IVF Diary Vol III 15-20 Mar 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Ovulation Control Pill (OCP) Reclipsen 0.15MG-30MCG x 1 per day, Lupron 0.5mg (10 units) injection AM.

I started the Lupron injections on Thursday morning.  Although the amount of liquid is tiny and the needle is small, I still freaked out about giving myself the injection.  I tried to do it, but the needle bounced off my skin, so I asked Chris to do it so I could feel how hard it needs to e to pierce the skin. But on Friday, I did the injection myself! It didn’t hurt, I was just slightly hesitant and the needle went in slower than I expected.  Saturday, the needle bumped off my skin again!  I’m sure I will figure it out.  Also, there is barely any blood after these injections so I don’t really need gauze and I can’t tell where I just did the injection which means I am finding it difficult to figure out where to put a plaster over it!  I discovered putting a plaster over the injection site means that I don’t have to remember the next day where I just did my previous injection.

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil.  But – I did have a post op follow up appointment with my Doctor to go over my results from the hysteroscopy.  I knew the biopsy results were good because they come through on my clinic’s app and I am sure she wouldn’t have had told me to start the Birth control pills if there was anything wrong.  However, on the day of the appointment I started to get a bit nervous because I thought if everything was OK, why did she still need to see me?  When I arrived the nurse asked where my husband was?  At first I just joked with her “He’s working – I hope!!!”, but then it dawned on me….should he be here with me because it’s going to be bad news?  I didn’t even think about bringing Chris along.  The nurse did the usual vitals check and took me to the Doctor’s office to wait.  As I was sitting in her office there was one pamphlet on her desk that stuck out – it was about uterine cancer.  My heart started to beat faster!! My head was  racing.  Fortunately the doctor arrived quickly after I sat down.  She cut straight to the chase and said everything looked just fine! Phew.  She took a look at her computer and said that there was just one area of redness of my uterus she had seen on the camera that she thought might be inflammation, but the biopsy did not show any signs of inflammation. So all good!  A very quick appointment, I was in and out in 5 minutes…it was just like being at a doctor’s office in the UK!!!!

What are my symptoms?  I have two symptoms I want to talk about – my upset tummy and my hormones!

At my post op appointment I asked my doctor about my upset tummy.  I told her my diarrhea has been playing up, maybe it’s just my Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) being bad or, is there any chance it could be something related to the hysteroscopy?  The only thing that could cause diarrhea is the cytotec pills I took that ‘softens the cervix’ prior to the surgery.  Maybe it caused a mis-balance of bacteria in my tummy, but it should go away soon.  It wasn’t the most helpful advice I’ve received from a doctor…but as usual not knowing what causes my poorly tummy I am used to.  So I decided to put into practice my knowledge of things to make diarreah go away.  The first is to take some probiotics.  After my appointment I went straight to the shops and looked for a probiotic yoghurt drink.  Now in the UK, there are these little drinks that you can take daily – there are different brands like yakult and actimel, they are very common in the supermarket.  But here in the US, I haven’t ever noticed before until now, they are not common!  I tried looking for a US store that sells Yakult and it’s typical!  The only place nearby is the Commissary!  As a civilian, I am not allowed to shop at the Commissary!! (The Commissary is where the military can buy their groceries at a discount).  Anyway…I did discover something similar in the organic section – Kefir.  Kefir is a fermented milk drink with kefir grains in it.  I wasn’t sure if this would aggravate my upset tummy or the probiotics would do its thing.  There were also some juices with probiotics added, this to my mind didn’t seem the best for my tummy because real fruit juice can make things worse for me.  Anyway either the Kefir has had a positive effect or my tummy is getting better on its own.  The past few days I have returned to normal upset tummy (where I experience diarrhea about once a day rather than 4-6 times a day for the past two weeks!)

My hormones.  I am going to do a separate post on this, but in a nutshell, the Lupron and Birth Control Pills are doing weird things to me.  On Friday evening as I was getting ready to go to the ball (!!!) I was curling my hair and tried to pin it up how I like to.  But for some reason it wasn’t working.  My hair looked awful, I was getting frustrated at it…then I flipped out at my inability to make my hair look half decent.  Like seriously got mad and threw stuff across the room.  I looked in the mirror and I felt nothing, I looked back at myself and felt nothing.  I didn’t feel sexy, I thought I looked hideous.  Chris kept telling me my hair looked lovely down and I should leave it, but I just kept looking at myself and I felt like I was out of my body – I was in somebody else’s body. I felt…..nothing.  It was weird.  I didn’t like it!  Could it be the Lupron doing this to me?

