Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's over, O-V-E-R!

Oh happy days! I can't even believe we have made it this far. It's been a long and rough journey, but we made it. My shots have come to an end, praise the Lord! My bum can now be mine again and no longer a sacrifice to the syringe. I just think about being done and it makes me want to cry.

This brings me to the point that I am now no longer blogging about in vitro and our infertility journey. My life is now just my life and this blog has served its purpose. Thank you, Infertile Myrtle, for providing such an amazing support system through my trying times. You have been more amazing than I ever could have imagined. Don't forget to visit us over at our regular family blog.

(For some reason I'm tearing up right now. Probably pregnancy hormones. Maybe a realization of the blessings in my life? Either way, I am filled with gratitude at this moment and I am so thankful for the doctors, nurses, family, friends, and anybody else who has supported us through this extremely difficult situation. We are so blessed.)

Final needle count: 96 (Can you believe that? 96 needles in less than 3 months time!)
Acupuncture: 147

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Last week of shots!

Okay, I know you are so sick of hearing about shots and how many are left, but I am really excited about this. I can't even tell you how nice it's going to be not to have to have a shot every day! It has definitely been well worth it, but here are a few items I will enjoy:
  • Hopefully getting sensation back in parts of my butt, hips, and legs. They are numb, but it feels like it's asleep and sore. It's a weird feeling that I don't love.
  • No more bleeders! I'm so sick of laying on my stomach for 10 minutes and trying to hold a piece of tissue on my injection site to make sure there is no more blood.
  • I will no longer have "braille bum." This is the condition you get when you have a shot everyday and each new shot creates a braille bump on your skin. I'm pretty sure my messages have read: "No more shots!", "This side is done, move to the other side." and so forth.
  • I can finally turn off the alarm on my phone that reminds me to have a shot, and reminds Ryan that he has to stop working out to come give me the shot. What's life going to be like when we don't have this interruption anymore?

Anyway, those are just a few things I'm excited for this week. FOUR MORE SHOTS! That's it!

Needle count: 92
Acupuncture: 138

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

9 days and counting!

I only have 9 evil progesterone shots left and I will be freed from their evil ways! I can't even wait until its over. We finally called the doctor's office yesterday and asked if we could move up my shot time from 7 to 5. I can't believe we didn't do that sooner. Now Ryan can give me all my shots and I don't have to run around Utah Valley looking for somebody to do it for me. Honestly, this can't be over soon enough. But just think, no more shots in bathrooms, in the parking lot, friends houses, relatives houses, all the awkward places I've had to have my shots.... NO MORE! Yeah! Let the countdown begin!

Needle count: 87
Acupuncture: 138

Monday, February 15, 2010

Infertile Myrtle's journey

I feel I have left out a lot of my life on this blog. You have only seen the in vitro portion of our lives. What was it like before that? Well, this is what it was like.

Ryan and I started trying to conceive in 2007. I was so ready to be a mother. My heart yearned to hold my baby in my arms. I can honestly say there was nothing I wanted more than to be a mother. We started trying and nothing was happening. My cycles were long (which when you're trying is awful). I would take a pregnancy test every month and cry every month when it was negative. Finally in December 2007, I went to my OB/GYN and expressed my concerns. He immediately put me on Clomid. I did that for 2 months with no side effects and somewhat shorter cycles, but unfortunately it didn't work.

I went back to the doctor and he added metformin (Glucophage) to my regimen. The metformin made me horribly sick. I remember working in the hospital and having to run to the bathroom because I was so sick from the meds. I did this for 3 months hoping it would bring me my wish. It did not.

In July 2008, we decided it was time for a reproductive endocrinologist, someone who specializes in fertility/infertility. He did some blood tests on me (FSH, LH, blood glucose), all of which were normal. He also ordered a hysterosalpingogram to make sure my fallopian tubes were free of debris. I was in fact, free of debris. He kept me on Clomid but upped to dose to 100 mg (2 tablets daily). When that didn't shorten my cycle, he upped the dose again to 150 mg. Yikes! My vision was blurry, my brain felt funny, and I had headaches from hell. It just was not ideal at all. I think I did this for about 2 or 3 months/cycles. Since it wasn't working I begged him to put me on another medication. He did. I started taking Femara. This med actually made me have a 28-day cycle and I knew I ovulated on it. I went in for an ultrasound around ovulation and sure enough, I had plenty of beautiful follicles ready to break free from my ovaries. We opted to do an hCG trigger shot at this point to release the eggs and time our love accordingly. Unfortunately this didn't work.

