IVF DIARY VOL I: 28 JULY 2015

IVF_Diary_Vol1gMedication(s) administered and dosage(s). 3 injections: (AM) Cetrotide 0.25mg, (PM) Gonal-F 300iu and Menopur 75iu.

Cetrotide – is this evil in disguise?  Maybe.  The injection did not hurt going in, I could barely feel it compared to the other two injections, but my goodness it stung afterwards.  It was like a wasp had crawled into my stomach and couldn’t get out.

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil.

How do I feel today? Having used half of my menopur medication stockpile I am kind of excited by this this fact!!

Tuesday night is games night in our household.  This evening we learned that we should perhaps never play games ever again whilst on these drugs.  Chris beat me at risk – well I conceded after 10 minutes of play.  Then he beat me at cribbage.  Seriously Chris, you were supposed to let me win at least one game :_-(  Oh and I also scared the cat out of his skin when I jokingly screamed at Chris after I lost at risk “I’M HORMONAL – YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BEAT ME”  (perhaps the neighbours think I am mad now too).  I have also lost my voice from shouting; it serves me right really!!!!

What are my symptoms? OH TODAY HAS SUCKED. After the cetrotide injection, I got into work and immediately wanted to go home and curl up in bed.  My colleagues were telling me to go home when they saw me.  However, I still have this project to finish, so I made myself a hot water bottle and managed to make it through the morning.  The pain was from the injections, I felt like I had done 1000 sit ups, my muscles ached, and my skin was sensitive to touch – when my work pass touched my stomach I winced. I thought I was going to have to go home at lunch, but suddenly my stomach felt a whole lot better after 1pm so I stayed and felt quite chirpy for the rest of the afternoon.

How does Chris feel today? He is going to write his own blog post tonight.  Bless him, he still gets nervous with the injections.

Any results? NA.

What’s next?  Tomorrow I have another monitoring appointment.  We are half way through the stimulation part of the IVF cycle now! (Hopefully).  I am not looking forward to the next cetrotide injection in the morning 😦

My mum is flying in from the UK tomorrow to stay for three weeks so I will be picking her up from the airport!

Weight. Apparently I weigh less than yesterday….not sure how that is possible when I look down at my stomach.

Waist.  Oh my waist is still a little pot bellied bloated.

Boobs. NSTR

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 Only 1/2hr of sunshine whilst I tidied up the garden this evening.

150728_IVF1_Stats

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal) and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

IVF DIARY VOL I: 27 JULY 2015

IVF_Diary_Vol1fMedication(s) administered and dosage(s). 2 injections: Gonal-F 300 iu and Menopur 75 iu.

Medical procedures undertaken. Ultrasound and blood test.  Also had a quick pre-surgery health check up.

How do I feel today? I have found it really hard to concentrate at work today.  I don’t know why.  I have a really big project deadline coming up…of course it is due the week of egg retrieval and transfer.  Couldn’t have planned it any better?!?! (a bit of sarcasm there).  I have pondered about working from home, I have also pondered just calling in sick.  But I checked out our sick leave policy for the first time in my life!  If I am off work for more than two days I need a doctors note, and if I am sick for more than 6 days in a year it cuts out of my annual leave entitlement :-s  so as I will probably be taking 3-4 days of sick leave for the procedures next week, basically, I need to not call in sick! (I had one sick day earlier this year).

The doctor who did a quick pre-surgery health check up was very young.  So young that she actually said “Love it” to me when I said I had no questions.  I feel old.

What are my symptoms? Lot’s of peeing!  I’m trying to avoid headaches so I’ve been drinking more water, it has mostly helped, but I am having the odd headache here and there.

How does Chris feel today? “Feeling good because we are on track and injections are going well” (he hasn’t killed me yet basically)

Any results? My follicle count this morning is currently at 8 at various sizes from 4-8mm…apparently I am progressing how they want me to progress and were pleased with this.  Well I’m pleased if they are pleased!  I will stay on same dosage of Gonal-F (300iu) and menopur (75iu), but adding cetrotide to the list of injections.

What’s next?  Eeeek, I start the Cetrotide injections tomorrow morning, increasing total number of injections per day to 3.  Seriously going to run out of space on my tummy soon!  But I am excited because this means we are almost half way through this stage of injections.

