Blog Award

Blog Award
Beautiful Blogger Award

Friday, April 30, 2010

Last Day of National Infertiity Week and my clinic did WHAT?

I have to admit, I was feeling a bit guilty for not doing more for this special week. As you all now, I had two embryos transplanted a week ago, so that has kept my mind preoccupied. I did make sure to continually update my facebook status to spread the message, but I did not really act. Well, until today!

I have a confession. On Tuesday, I started POAS (peeing on a stick). I did this on Tuesday evening, Wednesday morning and evening, and Thursday morning. I knew it was way too early, but for infertiles it is one of those things. I was okay with the negatives, as I knew it was early. I came home on Thursday evening and had one more test left. I thought "What the heck?" It was positive. I was shocked! Again, I realize it is early. But, in 12 hours from getting a third negative, a positive.

Hubby and I decided we should get more tests just to make sure more are showing positive so it was not some weird fluke. I took two more last night and one this morning and they were all positive. The one this morning popped up with in 30 seconds. I will be four weeks on Tuesday.

Because of this news, I started to freak a bit. I have a blood clotting disorder that I did not know about with my last pregnancy and lost the baby. Once I saw that positive, the first thing I thought was I have to call the Dr. and get on Luvenox, which is a blood thinner that the Dr. was going to put me on after my first positive beta.

I called my clinic and asked to speak to a nurse. Instead of a nurse they gave my call to one of the medical assistants (no offense to anyone is an MA). I have dealt with this MA before and her name is Tracy. I had told the receptionist why I was calling and she told Tracy. The first thing she said was "Jenifer, you know you are not to test. There are reasons for this. A urine test is telling you nothing. I am not even going to tell the Dr. that you called." I lost it! This bitch! I started getting upset and said, "You cannot understand what it is like to loose two babies and now have an understanding of why. I will do anything and everything to keep these babies safe. I will not loose another one because I am not being heard." I livid! I explained to her again, I have a blood clotting disorder; I have taken three negative tests but now have four positives. I just want the luvenox. I even explained that I understand that it could be a strange false positive, but what is the harm of giving me a blood thinner to ease my mind? My original beta is on Tuesday, just four days away.

Again, I understand that it is ridiculously early. But, I just knew I was pregnant and I WILL do whatever I have to do keep these babies safe. Yes I keep saying babies, I think its twins. SO, I told Tracy thanks anyway, I will be calling my OB because she will actually listen to me. Then I hung up!

I was actually driving to work during this call and because I was hysterical I called my mom. I was able to calm myself down, I did pull over. Ten minutes later, Tracy called me back. She told me I can come in for an early beta but I must understand it could be negative. I said that is fine. I just want to be safe. So off I went. I was still pretty ticked off. One of the other medical assistants took me back and drew my blood. I asked to speak with her privately to voice my concerns.

I explained to her that all Tracy would have to of said to me was that waiting four days is not going to cause a blood clot. Instead, she was callous, abrupt, and rude. All I want is to protect my babies. Why is that so hard to understand? Lorita, the MA I was talking with, understood and said she would have handled it differently and who cares if you need to come in for an early beta to ease your nerves? She said that she would want to start the medication immediately as well.

With that conversation, I felt a bit of hope. This is not the first time I have had a negative experience with this office. If my Dr. were not the best of the best, I would have left along time ago. The staff that works in my clinic has never experienced infertility or miscarriage in their own lives. I know this because I ask. I truly feel that if you have not been through it, and you cannot be empathetic, and then get out! How dare you not listen to my concerns? How dare you treat me like a child? Who do you think you are, as a MA, to decide that my concerns to not warrant alerting the Dr?

