Saturday, July 31, 2010

World clock...

Have you heard? The earth has slowed its orbit and time is running s-l-o-w-e-r than normal. It has been nationally reported that this occurrence will continue until my pregnancy test. Then, depending on the outcome, the earth will either pick up speed and twirl at a very jolly pace or explode. Dramatic, I know; but I just report the facts.
It's weird. We made it through this entire process and I retained my sanity. I think I am much stronger for it. Or was. Until yesterday evening. I hit a wall. I actually want to hit my head against the wall. I think the progesterone is a bit of a depressant. I'm moody, introverted and sad (fine...more than normal!). It didn't help that my progesterone shot just ran out last night (by ran out I mean, Michael removed the gi-normous needle and it spilled out of the hole left from the needle). Cue load more and inject in the other butt cheek. Then when he removed the needle for the 2nd time, I had a blood explosion (probably from all the blood thinners I'm taking). Double ouch. By then Michael was upset. I'm rattled and ouchy and I still had to give myself a Lovenox injection. Then that shot went bad. Again, the serum just ran out of the created hole...and that one you don't get a reload, double shot; it is what it is. OK - is everyone still with me or did I just make half of my readership puke and/or pass out? I leave this subject...but the moral is...shots are sucky-sucky.
Anyhoo, keep Michael in your prayers. He's gonna need them. :) He wants nice O-luv back and I can't find her anywhere to return her...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Glad I could be on bedrest for the dogs' sake...

I think these dogs are enjoying bed rest. They are convinced that I have been hanging around the bed just for their enjoyment and cuddles. I let them believe it because they have no idea they are dogs and assume I should dote on them all day.
They kind of have a point. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Another update...

Hi everyone, well the transfer went great yesterday! We transferred two healthy embryos and as a friend of mine likes to put it - I'm (actually considering the friend, we're) pregnant with twins until proven otherwise!!! I continue to take progesterone and Lovenox shots so I am still whiny but happy that everything is going so well.

So this morning we also got the call that - wait for it - we have THREE embryos to freeze! We're going to have a basketball team - I just know it! Imagine the celebration when we heard that we have other embryos to freeze to extend our family further in the future. Cut to ten minutes later. I bee-bop to the girl's room to go tinkle, stretch for the TP and my back completely locks up. I mean completely can't move, can't breathe, can't think. All I could do was scream for Michael and when that didn't work, bang on the wall as hard as I could. Poor Michael came running, probably scared to death. I was in so much pain, he asked me if he should call an ambulance?! Anyhoo, he got me to bed (it is pure love when your hubby has to pick you up off the toilet!) and, thank goodness, the pain has gotten better as the days has gone on. Imagine this: Lortab is the doc's recommendation. No accupunture or chiropractor...just narcotics! However in the last 36 hours, I have started to think like a mommy. I considered just hanging in there with the pain, but when I had to again have assistance in the potty department, I decided one pain pill might help and it did. It loosened my back to where I can walk. Hopefully (fingers crossed) it will un-lock tomorrow and I'll be good to go.

I know each of you have been praying for Michael and me and I assure you God is blessing us because of your petitions; but if I may, I'd like to add to your prayer requests. I have two friends walking this exact IVF journey at the same time as well as another friend dealing with a similar assisted fertility challenge. Plus one other friend that is always on my mind and has suffered great loss. If you could lift them up as well, I'd appreciate it so much. As personal as this challenge is, when you have other families going through the same trial it just makes it a shared journey. I promise that God will know who you are talking about if you pray for my four friends.

I'm always asking for something from those of you who read this blog. Usually I offer beer or naming my first born child if you cooperate. I'll be thinking of a good reward for this one...! :)

Friday, July 23, 2010


The below is from an email that Michael sent this morning...thanks, Mike for the post!

Drum roll please….

