A new twist to an old “favorite” and an overview to IVF

This time around, I will not, I repeat NOT be using Decapeptyl to control my LH (The hormone that makes the ovaries release eggs). Thank GOD! (That was a sincere prayer of thanks to my Maker.) Last IVF cycle, I had 34 shots of Decapeptyl. 34. Injected into my biceps. One. Every. Day. Needless to say, It hurt like hell. My arms were sore up until about a month ago. This time, I am using not the Agnoist Decap, but the ANTAGONIST called ORGALUTRAN. It sounds like a real joy. I will probably begin one injection every other day beginning probably this time next week. In MY thigh. I like my thighs. There is basically no fat anywhere on them. They are nice firm muscle running along the top. I got a baaaad feeling about this. But I’ll take it when it comes.

A couple of people have asked me to give a brief “IVF for Dumnmies” version. So I thought I’d give a run down of the meds I’ll be on this time around and a small overview to the IVF/ICSI process for those of you that have not had the “pleasure” and don’t know what “fun” I’m in for. I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I’ve just been going through this more years than I care to think about.

I am starting out, today; May 22, 2004 on 225 IU of Gonal F. Which is recumbent FSH. (I covered this med in an earlier post a few days ago). I am also being given Dostinex for my high prolactin. I will take 1 tablet today, and another on Tuesday the 25th. Just those two tiny expensive tablets will bring my prolactin down to normal. I will get an injection of Gonal F every day, for about 13 days… could run up to 18 days depending on my ovaries response to the medication. When the follicles (eggs) reach a size around 19-21mm each, the Gonal F injection will stop, along with the Orgalutran injection and I will be given a “trigger” shot of HCG called Pregnyl. The HCG is the hormone that opens the floodgates and does the final “maturation” of the follicles and pops them out. Except that… they will be SUCKED OUT instead. 36 hours after the HCG injection (which I will have taken at around 2am-shudder) I will be admitted as an outpatient, anesthetized deeply, and….. basically they stick a big needle with a suction capability up your hoo-ha through your vaginal wall INTO the ovary and extract the eggs, with the help of ultrasound (so yes, a wand monkey will be there also). First they poke the right side. Then the left side. In my case, I always develop OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) to some degree. Thankfully I haven’t had to be hospitalized yet for it. But I came damn close to it twice. It is horrible, and it can kill you if you are not being watched carefully. Roughly, all the fluid in your body moves to your abdomen, heart and lungs. So, you..technically, drown. When the doctor does my Egg Collection after the HCG trigger, He always sucks as much of the fluid built up causing me horrific pain to lessen my chances of hyperstimulation.

When you wake up from the Egg Collection, to use the eloquent words of one of my fellow IVFers, “you beg for a painkiller injection OF ANYTHING to make you feel like you’re being fucked by a horse instead of an elephant.” Thank you for that. You know who you are. I could not describe it any better myself.

While we poor females are being poked and prodded and stuff… our males have to go spank the monkey….. and aim into a cup with what I have heard is WAAAAY too narrow an opening. Their “man juice” is then put into a “Spinner thingie bob” for about an hour. Why? To make the lazy useless sperm sink to the bottom of the test tube and leave all the frisky ones at the top, swimming around madly. Before the Embryologist dumps the good sperm into the petrie dish with the wonderful eggs, he takes a sample… a semen analysis and records it. (Actually, he did one before the spin and now again after) Then he dumps them with the egg (s). Hopefully they fertilize. If not, he may opt to do ICSI (where they grab a sperm at random and shove it into an egg. Forced fertilization. Kind of how they make cultured pearls)

Then….. we wait. 2 days. On day 3, I go back, assume the position, and for about 20 minutes, the doctor inserts all manner of instruments inside, including a thin catheter into which the embryologist will bring a hose like thing with the embryos in it to the doctor, he will insert hose thing (think turkey baster, only LOOOONG and thin) and squirt! He inserts the embryo(s) into the place in the uterus that looks the most welcoming to his professional eye.

