Specialists…and the time we almost burned a pharmacy to the ground.

[Picking up from the last post] …Again with no answers, some more trauma, and nothing to lose, we made an appointment to see one of their doctors.

This appointment was terrible! The doctor we met with was oddly abrasive and had no patience to answer any of our questions (a lawyer and a teacher…we had questions!).  His suggestion to us was something like this: “Do NOT try IUI, it will never work.  Just start IVF as soon as possible. Don’t worry about the cost. You’re a lawyer you can afford it. And you’re obviously not from Upstate NY, you seem like a Westchester type of guy.  Pay for what your wife needs.”  Our favorite part of the whole meeting was the very beginning though when he said: “Sorry guys, I didn’t get a chance to look at either one of your medical records prior to the appointment because the PDF was scanned upside down on my computer screen so I couldn’t read it.”  bookAdditionally, Melanie would like to note that he said she was healthy, and upon asking her weight (remember, he was unable to read the upside down records), told her, “Well, you carry it well.”  Yup.  Thanks for that.  Awesome.  Now, the financial pressure and snap judgment about who we are was offensive, to say the least.  But the medical record thing was ridiculous. We were looking at this guy and thinking, “if he doesn’t know that he can just print the records out, and turn them right-side up and read them or if he doesn’t know how to rotate a PDF document on his screen, how is he ever going to help us?”  We agreed to do nothing with the CNY facility and later in the week asked for them to transfer our medical records to Boston IVF, who luckily also has a satellite office in Albany, NY.  It took a real FIGHT just to get them to transfer our records.  What a joke some of these places can be!

By the time we had the miscarriage, restarted trying to get pregnant with Clomid and failed, had the bad appointment with CNY, and then got our medical records transferred to Boston IVF, it was March of 2017.  It had been more than 2 years since we first started trying for this elusive baby. stork-e1519606708408.png

We had our first meeting with the doctor at Boston IVF in April of 2017 (we think).  And right from the start we could tell she was wonderful.  Our initial interview was fantastic and very informative.  It had been a year since we last went through the basic fertility tests, so they asked that we re-do them.  So I had to go to a new masturbatorium (this one outfitted with a 60 inch flat-screen and a Roku of porn, pretty cool, I’d say) and Melanie went through her whole range of testing.  The results were in again……”UNEXPLAINED INFERTILITY.”  But we already knew this, so at this point the question we had for the doctor was, how do we come up with a medical plan that makes sense scientifically when we don’t have any data telling us what is wrong? And we both loved her response, because it was so freakin’ honest.  She said: “Look, this field is developing, it doesn’t have all the answers, I have two procedures that I can do for you guys, IUI or IVF.  After that, the medical field has nothing else to help you, and no other technology to measure what is wrong.”  So knowing that we still knew nothing, we were (at least) equipped with an honest answer and a doctor we personally loved.  So we just told her to tell us what she recommended and we would do it so long as we could afford it.

Her first recommendation was to do three rounds of IUI (covered in full by insurance), because, maybe whatever our un-observable problem was would be fixed by inserting the sperm higher in the uterus. So we did it.  Twice.  Coupled with Clomid 3 times.  2 & 3 aren’t the same number…and there are two stories here.  I’ll tell you about the Clomid first.  

Remember when our original OBGYN said he could prescribe up to 150mg?  Well, our RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist…or specialist, really), told us the same thing….however, being an RE, she could presecribe up to 250mg.  Let’s start with 100, though, since it worked the time we got pregnant.  I responded well to the Clomid.  The follicles looked good, the IUI was unsuccessful.  Second round: 100mg, because I’d responded so well the last round.  Unsuccessful.  Third & final round.  It’s only prudent here to mention, we had a consult with her after the 2nd round and she said most of my results were borderline, low, or just above average…I was constantly riding the wave with my blood levels, so IUI most likely wouldn’t be successful, but we could try a 3rd time and she would up the dosage.  Sure, why not.  I had already grown accustomed to sweating all day and night, so let’s increase the side effects (please read as, I would suffer any side effects if it meant carrying a pregnancy and delivering our baby).  150mg.  The prescription would be called in the next day (a Friday) and I was to start it Saturday night between 7 & 9 pm (everything is timed in Infertility Land).