So I fought today. And I won! I got my beta, and it was positive. That positive was such a great piece of "I TOLD YOU SO!!!" Medicine and science can never make up for a mothers intuition. And the fact that this is National Infertility Awareness Week and my clinic did not even know. They did not treat me with respect, they did not allow me my rights to my Dr. Instead, they shut me down, made me feel stupid and irrational, and reminded me once again how even in the reproductive medicine world, they too are insensitive and just plain do not get it. I fought for myself, and I feel like I fought for all of you. We deserve answers; we deserve to be listened to. Our fears are real and should NEVER be made minuscule.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Blood Watch

My fellows If’ers know what I am talking about. Every time I go to the bathroom, I am looking for blood. I am constantly worried whenever I pee, expecting that horrible red devil on the toilet paper after every wipe. It really is ironic how we spend the majority of our teens and young adult lives praying for the red devil to appear. We beg god to prevent pregnancy until we are ready and now I am begging him to make me pregnant. Sometimes I wonder if this is my repentance. “You will have miscarriages and bleed because I gave you the red devil when did the selfish deed.” That was god speaking by the way. Maybe it is just my guilt.

I realize I am supposed to be calm and Zen during this wait. How do you become Zen when you have lost two babies, gone through four IUI’s and just completed your first fresh cycle of IVF? I try to be calm, and most of the day I am. However, I go through spurts throughout the day that I am anxious. Then it is time to pee, yet again, and continue with Blood Watch 2010.

With every twinge my ovaries take

With every cramp my uterus makes

I pray everyday for their sake

A good mother I think I will be

I cannot wait to have them with me

-Jhope2010 Copyright All Rights Reserved

How crazy is it that just four days ago I had embryos placed inside of my uterus and I am already three weeks and three days pregnant. !

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Today was amazing on so many levels.   The night before, or morning, I did not fall asleep until 5 am.  My alarm went of at 6 am.  My husband was already in the shower.  Usually he showers in his own full bathroom downstairs but we had some work done in that room.  Once he got out, I got into a freezing, madening cold shower!  I was not a happy girl!  Needless to say I had some choice words for hubby.

Right before we left, I broke down and apologized.  Progesterone has made me into a monster these days!  Let alone the massive mounds of sore muscle on my butt joined with several scabs from all the injections.  I just want this to be over.  I thought I would be elated before hand.  Excited that this was the final step in the IVF process.  Maybe I was just exhausted and being the progesterone monster, but I was not excited.

I know some women are very elated on transfer day.  But for me it was a reminder of all the things my husband and I cannot do on our own.  You would think after two years of infertility treatments you would get use to that, but you never do.  Everything in the IF world is purely scientific.  It is not romantic.  There is no foreplay.  Well, unless you count foreplay as the doctor entering the speculum with jelly.  There is no post coital bliss.

Once we were at the office and the embryologist came in to introduce us to our babies, everything changed.  It was so cool to see those embies!  Not many women get to see what it looks like when you and hubby make a life together until the baby shows up on ultrasound.  It was a beautiful moment.  The embryologist said our embryos were perfect for transfer.  She said the two that were going back in could not be more perfect.  There were two that did not make it, but four others  are waitng to be cultured and frozen.

We were then walked back to the OR and recovery area.  I did the disrobing and lovely gown, booties, and surgical cap application.   I kissed hubby good bye and went to lay back onto the table, also known as the monster! Of course my bladder is completlty full in order to use ultra sound to guide the Dr.  They tilt the bed almost entirely upside down.  The procedure itself lasted about three minutes. The lab, which opens the middle part of a door by my feet, peeks in and asks me to state my name.  Then they give the syringe with the embryos to the Dr.  The Dr. inserts a catheter into my uterus and then uses the syringe to insert the embryos.  Once that is done, I am left to lay upside down for 20 minutes.

While I was laying there, I started to realize what just happened.  My body is now the home of two perfect little embryos hoping to bury into my thick warm uterine lining, to eventually become our children.  Wow.  It is strange, scary, unnatural, wondrous, exciting all in one.   Once I was released from my bat like state I was allowed to pee!  I have never been so excited to pee!  I was reunited with my husband and given our discharge instructions.  Bed rest for the rest of the weekend. 

I thought I would have cried at some point during the procedure.  I actually felt numb during the actual insertion of the embies.  Your not allowed to talk or move.  So I made sure I followed those instructions.  Once we got home I texted our parents a picture of their grand babies. 

Now the wait begins.  We know there is no guarentee.  The Dr. feels optomistic and says we have a good chance.  But what is a chance, really?  Life is chance, literally. With my first pregnancy I lost the baby because I had PCOS and was undiagnosed.  After one round of clomid and IUI and metformin I got pregnant and lost at 10 weeks because I had undiagnosed thrombophilia and a blood clot caused the miscarriage.  I am being treated for all of the above.  My fear is, what is the third issue? 