Now for what is called the Two Week Wait. I like to call it torture or hell on earth. Call it what you like. If you think you are a calm rational intelligent person, I have one thing to say to you: “Hah! You’re delusional!” Our bodies have been pumped full of hormones for weeks, making us mildly violent and cranky….. imagine PMS x 50. NOW add a vaginal (or rectal) suppository/pessary named Cyclogest which I have renamed PSYCHOGEST unofficially! This is inserted every day, every 12 hours. Without fail. This stuff is PURE PROGESTERONE. When I am in the mood, I will transcribe the bullshit the pharmaceutical company has printed in the leaflet they enclose with it. Hilarious, I promise you. Ask any… ANY woman who has taken it. They will laugh themselves silly.

The 2ww drives you up the damn wall. Some women have no “phantom symptoms”. Some have them ALL!!!!!! The progesterone causes false pregnancy symptoms. You think one minute you’re pregnant. The next you’re sure it didn’t work.. It’s like temporary bi-polar disorder. Up/down/up/down. You feel you are losing your marbles.

Personally, each IVF try for me has been different. The second one was the worse, cause I had every pregnancy symptom imaginable. Some women continue to hyper-stimulate even up to the end of their 2ww.(this is usually in my case). Then, you are paranoid every time you go to the bathroom. Afraid that AF has come again. At the end of the 2ww, some doctors do a Blood Beta HCG, ie, a blood pregnancy test. Other clinics I know of just have the patient do a home pregnancy test 14 days post embryo transfer.

At any rate, I hope you will be along with me for the rollercoaster ride to come for the next few weeks. I will strive to be honest and descriptive, as usual, so that you will know what it’s all about, first hand.

I will continue to post other things too. This is not just a blog about my IVF trial, but about me. It just so happens that right now I’m going through this and I will share it in the hopes that someone else out there won’t feel like they’re the only one. The whole process fascinates me.

Cross your fingers… and here we go!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wand Monkey Strikes Again

Scarlett sings: Where do I begin… to tell the story of what the wand monkey did to me…… a tale that seems as never-ending as the sea…… where do I staarrrrt????? (Did ya recognize the tune?? Huh? Didya?)

Ah, yet again, it was a case of, Wham! Bam! Get up now mam! But let me start at the beginning, shall I? Cause it’s a HOOT!

I was punctual, as usual. Wand Monkey as usual… wasn’t. I went roaming at will around the clinic. It was like a ghost town. I couldn’t find a damn person. I realize it was only 20 minutes after it reopened from lunch break, but Jeez! Wandered back to the front desk and chose a victim to go hunt down some IVF Clinic staff for me. Man am I stupid. I picked the girl I’d never seen before. Gave her a big… I mean BIG smile and then…………rolled my eyes heavenward, praying for patience as the new girl asked me my name……..8- yes EIGHT- times. Even with the other nurses from other departments saying “HI CYN!!!, get Doctor WAnd Monkey for her…” each of these times. Finally new girl comes back, says “doctor has a patient…. Have a seat on the sofa someone will be out to get you.” Ok. Fine. I sit. And sit….. and sit… and sit some more. Im getting damn irritated. I count the ceiling tiles. I watch with interest across the hall through a door the technicians playing with the new hospital beds that I probably helped pay for.(What??? They were nice!) But after a while… even that got boring… I could hear the muzac playing softly. Did I mention how comfy that sofa is I’m sitting on?? No? Bad Cyn. Its’ SOOOOOOOOOOO damn comfortable. In other circumstances that would be a good thing. Not when it’s hot, you’re bored,…there’s classical muzac playing softly…..and a comfy sofa underneath your butt. Did I mention the lighting is soft too? Not that harsh florescent lighting, Oh no! They left me on the sofa for half an hour.

