Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day 18: Ouch!

These shots are really getting to me this morning. I feel like somebody kicked me in the leg where I got one of the shots last night. If I laid on it during the night it would wake me up because it hurt so bad. The shots are also making me really tired, like I could sleep all day and be okay. I'm trying to work right now but fighting to keep my eyes open. I just wish I could go back to bed. Yawn. I'm also feeling a bit nauseated this morning. My stomach is starting to feel more bloated, but still not too bad. I'm sure it will get worse with each passing day. Well, back to work. Hopefully I can stay focused today.

Needle count: 21
Acupuncture: 35

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day 16: 3-A-Day

Today was the first day of my 3-a-day shots. I think it took me about 10 minutes just to draw them all up. I got one in each leg and one in my left arm. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I found these alcohol pads at Walgreen's the other day that are magical! They have benzocaine in them so it definitely helps with the sting of the shot and also the itchy rash afterwards. This is a picture of what I get to do every single night for the next 8 days or so. Doesn't it just look like heaven? I go to the doctor on Monday for an ultrasound and blood work to see if my ovaries are ready for their big moment of egg retrieval. Hopefully all goes well. I swear I can already feel my ovaries enlarging by the minute as I sit here and type this.
We also had the privilege of hauling our lunchpack with Lupron in tow to a friend party last night. It's always a fun time to go to a party and sneak into the bathroom with your husband only to walk out and find your friends looking at you and wondering what in the world was going on in the bathroom. Mr. Lupron sure has done his fair share of traveling over the last week. Thank goodness he has survived all of his rides in the lunchpack.

Needle Count: 18
Acupuncture: 26

Q and A

Q: I don't completely understand the acupunture... are you supposed to do that in conjunction with the shots? Or do you just want to in order to help the odds of things developing faster or just dealing with the pain. Maybe you already answered that, but i couldn't immediately find it and heaven forbid I look for it. Have you had acupuncture 26 times or was that just a couple times totally 26 needles?

A: I have been doing acupuncture for about a year and half. I do it twice a week for various reasons. At my appointments we discuss what has been bothering me whether its sleep related, headaches, digestion, pain, etc. Acupuncture can be used for pretty much whatever you need it to be used for. Sang (acupuncturist) then uses a "pattern" to treat my symptoms. Acupuncture is basically putting needles into channels in your body that are "blocked" and it also puts energy back into your body. It sounds weird, I know. It's actually very interesting. Does it work? I figure Chinese medicine has been around for thousands of years so there has to be something to it.

There is a complete treatment course in acupuncture for fertility. That's originally why I started doing acupuncture. Each visit I have about 4-9 needles placed at least (depending on if we are doing Chinese or Korean acupuncture). I have had up to 80 needles placed in one visit. The needles go about 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep and they stay in for about 20 minutes to an hour. It just depends on how much time I have and how I have been feeling. So, when I say acupuncture: 26, that means I have had 26 acupuncture needles up to this point just during our in vitro process. I believe that was a total of 3 acupuncture visits to reach 26 needles.

Hopefully that answers your question.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 15: Two weeks

I cannot believe it has been 2 weeks since we started injections! The time has flown. Christmas was just beautiful this year. We were so blessed and thank everybody around us for all of their love and support. We could not do this without each and every one of you! The holiday was filled with family, which included me daring people to give me my shot. Tina was brave enough to do it when we were with my family. I wish I had a picture of it. It was quite a show. The entire family gathered around while Tina gave me my shot. She did an excellent job. When we were with Ryan's family, it was Kacy's turn to give me the shot. I didn't know if she would dare to do it, but she stepped up to the plate and did amazing! Thanks to 2 very beautiful sister-in-laws who have been extremely good sports through all of this.

Tomorrow we start with 3 shots a day. We start the FSH which will stimulate my eggs to mature. I have been warned my ovaries might feel like they are going to blow up. Yikes. Also, this means we are getting closer and closer to egg retrieval! I cannot believe we are already at this point.