Weight. OK so I panicked with my 1.6lb increase yesterday, but some of that had disappeared by this morning, so it must have been a combination of weekend munchies with some bloating from the stimulation.

Waist.  Still feeling bloated.

Boobs. NSTR

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 Well the sun didn’t come out in Virginia today, so there was no sun to be had 😦

150727_IVF1_Stats

150727_IVF1_Follie

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal) and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

IVF DIARY VOL I: 25 – 26 JULY 2015

IVF_Diary_Vol1e.pngMedication(s) administered and dosage(s). 2 injections: Gonal-F 300 iu and Menopur 75 iu.   So the injections are going well, I have a few puncture marks, but no bruises, just a bit of tenderness from the menopur.  The Gonal-F needle requires a bit of extra pressure to go in, so we are doing this one first to get it over and done with.  The menopur stings like hell when it is being injected (not from the needle, but the medication itself), even if Chris injects it really slowly.  It also immediately feels hard beneath my skin, I’m not sure whether giving it a rub is a good thing or not, so I have refrained from doing so.  But after I lie down with a heat pad on it for 10 minutes or so all is fine.  We didn’t realise that the Gonal-F 450iu box actually makes up 600iu reconstituted, so we made up a second vial yesterday when we didn’t need to.  Whoops! But we learn.

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil.

How do I feel today? Uncomfortably full after each meal – and no I’m not eating more!!! It’s a weird sensation I haven’t felt before.  I’m feeling positive!

What are my symptoms? Other than the odd occasional sharp pain, I haven’t had any other symptoms.  I have woken up in bed absolutely soaked from the night sweats over the past few nights.  In fact this has been happening a lot recently.  I assume it is from the medications.  I am just glad we bought a king size bed so that when I do wake up in the middle of the night I have somewhere dry to lie and get back to sleep!!! It’s gross! Poor Chris.

How does Chris feel today? Chris has put “Go Home” into his work diary so that he comes home every night at a reasonable time! But he tells me he is feeling good about where we are and what we are doing.  He feels a little worried about how I feel in my tummy (quote).  He did forget to take his doxycycline pill and I had to remind him, he says he feels a bit like a wally that he had one thing to do (but I think he is beating himself up for no reason because after all he is the one doing the injections).

Any results? Nil.

What’s next?  My next monitoring appointment is tomorrow before work.

Weight. Aghhhh!!! I put on 1.6lbs over night!  That is the biggest increase I have had since I’ve been monitoring my weight.  I shouldn’t be surprised, I have heard that this is inevitable, and the weight will be all the extra fluid…but seriously, if I keep up at this rate I will be over 10lbs heavier!

Waist.  I have been measuring my waistline just below my belly button and my waistline hasn’t changed yet….but believe me, when I look down, I’m like WOAH, where did that tummy come from??! I have a little sticky out tummy like I am pregnant.  I am only on day 3 of stim medication….what’s it going to be like by the end??!?!

Boobs. NSTR

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 Lots and lots of sunshine this weekend!  We spent 2.5hrs lazing on the beach on Saturday and we sat outside for lunch for 1hr.  Today we went on a kayaking trip in False Cape State park, so that was another 3hrs in the glorious sun.  Chris forgot to put suncream on his face today.  Doh.  He is a bit pink in the face this evening.  But this really will be the last time he gets out into the sun until he provides his sperm specimen.  He started taking a prescription of Doxycycline in order to prepare his sperm for ICSI.  The doxycycline helps make his sperm less sticky so they can easily select one for ICSI.

150726_IVF1_Stats

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal) and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

Skin – It’s tougher than you think

  • Today was injection day number 1 and the number of injections required was 2.
  • 2 injections means 2 holes in the skin.
  • The number of holes in skin for today = 5
  • It wasn’t the best of starts to the injection schedule

So today Dani and I started the injections for IVF. We have previously done 3 injections for IUI and so have had a limited amount of practice. The nurse took us through all the steps for mixing the drugs and it seemed fairly straight forward. So when it came time to do the first injection Dani pinched an area of her tummy and I moved in, needle in hand.

