Guess what I was doing one year ago today?

Recovering from egg retrieval surgery. It's weird to think that was a year ago, and that the random sperm (out of millions) selected by the embryologist that was injected into one of the 17 eggs that were retrieved, and that grew into one of 11 embryos, and that then was one of the two embryos picked to be transferred back into me, and was the one that survived -- all of that randomness resulted in the baby who is sleeping next to me. I had no idea what I was in for then. I thought the hard part was over, and that I would then just be pregnant and get to feel normal, at long last.

Heh.

Speaking of that baby, it took me three hours to get him to settle down to sleep tonight. I think he's teething, actually. He's drooling and chewing on things, and I think I feel some little bumps on his top gums. It seems way too early for that, but maybe not. He was really fussy tonight, and nothing would settle him down. He liked sucking on my finger as I massaged his gums, though. Ai-yi-yi, teeth on the way...
I feel like the only thing I'm posting about is pregnancy stuff lately! School is starting in a week and I'm feeling a little swamped with course preparation, so I'm not terribly creative otherwise. It's definitely exciting to be going back to school, though. It's always been one of my favorite times of the year!

Good news here. )
I'm going to put all pregnancy talk behind cuts in order to be sensitive to anyone reading this who's TTC. )

In other news, I am all holed up today reading the new Harry Potter book. The midnight release at Book People last night was really amazing, with at least 1500 people there, half of them in costume. Andrea and I were in costume, but we just blended into the crowd next to a lot of the people there. It felt like New Years Eve, like something I've never experienced before -- and all for a book! It was amazing.

Pictures )

I got home at 2:00 am and stayed up until 5:00 reading, then slept a few hours and read more. I'm halfway through now and just took a few hours off to have a nap, eat dinner, and do my shot, so I'm about to start up again. I've had the TV off ever since, so it's been really quiet around here. I'm not even venturing onto the internet except to post this, so anything could be happening out there, and I wouldn't know!

Doug is in Asia now, and said he's seen people reading the new book everywhere he goes. He even saw a Chinese news report showing people at a midnight book release, mostly in costume! It's amazing to think that so many people in the world are doing exactly what I'm doing today -- reading the same book. :-)
I dropped Doug off at the airport this morning. He's on his way to China, and he'll be there all week. We've sent a solid month together, which is rare and awesome, and I miss him already. I'm glad he'll be home his weekend, but it will still be very quiet around here without him.

We watched lots of movies this weekend... )

We went to the Sunset Valley Farmer's Market on Saturday morning, and I was underwhelmed. On their website they say that they were voted one of the top five farmer's markets in the country, but I find it hard to believe. There are three farmer's markets in Austin, and I don't think this one is any better than the one downtown. Still, we got some stuff to cook over the weekend, which was nice.

Brief embryo update: I have nothing, really. Except that they (if they're still there) were a week old on Saturday. They should be in the process of implanting now (see this site for an explanation). The progesterone shots are going fine, and starting tonight I'll be going to a clinic to get them. Saturday (testing day) seems a long way off!
Bad news first: I got a call this morning from Austin IVF to let me know that none of our embryos were able to be frozen. Six of them just stopped growing on day 3, and the three that actually grew into blastocysts were too weak and would not have survived the freezing process. So of course, that makes me wonder how the two that were transferred are doing. What are the odds that two out of the original eleven would survive? I suppose they're in their "natural" environment, which makes a big difference, but still... It was a good dose of reality, which I needed.

I'm managing to hold all of this at arm's length, which I think is a good thing. It seems very abstract right now, so much that if it does work, I think it'll take it a while to sink in. I know that the odds are 50/50 at best, and I kind of expect it not to work. I don't ever again want to be as devastated as I was last year when the last IUI didn't work. So unlike I did with every IUI, I'm not really thinking about this much. I'm not lingering over baby stuff, or thinking of names. And I'm trying to keep in mind that we may have to do this all again, maybe more than once. That would be okay. It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I could do it again.

Now some good news: I have been trying to figure out who can give me my shots when Doug is out of town (as he will be for most of the next month), and for a while I thought I would have to go to a clinic that's about 15 miles away. But I found one about 4 miles away this afternoon that said they would do it, which is awesome. They're even open 7 days and until 10:00 at night, yay! It will cost $12 a shot, but it's worth it.

I realized last night that if I am pregnant, I'll continue to have this nightly shot in the ass for possibly another month. That makes seven solid weeks of at least one shot a day. :-P Normal people just get to be all happy when they get pregnant, don't they? </bitter>
I got the call at 9:15 this morning that today was indeed the day for the embryo transfer! I called Doug and headed down to pick him up and go over to the clinic. I had to stop and pick up a bottle of water on the way, because they do the transfers with a sonogram to guide the doctor, and it's best to do those with a full bladder.

We got to the clinic around 10:00 and they took us back to a room and gave me a valium. Then we waited for the valium to kick in and for everything to be ready. It's funny that the ET procedure is basically identical to an IUI, and I've had about 8 of those and never needed a valium. But this morning I was so jittery and excited that I was very glad to have one. :-P

Pictures of embryos here )

IVF update

Jul. 1st, 2007 01:54 pm
It turns out that 15 of the 17 eggs were mature, and ICSI was performed on all of those. 11 of them fertilized, so we currently have 11 embryos, dividing in petri dishes down at the clinic! We'll get an update tomorrow, I think.

Tomorrow I start hatching meds (about 7 pills a day for five days), and I also start my progesterone shots tomorrow evening. The embryo transfer will be Tuesday or Thursday, and I have no idea when we'll find out which day it will be. It could be as late as Tuesday morning!

