Saturday, January 30, 2010

Some good news

I am pregnant! I went in this morning for blood work and recieved the call later in the day. The betas were 109. I am 12 days past the 3 day transfer. I was shaking when she called and told me. The nurse said its a great number. I go in Monday to take another test. Hopefully the numbers will double.

I had a feeling I was. This being my 4th pregnancy I know the signs and I know how my body feels. My first symtom I get is I am exhuasted. I can go to bed at 8 pm and I do. The second is I am starving every 2 hours and I wake up famished. I have a thing for salads and oranges. I can eat them all the time. I cant seem to get enough of them. I always loved salads, but oranges I really never ate. Its very strange.
The third symptom I have is I go to the bathroom all the time. Every 1/2 hour or hour. Last week I went to the bathroom before I left for work and my commute is and hour. I was ready to burst by the time I got to work.
The forth symptom I have is ummmm, well, my boobs hurt. In the shower with the water on them. OUCH!!!

I would love to say I am jumping for joy, but if I am honest, I am not. I am down right petrified.
I think of my last pregnancy. I have good numbers in the first two weeks and then boom, a blighten ovum.
I honestly feel I cant let myself get attached. I am afraid of losing this pregnancy too. I am trying to stay positive and I tell myself. This one is different. They took the septum out. Its all different. But its so hard not to feel frightened. Not to jump for joy. I am just plain scared.
I decided to take on day at a time. Today I am pregnant and I love my baby.
History does not have to repeat itself and it wont.
I am doing my relaxation sessions every night and I am not exercising this time around. I stopped working out when I start the stims because I just felt very uncomfortable.
I think my body just needs to rest at this time. My doctor told me he would feel comfortable if I didn't. No one knows if that caused my miscarriages, but the just don't know.

Monday I go for another blood test. Hopefully my numbers double.
I am still on the progesterone injection and the estrace. Maybe these two will make the difference I need?
One day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time.
2010 is already looking good.

Monday, January 25, 2010


"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, then its not the end"- Author unknown.

I came across this saying and I thought it was just perfect. How true is this saying? I think it is just something that I need to tell myself over and over and it will keep me fighting. I feel that this is what I have been doing for almost 2 years. Fighting. Fighting for my happy ending. I have that one goal in my mind and I know it will happen someday. I will be a mom. I wont stop fighting until I hold my sweet baby in my arms.

It will all be OK and if its not, I have more fighting in me and its not the end.

Another great one that I always think about is:
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."-Lao Tzu.

I think of every month my single step. Each month trying to get pregnant. Then if I am pregnant, then my single steps will be weeks. Just taking one moment at a time and cherishing that moment as it comes. That's all I can do.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chicken Sausage, Mozzarella, and Spinach with Shells

I never post recipes. I might start posting a few healthy ones. I love to cook when I have the time and I like to cook healthy. Its important in this TTC journey that we eat a balanced diet. Since I have been home for a few days my husband has been wonderful. Last night he made homemade pizza. Tonight I wanted to try something new. I saw this recipe last week on Everyday Food on PBS. The original recipe is called Sausage, Mozzarella, and Broccoli Rabe with Shells. I changed it to make it healthier. I use chicken sausage, spinach instead of the broccoli rabe, just because I don't like broccoli rabe and whole-wheat pasta shells.
I thought I would give you something healthy and easy to make and that tastes incredible. My husband said after we ate, "I like you home!"

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
¼ tsp of thyme
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 links Italian chicken sausage,casings removed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 can (28 ounces) kitchen ready tomatoes
8 ounces medium whole-wheat shell pasta
1 block of frozen spinach, thawed
1-2 cups of reduced fat mozzarella

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden brown, about 15 minutes (reduce heat if browning too quickly).

2. Add garlic and chicken sausage. Cook, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce. Cook sauce until slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add spinach and stir.

3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta. Drain pasta and return to pot. Stir in sausage mixture. Transfer to a 9 x 12 baking dish. Top with mozzarella. Bake until cheese has melted and liquid is bubbling, about 15 minutes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The 2 most perfect embryos

Yesterday I had the transfer. We woke up very early and left the house 2 hours before the appointment because it was snowing and we didn't want to get stuck. We made it in an hour and went to Starbucks to hang out for a while. You have to have a full bladder when the transfer is done. I think my bladder is the size of a pea because it doesn't take long to feel like I have to pee.
So we went to the clinic and I was very nervous for some reason. The doctor came in and explained that we only had 2 embryos left. The other two don't look good at all and are breaking down.
He asked if I wanted one in or two and we decided on two. In my mind I am thinking, well if I miscarry one I have another chance with the other. My mind thinking. I didn't say this out loud.

