IVF Diary Vol II: 16 Jan 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Gonal-F 300 iu & Menopur 150 iu.  We started with the Gonal-F needle – this one needs a bit more force to pierce the skin.  Chris didn’t do it hard enough and the needle bounced off my skin!!  I like to think it’s just my strong abdominal muscles rejecting the needle – haha!! As if!!!  Anyway, after that little episode Chris tried again, this time he went a little too hard and it hurt!  The camera captured the moment well.  It’s OK to laugh at me, I know it is quite a funny picture ;-p

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Chris was oblivious to the ridiculous face I was pulling!  The camera captured the moment well.  Fortunately he was concentrating hard on the task at hand.

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil.

What are my symptoms? No hot flashes…nothing to report.  I am thankful!

How do I feel today?  Feeling good!  Chris and I had a nice day together, we went to our local organic eatery and sat in the heated sun porch for lunch.  It was a sunny glorious day so it was very relaxing.  We played a game of cribbage, I have 5 games to win in the next 1.5 months to beat Chris for the whole year (ever since we got married we keep track of the number of games won in a year).  Chris has taken the ‘surprise date’ idea and decided to extend it to the whole weekend – I am not to make any decisions, it will be a surprise and there will be fun!!!  Which sounds weird, but so far it has been nice to just follow his lead.

Any results?  After worrying about the LH and FSH results yesterday, I forgot that these tests were taken one day earlier than last time. The Birth Control Pill effectively switches off the LH so my body obviously hadn’t started to produce it again but I am sure it would have been higher a day later.  Worry ye not.

What’s next? The same injections Sun, then monitoring appointment on Monday morning.

Weight. NSTR

Waist.  NSTR

Boobs. NSTR

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 It was a beautifully sunny day and so caught a few rays whist we were out for lunch.

Fun Activity to keep Dani from going insane. I am going to finish this page of colouring in!  This was a colouring book I was given as a Birthday pressie from my parents.

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Fun activity for next 24 hours…colouring in!

*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 II: 15th Jan 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Gonal-F 300 iu & Menopur 150 iu.  Chris really is great at this injection thing.  I prepared the Gonal-F whilst Chris prepared the menopur.  We both read the instructions to remind us how to mix everything up, but like riding a bike, it was easy this time around.  Chris was a little bit nervous, but he needn’t have been, he did a great job.  I even looked down at the needle as he was injecting it – I am still not good at watching the needle break the skin though :-s.  The menopur did burn a bit as it went in, but it wasn’t quite as bad as I remember it to be.

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Medical procedures undertaken. Nil.

What are my symptoms? Period started right on cue yesterday morning!  Hot flashes and a bit of dizziness a couple of hours after my 2 first injections of this cycle.

How do I feel today?  A little bit annoyed that my plans to have a more relaxing stim period and 2WW are falling to pieces. Some short turn around-high impact work may fall on my plate next week.  I would have to forgo some of my steadfast principles for quality work and accept that in this case a 40% solution can only be delivered in the time lines given.  I have stuck to my guns though to some extent – where I was going to be taking the whole week off work, I am now only taking Monday and Friday off.  Tuesday and Thursday I will be working from home, Wednesday I’ll be in the office.  As we talked about this potential work, I started to feel sick to my stomach.  I started thinking back to last time around when I was trying to get my project finished and how stressed I was feeling about balancing the IVF process and work.  I let down my quality levels then – no one noticed (of course I noticed), in fact I got lots of praise for that piece of work.  Last week when a senior boss praised this work in front of the whole division I sat there quietly proud, but felt a bit sad that I had accomplished that with little help during a shitty time of IVF, followed by the whole ectopic pregnancy thing and ultimately miscarriage.  My boss has been great by not dumping everything on me right now, he quite easily could have done, but he didn’t so I appreciate that, but I can’t quite help  thinking about how IVF is holding me back from doing my absolute best.  I don’t think my colleagues around me think like that (fortunately they are all smart, intelligent people who know me), it is just myself I am fighting with these thoughts.

All that being said, I’ll talk about something positive.  We decided to go out for dinner at our local restaurant to celebrate surviving and nailing those first two injections.  Chris deserved his beer!  As we were finishing our meal the power went out in some of the building.  There was a storm that evening so it must have knocked the power out.  I said don’t worry, we are on a different power grid to our neighbours over the road (the block our restaurant was on) and last time their power went out, ours stayed on.  As we walked back, we realised that our grid was out and our neighbours’ over the road was on! Typical.  Fortunately we are well prepared for such events (for hurricanes and other storms etc), and carried on with the power of candles 🙂  It was a little bit romantic…I snuggled up in bed preparing for the power to be out all night and the temperature to dip.

