Friday, September 30, 2011

Caution Should Be Used

"Caution should be used when driving or operating machinery."

I am on day five of Prometrium suppositories.  I had really minimal side effects from Femara, Gonal-F, and the trigger shot.  But as of last night Prometrium is officially kicking my butt!  That warning should really read, "This drug will turn you into an irrationally angry person.  Use extreme caution when operating deadly machinery as side effects will not last long enough for you to be deemed unfit to stand trial."

This was me in my car today.  Except I wasn't smiling.  I was stuck in traffic and instead of just singing along to the radio like I usually would, I got mad.  Really really mad.  Andy has always talked about how he wishes he had telekinesis.  So I started imagining what I would be like if I did, if I was like Magneto from the X-Men.  I imagined flinging the cars aside with my super powers and them exploding in giant fireballs.  The idea of fireballs was somehow extra satisfying and soothing.  It also helped pass the time!  Of course I would never actually want to harm my fellow commuters...but they really made me upset just by being in my way!

I've noticed several other instances of being upset over stupid things that wouldn't usually bother me.  But every time I realize I'm being irrational I try to take a deep breath and remember that it's just the medicine and my hormones.  These side effects are a good thing since it means they're doing their job!  If this is what it takes to get our baby I will gladly do it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What happens in Vegas...

...we're hoping and praying doesn't stay in Vegas!  I'm going to do a short TTC update before continuing to the more fun stuff about our Vegas trip and 4th wedding anniversary.

We had another RE appointment on Wednesday and the ultrasound showed that I had a great follicle on either side and a good one on the right.  So potentially three to ovulate, but two at the minimum!  I like the sound of that.  I had two more Gonal-F shots on Wednesday and Thursday night, then I triggered on Friday night!  It's amazing how just two weeks ago I was scared at the idea of shots, now I've done nine and they're no big deal.  I don't love them but they're not horrible.  I do have one big bruise on my abdomen, for some reason out of the nine shots one bruised.  I guess that's not bad, right?

Now on to the fun stuff!

The 22nd was our 4th anniversary.  I am more in love with Andy today than I was the day I married him which is so hard to believe.  We've experienced so many ups and downs, but we've weathered it all together.  He is my rock.  As he was sweet enough to tell me earlier, "This is only the beginning.  4 years.  If our life was a book, we would still be on chapter 1."  That's so true.  Four years is nothing compared to the amount of time we will spend together.  I am so looking forward to seeing what year 5 brings us!

So on our anniversary we flew to Las Vegas!  We had an amazing time.  Our feet and bodies are sore from so much walking, and by the end of our trip we were more than ready to come home.  But it's going to be a trip we talk about for the rest of our life!
We stayed at the Luxor
It was a nice hotel.  We were really happy that we were at one end of the strip, further away from the crazy party areas.  The downstairs was really nice but the rooms and hallways are in need of an upgrade since they're a little run down.  But for the amount of time we were in our room it was perfect!
When we got to our room we got a phone call from room service that they had a gift to bring us.  My mother-in-law and her husband bought us chocolate covered strawberries.  They were delicious!

Of course we had to go to the casino pretty quickly.  We allotted ourselves $50 each per day that we were there to gamble.  My dad had jokingly suggested to Andy that he place all of his first days bet on one blackjack hand.  Andy is crazy, so he did.  He turned that $50 into $200 in less than 5 minutes!

So here is where things get a little crazy...Over 15 years ago I was a dork and really into Star Wars.  Yes, I embrace my nerdhood with open arms!  I was searching around on the internet and found a chat room.  In the chatroom I "met" a boy, just a little older than me.  We started chatting and continued for a number of years.  We've kept in contact through Facebook in recent years.  The day before Andy and I left for Vegas this friend posted that him and his wife were going to be in Vegas soon.  Turns out they were going to be there at the same time we were!  Keep in mind, I've "known" him for over 15 years but we've never met IRL.  Well, now we have!  We met up with them on thursday night to wander the strip and get a drink.  Then yesterday they treated us to a brunch buffet.  It was great meeting them!  I can tell that we would all be good friends if we lived in the same area.  I loved his wife!  It was so weird and random that we ended up all there at the same time.  
Playing the gigantic slot machine at New York New York
Andy rode the roller coaster at New York New York while I shopped.  I am not a rides person!  Andy said this was his favorite ride of the trip.
1. Andy puts the $1 into the giant slot machine
2.  Andy pulls the lever
3. Umm, they're all lined up...What does that mean?
4. Hey, I won! 
This photo needs to be large to see the funny progression!  I love #3 where he's just staring at it.

