Backup Plan!

Standard

For those of you out there reading who know me, you know I like a plan and I don’t care too much for the “unknown.” I also have a twinge of control freak in me! This whole IVF process is completely out of my control and the outcome is completely unknown until its “time” and I can’t take it. My mind goes crazy…especially during the 2WW so to make me feel better, I’ve decided to come up with a backup plan.

We have been going through this infertility game for 5 years now and still no baby. Even though I pray that I’m pregnant right now, we all know there is no guarantee. I have to take control of some of this and make my way towards a family and all these drugs and procedures may not be able to do it for us.

So if things do not work out for this IVF cycle, this is my backup plan:

1. Take a break from all infertility treatments for the summer. Although I have limited days left to take off from my job, I want to go on long weekends with my wife. I want my wine back! I want to have a lot of sex (God willing)! I’m gonna party like its 1999 with some of my newly single friends since they are the only ones that still like to party and dance lol! I was 21 that year (1999) so I’ll be doing a lot of partying!

2. I know this will be a bone of contention with my wife but I’m gonna beg her to consider putting us on some sort of foster parent list immediately. She wants a baby. I don’t give a rats ass what we have as long as it is a little one to love. I would be open to fostering a child as old as around 6. My wife is a social worker and constantly thinks about the developmental and behavioral issues that a lot of these foster children experience and I’m trying to tell her that there is always a chance that we could physically have a baby with developmental and behavioral problems so who cares! With her education and my determination, I think we are equipped to handle any situation that comes our way! The only thing that worries me is fostering a child, loving that child as our own and having the child ripped away from us because biology trumps love. It’s a risk I’m willing to take.

3. Start looking at adoption agencies and getting our money right because this shit is ridiculously expensive! It can cost up to $20,000 but I don’t care. When I want something, I don’t let money hold me back. I wanted a big wedding and my wife oppposed because we couldn’t afford it. I worked my ass off with two jobs and an ebay business to make it happen. I took back bottles and cans for redemption and I rolled up buckets and buckets of change and I did it! We had a beautiful wedding with all the bells and whistles just like imagined. See how beautiful we looked…

20140524-101640.jpg

I have that same determination when it comes to adopting a baby! I will do whatever it takes! My grandparents raised me and even though they aren’t with us anymore, I thank them and God every day for that. I would have been one of those children up for adoption or fostering if it wasn’t for them. Even if I am pregnant (which I pray so bad that I am), I will still either foster or adopt a child at some point in my life because of what my grandparents did for me. I need to continue the holding of that torch! Thank you so much grandma and grandpa; Harold & Raydelle Hicks. I love you, miss you, and think about you every day of my life.

20140524-102418.jpg

Great! Now I’m crying!!! Gonna go get myself together now.

That’s my backup plan folks. Please pray that I won’t need it.

Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

Hospital Visit? Like I haven’t been through enough…

Standard

Image

For those of you who are avid readers of my blog, you know that I have been struggling with crazy high blood pressure (BP) for a little bit now. I’ve never had a problem with my BP before so this is all so strange to me. At 4 am yesterday morning, I had such bad cramping along with a bad headache. Since my doc told me not be a martyr and take the Percocet she prescribed when the cramping is out of control, I decided to take one. Don’t know if that was such a good idea thought because when I woke up at 6:30 am to go to my doc appointment for BP monitoring, I felt so dizzy and extreme nausea. Now I don’t know if that was from the Percocet or the OHSS! I took a shower, vomited a little bit in the shower and had to lay back down because I felt so sick. I emailed my doc and she called me back to find out exactly what was wrong. She told me that she didn’t want to blame all of these symptoms on OHSS and that she knew it was way too early (only 4 days after transfer) but to take an HPT if I had one. I took one and it was NEGATIVE! I started crying! She said I shouldn’t worry and that I should go to the ER! I HATE HOSPITALS!