Needle count: 14
Acupuncture: 26

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 10: Update

I did it. I gave myself a shot. I'm not going to lie, it was very traumatic. I don't mind the shots, I just don't want to give them to myself. I live with a nurse, why should I give them to myself? He knows way more than I do about giving shots. Anyway, I completed the task successfully after hyperventilating and calling Ryan in complete hysterics. I rewarded myself with Wendy's for dinner. What a pathetic and totally unhealthy reward but it tasted delicious!

Do you have a burning question to ask us? Feel free to ask anything you are wondering about or curious about. I'm open to answer all questions. Just leave a comment and I will make a post will all the questions and answers.

Needle count: 10
Acupuncture: 26

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 10: Dear Santa

All I want for Christmas is:

2 Gonal-F pens (not pictured due to living in the fridge) with accompanying needles
10 vials of Repronex
1 vial of HCG
2 vials of progesterone
31 syringes in varying sizes
31 separate needles in varying sizes
1 sharps container (not pictured)

You just forgot 1 thing: The alcohol wipes.

I cannot believe Mr. FedEx delivered my medications in less than 24 hours after they were ordered. I am amazed! I'm not even going to tell you how much the above pictured amount of medications and syringes cost us. Let's just say, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Needle count: Pending
Acupuncture: Pending

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day9: P.S.

Guess what? No more birth control!!!! I am loving that I am no longer tied to that stupid little packet of pills. Little white evil pills, I will not miss you. Good bye!

Needle count: 9
Acupuncture: 17

Day 9: More doctors, nurses, and needles

Today Ryan and I woke up bright and early, jumped in the car, and headed up to the grand ole SLC for a doctor's appointment. We arrived early, as we always do, and they took us right back. I couldn't believe it! I de-robed myself and covered up with the all too stylish "sheet of shame." Then the doctor came in, did an ultrasound, I saw my tiny strawberries (ovaries), he measured this and that, and then he was done. I threw down the "sheet of shame" and off I went to meet with the nurse. Oh, I did put my clothes back on of course. We sat with the nurse for a while. She explained how to use our new medications, which we start on Monday. We discussed prices and I wanted to die. No injection should ever be $80 for ONE injection and we have to buy a lot of them! Oh well, it's all in the name of love, right? She also told us, "it looks like your ovaries are pretty happy about what's going on." Apparently I had 9 follicles on one side and 15 on the other (that's really good at this point).

After this was all over, Ryan got to go do his thing just in case we need a back up when it comes time to fertilize. Poor guy. There's nothing like doing that in a doctor's office. Woweee! Again, poor guy.

After our appointment we got in a fight with the insurance company and a pharmacy. We quickly ran back into the doctor's office and told them to order our meds through a different pharmacy since our insurance was now refusing to pay for anything even after they had told us a month ago they would pay for some of it. What a pain this is, I'll tell you what. I had a minor freak out in the hallway. What's new? I think I'm always having a minor freak out about something.

Things our good now. I've had my nap so I'm not nearly as ornery or freakish-outy as I was earlier. I'm looking forward to more shots. Haha. Yeah right. Is it wrong that I told Ryan today in my most bratty voice, "you don't get to be ornery with me unless I get to stab you every night with a needle." Is that wrong?

Needle count: 8
Acupuncture: 17

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 6: Needles, needles, needles

I'm now getting to the point where if a needle gets close to me, I start to panic just a little. I had acupuncture again yesterday (day 6). It's always nice to just lay back and relax, even if I do have a bunch of needles coming out of my arms and legs. Shots are going great. I'm starting to feel my ovaries aching. I just have to keep thinking that it's going to get worse so enjoy everything now before it gets really hurty.

Needle count: 6
Acupuncture: 17

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 5: We have a bleeder!

In went the shot, out came the blood. It was a first, but I'm not not last, experience of puncturing a little vessel and having blood pool on my leg. Oops. Nothing a little pressure can't fix.

