Friday, March 30, 2007

Diagnosis: We have no idea!

Ended up in the ER this morning. Couldn't keep my fever any lower than the upper 102's, which is not conducive to pregnancy (that's what the doc told me last cycle when I was kind of sick at the IUI appointment). Figured that there must be a reason for this - it's the second time I've been sick like this in the past month or so. After waiting about an hour, they took me back to get my vitals. Temp 103.3 Blood Pressure 112/60. Not good! They gave me some more tylenol (I'd been taking it since Friday afternoon), sent me for a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia, then sent me back to the waiting room. Where I proceeded to spend about 3 hours sweating out my fever on the hard floor. I was literally dripping in sweat and my clothes were stuck to me. When they finally called me back to a room I curled up on the bed and went to sleep. After a while the doctor finally came and woke me up. Listened to me breathe, looked at my throat. Reviewed my x-ray. Then told me he has no answers for me. Sent me home with instructions to take motrin every 8 hours and tylenol every 4-6 hours. Well, I won't take motrin because it's not pregnancy-friendly, so I've just been taking tylenol about every 4-5 hours. Tried to eat some McD0n@lds when I got home and drank a little bit of a chocolate shake. Within 10 minutes I threw it all up. Around 7pm my fever was at 102.5 again when I took my last dose of tylenol. Fever broke yet again and I sweated it out yet again. Went down to 100.6. Decided I'd better take a shower and eat some crackers. Sent the hubby for some Gator@de because I am severely dehydrated. I couldn't believe they sent me home from the ER without giving me an IV with some fluids. I think they just wanted the bed free. So, I've made it through almost a whole package of crackers and a glass and a half of Gator@de, and I've got to say I'm feeling better. Whether or not it will last remains to be seen.

I never get sick. For me to have this high of a fever twice in the past month or so is very unusual. I can't believe that they have no reason for it. Obviously my body is fighting some sort of infection, but what? What do I do to keep this from happening again? And how am I supposed to get rid of this cough if nobody can find a cause for it? It's very frustrating! And depressing. If I can't keep this fever down there's no way I'm going to keep a pregnancy. And implantation should be taking place in a few days to a week. I hope to God that this is not going to ruin my chances this cycle. I really thought this one was going so well!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Possible Pelvic Infection?

So I've had abdominal pain since the IUI... seems to be getting a little worse. Hurts to cough, hurts when there's a jarring motion like sitting down or going over bumps in the car. Haven't felt very good all day - woke up with a slightly sore throat, and of course the cough is still here.
Now, I've got a fever.... 101.6F about 15 minutes ago. Could this be a pelvic infection? Or just a return of whatever sickness I had a few weeks ago with the fever and sore throat? I'm worried, but don't want to spend 8 hours or more in the ER to find out it's nothing. Anybody have an opinion?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What happened?

Sorry everyone, I haven't gotten the chance to write..... we've been keeping busy with the little one and mother-in-law. Who are enjoying each other very much by the way! ;)

Okay, so we went for the IUI Monday morning and we were a little concerned that the 'sample' seemed smaller than usual. We ended up having to do a quick 'pre-backup' Saturday around noon because we were just too darned tired Friday night, so we were worried maybe we hadn't allowed enough time between, ya know? Anyways, when the doc came into the room, she actually told us that the sp.erm count was higher in this sample than in the previous ones. So apparently we did something right! IUI went fine, the usual pinching during, cramping after. My lower abdomen (I'm assuming my ovaries) is really tender - to the touch, and to coughing and sneezing which causes the muscles around there to clench. But, it's nothing bad and to be expected considering the number of follicles. Still have no way of knowing how many little eggies were released, but I'm seriously hoping (dare I say expecting?) that the combination of the higher count, the pre- and post- IUI backup activity timing, and the possible 3 or more mature follicles will result in pregnancy this cycle. All we can do is wait and see!

Many thanks to everyone for all the support and encouragement!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

IUI #4 tomorrow

Hubby gave me the trigger shot at 7pm yesterday and I am sore so I know it went in the right spot! Actually, he got it exactly where the doc drew the x Friday.

