Posts Tagged ‘Follistim’

Ready, Set, Retrieve



When I ordered my IVF meds and discovered six 900 iu cartridges of Follistim in the box, I thought there was no way I’d ever use all of that medicine. Well, not only have I used all of it, I had to get extra!  I’m proud to say that the last dose has been taken.

It’s trigger shot time!

I ended up stimming 13 days on the Antagonist protocol and had 8 ultrasounds within that period. I was fortunate that I had my husband with me for most of these visits. Ultrasounds have always made me nervous, but towards the end, when I was pretty sure I’d get to retrieval, most of my nerves subsided somewhat.

During this past week, I’ve mostly kept my no Google rule.  I admit that I did cheat a bit after one of doctor visits, but none since then. I had one breakdown at the beginning of stimming when I thought my follicles wouldn’t grow, but they have. Since then, I’ve been doing pretty well.

One thing I’ve learned that makes this process much more bearable is to trust my doctor and not ask questions whose answers will lead me to obsess. For example, I never got my progesterone or estradiol levels. I’m sure I would have been given them if I had asked, but I didn’t want to know because this would lead to me obsessing over them and researching them for hours on end, no matter what they were.  If there was a problem with them, I figured my doctor would tell me. So, no obsessing over hormone levels and to tell you the truth, I don’t miss the obsessing one bit.

Speaking of my doctor, she really is kind. The first time I met her, I knew there was just something about her, something special that made me feel comfortable.  Then I realized what that special thing was: she has compassion in her eyes. I can’t tell you how much I have needed this. In the past, I’ve always thought that I was just kind of on my own. I didn’t expect a doctor, particularly one who deals with these issues, to show that he or she cared about me. Now I realize that I deserve to have a RE who is empathetic.

And I deserve to be a mother!

I think this whole process has been about me letting go of fear. I was so afraid of this process, even afraid of making that first telephone call, but somehow I managed. I was also afraid to go to this particular doctor. Why? Because I let myself become afraid after reading some negative reviews on a doctor rating website which I have found to be far from the truth.

It’s funny, people tell me that I’m strong, that I seem to have a handle on things.  But the truth is, I’ve always been very much afraid.  But now, I’m learning to look my fear in the eye. I really think the thing I have feared the most is fear itself.

Is this to say I have no fear? No. I’m just learning to control it before it paralyzes me. There is one thing I have learned for sure: worry and fear are absolutely useless.

My retrieval is set for Tuesday. If you are a praying person, I’d appreciate prayers that everything goes well.  If you want to pray specifically, please pray for chromosomally normal embryos that implant successfully into my uterus.

Once again, I’ll keep everyone posted.








Knee-Deep in IVF Land

Obligatory IVF meds pic

Obligatory IVF meds pic

It’s CD 6! My medicine (see lovely pic above) arrived last Friday and I had my first baseline ultrasound and stim injection on Tuesday. Tuesday is also the day my period arrived–literally the minute I changed into the sheet to go get in the stirrups. Life is funny that way. I felt the need to warn the nurse so I told her, “My period just started” but what I really meant was “My period started a minute ago while I was on the toilet so I don’t know if it’s all going to come gushing out or just stay in there , so be warned.”

So technically it is CD 4 period-wise (not that you necessarily need to know that) and CD 6 IVF-wise.  This makes obsessive Googling difficult.  But that’s ok, because I have banned myself from Googling anything related to this procedure from here on out. Yes, the ban has been in place long before now and I’ve broken it many, many times, but this time I really mean it–really.

My strategy for this whole journey is a new one: stay positive.  Not only for the cycle, but for all areas in my life as well:

Complaining? Not going to do it anymore!

Gossiping?  No.

Cursing/Swearing (I only did this once this morning) Nope.

Speaking/Thinking negatively of myself or others: Not for me.

Fussing at the dogs: Never!

Yep, creating a culture of positivity.  That’s me.

I’ve also done my best to stay physically and mentally relaxed by going to acupuncture sessions.  I wasn’t going to do it, but I had been thinking about it for some time and at the last minute I decided to go for it and it is a decision I am happy I made. Two words come to mind when I think about acupuncture: simply heavenly. So heavenly that I actually feel like I shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a car to drive home. My body used to always be in that “fight or flight mode” and I have to say that for the most part now, that is not the case.

But it’s a little weird. For some of the treatments, you lie down face-down since some of the needles go into your lower, lower back.  This means you have to loosen your belt, pull down your pants a few inches (or have the acupuncturist do it for you which is even more awkward) and reveal your pasty pale behind.  Then, you try to have a conversation facedown with the acupuncturist but all you can think about is how your butt is the focal point in the room. At least you remembered not to wear a thong. This time.

But even this bit of embarrassment is a small price to pay for euphoria.

