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Day 6 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Sleepy Time

Today I took a four hour nap. My body was screaming at me to get more sleep, so I couldn’t resist. I didn’t plan on a four hour nap. I even hit the snooze button three times. I was just exhausted. I managed to do the dishes and that was about it for the day.

 

I reheated a healthy egg and veggie scramble I made. It’s super packed with veggies, in fact there are more veggies than eggs. It’s very filling. Normally I don’t do egg scrambles like this but since I’m doing IVF I’m trying to be at least somewhat healthier.

 

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I managed to drink all my required water despite the fact that I slept half the day. I’m also retaining a lot of that water too. I am so insanely bloated it’s not even funny. When I drop something my gut gets in the way of picking things up, that’s when you know you are truly bloated. Ugh. I can’t wait to lose this weight. I’m wondering how quickly I’ll drop the weight after my egg retrieval.

 

I’ll be headed out of state here soon for my retrieval. They started me on Ganirelix a little earlier then scheduled due my one follicle being enlarged, putting me at risk of ovulating too soon. Hopefully I can do this retrieval without anymore delays. Here’s to hoping.

 

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Day 5 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Poked, Prodded, & Pessimistic

Day 5 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Poked, Prodded, & Pessimistic

The title of my entry “Poked, Prodded, & Pessimistic” is pretty much a play-by-play of my day. I went and had my labs done today at my doctor’s office, then drove to my ultrasound appointment, and then finally got the news that my egg count doesn’t look too good. I only have five eggs and from what I hear the average is ten eggs. But I suppose it’s to be expected with low AMH levels. One of them is so enlarged they think I’m at risk of ovulating early. So she had me start Ganirelix right away to prevent my body from ovulating.

 

I brought my husband with me to my appointments today because they also needed his blood for the PGS testing through Natera. The Natera package arrived a little to late, so rather than my doctor sending out our blood now and it sitting at the airport over the weekend, she decided to wait until Monday. My nurse at Seattle Reproductive Medicine said they needed it by the weekend, well that’s not going to happen. Packages don’t get delivered and sent quickly from Alaska. I’m hoping it’s not a big deal, but I’m not sure since my nurse is out of the office until Monday. And if you are anything like me you constantly ask your nurse questions almost every other day. She is pretty much my IVF doula.

 

So from what I understand, you cannot increase the number of eggs in your reserve, because you are born with a set number of eggs. But I read recently that although the number of eggs you are dealing with is out of your control, you can somewhat increase the quality of your eggs. I still need to do more research on this. In a nutshell, it sounds like just being healthier will help. I will write a future article on improving egg quality once I familiarize myself with the information and putting it into practice. I’ve already started the path of trying to be healthier. I eat more salads, choose more vegetarian meal options, and try to avoid overeating.

 

I would suggest articles for further reading to this blog if I found any that are legitimate. I’ve been reading some pretty dubious tips and I feel proper research needs to be done. A lot of the articles I’m finding are edging on a snake-oil salesman vibe. I just don’t trust the advice I’m reading. Whenever you are researching products that tout improving fertility be very cautious. They might not make any difference and at worst they can decrease your goal of improved fertility. It’s a shame to see women so sold on the idea that this product will help, when in reality the infertility issue is completely unrelated. I’m sure there are legitimate and well-researched means of improving egg quality, but I feel that personally I need to learn more before I share anything on here. I’m going to speak with my doctor about improving my egg quality and write an article after I’ve done more research.

 

My doctor had me follow a basic treatment plan to watch my weight, take a prenatal, and also take methylated folate. So although this is probably the healthiest I’ve been eating in a while, my scale looks scarier and scarier each time I step on it. I’ve gained five pounds in five days. Yikes! But I heard this is fairly normal when going through the IVF process. “In online forums, women note anywhere from 3 pounds gained to 15 pounds gained prior to embryo transfer” (IVF Authority, 2018). Although I’m a little bloated and my scale hates me right now, I’m more concerned about my low egg count. My doctor told me I have a 30 – 50% chance of having a live birth.

 

Well despite my bleak outlook, I’ve been reading the phrase “it only takes one good egg” all over the online forums. I’m trying to tell myself that. I’ve also been telling myself I want to continue doing IVF as long as I can afford it and until all my eggs are gone. Sounds a bit dramatic, I know, but I’m pretty serious about that. Being able to afford more IVF is going to be the biggest challenge. But let’s hope that I won’t need more IVF rounds.

 

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Source:

IVF Authority. “IVF Weight Gain: Understanding the Causes, Symptoms and Weight Loss.” Retrieved on August 23, 2018 from https://www.ivfauthority.com/ivf-weight-gain/

 

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Day 4 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Shooting up Drugs & The Great Outdoors

Day 4 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Shooting up Drugs & The Great Outdoors

“Okay, I’m ready to go shoot up some drugs” I said to my husband.

“What?” he gave a what the f**k expression.

“You know, my IVF medicine.”

“Oh.”

“What did you think I meant?” I laughed.

“I don’t know.”