How do I feel today? Chris and I had an evening of sharing our feelings about this IVF cycle.  It got emotional.  We realised we have both been bad at not sharing our feelings, we both made assumptions about things and came to wrong conclusions.  We just didn’t talk enough about what was going to happen this cycle – the changes in my protocol and the uncertainty around dates of key things happening in the cycle like when the Egg Retrieval and transfer might be.  Particularly with the transfer (Day 3 v Day 5).  The difference being that this cycle came around quickly (we both felt unprepared for it), and my period started much earlier than I anticipated.  Because I had been so busy with work, we just hadn’t been keeping the communication lines open…but we re-opened them – that’s good, but it took us a while to figure that out!

Any results?  Other than my post op results being clear!

What’s next? I stop the Birth Control Pills next week and keep the Lupron injections going.  I am off on travels to Europe next week so I have the added issue of figuring out what times to take my pills and injections!  I made a mistake of taking my Birth Control Pills after my dinner, so now in Europe with them being 6 hours ahead at the moment, it means I would need to be taking them at 2AM! Doh!  The Lupron injections won’t be so bad – I can take them at 1PM at lunch time.  I may also have to give myself an injection on the plane as I fly transatlantic!!!! Double doh!

Weight. I still haven’t got on the scales yet!

Waist. NSTR.

Boobs. NSTR.

The Final Countdown!!!

160320_IVF3_Calendar_Countdown.jpg

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal), 5mg Melatonin at bed time and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

IVF Diary Vol III: 10-15 Mar 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?  I have had a really bad upset tummy since the weekend.  I have no clue what is causing it…it could just be a really bad case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  Usually stress makes my tummy worse, but actually, I have just stopped being stressed!  So maybe my body is coming down from stress and is having a big WAH at me.  Or I got the bug that everyone else seems to be coming down with. Or. it is the melatonin…because there is definitely a correlation with tummy upset and starting the melatonin.  A quick search indicates that melatonin could actually be a treatment for IBS!  But mostly for those who suffer with IBS-C (Constipation) not IBS-D (Me – Diarrhea) .  I will have to do a bit more digging and see how it goes over the next few days.

How do I feel today? Work stress is mostly over!  I have a lot of travelling to be doing, but it’s not stressful travel!  I have cancelled a work trip to Germnay in anticipation that I will be having my egg retrieval surgery that week!  And now I can schedule in some of that leave I am owed from the leave I cancelled from cycle 2! Woohooo!  This is good news.

My medications have yet to arrive, there was a slight mix up with the nurse ordering the wrong drugs.  So they are supposed to be arriving tomorrow by FedEx….the only problem is I am currently in DC and am driving the 4 hours back first thing, so I hope the meds dont arrive in the morning because I won’t be there to sign for them!  That wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t need my Lupron on Thursday morning!! And the pharmacy called this afternoon (when my order is supposed to be on the way!) to tell me my co-pay was high.  Well DUH…no higher than usual. Fortunately I caught the phone before I headed into work without my phone for the day, I may never have spoken to them until it was too late!!!! They have never checked with me before, but I think it hit the over $500 mark this time because I am getting more of the expensive gonal-f 😦 The old newbie infertile me would be stressed about it.  But I am not, I am a seasoned veteran about these things now, so I am pretty chilled out about it.  I can’t control it, so what ever happens, happens.  (Please Please Please FedEx arrive in the afternoon!!!)

Any results?  Not yet….my follow up appointment from my hysteroscopy surgery is on Thursday afternoon.  But I am anticipating the all clear.

What’s next? Lupron injections start Thursday morning.

Weight. I am terrified to get on the scales:-(

Waist. Shrinking a bit after all the diarrhea 😦

Boobs. NSTR.

The Final Countdown!!!  I decided to add in a calendar countdown so if people read just one entry they know what stage I am at in the whole cycle! Plus I love crossing things off.

160315_IVF3_Calendar_Countdown.jpg

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal), 5mg Melatonin at bed time and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

On being pregnant in a war zone Pt 1

Spring 2007

I winced as the doctor examined my stomach.  The pain was excruciating.  As he prodded, he said “feel here…see?”  I felt my own stomach where he indicated – it was hard, not squishy like normal.  I continued to wince as he poked around my tummy.  “This is your poo.  You are constipated.  We will get you some laxatives and you should be better in a few……”.  The piercing alarm sounded.  We both looked at each other and quickly dived on to the floor.  My body armour and helmet were in the waiting room, no chance of me grabbing hold of it in time.  I leopard crawled under the table, it probably wouldn’t offer me much protection. The doctor grabbed his own body armour and helmet just as there was a loud thud and the ground shaked.  As he put his body armour on and quickly threw on his helmet, he mumbled “Here we go again!”  I wasn’t sure if he was trying to make conversation or if he had genuine grievance by the incoming rockets.  The way I was feeling about these rockets I felt it was probably the latter.  After a few minutes of what was probably the last rocket (usually 2-3 at a time), the doctor quickly stood up and said, “I’ve got to go, I’m on call for the crash emergency team.  Wait here until the all clear, someone will be with you soon.”  And he ran out of his office.

