Wednesday, November 21, 2012

10 Weeks, 2 Days: Moving On

When I started this blog I wasn't sure how long I'd be blogging because, surely, I'd be pregnant from my first medicated cycle.  Then I wasn't, and even though the fertility treatments sort of sucked and it felt like no one in my life could understand, I was happy to meet a great community of fellow infertility bloggers.  I'm so grateful to have had some understanding women along with me on my journey.

And now that I am pregnant I feel like my time here has come to an end for several reasons.  First, I have so little to say about pregnancy so far.  Luckily it's been a bit of a snoozefest.  Second, I have a bit of survivor's guilt knowing that most of my audience is filled of women trying so hard to get where I am so admitting point number one makes me feel even more guilty.

Third, and probably most importantly, I follow dozens of parenting and other blogs and unfortunately the name Pussy Parent is maybe not the most family friendly to use when commenting on other blogs.

And lastly, just knowing how I felt during the infertility journey, whenever I found a new blog I would start at the beginning and read all about someone else's cycles and whenever someone got a BFP I would keep reading a few entries to make sure everything was okay and then move onto another blog.  If you're new and reading this, I am pregnant from my first IVF cycle and if these words are still here, all is well.

So, I'm not leaving exactly but I am cautiously trying out a new blog. I don't want to link the name here because it contains personal photos and I want to limit my googlability but here is a picture with the name in it.  I hope you will follow me there.  Here it is:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Eight Weeks: Graduation!

I was a little on edge driving to the clinic this morning because my husband had turned to me in bed earlier and said "oh crap, your ultrasound is when?"

Men.  Seriously.  He was there when I scheduled it!  And it's the same exact appointment time as last week's.

"Don't panic." I told myself, "he's already seen the baby on the ultrasound twice and we heard the heartbeat so everything will be fine."

Then the little paranoid voice inside my head argued with the rational voice.  "But...you were measuring three days behind last time and three days is nearly half a week and a week behind is BAD.  Plus you don't even feel pregnant."

I get to the office and it's the typical crowded masses I've gotten used to at this Monday appointment time.  Back when I used to go at 8:30 it was a lot less crowded but at 10 it's packed to the brim.  And a lot of people looked really stressed, staring into their phone or looking down at their shoes.  It reminded me of the line that Jack Nicholas says in the waiting room of his therapist's office:

"What if this is as good as it gets?


On the one hand, I wanted to distance myself from anxious fertility patient and enter my new role of happy pregnant patient but I was nervous too, hoping that the little bean I had seen the past two weeks would still be greeting me on the screen and that the drive home wouldn't be traumatic.

Just then a woman walks in with not one, not two, but THREE children.  Holy crap!  I had defended women who bring children to the fertility clinic on message boards before, but OMG three.  One was barely three years old, one was about 18 months and one was maybe nine months.  Yes the math doesn't work out but the two older kids were calling her Mom so they must all be hers.  And no, sadly, they did not sit quietly like little cherubs.  Maybe she's an egg donor? I know I shouldn't judge, but damn, that was not what the room needed this morning.


Getting back to the important part of the story, everything went great with the ultrasound!  The pregnancy is measuring 7 weeks, 6 days so we caught up two days!  I graduated from the fertility clinic (see ya!) and they even gave me a free Baby Bargains book.  Maybe this is really happening!  I still feel great (knock on wood) and I'm three pounds below my pre-IVF weight, 9 pounds below post-IVF weight.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Seven Weeks: Heartbeat!

Thank you to everyone who offered their thoughts and support after Saturday's bleeding scare.  I really appreciate it. 

My weekend was spent in suspended animation.  We didn't end up going to the haunted hayride or anyplace for that matter.  I spent most of it firmly planted on the couch, hoping to not temp fate.  My sense of smell was crazy and I got mad at my husband for eating peanut butter.

We got in to the doctor's office today and it was SO busy.  Waiting was pretty weird.  DH told me he wants to tell his boss I'm pregnant because "people are asking questions" and I'm trying to shush him because I don't even know if I'm still pregnant AND we're in a fertility doctor's waiting room and I don't want to rub it in for the others around us.

Anyway, I finally get wanded and there it is, my little sac.  Looking good.*  Before I knew it there was a sound coming from the screen. 

Buh bump.  Buh bump.  Buh bump. 

Wow, there is a heart beating inside me!  It was probably the coolest thing in the whole wide world.  The nurse said the heartbeat is 120 bpm which (according to a quick Dr. Googling) is normal.

*The ultrasound dated my pregnancy as 6 weeks, 4 days even though I am 7 weeks today.  Last week I was measuring 1-2 days behing and now I'm measuring a full 3 days behind.  The nurse said not to worry but I'm still a little concerned.  I really hope my little guy catches up some by next week.

Does anyone have any early ultrasound measurement stories to help ease my mind?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Six Weeks, Five Days: Bright Red Blood

Trying to stay calm.

Woke up and went to pee, only to see bright red blood on the toilet paper accompanied with some thick darker blood.

Called the nurse and she said to just take it easy and that it could be from the Crinone or intercourse.

I feel okay, just sort of paranoid.

Next ultrasound is on Monday.  I hope I make it.

Hang in there, baby.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Six weeks: One sac!

I'm too tired to get out of bed - where I've been since I came home from work - but I figured I can use my handy phone app to record the happy news.

We saw one gestational sac, one yolk sac, and one fetal pole with the tiniest little flickering of a heartbeat. So exciting! Everything was measuring right on track. I can stop the Lovenox finally and I go back next week to hopefully hear the heartbeat.

All is right with the world. Just really tired.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

One Or Two Embryos: Part Two

On the eve of my first ultrasound I think it's fitting to finally update on our decision on how many embryos to transfer, as promised in this earlier post.  In case you aren't familiar with how the past few months have gone here's a recap:

Before going through our first IVF cycle, my husband and I were pretty certain we were only going to transfer one embryo.

We ended up transferring two embryos.

I am now pregnant.

In retrospect, I wish I could articulate our decision to transfer two in the same way I had previously explained our rationale behind only transferring one.  To be honest, I think until you've actually been through IVF it's really easy to underestimate the emotional component involved in making these decisions.

Scientifically, it seemed like we would have just as good a chance of success transferring one fresh embryo and later, if necessary, a frozen embryo, as we would if we transferred two fresh embryos.  That all makes SO MUCH SENSE on paper, but then you get to the actual IVF.

