PIO on the go

I had a plan!!!! My plan was to give myself the Progesterone in Oil (PIO) injection at Philadelphia airport lounge in between my two flights.  I would get some ice from the bar, put it in the ziplock bag I had packed and ice my backside to numb it.  I would then use the nice clean, usually quiet, restrooms to prepare and administer my injection – there are even sharps containers to dispose of my used needles.  It seemed perfect.

But nothing ever goes to plan in the land of infertility!!! Oh no!!!

My flight to Philadelphia got delayed once we boarded – we sat out on the pan for an hour, then they decided that the aircraft jet engine was actually broken (just as well we didn’t take off then??!) so we headed back to the terminal and de-planed.  Practically all the passengers on the flight were transfer passengers and because I was soooo desperate to pee I ended up at the back and so waited forever in the huge queue to figure out if it was possible for me to get my connecting flight to Amsterdam.  By the time I got to the agent, my flight in Philly to Amsterdam was boarding…so no, I wasn’t going to Amsterdam.  I explained to the agent that I didn’t mind flying the next day – but that flight was oversold already. Grrrrrr.  He was going to send me to Amsterdam via London – and I would need to stay in Heathrow airport for about 15 hours before getting to Amsterdam a day later.

Ummmm no.

So I asked about the possibility of getting to Brussels – my true destination.

After the attacks in Brussels I booked my flights via Amsterdam because there were still no direct flights with my preferred airline – American – from the US to Brussels.  But the agent said…hmmmmm I wouldn’t have thought about sending you to Brussels instead of Amsterdam, but if that is what you want then I can get you there via London tonight.  So I accepted the challenge of the additional transfer in London and decided what the heck, I’ll go to Brussels airport (I guessed it wouldn’t be that bad).  From that point onwards I was just unlucky with every flight and barely made the connections. My plan to do the PIO injection in a nice clean restroom went out the window, I was going to have to do it on the transatlantic flight.

I ended up doing the injection in the teeny weeny aircraft toilet.  Fortunately I got some ice so I was able to numb my backside whilst I prepared the injection.  It was pretty challenging to do all of this in the teeny toilet with no flat countertop space…., plus I just get the general heeby geebies about aircraft toilets (people are just so gross in them and never clean up after themselves -sorry grumpy frequent traveler whining!!!). Then there was the turbulence! Everything went slipping everywhere…the progesterone bottle…the needles…the alcohol swabs! Aghhhh!!!! Finally once I got the injection drawn up and ready to go, I got all flustered thinking about people waiting outside and wondering why the hell I was taking so long!  So it took me a couple of minutes to mentally – wooooohhhhsaaaaaaahhhhhh – breathe – relax.

I waited for the turbulence to calm down and I managed to finally give myself the injection and pierce the skin without any issues.  But of course it takes a few minutes for the oil to be injected because it is so thick…and whilst that was going on the turbulence came back!  I was hopping around the toilet trying to balance on one leg and not tense up my butt and leg muscles whilst the needle was still in it.  Very challenging indeed.

I then remembered it was the day to put on new vivelle dot patches (estrogen) on my tummy, as I was doing this I dropped everything on the floor.  Gross.

But despite all this, I barely had any blood after this injection (impressive considering all the joltyness), and I was super proud of myself for not completely freaking the f*** out.

Having said that….I don’t want to have to do that ever again!! I do not recommend to anyone doing this injection on the go.  I did the Lupron one in the plane toilet before and that was easy compared to the Progesterone.  If I’d been more organized I would have asked my doctor for some progesterone suppositories for the days I am travelling.

Anything to keep this little one growing inside me 🙂

PS.

