Monthly Archives: July 2014

Egg Retrieval isn’t as scary as it sounds…

So today was the day for our egg retrieval. As a self-proclaimed google addict, I had read everything possible about the process. And much like everything else in this process, the retrieval was not nearly as traumatic as I had anticipated it being. In fact, it was so easy I feel bad for worrying!

I have said a million times how lucky we are to have an amazing doctor and group of nurses and staff at Georgia Reproductive, and today was no different. These folks literally have my heart. They have made something so stressful and scary, into something that I can only describe in one word…pleasurable.  Who would describe infertility as pleasurable?  Well, THIS KID!  I can’t stress how important it is finding the right place for your journey.  This isn’t a cake walk…but the people who you see weekly become an important piece to the puzzle.  I have read on so many forums and boards how people question what their doctors are doing, and become frustrated with how or when their nurses respond, and I am a firm believer in moving on. If you don’t have 100% confidence in what these folks are doing for you, then you are either 1) Not ready or 2) Not at the right place.  Believe me, I am not saying you can’t ask questions about why they are doing certain things, but remember that they should know what they are doing.  If you don’t have confidence in their abilities…then move on.  However, I will caution you that there is a lot of bad info out there, so before you move on, make sure you aren’t being irrational or worse, an internet know it all.

Anyways, back to the retrieval….we got 17 eggs!! That is a good number according to everyone in the room.  As of this morning, I have gotten the most eggs of the women in the study, and I was joking around that I like winning, so if anyone gets more than 17…I am going in for another 🙂 Obviously I am kidding, but it gets me through the day!  The process was really easy. I walked in and was taken back to change into an awesome gown, hair net and booties. Amy, Keebler, Jaclyn, Rebecca and a million other ladies came back to wish us luck and then they did the IV.  I have really small veins, so that was a bit challenging, but it worked. 10 minutes later I was taken back to the procedure room, I was strapped on to a table, joked around with Dr. P as usual, and then it was lights out.  I woke up 20-25 minutes later without eggs and with Jesse standing there.

Now we wait. We will find out tomorrow morning how many eggs fertilized and become embryos…and then we will transfer two of the strongest ones on Saturday. They said, on average, 75% of the eggs fertilize, so that would mean 12-13 of ours would.  Fingers crossed we get that many and fingers crossed they make it until Saturday!

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I guess I like going to the doctor…

At least that is what I keep telling myself.  Funny thing is, I really don’t mind going to GRS. Everyone is so funny and so positive, it kind of makes this whole thing a lot less tortuous. As I mentioned in my last post, my ultrasound showed a lot of follicles, they just needed to grow to 17 mm or more.  So I went back today and had another ultrasound and blood draw, and I was right on the cusp…but not yet!  So we will go back tomorrow and ultrasound and blood draw again, and probably trigger tomorrow night.  So what is next?

If I trigger tomorrow, I will do egg retrieval on Wednesday and transfer on Saturday.  Egg retrieval is no joke. I get put to sleep and they go in and retrieve all of the eggs that my follicles decide to produce via a needle. Next they take Jesse’s part and put it with the eggs and hope that those little pieces fertilize together and make embryos.  Because of the trial, we have to do a 3 day transfer. That means the embryos cook for 3 days before they put them into my uterus. Apparently they also grade the embryos during that time as well.  Nothing like giving the kid a complex at conception, right?  I am TOTALLY going to get a onesie made that has the baby’s grade on it…and when it makes me mad, I am going to say “If only you were a 4 AA!”  (Just a little IVF humor for you)

This whole thing is becoming more and more real. I really can’t ignore it, because for the first time in my life, I can feel my ovaries when I move and actually when I don’t move too.  I am fairly sure they are the size of grapefruits right now and it is quite uncomfortable.

We just got some great news from some other family members that I can’t share just yet, but I am hoping that their good news spreads to us this week!  Life is really exciting sometimes, and right now is no exception. I am still trying to be as supportive as I can be to friends and acquaintances who are going through infertility struggles.  Not going to lie, it is hard to hear when people get pregnant and didn’t have to go through 1/10th of what I have, but I remind myself that this is my journey not theirs, and I can’t fault them for that.  I am excited that they had an easier path and didn’t have to deal with the emotional and financial stresses of infertility.

Hopefully I will have a good update on Wednesday with a huge amount of eggs retrieved, and then on Thursday with a huge amount of embryos!  Thanks, as always, for reading and the amazing support you have given us!

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I am a lousy patient.

I don’t try to be!  I swear, its just the ADD in me.  So I have been on my Lupron, which really hasn’t been as bad as I thought it was going to be, and they added my stims last Friday.  I am woman hear me roar, so I don’t make Jesse go to every appointment with me.  I mean, come on…I am trying to make a human here, I can TOTALLY handle getting instructions and managing all of these meds and changing doses, and communicating things to Jesse so he can do my shots correctly. BAHAHAHAH…yeah right!  TOTAL FAIL!

So I was started on 20 of Lupron in the morning, and when they added the FSH Amy and Jaclyn told me to go down to 10.  20 to 10…GOT IT!  Then 225 of FSH at night.  Packed all my precious drugs into my little cooler bag (got it FREE with being in the IVY study) and bee bopped out of the office.  I came home, put my meds schedule on the fridge and then…well…apparently that was it. Fast forward to Monday, after my morning shot, I panicked and asked Jesse if I told him I was supposed to go down to 10….cliff-hanger…I didn’t.  The craziness ensues and I text, I call and I email nurses and I start freaking out.  I had doubled my dose for three days and I was sure I had ruined my IVF cycle.