The embryo transfer procedure seems very similar to a Pap smear. There should be no pain involved and no sedation or other drugs are required. They use a moderately full bladder for embryo transfer. This helps in 2 important ways. It allows good ultrasound visualization of the catheter which helps with smooth and proper transfer of the embryos to the best location, and it also unfolds the (anteverted, "tipped up") uterus to a more accommodating angle which makes the process easier and less traumatic for both the endometrial lining and the embryos.

The embryo transfer catheter is loaded with the embryos and the physician passes it through the cervical opening up to the middle of the uterine cavity. Abdominal ultrasound is used simultaneously to watch the catheter tip advance to the proper location. It is sometimes difficult to keep the tip of the catheter in the exact plane of the ultrasound beam at all times - but it is very important to control the proper placement of the embryos. When the catheter tip reaches the ideal location, the embryos are then "transferred" (squirted out of the catheter) to the lining of the uterine cavity. After the embryos are transferred, the catheter is slowly withdrawn and checked under a microscope for any retained embryos. If any embryo is retained in the catheter (uncommon) the transfer procedure is repeated immediately and the catheter is checked again for a retained embryo.

While he was doing this I said, "well I hope they are mine." I don't think the doctor thought it was funny. He said, "what a thing to say. We have two people there at all times when they handle your embryos." I said," I am just kidding I am just nervous. I have faith in you guys" oops!
So that was it. I stayed there lying down for 10 minutes and when we went in the car I put the seat all the way back and listened to my relaxation CD.

The relaxation CD was given to me by a friend who also went through IVF. Its called, Imagery and Meditations to support In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
All new updated version based on customer requests! New music for each track - new scripts for each track - and a brand new track just for the time between Retrieval and Transfer
The imagery contained within this recording is structured to complement an in Vitro Fertilization cycle. The recording contains specific tracks for use prior to retrieval, post-transfer, and post-implantation. The imagery makes use of the body-mind connection to help augment your body's natural abilities at each stage of your cycle as well as providing a long-term sense of peace, control and confidence.

Here is where you can purchase it.
Under, Infertility Meditation Cd's on the right hand side.

I plan on listening to the CD every day and night to support me in the 2 week wait. For the next couple of days my instructions are to be a couch potato, which is hard for me, but I know its is the best thing I can do for my little embryos.
So I have to wait till the 30th to get my betas. I am wishing and praying all goes well.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lucky number 7?

I had the egg retrieval this morning. They put an IV in me and gave me saline and antibiotics. When they took me into the room where they do the procedure they gave me something to make me sleepy. What they give you is the same thing they give when you get your wisdom teeth out. Its sometimes called "twilight". So they nurse and doctor were there. "are you feeling sleepy?" Nope. Now? Nope. The nurse then says "ok I got to get to work". Then boom I was out and then I woke up in the recovery room. I felt a little crampy but it was tolerable.
They got 7 eggs. I was a little disappointed because I thought they usually get 15 to 20. I guessit quality of the eggs and not quantity. The doctor said no that is perfect. She said I thought I was only going to get 5 with my estrogen level. They gave me some Tylenol and I came home. I went right to sleep for few hours.
We now have to wait. I call tomorrow and see how many fertilized and when to come back in for the transfer. It will either be Sunday or Monday.
They now have me on estrace and progesterone. Estrace is a pill I will take morning and night and progesterone is a shot in the butt. Again, in the muscle.
I am just laying low today. I still feel a little crampy but feel fine.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ouch my butt!

Last night my husband had to give me the Novarel trigger shot at 10:30 pm so I will be ready for Friday. We watched the video a couple of times and he was like "OK I can do this". There I was standing there over my bed, waiting him to give me the shot and I couldn't stop laughing. I don't know why. He was like "OK ready 1, 2, oh I cant do this". I was like just do it! It didn't hurt at all going in. I actually didn't even feel it.
Today, my butt hurts. I feel like I just did a huge butt workout. Every time I stand it hurts. Its all worth it. I can handle the pain.
Also, today I didn't take any meds this morning and I feel so much better. My bloat has gone down and I just feel more alert. Not as tired as I have been. I feel like a new woman!
I just cant wait for this weekend. I have having the retrieval tomorrow and then the transfer would be either Sunday or Monday. I just feel like I am getting closer to being pregnant. I have so much confidence this will work. I am staying positive. I am taking one day at a time. That's all I can do. I cant think that it might not work, or if it does I will miscarry again. I am taking one day as it comes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


The nurse called me today. I am to give the trigger shot of Novarel tonight. This is my husbands big moment. I have been giving myself the shots all along. This one goes in the upper buttocks so I cant give it to myself. My husband is a little squeamish when it comes to shots, but he is going to have to get over it.
Novarel is the HCG. This will make my ovaries ovulate. You ovulate 36 hours after the injection. The nurse gave me a specific time to inject it so I will be ready for the egg retrieval on Friday morning.
Tomorrow I dont take anything. No shots at all. I get a break!
Friday morning my husband and I go to the clinic and he gives his sample and I get sedated and they extract me eggs.
All these weeks of pain from shots, side effects for the meds, and just nervousness, comes down to this day.
We are almost there.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just wait

I went this morning for blood work and ultrasound. My follicles are bigger. I just got a call from the nurse. She said my estrogen is 784. They want me to take the Gonal-f and Repronex tonight and tomorrow take the Lupron and she said to wait for us to call you when we want you to trigger.
So my retrieval is soon! I can't wait.

