Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Longest visit EVER!

Today was the BIG day... the start of our IVF journey!! So much happened I don't even know where to begin.

I guess I will start with the chaotic confusion which I knew was eventually going to happen. To make a long story short, the follow up from my egg donation confused office secretary's because this was to be billed separate and was still under my old last name. Anyway that follow up went well, they said my ovaries are still a bit big but that I am cleared for our baby making journey lol.

First we met with the same doctor we met with back in March of 2012 to discuss the logistics and to get a definitive time line. Then C got blood drawn, a physical exam, pelvic exam, and vaginal ultrasound (which was quite the entertainment)! I am not really sure why but she was super anxious! Asking me 5,000 questions.... "should I move my butt cheeks forward? how far does this probe go in? does it hurt? why does he even need to look in there, I know I am fine?" LOL I tried my best to get her to relax and she did just fine, she actually enjoyed the compliments about how she had a nice uterine lining and good looking ovaries lol. So, she is all good. Since she is mid cycle we are basically waiting for her to get her period so she can start birth control and then injectables.

Since I had a lot of work ups done through egg donations I didn't need anything done today (other than the vaginal US for egg donation follow up). They want me to remain on the birth control pill until we are ready for transfer. I am scheduled for a hysterosalpingogram tomorrow afternoon. This is a test that will show the anatomy of my uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. They inject dye and use x-ray to track paths/opening or blockages. Then on February 12th I am scheduled for a hysteroscopy and mock transfer. The hysteroscopy inspects my uterine cavity/lining and the mock transfer in my case is just to make sure the catheter used for embryo transfer goes in with no issues and that they can locate the best place to implant.

Then February 13th we meet with the IVF nurse to order our injectables this is right around the time Cwill begin birth control. And then we go from there. The doctor said that we are looking at a March transfer :)!!!

SOOO exciting and so worth the 3 HOUR LONG visit today!

Sunday, January 27, 2013


So... It's Sunday evening (or so I think lol night shift messes with me). Only two more day until our appointment. I am super excited for that but I'm also newly nervous!!!

I think last night at work is what is making me incredibly nervous to start a family. Since I work in the NICU I see some pretty sick newborns/infants which I can handle. What I can't handle is seeing just how much can go wrong in the womb/during conception.  Last night I saw a baby that was unbelievably misshapen and sick but even worse that baby was totally mentally aware. The baby's fate is imminent... Death. But it's not just that simple (as if death ever is). Death takes time. It involves no treatment to fix the things that are so wrong and not feeding or hydrating the baby. It seems so cruel to do this. We are suppose to save these  babies not help kill them. It's hard because we know that the abnormalities are incompatible with life in the future but in the now the baby is very much alive. I can't even imagine what I would do if this was my baby.

I understand this is very rare but seeing this has opened my eyes to how blessed people are to have a normal pregnancy and healthy children. That is what I am going to hope and pray for!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy birthday to me...

Well today I am 24 years old! And all I can think about day and night is baby making!!! Wow I can only imagine what this will be like when my wife and I actually started meds, tests, and the TWW!!!

I am very impatiently waiting or Tuesday to be here! I will be evaluated for a follow up from egg retrieval and as the same time they will work up my wife (or so I think/hope). Well, heading to my birthday breakfast with my wife :)! Baby dust to all those who are TTC!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

IVF Timeline

This is not an exact timeline for my wife and I since they do not include the preparing of my uterus for pregnancy... but I will be preparing my uterus as my wife completes the following steps with various pills, patches, and vaginal inserts (yum :-P). ONE WEEK UNTIL OUR APPOINTMENT!!! Based on the timeline we are looking at late March or early April to do a transfer and hopefully achieve a pregnancy!

Birth Control Pills
(Approx. 14-21 days) 

(Approx. 12-15 days)
Baseline Ultrasound
(Approx. 10-12 days)
Trigger Shot
Egg Retrieval
(36-37 hours after trigger shot)
Embryo Transfer
(3-5 days after retrieval)
Pregnancy Test
(14 days after retrieval)
1st - Approx. 6 ½-7 weeks pregnant
2nd - Approx. 7 ½ - 8 ½ weeks pregnant
Release to OB at 8-10 weeks pregnant

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Two dozen eggs!!

Egg retrieval was this morning. All went well, they got 24 eggs!! I am a little sore and still bloated. Tomorrow I will start birth control to help my ovaries shrink back to normal size. I also am on oral antibiotics for a week as a precaution. My wife was with me this morning and I am happy that she got to get an idea of what she will be doing for us :). She has been so supportive through this whole process and I am so thankful for that!

I am very happy that I got the chance to do this for the couple in France. But I am also very happy that it is over with so C and I can move forward with our plans :).

Friday, January 18, 2013

Trigger shot

Got the call yesterday afternoon to go ahead and take the "trigger shot" at 7:45pm. So I did that at work in the bathroom lol. Egg retrieval is scheduled for Sunday! Have an appointment in the morning for blood work to make sure I am responding to the Pregnyl ;)!