I was very excited to get nineteen eggs on retrieval day, only to wake up to an urgent phone call from my doctor several hours later that H's sperm sample was the worst ever and we would need to use ICSI - something we had previously decided to forgo.  Even with ICSI they were only able to fertilize nine of the eggs.  Little by little our optimism began to fade.

Here's the other thing: my clinic has pretty bad SART statistics. This never really bothered me because I accepted the explanation they give -  they offer competitive IVF prices and don't turn anyone away due to age or other fertility issues thus lowering their statistics.  On the other hand, I always thought *my* chances would be better.  I read so many accounts of women being given personalized statistics based on the quality of the embryos, so I awaited eagerly for mine.  Imagine my shock when transfer day came and I was given the same exact odds as the clinic's overall success rate: 37 percent chance of success based entirely on age and nothing else.

I asked the doctor (one I hadn't previously met) why the odds were not higher and he said simply that if I wanted to transfer three embryos he could give me a 40 percent chance. Three?!

So....here we are.  My legs spread open in stirrups.  We're presented with these odds that were less than we had hoped for and of the nineteen eggs we had originally, we only had nine embryos and five of them had apparently stopped growing on the second day.  We had two day five embryos, one great quality and one good.  Of the seven remaining, two looked okay (a day three and a day four blast). All of a sudden I thought about our chances in a new, less clinical, way. If we transferred the best day five blast, would the second best one even survive the thaw?  And if the best embryo didn't stick, how confident could we be of the second best one sticking?  The third?

Two went in and at least one stuck.  They gave us a thirty percent chance of twins and, if I had to guess based on beta numbers, I'm smack dab in the middle of where my levels would be for a singleton pregnancy.  I'm not going to lie, a part of me would be relieved to see one sac tomorrow.  Because all of my fears and doubts about twin pregnancy and parenthood didn't vanish simply because we changed our mind.  Another part of me would be a little sad about losing our other embryo.

Mostly I am just nervous about seeing at least one normally developing six week pregnancy in my uterus tomorrow and I'll just thank my lucky stars if that actually happens.

Friday, October 19, 2012

5 Weeks, 4 Days: Milk Does a Body Good (I Hope)

Chugging along on my fifth week of pregnancy.

Back from my awesome vacation.

Chugging two percent milk like it's going out of style.  I tried my beloved almond milk last night and it just wasn't the same.  I need the cow kind.  It's all I want.  I got two little cartons today again at lunch and almost immediately regretted not getting a third.  I was afraid the lady at the register would judge me.  Must secure large carton of milk to keep in work fridge.

Going to a birthday party tomorrow night.  I already told the birthday girl I was pregnant (couldn't wait) but I have since told her that H doesn't know she knows and we're going to play it cool at the party.  It's at a beer hall so I'm hoping they have some N/A beers or something so I can fit in.

I'm down nine pound since retrieval day.  I can't deny I'm happy about that but retrieval day was also my highest weight ever so I'm only about four pounds below normal and still six pound above where I started out TTCing.

Need to catch up on a few work related things but wanted to give an update.  Pretty much nothing is happening.  Other than wanting milk and going to bed early I have no symptoms.

Ultrasound is Monday, can't wait!

Monday, October 15, 2012

5 Weeks: Pee Sticks and Palm Trees

I'm having a really nice time on my solo trip - even if my family thinks I'm strange for traveling without my husband. Not that it's any of their business but I had a free flight and vacation days to use or lose. I should be used to their judgement by now I suppose.

This morning I peed on a stick after a several day hiatus and what do you know - the test line is just about as dark as the control line. Then I went to the breakfast buffet and had way too much cheese.

Here are some pics from my trip.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

4 Weeks, 6 Days: "I'm pregnant"

"I'm pregnant."

That's what I said aloud in front of dozens of air travelers as we lined up for the security handlers.

It was the first time I've ever said those words to any non-family member and, I gotta be honest, it was pretty cool.

I was at the beginning of a long-awaited (but often postponed due to fertility treatments) solo vacation. It turns out the new fancy scanner poses no risks to pregnant women but I still opted for a frisk instead - preferring to look overly cautious instead of misinformed.

And now I relax in my hotel room though palm trees are calling my name out my window. I ordered room service - the lobster mac and cheese you see below. Plus milk. I almost ordered two milks but backed out at the last minute. I regretted that immediately because now I'm out of milk and that's all I want.

This may not promise to be the most thrilling vacation but I'm going to relax and enjoy some warm weather. When I return, hopefully I'll be four days more pregnant and just three days away from my ultrasound.

Friday, October 12, 2012

4 Weeks, 4 Days

Darn this pregnancy thing is fun.  Everyday I wake up and I'm just a little more pregnant.  I thought I'd be more freaked out than I am but I am just going with it.  So far, so good!

I got the results of my second beta yesterday - 287!  A perfect doubling time of 46 hours.  Since I'm off on vacation from today until late Wednesday I don't even go back to the fertility clinic for 10 days.  ZOMG freedom!

They wanted to schedule my ultrasound for next Thursday (5 weeks, 3 days) but my husband is going to be out of town.  They don't have any appointment times on Friday so I actually let them push me back to Monday the 22nd (6 weeks exactly).  The anxious me would never have waited that long but the calm zen pregnancy me is glad that there's a greater chance of seeing a hearbeat now.

Down six pounds since egg retrieval, woot woot.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

4 Weeks, 2 Days: More Sticks

I'm still very excited and grateful to be pregnant but knowing that I still have many milestones to meet tempers my celebrating a little.  Tomorrow is my second beta and assuming all goes well I still need an ultrasound next week to confirm a uterine pregnancy.

So, in the meantime, here's some more pee sticks.

First up is yesterday's, when my beta was 139.  First morning urine and everything.  I thought it was interesting that the second line was still not super dark even though my beta was over 100 and it's supposed to register a beta of 20 as pregnant.  I guess this is just proof that line darkness doesn't really mean squat.

Not that it's been keeping me from chasing the elusive dark second line.  What can I say?  The sticks are cheap!

And here's today's stick.  11 days past five day transfer, aka 16dpo, aka 4 weeks, 2 days.


Pretty darn dark, right?  But still not darker than the control.  I give up.  No, I don't.  I still have a dozen left.

Fingers crossed for a doubled beta tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

10dp5dt: Beta Is In!



It worked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My beta was 139!!!

My progesterone is over 40.

I'm so excited!