The next month, December 2008, we decided it was time for a more aggressive approach. This time we did Femara and IUI, or intrauterine insemination. It's where they put a little catheter through your cervix and injected your husband's specially prepared man juice straight into your uterus. We had hopes that our problem could have just been a cervix that wasn't allowing the sperm to get through. This obviously didn't work and was actually very devastating. It completely broke my heart and my spirit. I don't think I left the house for days. I felt like we were trying so hard and getting no results. It was exhausting. After this, my emotions just couldn't handle fertility treatments for a while. I needed a break. I think Ryan probably needed it too. We decided it was time for a little love named Bella to be a part of our lives. Bella definitely has brightened our lives. We love our little baby dog, even though she's not a baby anymore.

We kind of kept things on hold for a while, a long while actually. Ryan went to Ecuador for a month and during that time I went to the doctor to see if they would do a laparoscopy on me. They didn't want to do it for some reason and they just put me back on Clomid. Bad idea. I left the doctor's office in tears and complete hysterics and no way to call my husband since he was in a different country and I had no phone number to reach him. I believe he must have been inspired by the spirit to contact me because he called me that afternoon and I just bawled and he just listened. My heart still hurt. I felt defeated once again. I did the Clomid for 1 more round and immediately gave up. We started to fill out the papers for adoption, but it just never felt right. This is when we decided to go to the University of Utah. From our very first visit they were ready to find out what was wrong. It was reassuring, but still frustrating. My cycles by this point were 60+ days. They ended up putting me on Provera to induce my period so we could start fresh with my cycles. For Ryan, came the test with the hamster eggs. This is where the blog picks up. And now look at where we are.

I feel we have gone through much heartache and frustration and now we have been blessed in multiple ways. We are so thrilled beyond belief to be expecting our children later this year. We know God works in mysterious ways and in ways I will never understand. Never once did I feel in vitro wasn't what we were supposed to be doing. When we started to fill out our paperwork for adoption earlier in 2009, it never felt like we were in the right place doing the right thing. When we decided to do in vitro, I felt blessed with peace and comfort. I knew it was what we were supposed to do.

Thank you so much for sharing in our journey. Your love and support has meant so much to Ryan and myself.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

In Cold Stone Creamery

Okay, this one was bad. We went out to dinner to celebrate the NCLEX with our friends Jacob and Amber last night. After dinner, Ryan wanted something sweet, so we made our way to Cold Stone. Of course, it came time for my shot. Thank goodness they have a family restroom, I think. It was totally embarrassing walking in the tiny bathroom together as the other patrons probably looked on in horror. Ryan gave me my shot, which hurt this time. I quickly made him leave the bathroom so at least we didn't walk out at the same time. Awkward! After the shot, we walked around the mall for a little bit and then went home. On the way home my butt starting to BURN and hurt really bad. I was really uncomfortable the entire way home. As soon as we got home I went to get in the bathtub to see if I could soothe my aching bum. Blood everywhere! That stupid little shot had been bleeding probably the entire way home for some reason, and I mean BLEEDING. I have never seen so much blood from 1 stupid little shot, okay 1 evil progesterone shot. No wonder why I was in pain. I lost half my blood supply though a tiny little hole! Please, March 3rd, can you be here already? I'm so done with these shots. Please?

Needle Count: 75
Acupuncture: 113

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Beating hearts baby.....

The doctor says, "There's one........................and there's two!" (Sorry the pic is sideways. Blogger won't load it right).

We're having TWINS!!!!

We got to see 2 beating and healthy hearts and hear 2 beating and healthy hearts. I laid on the table with tears of joy streaming down my face. I think I still have a perma-grin. It's so amazing. We honestly feel so blessed.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

In the bathroom stall.... again.

