Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Feeling like a Pincushion...

I'm sure it could be a lot worse!! I started my injections on the 17th w/ Lupron and I added Follistim injections to the mix on Saturday, the 26th.  Follistim is the medication to stimulate my ovaries(aka FSH)! Lupron injections are in my thigh and the FSH injections i'm administrating in my belly area.  Not fun!!! I don't like needles at all!!! My hubby pretty much did ALL injections during the IUI treatments.  Those FSH injections were in my upper arms.  Now, I am giving my own injections, for some reason my hubby really didn't want to do them.... 

Now, I don't necessarily look at myself as I do injections. I typically just zero in on the area the injection is to go into, and then as I position the needle, I close my eyes tight!!! LOL I don't have too many bruises and the lupron injection don't always hurt. Occasionally I will hit a little vein as I remove the needle from my thigh, it bleeds. So far it is only on my right thigh....weird.  Luckily for me, i haven't felt that many side effect some women get from lupron injections. One major side effect I was praying not to get was the headaches! Luckily i haven't suffered from those awful headaches i have heard other women suffering from! I get mild headaches here and there, but nothing really painful!! Thank you God!!! another side effect also is hot flashes. Now while i was on medication for treatment for cancer, i suffered from serious hot flashes!!!! And they were HOT!!! i do have some mild hot flashes but nothing as unbearable as they were while i was on the other medication.  I just find myself waking up at 4-5 am feeling hot, while my hubby is wrapped up tight in our comforter! But other than that, that is it so I'm not complaining!

FSH injections, i've been on before and don't usually have any side effects from them.  I can see little prick marks where I've injected myself in my tummy.  It helps, so that way i'm sure not to inject the same spot twice.  It isn't too painful while injecting myself, it is after I withdraw the needle.  I am left with a painful burning feeling.  It usually continues to hurt until after I go to bed, and usually anything that rubs against the area irritates it so I have to roll down my pj bottoms and fall asleep on my side or back....which is horrible because i love to sleep on my tummy!!! Oh well, just prepares me for pregnancy!! 

These injections are a walk in the park compared the injections of progesterone in oil (PIO) i will have to do.  Now these, my hubby has no choice in injecting my.  He has to do them for me, as they go in my backside.... tooshy/hip area.  I've seen the needles that I will be using.... I'm not looking forward to them at all!!!! I've been warned...they are painful! Hopefully I won't have to stay on them until week 12 of pregnancy...hopefully my body will do what it needs to do and produce enough to sustain my pregnancy!!!

I had my first ultra sound this morning to check progress. After 4 nights of FSH injections, I have potential of 16 follicles in my ovaries. 7 in my left and 9 in my right ovary. I also have a bunch of little ones that couldn't be measured today, but some of them will grow enough to be measured at next ultra sound! so It's exciting because I'm on my way.  Now, as I continue FSH injections, we wait to see how quickly these follicles will grow! I don't have another ultra sound scheduled yet, but will be in 2-3 days i'm sure! All the injections and the pricking will be worth it in the end, but in the meantime, it's hard not to feel like such a pincushion!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Cheekies!!

Cheekies has arrived!! Cheekies is my nickname for my niece, Alyssa! She made her entrance in this world on July 17th at 4:36pm via C-section.  She weighed 6lbs and 14 oz. and 19 inches long.  She has a head full of dark hair that looks like it will be curly.... my sister always wished her hair was curly, and now maybe her daughter will have it.  She is just so beautiful I wanna cry every time I think of her.. I just love her to pieces!!! My sister and baby are both home now and settling into a routine.  The rest of her brothers and sisters should be making their way home today and then they can all meet. It should be a special occasion.  Hopefully when I stop by after work before my appointment, I can witness the siblings meeting their new baby sister....that is going to be such a special moment. But then again, maybe it would be best that it just be them... 

so let me tell you a bit about her birth....