The only side effects I have is I am bloated. My stomach is very extended and just feels full.
I am also very tired. I am in bed by 8 pm.

So I have to wait for them to call me tomorrow. I will keep you posted.

Monday, January 11, 2010


As some of you may know I love to read. I read every night before I go to bed and I listen to book in the car because my commute is one hour each way. I found this wonderful author. Nancy Thayer. Her books take place in Nantucket and Boston. Nancy Thayer is a Nantucket novelist and is the author of nineteen novels, including The Hot Flash Series (Hot Flash Holidays, The Hot Flash Club, The Hot Flash Club Strikes Again), Custody, Between Husbands and Friends, An Act of Love, Belonging, Three Women at the Water's Edge, and Everlasting, Summer House and Moon Shell Beach. Nancy Thayer’s books concern the mysteries and romance of families and relationships: marriage and friendships, divorce and love, custody and step parenting, family secrets and private self-affirmation, the quest for independence.
I fell in love with the books Summer House and Moon Shell Beach. I went to the library and picked this one book out. Its called Morning. It is fantastic. Here is the description of it.

The one flaw in the marriage of blond, voluptuous Sara Kendall and her blond, virile husband Steve, the one ill wind ruffling the calm of their home on Nantucket, is Sara's inability to conceive a child. Thayer's plodding narrative focuses on Sara's ritual temperature-taking and calendar-watching and her monthly disappointments. Her frustrations and jealousy of all child-bearing women and especially of Mary, Steve's bitchily fertile former girlfriend boil up into accusations against her hapless husband. Then Sara finds a fascinating story about a Kansas farm girl turned international temptress interpolated among the otherwise uninteresting pages of a novel she is editing, recognizes its enormous literary merit and autobiographical verisimilitude, forces her way into the writer's reclusive presence and sees the rewritten novel through to its prize-winning publication.

I can really relate to the main character Sara. She goes to Boston to see a gynecologist and she then has a HSG test, which I have had. It is just a great book that I can relate to.
I urge you to go to your local library and see if they have it available. Its an old publication, 1988, but I think you will enjoy reading it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I have a good amount of follicles

Today I went for blood work and ultrasound. I am CD 8. The nurse just called. I have a good amount of follicles. My estrogen is 420. She said everything looks good. I have to decrease Gonal-f and stay on the Lupron and Repronex. I have to go back in in two days for another blood work and ultrasound. She says I might be doing the retrieval at the end of the week!
The only side effects I am feeling is my stomach is bloated and I have pains where I injected the Repronex. She said that it irritating to the skin.
She also said that at this point I shouldn't workout. They don't want me bursting a follicle.

So I am resting today and just hope my body continues to respond how its been responding.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lets make some eggs!

I started Repronex last night. The nurse called my house phone and left my instructions. Continue Lupron, Gonal-f and start Repronex. You mix this using this needle then switch needles. Blah blah blah. I was so confused. I called the nurse and she explained it to me better. I said can you please put down to call my cell phone? I asked her if it is ok to workout. She said I wouldn't do anything strenuous. Just walking and light weights. She said by Sunday your stomach is going to feel full. Sunday I go in for blood work and ultrasound. So hopefully we can see how I am responding to the medications.

So last night I started the Repronex. I mixed it fine and injected it in my stomach. That is where they want me to. Well this morning I have a little black and blue that is sore.
I got up this morning and went to teach my muscle class that I normally do. I teach on Thursdays and Saturdays.

I walked in and sat down with the group fitness director. I told her I needed some time off. She knew what happened to me and I told her I am going through IVF and I need some time off. If I get pregnant I wont be coming back and if I don't I will be back. She understood and told me she would find a replacement for a few weeks until I know for sure how things go.

I taught my class and told them that I am going through IVF. I need some time off and to please keep me in their prayers. My class knew I miscarried 3 times and have been so supportive. They all said we are keeping our fingers crossed. We love you! What a great feeling. After class they all gave me hug and told me they would think and pray for me. One lady said that I was such an inspiration! What a wonderful group of woman I have. I feel lucky I am so well liked and respected.

Here is a description of what Repronex does and the side effects and a video on how to do it. You have to mix it up before you inject it.

Repronex is combination of hormones. It works by stimulating the ovaries to produce eggs. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is then given to cause ovulation (release of an egg). It also stimulates sperm production in men with certain types of infertility.

