Monday, July 28, 2008

IVF Update - Test Next Monday

Today was my first day back at the office since the transfer. I wish I could just stay in a nice little cocoon and sleep until next Monday. That's right, next Monday, August 4th is my pregnancy test date. One more week to go. I'm really feeling very positive. Can't wait to find out the results. I started saying prayers to St. Gerard this morning with the nine Hail Marys after just like it says on the prayer card I have for him. For those that don't know, St. Gerard is the patron saint of expectant mothers. I figure since I'm carrying actual embryos, it is life inside me I'm praying for.

I haven't been able to post pictures, because the camera was left at my MIL's for getting pics of the kitchen remodeling. But the camera is home now and it has a full memory card, so I have to dump them on the computer and clean it up. So hopefully I'll have some new pics of Phoebe to post soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Blast Transfer Update

Our 5 day blast transfer was today. Out of the five, three of them stopped growing yesterday. So we had two to transfer. One was good and the second was fair. Our doctor said things look good and our chances are 50/50. I'm on bedrest today and working from home for the rest of the week.

All the restrictions are the same. Until the pregnancy test: no sex, no exercise that would raise my heart rate, no lifting over 10 lbs. Basically, not much at all. If we get a positive pregnancy test, the restrictions would continue.

Let's all keep our fingers crossed.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I Gave Myself an IM Injection of PIO

To translate the title - I just gave myself an intramuscular injection of progesterone in oil. For those that don't know this is done in the top outer quadrant of your butt! I just called Leo at his parents house to ease his mind. He's in the middle of remodeling his parent's kitchen with his brother and brother-in-law. I had a feeling it would go late, so I went to my friend Google and found this post. It really eased my mind on trying to do this myself. I gathered up all my supplies and put it in on my left top buttock and it was easy! I thought such a big needle would be nerve-wracking. It was really not a big deal at all.

Oh and I made some great guacamole tonight! I'll need to post that recipe. BTW, I also need to post pics from Friday's show, but Leo has the camera to take pics of the kitchen work they are doing.

Transfer Moved to Wednesday

False alarm. The transfer is moved to Wednesday. The doctor reported that of the 5 embryos, we have four that look great and one that's not a great. They wanted to know if we wanted to freeze any embryos. If we did, they'd transfer two and freeze the other two that look good. Or if we didn't want to freeze, they'd rather wait for Wednesday and transfer the best. They said that waiting until Wednesday would get them to pick the best and have them be stronger for transfer.

So with it not being a lot of embryos and I'm not sure what I think of paying money to freeze just two, we agreed to wait until Wednesday and not do the freezing of any.

But I had already taken the day off, so I'm going to get some things done around the house. This works better for us too, because Leo had to go back to his parents to finish the electric and cabinets in the kitchen. He really wants to be there for the transfer. He's so sweet.

Egg Fertilization Update

I'm back to civilization. We were at my in-laws all weekend starting on Friday night after we picked Phoebe up from her theater workshop. I have more good pics from that later today. Leo's remodeling his parents kitchen and they went all the way to pulling down all the drywall and redoing electric, so my MILs computer was shut down and covered with sheets to protect it from drywall dust. She uses it for her embroidery machine that she does a lot of work on, so it had to be protected. So I've been away from the Internets all weekend.

The final verdict was that they took 10 eggs, 7 were mature and 5 fertilized. That was Saturday's report. On Sunday the message I got was that they didn't want to open the incubator and they were going to wait for Monday morning at 8 AM, when they will look with the doctor and then call me to schedule a transfer time for Monday. So it looks like the day will be today. Hopefully all 5 embies are looking good. At least three, because I believe that's what he'll transfer.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Egg Retrieval Update

Just got back from the RE. Looks like we got 10 eggs. I get to call in tomorrow and listen to my voice mail box for the fertilization report. They say most likely the embryo transfer will be Monday, but that the voice mail box will keep me up to date on that. They are doing ICSI and hatching, in case anyone wanted to know. They said DH doesn't have sperm issues, but that they prefer doing ICSI to make sure they have good fertilization. We'll see now if the insurance will cover it. Otherwise, we have to foot the bill for it. I told them that was OK. Was else could I say?

