Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Egg Forecast: Trigger Tomorrow!

I'm happy to report that our Easter egg hunt went very well this morning.  As predicted, the smaller follies we saw two days ago have caught up quite nicely and are appearing more mature and closer together in size. Here's what we ended up with in our basket today:

right ovary: 16, 15.5, 13.5, 13, 9 mm
left ovary: 18.5, 15.5, 15, 15, 14, 13 mm
uterine lining: 9.3  mm
estradiol: 2814

If the general rule for follicle growth (1-3 mm) per day continues over the next couple days until our anticipated ER (egg retrieval) I think we'll be in really good shape to retrieve some nice ripe eggs for fertilization. Dr. Vaughn is predicting that we'll possibly be ready to go ahead and do our hCG trigger shot (Ovidrel) tomorrow evening, which would put our ER Wednesday morning. Looks like we are perfectly on track with the calendar that I was given before we even started stimming. That is some damn good egg forecasting right there. Kudos Dr. V! I have a feeling things are about to begin moving pretty fast from here on out!

Our meds have been reduced yet again. Here is the schedule for the next couple of doses:

10 units Microdose Lupron in PM

150 iu Gonal F in PM
2 Dexamethasone in PM

Tomorrow Morning:
10 units Microdose Lupron in AM
150 iu Gonal F in AM
75 iu Menopur in AM

Tomorrow, I'll go in for estradiol AND progesterone blood tests first thing in the AM. Then we go back for yet another ultrasound in the afternoon and further instructions. The earliest I could possibly do the trigger shot will be 6:15 PM tomorrow, but we won't know until our 3 PM appointment when we're given clear instructions based on my bloodwork and ultrasound findings.

Please keep us in your prayers; That my eggs continue to grow slowly and steadily in perfect unison (without ovulating of course!) and that everything falls gently into place for a picture perfect egg retrieval!

Friday, March 29, 2013

IVF Update: 11 Follies a Moseying

I can't say I've ever had an egg hunt in my very own uterus on Easter before, but it looks like that is indeed what we will be doing this Sunday! Is it weird that I'm actually excited about that? If I am already getting this excited to see all of these little follicles growing inside of me at once, I can't imagine how attached I will get once they send me pics of my fertilized embryos growing in the lab, or better yet a REAL LIVE HUMAN BABY!

I mean, come on. Can't get much cuter than this.

I am trying not to get too carried away of course. It's in my nature to automatically temper my expectations to protect myself emotionally. However, I also want to at least try to allow myself the freedom to celebrate each positive step in the right direction. Today's appointment went pretty smoothly again. Here's our current progress report:

right ovary: 11, 11, 9, 8, 7, 5 mm
left ovary: 13, 7, 7, 6, 3 mm
uterine lining: 8.3 mm
estradiol: 1118

So, we are now able to measure 11 follicles and my lining looks right on track. I didn't ask, but it looked like my lining already had tri-layers too. Dr. Vaughn said my estradiol is on the "highish side" in relation to the actual measurements of my follicles currently. His guess is that my estradiol has surged a bit ahead and that my follicles will speed up their growth rate over the next couple days to match up with my estradiol reading better.

Of course, I'm not shocked at all that I've got some slow growers. I am so used to my body being slow to respond, that these types of reports and follie measurements don't even make me bat an eyelash anymore. I know my body WILL respond in full force when it's damn good and ready. What is full force? I believe Dr. V said that he wants to see at least 2 @ 20 mm and 4 @ 14mm for us to trigger and schedule the retrieval. However, even if there are follicles smaller at time of retrieval, they retrieve them all for fertilization.

At this rate, it looks like our ER (egg retrieval) will no longer be on 4/3, but closer to 4/4 or 4/5 earliest. We are fine with that. You can't rush a good thing! In the meantime, we are dropping our evening dose of Gonal-F just slightly to 225 iu. Until our next appointment on Easter, here is our meds schedule:

10 units Microdose Lupron in AM & PM
150 iu Menopur in AM
150 Gonal- F in AM
225 Gonal-F in PM
2 Dexamethasone in PM

All in all, I'm very content with our progress. Hoping and praying that all of the sacrifices and patiently waiting will pay off for us this time around! Also want to wish you ALL a fantastic Easter weekend if you celebrate and send a big shout out for being the best blogosphere peeps on the planet!  Have a blessed holiday weekend!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

C'mon Lucky 7!

