Archive | Drugs RSS feed for this section

Baby steps.

7 Oct

I want to thank you all again for your kind words of excitement and encouragement yesterday. They honestly meant the world to me and I read them over and over again. I still feel like I’m walking around in a surreal yet blissful dream state, while also having this strong feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Baby steps. I’m trying to take this one step at a time. The next step after yesterday’s flurry was to get as strong a line or stronger today as yesterday. I actually dreamed of getting a much lighter line this morning and feeling like an absolute idiot for yesterday. However, this morning’s test was just as dark, if not a hair darker, than yesterday.

I’m not going to post the picture I took though, because I had a moment of absolute panic yesterday that I didn’t handle everything in the best way. Did I flaunt it? Should I not have posted two pictures, or any pictures? I’m one of those infertiles who meets others’ BFPs with a mix of excitement and jealousy and anger. I’m guilty of having my happiness for others be directly correlated to how much it seemed they “deserved” it.

Wrong. So wrong, I know it. But I’m just being honest. So I know my test yesterday was met by many with similar mixed feelings. Some swallowed them enough to comment, others probably didn’t comment at all. I don’t blame them for that one bit. I am guilty of the same. At the same time, I didn’t want to not post, or to give a vague, short post either. As a reader, I don’t appreciate that. I get invested in the stories of the blogs I read and comment on. It’s hard when a blogger goes silent, only to reemerge at some later point fully pregnant.

Beyond that, if this isn’t meant to be, and I’m not sure it is, I want to share that journey too. All of it. The rise and the fall. So yes, thank you for sharing in it with me yesterday. And please know, I did my best and I respect that it may not have been the easiest for some. Though for me, even if this doesn’t work, I’m so encouraged by the fact that at least for some stretch of time, it went in the right direction.

Baby steps. I got my clinic to move my beta to tomorrow, though I don’t expect the results until later in the day. My clinic is technically closed tomorrow so I’m actually afraid I might go in for my test and then wait by the phone all day for no reason. Can’t worry much about it now though. Only thing to do is carry on.

————————————————-

In other news, my dear friend Cristy is hosting another one of her sock exchanges! I can’t express how much it meant for me to have fun socks to wear during my procedures. All the clinic staff came to know me as the girl with fun socks, and by the way, everyone I’ve ever played the exchange game with is currently pregnant. Go to her blog to sign up. It’s easy.

————————————————-

 Tonight I’m learning how to give myself my own PEO injection. DH will be out of town this week and without any family or IF friends living nearby, I’m forced to finally grow a pair and do this myself. We were thinking we’d try the thigh since that’s definitely an easier spot to reach than the backside, so last night DH gave me my shot in the thigh, just to test the pain factor. And OMG ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch. Most painful shot ever. I could barely walk after. No way in hell am I ever doing an IM injection in my thigh again. So awkward bum shots it is! Luckily, Keiko made a video yesterday making this look even kind of fun. Though I know it’s really not. Anyways, it’s a good problem to have and I’m not complaining.
Advertisements

A few updates

27 Sep

If you haven’t already heard, episodes four and five of Bitter Infertiles are now available for your listening pleasure. Between these two episodes, we cover everything from therapy and antidepressants, to the Muppets and MTV. We chat about male infertility (well, how males deal with infertility), celebrity infertility, and Kardashian infertility. We also interview the popular Single Infertile Female (aka Leah) and review Keiko Zoll‘s new eBook! It’s basically a smorgasbord of infertility goodness. So how can you get in on the fun? Remember, you can subscribe to our blog. You subscribe on iTunes. Or you can even listen now on Stitcher!

I must say I’ve been touched by a recent series of posts by our fellow bloggers and listeners about how different topics we’ve explored have inspired or impacted them, or even just got them thinking. Trisha wrote a very open and honest post yesterday about anxiety and depression. Belle talked about how she too has been diagnosed with PTSD, in large part due to infertility. And then there was Alissa’s touching post about how IVF is supposed to work. Seeing how this project is starting to impact people in both big and small ways makes it all the more rewarding to be part of.

