four week wait

Back in 2016, I joined this group of ladies called the four week wait-ers. It actually started earlier in the year as the “two week wait” but crept up to four weeks. Anyone who has ever struggled with infertility will totally get this – it’s not the two weeks after ovulation that is the longest, each cycle is long in totality. You wait for your period to end, wait for ovulation, wait for two weeks and a positive {which usually ends up being a negative anyways}, and if that test is negative you’re waiting for your period again so you can do it all over again. Hurry up and wait. This could honestly be my life motto for these last two years.

For those just joining – yesterday began my frozen transfer cycle! The doctor has me on estrace tablets from now until eternity, or my 11th week of pregnancy – whichever comes sooner. I have my lining check scheduled for a week from Friday, and they will call later today with a tentative date for my transfer. Sometime between the lining check and transfer, we will be starting the progesterone in oil shots. For some reason {not at all relating to my obsessive internet research, I’m sure} these freaked me out. I have heard they hurt, and not just when injected, but for awhile afterward too. Over the last few days, I’ve been feeling better about these though. I’m sure it will still hurt, but I can do it. We can all do anything with Christ’s strength, and honestly, if it gets our little babies here, I’m willing to suck it up. It’s just like 56 more injections. I can handle that.

In other news:

  • I am on day two of no coffee for like the third time in 2018 {why do I do this to myself} and I feel like I’m dying. Of course, we stayed up to watch This is Us last night too, so I’m feeling extra Monday-ee today.
  • Work is going to be slow this week, outside of Saturday, which is my busiest one in probably a year.
  • I also kind of can’t believe it’s already the 5th of February. This month might as well already be over.
  • I’m taking myself on a “me” date this weekend to see Fifty Shades Freed. I am well aware these movies are not everyone’s cup of tea, but I like them, so let me live my life and sneak Mitchell’s ice cream into the theater.

Happy Four Week Wait!

 

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It’s the final countdown

Anyone else singing this? No? Just me? Maybe I’m just letting the Super Bowl Justin Timberlake hype get to me.

It has become kind of a tradition to host a super bowl party every year. Irwin likes football, and I like parties, so it works nicely. In the past few years, we’ve had a totally packed house, but this year we had a larger guest list and more space. I love having a bigger home. The mortgage payments aren’t my favorite, but entertaining and hosting is my calling and it’s hard to do that when you don’t have space to put friends. Obviously I was really only paying attention during the half time show, but it warms my heart having a home filled with friends and family. I’m also really just here for This Is Us afterwards.

In other news, I started my frozen embryo transfer cycle today! It’s still surreal that we have eight little snow babies waiting for us at the lab. This cycle already feels like it’s going to last forever, but in about a month we’ll know if we are going to be parents! I am currently on an oral estrogen pill and I’ll have to give the fertility clinic a call tomorrow. They will schedule me for my lining check and tentative transfer date at that time *grins uncontrollably*. I’m back off of coffee for the time being and will be scheduling another acupuncture appointment for the morning on my transfer. I really kind of like this new lifestyle I was somewhat forced into, I’ve even contemplated not drinking coffee even after having our baby. I guess we’ll have to see.

I suppose it’s time to let everyone get back to their super bowl parties, and I’m logging off so I can go cry through watch This is Us. That may just be what tomorrow’s blog post is about. Good night, and go eagles!

seventeen and counting

Phew, what a weekend!

My egg retrieval procedure was Thursday morning bright and early on the other side of town. I was definitely tired {thank goodness I’m a morning person} but even more so thirsty since you can’t drink or eat anything for twelve hours prior to surgery. Once we met with the financial counselor and paid for all of this, it was time to go back to the OR. We did have a couple of nurses I’d never met, a doctor I never met, and an anesthesiologist team I never met either and to say I was a bit nervous was an understatement. However, I’ve said this a few times and I’ll say it again, the Fertility Center at University Hospitals employs the best hospital staff I have ever worked with. It also helped me that both nurses said they had needle phobias and everyone was seriously SO EXCITED for us. It totally calmed me down. I changed into my gown, Irwin got a cup of coffee and snacks {lucky bastard} and the nurses came into the room to go over my medical chart and prep us for the procedure. One of our mentors and great friends called us to pray with us at this point in time and I was so happy the nurses allowed him to finish before they started with all their info.

