had my check this morning… and I couldn’t have asked for better news – my lining looks good!

For you football fans: It’s like one of those games where your team is down by 2 points and you intently watch as the kicker attempts a 45 yd field goal…. and the crowd goes silent…. you just want to hear those two words: “It’s Good”…. and that’s what I heard today. IT’S GOOD!!

So countdown begins, transfer day is Thursday. 

I’m currently taking Lupron & Delestrogen (which I’ve been complaining about for almost a month).  Instead of lessening the meds, they have now added Progesterone in Oil, a steroid, and antibiotic to the protocol.

But I have no care in the world right now….. Countdown is ON!

Lupron Day 21 (FET Cycle)

Well, today is Day 21 on Lupron and tomorrow will be my 4th dose of Delestrogen.  My next appointment will be Thursday, a possible pre-op appointment.

ImagePhoto Credit to Google Search

 

I feel like I need to write today.  Most of the time, I plan my posts hours before I actually write them…. but today, I just feel like I need to write my little heart out.  You don’t necessarily need to read this…. this is just me blogging today.

As I was saying I’m on Day 21 of Lupron…. 21 days of shots every morning – not to mention the 1 1/2″ needle that goes into the top of my rear end every 3 days…. can I say I’m hormonal?????  I believe it’s the Lupron that makes me have hot flashes.  I could barely sleep last night because at one minute I was burning up from inside… then extremely cold the next.

And I Just Want To Cry

Really, I’m eager and excited for what is to come.  I am hopeful.  I don’t want to complain.

But these meds are no joke.  Now I understand why they have IVF support group, mentors, forums, blogs…. we need all the support we can get.  And if it was easy to tell outsiders what we’re going through, then it wouldn’t be so difficult.  Dare I say that the closest of friends, family, even spouses have no clue what us IVF-ers feel like having extreme levels of hormones injected into you every day (sometimes twice a day).  What makes it worse, is when you have an emotional day – they take it personally and the stress level rises when you feel like you have to carefully construct conversations when you really want to just SCREAM, and CRY.

3 more days…. THREE more days till my next doctor’s appointment.  I can wait. Please God, let Thursday come quick!

 

 

Sick Day (IVF)

I’m laying in bed a bit later than usual this morning… Yesterday I had this “fuzzy brain feeling” like I was tipsy… only problem was I wasn’t drinking.  The feeling lasted through the afternoon.  Then this morning I woke up with a headache.  I haven’t done much research on Delestrogen so I couldn’t tell you if it’s the side effects, if I’ve caught a bug, or just plain old stress.  Right now I just feel exhausted to the point where I have bags under my eyes and they look bloodshot.  I’ve had plenty of sleep, way more than usual. I am just tired with a headache.

My coworker called me a few minutes ago.  I confided in her a couple months ago that I would be going through IVF.  So she asked if I was OK.  I explained what I was feeling.  Then she asked me, “are you starting to wonder if it’s all worth it?”

Without hesitation I told her it is totally worth it. Absolutely worth it.

Who else would I go through the pain, sickness, overcoming my fear of needles, betting my future nest egg… who else would I go through this for..  But my own child?

This – All of This – is worth the glimmer of hope that we might be able raise a child that might look like me and act like my husband… or look like him and act like me.. whatever qualities… I don’t mind laying here fuzzy-brained on this perfect cloudy morning.

The Trust Exercise (aka Delestrogen)

The Trust Exercise: You know the drill.. One person stands with arms crossed and blind-folded.  A second person stands directly behind with arms outstretched ready to make the catch.  Hubby and I did this exercise once.  He’s a bit bigger than me so I thought I would immediately fall into his strong arms.  On my first attempt, though, my instinct told me to take a step back.  I didn’t even think about it – my feet just started stumbling as I fell.  The second time around, I had to tell myself that he was there ready to catch me.  Then I made the decision to fall.  He caught me.  Simple as that.  Then we switched places.  Same thing happened with him.. he stumbled on the first attempt, then on the second attempt he simply fell – it was a bit of a challenge for me but I caught him.

Today’s trust exercise was a bit different – with the same result.  Today was my first intramuscular shot of Delestrogen.  This new medicine will help my body get ready for my FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer).  It will help in building a healthy lining to welcome the little embryo(s).  All the fluff aside, the instructions called for my husband to inject what looks like a 2″ needle into the top of my hind quarters.  There is nothing pretty about this needle.  But for those of you who will be taking this injection, I will spare you the details and give you some tips later.