My sister's fiance called me just before 7 am on the 17th letting me know that my sister's water had broken. I imagined my sister freaking out because I knew that it had not even been a week since her last day of work and she didn't have things ready for baby's arrival. I asked to speak to her, took me a bit to convince her fiance to let me talk to her, and she was doing well. She was just packing her hospital bag.  I hurried and got ready and headed into work. I did call my dad before he started work and before he would loose cell phone connection, and let him know his first grandchild was on her way. I also made arrangements to pick up my mom later that morning.  My mom is so cute, as I told her i would pick her up around 10 am to go to the hospital, she worried that we would miss the birth! You see, my mom had c-sections for both my sister and I, and they were planned. She didn't experience the water breaking or any of that. so i went into work for a bit to mail out some client information that needed to go out that day. I picked up my mom and by 11 am we were at the hospital with my sister.

Let me tell you that my mom was nervous and I was a little bit. I was really more anxious. I could not wait until the baby to be born.  I was more nervous because I had my IVF class the same afternoon at 3pm at my RE's clinic. I was so afraid my sister would have the baby while I was in the 2 hour class. But then I thought God was answering my prayers when the midwife came in around 11:30am and discovered the baby was breeched.  The baby was now head up and not head down as we all thought she was. My sister had a Dr.'s appointment the week before and the dr. said the baby was head down.  Now, who knows if the Dr. made a mistake a week earlier or the baby flipped around in the week.  Who really knows, point was that my sister would need to have surgery.  So the midwife and the dr. said it would not happen until until 6pm. I thought great I would be here by then and I wouldn't miss anything. So I leave my sister around 2:15pm execting to be back before they wheeled her into the Operating Room. 

As I sit through the IVF class and listen for the first hour to the same information I all ready knew, and could only think of my sister in labor and that my niece would be born by that afternoon. So after the first hour and half of repeating information, we break for a few minutes before we were to go over the injections and how to administer them.  At this time i also read the text message my sister sent before 4pm saying that her c-section was moved up and that it would be before 6pm, but not sure of the time yet.  So of course i had to work really hard to stay focused.  Luckily, I all ready knew how to do the stimulation injections. Now the progesteron injections..... wow! I'm glad my husband will be doing those, but I'm not looking forward to them.  We get out just after 5pm and I immediately call my mom to check on my sister. Well wouldn't you know, my mom tells me that baby was born a short while ago. I was crushed!!! I so badly wanted to be there to see my niece soon after birth and to be there with my sister as soon as they wheeled her into recovery. I was so sad that I wasn't there. My mom knew how badly I wanted to be there.  Oh well, what I could I do at that point.  I thanked God that my niece was safely in this world and my sister was recovering from Surgery!

As I drove from the RE's clinic to the hospital, in bumper to bumper traffic, I started to feel angry that my Fertility Challenge once again got in the way of something important in my life. I was angry that because I HAD to do IVF to get pregnant, I lost an important event! So I wallowed in my anger and pity for about 10 minutes,then I told myself that I just needed to be happy for the blessings that God had just given us. Once I focused on that, I was only upset at the amount of traffic i was in!!! When I finally made it my dad was waiting for me in the main entrance to the hospital and as soon as I walked in, he engulfed me in a huge hug! He was so happy to be a grandpa, and I was so happy to be an auntie (or titi as my niece will be calling me) and all the emotions I had fought back on my drive to the hospital came spilling out. I cried in my daddy's arms how I was supposed to be there and I wasn't. He just held me and said it was okay, the important thing was that I was there now and the baby was here safe and my sister was safe. How can one argue with that??