This weekend has been exciting with Ryan working. Since he's not home I have to find others to give me my shots. Friday night I went down to Elk Ridge to have The Mayor do my shot. My niece and nephew stood by the door and watched. I kept hearing my nephew say, "I can't watch it." He was cracking me up. I think he ended up hiding in the stairwell behind the wall so he couldn't see me anymore. I had to convince him that I was okay and I was brave.

Saturday night I ventured up to SLC with the girls. I told them I would only go if one of them would give me my shot. Dari quickly offered up nurse Sara because, well, she is a nurse afterall. We enjoyed dinner at P.F. Chang's and then off to the Gateway we went. We hurried and bought our movie tickets and then we ran to the bathroom so I could have yet again, a shot in the bathroom stall. Sara claimed she was nervous but she did an excellent job. Like I said before, hopefully this is the last time in a bathroom stall.

Thank goodness my nurse will be home with me tonight to give me my shot. I miss him when he works. He's just the best husband in the world. Last night when he got home from work at midnight I just kept whining that I wanted a piece of cheese and a pickle. He quickly went upstairs and got it for me. Cheese and pickles never tasted so good! Honestly, what would I do without him? He's amazing!

Needle count: 71
Acupuncture: 104

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


We want to hear from you! How many babies are there? We go in for an ultrasound on Tuesday, February 9, to find out. What's your guess? Vote using the poll on the sidebar!

Monday, February 1, 2010

In "the cottage," the car in the BYU parking lot, and in my parents bedroom. Again

This weekend was an eventful one! We celebrated our anniversary on Friday night with a visit to "the cottage" at La Caille. It was so nice to get away and just relax for a minute. Well, the shot had to come too of course. So, there I was at La Caille having my evil progesterone shot.

Saturday we were invited to the BYU game. I was excited to go until I realized I had to have a shot that night. It's never ending. Well, our options were to sneak a syringe into the Marriot Center or do the shot in the car. That's right, in the car it was in the middle of the parking lot. I parked between 2 huge vehicles and laid the seat back for maximum access. Um, awkward! I was just hoping nobody walked by and wondered what in the world was going on in there.

Sunday we had to go get Bella from Elk Ridge, therefore we had to do my shot again in my parent's bedroom. What an exciting weekend!

Now comes the real excitement. Ryan is starting to work nights this week so I now need volunteers for shots 3 times a week while he is gone. Molly, you're at the top of my list. Any other takers? I will need all the help I can get. Just think, I only have to do this for 1 more month. March 3, please come soon!

Needle count: 65
Acupuncture: 95

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I'm exhausted. I cannot stay awake for more than 2 hours before I want to go take a nap. Plus, I have been going to bed early, without sleeping pills, and sleeping all night. This is so unusual for me! Any suggestions?

I'm still fat/bloated from the progesterone shots which in turn makes me already look pregnant, which is a little embarrassing. I shouldn't look this pregnant when I'm not really that far along. I'm getting good at hiding my belly with jackets and sweatshirts. Nothing like drug-induced fatness!

Okay, almost nap time.

Needle count: 59
Acupuncture: 95

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A day of anticipation

Well, it has finally come. Today was our big day. I couldn't sleep all night last night. The alarm went off bright and early and off we went. The trip to SLC was horrendous this morning. The roads were pure ice. It was a very tense morning on top of already being a tense morning. After they drew my blood we went to my brother's house to help him move. I was glad I had something to keep my mind off of just waiting for the phone call with the test results. I kept thinking I just wanted to get home because if it came back negative I would be a mess. We waited and waited all morning. Finally as I was bringing some power strips into Josh's house I could hear Ryan say, "you're kidding." I didn't know who he was talking to but I could hear the excitement in his voice. He turned around and saw me and said, "we're pregnant!" I fell to the floor and started crying. I couldn't believe it! I got up and put my arms around my love and held him. Then I talked briefly with the sweet nurse who was very excited for us as well. My dad walked in and all I could say to him was, "it's positive!" He gave me a huge hug. It was all just a very exciting and unreal moment. We are still in complete shock. The only bad thing is I still have to do these evil shots for 6 more weeks, but I'm sure it's all going to be well worth it.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. It has made this process much easier to deal with. I'm sorry if we couldn't call all of you today to tell you the news in person.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Nothing to update

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. There has really been nothing new to report unless you want to hear about how ornery and uncomfortable I have been. I still feel like my buns are on fire as well as my upper thighs. It hurts to wear anything that touches them. Even the softest of fabrics feels like sandpaper on my skin. This is all due to the evil progesterone shots. We find out soon if this worked, so just keep being patient. You will soon know too.