In preparation for this shot, we read the instructions together.  We thought it was no big deal. At this point, we’ve done dozens of injections – having daily shots of Gonal F/Menopur & Lupron.  We pulled out the necessary supplies.  Then, when we found the needle that connects with the syringe, we both paused.  This was supposed to go where???  My husband somehow hyped himself up to do it but I wasn’t ready.  When I was ready he hesitated.  We carried on for about 3 minutes then I finally grabbed a pillow and closed my eyes.  He injected the delestrogen and it was over. It hurt… yes, it did.  But we did it!

This was our trust exercise. I couldn’t… WOULDN’T go through this if I didn’t trust my husband.  And he made this most frightening experience a little better because he was talking the fear out of me the whole time.

So, here are my tips… ice it! I didn’t ice the injection site because I break out in hives when my skin has contact with cold things.  But Ice It for about 5 min before you inject, it will make your life so much easier.  For me, I gave myself a pinch.  I usually do this before getting blood taken to direct my attention to a different area of pain while I get injected.  Lay on your side or flat on your face so your muscles are relaxed. Finally, don’t sit down for about 30 min.  I did this after my shot and it hurt badly.  Instead give yourself a bit of time to relax, watch TV or read a magazine to pass the time :)

Well, there you go.  After a month of birth control & 2 weeks lupron, I’m finally on a new page in my IVF cycle.  Just a step closer to transfer day!

Lupron (IVF FET) Week 2

Recipe for Crazy

1 pill Birth Control

1 shot Lupron

Take Lupron in the morning and Birth Control in the evening. Everyday, indefinitely.

 

Had another check up.  It has now been a full 5 weeks since egg retrieval.  Our 6 little blastocysts have been patiently waiting for my body to prepare for them.  I’m now on my 4th straight week of birth control and 2nd week of Lupron.

For those of you who have already paid your due diligence on this lupron/birth control cocktail, God bless you.  I’m sure that symptoms are different with each patient, but for me……

I am at my wits end. I have hot flashes like it’s coming from my core.  Then I get cold…. chills cold.  I want to cry at EVERYTHING. I attended a pre-screening of Draft Day yesterday, which was a great movie.  And I CRIED when the Kevin Costner character made his draft pick. I can usually contain a good cry but for some reason I couldn’t.  I feel like my insides (my nerves) are on edge.  I want to cry, scream, sleep… all at the same time. I’m tired, achy, throwing up… and my hair is falling out… is that normal?

It doesn’t help that my boys have picked this very month to have their own teenager problems.  It also doesn’t help that my husband considers every outburst as a “mood swing”. It’s at these very times when I need the support of my family, but on the outside I look “normal” so to them, I’m just crazy. On top of that, my car broke down twice and overheated 3 times.

I had my doctor’s appointment this morning.  My ovaries look better, well rested.  Thank goodness.  But my lining is still a bit thick.  Which means I could be looking at another week (or 2) on this dreaded Lupron cocktail.  I NEED SUPPORT.  Seriously. I don’t want to give up, but this medicine is draining all good things out of me.

Note to My Normal Self: Come back please! I miss you!

P.S. In writing this post, I looked up the word “Patient” (for spell-check purposes) and it came up with various synonyms: enduring, easygoing, tolerant, serene….. None of which describes me, the patient (noun), right now.  Ahh, the double entendre.

Freeze All (IVF FET Cycle)

FREEZE ALL… I should have known….

I remember playing a silly running game in elementary school..  First, everyone stands on one side of the gym.  When the teacher yells “GO”, everyone runs.  When he/she says “FREEZE”, everyone stops.  They keep doing this till someone, the Winner, reaches the other end of the gym.

I would always be somewhere in the middle… not the slowest, and definitely not the fastest.  But I always looked at the finish line on other side of the gym thinking “today, I’m going to be the winner.”  The funny part is when you get to 3-4 steps into it, you start developing a good stride..then they yell “FREEZE” and you MUST freeze or else you’re out of the game.  And only ONLY if you run as fast as you can, and abruptly stop when they yell freeze, you just might have a chance to win.  I can’t remember the name of this game.  But I believe the adult IVF version should be called “Freeze All”.

See, under the suggestion of my IVF doctor, we chose to do a (Part 1) “freeze all” (no immediate transfer), then to a (Part 2) Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET).  The first part went pretty smoothly, rather quickly actually.  Then they told us to wait.  We waited till my next cycle started, then on cycle day 3 (CD3), they did a sonogram/bloodwork.  Based on my results, they put me back on birth control for 2 weeks… to let my ovaries rest.