I took the elevator up the recovery room where my sister was. My dad didn't come up because only 1 person at a time was allowed in there. My mom met me at the elevator on the recovery floor and took me to my sister.  She was there holding my niece looking like the happiest mom in the world. Tears immediately clouded my vision and I blinked them away and busied myself in washing my hands.  I kissed my sister and congratulated on her on a beautiful baby. When I took my first good look at my Cheekies, everything else just didn't matter!! All that mattered in the universe at the moment was Alyssa!!! She is just the cutest. So my sister gave her to me to hold for the first time, and when I picked her up and hugged her to me, the tears i had no idea i was holding back, just came down running down my cheeks. I could not stop staring at her or giving her kisses on her big ol' cheeks!! I apologized to her for not being there, apologized to my sister for not being there for her either. What my sister said next let me know that all would be okay. She said for her and for Alyssa, "it is okay Titi, you had to go.  You had to go so you can give me some cousins soon" I had to laugh at the concept...which is so very true!!

I held her a while longer until the nurse asked to check her out again. My parents and I left to go eat dinner and by the time we came back my sister was moved into her room.  We all just took turns holding my Cheekies and she was asleep the whole time. I couldn't tell who was happier the new parents or new grandparents.  I was so happy that our family had come a long way and full circle.  A few years ago, i wasn't sure this would or could happen, that we would be together as a family sharing in the most beautiful moments in the world..... Welcoming a new blessed child into our family!

I will have learn how to post pictures on here because my Cheekies is too cute not to show her off.  I just feel so full of love for this little angel, and I can't wait to watch her grow!! I love all my nieces, nephews, and godchildren and I love them all the same! To add a new baby to my group of 'kids' is so wonderful.  The only way this is different is that my sister will be calling on me more often than any of my cousins and best friend ever did to babysit!!! LOL AND I will have to arm wrestle with my dad to see who gets to babysit anytime my sister needs it!!!! It is so much fun to watch my dad and his granddaughter. Before we knew what my sister was having, he asked for a granddaughter! He got his wish, and 3 days before his birthday too!! We celebrated my dad's b-day with pizza and cake in my sister's hospital room and he couldn't have asked for a better birthday party!! We all couldn't have asked for a better or more special celebration!!

Stay tuned as I update on my current IVF cycle.... 5 days of Lupron injections and faring well!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Knock, knock.. Who's there?? "Hi, it's Anxiety and friends..."

I have started the processes to start IVF.  I had my ultra-sound (u/s) this morning to check my ovaries to make sure there had been no activity, to make sure there were no cysts present. Now I knew there shouldn't be since i have been on birth control pills (BCPs) since June 12.  I stayed on them even though we had canceled the IVF cycle last month, since I didn't ovulate on my own and I would have to induce anyway, figured I should stay on BCPs to help level out some of my out of control hormones! So all looked great and I got the go-ahead to start Lupron injections tomorrow night. For those of you who don't know what this medication is, don't worry, I didn't know about either until I realized that we would have to continue our quest for our family via IVF.  Lupron helps maintain my ovaries "quiet".  With IVF, Dr.s do not want your body to take over and ovulate before THEY are ready for the woman to ovulate. IVF is very scientific, but it also very much controlled (as much as the Dr.s can control), so I am to stay on BCPs until this sunday, and will be on Lupron injections throughout my cycle.  The Dr. will lower dose once I start stimulation injections, and may take me off lupron all together if she sees that it is hindering progress of my ovaries.  

Once the stimulation of my ovaries begin, we want the ovaries to produce a nice number of follicles.  The more I have the better, since not all the follicles will mature and fertilize.  It is all very scientific and never imagined that my journey to motherhood would include more than just my husband and that conception would take place in a lab rather than our bedroom.  Well, I have learned early on in life, life doesn't always go the way you imagined it will happen.

So on the eve of my first set of injections, my emotions are all over the place.  I am trying to stay as relaxed as possible, but I am finding it a bit hard to do. I am not sure what it is that I'm feeling. I can definitely describe it as anxiety.  Right now I am very thankful that I was able to allow myself to listen to my husband and agree with his logic and marched forward with doing the Shared Risk program.  I think it would have been a lot worse if I felt that IT HAD to Work this first time because we only had one shot!! I know that we have a plan in place in case it doesn't work, but I still want it to work the first time!! I woke up this morning feeling very nauseated and nervous and couldn't explain why!