Speaking of Bitter Infertiles, a couple of episodes ago (crazy that I can say that now!), we asked for our listeners to send in their two week wait survival tips. We got some good ones, but we want MORE. So, as someone who’s about to enter into an FET TWW, I’m making a special plea to please send us your tips! You could very well end up on the podcast! Just email us at bitterinfertiles@gmail.com and let us know: How do you stay sane during the wait? Be sure to let us know whether or not you’d be comfortable with us mentioning your name, or if you’d rather be kept anonymous, that’s cool too.

So yeah. My FET is tomorrow. Less than 12 hours away. Nuts. Here’s a quick rundown of FET-related things if you’re interested:

-I survived taking all the meds while on a biz trip to NYC. My cousin had to do my IM injections but she handled it like a champ. The first two nights were fine, I was staying with her at her apartment. But the third night, she had to come meet me at my hotel. Thing is, I was sharing a small room with a girl I supervise. So I had to scope out the lobby bathroom, see if it would be adequate (it was, big, brand new, clean, and virtually empty as it was in the basement), then I had to find out how to get my hands on some ice. I brought Ziploc bags to get ice from the ice machine, only to find out they didn’t have ice machines. Turns out you had to call housekeeping to bring you some ice. So that presented a whole new challenge. And I don’t know if it was the ice in a bag (vs an ice pack) or the stress of the whole situation or WHAT but that night’s shot hurt like no other. But we got it done. And I managed to take my estrogen pills at every meal, despite eating three meals a day for two days with either a coworker, a client, or both.

-I’ve managed (I think) to temper any hope that’s bubbled up about this transfer. I’m trying to look at this FET as one of a series of three or four as we work through our seven embryos. I have hope, yes, but hope that ONE of the series will work out. Not necessarily this one. I still wish I could bury my head in the sand and have someone wake me up when it’s over, but unfortunately that’s not possible when you’re talking pills, and IM injections, and time of work for transfers, and other such things that require brainpower. Speaking of the series of FETs…

-I think I’m done taking breaks. Of course I reserve the right to change my mind at any time, but I’m feeling right now that I’d like to just fly through these FETs and then if we’re not pregnant after all of that, then take a nice long break to first and foremost, lose some of my infertility weight, and also just get balanced and focused again so we can figure out the next step. I think the next step would be another fresh cycle but we have to see. I’m not making decisions that far out. But for now, if this FET doesn’t pan out, I’d like to go right into the next one. I figure I can squeeze one, maybe two more in before the end of the year.

Okay, that’s all I’ve got for tonight. If I’m feeling up to it, I’ll post about how our transfer went tomorrow. Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly.

Potpourri

11 Sep

Here’s my attempt at catching up (again!) on the photo challenge, ready? WAIT.

Two quick things. One, the third episode of Bitter Infertiles… IS NOW LIVE! Whaaaat, awesome. Can I just point out how irresistible Mo’s bedroom voice is? If you don’t listen to another episode, at least listen to the first minute of this one. Am I right? This week we discuss the torture of the 2WW, dealing with prescribed sex, what happens when IVF fails, and surviving baby showers, among other things. We even assign you, dear listeners, some homework, so after you go and listen, email us! (bitterinfertiles@gmail.com) Your response could be read on our next episode! Which would make you famous! Or at least podcast famous. Which, I can now attest after helping host now two whole podcasts, is pretty rad. Just sayin’.

Next! Le cycle. So AF officially knocked down my door (finally!) yesterday. I started taking my pills, one when AF came, another after dinner (they’re meant to be taken twice daily). I called the clinic this morning and learned first of all that I’m meant to take TWO pills twice per day. So I took the wrong dosage yesterday but that’s probably not going to be a problem. I’m more happy because I got my dates. So check this out right. I take my two itty bitty pills twice a day through Saturday the 22nd. That day I go in at 8 am for my first and most likely only ultrasound of the cycle. If all looks good, I start the progesterone shots that night and my transfer is Wednesday the 26th.

