Archive for the ‘IVF Journey’ Category

Pregnancy Week 8

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Well, if I didn’t feel pregnant before, week eight brought all the symptoms with it like a bad Kansas storm. I’m flat out miserable.

Thursday we went in for my final sonogram and thrilled to see the baby doing exactly what it is supposed to be doing. The doctor said the baby is “textbook normal.” It looks like a gummy bear! After about six sonograms, we brought home our first baby-like picture. It definitely looks like a gummy bear with an odd-shaped head and four tiny but distinguishable limbs. (It has four limbs!!) We also saw the umbilical cord for the first time and, don’t ask me why, but that kind of made me feel pregnant like nothing else has. Heartbeat was raging and the little booger is about 2 cm.

Other than that, I have nothing positive to say about this week. We were released from our fertility clinic (cry!). And I’ve been sick.

Everything stinks. Smells, no matter how truly unoffensive, turn my stomach. I’m so nauseous all the time, and most of the time eating something is the one thing that will fix it. But it’s getting past the mental block of that looks gross, smells gross, sounds gross that is the biggest problem. Shelton made a plain ‘ole turkey sandwich for me and when he handed the plate over I wanted to throw up. It just looked horrendous. Very few things sound good to me and the only things that I can really stomach seems to be an ever-shortening list. What I’m about to share with you I’m not proud of. If you’ve read this site for any length of time you’ll know that I’m very proud of the way we eat. All very balanced, whole foods. We eat very little processed, boxed, canned junk. What I’m finding though is all of that stuff turns my stomach and all I can truly stomach are things I haven’t eaten in years. Stuff that is NOT good for me – but at least I’m eating??
> Pizza. I could eat this three meals a day and I’m making Papa Johns very happy this month.
> Doritos. Nacho cheese only please. Any time of day will do.
> Mac N Cheese. Not my usual homemade gooey goodness, but straight from the box with all its factory toxicity.
> Whole Grain Goldfish. Those crackers are saving my life one at a time.
> Baked potatoes.
> Powerade.
> Milk. I’ve never in my life drank milk except to accompany cereal or a baked good. Now, I’ll just get a glass and suck it down.
> PB and crackers.
> Apples.
> Chicken strips.
> Toast.

Those are all things that I can pretty much stomach any time of day without any complaints. The common denominator? Starch. I know it’s different for everyone, but starches seem to be what’s keeping me satisfied. And half of that ends up coming right back up anyway.

My doctor did prescribe Zofran for nausea. I got the generic, which was $120 out of pocket after insurance. ($600 without insurance!! OMG!!) I really can’t say if it’s helping or not yet. I spent all day on a day trip to OKC that was not my best idea. Being in that car for six hours only made things worse, and while I’m glad we got to be there for our niece’s first birthday, I was sick as a dog all day. Today I’ve been in bed all day sleeping on/off. For what we paid though we’ll pretend that it’s working miracles.

I’m also totally falling for my husband all over again. (I know, gag!) I love that we’re FINALLY having this baby together and the way we exchange these long glances that I don’t know that we ever have before. He’s been positively amazing this week in spite of trying not to lose his mind playing the pregnant whim dance. “I’m hungry.” “OK what do you want.” “I don’t know.” “What sounds good?” “Nothing.” “How about X?” “Gross!” And so on. He’s just amazingly supportive and kind and – he’s everything he is every other day of the week and maybe I’m just being more appreciative.

Finally, we ended our IVF this week. We were released from the clinic, and last night I took my LAST SHOT!!!! NO MORE NEEDLES!!!! That alone will make me feel so much better.

So here we go in to week 9.

A Bittersweet Farewell

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

I knew going in to the clinic this morning for my sonogram that it would likely be my last. Not my last sonogram, but my last trip to the clinic. Today was my last scheduled appointment and I couldn’t imagine any reason they’d keep me after this. And that’s exactly what happened.

Dr. T came in to do my exam and upon finding that everything is “textbook normal” and saying we have every reason to believe this is going to go the way we want it to, he said he couldn’t see a reason for us to come back. Not in a bad way, just that we’d accomplished the goal. I’m pregnant, and it’s time to go to my OB.

It might sound stupid but I’ve been preparing myself for this release back in to the wild for a few weeks now. I cannot express how much I love this practice, my doctor, the nurses, the staff. I’ve never in my life worked with a better medical practice and the thought of leaving them breaks (broke) my heart.

So Dr. T turned to Shelton and shook his hand, gave him a hearty congratulations, and then turned to me and where there would usually be a handshake, there was a hug. And I’ve wanted to hug this man for so long and tell him that there are no words to express how eternally grateful I am for 3.5 years of care and attention… and let’s not forget helping me get pregnant!

