Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I am so happy to say GOOD BYE 2010!

I am not a fan of this year. Nothing good has come out of this year and, to be frank, most of it sucked pretty damn bad.

Here's to hoping that 2011 is a much, much better year! I hope that all of my dreams come true in 2011 and I hope that yours do, too!

So raise that glass of bubbly, kiss your loved one, have a fabulous night and help me welcome in this new year!

It just has to be better than 2010 was.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

oh snap...

I forgot to tell y'all that my NP talked with my RE yesterday and they've decided to switch all of my stims to IM shots instead of subq like originally planned.

So not excited about this! Now instead of a teeny, tiny painless needle in my tummy, I'll get a super huge, thick needle stuck in the muscles in my ass every night. With Menopur that burns like no other, to boot!

So...let's assume that this IVF works..I'll be on PIO through the first trimester, bare minimum. So, estimating here, if I do stims for 8 days, that's 8 IM shots and then the trigger, that's another IM shot. So 9 total to get me to the ER and ET. Then I'll start PIO. So let's, you guessed it, estimate again, that I'd be on PIO for 9 weeks post ET (since technically the first three weeks of the pregnancy are during stims/ER/ET) that's another 63 days of IM shots. Add that to the 9 for stims/trigger and we are at 72 days of IM shots!!! I'm going to have one sore, sore ass.

I'm seriously going to need to convince my business manager at work that I need a new, more plush chair...or I'll be bringing my damn pillow to the office to sit on.

Ahhh...the realities of infertility...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

game face on!

I'm starting stims for my IVF cycle this coming SUNDAY!

Everything checked out during my suppression check this morning (man, my ovaries are TINY!) and my blood work was A-ok! Got the go ahead to start 375iu of Gonal-F and 75iu of Menopur on Sunday night! I'm so incredibly excited!

BRING IT ON! I'm ready to beat this damn opponent...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

good riddance!

I just [hopefully] took my last BCP of this IVF protocol!


I've been on the active pills since December 4th...sooooo long! But I'm done now and my suppression check is in less than 24 hours :)

I'm so happy to throw those stupid things out the window. I have crazy dreams while on BCP and I'm always starving.

Can't wait until tomorrow morning! Fingers crossed that everything goes well....

Sunday, December 26, 2010

it was a WHITE Christmas!

Yep, that's right...we had snow on Christmas in Alabama. First time there has ever been snow on Christmas Day here. And, of course, it was the one year The Coach and I didn't go home. Ironic, huh?

But it didn't last long, most was gone this morning, and all that hit the streets melted immediately. I guess it made it feel a *little* more like Christmas...after all, it would have been my first ever snowless Christmas.

And it was so nice to only have to drive two blocks down to our friend's house for dinner and then walk downstairs from his place to the pub for a nightcap. No driving 300+ miles from The Coach's family to my family in tons of snow and ice for us this year!

Now that Christmas is over I am so ready for the new year to get here. 2010 sucked and I can't wait for it to be over. I've decided that 2011 will be a good year, it will be our year.

....if only it were that easy....

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I can't believe Christmas is here much as this year has sucked, it has flown by. I really can't think of a single good thing that happened this year...luckily 2011 is right around the corner.

And 2011 is going to be a good year.

The Coach and I are spending the day at home, with the dogs, relaxing. While I miss my family terribly, it is so nice to not be scurrying all over the icy, snowy midwest to make all of the parties. Tonight we are having filet mignon, more crab legs, scalloped potatoes and roasted broccoli. And when we wake up on Christmas morning, we are going to exchange our gifts. We are making a yummy pasta for lunch tomorrow and then tomorrow night we are going to a friend's house for dinner.

The holidays are so hard for so many people, all for different reasons. I hope that all of you are able to celebrate and enjoy the holidays with friends and family. I know many of you have felt a lot of pain this year, just as we have, and are anxious to put 2010 behind you. May all of your wishes come true in 2011! I hope it is a fabulous year for all!

Here are a few pictures of our Christmas decorations (these were taken immediately after our tree was put up--there are presents under there now!):

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

it is Christmas!

The Coach and I were gone all day today and we came home to a huge box....hmmm...December 21st...could it be clothes? cookies? chocolates? another gift for the holidays? NOPE! It is was our IVF meds! YAY! Just as exciting as any Christmas gift could be!

