Monday, June 1, 2009

Waiting for the new arrival

Sorry it has been so long since updating this blog. We usually post on a family site more regularly. And this is also Priscilla writing this. I can't seem to sign in under me, kind of strange. My teaching schedule during winter semester is very hectic. I have been home now on maternity leave for the past 2 months. Our baby is doing well and we are waiting for me to go into labor any day now. Also we are having a girl. We are very excited. I hope she arrives soon but my ob/gyn says 75% of first time moms deliver past due date so we will see. My parents are coming this weekend to help us out and we look forward to seeing them again.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Due Date - June 11th, 2009

Sorry for have not updated for so long. Things are going well. Our 1st ultrasound at 6 weeks shown 2 egg sacks, about the same size. A heartbeat was detected on one of them, a healthy 182 per minute. We had another ultrasound at 9 week, you can start to tell the shape of the baby. The 2nd egg sack is smaller and the yolk was gone. So at that point , we no longer expecting twins. One is great. You can clearly see the head, hands and feet in the 12 weeks ultrasound above. Heartbeat was a healthy 157. We are now in the middle of week 15 and we are right on schedule for a June 11th due date.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Today's blood test shew that Priscilla's HCG level is over 1000! Since the fertilization was on September 18th, today count as the second day of week 5. We will know if we have more than one in about two weeks with an ultrasounds.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Cash Flow

Will be making our second payment to the IVF loan soon. The monthly payment is more than our mortgage and the cash flow is getting tight. At one point, we did not realize that there were only $4 left in our checking account. It's a miracle that none of the checks and online payments bounced. Have to get used to transferring money from savings each month in advance.
It should be a little better now that the new semester started and Priscilla is getting paid from BYU again. We should be able to make it each month as long as we are both working. The IVF loan will wipe out our rainy day fund, hopefully not too quickly. All this should be worth it. Looking forward to the blood test tomorrow.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Stilling waiting for Saturday to come. So, out of the 16 eggs retrieved, 13 fertilized naturally. By day 3, we had so many good embryos that the doctor and embryologist advised us to let them develop to day 5. That's when we got our two excellent AA blastocysts for implantation. There were 6 other embryos remaining at the time, all were developed a little longer. 3 were frozen the following morning, 2 the following afternoon, and 1 the next day. So if it does not work out this time, we got enough to go for 2 or 3 more rounds :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Our Day-5 AA Embryos

This was taken by the embryologist on Monday (9/22) morning before implantation. Both are excellent day 5 blastocysts, grade AA. If we get pregnant, we will have a 1/3 chance of having twins. Will know for sure with a blood test next Saturday.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Egg Retrieval

This morning at 11, I had my egg retrieval. We arrived at the clinic at 10:30. Paul was called back first and I waited for what seemed like eternity. I got worried they had forgotten me. Paul came back and then we're both called back to the pre-op room. A nurse went over some basic info and then marked my bum for the progesterone shots. Then, we waited some more for the doctor to come in and talk to us. He finally did and went over my chart and said that it looked like I had 15 follicles. I changed into the gown, hair cover and booties. The nurse anesthesiologist took me back to the operating room. The only thing I remember is being given the IV, which doesn't hurt anymore than a blood draw, and getting into position on the bed. Before I know it, I was waking up in the recovery room. Paul says the first thing I said was I can't wake up and then I asked 3 times how many eggs. He told me 16 and for some reason I cried. Paul gave me water and some ginger ale. It didn't take me too long to wake up. I had to ask him again how many eggs and what all happened because I don't remember anything.
I am a little sore but it is not too bad. I am glad we are to this point. Tomorrow morning they will call with the fertilization report. I hope they do well.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Trigger Tonight

Today's check showed that I have 6 follicles over 19mm. The nurse told me that this is more than enough to meet the criteria for egg retrieval on Wednesday. A lot can happen in 24 hours. I have gone from being bummed after Sunday morning's check to being elated today. I am so glad to be done with the blood draws for now. Today's was the worst. I think my veins had enough. Today's vein decided to roll and she had to work to get it. It really hurt.
The nurse just called me and said to take the trigger at midnight. I will be taking 7,500 units. Then a pregnancy test tomorrow to make sure it worked. Wednesday at 10:30 is my retrieval time. I probably won't post again till then.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