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Power outage = Candle lit bedroom!! Fortunately we have quite a few candelabras left over from our wedding table decorations still 😉

But then came the hot flashes!  I needn’t have worried about keeping warm, it seemed the drugs were doing a great job of that for me!!

Any results?  Estradiol <20 (as it should be, the same as IVF 1).  Progesterone <.2 (as it should be, the same as IVF 1). FSH 3.21 miU/ml (IVF 1 was 9.29, in 2014 it was 6.8) LH 0.771 miU/ml (IVF 1 was 3.48, in 2014 it was 4.9).  My LH level came up as red in my results…this means it was out of the ‘normal’ range, it is very low.  But not by much.  So I looked into it.  Although lower FSH is good, low LH is not good…apparently calculating the FSH-LH ratio and knowing the LH levels are good predictors of IVF outcome.  Let’s just say that I read several scientific reports, plugged in my numbers and the stats aren’t good.  But, the good news is that I don’t care! Why?  Because women with this kind of level and ratio still got pregnant.  And I am going to be one of those women in 4 weeks time 🙂 In your face science!!! **

What’s next? The same injections Sat, Sun, then monitoring appointment on Monday morning.

Weight. Work stress = nom nom nom bads.  But I did do the mixed martial arts P90x3 routine and pushed myself hard, so I don’t feel so bad.

Waist.  NSTR

Boobs. NSTR

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 Still NONE.  Let’s see if the sun comes out this weekend!

Fun Activity to keep Dani from going insane. IT’S FRIIIIIIIIDAYYYYYYY!!  I need say no more.  Surprise date night.

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

** Reserve right to have science egg in my face later

IVF Diary Vol II: 4 Jan – 14 Jan 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Ovulation Control Pill (OCP) Reclipsen 0.15MG-30MCG x 1 per day – Last pill taken Monday 11 Jan 16

Medical procedures undertaken. Baseline monitoring appointment was today – including blood work and vaginal ultrasound!!! As the nurse said to me – you know the drill!

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Baseline Monitoring Appointment DONE! We are go to start IVF 2.

What are my symptoms? I continually spotted whilst taking the birth control pill and as soon as I stopped taking it the spotting has stopped.  I was concerned this morning because my period had yet to start.  I recalled from last my IVF cycle that when I went in for my monitoring appointment I was bleeding, so I worried that everything would be cancelled!  But then I discovered that my monitoring appointment this time around is one day earlier than last time, so I was worrying over nothing!

How do I feel today?  Surprisingly chilled and relaxed.  Even dare I say, excited to be getting this cycle underway.  I went to my local Resolve support group monthly meeting last night and we talked about the new year and our goals…it got me inspired!!!  So I am feeling pretty good after that meeting.

I spent a lot of time at the clinic today waiting around and so I ended up being really late for work – I didn’t get in until 1230.  I told my boss I would be late in, but even I didn’t think it would be that late!  Oh well.  My best laid plans to work from home have been thwarted a little because of tech issues with email.  I am trying desperately hard to not get stressed from trying to fit everything in before the egg retrieval.  Work is closed on Monday next week because of Martin Luther King Day which just adds to shortening timescales to get things wrapped up!

Any results?  8 Follicles ~5mm in Left Ovary, and 9 Follicles ~5mm in Right Ovary.  That’s 11 more than last time!  My uterine lining is also good to go. Oh I have beautiful ovaries apparently, never turn down a compliment!  Blood test results come throughto my account a day later, but I have been given the go ahead to start stimulation injections tomorrow evening. So it’s GO GO GO IVF 2!

What’s next? Starting injections tomorrow evening and next monitoring appointment is on Monday.

Weight. I mentioned in last diary entry that I was 10lbs heavier than my last cycle…well with a bit of P90X3 in the mornings and cutting out the crappy food I have lost 4.5lbs over the last two weeks, which is quite incredible!

Waist.  NSTR

Boobs. NSTR

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 Ughhhh NONE.  Have to change this status over this coming weekend.

Fun Activity to keep Dani from going insane. This is going to be a new feature to my diary – basically I realise that I need to have little mini exciting goals, things to look forward to to keep me from going insane and letting IVF consume my head.  Thanks to everybody’s help with my previous post (you have no idea how much you helped), Chris is going to take me on ‘surprise’ date and I am going to relinquish all my desire to take control and plan things!  He doesn’t know it yet – but it will be a test to see if he fully reads my blog posts ;-p Haha just kidding. He does read them, and I love him so much for supporting my blogging.