We had frozen hot chocolate at Serendepity 3 by Caesar's Palace, it was delicious!

And watched the fountain show at the Bellagio.
We went to the Stratosphere...
and Andy rode all three of the crazy death defying rides.  I watched.
On Friday night we went to Fremont street.
It was a pain in the butt to get to, but totally worth it!  The light show was incredible.
One of our last stops on Saturday before the flight home was M&Ms world.  My initials, before getting married, were MMS so growing up my grandpa and grandma always bought me M&Ms related things.  It was special to get to go into a place like this and imagine how they would have bought out the store for me!

It was an amazing time!  I'm so glad that Andy and I decided to take a trip for our anniversary.  I feel happy and refreshed, despite being tired and sore.  Now we're working on year number 5 and hoping and praying that what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rollercoaster Ride

This journey is a total rollercoaster.  One minute I'm optimistic, the next I'm down in the dumps.  One minute everything seems to be going well, then next the rug is pulled out from under me yet again.  You would think by now I would be used to roadblocks and to changes.  Wrong!

I had my CD10 monitoring appointment with the RE, so I had another date with the dildo cam!  That sucker owes me dinner.  I have one good follicle at 12 on my right, then a few smaller ones at 9.  I think there was one on my right and two on my left.  This is good, but not great.  It means more fun Gonal-f injections!  So Andy and I had to hunt down a pharmacy that had it available, then wait around for awhile for the prescription to be filled.  We are 100% out of pocket so thanks to a little trick I learned on the 3T board on The Bump, I asked if there were any discounts available.  Our bill for the Gonal-F went from $555 to $278!  It's still a horrendous price but I'll take 50% off any day!  Apparently they have manufacturer coupons just sitting behind the counter.  If this cycle is a bust I'll definitely be asking again, on all my medications!

So today I'm feeling a little defeated and I think Andy is too.  I know we're just starting out on this journey compared to a lot of people, but this freaking sucks!  I can't believe our insurance doesn't pay a single dime for anything relating to IF.  We have a decent amount of savings for a young couple, but I can see us easily spending it all in a matter of months if we're not successful.  It's a really scary thought.  But I know our baby will be more than worth the money, time, blood, sweat, and tears it takes to get them.  So I'm trying to remain positive and optimistic.

In better news, the countdown to Vegas is on!  Just a few more days until we'll be enjoying our 4th wedding anniversary!  I wish it could be a trip completely away from TTCAL and IF, but I'll probably at least have to do my trigger shot while I'm there if not a Gonal-F shot too.  But that's okay.  I'm just really looking forward to a trip with Andy, just the two of us.  I love taking trips with him!  He makes me laugh and smile like no one else can.  This is going to be a much needed vacation!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Nervous for News!

Today was my last day (hopefully) of Gonal-F injections!  They really weren't bad but I'm so glad to be done for now.  I'm really nervous for our RE appointment, bloodwork, and ultrasound tomorrow.  I'm so scared that my lining will be too thin, I won't have any good follicles, I'll have too many good follicles...Deep breaths, Melissa!  Seriously.  I'm just anxious to find out what the heck is going on in there!

If all goes according to plan (which we all know never seems to happen in this TTCAL/IF journey!) I'll have two nice sized follicles and be ready for a trigger Tuesday or Wednesday night, right before we leave for Vegas for our 4th wedding anniversary.  Hubba hubba!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Did It!

Gonal-F injection #1 is done!  Yay!

I've been dreading it for weeks.  Even more since we found out the needle was visible at our injections training last week.  See, originally I thought it was in pen form where you wouldn't have to see the needle.
I was a little freaked out about sticking that thing in my abdomen!