If you are interested to know – my unexpected trip to Brussels airport wasn’t too bad, but it did trigger some thoughts.  I thought about that day as I went to pick up my luggage.  I thought about how that day there were many customs border staff stopping practically everyone to check their bags as they left the airport.  I recall that how at that time I laughed because I was one of the lucky ones who did not get my bag rummaged through.  But today as I went through customs there was only one man.  I thought about how if I had been stopped by customs that day, I probably wouldn’t have been upstairs in departures when the bombs went off.  It was then weird to walk out of the baggage area to see the boarded up area from where the damage had been caused from the explosions upstairs.  I recalled the images of this area in the media and matched it to what I saw today.  A shiver went down my spine as I tried to find my way out of the airport to the train station.  No starbucks for me today.  The route to the train station today brought us out through the parking garage I had found myself in immediately after the explosions, not knowing where the hell I was or where to go.  Today I found myself thinking back about my whole experience.  It was very solemn…but I was OK.

fierce

IVF Diary Vol III: 14-16 Apr 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Transfer Day!!!!  PM Progesterone in Oil 1ml Intra-muscular injection, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.

The past few days Chris has been giving me my progesterone in oil injections because I have been too sore to turn around and attempt to give one to myself in the behind!  Last night I prepped the medication as per usual, I iced my backside, then usually I go lie on the bed face down ready for Chris to inject, but this time I decided to secretly attempt to inject it myself!  I stood with my side facing the bathroom mirror (which I didn’t actually use in the end). I held the needle like a dart, but it’s very difficult to get a true dart like action when doing this to myself! There was no hesitating this time (I must have tried this about 10 times last cycle).  Rather than ‘dart’ it in, I placed the needle on my skin and pushed a little – it didn’t break the skin! I couldn’t feel it because I had iced the area anyway, so I pushed harder.  You definitely have to push that thing in a whole lot harder than you might think!!!  Anyway, it went in and I started to inject the oil.  Chris walked into the bathroom as I was doing this and for a second ignored me…then realised what I was doing, I hadn’t told him I was going to do it!!!  He was super impressed!! After I took the needle out I realised that there was quite a lot of blood with this one – typical!!!  I hadn’t got the gauze ready.  I felt a little dizzy, but not too bad.  I put my heat pad on the injection site as usual and gave Chris a high five!  Can I give a high five to all my lovely supporters who have cheered me on with this injection!!!  You helped me do it! Thank you so much!!!

Medical procedures undertaken. 5 Day Embryo Transfer!!!!! I was very nervous that we would arrive and the procedure would be cancelled because I was still feeling the OHSS symptoms.  We arrived at 0700AM at the clinic and we were second in line – there were only two of us patients in the OR today.  Learning my lesson from previous transfers I did not drink anything when I woke up and ensured my bladder was as empty as it could be by the time I arrived at the clinic.  I started sipping my water about 40 mins before they took me in.  They recommend drinking 24oz, but seriously my bladder can barely hold 12oz and with the OHSS the past few days I have only been able to drink about 8oz at the most before needing to pee.  Once I was in the OR the doctor told us we had two beautiful embryos to transfer today and one potential to freeze.  Once I was in the stirrups, the doctor placed the speculum and the other doctor used the transabdominal ultrasound on my tummy. OH MY GOODNESS it hurt!  And this time not from a full bladder!  The Doctor exclaimed ‘Oh yes, you do have super enlarged ovaries!’ I just laughed out loud because I could tell him that without the ultrasound.  Anyway, the canula tube that the embryos would be transferred by was inserted into my uterus and we were ready to go!  The embryologist checked my identity, and went back into his lab and showed us the embryos on the TV screen, confirming they were ours – one of the blastocysts had started to hatch since he took the photo earlier in the morning (a new thing the clinic does!!!!  Very cool because before Chris would snap a pic of the TV screen with his phone!).  At this point I was crying because of the pain from the ultrasound!!! We watched the embryos on the ultrasound screen ‘arrive’ into my uterus 🙂  We had the same doctor do our transfer for our Positive result last year…not that this should make a difference…but….this is a good sign!!!!!

Any results?  The two embryos we transferred were graded 3BB and 3CB (Here is a useful link to find out more about blastocyst grading).  There is one blastocyst that might make it to the freezer (FINGERS CROSSED!!! This would be amazing so it can join our other frozen embryo!!!) Sadly the other 7 embryos are highly unlikely to make it to the freezer 😦

blastocyst 3BB blastocyst 3CB.jpg

The one on the right is the 3BB the one on the left is the 3CB –  we haven’t decided on a name for them yet!

