Thursday, March 29, 2012

What's in a number?


What is so great about the number 82? It is just a number. It could be the number of times someone sneezes in a day during allergy season. It could be the money I earn in a day's work, it could be the number of times I have prayed each day this week for this round of in vitro to work. It could be the number of spokes in a wheel.

 For me the number 82 is the percentage my doctor gave me for this round of in vitro to work. 82 is a pretty high percentage. I mean if someone told you that you had a 82 percent chance of winning the lottery you would enter. If someone told you that you had a 82 percent chance of dying from eating a hamburger you would probably not eat the hamburger.

I am pretty excited and hopeful with the number 82, but if it doesn't work i'm going to feel very upset and frustrated I couldn't get it to work with such a high number.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tomorrow is the big day

Tomorrow is the big day and I have mixed feelings. Justin and my mom keep asking me how do you feel and I keep saying fine, great, nothing I haven't been through, which is true, but nonetheless I think I have two main feelings.

I am excited-excited about the hope and prospects of the future. Excited to get things moving again and excited to possibly hear good news this time. Excited that in 10 days I could hear the words "you are pregnant"!!! Excited that my embryo could turn into a little fetus. Excited that I could get morning sickness and get fat! Excited to just find out something rather than living in this limbo.

I am very anxious- the definition of anxious is experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. I think that pretty much sums up all the worry I have built up inside. I just have the constant feeling of worry and unease that things are not going to work again and then what?.....Where do I go? How many times do I do in vitro before I say enough and look into other means? This round has a very final feeling to it and I don't know why?

where do I go from here?
1:30PM I check in to the center and at 2:00 they do the transfer of the eggs and then I wait. Wait TEN long days to find out if it took. Not only am I waiting, but I am laying completely flat for a week. One long week. The first few days are very relaxing, but then I get restless and very anxious.

Tomorrow is the day-let's hope it is a good day:)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Development of my Eggs!

Got a call from the doctor today and my eggs are doing well!

I had 15 eggs frozen and they thawed all 15. So far all 15 are surviving YAY! There are nine that are looking really good so I am all set for Monday to do a transfer at 2:00pm.  I thought it would be fun to go over the embryo development because I find it fascinating!

 Day 0- Eggs are retrieved and sperm is introduced

Day 1- The egg is officially fertilized and it is now called a zygote!

Day 2- The zygote starts to divide and replicate. They embryos has now become a 4-cell embryo. This is the stage my eggs were frozen at in November and thawed at.

Day 3- It is now an 8 cell embryo

Day 4- They call this Morula. This is the stage right before blastocyst.  At this stage it is around 12-30 cells that have developed. It is at this stage that the sac around the embryo starts to disintegrate in preparation for blastocyst.

Day 5- Blastocyst stage!! This is the great day when they do the transfer. There are less than 100 cells at this point and it is almost ready to implant in the uterus lining. THe cells are breakign out of the sac. Within the blastocyst there are 2 types of cells. There is an inner cell mass that will soon begin to divide rapidly and develop into the fetus. The outer mass will eventually turn into the placenta.

 Fingers crossed, prayers prayed- here is hoping for a successful round 4 transfer!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Complications of Endometriosis

Okay now to finish I will talk about complications! Oh the JOY!

Infertility is one of the main complications. Endometriosis is responsible for about 1/3 of infertility cases in woman. I am obviously experiencing this one :) I read somewhere that about 70% of women with endometriosis will have a child within 3 years. I am entering year number three of trying so lets hope for the best!!!!

Internal scarring- Basically no fun...I already talked about using laparoscopy to remove the scarring. Read my post about treatments!

This is a picture of an adhesion. Gross I
know, but hey it is medical right?
Adhesions-these are fibrous bands that form between tissues and organs. Adhesions form naturally as part of the healing process in a body. Unfortunately for women with endometriosis they can form without even having surgery. A endometrial implant can bleed and become inflamed. As it is healing if it comes in contact with another inflamed implant the two connect and form an adhesion. This can cause problems like binding a ovary to the side of the pelvic wall. It is associated with very sharp pain. Luckily I have not formed any adhesions yet.

