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.