Category: Infertility


Today on twitter I have read three different posts on how to tell the infertile couple you are pregnant. This is funny because for the last 2.5 weeks I have suspected that my sister-in-law is pregnant and not telling me since she knows what we are going through. I feel with this whole IVF treatment it makes your senses even more heighten to seeing and knowing symptoms of pregnancy.

I have 3 types of online support that I am using to get through this IVF cycle, obviously this one where I can blog about what is going on with my cycle. Twitter, where I follow other infertile couples on their journeys through IVF, and BabyCenter, which I have a little group of 11 girls who are all the same age as me 24-26, going through IVF this May cycle with me. After reading those blogs and talking to the girls on my BabyCenter group I have realized a couple of things personally about telling the infertile couple you are pregnant.

I think it depends where you are in your infertility journey. My group on BabyCenter group are all first time IVFers, only 2 have done IUIs, and a couple took Clomid. We have barely been on this journey. So we are still excited whenever we hear of someone being pregnant. However, talk to us a couple of years from now if we have not had any children, and have spent thousands and thousands of dollars, we may not be as excited. I think the infertility journey can definitely wear you down.

  1. I also believe it depends on age. At 26, I know that I will probably keep doing treatments until I either am done having kids, or I get tired. Either way I have years ahead of me that I could potentially become pregnant. In my cohort at Dr. T’s office I am the youngest by 3 years.
  2. For me specifically, we have a male factor issue that was easily identified. My husband did have testicular cancer at 6 months old, so we already knew with chemotherapy and medication there could potentially be a problem. It was very sweet one day his mom and I went to lunch one day and she told me that she was sorry for making the decision that affected his fertility. I told her, that if she didn’t make that decision I probably wouldn’t have such a sweet husband.

This is how I look at it. Right now I am at the age where everyone is getting pregnant. I am one of those people who truly believe that everyone has their own struggles, whether its school related, financial, family etc. The Huz and I have an extremely blessed life, great families on both sides and have not really had to worry about anything. So the way I look at it now is that our struggle is fertility, and if this is the most difficult struggle we go through, I’ll take it. The Huz is such a wonderful man, and I couldn’t imagine a better person to go through this with. So when people are trying to figure out how to be sensitive to the infertile couples need, I would look at where they are at in their journey, how old there are, and be sensitive to that. Every couple handles news different, just make sure you do your research before you drop the bomb.

Hoping everyone is having a great day! Peace, Love and Baby Dust!

I had two days without any mention of IVF, but today I went to acupuncture.  I have been going since January, at first I was going every other week and then since March I have been going every single week.

 My very first visit to acupuncture was TERRIFYING.  I went because my husband was going.  So I thought I should try it out.  When I showed up for my first appointment, I suddenly realized that I have an intense fear of needles. I go back to the room, and lay down on the bed.  This acupuncturist is a known fertility acupuncturist and every month she puts up the new pregnancies and if they were clinically assisted or natural.  So, apparently she knows what she is doing.

 When I got the first needle stuck in me, it hurt so BAD.  I was so tense and I was flexing every muscle I was so scared.  The acupuncturist told me I had to relax.  It took me about 4 sessions before I understood what I needed to do.  Now I go every week and I really love it.  It’s so calming and relaxing, it’s like you can almost feel the warmth of energy flowing through your body.

I also love it because in every single room she has huge posters of her acu-babies.  Majority are twins, and she says that happens mostly when it is clinically assisted, but a significant amount of her twins are natural too.  He oldest client to get pregnant is a 52-year-old woman, although she did use a donor egg.

 My acupuncturist does some weird things, she feels my pulse and has always been able to tell my when I am going to start my period, when changes are happening in my body and has even been able to tell my mood.  She says my eggs are in great shape, and I hope she is right.   It’s kind of crazy.  But now I really love going.  She wants me to come every week.  The week of retrieval I will go twice a week and the week of transfer I will go twice a week again. Then I will keep going until the first trimester is over.

 Oh the things we do for babies!

12 days, just 12 more days till the first shot begins. I just got really excited, nervous, and anxious all at the same time!  I just can’t believe that after all these months we are finally here, and in a 7 short weeks I could potentially be pregnant (at my clinic they would make me take out the potential because it infers doubt.)

 I have two infertility nurses that I work with, I will call one Red due to the color of her hair, and the other Boss, because she is the one that bosses me around and tells me what I have to get done or my cycle will be cancelled.

Red called this morning to let me know that all my medications have been ordered.  I will pick up the Oral Medication today from my local CVS and the other items are coming from the Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy in the mail.  I think I got lucky all my medications will be around $2200 when everything is said and done.  My insurance did cover a large portion of it. 

So here is the game plan:

ART class was on March 30th, Red taught this class, she also taught the injections class that was held a month prior, I really like her, she is warm, kind and willing to answer any questions.  She has been an infertility nurse for about 9 years.

 Instructions after ART class- begin taking baby aspirin in the AM and take pre-natal vitamin and DHA everyday anytime.