So, tomorrow morning, 6:30am, is the IUI. I really wish I knew how many follicles made it to maturity.... hopefully I can at least count on the 3 bigger ones (16.1, 14.6, 14.4), though I'm really hoping 1 or 2 of the 12mm ones made it too. The more follies, the better my chances! I don't think I want all 7 to release though..... odds of high order multiples might be too high then.

Well, we're heading to the bus station to pick my mother-in-law up soon so I might not be on much this week. She leaves Friday....

Please wish me luck tomorrow and pray for several good eggs to release.... and in about a week, for a nice happy little embryo to get nice and comfy for a long stay!

Friday, March 23, 2007

I flashed the doctor my butt

As I was leaving the room, I remember that I wanted to ask about the location of the trigger shot. I'm afraid we have been doing it in the wrong spot and though I'm obviously ovulating each cycle from it, perhaps not properly? I don't know.

Anyways, I asked the doctor if someone could draw me a circle or something to show where the shot should go. So he says, sure no problem, go lean on the table and I'll draw you an x. So I'm leaning against the table, holding my sheet that's wrapped around me with my left hand while trying to maneuver my shirt up and the sheet down a little on the right. Yeah, my left hand failed me and I dropped one end of the sheet. So the doc got a very clear view of my a$$ in the bright lights. Of course I grabbed the sheet right away and covered up and told the doctor I'm sorry and joked it off saying hey, you see these things all the time anyways right? So he draws me my x (which will be so easy to remember from now on because it is literally a couple mm over my tattoo) and I leave the room. As I'm getting dressed all I can think is how it isn't embarassing enough that this guy gets clear views of my you-know-what all the time, now he's gotten a clear view of my a$$ too, not my favorite body part! Oh well, c'est la vie!

Trigger happy

The plan: Inject 1 amp of Gonal-F again tonight, followed by some nocturnal 'activity'; take the hCG trigger shot around 7pm Saturday night; arrive for IUI Monday morning at 6:30.

The follicles currently stand at:
Left Ovary = 12.4mm
Right Ovary = 16.1mm, 14.6mm, 14.4mm, 12.5mm, 12.2mm, 11.9mm
And there are of course still many follies under 10mm on both ovaries.

Asked the doc if we were expecting those 12mm follies to make it and he said no. But considering that the follie on the left ovary was under 10mm yesterday and 3 of those on the right were at 10pointsomething mm, I'm thinking it is possible that some of those 12mm follies could make it to maturity too. They'll still be getting more simulation tonight from the Gonal-F and then they will have until Monday morning to grow before I will ovulate. So.... with any luck we'll have a good chance this cycle.

Does anyone know the odds that all of these follies will make it to maturity? Or if at least the 12 and ups will?

Cough Update

Just thought I'd let ya'll know in case you were wondering.... I did get in to see the doctor Wednesday morning. He seems to think that asthma is causing my coughing. Yes, I had asthma as a child, and yes I have suspected for a long time that it has returned, but I didn't think asthma could suddenly cause a cough that lasts for weeks. I'm not sure what to think though, because after starting the asthma medicine Wednesday after my appointment, my cough is not nearly as bad. Go figure.

Though I couldn't find anything on Dr Google about asthma possibly causing a cough like mine, I did learn of some interesting things that can trigger asthma.... such as hormonal changes. Hmmm, think maybe the Gonal-F could be causing all this? I'm still not sure..... it has been raining a bit again since yesterday and my cough has worsened a little since, so I'm still leaning towards the allergy theory. Something must be getting washed into the air by the rain.

Oh yeah, the medicine the doc decided I needed is called Advair. I looked it up online and everywhere I look it says that it should only be used if other medicines can not control your asthma because Advair has been known to cause severe asthma attacks that can be fatal. Nice. Makes me feel really good about taking this medicine that I'm not even sure I need.

Separate post coming soon about the results of my scan this morning......

