Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shotaholic

Monday, 10-5-09 (Day 20)

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): I didn't have much of an appetite today, so maybe this pill's hunger making magic is wearing off.

Lupron (5units, subQ injection): After all this time, I've finally figured out the best place to shoot is directly under the belly button. My skin is tougher and tends to bleed a little bit more to the left and right, but I hardly feel a thing when that needle hits right down the middle.

Follistim (225units, subQ injection): I finally used up all of my Follistim cartridges, so now I'm using the old fashioned vials of Follistim, for which I have no needles or knowledge of how to draw up. Luckily my nurse coordinator did the hard work for me and hooked me up with a couple days worth of pre-drawn Follistim injections.

Luveris (1/2ml, subQ injection): Since she's the expert, I also had her draw up my next two Luveris injections, since I can't seem to get them right anyway. I watched-impressed of course-as she followed her own directions, gently mixed the liquid, and drew out the exact amount for the first shot.

But when it came time to draw the second half, she was confused as to why she was coming up short of the 1/2ml that she needed, turning the syringe in her hands and staring at it like she was waiting for it to tell her it's secret, just like I've been doing.

I couldn't help by say it.

I told you so.

Follicle Count Ultrasound and E2: As I sat on that cold, sterile table again, I was feeling positive, but slightly more apprehensive than last time. I tried my best to make small talk with the doctor and my nurse, but it was a little difficult to do as I watched him lubricate the wand that would show us a glimpse of my freshly grown pumpkin patch, or the lack thereof; since-once again-I wasn't feeling a thing.

In it went, and the measuring began as I carefully kept track in my head of the numbers and sizes he was calling out. First was my uterine lining, which he praised at a 15, once again labeling me as an overachiever for extending far past the 9 he was hoping to see. I tried to share his enthusiasm over that high number, but my heart dropped a little as I realized that 15 is great, but its still 1.5 smaller than last time.

And then it picked itself up off my uterine lining and jumped right back into my chest as the Doctor started measuring and counting my beautiful pumpkin follicles. I lost track around twenty, mesmerized by the incredibly gorgeous black blobs on the screen. The perfect, precious round circles that could very possibly be a portion of my future babies. But knowing more than I did at this point in the game last time, I quickly became less concerned with quantity and more concerned with matching sizes.

During my last cycle, the sizes of my follicles were all over the place. I remember the doctor calling out random numbers between 10 and 21mm, all ranging in size and shape. This time the majority of the follicles sat around 14, 15 and 16mm; which is excellent because that means we can focus on that particular group and make sure they grow mature and ripe, hopefully avoiding last cycles lack of mature eggs due to a too early trigger and retrieval.

This is exactly what we were hoping for.

After I was once again vertical and sporting panties, the doctor assured me that he was incredibly pleased with my response this time and set me up with another sonogram tomorrow. And as he marched off to visit the next patient, he smiled sheepishly at me and pumped his fist into the air in victory, excitedly telling me to "think positive".

You have no idea, doc.

No idea.

Tuesday, 10-6-09 (Day 21)


Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): Check.

Lupron (5units, subQ injection): I didn't know it at the time, but this was my last Lupron shot. I just may miss the drama of it all, but now my stomach will finally have the chance to recover and de-bruise for the first time in three weeks.

Dostinex (.5mg, oral pill): My E2 level landed higher than they liked yesterday, so we're adding another pill into the mix for the next eight days.

HCG Trigger (1ml, IM injection): When we found out that we would be triggering tonight-a few days earlier than we expected-my husband packed up and drove back down to his parents house and me, towing the necessary extra clothes and trigger shot that I needed for tomorrow.

Before I knew it, 11:45pm arrived and I was icing my behind and planning our shooting location. My husband stood above me, ready to pierce a 22 1/2 Gage needle through my ice cold flesh and into my muscle and tissue, sending a final dose of raging hormones meant to release my organic pumpkin patch.

And I just kept praying that they'd ripe enough this time.

Follicle Count Ultrasound and E2: I was experiencing such an insane mix of emotions as I sat there on that table, watching the fuzzy black screen lay out the rest of this cycles agenda for me in the form of round, dark blobs.

As I sat up and tried to cover myself with the flimsy pink paper that is supposed to act as a blanket but offers no such coverage or warmth, the doctor smiled and stated that we are on for a trigger tonight and retrieval tomorrow. I tried incredibly hard to get excited, but my emotions froze solid as I realized that last time, we did the exact same thing at the very same time, with the same amount of meds, on precisely the same cycle day.