In true Georgia Reproductive Specialists form, everyone got back to me super quick and told me that I was fine.  Of course, I was over here apologizing to the nurses and to Dr. P…I am in a trial…and well, I now have a black mark on my record.

Here I was all excited about being patient MG-14-22520926 (or whatever it really is), and the FDA now will know that I can’t follow directions. Oh well…you live and learn and you start over again.  I went in for my second baseline and I had a lot of follicles.  Everyone seemed happy with that, I of course start thinking that I am going to get OHSS and am already thinking about what that is going to feel like.  Nothing like positive thinking, right?  I am a mess.

All in all, I actually feel pretty good now.  I had a rough couple days where my head felt like it was going to explode, and well the doxy they make you take to help prevent infection is less than easy on my stomach.  Jesse gives really good shots, so my abdomen doesn’t make me look like I am a drug addict, so that is good.

Other than this whole experience, I know a lot of people have been wondering about my personal time announcement the other day.  My CEO and I agreed that with everything that I had going on in my life, it was probably best for me to take a month off from work.  I am pretty lucky to have the flexibility to do this and it has definitely made things easier to deal with.  There are a lot of doctor appointments with IVF and some of the side effects would not be fun to deal with at work, so for right now…it’s me, Judge Judy and the dogs hanging out.

With the way things are progressing, I think we are on schedule for things to go down next week. Amazingly I am not nervous.  I think I have just realized that everything will happen regardless of my nerves, so why get myself all worked up. I’ll update the world on Friday after my next ultrasound…until then….let’s hope I don’t mess anything else up!!

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Clinical Trial is a GO and life outside of a baby!!!

So we have officially started on the trial and it saved us quite a bit of money.  It’s kind of surreal to actually be doing the whole IVF process.  Since we did two medicated IUIs, I was prepared for shots and well it seems as if IVF is just IUI on “steroids” (no pun intended).  Just more shots and more monitoring.  I have been on Lupron for a few days and haven’t really felt much.  It’s kind of surprising, considering I have been getting side effects from so many of the drugs…just not this one.  The shots are the same as the ones before, just longer and more of them.  I go back in to the office in 5 days for a baseline check to see how my ovaries are responding.  Basically Lupron forces me into menopause. It prevents the ovaries from working and suppresses their activity.  Again, the medication controls everything in my body.  As I said in my last post, I have always had an issue with control, but this whole process has taught me so much about myself and taught me that control is something that nobody has.  

I have a lot that is going to be changing in the next few weeks.  Stuff that I can’t post on here just yet….but it is going to be pretty life changing.  Life is ever evolving and I have been stuck for awhile.  I have learned that it is ok to question the norm.  I have learned it is ok to question everything that I am comfortable with.  Questioning is ok.

In other world news, life goes on around trying to have a baby and Jesse just fond out he is going to be taking his Fit to Fight/Krav Maga black belt test in August.  I am so proud of him and how he has bounced back from the shell he was two years ago.  We just got back from his 6-month doctor appointment and he has gained 110 lbs in two years.  To most people that would be terrifying.  To Jesse that means he has has gained exactly what he weighed two years ago and is finally healthy.  

We have also added another member, well two, to our family in Atlanta.  Don’t panic…no more dogs!!  We needed someone to help around the house, spend some time with the dogs and just help overall.  I wanted to find someone who would stay on as a nanny once we got pregnant and had the baby(ies), and I found that person in E and her daughter D.  E is a godsend. It is so awesome to have someone who I relate to, trust, and enjoy having in my life.  Her daughter is a total sassy-pants and I can’t wait to have her around when we have kids.  For some reason, knowing that I have someone who did this before makes me more at ease with the whole situation.

Our egg retrieval is scheduled for the end of July (7/30-8/1) and our transfer will be 3 days later. All I can do is keep my eye on the prize and enjoy our journey.At the end of the day, I am so lucky to be surrounded by friends and family who know who I am and what I want out of life. I look forward to the next few weeks.  

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I am afraid….

The closer to the start of IVF the more real that things get. I mean yeah, I have already been through shots and meds, but this is on a whole new level. In about a month, I am going to have my eggs removed and have them fertilized in a dish. At that point I will have no control. No control over which egg(s) decide to fertilize and become embryos. I have no control over whether or not the best looking embryos decide to implant. The reality is, this is just the beginning of what I won’t have any control over. I am a control freak. It doesn’t manifest itself in any weird ways, but I do like being in control. I like knowing all of the variables and I am not a huge fan of the unknown.

I am petrified of having a child. Not petrified to the point that I don’t want to do this, but just scared that I won’t have a clue what to do. Everyone says things “just click” and I have no doubt about that. But I obsess about what happens if they don’t. I feel like we are working so hard to accomplish becoming pregnant and having a child, that when everything is finished, I am going to be left with a “now what?” kind of feeling.

Jesse isn’t scared at all. He is never scared. He is always in control. I envy that trait. I wish I could be the person who wasn’t scared. I wish I could not let every little thing fester in my head to the point of it driving me crazy. I am getting better. I am learning to let go. I am learning to embrace new things and the unknown, and in doing so looking forward to new beginnings.

We have our appointment on July 10 to get the real stuff started. We were officially accepted into the trial, so on Thursday we start that protocol with a goal of the first week of August for everything to go down. I have to admit, I am ready to get things going and start down this new path. However, just because I am ready doesn’t mean I am not scared. Just because I am scared doesn’t mean I am not ready to be a mother. Just because I think I am ready to be a mother doesn’t mean I have a single clue of what to do. And just because I have no clue what I am doing doesn’t mean that this isn’t one of the most exciting times in our lives.

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