Thursday, October 30, 2008

Save the Date!

Together with their follies
Mrs. J H
Mrs. M H
request the honour of their Dr's presence
at their egg retrieval
on Saturday, the first of November
Two thousand and eight
at half past seven o'clock in the morning
Dr R's Office
New Jersey

Transfer to Follow


Just call us the Du.ggers

Have any of you been consumed like we have by these large family programs on TL.C? We can never get enough Jon and K.ate +8 and now, the family with 17 kids - the D.uggers. We are currently referring to ourselves as the D.uggers since we found out on Tuesday that we now have SEVENTEEN little follies trying their hardest to grow grow grow! (Keep it up guys! You're doing great!) I have 9 follies on my right ovary (the primary ovary we are told) and 8 on the left. We go back in this morning (WHY have I been up since 3:30am?) for b/w and u/s and to maybe set the day for the retrievel. Will it be Saturday or Sunday? Yesterday we went into our RE's office and had to read through and sign what seemed like more documents then when we bought our home! We had to answer questions like "If J dies, what happens to the frozen embryos, does M get them or are they destroyed", if "M dies, who gets them" and what if we both die or get divorced. In case you are wondering, I'm taking the eggs, M gets the couch. ;) The fact that we were even asked these questions made me VERY HAPPY that we moved to NJ. I highly doubt that Virginia would have given us the option of leaving the frozen embryos to M without getting a lawyer involved!

As for my being up since 3:30? This has unfortunately becoming a common routine recently. Has anyone had insomnia while taking Lupr.on or Re.pronex? Maybe it is just all the excitement about the I.VF (including the painful bruised belly and 2 very large sore ovaries that I feel anytime I roll over) along with the fact that work has been super busy but if I wake up for any reason during the night, I'm up until I go back to sleep the following night. I consider myself a walking zombi at this point. Perhaps I'm just getting my body used to motherhood (9 months early) ;) It's times like these that I LOVE my kitty the most! If I'm up, she's up, keeping me company. You can meet our little angel at She's a diva!

Monday, October 27, 2008

A dozen one day, a bakers dozen the next

On Saturday we had our first u/s to inspect how well the Repro.nex was working with J's ovaries. There were 12 little follicles - 8 on the right side and 4 on the left. Today we went in for another u/s and b/w and found that we now have 5 follicles on the left and 8 on the right! And most of them had increased in size since the prior u/s. So all in all everything looks good. Tomorrow we go in for u/s and b/w #3. We were told today that our estimated retrieval day will be Friday or Saturday. This is what our dr predicted way back when we started the IVF injections a month ago and lo and behold - he was right!!

As you can see from the pictures below, J's stomach is looking sexy. By our count we have about 1 bruise and/or welt for each follicle. I'd say that's an even trade :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Strange places

When we started doing these shots for IVF we didn't realize how challenging it would be to do them every day at the exact same time. With our crazy schedule we've had to get pretty creative to get them all in and at the same time. Here are some of the strange places that we've had to "shoot up":

- Wedding Reception: Not only were we attending our friends wedding but we were also the wedding videographers. We ran outside to the car half way through dinner service to get our 8PM shot in. When we got back inside we realized that we almost missed video taping the father daughter dance and the mother son dance!

- Restaurant bathroom: During dinner with friends we had to duck away in the bathroom of the restaurant in NYC to take care of business. Unfortunately the restaurant only had a single bathroom for both men and women! When we came out there was a long line and everyone was grumbling at us ... clearly under the misconception that we had been in there having some fun - we were in the Chelsea area after all.

- At J's parents house: J told her parents that she had to get on a work conference call at 8PM with some people on the West coast. This was the only way she could slip away for a 1/2 hour during her visit with them without them wondering where she went.

We still have 1 week of shots left (minimallly) so who knows what fun things will get added to this list!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My wife ... the human pin cushion.

