Monday, September 27, 2010

I've Got Nothing

Halfway through my 5th 2ww... I have nothing to share or offer.  Close your browser now if you don't want to read pessimistic jargon.

If I had to place a bet on my odds, I'd say I'm not pregnant.  Part of that is based on fear of getting my hopes up... but the rest is:
  1.  3 days post IUI I had EWCM for the first time in months (the Clomid dried me up previously), 3 DAYS after my IUI
  2. I have NO symptoms
  3. I've been feeling PMS cramps since Saturday, 5 days post IUI... back cramps, not abdomen cramps
  4. My BBT temps are pretty darn low, extremely low for this part of my cycle
  5. 6.  7.  8.  9. 10. I'm just too afraid to get my hopes up that I might be pregnant for the known disappointment of a negative.
I'm committing to one more IUI cycle (after this cycle completes), for a total of six IUI cycles... and then I'm going to IVF.

I NEVER, never contemplated IVF when I started this process... I was going to get pregnant my first time out...  but now, I'm ready for IVF.  I believe IVF will give me the best opportunity to realize my dream, goal, destiny, of being a mom to a really great kid!

Sorry friends, I'd love to be a ray of sunshine... I'm just not feeling it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wanted: Politically Correct Porn Coordinator

So Dr. T was available to do my IUI yesterday.  The new swimmers were 30 million strong; they successfully survived the weekend on my kitchen table!  At this moment my big ole Follie either was fertilized or it wasn't... but I won't know for sure until sometime around October 4th.  

During the IUI preparation, I was explaining to Dr. T and my favorite RN S, the "drama" of last week which led to the need for me to spend the weekend with the Swimmers in the house.  Somehow this led to Dr. T talking about the questionable porn collection maintained in the collection rooms at the clinic.  One of her clients mentioned to her one of the titles found in the collection...  "Triple Midgets" (I have not googled this title)...  

S and I just started quietly cracking up as Dr. T explained that she went to Dr. W and asked him to screen the porn in the collection rooms to ensure it was "appropriate".  Apparently a few ladies in the Lab decided to "take one for the team" and screen Triple Midgets... and the consensus was it was just "wrong", plus it looked like it had been filmed in someone's garage... Big surprise?  

While Dr. T relating this story was truly funny, what made it hysterical was that my sweet nurse S was trying so hard to hold in her giggles without success and she seemed truly amazed that this was coming from Dr. T.  S kept looking at me and I kept looking at her and that made it worse, we were both in hysterics.

Hopefully laughter is EXCELLENT for an IUI... because if that is the case then I'd say this was a success.  

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cycle 5, Day 12... One Follie... early IUI

I am now entering the pre-ovulation phase for my 5th IUI cycle (pre-ovulation is my term, not a medical term).  This is my first cycle on the Femara & Gonal-F.  I've also been sick all week, my BBT has been OFF THE CHARTS... up to 1 full degree higher than my typical Luteal phase temp.  I assume it's the illness but wonder if the new drugs have anything to do with elevated temps?  I'm hoping I didn't FRY my eggs...

My CD12 ultrasound was this morning.  This month I have ONE good Follie, 24mm, on my left ovary (last month I had two 18mm follies on my right ovary).  Currently my right ovary has several follies less than 8mm...  basically they are taking the month off and letting this one follie on my left Ovary do all of the heavy lifting.

I'm happy with the 24mm Follie.  I'm just concerned that with the drug regimen I've just completed that there wasn't more than one.  Dr. T was actually the doctor in the office today so she mentioned that IF I need a 'next' cycle that she may put me on birth control first to suppress the cycle and ideally get both ovaries to produce some good Follies... this is something I know is usually done in IVF but she thought given what we've learned over my cycles that it would be good to add in for me in an IUI cycle.

Anyway, I've been instructed to trigger tonight and come in tomorrow morning... I guess Ovulation is imminent and so my IUI may be tomorrow instead of Tuesday.  