And then some

Sunday's check went ok. My follicles did not show much growth at all, which is quite frustrating. I am now off from the tentative calendar schedule. Most of the follicles are ranging in size from 10mm-17mm. Most are on the low side with only one at 17mm. Also I have lost some, I now have 14 total. The doctor wanted to up my dosage back to 3 vials. I told him I was short one. They were nice and gave me an extra vial they had in the office as long as I replaced it. Later in the day, the nurse called and left a message to take just 2 vials now. I am thinking this may mean my Estrogen levels are high and that is why I need to stay on 2. I am not sure what this all means exactly. I go back in tomorrow morning for another ultrasound and blood draw.
Tonight I can really feel my ovaries, but it may also be contributed to the hour walk we went on. I hope they have done a lot of growing today.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

FSH Dose Lowered

This morning we went for the third check on follicle growth. The doctor performed the ultrasound. He is very fast and efficient. My follicles are now ranging from 16mm-12mm. This is great. There is still about 18 total. The left ovary has lost some or they are so small they have been squeezed out by the big ones. The right ovary has more so it balances out. I can really feel them all the time. My tummy is bloated, but not the same type of bloating one gets from PMS. My dose has been lowered to 2 vials tonight. This is good because I only have 3 left. I won't know until tomorrow's check if I will need more or if they will reduce to one. Because of this, I could be one short. I ask the clinic if they had any samples since I only needed one. They didn't. We headed over to the pharmacy to see if they would sale me just one vial and they did :). This made us very happy as we didn't want to have to buy whole box for just one. Hopefully, I will trigger no later than Monday or I will have to go and buy more yet again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

And the FSH Continues

OK, things are dragging just a bit again. I had another check on Thursday. It went fine. Actually the doctor came in for part of the ultrasound. It is nice to know he has some involvement. Almost everything thus far has been the nurse practitioner. I still have a good number of follicles and they have grown. My estrogen level is 412. It has doubled since the last blood test, which is exactly what they want to see. So because everything to right on track and I am responding well to the amount of FSH I am on, they want to keep me on the same dose. I was slightly disappointed since I was hoping they would lower it. This meant I had to order more. UGH. the most expensive drug out of all the drugs I am using... I have learned that when you get all the meds at the beginning do not assume that this is it. The one more box of Bravelle cost me an additional $240. I hope this is it. Everything is out of pocket for us, no insurance coverage. I, like most others, going through IVF have the additional stress of money. Why does it still cost so much? And why doesn't insurance cover? I was told by my insurance they are trying to keep costs down and that is why. Paul and I are two very healthy individuals. We hardly every go to a doctor and don't even currently have a family doctor. IVF is the first major medical we have ever needed to claim and there is no coverage. So insurance just keeps sapping money away and won't cover.
I go back to the clinic on Saturday for check number 3 and hopefully the last before trigger day. Grow little eggies grow!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Suppression Check

Friday was my suppression check to see how everything is going and to make sure my hormones and ovaries are good to go. The nurse did an ultrasound. My left ovary has about 10 antral follicles and my right has about 8. This is good. Hopefully this will mean there will be a good amount of eggs at retrieval. Also, she said that my uterine lining was just right. My blood work came back fine too. So on Saturday, my medication protocol changed. Now I start the FSH, low dose HCG and lupron. I have to play scientist and mix everything up. It ends up being about 1cc of liquid when done. Saturday's shot hurt a lot. Going from 10 units to 1 cc is quite different. It gave me a bruise and stung going in, worse than just the lupron shots. Tonight's shot was much better. Probably because I knew what to expect. It still gave me a bruise though. I think by the time I am finish with this part my tummy will be black and blue. I have 9 days before my target trigger day, well 7 now. Things are starting to move along and it is getting more and more exciting. I go into the clinic again on Tuesday for another check.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Lupron Side Effects

Here's my list of the side effects I have been having with lupron over the last 12 days:

1. Headaches. I have learned headaches are the number one complaint. For me, headaches come in the afternoon around 2pm and stay till dinner. Sometimes they last longer, but are gone by morning. One Tylenol usually does the trick. At times the headache is just a dull annoying ache and other times it turns it to a raging migraine.
2. Itchiness at the injection site. A fairly common side effect. It only lasts 15-30 minutes. I just rub my tummy.
3. Brain fogginess. Probably related to the headaches. There are days when thinking becomes difficult or just concentrating on a conversation proves worthless. Today in the car I had to tell Paul I just didn't understand after he repeated himself twice. Even now I am foggy so if my sentences are strange please forgive. (Paul is looking over my shoulder and agrees that I am writing jibberish)
4. Constipation. This is a strange one and probably not related to Lupron but it could be. One night this past week I woke up with extreme stomach pains. Bad enough I could not fall back to sleep. I didn't want to wake Paul so I went down stairs and rolled up on the couch. It didn't help. I was up till 3 am before I had any relief and could go back to bed. I am still have some problems and have been taking a laxative and drinking lots of water.
5. Hot flashes. Most nights I wake up burning hot. I was never hot before Lupron.