Last night was the first night that J had to do two shots in her stomach. The shots have to be done somewhere between the pelvic bone and the bottom of the ribs, and they also can not be done within a 2-3 inch diameter of the belly button because that area is very sensitive and it would hurt (worse than it already does). So that leaves about 3 sq inches of space to work with on each side. We got both shots done but J said the Repro.nex really hurt afterwards. It is also a pain in the ass to mix the powder & water to create the Repro.nex shot! It took us almost half an hour to create a 10cc shot last night. This morning I couldn't help but notice that my wife's beautiful stomach was beginning to resemble somewhat of a battle ground. Everywhere I looked I saw pin pricks, or bruises, or welts. I really don't know where we will do the 2 shots a day for the next 12 days since we seem to be quickly running out of available real estate.

I feel 100% terrible giving J these shots each night. I am sure she can't wait for these 12 days to be over so the pain will go away and her stomach can heal. I concur. Hopefully the bruises and welts will disappear as a new little baby bump forms! When we have a beautiful baby at the end of all this it will be soooooooo worth it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

And then there was 2 ...

... shots that is!

J had her b/w and u/s today to see if the Lup.ron had successfully supressed her ... ummm ... everything. "Baseline" is the word everyone in the doctors office kept using for what we were trying to achieve. Anyway she was sufficiently supressed which means we get to move on to the the next step of IVF - stimulating the ovaries to produce lots of follicles!

It's almost unbelievable that we had two doctors appointments this week and both times we left there smiling. That is a welcomed change!! So starting tonight J has to do 1 shot of Repro.nex and 1 shot of Lup.ron. M should probably do 1 shot of Tequilla so as to not feel left out.

Next appointment is Friday for some more b/w to see how things are coming along. Now follies - don't disappoint your mommies and GROW GROW GROW!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

A+ Uterus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well it is Monday evening and this morning J had her Hydro-tubation procedure - which if you read our previous blog entry you'd know that the outcome of this procedure would decide whether we proceed with our IVF cycle or not. If our dr saw any polyps or abnormalities in J's uterus then we'd have to stop and have them removed - which would lead to another 90 day waiting period and utter devastation.

About 2 minutes into the procedure Dr R announced that "everything looks great so far". And about 2 minutes later he said that everything was perfect. In fact he said that everything was better than perfect, it was an A+! It's been a long time since we got graded on anything but I don't remember it ever feeling so good to get a perfect score!

So with that we are proceeding with IVF as planned. Tomorrow brings our first b/w to see if the Lup.ron suppressed everything completely. If it has, we move on to the next step - Repro.nex.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hydro WHAT?

J is scheduled for a hydro.tubation procedure on Monday 10/20. Basically they stick a catheter into her uterus, fill her uterus with saline solution and look for polyps or other abnormalities in her uterus that could interfere with a potential pregnancy.

Basically, if this test doesn't go well and the dr finds something, the IVF cycle is a BUST. Our dr calls this "being thorough" - we call it ANNOYING.

Our FINGERS and TOES are crossed.

Shots Shots Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink

We called our doctor back in September get our medication ordered as we were told it took several weeks to process and be sent out. The MASSIVE box of injections and pillls arrived and quite honestly we thought... WHAT ARE WE ABOUT TO GET OURSELVES INTO?! The days of football and coronas are now long over. (well, not so much football, but definitely corona.)

On October 1st, we called our doctor to see what the next steps would be as we only had 14 days left in our 90 day waiting period. We were told that we start on day 21 of our cycle. Of course we were bummed by this news... more waiting... until we were asked when J's last Day 1 was. Since it was on September 16th we were told that we could start our injections on October 7th! This was 7 days before our waiting period was up! FINALLY WE CAUGHT A BREAK!!!!!

We went in for our "how to" class early Tuesday morning and then preceeded with our first injection later that evening. As J had to travel for work the next day, she gave the shot to herself as practice for the following night. After several c ounts to 1..2..3 J finally jabbed the needle into her stomach. OUCH! That hurt more then she had thought it would! But it was done. 1 down, 13 days to go for the Lup.ron. After the 14 days, we go in for an u/s and b/w to make sure J's ovaries are suppressed. We were told by suppressing the ovaries, it gives our dr full control of our cycle. If all checks out, we will being the Reprone.x cycle of injections.

Injections have been going fine. Some days it hurts more than others. Only one call to the pharmacy with a panicked "is she going to die?" J injected herself (while in DC on business) and when she pulled the needle out, bright red blood followed. Enter M calling the pharmacy while J worries she hit a vein. The pharmacist had assured us that while "this is NOT normal, it could happen and it isn't anything to worry about." Not so r elieved but definitely bruised.

We have yet to find the "perfect location" of where to inject for the miminal amount of pain. Until then, J's stomach will be covered in pinholes, bruises and a few welts. Sexy eh?

Monday, October 13, 2008

The last year of our lives.... recapped.

Every day we said "we should really be writing all this stuff down" ... every time something good or bad happened ... but we kept putting it off. So here we are 1 year into trying to get pregnant and we're finally going to start documenting our journey.

October 2007
It was early October when we first headed to Fairfax Cryobank to pick up "the goods." We had finally made the difficult decision on which donor to use and now it was time to meet him! Since our fertility doctor was in DC and our 1.8 billion potential babies were all in Virginia, we decided it would be best to personally transport them to the doctors office. So we drove out to the cryobank to pick up what we expected to be a small container. Sperm are small. So the container that holds them should be small too, right? Wrong. Picture your typical missle and then picture bigger. Now picture us carrying this large vessel-like-object around M Street in Georgetown! For those that don't know M street, it would be like carrying a similar object around Times Square in NYC!

Well we got the goods delivered, although this is hardly how we imagined our first outing with our babies! Now if only the rest of our baby making could be as fun as this day was :)

November 2007
First IUI ... unsuccesful. Almost positive we did not time this right.

December 2007
Second IUI ... unsuccesful. Again - almost positive we did not time this right. This time we tried using Proge.sterone although it didn't change the outcome of this attempt.

January 2008
M is now living in NJ and J is still living in DC. This month J had to inseminate on her own. But this may have been the change we needed (along with the addition of Clo.mid) because this time we got a positive pregnancy test! J was home for the weekend and we got to take the test together. It was completely unbelievable when we saw the pregnancy test turn positive. We thought it was too good to be true. And guess what, we were right. The b/w looked good the first check, but 2 days later... the beta numbers had dropped. It was a chemical pregnancy. BLAH. The only good news was that J responded well to the Clo.mid and she can get pregnant! The only side affect she had to the Clo.mid was some hot flashes which were entertaining to watch as she began stripping articles of clothing.

February 2008
It's so sad when a month is wasted. There's really no feeling like it - when you realize that when your eggs ovulate and look for sperm they will not find any to become fertilized with. Instead they will shrivel up and die. This is what February was for us because even though we were not pregnant any longer our beta numbers refused to go to zero ... and until that happened we could not try another IUI. So we sat ... waiting... impatiently.

March 2008
This was an interesting cycle. Not only did our doctor tell us we could not attempt an IUI this month but he also informed J that she should go on the pill. Thats right, my les.bian wife that was trying to get pregnant was now on birth control for the first time in her life! Ironic isn't it? Our doctor had high hopes that the BC would help to get rid of the cyst that had formed ... we think due to the Clo.mid. End of month proved our doctor to be wrong as the cyst was still there taunting us.

April 2008
Well we finally got to try to get pregnant again this month. It was Spring and there was a promise of new life ... and we had especially high hopes. It was our first IUI with our new fertility doctor in NJ and he had informed us of a little something called the Trigger Shot. WHAT?! What is this shot and how did our other doctor fail to mention this to us!? Why were we inseminating based on a whim and an ovulation stick?! It had always been such a crap shoot to figure out when to inseminate and now with the knowledge of the trigger shot we could know within 36 hours of when to inseminate. We finally felt we had a chance to get pregnant. After using clo.mid for 5 days we went in to see how many follicles had formed. We went for a u/s and it showed 8 follicles too small to use just yet. We were instructed to return in a few days once the follicles had grown a bit. When we went back for another u/s we were looking forward to hearing some great news, so we were a little sad when our doctor informed us that none of the eggs had grown and our ovaries appeared to be ummm... resting. Yes, taking a nap. So he had us repeat the Clo.mid even though this was not something we even thought was possible. The next week we went and found that we had some mature follicles! YAY- once again we were hopeful and geared up for our insemination.

