Friday, October 30, 2009


I cannot thank you enough for your support and encouragement!! Your comments really lifted my spirits yesterday. I obsessed over the arnica issue until I was convinced I had done something to hurt our embies' chances, and that I would be an unfit mother. Got to love those hormones...I am not thinking clearly these days. Extra special thanks to the Mad Hatter for the great arnica link!! I felt much better after I read it.

The verdict on the arnica gel is that it probably didn't hurt anything, but I was told not to use it again. I am relieved, yet also disappointed, because that was the first time I've been able to straighten up and walk without pain all week. On the bright side, my mom started using it on her neck and has had amazing results. So at least it isn't going to waste! (Did I mention that my mom is here? I'm so glad, because she has been helping me make sure I stay hydrated and get enough protein. I'm certain that I would have had severe OHSS if she hadn't been here.)

We've also discovered that the extreme cramping and soreness in my rear are likely caused by an allergy to the sesame oil base in the PIO shot. I've broken out in hives several times now, each outbreak worse than the last. Last night even the injection site itself turned into a gigantic hive. We are switching to progesterone in an ethyl oleate base, which (hopefully) will arrive today. In the meantime, I am supposed to be taking Benadryl to keep from clawing my skin off. Add in the pain meds, and I am more than a little loopy this morning!

The clinic should be calling sometime this morning with our transfer time. Tomorrow is the day! I am so excited, nervous and scared, all at the same time. Please stick, little embies...

Midnight Snack

CelerityDisclaimer: The author of this blog has just taken Vicodin and Benadryl, after a long sleepless night interrupted by the shenanigans of a very angry cat. The opinions contained within (along with grammar and typos) may be completely nonsensical. (Although - I guess that's not much different from normal, is it??)

Seriously, I just tried to log in to Facebook with the username google. And I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't let me in. *sigh* Anyway, I should have known better about the cat. I have two Sphynxes (furless cats); they are very sweet-tempered and social animals, nothing like the Sphynx Rachel bought on that one episode of Friends. Mine have both stayed close to my side this week, especially since I've been sleeping on "their" couch.

Serenity, the mother of my other cat, has truly lived up to her name. She seems to sense when I am in pain, and she gently nudges me or licks my face like she's trying to comfort me. Celerity (pictured above), even though she is Serenity's offspring, has a completely different disposition. She is a firecracker! C has affectionately named her "Bad A$$ Kitty," a moniker which fits her well. Despite her antics, though, she brings much joy to our lives.

Food is Celerity's favorite obsession. She once stalked and stole a whole spear of asparagus off my dinner plate, but that's another story. (She's also incredibly fond of steak. It's very odd.) Celerity has feline asthma and is on a small steroid dosage; this only adds to her food fetish. If she can see the bottom of her food bowl (even if it's only because she's pushed all the food aside), she freaks out.

So, all night long, Celerity "attacked" the furniture in the living room: she scratched at the couch; she pounced on the table and pushed things off it. Then she ran around my head for a few minutes before starting the cycle again. The problem? She got up for a midnight snack and decided her food bowl was low. We're not talking empty, or even close to empty - just low. I didn't realize her problem until nearly 6 AM. Having lived with her for the past nine years, I should have understood immediately - but I didn't.

I just filled her bowl to the brim and she's curled up in a ball, purring contentedly. So, now I am not only overly emotional, in the throes of an enormous allergic reaction (more on that later), and in pain, but sleep-deprived as well. If this IVF cycle is a success, I guess I will be well prepared for those long sleepless nights ahead!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Amazed (and Scared)

We were tentatively scheduled for transfer yesterday, but the embryologist called us in the morning and said that he wants to do a blastocyst transfer on Saturday instead. ALL 10 EMBRYOS ARE STILL GROWING!! He likes seven of them really, really, really well, and the other three he likes too, but slightly less well. He thinks that we will have some good blasts to choose from on Saturday.