I'll be on the antagonist protocol...Gonal-F, Menopur and then adding in Ganirelix. Using an hCG trigger to induce ovulation and then post ET I'll be on PIO (progesterone in oil shots). Here is a picture of all of my goodies:From left to right, in the back, Gonal-F, in front of that is the Novarel triggers, next to the Gonal-F is the Ganirelix, in front of that are the IM needles for PIO. Next to the Ganirelix is my brand new Sharps container (because my other two are full!) and in front of that is the PIO and in front of the PIO is the needles used to mix it. Next to the PIO is the Menopur and in front of that is all of the needles to mix and inject the Menopur and Gonal-F (which will be mixed and injected all at once).

7 boxes of Gonal-F at an out-of-pocket price of $4,939.42

2 boxes of Menopur at an out-of-pocket price of $1,057.45

5 boxes of Ganirelix at an out-of-pocket cost of $621.65

Novarel Trigger
2 boxes of Novarel hCG trigger at an out-of-pocket price of $245.73

6 boxes of PIO at an out-of-pocket cost of $221.03

Now, add all of that up, plus the cost of the needles, syringes and the Sharps container and you will get a grand total of......$7105.48!!

Holy hell. I'm in the wrong field.

That is just meds..and not even all of them. That doesn't include the two packs of birth control pills or the progesterone suppositories I am/will be on. And of course that doesn't include any of the actual IVF costs (baselines, HSG, SIS, semen freeze, cryoscreens, suppression check, monitoring appointments, ER, ET....) makes me sick to think that we have to pay this much money for a CHANCE to have a baby. Something most people just have sex to achieve. How depressing. Now, in light of full disclosure, The Coach and I are very, very blessed to have some Rx coverage for some of the meds needed for our IVF cycle. We have very random, very spotty coverage with super high co-pays but we did not have to pay $7,000 for the meds. Now, if only we had coverage for the actual IVF...

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Yessssssssssssss......vacation....oh happy day!

One of the few perks of working in higher education is holiday vacation time. Because the students are off from early December-mid January, the staff gets a decent break, too. Our last day was yesterday and we are off until January 3rd! And I couldn't be any happier. I definitely need a break from that place. Yesterday we also had our department holiday party so we left the office at 12:45. After the party some of us went out for happy hour...mmm...sangria! The perfect way to start vacation.

The Coach is on vacation as well...or as much of vacation as he can stand. He'll be going into the office for a few hours most days but that's much better than his typical 14-16 hour days...

My IVF nurse called on Thursday and said that all of The Coach's cryoscreen blood work came back normal so we have the go-ahead for him to give a sample for the clinic to freeze (in case he is sick or something comes up when he would need to provide the fresh sample for our IVF). So we've scheduled that for Tuesday. It has to be done at the main clinic so that means another trip across the state.... I'm also having my cryoscreens blood work done that day.

My nurse also put in the order for all of my IVF meds with the pharmacy and they called me last week to confirm. Because I don't need the meds for awhile they are going to hold off on shipping them to me. I plan to call them this coming week to have them send them out....I know it is going to be very overwhelming to receive all those meds and I'll be sure to post a picture for y'all to see!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

football saturdays

Here in the south, in the heart of SEC country, football is taken seriously. And when I say it is taken seriously I is serious business. Everyone has their team. You have to...and in Auburn "Roll Tide" (The University of Alabama's battle cry) are fightin' words. There is this saying down here, that in Alabama, the only thing more important than college football is God..and sometimes not by much. We are smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt...and we are also smack dab in the middle of the greatest place on earth for college football.

As you know, both The Coach and I are huge football fans..and Auburn is our team. Auburn has had an exceptional year, went 12-0 in the regular season, won the SEC Championship Game and we are headed to the National Championship Game in Glendale on January 10th. And Cam Newton, our incredible quarterback, won the Heisman Trophy last weekend. It is a fabulous time on the plains and it is, as it always is, Great to be an Auburn Tiger!

