Friday, January 30, 2009

Guessin' Game

Guess where I spent my Friday night?

A baby shower. I made it through, knowing it would be my last one without a belly!

We rushed home for my injection at 9pm. Guess who got to help Uncle Tom?

This little beauty, Delaney Grace

Me and my little helper

I am taking my relaxing weekend seriously tomorrow by getting a massage! I am so looking forward to it.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Easy Lupron

I am floored at the response to my last post. You ladies are the best! Thank you for the encouragement, I really needed it.

And you are so right. I was focus on the statistic of it NOT working when I should be thinking there is a 50% chance that it IS going to work. The glass IS half full. I AM going to be a mommy.

I will do my best to remain positive. I am grateful to each of you for reminding me to keep my head up and trust that our prayers will be answered. Thanks, again.

In cycle news, my period arrived yesterday. They told me to expect it 2-5 days after starting Lupron. Day #4 was the day! I hope this is my last period for a very, very long time.
Today was day 5 for Lupron injections. The side effects have been mild. I have been tired, but what else is new. I have had a headache every day. My muscles were very achy the first two days, but luckily that has gone away. All in all, I think Lupron has been treating me quite nicely. My next appointment is on Monday. If all goes according to plan, I will start Stims on Tuesday and get my first check on Friday 2/6.

My mom has been saving her change for us and handed me $80 today! That will pay for 2 doctor visits. She is truly the most selfless person and a wonderful Grandma. However, she goes by Ama. :) I will love giving her Robertson grand babies.

I'm off to watch CSI with my love. Goodnight. And thank you again for being a part of our journey.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fifty Fifty Chance

My goal of remaining optimistic throughout our IVF has become too difficult. I can't shake the feeling that we only have a 50% chance of this working. After our 1st cycle, all the insurance money will be gone. There will be no second chance.

IVF is such a huge process. I have yet to accept that we are going through IVF right now. I don't know when it will seem real. Perhaps retrieval day?

It is hard to believe that in one month, I will either be the happiest and most grateful person in the entire world..OR I will be infertile and in debt with nowhere to turn.

I am falling apart.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

First Lupron

Time for a quick update:

My appt. went well yesterday. The birth control pills did their job. I took my last one yesterday. I did my first Lupron injection about an hour ago. We rushed home and wanted to do it right at 9pm. We didn't get a chance to take pics. Oh well, there will be plenty of more injections! It went off without a hitch. The injection site was really red for about 30 minutes. It has now gone almost back to normal. I return on Feb. 2nd to see if I am fully suppressed.

I really need to stop shopping for clothes that will look cuter with a belly. I now have three or four dresses..I just want that cute little bump come summer. Please, pretty please?

I was browsing a few blogs yesterday and came across Tarah's. She sells these beautiful necklaces and I knew I needed it the moment I saw it. I plan on wearing it on my retrieval and transfer days, as well as others.

I bet next month I'll be ordering this one:

Here is her site. Buy one and bring IF awareness to others. :)

I hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pretty Soon

I was driving in the car a few hours ago and heard this song for the first time. It brought tears to my eyes! What a beautiful Daddy-daughter song. Please download it and listen to the beautiful words. I guarantee you'll shed a few.

"It wont be like this for long" by Darius Rucker
"He didn't have to wake up
He'd been up all night
Lying there in bed and listening
To his newborn baby cry
He makes a pot of coffee
He splashes water on his face
His wife gives him a kiss and says,
"It's gonna be okay"

"It won't be like this for long
One day we'll look back laughing
At the week we brought her home
This phase is gonna fly by
So baby, just hold on
It won't be like this for long"

Four years later, 'bout 4:30
She's crawling in their bed
And when he drops her off at pre-school
She's clinging to his leg
The teacher peels her off of him
He says, "What can I do?"
She says, "Now, don't you worry
This'll only last a week or two"

"It won't be like this for long
One day soon you'll drop her off
And she won't even know you're gone
This phase is gonna fly by
If you can just hold on
It won't be like this for long"

Someday soon she'll be a teenager
And at times, he'll think she hates him
And he'll walk her down the aisle
And raise her veil,
But right now she's up and cryin'
And the truth is that he don't mind
As he kisses her goodnight
And she says her prayers

He lays down there beside her
Till her eyes are finally closed
And just watching her it breaks his heart
'Cause he already knows

It won't be like this for long
One day soon that little girl is gonna be
All grown up and gone
And this phase is gonna fly by
So he's trying to hold on
It won't be like this for long
It won't be like this for long"

Did it give you chills? Me too.