Ovaries or golf balls?

Hi there everyone! So yesterday my blood work and US went well, they saw 16 follicles that are all growing. They kept my medication regimen the same for last night, 3 vials of Menopur, 112.5 units of Gonal-f, and 1 Cetrotide injection. They asked me to come back in this morning (which I did). The blood work results are not in yet but the US shows 16 large follicles. The nurse practitioner told me that considering my US findings the egg retrieval will be Sunday or Monday.

They will call me this afternoon to let me know whether or not to continue with the same medication regimen tonight or whether I should take the "trigger shot." The Pregnyl or "trigger shot" is given at exactly 36 hours before the egg retrieval. I can't believe I am this close to the egg retrieval. I am so excited, not only for me but for the couple I am donating to!

On a side note..... these hormones are NO joke! I am extremely emotional lol. For example, yesterday I missed my train home from work and I cried...... REAL TEARS! Normally I am not that sensitive! Also my ovaries feel more like golf balls these days. I am super bloated and sore (in that area as well as internally). My poor belly has small bruises all over :(. But it is all worth it, because I am giving a family the gift of a child or children :)!

I will post tonight about whether or not I have to take Pregnyl tonight or not.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bloated and achy :-/

All went well at my doctors appointment this morning. My estradiol level is 808. My US showed a number of growing follicles which is great considering I am early in this stimulation process. On a side note, my cervix/vagina is sore from the US every other day :(! I also feel extremely bloated and I have noticed that if I do not keep up with my water intake I get dehydrated quickly and that causes heart palpitations! Whew! Lol but anyway the medications stay the same for tonight (112.5 of Gonal-f and 2 vials of Menopur). And tomorrow night they change a little. Tomorrow I will take the 112.5 of Gonal-f, 3 vials of Menopur and a Cetrotide injection. My next appointment is Thursday for blood work and US.... Stay tuned :)!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Let it burn...

Hi there! All is going well with egg donation. Had my first set of blood work and my first US yesterday since I have started the injectable hormones. The doctor said there are 30 follicles present but that is not a definite number for retrieval. My estrogen was 304, progesterone was 0.2, an LH was 0.8 from yesterday's blood work. They changed my dosage for Gonal-f to 112.5 units and I am still taking two vials of menopur every night. My next appointment is tomorrow for bloodwork and US.

Is it just me... Or does Menopur burn when going in!? I am not a wimp when it comes to needles and the Gonal-f does not hurt one bit for me. So I am thinking it's got to be that darn menopur! I have had shots in the ass before (Lupron) and they are painless but I must say this whole "belly injection" thing is for the birds! I am looking forward to this being over (for me) next week! Lol I'm done complaining now.

My wife got to join me for my last appointment. We were laughing at the thoughts of her going through this process. She said, "Is that a condom on that ultrasound probe?" I replied, "Yes." She then continued to say, "Wow it's been a very long time since I have had one of those inside of me!" Of course then the doctor walks in and we are both beat red and laughing! Oh my it's never a dull moment!

Stay tuned will write a small update tomorrow after my appointment.

Oh and good news we have our first appointment for out IVF journey, it is January 29, 2013 at 12:30pm :)!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Egg donation update

So my appointment at RMA this morning went well. All of my hormone levels are normal and there where about 14 visible follicles on my US. I was told to take two vials of Menopur and 150 units of Gonal-f tonight and tomorrow night. So luckily the drawing up and giving the subcutaneous injections comes easy to my wife who is an ER nurse :)! I am hoping I don't feel sick on these medications because tomorrow we are going up the mountains to Shawnee with family! And then back home for blood work on Sunday morning....

Here are all of the medications I will be on..... WOW lol

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Finally no more birth control pill for me... For now at least!

Well I started my new job in the NICU at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia this week :)! I definitely made the right choice, I love it (my job and of course the tiny babies).

So my appointment on Monday at RMA went well (for egg donation to gay male couple in France). My estradiol level was 36 which is normal. They told me to stop the birth control pill, YAY! I have to say this getting my period every two weeks kind of blows! I have another appointment before work tomorrow morning at RMA. But the good news is I should be starting the injectable hormones tomorrow night as long as my blood work and ultrasound are normal. This will be nice to be able to get practice for when it is my wife's turn for our IVF.

My wife and I bought the book "And Tango Makes Three" for the couple I am donating my eggs to. I also made personalized onesies and bibs that say, "J'aime mes deux Papas" which means, "I love my two dads" in French :)! Since I am an unknown donor until the potential child turns 18 we simply wrote from "B&C." The agency I am going through said it was okay to do this and they will send it to them for us. I just thought this is something nice for them. I am sure this journey has not been easy for them and as soon to be same sex parents it will be nice for them to feel some pride :).

Well that's all for now I suppose. I will post a small update regarding my visit to RMA tomorrow and take photos of all of the medications they have me going on for the rest of the egg donation! As well as how my first round of injections go tomorrow night! Wish me luck. Peace, love and baby dust to all! <3

Here is a picture of the bib and onesie I made :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

There is NO knowing...