We’re going to split this story up…1 Saturday afternoon.  150mg of Clomid.  2 perspectives:

This is where the infertility s**t (and rage) gets REAL

Melanie:  I got a call from CVS on my phone while I was driving, and because I don’t answer the phone while driving (mostly because my mother raised me well…thanks, Mom), I let it go to voicemail.  Plus, CVS automated messages aren’t worth answering.  Yeah, yeah, my prescription is ready for pickup.  So Mike and I are out and about and swing by our local CVS to pick up the Clomid.  We go to the drive-through window and buzz the pharmacist.  I tell her my name and date of birth, she leaves, and then she comes back to the window.  What happened next felt like an out of body experience. rx The pharmacist, whose name I know but am choosing not to type on the Internet…let’s just call her H…told us that she couldn’t distribute the medicine because it was a higher dosage than the last time.  We say, we know this, the 150 is the correct dosage.
She tells us, “While yes, that’s what the prescription is for, I tried calling the office to confirm it yesterday at 6pm.”  I (calmly, while death-gripping the steering wheel) tell her, the office closed at 4.  And it was sent over yesterday morning.  I then ask, “What were you hoping to achieve at 6pm?”  What I later thought of, was,
If this was such a concern, why didn’t you leave a message with their call answering service????  I then tell her, what anyone suffering through infertility, following a miscarriage, wants to tell a stranger in a small town.  “I’m infertile and the other doses haven’t worked.  I need this medicine and I need to take it tonight to try and have a baby.”  To which she tells us, “I don’t feel comfortable giving you this much.”  Mike, my hero, then leans across me and yells, “Listen.  My wife is a teacher.  I am a lawyer.  We are well-educated and in need of medicine to try and conceive a child.  Are you telling me you can’t or won’t give us this medicine?”  And she says, “I’m telling you, I’m making a professional decision not to give you this much Clomid.”  At some point I yelled at her, I’m not going to sell the extra Clomid on the streets! I need this amount to try and have a baby.  But no, she would not budge.  She was overriding a specialist, after NOT calling during business hours and NOT leaving a message for the on-call service after hours!!

OH NO YOU DIDN’T.  You’re overriding our specialist????  Who, once again, can prescribe up to 250mg….you’re making that decision, when we have a time-sensitive dosage to take?!?!?  

I drive away from the drive-through, park, and sob.  Why does even this have to be so damn hard?  As I google my dr’s office so I can call the answering service, Mike gets out of the car.  I get through to the answering service, leave my name and number, and am told I’ll receive a call within an hour.  I call my parents’ house phone at this point to tell my mom what’s happening, and my dad answers…my mom was out, what was going on?  He assured me everything would work out, not to get too upset, and that he was glad Mike was with me.  SO. WAS. I.  The pharmacist, however, probably was not.  Here’s where Mike can take over:

Mike: My memory of this incident is still clouded with rage…but here’s my recall of how this went down:  We pulled up to the drive-through window of the CVS, and I was reading an article on my phone about the college football playoff potential matchup.  As usual, I was not paying any attention to what was happening. Then at some point I hear the tone in Melanie’s voice change form pleasant to sad, and even though reading about potential CFP playoff scenarios is important, I put my phone down and listened into what was happening.  This is when I hear something like “I’m not able to dispense this amount of dosage to you Mrs. Carroll, because it’s above our normal dosage guidelines, and this dosage level can lead to severe side effects.”  At that point, I unbuckled my seat belt and leaned over Melanie and said, “are you not dispensing the medication because of CVS rules or in your professional discretion?” To which she responded, “it’s my professional opinion that this dosage is not appropriate because of the potential side effects, and because I haven’t had a second confirmation from your specialist, I can’t dispense.”  street sideTo which I said “Look, my wife and I are educated people, she is a teacher and I am a lawyer, we had a meeting with our specialist where she explained the risks associated with this dosage, and we understand the situation, and we’re not going to go be Clomid drug dealers on the streets of Saugerties.    To which she said something along the lines of “I understand sir, but I am not going to dispense this dosage amount.” To which I said “Do you consider yourself a doctor?  Because you’re not a doctor!  You’re pharmacist! And it sounds to me like you’re practicing medicine without a license!”  **Note: when we got home, we looked it up, and had she not dispensed our time-sensitive medication, we could have filed a suit against her under the ADA…know your rights and advocate for yourself, people!!** Then I got out of the car and stormed into CVS and starting screaming at another person who greeted me at the pharmacist front desk and told me “I had upset the entire staff and should calm down.”  To which I said “You have upset my wife who has been trying to get pregnant for over two years, and you are insulting our intelligence, and you cannot override the prescription of a reproductive specialist who has prescribed time sensitive medication because your staff wants to pretend to be doctors.”  rmThen all of my years of education climaxed into creating a super-douche bag who “requested to know his due process rights” and wanted to speak with the “regional manager”
and “to please provide me with the NYS Dept of Health complaint form for pharmacy disputes.”  Literally making all of that up on the fly in pure rage. In the middle of my tirade, the medicine was dispensed to me.  Not because of anything I did, but because the pharmacist finally got a hold of the nurse on-call after hours at our RE and they confirmed the medication was correct. Crisis averted! And screaming at people really made me feel pretty good about the whole thing. Now back to Melanie.

Meanwhile, a nurse practitioner called me back, told me she’d already called CVS and approved the dosage.  She said, “The pharmacist, H, or however you say her name, seems less than nice.” To which I said, “You’re telling me!”  She told me it was ok, get the medicine…and maybe consider a different pharmacy moving forward. Once again….You’re.Telling.Me.  This, I think, is what Mike looked like as he left CVS that day, Clomid in hand:

fire

Part B of this story is that our schedule seemed to be on track, I was going for monitoring, thought I had a couple more days, and was told (shockingly), my body was moving faster than expected and I could trigger, and plan on a 10:30 IUI in 2 days time.  Um, that couldn’t work.  Why?  Oh, 11 months prior, I bought tickets for Hamilton for me and Mike, and it was the only thing that I was looking forward to.  No, really.  The only thing.  Since the doctor was pretty sure the 3rd IUI wouldn’t work, we triggered and had the green light for timed intercourse, rather than a mid-morning appointment that wouldn’t get us to the matinee show on time.  I hemmed and hawed over so many things during our battle against infertility (because really, a journey most people head out on willingly…and we are constantly fighting against this invisible beast), but I knew if we missed Hamilton for another failed IUI, it could destroy the joy and spirit within me.  I know this seems dramatic.  I KNOW it does.  But Mike and I felt confident with our decision, and we loved our day in the city to see Hamilton together.  In a way, I think it’s what we needed.  It reminded us of life beyond (and really, amidst) infertility.  For those of you who think this was stupid, you’re probably (not) thinking of this line from the show: awesome.jpg


After our third failed test we met with our doctor again, and she was able to shed some light on what we were experiencing.  She was able to observe through our 3 Clomid cycles that Melanie’s AMH levels were just below or JUST at/above average on each of her cycles, and as the doctor explained, this meant that she believed Melanie had a “low ovarian reserve,” and that as a result, it was unlikely that we would ever get pregnant on our own.  She said that the one time we did get pregnant was more of a fluke than an indicator of a future possibility.  She recommended that we move onto IVF.  At this point, we felt a bit relieved, in the sense that we finally had an idea WTF was happening!  We said to ourselves: “OK, so Melanie’s eggs need a boost, and maybe the IVF stimming process is what we need!”  So we thought we’d consider IVF, if we could do pick the right time to do it, and we could figure out how much it would cost.   

angry cat
First we looked into cost: At our facility $12,500 for IVF medicine and procedure. $1,000 for freezing, $2,500 for a frozen transfer.  Now for two people who are trying to get out from under their student loans, save some money, and want to move sometime in the next year or two, we felt like, SHIT! But at the same time, we couldn’t let that dictate our chances of trying to have a family.  So we checked our insurance plans to see if there was any chance of coverage. We found out no chance to cover the surgical procedures ($6,500) but a slight chance that the medication would be covered ($6,000), because as our nurse told us, “More often than not,  your insurance will cover the IVF injections.”   Now this seemed crazy to us, but we decided, we’d cross our fingers and hope this was the case.  Also, we have this amazing health insurance plan through Melanie’s school, where they pay our entire deductible and we only owe for co-pays after the deductible has been used up, until reaching out of pocket max (Melanie is $40 away from her max…and it’s February.)  So we agreed to pay $6,500 for the procedure and hoped the medicine was covered.  And to our pleasant surprise, IT WAS!  So while we paid a good amount of money, it’s not as bad as it could be.   After we crossed this financial hurdle, it was around November of 2017.  We decided we’d wait until after the holidays (Melanie’s favorite time of year…our anniversary, her birthday, Christmas, saying one hell of a good bye to the sh** storm that was 2017, etc.) were over to start IVF.  Mike’s usually not very busy in February and Melanie could do IVF around her February break time, so we decided we’d start the stimming process at the end of Jan/beginning of February.  