On the "moment" that Phoebe and I had. I've been thinking about it lately, and I think having children really can help heal the wounds passed down from generations. I love my mom dearly (yes I do, Mom!), but I don't think we understand exactly where each other is coming from. I don't think we have as close of a relationship as some mother-daughters do. I'm sure having the relationship with me growing up probably helped how my mom dealt with the issues she had with her mother. I know I want to continue to have such a good relationship with Phoebe. No matter how many children may come after her, she will always be so special to me. I remember my mom saying that her mom thought her and her sister could be the next Shirley Temple and was shuttling them to dance, music and other lessons. I can see how you can feel that way. I think Phoebe is so amazing, beautiful, intelligent, graceful, well spoken. I think she could be a movie star if she wanted to. I'm definitely one of those moms that think her child is the best ever and can do anything.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

IVF CD13 - Retrieval Tomorrow

It's official. My egg retrieval is 8:30 AM tomorrow morning. They had me take my HcG shot last night at 10:30 PM. They wanted me to take it in my thigh, so I was able to do it myself. I don't mind giving myself shots in the thigh. I actually am starting to think I prefer doing it myself.

I'm not sure when the embryo transfer will be. I don't know if he'll want to do it on Monday, which would be three days or if he'll wait longer. I do know that I'm arranging it to not come into the office for the day of the transfer and the two following days. I'll do some work at home, but other than that I'm going to chill out.

I found out last night that DD is a happy crier just like me. We pulled into the driveway after work/camp yesterday and we were singing "The Power of Two" by the Indigo Girls. Now I know this song is supposed to be about a romantic love, but I told Phoebe that this song always makes me think about her especially the lines "I'm stronger than the monster beneath your bed. Smarter than the tricks played on your heart. We'll look at them together and take them apart." Or something like that. It's that I always want to be there for her and be supportive. Kind of like the "You and Me Against the World" from the 70s. Anyway, we hugged in the car and I started crying and telling her I am so lucky to have her. She started crying too. My excuse is I'm hopped up on hormones. What's her excuse? I'd like to think that she loves me a lot too. I'll remember that moment of us hugging in the car forever.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

IVF CD12 Updates

I've been going to the doctor's office every day this week for bloodwork and ultrasound. My veins are going to be practically unusable soon. The doctor scanned me this morning and he's thinking egg retrieval will be Friday. He was commenting that I'd probably get a shot of HcG tonight. Leo left for NYC today and he'll be there tonight and tomorrow. I'll call him to come home if I really need to, but it sounds like not much is going on until Friday. Except I believe my HcG shot should be done on my behind. I can probably have my nurse best buddy that's five minutes from my house do it. I don't think she'd mind at all.

I'm doing OK. Feeling good. I've been trying to keep doing my imagery and some yoga in order to reduce stressful feelings. I do have to say that having all these hormones in the system can really up the stress level. Next week after the embryo transfer I'll be taking a few days off work to chill at home. I'm actually looking forward to it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pics from Friday's Recital

The first pic is my Phoebe and her friend Phoebee from the program. They decided they were the twin sister they never had. I love this pic. The other ones show the crocodile costume she wore with it's extremely long tail. The program director was praising Phoebe's performance on Friday to me still today. I'm so proud of her!!!

IVF CD10 and Friday Recital Update

Sorry I didn't get to post over the weekend. We've been really busy. Things are going well with the follicles. I have about five on each side, for a total of 10 that are looking good. They upped my Bravelle over the weekend to four vials of Bravelle and one of Menopur for both Saturday and Sunday nights. Not sure yet when we are going to egg retrieval. The IVF coordinator made a funny face when I said that we'd like to avoid Thursday. I'm trying to stay calm about all this. There's not much I can do. I need to pay attention to when they update my mailbox today, so I may be calling several times today to see if they leave me any messages. I need to know if I need to order any more Bravelle, as I only have 9 vials left. It's covered under insurance, but I need to get it shipped to me. The IVF coordinator said she'd let me know after they look at my bloodwork and measurements.

