Friday, June 29, 2012

Appointment Follow Up

So we had our loooooong appointment on Tuesday and it went really well. Josh did another semen analysis and then we signed our consent forms with the embryologist...fancy. I didn't realize she was the embryologist at first, I just assumed she was a nurse. Oh the power of the name tag. I kind of was amazed at her, what an incredible job. She was so sweet, kind and well normal. We had to go over the paperwork before the appointment because they didn't have time to go over every single detail. So the night before (what that's not's making sure it all stays fresh in our minds) we sat down at the table and went through our IVF packet.

Lots of stuff to read about and talk about. Tough topics and serious decisions were to be made. Our packet even included lovely photos of how to give yourself injections. Fun.

Anyway, we got to our appointment on time even though I had to make a quick stop at Arby's for a medium roast beef sandwich due to my crazy blood sugar lately. Josh went on in for his semen analysis and I said a little prayer for him. My "nurse" (who actually turned out to be the embryologist) came to get me and took me to our little meeting room where we'd sign our consent papers and talk about the whole IVF process. I'm still not really brave at taking pics while I'm at the doctor's office. I try and play it cool but I just don't want to explain why I'm taking a picture. I did sneak this photo though while I was waiting for Josh.

We went over the steps of the fertilization process and were educated on how they rate and classify healthy embryos aka embies. Not going to lie, half the time when she was talking I just sat there, smiled and nodded. She used really big words and some words were a little scary. But we got all of our questions answered and felt that we were in good hands. I truly felt like she was just another teammate.

After that we had our inject/medication class. Another sweet lady (this time it was an actual nurse) came in with her arms full of goodies. We got to play with fake injects and practice shooting a fake little plastic skin thing. I don't know what it's actually called but you get the gist. The needle was smaller than I was expecting so that was good. She made it all seem so easy, I think I'll be an ol pro. She repeated several times to not give the injects cold (because they're stored in the fridge). Josh teased her and said he was going to put the medicine in the microwave to warm it up lol. She said "NO NO NO!?!?! Please don't do that". It made me laugh so much though because Josh needs humor to get through all of this. That is something we were never able to do at KU Med, everything was so cold and serious. Obviously IVF and infertility is a serious thing but you've got to laugh. We decided very early on that we'd make the best of it, even if it is teasing the nurses :)

So we ordered our medication and was told when to take what and how much. It all seems stressful and absolutely nuts in my head but it makes sense on paper. They must be trained to watch for that "deer in headlights" look because every so often when my eyes started to glaze over she said "just one step at a time, dear" and I shook my head up and down and smiled.

Finally we had the trial embryo transfer. I wasn't really sure what to expect of this or how long it would last. Basically they just inserted a catheter (the same size they'll use for when they transfer our embryo(s)) and checked a few things. They do some measurements and wanted to see how easily it could get where it needed to go, apparently sometimes there are bumps or curves. Mine was perfect (and yes I patted myself on the back). She said it was smooth and there won't be any issues.

That was that! We left and still felt extremely sure that this was the right step. This would be our ticket to parenthood. Our clinic believes in us and we believe that Jesus has his hands all around us. We stopped at McDonalds on our way home because I needed an ice cream cone...I was feeling a little crampy from the trial transfer. Nothing a little ice cream can't fix though :)

Yesterday the clinic called with Josh's SA results. Though his count is still severely low it was better than the last time! We'll take it :))) Last time his count was 9,800 (should be 40 plus million) and this time it was 147,000...but more importantly his motility was higher!!! Last time the motility was 27% (should be greater than 30%) and this time it was 67%!!!! They said they found "plenty of healthy sperm" to perform the ICSI procedure on my eggs. They said if he does that next month then that will be perfect, no worries at all.

My cheeks felt hot after I got off the phone. I was so happy-thrilled! Josh and I have decided that we don't get bad news from MRC. Things are moving right along! I should get my medication in the mail next week and my first day of injects in Sunday the 8th.

This weekend we're celebrating the Fourth of July with Josh's family! We have a big get together every Fourth and have a huge dinner, homemade ice cream, cold drinks, and our very own pro fireworks show put on by Josh's brother Steve. It is awesome. This year we're missing some family which is a bummer. Last summer we had our Aussies here!!! That's always a special treat. I hate summer but I love the Fourth. I love spending time with family that we don't see very often. Makes it so much sweeter, lots of smiles and laughing. Praying that next Fourth we'll have a baby or two to pass around and love on :)

Until next time...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Upcoming Appointments & Important Dates

My thoughtful friend, Trina asked for the dates of our upcoming appointments so that she can keep us in prayer and just be mindful that it's an IVF day for us. That really meant a lot and I was thinking that maybe a few others would like those dates too.

Tuesday 6/26

  • 12:45 pm - Josh will do another semen analysis (we're praying for higher count and quality)
  • 1:00 - Injection Class (I'll be using my "voice recording" feature on my new phone for that!), review and sign consent forms.
  • 2:00 - Trial embryo transfer (ET). I'm really glad my clinic does this, makes me feel like I'll be a little less nervous on the day of. This will also help Dr. G know exactly where to put the little guy(s). Measure twice cut once :)
This will be a very important day and a long one too. We're expecting to be at MRC for 2.5ish hours.

Friday 7/6
  • 8:30 am - Baseline ultrasound and blood work to prep me for injects. Since I have PCOS and already have a lot of follicles I'll be very closely monitored so that I do not over-stimulate my ovaries with medication. At the end of every appointment I want to hear Dr. G say "everything looks perfect, Brandy...we're right on schedule."