It was finally time for the iv and my arm is still a little sore because I’m a bit of a baby so I’m not going to talk much about this. But for anyone going through this, or anything where you need an iv, listen to the nurse. They know where is best to start it and it will save you needle pokes if you aren’t stubborn like me.

I walked into the procedure room and they got me all settled up on the bed. I literally remember them asking me to put my arms and legs in the stirrups and that’s it. I’m pretty sure I confirmed my date of birth and name for like the 300th time that morning, but after that I was out. I woke up about an hour later to the sound of fixer upper which was on the TV in the recovery room. It was at this moment that Irwin told me for the first time how many eggs they were able to retrieve: a whopping 30!!! And that morning I was concerned we’d only have like 5. I proceeded to ask him and the nurse a few dozen more times how many eggs we got because anesthesia and shock got the best of me. It was at this point I was able to drink something and have a snack {I had a sip of ginger ale, water, and goldfish crackers for those wondering} and about an hour and a half after I woke up, we were given the okay to leave.

When they triggered me, it was a mix of HCG and Lupron to ward off any severe OHSS, but they told me there was still a chance I would develop it which is why the transfer was pushed back. I’m pretty sure I ended up with a mild case of it, as today is the first day since Wednesday I am not in pain from bloating. It wasn’t anything severe and I never vomited or caught a fever so we self treated. I do know OHSS can be a yo-yo though so I’m going to continue to be careful. Fortunately once my next cycle starts this will disappear.

Now to the good part, numbers:

30 eggs retrieved on Thursday

22 of those were mature

17 fertilized

AND… drum roll please…

ALL 17 embabies had divided and continued to grow as of yesterday. We will get an email on Wednesday with how many they were able to freeze! This is truly an incredible number and way more than Irwin and I were expecting. God is so amazing, am I right?

We are currently planning to move forward with a frozen embryo transfer next cycle, so I’ll keep you all posted on how that progresses and, of course, with the final number of babies we have frozen. This whole month seems to be a little bit of a blur, but I am so in awe with how amazing this turned out and I am so excited to see what else is in store.

and some panic

Yesterday we made it through day three of stimming and even a mid-injection cartridge change. The follistim only has 300 units per cartridge and it’s overfilled slightly, meaning sometimes we will have to switch it out mid-injection. This is kind of an annoyance, but Irwin and I are becoming pros at this so it wasn’t too bad. I’m at that point where it’s like what’s one more needle and a few hundred more dollars *proceeds to make it rain money which University Hospitals promptly picks up and deposits into their account*.

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All jokes aside, I did have a moment of weakness this morning and had a mini panic attack after leaving the monitoring appointment. According to the ultrasound by lining is thickening (good sign) but all the follicles I have are still under 10mm a piece (normal sign). I think in my head I was expecting this amazing growth, so even after both nurses, Dr. Google, and friends telling me all this is normal for being on day 3 of stims and day 6 of my cycle, I still had a bit of panic set in thinking what if they cancel because I’m not responding well. I was so worried about overstimulation that I didn’t even give thought to under stimulating. New curve ball I guess. I will say that on the baseline day, I couldn’t see any follicles on the ultrasound, and today I saw a lot, so I feel like there is growth, they are just growing slowly. Turtle and the hare – slow and steady wins the race.

Outside of my bout of panic and some tears this morning, I still feel really good. No major bloating (still wearing jeans!) and no true pain. I do feel some expanding down by my ovaries, but nothing abnormal or cause for concern. Trying to eat mostly healthy, but the caramel – pretzel – chocolate chip cookies I made the other day are still part of my daily caloric intake. All about balance after all, amiright?

Today I am thankful for my friends that have been there since the moment we started this journey 2 years ago. I have literally never met any of them in person, but a lot of the time, and especially with anything regarding reproduction, I feel closer to them than any of my irl friends. I guess that’s what happens when you regularly discuss Wanda, bodily fluids, and pee sticks. Love you ladies to pieces!