Christmas Miracle

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Well since I know all of you have been waiting patiently for news I will finally get around to updating this.

I am officially pregnant! My first beta which they like to see at 50 or above came in at 114 and my 2nd beta where they wanted to see it at least doubled came in at 310. I have two more beta draws this week to make sure everything is still looking good. It is still seeming a bit unreal to both Daron and I at this point. I can't wait to get our 1st ultrasound scheduled and see how many babies there are. The most likely scenario is that there is just one, but I keep getting this feeling that is a possibility of 2. We are fairly certain that there aren't 3.

I got my first real BFP(big fat positive) this cycle at 7 days past my 3 day transfer and 2 days later got a BFP on a digital HPT. Our first Beta was the Friday before Christmas and we were so happy to get a good strong number. I really can say this is the best Christmas present ever!

Egg Retrieval, Transfer and 2ww

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I thought it was time I should publish an update, since I haven't published anything since before my egg retrieval. They were able to retrieve 13 eggs from which were all viable and able to have ICSI performed on them! They only had to thaw 1 vial of sperm meaning we still have 5 left. So happy that they didn't lose too many during thaw and have to thaw another vial.

The fertilization report wasn't quite as good as we had hoped however by day 3 we were actually better off than we were last cycle. Only 3 of my eggs fertilized normally this time around, which is actually one less than last time so we were a bit disappointed. The good news is by day 3(Monday dec. 12th) when we went in for retrieval we still had 3 embryos, all of them had 8 cells and 1 was a grade A(perfect or near perfect) and 2 were grade B(some cell fragmentation but still looking good).

When they had called us previously with our fertilization report they had told us that they might be recommending we transfer all 3 of them. On Monday sure enough they recommended we transfer all 3 of them, based on both the # of embryos we had, their quality, and our previous failure/history and diagnosis. We decided to go ahead with this option based on both their recommendation and much prior discussion over the past few days. The chance of twins is increased quite a bit however the chance of triplets is still only about 2-5% for us. The doctor said the most likely scenario is that we will end up with just one though which is fine with me.

So I am currently PUPO(pregnant until proven otherwise) with Triplets. I am now 3 days past transfer and other than really sore boobs from the Trigger shot and/or progesterone I am feeling pretty good.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I know I've been slacking a little on the updates again, sorry about that. Friday was my first monitoring appointment and I had 17 follicles ranging from 10mm to 15mm. Yesterday was my 2nd monitoring appointment and I had about the same # of follicles now ranging from 11mm to 23mm. My uterine lining is 9.2mm. I actually saw my doctor for my ultrasound yesterday. It was kind of nice and he goes over things pretty well, however he is kind of hard to keep track of with follicle counts and sizes.

Today is my last day of the stim medications and tomorrow will be my last day of Lupron. My trigger will be tomorrow night and egg retrieval will be Friday. I am a little worried that my 2 lead follicles at 21 and 23 yesterday will be too big to have viable eggs by Friday, but I am trying not to worry too much. Plus I had a chat with them to tell them to slow down, while also telling that little 11mm one to speed up a little :).

I am completely ready for Friday to be here already as I am looking about 3 months pregnant and can't button my pants. That would be perfectly OK with me if it was due to a baby, but they are just eggs. Lets just say my belly is definitely past my boobs and that says quite a bit lol. Also feeling quite tender and I wouldn't really say it hurts, but I definitely feel a lot of discomfort in my ovaries when I walk.

In random other news, Daron is actually reading my blog now, so I guess that means I have to be careful what I say about him :).

Impatience, Annoyances, and Insurance Companies

Thursday, December 1, 2011

This is more than likely going to be a fairly long and somewhat random post, just to warn everyone.

I am incredibly impatient for tomorrow's appointment. Last cycle I was definitely feeling bloated and heavy by the time I had my first u/s, and this time I don't really feel anything (other than a headache and a stiff neck from the meds). Daron says I look bloated and I guess I do look a little bit but I certainly don't feel it. I am really nervous that I am going to go in tomorrow and have almost nothing to show for  5.5 days of stimming. I know that based on my last cycle that probably won't be the case but I just don't feel anything going on in there so am kind of worried there isn't anything going on in there. I did feel some heaviness during my Reiki yesterday that I am hoping was a signal there is at least something going on.

 I really just want this cycle to be over already, I can tell that no break to speak of has really taken a toll on my body and my emotions and I just want to be done for awhile. It is really out of my hands whether it works or not and either way I know I won't be having to shoot myself up 3 times a day anymore with hormones that make me feel like shit. Don't get me wrong, I know that if I get pregnant I could possibly feel like shit, but as crazy as it sounds to some of you, I would without a doubt taking morning sickness over anything these shots do to me. At least with morning sickness and all of the other issues that can come with pregnancy I will know I have a baby growing. Right now I really don't know anything, and even once I know how many eggs I have growing we still have no idea whether those will become babies.