Repronex may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Repronex . Using Repronex alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
Possible side effects of Repronex :
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Abdominal pain; back pain; breast enlargement; chills; dizziness; fever; flu-like symptoms; flushing; general body discomfort; headache; menstrual changes; muscle or joint pain; pain or rash at the injection site.Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); abdominal bloating; changes in speech or vision; chest pain; decreased urination; diarrhea; fast heartbeat; nausea; one-sided weakness; severe abdominal pain; severe headache; shortness of breath; sudden leg pain; vomiting; weakness; weight gain; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I came across this article when I was doing a search online. I thought I would post it because I found it very imformative.

The main IVF hint is to pamper yourself!
An IVF cycle is a very stressful thing and anything that helps you through it without harming a potential baby is okay!
Decide ahead of time where and how you want to get news each day for how much medication to take, etc. This is especially important on the big days of finding out about fertilization and pregnancy test. Those days can be tough if things don't go well! You might want your partner or a good friend around!
Rest is very important, even before transfer. All those developing eggs are taking up a lot of space and energy.
Try to get to know the people who are treating you so you aren't just another patient.
It may help to make a friend or two who is at the clinic for IVF, too.
Bring a book, magazine, or hand-held game with you to appointments. You might be there for a while.
Make sure they do a mock transfer prior to the actual embryo transfer. This is not fun, but it is necessary that they know the depth of your uterus so they know where to put the embryos.
Do whatever it is you need to do to make this manageable for you. (Naps, backrubs, favorite foods, etc. Be very good to yourself during this time.)
Small amounts of alcohol will probably not adversely affect you or your eggs, but caffeine has been shown to affect fertility, even in small amounts, so try to avoid it.
Buy a good, up-to-date fertility book and try to find out as much as you can about the IVF process beforehand. There are always new advances, so try to keep up with the changes in techniques.
Always ask you’re RE a lot of questions about your progress, what the numbers mean, etc. That is what they are there for! Also, you should be able to get copies of anything in your file (like your follicle growth and E2 test results and fertilization report). The more knowledgeable you are, the more likely they are to openly share information and take time to explain.
It can be very comforting to find someone, either in cyberspace or in person, that is in a similar situation (factor, cycle) that you can share stories and progress with.
Try to keep a very flexible schedule the week before the pregnancy test. Some people start their periods early and are stuck somewhere where they cannot just be alone and grieve.
Start taking a prenatal vitamin prior to your cycle. At the minimum, you should take 400mcg of folic acid daily for three months before conception to reduce neural tube defects such as spina bifida. The FDA suggests 800 mcg during pregnancy, so it is best to look for a prenatal with that amount.
Some clinics believe that a diet that is high in protein and low in salt and potassium can help you avoid hyperstimulation. Gatorade is a poor choice of fluid to drink to prevent/control hyperstimulation because it contains large quantities of salt. Water or Pedialyte is best, in quantities recommended by your RE. At a certain stage of OHSS, too much fluid can be detrimental.
Remember that some people get very uncomfortable and even have a lot of pain as the ovaries are stimulated. This may get worse as the follicles ripen. Loose clothing may help.
Don’t worry about your weight unless you are tracking it for hyperstimulation purposes. Unless you hyperstimulate, most of the weight gained during an IVF cycle usually disappears once your period starts and if you are lucky enough to get pregnant your weight won’t matter anyway!
If you are not taking birth control pills the cycle previous to your IVF, be sure to use birth control (no matter how ridiculous it may seem). Usually, you will start Lupron before you would know if you conceived or not and Lupron is very dangerous to a developing baby.
The extra fluid your developing follicles are taking up and being NPO before retrieval can sometimes cause constipation. Increasing your consumption of fiber and fluids as you approach egg retrieval may help alleviate this.
Don't talk to your partner too much about his role. This may cause him extra anxiety during an already stressful time and the extra stress can aggravate the performance anxiety that men suffer on the day of retrieval.
If this is your first IVF, be conservative about the number of blastocysts or embryos you transfer, especially if they are of very good quality. You may find that fertilization was your big hurdle and now that is complete you are on your way!
If you have had more than one failed IVF, consider changing clinics, especially if your doctor doesn’t have a change in protocol planned.
Remember that all cycles are not alike. Using the exact same protocol on another attempt even at the same clinic can lead to different results.
Some clinics use medications to prevent embryo rejection (low dose corticosteroids, etc.), which may help your chances of success. Check with your clinic to see if they think it would make a difference for you.
Always repeat the directions for medication to the nurse and get your E2 level. If something seems wrong or unclear, ask for clarification.
Prior to the stimulation part of your cycle, make sure you and your partner discuss how many embryos or blastocysts you plan to transfer. (While remembering that your plan may have to change because of circumstances of the IVF!) If you think you will have extra embryos beyond what you want to transfer to avoid high order multiple risk, decide whether you will freeze them or discard them. Decide whether you would consider selective reduction. These are not things to discuss under pressure right before transfer!