So this is what I have been experiencing thus far. I have a few more days and then go in for my suppression check. I am sure I am suppressed 6 weeks on birth control overlapped with 8 days of Lupron. If everything is good then I start stims. Yippee.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lupron Shot

Excellent Youtube video on how to give yourself a lupron shot. Priscilla had me stab her several times so far. 

Friday, August 22, 2008

First Lupron Shot

Well, tonight I had my first lupron shot. A couple of weeks ago, we attended an IVF class which the clinic requires all patients to take. A nurse went over the process of IVF and then quickly showed everyone had to mix meds and inject. We had to practice this but it was all a blur to me. Maybe there was just to many people in the class and only one nurse and we sat in the back. Anyways, I have been feeling nervous about giving myself shots ever since the class. Finally this week, I decided to see if there was any YouTube videos showing how this is done. I found one that was really good and it quieted my insecurities. I was even to the point where I felt I could do this. So at nine o'clock I set everything up; sanitized the counter, washed hands, got needle, vial, and alcohol. After a few attempts to place medicine from vial into needle without airbubbles, I was ready to go. Swabbed my little tummy with alcohol and on the count of three stab. Yeah right, I froze up and just stared at this teeny tiny needle and thought there is no way. I eventually called for Paul (I did not want him to be invovled with the shot giving just didn't want any extra pressure). He didn't really want to do it either but he came through for me and stabbed me. It felt like a good mosquito bite. It has been about 10 minutes since receiving shot and it is itchy. I will now need to go to Dr. Google and find out if I am having a reaction.

Friday, August 15, 2008

our story

When Paul and I decided to have children, I stopped birth control and hoped it wouldn't be too long and we would have a little one. After a year of trying, I knew something wasn't right. I had unusual bleeding/spotting between my periods, which I never had prior to the pill. (I should add, I was on the pill for the first year and half after our wedding). I went to my OB/GYN. He did not listen to us. Gave us the sex talk and how one gets pregnant and told us to keep trying for another year. I was not too happy with him and never went back. I think he wasn't listening because we were young and he is a popular doctor with delivering babies, probably didn't want to deal with us. It was probably just as well at the time we didn't have the money to seriously pursue any treatment. I was done with college and Paul was still in school.
Another year past and we decided I needed to do something other than just being stressed out over getting pregnant. So I went to graduate school. While earning my MFA degree, I found a new doctor. This one listened more. He had me chart my BBT (Basal Body Temperature). I did this faithfully. Some of the months, my temperatures were right, a true triphasic. He tested my progesterone and decided it was low. I took progesterone suppositories for a year. We also tried IUI (Intra-Uterine Insemination) twice with him. Both failed. Every test he had us do came back normal. We were then classified as unexplained infertility. Any form of infertility is just plain awful. Being unexplained is frustrating because there always seems to be roadblocks but no answers. After seeing this doctor for almost 2 years he referred us to a RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist). He told us we needed to be prepared that IVF is probably what the RE would want to do.
We knew we would have to wait both emotionally and financially. Emotionally, we are reluctant to accept the possibility that IVF would be the only way. We kept hoping that we would have a miracle and get pregnant on our own. Financially, I needed to finish grad school.
We are now both done with school and have been working for a number of years. In late 2007 we decided to go see the RE. First Paul did a Kruger test, a more advance sperm analysis. It came back as normal. So then it was my turn. He had me do CCT (Clomid challenge test), which showed I had an elevated FSH for my age. This is a sign that there can be egg problems. It can also be an indication of endometriosis. The only way a doctor will diagnose a patient with endo is with surgery. (a topic for another post). He recommended that even with surgery my chance for conceiving was 2% each month. Not very good considering it’s 20% for a normal couple. And with the high FSH we only have a few years more to try. We were glad we were finally getting some answers but I was also saddened by the news. It meant our best chances would indeed be IVF.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


We just had our 8-year anniversary. We have been trying to have a baby for over 6 years and we have recently decided to try IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). We are determined and glad to sharing our quest here.