3 … 2 … 1 … jab

We do a count down so Dani knows when the needle goes in, only, on this occasion the needle did not go in.

(Chris) “erm ….. it wont go in”

(Dani) “What do you mean it wont go in?”

(Chris) “I mean the needle wont go in.”

(Dani) “What…”

(Chris) “I didn’t inject you. The needle wont go through your skin.”

… pause …

(Dani) “WHAT…?!?”

At this point I had started to worry that I’d somehow blunted the needle whilst extracting the drugs from the vial. I was also worried that that I was wasting some VERY expensive drugs by not getting them inside her.

Two more attempts and the needle still didn’t go through Dani’s skin. I was getting really worried at this point, the needle was making tiny pricks that bled but wouldn’t go all the way through the skin. Each time I tried to do the injection I knew it was hurting Dani, small spots of blood formed on her stomach. This was the lowest point of the entire process for me, I’m not sure how Dani kept so calm, she is perhaps even more scared of needles as I am. Dani is AMAZING!

We looked at the instructions again and decided we’d done everything right with the mixing and the syringe filling, it appears that I just needed to push harder. So with 3 holes in her tummy already we pinched the skin again and I prepared to inject harder.

In reality I probably didn’t have to push very hard but in the moment it felt like I was trying to jab the needle through her entire body. I used the ‘dart’ method, holding the syringe like a dart and jabbing it hard at the skin. This time the needle went in smoothly all the way to the ‘stopper’, the drugs were injected and the needle came out smoothly without a single drop of blood.

We disposed of the needle, tidied the mess and then we both went to lie down for a minute. I was feeling light headed and a little sick … how daft is that? Dani is the one being stabbed and having reasonable quantities of drugs pushed into her body and yet I’m the one lying down feeling woozy. I really cannot say how much I admire and love her, she is going through so much and yet still finds a way to comfort me. What an amazing girl.

After a couple of minutes snuggled together, skeptically examining the collection of puncture marks on her tummy from the first injection, we prepared for the second injection. This time things went much better. I prepped the syringe and Dani lay propped up in bed, a patch of tummy swabbed and ready. On the count of three I launched the syringe towards her with such force the skin stood no chance, parting under the extreme pressure of the assault Dani’s tummy had no choice but to accept the drugs. 10 seconds in and out and it was all over.

2 injections, 5 holes in the skin. Not a good ratio considering we have 70(ish) more injections to go, but I’m confident we’ll get better at this – hopefully by tomorrow!

IVF DIARY VOL I: 22 – 24 JULY 2015

IVF_Diary_Vol1cMedication(s) administered and dosage(s). 2 injections: Gonal-F 300 iu and Menopur 75 iu

Medical procedures undertaken. Baseline ultrasound and blood test.

How do I feel today? I think every emotion under the sun has run through me!

We knew we had to deal with the financials today, but wasn’t sure what to expect so I turned up with cheque book and credit card in hand!!! Well it was all much quicker than anticipated, my insurance company has provided a letter promising to pay everything….yes everything including the ICSI! (well, everything except for the 10% co-pay of course).  I signed something saying that I would be responsible for the $14,000 bill if my insurance decided not to cover it for any reason.  So in the end, we didn’t need to pay anything upfront and we expect to see a bill of our $1,400 co-pay in 1-2 months time.  That’s great because it gives us more time to save some more and helps me feel a little more relaxed about things.

Chris surprised me with a big Zippy hug after he had stabbed me with the needles this evening.  Hiding in Zippy’s mouth was a bar of cadbury’s chocolate! Awww it was a nice perk me up.  Of course I only had 3 squares as my weekly treat!

Zippy!!!

Zippy!!! What’s in your mouth?

What are my symptoms? Just period pains.  I am actually quite surprised how heavy my period is considering I had only a 14 day cycle!

How does Chris feel today? Chris is currently writing his own separate post today about his experience this evening after he stabbed me…4 times…..with 2 needles.  You are going to want to read this!  Let’s just say there were some comedic moments.

