January 31, 2010

Follie Scan Friday

First Follie Scan
So Friday 1/29/10 I had my first early Follie check. After 3 nights of stims for IVF #1, there are many small unmeasurable follies on my left and right ovaries. Dr. B expected this since I have PCOS and he expected that I would not have anything measurable yet. Follies become measurable once they reach 10mm.

Photography Credit

So once I got home from Dr. B on Friday night I dropped to 300iu Follistim; added 75iu Menopour and continued 40mg Lovenox. Sunday night I will add 250am of Ganirelix, which will prevent me from ovulating before my Egg Retrieval. I will be on these dosages until Monday when I meet with with Dr. B. again.


Photography Credit



In the Mix With Menopur
Menopur is an LH drug that you have to mix yourself. So far I have been on Follistim only, which is an FSH drug. Mixing the Menopur for the first time was very interesting. Nurse K gave me an instruction packet and I also looked at a Menopur injection video on youtube lol.


Photography Credit


Until Next Time,

Rory's Garden

Today I got a beautiful surprise in my Blogger Dashboard. About a month or two ago I submitted our daughter's name to Rory's Garden. These wonderful people write the names of precious babies who have been lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, etc on flowers and photograph them.


Photo Credit: Rory's Garden

This is such a perfect way to artistically give memory to our sweet angel. They give the opportunity to parents to purchase the high quality photo for printing, which we plan to do in the future.

Our TTCAL process seems to be going so slow. Since I've been charting at the beginning of last cycle, I feel like time just crawls by. I'm either waiting for Ovulation to come, or for my 2ww to be over so I can be obsessed with testing. I've had a rough time grieving this week, as we get closer to our Due Date, it's getting increasingly harder to stay strong. Mr MB has been very supportive, but I can feel myself slipping. We have great plans for our Due Date to celebrate our daughter's short life, I'm excited to share them with you - at another time!


January 30, 2010

Second biopsy.. done

This time I was ready for the pain, but boy did it hurt. I tried my best to prepare for it by taking Motrin since the morning before, but that did not work. Even the day after I was still having some on and off pain.

After the biopsy I sat down with my RE' s nurse to go over how to use the Progesterone that she prescribe to begin to use after I ovulate, if we are pregnant that cycle then continue using it until 10 weeks. If im not pregnat stop and wait until the next cycle. Once we are pregnant and start to see my OB/GYN I will discuss with her keeping me on progesterone until 13 weeks, I am scared the placenta might not have taken over so early.

Here is a great article on Progesterone. Did you know that this helps the breasts to develop in preparation for milk production after the birth of a baby?

She also showed me how to use it and gave me some information for a mail in pharmacy, because they are cheaper than our local pharmacy. After she said that I started thinking, 'oh boy I can only imagine how much these suckers are going to be'. She recommended me to use it in the morning and wear a
panty liner. Then gave me a weeks supply of samples and I was off. I love all of my Re's nurses, they are soooooooo sweet!!

This is what they gave me Crinone 8%

Credit

Im off to go research the supplements and my coverage.

Job Interview

Yes.....I have one! I don't want to get my hopes up, but I can't help it. The interview is with a company with which I have several "ins" if you want to call it that. DH used to work there and left on extremely good terms. He still speaks regularly with many of his former co-workers. We have two friends that work there that I am certain would give me a good recommendation. The organization is also one of the clients that my fellowship group is representing this legislative session, so I know their policy people. AND, their President and CEO was one of my graduate instructors, and I got an "A" in his class. So I HOPE that one of these connections in addition to my interview will be enough to get me in the door!

The interview is next Friday so I am trying to prepare as best I can, in hopes of knocking their socks off. Getting this job would be the first step in finally getting more established in my career, having more financial stability, and being able to set a DEFINITE timeline for TTC! Just as importantly, I know that I would really enjoy the work. This is an organization that I really believe in what they do, the clients they serve, and their business model.

PLEASE send up thoughts, prayers, good vibes, etc. this week. I would really really appreciate it!

January 29, 2010

More info on Placenta Previa

Last week in my post I was so excited to announce that Baby Hopeful Bud is a girl that I kind of glossed over the fact that the ultra sound tech said that my placenta is lying too close and slightly over my cervix. Which is why I get to have another u/s at 28 weeks to monitor it's placement then. So I thought I would give you a little more information on what Placenta Previa is.
According to Babycenter.com, placenta previa means that your placenta is lying unusually low in your uterus, next to or covering your cervix. The placenta is the pancake-shaped organ — normally located near the top of the uterus — that supplies your baby with nutrients through the umbilical cord. Placenta previa is not usually a problem early in pregnancy. But if it persists into later pregnancy, it can cause bleeding, which may require you to deliver early and can lead to other complications. If you have placenta previa when it's time to deliver your baby, you'll need to have a c-section.If the placenta covers the cervix completely, it's called a complete or total previa. If it's right on the border of the cervix, it's called a marginal previa. (You may also hear the term "partial previa," which refers to a placenta that covers part of the cervical opening once the cervix starts to dilate.) If the edge of the placenta is within 2 centimeters of the cervix but not bordering it, it's called a low-lying placenta.

Here are some pictures to illustrate the above description.

Photo Credit



From what the tech could tell, my placenta wasn't lying completely over my cervix, just too close to it. Our doctor told us that in 9 out of 10 cases the placenta moves out of the way on it's own. In the case where it doesn't, a C-Section is performed. Our doctor also told us that bleeding is often a symptom of placenta previa, so if I do start spotting at all to call the doctor's office and immediately tell them I have a low lying placenta. Luckily, I haven't experienced any spotting. We are praying that no spotting continues and that the placenta moves out of the way.