You guessed it… I started getting drowsy. Real drowsy. I kept fighting it, but I am pretty sure that I dozed off once or twice, not positive, but I have a hunch. So FINALLY a nurse came to get me, and guess what?? It wasn’t Ditzy Lucy either! Wooo hooo! It is one of my favorites from the ward on loan for the week! (thank you God!)It's Nurse Lovely!Yaay! We walk in to Doc’s (aka wand monkey)office. He barely looks up, says hi,,, and keeps on typing on his computer. I sit. Wait for him to finish. Consider asking him if he would like to dictate to me and I will type it since I type 85wpm… so I can GET THE HELL ON WITH MY APPOINTMENT ALREADY. But I don’t. I stare at him intently. Nurse lovely puts my new chart on the desk. It has the blood work results on there from the other day. Still he keeps typing and says “just a minute”. I count to 10. Twice. AHA! I know. I ‘ll look at my chart. That will piss him off.. cause he HATES THAT! I snatch the chart off his desk and start looking at what’s scribbled down. His head whips up and I see him hit Enter…. HARD. Heh heh heh. He gives me “the” look and holds out his hand. I give it back cursing at him in my head and smile. He clears his throat a few times and mutters “mmmmm” “umm hmmmmm”. “Hmmmmm”. I say ”Well? Howz it?” “Fine” he says. Then he says “So, you’ve already started taking your Dostinex (for prolactin levels)” I said “No, how could I? It wasn’t prescribed.” “Yes it was” “No… It WASN”T. If you had prescribed it, Issac (pharmacist) would have given it to me and charged me for it. It wasn’t in the computer for him to give me.” “Oh. Ok. Well, I’ll give you now then.” (me,: sigh) He brightens up… “But you have your Gonal F?” I said “YUP! In the fridge here” and he continues to say: “Good, good. And you have your Decapeptrl also, hmmm?” I look to lovely nurse in shock like “is he FUCKING JOKING?” and then I look at him and say….”NOOOOOOOOOOOO. You said you weren’t using that this cycle! You were using whatchamacallit… the one that cuts the LH level like magic…” and he looks at the chart… “ah yes, it’s here, I didn’t see that at first”. I look deep in his eyes, serious as a heart attack and say quietly “you realize you are scaring the hell out of me, right?” He says “no, it’s fine… just go to the Ultrasound room now and I’ll be in a moment.” I get all excited (sad, isn’t it?) cause the machine is NEW and I tell him so. I shoot out of his office to go “assume the position”.

Mmmm, new machine is nicccce. Cool. I look around for a place to “remove everything from waist down”. This room is small. Damn small. So small in fact that with the U/S machine and the bed side by side I had to turn sideways and inch along the wall to get to the stripping area. No curtain. Just great. I put my purse down. Look around to see if I have a hook to hang things or a chair to place them. No hook. No chair. Well damn. Shit shit shit. I take them off at light speed, fold them as quick as possible and dump them on my purse. Turn around bare assed and, with thighs clamped together to prevent any spillage, sidle on past the lovely new machine. Nurse lovely is giggling like a loon by this point, and quite frankly I don’t blame her. I hop up on the table and the stirrups are different now too! Oh how exciting! It’s the ones that support the back of your thighs as your ass hangs off the edge of the table. I like these kind! Nurse lovely says “you want a sheet?” and I look at the door opposite my spread legs and say “yes, that would be nice, thank you” and she proceeds to place a sheet a little bigger than a kitchen towel over my nether regions. Ah, yes, that makes SUCH a difference. Then she looks and says :”move a little lower down… yes, that’s it.” I tell her “honey, any lower and I’ll be on the floor.” Then… I lay there. For. A. while. I swing my legs in gentle circles in the stirrups, and look down at my brightly pedicured toes idly swinging in the air from time to time. I stare at the ceiling.. and tell Nurse L “you know, we need some posters up here” I say pointing up. She said what do you mean? I said, “You know, Sean Connery, Mel Gibson, Hugh Jackman… Some hot men to stare at while on here. She agrees with my idea and makes a few suggestions. We decide on a collage. I think she has a thing for Hugh Grant. Anyhoooo…. Suddenly I hear the door, and feel a hand on my foot. OH NO! It’s Nurse Lucy (the ditzy one!). She scared the shit out of me. She said something to N. Lovely and lifted the ‘Sheet” looked at me, and put it down, then walked out. But something is wrong this time. I feel a draft. I peer through my open knees and notice that……….

SHE LEFT THE FUCKING DOOR OPEN!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, the door that is DIRECTLY. Opposite. The. Table. I start stuttering… “um, Nurse L, um, uh uh uh uh Ddddddoooorrrrr. Cccloseitttt….” She gasps “OH!” and runs over to shut it. 2 minutes later… dum dum returns.. and leaves the door open again…. “SHUT IT!” I squeak out. She shuts it. Nurse lovely starts playing with my hair, stroking it.. and I get sleepy again… Lucy the dingbat is checking out my toe polish color. We are all waiting for the Wand Monkey. He comes flying in through a side door (all 6’5 and a half of him making the room seem even smaller that it is.) I didn’t know existed and scares 5 years off my life. I almost fall off the table.

In true wand monkey style, he takes up the wand, jamms it home as I curse silently and fluently at him in my head and proceeds to: Shift it into 1st gear. Then straight to 4th. Down and over into reverse (im yelping “HEY! WATCH IT!!!” by this time)and back up to 2nd. Then he yanks it out and says “FINISHED!” I ask cause Im obviously begging for it…”So, how does everything look? All OK?” and he says on the way out. “Fine. Same as usual” and leaves. I look at Lucy and Lovely and say “now what the hell is that supposed to mean? He can’t even remember what drugs he’s giving me this time!?” Well shit. I turn to see that Lovely is holding my pants that were folded with my pretty black lace edged panties and requisite equipage attached and they are not folded nicely anymore. F. U. C. K- M.E. They are all twisted around. dammit. Sigh.

On the bright side, by this time I realized that Nurse Lovely is one of my favorite injection givers, all things considered. She is relatively painless and has a gentle touch. As she gave me my injection (right cheek, thank you very much) I told her over and over how much I love her for not hurting me. See, Nurse Lucy likes to pretend my lily-white ass is a DARTBOARD. Then guess what I find out as I leave to go pick up the medicine that he THOUGHT I had already started? I say “see you tomorrow for my injection” and she gives me a sad smile and says “I’m off for the next two days”.

Well hell.


Here we go again!

Well, just an update.... Aunt Flo showed up about an hour and a half ago.

Waiting for Doc's phone call in about 30 minutes. He's "with a patient". Sigh.

I'll give you all the lowdown when I have more. See ya!


Ok, I actually have SOME small clue what's going on now. I think!

Well, lemmie see I went in this afternoon for my visit to the vampire. (ie: I had a blood draw with the IVF nurse)Check. Bled profusely all over the damn place cause said vampire screwd up. She is a little (major understatement) dingy, and a little slow on the take, if you get my drift?? So she froze t first as blood pumped from my HALF SHUT VEIN. I Valiantly managed to keep my big mouth shut on the comments that threatned to spew forth. Of course I managed to mutter "Oh fuck,give me a damn..fuck.shit.Fuck!" a few times... but otherwise I controlled.

Next, had to remind her to enter the prescription for my meds......like DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!enough for 6 days at maximum dose I reminded her... just for starters. I recieved a blank look.*repeats above cursing silently to self* Then I wonder, when is my favorite, slightly less stupid nurse coming back from vacation??? So I ask. Next week. THANK YOU GOD!

Dizzy and lightheadded from losing waaaay too much blood from numerous sources, I stumble downstairs... we are talking big ass marble, so must be careful not to slip and break my damn neck,staircase here.... WAYYYY the fuck down the hall-I mean FAR, as in I wish I had roller skates far- to the pharmacy. elbow my way up front, cause hell, they all know me and I AM THE IMPORTANT ONE HERE! I notice as the girl toddles off to the fridge to get my stash that there is one nosy cow behind me.... ears wide open. So guess what I do? Cumon, guess. I say real loud" GIMMIE MY DRUGS,yeaaaah!!! DO I NEED THE NEEDLES TOO???no. I got plenty." then I make a BIG production of counting all the boxes of meds....loud...........ALL THEM DAMN BOXES..... THREE TIMES. and then I said.... ahem......"Well don't I look like an additct? Gimmie my shiiiiiiiiiit"(pharmacist knows me well, we all tease each other)then we both cackled like hyeneas.Me more so since I could see nosy woman's facial expression in the mirror reflection in front of me. Mission accomplished.

