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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Still Alive!! Hormones are just kicking my butt!!!


Today is my fifth day of injections- I am pretty much used to this shot now-have 5 more days on it before I start mixing in an EXTRA two drugs to the vial. That and some other oral medications as well. I have been pretty lucky actually- not too bad of side effects minus the crazy mood swings.. Just ask my husband on that one. I may not be the nicest person in the world right now- I'm trying though. I still have another 16 days till my eggs are retrieved- LONG way to go! :) I am supposed to start my period this next week- which my doc says marks my first week of pregnancy- as you all probably know- you are not really pregnant the first two weeks of being pregnant. So odd.

I appreciate SO much how many people have offered to join in our family fast. Obviously the more the merrier! :) I wanted to update so everyone knows that date we plan on doing this. Sunday September 4th is the day we chose. (This next Fast Sunday) We will be starting our fast Saturday at 6:00ish and ending Sunday evening. Again you guys- THANK YOU! I debated being open about my treatment and I know now from all your amazing support I couldn't go through this without you! I am just so grateful to have the gospel in my life to give me the faith that things will turn out how they are supposed to. I just know that my heavenly father has a hand in all of this which is comforting. So for those of you who would like to join- you are welcome too and it's VERY much appreciated!!! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day One of Injections

I think I felt sick for DAYS over today. I woke up excited though- I couldn't believe today was FINALLY that day. Jonny met me at the office- and by the way I SO RECOMMEND my Doctor to those looking for an infertility Dr. He is amazing. He is LDS- and TRULY cares about his patients. His office was named #1 in all of Arizona with the highest success rates- it's a plus that I like the guy. (Dr Larsen at Advanced Fertility Care)




Doc walked in and said "I heard you were nervous about all the medication- I'd be more nervous about having cysts today than doing the injections." I forgot that my body has to react well to all the meds for me to move forward. My heart about dropped in my stomach - I ALWAYS have cysts on my ovaries it seems like. Jonny looked all nice and comfortable in the corner while I get to do all the hard stuff (how this is fair I will never know)-


I on the other hand ** sorry to be so crude** got to spread my legs to the world for the billionth time. Every ultra sound I do is internal- fun I know. He said I get to do them every other day starting I think next week- Gotta wonder WHY a guy ever decides to do this job....hmmmmm???

He leans to the right side and says- you are half way there!! No cysts and you so far have 11 follicles on that side. He went over to the other side...cyst free and 10 MORE follicles. A total of 21 babies in the making! :) He does think he will get MORE eggs on the day of the retrieval but says everything looked perfect and I was on track for this month. I guess this was the big hurdle - YAY!

After all the questions with the doc we got to do the injection training with one of his staff. She pulled out all our drugs- made sure we had the right stuff- taught me HOW to do the injections and where. We went over my calendar and how things are supposed to go if my body works as planned. It was overwhelming- hopefully Jonny was paying attention because I struggled a bit. Not gonna lie I am a bit baby stricken right now- wanting to design my nursery- colors, ect....not even pregnant yet! My mind is in la la land.

My distractions come from pinterest

Maybe a girls room in these colors:

Or this wall which I am obsessed with- I obviously think am having a girl...


Back to today: We OF course had to take pics of the event of the SIGNING of the documents- giving them the LAST bit of money we owe. Jonny was sad- said we could go put it on a sports car instead- I said no...haha!

SO it's official- paid for, dates in place, drugs in the fridge, and I start my very FIRST injection done! Please please pray I won't be a hormonal B**** like everyone says I will be . I don't think my poor husband could take it.


THEN came round one of injections. My house turned into what looked like a drug lab. Here they are all sprawled out on the ground- trying to get organized: OVER 80 NEEDLES TOTAL- sick.




I was a nervous wreck and asked Jonny to do me the honors for the first time- (he will be out of town on business the next few days so I really need to figure this out!)