That's about it. I don't know what I'll update you on next. My next appt. isn't for another three weeks, so there isn't much to report. We have started looking for bedding and cribs, which is an adventure.


Take care and stay hopeful!!

January 28, 2010

Skinny Cow...

Craving sweets on a low carb diet SUCKS!!! But I found a loophole...

Skinny Cow No Sugar Added Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches... they are going to get me through this diet :)

Ok so they have 140 calories but they only have 30 grams of carbs! Which means I can have one for my evening snack and not feel the least bit guilty!!!

January 27, 2010

Big Fat Negative

Well, another cycle down, another disappointment.

I'm going to apologize in advance for the depressing tone of this post. If you want to be happy and blissful, please stop reading now.


I promise I'm not this depressed/resentful/jealous/psychotic all the time. Really, I'm not.

Things have just been hard lately. And they're only going to get harder.

You see, I know the reason that I'm not pregnant: We only had sex THREE times this last month. And we only had sex those three times because I insisted on it.

My husband told me last night that he doesn't
want me. That he doesn't want to have sex.

It's not a physical issue. I won't get into details, but the three times we did have sex, there was no problem.

And I'm just so confused.

We talked about having a baby, he said he wanted to. That he wanted to have a family with me. But now, it's like he's sabotaging that plan, like he's trying his very best to not make it happen.

Now, I know that I married a nerd. And I mean a socially-awkward-walks-around-with-his-fly-down-all-the-time-and-doesn't-realize-it nerd.

So, after we decided to give this a go, I told him exactly what I needed from him: "Babe, I need you to take initiative and try to have sex with me on a regular basis. It doesn't have to be every day or even every other day. I just need to feel like you really want to do this. I want to feel like you want me."

Man, it totally sounds like I'm just whining. But I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me. How can a man not want his wife? How can he say he loves her, but not want to hold her? How can he sleep in the same bed with her night after night and not want to touch her?

It feels like he's not ready to have a baby and I don't want this to be something that I
make him do. I feel so lost. He's telling me one thing: "I love you and I want to have a family with you," and doing another. Do I trust his actions or his words?

I want to go see a therapist. I just don't think I can handle this stuff on my own. I've never done that before, so that will be a new experience.

Sorry to be such a downer again. Hope everyone is doing well and feeling those baby flutters!

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Weeks 14 & 15....

I put off writing this entry since I really had nothing exciting or profound to say....truth is I still don't! But for the sake of an update I figured I'd throw one out there :)

These past 2 weeks so far have been fairly uneventful. I feel like the time leading up to our big u/s is going by soooooo slow. Next week we do have an appointment with the perinatologist for b/w and then the following day with the OB for my 16 week check up.

I THINK I'm starting to feel some kind of flutters going on in there but it could just be my mind playing tricks on me. It's usually when I'm sitting and it's either something like a tickle or tiny bubbles. It's "interesting"!

Other than that, there's really not much else going on! I'm sure next weeks post will be much more exciting!

Feeling strangely calm this 2WW

I really thought I would be a mess right now, stressing and feeling anxious about our first IUI 2WW. But honestly I am feeling pretty good. I don't have any inclination one way or the other if the IUI worked or not, but I know that we are doing all that we can and if it doesn't happen this month we will figure out our new plan and move on. That is a pretty big deal for me to feel so calm!

Our IUI on Sunday was very uneventful. We were up really early to be at the RE's office at 7:30 for Mr. CB to do his thing. I had a sono that showed my lining went up to 7.05...not great, but better than it has been. Then came the waiting game. My appointment was for 9 am, but we didn't end up getting called back until about 10. I was surprised that it wasn't a doctor that did the procedure, but a nurse. She was very sweet, and talked us through the entire thing. She did have some problems getting the catheter in and had to use some kind of other tool but it found it's way eventually. I had a little bit of discomfort but nothing too bad. Mr. CB held my hand and when it was over and the nurse had left, he kissed my belly and we said a little prayer that this will be our month.
On Monday, I had an appointment with a therapist to talk about all my emotions that I am feeling as I deal with infertility. I have an EAP program through work that is free, and since we are spending so much money on my treatments, I wanted to try to use it to save some money. They sent me a big list and I basically just had to pick someone out and hope for the best. They didn't have any providers that specialize in IF, so they gave me family counselors. I went in to the appointment hoping that she would help me deal with some of my crazy feelings, but when she told me to wear a rubber band and snap my wrist each time I thought about getting pregnant so I could "refocus" my thoughts, I knew this was going to be an unsuccessful visit!

Photo Credit


I am going to try to find a support group or counselor through my RE's office or some websites friends have shared. I know now that it's really important to find someone who has experience dealing with an IF patient.

Biopsy Scheduled

for tomorrow!!!!!

Yesterday I started looking at my chart and was still in the 11-13 DPO window that is required for the biopsy. If I would have waited for next month, I would not have been able to do it because we are going to be in NYC that week for the DH business and in March is our anniversary so I'm sure that we are going to travel to celebrate. So I would have had to wait until April for the Biopsy and then start TTC.

Its not that I am in a rush to start TTC again, but I want to close this chapter in our lives of all this testing and move on. It would have drained me prolonging the biopsy and worried that maybe the problem lies there. Hopefully since our blood work came back fine the biopsy will too.

Tomorrow when I met with the RE I'm going to request the progesterone so that we can start trying next month.

Happy Hump day!!

What to Wear?

First off, here is a quick update:

Week 18
Pretty uneventful, except telling everyone, "It's a Boy!" and "No, we will not be telling his name until he is born."