Needle count: 55
Acupunture: 95

Monday, January 18, 2010

In my parent's bedroom

Yep, you heard it right. We did it in my parents bedroom. Not that, you dirty mind. A shot, of course! The clock rang 7 and we went and locked ourselves in their bedroom for an all around good time of fun shots in the butt. It hurt, but my only motivation to get it over with was the caramel and fruit waiting for me downstairs. Oh, it was divine! What a reward for my shot! I think I could do that everynight.

I feel really bloated at this point. Either something is growing in my uterus or I am eating too much food and getting fat. My belly is definitely starting to feel fat. Hopefully this is a good sign. Still keeping our fingers crossed.

Needle count: 51
Acupuncture: 78

Saturday, January 16, 2010

In a bathroom stall

Last night Ryan and I decided to celebrate his first paycheck by going to our favorite restaurant, Carrabba's. We went with our friends, Dari and Chris, and Devin and Lisa. Josh was there too of course. Well, the clock struck 7 and it was time for shots. My choices are: Go to the parking lot and shoot up in the car or bribe the girls to go to the bathroom with me and give it to me in there. I was a little nervous not having Ryan give me the shot, but then again I'm at the point where it's just like, get it over with. I don't really care who gives it to me as long as it's not me giving it to me. So, off the 3 girls went to the bathroom. We had to wait for the handicapped stall so we could all go in there. I'm sure this was quite the site to the other patrons in the restroom with seeing all 3 of us going into one stall. I can only imagine what was going through their heads. I elected Dari to do the deed. She was a champ. She was so nervous, but she did a great job. It didn't even hurt! There's nothing like having a shot in the bathroom stall though. Hopefully we don't have to do that again. One bathroom stall experience was enough. I kept thinking the manager was going to get complaints from the other people in the restroom about our weird behavior and we were going to get kicked out. Thankfully we did not and dinner was spectacular.

Needle count: 50
Acupuncture: 78

Friday, January 15, 2010

Still shooting up

Well, things are going well around here. I've had a little bit of cramping which was quite scary, but they claim that is a normal thing to happen. I'm now through with bedrest, unless the cramps come back, then straight back to bed I go. It has been a very lazy week. I haven't left the confines of our home to go anywhere since Monday. I'm starting to go crazy! I want to go to the mall or out to dinner or something! I have to bribe people to come visit me because I'm so bored.

I'm still having my daily dose of progesterone in a very evil form of a shot. This is now an intramuscular shot that I can only get in my butt. My butt is all bruised and sore from shots. Last night I was trying to pick something up off the floor and totally whacked my shot site on the bed post. I wanted to cry and laugh at the same time. It hurt SO BAD! I recommend not doing that. Ever.

p.s. I'm leaving it a surprise as to when we find out if this worked. I'll let you know when it happens. Just be patient. I have to be patient and wait, so so do you.

Needle count: 49
Acupuncture: 69

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Embryo Update

Well, the 3 embryos we were watching overnight failed to perform. They were not of good enough quality to freeze. This means no extra babies to freeze and try again if this round doesn't work. I'm a little freaked out about it. Now I feel a lot of pressure for this round to work. Keep your fingers crossed for us that this round works!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Embryo Transfer

Today was a very special day for me and Ryan. We got to go once again to SLC this morning. We were way early for our appointment but they took us right back. I dressed in my sheet of shame and the $10K slippers and we waited. Then it came. The picture of my babies. It took everything I had not to cry when I saw the picture. (sorry, picture of a picture) Science is spectacular. They doctor came in, Dr. P-J. Loved her by the way. She was absolutely amazing. I got into every woman's favorite position in the stirrups and then the doctor inserted a catheter through my cervix. It took a couple of tries since my uterus is shaped and tipped funny, but all went well. They put up a live video feed of the embryolgist sucking up the 2 best embryos so we could see it and then he brought them to us. In they went and TAH DAH! It was all over. Just like that. The doctor made me all cozy with like 10 blankets and then let me rest for a while. Ryan said a most beautiful prayer and I cried. It was a heavenly day. Now for bedrest. Today has been nice. Dr. P-J gave me Valium so I have been relaxed and sleepy all day. Ryan has been aboslutely amazing. I have to admit that I have the most amazing husband in the world! He went and got me J. Dawgs for lunch. Oh, it was delicious. (best hot dog joint in Provo!)