I know I'm pumped full of hormones, as I can cry at anything these days. I'm very very hormonal. I'm hoping this works. I've been doing Julia Indichova's imagery twice a day to keep the good thoughts going. I've been doing the "Garden of Possibilities" one that's in her second book, The Fertile Female.

I'll post the pics of Phoebe's show tonight. She did so good!!!! She knew all her lines and sang her portion of the song beautifully! I can't wait to see this weeks show on Friday. They have a recital every Friday during this six week program. She's doing so well that the man that leads the group in music instruction praised Phoebe in front of the entire company for how much she's grown during the past year. That she was a model for them all in how during recital she knew her mark, her lines and put away her costume without being told after the show. Of course, when he told me all this it took all my willpower not to cry from all the hormones. I'm so proud of her!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

IVF CD6 and Basil Pesto Recipe

I went to the doctor today for my IVF monitoring. The doctor himself did my scan and not a lab tech. I was out of there in record time it was so quick! Anyway, I have 3-4 follicles on one side and about 4 on the other side. They are all still small and growing at the same rate, so that's a good thing. We don't want any "leaders" as I call them, eating up all my meds for their own growth potential. I just listened to my voice mail from the doctors and I'm to continue with the alternate nights of 2 Bravelle and 1 Menopur and the other night 3 Bravelle only. I go back again on Saturday. Also, can you believe that DH currently has a business trip to NYC during the window that I may have retrieval??? I love him, but I knew this would happen. We'll work it all out though. He said he could just go in the afternoon if they want to retrieve in the morning, but then we'd need to have a friend pick up Phoebe from summer camp, as I won't be cleared to drive that day because of the anesthesia. It's only one day during the possible retrieval window, so we'll see. I'll mention it to the office and maybe they can try to make me one day vs. the other.

Alright, I never got to this yesterday, so I'll make sure I post today. My pesto recipe is so not precise. This is definitely something I cook by feel. But the base recipe shows me proportions of things and it's from a cookbook called "Sauces". Here's the ingredients and proportions and then my version of preparation instructions:

Basil Pesto Sauce
1 lb fresh basil
5 garlic cloves
3 TB toasted pine nuts
1 TB coarse salt
8 oz parmesean cheese (I use locatelli romano)
1 cup olive oil

Toast the pine nuts in a 350 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes. Shake the pan every now and then to ensure no areas toast too much. You just want to release the flavor of the pine nuts.

In a food processor, combine the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, salt and grated cheese. I usually never have an entire pound of basil, so I usually downgrade all the measurements appropriately. Chop all this up in the food processor until you have it ground to a small consistency. Keep blending and add the olive oil until it looks like the right consistency - this is the "feel" part, sometimes I feel it wrong and add more olive oil later. I like to refrigerate this overnight to let the flavors combine and blend.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

IVF CD5 and More Summer Camp Goodness

Last night, Night 2 of injections, was 2 of Bravelle and 1 of Menopur (spelling?). Ultrasound and bloodwork checks are tomorrow. I can't wait to see what's cooking inside. Their first estimate of retrieval is somewhere between July 17 - 19. We'll see how that goes. I know I'm usually an early ovulator, even when on injectibles and with these megadoses, who knows. Other than that I've been really good. I did break down and have a half decaf coffee yesterday morning at work. But I've been taking my vitamins and eating healthy. Next step is getting some exercise. I made pesto last night to have for dinner tonight. I'll post that recipe later today.