Today was our "Stim Day 5" ultrasound for our IVF cycle, meaning it's been 5 days since we started the stimulation meds (Gonal F & Menopur). Yep, we've survived 5 whole days of 5 joyous injections per day! After a few tweaks to our routine, I think we've finally got it down! And to all the women who told me "You can't even feel the needles," you are all BIG FAT LIARS! haha! Just kidding. I love you guys. I am just a major wuss I guess, because I can definitely feel those fockers!

I can seriously do without the Menopur most of all. For those of you not familiar with Menopur, it's a purified mixture of FSH and LH that is derived from menopausal women's urine and it burns like a beotch going in! That one brought a couple tears yesterday. Man I hate that one! I told my husband it's only a matter of time before they start making prostate cancer drugs from old men's boogers. Seriously, how do they even discover this stuff??

Now back to today...We had an apt. with Dr. Vaughn to check follicle (egg) growth and adjust meds dosages if necessary. I also gave blood this morning to check my estradiol levels (also used to monitor follicle development).

I think every woman who goes into IVF is scared of one thing and one thing only; That it might not work! There are so many hurdles along the way to even stay in the race and have a shot at getting to the finish line. While we are certainly not out of the woods yet for a successful cycle, today's progress report showed we are indeed moving in the right direction.

I have to first respond to the meds in order to continue on and even have the chance to complete the actual IVF procedure.  Today showed that I am beginning to respond. If you go in for your ultrasounds and bloodwork and you just aren't responding to the meds (not producing enough follicles, etc.) then the whole cycle can be cancelled. There are usually about 5 ultrasounds in an IVF cycle, but more may be needed. Today's apt. was another small hurdle crossed in this process.

Here's how it's looking so far:

right ovary: 7, 6, 5, 5 mm
left ovary: 7, 3, 3 mm
uterine lining: 5.7 mm
estradiol: 267

I won't lie. I would have LOVED for Dr. V to count follicles in the double digits. However, I am content with 7 for now, and more may present themselves later as well. The average number of eggs retrieved during an IVF cycle is 7-12 eggs. There I am at the bottom cusp of "normal" yet again! Definitely not shocked by that.  As tempting as it might be, I am resolved to not compare myself and my own progress with that of other women who might be fortunate enough to have 10 or 15 or more follicles brewing. Besides, 7 happens to be my lucky number. C'mon lucky 7!!

There is such a wide range of response among woman when it comes to IVF. It's only natural for us to think that MORE is always BETTER right? More eggs retrieved means more will probably fertilize, more will make it to a stage where they are good healthy embryos, and there might be more left over to freeze embryos for another cycle later. While that's somewhat logically true, I also know that quantity is not THE only predictor of a successful IVF cycle.  I've read stories of women who have 15+ eggs retrieved, but who do not become pregnant or have any leftover embryos to freeze, just like I have read stories of women who have fewer than 5 eggs retrieved who go on to have healthy happy babies!

For now, I am content with the 7 we are seeing so far. Fingers are crossed that a couple more pop up along the way. I wouldn't be surprised if we see one or two more appear in the left ovary. That has always been my dominant ovary, and even on Femara cycles, I've had an extra follie show up on that side at the last minute. Fingers crossed we'll get a couple more, but if not I will still be content. Now we just need them all to keep growing steadily and within the same size range as we go. My estradiol level was also fine...rising but not too fast, so this is good.

Dr.'s orders are to continue with our current meds schedule:

10 units Microdose Lupron in AM & PM
150 iu Menopur in AM
150 Gonal- F in AM
300 Gonal-F in PM
2 Dexamethasone in PM

I'm also to stop taking baby aspirin on Thursday (one week prior to egg retrieval) so as to prevent any bleeding from the ovaries during surgery. Acupuncture as well on Thursday. Then, back for more bloodwork and another ultrasound to re-asses progress on Friday. Our third ultrasound will most likely be on Easter Sunday or the following Monday. Of course, hubby couldn't let that one slide without making a joke. On the ride home he turns to me and says, "Awesome! I guess we know where we'll be hunting for eggs on Easter!"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

With Lil' Jon and Jesus for You, Who Dare Be Against You??

