Posts Tagged ‘male factor infertility’

IVF Shots Day Five

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Another day, another shot. Actually I’d be lying if I said today wasn’t pretty legendary. My sister finally had baby Eleanor. She arrived at 6:50 this morning, with a call coming in shortly after 7 from our new grandma, my mom. I’m so proud of my little sister. I’m a little devastated that I wasn’t there to celebrate with her, but I know I’ll get plenty of time to to snuggle with her later. Eleanor is 7lbs 1oz, 18” long and apparently has curly dark hair. Congratulations Jenna and Eric!

That wake-up call was probably necessary and forced Shelton and I out of bed to do this morning’s shot. Yesterday and today the shots have hurt a bit more than normal. Not sure why that is, but I’m not a fan. Shelton’s still doing a great job giving the shots.

I’m still feeling fine. I was a pinch moody today, and after snapping at Shelton I told him that I was blaming it on the Lupron whether he liked it or not. He responded OK and I told him that he really couldn’t argue with me. He agreed! It’s probably more my being tired and the excitement of the day that it was the Lupron.

We’re having a VERY laid back weekend. And by very laid back I mean lazy. I even took a nap today. It’s the first weekend we haven’t had plans in probably two months.

Shelton’s also coming around since his surgery. He’s starting to feel much better.

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IVF Shots Days Two and Three

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

I’ve had a lot of people ask me almost hesitantly the last few days “How are you doing?” And I’m thrilled to be able to respond “Fine!” So far I haven’t noticed side effects from the Lupron. Feels like any other day of the week. Except I have to wake up at 7:30am… which is NOT typical.

Shots are much easier than I anticipated. Only because I’m such a needle phobe that you might as well be running a drill press through my abdomen. But instead, it’s really quite nothing.

That was until this morning. I had to go to OKC for the funeral of our friend Anna. Yesterday as I packed I grabbed a needle, the Lupron and an alcohol swab. As Shelton is still recovering from his MESA surgery he stayed home. This meant I’d have to administer the shot myself. I joked with a few friends last night that they were welcome to come over this morning and “juice” me. No takers though. Fair enough, I can’t say I’d have volunteered for that either.

At 7:30 this morning the alarm went off and I went to the bathroom with my supplies. I knew if I let myself think about it that I’d completely panic, and then what? So I just cleaned the Lupron cap, cleaned my tummy, and injected the needle. For a split second as I watched the needle go in (something I NEVER EVER do) I had this OH-MY-WHAT-IN-GODS-NAME-ARE-YOU-DOING moment. But alas, the needle slid right back out and I went back to bed.

I’m trying to decide what kind of design I want to make on my stomach. So far I’ve got three tiny little pink dots that could be the start of so many things. A constellation. A flower. My initials. Maybe we’ll connect the dots at the end and see what we come up with!

I do have to say a very huge thank you to friends, family and our readers. We’ve received tons of texts, tweets, facebook messages, emails and even, if you can imagine, face-to-face conversation offering prayers, encouragement and simply asking how we’re doing. It really means a lot and helps to know that we have so many cheerleaders and supporters out there.

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IVF Shots Day One

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

It was kind of like Christmas Eve over here last night. Except really tense and instead of a stocking full of candy and new socks I was going to get needles. So maybe not like Christmas Eve at all. The anticipation of starting shots today and having Shelton’s surgery today was a bit overwhelming. I felt like I was a bit short with Shelton all night, but maybe that’s something we’d better get used to for the next few weeks!

We went to bed at 11 and I knew the second I got in that I wasn’t going to sleep anytime soon. I grabbed my laptop and worked until 1:30 this morning. And I only stopped because my battery was dead. Attempt to sleep or go get my cord? I chose silent in the dark.

At 6:30 the alarm went off like it does every morning and I just cringed. I’ve never wanted to not get out of bed more than I did this morning. I didn’t want Shelton to have to go through the surgery today and I did not want him poking me with a needle. But we got up and I grabbed the supplies. This is what you call sucking it up. Putting on your big girl panties. Dealing.

I stood next to Shelton at the sink where he used the alcohol swab to clean the top of the Lupron bottle. Tore open the needle package. He drew in the medicine and then told me to go lie down. And the stress and anxiety of the moment just blew in like a hot, humid breeze.


And he’s all “It’s a weird angle. I want you to be comfortable. I don’t want to mess this up.”

And I’m like “NO!!”

But I did. I lied on my back and as soon as my head hit the pillow tears just started streaming down my face. And for no particular reason. So I braced myself for agonizing pain, Shelton swabbed my tummy, pinched some skin and dropped the needle in. Effortlessly. He did a great job. I barely felt a pinch and the cotton ball and bandaid I’d made readily available weren’t even necessary. I’ve had mosquito bites that looked worse.

I feel nothing today, as far as any weird Lupron affect. Which is good because I do not have time to deal w/ that right now.

At about 9am we headed to the surgery center (which is next door to our clinic) so that Shelton could do his MESA procedure. (Getting the sperm.) The short and sweet is that he had it, took a little longer than expected, but overall went well. He’s in a bit of pain, but resting comfortably at home. Will share a separate post as soon as some of the details are final.

Tonight, I see early bed times for both us. Shot day two tomorrow.