I know it wont be like this for long for Tom and I. Pretty soon, we will play this song and cry as Tom holds our daughter. Pretty soon, the pain will be gone. Pretty soon, our empty space in our life will be filled. Pretty soon, I will be Mama. And pretty soon, Tommy will finally be Daddy. Pretty soon..

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Surrogate Sister

IVF has allowed me to have many conversations I never imagined. Here is one:

Jeralyn(My 25 year old fertile sister)
Erin(Me, the infertile)

Erin: So, I have something to ask you.
Jer: Yeah?
Erin: If Tom and I were to die together, would you be responsible for our frozen embryos?
Jer: Hmm, sure. What would I do with them?
Erin: Well, you could donate them, discard them, or be our surrogate and have Tom and I live on forever.
Jer: Okay, do I need to sign anything?

I am lucky to have a sister like her. She has offered to be our surrogate, if the need ever came. I really don't want that to be the case. I want a big 'ol belly! But its nice to know she loves us that much.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fertilization Questions

The nurse just called with Tom's sample results. He had 114 million spermies with 68.5% motility. I am super happy about the count, but what is with the motility? It's still higher than normal, so she said we have nothing to worry about. They froze two vials and will keep them for 5 years.

I am trying to decide whether we should do fertilization or ICSI. Fertilization is where they put a bunch of Toms sperm in a dish with the eggs and let it fertilize naturally. According to my paperwork, fertilization works in about 65% of cases. ICSI is where they pick one sperm per egg and inject that single sperm. The paperwork says it is about 75% effective but has an increased chance for birth defects.

When I met with my doctor, we thought fertilization was right for us. We have never had a problem with Tommy's sperm counts. Now I am second-guessing myself. Any opinions would be appreciated! I may leave it with the doctor to try the fert. first and if its not very successful to go ahead with the ICSI. This also is depending on how many eggs we have to work with. Decisions, decisions..

I also wanted to see if there are any "secrets" to having those embryos stick. I have heard of eating McDonald's in the morning. I will gladly eat that greasy food! I have also been told to eat pineapple during the waiting period. Anything else, ladies?

I neeeeeeeeeeeed this to work the first time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Birthday Weekend

Thank you for all the encouragement and birthday wishes! In a perfect world, I could meet with each of you individually and give you a giant hug for being there. Then again, in a perfect world, we would all be pregnant. :)

We had a pretty eventful weekend. Friday night we went to dinner and a movie with two other couples. We ate at Olive Garden-yum!-and saw Paul Blart, Mall Cop. Although we both love Kevin James, we weren't expecting much from the movie. We were pleasantly surprised! It was a great night with great friends.
Saturday night we went to a bar called Rascals with my siblings and friends. They have karaoke on Saturday and I love to sing! I actually have been looking into joining the church choir because I miss singing on a regular basis. Anyway, we had tons of fun. I am planning on it being my last night of drinking for at least a year...come on pregnancy!

My beautiful best friend, Jamie

Jamie, Me, Ally, Sissy

Singin' Carrie Underwood

Sam and Erin

Eric, Brandon, Tom, Bretton

Me and My love

Sunday ended up being a very lazy day. We did a whole lot of nothin'. Our family friend, Fern, was admitted to the hospital in the morning with a case of pneumonia. She is 101 years old. She is more like a grandmother to me and my siblings. She lived with my Nana for more than 40 years and has been there throughout our entire lives. They were really scared for her health and said they would be surprised if she made it through the night. Well, that amazing woman is still alive and getting better! She is one tough cookie. How many 101 year old women can beat pneumonia? She may have other problems, but right now, they are working on getting it out of her system.