Today is the day that we start shooting up! As you know, I have not been looking forward to the whole process, and although Monday's lesson from nurse Jamie was helpful, it's still pretty daunting for an IVF newbie like myself. I became a little more at ease once I watched these awesome VIDEOS online that are provided by Freedom Fertility Pharmacy, and luckily today and tomorrow we are only responsible for injecting Lupron. This is the medication that will prevent ovulation from occurring once we begin the other stimulation meds. By Friday we'll be doing 5 injections each day (2 Lupron, 2 Gonal-F & 1 Menopur). It's a little overwhelming of course, but I'm happy to say that our first Lupron injection this morning went off without a hitch! I did the prep and hubby shot me up; Teamwork at it's finest! They should really consider including "in infertility and in health" to the marriage vows. People really deserve a better warning for this nonsense!

Leave it to hubby to lighten the mood and calm my fears.
Last night he randomly asks me if I'm ready for the morning and starts playing the LMFAO & Lil' Jon song "SHOTS" really loud in the kitchen. If you don't remember this song from Spring Break 2009, let me refresh your memory...

I especially like the part where they start calling out the individual shots like "Jager Bomb! Lemondrop! Jello Shots!" My dear friend, Kim, from my online support group offered a fabulous suggestion. We should make our own video and we can call out our own shots like, "Follistim! Ovidrel! Gonal- F!"  It would be a HUGE hit and would make us millions for infertility treatments. IVF's all around! All we need is a name for our group now! I mean, you just aren't cool unless you're taking shots right?! As Lil' Jon says, "If you aint takin shots get the #@*% out the club." So, from now on we're just pretending like this is one big ole partay and we're in da club.

I went to bed with that song stuck in my head last night and woke up giggling about it too. I thought it only proper that I take a few minutes out while lying in bed to clear my head of bikini models in rap videos and refocus. I said a prayer that Jesus would be with us as we embark on this new journey today, that the medications would help my body the way they are supposed to, that I would have the strength to handle them like a champ, and that in the end an amazing miracle would come of all of this. Hey, if Lil' Jon and Jesus are for you, who dare be against you??...or something like that.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

It's My IVF Pity Party & I'll Cry If I Want To

People are always remarking on how I inspire them to be more positive. Well, you sure wouldn't think that if you saw me today. I feel completely defeated, like I just want to curl into a ball next to a box of kleenex and shut the world I'm a complete failure of a woman. The last 24 hours dealing with logistics of IVF has made everything seem much more real and crucial to our future.

I was on the phone on and off all day yesterday with the meds coordinator from my fertility clinic, the mail order pharmacy, my home town pharmacy, and the financial counselor from my fertility clinic. With each and every phonecall the tally climbed (we are up to about $17,000 now) and I became more and more anxiety ridden and a little pissed off  if I'm being totally honest. Everyone I spoke to had the utmost professionalism and delivered amazing customer service. It wasn't that. What it boils down to is that this process simply is not fair!

While I keep reminding myself it's a privilege to even have IVF available, I still feel like it's not fair that we have to go to such great lengths to do something millions of people do all over the planet with zero physical pain, emotional pain, or financial sacrifice. It's what women are born to do, and yet I can't seem to do it on my own.

-It's not fair that drug addicts, promiscuous women and other ungrateful people can have children unexpectedly and I can't no matter how hard I try.

-It's not fair that we have to support healthcare costs of so many preventable diseases in this country that are many times the product of "lifestyle choices", yet there are no mandates for infertility insurance coverage for couples who have a medical diagnosis preventing them from having a family.

-It's not fair that I have spent the last almost two years living my life waiting...waiting for ovulation, waiting for blood test results, waiting for good news, only to be let down each and every time I think something good might happen.

