Category: Medications


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As you know we are ready to start thinking about Baby #2.  So we went to see Dr. Truth and talked about plans for the next baby and what we would need to do.  Everything seemed great and since this is not our first rodeo it was brief.  We then go into Nurse Boss’s office and she said so what date do you want, and the Huz says May! I look at him like what! He then gives me that, “Well why not?” stare…I told Nurse Boss that we will call her tomorrow with an answer.  Since I thought we had decided we were going to wait until the July cycle.

At this point I am not on board…I don’t think we are ready for number two, I have so many projects that I want to get done before I get pregnant.  Well more like purchases not projects! So I call my mom and she tells me if you are not emotionally or physically ready for another baby then don’t do it, but if it’s because of finances, I expect you to go through this in May.  Don’t get me wrong, we are not super wealthy, but we are pretty comfortable, and I just had other things I wanted to buy that we were saving up for before I had another baby.

So I call Nurse Boss and tell her that we are going to be doing the MAY cycle! Yep! That’s right! We are going through this in less than 2 months, so my 4-5 month window just CLOSED very quickly. I do not even have my protocol yet, but I will start BC pills today.  So wish me luck and we start this FET process! I honestly can’t believe it, but It is a relief because the decision is made and we are doing it. So here’s to stickiness!

Sorry I have not been keeping up on the blog this last week. I have been very tired this past week. I am thinking that it’s the side effect of the progesterone and all the other drugs. With my body mimicking pregnancy, I think I am feeling the full side effects of fatigue!

Anyway, I knew I had told everyone on Twitter I would share our egg retrieval story. The Huz and I look back at it now, and realize that we must be extremely positive people, because we could have easily been really upset or discouraged after the process. Instead, we thought everything went great! Until the Huz and I had our check up and the doctors where apologizing for what happened during retrieval. We both were like what went wrong?

Well let’s go back to the Friday before retrieval at my weekly check up, and they tell me that I will probably have retrieval on Wednesday at the rate of egg growth. They also warned me that my estrogen may be high due to the number of eggs. Nurse Red says to me that she hopes that it’s no higher than 2200. She would give me a call once the blood work came in. When I get the call, my estrogen is 2208. THANK GOD! Then she said that tomorrow Dr. T will call after the blood work. She tells me to lower my Follistim from 300 to 50.

Then as you all may have read my Chicago story “STFU and do what I say” It was not easy getting that blood draw, and my cycle would have been cancelled if I didn’t. My estrogen went to 2800 and it was for sure that I was having retrieval on Wednesday.

So I go in Monday and I am so uncomfortable I am having a difficult time breathing. They take my blood and my estrogen was at 5000. I stopped taking Follistim, took the HCG trigger on Tuesday and went in on Wednesday. Walking had become unbearable, I felt like my ovaries were pushing on everything.

The Huz’s procedure was in-patient, so he went to the doctor’s office and I went to the outpatient surgery wing. My surgery was supposed to be at 9 am at 10 am I was still laying there. My MIL was with me and we are wondering what was going on.

The Huz is at the urologist office, they are supposed to do a biopsy to get sperm. They do the initial biopsy and give it to the embryologist who I will call Dr. G for Genius. He comes back and says there is no sperm in the specimen. Dr. Urologist looked white as a ghost according to the Huz because he had guaranteed sperm, and right now there wasn’t any. Basically what happens next is enough to make anyone nauseous. Dr. G and Dr. Urologist began to weigh their options, we had no donor sperm, since I was already on the over stimulated side, there was no way I could wait another day and I was prepped for surgery. They decide they have to basically operate on the Huz in the office! The Huz obviously is awake and is only given a local, as they cut deeper he repeatedly has to tell them he feels pain, and they keep giving him injections. The Huz witnessed Dr. Urologist take his testicle out, basically cut it in half and dig for sperm! The whole time, the Huz (who is not very spiritual) says he is praying to God that there is something, some sperm somewhere. Because the last words he heard Dr. Urologist say to Dr. G was if there is no sperm in that sample we will not find any.

