Monday, September 28, 2009

Stimulating Day 4 Info

After feeling all panicky last night, I felt much better after talking to my lovely RE and SuperNurse S. I had emailed Dr.S last night and he emailed me back ironically when I was somewhere between the lab and the ultrasound room. Then, I read the email in between seeing SuperNurse S and seeing Dr.S. So when he walked in the room, I said don't worry, I just read your email while I was waiting. This kind of cracked him up.

I don't think I've ever really described my clinic to you, so let me give you a rundown on the players:

Dr. S, my RE, is a lean runner type who is simply a polite but funny and straight forward kind of doctor. He's not going to sugar coat things, but he won't bonk you over the head with news either. He's the doctor who stopped by to check on me an extra time after ER because we had such a low number of eggs. You can tell he works hard and long hours, but he still takes the time to dash out for a weekend trip to Cancun in his four days of down time between IVF runs. Whoohoo! I appreciate someone who takes time for themselves and family. I find these type of people tend to be more focused when they are at work. His office runs like an efficient little ship filled with smiling people who seem to enjoy their day.

SuperNurse S has this lovely Louisiana lilt to her voice that is common down in Lafayette. Despite working in an office with hormonal and frustrated women abounding, she's always calm, nice, and informative. If I have a question about needles or nearby restaurants, she's always there. Plus, she always calls me right back if I leave a message. That in and by itself is priceless!

UltrasoundExtraordinaire J is definitely one of my favorite people because she scarily efficient while wielding an internal U/S wand (there are other names for this, but since my mom reads this, I'll stick to this one! lol). When she found out I was coming down to stay in the area this time, she gathered the local papers so I could find things to do. :) She also tells me that my internal parts look "lovely" and "beautiful"--who doesn't like to hear that?

Anyway, these are the people I see every time I go...none of this rotating doctor crap here! :) Anyway, to get on with the big news of today...

Stim Day 4 lab and ultrasound results are tentatively *okay* but my already high meds are going up!

Left Ovary - 13, 12, 9, 9, 8, 8, 7 mm follicles Right Ovary - 10, 10, 10, 10, 9, 9 mm follicles for a Grand Total of 13! E2 level (estrogen) = 148

In contrast last cycle at this time, I had an E2 level of 62 and 16 follicles ranging from 6-12 mm.

My meds are increasing to Follistim 250 iu in both AM and PM along with the two vials of Menopur, 10 units microdose Lupron.

In other funny husband anecdotes for today, these are things I'm quoting from lunch:

After hearing that I had "low" estrogen numbers.

He looked at me and said with a smile, "My estrogen-deficient wife." My eyebrows creased and my eyes narrowed.

Smiling bigger with a deep voice, "My manly wife." I started to scowl with at WTF expression on my face.

He then asked me, "If you husband has more estrogen then you, does that make him your bitch?" I cracked up.

He's lucky that I love him.


Sunday, September 27, 2009


My friends, I am panicky.

After my last IVF cycle, I never sat down with my doctor and had a WTF discussion. No recap, no lessons learned discussed. No, I was focused on moving on to the next cycle and just took his plan for what it was...pulling out the micro-dose flare protocol (aka the big guns).

I was fine with this until tonight when I read Dr. Licciardi's blog about hCG. Then my mind started whirling. Essentially last time my estrodial number did not match up with the follicle sizes. (Should be 200 units per @15-18 mm egg) We went ahead because we thought that the follicle sizes were prevailing. When they got in there to aspirate the eggs, most of the follicles were "empty." That's why we got three eggs, two mature, one fertilized and transfered.

So I went to to find out what the hell "empty" follicles meant. I didn't find much information other than perhaps this happened because the hCG didn't work in the final maturation of the eggs. This had happened to someone else on one of the message boards, and she had good success in her next round.

Tonight I was reading Dr. L's blog and started wondering about the correlation between follicle size and estrogen level because he said the low levels were not considered as opposed to how they are used with OHSS-hyper stimulation. But I thought...what? I'm confused. (Have I confused you yet? )

I should ask more questions. But, I've tried so hard to keep most of my feelings on lock-down so I'm not some crazy patient. Now I feel like I've been stupid for doing this. Hence, now the panic is setting in. I know this is irrational because I've had the last month to ask questions and now I'm panicking the night before my first scan?