My wife kept telling me “let’s go to urgent care” and I wasn’t sure about that because I had no clue what tests my doc wanted me to get done. When I called her to ask, she said “don’t worry about that…just have them call me and I will take care of it.” I was annoyed with that answer but I had no energy to go back and forth with her so we just went to the ER. What a complete waste of 5 hours! I went in, they took my info and put me in a waiting room. No one was there…AWESOME! Then it was like a hurricane, people coming in from every entrance; ambulances rushing people in…it was crazy. The waiting room was now filled with people coughing and puking everywhere. I was using so much hand sanitizer that my skin was cracking! I had to get out of there so I told the receptionist lady I was going to wait outside. They call me in for triage and the woman was such a C U NEXT TUESDAY! I hope all of you know what that means lol! She wouldn’t let my wife come in and when I asked why, she said “just the patient” with such an attitude. After asking me all kinds of questions, she was going to bring me in the back and she looked at me and said “you can go get your…what is she to you?” She knew damn well that was my wife! Now, I’m not one of those rainbow flag toting kinda lesbians and I hardly ever pull the homophobia card but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

We get to the back and we sit and wait.  There were no rooms available so I’m on a stretcher in the hallway. At least there was a curtain that my wife wanted to close but I wanted it open so I can make eye contact with every person that walks by so they know I’m still freaking WAITING! They take my BP a few times (still high) and we wait; they draw blood and we wait; they take a urine sample and we wait; they say they are going to do an EKG and we WAIT! A nice doctor came to talk to me about my BP and after I told him everything, he didn’t want to do anything until he spoke to our fertility doctor. He called her and the plan was just to get all the results back. After 4 hours, I tell the nurse (who was really sweet) that I’m going to sign myself out. I can go to urgent care and get an EKG. She tells me that it would just be a few more minutes. 

Then this guy walks into the ER and I did not get a good feeling about him. He had gloves on and it wasn’t cold. He walked behind the aide to a room but he was walking so slow and I’m sorry but he looked crazy to me. All of a sudden we hear a man screaming with a deep Jamaican accent and all this commotion! It was him and you could see the nurses were afraid. I was afraid too and my wife and I started spotting all the exits so we knew the quickest way to get out of there in case he had a weapon. Crazy that we have to think about things like this these days!!! Like 4 police officers went running to his room and they shut the door. By this time, I’m really ready to go. I told the nurse, you have another 20 minutes to get me this EKG or I’m OUT! She said “but you are still in the hallway. I don’t want you to be exposed in the hallway, even with the curtain.” I told her, “once you go through 3 IVF’s at a teaching facility and you are forced to be spread eagle in front of an audience, the shyness goes away hunny!” She laughed and let me tell you, making people laugh works because 5 minutes later, they are doing the EKG.

Doctor comes back after a few more minutes. Bloodwork normal; urine test normal; EKG normal and then they take the BP again and it is 117/75…freaking NORMAL! He writes me a script for a BP medication that has no pregnancy risks (just in case) and tells me not to fill it unless I speak to my fertility doctor and my regular doctor and I leave. What a waste of time! I could have been at work!!!

Take my BP last night and it was slightly high but nothing to worry about but when I went to the doc this morning, it was freaking high again.  I told her there was NO WAY I was going back to hospital. She took it again 20 minutes later and it was still high but went down substantially. Now I have to buy a BP machine and chart my BP 3 times a day over the next 3 days. If it stays consistently high, I will need to start this BP medication.

Now all I can think about is that negative HPT! I’m so upset about it and I pray it was just too early! Beta test on Tuesday so we will see!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

The Pain, The PAIN!!!

Standard

So I’ve been in a lot of pain since my retrieval. The closest thing I can compare it to (even though I’ve never experienced them) are contractions! I will be fine and a minute later, I will be doubled over in pain calling on God or my other favorite “mother of Jesus” to help me. It feels like there is something in my belly ripping my insides out. This will last about 2-3 minutes and then I will be ok again. This happens I would say 1-2 times per hour. Last night it was so bad that I had to wake up my wife because I thought I was gonna die! It also happens when I have to go “number 2” even though I’m not straining or anything because I usually have the runs from this damn Metformin! I know, I know…TMI! I also feel like I’m gonna puke all day every day which is a shitty feeling! I was conducting an interview yesterday and I had to excuse myself because I was having a “contraction” and felt like I was going to puke at the same time. Not a good first impression for a candidate who wants to work for my company lol!

