Monday, October 25, 2010

My First PIO Injection

So I took my first progesterone shot yesterday afternoon!  I am planning on doing them at night, but I could not have gone through the entire day being a worried wreck!!  Especially because it was the first time doing an injection.  OMG – it was NOTHING….no pain at all…blood tests are worse and I don’t think blood tests are bad.  Seriously I was worrying over nothing!!!  I didn’t even use the EMLA cream to numb the area that they prescribed me.  Pat said to try the first time without the cream just so I had a baseline of pain...Just so I would know what the worse it could be!  Pat was actually excited to give me the shot…he was smiling.  He is studying needles and tests at school right now.  I made him watch the informative video they instructed us to wtch right before.  He felt like he was doing a medical procedure on me.  We set up everything in the bathroom and I sterilized like CRAZY!  I could’ve slapped him bc my knees were shaking I was so nervous!  He was loving it.  I was being such a big baby.  Pat just couldn't stop laughing at me!   He said OK - I am going to count to three...1...2...3...boom!  He said you will feel some pressure bc he had a hard time injecting the think oil out of the tiny needle.  For 1 cc, it took a solid 10 sec just to give you an idea.

Don’t read everything online about the PIO shots. I use a 25 gauge needle which is a pediatric needle and it isn’t painful at all.  I could do it everyday if need be.  Not that I would want to but just to give you an idea of the pain tolerance.  Plus my booty was a tad bit sore from the intramuscular shot later in the day walking up stairs and what not, but nothing to stress on….it wasn’t a big deal at all.  The muscle pain is the only mild discomfort of the entire process but is 100% tolerable.  My advice - do not listen to everthing you read online about the PIO shots.  They are not a big deal at all!  What a huge relief!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Middle of 2nd Trial Cycle – Ultrasound

As we are in our 2nd trial cycle and are using the actual drugs/calendar system as the REAL DEAL, we are on a strict monitoring basis.  I had doctor’s appointments all week for blood work and ultrasounds to monitor the status of the estrogen intake and how it was affecting my uterus.  For those not familiar, by the midpoint of the cycle, my uterus should be very thick and hopefully has some layers to implant those embryo(s) (hypothetically).  My appt was at 7am on Friday, (this was the 2nd appt this week).  The ultrasound technician came to retrieve me from the waiting room to take a peek at the progress of my uterus growth.  That previous Wednesday, she explained that the doctor likes to see 8mm with some layers prior to a transfer.  On Wed, I was at 6mm.  Of course I was thinking how can I grow 2mm in 48 hours!  That is nutty!  As she was taking the pictures she needed to pass along to the doctor, she had the biggest smile on her face!  She said you are FANTASTIC!  Everything looks perfect for a transfer if we were to do it right now.  I was at 9mm with FIVE layers to my uterus!!!!  That is above and beyond the goal!  The doctor was VERY pleased to see these results being that my hormones, since I have been 12, have been minimal from the cancer.    Her goal was to get me to do some major growth over the summer and it has happened!!   What a relief!  It is nice to get recognition for all the hard work Pat and I are doing at home.  Of course I am grinning from ear to ear because I have no idea what the hormones I am taking at home are actually doing to me!  As much as a pain they are to take and keep track of everyday, this was amazing to hear!  I just take them and don’t think too much about it…I guess my young age comes in handy!  ;)

We are still in the process of scheduling a time we would consider to do the REAL IVF cycle.  It is tough, because we have to find a convenient time for three people.  Pat, myself, and the donor.  We do have some pretty good ideas of when it will happen and we talked a lot about it for weeks however, as Pat and I begin to think of a possible time that would be good for each of us, we noticed that on the donor’s end there is a lot more work when it comes to time devotion to this process.  She will be monitored daily for two to three weeks to see the progress of her egg stimulation from her drugs that she will be donating to us.    Her availability is huge because of the dedication and devotion she has to put in to coming in for daily doctor appointments.  A lot relies on her availability here.  The time commitment involved is of the utmost importance.  It has a huge impact on our results.  Every medication and procedure must be administered and performed by the hour, not the day.  It is a very precise science.  There is no wiggle room when working with hormones.  If the doctor needs to see you, you MUST see them.  Here I thought coming in for blood work and ultrasounds 2 times a week was rough…not anymore!  Our respect for egg donors has grown so much!  We have to put 100% of our trust into this person we have never met before to do her job.  We will be getting called daily durign her monitoring to make sure she is on course and being a compliant egg donor.

Our appointment with the reproductive lawyer is next week!  Being that I work full-time and Pat is a full-time graduate student and a part-time lab tech at Rush University Medical Center in the city, we both cannot meet with the lawyer in-person.   It is just impossible.  No time!  We will be doing all the work over teleconference.  It is a mandatory step (for obvious reasons) when working with egg donors.  The main reason being that once her eggs are retrieved from her body she will be signing away genetic rights at her retrieval appointment to me.  Seems simple, but Very important!  The lawyer will be working on our case through our cycle whenever we choose to do it.  All I know about the donor is her family history/education/occupation/self medical history application and a few pictures.  I would be able to recognize this individual, but she knows NOTHING about Pat or myself which is reassuring.   We will see how everything goes next week!