This whole time I am just waiting, wondering what is going on. Then they take me back and retrieve 31 eggs and 26 of these are mature.

Dr. G said because of all this last-minute and being unprepared for what happened could be the reason our fertilization rate dropped drastically. We already knew we were going to have to do ICSI, so at least that was in the plan. He was able to injection most of the eggs but not all the sperm was fully mature. They worked on our group from 10 am to 7 pm that evening. In the end we have 6 viable eggs for a 5 day transfer. They implanted 2 blasts, and only one made it to the 6th day so it could be frozen.

Dr. Urologist explained that if we ever do IVF again, the Huz will also be put anesthesia and have surgery too. The Huz had a ton of stitches inside and out, and could not get out of bed for 4 days. We looked pathetic, me on bed rest for 2 days, he not being able to walk, and my sister working overtime to take care of us.

So thank goodness we didn’t even realize what went wrong until a week later! But, hey everything happens for a reason and we are fine! We haven’t decided yet if we would do IVF again, we will def use the frozen embie when the time comes, but to go through everything again, right now we are not sure. We will keep you posted. As for now we are just praying and hoping that these two stick or at least one!

Beta is on Thursday, can’t wait! We are both pretty excited!

Before this whole experience I had an intense fear of needles.  I never looked when people drew my blood.  I would always have to take the time to mentally prepare myself if I was going to get a shot.  I remember my very first acupuncture appointment (back when I was going for asthma) and it was terrifying! I was in so much pain because I could not loosen up my muscles.  I was so scared.  Now needles have become second nature.  I still hesitate when I am taking my morning shot.  But it has become less stressful.  I am going to acupuncture twice a week right now.   I am also going to a chiropractor once a week to help with aligning my hips and all that good stuff.  I do not want to even know what the total cost of all of this will amount too.   This whole process is so expensive and we are over the $10,000 mark.  However we have paid for a lot of our treatments up front, and the only payment left is for ICSI.

I had my sonogram check up today, everything looks good.  I had a little fluid in the endometrial cavity, but that was my period coming to an end. Then I had the weekly blood draw, which I am keeping count of tubes of blood and I am now up to 13.  

I am still excited and very hopefully.  My mom and mom in law are both having a very hard time containing their excitement, especailly since there are only 8 total people who know about our relaitonship with IVF.  So we are all still on team hope.  Dr. T seems very optimistic too.  He said that my ovary functioning test was very high so we should get some really good eggs. The Huz is doing his part too.  He just finished up his antibiotics, and has been eating so healthy it really puts me to shame. He wants his swimmers to be in tip top shape.  He is so supportive and feels guilty about all the shots I have to take, which is very sweet.  Also, The Huz is a man that never dreams, and he told me that he had a dream he was playing with our baby’s curly hair last night.  Precious! 

Anyway, I just wanted to check in.  Also to any military spouse’s Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day.  I too am an Army wife, and its nice to be recognized!  The Huz has had 2 deployments to Iraq and I am the FRG lead so we know how tough it really is!

Have a positive IVF day!

Daily Shout Outs:

@VeeNora hoping next week your receive you BFP!

@IVFjess praying for you to have peace.  Also praying for positive news!

@Ashann7 hoping you have a wonderful transfer and for lots of stickiness!

@fertilitychick that the adoption process goes smoothly, as a person who conducts home studies, I know the hurry up and wait game is very tiring!

@babywishes25 that everything will go perfect in your IVF! Only positive thoughts to you!

