Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Project Butterfly: PUPO! (long)

I've been a bad blogger lately, I apologize.  Things got busy as we prepared for the embryo transfer.  We got into our morning PIO routine and the soreness I experienced the first day stopped after a few shots.  A few days before transfer I started antibiotics as a precaution.  Hopefully I won't have to take them again for a long while, they make me feel very ill.  The night before transfer we ordered dinner from our favorite Thai restaurant and watched a movie.  When it was time for bed I took the sleeping pill and drifted off to sleep, dreaming of our butterfly.

We woke up early, it was a double progesterone morning.  Along with the PIO shot I also had to start a vaginal progesterone suppository called Prometrium.  After showering, getting ready, and triple checking that the Valium pill was in my purse we headed out to breakfast.  For the transfer I needed to have a full bladder so I skipped the morning coffee and just had a glass of water.  During the drive over to the office I took the Valium and drank about half of a small bottle of water.  We arrived a little early, but were called back right at 10:45.

Nurse V brought us to the procedure prep room and I changed into the very flattering pink paper gown, hair net, and booties.  Dave got a nice blue paper smock, hair net, and face mask.  I had brought the special butterfly socks I wore for egg retrieval, it seemed fitting.  Dr. F came by to discuss our little butterfly, who had survived the thawing process.  She handed us a picture of our sweet butterfly at thaw and after thaw.  It's amazing to think this little ball of cells could become our rainbow baby.

Nurse V then came in with our instructions for after transfer.  I would be staying in the room after transfer for 30 minutes.  After that we could go home and I would be on bed rest for 24 hours.  Friday morning we go back to the office for a blood draw to check my progesterone levels.  If everything looks good I will continue the current med dosages.  Next Thursday will be the blood pregnancy test, aka the beta.  Not being able to wait I'll likely start peeing on all the sticks this weekend.

We headed into the procedure room and Nurse V put the coldest u/s gel in the world on my abdomen.  She had to check if my bladder was full enough to proceed via ultrasound, which it was not.  She brought in a few cups of water for me to drink and checked again after 15 minutes.  With my bladder now full it was go time.  Dr. S came in and I got situated in the raised stirrups.  It was time for the worst part of the transfer, placing the speculum.  It was extremely uncomfortable and he had me take a few minutes to breath and settle down.  Then the second worst part began, cleaning the cervix.  That procedure took a few minutes and I held Dave's hand very tightly the whole time.  Once my cervix was sparkly clean Dr. S did a quick trial with the catheter.  More icy cold u/s gel was applied and we were able to see the catheter moving on the screen.  Happy with how it looked it was time for Dr. F to load our butterfly into the catheter.

Dr. S reinserted the catheter, now carrying precious cargo.  We watched as he got the catheter in place and released baby butterfly into my womb.  Butterfly was visible as a bright white dot on the screen and I could feel tears forming in my eyes.  At that moment I was PUPO, pregnant until proven otherwise.  After removing the torture device Dr. S said he was very happy with how my lining looked and how our embryo released easily.  Nurse V had me lay flat on the table, then tilted it back slightly.  Unless the urge to pee was too much I was to lay there for 30 minutes.

Once the time had passed I was able to get up, get changed, pee, and we were sent on our way.  At my request Dave swung by the Baskin Robbins and got me a Mint Chocolate Chip milkshake.  Once home I settled into bed, put on a movie, and snuggled the kitties.  Through the day I napped on and off.  Our friends came over for weekly Game Night and I moved out onto the couch to enjoy their company.  We hadn't been able to have a proper Game Night in weeks and it was nice to see our friends.

Today I am 2dp6t (2 days past 6 day transfer) and do not have any symptoms.  My boobs are extremely sore, but that started after a few days of PIO.  For now I am enjoying being PUPO with our butterfly.  While some ladies are able to make it to beta without testing, I just cannot do it.  I'll likely start taking home tests this weekend.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Project Butterfly: Phase 2 aka My Butt Hurts

Yesterday was technically my ovulation day!  That meant taking my last shot of Lupron, hopefully for a very long time.  Being a Tuesday it was also bum shot of Delestrogen time.  The method of switching sides for every shot has been working well so far.  It was a left side night and there was very little pain and only a small amount of bleeding afterwards.  I tried to go to bed early in preparation for our new early morning routine with PIO, but had trouble falling asleep.  This was the turning point, we were moving to Phase 2.  In 6 days our butterfly was coming home, hopefully for the long haul.

