back from the vampire…

Finally was able to go in to have my massive amounts of blood work done.  Yup, they took 12 vials of blood from me.  You read that right: TWELVE!!  On top of that, I wasn’t allowed to eat for 8-10 hrs before that, so I was already a bit light headed from that!  I planned ahead and had OJ and a bagel at the ready after the blood draw!  So, now I wait until I get the call from the MFM doc with the results!

In other news, my work place is being used for the filming of a new CBS pilot today!  It’s really cool.  They’re using the exterior (I work at a church) to be a school.  So there are buses parked out front, and kids dressed in school uniforms in and out of our building.  They’re using our big hall as a holding area for the extras and for their meals.  There are people and cameras all over the street outside!  It’s pretty fun!  Wish I could go out and watch them…

I just went out with one of my co-workers to look at it.  They’re calling our building “St. Maura’s High School”…so I guess the Baptist church I work at just went Catholic! 😀

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the blood tests…

So today’s the day.  I’m going to the blood draw office today after work.  From all that he’s marked, it looks like they’ll be taking about 1/2 of the blood out of my body.  So, I should be fine to drive home after that…um, right.  This morning I bought a bagel and orange juice to have afterwords, just in case.

I’ve made a copy of the test order so I can have a record of what they checked.  Also the MFM said he’d give me a copy of all of the results.  I really love this guy, wish he could be my full time doc!  I’m actually going to try to get all of my gynecologist records faxed to me so I have stuff to show the new person (when I find a new person…).

I’m going to use this post more for information for myself…I’m going to list the tests and using Dr. Google and WebMd, try to figure out what it all is and what it’ll mean if the tests come back positive for anything (the link on the test will give the website where I go the info, as well as provide further information).  So here’s we go!

  • TSHThe TSH test is often the test of choice for evaluating thyroid function and/or symptoms of hyper- or hypothyroidism.
  • T-4 (Thyroxine), freeThis helps the doctor to determine whether the thyroid hormone feedback system is functioning as it should, and the results of the tests help to distinguish between different causes of hyper- and hypothyroidism.
  • ANA w/ reflThe ANA test is ordered to help screen for autoimmune disorders and is most often used as one of the tests to diagnose systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
  • Cardiolipin scr/rflxTests for IgG and IgM cardiolipin antibodies are frequently ordered to help determine the cause of an unexplained thrombotic episode, recurrent miscarriage, or thrombocytopenia.
  • Chromosome Study
  • Factor V (leiden)Factor V Leiden mutation and prothrombin 20210 mutation tests are ordered, along with other tests related to thrombophilia, to help diagnose the cause for venous thromboembolism (VTE).  They may be ordered when a patient has a personal or family history of recurrent VTE, a first VTE related to oral contraceptive use, pregnancy or hormone replacement therapy, or when they are experiencing unexplained miscarriages.
  • Glucose, fastingThe blood glucose test is ordered to measure the amount of glucose in the blood right at the time of sample collection. It is used to detect both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, to help diagnose diabetes.
  • Lupus AnticoagulantLupus anticoagulant testing is used to help determine the cause of an unexplained thrombosis, recurrent fetal loss, or a prolonged PTT test. It is ordered to help determine whether a prolonged PTT is due to a specific inhibitor (an antibody against a specific coagulation factor) or to a nonspecific inhibitor like the lupus anticoagulant.
  • MTHFR, DNA mutation It is involved in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects, stillbirths, and recurrent pregnancy loss. The leading cause of hyperhomocysteinemia is folate deficiency.
  • Protein S antigen
  • Sjogren’s antibodySjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly reacts to the tissue in glands that produce moisture such as tear and salivary glands.
  • Thyroid peroxidThyroid antibody testing is primarily ordered to help diagnose an autoimmune thyroid disease and to separate it from other forms of thyroiditis.
  • Prothrombin Gene
  • Profs – not sure what this is, maybe I’m not reading his handwriting correctly…

