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So, I have never been good at following “rules” and of course the whole no testing rule is one that I could not follow at all. I got my first ever real positive HPT on 11/4! That would put me at 11 days past ovulation if this was a “normal” cycle.

The clinic would not move my beta test up, so I had to wait until 11/11/11 for it and it was 441 (14dp3dt or 17dpo). It is a great number and I am so very excited. Next beta is 11/18 and our first ultrasound is 11/25….no Black Friday shopping for us. 😉

Now of course it is super early, but finally after 5 long years I am pregnant. We are so very happy and will continue to enjoy every moment. My friends and family are over the moon. I am so lucky to have such a great support system.

I am PUPO!

This is a term used in the IF world that means, Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise. It is amazing to think that I finally made it here!!! Here is what has been going on:

On 10/25 we had our egg retrieval and got 18 eggs! We were so happy to get that many, it was a wonderful harvest and one we never expected!!! The anesthesia was wonderful and I guess I snored throughout part of the procedure, haha! When I woke up I was sore, but wide awake and feeling pretty good. I got home and rested the rest of the day, taking Tylenol regularly. We got the call the next day to tell us that 14 out of 18 of our eggs fertilized normally! They like to see 50%, so this was amazing news!!!! I was basically floating on air. :)

One 10/28 it was the big day, transfer day! We got to the clinic and I had to have a full bladder and then take one lone Valium when I got there (which was heavenly, ha!). They took me back and let me know that of all the embryos we had 3 rockstars and could transfer all if we chose, but we had already decided to go with 2. So we transferred 1-eight cell embryo and 1-six cell embryo, both with NO fragmentation, which is about as perfect as you can get. The rest are being grown out to day 5 and they will freeze what has made it that far, hopefully we get a few to freeze. It is a nice insurance policy if this round doesn’t work and if we would ever want to try again, makes the process much easier.

Here is a photo from the transfer, I haven’t been able to stop looking at it!!!

Embryos!

It is an amazing keepsake from a long journey!

So I was on bed rest for two days and now I am on light activity for the next four days. No lifting, no cleaning, no baths, etc. It is harder than I thought, but worth it. Our beta test is scheduled for 11/11/11, which seems very lucky to me, I am hoping we get the news we have been waiting for. Keeping myself busy between now and then is going to be quite the chore, but I can do it. And luckily not too many meds going on right now, only the PIO shots (which really aren’t that bad) and a daily estrogen pill, plus the normal cocktail of vitamins, baby aspirin, etc. :)

So we will see what happens and I am going to try to not test before my beta, but I don’t know if I will be able to hold out. Time will tell!

Triggering tonight!

So tonight is the night, our trigger shot, which will prepare my body to ovulate at this right time for the egg retrieval. It is a huge intermuscular shot give in the buttocks. BLECH! Not looking forward to it at all, but glad we are here.

My egg retrieval is set for 8am sharp on Tuesday. At last count I have 21 follicles, but some were a bit on the small side. I have been very uncomfortable the last fews days since I do have a high amount of follicles. We will know how many after the procedure on Tuesday and then get a fertilization report the next day. I will be happy with 8-10, but at this point any will be great.

I am still super nervous about the egg retrieval procedure. I have heard from some that it isn’t bad at all, to others who say it is horrible. Here’s hoping I am on the good side of it. I should sleep through the whole thing, they give you IV sedation. Then I will come home and be on bed rest for the rest of the day.

Our clinic does three day transfers for fresh cycles and then grows the rest out to 5 days to freeze. As long as I get a few to freeze I will feel like I can breathe easy, knowing that if this doesn’t work we can do a frozen transfer. Which is amazing to both Brian and I that we might have babies in the freezer, or totsicles as my friend calls them.

So we are excited, nervous and everything in between, but most of all thankful for having this chance to have a child. In this country it is not a given, most people are 100% out of pocket and many cannot afford it. So I am counting my blessings.

CD 1 already…..

Well my body decided to move on all by itself. Even though today was my last birth control pill and I am on Lupron they couldn’t hold off AF from showing. So we are officially on cycle day one of our first (and hopefully only) IVF. I called my IVF coordinator and I am scheduled for my baseline ultrasound and E2 check on Thursday morning. She said they like to have you on Lupron for at least 7 days prior to starting stims, but if everything looks okay we might begin sooner. Thursday will be day 5 of Lupron. They also need to check me for my Rubella titers and give me all the surgery information/guidelines.

It should be an interesting visit. I am just hoping that everything is nice and quiet and we can start stims quickly and get a move on. I am ready to have this whole journey moving. It has been such a long time coming. We are coming up on almost five years of trying to conceive. So many ups and downs, laughing and crying, and just a tiring time. It has made me a stronger person though and I have learned not to take things for granted and to live each day to its fullest. It has also taught me that it is okay to take time for ME and not always worry about everyone else. I have to make sure that I am in a good place and that I take a few minutes each day to do something nice for myself. But most of all it has taught me to appreciate my family, friends and even strangers. While a lot of people talk about the negative comments they get, I am trying to focus on the positives. The support I have received is amazing and I couldn’t do this without it. You all know who you are, THANK YOU!