I am four weeks, one day pregnant.  I go back in on Thursday to get a second beta to make sure it rises (rise, baby, rise) and if it does my first ultrasound will be late next week.

I'm itching to buy something.  It's finally starting to feel real.  Even my family is happy now.

Please, universe, let the next 250 or so days be just like this.

Monday, October 8, 2012

9dp5dt: Still Hanging Tough

Welcome back to Peesville, USA.  Where you can pee all you want but no one believes you're pregnant.

I really wanted to see a dark second line today but both the Wondfo and the Clear Blue test gave me similar results to yesterday or even previous days.  And I know "they" say that home pregnancy tests are qualitative not quantitative, but when your own family doesn't trust you, it's nice to have something to bolster your hope.

Today I am four weeks pregnant.

Tomorrow I go in bright and early for my blood test.  I'm trying not to speculate what the number will be and what it could mean.  Since I have been testing positive for about four days now I'd hope it would be at least 100.  Scientifically, if a Clear Blue test picks up 25 units of hcg and I have my blood test four days after testing positive on one of those babies then it should be 100.  I would be thrilled if it was even higher. I don't want there to be any doubt.  I am pregnant and the haters can suck it.

I also feel pregnant.  I'm tired.  I'm constipated.  I have weird cramps and it hurts when I sneeze or yawn.

I just need to get to tomorrow afternoon.  Heaven help me.

Here's a stick from today.  Annoyingly dark but not really dark.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

8dp5dt: Still Apparently Pregnant

Sorry to leave everyone hanging yesterday. I'm still in a state of disbelief about my pregnancy status. I'm out of town visiting my younger sister. I was able to tell her in person while video chatting with my mom. Unfortunately my mother and older sister ruined my announcement by telling me it was too early and they needed it confirmed by the doctor before they could be happy.

My older sister even told me that she waited ten weeks to announce her pregnancy and I should have done the same because "it can go away." she has since apologized.

I really don't care what they believe. Today, I am pregnant and for that I am grateful.

Look at this dark plus sign. It had barely dried.

Friday, October 5, 2012

6dp5dt: Is this real life?


I'm sort of at a loss for words right now but I know I have to write something to document this moment.

The lines are still there, potentially getting darker and definitely not squinters.  I even tried to go and buy a digital just to see the magical word "pregnant" but I accidentally bought a regular Clearblue easy instead.  Still, it was nice to see the "plus" sign.

This may, in fact, be really happening to me.  My brand new therapist was the second person to know.  I'm at such a great place with my mental health lately but I'm glad I have started therapy again to keep me anchored as I begin what will hopefully be a new chapter in my life.

No one else knows, except for Internet friends.  I plan to tell my little sister in person tomorrow and I'm SO excited about that.  Part of me is still waiting for the other shoe to drop because it's only 11DPO, I haven't even missed my period and beta is not for four more agonizing days but I'm just choosing to let the universe be my guide for now.

Thanks to all my readers for their support.  I hope to have a great beta number to share on Tuesday but I know you all will be here no matter what happens and for that, I am truly grateful.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

5dp5dt: A Line is a line?

I just got back from the dentist and once again the dentist and the hygienist asked me if I was pregnant yet.  It happens every three months when I get a cleaning (I need a lot of cleanings) so I guess I should be prepared but damn if I have to go back there in another three months un-pregnant.

The thing is though....I might be pregnant.

Would a non-pregnant person have these kind of second lines 5 days past their 5 day transfer and 12 days past their hcg trigger?


What do you think?  The top one is from this morning and the bottom one is from this afternoon.  I know they're faint and it still could possibly be the trigger but I'm starting to get excited.  I even listened to a pregnancy podcast today on the way to work.  That was kind of weird.  It was titled "Week Four" and went something like this:

It may be time to take a home pregnancy test, but if it's not positive, don't worry.  Take another in a few days.

Haha ROTFL. I have 40 tests left.  You can't stop me.

Your clock may have started ticking a long time ago or just recently but if this isn't your month, just try again next month.

Or try for 16 months.  And bang your head against the wall.  And take lots of drugs.  And cry.

Try to remember when your last monthly period started.  This will be helpful information for the doctor.

I'm pretty sure my doctor was at my last monthly period, so I'm good.

Tick

Tock

Bring on tomorrow.   I am staying upbeat but I really want to see a nice dark line.  Of course now I'm reading that for some women, the lines never get dark.  OMG.

No symptoms, down another pound.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

4dp5dt: Faint Lines and Frosties

Hello from Peesville, USA!

Ok first things first, this is a line, right?  I mean, I know it is but is it getting darker than the pathetic lines I had been seeing?  They all pretty much looked like the one I posted on Monday.

This morning I woke up at 2:30 in the morning with an urgent need to pee so of course I peed in a cup and saw the most pathetic squinter line known to man.  I peed again this morning at 8:00 and the result was largely the same.

But now, 2:00 p.m. on the fourth day past my five day transfer after a 5.5 hour hold I get this:

And I KNOW it's really early and I KNOW it could just be the trigger, but can't I just be on the winning side of odds for once?  I read about someone who got a BFP three days past a five day transfer (a FET I think so no annoying trigger to confuse things).  I wasn't that lucky but can I be the second most lucky infertile person?  Please universe?!

Now onto the good news.  My IVF nurse called to tell me we have SIX FROSTIES, or frozen embryos for the uninitiated.  Three were frozen on Day 5 and are a 4AA (good), 3CC (poor) and 2BB (fair).  Three more were frozen on Day 6 and are a 4CC (poor), 3CC (poor) and 3C (poor).  And I don't really know what those grades mean but hopefully I won't even have to think about those frosties for at least a year or so when the insurance company stops paying the freeze fee.

No symptoms.  Up two pounds from yesterday but still down four overall from retrieval day.  I really really hope to see some darker lines in the near future.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

3dp5dt: Magic Fortune Ball Says

I'm totally pregnant, right?  I know I've done this kind of crap before but my fortune telling i-phone app wouldn't lie to me like the Internet fortune teller did, would it?  Every single question I have asked it in the past 24 hours has given me positive results.  Who needs pee sticks?  In fact, the only question that didn't come back positive was "will I get a positive test on Friday?"  The app said "it is too early to say."  Otherwise it tells me I am pregnant with healthy twins and at least one of them is a boy.