We are go for implantation! We received a phone call from the embryologist this morning with exciting news, but first, a lesson in embryo quality. Think of IVF as a 1-5 grading scale when referring to embryos…

1 = Excellent
2 = Good
3 = OK
4 = Poor
5 = Forget about it (scientific terminology)

So far, after day 3, Olivia and I have 2 excellent embryos and 3 more of good quality! The remaining 6 are somewhere between poor and forget about it. If everything remained the same (we were warned that things can change from now till Sunday), we would be implanting 2 excellent embryo’s and freezing the remaining 3 for potential future use. One of the blessings we were hoping for, is that we would have eggs to freeze in case the implantation did not take. This would save us emotionally, physically and financially of having to start from step 1 all over again. Now comes the debate of what to do with the frozen embryos if you are not going to use them, but we will save that conversation for another day. Sunday at 830a we will be implanting (hopefully two) embryos back to Olivia and letting mother nature take its course. We thank you for all of the prayers and phone calls (special shout out to Anne for providing excellent Mexican casserole!), keep them coming as we are not out of the woods just yet.



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shots on the House!

Anyone want a shot administered by a hot male nurse???
Thus far, Michael has been spared in the needle department. I gave myself my own stimulation injections for a couple of weeks. But, the newest shot o'the day is progesterone in oil and it goes in my derriere. And try as I might, I just can't get a good angle to give myself a shot in the butt. So my darling, eager Michael was johnny-on-the-spot to volunteer. He's been wanting to legally administer pain to me for 7 years...I just know it. :) I can see the look in his eye!

Ok, not really!

It went well! He was so cute and wanted to know how bad it hurt as soon as he was finished. Then I said I needed something cold to put on it and he sprinted to the kitchen to get my coke zero can. I totally need to post about my lucky coke zero....maybe tomorrow.

Anyhoo, we find out the quality of our embryos tomorrow. Hopefully in the morning!

I'm finally feeling better after my little, *ahem*, run in with the milk of magnesia. I went to my doctor this morning to get checked out since I had a lot of pain that had intensified yesterday evening. Everything looked fine and I was only a little dehydrated so they sent me home to drink up the fluids. I love my doctor.

A couple of other things:
  • I would give my husband mad props for giving me the shot and doing a good job, but he's enjoying a glass of wine right in front of me so he's already back on my list of people to throw needles at.
  • I may not be fertile, but I did win in one department...I have better in-laws that you. :) Of the many lovely people that fit in the "Olivia's in-law" category, my sister-in-law Anne brought us dinner last night. It was mexican casserole, pico, chips and banana pops. It was delish and soooo appreciated. It was yummy to eat something prepared at home. Needless to say we've been eating a lot of take-out with all this going on. Thank you Anne (and Mark for finding Anne just for me so she could be my SIL...oh, fine and all that about her being your soul-mate, blah, blah, blah.)
  • I may not be fertile, but I also win in the friends department. I am overjoyed and literally moved to tears when I think how many people have sent me words of encouragement. I love each of you. I can't believe you read this blog, so you must love me too. (Insert quick apology now that you are buttered up: I've been bad about calling back this week. I just want to lay in bed and not hear myself whine to everyone over the phone. I think I'm good enough to talk now, so I'm about to start calling!).

Until tomorrow...!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Well I was feeling good...

Hey, I'll be glad to report that I'm just plain 'ole pregnant one day. But until then, I'll continue to write in this crazy fertility language and give really disgusting updates like this one. I apologize in advance.

So I had the egg retrieval yesterday. They retrieved 21 eggs. Yes, I'm huge. Like I need Palmer's stretch mark prevention, I've grown so much. The lab called this morning and 11 of the egg fertilized. We're a little disappointed as we hoped more of them would get to the next stage, but beggars can't be choosy. Also we prayed to not have more embryos than we can have as a family so I know this is just God taking care of us.

We won't hear from the lab until Friday as they let the embryos (WE HAVE EMBRYOS!) rest and grow. Please pray that they develop and divide and do all the magic that will make them viable little potential babies.