DAMN IT DAMN IT DAMN IT!!!  As I was typing out the list I saw “Glucose, fasting”.  Damn it!!  Just remembered I wasn’t supposed to eat today.  DAMN IT!!!  Guess I’ll pushing these tests until tomorrow.  So angry with myself right now!  Grrr, Argh!

tick tock tick tock…

The 2ww is on. We had IUI on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Started my Endometrium this morning. Everything went well. Had and interesting nurse on Saturday. VERY chatty. Also, right before the procedure she said “I’ll step out so you can undress. If you have to use the bathroom, don’t yet. It makes it easier for me.” When I told her it was too late I had already gone, she seemed upset. She then went off about how she always sends memo’s around about this and everyone ignores her. I was left feeling that she was mad that I had not read her memo – you know, the one she sends to the WORKERS in the clinic. How was I as a patient supposed to read her memo?? Anyway…she did her thing. I was very quick. I call her now the whirlwind nurse, because the whole thing took her about 20 seconds and she was talking the whole time about random stuff. She didn’t even warn me when the speculum was going in. All of a sudden I was like “Oh! I guess we’re starting now!” Anyway, the husband’s count was good that day…after the wash it was about 35 million.

Day 2, I got the lovely Carol who we have had before. Unfortunately because it was Sunday my husband couldn’t stay around for the procedure. He did his thing and then had to leave for church, as he was part of the service. It was the first time I’ve done and IUI alone. It was quite a different experience. I wish he could have been there, but I understand why he couldn’t. Love you honey! So…his count that day was crazy! 117 million!!! There was something like 74% motility, so it was really only about 86 million, but that is still a lot! Ladies…my husband is beyond fertile. Seriously. It make me feel bad sometimes that if he had married someone else, he’d have about 50 kids by now. But I’m glad he married me, and he is with me on this whole journey.

So, now we’re waiting. I’m hopeful for this cycle…I have to be, it could be the last one. So I’m very nervous, too. Guess we’ll find out in 2 weeks…

TICK
TOCK
TICK
TOCK
TICK
TOCK
TICK…

just a bit awkward…

So I went in for my baseline u/s and blood work today.  Again, my most wonderful nurse set aside some free Brevelle for us (huzzah)!  All went fine.  Should get the call later today with my dosage and to schedule the next appointment.

But, I have a question for you all, and please be warned descriptions may get a bit personal here – you were warned.

Every time I go in for my ultrasound, the tech wants me to help “guide it in”…by “it” I mean the transvaginal ultrasound wand.  Is this normal?  If it was just one particular tech, I’d think it was just her thing, but I’ve had multiple techs and they’ve all asked me if I want to help them.  You know what – you’re basically sticking a camera on a stick up my lady parts…I would not be offended if you did that yourself.  It’s so awkward to have to reach down there and do it myself.  Isn’t this what I’m paying them the big bucks for?  Didn’t they go to school to learn how to do this?  I mean, it’s not like they don’t know where that probe is supposed to go!  We’re already in a very personal situation here, you may as well just go for it.  Not to mention that they lady I’ve had the past few times loads up the wand with the ultrasound jelly and they proceeds to hit my leg, stomach and any other part of my body in that vicinity, covering me in blue goopy gel.  Ewww…then when I have to help her “guide it in” (read, but the darn probe in all by myself) it gets all over my hands.  By the time it’s all said in done, I need a shower.

So, for all of you transvaginal ultrasound veterans out there, is this normal?  I have no basis for comparison really, as I’ve only had one of these outside of my RE clinic.  Sometimes the techs will ask if I want help and I’ll say no, they can do it.  Most of the time however, they just tell me to guide it in.  It just seems awkward to me – I mean I can understand that maybe they’re just trying to make me more comfortable, but that just agitates me.  I just want them to do it and get it over with.  Maybe this is the way they are supposed to do it, I don’t know. Any insight into the phenomenon would be appreciated!

Hope you are all well, and I’ll keep you updated on the progress this cycle!

what’s been going on…

Hey guys.  Sorry.  I’ve been lame about posting.  Life happens sometimes.

