Saturday, May 31, 2008

Welcome Baby Nevaeh!!!

My best friend Mary had her 3rd baby, Neveah Faith Howerton made her debut at 11:50pm on Friday night. We are all thrilled that she is here (especially her mother who has been having strong contractions for 2 weeks). She weighs 6 lbs 9oz and is 18in. long. She has dark hair, long fingers and toes and is very alert. J & I have been taking care of her older brothers Aidan & Ashton all weekend while Mom, Dad & Baby are recovering. We have had a really good time being "parents" all weekend to the boys. They are precious and we were so happy to be able to spend the weekend with them. We feel like we are in an episode of "Kids Say the Darnedest Things"!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Hurry up & more!!!

I'm so excited typing this! J & I sat down last night and decided to start IVF in June instead of August!!!! In in 2 days! I can't believe it is actually going to happen. I decided that my job will be fine and waiting until Aug. was going to be torture. All we do is sit around and think about how we wish I was pregnant or we had a child so we decided lets just take the plunge and make it happen. And, God forbid it doesn't work, we can start again before the summer is over. So, I still have to do the HSG I talked about earlier to make sure there is no fluid in my tubes but as long as that is clear we are off and running. Here is a tentative schedule...

June 1- 1st day of cycle and beginning of ART cycle
June 3- Blood draw- begin taking BCP (birth control)
June 6-10th- HSG
June 16- Begin Lupron injections
June 24- stop BCP
June27- Suppression check via ultrasound and blood draw
June 28- Day 1 of ART cycle- stimulation injects begin
July 3- Day 6 of ART cyle- daily ultrasounds and blood work begin
July 7- HCG injection (final maturation of eggs)
July 9- Egg retrieval
July 12 or 15- Embryo transfer- begin progesterone injections
July 24- Beta- Pregnancy blood test!!!

So there you have it. This is our life for the next 2 months and we couldn't be more excited about it. We won't get into all of the good stuff until July and of course I'll keep you posted on any other exciting events.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

You know you're an infertility patient when...

This was on one of the infertility boards I frequent today. It is sadly so true!

-the Big 'O' no longer refers to orgasm, but instead to ovulation
- you show everyone who will look at your bbt charts
- every twinge is a potential sign: ovulation pain OR perhaps implantation
- it no longer strikes you as the least bit odd to check out at the pharmacy with both HPTs and tampons in your cart.
- you schedule your social events around your ovulation day
- if your OPK comes up +, you cancel all social engagements that night so you can BD & lie with your legs elevated and butt up in the air afterwards
- you talk using mysterious acronyms that only your ttc buddies understand: ttc, BD, ewcm, bbt, opk, 2ww
- your morning motto is: "Don't talk to me until I've taken my temperature"- you take your temperature more than once a day (committed TTCer)
- you refuse to finish decorating that 3rd bedroom in your new house, because you can't stand the thought of getting it just the way you want it only to have to tear it apart next month in order to make room for the nursery you'll be needing.
- you put off buying any fall/winter clothes, because you hope they won't fit by the time the weather gets cooler.
- you clip coupons for OPKs and HPTs
- your doctor says, "Now take these home and inject this needle into your stomach every day" and you don't even flinch.
- you spend more on OPKs, HPTs, and fertility supplements than you do on clothes
- the thought of nausea makes your heart skip a beat!
- you make a mental note of what day of your cycle it is before you say "ok" to a drink
- you get sick but make sure you can take the medicine in case you are pregnant...and would rather stay sick if you can't take the medicine.
- you finally look forward to mornings! Another opportunity to take and record your temp!
- you refer (and think) of your husband, not as his real name, but as the letters "DH" in real life
- your entire family knows when you are expecting AF and possibly when you are BDing.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

This is what you do on Memorial Day weekend when you have nothing to do...find the oldest photo booth in Seattle and take your pic. Fun weekend :-)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

1st IVF Consult

Yea, we have a plan! We met with PNW Fertility today for our 1st IVF consult. It went really well and we are both pleased and jazzed to get this thing started. We loved our Dr. and feel good about the experience. We can start the process in June, July or August but we are leaning toward Aug. because of my job. I just started and I could use the months of June & July to get established before I go through the process and hopefully 9 months of pregnancy. Therefore, we start with everything in Aug, will transfer the embies in the middle of Sep. and if all goes well be pregnant by the end of Sep. I'll go into more detail of the actual process when we get closer but I have the prescription for the drugs and it entails 8 medications and 60 needles for home injections, not to mention the 10 blood draws. I'm going to feel like a drug addict for a few weeks but it will all be worth it!

The good news is that the RE feels very confident about our success rate and she did an ultrasound to see my ovaries and she said they are beautiful! Of course that made me feel good. She was also very impressed with my knowledge of my cycles and the IVF process. She asked if I worked in the medical field and said she probably didn't even need to go over all of this with me because it sounds like I already know what to expect. I'm not sure if this is positive or not. It just goes to show how much time I have spent learning and researching what we are facing. I really do feel like I know what to expect. I'm not leaving much for the imagination!