Thankfully Andy was at the injections training with me and really helped.  I love that I have such an amazing partner to depend on! We're definitely in this together.  Andy prepped the needle and primed it for me.  Once we had read through the instructions half a dozen times each I finally stuck the needle into me.  I kind of blanked.  I pushed the button and we heard a click, I pressed it again and we heard another click.  The directions say to press it until it's clicked and then leave it in for at least five seconds.  I think I left it in for at least 30!  I wasn't convinced it had clicked enough.  When I finally pulled it out I accidentally pulled at a slight angle so I think my abdomen is more tender right now than it will usually be.  I still was paranoid that I somehow hadn't dispensed the entire dose, so Andy and I scrambled to google to look it up.  We're now 99% certain we did everything correctly.

I think the worst part of this is just being terrified of messing up.  The meds are not cheap by any means, and it's stressful on us both.  It's a little scary to think we might do something to screw up this chance.  But I think that's also a perfectly normal concern at this stage, right?

I'm really proud of us for making it through injection #1!  Only three more to go, hopefully.  Then a trigger shot!  Right now I feel more hope and excitement than I've felt in awhile, which is also scary.  I want to be optimistic, but not too much so.  I don't want to have to deal with the disappointment of an unsuccessful cycle if I get my hopes up too much.  There is definitely an intricate balance to it when you're IF and TTCAL!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Feet Were Huge!

Today was honestly a good day.  I never in a million years thought that I would say that.  Our EDD, the day I have been dreading ever since our miscarriage, was actually a good day?  Crazy talk!

But it's not crazy.  I got to cuddle on the couch with my wonderful husband, our furry kiddos, and watch two movies.  We went to the pharmacy and bought our stash of fertility medication.  Coke icees, popcorn, a walk around the block, homemade calzones, and chocolate chip cookies were also involved.  Plus, I am finally feeling better after my surgery.  Let me tell you a little tale of the allergic reaction from hell...

Two posts ago I discussed how my recovery after surgery was a lot more difficult than expected.  My pain was continuing and at a much greater intensity than expected.  Then my feet began to swell.  In all reality, I think my feet had been slowly swelling ever since the surgery.  They had become painful and the bottoms cracked by sunday, but I just assumed it was due to lack of lotion.  Silly me, right?  I honestly never looked at my feet until wednesday morning.  When I did I was surprised to find them a little swollen.  I was worried, but really not too concerned.  On thursday I attempted to go into work for four hours, before my postop appointment.  I made it the entire time but didn't get any work done.  My feet were continuing to grow in size.  My pain level was also growing, despite my continued vicodin use.  Have you seen the newest Star Trek movie?

Andy said my feet reminded him of Kirk's allergic reaction.
I would agree with Andy!  My feet were freaky huge.  We went to the RE's office a little early since I had called ahead to tell them what was happening.  The whole staff felt bad for me and didn't know what was going on.  My RE said either it was an allergic reaction or he might have nicked my kidney during the surgery.  Umm, what?  I had blood drawn and was told in the meantime to take lots of benadryl to see if it helped.

Thursday is pretty much a blur after we got home.  I was in incredible pain and discomfort so I slept for a long time.  That night I had alarms going off practically every hour to take either benadryl, vicodin, or ibuprofen.  It was not a fun night.  But friday morning finally dawned and I felt significantly better.  I got the call from the RE's office that my labs were completely normal, no kidney damage.  My foot swelling continued to decrease throughout the day and last night I was able to sleep on my sides for the first time since the surgery!  Small accomplishments mean a lot right now.  My feet now look completely normal, for me anyway.  My pain is also gone.  I still have some tenderness and discomfort, but nothing like what I experienced before.

So it was definitely a bizarre allergic reaction, but we don't know to what.  I'm wondering if maybe I'm allergic to the surgical mesh or glue used during the surgery.  I will definitely ask to be tested before I have surgery again!  It was scary.