Apply gentle pressure to the spot after the needle is removed for at least 5 minutes, as this will help reduce bruising.
Some people find that a butterfly needle is less painful for blood draws, others find it more painful. If you haven’t tried it, ask for the clinic to use one and see whether it will work for you.
Drinking lots of water or other fluid (without caffeine) an hour or two before blood is drawn usually makes it easier to find your veins.
If you are taking baby aspirin or heparin, remember that you will need to keep pressure on your blood draw site for longer than you normally would. (This is also true for your IV site after it is removed.)
If you know a place that is generally easier to get blood from, ask them to use that site rather than just trusting them to find the best site. (If you are careful to not let it bruise, they can use the same general area a few times.)
Remove the bandage within half an hour of the blood draw (unless you are on blood thinners then you should wait an hour or so just to be sure). This will help keep you from developing a tape allergy.
If you do develop a tape allergy, ask for Tegaderm or get the clear kind of 3M bandages called Nexcare and ask the clinic to use them. They often are less irritating than other forms of tape or band-aids.

(For these, you must experiment and find what works best for you.)
Remember that not everyone finds the shots painful!
Before any shot, the person giving the shot should wash their hands thoroughly and dry them on a clean paper towel.
Wipe the rubber top of any medicine vial with an alcohol swab before drawing up the medicine.
Use a clean alcohol swab to thoroughly wipe the area to be injected. Do not touch the area with anything else until after the shot. If you are using any pain relieving methods (ice, flicking, EMLA cream, etc.) be sure to use them before you wipe the area with alcohol.
Some people find that icing the area beforehand helps lessen the pain.
If your shots are particularly painful, you can ask your doctor for a prescription for EMLA cream. It will deaden the area so the needle won’t hurt going in. (This will not prevent all pain, though, as often some of the pain from the shots is from the medication itself.)
Some people use Anbesol to deaden the skin before a shot.
Try flicking the spot where the shot is going to be injected a few times until it hurts. Then you can inject and it may be numb.
Try strongly depressing and applying pressure to the area with your alcohol-cleansed thumb for 60 seconds prior to injecting.
Remember if you are treating your injection site with ice or other pain control methods, be sure to cleanse the area with alcohol after treating and before injecting.
Some people find that lying down helps, but only if your partner still feels comfortable giving the shot that way.
Some people find that one side is less painful for the shots and if that is the case, you can keep doing the shots on the same side until soreness sets in.
For sub-q shots, some people find the thigh less painful than the stomach, and some people find the stomach less painful than the thigh. Try both and see what works best for you.
Sometimes the brand or type of needle may affect how much the shot hurts. They may be the same gauge but have different tips. If you are having a lot of pain with a shot and are using a small enough gauge needle (25-27 gauge or so), try seeing if a different brand will help.
Try a warm bath after your shot. You may find yourself looking forward to the bath, which will give you something positive to focus on.
Line up who will do your shots ahead of time and learn how to do them yourself in case you have to.
It may help to make up a daily chart of what medication to take. Leave blanks for the amount for the medications that the clinic will call to tell you how much to take. Put a check each time you take the medication to make sure you don't forget anything.
For IM shots, its important to inject medication into the right spot -- otherwise you can hit nerves, which can be really painful. Have a nurse at your clinic draw a circle on each hip to show exactly where the shots should go (they made need redrawing after a few days).
Sometimes, when giving an IM shot, the area a bit on the outside toward the hip can be less painful.
For IM shots in the hip your needles need to be at least 1 1/2" long. If you are giving the shot in the thigh your needle should only be 1" long.
The needle gauge is not important to the shot, but it may be important for pain. The larger number, the smaller the needle. (A 27-gauge needle is smaller than a 22 gauge.) If you use a different needle for drawing the medications and shooting, it may help, too.
Some medications need to be kept at certain temperatures, and the pharmacy and clinic don't always point this out to you. Read the labels or ask your pharmacist.
A good way to practice filling the syringe is to get an extra bottle of diluent and fill and empty the same syringe until you feel comfortable with this procedure.
Breathe in through your nose slow and deep while you the needle goes in and out slowly through your mouth the medicine is going in -- it can help keep you relaxed and while will help the shot not hurt so much!
Some people find that bending over a counter or a bed with your weight on the leg opposite the injection side is a very comfortable position for an IM hip injection.
When using the glass ampules, put them out on a clean paper towel and use another clean paper towel to break them. Then, once they are used, you can dispose of the glass tops by folding them into the paper towels. This avoids having little shards of glass all over your table.
For Lupron injections, insulin syringes seem to work especially well, because they come with very small needles.

