1 Day until Transfer (or Rude Awakenings)

Hello reader, whew that last month was a really rough patch. Thanks for hanging in their with me. I called my best friend last night. I got into this huge fight with my partner, and I was feeling really isolated. It was so good to hear her voice! My isolation melted away. I had a realization while we were talking:

Every time that I say yes to another project at work. Every time I over commit myself, I am de-prioritizing my family and my relationships.

There is a balance of course, we weigh these trade-offs all the time and picking work is often healthy. However, the scales have been tipped way too much toward work and away from myself and my partner. It’s time for a reset. So, tomorrow is the transfer, and I’m going to take two days off. Then, when I return, I’m going to re-establish boundaries with my work hours. hands

Ironically enough, being infertile created the opportunity for my career to take off in ways that I never imagined. Now it’s time to be a mom though. I’m not talking about the cycle working. I’m talking about prioritizing my relationship with my partner and the creation of my family. My kids don’t exist yet (or if we end up adopting, I don’t know who they are yet), but I can still do what moms do and fight for my family. In this case, that means fight by guarding my time and relaxing.

I really think that this just might work….

Medication update:

Progesterone: I’m now taking 1cc of progesterone in oil every other day and progesterone suppositories 3 times a day. It’s been my worst progesterone experience of the four cycles I’ve done. My partner hasn’t done intermuscular injections since last year, and I’m pretty sure the nurse drew the circles too low. So, I’m dealing with really awful hip pain all day long. However, even hip pain that’s a 6/7 out of 10 throughout the day is better than suppositories. I’ve never used these in prior cycles. They are unpleasant.

For those of you new to IVF or who haven’t used them. Here’s what they’re like. Mine are a small white oval that I put into an applicator. You insert it just like a tampon. Then it’s best if you can lie down for a while or where a pad because the white tablet melts as it delivers the progesterone. It just feels yucky down there ALL THE TIME now. Just what my sex life needed: white goo everywhere that is actually a skin permeable hormone. I have to say though that the worst part is inserting them at work. So. Gross. mvimg_20171108_200143_exported_42492323143523291002220213076083639542.jpg

Estrogen: I’m on four estrogen patches every other day plus 2mg of estrogen daily. Other than my supplements, I’ve tapered off of all my anxiety medications except for the one which I will take throughout pregnancy.

Side Effects: Almost constant dizziness, nausea, working memory malfunctions, mild cramping, exhaustion, and vivid dreams. I’ve had very weird, very vivid dreams for every single night since starting the suppositories.

Watch out for an update on the transfer coming in the next day or so.

Have Needles, Will Travel

So I traveled to a an international conference this weekend. I finished the letrozole, but am still on daily lupron, estrogen patches, and my meds for anxiety and depression (in the process of tapering off two of them and continuing with one). The lupron was already opened and has to be refrigerated. The nurses told me that the refrigeration is to discourage bacteria growth and not for stability of the medication. She said we’d be ok, if it wasn’t refrigerated 100% of the time, but that we’d have to be extra careful with sanitation when preparing and administering it.

So I had my whole set-up ready to go. First I put the lupron bottle in it’s box then wrapped it in bubble wrap, partly to help keep it upright and partly to keep it from freezing. I packed it in an insulated reusable grocery bag with cold packs. In the outside pocket of the bag, I had a copy of my doctor’s note on letterhead from the clinic and the top of the outerbox where the actual prescription sticker is. A while back, I had to take home a pre-filled needle of medication from the clinic. They sent it in a hard case that zips shut. I kept stored the needles and alcohol pads in their and put that in the outer pocket too. I also had an extra copy of the letter from my doctor in my carry on. I was prepared.






It turned out to be no big deal. They didn’t even look at the doctor’s note. I just told them that I had a refrigerated medication with me. They put it through the scanner and then did an extra check by just looking inside the main compartment of the bag and waving some kind of sensor near the box of medication. That was it. They also did an extra check of my carry-on, I’m guessing because I had like five prescription medication and a whole bunch of over the counter supplements and things in their. Once we got up to the x-ray machine, the whole thing took like 5 minutes.