What are my symptoms?  Still suffering with OHSS, but the important thing is that it is not getting worse.  Now we have to hope that it doesn’t get worse if I get pregnant (OHSS can either appear or get worse as hCG levels increases once you actually get pregnant)…so we are still on the watch.  I am really getting bored of not being able to do anything other than a gentle walk – and that is a short distance gentle walk too 😦

How do I feel today? I was feeling really anxious last night about today’s transfer and I did not sleep well at all.  I had awful nightmares about the Brussels attacks too.  I woke up from them and couldn’t stop thinking about it for about an hour or so before I fell back asleep.  Today I am feeling relieved that we had at least two to transfer and all those emotions came bubbling up in the form of tears as we left the clinic – a true mix of happy, scared and pained feelings!

BUT I am PUPO! (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise) and for that I am truly grateful.  We will be over the moon if this one blastocyst also makes it to the freezer.

What’s next? The two week wait…..eeeeeeek!!! To pee or not to pee (on a stick)…..that is the question!!!!

The Final Countdown!!! 

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*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 21-30 Mar 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Lupron 0.5mg (10 units) injection AM.

Somehow I have managed to take all my medications at the correct time despite all the time zone changes (Belgium was 5 hours ahead and the UK was four hours ahead at the time). I have taken the Lupron injections in  some strange places, including in the airplane toilet.  I had alarms set on my phone so I could remember to do it because taking the pill and doing the injection were both at random times of the day!  Quite frankly amongst everything that has been going on I am impressed with myself for managing to figure it all out!

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil.

What are my symptoms?  Actually, I haven’t really experienced any symptoms in particular.  I still have a mild upset tummy, it was doing much better before I left for Europe, but I think everything got screwed up after everything with the attack.  I’ve had a few random bouts of tears, but I can’t tell whether they are a result of the hormones or not.  Who knows! I’m kind of getting used to this happening now.

How do I feel today? I went back to work on Tuesday and it wasn’t too bad.  I did have a little bit of a shaking episode after I had recanted to my Brussels story the nth time.  I was just overwhelmed (in a positive way) with how many people told me they are pleased to see me in one piece!!!  I was also overwhelmed with the sheer number of people who actually read my blog post.  People who I have never spoken to at work before had read it and came up to me to tell me how amazing it was…even all the senior bosses had read it.  Basically pretty much everyone I work with now knows about my blog.  I’m pretty sure most people didn’t take much notice of the infertility part of my blog, rather were just interested in the Brussels story, but when my friends and family asked if it was OK to share it, I really had no idea how far it would be shared.

I’m not doing well at sleeping, but I guess that is to be expected…and with the hormones I am not sure how much is contributed by events vs the medications.  So I am a little tired.  But the good news is that I have taken some time off work!  Woohoo!!! Relaxation…chilling…are all that is scheduled for me during the stimulation phase of this cycle! A complete contrast to last time.  I have even discovered a new yoga place that has opened up near my house.  Overall, I am excited that we have another chance at IVF, but a little niggly part of me thinks I shouldn’t get my hopes up because it will be a long way to fall down from this time around.

Any results?  Nil

What’s next? I have my first baseline monitoring appointment tomorrow morning.  Hopefully it will all be go go go for cycle 3! Fingers crossed this Lupron has done its job nicely.

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

Waist. NSTR.

Boobs. NSTR.

The Final Countdown!!!

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*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 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 II: 26-28 Jan 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Progesterone in Oil 1ml Intra-muscular injection, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.  I am taking baby steps in learning how to inject the progesterone myself.  Last night I held the needle and hovered it above my skin but cried, well sobbed… and begged Chris to do it.  I realised that I had never actually watched this huge needle go in before because I have always been lying down on the bed face down.  So the first step was watching it break the skin.  He checked for blood, then I took over from Chris and injected the oil so I know what it feels like and I took the needle out.  There are definitely some challenges with injecting yourself and reaching round at the right angle – fortunately I am pretty flexible (thanks yoga!).  We will do the same again whilst I build my confidence up! baby steps….!!

