To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Status Check #4

March 31, 2015  What a day. I don't even know where to begin. Yesterday after work we came up to Lake Oswego to stay with my aunt and uncle. This morning instead of injecting myself in the car I was able to get up at 6:15 like normal for what would be my final Follistim injection. I got to go back to relax in bed for a while before getting up to make the short drive down the street to OHSU; love that drive, so easy!

OHSU is much busier on a Tuesday around 9:30 than Sunday when it's essentially closed! Tons of people, but still nice and calm on the 10th floor. Once  I was taken back it was a not so awesome blood draw. The right arm didn't seem cooperative so they tried the left. Ouch, and nothing. Back to the right arm with a different nurse. This time it worked but wasn't pleasant. Ugh. 

To the ultrasound room I went, but this time it was the room I will be in for my egg retrieval. I had Dr. Seifer this time and really enjoyed him. He was gentle, explained things to me, offered answers to any questions and urged us to visit the nurse for Ovedril review on our way out. I am loving the care of the doctors here!

This time the ultrasound was crazy to see. My follicles have been working overtime, which he said explained why I feel so bloated. Measurements this time got all the way up to 22 millimeters! He said it was a 90% chance I will have my retrieval Thursday. Yay!! With that info we asked to meet with Lori, the nurse, and review my final injection and ask any questions. I left feeling calm and excited!

After doing some more shopping for clothes to accommodate my bloated belly it was back to my aunt's home to relax. I stared at my phone until after 4pm when it finally rang. She had good news and bad news. 

Good news: my body responded great to the medications and I am set for retrieval on Thursday that morning. 

Bad news: my estradiol level was at 4,251. Apparently anything over 3,000 causes concern. My progesterone level, however, was at a good range. 

What does this mean? It sounds like there was concern about Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. I don't think I was AT that point yet, but maybe teetering on the edge. I've never had a flat stomach, but even I can see changes and major bloat. Just look at the photo below of my injection, that is NOT my normal stomach at all!! So this means that I will NOT be getting my fresh embryo transfer 3 to 6 days after my retrieval now. Instead I have new medications I start after retrieval that will help fix the bloat and pain, and get me back to 'normal'. From there I wait for a phone call from Dr. Wu to discuss what happens next. Research shows, however, that there are higher rates of success when using frozen embryos, so really I can't complain. I still get to have my embryo transfer, I just don't know when yet, but soon.


After absorbing all of this information I had to notify key people and then work on hydrating and relaxing. Man Friend went back home since he does have to work, and I am staying here with my family until my mom comes to get me after the retrieval. First step in relaxing was going for a nice night of happy hour dinner in Lake Oswego with my aunt and uncle. I really enjoyed getting to visit with them and see new places in town that are away from the actual city of Portland. It was a lovely evening, but then I had to be the stickler to say No More Margaritas (I was NOT drinking!!!) and get us back home for the most important thing so far....

The Ovedril injection! It was scheduled for 9pm. NO earlier, NO later. This injection triggers ovulation and has to be taken exactly 36 hours prior to egg retrieval. This was my LAST injection .... at least for now! Yay!!! So for the first time ever, I actually managed to take a photo with the needle all the way in. Enjoy!

This needle felt a little tougher to get in than my morning needle, but still nothing to complain about at all. I mean this was pretty exciting, yet also really intense, as it was the most important shot so far. The whole day felt intense. I was always on the verge of tears for no reason at all. I never did cry, but I felt overwhelmed and a little bit on edge. After the injection I felt a bit of relief come over me, which is good!!

From here it is just wait and relax. My mom is getting home from Las Vegas and will then be coming up here to see her sister and babysit me while I recover from the retrieval procedure. I'm excited but nervous. I've never had any anesthesia, so this is going to be new for me. I won't have any family in the room with me like I usually do for ultrasounds. It looks like Dr. Seifer is doing my retrieval, so I'm glad I enjoyed him today and enjoyed his gentle nature with my insides!  I will be on medications that are going to make me loopy and unable to drive after my retrieval, so who knows how that post will be, but we might all have a good laugh!