I am down four pound today, hallelujah!  Today is the first day I didn't have to bind my belly fat.  I'm hoping my super duper bloat is gone for a while.  I woke up in the middle of the night thinking it was almost time to wake up for the day.  I had to pee SO bad but I still wanted an extra hour of sleep.  After fighting it for a what seemed like an hour I finally got up to relieve myself and realized it was only 4:30 a.m. and despite the fact that I peed directly before bed at 10:30 p.m.  Of course I caught some of it in a cup (insane pee marathon in progress) and noticed it was very diluted.  Still the Wondfo hpt gave me a very very faint line (see last night's post, it looks pretty much the same).

Finally wake up for the day at 8:30 (late!) and pee again in a cup.  It's darker now with the same super duper faint line.  Oh hcg trigger, why do you taunt me?

And in case any pee-crazy IVFers are reading this, I found this web site that gives the following instructions on testing at home after IVF:

When to Start HPTs During the Two Week Wait (2WW)
For a 3-day transfer, don't POAS (pee on a stick) until 6 days after transfer.
For a 5-day transfer, don't POAS until 4 days after transfer.

So that means I can start testing (or keep testing rather) tomorrow because, after all, someone on the Internet said I could!  You want science?  I got your science right here (from more reputable web site):

5-Day Transfer

Days Past
Transfer (DPT)
Embryo Development
OneThe blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell
TwoThe blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus
ThreeThe blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation
FourImplantation continues
FiveImplantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop
SixHuman chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the blood stream
SevenFetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
EightFetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
NineLevels of hCG are now high enough to detect a pregnancy

I sort of want to call bull on this chart because I've seen forum postings where women claim to have gotten BFPs four days after a five day transfer, but I'm no doctor.

Either way, I only have a week until my beta and maybe less until a hpt shows a positive.  Fingers crossed.

No symptoms except peeing a lot.

Monday, October 1, 2012

2dp5dt

How has it only been two days since my transfer?

MAKE.  TIME.  GO.  FASTER.

I feel fine today...much unlike the past two days where I didn't want to get off the couch and needed to go lie down for a nap every few hours.  I'm not sure if that means anything other than the fact that I had to go to work today.  And by "work" I mean the place where I obsessively google "symptoms 2dp5dt."

There is this weird thing going on with my stomach but that's been happening since before retrieval.

I look way pregnant.  My belly is distended and I have to adjust my rack when I go to give myself a shot (i.e. I can no longer see my stomach by just looking down).  I feel like it's getting bigger even though I haven't gained any weight.  In fact, I've lost a couple of pounds since egg retrieval day.  I know I was at risk of getting OHSS but I think mine is just a pretty mild case because I pee freely throughout the day and don't have any of the other side effects.  I've been wearing this fake t-shirt bottom for over a week now.  It's similar to the belly band I guess but it's designed to wear under your shirts so that there's no gap between your pants and shirt.  It came in a package of two at CVS if you're in the market.  I've been wearing it over my pants pulled up around my gut.

Now onto the pee sticks.  I had 40 Wondfos calling my name so I decided to test today to see where if my trigger shot was.  It came up a real squinter, which is totally fine since it's to early to be producing hcg.  I almost didn't take a picture of it because I've been down this crazy road of pee stick comparison before.

Then I remembered that I would be annoyed if I didn't have the stick to compare to tomorrow's stick so here it is.  It's now nine days past trigger and my trigger likes to give me faint positives for 12 days so now I know it's still kicking.  This wasn't FMU or anything.

Stay tuned for more episodes of As the Pee Stick Turns....

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Delicious Pineapple Core Smoothie

I've known about the theory that pineapple core can aid in implantation for a while.  On my last IUI I did my best to eat the whole core even though it was pretty tough and acidic.  And obviously that cycle didn't work so I didn't give much thought to the whole pineapple core theory.

But when my acupuncturist again reminded me to eat pineapple core in the days following my embryo transfer I resolved to try it again. So off to the supermarket we went right after we left the office yesterday.  I also picked up some grape juice because that's supposed to help too and I'm superstitious.  I drank a ton of grape juice yesterday but passed out before I could cut into the pineapple.

This morning I asked my husband to cut it up for me (no heavy lifting after all, right?) and we had the bright idea to make it into a smoothie.  And it was awesome!  So much better than eating it plain. Here's what we did:

1/3 of pineapple core in blender cut up into chunks
Some ice
Some almond milk
Whey powder

And nom nom nom it was good.  I'm sorry I don't have precise measurements because we just sort of eyeballed it.  Not sure if you need Whey powder but DH always used it for his smoothies so we threw some in.  Embabies need protein, right?

I don't imagine the amount of bromelain in the pineapple core would be reduced by blending it.  Do you agree, science people?  Anyway give it a shot!  I'll let you know if it worked in 10 days.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Embabies on Board!

Oh hai.  I survived transfer thanks to my new friend Valium.  Even after pre-transfer acupuncture I was pretty on edge until the nurse asked me if I wanted any.  Ten minutes later and I'm cracking jokes on the table.

I had my first ever pleasant speculum experience.  The doctor was nice and patient.  The nurse was kind.  The embryos.  Oh man the embryos were rockstars.

We transferred two GORGEOUS day 5 blasts - a 5AA and a 5BB.  We went back and forth on the one versus two issue and two won out for various reasons I can probably talk about when I'm not on drugs.

So now we wait.  Beta is Tuesday, October 9th but I'm confident I will POAS before then.  Please say hi to the embabies and help them get comfortable!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nine Fertilized Embryos Waiting!

Got the call this morning.  All nineteen of my retrieved eggs were mature!  They were all ICSI'd and so far nine of them have fertilized and are now full fledged embryos.  I'm so excited!

I was a little confused because I thought ICSI meant an 80% fertilization rate but the nurse explained that they are still watching nine other eggs to see if they would fertilize.  Only one egg was bad. Either way, nine is a great number and it all but assures us that we will have a five day transfer.

As for the human incubator, I'm doing okay.  Bloated as heck and crampy but no signs of severe OHSS.

I'm scheduled to go back Saturday and get knocked up.  Please let this work!

Monday, September 24, 2012

19 Eggs Retrieved!

Wow I survived!  One minute I was saying how funny the ceiling looked and the next I was recovering from the procedure.

But ouch the pain rocked me. The nurse seemed to think Tylenol would help that but I begged for better pain meds and finally she obliged.

Then we got the great news: 19 eggs had been retrieved.  My husband I gave each other a high five.