 

So that’s what I did, I went home and shot up some drugs. But these are the best drugs you can find, these are IVF drugs. They grow your eggs so you can have a better shot at having a baby. For what I’m paying they better freaking be top notch drugs. So even though I said yesterday I wanted Kurtis to give me the medicine, I went ahead and did it on my own again today. He offered to help but I thought it would be quicker if I just do it, rather than wait for him. He asked me, “Okay, you ready?” I told him I was already done. I didn’t even need to watch the video with the Menopur. I probably won’t need to watch the video for the Follistim either next time.

 

Right now I have have my puppy sniffing and licking me. Now he is just staring at me. He does that, where he will stare for the longest time. It’s really creepy when he does this in the dark. He’s a cute little dog. A wild one. So wild that I decided to put him in his kennel while I did my injections. The past few times he got way too close as I was trying to carefully do my injections. So I recommend finding a place away from pets or any small children, so you can focus on doing your injection without getting bumped into. I don’t like standing to do the injections. I learned that sitting down is the easiest way for me to do them.

 

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Husband, Kurtis, picking blueberries.

 

Today we took a nice drive out to Girdwood and did some blueberry picking at our secret spot. There was a whole lot more this year. We didn’t even have to go very far at all, maybe about 20-30 feet away from the dirt road. There were so many more blueberries this year compared to the last time we went blueberry picking a few years back. It was nice not to hike a lot like we had to last time, because someone found our secret spot before and cleared all the berries.

 

“There’s something so amazing about being outside, getting some light exercise, and collecting nutrients from the earth that will help my body and hopefully my baby when I become pregnant.”

 

We were definitely in bear territory. We found two huge piles of bear scat. I had my bear spray with me just in case. I like to wear my bear bell on my backpack to make noise so they know we are there. Most bears are afraid of humans and just by you talking and making noise they will leave, not all the time though. Luckily we didn’t see any. Years ago on one trail we counted about six piles of bear scat, fresh ones! So today I made sure to ask Kurtis if they were fresh piles of scat and he said no.

 

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Bear scat. Yikes!

 

We got a good amount of blueberries, about half a large ziplock bag full of them. Blueberry pancakes anyone? We will probably go out again before I fly out of state for my egg retrieval. I didn’t want to do too much walking around the woods today. Don’t want to twist an ovary. No seriously, that’s a thing with IVF. I read in one of the IVF forums that some women were taking it easy and not doing exercise other than walking because their doctor said there is the risk of twisting an ovary. “If a woman exercises excessively and/or intensely while her ovaries are enlarged, this increases her risk of experiencing ovarian torsion, a painful problem in which the ovary twists in on itself. While ovarian torsion is rare, avoiding vigorous exercise during IVF treatment is a good way to prevent this from even becoming an issue” (Vermesh, 2014). It’s not like I do vigorous exercise anyway, but it’s good to know to be on the safe side.

 

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Our bag of blueberries we collected today.

 

So when I went out blueberry picking on the side of the mountain I was extra careful and told hubby I didn’t want to go hiking to far up. Luckily we hit the jackpot with all the blueberries near the road. It will be lots of good nutrition for me and hopefully improve my egg quality. Plus I’ll have extra berries to freeze for when I’m preggers and need some good nutrition too. There’s something so amazing about being outside, getting some light exercise, and collecting nutrients from the earth that will help my body and hopefully my baby when I become pregnant. I love blueberry picking, it makes me feel connected to the earth.

 

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Thank you for reading. Check out my other blog entries by clicking here. Don’t forget to check out my Contest page to see how you can win!

 

 

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Sources:

Vermesh, Michael. “In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): Exercise Limitations During Treatment” September 15, 2014. https://www.center4fertility.com/blog/2014/09/15/in-vitro-fertilization-ivf-exercise-148922

 

 

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Day 3 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Injecting Myself & Diving In the Deep End

Day 3 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Injecting Myself & Diving In the Deep End

I managed to do the injections myself, but under protest. I was not very happy about Kurtis wanting me to learn to do it myself when I didn’t feel ready to. I may have slammed the door and sulked in the dark for about 10 minutes. I was really mad and I felt like he didn’t care. I tried telling him I’ve been to so many appointments, surgeries, been poked and prodded and I wanted a little bit of time where I didn’t have to do everything myself. I wanted his help. He said he wanted to make sure I knew how to do it because I have to go out of state on my own and I needed to know how to do it.

 

But damn it I didn’t want to do it unless I absolutely had to. I’m still kind of pissy about it. In a way it’s a good thing I was forced into doing it earlier, but I really wanted to do it in my own time and under my terms. But just like this entire infertility experience over these past two years, absolutely nothing is under my control. Ugh, I am still mad. I suppose I channeled my anger and adrenaline into doing the shot and didn’t have time to overanalyze the situation. I am happy I was able to do it on my own though.

 

“It’s the weirdest combination of emotions to be happy and pissed off at the same time. My words came out bitchy, but my face was smiling. My husband was probably really confused by the whole thing.”