Part of me is impatient and wants to get this show on the road. On the other hand - I am slightly relieved, because honestly I feel like crap, and I'd like a few days to get myself together before it's time. I have worked so hard to avoid gluten and sugar for so long, and in the interests of staving off OHSS have been drinking Gatorade by the gallon this week. I've been forcing down some protein, too, but the nausea has been clamoring for some foods that are normally off-limits (french fries, cup o'noodles - yummy!!). So combined with the PIO shot side effects, let's just say I'm not on my normal "schedule" (if you catch my drift). I'd like to fix that before we throw the embies in the mix. Oh, and I'd like to be able to walk from one room to another without bending over from the agony. I look like Quasimodo these days. (Thankfully, though, the Gatorade is doing the trick - only mild OHSS symptoms and no daily weight gain. Praise the Lord for that!!)

I have really been having a difficult time with the PIO shots, hence the Quasimodo-ness. Not the injections themselves so much as the aftermath - I have started sleeping on the couch because it hurts too bad to get out of bed in the middle of the night to make my fifteen trips to the bathroom. My abdomen is still really sore, and my rear is so cramped and stiff that there is just no way to move without crying out and waking C (who really needs to get some sleep).

So - in an extremely exhausted and hormonally-driven emotional breakdown yesterday - I did something really stupid. I had seen Arnica Gel recommended on several message boards for PIO shot side effects, and I guess I thought it was something like aloe. I didn't really think of it as something that is absorbed into the skin and potentially could enter my system. I asked C to pick some up at our health food store and I rubbed it in liberally to the affected areas (which would be my entire rear-end). Immediate relief, it was so wonderful. Kind of a warm tingly sensation, followed by the realization that I had just put something on my skin that I know very little about, and that could potentially have any number of harmful effects on this process. I can't believe I did that, and I am just sick about it. I did scrub it off about ten minutes after I applied it, but I think it had already been absorbed. So, I am anxiously waiting for the IVF coordinator to return my phone call and tell me what an idiot I am. Hopefully I have not done anything too damaging...this is just proof that these hormones are really affecting me, I guess. (Does anyone know anything about Arnica Gel? Did I do a really bad thing??)

In the good news department, C bought a new laptop to replace the computer that died yet again. We decided this time not to resurrect, but to replace. It is *so* much nicer to blog from a real keyboard again, instead of my phone!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fertilization Report

I am in shock. This finally feels real.

Twenty-one eggs fertilized!!! Eleven were frozen and ten were left out to develop. We are tentatively scheduled for transfer Wednesday afternoon. However, if the enough of the embryos are doing well Wednesday morning, we will wait until Friday or Saturday and transfer one or two blastocysts.

I am amazed.


I threw up through my nose tonight. Extremely disgusting. When I promised the IVF coordinator that I would drink so much fluid that OHSS wouldn't be possible, she said she was worried that I would have problems with nausea and would dehydrate that way. This is the third night in a row that I've felt horribly sick to my stomach between 7 and 9 PM. It's like clockwork - does anyone know what could be causing this? Tonight's the first night I've actually thrown up, but I'm not convinced that it's related to the ER.

Even with the maximum dose of pain meds on board, I am not feeling so great. And I am not a fan of this side of 4 AM. But I really can't complain - I have a friend who has done ER twice without anesthesia. I think she's the strongest person I know.

So, I didn't think they had really given me my PIO shot today, but I'm feeling it now. If anyone has any advice for those suckers, I'm all ears!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Retrieved and Relieved!

I'm a little loopy thanks to the pain meds, but I wanted to post a quick update. The retrieval went really well!! We had a grand total of 30 eggs. A few of them were immature, but at least 20 of them looked good. We're on OHSS watch, and I'm forcing fluids to the point that I could float away. But overall I'm feeling ok tonight. We're tentatively planning transfer for Wednesday.

I have to say, I've really been struck by God's faithfulness today. I could feel His presence today, in a way that I haven't for a while.

So, next step...waiting for the fertilization results. We should hear around noon tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm bugging C about getting the computer fixed. I want to curl up with a cup of tea and get caught up on my reading. Commenting is a challenge using the phone!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Retrieval on Sunday

Have you ever felt like your life was so ridiculous, that you could have a prime-time sitcom based solely on your misadventures? I have, especially lately. My life has turned into a comedy of errors. I'd love to tell you about them, but my hard drive fried. Yes, again. So I am blogging from my phone, which was very cool for the first few words. Now I am missing my "real" please forgive any typos.

I was really overwhelmed by all your comments and support. "Thank you" seems too shallow a phrase to convey how grateful I am to all of you. I can't imagine walking this road by myself. I hope you will forgive my slowness in getting over to all of your blogs. I have not been feeling great and I am still learning how to use this phone. But hopefully I can get caught up on my reading soon...I am very anxious to see what everyone has been up to!

As far as our IVF cycle goes, C will be giving me my hcg shot at 12:30 tonight. I am more nervous than he is, I think. We are scheduled for retrieval on Sunday morning. I have 23 follies, and at least 20 of them are over 18mm (most are over 20mm). So we've gone from planning transfer on Wednesday (assuming we have something to transfer) to a play-it-by-ear approach. Apparently my estrogen level is pretty high and I look like a prime candidate for OHSS. Yay.

Well, that is way more than I thought I could hammer out on this little keyboard tonight. I'm off to read some blogs, and then I have an appointment with THE needle. *shudder*

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back in the Saddle

It's been a long, long time since I've posted anything. I don't really have a good excuse; sometimes blogging is a way for me to sort through my feelings, and much has been going on lately that I haven't wanted to deal with or even think about. So, I'm chalking my absence up to avoidance, pure and simple.

Here's a brief run-down of everything that's happened since I've updated last: we had a marvelous time in Hilton Head, work has been rather busy and overly stressful, and C bought me an iPhone for my birthday. My sister and her husband have decided to start the process of adopting a baby with special needs, and two people at work have had "surprise" baby news. (This has been especially hard, since neither of them are really pleased about it.) Oh, and we started IVF.

It's seemed almost anti-climactic. After all, it's been almost a year and a half since we had our initial IVF consultation. I am amazed at how, after all that time, the pieces fell into place so quickly. As far as the mechanics of the process go - we did a long Lupron protocol, and received the go-ahead to begin stimming Tuesday night. We got off to a rough start with the shots, but lately C has been wonderful in administering them. We've learned that I have an irrational fear of needles, and knowing that I don't have to give them to myself has helped reduce my anxiety. I did give myself a few of the first Lupron shots; C had to go out of town for a wiffleball tournament and wanted to make sure I could handle it by myself. I got through it, but I am thankful there are no more sports tournaments any time soon!!

My next monitoring appointment is Monday morning. The earliest we can expect retrieval is a week from Saturday. We will have to travel about two hours to have the retrieval and transfer done, since our clinic's local lab won't be up and running for a few months. To avoid any timing issues, they are booking a hotel room for us, for the night before the retrieval. It's nice that they are making all the arrangements for us, and picking up the tab, too! This clinic has far exceeded my expectations; they are so wonderful! The IVF coordinator even gave us her cell phone number, in case we ran into any problems outside of business hours. (We've only needed to bother her once, when we opened up our second package of syringes to find that they were the wrong gradation.)

If anyone is still popping over this way, I really, really covet your prayers. Before beginning this cycle, I was struggling with a lot of anger issues. I was afraid that if I turned to God and poured my heart out to Him, that He would turn this into a spiritual object lesson. I'm so afraid to ask Him for a baby anymore, because so often the answer has not been what I so desperately wanted. I've been trying to make it through all on my own, but as we've gotten into IVF I've started realizing my emotional and spiritual limitations. Now that I have been pushed beyond my illusion of control, I am beginning to press into God again. I have made this process so much harder on myself by running away from Him, and that is my own fault. So - for any sisters in Christ who may still be reading - please, please pray 1) that C and I will rely fully on God through this process, and 2) that I will have fewer needle-related issues. We had a truly awful blood-draw this week (worst of my life, and I've had some bad ones), and anytime I even see a needle anymore I get weak and dizzy. The shots have been going better since C took over, but I have to be careful to avert my eyes. And of course - most importantly - please pray that God will finally bring us our precious little miracle baby!

I am off to get caught up on my blog reading - it will take me a while I am sure! But in the meantime, please know that I am continuing to pray for all my bloggy friends and I am so grateful for you all.