Week 19
I felt him MOVE! The only way I can describe it is a fish in my stomach.... you know how a fish flops when taken out of water, that is what my son feels like. Nice image huh?


As long as the weather doesn't reschedule a work event Saturday, I will be going to a Bachelorette Weekend in Nashville, TN the first weekend in February. I have really been looking forward to it, so I hope I'll still be able to go.

Now for the question of the week, what to wear? I am still able to comfortably wear my normal size 10 clothes, even with my nice, cute, new little baby bump. ALTHOUGH, if I wear a belt, my pants feel uncomfortable when I sit down and if I don't wear a belt, my pants fall down when standing up and a wind up stepping all over the bottom of my pants, POO!

I want to dress comfortable and cute next weekend with the thought that I may have grown by then, so I'm THINKING of running this weekend to purchase a couple pair of maternity type pants... What do you think? I'm thinking a pair of black dress pants and a pair of nice denium trousers. But THEN, I have to figure out what to wear for the tops! Most of my clothes are still packed up until we find our house, so that means, I may have to purchase tops too!

Here are a few things I've found online, tell me what you think...

Friday Night Dinner Out (and I'm sure that they will do some partying too)
(Imagine this top in teal, with a jeweled neckline)

Image from AnnTaylor.com


Image From Gap.com


Saturday Daytime Shopping







Images From OldNavy.com

As you see, I'm really stumped... ANY SUGGESTIONS???


Faith, Love, and BABY FLUTTERS! (finally)
Mrs. BrainyBud

January 26, 2010

Boy Was I Wrong!

My apologies for not posting sooner about the gestational diabetes diagnosis but I wanted to wait until after my second appointment with my nutritionist to make sure I had a good understanding of what I was dealing with.

It all started with this post. I was feeling VERY defeated, mostly because I had a very misconstrued idea of what gestational diabetes was. I thought it was my fault, I thought I had done something wrong, and worst of all I thought I had failed.

Last Thursday I had my first consultation with my new nutritionist. First off she took my weight (up almost 15 lbs) and my blood sugar (73) both of which were normal. Then she taught me how to use my new glucose monitor - good thing it's pretty easy and (fairly) painless since I'd be doing it 4 times a day; fasting before I ate breakfast for the day, then 1 hour after each breakfast, lunch and dinner.
My new best friend.
Photo Credit


Here's some information I found from the American Diabetes Association that I found really helpful:

"Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes affects about 4% of all pregnant women - about 135,000 cases of gestational diabetes in the United States each year.


We don't know what causes gestational diabetes, but we have some clues. The placenta supports the baby as it grows. Hormones from the placenta help the baby develop. But these hormones also block the action of the mother's insulin in her body. This problem is called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance makes it hard for the mother's body to use insulin. She may need up to three times as much insulin.


Gestational diabetes starts when your body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Without enough insulin, glucose cannot leave the blood and be changed to energy. Glucose builds up in the blood to high levels. This is called hyperglycemia.

How gestational diabetes can affect your baby


Gestational diabetes affects the mother in late pregnancy, after the baby's body has been formed, but while the baby is busy growing. Because of this, gestational diabetes does not cause the kinds of birth defects sometimes seen in babies whose mothers had diabetes before pregnancy.


However, untreated or poorly controlled gestational diabetes can hurt your baby. When you have gestational diabetes, your pancreas works overtime to produce insulin, but the insulin does not lower your blood glucose levels. Although insulin does not cross the placenta, glucose and other nutrients do. So extra blood glucose goes through the placenta, giving the baby high blood glucose levels. This causes the baby's pancreas to make extra insulin to get rid of the blood glucose. Since the baby is getting more energy than it needs to grow and develop, the extra energy is stored as fat.


This can lead to macrosomia, or a "fat" baby. Babies with macrosomia face health problems of their own, including damage to their shoulders during birth. Because of the extra insulin made by the baby's pancreas, newborns may have very low blood glucose levels at birth and are also at higher risk for breathing problems. Babies with excess insulin become children who are at risk for obesity and adults who are at risk for type 2 diabetes.
"

Since my blood sugar levels were only slightly elevated at both my 1hr and 3hr glucose testings my nutritionist hopes we can keep my blood sugar levels with diet and exercise alone. I'm very thankful for this because if things are too abnormal or can't be controlled with diet and exercise alone then I'd be forced to give myself insulin shots! Let's hope we can keep things in check! I am to eat about every 3 hours and include protein at every meal and snack and I have been following a 2000 calorie diet of 6 meals a day that look like this:
  • Breakfast = 30 grams of carbs
  • AM Snack = 15 grams of carbs
  • Lunch = 45 grams of carbs
  • PM Snack = 30 grams of carbs
  • Dinner = 45 grams of carbs
  • Evening Snack = 30 grams of carbs
I've never been one to follow a strict diet or count carbs and calories so when I first read my plan I questioned how in the world I'd be able to do this. I'm also supposed to test my blood sugar 4 times a day which I have to tell you is mildly annoying but if these things are the least I have to do to keep myself and Baby GB healthy then I'm not going to complain and I'm going to stick to it. Lets just say I have a new appreciation for those nutritional labels!!! :)

When I get up in the morning before I eat anything I have to test and my number has to be below 95. I also have to test 1 hour after each main meal and my number needs to be below 130. Two high numbers in a row and I am to call my nutritionist.

The first night I had all my information my testing didn't go so well - I ate what I thought was a fairly healthy dinner and I went over 130 - I immediately knew this was going to take a lot more work so I vowed day 2 would be better and it was. I did research, I started tracking every bite I ate into my Sparkpeople.com account, I went grocery shopping for healthy and low carb food options and my numbers have been in check for the last week.