Oh, I almost forgot. Here is the gift I received on Saturday. I like to call it my Upgrade/Birthday gift/I'm sorry you're infertile/Let's start IVF gift..

I love it so much!

Monday, Tom and I had to get up early for his appointment. We had his sample frozen as a backup for our retrieval day. I doubt we will need it, but its one less thing to stress about. I was a little aggravated because they charged us $200. If you remember, they last told me $150. I wish they knew what they were talking about. Oh well..birthday money well spent.

I got my hair highlighted in the afternoon and I love it! My regular hair dresser was overseeing a girl in training. Therefore, my usual over $100 appointment was free. Yipee! Monday night we went to visit Fern in the hospital. She has a long road ahead of her, but I don't see her going anywhere anytime soon.

I can't believe I only have 3 birth control pills left. Since taking it, I have not had a full nights sleep. I am broken out more than I have ever been. My breasts are still extremely tender. I am not looking forward to the affects of the Lupron. I am, however, ready to endure any pain/discomfort to get us closer to that peanut.
Doctors appointment is set for 7:30 am Friday. If all goes well, I will begin the injections on Saturday. Holy cow..that is soon!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Many Packages

My "baby in a box" arrived on Friday. I predicted it would cost us around $500. You can imagine my relief when they called and said we owed $175.25. Phew..

Take a gander at how much medicine one IVF cycle requires.

I will admit, I am a bit overwhelmed. The extra long needles are very intimidating. My blog friend Evan suggested a numbing cream. I planned on being prideful and taking the pain, but looking at that needle makes me cringe. I may consider that cream, after all.

Another package arrived Friday. Enclosed were my books. I have already browsed most of The Couples Guide. I knew most of the information in it, but found a few facts that were interesting. I plan on starting The Shack tomorrow while Tom is doing his thing.

I also ordered one more item from Barnes and Noble and I needed to exchange it. I went to the local store and found what I needed. I decided to browse the kid book section. I allowed myself to start our baby's book collection! Here are the two I picked. I am super excited to get a new book or two every few weeks.

The kangaroo book is too cute. I can't wait to read to our little peanut(s).

Still Standing

In a previous post, I said I didn't think I would make it to 22 if I hadn't achieved a pregnancy. Well, here I am. 22 and still alive.

I had some birthday blues for a few weeks, but today I am excited. I am one year older and one year closer to being a mommy.

It is a good day.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Darling

I have been thinking a lot lately about my darling husband and his role in our baby's conception. It seems like its common for the man to be somewhat forgotten about during infertility treatments. The woman is the main priority..the one with appointments, blood draws, injections, medications, mood swings, extreme emotions..I could go on and on. And what is the husbands role in all of this? Support! And a few deposits in a cup. ;)

Tom has been an amazing support for me with every aspect of our live, especially the infertility struggles. He has kept his head high even when I knew he felt down. He is a constant source of optimism and love. He adds a sense of humor to a dreaded topic. He has wiped away countless tears. He has put up with a lot the past two years.
I have fallen in a much deeper love than I ever knew possible. I can't imagine the feelings I will have when I am carrying his child inside me. That day cant come soon enough!

Here are a few of my all time fave pics of us.

Rehearsal Dinner

Best day, thus far

Getting married in the most beautiful church

Walking into our reception

Our honeymoon

Last night in Cancun

Country Thunder 2007

Niagara Falls

Snowshoeing in Estes Park

Sunny day at the Animal Kingdom

Country Thunder 2008
Forever and Ever, Babe

TRob-I love you more today than I did yesterday, but not as much as I will tomorrow. Thank you for being an amazing husband and my best friend. I can not wait to experience the rest of our lives together. I know it will include many babies, living somewhere warm and a German Shepherd. :)
Love you to the moon and back-Bear

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Within Reach

Its time for a little update!