Pelvic Cysts

A chocolate cyst that is ruptruing. You can
see the cocolate goo coming out. Really
gross I know, but I grow those...even more
gross I know, sorry.
Chocolate Cyst of the ovaries-also known as an endometrioma. These cysts form when the endometrial tissue is formed, falls off, transplants onto the ovary, and grows and enlarges over the months or years. Blood builds up inside and it turns brown. The cysts do not affect the quality of a woman’s eggs; however, these cysts can affect the release of a woman’s eggs contributing to her infertility. I grow these cysts. I had one that was over 5cm removed last February. That surgery was HORRIBLE. I never want to have one removed again. I couldn’t lift myself up, cough, or laugh without being in pain for almost a week. I was so weak and I have a new found respect for mothers who do C-sections. I had 3 small incisions in my abdomen, not a big ol’ slice. 
 I just found out that I have another one on my right ovary that is over 7cm long.  As a side note my OBGYN told me that a woman had a 40lb cyst removed-seriously how can you let it get that big. The biggest worry with big cysts is the flipping of the ovary. Once a cyst gets over 5cm it becomes a risk. When an ovary flips it cuts off the blood supply and the ovary can turn black and die if not treated immediately. Not going to lie I am kind of scared about not having it removed and just moving forward with In Vitro; however, both my OBGYN and doctor feel it is safe and the right move.

Overall Endometriosis is LAME! However, it is not even close to the worst disease out there. Whenever I get caught up in woe is me I have to step back and put things in perscpective. I am pretty much healthy, i'm married to a wonderful man, I have the church in my life, and I have good family and friends to help me through everything. They say if everyone put their troubles in a hat you would want to take yours back. I believe that.

Treatments of Endometriosis

Okay so I am bored with blogging about endometriosis which means if I am bored other people were bored yesterday! So today I am wrapping it up in a pretty bow.

Treatments-really there are no real solid treatments that help. The most common treatment is the prescription of NSAIDs like Ibuprofen to help with the pain of endometriosis. I take 3 Ibuprofen 3-4 times a day for the first 2-3 days of my period. It helps a lot especially when combined with a hot pad and curling up in a tight ball! I’m obviously no doctor, but it has really helped me.

Both my OBGYN and Fertility doctor say that the very best treatment is pregnancy. If a woman does not want to be pregnant a lot of times doctors will put patients of meds to simulate pregnancy. Meds such as birth control or injections and hormones like progesterone and estrogen.

Because endometriosis causes scarring with each period it is common for doctors to have patients skip periods for extended time. For example be on birth control for 6 months then have a period and go back on for another 6 months.  Doctors can also prescribe a drug that has a weird name, but the abbreviation is GnRH and it suppress estrogen production and stops the secretion of other hormones thus mimicking menopause and a woman’s menstration stops.  Seriously who would want menopausal symptoms in their 20’s? just asking…

There are several surgical options as well. Laparoscopy is done using a laser to remove scarring. I have had laparoscopy surgery done. There is some pretty cool technology out there today. Mine was done using a robotic laparoscopy. Some people even go the extremes of having their ovaries and uterus removed to stop the pain. When I was first diagnosed I was reading online and found a 27 year old woman who had done that. The bad thing with endometriosis is if you do not get all of it removed you will stay have pain. This is what happened to that 27 year old. She still experiences the pain of endometriosis because not all of it was taken out.

robotic laparoscopy.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Started my shots

Started my shots yesterday.

My sharps container. This is the second one I am filling.
 I have also filled 2 gatorade bottles and 2 water bottles

Shots are to be done at promptly 7pm. Justin and I wanted to go do a session at the temple so we had to wait until the 7:30 session so I could get my shot in. My first shot of round four was given in a bathroom at a restruant we were having dinner in. Everything went relatively well and it wasn't that painful. Thinking about it I have had shots just about everywhere: in the temple bathroom by one of my sisters, in a mall parking lot by my brother, now a resturaunt bathroom.

