Monday, January 31, 2011

Second Stim Monitoring Appt. Day 5.5

My appointment went well today! I have 8 follicles measuring over 10mm and my E2 (estrogen level) jumped from 108 to 300, a good sign. I still have several smaller follicles that are starting to "pop" as the nurse put it, that means they are growing now, all good things. Meds are to stay the same and I go back Wednesday for my next check. Me and the nurse have a "bet" going to see who is right, I say I will trigger Friday, she thinks Saturday. We shall see... The only bummer is the weather is about to take another DUMP on us! Storm forecasted for tonight into tomorrow and it's supposed to be a nasty one.. I hope they are wrong and it only brings rain, not the sleet and ice layer they are saying, the roads are already hectic! Luckily I am only 3.5 miles from the clinic so I can get there even if i have to walk!! I met up with some friends from elementary school and hung out today, even though we just hit a few grocery stores and had lunch it was a good day! Just to be able to relax and laugh my butt off, did me some good.. So a good day today. You never know what God has in store for you. Just a few days ago, I thought all was lost and was in a pit of despair. Now things have taken a definite turn for the better!YAY for old friends!! Stay tuned to the Stimulation Chronicles for more updates! =)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

First Stim Monitoring Appt Day 3.5

Today as of my appointment was 3.5 days on stimulation meds. During my ultrasound the nurse said I have over 27 follicles!! Three of them are over 10mm, with the lead follicle already measuring 13mm, this means they MAY let that one grow so I lose it, in order to give the small ones time to catch up (a normal thing in IVF cycles) My E2 (estrogen level) is only 108 right now, RE says it's good because it went up, but she wants it up more for day 5.5 of meds so she doubled my evening dose of meds so now I am on 150IU of Menopur and 150IU of Gonal-F as well as the .05cc of Lupron to keep me suppressed. Lots of hormones coursing through my body right now, but it's moving along really nicely! This next appointment on Monday should tell them (and me) a lot more because the meds will be higher so they should see a nice jump in my levels and the number of follicles that are maturing.. So a pretty boring update today, sorry! :D More of the same for the next few days I'm afraid.. Stay tuned for Monday's episode of the Stimulation Chronicles!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I bet you didn't expect this when you woke up this morning

So much has happened today, I don't even know where to begin... Last night I was doing ok, albeit disappointed that things weren't on track. This morning things with my cycle got on track, but everything is was in chaos. I won't go into all of the details, but suffice it to say,I WAS a 25 minute drive from the clinic staying with friends and now I am over 80 miles ONE WAY from the clinic... When the arrangements were made well before my cycle I was assured it was ok and I was welcome anytime.. 3 days later apparently that is not the case. I am unbelievably disappointed and my faith took a beating today, but thanks to my wonderful sister, things are looking up. As of Monday, I will be 15 minutes from the clinic again.. I CANNOT thank my sister enough.. Our funds are just so depleted that even $300 for a hotel was just NOT doable.. Several "extra" expenses popped up for this cycle mainly extra monitoring that ate up our entire $2,000 cushion! That was just to get us to the point of starting bcp and finally lupron... The only bright spot today is I DID get to start stims today.. So we have officially started.. I hope these next days go by smoothly and drama free, I have had enough for AT LEAST 12 months!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Not what I expected

Made it to the clinic today and it is COLD here!! I'm talking stinging cold, freeze your tears cold! OK, anyway.... So went and had my bloodwork and ultrasound done and waited patiently for my callback to hear the glorious words, you can start your stims! NO.SUCH.LUCK. While my E2 (estrogen level) DID drop below 50 like they wanted it to, apparently Dr. Lady thinks it needs to drop down to 35 now!! DAMMIT!! So this is pushing things back by a day. Now that may not sound like much to you, but it is A HUGE DIFFERENCE!! Now IF I get to start on Wednesday, that means I will possibly go to retrieval Sunday now instead of Friday or Saturday like we planned. This is JACKING up my trip plans! Not cool..... Not cool at all.. I know they are trying to do what they feel is best for me and for the most successful cycle, but damn, does the a 9 point difference in E2 MAKE THAT MUCH DIFFERENCE!?!?! It damn well better... Sorry, but not a cheery blogger tonight.. Hopefully Wednesday yields better news.. That is all

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Cost of IVF

I have been keeping a running tally of how much this IVF is costing us and while I am sure it is cheaper than a lot of people pay, it is NOT cheap! So I wanted to do a breakdown of the costs we have paid to this point, mind you this is JUST for the IVF, the surrogacy is a whole separate expense.. Hold on to your hats:

Consult IVF Clinic #1: $250.00

2nd Consult IVF Clinic: $250.00

FIRED THIS CLINIC ----------------

Subtotal $500.00

Consult IVF Clinic #2: $300.00

IVF Cycle Costs $5000.00

Stimulation Drugs $2349.00

Anesthesia: $550.00 (you don't wanna feel the egg retrieval, trust me)

ICSI: $1150.00 (Dr. injects sperm directly into egg)

FDA Testing $760.00 (Special testing since we are using a surrogate)

BW & U/S Pkg $640.00 (covers 4 bloodwork & 4 ultrasounds at ivf clinic)

Cycle Monitoring $1235.00 (bloodwork & ultrasound to start meds 4 visits)

Travel: $670.00 (driving + 1 Rt plane ticket, staying w/friends)



(Keep in mind this also does NOT include all the pre-testing, just to get to the point of being able to do the IVF cycle. Thankfully our insurance covered it since we used a lab affiliated with dh's job, if you use their lab, no charge) BUT this is what the testing WOULD have cost us:

HIM- 542.60
ME- 883.45
$1426.05 (I don't have the other EOB's in yet so this is PART 1!!)

Now the costs of the surrogacy portion (some of these are estimates)

Contracts: $2500.00

PBO $3500.00 ( Pre Birth Order, this puts our names on birth certificate)

Psych Eval $1200.00 ( To make sure we are all sane!)

J & E Test $1200.00 (Blood work for surro & her husband)

PG expense $4000.00 (est. expenses for pregnancy, co-pays, vitamins,etc.)


$12400.00 (could be more could be less- we pray it's less!)

And that folks is the run down.. So we have paid the IVF portion, now we have to work on the surrogacy portion, thankfully between our tax refund and some other things we have in the works, we will only have to say about $3,500 - $4,000, which is doable, as long as things keep going according to plan!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lupron Day 12: WTF?!

I had my monitoring appointment this morning, to measure any follicles (shouldn't be many if the drug is doing it's job- it was I can tell by now I'm kinda a pro at this) and they drew blood to check my estrogen (E2) and progesterone (P4) in order to start stimulation drugs (to super charge my ovaries to make lots of eggs) I need my E2 to be at 50 or less. Got the callback and I am at 83 (BOO!) so almost suppressed by not quite. That just means stay on the same dose of Lupron until Monday when IVF clinic can check me themselves OH JOY! Not what i wanted to hear, I wanted to hear "you're suppressed start stims tomorrow, but I knew it was wishful thinking, oh well. I asked the nurse (super cool lady btw) if that was bad and she said "No, sometimes it just takes longer for some people to become fully suppressed, I'm not worried at all" I said "OK, cool if you're not worried, I'm not worried". So hopefully come Monday I am at the magic 50 or less and things can continue right on schedule. If not, my sh*t is kinda gonna be f*cked up, just sayin because um.. We kinda already bought J his plane ticket home and back so there would have to be an adjustment to the dates (we ALL know joe airline is NOT making changes for FREE!) or he would need to take more days off and I don't like either option... So let's all say a quick prayer that things move to that all powerful FIFTY/50 FIVE-OH K, thanks!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lupron Day 11: The Chocolate Chronicles

This evening will be day 11 of lupron shots. I have figured out that if I eat a piece of chocolate my symptoms are not nearly as bad. And let's face it any excuse to eat chocolate is a good one! Seriously, if any of you are cycling that read this and you are prescribed Lupron, do yourself a favor and get a bag of kisses or some form of chocolate that you can pop a piece. I figure i can just shove the Tylenol in the chocolate and kill 2 birds with one stone. Aside from the wayward headache and errant BOOB pain I'm doing pretty good I think. I go for my monitoring appointment tomorrow morning to make sure I am still suppressed, then next visit is at the clinic! My blogging might get spotty during the next week or two because i will be out of town for the stimulation phase and egg retrieval, but I will do my level best to update when I can! That is all, back to your regularly scheduled programs..

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lupron Day 6: The Cravings Phase

I have the weirdest cravings lately! It hit me really hard earlier today as I scarfed down a bowl of mac and cheese it was the best thing ever! until I started eating olives right out the jar with my fingers later in the evening.. Oh but wait! There's more!! If you act now you can get in on this cranberry sauce i am eating RIGHT OUT THE CAN... Yeah Lupron is awesome! (NOT!) Oh and my ovaries feel like i am carrying around grapefruits on both sides... Is this what it feels like to have balls? Cuz if so, thank GOD I'm a woman!! That is all.. back to my cranberry sauce..