-It's not fair that I've had to put my career in fitness, my physical body, the absolute love of my life (sweating it out in the gym) completely on hold for the chance to make my reproductive system tick again like it should. Meanwhile other women can just find out they are accidentally pregnant while running marathons, or even while winning an Olympic gold medal for volleyball. Thanks Kerri Walsh for reminding me how flawed I am. Seeing a pregnant lady running her heart out on the treadmill at the gym is like a slap in the face to me, because I'm "not allowed" to exercise strenuously.

-It's not fair that the entire staff at the lab where I give blood for testing know me by first name and that a 65 year old man who makes $200 for every 15 minute visit knows me by my vagina.

-It's not fair that my husband has to have a wife who's moods are up and down according to what drug is being pumped into my body, what cycle has failed yet again, and who has to sacrifice every extra cent of his hard earned paychek for something most women and couples can do with no problem. We don't have any savings. We don't have any retirement. Nope, we have infertility.

-It's not fair that we both have to endure the ignorance and selfishness of others' comments from people in public and even from people we thought were our "friends." It's not fair that we have to feel like outcasts in many situations and that most of society has no f'ing clue what it's like to go through this process.

Sorry, but that's just how I feel today. I spent a few minutes hugging my husband and crying on his shoulder this morning. All I kept saying was, "This HAS to work. This HAS to work." My meds arrived at our doorstep today as well...

In case you ever wondered, this is what $6170.85 of IVF meds looks like.

By then my husband had left for a much needed day outdoors golfing and I was glad he was gone when these arrived. I just sobbed and sobbed as I unloaded them, wishing in my heart I could just cry in the arms of my mother.  Just as soon as I stopped, I then pulled the needles out of the bags and saw how stinkin long some of them are and starting crying again...

Of course I measured, and these are 2 inches long. WTF?

I mean why must they be this long? I thought these were all supposed to be subcutaneous (under the skin) and not intramuscular (in the muscle) so why the heck are these so freaking big?! I haven't even taken the prefilled Gonal-F or Ovidrel out of the box, because I'm scared to see how long those needles are.  I guess there is just no way around it. It is what it is, and I have to accept that this has become our reality. I know one thing; If this doesn't break me of my fear of needles head on, I don't know what will.

Sunday is the last day of taking BCP's, and Monday is when the real fun all begins. We go for our appointment with the IVF nurse, where she teaches us how to properly use all of the injections. I also have my baseline ultrasound and mock transfer with Dr. Vaughn. Then Wednesday, we'll start injecting the Lupron, and Friday we start injecting the Gonal F & Menopur. All of the other meds will have their time and place as well during the next few weeks. If you can say a prayer that I can somehow endure all of these shots and blood tests, it would be appreciated.

I know I don't have another option if we want to do IVF, and that I just need to put on my big girl panties and suck it up. For this moment right here and now though, it's my IVF pity party and I'll cry if I want to. You would cry too if it happened to you!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Making it a DIY Spa Day

Hubby was up at the butt crack of dawn this morning to head off to his early golf tee time, and I was already pacing at 7 AM wondering what to do today. I hit the gym for a quick workout and decided to turn my lackluster morning into a luxurious DIY at home spa experience. No better way to start your Saturday morning if you ask me!

So grateful for this tub. It's my escape from reality!

It was just me, Calgon, candles and this awesome relaxing CD I had playing. A while back when we were actually at a real spa, hubby Shazam'ed the music they had playing on his phone to find out what it was. Now I have it and can listen anytime I want. I love Shazam! This is definitely a good one if you're looking for something to calm your nerves and bring a little more zen into your day...

Magical Moods by Fridrik Karlsson makes my mood magical.

Then it was onto spa treatment #2...what I like to call my "Deluxe Signature Frozen Spoon Facial." If you have never done one, it is the cadillac of at home facials. After you've steamed and cleansed your face in the shower, apply your favorite face mask. Then, take two spoons that have gotten ice cold in the freezer (or a cup of ice water) and apply them to your eyelids upside down. It magically cures puffy eyes and feels sooooo nice. You can actually do this anytime your eyes look tired and it will reduce puffiness and wake you up a little....

Don't hate on the creepy pic. Just try it!