Currently my shots are 2cc's of Progesterone Oil. Yes oil. I use a 21g 1 1/2 inch needle. It goes in fine, but the next moring the injection site feels like someone hit me wiht a baseball bat and I do not like to be touched anywhere near the injection site.

Here are some pictures.
Everything I am taking currently. 7 pills and an oil shot.
My 1 1/2 inch needle. YIKES I hate needles.

my needle

Symptoms of Endometriosis

Today I am going to talk about the main symptoms of Endometriosis.

Pain is most common symptom
The hard thing with Endometriosis is that some women have nearly no symptoms and are only diagnosed by default (like having surgery for something else). Also people with symptoms may think that it is normal body changes and don’t suspect anything is wrong until later as symptoms may worsen. No two women will share the same symptoms or experiences with endometriosis. Some women may have stage 4 and have little or no pain, but someone in stage 2 may have excruciating pain. The best cure for endometriosis is pregnancy; however, those with endometriosis have a harder time getting pregnant.  The earlier endometriosis is detected the better. The longer it goes untreated the more scarring and damage can be done. Tomorrow I will talk about treatments. So main symptoms:
Pregnancy is best cure!

1.       Pain before and during periods. This is the most common symptom shared by those with endometriosis. I am in such pain that I am crumpled up in a tight ball with a hot pad and bottle of Ibuprofen. I have had to leave work, miss dates, skip family outings, go home early from girls camp all because I am in such pain. It is debilitating and I hate it. I cannot eat for almost two full days because the pain is so bad. I remember when I started my period in 6th grade and bawling all night because it hurt so badly and my dad thought I was having appendicitis until he found out I had started my period. Really painful periods are NOT normal. I have had 5 OBGYN’s and I told them all how painful my periods were and 4 of them told me “OH it is normal to have cramps” blah, blah, blah. Finally my new OBGYN took a deeper look and he is the one who diagnosed me. Advice number one: find a good OBGYN.

2.       Pain with Intercourse

3.       General, Chronic pelvic pain throughout the month

4.       Low back pain. My back pain is worse before and during my periods

5.       Heavy and/or irregular periods. My periods are very random. They can be anywhere from 48 days apart to two in a month. I think it important to note that if you are skipping periods you should go see an OBGYN.  Advice number two: skipping periods is not normal and usually is an indicator that something is wrong.

6.       Painful bowel movements, especially during menstruation

7.       Fatigue. I am always tired…so I don’t know if that is due to endometriosis or just me. It is a big joke in both of my families how much and how easily I can sleep.

8.       Infertility. This is actually the symptom that diagnosis most women. I can deal with pain and fatigue, but dealing with the infertility has been the hardest. I am so grateful for modern medicine so I can at least try something more.

9.       Diarrhea or constipation

10.   Headaches

11.   Low grade fevers

12.   Depression

13.   Hypoglycemia-which is low blood sugar.

14.   Anxiety

15.   Susceptibility to infection and allergies

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What is Endometriosis

Every time someone asks me why I can’t have children I tell them I have endometriosis and they all look at me like I am speaking some foreign language. So this week I am going to share facts and my own personally experiences with endometriosis. Today I am going to tell you what endometriosis is.

This is an example of deep endometriosis. I have this kind of scarring all over my ovaries
What is it: Simply put it is normal cells in a woman growing in the wrong place. More specifically, endometriosis is when cells (called endometrial cells) from the lining of a woman’s womb (or uterus) grow in other unwanted areas which results in pain L. About 5-10% of women have this condition.  I will talk about symptoms another day

Basically a woman’s ovaries produce a hormone that tells these cells lining the uterus to grow and get bigger. This is getting the womb ready for pregnancy.  If a woman does not get pregnant the cells are removed from the body…ta-da a period! It is when these cells grow outside of the uterus that endometriosis results. The cells grow on the ovaries, bowels, rectum, bladder, and even other areas. I have severe scaring on my ovaries that we know of and possible scarring in other areas.