The Coach and I go to all of Auburn's home football games...most often he has recruits at the games but we still make it to all of them. Auburn is a school built on traditions and one of our traditions, which has been copied all over the country but truly did originate right here on Auburn's campus, is Tiger Walk. Tiger Walk is the pre-game march of the football team from their team buses down to the stadium. Fans line the streets, sing the fight song, scream Auburn cheers and welcome the players and the coaching staff on game day. Here are a few pictures of Tiger Walk:

Here at Auburn, it is all about the Auburn here are some pictures of my one of our regular Saturday afternoon Family Reunions:

One of the other big traditions at Auburn is rolling Toomer's Corner. On the far edge of campus, in downtown Auburn, there is a small drug store called Toomer's Drugs. They serve the worlds best lemonade and have fabulous sandwiches, baked potatoes and soups. It became tradition, years ago, to go "roll Toomer's" after an Auburn victory....roll the big old oak trees across the street from Toomer's in toilet paper. They close down the streets, hand out rolls of toilet paper and everyone goes nuts. It is an unbelievable experience. Often time fans of the team that Auburn just beat will even venture down to Toomer's to see the sight themselves..and luckily for us, we've gotten to roll Toomer's a lot this year! :)

These pictures were taken after Auburn's victory over Alabama in the 2010 Iron Bowl. It is important to note that the game was played at The University of Alabama (3 hours from campus) so all of these people were people who did not even go to the game but drove up to campus after the victory to roll Toomer' was one hell of a night, and that's all I'll say about that one...

If you are ever down in the southeast and want to see college football at its finest, experience one of the best college game day atmospheres in the country and witness something truly unique and spectacular in the Auburn Family...look me up...I'd be glad to show you how we do football Saturdays in Auburn!
I believe in Auburn and love it!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

got it!

I finally got my break! It is about damn time.

I had my scheduled pre-IVF phone call with my IVF nurse this morning. She went over all of the ins and outs of IVF (our medical history, our calendar, the different meds I'll be on, the actual procedures...all that fun stuff) and then asked if I had any questions...of course I have'll learn about my personality soon enough...I asked her about the SIS results and if my RE had looked at them yet. She said that my RE got together with the other REs in the practice and they all decided there was no reason to postpone the cycle. The growth is so tiny and at the very top of my uterus so they don't see it interfering with anything. The nurse said that most ultrasound techs wouldn't have even noticed the growth during the SIS--my local NP is just that good. If the growth was in the endometrium, we probably would need to have it removed. So, onward we go!

I have my appointment for next Wednesday for my cryoscreens (infections disease panel) and then I'll take my last BCP on the 28th, go in for my suppression check on the 29th and likely start stims on January 2nd! We are looking at an ER around 1/12 or 1/13.

Oh my God..this is really going to happen!

Monday, December 13, 2010

can I get a break...PLEASE?

One step forward, two steps back.

Story of my life. Or at least my infertility life.

Had my final pre-IVF test today...repeat SIS. I was expecting it to go well and not show any issues because of my good HSG last week. I assumed...and I was wrong. Of course I was wrong. I'm always wrong.

The SIS showed some sort of uterine growth at the top of my the same spot that I had a growth at back in August 2009...which required surgery to remove it. My NP said she doesn't think the growth is big enough to warrant postponing our IVF but I have a feeling my RE will disagree with her. It could explain the recent chemical pregnancy. Or it could be nothing. Having another surgery would mean pushing IVF back...right into The Coach's season. Hello extra stress!

I'm pretty upset right now. All I want is a baby. All I want is IVF. I that really too much to ask?

Friday, December 10, 2010

it is heeeeeeeeeeere!

My official tentative IVF calendar! It arrived in the mail today! YAY! Here it is:

12/28--Take last BCP pill (so I'm on BCP for 24 days..which is longer than I was thinking/hoping)
12/29--Office visit--suppression check for blood draw (E2, Beta), ultrasound & catheter check
1/2--START STIMS!! 375iu of Follistim and 75iu of Menopur daily
1/6--Office visit to check E2, P4, CBC and ultrasound...potentially starting 250mcg Ganirelix
1/7--Possible office visit (blood work, ultrasound)
1/8--Possible office visit (blood work, ultrasound)
1/9--Possible office visit (blood work, ultrasound)
1/10--Possible office visit (blood work, ultrasound)
1/11--Possible office visit (blood work, ultrasound)
1/12 Possible office visit OR TENTATIVE EGG RETRIEVAL!

So that's it...we are looking an ER around the week of January 12, 2011!

It is all so overwhelming and exciting. I just can't wait to get started! 18 days of BCP left!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

check! check! check!

IVF baseline...done! Results=good!

Repeat HSG for IVF...done! Results=good!

