Smack that Ass

June 5, 2009

Before we started this whole IVF journey we kept hearing how awful the injections were.  Everything from the pain of the actual injection to the effects of the drugs.  I had nightmares of my wife running after me with kitchen shears because of her awful cramps or snapping at me in the blink of an eye.

Well I am still here and alive, and honestly, it has been pretty tame.  She had a few days where her head hurt a bit, but that is pretty status quo for the two of us.  Beyond that, not too bad.  However, the last two days she said her ovaries are hurting, and she will occassionaly get a sharp cramp for a split second.

She went to the doctor on Monday and he took a look inside and said her eggs need more time to grow.  Yesterday she went in for a pre-op appointment, where they basically make you sign your life away. And tommorow at 7am she goes in for another round of blood work and a peek inside to see if we are ready to extract.

We both started taking mandated antibiotics, and my only advice there is take on a full stomach or you’ll be sorry 🙂  Tommorow I have to, umm, relieve myself, according to the Doctor.  I am sure he said it more doctor like, but basically I have to clear the tubes so to speak.  Hopefully it won’t be a solo affair, we will have to see.

If all goes according to plan, we do the trigger shot on Saturday, but more liklely it will be a few extra days if her eggs don’t cooperate.  That is the part she is most worried about as the needles for all the other shots are babies, but this trigger and subsequent progesterone looks like you could take a core sample with the thing.  It is a beast, and goes all the way in the butt.   Wish us luck 🙂

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One week down, and counting

May 26, 2009

Today I have officially harpooned my wife twice a day, with .5cc of Lupron for 9 days.  There haven’t been many side effects, except for an occassional headache, and some light bruises.  I think the headaches are steming more from her desire to remove caffeine from her diet.  So no more Sunkist for her.  She is having withdrawls.  And she isn’t taking Excedrine which contains caffeine to help the headaches, hence, more headaches. 

Earlier this week she was a bit moody.  I thought it was the medicine, she told me it was because she had her third period this month.  I guess I too would be cranky if that happened to me.  This Thursday she goes in for an ultra-sound at around 7am, and we start two other injectibles the day before.  We are also leave for NY at 11am n Thursday, so I hope the doctor isn’t running late.  I have to start antibiotics for 10 days on Saturday to make sure I have no nasty stuff in my baby batter.  Well, wish us luck. We need it…

Can you get pregnant with a little prick?

May 19, 2009

So here we are in IVF land.  We have gone through the informational seminar, had all parts of our medical history examined, gone through countless tests, and paid over $9,000 just to sit in a room with 3 other couples and learn how to use the $2,000 in shiny new needles we just bought.

There is something surreal about sitting with other couples that are going through the same thing as you are.  You can’t help but wonder what their problem is.  You sit there in judgement of others.  I found myself wondering how some of these people could even afford this entire process, it aint cheap baby.  Our two hour lesson covered everything from how to mix the needed drugs, how to inject yourself or your partner, how to follow a calendar to a T, etc.

I honestly felt that the nurse in charge did a wonderful job.  She really explained things well, and the IVF clinic gave us a great calendar with all the dates we needed to do things on there.  It made it pretty easy.   It can be intimidating when you get this bag full of drugs, and scores of needles and syringes.  Further, some of the medicines need to be given at very specific times, or you basically F the entire thing up.

A few days after our lessons it was time to put our knowledge to the test and start our Lupron injections.  These needles are super tiny, and have only .5ml of liquid in them.  I loaded the needle up and my wife laid in bed while I prepared her injection site.  Now I’ve given our dogs tons of shots, and was on injectible medicine myself, so I am pretty much a pro at this stuff.  But I have to admit, I was very nervous about hurting my lovely wife.  It took me a few seconds to gain the courage to prick her, albeit with a very small needle.  All went well, and she didn’t even whince.  She has to take shots 2 times a day, 12 hours apart for about a week and a half to start.  What is worrying us is the trigger shot and the Progesterone shots.  These are enormous needles that have to enter the muscle.  I think they are 22 or 18 gauge needles that are about 1 1/2 inches long.  I am seriously petrified to give her this shot, I think I might pop through the other side of her body and take out a core sample while I’m at it.  Worst case scenario she will need about 7 of these shots.  If pregnant, the best case is she is on them daily for about 7 weeks.  It sucks, but the body doesn’t produce progesterone naturally during IVF, so you need to inject it into the body to trick the system. 