So, I did really well after the retrieval. I felt pretty good and took a nap yesterday. I woke up and did some work, laundry, etc. but took it pretty easy. I probably didn't rest as much as I should have and I had trouble sleeping, but other than that, I can't complain. Oh, I had a wave of nausea but it went away. I really didn't have much pain. But, here is the gross part. I had very bad constipation due to all the meds. The nurse said to take some milk of magnesia this morning, so I did. Apparently the progesterone injections that I start tomorrow will exacerbate this little issue so she wanted me to get to feeling better before starting the 1st injection. Soooo, I took the medicine. Cue Olivia sick. I won't give details, but I think I need a bag of IV fluid. Even Gatorade is making me sick. I'm calling the doctor first thing in the morning.

Can you believe it? I got through all the stims, injections, surgery and emotion drain of all this... and freaking milk of magnesia did me in. I hate Phillips. That shizzle is the worst product on the shelves. I want my money back and payment for back-wages and damages for the dehydration. Or something like that.

I promised a while back to post on something other than this process, but lets be real, this is the only thing going on besides a view of my dogs ears sticking up as I lay at a 30 degree angle in bed (30 degree angle so the fluid can drain from my abdomen). Say-what?!

I'd say this is as good of a time as any to be thankful that I am 1) not single 2) don't have much of a male following on this blog. Because if I did, I think this post would scar them for life. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010


You know that level that was way elevated that I said was a good thing (yesterday's post)? Well you can get too much of a good thing. As in ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome! It looks like we just snuck in under the "your going to be very sick" radar and will just be pretty yuck after the retrieval and transfer. It's a pretty long story of why, but you'd think I'd feel better after they remove all these eggs. But I just found out that the follicles fill back up with fluid and I'll be more bloated after they take my little Mikey-O's (gross, I can't believe I just gave microscopic eggs a nickname, but I did!) out of my ovaries...which will happen TUESDAY! I got the call this afternoon that my levels had dropped to a safe number and to give myself the hcg trigger shot at 8pm tonight.
Please pray, please pray, please pray! Good surgery, good quality, good fertilization, good growth, and good transfer on Friday or Sunday. Oh and a successful pregnancy! He/she who prays the most can have a child named after him/her! I'm all about rewards for prayerful petitioners! :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I got nothin' creative...

Yep, this is me. I still feel like a fat, bloated, frumpy hen. No, that's not quite right. A fat, bloated, frumpy hen pincushion is more like it. And as weird as that combo sounds, as you can see I'm not alone. Another like me exists above. Shewwww! Thank goodness there are more of us. :)

IVF Update:

Well we've been to the doctor every other day this week. My follicles are growing steadily and look good...something like 15 follicles so far. They are getting larger and I got a call today that my blood work was major high in a good way. I didn't even have to take my 3rd medicine today since the follicles are doing so well! I have to go back to the doctor in the morning (Sunday) at 8am. Thought I might get to sleep in, but good medical care wins out. Michael has been great at going with me to these appointments and it is much appreciated!

It looks like the egg retrieval may be moved up to Wednesday. And, I continue to feel really good...which surprises me. I also went to accupunture today. Lots and lots and lots of needles!

In between doctor appointments and work, we did get to do some fun stuff this weekend:
Michael and I had dinner with Nancy and Steve at a really cool restaurant called Loft 610. It was so good to get out to have a nice dinner especially with excellent company!

We also got to see MarJoe. Margo is 17 weeks pregnant with twins and is a success story from IVF!!! She's healthy and adorable. And just for good measure, Joe is healthy and adorable too.

More news to come tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I want to lay these eggs...

I hope this is the only time in my life I feel like a fat chicken ready to lay eggs. See my self portrait above.

In my quest to be the chick with the best eggs, I have completed day 5 of the stim drugs. That is self-administering 2 shots in the morning and 1 at night. I have blood work every other day. So I just counted up...that's 26 shots; and as of tomorrow, I've had 3 blood-draws from IVF. I'm tough. I still haven't had a total mental breakdown. I've only screamed at my dogs and that isn't anything new. I'm still kicking. Woo-hoo! I think I'm going to make it! Our egg retrieval is scheduled for next week sometime. Pray, pray, pray that this works because as tough as I think I am, this still is the hardest thing I've ever done.