Phoebe had a rough day at camp yesterday. They want her to play a crocodile during a song they will perform on Friday "Never Smile at a Crocodile" from Peter Pan. She's the only one that gets to wear the crocodile costume and she has lines! Oh my goodness! She didn't want this part at all. I personally think she wasn't crazy about being in the spotlight, but "her teachers are making her do it" (these are her words, not mine!). I think they want her to work on being more comfortable performing solo than just with the group and this is their first babystep with her. I tried talking to her the whole ride home from work, but it didn't help. She went in to watch TV when we got in and I talked to DH on the side. He went and talked to her alone - I told him I was going to completely stay out of this conversation. I don't know what he said, but she came back into the kitchen where I was and had done a total 180. She was excited to be the crocodile! Couldn't wait to chase her tail on her costume, etc. Thank goodness for tag-team parenting!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

IVF CD4 and Summer Camp Updates

Last night, our first night on this IVF journey, I started the Z-pack antibiotic and Leo started his antibiotic. I also had a shot of 3 vials of Bravelle. I go back to the RE for ultrasound and bloodwork on Thursday and Saturday.

Yesterday was Phoebe's first day of summer camp at OperaDelaware. She was so excited she could barely eat breakfast. She had a great time, of course, but she also made a new friend. They have the same name, but she spells it Phoebee. She's also 12 years old. They had lunch together and did a lot of activities together. They've decided they were the twin sister they never had. They apparently both look very similar (I haven't met her yet, so I don't know) and she's very nice but also crazy (I guess this is how Phoebe sees herself too, interesting, she's pretty close). I found out from her mother that her birthday is a week after Phoebe's, so them both being Libra's also explains a lot. She only had a half day of camp yesterday, as we had our 6 month dentist checkup in the afternoon. We all go in at one time, to make sure we all get there every 6 months no matter what. Dental care is very important to me. Found out, Phoebe needs to go to an orthodontist for an evaluation due to the structure of her mouth. Parts of that may get taken care of before she ever gets braces. Something new for me to look into. The dentist gave me some names, but I need to see what's covered under insurance.

Last night after dinner, we were all playing tennis on the driveway, and I started calling Phoebe my "California Girl." She really looks more like she belongs in California with the golden sun bleached areas of her dark brown hair and her long skinny athetic body. She's a real good kid. We're very lucky to have her.

Monday, July 07, 2008

IVF - CD3 - Baseline

AF showed up on Saturday, so I went in for my baseline ultrasound and bloodwork this morning. I then spoke with the IVF coordinator and got my instructions for the next few days. Then I met with L in Billing and found out I wasn't approved yet through the insurance because she was on vacation when the decision was made, so she didn't know. She fixed it all up with the insurance company. There is a special place in heaven for L. She always takes care of this stuff.

I'm very excited, but of course, I'm trying to relax. I'm working very hard to stay away from coffee and to eat healthy. Right now, I'm eating shredded carrots with lemon juice and olive oil, which is in "The Fertile Female" by Julia Indichova. For lunch, I have some miso soup, tofu scramble and steamed kale. I think for dinner tonight we will have the quinoa salad I posted about the other day.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Waiting to Exhale

Yesterday morning was my last birth control pill to do before this IVF cycle. I'm just waiting for AF to show, which should be really light. I'll go in on Day 2 or 3, depending on where the holiday and Sunday fit in whenever AF decides to show, for baseline ultrasound and bloodwork.

I can't believe this is about to start. It's very hard to remind myself to be very calm when I'm very excited to begin. I know I've done this twice before a few years ago and it didn't work, but I'm really hopeful this time. Wish me lots of luck!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Gearing Up

I've been very bad for the past few days. So bad it's so good. But it has to stop. Tomorrow is my last birth control pill and then I get to wait for AF to show and to schedule my IVF baseline scan and bloodwork.

We had a very relaxing long weekend as we both took Monday off. Just hung out with Phoebe at the in-laws enjoying their pool. We really need one of those. I ate bad food like lots of ice cream, hot dogs and potato salad.

Now I'm starting my effort to detox again. I haven't had any coffee today and I will stay off the sauce again for the duration. I really haven't been liking it anyway. I've been pretty good with what I ate so far today. Thankfully I had leftovers still around the house, because I haven't cooked a bit. I want to cook dinner tonight. I think I'm going to make the tofu scramble I posted about before. That and a fresh salad. Mmmmm. Sounds good.