 

He had walked into the bedroom after I did the first shot and I was preparing for the second one. The only thing that somewhat threw me off doing the shot on my own was when my husband opened the door and my 30-pound puppy came ripping into the room, headed in my direction. Luckily my husband was able to get him away and put him in his kennel.

 

“Go away. I’m still mad at you.” I said.

“I wanted to make sure you were able to do it on your own” he said.

“I already did the first one. Thanks for nothing.” I said smiling and snarky.

 

So my words were totally bitchy, I know, I know. I usually never talk to him that way. But I said this while also smiling because I was happy I did my own shots for the first time. I don’t know why this was such a mental hurdle for me when other people can do it easily. But yeah, I was pretty damn happy. It’s the weirdest combination of emotions to be happy and pissed off at the same time. My words came out bitchy, but my face was smiling. My husband was probably really confused by the whole thing.

 

When I put the needle in it seemed easier for me to go in slowly, the idea of putting it in quickly kind of freaked me out. So a little at a time seemed to work better for me to start off. The needles are thin enough to where it doesn’t seem to hurt much. I’m resting with the heating pad on now and listening to some Pandora radio while I write this. I think I owe him an apology.

 

Ice cream sounds good! That came out of nowhere. Some delicious chocolate ice cream. Mmmm. Either this is an IVF medication craving or I’m just a fat kid who wants ice cream, I’m hoping it’s the former.

 

Throughout my life I’ve had a recurring image come to mind, a metaphor of sorts. I am brought back to the time when I was kid and learning to jump off the diving board. Except, I didn’t jump when I was first learning. I would painstakingly inch my way to the end of the diving board. I was certain water ghosts lived in this deep end of the pool and if I fully jumped in they would surely grab my ankles and pull me away into their world. But after being encouraged over and over and over again by my instructor, other kids, and even people on the bleachers,  I finally managed to drop into the water. I didn’t jump, I dropped. Remember, I had to stay away from the water ghosts who were deeper below, so I had to stay closer to the surface.

 

“But once I jump in and I am fully submerged, suspended with bubbles floating up around me, there is such an enormous amount of peace that comes with going all in.”

 

But as time went on I was jumping off the high dive and enjoying it. I was just like everyone else. The water ghosts may have still been lurking down below but I didn’t see them, so I kept them out of my mind. Everyone seemed to be having so much fun, they weren’t worried about any water ghosts, and I stopped worrying too.

 

 

 

 

So the image that comes to mind whenever I am starting something new or challenging in my life is to picture myself on that diving board. Sometimes I need a little encouragement from others to get me into the water. But once I jump in and I am fully submerged, suspended with bubbles floating up around me, there is such an enormous amount of peace that comes with going all in. I had that image come to mind again today. Right now, I am that kid fully submerged in the water, and at peace knowing I am doing everything I can with this IVF journey. I can’t help but smile the biggest smile as I start to float up. There is a joy in doing the things that scare you.

 

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Day 2 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Hydration, Migraines, and Grumpiness

Day 2 (Round 1 of IVF Stims): Hydration, Migraines, and Grumpiness

Well today sucked. I had a migraine most of the day. I wasn’t sure if it was from the stims or because I have a history of migraines and they decided to come back. I had to wait for my doctor to call me back about whether it was okay to take Tylenol. She said it was fine. My head still hurts, hopefully the Tylenol will kick in soon. I just took my meds for Day 2. I was feeling crappy and just wanted to get it over with. I was not enthusiastic at all compared to how I was feeling yesterday. I feel irritable too. But I can’t tell if it’s because I have a migraine or because of the medicine. I did sleep pretty good last night though.

 

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I tried to eat healthy today. I had organic steel-cut oatmeal. It’s not my favorite, but I might as well eat it since we got a big bag from Costco. I’d like to go blueberry picking so I can add some to my oatmeal. It would taste so much better with some berries mixed in. I had a yummy taco salad for dinner. It’s healthy and tastes amazing. I am almost finished with the water I need for the day, at least 64 ounces.

 

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Right now I’m lying down with the heating pad on my stomach. I read that doing this after injections eases the pain. It seems to be working. I decided to have hubby give me the shots again because I just wanted to get it over with and didn’t want the stress of psyching myself up to do it when my head is already throbbing.

 

I’m just lying here and seething with irritability. I’m not a happy camper. But I need to stay focused on my end goal of having a baby.

 

Not to mention I’ve been poked, prodded, and gone through so much already over these past two years, so I want him to do his part. I think he wants me to do it myself so I can have practice before I go out of state without him for the retrieval (he has to work). But I am damn tired of being a human pin cushion and want some help, in a way he is able to help me. Boy we really do get the raw end of the deal as women don’t we? Everything falls on us if we want to make this happen.

 

I’m just lying here and seething with irritability. I’m not a happy camper. But I need to stay focused on my end goal of having a baby. But right now I just feel like I want to get this whole IVF experience over with. I’m sorry this post isn’t more upbeat, but I wanted to write authentically. Take care everyone.

 

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