This is perfect because I leave Saturday afternoon for my biz trip in NYC (I’m leaving a little bit early to help my cousin with a little project she’s working on) and I come back Tuesday night. Only thing is, said cousin is going to need to give me my shots. Eeps! That should be an interesting adventure. The only thing I’m worried about now is Monday night. I’ll be staying in a hotel room with the girl I supervise, who obviously knows nothing of my struggles with infertility. So, do I tell her? If not, how do I explain why my cousin and I are spending 10 minutes alone together in the bathroom? Hmmm… What would you do? Or I could stick myself in the thigh but that pretty much terrifies me.

Anyways, itty bitty pills. One ultrasound (ideally). One transfer. Some shots. I’m liking this FET more and more.

Alrighty then. The challenge! Here’s my next little batch o’ challenge photos.

6. Book

The Crimson Petal and the White was on my lap, begging to be read. When I took this.

7. Golden

Took this in Acadia, next to a seafood shack on the site of the road.

8. Music

Also from Acadia. Does anything sound so beautiful as a rainbow?

9. Honey

Pardon the literal interpretation, but who could resist this golden tower of sweetness? Taken at Savannah Bee Co. in Charleston, SC.

10. Morning

One fine morning at the beach. Pardon my heinous nails.

Snippets

30 Aug

Happy weekend everyone!

We’re headed up to Acadia National Park in Maine for some fun camping times. I can’t wait! I’m making a personal pledge to myself to take lots and lots of photos, with both my film and SLR cameras, and evens one video if I can manage! I’m wanting to try out the “photo an hour” challenge too that I’ve seen other bloggers do. Promise to share whatever I come back with!

——————————————-

Speaking of photo challenges, I’m excited to be participating in EmHart’s September photo challenge! I missed the one Belle did earlier in the year so I’m excited to give this one a try. Of course I won’t be able to blog for a few days while we’re away, so the first post will be a catch up of the first three or four photos, but that’s okay! You won’t mind, right?

——————————————-

 Finally, a brief cycle update: just waiting for AF. I know I’ve ovulated because I took a test temp yesterday morning and it was over 98. As soon as she arrives, we’re off to our FET cycle! I’ve got my Estrace pills at the ready, just have to pack them with me for camping, in case she decides to show up while we’re in the woods (she would, wouldn’t she). I’m still kind of in denial that it’s almost happening, and I’m nervous about a work trip I’ve got coming up in late September. What if I need to do my PEO shot on the trip? I’ll have to get one of my NYC friends or my cousin to do it, but none of them would be very keen to give me an intramuscular injection in the arse. Welp! Worry about it when I get there I suppose… if I get there.

——————————————-

 Happy Labor Day weekend!

And so it begins!

21 Jun

Well, I just took my first shot of Lupron! 10 units for the next two weeks, then into the office for my baseline. If all looks well, we’ll be onto our stimming with Gonal-f, then eventually our hCG shot of Pregnyl (little box by the blue bottle (blue bottle not part of IVF protocol :))). So, our IVF cycle has officially begun! Here’s the obligatory shot of all the meds, needles, syringes, alcohol swabs, etc. Not pictured: Crinone. Though we have that as well.

I honestly don’t know what I’m supposed to do with all of this. The orange capped needles are for the Lupron, which is in that little bottle next to the Pregnyl. It’s such a tiny vial of the stuff, I don’t know how it will last me for the next four weeks (I will stay on Lupron through stimming). But then there are those big needles that they say are for intramuscular injections. I don’t know how to do those (they scare me!) or even what they are for. I assumed the Pregnyl, but when I called my RE’s office, they say Pregnyl was supposed to be subcutaneous as well? They told me to bring in everything I was confused about to my baseline and we’d figure it out from there. Maybe the pharmacy sent them to me in error.