With my last post I was talking about possible financial help that would be coming our way.  Boy did it!  We were approved for a medical loan through MedicalFinancing.com which was suggested to us from our clinic.  It’s kind of like getting a credit card specifically to pay for medical procedures.  They cover a wide variety, but one of the things they cover is infertility.  Can you believe it?  Someone actually recognizes that infertility is expensive and no one can afford it!  So, this is a loan that we will have to pay back with interest, but the monthly payments are MUCH easier to handle than paying for every single appointment the day I have them – MUCH easier!  It sucks we had to take out a loan, but it’s good to know we don’t have to worry about costs for the time being.

Also, I mentioned that we got a grant through a program at work.  This was also a blessing, as we had already gotten a very generous grant at the end of last year, which helped us to conceive.  Unfortunately, we ran through all that money and lost our child.  So, we are VERY grateful that they were willing to help us out a bit more.

And – I have some amazingly wonderful friends and family.  At the beginning of this cycle, husband and I were pretty desperate.  We basically did each appointment, one at a time, not knowing if we’d have to cancel the cycle because we ran out of money.  We started with enough for one appointment and one box of meds.  We got meds from the clinic luckily, so we were able to do appointment #2.  Then realized if we stretched it, we could make #3.  After that, they said we were ready for IUI.  It went very fast, and luckily by that point we had found out we were approved for the loan.  We barely squeaked by, but we made it.  So, because we were unsure how things would go, we pretty much hit on all of our options from day 1 of the cycle.  We contacted the financing company (which worked out), we contacted the company that gave us our previous loan to see if it were possible to get another smaller grant (which worked out) and we also sent out a letter to our families asking for any help they could offer.  We both felt bad and awkward asking, but we were desperate and at the point where we thought this might be the last try until husband is done with school.  I also got a phone call from my best friend one day asking if she could send out a call to some of our old friends for help.  Again, I felt awkward doing that, but we were desperate.  Well – that worked too!  We are now at the point where if this cycle didn’t work, we have enough to try again, and maybe once more after that if we’re very careful!  I just am stunned by the generosity and the luck that we seem to have fallen into.

If by some small miracle (fingers crossed!!!) this past IUI did work, then all the money we’ve received will just about pay off the loan that we took out.  That is beyond amazing to me.  Going from desperation to grace in about 2 weeks is beyond description.  I often times don’t know how to even express the gratitude I feel towards everyone who has helped me out, my grant representative, my family, my friends, even the loan company!!!  They have all helped the husband and I feel blessed, loved, and extremely lucky.

So yes, we had our #2 (well…really 3rd, but I’ve started over since the miscarriage counting the IUI’s) IUI procedure last Thursday and Friday.  Right after the procedure on Friday the husband and I jumped in the car and headed out for our annual anniversary trip to McGregor, IA.  We’ve gone there every year since our honey moon (so 5 years now) for camping, B&B at the Little Switzerland Inn, and hanging out with my sister and her family on there boat on the Mississippi.  It was amazing to get away from everything here in Chicago for 4 days!  No work, no puppies that pee on the floor and then I step in it, no thoughts of IF – just pure fun and vacation – and sleep!!  I’ve been dog tired the past few weeks, trying to get money worked out, unpacking the new apartment, 2 am wake ups by the puppy, driving over an hour a day to get to and from work now, and just being generally cranky the last month (apologies to the husband for that one).  I really needed this break, and it didn’t disappoint.  I’ll try to post some pictures up at some point.

So, now we’re on the TWW for the blood test after IUI.  We’ll see.

Also, is sad news, please keep Maybe Baby? in your thoughts.  She and I have very similar stories and timelines with the loss of our babies this year.  She had recently become pregnant again, quite unexpectly and on her own without medical intervention, but found out yesterday that she had lost the baby.  It’s hard enough to loose one child to miscarriage; she is having to deal with the loss of two babies in the same year.  I grieve with her.  If you have a moment, head over to her blog and leave her a comment.  One big thing that helps us IFers get through the tough times are words from those who have been there and really do understand the pain.