Top is scarring on ovary and wall, Bottom is scarring as well just differnt area
Endometriosis is rated in stages of 1-4. Stage 1 is very minimal and not much in the body. Stage 2 is moderate to mild, but now the endometriosis is found on the ovaries. Stage 3 is moderate and the endometriosis is found in extensive places. Stage 4 is severe with the endometriosis found extensively through body with adhesions and a higher probability of infertility. My OBGYN rated my endometriosis at a stage 3-4 out of 4. I have some very fun (insert sarcasm) complications from endometriosis that is one of the main contributing factors to my infertility, but that will be another post.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Back on the Horse

They say when you fall off the horse you have to get back on, well it is official I am fully back on the  In Vitro Horse and not exactly loving it. Here is what my days look like-

I have at least two doctor appointments a week. This week is Tuesday and Friday. They include blood tests and Ultrasounds (not the fun ultrasounds)

I take 7 pills a day....7, and i'm just getting started. They will be adding more pills, injections, patches, and other fun stuff we don't need to talk about. I feel like an old person. I own a massive pill box container so I remember which pills I have taken and which I have not.

Lots of blood tests which means lots of needle pokes and my arm starts looking like I am a drugie

I start my injections next week. Yay for me :(

One of my pills makes me very dizzy. I spent last night curled up on the couch just trying to stop the feeling that the world was spinning.

However, I am very excited and hopeful so here is for the best come March 26th!

Is it smart to get back on a horse you have fallen off of 3 times already? Or should you run?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

What I have learned through Infertility

I believe we are to learn from our life’s experiences. This is some of what I have learned through my infertility.

1.       I am not in control of anything and it is very frustrating to come to terms with it

2.       If there is one thing I wish other people could learn from my infertility it would be to not judge those without children. I have had several people make comments like “oh you’ve been married five years and don’t have any children?” or “when are you going to stop playing and start having children?” or “don’t you know it is a commandment to have children?”  You DO NOT know what people are going through so don’t try and tell them how to live their life. Any aspect of it, church, non-church related. Just work on living your best life and serving without judgment.

3.       It is amazing the fears I will overcome at just the chance of having a baby. I hate needles, always have and always will, but I have at least one shot a day in order to prepare my body for each invitro cycle.

4.       I cannot go through the process alone. When I first started I was very secretive. I felt like I was a failure in many aspects and wanted to keep things private. Looking back I realize I need other people to lean on and sharing my story has been helpful and healing

5.       Faith is much deeper than going to church, reading, and fulfilling your callings. Faith involves trusting and hoping when you feel you are alone, lost, and hurt

6.       A good cry does the body good. It does not mean you are weak. It heals and releases everything you have kept bottled for so long

7.       It is hard to let go of something you want so badly, but it does not mean you are not faithful. Sometimes faith means coming to terms with the plan god has for you instead of the one you planned for yourself.

8.       It is easy to get trapped in the tunnel vision of infertility and let that run your life

9.       You cannot CANNOT compare your failure to get pregnant to someone elses success. Each women’s, and husband’s for that matter, body is different and responds differently to treatments.

10.   You will drive yourself insane with the “what if’s”

11.   Your relationships can easily be strained, work hard to make sure they don’t. Especially the one with your husband

12.   It is easy to get depressed-talk to people and do stuff, do fun stuff

13.   Do not let yourself go: each time I did invitro I would gain about 4-5 pounds because I just stopped moving. In the end I just ended up being too fat to fit in any of my pants which made me just more depressed.

14.   Don’t try to be brave-feel the feelings it makes the heeling faster

15.   Don’t be afraid to tell someone you just can’t hear what they are telling you right now. After my first few failures people started suggesting different doctors, or additional treatments that had worked for friends, I just started telling them thank you, but I don’t want to hear that. It goes back to number 9 and it will drive you insane.

16.   Life is not fair. God never said it was, your mother never said it was, even the legal system is not fair. Innocent people are sometimes convicted and killed.