Now for the first random change of topics. Awhile ago I posted This with a link to an article on infertility etiquette. I realize people just don't understand how to deal with infertility sometimes, but seriously the things people say sometimes are so inconsiderate. I mean come on, I have been asked why I am doing IVF, when I should just be using a turkey baster. Seriously? Well first of all a 0 sperm count doesn't really allow that, what don't people understand about that? Its also really annoying when people expect you to be constantly happy and excited about what you are doing. Ok yes trying to conceive is exciting, when it can happen naturally and when your life doesn't become consumed by it. I'm not saying that I'm not excited and happy about the getting pregnant, that parts awesome! Really though, I'm not happy about sticking myself 3 times a day to get there, and I'm not happy Daron had to go through a surgery to slice open his balls to get there. I'm excited to see how many eggs we get and to see how we are progressing but I'm not happy or excited to go in every other day and have my privates invaded by an ultrasound wand when I don't get to see a baby on the screen. And I'm not excited that I get to be put under and have a needle stuck into my ovaries to retrieve eggs from me! I want to see those people who expect us to be happy and excited about this process all the time go through it themselves because I don't think they would feel that way anymore. Sometimes the stress and the hormones just get to you.

The worst in my opinion though is when people ask about how much an IVF cycle costs and then go on to say oh well get used to it kids are expensive. NO SHIT kids are expensive I was prepared for that! We bought a house we can afford, we both have decent paying jobs, we live within our means and are able to save money from every pay check. We thought about all of that before trying to have a baby. Most people though don't have to start paying for their children until after they are pregnant! Most people don't have to try to decide whether A home equity line of credit is an option to pay for getting pregnant, because the people that tell you kids are expensive are the ones who can have them for free. They don't have to worry whether the cost of conceiving their children is going to affect their ability to afford raising those children. They don't have to worry whether one more cycle is going to put them too far into debt to be able to afford food and care for their children. For them this part is free! So no shit kids are expensive but really that doesn't have anything to do with this, because for fertile couples conceiving them is free!

Enough ranting for now :). On to the next random topic of insurance companies. For once I called our insurance company and someone was helpful. Insurance Administrator is notorious for not being helpful and for not knowing what they are talking about. Even Billing departments hate dealing with them, because they never seem to have answers or care about getting things done in a timely manner. I think there are multiple times we have been told by a billing department that our Insurance administrator is the worst company they have ever dealt with. Needless to say I was amazed when I not only got someone who knew what they were talking about but that they also were willing to do what they could to help me!

My last egg retrieval was October 3rd. I realize part of the issue is the fertility clinic since they didn't get the claims submitted until the 1st or 2nd week of November. However, the clinic has called the insurance company several times from what I understand to let them know these things need to be processed in order for them to draw up our financial documents with insurance coverage included. If they are not processed we will have to self-pay this cycle and get everything straightened out later. The woman I talked to today though was very helpful in telling me where my claims are currently at and that she would add a note to them to be processed rush and that they needed to be done and paid by December 8th. Not that we will have any insurance coverage left after our last cycle, but it would at least be nice to know for sure! So for the first time in awhile I think our insurance administrator is actually on my good side(even though they still can't tell me for sure what claims apply to my fertility maximum).

I am amazed if any of you stayed with me through the end of this post and I'm sorry for all the ranting, but hey its better than punching someone right? :)


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Today is day 3 of stims. I really don't remember side effects this early last cycle. However this time around I already started with gonal-f migraines yesterday morning. Today I finally have it down to a dull ache. I am also having the hot flashes and stiff/sore neck earlier this time than last time. Hopefully its a good sign that I'm producing lots of follicles/eggs. My first monitoring ultrasound is on Friday and I really can't wait to see what is going on in there.

In other news, I got the dresser done that I was painting and it looks awesome! Now I just need one more coat of paint on the bathroom walls and to get the bathroom floor done. Hoping to get the 2nd coat of paint on the bathroom walls this evening. It would be really really nice to have a mirror and a sink in our bathroom again! I also finally got our family room cleaned up and looking presentable. Too bad it still needs the flooring and subflooring tore up since it smells like cat pee from prior owners having cats somewhere down the line.

We also got our Christmas tree up and some of our other decorations. Oh and Daron finally admitted he doesn't read my blog :). I knew I was right!

Baseline Ultrasound

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Baseline ultrasound went very well today. Family will probably have no idea what i'm talking about but some of the other people reading my blog will so I will give details anyway. My lining is currently at 5.4mm and I have 7 antral(resting) follicles on one side and "several" (10 or more) on the other side. They didn't call me to say my estrogen was way off so thats good. They said everything looks great! I will start Stims on Sunday Nov. 27th, and my first monitoring appointment will be on Friday Dec. 2nd.

I took my last Birth control pill last night and boy am I glad to be done with those! I have been told they have a really high estrogen content compared to the birth control pills people are usually put on for contraception purposes so that is probably why they turn me in a bit of a bitch :). I think Daron is glad I'm done with them!