I went ahead and sent an email to my doctor, who I'm sure will be happy to discuss this with me tomorrow. Until then...deep breaths.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Piddling Around

One would think that if a big dose Lupron = big headache, a micro-dose Lupron = micro headache. This is not so my friends!

Theoretically, lupron reduces the estrogen and then the stimulation meds start bringing it back. So since I'm already on day two of stim meds, you would think that the headache would be kaput or at least packing its bags to get the hell out of town. Grrr.

In other medication news, I think my husband is fan-tas-tic! I've been so use to doing the meds on my own, that it is a strange treat to have hubby right there with me. Even though I stab myself, he comes to the kitchen with me and helps me prep each med. Last night, I would have forgotten my Menopur because I had just woke up blearily from my nap. The forgetfulness has already started! ARGH!

Yesterday we finally had movies we wanted to see. Although there have been some movies out that I have wanted to see, our piddly little nearby theater doesn't have any of them! Typically I do not make my husband go see girly movies and instead we go see action or sci-fi because I love those too! But, upon seeing the preview for "Pando.rum" I thought I would pass since it looked a little gooey and nasty. So I trotted to the next theater and watched "Fame" which passed the time, but didn't do much more than that for me.

Today we drove about thirty minutes to the Ouiska Chitto River (Whiskey Chitta) to take Sweetpea swimming. We spent about an hour wading through the river and letting her run and splash. With sand flying and water flinging around, she ran back and forth between us. It was just so nice to have the sun shining, my dog, and my man. Even with my head raging, I turned on some peppy 80s music, rolled down the windows and bopped home.

We're continuing on our meds until Monday when we have our first checkup. Go follies!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Exciting Calendar Time!

Baseline appointment today was good. Everything is clear and in the normal range of thickness and numbers. So today I received my official calendar for round two (ding)! Let the round begin.
  • Lupron, a diluted dose, morning and night starting tomorrow.
  • Stim start on Friday adding in 250 Follistim morning and 125 Follistim + 2 vials Menopur in the evening.
Next we'll go in Monday for my first monitoring appointment.

My doc apologized for giving me so much meds. Common' now! Like I care if this actually super-sizes my egg growth!

How strange is it that I missed my favorite IVF staff? te he he. Today they told me that they didn't want to see me after this cycle. Guess what? I agree.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Fungus in the backyard.

Perhaps if I was a mushroom lover I wouldn't mind these popping up in my yard after a couple of days of rain. But, I've just begun to enjoy baby portobellos in a few recipes over the last year.

Yet despite my disgust of this huge fungus pictured to the left, I find myself amazed that in three days this big guy went from nothing to almost as big as my hand.

Listen up follicles and E2 level, this is what I expect of you over the next two weeks. No slacking on the job this time. Make like a mushroom, but please, no fungus.


Sunday, September 20, 2009


I'm not compulsive about many things, but planning out pathways of the future is one of them. I can tell you about the weather, housing costs, teacher's salaries, things to do, and the nearest IVF clinics for the top three bases where we'd like to be stationed. If we get sent somewhere else, I have no problem figuring out a new plan. When thinking about vacations, I do the same thing. It's part of the whole experience for me.

Infertility throws another huge twist into the mix.

How do I plan for a maybe family? How do I plan for not having a family? Should I just plan life and let the rest happen? I think that might be a thought for the fertile world, but not-so-much for IFers.

The reason this comes up is because I found a new doctoral program that exactly fits my ultimate career desires. I've looked at a ton of programs and never found one that I literally fell in love with. There are no Army bases near the school, but V said if I can get accepted, he'll make something work for us.

So then I dare to think, what if round 2 (ding) works? Could I, would I...want to do still do this program?

I haven't felt any huge career desires in awhile. There are things I want, but I've been very content in teaching my kids and continuing to improve my skills in the classroom. Moreover, I've been extremely happy just being able to spend time with my husband and enjoy life. So to have this awakening of desire is just flat out strange to me. It's the same kind of desire I feel to have a munchkin of my own.

It's funny, but I feel almost guilty for thinking of something other than wanting to have my munchkin.

What am I thinking!?


**Two seconds after I wrote this post, I checked my email and my mom said:
"That means Dad and I would need to move that direction to take care of the baby/babies. Very exciting!"

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Magical Thinking

A few weeks ago I was reading a blog that mentioned the magical thinking that we associate with IVF. You know what I'm talking about,

...the lucky socks,
...positive attitude,
...good vibes that we send to our nether regions in hopes of increasing our odds of getting knocked up through the incredibly technical process but not exact science of reproductive endocrinology.

While I don't think the lucky socks are going to increase my odds, I do feel that the positivity will get me somewhere with this cycle. For example, if I focus on being positive and happy, my body will not be stressed and will be able to optimally react to the cycle. Is this magical thinking?

If, instead of generally being a good patient, I tear into everyone around me and stress myself out with angry and uptight thoughts will it really make a difference? If I'm just numb to the whole process, will it change my odds?

Who knows.

...I just think of cancer patients fighting through chemo after unbelievable odds. One thing they always say is that those patients were incredibly positive.

....Because I relate everything to IF, I was also thinking about the idea of Noetic Science in Dan Brown's new book and how it relates.

The IVF process just seems so technical at moments, yet at the same time unable to explain so much. I think that's why I have drifted into pondering this magical thinking. Hmm. Maybe I should just go back to watching the UFC fight with my husband. That's not so complicated.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009


My early birthday presents are here! Today the man in the brown uniform rang my doorbell and handed it over. Meanwhile the packers were busy in my house delicately wrapping each item and lauding my husband's AMS (You can kind of see some of the boxes in the background). I couldn't break out my presents while they were here, so I tucked the precious refrigerated portion away and went back to watching other people work. Yeah, it was rough.

So I broke out the box and thank goodness I did! Apparently I have a special mixed version of Lupron that requires refrigeration upon receipt.

Here is what the Credit Card bought me!

Prepping: Follistim (900 iu), Menopur, Lupron 40 mcg/0.2mL
Accessories: What girl doesn't love her accessories! Follistim pen (because I don't already have three), sharps container 1.5 qt, 22 gauge syringes, 25 gauge needles, insulin sized needles
For after ER: Cefadroxil, Femtrace, Methylpred tab, and my favorite Crinone Gel Vag 2-1 applicator to replace the PIO shots.

Then do you know what that Credit Card bitch did? She stuck me with the bill. Who sticks a girl with the bill for her own birthday present? $2538. It could have been worse, I had some presents left over from last time.

I feel pretty, oh so pretty...xoxo

Monday, September 14, 2009

The wacky, ups, downs, and countdowns

The wacky: My husband and I have become a little obsessed with the Gei.ko commercials with the stack of money, eyes, and the music "Somebody's Watching Me...". So last night I put this in our refrigerator. When hubby opened the fridge to get his c.oke, I started humming the song. lol.

The Up: It's hard for me to believe that we've kicked our moving list's butt and finished everything on it! My hubby wandered around the house on Sunday looking for something to do, but couldn't find anything. Believe me, if you saw how organized my house is right now, you would definitely diagnose my husband with AMS (Anal Military Syndrome). Go AMS!

The Down: As much as I am trying to get positive about round #2, I feel kind of numb about it. I want to be positive. But, I'm just haven't been feeling it. I don't even know what to say about it.

The Countdowns:
1 day until I order my meds
2 days until the packers come
4 days until the movers come
8 days until the baseline u/s after BCP


Friday, September 11, 2009

Our world changed

Today is such a strange day because people have such varied reactions in remembering 9/11.

I feel like I have to remember what happened. Every year I find a video of it and watch it to force myself to remember what it felt like.


Because 9/11 changed how Americans felt about each other. Together as a nation, we came to a consensus of what was important.

In the ensuing years, we have fallen back into our divisive and splintered ways, which is normal. But on this day, I remember the sacrifice that united us as a country.

For V and I, the aftermath is not over. 9/11 was the catalyst that eventually sent our troops into Afghanistan and Iraq. V has served a combined three years in these countries over the last six years.

