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    Q: What’s black and blue and bruised all over? A: Me!

    November 30th, 2007

    Ok, I’m exaggerating a little, but I really do have bruises! We started the injections about almost two weeks ago.

    I gotta say they’re not nearly as bad as I thought! The anticipation of the first shot was worse than how it actually felt. I think I cried a little on my walk up the stairs for my first shot. I’d like to think that I took it like a champ though. It also helps that the man administering my shots is pretty good at it 🙂

    Bruises still happen though: I haven’t figured out why. For awhile I thought it was related to the needle hitting a blood vessel, but there’ve been times I’d bleed a little and no bruise and other times I’ll get a nice blue shiner the next day. So if you have any tips, please share.

    I like the ramp up of the meds. Starting with one shot a day and then progressing to 3 has been pretty good. I take one in the morning now before leaving for work, and 2 at night. I also do them on my sides — I can’t come to terms with doing them in my stomach. I’m running out of room though, so I might have to brave it. We have another week on this regimen, before they take my eggies out.

    That’s about it otherwise though — not much to share so far. I expect the unpleasantries to begin next week. You might here some more wining then.

    I want to take a second and thank everyone of you that’s posted and is rooting for us. It’s so nice to have your support!

    I feel like I just raided a Canadian pharmacy!

    November 17th, 2007

    Our meds arrived today! At about 10:30am my doorbell rang and in came this box. I had to take a picture because it’s hard to appreciate just how many, many, many, many syringes I’m about to get intimate with.

    The box The meds

    Here you see said ginormous box. I had to put a water bottle by it for reference. Inside it were all the goodies you see in the following picture. All those little baggies? That’s needles and syringes baby! Are you jealous yet? Taking inventory was an experience to be sure.

    So my first shot is tonight. We get to practice what we learned in class today.

    The class was interesting. There were about 8 hopeful women attending. It’s strange to attend a class that reveals something so personal with others you’ve never met before. I say this as I’m writing a blog, so I get the hypocrisy, but at least this is somewhat faceless, and I don’t have to see recollection of personal pain in your eyes.

    I was honestly surprised that there were only 3 guys there. For us, knowing what a baby I am when it comes to needles, HIM not coming was NOT an option. He is the one who will give me the shots every day — so you bet he’ll be piercing that orange (it’s what we had to practice on first) over and over!

    The first hour was spent going over the process, what the medications were and why they were used, all the good stuff. Then came the part with the needles. Apparently I didn’t have to say anything out loud about not liking those things. The guy who sat across the table from me just saw me cringe each time the nurse poked at her orange. Then he made fun of me. Jokes on him though: his wife’s reaction truly wasn’t much better!

    The needles actually aren’t too scary looking. They’re only about half an inch long. The scariest needle, which is an inch and a half is a mixing needle. So for now, I’m feeling brave…. for now. Ask me later when I’m licking my wound.

    IVF Cycle #1 is underway!

    November 14th, 2007

    [Happy dance][Happy dance][Happy dance]!!!

    Over the last two days we’ve had two separate appointments with Stanford: one for the sonohystogram (SHG) and a second for a cycle planning and financial overview. I was not thrilled about the test (more on this later), but I was really nervous about the financial talk.

    It went wonderfully! It was smooth, to the point, the insurance coordinator had done all her homework — I was just waiting for “the catch” and it never came!!!! Our IVF cycle will pretty much be 100% covered by our insurance (except for the $500 deductible), and one of the meds. Boy is this a night and day difference over 2 weeks ago! I feel that I can finally relax and get started with the program.

    The SHG test was tons better than the HSG. It didn’t feel good by any means, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the other one. HE came with me and pretty much held my hand through it. Since there’s no x-rays this time he could watch (the monitor that is) and ask questions. It was sweet and gave me a nice little view over what the next 10 months (hopefully) will be like.

    WARNING: This next paragraph can be a little graphic. Skip ahead if you don’t want to know what an SHG feels like.

    …So, I’ve been trying to think of a way to explain the feeling of this (SHG) test. The best I could come up with is if someone shoved a syringe up your nasal cavity and expanded a balloon while on the inside and just kept blowing it up. Then they fill it up with water until you feel more pressure. You feel pressure and its weird, and you don’t like it and yet you can’t make it stop. If this scares anyone, sorry — it’s just the best way to explain it. The best part is being told to “relax” as this is happening. I don’t know about you, but having 2 people shoving stuff in your nether-regions while feeling this discomfort doesn’t exactly make me able to relax.