I find out on May 4th if I remain pregnant.  I will be excited, but not outwardly so as I have to wait until 12 weeks before I feel calm about these babies.  I pray that they both make it.  I am using biofeedback to work on getting them to bury in and growig into a fetus.  I am wishing on every star.  I am doing anything and everything in my power to stay pregnant.  Or as many fellow IVFers say PUPO.  Pregnant until proven otherwise.  So, I will go and rest, and enjoy being pregnant for the next 10 days.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Retrival

Was yesterday.  It went very well.  The night before, I got little sleep.  Partly because I was visualizing and meditating.  After that I just could not stop thinking about everything.  I have to say, I am proud of myself.  I did well up until the day of the retrival. 

Throughout this process (IVF) I have worked hard to remain calm and positive.  I only had a couple of days where I had a melt down or felt really scared.  Retrival day was a bit harder.  I was excited, scared, and at times, numb.  I never thought we would have to do IVF, let alone finally get to our retrival day.  The worst part was that my surgery was scheduled at 1:50 pm, meaning I did not get to eat until last night!  Of course because I could not eat, I wanted to eat that much more.

I held it together right up until I was getting ready to walk into the surgery room.  I started to panic.  Tears streaming down my face, hubby's hand in mine.  I am not comletely sure as to why I was so upset.  Maybe because we have been working for two years to get to this point?  Maybe because this is a reality check that part of my womanhood is gone because I cannot have a child naturally with my husband.

I kissed hubby good bye and entered the room with the contraption.  The bed, slash chair, slash monster that you have to be in for this procedure is almost comical!  This is not your ordinary exam bed with stir-ups.  The monster is shorter, stir-ups are farther apart and way higher!

There were about six people in the room.  A couple of nurses, the nurse anesthetist, the doctor, and someone who was shadowing one of the nurses.  It was a small room, so it felt a bit overwhelming.  After I got into the chair and was draped in the appropriate places, this big, thick elaborate door opens up at my feet.  On the other side is the lab.  My nurse did a special knock that meant I was in place.  Then the lab did a knock back letting them know they are going to open the door.  They asked me to state my full name to verify I was who was providing eggs for them during this procedure.  Then the door was closed and I fell asleep.

I do not remember leaving the surgery room or how I got into my recovery bed.  I was in some pain.  It was not the worst pain I have been in, but it was pretty uncomfortable.  My ovaries felt like they had been in a vice and squeezed empty.  I guess they felt that way because they were emptied!  Hubby said I asked him the same question over and over again, which is normal as anesthia puts you in a state of short term memory loss.

After I woke up a bit, ate some animal crackers and sipped 7UP, they told us they got all follicles out and 9 eggs.  I was rather pleased with that number.  So was the doctor!  I was released about two hours after I had arrived with a script for Tylenol with codeine.  We came home and I feel asleep until the in laws came to babysit me while hubby went to a meeting.

I remember the evening going fairly well, a little bleeding and a lot of bloat and ovarian pain.  This morning the nurse called to go over my symptoms and how my eggs were doing.  Out of the 9, 8 fertilized with ICSI, normally.  This is a great number!  I feel very blessed to have this many embryos fighting for the chance to nuzzle into my warm thick lining and grow to be our child.

For now, we just have the twice daily PIO (progesterone in oil) injections and of course my daily meds, but no other injections!  We will find out on Friday what time our transfer is for Saturday.   All in all, myself and hubby feel great about the procedure and the outcome.  We are excited and hopefull for our transfer on Saturday!

On a side note I am upset about something.  I know there will always be a debate on when a baby becomes a life.  I believe conception is when life begins.  I do not want this blog to become a nasty debate, but simply want to share something with you.  I was on the phone with my mother in law (mil).  We were talking about how many eggs fertilazed  I said "we have eight babies growing in the incubater."  MIL said, "They are NOT babies!"   The one thing I regret is not saying anything in response to this.