Any results? The way I get all my results is rather handy.  I call a secure answer phone service after 4pm the day of my monitoring appointment and the nurse leaves a message with all instructions for dosages and the date/time of my next appointment.  I can call the nurse any time I like if I have questions.  I like it this way because I won’t have to worry about missing a call.  I actually didn’t get any info about my blood test results today.  But I do have an app on my phone that tracks all my results, but it updates late in the evening, so I will be a bit behind in reporting blood test results.  My ultrasound went well – my ovaries are ‘quiet’ as the doctor explained as she wants them to be.  I have several follicles between 5-6mm in size in each ovary ready to be stimulated.  For my next diary entry I’m going to figure out a nice visual way to track my follicle growth and numbers over time.

What’s next?  My next monitoring appointment is Monday morning, until then I keep going with the 2 injections a day of gonal-f  300 iu and menopur 75 iu.

Weight. NSTR.

Waist.  NSTR

Boobs. NSTR

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 We decided to get to the doctor’s nice and early this morning so we wouldn’t get caught in rush hour traffic, so we had breakfast outside starbucks, playing crib and basking in the glorious sunshine.

150724_IVF1_Stats

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal) and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

IVF DIARY VOL I: 17 – 21 JULY 2015

IVF_Diary_Vol1b.pngMedication(s) administered and dosage(s). Nil (the quiet before the storm??!)

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil

How do I feel today? Woohoo!! I took my last birth control pill yesterday, so I’m feeling excited!

I am on week 7 of my sugar and simple carbs ban.  I’ve done pretty well and have allowed myself just one small treat each week which has kept me motivated (although last night we did have white pasta :-s whoops).  I even bought dunkin donuts for everyone at work today and I had not one bite of them!  Wow, I was drooling over their delicious smell.  I have struggled over the last week or so with sugar cravings.  I’ve never had cravings like this…it got to the point that I even imagined there was a tiny piece of chocolate in the sink when in fact it was just a piece of cat food.  I was hallucinating about all things super sugary, in particular Krispy Kreme donuts.  I was  literally salivating over the cookies at my work cafe and imagining the way that they would crisp and crunch in my mouth, with the chocolate chips still slightly melted as they just came out of the oven.  Was it the Birth Control Pills that did this to me?  Or my addiction to sugar.  I really can’t quite tell.

Work is a bit stressful as I am trying to fit a lot in so I can take time off required for the IVF appointments, plus a bunch of other factors that are out of my hands are probably contributing to the stress.  I probably have piled a lot of that stress on myself, but I can’t help but be a perfectionist; sometimes I have to stop and ask myself – is anybody going to die if I don’t do this work?  When I answer with no, then I remind myself to step away.

What are my symptoms? The spotting finally stopped just as it was time to stop the birth control pills.  I took just 13 pills in all, and the nurse told me to stop take my last on yesterday in preparation for my first day of stimulation injectibles scheduled for this Friday 24th Jul.  I am not sure if I will get a period over the next few days, so I shall await with a pad/tampon to hand just in case :-s

How does Chris feel today? Chris feels like work has distracted him from the build up to our upcoming IVF.  It worries him a little bit because he thinks he might not be paying close enough attention to his true feelings.  But he did tell me that he is excited to be starting, but nervous all at the same time, particularly at the notion of stabbing me with the needles.  (Yep, you and me both hon ;-p !!)

Any results? Nil

What’s next? Our first appointment with the clinic to start the IVF cycle is scheduled for Friday morning, we have been told to anticipate spending about 3 hours there to get a baseline ultrasound, blood tests, fill out paper work, pay them lots of money – I hope they take my credit card (thinking of all the extra points!!!).

Weight. Overall, the Birth Control Pills did not cause me to put on weight.  After tracking for 18 days straight (first time I have ever done this) I can see that I have a bit of up and down cycles as I eat more at the weekends and less during the week.  But looking at my rolling average, I have not put on weight.  Yippeee!  But I have a good baseline set of measurements now prior to stimulation to closely monitor the effects.

Waist.  NSTR

Boobs. NSTR

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 I got in several hours of sunshine this weekend, just before we had a huuuuge storm that crapped the hell out of me…the lightening, thunder and winds were extreme, I wasn’t sure we were about to face a tornado.  Our neighbour’s tree fell down on their house and the neighbourhood flooded, fortunately this is the reason we all have raised houses.