My wife and I had our appointment with the Psychologist on Friday. Dr. Braverman has officially cleared us for our IVF journey! Yay! So I guess it's good to know that we aren't CRAZY, lol. My sister brought up a good point (she has a somewhat cynical sense of humor), "I love that you have to get a psych consult but crack heads can have a litter of children. Oh well. Have a blast! Can't wait til you have a little nugget." I love her <3 

Anyway.... It was actually a very nice meeting we discussed many hypothetical situations to try and prepare us for what could possibly come in our future. Including the topic of a multiple pregnancy, and selective reduction. C and I of course have not discussed every possible scenario because there is just no knowing what will happen. What we have agreed on is that we will transfer two embryos on our first try and go from there. We have discussed our limits when it comes to how many babies we can handle both physically and financially. As far as the "odds" go they are in our favor... it's pretty rare to put two embryos in and have it result in more than a twin pregnancy. But we shall see. 

We also discussed same-sex parenthood. Which was a surprise to me. There will always be that fear that our future children will be bullied because they have two mothers. But aren't kids always bullied for one thing or another?? Growing up in Philadelphia I (B) always embraced peoples differences and being "gay" was almost normal in that city lol. They have a "gayborhood" and many organizations for LGBT families. But now that I live in a Philly suburb I feel a little more reserved and vulnerable. I think the most recent election really opened my eyes to my "neighborhood." While walking our dog we saw "Romney" signs on every lawn around us. And while there are many reasons why people vote other than for "Gay Rights" I just could not help but wonder how our neighbors really feel about a lesbian couple living in their territory. For the most part I can't say that we have had any problems living here... everyone is very friendly but I think until we have children they may not think we are anything but roommates. I am probably just over thinking all of this but it almost feels like a new stage of "coming out." I have been comfortable and openly lesbian for almost six years but talking about starting a family brings on thoughts of coming out as a lesbian family which is an unknown for my wife and I. We will just have to roll with the punches as we go on this journey to motherhood. One thing that has helped is the fact that everyone around us as far as family and friends have been nothing but supportive and excited :)! 

Our RE who is ironically taking care of me during my egg donation has suggested to wait until the end of January for C and I to both come in and start our IVF. That way egg donation will be finished and the focus will not be on just me or just C and we could do everything together. Which initially I was bummed about because I know C could have gotten a jump start on things but it's probably the right thing to do so that our focus can be solely on OUR journey. Besides it's only a few more weeks to wait which is nothing in the grand scheme of things. So tentatively our first appointment will be between January 28th - 31st 2013.  

Here is a short list of books that Dr. Braverman recommended for same sex families, some are specific to Lesbian Mothers, Gay Fathers and some are just about diverse families: 

- Before You Were Born.... Our Wish for a Baby by J. Grimes
- My Story by Infertility Research Trust
-The Family Book by Todd Parr
- Waiting for You by Kelly C. Mizer
-And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (THIS IS ADORABLE)

Here is a cute photo of our four legged sons, hogging our footroom in our bed last night:

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ohhhh January!

So tomorrow is the appointment with Dr. Andrea Braverman, she is the psychologist that will clear my partner and I for our IVF journey. She is the same doctor who cleared me for egg donation, so I have met her and she is a very nice woman. I am excited for this to finally be here. Once this is over with my wife, C can start her testing and work ups.

Ironically enough I am currently going through all that C will endure during our IVF journey since I am donating eggs. I am currently on birth control to regulate my cycle and match it up to the gestational carrier for the Gay couple that I am donating to. I have an appointment on Monday (Jan. 7) for blood work, if the results are good I will go off of birth control. Then I will go back for blood work on January 11th. Depending on the blood results from that day I will start the injectable medications that day. Once I start the injectable hormones I will need to go get blood work every morning until they determine when egg retrieval will take place. Tentatively egg retrieval with take place between January 21 -24, 2013. 

January is such a big month for us this year! I start my new job at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's N/IICU on Monday January 7, 2013. I am super excited about that considering I have been a nurse for 18 months and finally landed an acute care job and even better MY DREAM JOB. I will miss my pediatric home care job but this new job is definitely the right move for my partner and I. She is working as an ER nurse in a local ER. We are also looking at Family Nurse Practitioner Programs for her to start as early as the summer of 2013. I am so glad she is motivated to go back again.... after getting our BSN I am so done with school HAHA! January 12th we will meet with a LGBT Lawyer, Angela Giampolo to discuss our plans for creating a family. She will give us recommendations on the birthing process for Lesbian Mothers as well as legal advise regarding second parent adoption and laws in PA. One more exciting thing about January is my birthday, I'll be 24 on January 25th :)!

Maybe it's just the birth control talking but I really want a baby... like now lol! I feel like I am nesting... I have been cleaning like a crazy person and we finally emptied our guest room which will be a future nursery. This whole process has been the only thing on my mind recently. I hope my new job will distract me a bit!

Here is a few pictures of our yellow lab Bowie and black cat Melvin: