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The meds have arrived! I don’t know what it is about reciving my meds that is so exciting, but I thought I was going to explode when my box finally arrived. I wanted to take it home IMMEDIATELY to open it and look at everything.

I was finally able to leave for lunch about an hour later and took these pics.

Here is my HUGE box of meds next to my laptop for reference.

Here are all of the meds and needles spread out for your viewing pleasure.

And here is everything all sorted and put into its respective storage container to avoid confusion.

Finally, here is the top of my progesterone in oil bottle, which I thought was quite funny.

You see, I’m somewhat terrified of doing the intramuscular shots, so to open the box and see those words made me feel as though the PIO was indeed flipping me off. I sincerely hope that those words are not at all indicative of how the PIO shots will go down.

I feel like a crazy woman for even saying this, but I can’t wait to start putting all of those meds in my body! Lupron starts on Tuesday and I cannot wait!

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Since December 2006, I have practiced steadfast self-restraint in not buying any items for our future baby’s use. Today I blew that right out of the water and I’m so happy about it!

I don’t know if I’ve posted anything about this before, but I’ve been on a real positivity kick lately. There are some people who seem to believe that being positive brings positive things to you. I wouldn’t say that I disbelieved that, I guess it was just something that I never really considered before. Throughout the past 22 months I’ve always tried to keep myself grounded and not let myself get my hopes up too much because I didn’t want to get hurt if things didn’t work out each month.

Well we all know how well that worked out for us. So lately I’ve been trying to think positively and think about only what I want, not what I don’t want. I’m letting myself have what I want in my head and in my heart, which is a common way of manifesting something that you want. While I’m not typically someone who would dive into something like manifesting, I figured why the heck not? If nothing else, at least I will be a lot happier in the meantime.

So part of manifesting is believing that what you want is coming to you and letting yourself feel it and have it. So to that end, I went shopping today. A neighborhood near mine was having their annual garage sales this weekend and I went to take a look. Mark asked me what I was looking for as I walked out the door and I boldly lied to him that I didn’t know. I had a very clear mission in my head. I went for no other reason than to procure some baby items for us. It took less than 45 minutes and I walked away with 13 onesies, 2 rompers, 4 small stuffed animals, an adorable hat and a pack and play, all for $28.50.

When I walked in the door with the pack and play Mark said “tell me that’s for visitors.” I told him “nope, it’s for our baby!” He briefly rolled is eyes at me and I reminded him that “we’re manifesting now.” My enthusiasm was obvious and I think he realized that it was in his best interests just to let me be happy about it, so that was the end of it.

I did end up putting the pack and play in the storage space beneath the stairs in the basement, but the other items will find a home in my nightstand where they will be close to me on a daily basis. I could not be happier about my purchases and cannot wait to use them!

I just called the pharmacy to order my meds and holy crap, I’m so freaking excited! I don’t know what it is about actually ordering the meds that is so thrilling to me, but I can hardly contain myself right now! Maybe it’s just because actually ordering the meds means that this is really real and it’s really going to happen. Our IVF cycle has seemed so far away for so long now that I kind of felt like it was never going to get here and therefore kept my excitement to a minimum.

Anyway, the pharmacy that my office uses is one of those old school pharmacies with a lunch counter and a soda fountain amongst all of the regular pharmacy items. A quick Google search brings up nothing about the drug aspect of the pharmacy, only rave reviews about the ice cream and soda fountain. Since we are from out of state, they are shipping my meds to me so there’s no real reason to visit the pharmacy, but I’m very intrigued now and we might have to make a stop during one of our visits just to check it out!

The pharmacist was very nice and told me that he’ll include with the shipment his business card with his cell phone number on it so that if I need anything after hours I can reach him. How cool is that? The nurse who did our IVF class told us that the pharmacy is just great to work with and always goes the extra mile to make sure that their patients are well cared for. She said that they’ve even had situations in the past where patients were in an emergency situation and needed extra meds or whatever and the pharmacy provided them to the patient and then checked with the clinic later. Because of the distance factor I obviously wouldn’t be able to take advantage of that if the situation were to come up, but it’s so nice to know that the pharmacist would be there to answer my emergency questions if I had any.

I asked the pharmacist what meds the clinic had called in for me and he stated that amongst the suppressing meds, stimulating meds and antibiotics, two trigger shots were included. Curious, I asked if it was Ovidrel and he said yes. He said that two Ovidrel shots are the equivalent of one shot of Novarel, which is the more commonly used intramuscular trigger shot. I was relieved to hear that they had called in Ovidrel for me since I’m still pretty freaked out about doing the IM shots. Doing the Ovidrel means that I won’t have to worry about somehow messing up the IM trigger shot and endangering my ovulation and therefore egg retrieval. Sweet relief. I’ll deal with my IM injection fears another day!

So for now we’re actually rolling along, popping birth control pills and baby aspirin every night. We’ll start our antibiotics in a week and a half, and the Lupron shortly thereafter. Because Mark will be out of town the fourth week of September when we really should be having our egg retrieval, I’m going to stay on the Lupron an extra week to eliminate the conflict. That means that we’ll be pushing everything back a week and makes the entire cycle a bit longer as well, but it means less stress in trying to work around the work commitment, so we’re ok with it.

I’ve printed off a copy of my calendar and keep it in the bathroom. Every night after I take my pills, I make a big black X on the day with my super fat Sharpie marker. It makes me feel like we’re making progress and that we’re one day closer to what we desire so badly and that feels good.

Well, cycle day one has arrived a couple of days early, and with a definite vengeance. Today marks the beginning of our first, and hopefully last IVF cycle to conceive our first child. Tonight I will take my first birth control pill and baby aspirin.

The next two months will be a whirlwind of meds, blood work, injections, ultrasounds, hotel stays and lots of four hour car trips.

We are hoping that in the end, we will be blessed with a healthy pregnancy. Until then, we’re just trying to enjoy the rest of our summer and stay as positive as possible.

Yesterday I went to my third ever Reiki session with Lisa. When we sat down, she asked me how I had been doing and I told her that we’ve decided to move on to IVF and will be starting that at the end of this month. I also told her that I’ve been feeling so much less stress and pressure lately. I’m not sure if it’s because I feel like IVF is going to work for us, or if I’m just over my obsession, but whatever it is, I feel good. So she said let’s get started and see what comes up.

She started by putting her hands over my eyes and normally within a minute she takes her hands off and we talk about something. The first session she said “You’re all in your head, aren’t you?” and the second session she said “Tell me how you’re feeling about moving on to IVF.” This time, she had her hands there for a good 5 minutes and didn’t say a word. Finally she moved on to my head and she said “You REALLY are feeling so much more calm.” I agreed and said that I felt so much less stressed about everything. I mentioned how we had told my parents about our upcoming IVF cycle, actually our fertility struggles in general, and how they had offered to watch our dogs and go to appointments with us and everything. I said how it was nice to know that we had their support. By this point she had moved her hands over to my chest and she immediately said “So tell me what it is about telling your parents that has left you with a heavy heart?” Shock. That’s all I could come up with was shock. I started giggling because I immediately knew what she was picking up on, but I was so shocked on the inside. While telling my parents did not go at all how I had envisioned it going, I certainly didn’t feel bad, sad or hurt about the way it went. Or did I?

So I explained to Lisa what had happened, and mentioned that I was surprised by what she had picked up on because I didn’t even know that I felt anything other than impartial about the subject. She said that there was definitely a blockage in my heart about this subject and we needed to fix it. Lisa sensed that the “little girl” part of me felt like she was hurting and that she wanted recognition from her mom. Like when you were little and fell and skinned your knee, you wanted mommy to pick you up, take you inside, clean you up and make you feel better. I didn’t get that from my mom when we told her about the IVF and the little girl inside of me wanted that recognition of her pain and struggles, but it never came. So Lisa had me envision a younger version of me and had me tell young me that it was OK. That mommy didn’t even realize that we were struggling with infertility and didn’t know how to react. Mommy didn’t mean to be hurtful in the way she responded, she just didn’t know how to respond in any other way. And as hokey as it sounds, it worked. Though I can’t honestly say that I felt hurt by it, I did find myself replaying the whole discussion with my parents over in my head once or twice a day, so it was probably weighing on me. Since my Reiki session, I haven’t thought about it at all (until I started to write this post, that is).

After that, most of the rest of the session was devoted to getting myself into a “good place” for the start of our IVF cycle. She had me ask my mind, body and spirit to clear any blocks that might be in the way of our success and then to give thanks for all of the work that my mind, body and spirit have done so far. At the end of the session, I felt good and ready to start on our IVF cycle in a couple of weeks.

In other IVF news, we got our home equity loan squared away so we’ll have the money ready to go when we need it. Our plan is to put the whole shebang onto 3 or 4 credit cards (gotta get our points!!), then pay those off immediately with the home equity loan. Then we will likely use some of those balance transfer checks that we get in the mail all of the time to transfer the money from our 7.45% interest home equity loan onto “no interest until September of ‘09” credit cards. I think that we’ll definitely be able to handle things financially and hope to have the debt paid off in three years or less.

We also got a rough estimate of our IVF calendar yesterday. I was concerned about the timing of everything since Mark was supposed to go to Vegas for work the week of September 21st and I also though that was going to be the week of my retrival. As it turns out, my estimates were off by a week and I won’t go for retrieval until the week of the 28th, so it shouldn’t be a big deal. It’s crazy how having that calendar right there in front of me makes me realize how real this really is. Two weeks from now I should be popping my daily birth control pill and we couldn’t be more excited! How crazy is that?

Yesterday we FINALLY told my parents about our fertility struggles. To say that it went nothing like I had imagined would be an understatement. Here is how it went down:

Me: So Mark and I went to Iowa on Thursday
Mom: What did you do there?
Me: We went to a fertility clinic.
Mom: Oh really? What for?
Me: Because we’re going to be starting IVF soon.
Mom: Now what exactly does that mean?
Dad: It’s in-vitro fertilization, right?
Me: Yes.
Mom: Would you consider doing acupuncture first?

WHAT?!? That’s the first thing out of her mouth when she finds out that we’re struggling with infertility? This was not at all what I had expected from her. If you’ll recall from my post here, I had envisioned her being so empathetic to our situation and immediately understanding the emotional side of things, but this could not have been farther from what actually happened.

After I told my mom that we had actually been doing acupuncture off and on for over a year, she went on to tell me about how she was at an acupuncture appointment at the end of the day and they forgot about her and everyone left the office while she was still laying there on the table. The whole time that she was telling this story, my head was just spinning. I couldn’t believe that this was her reaction to our news. She didn’t ask any questions of us, just launched into this story of how she was abandoned at an acupuncture appointment once. Mark and I exchanged looks of disbelief and I could feel my dad looking at me and then Mark and then back to me again. I think he was right on the same wavelength as Mark and I; wondering why in the world she was telling this ridiculous story when we had just told them that we’re about to begin the most intense of all reproductive technologies.

I have a feeling that our news shocked the hell out of her and she didn’t know how to respond, so she just went with what she knew so that she could try to process the information and ask intelligent questions. A stall technique, if you will. This is what I’m hoping at least. It was just really atypical of my mom and not at all how I had envisioned everything going down.

Anyway, after we had finished the acupuncture discussion, they started asking questions and we explained our history to them and why we are doing IVF. Then we got more of the response that I had expected. My mom said that while she and my dad hadn’t had a chance to discuss it yet, she was sure that they would be willing to help us out financially if we needed it, or whatever else we needed as well. She offered to go to my appointments with me and then said “I know you’ll probably laugh, but I would love to do Reiki on you if you would like.” (This is the ONE part of yesterday that DID go exactly as I had pictured it.) I told her that would be great since I’ve been seeing someone for Reiki for a few months. My dad said that he would be more than happy to take care of the dogs for us when we needed to be gone overnight, and also agreed to let us use their Prius to save some money on gas if we wanted.

I still don’t think that my mom has even begun to realize the emotional struggle that we’ve been through over the past 21 months, which is weird. I think my dad got it so much more than she did and he even made a comment about how it had probably been a huge emotional burden for us. He did mention that he had read this article and this one, which were run in our local paper about a month ago, so maybe that’s why he was a bit more understanding of what we’ve been going through. Either way, my dad gave me an extra big hug when we were leaving yesterday, which was a nice recognition of the fact that things haven’t been easy for us.