There was just SO much to remember from the training- mix this- Don't refrigerated this- remember this patch on this day on so on) WAY more than I expected to be honest! You can see how tiny these particular needles are for the Lupron medicine I take the next 10 days- it wasn't TOO bad considering I have never had a shot in my stomach before- the medicine stung for a bit...could have been worse.

SO I treated myself with this:
Oh and this...

and a movie cuddled up on the couch- I know- spoiled. :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Overprotective Daddy

I can already see Jonny giving those signals of being an "overprotective daddy." I think it's adorable.:) That may change over time- but for now I'm just enjoying it. Maybe it's because we have waited this long and spent SO much money on this that he is overly excited about this new adventure. A few days ago we were at Costco buying a few groceries that easily turned into a $250 spending spree because Jonny wanted me eating only good healthy foods. He is "attempting" to make me stop with the caffeine- this has felt IMPOSSIBLE to me with getting no sleep in the last few weeks. I am only supposed to be on bed rest really for a few days- my husband "insists" on wheeling me around in a wheelchair in Hawaii to be on the safe side- oh boy!I have a feeling this is just the beginning. I also have the feeling that this trip to Hawaii is going to be REALLY lazy- no skydiving, scuba diving, hot tubs, or snorkeling-a little bummed about this. Who can complain when you have amazing scenery like this though:
Can't wait!!!!!

Finding Hope


This weekend was hard. A friend of mine who JUST found out she was pregnant from in vitro LAST WEEK just miscarried. When I found out she was pregnant- I cried, then cried even harder when I found out she was having to go through a miscarriage. My heart literally aches for her because I know the pain of infertility and I especially understand right now the pain from in vitro. Not ONLY emotional pain- but physical and financial pains. She deserved for this to work- she is a good person and an amazing mom. I am trying to pull hope from any place I can. This girl did do in vitro before and actually HAS an adorable little boy from it which gives me that hope. :) I am trying SO hard to think positive- but also keep in mind that there is a chance this may not work and life will still go on. I will be okay- my little family will be okay. For now- my prayers and thoughts go out to this girl and her family.

Friday, August 19, 2011

3:45 am


Anxiety has been creeping in lately. Many times it will wake me up out of my sleep and run around in circles in my head for hours. I don't handle stress well. At all. I am taking 3 and a half weeks off work for this- what if it didn't work and I had to do it again?? YIKES! My boss would freak! My sweet husband woke up from all my tossing and turning- got up and talked with me about all my fears, cuddled up to me in bed and told me it was all going to be okay. I start to worry that I'm not good enough- I don't read my scriptures long enough, so many things in life I fall short at so I worry about juggling it all. I have to let it go- and realize that this is in god's hands- and things will happen as they should. It's just hard.

How do you handle your anxiety?? I need some things to do right now to get all these things OFF my mind and focus on the positive. I thought about setting up some massages (heading to the chiropractor each week for an adjustment) A friend suggested meditation- but I have NO idea how to do that. My mind can't shut off for even 5 minutes! For now- with all these sleepless nights, I will just look like a walking zombie.:)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Look What Came in the Mail Today...




I haven't even seen this in person yet and it makes me want to vomit- those two big bags at the bottom are all NEEDLES! BLEH!!! Jonny sent me this picture today- he got a big box of drugs on ice- and it begins. :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

In Vitro Process

I have been getting lots of questions on how this whole in vitro process works- so I thought I would educate you guys on how this works and where it all began. :) Plus it was good for me to read about this in depth- it's amazing what science has done for us- it's even MORE amazing what Heavenly Father has allowed our bodies to do. Louise Brown was the first successful "test tube" baby from 1978. It really wasn't THAT long ago that this whole process started. You can read about it here. It's crazy to me that my future baby will be considered a "test tube" baby- After LOTS of testing and trials they have found that it's a pretty high success rate for most couples that could have never had a baby otherwise. What a miracle!!!