On the way home he was saying that I'll never have to go through stimulation ever again but I was more cautious and said let's see about the fertilization report later.  We get back and I  took a nice long nap with the heating pad.

Then the phone rings and it's the clinic.  I wasn't expecting them to call until tomorrow so I was a little freaked out.  The bad news is our sperm sample was the worst it's ever been.  3 million motile with only a 6% normal morpology.

Even though we had decided not to do ICSI because we were afraid of the increased risks of birth defects and wanted less intervention done on the eggs the doctor urged me to change my mind in light of the news.  So....we're doing ICSI.  I'm okay with it.  No real use second guessing myself now, right?

Fingers crossed for a great fertilization report tomorrow, a kickass 5 day transfer and a happy healthy baby.  Please please please.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I Just Wet My Pants

I'm keeping it real right now in the hopes that some other person in the universe will see it and be relieved that they're not alone.

TMI ahead - beware!

I have felt really "wet" since yesterday. I triggered my beautiful 17 follicles last night. Today I reach down to discover that the outside of my sweatpants are soaked.

Omg gross.

It wasn't pee.

It was cervical mucous.

Omg.

I just got out of the shower and threw on a pad but I can feel MORE eeking out.

Omg.

My knees are pressed to my chest. This is so gross.

Retrieval tomorrow.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ready to Trigger!

So.  Much.  Estrogen.

Yesterday it was 3003.

Today it's 4422!!!

My favorite nurse was so excited that everything finally looks like it is WORKING right the way it should.  My lining is "beautiful" and measuring at 10.5 mm thick.

And the follicles?  There's like 17 of them!  Let me introduce you to them:

On the Lefty we have 15, 17, 15, 11, 15 and 15.

On the Righty we have 15, 16, 19, 16, 19, 17, 17, 15, 18, 14, and 17.

Which of you wants to be my kid?

Trigger is tomorrow night and retrieval is first thing Monday morning.  Here we go!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cycle 10, Day 12

So tired.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Ultrasound showed 12+ follicles today, a huge improvement from Monday.

Estrogen is 2234.

I am exhausted.  Like can't even type things without wanting to nap.

I go back in tomorrow.

Trigger Friday?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Disaster Averted (Again)!

I had a crazy day.  Worked.  Then spent 40 minutes driving six miles in the teaming rain to get to my acupuncture appointment.  My anxiety was going through the roof.  I HATE HATE HATE sitting in traffic.  Bad accident right in front of me. Gah.

Had acupuncture to wake up my ovaries.  Thought it would take the usual 40 minutes to an hour. When the lights come on I realize I have been on the table for 90 minutes.

Am now late to meet a friend for dinner.  Back in the car the roads are flooded.  Get to dinner.  Eat. 

Go home.  Cats go insane.  "Mom we thought you were dead.  You've been gone for 12 hours and we were almost out of food.  One of us threw up."

Race to get my shots done in time.  Shot one, done.  Shot two, done.  Mixing up the Cetrotide for shot three and the mixing needle will NOT come off.  Struggle for twenty minutes.  Call my husband who doesn't pick up.  Can't find wrench. Try to google solutio but the Internet is broken.  OMG.

Grab scissors and yank the needle off. Finally.

Inject.  Breathe.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cycle 10, Day 4

The cyst is gone!  I start stimming for IVF#1 (and only?) tonight!

I am feeling good about it all.  I know so many things can go wrong between now and beta day but I'm hoping for a great cycle.  I will be on pretty much the same protocol that I was on when they tried to switch my last IUI cycle to an IVF - 150 of Gonal F and 75 of Menopur.  I go back on Friday to see how things are growing down there.

I was excited to learn my antral follicle count because no one has ever told it to me before but when I asked the nurse this morning she said there were "about ten" on each ovary.  I wish I knew the exact number.  Oh well.  I hope I produce a bunch of good quality eggs.

We decided not to do ICSI, which I hope I don't later regret.  It was going to be out of pocket and after some research I figured I wanted to aim for natural egg fertilization even if it means fewer fertilized embryos.  Even though DH's numbers aren't terrific I am confident they are strong enough to fertilize a few eggs "naturally."

I somehow got stuck volunteering for the next three nights on a friend's campaign so it will be busy busy busy around here.  Hopefully Friday will be here before I know it and there will be some follicle news.

Friday, September 7, 2012

It's a Boy!

A beautiful little boy was born to my sister and brother in law yesterday afternoon weighing nine pounds, seven ounces and measuring 22 inches. Everyone is healthy and happy, except perhaps my niece who becomes increasingly agitated the longer she is at my parents' house.

We're watching Dora now. I feel bad putting her in front of the tv but she begged and I'm exhausted already. Kids are hard!

I'm spotting a little which hopefully means baseline will be Tuesday or Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Labor Day is Here

My sister is in labor.

She was supposed to be induced tonight but apparently nature took charge.

I am happy for her.

I am happy for me too.  I get to spend some quality time with my 22 month old niece tomorrow while my sister and her husband (and probably new kiddo) are at the hopsital.  I've never really babysat her before so I'm nervous/excited.

And then in a few days I will get some newborn snuggles.

Did I mention that I may be getting a brand spanking awesome new job soon?

So, yes, no baby, sister in labor, me taking a four hour bus ride to help out, etc. but things are good.

Finished birth control so come on period.  Then IVF!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Cycle 9, Day 21

To update you on the state of my mental health since my care provider skipped town, I have an appointment with a REAL LIVE PSYCHIATRIST coming up.....but it's not until September 19th because that's the earliest they can fit me in.  So I will drive up to Urgent Care tonight after work and see if the doc on call will just write me a script for some Zoloft to tide me over until then.

Nothing is urgent right now but it's been three days since my last pill and I really don't want to push my luck.  And, yes, I acknowledge that it was totally irresponsible of me to let my prescription lapse without noticing but, hey man, cut me some slack.

On another note - and I know fellow mental health people will back me on this - I can't help thinking about weaning off the Zoloft.  It's been a couple of days.  I feel fine.  I am fantasizing about weight loss and not having an embarrassingly low tolerance for alcohol if I stop taking it.  And why take something that may potentially not be 100% safe for pregnancy if I don't need it?

But I know how foolish that is.
I worked SO hard to wean off additional meds I was on two years ago.  And over time I managed to get my Zoloft dose down to 50mg which is a lot less than I used to be on.  I tried to cut it out entirely.  I seriously did try.  But it wasn't the right course of action for me for MANY reasons.  I really don't want to go down that road again...especially not cold turkey and especially not on the cusp of an IVF cycle and potential pregnancy.