So that is where we find ourselves now.  Waiting, once again, for results.  Hoping for positive news on Tuesday.  And although Melanie has said she won’t POAS (pee on a stick) before then, if the Beta level is good (please let it be good), she’ll definitely POAS to see those two pink lines again.waiting still


Thanks for reading this far, if you are, still, in fact reading.  Mike told me today he didn’t realize people could leave comments on the blog, so if the spirit moves you, please don’t hesitate to reach out with a reaction or a question.  If you’re going through infertility, I hope it helps knowing that there are good and bad times for everyone on this rollercoaster ride.  That, and feel free to drop a line to talk about what you’re going through, too!  And if you’re on the other side of infertility, I leave you with the origin story of The Infertile Turtle, as told by Mike:

We were telling our friends about all of the stupid shit people say to couples who don’t have children/are struggling with infertility, and I mentioned to Melanie that she should carry around a small turtle hand puppet, and when someone says something stupid you should take out the hand puppet and say “the infertile turtle says you’re an idiot.”  We all had a good drunken laugh about it…but it has become a nice way to vent and a cathartic experience.  [Plus, some day our child(ren) will know how much we wanted this.]

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Weekend Update

Friday I had my earliest appointment yet: 6:45 am.  It was really quick, unlike waiting for the phone call from my nurse about what was next.  The call came around 2pm (not bad, but time was ticking backward at one point, I think) and Michelle (the IVF coordinating nurse) told me the doctor liked what she saw and that I was ready to trigger.  To which I replied, “Really?  Are you sure?”

I felt like I could have stimmed indefinitely.  Yes, there were mild side effects, but I was so involved!  And now, after the trigger, I go back to being a spectator of sorts.  I mean, I’m obviously involved, but, I’m also along for the ride.  Speaking of being along for the ride, after going over the trigger shot, Michelle told me to be at the doctor’s office at 8:30 Sunday morning and make sure that Mike brings his license, because he’ll need to prove he can drive me home afterward.

I triggered Friday night.  It may have been the most painless of all the shots I administered the last 2 weeks.  And tonight, there were no shots.  Mike took me to dinner to celebrate that we got to this point.  We toasted (I had seltzer and Mike had a Sloop Juice Bomb) to luck ahead and to our future baby(ies).  Mike shared a picture on Facebook from dinner and said that we were out to celebrate our IV FU to infertility.  (A la Argo‘s famous, “Ar-go-f**k-yourself.)  It was perfect.

Fingers and toes (but not ovaries) crossed that we have good,quality eggs, later-this-week embryos, and someday-babies that are retrieved tomorrow.  It’s only a day away.

eggs

And Ganirelix Makes Three

Sunday morning was spent like most other Sundays…a drive up the Thruway to the doctor’s office for blood work and an ultrasound at 8am.  Just like the other appointments, it was easy.  After my ultrasound (during which no ovaries were hiding), I walked down the notably empty hall to the acupuncture room.  That’s right!  On Sunday I tried acupuncture…and it. Was. GLORIOUS.  

I didn’t feel nervous about acupuncture.  I’ve been busy stimming with needles every night, so the acupuncture needles didn’t worry me.  I had about 25 needles in my head, ears, hands, belly, legs, and feet.  After the needles were in, Caitlin, my acupuncturist, put a warming lamp near my feet, turned on a white noise machine, and left the room for about half an hour.  I feel relaxed just talking about it.  I dozed in and out, focused on my breathing, and savored the quiet that I heard and felt.  I will go back the day of my embryo transfer, before and after the transfer, as well as 4 days later, to help with blood flow and to support possible implantation.  I can’t wait.  

acupuncture

After my acupuncture was done, I grabbed a coffee (half decaf) and drove back home.  As I got home, I got a call from my doctor’s office.  The time had come to add the Ganirelix shot to my evening lineup.  Holding steady with my Follistim at 300 and Menopur at 150.  Repeat 3 times and return for blood and ultrasound on Wednesday.  