Part of it is probably the intimate nature of what we’re working on here. I mean, this is a fertility doctor. And I’ve never had to see a doctor for anything much more than a cough, cold or annual exam. This is the person who had to help me start a family. So maybe some shrink will tell you that that’s part of it. But I will tell you that it’s because I’ve never had the pleasure of working with a better doctor. He’s kind and professional, never speaks down to you yet speaks in a way that helps you understand these complex medical procedures, is reassuring and honest, and in general makes me trust him like no other doctor.  If you’re in a room with him, you’ll never feel like there is a single other patient, task, surgery or appointment waiting on him. It’s you and him, and you’ll feel like you have all the time in the world. I don’t know if it’s this way for other patients, but he’s the only doctor I ever worked with there. He’s amazing – and if I had to pay $20,000 for IVF, and have him as my doctor, then I’ll say a good chunk of it was worth it.

Before we left the exam room Dr. T invited me back when I’ve got a big ‘ole buddha belly and check-in with everyone. They can count on it!

I then went in to the hall and “B” the office manager, another stellar member of their staff, asked if I were going to see them again and I pouted and told her no. And she said something about me being a baby bird flying from the nest, and I was all, but I like the nest. Please keep me! We also had a hug and goodbye with “M” and that one was equally as hard as Dr. T. I saw her and spoke to her more in the last five months than I did the doctor. And again, a truly top-notch person and hands-down the best nurse I’ve ever had. I think I can say that aside from Shelton, I couldn’t have done this without her. For one, she knows her stuff and even my most inane questions were thoroughly, carefully answered. She always had, or at least made, time for me. And let’s not overlook the fact that she’s genuinely like talking to a girlfriend.

We bid farewell to everyone and left and I cried a little when we got outside. Shelton laughed and said he felt like we were at my college graduation.

I just wish I could stay with them until the baby gets here. But that’s not what they do. And I’m leaving feeling completely confident that they did what they do very, very well.

So thanks to the entire staff at our clinic for making one of the most difficult trials of our life so much easier, more comfortable, manageable, and let’s not forget successful!

My One and Only

Monday, August 31st, 2009

This morning was our first ultrasound and I can tell you with all certainty that Shelton and I were far more nervous and anxious about this appointment than we were the pregnancy test. I didn’t even want to talk this morning; and Shelton kept doing it! I was just a ball of nerves and when they called our name to go back I thought I was going to lose my breakfast right there in the waiting room.

I was taken back and weighed – 138 pounds. This is up about six from when we started the IVF two months ago. We did my blood pressure and made witty small talk about how last night I told Shelton that if he didn’t come home with a chocolate chip cookie he shouldn’t come home at all. (He slept here last night!) Then I was left to undress from the waist down and prepare for my ultrasound. (This is vaginally – not goop all over the belly.)

The doctor came in and asked how I’ve been feeling. I told him and he said welcome to pregnancy! Had a nice ring to it. Then we started the ultrasound and within seconds he pointed on the screen to my uterus and the one “pregnancy sack” on the screen. Our baby!!! Just the one. No twins. Or octo-babies. A single baby measuring 5mm (.19″), with the tiniest little heartbeat fluttering so fast a hummingbird would feel inadequate. We heard the heartbeat and saw the little flicker at 105 beats/minute. Pretty amazing!

Everyone talks about this emotional moment the first time you hear the heartbeat. But neither of us had it. Are we broken? I don’t think so. Honestly, there was so much anxiety going in to this appointment, I think we both were completely confident we were going to hear “twins,” and then we didn’t and that’s pretty much all we could focus on. So while I was completely impressed with the fact that this minute being had a heartbeat and thought it was beautiful to hear it, my head was elsewhere.

Dr. T said our pregnancy is on track so far and looks healthy and viable. YAY!!!

We scheduled a follow-up sonogram for two weeks from now and left with a few tiny sonogram pics.

Shelton and I had a little embrace outside and assured one another we were OK. I dropped him off at work and as soon as I put the car in reverse I started sobbing. I felt like I’d lost something I’d never had. And the harder I cried over not having a second baby, the more I’d cry for feeling guilty that I wasn’t acting grateful for the one I do have. What a friggin’ mess! It was just this adrenaline crash and overwhelming bittersweet feeling. We’re disappointed. And thrilled. All at the same time. Part of me feels like I’d feel like this if I’d heard twins, too.

I’m over the moon that we have a healthy baby, and a healthy pregnancy. This baby is going to make us parents and change our lives in ways we can’t even see yet.

IVF Shots Day 17 – Stim Day 8

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

I’m pretty miserable folks. Pain is just radiating out of my right ovary into my stomach, back and everywhere in between. It hurts to walk. It hurts to sit. It hurts to use the little girl’s room. And according to the ultrasound I had this morning this makes sense because my right ovary is doing all the work and left ovary is barely doing its fair share. As I explained yesterday, my ovary is about 2-3 times its normal size, which would be painful all by itself, but then it’s surrounded by several eggs. My guess is at least ten now.

