28 May 2009


I had another blood test today.  For me, just as important as the last one.  Charleen told me that my level should go up by at least half.  1495 - what happened to up by half?! My levels are so high that I graduate to the upstairs office.  Bye bye Charlene, TJ and I was both miss you terribly!!

26 May 2009

Miracles Do Happen!

We're pregnant!! 
They think it's twins!!
So much has happened since my last post, and much of it was held back because I don't think I could have handled posting about another failure.  So I'm going to do my best to now sum up the last cycle.   
So I finally ovulated on April 24.  Excitement of all excitement!  Even my nurse was excited when she called to tell me the good news.  So that night I started my drug trial of Ganirelix Acetate.  In my past cycles and attempts, I had a lot of problems with uneven growth of my follicles.  I'd have a couple of gigantic ones and then some iddy biddies which is not good for the process.  So the idea here was that Ganirelix would replace the Lupron that did NOTHING for me (other than make me mad as a hatter), and it would also be used after the stimulation begins to keep the follicles under control.  So my ganirelix starts and after 5 days on it I get my period - let the stimulation begin.  So normal "Day 1" process, I call to report my period to the doctor, because really, doesn't everyone want to know?! They set my appointment up for the next day.  I'm assured that the Ganirelix really did its job because they cannot find my left ovary.  I was assured that this was good, but to me, since I'm already missing some important parts, I was a tad nervous.  After this appointment I was unstructured to begin my stimulation.  Since it's a drug trial, not only are all my drugs free, I have to use the specific ones they want me to use.  So for this go-around I used Follistim, replacing my Gonal-F.  Side note:  Follistim was cool since it came with a great carrying pouch; I preferred the ease of the Gonal-F being all pre-loaded.  Since it held more, pushing down my dose was much easier that the 5000 clicks it took Follistim to put out my dose. 
On May 1st, I also start my low dose HcG.  So I've got two shots in my belly a day, it's great! =)  Monday, May 4th is the big day.  The day I learn how my follicles are looking, and for the first time every, I'M TEXT BOOK!  I've been in this process since before Thanksgiving last year and this is the first time I'm text book!  It was a good day.  All my follicles are the same size and there are a bunch of them.  Things are going so well I don't have my next appointment till Wednesday - a big change from my going to the office 5 out of 7 days for my last cycle.  Wednesday’s appointment also when shockingly well, they didn't want to see me till Friday - amazing!  After that appointment I was instructed to start my Ganirelix again. 
Something you have to understand about all these drugs, they are time sensitive.  So when you take something, it usually has to be at the same time every day.  Well, when I got the call to start my Ganirelix, I had to take the drug immediately, except that I was in Hunting Park in Philly (apparently the ghetto) getting my hair cut.  So what did I do?  I shot up in the bathroom.  Yes, nothing makes you feel like you're doing something illegal than sneaking off to a tiny bathroom to shoot up your meds, but I digress.
Now by Friday's appointment things started to get a little hairy.  Not medically, but calendar wise.  You see, since everything was going to great there was a chance that my retrieval would be on Sunday, Mother's day.  Now, in theory, that would be great.  TL is home from work, and so is anyone else that could watch TJ while I get put out for them to do some egg pickin'.  Except that I had like a million and one things planned for Sunday!  I'm not saying that I wouldn't have cancelled all my plans and been happy to do so, but one of my million things planned for that day was brunch with my mother-in-law.  You may be thinking, what's the big deal; well this cycle was a secret.  No one knew when/if anything was going on, because if it didn't work again we did not want to go through the heart breaking procedure of not only ourselves having to deal with that it didn't work, but telling everyone it didn't.  So what outrageous lie was I going to tell her and everyone else I was eating with to get out of it?!? 
Of course, true to my usual style, I made a mountain out of a mole hill before I needed to.  Friday's appoint when great, they actually dialed back my Follistim dose - another first! My retrieval was set for Monday. 
I was instructed to take 1/2 cc of HcG at 8 pm on Saturday night.  The dosage was less than I took last time, so in order to make sure my body absorbed it, they played a very cruel joke on me.  I had to take a pregnancy test at 7am and it was supposed to come back positive.  Are you kidding me?!  I haven't seen a positive pregnancy test since Oct 2004, and you want me to do what?!  To ease my freak out I was informed that I could purchase my pregnancy test at the dollar store.  Yes, Ladies and gentlemen, you can buy pregnancy tests at the dollar store!  Do you have any idea how much money that fact could have saved me over the last two years?!  So I sent TL to buy me a pregnancy test at the dollar store, and sure enough found one.  Sunday morning I wake up at 6:55am and blindly stumble into the bathroom to pee.  Before I sit down, thankfully, it was before I sat down; I opened the dollar store pregnancy test.  Have I mentioned that I was not a big fan of chemistry in HS?  Apparently, the $7-8 price tag most pregnancy tests have, stems from the amazing technology of peeing on the stick.  You see, the dollar store version came with a dropper.  What?!  It's almost 7, what the hell am I supposed to do with that?!  I read the directions and I'm instructed to pee in a cup, and use the dropper to extract some of said pee.  I am then supposed to drop 3 drops of pee into the little circle on the test.  God help me!  So I follow the instructions and wait.  Well I don't actually wait.  I've seen tons of negative pregnancy tests, you can watch the pee spread through the test and once the "test" line turns and nothing else has turned, you're not pregnant.  