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Itchy trigger finger

Okay, so I thought I would be triggering today.... if not today, definitely tomorrow. But, it's looking like that's not going to happen. Today I had both good and bad news at my scan. The good news? I have 6 follicles over 10mm with the biggest being 13.4mm. The bad news? I have 6 follicles over 10mm and the biggest is only 13.4mm. So really all 6 of those could make it to maturity, but I'm concerned about all the ones smaller than 10mm. If any of them decide to grow, I'll be canceled this cycle. Doc said they will allow from 5-7 follicles to mature before they will cancel you. That's certainly more than I was expecting. But, the doc did seem concerned that I could end up being canceled too, so he is having me do just 1amp of the Gonal-F tonight and come back tomorrow for labs and a scan again. He's hoping to get the lead follicle to 15mm tomorrow then have me trigger on Saturday. I'm concerned that if I only do 1amp tonight I will either not have any growth, or only the 1 follicle will grow. I've never had any luck with 1 amp, always with 2amps.

So, here is my dilemma..... do I just do the 1amp and hope for the best, or do I take matters into my own hands, play dumb as if I forgot, and do 2 amps. I don't even think they would know if I did, but should I assume the doc knows best and take the chance that I won't get more than 1 mature follicle, if that? Or take a chance and do the 2amps and take the chance some of those under 10mm follicles will grow and I'll get canceled? As everyone knows, my odds of pregnancy increase with the number of follicles..... since I had 3 last cycle and didn't conceive, it seems reasonable to ask for (try for) more this time. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

In other news.....

Remember this post about my lousy cough? Well, it's still here, but it has morphed a bit. All of my other symptoms have been gone for a while, but I still have allergy-type things going on (sneezing and blowing my nose now and then) and this nasty cough. It is now a sporadic hacking cough, as in it comes and goes throughout the day, but it's like I am gagging on something. Okay, I am gagging on something and I think it's post-nasal drip or something. Whatever it is, it's getting bad. I actually threw up tonight during a coughing fit. I have no clue what the deal could be besides allergies. I've had this stupid cough for 3 weeks now and I'm pretty darn sick of it. Literally it seems. So, perhaps I will give the doctor a call tomorrow. Odds are there won't be any available appointments, but what else can I do? Any aspiring doctors or nurses out there want to give me a diagnosis?

Question about Gonal-F cost

I'm just wondering if anyone out there would like to volunteer how much they are paying for Gonal-F. I am so very lucky that my insurance is covering it and am wondering how great of a deal I am getting. A quick online search tells me it's going for around $50 per 75IU amp, does that sound right? When we used Repronex for conceiving our daughter, the cost was much higher than that. Anyways, I'm just curious....

Responding very well

So the doc called this morning with my lab results. Woke me from a nap - which means I wasn't completely prepared to talk to him and didn't ask the right questions. He said that I am responding very well this time, much better than last time (um, I thought I ended up responding well?). So well in fact that he considered bringing me back to the clinic for a scan today, but decided that based on my slow response last time we'll just continue doing 2 amps a night and I will go back Thursday morning for my scan. That'll be one day sooner than I went in last cycle. So, after waking up more and thinking about it, I called back and left a message. I would rather get the scan done today to make sure I'm not over-responding, rather than take a chance and come in Thursday and end up with a cancelled cycle. Since I had to go to the hospital today anyways with my hubby, I thought we could just go ahead and do the scan. Of course, they didn't call me back all day. So I stopped in there after my hubby's appointment, around 3:30 or so and the doctor had already left for the day. they said just stick with the plan and come back Thursday morning. I'm a little scared that I will be canceled because I'll have too many follicles. But, I guess I should trust the doctor - the one I talked to is actually the head of the IVF department and I believe he is the highest ranking officer there (military clinic) so I guess he knows what he is doing.

So, I'll go back Thursday morning with my fingers crossed. I'd cross my legs too for good measure, but that'd make it pretty hard to have the scan done.....

Friday, March 16, 2007

Is 7 the magic number?