In other news I got the first coat of paint on the bathroom this week! For those who don't know, our bathroom has been torn apart for over a month now. I am hoping to get the 2nd coat on this week. If Daron ends up with a long weekend for thanksgiving, we will hopefully attempt the floor this weekend. I also got a coat of paint on the dresser we got out of the garbage(I love it when I find good furniture in the garbage!). We also got new knobs to put on the drawers, overall the paint and the knobs only cost us about $20 so I think we did pretty good. When I either 1.quit being too lazy to do it or 2. talk Daron into doing it I will put up those long promised pictures, and yes I will catch up on all the pictures I have been promising.

Now just for the fun of it, Daron claims he reads my blog, however I call BS. I think he may be getting a quiz later to see if he really does or not :). All in good fun, I really do love him (Even if he doesn't read my blog)!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Ok, I'm finally going to quit being lazy and do a real post. I started lupron yesterday and so far it has been going just fine. The only issue is a bit of itching around the injection site which I had last cycle as well for the first few days. Really no big deal at all. My baseline ultrasound is on Monday and then I get to look forward to probably about a week off and then most likely monitoring ultrasounds every other day or so. I really don't have much to report this time around as I've already does this once and really nothing is changing for this cycle.

I do have to say I'm actually getting excited about this cycle now that I've started injections and I really can't wait to go in on Monday and see what my ovaries and uterus are looking like for this cycle. I am also really excited to start stims(gonal-f) this time around and see how I respond this time. What a world it is when I am excited to start injecting myself with hormones and have my private parts routinely invaded with an ultrasound probe :).

I have been doing acupuncture for almost a month now. It is very relaxing for me and I hope it is helping a little. I have to say it is quite the expensive habit though. I plan on continuing it throughout this cycle, but haven't yet decided if it is worthwhile in other ways that I want to continue it after that. If nothing else for this cycle it makes me take a half hour twice a week to just relax and clear my mind. Insurance will pay for half of it so I guess its not so bad.

I also tried Reiki earlier this month. Reiki is a type of energy work that balances you and opens your chakras(energy centers). I absolutely loved it! It was the most relaxing thing I have ever done and is something I would definitely like to continue. It is supposed to work kind of like acupuncture except without the needles. It is also supposed to be a great complement to acupuncture so I figure for now I will do both and hopefully things will improve faster.

From now on I will try not to be so lazy and update more often. I really want to start throwing some non IVF posts into the mix too but again the laziness is just so much easier!

Blog Template

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Being that I'm a computer programmer, and one of the things I actually enjoy is web design I want to eventually design my own template for my blog but right now I'm just too lazy. For the time being I am implementing a downloaded template so bear with me while I work on getting everything working for it! I'll have a real update soon, but again, I've just been too lazy :).

Infertility Etiquette

Friday, October 28, 2011

This article is a great read, whether you are currently dealing with infertility, have dealt with it or are just trying to be there for a friend or family member who is dealing with it. Daron and I have been trying to conceive for almost 2.5 years and I think we can both say that everything in this article is accurate. If you are dealing or have dealt with infertility it validates all those feelings we have about the things people say. If you are simply trying to be there for someone with infertility it helps to give some insight into how those of us who are struggling interpret things.

On to Cycle #2

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Our WTF appointment went well. The Dr. thinks our major issue is sperm quality. The fact that we did have 2 good embryos though makes him think that a 2nd try is worth it. Since I responded well last cycle and nothing went wrong (other than me not being pregnant) everything will remain the same this cycle. The one thing that will be different is that we will be using something called assisted hatching, where they make a small opening in the "shell" of the embryo to allow it to hatch easier. I started birth control on Friday, start Lupron injections 11/17 and have a baseline ultrasound scheduled for 11/21. We are currently targeted for a December 9th retrieval.

I am also going to be trying acupuncture this cycle, as it is supposed to help improve IVF success rates. I hope that if nothing else it at least helps keep me relaxed.

The last week and particularly the last few days have been really hard on both Daron and I emotionally. It is really hard to get excited about putting ourselves through this again. We had so much hope for our last cycle and everything seemed perfect yet it still didn't work. I can't even start to explain all of the emotions we have both been feeling. It is hard to get our hopes up after this failure. I'm hoping once we get farther into the cycle things start to get better. I'm trying hard to stay positive, but I've never been the best at handling stress. I couldn't do this without Daron though, he helps me find strength when I think its not possible.

post IVF consultation

Friday, October 21, 2011

Today is our Post IVF consultation that is offered to everyone who has a failed IVF cycle. It is also known as the WTF appointment. I am hoping we can get some good information from the Dr. today and hopefully he tells us we are good to go ahead and start our December cycle. I will update later with how the appointment went.

In other news we have been working on a lot of halloween decorations lately which hopefully I will get pics up of soon. I know I keep saying I'm going to post pictures and then I never seem to find the motivation to actually sit at the computer and upload them. I guess I just need to let Daron do that part :). We are both excited about helping out with a haunted hayride tomorrow night and that will definitely help take our mind off things. What can I say its fun to scare kids :).