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil

What are my symptoms?  My recovery from the Egg Retrieval surgery has been incredible!  Compared with last time when I was practically crippled with pain and constipation I am in a way better place.  The runny/dribbly/itchy nose and continuous sneezing has started to wear off.  I treated the symptoms with nose saline spray (with aloe) and antihistamines.   I was only constipated for about 1.5 days, and for someone who poos 3-5 times a day this wasn’t insignificant! But again, it was no where near as bad as last time when it was 3 days.  I don’t sleep well when taking the progesterone injections or the estrogen patches, I’m not sure which is the culprit.  I suspect it’s the progesterone because I remember being like that when I was only taking the progesterone suppositories for the IUIs.  I woke up very early this morning with some sharp tummy pains, the kind you get from being very hungry.  OK enough whinging, really, I am in a good place!

How do I feel today? I guess technically we are in the 2 Week Wait. I’m getting nervous that I am too positive now!!! Although last night I had a dream that I had to knit my embryos, and I dropped the last stitch, which meant I dropped an embryo on the floor and I had everyone looking for it!!! Don’t pscyho-analyse me too hard ;-p I went back to work on Wednesday and people were surprised to see me in good health because I had originally booked the whole week off as sick leave based on my experience last time.  But it wasn’t needed!

Any results?  Out of the 14 eggs that were retrieved, 11 of them were mature.  Out of the 11 mature eggs all 11 fertilised successfully!  This means an automatic go to Day 5 Transfer space!!!  Our clinic doesn’t provide updates on the embryo progress unless things are going badly.  We haven’t heard from the clinic and today is Day 3, so we are assuming things are all good.  Our next update on how many made it to blastocyst will be on Saturday morning when we go in for our Transfer!  It’s really strange because I know so many other clinics offer daily updates, but I’ve come to the conclusion that ignorance is bliss.

What’s next? Day 5 transfer is scheduled for 7AM this Saturday :-s who needs a lie-in when you can make a baby the good old test tube way!

Weight. Aghhhhh. I can’t even….

Waist. Seriously bloated and look pregnant.

Boobs. Getting bigger by the day – someone is happy about this! Not my bra, that’s for sure ;-p

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 The sun has been hiding.  I think that the whole sun thing has no bearing on my fertility considering the amount of sun I got in August last year when we went through IVF the first time!

*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:21-22 Jan 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Stimming phase: days 7 & 8. PM: Gonal-F 300 iu & Menopur 150 iu.  AM: cetrotide.

Medical procedures undertaken. Monitoring appointment – ultrasound and blood test.

What are my symptoms?  Tiredness – I had to have a 1.5hr snooze in the afternoon because I just couldn’t keep my eyes open!  The headache was just awful yesterday, it was persistent, however, today it has not been so bad. My tummy generally hurts when I bend over.

How do I feel today?  Awesome because I gave myself the menopur injection.  MY FIRST SELF INJECTION!!! That’s right, I have managed to get this far without doing one single injection myself because I have been terrified to do it.  Today I overcame my fear.  Chris got excited because he thought this meant he was getting out of injection duty.  Oh no dear hubby we will go 50-50 from now on with this job!  I like that he is a part of this.  I treated myself with some ice cream as a reward :-p

I played dodgeball last night, I’m not sure how I managed it…I really got into the game, played through any paing and kind of regretted it afterwards, my body is a bit sore today!  But I very much enjoyed it, it’s a social league so it’s not overly competitive  and we have a good laugh.  I have no one to blame but myself for my non-stimming related aches and pains.

Any results?  I am excited because my estradiol results are much higher than last time (but not too high!) this has to be a good thing for more mature eggies!!!! My follicles are also growing evenly i.e. they are all around the same size, which is a bit better than last time too.

What’s next? Tonight is hopefully my night of stims (mostly because I only have one vial of menopur left!), hopefully the final monitoring appt Saturday morning, trigger Saturday eve, then Egg retrieval Monday morning.