And the heat rose uncontrollably to my cheeks as I considered what that meant.

I wanted to remind the doctor that last time, my eggs ended up not being mature at this stage of the game. I wanted him to remember that I endured weeks and weeks of shots, pills, suppositories, bruising, emotional insanity and tears only to have my precious follicles taken from me too early. I needed him to recall that last time he took my follicles from me, he never gave them back.

This time, I want them back.

But instead I smiled politely and sat through the rest of today's instructions and the trigger shot lecture, falling apart on the inside. To keep myself from breaking down in tears, I repeated in my head that God is in control, and the doctor knows what he's doing. He knows me, he knows follicles, and he knows what happened last time; and I have no doubts that he wants to avoid the disasters of last time just as much as I do.

Every cycle is different, and just because last time resulted in failure doesn't mean this time will yield the same results. And my E2 level was slightly higher than they like to see yesterday, so I'd like to think that means that my little pumpkins are larger in size and more numerous in quantity this time around, and that could be a very good thing.

I need that to be a very good thing, because I can't do last time again.

Wednesday, 10-7-09 (Day 22)

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): Massive amounts of sugar were consumed today, in order to ensure the sweetness of my little pumpkins, of course.

Dostinex (.5mg oral pill): I'm not sure exact what the purpose of this medicine is besides holding or lowering E2 levels, the bottle says it may cause upset stomach, headache, and nausea.

Pretty much everything I'm already experiencing, so I wouldn't know the difference.

Clindamycin (150mg vaginal suppository): These are always fun.

Tonight, I'm dancing dangerously close between excitement and insanity. I realize that focusing on the dates and methods of last cycle aren't going to help anything other than to feed my over analyzing obsessive compulsive nature. The doctor is the expert, if he feels that now is the appropriate time to release my precious follicles then I need to accept that, trust him, and move on.

I serve a God that is bigger and more powerful than follicle counts, lining sizes, and retrieval dates. It's still hard knowing that God is more than capable of allowing this to work, but it may not be in His will to do so. He knows the desire in our hearts, but that doesn't mean our prayers will be answered just as we ask them to be.

But I do know it will be OK. I'm holding onto faith that no matter what the outcome is tomorrow, God will bless us in one way or another. Instead of focusing on the mistakes of the past, I'll remember the victories, no matter how small; like free birth control pills, donated medicine, easy shots, and the simple fact that we're able to be on this journey in the first place.

And I'll expect a miracle.

Or maybe two.

"Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice."
-Wayne Dyer

14 comments:

Jocelyn said...

Tabitha - I am praying for you - that everything would go well, you would feel well and that your follicles would give you many mature eggs. Our God is faithful - he will not give you ANYTHING that you can not handle with him by your side.

Eggs said...

I love reading your blog - you write so well. I'm also sure the doc will want to avoid a repeat performance of last time - I'm sure he's pulling out all stops to avoid this. Can't wait to get the next installment! Best of luck with your retrieval!

Robin said...

Girl, I am praying every day. Let's hear it for your ripe organic pumpkin patch!!!

JackieMac said...

Good Luck Good Luck Good Luck - I am hoping everything goes perfectly this time.

Emily said...

I am so excited for you! I KNOW this will work and cannot wait to hear about your wonderful fert report and all of the embies :)
Many prayers being sent for you from Orlando :)

ac44 said...

Praying for you!

WantWait&Pray said...

Great attitude....remember that just because meds/timing of this cycle is the same as last....it by no means dictates the outcome. I am praying for you Tabitha!!! I just know you're gonna get those embryo's back! I do!

Lisa said...

GOOD LUCK today Tab!! I will be praying for you...hoping you get lots of mature follies this itme around.

I know this is "your" time : ) cant wait for your updates!!

The Wilson's said...

Thinking and praying for you extra hard today!!!

Hoping for our own Peanut said...

GOOD LUCK! I hope those little pumkins are ready to be "picked" and are given back to their MAMA!

Mrs. Hammer said...

I will be praying for you and your pumpkins that they would be mature, ready for harvest and hand picked by God to be your future baby(ies).

Kelli said...

Praying for you, sweetie!!! You've got amazing numbers, and more importantly, an amazing faith in God! My retrieval is tomorrow morning!! Gearing up for the 2ww!!

xoxo

Brittney said...

I'm praying for you. That quantity sounds so promising!! I'm excited for your retrieval and will be praying God gives you a deep sense of peace throughout this process.

Hillary said...

Add me to the list of people praying for you!!