So I took my first shot of Lupron this morning. Brian did a great job of injecting it and it just stung a bit. No real side effects yet, but it has only been a couple of hours. My last birth control pill is on Tuesday and then as soon as AF shows I call the IVF department and go in for an ultrasound. If everything is clear, we start the stimulation meds. 

We are going to be using a combination of Menopur and Bravelle to stimulate my ovaries. It is a pretty standard protocol to use. So in the next couple of weeks we will be going forward and having the egg retrieval and embryo transfer. I am so glad it is finally here!  It has been a long road and while this isn’t a sure thing, it has much greater chances for a positive outcome.  I am on,y really dreading the progesterone in oil shots…..they are intermuscular shots, given in the rear. The needle is 22 gauge and an inch and a half long. And if I end up pregnant I will have to continue them for 8-10 weeks. Yikes. But the end results are worth it! 

I have been really bad about updating because I have had a horrible cold and then stomach bug, but it all seems to have gone away just in time. 

As for other news, I am teaching a dyeing class on Saturday for our local guild, it should be a fun time. Also, I broke down and ordered a new iPhone 4s!  It will be my first iPhone and I am super excited. It will be here on Friday. I have a Droid X now and really am not happy with the Droid operating system and my phone seems to have a mind of it’s own sometimes. Since I have and iPad and iMac it only made sense to get and iPhone too. Now everything will sync together. I am especially excited about the new Siri technology, it seems really neat. 

So I will try to update regularly throughout the IVF process. It really helps to write everything down. 

It is onto IVF for us…..

Well our last IUI sadly didn’t work. So we had our consult and have made the decision to go forward with IVF. IVF is a much more invasive process and takes longer. It is about six weeks from beginning to end for the type of protocol we are using. I will be on what they call the long Lupron protocol.

Right now this is where we stand….I am waiting for AF to show. I call the clinic on that day, then we go in on cycle day 2-4 for bloodwork for both, an u/s for me and a s/a for dh. I also start on birth control pills that day. Seems odd doesn’t it? But it helps to “surpress” the ovaries for a while so they aren’t overworked before the other procedures.

A week after that I have to go in for a saline sonogram to make sure that my uterus is clear of fibroids/polyps/endo. As long as that is good then we are all set to start the big guns.

On cycle day 21 I start Lupron which will shut down the pituitary gland from affecting my ovaries. Then I wait for AF to show again and the I start my stimulation meds….no clomid or Femara this time, all injectibles all the time. There are a few other meds in there too like antibiotics, baby aspirin, Ganirelix which makes sure your follicles don’t mature too fast and so on.

Then I go in every other day for u/s and bloodwork until my follicles are ready, then we trigger and I go in for the egg retrieval. It is a small surgical procedure done under IV sedation. I am actually most nervous about this as I have never had any type of surgery done. I know I will just sleep through it, but I am nervous. So hopefully we will get 5-12 eggs from the retrieval. Then they put them in with the sperm and wait for fertilization.

After three days they will pick three embryos to implant (the rest will be grown out to blasts and frozen) and will do that via a catheter. It is very similar to the IUI procedure. I will then be on two days of bed rest and then have a blood test eleven days after that.

The doctor said for my age this raises me from a 10-15% chance to a 45-50% chance. I like those odds. So as this goes on I will update and explain things in a bit more detail. It really is a fascinating process, especially when you get into frozen embreyos and transfers.

Thanks so much for all the support through all of this, I couldnt do it with out my friends irl and online.:)

I haven’t updated here like I said I would. The last few weeks have been a bit of overload on me. But here is a quick rundown. I went in on 8/3 for my first ultrasound for IUI cycle #3 to see how I responded to the Femara. I was very lucky and got no side effects from it at all and was a bit worried that maybe it wasn’t working because of that. But low and behold I had not one, not two but THREE great follicles. Sizes were 24mm, 19mm and 17mm! So I was ready, like as in go home and immediately take your Ovidrel injection and come back the next day for the IUI.

It was a whirlwind and I really had no time to think. I had to put things on hold, miss knit night again and just go. So I went in the next day for the IUI and the counts were great for the sperm: 36 million with 72% motility. Not bad for frozen. :):):) The doctor was very pleased and told me not to make him look bad and come back with a positive pregnancy test. Yeah, thanks Dr. S. LOL!

So while I checked out I did the unthinkable and jinxed myself by setting up an IVF consultation with Dr. Z on the 30th. The only reason why is because I really feel that we need to plan ahead….cycles come and go so quickly and we only want to take a month off, plus the month we will need to be on birth control (and hopefully no more) before we start IVF. And we can always cancel and hopefully I will be pregnant and we can!

So I am 4 days past the IUI today and 5 days past the trigger. I am actually feeling kind of awful, this whole week has been one emotional mess. Including lots of tears, fighting, hanging up on people, etc. I guess it is a response to the Ovidrel but it hasn’t been fun. I am trying to be more positive and move on starting today. I cleared off my sewing table and plan on working on some of the sad projects that have been sitting there for years, gathering dust. I am also knitting and hopefully spinning. And last but not least, I am teaching a class on dyeing in October, today I ordered the supplies and just need to get my notes together and come up with some worksheets. Looking forward to it, but nervous, I am always like that about speaking in public.

So my test date is officially 8/18/11, but I will probably test on 8/16. Fingers crossed, wish me luck!!!!

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