~I am on CD 14 of my IVF cycle. I am officially more than half way through my birth control pills!
~Tom and I are going downtown on Monday to give his specimen to be frozen as our backup. The first time I called, they said it was $250. The second time I called, they told me $200. When I made the appointment yesterday, they said $150! I love that these prices keep going down!
~I am enjoying this time without doctor appointments. Once those injections start, I will be at the office way too often.
~My medication package will arrive tomorrow or Friday. The woman wasn't able to give me an exact amount until she processed the order. She said she would call tomorrow and let me know how much we owe. $10 is my goal. ;)
~As the wave of feelings toward IVF continue, I have moved onto pure excitement. I keep thinking that in about a month, there is a good chance that I will be PREGNANT! Being pregnant has seemed so out of reach for too long. Its' surreal to think that I may, scratch that, WILL be me by the end of February.
~I am getting anxious to move some of my IF blog buddies from "Waiting on a Miracle" to "Miracle on the Way" (See right of my blog) Come on ladies, I am rooting for all of you!
~Thank you to everyone that has offered me their leftover drugs! You are TOO kind. To be honest, I am too lazy to go through and compare the amounts to what my doctor ordered. I will get back to you if it turns out I need anything. Thanks, again.
~I am glad you enjoyed my Phoebe comment. I absolutely love Friends and probably reference it once every few days. I would love to "pull another Phoebe" and get prego with triplets. At this point, I will take ANYTHING. <~~~~That may come back to haunt me later..
~I plan on really enjoying this weekend. It is the last weekend that wont revolve around injection times and appointments. Plus, my b-day is on Sunday. We have some fun plans in the works and I am really looking forward to it.
~I am supposed to attend a RESOLVE meeting tomorrow night. Unfortunately, Toms grandfathers sister passed away and her wake is tomorrow. I am not sure how timing will work and if Ill be able to do both. We will see.

Okay, Erin, time to wrap it up. I need to run some errands and finish watching the first season of Private Practice. :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Continuing IVF

Well, the test came back within normal range. I must say I am pretty surprised because my boobs are still really sore. Is it odd that I am somewhat disappointed that my blood test came back normal? I thought this was the mising piece in our puzzle. I guess I was wrong.

We will continue with our IVF plan. I am in my second week of birth control. I havent been sleeping well at night, so I'm blaming it on them. I go in Friday the 23rd for bloodwork and ultrasound. I will likely take my last pill that evening and start the Lupron shots that Saturday. I am still waiting to hear how much the medications for the cycle will be. I may "pull a Phoebe." If you have ever seen the Friends episode where Chandler buys Monicas engagement ring, Phoebe goes with and tries to haggle with the seller. The ring is something like $6,000 and she responds with, I will give you $10. I may try that will this IVF cycle..see how far it gets me. :)

We have a blizzard warning for this evening. Boo! Everyone I know is sick of the snow, and its only early January. It is going to be a long winter.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fate in a Vial

I called my nurse on Friday to express my concerns on the pending test results. She basically said one of three things will happen.

Scenerio 1-My levels come back normal. We will continue with the IVF plan and I will go in Jan. 23rd for blood and ultrasound, as previously planned.

Scenerio 2-My levels come back elevated. I start medicine every day to lower them. I will go back for another re-check two weeks later. I will take birth control a few extra weeks and eventually continue with the IVF. Of course, that is only if the levels return to normal.

Scenerio 3-My levels come back elevated. We decide to lower them through medicine and stop the birth control. If the dr. thinks this may be the main problem with me not getting pregnant, we back up a few steps. Trying on our own, more IUI's...I'm not sure what he will suggest.

I can't decide which one is the best case scenerio. Obviously, the one that ends in a peanut or two. I wish I new which path I would be taking. I guess I will find out soon enough.

Again, my fate sits in a vial of blood. Sigh..

In happy news, Tommy and I are planning a roadtrip to the Mall of America! We bought a bigger second car back in August and I have been anxious to take a long drive since. I think we are going to be brave and take Mikey, 9, Braydon, almost 5, and Delaney, 3. Its about a 7 hour drive. I dont think that would be bad if we loaded up with IPOD's and DVD players. They recently put in the first Nickelodeon themed park, which the kiddos would love! Neither Tom or I have ever been to Minnesota. We can check another state off our list. Woo-hoo! Thank goodness I have those kids to keep me busy until I have my own. :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Peanut Charm

Wow, look at all that feedback. I am touched that many people are following our story. I will update my blog rolls Sunday evening, so you have until then to come out of the dark. ;)

I was browsing a website and think I NEED this:

Isnt it perfect?