But all is well that ends well, right?  Our EDD is almost over and I'm feeling more positive and upbeat than I have felt in awhile.  I never thought that today would be good or that I would end it feeling pretty happy.  I miss my angel, I always will.  But I'm ready to move on.  I'm ready to tackle infertility with lots of fun drugs and somehow hopefully get our take home baby in the end!

It's Here

It's here.  The day I have been dreading for so long.  9/10/11.  Our EDD.

When we first were pregnant I imagined this day being filled with tears of the happy variety.  Instead I sit here with sad tears in my eyes and an incredibly empty ute.  After our loss I assumed that I would be pregnant by now.  Instead, today marks CD1 of our very first injectables cycles.

But you know what?  I'm okay.  Mostly.  I did cry some this morning, and I'll probably shed some more tears as this day progresses.  Especially thanks to all my girls on TTCAL who are reaching out to make sure I know that our little one is not forgotten.  What would I do without their support?  I think I would be an emotional wreck that Andy would have to be scraping out of bed this morning.  I know Andy is incredibly thankful for all the support I've gotten through this blog and TTCAL, but I don't know if he truly understands how much better I am functioning because of them.

So today I think about our lost angel.  I know I will get to hold them in heaven one day and for that I am so thankful.

I might do another post later to document fun allergic reactions after surgery and our exciting injectables plan...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Time Goes By Slowly

Geez, time sure goes by slowly when you're recovering from having your insides mangled!

It turns out that I was taking my pain medications wrong to begin with.  I didn't pay close enough attention and was only taking two vicodin every four hours, instead of pairing it with Ibuprofen.  Oops!  By the time I realized how quickly I was going through the vicodin it was too late.  So yesterday I tried to wean myself off of it and start the ibuprofen a little too quickly.  Major stomach upset then occurred.  It was not a fun night for Andy or myself! ~ Written monday morning but never posted

Now it's wednesday morning, a few minutes before my next vicodin fix and almost an hour since my last ibuprofen.  I'm starting to actually find a small balance between pain, nausea, and a loopy inbetween that I shall call highness.  I think this recovery has been more difficult than either Andy or I expected.  I seriously figured that by Tuesday morning I would be ready to return to work physically, but I would call in to "enjoy" another day off.  Instead I called in yesterday and will call in again today because I'm just not ready  I can feel it though, I can feel the beginnings of normalcy taking hold.  At least I hope it's normalcy and not just another wave of nausea.  It's become a little hard to tell lately.

In good news, Andy and I got a new bed yesterday!  We are officially upgraded from a full to a king!  I wish I could just plop down and snuggle in, but right now sleeping requires some complicated pillow positioning and maneuvering.  But soon...soon I shall break in the bed the way I want to!  Yeah, you know what I mean (insert eyebrow waggling here).  For now it's enough to know that Andy is enjoying the ocean of our bed.  For once I don't think he felt me get out of bed.  There seems to be plenty of room for the fur gang, too!  It's all very exciting.

Now it's time for me to finish my Lorna Doone packet, chug some more water, and pop another pain pill.  Maybe next time I write I'll not only have more to say but I'll be able to say it more coherently?  What a novel idea!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

In Recovery

I'm on vicodin so please excuse any misspellings or grammar mistakes!  I might ramble too.

I had my exploratory laproscopy and HSG yesterday.  I was pretty nervous beforehand.  I've had surgery three other times in my life;  Tonsils removed when I was 5, wisdom teeth at 13, and major jaw surgery at 15. Jaw surgery was obviously the worst of any of them since I had to have my jaw wired shut for six weeks afterwards and I have two metal plates installed.  Even though that was tough it's been a really long time since my last surgery and I don't remember much about the day of or the days immediately following it.  I've had plenty of experience in waiting rooms while family is under the knife, but not of being the patient myself in awhile.

Thursday was my last day at work until Tuesday (although I'm thinking of calling in sick that day).  Only three of my work friends know everything that Andy and I have been through this year, I've even chosen not to tell my new boss at this point.  I walk with Christine every day on our morning break so I probably confide in her more than anyone else.  On Thursday she surprised me with this homemade card:

Isn't is beautiful?  It was also exactly the words I needed to hear!  Being anxious about my surgery wasn't doing anyone any good, let alone myself.  So I tried to relax as much as possible.  It's tough, but having a great friend remind me to trust in God helped a lot.