6am came quickly and I was woken by the sound of my alarm.  Before I even turned it off Dave was up and grabbing the ice pack from the freezer.  While I laid in bed with the ice pack, preparing my tush, Dave hopped in the shower.  At 6:20 Dave brought me the PIO vial.  I held it in my hand for ten minutes to warm the vial, letting the oil thin out.  While filling the syringe I suddenly realized my sleepy mistake.  The ice pack was on the same spot we had done the Delestrogen the previous night.  So much for the switching sides method...

Like the previous night's shot there was very little pain and bleeding afterwards.  Dave massaged the injection area to help spread the oil out and quickly nuked my rice sock heating pad.  I laid in bed for about fifteen minutes while the heat did it's magic.  We were both dressed and ready to go by 7am, the usual time we leave for work.  It seems our new morning routine will work just fine.  

I noticed the injection area getting sore as we headed out to the car.  During the ride there was a slight burning sensation that seems to flare up when I sit down.  My immediate fear was that I was experiencing a reaction to the oil.  The area does not look red or inflamed so I'm leaning more towards irritation from two shots in the same place within 12 hours.  We'll try the PIO on the other side tomorrow morning and if there is a similar burning I will call Nurse V to get her opinion.  Hopefully it's just cranky muscle tissue getting used to being jabbed.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Project Butterfly: PIO is a go! (or My Husband is Always Right)

I want to give a special shout out to the lovely Dreamers who kept me calm over the weekend.  After getting the call from Nurse V on Friday I nearly spiraled into complete panic mode.  The Dreamer ladies and Dave were my rock, keeping me firmly on the ground.  We did our best to keep busy Friday and Saturday, occupying our time with video games, grocery shopping, and cleaning.  It is nice to be able to escape into Final Fantasy XIV, all my cares in the world just melt away.

Sunday morning arrived and I headed out to Dr. S' office.  After about ten minutes I was called back to the ultrasound room.  As always, Dr. S gives the most gentle ultrasounds.  He explained that the tech on Friday had noted that my lining was nearly triple stripe, what is considered perfect lining for implantation.  With my unicornuate uterus being so rare, it is hard for most people to read it correctly.  He wanted to take a closer look himself before signing off on our transfer.  There was no way we would continue with the transfer if things didn't look perfect.

Dr. S showed me on the screen the three distinct striations of my lining.  It was very cool to see.  Near the bottom it was very shadowy, but he could follow the triple stripe down into the shadow.  Now convinced that the lining was perfect he said we could go ahead and schedule transfer.  Nurse E was going to get everything set up and call with instructions in an hour.  I headed home with a very big smile on my face.

Nurse E called right after I got home.  She instructed me to continue Lupron through Tuesday night and take 0.4ml Delestrogen Tuesday night.  Wednesday morning I would start daily PIO injections.  On Thursday I would add in Medrol and Doxycycline.  Embryo transfer is scheduled for Monday 4/28 and I'll be on 24 bed rest afterwards.  I'm so excited to be reunited with our little butterfly!

Dave was, of course, right again.  He asked if he could buy me a shirt that says "My husband is always right".  I told him that if the transfer works and I get pregnant then I will proudly wear that shirt.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Project Butterfly: Bum Shot #3 and the Return of Anxiety

Tuesday night's shot went off without incident.  I felt the needle more, but still experienced no pain.  To make up for it my body decided the Lupron shot would be a painful bleeder.  Thanks body, really appreciate that.

We were up bright and early this morning for my 6:30am appointment.  It was absolutely freezing when we left the house.  I am so over winter!  After signing in they called me back for the blood draw.  Nurse MJ asked if she could stick my left arm.  Never a good sign.  After explaining how that arm seemed to be void of veins she went after the right arm.  The needle hurt a lot, but she was able to get the needed amount.  After that it was u/s time.  That also ended up being very uncomfortable today, but over relatively quickly.

Around noon I started to glance at my phone constantly.  Finally after 2pm it lit up with a call from the office.  It was Nurse V and she had my instructions.  Tonight would be 0.4ml of Delestrogen and 5iu Lupron.  Tomorrow night just the Lupron.  On Sunday morning I had an appointment for an u/s with Dr. S.  My heart dropped into my stomach.  Nurse V said he wanted to check my lining himself.  Every time previously when Dr. S wanted to check something himself, it has always ended in bad news.  I stayed calm on the phone, but internally I was freaking the hell out.