I asked the doctor the big question at my scan on Thursday. How many tries do we get? He gave me a somewhat unclear answer. "Usually we do 3 rounds of oral meds, then 3 rounds of oral meds combined with injectables, then if we're still unsuccessful we do 1 round of injectables before moving on to IVF. So usually we'll do up to 7 IUIs. You've skipped some steps though. Well, there isn't any reason why this shouldn't work for you, but why don't we go ahead and put you on the waiting list for IVF just as a backup plan. The list is up to August of '08 already. I'm going to do that now before I forget and you can go pick up your meds. Oh, and make sure you come back Tuesday for labs." That's basically the way it went down. So I go to get dressed and pick up my meds and start thinking about it. Usually they will do up to 7 IUI's. But only 1 round of injectables. I had 1 IUI with just oral meds (Femara), 1 with a combo of oral meds and injectables (Femara and Gonal-F), then we went to straight injectables because of my poor response to oral meds and past luck with injectables. So we've only had 3 of our 7 IUIs, but we're going on our second round of injectables. So I'm a little unsure as to whether or not we will still get 7 IUIs before having to go to IVF. Obviously we have already broken protocol so does that mean they will continue to break protocol or does that mean they may cut me off at any point here? Could this be our last chance with IUI? I'm trying not to think about it, but the thought keeps creeping into my head. What if this is our last chance? What if it doesn't work?

We haven't given IVF a lot of thought, but our initial response was that we probably wouldn't do it. I definitely need to research it more and find out what is involved in an IVF cycle because when I expressed concern over the amount of time involved and not being able to make multiple appointments a week, etc, which I thought was necessary with IVF, the doc told me that there really isn't much more involved than what I'm doing right now. I usually go in 4 times each cycle including the day of the IUI itself. He said there'd probably only be one extra appointment needed for an IVF cycle. I can do that! But we will have to pay part of it out of pocket and the hubby isn't too keen on that. Granted, it's minimal compared to what others have to pay, but when there are no guarantees it's tough to decide what to do. If we didn't have our wonderful daughter I would do it in a heartbeat. Pay any amount. But I'm just not sure how far we should go to pursue this now. We obviously want another child very much and would love to give our daughter a sibling (and boy would she love it too, you should hear her!), but at what expense? At what point do we decide that it's just not meant to be?

It's not fair that we have to even think about these things! It should be as simple as saying "Gee, I think the times about right to give bugaboo a brother or sister. If we start trying now we should be pregnant by the end of the year." Wham bam thank you ma'am a handful of times and it's done. Not this crap of "Gee, how many needle pokes and hormone variations can my body handle; do we have time to squeeze a cycle in this month between business trips; will hubby be able to take time off work again and again to watch bugaboo while I go to appointments; how much money can we scrape together if we live on mac'n cheese for the rest of the year so we can do IVF?" This is such total bull$hit and I would love to know why this happens to us. Why were we the ones chosen by God to go through this? I think I'm going to devote a post to this subject soon. A why me post. Because damn do I ask that question a lot.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

IUI#4 coming right up.....

So, one good thing has come out of this early arrival of AF. We can definitely get another cycle in right away. And it shouldn't interfere with my mother-in-law's visit either. And, since the neighborhood kids are all on spring break right now, I might be able to let my daughter sleep normally while I go for my appointment Thursday morning. I'm going to ask the nice lady across the street from me if one of her very nice teenage boys (really, they are all SO nice!) would be willing to come over around 5am and either sleep on the couch or play xbox or watch tv while I go to my appointment and IF my daughter wakes up, either call their Mom or my good friend who also lives across the street to come over and get my daughter up, changed, and fed. I'm thinking $20 should do the trick, but I could be wrong. After all, I wouldn't want to get up at 5am during my spring break! But, they are good boys and I'm pretty sure they will help me out.
If not, I'm okay with taking my daughter with me this time, but I hate to mess her schedule up like that. She's only 2 1/2 and it is not fair to wake her up 4+/- hours early and take her to the clinic where she will have to be quiet and relatively contained for approximately 2 hours. Plus I really hate to subject her to watching me get blood drawn, though she has been there for it a couple times before and I've been able to distract her with a sucker. Not to mention seeing Mama strip from the waist down in some strange place and go into a dimly lit room where a strange man does strange things to her with his magic wand! Guess it would provide a perfect excuse to have the whole 'how special babies like her are made' and 'why mommy cries' discussions!