I'm actually really happy that my IUI will probably be tomorrow (except for my work schedule conflicts I'll have to juggle).  I was starting to feel a little foolish for having the Swimmers delivered to my house yesterday rather than counting on them being delivered to my clinic by Tuesday morning... cutting it very close for my originally anticipated Tuesday IUI.  IF I had not made that decision... I could have gone through this expensive cycle only to get to IUI day with no Swimmers.  

The swimmers, by the way, are still hanging out on the kitchen table.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Swimmers are in the House

Just how many vials did I purchase, you ask?  Only two...  

I was talking with my friend R recently and we were cracking up because she was astounded at how much $$ money I was spending on sperm.  I'm paying top dollar for the stuff we usually snub, ick, get it off of me...  

And this stuff is also WASTED by millions of men in mass quantity every day... 

...yet I continue to shell out thousands of dollars for the tiniest little bit.

Seriously... if I can't laugh about it I would be crying!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Best Laid Plans (part 1)

I had to travel for work this week.  I don't travel frequently with work these days, which I appreciate...  traveling is not so much fun anymore.  Especially this trip.

New Donor Dilemma 
Last week I made an appointment for my new Cryobank 'consult' which is required by this bank before sperm can be purchased.  Several weeks prior I had narrowed down my list of donors to two that I was very happy with.  The appointment was Monday morning, before I flew out on my business trip.  It was quick and painless, then I placed my order.  I was feeling relieved that I had that taken care of and my vials would be at the clinic with plenty of time to spare...

My first choice did not have IUI specimens available so I selected my second choice.  I requested the pregnancy stats for this donor to confirm he was "proven" so the woman on the phone worked to pull up a report while taking my information for my purchase.  Later, in flight, I realized I did not get my $ total that would be billed to my card OR the results of the pregnancy report...  

After landing, I carefully extracted myself from my co-workers and found a corner to call the bank and confirm these details.  Well, the donor I had just purchased has ZERO pregnancies reported in the 2 years he's been donating.  My heart dropped.  While his swimmers could be perfectly fine...  going into my 5th IUI at the age of 39 I did not want an unproven donor.  I told her to cancel my order and I'd call back.  

In the meantime I checked with my clinic about whether they could take unwashed (non-IUI) specimens - from the first donor - and do the prep work there at my clinic... they could but it would cost a TON more... and remember, I'm now doing 2 IUI's per cycle... double the cost!

So now my problem was I needed to look at other donors...  I didn't bring my personal laptop or bank research notes with me.  Why would I?  I had it taken care of before I left... or so I thought.  The research I did was so long ago I couldn't remember the others I had reviewed without my notes... and I wouldn't DARE pull up the Cryobank website on my work computer (it would be blocked anyway).  By Tuesday I realized my only choice was to wait until I get home Thursday night, pull out my notes, do my research and then make a new order on Friday for Monday delivery.  That would work, right?  Wrong.

Part 2 of this post will cover how sick and miserable I was when I got home last night... but that's not the problem with my revised plan.

Since my new bank is on Pacific Time, I got up this morning, went through my notes and revisited other donors that had been on my list from this bank.  I selected two more that were on my original list of top contenders AND cross referenced them on the DSR (that's one way to know they are "proven").  

Once the bank opened I called back and YES, my new proven first choice had plenty of IUI specimens available!!!  YEA! Since I expect my IUI to be Tuesday, I asked her to ship it today to be delivered to my clinic on Monday....  

And because nothing about this is simple - I was told that they can not send deliveries for Monday's.  They could ship it today to be delivered tomorrow (Saturday) when no one is at MY clinic to accept the shipment... but they will not allow the shipment to sit at FedEx on Sunday to be delivered Monday (my old bank did this because the nitrogen tank is good for 5 days).  


So I had to call my clinic to see if anyone can accept  the shipment on Saturday?  As expected, no.  The woman who receives all specimen shipments was quite surprised that they couldn't have it delivered on Monday (join the club)...  So I asked if I could have it delivered to my house and bring it to her Monday morning.  Yes.  She explained how I need to quickly open the tank when it arrives to verify that it's cold (if it's cold when it arrives, it will be cold until I get it to her Monday; if it's not - the bank needs to be notified).  