Weight. NSTR

Waist.  BLOATED

Boobs. Bigger and squishier.

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 None.  We are in the midst of a snow storm!

Fun Activity to keep Dani from going insane. I went to Michaels and stocked up on wool for two new knitting projects! A kid’s cat scarf, and a cable knit scarf.  I have been practicing cable knit and it’s actually not too difficult.  I probably won’t finish them this weekend, but I will make a good start at them.

cat_scarf

Cat scarf knitting project

cable knit

Cable Knit Scarf Project

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*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.

ivf2_day1Stims

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.

power_out

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

Nurse Mummy to the Rescue

It dawned on me over a week ago that when I go for my work trip & mini day break with mum up to DC tomorrow, I will not have my handy man (AKA hubby) with me to administer the progesterone in oil injection.  Uhoh, I worried that I would not be able to do it on my own – have you seen the size of that needle?  It’s 3 times the size of the one that is injected into my abdomen!!  The first time I tried to inject myself was a complete failure, I froze to the spot.  There was little chance of me administering this 1.5″ long needle myself – in my buttocks.  I thought I was going to have to cut our trip short, until I realised that my mum could do it!!!

Now – my mum is a self admitted needle phobe.  Fortunately, she is only a needle phobe from needles being administered to herself.  She works in a school and has administered an epi-pen to a child before.  The challenge to inject me with this ginormous needle still was not insurmountable.  So we got mum into training ASAP.  Once Chris had tried administering the injection on me once, he then started training my mum.

First night of training – observation.  Mum observed Chris and he explained every step he took.  Here is a simple 10 step programme.

  • Step 1: Prepare items: 1.5″ 22G needle, progesterone in oil, gauze, x2 alcohol swabs, sharps container, ice pack for numbing, heat pad for massaging afterwards.

Progesterone_kit

  • Step 2: Dani lies face down on bed and Dani ices the buttock that will be injected (change from L-R buttock every day)
  • Step 4: Prepare medication: take lid off progesterone bottle, alcohol swab top, extract 1ml of progesterone using needle, check for air bubbles.
  • Step 5: Alcohol swab injection area on buttocks, Dani looks away :-s
  • Step 6: Breathe!!!
  • Step 7: Pull skin apart at injection site and hold down.  Let Dani know you are going to stab her 3-2-1: stab!
  • Step 6: Pull back on needle slightly to check for blood, if air bubble is seen, all is good
  • Step 7: Inject progesterone
  • Step 8: Remove needle and place gauze on injection site & massage.
  • Step 9. Dani continues to massage injection site area with heat pad for about 10 minutes.
  • Step 10: Go have a cigarette to calm your nerves (mummy, not Dani!!!)

Second night of training – prepare medicine with Chris’s guidance, observe Chris injecting again.  Practice injection using lemon and vegetable oil to get feel of how hard it needs to be ‘darted’ into the skin.

lemonslemons2

By the way – when life gives you lemons…..stab em with a needle and inject vegetable oil. Waaaaay more fun than making lemonade!!!

Third night of training – prepare medicine without Chris’s guidance (Chris observes), Chris injects again while observing.  Continue practicing with lemon.

Fourth night of training – prepare medicine.  Inject with Chris’s guidance.  (Success!!! Mum has a little lie down with me afterwards, she was nervous, but I hardly felt a thing!!)

Fifth night of training – on own administer everything without Chris’s guidance, Chris observes and only interrupts once to slightly change the grip on the needle.  Mum is now fully Qualified!

D-Day: She did it!!!! Mum did this all on her own without any help from me at all.  I am so grateful and proud of you Mum!

I tried practicing with the lemon against on my bottom to see if I could do it my self just in case – and it is possible on my left side, but very difficult on the right side, so despite my needle phobia I would probably still need help to inject on my right side.

After Mum qualified and passed her 5 night training plan, she told me that throughout this she has learned that the you can overcome anything for your children. Awwww. Thanks Mum, I love you lots and can’ thank you enough for overcoming your fear to help us out.