Now- Back to the wedding planning!  3 weeks away!!! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

PIO (Progesterone in oil) injections

As part of the 2nd trial of hormones, I was instructed to incorporate PIO injections into the cycle.  Before I had a pill now to be replaced with shots.  Just as all new patients to the fertility world, I am nervous to start trying it, yet eager to be an expert on it.  I have been doing tons of research, asking friends who have been through this already, nurses, etc. on tips to do this not only correctly but with minimal pain because I will have to do this EVERYDAY for days/weeks/ or even months!!!  The injection is not just a typical liquid injection, it is an oil.  It takes awhile longer to inject through into your muscle.  The oil must be injected intramuscularly (IM)!!  Fantastic…sounds fun right? Haha Lucky for me, I have Pat to assist me.  I know I could prob inject myself if I HAD to, but he is very willing to do it for me.  He is intrigued by this whole process, of course saddened by it, yet intrigued and inspired!  The injections must be in your upper quadrant of your butt.  Yes, my butt.  Ugh…everyday!  The needle itself is very big and long.  I am overwhelmed with reading on the topic of these injections just to hear from the millions of people out there who have done this as part of their regime to hear every detail about them.  I feel like an expert and I have not even tried it yet….thank god we live in a society with youtube videos and infinite articles online!  I know I sound like a huge baby and this will seem like nothing in a few days, weeks, months, or however long I will need this to be in my cycle regime….but for now it is new and I am getting nervous…haha  This is one of those times where I say…this is all for Baby Davis which will make every prick/blood test/procedure/dr. appt 100% WORTH IT!

I will let everybody know how it goes!!  If you have any tricks of the trade or just some sound advice on the side effects. PLEASE share!!  I would love to hear thoughts!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Birdies for Babies Results!!!

THE RESULTS ARE IN!!!  Birdies for Babies made $21,000 for Patrick and I!!!  It is the biggest and best event to date!!!  We are beyond elated and mostly excited to move forward!  We can not thank everybody enough for those who came out and participted to support us!!!!!!!!!  The generosity of people moved us tremendously. I am sure those who were present could tell by my speech or lack there of because there were too many tears of joy! 

Check out the website to see photos and standings!!!  And Most importantly....Mark your calandars for next year's Birdies for Babies on Sept 24, 2011!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

1st Trial Cycle of Hormones

Today concludes the end of my first trial cycle.  I can't believe how much work and emotions get involved!  First of all, the hormone regimen I was put on was very aggressive.  I noticed getting emotional and moody over the course of the first trial cycle.  God Bless Pat.  hahaha He is quite the trooper!  I could not be more blessed to have such a patient and kind partner through all this.  My life revolved around a calendar all month.  I never had a medication regimen quite as strict as this ever in my life.  Plus with hormones, it is very exact.  Missing medications throws everything off!  Now that I am finished with my first trial, I know what I will feel like at every point.  Before, I was oblivious to how I would feel.  I just jumped in, head first.  I feel this 2nd run will be a lot better because I have had a month of practice! 

As for the 2nd trial cycle, they are adding progesterone oil injections.  This does not sound fun at all.  I have to keep thinking to myself this is for future Baby Davis...  I know it will get me through the injections of the thick oil… it has already gotten me through so much already through the IVF process.  Everything revolves around the dream Baby Davis.  Pat is looking forward to sticking me because he is learning blood work in his graduate school curriculum presently so he feels very doctor-esque at the moment.  Haha plus its payback for the mood swings!  Haha Nah he will be kind and gentle I am sure.

I feel very positive about what is to come with this 2nd trial!  I am remaining very optimistic for the future and most of all strong in my spirits.   Not every night is easy, but the payoff is going to be 150% worth it I am sure!

Friday, October 1, 2010


As the wedding is approaching and is now 1 month away and I am thinking that my stress levels are at an all-time HIGH, I have been doing lots of reading on infertility and treatments and stress is a top reason to either miscarry or not get pregnant.  I was informed that 75% of women who participate in Yoga have a successful pregnancy with a healthy baby.  I know that I want to to everything in my power to alleviate any stresses during this time not only for my upcoming IVF cycle, but for my overall health. 

I have been doing research on pricing and locations to see which yoga experience would be the best and most convienient for me.  I thought it was sweet of Pat to offer to go with me to yoga to be supportive!  He is such a wonderful partner with everything.  I sure am blessed to have him in my life.  :)  Maybe he can try yoga one of these days...who knows, maybe he would enjoy it...I have several options to look into!  A majority of my research has come from "Pulling Down the Moon."  They take a hollistic approach to infertility. I feel it supplements the IVF treatment very well.  They offer schedules online and work with you to make you feel like part of a family.  Even though there are so many negative sides to infertility.  I feel that infertilty has the LARGEST support group.  No matter who you are in the infertility world, I feel it an immediate bond with others that is similar to a bond of a family.  I love that I can talk openly about what is going on with others who are going through the exact same emotions, events, dr appointments, scares, and excitements as we are!

My goal is to start yoga this month!  I can not wait!  I have always wanted to try yoga, but now I feel it is essential for my health and for the conception of our first baby!  :)  If anybody has ANY advice on the yoga world, please share!  I would love to hear more thoughts on this!