For babywishes25 and IVF Jess I talked to her this morning about how long I would be on baby aspirin, and she told me my entire pregnancy.  She said get a big bottle, make sure it is not over 81mg, and plan on taking it every morning.

First day of my menstrual cycle was: April 3

Begin Birth Control Pills: April 3

Last dose of BCP: April 28

 I have not been on birth control in about 1.5 years, so the major side effect I experience is extremely tender and swelling breast.  I have already gone up one full size, if this is any indication of what my symptoms will be with pregnancy, I am going to have some big boobs.  Side effects are different for everyone.

April 14-Sonohysterogram and saline ultrasound aka Test Run for Transfer Day (if there was an obstruction i.e. fibroids, closed cervix, etc) they would re-evaluate if you would be able to continue in this cycle or would have to wait till the next cycle so they can clear the obstruction.

April 15– Lab Draw (9 freaking tubes)

April 29 – May 5 – the Huz will be on Doxycycline (this is a precaution to ensure his body is free of any infection.)

April 29 – May 7 – I will take Lupron and Dexamethasone (which I had NO idea what dexamethasone was, and I am still not sure.  I looked it up on RXlist.com and this was the description: Dexamethasone is used to treat conditions such as arthritis, blood/hormone/immune system disorders, allergic reactions, certain skin and eye conditions, breathing problems, certain bowel disorders, and certain cancers. It is also used as a test for an adrenal gland disorder.

This medication is a corticosteroid hormone. It decreases your natural defensive response and reduces symptoms such as swelling and allergic-type reactions. )

I will blog about why I think they have me on this after I talk with the doctor some more this afternoon.

May 8 – 12- add Follistim to the mix, and experience your ovaries grow from the size of Walnuts to Softballs!  Yes, Softballs. At this point you are no longer allowed to exercise.   Due to the risk of your ovary turning over which may cut off blood supply and will result in emergency surgery and possible ovary removal.  Additionally, you are no longer allowed to pick up anything over 10 lbs (I think they were trying to scare me on purpose.)

 Sonograms scheduled for May, 13, 16 and 17

Last blood draw on May 14 to check progress, I am actually out-of-town and had to find a Lab that was willing to page my Doc the results that day.  Boss said if I did not get that in, my cycle would be cancelled! So I had that taken care of immediately!

Possible retrieval days May 18, 19, or 20

Transfer day is typically on the 5th day, some may be on the 6th depending on the development of the blast.  All transfer must be done by the 6th day due to the nutritional changes the embryo will need.  

 At my appointment on May 13, I will receive my last lab draw form and my last calendar but first Beta test should be around June 2nd.

This is the game plan thus far; I will update you all as the day’s progress.  I am excited to be so close!

Today, I found out I was special.  I had my first doctor appointment of the IVF process.  I am still on the BCP and will continue to take them the rest of the month as my shots do not start until April 29th.  Today was my Sonohysterogram, saline ultrasound (test run to make sure there are no possible fibroids or obstructions that could prevent egg transfer.)  So, I go into the bathroom, remove the necessary clothing and walk out in my see-thru sheet.  I guess it doesn’t matter how thin the sheet is when they are about to go down under anyway (modesty is not a luxury for childbirth and IVF totally prepares you for that.)

So the lady nurse goes down under, and starts the vaginal ultrasound.  She then goes, “Woah, that’s neat.”  I am thinking, what is there a baby in there already! (A girl can dream)

Then the conversation proceeds as follows:

Nurse: You have a retroverted uterus!
Me: I got a… what?
Nurse: Your uterus is backwards! It’s pretty rare.
Me: Is that a bad thing, will that affect pregnancy?
Nurse: Not at all its just rare and unique, it’s like being left handed.
Me: So…Does that make me…Special?
Nurse: Absolutely!

So that was my feel-good special moment of the day, my uterus is backwards!  Who would have thunk it? Other than that, all systems look good.  No abundance of cysts, just the normal amount, and the catheter went in just fine (although I wish he could have been a little bit more gentle when testing it out) as of right now everyone is pretty hopeful.  The worst part of this trial run was standing up only to let saline hit the floor, and my legs, thank goodness the nurse moved my shoes.  So there is nothing left to do but be hopeful, stay positive, reduce stress, and wish for the best!

Lots of baby dust to you as well!

Today was the beginning of my secret life. I now understand how difficult it was for Clark Kent, to keep his secret from others.

The Huz and I decided two things when we started IVF. We would only tell a select few people in our family and I would leave my job for another or just quit due to the high amounts of stress. We decided this for many reasons. Our first reason was that we did not want everyone to know that we were going through IVF. When everyone knows they begin rooting for you and start building up enormous amounts of hope. Not that we are not hopeful, but our friends and family will constantly ask how the process is going, do we need anything, and God forbid if it does not work on the first try, not only will we be crushed but they will as well (both families are HUGE and involved and we both have a large social circle.) Therefore, we keep it between us and the few, (when I say few I mean 6 other people) and then if it turns out that it does not work, only the 8 of us will be sadden, and we spear everyone else from heartache. Luckily, the Huz and I have an extremely close relationship, and have been constant uplifting supports for each other.