IVF # 1 Results

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Two week wait was torture, and it wasn't even a full two weeks, only 11 days. Daron and I were both going a little crazy by the end. Sadly I have to report that my blood test was negative and this IVF cycle didn't work. We go in for a consult with our doctor on Friday to talk about what went wrong and what we can do differently in a subsequent cycle to help make sure it works.

I am actually fairly certain that I had a chemical pregnancy(very very early miscarriage) as I tested with a home pregnancy test the Tuesday after transfer with a Negative test. For those of you who have minimal understanding of this process, the shot they give me to make me ovulate is HCG, which is also what a pregnancy test looks for. For this reason I was looking for a negative that Tuesday to make sure that trigger shot was out of my system. Wednesday I tested again and got a somewhat light but very definite positive. Thursday I tested and got an even lighter positive and Friday I tested and got a barely visible positive. Saturday's test was Negative. There is a chance that Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were the trigger shot but I have this gut feeling it was a chemical pregnancy.

The clinic can get us on their next cycle which is in December, so as long as our Dr. things it is worthwhile to try again that is what we are going to do. I believe we are better off than I originally thought we would be with our insurance right now. Hopefully we can also get better fertilization with a 2nd cycle and possibly have some embryos to freeze. I can't say I'm really looking forward to putting my body through this again, but in my opinion its better than taking time off when I know that we don't have even a slim chance of conceiving naturally.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Transfer went well today. We transferred 2 perfect A quality embryos a 6 cell and an 8 cell. Sadly our other 2 embryos were C quality (worst for our clinic) and didn't meet freezing requirements so we are looking at another fresh attempt if one of these doesn't work. Now we wait. Daron is going to drive me insane over the next 2 weeks!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Both of our retrievals went well. Mine was about 20 minutes long and not bad at all. They retrieved 14 eggs from me! Daron's retrieval took between 45minutes and an hour and they retrieved enough sperm to do ICSI on the 14 eggs they got and freeze 6 vials for future use. YAY!

They called with my fertilization report yesterday and out of 14 eggs 4 fertilized normally. So we now have 4 babies growing in dishes. Transfer is tomorrow at 10am. Today I am trying to get some things done around the house and keep myself from calling the clinic to find out how my embryos are doing. We don't get an update on them until we go in tomorrow morning.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

This is going to be a short post but wanted to give an update for those following. Tomorrow is Retrieval day. It sounds like it will be a long day as we have to be there at 8:15am to get me prepped for my procedure and Daron's procedure isn't until 12:30pm. I'm excited and scared at the same time. Overall I have a good feeling about this though. Tomorrow will be both the end of something and the beginning of something. It will be the end in that we will know for sure whether Daron has sperm or not. Hopefully it will be the beginning of our babies. Hopefully soon we will have some little embryos growing in a dish :).

Monitoring Appointment

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My 1st monitoring appointment was yesterday. It went really well. I have between 17 and 20 follicles right now. The left ovary had an 8.2mm, an 11mm, a 13mm and 7 10mm follicles. The right ovary had a 13mm, a 14mm, a 15mm, 2 8.2mm, and 2 10mm follicles. Plus I think there are a couple I missed. They haven't changed my dosages at all and I go in for another monitoring ultrasound and bloodwork tomorrow morning.

Hopefully things are looking just as good tomorrow and Everything is still on track for Retrieval this coming Monday October 3rd.

Right now I have been having daily headaches that I now blame on the meds(and work of course lol). I have also been very crampy the last few days from the stimming meds. I told daron I feel like I'm pregnant already because I keep having to shift in order to make it so nothing is pushing on anything else, and I still have 5.5 days of growing for these follicles to do. I can't complain too much though because if this gets us the baby/babies we want it will all be completely worth it!

Now is the TMI part of the post. So if you don't want to read about anything to do with my sex life quit reading now.

Ok fair warning was given, I kind of expected cramping and bloating due to my hard working ovaries and lots of follicles. I didn't account for the fact that it would make sex really uncomfortable. Not that either one of us is really "in the mood" lately since Daron has been working overtime and we are both stressed(though trying hard not to be). It was just one of those things I thought I would mention for those wondering what to expect from the IVF process.

New Family Member

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In case you haven't noticed we have a lot of animals. I don't think I'd know what to do if I wasn't surrounded by them. Sometimes they drive me crazy but I wouldn't trade them for anything each of them is a part of the family in one way or another. We currently have 3 dogs, Hunter(3), Ash(2), and Olive(10mo). A green cheek conure, Bobby(about 5 years old). 2 ducks (duckie and brownie) both about 3 years old. A turtle(not really named but referred to as mr. turtle). We also have 2 Koi and 5 goldfish(the goldfish were supposed to be food for the turtle apparently he was too lazy to catch them).