The one thing IVF does is rid you of all modesty…and shame.  First the constant shoving of probes and tubes up your vagina.  Jesus…every week they say we need to do an ultra sound to check on progress.  Silly me thought, oh like if there was a baby in there.  Nurse Red, not that kind, the kind that goes in your vagina. Now when I hear ultrasound, I think… “I am going to insert this probe into your vagina again, and because I do this so often, I am going to stop being gentle, and shove it in.”  I wasn’t modest before, but now the drop your pants, scoot your butt down to the end of the table and spread them dance has become common place. So I look forward to my check up appointment on Friday for my 4th ultrasound since this process started.  However the great news is Follistim begins on Saturday!!  Grow follicles Grow! 

Back to the point of this entry, I have been on Lurpon now for 5 days.  I still hesitate before I stick the needle into my belly.  I get nervous and then I will usually prick myself, bleed, say “oh shit,” and then re-stick the needle in properly. Today I have an early work event.  I had to be at work ready to go at 6 am.  6 am is early, but I think it’s better than working the streets at 10 pm like I was as a family therapist in foster care.

Here in lies the problem, I take my shot at 7 am, everyday and I am very adamant about taking the shot at the same time.  So today when I packed my lunch I packed a prefilled needle with 20 units of Lupron.  I also packed my little drug baggy with baby aspirin, ½ tabs of dexamethasone and pre-natal vitamin to take at 7 am.  Today I worked with all men, thank goodness because they do not suspect anything when you take your lunch box with you to the bathroom at 7 am. So I go to the nasty, smelly, bathroom and pull out my pre-filled Lupron that made it safely to work in one piece (to be extra cautious I put an ice pack in my lunch since Lupron is kept in the fridge.)

So, at this point, things are still going smooth and I am still a Happy IVF Girl.  Hopefully we keep it that way.

I forgot to tell you one thing that happened with the start of the Lupron shot. Nurse Red had warned us that some of us may start a period since we stopped the birth control. She stated it was not a big deal, so not to worry. What I was not prepared for was the cramping. Having a period on Lupron is hard to explain. It’s like your car battery is dying and the lights are flashing on and off, you may get an engine rev or two, but never fully starts. So… it was like having a period/not having a period with cramping, and not being able to take Advil due to taking the aspirin. So my Lupron present was cramps for 3 days. I usually experience cramps during my period, but I take Advil in the morning and then do not feel them all day. So if this happens to you, its normal according to Nurse Red.

Four days of shots.  I have accidently stuck myself twice and bleed, but I have successfully administered all four shots.  They are actually getting easier.  I just take a deep breath and stick in all the way in.  You HAVE to break the skin. When you just prick the skin, you bleed. I’ve learned this the hard way.  Also the Lupron shot has made me much more efficient about taking my baby aspirin and dexamethasone. I do not like the 7 am wake up that I still have to do on the weekend since that is the time I choose to take my shots.  But Dr. T wanted the Lupron in the mornings and that is right before I leave for work.

Yesterday was the last day I could play Kickball.  It was a good time, and I even scored a run.  Here ensues the beginning of my double life with my friends.  I have yet to tell them that I will not be there for next week’s game.  I cannot play anymore now that I am getting in the thick of things.  It was easy to think of things for work, but friends, they will know something is up, so I have had to become a pathological liar.

I told them I didn’t drink because I was still hung over from drinking a bottle of wine Saturday night at dinner (lie #1, I have not had alcohol or caffeine in 3 months, although I do miss a good Chardonnay.)  I told them that I will stay on first base this week because it’s my area of expertise (lie #2, I’m good at first base but I did not want to play outfield yesterday because if the ball is kicked your way its hits your belly hard, in turn hits your ovaries, not risking that!)  Will you be at next week’s game? Yeah, I think so (lie#3, no I will not be at next week game. I start taking Follistim which will now enlarge my ovaries to the size of softballs, and exercise may increase the risk of one of them turning over and possibly lead to the removal of a tube and an ovary, so hell-to-the-no!)

So here I am lying to everyone, just lie, lie, lie.  I feel like a government agent running a secret mission that has the highest level of security.  No one can get a clearance badge unless they directly talk with the director.  Then I hope I have a bigger secret to keep, at least from work, until I hit my 91st day of employment, which hopefully I’m at about 8 or 9 weeks along.