And low and behold I wasn't pregnant.  Oh shit!  What the hell does that mean?!  At this point I'm thinking the dollar store pregnancy test is faulty - because, hello, it came from the dollar store.  So I retrieve the "good" pregnancy test that I have been saving to take when I knew I was pregnant.  That one has the pee on stick technology and yet another negative.  I taught my son a whole lot of bad words that morning.  The paperwork said that I was supposed to call the office and leave a message as to my result.  If the test came back negative, they would call me back and have me in to the office.  I was supposed to leave for the zoo for my big behind the scenes preview at 8:30 and I have to leave there at 11:15 to hopefully not me too late for my 11:30 brunch.  I have and hour and a half and I'm not wasting it by waiting for a phone call.  I call and leave my message, but rather than waiting for my call back I just head to the office.  I head right upstairs to where I usually have my blood tested and the door is locked - well isn't this just ducky!  I go downstairs and the weekend nurse, whom I don't really know well, sees me right away and asks what's wrong.  There are so many things going through my head at this point - How could a cycle that had gone PERFECTLY not end in a transfer?!  I tell her the test was negative, between tears, and she sits me down so she can make some phone calls.  She soon hears back from a doctor who informs us that I need to take another pee test and have my blood drawn.  Then there were going to just give me more HcG and the transfer would still be Monday, whew!  So I pee for the extremely nice nurse and she sets up my test - the EXACT same one that TL bought at the dollar store, btw!  While we're waiting for the result she starts to wrap my arm so she can draw blood.  She's about to stick the needle in when she leans over to look at the pregnancy test, "It's positive."  WHAT?!  What do you mean it's positive!?!?  I immediately call TL and tell him to dig through the bathroom garbage for my tests.  Sure enough the fancy pee on kind was positive, albeit with a very faint pink line, and the dollar store one, if you looked at it in the right light, was also positive.  Fourteen of the gray hairs on the left side of my head are from that morning.
My sister-in-law was kind enough to sleep over Sunday night, to stay with TJ for my procedure Monday morning.  We get to the office by 7, TL with his donation, and the retrieval is started at 8.  Everything goes well and I get to spend the napping.  We had decided to attempt to fertilize 3, just like last time. 
Tuesday they call bright and early to tell me that 2 of the 3 fertilized and of the other eggs, which the number escape me, 4 were frozen.  They monitor them for a couple of days, one was 4 cells by Wednesday the other 2, and my transfer was set for Thursday at 9:30.  My Mom came down Wednesday night to watch TJ- and take him to zoo school, but that's a WHOLE nother story.  TL and I got there at 9:15 and I had drank most of my liter of water by that point.  (Could someone please invent an ultrasound where you don't have to have a full bladder, please!!!)  The doctor didn't think I had enough of a full bladder and my transfer was a little delayed so I could chug, fun, let me tell you!
Not that this whole process isn't awesomely, technologically advanced, but they really flaunt it during the transfer.  This time, TL and I could to watch the whole thing on this huge flat panel over my head.  First the embryologist shows up the dish with our name in huge letters and then she pans down to our babies!!  Our actual babies! Yes, I have the picture.  Then we were shown the catheter suck up the babies.  On the ultrasound, we could see the catheter and where the deposit was made.  Then just to check that everything worked as planned, we are again directed to the flat screen to watch them flush the catheter so we know the babies were transferred.  All in all, very cool.
This transfer felt very different from my first.  I had no cramping and barely any discharge at all, I was hopeful, but I still have to wait until the Monday after Memorial Day to find out.  Let the time drag on...
I’m very close to the wonderful nurse that walked me though this entire process.  And over my time with the office I had learned that when it was bad news and doctor would call and when it was good news you'd get a nurse.  I knew that when I got my phone call that Tuesday afternoon all I would have to hear is the voice to know if I was pregnant or not.  My nurse, Charlene, didn't even get through saying all of my name before I started crying.  It was her so I must be pregnant, I was really pregnant!!
Normal HcG levels for a woman in the point of pregnancy that I was are anything over 50.  I was at 684.  What?!  Wait is that ectopic high? "No."  Twins?  Charlene proceeds to tell me that she could pussy foot around and tell me that they need to wait for the ultra sound, but yes, twins!  My god!

01 May 2009

One Insightful Little Boy

The other day my son asked me, "Mommy, when I was with the angels before I was born, was I dead?" 
Side notes: 
      Months ago he wanted to know where he was before he was born.  Since it's not something I can really wrap my head around, I told him that the angels were watching him until his Daddy and I were ready to take care of him.  
     I also recently had a relative pass away, and we've never been the type of parents to dumb things down for the boy, and he's not really the kind of kid that will take the dumbed down version anyway.  So when my Aunt passed away - I hope when I'm 96 I have all my faculties till the end! - we explained him that she had died and it was time for her to go to be with Jesus.  He had a ton of questions and we talked about it a lot.  
So getting back to the other day, I explained to him again that they were only watching him until it was time for him to come to us.  Then he asked, "But what if you never had me?"  Holding back tears, I responded, "...I would have done anything to have you!"

...and that's when I realized that IVF was just my method of "anything" to get the rest of my babies from the angels.  It's amazing the things your little one can make appear so clearly.