We considered adding a ferret but after researching ferrets determined that birds and ferrets really really don't like each other so decided a ferret would probably be a bad idea. Instead we got a bunny. He is currently 9.5 weeks old. We named him Jack. I'll post a picture soon :). Jack seems to be adjusting well so far and really seems to like Daron. What can I say I needed something else to keep me busy!

Back To Work

Well back to work today I had 10 days with no work. It was amazing! We didn't get nearly as much done as we were hoping to, but we did have a really relaxing vacation. We visited Jonamac apple orchard and Edwards apple orchard for apples, cider, and apple donuts. All delicious!

The floor in our bedroom is almost done, hopefully we can move back into that room by this weekend. Our bathroom is pretty much completely tore apart, we have a shower but no toilet or sink at the moment. The floor is tore up down to the subfloor and the walls are down to studs. We do have a toilet in the basement, hopefully we can finish it soon. It has to be done by October 3rd since I don't think either one of us will be feeling up to doing the basement stairs every time we have to pee.


My baseline Ultrasound was Friday. Everything went well, except for the nurse bruising me when she drew blood. Everything looked good though so I get to start stimming tomorrow. I will be on 225 iu of gonal-f. 150 iu in the morning and 75 iu in the evening. So that will bring me up to 3 injections a day.

Daron had to give a sample Friday as well. They called thursday and told us this so he wasn't real prepared. They said they like to check a 2nd sample just to make sure the lab that did the 1st did a thorough check for sperm and didn't screw anything up. Finding sperm would save Daron a surgery. However, they still find nothing, no little swimmers.

My 1st monitoring appointment will be Monday the 26th, hopefully everything is still going well at that point, and hopefully the nurse can get my blood without bruising me.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Well all of my goodies arrived Saturday, Daron was taking a shower when they came so he was very surprised when he got out. He couldn't believe how much stuff there was.

I started the Lupron Sunday and so far it has been going really well. I barely feel the injections and the only side effects I have had are a little bit of itching/swelling around the injection site for about 5 minutes. I have had headaches the last few days but that is nothing out of the ordinary so not sure I can blame the Lupron for that.


I love my husband more than anything. He constantly keeps me laughing. A few nights ago he had a cold and wasn't feeling very well so I decided to go with my mom to visit a friend in the hospital. He said ok because with the IVF stuff we don't want me sick. When I left the house he was sitting in the recliner we recently purchased. He looked about ready to fall asleep(that was at 5:30). At 9:30 I get a text from him to say hi. He then proceeds to tell me about how he fell asleep in the chair but then woke up because the chair had fallen backwards with him in it. Not only that but he then decided to lay there for about a half hour (hoping I would come home soon and help him up) before actually getting up. By the time I finish reading this story he has me laughing so hard I'm crying because this would only happen to him. At least he didn't try to kill a spider with the microwave this time.

And that is my husband. I am waiting for the time when I come home to firetrucks outside our house and him and our kids are going we don't know what happened...but heres the story. :)


Friday, September 9, 2011

Well all of my meds are ordered. They should be here tomorrow between 8am and 3pm. Total out of pocket came to $950. On the bright side we are now only $50 away from meeting our out of pocket max for prescriptions.

My "goodies" will include
1 2 week luprolide kit(lupron)
1 novarel injection
1 ovidrel injection
I believe they said 5 gonal-f units and syringes
and my Endometrin (progesterone supplement)

Don't worry I will make sure I take a picture of all my goodies when I get them :).


Thursday, September 8, 2011

So Daron has 0 sperm in his ejaculate(aka azoospermia). This occurs in only about 5% of infertile men. It has basically been determined that in our case his azoospermia is caused by a blockage. They believe this blockage was caused by inguinal hernia/hydrocele surgery when he was little. He had one surgery done at 5 months old and one surgery done at 4 years old. The good news is this means he is producing those little swimmers they just can't get out. This means we have a very good chance of retrieving some of them for our IVF cycle. However it also means they have to be surgically retrieved, not fun for Daron.

Due to where Daron's blockage is a surgery to repair it does not have a very good chance of success. This surgery has a high chance of success when the blockage is low(closer to the testicles). It has a much lower chance of working the higher the blockage is. Daron's is high therefore they said surgery would probably not be a good option.

Luckily he gets anesthesia for the procedure. If you are male and sensitive about details of surgeries of this sort you may not want to continue reading. The procedure or procedures they will be doing are MESA(microscopic epididymal sperm aspiration) and if they don't find anything with that they will proceed to TESE(microsurgical testicular sperm extraction). For MESA they use a microscope to determine the most likely areas for sperm and a needle to retrieve sperm from the epididymis(where sperm go to wait after they are created). For TESE they use a microscope to determine where sperm may be and then remove multiple tiny biopsies of tissue from the testicles that will be searched for sperm.

Yes I am very proud of Daron for being willing to go through with this. This is how much he wants children. He is going to make such a good daddy :).