In the end, the whole thing ended up being OK, but it certainly did get off to a weird and unexpected start.

In other fertility related news, my support group had a BBQ last night so that we could get to know each other’s husbands and also spend time together outside of the support group environment. I had a really good time and though I know Mark was dreading it, I think he might have even enjoyed himself. There is one woman in our group who is not even TTC, but did have a significant struggle to conceive her son and attends the meetings with the sole purpose of supporting the rest of us through our journeys. It is so great that she is there for us and so refreshing to see things from her perspective now that she is on “the other side” of infertility. Anyway, she and her husband brought their two and a half year old son and he was just a doll. He was adorable and funny and just a joy to be around. He called all of the ladies “Miss” (I was Miss Jessica) and it was a hoot. He was a definite reminder of what it is that we’re pursuing and helps to reinforce that doing IVF is right for us.

Additionally, I found out that one of the girls who was planning on moving on to IVF is indeed doing so, and it sounds like she may be only a couple of weeks behind me with her first cycle. I’m hoping that we’re somewhat close in dates so that we can go through this together. There are plenty of online buddy groups that I could join for support, but it would be really nice to have someone in real life to talk to about things.

We are so hoping that IVF does the trick for us, and hopefully with the first cycle. While failed IUI’s are difficult to deal with, I can only imagine how much more difficult and painful it is to have a failed IVF. Overall, we’re feeling good and are excited to get going! Our rough estimate has me starting birth control on the 21st and we can’t wait!

So last summer we got some new across the street neighbors and the woman just happened to be pregnant. Of course it was a lot of fun for me to see her out and about in the neighborhood all cute and pregnant. We aren’t really good friends with them, so we didn’t have to hang out with them too much, but we would chat with them frequently. The minimal exposure to her pregnancy suited me just fine and she gave birth to their son in November.

Today their blog popped up on my blog reader as having a new post, so I went to check it out. There was an adorable picture of their 8 month old son and at the very bottom, the news that she is pregnant yet again.

Holy crap. I’ve presumably been lapped in the big game of trying to conceive. Obviously I have no idea how long it took them to conceive their son, but I’m guessing that since she was able to get pregnant only 8 months postpartum that it didn’t take them too long to get pregnant with the first.

So yeah. That feels just great. Fortunately, I have my own good news to share. We’ve been accedpted into the shared risk program and I’ve already had my sonohysterogram, so we’ll be starting our IVF cycle with the start my next cycle! We are really happy to have everything figured out and ready to go.

Oh yeah, since I never did a follow up post, here is how everything went down. On Monday I called the financial services lady once again trying to get a hold of here and of course, no dice. I was freaking out, second guessing our decision to go to this clinic because we couldn’t get anyone to call us back. Finally Mark called and for some reason she decided to respond to his message. Long story short, her mother was very ill the week prior and she was out of the office all week. She kept thinking that she was going to back each day, but wasn’t able to return to work until Monday. So when Mark finally got her on the phone, she apologized for the lack of communication, explained the circumstances and managed to arrange our IVF education class for us on Thursday as well.

In the end, everything worked out great and we were able to knock out both the SHG and class at the same time. We had a good time in Iowa and are feeling really good about our upcoming IVF cycle! Now I just have to find the patience to wait it out!

Our History

Dec 2006 - Started trying to conceive
Summer 2007 - Semen analysis (great), progesterone test (normal)
Dec 2007 - SHG normal
Jan 2008 - 1st RE appointment
Feb - Mar 2008 - Diagnosed with elevated FSH levels, 2 rounds of IUI with 5mg of Femara
Apr - Jun 2008 - Seeing a new RE. 3 rounds of IUI with 12.5mg of Femara, all busts. HSG normal
July 2008 - Moving on to IVF at a new clinic
Aug/Sep 2008 - 1st IVF cycle - cancelled due to poor response
Nov/Dec 2008 - Retry IVF, transferred one blast and one morula, negative beta
Feb/Mar 2009 - 2nd IVF cycle - Antagonist protocol
May 2009 - 3rd and final attempt at IVF - Antagonist protocol
Feb 18th, 2010 - our One Small Wish comes true: Nina Adele is born.

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