That's just crazy talk.  Charlie Brown kicking the football.  I know that just because I feel fine doesn't mean the anxiety won't come back.  The half life of Zoloft is something like two weeks so it is still in my system.

Anyway, that's what's going on there.  I'm looking forward to nice long weekend.  I have nothing special planned for a change.  Just relaxing and doing some reading.  Just finished Gone Girl - you must read this right now.  It's $13 which I almost never pay for an e-book but I couldn't even sleep it was so good.  Probably the most gripping novel I've read since The Lovely Bones which came out a decade ago.  And I read a ton of books.

Also my sister's kid is due any minute now.  Yay.  Boo.  All of the above.  If you told me back in February I would still be unpregnant by the time this kid showed up I would have punched you in the face.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Trying Not to Panic

Confession time.  I haven't had an appointment with my psychopharmacologist in 10 months.

Psychopharma-what you ask?

It's the Nurse Practitioner who prescribed me my Zoloft.

I don't know how many non-crazy people know this but you shouldn't be on any SSRI long term without seeking the help of a trained professional.  And your general practitioner (or your OB even) doesn't count.  I know millions of Americans don't follow this rule (and I used to be one of them) but it's true.  I won't go into long boring details about the reasons behind this because it doesn't even matter in my situation.  My GP won't treat my anxiety anymore.  She referred me to someone long ago. 

And I hate her but that's a WHOLE other story.

The person I was originally referred to I never actually met because did you know that to see an actual psychiatrist you must be like literally the most crazy person ever?  No really, it's true.  I had to wait weeks just to get into this guy's office and then I met with a Nurse Practitioner.

Nothing wrong with Nurse Practitioners.  It's just really really hard to see a real deal psychiatrist around here apparently.  But it was okay because I loved this Nurse Practitioner.  He was awesome.  I was in a rough place at the time and he totally helped me out.

Until I got a letter from the office he worked at dropping me as a patient.  Huh?

I would later find out that he had left the practice under somewhat mysterious circumstances.  And TODAY I found out that the original guy I was referred to (the psychiatrist) was just ARRESTED for sexually assaulting his staff.  Holy shit!

None of this actually explains today's problem but since that time my Nurse Practitioner who I followed to a new practice has apparently left that practice.  I would know this if I had been going to my monthly appointments but since I already had a talk therapist and he kept signing off on prescription refills I didn't bother.

I tried emailing him yesterday explaining that I need a refill of my Zoloft (I ran out today) but he hasn't responded.  I have tried getting appointments and the old (new) practice and another place.  Ack!

I'm fine though.  Just anxious about being anxious.  Can an RE prescribe Zoloft?  Stay tuned for actual fertility related news when this crisis settles.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cycle 9, Day 18

I am SO over this whole waiting around for my IVF cycle to start thing.

I have tried to start writing posts lately...about my meeting to discuss the cycle, about the conclusion we reached about the numbers of embryos we want to transfer, how my family is walking on eggshells around me with the imminent arrival of my sister's new baby.

But then I get to the blog and try to write it all down but it even bores me to talk about it so I have no idea how boring it would be to an outside audience.

I just want to move time faster.

Or at least speed up time so that Vampire Diaries is back on the air.

So that's where I am lately.  Just bored.  Six more days of birth control and then hopefully a nice light period instead of a crazy ten day gorefest.

Then IVF and then maybe pregnancy?!!!

I really need to research prenatal vitamins.  I've tried a couple when we first started trying but they hurt my stomach and I started just taking a multivitamin and some folic acid.  Any recommendations?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Just Got Mommyjacked!

I posted this photo on my Facebook wall because it's so hilarious and true.  I never close my bathroom door all the way because my cats consider it a personal affront to do so.  My younger cat doesn't realize he can walk into the partially closed door and it will open so he does a ninja kick into the air and comes barging in every time I'm having my morning pee.  My older cat soon follows and I watch them roll around on the bath mat and chase each other in and out of the bathtub.  As soon as I flush they excitedly race out the door because they know my next stop is their food bowls.

It's our ritual and one that I was sure a few other cat parents would relate to.  My cats follow me to the bedroom at night and wait for me to wake up in the morning, sometimes jumping up on the bed to rouse me.  They are my constant companions and I love them.  But it's also really just a funny picture I wanted to share with Facebook. 

A few people "liked" my status immediately.  And then a friend of mine (who is not a cat parent I must point out) commented "or a parent of a small child."

Sigh.

Mommyjacked.

If you're not familiar with the term mommyjacking, it was made popular by the web site STFU Parents and refers to instances "when an enthusiastic mother turns someone else’s status update into their own personal baby-talk forum.”  

I don't mind babies on Facebook.  They really don't bother me so much.  I cheer when my friends announce milestones or post cute pictures.  Pregnancy announcements are a little harder but I manage not to take them personally (because it's not!).

My Facebook post was about my experience as a parent, yes a cat parent, but a parent nonetheless.  I have been told that tiny humans like to accompany their mothers into the bathroom too.  I'm not naive to think I won't experience the same phenomenon if I am lucky enough to achieve parenthood.  But to take my funny parental anecdote and make it about yourself - your parenthood experience - is the reason why web sites like STFU Parents exist.  Not everything you see or read is about your children - nor should it be.  My funny picture is now just another reminder of what I don't have in my life.

Thanks.

I will add, however, that I shouldn't be surprised this happened since the same Facebook friend also posted the following status a while back: "Two great events in history today.  Bin Laden was captured and 'Baby' rolled over."

Sigh.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Review: A Baby of Her Own by Brenda Novak

I'm really gonna do it, guys.  I'm going to finishing writing my novel about a woman who is trying (and failing!) to get pregnant.  And you know why?  Because even if it sucks it will be much better than 90% of the crap I've read in the eight months I've been searching for (fiction) books about the subject.

And before you think - oh she's just a bitter wannabee - these books can't be that bad, let me tell you about my latest read.  Brenda Novak is a best-selling author allegedly.  She's obviously doing something right.  Her writing wasn't bad per se, but oh wow, the storyline.