I have dealt with the issue of this being in god's plan or not. Am I not having a baby because I was supposed to adopt another child?? There are people who feel in vitro is unethical because you freeze all your eggs and some may get thrown out. All I know is that I have prayed long and hard what direction we are supposed to go with our family- and I feel good about this being our next step. It may not be the right thing for everyone- but it IS the right step for us right now. I have met children born from in vitro who are AMAZING perfect children. They were spirits who were supposed to be a part of that family. I would actually love to still adopt down the road either way. Now here is how things work:

PHASE 1:
Pituitary and Ovarian Supression


1. Start Birth Control (I started this a few weeks ago-I have been bleeding for like 2 weeks straight!!! grrrr)

WHY birth control: The Doctors use oral contraceptive pills and/or leuprolide acetate (Lupron) shots to suppress your natural hormonal surges and “take control” of your stimulation with gonadotropins (injectable fertility medication). By suppressing or “down-regulating” your pituitary (which releases hormones) and ovaries, the formation of naturally occurring ovarian cysts may be minimized and the FSH and LH receptors on the ovaries may become more sensitive and require less medication to stimulate them.

***August 24th @10:00 am- Training on Injections and Drugs at fertility center - This is the day I start injections (ONE week from today!!) I am totally freaked about this- I HATE needles!!

PHASE 2:
Ovarian Stimulation

During the stimulation phase, I will give myself daily injections of fertility medications (gonadotropins) for 9 to11 days. These injections stimulate the development of multiple ovarian follicles which contain the eggs. Careful monitoring with ultrasounds and blood hormone levels allows my Dr. to make necessary adjustments to my treatment regimen and minimize any complications from the powerful fertility drugs. Once the follicles have reached their ideal size, a subcutaneous (under the skin) or intramuscular injection of HCG mimics your own body's hormonal LH surge which causes final maturation of the eggs prior to harvesting (retrieval).

***September 3rd I start MORE injections- taking up to 3 shots a day for almost 2 weeks!!! (YIKES)

PHASE 3: Egg Retrieval:



***Sept 14th Estimated Day of Egg Retrieval (HCG trigger shot is given)






Occurring 35-36 hours after receiving the HCG shot, the egg retrieval is performed in our on-site dedicated procedure room. A board certified anesthesiologist will provide intravenous sedation to prevent any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Under ultrasound guidance, a very thin needle is passed through the upper portion of the vagina into the ovary and into the individual ovarian follicles. The fluid containing the egg is aspirated and subsequently identified by our embryologist in the adjoining laboratory. In general, the recovery from an egg retrieval procedure is rapid and you will be monitored by one of our registered nurses for 30 to 60 minutes after the procedure prior to being sent home. Since anesthesia is used on the day of retrieval, someone must be available to drive you to and from our facility. Some women may experience mild cramping on the day of retrieval which usually subsides by the evening of retrieval. In some cases, a sensation of fullness or pressure may last for up to one week following the procedure.




** A side note: I have a friend who said you look like 5 months pregnant during this part- partially because you have like 40 EGGS during the day of retrieval!!!! SHEESH!




*** Sept 6th- Get my blood drawn to check hormones



***Sept 7th- Ultra sound and more Blood work


***Sept 10th: ( partner ejaculates for optomized sample) As if he hasn't had to do that enough through this process- haha! Poor guy!








PHASE 4: Fertilization











Once the follicular fluid is removed from the follicle, the eggs are identified and isolated by the embryologist and placed into an incubator. The eggs are fertilized with sperm later that day by conventional insemination or by Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). For conventional insemination, the sperm obtained from the male partner is placed into a specialized culture solution with the egg and then placed in a specially regulated incubator. If intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is to be performed, this is when it will occur. Under the microscope, the embryologist picks up a single sperm and injects it directly into the cytoplasm of the egg using a small glass needle.



