Friday, January 29, 2010

From the Mouth of Michael: Porn Freak

I don't know what was going on in the nurses' head; when they heard a female voice moaning and groaning, along with the slapping sounds followed by an "oh yeah". I was already uneasy going with Rebecca to have the egg retrieval. This is a picture of us right before the egg retrieval and the 'incident'.

It was our second time through the process and the second retrieval we have gone through. I was more nervous this second time for a few reasons. My first time through the retrieval experience was a 'do it in a cup at home'. Which is less nerve racking because I am what you would say 'in the comfort zone'. This time around, I would have to do the deed in a room that felt like I was in a closet that had plumbing. Once again I feared of making sure I could perform on myself properly, and at the same time having the fear of making an 'air ball'. Yes, missing the rim (the cup).

I came prepared with my portable DVD player and a new video that I had never experienced before the retrieval. So I had to do a little previewing before I started my 'duty' for the day. I plugged in my ear buds and pressed play with my shaky finger. Well, we don't have to go into the process any further than that. The outcome is I performed and got enough to to work with.

Once completed, my heart dropped. I took out my ear buds and suddenly realized the sounds of a woman 'going through the ringer' was blasting from my DVD player speakers. It usually cuts out the sound when the ear buds are plugged in. But not this time. I was wondering why the sound through the ear buds was much louder and clearer than usual.

While my wife is being put out and having things shoved in her that are not 'natural' all I could think about was what the nurses were thinking. I was red in the face and just wanted to sneak out of the 'closet'. But instead, I had to hit the intercom button to let the nurse know she needed to come retrieve my sample (load). The sad thing is that the nurse probably new it was time to collect after all the moaning and groaning came to an abrupt end.

It is funny how the initial fear was not even close to as bad as my experience in that damn 'beat me off closet'. I went into the waiting room, just anticipating my wife coming out crying. That is because that is what happened during the first retrieval (estrogen levels at the scary range). I knew the only good thing to come of my 'volume mishap', was if she came out crying, I had something to make her laugh. Still wasn't so funny to me at that point, but I still wanted to share my embarrassment (for the sake of keeping my wife from crying).

I think I told her three or four separate times of what happened. I got her to chuckle each time. The only problem was that every time I told my 'closet story', I thought she was coherent. But unfortunately that was not the case. I would tell her what happened followed by a chuckle, and two minutes later she would ask me what happened. I don't think my story is what kept Rebecca from crying this time. I think it was that she went into the whole process being more prepared and stronger. I am proud of Rebecca holding in the tears. She did great!

The next fear settled in. That being the car ride home after the retrieval. The car ride was either going to be joyousness and full of conversation or a ride home filled with doom and gloom and a lot of silence!

The doctor came in and told us he retrieved seven. This came as a relief (finally). Considering our poor out come through the first IVF procedure. We never even made it to the transfer the first time. We had seven compared to the four retrieved in the first attempt. That meant we had three more "chances" of getting at least one good fertilized egg. That being so, I would have to say we would probably be talking positively with each other on the way home, rather than the painful silence.

So, if anyone out there that reads this; use this little blog to help warn any husbands out there going through the IVF procedures - test your volume before putting in ear buds. It is sure amazing the technological quality they have come up with to make ear buds able to cancel out about 99% of all outside sounds. Please warn your husband and/or let anyone you know going through this. It could make the difference in having it feel less uncomfortable between the 'Porn Freak' and the nurses, to make sure the sound is only with the one performing and not directed out into the halls outside of the 'closet'.

Now onto the last fear I was facing. That fear being the greatest of all. How many were mature-how many will fertilize- and how many will be transferred? With this blog pointing out all of my fears, I can comfortably say I hope this is the last final experience of our IVF procedures! My wife and I both can not take the influx of hormones going on in the process while being stuck with needles everyday. Injecting something into the female body that can alter her mood and feelings in a great way can be scary in itself.

I have come up with a scenario that could possibly sum up the IVF process. The process is like going through the airport with the security alert level being on red. You will probably eventually get to your flight, but you will have to go through hell to get there!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

2 Embryos on Board

I've been really bad at posting and keeping this updated. I'd like to blame my husband. I'm convinced he downloaded some kind of a virus on our computer at home and its been out of commission for 5 days now. I've finally gotten a lull at work and figured I write a quick update.

Wednesday's egg retrieval resulted in 7 mature eggs. Unfortunately, only 3 of them fertilized normally. Of course we spent the three days leading up to the embryo transfer worrying and reliving our last round of IVF where we had nothing left to transfer.

On Saturday we went in and were pleasantly surprised to learn we still had 3 developing embryos. They are graded on a scale of 1-4, with 4 being the best. After 3 days, they like to see the embryos at an 8 cell embryo. Here is what we had:

10-cell grade 4
8-cell grade 3
10-cell grade 2

We transferred the 10-cell grade 4 and 8-cell grade 3 as those were the strongest and graded the best. The 10-cell grade 2 was kept in the lab to monitor and see what it does. If it makes it another 3 days then they will freeze it.