I go back in 2 weeks for a blood draw and an HSG(hystersalpingogram). An HSG is another tubal study where they shoot dye into my tubes. This was done already with my Lap surgery but the Dr. wants to do it 1 more time before starting IVF. Often times when people have blocked tubes the tubes can be fluid filled (hydrosalpinx). If this is the case, the fluid in the tubes can be toxic to embryos and can greatly reduce the success rates of IVF. Therefore, if my tubes are fluid filled they will want me to go in for another Lap surgery to tie my tubes before moving to IVF. I'm feeling really confident that this is not the problem (I talked to the lap nurse about it after my procedure and she told me I didn't have fluid in my tubes) but the RE wants to make sure before moving forward to IVF. The HSG is done while I am awake and is an uncomfortable procedure so I'm not looking too forward to it but it's getting us one step closer to the prize.

Other than deciding when to begin IVF our big decision is how many embies to transfer when the time comes. The Dr. has told us that if we transfer 2 we need to be very prepared to have 2 babies. With our age and health there is a very high rate of multiples. 2 babies is daunting, just the pregnancy alone makes me nervous, but we have both decided that having to go through the process again is even more daunting so it looks like we will take our chances and cross our fingers that we won't be given more then we can handle.

Thanks to all of you for all of your thoughts & prayers. We so appreciate all of your support and look forward to someday sharing our children with you. I will keep you posted on all of the procedures and let you know when we decide to take the plunge.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy, Happy Mother's Day

Honestly, Mother's Day is a tough day in the world of an infertile. It is a constant reminder of what you aren't, a mother. I'm trying to stay positive and remind myself that most likely at this time next year I will be celebrating my first Mother's Day with a gurgling, cooing newborn in my arms but it still takes a toll. J and I went out for breakfast which was nice but of course the restaurant was full of mothers and children. All the Mom's looked tired and stressed and most of the kids were crying, throwing their food and hitting each other with their spoons but what I wouldn't give to be yelling at my child to sit down and eat their omelet! Anyway, I'm sure my time is coming and someday I will look over at the young couple in the corner with no kids and think "wow, must be nice to be stress free and enjoy a quite meal together!"

Now, on to my mother...the support system of our family! She is wonderful and strong and opinionated and nurturing and oh so supportive. I love you Mom! Thanks for everything you have ever done and continue to do for me. I am such a lucky girl to have a mother like you. I count my lucky stars daily that you are who you are. There has never been a day that has gone by when I have questioned your love for me or your intentions. You always want only the best for me and will do anything to make sure that is what I get. THANK YOU!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Post Lap

The news hit me like a ton of bricks. I woke up from surgery disoriented and asked for my husband. The nurse told me they had found adhesion's and I had no idea what that meant. When I was coherent enough to start driving the nurses crazy with my incessant questions (when can I see my husband? What are adhesion's? Where did they find them? Can I have babies?) they wheeled me to recovery, propped me in a chair and along came Jimmy, looking grim. "So," I said "what did they find?" With tears in his eyes he looked at me and broke the news. "You have two completely blocked tubes and your only option to get pregnant is In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). This is when the waterworks started.

A little background, Jimmy and I have been trying to get pregnant for 8 months. Around month 6 I began to think something was wrong. Everyone thought I was crazy and needed to relax but I was convinced that we had an issue that was preventing conception. We started getting Jimmy's sperm tested and found out that the little swimmers are swimming in the right direction. Therefore the problem must be me. I did A TON of research and the only thing that made sense was endometriosis. I have a family history of this disease and I had a few of the symptoms. Unfortunately the only way to diagnose endometreosis is via a laproscopic surgery where they take a good look at all of your reproductive organs and try to determine what is going on. I made an appt. for the surgery thinking the Dr. would find a small amount of endo, remove it and tell me I'd be pregnant within a couple of months. Unfortunately what the Dr. found was no endo but 2 completely blocked fallopian tubes that are beyond repair.

Now for a brief anatomy lesson (see illustration). When your ovary releases an egg every month it is caught by the finger like hairs on the end of the tube and travels down until it meets a sperm. When the egg meets the sperm it will attach itself and they will travel back up the tube and implant in the uterus. Rather than fingers, the ends of my tubes look like fists and are blocked all the way through. Obviously in my body the egg is not even getting in the tube (it just absorbs back in my system with nowhere to go) so there is no chance for conception to take place.

IVF is a long, stressful process and this blog will be a place for me to keep you all informed on what is going on as well as a place for me to vent my thoughts. My first appt. with the RE (fertility specialist) is on May 22nd and we are hoping to get this party started this summer. I'll keep you all posted!