Spa treatment #3 was a mani/pedi with my new favorite neutral orange color for Spring. Someone told me a long time ago that when you turn 30 years old, your hands turn into your mother's hands. So true! My hands are a spitting image of my mother's, and I am thankful for the reminder of her. I think my mom would have also loved this color...

Loving this color...Sally Hansen "Just So Fawn"

Then back into my fuzzy slippers to make myself breakfast in bed, watching HGTV while everything dried and all of the amazing products I used soak in...

Cozy tootsies and breakfast in bed don't suck.

Ahhh, I feel like I can breathe a little better now. One of the things that has kept me the most sane during the past couple of difficult years has been to do nice things for myself. I am crafty about finding ways to treat myself for very little or no money at all. However, even if it ends up costing something, hubby and I both resolve to treat ourselves on a consistent basis. We both agree how important it is to take time outs each week, and to do things that will keep you loving yourself and each other. In fact, we both have massages scheduled for next Sunday at a local resort!  We keep our eyes peeled for awesome coupon deals on sites like Travelzoo, Living Social and Groupon, so we never pay full price and are able to plan fun things at half the price or less many times. 

Speaking of sprucing things up, I also did a little kitchen window makeover this week to liven up our kitchen, which is where I spend about 80% of my time while at home. This is sad and pitiful and almost embarrassing to post, but this was my kitchen window BEFORE:

SO tired of looking at the neighbors' brick and weeds!!!

Ever since they built the house next door to us, I have been complaining about the fact that my view is basically the side of the neighbors' house and the weeds that they never pick in their side yard even at 2 feet high. I finally decided to do something about it! I found some great ceramic pottery at Hobby Lobby and some cute little plants and flowers at Lowe's. Here is the AFTER:
Ta dah! Much happier place to be now!

It's more dramatic of a change in person I think, but a little greenery made a HUGE difference when you walk into the kitchen. I spend so much time at that window, and I've been a total dork admiring my green thumb all week since the addition. It's just nice to have something living in the house that my cats can't really get to and eat for once!

Of course, the day after I did this, my kitchen sink became clogged from either extraneous dirt, orange peels, or God knows what, and I am now stuck with a non-functioning sink until the plumber gets here on Monday. Plus, my dishwasher was completely full when it happened (OF COURSE!), so I can't even cook now either, because there is nowhere to put dirty dishes. Doh! I thought about going all Honey Boo Boo and starting to do my dishes in the yard, but decided against it.

Oh well, I guess it just means we'll have to eat out and have someone bring our food to us, clean up our plates, and do dishes for us all weekend long now. Gosh, I just hate it when that happens!  ;) I know things are about to get a little crazy with all the IVF meds and procedures starting soon, so I'm taking some time out to enjoy the calm before the storm.

What do you do to make yourself feel special or keep the mood full of love and light?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Holy Big Pharma...To Infertility and Beyond!

This morning's mail brought our IVF plan with a complete list of meds (for now at least). Take a gander at this whopper of a list...

-Leuprolide Microdose (Lupron 40 mcg/0.1cc) 40 syringes
-Gonal-F (900IU) 4 Pens, 6 refills
-Gonal-F (300IU) 2 Pens, 6 refills
-Menopur (75 IU) 12 needles, 24 count, 1 refill
-Estradiol (2mg) 90 tablets, 3 refills
-Norco 5 (for pain) 20 tablets, 1 refill
-Doxycycline (100 mg) 8 tablets
-Medrol (4 mg) 16 count
-Ovidrel (250 mcg) 1 refill
-Crinone (8% gel) 18 applicators, 3 refills
-Dexamethasone ( 0.5 mg) 30 count
Sharps package (disposal unit, alcohol wipes, gauze, etc.)

-DHEA (25 mg/day) 3x/day
-CoQ10 (600 mg) daily

I feel like I've got enough fertility meds on order to fill up a spaceship and fly to the moon! No idea why, but when I saw this list I immediately got a picture of Buzz Lightyear in my head and couldn't help but think of him lifting off full speed ahead proclaiming, "To infinity and beyond!"