Ryan and I feel so blessed with the overwhelming love and support we have received through all of this. We are so grateful for all of you! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

Now comes the hard part. Waiting for the pregnancy test. Wait. Wait. Wait.

By the way, out of the 6 embryos we had, 2 were in excellent condition. Those were what they transferred today. We had 1 quit growing and 3 are still growing but not the best quality. They will update us tomorrow as to if they are worth saving or not.

Needle count: 45
Acupuncture: 69

Friday, January 8, 2010

And the results are......

Out of 7 eggs retrieved, 6 are fertilized and growing in their petri dishes! Can you believe it? I thought we'd maybe get 1 or 2 out of the 7, but 6?!!! The plan as of now is to transfer on Monday. We will hear from the embryologist again on Sunday as to how our babies are growing. Keep your fingers crossed that they stay healthy. Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Candid Perspective from a Husband

When Ashley and I arrived, they quickly escorted us back to a corner room and and began to look for veins on Ashley which is not a simple process. Ashley does not have good veins and I even scanned her arms before the nurse entered the room and told the nurse good luck in finding a vein, but luckily she was able to find one. As Ashley started to receive her IV meds I warned everyone in the room that she can become coocoo for loco puffs (a fruit loop)! Boy, did she not let us down. As soon as she was high on Versed she said a few inappropriate things which I will not mention for the sake of our righteous viewers. They were embarrasing and I expected everyone in the room to laugh but no one reacted and an awkard silence fell upon the room. I put my head down and laughed internally and felt awkard at the same time.........The procedure did not look comfortable with all the sponges used to clean her internally and externally and watching the catheter needle navigate through her ovaries, piercing and sucking, piercing and sucking and did I mention piercing and sucking looked very painful! It did not look fun but Ashley was a champ and held still and calm through it all. The doctor awarded her "all star of the week" status.
After her procedure I was escorted to the "male section" of the building to provide another sample of my essence or should I say love potion. Let me tell you, the magazines they provide you are very dirty and actually discourage their purpose. It makes for quite the experience. (sarcasm included). I'm glad it's over to be honest.......
In closing I just want to tell my wife how much I love her and how proud I am of her for enduring the countless injections, procedures and prescribed periods of non-sexual activity. She truly is a champ and I'm lucky to have such a patient and hard working, supportive wife. If anyone deserves children it is Ashley. I love you Ashley very much!!!!!!!!!!!

The Egg Retrieval

Did yesterday really happen? I believe I was in a drug-induced coma for the entirety of the day. Here's what happened.

We woke up at 6:15. Well, the alarm went off at 6:15 with good intentions to get up. Finally at about 6:35 we got up. I brushed my teeth and put on some comfy clothes and then we climbed in the car for our long journey to the U of U. We had to be there by 8:00. We arrived about 5 minutes early and they took me straight back. I changed into my awesome hospital gown and what I like to call the $10K slippers (ugly tan slipper socks with the grips on the bottom). The nurse came in and hooked me up to an IV. Then I signed my consent forms and off we went to surgery. Ryan got to sit right by me the entire time which I was very grateful for. They placed me in the most awkward position imaginable and the room filled with people. Nothing like being exposed to the world. This is where heaven began. The drugs. I LOVE conscious sedation. You're awake but remember nothing. It feels like love when they put it in your IV. I remember the doctor cleaning me and then that's about it. I do remember the procedure hurting, but I don't remember exact details of why or what went on. Ryan said I said a few things that embarrassed him. Haha. That's what happens when I'm drugged up. Apparently I don't know when to keep my mouth shut. Next thing I know, I wake up with an oxygen mask on and in an empty room. All I remember is I just wanted to turn off the music. For some reason music was playing in my room and it was driving me insane! I just wanted to relax.