New Followers

I have had a ton of new people visiting my blog, so its about time I update my blog rolls. How great is the timing, considering it is National De-Lurking week? Please let me know if:
A-You read my blog. I would like to read yours.
B-You would like to be added to my daily reads.
C-You have gotten anything out of reading my blog.

Thanks in advance.

In fertility news, I went in this morning for my follow-up prolactin test. I won't get the results until next Tuesday. The pharmacy will be calling today to tell us how much we owe for the IVF drugs and to schedule delivery. I think I will tell them to wait to put the order through until I hear my results from the test. As of tonight, I have completed the first week of birth control! The first few days went by slow, but now I cant believe we are moving onto week two. I have been distracted with the prolactin level and haven't thought much about the IVF.

I just put in my order at Barnes and Noble for two books! I have heard great things about The Shack and look forward to reading that. I also ordered a book called The Couples Guide to IVF. Ill let you know if I think they are worth buying. :)

Have a great weekend, everyone. TGIF!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wannabe Mommy

Here I sit, in January of 2009. It is hard to believe that two years ago, I made the decision to tell Tommy that I wanted to go from a couple to a family.

As a child, I was always carrying around baby dolls. I know this is typical for most girls, but my mom says I didn't feel complete without my babies. Ironically, that is how I feel now. I love Tom with every bit I have, but I know we both have so much more love to give.

We are dying to have a child. Every day I am not a mother, I feel like the day is wasted. I am a wife, an aunt, a sister and a daughter. Why has it been so hard to add mother to that list?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Now I Know

Oh, I am so overwhelmed.

First off, I want to say a huge thank you to Kami! I am so appreciative that a new blog friend would take time out of her day to search prolactin levels on WebMD. I came on the computer to start my seach and BAM-there was all the infomation I needed. Thanks a million!

Here is what WebMD has to say:

What is Prolactin?
Prolactin is a chemical that is secreted by your pituitary gland. This is the pea-sized gland found in the middle of your brain, which is responsible for triggering many of your body's processes. Prolactin is found in both men and women and is released at various times throughout the day and night. Prolactin is generally released in order to stimulate milk production in pregnant women. It also enlarges a woman's mammary glands in order to allow her to prepare for breastfeeding.

Hormones that Affect Prolactin
Like many of your body's other processes, the release of prolactin is actually triggered by other hormones. Hormones affecting prolactin include:

thyroid-producing hormone

Serotonin and thyroid hormone help to increase prolactin release, whereas dopamine works to block prolactin release.

Prolactin Changes During Pregnancy
When you are pregnant, prolactin changes are completely normal. In fact, your prolactin must increase in order to encourage the production of milk in your mammary glands. During pregnancy your hormones are all over the place. In particular, your estrogen levels begin to rise, and this is what stimulates the increase in your prolactin levels. After birth, as your baby breastfeeds, nipple stimulation will trigger a further increase in prolactin. Prolactin is what allows you to continue breastfeeding for an extended period of time.

Prolactin and Infertility
Prolactin doesn't just cause your body to increase milk production - it also affects your ovulation and menstrual cycles. This is why it is nearly impossible to become pregnant when you are breastfeeding. (In fact, prolactin is 90% effective against pregnancy in the first months after birth).

Prolactin inhibits two hormones necessary to your ovulation: follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH). Both of these hormones are responsible for helping your eggs to develop and mature in the ovaries, so that they can be released during ovulation. When you have excess prolactin in your bloodstream, ovulation is not triggered, and you will be unable to become pregnant. Prolactin may also affect your menstrual cycle and the regularity of your periods.

Prolactin Irregularities
If you are having difficulties becoming pregnant, it may be due to an irregularity in your prolactin levels. If your have elevated prolactin, this can inhibit ovulation and menstruation. Prolactin levels can be determined through a simple blood test. Normal prolactin levels in women are somewhere between 30 and 600 mIU/I. If your levels measure towards the high end of this spectrum or above, you may be suffering from a prolactin irregularity.