Also, the less people who know, the less stress I will endure. What I have gathered from following blogs, tweets and other online forums, it seems that the less stress you put on yourself the more successful. I was a researcher in graduate school, and because of that I always OVER research and OVER plan everything! So I did not treat IVF any different, and the commonality regardless of food changes, drink changes, and medication changes, the most successful IVFs were when the couple was the least worried about success, and had the least amount of stress. Of course it is difficult not to stress, for goodness sake, you are stabbing yourself multiple times a day, taking oral medication, in a constant reminder that I have to do this to have a child. So to say not to stress is difficult, but what we can do is try to reduce the stress around us and try to put as much humor into IVF as possible.

Luckily I have just left the most stressful job in the world, for a job with a considerable pay increase and less that 1/64 of the stress. So I am lucky, but I knew I had to get out of my last job becuase it was changing my personality for the worst.

This leads me to my now double life! Today was the first appointment of a series of appointments that I will have over the next couples of months. I will write about this particular appointment after this. So I have now put on my work calendar these various appointments and listed them as random Dentist, Dermatologist, and Doctor Appointments.

I started this job over a month ago, so if I do get pregnant it wont look like I got a job and instantly got pregnant, however I do have to conjure up some excuses for the egg retrieval day and the transfer days…So, I am thinking, my diagnosis will be Diarrhea! Diarrhea is always a GREAT reason to stay home. Fortunately I have the capability to be able to connect to the server and work from home. However the two days I need pure rest, I have been diagnosed with chronic diarrhea! No one wants to be around someone who is constantly on the toilet, I mean you start to wonder, did they wash their hands? Did their poop splatter everywhere? Did they touch anything? Do they smell like poop? What did they eat? No one wants someone with chronic diarrhea around them, because you start to believe all you smell is poop! So I have time bank for the actual retrieval day and I will have Diarrhea so chronic I cannot leave my house for 3 days, which will just so happen to coincide with transfer day.

Call me Clark Kent.

I feel really lucky so far in the InVitro process.  We knew there potentially could be a problem regarding infertility, so we did not experience the years of trying to conceive before finding out there was a problem.  Furthermore due to our good ‘ol Military insurance, every doctor we see has to be referred from our family practitioner. 

I really dislike my family practitioner; she seems extremely overwhelmed, and makes you feel like she does not have time/nor wants to see you.  When she comes in I end up sounding like a robot because I begin to talk so fast to ensure I get all I need to say in.  However she does have one exceptional quality, she gives us AMAZING referrals.  Every doctor that I have been referred to has been magnificent! 

She did not disappoint either with my IVF Doc, who I will affectionately call Dr. Truth or Dr. T for short.  His rank changes from year to year but per the last ranking I found he was ranked number 3 in the United States and he is usually in the top Ten. 

Now, you may be wondering why I call him Dr. Truth this is because he has a no bullshit approach which is very difficult for a lot of people.  Especially when you have been dealing with infertility for years, he may come off as insensitive.  He will tell you point-blank if you need to lose weight and how much, he will change your diet, make you have loads of tests done, and give you realistic chances of success.  He is a genius, and sometimes if you are a genius you may lack fundamental social skills. I like him, because I appreciate his intelligence and understand his attitude. 

Bottom line is he cares about the success of his program, which I interpret as “I will do everything in my power to get you pregnant on the first try so you don’t mess with my numbers…Muahhahahah” (imagine a little man with large glasses, he reminds me of the mouse Brain from the cartoon show Pinky and the Brain.) 

With him we must attend two classes about a month before we start the IVF Process.  First is the ART class and second is the Injections class.  At the injections class we practiced giving shots on a fake bottom.  When I saw that 2 inch needle I thought I would pass out!  And of course my husband starts giggling.  I then told him if he doesn’t watch it he will wake up with one of these needles in the middle of his butt!

Then ART class is where they gave us our protocol calendar and a rundown of the next three months.  They do not give you the third month until right before retrieval.  I have already been taking prenatal vitamins since last year.  I take Rainbow Light I prefer the one pill a day which will last 5 months if you get the big bottle, but I accidentally bought the Bio-complete system this time which you take 6 a day (I am waiting to take those until I am completely out of the other, because it has high vitamin content which will be good for baby.)  I also take Solray DHA once a day, it’s an organic vitamin and I was told I will absorb it better.    I am currently on BC given to me by Dr. T, and he told me to start taking a Bayer Baby Aspirin everyday in the morning to help with blood flow.   He ordered me to NOT take any Chinese Herbs, but encourages me to go to acupuncture weekly.  I also get a massage once a week (through Massage Envy), I tell my husband that I need it to help with the relaxation process, I try to go to yoga as much as possible, but if I can’t make it I don’t stress and have started taking walks with my dog every evening.  So I feel on track that way. 

So for now,  I plan on keeping stress low, eating well, and staying positive.  I wish ALL my fellow IVFers Much luck and Baby DUST!

“In my quest for world domination I will get every woman Pregnant!”