Follicles & Estrogen

So I went to the DR today and he says all looks well so far. I have done three days of stim meds and already have four follicles. He rambled off some numbers, “six, eight, eight, and ten”. I am guessing that is the size of the follicles. I should have asked but I was just coming from Statistics class and my brain was mush. He also said my Estrogen level was 139, he says that is a normal number. So far so good!

I asked him about the castor oil packs and he didn’t really know anything about them. He actually didn’t seem to sure about them working but said I could do them if I want, can’t hurt anything. So we’ll see. It’s a messy task and I’m not sure it would make much difference in a week.

I go back Thursday and will hopefully have a better idea of a retrieval date!

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Gonal F

I woke up this morning in a pool of sweat. My shirt was completely soaked, not a dry spot on it at all. My hair felt like I had just gotten out of the shower. My nausea was finally gone, but the headache was still faint. Gonal…

Rewind back to Thursday, at my appointment that talked about the “F” word. Dr. Silverberg gave me the OK to start Gonal F, the “stim” med. This med should give me lots of eggs…hopefully! 🙂 Gonal is given via injection, through a fancy little pen. This was also the most expensive of all of my meds, I think five pens cost me a little over $1000. Total cost of meds for me was $3000, everyone is different though. One lady spent $10,000 on meds alone. Yikes!

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Since starting the Gonal I have been very tired, the sweats have increased, and I pretty much have a constant headache. After I give myself the injection, I have been having some nausea as well. Nothing I can’t handle. THIS IS ALL WORTH IT. I have to give myself the injection at 8:15 every night.

Last night my husband wanted to a date night, him, my son, and myself. We went to a really cool Japanese restaurant for my last feast of sushi until after baby. 🙂 Well, because of the time, I had to bring my cooler with the medicine just like my airport adventure. 8:15 came along and off to the bathroom I went. Tiny little stall, I had to make it happen. I started sweating of course, it doesn’t take much these days, and then the process began. After it was all said and done I told my husband, dinners must be done and over with before shot time so I can be home to do this LOL. Not only was it uncomfortable to do in a bathroom stall but I became very nauseous. It was awful. By the time we got done eating I was exhausted and almost to the point of throwing up my awesome sushi dinner.

We finally got home and the feeling was so much worse. I googled side effects of Gonal and nausea is definitely one of them. I will stock up on Ginger Ale. So yea, this morning, sweat pool. So gross. So when my alarm went off for me to go take my Lupron shot, I jumped in the shower straight after. Best shower ever!

As I said, it will all be worth it. I am not complaining (at all), just telling of my experience. I will take headaches, nausea, sweating, anything thrown at me to have a successful outcome, a healthy baby. 🙂

Dr. Silverberg will start seeing me every 2-3 days now to do an ultrasound, I go back tomorrow. I will also get my blood drawn before every appointment to check my estrogen levels. He estimates I will be on Gonal around nine days from when I started (last Thurs). As I said before, he also estimates that between April 5-8th we will do retrieval. I. Am. So. Excited.

 

The “F” word

I have done all of these posts from the beginning to this post all in one day, trying to catch up on the journey so far. So now here we are today, Sunday. I have had a breast cancer scare, started my meds, and have tentative retrieval dates of April 5-8th. My latest appointment was this past Thursday. I had another ultrasound, which showed that ugly “F” word (the fibroid) again. My Doctor again mentioned surgery to remove it before proceeding. He said we could go ahead with the retrieval, which is when they take out my eggs, combine them with my husband’s sperm, and put them in a petri dish to do their thing for a few days. He said we could then freeze the embryos and have surgery to remove my fibroid, then do the transfer. I almost lost it. Tears started to form. No more obstacles. Please.

The fibroid is 3.8 cm, at 3 cm they recommend removing them because they can decrease blood supply to the uterus or the embryo can implant to the fibroid, both things causing miscarriage, or they can prevent implantation from ever eve occurring. Right now the fibroid is 9 mm away from my uterus, so as long as the fibroid does not grow anymore we should be OK. Since we are transferring two embryos, the chances of both trying to implant to the fibroid is rare…so I hope. My husband and I have decided to proceed with the transfer without removing the fibroid first. I will leave this in God’s hands. I have faith.

I have been reading about fibroids and it seems diet has a big part in their growth. My diet has sucked, not good. Also, there was a lot of mention of doing castor oil packs. Castor oil packs are supposed to be great to do in general. They help clean out your system, break down scar tissue, shrink fibroids, increase blood supply to the uterus, and many more benefits. So what did I do? Well anyone that knows me knows that I immediately went to the health store and bought a castor oil pack. For more info on castor oil packs and fertility, google it, there is a TON of info out there. DO NOT TRY IT WITHOUT TALKING TO YOUR DR FIRST THOUGH. I did not talk to my DR but plan to tomorrow.

I did do the castor oil pack yesterday. I left it on for about an hour and a half. It definitely “cleans” you out. It was messy (oil everywhere, which is hard to remove), but I plan to do it again tonight as well. I will discuss doing it further with my DR tomorrow at my appointment.

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SHRINK FIBROID!!!!

Lupron

I refer to my injection schooling appointment as my first real IVF appointment because this is when things were really moving along. I was going to be giving myself shots, seeing the DR more frequently, have a schedule. it was all becoming very exciting. This was happening. I had pre-paid everything, I had my meds, we were totally doing this!