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Milestone

Today was my last birth control pill! Hopefully my headaches will ease up since that is one less hormone I am taking (for now). Things are moving along, just jabbing myself once a day until the 25th, then it will be 3x a day ::frowny face:: not looking forward to getting stuck that many times, but I just keep fast forwarding to the end result! In other news, please pray my bras hold out while I am on these next set of hormone shots, or I will have to either buy more bras or not leave the house.. My CUP definitely runneth over!! I have my blood-work and ultrasound appt. on Jan. 19th to make sure I am still suppressed from the lupron, so that's coming up quickly. Then no more monitoring until I get to the clinic (ROAD TRIP!) True story: I called the monitoring clinic to schedule the appt. for "monitoring" (same clinic that told me they would be happy to monitor me for this cycle) and this was on Jan. 6th, of course I had to leave a voicemail which has been par for the course with them. So please tell me why I JUST got a callback today about scheduling the appt.!?!?! (I called back Monday after i didn't get a callback Friday since my first call to them was WEDNESDAY!) The call went like this: ring, ring,...Hello- Hi this is the Dr.'s ofc (ok like I should know which Dr.'s ofc.!?!?!- yes I knew because I have their number saved in my phone, but I digress) I say yes this is "me". Nurse lady says, this is "Nurse lady" you called about setting a monitoring appt.? I say "Ummm, yeah. LAST WEDNESDAY"....SILENCE....(LOL! I love when I do that to people, it's kinda my thing being a bitch) She says, yes well have you started your period? Ummm, no.. That's why my message said I need an appt. for THE 17th-19th!? that's when my day 1 thru 3 is... Nurse lady is SILENT again.. OK, well which day do you want? I reply: "I SCHEDULED MY APPT. MONDAY WHEN I HAD TO CALL BACK TO SEE WHY YOU NEVER CALLED ME BACK AND GET MY APPT. SO YOU'RE A FEW DAYS LATE, BUT THANKS." Nurse Lady goes quiet again.... "Well OK..." Bring your order for bloodwork and ultrasound or we can't perform them.. To which I say "Have I ever NOT brought them?" I am more than prepared when I come there.. Goodbye.. I know kiiiiinda bitchy, but hey I'm on hormones, it's allowed..

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lupron Day 3

Lots of crying and mood swings today.. That's about it. Lupron sucks. the end.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Had my 1st shot of lupron today, so far so good. Of course it was only a about 2hrs ago, so the day is still early. I am hoping I don't have a bad reaction or get "loopy" but if past behavior is any indicator then I am in for some interesting days and so is my husband! (LOL!!) Yesterday was the last day of the 2 week course of antibiotics they had us both on (YAY!) and only 5 more days of BCP (including today) the time really is starting to fly by now! I just hope things continue to move as smoothly. I got a call from the coordinator at the clinic yesterday and she let me know that the final tests we were waiting on came in and we are now finished until we get there and need to do our FDA testing. That's a HUGE load off of our shoulders, waiting on test results and trying to track down tests results was such a pain in the ass! Now we can focus on planning the trip to the IVF clinic and concentrating on getting these shots right, because let's face it folks a girl is a little rusty at stabbing herself! Stay tuned, more to follow..

UPDATE 9 HRS LATER: LUPRON STILL SUCKS! Major headache since about noon today, Tylenol (the only thing you can take while doing IVF) is NOT helping, not even a little bit.. Off to bed to rest my head..

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Things are happening!

So we got our test results back for our special HIV/HCV and of course it was negative And, I had my hormone levels checked and I was finally baseline!! That means I got to start my birth control pills the same day (12/29) I will be on them until 1/12 and I start Lupron (the drug that suppresses your ovaries so you don't ovulate earlier than you are supposed to) on SATURDAY!! January 8th, so close! They overlap for just a few days. I go in for a scan before the start of the hardcore stimulation drugs on Jan 17th-19th, whichever day the clinic can get me in, then I head to the clinic and have a scan 1/24, then start meds 1/25, with an estimated retrieval date of 2/2-2/4. So things are in full GO mode over here, just checking off the days and plugging along. We decided to do a freeze all of our embryos vs. a fresh embryo transfer to our surrogate, because it's just easier for everyone involved scheduling wise. While the success rates are slightly decreased with FET's (frozen embryo transfers) we are confident that this is the right choice for us and our surrogates family. We will just continue to pray that things will continue to move along and that when the time comes, 2-3 gorgeous embryos will be ready to transfer! More to come once I start my shots, til then!

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