I can't even tell how you amazing it was to know we were putting back two embryos that could potentially be our children. Its been such an emotional journey and clearly we are praying our hearts out for this cycle to end with a pregnancy. As soon as our computer is fixed, I will scan and post the picture of our embryos.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 8 Stim Check & Egg Retrieval on Wednesday

I went in again this morning for another stim check. My poor vagina is getting more action from the dildo cam than anything else! Here is how we are making out:

Left ovary: 18, 16, 15, 15, 13, 12, 12
Right ovary: 17, 15, 11 and three smaller ones
e2: 2,796

This afternoon I got the call that I need to trigger tonight with my 10,000 units of HCG and my egg retrieval will be on Wednesday at 7:50 am. Embryo transfer (god willing) will be either Saturday or Monday.

By the end of this, especially if I have the transfer on Monday, I'm sure my boss will think I'm dying. I've already been in late two days in the past week because of doctor's appointments/blood work and then I told her I would be out on Wednesday for some medical "testing". She got really concerned and said, 'I sure hope everything is okay'. She also asked what work she could do for me. I said I would get it taken care of, but I should have pushed back the board of directors presentation and holdings company deck she pawned off on me earlier today.

Keep me in your thoughts and prayers on Wednesday!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 7 Stim Check

This morning we traveled an hour to our RE's main office for another stim check. This was my first stim check at this office and it started off on the wrong foot. Perhaps I'm a bit sensitive and irritable, but when the nurse called out Becky and was looking right in my face I was totally annoyed. Granted I grew up as Becky and my family still calls me Becky, but all my paperwork says Rebecca. Why the hell did she call me Becky? She quickly apologized why I snidely asked her if she was talking to me.

We went back into the ultrasound room and she seemed to have a very difficult time reading my left ovary as it was high. I'm not even sure she knew what she was doing and actually got on her phone during the procedure asking another nurse to come in and help. I'm not putting too much stock into my results because somewhere in the last two days I've lost a couple follicles. How the hell does that happen?

After the ultrasound, the nurse that came in to assist actually finished up with me and blood work. She must have been able to tell how damn irritated I was. Anyways, here is where we stand:

Left ovary: 15, 14, 14, 10, 9 and 4 smaller ones
Right ovary: 15, 12 and 3 smaller ones
e2: 1430

I'm continuing at my 375 of Gonal-F, 20 units of diluted Lupron and 10 units of low dose HCG. I have go back tomorrow morning for another check. Of course they cannot get me until 7:50 am. Awesome.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 5 Stim Check

It was after today's appointment that I realized how night and day my two IVF cycles are. Dr. D. is much more aggressive with my doses and I really think its going to pay off. After 5 days of stims my follicles are:

Left ovary: 12, 11, 11, 11, 11, 7 and 5 that are too small to measure and likely won't turn into anything

Right ovary: 12, 10 and 4 smaller ones

My e2 is 959

For IVF #1 I ended up with a total of 7 eggs retrieved and only 4 mature. Additionally, my e2 was just under 1,000 at time of trigger.

At this point I'm staying on the 375 nightly iu of Gonal-F and adding in 10 iu of low dose HCG and I will keep on the 20 units diluted Lupron twice daily. I go back in on Sunday morning for another check.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, January 11, 2010

And We're Off....No Scrambled Eggs for Me

Although my IVF cycle tecnhnically started on 12/25 when I began the birth control, it really feels like it started last night. I started my diluted dose of Lupron on Friday and then started my Gonal-F (stims) last night.

I still haven't decided if I'm more nervous or excited. I still carry with me that renewed sense of hope the new doctor and protocol instilled in me back in October. I'm just now starting to see the difference a new doctor makes. I'm on a totally different protocol, my first dose of stims last night was 450 compared to the 150 I was for the first round of IVF.

This has to be a good thing, right? I mean I know I will never produce 20 eggs due to my low antral follicle count, but hopefully I can get at more than 4 mature eggs. I promise not to scramble or hardboil them......

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

From the Mouth of Michael: The Pressures of Spooging on Demand

From the Mouth of Michael:

On December 31st we made another visit to the RE so Rebecca could have a mock transfer.

I had the fortunate experience to give them a sample for them to freeze incase for some reason I am not able to produce any when it comes to the day they do the egg retrieval and do the insemination. It is never something I look forward to. But I got it out of the way and is one less thing or fear I have on my mind right know.

It reminds me of a swim meet. I have swam the back stroke before by practicing, but not sure how I was to perform in the race. Visualizing the race in my head, but getting more nervous as it got closer to the time the clock started. What if I got tired right away? What if it is really close? What if I get a bad time?

This was the same thing. What if I went into the room and didn't get a good time!!! No, not have a good time, get a good time!!!! Well my swim meet is over and I feel like I swam the best I could for the day and circumstances. Just have one big meet left coming up. I hope I don't die on the last lap!!!!!