Sometimes sperm retrieval is done before an IVF cycle is started and sperm is frozen for use with the cycle. I was told the reason not to do this is that "fresh" sperm is actually more likely to fertilize an egg than sperm that has been frozen. Therefore if we had done a pre-cycle retrieval for Daron they would have still recommended doing another retrieval at the same time as my egg retrieval to hopefully have fresh sperm. This would have postponed our cycle almost 3 months, and really wouldn't have helped anything except the knowledge that we would know 100% that they did or didn't find anything. We will be freezing any extra sperm they find for our future use in case something goes wrong this cycle.

Here are some links if you want to know more on any of this.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The orientation part of yesterday was much less stressful though still exhausting. They went over all the injections and different options of what I could choose to use for meds. They also gave us all the IVF, cryopreservation(freezing), sperm retrieval, etc. agreements to sign. There was more to sign there than when we bought our house! It was pretty close anyway, and we didn't even sign the financial agreements while we were there.

The injections don't look so bad most of them are small needles. I don't think I will have a problem doing them myself. The HCG shot though doesn't look so fun luckily its only 1 time. Daron doesn't think he can do it and I'm not too sure I could voluntarily stick that big of a needle in myself if I have the option for someone else to do it. Thankfully I have someone willing to do it for me. Thank you!

I start Lupron on Sunday. I'm hoping it doesn't mess with me too much. It is finally all starting to feel real though. We are both excited and scared at the same time. We will both feel better once retrieval is over and we know for sure we at least have sperm to work with.

Mock Transfer

Orientation and Mock Transfer was yesterday. It was exhausting.

This part might be TMI for some of you. I had to go in with a full bladder to do the mock transfer. OK anyone who knows me knows that I have a small bladder to begin with. I get up at least once during the night to pee, more If I drink anything before bed. One bottle of water = like 4 trips to the bathroom especially if I'm not doing anything. I also have a nervous bladder which doesn't help things. I can do this though, I just keep telling myself that. So I take 2 bottles of water with me, pee before we leave the house figuring we have an hour until we get to the clinic I can drink 1 bottle nice and slow and be good. We get about halfway there i've drank half the bottle and every bump we hit I feel like I'm going to pee my pants. No good. We stop so I can pee and then I start slowly finishing the bottle of water I have finished almost the rest of the bottle by the time we get to the clinic. I take the 2nd bottle in with me, And we wait. And Wait. And Wait. 20 minutes after I was supposed to be called I ask the receptionist how long it will be because I really gotta go. 5 minutes later she comes back and doesn't know but can't let me go to the bathroom to even partially empty my bladder either. So I sit and squirm another 5 minutes. Then I say "Screw this i'm gonna pee my pants if I sit here any longer". So I go "empty" about 2 oz and oh do I feel better 5-10 minutes later they finally call me. Oh and look my bladder is plenty full for them. I am not looking forward to going through this again for the actual transfer. However lesson is about 40 minutes and 1 bottle of water is plenty for me If they hadn't kept me waiting I would have bene fine. Sorry about the details. :)

IVF Consultation

I am going to kind of skim through the rest of what has happened In order to get caught up to the present so I can start posting all the random post ideas I have instead of just where we are, where we've been and what we're doing. Our Consultation appointment went great the RE(Reproductive Endocrinologist) Dr. G. Told us we had a very good chance of conceiving because I am young and perfectly healthy. He also gave us about the same odds as the urologist for retrieving sperm from Daron, 85% yay! He went through a brief overview of the process with us, answered our questions talked about the fact that we could end up with twins and even made the comment that we would then be getting (2 for the price of 1). I definitely like this Doctor. When we left I was told to call to report Day 1 of my cycle and that they would then tell me when to start taking a birth control pill. For those of you not familiar with the IVF process. Birth control pills are used in order for the doctor to have control of your cycle.

I started my cycle August 12th and they started me on Birth Control on August 16th. I then went in for a hysterosonogram(they use a catheter to inject a saline solution into your uterus through your cervix). This allows them to see your uterus lining and to make sure everything looks good. They also took all sorts of measurements of my uterus and ovaries. (It was actually pretty neat to see it all on the screen and watch as the saline solution filled my uterus, Daron even thought so). At the end of that appointment they said everything looked perfect. They told me to keep taking the birth control and the prescription prenatal and they would call and let me know what day we were aiming for to do egg retrieval since they have to coordinate with the urologists office.

A few days later I find out we are aiming for October 3rd for retrieval so they set up an orientation and mock transfer for September 6th, and tell me I will probably be starting injections around September 11th.

Follow up Appointment

We finally get to our follow up appointment which really is fairly pointless. The urologist says all hormone levels came back normal which further points to a blockage causing the 0 sperm count. We tell the urologist we looked into our insure and do have IVF coverage but it has a maximum of $10,000. We could choose to do a surgery to try and fix the blockage but the chance of it working to where we won't have to do IVF is less than 5%. It doesn't seem worth the time and money so we are going to go ahead with pursing IVF. So the Urologist gives us a referral to an IVF clinic his office works with. The referral is to an out of network clinic for us but we do have out of network coverage with our insurance. So we look into all the clinics our insurance covers in network but settle back on sticking with the one we have been referred to even though we will have to pay a little more. We get a consultation appointment scheduled and on to more waiting.