At my first real IVF appointment the DR went over a few basics, and he told us that my ovarian assessment report very good (yay!!!), we decided he would put two embryos in on transfer day (yes, we may end up with twins, double yay!!!!), which is the max amount for my age. He did another ultrasound, which will continue to happen at every appointment. Uterus looked good but I have a fibroid that is 9mm from my uterus, and just under 4cm. He said we will monitor it, as long as it does not push on the uterus, it should be fine to proceed, otherwise I would need surgery to remove it. Panic sets in obviously because I do not want another obstacle. Please you stupid fibroid, go away, or shrink, please.

Then we met with my IVF nurse, who is a complete doll. She went over all of the paperwork with my husband and I, we signed a bunch of waivers, decided to freeze any leftover embryos, and she taught us how to do the injections. Unfortunately she wanted me to go home and immediately give myself my first injection. Problem was my husband had to go back to work and could not come do it for me. I was on my own. Damn.

I went home, laid out all my stuff, and after several moments of pulling the needle away from my skin because I was so scared, I did it. I shot myself up. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either. And that was it, first injection of Lupron was in. Day one, check.

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About a week into me taking the Lupron my husband and I had to fly to Florida for a night, my husband was being honored at an awards ceremony for work. Since Lupron has to be refrigerated this proved to be a little tricky but I made it work. I had a little cooler I filled with ice packs, the Lupron, syringes, and my alcohol pads. The airline gave me no issues carrying this on. People did look at us funny when my husband told them we were carrying a human heart in the cooler. Ahhh, gotta love him. When my alarm went off to take my shot at the airport I was a little uncomfortable. You have to take this medication at the same time every day, I had to do it at the airport. Awkward. Thank God for the family bathrooms, I could shoot up in privacy.

Here we are at the airport…

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Here we go!

So once the breast issue was behind us, we had an HSG and found out my tubes were blocked. The reversal was pretty much a waste. Initially it worked obviously, we got pregnant and I had an HSG showing my tubes open. Over the course of four years they re closed. Now we knew IVF was our only option and we were ready to take off. We were fortunate to have the money to proceed, which once this is all said and done we will be at around $15,000, $22,000 if you include cost of reversal, none of which is covered by insurance unfortunately.

I bought a few fertility bead bracelets and sleep with “baby dust” under my mattress. THIS WILL HAPPEN! 🙂

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So while the breast scare was going on I was put on birth control pills to regulate my eggs and my cycle, or something like that. I don’t exactly remember, I just do what I’m told. I ended up being on birth control for around forty days. Somewhere between days twenty-five and thirty I was instructed to order all of my fertility meds. Fun stuff. I called up and ordered them through a place called Freedom Pharmacy, extremely nice staff, very helpful, and they over-nighted everything to me free. I love free!!! Once it arrived, this is what it looked like…

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A little overwhelming to say the least. I mean damn, I now had a Sharps container in my house!!! I was totally freaked and originally told my husband he would be giving me the shots, I absolutely would not do it to myself.

After I read through my checklist and made sure I had everything I was supposed to , and the things that needed to be refrigerated in the fridge, it was time to relax. This was a Saturday and Monday I would start my first injections.

And so it begins…

My family and I moved to Texas a little over a year ago. We absolutely love it and life has been very good for us since the move. Once we felt adjusted to everything here we decided we were ready to focus again on having a baby. Four years had gone by since we had a positive pregnancy test, and the two miscarriages, and we started to worry it would not happen naturally. I did some research on IVF Doctors for our area, through all of my research and by word of mouth we found our amazing Doctor, Dr. Silverberg, at Texas Fertility Center in Austin, TX.

From the first time we met our DR I knew he was the one. I know, it sounds cheesy, but it’s true! Ha ha! He made us feel very comfortable, he had a great personality, and was very “matter of fact”; he did not sugar coat or beat around the bush. He also exuded confidence, which is something you want with such a serious and expensive procedure. I read reviews about him, and they were all excellent.

The first appointment he went over our medical history, did a baseline ultrasound to check out my uterus, and then a breast exam. The breast exam turned out to be a major delay in this process. Long story short, he felt a lump, sent me for a mammo, the mammo turned out to be of concern, so I got an ultrasound, that turned out to be of concern, so I got a breast biopsy. Luckily after a couple of weeks, and a lot of anxiety, the breast biopsy turned out to be normal and we could finally proceed. Here comes the real fun!

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How we got to IVF

I have 2 kids already, ages twelve and fifteen, from previous marriage. After my divorce I decided I would never marry again and certainly would never have any more children. I got my tubes burnt around 2004, four times in each tube. My DR at the time tried repeatedly to talk me out of it because of my young age, but I insisted and they finally went ahead with it. Had I only listened to her, I would not be where I am today…

Fast forward to the summer of 2008, I met my soul mate, my husband. He had no kids of his own and we wanted children together. In the very beginning of the relationship I told him my situation and after a few months of marriage we decided to look into tubal reversal. We had been researching DR’s and decided on Dr. Monteith at Chapel Hill Reversal Center in North Carolina. This particular facility had people from all over the world coming in for tubal reversals. They were the best of the best. We made the drive up there, the staff and Dr. Monteith were amazing, we had the reversal, and he was able to salvage 3 cm on one side and 3.5 cm on the other. I felt I had a solid chance of becoming pregnant. There were women with less than that, and even just one tube that were getting pregnant.

About three months after the reversal we got what we wanted, a BIG FAT POSITIVE pregnancy test. I was ecstatic. Long story short (it still breaks my heart to think about), after a couple of weeks I miscarried. It was life shattering. I went into a very dark place. Thank God, life did go on, and I eventually pulled myself out of a horrible funk…