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Day 10 (Round 2 of IVF Stims): Growing Pains

Day 10 (Round 2 of IVF Stims): Growing Pains

(Entry written prior to posted date).

 

Today I woke up with a lot of pain in my left leg and hip. Most of the day I wasn’t sure what that was all about but I had an epiphany moment that I will tell you about later. But first let me tell you about the fun day we had at the Seattle Japanese Garden. Although I was in some pain when we walked around I was still able to move around okay, I just walked a little slower. There were so many beautiful picturesque parts of the garden. I took boatloads of pictures. There were unique Japanese trees, small stone bridges, and a lovely pond at the center of it all filled with Koi fish.

 

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I was kind of surprised to see these fish in the pond in November. They sluggishly floated around in the water when they weren’t coming right up to people looking down on them. They seemed to be waiting for people to toss them little bits of food. It was really nice to slowly walk around the garden and really take in all the beauty and effort that went into creating the garden. I think it would be amazing to someday own a piece of property and create a nice garden for visitors to come and see. There are other gardens in Washington I am hoping to see this week as well. Maybe the next one will be the Bloedel Reserve which I read about from a visitor brochure.

 

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While Mom and I were relaxing on a bench in the garden an adorable Asian baby girl came running up to me smiling. The baby stopped right in front of me and held it’s hand up and looked at me expectantly. I realized the baby wanted a high five. Her mom said, “High five” confirming what the baby was doing and I happily gave her a high five. The baby was ecstatic and let out a joyful giggle. She waved at me then waved at Mom and took off running on to more adventures. The young couple started to chase after her when I said to them, “She is adorable.” The man said thank you then bolted off after the baby as she was aiming for the pond. They got to her in time before their little one was going to be swimming with the Koi fish. That innocent and happy little high five I shared with this baby absolutely melted my heart. I’ve thought of adopting before but this moment really got the gears turning in my head about the love and joy I could be missing out on. Maybe if these first two rounds of IVF don’t work out I will look into adoption or fostering more seriously.

 

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Now, back to what I was talking about in the beginning with the pain in my leg and hip. Most of the day I felt this moderate achy feeling all up and down my left leg and hip. I wasn’t sure why I was feeling that way. Did I sleep wrong? Did I walk too much yesterday at the mall? It had to have been the mall, right? Mom was asking what it felt like. “Growing pains,” I said.  Then the light-bulb moment finally happened. Duh! I had just accidentally overdosed on my Human Growth Hormone last night. I laughed at myself for not making the connection sooner. It was like I was reliving those growing pains I felt from when I was a pre-teen. I called my husband up to talk about our day and I told him about the realization I had. “Well my one leg might be two inches longer tomorrow, but my eggs will probably still stay the same size.” He laughed and called me “Gimpy Julie.” I haven’t laughed that hard in a while.

 

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Featured Image: Photo I took of the pond in the Seattle Japanese Garden.

All images Copyright HopingForBaby.com

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Day 9 (Round 2 of IVF Stims): Major Mistake with Omnitrope

Day 9 (Round 2 of IVF Stims): Major Mistake with Omnitrope

(Entry written prior to posted date).

 

Today Mom and I went shopping around Pikes Place Mall. We did mostly window shopping today, scouting out which places to come to later because the shops were getting close to closing soon. I had my eye on some new jeans in Old Navy. Almost all of my pants have holes in them these days. Maybe I could get one or two pairs after my payday. I’ve been delaying buying new clothes for a while because all my money has been getting funneled toward IVF expenses. My shoes are also falling apart. My shirts and underwear are getting little holes as well. I even have a sad looking bra that my puppy got a hold of and now it holes in it too. How in the hell can almost everything I own have at least one hole? I am way overdue for getting new clothes. But new clothes are just some of the many sacrifices you have to make in order to pay for IVF. Vacations have been put off, college graduation delayed, and even paying for gas to get out of the house are just some of the many sacrifices I’ve made. So going window shopping today was kind of a reminder of all the things I can’t have right now. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be able to soon.

 

Don’t do what I did today! Long story short, I messed up on my Omnitrope. If you don’t know, Omnitrope is one of the Human Growth Hormones that helps with egg growth. Since I tend to be a one-step-at-a-time kind of gal when it comes IVF I didn’t look too much into the details of the Omnitrope because I thought it was already clear. I assumed there would be a video for how to do the Omnitrope, like there has been with every single other medication I’ve been taking. Instead, the video was missing from the fertility clinic’s website. I was looking at the vial itself and tried to interpret the convoluted conversions and it just didn’t make sense to me.

 

The bottle had four different measurements to describe one damn amount. It said mL, mgs, cc’s, then IUs. I decided to email them about it. I pulled out the syringe, looked at it, and asked them “what line on this syringe do I pull back to give myself?” Simple question, right? My regular nurse was out so a backup nurse replied, “For the Omnitrope your dose is 0.5mL.” Okay problem solved I thought. So they day comes when it is time to give myself the medicine. I look over the instructions and realize that there is a different syringe I should be using, one that had IUs on it. Now I’m really confused. Mind you I had a suitcase full of these medications and the bag of these extra smaller syringes are identical to my Menopur syringes, so I thought those were just for the Menopur. I read the Omnitrope instructions carefully on this one page piece of paper that came with the medicine. Makes sense now. I pulled back 0.5mL of liquid (just like the nurse said to), pushed it into the vial, then pulled back my medicine to inject it.