Except I guess in my case it's more like "To infertility and beyond!" If the world ends tomorrow, you can bet your sweet britches I'm taking my fertility meds with me. This stuff is like liquid gold I tell you! Once I saw the list it kind of hit home why they are so damn expensive. The meds alone for our IVF cycle will cost around $6000 thanks to my low AMH and DOR diagnosis.

The actual IVF procedure itself will cost another $10-11K (min.), although that number could easily grow if we end up needing ICSI (Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection), assisted hatching, or any other "add-ons."  If there is one thing I've learned about fertility medicine, it's that is ALWAYS ends up being more than the low ball figure they give you. There will always be an extra ultrasound, or an extra vial of meds, or an extra blood test needed. When you have zero fertility insurance coverage and are paying completely OOP, you pay attention to every dollar spent (at least I do) and so you know exactly how easily it can climb. Realistically, we know we'll spend $15K-$20K for this one cycle of IVF, which equates to a 40-50% shot at conception. 

Sound like A LOT of money for still having no guarantee of a baby? Well, it is.
However, without IVF we have only about 1-2% chance at conceiving on our own. It's been 4+ years since I stopped taking the pill and almost 2 years since we started actively TTC with the help of specialists. We've experienced 2 pregnancy losses and have uncovered quite a laundry list of issues on my end, which are presenting a multitude of reasons we aren't having success the good old fashioned way. We would rather not assume the definition of insanity by doing the same thing over and over again for the next year or 5 years, only to be stuck in the same place we are now. Btw, I'm totally sporting this T-shirt once I'm pregnant...

Infertility Maternity T-Shirt

Sure I could just start smoking crack (seems to work so well!) or there could always be a miracle sometime this decade if we kept trying on our own. Everyone knows someone who miraculously became pregnant in their 40's after years of trying. I mean, look at Sarah and Abraham from the Bible who became pregnant at age 90 or something! Well, waiting until I'm 90 is a road neither hubby nor I am willing to take, as I'm sure most of you aren't either. lol

I was kind of surprised to see that my RE has me doing the Micro-Dose Lupron Flare Protocol with BCP for the IVF. I thought I'd be doing the traditional Long Lupron protocol, but apparently after viewing my entire file he feels I am better off with a Micro-Dose protocol. I can't say I object to be honest. Ever since I learned about IVF protocols, I've been a little scared of being overly suppressed on the Long Lupron protocol, due to my DOR (diminished ovarian reserve) diagnosis and some other factors.

Even though I had my AMH re-tested recently at 1.8, it was 0.88 when taken 6 months ago, so they still consider me to be DOR based on my lowest measurable number. I also exhibit quite a few other signs of poor response. If you've followed my blog a while, you already know how super duper low all of my hormones have always been and how slow and late I seem to respond to other fertility meds, even though fertility meds in pill form aren't the best determinant in ovarian response. I'm guessing he looked more closely at ALL the pieces to this crazy puzzle and chose Micro-Dose for me based on everything put together.  He does not base protocol for any of his patients on AFC (antral follicle count) either. I did ask nurse Jamie for the rationale on this decision to switch to the Micro-Dose protocol just to be clear on his reasoning. I'll let you know what he says. At the end of the day, I totally respect Dr. Vaughn's opinion 100% and will just follow dr.'s orders.

I put together a rough draft of our IVF cycle and created a new tab at the top of this page titled "IVF Calendar" which will stay there permanently. (Click on each calendar to enlargen.) There are a few extraneous meds not listed there believe it or not, but all the key players are there for now. It will also change as we modify dosages and monitoring along the way. Now if I can backtrack for a moment...I realize I was just complaining about being on BCP's in my last blog post, but after seeing this big fat scary list of meds, BCP's aren't seeming so bad anymore!

Monday, March 4, 2013

BCP's- (code word for Crazy Bitch!)

Just when I thought I was going to escape the dreaded mood swings and side effects of being on birth control pills for the first time in 5 years, I was proven wrong. To re-cap... I am taking BCP's for 21 days as part of the suppression phase of my IVF cycle. I've been taking them in the evening close to bedtime to avert ill side effects as much as possible. These are the ones I'm taking...