Of course, a feel-good body results in a feel-good mind. This IVF is always on my mind, but not in a paralyzing way. I’m obsessing, but not the way I could be (like every millisecond ) and this is a big step for me.

I go back to the RE on Sunday morning. The RE started me out on a pretty strong dose of Follistim, 225 iu twice a day, which has now been changed to 225 iu in the morning and 300 in the evening, along with a small hcg shot each day. The RE, who is very sweet, said not to expect much at my ultrasound today, but she did tell me that I have a couple of follicles that have started. I’m relieved because I feared that I would have no response at all. Why this fear? Because I consulted Dr. Google who informed me that this happens to people. Do you see why Dr. Google has been banned?

That’s it for now. I’ll keep everyone posted with more updates, hopefully good ones.







It Takes Two

It takes two to tango–two to make a baby!

Except, it doesn’t.  It takes a doctor, a nurse, the makers of Follistim, and a host of others.  No, I’m kidding. It takes God, actually.

All of my medicines have been injected (with the exception of tonight’s trigger shot–please don’t let me fall asleep and forget), all blood work done (why hello there bruised arms and stomach, you are looking lovely today) and ultrasounds performed (Thank goodness).

I have two follicles that are “ready.’  From my understanding, this means that these two have a good chance of being ovulated and fertilized.

I am slightly disappointed, though.  I can admit that.  Yes, I’m crazy but the point of this IUI was to have more follicles reach the mature size of 16.  I actually have two additional ones, both being 12.  They may or may not catch up to the dominant ones before Saturday’s IUI.

It’s ok, though.  I am enormously grateful for what I have.  I realize that there are many, many women who get no response from these types of drugs.  I wanted more because more follicles increase the chances of pregnancy.

But, I have two and maybe that’s all that it takes.

So that’s my update for now.   These days, I have made a lot of progress finding serenity with IF.  I try not to obsess and scour the internet for hours on end looking for the one cure that will fix me.  I’ve tried to come to terms with the pregnancies and babies around me, without feeling anger or negativity towards parents or parents-to-be.  This has been a huge challenge for me.  My negativity and worry do nothing for me or those around me. Most importantly, I am learning to trust God.  I try to thank him for everything I have each and every day and yes, I am blessed.  IF wreaks havoc and emotional devastation, but there are a lot of things that are worse in this world.

Thank you for your prayers and support and please keep those prayers coming.  I know they are being answered.  You are all in my thoughts.



Ok, I’ll Give It a Try

I came across this challenge on The Future Fords blog.  You should fill this out, too.  I’ll update it every couple of days.  Scroll below for my answers to Day 1-12 (it is the 12th, isn’t it?)

DAY 1 – What is the meaning behind your blog name?

DAY 2 – How did you and your partner decide when you were ready to start trying to conceive?

DAY 3:  What is in your handbag?

DAY 4 – Besides Mother’s Day, what is the toughest holiday for you as an infertile?

DAY 5:  List 15 facts about yourself.

DAY 6:  Talk about how you chose your RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist).

DAY 7:  What is in your makeup bag?

DAY 8:  If an observant stranger were to walk into your house, what clues could lead them to believe that you have struggled with infertility (fertility)?

DAY 9:  If you won the lottery what would you blow your money on (after charity and bills, of course)?  List 10 things you would buy or spend money on.

DAY 10:  If you are no yet pregnant/a parent: What are you MOST and LEAST looking forward to after that first beta?

DAY 11:  Where do you like to shop?

DAY 12:  If you are not yet a parent: What are you MOST looking forward to about parenthood?

DAY 13:  Describe your dream vacation.

DAY 14:  Tell us about your funniest Clomid/Follistim/injectables mood-swing story.  If you don’t have one, tell us your funniest general infertility drug story.

DAY 15:  List 5 things you want to do before you die.

DAY 16:  Have you ever bonded with someone IRL over infertility, even just for a few minutes?  It could be a family member, friend, neighbor, or even the clerk at the grocery store who noticed you OPK and vitamin purchase.  Tell the story.

DAY 17:  If you could have 3 wishes, what would they be?

DAY 18:  What is your favorite infertility-related quote?  It doesn’t have to be explicitly related to infertility, but one that means something to your personal journey.

DAY 19:  List 5 pet peeves.

DAY 20:  Were you a product of infertility?

DAY 21:  List 5 guilty pleasures.

DAY 22:  How has your financial situation affected your infertility journey?

DAY 23:  Put your iPod on shuffle.  List the first 10 songs that play.

DAY 24:  Does your religion (or lack of) help/hurt/affect your infertility journey?  Have you found religion?  Lost it?  Does it affect what treatments you do?

DAY 25:  What was your first baby or pregnancy-related purchase you ever made?  Was it before or after you started trying to conceive?  Or was it after you were already pregnant?  Why did you choose that particular item to buy first?  If you haven’t purchased anything yet, why not?