17.   Don’t spend your life wishing and trying to change things you cannot. I will grow cysts on my ovaries until I die or take out my ovaries. My periods will always hurt severely. Do spend your life enjoying and creating happy moments with those you love.

18.   Maybe most importantly I have really learned how loved I am. By my Heavenly Father. My husband who gives me shots, wipes my tears, holds me when I need it most, upholds my hope when I feel it is almost gone. My mom who drops everything to spend a week with me after the procedure, my relatives and friends who have prayed non-stop and fasted for me, my brother and his wife who were okay with mom missing her going through the temple so she could be with during one of my in vitro rounds, my mother and father-in-law for visiting me and being so supportive, my dad for letting his wife be gone so often, the list goes on and on. I have learned I am truly loved and it feels good to know I have that kind of support.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Getting to know Justin

I feel people do not know my Husband Justin very well. He is kind of shy until you get to know him. So today is fun facts about Justin!

1. He hates dough. I mean HATES dough. If he sees something being made from dough he won't eat it. If something is undercooked and doughy, he won't eat it. Even the smell of dough makes him all grossed out.

2. He has a fear of moths....seriously. He says they are "furry". When we lived in WA he ran into our apartment in a panic because there was a moth in the doorway. So cute and funny

3. He loves to play-anything and almost everything. Some of his favorites would be: football, catch, legos, basketball, golf, air soft, shooting in general whether guns or bows, riding ATVs, swimming, and kings corner is his favorite card game just to name a few.

4. He has grown up in Las Vegas and has no idea how to play any form of poker...not even Texas Hold em'. Just sayin that is a little weird

5. He loves to make up nick-names. Since being married I get a new nickname about every 3-5 months. Here are a few he has come up with: cutie, tiny, little tiny baby cat, freckles, french, peach, giggles, little french, pickle, and there are many many more. get to know him well enough and you may be blessed with your own nickname :)

6. His dream job would be to golf. I think he is pretty good, but I am partial. I love watching him at the driving range. Maybe because I can't even hit the ball 50 feet.

7. He actually enjoys working out---maybe it is a guy thing because I really hate it.

8. He is very good at his job and actually enjoys all the legal stuff. He is passionate about justice and doing good work and it shows.

9. He moans in his sleep. I don't mean snore, he does this weird thing where he holds his breath and lets it out slowly and loudly and it sounds like a ghost moaning through the house. Keeps me up and drives me nuts.

10. He loves and I mean LOVES puppies. At night time when he is surfing the web it is almost always looking at puppies. His dream dogs would be either a German shot haired pointer, chocolate lab, or recently a Doberman. He even has dog names picked out such as tank or rebel.

11. He loves horses and hopes to own a few some day. Recently we have been doing horseback riding and it all stemmed from Justin's love of horses. I don't know if we actually own any, but they are pretty fun and I think he makes a cute cowboy.

12. He loves cracking Jokes and a lot of them are very funny. I hate how when I am mad he can make me laugh. I laugh daily with him :)

13. He is very good at picking up people's nuances. For example he has picked up that I bite my lower lip a lot, say "if I'm honest" a whole lot, and also say "all that and a bag of chips". He has picked up on many of his siblings and even people we just meet. I think it is a super talent or something.

14. He loves getting his feet tickled. He loves saying "I'd like to cash in a coupon for a foot tickle" when in reality he does not have said coupon from me. Almost every night he asks for a foot tickle. Kind of gross on my end, but it makes him very happy. Maybe when we have kids I'll use that as a bartering tool...I'll tickle you feet if you change the diaper?

15. He loves the outdoors: fly fishing is a favorite of his, hunting, and camping.

16. He does not like confrontation within families and is always quick to try and end any.

17. His favorite dessert is brownies and he loves to lick the batter

18. He orders dessert with dinner so he can enjoy both!

19. Whenever he eats rich chocolate the underpart of his eyes water

20. He secretly wishes he were either a navy seal or a fighter jet pilot. He can name all the airplanes by looking at them in the sky. Is this also a guy thing?