IVF: CD 10

Jun. 26th, 2007 03:02 pm
My apologies to anyone who's getting sick of seeing these posts!

Update here. Good news! )

IVF: CD 8

Jun. 24th, 2007 09:55 pm
Quick update. )

In other news, Doug's parents are here visiting us this weekend, and we've had a lot of fun. We cooked breakfast and dinner every day, and went out for lunch. So yes, we ate waaay too much! We drove around the lake Saturday, which was just gorgeous. We've had a lot of rain this spring, so the lake is full again and the hills around it are green and lush. It was amazing! We had lunch at one of our favorite lake restaurants, where we got to watch people come in and out on their boats. One of these weekends, Doug and I are going to rent a boat and spend a day out on the lake. When it gets cooler, maybe.

IVF: CD 6

Jun. 21st, 2007 09:54 am
Details here )

It's funny, but I'm completely separating this process from its goal, and I think that's a good thing for me. I don't expect it to work. I really, truly, don't. I just can't get my hopes up like that again, because I think it would devastate me on a level I haven't yet experienced to be disappointed from this. In the past when I've been on a cycle, I start lingering on the baby aisle at the grocery store or thinking about how to decorate the nursery. I've done none of that this time. That might change after the transfer, but at this point I'm really living my life as if it isn't going to work. I have a trip to England planned at the end of July, which I'll cancel if I have to, but I'm kind of expecting to go at this point. I'm weaning myself off caffeine with the idea that it will only be a few weeks before I can drink coffee again. Et cetera.

I can imagine there are people reading this who would like to tell me I should be positive and keep my chin up. And I'm usually a hyper-positive person, but in this case I just can't be. It's hard to explain, but it would really do me no good to expect this to work. It will either work or it won't, and I have no control over it. When I give myself my shots, I don't think about what it's for. When I go to my appointments, I don't have any expectations about what I'll hear from the doctor. It's just something I have to do, and that's it.

My defense mechanisms are so weird. Maybe I should have gone to counseling last year after all. :-P
We had a great weekend at home together, the first weekend we've spent together at home in a long time. It might even have been late March or early April since we had a weekend just to hang out at home and do nothing all day.

Of course, the weekend before that was amazing -- we went to New York to go on a theatre binge and to go to the Tonys! We had a great time and saw Curtains (which our old friend John Bolton was in, and starred David Hyde Pierce), Company (for the third time, as it's Doug's favorite), and the night after the Tonys we saw Spring Awakening for the second time. Seeing a show the night after it won eight Tonys (including Best Musical) was incredible fun. The cast was so excited and the crowd cheered in stretches of three minutes throughout the show, effectively stopping it. It was amazing!

Monday afternoon I finally recorded my session with Seth Rudetsky of the Broadway's Best channel on Sirius, which was a lot of fun! (That was my birthday present from Doug last year -- I talked about it down at the bottom of this post.) We were told that it would air on Wednesday afternoon and we were ready to record it, but it didn't air that day. We think it may have actually aired on Tuesday, when we were flying. :-( We'll see if we can get them to re-air it. If not, I have the raw audio that I can post, which is also kind of fun.

It was a great weekend, and the last traveling I'll be doing for at least a month, depending on how the IVF goes. IVF update here. )
Yikes, I haven't updated this in a while. I've been traveling for basically the last two months, and it just kept slipping my mind. I have a lot of vacation photos to put up, but for now I'll start with this.

I went in for a sonogram this morning to make sure there weren't any cysts on my ovaries, and it was all clear, which means we can go forward with this IVF cycle! I came home and gave myself my first Lupron injection. I'll do those every morning for pretty much the next three weeks. I have another sonogram next Friday and if that one shows it's all looking good, I'll start Gonal-F injections in the evenings. Those will go at least ten days, which puts the earliest date for the egg retrieval around June 28 and so embryo transfer will probably be the first week of July.

So wow, it's really going to happen! :-D

Update

Feb. 22nd, 2007 10:45 am
Yesterday I had a sonogram to make everything was set to go for starting the IVF cycle, and it really hadn't occurred to me that there would be a problem. But of course, there was -- I have a cyst on my right ovary, which means I can't start on the drugs just yet. They want me to come back in a week for another sono, but the fact is that it usually takes several weeks for cysts to go away.

And of course, we don't have several weeks. )

Surgery!

Feb. 6th, 2007 04:38 pm
As we go through this first IVF cycle, I'm going to try to record the details as much as I can, mostly for my own record-keeping. I'll cut them, so feel free to skip stuff.

Hysteroscopy today )

In other news, it looks like my grandfather's surgery will go forward. He has to have two valves replaced, but his prognosis is good. That should happen around the first of March. I'm going to see if I can fly out to be with my family then.

Onward!

Oh, one more thing: I'm always suspicious of these things, but it can't hurt. Sign the online petition to encourage congress to require insurance companies to cover infertility treatments. Most couples have to finance this on their own, though their infertility is no fault of their own. We're lucky that we don't have to take out a second mortgage to do it, but many people have to take such drastic steps, just to have what most people get for free.

Tomorrow.

Feb. 5th, 2007 10:41 pm
Surgery is tomorrow morning, bright and early. Oddly enough, I'm not the slightest bit anxious. I think that's because I've been through this before and know it's not a big deal.

I'm actually much more anxious about the fact that my grandfather will be at the doctor for an evaluation of his heart condition at the same time. After this, they'll decide how to proceed. Open heart surgery seems to be on the horizon, which is a heck of a lot scarier than a wee hysteroscopy.

*worries*

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