I am so angry that even mil would say something like that.  If a person who has gone through two years of inferitlity, two miscarriages, just did IVF says she has babies incubating, you do NOT say to that person that they are not babies.  You just DONT!  Yes, she has the right to her own views, but she does not have the right to push them on me, and say it in an inappropriate manner.

I do have eight babies in the incubater.  I also have two daughters in heaven.  No one can tell me differently.    Another thing that bothers me is what my mother said.   I told her what mil said and she was a bit put off by that.  She said "I am octo grandma!"  I thought it was funny, but was grateful she understood that to me, those are my babies.  Then she said "But you are not attached to them yet."  Excuse me?  Do not tell me how I feel about my embryos.  They came out of me and my husbands sperm was injected into them.  Yes, I am attached to them .  Each little baby is growing, multiplying, just as it would if it were inside of me right now.  If it were inside of me, no one would question being attached to it.  Well, yes they would .  There are people who feel you do not get to count a miscarriage if it happens under 12 weeks.  But, you get my point.

People need to learn to shut up!  You do not get to tell me my babies are not real, that I am not attached, that IVF is not natural.  You know nothing until you have walked in my shoes.

Oh... and on Saturday, when they transfer two of those babies to the inside of my uterus, I will be pregnant.  They may not make it, but those babies will be inside of me, trying to grow.  If it happened naturally, no one would fight me on this!

*I do not write this blog to hurt my family members or anyone else.  I write it to cope and to prepare for my book.  My purpose in life is to help raise awareness of miscarriage and infertility and the psychology behind it all.  My family consist of "those" who do not understand.  I love them still, and do not have ill will towards them.*

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

24 Follies!

No wonder I have felt like there is a grape fruit on either side of my uterus the past couple of days!  I have also had the WORST migraine the last two days.  I stayed home from work again today.  Just going to my Dr. appointment really took it out of me.  I am forcing myself to go to work tomorrow.

Dr. R has changed my meds a bit.  I lower my follistem to 75 iu and add one vial of menapur each night.  I am really starting to want this over with.  The wait is killing me!  I know once it is over I have the ttw but at least we will get to that point.

I am trying very hard to take it one day at a time.  For those who know me personally, you know I am an anxious person normally.  So going through this is rough, but suprisingly, I have stayed calm until these last few days.  I go back to the Dr. on Thursday for another monitoring appointment.  I am hoping he tells me we are ready to go.  I am exicted to be stim and lupron free!  Not so excited for the PIO shots though!

Monday, April 12, 2010

What mile is this?

Ugh, I have no idea.   I have lost count on what mile we are on.  I have given myself three follistem injections and I am sick!  I have a headache, my ovaries hurt, and I want to puke!  I am good if I am laying down but once I sit up or walk around, I get a bit dizzy at times as well.  I have cut my lupron dose down to half.

I know all of these side effects are normal, but because I have PCOS, my change of getting OHSS is higher.  I go to the doctor tomorrow to see how the eggies are doing and see what the next step is.  It will probably be to continue on for a couple more days and then get checked again.  My ovaries are typically slower on the meds than other woman.  It takes me  a few more days to get where I should be.  I am hoping that due to the way I feel, the meds are working.

It becomes more real everyday.  I mean, hubby and I know what we are doing, but it does not seem real until you actually go through the steps.  The what if's are starting to come up.  What if I do get OHSS and my transfer is canceled.  What if it does not work...that is the one that hurts the most.  How will I react if it does not work?  How will I find the strength to do this again?  I realize that not all women have a baby after one round of IVF.  But, some do.  You never know where you will fall into place.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Anyone out there?

I seem to have a lull in comments lately, and wanted to know if my story is getting boring?  Or maybe my writing skills have declined while I am on these crazy injections.  Or maybe it is all in my head because the injections make me loose my mind?  Or maybe I offended someone with my beliefs or opinions.  Or maybe it is because it is starting to get nice out and people are not blogging as much?

Whatever it is, I never meant to offend anyone, what I write is my opinion and my take on research and what not.  So I hope you keep reading, and keep commenting, because getting your opinions and advice are very important to me! :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mile 15 On Our First IVF Cycle

I am so tired of always having to choose to have a job or to have a child.  I had a meeting with HR today, which went really well and everything is fine.  But, before the meeting, I was nervous and it made me angry.  Why do women have to choose one or the other?  I cannot help that I have PCOS, and infertility.  I cannot help that the medciations make me ill at times.  I cannot help that due to my disease, I have to be monitored every week and sometimes multiple times a week.