Oh, the dogs have a stomach virus...all 3 of them. Poo galore. The last two days after I give my shots in the morning, I have had the pleasure of cleaning poo, then going to work. The poo been the most stressful part of all this! While we're at it, lets pray that their little stomachs heal. I am at max capacity for administering medical care. We don't want my first crazy move to be just opening the front door and waving bye-bye to dog-dogs.

More updates to come. Hopefully some blogging on other "stuff" soon.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Will the Real Olivia Please Stand Up?

IVF makes you lazy. It makes you have weird side effects. And it makes you wonder where you are. I know I'm here, but I just don't feel like me! So I haven't really felt like blogging. Or doing anything else that I typically enjoy sans a few things.

We went to the lake over the July 4th holiday. We had a really good time. I wish I took more pictures. I did get some good video, though. Too bad I can't post it. No one thought I could do the Beyonce booty-shake and I proved them wrong before I get so big that I kill someone with my I decided to "break 'em off a little piece"...that's gangsta for demonstrate my Beyonce booty-shake. Unfortunately, my Flip camera was in a very evil way turned against me and it is captured indefinitely. Lots of other fun things happened and I'll give the "vacation" (I use that term loosely) its own post in a few days. As a reminder to me, since the meds are giving me premature pregnancy brain, I'll title the lake post "The Poor Man's Boat".

So we started the IVF process on Tuesday, June 29th. I was on birth control (weird, but a part of the protocol) for 1.5 months prior, but that isn't pointy and sharp so I don't count it as "starting IVF". We went to Dr. R expecting the nurse to give me my first injection which she did not. After giving us a tutorial it was up to Michael and me to decide who was going to give the shot. Michael offered but after a mild freak out, I put on my big girl pants and was able to give myself the shot in the thigh. That also is a post in itself so I'll refrain on giving too much detail right now...I think I'll called that post "Needle Terror" or "Scared Shitless" or "It's Natural to Stab Yourself, so Quit Being a Weenie"...we'll see.

Anyhoo, I don't like to look at the needle so Michael loads the medicine for me and I go hide and give myself the shot between 6-8am daily. I've had a few mishaps, but nothing too bad. I even loaded my own needle tonight which Michael reminded me is "his job". Sooner or later he'll have to travel and we can't be together all the time so I had to give it a try.

I also went off birth control on July 3rd. The super exciting part of this process is a little monthly gift thrown right in the middle of this process which I got last night! :) Hopefully the last one for a while. I hope, hope, hope!

What else...? I had a doctor's appointment today where they took blood to see if the Lupron has sufficiently suppressed my ovaries. It has. And I have some little baby (pun!) follicles on my ovaries which is apparently a good thing so I'm ready to start super sizing the follicles on Saturday. This involves two additional injections in the morning and evening. I'm not gonna lie, it's complicated. Mixing powder and solution...pens that you stab in the tummy...lots o'needles. Really crazy stuff to give someone that has had no medical training. I'm taking it one day at a time so I'll get to panicking over the extra injections in the stomach on Saturday. Oh, though I did check my stash of meds today (finally, I haven't been able to go through it all yet until tonight) and they sent me 1.5 inch needles instead of .5 inch needles for one of my meds. I think I'll be getting that fixed in the morning!

So far the main side effects I've had are nights of insomnia, mild headache, finger tingles, stupidity, night sweats, blurry vision and some aggravation. Most have these have been mild where they only make an appearance, then go away. Michael gave me a huge compliment and said my attitude and craziness haven't been anything like he thought they would be. Thanks, I think. I have been extra attuned to my temper and frustrations. I actually think I've been more patient and nice since starting the meds than before just because I am so worried I'm going to turn into my evil twin. Who knows what will happen once I add in the other meds, though.

Well, there you have it. More boring infertility updates. It's a fast moving process from here. I know I am crass, but I still seek your prayers. I pray that this works but also for comfort and that defies my understanding if not. I can't tell you how thankful I am to have God and my husband batting in my corner. They say this stuff will either put a wedge or draw you close...thank goodness it has drawn me closer to both. Now let's just hope they will continue to put up with me!! :)

Yours truly,

Olivia (at least until my evil twin takes over on Saturday)