Sunday night, after lounging about it all of my post-acupuncture glory, watched the Super Bowl and then I took shots, just like so many football-loving, Super Bowl-partying,  red-blooded Americans.  BUT.  No alcohol shots, just the new norm: fertility shots.  Side bar: Friday or Saturday night I had a dream that I had a glass of wine and I woke up feeling SO guilty.  I immediately thought, “It wasn’t worth it!”  …for the record: it wouldn’t have been worth it…but it didn’t even happen.   So weird.

shots
Anyway, we administered the Follistim and Menopur as usual and opened the box with the ready-to-go Ganirelix.  The syringe comes pre-filled and once you remove the needle cover & tap the air bubble to the top, you’re ready.  What I didn’t expect (and neither did Mike) was that the Ganirelix needle is thicker than the Follistim and Menopur needles and was much tougher to get in!  My first attempt was weak, I suppose, and the needle just kind of bounced off my skin…I mean, it pushed the skin in, but didn’t pierce it.  So I pulled the needle back and after Mike and I both talked about how weird it was to see that, I used a little more force and got the needle in.  The Ganirelix burned as it went in and I had a small reaction immediately after.  The skin around the injection site was red, probably a couple of inches long, and it was hot.  It passed within 15-20 minutes, and I continued to watch the Super Bowl without issue.  

At my appointment on Sunday, a woman in the waiting room remarked, “Ready to be done?”  And I smiled politely and think I said something like, “You bet.”  But my follicles aren’t ready…and in all honesty, I’ve kind of enjoyed this process.  I have felt relatively well, aside from some tiredness (I’d say exhaustion is too strong a word, but an afternoon nap is basically necessary to survive), bloating, and headaches last week.  It’s not that I’ve enjoyed the injections or the probing.  I have, however, enjoyed playing an active role and feeling like we have some sort of (albeit very limited) control of our struggle with infertility.  

Today we have another box of Menopur and one more cartridge of Follistim coming.  My doctor’s office did a great job ordering enough for my predicted calendar: my original retrieval date was slated to be tomorrow, February 8th.  But my follicles aren’t done growing yet.  Slow and steady, but on track and looking good, or so I’ve been told.  Given we’re snowed/iced in right now, I’m glad we didn’t have to navigate a winter storm today or tomorrow for egg retrieval.  It would probably be another layer of stress that we don’t need to add right now.  I suspected that school might be closed today because of all the snow that was on its way, so I actually stayed with my parents last night, so this morning I could just drive 10 minutes to my appointment and then head home, rather than driving the hour north to the doctor’s office, have a quick appointment, and then drive back home.  Getting the extra sleep and only driving the thruway once today was a nice treat.  Although, I must have triple checked (or more) that I had all of my meds, syringes, needles, alcohol swabs, etc packed up yesterday morning before heading to work.  And then I needed to store my Follistim in a coworker’s fridge during the school day.  All in all, it was no big deal, I was just worried I was going to forget my Menopur, or not bring a needle, or who knows what!  I made it up and back home with everything I needed, and now we’re just waiting for our new boxes of meds to arrive. 

After 2 more nights of stimming and Ganirelix, I’m scheduled to go back Friday morning for another set of blood work and an ultrasound and then Friday afternoon we’ll have a better idea of what’s to come.  Until then, we’ll lay low some more…we’ve (re)watched a LOT of episodes of The Office today, I’ll probably nap, Mike is drafting a blog post to share sometime soon, and we’ll enjoy the last couple days of control that we have during this whole struggle that is the life of the infertile turtle.

turtle

I, INFERTILE TURTLE

It’s Saturday morning–correction!  It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m relaxing on the couch while Mike wrestles with Charlotte.  I can’t wrestle with her or run with her currently, I’m on restricted exercise while my follicles (and eggs we hope?!) grow.  I’m allowed to walk and I can use a stationary bike.  Mike and I will head over to the gym later this afternoon; he’ll run and I’ll walk on the treadmill next to him.  When we were told I’d be restricted with what I could do during stimming, I figured I could elliptical, because that’s low intensity, but it’s too much up and down & I have to avoid ovarian torsion…and as awesome as twisting an ovary right now sounds, I’ll stick to walking.

Speaking of ovaries (ha! I actually smiled and laughed a little when I typed that), the ultrasound tech couldn’t find my left ovary yesterday during my follicle check.  It was hiding, but rest assured, after I pushed on my abdomen for a few minutes and she searched, and searched, AND searched, she found it tucked away.  There are 2 main ultrasound techs at the RE’s office.  One is magnificent and sweet and very quick.  The other, who walked into my exam room yesterday, well, isn’t.  Don’t get me wrong, she’s nice enough.  And she eventually finds what she’s looking for, but she struggles with the machine, and takes significantly longer to complete an ultrasound.  Significant being a 3 minute ultrasound vs 8 or 9 minutes…trust me, there’s a difference!  Once she found my ovary, she took the images she needed and was on her way.  And yesterday afternoon my nurse called with good news.  I had some better growth and development on the higher doses of meds, so they’re keeping me on the 300 Follistim and 150 Menopur another two nights — last night and tonight — with a return for repeat blood work and ultrasound Sunday morning at 8.  