Back up the long ass hallway to the staircase from Hell to dummy, give her the meds to put in their fridge, but first I make her mark my name on the bag.....in front of me. Back down the stairs and down the hall.......... to the cashier.... to fork out......

over US$1,200.00 equivalent for 6 days meds.(I hope they last 6 days) this is only the first batch... there will be more.Argue with the dumb ass about why i want a reciept.....until I get one, hanging half off the counter, still with a spinning head.

I go out in the SICK GODDAMN 120 degree heat + humidity levels I don't want to consider, to my car... and drive home thinking...."Im SO gonna hurt someone if it doesn't work this time".

Saturday I have a date with the wand monkey for real this time (oh joy, on day 3. women, you KNOW what I mean) and a needle afterwards chock full of 225IU of pure recombitant FSH... called Gonal F.. a hormone that my Pituatary gland is too freaking lazy to produce like it's supposed to, since I obviously pissed it off when I was young and it holds grudges like the mafia... so I therefore have to inject it into my poor butt daily.

Cyn, the human pincushion at your service.


I'm Baaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!

Sorry, I've been at a conference for the past couple of days in case you were wondering why I was being so quiet.

Actually, I was sitting there in that conference, boiling hot, praying that AF wouldn't start up right then, since bathroom runs would have been only every 2-3 hours when the let us out of our cell... I mean, the hotel ballroom which felt like I was in HELL. Seriously. The walls were papered in something that felt like burgundy velvet and black marble. It was so G.D. hot.... outside temp ONLY 113degrees and 70% humidity (that's about 41c-ish) and the damn air conditioning was on low-to nothing. Hamsters breathe stronger than the airflow from the central a/c in that room dammit.Jeeeez.

It was pretty informative... if a bit repetitious.OK, a LOT repetitous.(sp?)Why, oh WHY was the loud, obnoxious IGNORANT asshole sitting behind me? They told us to put our mobiles on silent or shut em off. Did Ahole? NOOOOOOOOO. He would answer it.... and talk.... F-O-R-E-V-E-R. THEN... he would interrupt the speaker (any and ALL of them) to interrupt with a stupid question and/or arguementative comment. I somehow managed not to smack him one. Even after he made the loud-under-his-breath-comment to his neighbor that "the US created Money laundering...blah blah blah bullshit..all their fault to corrupt and control the world...blah blah" even though the speaker 2 people before CLEARLY stated that forms of money laundering has been going on since waaaaay before Christ appeared on this earth.You know, when the good ole US of A didn't really exist yet. What scares me is that this dumb ass runs a bank. He is a CEO. of an INVESTMENT BANK.

Honestly, I didn't realize I had such self control.Must have been all the chocolate in my system.(see below)

On the bright side... the confrence was held in the Ritz Carlton... and guess what I found out? Hmmm? They have a yummy Chocolate Mousse. And a yummy chocolate mousse cake with gnache icing...scrumptious chocolate and almond shortbread cookies, and various other shortbread cookies...and killer carrot cake(non frosted)too. (I love me some carrot cake) Hey GET OFF MY ASS ! I have PMS..... it's the ONE time of the month that I eat chocolate. What kind of dumb ass would I be to not eat it all? DAYUM. There is also Killer garlic mashed potatoes that I am sure they made with heavy cream...-that stuff was RICH-...beef medallions in a peppercorn sauce......and.......... WAY TOO MUCH GODDAMN FISH. I hate fish. No, really. The smell of cooked fish (or a fishmarket for that matter)makes me gag. The taste in my mouth makes my stomach heave. The ONLY type of fish that is safe for me to consume is....tuna (ie: sandwich)& COD fish- only cod "fish and chips style" drenched in malt vinegar. And that only rarely.I mean rarely. Like- when I go to England-rarely.I think you get the point.

The first day there were 6 kinds of fish offered for main course. 6. Not counting all the varieties of salad with seafood. Some dumb ass got it in his head to put little bits of fish in Penne Arribiata.W.T.F.?? Now why would the chef do that?*gasp*

Anyway, for ONCE my prayers were answered. AF still hasn't shown up. That's not to say that I wasn't having the cramps from hell and had to be quiet. No whimpers from me, even though it was a close thing there a couple of times.