The Results

Friday, September 2, 2011

The day we got the results I somehow knew they weren't good. I usually work until about 6pm in the evenings and Daron sent me a message that day telling me to hurry home. I assumed it was because we had gotten some sort of news.

It wasn't good. They found 0, yes 0 sperm in his sample. Volume was great! That doesn't really make you feel better though when they tell you there were none. The Dr. said he really wasn't sure what this meant and gave Daron a referral to a urologist. So we call and make an appointment with the urologist. Then its on to more waiting. The day of the appointment the urologist looks through all of the paperwork we had filled out and turned in. He says the fact that Daron had an inguinal hernia/hydrocele surgery when he was little stands out to him and may very well be the cause of his 0 count. He then does a quick physical exam on Daron and informs us that YAY all the "plumbing" is there. He gives us an order for Daron to get blood work done at our local hospital. This will be checking Daron's hormone levels to make sure its not a hormone problem. The Dr. also tells us to look into what we have for IVF coverage in our insurance. So we make an appointment for 2 weeks from then to go over the results of the blood work. Of course this appointment gets canceled due to the Dr. being in emergency surgery and scheduled a week later, so more waiting.

After the Loss

We went through the visitation and the burial and started our grieving process. TTC had been put on the back burner while we were going through this and hadn't even been thought of. Now we thought it has to happen soon we lost one life and are going to bring a new one into the world soon. So we kept trying. Month after month still nothing.

Fast forward to The end of the summer of 2010 and I decide to go on birth control again, because I don't feel like we are in a good place in our marriage to have a child. I'm on it for a few of months while we get things figured out. Then we start trying again. By then end of January of 2011 we decide its time to make an appointment to get checked we had been trying almost a year previously and have now been trying about 3 more months.

We make an appointment with my Dr. who tells us that because I have always had regular periods and never shown any sign of a problem we should start with getting an SA(Semen Analysis) done for Daron. Shortly after that appointment we take our orders over to the hospital and they give us the rules for giving a sample. Daron takes a sample over and then we wait.


Some of this post may be TMI for those who are squeamish about elder/invalid care. We get everything set up and get him home. This starts 2 weeks of my life that I'm really not sure how to describe. When you take a patient home on hospice, you have CNA's and Nurses that check in periodically but the family is in charge of most of the care. The point of hospice is not to keep someone alive but to make them as comfortable as possible as they die. My brother and sister weren't comfortable with a lot of the care that had to be done and both had other commitments as well. Daron and I found we work great as a team so we took on the majority of the care. Changing the sheets, changing his shirt, changing his diaper(yes he needed an adult diaper as he still had no use of his left side). He did get to where he was fairly good at letting us know he had to pee and we could help him use the portable jug urinal.

We had countless people in and out of the house most days. As I stated in an earlier post my parents house is in a rural area. There is a 1/4 mile gravel driveway to get to the house and we were getting a lot of rain at this time. We actually had to barricade part of the driveway off and have people drive up the ditch so they wouldn't get stuck. Everyone was bringing food, coming to visit and say their goodbyes. He did get to a point where he was eating a little bit. He constantly wanted beer or tequila for some odd reason(he wasn't a big drinker). And he wanted chinese food. Of course any liquid had to be thickened(so he wouldn't choke) and any food had to be blended. We weren't getting much sleep a couple hours a night maybe. On the bright side my Dad kept us laughing, he had gained some speech back and was able to communicate fairly well.

Several times he tried to steal a cell phone from someone and call someone who cared. Even though he admitted we were trying and doing our best, and he knew how much we love him. He was also on morphine so thought he was in Colorado much of the time, and one time when I went to take a shower told me to watch out for the snakes(apparently we were in Louisiana when i asked him). We had my mom sleeping on the rollaway bed next to the hospital bed my dad was in. He would constantly pull himself to the edge of the bed so he could see her. They also have a little parrot that he constantly wanted to watch.

A few days before he passed we knew it was getting close and we asked to have our privacy from visitors. My Dad knew my mom would be taken care of, knew my brother would be OK, and knew that Daron and I would be OK, he was only still worried about my sister. Before she left one morning she came over to where I was laying on the floor and told me she was really happy and had told Dad the same thing. That morning after I switched to the couch my mom and I both finally fell asleep and Daron was asleep on the other couch. We fell asleep about 5 or 5 30 and my phone was set for my Dad's next morphine dose at 6. Between the time we all fell asleep and the time my alarm went off he passed peacefully in his sleep on March 16th of 2010.

Those 2 weeks were some of the hardest 2 weeks I have ever spent but they have been a big part of the person I have become today. Again I know this is a TTC blog but something like this changes a person so much it cannot help but be covered.