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Big Ball of IVF Nerves

Monday, July 6th, 2009

OH MY GOD! We officially start IVF a week from tomorrow. Eight days! I’m really starting to feel it. And when people ask how I’m doing, I’m starting to feel this wall come up. Imagine me not wanting to talk about it. I’m shutting down a bit, which isn’t good. When people ask questions I just want to recant with “Don’t you read the blog?! All the answers are there!” My dear best friend told me that she reads the blog, but she’d rather talk to me and have a conversation about it. Fair. I probably need that as much as she does. I hate feeling like this. The reality is seriously sinking in and I’m start to freak a bit. I told my best friend last night that I just don’t see the earlier part of next week being a good week. Between Shelton’s surgery and my first shot of Lupron (both taking place July 14), I feel like I might just lose my mind a bit. Oh, and let’s not forget that my baby sister is due any minute now. That surely won’t affect me!

I’m ready. I’m ready to do this. I’m ready to be pregnant, have the baby, lose my ass, and never sleep again. But I don’t like not having control, or knowing what’s next. And I feel like the next few weeks/months is going to be a steady stream of no control.

image And call me cheesy and hopelessly romantic, but I feel like it’s the end of an era. The end of the Shelton and Brandi that I know. The past eight years of my life with him have been incredible and easily the best eight I’ve yet lived. I love “us” and who we as a couple are. I love our lifestyle. More than anything this isn’t what I’m ready to let go of. While part of me doesn’t want to share “this,” there’s another part that knows that our baby can only make “this” better and stronger. While we sat together watching fireworks Saturday night, Shelton leaned over and said this will be the last 4th of July that we’re not parents. And I was just smacked with this wave realizing how right he is. I just keep singing the Dave Matthews Band song “You & Me” from their new album Groo Grux King: “you and me together can do anything baby.” I feel like I have to just keep repeating those words to myself. We can do this. We’ve faced challenges before, we’ll face them again. This could very well be the biggest yet, but we’re going to come through it just fine.

My feelings and emotions right now are all over the place. I’m feeling grumpy, tired and scattered. The right Snuggle bear commercial could send me into a crying mess. I feel like now more than ever I have to prove myself personally and professionally – for real, I can do all of this. And what if I’m not Wonder Woman, who am I going to let down? The most crushing would be to let down myself, but I don’t take that lightly no matter who’s on the receiving end of that.

For the first time since April Shelton and I do not have any plans this upcoming weekend. I plan on keeping it that way. I want this weekend to be a calm before the storm. I want to enjoy all the things that we love doing together really soak it in. I want us to both go in to next week rested, relaxed, and as calm as humanly possible, knowing that together, we can do anything.

Man Surgery Explained

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Shelton and I received our packet in the mail from his surgeon, the urologist, Dr. G., tonight. Inside was a stack of paperwork with instructions for the weeks and day leading up to his surgery. He can’t take anything that relieves pain, basically. No eating the night before. Abstinence for about five days prior. Pretty standard stuff. He and I both have required labs for HIV and Hepatitis that we’re taking care of on Monday.

I was kind of shocked to read that the surgery could take four hours. And the following conversation took place over dinner:

Me: Four hours is a long time. None of my surgeries ever took four hours.

Him: Take a lap top, you’ll be there for a while. This is going to suck balls.

Me: Ha… Ha…. you said suck balls. And your surgery will literally be…

Him: Nice one!

If you can’t have an immature puntastic laugh once in a while and share it with the Internet, what fun is this anyway?!

Here is my VERY layman’s attempt to explain the surgery. The purpose is to obtain the sperm, since they don’t have any other way out. (Basically has a natural vasectomy.) They’ll make a small incision in the aforementioned body part, insert a small “vacuum,” and draw out the sperm. A rep from the fertility clinic will be on hand to assess the quality of the sperm, and Shelton will remain “open” the entire time. They will not “close” until they are certain they have everything they need.

This will also be the first time we’ve ever seen his sperm sample, so fingers crossed we’ve got a few Michael Phelps swimmers in there!

Surgery takes place July 14; also that morning I take my very first shot of Lupron. What a really fun day that’s going to be!! Maybe we’ll go to Home Depot and Bed Bath and Beyond too if we have time!

In our original estimates, this surgery was supposed to cost us about $7,000 (out of pocket). The bill we received today (as everything has to be paid in advance) totals $4,467 (out of pocket). More unexpected savings making our total investment $3,000 less than originally expected.

See here for a running total of our IVF expenses.

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Here We Go

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

So here’s some news. We’re ready to start this whole baby making business. We visited with our fertility specialist this morning, kind of a second “first time” appointment in which we discussed the schedule and procedures. I’ve been anticipating doing this in September 2009, but it looks like we’ll be doing their July/August cycle. All goes well and as planned, I should be pregnant this time next year!

The procedures that we’ll be using are ICSI, IVF, and MESA (microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration, a surgical procedure to retrieve sperm). We had a long and informative conversation with the clinic’s insurance coordinator. She walked us through each and every expense, and the total bill is $18,407. That’s Shelton’s entire MESA (about $4,000 cash), all of my medications/Rxs (about $3,500 cash), the IVF procedure ($8,000 cash), all the sonograms, hysterosalpingograms, blood work, IVF class, tests for hepatitis and HIV in both Shelton and I, lab work and freezing (about $3,000 cash).

All I can say is, this baby had BETTER love me! haha

We’re looking at doing the MESA in January, the class in the spring, I’ll start my cycle of birth control in June and then mid-July start taking my injections and then egg retrieval/IVF in early August. I know it’s going to come so quickly. I’ve been on the verge of happy and nervous tears all day long. So who knows, maybe on our seventh anniversary in August, we’ll find out we get to be parents.

The doctor was confident, given our health and young age, that we’ll have ample eggs and being able to transfer a single embryo successfully.

I know it’s been quiet around here for a while, but we’ve just been trying to decide the best time to try to start our family. We hope 2009 turns out to be that time for us and we’ll of course continue to update as things happen. It’s going to be one heck of a ride and we’re excited to take all of you along with us.