I emailed my doctor yesterday and she asked me to come in early today for bloodwork and ultrasound to try to see what is going on. They took about 8 vials of blood to test for a myriad of things and then they took my blood pressure.  It was 174 over 102!!! The nurse was like “are you feeling dizzy right now like you may pass out?”  Then they weigh me and I lost 10 pounds in 2 1/2 weeks! Needless to say, I wasn’t that upset with that at all but I’m sure that isn’t a good thing! I didn’t feel like that but of course I felt nauseous! I go into the exam room and the doc does a vaginal ultrasound and a regular ultrasound on my belly. She said that my ovaries were extremely enlarged and she found a pocket of fluid in my abdomen!  OVARIAN HYPERSTIMULATION SYNDROME!!! She said the fluid was not enough to be “drained” but it needed to be frequently monitored.  WTF is draining and how is that done?  I didn’t even ask because I didn’t want to know because I’m sure my blood pressure would go up even more. The doctor said she was going to write me a script for Percocet for the pain which she says is completely harmless to the embryos and the implantation process but I think I will stick to my Tylenol unless the pain becomes unbearable. She went out to write me the script and the nurse came in and told me that she thinks the doc is going to send me to the emergency room. Then she takes my blood pressure again. Why would you tell me about the possibility of me going to the emergency room before you take my blood pressure? Especially me being a hypochondriac!!! Not a good look! Thank God my blood pressure went down so they let me go on to work.  I have to go there tomorrow morning again for bloodwork and ultrasound and if my blood pressure skyrockets again, she will definitely send me to the ER! My wife will be there with me tomorrow for sure!

I’m really scared about all of this because the doc says if I am pregnant, the symptoms are going to get way worse before they get better and I don’t know if I can take it. These “contractions” hurt so much and if it is half of the pain I will experience if I ever have the chance to go into labor, I’m “up shit’s creek” like my grandfather used to say! I know me and I don’t think I could handle that kind of pain. Can’t they just knock you out and wake you up when a baby comes? 🙂

Even with all of this, I still rub my belly and pray every night that all of this pain and sacrifice results in me having the baby my wife and I have always wanted. Please pray for us and if you don’t pray at least send us some good vibes!

Love you for you reading!!!

Transfer Day #4!

Standard

Image

Yesterday was my transfer finally. It’s number four because this is my third IVF and I have had one FET. I tell you each clinic does things a whole lot differently.

I am always really nervous about transfers because I have a problem relaxing and it causes big issues for the doc and pain for me. The day before the transfer, I emailed my doctor to ask if I could take a valium or xanax before the procedure to relax me. She responded that she thought it would be better if I was under anesthesia. Isn’t that a bit much??? My wife and I agreed that wasn’t a good idea. The doc never clarified why valium was not a good idea but since she didn’t give me a quick yes on it, I was prepared not to take anything and just try my best to relax. A fellow blogger told me about a relaxation app called “take a break” so I immediately downloaded it. Its just water sounds or music with a woman speaking in a calm voice saying stuff like, “imagine yourself at a babbling brook…” Not my thing but I’m desperate! I knew that I had to use the music option because if you ever had an embryo transfer, you know they want you to have a full bladder and I know if I sat there listening to a waterfall, I would probably have an embarrassing accident.

When I walked into the office, the nurse called me right away and said, “we have a valium for you.” I nearly kissed her! So now I’m pretty relaxed, which is a good thing and they bring me into a regular examination room. My old doctor did the transfers in the “OR” but it was nice to just be in a regular room…way less intimidating. Then the argument with the doctor started. She has known the whole time that I wanted to transfer 3 embryos. This was really important to us because I cannot go through this again…at least not for a while. We have been TTC for 5 years and since she took such a “no holds barred” approach with the meds, I wanted her to take the same approach with the transfer. She refused to transfer 3. She said that since this is my first cycle with them and the medication protocol was totally different, she would not feel comfortable transferring more than 3. She said she would just be setting me up for multiples and I’m like “what the heck is wrong with multiples?” I know it is a bit dangerous but to be honest, so is IVF! No one knows the long term effects of all these drugs you have me pump into myself and you pretty much told me I could die from hyperstimulation last week so what’s with not being able to transfer 3 embryos. Finally I gave up the fight because I felt the valium kicking in and I wanted to make sure it was working effectively for this procedure. So she transferred two. The whole thing took about 20 minutes and then they had me lie there for 30 minutes. I found it funny that they wanted me to lay there for so long with no anesthesia but a few days ago when you gave me Propophol for the retrieval, you wanted me to get right up! Makes no sense to me but whatever!!!