So how am I feeling? Excited. Hopeful. A bit scared. Confident. Strong. I’ve started letting myself believe I may be pregnant before the summer’s out. May be. May not be. But this is the best chance we’ve had in years and I’m so ready for it. Many factors are on our side and we have a lot to be thankful for. I’m determined now to be positive and happy and approach it all with the best attitude I can muster.

I’ve been a little remiss in blogging lately as I’ve been busy preparing for this cycle. I’ve been focusing on healthy habits. Healthy eating and drinking. Vitamins. Acupuncture. Circle + Bloom. Opening up to people. It’s all really helped me get to the good place I’m in now. I did manage to contract an ear infection from swimming (boo!) but it hasn’t been too bad and I’m now on some antibiotics for it, which my RE’s office assured me were safe to take during suppression. I’ll be in closer touch now that we’re rolling to document my journey. I hope you’ll all stay with me!

To everyone visiting from June’s ICLW – welcome, welcome, welcome! So happy to have you here. Please feel free to read more about me here and get the quick run down on our TTC history here.

Moving forward…

3 Jun

After a 50 day cycle, AF is finally here in full swing. But where I thought I’d be shouting hooray! and doing a little jig because it’s finally time to jump on the IVF funwagon, really I’m just feeling a lot of other confusing things.

Like hopeless. I don’t know why this will work when everything else has failed. I don’t know why we will get to be the lucky ones when so many others just like us have played this game and lost. I know IVF can be successful for some people and yet, I no longer hold any preconceived notions that we will be one of those people.

So then I start feeling helpless. And confused. And very, very scared. Scared that this will fail. Scared of what the drugs might do to me. I’ve read some horror stories about long-term effects of Lupron but yet I’m moving forward with it. It feels like there is no other way.

I also feel like I’m not taking this seriously enough. Like I need to be exercising and eating lots of fruits and vegetables and going to acupuncture and meditating and doing yoga and going to support groups and going to therapy and taking better care of my body and my mind to ensure that this will be a success. I wish there was a way to make getting ready for this process my full time job.

So I’ve started Googling “ways to prepare for IVF” and here’s what I’ve come up with. This is a list of things I know I want to do/not do and a few things I’m on the fence about. I would truly and sincerely welcome ANY suggestions from veteran IVFers out there. Let’s start with the physical, because in some ways that’s so much easier.

Physical

-Cutting caffeine and alcohol. This won’t be hard for me. While I do need a good boost of caffeine some mornings, I’ve also gone long stretches without it as well. For me this will mean no coffee, no chocolate, and very little caffeinated tea. I also rarely to never drink alcohol so I’m lucky that won’t be difficult either.

-Drinking lots of herbal tea (and water). I’ve really been getting into Yogi herbal teas. I love their blends and I love the little messages on paper tabs of each tea bag. Right now I’m drinking a cup of Women’s Energy with another bag of Red Raspberry Leaf thrown in to help ease my cramps. I’m also loving the Peach Detox blend. There’s something so cozy and comforting about having a warm mug of tea in hand. And the water, well, I just think it will help me in all areas to make sure my system is being flushed out daily. I really have to force myself to do this though.

-Healthy eating. I never want to go overboard, ever, where my diet is concerned because I have perfectionist tendencies which have led me to disorder my eating in the past. But generally here I want to focus on eating whole grains, lean meats and dairy, fruits, and vegetables, and cutting refined sugar and carbohydrates when possible. And in general eating lighter when possible.

-Weekly moderate exercise. Exercise is something I’ve struggled with so much these past two years and the motivation to work out has usually been tough for me to access. Now that this cycle is here, I’m trying to get away from the “lose a few pounds” mentality, and instead focus on keeping my blood moving and giving my body a chance to sweat out any impurities a couple times a week. Sticking to a regular gym routine can sometimes cause me stress but at the same time, I need to push myself to do what I know is healthy for me as my body prepares for this treatment.