The Coach's pre-IVF blood work...done! Results=will be in later next week!

Next up:

Repeat SIS for IVF...Monday, December 13th

Meeting with IVF to obtain official calendar...Tuesday, December 14th

Have The Coach provide a sperm sample for the clinic to freeze prior to IVF *just in case*...TBD

This is really happening.

Monday, December 6, 2010

"they shoot the dye WHERE?"

Ahhhh...the many painful procedures us infertiles must endure....the HSG being one of the worst. HSG is short for hysterosalpingogram...or more commonly referred to as "the dye test". Basically the doctor inserts a soft catheter through your cervix and shoots a radiopaque dye through the fallopian tubes and into the uterus and take x-rays. And it HURTS. I had my first HSG in August 2009 and I'm having my second one tomorrow :(

Most women have their HSG done at the start of their fertility testing, to make sure the tubes are open and working and that there isn't any blockages, polyps or growths in the uterus. I read on a few infertility message boards about this horrid, horrid procedure. People continuously posted stories about their HSG test...and the sheer amount of pain they were in during the test. I was terrified.

I worked myself up into this tizzy and was scared out of my mind. Come to find out the procedure wasn't that bad. It wasn't fun, it hurt and I was so happy I would never have to go through it again but it wasn't the most pain I had ever felt. Little did I know my RE would want to repeat the HSG prior to starting IVF.


So I get to have this procedure again tomorrow. I have to go to the main clinic for the procedure because it is done in the outpatient surgical center. The one little tiny positive about this? The Coach said we could get lunch at Chipotle. Chipotle is my absolute FAVORITE fast food restaurant and we don't have one near by. Yessssssssss...

I also have my SIS scheduled for next Monday. An SIS is a saline infusion sonography. This procedure is much less painful than the HSG. I also had an SIS done back in 2009 and for this test the doctor injects saline into the uterus while monitoring the procedure by ultrasound to check for any issues. To me it didn't really feel different from a regular ultrasound.

I'm hoping I have better results from these tests this time around. During my first HSG my RE saw some sort of growth in my uterus and it was confirmed the following day during my SIS and I had surgery shortly thereafter to remove the growth.

Please, please, please let the tests come back clear. I DO NOT want to have surgery again and postpone this IVF cycle.

I also got the results back from my baseline blood work from E2 was 35 and my FSH was 9.5...both great numbers! So as long as I get good reports tomorrow and Monday, this cycle will officially be on!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Waaaaaaaaaaar Eagle, Hey!


The SEC Championship Game was so much fun! The Coach and I had a great time in Atlanta...especially because Auburn smoked USCe 56-17! WOO-HOO! Next stop for the Tigers, Glendale...for the BSC National Championship Game! :) So proud of my Tigers!

Friday, December 3, 2010

total madness

I got my period late yesterday afternoon (but early enough and heavy enough for yesterday to be considered CD1). I looked at the calendar, did the math and figured there is no way I could start BCP right now because that would put my ER smack dab in the middle of the week the embryologist's lab is closed. I called my IVF nurse this morning and left her a voicemail, fully expecting her to call me back and tell me to sit this month out and that I'd go on BCP next cycle.


At 9:45 the scheduling department called and said my IVF nurse wanted me to come in immediately for my IVF baseline and my labs had to be drawn by 10:00. Not happening. Not only was I at work but the clinic is 45 minutes away and my car didn't have any gas in it. I panicked, called The Coach and told him to pick me up at my office ASAP. We sped up the interstate to the clinic and walked in at 10:34. The currier was already gone with today's labs (the clinic sends all of the blood draws up to the main clinic for testing). My NP said that it isn't a problem, that since they are just testing my FSH and Estradiol, it isn't a problem for the sample to be looked at on Monday. The results wouldn't change anything anyway, since I'm just going on BCP. If I were to start stims, that would be a different story but she assured me it is fine.

After my draw I had my baseline ultrasound. I have one small cyst but the BCP will take care of that easily. The ultrasound showed 10 antral follies on my right ovary and 18 on my left---I was very happy with that!

So I'm starting BCP tomorrow and I'm meeting with my IVF nurse on the 14th to discuss my timeline and calendar. At that time she'll make the call if we need to extend the BCP an extra week so we can avoid the lab closing issue.


PS...The Coach and I are going to the SEC Championship Game tomorrow...WAR DAMN EAGLE! :)