Needle count: 5
Acupuncture: 9

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 4: Traveling Lupron

We figured out that even when we want to hang out with friends and have dinner, my bottle of Lupron has to tag along. We went to our good friend's house, Jacob and Amber, to have dinner with them last night. Along came a syringe, alcohol wipes, and Lupron. After I had my shot I told Ryan to just put the syringe in my purse (since it has to be placed in the "sharps container" that was at home). I kept thinking how awful it would be if we got pulled over and they found a used syringe in my bag. What a druggy.

My rashes from the injections are getting bigger, redder and itchier with each injection. It's just fun. I've also noticed I can cry at the drop of a hat and I'm turning back into a teenager with acne face. How embarrassing. Ryan also told me that I say things that piss him off. I started to cry but tried to hide it from him. I can't help it. It's the drugs. They mess with my brain. Sorry Ryan.

Needle count: 4
Acupuncture: 9

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 3: AcuFUNcture

Today Ryan gave me my shot while I was laughing at him. Probably not such a good idea. It hurt 10 times worse while laughing.

Also, today was filled with lots of needles from acupuncture. Sang (Sang is my friend who does acupuncture) came over, taped my feet and did a simple acupuncture pattern to help regulate my digestion and also to help my headaches. I don't understand Chinese medicine all that much, but man does it work. I can always tell when I'm not doing it because I start to feel like crap.

I did get a tiny rash from my injection today. It was weird because it didn't start itching for a long time. I even asked Ryan if he had given me my shot because I couldn't feel it itch like usual. Then it came at me with a vengence.

Needle count: 3
Acupuncture: 9

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 2: Dear Lupron

Dear Lupron,

So far, you and I have a great relationship. You haven't given me headaches or hardly any side effects yet. Thanks for that! Just want to let you know that you need to keep it up. I'm taking good care of you. I have hidden you behind the butter in the fridge. I figure if you are there, you will never get too cold and freeze on me. This would be a tragedy for us both.

Let's keep our relationship great, okay?



Needle count: 2

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 1: Ready? 3, 2..... WAIT!

Well, we have officially started the shots today. I don't mind shots, ever, but for some reason I always get really nervous when Ryan gives them to me. Anyway, here's a little how it went:

Ryan: Ready?

Me: (Bearing my belly for the world to see) Yeah. Wait! Not in my tummy. Okay, just do it below the belly button. Wait! Wait! Not in my tummy. (I think I was actually kicking my legs and throwing a little tantrum)

Ryan: (With needle in hand and a most annoyed look on his face like "can't we just do this already?") Really? You're not even going to feel it.

Me: Yeah, I don't want it in my belly (screaming at this point and almost in tears).

I quickly pulled down my pants and wiped my leg with alcohol and told him it would be better in my thigh. 1, 2, 3. It's over. So much for being brave. Maybe tomorrow will be better?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Please stop pounding

The birth control I am on is starting to give me horrendous headaches. They are just complete evil. Nothing makes them go away. I feel like I need to lay in bed all day covered by 10 blankets and take Lortab and Tylenol just to be somewhat comfortable. Hopefully this passes once I'm not taking these stupid little evil pills. I'm sure there will be a full bag of new symptoms with these other meds, but let's just pray the headaches go away. I can't even focus when I have them. I just want to cry because they don't leave me alone. It's going to be over soon. It's going to be over soon.

On a more exciting note, my Lupron is supposed to be coming today! We'll see if and when it gets delivered. The delivery system around here is so unpredictable. Sometimes the UPS man comes at like 7 or later. I feel bad for that guy. What a long day. I start my Lupron shots on the 13th! It's finally starting to feel like we're really doing this.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's so real

For those of you who read this blog, I have to tell you, life isn't always sunshine in my world. I'm not about making this blog all rainbows and butterflies. This is real life. It's my life. My emotions are real. I get happy, sad, frustrated, angry, etc. I express those feelings and emotions on this blog. If you don't like it, don't read it. I'm not trying to offend anybody, just journal our journey and release some stress through blogging.

Also, there is a donation button on the sidebar if you ever feel like helping us pay our medical bills. No pressure, but we surely appreciate any help we can get.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What would it be like?