I can't help but wonder why every single step has to be such a chore... shouldn't things fall into place like it's meant to be?  This bank came highly recommended by my RE but from the start of my encounters with them, I've not had a good feeling...  I'm afraid I should have gone with my instinct... but now with timing, I'm in a bind.  This is just one aspect of a challenging week that threw all kinds of roadblocks my way; more to come.

Conclusion, my swimmers will be here, at my HOUSE, before 10:30am tomorrow.  I'll need to put them somewhere safe from two curious (but 'fixed') female dogs.  - sad attempt at humor, forgive me, I'm still sick.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 4 - Cycle 5... Injectables

I've not been sulking all week, it's been busy... I couldn't make time for blogging.  

Today is Day 4 of my 5th cycle.  I decided not to wait until next month to move to injectables (when my good insurance kicks in), rather I'll be changing things up this cycle.

The plan:

  • Femara (pills) Day 3 - 7
  • Gonal-F (injection) Day 8, 9, 10, 11
  • Bloodwork/ultrasound Day 12
  • Ovadrel Trigger - probably Day 12 or 13
  • 2 IUI's (new bank & donor)

I have to travel for work this week - which means I have to travel with the Gonal-F pen.  I remember Paige went through this over the summer and had no problem at airport security.  I'm counting on that also - but do have a doctors note, just in case.   

I'm not excited about self-injecting 5 times this cycle...  but we must do what we must do!

On another note... my favorite nurse, S, was explaining the medication to me and said something about not having to pay for the Gonal-F...  I told her that in fact, I paid $200 for the Gonal F (plus all of the other drugs and the Progesterone suppositories - my total was $608).  She said she'd call the pharmacy... when my prescriptions arrived the next day - my credit card was only charged $348.  S saved me $260!!  I don't know what she did... but I'm sending her a thank you note!!

I'm praying the new protocol works... but I'm also coming to grips that moving to IVF may be a reality.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Angles & Lighting

During the testing period of any given 2ww I analyze the HPT 'stick' from every angle and in all different lights to see if there is the faintest hint of a line.  I've convinced myself a couple of times that I saw a 'shadow' but then couldn't find it 2 seconds later.  

Anyone else look at the stick from every angle, different rooms & lighting, standing on your head in order to magically see that second line?

Still waiting to see a distinguishable second line...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tested today - 11dpiui, BFN

While it's still a bit early, I did test today... BFN.  I'm still holding out for a BFP over the holiday weekend!!!  

Yesterday I mentioned I'd been pleased with my BBT... today it was down 1/10 of a point from where it has been ranging.  It has been in the 98.4 - 98.6+ range over the last 3 days, which is higher than normal for my last several months Luteal phase.  Today it was at 98.3.  To be honest, I don't know how much stock to put in the BBT - what I have read is that it stays elevated during Luteal phase (and this is the case with me) and continues to be elevated OR EVEN climbs a bit after implantation.  

I slept well last night and I've been having the greatest dreams the last couple of nights about getting my BFP!!!  It's so REAL.... 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I forgot to test... sort of

Today is 10dpiui (counting the day of IUI).  Habitually, I'm an early tester.  Personally I've found early testing "easier" than waiting and waiting only to be disappointed.  Early testing allows for a gradual disappointment - or the earliest possible sign of a BFP!!!  

Throughout each 2ww I spend time negotiating with myself about when I'll start testing.  This is a constant debate during the 2ww that gets more difficult by the day.  At the beginning of this 2ww I decided I'd wait until 12dpiui to start testing (Saturday).  

When I went to bed last night I still was set on testing 12dpiui.  Problem is, ever since I wrote my last post talking about how I was managing my stress and not losing sleep, I've been waking up at 1:30am and unable to get back to sleep until 3 or 4am.  Yes, I'm tired.  But it's not work stress keeping me up (work is much better this week)...  it's just a million different things going through my head.   

So somewhere around 4am this morning I decided I was going to go ahead and test this morning.  

But when I woke up, took my BBT (I've been very happy with my BBT all week, nice and spiked), then got up and went to the bathroom...  I forgot to POAS (test).  Oops. Oh well.  I'll just wait until tomorrow... or maybe even Saturday.

Feeling good and praying for a BFP!!!