Types of Irregularities
There are two main types of prolactin irregularities. It is possible to suffer from both at one time.
Galactorrhea is a condition in which you begin to produce milk spontaneouly, without being pregnant or having given birth recently. It is a result of high prolactic levels. Other symptoms include

enlarged breasts
painful or tender breasts

irregular menstruation
loss of sex drive

Hyperprolactinemia literally means too much prolactin in the blood. If you have hyperprolactinemia, you may also have galactorrhea, though this is not always the case. Symptoms of high prolactin levels include:

prolactin levels at or above 600 mIU/I-"I dont know my exact number"
irregular menstruation
reduced sex drive
vision problems

Causes of High Prolactin Levels
There are a few things that may be responsible for your prolactin irregularities. In order to treat your infertility, you will need to determine what is at the bottom of your elevated prolactin levels.

Prolactinoma is one of the more common causes of prolactin-induced infertility. Prolactinoma causes a tumor to grow on your pituitary gland. This tumor secretes excess prolactin into your body. About 10% of the population have these tumors. They usually do not pose any health risks, besides infertility, though sometimes they can interfere with vision.

Prescription Drugs
Prescription drugs can cause excess secretion of prolactin. Some anti-depressants, painkillers, and opiates block dopamine, preventing prolactin secretion from being inhibited. This can cause your prolactin levels to rise.

Other Causes
Other more rare causes of prolactin irregularities include:

thyroid disease
polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

I am trying to take all this information in. My first question is-why wasnt I tested for this before? How is this the ONE test I didn't have done?

I have no idea if this has affected the turn out of my IUI's. I am trying not to get ahead of myself. I want to wait until I get my second blood levels back before I freak out. Who am I kidding, I AM freaking out.

I think that if the level comes back high again, I will have to have an MRI to check the pituatry gland.

I don't know what will happen if that is the case. Will he fix my level and suggest backing up a few steps? I have a feeling in my gut that this will interfere with our IVF cycle. Is this all that is wrong with me? If they fix it, will I get pregnant on my own? So many questions, so few answers.

I am hoping this is a blessing in disguise. I pray that it is. I feel like such a baby. I am scared, no, terrified of what will lie ahead the next few weeks. The possibility of a tumor makes me want to throw up.

Prolactin Level

For the first time in my TTC journey, I recieved a phone call stating something was not right. I had my prolactin level tested when I went to the doctors last Friday. It was the one blood test that needed to be done for IVF that hadnt been drawn before my IUI's. The nurse called this morning to say the levels were elevated. I am going in this Friday to get re-tested. I am supposed to fast from midnight the night before. She also said to avoid nipple stimulation for three days, as that affects the level. She said if it is still high, they will put me on medicine until I got pregnant.

I don't know much about this hormone. I tried to look on WebMD and it said a lot about lactating women. I am obviously not one of those. Perhaps this is why my boobs have seemed so big lately..

I'm not sure how I feel about the news. I kind of feel relieved that they finally found something wrong. It has driven me nuts that everything has come back normal. Until now..

On the other hand, I hope its something that is fixed easily! Or the test comes back with the right level.

If you know anything about prolactin, please inform me! I will browse websites later today.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year Brings IVF

Tom and I decided to keep it low key this New Years. Last year, we went by my sisters house and had a ridiculously good time. We figured it was the best option for this year, too. We went to dinner at Bennihana with Sam and Bretton and it was delicious! We went by my sisters house at about ten and there were way more people there than I expected. The whole night was tons of fun with good company, yummy drinks, and one adorable sleeping baby.

Out to dinner
Tyler partying it up on NYE

Me, Katie and our jello shots

Smooches at midnight

Me and Sissy

Sam, Katie, Erin

Singing to Rockband
New Years day happens to be my Moms birthday. This year, we all drove up to the cottage to check the progress of the construction. The house looks great and we are thinking it'll be done in late February. Then, we had a family meal at Popeye's in Lake Geneva. Tom and I went to bed super early to catch up after a long night.

The new cottage!