Lately I have been wondering what it would be like to just get pregnant the first month we started trying. I know this is impossible for us, but I would love to know what it's like. What it's like not to have to have a million tests, lots of people looking at me down there, lots of discomfort, lots of medication side effects. What's it like? I see the people at church who have been married for a year and are expecting their first or have a little one already. Seriously? I have been trying to get pregnant probably longer than you've known each other. It's times like this that I get very down about my situation. It will wear off soon. It always does. Sorry, just had to vent. It always seems a little harder when it's around the holidays. I have no child to get excited for Santa with, no child to share my traditions with, but hopefully soon it will happen. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Whatever you say

Today was an interesting day. I finally got to call our in vitro nurse and tell them to get our schedule all ready to go. She called me back an hour later and told me that our in vitro would end up in the last 2 weeks of December which is when they don't do egg retrievals. Of course we would end up in the last 2 weeks. The only 2 weeks of the year when we can't do it. Our options were to wait until next cycle (this last cycle was over 60 days) or just take 5 straight weeks of birth control. I opted for the birth control. This should now put us into the first couple of weeks in January. Now if my body will just do what it's supposed to, everything will be great. I get to attend an injection class on the 19th of this month to learn how to give myself shots. Of course they only offer those classes on Thursdays, the only day Ryan can't go with me. I'm going to have to bribe somebody else to go with me, even if it's just for moral support. I've already given my brother a guilt trip as to why he needs to come with me. That's a lot to ask of a single guy. Especially when he would have to take off work to go with me. What a good sport.

We got approved for our loan. The loan company will cover most of the procedure, but not quite all of it unfortunately. This means I'll have to find some extra money somewhere. Plus, the loan won't pay for meds, which are about $1800 at the cheapest so I've got to find that money too. Has anybody figured out how to grow money yet? Just curious.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More blood work

I made my journey to my usual hospital of choice today, or hospital of my insurance's choice, Timpanogos Regional Hospital. The girl registering me today did not smile once at me. Come on woman! Life is really not that bad. At least you have a job. I wanted to smack her just a little bit. She totally brought me down a notch. She then made me wait in the waiting room. Did you know there is "well waiting" and "sick waiting"? That's right, they totally had the waiting room divided into 2 sections. I chose the "well waiting" area even though I've had a cold. I didn't want to sit in some H1N1 contaminated seat. Not gonna do it.

I liked the lady who drew my blood today. She was very fast and accurate. It's always nice to have somebody draw your blood who knows what they are doing. She attempted to put the sticky tape on my arm (which with my hairy arms is an awful idea), but I quickly told her no sticky stuff. I like the colored stuff that doesn't stick. Whoever invented that was a GENIUS! Hello! I wish they would have had that when I was a kid instead of band-aids. I still hate pulling those off. I used to sit in the tub just to make them less sticky so it wouldn't hurt as bad to pull it off. Yes, kind of wussy.

I broke down today. It was the first time I have cried in a while. I'm not sure why either. I've been on "happy pills" to control my anxiety and have pretty much been emotionally void for the last month. My visiting teachers came over and I asked them to keep us in their thoughts and prayers while we go through this. They said a prayer before they left and it just touched me so deep. The spirit was definitely with us and I'm so grateful for those ladies. What a wonderful feeling it was to have them in my home and know they truly care about me. Thank you ladies! You know who you are!

Thank you to all of you too. You have no idea how much I appreciate your support and love through this ordeal. I receive multiple phone calls a day from loved ones asking how we are and what's next. I've got friends trying to figure out how to plant a tree that grows money. Thank you, you guys! You are the best. I honestly cannot tell you how much I love you all and appreciate you. xoxo -- Ashley

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The doctor said.....

Our chances of conceiving naturally are practically nonexistent. He said where we have been trying for so long and we have tried so many different meds and procedures, that the penetration problem is probably our problem. Finally, an answer. However, our only option now is in vitro, which is quite costly. They put me on Provera which I will take for 10 days, then I start birth control (yes, it sounds weird, but it gives them total control of my ovaries). After birth control comes the shots. Oh boy! The shots! If all goes as planned, we should transfer embryos just before Christmas. Merry Christmas!