The eggs will then be checked within 18-20 hours later to document fertilization. The embryologist will check the eggs again the next day to evaluate for early cell division. Once a sperm fertilizes an egg, it is considered a zygote which then develops into an embryo. The embryos are then transferred to a different culture media and grown over the next 2-6 days. On day two or three after fertilization, the embryos will be evaluated for blastocyst culture. If there is a sufficient number of dividing embryos they will be placed in special blastocyst media and grown for two or three additional days. Ideally, the embryos will have grown for five or six days until they reach the blastocyst stage. For many couples these blastocysts have the greatest chance of implantation. This allows us to transfer fewer embryos, in some cases only one, and lower the risk of multiple births while increasing the chance of pregnancy. Some embryos may also be cryopreserved (frozen) at the end of the culture period.




** I am opting for 2 eggs to be transfered! :) The rest will be frozen for next time.

PHASE 5: Embryo Transfer



This brief, painless procedure involves the use of ultrasound guidance while the embryo(s) are placed into the endometrial cavity of the uterus either 3 or 5 days (blastocyst transfer) after fertilization, using a small highly specialized plastic catheter. No sedation is necessary for this procedure, although we do recommend and prescribe diazepam (Valium®) to ensure overall relaxation. After transfer, progesterone supplementation via injection and/or vaginal suppository will be taken for the next 10-12 days and a blood pregnancy test will be performed approximately 2 weeks from the retrieval date.



**Sat Sept 17- Sep 19th (Embryo Transfer depending on how the babies are growing)
Continue Medications

Blood draw for estrogen and progesterone levels



**Dr. wants me on bed rest for at least 2 days after transfer- then I go to Hawaii to relax :)



PHASE 6: Pregnancy Test and OB Care





The initial pregnancy test will be performed in our office 2 weeks after your retrieval date. Blood hCG levels will then be checked every 2-3 days for those who do have an initial positive pregnancy test. An ultrasound will be performed at approximately 5-6 weeks of pregnancy (2-3 weeks after embryo transfer) and repeated one to two more times during first trimester until a normal healthy heartbeat is confirmed. Once viability is confirmed, you will be referred back to your Ob/Gyn for appropriate obstetrical care.




****and there you have it (SUCCESS!!!!)****


Count Down Time

9 days till I start the injections


30 days till my egg retrieval


33- 35 days till implantation (depending on how my babies grow)


35 days till Hawaii


43 days till I find out if I'm pregnant.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Birth Control

Considering I have only tried birth control twice- both times to GET pregnant- and only for one month at a time- I don't have much experience with it. Zeosa sucks compared to my last one I took. I FREAKED today because I started having really bad cramps and was bleeding!!! What the heck? Isn't that supposed to end all of that?? The pain- bloating- bleeding- the crankiness?? I am grateful I don't have to be on it long- and feel bad for those of you who have to live on this stuff for sometimes years. Just sayin- if this baby works- NOT using birth control- probably won't need it. One of the ONLY perks to PCOS and fertility problems.

Fear of Falling

I have a fear of falling. Not falling from a high rise building or falling out of a plane- a fear of falling in life. Do you ever fear that fall so much that you decide to never take that jump in life? It could be a new job, starting a new life, or adding another member to your family. I have been so afraid of taking this next step- because there is a chance I can fail. I do this A LOT in life. I am so scared of failing that I don't jump at all. Take 10th grade for instance- I had just finished cheer in 9th grade and chose NOT to try out in 10th grade JUST IN CASE I don't make the squad. That would be SO much more awful to say that I tried and failed than to say I never tried at all. I used that excuse to not try out for the Euporea dance team ALL THREE years in high school. It made me feel better to stick in advanced dance and say I never tried. I felt comfortable there. Not to say I ever would have made it- but the point is I never tried. I FINALLY tried out for varsity Pom my senior year again and ended up having a blast that year because of it. Another example- school. I am STUCK in my masters program- can't move on because I have been too scared to take the stupid Paxis test because I could fail. In vitro is that last step- the last step to take before realizing my body might never be able to carry a child. It scares me. A lot. I am NOT going to cower away from it like I have SO many things in my life in fear of that failure though. The possible outcome outweigh's the possible failure is SO many ways! So I am taking that jump- and hoping I fly.