I had my follow up meeting today with my nutritionist where she went over what I've been eating and where my numbers have been for the last week. All is well! She was very impressed at how seriously I was taking it and how well I've been doing. She weighed me again and I'm actually down 4 lbs?! Not that I'm trying to lose weight but that was shocking to me that even while Baby GB is growing (I feel like my belly sticks out further every day now) that I still managed just by eating right to lose weight. She did mention that I should be trying to get about 300 more calories than I've been allowing myself and that I should be exercising more. But other than that I'm on track and as long as my numbers continue to be normal I shouldn't have to meet with her in person again. I do have weekly check in's but I just have to e-mail her my numbers every Wednesday.

I honestly have to say I was 100% completely wrong about GD - I was convinced I didn't have it, that the glucose testings were wrong and that I was already eating healthy. I wasn't - but now that I am I feel great! Its amazing how much more energy I have.

With that, I will leave you with what thebump.com says Baby GB is up to this week... we are now 31 Weeks!!!

Baby's now the size of a squash!

Baby's going through major brain and nerve development these days. His irises now react to light, and all five senses are in working order. (He won't pick up anything from his nose until after birth, though -- smell is transferred through air, not amniotic fluid.)



Nature Bud Plants a Seed - An Introduction

Photo credit

From the earliest days of our dating history, Mr. Nature Bud and I have been talking about how excited we are to someday be parents. He’ll coach Pop Warner football. I’ll come up with crazy cooking activities, like make-your-own colored ravioli night. We’ll take our Little Nature Bud hiking and camping all over New England, showing them the wonders of the outdoors before they even know what being dirty means. They’ll ski before they enter school, and always be warm with love and happiness. When we talk about it, our eyes glaze over with hope and excitement. And now that the time has finally come, we can barely contain ourselves with the dreams of a future family taking seed. We see it as a fantastic adventure, and can’t wait for the ride to begin!

We got married in July 2007, and right around the time of our 2nd anniversary, we decided to toss the birth control in the trash. It wasn’t something we’d been planning a long time, more just a feeling that the time had come to move on to our next step in life. Those first few weeks of baby-dancing with no barriers were exhilarating and exciting – just knowing that we could be creating a little life together.

We went at it “sorta trying” to avoid through the fall, and come December decided to attack this beast head-on. I’ve been charting since July, and used OPKs and intentional timing in December, but no BFP yet. We’re optimistic and hopeful that when the time comes, a Little Nature Bud will start to bloom between us. For now, we’re just enjoying the ride and dreaming together about the family we hope to have.

1 down, lots to go...

This morning Mr. Worry Bud & I administered my very first injection for this IVF cycle. I'm on a protocol my RE refers to as a Luteal Lupron Protocol, so that starts with BCPs for 21 days & in the last 3 days of BCPS, I begin Lupron injections. So, that's what we did this morning. Mr. WB works from home on Tuesdays & I leave for work pretty early - around 6am. So, I woke Mr. WB up around 5:50am so that he could "wake up" & not be groggy when giving me the shot. Then, I prepared the needle for the injection, following the instructions we learned in our injection training + the handy how to guide my fertility center provides. Lupron is an injection that should be administered subcutaneously (under the skin). My nurse directed me to do the shot in 1 of 3 places: 1) towards the back (fatty) part of the upper arm, 2) the outer (also fatty) part of the thigh, or 3) in the belly. We selected to do it in the arm b/c I figured that would make it more like getting a flu shot & I get those annually, so it should be no big deal, right? Edit: Originally I wrote that the Lupron injection was a subQ shot like the flu shot, but the flu shot is not subQ, it is an intramuscular injection (thanks DB!)...we did the Lupron more towards the back of the arm.



Well, I'm happy to report - we did it & honestly, I psyched myself up - woke up several times last night & early this morning a little anxious about the shot...it was not that bad at all. Felt much like a normal flu shot would. I did have a small bump of swelling at the injection site & some redness like a few minutes after the injection, but I massaged the area gently & by the time I arrived at my office, it was all better. Whew! I also started 1 baby (low dose) aspirin this morning - it helps to make your lining ready for implantation.

Last night, I made a Google calendar of all the approximate dates & medications/dosing for this cycle. It'll obviously be changing as I am monitored & I plan on updating it as necessary. So, tonight I will continue my BCPs - I have 3 more doses of this & should finish on Thursday. I will also continue to take my prenatal vitamin in the evenings. Each morning over the next week or two, I'll do the Lupron injection + baby aspirin, and wait on my period to arrive. Once it does (approximately 2/1-2/2), I am to call my nurse so that I can schedule my Lupron evaluation (1st of my monitoring appts.) & shortly thereafter, I will begin stimming. It's hard to believe that we are actually getting this cycle started!! I am continuing to pray several times a day that all of this will bring us the child we have been praying for. I see my IF Counselor tomorrow & I am looking forward to it - she is a good support system. Thanks again for all the support & prayers!

January 25, 2010

Results are in..

Yesterday was our follow up appointment with our RE and she explained to us everything came back 'normal' except my progesterone levels which were a little low. Once we start trying again she wants for me to start taking progesterone after I ovulate and if we are pregnant continue taking it until 10 weeks. If we are not pregnant, stop until the next cycle and start again.

I have to re-schedule my biopsy because it come back showing it had fat and she did not think that was correct. I guess we cannot start
TTC next month since the biopsy.

Well, lets see what the future holds for us. It just stinks that I will have to wait 2 more months to start
TTC again. March would have been out Estimated due date of our first pregnancy... I would be around 8 months pregnant today... wow.