Talked to Dr L again this afternoon. You may remember him from last month in this post. Not proving himself to be the brightest bulb in the bunch at the clinic. I called asking for reasons why my period arrived so much earlier this cycle and expressing concern over a possible early miscarriage and possible progesterone/luteal phase problem and whether or not progesterone supplements might be a good idea after the next IUI. Dr L told me there is no way to know if it was an early miscarriage or not (I think a beta today might have told us) and that I should just assume my period just arrived early and nothing is wrong. He told me that they don't believe there's any benefit to progesterone use so they don't do it at the clinic. Now, I asked about the progesterone before because my RE/clinic in Nebraska had a standard practice of having everyone use the progesterone supplements after ovulation because if your progesterone level drops for some reason, you will miscarry. It can't hurt to add the supplements as a precaution. The docs originally told me that it is not standard practice at this clinic but if there is a luteal phase defect they will use it. Now Dr L makes it sound like they won't even check the progesterone or even consider there could be a problem and either way they won't give me the supplements. Argh! Even if I can talk them into doing a progesterone check, which I doubt, that is usually done at 7dpiui and by then it is too late to do anything. If your level is too low at that point, you're pretty much SOL.

Anyways, I'm just getting sick of always seeing and talking to different doctors and getting different information. It was so nice at my civilian clinic in Nebraska because there were only 2 RE's at the clinic and they had a certain number of patients at any given time so that they could be familiar with all aspects of your case and therefore make the proper decisions. And all the nurses there were just as knowledgable as the doctors so it was easy to get your questions answered.

I hope that one of the 'smart' doctors is there Thursday and that I can get my questions answered. I'm really concerned about this early period. I'd really like to know if it could be a miscarriage. I know that sounds kind of strange - it's not that I want it to be a miscarriage, just that if it is, I think I have the right to know and properly mourn it. Does that make any sense? Plus, if it is a very early miscarriage it could indicate a problem that we need to correct.

Oh, for those of you who have not had reason to research these kinds of things, a very early miscarriage is often called a chemical pregnancy and is actually not that uncommon. It's just that most people don't even know they are taking place, because the miscarriage occurs so early on that they don't even know they were pregnant in the first place. It seems like it is just a normal period arriving. Most chemical pregnancies end in miscarriage by the 6th week of pregnancy. Since most women don't even know they are having one, that tells me a lot of the miscarriages must take place at the same time as an expected period, which would be around cd28 for the 'average' woman, or around 2 weeks after ovulation. Today (Tuesday) would be cd26 for me, 13days after ovulation. Anyways, it just seems to me that it is possible this was a chemical pregnancy. But I guess I'll never know.

Sorry for the long post, I've just got a lot on my mind and am using this post to sort some stuff out in my head!

Quick question....

for anyone out there who may know. I was not expecting AF until Friday. After both of my previous iui's, AF arrived 16dpiui. Today is only 13dpiui and AF arrived around midnight last night. I am having pretty bad cramps and am wondering if this is possibly a very early miscarriage? Is that possible? I know I have read that it is not uncommon for an early miscarriage to take place, just that most people assume it is their period coming because they were not expecting to be pregnant. But we all know pregnancy was a definite possibility for me and with AF arriving almost 4 days early, I'm wondering if something could have gone wrong. Anyone know anything about this?

The wait is over....

Logging back on in the storm (lots of lightening, booming thunder, rattling dishes!) to let you know the wait is over. AF arrived.

Power just flickered, better get off. More when I know the plan......

Monday, March 12, 2007

100th post

Wish I had more exciting news for my 100th post, but I don't. Test this morning was negative. This morning was pretty bad. I was convinced that there is no hope for a pregnancy this cycle. But thanks to the encouraging comments left after my post on The Stirrup Queens' Virtual Lushary, I'm feeling a little hope again. With any luck it won't be completely dashed in the morning when I take another test. I would definitely expect a positive by 13dpiui. I think if it is negative tomorrow I can just wait for AF to arrive on Friday. Right now I'm trying to figure out how I can do another IUI right away. Hubby won't be home until the 19th and I would need to go for my cd3 baselines Sunday, or possibly Monday. I can wake my daughter up and bring her with me but I'm not sure they will let me. If I don't get a positive test by Wednesday I will call the clinic and check on that. If I can start a new cycle, the next IUI would probably be March 28, while my mother-in-law is visiting. Hopefully that won't be awkward!