    Our new cycle isn’t too far off from the old one:

    • We do injection training this Friday. I think it’s 3 hours long because they spend half of it teaching the partner how to lasso the patient and then submit them into a syringe inducing position. At least I hope they’ll cover that because I think we’ll need it in our house. I HATE needles! I can’t say that enough. The nurse today was suggesting that HE drop some dimes on the ground and as I lean to pick them up he shove the medicine in my tutcus. I’m a cheap date, but some dimes? Come on — he’ll need to do better than dimes!
    • Our first injection is also on Friday.
    • We’ll extract the eggies the first week-end of December (around the 8th), and we’ll put them back around 3 days later (probably the 11th).
    • First pregnancy test will be 2 weeks after the egg retrieval. So week-end right before Christmas.

    Oh, in other cool news, we can ask for pictures of the embryos before they’re inserted. I’m so looking forward to showing off our little dots to you!

    So that’s that. We’re off to read, initial and sign a small mound of paperwork (in triplicate). Our unused embryos will have a living will of their own. Who’da thunk it?

    Plan 2.0: The new clinic

    November 10th, 2007

    Today was our appointment with Stanford. It went well! I’m excited (as I’m about to share), but also cautiously optimistic.

    I miss our old doctor. I don’t think that will change, but I think we got REALLY lucky with her. The bond with had with her is one you rarely come across in a Dr-Patient relationship.

    However, our new doctor is nice and we like her. She’s straight forward, not afraid to quote research and seems to be inline with our communication style and treatment preference. She sounded a little nervous when she walked in, but I have a good feeling about her. Everyone speaks highly of her, so I have confidence. By the way, if I haven’t mentioned it already, the new doctor used to work with FPNC (the old clinic). She’s now just practicing at Stanford. I think this is actually a bonus for us, because she has the background of where we come from.

    I don’t know what I expected of this meeting to be honest. I guess I though it would be just an intro to rehash our history and roughly talk about our options. Then meet with some other people and then return to go over cycle planning. I thought that getting to a cycle planning stage would take at least a week.

    Well, it’s definitely moving a lot quicker than I expected (which trust me, is good). Since all of our records were transfered over, and she knew FPNC’s protocol, we covered some of the basics and jumped straight into planning. We are going to go for an IVF round. Since I’ve been on the pill for almost two weeks now, we can do the sonohysterogram and catheter check at any time and start the Lupron as soon as next week-end. I go in for those tests on Monday, then on Tuesday we meet with them to go over the cycle details and go over financials. The financials are where things fell apart last time, so I’m cautiously optimistic this place will work for us. I still haven’t bought the cow yet. After getting burned once, I’m not so ready to get too excited yet.

    So that’s the summary: in effect we’re about a week behind where we would have been with FPNC’s schedule.

    In other, serendipitous news, as we were driving down to the appointment (I’m not kidding — we were halfway to Palo Alto) we got a call from the old clinic. It was their Chief Financial Officer who wanted to speak with us about what happened two week ago. For some further clarity from my last post, the woman who told us to move to a different clinic was not the CFO. She was someone that reported to her. She had however called the CFO on her mobile, while she was on the phone with us and then told us to move to a different clinic. This left us with the impression that this was per the CFO recommendation. It wasn’t as it turns out, but the end result was the same: we were encouragd to leave the practice. Anyway, the woman sounded nice and sympathetic. I didn’t speak to her myself, but heard the whole conversation over HIS mobile. In summary, she apologized for what had happened, and offered to work with us and make-up for our experience if we chose to go back to them. So I feel a little bit better about them. We won’t go back to them at this point, as they’re still not covered by our insurance company, but if things don’t work for us on the only round we do get expensed, it’s good to know we have options. I’m also hoping, that they’ll change some of the information they communicate in their information sessions: if our rough experience helps another couple not have to go through the same anguish we did, I’ll feel better.

    So that’s it for now. Not too much new info to share, I suppose. There’ll be lots more next week. I promise!