Archive for September, 2009

Better day than yesterday

Yesterday was rough day, a want to throw the towel in kind of day.  After the gusher in the morning the day went down hill.  I felt sick all day, I kept going between nausea and feeling so bloated I wanted to throw up.  Then there was the headache, second day in a row, and by last night it was so bad it gave me the chills and made me more nauseous.  I was also so emotional, crying at the drop of a hat.  I am an emotional person anyway, but this was over the top.  The emotions took me to the dark place.  I have been so confident that the IVF is going to work, but yesterday I got so scared and sad that it isn’t going to work.  All of a sudden I could feel how devastated I will be if it doesn’t work.  I have really worked at being positive about the whole thing, but yesterday I couldn’t help but let those feelings out.  The combination of everything yesterday made me wonder if this is really all worth it, I know that it is and when all is said and down it will seem like it was nothing, but still the thought crept in.  Now the thought that it won’t work lurks in the back of my mind all the time.  Maybe that’s a good thing, help me prepare in case we don’t have a good result.

Today has been a better day.  The injections this morning weren’t perfect, but no gusher.  No nausea, but not much of an appetite either.  The headache would surface lightly, but it never stuck around.  I wasn’t that emotional today.  I was tired, but overall a pretty good day.  I think it helped that I had a great distraction, I got word that my former employer will pay for a class I want to take.  Yea!!  I am excited about the class and even more excited that it is being paid for!  It starts late Saturday morning, nothing like not finding out until the last minute if I will be reimbursed!  I will have to rush downtown after my appointment Saturday morning, it will help keep my mind off of what news the nurse will have when she calls.  I am going to be glad to have something else to focus on besides all of the IVF stuff.  I am happy to be feeling better and more positive today!  Now off to bed to dream about a positive today tomorrow.

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Ouch & oh no!

So I got up at 6:30 this morning to get my injections ready, that all went smoothly today.  I started with the Lupron injection again, I know it might make sense to save the easiest for last, but once I get the two IMs done, I just want to be done.  The Lupron went well, I feel like an old pro at that one by now.  Then I did the Gonal-F, no problem (again, very thankful for the ice pack!), now time for the Menopur.  It went in without a problem, I pulled back on the plunger a little, I saw no blood, so I started to push it in.  Man did it hurt!!  I pushed through the pain and finished the injection and pulled out the syringe.  The blood came a gushing!  I was able to get it stopped fairly quickly, but it had bled quite a bit.  Then I noticed in the syringe a little blood, I couldn’t see it when I had the syringe stuck in my backside!  My immediate thought was “Oh no!”  I must have gone through a vein!  What is going to happen?  I realized I can’t be the only person who has ever done this, I was able to stop the bleeding fairly easily, if I am not feeling some immediate bad effects I think I will be OK.  Has this happened to anyone else?  I am definitely more sore today because of that oops, and got an instant bruise.  A few times I have felt a little woozy and a little nauseous, but I still walked the dog and went to the grocery store, so I think I am OK.  I will definitely be a lot more careful from now on and probably have a hand mirror handy too (instead of just the wall mirror).  Hope tomorrow goes better than today!

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Thank goodness for ice packs

Breathe a big sigh of relief, I did it!  I made it through day one of the triple shots!  I had a little trouble falling asleep last night, then once I did fall asleep I did not sleep well.  I got up at 6:20 (C had already been up for about an hour) to get the shots ready to go.  I laid out the Lupron bottle and its syringe, the Gonal-F pen, the syringe to transfer it to and an extra needle, the two bottles of Menopur powder, one bottle of sodium chloride and another syringe, and five or six alcohol swabs.  Seeing it all like that was a little astonishing.  Then I got started.  I first filled the five units of Lupron as that was the easiest.  The I put the “Q-cap” on a syringe and started mixing the Menopur, I had a little trouble here because there was a lot of extra air pressure in the bottle and I couldn’t get one full mL into the syringe.  I finally got that to work, mixing it with the two bottles of powder was easy.  On to the Gonal-F!  This one I was a little unsure of because I had to transfer the medicine from the pen to a syringe – it was easier then I thought.  I just set the dose to 450, pulled out the plunger and inserted the syringe to pull all of the liquid out.  All three shots were then ready to go.  I started with the Lupron which I do in the abdomen because I knew it would be quick and easy, of course it hurt a little this time, but no problem.  I forgot to mention, while I was getting all of this ready, I had stuck an ice pack in the back of my pants to hopefully numb my butt where the other shots will go.  Now it was time for the scary shots with the big needles!  I pulled the ice pack out and wiped the area with an alcohol swab, it felt a little numb.  Good!  Then I went to find a mirror so I could see what I was doing.   I took the Menopur, made sure there were no air bubbles and went to stick it in.  I did it – I didn’t feel it!  Then the part I hate almost as much as the initial stick – pulling the plunger back gently to make sure there is no blood.  No blood, so I pushed the liquid in.  No problem, it went smoothly!  There was a little drop of blood, but I wanted to move quickly before I was no longer numb, so I picked a new spot and stuck in the Gonal-F.  I didn’t feel the needle go in at all, but when I pushed in the medicine it hurt ever so slightly.  It was done!  I ran quick to get the gauze pads to stop the bleeding.  C was right there by my side the whole time, watching me closely with his loving gaze, disposing of the needles for me as I finished each shot.  I am glad he was here for the first one.   It was a relief when it was over, I was tired so I crawled back into bed.  My body needed the rest and I can’t tell if I am suffering from a little allergies or fighting off the start of a cold – I keep telling myself it is the former rather than the latter.  I will take it easy all week and pay close attention to what my body tells me so nothing gets in the way of the retrieval and transfer in the next two weeks.