(Just for kicks n giggles- this was from LAST time in Hawaii- I won't be literally skydiving this time around- just taking it easy on the beach trying to take my mind off of what COULD be happening inside my body)
I am praying and hoping I get OUT of my comfort zone. My comfort zone is the last almost 8 years of my life. Being married- JUST the two of us- plus Lexi of course- maybe JUST maybe one day I will have a new "comfort zone" in life.


OH- I am cotemplating acupuncture right now- has anyone done this?? Just curious if this would be worth the money??


Friday, August 5, 2011

****GASP***

Hello Brittany,

Here is the list of your medications and prices:

Follistim AQ 300IU #2 cartridges $568 (Design RX drug disount price)

Follistim AQ 900IU #2 cartridges $1,704 (Design RX drug disount price)

Menopur 75IU #10 vials $720 (Heart plus drug discount program)

Lupron kit #1 kit $45 (insurance copay)

HCG (Novarel) #1 vial $71.60 (Heart plus drug discount program)

Progesterone in Cottonseed oil 100mg/ml #2 vials $38.15 (insurance copay)

Progesterone suppositories 100mg #40 suppositories $120 (cash price/not covered by insurance)

Vivelle dot 0.1mg #24 patches $83.17 ($45 copay with insurance/$38.17 cash price/$0 with voucher)

Baby Aspirin 81mg #90 tablets $6.90 (cash price/insurance does not cover)

Medrol 16mg #7 tablets $10 (copay with insurance)Dexamethasone 0.5mg #10 tablets $2.11 (copay with insurance)

Nestabs plus DHA #60 (30 day supply) $49.49 (copay with insurance)

Diazepam 5mg #1 tablet $1.12 (copay with insurance)

Azithromax 500mg #9 tablets $10 (copay with insurance)

This order also included needles, syringes and a sharps container. Please give us a call at 1-866-920-1880 if you have any further questions.



Regards,


$3422.64 in drugs ALONE- I think I feel sick!:(

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A New Beginning

This is the start to what I HOPE and pray is the ending to a hard few years of infertility. Infertility REALLY affects every aspect of your life and it's impossible to understand unless you have dealt with it. This is also something that I don't think will ever leave you. I will always remember what I have gone through- regardless if this works or not. Jonny told me last week that he had paid for In Vitro- The first step oddly enough is birth control- who knew??? haha! I started Zeosa (some form of birth control) 2 days ago. This is the second time I have taken birth control in MY LIFE. Both times I take it for ONE month to GET pregnant- how ironic.:) I am also taking metformin (meant for diabetes even though I don't have it) to help with my insulin levels with my PCOS. Today I dry heaved for about 5 minutes at my desk because that stuff makes me SO SICK! It's crazy what you will do though when you want something so bad! I JUST got off the phone with Jen (the lady at the fertility office who coordinates every girls cycle at the office) what a tough job- and she is sending me out a calendar first thing in the morning with every step I will be taking for the next 6 weeks to get my body where it needs to be. From what I know- I take birth control for about 3 weeks- do injections and other drugs to induce LOTS of eggs, get put under to get the eggs (around Sept 13th) implant the ones that made it in the petri dish on the 16th- then lay on bed rest for a few days to let those babies implant. Right now I am struggeling with all these feeling of anxiety- I am worried about being too selfish to be a good mom- Jonny and I have lived in our own little world for so long. I know this will be a massive adjustment. I am not even thinking about the fact it might NOT work- can't handle those feelings for now. Right now I have to think positive and just hope for the best. I just hope to be a good mom.