The nurse came in with post-transfer instructions and yet again, I was annoyed. Not only do I have to take a progesterone shot every evening and an estrogen shot twice a week but now I also have to use estrogen/progesterone suppositories every night on top of that! This really sucks!!! I hate those suppositories because you leak all day and it makes you feel like you have a constant yeast infection. Sorry for the TMI! They also tell you that you can’t have sex until the pregnancy test which I’m not too thrilled about. This clinic does 2 pregnancy tests. The first is 9 days post transfer and the second is 11 days post transfer which I don’t understand but fine. I went home after the procedure, rested and watched movies with my wife.

Today I get a call from the doctor for an update as to how many embryos they froze. The answer was 1! ONE REALLY!!! How did 11 embryos get down to 3 (two that were transferred and one frozen)? She said it is because of the PCOS. She also said that their clinic only freezes embryos that they are confident will result in pregnancy and that other clinics would have just frozen the remaining (regardless of the quality) just to get your money. I guess that makes sense but my thing is if you would have transferred the 3 embryos like I asked, then I would not be paying out the wazoo to freeze 1 embryo! WTF am I gonna do with 1 frozen embryo. I wouldn’t even go through the whole FET process for 1 embryo that may not even survive the thaw! Complete ridiculousness in my book!!!

Anyway…let the two week wait begin. I am rubbing my belly and praying to God every night that this works. If it doesn’t, I’m taking a break for the summer but please, if you are reading this, pray for us to any God you believe in and if you don’t believe in a good, send us good vibes or something. We need all the help we can get!!!

Check out our two embryos! Aren’t they cute lol!

Image

 

 

 

 

Another great update!

Standard

Got a call from my doctor last night with another awesome update. This clinic is different from my last in the rating of embryos. They put embryos is 3 grades. Grade one is a A++ rating. The doc said that this rating is really hard to get because the embryo has to be completely perfect…whatever that means! She said she hasn’t seen too many grade 1 embryos in her career. Grade 2 is what a majority of women have and it is still a A rating. Most women get pregnant with grade 2 embyos. Grade 3 is the lowest rating and it can go either way with those. Fyi though, a good friend of mine reminded me last night that her son (conceived with IVF) was a grade 3 so you really never know!

As far as my embryos are concerned, I have one grade 1, eight grade 2’s and one grade 3. Two out of the 3 embryos that I mentioned in an earlier post that showed signs of pre-fertilization didn’t continue to grow so they had to be discarded. All in all, it is excellent news and the doc, myself and my wife are elated!!!

The transfer is tomorrow and the plan is to transfer the one grade 1 and two grade 2’s. We will freeze the rest for later use but I hope and pray we won’t need them for a while. Im so super anxious and excited for tomorrow!!!

I’ve heard of women taking a valium or something else to relax you before the transfer. I’m definitely going to ask my doctor about this because I have an exteme problem with relaxing when my bladder is full, I have to pee, and a speculum is jammed in my body with no lube! What do you ladies think…should I just suffer through it or use the help of good drugs? I feel like they have me on every other drug so why not a little valium lol!

Thanks for reading!

Update…and the upswing is still in full swing!

Standard

So I got some good news yesterday about the eggs they retrieved and let me start out by saying it was so refreshing to get a call in the morning instead of worrying about it all day. My last clinic would wait and call patients at the end of the day which is so damn stressful.

Out of the 19 eggs they retrieved, 16 were mature, 9 definitely fertilized and there were 3 additional ones that are showing “early signs of fertilization.” So this pretty much means that we have 9 to choose from with a possible 12 but of course these numbers may change with the next update. I will get another update today (Friday) but the doctor said it will definitely be a day 5 transfer on Sunday.