Relief

Last Thursday I tripped while taking some laundry down ours stairs. Now I know better than to go down the stairs in my socks. Wood stairs are just too slippery for that. I luckily only fell own 3 stairs, hitting my butt and back. It definitely scared me. Since I wasn't having any cramping or bleeding there really wasn't any reason for me to go into the doctor.
I had just began to feel the baby fluttering in the last couple weeks. When I hadn't felt the Baby Daisy Bud flutter all weekend, I started to worry. So we decided, while I was probably worried over nothing, it was worth calling the doctor anyways this morning. They said I really didn't have anything to worry about, but if it would make me feel better I could come in and have them find the baby's heartbeat on the Doppler. Knowing that I would worry until my next appointment, I decided it was worth taking Little Daisy Bud out in the snow, to hear baby. The doctor found baby's heartbeat after just seconds of looking. I had worried over nothing.

Two Week Waiting.

I didn't really know how to prepare myself for my first charted two week wait. I've read a million and one posts about phantom symptoms, but I'm too level-headed for that. Or at least I like to tell myself that I am.

Today I'm 9DPO. I was relatively happy with the way my chart looked up until this morning. I had a pretty big temp drop, still above the coverline, but I'm ready to count myself out this cycle. I am cramping and I feel like AF is on her way. I realize it's pretty early to prepare for the worst. I think this is my defense mechanism. Instead of getting my hopes up, I'm being realistic and expecting and AF. That way, there are no let downs.

I had a fun day yesterday. I spent it with an adorable 11-month old little girl. She is the daughter of one of my good friend's sister. Yesterday was the first time I met her, but I must have a way with babies, since she spent the entire day on my lap. That was not good for a girl waiting to POAS! We had Chinese for dinner, and her mom caught me really off guard. She opened up her fortune cookie, pretended to read it, and said "The person directly across from you is pregnant." Neither her nor my friend are aware that Mr. Sassy Bud and I are TTC. I think my face was a mix of shock and horror until I realized she was joking.

My fortune was interesting. Last night I thought it may have even meant something.

"Good beginning is half done."

What a perfect fortune for someone halfway through their 2ww!

Ahh, well. Maybe next cycle will be better.


Be careful what you wish for.

Disclaimer: There are no pictures in this blog entry. I didn't write this to entertain. I cried almost every second I was typing. This isn't about being bitter, this isn't about being sad, and it most certainly isn't about trying to make people feel better about what we're going through. This is about life. Real hard honest painful unfair life. If you're looking for funny pictures and entertainment, you're going to have to look elsewhere.

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Be Careful What You Wish For

When we got our male factor diagnosis, I cried. I told my husband that I would rather have something be wrong with me, so this didn’t have to be on his shoulders.

What an idiot I was.

Since I was a young teenager, all I have ever wanted in the world is to be a mom. All I have wanted to do is to take care of my babies. Raise them and have the best family I can have.

Now I’m 34 years old… and I’m being faced with the possibility that we might never have that family.

3 weeks ago, I found out that our first IVF cycle failed. I knew that I didn’t respond the way they thought I might. I knew that our embryos were pretty sub-par. But I also KNEW that I was over-suppressed from the lupron. I KNEW that with a different protocol, I would respond better, and my eggs and subsequent embryos would kick ass.

Dr Z had other ideas. Half way through my stims, he became convinced that I had diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), AKA really old sucky eggs. He said that if this cycle didn’t work, he was going to do some additional testing.

But I KNEW it wouldn’t be necessary.

I was so wrong. About everything. And as usual, Dr Z proves why we picked him as our doctor.

The tests came back. My AMH is 0.5. That sucks. It worse than sucks. It’s sucktastic.

He says that he's not ready to throw in the towel YET. He likened my ovaries to a baseball team. He said that I have the players, but it was difficult to tell what condition they might be in, and how many might be on the bench. I said, "Great, I'm the New York Mets" (and honestly, after being a Mets fan for my whole life, I should be used to the disappointment).

Dr Z said now that he knows what the problem is, he can treat me more appropriately. He said my ovaries are a lot older than I am... probably about 42 or so… and now he has to treat me like that. He wants to see how I respond to a new protocol (my nurse should be calling me later today with details). But he also said that if this next cycle doesn't work, his recommendation would be donor eggs (DE).

My husband and I had already had a LONG talk the morning before we spoke with Dr Z about where we were going to draw the line. I finally know where he stands with all of the options, and I'm relieved about that. He's okay with DE, but not donor sperm. Okay with domestic adoption, but not embryo adoption.

We won’t move on to DE until we get a second opinion. So, if IVF #2 fails, we plan on probably getting two second opinions: one at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM), a leading center for ART, via phone consult and another at a leading medical center in Manhattan. Following those, we'll probably be moving onto DE.

However, DH is convinced that now that we know about these issues, IVF #2 is going to work.

I'm going to start acupuncture again, start seeing a chiropractor and we're going to try to go to an infertility counselor, because i'm really depressed. The IVF not working was bad enough - now I’m a devastated mess. There hasn’t been a day without crying since I found out. I don’t know how much more I can take.

There’s no question now that I’m in good hands. Dr Z clearly knows what he’s talking about. I can't imagine many people would have looked at me last cycle and said DOR. I thought I was just over-suppressed, but he saw my response and said, “Look, even with your normal FSH and normal antral follicle count (AFC), something is wrong here. This isn't because of medication. We need to run more tests.”

He was right. I hate it - but he was right.