So anyway, have a wonderful IVF week and here’s to BFPs!

One.

Today was the first shot.

I was so nervous. At first I could not do it, but then I just said, I have too and stuck the needle in.  I feel like, I still feel the prick of the needle, but that is me being silly.  It stung just a little bit when pushing the fluid in, but the needle itself was not as bad as I thought.  Although after taking this shot, I am more terrified of the progesterone shot.  We will see how it goes, but if I want these babies this is what I got to do to get them.  Although, I am thinking, how do you do this over and over?  I have a new respect for those women who have had numerous IVF cycles.  And today is just day one.

Protocol for the next two weeks:

½ tab of Dexamethasone AM
1 baby Aspirin Am
20 u of Lurpon AM 

The Huz
Doxycycline twice daily for 7 days

Have a great IVF day!

So I have this butterfly feeling like its Christmas.  I am not sure if it’s because I took my last birth control pill, or because I have my shot ready to go for tomorrow.  But it feels like tomorrow is such a big day.  The beginning of my first IVF, the Huz is very excited to be starting this process as well.  We are both staying optimistic. We are doing everything we feel is right.  We did not change our eating too drastically, but I am a health and wellness coach, so we just live a healthier lifestyle.   I will be sure to update you daily on my progress, and I have a feeling that the next 3 weeks to retrieval are going to fly by! 

I also think it will be fun to be pregnant with my sister in law and if everything went well for both of us we would only be 8 weeks apart!  At this point all we have is hope, hope, hope.  We will continue to hope, just like a little kid on Christmas hoping for that present they have wanted all year.  It’s the same feeling.  All we can do is hope for the best.  We already know what the worst is, so why constantly think about that.

Today I am working at a hospital and saw the most precious newborn baby boy.  I thought it would have been weird to ask to hold him.  However, I am sure they were creeped out by my intense staring. I can’t wait for the day when the Huz and I get to leave the hospital with our baby. 

So the next 4 -5 weeks, we will dedicate our lives to hope.

I got my box of meds yesterday and was totally overwhelmed! I looked at this box and thought I need to retake my injection class. There were so many needles and medications, I was totally confused! Last night I sat down and laid everything out. I actually read al instructions to the medications. Sadly, this is probably the first time I have ever done this. I feel more comfortable now, and really sorted the box. I am ready for every shot except that progesterone, DANG that needle is really big and very scary. Does it have to be so big, really? Let me know if you have any tips for making it easier.

I still can’t believe that it is here, we have been planning this since January, so I cannot believe how fast this has gone. I am very hopeful and staying that way. Since my cousins passing, I have started getting back on track. I am trying to go to bed at 9:30 every night. I am staying relaxed and slowly re-introducing tasks into my daily life. Still going to acupuncture once a week, and getting a massage every week. Staying clear of processed foods and just being healthy.

Daily Shout-Outs

@jesanholi hoping for a BFP in 10 days!

@VeeNora Hoping those eggs mature! Good Luck on your 3 day transfer!

@FertilityChick Hoping the adoption goes smoothly!

Also please pray for my SIL that is pregnant, she is experiencing bleeding and cramping, so please send out some prayers and positive thoughts her way.

Hoping everyone who is having blood draws this week gets their BFPs, and those who are in the 2ww and have found out they are pregnant, I pray that you all have a peace of mind.

Happy National Infertility Week

I have read many blogs, forums, and posts about the benefits of pineapple during IVF.   Since I started researching IVF I have been sifting through information on the benefits of pineapple.  In pineapple the vitamin bromelian is the active ingredient and is supposedly beneficial for IVF. 

Then my next step was to Wiki it, this is the information I found about Bromelain:

Bromelain is present in all parts of the pineapple plant (Ananas sp.), but the stem is the most common commercial source, presumably because it is readily available after the fruit has been harvested. Pineapples have had a long tradition as a medicinal plant among the natives of South and Central America.