*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 II: 29 Dec 15 – 3 Jan 16

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

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil

What are my symptoms? As per last time I took the Birth Control Pills, my period lasted a few days longer and I am still spotting.  It’s no biggy.  Especially as I know now that this is exactly what happened last time.  I also appreciate what some women go through who have more than 3 or 4 days of menstrual bleeding…I feel bad for you ladies!  I consider myself lucky that I don’t bleed for 7 days normally.  Today I had quite a heavy ‘spotting’ and had some sharp pains around my right ovary that I would ordinarily feel around ovulation time.  But a hot water bottle fixed that pain and now all is back to normal.

How do I feel today?  Chilled and relaxed.  That could be something to do with the fact that I have been off work for over a week!  With no travels this festive period, it had been true relaxation, probably more laziness more than anything.  But it’s back to work tomorrow, and despite the unknowns about what the year ahead will look like for me, I feel a bit excited to be starting with a fresh mind, ready for the start of my stim injections 15th Jan!  I am also really pleased I kept a diary from my first cycle….I can look back and read what happened so I have some kind of ‘objective’ truth to what happened.  I think it’s useful because it removes some of my anxieties about what to expect next!

My medication arrived on time…I decided to see how high I could stack up the boxes for this photograph 😉  It looks like a terrifying amount of medication!

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My meds for IVF cycle 2: Gonal-F, menopur, cetrotide, Ovidrel, progesterone in oil (generic), doxycycline

There are a couple more boxes extra compared to last time because they plan on upping the dosages a little.  It was interesting to see the differences in prices in the medication.  Not much, but some of them have gone up a few cents.  And every penny counts.  The lady at Freedom Fertility Pharmacy was very kind to ask if I needed to split my order or wait to the new year for my insurance in case it changed or I had reached my limit.  Fortunately, my insurance limit is ‘lifetime’ rather than a fixed time like every calendar year so it makes things very simple.    (I have also updated my ‘The $$ Lowdown’ page. – counting my blessings I have great insurance coverage for all of this)

Any results? NSTR*.

What’s next? Another week of Birth Control Pills, first baseline appointment is 14th Jan, so it’s all quiet until then.

Weight. I am 10lbs heavier than when I started my first IVF cycle.  Most of that extra weight is from after my miscarriage and Christmas.  I am going to be doing some more exercise, I am not getting too het up about it, I can still fit into my clothes, there are perhaps a few pairs of trousers I won’t be able to wear when it comes to the stimulation phase of IVF!  I will start tracking my weight like last time, but I haven’t bothered with a baseline weight prior to birth control pill.

Waist.  NSTR

Boobs. NSTR

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 For my first IVF cycle I recorded the amount of sunshine I soaked up.  It was summer.  This time, it is the deepest darkest time of winter, so getting sunshine is pretty difficult!  Having said that, we did get out onto the water to see some humpback whales.  The sunshine was glorious although the photo below you can’t quite tell how blue the sky was!

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

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A humpback whale blowing – at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay

IVF Vol 2 begins!

Yesterday my period arrived, just one day later than anticipated, but that’s all good.  I called my nurse and started with the Birth Control Pills (Reclipsen).

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Birth Control Pills (BCPs) – YEY!!!!

I will be on Birth Control Pills for 14 days (1 day longer than last time), then 3 days later we go into the Clinic for my Cycle Day 3 baseline ultrasound and blood tests – this time we won’t need to have all the lessons on injections – but we will need to sign some paperwork and sort out the finances.  Then the next day I get my instructions for injections…and we are off on IVF/ICSI cycle 2!  Here is a calendar of our cycle…

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Planned Dates for IVF Cycle 2.

It is all happening a week later than I expected, which puts me in a conundrum about work travels.  This would mean travelling for work almost the day after I take my first beta blood test.  If it is positive, then I will be flying transatlantic to the UK just 4 weeks pregnant, and have to figure out how I’m going to do these progesterone injections.  Or if it is negative and I am not pregnant, then I will be away from Chris at a sad time. Either way, it kind of sucks.  If I don’t go on this work trip then I will be a real let down to my team.  I’m hoping Chris might be able to come with me on this trip, but it is really hard for him to get the time off work.

Anyway, I am genuinely excited to be starting this cycle, but I had a little cry yesterday.  I think it was all the period hormones running around.  I cried because of the whole situation of fitting everything in life around this IVF cycle.  I’m trying to make it easier for myself by taking some leave off work, but it is a busy month for my team, there is lots of work to be done, I have already had to pull out of one work event (in Switzerland :-|) and so I feel guilty.  Despite feeling like this….I still have hope for 2016 🙂

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2016 is the year I will be stronger, braver, kinder and unstoppable.  This year I will be fierce!!!

For those of you who are new to the whole IVF process or want a reminder of how IVF works you can find a summary on my “What does it all mean?” page here.  Currently I am in Step 1 of the process!