The Hospital

Still at the hospital they have now moved my Dad up to ICU he is still comatose and they have had to put a wrap and a glove on his right hand because even comatose he keeps trying to rip out his catheter. My family is all sitting in the hallway exhausted, emotional and not really knowing what to feel at the moment. We are trying to call all the people that need to know about this and trying to make sure we aren't forgetting anyone. Time goes by and things become a blur. At some point the people at the hospital gave us an empty room so we have have somewhere to sleep I try to sleep but every time I drift off I can hear the nurses and I'm afraid its going to be them saying that hes gone. Of course I have been awake for Over 24 hours at this point. At some point I walk in to my Dad's hospital room to check on him and stand there talking to him. His eyes open for just an instant and he reaches his right arm around me to give me a hug. The rest of my family gets the same from him as the day goes on and amazingly he regains consciousness, though he still has no use of his right side. He is able to communicate with us by blinking though he still has no speech. We decide to ask him one of the hardest questions you ever have to ask a person and we are fairly sure he is going to answer no, because we all know him. We ask him whether he wants a feeding tube and as expected he says no.
At this point his prognosis is still not good they have told us he may only have a few days as there was a lot of damage done to his organs but they can't be sure how long he really has. They tell us that if we want to we can get him set up on hospice and take him home so he can pass there. This is what we choose to do.

And Life Goes Wrong

Fast forward to the end of February, nothing has happened yet, we still aren't too worried as we know it can take awhile, but we still can't help but be disappointed. My Dad(61) has been dealing with health problems and so we are worried about that. We soon find out that he has lung cancer and needs to start treatment quickly as it is progressing fast.

Then the worst happens, I get a call from my mom at midnight about 2 hours after I left her house. Daron and I had been there to help get my Dad situated after a small procedure at the hospital. He seemed pretty out of it but we assumed it was from medication they gave him. We both considered staying the night with them in case they needed anything from us but decided that everything should be ok. The phone call 2 hours later was my mom saying she couldn't wake him up, he had fallen off of the rollaway bed he was on and now he wasn't responding to her. I'm getting shoes on and finding keys as I'm talking to her, telling her to try again and to try and get a response out of him. She says hes still not responding so I tell her to hang up and call 911. They live in a rural area so I know an ambulance will take about 30 min to get there. I wake Daron up tell him i'm leaving and I'll call him if I need him but right now go back to sleep.

It takes about 10-15 minutes to get from my house to my parents house, I call my sister on the way and tell her whats going on. I get there and my mom is on the phone with 911 telling them that he isn't responding and has wet himself twice now. I try and wake him up without success, I check his pulse and his breathing which are both there. I grab his left hand and ask him to squeeze and get no response I grab his right and do the same and get nice hard squeeze from him. I take the phone from my mom and tell the 911 operator that I believe he may have had a stroke, that he is responding when I ask him to squeeze but only with his right side and he is moving but is not coherent.

About 5 minutes after I get there the first squad car arrives. We get off the phone with 911 and the officer goes through the same checks I did and comes to the same conclusion. We are now trying to keep him as still as possible until the paramedics arrive which is another 15 minutes. I call Daron and tell him to go ahead and come out, and I call my brother to let him know what is going on. From there most of the night is a blur of cops and paramedics, we follow the ambulance to the hospital and from there are told we can sit in a private ER waiting room.

After 30-60 minutes we are told that my Dad has suffered a massive stroke and is showing signs he also had a couple of mini heart attacks, they aren't sure he will ever come out of the coma he is currently in. We can choose to send him to another hospital that specializes in strokes but they aren't sure he would even survive the transfer. Or we can keep him at the current hospital and they can make him as comfortable as possible.

We choose to do what we can for him here.

Starting The Journey

Well I will start by Introducing myself I am Sarah 24(22 at the time the journey was started). My husband is Daron now 26(24 at the time). It is October 2009 and we decide we are ready to start trying for a baby. We have been together since October of 2004 and Have been married over a year. Daron has a good job we are living in a decent house and looking into buying a house. I Graduate from college in 2 months, and it just feels like its the right time to start trying.

We start out not trying and not preventing so that we aren't too focused on it and when I am done with school we will start actually trying. Its exciting and its scary, but it feels right.

Fast forward to December and I'm done with school, I get my diploma and start looking for a full time job(my internship has a agreed to let me keep working even though i have graduated already). We closed on a house at the end of October and are all moved in and fairly settled. We decide to start trying a little harder. So I start temping/charting(though I really suck at remembering to do this), I buy some OPK's(Ovulation predictor kits) and I learn how to check my cervix and all the different signs of ovulation.

I give up on temping after the first month and a half because I can't remember to do it often enough for it to really mean anything I basically just concentrating on learning the signs of my body. So we keep trying.

The next several posts are going to be about my Dad. I know this is a TTC blog but losing my dad is part of that journey. It had a big impact on both Daron and I and therefore I feel it is something that shouldn't be left out.