A Baby of Her Own which I got for free on Friday for my Kindle is now retailing at $1.99.  And, as most Kindle lovers would guess, you get what you pay for.  It is the story of Delaney, a 30 year old librarian who is pondering pursuing single motherhood.  Her friend suggests donor insemination but Delaney quickly dismisses the idea as too expensive. Somehow - while at the Honky Tonk Bar (yes) one night - they decide to drive off to Boise and find an unknowing sperm donor (uh huh).

Delaney is a virgin!  No one knows that, not even Rebecca.  Enter Connor Armstrong.  An heir to a real estate mogul who has been banished to Idaho by his hopeful grandfather and terrible uncles.  He has one year to work on a project or he will be cut off from his inheritance.  He is determined to stop his reckless ways and avoid loose women.

Cue one night stand.

Cue magical pregnancy.

Etc. etc. vomit gross eww.

Not only was this book so contrived and predictable some parts were just downright strangely offensive.  Case in point - Connor's uncles have never liked him because he was a "rape baby."  Yes, you did read that right.  Those two particular words appeared at least a dozen times in the book.  Also when referring to Connor's mother, Novak is sure to remind the reader over and over again that she was adopted.  For a while I thought maybe we would learn more about the rape or adoption but you never do.  I guess it was just an easy way to show how illegitimate Connor was to his family.  Doubly unwanted.  Super duper offensive.

Anyway I read this so now you don't have to.  You're welcome!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Can you overdose on birth control?

I felt like crap today.  Have felt pretty emotional for days but today I had the worst cramps and just generally feel like death.  I was up late last night so this afternoon I wanted to make sure I remembered to take my birth control.  I really suck at remembering to take them for some reason and usually end up taking it in the morning instead of at night.

So I look at the pack and count "Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, wait, today is Sunday, where is that pill?"

I took it already.

Sometime between last night and this afternoon I accidentally took two birth control pills.  There's all sorts on info on the drug maker's web site about forgetting to take a pill, but nothing about taking two at once.  Luckily some googling has told me it's not a big deal and to take another pill tonight as scheduled.

It's a good thing I don't care about preventing pregnancy and am just taking these things to hopefully reduce my cysts of doom.  Wouldn't it be hilarious if I got an "oops" baby?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

2012 Intercourse Count: 44 Times


I thought it would be fun to see how many times I've had sex in the calendar year.  I try to mark every occasion on my Fertility Friend chart.  I'm not really sure why as we learned months ago that sex isn't going to bring us a baby.  But I guess in the really rare (like less than one percent a cycle) chance that it does happen I want to know the possible date of conception for obsessive compulsive purposes I guess.

So...44 times as of tonight.  Wink wink.  It only works out to be about six times a month which is frankly a little less than I'd like, but my husband does travel a bunch for work.  For the most part I'm happy with our sex life.  It actually took a lot of pressure off our lovemaking when we knew sex would no longer be our chosen method of conception.  Sex is just for funsies.

Is it weird that I want to keep up the log even after I (hopefully) get pregnant?  I just think it's a good idea to be aware of your intimacy.  I know a few times we've gone like ten days without doing it and I've felt a little embarrassed when I realized it had been that long.  I know parenthood will likely affect our intimacy but I can dream that we'll at least be one of those "once a week" couples.

How's your sex life during infertility treating you?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

One or Two Embryos: Part One

I have twenty more days on birth control, but who's counting?  I figure now is the last time I will have to figure out where I (or we!) stand on our decision to pursue single embryo transfer.  And I have a lot of work to do!

First, back up, let me explain.  DH and I decided a while back that if we had to do IVF we would pursue single embryo transfer.  I'm only 32 and have no known egg issues and infertility coverage with my insurance.  It seemed like the best course of action because 1) we wouldn't be losing out too much money if the first cycle didn't work; 2) from my research the success rates aren't all that much better transferring two as opposed to one; 3) I suffer from anxiety and am concerned about how I would react to new parenthood times two; 4) I know a twin pregnancy isn't high risk per se but I spend too much time on fertility blogs and web sites to not be aware of the risks to Mom and babies.

That's just four reasons.  There are actually a ton of arguments going back and forth in my head, including "well if it took this long for one, you may as well have two" and "at least it's only one pregnancy" and "at least they'll be out of diapers at the same time," etc.  I really don't want to be so cavalier about this issue especially since I am actually quite astonished at the number of women who don't consider single embryo transfer and those who actually wish for twins.

On some days I think having twins would be awesome.  We only want two children ideally so this would build out family all in nine short months.  No more TTCing ever would be such a relief.  But then I have premature mommy guilt about not having time to bond with each individual child throughout their milestones.  And I also worry about preemies and other health issues twins can face.

Other days I think transferring two embryos is just a stupid idea.  Oh to be the child born from IVF who finds out they could have just been a regular kid had their parent not roll the dice on them so to speak.  I am just so scared of my kids resenting me.  I actually had a friend who is a twin whose mother considered giving her up for adoption (just her, not her brother) so maybe that's coloring my opinion.

Anyway, it seems totally last minute and I'm pretty sure I stand by our single embryo transfer plan that I already met with the doctor to talk about but....I can't help but have doubts.  Are the success rates really not better?  How risky is a twin pregnancy?  I feel like I see twins everywhere nowadays.  How many twins hate being twins versus how many like it?
So look forward to some posts where I examine scientific, philosophical, and other opinions on deciding how many embryos to transfer in the coming days.  I have a lot to think about.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cycle 9, Day 4

IUI#3 was a BFN, which I realized when I bled through two pairs of pants on Saturday while out of town.  Camping.  Kill me now.

Got depressed.

Got over it.

Got into a fight with my friend who has an eight week old baby who told me I should appreciate what I have and have a good weekend with my husband.  I actually politely tried to explain to her how insensitive her comments were and she went on and on about how she believes in the power of positive thinking and, oh wait, are you actually holding a newborn when you are telling me to be grateful?  You are dead to me, friend.

Got excited to start my IVF cycle and got my meds overnighted so I could start stimming tonight...only to find out that I developed four ovarian cysts and had to delay for at least another cycle.

So I'm back on birth control.  But I am SO THANKFUL that I have massive bleeding from my vagina.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

12 days past IUI = BFN

Still negative. It was just a cheapie Dollar Tree test because the hubs vetoed my last minute FRER purchase ("why ruin our weekend?") but I've officially given up hope on this cycle.

Oh well.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

10 Days Past IUI#3

11 days past HCG trigger shot.