While our relationship is strong, I have seen what these deployments have done to other military families. It's hard.

So today I remember the people that died.
I remember the selfless people who helped.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ramblings about my plans....

After looking at our schedule for the next few weeks, we decided to bite the bullet and book a hotel for the mad week of IVF appointments. Yep, no more cursing the early-morning, caffeine-free, two and a half hour, one-way trips! Whoohoo!

This actually isn't completely about the drive but rather about setting up our household goods in Missouri. If V goes up the first day we can get into our Missouri rental, he can get our stuff delivered and partially unpacked via the sure-to-be-grumpy-about-unpacking-movers. Most Army families never make them unpack, but it's part of what they're paid for. . . so, bite me! LOL Since I will be useless in unpacking during my 2ww, this will take a huge burden off of me to have this done before I get up there.

Meanwhile, I'll be down in Lafayette relaxing poolside and driving the five minutes to my appointment. My darling Sweetpea will be with me, so we'll have to check out the nearby parks to walk in every day. This also means we have to stay in a pet friendly hotel which means frozen grapes delivered by the cabana boy is probably out. I guess I'll deal with my in room refrigerator for my thousands of dollars of meds. LOL


Monday, September 7, 2009

All Quiet on the Cini's Front

Things over here on the Cini's front are quiet.

Hubby and I get up every day and knock out a few rooms of taping, priming, and painting. Thankfully the end is in sight, and we are just two rooms and a few touch ups away from finishing. Whew, I can't wait!

I do however feel like a terrible housecleaner since I have a down and dirty view of my baseboards while I tape them up. Yeah, it's a little gross. For someone who cleans and scrubs regularly with vigor, I have to admit that the dog hair and dust have piled up on the four millimeter top edge of the board. Hmm, mother would not approve.

On the IF front, I am simply swallowing my spearmint BCP that I swear is giving me huge hunger cravings. Every one but does that to me. Boo. Meanwhile in contradiction to the BCP, I'm indulging in some fun coloring with my husband since he's been home.

Here are the countdowns:

*8 days until I call to order my magical box of fertility meds that will seriously deplete out our bank account. Since we're bringing out the big guns this time, I imagine it will be a huge scary bill.
*9 days until the packers come
*11 days until the movers come
*13 days until my last BCP
*15 days until my baseline after BCP

Until then, I will keep painting, working my tail off, and counting down these days!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lucky 33

Between waiting for IVF round 2 (ding!) and waiting to move, I feel like I'm doing a lot of things simply to pass the time until these two events. There seems like endless lists of things to accomplish to prep the house for rental and to wrap up our lives here. However, since most of it is just yucky adult work, I simply look forward to the day passing so that I am one step closer to what is coming.

In my spare time, I have been searching for some optimism. Yes, my innocent optimism of IVF round one is gone. My bubble has burst.

So in my search, I realized that I will be turning 33 years old this month. Getting older never bothers me because, let's face it, my husband will always be nine years older! Haha honey.

Getting back to the point, I love pretty much any variation of 3 or the repeating of it (33, 333, 3333). Whether on the volleyball court or on the roulette table, it's brought me luck. So, thinking about the next year of my life, I have decided that 33 is going to be one of those years for me. One of those years that things fall into place and you are surrounded by people who love you.

Part of this is absolutely in my control and other parts are....well, not so much! I'm going to commit myself to a year of family, friends and the fundamentals (3 things :)) and let the rest of it take care of itself.

Family - My husband is actually going to be home for this entire year--hubby time! We're also already planning my family's first trip out to our new home Missouri for Thanksgiving which is my absolute favorite holiday.

Friends - Since my BFF and kiddos are now in Ohio, I'm planning to make a trip out to see them on a long weekend this fall. I'm also thinking about signing up for the Disney Princess Half-Marathon so that I could have a girls weekend down in Florida in the Spring.

Fundamentals - You know, back to the basics with exercise and food.

So, my hope is that while I focus on my life beyond IF, things will fall into place. My birthday then stim start! I hope I will find that 33 is indeed a lucky year for me. And that, ladies, is where my optimisim is starting from.