Saturday, May 7, 2011

My "Bible" Has Come!

I finally got our protocol and schedule of the weeks to come! FINALLY.  Let me just say that is the only thing getting me through this glorious holiday weekend. I find myself almost in tears at the sight of every pregnant woman I see...and that is just about everywhere we go. My husband and I just got back from Target and literally just being in the atmosphere of everyone purchasing cards, flowers, gifts and seeing 3 ladies with baby bumps made me want to run out of the store screaming and crying. In fact I did have tears in my eyes as we got into the car. All I could say was get me out of here! Just thinking about tomorrow's sermon at church about Mother's Day I'm sure might put me over the edge...perhaps I will have to sit this Sunday out. I mean I appreciate and adore all mothers and will celebrate them no doubt, but I am so close I can taste it and the only thing that keeps popping into my head is that what if that doesn't happen for me? So what I am focusing on is my fantastic schedule of shots. SHOTS! YAY SHOTS! A step in the right direction after almost a year and half off.

My sonohisterogram and trial transfer went well on Thursday. It was a bit more painful than I had remembered, but all things considered nothing big! That was all forgotten as soon as the nurse came in with our schedule.
Now- both hubby and I are on a Z-pack to kill any chance of infection
May 11- Lupron shots to begin daily in the a.m.
May 15- Last day of birth control pill, still continuing Lupron shots
May 21- Dr.'s appt., ultrasound, blood work and Lupron continued
May 22 - Cycle Day 3!!!!! This is it! This is the day that begins it all!
                      *Continue Lupron
                      *Make sure to be taking prenatal (already there)
                      *Begin taking extra folic acid and aspirin daily
                      *Begin gonadotropin injections - for me that means Follistim and let me tell you my dose is
                        300! To anyone out there who doesn't know, that's A LOT, in fact the entire vial that the
                        medicine comes in to be exact. A lot of women start out on doses of 25, 50 or 75...not
                        this girl!
May 27 - Follow up appointment to check estradiol levels, ultrasound and continue with Lupron and Follistim shots
**At this appointment, more instructions will be given with more appointments set up to do the egg retrieval and monitoring.

By my cycle day #9 we have to start watching closely for when the HCG shot to be given on approximately cycle day #11 or cycle day #12. This has to be given exactly 35 hours prior to my egg retrieval.

As always no Ibuprofen anymore, only Tylenol. Must drink plenty of fluids and keep diet high in fiber and protein. Exercise during this protocol becomes restricted to brisk walking.

YAY! Something to cling to in order to get me through this apparently rough weekend. I can take a breath, relax (ha! at least I will try), and wait for all that is to come my way in the means of shots and hopefully good fortune!  I will post continuously through this process to keep you all informed of the good, the bad and the ugly! Thank you again for your continued support throughout this stressful experience that inevitably consumes my life for the next 6 weeks!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It Felt Like Christmas Morning!

The shots have arrived! Yippee!
Just look at all those goodies, just for me! All the syringes, alcohol pads, viles and even my own sharps container! I've never had one of those before! I literally danced around my kitchen and clapped my hands before opening the glorious box that contains my future for the next 6 weeks. Ahh yes, the time has finally come. I am to start my shots any day now. We go in on Thursday for my sonohisterogram and trial transfer. That day we will then receive our calendar of our lives for the next 6 weeks. I live by that calendar when it comes. It tells me when to stop the pill, when to take my antibiotics, when my husband takes his antibiotics, when to start Lupron, when to start Follistim, when to start Progesterone, when to do my HCG shot, when to come in for ultrasounds and blood work, etc. The list goes on and on. We live by that calendar on a day to day basis until this process is over. I get giddy when that calendar falls into my hands because once I have a handle on what is going on when, I feel somewhat in control. At least I know what's going on and can believe that illusion in my head!

The medications I will be on include: Leuprolide (Lupron), Follistim (follicle stimulating hormones to grow eggs hopefully), HCG to make my eggs drop at exactly the right time and Progesterone to give my body and uterus the best possible environment for an embryo to attach. That is anywhere from 2-3 shots a day, depending on the day and week and shots lasting from 4-6, maybe even 8 weeks if successful. That's not including all the blood I have to give every day or so at the doctor's office for monitoring purposes. Can we say pin cushion? Of course I am the type of person that bruises easily and it always looks worse than it is. So right in the middle of May I am going to look like one sad sight! Those are just the shots. Furthermore, I will be on pills to rid my body of any infection, aspirin to reduce the risk of blood clots, prenatal vitamins(already on), anti-nausea medicine and as much pain medication as I need!