MARCH 2015
SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
1234567
Official day 1!!!Phone call to OHSU Grandpa :(Prescriptions set!Protocol arrived
to get it started!in the mail
Birth Control PillsGot my protocol
891011121314
Prescriptions arrive
15161718192021
Last birth control pillSuppression checkInjections begin
22232425262728
Status check #1Status check #2Begin Ganirelix
293031
Status check #3Status check #4
Ovidrel injection 9pm

Status Check #3

Welcome to my uterus!
March 29, 2015  This morning I had my third status check. It was another early morning of getting up at 4am, but this time I actually put the seat back and napped off and on during our 3 hour drive north. 

This was my first time being at OHSU on a weekend when everything is closed. I like it! The parking garage was closed but we still had free parking right there on the street near the main door. Sweet! There were a couple runners inside the lobby, I think just using it for a bathroom and water break. Other than that it was just Man Friend and I. A quick potty stop and then we were heading up to the tenth floor.

With it being the weekend, Sylvia was not there to check in with at the counter. We were told to just hang out when we arrived and they would come get us. Sure enough someone did come to get my name and let me know that I would be seen soon. The waiting area was hilarious, well hilarious to a couple going through In Vitro Fertilization treatment. Nothing but quiet husbands and women all wearing baggy, comfortable clothing. I nearly fell asleep on the couch waiting for my turn, although my wait was still very short - it was just an early day.

Blood work was much easier than before. Thank goodness I'm getting better at that!! Then it was across the hall to the ultrasound room. It was so quiet back there, just the nurse that did my blood and Dr. Amato who was helping set up for the ultrasound! In no time at all I was back in my familiar seat assuming the position, which I was very happy to do. I was excited to see how my follicles look and was VERY excited to lie down.  Right away I spotted my uterus and could see on my own how the lining has thickened. Dr. Amato was pleased and said it was looking good! For your enjoyment you may see my uterus above and may be able to spot the inside thickening lining.

Hello future babies!
At my last status check it was hard to find one of my ovaries so she couldn't get a good measurement of their size. Today both were easy to spot and it was not uncomfortable at all Heck, these puppies are so big now that Man Friend even laughed last night when I came out from doing my night time shots and we could actually SEE two bumps where everything is all bloated. Anyway, my ovaries.... the one in the upper right of the above photo is my right ovary. It seems to have less follicles, but still large. The left one is going crazy!! At least 10 follicles, all ranging in size from just over 12 millimeters to just over 14 millimeters each. Now go look at a ruler again and just visualize that growing inside of you. Yeah, no wonder I feel like a freaking babirusa today. *Babirusa is an Indonesian animal, it means "pig deer". I think we were all happy to see the size of my follicles today. Dr. Amato said follicles are usually around 18 millimeters for retrieval, so I'm on my way and getting close!

My fourth status check is scheduled for Tuesday, (today is Sunday -- felt I should distinguish this since I am writing this now to publish at an unknown future time). Dr. Amato did call me later in the day to adjust my Menopur dosage to a lower one, so that's nice.... and exciting because it makes me feel we are getting close. This change was due to the results of my estrogen levels from this morning's blood work. The doctor speculates that I will have my egg retrieval on Thursday or Friday! The hardest part is waiting. Waiting for the status check day to get here and then waiting for the phone call to hear what happens next. We did the math, and especially with lowering my Menopur dosage, I have enough drugs to get me through that appointment. Hopefully I won't need anymore and they'll order me to take my Ovidrel so I can then come get these eggs out and fertilized ASAP!

After my appointment I didn't want to just turn around and drive home, especially when it was looking to be a beautiful day. So a spontaneous visit to the Oregon Zoo is what happened. It was really nice to just walk around with no time frame and no reason to rush. Heck I don't feel I can rush at anything right now anyway. I couldn't help but notice that aside from a few high school girls, I may have been the only adult woman to have never given birth. Strollers galore, dads wearing babies on their tummies, pregnant women pushing strollers. It was baby baby baby ..... and since I am full of ripening eggs ready to make a baby I felt it only appropriate to pause for a while on my eagle nest and tend to my eggs. Gotta love an opportunity for a silly photo op!

MARCH 2015
SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
1234567
Official day 1!!!Phone call to OHSU Grandpa :(Prescriptions set!Protocol arrived
to get it started!in the mail
Birth Control PillsGot my protocol
891011121314
Prescriptions arrive
15161718192021
Last birth control pillSuppression checkInjections begin
22232425262728
Status check #1Status check #2Begin Ganirelix
293031
Status check #3Status check #4