 

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Use the top needle to mix the liquid with the Omnitrope powder. Use the bottom smaller needle to administer the medication. The quarter is to show the size of the needles.

 

But something in the back of my head was saying, “Are you sure you did that right?” I started to really doubt myself. I went online and I began searching for video tutorials from anyone, just to make sure I did it right. Well, as it turns out I really messed up. The video I finally found showed her pulling back 1mL of liquid, not 0.5mL. I ended up accidentally double dosing myself. The 0.5mL pushed into the powder medicine only ended up yielding half the amount of liquid substance, yet double the amount of actual medicine. So the 0.5mL explanation the nurse gave me was not accurate. I was trying to ask her about the liquid amount for the first syringe, not what the tiny syringe would end of up being. I gave myself the whole vial when it should have been half. The fact that the vial had four different conversions for the prescription, combined with the email response from the backup nurse, and the fact that the clinic did not have a tutorial video for this medicine all turned out the be the perfect storm for my very expensive f**k up. How expensive? Well I had to shell out another $1200 the very next day, because that medicine was supposed to last me two days. I was pissed to say the least.

 

My advice to you if you do need to take Omnitrope for the first time is to have your doctor actually show you how to do it. Unfortunately my local doctor was unavailable when I received the medicine so I had to do email correspondence while I was out of state for my treatment. I should have actually gone in to have them show me, but I didn’t realize it was going to be incredibly confusing. If need be, bring in your syringes and have them actually mark or put a sticky not on where exactly you will pull back the liquid as well as how far back to pull back for the actual medicine. The other problem was that the nurse was describing a conversion that wasn’t even on my syringe. So get organized and plan ahead. Bring in your medicine and ask for a thorough explanation with demonstrations. If available, review any tutorial videos. I will say I am not very happy about what happened at all. But I at least know what to do differently next time.

 

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Featured Image: My Omnitrope medication with syringes and needles.

Day 8 (Round 2 of IVF Stims): Doing IVF in College

Day 8 (Round 2 of IVF Stims): Doing IVF in College

(Entry written prior to posted date).

 

Poor Mom is really sick today. She is coughing, sneezing, and to top it off she has a bad migraine. I decided that it would be better if we just stayed in today so she could get some rest and recover from her cold quickly. I decided to make today my day to study. I’m taking an online class through my local college and I need to keep up with all the assignments. I recently wrote in a previous post about the many sacrifices you make when you do IVF, and choosing an online class instead of an in-person class was kind of a sacrifice for me. This way I could still do my trip out-of-state for IVF and not worry about getting behind in school and missing in-person classes. I wish I could take more than one class right now, but this is another sacrifice I had to make in order to have extra money to fund this trip.

 

Most of today I spent relaxing at the hotel studying Tolstoy and Chekhov. Both are very interesting writers. On the surface Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard” seemed kind of boring to me. But once I learned the history behind the story it helped me to understand the symbolism a lot better and made me appreciate the work more. I feel good about going back to school to study what I am really passionate about. I’m going for my bachelor in English. The high cost of IVF has determined the pace at which I can complete school. I told myself even if I have to do just one class at a time, that is better than not going at all. Some people seem perplexed when I tell them I am going for English. They make comments on how irrelevant that degree is in the workforce these days. Although I respect their opinion and I can see where they are coming from, I’m doing it for reasons other than having a job as an end goal. I chose this degree because I want to create more quality writing, worthy of being published.

 

Although IVF has pushed my graduation timeline further out, I’m trying to look on the bright side. At least this way I can go to school part-time and really absorb the information this time, as opposed to last time I was in school I was constantly rushing through studying and not doing as much serious contemplation and applying it into my life. Now I have plenty of time to examine and enjoy what I am studying. The other good thing about taking a class while doing IVF is that it serves as a good distraction for me. I don’t have time to sit and wallow when I have a paper due soon, or I need to post a response to an assignment. School forces my brain to focus on something other than my IVF worries. School has become a good distraction for me. I suppose IVF is forcing me to “stop and smell the roses” and to be more in the moment with life.

 

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Featured Image: Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

Day 7 (Round 2 of IVF Stims): Flying Out for Treatment

Day 7 (Round 2 of IVF Stims): Flying Out for Treatment

(Entry written prior to posted date).