I’ve been in a pretty good mood… I’ve been patient… Even enjoyed myself a bit while I’ve been on been on this birth control regimen.  But, yesterday I went in for a check up and I have, yet, another week on birth control and they added a nice little dose of Lupron to my daily routine.  So I remain frozen, feet in place, eagerly focused on that finish line…. And our little ones stay frozen.

……Until they say “Go”

 

 

Birth Control

Well, I have been on birth control for the past week. My next check will be on March 24th.  So I must wait.  So, while I’m on this birth control, I find it very appropriate to talk about my teenage boys.  Ahhh, the living “birth control” that my peers (some also parents) seem to laugh about.  Everyone seems to cringe when you talk about this stage of parenting. And I do a lot of cringing!

Having teenage boys is like having 2 toddlers, attention-wise.  My 2 teenage boys have very different styles:

  • The older one loves dub-step, keeps his room clean, loves to longboard (skateboards that are longer than the norm), and plays a guitar.
  • The younger brother loves hip hop, has a disastrous room, loves to play sports, and wants to be a deejay.

Just because they are different in styles & personality does not mean the challenges lie with one more than the other.  If it’s not their grades, it’s social networking, ever-increasing hormones, bullies, or peer pressure.  The list goes on.  We’ve had talks – about EVERYTHING.  More than once …a week, every week. Always, always… my attention stays on them.

And having lived on my own as a single mom for several years, I developed a little bit of a mean-streak.  I call it “wearing my emotions on my sleeve”, my family calls it “public outbursts”.

I’m not a big (muscular) person.  I’m rather petite.  My voice is a little mousy.  When I’m upset, I don’t think my tone or facial expression could even intimidate a puppy.  But I’m smart, and I’ll out-talk anyone who messes with me or my children (and sometimes my husband, but I have learned to let him be in charge in those situations).  Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t happen often and it takes a lot to trigger that Crazy-Mother-Alarm.

Lately, I’m learning that I have to be more mindful of my public outbursts in front of my boys.  This weekend was a particularly new challenge.  My younger son was invited to a party last night and he was pretty excited about it.  He bought himself a new shirt to wear.  He was texting his friend who was going to meet him there. Listening to hype-music as he was getting ready.

Any decent parent can relate when I say I NEVER let my kids go to anyone’s house if I have not met their parents.  So, we GPS’d the address and both walked up to the house so he can join the celebration.  Lo & behold, we were greeted by a make-shift security guard who demanded $3.  I asked, “who are you?” He replied, “Security.” Mind you, this kid must have been about 16 or 17 years old.   (Reminder: we’re at a house in the suburbs)  He proceeded to argue with my son about the $3, when I finally said, “you do realize his mom is standing right here, don’t you?”  Then he straightened up and said, “yes, ma’am.”  I was very appreciative.

The other *air-quotes* Security Guard went in to retrieve the Party Host so I could ask if his parents were home.  The Host came out, passed me, and hugged the girls who were patiently standing behind me.  (They must have known about the ‘cover charge’ as they stood behind us like it was a line at the club).  The Host looked like he was drunk or high – kind of stumbling as he talked with the young ladies.   The Guard reminded the Party Host that I was there, he straightened up and said, “hello ma’am”.   I asked if his parents were there and he replied that no adults were there.  Here’s the kicker: I asked, “where are your parents?” He replied, “on their honeymoon.” I suggest, “so, that’s why you are charging $3 for your party?” He smiles and proudly says, “yes.”  I looked at his droopy eyes, then noticed the solo cups on the table behind the Guards……

I did all but yank my son from this young boy’s parents’ front yard and throw my son in the car. After all, he’s twice as big as me.  I said, “let’s go” and he got in and closed his eyes.  I am sure he was embarrassed.  I was embarrassed for him.  Why?   Because as a mom, sometimes you get a 2-second window to decide if you’re going to be “Crazy-Mom” or “Sane-Level-Headed-Mom”.  For some reason, the latter never shows up to the party.  Not this one, at least.

On the way home, I told my son what could happen if the cops came and there were no adults there. I told him he can be as mad at me as he wanted.  He said he wasn’t mad.  He had permission to tell his friends that I was just being crazy.  He said it wasn’t necessary.  I asked him if he was OK.  He said he was fineHe said the friend he was going to go with ended up not going either.  Why?? Cause his mom didn’t trust the Host.  Somehow, that made my son and me feel better.

One party missed: that’s all it was.  He went to one the night before and has another to go to next week.

We ended the evening on a Redbox Movie Marathon complete with Steak N Shake burgers and milkshakes.

It’s all worth it, folks.  I wouldn’t trade these teenagers for the world.