BFN

I knew I shouldn't have tested but in my last two IUI cycles I still got a faint positive for 12 and 13 days past the trigger so I was curious to see what would happen.  It wasn't first morning urine but still two stark white negatives is pretty disappointing to see.  I'm headed out for a long weekend tomorrow and testing will be hard to due (camping) so who knows if I will try it again.

Beta is Monday afternoon.

FML.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Adventures in Internet Doctoring

I just realized I never updated all the estrogen weirdness that happened on my last medicated cycle.  Well long story short, when I didn't respond to Clomid the second time around I asked the doctor to prescribe me Femara instead.  I started taking Femara right in the middle of my cycle since my levels were still baseline.  At my first monitoring appointment there was a nice big follicle so I triggered and came back the next day for my second IUI.

But.....as it turns out my estrogen the day of the trigger was only 20.  It should have been TEN TIMES that to indicate a mature follicle.

I scheduled a consult with my doctor after the IUI to talk about what may have caused the low estrogen and he said that he wasn't sure but we would find out in two weeks if I ovulated or not.  I got my period 19 days later so I assumed I had ovulated but I never really found out if it even happened or if getting my period was just a coincidence.
So with all the weirdness of this current cycle I made sure to schedule a progesterone check seven days past my IUI.  Apparently my clinic doesn't usually do this test and people sort of looked at me funny when I explained that I wanted it.  But whatever.  I need to know if I ovulated.

Okay, that's partly a lie.  I wanted to see a HUGE number because I've heard (anecdotally of course) that a high progesterone level 7 days past ovulation could be an early sign of pregnancy.  And a low sign could mean that you didn't ovulate or you don't have enough progesterone to sustain a pregnancy.  I wanted to rule those last two out but mostly I wanted some sort of sign that this cycle would end in a BFP.  I'm already taking progesterone suppositories (yay!) so a low progesterone shouldn't be an automatically scary thing but I would still like to know!

Dr. Google tells me that any level above 5 indicates ovulation; 10 is what doctors want to see on a nonmedicated cycle; and 15 and above on a medicated cycle.  I also read that some doctors would like the progesterone to be at least 20 when you are on injectible medication like I was this cycle but I couldn't find a reliable source for that so I don't know how credible it is.

Anyway, my progesterone level today is 15, which should make me feel relieved but instead I feel bummed.  I was hoping it would be pretty high and would show me I had a SUPER ovulation but it seems mine was plain normal. 

I really need to stop Dr. Googling.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Zero Weeks Belly Shot (TMI!)

Okay so this is GROSS but I had to share it with some people who a) don't know me and b) would appreciate the sheer grossness of it.

During my stimming my belly took some abuse from all the shots but this bruise takes the cake.  I showed it to my nurse because WTF and she said it was likely from me not holding my belly while I was injecting myself, but I did hold my belly. 

Oh well.  If this cycle works, it will all be worth it, right?  Right?  But don't worry, I am grossed out by naked belly shots of pregnant women so this will be the last one I share.  I'm usually not that bloated either.  Stupid drugs.  If you look closely you can see my first ever stretch marks!  Something to look forward to I guess.

Sorry about the happy trail.  PCOS equals rapid hair growth.

Speaking of this cycle working, I am feeling weird phantom symptoms which, I know, is ridiculous because I'm only 6 days past my IUI.  Last night I was having martial relations (for fun!) with my husband and I could have sworn his soap smelled different.  And I was totally craving soup today.  Actually yesterday but I didn't get to eat soup until today.  I think I dreamt about soup.

So I'm crazy, bloated and bruised.  You're welcome Phantom Baby.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Novarel Needle Warning

I am happily three days past IUI#3 and am now ready to give more details to the cautionary tale of how I screwed up my injection and lost $150 worth of Novarel over the weekend.

Not to toot my own horn, but over the past few weeks I have become quite an expert at stabbing myself in the belly.  After all I had to administer over 30 shots this cycle.  My husband did the first couple of shots but after a few days he went out of town I started doing them myself.  I stabbed myself on the front seat of my car several times.  Prep, mix, pull, stab, push.  So easy.

My husband and I like to sleep in on the weekends.  Well, he sleeps in.  I lay in bed reading blogs and checking my email on my iphone and occasionally try to snuggle.  Last Sunday I pealed myself out of bed at 10:20 to prepare my trigger shot so that I could take it exactly 24 hours before my IUI.

I remembered the last time I saw my nurse she asked me if I needed instructions for the trigger shot and I declined them because I felt I had such expert injecting skills.  The truth is I had never actually given myself the trigger shot because I always had an appointment the day before my IUI and brought my trigger with me so that the nurse could administer it.

I was standing in the kitchen opening the box to the Novarel when I noticed that the water vial was A LOT bigger than the powder vial.  How much water should I mix?  Shit.  I raced off to my doctor's web site to check out the instruction videos.  Okay, one milliliter, that's what I would have guessed.  The video also showed the nurse switching between the mixing needle and the injection needle yet there was only one needle in the bag that came with the Novarel.

Looking back, at this point, I should have done more digging to see if I could use the same needle to mix as inject but I had always just handed that same bag to the nurse and I don't remember her using two different needle tops.  Back to the kitchen I went.  I mixed the medicine, prepared my stomach and pressed the needle to my desired spot.

Then I pressed the plunger and felt liquid dripping out.

Shit.

My mistake was I was so used to giving myself needles that I had stopped watching what I was doing.  I have bigger boobs and I basically have to move them to see my stomach so once I picked out the piece of skin I wanted to stab I don't really look again.  But as it turned out, I pressed the plunger down without piercing my skin and the medicine just fell out onto the floor.

Fast forward the hysterical phone calls and the drive to the one pharmacy I found ON A SUNDAY that had Novarel which they were willing to sell me out of pocket.  I told my husband he had to administer the shot.  He made me call the on-call nurse EVEN THOUGH I HAD SPOKEN TO HER FOUR TIMES EARLIER THAT DAY AND I FELT LIKE A FREAK.  She told me how to mix the shot and administer it and said using the same needle was fine.

Except it wasn't.  My husband goes to stab me with the needle and it's dull.  We figure out the problem ourselves.  Once the needle pierces the rubber top of the vial it is too dull to pierce my skin.  We find a fresh needle, transfer the medicine and voila!

After some Dr. Googling, I found others complain about this issue - interestingly enough on a web site devoted to anti-aging medicine for men.  Woahkay.  But anyway, that is my cautionary tale.  If you don't have a mixing needle for your Novarel, use a fresh needle for the injection.

The End.