DAY 26:  Post a picture of something that makes you happy.

DAY 27:  What do you use the “nursery” for right now?

DAY 28:  Have you ever done something “non-traditional” in order to help you conceive?

Day 29:  What is your favorite book?

DAY 30:  After a month of infertility talk, we need a distraction.  Give us a link to one of your favorite non-infertility-sites, or tell us about your favorite distraction activity/book/feel-good movie.


DAY 1 – What is the meaning behind your blog name?

Book cover for Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-...

Book cover for Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It actually was not very easy.  I didn’t want anything too negative even though I felt very negative at the time.  At the time I was reading a cute book called The Dork Diaries which is very funny, thus The Stork Diaries was born.

DAY 2 – How did you and your partner decide when you were ready to start trying to conceive?

It took six years to make that decision.  I wanted to finish school and get established in a job, but once the desire was there, there was no turning back.

DAY 3:  What is in your handbag?

A lot of heavy junk!  Cell phone, check book, wallet, mascara, lipstick, pens, keys, receipts, stray cash and change, medicine, and probably a project or two.

DAY 4 – Besides Mother’s Day, what is the toughest holiday for you as an infertile?

Christmas because I reflect on the previous year and can’t help but think how I thought I would have a child by Christmas.  It hasn’t happened yet.

DAY 5:  List 15 facts about yourself.

1. I had a chocolate doughnut for breakfast and am fighting the urge to have another one.

2. My husband and I share our bed with two small dogs and a cat (sometimes).  At times, it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep, but I can’t imagine not having them in the bed with us.

3. My favorite TV show is The Big Bang Theory.

4. In addition to this, I love watching The Young and the Restless on the soap channel at night.  After a hard day, it’s one of the things I look forward to

5. The song I have stuck in my head right now is We are Young by Fun. (yeah, Fun is the name of the band–kinda lame)

6. I work as a school librarian, also known as a school media specialist.  This means that I read The Hunger Games Series and Twilight Series years before they were cool and knew they would be the next big thing.

7. I detest folding laundry!  I’d rather clean a toilet or vacuum the floor before I put clothes away.

8. I get travel anxiety any time I’m going to take a trip where I have to spend the night away from home, even if it is a cool vacation.  At the last minute, I try to back out of the trip but always end up going.

9. I am trying to be more crafty.  I am currently working on an altered book and painting wooden eggs.  I am trying to get the eggs to look Eastery and am learning how paint reacts with wooden surfaces.  It is very messy and I should probably start cleaning up soon.

10. I have a few daisies outside that I need to plant.  They are one of my favorite flowers. I also like calla lilies, though they don’t grow well here.

11. I am a girly girl.  I love pink, purple and things that glitter and sparkle.  I also like polka dots. 

12. My husband is the cook in the family. I have no desire to learn or experiment in this area although I do appreciate the appearance of  a well-made dish.  Ok, I might want to learn how to make a butter frosting for cupcakes but I am afraid this will lead me to eating all the frosting. I tell you, my self-control these days is out of control.

13.  I am a big fan of the computer game, The Sims 3.  I haven’t played in a while because I need a newer laptop, but when I get one, watch out!

14.  If I had to give up FB permanently, I could do it.  I no longer relate to most of the people on there. Blogging is my home now.

15.  I love to sleep!

DAY 6:  Talk about how you chose your RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist).

There are only two that are fairly close.  My ob-gyn had a strong preference for the one I see now, so after some online reviewing, I chose this particular one.

DAY 7:  What is in your makeup bag?

Foundation, lipstick, lipliner, blush, eyeliner, eyeshadow–the works!

DAY 8:  If an observant stranger were to walk into your house, what clues could lead them to believe that you have struggled with infertility (fertility)?

The Follistim in the fridge!

DAY 9:  If you won the lottery what would you blow your money on (after charity and bills, of course)?  List 10 things you would buy or spend money on.

Land, a new house, a family cabin in the mountains, new cars, a new wardrobe, and the rest for investments

DAY 10:  If you are no yet pregnant/a parent: What are you MOST and LEAST looking forward to after that first beta?

I look forward to being pregnant above all else.  It’s so deeply wished for that I can’t imagine not looking forward to it any way.  I guess it brings with a new set of worries but I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it.

DAY 11:  Where do you like to shop?

The correct answer should be nowhere since most of my money goes to fertility and bills, but if I could shop freely again I’d choose World Market, Anthropologie, Kirklands, Ann Taylor Loft, Betsey Johnson, and Old Navy.

DAY 12:  If you are not yet a parent: What are you MOST looking forward to about parenthood?

Just holding my baby for the first time.

That’s it!  It’s your turn now!