-Prenatals with DHA. Every day. Obvious, but I must admit I sometimes slack in this department.

-Weekly yoga class. The most I could work in would probably be about one class per week on the weekends but I think any amount will help, both physically and emotionally.

-On the fence about: acupuncture. I’ve done acupuncture in the past for two straight months and while I thought it felt nice (most of the time) and could see how it helped ease minor aches and pains, I struggled to see the greater impact it had on my fertility. Of course thought, acupuncture with an IVF cycle is different and I’ve read that it has been shown to improve chances to some degree. Still, the thought of making still more time in my schedule for appointments feels daunting. So, is it worth it?

-On the fence about: refloxology. Have any of you ever tried it? I must admit I am terribly curious to try but feel it would be going overboard to do this PLUS acupuncture, and acu feels more legit to do with IVF for some reason.

-On the fence about: Buying an at-home yoga CD. Does anyone know if there are any specifically designed for the IVF cycle? I need to research this.

Emotional

-Daily meditation. My father regularly practices Transcendental Meditation (TM) twice a day. He had me officially trained as a teenager but I almost never do it. I just have trouble keeping up with for some reason. So for my birthday present, I asked him to look into the Circle + Bloom program for IVF. I definitely believe in the mind – body connection and want to do everything I can to strengthen mine.

-Gathering in my support network. I’ve told a few select friends, family members and coworkers that IVF was coming up for us but now that it’s HERE, I think it’s time to let them know that and clue them in on what we will be going through. None of my friends and family have any firsthand experience with this so I doubt they will know how to treat us during this time. To be honest, I don’t know exactly how I wish to be treated either, but I guess I’d like them to just generally be aware, not gloss over it, ask us how we’re doing and then we’ll share however much we feel like sharing. For my coworkers (this means telling my bosses too), I just want them to be aware that I’m going through a big physical and emotional ordeal. I may have appointments that will intersect with working hours (though usually I’m able to get my monitoring done before work at least) and will certainly need time off for my retrieval and perhaps a day or two after my transfer as well.

-Read success stories. I truly want to cultivate hope as much as possible going into this cycle and I know one way to quell the skeptic in me is to show it real life examples of people just like us whom this has worked for. If anyone in particular has stories of younger couples who have dealt with infertility and repeat losses that found resolution through IVF, please please PLEASE tell me them! Any good websites or threads about this as well that you know of would be helpful too.

-Ask questions. Sometimes I feel rather intimidated by my RE, his impressive background, and the clinic in general. This leaves me feeling shy about asking questions, especially ones that may call into question their experience or decision making. I had to do this last week when my blood results came back inconclusive and the nurse told me I was either just about to ovulate or just about to get my period. I know that in order to keep my anxiety in check, I’ll need to get a little bolder about emailing my RE when I have a question about something.

-Be extra loving and supportive toward DH. We have been snapping at each other and fighting a lot lately. I can’t help but think it’s in part due to the IVF. But I want our relationship to be in a strong, loving place come retrieval and transfer, so I am going to go out of my way every day to show him how much I love and care for him. When our relationship is good, I always feel that much more centered.

-Identify stresses and coping mechanisms. I got that tip from SART’s info page on preparing for IVF emotionally. I know I get stressed out when my routine changes a lot, but I also know that that will be unavoidable, especially given everything I’ve listed above. I’m hoping to find a nice balance between actively doing everything I can to ensure success while staying mindful and dialing back when it becomes too much.

-Steer back to the positive. Like I said, a part of me (a very vocal part) is skeptical that this will work. While I know that trying to shut down this part entirely won’t help because it thinks it is playing a very vital protective role for me (and in some ways, I know it is), what I’m going to try to do when those thoughts come up is hear them, appreciate them, and then steer back to the positive.  Steer back to “this can work.” And when I can’t get to positive, at least get to present. “Just here, just now, just this.”