I wasn't really having any side effects, except for slight nausea and waking up at 2 AM every night feeling a little queasy. Then, I noticed Friday (after taking them 5 days) that I was becoming really irritable. Everyone in public was annoying the crap out of me!  Maybe it was just a bad day?

Then Saturday, I was happily working out at the gym on the elliptical machine early in the morning, when it's pretty empty in there. Some lady comes and plants herself on the machine DIRECTLY beside me within inches of my breathing room. There are literally about 50 other elliptical machines spread all across the gym she could have chosen, but she felt the need to be RIGHT next to me. I huffed and puffed, got off my machine, got new paper towels with disinfectant, cleaned a whole new machine a few spots down, and resumed my workout. In my head I'm thinking, "Why must you invade my personal space in a 50,000 square foot gym?!"

Then we go to Home Depot and I'm looking for gardening gloves. We can't find them anywhere. I ask the guy at front, "Can you direct me to the gardening gloves please?" He replies, "Gardening" He is obviously having a brain fart. I say, "Yes, gardening gloves. You know, gloves you would wear to garden." He then replies, "So children's gardening gloves?" It's just me and my husband standing there with zero children in sight of course. I look at him like he's got two heads and say, "No gardening gloves for ME, women's size!" He has to radio in to someone to ask. It takes what seemed like 5 minutes for a response, and we finally find them. I wanted to strangle this guy!

As we walk away and I'm mumbling under my breath about, "Do we look like we need children's gardening gloves?!" I can tell my husband is clearly not becoming as annoyed with people in public as I am. These are only a couple examples, but it feels like everywhere I go, I encounter the top 10% of all stupid people on the planet or something. Normally I would roll my eyes at things and just laugh about strange folks, but I am becoming seriously angry at the smallest of things. While I might be rightfully annoyed at the plethora of people who seem to be walking around in a fog, the reaction I'm having to them could probably be curtailed a bit. Ya think? haha!

The gardening gloves incident made me stop and realize that something here is just not within my control. Then a light bulb goes off and it hits me....I bet it's the birth control pills turning me into a crazy beotch! That has to be it! On top of it, my RE has me now also taking 75 mg/day of DHEA during my IVF cycle. DHEA is a precursor to both the male hormone, testosterone, and also estrogen, and had been shown to increase success rates for IVF in patients with DOR (diminished ovarian reserve) like myself. So between pumping estrogen AND testosterone into my body at the same time, I guess it makes sense if I'm a hormonal mess.   I woke up in a more familiar Pollyanna mood this morning, and all I could think of was this song to describe my weekend state of mind...

What a rockin tune, even if I do feel the need to repent after watching the video. ha! Let's just hope my mind and body can assimilate a little better as we get further into the IVF cycle, because if I am already acting crazy from a few hormones now, I can't even imagine what to expect once we add FSH (follicle stimulating hormones), Ovdirel (hCG hormone) and Crinone (progesterone) to the mix. Lord help us all...especially my dear hubby. He is such a champ throughout this process.

I am waiting on my full IVF calender to arrive in the mail, but here are the estimated dates for the major milestones of our IVF thus far...

February 25th- Begin BCP's. Continue for 21 days

March 18th
- meeting with IVF nurse (review entire IVF plan and learn to do injectables)

                  - baseline ultrasound (to rule out any ovarian cysts and begin treatment)
                  - sign all papers and pay $$$

March 20th- Begin Lupron injections (daily throughout remainder of cycle)

March 22nd- Begin Gonal F injections & Menopur injections (daily throughout remainder of cycle)

April 3rd- Expected ER (egg retrieval)

April 6th OR April 8th- Expected ET (embryo transfer)

Of course, the ER and ET dates are not set in stone. We won't know how I'll respond to the meds until we actually start doing them. I'll be doing many ultrasounds and blood tests to monitor my response along the way, so this is a ballpark estimation. I'll be doing acupuncture accordingly as the cycle progresses as well. 

It's hard to believe that in about 6 weeks time, we could be expecting the little one we've worked so hard to bring into this world!  Please pray for us:  That I will respond well to treatment. That we will have no roadblocks or surprises along the way. Most of all, that I will somehow maintain my sanity while being pumped full of meds.