If I could give one piece of advice for administering the IM shots, it is definitely the ice pack!  I was so glad I couldn’t feel that big needle go in.  I feel it now, it is a little sore and feels like I was stuck with two big needles, but I will take this over any pain at injection time.  One down, seven to nine more to go!  Off to get some more rest.

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I am terrified!

It hit me tonight as I was getting out my new meds for tomorrow morning.  I am terrified about starting the IM injections.  The needle is huge!  I have to use a syringe to get the Gonal-F out of the pen so I can inject into the muscle – what if I screw that up?   It’s going to hurt!  What if I hit a blood vessel?  Am I going to be able to do this on my own when my husband isn’t able to be here?  It overwhelmed me and brought me to tears while I was making dinner.  I am trying to be positive and tell myself that it will be OK, people do it every day!  I am thrilled that Charlie is going into work a little later so he can be here for the first one.  Funny thing is, I am more stressed about this part than I am about getting pregnant.  I feel confident that the IVF is going to work and we are going to get the baby we want.  I guess I can look at it this way, if I am able to get through the IM shots (I think after the first few days it will get easier), the rest will be a breeze!

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Quick Update

The nurse called yesterday afternoon, all of my numbers look good and I am set to start the Gonal-F and Menopur on Monday morning.  Yea!  Moving forward!

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Stressful morning…

We have been back from the doctor for a few hours and I think we have both calmed down a little.  It was less than a pleasant experience!  First off, because the IVF lab at the hospital changed their protocol and the clinics now have to fit all of their patients into a block of time, the clinic was crazy busy and felt a little chaotic.  The ultrasound went fine, quick and painless.  Then the needle came, for some reason that was incredibly painful this time, I don’t know if the nurse hit a nerve or what, but my arm ached down to my wrist for about 45 minutes afterward.  Then we sat down with the other nurse to go over my new “updated” schedule, this seems to keep changing slightly which adds to the stress.  Now I have 3 more days of the 20 units of Lupron; if we get the go ahead this afternoon then I start the new meds on Monday (which I was originally supposed to start today).  I go back next Saturday morning for another ultrasound and blood tests, hopefully at that point we will get an idea of when they will do the retrieval.  The nurse told us they are starting retrievals on October 6th or 7th, so it should be within a week of that.  I really hope that because I am fertile and all of my numbers have been good so far (we were diagnosed with male factor infertility) that I am at the earlier end of their “block” in the lab.  After meeting with the nurse, we went up front to schedule for Saturday and take care of the bill; that’s when the big shock came!  We owed the full $11,600 today!!!  We were not prepared for that and were not told it would be due today.  Thankfully I had my credit card with me to cover it, but it put both Charlie and me in a bad mood.  It has felt like everything has been such a hassle with this process and no real clarity throughout.  I wish we had done more research on different clinics before we chose this one.  But I love my OB/GYN and she recommended them, so I went with it.  I really think their process needs some serious tweaking.  I haven’t actually seen the doctor in four months; we were originally supposed to start the IVF cycle in late June/early July, but then the lab was closed in July and started their new process in August, they didn’t know that was going to happen when we talked about the schedule in April?; not knowing ahead of time that we would have to pay $11,600 today, it just has been a mess.  I am not sure what others experiences have been like, are there any that have felt this screwy?  For a procedure where I need to control my stress level for optimal success, it sure has created a ton of stress on its own.  I think I am through venting for a little while, I need to go take the dog for a walk to relieve some more stress.  I will update when I hear from the nurse later this afternoon.

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Phase one done…I hope

Today was day 10 of my 20 unit Lupron injections, hopefully this part is over.  I have an appointment tomorrow morning at 7:45 for another ultrasound and blood work, if all looks good and my hormone levels are in line we move on to phase two.  While this is exciting and one step closer to the egg retrieval, it is scary because the next step involves a whole lot more medication; and they all are the intramuscular injections from here on out!  Charlie is coming with to the appointment, I am thrilled he will be there.  But the one part of this process that really stresses him out is the money, especially with me being unemployed right now.  My insurance doesn’t cover anything once we were done with the diagnosis part, so now we are paying for everything on our own.  Charlie’s insurance has a $5000 lifetime limit for infertility treatments, but because all of the procedures from here on out are done to me it really doesn’t help us out.  I know tomorrow’s appointment is going to be between $800 & $900 and I am not looking forward to standing next to him when they tell me that.  Oh well, we knew it was going to be expensive going in.  It feels a bit unfair that we have to pay so much to get something that others get for free, I am a huge supporter of any effort to get insurance coverage for fertility treatments!  Enough of that for now.  Wish me luck for tomorrow!!

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