As I lay there on the dusty floor waiting for the all clear siren to sound, I felt stupid.  I felt stupid and embarrassed that all I had was constipation. I wondered how it had happened.  For the last 8 days I had hardly eaten a thing, I felt nauseous and I had horrific stomach pains.  These pains were sharp and short, sort of like my IBS pains, but twice as painful as usual. But this didn’t seem like IBS.  I promised myself I would go to the doctor after 7 days of feeling like this.

The all clear siren sounded. I got up and left the office to speak to the corporal at the reception desk. I explained what had happened, she told me to take a seat in the waiting room and another Doctor would see me shortly. I waited for half an hour. All I could think about was that someone must have been injured by the rocket attack, otherwise my doctor would be back by now. This made me very sad.

I was called into the very same office I had been in just 30 minutes ago, but this doctor was different. I explained that the previous doctor was just about to prescribe me something for constipation. He asked me to tell him from the beginning what the problem was and the symptoms I was suffering. He wasn’t going to sign anything until he made his own diagnosis.

He asked me all sorts of questions about my IBS, what I had been eating, how often etc…it all made sense to me. New environment, crappy food, stress from rockets. Usually my IBS presents with horrific diarrhea, but now my IBS was giving me constipation. Not uncommon, right? But this doctor asked me (like the other doctor) “Is there a chance you could be pregnant?” I laughed and said “No, very unlikely!”, he said, “Well let’s be sure, I want you to take a pregnancy test before I prescribe you anything”. “Sure….” I said, but muttered to myself “…if you want to waste our time”. The doctor called in the nurse and explained I was to take a pregnancy test. I dutifully peed in the cup and together we sat down and waited for the results. The nurse tried to make small talk about the recent rocket attack. She proceeded to tell me that a lot of girls try to get pregnant on purpose to avoid deploying or wanting to be sent home. But then her words slowly slurred to a halt, she paused and exclaimed with a look of unexpected shock “errrr you are………pregnant! Ummm, congratulations?!?”.

I could feel the blood drain from my face in disbelief. I haven’t had a period in years after my depo provera issues, how was this possible? What is going to happen now? I’m not ready for this. I’m not one of these girls who purposefully gets pregnant just to be sent home. I volunteered to deploy to Iraq! I volunteered to be with the rest of my unit. Despite the shit getting real with the rockets, I wanted to be there, to do my job, to serve my country.

I could hear in the distant background, the nurse asking me all sorts of questions about if this is what I wanted? Was I excited? Did I need anything? But I was in too much shock to answer her questions other than mumble a no.

The doctor who made me take the test called me back into his office and said “Well, now we can explain the constipation and nausea. But this doesn’t explain your pain. We need to make sure you are not having an ectopic pregnancy. Let’s get you to the Emergency Hospital for a checkup by the specialist. I was hurried out of the doctor’s office, into the back of an ambulance to drive the half mile to the emergency hospital. This was the most embarrassing thing of it all. Being driven into the ER entrance. Pregnant. Not shot, wounded or even sick. Just pregnant.

I had no idea what an ectopic pregnancy really meant. I was prodded and poked all over again by several nurses and doctors. They even checked my constipation and try to help it along, but there was nothing in there. There was no poo. After all, I had barely eaten for the last 7 days. I hadn’t pooed in 4 days.

Finally, my boyfriend arrived at the hospital (yes we were deployed together, we got it together during pre-deployment training). He had no idea why I was in the hospital, he had left me at the doctors only 2 hours ago! He looked panicked. I looked at him and tried to get the words out, but I just started crying. It was the first time I cried since finding out my news. Eventually he got it out of me, and we both cried. We cried conspicuously together as we were not really sure how else to do it, this crying thing.

The hospital facilities on our camp did not have a vaginal ultrasound machine. The closest one was in another country – Kuwait at a US Airforce base. They wanted to check if the pregnancy was ectopic as the symptoms matched. I was put on the medevac waiting list and told to go back to my room and rest until I was called to fly.

I went back to my room, cried a lot, read up on ectopic pregnancy, and asked myself a lot of questions. How will I explain this to my unit, to my boss? Will my boss know already? What are the rules on medical confidentiality? Will they send me home? Will I be discharged from the Army? What if I have an ectopic pregnancy? Should I tell my family? When will I be able to eat again? When will this pain go away? So many questions as I lay in my room, sometimes in bed, sometimes on the floor under my bed as the rockets kept coming throughout the day and night. Get some rest? Ha. No rest for me….

TBC.