He also said that my blood work came back positive for the genetic mutation MTHFR. I’m going to find out exactly which mutation tomorrow, when I get copies of my blood work. Dr Z says I don’t have to take any blood thinners, but he has me now on very high dose folic acid. I’m taking a total of 5mg daily. He says that he needs me on it for 4 weeks before we can try again, so we can still plan on cycling for March. I’ll have to continue taking the high dose folic acid as long as we’re TTC or pregnant… which right now feels like the rest of my life. Another complication of MTHFR is elevated homocysteine levels. However, my homocysteine levels are normal.

I’m sorry that this was so long. It’s all the information I have. I feel like all of my dreams are slipping away from me. It’s very easy for people to say “oh, it’s not bad news” and “oh there’s still hope” but this is the end of the world for me.

I’m 34 years old and my eggs are crap.

The worst thing about this is the not knowing. In the beginning, my evaluation was normal. Every single part of it. Dr Z says these tests are really expensive and the insurance companies won’t pay for them unless they can be shown cause, which the failed IVF cycle gave us. I wish we had known about this 2 months ago. Or 7 months ago when we went through our initial testing.

And I hate what this has done to me. EVERY girl I see whose only diagnosis is MFI, I think to myself “that’s what you think” or “for your sake I hope so”.


Because up until 2 days ago, MFI was my only diagnosis too… and I had all the hope in the world.

Now it will be a miracle if I can even use my own eggs.

From the top to the bottom in one phone call.

Be careful what you wish for.

January 23, 2010

My I to the V to the F is On!

Walk by FAITH not by SIGHT Corinthians 5:7

Oh Happy Friday
Having been on BCP's for the past 3 weeks, I was happy to go to Dr. B's on Friday to have my IVF Suppression Check, Ultra-Sound and Blood Work. I got the ALL CLEAR and received my IVF Calender and Nurse K told me what Meds she would be ordering for me from Freedom Fertility Pharmacy.

My Protocol
I will be on the Antagonist: Step-Up/Step-Down Protocol. I have PCOS and I will continue taking Metformin. I also have one copy of MTHFR C677T and a small amount of Annexin V Antibodies so I will be on low dose Predisone, one Baby Aspirin per day and Lovenox. The main benefit of the protocol is that women with PCOS tend to be at a higher risk of OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome)which can cause the ovaries to enlarge severely and require hospitalization. With this protocol Dr. B can trigger me with Lupron and prevent the risk of OHSS as opposed to triggering me with HCG, which can make OHSS symptoms worse.

Photography Credit


Moving Forward by Faith
Saturday my Meds arrived from Freedom Fertility Pharmacy and I start Stimming on Tuesday. I am praying that everything goes smoothly with this cycle and that God's will be done in me and Mr. Blessed Bud's lives...



Baby Shower!

I got so caught up in Glucose Hell that I completely forgot to post about my fabulous baby shower that my mom & my sister threw for me!!! It was Jan 17th at my mom's house and we had so much fun. It was so good to see all my family - it would have been nice to see my girlfriends but now-a-days we are spread all the way out from Virginia to Texas to Oregon and all over Washington so I totally understand!

First of all, they went with mexican food - which I of course couldn't get enough of! Between the Cornbread Taco Casserole, taquitos, chips, salsa, and guac... lets just say I'm glad I hadn't gotten my Gestational Diabetes diagnosis beforehand!!!

The first game we played was a baby word scramble - I tell you what some ladies were very saavy at unscrambling these words! Me? Not even the easiest of words could I get!!! Who knew what a Layette was anyway??? Is that like a bassinett cause I do have one of those??? Ha-Ha


Second game was HILARIOUS - my sister took newborn diapers and melted a different candy bar in each. They then get passed around and everyone has to guess which candy bar is in each... via smell, texture and **ahem** taste (for the oh so brave!). So funny...
Then they had everyone take a piece of yarn to guess how big I am around my belly... all I have to say is I'm glad I was only 30 weeks and we didn't have the shower 6 weeks down the road as some of the guests may just have been right - but for now... THANKS GUYS... THANKS! :)

And... PRESENTS!!!! Seriously I'm so thankful for everything everyone picked out. I can't wait for Baby GB to make use of everything!
And last but not least - I'll leave you with the best picture of the day... I love my dad! :)

More to come on the Gestational Diabetes diagnosis in my next post!!! (I think I have a little bit bigger outlook now that I've met with my nutritionist.. thank goodness!)


January 22, 2010

Meetings, procedures & classes, oh my!

The last two days I have been staying pretty busy gearing up for our IVF cycle. Last night I attended the IVF Support Group meeting I talked about yesterday. When I got there, I saw a couple sitting outside in the hall & when I tried them, the doors to my fertility center (different location than my normal office - same place I went for my HSG) were locked. So I rang the doorbell & the group facilitator came out to let us in, the couple sitting outside followed me in, saying they didn't realize that there was a bell to ring! Then the facilitator, who is a licensed clinical psychologist, went back to her office to grab a few things. While we were waiting for the meeting to begin, the couple & I started chatting a bit. The other couple & other lady who was attending showed up about 10 min. later & we got started! It was really great to get to talk to people in similar situations & having similar feelings about their upcoming IVF cycles. One of the ladies attending even has an estimated ER three days before me! We all exchanged information & left saying we'd keep in touch. It was seriously awesome. I have absolutely no regrets about attending & I plan on doing it again next month if I am available - for sure! I highly recommend that anyone facing IF - whether you feel like you are really having a hard time or even if you feel like you are coping with your IF pretty well - attend a support group meeting either thru your RE's office or check out RESOLVE to see if there are any group meetings in your area. Talking to other women in a situation similar to you is really very powerful & takes away a lot of the feelings of being broken & isolation that you may be feeling. (Photo Credit for above photo).