21. He hates Indian food-the smell alone gets him. He won't even go into the restaurants. For my birthday when I get to pick the food I always pick either Thai or Indian and we get it to go and he gets Taco Bell on the way home and we both enjoy our foods.

22. When he found out he passed the Bar and was told he could go anywhere to eat for dinner he chose Burger King. He is a man of simplicity.

23. He is a VERY good griller and grills a mean pulled pork, prime rib, and whole chicken.

So there you have it, a few fun facts about Justin. Hopefully you have gotten to know him better and can see what an amazing man I have!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fun Facts

So I have decided to do a fun post all about me! You should all be very excited because I am an Awesome person. Random facts about me in no order:

1. I do not eat either end of bananas. I throw them away. There is something texturely wrong with the ends of bananas and I cannot bring myself to eat them.

2. I am kind of obsessed about germs from raw meats. I wash my hands, surfaces, utinsels, anything that comes in contact with raw meat often and furiously. I almost died last night when I watched wife swap and the one family eats EVERYTHING RAW. Eggs, meats, Milk, everything. It was disgusting

3. I love marshmellows...but especially stale ones. I purposefully leave the bag open so they get hard.

4. I feel like I am a cold-blooded lizard. I am cold all the time and love laying out in the heat or being wrapped up in many layers to get warm. I would much rather die of heat than cold.

5. My one superhero power would be to be able to eat anything I wanted without gaining a pound. I could care less about flying, being invisible, or shooting death rays from my eyes. I just want to be able to eat whatever I want whenever I want without having to go to the gym or gain 500lbs afterwards.

6. My secret dream is to enter a food competition-like here in Vegas they have a 6lb burritto challenge. I almost did it two summers ago, but found out it was over 8,000 calories and just couldn't bring myself to consume that in one sitting.

7. I get really scared of scary like really scared. If I see scary movie previews they may give me nightmares and I end up making Justin sit up and watch cartoons with me until I feel happy enough to sleep. One of my most scary and hated movies is Secret creepy.

8. Singing and dancing make me very happy...but I am horrible at both so I only do them when I am in the car, the shower, or alone at home. Sometimes I'll sing and dance in front of Justin and he usually laughs.

9. I am a secret hoarder. I have a hard time getting rid of things I don't need. I still have books from college that I am holding onto that I do not need. I keep saying one day my kids will use the books, but seriously everything in those books is dated and my chidren will get it on their Ipad7's

10. I am constantly shaking my feet. They always have to be moving. My mom says I am like a shark and have to be moving to breathe. Don't know why I do it, but it tends to bother people that I sit by.

11. I make weird noises---seriously I do. I find they come out most when I am overly hyper or overly bored.

12. I sincerely believe I could spend 1 million dollars in a day only on shopping for clothes! No houses, cars, or toys. Just clothes, shoes, bags, jewlery. Easy, one day, no sweat. And I would look fabulous afterwards!

13. I am obsessed with the HGTV channel and wish David Bromsted, Genevieve, Candice Olson and Ahmed Hassan would come and decorate my house and yard.

14. I dance when I try on clothes. When I put on a pair of pants, dress, or shirt that I really like I dance in it out of the dressing room and while i'm showing whoever I am shopping with and then I dance my way back into the dressing room :) Everyone should try it, it is quite fun.

That's all for now. If you ask my brothers I am full of much weirder quirks, but that is all I feel like sharing!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sunday was Hard

Sunday was a hard day for me.

I went to a friends baby blessing...I cried the whole way home

Went to a church meeting where one of the leaders just did invitro and is now successfully pregnant, on her first try. I am just about to go through my fourth try....I went home, curled up in Justin's arms, and cried.

It is not that I am not happy for these people because I truly am. I wish no one to go through multiple rounds of Invitro. They are both great women and will be amazing mothers, but it was just hard.

I want my baby to be blessed. I want my round of Invitro to work. I want to have an appointment where I can hear a heartbeat rather than one where I am poked and told sorry maybe next time will work.

I don't want to do this anymore...Sunday was just hard.