Today, about 90% of meat tenderizer is used in consumer households. Bromelain is sold in a powdered form, which is combined with a marinade, or directly sprinkled on the uncooked meat. The enzyme will penetrate the meat, and by a process called forking, cause the meat to be tender and palatable when cooked. If the enzyme is allowed to work for too long, the meat may become too “mushy” for many consumers’ preferences. Cooked or canned pineapple does not have a tenderizing effect, as the enzymes are heat labile.

Although available in some countries (not the United States) as a product under the name ‘Ananase’, bromelain has no scientifically accepted therapeutic indications as an oral agent. It has a reputation for various uses in folk medicine. First introduced in medical research in 1957, bromelain may work by blocking some proinflammatory metabolites when applied topically. Preliminary research indicates that bromelain may affect migration of neutrophils to sites of acute inflammation.[4] As a potential anti-inflammatory agent, it may be useful for treating arthritis,[5] but has neither been confirmed in human studies for this use nor is it approved with a health claim for such an effect by the Food and Drug Administration or European Food Safety Authority.

So, this is what I take from this, Pineapple is supposed to make the uterus soft, which will make the eggs stick, because bromelain is a meat tenderizer and an anti- inflammatory.   The medication that I did not know about until today Dexamethasone has some similar properties.  It is a steroid and an anti-inflammatory.  I am supposed to be on it for a total of 3 weeks. So I feel that part has been taken care of, through other research I read stated it is supposed to make the uterus sticky, I am not sure how I feel about that.  Anyright, the max amount to eat is supposed to be about one cup of pineapple a day. Then I read a blog by TheIvfGirl about what her Doc had said about pineapple a year ago.

The benefits of pineapple for IVF

by Beth

When I was going through my IVF protocol, my doctor suggested I develop a sweet tooth for PINEAPPLE.  Yes, pineapple!  (I only had pineapple in my cocktails prior to that.  Not kidding.)

Supposedly, eating pineapple starting on the transfer date will increase the chances of a success.  Sticky beans!  Baby dust!

FRESH pineapple.  And the fruit closest to the core.  So you have to crack that thang open and start slicing.

Pineapple is a bromeliad fruit and contains the enzyme that breaks down protein. And there may be some proteins in the uterus inhibiting the embryos from “sticking.”

This could be an old wive’s tale or a myth but I had my fresh pineapple (about a cup a day) and now I am obviously knocked up (swollen ankles!)  My doctor told me there is no concrete proof it works either but it could lend an edge to the whole procedure.

I stored my pineapples on the kitchen counter and NOT in the refrigerator.  Stays fresher.   And I ate it for three days – starting on the transfer date.

My remaining fruit?  Funnily enough, I used it as a meat tenderizer.   Which sorta makes sense as it broke down the protein in the meat.  Which is what might have been happening in my uterus.  Which is probably why, months later, all I want to do is eat cheeseburgers all day.

Hmmmm.

Then the second post I really like is this one and it also talks about Pineapple and Baby Aspirin.

How to have a successful IVF

By bdavis76, eHow User 

So you’re here. First of all, congratulations and I’m sorry. If you’re here, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Getting pregnant is an emotional rollercoaster and if you’re preparing for a successful IVF then you’ve been through quite a rollercoaster already. I’m not going to guarantee you will get pregnant from this IVF, but if you follow these steps you will know you’ve done everything in YOUR power to make it successful. Know that I am praying for you and so are many other people in this world.

1 Acupuncture for pregnancy preparation, once a week for one hour. If you haven’t started acupuncture, I highly recommend it. Realize that acupuncturists are unique individuals but they have a way of understanding your body differently than our doctors. Blood flow is key to creating a healthy womb and that is one area an acupuncturist can help. Make weekly appointments and try to keep it at about the same time and day every week. Talk to your acupuncturist as well. Fill him/ her in on where you are in this journey. You need a confidant who is not too personally involved.