My appointment went well this morning, just in and out. My afternoon call from “M” said that my estrogen is now around 1600. I have another appointment in the morning and then I’m guessing we’ll figure out a plan for the retrieval. It will be Sunday or Monday.

I’m tired, I have a headache, I’m crabby and I’m sore. That’s pretty much the gist of today’s events.

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Pregnancy Week Six

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

I told Shelton today that I’m bored with being pregnant. How do you tell someone they’re pregnant and expect them to just sit by and wait nine months? How about you just go ahead and give me my baby already! Shelton laughed and agreed that I’m too impatient in general and that I don’t do delayed gratification well. There’s a reason I don’t shop online very often, I want to pay and get my stuff! So I guess I have to sit here for 34 more weeks!

Waiting for 7.5 more months or not, I’m loving this. As my sister advised, I’m embracing all of it. It still doesn’t feel real to either of us, I keep thinking I’ll wake up and find out I’ve waken from the best dream. The heartburn continues – so I have Tums. I am so fatigued and exhausted – so I sleep and take naps when I can. I’m ravenous – so I eat. All the things that any other day of the week would feel like a burden and a pain to deal with, I’m embracing whole heartedly. I want the heartburn, I want to feel tired, and I want to eat everything in sight!

You think I’m kidding?! I had two lunches today!! I’m eating a balance of everything I’m supposed to and limiting what I’m not supposed to. No real cravings yet, I’m not even sure when that’s supposed to start if it does. However, I did eat six meals of Mexican food last week. (YUM!)

Tomorrow is a big, big day! We’ll have our first ultrasound. We are big balls of nerves – and possibly more anxious than we were for the pregnancy test. One… Two…. THREE?! No idea what we’ll hear. We will hear a heartbeat and it’s nearly unfathomable that 26 days ago they were microscopic eight cell organisms – and tomorrow it will have a heartbeat. UNREAL!!!

I’m using the pregnancy week-by-week calendar on For six weeks it says the face is beginning to form: “Your baby’s jaw, cheeks, chin, eyes, ears, and nose are beginning to form.” From crown to rump the baby is 1/4” long, about the length of a nail head. It also explains why I pee ALL THE TIME… morning, noon, night and midnight! My kidneys are working more efficiently to rid my body of waste, and that means I’m spend half my day looking for a toilet.

BUT I’m only looking for the toilet to pee. I am over the moon that I have yet to get sick. I’ve read that 25 percent of women never do, and I have no qualms with that!

The progesterone shots continue. And believe me, I’m over it. O-VER-IT! On each cheek I have huge knots under the skin. Last night Shelton confused an old incision spot with the new incision spot and misplaced the bandage. An hour later he noticed blood on the back of my PJ shorts and I noticed a big oil stain on the sheets… where it had all leaked out. (The progesterone is in oil.) I really do look like a human pin cushion.

IVF Shots Day 16 – Stim Day 7

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Today wasn’t too bad overall. It seems by the time 5:00/6:00 in the evening rolls around I’m pretty beat and ready to just chillax.

I’m having a lot of pain today on my right side. Dr. T told me that’s to be expected considering how large my ovaries have grown and how many eggs I’ve got. The eggs are pretty concentrated on my right ovary. According to my very unofficial, uneducated count at the ultrasound today, there were 10 eggs on the right. In English that means A FRIGGIN’ LOT! Doc said my ovaries could be 2-3 times the normal size (which according to The Googles is 2.5-5cm). So if you go on the high end of things, and use the conversion tool on my Mac, my ovaries could be 6”. Clearly showing my math skills here – is that like a baseball? I doubt my ovaries are that large, but the point to this, is that they are largER than normal and they are hurting.

My ultrasound was a little, odd, today. I was told to go to exam room four. I walked in and there was a backpack, so I felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there. “M” walked us back in and said we got the “crazy room” today. She explained that they were testing a new ultrasound machine, so Dr. T would do my exam today, and we’d have some company. The sales rep for the machine would be attending my exam. I’m losing more and more modesty so, why not?! So I’m half-naked on the table, Dr. T is at the foot of the bed, behind him is “Lily Tomlin” the sales rep, another one of the clinic’s doctors and Shelton. So there we are in the clown car of gynecological exam rooms, and I see the coolest images of my eggs. This thing builds a three dimensional diagram of the eggs, filling in each follicle with a different color.

The clinic has a voicemail system where “M” leaves updates after each of my appointments. It’s actually rather convenient. When I have time, I dial in and receive the reports and instructions; and “M” doesn’t have to make two dozen phone calls all afternoon. I dialed in today and “M” told me that my estrogen is 1130 (up from 572 on Monday; 400 is normal). I didn’t get a count on the eggs, but told we’re progressing really well. I’m to continue my injections as normal and I have another ultrasound/blood work tomorrow.

During our visit today Dr. T said he anticipated doing the retrieval this weekend. I hope we’ll know more tomorrow and will of course keep you updated then.

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