Then, when we got on the plane, I asked the flight attendant if they could refrigerate it for me. He said they weren’t allowed to, but he could give me as much ice as I wanted. He also said that we could use the bathroom or he’d clear out the galley when I needed to administer the injection.

Our flight ended up being pretty turbulent and the seat belt sign was on for the majority of the flight. It was a redeye and we had our own row, so my partner did the injection quickly in our seats when no one was looking. Happily, we did not hit any bumps at that moment. I put the cap back on the used needle and put it in an inside pocket of the hard case. Once we got to our destination airport all the bathrooms had needle disposal bins, and I was able to dispose of the needle safely.

One thing that I didn’t think about was the time change. I actually have to do the injection around 2am here to keep the time between doses consistent. This also affects when I change the estrogen patches. I’ve been keeping all the used needles capped and in the hard case. I plan to dispose of them at the airport prior to going through security on our way back.

So that’s the DL on traveling with needles:

  • It’s no big deal
  • Have a doctor’s note just in case
  • Have a plan to safely dispose of needles
  • Mind the time change

Just Enough, No More

Whew! After three weeks of 10-14 hour days including weekends, I am just a puddle. And I realized that I need to work on doing just enough. When I was in grad school, my therapist counseled me to try to get B’s not A’s. This is great advice for a perfectionist. More often than not, I stressed less and still got A’s. So now I’m trying to apply the same principal to work. I can always imagine doing more, doing better. However right now, it’s important to do just enough and no more.

Lupron update: constant and intense hot flashes, brittle nails, still feeling pretty bitchy and irritable. My partner is just done with the lupron. He’s completely out of patience for the irritability, and I don’t blame him. I am too.

FET Update: I finally have a plan! The transfer is Nov. 9! That’s T – 4 weeks & 2 days. More details to come. In the meantime, I’ve got all sorts of drugs showing up in the mail….

IMG_20171010_190757 (1) I’m starting to get super excited and hopeful again. I’m still waiting on a couple other things to get started. Cycle prep officially starts October 19. Until then, my mottos are:

  • Do just enough
  • Do whatever it takes to get through the day
  • Ask for help
  • Have compassion for myself

#Microblog Mondays: Coloring Zen… or something like that

So after my last blog, things only got more intense at work. I’ve been working from 8:30 in the morning until 10 or 11 at night, plus 6-10 hours on weekends. Yesterday, I finally just stopped. I took one fucking day off and felt guilty about it the whole time. (Have I mentioned that I have issues?)

Part of this is that my career decided to take off, just when I’m planning to have a baby, part of it is an unhealthy worry about being able to support myself, and part of it is because it’s bury myself in work or sit around ruminating about my upcoming cycle. I’m seeing my doctor on Tuesday, and won’t have any new info until then.

Lupron report: hot flashes (annoying, but bearable), hightened anxiety and hyper vigilance, decreased appetite, exhaustion, short-term memory problems, over-sensitive. Here’s a weird one. I read a forum post where someone said they got brittle nails. I was like, I wouldn’t know if I had that my nails already break a lot. As I was thinking that, I banged my hand against a chair by accident (I’m super klutzy) and my nail didn’t just break it shattered above the skin. So yeah, brittle nails. The worst side effect for me, by far, is intense flair-ups of chronic pain.

So how have I been getting through? This has been keeping me sane:

Coloring + snarky = relaxing. Somebody posted this on the Matt & Doree’s Eggcellent Adventure Facebook group. I ordered it as soon as I saw it. Thanks to MeMoments Creative for granting permission to post images and also for making such a kick-ass coloring book. It’s completely theraputic.

So here’s how I spent my Saturday decompressing:

Yes, this silly coloring trend has been keeping me from bursting into tears about all sorts of silly things. Well at least making it happen less often. I highly recommend it.