May 2008
It's Mothers Day and today is the day that we can do our Pregnancy Test. Once our eggs finally woke up and grew to a respectable size the rest of the insemination went perfectly. Plus it's Mothers Day - it's meant to be, right?! So we wake up and take the test fully expecting a Yes. Again, it's Mothers Day, it just HAS to be positive. Negative. (Yes, you read correctly, Negative on Mothers Day). Enter mexican restaurant and Coronas.

The next day we tell our doctor it was negative but they ask us to come in for b/w to confirm so we do. Only to find out that we ARE in fact pregnant. However the numbers were a little low (12.1 on 5/12). At this point we are cautiously optimistic but are figuring it will end up as another chemical. Later that week they had more than tripled which was great news! (80.0 on 5/15). And by Saturday 5/17 the beta had reached 258! We waited one week before our next round of b/w and our betas had reach 4166 on 5/23! All signs were good, we even got to see the baby gestational sac and carried the u/s picture around with us like it was an actual baby. We were too excited to keep it a secret and told basically everyone we knew that we were 7 weeks pregnant. Yeah, it was a little early to tell people, but all signs were good, and we already had 1 m/c, so we had to be ok this time. After we had told pretty much everyone that we were expecting we went in for our appointment to see the baby's heartbeat. There was none. We waited one week and went in again and this time there was a heartbeat! Our prayers had been answered! But then the doctor told us the heartbeat was too slow to be happy. The following week there was no heartbeat and our dr didn't have to say anything we were already unhappy.

Just to recap that cycle in case you couldn't keep up: ovaries "resting", ovaries made eggs, inseminate, negative pregnancy test, positive pregnancy test, numbers too low, numbers look good, see the pea sized baby, no heartbeat, heartbeat but too slow, no hearbeat. Sound like a rollercoaster? Because it sure felt like one!

July 2008
We let everyone know that we had miscarried and decided to let nature take its course ...
After 2 weeks of heavy, heavy (scary heavy) bleeding it finally stopped. There were definitely phone calls to the doctor in this time to make sure that the amount of blood we were seeing was normal (and safe). Then it finally stopped. We figured it had all passed, but after a u/s we were told there was still more to come out. Again, we think nature will do its thing. So 2 weeks later began more heavy bleeding. This time it all has to be all out for sure! Doctor appointment, u/s, still more to come out - sound familiar? Yeah, except this time we were told that we pretty much had to get a D&C ... because nature had clearly not been taking it's course.

On July 14th, J went in for her first sugery ever and her first anesthesia ever. All went well but the real recovery was the emotional one.

August 2008
We thought we could try another IUI this month since J was completely recovered from the D&C, but when we asked our doctor they told us that following any surgery it was required that we wait 90 days before doing anything otherwise insurance would not cover it. Seriously? We did not know this - it really would have been nice to know this. So we called our insurance company to verify and they told us that they had never heard of that and it was not true. So we called our doctor back and they assured us that it was true. So we called the insurance company back and got the same answer. At this point we are so confused so we tell our doctor to talk to our insurance company with us on the line. The conversation went something like this: - "I understand there is some confusion with J's coverage"
doctor - "No, she doesn't have coverage because of the global code" - " Ohhhhh, the global code! Yeah, she has to wait 90 days."
doctor - "ok bye."
J - "WHAT THE (%&$!!!!"

Maybe you could have mentioned this "global code" 4 weeks ago instead of wasting my time calling and the dr 400 times?!

At the end of the day we knew we had to wait 90 days - which meant October 14th.

September 2008
Helloooooooooo coronas and college football. We decided that if we weren't pregnant or even trying to get pregnant, we were at least going to enjoy your time off.

October 2008
IVF process begins and this is where we start blogging in real time.