-On the fence about: seeing a therapist. I’m a big believer in therapy and before my wedding I was seeing a great therapist near where we used to live who really helped me a lot. I’ve been seriously thinking that it might be helpful for me to talk to a professional who specializes in infertility about everything I’m going through emotionally with IVF. But, the process of finding a good therapist that I connect with and getting accustomed to having those appointments in my schedule every week once again feels daunting. I need to think about this some more and decide if it’s something I really want to do or not. Has anyone ever seen an infertility therapist? If so, how do you know for sure that they are true IF specialists? A lot of therapists list infertility as a specialty along with many other things. This makes me doubt that they have either been there themselves or are truly equipped to help with this very specific psychological dilemma.

-On the fence about: going to a support group. RESOLVE has a group that meets once per month led by Keiko Zoll of The Infertility Voice. The next meeting in on June 14th and I’m strongly considering attending. But for some reason I’ve held back in the past because I’m scared of the support group setting and I can’t quite identify why. But I’m thinking I’ll still give it a shot. Has anyone ever been to a RESOLVE support group?

What am I forgetting? Any thoughts/tips/questions/comments/concerns/compliments/high fives/air kisses most welcome. We start Lupron on June 21st. Holy sh*te!

Update

1 May

So, here’s where I’m at. I talked to my RE himself today. It’s kind of blurry now but he told me that the bleeding was caused by my follicles reabsorbing, something about swollen ovaries and cysts bursting and that the pain would go away.

I told him I had been charting and hadn’t seen an indication that I ovulated. He said that was because I didn’t have a trigger shot and then made it seem like I wouldn’t be ovulating at all the cycle. This was very confusing to me but I accepted it. I asked if I would have a period in that case. He said I would but it wouldn’t be normal. Okay.

He told us to come in on Wednesday to sit down and map out a plan for how we’re going to get me pregnant (IVF, I presume?). I got off the phone feeling a little silly for even thinking we could “try” this cycle since it sounded like I was never destined to release those eggs I had grown.

But then a few hours later the nurse called. I guess she didn’t get the memo that I had spoken to Dr. B. Now, she gave me the indication that this bleeding WAS being caused by ovulation. I told her that Dr. B had made it seem like I wasn’t ovulating but she said that with as many eggs as I had, it would be pretty impossible NOT to.

Okay.. wha? I am so confused now. Was Dr. B lying? Did he not want to tell me he suspected I was ovulating so that I didn’t run out and grab DH to try on our own? Or does he really not believe I could have ovulated? But if that is the case, why did he keep telling us not to have sex this past week? Is the nurse right? Is this ovulation bleeding? Could it, despite the crazy temps, against all possibly odds, be implantation bleeding? ARGH, I hate the not knowing!

The bleeding is tapering off now. The blood was pink and red last night and earlier today, now it is brownish black. It has definitely been more than spotting. Enough to fill up a few pantyliners today. I’m not in pain but I’d definitely say I’m still “feeling” my ovaries.

I feel bad for my body. I feel like I let Western medicine completely mess with it this cycle, but we didn’t even finish what we started and that left my lady parts very confused. I think I just want this weird, confusing cancelled cycle to resolve so I can move onto whatever is next.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

At the wedding this weekend, I observed our family friend who is only a few years older than me but who has four stunningly gorgeous children (she herself is possibly one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen). The littlest one just turned one and she is so precious. I made a joke at one point about stealing her and DH sort of scolded me for saying so. And then I got all teary because I realized that having her would do it for me. Having almost any baby to call my own would do it for me. I just want my baby.

Then later at the wedding, I observed this same little one being held by her Daddy. He was feeding her little bits of food and I got teary all over again, watching a man be so loving and gentle with his tiny baby girl. DH was standing right beside me and I ached all over. I want that for him so badly. I want to witness that scene more that anything. But to have it be my husband. And my baby.

One day. I sincerely hope one day I will be so very blessed.