Maybe she will show up on the weekend. Now that would be fun. Wanna know why? BECAUSE.... then I would have to call Dr-Im-not-probably-going-to-be-here-for-your-egg collection-OR-embryo-transfer-and-am-gonna-dump-your-ass-on-a complete-stranger-but-who-really-gives-a-shit in to the office on the WEEKEND. Maybe I'll go show up on his doorstep. I DO live about 8 houses away from him, if that. That'll piss him off.heh heh.Yeah, I'll do it.

Does that make me evil? GOOOOOOOOOD!

Don't think I've EVER looked so forward to getting my period in my life!(One has to take the little joys one finds as we meander aimlessy through life)



Yup, the front of the line for the IVF Rollercoaster is in view now. Not much longer to wait till I can get on.

Aunt Flo should show up in 4-5 days.... then 3 days after that my ass will become a pincushion. I just pray I don't get any hits near my siatic nerve like the time before last. That was just too damn close for comfort.

I am lucky because I don't have to give myself the injections like some of my IVF/IUI "sisters". On the down side.... that means just about every nurse gets to have me flash them a cheek for an injection at one time or another. No dignity whatsoever.

You all wanna hear the REAL kicker?

It looks like my IVF Doc will be OUT.OF.TOWN. when it is time for my EC (Embryo collection). He will be at a conference. Erm, I'm having a mild freak out over this..... do any of my pals think Im being..... unreasonable about this?

I mean, he will probably have some STRANGER do my EC, and possibly my ET too......... call me shy or whatever, but I don't like haveing strangers poking around in there. The strange Doc will have to have her FACE-IN-MY-CROTCH for at least 20 minutes for the ET. Well shit.

I think this qualifies for a completely justified freak out....don't you?
Oh no she didn't!!??(I'm afraid, yes, she did!)

Last night I was in the process of mentally constructing a lovely post on my blog. It was going to be really funny, a clever little anecdote, I seem to remember. But all that changed while reading the “tickertape” news at the bottom of the screen on CNN. What I read made my blog entry completely erase from my brain, which really sucks monkey butt (baboon variety to be precise). Guess what I read? Can you? Are you equally FLOORED and laughing hysterically like me? I bet you are. I read this:


Huh?WTF??!!?? Apple? Like, as in APPLE PIE apple? As in the fruit????? OH-MY-GOD! That poor little baby Apple. I’d love to know what the HELL possessed Gwen to name her poor kid Apple. Nice little Jewish girl like Gwen names her kid THAT?? Blythe is nice, after Gwen’s mama, Allison is pretty too….. Why not Allison Blythe Apple Martin? Oh Lord is that kid in for HELL for the next…… 20 years at least! Can you imagine her in Kindergarten? Primary School? I mean, kids can be EVIL. All your mama and daddy’s millions isn’t going to save you from the wagging tongues of the vicious little kids at school, little Apple.

Gee Gwen, why not Pear? Banana? Grape? Melon? Cherry? Guava? Mango? Plum? *shudder*. Maybe she is saving those for future children. Then she can have a fruit salad. (hardee har har)

That is just…. Sad. Yes, with a capital “S”. Typically I don’t comment on what anyone names their child… unless it is truly horrid…..like, oh, lets give an example here……… APPLE! or Hurricane. (Dave Stewart from Eurythmics- remember them?- named his son Hurricane Joe ages ago.)

I promise you ALL right here & now….. that when I get pregnant (notice not “if” but “when”.. I’m trying to be positive here!) I SWEAR to you ALL that I will not name my child some godforsaken name like APPLE. I have pretty normal names picked out. Promise. Names like Aidan and Connor for boy’s names. Anya (Aine- Gaelic spelling) for a girl. (Yes, Irish names this time around!) See? No fruit names. That there is some freaky shit, fruit names.

You can say I’m overreacting if you want, but I defy you to tell me you weren’t shocked when you heard it too.

Go on, try and lie to me.