But we are several days away from the large needle, and in a few days we will be up to about 3-6 needles a day.  Like I said, they are small, don’t really bruise and are pretty painless.  So far her mood has been pretty good.  Tommorow is her last day on the pill, so her flow will likely start, and she is pissed about that.  If you are wondering why you would be on the pill while trying to get pregnant it is pretty simple.  The IVF clinic is actually using the pill to control her system.  By starting and stopping on the pil, giving various medicines, etc, they can basically decide when follicles will be produced and when they can asperate the eggs.  It is pretty clinical, but very insteresting.

Unless something drastic changes, I won’t have much to write until next week when we start some more meds.  So far side effects have been nonexistent. Hereis hoping that these pricks end up getting us pregnant.

Drinking my Way to More Sperm

May 3, 2009

Yeah I know the title sounds kinda, hmm, nasty to say the least.  I was watching FitTV the other night and a program came on called “The Truth About Food: How to be Sexy” in which they did all these food experiments.  The same sizes were very small,  less than 18 people in most cases, but the results were pretty interesting.  They took a group of men with low sperm counts and high numbers of damaged sperm and made them drink fruit smoothies two times a day for 3 months in an effort to improve the quality and quantity of their sperm.

The results showed that in a portion of the men, it actually did increase their sperm count, but more interesting was the fact that in all the men it improved the DNA of the sperm.  That is to say, the sperm was healthier.  I found that pretty interesting.

Even though my sperm count and health of my sperm is off the charts good, like my sperm could be the poster child of the year, I could win an award in fact they are soo good, I figured what could it hurt to have a few smoothies.  If nothing else, I would lose some weight.  So I went to the market today and bought a bunch of fruits.  Kiwi, bananna, pears, mangos, etc.  I chopped them all up, added some milk and whirred my way to fruit smoothie goodness.  It actually tasted quite nice, and on a hot Florida afternoon really hit the spot. 

I highly suggest you do some research for yourself and see if making a couple of milkshakes can help you on your path the parental bliss.

Informational IVF Seminar aka Sleepfest 2009

April 22, 2009

So my wife and I had to attend a mandatory seminary put on by our IVF clinic last night.  It was at the local hospital in a medium sized auditorium.  I felt like I was back in college sitting in on a lecture.  The seminar was presented by one of the IVF doctors and was to go over the basic procedure, what you can expect, costs, etc.

As we were driving the the event we had to stop to get something to eat.  We were starved.  The only thing nearby was a Krystal burger.  So here we are, walking into a IVF seminar, learning about a procedure that costs about $10k , eating the nastiest, cheapest, crappiest fast food around.  It was awesome!  I couldn’t help myself but look at all the couples walking in, wondering if they could afford $10k.  I guess I was being snobbish?  Let me tell you though, the place was packed.  I counted at least 50 couples.  At least it was nice to know we were not alone in our trouble to conveive.

After a few minutes of technical difficulties, the Dr started her presentation.  It was so dry and boring.  Sure there was a lot of facts and figures, but she was a terrible presenter, I hope she is a better doctor.  The kicker was that it was so technical, so full of medical jargon that only about 1% of the people even understood what she was talking about.  Hey doc, try dumbing down your material for your audience.

This shindig lasted 2 hours.  Yes, 2 hours of a powerpoint presentation on vaginas, and sperm and all other forms of the reproductive system that I didn’t need to see on a 25 foot wide screen.  I am sorry, I did giggle a few times.  I am 36 but a child at heart.

When the presentation was over, the questions began.  Why is it that no matter where you go, there are always those people there that ask the dumbest questions?  I know you know what I am talking about.  And if not, then you are that person 🙂  I feel like turning to them and slaping them on the face saying, didn’t you pay attention to the wonderful presentation?  Or, don’t you have any common sense?

Alas, I think my wife and I were the smartest people in the class.  We were analyzing the presentation, with points on how to correct it, make it better, etc.  We are both marketing majors, so all we do is critique things.

Well at least it is over with now, we signed our paperwork, paid our $9k and are just waiting on our start date.

IVF for men, huh?

April 21, 2009

Alright, I know what you are thinking.  There are scores of websites dedicated to infertility treatments, and dozens that deal primarily with IVF. Yes my friend, you are correct.  However, most of these are from the females point of view.  What she is dealing with, going through etc.  Let’s not forget, it takes two to tango, and those eggs need some fertilizer.  That’s where this blog comes in.  My goal is to provide a mans perspective on IVF treatment.  The rituals, dealing with changing hormones, endless doctors visits, etc.  I hope to give my fellow IVF brothers a place to sit back, relax, perhaps learn a thing or two, and basically enjoy the process.