Saturday, February 28, 2009

I've Been Tagged (10 Honest Things)

I've been tagged by KayJay and Fasionably Infertile to list 10 honest things about myself. So here goes, the top 10 random things that came to mind first.

1. I have the best in-laws EVER!!! They don't come any sweeter, kinder or more compassionate, period. Thank you for producing such an amazing son!

2. I am a choc-aholic! A meal is not complete until I find chocolate. I will search high and low. I'd probably eat the ex-lax if that was the only chocolate left in the house.

3. I love water and it's all I'll drink.

4. I'm an internet junkie. Kerry teases me that my life comes to a complete halt if the internet goes down. This photo is during bedrest following IVF#3's transfer. I bet you anything I was trying to find success stories of transferring 3 embies on day 3.


5. I'm a wide open book. Nothing is too private and I will share any and every detail with you. I'm sure many of you have winced or blushed at some of the things I blog about.

6. My cat has a hard plastic kiddie pool for a litter box. Kerry has been cleaning it for over 3 yrs now because it's not good for a pg woman to clean it. About once a month he makes a trip upstairs, camps out on a stool and fishes for turds.

7. I wanted to marry a guy no taller than 6-ft and Kerry wanted to marry a tall woman. I guess we can both scratch that off the wish list as I'm 5'1 and he's 6'5. But we have fun making it work.

Notice the step stool?

Our first dance:
Oh, I just noticed my dad in the background... Hi Dad... I love and miss you tons! I've had tall women seriously get mad at me for marrying a tall guy. Sorry tall gals! Kerry always says that if you put us together, we average a normal person.

7. Kerry and I are brutally honest with each other. He can tell me my arse is getting huge, I can make fun of his belly rolls, he can tell me I look homely, I can tell him he needs to whiten his teeth. We check each other for food in our teeth, bad breath or body odor. Amazingly we laugh through it all and never get offended.

8. I used to be irrationally needle phobic. If I even saw a needle come near me, I'd freak out, panic and sob. I'm now proud to say that I've given myself 162 injections and have had countless blood-draws. I can even watch the needle now. Gee, thanks IVF for giving me such a gift!

9. Bodily functions crack me up. I think God was showing us his funny side when he designed us to pass gas. Just fart and I laugh hysterically. Here's a video of Kerry and I goofing around, you'll see that I couldn't contain myself when I mistook his pants ripping for something else.

video

10. After 3 years, a vasectomy reversal and 3 failed IVFs, I still have hope each month that I might actually conceive on my own.

If you found this fun and would like to do your own top 10, consider yourself tagged.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

E-tegrity Test

Today I had an endometrial biopsy at my obgyn’s office. This was for the E-tegrity test.

The E-tegrity Test is used to determine how receptive the lining of the uterus is to implantation of a fertilized egg. The test checks for the presence of the Beta-3 integrin, a glue-like protein necessary for implantation to take place. The presence of Beta-3 integrin is strongly correlated with endometrial receptivity.

I felt this was necessary as out of 8 embryos transferred over 3 IVFs, nothing has ever implanted. There is a good chance that my uterine receptivity was affected by my astronomical e2 levels while on stims, but that is just a hopeful maybe. I have not been able to move forward with the next step, whatever that is, because I don’t trust my body to accept implantation. I thought this was a good start to determine if I do have implantation issues.

This test is performed 7-10 days after a positive opk. For me, it was 8 days post +opk and 7dpo.

So now for the details… if you are about to do this test, you may want to refrain from reading this.

The Nurse took me back to the room and we filled out all the paperwork. She told me that this test should be a piece of cake for me after all I’ve had done, and that I’ll just feel a little bit of cramping. She said it would be easier than the HSG. This gave me a lot of peace and so I sat there calmly waiting on the doctor.

The doctor came in and said she has had an endometrial biopsy before and I’ll feel an intense cramp. Ok, this sounded a little more scary than how the nurse described it, but it didn’t have time to sink in. I asked if she would numb me first but she said the injection would hurt more than the procedure.

She inserted a speculum and cleansed my cervix with iodine. She asked me to cough while she clamped my cervix. This pinched a little, but not too bad. She threaded a long hollow tube through my cervix and into my uterus. Still not too bad. She then pulls back on the plunger attached to the tube. This suctions the uterine tissue into the hollow tube. I yelped in pain. She then twists the tube as she continues to pull on the plunger which fills the tube with a spiral of your lining. I continued to literally yell out in pain. It was intense all right, but definitely not quick which significantly contributed to the pain.


After she was finished, she had me lay there for 10 mins. I was cramping pretty bad. The cramping subsided after about 15 mins.

The doctor and nurse admired the sample and talked about what a great sample it was. I sure hope so, I felt like she took my entire uterus. The nurse showed me my sample and it was quite a bit, so maybe my experience was much more painful than someone who had just a little removed. I can handle intense pain that is quick, but it is excruciating when it seems to keep going and going.

I have to be honest, this was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my entire life. If you have plans of doing this test, please insist on being numbed. I took 400mg of Ibuprofen 1 hr prior and it did nothing for me. Others have referred to this biopsy as uterine torture and there is no better label.