Yesterday morning we were up early and made it to the area of the hospital 30 minutes early.  I noticed an Einstein's Bagels nearby so Andy and I stopped to get him some breakfast.  I was on a no food or liquid diet as of midnight so it was difficult to sit in there and watch Andy eat his yummy bagel sandwich and drink his OJ, but I'm glad we had time to stop for his sake!  We got to the hospital at 10am and then got me registered and back to a preop room very quickly.  I got changed into the lovely gown and slipper socks, then they added my bracelets, blood pressure cuff, and heart/breathing monitors.  
Don't I look comfy?
They quickly came and and gave me my IV, too.  I really hate IVs!  I think that was the worst part of the whole morning for me.  They gave me a numbing shot before they inserted it into my left top forearm but I don't think it did much good.  That sucker hurts!  The nurse putting it in almost blew my vein too, but thankfully it held.  I think I would of cried if she had to redo it!  Then we waited...and waited...and waited some more...the nurse and anesthesiologist came in to talk to us a few different times.   My RE was running late getting to the hospital and there was one surgery in front of me.  So while I was scheduled for surgery at noon I didn't actually go to the operating room until almost 2pm.  

Andy left to go have lunch with his best friend Andrew while I was in surgery.  I'm really glad he got to do that since I know how much it sucks waiting for your loved one while they're being operated on.  He says that he got back to the hospital about 30 minutes before my RE came to talk to him.  The RE found mild endometriosis on the outside of my uterus and two 1cm cysts on my right ovary.  The endometriosis and one of the cysts were completely removed.  The other cyst was connected really closely to the blood supply to the ovary so my RE did not feel comfortable trying to remove it.  That cyst was popped and drained.  

I'm not sure how long it took for me to wake up in recovery.  I felt a little nauseous so I was given some IV drugs for that and finally some water.  My throat was little sore from the breathing tube so the water felt so good.  Andy was brought back pretty quickly to keep me company.  I got to get up and go to the bathroom, since peeing on your own is one of the necessities before they'll let you go home.  I was surprised at how quickly I was released!  I think about 5:30pm we got to head home.  I wore male large pajama bottoms tied loosely and a baggy tshirt which was pretty comfortable all considering.  I had brought a pillow to put between me and the seatbelt, but that was too big.  So I put Andy's sweatshirt folded up inbetween my abdomen and the seatbelt.  That worked perfectly.     

It took us about an hour to get home, which was pretty impressive for rush hour traffic!  I took my two vicodin as soon as I got home.  Andy got me situated on the couch and made me two things of easy mac, then I had some chocolate pudding.  The vicodin seems to make me feel wide awake for two to three hours after taking it, then I feel like passing out until my next dose is due.  I read plenty of other people's stories so I have been taking my pain meds every four hours on the dot.  I've heard that once the pain gets bad it's really difficult to get it under control. 

I laid down in bed at about 9pm last night and stayed there for the most part until 11am.  Every four hours I got up to get my meds, pee, and move around.  I have to keep the upper half of my body elevated so the excess gas can escape more easily.  If I lay all the way down my right shoulder begins to hurt badly due to the excess gas pushing on my diaphragm which apparently connects to shoulder nerves.  I think I only slept for about an hour and a half at a time throughout the night.  I spent a lot of time playing on my iPhone and watching rented tv shows on it.  Poor Andy slept on the couch as a result.  

All in all I feel pretty good.  Definitely sore and uncomfortable.  I have an incision in my belly button and one above my bikini line.  They're both covered by a plastic band-aide which should stay on for a day or two.  The stitches will eventually dissolve on their own.  Right now, despite the discomfort, I'm really glad we chose to have the surgery before beginning treamtents.  We'll never know for sure if the endometriosis and cysts were what was causing our difficulty conceiving, but they weren't helping!  I feel so much more optimistic about our chances now!