My stats to date

My stats to date

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal) and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

IVF DIARY VOL I: 10 – 16 JULY 2015

IVF_Diary_Vol1a.pngMedication(s) administered and dosage(s). Ovulation Control Pill (OCP) Reclipsen 0.15MG-30MCG x 1

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil

How do I feel today?  Fed up of spotting!  I haven’t felt ‘hormonal’ the last week like I thought potentially the birth control pills might do.  Overall feeling not too bad.

What are my symptoms? The first few days after I started the birth control pills I got a bit bloated and a bit constipated…which for someone with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (The diarrhea type) one would think it would make a nice change from going to poo three times a day!  Fortunately, things have got back to normal in that arena.  My boobs are a little tender and have stayed the same size since my period started (a bit bigger).  Then there is the extra bleeding also, my period lasted a couple of days longer than my normal 2-3 days…and I have been spotting since then, so wearing a panty liner is a must right now.

How does Chris feel today? Chris is still very busy at work at the moment 😦 He is trying to get as much done in prep for the when we start ‘stimming’ (aka injecting the drugs) so he can focus on us.  (Aww bless him, he’s a sweetie)  We did have that big discussion about how many embryos to transfer and what our decision will be.  It made for an interesting dinner table conversation!  We weighed up the pros and cons, but he did say that ultimately he would stick with whatever I decided because it is my body and health that would be at risk.  So we haven’t completely ruled out transferring two just yet.

Any results? NA

What’s next? Just four more days of birth control pills.  I’m looking forward to not hearing my ‘alien’ alarm on my phone that reminds me to take them at the same time every day.

Weight. Funny story and probably too much information – Now, I have been weighing myself as soon as I wake up to make it a fair comparison.  One morning, after weighing myself I went downstairs, started to prepare breakfast when I realised I needed to go to the toilet (at last hooray!!).  And as I mentioned earlier, having been constipated for a while, I did an enormous poo….so much so that in the interest of science, afterwards, I dashed back upstairs to weigh myself again.  Can you believe it?  I weighed EXACTLY the same 127.2lbs….and I got on and off I three times to be sure it wasn’t stuck.  So now I just don’t trust those scales!!

Waist.  NSTR

Boobs. NSTR

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 Seriously, still not enough….the weather has not been great recently, but last night whilst I played softball I soaked up the evening sun and it was glorious.  I hope this weekend brings us some better weather!

150716_IVF1_Stats

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal) and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

IVF Diary Vol I: 04 – 09 July 2015

IVF_Diary_Vol1I’m starting my IVF Diary today.  I’m going to be tracking a few things about my first IVF experience over the next 6-7 weeks .  I’ll be blogging too, but I want to capture the experience like this….in a kind of organised manner, to help give me some sense of control over something, because I fear that I will have to let that go!

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Ovulation Control Pill (OCP) Reclipsen 0.15MG-30MCG x 1

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil

How do I feel today?  I was feeling grumpy, then a bit teary eyed today.  No one asked me if anything was wrong, but I reckon some people probably thought I got out of the wrong side of bed today!  Which perhaps I did because it’s the first night I slept all the way through without needing to pee or wake up from night sweats….and then the alarm woke me up and I really didn’t want to get up.

What are my symptoms? It’s period time, so I am bleeding pretty heavily today with some gross and huge clots (sorry if that’s too much info, but this is what this diary will be – blunt and honest! It’s not going to be all fairies and sunshine).  I also have normal period pains and feeling of emptiness in my tummy like I want to do a huge fart or burp (It’s the kind of feeling I get when I am really hungry)

How does Chris feel today? Chris is very busy at work at the moment, but when I asked him he how he was feeling, he said he hasn’t thought about IVF today! 🙂

Any results? NA (but the nurse finally told me today that my blood test results for HiV, Hep B, C and Rubella all came back just fine even though I called her last week to check up on them and the results came back 2 weeks ago!)

What’s next? Hoping that my body can handle these Birth Control Pills!

150709_IVF_Stats

09 July 2015

Weight. NSTR

Waist.  NSTR

Boobs. NSTR

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 Not enough….0.25hrs (I walked to the shop)

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal) and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.