Everything could be perfectly fine and he could do this with every FET patient.  The nurses have always said my lining looked great previously.  My scumbag brain sees this as our FET about to be cancelled.  Sunday morning cannot get here soon enough.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Project Butterfly: Bum Shot #2

We were up bright and early this morning for monitoring.  Today would be the first lining check.  It was quiet again in the waiting room and I was brought back quickly for blood work.  Nurse MJ came in and I was pleasantly surprised to see her wearing butterfly scrubs.  I shared that we called the embryos our little butterflies and she thought it was very sweet.  It was then time for the dildo cam.  The haunted u/s machine behaved today, though it did sound like it was trying to brew a pot of coffee.  The u/s was very fast, I probably spent more time taking my boots and pants off than in the stirrups.  While checking out the financial girl informed me that we were getting a 40% discount off our cryostorage.  Small victories I guess.

Work has become very awkward.  I can hear everyone talking about baby stuff on the other side of the office, but no one from that side has acknowledged me since last week.  Really trying not to read into it, but I feel so shitty.  I really wish my team had our own office away from the rabble.  The harpies are so distracting, even when they are not talking about babies and pregnancy.

If I could make one request to my RE's office it would be to have them call with results and instructions at the same time every day.  Friday's call happened at noon.  Today the call came in right before 2pm.  My lining is measuring 10mm.  Tonight's Delestrogen dose will be 0.4ml and I go back in Friday morning for more monitoring.  I'm a little confused, 10mm seems plenty thick to go ahead with transfer.  Oh well, what's a few more days in the grand scheme of things?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Project Butterfly: Bum Shot #1

After the call from Nurse V my anxiety built throughout the day.  I was incredibly nervous for the IM shot of Delestrogen.  Near the end of the day I was blindsided.  The chattering harpies of customer service were giggling and talking excitedly.  Surprise, the only other younger married girl in the office is pregnant with her first child.  FML.  Of course no one has said anything to me, even today, and that hurts even more.  I'm happy for her, she's a really nice and sweet person, but I feel very much like an outsider now.  Communication isn't a strong point in this office and Dave doesn't think there is anything to read into, but I can't help but feel like a leper.

To get my spirits up we stopped and got dinner at my favorite Indian restaurant.  Since I can no longer drown my sorrows in alcohol, butter chicken and naan would have to suffice.  We chose 8pm as go time for the shot.  At 7:30 I started to ice my bum.  Twenty minutes later I grabbed the Delestrogen bottle and put it in my bra to warm up.  At 7:55 I assembled the syringe, uncapped the terrifying needle, and filled the appropriate dosage of Delestrogen.  We headed into the bedroom and locked the cats out.  I laid down on the bed and we talked about the correct place to inject.  With all the icing I could not feel where Dave was poking his finger on my tush and I freaked out a bit.  After calming down we shared a laugh after realizing we were pointing to the same exact place.  I buried my head in a pillow and Dave swabbed the area with an alcohol wipe and inserted the needle.  I felt the sensation of it going in, but there was no pain.  It was done quickly and I didn't even bleed!

Confidence was definitely at a high afterwards.  Dave massaged the area a bit, I was starting to feel sore.  We don't have a heating pad so we improvised.  I filled a tube sock with uncooked rice and knotted the end.  Into the microwave it went for about 40 seconds and now we have a poor man's heating pad.  The rice actually holds the radiant heat for about 30 minutes and can be microwaved again and again.  The sock was the perfect size to cover the injection site and was easily secured by the waistband of my sweatpants.  Thank you Pinterest!  I may make a nicer one with pretty fabric, but for now the sock will do.

Next lining check is tomorrow morning!    

Friday, April 11, 2014

Project Butterfly: Phase 1

I was shocked to see blood on the toilet paper Thursday morning.  There was no spotting or any type of warning.  Of course I was ill prepared at work and only had a panty liner.  After getting situated I called and left a message for Nurse V.  Luckily it was close to lunch and the little panty liner held out.  On our way to lunch we stopped at Walgreens for emergency pads.  Nurse V called while I was in the store and scheduled baseline for the following morning.

