Category: Nurse Red


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!

I am feeling very breakable. 

I am slightly clumsy and I am scared that I am going to run right into a corner or something.  My abdomen is very swollen and the pressure kind of hurts.  I am going to the bathroom like every 5 minutes (This may be due to my enormous consumption of water.)  I am having some trouble sleeping as well but I think that was more about worry.  I called the Doc today to make sure it was okay to sleep however I wanted.  Nurse Red said that if I am very uncomfortable I should sleep in a recliner.  I am just hoping that all this discomfort is due to the numerous follicles that contain in my ovaries.

Otherwise things are going well.  I had to take my Follistim shot today in a Chinese restaurant bathroom.  My first cartridge ran out and I had to replace that and the needle and stick myself again.  It only took about 3 minutes so my friend didn’t wonder where I was.  All apart of having the secret double IVF life, lying to your friends, lying to everyone to protect our little secret.  At this point I am waiting for Friday to get an idea of what is going on in there.  Then hopefully next Wednesday is ER.  I cannot believe it sometimes.  This process goes by so fast and so slow at the same time.

My mood has still been pretty even.  I have been pretty positive still, and I am very hopeful.  This medication combo of Dex, Lupron, Baby A and Fol has not affected my mood the way its affected my body.  My stomach looks like I have the measles with all the needle pricks.

Anyway, I hope today was a good day for all.  On Twitter I saw lots of BFP! Lots of successful second scans and I am so happy for all of you. For my ladies that are grieving a loss or a zero beta, my heart goes out to you and I am thinking and praying for you.

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.

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!