Sunday 7/8
  • Start injects - treatment day 1

Thursday 7/12
  • 8:30 am - Ultrasound and blood work (treatment day 5) Just making sure my follicles are growing at the right speed and my lining is looking good.

Sunday 7/15
  • 8:15 am - Ultrasound and blood work (treatment day 8). Same thing, just making sure we're chuggin along. Since this will be on the weekend we may stay the night at my sister's house in KC Sat night so we don't have to drive in so early on Sunday. I haven't actually asked her yet but I'm sure she'll be ok with it ::wink wink::
Tuesday 7/17
  • 8:30 am - Ultrasound and blood work (treatment day 10). Now we're cooking!!! This will be a super important appointment. This should be our last appointment before the egg retrieval! It all depends on how the follicles and eggs are looking. This appointment will also let Dr. G know when we need to trigger shot. The trigger shot has the HCG hormone and will release all of my precious eggs after 36 hours. It is crucial that I take this shot at the exact time my doctor tells me to. Dr. G needs to get my eggs out before my body "naturally" releases them. I'm very nervous that I'll have to take it in the middle of the night alone. If I have to take it in the butt cheek then I'm going to need help. If it's in the stomach then I think I can manage. I might need someone to be there for moral support and give me a high five. I'll even accept a skype high five.

Egg Retrieval - After the trigger shot, my egg retrieval will be on the 19th or 20th. We don't really know yet because we don't know when I'll be doing the shot. I'm hoping the retrieval will be on Friday the 20th so that it'll fall right into the weekend and Josh can be home with me to recoup. Holy I typed that I just realized it's ONE MONTH AWAY. Eeeeek :)

I'll post more about the process of the egg retrieval when the time gets closer. That will be a very very important day for Josh and I both. That's the day we'll actually be making our babies. So romantic, huh ;)

Embryo Transfer - 1 or 2 precious embryos will be placed in my uterus. We haven't decided how many embryos to put in yet. This may be a last minute decision based on how many healthy embryos we'll make on the 17th. Even if they pull out 21 eggs (which is what I am believing for), it doesn't mean all 21 eggs will fertilize. The embryo transfer date is up in the air right now as well. It will be 3 or 5 days after the egg retrieval.

After the transfer I'll lay there for about an hour with a very full bladder and say over and over again "I'm pregnant until proven otherwise". We plan on watching some funny shows while we wait an hour and try to make the day a joyous one and not allow any fear, doubt, worry, anxiety or negativity into our world. We've gone through enough and we're ready to get off the roller coaster of infertility. I can picture Josh and I walking out of the clinic hand-in-hand just glowing...such a happy thought.

I'll be on bed rest for 3 days after the transfer. I currently have a long list of movies and shows to watch and books to read. I'm currently on the 5th (of 7) Harry Potter book. My goal is to finish reading the whole series before Aug 1. Josh and his dad are going to fix our downstairs half bathroom so that I don't have to go  upstairs every time I need to potty. Josh said he'd make me a cooler full of fruits, veggies, yummy snacks and water so I don't have to go to the kitchen. I will be parked on the couch and/or my bed for 3 whole days. Spoiled rotten. If you're a friend and/or family member who would like to watch a movie with me then come on over! Luke may appreciate a little frisbee throwing too ;)

the pup loves his frisbee...but be warned he drools and his tail is crazy

And that's all folks...that's how a high tech baby is made. Patience, perseverance, prayer and a little bit of science.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Step 1

Birth Control  & 1 Aspirin a day

Time to put my little ovaries to rest for the next 3 weeks (not that they've been working very hard for me anyway the best 21 months). Injects start 7/8 ::grabs paper bag::

Today I paid for our IVF cycle..$8,545.56 (that doesn't include meds). That boys and girls is a discount too lol! Since our insurance pays for monitoring while on medication, office visits and blood work we saved around $1,800!!! Whoohooo :)

I asked Josh to describe how he currently feels in three they are: nervous, excited, hopeful. I couldn't have said it better.

We'll go back to the doctor on 6/26 for long and important appointment. Josh will do another SA @ 12:45, injection class and order our medication and sign our consent forms @ 1:00 and finally a trial embryo transfer @ 2:00. That'll be a long afternoon...poor Josh will be dog tired since he gets off at 7:00 am now and we'll need to leave Topeka at 11:30 am.

In other news...look what Josh, Tim (Josh's dad) & Uncle Martin made!!!

(sorry for the phone pic, I didn't want to pull out the big guns)

Beautiful walnut wood with our house numbers! If and when we move, we're taking this with us. The numbers will not lay right on the wood, they'll stick out just a bit and cast a shadow. I LOVE IT! Can't wait for it to be up (ahemm...hint hint Josh). We have lots of projects around the house coming up. New roof, new gutters, repaint our room and put up our awesome new gallery wrap pic above our bed.

How cool is that?!?! It was like $60...can't beat that. It's a 5.5 ft by 3.5 ft gallery wrap of the Paris Metro. It was love at first sight...but then we couldn't get it in our car! We had to make a special trip back to OK with Tim and Jeri's (Josh's parents) Forester to bring it home. Well worth it though, it's sooooo cool.

So yes, lots of projects. Plus my constant daydreaming of a nursery for baby E. Josh is even excited about that, he may not admit it to you but he likes looking at baby furniture and accessories. Well that's all for now! Much love and chat soon :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Here - We - Go

I'm not sure why my video won't upload. 

Anyway, I made a video instead of writing. Follow the link below to tune in!

IVF Baseline 1 Update