Of course with all those meds comes the papers stating all the side effects...oh joy! If only I could pick and choose which ones I wanted to suffer through. Nausea, vomiting, bloating, adominal pain and thanks. Loss of appetite...yes please! Trouble sleeping (duh! that happens anyways just because of the circumstances), hot flashes...ugh! Okay...some of those aren't so bad, but when I think about the ones I get that really put me in harm's way like ovarian hyperstimulation and I'm at serious risk for ovarian torsion, yikes! Ovarian torsion is when your ovaries twist and fall down. It has to be surgically repaired. Fun, right? I can also leak fluid into my abdomen and have severe fluid shifts inside my body...not the greatest side effects from this process, but in my mind totally worth the possible outcome! My doctor has stated that this time I may end up in the hospital since I was so close last time. Last year my ovaries grew to the size of softballs inside my abdomen (so large they were actually touching!). I remember the ultrasound when I could have ended up in the hospital. My doctor said, "It's kinda funny. See, when I push on the outside of your belly right here, watch how your ovaries bounce up and down inside through the ultrasound screen!" Okay, it was kind of funny, but at the same time, just plain weird!  Not to mention, my dosage of the stimulating hormones will be higher longer...bigger ovaries and more eggs can lead to more pain. And of course with all those hormones raging through my body, there's the occasional (well, more often than not, really!) slip of the tongue without a filter! You are all warned...don't cross me! But you know what? Bring it on! I'm ready. I've been here and done this before. I know what's coming this time and am fully prepared and informed. I'm not scared, I'm anxious and ready for this hurdle to achieve our dream of having a baby.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Still Not A Mom For Mother's Day

Watching all the ads on tv and walking through the mall makes it all the more obvious again that I am not a mother. No, I'm not bitter, just sad. This was supposed to be the first one we celebrated and yet nothing. This year seems somewhat difficult to handle for some reason. Whether it's just because I'm sad or whether it's that I am gearing up for another round of IVF and starting Lupron shots next weekend, I can't seem to keep my emotions in check this week. Oh wait, it's also the last week of my pills this week...even better! So no wonder I can't keep my hand out of the Dove chocolate bag! This week leading up to Mother's Day just brings all the emotions right up to the surface of everything I want to do with our future children. Number one being just celebrating being a mother and bringing a life into this world. But yet, I can't because I'm not. Frustrating, sad, angering, anxiety-causing, sleep-depriving and faith building all at the same time.

Of course I am excited for all of the mothers out there and most importantly my own, but most of that day will be filled with the emotions of how much I want that for myself. How much I want to hold our baby in my arms and smother it with my love! I keep thinking that I would never want a gift on Mother's Day because the most important gift would have already been given to me. My husband would be thrilled to hear that! Think of how much money we would save without him having to buy me jewelry each year! Yet, he still saves that same money if I end up not being a mother at all. Hmmm.

I keep forcing the jealousy out of my head and heart and telling myself that's no way to live. Because it's not. You have to be happy with what you have and enjoy your life without wishing for things out of your control. A daily reminder I have to give to myself after I have those thoughts for the first few minutes of each day. Who am I kidding? Thoughts I have probably every hour or two! Right now, leading up to IVF, something reminds me I'm not a mom at least once an hour. No joke. For the first time ever I have been mistaken for a stay at home mom twice in the past week! Once by a lady at church who called me the best kind of mom---a stay at home one! Great, thanks! Not one yet though! The other by a lady at the grocery store who saw me buying juice and assumed I had a bunch of kids at home and asked if I wanted her coupon. Nope, I don't, thanks though. Reminders everywhere. There's no way around it, so to be bitter would be the worst way to live. Sure, we all have bad days or bad moments in our days, but the key is to not focus on them enough to where they become our days, weeks, months, life. Sure, I want a baby so bad it hurts sometimes, but if I dwell on that, it will consume me and I will become a person I won't even like to be around. That's not me. I am a positive person. I can't dwell in the negative. So sure, Mother's Day is the biggest reminder of all that I'm not a mother...but the key word is YET. Don't think that I won't have rough days this week. I'm sure I will. I'm sure there will be tears that eventually will lead to prayers for a baby or understanding this situation or calming my storm or me in my storm in life. I can guarantee bad thoughts, what I can do about them is find a way to survive those thoughts and see the light on the other side. I can't sit around eating chocolate and crying all day as much as I would want to. I have to celebrate my life as it is now. I don't want to miss out on parts of my life while waiting for other parts to begin. I certainly wouldn't want my children to do that so I cannot.

So happy Mother's Day to all mothers out there and I will be celebrating you on Sunday! Each day will be a struggle but it will be well worth it to grow as a woman in my walk of faith.