I honestly am excited, but also am very nervous and anxious! I'm scared that it might not work, I'm scared that it does work and loose my babies early on as I have in the past.  I'm just scared and I don't like it!!! I am being optimistic and am trying to think positive. It is hard sometimes because after 5 years of disappointments, remaining positive sometimes is hard. I am very thankful to God for my husband, because he hasn't lost all hope. He remains positive and luckily has enough for the both of us! I will be moving forward full of excitement, full of nerves, and anxiety! I pray that I can say that I am free of all nervous anxiety once i start injections and my cycle continues to move forward! 

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A trip to Labor & Delivery....

My sister will be 38 weeks pregnant this time flies!!!! She is going to have a big baby too, as my sister is pretty big...and looks so adorable pregnant. It still trips me out that my kid sister is going to have a baby!!! We are anxiously awaiting the birth of my Niece Alyssa, and she is all ready being dramatic and seeking attention from inside her mother's womb!!! I stopped by my parent's house yesterday evening after working really late, as my sister wasn't feeling too well and I was a bit concerned.......AND........ I wanted to remain in an area with cooler weather. I was not tempted to drive into 98 degree weather when I can linger in 75 degree weather!!

So we were concerned because my sister had not really felt the baby move in a few hours, and even after trying some of the tricks that get the baby going, the baby still didn't move much.  On Monday, my sister on her way to her Dr. appointment with her fiance, were hit by another car. It was a strong enough impact that it caused airbag to deploy on her fiance, who was driving. Thank God that my sister's air bag didn't deploy. Thanks to God that no one was injured and she felt fine and the baby continued to move like normal and even got a little excited as she was pretty active most of the day. She did call her Dr. but they told her it was okay not to come in since she felt fine and could feel plenty of movement from the baby. I on the other hand have been nervous since then!!! So I really encouraged her to call the Dr. on call last night to see what they said, after all, it is better to be safe and overly cautious than to be really sorry. 

So we went and they hooked her up to check baby's heart rate, and she had a nice strong heart beat. My sister had also been feeling unusual pains and not sure if they were contractions or not. My poor sister is over analyzing everything, and it is hard to tell for her....especially since she is soooo close! Anywho, all is well, no contractions were registered and the baby's heart beat was fine. It was so weird to hear that heart beating.... it is amazing there is a whole new human being inside my sister.  It is truly a miracle! I keep telling my niece to make her entrance on a friday afternoon.... so I won't have to miss work!! LOL  That way I could spend an entire weekend with her! Let's see if she listens!!

It is amazing that my niece will almost be here, just as I start my journey in having my own family.  AF arrived in town so now we can move forward with IVF!! The loan is all in place and we are ready to go! I will start birth control pills again later today, and will start  Lupron injections next Thursday, and the following Thursday (2 weeks from today) I will Follistim injections to begin stimulating my ovaries into action. They have been pretty quiet for over a year now, so hopefully they won't take to long to begin producing and hopefully they don't get too excited and produce too fast! If all goes well, I will have Egg Retrieval (ER) on or around August 6th and Embryo Transfer (ET) either August 9 for a 3DT (day transfer) or August 11 for a 5DT.  I am hopeful that it will work, we will transfer 2 embryos at the most, unless they are really bad quality.  We don't expect that to be my case so 2 babies to transfer to their home sweet home! 

I do believe that there is a time for everything, and I am very hopeful that my time is rapidly approaching. With my sister having a baby, my baby(ies) will have a cousin to play with and be close too. I was so afraid my poor baby(ies) would be alone and not have any close cousins to play with or be close too! I have cousins (they are sisters) who have had kids really close to each other.. one set of cousins babies are 6 months apart, and another set of cousins who's kiddos are a year apart, and these cousins are so close to one another, it is really adorable.  I will also have hand-me-downs too!!! A lot to look forward too!! Hopefully the next trip to Labor and Delivery is to watch the miracle that is my niece, be born!!