After work Dave and I headed to the mall for our date night.  We were going to check out the dine-in movie theater to see Captain America: Winter Soldier.  The seats are so comfortable!  The food wasn't great, but being order a beer from your seat is amazing.  It does get a little distracting with waiters going up and down the aisle, but overall it wasn't bad.  The move was incredible, perhaps my favorite Marvel film to date.  It left us really psyched up for Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers 2.

This morning was an early wake up for the monitoring appointment.  There were very few people in the waiting room when I arrived.  Nurse MJ called me back right away to do the blood draw and it was a very short wait for the u/s.  The sad u/s machine was back.  It had been repaired, but they didn't seem to have exorcised all the demons.  Upon walking into the room with the tech it was just rebooting itself.  She mentioned that it had been happening more frequently this morning, but luckily never during an u/s.  ::Insert ominous foreshadowing music::.  My ovaries were playing hide and seek, righty was being particularly bad.  Can you guess what happened next?  Yep, u/s machine rebooted itself.  Cue awkward wait as it went through the boot sequence.  She finally got the pictures needed and it was done.  Luckily the ovaries are not going to be needed for the FET!

As we were heading to lunch Nurse V called.  Everything looked good and we are set to go!  My daily Lupron injections are dropping from 10iu to 5iu.  Considering how bad the side effects have been, I'm very happy for this.  I'll start daily baby aspirin and switch to the prescribed prenatal.  Tonight we will do the first Delestrogen injection, 0.2ml.  Dave will be giving me the injection and we are both nervous.  I have the Sher Institute instructional video bookmarked for review.  The estrogen shots will only take place on monitoring days, the next one is scheduled for Tuesday morning.  Once we get through the first one it should be smooth sailing.        

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Project Butterfly: The Anxiety

I hate being on Lupron.  Tonight will be the eighth injection and I have turned into an irritable zombie.  Work has been stressful and the changing of desks has me facing the customer service reps, the loudest bitches in the world.  Is it really necessary to yell into the phone or loudly whine about your petty problems all day?  I don't think so, please shut the hell up.  While some people go outside for smoke breaks, I may start going outside for sanity breaks.  After dinner tonight I'll be indulging in a hot bubble bath and small glass of wine.

Today is day three of period watch.  It definitely feels like CD1 is on the way, but I really don't see it arriving before Saturday.  Anxiety is starting to creep into my mind, mostly about my lining.  During our FET class Nurse V looked through my charts and the thinnest my lining has ever been was 7mm.  Normal people usually have 1-3mm lining on Day 3.  From what I've heard from others doing FET, 7mm is usually the point where they switch you to PIO and schedule transfer.  What is my clinic going to do if I start out at 7mm this cycle?  Only do one or two shots of Delestrogen?

Dave keeps telling me to stop obsessing over details we have no control over.  He's right, but it's so hard not to think about it.  This whole cycle will be about getting my body in the perfect condition to host our little butterfly for 9 months.  I've already been bad and figured out the potential due date, looked at the calendar to see how far along I'd be for all of our planned trips and events, and thought about the announcement.  I feel so guilty about it, like I've now jinxed the cycle.  FU IF!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Project Butterfly: The Meds

Saturday morning I met up with a few IDOB ladies for a delicious Panera breakfast.  Having these get togethers is so much fun and it's nice to be able to put a face to a name.  We ended up sitting and talking for over 3 hours without even realizing it!  Being able to form these new friendships has been one of the few positive experiences in our IF journey.

After breakfast I headed over to Mandells to pick up my FET party box.  It was raining pretty bad by that point, but the chill had gone from the air.  Spring seems to finally be on it's way.  Cici had requested that I take a picture of the inspirational quote over the door at the pharmacy to use for our daily IDOB check-in.  It is a really beautiful quote and I try to keep it in mind every day.  

After returning home I unboxed the order.  It seems a lot smaller than my IVF box, but much more daunting for some reason.  The needles are most likely the reason for my apprehension.  Once we get the first shot down I'm sure everything will be fine, just like with the first round of injections.  Some of the girls suggested having the nurse draw a circle around the correct injection site in marker to help.  I think I'll ask Nurse V about it the next time we talk.   

I start Lurpon injections tomorrow night and take the last birth control pill on Sunday night.  I imagine my period will show up the following Saturday or Sunday, making the first monitoring appointment Tuesday 4/15.  Best case scenario has it showing up next Wednesday or Thursday so the monitoring appointment would be Friday 4/11.  That's unlikely to happen, my period tends to show up 6 days after finishing birth control, but a girl can dream.