(For these, you must experiment and find what works best for you.)
There are many different options for progesterone, so you may be able to avoid the shots.
Do not refrigerate progesterone in oil. It will only make the shots more painful because the oil is thicker.
Do refrigerate progesterone suppositories.
Some clinics let you take progesterone suppositories rectally. It is much less messy, and they say it gets into your bloodstream just as effectively as doing it vaginally.
Oral progesterone is an option if your clinic will let you. Usually the dose is higher because it may not be absorbed as well.
The injection is much easier if you warm the progesterone beforehand. The oil thins out when heated and needs less effort to inject and bruises less. You can do this by holding the bottle of progesterone, or a syringe with the proper amount of progesterone in it, in your hand for a few minutes prior to the shot.
Progesterone is made in peanut and sesame oil (in the US anyway, not sure about overseas). If one form is particularly bothering you (lumps, rash, etc.) try switching to the other kind of oil. You may have a slight allergy to the original oil.
Progesterone in sesame oil is a tiny bit less viscous than progesterone in peanut oil, so it goes through small needles a little better.
Try not icing the area beforehand, if you can stand it. Chilling the muscle first may make it harder for the progesterone to dissipate.
Moist heat on the area may help dissipate the progesterone and make the area less painful. (Microwaveable heating pads are perfect for this!)
Massaging the area after the shot helps the progesterone dissipate.
If you have lumps forming, try to make sure the shot doesn't go right into one. If it does, it makes the shot extra painful.
Most clinics recommend that you do progesterone shots in larger needles because the oil is so much thicker than the other medications. You can use smaller needles (25 to 27 needles gauge work fine). The injection will take longer, but it may help reduce the pain and soreness from the shot. (It will not affect whether the progesterone itself is painful or forms lumps.)
Remember that progesterone often brings on pregnancy-like symptoms, and also makes your cycle longer. So, if you're on progesterone and have breast tenderness, etc., you aren’t necessarily pregnant and you will need to have a test to know for sure.
Remember that you can still be pregnant even if you seem to have started your period, so be sure to go for your blood pregnancy test before stopping progesterone support.

Keep a watch on your normal time zone and take your medication according to that watch, rather than doing the math and trying to keep it straight.
Finding a hotel with a refrigerator in the room is helpful for keeping the medication at the right temp. Another option is a small, portable camping refrigerator.
Traveling to do IVF may make it less stressful for you. Getting prepared for the cycle is more stressful (things to do to get ready for the trip, etc.), but the cycle itself may be less stressful. You can do a lot of sightseeing and you may obsess less about the cycle that way than you would have if you were home and working. Also, you have fewer responsibilities to worry about and can concentrate on your cycle.
Bring loose clothes with you. You may be bloated and need looser clothes to be comfortable.
You may want to purchase a Diabetic Care case. It comes with space for your medications, needles, alcohol swabs, and even an ice pack to keep them chilled while you are traveling. They can easily be found at most medical supply companies or pharmacies.

Try self-hypnosis tapes to keep your mind on warm and fuzzy thoughts.
Keep social contacts to a minimum.
Use the cycle as an opportunity to focus on yourself and on each other.
Try to relax and think positive.
For sanity sake, review the odds of success ahead of time. Some people try to stay as neutral as possible to avoid major ups and downs, others try to stay hopeful to help make all the procedures easier.
Try doing things to take your mind off the process. Visualization may just make the obsessing worse.
Try to manage stress in whatever way works best for you. Some suggestions are relaxation or deep breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation.

You will probably need at least the day after your retrieval off of work. You may be in pain or you may just be tired and need the rest. Levels of pain post-retrieval vary from person to person. Some people may have little or no pain and others may have a lot of pain. Be prepared for both extremes.
Prior to retrieval, remind your partner (or the nurse if your partner isn’t there) to keep pressure on your IV site for you once it is removed (especially if you are taking baby aspirin or heparin). You will still be a bit woozy and may not remember.
Often the medication used for sedation for retrieval is one that causes amnesia, so don't be worried if you cannot remember everything that happened. It is disconcerting, but not a problem. Remind your partner about this so that he doesn’t expect you to remember everything!
Some people have reported that the sedation used for retrieval can cause nightmares.
A heating pad on your belly may help with pain after egg retrieval.
If you are concerned about nausea during the retrieval, ask for something to stem nausea. A drug called Phenergan is a mild sedative and also will help keep you from vomiting or having nausea from other medications.
Have someone there to drive you back from retrieval and transfer.
Make sure that you tell them about any allergies. You may be given a narcotic pain killer afterwards. If you have problems with narcotic pain relievers, you can ask for a non-narcotic pain killer which may work just as well for you.
Eat a low fat diet for a few days before retrieval. Sometimes the embryos are stored in a vial of the mother’s blood, and they don't react well to fat (or is it lipids, or whatever), which can temporarily rise as a result of high dietary fat intake. (You can check with your clinic ahead of time to find out whether they use your blood or not.)
Some clinics suggest you avoid soaps, shampoos, and perfume on retrieval and transfer day as embryos can react poorly to odors.
Don’t wear fingernail polish to retrieval. Some clinics use a clip on your finger to read oxygen saturation levels during retrieval and fingernail polish will interfere with that.
Remember that not every follicle contains an egg, so don't be surprised if the number of eggs harvested is less or more than the number of follicles you've been watching develop.
If you have any significant pain within the first couple of days after retrieval, something may be wrong. LET YOUR CLINIC KNOW IMMEDIATELY! Some people have had a blood vessel nicked which led to internal bleeding so they had to go to the hospital for monitoring.
You may find it very hard to lie still for the required time after transfer (this varies some from clinic to clinic). You may want to bring extra pillows to make you comfortable, or some music to distract you.
Many clinics aren't requiring *any* post-transfer rest, as recent studies indicate it has no impact in success rate. If it helps you feel like you are doing everything you can, rest as much as you feel necessary.
Most clinics recommend you avoid the following after transfer: swimming, saunas, baths, intercourse, orgasms, lifting over 10 pounds, exercise that breaks out into a sweat. So, look forward to taking it easy!