Reasons I'm expecting another negative tomorrow: I'm kind of crampy and nauseous tonight, and this happened around the same time last cycle, which obviously failed. I'm breaking out just like last cycle. I'm crabby and emotional, typically a sign Af is coming.

Reasons I'm still hopeful for a positive: Nausea could be a sign of pregnancy right? Who knows what the cramps can be blamed on. Breaking out is caused by stress, not just AF coming, and it could even be caused by pregnancy hormones. And finally, being crabby and emotional is really nothing new for me, so aside from the cramps everything could just as easily be blamed on pregnancy as AF.

Guess we'll see what happens tomorrow!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Waiting and waiting..... and dreading the result

So I did take an early test today, but it was of course negative. Mainly to be sure the hCG shot was out of my system, but really hoping for a positive anyways to give me hope. It's 11dpiui today.
So, I have one test left..... trying to decide if I want to use it tomorrow or wait one more day. I'll probably end up using it tomorrow then getting more if needed. Despite originally being so hopeful for this cycle, I'm beginning to expect a negative result. I did have a dream Friday night that I gave birth to twin boys..... but in the dream one of my sisters disappeared with one of them and I was running frantic all over the hospital and grounds looking for him. After a c-section too, and my incision hadn't been stitched for some reason. Very vivid and scary dream, but I woke up with the hope that my body was trying to tell me something. Either that I am pregnant with twins or that I am at least pregnant with one baby, hence the 'vanishing twin'. Hopefully not that I'm pregnant with twins but will lose one. I don't think I could handle that. But either way, since getting a negative test already, I'm losing hope.
I don't know if I can keep doing this. The waiting and not knowing just wreaks havoc on me. And every negative test is like a knife in my heart. And each failed cycle makes me wonder more and more whether or not this is going to happen for us. Maybe we will have to give up our dream of expanding our family. I don't even know how we would make that decision. This is something that we want so badly and never dreamed we wouldn't be able to have.
Well, I guess that we will have to wait a few more days to know anything for sure. AF is expected on the 16th. I'll probably keep testing until the 14th, then accept defeat. Please keep praying for a positive test! I know I spend most of the day (and night) doing just that.....

Monday, March 05, 2007

I see a break in the clouds....

I'm feeling much better today. My voice is almost back to normal and I'm not coughing very often. So far my daughter seems to have avoided the billions of germs I have sprayed into the air for almost 2 weeks. Hubby on the other hand, is feeling a bit down today. Hopefully it is just a regular cold and not what I had. He's got a trip coming up for work (leaving Thursday) so he really can't be sick right now. But at least it looks like I won't be sick while I'm the only one to take care of our daughter 24/7 for almost 2 weeks!

My cat has stopped using his injured leg. He now hops around the house. It's cute, but we're really worried about him. I'll be dropping him off at the vet Thursday and he is going to have a colleague of his evaluate our cat and see if he comes up with the same diagnosis, without prior info. Then from there they will re-evaluate him for surgery. We really don't want him to go through another surgery - he doesn't do well with stitches (pulls them out), he's getting old (13), and he's already had 2 surgeries on that leg to remove tumors in the past 6 months or so. Plus, I hate to say it, but he's wreaking havoc on our check book. His two other surgeries cost us around $1000 total and we just put out another $300 for x-rays and multiple visits to determine what's wrong and meds. I'm not saying we won't get him the surgery if he needs it, but geez, can we get a break here please?

So far the 2 week wait hasn't been bad. Probably because it has only been 5 days and those have passed pretty quickly with being sick. Another week and I can take an hpt. I can't wait! And yet, I'm also dreading it!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Could it be a sign?

I woke up yesterday morning and proceeded with my normal routine.... after washing my face, I noticed something laying on the floor by the bed. It was the bracelet I've been wearing as part of Infertility's Common Thread. It came off. Now, it was loose this past Monday, so I took it off and retied it on a little snugger. So I guess it could just be that I didn't tie it on tight enough, but I'd rather think of it as a sign that I've become fertile for this cycle and that this time it will work! Of course, I put the bracelet back on, because whether I get pregnant or not, I am still an infertile and want to show my support for all the others out there like me. I haven't encountered anyone else with the bracelet yet, but you never know when it could happen!