Many compare this test to the HSG and Hysteroscopy. I've had all 3 done now. In my experience, they were all painful. The Hysteroscopy fills your uterus with CO2 gas while the doctor views the inside... intense cramping, but quick and manageable. The HSG inserts a balloon into your uterus and then forces dye through... painful, but fairly quick. I could do both of these again if I had to. Then the biopsy, rips a chunk of tissue out... I will never do this test again without being thoroughly numbed or completely knocked out.

The doctor said she would get me a complimentary pad, I said I seem to be getting a lot of those lately. I put the pad on and good God, this thing practically went from my belly button to the top of my crack. I waddled out of there. I surprisingly had very little spotting, so I hopped off that saddle and went with a panty liner, ahhhh… I can walk again.

I headed to FedEx to drop off my specimen including a check for $475 for just the lab part of this procedure, yikes! But before I mailed it off, I snapped a photo of it.


Do you think they got enough??? I’m thinking about asking for my money back so I can go put a down payment on new uterus.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

An Unusual Valentines

Happy Valentines Day!!!!

Couples dealing with infertility tend to love this holiday as it's a celebration of something we have, each other. My blogger friend Ashley describes it well... "Holidays are usually fairly painful when you're infertile. All the family oriented commercials start coming on TV, you see all the families out doing holiday-esque things that you are aching to do...etc. etc. etc. You don't need me to elaborate. But not Valentine's Day. It's all about couples. And happily, I'm included in this celebration! I see those sappy stupid romantic Valentine's Day commercials and think "I have that!""

She is so right, we have that and we have it well! I love my marriage and I have one of the best husbands in the world. So today I celebrate the two of us...

But first, I had to attend a baby shower… yes, on Valentines of all days!!!! It was a surprise shower for my friend Elana. We went through IVF#2 together, so no matter how hard it was for me to attend, I wanted to be there for her.

The beginning of the shower was a little challenging for me. There were 4 pg women there and a woman with a newborn. I avoided looking at the newborn because it was too painful. Out of the blue, this woman walks up to me, holds her newborn up to my face and says “look at this little guy, what’s a baby shower without a baby”. She was all smiles, I was not. Why me? Why out of all people in the room did she have to pick me, we never even met or exchanged names.

Luckily a few of my friends were there that I haven’t seen in several months. We were so consumed in catching up that I escaped from the reality surrounding me. My friend Mindy and I kept each other grounded. This time was hard for us both as I was surrounding by baby everything and she was missing her husband that passed just over a year ago. I love you Mindy!


Then it was time to open gifts, there were a lot of ohhhs and ahhhs over the cute baby items, and I’m proud to say that even I gave a few ohhhs and ahhhs myself! I'm even prouder to say that I was the last guest to leave and made it without a single tear.

My hubby picked me up and we walked the mall. We stopped at the Chinese massage place. Holy cow, those little Chinese people are strong!!! While they were really good, we came out feeling like minced meat. Then it was off for dinner and then a relaxed night at home.

To Kerry, my Valentine every day of the year...








My gosh, how could I ever not want to have a baby with this man???

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Atlanta

I made an unexpected trip to Atlanta over the weekend. A good friend of mine (Tarryn) wanted to audition for “America’s Got Talent” and I went as her cheerleader. It was good to get out of the house and have some girl time!

On the way down I was reunited with a dear friend (Cathy) that I haven’t seen in 10 years. Good to have you back in my life girlfriend!



Sunday morning, one last practice before we head to the audition:

video

Tarryn and I spent all day at the audition. They filmed us for several hours, kinda insane when they will only air maybe a few mins of it. I lost count how many times we had to run at the camera hoopin and hollering, screaming, yelling “America, I got talent” or “America, Atlanta’s got talent”. They filmed us singing patriotic songs like Star Spangled Banner and The National Anthem. Then they called the talent away to audition, I was so bummed I didn’t get to cheer my friend on when she needed it most.

So it was more filming for all the cheerleaders, yelling with our arms waving above our heads going over a bridge and up/down escalators. Then they had a few of the acts perform for us while we clapped/cheered and yep, filmed some more. One of the performers was a guy that had a ball act and the coordinator yells at the top of her lungs “can I get the guy with balls?” and the entire crowd erupted. While this day was filled with a lot of fake cheering for the cameras, nonetheless, it was some great scream therapy for me.

On the way back home, we stopped to have lunch with some of Tarryn's family. One of them was pg and I was ok with that. But what I wasn’t prepared for was for the entire lunch to be talk of babies, birth and how much fun they had shopping for the baby. I kept my situation to myself, but whew, that was tough!

We’ll find out if my friend made it in March. Best of luck Tarryn!!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Color

While I do have good days, it seems that I've had way more bad lately. I just feel like I'm in a tailspin and can't get a grip. All my life, if there was something I wanted, I worked hard, sacrificed, did whatever it took to succeed. I don't mind working hard for something, but IF has kicked my butt. I can't seem to conquer it no matter what I throw at it. I can't even buy my way out of it.

I feel like I've completely lost control of my entire life and it has put me in such a funk. I've been finding myself trying to control other areas of my life, areas that I shouldn't control. I think I'm subconsciously trying to find solid ground. It's causing conflicts, it's making things worse. Can I please get off this ride?

Today I found something safe I could control, hair color! I gave Kerry a few blonde highlights on top. He was a good sport!


Then I taught him how to color gloss my hair. I went much darker, darkest I've ever had my hair. Whatcha think?