I still need to get some blood work completed (always more blood work), and stay positive. Good luck to us! I'm praying everyday that God will bless us with a little one to share our lives with.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The results are in....

Out of 15 eggs, none (0%) were penetrated. Morphology was all completely normal and everything else was perfect. Could this have been our problem the entire time? Possibly. We still have yet to talk to the doctor on the 19th. Oh how I am excited to talk to him. The thought that we could finally have an answer is exciting. Ryan, on the other hand, is in complete shock. May God bless him through this. I keep telling him that God would not give us this trial if he didn't think we could handle it. Everyday that goes by and I see how our relationship is growing and growing stronger, I know this is true. I'm sending love to that man I love and will always love. He's my everything. Muah, Babycakes!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Human and the Hamster

Yesterday was Ryan's big day with the hamster egg. I often told people he had to have sex with a hamster, but that was a far stretch from the truth. They just put Ryan's little swimmers with a specially prepared hamster egg to see if the sperm could penetrate the outer layer of the egg as they should do with a normal human egg. I joked around with co-workers that I would be bringing home a half human/half hamster for their kid's show-and-tell. Twisted and wrong, I know, but it's a way to deal with the issue of infertility. We have to find some way to laugh at ourselves, right? Well, we won't know the results until October 19, which is when we go in for our in vitro consultation with Dr. Keye. I'm actually pretty excited to be moving forward. I'm still scared to death as to how we will be able to afford treatment, but I'm hopeful we will finally find our family that we have been searching for, for what feels like forever.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Results of the Ultrasound

Today I met with Dr. Hammoud. It was our first time meeting each other. He's a nice enough man. He hurried and did my ultrasound. It worried me that he did it too fast, but I guess he really knows what he's doing. He said I have only 1 small cyst on the left ovary and I'm fine to continue on meds. I guess it's a good thing that's all that was found. It could have been much worse. I left feeling really frustrated for some reason. I had to go down to Timpanogos Hospital and get a blood test, again, to make sure I'm okay to continue taking meds (they have to make sure I'm not pregnant. I think I would know, but whatever). At least they give you the cool wrist band to make you feel important. Ryan called me on the way home and I just cried and cried. I'm so sorry, Ryan. I hate that you have to hear me cry. Mom brought me lunch and brought Chloe over for a little visit before I had to start up work again. Let's just say today has been a little bit exhausting emotionally, but I'll get through it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Dreaded Day

I have a fear my best friend is coming for a visit today. This means my day 3 ultrasound will be Thursday, the only day Ryan has a full day of classes and can't come with me to the U of U. Why can't we just control the timing of the curse? It always comes at such inconvenient times. Let me just give you some examples of when we've had to do tests: Holidays, Sundays, the days Ryan can't be with me (which are usually few), busiest work days, etc. Really? Come on!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Consult with Dr. Keye

Our visit went well with Dr. Keye today. He is extremely smart! He feels ready to get us started on the path for IVF. We couldn't be more excited and ready for this journey. Today he talked to us about the past and what we've done. He ordered a few tests. For me: TSH and an ultrasound to be done on day 3 of next cycle. For Ryan: Hamster egg penetration test to see if his swimmers are smart enough to penetrate the egg. I'm sure they are, but we'll see in a few weeks. All in all, it was a pretty eventful day. We spent about 5 hours in SLC and came home very exhausted. We also discovered we absolutely love the U of U hospital. It's very nice! That's where I had my blood work done. We're finally on our way for finding our family!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Day Before.....

Tomorrow is our first consultation with Dr. Keye. I'm very nervous and excited. Nervous because it's like starting all over again. Excited because hopefully we can take a different route to get some answers. We are very hopeful at this point that Dr. Keye can help us find our family. We pray daily for some answers and guidance in this difficult process.

Our Journey

This blog is to document our life and what we go through on a daily basis trying to find our family. Enjoy!