Today I had a saline sonohysterogram (SHG) & mock embryo transfer (MET). I did not realize I was even getting an SHG until I got to the office & they gave me a paper to sign agreeing to undergo the procedure. I thought it would just be a MET, but I guess my RE likes to do both at the same time to ensure there are no problems uterine problems that had not been caught. Anyways, the whole thing went by pretty quickly. He inserted the cathetar & released a little of the solution in slowly. Mr. WB was right there with me & my RE showed us where the catheter was & the solution being released in side my uterus, and also showed us the shape of my uterus & ovaries - both of which he said looked perfect! No cysts or any other problems he could identify.

After that, we headed over to the injection training class. It was very informative & we got to meet a few other couples from our center. The nurse leading it was my nurse, who I LOVE! IMO, the scariest of the shots seems to be the HCG Trigger shot, but I think I will ask my sister (a nurse) to do that one for me. If she's unavailable at the time I need it (doing it exactly on time is VERY important as it must be done 36 hours prior to retrieval), then Mr. WB can do it. We start Lupron injections on Tuesday. I can't believe we are really getting this cycle started...hard to believe that our greatest wish could become a reality in just about a month! I am hoping that everything continues to go smoothly & my body responds well to the meds. As always, thanks so much for the all the T&P (sorry I always end like this ;o), but I really do want to express my gratitude to everyone thinking of us)! (Photo Credit for above photo).



January 21, 2010

Is It Just Me...

Or when you're trying to get pregnant, does it seem like everyone around you is suddenly getting knocked up?


Like everyone else can, but not you?

Ugh.

One of my clients told me today that she's pregnant and she may quit her job next fall so she can stay home with the baby. She's 14 weeks along.

And one of our couple friends from college just told everyone that they're expecting Baby Number 1 -- and the wife has already quit her job to stay home. She posts on Facebook all day about how she wishes she looked *more* pregnant. Seriously? Who wishes they could look *more* pregnant?

And there are numerous other friends and acquaintances who either are expecting or have just given birth.

Would it be crazy to de-friend all of the pregnant people I know on Facebook?

I'm a bitter, impatient woman.

--End of Rant-- :)


IUI #1 is scheduled!

Our first IUI is scheduled for Sunday and I am feeling such a mix of emotions. I am excited, nervous, optimistic, scared and worried all at the same time. When we went in this morning for our ultrasound, they told me that my follicles looked great (I had three at 18, 15 and 14) and the my lining looked better but not great (6.5). I asked the nurse what she thought about us doing an IUI and she said it was up to us. We asked to talk to my doctor, and she is on maternity leave! So we just had to make the decision on our own. We talked to the financial person to get an exact price, and we decided to just go with it!

I am doing two more days of the estrogen patches in hopes that by Sunday my lining will get a bit thicker. We have to go in on Sunday at 7:30 am for Mr. CB to do his thing =) then the IUI is scheduled for 9 am. It seems like a pretty easy, painless process. It's amazing to me that when I first started this TTC journey, things like IUI's, RE's, trigger shots, etc. were foreign and scary, and now they are my everyday life.

I have been feeling the past few weeks that IF is taking over my life. Mr. CB has been very worried about me, and how down I've been. I know I need to not worry and not stress because I can't control any of this, but I haven't done a good job of staying happy and positive. I decided to call my insurance and get some information about seeing a therapist. I have an appointment scheduled for Monday and I hope that she can help me sort through all my feelings.

So we have a big weekend ahead for the Chef Buds...wish us luck!

Baby Hopeful Bud is a girl!!

It's amazing how much my life, outlook, thoughts, perception on things has changed in the last 24 hours since finding out we were having a baby girl. In some strange way seeing her on the ultrasound yesterday for the first time made it all the more real. I'm sure the same change in attitude would have happened if we saw that we were having a boy too.

So yesterday when we went for our u/s, I think both Mr. Hopeful Bud and myself knew that we were having a girl, but we both wanted a boy so badly that we never really admitted to each other that we thought it was going to be a girl. :) Wishful thinking sometimes has a way of clouding intuition. When we went into the room with the tech I told her that I didn't want to know the sex of Baby HB until the very end, that we wanted to spend as much time with our baby as possible and just wanted to enjoy every moment. So the tech went about her business of finding the kidneys (good!), finding the bladder (good!), beating heart (a beautiful 138 bpm), perfect sized brain, good blood flow through the umbilical cord, everything looked great! Baby HB wasn't moving around much at all, so the tech kept pushing and shaking my belly with the wand saying "wake up little one!" Finally after the fourth shake, she started to wake up, but not before giving the biggest yawn ever. I know I'm biased, but I'm pretty sure that yawn was the most spectacular thing that any baby has ever done before. :) After her big yawn she started kicking and wiggling all over. The whole experience was just precious!! After about 15 minutes of just watching her, the tech said "are you ready to find out what you are having?" We looked at each other and said "yes". Without any hesitation she said "It's a girl!" Of course I was already crying, but started to cry even more upon hearing those words. I guess I never realized how much I really wanted a girl. The tech said she weighs approximately 12 ounces and is measuring right at 20w1d, which is just one day difference then my due date.
The only cause of concern on the ultra sound is that my placenta seems to be too close to my cervix. So the tech requested that I get another u/s at 28 weeks to make sure that my placenta is moving away like it should be. Our doctor said that in 90% of cases, the placenta moves away normally on it's own. My understanding is that if it doesn't move away, this could lead to Placenta Praevia. I guess we will see in 8 weeks. I'm just excited that we get to see our little girl again!
Well, that's about it. Telling friends and family was so much fun. Now we get to start narrowing down name, bedding, thinking about registering. So much to do and so little time!!
Take care and stay hopeful!!

We're approved, part II & staying positive!