Ryan soon joined me. I was so happy to see him. He told me that they only got 7 eggs, which is a little less than we were expecting, but at least they got 7. We were hoping for 10-12 so we could save some for future use. Not all 7 are going to be useable. Some will not mature, therefore we may end up with 1 or 2 useable eggs out of this 7. It's a one-time shot it looks like. No eggs to save, just 1 time to get it right. STRESSFUL!

They finally let me eat some treats before I left. I was starving! I hadn't had anything to eat or drink for hours at this point. Saltine and graham crackers never tasted so good.

After being at the clinic for more than 2 hours, it was finally time to go home. Out came the IV. I changed into my clothes and told Ryan, "I'm taking the socks. I paid $10,000 for these." So, I came home with the ugly tan slipper socks and I wore them all day.

We made the long treck home, got some Percocet from the drug store and went home. I climbed into bed and was out for some time. I remember waking up feeling quite nauseous and all I wanted were some crackers. All we had were potato chips. That worked. At least I didn't puke everywhere. I just remember feeling really uncomfortable all day. It hurt to stand up. It hurt to sit down. As long as I was holding still, I was fine. Mom brought over some yummy Papa Murphy's pizza and fruit. I ate a lot of it. I was still starving.

Last night was also my first progesterone shot. The actual shot itself wasn't too bad. It was 20 minutes later when the burn started. It was like my back end was on fire. It hurt to touch it. Let's just say sleep last night was nonexistent. My butt hurt from the shot, my stomach hurt from surgery, and my hormones were all over the place so I was HOT and uncomfortable.

As I write this, I feel really gross. It's 7:30 in the morning and I'm attempting to work. I feel like throwing up. I think I'll need to take today off. I don't know what I was thinking coming back to work and attempting to work an 8-hour day.

We should hear from the embryologist tomorrow morning as to how many of our babies are growing well and when we are going to transfer. It will either be Saturday or Monday. This is weird, but I felt sad leaving my "babies" at the doctor's office. I had been taking such good care of them for so long and then BAM! they're all gone and no longer under my control. All I can do is hope and pray that they take care of my babies.

Needle count: 39
Acupuncture: 44

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 22: Good news

Well, I went to the doctor today and they told me, "Ashley, you are the star of the week." I also heard such things as "this looks excellent" and "everything looks great!" It was a very positive visit today. My ovaries are huge and I can sure feel it! I'm kind of uncomfortable lately. I also had to have my blood drawn to check my estrogen level to make sure it was high enough to do the retrieval. It was. The good thing about this? NO MORE 3-a-day SHOTS! YEAH! I have 1 shot tonight which is the hCG trigger shot, and then no shots tomorrow! We are scheduled for egg retrieval Wednesday morning. They'll even give me sedation so I don't have to remember it. That means I get to sleep all day! See, something to look forward to everyday this week. It looks like Monday will be the day of transfer, but it could be as early as Saturday as long as my petri dish babies grow well. We're very excited!

Needle count: 37
Acupuncture: 35

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 20: Day 5 of stimulation

My new name is Pin Cushion Ashley. All we do around here are shots! I've had 16 just this week alone and the week isn't even over yet. All 4 extremities are now killing me. My strawberries (ovaries) are growing. I can definitely feel it. It's quite uncomfortable. It's a dang good thing the discomfort doesn't last the full 24 hours. I'm still extremely exhausted. New Years Eve consisted of us coming home at 11:00 and me falling right to sleep. Happy 2010! I slept in until 9:30 this morning and it was heaven! Today has been a pretty good day. I only had to take 1 nap instead of 2 or 3 like the rest of the days this week. Yes, I said 2 or 3. I can't even work for longer than 2-3 hours before I need to go rest because my brain is just too tired. I'm physically worn out. This is a good sign right? I'm very excited to see the doctor on Monday and hear what they have to say. Hopefully Monday will be our lucky day.

Happy New Year everybody! This year is going to be spectacular. I can feel it!

Needle count: 30
Acupuncture: 35