Jeralyn and Brady in the kitchen
Phew, I am finally caught up on the holidays. Now I can return my focus on our upcoming IVF cycle. Tom and I had our IVF consult this morning. We talked with the doc about our plan and signed consent forms. I am officially the youngest IVF patient they have experienced. That is one title I never imagined I'd carry.
Here is our plan:
~3 weeks of birth control, back on Jan 23rd for blood and ultrasound
~10 days of Lupron injections
~9-15 days of stimulation drugs. I will begin with 225 IU of Follistim for 4 days. After checking the progress, I will likely be lowered to 150 IU and add in 75 of Repronex.
~When everything is ready I will take an HCG injection.
~The retrieval will be done precisely 36 hours later. That night, I will begin the progesterone in oil injections.
~The day after, I will start taking an antibiotic and get the call about fertilization.
~The transfer will be performed 5 days later, if the embryos can make it that long. If not, it'll be 3 days later.
~The pregnancy test will be 12 days later. A positive pregnancy test, that is. :)

That is a whole lot of information! Typing it here really helps me absorb it and be aware of the timeline. I hope it helps some of you who are going to be doing IVF early this year.
The doctor said his biggest concern is OHSS. He said my body should have no problem responding the the stims; he thinks it may respond too well. Therefore, I will be monitored very closely. I am okay with that!
Looking at a calendar, the retrieval and transfer will be done around Valentines Day. Tommy's birthday is the Feb. 24th, so hopefully we will have great news by then. If the baby/ies were "conceived" on V-day, the due date would be Nov. 7 th.
I am looking forward to having no doctors appointments until the 23rd. However, I am only on day 3 of BCP and already feeling anxious to move on. It's going to be a long three weeks..

By the way, I am still terrified that we only have a 50% chance of getting pregnant. I am going to ignore those feelings and know that it will work. It has to, right?

Friday, January 2, 2009

St. Petersburg

Florida was such a great trip. Our friends Sam and Bretton also arrived on Christmas, but earlier in the day. They stayed at a hotel that first night and we picked them up Friday morning. The rest of the vacation was filled with all the right activities-sleeping in, tanning(or burning for me), cooking yummy meals, going to the beach, reading, relaxing. It was exactly what a vacation should be.

Tom in his heaven

Sam and Erin in the Gulf

Me and my babe

At the boardwalk

Posing at the pier

The girls

Shadow kisses :)

Down by the bay

Bretton and Sam

Drinkin' wine by the pool

Our last night

Hours before returning to Chicago weather
Me in my heaven

We went to see the movie Marley and Me on Saturday night. It was the saddest movie I have ever seen. Even sadder than the Notebook or Titanic. There were two parts in particular that I couldn't hold back tears. The theatre was packed and everyone was crying. It ended up being a great movie that I cant wait to buy, but next time Ill have a box of tissues in hand.

The entire vacation, I was sure I was pregnant. With that huge progesterone number, sore boobs, and extreme could I not be? I started the cycle thinking there was no chance. I ended it confident that it worked. I was so wrong. I took a test on Sunday morning, saw a negative and still thought I was pregnant. It didn't become real until I got the call Tuesday morning. I am disappointed that IUI's were unsuccessful for us, but optimistic about IVF.
Speaking of IVF, I am on CD 2 of IVF #1. My period arrived first thing yesterday morning. I went in today for blood work and an ultrasound. Everything came back normal and I was given a pack of birth control. I find it ironically funny that these are the first birth control pills I have ever taken and I have been TTC for 2 years! I start those tomorrow and will continue for 3 weeks, my last pill being on January 23rd. Tom and I go in Monday to meet with the Dr. We will be signing papers and getting our protocol.
IVF still scares me to death. I know the success rates are higher, but there is no guarantee. This is a one shot deal for us. There will not be an IVF #2 or more for at least a year if this doesn't work. I have promised to stay positive and trust that I will be made into a Mommy.

Before I forget, in the midst of holidays and travel, we had 3 people get engaged! My two cousins, Jessy and Molly and our friend Elise that we just went to dinner with. I am super excited for all of them. I love, love, love weddings. I hope to have a belly at some of them! 2009 is going to be a big, expensive, amazing year.