 

As you may remember from my recent post Fertility Wars: Return of the Cyst, my eggs decided to be extra sluggish and are not growing the rate my doctor expects them to. So because of that my egg retrieval surgery was looking to be delayed more, and I was worried I would need to completely alter my travel plans. It all came down to this morning, when I went in for my follow-up ultrasounds and blood draw. The results would help me narrow down when they think the egg retrieval will actually be. So I drove to my ultrasound appointment, then drove to my doctors office for a blood draw, then raced home and called an Uber to pick Mom and I up for our flight immediately after the appointment. I felt huge sense of relief once my butt was in the seat of the plane. I’ve had an insanely busy week due to lots of school assignments, planning for the trip, being busy at work, and several job interviews. I got the call just before my flight that I am good to go and I don’t need to delay my travel plans any more. Good to hear, especially since I was already sitting on the plane. I figured that I didn’t want to change my flights around at the very last minute and I was okay with being there a few days earlier than expected.

 

Mom is coming with me again for this trip since Kurtis doesn’t have enough leave time until next year. After some research we found a nice hotel near the clinic and close to downtown Seattle, called the La Quinta. It’s so much nicer than the last hotel we stayed at for my first IVF round. As soon as you walk in there is an aquarium with exotic fish. La Quinta, you had me at fish aquarium. This one was way better and for the same price as that last crappy hotel we stayed at. It feel a lot safer here too, considering no one offered to sell me drugs this time, nor were there any loud fights in the parking lot. Did I mention this La Quinta serves free just-out-of-the-oven cookies around dinner time. Things are looking up!

 

Today we settled into the hotel and unpacked. We agreed we were going to just rest today and get room service. I ordered a Caesar salad with tons of Greek olives, it was really tasty. Plus I was craving more veggies so it was perfect. I picked up a bunch of tourist brochures from the lobby area when we arrived and I starting to plan our trip. Hey it’s better late than never, right? I’d like to visit a garden and see the fall foliage. I remember as a kid visiting Washington with my family and really enjoying all the beautiful gardens here. One thing to keep in mind when you are traveling for IVF is to remember to stay on schedule for your shots. If you plan to go out and about don’t forget to come back in time to take your schedule shots, or to pack them with you. If your medicine needs to be kept cool bring an ice pack. For me, I think I’m just going to plan my day around my shot schedule, as opposed to packing them with me. I don’t really feel like tracking down a dirty public bathroom to do this in, so I’m opting for always doing it at the hotel. Mom and I relaxed for the rest of the night and watched TV. I slept really hard. Maybe the medicine is making me extra tired, or maybe after a busy week I was finally able to relax into a good sleep.

 

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Featured Image: All of my daily pills I am taking for my second round of IVF.

Day 6 (Round 2 of IVF Stims): Big Changes for a Better Life

Day 6 (Round 2 of IVF Stims): Big Changes for a Better Life

(Entry written prior to posted date).

 

Today I had an interview with my current company but at their different location. I was so happy to hear that they offered me the position on-the-spot. It will be better for me for different reasons. It will be better pay and less stress. I would feel safer at this new location because I will be working with clients who are not in “crisis mode” anymore and they are instead more independent. I will be dealing less with the youth who could potentially become violent, mostly due to drug use. I’ve found drug needles in the laundry basket. Thankfully my supervisors were always great about giving me tips on when to wear needle proof gloves, so I was prepared. I wanted to find work where it would be safer if I did become pregnant. I am very excited to say I believe this new location will be a lot less stressful and safer for me.

 

The nice thing is that they were willing to work with me to have me start when I get back from my trip. I avoided the subject that I was doing it for IVF and instead said for “medical reasons.” They respected that I wasn’t quite ready to talk about it. I’m thinking of probably avoiding the subject of IVF for a bit, just so I can focus on learning my job as opposed to my treatment being a topic of conversation. I’m really hoping to be back before Thanksgiving, but it’s kind of hard to say since my body seems to not respond as quickly to the medication. I requested two weeks off before I start the new position. I would think that would be plenty of time to get the egg retrieval done, hopefully.

 

Even though this job will mean better pay, I still have a lot of medical bills I need to pay. Those bills are from my past miscarriages and subsequent surgeries, as well as miscellaneous bills relating to IVF that were not covered in their initial lump sum cost. I will post a future article breaking down all of my costs, for now I’d like to avoid going down that rabbit hole. The amount not covered by my IVF grant my Mom offered to help out with. So I owe her a good chunk of money. Ask family if they can help you out with a 0% interest loan, this can help you save a lot of money as well as get you started quicker on your IVF journey. Although my mom told me I didn’t need to pay her back I feel it is really important to pay her back.

 

I’m thinking of getting a second job in order to pay my bills more quickly. Probably just a part-time second job. I’m hoping to find one with more flexible hours, maybe something like InstaCart or teaching online. There are some online teaching jobs that seem pretty flexible. But I want to wait until I get back from my egg retrieval before I start looking into a second job. I think it’s important to think of a second job that still allows for some work-life balance.

 

My stomach is looking really sad these days. It’s bruised and has dozens of little red needle marks. Not to mention I am beginning to feel the bloat. It feels pretty uncomfortable. But I’m still able to wear my looser-fitting jeans without feeling like I’m going to explode. Most women bloat from IVF meds from what I hear, so I’m not too worried about it.

 

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Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/yeah-printed-white-board-900102/

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