You never know when there will be a fire…

The above is a quote from my husband.  I’ll tell you the story in a bit…

First – the second IUI was today.  We got in MUCH quicker this morning initially, but there was still the hour wait after the specimen deposit which was more like  an hour and 15 minutes, but oh well.  Everything else went fine.  Husbands count was down, which we were expecting, but still good. 51 million with 94% motility.

So the quote: we go back to the room for the procedure and the nurse gives the classic “remove clothes from the waist down, I’ll be right back.”  I have to use the facilities first, so I leave Justin in the room.  When I come back in he says, “It’s a good thing I didn’t have my pants off when you opened the door!”  I say to him, “Those instructions were for me, not you silly.”  He jokes back, “Oh, right.  Well, I already had my pants off anyway.”  I look at him quizzically then remember that, yes, he would have had his pants off for the specimen deposit.  He then says, “I had my shirt off too.”  I ask why he would need to have that off.  He says, “Well, I didn’t want to get anything on it.”  Right.  Of course.  Then he says, “But I left my shoes on.”  I laugh.  I laugh some more.  I ask why he didn’t take those off too, “Well, you never know when there will be a fire…”

HA!

HA HA!!

I laughed, a lot.  Just the image of him in the room, making a deposit in nothing but shoes and socks and then having to suddenly run for it because of a fire.  HAHAHAHAHA!  I said to him, “Personally, if there was a fire I’d rather be wearing a shirt than shoes.”  His response?  “Yeah, but there could be nails.”  I love him dearly.  It’s right about this point as we’re both laughing our heads off and the happy laughter tears are starting to spill down my face that the nurse comes in for the IUI.  I wonder what she was thinking about us!

Of course, she was a talker.  I don’t know about you all, but I’d rather not talk about the weather and my weekend plans as some lady is sticking a speculum and catheter up in my nether regions.  It’s just a bit awkward…plus I’m fighting not to yell out in pain, not really up for the talking.  Luckily husband takes over at that point for me.  Just as she begins the procedure, Justin leans over and whispers in my ear, “Just remember…there could be a fire at any time…”

Love him. 🙂

justin

One down…

Completed IUI #1 today.  Go back tomorrow for the 2nd round.  Everything went fine once we got in.  45 minutes after our appointment was supposed to be Justin was finally able to make his “deposit”.  Then it was another hour wait until it was ready.  I called into work and said I wouldn’t be in today.  I’ll probably go in tomorrow afternoon.

The insemination went well.  Justin’s count: 100 million, 89% motility!  One thing everyone at the clinic has said to us is that Justin is VERY fertile.  He’d probably have 20 kids by now if he’d married a fertile woman.  The nurse today even said she went back to the technicians to check and make sure the numbers were right and there hadn’t been a mistake!  She said she’d never seen a count so high.  Crazy!  Our last IUI the count was high as well.  If think it was 95 million the first day and around 80 the second.  Still, you could split that fertility among 3 guys and they’d still be doing well for themselves!  (Strange the things that can be bragged about in the IF world!)

Lots of pain for the procedure.  I don’t know if all you IUI vets out there have experienced the same thing, but it’s always quite painful for me.  I told my husband when we left I always feel like they should buy me dinner first at least!  I also like to joke about 2 ladies making a baby.  Today I said I’d call up the Christian Coalition and let them know that it is possible for 2 women to make a baby! *wink*

We were also able to get about a months worth of progesterone before we left.  They hadn’t made a perscription for me yet so when we asked she came back with 2 boxes!!!  Yay.  Saves us about $200!  Like I said, we go back again tomorrow and then start the meds on Thursday.

Spent the day lounging on the couch watching True Blood (HBO Series) and Run, Fatboy, Run (movie).  Both excellent.  I love Simon Pegg.  Will keep you all updated on the progress of everything.

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