Once I knew my appointment would be Sunday morning (I’m moving into the every other day monitoring now), I contacted the acupuncturist at my RE’s office and set an appointment for tomorrow morning following my blood & u/s.  I canceled my original appointment with her when we went to CT last week, and our schedules didn’t match this past week, so I’m excited to go tomorrow morning.  

I asked if I’m still on track to have my egg retrieval on the 8th and she said it may be a few days after that, which is fine.  She said that everything looked good and there was appropriate growth from the last ultrasound, it would appear I’m going slow and steady.  In fact, she said there’s 5-10 follicles on each ovary that they can see but aren’t big enough to be registered/measured yet.  So the hope is that the meds make some of those pop up and become players in the game.  Fingers crossed!  And toes!  But not ovaries!  Again, not ovarian torsion, please.

I’ve had some more side effects/notable changes the past few days.  My small lingering headache stuck around for a bit; Thursday night into yesterday morning it was really bothering me.  But last night and today, it’s gone.  Thursday when I went to inject myself, Mike said, “Oh Melly!”  That’s because my abdomen was/is quite poofy.  The left side, notably, was more swollen than the other side.  I assume it’s because of the follicle and ovary growth, which doesn’t bother me one bit.  It was, however, terrible wearing jeans for dress down day yesterday.  I couldn’t WAIT to get out of jeans and back into some leggings.  Even some pj pants bother me, because the elastic band is right at the area below the belly button, where all of the shots go.

such-bloat-very-follicles
Please don’t get me wrong–I’m not complaining, looking for sympathy, nor am I bothered by any of this.  I’m so hopeful that the end result will be worth all of this (a million times over).  And if some bloating/swelling and a small headache are my greatest complaints, then that’s fine by me, and I’m sure Mike, too.  We both remember what I was like when I took 5 rounds of Clomid in 2016/2017…and she was a really crazy person!!  The only connection I can make between this IVF cycle and life on Clomid is hot flashes.  I had 2 small hot flashes this week, but they were NOTHING compared to the fiery hell that my body was during months of Clomid…not to mention what an emotional lunatic I was…that’s probably a story for a different time (or maybe for never!).  

clomid

You know what IS an interesting story?  The story of Tonya Harding.  I was a big figure skating fan when I was younger.  My mom was (and continues to be) awesome and brought me to see Stars on Ice a few years in a row and we had a great time..at least I think we both did.  Mom, if you didn’t, thanks for pretending!  I digress.  Anyway, I remember when Nancy Kerrigan was attacked.  I don’t recall all of the news fallout, but as an adult I’m fascinated by the story.  Last night Mike and I went to see “I, TONYA” and we really enjoyed it!  This morning I was reading more about the attack and looking at the media coverage from the time (as you do on a Saturday morning in bed with your half-caf coffee), which eventually brought me to some Nancy Kerrigan life stories.  And…big surprise!  She struggled with infertility, too!  I’m telling you…it’s everywhere.  (It was also a part of the 1st episode of “Waco” that we watched this morning.)  Kerrigan went through IVF twice in order to have 2 of her 3 kids, after 6 miscarriages.  SIX.  I can’t even imagine.  Our one miscarriage still haunts me.  And Mike.  And probably our friends who were visiting that night, which is another story.  But.  It’s part of our story…and thanks for reading it so far.

First Follies

We made it through the first 3 nights of stimming and I’m feeling pretty good!  I had a dull headache off and on Sunday and Monday, but I can’t complain…it’s not bad.  Today I went for my first “follie” (follicle) check bright and early at 7am.  My vein was squirmy and gave the phlebotomist a good amount of trouble, but after (painlessly) poking around, she took my blood and then I had a quick ultrasound to check my lining and measure my follicles.  I was out of the office by 7:15…so quick & easy!  My nurse called this afternoon and said that there’s not too much growth/happening yet, but that’s to be expected, and is normal (PHEW!) especially because my doctor doesn’t start with an overly aggressive stimming protocol.  But we’re going to be a little more aggressive the next couple of days.  My Follistim is increasing to 300 (from 225) and Menopur is doubling to 150.  So that will be 2 vials of Menopur to mix together tonight…even more pharmaceutical work!  I’ll go back Friday morning to get checked again & hopefully there will be some pick up in growth and numbers then.  Fingers (and follies!) crossed!