Good luck!!!!!

Article from:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Preparing Your Body For IVF

I have been preparing my body for this IVF cycle. I am keeping a positive attitude that this will work. I am using my guided imagery I was taught to do. Seeing myself with a baby in my arms and thinking my body is fertile and a safe place for a baby to grow in my uterus. I even had a couple of wonderful dreams where I was nursing my baby. Fear of course comes into play, but I try not to think about it. I just am thinking that this time my body is ready. I will get pregnant and I will hold this baby to term. I am eating healthy, only walking, doing yoga, and lifting light weights. I am also spending more time with my husband. I used to go to the gym every night and very rarely saw him. Now I am coming home, making a nice dinner and spending time together. We just purchased the Wii and we are having more laughs. Last weekend we spent most of it together, laughing and enjoying each other. This is very important to try to do. Remember why you got married.

I wanted to write how to prepare your body if you are thinking of going through IVF or are already going through it. I know many questions come up, “should I eat differently? Should my workouts change?” Well here is an article that will answer some of your questions. I did a website search and came across this article that I think will be helpful. I got this article from a website called Shared Journey. Website is at the bottom of this blog entry.

In Vitro Fertilization(IVF) treatment is a multi-stage fertility treatment, which may take around 20 to 25 days to complete. Although it is one of the best fertility treatments available, many couples find that it is also the most stressful. IVF is often undertaken only after other fertility treatments have failed, so if you're considering trying it, you're likely to be already feeling a degree of pressure and disappointment. As a woman, you will have to take pills and receive multiple injections of fertility drugs. You'll also have to have a number of tests, for example, ultrasound exams, so that your doctors can monitor your progress and implement each stage of the process at the optimal time. So just how do you prepare for such a grueling experience?

The key to IVF preparation is positive attitude and focusing on your long term goals. Before you begin each cycle of IVF, you should try visualizing your ideal outcome, namely, nursing your baby in your arms. When things get difficult, try to hold on to that image.
Three Areas Of Preparation
Good preparation for each cycle of IVF will increase your chances of a successful outcome, reduce the side effects you'll experience from fertility drugs, and help your body to recover afterwards. You might find it helpful to break down your preparation into three key areas: Nutritional, physical and mental.

About four to six weeks before each cycle of IVF you should begin thinking about your nutritional health. A healthy, balanced diet is very important as is adequate hydration (you should drink around two liters of water per day). Foods to avoid are chocolate, processed foods and foods with high sugar content. You should try to eat at least 60 mg of protein a day. This is important because low levels of protein in your body can cause you to produce fewer eggs. Try to get this protein from healthy sources, such as lean (possibly organic) meat, beans, lentils and fish. You should also reduce or cut out your consumption of caffeine and alcohol. Needless to say, cigarettes or illegal drugs are out of the question. If you are taking any prescription medication, make sure that your fertility specialist is aware of this. It can be a good idea to take a daily multivitamin, as certain vitamins can help you to produce eggs and create optimal conditions in your uterus for nurturing embryos. Talk to your fertility specialist before making any radical changes to your diet or starting on any course of vitamins or herbal supplements.

Being overweight or underweight can hamper your chances of getting pregnant through IVF. If you have either of these problems you should try to rectify them gradually or not via crash diets or highly strenuous exercise. Light exercises such as walking or yoga is safe, but aerobic exercise should be avoided. Make sure that you avoid cigarettes and smoky atmospheres, as the chemicals in cigarette smoke can affect the lining of your uterus. Avoid sitting for long periods in the same position as this can restrict blood flow. If you work on the computer all day, make sure you get up once in a while and walk around. You should also avoid hot baths, Jacuzzis and sun bathing. However, keeping the abdomen warm with a hot water bottle in the period leading up to the egg-harvesting and transfer stages can be helpful. Don't use the hot water bottle after transfer.