This week, I have been working out all of the many financial details that go along with OOP IVF. We received final approval & signed off on our $20K loan for the shared risk program. Mr. Worry Bud & I are going to pay the other $2K OOP tomorrow when I go in for my mock embryo transfer (MET) & injects training class. Now, the only other thing money-wise is completing the FSA forms for reimbursement. Usually with FSAs, they require that all services you are being reimbursed for have been rendered, but in this case I'm not sure how they are going to handle it since technically "services" could mean anywhere from 1 cycle (hopefully!) to 6...more if you count the FETs that are included in the program. The financial coordinator from my fertility center says that she has had to deal with several patients who did shared risk & used their FSA for partial reimbursement & she doubts there will be a problem. I had a few conversations with an FSA representatives before signing up & they assured me that my IVF would be covered, so I hope we don't run into any road blocks with them. Mr WB & I agreed that I, Worry Bud - an avid questioner of circumstances - will never be completely satisfied with any answer any one gives me & to just take a leap of faith that everything will work out how it should, and so that's what we did. I will be talking to our RE's financial counselor tomorrow a little more about how to get the documentation for FSA reimbursement.

Photo Credit

Tonight I am attending a free (woot!) IVF support group the counseling group that works with my fertility center is holding. I am hoping to meet other women in a similar situation & gain even more hope & confidence that this will be it for us!! Tomorrow is my MET & injects training, and we got all of my meds on Tuesday (I'll post a pic of all the meds next time). I start Lupron injections & baby aspirin next Tuesday, so in just a few short days. So far, I'm feeling good & very positive about this cycle. As I mentioned before, I am doing a lot of preparation emotionally to get through this cycle - I know it'll be tough & I definitely have my moments of being worried if it will work or not, scared & nervous about everything I will have to endure, but I am trying not to focus on those feelings right now. I am acknowledging & accepting the fact that they are there...my IF counselor I went to see last week says that those are normal feelings & that I need to just accept that there is a certain degree of uncertainty, but in the end there's nothing you can do to change that, but how much energy you put into those feelings are what matter. So I am making a conscious choice to focus my energy on being positive & reflecting on the VERY exciting possible outcome!!! Again, thank you SO much to everyone who is keeping us in their T&P during this time...it means so much to us! :o)

January 20, 2010

Pregnancy love list

So it's crazy to think that I'm already more than a third done with this pregnancy. I'm really hoping my energy will return soon. I'm pretty good at trying to avoid caffeine, but some days after my early morning shifts I'm not able to function without a diet coke. It is glorious!
I'm dying to shop for baby stuff with all the amazing clearance sales going on right.

Some of my favorites this time around are:
Bubble baths: I take one pretty much every night. It is the one thing that seems to help relieve my back pain.
S'mores: Microwave s'mores are my obsession. I make them all the time. For some reason they taste good pretty much all the time.
Mott's natural applesauce: I try to only only eat applesauce without added sugar to make it healthier. Mott's is the only natural one that tastes any good.
Yoga pants: Pretty much my uniform when I'm at home.
Oberweis Chocolate Milk: Simply amazing. I'm not a huge milk drinker, but it just tastes so good.

When will this ride end?

I don't believe that I'm actually able to post today. I only hope I can make it on at least once a week and not let you down. So here is what has been going on...
We finally sold our home, moved out December 28th, lived with friends until January 15th until our apartment was ready. We are now in our apartment and on the hunt for our "forever home!" We haven't gotten the internet set up at home, so checking the internet has become a pain, hence the longer-than-expected absence from Bloomin Babies.

I finished my first class of graduate school with an "A"!!! I was so proud of myself. Currently taking class #2.Now for an update on Baby BrainyBud...

Week 9
Bleeding stopped for about 6 days and then started back. Baby went on a weekend getaway with me and my mom and it was my secret!



Week 10
Celebrated 4th wedding anniversary and thanksgiving. I was able to take a lot of leave from Thanksgiving-Christmas because I had so much leave time built up.

Week 11
Bleeding began to get worse and started to scare me that I was losing the baby. I was so exhausted for the last 3 weeks, that my body would start shutting down around 8pm.



Week 12
Still bleeding but stopped taking Progestrone. Baby took a trip with mom and dad to the University and mom's frequently traveled to work place. Began having some tummy aches that would last for a few more weeks. Found out that my college friend is due 2 days prior to me and a friend from church is due 2 days after me. Had my 3rd OB/GYN visit. Baby is perfectly healthy with NO reason for the bleeding. Baby was moving arms and legs so fast, I thought it was the heartbeat to begin with.

Week 13
Came down with a MAJOR ear infection! The doctor said that I was beating my little one to it. He said it was like a 2-year-old's ear infection. YUK. I felt terrible! The baby even went with us to the Nutcracker Ballet. The bleeding finally stopped sometime during this week.

Week 14
We finally announced our pregnancy at Christmas, everyone was so excited and surprised! It was the most scarest thing we've ever had to say to family. We moved the day after Christmas and no one let me do anything! Even though I had been packing for weeks prior.

Week 15
Still announcing to people and still exhausted. New Years was interesting.

Week 16
Baby's first snow and won't be able to see it. Mr. BrainyBud went sledding on the day that was supposed to be our 4th U/S but was rescheduled due to the snow and ice. Went to the dentist and he gave me a set of "Baby's First Toothbrushes" for our impending little one.

Week 17
I began to worry because I have NOT gained ANY weight. I wondered if something was wrong all week. Had our 4th U/S that lasted 15 minutes but only took the tech 2 seconds to announce...

Image Source

That's my update for now...Faith, Love and Baby Flutters,

Mrs. BrainyBud

 

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