This news makes me so happy for several reason. The first time I got pregnant was from a day 5 transfer and given the schedule my day 5 transfer will be on Sunday so I don’t have to take another day off of work. Lastly…this might sound a little looney but I’m really into numbers and the number 3 has always been so good to me! To know that this is my third IVF, we have 9 feritilized eggs (which is equally divisible by 3), an additional 3 that may possibly work out for us and we will be transferring 3 embryos, gives me a sense of confidence. It may really work this time! I haven’t been this hopeful in a while so that is a good feeling.

I will keep you posted on further updates! Good luck to all my blogging friends who are going through all of this with me!!!

Retrieval Day #3!

Standard

Image

It’s retrieval day finally. Time to say goodbye to all this stimulating hormone injections, swollen ovaries and stomach pain. I’m kind of nervous because I’m not a fan of the unknown and I know my doctor won’t be doing the retrieval so who would it be? I don’t know anything about their “OR” and how it looks and is the anesthesiologist going to be nice and give me what I need after the procedure? If you’ve read my previous posts about retrievals, you know that this causes me a lot of pain and some anesthesiologists try to get away and give me Tylenol which does not cover it!

The retrieval will take place in the manhattan (NYC) office which I’m not too thrilled about because I hate going into the city. So much traffic and no parking unless you want to pay through the nose. The good thing is that our trip to NYC went quite well. Weather was beautiful, there was traffic but not too bad and we arrived early which is so unlike myself and my wife. I think my wife worked extra hard to get us out early because she knows I get anxiety around being late. And we found a groupon for parking right down the street from the clinic so things are looking good so far.

As soon as I entered the lobby and signed in, they called me to the back. I got a phenomenal nurse named Voula but she scared me because like all other nurses, she wants to put the IV in my left arm. For some reason, everyone that tries to take blood or put an IV in that arm has problems and starts digging around while I scream for Jesus to help me. I told her about all of my prior horrific experiences but she insisted and said what they all say. “I know what I’m doing and I promise not to hurt you.” Reluctantly, I let her go ahead and she did it in 1 stick with no pain and no blood all over. Wow…things are really in an upswing!

The anesthesiologist came in and explained everything that he would be doing. He said he was going to put me on Propophol (probably spelling that incorrectly). Isn’t that what Michael Jackson died from??? I hope I don’t end up like him lol! Then they walked me into their “OR” which was much less intimidating than the OR at my previous fertility clinic. My previous clinic was a “teaching clinic” so there would be so many people in the room checking out my lady parts. In this OR, it was just myself, the anesthesiologist, the doctor and a nurse. I felt so comfortable and before you knew it I was knocked out!

I woke up to my wife’s face which was wonderful. She made me feel comfortable even though I was in a lot of pain. The doctor gave me the good stuff (Fentanyl) and immediately got me sitting up. I felt like this was way too fast but the nurse said I had been in recovery for 20 minutes. Damn…can I get a half hour at least to get my bearings??? They wanted to get me out of the door so I could go home and rest but I feel with all of those drugs that I needed to be monitored for a little bit more! They wanted to get away with just telling me to take extra strength Tylenol but I told them they would have to do better than that. I shared my previous experiences with the pain I went through with retrievals. I also told them that I read on someone else’s infertility blog that they were prescribed Percocet. Why can’t I get some of that? I felt like such an addict trying to get my fix lol! But the doctor was kind and gave me a prescription for it which I truly needed. Then the nurse came in with great news! They retrieved 19 eggs!!! That’s the most I’ve ever gotten from an IVF. My first IVF they retrieved 14, my second they retrieved only 7 so I was very happy with 19! Hallelujah!  Then came the bad news!  Not only do I have to start my progesterone shots in my ass tonight (prior clinic gave me a day off!) but I also have to take estrogen injections twice a week.  My ass will be so bruised that my wife may be afraid to touch me!  OMG…I hope not! 

My wife drove us home and with every bump and pothole, I moaned in pain. She doesn’t do too well with me like that and snapped a little at me but it’s a stressful time so she gets a pass on that! But with that pass, I totally realized that she may not be helpful to me when I am in labor. Thank God I have a best friend for that lol!

Keep you posted on my progress!