You must give yourself enough time to relax and recover from each cycle of treatment. If you try and live your life just as you did before you were having IVF, you will run into problems. You need to accept the changes it brings about in your energy levels and you should try to adjust your schedule to allow for that. Don't forget to spend time with your partner and communicate with him. You both will to talk about the IVF and your experiences, but also to focus on other things, the things you enjoy doing together. Lastly, you might find it easier to cope of with some of the stressful decision making that comes with IVF if you consider potential scenarios in advance. By discussing these with your partner and your doctor, you'll be in a better position to deal with them should they arise.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Come on ovaries, lets make multiple follicles!

Yesterday I was so upset that my doctors nurse didn't call me with instructions. I had my cell phone by my side the whole day waiting for the call. Well she called my house and left a message.Why they would call my house is beyond me.
So anyways, my instructions are to decrease the Lupron to 5 units in the morning and to start Gonal-f RFF Pen, 225 units. Come in for bloodwork on Friday.

At first I was like, what! How do I do this? I am not a nurse!

I went to this website my doctor told me about. I went over and over how to use it and what to do. This is a great site.

Again, my husband was there with me for moral support. Strictly moral support. He turns his head when I stick the needle in. This is also done in the stomach. Its very much like the Lupron.

This medication is used to treat certain fertility problems in women. It provides the hormone (FSH) that helps stimulate healthy ovaries to produce eggs. This medication is usually used in combination with another hormone (hCG) for the growth and release of a mature egg (ovulation).

The side effects of this medication are:
Headache, stomach pain, bloating, redness/pain at the injection site, breast tenderness/pain, or dizziness may occur.

All in all so far I have not had any problems. The only complaint I have are headaches. I have had this one headache for 3 days now. I do not want to take anything. I just take Tylenol. To be honest it hasn't relieved any of the pain. I am going to work, but at night I cant wait to go home and lay down. I haven't worked out at all for a few days because of the headaches. They are just painful. For the last couple of nights I have been going to bed early because the pain is so bad.
I just think to myself, "this is all for a good cause. I can do this."

Monday, January 4, 2010

The morning from hell but it turned out good.

I had the morning from hell. I woke up early for my CD 2 blood work and ultrasound. I started writing in a journal as well. I want to record this whole process. I wrote in my journal that I am excited to start this cycle and I am up early to get the tests done.
So I left my house at 6:30 am. Feeling so good. Its was a nice day out the sun coming up. Then I hit traffic. The traffic is the worst I have ever seen it. An hour has gone by I wasn't even close to where I needed to be. I call the clinic and tell them I was going to late. I was so upset because I thought this cycle would be a bust if I didn't get those tests done. I was crying. I was so upset.
2 hours later, I finally got off the highway, still no where close to where I needed to be. I had to pee so bad I was in pain. I ran into a gas station and then called my husband. The traffic was not moving at all. I went a different route and got there in a half hour. I didn't get to the place till 9 am. I should of been there by 7:45 am.

My doctors nurse took my blood and the ultrasound tech did the ultrasound. They were very nice and very sympathetic. They said I wont get the blood result till tomorrow because they have to send it out, but it wont screw me up because I wouldn't be taking the new medication till tomorrow night. Thank god. I have never felt so relieved.

The ultrasound all looked good. Nothing alarming jumped out at her. She said its done to give them a base line for things. She is the wonderful tech I wrote about before. She has you fill this paper in. She tells you what everything is, etc. She is so great. The cysts that I had on my ovaries are gone so the birth control pills did the trick.

I told my husband when I have to have monitoring done I am staying at my mothers. (she lives 10 minutes away from the place). I just couldn't do that again. I was so stressed out. I was trying to some deep breathing exercises and tried to stay calm but it was so hard. I just was so scared that they would tell me I couldn't do this cycle because I missed the blood work and ultrasound. So it all worked out.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A sign maybe?

January 3rd. This date has a couple of meanings. First my grandfather passed away 4 years ago today, my estimated due date for my second pregnancy is today, I would of had a one year old, and the start of my first IVF cycle is today.

Today is the first day of my cycle. My last birth control pill was on the 30th. They say to expect AF to come 3 to 5 days after. It was right on schedule. I go in tomorrow for blood work and ultrasound and then they will call me and tell me what to decrease and what medications to start. We are going to be our way. I feel good about this cycle. This date has always had meaning to me and I would like to think this is a sign that all is going to be ok.

You have to have faith through all this. Its the only thing that keeps you sane. Although through this journey I have had faith and things still went wrong, I still try to hold on to it.

It might be silly for some and many people may choose not to believe it, but would like to think of it this way. I would like to think that my grandfather is up there holding my baby angel and will make this cycle work.

I feel he is telling me, "it will all be alright Suzanne, we will make this happen."