2  No alcohol or caffeine once you start your first shot
It’s better if you wean yourself a couple of months before you start the IVF process, but officially ban alcohol and caffeine from your diet once you’ve started your first shot. Your body needs to prepare for pregnancy, so let it be as healthy as possible.

3 Shots – give your shots consistently, same time every day
The more consistent your shot schedule is the better your body can prepare and use the necessary medicines.

4 Rest – Shoot for 9 hours of sleep a night.  The more rest you get, the more your body can prepare for pregnancy and focus on that.

5  Pineapple – start eating pineapple once you start the Follistim shots (or whichever ovulation inducer you are taking) and continue eating pineapple until you are done with bedrest. Yes, the more pineapple the better. I recommend using it as a dessert for all three meals every single day. It’s healthy and there’s something special in it to help with pregnancy. Not sure what, but it’s magic.

6  Stop exercising – yes, that’s right, I said stop!
You’re body is going through a traumatic event AND it’s preparing to become pregnant. Working out takes that energy to a different place. If you’re dying to do something, walk. No sit ups! No weights! No bouncing! Your ovaries are growing and growing and they can actually become damaged. Protect them! Working out can come back into your life after the baby arrives!

7  Baby aspirin – take one once a day starting the day after retrieval Baby aspirin helps encourage blood flow through your body and specifically to your uterus. Help that home be nice and cozy for that baby (or babies!).

8 Gatorade – start drinking Gatorade on your way home from the egg retrieval and drink it continuously until you get your positive pregnancy test.  Your eggs have been taken, but your ovaries are now filled with blood. You are most likely going to feel some discomfort and maybe even some pain. Gatorade helps reduce that pain and lets your ovaries recover easier. If you have strong cramping pain, drink more Gatorade. Obviously call your doctor too, just to make sure they’re in the loop.

9 REST!!! – Take the entire day off of everything on the day of your retrieval. Even better, that the next day too.
Rest means, laying down watching old movies (and sitcom, Dawson’s Creek and Sex in the City were two of my favorites) and read novels (try to stay away from the pregnancy books right now).

10  Acupuncture – Make an appointment for the morning before transfer.

11 Bring in a relaxing CD to the transfer. Relax and think babies!

12 REST! The minute your doctor transfers the blastocysts into your uterus is the minute that your bedrest starts.  Bedrest means no stairs, no showers, no sitting up (except meal times) and stay on bedrest for four days (transfer day plus three more days). When you are riding home from the doctor, recline your seat all the way back and legs up on the dashboard. Your husband is your servant for these four days. Have a bell next to your bed. Yes, he will get annoyed, but it’s all worth it. The only time you should be standing is when you go to the bathroom. Don’t plan on changing for four days, or change while you’re lying down. If you are dying to brush your teeth, do it while you’re using the bathroom. I recommend watching Juno and Knocked Up with your husband during your bedrest – great bonding movies.

13 No lifting! – Stop lifting anything heavier than a book and don’t start lifting again until after your first trimester.

14 Continue weekly acupuncture through your first trimester.

15 Refuse stress – let your mind relax just like your body!

So after all this advice what to do!  I have decided not to stress.  I am not going to worrying myself over the hundreds and thousands of post of advice on a successful IVF.  I am going to make my own plan, and stick with what works for me.  If the key is to not be stressed, I am not going to stress over taking all the advice.  I made a program that works for me.  I am following my protocol, I already went to acupuncture once a week, so I am going to continue to go.  I get a massage weekly for relaxation, and I try my hardest to each healthy food.  I drink an enormous amount of water every day, and I may have a piece of pineapple if I am craving something sweet.  What I am not going to do is freak out, the key like I said before is to relax and diminish stress.  So I would say, make a plan that works for you and stick with it.  All we can do is hope for the best!