I love my husband more than anything on this earth and would do anything for him as well.  However, he does not have to choose work or a baby either .  I have no ill will towards him, my ill will is towards society.  When will this country value family?  If I got pregnant the "natural" way and carried to term, no one would even notice.  But because I cannot and I have to go through serious medical treatment, I am put into jeopardy between choosing to have a baby or choosing my job.

My choice will always be to have a baby.  My husband knows that, and my employer knows that.  Thank god my current employer is not  making this an issue.  I am truly blessed with that, even though I hate my job!  But my previous employer and other women have gone through similar issues with employers.  If I had cancer and had to have treatment, no one would think twice.  But infertility is not viewed as a medical condition.  The need to have a child is not just desire, it is NEED!  It is a biological neccessity.   Yes, there are some woman who do not have that maternal instinct, but I do.

I am so frustrated and angry at this countries values! I will finish my book and get this  message across.  Society needs a big change on this issue!  My insurance covers part of my treatment, does'nt that make it a medical issue?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mile 14 On Our First IVF Cycle

Today was rough, just because it was the first day back from work, and it was a 10 hr day.  I also got a little scare.  Most of you know that I was "fired" for having my second miscarriage when I worked for a community mental health center, working as a therapist and case manager.

Today I received an email from HR stating that I have a scheduled meeting to talk about my absences.  When I first took this job, I spoke with my manager and told her about my infertility and said bluntly that if they were not willing to work with me on the time I will be away, that I would have to find other employment.  My manager at the time was wonderful and told me that she believes that she was put on this earth to be a mother and would do anything to do so.  She told me not to worry, I will not get fired for missing work for medical reasons.

That boss is now the director of my department.  The email I received from HR sent be back to the way I was treated at my previous employer.  You can read my previous blogs about the treatment I received when I first got pregnant and thereafter.    I emailed my former boss, now director and asked her what was going on.  I stated that she had told me everything was ok and I was not in danger of losing my job.  She told me she spoke with my now manager who was the assistant.  I went and saw him and he said it is just a formality and they want some documentation about my treatment, but I am in no danger of being fired.

I can understand needing documentation, and have no problem with that. However, I always provide my manager with this.  My manager stated that HR legally has to do this when someone has dock time but cannot fire me due to medical reasons.  So, I have the meeting tomorrow, and I am a little nervous, but know that I am ok.

No matter what happens, my husband and I talked this out before I started this job and agreed that these treatments were more important than anything else and it is worth the risk.   But I still have to put food on the table.  I am trying not to be stressed about this, and am no longer freaking out, but it did take the wind out of me for a bit!

As for the side effects, I have started my period, which the DR. said may happen.  And of course it is a bad one!  Cramps, bloat, tired, sore everywhere!  But I can handle it.  Nothing I have not done before.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Back from Florida

We are now on mile 13 of our first IVF cycle.  Hubby and I had a wonderful time in Cocoa Beach, FL.  It was just what we needed.  I will say that a vacation while on lupron injections is interesting!  I did have some side effects, but I did not let those get in our way.  I had moderate stomach pains on and off, bruising on my abdomen, hot flashes, breast tenderness, joint pain, and insomnia. 

I have been getting really good at giving myself injections in strange places!  For three days we went to Disney, the other three days we spent on the beach.  While at The Magic Kingdom, we were waiting for the fireworks to start.  There I sat in a crowd of strangers and shot time came around.  Hubby used his cell phone light so I could prepare the shot and myself.  I lifted up my shirt, exposing my belly and plugged away.  I really do not think anyone noticed.  But, it hit me that we truly will do anything to have a baby!

I have suprisingly been calm during this two weeks of lupron.  I start my stimulation injections later this week, while lowering my lupron dose to half.  We are about two to three weeks away from the first surgery, depending on my ovaries.  I am hopeful some days, and other days I am just in plain denial.

Work tomorrow.  Ugh!  A Monday after vacation is going to be rough!